With my ever growing obsession for Japanese maids, it was about time that I finally gave in to my long time thought that I should go watch a series about the true and historical origins of a maid. Yes, those domestic helpers of wealthy households in the western world. The original maid before Japan somewhat ‘corrupted’ the term. Uh huh. Emma: A Victorian Romance isn’t exactly a historical series about maids in England but as the title suggests, a forbidden romance between the different classes during the Victorian era. So no sci-fi elements or exaggerated fantasy adventures of alternate retelling of history. No maid cafes, no nekomimi maids, no mercenary maids or assassin maids. Just your plain period English romance involving a plain English maid.

Episode 1: The Present
William Jones seems to be hesitating to knock on the house of his ex-teacher, Kelly Stowner. Accidentally the maid, Emma opens the door, bumping into his face. Now that William’s family is part of the gentry, he decided to take his teacher’s heed to visit her although he did it on an unscheduled notice. William can’t seem to take his eyes off Emma. Kelly receives a message that she needs to meet someone so the stay is cut short. After he leaves, Emma notices he has forgotten his gloves. Kelly knows he will come back to get it but seeing Emma staring at it, he tells her to go return it to him. Unfortunately he was already long gone by then. Back in his mansion, he can’t help think about Emma and is unenthusiastic when his personal old maid, Theresa tends to him. Emma apparently has lots of admirers like the mailman. He even gives her a letter and is willing to wait for an answer. Thanks to Kelly’s teachings, Emma is able to read and write but unfortunately it is mostly to use to write rejection letters. Next day, William is shopping at his favourite antiquity shop when he spots Emma walking outside. He happily goes to talk to her and walks her home. However he doesn’t want to take back the gloves as it would give him another reason to visit Kelly again. William has noticed that Emma has bad eyesight and her current prescription isn’t helping. He offers to make new glasses for her. That night as Emma contemplates about his offer, she remembers as a child she had a hard time with her visions. There were numerous times she broke the pots and missed spots while cleaning. Eventually Kelly noticed this and got her glasses. It was the first time she saw how beautiful the world was. She never knew the world looked like this. In view of this gift, Emma declines William’s offer. He asks if she would like anything else in exchange. She would like a lace handkerchief as it was a dream of having it. Immediately he goes to a shop and gets her one. It makes her very happy and in turn he too is a happy young man.

Episode 2: Two Worlds
William waits at his favourite antique shop and pretends to window shop just so Emma could pass by and he coincidentally could help her. She wants to return his gloves but he will leave it for another time. Emma thinks it is an excuse to visit Kelly. Theresa admonishes William for giving excuses to skip work and she has to cover for him. At this time, Williams’ siblings, Grace, Vivian, Arthur and Collin just returned from a health resort. William is called by his father, Richard about him rejecting invitations. As they have already ascended into the upper class, they need to ‘improve’ themselves. He wants William to attend tonight’s ball and mix with others. Of course he becomes a wallflower. An old acquaintance of Richard, Lady Campbell introduces her daughter, Eleanor to him. He dances with her. Next day when William is accompanying his sisters to buy parasols, Eleanor comes in. Grace and Eleanor know each other. Vivian thinks the duo are getting along pretty fine and leaves them alone. When William buys a parasol, Vivian thinks it is for Eleanor. It gets awkward when he says it isn’t. Emma sees William leaving the shop with the ladies. She quickly turns around and walks away as fast as she can. Next day, William visits Kelly and this time to retrieve his gloves. Kelly then sends Emma to buy sugar in which William wants to accompany her. All part of Kelly’s plan? William gives the parasol to Emma but she declines it as she cannot accept more luxurious stuffs. He apologizes for his rudeness as he thought he would like to see that smile again. He’ll stop giving her presents but would like to see her again from time to time. So who will he give the parasol to? Theresa. As thanks for all the troubles he caused. When Eleanor sees that parasol being held by happy Theresa in the streets, she couldn’t help giggle a little.

Episode 3: The Confession
One morning William wakes up to find his friend from India, Hakim Atawari is right at his doorstep. He brought along his entourage too. Yeah, how the heck did he bring his elephants into England?! Anyway as an old friend from the Indian royalty, he is here to stay for a week and this visit is supposed to be a secret. But when the newspaper reports about, it is hardly a secret anymore. Thus Hakim wants William to take him around town. Those English blokes are going to be surprised to see this jumbo ruling the cobbled stone streets. Luckily they are passing Kelly’s street so it is an excuse for William to pay another unexpected visit and ‘recover’ from the elephant ride. Almost got motion sickness. I guess this is why somewhere down the line England passed a law banning elephants on the streets. Anyway as Emma treats William, Hakim can’t seem to get his eyes off Emma. It is so obvious he is smitten by her. Next day, he and his servants go out early just to help Emma with her errands and send her home. Jealous white boy can do nothing but spy on them. Nothing suspicious so far. Next day, William is baffled a client wants to show him some work he ordered. Did he? When he sees Emma’s name engraved at the bottom and realizes the one who ordered it was Hakim, he rushes to Emma’s place. Too bad Hakim already beat him because he is all dressed up like an Englishman. Stalk outside is the only thing William can do. As Kelly is not in at that moment, first Hakim tells her he is here just to see her. Then he asks if she is William’s lover. Since she isn’t, he is glad so because as one of William’s few friends, he would like to start this off on a fair note. Then he confesses he likes her and wants to protect and see her again. Uhm, so does she need to give an answer? Naturally William has got a lot on his mind. His worries up a notch when he hears about Indian royalties don’t normally visit England unless they’re looking for a bride. I hope this wasn’t what mail order bride used to be.

Episode 4: Myudie’s
Hakim driving a motorcar inside the mansion? It has been over a week and Hakim is still around? Well, something caught his interest lately… We know what it is. Hakim takes William out for a spin with the motorcar. Then it runs out of petrol. Myudie’s, a library that catches Hakim’s eye as he goes to browse the porn section with William. How do you like your 19th century porn? They are caught red handed by Emma who is also there to borrow a book for Kelly. William tries to explain this awkward situation but Emma runs off. On the way home, William feels Hakim is keeping a secret from him. Yeah, Grace’s tennis invitation. It seems everything is going ‘against’ Arthur. He ignores Collin’s questions of what a prefect means since Arthur just became one. Poor boy cried even when he got his answer. Did he understand all that? Arthur also was too harsh with Vivian playing tennis so Hakim had to take over and make the little girl happy. There is a good mood between William and Eleanor as he teaches her to play tennis so Arthur comments if things get good between them, they will be closer to peerage. That night, Hakim tells William that he confessed to Emma but was rejected. You can tell William feels relieved. However Hakim wonders why William doesn’t tell his true feelings to Emma. Excuses like he doesn’t know her isn’t going to cut it. Because Hakim warns if he continues to dawdle, Hakim might steal her again. Next day William meets Emma and tells her about his friendship with Hakim. Because of the school they went together, it taught them how to express themselves freely and thus why Hakim was so straight upfront with his confession. However William can’t be like Hakim and sometimes he feels envious. When Emma mentions he is fine the way he is now, it boosts his mood.

Episode 5: Dinner Party
All Emma knows about Kelly was that she married her husband, Doug at 18 in an arranged marriage. But she lost him at 20. She worked as a governess for 30 years before retiring and living here alone since. Kelly realizes she forgot she invited the Knoxes to dinner tonight. So as Emma scrambles to prepare the food, Kelly props up the place. Everything is well done until Kelly realizes the rain has seeped into the roof and ruining the wallpaper. With time running out, she has Emma call handyman, Al who is also an old friend of hers. He manages to fix it in time before the guests arrive. As Kelly has Emma treat him to a drink in the kitchen, Al tells her some of the old stories like he and Doug were best friends and Kelly was the governess for the Jones. Fortunately for Al he gets to stay for dinner since the Knoxes got their delivery boy to say they can’t attend tonight’s dinner. So Emma hears more of Al’s ‘sarcasm’ about Doug and Kelly’s blissful marriage. When Al passes out drunk, Kelly remembers Emma moved in here the same time she bought this house. That was 5 years ago. She asks if Emma is going to turn down William the same she did for Hakim. She says he is a strange but good man because he doesn’t mind her status as a maid. When asked if she loves William, Emma doesn’t answer. When Kelly retires to bed, she accidentally slipped and fell from the stairs. Luckily she only sprained her ankle. During the slip, her precious necklace broke into pieces. Emma has collected them but Kelly tells her to leave it as it is. However the next day Emma is able to put everything back together again. How? She noticed the necklace Kelly was wearing in a photo with her husband. She knows it was Doug’s gift to her. Kelly decides to give it to her since it doesn’t suit her anymore. Kelly dreams of her wonderful time with Doug as a newlywed. And making Al as their errand boy.

Episode 6: The Visit
Richard is not happy that his son is idling around too much with Hakim. Even more so he is often out. We all know by this time he is always hanging out with Emma. At the ball, William didn’t turn up but ironically it is Hakim who did and he is showing all the gentlemanliness of the English aristocracy that Richard would love his son to have. While talking with Eleanor’s mother, he learns that Kelly has been injured. Thus he summons his son and chastises him for not saying anything about it despite he knew it for some time. Hence they are going to pay a courtesy call to her soon. William feels awkward in between as Richard talks to Kelly. Her injury has made him realize that although he is healthy right now, you’ll never know in the future. That is why he wants his son to quickly succeed his family business. Hence he has made arrangements for a young lady who is interested in William to be acknowledged into the family as soon as possible. William is shocked to hear this and protests. But he couldn’t answer when Richard asks him if he has someone else in mind. At this point Emma who has heard too much is spacing out and is making a few simple mistakes. Richard would of course take into consideration the feelings of his son but he prefers him to marry a person of the same person. William assures he isn’t marrying a foreigner but what father meant was England despite being a nation has 2 countries within itself: The upper class and lower class. Although sharing the same language, they are still considered as different countries. The Jones take their leave and this leaves the young ones deep in their thoughts.

Episode 7: Crystal Palace
William and Hakim attend a party hosted by Eleanor’s family. It looks obvious on his face that he doesn’t want to be here but at least he still has the courtesy to talk to her and show his face. When Emma gets a letter from William to meet, she looks happy. She requests for a day off but Kelly gives her the entire day. Oh, she lends her red dress too. Emma meets William at Crystal Palace, a giant structure made out of crystal exhibiting worldly items. As William shows her around, I have a feeling he is trying to show off his knowledge about the exhibits. So much so he was too fast for her pace and they got lost in the sea of crowd. Luckily they manage to find each other and continue talking. Then they sit down and talk. And talk and talk and talk… So much so they didn’t hear the staffs yelling it is closing time nor do they notice everyone else streaming out and that it has gotten quieter and darker. Wow. So absorbed in their conversation, eh? And when they realized it, too late. Locked in. Those staffs didn’t do their job to check… William wanted to throw and smash the glass but Emma stops him. We’re civilized, right? I guess the good thing is that they can talk all night for all they want. I don’t know how talking this much can lead to a kiss. Oh wait. It’s the 19th century. By next morning, a staff opens the door and is shocked to see them. Somebody didn’t do his job… They head home like as though it was nothing. William goes home to sleep (he was watching Emma while she slept) so Richard is fuming he is sleeping at this hour because Eleanor and her mom are here because they made an appointment to go riding. Maybe next time. Richard then says William has no escort for the next dinner party. Eleanor would love to be his escort. Everything’s set then. Kelly knows Emma just returned this morning but pretends she was sound asleep and didn’t know she came back last night.

Episode 8: Clock
Kelly now falls ill and her feet hasn’t recovered yet. It is evident as she has lost much of her appetite. Kelly notices her pocket watch needs more winding than it works so she sends Emma to repair it. Emma reads another letter from William. This time it states he is going to try to convince his father and hopes she will wait. When Vivian notices William has been sending lots of letters out lately, she thinks it is to Eleanor. He denies and says it is business correspondence. Not sure if Hakim is trying to stir the hornet’s nest because he says it is to Emma. The siblings wonder if this Emma is some duchess or baroness but William tells the truth. She is a maid. This does not sit well with Arthur and Vivian who clearly oppose this. The argument is cut short when Richard returns home and William is going to speak to him about this. As expected, he says no. Despite Emma is a good woman, it is not the question of character. He explains about the responsibilities of a ‘cultured’ woman. Although a horse can be trained to become a fine race horse, a cat cannot become a horse. If he further pursues this, he will be thrown out of the family. He chastises William if he is going to abandon his ancestors’ hard work for his own selfishness. Emma talks to Kelly about William’s letter. She has thought about it but realized that in reality the gap between their classes is too big. Kelly remains positive it will work out for her. Later Kelly talks to Al and she has a request. She wants him to support and encourage Emma in her love. When Al is seen rushing to get a doctor, Emma fears the worse. She returns the repaired pocket watch but Kelly is just lying there unresponsive. No matter how much Emma prompts her, there is no response. Reality hits Emma hard. It is the saddest day in her life.

Episode 9: Alone
Emma attends a small funeral for Kelly. Al helps shift some of the unwanted things in Kelly’s house to his friends. Emma also packs some of the stuffs but continues to live in the house all alone and sad. Al advises Emma to at least tell William about this. Meanwhile William has decided to do his duties and attend the dinner party to win his father’s approval. He escorts Eleanor and she can tell that something has been bugging William for a while. During dinner, she talks about not disgracing the family’s tradition in which William generally expresses how much he hates it because keeping up tradition for the sake of tradition is like being stubborn. It doesn’t help when Richard comments like as though he has set up William and Eleanor permanently. Eleanor isn’t feeling well (perhaps eating and drinking too much and in that tight corset) so she takes her leave without giving William a chance to say his true feelings. Maybe she doesn’t want to hear it too. On the way home, William talks to his father about what he said. He doesn’t like it and assures he is thinking about their family’s wellbeing as well. He is still adamant about his unchanging feelings despite how much he objects but Richard will not hear any more about it. Emma couldn’t sleep that night. She cries just at the thought of her late master.

Episode 10: Missing One Another
Emma is at the gates of the Jones’ estate. Hakim’s eagle eye vision spots her as he tells the butler to let her in as she is William’s acquaintance. She is having thoughts of staying but is made to stay till William gets back. He on the other hand is at the antique store trying to wait for Emma. But when the staffs tell him Kelly has passed away, William looked shock. He runs out and heads to Kelly’s place. The doors are locked. From the backdoor, he peeks into the window and finds most of the furniture gone. His heart sank. While William’s siblings are spying through the door at Emma, Hakim comes to talk to her. She is here to say goodbye to William and plans on moving back to her hometown by the sea. Care to elaborate on that? After letting him know that Kelly has passed away, Hakim asks if she will come back here. Never again. He finds it strange that they both love each other so why go to a faraway place. Vivian thinks Emma is here to seduce her brother so she barges in to give Emma a piece of mind and to get out. Grace takes her away while Arthur tells her to be careful of her reckless act because if others find out about William’s love for a maid, they’ll be the laughing stock of the gentry. Emma thinks of leaving but Hakim won’t let her. He gave up his love for her just because of William and won’t let her decide this herself. She remains stubborn and leaves. That is when William just came back. The first thing he does is to hug her and apologize for not knowing. Everybody in the mansion sees this scandalous scene. Time for father to step him. He slaps his son for this shameful act. William defies him. Richard tells Emma to leave now and Emma gladly takes up his offer. William gives chase but it seems Emma runs faster than him! In a skirt! Emma returns to Al’s place.

Episode 11: Past
Emma tells him that she will be returning to her village so Al tells what Kelly had requested of him. But it isn’t like he could afford her or refer him to any of his acquaintances on such notice. Rumours of William’s romance with a maid spread throughout the Jones’ household. Some are even joking about this scandal. It isn’t long before this reaches the Campbell’s household. Naturally Eleanor becomes depressed. During a party hosted by Richard, he had to go apologize to Eleanor’s mom for this farce and vows to get strict on him. Of course William continues to defy his father. If he cannot marry Emma, he will marry nobody else. Richard reminds him about responsibility and respectability and how mixing both classes would be disastrous. William will not listen and walks out of the house despite being grounded. He heads to Kelly’s place but he should know nobody is living there. As Al is passing by, he brings Jones back to his place. Welcome to the slums. First time seeing dirty and poor people in masses? As Emma isn’t in, Al tells William what he knows about her as told by Kelly. Born in a small poor town near the sea, her parents died young and she went to live with her uncle. She was subjected to abuse and hard labour by her aunt who disliked her for the ‘extra mouth she had to feed’. One day as she is supposed to sell clams, she got kidnapped by a human trafficker. Inside the carriage are also kidnapped young girls her age. As much as she screams and struggles, the carriage is on her way to London. While the trafficker tries to bargain for the right price, Emma took this chance to escape and loses him. She knocks from door to door in hopes to find work for a piece of bread but the maids will not accept her as they fear their master’s wrath. Eventually a maid took pity on her and let her in. Aside working in the house, she sold flowers on the streets. I guess William has heard enough so he leaves.

Episode 12: Lily Of The Valley
As Emma is really leaving today, Al tells her what he told William and thought they passed by each other on the way back. That didn’t happen. He thought William might have gotten cold feet after hearing her story and should have at least come to see her off. Emma visits Kelly’s grave one last time. Further flashback reveals after Kelly just retired, she was visiting a friend who hired Emma for some garden work. Kelly liked how Emma had that intelligent look and wanted to hire her as a maid. Her friend was sceptical she could do maid chores but Kelly is confident with the power of education. Emma agrees to let Kelly take her in and learn all that Kelly has to teach her. The rest is history. William talks to Hakim hinting he might not deserved Emma. He wasn’t at her side when she needed the most. There is also the risk of scepticism and the likes if William brings her into the Jones’ family. Up till now he has only thought of his own feelings and never about what he should do to make Emma happy. Thus he became scared at the thought to meet her as he wondered if he is important to her. Hakim goes on to call him a pathetic miserable coward (because William told him to). He doesn’t have the courage to lose her and yet he played the tragic hero role. They love each other and yet they are confused about it. When Hakim tells him Emma is leaving today, William makes a rush to her place. However Eleanor is here for a riding appointment. She knows something is wrong but understands and lets him go. He wants to confess something but all she says is that she will wait for him no matter how long it takes. With that, William makes haste. Of course she has already left and their carriages miss each other. William finds a note on the door addressed to him. She writes about her regrets and peace of mind. William now rushes to the train station and Emma is already boarding. He makes it in time to finally face her. But all she can say is thank you. Then off she goes. William who has been running the whole day after her thinks he can run after a train? After the steam locomotive is long gone, William sits around dejected before leaving. Emma only sheds a tear.

Molders-hen

The second season of the series. More maid romance drama after that abrupt and unsatisfying ending, but of course.

Episode 1: New House
It has been a month since Emma left London for Haworth. Currently she is employed on probation as a maid in the Molders’ estate under Madam Dorothea (they were riding on the same train and somewhat hit it off). Meanwhile William is attending another party. Hakim is amusing the English blokes with his elephant tricks. Yeah, probably why William didn’t want to be here. An awkward meeting with Eleanor. It is obvious he doesn’t have feelings for her but that’s not how she sees it. While Emma is outside, she sees the lady’s maid, Nanette talking and flirting with some military guy, Randy. Emma is caught by her for eavesdropping and warned to keep this to herself. Nanette explains she knows she is being used by him but she has to do it for the sake of love. Emma understands how she feels. When Dorothea is going to hold a dinner party tonight, she needs to have that blue fan. Although she dislikes it, it is a gift from the family she is inviting. Word spreads that the fan is missing and all the maids and butlers are called. Emma is suspected as she was the one cleaning Dorothea’s room. Some believe Emma is innocent but others remain suspicious of the new maid. Emma has her room searched and even stripped. Hans the butler is out getting parts for a broken clock. He sees Randy giving the fan to his girlfriend. He enters the pub to punch him! The girlfriend gives the fan back after he asks. Hans discovers Nanette has a part in this and punches Randy for her. Military man lost to a butler? With the case solved, the dinner party proceeds well. Next day, Nanette is fired by the head housekeeper, Mrs Wieck. Sad, she tries to poison herself but Emma stops her. Nanette doesn’t understand why she did this despite she tried to pin the blame on her. She know how she feels. This matter is brought up to Dorothea who finally finds out what happened. Emma goes out of her way to plead for forgiveness for Nanette. Dorothea laughs and agrees but Nanette will be assigned to another job. Nanette breaks down in tears. As she likes Emma’s honesty, she hires her permanently. William continues to be heartbroken and Hakim just loves teasing him about it. Eleanor makes her move as she writes a letter.

Episode 2: Moonlight
The Molders are holding a birthday party for their daughter, Ilse. When Theo, the pet squirrel of their son, Erich runs up a tree, Emma offers to climb and go get it. Although it ran back down, Emma is now stuck. Sort of. Hans offers to help but Emma insists she is alright. If that’s the case, he leaves her hanging. Literally. She falls but luckily falls on her butt and didn’t break any bones. As thanks, Erich pecks a light one on her cheek. Grace receives Eleanor’s letter that she hopes to visit Crystal Palace with them. William didn’t want to join in at first but seeing how his younger siblings are bugging him and Collin’s puppy dog eyes, I guess he is going. There, Grace is kind enough to take care of the siblings to let William show Eleanor the place. However because he is so distant, she gets frustrated and leaves. It took William a while to notice she is gone! He starts looking for her and even has Arthur help look. When William finally finds her, she can tell William is still thinking about that person. They are so close yet so distant. At that time when William left Eleanor stranded to go after Emma, she felt sad that her love had disappeared. She wondered if he would feel the same if she disappeared too. So William goes back home and complains to Hakim that he will have nothing to do with Eleanor ever again. Dorothea throws a party for her servants. But it seems Emma is prone to feeling sad and crying. The alcohol did this to her? I believe she can’t help think about William. And the same goes for William too. Dorothea thinks of taking Emma as her attendant to Mrs Trollope’s house.

Episode 3: Cool Rain
Trollope has an unusual house. It’s like a mini greenhouse. William is called upon by Richard about missing a dinner party of one of their important clients. He also saw William’s carelessness in handling their account. He chastises him about the importance of succeeding him as an heir instead of wallowing in his trivial personal problems. William storms out. Even Arthur knows what he is thinking. He has no interested in becoming the heir to bail him out. Arthur even tells off big brother about this love depression of his. If the person he loved saw him like this, she would be disappointed. And if this is how someone acts after being dumped, he wouldn’t want to fall in love himself. Grace is sick but needs to attend a charity play otherwise the hostess will spread rumours and won’t let it go for 100 years! William agrees to go in her place. He didn’t realize he is sitting next to Eleanor. Apparently Grace and Eleanor were supposed to go out together. Blessing? Not for William. Even more surprising is Hakim and Vivian in this Romeo and Juliet play. Everybody is crying except William. He’s not impressed… Eleanor leaves as he doesn’t want to see her crying. He goes after her. I think he took it the wrong way when she says she wants to stay here a little while. Because he goes off and Eleanor had to chase him in the rain. William ignores her until she catches up. She maintains she will still wait for him. Although William says being with her makes him happy, he realizes it is only easing his loneliness. It’s not love. She hugs him. When the rain stops, he notices she has dropped one of her shoes. He helps put it back. When Dorothea expresses she wants to go back to London again, Trollope remembers London didn’t quite suit her but the only thing she liked was Crystal Palace. Hmm… Is Trollope William’s mother? Emma’s most prolific memory was of course her kiss with William. William accompanies Eleanor home. He asks if her foot hurts. It’s not her foot that hurts. Get it? I think he gets the hint and holds her hand. Change of heart?

Episode 4: Courtship
William is dating Eleanor and taking her seriously. Meanwhile the maids of Molders are talking about Dorothea’s trip to London. Polly in particular is very excited to be chosen. However to her dismay, Emma is called. It seems Wieck has assigned Emma and Hans to go to London. Emma wishes to opt out but Wieck tells her this is an order and not a request. Hans thinks she hates him that much but she assures he has nothing to do with it. William couldn’t come to the beach with his sisters and Eleanor since he is being responsible with his work. Suddenly a lavish carriage arrives. She is Monica and Eleanor’s elder sister who is married to the Mildrake family. When Eleanor tells of the man she loves, Monica seems surprised. The jealous kind of surprise. Emma thinks of getting out of this London job by smashing a vase but is hesitant. However Polly helps her with it! Emma takes the blame she smashed the vase and so Wieck has to reconsider her. Polly takes this opportunity to barge in and promise she’ll work hard for this trip, blah, blah, blah. It seems Polly has an ulterior motive. There is an ad looking for a maid that pays well and she plans to quit here and join them. However Hans sees the address and knows this place is a scam to lure innocent girls in and make them do dirty work with low pay. In worse case, she’ll be sold off in the streets. Polly now is scared as she finds Emma to look for Wieck. She admits breaking the vase and doesn’t want to go to London anymore! Wieck never intended her anyway. But shockingly Emma says to reconsider her going to London. What’s with these fickle minded people?! Meanwhile Monica dashes her way in the rain to the Jones’ estate. She barges in looking for William. She found Hakim’s room first. With William entering, Monica chides William for not being worthy of her sister because of those easing loneliness words. Eleanor managed to catch up and with the Jones sibling watching, the drama just increases. William then admits he said all those but now holds Eleanor dear. He then proposes her to marry him. Richard is very happy at this and welcomes Eleanor into the family and will call her parents to pay his respects.

Episode 5: Embrace
Dorothea goes on a shopping spree and guess who she meets? Trollope doing the same too. Because Trollope will be attending some party, her maid Martha is worried she doesn’t have an attendant. Dorothea suggests Emma to be her attendant. Meanwhile William and Eleanor are getting ready for the engagement party. It’s like Eleanor still has doubts over William’s love because when he comments any dress looks good on her when asked, she gives that sad look thinking he is not interested! Oh God. If this is what his married life will be… Grace has written a letter to mom about the engagement party and she has replied she will turn up. Emma pays a visit to Kelly’s grave. Al knows something is up when he sees flowers on her tombstone. Emma is made to try all the dresses in which the ladies find every piece she wears on very lovely. The corset must be hurting… Even lovelier when Emma takes off her glasses. At the engagement party, Richard meets with Eleanor’s father, a viscount. The latter asks about his wife so the former answers due to circumstances they are living separately and is confident she will arrive. The viscount doesn’t seem too pleased he too has ‘circumstances’. Although they shake hands, later the viscount throws away his glove! If you’re wondering why Hakim isn’t around, he’s already gone back to India! Finally? Trollope arrives at the party with Emma. Mother and son are happy to see each other. At first Emma and William couldn’t recognize each other because Emma is blind as a bat without her glasses and she looks gorgeously different. But upon closer look, they realize who the other is! It gets awkward when Grace brings Eleanor to introduce to mom about William’s fiancée. For added drama, Emma couldn’t take it all and faints! She is put to bed and a carriage will pick her up next morning. So after the party and when everyone has left, William quickly goes to where Emma is sleeping. They finally have their moment together. They hug and cry like they’ve never seen each other for ages. Well, it certainly feels like so because Emma says she missed him a lot. And then the inevitable that would certainly add to the gossip scandal of every elite b*tches: They kissed.

Episode 6: Success And Loss
By the time William wakes up in the morning, Emma is long gone. She walked all the way back to Trollope’s hotel. Trollope can tell from her body reaction about Emma’s romance with William. Mother knows best, right? When William asks Grace where mom is staying, Richard is not pleased because today they’re supposed to make wedding arrangements with the Campbells. Then William drops the bomb: The engagement is cancelled! WTF?! When he arrives at the hotel, Trollope is expecting him but Emma has already gone back to Haworth with Dorothea. Mother and son take a walk together as mom reminisces about the past. Richard didn’t attend public school and rumours were rife he was desperate in getting into the gentry. No ladies would want to dance with him except for Aurelia Hartwick (Trollope). They hit it off and soon got married. By then, many ladies were gossiping about this because no lady would marry an upstart like that. The Jones had to attend many invitations as they were benefactors to their estate. But each time Aurelia was tired or suddenly started crying and this made others think she is being rude. After getting a diagnosis from a doctor, it seems the air in London is bad for her and Richard feels it is best she goes to live in the outskirts until she gets better. They don’t know how long it’ll take. Trollope believes Richard had a reason against William’s decision because they will be up against all of society. Later Richard and Trollope meet as they talk about their son. Richard thinks they are unwilling to see reality but Trollope believes they will whether they want to or not. Polly notices Emma has become more distant since her trip to London. It’s like she is immersing herself in work more than before. Maybe Polly is just being lazy? As the Molders have roots in Germany, they celebrate their own version of Christmas. A giant pudding is baked for the servants. Emma is ‘lucky’ because inside a pudding there is a ring that symbolizes a lover while Hans has a church bell that symbolizes wedding. While this is just a game and not to be taken seriously, Emma can’t help think that God is testing her.

Episode 7: Evening Waves
William talks to his dad that he will see the Campbells to annul the marriage. Even if he is threatened with disownment, William will still go ahead with it. So when William drops the bombshell to the Campbells, you can see the literal shock on Eleanor’s face. Though William will atone for this (how?) and this is entirely his own fault, the viscount reminds him about the laughing stock they’ll become and that this engagement is like a contract. It is still valid as long as both sides to not agree to cancel. He can tell William might have some affair with a maid or a useless girl to come to this decision but William disagrees that nobody in this world is useless. Of course, Eleanor is now in utter depression. Rumours soon spread about the marriage cancelled because of a love affair with a maid. Vivian is very much against this annulment and Arthur is condemning William for using this as an excuse to justify his feelings. Dorothea’s husband doesn’t want to accompany her to some charity party. Dorothea decides to make Emma her company again but since she is so against it, Dorothea just makes Emma her attendant. Also at this party is Eleanor as her mother hopes to have her take her mind off things. But Eleanor doesn’t feel like it so mom has to advise her about standing proud and confident to blow those rumours away. And then the inevitable. Eleanor and Emma’s eyes met. It’s that dreaded feeling again. Luckily Emma quickly goes away before anything untoward happens. So when she gets back, all the servants are talking about the rumours. With Emma suddenly bolting out like that, they deduce that she might be that maid in the rumour. Reluctant Hans is tasked to bring her back. He sits with her and fixes her broken timepiece while telling stories of how he admires watching his father fix watches. To his shock, Emma starts crying before running away. I don’t think his story was that boring or sad. Emma can’t help regret and ponder why she kissed William. She wasn’t being rash. She just couldn’t control her impulses. Simple. You’re in love with him, isn’t it?

Episode 8: Whereabouts
Emma tries to drown herself at sea back in her hometown?! Luckily Hans is there to save her. Though, it wasn’t Emma’s intention to kill herself but she did think about it. They stay in a nearby cabin as Hans explains why he got this job (because it provided boarding) and feels Emma is different than the other maids because of her determination. William is drowning himself in work and seemingly trying to rush to secure contracts and investments. Eleanor continues to be gloomy so her father tells her off for being pathetic for allowing an upstart to go back on his promises. Monica won’t take this and defends Eleanor. Why, she is going to bring Eleanor to William to settle it. Don’t worry. Hakim will send her on his elephant. So he’s back? This explains about the Indian bug Monica is bitten with as she is fascinated wearing Indian clothes. William is surprised to see Eleanor riding with Hakim. As they talk, Eleanor hopes to change for the better and become strong. William apologizes for being selfish and regrets what he did. He shouldn’t have done this to her knowing very well he can’t forget about Emma. This only hurts Eleanor further as this means he never had the same feelings she had for him. What’s a lady got to do but to run away in tears. As Emma and Hans have not returned, Polly thinks they have eloped. Well, some might start to feel they have taken Emma for granted because she is quick and meticulous. Speaking of the devil, they return. Immediately they are summoned to Dorothea’s room for explanation. Dorothea cannot let this slip since Emma left without any notice. She asks Wieck for her opinion. She doesn’t want Emma to be given preferential treatment. So in other words, sack her. However Hans stands up for Emma. As he forced her to return, this means Emma was fully prepared to face the consequences. He hopes Emma could be forgiven. With Emma agreeing, the issue is solved. The maids are relieved. I mean, without Emma they’ll be so much busier. She’s such an important person in the house and worth 3 of you maids put together! Finally Hans tells Emma that she might have said she has no place to return. Well, this is her place now.

Episode 9: Resolution
Trollope pays a visit to Dorothea. She feels guilty even though it wasn’t her fault that her son’s engagement might be annulled. But seeing Emma in high spirits, she is relieved that she has put her past aside and is a strong woman. Eleanor is still reeling and perhaps getting worse in her sobbing. But suddenly she stops all that because if she doesn’t overcome this, she’ll always be at an impasse. So she starts eating lots of sweet stuffs, goes out riding and do sketching of her personal maid, Annie. Her mother is worried this might be taking a toll on her and thinks calling off the engagement would be better. The viscount agrees but they will be the ones who will offer the cancellation. At first he thought the Jones’ fortune would help their financial situation but now they are back in the black, he doesn’t need them anymore. William has been receiving letters from clients who do not wish for him to attend. Many of such clients are close to the Campbells. Even if William attends some of the party that he is not shunned, he hears others badmouthing his family. It is safe to say that they are now social outcasts. Richard receives an official letter from the Campbells to annul the engagement. He tells this to his children. Vivian is most upset this means she cannot make her debut in society and she has worked hard for it. An option is for William to be disowned and the Jones seeks forgiveness from the Campbells. However William has no intention to leave his post and he will still marry Emma. This makes Vivian hate her big brother. Hakim overheard this and even talking with William won’t resolve anything since they’re at a point where they can’t appease everyone. William makes a surprise visit to Trollope to get information on where Emma is now. She tells him the information because it is not for her to decide on William and Emma’s life. She has envisioned her children of how they would grow up to be like every day. William has turned out far better than she had envisioned. Emma opens the door and to her shock it is William. Right away he asks her to marry him and promises to protect her for the rest of her life.

Episode 10: By The Window
Emma tells him to leave and with Dorothea coming into the picture, he takes his leave but promises to be back. At this point, all the servants are pretty sure Emma is that rumoured maid. William continues to drown himself in work but because of his reputation, many clients stay away and thus contracts are hard to come by. Every day William waits outside the house but Emma ignores him. He even wrote letters. A drawer choke full of them and she never reads them. If reading them causes her more pain, then why keep instead of throwing it away? Don’t tell me it’s rude. Hans had to go tell William off that Emma already told him she never wants to see him again. William knows Emma rejected him but he can’t give up because of that. Hans might think he is just being selfish in this case but if he doesn’t let out all his feelings, Emma will never have any closure. Hans apologizes to Emma for overreacting. Then he invites her out this Sunday since Dorothea gave them the day off. During the outing, he asks her to marry him. The reason being since she accepted his invitation, he has his expectations. If she hasn’t forgotten about him, why didn’t she turn Hans down? He wonders if she is running away of guilt. It is a good thing he asked her out because she might never break up with him. William talks to Hakim for advice for he has lost confidence for the people around him who are against this. He never thought Emma’s feelings would change. The next time William visits her, he gets close enough to speak his mind and make her listen (all the servants are all ears listening to the drama too since Dorothea also wants to see this interesting conclusion). He understands her hesitation because the last time he said he would protect her, they were just meaningless words. They will face difficulties in high society but he is confident they can overcome it together. He won’t abandon her halfway. Since this is still bothering her, he throws her a final ultimatum. Next week he will be waiting at the fountain at Crystal Palace. If she fails to show up, he will give up on her.

Episode 11: Time
William learns the bad news that the government has withdrawn the pledge for the railway project in South America they are heading. Furthermore, a baron has been standing in their way and the government. This means their stocks are now worthless piece of papers and their losses go into millions. Their options are limited but William decides not to give up and try to go talk to a government official. He gets a little hope since the government guy will see what he can do. William doesn’t stop there as he seeks to gather investment pledges from his friends. So far he has a few of them but many rejected him. Despite Hakim also lending him a lot, the Jones are still short by a million pounds. The baron sees the viscount and looks like they are doing some pretty shady stuffs. Although the viscount doesn’t really like it and warns the baron to know where he stands. William receives more bad news from Richard that they may need to sell assets from the family to compensate their clients’ losses. This means closing down the company. William thinks if they give up now, all they did until now are for nought. Richard says they have only a day to make a difference or the government will really revoke their pledge. It seems the viscount has heard about their activity of gathering investors and he is putting pressure on them. Furthermore, the viscount is forming a new railroad company. William’s siblings are worried about their future. Although he assures them they will take care of each other, inside he is stressed up. Arthur tries to help up by giving some names he got from his friends to help alleviate the situation. He had to swallow some of his pride to get it so hope this helps. Dorothea’s husband reads about the government’s decision to auction off a railroad company. However she is more interested in Emma’s decision which is today. Seems Emma decides to head out. The servants are abuzz since they think she will accept William’s proposal. Emma visits Kelly’s grave and then visit her old place. It is under renovation since a new tenant will be moving in soon. She remembers talking to Kelly about her worries about William because even though she loves him, she is worried she cannot make him happy. Kelly told her that is already her answer. When Emma leaves, she hears a commotion about a fire. Dorothea’s place is burning down.

Episode 12: Flower
Money before love? William needs to go around to secure the funds first or else many who around him will be bankrupt. Note, this doesn’t mean he is prioritizing business over love. However with so many rejections, the last name on the last, the earl finally agrees but the amount he pledged is just peanuts. Then it’s like a miracle because an old client decides to hand a cheque to him for the balance after seeing how he worked so hard and persevered and changed his mind. William has a feeling Hakim had a hand in this because that client has trading ties with India and he knew exactly the amount needed. Time to head for Crystal Palace. Meanwhile Emma rushes back but the fire is already too wild to be stopped. She wanted to go get something important from her room but Hans stopped her. Firemen eventually put it out and Emma returns to her room, glad the handkerchief is still alright. Hans talked to her and wonders why she is still here when she loves William so much. He admits he was happy when she came back but when he saw the way she tried to save the handkerchief, he finally understood how much she loves William. Realizing it would be useless to wait for her, Hans wants her to be happy. With everyone giving Emma their blessings, she runs off to Crystal Palace. Last time William ran after the train. This time Emma runs after a bus! And she manages to catch it! In a skirt! OMG! I have a feeling Emma’s hidden talent is running! Seriously! But by the time she reaches, the place is at closing hours. William isn’t seemingly there. But wait. There he is. Why must he sit in some hidden spot and not in a place to be easily spotted?! First things first. When they see each other, a big hug. A few tears. Then William pops the question. Emma agrees. Finally. The drama is over. I suppose this means Emma will have to quit being a maid to become William’s wife as she says goodbye to Dorothea and the rest. At a party, Richard and the viscount bump into each other. The latter is not amused he has no shame but Richard asserts he did nothing wrong and is proud of his son. The viscount remains arrogant telling him to watch his mouth if he wants to remain in this society. It is hinted that Eleanor might have found somebody new. Emma writes to Dorothea about her blissful life with William and their 4 children!

Pride & Prejudice
Finally we can put 2 seasons of impasse to end. If you think about it, it looked so simple and all they have to do was be true to their feelings and everything will be done. But remember, living in such a period, such is already highly unacceptable in high society. It is a good thing that William and Emma finally end up marrying each other and have a happy family because it would have been a real tragedy and slap in the face had it ended in somewhat the similar disastrous fashion as the first season. Yeah, happy endings are a must especially when it involves a maid :-). And of course, had it been that simple, there would be no such drama for us to watch in the first place. So, thank you?

I have to admit that this series is one long drawn out romance drama between William and Emma. If I actually think about it, the entirety of both seasons are just boring. However something kept me interested in wanting to know more and perhaps that is to see if William and Emma could really hit it off. Though, I have my reservations it would go anything but well because, you know, drama. Yes, the different classes in society as well. So it had me thinking, if Emma wasn’t a maid, would I have actually classified this series as downright boring? Did my blind love for maids prejudiced this romance drama to be a little fascinating and interesting instead of outright dreary and draggy? Maybe.

And so for the obvious reason to drag out the romance drama between the upstart gentry and the maid is because of these English blokes not being able to show their true feelings to each other. Not to say that it is very much different than today but yeah, partly it is because life in that era is like that. Being too flamboyant is somewhat frowned upon as it is viewed as ‘uncivilized’. Therefore you can’t blame William and Emma and the rest of the other English blokes putting up poker faces in the name of culture, civilized manners and etiquette. Not to say that everybody here are like robots but watching them from my era it feels so unreal. But like I said, life is like that then. Even when you hear William confessing to Emma and her reaction in hearing those shocking words, you can feel that there aren’t enough emotions in their reactions. It is like they are trying to be reserved or something. Uh huh. Poker face. Even when Eleanor was crying the first time after talking to William, it doesn’t feel heart breaking enough. Get what I mean? Emotional outbursts like exaggerated surprises are only for today’s so dramatic emo drama.

Sometimes I feel the final ‘drama’ of that railroad project feels like a distraction. Because with the romance drama already at boring point, they need something else dramatic to divert our attention. And also to show how William has matured into a fine man with his kindness and perseverance. Yes, it has nothing to do with all that has happened so far but I suppose this is also somewhat necessary because in the end you see William and Emma living a cosy life in their big mansion and beautiful garden. This means he must have been successful in his final negotiations push, right? This at least smoothens their livelihood in the gentry. Otherwise all will be for nought if they have to live in poverty and your usual husband-wife argument with accusations, blaming and regret all get thrown in the mix. Something we don’t really want to see happening between them, right?

Although William and Emma are the main focus of the series, because focusing solely on them too much will be such a bore, that is why sometimes we are distracted with other secondary characters. Some are do play a minor important role while some just feels redundant. For instance, Kelly might not feel that she has a lot of presence in the first season but she does have a vision and insights for Emma. Not only teaching and raising her as a proper woman and maid, she quietly gives her support for her till her death. It is such pity that a great character had to pass on and continue to exist in flashbacks and memories of Emma.

Then there is the boggling Hakim. His existence and role in this series is just baffling. I know he is William’s friend but he hangs out in the Jones’ estate all day doing nothing by lazing around, smoking his shisha or something. Sure, he gives William some advice but that is sparsely and does his dealings behind the scenes indirectly. I’m sure he is interested to see how things between William and Emma turn out since he had to ‘forfeit’ his chance. It’s like he needs to see this through and get an ending he wants or all will be wasted. And to think he would be William’s rival for Emma but that died out as soon as it came. Besides, isn’t he part of the Indian royalty who is supposed to be ruler of his country or at least some state? What is he goofing around in England for? Should he not have some sort of responsibility as a royal member? Even more mind boggling are his woman servants flanking his side. They feel like emotionless robots. Real life dolls to be more precise. They just bum around with him.

Another baffling character is Trollope. Even after the reason for her living separately from her family, I don’t understand why she had to change her name. To avoid others from knowing who she is? I’m sure she is so out of the picture for so long that anybody would hardly remember her. Of course maybe they will remember if they remember she is Richard’s wife. She after all skipped a lot of parties which is seen as a rude sign. Also, if she sometimes visit London, why doesn’t she visit her family? Because as far as I understand, she hasn’t seen her children since William was a child. Maybe she doesn’t want to give her children false hopes especially Vivian who was just crying when she went away. So living the non-hectic life alone in the outskirts is better? So much about the quality of life. And since she is still living by herself in the end, I am guessing she’ll live like this till she kicks the bucket.

Seeing the poster for the second season, I was anticipating there was some sort of romance going to bloom between Hans and Emma, thus this could be the ‘drama’ for the sequel as he becomes the third wheel and obstacle to vie for Emma’s affections. Well, they sure trolled me. Hans is unsociable and not the kind of guy that any girl would want. He doesn’t like Emma at first but after he learns more about her, he stands by her side. And because I said about English people having poker face, I can’t tell if he really loves Emma or if he is just trolling her when he proposed to her. In the final episode, he comes clean with his feelings but even so, that feels quite indirect. He must be trying to be considerate knowing Emma’s heart belongs to somebody else forever. So as usual he has to put on his poker face and be a real man to let her go.

Dorothea is a nice lady but I don’t really see her making any much impact on the series except with her being friends with Trollope, it is like a convenient plot to have William and Emma meet again and screw up their feelings for each other. Besides, it got me thinking that naming the second season as Molders’ chapter felt a bit misleading because the household doesn’t really play any big impact in the overall flow of the story. Just a place where Emma is working and residing now. Sure, you can argue something about Hans relating to this but what I meant was the Molders’ household itself. My impression was that something major would come out of it especially Dorothea’s husband who wouldn’t even matter if he never appeared at all. Maybe it is just me thinking too much.

William’s other siblings also don’t do much. Grace is playing the big mother and big sister, Arthur getting by, Vivian the cheeky brat who is really looking forward to her debut in society and Collin… Oh Collin, this is what I remember about him. It seems to be a running joke that when Collin asks a question, everyone ignores him. He keeps asking and they keep ignoring him. Until he cries! Proof that nobody pays attention to kids until they start wailing? This is less obvious in the second season because I don’t see him asking questions anymore. Not really sure if Vivian and Arthur have really accepted Emma but looking at how things turned out, they just have to get over themselves and accept reality. They’ll be too busy with their own stuffs in society to bother about somebody’s life that don’t really matter in theirs.

Sometimes I feel pity for Eleanor. She might be a little naïve but can you blame her for this is her first time coming out to society and in love? She tries so hard to win William’s heart and attention and all this while he was looking away, she never gave up. Even during her short stint with William, it seems she still has some scepticism about his love. Her joy becomes short-lived and it was like a slap in her face when he cancelled it. Then she couldn’t stop crying and feeling hurt. Thank goodness ice cream wasn’t a thing then because she might have tried to nurse her broken heart by turning into a glutton. And it is also a good thing that she didn’t turn into a vengeful yandere that she decided to hunt down Emma and take her out. What did I tell you about the non-existence of sci-fi elements and exaggerative fantasy adventures in this series? It is good to see her try and get back on her feet and get over this. Because it will be a shame for her to see her crying for the rest of her life and die a spinster. Though, it is not sure whether she really got it going with her potential beau but then again, she isn’t the star of this show. In this context, Eleanor is like the third wheel in William and Emma’s romance, right? It is amazing these women never enter a cat fight when they see each other once. Wow. English people are this civilized? At first I thought why Monica didn’t want to give William a beat down. But I suppose she is putting her trust in her beloved little sister she loves so much and let her sort it out. Otherwise for a woman who could even stand up to her own father wouldn’t let this lie down and maybe give William a piece of her mind. And she being bitten by the Indian bug? Yeah, those clothes are airier and easier to move in compared to the stifling and stuffy Victorian dresses.

So back to our main characters, William and Emma. William looks like he has grown into a different in both season. In the first season he was the carefree and not-taking-any-responsibilities eldest son and even if he frolics around till he finds his love in Emma, that even doesn’t feel that he is serious. I mean, it feels like he is taking this love thingy with Emma lightly. Not until Emma left till he had to nurse his broken heart and change. He works hard to become the heir of his family business that every father would be proud of. More drama added to his life with his surprise engagement to Eleanor and surprise cancellation after fate chose to screw him over again. So he works even harder and even the penultimate episode distracted us with the threat of their family going bankrupt or something. That won’t happen to a main character, right?

Emma on the other hand is quite blessed. If you consider that among all the maids, she won the big lottery of marrying into a rich family, no? It is unfortunate she has a tragic and sad life as a child but thanks to Kelly, she is able to live a decent life. So when she falls in love with William, she becomes confused and in a dilemma if she would become his homewrecker or something and that is why all the drama of Emma trying to reject him and shut out her own feelings just so she wouldn’t shake the fabric of society. I don’t know being this way is considered considerate. For the sake of the plot, it isn’t. Either way, they would still face some sort of hardship. Being true to their love means earning the wrath of society as the entire class of nobles and gentries will be against you. Hiding your feelings means hurting yourself and staying untrue to yourself. But I’m sure English people can handle the letter. Because they’re a pro at being, wait for it, poker face. And to think that Emma had lots of admirers then, it shows that even back then people love maids! Viva maids! Emma’s hardworking attitude earns the respect of the other maids in the Molders’ estate. Because I think some of them like Polly is really a funny girl. She thinks highly of herself and dreams bug but can’t match humble Emma in any way.

One thing I really love about the series is the beautiful and catchy opening theme. Silhouette Of A Breeze by Kunihiko Ryo is a very nice and lively instrumental piece. Even if it doesn’t match the romance drama atmosphere of the series, it really does catch your attention. There are a few versions of it like the piano one and the Celtic version which is used for the second season’s opener. Of course this original version is still the best and my favourite. I’m glad they retained this song as the opening theme because I don’t think I would really like it if they changed it like how certain animes do. What I mean is that there are some first opening themes that I really like and is much better than the subsequent opening themes. So for them to remain this piece whether intentionally or not is good. Because there was almost a 2 year gap between both the seasons. Maintaining the instrumental themes, the ending songs are also instrumental. Yeah, it would be weird to hear songs in Japanese in an English setting but hey, it’s already weird to hear English men and women speak fluent Japanese! So for the first season we have Menuet for Emma by Tokyo Recorder Orchestra as the ending theme and Rondo Of Lily Bell by Kunihiko Ryo for the second season. They sound rather okay and lovely in its own right but still it can’t beat the opener.

The art and animation may not really stand out but it is rather because back in the Victorian era, everything is drab and gloomy, right? But if you are talking purely about the art style of this series, it might not seem anything special. However if you really take a closer look at the surroundings, you will notice the details of the English life during the era. As I discover, the manga author of the series is quite fascinated with the English culture and has done her research on the subject. So while the backwater inventions, furniture and buildings may look ordinary and nothing that strikes you, you should be aware that life in that era is, well, like that. So it is with much fascination for me to see the Victorian style British life that is depicted close enough to what it was in this anime. Making my experience watching this series better is the extra historical information at the end of the episode, courtesy of a kind fansub doing extra research on the Victorian culture that gives us an insight to their life. So now you know why those silly Victorians dip in the sea with their fully clothed ‘swimsuits’. Try not to laugh…

Because of both season having almost 2 years of gap in between them, the studios that produced them also changed. The first season had Studio Pierrot who did many famous animes like Bleach, Naruto, Tokyo Ghoul and Yuu Yuu Hakushou. For the second season, it is Ajia-Do who did Zettai Shonen, Nintama Rantarou, Kaiketsu Zorori and recently Shuumatsu No Izetta. Thankfully there is no difference in the art style. At least, nothing that is very obviously different. But I would like to note that the strangest looking character is Eleanor. At first I thought her features like her face and eyes are somewhat, uhm, elongated. She looks a bit strange that way. Like an alien? This isn’t so obvious for the second season or I might have gotten used to it. Of course, I have to comment on the maid designs too. Nothing as flashy and sexy as the modern day Japanese counterparts but they still look stunning despite the boring black and white garb they don all day. Yeah, it proves that the original classic can still look good today. Well, if you’re maid obsessed anyway.

Overall, they don’t make such romance drama animes these days. It would have been boring to death seeing how anime has evolved so much and viewers’ expectations and tastes have changed to a different level. There are a handful of series involving romance with maids but Kaichou Wa Maid-sama, Mahoromatic, Hand Maid May and even Hanaukyou Maid-tai aren’t nowhere near this level. This series is a refreshing watch because it is a period romance drama without all the flashy typical anime stuffs and the accurate details to the historical stuffs are sure to fascinate you (if you pay attention, that is). I don’t think I want to live in that era even if I had a maid serving me. Nothing beats the internet to find and download all those maid pictures, movies, games and more! Oh well, time to go back to my favourite modern Japanese anime maids. Cheerio English maids. Konnichiwa, tadaima nihon meido-tachi.

Tired of all the high school love drama and romance? So I guess it is time to go back further where love is seemingly more innocent and almost straightforward without all that complicating drama. Well, almost. 12-sai Chicchana Mune No Tokimeki S2 continues from where we left off from the first season about 12 year olds facing the dilemmas and problems about love. I suppose adults and teens don’t give a damn or take it seriously when such young kids fall in love together when they haven’t even yet and some just starting hit puberty. That is, if your 12 year old sister is the one with a boyfriend. See if your father or big brother will be up in arms against it.

Episode 1
The girls are at an age where some are developing breasts. Thus a clear division of those who wear bra and those wearing undershirts. The girls are asking about Yui’s bra size when they heard a commotion outside. Hiyama is trying to get rough with some of the boys trying to eavesdrop on the girls changing. Later Yui thought Hiyama noticed her new hairclip. But when it is just to pick up some dirt on it, she gets disheartened. She didn’t like it. WTF. Because of this, fellow cram school classmate, Inaba Mikami seems to be moving in and hitting on her. His charming and assuring words make her easier to talk to him. Shortly, Yui spots a pimple on her chin and freaks out. Time for Marin sensei to tell how to properly take care of it (thanks to what her sister tells her of course). One of them including not stressing up like giving a big hug. This spreads to other girls so instead of a blatant hug, they want to borrow Hiyama’s jacket to squeeze! WTF. Lucky that guy tells them all to bug off. Yui is embarrassed by her zit that she can’t face Hiyama. He thinks she is down because of other girls asking to borrow his jacket but is relieved it was just her zit. Apparently this doesn’t sit well with her. Because when she got a new hairclip he didn’t notice. Now she got a pimple and he noticed. WTF right? She continues to hide her face but he wants her to talk facing him. As they struggle, she trips and their lips almost touch. Want to bet somebody snapped that juicy bit?

Later Yui talks to her friends that she might have kissed Hiyama. All in good timing, Hiyama calls to invite her to his home. Master Marin thinks he is trying to set up a good mood for a real kiss. And here she is at his home all nervous. She disagrees watching movie or listening to music since Marin said those are the right atmosphere for a kiss. So they play video games instead (Yui won). When she notices his photo album and wants to look at it, he is against it. Oh no. Don’t ruin the mood. So why did he call her to his house then? To give a book on how to take care of pimples that she seemed so concerned about. Disappointed? As she leaves, she is still distraught with everything that has happened that she bumps into Inaba. Naturally that guy tries to take advantage by soothing her heart. Luckily Hiyama was following her and stops him. He proclaims himself as her boyfriend (no, not her little brother), takes her by the hand and they walk away. Hiyama reveals he was against letting her go through the photo album because one of an old school trip photo has her sleeping in a funny face. He bought that photo and wanted to give it to her but forgot all about it. Yui realizes he has been worried about her for a long time. Even if that kiss wasn’t a real one, she still loves him. When they return to school, Eikou and co have put up an article with picture proof that Yui and Hiyama kissed. Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Yeah, they’re so free that they want to spread the news! Eventually this reaches Inaba’s ears and he definitely can’t leave Yui in his hands.

Episode 2
Eikou has spread the news so far as to cram school. Now Inaba makes his move by inviting her out to the mall. When Mikami (there’s another female student in cram school of this name) and her friends call out Yui, Inaba fears they are going to mess her up. Actually they are impressed with her and want to know more. They look up to her for this sort of romance stuff? As they walk home, Yui notices Inaba talking to another girl and wonders if they’re going out. Mikami and co want to know what Yui and Hiyama talk about often so Yui has to call Hiyama? Halfway through, he hangs up! Huh?! And then he is seen rushing from the horizon! He mistakenly thought Yui was ‘surrounded’ by bullies. This is the thing if you don’t let people finish their sentences. Mikami and co decide to give the lovebirds time of their own and let them walk home together. Of course the next day, they’re begging for the juicy details. Nothing much happened. Hope you’re not disappointed. When Inaba asks Yui about the invitation, she reminds him he can’t invite her so easily because he is going out with someone. However he tells her that girl is just a friend. Then he confesses he likes her! Wait. What?! But the other girls also want his opinion and he too says he likes them. Wait. WTF?! Yeah, Yui is just as confused and embarrassed. So Yui talks about this playboy Inaba to Marin but there’s nothing much you can do about it because such jerks think all they need to say is those 3 magical words.

Inaba spots Yui doing walking back after an errand and helps her carry her stuffs. As usual, he speaks in a charismatic and charming way. But halfway through, he sees a girl waiting for him and goes to hear out her confession! Of course he said no and Yui still doesn’t think it is right. But Inaba tells her he says those words to all the girls who like him because isn’t a happy thing to like him? Narcissist? Yui tells him off he needs to respond properly and if he treats everyone the same, no one would want to be with him in the end. In cram school, Yui hears Mikami is called by the teacher for entering a classroom suspiciously alone with a boy. Yui feels it is her fault because she encouraged Mikami to confess. When she enters the room, she hears Inaba voicing his opinion. He tells the teacher off that he can only lecture them if their grades go down after this flirting. Otherwise do a better job teaching! OMG! He has no words in return. Later Yui is amazed at Inaba for talking back to the teacher and he cheekily mentions he was cool enough that she might fall for him. She finds the part of him where kissing comes easily to him to be remarkable. This makes him fluster and note that one should kiss someone they only really like. Yui finds out he was helping out his friend and notes she likes this part of him than his ‘normal’ self. This makes Inaba fluster further. Then his eyes get serious. He won’t hold back now.

Episode 3
Time to take a detour to Hanabi and Takao. What’s this? Their relationship has progressed to a point where they are going to kiss with a romantic sunset scenery? Too good to be true. It’s just a dream and she kissed her stuffed doll. Hanabi also has an older brother and thanks to the series’ art and his laidback forgetful attitude, I thought he was like the most 3 years her senior but this guy is already in college! When Hanabi hears Takao might be in trouble, she runs into class only to find Eikou and co setting up a ‘trap’ to see who will come to Takao’s aid. Takao is pretty cool about it and is glad she would come to his aid. With the class swooning over this, we are then reminded that Kokoa b*tch is still around to try and get her hands on Takao. She hasn’t given up yet because she thinks Takao is dating Hanabi just to make her jealous! Oh dear… For the Parent’s Day, Hanabi plans to introduce Takao to her big brother. But when she consults her other friends, they’re like in shock. Is it taboo or something? But when she says Takao is looking forward to seeing him, they heave a sigh of relief. However they warn her about the embarrassment if a family member knows she has a boyfriend. Yeah, it’s really that big deal. So as she ponders if she should let big brother meet, she then casts aside her doubts and just wants him to look forward to the day. When she tells him about watching a romantic movie that involves kissing him, his comments that she is just child prompts her to think the meeting might not be a good idea. Because you know, they’ve already kissed.

Hanabi’s brother arrives in class and everyone they can tell they are from the same feather with them acting so similarly. He spots the boyfriend-girlfriend quotes from Eikou on the wall. Hanabi is afraid to reveal who those quotes originate from. Sharp Kokoa realizes what is happening and takes advantage of the situation. She sits next to Takao and threatens to tell big brother about their relationship if she doesn’t give in. When Hanabi reads her essay in class about her dearest mother, stupid Eikou had to interrupt and point out isn’t Takao the one she likes. This makes her not only very embarrassed but fearful her brother will find out. Although Takao is the one who tells him to stop, it is Eikou’s mother wrestling for being noisy! I can’t believe all that happened. Shouldn’t the teacher have disciplined Eikou or something? Anyway, at the end, Hanabi can’t bring herself to introduce the guys so Takao goes home first. This prompts big brother to wonder if he really likes her. Hanabi realizes what she needs to do and rushes out to catch him. Takao understands her fears and didn’t want to force her. Despite he can’t meet his brother today, they’ll do so another day. He won’t hate her for it and is really happy she came after him. They make a pinky promise they’ll love each other forever. And to think Hanabi once used to wax lyrical about her big brother and wanting to marry him?!

Episode 4
Time to go back to Yui. She still receives chat messages from Inaba. Even more confusing her, he says he is serious but he is talking casually to other girls. She doesn’t know if she can reject him the next time and because of her gloomy face, Hiyama has to go talk what’s bugging her. But a worse possible time because Inaba is at the school gates. So he is here to tell her he will have her fall in love with him and then he’ll confess again? He knows she is going out with someone now but will still wait till she falls in love with him. As expected, here comes Hiyama. Time for the guys to showdown. Inaba fires first and boldly says he is more suited for Yui. He is more mature than him and can protect her better. That newspaper rumour about them makes Hiyama the worse because his girlfriend might be hurting. Therefore Inaba is different and won’t make her cry. Last warning shot: If he isn’t serious, step aside. All true points and Hiyama can’t fire anything back. Hiyama is out for a few days because of a cold. Yui gets a call from him and she remembers their promise to make him some chicken rolls. But she might have unintentionally hit his nerve because she says she didn’t expect him to call. He fires back. If it wasn’t him, who the f*ck was she expecting then? Right after he hangs up, Inaba messages her. In no time Yui naturally chats with him. In class, Yui and the girls make wish bracelets. After they’re done, Yui and Hiyama tie one for each other. While Hiyama’s wish is to have his allowance increase, Yui wants to be with Hiyama forever. As Yui attends cram school, she suddenly realizes she lost her bracelet. Panic mode. Inaba becomes serious to help her find it and assures this has nothing to do with the confession. It seems Yui dropped it in school and Hiyama spots it and picks it up to deliver it to her. When Hiyama finds her searching at the park, because she will not say what she is doing (in fear he will get mad that she lost the bracelet), Hiyama isn’t too pleased that she isn’t telling him things. It gets worse when Inaba is around. Hiyama loses his cool and quickly gives her missing bracelet. Yui earnestly didn’t want him to worry, that’s why she didn’t say but Hiyama might have crossed the line telling her to stop playing the good girl and to stop deciding how he feels for himself. Worst case scenario: Yui starts crying. The face all guys dread to see their girl. Inaba takes her away and tells off Hiyama: He’ll be taking her. You lost your chance.

Episode 5
Hiyama has always known he loved Yui. Like last year during the class’ kimodameshi, Yui switched with Hanabi to pair with Eikou but that dumb kid left her alone in the dark so Hiyama had to go find her and found her paralyzed by the darkness. Before Yui realizes it, Inaba has taken her to the amusement park to cheer her up. They sit the Ferris Wheel but he didn’t know she is afraid of heights so he tells her he would prefer her to refuse rather than hold it in. This has Yui wonder if this is how Hiyama felt. Because Yui still cannot get her mind off Hiyama, Inaba takes her bracelet and ties it to a balloon to let it fly it away! Forget about him! Apparently Yui still loves Hiyama and goes out of her way to get back that balloon. Man, that lucky kid who got the free balloon can go places. Yui is forced to enter the haunted house. By that time Hiyama has arrived (because Marin sensei told him where such fighting couples would end up – lucky guess?). A bit of a showdown between the guys before Hiyama steels his determination and illegally enters the haunted house to find her. He hugs her when he does so. When they exit, Inaba clearly understands his position. But he reminds them if this is what Yui wants. She’ll get hurt even more. Hiyama admits they might fight and cry more often but he doesn’t want let Yui to worry this all by herself. If that happens, he’ll be the first to be by her side. Yui cries but this time they are tears of joy. When Yui returns to school, she has to bear teasing from her friends they might have kissed in the dark. Worse, other girls heard rumours the duo had break up and they think of trying to hit on Hiyama! Time to take action and strike first. So Yui heads to Hiyama’s home where they can talk but ends up helping him clean the public bath. Hiyama tells her he is working hard so he could save enough to buy a handphone. Then they can talk with each other all they want and when she needs him, a call is enough for him to come to her side. Aww, how romantic. They could have got their first kiss with this right atmosphere had not Hiyama’s grandma interrupt. Almost got caught there. Yui is glad after their fight, they are more like a couple now.

Episode 6
The class will be doing a Cinderella play. Eikou and co wants Takao and Hanabi to play the main characters so they can have a real kiss. However Kokoa disagrees because Hanabi is too short for the role and thus lacks balance. Tsutsumi is made the director because everybody thinks he knows everything. All the girls unanimously agree with a resounding yes to have Takao as the prince. As for Cinderella, Kokoa self-proclaims she is perfect for the role but Tsutsumi disagrees. Instead he wants Yui to helm that role. What about Kokoa? The evil stepmother! Hanabi will be one of the mice. Remember, he is the director so he gets to decide. And I guess the friends are okay with each other taking on those roles. As long as it’s not evil Kokoa, right? As practice begins, Takao is natural while Yui is a little stiff. Oh, Kokoa excels very well in her part… She’s so naturally evil… Hiyama helps Yui rehearse her lines but he is getting most embarrassed doing it. One day when Takao and Yui are practising alone, Hanabi spots them and from afar they look like so close together. She becomes self-conscious because their height makes it compatible for each other. Not to worry because Yui is thoughtful enough to know this is bugging Hanabi so she goes talk to her. This helps alleviates her worries and gives Hanabi the much needed motivation. Yui practised too hard till her voice is a bit sore. Kokoa thought she can swoop this chance to take her role as she too has remembered all the lines. However Hanabi and Hiyama want to continue supporting Yui as Cinderella. And once again Kokoa’s evil plans are foiled… Practice carries on and thankfully Yui heals on the day of the play. We don’t get to see any single shot from it but we know it went well. In the end, Hanabi gets to play a bit of Cinderella as she tests out the glass slippers in the backstage. It gets better with Takao praising her for doing a lot to support Yui and despite she didn’t become a princess in the play, she will always be his precious princess, his Cinderella. He pledges his love to her forever. Aww! How sweet!

Episode 7
Oh, if you think Tsutsumi is going to try his love for Hanabi again, you’d be disappointed. Especially Marin. So freaking disappointed that she thought he wanted tips for his lingering feelings but instead he wants advice for a friend from his old school of his whom he rejected and she still continues to bug him to go out with her! Let’s just say none of the tips Marin gave (courtesy from her sister anyways) is desirable and it makes you think what kind of things her sister does… And it seems this girl Ami still hasn’t given up because she is waiting outside the school gates and trying to get Tsutsumi to go out with her. She tries to draw motivation from Hanabi and Takao that they’re dating so they must also date. WTF?! Then stupid Eikou and co had to spill the beans about Tsutsumi’s love triangle with Hanabi (from last season). He explains and assures he is no longer interested in her. However thanks to Ami having women’s logic, to prove that he doesn’t have feelings for Hanabi anymore, date her! WTF?! Even more so, a double date! So the date goes on well as Ami notices Tsutsumi interacting well with Hanabi. Yes, this is just normal friends in our eyes but you know Ami’s women logic… The ultimate ‘proof’ came when Tsutsumi accidentally drinks from Hanabi’s straw. Because he flusters about it, this makes Ami sad. Then as the ladies are in the toilet, Ami lies that Tsutsumi is gone so that she can take her to a secluded place to give her a piece of her mind! WTF?! She blames Hanabi that Tsutsumi is still in love with her. And if she is gone, he can totally look at her. Girl, WTF?! Of course the guys realize something is wrong when the girls are taking too long and go find them. They see them in a stand offish position. Surprisingly Hanabi lies to cover for Ami saying that she tried to go off on her own and almost got lost, that’s why Ami is crying. Doesn’t make sense… Next day, Ami apologizes to Hanabi for making her do that. Hanabi is okay with it since she understands how she feels. This in turn makes Ami realize why Tsutsumi fell in love with her. Marin finds it odd that Ami has never confessed to Tsutsumi the entire time. She was too shy about it?! But not shy to bug him to go out with her?! Apparently there was a promise Tsutsumi made to her too. A promise not to fall in love with anyone else when he transferred school because the old pals said they looked like the perfect couple. She can’t give up on him. This has Hanabi reflect on her own circumstances. Remember the first time she said about not liking boys? It’s back to haunt her.

Episode 8
Because of that, Hanabi is down thinking that if promises could be broken, could this mean their forever promise won’t be forever if Takao changes his feelings? WTF?! Not another women logic! As suggested by Marin to ascertain Takao’s feelings, Hanabi tries to act and look mature. Like being taller. It won’t last since her ‘shoes’ are made out of toilet paper rolls. WTF. Trying to give him advice make her sound like a grandma. Trying to write a romantic memo only to have Eikou and co trying to read and the best way to destroy the evidence is to eat it. WTF. Finally she sums up her courage to ask him out on a date in which he coolly agrees. The outing is fun, nothing much happens. I wonder if Hanabi is trying for a Princess Leia hairstyle. Anyway they make an appointment for the next date at the park. However as Hanabi waits, he never turns up. Kokoa who heard about the date purposely pops up to rub salt into her wounds that Takao has stood her up and broke his promise. Oh no. Hanabi feeling sad. WHY YOU LISTEN TO HER, DUMMY!!! When she returns home, her brother informs Takao called and his grandma suddenly collapsed and he sent her to the hospital. Hanabi is relieved but since she feels embarrassed to call Takao in front of him, she drops the idea. Next day in school, Eikou and co has spread news that the duo have broken up, courtesy from an exclusive from a certain b*tch. Takao quickly rushes in to dismiss all that. Since they made up, Eikou now changes his story of their miracle reconciliation. Guess which b*tch is the only unhappy one? However Tsutsumi can still see Hanabi troubled. He talks to her if she is fine the way she is. She tries to be tough saying promises aren’t absolute. Is she sure about that? Try saying that by looking in his eyes. Then she reveals what is bugging her especially about the promise that won’t last forever. Then he goes talk to Takao for not doing anything when Hanabi is suffering. Though Takao’s method is to wait patiently till she wants to talk about it, Tsutsumi disagrees with it because as her boyfriend he should worry and think things through together. Otherwise he will take her away. No way, Jose! Takao finds Hanabi. A little talk of assurance that his feelings won’t change and before you know it, they’re back to like they’ve always been. See, nothing complicated.

Episode 9
The class takes a field trip to Tokyo. At first Hiyama is being a bully trying to pull Yui near the edge of Tokyo Skytree. This prompts a granny to note him to not bully his sister! This disappoints Yui but Hiyama quickly replies that she is his girlfriend. Feeling better? They visit the aquarium and somehow Yui got lost! Luckily she is found but not without getting a little scolding from Hiyama. Then the couples enter a jellyfish veil event in which the girls will sit in a veil that looks like a jellyfish (I thought it was penis heads!!!) and the guys have to try to find them in one go. Because Inaba’s school is also on a trip here, this means the old rivalry for Yui is back? Takao goes first and finds easily Hanabi because she is probably the only one with twintails and her nervous trademark has them twitching like hell. Inaba goes next and he too could easily identify which is Yui because of the wish bracelet on her ankle. But being the considerate guy he is, he picks one of his admirers. Phew. Finally it is Hiyama’s turn and he picks Yui. The pairs then take a commemorative photo but why is Yui looking so sad? She observes Hanabi and Takao acting like a real happy couple but they themselves aren’t. Could the kiss be the key? Why you complicate things lah?! That night when everybody has a pillow fight, they suddenly have to go pretend to sleep since the teacher is coming. Yui is hiding under the blanket next to Hiyama and the close proximity means her heart is beating fast as she prepares to kiss him. However he rejects her by getting out of the cover. Oh dear. This breaks her heart as she runs away! How did this get complicated? He chases after a sobbing Yui but they are discovered by a teacher who makes them clean the toilet for breaking the curfew. So they talk things out, Hiyama believes they should take things at their own pace. He doesn’t want Yui to try and kiss him because he is the one who will be doing that. What do you know? Hiyama kisses Yui! Finally! Surprised? Happy?

Episode 10
The class will be doing a singing event. When the teacher calls to select a composer, Kokoa immediately nominates Takao. And since all those girls want to see him in a suit, no objections! Next, the one who will play the piano… Kokoa immediately volunteers herself. So that’s why… However Yui can play the piano. Time for Kokoa to work her devilish magic because she tells her if she really wants to stand out so bad after the Cinderella stint. Hiyama hates girls who stands out… Gulp. WHY YOU LISTEN TO HER?! Apparently there are also alto and soprano groups. Hanabi is distraught she is not in Marin and Yui’s group. Same case for Yuuna as she isn’t with Anzu and Kanon. Because so, Hanabi can’t ask Marin for some love advice as she is worried if big brother would accept Takao as her boyfriend (students are encouraged to bring their guardians to the singing event). Thus Kanon and Anzu helps her out. Yuuna starts to feel the strain in their friendship when her friends prefer talking to Hanabi. This is where evil Kokoa comes in. She warns her about Hanabi’s habit of stealing other people’s things. They should do something to teach her a lesson. In class, Hanabi is stumped why many of the girls aren’t talking to her. Tsutsumi notices this and warns Kokoa of doing such pointless things. Of course Kokoa and her groupies are further planning how to alienate Hanabi but Yuuna wants out. When she returns to her friends, she sees them so close talking with Hanabi like they have been best friends forever, that is when Yuuna screams she hates them. Obviously Hanabi seeks Takao’s advice. Obviously the best way to find out why she hates her is to talk to her directly. Obviously. When Yuuna is missing, Hanabi wants to go look for them but Anzu and Kanon hesitate. They’re fighting, right? Even so, they’re still friends! They find her resting in the infirmary and her hand injured. Apparently Eikou bumped into her that made her drop her friendship memento. As she tried to retrieve it, she slipped and fell. The friends talk it out and reconcile. There, solved. Easy. Hanabi is further motivated when Takao reminds her about their promise of their second kiss. Though, it still makes her embarrassed just thinking about it. New problems crop up with the teacher ‘pressuring’ Yui to take the entrance exam to a better middle school and Hiyama just found out about it. Why the long face? Hanabi’s brother finds a photo of little sister and her boyfriend together with words “Always Forever”. Does this mean…

Episode 11
Hanabi realizes her brother has seen the photo. He tells her straight he is against it. Wait. What?! No chance to explain? So when Hanabi complains to her friends, you bet master Marin is back to give more advice to continue her love. You bet Kokoa is going to screw things up because she confronts Hanabi that their love is not real and they will definitely break up. Nothing lasts forever. That’s only in fairytales. In any case if that happens, Kokoa will give up on Takao. Let’s hope so… Meanwhile Hiyama is also having his own worries. He believes Yui who is now going to take the exam is going further away from him. He is afraid she will leave him. Takao advises him to treasure every second they have even if their love seems like for kiddies in which they are right now. So Hanabi gets her advice from Tsutsumi and Yui from Inaba to get back on track. On the day of the contest, Kokoa talks to Hanabi that she plans to tell her big brother all the bad things about Takao and make him worry so they’ll have to break up. Evil! When Hanabi disagrees, Kokoa pretends she pushed her and her hand injured. Her evil genius acting means everyone is blaming Hanabi for ruining their hard work. Suddenly a voice tells them to stop this crap. It is the class president! First time speaking out! He tells them this is their last performance together and not to ruin it. But what about the pianist? Takao believes they have trained hard enough to sing without any accompaniment! Oh Kokoa, you’re no longer needed!

After the performance, Hanabi looks for her brother but to her dismay Kokoa has already spread lies to him about Takao. She blames her for that unrealistic forever promise that traps him. Hanabi tells her off she isn’t and even if their feelings change, liking someone is a feeling that can’t be stopped no matter how hard you try. She will do her very best to have Takao like her forever! Wow. Drama in the middle of the hall. Kokoa won’t give up and reveals about the kiss. However big brother tells her to shut it or risk revealing her injured hand was fake. Time to back down. But now big brother wants to have a little family talk with Hanabi. He wants her to wait till she is a little older because no matter what kind of person Takao is, he will still worry. I have a feeling this won’t change even when they’re adults… But anyway despite Hanabi wouldn’t want to worry him, even if she gets hurt she will still be glad she fell in love with Takao. Big brother is glad she has matured a lot and gives his permission. Not sure what a little means but Hanabi also has to tell their parents and whenever she goes out on a date. I hope it’s not for stalking purpose. With Eikou bugging this scoop, big brother and Takao now come face to face for the first time. Big brother gets emotional blaming Takao for making Hanabi do all the work to make him accept her boyfriend? Wouldn’t it be more awkward if Takao intervened? With big brother (somewhat) accepting him, he invites him to come over to his place next time. It dawned to me big brother is much shorter that Takao… However the one thing big brother still can’t believe is that the kiss wasn’t a lie. I hope this doesn’t change everything.

Episode 12
More embarrassment for Hanabi because Eikou and co have put up an article about Takao and Hanabi getting married! Well, it isn’t technically a lie since big brother approved of them. So what does that lead to? Marin suggests for the lovebirds to go out on a special Christmas date. Hanabi needs to muster her courage that won’t be necessary since Takao invites her out. It’s less obvious for Hiyama and Yui because he gives her tickets to the amusement park. We see the stark contrast in their Christmas date because Takao and Hanabi are like the happiest couple, shopping together and exchanging gifts. Hiyama and Yui on the other hand are more reserved. It might look like he is a dick wanting her to go to haunted house and riding high rides with him but he promises he will always be there for her. When Hiyama tells Yui to take the exams, this has her wondering if he really cares for her. Doesn’t he want to be by her side? Eikou and co are put a stop in their snooping by Tsutsumi. He tells them about their pathetic state. No girlfriend and bothering real couples. Don’t be a dick. So what they do? They have a manly party together. Technically, not forever alone, right? Meanwhile Inaba is on an outing with his harem. Surprisingly Kokoa joins them since one of the girls is her piano classmate. I suppose she is not nursing a broken heart? A bit of anxiety in Takao and Hanabi’s date too when the atmosphere is almost right to kiss but he backs off. She wonders he has forgotten the promise. Later he explains he didn’t forget about it. He wants their second kiss to be the ideal because the first one wasn’t really it. Hiyama invites Yui to his home for dinner. As they wait in his room, Hiyama mentions he will be lonely without her in middle school. Even if they are separated, he will be by her side and loves her. Yui jumps to give him a big hug and also says she loves him. Mood only to be ruined when mom calls for dinner is ready. Takao and Hanabi are at the brightly lit up Christmas tree. She thanks him for becoming her boyfriend and in turn she loves herself even more. The moment is ideal enough for them to have their second kiss. Nice Christmas tree and nice fireworks. Nothing tops this. Hanabi thought he called her first name but he was referring to the fireworks. If you saw the first season, you’ll get the joke. Hey, at least that didn’t spoil the mood.

Little Kids, Big Love Drama
Well, well. Just like a fairytale, a pretty good ending to the series. Only this kind of 12 year old love might be more realistic and plausible to happen in real life because kids are simpler, more sincere, more innocent and purer than all you grownups. Whether their love changes in time is yet to be seen and another different story. But I am not sure if this would be the end of this series because technically when the next time comes around, they will be a year older! This means they can’t do a series under this 12 year old name anymore, right? Ah, technicalities.

This season feels more like it has a fair share and split between the 2 couples. Instead of Hanabi and Takao taking a big bulk of the limelight, Yui and Hiyama also have their drama and relationship under scrutiny and developed as well. Despite both couples love each other very much, we can see the very contrasting and stark methods and style their behaviour tells us when it comes to handling their relationships. The more cool and outgoing type will be the Hanabi and Takao pair. So cheerful and happy with each other all the time that those forever alone and without any significant other would definitely be sick with their happy-happy sparkling display. On the other hand if you are the shy and reserved type, Yui and Hiyama show us that love can also be demonstrated in a subtle way. My guess is that Hiyama isn’t all that cool as Takao as he is trying to be a real man. I mean, real macho guys don’t display their love outright, right? They might not show it but it is there. It’s real. You just need to read the atmosphere and understand each other a lot more. Both sides have their insecurities. This is after all their first experience in love.

Because of all that, Tsutsumi is now relegated to an observer and a shadow supporter of Hanabi. Like as though he is waiting for that one moment whereby Takao screws up and he will be taking Hanabi for his. I mean, it is not like that guy has totally given up on Hanabi, right? Because feelings can still change in the future, right? So he is like brooding and watching over Hanabi and gives advice whenever the time calls for him to do so. It’s nice to see him have an episode of an ex-classmate who still has a crush on him but that just feels like a side distraction. The same thing I feel for Inaba too. He is like Hanabi’s Tsutsumi but for Yui. Just that this guy is still a playboy and friendlier. Hey, am I seeing some sort of pattern? Takao and Hanabi are a lively couple and Tsutsumi is the brooding one. Hiyama and Yui are the not so cheery one but Inaba is the lively one. Kinda inversed? So now Takao and Hanabi already had their second ideal kiss. What’s next? Oh, no impure thoughts please. They might be starting love at a younger age but when you compare them with today’s kids, I think they are much better off because I can say they have better quality of love. Don’t you agree?

So I thought Marin would surprise us by getting a boyfriend this season but I guess I was thinking too much because that girl’s role is just to be the sensei in giving relationship advice based on what her sister tells her. Speaking of which, her sister must have gone through lots of different experiences of relationships since Marin has an answer to almost every issue. Hanabi’s big brother looks like a nice guy and at first it confused me when he was against Hanabi having a boyfriend. Because I thought didn’t she tell him that he wanted to let them meet although they couldn’t? Was it big brother had an impression that Takao was just her friend and classmate and nothing more? Or maybe Hanabi just told Takao about her intentions about it but not really her big brother then. Well, I’m glad it worked out in the end because we definitely do not need another ‘evil’ character who has malicious intentions to break them up. Yeah, you know who I’m referring to.

So I thought Kokoa was cast aside when she didn’t make much of an appearance or impact in the beginning and middle of the season. But it seems towards the end she comes back with a huge vengeance to remind us all why we should hate this b*tch by playing the most vile and most evil of all characters for a 12 year old. Imagine what kind of girl she would turn out if she faces the same problem once she hits her teens and adult life. It is a good thing that Kokoa’s plans always backfires and in a way it only serves to deepen the relationship between Hanabi and Takao. You can say that despite her role as an evil harbinger of breakups, she might as well be a blessing in disguise for them in this case. Or perhaps you can say Kokoa’s failure is just a simple way of karma getting back at her.

Just like my views on her from last season, I believe that Kokoa is still out to pick on Hanabi and using Takao as an excuse to do some of the awful stuffs onto her. Because she doesn’t seem to be that heartbroken that Takao continues to date Hanabi. It’s like as though the hate is strong in her… And I always can’t believe that Hanabi has to actually believe in what she says. For the umpteenth time. I know it is for drama effect but after knowing her character so well, you would think Hanabi would be wise enough to at least take it with a pinch of salt and trust Takao instead of starting to worry like the end of the world is looming if they break up. Yeah, no wonder she is still a kid in this sense. Which actually makes sense.

Last and not least, do I have a feeling that Eikou and his goons are having more idiotic moments this season? Sure, they are naughty and pain in the ass but it feels like here they have gone up a notch since they constantly do not stop bugging and teasing the lovebirds. The slightest thing, they scream the biggest scoop. That or they still take quotes and words of wisdom from whatever Takao says into their collection. Yeah, life is so boring that they resort to watching the development of their classmates’ love and making fun while they’re at it. Future paparazzo… If Eikou’s mom realizes what he has done all this while, would she have given him his much deserved punishment? The biggest surprise this season was the class president opening his mouth and we hearing his voice the first time. I thought it would be some falsetto because you know, for funny effect and that he has never talked so long. But he sounds rather decent and okay.

AOP who sang the ending theme in the first season now sings the opening theme, Ano Ne Kimi Dake Ni, a lively anime pop piece. The ending theme is Yuuki No Tsubasa by Machico which sounds like a moderate paced anime pop ballad. Just like in last season, they reuse all the variety of weird BGMs that would raise an eyebrow or two like that male chorus and Christmas-like waltz. Just weird. Still weird. Can’t really get over them each time I hear them. Art and drawing style remains pretty much consistent and the same like last season. Cute kids with big bright sparkly eyes. Even with Kokoa in full evil b*tch mode looks more like a cute evil b*tch. Oops… Only Eikou and his groupie still look like they came out from Chibi Maruko Chan…

Overall, this second season and the series as a whole may not appeal to hardcore anime fans and those series that are in the mainstream. It feels like it is targeted for tweens and this series provides some sort of soft cushion and transition if they ever get into the grittier and darker elements of the anime genre. Some decent character development as well as love insecurities and issues to deal with but it will all sort out because the power of love. I mean, where is the fun and ‘controversy’ of seeing pure 12 year olds dating each other? Maybe 20 years ago it could cause some sort of controversy but these days of modern day society it is considered acceptable. Because nowadays kids are more inclined to stuff their face in their Smartphones (noticed how these kids here have none! Hooray!), stalking others on Facebook, trolling everyone on Twitter, posting unsavoury pictures on Instagram, watching and wasting time watching YouTube videos, getting addicted to online mobile games, reading and getting mad at fake news articles and a whole load of other first world problems. Yeah, so busy and no time for true blue love alright.

After that cliff-hanger ending of the first season, it is only right not to leave it having and thus the sequel Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game Girls Galaxy is needed to save Earth and in turn the universe from the forces of evil by having idols playing crane games. I know it sounds pretty crappy with a plot like that but I guess it beats having a NASA going through the trouble of training a group of ragtag drillers to become astronauts and blow up an asteroid before it hits Earth. Why do I have a feeling this series might save the universe but they can’t save anime…

Episode 1
Our crane game girls are finally hitting big as idols. They’re famous of course for saving Earth. While they’re singing suddenly Dark Gorilla returns! But she is going to fight fire with fire by sending her own idol unit! Folks, meet the Earth invasion idol called Dark Cherry. They are made up of Lumie, Hikaru and Rei. Why are they special? Because they can sing in space. Without spacesuits! But wait. They are not in sync and all over the place. Funny jokers too. Not so threatening, right? That is till they start singing and start shooting powerful beams at our heroines. Tokiko ushers them to play a newly evolved crane game to do idol battle. Wow. So this crane unit has functions of a spaceship too? How convenient. They start singing and blast even more powerful beams back, sending Dark Cherry flying away in defeat. Meanwhile Dark Gorilla and Earth Gorilla talk about the evolution of arcade games from the physical ones to modern day mobile with online functions. For the latter although it may seem there is no physical prize when you win, now there is a hybrid version in Japan in which the company will deliver the prize right to your doorstep! Cool. Easy and convenient!

Episode 2
Dark Cherry is back at their base but looks like they’re goofing around rather than taking their loss seriously. Even when Dark Gorilla summons them, Hikaru shoots at her! Thankfully it’s just the monitor. Worse, Rei locked herself in her room as always. Don’t be surprised to see Saya popping up here. She is hired as their producer and the one who scouted them on Planet Dark Gorilla with the most potential to become an idol. Really? After describing the dog eat dog world of the idol industry, they go get Rei out of her room. However she still refuses and somewhat mocks Lumie about being in a group and going solo. This has Lumie’s bag of patience ripped open as she turns into her devil mode to barge in and give Rei a piece of her mind. Because she has to spend most of her time getting Rei out of her room, she can’t do anything else! Do you see how much she cares for you?! Once the girls are out, Saya begins their training as Lumie and Rei reconcile. On a side note, it might seem Dark Gorilla is scaring Tokiko with a crane machine seemingly moving on its own. A haunting ghost of those who failed to win prizes? Apparently today’s technology allows one to go online and control it remotely! They even have a staff to help you on this but sorry, no late night telephone service to chat.

Episode 3
Dark Cherry is back to challenge the crane game girls. They’re being lame again so our heroines aren’t sure if they’re supposed to take them seriously this time. I mean, they don’t even know if they had really won the last time. Lumie suggests this battle to be an election. There is a counter that will measure their popularity (in billions?) after they make their introduction. The first match pits Asuka against Lumie. Lumie does the exact same introduction in the first episode. No changes. Asuka does hers with some poem and wins lots of applause. First round goes to our heroines. Next round has Mirai versus Hikaru. Hikaru’s introduction is so strange and funny that it makes her popular! While Mirai is doing hers, she accidentally bites her own tongue. Dark Cherry wins by a close margin. Yeah, 2 million votes is small. Finally, Kyouko and Rei. Kyouko goes first with her earnest introduction. When it is Rei’s turn, it seems she is tongue tied and panicking. Even more so the pressure of their group’s fate is rested on her shoulders. When she hits her limit, she starts shooting beams from her eyes! In the end, we don’t know who won but we guess our crane game girls did because Dark Cherry retreats and vows to be back next time. Are you glad they’re idiots? Dark Gorilla shows us examples of scam emails. Then she clicks on one containing a prize she wants but it costs very high. Before she knows it, her PC is infected from all the virus from those emails. Good PSA reminder.

Episode 4
Once Dark Cherry has decided to stop goofing around, it’s another idol battle. This time they’ll be doing rhythm games. And since crane game girls have anticipated another shooting beam, they’ve brought their laser guns. They show us why they’re the best idol gamers because even at high difficulty, they’re still okay. Dark Cherry plays cheat by upping the difficulty to max and our heroines still clear the game with maximum points! Okay, it’s your turn. Gulp. Dark Cherry has no experience in playing rhythm games… During their idiotic rant, they accidentally mention Saya’s name. Naturally our heroines want to know her whereabouts. Saya moves in for damage control dressed in a silly gorilla musketeer outfit and proclaims herself as a mysterious unidentified producer (no, not Pro Douche-cer!), Gorillac Knight! She shares the same name but a different person. Nobody is buying this lameness. She takes her Dark Cherry to retreat. But in the end, the crane game girls are relieved that she is not Saya! Because she wouldn’t be caught dead in such a lame outfit. Yup, another bunch of lovable idiots. But it seems Tokiko has her reservations… Dark Gorilla and a loan shark harass a customer who has been taking loans to feed his online games addiction but can’t pay when it’s due. She tells him about the convenient online crane game with various methods to pay and then force him to do some fishing training that might take up to 2 years! Good luck. You’re going to need it.

Episode 5
Gorillac Knight is holding an emergency press conference. The reporters are grilling her and all she can say is no comment. Why even hold such conference? While Dark Cherry are mocking her behind her back, they realize she is standing out more than them! So what better logic than to go do another idol battle to regain their reputation! Too bad she came with them but this time it is Tokiko whom they are facing. The crane game girls are each having their own jobs. Thus Tokiko chastises Dark Cherry for not working hard! Too harsh! Tokiko knows Saya is behind that mask and won’t be fooled. Time for a flashback. Wow. High quality otome game art style! Anyway it has Saya listing down a long list of things she is going to do to save the world while Tokiko just wants to be a great announcer. They both promise to do their best. By the time the crane game girls arrive, Gorillac Knight continues to dismiss she is the real Saya and retreats this time. Another battle won without having to do anything? Saya should’ve stayed hidden if she didn’t want to be found out. You know how Apple unveils their new products? Yeah, I think they’re paying some sort of tribute here. I mean, Steve Gorilla? He is unveiling a new app that could download a crane game to your handphone. And a whole lot of other crap. Like drones and auto floor cleaner. Lies! And… And… And… And… And…

Episode 6
Dark Cherry is incognito on Earth to infiltrate and find information on crane game girls. But they are tempted by the liveliness of Tokyo. However our heroines are able to instantly recognize them! Plus, with the internet and everything, information is all around so this infiltration is useless. What else to do but not to leave empty handed and go have fun. Crane game girls decide to show them around the game arcade. They demonstrate their high skills in the crane game. When it is Dark Cherry’s turn to try, they of course suck big time. Lumie becomes mad and turns into her devil mode to abuse the machine while Rei zaps the machine with her eye beams! Dangerous! Surprisingly Hikaru won a bunch and gives some prizes to her friends to commemorate their friendship. That’s sweet. Then they continue to have fun at the karaoke. Lumie realizes that they’re rivals and shouldn’t be doing this. But what the heck. They’re already having so much fun so screw all that. Let the fun continue. Earth Gorilla observes Dark Gorilla playing an online crane game. Because of his cautiousness, he levels up everything. Something to do about the girl he has a crush and got no balls to confess to? He is told about the absolutely free to play online crane game so he doesn’t have to worry about spending real money and this in turn gives Dark Gorilla the courage to go confess to his crush he has never ever talked to in his life. Good luck?

Episode 7
Saya is shocked to see a note from Dark Cherry. They have resigned! OMG! Rei is trying her luck on stocks but everything crashes. Then there is some online flaming war that explodes her PC! The internet is indeed dangerous. Lumie is trying for a job interview but the interviewer tells her if it is a good idea to downgrade from an idol. Lumie is fine with it but apparently not the interviewer. Why is she wearing her idol outfit then? Oh, no clothes for suitable clothes. She wants her to go back to become an idol and fails her interview. Lumie goes to take more interviews but also fails them. Meanwhile Hikaru is an idiotic convenience store cashier. She does what she wants and screws around with the customer! She charges everything and free things also include tax?! And what’s this she doesn’t have change? The master of pissing of customers… You think after this experience the customer won’t be back, right? Because she is so damn cute, he thinks he’ll come back. Yeah, I can relate why most of us come back for seconds after a first terrible experience. Eventually the trio fail and have nowhere to go. They see this bright light that gives them hope… Crane game girls are bored now that Dark Cherry has not shown up for quite some time. When they tune in to TV, they are shocked to see them as nuns! Their heads completely shaved! Tokiko answers Dark Gorilla’s anxious questions regarding crane games. No crane game? Make one! Oh, she uses money for that. No confidence or skill to play? Online tutorials are helpful. But if there are online crane games, wouldn’t that make physical ones redundant? Sure. Tokiko shoots and destroys it! Lesson: Don’t waste your time making them. Just play them online.

Episode 8
When the girls meet, you bet crane game girls are really shocked that their rivals have genuinely given up their goal of invading Earth since they were never up to it. They are even going to support them to become the best idols. This does not sit well with Asuka as she flips the table. After all they’ve been put through, you can’t expect them to just let this pass like that. They’re not going to quit for some weird reason. Asuka is going to help them get back on their feet as idols. Don’t worry, their bald head is just wigs. Gathering in the streets, crane game girls are going to gather everyone for a free concert. Wait. So now they love the idea of idol battle? Dark Cherry thinks this is their deep plan to make a fool out of them so bad that they will never recover to come back as idols. Of course crane game girls dismiss that and you can see proof of that in their shiny warm idol aura. Crane game girls call everyone (you mean now only the crowd noticed it is them?) and start singing. The crowd loves them. Then they introduce Dark Cherry. To their surprise, everyone loves them too. It seems they are popular on Earth. Thank internet, right? They perform together to a rousing applause. It looks like a Metal Gear Solid tribute with Dark Gorilla trying to infiltrate steel doors and Earth Gorilla telling its passwords. But it is just a clever attempt to tell you the procedures on how to complete register for a free online crane game. The passwords, details and email that you need to key in for the access.

Episode 9
With their popularity rising, this is all part of Saya’s plan for the next stage. They will now try their hands to win the Cosmic Idol Festival. The girls are now as confused as the reporters in the conference because they are now supposed to join and become a new idol unit, Super Shiny Galaxy! No Lumie, it’s not a darker plot to catch crane game girls off guard and defeat them. Tokiko confronts Saya and knows this is not a plan she put together overnight. Saya reveals that this plan will have them become the greatest idols in the universe. That power will save Planet Dark Gorilla and in turn they will stop invading Earth, thus peace will reign! Hence the idol battles between them were to help them power up for this day. I know Saya is thrilled to train them strictly but what the heck about this part to turn them into gorillas?! And so as Gorillac Knight, she trains the new unit and warns them it is going to be a long tough road. A new unit means they have to start everything from scratch. What a pain. Why does the training menu sound like those survival games from Kaiji? But we can see a difference in their training menu. While crane game girls undergo nice typical idol-like training, Dark Cherry have to fend for their lives! Are they ready for the festival now? Dark Gorilla is some online crane gamer, Gori who is stopped by several challengers. However he ‘defeats’ all of them by not accepting their challenge since he doesn’t fancy their prizes. Till the final ‘boss’ of Earth Gorilla who only has unique and limited prizes. Dark Gorilla gives in and learns the lesson to enjoy crane game battles together.

Episode 10
Crane game girls are nervous before the competition. But seeing their Dark Cherry counterparts not giving a damn and so carefree, they’re even more nervous! Can they make it? Gorillac Knight and Tokiko explain the direct elimination tournament battle style of Cosmic Idol Festival in which the entire universe will be watching and judging. I guess all that survival training are for nought since they’re just going to be singing and dancing like typical idols. They also give analytic details of the opponents they are likely to face like NGC 224 representing Andromeda who are just literally atoms, Lake City Girls representing Saitama prefecture (do they need another Earth representative?) and Jupiter. Yes, there are people living in Jupiter looking like monoliths who can evolve you! Crane game girls are having a headache hearing his but Dark Cherry is pretty fine. They’re used with all the messy intergalactic stuffs. But we don’t have to worry all that because we skip the entire festival and Super Shiny Galaxy wins! However suddenly Dark Gorilla appears and is not pleased. He does not need idols who have forgotten about their goal of invading Earth. He’ll destroy all and start over! Continuing Gori’s adventure as an online crane gamer, he faces off with another gamer but can’t seem to beat him. Till Tokiko comes to his rescue with some laser beams. Apparently some ghost is inhabiting this gamer. So having a second inner spirit is the key to winning? Because of that, Gori tries to summon his own second inner spirit but can’t help spew out names of seiyuus, producers, staffs and anime titles. All rebutted by Tokiko.

Episode 11
Dark Gorilla attacks and destroys the space station but luckily everyone has evacuated. Of course our girls are going to fight back and although crane game girls have no qualms, Dark Cherry ponders by doing so will be considered mutiny. Saya assures them this is just like another idol battle. All they need to do is sing and wake up Dark Gorilla. Thanks to all their training, they have powers equivalent to Dark Gorilla. This boosts their confidence although they aren’t strong enough to defeat her. Dark Gorilla is still bent on taking over Earth to steal its resources because Planet Dark Gorilla is running out of them. When he fires his ultimate beam, Saya intervenes to protect the girls. I guess at this point crane game girls realize Gorillac Knight is the real Saya. A little bit of drama and emotion to rev them up to begin their counterattack. Dark Gorilla fires another shot but the idols’ song this time deflects it. Their harmony is so great that it blasts away the evil force, turning Dark Gorilla into a docile little form. The universe is saved? A scientist is trying to show another fellow scientist inventions relating to crane games but were scoffed off for its impracticality. Finally this idol training unit that utilizes cards to build your very own idol as well as a tie-in campaign with this ‘famous’ anime, seals the deal to have them sell it to arcades everywhere! Damn blatant advertising!

Episode 12
Everyone converges at the stadium for an ultimate concert by Super Shiny Galaxy. Although crane game girls are there and nervous, the thing that makes them even more nervous is the fact that Dark Cherry is nowhere to be seen! Time to go for a witch hunt. Angry Asuka has to pull Lumie attending another idol concert as she has conveniently forgot her own. It isn’t so bad for Rei because she is trying to visit exhibition museums and Kyouko is being very nice to her that she will gladly guide her around after their concert and they both become like super best friends. Meanwhile Hikaru is winning all the prizes at the crane games and Mirai catches herself saying the unthinkable because crane games are unimportant? So they challenge each other but Hikaru also bests her and wins even more prizes. Once Hikaru is bored, she cheekily says there is no more time for this and returns to their concert. Must be a tiring day for Mirai. When they return, Saya and Tokiko usher them to get ready now since it is way past their starting time. Super Shiny Galaxy start singing and thankfully the patient crowd still loves them. Suddenly the girls decide to go on a journey to Planet Dark Gorilla. Despite Dark Gorilla is now in a stuffed toy form, they really want to save the planet with their idol power. Saya and Tokiko give them their blessings to save the universe with their idol power and when they come back, they should become the best idols in the galaxy. And off they go. The final scene sees Tokiko talking to Dark Gorilla the stuffed toy. It seems Dark Gorilla is going to do good and earn points to return to his original form and also promote more online crane games which they didn’t manage to do in the anime. You mean it wasn’t enough? However Dark Gorilla seems to have enough reform points to return to his original evil self. He is going to challenge Super Shiny Galaxy next time and win. Wait. Another season?! Oh please, no!!!

Don’t Make Gorillas Out Of Our Galaxy Idols!
Well, everything turns out as silly as it is supposed to be. I know it might end up in one of the worst anime series of all time but since I was having a little silly fun watching this season, I guess it is not all that bad. Seriously. I still remember my own advice in my previous blog not to be stressed up watching this and thinking too hard of all the illogical stuffs propping up. Yeah, even if this didn’t save anime but at least it saved my sanity. Wowee. What fun this second season is. Right… Please don’t spoil the mood by mentioning that a third season is possible. Because I don’t want to think that there are going to be more idols popping up like Dark Gorilla hiring new ones to fight Super Shiny Galaxy but then they defect and become heroine idols. Yeah, one step closer to expanding as big as AKB48 and beyond. *Shudders*.

However I feel that this sequel has actually done away with a lot of stuffs that we know from the first season that we are familiar with and think we are supposed to expect. For example, the obvious one being the crane games are totally missing! What gives?! Even if that final episode ‘challenge’ between Hikaru and Mirai was to remind us about the ‘origins’, it was a little too late to have any sort of impact. So to have crane game in the title felt a bit misleading since they substitute crane games with idol battles. And also because of that, the idol battles are now in place of crane games as instruments to destroy asteroids aimed at Earth. Yes, it is like a totally different plot now when you look back and compare at these things.

So I figure that to compensate for the no-show of the crane games, that is why this season is blown up to 13 minutes! That is 3 times more than the first season whose duration lasts a paltry 4 minutes! But the actual episode may just be 8 minutes long and taking away the opening and ending themes of 3 minutes, you will be left with 2 minutes of extra, uhm, extras at the end. It is this segment that features a whole load of crane game related references and some even including pop culture references. This might not have any real bearing of the actual plot of the series but at least it has something to do with crane games that the episode proper is missing.

Of course personally this segment also feels like a blatant advertising for crane games and towards the end, for more people to watch this crappy anime. Yeah. I guess that is what being ‘famous’ is all about. But in general, trying to promote crane games here isn’t entirely a bad thing because with people so wired and focused on their Smartphones, nobody actually comes out to the arcade to play these machines anymore. It’s like those pinball machines who are now virtually extinct in many places. What good is having a virtual or online crane game version because I believe being there physically to play the game is much better still. Oh, I have not played a real crane game in my life ever.

Another change that makes it feel this season has deviated from the first is the focus on the new characters from Dark Cherry. I think they are given equal, if not slightly more screen time than the crane game girls. It is both good and bad because crane game girls are supposed to be the main heroines but get side-lined like this. But then again, Dark Cherry aren’t really the antagonists. How can you have cute idol girls as the bad guys! It’s unthinkable!

Though, even with their quirky characters, they still couldn’t really save this anime since their personalities also feel someone cliché. We have the competitive idiot who is also branded a boobs monster. Then we have a socially awkward and ultra shy idiot. Finally the idiotic idiot who is always at her own pace to throw everything off and supposedly make the series funny and make us laugh because she’s such a carefree idiot. You can’t hate cute idiotic girls, can you?! As mentioned, crane game girls get side-lined and since last season we already have a glimpse of their background and family, even if we have forgotten about them, who the hell cares.

Tokiko made a late appearance in the first season and this time around she is sticking a bit longer and becoming part of the main group of characters thanks in becoming crane game girls’ manager. And to answer last season as to why Saya jumped ship to Dark Gorilla’s side, her plans are finally revealed albeit you could have guessed more of the lines her ulterior intentions from the way she planned out those stuffs. She isn’t a bad person, right?

I can’t help think this series is trying to be a very light version of AKB0048 because that show itself is about galactic idols kicking ass and saving the universe. And then you use the power of singing, dancing and music, all idol related stuffs to power up and save the day. Who ever said idols are just out there prancing on stage looking good to please fans. They save the world and you don’t even know it! Yeah, it’s something like magical girls aren’t just little girls transforming into powered heroines to do good and save the world. At least for many magical girl themed series these days… So if crane game powered beams don’t do the trick, your stint as an idol will. Who needs American drillers? So if an asteroid is heading our way, we would prefer the Japanese to take charge and send their idols up there to do the job. Because, they’re just as effective and less destructive so to speak.

The art and drawing still remains the same although the animation is still crappy with using this Flash based tools but at least it is way much better than JK Meshi. Yeah, I can’t believe I still remember that mess. I think from now on every anime that uses Flash with this kind of art style, I have to compare it to JK Meshi because that is the standard of bad. Real bad. This season’s opening theme is Galaxy Party ~Uchuu No Mannaka De Party Shiyou~ by the crane game girls. Although it sounds like a typical idol sound, to me it sounds flat to more I hear it and feels like all over the place once it ends. The ending theme, Zettai Teki Seiten Aozora by Aki Deguchi at least sounds better. Dark Cherry aren’t side-lined as they do sing albeit the insert song, Don’t Call Me Loser (I wished there was some parody called Don’t Call Me Boobs Monster). Speaking of them, they are voiced by Aya Uchida as Lumie (Kotori in Love Live), Mikoi Sasaki as Hikaru (Hercule in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes series) and Akari Kageyama as Rei (Ebina in Himouto! Umaru-chan).

Overall, there are definitely much better idol themed animes out there. Yes, I consider this season to be totally an idol themed one instead of some disaster striking Earth. As usual, don’t get too stressed up watching this series because anger gets you nowhere and you might take it out on the innocent crane game machine. Do you even crane game these days? Logic tells me I’m not going to be a super genius in crane games when I finished watching this show. Because when you already have a talking gorilla in space wanting to destroy Earth, hell, anything goes. I wonder would they have garnered more points had they given Harambe a cameo. Because he would have definitely stolen the limelight from Super Shiny Galaxy without putting in any effort or doing anything. Then maybe we will all really be looking forward to season 3. Dicks out for Harambe!

Wanted for magical girl raising project. Girls who are interested of becoming magical girls and do all the goody-goody stuffs of helping other people are very much encouraged to apply. Successful applicants will be directly contacted by our administrator. Thank you. Woah. If only making a magical girl was that easy to begin with. When was the last time you see a dark magical girl anime? I know there are a handful throughout the years and I still remember how grim Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica was. Well folks, looks like here is going to be another dark and bloody magical girl anime. It may all look nice and sweet about a programme to develop and nurture magical girls. But behind all that glitter and sparkle of Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku lies something much darker. Something more sinister. Something that makes everybody wished they have read the finer prints and between the lines of the contract. How do you feel when I summarize this series in one sentence: Magical girls killing each other in battle royale style! OMG! Indeed. Now do you have the guts to watch how the best magical girl is chosen?

Episode 1
Koyuki Himekawa seems interested as she is told by the game’s mascot, Fav about this Magical Girl Raising Project. Wow. Sounds cool. Use magic and fight the darkness. Oh… I remember Kyuubey… Don’t do it! It’s a trap! Next day, Koyuki is discussing with her friends about rumours that magical girls have been responsible in taking out triads and the mafia. They also talk about the game company of Magical Girl Raising Project and their ridiculous ads and it is obvious Koyuki seems hooked on it. Because it’s free to play. Flashback reveals Koyuki has always loved magical girls. Back home, she gets a message from Fav that he has been observing her and is deemed fit to become a magical girl. Koyuki, no!!! IT’S A TRAP!!!!! Too late… Instantly she transforms into a magical girl nicknamed Snow White. This is real. This makes her very happy as she goes around town helping those in need. Fav also tells her she is the 15th magical girl and her special ability is to hear the thoughts of others in trouble. Fav also believes it is time for her to meet other magical girls via this online forum. Currently online now are Nemurin, Sister Nana, Vess Winterprison, La Pucelle and Cranberry. La Pucelle offers to train up Snow White since her area is next to her. La Pucelle then explains how each magical girl is given their own territory and thus rarely bump into each other. She warns the rogue magical girl, Calamity Mary in the Jounan district and to stay away from her. The combo pair of Top Speed and Ripple are passing by so La Pucelle also explains how some magical form teams. This has La Pucelle offer to team up with her. Snow White is surprised she knows her real name. La Pucelle’s real name is Souta Kishibe, Koyuki’s elementary classmate. Wait a minute. Isn’t she a boy???!!! No wonder Koyuki can’t recognize him. Or her. So you’re completely female if you’re a magical girl. La Pucelle vows to protect Snow White who feels very safe to be by her. When Koyuki comes home, there is an important message from Fav that he plans to cut this region’s magical girls to eight.

Episode 2
Of course everyone else isn’t too happy about this announcement. Making it worse is that Fav has already planned to take in a 16th magical girl since she already made a contract. It seems Fav has miscalculated. As magical girls draw power from the region, having too many of them will drain the power very quickly. But the question now is how they are going to half that number. Wait. What? Collect the most Magical Candies? You mean they’re not going to kill each other? Shucks… We have a flashback of how Top Speed and Ripple met. When the latter was a new magical girl, Top Speed offered to train her. However Calamity Mary appeared and announced that it was supposed to be her turn. Although Top Speed apologized and wasn’t looking for trouble, it didn’t take long before Ripple and Calamity Mary start fighting. The latter backs down when Top Speed pleaded. She also lets Top Speed have Ripple whose ability is her shurikens never miss. Snow White and La Pucelle save an elderly couple from a house on fire. This earn them lots of Magical Candies as the people they rescued are safe otherwise they won’t receive this many. Koyuki can’t sleep and logs online. She sees Nemurin and talks to this nice girl. She learns her ability is to enter people’s dream. Then we see Nemurin fighting monsters and saving the world in dreams. Although this earns her a lot of Magical Candies, what happens in dreams stays in dreams. Fav advises her to get real ones in reality. Ruler is having her groupies announce how many Magical Candies they have got. She chides Tama for not getting any because she won’t let anyone in this group drop out. Soon, Fav announces the top Magical Candies collector is Snow White. At the bottom is Nemurin. This means she will be eliminated. Snow White is sad and after she is done talking to Nemurin, her account is immediately terminated. Because Fav tells Nemu Sanjou (Nemurin) that she has until midnight before she cannot transform into a magical girl, she takes this last chance to enter people’s dreams. When time is up, she is suddenly cut off. Later when her mother comes in to check on her, she is in utter shock that her daughter is dead! OMG!

Episode 3
Top Speed gets a call from Swim Swim for a favour. It seems she forgot about a meeting with Ruler for a leaf viewing event and will be late. She sends her there in time and as expected, Ruler is not pleased with this. After Top Speed leaves, Ruler has her groupies to bury illegally dumped garbage to score Magical Candies. Snow White and La Pucelle are called by Sister Nana and Winterprison. When they were trying to find past logs of Nemurin to remember her by, they stumble upon this conversation between Fav and Cranberry. He told her that when a magical gets terminated, she will also die in the physical world. Meanwhile those idiotic angel twins are jealous Snow White is at the top of the popularity rankings too. They have Tama give them ideas on what to do. A PV? They like the idea and their popularity shoots up to second place although they still hate how much Snow White is in first. When Ruler summons them for a special meeting, it seems that all the magical girls are now being told and confirmed by Fav about real death once you drop out as a magical girl. Panic is starting to sink in. Didn’t read the rules, eh? Oh man, this is like Kyuubey… So what if they want to quit being a magical girl then? They will also die! Sh*t hits the fan when they realize the online article of a girl dying from a heart attack in her room that closely resembles Nemurin. It is her! Snow White is depressed about it so La Pucelle swears her loyalty that she will still protect her no matter what may become of her. When there is a version update notice that allows them to transfer Magical Candies, Ruler knows what the deeper meaning is. No, it is not transferring excess ones to those with smaller amounts or work as a team to earn Magical Candies. Because this can also be done with one’s device is off, they are telling them to steal Magical Candies. And who has the most Magical Candies right now? That’s right. Ruler and her groupies are going to target Snow White and make her die tonight.

Episode 4
Sanae Mokuou (Ruler) was chastised by her boss for coming up with an effective and flexible scheme. She was transferred to another lowly division. Her hate for idiots only grew and when she became a magical girl, she was thrilled at her ability to make anyone obey her commands. Hey. Can a person this ‘old’ be a magical girl?! Well, they had a boy being one… The angel twins distract La Pucelle and fight her. Despite pit traps from Tama, she can still hold her ground as she pounds them. Meanwhile Ruler has Snow White frozen as commanded while Swim needs to transfer her Magical Candies. It is tough on Ruler since she has to maintain this position without moving and Snow White has got lots of Magical Candies! When La Pucelle realizes this is a trap, she rushes back. This only angers Ruler that those idiots aren’t even good enough to stall others. Swim is done when La Pucelle lands an attack that separates Ruler and her groupies. Ruler calls for a tactical retreat. Snow White is depressed and La Pucelle is adamant to go get back her stolen Magical Candies. Snow White doesn’t want her to do that. But when they see her device, they are in shock. Ruler and co try to divide the stolen Magical Candies. As they have stolen 2,088 of them, they can’t divide it equally among the 5 of them. However Ruler dictates she will get the lion share as she planned all this. Swim will get half of that and the remaining miniscule balance to be divided among the idiots. When the announcement is made, Ruler is in last place! Flashback reveals Ruler was attacked by Calamity Mary. Humiliated, she gathered people with weak will to follow her to be meat shields. Now that Ruler is dead, the angel twins are mocking over her dead body. No more mean woman to boss them around. It seems this was a plan hatched by Swim. After she got Snow White’s Magical Candies, she transferred 25,000 to Tama. In actual fact, Snow White’s total is 50,000! Stealing half was enough. Then Swim has Tama order Fav to divide this amount evenly to everyone except Ruler, Snow White and La Pucelle. This would make Ruler in dead last place. The angel twins are also in on this. Apparently Swim got this idea when Nemurin entered her dream and gave her the idea of being a princess. A princess is like a ruler, right? But she can’t be a ruler if there is currently a ruler… See where this is going? Top Speed is upset Ruler got last place but Ripple obviously knows a coup d’etat has happened. They are called by Sister Nana to meet.

Episode 5
Sister Nana is trying to seek their help to end the fighting among the magical girls. But with her crying and all that, Ripple finds it shameful and disagrees. Top Speed prevents them from fighting and will think about it. Ruler’s subordinates might be free but now they are at a lost on what to do. Calamity Mary is seen talking to Magicaloid 44 who gets a call from Sister Nana. It seems Magicaloid was her magical girl tutor. Oddly, Sister Nana always wanted to borrow her ‘devices from the future’ (Magicaloid’s ability) in whatever help she wants to do. And she pays good money for it! Of course Magicaloid plays along as a way to make money but one day she didn’t know one of her device helped Winterprison become a magical girl as Sister Nana wanted. Now Sister Nana wants to stop this fighting so Magicaloid claims she can go negotiate on the admins on her behalf. Of course for a fee. Sister Nana and Winterprison are called by Cranberry. As usual, Sister Nana wants Cranberry to help stop this fighting but is instead told to stop what she is doing. Suddenly Cranberry and Winterprison start fighting. Winterprison is barely holding out with her magical walls but with a little of Sister Nana’s help (her ability is to boost the power of the one she wants), they turn the tables and escape. Fav is not pleased that Cranberry let them go as she was supposed to eliminate Sister Nana. However Cranberry has no interest in the game and only wants to fight strong opponents. Since Sister Nana is Winterprison’s source of strength, she’ll keep them alive for now. Sister Nana decides to take upon herself to teach the new magical girl, Hardgore Alice. As usual, the preaching about stop fighting each other, blah, blah, blah. But when she mentions about Snow White being targeted, Alice becomes interested in her and rushes off to where she is. After La Pucelle sends home Snow White, she is confronted by Cranberry who wants to fight her. She is not after her Magical Candies but wants a powerful opponent.

Episode 6
Makoto Andou (Magicaloid) does whatever she wants. She hangs out with a homeless man and eats with him before bumming in her friend’s place. While grinding some game, that is when she became a magical girl. La Pucelle and Cranberry begin their fight. OMG. First blood! It’s getting bloodier by the second as Cranberry beats up La Pucelle. Cranberry expresses she doesn’t fight strong opponents to gain strength but to kill them. This makes La Pucelle scared although she does make a little comeback and make Cranberry spill some blood of her own. But that is all futile because amidst the flashback of Souta’s reluctance in turning into a magical girl… He got hit by a truck? Before we know it, Souta is dead and everyone attends his funeral! Gloomy days are here for Koyuki. It seems this accident is just a cover up. As conspired by Cranberry and Fav to make it look like an accident when he was actually killed in that fight. Fav then makes an announcement. The good news is that there is an introduction of 5 items. First come first serve. La Pucelle’s death is also ‘good news’ because this means nobody else has to die this week. Cranberry wonders if this item thingy is a good idea because it might make it hard for Fav to reach his goal as this could mean the weaker ones could be left standing in the end. If the strong ones die in the process, it means they were weak in the first place and part of the process to be slain by the true hero. Fav tries to persuade depressed Snow White to buy the items. Based on what he says, she could guess La Pucelle’s death was no accident. The number on the items doesn’t indicate monetary cost. They cost you years of your life! She is hesitant to take at first but when she finally does, all of them are sold out! A little too late. Her luck runs out because Alice has found her. A chunk of them are bought by Swim’s group. The angel twins bought some medicine costing 3 years. Tama bought a weapon that costs 5 years and Swim bought the most expensive invisibility cloak for 25 years! Then she switches with Tama and decides to call the weapon Ruler. Wicked. The other magical pouch that can hold anything is bought by Calamity Mary who spent 10 years. Magicaloid didn’t buy any as she wants to hold on to her life. Knowing that the magical girls will be killing themselves, it’s a reason why she teamed up with Calamity Mary. However Calamity Mary doesn’t trust her and thinks she will backstab her one day. So to win her trust, go kill somebody. Before Alice can do anything, Magicaloid decapitates her! She decides to kill Snow White to please Calamity Mary. Two kills is better than one. However Magicaloid gets stabbed by Alice’s decapitated body!!! Bloody. Horror. No wonder Snow White is freaking out.

Episode 7
Koyuki wakes up in her room all fine. Was it a nightmare? Apparently she has that last item, rabbit’s foot that gives her luck whenever she is in a pinch. But she didn’t buy it. It was Alice who bought it. Sister Nana calls her to meet up. When Calamity Mary cannot reach Magicaloid, she summons Fav to contact her. But when she learns she is ‘not around anymore’, Calamity Mary wants to know who killed her and takes this as a direct challenge at her. At first Fav won’t give out information so easy, claiming fairness, blah, blah, blah. But she knows what he wants and makes a deal for things to go his way if he tells what she wants. Calamity Mary snipes out Alice. That easy? But then Alice rises back from the dead! Time to freak out. No matter how many bullets she pumps into her, Alice keeps regenerating! OMG! An immortal! She experiments with various ways to put her down and when fire seems to be the trick, she puts her remains in a cement block inside a barrel and dumps it into the ocean. Wow. Overkill. Want to bet zombie girl will get out of there? When Fav announces only Magicaloid has been killed by a slasher and thus nobody drops out this week, Calamity Mary laughs like crazy. Zombie girl is still alive. Flashback reveals Kano Sazanami (Ripple) always was picked on by other kids. They teased her for having a mom as a slut and changing so many dads. What does she do? She punches them all to hell! Even when she goes boyfriend hopping, she punches those damn b*tches for trying to warn her! And mom has got a new boyfriend home. Not surprising. As expected, he is a lazy bum and pervert. When he tried to make a move on her, that is when she has had it. She moved out to live on her own. Sister Nana meets Snow White to calm her depress heart. But look. She also has called Alice here! Alice agrees to work with her, delighting Sister Nana who is now off to meet other magical girls to form alliances. Wait. That’s it? You leaving Snow White alone with zombie girl? Man, this is awkward. Snow White tries to leave but no matter how far she goes, Alice is always there! Spooky! She tries to return the rabbit’s foot but Alice says it is hers now and she felt like giving it to her. Top Speed and Ripple are talking about things when the latter gets a call from Calamity Mary to meet. It’s urgent. Ripple isn’t too happy.

Episode 8
Flashback shows Sister Nana tried to warn Calamity Mary about using her magic to commit crimes. She doesn’t give a damn and starts shooting her. Thanks to Winterprison’s walls, they make their escape. Now Sister Nana is happy to go see Swim’s group not knowing they have laid a trap. Before talk can start, Tama in her cloak abducts Sister Nana. When they emerge, there are 2 Sister Nanas! Which is real? When Sister Nana goes up to Winterprison for help, this is the fake one because she stabs her. The disguise is courtesy of the angel twins’ ability. Winterprison realizes this is a trap and flings a very stunned Sister Nana outside to safety. Winterprison then targets the angel twins and smashes the head of Yunael (the younger of the twins)! In this chaos, Swim uses her weapon to cut off Winterprison’s arm and let her bleed to death. Winterprison sees visions of her time spent with Nana Habutae (Sister Nana). Minael (the elder of the twins) is devastated. Tama is reeling from the bloody shock. 2 dead bodies. Swim wonders how Ruler would have handled this. Obviously Sister Nana is also in despair thinking about those times spent with Shizuku Ashuu (Winterprison). Yamamoto Naoko (Calamity Mary) is an abusive alcoholic housewife. After the family left her for good, that is when Fav brought her into this magical girl project with his sweet words she can be strong, beautiful, etc. As Ripple and Top Speed wait for Calamity Mary, suddenly they are sniped at. They know she is out to kill them in the first place and makes a run for it. Calamity Mary knows she cannot best Top Speed’s, uhm, top speed so what does she do to bring her back? She randomly shoots and kills innocent bystanders!!! OMFG!!! She’s staying true to her name by causing a great calamity! Snow White sees this and rushes to the scene. Alice follows her. Flashback shows Alice revealing her ability to regenerate from any injury and she wanted to meet her again. Swim has a better idea. Wait for all the magical girls to head to the calamity area to rescue and then they kill them all off! Minael agrees with that. Everybody should just die… Cranberry isn’t interested of going but knowing that Winterprison is dead, she wants to know who killed her.

Episode 9
Sister Nana is too depressed to give a f*ck. I don’t think all that drinking and pills are going to help… Ripple jumps back down to face off with Calamity Mary. But Ripple steps on her landmine and bombs are thrown at her. Top Speed luckily returns to swiftly save her from death. Ripple wants to go back and fight her. She knows she is being harassed and Calamity will not stop hunting her till she is dead. There’s talk about not being an ideal magical girl so Top Speed acknowledges those feelings and agrees to help out. But getting near Calamity Mary isn’t easy. They are even shot out from the sky! Then they go for broke with their next trick, which is to drop shards of glass all over her. But cleverly hidden among those shards are Ripple’s shurikens. One strikes right in Calamity Mary’s forehead. Game over. She’s dead. Ripple thought Top Speed is fooling around hugging her. But then she realizes she is bleeding! Oh no. Was she injured during the fight? Actually, Swim stabbed her! Ripple becomes mad as she tries to kill Swim. However Swim is able to turn her body into water so any objects that harm her pass right through. Swim cannot match her agility and escapes. Ripple is further devastated when she returns to the body of Tsubame Murota. She is 3 months pregnant! You going crazy now?! Snow White and Alice are helping the people when Minael drops in. She transforms into an axe and throws herself at Snow White. But Alice takes it right in her head! Don’t worry. She still lives. Now Alice is going to kill Minael like swatting a fly? Snow White could hear the voice of Tama in a dilemma to attack her. Despite Tama is wearing the cloak, Snow White can pinpoint her due to her ability. This makes Minael mad as she grabs the cloak from her and disappears. Tama escapes by digging a hole. Snow White and Alice continue helping others. Alice picks up her dropped bunny doll but it seems it is Minael in disguise… Her original doll was hidden by the cloak. Meanwhile, Nana hangs herself. Too sad to give a f*ck anymore. Fav announces more dropouts than usual. Yeah, 5 of them. So what now? There were supposed to be whittled to 8 and now there are only 7. Yeah, f*ck that. Let’s whittle it down to 4. Are you freaking kidding me???!!! Swim is analysing the skills of other magical girls. It won’t be easy for their group to take on the rest. But this leaves Cranberry who rarely shows herself so she doesn’t know her strength. She thinks of having Tama test the medicine when they face her. Minael comes back happy, certain there is one person they can definitely kill.

Episode 10
An emotionless Ako Hatoda (Alice) visits her father in prison who tells her not to come anymore. Worse, the school is giving her that look because news spread that her dad murdered her mom. Snow White and Alice find solace with each other. But when Snow White learns about the whittling to 4, she loses it. She doesn’t want to this sh*t anymore. Alice tries to calm her but she takes out her frustrations on her and leaves. Alice is devastated when she is told not to follow her anymore. Alone again, naturally? When Ako heads to school, she is shocked Swim attacks her. Apparently once your identity is known, you lose your qualities as a magical girl. Swim chases down injured Ako who is looking pretty scared now she can’t transform. She remembers joining this magical girl project with a dark design and wanted to meet Snow White because it would be a good colour contrast between them. Apparently Swim can also teleport out from puddles and that is where she makes the kill. Another strike to make sure. Snow White could hear Ako’s voice calling out to her as she races there. Ako’s last words are as long she is still alive, there is still a magical girl in the city. Ako is also particular of Snow White because Koyuki helped find her lost keys before. Then it’s goodbye forever. Swim didn’t know it was so easy to kill Alice. Minael rues they should have done this from the start as she remembers her times with her twin. Mina and Yuna Amasato (Minael and Yunael) are a bit of a rascal as they grow up, doing almost everything together. Heck, the funny part was a guy confessed to them and doesn’t care which. Just date him! Hell no! Minael remembers masquerading as the doll and being brought to Ako’s home. That’s how she know how she looks like. If they had done this earlier, Yunael would still be alive. Next on the target list is… Cranberry receives a call from Swim to meet. Funny, Cranberry is thinking how strong this girl is seeing she has killed 4 magical girls! Then there’s a talk with Fav about making a false report and hiding the truth from some committee in the magical world about this project. Swim’s group arrives at Cranberry’s cabin in the woods. Swim enters the cabin and takes a medicine. But Cranberry is already outside and she knows Minael and Tama are trying to trap her. While Tama escapes from an attack, Cranberry crushes Minael’s heart as she is disguising as a rock! Tama panics when she sees Minael’s corpse but Swim isn’t as she plans to pincer Cranberry. Cranberry assesses Swim’s calm judgments and the reason why she is the leader in slain magical girls. But she can’t beat her. Can she?

Episode 11
Lots of dead magical girls. It seems a demon summoned for some selection exam has gone berserk. Even the master is dead. Only Cranberry is left standing and somehow she killed it. That was when Fav decided to team up with her to do something more exciting instead of these boring exams. Swim directly attacks Cranberry. Although Cranberry’s attacks go through Swim’s body, something about she can see and hear her, it means light and sound are unable to pass through. Cranberry lets loose a light explosion that blows her away. As she checks her body, she is shocked to see Swim’s real self is of a child. In that distraction, Tama scratched her. It is a fatal scratch as her ability is to make holes in anything she touch. Cranberry’s top explodes! OMG! After Tama picks up Ayana Sakanagi (Swim), she transforms back and slits Tama’s throat! WTF???!!! Flashback of Tama Inubouzaki’s life as a loser. She never did well in exams and sports. Her younger siblings did better and are ashamed to be related to her. Her only solace was her grandma but she died suddenly. That is when Tama became a magical girl and under Ruler, she was even thought how to read and write words! She can only regret what she did wrong. The dead don’t even contemplate. Fav now considers Swim as his new master and she agrees to play along with his game. It seems Swim killed Tama not because she is a ruthless master wannabe. Ruler told her never to let anyone know her true identity. Ayana goes home to do her homework like all those violence never happened. She ponders if Ruler would have become master without letting everyone die. Ripple remembers how Top Speed was enraged when Nemurin was killed. Likewise, Snow White thinks back about La Pucelle, Sister Nana and Alice. Ripple calls Snow White to meet. If she has any information on Swim, let her know now. It’s about revenge. Snow White tries to tell her this only makes her a murderer but Ripple doesn’t care about being a magical girl she once wanted to be. That’s why she admires her. Fav then interjects to hint Swim’s weaknesses are light and sound. Go figure the rest. Seems this killing game is going to whittle down to 2. Oh heck, why not just make it one? Snow White can’t believe what Fav has done although he says he is just giving a little supportive push. Ripple makes her final peace with Top Speed. The latter’s spirit thanking her for bringing her body back at her home? Time for Ripple to have a showdown with Swim.

Episode 12
As Koyuki is crying in depression back in her home, she doesn’t want to become into a magical girl anymore. Fav tells her that is not how it works as he reveals he is from some scouting department in the magical world to recruit and train magical girls (man, this reminds me of that Kyuubey’s explanation…). He was in cohorts with Cranberry who was the master but she got killed. Fav would prefer Snow White to be his master because Swim is a talented killer but is not a good master. Ripple too has personality issues so Fav doesn’t want her. That is why Fav motivated Ripple to fight Swim and have them kill each other. All that is left is Snow White. As master, she gets to decide how the next magical girl get selected. As Cranberry was the previous master, she decided to use this social media game which is popular in the human world which made recruitment easier cover up their true goal under the guise of gathering Magical Candies. Normally failed candidates would just have their memories erased but this time they decided to kill Nemurin so things would be spiced up. Thus, collecting Magical Candies is just red herring to have them kill each other. Fav can’t understand why she looks so surprised. She should have seen this coming?! Koyuki can’t take this anymore and destroys her device as she transforms to go stop the fight. Too late. It’s already in progress. Swim is having a great advantage because it is raining and there are puddles everywhere. Ripple is blinded an eye and an arm cut off before the flash of lightning made her realize this is Swim’s weakness as she is unable to turn her body into water. She uses a flash grenade to stun her and take her down. Just to be safe, she stabs her body many times! Ripple is happy to get revenge and the collapses.

By the time Snow White arrives, she is disheartened to see their corpses. Fav congratulates Snow White for being the sole winner without soiling her hands. But Snow White can hear Fav’s worries that if this master terminal is destroyed, it would be troublesome. She tries to break it but Fav assures this master device is very sturdy. But when Fav is mocking other magical girls, Ripple suddenly gets up! Apparently thanks to Snow White’s rabbit foot. Ripple is mad Fav mocked Top Speed as Snow White could hear Fav’s thoughts that he is scared Swim’s weapon can destroy the terminal. Fav will say anything to get out of his predicament so Snow White tells Ripple not to listen. Ripple lunges the weapon and destroys the terminal. Bye Fav. In the aftermath, the site for this magical girl project is gone. Error 404. There are also a lot of news about terrorist organizations and bad guys being taken out mysteriously. It has also been 6 months since Koyuki had run away from home and her friends have never heard from her since. In actual fact, Snow White and Ripple have been going around doing these deeds. They have received messages from the magical world to stop acting on their own but they ignored and deleted them. Snow White and Ripple have a friendly battle with each other as Snow White narrates her love for magical girls. Even if people say they are for young children, she will never stop dreaming.

Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara!
Ah well. What a bittersweet ending. At least the surviving duo go around in secret to do some good for the world. Even if their work goes uncredited, I believe this is what being a true unsung hero and a magical girl they believe in. After all, this might be their way of atoning for the unholy game they participated in despite it was no fault of theirs. Maybe in a way they too are to blame. While Ripple clearly had her hands tainted, Snow White didn’t do anything and that itself might be as good if she joined in the killing spree. Well, at least our heroines didn’t sacrifice themselves and be one with the world! So as you can see, this is what happens when Game of Thrones is a magical girl version. Haha! Too bad the small cast of characters would hardly make any deaths epic. But this isn’t the first anime to have its cast of characters kill each other. Old series like Basilisk and Gantz have already been doing this a long time ago.

Call me a sadist but somehow I was getting more and more engrossed in interested in watching the magical girls take out each other. Yes, this is the main reason why I gradually found this series to be interesting. You rarely have magical girls fight each other in battle royale style and in fact this could be the only show to do so as far as I know. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica may have its dark and grim moments but they don’t turn on each other although they too have one alternate timeline of killing each other.

Upping the dark and grimness of the series is of course the blood splattering and some body parts decapitated. Because you don’t normally see those in ‘normal’ magical girl shows that are laced with toxic magical goodness. So if you want to compare this series with other shows that are liberal and generous with the use of blood such as Shingeki No Kyojin and Drifters, this one makes it more brutal in comparison, don’t you think? So while watching the magical girls use their single unique ability in battle that may not amount to anything much, the sight of blood suddenly splattering and dripping might suddenly leave your jaw agape wide open. Yeah, at least it proves that even magical girls bleed. Get the note, Superman?

Despite many of the episode titles sounding like happy and bright game notices such as “Welcome to a world of dreams and magic!”, “Collect magical candies!”, “Add more friends!”, “New character!”, Up your friendship!”, “Get the super rare items!” and “Notice of new rules”, it feels like they are hardly the theme of the episode. Sure, that may only last for a few moments as the rest of the episode would be as grim and dark. Heck, the final 2 episodes’ titles is somewhat of a reminder of how dark this is going turn out to be, “Server down for maintenance” and “File not found”. Hell, they even added some horror-like suspense and interference to mess with our minds and scare our fragile hearts when these couple of titles popped up.

Another reason why this series is interesting is because of how it threw me off in which magical girl would go first. Yes, I was actually trying to predict who would die first and the last ones to stand. Of course with Snow White being the main protagonist, that is a given she will remain till the end. In short, my predictions were mostly wrong! I expected Ruler would be one of those last bosses because of her b*tch attitude but her early death signals the start of my failed predictions to come. I didn’t expect strong ones like La Pucelle and Winterprison to go out early or in the middle of the series. I didn’t expect Tama or Minael to last that long because they are somewhat the weakest and I saw them as numbers to be killed off. Who’d knew that they actually outlasted the stronger ones. This included Calamity Mary, whom I initially thought would be the last boss just like Ruler and because she is so badass but also went out in the middle. With more known about Cranberry and her unusual strength and power, I thought she would be the last boss then but I was proven wrong again when they picked her off!

Alice as the newcomer I thought she would be in the last 4 because her delayed appearance could mean she is hiding some sort of twist, right? Wrong! And here I was thinking how Sister Nana would be killed, she did the unthinkable and beat me to it by killing herself! I didn’t see that coming for sure! So you see how because all my predictions were off (because I’m so confident after watching a handful of shows about everybody killing everybody over the years) that is why I became engrossed instead of feeling frustrated. Oh heck, I should have guessed Snow White and Ripple would be the last ones standing because their bio-data in the mid-intermission are the first ones to appear. Big hint and sign, dude.

Which brings me to the characters of the series. I have mixed feelings about it. Because of a series that kills off its characters, is it necessary to know about their backgrounds? In some ways, yes. It is a good way to tell us about their back story and how they end up in this game, albeit they do not really impact the flow of the story in any way. It is just to give us some sort of understanding that these are girls, each with their own set of problems to deal with rather than something that would really affect the storyline in general. It gives them character and personality at best. But because there are 16 of them, the limited episodes and screen time means their stories are short and what you see is what you’ll know. That’s all. Therefore me wanting more than 16 characters and bloating it up to say, 50 so I can watch the gore fest might just dilute and make this part cheap. Thank goodness only 16, right? Also, the names of their character and magical girl nicknames reflect their behaviour so if you know your Japanese decent enough, you can guess their attribute and power based on their names.

So when you read the bio-data in the mid-intermission, it practically says everything and all you need to know about them. Every episode features 2 magical girls. It explains their unique ability as well as their general character in normal form. They are also shown their magical girl and normal form too although I wonder why a few do not have their normal form even though we don’t even get to see their real faces very much, at least we get to see in short instances. Like when they’re dead. Yeah, not pretty. My scepticism for Cranberry only increased because as the last bio-data, she is the only one without a real self and Fav is featured in this place. If you count your magical girls right, what happens when they run out of bio-data to show? They display ‘important’ quotes as said from the magical girls! Some are thought provoking like “If it’s talent they want, then they need only eliminate the weak and select the strong” while some are just WTF. “What did I do wrong?” and “Huh? I don’t know”. Huh? Why does Tama’s words like these get featured?!

Snow White being featured as the main protagonist doesn’t feel like one. Thanks to the other magical girls and the ‘fairness’ of giving them their due screen time. Because it is funny come to think of it that Snow White who didn’t even kill a single magical girl, she lasted till the end. It is as though she stayed dormant waiting for other rivals to take each other out before making her appearance. Heck, there are no more others left so who else is going to be in focus? Because for most the middle parts of the series, Snow White is relegated to the background while other magical girls duke it out like Calamity Mary and Ripple settling their score. All mostly can be done without Snow White ever coming into the picture. After La Pucelle’s death, I feel that part of Alice’s role is to help shield Snow White from everything else and part of the reason why Snow White is able to stay safe and alive till the end.

Swim is the most terrifying and deadliest of all characters. Even deadly as she shows no emotions. Heck, she may even be the youngest girl among all the participants and she is already so ruthless. Not sure if she is really this wicked or she is just trying to find her place and live out as what Ruler has told her. Sometimes I find Swim and Alice to be overlapping characters because they are both emotionless and they are both lolis. Heck, even their powers seem to overlap in the sense that it makes them immortal. I also want to comment on the angel twins. Despite looking the cutest of the lot, they give off this impression they are cutely dumb and all that because you see them rejoicing like idiots when things go their way. That itself makes them scary too. Especially when the other is gone, the other turned into a crazy killer. For Tama, I just want to say that the moment I laid eyes on her and get to know her character, she kinda reminds me of that Cartoon Network character, Courage the cowardly dog…

So we’ve got almost every other magical girl having some sort of their own problems like Calamity Mary’s alcoholic ways and the need to dominate others weaker than her, Ripple hating her own mom and Ruler wanting to prove that she is a capable leader. In view of this, I think the happiest magical girls are Top Speed and Sister Nana. This is shown in both their magical girl form and normal form. Ironically Top Speed was an ex-gangster but she is living a pretty happy family life and even expecting! It was just a sad ending for her. Likewise, Sister Nana and Winterprison are perhaps to most lovey-dovey couple. At first I was wondering if Winterprison is actually male because of her androgynous looks. She also tends to wear male-like clothes and play the male role for Sister Nana. So it could be her just being a tomboy and their relationship is still much lesbian? Well, if Winterprison is a guy, it would then overlap with La Pucelle’s character in a few ways. The thing that annoys me about Sister Nana is how she tries to preach to everybody. I’m cool with her being honestly goody-goody but I can somehow relate in real life her kind of character praising and glorifying whatever the speaker is trying to preach/sell/advocate. It’s that kind of annoyance.

Speaking of Fav, this little blob reminds me so much of Kyuubey and even though they have this similar vibe, they feel totally different. Despite when they talk using nice and cute tones but you can sense that there is something hidden beneath all that. Even when they tell you the truth, they tell it straight to you without changing their emotions and talk in the same cute manner they have always been talking to you. Having them as your moderator and contractor, you are really screwed big time. But can you blame them? It’s not like the girls did ask for hidden clauses and conditions at first. Everyone is so happy thinking about their own perceptions of the good it will be being a magical girl till sh*t hits the fan then it’ll be too late. One big difference is that Kyuubey exists physically while Fav feels like his is only digital.

What bothers and confuses me is this magical world thingy and the project Fav is supposed to undertake and report. I’m not sure why they are even doing this as it is not clearly explained and I’m confused if they are really that dumb not to see the magical girls killing themselves. It’s like handing them a project and not even giving a damn about it, so when asked about it periodically, they accept whatever answer and continue not to give a damn. Fabulous. It just shows this magical world isn’t as great as they’re supposed to be or they are just powerless. I mean, why the need of a magical project in the first place, right? Another thing that boggled me is how magical girls lose their attributes if they know about their true identity. Fair enough, if they are in normal form, they won’t have any magical girl powers. But seeing how some of them know each other (like Sister Nana and Winterprison), wouldn’t their power be ineffective? I feel like I’m missing something here… Also I find it redundant that the special magical items cost the purchaser’s lives in years. Because not that it mattered anyhow as they’ll be dead anyway! Get what I mean?! Of course it is to reflect the grimness of the game and to see the desperation of some but like I said, it didn’t matter because all of the purchasers ended up dead in the end.

This series is done by Lerche who has brought to you Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, Hamatora, Danganronpa, Carnival Phantasm, Gakkou Gurashi, Unbreakable Machine Doll and Saijaku Muhai No Bahamut. Thus you can see why the art and drawing style lean towards the moe side like in some of those aforementioned series. Although nothing that extraordinary, sometimes it feels pretty odd to see cute girls killing each other. I can’t say about the character designs because I think magical girls have come a long way since the days of Sailormoon and Cardcaptor Sakura. They aren’t your typical magical girl outfit anymore. Therefore at first it was weird to see a bunch of cosplaying girls running all over town. I mean when you have a witch, ninja, nun, knights, robot, gothic loli and even a cowgirl in the fray, it doesn’t really look like magical girl fest on this level anymore. But I guess this gives a variety of eye candy because if everybody is going to look like palette swap variants of Sailormoon, it would be just bloody boring and pain to look at. Is it me or does La Pucelle look a bit like Saber in some angles?

There are quiet a handful of recognizable seiyuus lending their voices here as I later find out because the shocking thing was how I couldn’t recognize most of them when I should have! Excuse: I was too engrossed in the story and killings for me to strain my ear and listen. So it was really a surprise for me when I discover that Nao Touyama was behind Snow White, Ayane Sakura as La Pucelle, Kikuko Inoue as Calamity Mary and Youko Hikasa as Ruler. They sound so different than their usual. Those that I had barely recognized and took me a while are Yuu Kobayashi as Winterprison and Megumi Ogata as Cranberry. Of course, those outright recognizable are Saori Hayami as Sister Nana and Satomi Arai as Magicaloid.

For the rest I didn’t recognize, they are Manami Numakura as Ripple (Retoree in Show By Rock), Inori Minase as Swim (Chamille in Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou No Alderamin), Rina Hidaka as Alice (Anko in Tamako Love Story), Yumi Uchiyama as Top Speed (Momiji in Binbougami Ga), Risae Matsuda as Minael (Taki in Denpa Kyoushi), Satsumi Matsuda as Yunael (Nagaru in Denpa Kyoushi – hey, the angel twins are voiced by the same seiyuus who played delinquent twins in Denpa Kyoushi too?), Asuka Nishi as Tama (Shinobu in Kiniro Mosaic), Yumiri Hanamori as Nemurin (Hanako in Anne Happy), Kurumi Mamiya as Fav (titular character in Hamtaro – is this what evil hamsters sound like?).

I wonder if Sakebe by Manami Numakura as the opening is fitting for such a series. It is a lively rock outfit but personally even if it does fit action sequences, it doesn’t seem to bode well if you have a series about everybody killing everybody and deaths are for real. Personally the ending theme is more fitting despite it is also another rock piece. Dreamcatcher by Nano starts out all echo-y, making it feel close to Enya’s kind of music. Mixing a good amount of English and Japanese words into the song, it gives some sort of hope after all the grim killings we have seen.

Overall, if you are traumatized after watching cute magical girls kill each other, I recommend to you watching Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara for therapy. Yes, that magical girl show about a magical girl doing no magical girl stuffs. Well, if you really get traumatized after watching this, then you’re not ready to face some of the other magical girl series that are dark in their own way. Better off sticking to old school retro Sailormoon and Cardcaptor Sakura, eh? This show is not for the faint hearted and in my books this is an interesting and remarkable series despite what others have to say about it. It shows us the dark side of humans (magical girls in this case) when life and death are at stake. Lots of moral questions are raised but more importantly do you stick with your principles and do what is right. A great reminder never to jump in the bandwagon when things seem too good to be true. Hmm… Better have a second thought and not click on that invitation and application on social media looking for masters to supervise a harem of beautiful obedient and submissive maids in a large luxurious mansion. Can’t… Resist… Clicking…

Ansatsu Kyoushitsu S2

May 13, 2017

Because the manga has already ended, it is only right that the sequel for Ansatsu Kyoushitsu also ends and gives the series its due closure. This means answering some of the burning questions we have from the previous season like Koro’s origins and the truth behind it all once and for all. With pending doom of mankind at stake, it is a race to see if they can get the monster first or will the monster get humanity first. And if we’re just talking about killing Koro, who will win the race to claim his life? His own students or some other outside party. The past year of doing and overcoming the impossible has all boiled down to this moment. The moment of truth. Year 2016 isn’t such a bad sh*t as everyone thinks it to be when you compare this to the countdown to the end of the world.

Episode 1
Continuing off from last season where class 3-E are on the Okinawa resort for special training but ran into that Takaoka problem (and solved it), Koro wants to push ahead with the test of courage since he hasn’t experienced it yet. He is quite enthusiastic about it (because he wants to play matchmaking) but not his students. Koro plays the ghost but he doesn’t scare them but instead he got scared by some of them! Koro is most disappointed by the end of it. However everyone notices Bitch clinging on to Karasuma. Everyone suddenly has this devilish idea… You bet they’re going to hook Bitch up with Karasuma. But first they need to know Karasuma’s taste before they can proceed. I don’t think anybody knows… Eventually they setup a nice romantic candle lit dinner on the beach. Karasuma can talk nothing except the students’ progression and how at this rate they can kill Koro. It gets sombre really quickly as Bitch asks if he knows what it really means to kill. She kisses her napkin and puts in on Karasuma’s lips. A cool “I love you” before leaving. But in her heart, Bitch must be rueing how pathetic that move was. Karasuma thought she was practising some sort of new killing technique. Koro accompanies his students to the fireworks festival. I’m sure they want to have fun but some have to be cut short because like Chiba and Hayami, they rule the shooting gallery and won everything and had to be banned. In fact, everyone is so good they are making a killing winning all the prizes. They make it look so easy. Koro has no money and has to take up several jobs selling food at the stalls. No problem at that lightning speed. Karasuma attends a government meeting. In addition to the reward 10 billion Yen reward, a successful group assassination will yield 30 billion.

Episode 2
Kaede has this grand idea of using discarded eggs to assassinate Koro. She noticed his weakness that he loves pudding and laments he could eat more. Therefore she has researched a lot in making a giant pudding. Of course inside the pudding there will be those harmful materials in which they will detonate when the time is right. The entire class put in their herculean effort to make this giant pudding. Koro is absolutely please and digs in. Halfway through, suddenly Kaede feels she can’t blow it up. She put in so much effort, it will be a waste to destroy it! Attachment? Of course Koro already picked up and disable the bomb because he smelled plastic explosives. The rest of the pudding isn’t wasted as Koro uses it to make pudding for them. Hey wait. Aren’t those using expired eggs? The students are in a special cops and robbers training. In a limited time, Karasuma has to catch them and put them in ‘prison’ where Koro is the warden. Karasuma is quick and deadly. However thanks to Koro receiving bribes, he turns a blind eye and lets the ‘prisoners’ go. In the end, all of Karasuma’s hard work were for naught. When rumours that a panty thief is striking homes, everyone suspects Koro! I mean, who could steal panties at such speed? Who could have had such perverted fetish? Damn right. It gets even worse when Koro tries to prove his innocence because his entire belongings seem to have lingerie?! Did he really steal them? Yeah, he has even got a record of boob size for all the girls. Kaede is forever flat?! Of course the students wonder if Koro really did this. What would he gain from ruining his reputation? Could it be an imposter? As calculated, they think the panty thief will strike at this big busted idol group renting a place here for their dance practice. Then the real culprit turns up. Obviously not Koro. Just someone in a yellow helmet. Immediately Koro apprehends him. He unmasks him and realizes he is one of the Karasuma’s subordinates. During the confusion, a cage covered with harmful material falls around Koro. This is a trap by Shiro as he has learnt from what his students tried on the island. Swiftly attacking Koro from the top is Itona.

Episode 3
Despite Itona spamming his tentacle attacks, Koro is not fazed by one bit. Instead, he has memorized his attack patterns and knows how he strikes. Koro has also levelled up himself and uses some burst of energy from his tentacles to defeat Itona. Itona’s head hurts because the tentacles are gnawing away his mind from repeated defeats. At this rate he will go crazy and die within a few days. Shiro then abandons Itona seeing he has failed and they need to cut their losses. Itona then runs off and in his madness, attacks handphone shops. When Koro and his students find him, they try to calm him down but Itona is still bent on becoming the strongest and defeat Koro. Suddenly smoke screen is released. Another trap by Shiro. He knows Koro will take responsibility over Itona since he is now his student. Therefore Shiro kidnaps Itona. Then his team tries to target and hurt Itona. It works well since Koro is trying to protect him and bears the brunt of the assault. Luckily the 3-E students get rid of the henchmen. Koro warns Shiro to step down and realize he has lost. Shiro admits he lost this time and will be back after making radical changes to his plans. The problem is now Itona since he is still going crazy. Ritsu has researched about his past. His parents had a factory that supplied smartphones to the world. But 2 years ago, they went bankrupt and missing, leaving Itona behind. It is a reason Itona lusts for power and victory. Noting he is just a delinquent, Terasaka and his groupie take responsibility to solve this. To cheer him up, they let him eat Takuya Muramatsu’s disgusting ramen, ride Taisei Yoshida’s horrible bike on his family’s track and Kirara Hazama trying to convince to read the entire 7 volumes of The Count of Monte Cristo for revenge motivation! Since Itona is still hell bent on revenge, Terasaka shuts him up and relates that he used to think like him. He should get rid of that impossible vision right away. Don’t let a few losses throw you off course. Because it doesn’t have to be now to kill Koro. As long as it is by next March, they can take their time and win by them. With Itona calming down and giving up on that goal, Koro is able to detach the tentacles from his head. Officially Itona is now in Koro’s class and naturally he is under Terasaka’s delinquent group of idiots.

Episode 4
Itona is making an RC tank in his bid to kill Koro. It is silent and deadly. With the guys interested in this idea, it soon dawned to them that they can use this for another sleazy purpose… Watching up girls’ skirt… Yeah… And so most of them chip in to make improvements to the mini tank whenever it runs into trouble and cover its shortfall. Oh, how far did the assassination goal steer away. But Nagisa has noticed Itona has no trouble fitting in nicely with the guys. And then the girls find out and the guys busted. Yeah, everybody just blames Okajima. Even Itona. Poor guy being made the scapegoat… Everyone is surprised to learn Masayoshi Kimura’s first name is supposed to be pronounced as Justice (his parents are cops). This leads to a debate with some of them opining if they like or dislike their given name. It is suggested they give each other code names and call each other that for the day. Despite being written and randomly assigned, it feels more than just coincidence that they get a nickname associating with what they mainly describes them. Wanna guess who is Forever Flat? How about Baseball Brain? Who is Tsundere Sniper? Box Of Moe? Bilingual Blonde? President Poverty? I bet is better than Crassanova. They play a game of tag in which the students have to take down Karasuma. With teamwork, they manage to get him. At the end of the day, only Kimura wonders why he is the only one using his real Justice name. Koro explains about how cool his name will sound when the media needs a tagline to report how a hero saves the world. Names that parents give might not hold any great meaning but it is the meaningful things they do that makes their names great. A cue for Koro to want his class to call him The Eternal Prince Of Tempestuous Desires. Everyone protests and calls him The Pervy Octopus Of Spineless Stupidity.

Episode 5
Nagisa and co visit the café where Isogai works part time and note how cool he is in everything! Is he using his poor status to his advantage? Nevertheless he is cool. However Gakushuu and his friends find out. It is against school rules to work. Isogai pleads to give just a month to get the necessary money but Gakushuu gives him a condition. If they can beat them in a pole toppling match, he’ll disregard this. At first Isogai wants to go this alone since this is his responsibility but we all have to be reminded of Class 3-E’s teamwork. During the game, it seems Class 3-E opts for minimal participants. Only the guys participate. Gakushuu’s side has got even burly American friends? Class 3-E seems like they are going to only defend their pole. The Americans push aside a couple of them and try to topple their pole but their tight defence pays off. When Gakushuu sends his flanking team, Isogai leads a few boys into the middle of the field and gets surrounded. And then they rush off into the spectator stands and it now becomes a chaotic cat and mouse game. Because of their focus on this, Gakushuu didn’t see those couple of them sneaking up from behind and trying to hold him down. Now all Class 3-E boys charge towards Gakushuu’s pole and trying to bring it down. Gakushuu can still fight them off while defending his pole. But the ultimate difference in them is that Gakushuu makes decisions all by himself (so his underlings cannot act without him giving orders) unlike Isogai doesn’t have to make all the decisions himself. He sends in Itona as the secret weapon to tip and topple the pole. Class 3-E wins. With this shocking loss again, it is no surprise they’re going to get their punishment from Asano. First he tells them they already loss the intelligence battle because Class 3-E won the match despite the battle was stacked heavily against them. Then he does a bloody karate lesson on his son and his American friends. Finally, a lesson in life. Asano once lost to a karate master. That frustration led him to master the art for if he failed and humiliate himself again, he would lose himself and die of madness. He then defeated the karate master in a single hit. The question is why Gakushuu’s sense of frustration isn’t eating him alive. Gakushuu keeps his word to not rat on Isogai but he will get him and the entire class next time.

Episode 6
Class 3-E is hopping around from roof to roof. I guess they’ve trained enough to do superhuman abilities. But then they crash into an old man riding his bicycle. He fractured some bones and will be hospitalized for 2 weeks. Because the kids are top secret, Karasuma is negotiating compensation to keep this incident a secret. You can tell Koro is most upset and slaps everyone when they try to give excuses. He tells them off being drunk with their powers makes them no different than the main campus. No answer for that. The old guy is a stubborn goat and won’t accept just any compensation. After Koro sincerely apologizes on their behalf, his students will now have to work without pay at the preschool that he is a principal of. You can tell Sakura is the resident brat and is going to make their life hell. Don’t worry. Nothing untoward happens. She confides with Nagisa and it looks like she is some bully victim too and does badly in her tests. But some little advice from Nagisa to sometimes look back down gives her some hope. Don’t tell me this kid has fallen for him. Two weeks later, the old guy is released. He is not going to expect anything. Wait till he sees his entire preschool building remodelled and expanded in a green way. Even his bicycle is given an eco makeover! Yeah, it’s creepy to think kids their age can do all this perfectly. But what about the relationship with his students? It all means nought if they cannot win their hearts. Well, Sakura has took up Nagisa’s advice and is doing well in her tests. She wants him to continue as her teacher. Hint, hint. Despite their stint is over, Class 3-E has mid-terms tomorrow. Of course they flopped seeing they couldn’t study during that time and are kicked out from top spots. This only gives Gakushuu and his friends ammo to taunt them. However Karma is the only one who studied and took overall 2nd place just behind Gakushuu. He shuts them up that his pals were just giving them space because it would be just bad for them to lose all the time. The class apologizes to Karasuma and also learnt an important lesson to use their powers to help and protect. Then they all demonstrate before Koro the new protective outfits from the government to show him they will use their lessons they learn from him with assassination.

Episode 7
The class realizes Bitch’s birthday was a few days ago. While half of them keep her company (she feels great for being popular), the rest buy a bouquet of roses from a florist. They want Karasuma to hand it to her without revealing where this bouquet came from. He agrees when Karma puts it as winning her over as part of his job. Bitch is totally happy when she receives the flowers. But when he starts talking about the job and end of the world, she realizes that she has been setup by the kids. She was a fool to think Karasuma would do something like this on his own. The class thinks Karasuma is still dense but on the contrary he knows about Bitch’s feelings. If her blade can be dulled by romance, she is not qualified for work and will hire another assassin. For 3 days, Bitch has never come to class. Has she quit? Then the florist waltzes in. He is actually an assassin nicknamed Reaper. He shows Bitch captured and wants them to come to a specific location or he’ll cut up and send her parts to them equally. The kids have no choice but to do this without alerting the other teachers as they realize this is probably another guy who is trying to take advantage of them to draw out Koro. They enter some bunker which turns out to be a big prison. But they’re not going to just sit there and wait. They bust out but the true nightmare starts. Uhm, Reaper is like a shadow? He is on a different level than them and quickly owns them. Not even Nagisa had the time to react. Half of the other class went to look and rescue Bitch. When they cut her free, she immediately tranquilizes them. She is in cohorts with Reaper and sure fooled them. Itona is the last one left standing and he makes the wise decision to surrender because he knows they cannot beat them. After all, he has learnt that today is one of those days they can lose. Reaper puts them in a cell. He is surprised Karasuma has tracked them. Thanks to Koro acting like a dog…

Episode 8
Bitch acts like Reaper’s hostage to let their guard down. This allows Koro to fall into a trap and put in the same cell as his students. Oh, the cell is laced with those dangerous materials. Don’t lick your way out… Also, everyone has got a bomb in their collar that will explode if Reaper activates it. Reaper plans to flood this entire canal but he needs to activate it at the command room above. Karasuma will not allow this and places the safety of his students higher than the world’s destruction. He is going to fight Reaper but he flees. While Karasuma tries to disable the traps he set along the way, Bitch moves in to kill Karasuma. She knows the risk as an assassin and is prepared to die. Oh really? Because she sure hell didn’t know Reaper plans to sacrifice her when he explodes the ceiling. While Karasuma is safe, she is pinned under a rubble. Naturally Karasuma wants to go after Reaper since Bitch has defected but the students plead to safe her. Everybody makes mistakes, right? Well, may I remind you that you have only one chance to save Earth? Anyway, while we see Bitch’s tragic past that made her decide to go into the assassinating world, Reaper detonates the collar bomb but it seems the students have easily taken it off and are hiding behind the camera’s blind spot. When Reaper goes back to Bitch and telling her about the world is about deceive or being deceived, you know karma is a b*tch when he gets what is coming. Bitch plays him out to deceive him so Karasuma could take on him in melee combat. Reaper’s horrifying truth is exposed: He has no face! What a way to improve on his disguising skills? Reaper thought he won when he shoots a mini hole in Karasuma’s veins that will make him bleed to death. He didn’t know Koro elongated his tentacle to block the shot. He is then kicked in the nuts! Ouch! Well, he is human after all. In the aftermath, Bitch expects to be sexually abused by everyone (or does she really want it?) but everyone wants her to just come to class. Karasuma gives a rose he took from Reaper to her. Even if it is just one, I guess she’s happy. But so sorry, nothing racy happens after that. To stop the students being used in future assassinations, Koro wants a safe environment for killings. WTF?! Isn’t that contradicting? Karasuma talks to the ministry about no pay out for the bounty if the students get injured and he agrees seeing they are done hiring freelance assassins. It will be their last assassination project with an international coalition.

Episode 9
Ironically if Koro is going to destroy the world, why would class 3-E need to have a career discussion? Of course Nagisa is still in a dilemma as he ponders if he should use his talents to become an assassin. Koro has him think again and if he truly wants to become one, he’ll support him. But that is the least of his problems. When he returns home, his mom has had enough of his ‘mediocre’ grades and wants him back in the main campus. Of course she is going to do that by giving a ‘generous donation’. But when Nagisa protests, mom goes into a rage. He should have known better to speak out when she is in a gloomy mood. Nothing he will say will convince her. We hear her rant about her failed live and thus living her dreams through Nagisa. Another reason why Nagisa looks so girly is that mom wanted a daughter. Mom has decided to go talk to his homeroom teacher tomorrow. Because Karasuma is officially listed and he is away, Koro will disguise as him. It sucks… After Koro hears her out, he asks if Nagisa wants it but mom tells him as a kid he doesn’t know anything. Koro then takes off his wig. This is to imply there are things Nagisa must decide himself because this is his life. Unless Nagisa wills it, Koro cannot allow his transfer. Mom blows her top (wow, like an earthquake happening) and leaves while vowing to prove them all wrong. That night during dinner, Nagisa is drugged out by mom. He wakes up outside the school grounds. She wants him to burn it down with his own hands so that he would feel ashamed to come back here. Nagisa won’t do it so she goes into that usual rant of the cost and time it took for her to raise her and blames it on this class for making her disobey her. But a whipping assassin is here and this makes mom scared. Nagisa easily uses his talent to knock him out. Nagisa is grateful mom raised him but wishes for her to be happy watching him grow up. Koro assures her son isn’t going to betray her. He is just getting ready to leave the nest like everyone. With all the tension gone, she faints. On the way back, Koro asks if Nagisa still wants to become an assassin. All Nagisa knows is that he wants to use his talents to protect the ones he loved. So that rules out being an assassin. From now on, Nagisa makes breakfast and will do the house chores to lighten his mom’s burden. He hopes she could let him stay in class 3-E. She might not look happy but telling him to do what he wants is a sign of approval.

Episode 10
Class 3-E will be selling acorn noodles for the cultural festival. Of course this is an indirect competition with Gakushuu’s class who is organizing a great party-cum-concert to crush their eternal rivals. Hey, Gakushuu jamming away… Focusing on Class 3-E, we’ve got the bullies from the school trip visiting. They want to say bad about their food but their reactions don’t lie. They’ll spend more when Bitch seduces them to. Remember that kid, Yuuji? The one who had a crush thinking Nagisa was a girl? He’s here too! Nakamura makes Nagisa wear a skirt to serve him. A ploy to milk some money out of this rich kid? Whose idea is it to ask Nagisa to date him for 10 grand?! But their ‘date’ is interrupted when lots of other weird characters like Lovro and Red Eye pop up. They freak the hell out of Yuuji but Nagisa lies they are some sort of comedians. Eventually Yuuji knows he is lying. His date often meets up with famous people and he can tell when a person puts up a fake smile. That is when Nagisa comes clean with everything including revealing himself as a boy (but short of revealing his manhood to prove it!). Sorry Yuuji. That wasn’t a lie. He leaves disappointed and Nagisa feels guilty for deceiving him. The next day, they see a long line to their store. It seems Yuuji is now a famous food blogger and he praises very high their menu. So we’ve got all sorts of normal people and weirdoes coming. Hey. Isn’t that guy from Saiki Kusuo No Psi Nan? Isn’t that guy from Kuroko’s Basket?! And isn’t that afro dude from Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo???!!! Class 3-E could have kept going if not for Koro stopping them for the day. They are blessed to have such bounty and continuing would mean destroying the ecosystem. The last customer is Nagisa’s mom. She apologizes and has accepted him as his own person. She hopes he can stay with her for a little while. After all, she is his only mom. Although Gakushuu’s class comes up tops, Class 3-E takes 3rd place and this is already abuzz among the students in the main campus.

Episode 11
Gakushuu seems to be satisfied with his win over Class 3-E although his father would have preferred him to go further like food poisoning. When Gakushuu mentions about strength in defeat, Asano talks to his friends for 3 minutes alone. When Gakushuu returns, they have all become hating zombies for Class 3-E. Asano doesn’t believe he taught such fragile strength and will handle the final term exams. Asano knows that Koro’s assassination is moving to the next phase so he ‘blackmails’ the authority to send another billion into his account or he won’t guarantee the secrecy of this project. They have to since he is already so ‘kind’ in lending his school for this mission. Asano takes over teaching the top class. Teaching syllabus that is on par with college level? Everyone becomes a study zombie and those who slack a little gets a short talk and return as Class 3-E hating zombies. When Asano tells his son to go home and study since he is expected to take top spot, that’s the last straw. Class 3-E is surprised Gakushuu is requesting them to kill Asano. Not physically but his education policies. He prides in his school’s top students so if Class 3-E surpasses that, it will ruin his stance. They think he wants his father’s attention. Gakushuu explains the chilly relationship the father and son always had since the beginning. But he is worried of his methods turning his friends studying beyond their limit with only hatred for Class 3-E. In the future they will think this is the only way. Gakushuu might look down on his friends but if that happens, they won’t be able to support him. He is grateful for some of the defeats opened his eyes and hopes they can show his father a proper defeat. Class 3-E will take on the challenge like they’ve always do. They’ll try their best to win. Koro talks to Asano before the exams. Asano knows this is Koro’s first time as a teacher and since he never said why, he thought beating him would allow him to know. Koro says there are only 2 reasons why one teaches. Either they want to pass their success or warn of their failures. The exams get on the way. Class 3-E handles each subject like how they always approach. Then the final boss in terms of an unknown syllabus pops up. It seems only Karma is prepared to take this head on.

Episode 12
Gakushuu and Karma are the only ones who manage to reach the final tough ass question. Each has their own metamorphic vision and way to solve it. But it is only Karma who manages to ‘easily’ solve it while Gakushuu ran out of time and was just a line away from completion. In the end when the results come out, Karma takes top spot and Gakushuu second. But if Terasaka who is always dead last in Class 3-E ends up 46th overall, this means the other Class 3-E students made it into the top 50! The rest of the top 10 are occupied by Class 3-E. Time for a celebration. But it isn’t for the main campus. Although they did well in the first half of the questions, as the questions became more difficult, they started losing their composure. Vengeance can only get you so far and cramming everything last minute won’t do. Everyone is depressed and Gakushuu isn’t proud of his marks either. He hopes everyone can work together and they can find a way to win. But Asano interrupts and guarantees he will improve their mind-set. However everyone is clear that this method isn’t working and thinks defeat sometimes can help make them learn better. They are prepared to be dropped to End Class. When Gakushuu points out the class has spoken, Asano slaps him that he flies quite a distance! With that shock on his face, it is proof that his policies are failing. But he isn’t going to give up yet. Although Class 3-E have qualified to return to the main campus, they’re staying put. It’s more fun here, right? Suddenly an excavator tries to demolish their building. Asano will have them transfer to a new campus with facilities akin to a prison as culmination of his educational policies. He views them no longer useful to his policies and this is where he will kill Koro. A dismissal notice?! Of course he is going to give Koro and his class a chance to stay with this little game. There are 5 bombs. 4 of which will kill Koro and 1 will kill a human. He inserts them randomly into a page. Koro is to solve that problem on that page fast enough before it explodes. He will do 4 and Asano will do the final one. Koro wins if he can survive all that. This game might sound like it favours Asano. It is since the world is about injustice and the weak can only kill the strong via assassination. That is why he has trained them to be the strong ones. Koro picks a random book. However he panics in solving it and the bomb goes off. Asano knows his reaction and speed drops when he flusters and will never overcome this trap. 3 more to go. Asano plans to use the money from his assassination and with the backing of the ministries to teach the nation of his education policies and mechanisms.

Episode 13
However Koro is able to finish his remaining tasks in lightning speed. Although he memorized all textbooks in Japan, this one gave him a little problem because he lent it to one of his students for quite a while and couldn’t quite recall it instantly. Now it is Asano’s turn. He stares in disbelief like as though his plan has failed and only death awaits him. Time for flashback. He once started a cram school at this dilapidated building. With only 3 students to boot, he was a decent teacher. They graduated well and with his reputation increasing, other parents soon started sending their kids to him. Many years later, one of his first students gave him a courtesy call to meet up. But when Asano do so, he was shocked to attend his funeral. Apparently he committed suicide from bullying. This made Asano rethink his education policies and that he needs to make strong students. He started learning martial arts and brainwashed techniques and managed to build a big new campus while leaving the old one behind as reminder of his failure. Now Asano opens the book and instantly gets blown away, believing that Koro will still destroy the Earth when the time comes. Because when Earth is gone, the end will come equally to everyone. However Koro used his skin to protect Asano. He knows how he thinks because they are both educators. Had Koro won, there was no doubt Asano would have opted to blow himself up. Koro is lucky because he has Class 3-E. But this only happened because of Asano. Since Asano isn’t the straightforward guy to admit he has lost, he puts it as Koro accepting his policy and this will allow Class 3-E to remain. Gakushuu can tell his father lost but has also grown since he admits he too will improve as an educator and a parent. As reward, Koro tells his students his ultimate weakness. Just hold down his tentacles and he can’t move. Of course they know it is impossible because had they done it, the assassination would be impossible and he told them because it was impossible in the first place. For the drama festival, Class 3-E does a twisted version of Momotarou. It involves a greedy old man, divorce papers, divorce lawyers and the darkness of the heart. Yeah, very deep stuffs there.

Episode 14
While cleaning the shed, Kaede thinks it is the right time. Untying her hair, a couple of tentacles sprout from the back of her neck as she attacks Koro. She has observed him enough to know his tentacles’ attacking pattern. Of all the types of attacks, falling into a pit is the easiest. Koro falls into the pit and at the bottom are those harmful materials. With Kaede falling above him, he is having it hard to escape but eventually manages to blast a hole to get out. Her classmates are shocked to see Kaede’s other personality. Kaede says this isn’t her real name. She calls Koro a murderer and she is Aguri Yukimura’s younger sister. He seems to know who she is. With that, Kaede will get her revenge another time soon. Everyone remembers Yukimura was their previous homeroom teacher of Class 3-E before Koro. Kaede could be the most famous prodigy actress, Haruna Mase. Apparently Shiro also knows about her. Although she is not under his programme, her great acting skills hid well the pain of the tentacles without showing it to everyone. Flashback reveals Akari (Kaede’s real name) went to visit her sister at the facility but an explosion occurred. As she crawled in, she saw her sister dead and some tentacle creature draped in her blood before flying off. She saw a note saying how it was going to be a homeroom teacher at Kunigigaoka for negotiations. She also found a couple of vials containing tentacle weapons for human implantation. Vengeance and hatred fuels her as she injects the tentacles and will play the perfect part so she could get her revenge. She then dyed her hair and enrolled herself at Kunigigaoka and decide to make Nagisa the main character and herself as the side character. Everyone watches an old movie that Kaede acted in and they confirm it is really her. They wonder if she has been putting up an act all the while. They want to know the truth from Koro or else they can’t accept what is happening. Koro agrees but Kaede has left a message for their duel. At the field, Kaede admits she was faking everything. All part of her acting. Everything. Although some were out of her control, she had to hide her emotions so as not to let her identity slip or else Koro will notice. That is why she is always next to Nagisa as his murderous intent hides her actual feelings. Her classmates can’t believe Koro would do anything this cruel as they remember Yukimura’s short stint as a caring teacher. Kaede attacks Koro with her flaming tentacles. She is channelling the pain until she doesn’t feel it anymore. At this rate she will die as the tentacles are taking over her mind. It seems she is going all out but Nagisa wonders if this is her true feelings. Amidst the madness of wanting to kill Koro and see him die, deep inside she is crying for help.

Episode 15
Because of the bloodlust of the tentacles synchronizing with Kaede, Koro cannot just remove them. His plan is to let her attack his weak point located underneath his heart. At that point, somebody needs to talk to her to reduce her bloodlust and then he’ll remove the tentacles to minimize damage. But wouldn’t that kill Koro? Don’t worry. The odds of dying is 50%. Their graduation is more important than his life. So while everyone wonders what to do, Nagisa walks up to Nagisa after Koro straps her. He isn’t going to do a clap of death. Instead he kisses her! OMG! I see some people’s handphone was whipped out faster than the speed of light. This shock reduces Kaede’s bloodlust and Koro is able to extract the tentacles safely. Of course now everyone teases Nagisa but a sniper’s shop almost killed Koro but missed. It is Shiro and his mysterious assassin. Shiro unmasks himself and he is someone Koro knows: Kotarou Yanagisawa, a researcher. He will be his final opponent. Kaede explains at first she was driven by revenge but as she spends more time with Koro, his kindness confused her so she thought of investigating more before acting but by then the tentacles won’t let her back down. Of course with how things turn out now, she doesn’t have to act. Now Koro has to keep his bargain to tell everyone about his past. If you wonder why he is able to teach everyone without a hitch, it is because up until 2 years ago, he was known as the Reaper. The original one. Here is another secret. Whether they successfully assassinate him or not, come March he will still die. Either alone or taking Earth along.

A poor boy born in the slums, he chose to be an assassin as the only truth he believed was that once you’re dead, you don’t come back. After becoming a successful assassin, he was captured and became a subject experiment under Yanagisawa whose purpose is to generate antimatter within life forms. He is subject to torturous experiments every day although his only respite is Yukimura whose job is to check on his vitals after each experiment. Though kind on him, because she is married to Yanagisawa out of pity, he regularly abuses her if she doesn’t get the job done. Like the obedient wife, she doesn’t fight back. One day he can’t stand Yanagisawa’s wife beating and knocks him out with some ultra sound wave. Reaper also found out Yukimura was a teacher though the latter feels he makes a better teacher than her. Ironically he claims that it was one of his students who betrayed him and thus why he ended up here. That student was that faceless Reaper who assumed his identity. Reaper found it baffling because he supervised and developed him almost perfectly and yet this happened. Yukimura thinks his student probably just wanted to be seen by him. As the experiments go on, Reaper was slowly turning into a monster. Of course Yukimura didn’t say anything and continued to obediently observe with a smile despite deep down she knew something was wrong. She as Yanagisawa has intended is supposed to be a living sacrifice.

Episode 16
Reaper’s body becomes more flexible as the experiment goes on. His only respite is talking to Yukimura. He learns Yanagisawa wants her to leave her teaching job to be full time here. She thinks that is the best too because she believes she has failed to give her current students motivation. However she is in a dilemma because she loves her students and being a teacher. It was the first time Reaper consoled her with a genuine smile and encouraged her she could do it. There was a lab rat subjected to the same experiment like Reaper earlier. It was placed on the moon but it starts going berserk and explodes, destroying 70% of the moon. If this the consequences from a lab rat, what are the consequences from a human? That’s right. Full planet annihilation. It will be on 13th March. Yanagisawa wants this experiment stopped and kill Reaper. Yukimura heard this and tells Reaper but this is all part of his plan. He has been waiting to unleash his newfound powers. Despite Yukimura’s plea to not go down the path of evil, he dismisses and threatens to kill her if she doesn’t escape. After all, how can a puny human like her stop him? She’s not even worth holding as hostage. Yanagisawa and his security team go all out to stop Reaper but he has turned into a killing machine slaughtering everything. Luckily those harmful materials as traps are around but not enough to kill him. In the midst of the chaos, Yanagisawa is blinded in his left eye.

Once the facility is destroyed, Reaper thinks of taking this world with him since he is going to die anyway. Yukimura tries to stop him by hugging him but this triggers a trap and it pierces her. This was part of her plan. She thought if her words don’t get through him, this will. It made Reaper think he could have saved her and instead of using his powers for destruction, used it to help others. Yukimura doesn’t mind if she dies for him. She hopes he would use his remaining time to teach her students who are also wandering in the darkness like him. Reaper vowed to use his remaining time to become a teacher. Therefore it is Yukimura he has to thank for in teaching him to be a teacher for she truly looked at people before herself and not judge them on their weaknesses. With everyone hearing Koro’s full story, memories of the last 9 months spent with him flash through their minds. It then dawned upon them if they really have to kill him. After all 13th March is the same day of Kunigigaoka’s graduation day. As winter break arrives, nobody thought up of any assassination plan. Kaede is still recovering in hospital and although she feels at home when her friends visit, she still cannot get over the fact Nagisa kissed her. That ruined her acting abilities. Can’t act again? By the time the third term comes, Koro is the only one chirpy as usual and his students aren’t in the mood. Only 64 days to D-Day. Karasuma wonders if Koro can still carry out his duties as a teacher after that revelation. If Koro can’t be flexible as the situation calls for it, he wouldn’t qualify as a teacher. Bitch motivates the students to think about it instead of giving up. Nagisa calls his classmates together as he wants to think of a way to save Koro.

Episode 17
However Nakamura is against Nagisa’s idea. Koro has worked hard to build this bond over the past year and it is precisely the reason why they have to kill him. Karma adds that by not using their assassination skills would be an insult to weaker ones who tried to kill Koro. With their ideas clashing, Karma eggs Nagisa to fight him and they really did. The guys try to break them up and surprisingly Koro intervenes to mediate. He suggests having a paintball death match. One side will represent to kill him and the other to save him. Whichever side wins will have that wish respected with no grudges. So the students divide themselves as they give their reasons why they want to kill or save Koro. Except for Ritsu due to her programming conflict, she remains neutral. Yeah, how the heck is a computer going to run in the jungle? With both sides having equal numbers, it eventually looks like a fight between team Nagisa (to save) and team Karma (to kill). A team wins when the other side is completely annihilated or capture the enemy’s flag. The game begins with lots of high skill jungle guerrilla tactics. One by one both sides take each other out. Just when Karma thought his side has more people to capture the flag, they are instantly killed off by Nagisa who came into the scene as silent and deadly. Yup, an ultimate showdown between Nagisa and Karma eventually.

Episode 18
Karma realizes Nagisa was hiding behind Karasuma who is the referee to hide his presence. When Karma walks out in the open, daring Nagisa to shoot him, the latter knows he can’t because it would be contradicting to his policy to save Koro with this dirty tactic. The only way is a hand to hand combat. So we see them analyse each other from their past before the action begins. Karma theoretically is better since he is more accustomed to fights. But Nagisa’s resourcefulness has him fight on par with him. Just when it looked Karma knocked out Nagisa, Nagisa was playing possum and used his last ounce of strength to use his clap stun. Karma saw it coming and withstood that. Nagisa quickly draws out his knife at him. However it was a decoy as he tosses it away and then jumps to choke him in his arms so he would give in. Karma manages to reach a knife and could have easily stabbed him but he realizes this win won’t be acceptable because Nagisa was fighting him via martial arts. Karma gives up but Nagisa was so in focus he couldn’t hear till Karasuma called out. With this settled, everyone is back to being friends again. Later, the class learns that there are many other research teams doing their own research in a bid to save Earth. Many are top official secrets but Ritsu has hacked her way in. One of them that caught their eye is an American research team conducting some experiment on ISS. But how are they going up there to steal its data? Koro reveals a craft made by Japan to be launched carrying an experimental dummy to ISS. What if it carries real humans? That’s right. They’re going to ride it up there. If you’re going to do it, go all the way!

Episode 19
Class 3-E research and experiment about going to space. As the rocket can only carry 2 people, at first all the guys are eager to volunteer. But then not so when they find out how unproven its maiden voyage is. It is suggested Nagisa and Karma take the ride. So we see the rest of Class 3-E sneaking into the base and hijacking the remote controls of the command centre. Too easy. Nagisa and Karma then snuck into the capsule as it blasts off to ISS. After docking, the duo take one of the astronauts hostage and threaten with a bomb. However the astronauts are calm and composed. They are also trained soldiers and have been running experiments not knowing when it is going to blow up so a little bomb threat is nothing. After talking about their plan to get their data, the astronauts agree to hand it to them. After helping them do a bit of chores. Nagisa and Karma say their goodbye as the astronauts view them as true heroes. On the orbital re-entry, Ritsu helps with the calculations and of course Koro helping a bit with his pushing. They land safely and back in the classroom, Okuda analyses the data to make medicine that will decrease the risk of Koro exploding down to 1%. Heck, it is easy to make and the components seem to be that poison Okuda made before. However the dilemma now is whether to continue with their assassination of Koro, which was what this class was about. Should they call it off as of today? Wait. I thought they wanted to save him? Nagisa, it’s your call. As long as Koro is around, the government will not call off the assassination programme even if the chances are small. From all those fancy motivational words Nagisa says, I guess we’re still going to keep up with this assassination thingy as their conviction. Because their ‘assassination’ is proof of their bond with Koro.

Episode 20
Koro tries to do Christmas and New Year all in February because they’ve missed it. Besides, it’ll be their last if the world is destroyed. Nevertheless, the students talk about their future plans. Almost all would love to go to high school or college other than Kunigigaoka but not Karma. He wants to stay back because what better way than to tease and get back at those for putting him here. Nagisa is unsure about his occupation. So when Sakura notes he should be a teacher because that is what he is to her (or he could be her boyfriend!), Nagisa contemplates on that. Valentine’s Day is here. Nakamura and Karma know it is all written over on Kaede’s face that she wants to give her chocolates to Nagisa. Yeah, one kiss could screw up her entire acting skills. So in their bid to enjoy teasing her, they show her the other students giving their chocolates in their own way. They’ll take care of Koro who has become some sort of paparazzi. Just hand him a sexy photo of Yukimura in her swimsuit and he will be focused on it for days to come. At first Kaede is nervous but eventually seeing Nagisa for who he is, she gives her chocolates in her cheery and natural way. Too bad only Okajima didn’t get any chocolates. Heck, even Asano gave Koro chocolates because he realized the importance of Koro supporting students from the bottom as he ruled from the top. Bitch is also throwing a lavish Valentine’s dinner for Karasuma but he isn’t impressed. Of course they get to business talking about the assassination in with Bitch feels it isn’t so bad if the world ended because it will spare the students the heartache of failure. Karasuma wants her to quit after this is over as her emotions don’t make her fit to be an assassin. She is upset about this as there is no way she could go back walking in the sun. He offers her to work with his department to save more lives rather than kill. Bitch feels she is all alone if she does so but he vaguely hints she could come stay with him. You mean like, getting married and become part of his family?! She won’t miss this chance even if the world ends.

Episode 21
With everyone qualifying to get into their high school of their choice, Koro decides to celebrate by making a yearbook. However he has scandalous and embarrassing photos of everyone he has took for the past year! Peeping master?! The students rip all of them! I guess there is nothing left but to take new photos then. Nagisa tutors Sakura and hopes with this last test she could go back to school without fear. But she still has trauma of being bullied so Nagisa uses his deadly assassin technique which also serves as a double edged sword to calm her nerves down. This leads him to decide he wants to become a teacher. When Koro is alone at school one night, the government initiates their final plan to kill him. A super space laser cannon fires down on the school. Wow. Did they get inspiration from some video game? It doesn’t destroy anything but Koro. However he manages to dodge it. They expect this and initiate laser cannons that lock him inside the school. It won’t kill him but just a cage to prevent him from escaping. Because the laser cannon was fired at only 20% to avoid him detecting it. It will recharge in a week and will be blasted at 100%. With the military cordoning the area off, they also let the press know about the dangerous monster that destroyed part of the moon. The students didn’t like how the media is making Koro look like the bad guy but even if they plead he is a good guy, they think Koro made them say this and the trauma of being held hostage by him. The students see Karasuma for an explanation. Time’s up. It’s their turn to act. So they’re b*tching about others stealing their prey when they couldn’t kill or save him in time? Nagisa remains stubborn so Karasuma tackles him and says don’t give him any more trouble. But Nagisa knows this is a coded plea for help because he remembers he told them he will need their help whenever in trouble. Koro doesn’t fear death but his wish is to see his students one last time. At least he has ample time to do a supersize yearbook. The students do lots of careful and elaborate planning to sneak back into school. Then they make a move with 3 hours left to the deadline.

Episode 22
We see how the students take out all the soldiers guarding the area with ease. It’s their home ground anyway. It’s to show us how much they have grown. Finally they get to meet Koro. Time for their final lesson on happiness, gratitude and life. It’ll be full of frustrations and pressure anyway so don’t renounce society when that happens. They then proceed to celebrate Koro’s birthday. Since it is already a year since the moon was partly destroyed, Yukimura decided to make it his birthday. But the celebration is interrupted when Yanagisawa and his mysterious assassin attacks. The latter is no other than Reaper. He is literally now a tentacle monster! He is considered a much better version of Koro as all his skills are amplified. Because he volunteered for this experiment, his hatred makes it possible to be compatible with the tentacles. Also, his tentacles are not designed for long term. This means they can draw out more energy at the exchange of shortening his lifespan. Even when he dies, there is no danger of him exploding. Koro remembers taking on Reaper as his student. Despite he taught him well and never saw any avenue for him to betray, he realized he wasn’t properly looking at him. For example, Reaper wanted to show off what he learnt but was cut short or Koro didn’t show interest. Yanagisawa isn’t going to let Reaper do all the work. He injects himself with the serum to attain superhuman powers. At this point he doesn’t care about his own life. As long as he can kill that monster who took everything away from him, it’s a fair trade. Koro isn’t going to stand there and get his ass handed to him. He is going to show for the first time what it means to fight back with every last ounce of strength.

Episode 23
Koro is losing?! Arienai! Koro wants Yanagisawa to stay out since as a teacher he wants to guide his former student back to the right path. Dastardly Yanagisawa reveals why he chose this time to act. Because it makes his other students easy targets! He has Reaper attack them and Koro is forced to protect them and takes a real beating. Just when everybody starts thinking that the students are Koro’s biggest weakness ever, Koro dismisses all because his students risked their limbs to save him. That is why they are not a weak point or hindrance and is proud of them. Anyhow, Yanagisawa plans to slaughter them all once Koro is dead. He is going to run out of energy sooner or later. Kaede then jumps in to fight. As an ex-tentacle user, she could put up a decent fight but it isn’t long before she gets pierced through her body! Her death makes Koro go into full rage. So it’s like powering up like Super Saiyan too? When the monsters clash, it seems Koro is giving out all sorts of colourful lights which they deduce are his emotions. The blast is so powerful that it knocks away Yanagisawa out of the field. Because his cells are made up of those tentacle materials, this means he gets instantly disintegrated once he is outside the barrier. As for Reaper, Koro stabs him in the heart to give him a ‘peaceful’ graduation. Flashbacks of Reaper trying to appeal to Koro. All he wanted was to be acknowledged by him. To be like him. Koro now understands how he feels. Had he acted differently, he might have been able to guide him down a different path. With Koro’s victory, there is no joy because Kaede’s dead, right? Well not quite. When she was stabbed, Koro managed to quickly take her blood and somatic cells and stored them in sterile pressured air. All during battle! Can you believe it?! After all, he has already reserved a few tentacles to protect his students all the while. Then he does surgery on Kaede to bring her back to life! WTF?! KORO IS GOD!!!!!! With Kaede up and back, it’s time for a big group hug. Now they can celebrate. Koro wonders if Yukimura would think he has done a good job as a teacher because the important thing is not to repeat one’s mistakes.

Episode 24
Koro is tired and collapses, though still conscious. He reminds them he is weak enough for them to kill. Yes. That time has come. The class takes a vote on who wants to save him. All raise their hands. Who wants to kill him? After a little hesitant, all also raise their hands. Make up your minds! As they pin him down, the important thing that never crossed their mind: Who is going to kill him? Nagisa will do it. Koro says his goodbye but keeps it short since an entire day won’t be enough if he is to say it personally to everyone. So he takes class 3-E’s final attendance. So for a good 6 over minutes, we hear Koro say every name of his 28 students slowly and his advice and what they have learnt throughout the year. Then it’s time for Nagisa to stab his heart. But he becomes scared, his hands shaking. He goes crazy but Koro touches him and doesn’t want him to kill him in that state. Be calm. Smile. Nagisa did just that and then stabs the knife in. Goodbye. Koro disappears amidst the glowing yellow balls he is disintegrating to. Once he is gone, it is a big crying fest. Everybody cries. Even badass delinquents cry. Even teachers cry. Even the robot cries. Even I cried :’(. While Karasuma handles the military outside, the students return to their classroom only to find Koro has left each on their desk a graduation scroll, a very thick yearbook and an equally thick guidebook on how to live. They read until they fall asleep in the morning. They have graduated.

Episode 25
Karasuma thanks and apologizes to his students. Surprisingly they have moved on and thank him instead for all the support. During the graduation ceremony, Nagisa realizes that Koro has never mentioned about the E-class system being wrong. Because if you have time to whine and complain, might as well use it to change things. Nagisa is shocked to see his dad attending the ceremony with mom. Apparently Koro talked to him before and because he heard how hard his son is trying, he decided to give his family another chance. Wow. Koro even went this far to help him? Another round of tears. After the ceremony is over, unruly reporters try to interview them. Karasuma and his men have their hands full. But Gakushuu and his cronies take command to lead them out to safety. In the after math, the E-class is abolished and the campus is abandoned. As a result for putting those students’ life in danger, Asano resigned from his post. His old students return to help him out. Class 3-E students were paid the reward money as promised but they followed Koro’s advice by donating it to various places and returning the bulk of it to the government for their support. 7 years on, it looks like Karasuma and Bitch are married but things remain the same. Bitch is still trying to flirt with him but he remains a no-nonsense guy. Is it no wonder why they have no children? Hint, hint… Some of the (former) class 3-E students return to their old campus to clean it up since they manage to buy the area. Shouldn’t they have used the reward money to do this? I guess they weren’t thinking about it then. We hear how some of them are doing like Kaede a prominent actress, Sugino a famous baseball player, some with family business go help their parents out and Karma going into politics. All the while thanking and praising Koro for the precious guidance he has imparted. Lastly, Nagisa is now a trainee teacher but it looks like he might have got the short end of the stick because he is in the baddest most delinquent school ever! Hey, is he in the wrong anime? Say, Beelzebub?! The punks think they can bully him but they said the taboo word ‘kill’. Instinctively Nagisa scares them with his killing technique to make those pussies wet their pants. Now how is the real boss? He even dares them to ‘kill’ him before graduation. Koro sensei v2?

To Sir With Love
Although it is quite sad that Koro couldn’t be with his students in the end as some sort of plot twist, I somewhat feel this is a fair ending for everybody and to the series. I know this sounds cliché but Koro might not be physically around but he will always be in their hearts. His demise I feel was somewhat a timely atonement for his earlier sins and despite for that short single year, he is able to make the most out of it and atone his wrongdoings as an assassin. This allows his students to move on and lead fulfilling lives because had Koro continued to live, it would have diluted and cheapened the bond and preparation they worked so hard for the past year. It would be an insult. Even if it was a plot twist, it wouldn’t be a good one. Because bringing back the dead with some sort of lame excuses (to make viewers who can’t handle death happy?) would be the dumbest and insulting thing to us viewers too. So yeah, while it might be sad that Koro is gone but take heart that the world didn’t end and everyone gets to continue living their ordinary lives. Some perhaps more extraordinary than others.

Too bad I thought they would make Nagisa and Kaede and item seeing they did so with Karasuma and Bitch. I guess they are still young and have lots of things to do before they settle down. If not Kaede, maybe Sakura? Oh dear, he’s got a little harem there if I should say. Oh Nagisa, you’re starting to look like a playboy here but thanks to all that assassination and conspiracy drama all around, this romance thingy felt like a distraction than a potential that would blossom. But then again, knowing how Nagisa would think, this kind of romance would be the last on his mind because his current passion now is to be a teacher. I am not sure if Nagisa is going to impart the same assassinating techniques Koro taught him onto the delinquents. But it will be totally awesome if those punks suddenly become the new generation of assassins like Nagisa and his classmates. Or will they bring a new worldly disaster with their newfound powers? Another assassination classroom story for another day.

The pacing of the story towards the finish feels decent as it builds up to what actually became of Koro. So this means that the character development for the other lesser students of class 3-E didn’t get their own screen time as I thought they would. Because right till the end, there are a handful that I didn’t even know their names! So it was somewhat a right move for Koro to take their final attendance because boy I was surprised that a few of them I didn’t even know they existed! Hey. Was this guy in class 3-E before? Of course they are but usually in the background. So while we have a few character developments in focus like on Terasaka and his groupies and Kimura, the rest are basically given none. I guess with all the other important developments to focus on, they can’t be giving each and every of the students their own screen time. Because they have been working as a class, a group and therefore whatever improvements and development they have improved and grown, it applies to class 3-E as a whole. So when Itona finally had his case solved and joined Koro’s class, he somewhat falls into obscurity. Remember Okajima was like the joke character of the series? This season it feels non-existent.

Even Karma feels a bit side-lined in this series. Because of that, he doesn’t feel so badass as in the previous season. His role seems to be to face off with Gakushuu in the term exams and his biggest moment came in facing off with Nagisa over a divided class opinion. And lost. So mostly it is Nagisa overcoming his personal problem with his mom as well as the surprise package Kaede and her painful and horrifying secret being revealed that make the greater impact in this season. All of course reasonably leading up to the inevitable showdown and final. Even Karasuma and Bitch had their little moments but that was mostly in the first half taking on Reaper but after that, not much and they become relegated to observers.

So with less focusing on these students means they have to get other things out of the way first like Gakushuu and Asano. Because with their showdown somewhat ‘early’ and at halfway point, I anticipated that they couldn’t really be the final boss. They couldn’t. Because it is not Kunigigaoka that is supposed to be the real enemy that Koro and his students are supposed to face. This means they aren’t really the true baddies and thus their conclusion to have them ‘accept’ Koro and class 3-E’s method in education policy is somewhat a compromise and a closure to their longstanding rivalry and grudge. I mean, it’s to show that the most ruthless guys in Kunigigaoka aren’t so bad after all and had redeeming qualities. Yeah, it had to be Yanagisawa and his ultimate vengeance and hatred. Thus he is the only character in the series whom I considered really to have been killed.

Just like my confusion from last season, I still find it baffling that Koro has trained up his students with assassination techniques to kill him. Because the more they bond with each other, it becomes obvious that the students don’t really want to kill him. Thus every attempt from outsiders to kill Koro becomes an excuse for our students to go into action to save him. Which makes this entire thing ironic because they’re supposed to kill him but they’re saving him. Also more ironic that it shows they are selfish that they want to kill Koro themselves but I doubt at this point it is the monetary reward they are after at this point. It is too evident that Koro is too nice a guy (even more human than humans, if I should say) that they just want to spend every last second learning with him. Thus I can see why they are hesitant in killing him and giving excuses to postpone his assassination. Yeah, it’s like procrastinating it to the last day. And I’m sure they wouldn’t even want to do it if Koro had not reminded them. But then again, why let a laser cannon do the job and take all the credit.

What makes it more confusing was I thought they were going to save him? What was that space mission to make some medicine for? Was it all for nought? Maybe something else came up and I wasn’t paying attention since I was still under all that confusion. Oh right. The students want to pay tribute to him with his assassination. A culmination of their hard work and bond. So I might be thinking about the irony of training assassins but not for them to kill. Because it is like taking up a course in business and economics but then you go into a music career. But you see, I realized that Koro might seem to be training his students to kill but the important thing that we all might have overlooked is that he is training them to be better people. Assassin doesn’t mean taking lives. It could be ‘kill’ the bad attitude. Or something like that. Hence, that actually sums up what they have been doing the entire year. They can do amazing assassination techniques but they have the brains and rational to use it for the greater good. They don’t have to kill with what they have learnt. And of course all this training to be an assassin isn’t the point why Koro became a teacher. As already revealed, it is to keep good his promise to Yukimura. I’m sure she is very well resting in peace.

Speaking of Koro, he is perhaps the best character and teacher of all time. At least to his students. Funny, witty, serious and skilled (overpowered should be the correct term) at the same time, he dispenses his knowledge and skills like a true teacher. Even despite his tragic past, he still manages to keep his promise and do his job seriously. It is just too bad the rest of the world will never be ready or accept Koro thanks to crazy and selfish governments and higher ups with everyone would be thinking his students have Stockholm Syndrome. If not for the time limit on his life, I believe Koro would have made the world a much better place with his super skills that would put God to shame. Yes, he can do so many impossible stuffs and yet has so many weakness that he seems like a clashing epitome of everything. I mean, when you see him do an amazing surgery that brings back a dead (Kaede wasn’t technically dead yet but very close to it), you would start to believe he is the next coming of Jesus Christ or something even by right Koro can’t create life. But still, if you get to know the real Koro, you can’t help be overwhelmed with respect.

The students of 3-E who sang the opening themes for the first season, reprise their roles for the sequel. Despite Question (first opening theme) and Bye Bye Yesterday (second opening theme) are both rock outfits, at least it didn’t have that strange high 5 rodeo/jumping dance. That painfully awkward dance is still so freaking vivid in my mind. I can never get it out of my head each time I think of this series! Curse you, Koro sensei! Just like last season too, the ending themes are very lovely slow ballads. Both are sung by Shion Miyawaki, Kaketa Tsuki (first ending theme) and Mata Kmi Ni Aeru Hi (second ending theme). Though, I feel the former has a happier tone to it while the latter had a sadder sound.

Overall, this is a very satisfying and fitting end to the series. With it coming to an end, there are lots of mixed and clashing emotions now that I think about all the episodes I have watched in both the seasons. It is as though I was part of Koro’s class and experienced the fun and the laughter, the good times and the bad times, the learning times and trying times. There were funny moments, there were action moments, there were tense moments, there were cringe worthy moments and there were definitely sad moments. It all culminates down to this moment where I too feel like I have graduated with class 3-E. Only difference is that I am still the same useless otaku watching animes on my monitor. Koro would have turned in his grave and exploded the world sooner than expected if he knew the world had no hope in the first place. And a wise creature like him should already know better…

I didn’t know this was getting a sequel. So I am guessing that Okusama Ga Seitokaichou+ got another season is because we have waited long enough for some borderline hentai material but none that quite matches all the ecchi stuffs we want put into an episode that is 1/3 the length of a normal anime duration. It is time to feed our horny need again. Yes folks. Time to get ourselves ready for some more fapping and wanking material even if we have forgotten the reason why a pair of high school student council members are living with each other in the first place. All that matters is that they provide the right amount of tits and seductive panty shots fanservice. That is the real goal of this series! Hell yeah!

Episode 1
Everybody loves Ui. Smart and sexy. And occasional free pantsu shots courtesy to God being naughty with the wind. Because she maintains her dignity instead of beating everybody up like how other embarrassed girls used to, this makes everybody love her even more. Back home, Izumi knows something is wrong when Ui is trying to get more physical with him. It looked like she learnt something from watching porn because she puts her feet on his crotch and starts rubbing!!! Apparently this was suggested by Karen. Izumi thought he could stand this since she is a noob but from his point of view, her panties are visible so he cuts short this fanservice. WTF. You prefer to go study than let your horny wife do this?! GAY!!! After she takes a bath, she tries to distract him with her boobs but it seems he prefers studying more. GAY!!! While lying frustrated on his bed, that is when she gets turned on smelling his blanket. A little masturbation and then it turns into some sort of poorly imitated sex with his blanket. She gets very embarrasses since Izumi has been watching since the start! She blames him for not giving her enough attention and what do you know? He pushes her down and starts sucking her tits! OMFG! You, you monster!!! Can you blame a guy when you’re trying to control yourself and your hungry wife accusing you for not doing a manly job? But porn time is interrupted when Kei knocks on the door drunk. Oops. Wrong home. But Kei whispers to Izumi that she knows he is f*cking Ui and to keep it down. She won’t tell anybody about it but don’t push your luck. Somebody always knows what you’re doing…

Episode 2
The girls are changing and as usual sizing up each other’s boobs. But the thing is, they’re doing it at Izumi’s place! And he can hear every damn thing they say. When he hears somebody scream, he rushes in. Nothing much. Except ladies in undies and Misumi and her bare tits. Looks good. But doesn’t look good for him too. They visit the festivals and Izumi can’t help staring at Misumi’s boobs because despite in her yukata, they’re still humongous! This doesn’t sit well with Ui so she tries to grab some attention by putting water balloons into her own to match. I suppose Izumi said more than he should as he comments on male urges because Misumi has noticed him staring for quite a long time. So she dunks the water balloon on his head and runs off. She notes how disgusting when boys stare at her tits but somehow she doesn’t feel so with Izumi. When Izumi finds her, he tries to apologize but some other guy bumped into him and causes his face to fall into her boobs. Then she brings him to a deserted area. Her bra is unhook so you need him to fix it? Thinking he is really into big boobs, she is willing to put her body on her line. Meaning, she gives him permission to touch her tits and vent his sexual urges. So how is this preventing further sexual conduct in school? Anyway he takes up the offer and he must be so good that she gives off satisfying moans. Embarrassed, she beats him up. Fun time over. When they return, Ui gives him suspicious stares. A woman knows…

Episode 3
When Izumi’s friend shows upskirt pictures and boobs shots of girls from their school, this means the underground photography club is back. They were shut down after that pool incident but looks like they’re back on track. Ui decide to go talk to its president, Haruka Saijou but Misumi is already there warning them. Though, Saijou explains they are doing this to raise funds to buy single lens reflex cameras for each member. Thank capitalism! But Saijou has an ace up her sleeves. She hints she was there at the festivals and took some risqué shots of Izumi fondling Misumi. Therefore they can’t take any drastic actions against the club so long they have this little HD card gem. So they stay and observe the club meeting. It seems the club is able to get all those sexy shots is because every member is female. Therefore they have free reins in many places like locker rooms and toilets. But Misumi points out a photo is fake because this isn’t really her. It is her but it isn’t because she doesn’t own a black bra. Saijou then proceeds to demonstrate how all the members strip and take sexy poses of themselves and then Photoshop it with faces of other students (Izumi is blindfolded during this). But during this explanation, Ui has swapped her HD card and destroys it. So much about putting all your eggs in one basket. Now that they have nothing to blackmail them, Ui is willing to overlook this provided if they all work as the student council’s photographers. Izumi disagrees and accidentally takes off his blindfold. Why does he always get to see the juicy parts? With the chaos, Misumi thinks she’ll buy some black lingerie because Izumi quoted saying she looked mature in it.

Episode 4
Misumi is proudly doing her jobs as public morals committee. She notices Izumi still staring at her boobs so this time she coolly says she’ll gladly help divert his lust again. Yeah, Izumi is starting to sound like a sexual deviant. Of course Ui’s appearance means he will still be keeping his lust. She fires back the student council’s works have begun taking root if Misumi is acting like that. Of course she denies and claims she has helped assist in Izumi’s sexual urges on her instead on someone else again. Again. I think Ui needs an explanation. Misumi is proud of her work but she realizes she is seeing many more couples recently. Has Ui’s work really taken off? So when Misumi wants Ui to accompany her to learn their sublime ideals, she makes Izumi accompany her instead. Shouldn’t she be worried? Ui is confident Misumi is still inexperienced in these matters. Misumi and Izumi are supposed to head to the meeting room but they spotted a couple starting to make love at a lab. As their actions get more risqué, Misumi is watching with full focus! Uhm, shouldn’t she be stopping them? Their indecency reminds her about that festival incident. Feeling good? No? Then what’s with that face? When the couple’s indecency is moving into hentai area, that is when Misumi snaps out of it and stops them. Later Izumi asks what that was all about. Misumi can’t bring herself to break apart people who are looking so happy together. Really? She wonders if they were doing that, would they look like a happy couple? Wait. What? Of course not. She just trolled him.

Episode 5
Ui is so freaking hot and sexy. So hot because she is sick!!! Izumi nurses her and he wonders how feeding porridge can make it look like a porn scene!!! You know, white rice dripping all over her body and the spoon can’t fit into her mouth… Oh Ui, you’re the master of ambiguity. I guess somebody is going to get sick if he doesn’t control himself. Hurry or Ui will be broken forever. Luckily (or not) Kei is here so he gets her to help. Unfortunately she is the wrong person to ask because she fondles Ui’s boobs to check her temperature. In the end, Kei gives him a suppository and condom. One to stick it in the butthole and the other in the other hole!!! OMFG!!! As expected, Ui can’t shove the suppository on her own and wants Izumi to do it. Oh God. He is really going to do it?! Look at his shaking hands! Because he puts a cloth over her butt, he can’t see where he is going so his hands start to fondle around. Let your imagination run wild. I hope he inserted it into the right hole. Maybe. Because now Ui is acting like a deprived slut. Her sexiness has increased many times fold and you can’t blame Izumi for having a boner right now. She smothers his face in her boobs and sits her leg is rubbing against his crotch, he can’t hold it any longer and… Uhm… Erm… Oh dear. Did he soil his pants? I mean, the other kind of ‘soiling’. Shouldn’t he feel good? Because he locks himself in his room trying to repent his actions.

Episode 6
With Ui’s love liberation making good ground, Niikura seems to want a piece of that action. So she pleads to Ui for permission to borrow Izumi as her boyfriend for a day. Ui might agree but do you think she can leave them alone? So here they are with Izumi helping Niikura try some new clothes. Because the changing room is big enough, the clerk pushes them in together. Izumi tries to not look but with mirrors on all sides… He blows his top when Niikura changes her clothes like as though he isn’t there. Because she is exposing her lower regions! She didn’t even realize her panties are missing?! So while he doesn’t look and she puts it back on, she trips. And as expected, she falls over Izumi and somehow he got his face in her crotch. They’re making so much ambiguous noise during the struggle at this rate that you might want to suggest they get a room. At the park, Niikura sits on his lap. The thought of her possible naked ass is constantly filling his mind. Then, she wants to go to a love hotel and has a condom ready in hand! She wants him to teach him love etiquette and is ready to kiss him but Ui who has been watching since the start now interrupts to break them up. Niikura understands this gesture and pushes Ui close to Izumi. With both girls flanking him, Niikura approves this threesome at the love hotel! WTF???!!!

Episode 7
Kei accidentally mentions to Misumi that Izumi and Ui are living together. Wow. She’s saying it like there is no repercussions for her. Yeah, there isn’t. Misumi blows her top and marches next door right away. She lectures Izumi like as though she is his mother. He doesn’t say anything back as he thinks it is about time this cohabitation term needs to be settled. Misumi turns her anger on Ui as she is very casual about this still. Why so mad? Are you jealous of being left out of the fun? Just saying… She sounds so sad thinking they must be laughing behind her back for not knowing. Anyway to see if they have been indulging in immoral activities, Misumi goes to check his room. So what is this condom in his drawer?! That’s from Kei but Ui put it there for him to have easier access! Then she is going to check under his bed for porn magazines but Ui shows it to him his folders where he keeps all his porn! A wife must know her husband’s taste?! Noticing they are all women with big boobs, Misumi takes pride that Izumi requested her to release his pent up lust for those jugs. Ui won’t lose out and puts his hand on her breast. Misumi won’t lose out too and does the same. Then she says it is fine if he likes big breasts. But girls are more than just their parts! So true. They realize Kei has been watching them. If she didn’t make any noise, she could have continued watching this interesting scene. When Izumi tries to get his hands off, he accidentally lifts up Misumi’s shirt and unveiling her tits. She knocks the daylights out of him.

Episode 8
Ui decides to wake Izumi up via sexy wife call. No response. But this makes her fluster in glee. That woke him up. Izumi dreads tasting the toast she made since it looked like some poison. But it actually tastes good. This makes him think she is really putting some thought into this instead of just slacking around. While studying, Izumi drops his eraser underneath the kotatsu. As he goes pick up, he sees Ui’s pantsu! Good thing or not, she is sleepy so she didn’t notice as she toss and turn, giving him the ultimate fanservice. This has him quote how ‘loose her vagina’ is! When he hands some salad snack, she thought he made it but it is actually from Misumi who came over last night. Ui can’t stop pouting. Izumi notices Misumi has been staying over at Kei’s place more often to spy on them but Ui knows another reason well. Like any typical women, she won’t say what it is and further pouts. Then she sleeps on his lap and has him feed her tangerines. His fingers are dripping with the juice so she sucks on them. He immediately envisions her in a sexy swimsuit! He is so turned on that he is about to get steamy with her when Misumi comes over and knocks lunch over his head! Yeah, the door was unlock. How careless. So what is the meaning of this lunch? Misumi has officially moved in to stay with her sister forever and will be their neighbour! Let the spy games begin?

Episode 9
Misumi is now like Big Brother America! Always constantly watching them! Even walking to school with them. The moment they try to hold hands, she breaks them apart and revels in it! If under constant surveillance from Misumi wasn’t enough, he noticed Saijou has been spying on him too. As he takes her to the student council room to be rebuked, Saijou takes advantage of him by clinging on to his arm. She continues to flirt with him and despite Ui is mad, she keeps a calm façade. Saijou gets bolder and puts his hands on her boobs because she wants to know what intimate romance is about. Is she serious? Thankfully (or not), Misumi barges in and misinterprets the situation as Saijou wanting him to take naughty pictures of her. Why is only Izumi painted like a sex beast? Before you know it, suddenly Izumi and Misumi are in a kissing position?! Actually Saijou needs to snap a romantic picture for a photography contest. Ui lost the draw. Of course they can’t do it. But this is where the ‘problem’ starts. Izumi wants to opt out and Misumi won’t let him because she wants to opt out first. And when Ui wants to trade place, Misumi won’t allow since she won the draw and continues to prepare to kiss Izumi. WTF???!!! Their face gets close enough before Misumi pushing him away. As expected. Ui takes over and assures she will not run away like Misumi. Too bad he can’t take the heat and excuses himself to the toilet when he is just sitting on the stairways to clear his mind. Saijou comes to talk to him and thought she could show off her pantsu fanservice when she realizes too late she is wearing none! He just got a free view of your butt. But it looks serious when she gets up close to him and says if she really fell in love with him, would it make her pictures look better? Don’t hold your breath. She was just trolling. As expected.

Episode 10
Kei is trying to tell her sister that romance isn’t a bad thing and of course Misumi is denying it is happening to her whatsoever. Kei even tells her own sexual fantasy experience with a ‘slave’. Unfortunately Misumi can’t take it anymore and runs out. But it is her comments that Kei sounds like a perverted old man that leaves big sister all heartbroken. As Misumi ponders over things, Ui passes by and is happen to be in high spirits. This makes Misumi wonder if she’ll understand her ways if she fell in love. The way she says of not dating any guys before and just waiting for Mr Right to come gives Ui all the ammo she needs to fire back at her for being blind to love. Even Sawatari is on Ui’s side to point out that Misumi is already in love! As Izumi’s birthday is in a week, Ui has Misumi tag along to help pick out a present. But why is she making her wear a sexy negligee? Misumi ponders if this is what Izumi likes and starts to feel good. Ui won’t lose out and also tries one out. Sawatari appreciates Ui’s doing in helping Misumi realize her feelings although this isn’t what Ui had in mind. Because of that, Ui declares Misumi as her rival. The girls give Izumi a man’s shirt for his birthday (I guess the negligee was too indecent for Misumi to eventually pick it up). He thanks them and Misumi turns into a tsundere before leaving.

Episode 11
One morning on his way to school, Izumi bumps into Karen and the wind blows up her skirt. She isn’t wearing anything underneath. So oversleeping makes her forget to wear panties? Karen is acting all tough before she is starting to show cracks of being embarrassed. Then she beats him up to warn him not to tell anybody about this. Or else. In class, Izumi can’t get that indecency out of his head and it is obvious. It makes him look like fantasizing naked Karen?! He can’t take this anymore and runs over to Karen’s class just to tell her to put her PE shorts. Unfortunately she didn’t bring them. Desperate, he tries to give her his! WTF?! Don’t you know how misleading taking off your pants looks in front of everybody?! She shoves him out before anything untoward could happen. As they carry some paperwork, Izumi feels Karen is trying to purposely make him peek. The worse possible person to come by, Saijou (sorry, not Misumi) as she wants to take pictures. While Izumi argues with her, true enough the wind from the window blows up her skirt. Saijou starts snapping although Izumi tries to block every shot. Saijou goes away as he warns her about misusing those pictures. One of them has Karen in the edge with the skirt flipped… Karen then beats up Izumi for not thinking ahead. He could have like walked in front of her to close the window or something. Though it is Karen’s fault for acting this risqué, Karen gets hard on herself claiming nobody is interested in her. Izumi realizes she is sulking all this time and remembers what Ui told him about her being a sensitive person. He eases her worries saying that they are both from the student council and he doesn’t want to see her shamed. Her further actions has him realize she is just shy and it is no wonder Ui finds her cute.

Episode 12
Ui is down. Her first Christmas as Izumi’s wife and she can’t think of how to make it a burning hot sexy night! WTF?! Even Izumi is shocked to hear it. So why Karen had to beat him up? Eventually on Christmas Eve, the student council and public morals committee gather at Izumi’s place for a party. Ui is down for real because this means no privacy for her and Izumi. He thought of leaving and make it an all-girls’ party but Sawatari brings him back because he is qualified to join them. How? Remember his cross-dressing last season? Holy sh*t! Ui sees it for the first time and she can recognize it is him. However she gets disappointed she didn’t tell him this kind of things thinking she would make fun of him. Misumi adds fuel to the fire saying Izumi confided in her a long time ago. Izumi has a bad feeling when he notices Ui starting to get mad. But then it was a challenge that she wants to put makeup on him to satisfy his cross-dressing desires. Yup, definitely bad. And Kei gets involved too since Ui had to borrow her makeup kit. Izumi looks decently beautiful as a woman but Sawatari notes all that is missing are boobs! She suggests Misumi to lend her bra and she would gladly do it since Ui is unable (because she is braless at home). Before Misumi can fully unhook, Saijou is at the door. She got a call from Ui about the cross-dressing and wants to take pictures! Fortunately Izumi returns to his normal self and Saijou suggests a group photo. It gets chaotic when Saijou gets playful by sitting on his lap and the picture ends up with everyone frenzied.

Okusama Ga Porn Star Potential!
Seriously, nothing much changes. Almost everything stays the same way and every episode of fanservice is like something similar just wrapped and coated in a different way. Because if you don’t have bare tits naked girls in sexy seductive poses, you have, uhm, bare tits naked girls in other sexy seductive poses. And to think I thought maybe this season would have some sort of serious flashback and plot that tells us a bit more about the characters because I was fooled by the opening credits animation to see the girls in their cute chibi form when they were kids. I should have known better myself what this show is supposed to be from start to finish. At least they stuck to it all the way. No plot okay. Have fanservice, all is okay.

That is why this season feels like it has up the steaminess in its fanservice with almost every possible fanservice scene as fapping and wanking material that makes it hard for any straight guy to resist. The only reasons this isn’t classified as hentai is because there are no real penetrations and clear shots of the female’s lower anatomy. But still, super great fanservice and even more so when you have the girls’ giant boobs bounce so freely and easily like jelly or sponge. The fanservice level gives you all sorts of imaginations and makes you crave if you could ever do this to your girlfriend, vice versa. It makes us loser otaku guys wish we had such sexy and highly sexually active girlfriend. Will we ever get one? Hint: No, real life would never allow that! So shut up and keep watching these kinds of anime!

With these seductive fanservice teasing, sometimes I find it hard and can’t blame Izumi for getting mad or he just turns into a demon and ‘attacks’ Ui. He is like in a catch-22 situation. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. So he is trying to maintain his sanity as a decent high school boy but with a sexually charged self-proclaimed future wife, it is going to be hard to keep his libido in check sometimes. And if he doesn’t, he is gay (although, none points this accusation yet). How nice almost everybody (especially you Misumi) wants to blame and paint him as a sexual assault monster. I have a feeling that at this rate with so many fanservice spamming in his face, Izumi might have difficulties sleeping because each time he closes his eyes all he can see are sexy naked versions of the girls! Talk about extreme conditioning. Well, at least this proves he isn’t gay.

As for Ui, I wonder if this kind of sexy seducing is her way of deepening their relationship because every guy would love to have a chick like that. Because sometimes I’m a bit confused that although she doesn’t get that all mad when Izumi gets into misunderstandings with other girls. It’s good she keeps a calm head and stays true to her love liberation policies. That maybe on the outside, but what about her personal level? Don’t tell me she is indirectly training Izumi to make love to her. Fighting fire with fire? With enough push, he might just be that monster… Anyway, Ui’s sexiness makes her a potential to be a natural porn star. Just saying… Imagine if this saved their relationship… It’s unthinkable.

The only thing that ‘develops’ is that now Misumi knows about the duo living together (the other being Ui discovering the cross-dressing but that is not as impactful as this big secret). Sorry, when I said ‘develop’ I was not talking about boobs although Izumi did once mention about Misumi’s boobs growing again. Wait. He can tell? They’re already so freaking humongous and he can tell they have grown? Wow. How many times has he groped boobs to become an expert? Blame/Thank Ui for that. Anyway despite Misumi knowing about this big secret, it is not like anything has really changed. Because Misumi is still the same hypocritical tsundere that we all know. She claims to do it to stop immoral and indecency among youngsters but in many instances you can see her dreaming and fantasizing about that same immoral thing. I understand that at this point with her being the public morals committee member, if she suddenly lets loose her ideals and gone wild, imagine the effect it will have on her reputation on a school level. Nobody would trust her anymore and she would be labelled as slut, whore, nympho, etc. Then she would fall into depression and contemplate suicide. WOAH! I didn’t realize I was going down a dark path here. But thankfully since this show is about satiating our horniness, let us not think that far of this what-if. Now that she has moved in, is she going to constantly survey them until graduation? College? Married? This is worse than living in a police state.

Hence with Misumi knowing Izumi and Ui are living together, it only serves to increase her own hypocriticalness and bug them even more. I mean, allowing to sacrifice herself so he could vent his sexual frustrations on her? How noble. It’s just a roundabout way of saying, “Please f*ck me because I’m a horny b*tch”. Yeah, that would be such a porn material. Another reason Misumi jumps into doing such indecent things without a second thought (okay, maybe after a slight hesitation) is a weak excuse to one up Ui. Yeah, this should cover up her hypocrisy. In view of this, we could look at all this in a positive light this means Izumi has his own harem. Speaking of that, I believe at this point now almost all the main and supporting female characters have hint to us that they have a thing for Izumi. Even if they don’t but at least the way they show it to us makes us feel we can’t discard the possibility of a 2 horse race between Ui and Misumi. Like Saijou as the only new character in this season, she makes a handful of appearances and why else would you introduce a new girl if she isn’t going to play the role of a competitor? After all, Saijou’s face is as prominent as Ui and Misumi in the opening and ending credits. So this might be a big hint another girls is jumping into the fray.

We have an episode each on Niikura and Karen to at least not make them feel they are just the other student council members with names. Their episode show a different side to them like Karen who is always never fond of that ground beetle (Izumi) and could be a way to just hide her tsundere. Sawatari is one of the two whom I believe doesn’t harbour any real feelings for Izumi as her role seems to be more of trying to support Misumi and make her realize her feelings. That itself is minimal. I might be mistaken but I feel Sawatari AKA the scheming little monotonous sounding doll’s presence is very much lacking this season. It feels like her running joke is to stay under and support the girls with big heavy boobs. Like a symbiotic relationship they can rest their heavy jugs on her head and she has a nice cushion for it. In the final episode it feels like she is making a bolt in trying to support and push Misumi for Izumi but it seems too late for that. Last not least is Kei, the other I believe who isn’t interested in a romantic relationship with Izumi but she prefers to be entertained watching the young ones from the side-lines. After all, she might be the biggest master of perversion. I was going to mention that Ui’s kid-like parents who didn’t make any cameo but now I can’t because for that paltry 5 seconds in the final episode, that is where they popped up. Excuse: They missed their chance to enter.

The series is already so short and it bugs me they have opening and ending themes that are even shorter. Well, that doesn’t really have anything to do with it. What I’m trying to say is that because Ayana Taketatsu who voices Ui is also a great songstress, it would be a waste to not showcase her singing talents and that is why I think no matter how short the ending theme of Koi Ni Matsuwara Etcetera is (20 short seconds only!!!!!), we need to hear her voice somehow. Oh, that is just one version. There is a version for Misumi and Saijou too but it doesn’t make any difference. At least the opening theme, Kira Kira Exploer lasts a little longer. 30 seconds to be exact. At first I thought Ayana Taketatsu sang the opener but it is Rekka Katakiri who also sang the opening theme for the first season.

Overall, this sequel feels like it is made for lonely horny guys who don’t want to be fully corrupted by the viciousness of real hentai. Yeah, what the heck am I saying? If you want big boobs, bare tits, pantsu shots, sexual innuendoes and sexy seductive poses, this season has got it all covered (or uncovered in this case) for you. Because this never happens in real life is the reason why this kind of shows exist. Even if it does, I think such series will still exist anyhow. Men’s horniness knows no bound. Now if they only made a series where the student council president is a maid-sama. Oh wait. They did that anime many years ago!

Orange

May 7, 2017

Imagine if you received a letter from yourself from the future telling you to do certain tasks that will change the future you have yet to experience. I guess this means your future must be real screwed if there is a need for your future self to do this. Of course at this age and era, one might easily brush this off as a prank. I mean, do you still believe in chain letter curses? Oh, right. Many gullible people still do. Anyway, Orange has this premise as a high school girl one day receives such letters instructing her to take action that will avert events that would lead to a friend’s depression and ultimate his death.

Episode 1
Naho Takamiya narrates she just turned 26 years old. But her life is full of regrets. We go back 10 years in time when she was still in high school. She mysteriously receives a letter from herself supposedly from 10 years in the future! At first she was sceptical but soon as she reads the letter, every content it stated started turning true. Like how today there will be a new transfer student into her class, Kakeru Naruse. The letter is trying to help her avoid the mistakes she will make and thus will chronicle events that are about to happen and the choices her future self wants her to make. Kakeru easily fits in with Naho’s group that includes Hiroto Suwa, Saku Hagita, Azusa Murasaka and Takako Chino. They chat, laugh and eat together like as though they’ve been friends for many years. There are a few days Kakeru didn’t turn up for school and the letter didn’t state it. Naho’s first letter request is when the class will play a softball tournament and she wants her to be the pinch hitter request. She regretted greatly when she refused. It is the same day she fell in love with him. That day comes and surprisingly Kakeru comes back since the guys in her class are also in their own football tournament. Naho now has to decide when her classmates comes requesting her to be the pinch hitter since the opponent changed theirs the last minute. Naho remains unconfident. However they back down when Kakeru tells them her foot is hurt. Azusa takes the job and this makes Naho think seriously. The pain in her foot will go away but the regret won’t. She then steps up to take the batter. Miraculously she hits home run. They win. Adding to the good news, the guys too win their football game. Naho hopes her future self will have 1 less regret. Kakeru treats Naho’s foot later and he praises how cool she is. He hopes to play football next year to be cool like Suwa. Back to the future, Naho is married to Suwa and has a beautiful baby. She narrates to her past self that she has got lots of happiness and joy before her. She doesn’t want her to carry that burden of regret for the rest of her life. The letter indicates that Kakeru is no longer with them 10 years in the future.

Episode 2
Suwa tries to bug Kakeru to come to football practice because he heard from Naho he claims he is better than him at the game. Suwa’s loose shirt button comes off and luckily Naho has brought her sewing kit to sew it back. The girls watch the guys practice football. Naho sees how cool Kakeru is. At the end of the match, Suwa begs Kakeru to join the club. It took him 10 minutes to give an answer. He’ll join but on a provisional basis. The letter states on a certain day, she wants her to give Kakeru her homemade lunch. Naho makes the necessary preparations and of course her parents are suspicious. Found someone, eh? Finally? However at school she has the jitters and couldn’t give it to him. Even when he nudges her, she gets a bit jumpy. He understood and said no more and immediately leaves. Naho blames the letter for making her conscious about it and wished she never read about it. Another chance meeting with him subsequently, she decided to run but Kakeru calls out to her and wants to walk home with her. She agrees but is stumped on what to do next as this wasn’t stated in the letter. They talk about a few things and when Naho asks why he is reluctant to join the football club because he is good in it, that is when Kakeru replies his mom died. She committed suicide on the day of the opening ceremony, that’s why he was absent for a stretch for the funeral and the move. He promised his mom he wouldn’t join a club. Naho realizes the implication because the letter stated she shouldn’t invite him on the opening ceremony but she did anyway. She realizes the importance of the letter was to erase her regrets. She needs to be there for Kakeru when he is down. Naho then gives Kakeru her homemade lunch. It makes him happy and Naho promises to make him lunch every day. He jokes she is like his mom. At least he is smiling. In the future, Naho meets up with her friends to go somewhere that has to do with Kakeru. The letter adds Kakeru died in an accident and everyone regretted the fact knowing he could be saved.

Episode 3
The letter states she wants Naho to make Kakeru join the football club even if she has to force him. Because a week later he quit. But it looks like she doesn’t need to lift a finger because Suwa has bugged him so many times that Kakeru finally relents. As Kakeru has joined the football club, he enlists Naho’s help for a wakeup call for certain mornings. At 5am. Everyone notices that their senior, Rio Ueda has been trying to talk with Kakeru numerous times. The letter stated Ueda will confess to Kakeru. One day Kakeru asks Naho if there is someone she likes. She had to say no. Then she asks him back. None either. What about Ueda? Well, he likes her looks. Is that an answer you’re looking for? When Kakeru lost a bet and has to go buy drinks for his friends, they see Ueda coming up to him to talk. They can tell she is trying to ask him out so when he comes back they pester him for the details. All Kakeru says is that he’ll give his answer after the break. As Naho continues to ponder about this, she remembers the letter saying Kakeru slipped a secret message inside the eraser’s cover she lent to him. Had she noticed it, the future might have turned out differently. Naho is about to take off the cover but she got distracted by cleaning duties. After she is done, she remembers it and resumes. She sees the message of Kakeru asking if he should go out with Ueda. Noticing there is still time, she quickly writes a response and rushes down to put the message in his shoe locker. Safe, right? Unfortunately when she returns to class, her friends are witnessing Ueda talking to Kakeru. He must have gave some sort of answer that made her feel very happy. Naho leaves dejected and Suwa can tell she is in love with Kakeru. When Kakeru returns to his shoe locker, he sees Naho’s reply. “No!”. Oh dear… Naho returns home reeling with regret. In the future, the friends are at the site where they buried their posterior letters of what they want to be when they grow up. Let’s say they aimed too high and didn’t come close. Suwa reads Kakeru’s letter on his behalf but all it states are messages for his friends. None about himself. Everyone feels sad thinking Kakeru perhaps have known he himself had no future. They regret had they watched him more closely, they could have saved him. If Naho could redo the past, she’d definitely run straight to him.

Episode 4
The friends are visiting Kakeru’s grandma whom he lives with. She knows them all despite this is only their second meeting (the first was at his funeral). That’s because Kakeru always talked about them especially Naho. With Kakeru dating Ueda, the friends hang out by themselves. On the next school day, Kakeru wonders why Naho didn’t wake him up. She thought he already has a girlfriend and it won’t be right for her to do that. Also, she didn’t make him lunch. He thanks her for all that she has done. Ueda seems to love clinging to Kakeru whenever she gets the chance. Like as though she is trying to tell the whole world they’re an item. Naho is in a dilemma as she reads the future letter. It tells her to answer to Kakeru when he calls her and to talk to him instead of waiting around. Of course Naho feels she can’t do that. Then when Kakeru calls her, Naho feels the need to respond but seeing Ueda in the picture, she runs away. Like the letter, Naho continues to avoid Kakeru. And another one comes true when Kakeru after saying goodbye to her, he gets into a fight with Ueda. When Naho responded to his goodbye, Ueda accidentally bumps into her. As she was unapologetic, Kakeru helped Naho up. This made Ueda mad. She screams at the top of the voice like as though she wants the whole world to know that she doesn’t want him to speak to other girls. He ignores her and Ueda runs away crying. It’s the same for Naho too. She runs away crying. But she soon bumps into Suwa. This isn’t in the letter so is the future changing? He tells her to stop running away. She blames herself about them fighting and maybe she shouldn’t talk to him like they used to. Suwa replies they are friends so what is wrong with that. Kakeru wants to talk to her too but if she is running away, how can he? It made Naho realizes so she rushes to catch up with him to talk. Kakeru thinks of breaking up with Ueda. After dating her, he realizes there is someone else he likes more. Although he says it is a secret, I think we can guess who that person is.

Episode 5
Naho realizes the future might be changing as some contents in the letter doesn’t happen. Like when all of them supposed to walk home, this time only Kakeru walks home with her. They hang out more often like studying at the library. Although Kakeru has broken up with Ueda, he is still on friend terms with Naho. After the teacher hands back their test results and since some of them barely made the average, he explains about time travelling because his advice (or was it joke) for them was to go back in time to study more. I wonder if those students can understand his rocket scientist theories he put forth. When Hagita counters it with his own, the teacher explains another conclusion that will somewhat satisfy it: Parallel worlds. This has Naho thinking because if so far if the letters have been predicting what is happening despite she took corrective steps, does it mean her future won’t change? Naho’s last text to Kakeru before he passed away was to thank him. She wonders if he read it. There is that cultural festival promise they made that never happened although the letter did state that there are some memories she wants to retain like watching the fireworks. So Naho sums up her courage to invite him and he agrees. Azusa and Takako make it clear to Suwa that they are supporting Naho to be with Kakeru. He agrees but didn’t say he would also help them out. During the cultural festival as Naho and co clean the pool, Naho takes a break but Ueda wants to speak with her. She confirms Naho isn’t dating Kakeru. Noticing the nice hairpin she has (Kakeru gave it to her), she wants to have a look but Naho won’t allow. Ueda’s groupies then corner her. Luckily Suwa as around so he quickly takes Naho away. He brings her back to Kakeru who then puts some band aids on her hand (those bullies tried to get rough with her). He knew because Suwa told him. Naho remembers the letter stating to thank Suwa whenever she had the chance because he is a dear person who saved her heart. She couldn’t be happier doing so when the chance calls for it.

Episode 6
Kakeru asks Naho among them, whom she would date. She couldn’t answer. But when Azusa asks back the same question, he can’t tell. While Ueda won the popularity contest, I am not sure how the boys’ one works because Hagita won with just 1 vote courtesy of Azusa. Naho is supposed to meet up with Kakeru for the fireworks but Ueda and her groupies force her to do some work or else show her the hairpin. What’s a poor girl got to do but some menial labour. Luckily Azusa and Takako were nearby and take over. Ueda thought she could take advantage of this and meet Kakeru but Hagita leads her astray by telling her Kakeru is waiting at the clubroom for her. Naho manages to join Kakeru although the fireworks just ended. Naho answers his earlier question of all the guys she would go out with him. Kakeru also answers it would be her. Naho decides to read the future letters to find the date of Kakeru’s accident as she was too scared to do so. However she finds out saving Kakeru from the accident wasn’t enough because he committed suicide. In the future, it was his grandma who gave them a letter left behind by Kakeru. He wanted to go see his mom in heaven and apologized and made his suicide look like an accident. Thus Naho is determined to save Kakeru from his regret of not being able to save his mom. She accompanies him during the Bon festival and as per the letter, she tries to ask him about his mom. At first he was reluctant but eventually opens up. As his mom had mental health problems, it was a day she was to be admitted to a new hospital. It was that day he was supposed to go see her but his friends asked him to walk home together. Due to her mental instability, she felt useless and insecure. That single event led her to commit suicide. It was also why the letter told Naho not to invite Kakeru to walk home on that day. Naho realizes it is her fault. Kakeru continues he prayed to God to seek forgiveness from his mom but he still regrets it. Kakeru went home early and Naho felt she couldn’t do anything to save him. She feels the burden is too much for a single person like her so she thought of asking Suwa’s help. But he already knows what her dilemma is. Because he also got those letters.

Episode 7
Showing her his contents, it is almost similar. But unlike her, he didn’t read it immediately and only after he joined the football club. The next important event is his upcoming birthday. Suwa pretends to ask his birthday and when he reveals it, the friends want to throw him a party. So they bug him for what he wants. Not necessarily a present but what he wants. I don’t know. It feels like Kakeru’s want is like a joke. Ueda confronts Naho again. She tells him she will give him the sports bag as present. Luckily Azusa and Takako are here to keep her from being a bully. Takako tells her straight that Kakeru enjoys being with Naho more than her. After being threatened she will expose her bullying ways, she gives up. The girls talk to Naho and hope she can just be honest with her feelings and tell Kakeru. In the future, Naho finally knows when her friends tell her that Kakeru was always in love with her all the time. The friends celebrate Kakeru’s birthday. Suwa’s present is flowers?! Yeah, Kakeru asked for that but that was a joke. He then gives it to Naho. This is as stated in the letter and also as per instructed, Naho asks why. To cut that long flustering drama short, he confesses he likes her. Naho didn’t give her answer though her friends are bugging her to at least make sure to answer him. Suwa later talks to Naho because the day Kakeru attempted suicide is closing in. It was the day after Valentine’s Day where he met up with his Tokyo friends and he told them about his mom. While cleaning the class, Suwa tells Kakeru straight to not hang out with his Tokyo friends but them. He then discloses he knows about his mom. As best friends they should talk to each other. Kakeru can’t because he wants to laugh with them. But can they laugh together without knowing what he is going through? Asking if he has thought of dying, Kakeru answers yes. Every day. He feels it was his fault mom died. It’s painful. Suwa then tells him about his own nagging mom. It’s painful too. And that’s natural. He hugs him and wants him to stop regretting it because it’s not his fault. Naho then answers him that she loves him. Please don’t die. She doesn’t want to lose him. Despite the tears and smiles, there was still a hidden sadness they don’t know.

Episode 8
Kakeru decides to cancel hanging out with his Tokyo friends and hang out with Suwa. While playing football, Kakeru collapses. It isn’t life threatening but it’s still worrisome. When the friends tease him for making his girlfriend worry, Kakeru denies Naho is his girlfriend as they haven’t gone out yet. He is worried he might hurt her or won’t be happy while dating. He’s already considerate about her feelings already, right? Naho and Suwa talk about Kakeru collapsing and it is not in the letter (it’s still coming despite Kakeru has lived?). But the letter still states about him spraining his ankle during the relay race and for his sake they need to do something so he won’t be part of it. So when Kakeru gets selected as the anchor, Suwa hopes he could swap places. But since Kakeru wants to do this, they relent. However seeing how worried they are, he changes his mind. He is about to bring this up to the teacher when all his friends volunteer to take part in the relay. Yeah, Hagita was forced even he is the slowest poke in the entire school! It’s not about winning. It’s about having fun together with Kakeru! So Hagita calls Azusa for a special training. Yeah, it seems amazing he gets slower and slower! But there’s something Hagita needs to tell her. Hmm… We have a few scenes of Kakeru and Naho together but nothing really materializing. It’s like they’re too shy to take it to the next level. Azusa and Takako confront Suwa and wonder if he is hiding something from them. When Naho is worried about Kakeru, Suwa tells her not to rely on the letter but on her friends too. So she confides in them about Kakeru’s strange behaviour of holding his hand out to her with a sad face. They laugh since they know it’s him asking her to hold his hand. After Naho reveals she got future letters from herself and needs their help, this is when the rest too reveal they have also got those future letters. Even Hagita (so it wasn’t a confession? Dang…). Naho realizes her friends never changed in the future and that they all have the same goal to save Kakeru.

Episode 9
Azusa thought the letter was a prank and didn’t believe it at first till some of it came true. From now on, they pledge to help Kakeru be happy. So by supporting Naho means bugging them to hold hands? Doesn’t it feel awkward? But it’s worth a few laughs because Naho stumbles in her thoughts. Based on Azusa’s letter, during her birthday she got an umbrella as present from Hagita. Because it rained that day, she lent it to Kakeru thinking he would share with Naho but instead the boys share on umbrella and the girls with another. She wondered what would’ve happened had she not lent her umbrella. So this time after getting her umbrella, she finds an excuse not to use it as it looks cute. Nobody is willing to share their umbrella with Kakeru until Naho offers hers. Kakeru and Naho walk home together but they accidentally drop the umbrella and got soaked. They take refuge in a shelter as Kakeru says he would like to go out with her if she says yes. During the sports meet, the friends had their parents over as support except Kakeru. The letter wants them to bring a relative of Kakeru so he won’t feel down. Imagine to Kakeru’s surprise when his grandma is here. However as the event progresses, Naho notices Kakeru is still gloomy. She might have done something had not mom bug her to show which guy she has a crush on. Kakeru’s gloom is so obvious that the friends know he is still hiding something from them. They don’t know what else to do if he doesn’t talk to them. During the boys’ pole toppling event, all the girls (including from the opposing team) swoon over Suwa’s abs. Hagita won’t lose out and uses permanent marker to draw his own! Funny enough to make Kakeru laugh. Suwa then talks to Kakeru if he is worried other guys would date Naho. He isn’t because he isn’t sure if he can be around for her. What if Suwa dates Naho? He doesn’t mind it either and supports it. Because of that, after the event when Naho tries to treat some of his bruises, he gets edgy and won’t let her touch him. Kakeru is bothered by this but Suwa knows this is heading in the right track.

Episode 10
As the sports meet continues, Kakeru continues to be gloomy. So the friends gather to discuss again and it seems in Hagita’s letter it was stated that Kakeru sprained his ankle and during the race he fell. He insisted he was fine and went on. They go to help Kakeru lifting some sports equipment and his ankle sprain is starting to show. When they show concern about his gloominess, that’s when he reveals his mother had died. He thinks she is sad right now and shouldn’t be laughing like he doesn’t give a care in the world. The friends say they are also sad to see him like that. Azusa cheekily gives him hope when she points out Naho was watching him instead of the games. Kakeru gets his ankle treated but he still insists he can run despite the doctor told him to rest. He wants to run with them. Before the race starts, they thought of giving Kakeru motivation to win the race with Naho giving him a kiss. Otherwise Suwa will get the kiss! Okay. Kakeru will win it then. The relay begins with Suwa giving them a big lead. Of course Hagita blew it. The baton passing to them symbolizes a message they want to pass to Kakeru that they’ll all still be together 10 years from now. This gives Kakeru a big boost as he comes from behind to win it! In turn, their team wins the overall event (as opposed to the letter which stated the opposing team won). Grandma congratulates Kakeru and his friends. It reminded her of his kindergarten years. No matter how many pictures mom took, he never smiled until he won the final race. She was so worried until he smiled, she was overjoyed. Kakeru gets his reward by making a quick kiss on Naho’s cheek.

Episode 11
The friends are wondering if the kiss reward has been given. Seeing their shy reaction, I guess it’s done. In the future, the friends are talking about the possibility of another future where Kakeru and Naho are married. However Naho disagrees because even if Kakeru was alive, she would still marry Suwa. Back to the past, the friends are making arrangements to visit the shrine on New Year’s Eve. However Suwa opts out seeing he has something to do. After Kakeru and Naho leave, Takako smacks Suwa for lying. She thinks he is trying to change the future since in the letter he came. Kakeru and Naho got into a fight and Suwa comforted her. It was also when he confessed to her. Suwa rubbishes all that with that parallel world thingy. Kakeru died so Suwa married Naho in another world, not this. Thus he has vowed never to tell Naho how he feels about her. Naho is also worried that she will fight on him on that day. She said something insensitive about his grandma who is sick. So the friends minus Suwa hang out together. Kakeru and Naho leave early and he tells her about his worries about grandma getting sick. When Naho tries to assure him grandma will still be around in 10 years, this made Kakeru snapped. How could she be so sure? He is still reeling from the fact he didn’t know how much mom was in pain and still blames himself for killing her. That’s it. It’s over. He doesn’t want to talk to her anymore and goes home. Meanwhile Takako calls Suwa to get his ass over here to confess to Naho. Apparently the friends have now changed their stance to support Suwa for Naho. They don’t want to change the future to affect others! WTF?! I know they’re trying to be considerate but how sure are they? Suwa goes to talk to crying Naho as he assures her to keep moving forward. He promises to bring them both together if it means hauling Kakeru’s ass back to her. But for now Naho needs to call him back. However Kakeru doesn’t pick up her call and smashes his handphone! Naho thinks she is responsible for Kakeru’s death.

Episode 12
A flashback from Kakeru’s perspective. He disliked how much his mom made decisions without consulting him. He hated her for it. He is like a rebelling teen. So when he became friends with Naho and co, he was curious about Naho because she reminded him of himself. Perhaps this is a timeline where the future never arrived. Because Kakeru was blamed in the football club so he quit. He met up with his Tokyo friends and told them about his mom’s suicide but they laughed it off. During the relay he fell and his team got last place. He wonders if the world would be the same if he died. After all, the group of friends were originally 5 of them. Kakeru contemplates of his confused and mixed feelings for Naho. When he is clearing his old stuffs, he sees his mom’s old phone. He reads a message that she replied to him (I think she just didn’t send). It addresses her concerns for him. She knew how much he loved his father but had to divorce him because he was a violent man. She noticed he was being bullied in school that is why transferred to another place. Because she didn’t want him to get hurt, the reason she didn’t want him to join clubs. She apologizes for never considering his feelings and is always the one hurting him. Sorry for getting in the way. Once Kakeru realizes all this, he cycles out. Now he believes it is all his fault and ponders about death. Will it clear your sins? Probably he is looking at the sky instead of the road and got hit by a vehicle. So that’s the light he saw? Sorry for the bad joke. Now in current time we hear from Naho’s side. Nothing really much except she is worried about him. They did apologize for that New Year’s Eve argument. But she is still so affected by it that she couldn’t pay attention in class and starts crying. In the future, the friends meet and talk. Still trying to blame that had they done something Kakeru would still be alive? They talk about going back to redo the past about parallel worlds and black holes. Despite Hagita dismissing all that, the rest continue. They are interested to write letters and deliver it to that Bermuda black hole. Although they won’t know where in time it will end, they have no choice but to make a miracle. Naho talks to Kakeru to wait till Valentine’s Day. She doesn’t care if he hates her. She doesn’t want to lose him.

Episode 13
Naho has made chocolates to give to Kakeru on Valentine’s Day. As per letter, she has numerous times to give to him but couldn’t find the courage. So when she finally does, she makes a dash but has the bad luck to bump into Ueda. Her chocolates are damaged. Ueda tries to intimidate her but Naho won’t be cowed and continues to go meet Kakeru. At first he didn’t want to accept but gives in. He explains he has been avoiding her since that incident as he is afraid to hurt her. Realizing she has been running away all this time, she confesses she would like to go out with him. He is afraid he will hurt her and cannot make her happy but she doesn’t care. But once they talk things out and she hugs him, most of the fear dispels. The friends are happy especially Suwa who believes this world exists to make Kakeru happy. The next few scenes show Kakeru and Naho hanging out with each other and being close. Kakeru finally admits he loves her. Later the friends still convene because they need to make sure Kakeru doesn’t die. They think about destroying his bicycle when Kakeru comes by and they quickly hide their letters. Hagita gives him a gay hug that sends everyone laughing! Well, at least he diverted his attention. In the future, Suwa talks about if there were no parallel worlds. This means if the letters they sent back and they manage to save Kakeru, the letters would never have been written in the first place. Paradox thingy. Hagita adds even if there are parallel worlds and they managed to change their past, it will branch off to a different future. Either way, this future they are in now, they will never see Kakeru again and nothing will change for them. Thus they decide to write letters to save Kakeru in a parallel world.

The friends are waiting at the intersection supposedly where Kakeru met with an accident. So far he has not shown up. In fact, Kakeru has already read the contents of his late mom’s handphone. So when Kakeru didn’t show up, the friends head to his place only for Kakeru’s grandma to tell them Kakeru just dashed out. Oh dear. It seems he didn’t ride his bicycle and went by foot. The friends frantically try to find him and when they do, this time they witness him being hit by a truck! Oh no! But thank heavens he is still alive. You know how I know he is still alive? Because there is no blood! They scold him for this suicide move so Kakeru says he wanted to die so he could go apologize to mom. Of course he couldn’t do it. He asks how they know about this so they show him their future letters. It seems not only letters from themselves but from them to Kakeru too. He reads their future thoughts on him. They still regret losing him after 10 years. Everybody makes peace and time for a big group hug. Walking Kakeru home, they wonder why he didn’t take his bicycle as stated in the letter. Because somebody trashed it. Oh, who’s the culprit… Don’t play dumb. The friends write letters and bury them as time capsule. When they wonder if there is a future of Suwa and Naho married, Suwa vehemently objects. But he notes it would be nice if such a future exists. Kakeru thanks them for saving him and Naho says if he ever feels living is painful, they’ll come save him again and again. Well, I hope they can without those future letters.

Orange You Glad How Things Turned Out?
Well… A happy ending? Or should I say a happy alternate branching future? It seems to prevent any sort of tragedy from either side of time, I guess we have the current time line and the future one to be deemed as good ending. In addition to Kakeru being able to continue living, the future whereby he remains dead is what I still considered a good ending. Because had the past changed as an effect from the future to affect the future (bear with me, I’m getting confused of what I’m saying too), this means it would be like an insult to erase the deeds of the friends in the future who took the trouble to write letters to be sent to another parallel past to save Kakeru. Their future no more. And Suwa and Naho’s baby who has got nothing to do with this time mess suddenly ceases to exist. Not good, right? Before I confuse myself further, let me just sum up that I find this series boring. Yeah. Got to get that out of my chest now or else I might regret it like 10 seconds in the future for not saying my mind. You can never be too sure about the future…

Honestly, this is actually one drawn out love drama series. It could have been just an ordinary one had not the premise that involves letters from the future. I suppose it was the only thing that held my interest because despite the drama, it was burning at the back of my mind of how these letters actually reached our characters in the first place. It made me think if this was just another parallel world because of that time travel paradox thingy. You know, if you change the future by altering the past, if that future no longer happens, how can they send it back to the past to change it? Exactly like what Suwa had theorized. So while this entire series’ goal might be to save Kakeru, but it feels more like a long romance drama between Naho and Kakeru as they sort out their feelings and ponder the action that they are supposed to take. And on occasion, Suwa gets in between. That’s all. The so called sci-fi elements are just a distraction and something minor compared to the big romance drama you are going to see for the rest of the series. I mean, if you want to think how they got the letters to the past (don’t tell me they really went to Bermuda), there would be endless and mindless conspiracy theories to come up with. Maybe they just hand it to Doraemon. Yeah, that’s much believable.

Despite the very small casts of characters and centering on this little group of friends, I am not impressed with the character development at all. It is one big reason why I find this series to be boring. Now, a big chunk of the focus is on Naho and Kakeru and as I have already said, actually there isn’t really much that is going on between them or around them and that is why the drama is drawn out longer than needed. Because Kakeru has his own insecurities, he is trying to overcome the blaming of himself over his mother’s death. It makes him hesitant to want to enter a relationship with Naho for fear of repeating his mistakes. Naho on the other hand is also as hesitant as Kakeru because she is trying hard to deal with the letters. Yes, Kakeru isn’t the main problem for her but rather those letters. It makes her more conscious than ever. She thinks too much about everything. This in a way affects what actions she needed to do. You can’t blame her since it’s like reading your own prediction and naturally anyone would be scared to death. You’d be cautious even if the letter is proven to be from your future self. Especially when future Naho often uses the word ‘regret’, all the more reason why high school Naho gets cold feet every time. In the end, both of them are just running away from their problems till they can face and overcome it. Yeah. It’s that simple. But it’s not if you’re in their shoes.

I believe Suwa isn’t the third wheel but he like the other friends in the group just don’t feel that impactful. Yes, you could see their beautiful friendship and bond. But as far as the story and the plot of this series is concerned, it isn’t really much. I’m thinking it is to hide the fact and to serve as a twist because I didn’t see this coming as all of them has got letters too. So had they try to take proactive action like we see for Naho, it would have made us very suspicious from the start. But I think it will still catch me off guard seeing that I am already finding the series boring halfway. So for Suwa as Kakeru’s best football buddy whatever, so as to be fair to this guy, the reason a movie called Orange: Mirai was released subsequently to tell the story from his perspective. It takes place after the TV series as he supports Kakeru and Naho’s relationship (as I read from the synopsis). Given that I’m already bored with the series, I don’t think I want to waste over an hour on this one. Not sure if this would affect my own future if I find it boring or exciting but I guess I’ll have to contend with this choice and the present I have made. Oh, did I mention that was a live adaptation of the series nearly a year prior to the anime? Definitely not keen on that one.

I want to say Hagita is the most amusing character because he sounds somewhat creepy. Because the focus is mostly on Kakeru, Naho and Suwa, poor chap doesn’t get a lot of decent screen time. It is like he is mostly ignored until he really needs to speak up or say something. What I find amusing about him is how the friends usually love to tease him and he has all this weird comebacks at them. Sometimes I want to say he is this series version of Gintama’s Shinpachi, the voice of reasoning that nobody listens to. Yeah, he is the most underrated character of the series. There are a few scenes that may hint he and Azusa have a thing for each other but it could be that because they are so close friends, they take jabs at each other like it is their nature. Maybe they do get married in an alternate future.

The thing that confuses me most is the letters. Now think about this. If let say that Naho or somebody else did something as the letters suggested and successfully change the outcome, this would mean that at least some part of the future is changed. But how come the future letters that keep coming after that still talk about many events that has happened in the supposed original timeline? Maybe one or two won’t change the entirety of the future but doing a bunch of them I believe would have at least branched out the future to another possibility. Does this mean that no matter how many of these events they changed, the future that leads to Kakeru’s inevitable will remain unchanged? It’s like nature will find a way to return back to its ordinary course. Unless you’re telling me that in another parallel future, these letters are sent from there. Then isn’t it that still the future hasn’t changed? Perhaps the things they do are not great enough to turn the future enough. For example, if you can’t have coffee, then have tea. Either way, your thirst will be quenched. See my point?

And to think that the friends remember vividly the date of those events! I know you can still roughly remember what happened but the date of when it happened either? 10 years in the future?! Man, I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast. Their regret must be really strong to really remember those dates better than history dates. Maybe a reason for this confusion of mine is that the series goes back and forth between the current and future timelines. It might be easy to spot this difference but as for the current timeline, they might jump months ahead before jumping back. It’s hard to tell since they are still in high school during that period.

The art and animation I want to say they are quite impressive but this can only be said for the backgrounds and sceneries. As the location is away from the bustling Tokyo city, the lush greeneries and the summer skies are quite a nice view to look at. However the animation for the characters are sometimes inconsistent in quality. I noticed that sometimes they are decently drawn and at other times they are just having lower quality. It isn’t that obvious but if you focus just enough, you can see the difference. This series is produced by Telecom Animation Film who did Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation, Moyashimon, All Out and the Chain Chronicle series.

Voice acting feels okay, nothing too extraordinary seeing this is mostly drama. Kana Hanazawa is instantly recognizable as Naho. There is this insecure and vulnerable feel in her voice that suits her character well. Also recognizable is Ayane Sakura as Ueda. Normally she voices bratty sounding girls but this time she really makes her character sound like a total diva b*tch. I also hate to do this again but upon knowing Mamiko Noto played Kakeru’s mother… Oh God. Why do I have to relive this trauma of her character being killed off?! This time it’s suicide?! I’m fine she’s playing motherly roles in recent animes I have watched like Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso and Comet Lucifer. But to keep continue killing her?! How many times must she die over and over???!!!! PLEASE STOP!!!!! Oh, screw that. Nobody’s going to listen to me anyway.

The rest of the cast of characters are Seiichirou Yamashita as Kakeru (Bunta in Shoujo-tachi Wa Kouya Wo Mezasu), Makoto Furukawa as Suwa (Banri in Golden Time), Kazuyuki Okitsu as Hagita (Nagare in K), Natsumi Takamori as Azusa (Miyano in Tanaka-kun Wa Itsumo Kedaruge) and Riku Kinugawa as Takako (Liddy in Hundred). The opening theme sounds rather okay, Hikari No Hahen by Yuu Takahashi. Mirai by Kobukuro as the ending theme is a slow pop ballad and the song feels powerful and impactful on the series. It’s sad yet heart-warming to hear. There are a variety of BGM from nice acoustic guitar pieces to lovely string ones and some piano renditions.

Overall, unless you really like romance dramas, watch this then. Otherwise the time travelling or tiny sci-fi elements feel like a ploy to pull you in and watch it. It also tries to tell you how the power of love and friendship can save a life and future, which isn’t a laughing matter because even in real life we hear this sort of stories from all over. It is just too bad that we only have this single life and timeline to go through so we will never know how the alternate might turn out. Moral of the story: Live the moment! Thanks to this anime, I am for the time being constantly thinking about my alternate future. The kind of regrets I will have since I chose to pass on watching that anime. Would I have been better off or would I be even more disappointed. Yeah… My future is doomed either way. No wonder my future self never sends me those letters. But then again, it might be a sign for me to live the moment!

Girlish Number

May 6, 2017

Oh wait. Didn’t we have a seiyuu themed anime a few seasons ago? That wasn’t too long a time I believe. And now we have another anime series about the seiyuu industry? Just like that series about a group of young girls making video games. Similar theme but different in anything else. But there is something that makes Girlish Number a whole lot different than Sore Ga Seiyuu or Love Get Chu. Instead of all the happy-happy and bright moments in the voice acting industry, this one has darker elements. Don’t worry. It won’t go so far as about abuse of workers with long working hours with no overtime pay or sexual favours if you want to advance your career. It is about a young and new seiyuu who thinks she can take the voice acting industry by storm and be bloody famous. Reality is not so straight forward like her delusional dreams. And slowly it starts to sink in and hit her when it does.

Episode 1
There is an event for fans of some anime or game. It is ending so the seiyuus have their final say on stage. Among them is Chitose Karasuma who is a newbie in the industry. She only holds a minor role. The event ends with the 2 main seiyuus who play the main heroines singing, Momoka Sonou and Kazuha Shibasaki. At the backstage, Chitose can see all the drama and different world these people put up. From b*tching about to gossiping, this is really a rotten dark side to the industry. Even Chitose has her own sarcastic comments about everything. There is a party after the event but many big names can’t make it. Chitose wants to go although her manager who is also her brother, Gojou wants her to hold back. But they attend anyway to make up for the numbers. Then there is this music producer guy, Kuzu who waltzes in like he owns the place. He didn’t even attend the event and is already late but I guess his charisma covers everything. Back home, Gojou gives Chitose a check video for tomorrow. Chitose blames she has no major roles on Gojou for not doing his job properly to get better roles for her. It’s a reason why she isn’t famous. Yeah, she also blames the studio for making anime that they know won’t sell. So being a seiyuu sucks? That’s great hearing from someone like you who hasn’t passed a single audition. Gojou relays the good news that he has got a slightly bigger role for her albeit still a small one. However it is not based on manga but a light novel, something she isn’t quite pleased.

She goes to do her job despite there is only one line. Accidentally she crosses Kazuha’s path during the job. Kazuha calls out to her after that but lets her go since Chitose is acting all dense and innocent. Chitose talks to Momoka and finds her snooty too. When the typical otaku looking author talks to them and invites them to dinner, Momoka quickly gives lots of excuses why they can’t and promptly takes Chitose to leave. Momoka advises her to decline such things flat out. Otherwise they will never take her seriously. Despite a bit of sarcasm between them, the duo become friends. Not sure if they’re just acting either. Kuzu is talking to Gojou and the agency president, Nanba for a new project. He seems to want Chitose as a new idol despite she doesn’t sing. Why? Because his music guts tell him she is perfect. And Nanba just agree with everything he says because he is some big shot music guy. When Chitose gets called by Nanba, she thinks she has done something wrong. She learns she will be helming the role of a main heroine of an anime based on a light novel, Kusure. Although she doesn’t read light novels, Kuzu doesn’t mind as long as she has talent and is cute. Ah, those words seal it. Now she is laughing with them. Only Gojou isn’t…

Episode 2
Chitose thinks she is now a main star and acts high and mighty. Meanwhile Kuzu and his team are in a discussion with the author. It seems there is a disagreement in which the anime will design the characters. Due to lack of time, it is suggested to do a PV to hype up the audience. At the staff meeting, Chitose meets a fellow friend and newbie from the training school, Yae Kugayama and fellow seiyuu Koto Katakura. Chitose seems shocked she isn’t the only cast to be playing the heroine. If she had read the light novel, she would have known it is a harem genre and there will be 5 heroines. The other 2 are helmed by Momoka and Kazuha. Kuzu tells the trio they will be forming a unit to sing Kusure’s song and make their CD debut. While Yae and Koto are being modest, Chitose thinks she has hit it big although she is probably the biggest one who can’t sing. While waiting for taxis to head to the launch party, the newbies talk with each other. Chitose doesn’t know who Momoka’s mom and is supposedly a very famous seiyuu and her dad is a famous director. Need to Google it, huh? Chitose thinks she has won big time after learning that many other famous seiyuus will also be appearing here (although they are just cameos for one or two episodes). When all the 5 main girls are here, the staff meeting begins with Towada telling them the schedule of the PV event. Yae being her first time panics and doesn’t quite understand so she goes over everything again. But it’s just another day and another job for veterans Momoka and Kazuha. Kazuha seems to dislike talking about projects that she hasn’t record yet so Momoka tells her to get over it. They still get paid. Kazuha replies that for Momoka’s case, she never has to worry about anything. The girls go on the stage to give the fans a preview of Kusure. Although everyone loves it, is it just me that I find the animation quality to be obviously HORRIBLE!!! The event went smoothly and panicky Yae is so relieved that she confides in the arms of Chitose that it’s all over. Good job, right? Kuzu wants to go out to celebrate but gets an emergency call. Looks like somebody is mad with the PV… So while the veterans quickly take their leave, the newbies celebrate by themselves. Koto makes a toast that despite they debuted at different times, here’s to a future where they’ll disappear at the same time. Wait. You want to disappear? Oh right. Nothing lasts forever. Kuzu and his team find themselves in an emergency meeting with the author regarding the character designs. What did I tell you?

Episode 3
It seems there were no changes to the design as promised. So how is Kuzu going to fix this? This is all just promotional material! The real stuff will differ! All the seiyuus are at the recording studio. They are introduced to the author who is so soft that you can’t hear a single damn word he says. Chitose takes her lines. Despite she is confident in her work, it is obvious that she is stiff and sucks! Meanwhile Gojou hears from a colleague that the production of this anime is on shaky ground. There has been some disputes and some of the production people aren’t interested in making this series in the first place. At the end of the recording session, Chitose thought she could go out drinking with her friends. However Gojou holds her horses. They’re staying back to do retakes. Chitose has to do several retakes and personally she barely differs from one to the other. Because the veterans have other plans, they record first and Chitose usually is the last to do the retakes. You’d think she would have reflected on herself. But guess what? She thinks nobody realizes how valuable she is! She even blames society for this problem and not herself! Till Gojou tells her part of the true picture behind the scenes that Kuzu didn’t pick her for her talent but for a certain song in mind. It starts to get to her when she remembers seeing all the production people’s less than amused reactions on her work. Chitose continues to record and do retakes. The author is not pleased but the sound team knows this is Chitose’s limit. She can’t do any more than this. Just accept it? Oh well. At this time reality hits Chitose hard. She is depressed as she figures out she is the one who doesn’t get it. May Gojou add more to that? She’s talentless and she sucks. No experience, not very smart and her personality is trash. What he admires is her never give up personality. She would like to improve herself so he suggests talking to the sound director. Then she talks to Momoka for advice like drawing out similar past character roles and adjusting. Or she can just imagine a character because if she has a better idea of it, she’ll start sounding like it. Chitose does more homework by watching videos. So when the next recording is in session, she vastly improves that everyone is in shock! Like a totally different person. So much so that they’ve got free time at the end! Yeah, no retakes. However veterans like Kazuha and Gojou know that Chitose is just following things and this is making her acting dull. But Momoka doesn’t see an issue with it. If this is what they want, what’s the problem?

Episode 4
Chitose is a famous seiyuu with many fans! Ah, such angelic personality too. If it sounds too good to be true, then it is because she is just dreaming. Even more embarrassing she is sleep talking in front of everyone. There is an event that will have the girls sing the TV version of the song which will be also live streamed. Of course Gojou hears the ‘good news’ that Kuzu plans to make them sing the full length of the song with the excuse that this will increase their appeal. The reason for this is because of this bad news: The first episode wasn’t being able to be finished on time. He plans to show the PV and bits of the first episode. When Gojou relays this to the girls, the first one to baulk at this sudden change is Yae. Can’t do it? You have to. Yeah, just when you thought Chitose has learnt something from being humble, she’s back to her usual confident personality. And I mean that from an obnoxious point of view. On stage, the girls strut their stuff. After the PV is shown, the fans are shocked because it is exactly the PV they saw previously instead of the first episode they had expected. Chitose thought she could step in and hype them up but no reaction. Momoka and Kazuha help her out and soon the crowd is revved up when the girls start singing. Seeing how hyped everyone is, Kuzu and Nanba thinks this promotion method really works and should do it more often. Kuzu praises Chitose for a good job and is on her way to being famous (checking her social media right now). Gojou has a bad feeling when Kuzu comes up with an idea to do live streaming events every month. While the newbies relish in their possible future being famous, it is gloomier and heavier discussion between Kazuha and Momoka. Kazuha feels all this is stupid and is disappointed in herself. Although Momoka accepts it because this is what the crowd wants, Kazuha is glad the author didn’t show up. He would never have accepted this. Or maybe he knew and didn’t want to turn up. Chitose and Yae meet and hang out with Koto before going to her place to celebrate and watch the first episode airs. When it starts, it leaves the girls in shock. Koto is unhappy how much it sucks. Chitose is obsessed in getting more followers on her social media. Despite the fans criticizing the awful anime, they praise Chitose’s character as their saving grace. Now she thinks she is hell of a popular. Kuzu and Nanba are already talking about their next big project involving a large scale next generation audition.

Episode 5
The opening song sells for 10,000 copies. Chitose is so happy that she lets it get to her head and back to her lazy ways. Famous now, is she? She’s even calculating the royalties she’ll get. Gojou thinks it is more of the writer of the song than the one who sung it. So while Chitose brags about this achievement to Yae and Koto, the latter wonders about the most important thing: The anime. Because they hear how people are now saying the anime is crap and the opening song was the only thing good. Plus, some of them are pitying the seiyuus and those who aren’t so forgiving are calling them crap as well. When the girls record for the last episode, Chitose tries to brag to the veterans about the sales. Of course Momoka has done so many that she practically forgot about it. The author gives them a bouquet of flowers as thanks but he doesn’t seem to be quite happy. Chitose overhears the production team arguing about some problems regarding the last episode. But it’s not her problem! Kuzu and Towada have to answer to the executives as Kusure is making a loss. Kuzu shifts the responsibility to Towada to report it since this is under his jurisdiction. All eyes on him now… Chitose isn’t fond of attending an event that has them hand out DVD copies of Kusure with an autograph and handshake of the seiyuus. I mean, who is going to buy an expensive DVD with this cheap novelty, right? Surprisingly there are a decent amount of fans and they manage to sell out their portion. However Chitose isn’t too thrilled because Momoka and Kazuha has got a lot more fans waiting in line than theirs. It seems the anime production team is losing interest and can’t even finish the last episode. Worse, there is an announcement that a second season is happening! OMFG! The author has been ‘damaged’ so much that when he hears about it, he becomes happy thinking this is the first time his work is going to get an anime treatment! Yeah, that disaster was totally erased from his mind. Never happened. When Gojou returns, he sees Chitose crying. It’s real. Seems she has seen nasty comments on the internet bashing how bad she is. Can’t take the heat? Gojou has surveys from the past events in which she can go through and improve herself. But she doesn’t want to do that! She only wants to see the ones that are praising her! She even questions why she is the only one getting bashed when she did nothing. Yup, I think she answered her own question. Kuzu and Towada are drinking out their problems. Kuzu realizes with all the condemning, at this rate he can’t use up all the budget if they end up in the red. But don’t fear. He has a secret plan…

Episode 6
How does Kuzu avoid the wrath of his management? He takes the girls and his team to Okinawa to film bonus materials! Chitose fears the cameras but after learning this isn’t live stream and that means people who only pay will see the release (you’re a horrible person), she’s back in the game. So we see the girls in their swimsuits prancing around for the footage. Nothing too fancy or scandalous. That night the girls go drinking. Koto talks to Kazuha that she is already 26 and this is her last chance. If she doesn’t make it big now, she thinks of going home and getting married. Kazuha is drunk and for the first time we get to see her with emotions. She gets into a pillow fight with Momoka but Chitose joins in via underhanded tactic of throwing the sheets over Momoka and then slamming her with the pillow. When Kuzu returns, all he can get is a lousy box souvenir? This isn’t going to cut it… Momoka returns home to see her parents talking to a couple of production guys. They are planning to do a mother-daughter theatrical all-stars version, Pure Para. While her parents seem to be supportive of Momoka, she isn’t quite happy herself about this. The newbies are doing an audition. Koto has spent quite some time in the recording as the staffs want her to try out other roles. She can’t stay for dinner with Chitose as she has other jobs. Wow. She’s moving forward. Time for Chitose to do her best. However she came out of the recording room as fast as she went in! Holy cow. Obviously she lost the role and she blames political casting and death to record companies! Chitose attends a wrap up party for an anime she had a minor role in. She wasn’t too thrilled despite the lavish setting and food. Till she won the TV lucky prize draw. Then she goes to the wrap up party for Kusure. She is already having high expectations but what the heck is this small and dark hall? The food is paltry and not many people come. Do they even give their attention to Kuzu speaking on stage? Yeah, no lucky draw prize either. Kazuha gets drunk again. Kuzu and his side later have their own after party. He and Nanba are already looking at the list of seiyuus for their next generation audition. When Towada mentions what about the second season of Kusure, they leave it in his hands! You’re on your own. Literally.

Episode 7
Chitose and Momoka send a drunk and emotional Kazuha home. She doesn’t seem to have her key but luckily mom is home. Mom hopes she would treat her friends with hospitality instead of just going straight to bed but thankfully they’re leaving. Chitose notes Kazuha doesn’t have any friends. Look who’s talking. The point is, Kazuha has been like that since coming here and it proves how tough the industry is. Chitose mentions her parents were also against her going into this industry. Gojou did it but didn’t make it and they tried to use this to dissuade her. Kazuha’s mom pays a surprise visit to watch her daughter and the rest do their radio programme. Despite her being the best mom, Kazuha is very embarrassed and not appreciative of her presence. It gets worse with Kuzu trying to act like the charming gentleman. Fail. After the job, though mother doesn’t have any problems about Kazuha doing this, Kazuha still keeps reminding her that this is all part of her job. Everything was just promotion. What is worse to have your friends eavesdrop on you? Father calling at the same time. Mom wants her to speak to him but she won’t. Wait. I take that worse thing back. Nothing is worse than Kuzu snatching the phone and talking to dad on her behalf! Oh no! He thought praising every part of Kazuha would be okay (including her boobs). Too bad dad didn’t like and blows his top. Naturally. Guess what? Kuzu passes the phone to Towada to clean up his mess! Towada even has to kneel and apologize before the handphone! As Kazuha’s mom leaves, Kazuha wonders why she would go out of her busy schedule just to see her. Couldn’t she just drop a message? There are lots of things she can tell just by looking at her face. With this issue, they worry he might show up on site at Yamagata, a trip they’re supposed to take as part of the work. Who else but Koto to talk to Kazuha about her problems. Meanwhile Chitose is upset that Gojou won’t give her permission to go on this trip despite claiming she is the leader of the unit and for work. She even goes as far to say she is a crappy small fry newbie with no work and has all the free time in the world! Care to review your script if you’re so free? Yae and Momoka attend the same audition. Yae feels they have become great friends when she could call her by her first name. As Kazuha meets up with Kuzu and Towada for the train to Yamagata, she is surprised to see Momoka.

Episode 8
Apparently Chitose can’t come due to some reasons and she is blaming it on Gojou. Oh thank God. No Chitose for this episode! Arriving at the inn where Kazuha’s parents work, the moment her father steps in and before Kuzu can complete his sentence, they throw him out! Yeah, we know how he ruins things. Towada and Kazuha’s manager quickly apologize although father is still displeased but maintains his hospitality. They give him see the recently bombed Kusure that Kazuha worked in but Kazuha lashes out they should have at least got a better one. Father shoots back as an actress she shouldn’t badmouth her own work but her reply is that she has been working in this industry long enough to know their worth. In that case does she mean she is worthless? Maybe that’s why she had to resort to that swimsuit fanservice to sell it. Father tells her to go back to Tokyo since she has already assimilated there. You know what? Yeah, she’ll go back there. Bye. Not so fast says Momoka. They’ve already prepared to stay. With dad telling to leave her foolish daughter to do whatever he wants, this time mom puts her foot down. Since they are paying customers, they can’t shoo them away, can they? So the rest of the episode sees Kazuha and Momoka walking around the small town as they talk things out. Despite Kazuha’s family problems, Momoka still envies her. Yeah, she has her own problems as she is not picking up a call her manager, Mutsumi Kawahara who has been trying to contact her since. Even Kazuha had to lie when they texted her if she knows anything on Momoka. Momoka goes on to explain how her parents were decent to her but after she debuted as a seiyuu, they stopped telling her things. So what’s the problem? It makes Kazuha envious of her. Momoka finally decides to return the call but since mom is there, she talks to her. Momoka has decided to decline the role in Pure Para unless they personally offer it to her. Mom respects her wish as they are both professionals. In that case, she’ll just take Momoka’s role. When they return to the inn, Kazuha’s mom reveals father was being harsh to her because he was concerned. When Kazuha became a seiyuu, father did a lot of research on it. As parents they will always worry for their child and it is also their job to believe in them and wait. Next morning when they leave, Kazuha makes peace with her father. They realize they forgot to buy a souvenir for Chitose but that doesn’t really matter. Meanwhile Chitose’s only short appearance and she is fuming the girls didn’t reply. Maybe it is because of the time difference?

Episode 9
The recording of Kusure’s second season starts. Even Chitose has lost motivation but unlike Kuzu she can’t run away and still has to do her job. Kuzu thought he could give excuse of coming in late (or not coming at all) but Towada replies they have already wrapped up recording and are now in a party. Yeah, you’re not needed. Nobody even cares about him. At the party, Nanba brings in a new seiyuu, Nanami Sakuragaoka. She has been observing the girls at work today. Like a newbie, she treats everyone politely and with respect that it makes Chitose brag about her own ‘achievements’. Please don’t give false hope. Best of all, she sincerely talks how she loves Kusure and everything behind it. This motivates everyone to make the series great again. This should be the way. Everyone chats and gives ideas like how it should have been. As the girls continue their job, Chitose doesn’t seem happy because it looks like he online popularity has declined. The staff members wonder if they can go ahead with work without Kuzu because as long as Towada is here, everything should be okay. Towada hopes Kuzu can make it in time. He wasn’t like this. Before he joined this agency he worked very hard. He still believes Kuzu will come back to help them. Don’t bet on it because he is enjoying the company of a hostess. However he sees his former colleague, Shakujii who mocks Kuzu for becoming and failure and loser after leaving the company. The difference is obvious. Shakujii as you can see is successful. What else can a makeinu do but run away with his tail between his legs? So when Towada gives him a timely reminder call, first thing Kuzu screams out is to save him! Yeah, this guy has no backbone anymore. Chitose is certain she will pass this limited audition because her birthday is coming up and it will be the perfect gift. WTF. Sorry to rain on your parade but Nanba says that won’t be happening. He is going to give the audition role to Nanami. Remember how Chitose started out with this kind of favour? It’s time for Nanami to get hers and Chitose to fly the nest. Gulp. Gojou disagrees as Chitose isn’t even secure in anime what more do narrations and dubbing. Nanba reminds Gojou that he got a lead role at this age. Every youth has the right to dream. It is his job to sell that dream. Oh, he will assign Gojou to be Nanami’s manager and Chitose will be assigned another one. Of course despite looking very worried, what’s a self-centred b*tch to do but to complain about this ‘scandal’. Whine, whine, whine. Yeah, it’s everybody’s fault except her own. Uh huh. She thinks Gojou’s job is easy. Depressed… Too bad she won’t get her birthday present from Gojou tonight.

Episode 10
Chitose, meet Juuzou Matsuoka your new manager. He is so passionate about work and just look at her disgusted face. It feels as though he parachuted into the wrong anime. If it was a sports shonen genre it would’ve been okay… But Gojou isn’t totally going to hand over Chitose yet and Matsuoka will for now be his aide. Even so, Matsuoka loves to pound in the idea of hard work and starting from the bottom, something that doesn’t sit well with lazy Chitose. For example, if you miss the train, what next? No, you don’t call a taxi. You run! Get your ass moving! Gojou sees Nanba and they talk about the progress of the other girls. But when it comes to Chitose, you know it is real sh*t when Nanba starts talking in a serious voice and manner. Because Nanba quotes Gojou who once said it himself that Chitose has no talent and that many could replace her. He has waited long enough for her to improve and since there is none, his job is to cut out those who don’t. Get the picture? Gojou has no words for that and could only cling to the faint hope that Nanba gives that he’ll wait a little more and see. Wow. Time for somebody to wake up. Chitose and the girls are practising for an event. As usual, her nonchalant behaviour irks Gojou. You can see his very disappointed face. Chitose overheard there would be a surprise after the event and she thinks it is for her birthday. However it turns out to be Nanami’s debut CD. That is when Chitose starts to feel down. It’s starting to get to her. When she returns to the backstage room, she is taken by surprise when they give her a birthday surprise. Even so, she is still reeling from the depression and her happiness is ‘fake’. You still not happy? When they leave, fans are giving Nanami their support. They also give Chitose their cheers but because she unenthusiastically reply them, they note she has turned cold and might be better off retired. As Gojou sends lively peachy genki Nanami home, Chitose walks home with gloom doom written all over her face. Meanwhile Kuzu is doing silly things like trying to win some fish measuring competition to best Shakujii. He couldn’t. Another depressed guy. He gets a much needed call from Towada to come in to work for help. They still need him? Of course. Because now he takes this as a sign that he is NEEDED! Back to his illogical reasoning again. I don’t know what he’s saying here. Whatever. At least he is motivated to come back. Still depressed over at Chitose as she listens to Gojou’s past voice acting in the dark. She can still comments he sucks. Like herself. It makes her think why he quit voice acting despite all his bright words of hope.

Episode 11
Gojou reads a letter supporting him and Chitose. He narrates about the different excuses people have when they quit. Meanwhile Chitose continues to be depressed. During the recording session with everyone paying their attention on Nanami, this even makes her more so. It is so obvious that she doesn’t want to join the girls for dinner. Yae can tell and talks to her that she is also working hard. But I guess that’s not enough to pull her out of depression. So much so Yae goes talk to Gojou and hopes he could tell Chitose she is doing her best. It would be better if she told Chitose herself but she thinks her words are cheap and as her brother he would have better impact. Even Koto talks to Gojou about her own past with changing managers and agency structures that she made her thought she might quit. But thanks to a great manager, she is able to still be here. The girls feel awkward at dinner without Chitose. Obviously they have to discuss about her because they know something is bugging her. They fear she might quit but keep their hopes up that Chitose is erratic. After Yae speaks up her support for Chitose that she might be just dense in a professional sense, Nanami also reveals she admires and like Chitose. Despite her earlier works are crappy, it still made Nanami fell in love with the character she played. Meanwhile Nanba, Kuzu and Towada have a drinking discussion about promoting Nanami further. However they also feel like taking a big risk to bet on Chitose. After Gojou leaves Chitose presents from others, she speaks up about how reality is hitting her. She really thought how long people will support her. Her next role is just minor and fears people will soon forget about her. She thinks people are looking at her now because she is new. What happens when she is no longer new? She knows about her own rotten personality but can’t help it. She wants to like herself. She wants others to keep liking her. I guess with those real tears, time for Gojou to play the nice big brother. After listing down her negative traits, what makes Chitose and him different is that she has people supporting her. He doesn’t when he quitted. Because he calls her amazing, she wants him to spam that line! Say it again! Now go into specifics! Can’t… We know she is back when she says this awfully familiar tone, “There is something wrong with the industry if someone like me doesn’t become popular”. Yeah… Let’s hope her vow to work hard and be popular is real this time.

Episode 12
The snow has grind all public transports to a stop. This means Chitose will be late. She is meekly trying to explain herself but all Matsuoka can say screaming at the top of his passionate voice: DO YOUR BEST!!! So Chitose screws all that crap and makes a run towards the recording studio. Everybody waiting there is anxious because if they don’t get the dubbing session started, the broadcast will be cancelled! Kuzu will have it even worse because he’ll be fired! So Kuzu tries his charming talk to arrange another date but after being reminded how this amounts to breach of contract and that sum of yen is looking to be pretty large, Kuzu assures he’ll definitely get this done! Finally Chitose arrives! Hooray! It is awkward at first facing her fellow friends. But then she starts off her apology with stating the obvious and self-realization like she isn’t anybody special and can be replaced. But she hopes that it will be a win-win for everybody. I guess to show that she is still cool, she tells Nanami not to do her best and watch her being awesome! At least Chitose’s words have given the author some hope to continue writing his material. The recording goes well as well as other production stuffs. You think Chitose would have learnt her lesson but on the day of an important event, she is running late again. This time it is purely her fault because she overslept. But she’s blaming stocks, politics and society for it! Run out of excuses, huh? Gojou has seen this coming and has sent Matsuoka to go get her. Wait a minute. I thought they’re going to run together so why the hell are they taking a taxi? Because it’s jam like hell! Same thing for Kuzu. He is running late after oversleeping but Towada expected this. He is so used to it by now. Chitose finally makes it to the event hall on time by foot and the even goes on perfect. In the end, everyone enjoys drinking at the bath, talking about the anime and the likes. Good points and criticism, all their honest opinions are in. Then the worst possible combo that could happen is that Kuzu and the author have come up with a new project. Yeah. We can do this! What crazy sh*t will they come up next? Don’t laugh. This was somewhat how Panty And Stocking With Gaterbelt was conceived!

B*tch Number Calling
I am in a dilemma to call this series boring or insightful. Maybe it is somewhat of both. Because this series doesn’t tell you the workings of the seiyuu industry which I hope I would see some but there wasn’t anything close to it. Furthermore, this series might resemble more of a ‘fairytale’ than in real life because when you have a newbie and a producer with f*cked up attitudes, causing such problems and are still around, it feels more like an insult when everything always turns out fine. I mean, no big screw ups that would have ended their careers are closed down the production house or the series being cancelled. It always works out and everyone is still happy in the end. That’s not realistic, right?

Unlike Shirobako that gives us a glimpse on how an anime is produced from start till end, this series doesn’t give us any insights on how to be a seiyuu. This is of course isn’t the plot of the series itself. But I believe that what they are trying to tell us is that this industry can also be a cutthroat competition. With so many up and coming seiyuus these days, staying relevant is very hard. Not just in this industry but the entertainment industry as a whole. I believe even in real life if a singer was famous last month and didn’t do anything to make ripples with his/her presence, he/she will be fast forgotten. That’s why with Chitose whose goal is to become famous (can’t say it is an admirable ambition but it’s natural we all want to be popular), she gets worried when she doesn’t land big roles. I believe by today’s standards, Chitose who is already sucking big time will be cut off immediately instead of being retained and waiting for her to turn over a new leaf and shine again. Only established celebrities have the luxury to do that but even so not very guaranteed. Once word goes around and the fans leave you, you’re finished.

Chitose is a character whom you’ll love to hate. However she isn’t despicable enough to make you really want to hate her. Maybe slap her a little sometimes. What makes her refreshing from many other cliché protagonists is that she is really so full of herself. Because of this less than desirable arrogant and cocky delusional behaviour, this is what makes her amusing and interesting. I can’t say that I really like her attitude but she is the main reason why this series is somewhat ‘interesting’. Had she been a typical goody-two-shoes like any other main characters, this series would have been as boring as hell. Because when you have every episode title named after her state of mood or circumstances, it tells you a lot about her. I mean what is your impression when you read titles like “Chitose the Braggart and the Voiceless Scream”, “Blasphemous Chitose and the Usual Story”, “Cocky Chitose and Shattered Popularity”, “Chitose Falls into Darkness and Disappointed Kuzu” and “Wavering Chitose and Determined Gojou”. Not very remarkable for a main character who has more than half the titles in such negative state.

Okay, so it was kinda mixed feelings when Chitose fell into depression because on one hand I was really shouting inside my heart how much she deserved it and hoped this would make her open her eyes but on the other hand I was really pitying her. I really felt bad when she actually went down in the dumps. I mean, despite her arrogance, she is still human. It is naturally for a person like her to dream of being big and famous but she doesn’t put in the hard work to justify it and often blames everything else but herself. She really thinks she is God or something. I am sure this attitude of hers we can connect in real life from the many experiences we have with such people. In the end, it took quite some time for her to realize or at least get the gist that being popular and number one is mostly hard work and perseverance. Just like respect, it is earned and not something given.

I can’t say much about the rest of Chitose’s fellow seiyuu colleagues, though. It doesn’t feel like they have a very deep storyline and it is only as though to give some sort of variety and distraction from Chitose. I mean, we have got to take a break from her whining, right? However back stories like Kazuha’s family problems as well as Momoka’s background from a family famous in the industry are just scratching the surface and provide nothing too deep. I mean, who doesn’t have their own problems to deal with? Because other than Kazuha’s inability to hold her liquor and Momoka who is cunning buy constantly worrying trying to step out of her parents’ shadows or the fact positive Koto has been in the industry for quite a while but never making a real impact, there is nothing more we know about them.

Most amusing one is of course Yae because of her very nervous and timid nature. At first she loves cowering behind Chitose for just about anything that scares her. It makes you wonder why she is in this industry in the first place. Because of that, Chitose loves teasing her sometimes with really mean sarcastic words leaving Yae to be even more ruffled than before. It feels like Yae is being masochistic for Chitose’s mockery? Though Yae does improve and doesn’t get anxious too often, she still maintains her trust and believe in Chitose. A true friend indeed. That is why Chitose should be thanking her lucky stars for having such support. Even if Kazuha and Momoka are bratty like her (but to a lesser degree because at least they are responsible), they still value her as a seiyuu colleague.

Ah, there’s always the new girl in town like Nanami because with all the hot attention on her but it’s like a new toilet seat. Not to be insulting but you understand the hype when someone new, fresh and promising breaks into the scene. I believe Nanami is very genuine in wanting to work hard and all that but sometimes I have this sceptical feeling if all that passion will fizzle out through the years. I mean, most of us started out like this positive outlook, lots of hopes and dreams only for reality and life to f*ck us all and bog us down to be cynics. Because of her super positive tones, it really makes me wonder the magnitude of her becoming like Chitose once she realizes she has fallen out of favour. I know all this won’t be happening and I hope it won’t but I’m just curious to know since she is so innocent even way past Yae.

Because take a look at Gojou. He was once famous and now what happened to him? I don’t think it was that bad to leave him in some sort of trauma because otherwise he wouldn’t let his sister be in this industry then. He must have realizes something and perhaps cut his losses before it got worse. Who knows? He might have been worse off had he continued being a seiyuu. Therefore Chitose as I have said is blessed to have such people around. Without Nanami entering the scene, she might have continued being a b*tch whom she plays to perfection in real life. Nanami literally and indirectly hit her where it hurts most: Her popularity.

Even more despicable than Chitose is of course Kuzu. Ah yes. Ironically his name already means crap and his attitude even reflects it. This is the guy whom all of us have met at least once in our life. The kind of guy who uses smooth words to make it sound like everything is alright. Nice words to paint a very bright picture and future. But when the real work comes around, he shoves that responsibility upon others and goes to be merry all by himself. The worst kind of person to work with. Thankfully Towada is competent and responsible to clean up his mess. Things would have fallen apart real quick if this guy isn’t around. At least with this experience I believe Towada has levelled up in dealing with this kind of sh*t.

Kuzu is like Chitose in not putting in effort into his work. Unlike Chitose who falls off the popularity radar, Kuzu falls out of favour from his colleagues as they can work and go ahead without him. Fall into depression, need some encouragement to get back up his feet and although changed but still largely the same person he is as we know. Don’t you see a pattern with Chitose and Kuzu here? Nanba I thought he was just some sleazy higher up who knows how to only laugh and agree with everything but as we see that he is also a serious guy and closely watching his talents in his agency. He lets the young ones take control of their destiny and when they sometimes go out of orbit, he has a little advice that guides them back to Earth. He is not the big guy in his agency for nothing.

While the art and drawing may not be that outstanding and your typical Japanese anime standards, if you want to compare it to other similar seiyuu themed animes, this one is of course the better looking one. The girls here have this bishoujo look unlike Sore Ga Seiyuu or Love Get Chu whereby they lean more towards the moe and kawaii look. Therefore I want to say that beneath all their cute pretty girly faces lies scheming b*tches that could be worse than the modelling industry. Animated by Diomedea who did anime series like Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Mayoiga, Akuma No Riddle, Kantai Collection, Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu, Handa-kun and Kodomo No Jikan.

Many of the main voice acting casts aren’t household powerhouse names. At least not in my books. We have Sayaka Senbongi as Chitose (Mumei in Koutetsujou No Kabaneri), Eri Suzuki as Momoka (Milinda in Heavy Object), Saori Oonishi as Kazuha (Aiz in DanMachi), Kaede Hondo as Yae (Miyoko in Handa-kun), Yui Ishikawa as Koto (Mikasa in Shingeki no Kyojin) and Amina Satou as Nanami (Yuuka in AKB0048). Kazuya Nakai is recognizable as Kuzu. Hearing him as this slick lazy producer is refreshing as it is odd. Because hearing him in roles like One Piece’s Zoro and Gintama’s Hijikata, serious and no nonsense (almost) characters, hearing him as Kuzu just makes him sound so gay. Really. I’m not sure if it is intentional because it sounds like Yotshitsugu Matsuoka is playing a character with the same name like as though he is playing himself (no, not masturbation lah!!!!) but I haven’t hear him go into such passionate mode for a long time. The other recognizable one is Sho Hayami as Shakujii whose low voice still gives off that assertive and dominant impression. The rest of the other casts are Yuichiro Umehara as Gojou (En in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love), Takuya Eguchi as Towada (Koikawa in Mushibugyou) and Kenyuu Horiuchi as Nanba (Kinemon in One Piece). Too bad no famous seiyuu cameos like in Sore Ga Seiyuu.

The opening theme, Bloom is sung by the main female quintet of the series. This makeshift band is also named after the series too. Sounds like a typical all-girl anime pop music and nothing too special. The same quintet also sing the ending theme, Ima Wa Mijikashi Yume Miyo Otome. I find this song to be quite weird. Especially some parts of the song I am not sure if they are making some sort of sound effect with their voices despite the rest of the song is more of rock. Then there is this strange dance that the girls do in the ending credits animation. Well, they’re not so much dancing since it is still pictures of them in weird poses. It feels like they are in some cheerleading squad or some sentai victory group pose or something. At least the song for the final episode, Ashita E No Tochuu De doesn’t sound weird. Just a typical all-girl group anime pop song.

Overall, this anime might look like some sort of warning to budding seiyuu wannabes. You might have a great voice but if you aren’t so great if your personality stinks. You can go out of the industry as fast as you come in if you do not stay relevant or even push the wrong buttons. Casual viewers might not really find this to their liking since the main character is already so b*tchy and by the time she turns over it is already too late. The damage is done. And in the end, she is still basically the same person. That is why Chitose can only be Chitose and excels at being herself. Because if you really want to see real b*tch drama, look no further than today’s reality TV. All is not nice and glitter as it seems.

Ghosts and spirits aren’t my forte. They aren’t my thing since a long time ago. That’s why I would never have watched Kiitarou Shounen No Youkai Enikki knowing that it is all about Japanese youkai from their folklore. For some reason, probably my mind wasn’t myself at that point because I decided to try it out thinking that maybe I would get to understand that Japanese culture by learning its local spirits. WTF???!!! HOW THE HECK DID I EVER COME TO THIS THINKING???!!! Because each episode is only 4 minutes long and it is more comedy based than scary, it adds ‘motivation’ for me to check it out. I know. WTF, right?

Episode 1
There is a big war among the youkais looming. On one side we have this army led by a human boy, Kiitarou and on the other side a zashiki warashi, Suzu. Then it happens. The big epic clash from both sides trying to kill each other. When the big boss of both sides finally clash, we learn that this great war stems from Suzu accusing Kiitarou for eating her snack. Also, he blames her for not cleaning the house. When they realize it, everyone else has been defeated. They didn’t know they would take this so seriously. Should we? After hearing the cause of it? So now they start blaming each other when a giant youkai falls over them. In the aftermath, both sides reconcile and party like as though there was no issue in the first place. Kiitarou and Suzu realize their childish warring ways that didn’t benefit anyone because nothing beats peace.

Episode 2
Kiitarou was kicked out of his house by uncle for entering some forbidden room so he has to live in a separate building by himself. As he has supernatural powers, this means he has the ability to see the supernatural. He thought he had ultimate freedom till he met Suzu occupying this house. Kiitarou thought there is a pervert in the house because he is licking the bathroom and wants to lick Suzu! Turns out to be Akaname, a youkai that eats grime from household baths. Kiitarou also mistakes this next youkai to be a pervert because Tenjoname is licking the ceiling. You can’t blame them for licking since it is their youkai instinct. But when they start proclaiming they are Suzu’s licking brothers, she gives Kiitarou permission to kill them. They plead for a second chance and it seems Kiitarou wants them to lick something unsanitary! Because Kiitarou spams about licking Suzu, he gets ‘killed’ by her. Suzu then has them clean the entire house properly. Kiitarou learns they will leave once the house is cleaned. So does this mean they are here because Suzu is neglecting her cleaning? Suddenly Suzu is nowhere to be seen…

Episode 3
While taking a walk, Kiitarou spots a Nobiagari. He gets into a staring challenge as it rises up into the sky till Kiitarou bends his back and falls over, accidentally seeing Suzu’s panties. She steps on his face and calls it reflex action. At night, they come into a wall blocking their path. Suzu says this is a Nurikabe. It is no use climbing over or the sides as the wall is endless. The only way is to take its feet out from under it. Instead of using a stick, Kiitarou kicks it! The Nurikabe disappears but crashes down. The impact causes Kiitarou to fall down and sees Suzu’s panties again. Another stepping reflex action. Don’t worry as he assures. It was too dark to see anything like the last time. The last time?!

Episode 4
While picking nuts fruits in the forest, Kiitarou and Suzu witness hamsters doing kendo?! Suzu explains they are futtachi, animals who lived unnaturally long and started acting like humans. A snake is about to eat them so the elder hamster tries to protect his younger siblings. Unfortunately he got eaten whole. Luckily this youkai fox lady, Kitsunemen No Onna saves the day. She smothers Kiitarou in her boobs but he bites her! You no like big boobs, Kiitarou???!!! It seems the Kitsunemen’s job is to supervise other youkai so they do not bother the humans but she is clearly slacking in her job. Kiitarou thinks she could fool him by disguising as Suzu because of the tail as dead giveaway. But after he punishes her, it looks like Kiitarou actually punished Suzu as Kitsunemen was only impersonating as a tail.

Episode 5
Kiitarou knows he is in trouble when he meets a couple of cows with human heads called Kudan. They insist in reading his fortune. He’s going to have bad luck. So they suggest a way to avoid it is to give him a crappy publicity photo of them? This feels more like a curse than a charm. Kitsunemen bumps into Kiitarou and is trying to seduce him but it doesn’t work. Apparently she is running from Suzu because she ate her snack. She forces Kiitarou to help hide her. She becomes a rock as he sits on her. Suzu questions Kiitarou and is suspicious like he is hiding something from her. Kiitarou touches the wrong part (her boobs) and this busts Kitsunemen out of her disguise. Now Suzu is going to get mad at him so to distract her, he throws her that photo as charm. The girls think he is into older women.

Episode 6
When Kiitarou sees Yukionna paint, she doesn’t like how he is peeping at her work and insults him. Wow. Such strong language of telling him to go to hell. She spits too! Later, a youkai named Yukiko visits Suzu to hang out with her. But she gets sick from the heat (she’s a snow woman after all) as Kiitarou swiftly nurses her back to health. He treats her with nice food and this makes Suzu jealous that he is treating her so nice and warmly. Ironic, right? When Yukiko leaves, her mom comes to pick her up. She is no other than Yukionna. She still despises Kiitarou. But despite that, she is a lovely mother towards Yukiko.

Episode 7
Kiitarou plays poker with Yukiko when this bald guy, Tenome comes up to him and wants to play a wager game with him. Kiitarou feeling pretty good about his win takes on his challenge. However Kiitarou lost all of his hand and slowly everything in the house gets confiscated. In the final hand he waged his clothes and needs to find out how Tenome is cheating. In this Kaiji inspired episode, Kiitarou then catches Tenome’s trick. He is a youkai with an eye on his palm. Kiitarou wants to play one last game but what has he has left to wager? Suzu’s panties! Not so fast buster! Kiitarou is punished but instead of letting the rest punish Tenome, he wants him to be freed. Power of friendship? In exchange for learning his tricks. Good trade.

Episode 8
Because Suzu’s face cannot be reflected in normal mirrors as she is a youkai, she is trying to find the special Shomakyo mirror. Kiitarou doesn’t understand why she wants to see her face now because she has always looked cute. Suzu greatly flusters and beats him up to hide her embarrassment. Kiitarou remembers the mirror in the storeroom and goes gets it. When Suzu sees it, she sees how ugly her face is! She then locks herself up in a room, convinced such ugly face will cause Armageddon! Kitsunemen explains this is Ungaikyo. Anyone looking in this mirror is sure to look this ugly. It is often confused with Shomakyo because they look similar. Kiitarou then has Yukionna paint Suzu’s portrait. She is relieved as this is how she looks in Kiitarou’s eyes.

Episode 9
While playing outside, Yukiko finds a Kodama Nezumi. Suzu is scared because she is still reeling from the trauma of an experience of it being blown up when upset. But first they have to swell to a big size. It seems when they try to run away, it only serves to accidentally bump into the rat and make it grow bigger. But Suzu must be the jinxed one since a mere touch as the rat blow up bigger many times fold. Yukiko thought she could calm down by impersonating her mom. Wait. Doesn’t her mom insults others? But wait. Kodama Nezumi likes it! But when Suzu scolds it, it grows bigger. The misery ends when Kitsunemen drops by, accidentally hitting Kodama Nezumi. The explosion is real. So is the trauma.

Episode 10
Suzu is down so Kiitarou suggests cheering her up and Yukiko recommends giving surprise presents. Suzu opens the first box which contains mittens from Yukiko. She seems happy but Yukionna doesn’t like it? Next box is a pair of silk panties from Kitsunemen! As feared, Suzu thinks it’s from Kiitarou. Next box is a realistic figurine of Suzu from Yukionna. So realistic in every part… This means Suzu thinks this too is from Kiitarou! As she gets mad from getting weird presents, Kiitarou shows himself and gives her a pair of slippers. She is happy of his consideration about having cold feet though Kiitarou notes she is acting like a tsundere.

Episode 11
Kitsunemen is attacked by a giant centipede, Oomukade. She is okay but realizes Kiitarou is in danger. Too late. It has got him. Kiitarou remembers he broke a sealed pot when he entered the storeroom to get the mirror. The rest try to remember its weakness. It is some human part. Was it human hair? Fingernails? Snot? Tail? Wings? Now they’re pushing it… Annoyed Suzu awakened from her slumber remembers it is human spit. Kiitarou then spits like a machine gun and sends Oomukade scurrying in defeat. But suddenly Kiitarou collapses!

Episode 12
Kiitarou has been out for 3 days! Everybody including the youkai are worried. Especially Suzu. She remembers the first time she met him when he came to the house. She learnt of his ability to sense the supernatural and laughed when he was disappointed she wasn’t some alien. To decide who is to be the master of this house, she challenged him to hide and seek and if he finds her before sundown, he’ll be master. Kiitarou realizes too late he didn’t set the boundaries for the game. He finds a doll looking like Suzu and decides to sink it in the pond. Suzu pops up and doesn’t want him to soak her real body. Oops. She lost. With him as master, she is forced to clean the house. With more flashbacks of Kiitarou’s adventures here, suddenly he wakes up. Everybody rejoices. He attributes Suzu’s nice voice that woke him up. While embarrassed, the others too would like their praise in waking him up. Did they? Well, they stayed by his side. Kiitarou continues to live a happy life alongside the youkai. One day he will look back and reminisce these precious memories in his picture diary.

Don’t Worry, They Won’t Bite
Well, it doesn’t seem to be all that bad. Because I wasn’t really spooked out so I suppose everything is fine. When you have a human kid being all friendly and living with Japanese ghosts, either the world is such a peaceful place or the ghosts fail to live up to their roles in scaring people. Just like how Casper is a failure of being a ghost, right? But I wonder in the future if everybody else would find Kiitarou creepy because in the final narration he tells us he kept all his fond memories in his picture diary in which for normal kids is supposed to keep track of ‘normal’ and ‘boring’ activities they do. Imagine if people read how he has fun with ghosts, I think they will call him crazy or freak out at everything. I mean, do you really find it weird for kids who make friends with spirits? It’s like he has no other human friends! Yeah, in the future it may look like some creepy cryptic grimoire. Seriously.

I feel that this series is targeted for younger audiences. Because of the non-spooky features of everything and how the youkai are mostly drawn to a cute degree, it feels like this series’ aim is to introduce Japanese youkai. Otherwise, this show literally does not have any plot to begin with since it is just mainly about Kiitarou and his encounters with the youkai. Nothing much ado. What makes this series a little more interesting is at the end of every episode, Kiitarou and Suzu usually explain a little more in detail about the featured youkai in the episode. So if you’re interested in learning more, I suppose you can do your own research. Of course I’m not going to. So once again this section because how it cutely explains the youkai, the reason why I feel this series is targeted for children.

The characters aren’t really much if you ask me because like Kiitarou as the main guy who is forced to live in a house and area filled with youkai, he is sometimes a pervert but is generally a good kid. I want to make a joke about Kiitarou quoting a line from The Sixth Sense (“I see dead people”) but somehow I just can’t fit it anywhere. Maybe somebody can… Suzu is the cheeky zashiki warashi and from the looks of it might end up being Kiitarou’s love interest but I doubt it since she is sometimes tsundere and likes to accuse Kiitarou of his pranks and being a pervert that sometimes aren’t his fault to begin with. I suppose those kind of situations he gets into form the funny moments of the series. Well, who would want to move out of this house if Suzu is such a cute zashiki warashi?

Kitsunemen is quite playful and also a pervert sometimes. She is like the fanservice of the series because who else has got bigger boobs than hers. Yukionna seems to have problems with everything because it’s like she is never pleased with anything. But despite her grumpy mood, she is still a good snow woman. I think. I hope. The better character of them all is Yukiko. She isn’t as extreme when come to taking action like the rest most probably because of her gentle behaviour. We should have more of her character around? Come to think of it, doesn’t Kiitarou have a really hot and cute harem of youkai girls? No wonder he has no qualms of staying here indefinitely.

The anime is animated by Creators In Pack. They specialize in creating many cute short anime series such as Danchigai, Military, Ojisan To Marshmallow, Hacka Doll The Animation Ozmafia and Bernard-jou Iwaku. All of these series have this cute and kawaii look to them and therefore this series is no different. With all the different vibrant colours of the characters, that is why I and most people won’t even be spooked out of our daylights watching this series. Not even Oomukade. Cute enough to not be scary.

For a very short anime series, it seems they have a different ending theme for every episode. However I didn’t notice this at first and only realized this later because I realized it sounded somewhat a little different than I remember. Why it never occurred to me they were different was because that all of the ending themes are hard rock music! They sound almost alike! Of all the hard rock ending themes, I think there was only one which was just normal rock piece. Speaking of this music genre, personally it feels odd to have such hard rock music for this kind of supernatural comedy. I don’t know. It just doesn’t fit. But it won’t even be any much fitting if they play a spooky piece. Or the theme of Ghostbusters.

Overall, this series is light hearted and funny. It won’t give you nightmares in anyway unless you are the extreme type to get freaked out just by the mere mention of the word ghost/spirit/youkai. If you are interested in learning about Japanese youkai, this series isn’t exactly a good place to start but it is just like a light appetizer to gauge whether you are interested in continuing with the full course meal. And then upgrade yourself to really scary Japanese horror movie flicks. Then you’d wish every ghost/spirit/youkai would be as docile and friendly as Kiitarou’s buddies. Okay, maybe those licker types are a bit creepy…

Drifters

April 30, 2017

Initially I was going to give Drifters the skip seeing that this is an alternate history or that kind of sort (no, it wasn’t about that old American doo-wop group). But then my guts start tingling like a spider sense so I went back to read again the synopsis. After gathering a few more information about it, I’m glad my guts were right because it does sound interesting because how badass can you get when you have a bunch of famous real characters from history converging in an alternate world to fight for the survival or destruction of that world! Wow. That has got to be very cool. Even better, it isn’t anything like Nobunaga The Fool despite the same concept of bringing together a bunch of famous historical personalities. So if you want to see a death battle between Napoleon Bonaparte and Julius Caesar, this series is somewhat it. Okay, Napoleon and Julius Caesar didn’t really appear here but you catch my drift (pun intended). Even if this isn’t meant to be historical accurate and only uses personalities from history, but I guess it beats using the same ol’ formula of gender bender Nobunaga. Yeah… By the way, he is in here. As a man. Phew!

Episode 1
Toyohisa Shimazu is cutting through the enemies in the bloody Battle of Sekigahara. When his uncle wants them to retreat back to Satsuma, Toyohisa wants to stay back and but time for him to escape because as long as he returns to Satsuma, they will win this battle. Toyohisa and his side fight off the advancing Ii clan. It seemed like Toyohisa is reckless as he gets pierced by all the guards in his bid to reach the boss, Naomasa. But he has a trick up his sleeve as he pulls out a gun and fires at him. With Naomasa down, the enemy retreats. However Toyohisa is not happy because he wants to take his head back. As he limps away, he suddenly finds himself in a strange endless white room with many strange doors and a strange man, Murasaki who looks like a typical government officer. When Murasaki writes a note, Toyohisa gets absorbed into a door. It is a strange fantasy world but Toyohisa thinks he is in hell since before him are 2 elves. Recognizing his weird language, they realize he is a Drifter. They take him to an abandoned castle where a couple of Drifters are taking refuge and quickly leave as they fear their master might find out they come into contact with them. Toyohisa wakes up and quickly draws his sword at the guy before him. He cannot believe this dude is Nobunaga Oda. He is already dead for 18 years (Nobunaga feels it has only been months here). Either he is a ghost or a lunatic pretending to be him. Making it even more unbelievable is the other guy, Yoichi Suketaka Nasu who is supposed to be dead for 400 years during the Genpei War! Yoichi stops their bickering and makes them pluck bird feathers?! They get to know each other and the only similarity is that they met a strange guy in a strange room with doors before coming here. Of course Toyohisa being the ‘youngest’, they haven’t heard of his name or clan whatsoever. Nobunaga is shocked to hear in his time how his clan and country has fallen into civil war. All his family members are dead or became unknowns. Even his son as he learns has died during the battle. A sad and bitter pill to swallow. He feels everything he did for 50 years was in vain. Spying on them is Olminu who works under the head of Octobrist, Abe No Haruakira. He feels the need to do something or else the world will be destroyed.

Episode 2
Another of Haruakira’s subordinate is keeping a close eye on another couple of Drifters. Old men fighting in the desert over stolen tactics? Scipio Africanus versus Hannibal Barca. Which old dude will win the knockout punch? Toyohisa and co wake up in the middle of the night. They smell fire. A village beyond the forest is being burnt down. After Nobunaga explains the elves live there, Toyohisa immediately bolts ahead. The 2 elves that saved him are about to be cut into half but here comes Toyohisa slicing them instead. Noticing the enemy is well equipped, they cannot be bandits but soldiers of a lord’s force. They decide to claim the village. All the elves are rounded up by Aram and his knights. He is accusing them of entering the forest and associating with Drifters, which is a serious crime for them. He reminds them the administration of Drifters fall under those magicians in Octobrist. The elves argue the unreasonable demand of staying out of the forest because that is where they gather fire wood and hunt. Aram tells them to blame their ancestors for losing the war. One day all demihumans like them will be wiped out. Then he kills half of them! A soldier reports the wheat field is on fire. Aram is worried since this is where his tax money comes from. This fire was set by Nobunaga in his bid to capture this village. Toyohisa jumps in and decapitates all the soldiers before facing off with Aram who is cocky he will kill this bastard. Toyohisa is enraged seeing slaughtered bodies of elves, he is going to take more than his head. He will take his life. Toyohisa throws his sword at him as distraction and then goes up close to him to grapple him to the ground. He takes his hilt and pounds on his head mercilessly. After a while he stops. He gives a sword to an elf and tells him to kill Aram. Take revenge! At first they are hesitant but with hatred burning inside, all of them pick up the weapons and stab Aram to death. Feel good, right? All the fleeing soldiers are killed off by Yoichi. The elves now bow down to their new master and saviour, Toyohisa. Meanwhile Murasaki is being confronted by Easy who mocks him no matter how many Drifters he send, they cannot beat her Ends. He doesn’t give a f*ck about her so she ups the ante by starting the invasion.

Episode 3
Haruakira and his Octobrist are helping to keep guard on the city’s wall defence. However the guards are confident the walls have never been broken through. Haruakira knows they will lose at this rate so he seeks permission to let Scipio and Hannibal take command. Of course they won’t allow it and making it worse, Hannibal’s bladder problems has him wetting his pants. They laugh at the old man but Scipio stands up for him. Though, they might not understand what he is talking. When magic stops working, Haruakira realizes the Black King, the leader of Ends and his army are here. Hordes of monster soldiers and dragon reinforcements too. How you all gonna fight that?! But it looks like the Black King also has a few historical figures on his side. Toshizou Hijikata, Joan d’Arc, Gilles de Rais and Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova. However Kurou Hougan Yoshitsune is the unpredictable one. Despite being on the Black King’s side, he is neither a Drifter nor End. He will take whichever side that interests him. The invasion begins and in no time the walls fall. Not laughing this time, aren’t we? Haruakira thinks the city cannot be saved but must let the Drifters escape. Suddenly a door appears from the sky and out comes from it is a Zero fighter plane piloted by Captain Naoshi Kanno. This guy is in a bad mood and perhaps going to lose and now he is in an unknown land with flying dragons? But when he sees the city burning down and the people being slaughtered, it reminds him of his own similar circumstances. He now knows who the enemy is. Haruakira takes the old guys to meet up with the other Drifters, Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid. He seeks for advice if they can win and since Hannibal says the chances aren’t zero, Haruakira gets his confidence back that if they team up with those Japanese Drifters, they can still win this. They escape the burning city with the cowboys giving them the ride of their lives. Their sharp shooting skills can take out the infantry but what about the dragons? Naoshi is gunning them down like nobody’s business. Haruaki is glad he is a Drifter. After the city has fallen, the Black King orders his army to find and exterminate all Drifters in his bid to eliminate mankind. Meanwhile Olminu is being discovered by Toyohisa and co. She fears they will kill her so she explains everything. People like them from another world are called Drifters and are being monitored and gathered by Octobrist to fight against Ends. However the trio don’t care and are not interested at all.

Episode 4
Olminu continues her explanation. She doesn’t think they are Ends because these heartless people are inhumane and only seek the destruction of mankind. Nobunaga asks if Octobrist has any army but it seems they are borrowing them from lords and kings. That is why they need Drifters to tip the balance. Nobunaga laughs at this approach because in feudalism, which lord will give up his entire army to others. He proposes that Octobrist not be the head but instead they will be leaders in their campaign conquest in which Octobrist will play a supporting role. Oh, Toyohisa will be their leader. Why him? Because he saved the elves, right? Grigori Rasputin reports the casualties to the Black King. He will heal his brethren who are injured. He explains he once tried to save mankind but they rejected him. Now he has no choice but to save demihumans and annihilate humans. The elves are discussing their next course of action because they know their master will not stand for this. Olminu has a charm that would have them speak fluently in their language. Poor Yoichi. He tried so hard to learn their language… Olminu explains elves were defeated by humans 40 years ago and were subjugated to become as serfs. Nobunaga wants Toyohisa to rally them. Will they continue to live in humiliation of their ancestors and children? They don’t want to be slaves anymore so it is decided that they’ll take back their land. Toyohisa thinks Nobunaga is letting him take command because he is substituting him as his dead son. He tells him he is not his son. He died. Heart breaking for an old man but he hits back at Toyohisa that he isn’t his dad too because he must have died a long time ago. Then they start arguing and fighting before the elves break them up because the troops are closing in. Olminu adds that this land once belonged to the elves. The human kingdom of Orte has also been expanding its territories by subjugating other demihumans throughout the years. Nobunaga knows that Orte will send its troop to slaughter everyone as lesson and warning to others. What is Toyohisa planning to do? They’ll let them in alright. When the troops arrive, they find no one around. It seems they are hiding in the forest and Toyohisa can’t wait to kill them all tonight.

Episode 5
The village’s wells are filled with faeces and there is no drinking water. The elves are crafting bows and arrows since they have a natural talent as archers. The dead soldiers were decapitated. Although their heads were given a proper burial, their bodies are tossed in a pit filled with more faeces and urine. To them it is the same thing as being buried but only making the process faster. Toyohisa rallies the elves to fight back and then storm the enemy base to take back their women who have been held captive. Nobunaga notices Toyohisa’s flare as a warlord instead of a ruler because he impels people to fight. The night siege on the village begins. The guards are taken by surprise. While Toyohisa singlehandedly slices them, Nobunaga guides the elves as they quickly create a mini barricade. They then lace their arrows with faeces and fire. It seems the medical advances of this world is primitive because they don’t have any proper disinfection for tetanus. Nobunaga observes the poor skills and low morale of these third rate soldiers. They don’t have to kill all of them. Just kill 10% or 20% and they will lose morale and scatter. After Toyohisa takes the head of the commander, the troops flee. The elves rejoice in their victory but Toyohisa says it is not over yet till they storm their main base. But Nobunaga chides him he doesn’t even have a plan for that. The fleeing soldiers fall into pits filled with spikes and faeces. If they don’t, Yoichi and the other elves will take them out. This tactic seems to be very familiar to Yoshitsune who once told Yoichi there is no fairness in wars. The commanders at the main base are worried that the soldiers have not returned. They fear an uprising and this would lead to other demihumans taking action. They may need to destroy a few villages to show who is boss and at worse, hang the women. They are delighted when the troops return. However Nobunaga and the elves are disguised in their armour and they have already entered in. Toyohisa leads the elves to the tower where the elven women are held. Some soldiers throw down their weapons and surrender. Toyohisa tells the elves not to kill such because it will be a disgrace. Whether you kill an enemy depends on their actions. When they enter the tower, they see all the elven women being tortured and raped. No more Mr Nice Guy for Toyohisa. All of them will die. I guess surrendering now isn’t an option, huh?

Episode 6
As Nobunaga ransacks the place, he finds a large portrait. Olminu explains this is the father of Orte who founded the kingdom 60 years ago. Doesn’t he look like Adolf Hitler? Out of nowhere he rallied humans to fight. But after Orte was founded he committed suicide. The reason remains unknown. When Nobunaga learns Toyohisa has rounded up the soldiers and are about to give orders to the elves to kill them all, he knocks him out real hard. Then Nobunaga gives the order himself to execute them. It seems he doesn’t want Toyohisa to do such twisted jobs. That’s a job for him. The elves kill everyone except for one guy who kept claiming he is a newbie who just got transferred here and did not sleep with any women. They feel killing him would make them no different. When the elven females return to their respective village, Nobunaga also sent a propaganda memo there to make them rise up and revolt. The domino effect has the elves slowly breaking away from Orte’s subjugation. The Orte council is discussing their next action when this gay guy, Count Saint-Germi barges in to give his opinion. He owns a quarter of Orte and it is believed the kingdom could not have existed had he not ‘betrayed’. He tells everyone their supply route has already been cut as their fleet has been seized and sunk by Shylock Co of the Gu Binnen Guild. This guy gets his war tactics from a Drifter, a Japanese naval admiral Tamon Yamaguchi. Saint-Germi also knows that the elves have revolt and this would lead to other demihumans doing the same. He realizes this kingdom is doomed. He decides to go contact the elves. Nobunaga is mad that Toyohisa decided a village head council system for the elves when he could be king for them. His reason is that he knows one day the elves will turn against them. But Nobunaga vows not to stop until he achieves his dream of making Toyohisa as king. Nobunaga has the elves gather more faeces to make bombs. They must be thinking this guy loves sh*t. As elves cannot replicate making guns, the only race who can do it as expert blacksmiths are dwarves. That night, the Drifters have an eerie feeling that something is coming after them. They know it isn’t Orte and something more powerful. It’s Joan and Gilles.

Episode 7
Joan and Gilles burn down trees and kill some elves in a bid to lure out the Drifters. It’s time for an epic fight between Drifters and Ends. Toyohisa takes on Joan while Yoichi faces off with Gilles. Nobunaga and the elves hide in the forest and easily take care of the cavalry with simple traps and high grounds. Olminu uses her ground wall to save Toyohisa from Joan’s flames. She is shocked that he kneels and gives her a proper gratitude because there might not be a next time. Mistaking Joan to be a man, Toyohisa returns to fight her. He can tell that she is showing off her flame magic like as though she wants the world to know she can do this. This means she is a rookie in fighting and it will be easy for him to kill her. Joan is puzzled that Toyohisa trapped himself around her flames. When Toyohisa gives the signal, Olminu uses her ground wall spell to propel him towards her. Olminu is confused because this life risking ways just to take the enemy’s head is what Ends are. Toyohisa pushes Joan into the well. It seems water is what she was seeking. She was burnt at the stake as a witch despite fighting for her people and country. When the people abandoned her, Easy popped up to save her. When Toyohisa realizes Joan is a woman, he loses his motivation to cut her head. He tells her to go home and do women-like things. He can’t be satisfied with this and might have to take Gilles’ head. This makes her upset but he doesn’t care or even heard about France or Christ and knocks her out. Yoichi is baffled despite shooting multiple times into Gilles’ vital points, he cannot die! Even taking out his eyes, Gilles is still moving! When Yoichi gets in a bind, Nobunaga can’t let him die and orders the elves to fire all they’ve got. No effect on that monster! At the right moment, Haruakira’s cavalry arrive as Butch fires his rounds into Gilles. Even being shot to pieces he is still moving! When Gilles realizes Joan has gone, he tells us his reason of unfinished journey. The Maiden couldn’t go to heaven and thus he decided to defile himself to go to hell and join her. However he ended up in this world with her. But now she is no longer the Maiden and will definitely go to hell, Gilles disintegrate himself to reach hell first. Phew. End of the monster. Haruakira introduces himself to Nobunaga as the man who hates Ends who should not exist in this world and tasked with supporting Drifters.

Episode 8
Yoichi hears Yoshitsune mocking him for the way he fights. Yoichi will not follow his orders anymore so Yoshitsune tells him to do as he please. The next time they meet will be more interesting. When Haruakira learns Toyohisa didn’t kill Joan, he isn’t happy. Joan has escaped. Toyohisa’s policy will not have him take the head of a woman. Haruakira argues gender is irrelevant as he is part of Ends but Toyohisa screws his rules. He follows his own rules as they are humans. They will not be pawns to be manipulated by Murasaki. When Nobunaga sees Hannibal, he is in a state of dementia and quickly deteriorating. During the run from the Black King’s army, Scipio fell off. They couldn’t go back to find him because of the relentless attack. Don’t worry, that guy is still alive as he is trekking through the dense forest till he sees a crashed Zero plane. Naoshi has tamed all those demihuman dogs under his command. Nobody beats this guy’s anger. Both humans butt heads but when Naoshi learns he is from Rome, they quickly become friends. Because the Axis tripartite pact. But he changes his mind and beats him up. Italy sucks, right? Nobunaga is fascinated with bullets as Butch explains this to him. However their guns are now useless since they have ran out of them. Nobunaga believes such weaponry can change the tide of the battle and do mass annihilation. He claims he can make those black powder needed for bullets. He has Olminu get sulphur from those sh*t. Yeah, it stinks. Now he needs the dwarves’ blacksmithing skills. Haruakira notes Nobunaga is a dangerous man. Ends might have the same goal of world destruction but Drifters have different goals. This makes them unpredictable. He believes Orte’s founder was also a Drifter. He tried to unite mankind but it ended up with a large endless war erupting.

Nobunaga continues explaining his plan to liberate those oppressed under Orte and forming an alliance to take Orte down. They will unite all tribes and establish a multi-racial federation where each race has the right to self-govern although they will keep the military power and Toyohisa as the commander. Although this will lead to military rule, it is way better than Orte or being destroyed by Ends. But why make Toyohisa the king? Nobunaga feels he doesn’t have what it takes for it. He thought profits and fear would be the controlling factor but the hearts of men don’t work like that. When he was betrayed, the first person he suspected was his son. Yet he died. Therefore Toyohisa who doesn’t care about gain or loss, fear or intimidation is the right person for the job. Since he is a fool, he needs an assistant, which is where Nobunaga comes in. Toyohisa tests Hannibal’s senile by feigning an attack. His eyes are still sharp and Toyohisa likes it. They become great buddies. Toyohisa tells the elves he is going to liberate the dwarves. They are not happy because both races hate each other and never got along. Toyohisa’s answer is that only those who wants to fight should join him. He is just going out conquering. The elves realize in the previous war had they thrown away their silly grudges and worked together, they wouldn’t have become slaves. They decide to support Toyohisa and avoid repeating the mistakes their previous generation did. Haruakira and the cowboys decide to return to HQ to look for Scipio and investigate more about Ends. Kid lets Nobunaga keep his pistol and the gatling gun.

Episode 9
Gadolka is where the dwarves are held and the biggest armoury of Orte. If this falls, Orte is done for. Gadolka is under sieged with our Drifters and elves throwing bombs made out of sulphur and sh*t to scatter and confuse the enemy. But those are the small fries. The ones with heavy armours and weapons start streaming out. Surely they’re not going to fight them head on. Toyohisa cues Olminu to use her stone walls to trap them. Then the rest throw the bombs inside. No escape! Boom! Game over. But when the bridge to the main town closes, Nobunaga views this as a problem. Till Hannibal gives some hand signal that he suddenly knows what to do. With Olminu’s stone walls and Yoichi’s sharp archery skills, they create giant steps on the walls to climb up and over. They enter the building to free the dwarves. The elves see the devastated tortured state they are in. The elves felt lucky that their race was only made into serfs. The dwarves pleads for freedom and if they do so they can help fight. Toyohisa likes the dwarves’ spirit but seeing how malnourished they are, he stops the battle and has everyone cook and eat! Gather all the pots and any meat you can find! Slaughter the horses too! While the dwarves are eating, Toyohisa goes to warn the remaining soldiers holing up in the castle. He tells them to run now and he promise he won’t chase and kill them. Because if they don’t, the dwarves will come after them. Because there is not enough food and they’ll eat them! The soldiers agree to surrender. Toyohisa wants to know who the lord of this place is. The commander steps up. Toyohisa wants him to wait and prepare a ritual for him to disembowel his stomach. This is the only honourable thing to do after you lose. However he is scared and won’t do it. Toyohisa doesn’t see him fit as a leader and decapitates him immediately! The other soldiers run as Toyohisa tells Yoichi not to go after them. For now, let’s get back to eating. Meanwhile, an Octobrist and Doug spy along the northern walls. They see a huge dragon cavalry and the huge bronze dragon, one of the 6 great dragons who might have joined forces with the Black King. Even more shocking when they see the monsters doing farming. They note Haruakira was right. The Black King doesn’t wish for the world’s end but to become a saviour to the monsters who will take the place of humans.

Episode 10
The bronze dragon is going to eat the Black King for not knowing his place. However the Black King casts a curse on him that melts his skin! He gives the beast a chance to join his alliance. Fearful of his life, the bronze dragon agrees. Rasputin and Hijikata are discussing the Black King’s amazing resurrection power and even on inanimate objects like crops. So why make his troops do agriculture instead of creating eternal food for them? It’s because he is not God and doesn’t have eternal life. As per his request, Rasputin has done organizing a new symbol for their new religion and language (Roman alphabets?). The Black King plans to unite all races under one new religion and language and forge their own civilization in this world. Saint-Germi and his subordinates, Allister and Fulame arrive at the elves’ base. Mills (the ex-tax accountant for elven colonies) tells the elves to hide the young boys but the young girls are okay! Imagine Saint-Germi’s disappointment when he doesn’t find his paradise of young elven boys around. Mills tells him about Toyohisa and the rest going to free the dwarves and make firearms. The more the dwarves eat, the more buffed they become. Nobunaga shows the musket for them to make but they can’t understand why the need for such complex equipment if a bow and arrow is just as effective. Nobunaga is lost for words so Toyohisa explains about its roar and battle cry as well as how easy it is to train peasants to kill veteran soldiers. Joan has woke up back at the base and Anastasia is by her side. After learning Gilles is dead, she is filled with rage and wants revenge on that samurai but Anastasia declines her because she underestimated them. She will have to wait for another chance for her desire to come to pass.

The beast soldiers are tying down the bronze dragon who is pleading to the Black King to stop all this. However he tells him if he cannot walk beside them, he is just mere meat. It seems the Black King’s life is slowly chipping away. The dwarves amazingly recreate another musket. Nobunaga asks how many they can make at full force, he is amazed they can make about 10 in a day. One day! Suddenly Saint-Germi comes in. Too late Olminu trying to warn them this tranny is here. Saint-Germi considers himself a Drifter and even the father of Orte too (confirmed as Hitler). That’s because Hitler formed an efficient bureaucratic government, eliminated nepotism, centralized wealth and unified the people. Otherwise how could they have fought against other races? How do you think that is not an incredible work? Because Saint-Germi knows about them all, Nobunaga notes he is dangerous and cannot let their guard down. Saint-Germi is here to see if they are worthy to join forces with. In fact his subordinates are already testing out Toyohisa. I’m not sure why, but they were going great guns against Toyohisa until they saw Hannibal in which they fall weak on their knees. Do they have old men fetish? Clearly defeated. Saint-Germi introduces himself as a traitor as he plans to sell off Orte to them. Because when a country falls, it must fall in a proper way. He doesn’t like the idea of other countries invading Orte and then forcing them to surrender. So what must the Drifters do? Destroy Orte effectively with one blow while it still holds power.

Episode 11
Saint-Germi seems to be from many years in the future as he knows all about their history and outcome. When he offers to tell Toyohisa on what happened at Sekigahara, Toyohisa cuts him off and shocks him he already knows what happened. Nobunaga believes they can trust this tranny because they betray for profit instead of sentimental grudges. The gang now ride into Verlina, Orte’s capital. Saint-Germi summons the council members and tells them they are going to close down Orte. They will turn over a new leaf and work under their new leader, Toyohisa. Some object to it but some agree. But when one who agree doesn’t want a Drifter as a head, it is clear he is being manipulated by Rasputin. He explains the Black King has sent troops to take over Verlina. But the moment they barge into the room, Toyohisa decapitates them all! He ignores Rasputin and beats up the council being manipulated by him! Then he says their intention from the beginning is to fight and no conquering is done without shedding blood. This pisses off Rasputin as he ends his communication and discusses with Hijikata about the crazy Drifters. But the Black King interjects. If they cannot capture Verlina, change their plan. Aim for destruction instead of usurpation. Their objective is maximum chaos. His aim is to stop Drifters from taking the state but if it falls into their hands, cripple it. Nobunaga is upset that Saint-Germi’s best soldiers are only about 500 men. Topless muscular gay men!!! With the dwarves completing the guns, they are handed to them as they will play the musketeer role whom Nobunaga will lead. Yoichi will lead the elves in the archer division while Toyohisa will lead the dwarves to be foot soldiers. Their mission: Annihilate everyone! EVERYONE! When the Black King’s army arrives, Nobunaga starts with his musketeers firing. As this is the first time gun is used, its devastating effect and sound causes everyone to be in shock and awe. Nobunaga dislikes the slow reloading times but can’t rush his men. Yoichi’s side rain arrows down. After the second volley from the musketeers, the fear starts to sink into the enemy. Unable to move, this is where Toyohisa’s side comes in to hack all of them.

Episode 12
With chaos everywhere, Hijikata makes some changes to his plans and is going in himself. He then faces off with Toyohisa and it seems Hijikata has a deep grudge against the Shimazu clan. From Yoichi’s aerial watch, Nobunaga is worried that the enemies are dispersing in smaller units and setting fire randomly. He is in a dilemma to do the same to his troops because this would mean weakening his musketeers’ firepower and their lack of experience in the battlefield means nobody is qualified to lead smaller groups. However when Hannibal starts talking about crushing the grapes as he scatters and stomps them, this gives Nobunaga an idea. He realizes the enemy’s goal has not changed and wants everyone to regroup. He is glad Toyohisa is keeping Hijikata company because this means the enemy leader isn’t focusing on commanding his troops. Saint-Germi feels odd because it feels as though Ends’ goal is to conquer this state instead of annihilation. Could the Black King be somebody he knows? Hijikata is upset that Toyohisa is fooling around while fighting. Hey, there are no rules in war, right? Hijikata sends his Shinsengumi spirits to attack him but he slices them all. They can regenerate, though. As their swords finally clash, Toyohisa’s sword breaks. When the enemy troops enter the capitol building, this is part of Nobunaga’s plan to trap them and burn them all inside. It works like a charm since everywhere is laced with bombs. Those who try and escape will be met with point blank shots from the musketeers. Hijikata is further infuriated that Toyohisa is smiling despite taking damage. He is truly mad. It is this attitude why his Shinsengumi died and he hates the Shimazu clan for it. Even more infuriating is when Toyohisa mentions if he dies in this battle, his death will lay the future foundation for Nobunaga to pave way for victory. More madness when the dwarves come back him up with their gunfire. Toyohisa even stands in their line of fire! While Hijikata is in shock, Toyohisa runs up close to him and beats him up. This is when the Black King relays a message to him to withdraw. Hijikata insists he can still fight and has not lost but the Black King say because he has not lost, it is his victory. There is no victory beyond this. Now it descends into a punching brawl so a dragon trooper has to whisk Hijikata away, leaving both men somewhat disappointed and satisfied. Toyohisa collapses after it is over. Rasputin seeks the Black King’s forgiveness for this failure but he isn’t perturbed as he views this probing mission to be a success and were able to cripple Verlina. The Black King then speaks to Mitsuhide Akechi who in no doubt will join his force if he gets to kill Nobunaga.

History Revision
One quick sentence. This needs to have another season! Fast! I know it is announced right at the very end of the final episode but I can’t really wait for the next season to come! I NEED IT NOW!!! It’s only right since Toyohisa didn’t finish his fight with Hijikata. And what does it mean the second season will come in 20XX?! F*ck this teaser! Don’t tell me it’s 2099! I don’t have a time travelling machine! Heck, they’ve already got a decent preview of the next episode like always, as though they have already made the damn thing! Ah, I get it. They just want to choke us off after getting us addicted and feel the withdrawal symptoms. Oh well, I guess I have to be patient like everybody else. Yeah, we have to be thankful with hundreds and thousands of human years of history that enabled the creative stories involving the greatest historical personalities.

The story and plot are quite interesting to follow. Even if you aren’t a history fan, the mere mashing up of a few historical figures in an unknown world would still be an appealing idea worth checking out. After all, this series isn’t supposed to be taken too seriously itself either (because history is so boring that it turns almost everyone off, right?). So in between serious discussions and grim and sombre scenes, suddenly they crack into a joke or two. This is evident when you see the change in animation style. Uh huh. Characters go all chibi and funny especially Nobunaga whose hair seems to be spreading out like Medusa. After the jokes are done, it is back to all that seriousness again. Hence there is some kind of good balance between the action, drama and comical parts and the reason why the series captivated my attention from start to finish. But to some, the sudden insertion of comical parts may ruin the serious tone of the series. I’m fine with that. Hey, are you supposed to take this series seriously? Even Toyohisa doesn’t take his life too seriously.

But one of my greatest dilemmas for this series is the characters. While it is great to see a number of historical characters, deep down inside my greedy heart I was disappointed that I wanted to see more of them! And this is even myself complaining that there is lack of screen time and focus from some of the other characters such as Butch, Kid, Naoshi and Tamon! They make short appearances and then are somewhat forgotten because of how short this series is. Although they are shown in the ending credits montage, it doesn’t really amount to anything much. Just to let you know the producers haven’t forgotten about them. Thus if I were to get my wish to have more Drifters and Ends into the fray, this would have further dilute the importance of these people at least as far as this season is concerned. Thus such characters serve more as an introduction as we build up to later stories and perhaps more could appear along the way. But for now I have to contend with the ‘few’ here. Of course I can take heart that this is just the first season and with another one coming, I hope they will introduce more then.

A big chunk of this season focuses on Toyohisa and his Drifters group. Toyohisa is likeable as a main character despite his barbaric brutality is because of his no nonsense nature. In that sense he is honest and does not beat around the bush. He lives and upholds truly to his warrior code and way of life. He does not care about power, position and materialistic stuffs and does it because he wants to. To put it as Nobunaga describes him, he doesn’t read the situation or rather he doesn’t want to. If I was in this world, I would definitely want to follow him and make him my leader. He might be mad when he is fighting but if that is his way to keep things positive and realistic, so be it. Though, you might have to get used to his crazy fetish of cutting off enemy heads as trophy. It’s like his clan’s crazy sign of manliness. Nobunaga is also quite likeable because of his smooth and sarcastic talking. Many of his narrations about Toyohisa, the situation and everything else are interesting to hear and could draw inspiration. If Toyohisa is the brawns, Nobunaga is definitely the brains and he uses it to the utmost advantage. Among the main trio, Yoichi doesn’t seem to be that prominent. For now he is a great archer and is mostly relegated to roles (in battle) of finishing off remaining enemies that flee the battlefield. Of course with his relationship with Yoshitsune, it seems there are some potentials there but not in this season.

Sadly, the Octobrist feels forgotten towards the end of the series. I know they’ve gone off to do other important things behind the scenes but I thought they would play a main role as a force against Ends. That’s why I thought this series was too short to tell everything and give everyone their worth of screen time. And because the lack of female characters (at least from the Drifters’ side), the reason why we have busty Olminu as a supporting side character working with them. If she was living in today’s reality of political correctness, she would have sued Nobunaga for his constant harassment of mispronouncing her name all the time by adding tits and boobs to her name. So much so she just gave up retorting and correcting him. No, not a sign she has relented and accepted her new nickname! And there are times where Nobunaga casually gropes her boobs. Hey, he is the shogun and does anything he wants with his women! Speaking of Olminu, I think she is really the only real woman in the Drifters’ side. Because Yoichi looks effeminate and Saint-Germi and his subordinates as just too tranny. Scipio and Hannibal are like the odd married couple always arguing among each other (and sometimes backing up each other) but to see old men argue isn’t as much fun…

As interesting the Drifters are, those in Ends under the Black King are interesting too. While we may not know a whole lot of them and just part of the story, it is intriguing to see what the Black King really wants. Is it really to destroy humanity and unite the other races? What are his powers because if he is so damn powerful like God (which he isn’t), why can’t he just straight away kill all the Drifters instead of making slow progressions with his plans with Ends? Thus there is this mysterious side to him and Ends that I feel we have yet to see. Although Drifters are painted as the good guys, perhaps when we learn more about Ends, the lines will be blurred. It would be the biggest twist when we are no longer sure if we are to support Drifters or Ends.

The biggest mystery and puzzle to everything that has happened is of course the eternal rivalry between Murasaki and Easy. What are they doing this far and for what ends? It might sound serious when they throw in historical personalities to fight for the fate for the world but it call all turn out to be just a silly petty reason because someone at the other’s dessert. Yeah… Ultimate insult? Because for now it seems like Easy is the one trying to throw her weight around with her arrogance, egotism and supposed superiority but usually Murasaki would just play cool and ignore her, attending to his whatever desk job. Then it begs the question if this Drifters vs Ends are just one of the many challenges by them? Because there are so many doors and my conspiracy theory tells me that there might be many other similar worlds drenched in such battle royale setting.

One thing that puzzled me was the original language that the denizens of this world is speaking. For sure it wasn’t Japanese. I am not sure if this is merely gibberish or a new language concocted. The latter is more reasonable as I could hear some sort of structure in their sentences. But to actually create a new language just for this series? Doesn’t seem economical from my point of view. Trying to search online (with my lazy Google searching) didn’t yield any results. Because in some instances when Scipio and Hannibal start speaking in Latin, there will be a note on the screen to say so. But when the denizens speak it, surely it would not make sense that they are talking in Latin, right? Of course with the magic talisman, convenience of speaking our favourite Japanese is soon favoured with everybody and this language is close to forgotten.

The draw of this series is definitely its action parts. They are fast paced, they are gory, they are bloody and definitely not for the faint hearted. Very brutal. Ultra violent. It makes you want to play Mortal Kombat and perform a fatality on every win! So when you see a barbaric Toyohisa jump to action and start slaying and decapitating his enemies, be prepared to see blood shed like waterfall as well as limbs and heads flying more furious than a beat ‘em up video games. Nobunaga’s experience in war tactics also makes the battles entertaining to watch. So it isn’t all just mindless hack and slash from Toyohisa but some brains and planning from the devilish unifier of Japan himself. Though, I can’t say much about Yoichi’s archery because he is such a sharp shooter that every hit counts and we don’t really get to see everything as it happens so fast.

The art and drawing is a mix. Due to the brutality of scenes, sometimes they look gorgeous and fantastic while at other times they are just plain. Oh, some scenes are pretty dark so it is hard to see things. Then there is the comical parts which suddenly turns everyone into marshmallow stick people or chibi mode so if you’re not used to the flow of the series already, the very sudden difference in artwork can be jarring. But generally the characters have this realistic but unique look to them. Then there are times when the characters go into their evil scheming mode (especially Nobunaga). Their face will be all black except their white teeth and eyes. Personally, it makes them look like monsters. Even more so sometimes when their facial features go a bit off and this makes them look like demons/monsters too.

Now, I thought this series was done by the people who did Shingeki No Kyojin. Because some of the art and animation resembles very closely to the surrealism of that series. But Drifters is actually made by Hoods Drifters Studio. While this is technically the first anime made by them under this name, they did a few other series under the name Hoods Entertainment such as Seikon No Qwaser, Nazo No Kanojo X, Blazblue Alter Memory, Fantasista Doll and Kanojo Ga Flag Wo Oraretara. Another reason why I thought of Shingeki No Kyojin was because of Toyohisa’s uniform design that bears a close similarity. Doesn’t he look like a grownup and crazy version of Eren?

The voice acting is perfect. They do a good job in giving their character some convincing depths. There are quite a handful of recognizable seiyuus. Yuuichi Nakamura as Toyohisa is in familiar waters as a character full of angst but with some sort of accent. Then there are Tomokazu Sugita as Saint-Germi, Takahiro Sakurai as Haruakira, Daisuke Ono as Butch, Hiroki Yasumoto as Hijikata, Akira Ishida as Yoshitsune and Sho Hayami as Mitsuhide. For the rest, they are Naoya Uchida as Nobunaga (Endou in Kaiji), Mitsuki Saiga as Yoichi (Phantom in MAR), Shiho Kokido as Olminu (Miki in Sekkou Boys), Yutaka Aoyama as Hannibal (Yamada in To Be Hero), Hiroshi Yanaka as Scipio (Nobuhide in Nobunaga The Fool), Wataru Takagi as Kid (Genta in Detective Conan), Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Naoshi (Ban in Nanatsu No Taizai), Taiten Kusunoki as the Black King (Rock Bison in Tiger & Bunny), Masahiko Tanaka as Rasputin (Gojirou in Coppelion), Junko Minagawa as Joan (Ryouma in Prince Of Tennis), Junko Kitanishi as Anastasia (Shouko in Kuragehime), Kenji Nomura as Gilles (Largo in Senjou No Valkyria), Mitsuru Yamamoto as Murasaki (Ayame in Fruits Basket) and Kanae Itou as Easy (Ohana in Hanasaku Iroha). There are a lot more seiyuus to this but they are mainly as minor roles like the soldiers.

The rock based opening theme, Gospel Of The Throttle (Kyouhon Remix version) by Minutes Til Midnight is a suitable piece for this blood and gory series. Maon Kurosaki does the ending theme, Vermillion, another rock outfit which is of course befitting to the genre of this series. The ending theme for the final episode, Rurou No Zakura by Yasushi Ishii is more of a slow rock. There are also a few cool rock BGM pieces especially during the action scenes.

Overall, I am quite impressed with this series and I am pretty sure that personally I can call this an epic series though it may fall a bit tad short of being a masterpiece. Well, it is good to know that there are still a handful of good animes in between while I wait for the next epic season of Shingeki No Kyojin to come about. Hint, hint. Please no more delays, please? History could have been more interesting if it was this messed up but it is thanks to what really happened in history that allowed us to create such a messed up story. Here’s hoping Napoleon Bonaparte and Julius Caesar join in the fray next season.

Nazotokine

April 29, 2017

Normally I don’t have a thing for anime series that has you solve puzzles. Long story short, I’m too dumb and don’t want to think so much. Even mystery series like Detective Conan I have given the skip but some like Hyouka are mind blowing. So it was natural that I was going to skip Nazotokine seeing I wasn’t interested in those puzzle-type animes even if the duration per episode for this show is about 8 minutes. So what prompted me to check this out? There is a pretty and busty lady on the promotional poster of the series! WTF???!!! Damn you advertising tactics! Even if I don’t understand what’s going on, at least I have a nice cutie to gawk at. Haha… Yeah, I don’t even understand the mysteries of my own horniness.

Episode 1
Tokine Amino works as the CEO’s secretary for a PR agency. She meets up with her colleagues who works at the front desk, Yoshie Yamazumi and Kyouka Minakami as they discuss some director of some anime company coming for a meeting. As Tokine readies the meeting room, she can’t wait to meet those big anime bigwigs. Suddenly she is transported to another dimension. Before her is a weird creature in a flying hat, Hacchin. Tokine isn’t impressed of what is happening and starts insulting this inter-dimensional pig. But Hacchin isn’t shocked at her displeasure. He tells her to listen or else risk getting stuck here. This world is called Quizun and she needs to solve riddles to get out of here. Or be stuck here forever. Tokine thought she could get right away in solving this puzzle of floating paintings but apparently there are more procedures to follow. Giving her some dick insignia (just kidding. Okay, in a very general and vague sense in might look like it) and making her wear some tight fitting futuristic outfit that showcases her boobs.

Episode 2
There’s a reason why she has to dress like this. This suit supposedly releases her latent potential that his world suppresses. Oh really? I thought it was for fanservice. Hacchin adds this suit reflects her mental state to adapt to this world and thus is from her own mind rather than his personal taste. Praising her own taste now, huh? Oh, did Hacchin mention there is a time limit? 5 minutes. Oh, since their talking was also included, she has 3 minutes left! As she gets cracking, it may seem the obvious words from the paintings’ space spell out as PEON. Wrong. Then she notices the title of the paintings do not match. When she matches them in the correct order, they spell OPEN. Correct! That moment of eureka has Tokine go into some sort of orgasmic face as some green gem appears from her chest. Hacchin grabs it and explains this Q-Stone is supposedly the stimulus found in the human brain when they experience intellectual pleasure of a eureka. He is pleased she is the chosen one and has never seen such a big Q-Stone before. As promised, he returns her to her world. The meeting goes on well. After work, her friends wonder about Tokine’s spacing out. Is it boyfriend problems or somebody asking her out? She forgot to check out the new anime that aired last night.

Episode 3
Tokine’s friends wonder if she is boyfriend problems again. Actually she is worried she is going to be real busy this afternoon. Her friends believe this means the CEO is counting on her and this gives her motivation. She manages to finish her work before midnight and catch the last train in time. As she browses through her Smartphone, suddenly she is transported to Quizun. Not again. However she isn’t alone and all the other passengers are also there. But since they aren’t the chosen ones, they are like lifeless zombies murmuring some word. So people who can’t use their talents in Quizun become part of the puzzle? With Hacchin appearing, looks like Tokine knows the drill. Luckily this time he gives her a proper signal to start for the time limit. Tokine looks at the diagram with lines and numbers she is supposed to connect in order.

Episode 4
Tokine notices the people are murmuring names of the train stations. She thought of connecting their physical attributes to make a human centipede but thankfully that’s not right. Her first step in guessing right is that the colours of the stations are linked to the panels. Taking the letters from the train stations, it spells out Tamagama. Wrong answer. With time running out, Tokine realizes she needs to connect them in the order of the stations and this time she spells it out correctly, Magatama. Another big Q-Stone from her. Gochisousama. She is returned to the train and is embarrassed when she realizes everybody is staring at her. Back home, she gets a message from Yoshie that she is moving next Saturday. Tokine is happy since she is moving closer to her and they can go drinking together more often.

Episode 5
Tokine and Kyouka meet up with Yoshie at her new place. It is still empty as they’re waiting for the delivery company to send the furniture and stuffs. Yoshie tells her boyfriend bought her this place because she wanted to be closer where she works. But because he is always busy, he is only home half the week. Her friends feel lonely on her behalf. When the delivery company is here, the girls are awed with the handsome and muscular Shinoharada. He has a couple of cute helpers too. While everyone is downstairs doing things, Tokine is alone in the room. When the helpers come in and she opens the window, she’s back in Quizun. She has always wanted to ask Hacchin this as he confirms that emotions from people with potential would trigger her to enter this world. So cut off all emotions if she doesn’t want to experience this anymore? She’d rather die than be a zombie. Tokine puts on her thinking cap to solve this quick as she got those helpers dragged into this world.

Episode 6
Noticing blocks of animals, she thought of spelling out their names but it doesn’t fit. If she’s spelling them in Japanese. They do in English. With the first step done, she now notices a cardinal direction with each direction representing a different colour. The blocks also have different colours in them. Since the helpers are murmuring north and south, she figures leaving behind blocks that represent the north and south colour and blocks in between them. At first the word didn’t make sense but then she realizes the answer is ‘cube’. There’s an explanation about how she arrives at this but I didn’t get it because I’m dumb. Because the final answer to derive that felt like random. Tokine is returned to the room and the moving went smoothly. Yoshie treats her friends to Korean BBQ. The girls talk about the upcoming company trip to Minakami Hotsprings. Kyouka freaked out at first because that’s the name of the hotspring her family runs.

Episode 7
The company trip is proceeding well. Everybody has fun. But the draw of this company trip is off course the hotsprings. The girls talk about the various and different hotsprings in the area (18 areas of them and they are all named after dragons). When they retire to their inn, they meet Kyouka’s little sister, Kyouko who isn’t too happy that big sister hasn’t come home for quite a while. After Kyouka introduces her to her colleagues, Kyouko introduces them to her friends, Hinata Takaragawa and Mamori Sonazawa. Because Tokine gets a call from the boss, she will join them later. Once done, Tokine can’t contain her excitement to dip in. But as she switches off the lights in the changing room, oh dear it’s back to Quizun. This time Hacchin is riding a dragon that attacks her! WTF?! I guess the pig must be tired of her past insults?

Episode 8
Hacchin is ignoring her more than usual and tells her to get solving! Tokine notices a pentagram with coloured lines as well as English alphabets. She also notices the 3 balls behind the dragon changing colour as it changes its speech pattern. First, she finds a pattern in its speech to having something in common. Translate into English words, they have ‘~ight’ in common. The correct word corresponds to the coloured balls with the coloured lines on the pentagram. At first she thought the answer was “Right” but it’s wrong! Oh, the irony. Then she notices the colours on the towel of the other girls’ which is supposed to correspond with the colours in the hexagram. Only one of them has the right combination so the correct answer is “Light”. With the puzzle solved, Hacchin quickly takes her Q-Stone and leaves. Not even a word to explain why he needs the stones. Yeah, it’s like he’s stealing it, huh? So Tokine screws all that and returns to enjoy the hotspring. One of her colleague has extra tickets to a pro-wrestling event nearby and since Tokine is a fan, I guess they’re going.

Episode 9
The girls enjoy the wrestling match as Kyouko mentions she will be visiting her sister next week. After visiting her new apartment, they head out to go watch a monster movie, Vajra Resurgence. As they enter the hall, the girls noticed a familiar face in the front seats, Natsuko Yanagisawa. They remember seeing her on the company trip and recalls she is a former cabaret girl who used her connections to get a job in the company. Because the man next to her seems familiar too (probably a board member of the company), the girls aren’t too please ‘witnessing’ a scandal. But they’re not going to let this distract and ruin their movie. Before the movie starts, a reminder to tell them to switch off their handphones. The moment Tokine does so, damn it’s back to Quizun. This time the entire audience are transported. Too many people so her guilt amplifies? However one of the audiences is able to move on her own: Natsuko. She even says hi!

Episode 10
Why is Tokine agitated that Natsuko knows her name? Don’t they work in the same company? When Hacchin appears, he recognizes Natsuko as she too is another chosen one who solved riddles. However Hacchin reveals her true name as Tokuyo Nazo and this makes Tokine laugh her ass off because it sounds like ‘solving a mystery’. This time Tokuyo is the one who is most agitated each time Tokine calls her that. They say 2 heads are better than one so the duo cooperate to solve this. They notice a time schedule for movies as well as the screen containing weird numbers, pictures and other information. First they draw the clues from the clapperboard. Its lines connect the numbers on the screen. They match it with the time on the movie schedule. Then they take the key words in those movie names which lead them to solve a word hidden on the screen (spoilers: “Cross”). Hacchin is pleased to get 2 Q-Stones for the price of one. When they return to the cinema, the girls witness the board guy freaking out that some fish got in his clothes?! Huh?! Is that some sexual innuendo there?

Episode 11
So the movie has this monster who is going to fight a vegetable family transforming into a mecha?! And they love this great move?! So great that this is Tokine’s fifth time?! Next day at work, the girls plan to visit the annual lighting display at Showa Memorial Park. Tokine jokes she used to come here with her family and boyfriend. Did she already break up with her boyfriend? Yeah, she is already over him… The show is hosted by Ein Hinosaku whom the girls recognize as the heroine of some tokusatsu movie. She is also a model and singer. Yoshie gets upset realizing this is the woman her boyfriend admires. Well, work hard to be like her then. The show begins and as Tokine gets excited to take photos with her handphone, f*ck this Quizun world again! This time a record number of people sucked in. The entire park! The puzzle comes in 2 panels, a big and small one with words, alphabets and numbers. Notice how the people are murmuring key words of events in past episodes?

Episode 12
Tokine realizes the words in a panel relates to answers in her previous quizzes. Once she is able to decipher that, she moves on to the next panel. Separating it via coded colours and turning it into a cube, following its outline reveals to be alphanumeric code. So by placing those codes as location on the panel, it spells out “Illumination”. But she is short of an answer as Hacchin reminds her it can be found at the bottom of the hotspring. A series of complex connections, Tokine is able to answer “Have a nice day”. As reward, Hacchin tells her about Q-Stone. As it consists of humans’ intellectual ecstasy, it builds up and has nowhere to go on Earth. Hence Quizun is somewhat manmade, another dimension for this energy to go. Then Quizun circulates that power and turns into different types of energy and sends it back to Earth and has different effects on people like good luck, purification and healing. Before Hacchin leaves, he tells her there will be a change in her soon. Next morning when she wakes up, she finds the sky like Quizun and Hacchin is beside her! Has the world merged or has Tokine become a quiz master like Hacchin?! Is this his present to her after all her effort in puzzle solving?!

Jeopardy! Spot Quiz!
Damn it was bad. The puzzles are hard to follow and the non-existing storyline just makes it worse. This makes puzzle anime series like Ryuugajou Nanana No Maizoukin and that Phi Brain series (which I didn’t watch) to be even better or even animes about people being sucked into another game world and stuck there such as Sword Art Online and Log Horizon to be way better than this crap. It was already as confusing as hell (the puzzles) and with that kind of ending, I don’t really even get it. Is it some sort of open ending up to viewers’ interpretation? Is that our puzzle for us? Oh heck. I don’t feel like solving it ever.

Although the puzzle seems simple enough, it was so simple that I couldn’t even solve a single one! Yeah… Most probably I am going to blame the short time duration for the puzzle solving because you know when a puzzle is time based, chances are there is going to be lots of pressure for you to come up with an answer. I don’t know. Maybe the Japanese’s minds and thinking are much different than their different counterparts. That is why they are able to come up with the most creative puzzles like the world renowned Sudoku. Not to say that the puzzles presented here are very Japanese cultural oriented either. So it may look simple to puzzle veterans but to non-Japanese, they are still a big mystery and when the answer is explained, you just feel dumb that you didn’t guess or look at it that way. Of course with Tokine as smart as her pretty looks and could make the right answer after a couple of guesses. Yeah, so accurate and right like as though she is reading out from the script. Uh huh. Time over. Time to solve this answer. Here, read this answer out.

If you really love simple puzzles that I suppose stimulate your mind albeit a little, be glad to know that there are more of such puzzles in the ending credits. I believe the answers are posted on the company’s website but I’m too lazy to check it out because I am already too lazy myself to try and answer them. Yeah, this time I am blaming that I couldn’t understand what the question is asking despite I can read the very simple hiragana and kanji on screen. An excuse not to crack my brains and start thinking to redeem myself that I would at least be able to solve 1 stinking puzzle in this anime. I decided to take the easy way out by not even trying so that I can have more negative points to write on this anime. Holy sh*t! I’m just a pure evil scumbag! At least my personality is easy to guess.

So while the puzzles are supposed to be the main draw, it feels really weird that Tokine has to be the unlucky one to be in the area to be sucked in to Quizun and solve it. It sounds as though she is the only smart person around. Yeah… Also, with Hacchin always being her host in Quizun, it feels like he is constantly bugging and harassing her to solve them. Fail and you strip naked and be my sex slave wife! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Oops… Really. It feels more like a poor excuse for them to enter another dimension to solve puzzles for another lame excuse to get this Q-Stone. Although the Q-Stone’s purpose is explained, but Hacchin doesn’t tell us why the heck he needs to take it? I mean, he did say that energy from the human world flows here and then flows back there again. Is it all natural or does Hacchin help in the processing? All too vague. That is why sometimes I feel that the only reason for making Tokine solve a puzzle and materialize her Q-Stone is to add another layer of fanservice in addition to her humongous boobs and see her orgasmic face. Yeah…

To show that Tokine has some sort of personality instead of some fanservice personification to solve puzzles, they give her traits like being concerned when other people get sucked into Quizun. Yeah, if she fails, everyone gets stuck and it’s her fault! Something to really worry about. Sometimes she doesn’t solve a puzzle at first go. This is to show us she is not perfect but usually gets it on the second try. All this sure gives Tokine some character but it doesn’t impact on anything important.

Instead of racking my heads to think of the answer to the puzzles, I am far more interested in forming my own conspiracy theories. Like how Hacchin may just be a poker face avatar for some perverted stalker in another dimension, taking her Q-Stones for his wanking material! Same case for Natsuko because she too has the same potential and probably vital statistics as Tokine. What better way to get more wanking material with 2 beautiful babes for the price of one. I mean, why the heck introduce another character who isn’t related nor we shall care? Is it because watching Tokine solving the puzzle alone has become boring and we need another beautiful babe to help her out? And thus the only reasons why such busty babes have high intelligence is because those brains are store in the boobs! That’s right. So for all you jealous flat chests out there who keep arguing that those are just fats, not in this anime because I’m thinking that is where the additional brain cells are stored! Oh yeah! Viva boobs!

Other characters like Tokine’s friends don’t really matter because I thought if Natsuko can show that another person other than Tokine can enter Quizun, maybe her friends would join her and they solve one big puzzle together to end it with a bang? Didn’t happen. Looks like everybody in this world except Tokine and Natsuko are just dumb asses. Yeah, when they become part of the puzzle in Quizun, they look and sound like zombie retards or a broken tape recorder. Seriously.

As mentioned earlier, the beautiful busty babes are the one that drew me into watching this crap. Well, if there was something that looks good, the girls here do. At least they provide eye candy and my brain to go numb instead of trying to rack them. Get the pun? Rack my brains and those busty racks? Hahaha! Sorry. Other than that, everything else in the artwork looks pretty mediocre and Hacchin feels like a lazily thought up design concept or one that has been rejected. Uh huh. This pig/rabbit doesn’t even have a decent mouth or any facial expressions and if this saves animation work, yeah well, I’m sure it did. And Quizun as an alternate dimension filled with nothing but empty space and the most some coloured squares or cubes so that not much effort can be put in the background. After all, we’ll be too focused on the puzzles, right? Or Tokine’s twin peaks… This series is animated by Tengu Kobo and this is their debut and so far only anime.

At least in addition to nice looking girls, the opening and ending themes aren’t too bad either. Dimension Sky by Yuzu Fujisaki as the opener feels more like some sort of techno dance song with the heavy bass beat throughout the song. Destiny by Aki as the ending song sounds more like a generic pop music. I noticed something about the opening animation credits. I believe it is to fit the length of the episode proper so sometimes that opener can have different lengths from the usual 1.5 minutes to only a single minute or just 30 seconds.

Overall, if you want to really boost your mind power or do some mind training, this anime is not the answer. In fact it should be categorize into the ecchi category for obvious reasons. This is the only reason why you watch this anime and then be disappointed in the end. The puzzles feel second rate and something that non-Japanese or people who are not used to puzzles will quite understand. It is better off for you to do traditional puzzles like Sudoku instead. And yeah, there are better ecchi series out there. So it goes to show that puzzle genres do not mix well with ecchi because it just complicates things and your senses as well. You wanna fap to a good time but your brain starts to hurt… How difficult it is to understand that we just want to see some boobs and pantsu???!!! It’s not that hard, right???!!!

Oshiete! Galko-chan OVA

April 28, 2017

Got more puberty questions that you want to ask or seek to know? Don’t worry. Because there is more. At least one more episode. Oshiete! Galko-chan OVA is back to answer some of those questions that you are too shy to ask an adult, confide in your best friend, consult an expert or just too lazy to just Google or post it on Yahoo Answers. I guess with so many such questions, thus the OVA blows up to quadruple the running time of the TV series. Yup, 28 minutes! Get your pen and paper ready just in case…

Is Summer Vacation Real?
* A young girl is watching a movie (magical girl with glasses?) as she notices Galko enter. She has her own stereotype of this b*tch that she won’t understand this kind of movie. At the end, she thought she had fallen asleep but Galko is actually crying in deep tears! So amazing?! Such deep meaning. Little girl had to offer her tissue…
* A librarian notices Otako often borrowing books. He notes the usual subjects she reads like history. This makes him wonder if she has any friends. Then he sees a book on the topic of sex jokes. Maybe this is to tell some jokes to her friends?
* Galko is taking medication for her constipation. She thinks it is making her stomach stick out so she wears her old school uniform to hide it. The buttons come bursting out. I think it is because of her boobs… Then as she tries to eat spicy ramen, that is when she needs to go to the toilet. At this moment? After letting it all out, she finishes and enjoys the ramen.
* Otako texts Galko the need to work out her abs to help with her constipation. She tries sit-ups and the key is to lift enough till she can see her tummy. She can’t. Damn those boobs blocking!
* Galko is doing pedicure and painting her toenails when the delivery rings at her doorstep. This means she has to crawl all the way to the doorstep and the delivery guy is surprised to see this awkward scene. Like porn scene? Galko is glad to receive swabs that clean her belly button.
* Galko hangs out with Otako eating pizza. The latter explains how pepperoni pizza sometimes is a slang for big tits. But she quips Galko’s would be Morteau sausages. Too bad she doesn’t know what that kind of sausage is. This has Galko wonder why boys do not care about their own nipples.
* Galko wonders if both people wearing glasses will have difficulty kissing each other. They try testing it out but it got awkward so they drop it.
* They note Ojou is away for a family holiday. But they got a postcard from her from the North Pole. Do they have post offices there?
* Charao and his friends hang out together. A girl notices how close they are and starts fantasizing.
* Nikuko plays indoor football. Her opponents look down on her because she is fat. However Nikuko is able to move fast and scores! Sonic Meat?! Galko notes how some people who are big and fat are still fast. Just like hippos in real life. In fact, hippos are fast in real life too.

* Galko and Otako are invited to Ojou’s piano recital. When they show the invitation card, the receptionist suddenly calls the agents who then escort them to their seats. VIP treatment? As they watch Ojou play, she is sparkling with magic!
* The trio then have lunch together and Ojou calls curry udon. The rest wonder if this would ruin her beautiful dress. However she is eating quietly and with elegance. Magic sparkles too!
* Otako’s brother visits the shrine supposedly the area where some mecha movie he liked was filmed. He walks around but trips, exposing all the porn magazines in his bag. The miko priestess who is Galko’s sister, picks them all up for him. She isn’t offended since there are no pictures of penis or vagina.
* Agemi thinks Iinchou is the kind who doesn’t do homework and instead reads other books. Looking at the thick book she is reading she thinks smart people like her are on a different level. Iinchou was actually looking for a photo about World Heritage sites.
* Okako is on a journey trying to find out more about the occult. It leads her to a normal shrine. Nothing happening till she sees some muscle skull doll. She gets inspiration and plays rock music?!
* Charao’s girlfriend is at the lingerie store thinking she needs to take their relationship to the next level after Charao was bold enough to bring a condom. She is shocked at all the skimpy lingerie and the last person whom she want to meet, her sister is there doing her own lingerie research.
* Galko’s group, Iinchou’s group and Okako’s group all happen to bump into each other at the same time outside the karaoke box. They all go karaoke together. The more the merrier. You’d be surprise the types of songs some can sing.
* Kuseta is at a service and told to stop playing his handphone game although what he got was just a message. As he excuses himself, he trips and bruises his knee. Galko is there to help apply disinfection. When he tells her about the lecture he just got, she says adults too didn’t like getting lectured when they were kids. This makes Kuseta feel that he dislikes adults treating him like a kid (isn’t he one?) but if he is going to grow up to become that kind of adult, he doesn’t want to become an adult at all. Galko hugs him and hopes he won’t forget those feelings today. I think it would be extra memorable since the wind blows up Galko’s skirt. Yup. Definitely remembering today.
* Galko and friends go to bed excited about starting a new school term tomorrow. They look forward to talk with each other.

Is It True That Every Girl’s Dream Isn’t To Find The Perfect Guy But To Eat Without Getting Fat?
Safe to say that even after watching this OVA, I still won’t understand how girls think! Not in the most precise manner at least. I bet it is the same for every guy. So this OVA doesn’t really give much of an insight to the trouble of puberty and are more like short skits complied into one long episode. It is still entertaining nevertheless but if you are looking for some sort of lesson to learn, start looking elsewhere. I mean, we just learnt that we guys can’t understand girls, right? Please don’t kill me.

If you are familiar with the characters in the TV series, you would feel at home in this OVA since they are mostly relatively the same character as they are. Therefore don’t go judging these girls by their looks because Galko isn’t certainly a tanned blonde busty bimbo or Otako isn’t a nerdy loner or Ojou who isn’t just an airhead rich girl but possessing many talents. The other supporting characters also make their cameo but it feels they are just for slight distraction and little variety rather than anything that has a direct bearing on the overall. After all, this series isn’t just about the main trio and the other supporting characters are like other stereotypes you would find in your life.

The human mind and culture throughout history is a very weird and mysterious subject. There is nothing specific to define or studies that would have one glove size that fits all. Different people have different opinions based on the input they get and the environment they grew up in or influenced. So we might have stuck to the wrong perception of things for the rest of our entire lives. Like how Disney movies keep giving girls unrealistic expectations about dreams. Or how porn gives guys unrealistic ideas on what a girl really wants. Don’t worry, as long as we’re learning. Are we? Or do we need Galko to come teach us some?

At first I was going to give Watashi Ga Motete Dosunda the slip because from the promotional poster, it looked like another reverse harem and BL. It’s not really my cup of tea since I’m a straight guy. However taking a look at all the good looking people, my curiosity peaked a little so I went to read the synopsis. Our female lead is a fat and chubby fujoshi. Nothing to like about her at this point. Then when her favourite BL character dies, she goes into shock mode by locking herself in her room. Guess what? She did an ugly duckling transformation because she turned into a smoking hot girl! I know it’s literally WTF but here’s the deal. Now that she is so attractive, this gains the attraction of a handful of boys. They want to date her and thus always try to be close to her. However in her eyes, she sees them as only fodder for her BL fantasies! It’s like keeping her BL harem close to her, eh? So my begging question is, will she turn straight first or will the guys turn gay first? Oh, this I gotta see…

Episode 1
The girls are watching the guys playing volleyball. Kae Serinuma is a fujoshi as she starts fantasizing fellow classmates Yuusuke Igarashi and Nozomu Nanashima. Unfortunately Nanashima slams into her and knocks her out. She wakes up in the infirmary with her best friend, Amane “A-chan” Nakano who is also a fujoshi. They talk about their favourite BL topic especially Nanashima who looks like that Shion guy from Mirage Saga. Hayato Shinomiya shoos her out since she is looking fine to let another student use the bed. They might not like his obnoxious character but in BL land, the more obnoxious he acts, the hotter he gets. On her way back, Serinuma meets her senior, Asuma Mutsumi who shows concern about her accident. Back in class, Igarashi wants Nanashima to apologize for the accident but instead he says she provided a nice human cushion. Of course Serinuma doesn’t care if the hot guys treat her badly. So long she can fantasize about them, she’s alright. That night as she watches Mirage Saga, suddenly Shion gets killed off! The intense shock has her absent from school for a week! So when it’s time for mom and big brother Takurou to get the fatty out, they are shocked to see a total transformation. WHO THE F*CK IS THIS GORGEOUS BABE???!!! No Serinuma, the mirror isn’t broken. It’s really you. So you can bet when she returns to class (how did she find a fitting school uniform?), everyone is shocked to see this hot chick. Imagine their surprise to learn she is Serinuma. USO DESHOU?! Now you can see all the main guys attracted to her in their own ways. No more mistreatment, eh? When Igarashi wants to ask her out for a movie, the other guys won’t let him have his way. So they were going to ask her the same thing? I don’t know how but she somewhat agreed to go out with all of them. I guess she’s in for the BL fantasies.

A-chan helps Serinuma pick out a dress (why does she have really nice fitting dresses?) and she thinks it is time for Serinuma to hit a new genre called boyfriend. A-chan herself has a boyfriend but he doesn’t know she is an otaku so the challenge is not to let those guys know or else it is over. You can’t blame the girls for staring at the hot guys waiting together. Serinuma can stare at them forever. As they go see a movie, Serinuma tries to promise herself not to fantasize (so as not to leak her otaku behaviour) but couldn’t help do so. So she didn’t really watch the movie but was more of fantasizing the guys. Igarashi thought he could sneak her away to take a personal photo at the photo booth but Nanashima knows how he thinks and breaks them up. Even this scene can get BL arousal… At the end of the day as she is pale from trying to resist showing her BL urges, suddenly she hears an announcement that an anime shop is selling limited edition of Mirage Saga. At first she tries to hold it in but when there is only 1 left, she couldn’t take it anymore and rushes in to buy. When she comes out, she comes clean with the guys that she is an otaku and apologizes she blew their normal date. She was trying so hard to hide her flaws that she couldn’t enjoy herself but in the end she can’t lie to herself. However Mutsumi doesn’t see what is wrong and believes it is okay for her to have something she likes. He prefers to see her smile and happy. The other guys don’t want to lose out and also agree. So does this mean they’ll follow her to the next anime store? Oh… Oh well, as long as Serinuma is a happy girl.

Episode 2
Now that Serinuma’s body is lighter, she thinks she can do well in sports and doesn’t hesitate to help the girls’ football club when they seek her help for an upcoming match. But does she know football? Don’t worry. She’s a fan of Captain Tsubasa… But still she needs to practice. Igarashi would love to coach her as he is the captain of the boys’ team but since he is busy, he suggests Nanashima. Unfortunately Nanashima has a different set of opinion on Captain Tsubasa and with the friction between them, Nanashima drops out. Serinuma attends her first training. She didn’t know there is going to be a long warm up. Yeah, it literally zaps the strength out of her by the time actual practice begins. Nanashima hears the football girls thinking Serinuma sucks after all that practice. He tells them off to fix their attitude as they were the ones who sought her help. He goes to see her still practising. Because she still sucks (her curve kick was awful), he decides to help her out. During the match day, their side is a goal down and a couple more minutes to the end of stoppage time. Serinuma suggests an idea. When her teammate throws in the ball to her, it looked like she goofed up by kicking the ball in the wrong direction. The ball actually curved back into the opponent’s goal! Nanashima couldn’t contain his laughter as he finds this girl to be unbelievably hilarious and silly.

Serinuma is glad the summer vacation is near. She’s got all her events planned out till the teacher reminds her about her if she fails her tests. Supplementary classes for 2 weeks. So you see her going crazy trying to study multiple subjects at the same time. Mutsumi offers to coach her. The other guys don’t want to lose out and also want to be coached by him. In actual fact they don’t want to let him be alone with her. Because Nanashima and Shinomiya argue loudly, they are kicked out of the library. Same case too at the restaurant. Igarashi suggests studying at Serinuma’s home. She accepts as she was the one who sought for help. Now the problem to clean up her messy BL merchandise… Looks neat when the guys arrive. The guys are so hot that her mom even puts heavy makeup. So while Serinuma chastises her, the guys accidentally look around and found a few BL stuffs. Serinuma then reveals some of the BL stuffs she put away for today. She even shows them an altar for Shion! Yeah, they wonder why Nanashima is dead… They go with the flow by paying their respects to Shion. When Takurou hears his sister has male guests, he immediately barges in to warn them about her otaku habit. They already know. He then opens her closet filled with BL manga. Serinuma doesn’t appreciate all this. This is when Mutsumi kicks him out because they are in the midst of studying. The guys then help her carefully put back her manga. Serinuma is grateful for all Mutsumi has done. He gives everyone a good luck pencil. Thankfully Serinuma passes the tests. The guys want to hang out with her at the pool or other normal places but she has got otaku events set as top priority.

Episode 3
Serinuma’s class will be doing a cosplay café for the cultural festival. She volunteers to do the costumes for Igarashi and Nanashima. In addition to hearing Shinomiya’s class doing a play and he will be playing a princess, she too would like to do his costume. She also agrees to help out Mutsumi with his class exhibit. It’s going to get busy. She takes the measurements of the guys and each almost got their way if the others didn’t interrupt in time. Serinuma realizes she can’t handle too much work. The other guys offer to help. She wants to leave the costumes to them while she goes help Mutsumi. But Igarashi suggests the guys helping Mutsumi since sewing doesn’t sit with them. This makes Igarashi question what he is doing this for. On the day before the festival, Serinuma is so happy as she gets to see the guys wearing her costume. No doubt Nanashima is as Shion but Igarashi as Eren? Serinuma suggests everyone going around the festival together in their free time. However Igarashi puts his foot down. He doesn’t agree. He is done playing buddies with everyone. He confesses he likes her and wants to only be alone with her. With the other guys also stating their similar intentions, Mutsumi then suggests a schedule. That way everybody has a fair amount of time with her. Serinuma doesn’t even get a say in this…

First up is Nanashima. But it looks like she is using him to promote their cosplay café? Nanashima gets his face close enough to hers. Too bad Mutsumi breaks them up because it’s time. You don’t get an extra second from the tight schedule. Serinuma is overwhelmed when Mutsumi feeds her but it looks like it is Igarashi’s turn. At the Shinomiya’s play, he holds her hand. She can’t concentrate and blacks out. Finally it is Shinomiya’s turn and he thought of proving his manliness at the haunted house. However he is the one who is getting scared so much so he hugs her and has his face in her boobs. This has her screaming and running out. The other guys think the haunted house is that scary. Serinuma returns to A-chan, complaining she can’t take this anymore. All she wanted was to be watching from the side-lines but now she is like the main character of an otome game story. As she ponders alone, a few boys try to hit on her. She accidentally punches one of them and runs. They catch her and before you know it, Igarashi and co come to her rescue to beat up those jerks. A big brawl fest. It stops when Serinuma yells at the top of her voice to stop. The guys feel sorry for what she had to go through. Igarashi apologizes for rushing things and they should take it slowly. Everyone agrees. So for the bonfire dance at the end, the guys don’t want to bug her and dance among themselves. Good fodder for Serinuma and A-chan’s BL fantasies to run wild. Best place ever!

Episode 4
Nanashima suggests doing a Christmas party on the eve. However Serinuma already has plans to go to the Comiket. And she’s not budging from this. She would be happy if they all could come. Happy is the winning word. Therefore they agree to go with her and have a party on the way back. Little do they know they hell they will experience on that day. They have to wake up 5 in the morning still groggy to take the train and then wait in the crowded line out in the cold for 2 hours just to enter! When the guys split up to get the manga she wants, many girls stare at them with glee. Can’t resist pairing those hot guys, right? As Serinuma is waiting outside, a photographer starts taking photos of her. This freaks her out despite she tells him she isn’t a cosplayer but he continues to snap anyway. He is then stopped by this handsome cosplayer, Sebastian (temporary name because Kuroshitsuji look-a-like) and also earn the ire of other photographers because his actions are giving them a bad name. He goes away and Serinuma is infatuated with Sebastian. As the guys return, they’re in for a shock because Sebastian kisses Serinuma’s hand before leaving. She explains the misunderstanding. On the way back to the party, the guys have no more energy and are practically dead. Only Serinuma is the one singing and partying like mad. Moe power?

Serinuma is surprised to see Sebastian in school. Furthermore, Shima Nishina is a girl! Why am I not surprised? Serinuma quickly clicks with her since she is also into BL. She introduces them to the guys who are obviously shock as well. But at least they can be at ease that the hand kiss didn’t count. Really? Oh, she has lots more female admirers than the guys. Insult? Not sure if they’re starting to realize some sort of lesbianism between them because when Nishina invites Serinuma to her home to talk about Mirage Saga all night long, the other guys won’t lose out and also want to come. They’re in for more shock because she lives in a mansion! A huge mansion! She has rooms specifically for figurines, clothes and even manga! Guess what? She also has her own doujin circle and draws her own doujin! OMFG! Is there anything this girl can’t do?! Like Nanashima says, this girl is so perfect like as though she is a walking life hack. He doesn’t want to lose out to her and draws a picture of Shion. It sucks. However Serinuma loves it! Feel better? But when the other guys draw horrible renditions of Shion and Serinuma still loves it, it dawned to us that she will love anything Shion related. Nishina has the guys promised her they would do something if she allowed them into her home. They have to pose together while she takes pictures of them for BL references! The guys feel awkward after a while so the girls demonstrate. While Serinuma feels embarrassed shortly, Nishina takes this chance to kiss her lips! Oh dear! That’s the last straw for the guys. Nishina says that kiss wasn’t a joke and warns them that if they will have a problem if don’t take her seriously. She’s serious. Whatever the case, Serinuma’s first kiss went to a handsome girl…

Episode 5
Although Nishina said it was just a joke, Serinuma can’t take her mind off the kiss. There is this Valentine design collaboration in which Serinuma wants to enter and win for its prizes that include the designer’s signature. Nishina suggests they make it together and also invite the guys to make them watch chocolates they will never get… Wicked… Serinuma makes a nice 2D illustration of Shion on a chocolate but feels it is not good enough. But trying out 3D is worse. She can’t seem to get it right. Igarashi is suspicious of Nishina getting too close to Serinuma like as though she has an ulterior motive. Nishina admits she likes cute things. Does this mean she is only after her looks? However the guys can’t say for themselves because they too like Serinuma because of her looks. After 73 hours… Serinuma finally nails it… Not! WTF is this Picasso model?! Nishina wants her to submit using her own Shion 3D model and put it in her name as the deadline is tomorrow. However Serinuma decides to send her own because she has put her heart and soul. At least with the many leftover chocolates, she gives it to the guys. Igarashi realizes he might have liked Serinuma based on her looks but now it is different. He likes her personality too. But this will be soon put to the test because Serinuma is back to being fat again!!! Holy cow!!! I guess she ate the remaining chocolates, huh?! This is of course a great shock to the other guys so Nanashima and Shinomiya really want her to get back to her beautiful shape. However it hits a little snag since Nishina is trying to feed and fatten her up as she loves her being plump and chubby!

Even more shock because Serinuma’s chocolate design won a special award and she has to attend a special ceremony that has many of her favourite celebrities attending. And so begins the quest to slim down. Normal physical workout doesn’t work. Still fat but only more depressed. Then they do this otagei dance. It is really fun and addictive till she sprains her back. Before they start pointing fingers, Mutsumi calms the warring sides and tells them it is ultimately Serinuma’s wish if she wants to continue with this. For the next few days, Nishina continues to be by her side at every chance so much so Serinuma might be developing some sort of phobia. So Igarashi takes her away to talk. He realizes she is still the same girl who is bright and positive and never gives up. Nanashima couldn’t believe him and thinks he has gone bonkers that Igarashi is truly in love with Serinuma the way she is and looks now. This time the guys has devised a ‘good’ plan for her to lose weight fast. There is a point card system in which the more kilograms she lose, the more risqué BL stuff they will do before her! From holding hands to kiss on the forehead! Better burn those calories right now! In no time, Serinuma is her slim beautiful self again and the guys despite almost dried out are happy this is worth it. But there is one more catch. Nishina added another final motivation to the point card. An achievement bonus for Igarashi and Nanashima to kiss! Now come on, show us that beautiful spirit of yours! Serinuma’s waiting… Igarashi might have gone crazy preparing to do it but Nanashima can’t escape… NNOOoooOOOOoooOOooOOoOOOOoooo!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 6
Serinuma is spacing out that. Hmm… She’s not sick. She finally admits she has found someone special to her. WHO IS IT?! It’s… It’s… It’s Akane from Katchu Ranbu. Oh. An anime character… Since Nishina also likes this anime, they instantly click and become even more best of friends. Since the guys don’t quite catch it all, they let them watch its trailer. Cool? More squealing that would make your hair stand at ends till their opinion differs on who is uke and seme. Then it turns into a battlefield and since they won’t accept the other’s opinion, they now hate each other and won’t speak! And the guys still don’t get what is happening. When A-chan learns about this, she explains the terrifying divide. Since Serinuma and Nishina continue to avoid each other, it’s up to the guys to fix things. First they set things up and make it sound like they need their help. So when both sides ‘coincidentally’ meet, they are forced to talk it over at the café. But since they’re still not talking, the guys start talking how good the anime is. Everything seems to be going well if only Shinomiya didn’t say the taboo word. Back to world war again. The girls decide to settle this via challenge. They will each write of fan fiction of the anime and post it on the same site. The one who gets the most hits wins and the loser must acknowledge the other’s pairing. Igarashi wonders if Nishina has thought through about this because there is a chance they might never be friends again. Not like it matters to him because less one rivalry will be better.

Flashback shows Nishina loves anything beautiful. However she saw the ‘ugly’ side of the world when kids badmouthed about her being from a rich family, etc. It wasn’t the kind of beauty she wanted. Since Serinuma is having it tough writing her story, Shinomiya thought he could be a smart ass as he goes to tell Nishina to back down as she is an experienced writer and this is just a waste of time. This triggers Nishina as she pins him to the wall and tells him off while other girls watch in glee over this feminism domination. So the duel come and go. Nishina wins. She is laughing on her high horse and is forcing Serinuma to admit she lost. Do you have the heart to after seeing Serinuma’s tears? Although Serinuma runs away like a child and won’t admit it. Igarashi reminds Nishina if she likes all things beautiful, is making a girl cry beautiful? Food for thought. More flashbacks on Nishina. When she enrolled in this public school, she realized it was no different because students still badmouth about her rich status. Then she sees fat Serinuma crashing her fat body into those girls. It was beautiful! It was?! When she had her first doujin convention, it was Serinuma who bought up all her volumes and even thanked her via email. Nishina tried to find her in school but couldn’t because at that time she was already slimmed down. She realizes she doesn’t want to lose this beautiful girl over something this trivial. The guys are consoling Serinuma at a café. She won’t pick up a call from Nishina. Igarashi had to secretly tell her where they are. When she arrives, she hears Serinuma admitting she still loves Nishina’s stories. In turn, Nishina also admits she likes her stories. Time for a girly emotional hug and reconciliation. This means they’re on good terms, right? Even better, they accept their characters are both versatile. Both can do uke and seme. If peace was this easy…

Episode 7
This Saturday will be the anniversary of the Lord Sametora’s death. He was the character that the lord in Katchu Ranbu was modelled after. Serinuma wants to make a pilgrimage there and Nishina agrees to come along. However the guys are suspicious because this means they have to spend the night together. Well, it’s not like the guys are interested in this historical piece, right? On the contrary, Mutsumi is very much interested and the other guys are ‘interested’ as well. They’re coming. We’ve got the usual hotspring fanservice but the kind that the girls want to peek at what the guys are doing and the pillow fight. Igarashi slips and falls over Serinuma. This leads the rest to give him an extreme pillow beat down. Next day, they pay a visit to the site for the ritual. Lots of young similar girls too. They’re all crying… For real… The guys can’t really understand what the girls are seeing. Uh huh. Praying and crying at Sametora’s grave for 30 minutes? It’s insane! So while they stop for lunch, Mutsumi tells of a story about Sametora’s head that was buried on a nearby island. Sounds like a ghost story. It revs up the girls to visit the island. They go in swan boats and since it can only take pairs, rock-scissors-paper and no grudges. Igarashi is the lucky guy ending up with Serinuma. Nanashima and Nishina are full of despair. They can’t rest thinking something fishy is up with the duo and try to ram their boat. Suddenly a storm occurs and they get sucked in by a whirlpool. This is a lake, you know.

They wake up on the shore but some are separated. Nanashima isn’t breathing and the only way is… Mouth to mouth! Igarashi, your job… Nishina can’t stop taking pictures… Meanwhile Mutsumi finds Serinuma unconscious and thinks of giving mouth to mouth. That won’t be necessary as she revives and spits water in his face. Though both sides call out to each other, they can never seem to meet. Igarashi’s side realizes they’ve been walking in circles, coming back to the same spot even though they have been walking in a straight line. Creepy… They are picked up by an old man to his hut. Serinuma is starting to burn up so Mutsumi conveniently takes shelter in a nearby hut. Her condition is getting worse so he is forced to take off their clothes and share body warmth. Once she is back to normal condition, he puts back on her clothes. She never realized anything. Nothing scandalous. What a disappointment. Serinuma remembers she was dreaming being hugged by a fuzzy cat. When the windows start breaking, they run. It seems the spirit of Sametora is going to kill them. Likewise, the old man is also a spirit and is out for vengeance. It gets ridiculous because our kids luckily have a small charm to protect themselves and also release some super anime power move to fight back. Sametora is seething in anger and that is when Serinuma disagrees about him being a malevolent person but one who is cool and filled with love, the reason why people still hold a memorial for him. Sametora feels at ease and passes on. Everything turns out to be the store owner accidentally serving them poison mushrooms that caused hallucinations. Everything was just an illusion. Except Igarashi’s mouth to mouth. Pictures as proof! But was it really a hallucination? Because Mutsumi notices the charm all worn out.

Episode 8
Nanashima realizes he is falling behind the competition. Everybody seems to have gotten closer to Serinuma. Nanashima realizes his worth was his Shion look-a-like but with Akane taking the spotlight, he’s got nothing left. Everyone learns Serinuma is taking up a part time job because she used up all her allowance and advance for that pilgrimage. She’s trying to save for the upcoming events of Katchu Ranbu. As she will be auditioning for a job at Usami Land, this means her entourage will also be trying their hands in landing a job. Serinuma got the job of a live magical girl stage show called Puri Moon Show. The rest blatantly lie through their teeth that they know about this show when it is obvious they don’t. Except for Nanashima who genuinely knows about it and even the dance moves because he does it all the time with his little sister, Kirari who is a big fan of this series. So naturally he gets the job with Serinuma (the rest landed other jobs around the park instead) and he relishes doing training with her every day. Things are going great till he falls sick during practice. Serinuma brings him back to his home. Kirari thought Serinuma is onii-chan’s girlfriend as we get to know her buranko status because nobody but her will marry her onii-chan! When Igarashi heard about Nanashima being taken home, he rushes down there fearing the worst. Because it is already happening. Nanashima trying to rape Serinuma???!!! OMG! He’s got his arms wrapped around her body and trying to go for a kiss!!! Igarashi enters in time to punch him away. Scared Serinuma runs out and never returned. Igarashi returns to grill Nanashima but obviously he is still in dream land as he hugs Igarashi thinking he is a girl! Once he is wakened up and told what happened, Nanashima knows he is in deep sh*t.

Serinuma has not turned up in class or even practice for the next few days. It is believed she is out with a cold. Nanashima knows it is his fault and tries to contact Serinuma but she doesn’t reply. He thinks she doesn’t want to see him anymore after that horrifying incident. He finally decides to go see her but since she doesn’t want to see him in this pathetic state of hers, he starts yelling from outside her window. He is really sorry for what happened but he hopes she could come because Kirari is really looking forward to tomorrow’s performance. A lame typical kiddie drawing of Puri Moon Show from Kirari proves to be the turning point. She turns up although she still has reservations about Nanashima. As the play begins, a group of rowdy fans hog the front stage and to a point harassing those on stage and annoying other audiences. This is when Nanashima decides to intervene by teaming up with Serinuma to get rid of the ‘real villains’. This isn’t in the script. With Igarashi also adlibbing to their act, the crowd cheers them on to dispose the baddies. It is also at this point Serinuma made her peace with Nanashima. For the dance routine, one of the actresses sprained her ankle during that rowdy commotion. Nanashima volunteers to cover for her since he knows the move. The dance was brilliant and a success. Backstage, everyone else teases how lame Nanashima is in that girly clothing. Even he himself realizes it is lame and perhaps the reason he is behind everyone else. However Serinuma thought Nanashima was cool today and her perception of boys changed a little. They might be scary but can be dependable.

Episode 9
The gang is here at the beach courtesy of Nishina inviting them to stay at her beach house. Shinomiya somewhat regrets coming here because he isn’t the outdoor kind and realizes how scrawny his body is. But I’m sure he is thanking his stars that he came since he gets to see Serinuma in her cute swimsuit as well as pairing up with her to learn body surfing. When other girls swoon over Igarashi and Nanashima being cool surfing, Shinomiya gets desperate to show off. Looks pathetic but he is able to at least stand on the surfboard. That is, until he crashes and lands his face in Serinuma’s boobs! Scandalous! Shinomiya profusely apologizes but Serinuma forgives him. I guess if she has pardoned him, there is no reason for Nanashima to stay mad at him. Nearby, a group of jerks are leering at girls. Nishina quickly takes Serinuma out as Nanashima and Igarashi confront and warn them. When they try to get physical, Mutsumi stops them with his finger! You better back off now! Have you seen this guy mad? This makes Shinomiya realize his worthlessness. How can he compete with these guys? While making BBQ, Shinomiya spots a snake crawling near Serinuma. He tries to save her but ends up spilling all the food. He feels ashamed of this mess and runs home. Unfortunately he ran in the wrong direction and only deeper into the mountains. Yeah, tripping on a tree root only makes him feel more miserable. Should have stayed home? As it is getting dark, Serinuma is worried and wants to go find him. The guys think he’ll come back but Serinuma knows Shinomiya is afraid of the dark and goes off to find him herself. Well, I guess you guys have to come along too.

Oddly, Nanashima is afraid of heights as he is holding up the traffic on a wooden suspension bridge! After Serinuma reaches the other end, the bridge’s rope snaps. Don’t worry. The chasm is only a few meters deep. And they make it sound like it was so high… They decide to meet up in the abandoned hotel ahead. Serinuma finds Shinomiya tangled in vines. How the f*ck did he end up like that?! But it only served as good fanservice for Serinuma. Tentacles + boy = great BL fanservice! After she untangles him, it starts to rain. They take shelter in the abandoned hotel. They start freaking out because they hear ghostly phenomena. Shinomiya realizes how big an idiot himself is. Serinuma is trying to calm him down knowing he hates scary stuffs but he could feel her hand shaking when doing so. He vows to protect her. It is revealed this ghostly prank is by those jerks and they’re laughing at this pathetic scene. This is their hideout. Because they view Shinomiya as weak, they toss him aside while they prepare to have fun with Serinuma. Shinomiya then kicks one of them in the crotch before taking Serinuma and run. Thankfully Nanashima and co have arrived and those jerks are going to get a beat down for forgetting the warning. Shinomiya apologizes to everyone for causing trouble but they forgive him since they are already used to his freak outs. Shinomiya may not be as strong as them but he still wants Serinuma for himself. Cue for pathetic bad luck because this time he got his leg stuck in the drain. How in the world… But Serinuma and Nishina love it because of the klutz appeal.

Episode 10
Mutsumi found a treasure map in his clubroom and hopes everyone can go treasure hunting with him. Well, nobody is interested. Till Serinuma wants to go. Then everybody wants to go now because they can’t let him be with her. This pattern is getting too predictable. Later Nishina asks the other guys if Mutsumi seriously like Serinuma because they’ve been ‘competing’ but she doesn’t feel such vibes from him. It makes them question why he is doing all this for. As the gang reach the cave, the boys head in first. Igarashi asks Serinuma straight if he likes Serinuma. Yes. He likes everybody too! Wow. That makes him sound gay. But when asks if he likes her romantically, it’s that retarded face. They lost him there. After the girls join them, the bats on the ceiling freak them out. Nanashima thought Serinuma is cowering in the darkness and hugs her. Turns out to be Shinomiya. Gay! Then they realize Serinuma and Mutsumi aren’t around. Mutsumi is paralyzed in the darkness because of a prank that left him trapped in a storeroom for the entire night! When she takes his hand, he feels her warmth and then unwittingly hugs her. When they discover the treasure, it is so obvious like as though someone set this up. True enough, inside is a note indicating it is a prank. But this note is written by Mutsumi? Kazuma Mutsumi. His older brother. Oh… You thought that was over with, right? Back in school, Kazuma becomes a trainee teacher in Serinuma’s class!

So the brothers meet during recess and because there is a lot of physical contact with them, it is today’s BL fodder for the girls. Apparently Kazuma forgot he set up the prank and when he does remember, he laughs wildly that it took 3 years for somebody to fall for it! They wonder if Kazuma is a good big brother because sometimes he gives off that halo vibe. Then Kazuma admits he is bisexual. He flirts with Nanashima! But when he turns to Serinuma, Mutsumi loses his cool to remind him recess is over. Kazuma becomes a popular teacher with boys and girls in just a few days. One day, he spots Serinuma coming out from an anime shop. They have lunch together as Serinuma finds out he was the one who locked Mutsumi in the storeroom prank. She tells him the trauma it gave him that he hugged her but praises him as the non-assertive type who has helped her a lot. Next day in school, Kazuma sees Serinuma cleaning up the clubroom. He decide to give her a Mirage Saga box collaboration he had won in an arcade years ago. Look at Serinuma’s retarding face… She wants it! Her excitement has her bump into things and the box on the shelf almost fall on her had not Kazuma pull her into his arms. That is when he starts to touch her face and claims how cute she is. Luckily Mutsumi whacks a book over his head and warns him on making a move on a student. Hey. Have you ever seen Mutsumi this mad? Kazuma then challenges him. It won’t be a problem to pursue Serinuma after his term ends, right? Oh yes there is. Mutsumi proclaims Serinuma is his girlfriend!

Episode 11
Apparently the others were eavesdropping as they barge in to protest. Kazuma covers for him that he was just protecting Serinuma. When Nanashima challenges Kazuma, the latter starts flirting with him! With all the reaction, Kazuma now knows where everyone stands as he blurts out all of them are head over heels for Serinuma. As Kazuma isn’t a full teacher yet, he is serious in pursuing Serinuma. However she tells him her waifu is Shion. The rest feel he is still dangerous and the need to protect Serinuma. Kazuma doesn’t mind being her second waifu. Sorry, that’s Akane’s spot. In fact she has 16 waifus! Shinomiya distracts Serinuma that her friends is calling. After that, Kazuma blackmails him with a photo of him dressed up as a princess! He kisses the photo! This just destroys Shinomiya. In class, Kazuma gives a quiz and who answers wrongly will have to kiss him! Thus he targets Serinuma and gives a hard question. Igarashi takes the fall by answering wrongly. He is willing to be kissed by him but gets flicked on the head. Kazuma assures he won’t steal him from Nanashima who is looking all too intense. This gives the entire class the wrong idea the guys are dating! Now they’re destroyed. It’s Nishina’s turn. But after a day, she returns destroyed. It seems Kazuma read aloud a favourite self-published book of her favourite author. They have no choice but to request Mutsumi’s help. Heck, they force him.

So Mutsumi confronts Kazuma and tell him to stop making passes at Serinuma. Kazuma insists he is serious about her. Then he makes his underhanded move by locking him up in the locker! The darkness paralyzes him as he remembers how they were fighting over some castle model and Kazuma who always gets what he wants locked him up in the storeroom for it. The rest manage to free Mutsumi. But at this point he is contemplating of doing nothing because if Kazuma is serious instead of playing around, there’s nothing he could do about it for his brother’s happiness, right? Kazuma then makes an announcement via PA challenging his little brother to a duel. A card game called Guard the Castle that Serinuma is a big fan of. Kazuma is giving Mutsumi a last chance to defend something he wants to get his hands on. Mutsumi is in a dilemma whether to challenge him. When Serinuma talks to him and says if he doesn’t want that thing and just give it to big brother then, all the more reason Mutsumi is going to defeat his brother. So the card game begins and nobody except the brothers and Serinuma knows what the hell is going on. Yeah. Whatever. Just cheer! It looked like Mutsumi is losing but he pulls off a move Kazuma never thought he would and wins the game. Yeah. Whatever. Just cheer! The brothers reconcile and give each other a big hug. Nobody knows what’s happening. Yeah. Whatever. Just cheer! In the aftermath when Serinuma asks what was it that he didn’t want to give to Kazuma so badly, Mutsumi pats her head and confesses he likes her. This sends alarming bells to the rest because they’ve got another enemy to defeat!

Episode 12
Luckily Serinuma didn’t hear at first go. Mutsumi is about to repeat his words but the rest take him away. So when they confront him about it, he tells it straight in their faces he likes Serinuma. Thanks to Kazuma, he is able to realize his love for Serinuma. When they oppose, he questions them, why not? Because if all of them likes Serinuma, then they all should tell her their feelings! Well, he’s got a point. So for the next few scenes, everyone is trying to cut off Mutsumi from Serinuma like keeping tabs on him and even sneakily blocking Mutsumi’s contacts from Serinuma’s handphone. However that guy is smart. When he gives them the slip, he uses the PA system to broadcast like his brother did. This time he tells Serinuma to come to the rooftop afterwards. Once more the gang confronts him. Mutsumi doesn’t understand why they are so against this. Everyone is free to tell her how they feel. He won’t stop them so they should not stop him. Anyone interested to confess to her is free to come to the rooftop. Period. So everybody is deeply thinking if they will be the one and of course worried by doing so they won’t get to see her smile again. Finally the appointed date, everyone confesses they like her and would love to go out with her. Serinuma is then seen running into A-chan’s home all panicky. She told he what happened although they don’t require an answer immediately but just want to let her know how they really feel. Because they look serious, she too must take this seriously. So no BL thoughts on them, please. With A-chan suggesting if this was an otome game, this gives Serinuma an idea. She would like to date them for a day and at the end of it she will give her answer. Okay. Sounds fair. The battle is on.

Igarashi goes first as he takes her to the aquarium. She notes he is engaging and very considerate. At the Ferris Wheel, he says embarrassing things like “I love you”. Next is Nanashima. He takes her to an amusement park. He knows how to have fun and soothe a lost kid. Shinomiya brings her to an alpaca farm. This guy is clumsy and has an alpaca biting his hair! He might be the kind of guy whom you can’t leave alone but can also be reliable at times. For Nishina’s turn, she flies Serinuma to a classy restaurant in Okinawa and they fantasize about BL stuffs. Finally it’s Mutsumi’s turn. Ever the history freak, he takes her visiting various historical places. He makes a wish for them to stay together forever. He thanks her for making him realize this special feelings of his. Of course now the real headache comes because Serinuma as expected cannot pick one out as each has their own unique charms. She feels like there is something missing. Then something hits her. The D-Day is here. Everyone makes peace that no grudges will be held to whoever Serinuma chooses. So who will it be? The person that will be special to her is… Drum rolls please… That person is… Shion!!! Last night she saw the announcement that they are making another season of this so this means they are bringing him back to life, right?! She can’t wait for it to happen and runs off to some event. The left are left hanging and in shock but they chase after her for an answer.

Friendzoned Forever!
Also I want to think… Watashi Ga Motete No Wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera Ga Warui! “I’m famous no matter how you think about it, it is all your fault!”. Yeah, that somewhat sums up the relationship point of view of Serinuma and the rest of her harem. At least if she ever realizes it. I didn’t really expect to enjoy this series and it was lot of fun till the end. Despite the cliché theme of the guys trying to appeal and get the girl, it doesn’t feel much like a real reverse harem anime. It is more suited as a romantic comedy instead. The typical ending even for a reverse harem series was expected although I didn’t see it was Shion because that fictional guy was dead. So this means if Mirage Saga can get another season, will we get another season for this anime and watch more of their antics to win Serinuma’s heart?

The story and plot might feel almost the same. But somehow I never got tired of it is it because that I myself have this wishful thinking of landing a smoking hot anime babe? Thus you can see this pattern in many of the episodes. Serinuma wants something or to attend an event. The guys not being hardcore otakus like her aren’t really interested. However one of them wants to accompany her for some reason and because the rest deem it ‘too dangerous’ for them to be alone, they also volunteer to tag along. And hence the so called ‘plot’ for the guys to make their move to appeal to Serinuma. In the end, it all goes back to square one with nothing much changed. Rinse and repeat.

Status quo seems to be the reason why the relationship between the characters can stay so for a very long time as far as this series is concerned. Basically there is a hot competition among the guys (and a girl) to be Serinuma’s significant other. But that is where the problem lies. None is like trying to make the bold move to do anything to steal her heart. Well, there are a handful of moments but you can bet that the rest will be breathing down your neck like the grim reaper coming to get your soul. Therefore, it is like they’re biding their time waiting for something really drastic to happen before they might take some real action. Thus when outsiders like Kazuma enter the fray and increase the competition, they naturally form a temporary alliance to kick him out and maintain their status quo. I know you might be questioning if they really want Serinuma that bad, shouldn’t they take some sort of decisive action to make her his? Aside the backlash from the rest, I believe maintaining status quo is the best option because nothing has been decided yet. That includes Serinuma not hating or discarding them as part of her groupie. Therefore the chances of staying and doing things together are much better than becoming an official couple.

A big part of this status quo is also due to Serinuma’s dense and cluelessness. She does not see the guys as mere boyfriend potentials. They are all just helpful friends. That’s right. Sorry to break it to you guys. All of you are just friendzone. Always. I am pretty sure that she isn’t a devilish person who has ulterior motives in taking the advantage of the guys (except as fodder for her BL fantasies). Because you see her innocent and genuinely happy when she seeks help or when the guys offer to help out. She never thinks that there could be more implications to it. As proof in the past, there are a few instances when the guys feel a little impatient and did rush a little things and this freaked her out and shook her up badly. Hence instead of rushing into things, let’s just take things slowly and build things up step by step. We’ll cross the bridge when we get to it. After all for now, it is obvious that she believes Shion is her first waifu, right? Though she does take some serious time contemplating the issue (albeit not much), she will eventually return to her BL roots. After all, she is the kind of princess who loves hiding in the corner watching 2 princes smooching! At least, that is how she describes it.

Talking about the characters, they are quite likeable although they might be cliché stereotypes at least for a reverse harem. In addition to the dense hardcore otaku female lead, we have the mature and composed guy, the hot headed guy, the bratty junior and the airhead laidback senior. Not forgetting the devilishly scheming lesbian. It’s like to give variety to instead of guys just chasing after Serinuma, they put a girl interested in her too and sometimes her partner in crime because all is fair in love and war, right?

I want to point out that sometimes I feel that Igarashi and Mutsumi’s character at times overlap because of their behaviour of being the calm and reasonable ones of the group. However I sometimes have this feeling deep inside that Mutsumi might be a lot more dangerous as he seems because he might just be putting up a dense act and playing dumb. I mean, does he seriously think of Serinuma nothing more than just a junior history club member? Because when it comes to competing for Serinuma, this guy seems to be the least likely threat because his face always pops up that ‘what is love’ thingy. Like it never occurred to him it might be love. Then of course towards the end, it proves Mutsumi might be an airhead after all because he starts thinking what Serinuma is to him. Then he becomes the biggest threat to the rest. From last place usurping the rest to take the lead. That’s pretty dangerous alright. Therefore his airhead is both a strength and weakness when it comes down to this. After all, he is the only male who has treated Serinuma the same as she was when she was plump and heavy. It is also thanks to his honest to goodness character that enables everyone to take action rather than maintaining status quo. Even though the results still remain the same, but hey, at least they tried. It makes Mutsumi even more respectable and cool because he wasn’t just being selfish in wanting Serinuma to be only his. He might not see the rest as rivals but at least he is giving them a chance too. In short, all of them here has Serinuma to thank for because she is the one who brought them all together doing a bunch of stuff and antics.

With Serinuma looking pretty attractive in her slim figure, it makes me wonder why the rest of the boys in the school do not drool or fight for her. Logically it will be like too many cooks spoil the soup and it would be redundant to have a reverse harem anime with so many and literally every boy in school chasing after her. And perhaps behind the scenes that we don’t see, Igarashi and co are somewhat making sure that no other boys can join this club. If not, could this mean that Igarashi, Nanashima and Shinomiya are sexist? Because despite the boys being shocked and awe at her transformation, they don’t really see them falling in love immediately with her. But these trio are like suddenly they want to date her. And when she is back to being fat for a while, although still interested in her but not as motivated as before. Isn’t that judging a book by its cover? I know it is for the plot but I don’t blame them. I’m like that too, a sucker for a pretty face.

So the only person who could ever hate Serinuma with a grudge is her brother Takurou. It is only natural to expect this from siblings. But doesn’t that make him the ‘bad guy’ of this series? Because with Serinuma being so beautiful and hot, at least those who are not involved have no feelings whatsoever but this guy sometimes can be seen trying to bring her down in front of the rest. Not too sure if he is trying to be a saint thinking he is saving them from something unwanted but I guess it is better their relationship to be somewhat this way. Because it would be hell of a confusing if Takurou loves Serinuma and now you have the problem of incest thrown in! Holy sh*t! I think they should have made it that way too! And of course the other person who might dislike Serinuma is Kirari. But that is only if somebody tries to steal her onii-chan away. Last but not least is Kazuma. Sometimes I am thinking he is purposely making all those ambiguous moves just to push his brother forward. Because he is such a cool and charismatic person, I can’t tell if he is acting or true to his own feelings. Thankfully he isn’t officially part of the group chasing after Serinuma because this guy’s level is so high that they’ll be blown away to bits and eating dust. As we have seen, you can’t beat this guy with mere cheap and poor thought out tactics.

In line with the beauty of outward appearance theme of this anime, it is no surprise that the characters are all drawn to their bishonen and bishoujo looks. Almost everybody looks so damn hot and beautiful. So that’s why when Serinuma is in her fatty version, you could say it was really a turn off. Masturbation level extreme! After all the years of conditioning on what beauty is supposed to be, it makes us even more compel to prefer the slim Serinuma compared to her chubby version. The physical obvious is so vastly different. Look, I’m not shaming Serinuma when she’s fat. But since when is preference something sexist? Animated by Brain’s Base who also did a number of series with beautiful people like Kurenai, Kamigami No Asobi, Endride, Natsume No Yuujinchou series, Amnesia, Tonari No Kaibutsu and Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru.

It is quite pleasant to hear Yuu Kobayashi helming the role of Serinuma. Because no others could go into that kind of trademark ‘screaming’ like she can. It suits her character all the better since Serinuma is prone to get excited and do her inner screaming when she starts fantasizing BL. While this seems okay, at first I was wondering if her voice would suit the sweet looking Serinuma. You know, for a girl to be this smoking hot, Serinuma sounds a bit hoarse if you ask me. It’s like she’s trying hard to sound cute and it doesn’t match her cute demeanour. But you know me. After a while I got used to it and didn’t really care anymore. I’m a sucker for a pretty voice but not for a pretty voice. Unless you’re talking about Mamiko Noto…

Miyuki Sawashiro as Nishina, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Shinomiya and Yuuichi Nakamura as Kazuma are the only seiyuus I recognized. The rest of the casts include Yuuki Ono as Igarashi (Isami in Shokugeki No Souma), Keisuke Koumoto as Nanashima (Raul in Yuushibu), Nobunaga Shimazaki as Mutsumi (Manato in Hai To Gensou No Grimgar), Takahiro Mizushima as Takurou (Nagasumi in Seto No Hanayome) and Asami Shimoda as A-chan (Rin in Infinite Stratos). The opening theme is PrincexPrince by From4to7 which is basically the 4 guys of Serinuma’s reverse harem. It sounds very much like a boy band song. Dokidoki No Kaze by Rie Murakawa as the ending song on the other hand sounds more of a generic anime pop.

Overall, this is a refreshing take on the reverse harem series instead one that is currently being plagued and ubiquitous in the music genre. This series has its charm and funny points, light and nothing too serious so it is basically a fun watch. Even if you’re not into the harem type genre, this feels more like a romantic comedy more than that. But unlike in games, reality doesn’t necessary mean there will be a single route to end up with or even returning to an earlier saved point. It could go on and on and on forever without any conclusion in sight. Bad end? Worse, if this was actually real life and Serinuma really had to pick one of them, she’d screw and ditch this choice and choose a total jerk or a big dick ass hat instead. Why do the good guys always have to give way and lose out :’(.

Stella No Mahou

April 22, 2017

Wait a minute. Wasn’t it not too long ago that we had a bunch of females making video games? Well, if you do not like the setting of a game company and would prefer the environment of high school girls making games, Stella No Mahou is what is right for you. I think. You may argue that D-Frag is also a high school setting but because of feminism and the need to eliminate any single guy from the entire series and you don’t want to be viewed as an idiot for watching a hilarious (some read it is stupid) slapstick comedy, then this series has got it all for you. All girls. High school setting. Cute and moe. Cute girls doing cute… Uhm, cute game programming?

Episode 1
Tamaki Honda and her friend, Yumine Fuda head to Hoshinotsuji for their first day of high school. As usual, there are many clubs recruiting for new members. One of the clubs is a game making club. But both the members, Ayame Seki and Shiina Murakami seem ‘dead’! The duo try out the action puzzle demo and since the PC freeze, they almost died of heart attack. I can understand putting your heart and soul in making a game only for everything to hang. They reboot and the duo try it out. Tamaki is impressed and asks more questions. Not sure if Shiina is being a pessimist because she keeps repeating how hard it is to make games. Yumine can’t join since she has her own commitments and Tamaki is unsure of her own ability. Tamaki ponders what kind of life she has been leading. Reading, drawing, copy drawing and doodling. Doesn’t look so proud there. When Tamaki remembers grandma praising her for some paper game she made, she decides to go back to the club. This time she meets another member, Kayo Fujikawa who is in charge of the game’s music. At first Kayo is sad that Tamaki was engrossed in the game that she didn’t notice her BGM but that also means the game is a success if she didn’t hear her music. Is she saying her music sucks? Tamaki wants to join this club because she likes the illustration and wants to learn more. However they tell her the person in charge of illustrations has already graduated. They were hoping to find a talented one through this recruitment drive. Of course Tamaki will try her best and without hesitation joins the club. They have her draw a test sample. Well, that looks quite surreal. Next day, Tamaki shows up at the clubroom as they all formally introduce themselves. Shiina is the programmer and her ‘serious’ eyes helped Tamaki decide to join this club. Actually she stayed up all night programming and trying to fit in the whims and last minute fancies of certain people. Don’t get on her bad side when she is in this bad mood. Ayame is the story and scriptwriter while Kayo handles to BGM and SFX. So what is their club called? Shinda Sakana No Me (Dead Fish Eyes) Nisshou Busoku (Not Enough Sun) Shuttle Run Club. SNS for short. Deep name… Don’t ask… They discuss the details of their next puzzle game. They caution Tamaki they want this game out by Summer Comiket so there are deadlines to meet. Thus this is not an easy task and hopefully she won’t burnt herself out. Tamaki is confident she has got passion for this. Let’s hope so. They give her the demo game they recently made to her because they want to incorporate her style into their next game. And so Tamaki’s first night she burns the midnight oil copying the illustration style.

Episode 2
Tamaki is happy that all the club members somewhat meet while on their way to school. It’s like they’re in sync. But the mere mention of that has Ayame feeling down because it means they’re a small club and Tamaki was the only freshman who joined. Let’s hope they got more members along the way. When Tamaki enters the clubroom, she sees and hears Ayame passionately acting out her storyline. Wait. Ayame is crying upon realizing Tamaki was watching? Tamaki tries to go away but Ayame changes the subject by wanting to see her sketches. They’ll trade stories and sketches. But Ayame realizes an old embarrassing story she doesn’t want Tamaki to hear. Shiina almost recites it out… Everyone heads to the café where Kayo works part time to brainstorm. It seems Tamaki cannot start drawing until Ayame figures out a story. Because it descends into a noisy past digging (Ayame and Shiina trying to outdo the other), Kayo kicks them out. When Tamaki takes the train home, she realizes Ayame’s sketchbook is in her back. Ayame is frantically searching for it because the story is her life. Imagine her horror when she learns it is in Tamaki’s hands and she has read her adult-like story. She keeps denying it is her old self. Because Tamaki has some chores to do, Yumine will help pass her sketches to the club. She had always wanted to see what her club is like. You know she’ll be in for a weird ride when she reads the long ass club name. Expressive name? Then Shiina is really scared about Yumine thinking she would spread bad stuffs about the club. Kayo is making weird annoying sounds in her bid to find the right one. Yumine blows her top thinking the club is trying to make Tamaki draw lewd stuffs but they explain. When Yumine asks if Tamaki is being taught by anyone, they contemplate if they should bring up their senior’s name, Teru Hyakutake AKA Temawari. Apparently she is also a famous illustrator and Yumine is a big fan of her. Guess what? Yumine too has her own quirk. She is a fujoshi! Seeing their work is in line with some BL theme, Yumine agrees to help with Tamaki’s work. When Yumine returns the sketchbook, Tamaki asks about her members’ thoughts. At first Yumine is in a dilemma on what to say but tells her the truth that as long as she is happy when she draws, that is all that matters. Next time, Tamaki shows the sketches herself. They’ll try to incorporate her drawings into the story. Yumine will help Tamaki if she helps with her projects too. Of course the real intention is that she doesn’t want Tamaki to hog drawing all the BL stuff. Naughty girl…

Episode 3
Shiina suggests an outing. That’s because Ayame is running late on her storyboard. Don’t want the club to end up rotting and then disbanded, would you? Everyone converges at Tamaki’s house in the outskirts. Shiina installs the necessary programmes on her PC so she can do her digital drawing. They then brainstorm the visual novel adventure game they want to make. However Ayame is still having writer’s block and it is really getting to her. Is it because they dropped the love comedy plot for this adventure? Kayo helps give some motivation by mixing a recently recorded sound. Funny enough to give Ayame some encouragement but it made Tamaki’s grandma mad and out to kill! She thinks someone is playing with the bamboo clacker! This is going to be a long lecture… As Shiina teaches Tamaki the software, the latter asks how the club got its name. To cut things short, the trio were in charge to name it. Each pick out a name from the suggestion box. All 3 names were from Shiina’s suggestions. Shiina also recalls the progress the club made and how fun it was during the year. It would have been a boring life without the club. After dinner and bath, Ayame has finished part of her story and copies it for the rest to read. I’m going to spare you the details seeing I myself don’t really understand what is going on. All I know is that there are the main protagonists, Stella and Samyu. Stella is sick or something and Samyu has to find a cure. There is a bad end and true ending in which Ayame wanted to make the latter more interesting with a .exe popping up on the screen but that will be just suspicious as people would think it is a virus or something. When Yumine is going to read Ayame’s old story, she tries to stop her. Grandma just walked in with snacks and Ayame crashes into her. Oh no. Not again. In the end, everyone goes to the public bath to bathe. Ayame and Kayo observe the good rapport between Tamaki and Shiina. And Yumine couldn’t shut up about her BL fantasies. Or is it yuri fantasy with Tamaki? While her friends are sleeping, Tamaki continues to practice what Shiina taught her.

Episode 4
Tamaki continues her drawing in class. Her fellow classmates, Marika Shimizu the halfie and Natsu Iino the animal lover give their 2 cents worth. Tamaki is so into her scribbling that she couldn’t pay attention in class. However she is also in a slump and as she sits by the riverbank eating candy and accidentally dropping it, she observes the cat licking it and wishes she was one. Then a strange cat girl pops up. More like a crazy girl cosplaying as one. She is Teru and volunteers to be her model. After looking through her sketches, Teru can tell who she is and wants to keep the sketchbook. In return, she treats Tamaki to snacks. Tamaki wants her sketchbook back but Teru asks why she is trying so hard to make a game because it is difficult. Is she being forced to draw? Tamaki thinks back of all the times SNS spent together and mentions they genuinely wants to make a game. Seeing how passionate she is, Teru gives her sketchbook back and believes she’ll create something great. Of course this Teru is SNS’ graduated senior. She visits Kayo at her café and decides to give a little cash donation after seeing today’s ‘cute kitten’. Discussing with the other girls this heavenly fund, Tamaki cannot remember Teru’s name as she was preoccupied with the sketchbook but feels something familiar about the cat girl that her pals are talking about. They plan to use this money to get Tamaki a scanner. As they browse, Tamaki remembers she forgot her sketchbook. She manages to get it but it soon pours. Luckily Ayame’s house is nearby so they take respite there. Ayame’s younger brother, Haruma seems to be having love at first sight on Tamaki. Till he realizes she is older than her petite looks. Haruma is also into drawing and he takes up Tamaki’s request to teach her some. Shiina plugs in the scanner and uploads some of the sketches in Tamaki’s sketchbook. So far she has completed Stella and Samyu only. Haruma suggests using search engines for ideas because if she is going to draw, she needs to look at lots of things and use it as model. Didn’t think of that, did she? Then the question that the girls ask that has Haruma’s heart stop for a while: Does Tamaki have a boyfriend? The only guy in her life now is her dad. Is he disappointed or relieved? Ayame teases him about his first love that will be unrequited but he hits back saying she never has a boyfriend. Let the sibling rivalry begin!

Episode 5
Tamaki falls ill. I know she overworked herself but what’s this about Shiina saying she looked at too many manga for men and can barely breathe? Is that a joke? Shiina and Ayame are kind enough to go out their way to go visit her. Since the deadline is coming up, they have to complete their work there too. Ayame’s fears come true when Haruma reads over her script over the phone to Shiina so she could programme it. Embarrassing story? When Shiina goes to make porridge, Ayame tells Tamaki more about her friendship with Shiina. Tamaki feels restless that she couldn’t help but as Shiina points out, her part there is more than enough time to make it so please concentrate and recover. The next day she is well again. However Ayame relays the devastating news that their club’s name isn’t selected. This means even if they completed the game, they still can’t enter Summer Comiket. I guess Ayame couldn’t bring herself to tell everyone yesterday. Don’t worry, they can enter the next event. That’s in 6 days… This means Tamaki, Shiina and Ayame will be staying overnight at the clubroom to rush things out. They’ve brought their favourite stuffs to get through the night like snacks and for Tamaki it is a picture of her dad. As punishment, Ayame gets a big load of work share. Kayo relays message that she wants to do more sound effects and BGM but Shiina ‘strangles’ the laptop that they don’t have time and to stick with the schedule! They are so focused in finishing their job that they push anyone else away at the door. Including a newbie who wants to join. Later! When there is no word from Kayo for 5 hours (no she isn’t sleeping either), they fear she might have quit. Remember, they are making this game on voluntary basis without pay and can’t force anyone to work. Tamaki feels depressed but chooses to believe in her. Then a message from Kayo came. She has just finished 6 songs and has sent it to them. The trio then make a final last spurt to finish up the game, Stella No Mahou. As explained by Shiina, Stella isn’t just the protagonist as there is another hidden meaning for her name. Because the game is collectively made by 5 different people like a star, and thus this phenomenon is what she calls ‘stellar’ magic.

Episode 6
When they arrive outside the exhibition hall, Shiina gets panic attack and falls sick. She excuses herself home after passing the baton and making it sound like a dying wish. Ayame couldn’t be more appalled because apparently she has been pulling this sort of trick since young. So the duo man their booth and with nobody approaching it, Tamaki starts thinking it is her drawing when in reality Ayame says it is because they did no advertising whatsoever. Yumine is also here but she can’t stop and say hi as she wants to get Temawari’s works. When they finally have their first customer, Tamaki panics as the customer is taken in by her drawing and wants her to sketch in her sketchbook. She is pleased and even has Tamaki autograph it. In the afternoon, they have more sales. One of them was Teru in disguise and they couldn’t recognize her. She is glad they are doing fine. When they go home, Shiina calls Ayame to apologize she couldn’t help. She still sounds very sick. Rest up. Once she is well, everyone gathers at Ayame’s house to celebrate. Kayo is thanking Tamaki for covering her. She is being too close so Yumine blows her top. What’s her problem? Well, she thinks Tamaki should be the dominant one. Oh, it’s her delusion. Tamaki doesn’t even know what it means… Too angelic. Shiina suggests telling Tamaki how SNS was formed like Ayame was from the drama club and when Teru read her script and suggested making a game out of it, it was the birth of the club. Tamaki would love to hear each of their past stories but how far can they dig before it gets forbidden? Instead, Tamaki wants to tell love stories. Is this so she can praise her dad? Yeah, it’s the only guy she loves. Shiina surprises everyone that she has received a love letter before. However she didn’t know what to do with it and thought it was a prank and gave it to the teacher. Too harsh, too negative. Yumine and Tamaki walk home. Yumine reveals her parents aren’t open minded to such genres and they had a fight. But Yumine proved it by improving her grades so they tolerate it. Tamaki might look like she has overworked herself with hectic last minute spurts. But now she has a glowing wonderful smile.

Episode 7
Tamaki is shocked when Kayo starts saying stuffs like “I love you” before her. Turns out she is trying to compose a poem for her senior (Teru). Tamaki misinterprets this for a guy and panics. Learning she is composing another poem, she wonders who it is for. Ayame. More panic. Even more so when Kayo wants her help to talk more about her dad’s love! Yeah, that’s complicated. When Yumine notices Tamaki spacing out and asks why, imagine the fury she has when she misinterprets about Tamaki trying to help Kayo out with her complicated love! Nobody steals her best friend! Kayo ushers Tamaki into a room alone as part of the plan to help out with her ‘love’. More misinterpretations when she starts saying things like making babies (her composition). When Kayo tries to find her scenario sheet, she accidentally fall on top of Tamaki. Right at that moment Yumine walks in. Luckily she didn’t turn into a yandere and quickly takes Tamaki away. Later Tamaki realizes all the misunderstanding. As she explains it to Yumine, she starts thinking BL stuffs about them. This excites her and will support Tamaki! Tamaki tells us her flashback how she became friends with Yumine. She was always absent due to illness and one day she has to take notes to her house. In her bid to be friends with her, Tamaki often tried to talk and share her games. However Yumine did not welcome this and scolds her to go home. She thought Tamaki is the same like the rest who thinks she is getting preferential treatment just because she is sick. In class, Tamaki gets deep in philosophy asking why are friends, you know, friends. Something about studying together, eat together, blah, blah, blah. Wow. Does Tamaki understand all that? She gets this idea to make a board game to play with Yumine. It is so badly created and Tamaki getting all the bad turns, it made Yumine laugh. Ever since, Yumine opened up, came to school more often and made friends. The duo became best of friends and gradually Yumine became a BL fanatic. Tamaki is thankful to games that they became friends. She also got to meet nice people at SNS and hopes to meet all kinds of people through games. Suddenly Tamaki is grabbed by this mad girl who wants to challenge her after making a fool out of her that time. Who the f*ck is she?!

Episode 8
Remember that newbie who wanted to join but was shooed away because they were chaotic in finishing the game? Yup. Minaha. She is from the illustration club and challenges Tamaki to create character designs from a story that sounds so much written by Ayame (it is). If Tamaki loses, she must give her a game from SNS. Well, I think she wants more people to play SNS’ game. In the end, Minaha realizes she has lost to Tamaki’s ‘superior’ drawing. She’s really being sore about it. Tamaki gives her Stella No Mahou to play anyway. She accepts but will challenge again her next time. Next day, Minaha barges into the clubroom crying. She played the entire game and when she finally reached the true ending, some bug froze her screen! That’s the problem? Well, despair for Shiina. Minaha adds that she tried to find a patch on the homepage but it looked so pathetic. Well, more despair for Shiina. They give her an updated version with the bugs fixed. She wants to play right now so Kayo lends her notebook. Minaha likes the quick fix, the sound and the story. As she isn’t swayed by the lousy art, a reason to be obnoxious to Tamaki? Furthermore she doesn’t like Ayame, not knowing that she is the story writer who goes under the pseudo name of Iris. Even when she signs her autograph, Minaha blows her top thinking she is an imposter! They want to let her join but it seems Minaha has changed her mind. Initially she wanted to join SNS during the recruitment day but the members were sleeping. So she joined the illustration club but as it got more boring, she became curious of what SNS is about. Minaha suggests creating detailed member profiles for their webpage. Is this some sort of challenge to make Tamaki draw? So while Tamaki hangs out with Yumine, she gets inspired when Yumine got clickbait. You know, an article with a seemingly attracting headline but clicking on its link leads you to an entirely different article. So when Tamaki introduces this to SNS, they’re lost. Even when she demonstrates, it got even more lost. What was this about again? Minaha has drawn her own profile. But since she is not an official member, they can’t let her submit. Care to join? Not a chance. Minaha chastises Tamaki for not drawing her own. Well, it’s because Minaha is way better, right? But Tamaki is motivated when Minaha gives an example of a cherished gift because it was made just for you. Minaha leaves in hopes of drawing more illustrations to be worthy of Iris. I think somebody should really tell her that…

Episode 9
Shiina is already wondering if she can helm the job as the club president when Tamaki suddenly runs to her crying! She is worried she might kick her out of the club if she can’t draw anymore! Better talk this in private before the public thinks this is some sort of love triangle. Apparently Tamaki is in a slump. Worse, she had that dream Minaha was better than her and Shiina dumped Tamaki for her. Tamaki then sees Minaha in her class trying to spread the word about this story by Iris. Yumine stops her thinking she is picking on Tamaki and then argues some BL position. Huh? Ayame helps Tamaki alleviate some of her slump worries. This has Shiina believe she would make a better club president. She must have taken it quite literally so she takes off her glasses to look all sparkly. Because of her different respectable look, Minaha thinks she is Iris. Plus, Ayame’s bad eyesight means she cannot identify Minaha. After getting her autograph, Minaha is certain she wants to join SNS. Tamaki is worried. Does a club need 2 illustrators? Shiina doesn’t see a problem if their art style matches. At first Ayame disagrees but after a few discussions and how they’re going to do debut a new game at Summer Comiket, looks like everything worked out. Their entry at Summer Comiket will be called Stardust Intenzione. Next day, looks like Marika is a newly convert after reading Stardust Intenzione. Tamaki still isn’t confident about her drawing so she has Natsu give some advice. Just keep practising. Her classmates take turns to sketch each other. In the clubroom, Tamaki seeks Minaha’s help to improve and surprisingly she helps out without objection. When the rest come in, they tell them their work at Summer Comiket will be displayed by Temawari in exchange they help out in sales. Tamaki doesn’t understand why club activities are ending so early. Because tomorrow is the test. But back home instead of studying, she continues drawing to improve herself. Just one more drawing before picking up a book… I believe at this rate she is never going to make it. You can tell she screwed up when she accidentally sends her selfies to Natsu. And now the regret of she should have studied more after the tests ends. It wasn’t only Tamaki who had problems in her test, Ayame too. Perhaps it was the email she got yesterday praising her story that made her too happy to study.

Episode 10
Tamaki meets up with Teru and the latter is pleased with the game they made. Teru plans on sneaking around the school and has already dressed up in her old uniform. Because Teru steals her hair ribbon, Tamaki is walking around with a new mature look that has other girls wondering who this babe is. It’s both embarrassing and exciting for Tamaki. Minaha continues to lecture Tamaki about her drawings and Teru also butts in to have her say. If you’re wondering why Minaha needs to call beforehand to enter SNS, it’s because so Ayame can have time to turn into Iris! It’s time to be awesome. Minaha is still dense and cannot put the picture together about Iris and Ayame. Though she notices that glass girl isn’t around but it is more of some silly reasons about her being punished. Then the inevitable. Minaha and Tamaki argue over who is the better illustrator and wants Iris to choose! This is going to take a while… Later Shiina tells Tamaki it doesn’t matter who is better as each has their own individual quality. However Tamaki snaps back that she wants to draw good pictures before realizing her rudeness. When she runs out, she accidentally drops Shiina’s laptop she borrowed. Oh no. Doesn’t turn on. It’s broken! Panicking, since Teru is nearby, she pleads to accompany her to go apologize. But Teru just leaves back her ribbon and a note to try her best. So Tamaki stalks Shiina on her way home and eventually Shiina lets her in. Shiina’s mom seems to be the kind of mother who wants her daughter to bring back a boyfriend. She doesn’t mind if it’s the same gender too… Oddly, Tamaki tries to strip to apologize?! They are shortly interrupted when Ayame is here. Apparently her makeup is still on and since this scares her brothers, she is here to borrow some makeup remover before returning home. Tamaki apologizes for breaking her laptop. However it works fine when Shiina plugs in power. It just ran out of battery. Phew. As they reconcile, the good mood is ruined when Minaha barges in since she is here to learn game scripting from Shiina. I see Ayame didn’t remove her makeup as she continues to play Iris. Worse, Shiina’s mom welcomes them to stay for the night, allows them to take energy drinks and snacks and has prepared the bath and sleeping bags for them. Shiina didn’t like this but the promise to liven up SNS to Teru is more important as she goes back working with her friends.

Episode 11
The girls are burning the midnight oil to finish their game. Suddenly Natsu knock on their door looking for her little sister. Who? WHO?! MINAHA?! She is mad at Minaha for breaking her curfew and because of that, grandma is mad. She takes her home in her limo. Wow… When Minaha doesn’t come for club activities anymore, Tamaki finds out from Natsu that strict grandma has barred her from everything including Summer Comiket. Shiina would like Minaha back so they can keep up with the schedule so Tamaki is going to her house and talk. She’s bringing Ayame in hopes as Iris would change her mind. Well, she’s making Ayame go as her bespectacled self in hopes Minaha can connect the dots. Let’s hope she won’t be disillusioned. Natsu’s family house is much bigger than Tamaki’s! Damn rich kids. As the duo talk with Natsu and Minaha, Natsu explains ever since Minaha hangs out with SNS, her grades have dropped as she stayed out more often. Previously Natsu was able to cover for her when grandma blows her top but this one has grown too big for anything. Natsu lectures about drawing being a hobby and she is just conceited if she thinks she can draw the things she can only draw. Ayame disagrees and argues about the passion they put in. Then Natsu makes her read collections from some graduating class. I guess they are Ayame’s works so she couldn’t read it eventually. Minaha’s heart feels conflicted as Ayame is giving out a sense like as though she is Iris. It’s right under your nose… Natsu agrees to convince grandma provided Tamaki and Minaha score 70% in all of their term exams. All of them. Don’t worry. They have energy drinks to help keep them awake for tonight’s study session! Déjà vu hell? After the term exams, Tamaki and Minaha continue drawing. As Tamaki is still bugged by Natsu and Ayame’s argument, she goes out for a walk and bumps into Teru. Tamaki is so down that Teru can tell as she hugs her and gives some advice. This gives Tamaki motivation to draw more about her dad. As she rushes home, Minaha is here because it will be faster to get things done if they do things together. Unfortunately because Tamaki’s house is so far away, it will be far past her curfew when she gets back. What to do? Hope Natsu will come up with an excuse for grandma? Because Teru drops by and says she won’t be going home tonight (she’s staying?), this gives Minaha the reason to stay for the night and finish the job.

Episode 12
The day of Summer Comiket is here. Because Tamaki forgot to set her alarm, Minaha and Natsu have to drive all the way in their limo to pick her up. The rest are already heading there via ferry. When they arrive, Yumine is also there. Since Minaha still doesn’t get along with her, b*tch mode all the way. The hall is crowded with people and after going through the BL section, they finally see their booth. They have to immediately get to work because of the long queue. The crowd eases in the afternoon. Marika comes by to buy a game. There is also a customer whom Tamaki remembers visiting from the previous exhibition. She is amazed with their artwork and Tamaki credits Minaha for it. She also credits her as the leader although embarrassed Minaha denies. However the rest of the girls support that Minaha deserves most of the credit as many of the ideas were from her. Meanwhile Natsu and Teru are spying on them faraway via telescope? The day ends well for our girls. Next day, they visit the beach as wrap up party. Initially Tamaki called Minaha to come over but the latter was acting cocky that they aren’t friends but rivals, blah, blah, blah. Now she is complaining while only watching them play in the sand inside her car. Even more vexing is that Yumine is joining them and she isn’t part of SNS! Just go join them already. When the girls relax, they notice something is bugging Tamaki. She realizes the most important thing about joining this club is not to draw but to make a game that makes people smile. She wants to create a game with her own ideas. The rest agree with her idea and feels it is their turn to support her. But Winter Comiket applications are due tomorrow! And they should have seen it coming that Tamaki wants a game with old men! I’m wondering why everybody is smiling when they are giving ‘warning’s about the tight schedules, meetings and hard work everybody needs to put in. Because what the heck, they’re going to try their best anyway, right?

Less Than Stellar Magic
Yawn… Oh, is it over already? Thank goodness. Unfortunately for me, with all the glitzy cuteness and everything, this is just boring in my books. It isn’t really about making a game but a group of girls making a game and their bond and interaction between them. I know I should have seen this coming and shouldn’t expect to learn something about making games (after all, this is high school setting). So compared with New Game, I’d say that this series fares worse in my books. I believe making a simple game isn’t as simple as we see here. Otherwise, why so many Kickstarter fails and disappointing games from big companies in recent years?

There are jokes and comedies here and there to make you laugh. Some spontaneous. However despite I have a few chuckles, overall they don’t really make me look forward to see what kind of shenanigans they will pull. I laugh at the silliness of the situation, I forget about it and move on till the next one comes. I guess it feels like the comedies here are short term because at this point I can’t really remember what the funniest memorable moments are in this series except for the characters’ running jokes.

Personally, the characters feel boring despite each of them has their own unique personality to make them stand out. Maybe I have been watching too many of such anime that I don’t really find characters in this genre appealing anymore (but will still continue to watch them because I’m always a sucker for this category). Sure, everyone has their own problems and dilemmas once in a while but they are not that serious to make us feel for them. Because we know they’ll eventually overcome it or be positive in facing it. So we have Tamaki the high pitched squeaky newbie who has her own passion and insecurities. She strives to continue to do better not only as a game artist but as well as an artist in general. The only thing that I have memorable about her is the running joke they keep spamming when they have the chance. The part where she goes on ranting about the love of her dad. Yeah, daddy’s girl. She is the kind of daughter whom all fathers in the world would love to have because you don’t have to worry about sneaky and shady boys wanting to date your little girl and always worrying if they’re going to get in her pants after each date. She is one of those characters who has a fetish for older men and this is a rare type because the only other character I know has this fetish is that weirdo in Kuragehime.

Then there is Ayame who always seem to get embarrassed by her past works. It’s like she’s writing it all down when the passion is flowing. Never mind what it is. After when it is all done and published, she only starts to regret and be ashamed of what kind of stories she wrote. This is what I’ll remember her for mostly. The same case for Yumine who isn’t only just a very close friend of Tamaki but some sort of fujoshi crazy girl who ironically loves to fantasize BL stuffs to the point where she turns her female friends into males just to get her fix. Don’t forget Minaha as the rascal and brat of the series, Tamaki’s rival and the non-believer that Ayame and Iris are the same person. At this rate she’ll never figure why they are never at the same place at the same time. I wonder why she hasn’t officially join SNS seeing that she spends most of her club time here. It’s like if there is real sh*t happening, she can quickly opt out because she’s not a real member anyway. Shiina feels like she has locked her emotions away deep inside or she lost them while growing up. Sometimes I want to think it is stress because from time to time you can see her getting depressed from certain things thinking it was her fault and such. Being a club president isn’t easy. At least all these characters have something that I could ‘remember’ them by because I don’t even for Kayo. I can’t think of the most prominent thing about this music producer.

Teru seems like she is trying to be portrayed as the mysterious girl because she keeps popping up from time to time before Tamaki like as though she is some sort of goddess or saviour. It’s understandable that now she is in college, she would want to see how her juniors and the club are doing. Ultimately, she is just keeping an eye on her juniors, that’s all. Nothing special to her. Natsu is surprisingly a responsible and mature character. So never write off a person despite her poker face because she can hold more influence and mandate when you least expected it. Oh, and shows like these always need some sort of halfie (usually Caucasian) because Japan is too homogenous a culture and country. Seriously.

Art and drawing wise, the character designs are mostly going for the kawaii and moe type. Therefore instead of having nerdy looking high school girls, you have super kawaii joshikousei instead. Hence if I were to compare of all game programming anime series based on this category, it would be my least favourite. Not to say that kawaii girls are bad but when you look at D-Frag and even New Game, those have better looking characters, am I right? Animated by Silverlink who gave us titles like Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya series, Kokoro Connect, Cube x Cursed, Curious, Chaos Dragon and Non Non Biyori.

It was a big surprise for me to find out that Aoi Yuuki was the one behind Kayo. Throughout the years of stereotyping her voice and despite she did take several roles that does away with that genki trademark voice of hers (like that frog girl in Boku No Hero Academia), she is virtually unrecognizable here. Sure, it’s part of her character role but it feels like as though she’s grown up so much. Worse, sometimes straining my ears to confirm it is her doesn’t help and somehow I ended thinking she is Ami Koshimizu. Woah… That’s a big difference. The only seiyuu I recognize is Satomi Arai as Shiina’s mom. The rest of the casts include Maria Naganawa as Tamaki (Theia in Rokujouma No Shinryakusha), Ari Ozawa as Ayame (Kirin Gakusen Toshi Asterisk), Rie Murakawa as Shiina (Hotaru in Non Non Biyori), Ayaka Imamura as Minaho (Munemune in Shakunetsu No Takkyuu Musume), Ryouko Maekawa as Yumine (Sayaka Sasayama in Yugioh Arc V), Chinatsu Akasaki as Teru (Yasuna in Kill Me Baby), You Taichi as Natsu (Anzu in Prison School) and Shino Shimoji as Marika (Akari Oozoa in Aikatsu series).

The opening theme is God Save The Girls by Shino Shimoji. God, I wanted to make a pun about this song title about saving the anime… Anyway, a typical anime pop piece but the opening credits animation is interesting since some of it is in old fashion retro style 2D pixels and old gamers might feel the nostalgia. Also featured here are the experience levels of the girls. I believe it must be the computer programming skill levels or the motivation level of the girls. Not that I can understand since they’re all in hiragana. Too lazy to find out… The weird one is the ending theme. Yonaka and Jikaru by the duet of Maria Naganawa and Ryouko Maekawa doesn’t feel so much like a song sung by them. They just sing a few lines and the rest of them are like instrumental. Because the other parts they were like just going, “Hooooooooooo~”. The song sounds a bit space-y which really compliments the pleasingly colourful basic shapes.

Maybe I am too ‘advanced’ in my animes to appreciate this kind of simple anime anymore. I don’t think I can classify this series as calming and cleansing the toxic soul like how Tamayura does it. Close, but not similar. It makes me wonder if such shows like Tamayura pop up, I’ll be able to appreciate it anymore seeing I realize how contaminated my mind, heart and soul are to even value this kind of series. To be fair, this series isn’t very bad but if you are looking for something extraordinary, this series doesn’t break any new grounds either. It’s a good thing these girls don’t meet me if I ever come to their booth to buy their games. Because even with the special rate, discounts or other freebies they throw in, I’ll still find something to criticise. I wonder if they can take it all. Yeah, they’ll ban me from ever buying their games again.

Yuyushiki Special

April 21, 2017

Hold on a second. I thought this series was dead? So when Yuyushiki Special came out in early 2017, I was really surprised because it has always been almost 4 years since the TV series ended. And with not a very good impression on me since all I remember was the boredom in sitting through the dozen episodes. Then they come out with this special like as though they want me to remember the boredom back then with another new episode of boringness. Of course I have the option of not watching it but what to do? My nostalgia sensors were ringing (even if it was for the wrong reasons) so I can’t let this slip by. Maybe things have changed. Maybe the jokes are better. Maybe I should give this a chance. A few minutes watching into the special and then I saw the title of the episode… Too late… Having that sinking feeling now…

Annoying Someone And Being Annoyed By Someone
* Yuzuko always wanted to shout “I love you” to Yui. Yukari? Soak in a bathtub with her school uniform. Yui? Eat sukiyaki. With her clothes on of course.
* They email a photo of Yukari riding Yuzuko like a horse. Its caption reads “Driving without a licence”. Do you learn how to drive like this at the driving school?
* Yui talks to Yukari about how some people’s hands go up when they try to explain. Yukari falls for this trick so Yuzuko takes advantage by hanging her bag over them.
* Yuzuko is hungry and wants Yui to get her something to eat. She’s not saying what so Yui had to guess. She came with all the correct food. Maybe she’ll just eat anything.
* Yuzuko tricks her friends into making them think she has caught a bug with a handkerchief. No bug! Oh, but there is. It is squished dead.
* Yuzuko feels like kicking Yui. But Yukari softly kicks her leg but her own leg is in pain? Is she trolling us? Yui is annoyed by this but as Yuzuko says, if they don’t annoy her, they will have to annoy Aizawa! Yui in that case would prefer to be annoyed then. Though, Aizawa wouldn’t mind being annoyed. Are you annoyed? Because of that, Yuzuko will continue annoying her like a fan. Is this domestic violence?
* They later look up its definition. The duo try to follow its definition by messing around and annoying her but without bad intentions and then also making up for it. I think blowing your warm breath doesn’t quite cut it.
* Aizawa is afraid to come into the club since Yuzuko is fiercely denouncing the person outside as the enemy. Bread faction? When she does come in, she is made to sit on Yui’s chair. Okaasan comes in to talk with Aizawa. This prompts Yuzuko to have Aizawa call Okaasan her mom. Because Yuzuko likes the sound of it.
* They ask how Okano became friends with Aizawa. Because she is cute. How about Hasegawa for Okano? Because she seems pitiful.
* Yuzuko wants to clean Yui’s ear. However she would rather have a curry party than that. The duo agree to that although they would still want to clean her ears.
* Yuzuko tricks Yui into doing some finger hook thingy. Yukari can’t help laugh her ass off.
* Next month is Yukari’s birthday but Yuzuko is already asking what to do for her birthday next year. Again Yukari can’t stop laughing.
* They discuss about the definition for the idiom ‘there is no way of knowing what is in the demon’s jar’ (impossible to predict the future) and come up with all sorts of silly ideas on what is in it.
* Yuzuko suggests going on a trip and making a memorable one. Of course by that she means Yui will have to take care of everything. Can’t Yui have fun like them too? Isn’t watching them have fun good enough? They thought it was her only source of happiness! You kidding her?
* Yuzuko wants to take a bath and say “Choo Choo!”. Yui thought her parents would be worried if she said that but nothing would be more worrisome if she said, “I wanna die!”. As the friends leave, Yuzuko just wants everyone to say “Choo Choo!” when they go to the bath for the sake of world peace. Peace is never having her annoy me again. And they quietly enjoy a nice hot bath.

Being Annoyed Bored To Death…
Just as I feared. The special wasn’t anything special. It was still as boring as hell. Sure, I did quip at the few silly jokes (bad enough that it had to be funny) but that wasn’t enough to label this special any better than the TV series. It is sad that because my overall sentiments for the TV series were already low, that mentality will be stuck with me for the rest of my life and thus the special will have to do way better than this if they really want my opinion of the series to change. For instance, it would have been way better and more interesting if this special actually come to realize that conspiracy theory that I mentioned in my previous blog on how Yui’s friends are just imaginary friends! Oh yeah. Imagine how shocking that would be. I would have understood why it didn’t turn out so but now I wished it would even if it was a lie. All for the sake of being entertained!

There is nothing more for me to comment on as the characters remain the same from what I remembered. Yuzuko is the main troublemaker and the crazy oddball as well as Yukari as her accomplice. They are supposed to be the idiots that make the series funny. Yui on the other hand is supposed to play the straight (wo)man and for most of the time have this annoyed looks on her face. I understand it can really get to you when you have such annoyed friends. Is it me or is Yukari breaking out laughing a lot here? Is this some sort of conditioning to tell us it is funny and make us laugh? I know I didn’t. Because it’s like saying Yuzuko is an idiot. Whatever she does, you must laugh. Not funny. Just annoying. Other characters like Okaasan, Aizawa and co make their cameo appearances that didn’t amount to anything much so that we could remember this series is more than just about the trio.

Overall, if this special was to rekindle any sentiments for fans of the series and perhaps to make another comeback and a sequel, it certainly didn’t work for me. It still felt boring and despite a 27 minute of running time, it felt like I sat there for an hour. Maybe I’m so bored that I am already going crazy. Just like how Yuzuko is a reminder that inside everyone one of us, we have a crazy side making us say and do crazy things. That’s why I hope I can leave this series behind in peace by saying “Choo Choo!” once it is done. CHOO CHOO!

Keijo

April 16, 2017

Just when you think they can’t get anymore ‘creative’ with fanservice sports, then they come up with this ridiculous idea of a fictitious female-only sports whereby you use your butts (and sometimes boobs) to hit your opponent out of the ring!!! OMFG!!! It’s definitely targeting a certain (loser and horny) demographic here. But (pun intended) I suppose that if you love butts and boobs and a sleazy excuse to watch girls battling out in their swimsuits for a big part of the series, then Keijo is your answer. If that doesn’t ring any alarm bells, the original title has multiple exclamation marks to it! More exclamation marks for more hype! I think. I’m excluding it because I lost counting how many freaking exclamation marks there are. It’s like also a warning and a sign of what to expect of this show, right? But that’s enough talking. Sit your butt down and let the butts do the talking.

Episode 1
The sport of Keijo is definitely big business because it is big money if you are the champion. Yeah, the money is just short of being as good as doing porn. Haha! Nozomi Kaminashi dreams of becoming such player and she manages to get her wish to enrol at Setouchi Keijo Training School along with fellow classmate, Sayaka Miyata. Nozomi is excited to speak to reporters but they are more interested in covering Miyata since her father was a famous judo master so it definitely brings up news when his daughter left the sport for this one. When a rookie reporter tries to cover Nozomi, he is chastised by his senior that they should cover promising ones. And she thought Nozomi was promising. But they are stumped some of the best Keijo players interact with Nozomi. Like Hanabi Kawai who comes from the same school as Nozomi as well as the top ranked Keijo player, Mio Kusakai. Flashback reveals Nozomi and the rest were in a mock test to determine the rankings for the elite. Because when you’re in the elite class you get special treatment such as 50% discounts in your tuition fees. Wow. So you bet Nozomi wants to rise to the top quickly. The mock match begins with players teaming up against Miyata since they are wary of her judo skills but of course they are no match for her. Nozomi can also stand her ground but others soon gang up on her. That is when Kawai joins in the fun. She knocks out everyone with her swift butt swing. That is her butt doesn’t even touch her opponents! Soon it becomes a heated battle between Nozomi and Kawai using all sorts of their personal butt attacks. It even descended into a boob fight. In the end, Kawai wins when Nozomi receives a direct hit on her jaw. Nozomi and Miyata failed to become elites like Kawai but at least their spirit is still strong. Nozomi asks why Miyata left judo. So wearing a cute swimsuit is her answer? Couldn’t she do that in her spare time? Back to the present, Nozomi and Miyata have the bad luck to settle in room 309 which is rumoured to house failures who cannot keep up with lessons. Other roommates are the clumsy Non Toyoguchi and the unsociable Kazane Aoba. Chaos ensues when Nozomi tries to talk to Kazane but accidentally rips the magazine she is reading. And Non is just being clumsy wrecking everything. Miyata is having a headache as we speak… She can tell where this is going.

Episode 2
Hitomi Hokuto is the instructor for the Keijo trainees. If you think swaying their butts as core practice is weird, wait till you see the butt walk. Then there’s the theory part handled by Miku Kobayakawa and there is science behind Ass-trology and Boob-logy. I kid you not. I guess this is kinda boring so Nozomi is jealous the elites already have practical training unlike the regulars still stuck at core training. The next training has passing the beach ball using their butt without touching the ground. You think it might look easy but with Non’s weird inaudible accent, Kazane’s inability to speak up and Miyata just plain sucks in giving correct directions, the team fails and ending up in last place has them earn more butt exercise. So they did a little soul searching about themselves and the need to work as a team despite Keijo is a solo sport. So while training for the next test, Miyata notices something and should let Kazane give the team instructions since she could judge where the ball lands via the wind. Since Kazane is still shy, Nozomi does the honours. During the test, all goes well with Nozomi taking the lead. But Kazane eventually opens her mouth for the decisive coordinates that allows their team to take top spot this time and earn them the gelato prize. It is revealed Kazane’s shy nature is because when Nozomi mocked Non’s accent, Kazane got scared and thus decided to hide her Hiroshima accent. So it is basically Nozomi’s fault. Nozomi is thrilled they are finally going to have practical training. We see Miyata ‘examining’ Nozomi’s stern butt and Nozomi trying to hound Kazane about her D-cup boobs. For this training, each team will fight a teacher. Room 309 gang will face Nagisa Ujibe. She might look like a fat seal but in her heydays, she was the slim slender sexy champion nicknamed Siren! Wow. She really let go, huh? Of course Ujibe is no pushover and she can move as agile as before. When Nozomi tries to nail her finishing move on her, it seems some force rips her other teammates’ swimsuit! Ujibe identifies this as Vacuum Butt Cannon.

Episode 3
After that butt cannon, Nozomi feels pain. Her hips are strained and she has to be taken away. But after some healing and massaging, she feels better. We learn more about the 3 fighter types that Keijo players are classified. Like infighter who uses close range and brute butt strength to push off the opponent. The outfighter uses speed to strike while the counter utilizes their opponent’s attacks and strengths against them. Nozomi is also visited by Kawai and Kusakai who heard her condition and Nozomi is pretty confident she can master this move to become the champion. Elite Rin Rokudou as the fastest outfighter in western Japan, thinks Nozomi is too good for the regular class. She is so fast that you couldn’t see how many times she attacks. So fast that her massaging of Non’s boobs made her go into ecstasy. Rin offers Nozomi to train with her instead of her weak teammates. Of course they don’t take likely over that mocking. Rin reminds them there is an event where all the class will take part in soon. Nozomi is called by Ujibe about her butt cannon. She is forbidding her to use it again. Despite being powerful, it has risks. Although some using it have become champion, they hurt their hips and retired early. Thus why many avoid using this technique. Nozomi is adamant and stubborn she wants to become better so to see her resolve, Ujibe makes her wear this lame looking suit, UTM (Ujibe’s Training Mail). Stiff as hell. Nozomi perseveres the hardship in doing everything wearing UTM till she can walk normally and flexibly again. For the class change race, regulars are given a chance to advance to the elite class. A race is divided into 4 competitors and there is at least an elite in every race. Miyata is in the first race which also has Rin. When it begins, Miyata quickly targets Rin first.

Episode 4
Because the platform is a see-saw type, the gravity is imbalance and before you know it, the other 2 unimportant opponents drop out. All that’s left is an epic butt battle between Miyata and Rin. But, seriously. Miyata tries to feign her off balance to catch Rin off guard but Rin is fast enough to recover. Then it becomes some high speed butt gatling battle. I’m seeing after images of butts! Despite the same speed and reflex, Miyata is on the verge of losing out because Rin has better lung capacity. Just before she can hand in (or butt in) the finishing blow, Miyata pulls up her swimsuit to wedge it between her butt. Her butt is glowing! WTF?! It makes her go faster?! Her butt is like an afterburner?! WTF???!!! There’s some explanation about pressure and speed but I don’t care about it. I just wanna see the butts :-). Rin is pissed off as this threatens her title as the fastest outfighter but it is no use as Miyata butts her off and wins the race. Both show great sportsmanship by congratulating each other. But the painful aftermath is that Miyata’s butt is now cramped up and requires Kazane’s massaging to ease the pain. Yikes. Non is up for the next match. You think she won’t stand her chance because all her opponents are giant Amazon women! The butt of elite Atsuko Yoshida is so hard like a rock that it literally bounces off any attack! That’s what happened to the other opponents. Out they go. You think Non is screwed, right? Well, as Yoshida attacks, their butts collide. But Non’s is so soft and bouncy that it bounces Yoshida’s away! Non wins it! WTF???!!! The third match is for Kazane and she has to deal with Kusakai. At first it might seem brave of Kazane to attack Kusakai upfront but soon the other opponents gang up to take her down. It seems with Kazane running a massage service, she manages to get data of everyone just by touching their butts! WTF???!!! Really. WTF?????????!!!!!!!!! So with Kazane knowing Kusakai’s techniques and telling to the rest, of course they want to take down the strongest first. But when they corner Kusakai, she then starts swaying her boobs. It hypnotizes them! OMFG! On a side note, you don’t even need such special ability to hypnotize men with those big tits. Kusakai easily pushes her opponents into the water. There goes room 309’s winning streak. Next up is Nozomi and she has elite Kotone Fujisaki as company.

Episode 5
Nozomi thought of being friendly with Fujisaki. By listening to the music she is enjoying? Well, it’s more like some BL drama. Yikes! Kawai reveals Fujisaki is a thoroughbred. Her mom was the Keijo champion and her sister is in the pro league. When the battle starts, it seems she doesn’t even have to face her opponent as her butt does all the attacking. It’s like it has a mind of its own! Cerberus that’s what her butt is called. Yeah, the butt is chasing you!!! And her butt crack is like a dog’s teeth biting you!!! I’m not kidding! Oh, the reason she looks the other way is because she doesn’t want her opponents to see her fantasizing face when she fantasizes about BL. Yeah, she’s that good. So eventually it comes down to Nozomi alone against Fujisaki. Nozomi thought she had her butt under control by vibrating her butt since Fujisaki is sensitive down there. Just so you don’t get the wrong idea, that means Fujisaki can detect minor vibrations with her soles (the down there) and that is why she can sense where you are without looking. Nozomi is starting to look pretty annoying as she is able to dodge all of Fujisaki’s attacks and she can’t predict her movements. Eventually Nozomi uses her trump card. Yeah, it’s that Vacuum Butt Cannon. Cannon versus wolf. Is this match going to turn Super Saiyan? Eventually, the wolf gets blown to bits. Because some theory about centrifugal force via multiple rotation beats a move that only uses the platform. Whatever. Nozomi wins. Fujisaki thought she could find solace in listening to her BL. But this doesn’t excite her anymore. The match with Nozomi does. Oh dear. Is she turning lesbian? Nozomi is called by Ujibe and she fears her butt will be punished. But she takes measurements and notices how strong her butt has become. She allows her to use the technique as long as she doesn’t risk her life or career. Kazane is talking like she is going to quit as she is the only one among room 309 who lost. She gives her data she collected from other players. But they bring her to the notice board. It seems all of them got promoted to elites. Yay! She can stay. Despite her lost, Ujibe was amazed with her performance. Even more so, Kusakai used her forbidden technique and has been punished for it. Of course, Ujibe believes the quartet can grow further when they’re together.

Episode 6
The trainees head to Kyoto for a special training camp. Before hellish training begins, they are allowed to have fun first. Miyata has suggestions but Kusakai’s group is always louder with theirs so Miyata has to meekly tour herself. Of course that wouldn’t be right so Nozomi and the rest eventually go with her. They also get a chance to call home via pay phone. Nozomi seems to be taking an awful long time. Miyata calls home. Her mom picks up but dad isn’t willing to speak to her. While doing jogging, an old local lady runs faster than them. Not to be outdone by her, Kusakai, Rin and Nozomi try to match her speed but eventually lose out. This ‘old lady’ turns out to be the best Keijo player of Kyoto, Kyouko Shirayuki and she is roped in to help train the elites. She shows how superb her butt skills are. When Non accidentally trips and lets loose lumbers, Shirayuki uses her butt to push them all away! The elites will be trained via their respective category. As Nozomi is an infighter along with Kusakai, Kawai and Yoshida, they get Shirayuki. She might be strict with their petty flaws but is a pretty nice lady because she fixes up for them. In order to get to know them better, Shirayuki will have them fight a Keijo match one on one. This is to see and analyse their skills. Nozomi is up first and no matter what tricks she pull, Shirayuki dodges with ease and without effort. She is reading her like a book and toying her around. Eventually Nozomi is blown away with her butt technique called Anal Probe Missile! I kid you not this name!!! Shirayuki can tell Nozomi that her body has a serious weakness and is lacking something. Of course she must realize that herself otherwise she can forget touching her butt (in competitive sense) or become a pro butt banger. Why looking so shock Nozomi? Thought UTM did all the trick, did you?

Episode 7
Suddenly Nozomi starts stripping herself in front of Miyata to ask if there is anything wrong with every inch of her body! She’s worse than a flasher. After properly explaining, it is suggested she observe Shirayuki and match her moves like her. The other students now wear UTM as their training gear but this upgraded version is less taxing, making Nozomi heartbroken with all the pain she had to go through. While doing some water wading training, Nozomi realizes her attack power in the boobs is not that strong due to her butt becoming thick from UTM’s muscle training. She thought of continuing doing that training but Shirayuki advises it won’t work with pros as it is too obvious and to make full use of Vacuum Butt Cannon, she must push it to its limits. Thus a special training for her to pull out turnips with her butt. Yes. Pull out turnips with her butts. As expected, being a beginner means she only manages to pull out its leaves. Better learn fast because they have to buy up all the broken turnips. Mmm… I know what they’re having for the next meal and the next… Nozomi is frustrated that she can’t get it right. I think we can feed an army with all the broken turnips. At this rate she might harvest the entire field for free. Nozomi finds out that Shirayuki has her own busy schedule and promise to keep up. It makes her feel bad she was just thinking about herself. But that motivation still isn’t enough to make any progress. Even more frustrating when Kusakai joins in and successfully does it on her first try. Then inspiration hits her. Noticing the momentum on the cart containing turnips she is pulling, some complex butt thinking has Nozomi finally succeed. Still, more turnips to eat. There is this East-West War coming up. Aside Setouchi, the only other Keijo training school is Suruga. At this time, both sides compete to see who is better. Tomorrow will be the last training day so they are given a free choice to fight anybody in a mock race to see how much they have improved. It looks like Usagi Tsukishita has some sort of grudge on Nozomi and challenges her.

Episode 8
In short, Tsukishita admires Kusakai like a goddess. So this challenge is out of jealousy? We see the duo trading butt shots and Tsukishita seems to have the advantage due to her petite frame. Till Nozomi slams her Meteor Hip and takes the win. Tsukishita now becomes Nozomi’s friends although she still won’t lose out if it ever involves Kusakai. The Setouchi girls head to Shizuoka, the base of Suruga and where the East-West War will be held. Of course with better facilities and equipment, they are doing better training. Nozomi and co hear the Suruga’s teacher talking to the reporters. Not only she mentions Setouchi has never won against Suruga, it was okay if she badmouthed the students but they won’t let it slide when she badmouths their teachers. Nozomi wants to give her a piece of her mind but Maya Sakashiro stops her (with her butt of course). Wow. She bums her away with her blaster butt???!!! Nozomi also did some clothes damage to her. It was going to be an all-out war between both sides but the Setouchi teachers stop their students and have all them apologize for the ruckus. I mean, what good will it do if they prove their point this way, right? Later, the rules of the race is explained. It is a team battle with 4 members to a group. Best out of 3. Team 1 consists of Kusakai, Fujisaki, Miyata and Mari Murata. Team 2 will have Yoshida, Tsukishita, Kazane and Non. Finally, Team 3 includes Rin, Kawai, Nozomi and Saya Kogatana. Match day is here and the first teams go down to the battlefield. Suruga’s first fielding team consists of Saki Hanayama, twins Akari and Kano Fuyuzora and Nami Nanase (I kid you not her nickname is Ass Eater!!!). There’s some b*tch showdown between Miyata and Nanase since the latter mocked the former for running away from judo. But Miyata hits back because Nanase is an idol. An idol in this kind of sports? Time to settle all grudges in this jungle gym layout.

Episode 9
I’m sure Miyata is tired about remembering about her flashback regarding her father who disagreed letting her leave judo for Keijo. And sure she doesn’t need Nanase mocking her about it. All the time. When the match starts, Miyata dashes towards Nanase. She is a bit rash and Fujisaki manages to save her ass with her ass. I’m not kidding! The twins then lock and trap Murata with their dazzling butt to send this unknown as the first one out. The Setouchi trio then regroup and combine their might to bring down Hanayama. Miyata’s butt starts flashing because she uses it to accelerate. However it takes a toll on her body and her legs are temporary paralyzed. Fujisaki fights on her behalf but her wolf butt isn’t enough to save the day. Although she didn’t fall into the water, if your other body parts touch the stage, you are disqualified. This is what happened after Fujisaki gets exhausted from Nanase’s relentless attack. With Fujisaki’s emotional ‘handover’, I guess it serves as great motivation for Miyata to revive and attack. More flashing butt attacks? Too fast for Nanase to handle. But then her legs start to paralyze again and now it is Nanase’s turn to return the favour. After all that butt relentless smacking, I suppose what irked Miyata was how she once again spammed about their different Keijo leagues and she running away from judo. For the umpteenth time… This next move is really mind blowing. Miyata fondles her own boobs to erect her nipples. It’s flashing! OMG! Flashing tits! Then somehow she uses it to get Nanase’s swimsuit caught in it before using her judo technique to overthrow that b*tch. So you see, she didn’t forget judo. Oh, Kusakai has been smacking the twins into ecstasy with her butt till they drop out. So it is an upset victory for Setouchi! With everyone cheering for Setouchi, the best one would be Miyata’s parents giving her the thumbs up. Yeah, and dad was freaking confused seeing the different butt techniques but after seeing everybody supporting his daughter, he accepts that this is where she belongs. Can we stop airing footage of Miyata grabbing her tits and ass? It’s starting to look like porn…

Episode 10
We’re worried about Setouchi’s second team. Kazane is having nervous stomach cramps, Non wears her dress backwards and Tsukishita is fawning over Kusakai like a teenage girl madly in love. And they’ve got the fairy butt Ayase Kurogiri, the flaming butt Kei Higuchi, the dancing butt Mai Itoeda and the uhm, Black Beast Sanae Hououin to deal with. When the match on the twin aircrafts begin, it looked like Suruga side is trying to separate the Setouchi team to prevent them from doing their teamwork. However this is part of Kazane’s plan as they lure their counterparts to certain points and when given the signal, Setouchi jumps and causes imbalance like a see-saw. This causes Higuchi and Itoeda to fall off. Setouchi should think again if they are supreme with numbers. Because Hououin’s strength in her butt can easily push off Yoshida! Kazane’s plan now is for Non and Tsukishita t take on Kurogiri while she herself will fight Hououin. Don’t look down on Kazane. Because it seems she can imitate the butt techniques of her other comrades! Flashback reveals that her hand scanner allow her this ability. Because all her comrades want to help her out, they let her touch their butt! OMG. This scene with the girls lining up and putting out their butt to touch feels like porn!!! Heck, Kazane even has got this Archer’s Noble Phantasm move of Gate of Babylon. Gate of Bootylon!!! However Hououin counters by twisting her nipples which in turn becomes powerful drills! WTF?! Before Kazane is done for, Non jumps in to help. It seems Kurogiri has been made to run around and now her fairy butt has tire out and turned into some ordinary flabby butt. Huh?! In a last ditch attempt, Tsukishita sacrifices herself to take out Kurogiri. Kazane and Non’s butt are able to repel Hououin’s boob drills. But Hououin targets Non and she is sent flying into the water. In the final showdown where the both girls clash their boobs, both get blown off and fall into the water simultaneously. Is this a draw? Playback footage might reveal that Hououin touched the water first but because of her drilling boobs, the air pressure pushed away the surface of the water! OMFG!!! Thus Suruga wins and ties the score in this close fight.

Episode 11
Non and Kazane are sad, blaming themselves for the loss. Of course they have to be comforted and assured how they’ve given Suruga a run for their money, etc. In this third and final match on a floating castle, Suruga’s side will have Tae Yokosugi (giant fatty), Midori Morimoto (fluffy hair), Hikari Muromachi (Phantom of the Opera mask) and of course Maya. As it begins, Nozomi and Maya immediately clash butts hard. Then Nozomi puts her face in Maya’s butt just to analyse her butt power! WTF?! It’s ironic that the girls are playing such perverted game and Maya calling her a pervert? She beats up her opponents with shameless butt techniques but flusters like hell when one’s face is planted in her ass? Funny… We take a detour from their fight to see Rin and Kawai teaming up against Morimoto and Muromachi. Muromachi can flash her boobs to blind her opponents! Really! Rin knows the trick behind this flashing. As she uses the sun to reflect the oil on her boobs, Rin throws up her bikini top to cover the sun and then beat her up enough to remove the oil and seal her move. Too much boobs flashing already! Then Morimoto and Muromachi combine by wearing the same swimsuit to fight! Hey, 2 butts are better than one! If you’ve forgotten all about Yokosugi and Kogatana, here they come interrupting the match. They thought this unknown is easy meet so they separate as Morimoto falls to her samurai swing boobs and falls into the water while Muromachi gets taken out by Rin and Kawai’s double effort. Hey. Muromachi has got cards spewing out from her butt???!!! WTF???!!! Back to Nozomi-Maya match. The hard hitting butt match continues with Maya having flashbacks how everyone ostracized her because her butt breaks things. Really. Then her Keijo coach saw potential in her and took her in. Maya is in fear of losing that respect and place of belonging so before Nozomi can deliver the decisive Vacuum Butt Cannon, it’s like something inside Maya activates. Woah! She’s like a different person now! Literally, it’s like her dark alter ego just taken over.

Episode 12
Apparently this alter ego is called Kaya. She is rougher and more ferocious. Yokosugi tries to explain about this split personality. Maya was always abused and whenever she entered this state, Kaya will come out. Kaya didn’t appreciate this and knocks the fatty into the water. Kaya herself is a handful. Even with 4 outnumbering 1, they cannot penetrate her tight defence and offence. So one by one our Setouchi side gets knocked off but not before giving Nozomi some power push. This enables her to fight on par with Kaya. If that fails, Nozomi tries talking to Maya to settle their score. This actually makes her come back and take back her body. In this final epic power pulsating butt clashing tits bashing brawl, eventually Nozomi wins by evolving her Vacuum Butt Cannon, using that rotational energy to propel it to her piercing nipples!!! For the first time in 10 years, Setouchi wins and makes a major upset. Everybody rejoice. I guess it is appropriate to make the pun, “Hip hip hooray”? Maya apologizes to her coach who is also her mom for losing this important match. But to show how everybody values the player always, mom and daughter reconcile and a happy ending for everybody. An after party is held for the Keijo players. Both sides are now good friends and this is how it should be as they should just keep their b*tching rivalry in the arena. Maya is late attending it as she was catching up some sleep to restore her stamina. She expresses her wish to fight Nozomi again. You bet your butt they’ll meet again. The Keijo players graduate and now they have turned pro. They say their goodbyes and take group photos. As each player is assigned to the prefecture they come from, Nozomi and Miyata are in Hyogo prefecture. When they register, instantly their name alerts the other pros (weirdoes) of the same branch.

Rear-Ended & Bummed Out. No But(t)s About It!
Bummer. It’s over. Pun intended. I want to try and explain without making others misunderstand that I enjoyed myself watching this show. Uh huh. Yes, I was laughing at all the silly butt action and moves other than fapping to every juicy butt in-your-face camera angles. But I guess there is no point in trying to convince other ‘purists’ once they realize what this show is just all about. There is no way you can ever justify telling others you enjoy seeing this show without images of boobs and butts popping up in our minds. You’ll always be labelled a pervert anyhow. So screw all that and let’s just wish another season for more butts and boobs galore! I can’t wait to see what kind of butts Nozomi and co will bum(p) into next. Well, if the producers ever get the balls to produce another season.

Can you actually take this series seriously?! With about half the episodes and even more especially during battles you are going to see the girls’ butts literally in your face! You see all those freaking high speed and hip twisting butt attacks and thrusts that they pull are just ridiculously insane. It’s not possible unless you are a gymnast or contortionist. It gives a whole new meaning to the term butt hurt! Seriously! So it was a dilemma to whether call those battle scenes as action or fanservice but it feels kinda like both. It’s like killing two birds with one stone. With all those high level speed of thrusting as well as the energy projection discharged from their asses, you might think that the damage they take would have left some sort of permanent damage. Well, to ordinary people, that is. From sore butts to sagging boobs and damaged pelvic bones, man they’re going to have lots of health problems when they grow old. Worse than arthritis. Thus it makes me wonder if Goku and other Super Saiyans can actually beat all these butt power moves.

So yeah, I was like either laughing all the way or being flabbergasted with my mouth wide open to see such hilarious and impossible butt moves. Yeah, hats off and 100 points to those who really came up with such ‘creative’ and flashy tactics. I never knew butts and boobs can do a whole lot of such moves. Even funnier is how some of them are named. You got to really hand it to them (in the ass). I mean, Butt Flash? And that’s not just flashing your butt for others to see. What about Nipple Ripple Madness! Madness indeed! Then there are butts that seemingly shoot projection or hypnotise you?! And what about parodies of Gate of Babylon and even one parodying Attack On Titan! You can’t make all this sh*t up! And with so many Keijo players and each having at least 1 signature move, you bet your butt there are going to be lots of backside moves to keep perverts happy and others in shock. It is a good thing that there are quite a few varieties of moves involving tits and butts to keep us entertained. Otherwise we’d be even bored and thinking how cheap they are using the same moves for a few characters.

Therefore one of the most amusing things you get to ‘learn’ in this series is the hip word for the episode! I’m not kidding or making this up. Pun intended I suppose. I know they are just making puns of the Keijo players’ moves but sometimes you can’t help smirk at such ‘creative’ terms like K-acceleration Full Purge and Boobs Pressure Points in addition to Boob Hypnosis and Hip Toss. Man, this kind of moves could put those babes from Dead Or Alive to shame! Yeah, those Xtreme Beach Volleyball and Paradise games are nothing compared to this level of fanservice.

And yes, all this amazingly ties in cleverly to the fanservice and thus the real reason why we watch this series. How often do you see in other anime series whereby a female character or a whole lot bunch of them throw their asses to you? With such a butt galore, it won’t be surprise that this might be your new fapping and wanking material. You see the way the girls molest their own boobs and butts as an excuse to power up with ridiculous moves so much so it’s like borderline playing with themselves! It goes to show that you don’t need the classic cliché pantsu shots and boobs shots to do the ecchi trick. We may have already become tired of those. Even we may have sexual innuendoes fatigue. So what better way than to stir up all that horny lust again by shoving it outright in our faces. You can’t go wrong when you have butts and boobs in your anime, right?

Hence it is pretty much obvious with the fanservice as the main stay of the series, there is very much lacking of a plot. The synopsis tells it all about the sport and it is just to supplement the fanservice that they will be spamming. I mean, take a look at this season. The ‘plot’ revolves around battling among themselves and then fighting the other Keijo academy. Heck, you don’t even need to know the plot. Just jump in and enjoy the bootylicious booties. But don’t freak out when you see those asses suddenly having all its muscles contorting or the girls using their boobs like hands to clip and grab. Remember, these are trained Keijo players and to pull off even the most ridiculous behind moves, they have trained their muscles and ass qi whatever to entertain us. Hell, we guys don’t even care. A simple nice ass and boobs are all that is needed to enthral and hypnotise us. Period.

Talking about the game format itself, ass-uming (pun intended again) Keijo is a Japan-only sport (like sumo) so there isn’t going to be international opponents because sure hell the people from the west would have bigger hips and booties to begin with, right? It is pretty odd that as far as I know the Keijo sport is only an individual tournament whereas as I can see if there is a group tournament like the East-West War, it would give a lot of drama and storyline to play out.

We’re so into the butt action that I don’t think we really give a damn about the back stories of the characters. I’m sure each one do but we don’t really care. Most prominent of all would be Miyata’s judo background and family. But that isn’t really much in driving the overall story. Even Nozomi as the supposed main character, we don’t really see or learn her past of why she is so eager to become the best Keijo player. I’m sure there is a lot to it than just her weird accent and energetic lively personality. This means the rest of the characters from Setouchi are so generic that you would probably have a greater chance of identifying them on the butt techniques they pull off rather than their character. I mean, can you tell me more about Kazane and Non themselves rather than their butt scanning hand or super bouncy soft butt respectively? So the rest of the other characters seemingly follow the shonen type of route. Because of the tournament setting of trying to be the best of the best, expect lots of b*thces and b*tching moments too. Then you fight them, then you become friends later. Who cares about all that when you have butts and boobs to ogle at?! Viva butts! Viva boobs! Viva swimsuits! Yeah, at least these girls have such fine asses…

Art and animation wise, nothing out of the ordinary. You’ll be so enthralled looking at those butts and boobs that you won’t notice anything else. Of course they don’t want you to be looking at all the same butts so with a decent variety of colourful character designs coming in all shapes, sizes and accessories (why the f*ck does Muromachi need to even wear a freaking masquerade ball mask?), it gives a little bit more variety. Animated by Xebec who did To Love-Ru series, Triage X, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, MM!, Ladies Versus Butler, Rio: Rainbow Gate, Kanokon, Softenni and Maken-Ki. Yeah, how kind of me to only list down all the fanservice and perverted anime series they did.

I didn’t give much focus on the voice acting since you know, we’re so focused on the butts. At least I did recognize Ayako Kawasumi as Maya. Not that it matters anyway. So to make this blog not sound it is talking about butts and boobs in every paragraph, I’m obliged to do this. Seriously. The rest of the casts I didn’t recognize are Lynn as Nozomi (Maya in Sabagebu), Mao as Miyata (titular character in Space Patrol Luluco), Kaede Hondo as Kazane (Kukuru in Fushigi Na Somera-chan), Saori Oonishi as Non (Aiz in DanMachi), Hibiku Yamamura as Kusakai (Hibiki in Anne Happy), Shizuka Ishigami as Fujisaki (Renge in Kyoukai No Rinne), Rena Maeda as Kawai (Nike in Soredemo Sekai Wa Utsukushii), Rie Takahashi as Rin (Megumin in Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo), Minami Tanaka as Tsukishita (Agari in Shakunetsu No Takkyuu Musume), Mabuki Andou as Ujibe (Balsa in Seirei No Moribito) and Masamu Asano as Shirayuki (Hakufu in Ikkitousen). There are lots of other casts due to the sheer amount of minor characters but I’m too lazy so I’ll leave them out :-/.

The fast paced rock opening theme, DreamxScramble by Airi gets you into the mood and pace of this series. The ending theme, Fatas/Hip Girlfriends are sung by the main quartet of room 309 (if you still remember this room number that doesn’t make any more significance after the quartet advanced to the next level). Typical generic anime pop. Making the ending credits animation odder is we see this quartet chasing after a swimsuit being blown away in the wind. It’s like God is being a pervert and made it ‘fly’. Yeah, the lengths the girls would have to go through to retrieve it. And as proof that God is really a pervert in this anime, a giant cloud that resembles a voluptuous butt in the sky after the Nozomi gets back her swimsuit. A happy ending for them, a happy ending for us.

Depending on your stance in life, you may or may not like a series filled with only butts and on occasion boobs. In today’s era we live in where political correctness is so overrated, sometimes I feel the producers were bold enough to f*ck all that and go ahead to produce something that ordinary guys would decently (oh, the irony) enjoy. Some may scorn the cheap ass baiting fanservice trick to lure viewers in because might as well go watch full hardcore hentai instead of this softcore porn. Whatever your view on butts, remember each of us has one so there is nothing to be ashamed of. Whether you like it or not, you’ll be stuck with that same bum for the rest of your life. Unless butt liposuction… I just hope all this in the end won’t turn out to become the butt of all jokes because I feel like I can make lots of bum jokes and puns. But that would really be butt hurting.

To Be Hero

April 15, 2017

Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes. However most of them we see and prefer these days are all good looking and have muscles and abs. Quite the hunk, huh? So what happens if a superhero is a crappy ugly looking middle aged dad? You can never quite imagine that, can we? Thus To Be Hero pays ‘tribute’ to a hero who do not have the looks and even has an uncouth personality to boot. Okay, maybe he isn’t quite cut out to be a superhero after all. You see, our main protagonist is a handsome divorcee and isn’t a good father to his estranged daughter. All that changes when he is given heroic powers to save the world but at a price. His handsome face for an ugly dad face! Well, nobody said you had to look good to save the world. Do we?

Episode 1
This handsome guy, Oyaji is flirting a hot babe at the restaurant. He’s so hot that she immediately tells her vital statistics after he guesses correctly her hip size. She is willing to sleep with him but then Oyaji’s only daughter, Min beats him up and reveals her father works as a toilet seat salesman and that’s why he could make correct guesses. She also beats up the slut who continues to admire him. Yeah, is it no reason why mom left? Back home as he goes take a dump, he suddenly gets flushed down the toilet. He is met with this strange fat gay construction guy with falsetto voice claiming to be from the Space Peace Republic Alliance Hero Committee. He wants Oyaji to be a superhero to save the Earth from aliens but clearly he isn’t interested. Does he have a choice? Too bad Oyaji is already manifesting the superpower. When he is back in his own toilet, Oyaji realizes he looks like an ugly middle aged man! Hideous! He needs to think fast of an excuse to give Min but thankfully she is asleep. As he puts her to bed, he remembers how cute and gentle she was when young. He tries to kiss her but apparently she wakes up freaking out. Time for your beat down. Oddly, whatever Oyaji says in his mind, it is twisted into something perverted from his mouth. Like when he says she was born when he was 22, it came out as she is his favourite wank material when he was 22! No wonder Min believes he is a pervert and kicks him out of the house. He sleeps outside and the next morning, a couple of hot babes are running away from a cockroach alien. He just smacks it with his slipper. So where is his thank you kiss? Ladies ignoring him… It’s a sin to be ugly. Then this prawn alien comes to attack but is easily defeated. No happy ending for Oyaji because Min beats him up for stalking in front of her house. Meanwhile the alien prince, Moemoe is mad because he thought Earth had no superheroes. Oyaji needs to find a place to stay so he tries his weird next door neighbour, Yamada. Oh no. That perverted look… I don’t think birds of the same feather is right…

Episode 2
Yamada is dangerous… Not even the most extreme fujoshi would dream of this pairing! Yamada serves Oyaji a huge chicken egg. The chick is still alive! This freaks Oyaji out as he runs to the toilet (because his ass has a headache?!). He gets a call from Min but his happiness turns to despair because all the words he says still sound like a pervert. She hangs up thinking daddy has lost his phone to a pervert. Oyaji runs back to his home and at the same time, some pink yeti alien is at his doorstep ready to make his kill. But a little girl opens the door. Oops. He got the wrong number and gets instantly pierced in the head! Oyaji returns and luckily Min is out. He tries to return to the sewers via toilet bowl but nothing is working. So what to do but take a dump. Yeah, nothing is coming out either… Meanwhile a hooded chicken alien arrives at Yamada’s place. He is terrified to see the dead chicken. Cannibals! He runs away and perhaps a good choice because Yamada is seeing him as his ‘big cock’. Oh sh*t! What is he saying about threesome or foursome with their lover and son? Sick! Oyaji realizes he didn’t eat and that’s why he can’t sh*t. So when he sees the chicken alien, he wants to eat him! But then he sees Min talking with a hot boy her age and like all fathers would fear, you think he would allow this? He’s going to protect the hell out of her. So much so he ignores chicken alien’s shriek of death and tells him to shut up! That power of his instantly kills the fowl! I’m sure at this point the other aliens are afraid and wanting to give up on invading Earth but Moemoe knows Oyaji’s weakness…

Episode 3
Moemoe’s subordinates are explaining to him about the power of Earth’s humans. It seems men are weak but women are the powerful ones with their power grade ranging from A to Z. As proof, they watch a sexy swimsuit video and you can see the aliens getting nose bleeds and boners! Powerful indeed! Yeah, this means all the aliens are men. But they note that Min is the weakest (because she is flat?) and since she is Oyaji’s daughter, they must target her. Min is sad that Oyaji is missing and goes to the police to report. Oyaji has been tailing her and mistakes a boy following her as her lover. He sends Yamada to go flash at him. They get caught by the police. Min is happy when she thought Oyaji is waiting back at their home. However it turns out to be some smiley alien trying to flirt with her. She beats him up easily. Then a car alien joins in to help smiley alien but this time Oyaji puts a stop in its tracks. Car alien transforms but his limbs are too short. Oyaji fixes the engine thinking he heard some weird noise. Weird sexual innuendo scene here when car alien climaxes with engine oil flowing out… Min returns home, sad that dad is still not back. She starts crying and it is heart breaking to see Oyaji could only stand outside and do nothing. Stupid Yamada had to break this scene by bugging him. Next morning, Min thought dad is back in his room. Nope. But she is happy because there is a hot porridge meal on the table. Though, bread is her favourite but I guess it is better than nothing. Oyaji leaves happy but is stabbed in the heart by Moemoe! If you want something done, do it yourself.

Episode 4
While Moemoe is bragging, it seems there is no injury on Oyaji! Did he heal? The more Moemoe tries to hurt him, nothing happens. It gets freaking odd when Moemoe sounds sexually ambiguous that he thought he stuck it deep inside him! Look at all the blood! When Oyaji picks his nose and finally gets out his booger, Moemoe thinks this is his weakness because Oyaji gets disgusted when he picks it up. Guess what? Moemoe eats it thinking he could get powers! Then he gathers the entire world’s snot to make a giant booger to kill him. Oyaji has no choice but to whip out his slipper and slap him but accidentally slaps Min! Oh no. Instantly she gives the pervert a flurry of punches. This scene seems to resonate with Moemoe because that was how his mom beat him up. It was love. Yeah, this guy has fallen for Min. He wants to marry her! When he proposes, obviously she ignores him (I’m sure she doesn’t even know he exists). Of course he feels the need to offer something to steal her heart. Guess what his subordinates find out to win a woman’s heart on Earth? Give her an apartment! So they have to go through a real estate agent to get one? I guess these aliens are so poor they can’t even afford the many zeroes on any property. Yeah, their war chest can only get them a very small space. And nobody is going to offer them a 500 year loan! So how now? Moemoe sells his spaceship to a bunch of trannies! How the f*ck are they going to go home now?! But I don’t think he even made a killing with that sale and just got enough to rent the apartment for a year. Yamada treats Oyaji’s wounds. He is puzzled he cannot take damage or feel pain but when Min beats him up, it is painful and the damage is ever lasting. Oh, Moemoe is going to be living in this same apartment too.

Episode 5
Oyaji dreams he won the best toilet seat award. Then he gets busy designing new state of the art toilet seats, attend meetings and have an affair with lots of babes. Each time he ignores his wife’s call or brushes her off. Then one days he called for a divorce. Oyaji wakes up because Moemoe is trying to strangle him! Don’t count on it. He’s an immortal superhero. So while the duo argue over Min, speak about the devil, here she comes. Just clad in a towel! Yeow! What’s this super sexy fanservice in the morning?! Apparently the tap of her bath broke and she was hoping Yamada or somebody can come fix it. Of course Oyaji and Moemoe fight over this. She isn’t too thrilled about the perverts but whatever if it fixes the plumbing. So how is Moemoe going to do it? He is going to drink all the water?! Oyaji thinks this is his evil plot to turn Earth into a barren desert but looks like Moemoe almost drowned. Not a threat at all. As Oyaji fixes the tap, he remembers this has always been a problem. Mom always called him to fix it but he ignored her, telling her to just replace it. But instead one day he came back to find he was replaced (the divorce). It’s a heart breaking story and that is when Moemoe learns Min is Oyaji’s daughter. Trying to win his approval, he declares his love for Min but Oyaji beats him up. When Min returns, the tap is fixed although it is just mostly taped over. She thought it was her dad who fixed it. Meanwhile Moemoe’s dad the emperor isn’t happy his stupid son sold the spaceship to stay on Earth. Moemoe’s younger brother, Moemoemoe offers to deal with him. So when Moemoe is expecting Min at the door, but instead some death loli with a thorny tail!

Episode 6
This girl (Dataling as I should refer to her as) is actually Moemoe’s fiancée! Oyaji is mad at him for trying to hit on his daughter when he already has a fiancée but is Moemoe trying to play dumb by denying everything? When Dataling sees Min, she gets jealous and tries to attack her but Moemoe uses his body to protect her. Actually her tail didn’t even hit him because Oyaji grabbed it. It is revealed her tail is talking because the tail is the real body! Time for flashback. Many years ago, Moemoe had a sudden stomach ache and rushed into the girls’ toilet. That is where he accidentally saw Dataling taking a dump (it looked like vomiting of course). She is in distress because she ran out of toilet paper! Since he saved the day, she became his self-proclaimed fiancée although Moemoe rejects her because they are different species. But his father disallowed it because her species is the smartest and richest in the universe. In defiance, he goes on a trip to conquer planets to meet his yet-unseen wife. Wow. So this invasion has a backstory? Min doesn’t seem impressed and is disappointed to think her father was the one who fixed the tap. Suddenly Yamada comes out to give Dataling a mouth to mouth resuscitation. Yeah, he doesn’t know he is sucking her ass… Moemoe has decided to stay here to protect Min even if this means bringing more danger. But this time he won’t run away. As they both prepare to make a truce, Dataling suddenly starts leaking energy. They’re trying to plug up her holes before she explodes. That is when Moemoemoe comes in and sees this ambiguous threesome scene. He steals Dataling and runs away but she explodes in space. Everything solved by itself. Oyaji sees a shocking scene. His original self is at the door!

Episode 7
Oyaji is in a dilemma of himself. Is he the real person or not? His (painful) memories of Min are real. His photos in his handphone with her are real. So is he going to stop that imposter before Min opens the door? Too bad he decides to hide and let the imposter be with Min. What’s with the low confidence? Moemoe believes Oyaji is the real one because superheroes don’t lie. But they can determine if Oyaji is real or not via his fiancée. Isn’t she dead? The fake body was just like a handphone battery so they just need to stick the tail into a new body. Hmm… Who is it going to be? Yamada! After plugging it into his ass, Yamada revives into a refined man. Or woman! His balls becomes his boobs?! Dataling revives and says Oyaji needs to give a sample of his DNA for her to analyse. I don’t know why Oyaji is thinking of kissing Yamada (no doubt he looks smoking hot in female form) but Moemoe plucks a strand of his hair. After analysing, it seems Oyaji is not from this Earth. Listen. Not from THIS Earth. This means there is a parallel world he came from. When he got lost and sent back, instead of having 2 Oyaji with the same face, that is why he got transformed into this ugly dad. The only way to fix this is to get back to that committee via the same circumstances. But isn’t it impossible to be the only person in the world to take a dump at any single point now? It seems Oyaji has an idea as he takes Moemoe into the toilet… Meanwhile Dataling and Yamada starts a new love relationship. Elsewhere the alien emperor’s oldest and youngest sons fight over their methods to deal with Moemoe. While Moemoemoe decided to strike first (and died from that explosion), the older one, Moe decides to plan. Everything needs to be perfect. So he assimilates as Oyaji’s face. Despite Min berating him as usual, she actually loves him being back. And the imposter is playing his cards cool.

Episode 8
Moe gives Min eat some super watermelon. Now she is in dreamland fantasizing of all the good things. Everyone is a melon head! But the emperor isn’t pleased in watching this. It seems his goal is to conquer the universe and rid of all emotions in which he sees as weakness. Flashback time. When he was young, he had many pretty girls by his side. However they all died or get arrested. His parents worried about him arranged him to marry some giant fish monster. Yeah… He’s screwed. They have no children and of course they go to the doctor to find out why. Aren’t their different species incompatible? So the doctor gave them some gachapon as cure and they got 3 princes as we know them. But a few years later his wife died and left a revelation. She admitted in abusing the kids, slept with the neighbour and had a child with him, threatens him this will be leaked if he remarries and worst of all, she never loved him once. This made the emperor mad and thus casted away his feelings for his new goal. Seeing how his princes are useless, the emperor is going to settle this himself. Meanwhile Min is surprised that her dad has renovated the entire house with gold and shiny things. However she is not thrilled when she threw out her dusty personal box under the bed. When she goes out to see if it’s there, she catches those perverts peeking at it. Embarrassing albums, huh? She beats them up. The fake Oyaji suggests inviting them for dinner.

Episode 9
Oyaji remembers Min being a fussy eater who won’t eat her vegetables. He now feels awkward about it but now is even more awkward as Yamada and Min fight over meat and Moemoe trying to beg to the fake Oyaji to give his daughter her hand in marriage. Oyaji then takes Moemoe to the toilet so that he could be sent back to his world as he can’t stand watching this anymore. If he didn’t put it so ambiguously like taking off your underwear… I’m not sure about Moemoe’s ability to control sh*t but during this argument they wonder if that fake Oyaji isn’t an Earthling because if so, he will not be affected by Moemoe’s power. Min has had enough of this farce and returns to her room to look at her personal box. As she goes through it, she finds something strange in a book. Moe is commenting at the frail human emotions and plans to switch the drink with some despair spell. Unfortunately he drank it himself. I suppose the plan failed because Oyaji pooped a lot and is still here. They go back out to see fake Oyaji depressed and trying to kill himself with a fish! Subsequently all the guys drink the tainted booze and all become depressed too. Man, it’s chaotic. When Min comes out and wants an explanation of things, she sees the ugly Oyaji doing some chopstick move that only her real dad could do. It seems there is a drawing in the book that has this ugly dad as a superhero protecting the family, fighting and defeating the enemy. That is when the emperor crashes into the place. Not a good time to sh*t in your pants.

Episode 10
Min remembers crying profusely when mom left them. Dad tried to appease her by saying she went on a long journey but she knew he was lying because he heard about the divorce. She blamed him for it. Over the years, she turned into a delinquent and picked fights. Although her dad showed concern, she didn’t show the least bit to him. Now Min tries to fight the emperor but gets owned. He assures he won’t kill her so fast as she will need to watch him massacre Earth before dying a slow death. Min remembers she was sick from an allergy and dad was desperately trying to seek help. She wakes up only to find Moemoe desperately trying to revive her. When the princes realizes their dad is here, Moe tries to lap it up to dad that he is just a step away from success and just needs another chance. But when he reveals his perfect disguise that had him transform to different women and stay in dad’s bed all night (gross!), dad beats him up. Exposed! The emperor claims Moemoe as the only true heir because Moe is a useless cross-dresser and Moemoemoe is dead. He must take the throne for his sake and the universe. This prompts Min how dad always had last minute change of plans all for the company’s sake. Why is everyone so damn selfish? Moemoe stands up. The throne doesn’t interest him as he has found love and warmth in this place. The emperor is impressed and wants him to take responsibility of it for himself. This means the emperor pounds him to bits as he destroys the entire apartment! Time for the final showdown with the hero. Oyaji is mad his home is gone and his toilet is destroyed. Somebody is going to get some serious payback. The emperor is going to erase him and not leave a speck behind (because Oyaji could guess his wife f*cked another guy and had his child). Oyaji takes out his slipper to slap him. Nothing happens. He then admits up till now he doesn’t know what his superpower is.

Episode 11
The emperor gives a powerful punch that Oyaji flies away! He is going to continue beating him up but is tired of hearing Moe’s ‘sexy’ moans and kills him off despite his pleas! This is when Oyaji realizes he doesn’t have any superpowers nor was he a hero in the first place. That is, till Min tells him straight he has always been one. The emperor could have finished her had not Yamada and Dataling jump into to fight him. Wow. They have more superpowers and acting more like a hero than Oyaji! They are assisted by Moemoe who is gathering up faeces to throw at his father. Say what?! But the emperor still overwhelms them as he chokes Dataling by her neck. As he is unsure why humans continue to fight despite being defeated, Dataling narrates from Yamada’s memories. Despite the sick and perverted nature of trying to commit suicide and flashing, she still felt some sort of warmth that gives her peace (does this mean she is twisted too?). The emperor releases her from that dream by killing her! Yamada is distraught by her death as well as traumatic memories of his family leaving him. He charges straight at the emperor but gets vaporized. This only serves to make Oyaji feel guiltier as he believes he is the cause of all that has happened. So if he wants revenge, he has no qualms to be killed as long as he spares Earth. The emperor swears on that but first Oyaji must proclaim he is a loser and wants to die 3 times. As Oyaji recites that, Min disagrees and pleads that he is a hero and the only one who can save the world from this evil. But the emperor finds her annoying and zaps her. OMG! They’re killing almost everybody in this episode!!!

Episode 12
While furious Moemoe is throwing everything at the emperor, Oyaji reads the book. He remembers getting off in the middle of work to attend sick Min. Then he draws this superhero book for her in which coincidentally coincides many of the events we have seen here. After the emperor finishes off Moemoe, Oyaji says there is one puzzle he still hasn’t resolved. Oyaji bought a sports car when his wife around and this doesn’t sit well with her so Oyaji argued he deserved things like this for his hard work. This made Min continue the drawing and made Oyaji the bad guy! Therefore the emperor is him! Or at least his dark side. As both of them start a super fight, this is what reality is. That all we have seen could be just pages from the comic book! Because in actual fact Oyaji is rolled into hospital after collapsing from overworking while a very concerned Min stays by his side. Yamada reveals more truths to Min that Oyaji has been working 8 part time jobs. She thought he was the president of his own company. When Min fell sick, his colleagues were ‘kind’ enough to let him go to her. He gave his project details to them. Unfortunately they stole his idea and made him the bad guy. Oyaji has been working hard to convince others it was his idea. After his wife left, he worked even harder. Yamada talked to him and felt pity and told him to tell Min the truth. However Oyaji won’t because he doesn’t mind being criticized or hated. In Min’s heart, a superhero must never give up. Min reads this story by Oyaji’s comatose side. She is sad and wants daddy to wake up and do things together again. She wants him to stay by her side and watch her grow up so that she can be the superhero to protect him. Then one morning, Min and Oyaji get into an argument about toilet paper. The typical love-hate father-daughter relationship. But this last part is confusing. Oyaji wakes up with Moemoe trying to strangle him. Dataling is still alive telling us this is reality and not a dream or flashback. Moemoe forces Oyaji to take a dump to meet that committee guy again who tells him to go to whatever world he wants. Because there are multiple parallel worlds! Because they don’t want it all to be a dream!

To Be Father
Wow. This is really super fun. I didn’t expect to enjoy this so much and find it super funny but yeah, the jokes may be sometimes gross but as long as I was laughing, it doesn’t matter. Though, my only small complaint was the ending. The so called twist in the final episode was confusing and that took a lot of fun out of my enjoyment as I try to understand and piece together what was happening while the episode is running out of time. So you can say I am still pretty confused about everything that has happened because it’s like the producers are trolling us with all that happened. Instead of making it all some weird dream, everything happened because of this multi-verse thingy. So not too sure if Oyaji got a happy ending with Min but at least in one universe (at least that is what I am assuming), he got that dream right. Not too sure if I can call this an ending because sometimes I feel the producers ran out of idea after all that nonsense and gave us this crap to end and fool us all.

First of all, I don’t think I have laugh as hard as I did in recent years (or was it months?) for an anime series other than Gintama. Maybe it could be the toilet and crappy jokes. Ah yes. This series is filled with lots of them so if you can’t stomach the toilet jokes, fart jokes and all the other sh*tty jokes, you’ll definitely not find this anime funny at all. Offensive? Who cares about you oversensitive people?! It was really nonsensical and fast paced (but not as fast as Teekyuu) and I think that is where the effect of the slapstick humour pays off. Everything was already so nonsensical, oh heck, just go with the flow.

Of course the biggest role in making this anime funny is the characters. Despite how weird and silly they all are, if you like this anime, you’ll find it hard to loath them. But basically this entire series could also be seen as one big drama attempt of father and daughter trying to bond back together. Oyaji looked like he never cared for her till he turned into an ugly dad and Min despite trying to stay tough and chastise her dad is actually a big tsundere who loves daddy deep within. They really play and build up well the tension and drama effect up till the final episode. It was really heart wrenching to learn the truth (assuming it was) and all the more reason why you want to vouch and support for them to end up being a family again. Yeah, they really pull our heart strings there. So did being an ugly dad give Oyaji a chance to become a good father again? Only time can tell. And I’m sure Min would also realize that even if Oyaji isn’t the best father, she is still her father and the only one she will have till the end of time. Aww… I feel like wanting a big group hug! But the thing that bugged me is Oyaji’s powers because it is inconsistent and at times he could just display it without knowing and at times when call for it, he is just a normal person. It’s like the superpower is trolling him. Or could it all just be our imagination?

Yamada may pass off as the quirkiest character because of his suspicious and perverted looking picture. This guy has all the tell-tale signs that your children and daughters should keep away from! This guy is dangerous! Especially when he has delusions of doing threesomes and foursomes with his entire family, that says a lot. But I wonder if the real Yamada is this sick. Because the actual person might just be an ordinary and decent person as portrayed in the final episode. Oh hell, blame it on the multi-verse theory! Moemoe too is an idiot and I suppose everyone becomes one when he falls head over heels over a girl. Heh. A universal sign of love even if you’re an alien. Dataling’s existence feels like a running joke so she could be stuck into someone’s ass like charging a phone battery. The emperor who looks menacing and the most evil of all evils, in some ways he too is an idiot. So he turns out to be Oyaji’s dark side? Please, I don’t want to be confused anymore…

Honestly, if you look at the artwork and animation, they are pretty crappy. But because we have been told about the theme of this series and how ‘crappy’ the jokes are, we are now more inclined to forgive the crappy art style. Yeah, I guess it was this simple. Because we’ll be laughing or cringing at all the silliness that the mediocre quality artwork don’t matter anymore. Unless it was done on purpose but that’s not the point. Recently, the Shanghai based animation company, Haoliners Animation League has been making quite a splash in the anime industry for the past few seasons. They’re infusing a bit of their Chinese trademark (like names of characters) into animes as you can see from their other works like Cheating Craft, Hitori No Shita: The Outcast, Chu Feng: B.E.E. and the Reikenzan series. They’re really trying to make an impact and strike while the steel is still hot.

Voice acting is pretty okay with Kenjiro Tsuda as Oyaji and Tomokazu Sugita as Moemoe as the only recognizable ones. Moa Tsukino who voices Min, this is her first and debut role. At times she might sound a bit raw and amateurish but still she did an overall good job. The other casts are Yutaka Aoyama as Yamada (Jura in Fairy Tail), Shouzou Iizuka as the emperor (Kokujouji in K), Nozomi Nishida as Dataling (Makina Nakajima in Macross Delta), and Kazuhiko Inoue as Moe (Gildarts in Fairy Tail).

The opening theme is Ainikoiyo by Brats. Typical generic rock music to get into the comedic action of the series. But the more amusing one is the ending theme, Watashi No Papa Ga Chikyuu Wo Mamoru by Kazuyo Lin. What is interesting is that this song from what I can hear is sung in Chinese! It is quite rare to hear other languages in Japanese anime. English and sometimes instrumental are already rare but for me, hearing Chinese in an anime theme song is my first. Making it cuter is the video game-like beeping sound the singer sings. Cute. Making it funnier is the animation as we see Min in a tower defence-like game as she shoots her plungers at all the weirdoes and perverts trying to approach her apartment.

Overall, this series tells you a lot of things. Don’t judge a book by its cover because it is the inside and your actions that truly counts. It is a story that perhaps most single fathers could relate if they have a teenage daughter growing up. This is a heart-warming story of a father trying to reconnect with his daughter again and the sacrifice that they have to go through to realize what is important. You don’t need Superman, Batman or Spiderman to look up for inspiration. That superhero is just right next to you and even related. Man, this anime is so touching! So deep! Deeper than my constipation! Yeah… Therefore you can forgive the toilet and sh*t jokes that they spew at us for these very important lessons. Yeah… Next time you start thinking your father is crap, just remember that despite his bald, flabby belly and wrinkled skin, lies a true superhero father who loves you. Oh, I’m going to tear up right now. Salutes to ugly dads! Forever the real heroes in our hearts!

Hantsu x Trash OVA 3

April 14, 2017

There is only one reason why we watch Hantsu x Trash OVA 3. There is only one mission for this third OVA. You very well know what it is. Don’t make me spell it out again. So get to it on the double! Stop wasting time! What else could be more important than boobs and tits in this world?!

Mission CKB
Hamaji is surprised the guys are finally getting excited about water polo. Not really. Led by Nakajima, they are revved up to peep on girls and confirm their nipples’ colour! Oh yeah. That’s more like it. At first Hamaji didn’t want to join in but after Nakajima squeezes his balls to remind him to become a man and knowing he has Hagiwara in mind, everything is set to go as planned. Because knowing a girl’s nipples colour is every man’s dream! During the water polo practice, Hayami notices the boys staring at her. She dislikes it but doesn’t mind if it’s Hamaji. At night, the guys peep from the girls outside their bath. Your usual tits fondling and free tits fanservice. Hayami asks Hagiwara if she is dating Hamaji. She feels relieved that she is not. After Hamaji switches with another guy, that idiot couldn’t control his urges after seeing those pair of rocket boobs. He starts screaming about it, alerting the girls. Time to retreat. Despite missing their best chance, those pervy boys won’t give up. Yeah, there are other ways. Like purposely putting lingerie in the middle of the hallway so when a girl bends down to pick it up, a guy in the ventilation is waiting to snap her tit when it exposes. Or like Nakajima who is hiding underneath the drainage in the girls’ locker room. And that rocket boobs guy has been in a trance since so when he sees any pair of rocket boobs, he assaults that poor girl! OMG! Animal! She beats him up and has a baseball bat shoved up his ass!

In another practice, Hayami notices the guys staring again. Feeling uncomfortable, she dives into the pool without warming up and her leg cramps up. Hamaji is first to dive in to save her. In the infirmary, she is resting and alright. Then Miyoshi teases him to look at the nipples of a mature woman. Oh heck. She pulls his face to her tits and lets him suck them! Feels good to be violated by a virgin, eh? Later when Hayami wakes up, after thanking him she wants him to look at her boobs. Say what? So let me get her logic. To overcome her fear of men staring at her boobs, she wants him to look at them. Okay. Sounds fine to me. And so Hayami lets him unhook her bra and stare at those delicious pink tits. He got extra bonus when she suddenly kisses him! She then sprints out realizing that she is in love with him. We figured that out a long time ago. She bumps into Hagiwara and announces that she will not lose out. Hagiwara thinks she is referring to the water polo game. Meanwhile Nakajima and co are being confronted by the other girls who have got hold of their nipple colour chart. Beaten up and the chart torn up for good. The dream is dead.

Nipples, Boobs Are Pointless Without Them!
So what else can I say? Did you enjoy them? Because it seems by this time they decided to ramp up the fanservice by giving us more exposed tits compared to the previous OVAs. You thought it would be more of the same silly fanservice but then they decided to engage a higher gear and make us have boners throughout the 15 minute duration of the show. Yes people, despite the horrible animation that remains the same like the previous OVAs, because of the free tits and rocket boobs, we are too distracted watching them than noticing the atrocious art style. Because of free tits and rocket boobs, all is forgiven. But I noticed no obvious lesbian stuffs from Shinozaki on Hagiwara this time. Unless you consider that boobs fondling moments as one.

As usual, the plot is pretty much non-existent because it already doesn’t make sense why there is a water polo club for both guys and girls. I mean, in real life there are but when you have it in anime, the reasons are obviously shady. With all the pervy antics, you would think that the guys would have been kicked out by now but here they are and I guarantee as long as they have their seishun with them, they’re not going to stop letting their libido take over. And maybe Miyoshi just loves to see the perverted antics of those youthful kids. Sighs. Nobody wants an old mature woman so what better way to get her arousal via watching others? The only progress if I should say is the confirmation of Hayami’s feelings for Hamaji (obviously) since this OVA focuses mostly on her. And at least Nakajima has somewhat of an active leading role here instead of being relegated to weird gay dream sequences or unimportant extra.

They should just stop releasing periodic releases of OVAs and make this series into a proper TV series for a single cour even if its usual running time is half than the normal. That way we can expect more boobs and tits fanservice at regular intervals. Haha! Ahem…Because we all know that the plot is going to suck in addition to be typically cliché and the animation isn’t going to be top notched with super special effects whatsoever. Just cheap thrill fanservice for poor and cheap horny guys who can’t even afford to pay for porn ;p. Now, tell me again why would you as a guy want to join a water polo club? Rocket boobs FTW!

Rewrite

April 9, 2017

There was quite a little hype surrounding the anime adaptation of Rewrite. Long time fans won’t be surprised since this series is adapted from the visual novel game of the same name which is written by no other than one of the famous and prominent visual novel studio company, Key. They have a reputation for making visual novels with great storylines and characters. With successful past adapted works like Air, Clannad, Kanon, Little Busters and Angel Beats, they are further cementing their legacy in this industry. I might have not played any of the visual novels and some of the series I might not really sing high praises for it, but something tells me that their brand of storytelling follows a certain pattern. You have elements of fantasy and supernatural. A peaceful place starting to move as fate of the future inevitable event sets in. Harem. Protagonist plays a key role in determining the outcome. Some sort of twist to it all. My curiosity was to see if it fits this pattern. Yeah, really. And reading from Rewrite’s synopsis seems to feel it is going to have all that.

Episode 1
Starting off this 1 hour special, Kotarou Tennouji must be happy meeting this cute girl in his dream. Until he gets stabbed by her! Thank goodness this is just a dream. Right? Kotarou is then tasked by Rikako, the mother of his childhood friend, Kotori Kanbe to bring her back since she went ‘missing’ again. Kotarou knows where Kotori will go. There is a forest she comes to play all by herself. Along the way he meets this strange, uh, Pokemon creature in which he identifies as a mammoth! He finds Kotori sleeping by a tree and brings her back but when she wakes up she isn’t aware of where she was. Kotarou tugs in for the night and he gets a rude awakening when somebody (that cute girl sneaking under his blanket) bites his hand! In class, Kotarou tries to be friends with this grumpy delinquent, Haruhiko Yoshino. Well, if he keeps bugging him, definitely he is going to get angry and challenge him to a duel. And he doesn’t mean a card game but a fist fight. The class rep, Lucia Konohana only to be ‘tackled’ by her homeroom teacher, Touka Nishikujou. Kotarou continues to piss off Yoshino and it gets worse when Kotori enters the fray and sides Kotarou. When Kotarou is sleeping back in his home, he felt his body getting heavy. It’s like something is on it. He peeps under his blanket and sees that cute girl staring at him! Yikes! Is she a ghost?! No time to think. He fainted. Next morning as he ponders about this, he stumbles upon Chihaya Ootori who is somehow stuck on a tree. After all the follies in trying to get her down without seeing her panties (he did anyway), he tries to help her carry her box but it is heavy. It contains lots of those old heavy books. And would you know that Chihaya is the new transfer student in Kotarou’s class? Because he keeps identifying her as her panties design, she feels like throwing the desk on him. Why the heck nobody notices this? Later Kotarou helps out Shizuru Nakatsu who is part of the disciplinary committee and is having problems blowing her whistle. Inoue from the newspaper club tries to write a story thinking Kotarou is trying to ensnare Shizuru by covering up his mistakes. She tries to get him to admit to the rumours that he paid his way to enter this school. Of course he denies all accusations.

Kotarou hears from Kotori about the school having a famous witch with supernatural powers, Akane Senri. There are rumours she has the highest authority among all students, commands magic over everything supernatural and has managed to advance to the next grade without being expelled despite rarely showing up in class. She suggests meeting her in hopes he might meet someone special. The duo snoop around for more information and when they enter the supposed room, they get the scare of their lives when they switch on the wrong light button because it gives out a hideous scream! Prank? Nobody is in so he leaves a note. That night, Kotarou realizes he is trapped in his own room. There is some invisible magic barrier that prevents him from breaking out. It’s that ghost girls stalking him! When he cries out Kotori’s name for help, everything returns to normal. He revisits the classroom again and sees his note has been responded with a survey test. After spending the day with Chihaya and showing her around town, Kotarou gets an email to come to a classroom alone tonight. He thinks he might be given the run around doing errands because one riddle leads to the next. Horror time begins when he spots the ghost girl. He starts running but has the corridors been this long? And the stairs going on and on forever too. When it finally ends at a door and he goes through it, he smacks some little fairy who wants to suck his blood! Luckily her friend admonishes her for being rash because they are not to be seen by humans. They introduce themselves as Pani and Gil. I supposed they are lost in some strange forest and their worst fears come true because there is this huge last boss tentacle monster attacking them. They are saved thanks to the ghost girl fighting back with her whipping ribbons. The monster is destroyed but the dimension is collapsing. Kotarou falls through the abyss. Before he knows it, he is back in the school’s corridor and a statue of Colonel Sanders is before him. As instructed, he takes it to the classroom where the witch welcomes him.

Episode 2
Akane introduces herself with all the mumbo-jumbo but since Kotarou doesn’t look surprised, she quits all that acting. After experiencing that death defying phenomena? Can this even move his heart? Apparently Akane doesn’t believe all the supernatural encounters he said. She reads his survey and wonders if he did it seriously especially for the final question that involves him changing either himself or the world. To help with his ghostly visit problem, she gives him a paperclip and a few paper talisman charms. Well, it might look like a hoax but as long as it works, right? Akane will have him report and follow up on this in which she wants him to join her club, the occult research club. That night, he dreams of this girl, Tomoko. She is one of the paper talisman and is here to protect him. Although she was easily defeated by ghost girl, it was enough to make her lose interest for the night. Kotarou must be really sad that the paper talisman is all squashed up. During recess, Kotarou tries to play a prank on Yoshino by making his parfait spicy. Yoshino knows better and won’t fall for it. In trying to convince him, the parfait is swapped with the one Lucia is having. In order to protect her, he quickly eats it all! This irks her as she beats him up. Kotarou spots Shizuru sleeping by the tree and rests next to her till she wakes up. Touka must have some sort of fondness for her because she loves to squeeze and hug this eye-patch girl. When Kotarou reports to Akane, she doesn’t believe it happened because she just gave him ordinary stuffs with no powers. Although this is the occult research club, she doesn’t do anything related to it. She merely took over the club and is now her private room. She thinks all those supernatural stuffs are just his imagination. This has him challenge her to see who is right. Akane mocks that Kotarou has super powers because he believes they exist. He suspiciously denies it. So if Kotarou manages to prove the existence of the supernatural, he wants to fondle her boobs?! WTF?! She agrees as she is confident they don’t exist anyway. The talisman again helps Kotarou get a good night sleep as it is able to make ghost girl lose her interest for another night.

Kotarou introduces Kotori to Akane as he wants her help with his investigation. Kotori is not amused hearing the boobs deal but Kotarou convinces her about her money and power that he is after. After they set up the club’s website, Chihaya drops in and is surprised to see the duo in this club. Chihaya knows Akane and has a few ties with her. Kotarou must be dreaming about groping Akane’s boobs but only to wake up in horror realizing he is groping ghost girl’s boobs! Even ghost girl didn’t want to stay and harass him further. Kotarou also brings Shizuru to join the club to help out. She gets a call from Lucia asking about her whereabouts so cheeky Kotarou has Shizuru say word by word that she is engaging in something steamy with Kotarou. Before they can correct this misunderstanding, Lucia becomes faster than Usain Bolt and comes all the way down here just to beat the crap out of him. He gets another beating after learning that boobs deal. Despite Lucia calling him a pervert and all, Shizuru stands up for him. She thinks it is normal for boys his age to think about boobs. Because she’s is the flattest? Oops… So to keep an eye on him, Lucia agrees to join his motley crew.

Episode 3
When Kotarou enters the clubroom, there is this obnoxious guy telling him to leave. He is Sakuya Ootori and somewhat a butler (knight in shining armour as he puts it) who sucks up to Akane. He is also Chihaya’s older brother and is here to bring her lunch she forgot. In short, both guys hate each other. Well, this series is not big enough to have 2 guys for a harem. In class, Kotarou asks Yoshino as he notices Lucia is always wearing gloves. They speculate she is hiding some sort of terrifying power but they go overboard with their chuunibyou as they act it out aloud in the middle of class. The occult club receives a message from the website that a tsuchinoko (obese snake as Akane puts it) on their campus. They go look for it and when they spot it, Kotarou has a hard time catching it but it was easily caught by Chihaya. It seems there is an outsider named Tsukuno who is also hunting this tsuchinoko. She is an UMA hunter and is trying to catch it for a great prize (which is of course a scam). But since her day job is a clerk, break time is over and she returns to work. Kotarou joins Shizuru eating lunch. Because her eye is itchy, he wants to look at it thinking it is an infection. She feels embarrassed but since he promises not to tell others, she relents. Her eyes are different colours and he views them as beautiful. Kotarou almost gets beaten up by the tsundere for almost recycling the wrong aluminium and steel cans. She teaches him how to crush those cans and sort them properly for recycling. Kotarou goes too far when he teases Lucia as the rep to save the world and environment and gets another beating.

That beat up took him the entire day to recover so it is already late at night when he goes home. On the way back, he sees the ghost girl being chased by a demonic dog. He decides to help her as he unleashes his Rewrite that gives him super powers. Kotarou is cornered by a psychopath who thinks he is a fellow hunter and extra competition. Knowing this guy is bad news, Kotarou makes a run for it but he summons his demon dog to hunt him down. Eventually Kotarou can’t outrun the dog but before he gets devoured and collapses, he sees some hero taking it out. When he wakes up, he is at the park’s oden stall. A couple of old guys saw him unconscious nearby and brought him here. When Kotarou explains what happened, they seem to believe him. Well, they are online game enthusiasts. Sometimes they get mixed up with games and reality. Sougen Esaka runs a small antique shop so he hopes Kotarou can drop by when he is free. Shizuru patrons the stall and is shocked to see Kotarou here. It’s like she never expected to see him here. When he shows her the scar on his hand from the attack, she doesn’t see any. Was it a dream? He thinks his abilities have been rewritten. A few oden regulars join in and they start teasing Kotarou as Shizuru’s boyfriend. Kotarou then accompanies her home as he tells us she lives alone in a run-down apartment. He wants to help her but his hands are tied. Kotarou has the bad luck to bump into Sakuya and as usual the latter spews more insults to remind him like as though fate has drawn them together as enemies.

Episode 4
With boobs as motivation, Kotarou is enthusiastic as he tells Akane he knows someone who knows about UMA. However he doesn’t have the address to Esaka’s place and since only Shizuru knows it and she is not around, the girls lose interest and leave. Kotarou looks around the bad part of town by himself and stumbles upon a group of delinquents. They claim they are under King whom we all know as Yoshino. This is his area. But since Kotarou says he is Yoshino’s buddy, they become his friends and lead him to Esaka’s shop. Shizuru is here. Esaka hands him a few photos of UMAs but they are blurry and even so not close to the monster Kotarou saw. Goal to boobs getting further… Shizuru has a CD but no player since she is poor. Rich girl Chihaya won’t understand why she can’t buy one. So Kotarou has to lend his. In class just as Kotarou thinks the ghost girl has never shown up since, here she comes right into class! Only, everyone else can’t see her. She blatantly bites his arm before leaving like as though this is her house! He wants to show the bite mark as proof but Shizuru wants him to follow her as thanks for the CD player. In a neighbourhood, Shizuru from outside shows the real home where her family lives. Kotarou is stumped when Shizuru leaves instead of greeting her mom. Even puzzling, mom doesn’t recognize her. Shizuru has Kotarou say her name. When he tries the second time, he seems to have forgotten but tries hard again and manages to remember. Shizuru has this power to erase memories, thus her parents don’t remember her.

Shizuru explains her happy and peaceful life with her parents till an incident one day where by some monster caused some fire in her home. Shizuru was blinded in one eye and her parents were close to dead. A small unit chasing the monster saved them. Her parents recover and Shizuru gets her sight back although her new eye is of different colour. But this is the start of torment as her classmates often bully her about it. Mom also had phobia on fire. One day, she overhead strange men talking to her parents that they will give them large amounts of money if they allow Shizuru to go to a certain institute. Shizuru volunteered and after a week when she returned, her parents were fighting. She realized money changed their kind nature. She wanted them to get along so badly like how they used to that her power went berserk and wiped out a big chunk of their memories. Kotarou thought there is hope since he remembered but Shizuru clearly states this one is beyond repair. Nevertheless she is happy he came along. Touka drives Kotarou back and he thinks she is part of that institution. She doesn’t give any clear answer and hints Shizuru wasn’t born with such power as the institution ‘creates medicine’. Shizuru is leaving a poor life because she is saving up to buy a house. At school, Lucia refuses to help a bunch of boys pick up and throw back their baseball. She will not touch something dirty. Kotarou help out on her behalf. Chihaya berates Lucia for being a clean freak but she snaps back that she it is the flowers she doesn’t want to touch. Or anything else she doesn’t want to touch. But she can touch and push away Chihaya? Lucia feels hurt over Chihaya’s insensitive comments about her twisted feelings. She is also frustrated because she is living this way not because she wants to.

Episode 5
Kotarou receives mail about the case of a cursed girl name Haruka Asahi. If you attempt to wake her from her slumber, you will be cursed. Story has it that she was from an orphanage. Plants and animals she touched will die. Eventually this also affected some of those in the orphanage and it was closed down. 7 years ago a boy, Ryuugo Kishida transferred to this city and told about this. He died shortly. Kotarou notices Lucia isn’t around so he goes to talk to Shizuru who reveals about Lucia’s secret since he is her friend. Because Ryuugo was from the same elementary as Yoshida, Kotarou bugs him for help. Despite saying no and all, he warns to watch his back when the glass shatters and even gives him a roster of those classmates. Kotarou goes to copy it and Lucia thought he left a copy behind. But this isn’t his copy. It is written with a warning not to wake up her slumber! Then the glasses break! Oh no. Lucia learns from Kotarou about his investigation although he tries to keep his optimism that this copy might be a recycled paper and somebody must have thrown rocks. Lucia on her way home is spooked when little Haruka pops up before her. She warns not to wake her up and reminds they both share the same sorrow. Kotarou tries to call the people on the list but all of them refuse to answer his questions as they are scared that the curse is coming back. Haruka continues to haunt Lucia and remind her their suffering and that they are cursed. Though, Lucia tries to fight back she is trying to face this head on. As Kotarou continues his investigation, he now gets spooked when it is Lucia (looking possessed) warning about waking her slumber. She then collapses. He brings her back to his place and when she wakes up, he assures he didn’t touch her or anything. It gets serious when Lucia demonstrates anything she touches withers and dies. Kotarou thinks it is his fault for continuing with the investigation when he remembers Shizuru’s words. Lucia suffered this curse of withering and killing living things when she was young. She convinced herself it was her fault and filthy hands. She tried to overcome this by wearing gloves which was her only respite. Kotarou tries to calm her down but she pushes him away. Oh no. The curse has affected his hand.

Kotarou visits the orphanage. He easily jumps over the high security fence and snoops around. Inside the building, as he looks at the group photo, it breaks. He calls out Haruka. Or rather Lucia. He knows they are the same person. Because when he called one on the roster, that person has moved but the old address experienced the glass breaking curse. Surely, the curse couldn’t be making such mistake. After all, Lucia also had that list. Lucia admits she was the one breaking the glasses to stop him from investigating. However her powers to shatter glass and wither life is real. All she wanted was to hide her hideous past and true identity. At this point Kotarou collapses from the poison covering half his body. Don’t worry. Before Lucia can blame herself, he’ll use his Rewrite to make his body accept the poison. It works. Now that he has accepted Lucia’s world, he is now her friend so don’t ever say sad stuffs like she’ll always be alone and can never touch anyone. When Kotarou is able to touch her without being affected, she breaks down and cries in his arms. Sorry to interrupt but Touka is here to take them back. Kotarou is curious of her organization so she explains it because it beats having him snoop around. Her organization is called Guardian and they are trying to gather people with super powers to protect the world from destruction. Right now in this city, there is an individual codenamed as Key who is trying to destroy the world. Of course there are groups who are supportive of Key’s effort. Gaia is advocating for Earth’s destruction so a new one could be reborn. Touka wants him to keep all this a secret or else. He too has his own conditions. He wants Lucia to make handmade lunches for him. In a maid outfit. I second this!!!!!!!!!! I see no problem in this small price for something big.

Episode 6
Kotarou is kidnapped. Don’t worry. It is Lucia. She put on a maid outfit to serve him. I guess it’s too late to say that was a joke, eh? So as not to put her effort to waste, he eats her handmade lunch. He learns Lucia’s abnormal taste buds. That’s why she was able to handle that spicy parfait. Shizuru has been helping her to create antidotes to keep her poisons neutral. Lucia surprises Chihaya by apologizing to her. Likewise she does the same. They notice Lucia clinging closely to Kotarou. She claims they are friends. Shizuru also does the same and this makes Lucia jealous. With everyone back to their normal, time to do some occult club activities like solving cases people posted on their website. However all turned out to be some sort of hoax. Like that legendary sword, it’s just some toy shop in a candy store. Maybe it never got bought? Yoshino has trained to pull it out but Chihaya easily pulls it out. And broke it. What about laughing echoes in the dark? Well, aside the porn magazines around, there are laughing mask props lying around. The ogre who lives at night in the school building? Just Yoshino flexing his karate chops. Even the T-rex that lived till the 2nd century turns out to be a movie poster. So you bet the girls aren’t interested in coming along to investigate the rainbow paradise at some river basin. I mean, they have to trek through the dense forest and deal with bugs. I think Kotarou vetoes it all so they’re coming.

Kotori thinks they need a bodyguard so she brings along Chibi Moth. Remember that cute little ‘mammoth’? It’s a dog. She picked it up and now it’s her pet. She claims it is 3 times stronger than Yoshino. Chibi Moth proves it by bumping into Kotarou’s gut and sending him flying away. After trekking into the forest, they stumble into this rainbow swamp. It’s hideous by the way. They think the toxins from pollutions must have made it so and the trees and animals in it are dead and rotting. It is too much for them to handle so they decide to leave. On the way out, Kotarou stumbles into a familiar scene. When he sees the ghost girl, he immediately remembers this is the place where he killed her in his dream. Back at the clubroom, Kotarou decides to take his mind off by writing what has happened although he has no intentions of publishing it. Akane mocks his simple conclusion of environmental damage. She argues while a large portion of humanity is indulging in pleasures, another portion is suffering. How long more till Earth reach a point of no return and humans go extinct. Unless we of course migrate to another planet. Kotarou still believes there are some good people trying to save the world. In that case Akane has a very simple answer on how to stop this. No, not stopping factories. Destroy all humans! Next day, Inoue calls Kotarou and claims she is going to investigate the swamp since she has good information about it. A few days later, Inoue’s fellow club member talks to Kotarou and asks if he knows anything. Because Inoue has not come home ever since.

Episode 7
With Inoue’s disappearance, there are directives for the occult club to suspend all activities. Only their club is targeted because they suspect Kotarou who was the last person to talk to her and with the occult club as a shady club, they might be looking at disbandment. Kotarou gets passionate arguing about them being together so I guess the girls change their gloomy mood to be on his side. As Inoue’s disappearance isn’t made public yet but the search is called off as they assume she is dead (no body is found), Kotarou thinks that everything will be okay if they solve this. So the gang head back into the woods. Kotarou waits as the girls go take a toilet break. But he realizes they are taking too long. He goes to look for them but spots a shady character in a robe. Then a pack of demonic dogs hunt him down. Kotarou Rewrites his powers and escapes from their jaws of death via conjuring up some blade (Vega’s claw?). He follows Lucia’s voice and sees her and Shizuru fighting, uhm, feathered dinosaurs? Of course they don’t need his help as they are skilful in taking them out with their blades. They explain that these monsters are from Gaia. Perhaps their base is nearby or searching for the Key. They tell him to go look for the other girls who got separated from them. Kotarou manages to reunite with them as he tries to convince them to get out of the forest. But suddenly a huge wyvern hovers over them. It attacks Kotori but Kotarou uses his hand to block. He tells the girls to run for it as he gets dragged around and his blood sucked. His Freddy Krueger blades may have saved him again but it is ghost girl who ultimate destroys it. Kotarou fears her and is about to attack her but is stopped by Kotori. Obviously she can see her. Ghost girl goes away. When they reunite with the others, it seems the other girls are in a showdown. Lucia and Shizuru just finished cutting down the last demon as they question Akane and Chihaya. When they came into the scene, some of the monsters didn’t attack them and instead sided with them. Furthermore, they didn’t look surprised to see the monsters. Akane and Chihaya admit they are from Gaia. When Lucia attacks, Sakuya blocks it. He reveals he works under them although this incident has nothing to with them and just happened to be an unfortunate accident within the organization. Sakuya takes his ladies and leave. Kotarou tries to catch up but faints. He returns to his normal school life but is obviously spacing out more often. He acts like there is nothing when Yoshino asks but keeps thinking why he didn’t heed Sakuya’s warning of not meddling in other’s business.

Episode 8
After that incident, Kotarou has not seen the girls (all absent from school). Kotori too is absent from class and doesn’t reply to his messages and Inoue still has not been found. That night when he tests his blades in his room, ghost girl comes in and for the first time speaks. She says something about an emergency before collapsing. Next day, the school informs its students that Inoue is found recovering in a hospital in the next town and her memories are still fuzzy. Kotarou is glad that Shizuru finally shows up but she is here to say goodbye. Kotarou thinks someone ransacked his home but he believes it is that ghost girl. This funnily cartoonish scene shows ghost girl following Kotarou like a shadow behind and each time he turns around, she quickly follows his back. This goes on till she is discovered. Had fun? She introduces herself as Kagari. That is all she remembers and needs help to find herself. That’s you, Kotarou. He think this is all a dream but next morning he wakes up to find her sleeping next to him. In school he is shocked that Kagari is a new transfer student and is facing off with Yoshino! Now everyone can see her? Kagari easily defeats Yoshino and everyone is excited she will be the new gang boss? Kotarou quickly takes her away. It seems she has learnt all about humans. From the internet. Ah, yes… The internet… So she enrolled in this school out of jealousy? She also thinks Kotarou is in love with her thinking he is being mean to her is a sign he likes her. Curse you internet! He shows her around school like the cafeteria but since she is making a ruckus about the coffee, tour’s over.

At the park, he is surprised to see Inoue. Is she safe to be discharged? Because she doesn’t know who he is. She passes him a memory card as she notices she has been clinging on tightly to it. Meanwhile Akane attends a meeting of Gaia guised under an environmental protection company named Martel Group. Among the topics discussed include the failure to find the Key. It seems Akane is kept close to Gaia’s saint, Sakura Kashima as it is believed her days are numbered and she is to be her successor. On the Guardian’s side, Shizuru and Lucia are seen exterminating demons along with Esaka. He has retired as commander but called back to help out. They wonder if this place holds the Key as it is a place for many Gaia followers to gather. Even so, Esaka doesn’t think it is a reason for the abundance of monsters. Sakuya seems to have captured Pani and Gil. All because they played a prank of dropping bird sh*t on Chihaya?! He has a job for them. Kotarou goes through the memory card and finds photos of monsters, demons and mysterious robed people. Kotarou is happy he finally gets message from Kotori that she is recovering from a cold even though he knows it is a lie. In fact, Kotori is in a mythical forest surrounded by mythical beings.

Episode 9
So the house is too small for Kagari and now she wants Kotarou to take her around town? Whatever. He realizes he is being tailed by several parties. They are the fairies, Chibi Moth and an idiotic agent from Guardian. Kotarou takes Kagari and run into the alley but stumbles into Yoshino and his gang. They let him pass to buy him time. However the agent gets owned by the non-human side and then gets beaten up by Yoshino’s gang. Just not his day. Kotarou is forced to go get coffee for Kagari since she has already become an addict and she is acting ambiguously like a deprived ‘love slave’ in public. He meets Lucia at the vending machine. She assures him that although Guardian and treating him and Kotori as subjects with special care, if nothing happens, surveillance on them will be dropped. Kotarou and Kagari are being confronted by that psychopath who is pissed he might have done something to his demon dog. He is obviously from Gaia and sets his dogs to attack them but Kagari’s ribbons easily destroy them. Before the guys can fight, Chibi Moth distracts him to let Kotarou and Kagari escape. Back home, they find the place ransacked. No, it’s not from that psychopath. It’s Gil and Pani. How the heck did they get trapped in the fridge and roach motel? As Kotarou tries to interrogate them, he gets a call from Kotori to come to the forest with Chibi Moth. She knows all about Guardian and Gaia and that Kotarou has been marked by them. She pulls them into her portal that leads to her fantasy world-cum-secret base. Kagari thinks Kotori knows a lot about her and instantly becomes her pal and dumps Kotarou. Thanks a lot.

Kotori begins her explanation that she creates all the demons here including Chibi Moth. Although her goal is to safeguard the Key, she is neither with Guardian nor Gaia. Long ago, a summoner sealed his knowledge into a mistletoe to leave it for future generations. 10 years ago Kotori had an accident and fell off a cliff. She wandered into this forest and plucked this mistletoe. She became a druid inheriting this knowledge. In exchange for a few of her wishes, she shoulders the responsibility of this duty to protect the Key. Kotarou doesn’t recall any of this. At this point, you might have guessed that Kagari is the Key. Sort of. She brings him to some energy spot which gave birth to Key and Kagari in human form. That rainbow swamp is actually caused by this energy spot. With this, Kotori can control demons without sacrificing her life. Although she doesn’t know why Kagari was born, it is believed that salvation will come. But nobody has witnessed it and they will only know until it happens. Kotarou isn’t fazed by all this. Because this is his proof and ticket to grope Akane’s boobs! Esaka briefs his Guardians and warn them about Gaia bringing in a large number of summoners here. They are to focus in getting the Key. Gil and Pani report to Sakuya of Kotori’s hideout. Akane witnesses mages after mages trying to revive some T-rex. She believes Sakura really wants to end the world.

Episode 10
Kotarou is shocked that Sakuya is here. When stupid Gil comes out and blows his cover to get his revenge, more shockingly Sakuya reverts to butler mode. So he isn’t going to kill them? He was sent by Akane and Chihaya to look after them as precautionary measures. Sakuya trains Kotarou how to fight. The butler might be skilled in fighting but he makes the worst coffee. Fail! Since nothing much is happening these few days, Kagari is bored. It is suggested they take her to town but it would be dangerous if she is seen by relevant parties. Don’t worry. That’s why Sakuya will tag along. After doing their shopping, Sakuya brings them to see Akane. Kotarou learns about this saint and Martel thingy. Akane asks Kagari a few questions but she doesn’t know. I mean, she’s still searching for herself. Not sure if that expression means Akane is disappointed or relief. But she is surprised to learn that the reason Kagari is sticking with Kotarou was because he offered the best gift: Coffee. Ah, coffee… Akane remembers Kotarou wrote “I don’t know” in the survey. She will do what she can in the place she belongs and cherishes the time she spent in the clubroom. In that case, does this mean she has lost her bet with Kotarou? Boobs time! How can he think of something so perverted at this moment? Because boobs transcends everything! So stop whining and let me have those jugs! However Kotarou was just trolling her. He just wanted to see her squirming face and will do it later back in the clubroom. She is a saint now and not the club’s president, right?

Esaka shows footage to his team of a girl in a forest. Shizuru recognizes her and once everyone knows they know each other, she is transferred to other duties. Sometimes honesty doesn’t pay. At first Shizuru thought of doing this alone to save Kotori but Lucia stops her and will do it on her behalf since she isn’t thinking rationally. Kotarou continues to train under Sakuya. The latter advises him to stop using his Rewrite so often because there is a price to pay as he will stop to be human after overusing it. Kagari asks Kotarou why he is trying so hard. To protect her. He doesn’t know why but he is truly doing it for her. It is also he has found a place where he fits in. She takes it as because she loves him. Then she bites his right arm. Love bite? Kotarou notices she is a bit odd when she says something about homo sapiens. Akane wants Chihaya to leave Gaia to where Sakuya is as she believes she was always sceptical of Gaia’s policies. After this war, she hopes everyone can reunite again. Lucia is in the forest and sees several hooded Gaia people entering. She thought of letting them lead the way to Key’s location but after remembering Kotarou, she decides nothing else takes priority over protecting her friends. She attacks them and after knocking out a couple of them, she faces off with the lava summoning Midou. Because her sword is no match for the intense heat, she uses her poison to kill everything around. Midou is also poisoned but in his desperation to kill her, uses all his power to summon a huge lava blast. She is blown away, impaled by his spear and falls down the abyss.

Episode 11
Flashback of humankind throughout the ages killing each other. The watchers grow in despair seeing this that their modest desire turned into disgust at mankind’s nature. They question if mankind truly deserves to be a part of the future. Chihaya is lost in the forest when she stumbles upon Lucia who is barely alive. Luckily Kotarou and Kotori are passing by. Kotori uses her healing powers to heal the wounds but it is ultimately Kagari’s ribbons that saved her live. Kotarou is so happy and grateful, he hugs her only to be unappreciated as she gives him whiplashing slaps. So you don’t want him to love you back? Akane is starting to inherit memories of Sakura. This means grandma is going to kick the bucket as she has just collapsed. Akane then sees Midou coming back and heavily damaged. Midou warns not to stop him because her friends are his prey otherwise he will kill her even if she is from Gaia. Akane says she can give him a new power but on one condition. She shows to him the Earth Dragon (that T-rex) which is Gaia’s ultimate weapon. He can have this as long as he protects the Key and keep her alive. As for her friends, he can do whatever he wants with them. Midou likes this and agrees. We see the girls in the forest bonding, even a little hotspring fanservice and the unfortunate Kotarou having to stumble into them bathing naked. I suppose to change the topic, he asks why are Gaia and Guardian fighting if they have the same goal to fight humanity. Obviously it their different methods. Gaia believes in eradicating humanity and then restarting the world anew whereas Guardian believes in preserving mankind as it is now. Their intention with the Key also differs. Although they do not know what kind of salvation it will bring, Gaia intends to shelter and protect her while Guardian wants to dispose of her, believing it will maintain status quo. Lucia assures she will not harm Kagari as she saved her life. This has Kagari in her rare moment coming up with some thoughtful wisdom. Why do humans continue to fight each other and slowly destroy the planet when they could have used their energy better and resolve differences with conversation. Despite the negative aspects of mankind, there are still some good aspects so Kagari will continue to watch a little longer. Midou and his subordinates make their move. Esaka and Guardian realize that a couple of their scouting parties have gone missing. They are assuming a powerful demon has appeared most likely because of the appearance of the Key. They will be sending combat troops to an area where they went missing: The forest.

Episode 12
Kotori senses someone has breached the barrier. That moment Kagari goes crazy and becomes broken. Midou is here to cause chaos and he has brought his T-rex to play (Sakuya is kept occupied by his subordinates). While Chibi Moth and the forest familiars stall the beast, the rest make a run for it. Kotarou is shocked to see Kotori’s parents fighting Midou to buy them time to escape. Eventually they lose. Kotori explains they are just demons created by her magic. When she first became a druid, she used that power to recreate them. That’s why they’re so lifeless. Midou’s lava wall separates Kotarou from the girls. Their fight is interrupted when Guardian’s troops intervene. It is that oden stall guy and his regulars. But upon seeing Kagari, they turn their attention to kill her. Shockingly, Midou fights off the Guardians to let Kotarou escape with her. Before Midou could finish them off, he has past his limits. Flashback of his tragic childhood whereby his friends were executed by soldiers. Midou then disintegrates. Kotarou is still in shock because Midou’s last words to him were Kagari will destroy the world if kept alive. In a dilemma as he tries to ask Kagari for the meaning of salvation, he collapses from exhaustion. Luckily Shizuru who has defected found him and takes him to reunite with the other girls. They are now in some secret stone city base of Gaia. So when Kagari decides to stop being a doll, she starts crying because she couldn’t find a good memory involving mankind. Was that why she was spacing out so long? Well, that says a lot about us. Sakura is starting to make her move. A member isn’t pleased she is trying to start a war and really end the world because the Key is just a tool to monitor destruction. Eh? What? He is devoured by a demon. I guess Sakura must really hate the world so much to see it end this way. When she activates the Key, Kagari goes berserk. The tree in the secret city grows. Kotarou and co find themselves back in town. Demons are everywhere killing the people! The end is near! This is salvation?

Episode 13
In addition to monsters killing everybody, natural disasters are occurring everywhere. There is also a giant monster rampaging and I am guessing it is Sakuya who turned into one after surpassing his Rewrite limits. But when Kagari wakes up, the destruction stops. Esaka arrives and knowing about Kotarou’s stand, there is nothing more than to fight each other. Obviously Kotarou lacks experience and would have been defeated had not Shizuku come into the scene in this epic but ridiculous way. She rides her bike up to bump Esaka off and then they square off with each other. Kotarou realizes his body is slowly turning into wood. Kotori admits this is her fault. It is because Kagari is inside him. Eh? What? After Kotori’s accident, Kotarou was also involved and was dying. Kotori didn’t want him to disappear like her parents so she made a wish to Kagari to save his life. Therefore it is Kagari’s power that is plugging up the wound and keeping him alive. But it’s not possible at this rate. That is when those fairies decide to do some good by using their lives to patch him up. Bye. Kotarou feels better but the song of destruction continues. Akane has now become the new saint as she orders the Key to end the world. Kagari screams as she slowly turns into a tree. Kotarou also continues to turn into one as he tries to reach for her. His struggle seems futile until he accidentally grabs her boobs. She snaps out and ribbon smacks him. Do we have time for this kind of joke?! And she can think this is a sign he really loves her? The world is ending, can we be serious here? Kagari says the end of the world is her will. Of course she also mentions the positive things this world has offered her. Coffee and internet. Jokes aside please… She thanks Kotarou and the girls for giving her precious memories and worth her time. She hints she would let him save the world by killing her. She doesn’t mind dying by his hands. Of course he can’t do that. He can only cry and hug her. Lucia joins Shizuru. They disappear. Akane laughs like a maniac with the world’s end only to come to her senses when loli Shimako holds her hand. They disappear. Chihaya carries Sakuya away. They disappear. Kotori is holding injured Chibi Moth in her arms. They disappear. Defeated Yoshino. Disappear. Defeated Esaka. Disappear. Kagari and Kotarou… They turn into trees. The entire world turns into one big ball of light souls. End of the world. Goodbye. Yeah Kotarou, it’s your fault for not having enough time to come up with something better.

Re: Zero – Restarting Life For A New World
Wait a minute! This is how it ends?! How long has it been since I have watched an anime that ends with a bad ending. No, I do not mean an ending that is unsatisfying or sucked. A bad ending as in a bad route. Since School Days? But don’t fear. Because there is another season as announced at the end of the final episode to redo the whole thing again! Basically, rewriting the entire story for a better ending, right? Yeah well, I can see why this series is named so and for more than a dozen episodes they trolled us with it. And as to why this isn’t necessarily a bad end is because in the final scenes it shows Kagari on some sort of monolith that resembles like the lines of a big motherboard. I’m thinking those are different routes and possible futures. Ah, see where this is going? And as we see the route of this anime vanished, I guess it tells us a lot that this bad end isn’t meant to be. Sort of. Can’t end a series having chosen the destruction of the world, can we? And with me feeling confused and disappointed it ended like this, at least I am glad they killed off everybody and save the trouble of tying up whatever loopholes. Woot! I supported the end of the world!

At first the story might be a little hard to follow. Just like when you start off watching a new series, everything is brand new from the plot to the characters thus it is a crucial time for viewers to learn about the setting and the likes. Because the first half deals with introducing the characters and then spamming a few unexplained supernatural events (especially the first episode which was already twice as long so you can bet it is a little ‘heavy’ for me to digest) so it doesn’t make sense at least to me. It was going in all directions as I was trying to figure out what was happening. Kotarou’s Rewrite seemed to very vague and lacked any sort of explanation of what it really was and its origins. What was the deal with those pair of fairy idiots who appeared in the first episode and then disappeared a long time before suddenly appearing back later? They were also seemingly rushing things when we have an episode focused on Shizuru and Lucia in succession and perhaps the other girls will follow suite as well. Not until the second half till the revelation something about world destruction thingy and some of the pieces of the puzzle put together did it make a little sense. But then, it was already more about the opposing sides trying to up each other to get the Key for their own organizational goals. Which was pretty obvious who the Key really was from my perspective. So this is the plot of the series? Why do I have this feeling of doing puns of the series’ name to rewrite the story?

Yeah, speaking of Key themselves, probably I have noticed in their adapted works that they love promoting themselves and advertising their brand a lot. So you might have observed that their name is placed in product placements in the series especially from can drinks from the vending machine. I guess it is better than making up hilarious parody names of popular brands to avoid getting sued. So much so it was pretty obvious that they love themselves when they decide to call the key revelation after themselves (pun intended too). Despite Kagari could mean bonfire (or something sexual…), I suspect they named Kagari from the word ‘kagi’ (key) so as to not make it obvious and to avoid people getting confused or playing wicked puns had she been obviously named Kagi.

In short, I have found many comments and reviewers saying how this series is a piece of garbage especially the story and the characters. Not sure if they are Key fans or just casual viewers who just started watching anime or this is their first time watching a Key adapted visual novel. I didn’t read much in detail so as not to be ‘corrupted’ by the hatred and all. I just wanted to find out how this series stand as compared to other Key productions. I guess one even joked how the anime was aptly named and that the producers should just, wait for it, rewrite the script. Get it? I know I didn’t enjoy this anime because of the confusing things at first but I won’t go so far to pan it that bad. In today’s age of the internet, expectations are so high and attention spans are so short. After all, maybe I’m just simple and dumb.

The characters are nothing much to shout about and as cliché as you can get so as to help drive the storyline. That’s why when you have Kotarou as your main protagonist, he doesn’t seem that all special because for those who have been watching practically the same thing every year, we could guess he looks like a normal high school student but isn’t because he has some sort of hidden power. And because he is the main character, he has to show how much he cares about his friends as he goes around helping this and that. Oh, so as not to make him seem so perfect, they give him this ‘flaw’ of being a pervert. I mean, no man is truly perfect when you’re thinking of groping your buchou’s boobs as a reward, right? Yeah. Great motivation (for us viewers to continue watching). Great fanservice comedy (because boobs). And then they decide to put in some twist of how Kagari and Kotarou are ‘related’ in the end but I’m so confused at that point that I don’t know anymore.

Main characters are nothing without their harem. At least for this genre. And so this series has a list of yet cliché female protagonists. You have the (easy going) childhood friend, the (super) tsundere, the (eye-patch) loli, the (idiotic) airhead and the (moody) cold introvert. Guess what they all have in common? Heck, they all have a tragic past to tell! Am I seeing a pattern here? Because girls like Inoue whom we know nothing much is ‘exempted’ from part of Kotarou’s harem and look how she turned out? She literally lost her mind. So yeah. Tragic pasts for female characters give our main lead guy the motivation to help them and in turn they emotionally break down and rely on him and hang out with him for the rest of it. It’s an unofficial way to say that they are officially part of his harem. Though, we can see this coming from a mile anyway. I want to note something about Akane. She might look serious each time she is facing her computer monitor. But she is actually playing a first person shooter game! Yeah, this is the most important and busy thing to her.

Then you have Kagari who starts off as a mysterious character initially. At first she is intriguing because as I have said how the first half of the series doesn’t reveal much and the plot is just about everywhere. Therefore there is this mysterious and curious feeling of who this ghost girl is as she constantly stalks Kotarou in his bedroom. Even if it looks funny, it’s just creepy to think some mysterious girl is giving him love bites. But the moment she starts to talk, that is when she turns from a beauty mystery to just an idiotic amnesiac tool. You might have noticed she then gets hooked on the internet, gets her knowledge from there and gets addicted to coffee (for some reason she calls it fee-cof in reverse). But I can connect with her that after clicking a few sites on the internet, she thinks she knows everything! I know. I have that feeling all the time… So with her like this, it’s like saying she has to be the funny girl before sh*t starts to hit the fan. Because once her true purpose is revealed, she has to play her role and can’t go back to that idiotic ways again. So if you dislike her in this role she is created for, we can always think back at all the good funny times we had with her.

Other supporting characters also feel forced in. Like how Chibi Moth is supposedly the cute animal mascot of the series. You can’t do without one these days if you want people to at least think of one kawaii aspect of your anime. What about Pani and Gil then? Are they supposed to be mascots too? Yeah, sure. If Chibi Moth is more on the cute furry side, then the fairies are more of the idiotic side especially Gil’s role seems to be the idiotic comic relief (aside Kagari being in retard mode) and gets whatever his payback plans backfired. They try to justify their existence by sacrificing them to do something good. Like it all mattered anyway. Sakuya is like the sarcastic guy to rival Kotarou despite his skills that could rival Shizuru and Lucia. Of course he too needs his own running joke by being a bad coffee maker. Esaka and Touka play supporting roles and don’t appear much so we don’t really give a damn. Even Esaka’s final fight with Kotarou feels forced because Kotarou has to at least face off with one of the members of Guardian he knows who isn’t part of his harem, right? Most disappointing is Yoshino whom I thought would play a prominent role but is relegated to just a minor character. I believe he has an important role thereafter but for this season he is reduced to just somebody who is full of angst and the leader of a street delinquent group that we don’t really care. Aside that, he is slowly becoming a joker character. When Kagari becomes a joker, he too becomes more joker material because he can never beat this ribbon girl. Still remember that Tsukuno lady chasing after the tsuchinoko? No? Doesn’t matter. Nobody remembers her because it’s like she’s forgotten anyway.

The artwork and animation is pretty standard and expected from a Key production. Thus you have some character designs looking pretty familiar with past Key works like Air, Clannad and Kanon. Is it me or does Midou somehow reminds me of a grownup and taller Edward from Fullmetal Alchemist. That red cape and blonde spikey hair… The backgrounds are also okay and I won’t go so far to say that they are a masterpiece but it’s nothing to shout about it. CG is also used although it is mainly reserved for the demons and monsters. I am not sure if I want to call their designs poor or horrible because you know, there are monsters so they should look this scary. Oh, sorry. They look crappy is the right word. I mean, that T-rex creature is supposedly and Earth Dragon but it has no arms! Not even tiny arms to make it an outright copy of a T-rex! And this is supposed to be Gaia’s ultimate world destruction weapon… I’ve seen scarier stuffs that will end humanity. Although the series is from Key, the anime studio producing this is 8bit who did the Grisaia trilogy, Infinite Stratos, Tokyo Ravens and Absolute Duo. There might be some artwork differences in the anime adaptation but at least it is still close to the original and key aspects (pun intended) retained.

Voice acting is pretty okay with me only recognizing Kana Hanazawa as Kagari and Eri Kitamura as Akane. I haven’t heard Chiwa Saito in a long time so I couldn’t recognize her as Kotori. It was also surprising to hear Masakazu Morita as Kotarou. Not that I recognized him at the start or ever but if you remember the guy who voiced Bleach’s Ichigo, yeah, this is him. He sounds so different. This is what happen when your character is always in angst mode for an entire series. It gets imprinted in your head forever. Other casts include Risa Asaki as Lucia, (Tae Sugimura in Hanayaka Nari Waga Ichizoku), Keiko Suzuki as Shizuru (Haruka in Little Busters), Saya Shinomiya as Chihaya (Mahoko Imai in Brothers Conflict), Katsuya Konishi as Sakuya (Oga in Beelzebub), Souichiro Hoshi as Midou (Son Goku in Saiyuki series), Ryouko Tanaka as Touka (Kurugaya in Little Busters), Junichi Yanagita as Yoshino (Ranbanein in World Trigger), Hiroki Touchi as Esaka (Lily in Fairy Tail), Naomi Wakabayashi doubling as Gil and Sakura (Kud in Little Busters), Noriko Ueda as Pani (Ayaka in Softenni) and Yoshimi Watanabe as Inoue. Heck, even Chibi Moth has his own seiyuu, Asuka Nishi (Shinobu in Kiniro Mosaic). Must be the easiest voice acting role in the series, huh?

Key is also renowned for their great music and soundtrack but somehow those in this anime didn’t really resonate with me even though there are a handful of them here. The first opening theme, Philosophyz by Runa Mizutani has this lively rock beat that reminds me of other Key anime openings. The second one is End Of The World by Anri Kumaki which sounds more or less the same. The first ending theme is Sasayaka Na Hajimari by Runa Mizutani while the second ending theme is Word Of Dawn by Aoi Tada. If I had to really pick one favourite song from this series, it would be the latter because of its dramatic feel. Other ending themes that only last an episode (some are more like insert songs if you ask me) include Koibumi by Nagi Yanagi, Sunbright by Ayaka Kitazawa, Itsuwari Kimi E by Nagi Yanagi and Yami No Kanata E by Runa Mizutani.

Overall, not really appealing and impressive to me although some parts do make me chuckle (Kagari’s retard and small naughty fanservice jokes…), but to be fair all I can say that this is just half of it. Because till I watch the second season, perhaps I could formulate a better conclusion and understand about everything. You need to be a super devoted blind Key fan and lover to enjoy this and say 100% positive stuffs about everything. But for everyone else, it’s just another popcorn entertainment that you shouldn’t put too high an expectation. At least for this season. Let’s hope the next season’s story and big twist won’t be about groping boobs that leads to saving or destroying the world. Oh yeah. I’d pay good money to watch that anyway.

Okay. It’s that time again where we take a look at a list of sports that has yet to be turned into an all-male or in this case all-female underdog team. We have a bunch of girls taking on kendo and then in mahjong. What other sports do you think should get this treatment? Oh yes. Ping pong! And hence, that is how Shakunetsu No Takkyuu Musume was born and conceived. I think. But wait. Wasn’t there a ping pong themed anime a very long time ago? You know, a series about a male’s ping pong club filled with weirdo and wacky losers? The club that did anything and everything except play ping pong except for a couple of occasions? No? Didn’t see that? Didn’t even know it existed? Yeah, screw all that. We’re going to make an all-female ping pong club anyway. What else could go wrong if you have an entire team of females, right?

Episode 1
Everyone is in utter shock and disbelief that the girls’ ping pong powerhouse, Oudou Academy lost. Because they are the champions for 9 consecutive years and this is just the first round of the group stage that their captain lost in straight sets without getting a single point! OMG! They can’t believe it! They even cannot accept their loss to an unknown debutant. Guess what? The opponent just went down on her knees and give thanks for a good match. But with a devilish smile. It leaves the captain crying. Oh… Why does this remind me of Donald Trump winning the US presidency? Of course this gives hope to other teams that it is their turn to claim the crown. At Suzumegahara Junior High, Agari Kamiya is the school’s top ping pong player as she beats next best player Hanabi Tenka. Completing the top 4 are Hokuto Itsumo and Munemune. With other girls as avid admirers of Agari, it is no wonder why she would want to safeguard her top spot. Dreaming of a legion of fans? Like an idol? They hear news that Hayabusa Academy rode the wave of their luck by dethroning Oudou but Agari has no interest since their school didn’t participate (they were ruled out during the qualifiers) but will make it to the next stage next time. Next day as Agari head to school early, she sees this very shy girl, Koyori Tsumujikaze stuck on a gate. She is a new transfer student. Because she ‘saved’ her, Koyori becomes close to her. More like sticking like a leech. Upon learning Agari is part of the ping pong club, Koyori becomes excited as she loves ping pong. Agari agrees to play a demo match with her. She notices Koyori is able to return shots that are almost impossible to take. Agari could have lost if not for the other club members streaming in. Koyori cowers behind Agari as she is just intimidated by everyone and everything. Including Munemune’s giant racks. Koyori ends up in the same class with Agari. It’s a good thing because Hanabi keeps bugging her to be friends.

The newspaper club interviews Agari. She tells them they have never made it to the Nationals and at best are only local champions. She is confident she will lead the team there this year. They hear a commotion from the clubroom. Koyori easily defeated a tenth ranked player and as per club rules, she now officially occupies this spot. When other girls start admiring Koyori, this makes Agari jealous. Somebody is stealing her spotlight now. Munemune challenges her next. At first it looks like Munemune has no sweat getting points over Koyori. But the tables start to change when Koyori has figured out Munemune’s weakness and capitalizes on it. Because of her stocky build and huge boobs, she gets tired easily if made to run around. Because of this, Koyori wins 11-8. Munemune knows Koyori’s background. She is the prefectural semi-finalist in her previous school. This sends alarm bells ringing for Agari because her personal best is just the quarter-finals. When other girls start thinking she could be their new ace and now clamour around her like a new hot pop star, it’s time for Agari to hit the panic button. Her top spot is under threat!

Episode 2
Now that Koyori is in fourth place, Agari feels the threat closing in. Today Koyori challenges Hokuto. She learns about her strange ability that she can tell and ‘extract’ data by looking at their racquet rubbers. Including what panties you’re wearing today. I kid you not. As the match begins, it looks like Hokuto is easily trumping Koyori and making a big lead. This is because of her other ability in which she can see the angles and success percentage to return. Is she some sort of robot? Both sides are exhausted and during this long rally, Koyori gets her groove back by just enjoying the game. This means more smiles and happy faces. In turn, this throws Hokuto off. In the end, Koyori makes a great come back defeating her 11-9. Next day, Agari comes to the clubroom only to see Koyori there practising by herself. So now she is also losing her punctuality record? When Koyori suggests practising together, fear flashes across her mind as she gives excuses why she can’t. Agari continues to avoid her. Before you know it, Koyori is already playing Hanabi who is a master of returning shots at greater speeds. Like a smash? Like history repeating itself, Hanabi starts off well but Koyori makes a comeback and wins it. The girls hound around Koyori. Koyori still scared to bits. Agari continues to be deeply troubled. Oh no. Looks like there’s a new idol in town. Empty seats for our current top idol. And she’s crying about it. Hey, it’s only natural for the weak to flock to the strong. When Agari requests to practice with Munemune, Koyori thinks she hates her. Hanabi believes Agari is a nice girl deep down despite her thorny exterior and is sure preparing a special move to counter her. Munemune notices Agari is trying to focus on her backhand techniques. She believes this has higher winning chance but Munemune wonders if she is enjoying playing the game. She knows Agari always practised hard and thus effort will never betray her. So please don’t look so pained. With renewed confidence, Agari now challenges Koyori.

Episode 3
Flashback shows Agari’s mom always tell her to aim for the top and be number one. It’s more of a goofy encouragement rather than strict dictatorship. They like being at the top so much so it is reflected in Agari’s name. But reality is different as she is always mediocre till she found her calling in ping pong. The match for the top spot begins. Agari doesn’t waste time using her loop drive and ending it with a backhand smash. There’s an explanation what it is as well as some facts about Agari being 1 of the 4 elites specializing in this drive ability but I’m not really eager to know all that crap. Agari makes a great lead and with the girls coming back to cheer on her, Agari again starts to feel good. This is how it should be. But seeing her determined face, Koyori suddenly gets this excited feeling. She is able to return Agari’s smash. It is no big deal since Agari’s smash was never lethal in the first place. Agari is now sweating. Koyori is able to counter her smashes. That is when Koyori says she loves ping pong because she gets to see her opponents’ face up close and tell what kind of person they are. She can tell Agari is sharp and determined. When Koyori manages to climb her way back and tie the score, Agari too starts feeling that excitement in her heart. She realizes her love for ping pong and abandons her backhand smash to revert to her usual forehand smash. It feels good. In the end, Koyori wins 11-9 and becomes the new ace. Both congratulate and thank each other for a great game. Agari tried to put up a tough front but Koyori’s warmth breaks it down. While it is no surprise that the girls are all excited over their new champ, all isn’t loss for Agari because some girls also admire how amazing she is. See, you don’t have to be number 1 to get the cheers. Later when Munemune visits the club captain’s house and explains how amazing and valuable Koyori is, I guess it is time for Kiruka Ushirode to return to the team since her foot injury has been healed.

Episode 4
Koyori might be best in ping pong but just like Agari, she sucks in everything else. It seems Agari and Koyori have been playing each other ever since and the top spot has been trading hands like a volatile stock market. This time Agari wins. Their face off record stands at a tie, 7-7. But Munemune notices Koyori is on a losing streak. Like as though she is lacking some sort of special move. She then announces that Kiruka will return tomorrow. Koyori wonders how the captain is like so Hanabi explains she and Agari used to fiercely contest for the top spot before her injury side-lined her. When they head into the clubroom, they already see how amazing she is taking on 2 practice robots. And she even finds it boring! Koyori is introduced but as usual becomes super shy. This makes Kiruka want to tease her. A lot. For many of the other girls, this is also their first time seeing Kiruka. As the tournament is coming up, she wants to hold a match for the team roster and play every one of them. It is her way to gauge their skills. Whoever beats her gets an automatic spot. Of course knowing this isn’t just an ordinary battle, there is a catch. Those who lose to her must wear cat ears for the entire day as penalty. I guess this is better than putting on embarrassing cosplay outfits. But as she is the best player, surely nobody has any chance, right? That is why she will give them a handicap. As she has no stamina for a full match, if anyone can score a point before she scores 5, they win. And you guessed it, all the girls lost (because of her chop attack special) and the only ones left are Agari and Koyori. At this point Kiruka is feeling bored. I mean, nobody could even beat her. She even mentions about their bleak chances of reaching the Nationals at this rate. The truth, right? But this is where Agari stands up and tells her otherwise. They have been practising hard to do so and this time they will make it. You better mean what you say because you’re up next as this has stimulated Kiruka.

Episode 5
So the most anticipated match begins with Kiruka and Agari playing an intense rally. With the thought of aiming for the Nationals, this has Koyori thinking that all she wanted was to have fun playing ping pong and never thought of aiming for the Nationals. Because if she goes there, she’ll meet even more players and have more fun. Kiruka has also the tightest defence as she is able to counter whatever smash Agari throws at her. But it is finally Agari’s forehand smash that breaks it as she wins the game. Yay! Agari makes the team! It is all thanks to Koyori because she made her realize this is her better move as she got Munemune to help practice it after her first defeat. Kiruka finally takes on Koyori. She gets to see her play style and it seems she notices Koyori enjoying herself. This in turn makes Kiruka enjoy her game. In the end Koyori beats Kiruka. Kiruka lets out a maniacal laughter. Is she tired after double defeats? Maybe she’s glad that there are some worthy players. However Agari doesn’t feel the win was worth it because Koyori has been playing 18 players before them and scoring 5 points each straight. So by the time she reached time, it might have zapped some of her stamina. Of course this isn’t Koyori’s best as her serious skill comes when she is playing doubles. Guess who her partner is. If Kiruka says she might not be perfect but won’t lose if Munemune is with her… With everyone dreaming for the Nationals, this has Kiruka remember that when she first joined the club, she told everyone that she wanted to become number one and win the Nationals. Why is everybody looking so shocked? You mean they aren’t aiming or expecting this? Munemune likewise stated her goal same as Kiruka. Kiruka has scheduled a practice match with Mozuyama Junior High. They are a local powerhouse that reached the Nationals last year.

Episode 6
Agari is mad at Koyori because her smashes are no more lethal than before. Is she losing her form? Hokuto takes a look at her paddle and realizes the rubber is worn out. Well, I’m not sure if this gives her the ability to tell a player’s skills but apparently rubber can have her tell what panties you’re wearing too. I’m not kidding. Because Hokuto’s family runs a ping pong shop, she is very eager to sell some goods. However Koyori has no money and Hokuto shies away. Money face? Hanabi suggests helping her out at the store as she always complains about being understaffed. Of course with Koyori being a super shy girl, you wonder if she can pull through this as she mans the register. Remember the breathing exercise Hokuto told you. Though, it is mostly for pregnant women. Don’t ask. Then this gothic zombie weirdo comes in to buy stuffs. She has also earned enough card points to exchange a bunny t-shirt. The way she loves it is so creepy… I’m surprised Koyori isn’t scared out of her daylights. Later Koyori sees how Hokuto is an expert in analysing rubber and suggesting what goods her customers should get. Seeing that Hanabi is an expert in gluing and replacing rubber, Koyori gets motivated to work harder. Later their club members drop by to hang out although Kiruka claims Agari wanted to see Koyori and is worried about her. Like that ace would ever admit it. With the friends being rowdy, this reminds Hokuto of her past where she will always refuse her friends’ offer to hang out as she has to go home to help out with her store. Only Hanabi was interested in what she is doing and became impressed. It was then they became best friends and Hanabi offered to help out so she could finish her work faster and have more time to have fun together. When somebody accidentally knocks the goods off the shelves, everyone else comes to help out. Why? Because they’re friends.

Episode 7
As Koyori has worked her part, why is Hokuto seems forceful to give her deserved rubber? As she doesn’t know which to pick, Hokuto chooses for her. A springy rubber that makes her smashes feel pleasant and more lethal. That way, she can enjoy the game more. The girls head to Mozuyama and meet the ping pong’s captain, Zakuro Zashikiwarashi who is quite nervous and tongue tied. Remember that gothic zombie girl? Yup. She’s in this club. As weird as she can get, Kururi Futamaru likes to insert death into her sentences. A pun of desu? Plus, you can tell she has hots for Zakuro as the way she melts when Zakuro is being nice to her. Koyori is stuck on the toilet door (trying to get out since her lock was spoiled) and Kururi sees this thinks she is a pervert. Koyori tries to have a good sportsmanship so Kururi questions her why does she play ping pong for. For Kururi, she plays for Zakuro and is willing to die for it! Woah. Calm down. It’s only ping pong, right? The first practice match pits Hanabi against Sachiko Sasorida (the scorpion girl?). It seems Sasorida’s teammates don’t give a f*cks about cheering for her. Hanabi strikes fast and wins the first 2 sets. But then it is Sasorida’s turn to fight back by the third set. By nullifying Hanabi’s speed drive, Sasorida is forcing her to make errors and thus makes a comeback to win the remaining sets for her team. Not that her teammates care anyway. The next match has Hokuto versus Yura Yuragi (the swaying girl?). Hokuto’s quest to avenge Hanabi’s lost takes a backseat when Yuragi takes the first set.

Episode 8
Hokuto may have clawed her way back to force a rubber set. However it is clear that she is tired. Yuragi having more stamina and even having that similar vision ability like Hokuto clearly has the advantage. As predicted, Hokuto lost. Of course she feels guilty for losing but Hanabi commends her for a great game. Time for the only doubles match. It is Kiruka-Munemune against the chuunibyou Myuu Kanenashi and the nibbling Kimiko Hamu. At first the Suzumegahara pair takes the first set. However the Mozuyama counterpart easily takes the second. So while this gives them confidence that their wall is unbreakable, Kiruka notices Munemune not playing her true style because she is worried about Kiruka’s ankle injury. She reminds her that she is undefeatable with her. Also about their dream to become number one and win the Nationals. Because they couldn’t achieve their dreams as a single player, they realize they are unbeatable as a pair because they cover each other’s weaknesses. With this, they get their groove back and blow away their opponents! Hamu is literally scared of Munemune’s tiger aura! Suzumegahara wins the remaining sets and the game. With Mozuyama’s first defeat, this signals Kururi to have more practice to death training! Oh dear. That’s why winning is everything. Kiruka and Munemune’s win allows Agari a chance to face Zakuro.

Episode 9
It seems Zakuro is able to keep pace with Agari and nullify her forehand smashes. Zakuro is able to catch up and tie with Agari’s score till a point where she can overtake her. Time for a flashback 2 years ago. When Kururi joined the ping pong club 2 years ago, all members were thrilled she came from the famed ping pong school of Karasuma. Of course the seniors looked down on her and decided to show who’s boss by playing her. Kururi destroyed them and made them resigned from the club. The rest draw inspiration from it and hope Kururi could help train them to achieve their dream of becoming overnight stars by going to the Nationals. Well, nobody warned them they asked for it. Because unfortunately Kururi started to devise a very strict Spartan training and they got more than they bargained for. They became afraid of her and also resigned. This left Kururi sad and confused. Wasn’t this what they asked for? Why do they have to leave? Alone again. Naturally. Even zombies can cry. But hope returns when Zakuro continued to remain because despite her hard training, she wants to play awesome ping pong like her. This made Kururi ‘drool from her eyes’. Geddit? At this point Zakuro now leads the sets 2-1. With things getting desperate in the fourth set, Agari decides to make a drastic change and use her backhand smash. It succeeds and shocks Zakuro. She wins the set and now the final decisive set is at hand. This time Agari switched and mixed up her forehands and backhands to pull ahead and win the final set. Despite the loss, Zakuro felt she played a great match. Before Koyori and Kururi’s match begins, Koyori answers her question of why she plays ping pong. She wants to feel and share the excitement of the game with everybody. Well, not the best of answers. Anyhow, Kururi will beat anybody who challenges her to death! Cue for mad zombie mode on! It’s like Kururi has this super power skill because when Koyori returns her screw ball, Kururi doesn’t even have to touch it. She turns her back and some tornado aura blows it away! WTF???!!!

Episode 10
Each time Koyori hits back, her ball swiftly changes trajectory. Yeah, there’s some explanation about her curve drive but I’ll take it as some exaggerated flashy move. With this technique, Kururi is quickly leaving Koyori in the dust and easily takes the first 2 sets. However before the third set begins, suddenly Kururi has this dreaded feeling. Something bad is about to happen. Yeah. Because this is when the main heroine makes a comeback. Apparently Koyori might have look like she is randomly smashing back but this was actually to find her sweet spot. As per her training with Agari who taught her to find the best place to return a shot, that is what a sweet spot is. And it is in this third set that Koyori finally finds her sweet spot and counters Kururi’s curve drive. Once that is defeated, Kururi starts to panic. Uh huh. A short flashback from her side how Zakuro advised her to develop this habit into her asset. Unfortunately Kururi continues to worry like hell. She fears she will lose Zakuro’s smile and the right to be with her if she loses. This allows Koyori to claw her way back up and tie the sets. And as expected, the final set that will decide it all. Because Kururi is still worried, Zakuro had to go calm her and tell her to play her own brand of ping pong. That is the brand she loves. This gives her motivation to fight back and while she looked desperate in doing random smashes, she is actually trying to do what Koyori earlier did. But she’s not finding her sweet spot but rather trying to evolve her curve drive. The mistakes she makes gives Koyori free points. By the time Kururi manages to pull off her ultimate curve driver, surprisingly Koyori is able to counter that. Match is set and the game goes to Koyori and Suzumegahara wins it! Hmm… Don’t you see a pattern here? The entire game and even the individual matches are won by the margin of 3-2. Only the doubles match was won by 3-1. Kururi wallows in despair but Zakuro hugs her. Despite she lost, it was a great game and everyone was motivated seeing her play. Even zombie girls can cry. Suzumegahara leaves as both sides thank each other for a great game. Kururi now feels playing with Koyori makes her excited and she vows to become stronger the next time and everything will be more exciting. First time seeing her smile. Even zombie girls can smile too.

Episode 11
What’s next after a practice match? Training camp! But before they leave, they are shocked with the appearance of Kumami Tsukinowa. Who is she? An ex-ping pong club member who transferred out shortly before Koyori transferred in. Let’s say she left to another school for greener pastures. It might seem she is here to show off her ventriloquism but perhaps she is jealous Agari has somebody new close to her? Because she gives her a big hug but Agari not into such lesbian practice, pushes her away. Agari thought she is here to settle the score but Kumami apologizes she can’t play with her anymore. So with the training camp on the way, Kiruka plays with Agari and because the latter is still being bothered by Kumami, she can’t focus and her smashes are now easily countered and ineffective. As they soak in the hotspring, they note about Kumami in a powerhouse ping pong school, Tsubame Girls’ Academy who is way better than Mozuyama. That night Agari can’t sleep and it is obvious that Kumami is still occupying her mind. Time to let the cat out of the bag. At least for Koyori to know. Tsubame is a school not just for rich girls but as said a powerhouse in ping pong. The club’s captain lured Kumami there. She is the only daughter of the school’s board director and her family runs loads of ping pong halls. This means she can get whatever she wants. On the day Kumami left Suzumegahara, she is supposed to play a farewell match with Agari but declined. But even a month before that, Kumami stopped playing with her. So Agari thought she showed up for that but it wasn’t the case. It frustrates Agari because she wanted to play her. Of course they will still bump into Tsubame in the district qualifiers if they want to make it to the Nationals. As for what Agari can do to improve herself, Koyori suggests making her smashes more lethal. They get their well-deserved sleep and the next morning they are pumped up for practice.

Episode 12
The training camp continues. Hokuto and Hanabi play with each other to improve since they are the only ones who lost. Agari and Koyori also play each other. In Koyori’s desperate bid to help Agari improve her lethal smash, she sits on her shoulder. WTF?! Somehow all the silliness has the juniors motivated to practice harder. Train hard, train hard, train hard, not forgetting Munemune boobs time, more training, more training, soak in hotspring, more training so much so they’re practising their swings while sleeping! On the last day of the camp, it is a free schedule and everyone can do whatever they want. Of course this means everyone is up to practice more ping pong. Agari and Koyori train a couple of juniors as they are ecstatic to be taught by them. With more people coming in to train, it soon turns into a mini competition. As expected, Agari and Koyori face off each other in the finals and Agari wins it with her super fast lethal smash. Everybody feels good about their improvement and chances. And so here we are at the start of the real tournament.

Balls Of Fury
Although it is only a dozen of episodes, unfortunately it wasn’t really interesting enough for me to really want to beg or even look forward to a sequel. To be honest, the story was pretty bland and unexciting and because this is only the first season, it focused more about the new kid in town and the practice with a local powerhouse. That is all. Forgive me if you are going to hear me compare this to Saki a few times because I think that is what I believe how a sports tournament is supposed to play out. I may still not like the mahjong game but I’ll be referring to mostly the story and the characters.

Let’s start off with the story. Like I have said that this season is nothing more than trying to build up the base of the underdog, namely Suzumegahara. Also like I have mentioned earlier on, this series only has one season for now. Unlike Saki who has a couple of seasons and another couple of seasons for its spin-offs. So you could see that the flow and pace of their story and plot have been gradually played out. Yes, Saki is still the typical cliché sports tournament story of the underdog surpassing the powerhouse. But for this series, nothing has really begun. That last scene doesn’t really count because it just feels like to fire us all up that the series has ended. And if you remember ex-Suzumegahara player, Kumami, that feels like just a setup for future plots. Nothing much for now.

Then you have the characters. I find them uninteresting despite some of the characters have really weird personalities to make them stick out. The thing is, Saki in addition to the main underdog school, has got a host of rival schools to play with. This means more characters and more weirdoes who will be appearing. But here, you have only got Suzumegahara and Mozuyama. That’s it. So far we only have a single screen glimpse of Kumami and her Tsubame comrades in the final scenes and this doesn’t really amount to anything.

So for the past dozen episodes, no doubt we have some background information on our Suzumegahara girls like Hokuto’s family running a ping pong store as well as Kiruka and Munemune’s promise and dream to become number one ping pong players. However all these are just scratching the surface and nothing really too deep. As for the characters themselves, you have mostly the cliché stereotypes like the prideful top player, the very shy newcomer genius, the tomboy, the socially awkward, the boobs monster and the club president. In light of this, Hokuto ‘stands out’ more than the rest because of her strange habit of calling others except Hanabi by what kind of panties they wear! You don’t hear her call their real names as she continues to address them in their underwear colour and type! It is already ridiculous she can tell what kind of panties you’re wearing from the paddle you’re holding. Therefore theoretically if she keeps calling a certain someone the same panties nickname all the while, does this mean she is always wearing that same type?! Wow. They don’t change patterns, do they? Oh, this is supposed to be a ping pong anime… With Kumami’s appearance as a teaser, it might curious you to know their relationship but it fizzles out once the training camp begins. This makes it feel that her character is redundant for this season although like I’ve said it is to setup future encounters. If that is ever going to happen. I hate to say this but I think Mozuyama has more interesting characters than Suzumegahara. From zombie girl to that hamster girl who can’t stop nibbling (she never stops!) to that girl who just can’t stop swaying (she’s always swaying!) to that chuunibyou girl to that scorpion girl, don’t they look more like an interesting bunch?

In the end, despite all the training camp and practice together, somehow I just feel the Suzumegahara aren’t that close enough. Even with Agari and Koyori practising more often lately, I just feel that their bond isn’t really there. This again compared to their Saki counterparts. I suppose because the characters feel lacking in this overall personality, their bond and friendship don’t really resonate throughout and reach us. Although it is good that Agari has overcome her complex of being at the best and focus her goals to become a better player instead of protecting her own top spot and limelight. Because if you’re already number one, you’ll definitely have all that. In short, the girls aren’t really memorable in the long run (except Munemune’s boobs) and even I questioned myself if I am able to support them if they get another season and advanced to deeper rounds of the tournament.

More importantly for a sports genre anime is to have the feature of the game itself. Now, if you have watched Saki, you would have been flabbergasted by the amount of sheer nonsense and exaggeration when those lolis play their hands. For a guy like me who didn’t understand a single thing about the game, those visual exaggerations are a source of entertainment delight. Each player too has their own signature moves. Now compare the mahjong girls to this ping pong girls, the matches aren’t as exciting because we mainly see them hit the balls back and forth. Sure, there are a few delusional exaggerations but this is far few in between. They play up the drama of hitting the balls back and forth like as though there is some sort of intensity but I don’t really feel all that.

The ping pong girls also have their signature moves but they are boring and not memorable to begin with. Like Agari’s smash. I don’t really see anything special about it. At least she didn’t display some flashy move. If you watched Prince Of Tennis, you can see how each player can perform physics defying moves. I know we can blame to small arena and table for them not being able to pull off such acrobatic feats but that’s beside the point. And many of the matches, because they have to play multiple sets to win, many of them are skipped. Imagine if you have to watch the same scene for every game. Watching every point scored by the player. That would be so boring. Given how the girls already lack many special moves and skills, doing so would only turn this series into a snooze fest. So yeah, the ping pong matches aren’t entertaining because no flashy exaggerated moves for me to b*tch about.

Animated by Kinema Citrus, this series has its characters look more like Yuyushiki, another series they animated. You know, those kawaii and cute kind. Though, the art style of the characters may closely resemble to those in Saki but with seemingly less quality. One thing that bugged me about their artwork is when they animate the sweat on the girls’ t-shirts. I have a feeling they’re trying to give a realism feeling instead of fanservice but each time I see the sweat marks on their t-shirt, they look like mud. Dirty. Uh huh. As though they’ve gone into some mild mud wrestling or something. It’s pretty obvious and I can’t take my focus away from it. Hypnotizing… Munemune’s boobs are more than enough fanservice, though…

I didn’t recognize a single seiyuu here. Well, the main casts are mostly newbies or unknowns with not a long list of anime roles to their names. So we have Yumiri Hanamori as Koyori (Hanako in Anne Happy), Minami Tanaka as Agari (Tsukishita in Keijo), Yuuki Kuwahara as Hokuto (Hakua in Shomin Sample), Marika Kouno as Hanai (Rin in Sore Ga Seiyuu), Ayaka Imamura as Munemune (Yuriko in Sakurako-san No Ashimoto Ni Wa Shitai Ga Umatteiru), Hisaka Toujou as Kiruka (Aiha in Noragami Aragoto), Shiori Izawa as Kururi (Saya in Gakusen Toshi Asterisk), Nozomi Furuki as Zakuro (Yukari in The Rolling Girls) and Reina Ueda as Kumami (Mira in Dimension W).

The opening theme sounds weird. Shakunetsu Switch by the main casts of Suzumegahara’s ping pong club girls feels like it is trying to appeal to sound cute. I’m not sure if this kind of song is fitting but given the genre and comedy aspects of the series, I guess in a way it fits. The ending theme, Bokura No Frontier is a mixed reception. At some parts it feels slow, some parts feel like they are sleepy while singing the song and others feel like a generic pop idol song. It is no surprise that the idol group, Wake Up Girls sang this song as you might noticed that some of them here have a voice acting role in this series.

Overall, perhaps if this series gets more sequels, I can draw better conclusions if it is a worthy sports genre to watch. However with the bland first season, things aren’t looking good. A lot of things feel plain and nothing that gives you that extra excitement to go watch or cheer on the girls. Oddly, I feel as though the girls put in so much practice in ping pong but yet they’ll lose out to those idiots in Teekyuu who hardly pick up their racquet. Yeah… It would be bad if they did any other random stuffs other than ping pong because it would further damage the series. At this rate even that old male counterpart ping pong series seem to fare better overall. I used to play ping pong in my younger days but only as recreation and not competitive. This series not only fail to ignite any sort of passion for me to take up the game (not that I was hoping it would anyway) but it also made me feel I don’t want to remember all those nostalgic ping pong days. Because I suck. If I take this up, I’m sure to embarrass myself even more. Instead of agari (rise), I go sagari (fall). I’m so unfit as an anime couch potato these days.

Wait. What?! You mean this managed to get a second season? I wouldn’t have expected it even if it is the end of the world that Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara would get a sequel because of how boring and lacking any direction the first season was. Maybe I never bothered in the first place. And because the second season came as a surprise, I guess I need to ride that surprise hype to check it out if it would be better or not. I mean, what else can a magical girl do when there are actually no monsters or other side missions to fulfil?

Episode 1
Right off from the start, a magical girl transformation scene from Yuzuka. Apparently she and Chiya are taking advantage of this transformation to have water sprinkle all over them. Miton watches them but since he is eating their ice cream, they punish him. So while they share what’s left of it, Chiya asks if there has been anything good for Yuzuka ever since she turned into a magical girl. Well, all perverted hijinks are what she can think of. Chiya turns her anger at Miton. Luckily he is able to come up with some lame excuse that lets him off the hook. They get an invitation from Mafuyu but on their way out they meet Daiya passing by who is going to the pool to swim. Oddly they notice she is wishing her grandma. But nobody’s there… This café belongs to Mafuyu’s grandpa. She is temporarily helping him out because he is currently trying to qualify for some online guild match to represent Japan! He can’t leave the computer! You go, grandpa! The reason Mafuyu invited them here is so they can show off their magic.

Episode 2
This time we start off with Mafuyu’s transformation followed by Yuzuka. This prompts Miton and Pochi to comment on Yuzuka’s swimsuit outfit that she might be an exhibitionist. Chiya doesn’t take that lightly and burns them with boiling water! Pochi’s misery continues because Mafuyu shows off her magic by throwing Pochi into a sack and then changing its size. So that’s her ability? Though Yuzuka is embarrassed to walk outside in this swimsuit, Mafuyu tries to stay positive that wearing it enough will have her get used to it. Maybe she’s missing the point. Grandpa takes a shot break from his game by wheeling into the shop, making weird comments and then going back in again. Yup, he’s crazy in the head. At least he is healthy. Mafuyu then says it is a shame she can’t transform together with Chiya but is looking forward to it. Once Mafuyu retires, Pochi will most likely choose Chiya to be the next magical girl.

Episode 3
Now it’s Chiya’s turn for her magical girl transformation although it is mostly a what-if scenario if she becomes one. Mmm… I think I’m going to love her magical maid outfit! They further fantasize how the trio will save the world! Sure, with Chiya’s blasters they will. However Pochi rubbishes that because Mafuyu’s retirement and his next assignment are 2 separate issues. Also, Mafuyu won’t be retiring soon. Thus Mafuyu is glad she gets to continue so she can have fun and mess around with Yuzuka and Chiya. Wait. What? Mafuyu adds that after she graduates from high school, she plans on taking over grandpa’s café. He couldn’t be happier because this means more time to play his games! On the way back, Yuzuka remembers and answers Chiya that there is one good thing since she became a magical girl. Because dad always comes home late, she has to eat dinner alone. It’s nice to have Miton accompany her and enjoy her food. But the good mood is ruined when Miton adds it’s because her food is better than the garbage he ate! She slaps him into the garbage truck. How fitting. She takes back what she said earlier.

Episode 4
Pochi suggests a study session under Mafuyu’s tutelage. However Chiya disagrees as they don’t have any study problems. I guess Pochi has seen too many cliché magical girl characters that he can’t accept there are no such perfect girls! Pochi is in a dilemma on how to report this to Mafuyu because she really wanted to help them out in some way. Miton then suggests to hold a tea party. He then talks to Chiya about it and when she agrees, he tries to hug her but her deadly swiftness reminds him that they’re not friends. Never. Friends. Remember. With Yuzuka agreeing, Chiya texts to Mafuyu if she would admire and appreciate Yuzuka with her. Wait. What? Excited Mafuyu thinks of replying in an adult manner and replies she would like to admire and appreciate Chiya too. A swift reply that says they’ll discuss this another time. I guess that escalated quickly, huh?

Episode 5
Mafuyu has a study session instead. However the duo understand their work perfectly and didn’t ask questions. Bored, Mafuyu tries to tell them a trivia but they can elaborate it with more facts! Didn’t know that, did you? Daiya is here to give them a big salmon present. Mafuyu gets this idea to tutor her. At first it seems great that Mafuyu is teaching her to write certain kanji characters while the mascots are contemplating how fitting Daiya is to be a magical girl. But then Daiya starts asking deeper analytical questions about the word. This is followed by Yuzuka and Chiya asking her questions. In English! Apparently Daiya is a genius who skipped 9 grade years in America! Oh, Mafuyu is only the dumb one around. It’s no surprise she is feeling a bit down as she thought being the one longer as a magical girl she might help them out. Pochi has a plan. Just leave it to him.

Episode 6
Mafuyu invites the duo over to her café. It is like a sauna since the air-cond is spoiled and the repairman can only fix it in 3 days. However Chiya suspects something amiss because the remote control is missing batteries… Mafuyu suggests Yuzuka transform so that her water magic could make the place cooler. It works as Mafuyu fawns over her. They play the Game of Life. After they leave, Chiya could hear the air-cond generator turning on and thus her suspicions were true. Mafuyu has put back the batteries and grandpa asks why she turned it off in the first place, it was to conserve energy since he was always on his online games. Really? While Yuzuka feels she has gotten less embarrassed being in a swimsuit, Chiya is starting to feel Mafuyu might be a little too clingy to her.

Episode 7
Miton is hungry and trying to resist eating garbage. He smells something good that leads him to wallop the offerings of a grave. He is then surrounded and attacked by cats! Daiya is greeting the ghost of a boss cat and when she nears the grave, all the cats got to purr at her. She treats Miton at Mafuyu’s café. It seems Daiya has the special eye as she can see spirits. Like a fallen warrior and grandma. This causes grandpa to panic. Didn’t properly take care of the café, did you? As they notice Daiya’s special ability, Miton explains she isn’t a magical girl but there are a few people who can see such unearthly things without meeting such requirements. Then the mascots had to comment how Daiya would make a much better magical girl than Chiya. Hear those knuckles cracking? She’ll be sending them to heaven alright.

Episode 8
It’s time to know the truth. Had not Chiya forced Miton, we’ll never know this story of where they came from. For better viewing, Miton uses some projection. Horrible drawing? In their world, Miton and tons of his clones were chosen to go on a journey to get a magical girl bracelet. They counter various hazards and dangers. Many were sacrificed till Miton was the only one left who managed to get it. Yuzuka felt sorry for this tragic back story but Pochi rubbishes it all as fake. Time for Miton’s scalding hot water punishment. Pochi explains their world is much more advanced and complex than this. Pochi doesn’t even consider Miton his colleague because they never run into each other or bother trying to find each other. He just ran into Miton by chance. That’s why Miton considers Yuzuka and Chiya his only friends now. The duo feel so bad that they apologize. Miton feels despair that they’re pitying him.

Episode 9
Yuzuka’s dad dozes off at the park and dreams of his daughter and her pals in magical girl form to his rescue. It seems they are under attack by a giant golem supposedly representing the inspection from the labour department wanting them to adhere to strict labour laws. Father won’t be cowed as he drinks an energy drink to turn into a hero to join the girls fighting the menace. In the end, they defeat the golem as father declares he will work till his life runs out because he loves his family. Eh? Karoshi? Father wakes up just enough time to return home to see Yuzuka sleeping. He notes as long as he feels good he can work. And he feels good because he has work. Then he is off back to working.

Episode 10
Miton notes an unusual magical girl Yuzuka is. Studious and does her chores but doesn’t allow him to peep while bathing. But of course. When asked if she is happy to be a magical girl, she ignores him. Daiya invites the gang to her father’s private beach. Mafuyu and Chiya ‘pressure’ Yuzuka to come. Is it because they want to see her in her swimsuit? But isn’t her magical girl outfit one? Well, she’s wearing her school swimsuit so I guess there’s a different sex appeal there. And why did grandpa bother to come if he is just going to play his online games? During the watermelon split, it is either the watermelon or Miton. I’m pretty sure Chiya is aiming for a certain round flying pervert… Since Yuzuka is staying out of the waters, Mafuyu and Chiya team up to drag her out. Meanwhile Daiya sees a spirit swimming and follows her beckoning to the rocky area.

Episode 11
The girls notice that something is wrong when it seems something is pulling Daiya deeper. Indeed the spirit is dragging her down to the bottom. At the same time, the spirit somehow puts up a barrier that weakens the mascots. If not for grandpa giving his never-give-up speech, Yuzuka and Mafuyu might have hesitated further. They transform and fly toward the sea. Only Yuzuka can materialize an air bubble as she sinks in to rescue Daiya. However it seems the power is limited and eventually runs out (somewhat affecting Miton too). Now Yuzuka has to hold her breath as she tries to bring Daiya up to the surface. Can she hold out?

Episode 12
When Mafuyu dives in, the spirit goes away. She is able to bring the unconscious duo back up. Pochi then erases the memories of all the witnesses on the beach. Chiya discusses with Mafuyu the possibility of Yuzuka ending up being naked had Miton died. With everyone back to normal, they continue to have fun on the beach. Mafuyu buries Yuzuka in the sand and as ‘reward’ pacts more sand in her boobs. But Miton doesn’t like it and shoves them away! He likes it compact! Time for his beat down courtesy of Chiya. At the end of the day, Yuzuka replies Miton’s question if she was happy becoming a magical girl. She is as she managed to make friends. She named everyone except him. And when she does comment something about him, the damn fireworks muted out her voice. Chiya then uses Miton as fireworks fodder. Tamaya! Such a beautiful display…

I Have Had Enough Of Boring Magical Girl Series!
Somehow I didn’t find this season to be that all bad. Maybe it is because of the low expectations that I have placed earlier on prior to watching this. Very low expectations. Therefore when the series ended, I was surprised to find myself not as disappointed as I should be. Yes, it is still boring nevertheless but it wasn’t so bad that I had to post raging insults on Twitter and Facebook. Oh wait. I don’t even have such social media accounts.

Just like in last season, nothing much pretty happens. If you watched the first season, there was no threatening reason for Yuzuka to even become one. Like as though it was the pre-requisite for Miton to take out his fetish. So when they decided to put some tension and drama in the penultimate episode of this season, it felt like it was shoehorned in because everything was so boring that they had to kick up some drama and near death so as to make us wake up a little. This only brings forth more questions like who that spirit was and what is her connection with our main characters. Because before she disappeared back into the ocean, she commented how she’ll come back to play with them again. Is this a subtle hint that there is going to be another season?! Oh dear…

Unlike last season where Daiya and Mafuyu made only paltry appearances that do not justify their existence, at least in this season they make more appearance. Even though it isn’t much, but it is far better than anything. Of course, the plot of this series itself isn’t anything much so it is better if they make use of these characters to do whatever random stuffs together since Mafuyu looks like a senior desperate for some company and Daiya as a blonde loli who could see ghosts. Not like it really mattered anyway. Yuzuka’s dad is still the overworked workaholic and too bad this season Yuzuka’s mom didn’t even make any appearance. Not even a cameo. So no family time this season. Oh, Mafuyu’s grandpa should take the cake as the most sporting grandpa who couldn’t put down his game controller ever.

Somehow I do not find Miton as perverted as before. There are a few times where his sick nature is shown but it doesn’t compare to how I remember him from last time. Maybe it is because Chiya is always around and keeping a close watch on him. Chiya is still by far the more ‘interesting’ one because of her dark nature to abuse Miton and her secret lesbian admiration to be with Yuzuka. She doesn’t need magical powers to get things done. Her threats will. As for Yuzuka, looks like she has gotten used to being a magical girl even though she might not like it. But hell, it is better than continue to b*tch about it, right? Just go with the flow and she’ll be alright.

Sorry to make my blog for this season a lot shorter because everything else I want to say would be really similar and thus I would only be repeating myself. Earth Star Dream who sang the opening song for the first season, reprise their role this season with the cover of Kimiiro Ni Somaru ~Earth Star Dream version~ (the original piece was sung by Gumi). Sounds more like a generic anime pop and nothing too special.

Overall, still a series that has nothing much ado despite its simple and soothing nature. If you don’t like how wacky Teekyuu is and that their random antics will cause you to die of heart attack or laugh till you die, or if you don’t want to watch grim magical girl series that would only break your heart and send you into tears thinking how they destroyed your perception that magical girl genres should be pure, this series might do the trick. Yuzuka doesn’t know how easy she has it going for her as a magical girl. By far the most laidback and freest magical girl duty any magical girl would want. It’s so boring they might even retire early… Better make another season before that happens…

Shuumatsu No Izetta

March 26, 2017

There have been countless reimagining of World War II stories, settings and outcomes. From alternate histories to those mixing with modern technological advances and even races from outer space, whatever ideas they had have all mostly been experimented on. Now let’s use witches and magic this time. Shuumatsu No Izetta is set in an alternate timeline during World War II where the names of countries are also closely resembling to the actual ones. When a powerful imperial nation sets forth in conquering all the countries of Europe and hence world domination, a small principality isn’t going to let those big guns roll over their beautiful picturesque country. But if they don’t have the number and strength of a decent military, how can they fight back? Can they even turn the tides in their favour? They can. Because they have a powerful witch by their side. Meh, you say? How about a witch riding a rifle instead of a broomstick!

Episode 1
On a train in a neutral country of Westria, Germanian soldiers are searching the passengers for a wanted person. Princess Ortfine “Fine” Fredericka Von Eylstadt and her men know she is the one they are looking for and flee. The soldiers give chase. The commotion causes Rickert and Arnold Berckmann of the special unit to take notice. Learning what is happening, Rickert wonders if the princess of Eylstadt is trying to seek refuge here. Berckmann informs that the royal family is stubborn and would rather fight to their last breath than seek asylum. So the only reason why she is here is to have political negotiations with the Allies, most probably Britannia. The chase takes place atop the train. Can they maintain their balance and shoot straight at that speed? When Fine and her men re-enter the back of the train, she sees a strange mechanical coffin. Berckmann stops them and will not divulge them anymore top secret information. After the train exits the tunnel, Fine and her men quickly jump off the bridge into the river. Although Fine is unhurt, it is sad that one of her men dies from a gunshot wound he got from Berckmann. A short narration tells us the dictatorship empire of Germania suddenly invaded its neighbouring country, Livonia. Britannia and Thermidor waged war against Germania but cannot best its might and Thermidor fell. With this, Germania now turns its attention to conquer a small Alps kingdom to the south, Eylstadt.

In a theatre, Fine sees Lord Redford of Britannia and starts negotiations. One of them being accepting her marriage to Prince Henry she once rejected. She is willing to give up her claim on the throne since her cousin Leonora is with a child and she will leave her kingdom’s future in their hands. Although Redford is touched by her sacrifice, he cannot help her. He just got message that Germania has invaded Eylstadt as they speak. Gorz and his men barges in to bring Fine back to Germania’s capital, Neue Berlin. Redford didn’t play her out. It is simply Germania’s superior intelligence. Gorz plans to use one of the many ways to get the stubborn people of Eylstadt to stop fighting: Using Fine as blackmail. Some sort of magical particles temporarily stall the plane’s engines. In zero gravity, Fine tries to fight back but is overpowered and shot in her arm. She dares them to kill her but Gorz mocks her if this is what a princess carrying the burdens of her people should do. Fine remains steadfast that she will fight with her people to the end. Upon reciting her full name, the coffin activates. Out comes a red haired witch, Izetta. It seems the ladies know each other with Fine calling Izetta her White Witch. Izetta sees Fine’s injured arm and her power bursts the plane into bits. As the plane dismantles into debris falling in mid-air, Izetta rides a rifle like a broom and swoops Fine to safety. Izetta is happy to see her princess again.

Episode 2
Germanian fighters receive a distress call of a plane crashing. As they fly to the site, they are surprised to see 2 ladies on a flying rifle. They start chasing them. Izetta has bad experience with the Germanian side too but following Fine’s orders not to recklessly use her power, she tries to flee them until they start firing. She uses her blood as magic source to bring down the planes. In the final dogfight with the captain, Fine wanted to use the rifle but I guess the girls are noobs in using such a gun. The captain escapes with his life and only has his engine stalled. Fine collapses from her gun wound. Eylstadt’s king must be having a rough time. Not only he is sick in bed but has to see his kingdom being invaded. He is worried about Fine as he has not received any word from her. A retreating and heavily injured Eylstadt troop led by Hans Obermayer stumble into Fine and Izetta in the bushes. They are taken to the nearby camp where a doctor removes a bullet from her arm. Fine’s life is in no danger but there is an old scar on her body that Izetta continues to blame herself as her fault. Something to do with Fine protecting her when the angry witch hunt mob wanted to kill Izetta and she got injured as a result for saving her. Flashback shows a young Fine caught Izetta red handed using her magic in the forest. Believing she is a good White Witch as per the legend, Weisse Hexe, they soon become friends and enjoy each other’s company. Izetta once travelled around with her grandma and never stayed in once place for very long. Grandma told her their kind has died off and she will probably be the last witch and never to use her powers recklessly. So when she met Fine who didn’t care about her status, Izetta was very happy. Fine wakes up much to everyone’s delight. Even with their side defeated, they have this little morale booster. After Fine discusses with Hans about the situation, she summons Izetta and wants her to escape. This is Eylstadt’s war and she will not get her involved anymore. She values her as the only friend who never cared about her rank. In that case, Izetta also has a request of her. She wants her to be her hope and will protect her country. Berckmann inspects the crash site. The princess and specimen are the only bodies not found. He believes she is a real witch and either way must go after her.

Episode 3
The Germaninan tanks steamroll into Coenenberg. If they take this town, they can strike deep into Eylstadt. With the air raid bombarding the front lines, it is all utter chaos. A young soldier, Jonas Gallea seems to be lucky enough to survive all that and continue fighting in this hell hole. Because no reinforcements will be coming, it saddens Fine that her men are dying to buy time for the people to escape. When some of the soldiers request Fine’s permission to head to Coenenberg to fight even if it means dying and at least kill a few enemies, she puts her foot down and orders a big no. She reminds them they are not here for revenge or a reckless challenge. It is to protect their families. She will call upon them to sacrifice their lives but now is not the time. She is sorry she can’t tell them where to die. Not tell them how to die but how to live. She hopes they can forgive her for not being strong enough. The Eylstadt forces at the front lines are really stubborn and tough to rout out. It is because of the forts at the top of the hill giving the exact location of the enemies. Extra Germanian air bombardments are requested but before the bombers could blow the hell out of the forts, suddenly they explode and crash down. Here comes Izetta riding and firing iron lances (old weaponry found in the old fort’s arsenal) and shooting them through the planes. What about tanks? Surely mere swords can pierce through their thick armour. Why, just flip them over with magic! With the tide turning so quickly both sides are in a state of confusion. When Fine realizes what is going on, she sends a Morse code to her fellow countrymen at the front lines that Izetta is her friend and the White Witch from the legend. She wants them to fight along with her for their country’s freedom. Unbelievably, Eylstadt is able to turn the tables and send Germania packing. Izetta returns to Fine knowing she went off and did this on her own. Fine is glad she is alright. The soldiers sing their national anthem in respect of this victory. News spread that a witch saved them. The king hears about Fine being with the White Witch before exhaling his last breath.

Episode 4
Fine breaks down once she sees her father’s motionless body. The lieutenant general in charge of taking Coenenberg is finding it hard to explain to Germania’s emperor, Otto about their platoon’s rout by a witch. But upon hearing that he feels excited and delighted because he believes in the existence of witches. Izetta doesn’t feel comfortable with the hospitality she is given in the palace. Because Fine has assigned her personal maid, Lotte and bodyguard, Bianca to be with her. With rumours swirling around about Izetta, Lotte says that she is now the hero of the kingdom. Discussing with Schneider and Warmer, as suggested by the late king’s aide, Sieghart Muller, Fine will only announce her father’s death only when she ascends the throne in 2 weeks’ time. They might have temporarily repel the enemy out of Coenenberg but there are other entry points in which the enemy can enter. The news will only confuse their own ranks and benefit the enemy. As for Izetta, Fine is hesitant to further use her to help protect their country. There is something about her powers she is wary of. Because Bianca is suspicious of Izetta as a witch, she wants her to prove it and inadvertently causes a small part of the statue to fall on her head, slightly injuring her. Fine is glad she is alright but soon summons her. She wants Izetta’s help but there is something she needs to confirm first. She is intrigued that she did not use her power to dodge the accident and she carried her by foot after the plane crash. Izetta reveals the biggest secret that witches have kept. The powers do not come from within. They are from outside. Powers that originate from what is called leylines. This capital has none unlike Coenenberg which is flowing with them and allowed her to use the powers freely. Witches who reveal this are killed but no worries, Izetta is the last witch left. While others are contemplating on how to use Izetta as a secret weapon and hide her existence, Sieghart suggests the opposite. The people are already talking about her and it would be even more suspicious to hide her. With the victory at Coenenberg still fresh in everyone’s minds, they should use it to their advantage and make up a myth about the legend. This will make the enemy cautious and Allies to reconsider their decision.

There is another person whom Sieghart wants Izetta to be introduced to. Meet Elvira Friedman. Currently Fine’s tutor as she has worked in various media in America. She is hired to advertise Izetta as the legendary witch. First order of business is to take her physical measurements by hand. Read: Groping and molesting! Do people influenced by America always act like this? Then it’s Fine’s turn. Witch or princess, you can’t hide those boobs from her! Since it will be a hassle to check every inch of the country to see where Izetta can or cannot use her powers, Izetta remembers her grandma telling her about the legendary castle of the White Witch. Currently it is an abandoned castle in the old capital. Bianca drives her there and as she inspects the walls, a secret room opens up. Bianca continues to remain suspicious that Izetta is close to Fine. She expands on the story of how Fine saved her life. Izetta was accused of starting a fire (her power was then going out of control). She tried to run but when a guy attacked, Fine blocked it with her body. At first the angry mob didn’t want to believe but after Fine swears on her royal blood, they relent. Izetta then saw her smile and at that point swore to do anything for her. Fine rendezvous with Izetta at the secret chamber that contains the world map of leylines. Fine warns Izetta that there is no turning back after this. She doesn’t mind despite remembering grandma telling her the White Witch was a traitor in the legend. They are highly motivated to end the war, bring peace to all countries and give everyone a bright future.

Episode 5
Fine’s coronation begins as she takes over the reign of Eylstadt. She also introduces Izetta who demonstrates her powers wowing the press and crowd. With the news now spread throughout the world, Otto is even more excited. He has Berckmann give his opinion and he believes Izetta is the real deal. Otto now wants Izetta captured no matter the cost. His aide, Elliot reminds him that the subjugation of Eylstadt is to secure a supply route to the Mediterranean and Africa with their allies in the Romulus Federation. Of course his plan is to kill 2 birds with a stone. Capture Eylstadt and the witch while they’re at it. News come in that Izetta now launches a surprise attack to take back one of Eylstadt’s conquered towns serving as Germania’s base point. This is a blatant advertising ploy to show the world about her powers. She easily overwhelms the entire battalion. With the world getting excited about this, Berckmann and his special unit are now given all the money and resources they want to claim this witch. He meets with Basler, the captain of the air force and only survivor who first fought with Izetta. He gives his statement on his first hand witness of Izetta’s terrifying powers. He is then drafted to help hunt her down. Berckmann also suspects Izetta has some sort of weakness because if she was invincible, she would have reached Eylstadt’s capital in a few minutes instead of a couple of days. Of course she would have easily flown to Germania and kill the emperor and end all wars. There must be a limit to her power. Otherwise witches would have ruled the world.

Now that Izetta’s existence is known, looks like she has ‘fans’ from other nations even requesting to come see her. They have a copy of the leylines in Eylstadt which covers most of the area. Then a call comes in regarding Germanian forces invading from Veile Pass. It is one of those small areas the leylines aren’t present. Sieghart has expected this and talked to Fine about it. This was the gamble they had to take when they advertised Izetta. It is time to see if the gamble pays off. The environment is also ideal for them. It is foggy and the Germanian side will not bomb the area but send infantry as they need to secure a smooth route. Fine introduces Izetta to Bianca and her entire secret group of royal guards who work in the shadow. Part of the plan is for one of them to dress up as Izetta. Once the Germanian forces advance, it is show time. They see Izetta flying behind the Eylstadt’s planes. In actual fact it is just a dummy tagging along the wire. The real Izetta pops up to demand the Germanian soldiers to retreat or else. They don’t believe in fairytales, eh? Izetta uses her ‘magic’ to smack away her weapons. Real credit goes to the royal guards’ sharp shooting away the guns from their hands. Still stubborn? Time to use ‘magic’ and blow up the rock and bury them under. Yeah, bombs were planted there already. News of Izetta’s victory spreads again. Berckmann isn’t panicking yet and has sent a spy into Eylstadt’s army. As Jonas is fetching water, he accidentally drops his family picture. As he tries to retrieve it, he hears a secret conversation between Sieghart and Schneider. The latter realizes this whole thing is a setup and royal guards were used. As for why the real Izetta was exposed, Izetta herself willed it. Originally one of them was going to be used as a decoy but she wanted to do this herself. Sieghart thought he heard something from the river. Nobody. Just a photo.

Episode 6
Jonas runs back to his camp and the first person he meet as he murmurs about Izetta’s secret (though short of saying what it is) is that spy, Laurence. Izetta still can’t get used to the compliments Fine showers her. They thought of putting Izetta in a dress but the corset was a torture. Then the top cannot be zipped up because her boobs are too big. Fine looks around and feels defeated because Bianca and Elvira are bigger than hers. Metaphorically she is even speaking can a small kingdom defeat huge ones! Izetta wears back her ordinary dress as Elvira teaches her how to do ballroom dancing. When Fine learns that her favourite bakery will be able to bake her favourite pie (sugar is rationed during the war and with Eylstadt’s recent victory, Fine distributed extra as celebration from the stores), she cannot hide her happiness to visit it. Jonas’ photo is in Sieghart’s hands. He sends Koontz to make contact with him and pretend to be a journalist. Rickert takes Basler to the design division to show him the state of the art high-tech plane. Berckmann also sees the division head and has an official letter from Otto to conduct his investigations. He wants to investigate the workshop for clues. Fine and co are disguised as commoners as they enjoy the delicious pie. But the owners can recognize her. When Bianca and Lotte reveal they know Fine often sneak out to visit her, Fine loses her balance. Her disguise and pie fall off. At least Izetta saved her pie. With everyone recognizing her majesty, time for Fine to give her reassuring speech. When they return, Sieghart requests Fine to send him to Britannia as they are holding a conference between governments in exile and allied countries against Germania. Oh, America will be there too. Fine knows what they want to know is Izetta’s powers and if this is the case, it is best she and Izetta go. While Bianca disagrees, the phone rings. Sieghart picks up to learn the Germanian spy has been located within the platoon. He allows Fine and Izetta to go. Yeah, they’re going to ride the entire way riding on a rifle? Won’t their butt hurt? Anyway Jonas is shocked when Laurence turns his gun at him and wants him to spill details about Izetta. Since he won’t, he gets shot in the leg as warning and even threatens his comrade is now with his siblings. You know what this means, right? Luckily Kloontz and Sieghart come chasing so he flees. Sieghart asks Jonas if he is willing to whatever it takes to protect his country. He nods yes. Sieghart then shoots him!

Episode 7
Off the Bergen Coast of the Scandinavian Peninsula lies Germania’s aircraft carrier, Drachenfels. Redford hosts the representatives of several nations as they discuss about Germania’s plan to use it to cross the Channel from Normandy and attack Britannia. They request America to send troops but with the constitution thingy, guess not. Then they discuss about the witch and many don’t believe such exists in this century. Redford ushers in Fine as she introduces Izetta with a bit of demonstrated magic. Seeing is believing. Of course they wonder if a single witch can still defeat Germania. That is why Fine is also requesting troop assistance and as a gift, she will have Izetta sink Drachenfels. The ladies are introduced to Wing Commander Groman who will be flying with Izetta as part of the bombing operations. The plan is for her to carry and drop 4 torpedoes in the centre of Drachenfels to have the maximum shockwave effect of breaking it into half. All goes as planned until Izetta realizes Drachenfels is not at the port. Thinking it has gone out to sea, she flies over there only to be ambushed by other carriers. It is obviously a trap and Germania knows about this plan. A couple of torpedoes have been destroyed by enemy fire. Basler rides in his new plane that can match and follow closely Izetta’s movements. Izetta has to drop the remaining torpedoes into sea just to dodge Basler and his air force trying to surround her. Luckily Groman’s side help keep the Germanian air fighters at bay. When Izetta sees the elevator opening on Drachenfels, she picks up the torpedoes and fires them into it. Drachenfels sinks as one of them directly hits the fuel tank. Mission accomplished. Basler wants to go after Izetta but Berckmann orders him to return. They have achieved what they want. Later Berckmann reveals to Rickert that Drachenfels was just a decoy to expose Izetta’s weakness. He is now sure after witnessing today’s battle. He can move on to the next phase of the plan but he needs to confirm the White Witch’s legend at Eylstadt’s old castle. He wants to send Laurence for the job but Rickert volunteers for it.

Episode 8
Rickert reads the White Witch’s legend. A prince went hunting and was saved by a woman with silver hair. At first he feared her as she is a witch but upon realizing she is kind, he opened up to her and they gradually fell in love. He wanted to marry her but she declined. Instead, she promised her that if he ever needs her power, she will offer it. Rickert parachutes down in Eylstadt at night. A bit of bad luck because the wind blows him off course and got a rough landing. He has to trek quite a distance and fall into a river. Luckily Bianca and Lotte were passing and picked him up. Rickert hides his identity by saying that he is from Tull but was away overseas studying. He returned home to fight the war but he has some illness so they refused him. Bianca is amazed at his bravery and there is no shame in his failure. This makes Rickert wonder if they are really the people he is fighting against. Rickert continues reading the legend. When the prince returned, a war broke out. He was injured and almost lost the war. The White Witch appeared and saved the day and drove the enemies away. However the prince shortly died from his injuries. In grievance, she vowed to protect his country until the end of her life. Rickert stays at the inn run by Lotte’s sister. As Bianca is a fan of the legend, Rickert mentions an alternate ending. This makes her blow her top. If you think that was an embarrassing head start, wait till he later accidentally enters her room after hearing her scream. She is being bathed by Lotte. Whoops. Rickert later meets Laurence whose proof of Jonas knowing something was how he was silenced. With the royal guards keeping constant watch on the old castle, it proves that there is something they want to hide.

Izetta and Fine attend Redford’s birthday. While it might look like that on the outside, it is also a meeting for the Allies to respond on Izetta’s effort. Also at this party is Berckmann. His date is strange. Already with dead zombie eyes, she goes up to Izetta to suddenly kiss her! Actually she bit her lips! After that she collapses. Berckmann apologizes over his fanatic Izetta fan but hints he knows who Izetta is before ‘disappearing’. Fine is delighted as America agrees to send troops to help. Rickert and Laurence sneak in the old castle by hiding underneath the cart of an old man delivering goods to the soldiers. Rickert relays to Laurence what Berckmann told him about the secret room in the old castle. The legend is much darker but more believable than the fairytale. It states that the prince was already married when he met the White Witch. When his wife found out he gave all his love to her, she was enraged. After the prince died, the wife found out about the White Witch’s secret, sealed her power and sold her to the enemy. After suffering inquisitions, she was burnt at the stake. After the wife died, the people who feared the White Witch sealed her secret within this room in her memory. True enough they stumble upon this room which has murals depicting the dark story. Rickert takes pictures of the leylines when the vial of blood in his pocket reacts. A short earthquake occurs before a mystic stone drops out from the wall. At this point, Bianca and her royal guards enter the room. Rickert and Bianca are shocked to realize each other’s position. The Germanians escape via underground. However Rickert was shot. He hands the evidence to Laurence so he could escape. Rickert will become the decoy. Bianca face off with Rickert who apologizes for shattering her fantasy. After all, it is a fairytale and it needs a happy ending. A reason why all fairytales have happy ending is so that tragedies in real life can be avoided. Rickert draws his gun but didn’t shoot. Bianca did. Bianca’s sniper takes out Laurence. However the evidence is taken by that old man of the cart, a Germanian spy. Stanley, the representative of America writes back to his higher ups about Izetta’s power that could be equal or higher threat. That is why he is suggesting to send troops to defeat both Germania and Eylstadt.

Episode 9
The resistance forces across Europe attack Germanian forces. They are further delighted when Izetta comes to their aid. She is now so famous worldwide she even stars in her own comics! Ever since Izetta’s return from Britannia 3 months ago, Germania has not invaded Eylstadt and they’re just ‘staring’ at each other across the borders. Bianca reports to Sieghart that because no evidences were found on the bodies on the spies, it is assumed they ventured into the castle not knowing what they are looking for. It is theorized that the enemy knew about that place when they captured Izetta and took her blood samples. It gave credence to whatever fairytales and must have led to them to discover such room was in existence. Hans shows Fine photos of strange enemy tanks. Based on their weapon manufacturer’s side deduction, it is believed Germania may have created a weapon to defeat Izetta. Fine is also surprised they might be trying to attack from the west again because it is as though they didn’t learn anything from Coenenberg. But if they want a fight, a fight they’ll give them. When Izetta is at the Coenenberg’s fort, a report comes in that the enemy has already begin their attacking. However it is not here but at the eastern border of Sellun Corridor. Looks like they feigned the attack from the west and came from the east instead. That elaborated weapon was just an elaborated hoax. Izetta makes her way there and everyone is confident it is Eylstadt’s victory because Sellun Corridor is a place containing lots of leylines. Before Izetta could bomb the enemy, her air torpedoes are stopped by another witch! Sophie once called herself the White Witch and pleads to Izetta to stop this.

Flashback 3 months ago, a hidden lab seems to have successfully cloned a witch. Years ago, one of their researchers found documents pertaining to the White Witch in an abandoned church in the Alps and it led to records about the location where she was buried as well as the truth about her legend. Using the records to buy her body, they were able to finally recreate her. That’s why Otto was so sure witches existed. However she is now in enemy hands and they have no choice but to make this one succeed. Unfortunately Sophie is like a doll and has no own free will. Then they realized she reacted to Izetta’s blood samples and Berckmann decided to test her out. So the night at Redford’s party, that crazy fan girl was Sophie biting Izetta’s lips to taste her blood and awakened her. With tears and emotional drama, Sophie tries to convince Izetta to stop using her powers because this is not what a witch’s power should be used for. However Izetta made a promise to Fine and will carry on fighting no matter the outcome. In that case, cue for Sophie to turn on her crazy mode. No more Ms Nice. Both witches engage in mortal combat but Izetta surprisingly loses power and crashes. After Sophie ties her up, word of Izetta’s loss spreads like wildfire. People who once relied and placed hope in her are now in utter shock. In no time, Germanian forces steamrolled into Eylstadt and the capital being bombed in a blitz. In 2 hours, it fell into enemy hands.

Episode 10
Fine and her entourage escape via secret underground passage as Sophie mercilessly uses her mystic stone powers to destroy Eylstadt. Izetta is tied up and filmed. Hans leads a small team to rescue her from the enemy. But the damage is done with the world now in fear of Sophie after propaganda photos of Izetta’s lost is being publicized worldwide. Otto promotes Berckmann to Lieutenant Colonel but his service ends there since Otto will personally take charge of any matters pertaining to the witch. Sophie is impatient but is told to wait as she wants to destroy Eylstadt, which is her ultimate goal. Izetta remembers grandma told her that the White Witch is a traitor because she used her powers to meddle with the human affairs. To win the battle, she stole a mystic stone which the first witch had. In turn of giving her powers, it devours her life. Izetta wakes up and Fine is glad she has regained consciousness. Fine tells her what happened and they are now remaining hidden in a secret base built by her ancestors in the Alps. Izetta blames herself for failing but Fine blames her own arrogance and complacency for letting this happen. Sieghart confirms Sophie is the name of the legendary White Witch. This means she will show less mercy to them as she was the one who was hated by the prince’s wife (Fine’s ancestor), betrayed by her men and sold to the inquisition to be executed. She’s really out for their blood and revenge. Sophie was able to use powers in areas without leylines because of the mystic stone. It stores powers it absorbs. Now Sophie is using it to materialize a huge Exenium (magic crystals) to be carried out for their next attack on Britannia. Sieghart further explains his family was involved in the reality that was the White Witch incident, the reason he knew a lot about this. It was passed down orally through its generations. He never thought it was real till Izetta showed up. When Izetta was away at Britannia, he searched his ancestors’ home and found a diary detailing the betrayal, regret and sin of the White Witch.

Meanwhile word has reached everyone that Londenion has fallen. That’s London, right? Oh look. London Bridge is burning down, burning down, burning down… The strain of that attack still puts a burden on Sophie’s body despite the mystic stone is only half. Thus the lab has cloned many artificial bodies just in case for standby. Basler reports the different ways the witches fight totally rewrites the rules of warfare. He is not amused that Berckmann who drafted him into his team now wants out. He explains that he was ‘kicked out’ and thus he is seeing him just to say goodbye. It is suggested that Fine seeks asylum in another country and try to establish a government to fight from there. Izetta insists she can still fight although she has taken a lot of damage. She can’t even walk. This makes Fine realize that she won’t stop fighting if she doesn’t give up. She remembers Izetta’s grandma telling her not to use her powers but she made Izetta fight the war. No amount of thank you or sorry could be enough. Otto is making extravagant conditions for the Allies to surrender. He knows they have no choice. After that, they attack the Volga Federation. Although Germania has signed a nonaggression pact with them, Otto never intended to honour it. Once the entire Europe is under Germania’s rule, they’ll attack America. Then the world will be theirs! Sieg Reich! Izetta is sad she made Fine cry and hasn’t repaid her yet. Sieghart comes up to her with some hope. He has half the mystic stone. If she still wants to change things no matter what…

Episode 11
Sieghart reads his ancestors’ diary as it details how they betrayed Sophie. The moment they took away her mystic stone, it broke into half as though it was signalling the country’s betrayal of their hero. They cannot forget the rage on Sophie’s face when she was handed over. Berckmann is at Rickert’s grave when he hears Lieutenant Colonel Hagar leading the assault as he has discovered Fine’s hideout. He wants to join in claiming he has met the princess twice. The Germanians ambush the hideout and slaughter most of the troops. To lure Fine out, Hagar kills the hostages one by one. Although she decides to surrender, Hagar is not happy because it ruins his fun if she isn’t resisting. At this point, Izetta returns and turns the tables on the Germanians with her power. Flashback reveals Sieghart warning her she is able to use her powers freely like Sophie but at the risk of shortening her life. Bianca was against this because she felt Izetta had fought enough and can’t bear to see her like this anymore. Izetta wants to fight till the end. As Izetta starts throwing bricks around, the Germanians scatter. Hagar hits a dead end and cannot believe his rotten luck. Berckmann corners him and confirms that Otto has ordered his execution. Berckmann shoots Hagar before surrendering himself.

He is blindfolded and taken to a storeroom where Sieghart interrogates him. Berckmann wants a trade. Letting Sieghart take hidden films in his back pocket, Berckmann explains Germania has successfully created a bomb using Exenium. They plan to load it on a missile and use Sophie to bomb Eylstadt. Let’s say a single bomb can destroy the entire place. Then they are going to hold a peace conference in Westria with all the major powers. This is just a ploy to unveil the new bomb and threaten all of them to submit or end up like Eylstadt. It is obvious that Berckmann has defected and is willing to share this information. He is vouching for Izetta to defeat Sophie and perhaps Germania itself. Sieghart is not amused he has no loyalty but Berckmann prefers to stay alive and what better way to do that is to strike first the person after his life even if it means he is the only person left. Sieghart punches him and is glad he was never like him. After Sieghart tells everything to Fine and co, Fine decides to surrender herself to Germania. She puts the blame on herself that she can’t make Izetta fight anymore. It was the temptation of using her witch powers that led to this. Izetta slaps her for trying to be a hero. Because since they started this together, they’ll end this together. All she wants is for Fine to be as she has always been. Fine changes her stance and will fight with Izetta. Berckmann further explains when and how the missile will be launched. Because Sophie is a clone, her powers are limited to 2 hours and this is depending what kind of magic she uses. Thus this is where Izetta comes in to stall and fight her for that duration. At the same time, Fine will attend the conference. Sieghart and Bianca will accompany her. That night, Izetta takes Fine flying around the forest as apology for slapping her. All the major powers arrive at Westria. At the guard check, when Fine’s side show their documents as proof, Basler suddenly comes in and rips Berckmann’s documents. He is disappointed that he is now a traitor. Izetta begins her face off with Sophie.

Episode 12
Fine gives Sieghart the signal as he rams the car through the post. After they alight, Berckmann parts from them. The conference begins as well as the witches’ messy aerial battle. They’re throwing planes and tanks too! Knowing that Sophie needs to power the missile, Izetta distracts her away. It works since Sophie is so crazily bent on killing her. Don’t worry. The Germanians have got another clone to wake up and do the remote control. Sieghart distracts the guards so Fine and Bianca can head into the conference. As he runs, a soldier stands before him. Because he looks so much like Jonas, he hesitates and enough time for the panicky green soldier to fire back and kill him. Karma? Berckmann is about to escape via boat but Basler again catches him and lectures him about loyalty. Because Berckmann mocks Rickert’s sacrifice, Basler shoots him. Fine has made it into the conference. Although she is not invited and the Germanians could have her arrested, the Allies want her to have a say in this because the bombing of Eylstadt is very much of her concern, right? However Stanley argues that even if Sophie and Germania are defeated, this means Eylstadt will be left as the only powerful nation possessing magic technology. Who will stand up to them if they ever have ambitions like Otto? Sophie reveals her hatred for Eylstadt not because it was the prince’s wife who betrayed him but the prince himself who sold her out. Although the prince’s last dying words worries about Sophie’s status as a witch reaching the Vatican and thus Eylstadt was in danger of becoming branded as a heretic country, Sophie still takes this as ultimate betrayal after all the sacrifice she had done and pain endured for him. Izetta may not know everything but she believes someone who has entrusted with everyone’s lives cannot focus on just 1 person.

Stanley continues that his nation is divided. At first they were thrilled by the witch’s power but now some are fearful and do not want to take action. That is why America’s forces are still in Britannia remain stationed. Fine promises that the battle of witches and magic will end today. Izetta will absorb all the powers from the leylines over the continent and thus no magic thereafter. This is at the cost of her life. Prior to this when Izetta told her about this, Fine was against it but Izetta despite knowing the risks still wants to do it. As long as she has this power, she will fight. I guess Fine makes it even more convincing with all those real tears that they should be happy after Izetta, magic, witches and all those destructive weapons will be gone after today. And yet will Germania still think itself as the ruler of the world? Izetta successfully absorbs all the Exenium and even faster because Sophie tries to match it. Ultimately Sophie runs out of power and Izetta is left happy able to fulfil her duty. A bright light is shot into the sky. Fine takes this that Izetta is gone and breaks down. Otto is mad but will continue his conquest via traditional iron and blood. By 1941, America kept its promise by bringing together the Allies to fight against Germania. The Volga Federation also started their own invasion and this pushes back Germania and liberating a few countries. Shortly, Otto takes his own life and the war ended. It is believed the war could have last longer had not the actions of Fine and Izetta. While Fine believes as long as humanity still exists, there will some war popping up in the future, she still won’t give up in making a world where everyone can choose their own future. Berckmann is seen making shady trades with shady people. He just lost an eye. Basler a bad shooter? Lastly, all is not lost as Fine pays a visit deep in the woods. A cabin where wheelchair-ridden Izetta still lives and is being taken care by Lotte.

Strike Witch: Operation Victory Eylstadt
This is amazing. I never knew that I would be enjoying this series so much. I mean, I had really high hopes of this after a couple of war themed animes like Senjou No Valkyria and Nejimaki Seirei Senki: Tenkyou No Alderamin made war genres pretty likeable in my books. Of course at first there was this scepticism that this will not be as good as the aforementioned series because despite it has fantasy elements, it is still closely based on some real life events like the name of the countries and the time period for World War II. I did not expect to be blown away by the amazing flow of the story. Well, maybe except the ending which I had mixed feelings about. I thought it was all too rushed because with the great big war averted, they make Otto kill himself like Hitler did but only years earlier and that to satiate crying fan boys of Izetta, they make her live instead of die (although not sure if she is a vegetable). I wonder if it’s because Sophie absorbed some of the magic so it didn’t actually affect Izetta greatly. But then again, thinking hard on what could have been the better ending would be futile because nothing would have been more fitting an ending like this. Fine and Izetta has played their vital part in securing Eylstadt’s freedom as well as ending the war. Therefore what comes after that doesn’t really matter. Remember, this is a series about Izetta and Fine.

I really got lost in the plot and when I say lost, I don’t mean getting confused. I was quite enthralled by the simple and yet fascinating flow of the story as we see both sides trying to up each other in times of war. It gets better with the power of the witch intervening. Although I have to admit that the revelations of the White Witch wasn’t that interesting because I somehow have guessed that she was betrayed by the ones she loved and trusted. I don’t think Sophie ever found any closure since this Sophie isn’t the real Sophie and this wasn’t about making right the dark history of Eylstadt. It’s to fight against the invading Germanians, remember?

The characters are absolutely perfect and each play their role perfectly no matter how small their role or appearance they have. Although that itself is a bit of a complaint on my side. More on that later. The main characters, Fine and Izetta have really great chemistry and they really have this bond that makes you feel that they’ve been with each other for ages instead of meeting each other again since the war began. I love Fine and her steadfast to fight for her people although her character might be very cliché in such stories. She isn’t just a royal princess who lives a spoilt life but is very down to earth and connected with her people. She takes action and kicks ass. She knows what needs to be done for the greater good even if it means losing Izetta (and lots of tears of course). Izetta of course compliments Fine and the duo are so fine as a combo that it is hard to imagine one without the other. They might be away sometimes for separate missions but you know that they are making things work at the same time. They have a very good friendship that touches all of our hearts because this is what we all love to have and look for in a friend. Despite a few very hinting scenes of Fine x Izetta lesbianism, thankfully it didn’t go that far or it might have left a bad aftertaste in the mouth.

Though I did say that many of the other characters are also great and play their role in the anime as they should, sometimes I can’t help that because of that they too are insignificant in an overall manner (like those heads of states such as Redford and the rest whom I couldn’t name). Just enough to play out their role. What I really meant is, take for instance Elvira. She is a great tutor to the girls and also helps in the advertising of Izetta as the great witch. However you don’t really see her play that role and because it is mostly behind the scenes, sometimes her character felt a bit redundant. What the heck happened to Hans? It’s like he is no longer relevant in the second half of the series. He is still alive in the infantry but it would be as good as dead if he had no more role to pay after that. Then there is Lotte who is just there being a maid and Bianca being a close royal guard for Fine. Basler just had a single proper episode (and that was just for a while) where he had his rematch with Izetta but other than that, he could have been just some nameless pilot as I don’t see him really fitting anywhere properly in the story.

There are many other small characters here and there that die but that don’t matter anyway. They come and go and are mostly forgettable whether or not they live or die. But some like that poor Jonas kid whom I thought would have some standout role (or at least of some importance) because it looked like he had some sort of potential story to tell (family of his photo tells you a lot) but looks like the poor chap existed just to get shot to cover up a big secret. Just sad. Because compared to Rickert who actually played a part and died for it seemed better from this point of view. And when Sieghart really died, it’s like we’ve forgotten all about him. It’s like as though he lives long enough to reveal his ancestor’s dirty work and do Fine one last service before biting the bullet.

Otto is supposedly the villain and the equivalent to our Hitler. However it is hard to see him as the bad guy because we hardly see him in some sort of vile action. Just sitting on his throne or hanging out somewhere in his palace while he makes his plans. Even if his plans to snatch away Berckmann’s hard work, orders for him to be killed and betray the Volga Federation are supposed to make him sound evil but you know what they say about actions speak louder than words. And when he died so ‘quickly’, the shock wasn’t as resonating as Izetta’s ‘death’. Just saying… So the main bulk of the action falls on Berckmann who is supposed to be the despicable villain but from the way I see it, he isn’t such a bad guy in the vilest sense after all. I mean, in times of war, all is fair and to spew nonsense about loyalty and your own life differs on the individual’s stance. Though, it was really odd for me to see someone who had been fighting against Eylstadt in the beginning only to easily defect to the other side and fighting his own homeland, that makes him a dangerous character. All the more so he didn’t die and close his case because he is still alive and might be the next perpetrator for the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the Gulf War, the Arab Spring, the Syrian War… Oh yeah. And Sophie? She’s just a mad bloodthirsty clone.

The battle scenes are also impressive and although you might say that Izetta’s magic might have exaggerated things because uplifting and throwing heavy tanks and lances feel more fantasy than reality, it is still kept to a believable level. In that sense you can’t help vouch, support and even cheer on Izetta when she charges into the battlefield to save the day. Yeah, she makes it all look so easy. It’s like Superman making his debut saving the world. Otherwise, without Izetta’s witchy intervention, it might looked like plain ol’ boring warzone to remind us the atrocities of war. Nobody really wins in a war, right?

Although art and drawing are rather okay, I won’t go so far to say they are spectacular but because the setting is in the 1940s, the lush greeneries and sceneries of Eylstadt do amaze me even if the quality is just pretty standard. The design of the European houses and structures in the 1940s as well as the tanks and planes are also beautiful and quite accurate. The animation is pretty fluid itself but I really didn’t take full notice of it since I was more focused and drawn into the plot and storyline. But I guess it is a good thing too because if the animation was that bad, I would have already complained about it. CG is also used by thankfully very sparingly because I thought the Exenium stones looked ugly (unless it was intentional to look like this). But the simple magic effects and the lighting are quite okay. This series is animated by Ajia-Do who seems to be making a comeback after a few years of hiatus. This is the first TV series they made this year and the last they did was DD Hokuto No Ken way back in 2013. Other works under them include Zettai Shonen, Kujibiki Unbalance, Emma: A Victorian Romance Second Act and the long running Nintama Rantarou series.

There are a handful popular seiyuus lending their voice to this series. Most notably for example Saori Hayami as Fine. Quite some time ago she played a red haired princess of a fictional fairytale kingdom of a fictional world. This time she plays a blonde princess of another fictional kingdom in an alternate parallel world. Other recognizable seiyuus include Juinichi Suwabe as Berckmann, Kana Hanazawa as Elvira, Nao Touyama as Lotte, Koji Yusa as Gorz and Takehito Koyasu as Hagar. The rest of the other casts are Himika Akaneya as Izetta (Honoka in ReLIFE), Sora Amamiya as Sophie (titular character in Akame Ga Kill), Hiroki Takahashi as Seighart (Japan in Hetalia series), Aya Uchida as Bianca (Kotori in Love Live!), Kouichi Yamadera as Otto (Spike in Cowboy Bebop), Kenn as Hans (Jinbei in Mushibugyou), Natsuki Hanae as Rickert (Inaho in Aldnoah.Zero), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Basler (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin), Mitsuaki Hoshino as Redford (Magellan in One Piece) and Hiroyuki Endou as Jonas (Rui in Sora Wo Miageru Shoujo No Hitomi Ni Utsuru Sekai).

The fast pace rock outfit of the opening theme, Cross The Line by Akino with Bless4 somehow I personally feel that the beat of this song doesn’t quite fit the setting of this series. It gives me a projection that this song would have been better suited for a mecha shonen genre. Seriously. It is a sudden u-turn for the ending theme because Hikari Aru Basho E by May’n is a very heavy and gloomy song. The slow pounding of the piano is enough to make you feel heavy and grounded. Luckily the string parts are better on the ears but despite being a sad sounding song, it is quite lovely and beautiful in its own right. There is also the Eylstadt Kokka (Eylstadt’s National Anthem) as a special ending theme. This one really sounds like a patriotic national anthem. Not sure if they really write it or they rip it off from some nation’s national anthem. I mean, it’s not like you’re going to recognize every darn anthem in the world, right? There are also a variety of background music from those dramatic pieces fit for a fantasy world to battle themes and the weird but lively a cappella sung by female choirs. In some ways, I do find it a little creepy depending on the scene they are played. For example, the scene is mellow and all of a sudden you hear this loud a cappella voices in the background.

Overall, I am very satisfied and very thrilled to have watched this series. It might not be perfect but it has a good story with many good characters. I’ll say this is really an interesting watch and would recommend that sometimes you don’t really need epic exaggerations and action like a certain Titan slaying anime or even crazy flashy over-the-top series like a certain clothes aliens trying to control the minds of humans, to make a good anime. I know it is just impossible and wishful thinking, but sometimes I wished that Izetta would really exist for real to stop all the stupid conflicts and clashes our world has had enough of. Because f*ck Superman and Batman who throughout the ages continue to fail to stop evil megalomaniac villains and aliens from constantly trying to take over or destroy Earth. Izetta literally ended a war prematurely than it should! And she rides a rifle for Heaven’s sake! Move aside. Witches are the new superheroes!

Show By Rock S2

March 25, 2017

I didn’t expect this series to actually have another season. I would have been in a lot more shock had not that short special a season before this premiered on the air. Uh huh. You could say it cushioned the ‘shock’. So when Show By Rock S2 came out, I wasn’t like going crazy of not anticipating it and then start to search in a frenzy all over Google if I was dreaming or there had been a mistake. Well, with or without that short preview season, I would still watch this because of my dumb policy to watch sequels if a series is not very bad in the first place. After all, we’ve seen these rocking band of furries save the music world with music. What else can they come up with? An intergalactic alien trying to destroy music and rule the cosmos? Oh wait…

Episode 1
A space villainess and her huge space army fire a hug plasma energy into Planet Sound and destroying Midi City in the process. The Ninjinriot heroes feel the only way to stop her is to go back in time. In present day, Maple tells Plasmagica (minus Cyan because she has gone home) about the upcoming commemorative concert. If you’re wondering why Criticrista is hanging out with them, it’s because Maple has taken the band under BRR’s wings. Yes, Rosia is still an annoying b*tch our Plasmagica girls hate. The guys of Shingan Crimsonz beat up Maple after they think he forgot all about them. He remembers there is a concert for them this weekend by BRR. Shingan Crimsonz does the opening gig before Plasmagica takes their turn. But before they could start, the entire area is being hijacked! Who are these mean chicks?! Oh wait. Isn’t that sperm blob on her shoulder… Dagger!!! What did I tell you last time if they don’t properly take care of him? Now he is back thanks to these girls reviving him (Rosia is going to have some serious trauma). To celebrate his return, he will take the Melodisian Stone from those who did this to him. Luckily he is interrupted when our future heroes arrive in time. Not wanting to waste time fighting, the baddies flee. Ninjinroit introduces themselves. They are Arashi, Rin and Oboro. From the future, they are here to stop the schemes of Planet Victorian’s leader, Queen of Darkness whom they suspect is that mean chicks’ vocalist. In the future, Midi City is destroyed as part of her plans to annihilate music by turning all Melodisian Stones dark and use that energy to take over Sound Galaxy. They will continue their investigations to expose the Queen of Darkness’ identity and hope these bands can help them fight against her and Dagger. Meanwhile Cyan has her own problems. She has not written a song for the school festival. Yeah, writing a new song is tough. As he gazes upon the stars and sing, not sure if her singing was so good (it wasn’t) that it attracted a comet as it smashes into her! Good thing she is alive but she freaks out seeing a giant robot in her room. Then she gets absorbed into it. Does this seem familiar? Yeah, we all know where she’ll be going.

Episode 2
The robot crashes into BRR’s building. Everyone is so glad Cyan is back. Miss you. Cyan has heard the gist of what is going on from the robot, Kamui who is also part of Ninjinriot. Kamui wants to take his leave but Maple wants him to bear the repair cost. Sorry, gotta go. While Plasmagica is back as a whole and planning on their next step, Moa suddenly gets an urgent call to come home. She has failed to submit her periodical reports and is summoned back. Oh no! Chuchu suggests everyone comes along, much to Moa’s delight. I guess this means Maple and Angelica are coming too. Moa explains her planet experienced economic boom but never thought about their energy source until it is running low. That is why they have sent investigators all over the galaxy to find energy. The gang meet Moa’s parents, the king and queen. So Moa is a royalty princess?! Never knew, eh? Oh, while mom is a hot mama, dad looks like an egg. What a weird combo… Like as though he is Maple’s long lost relative… Anyway they are thrown a nice banquet complete with delicious food (don’t judge the looks) and ‘unique’ traditional music (it sucks). Next day, Moa is summoned by the committee to explain herself. They are planning to strip her rank for not fulfilling her duties so she argues that this band thingy can solve their energy woes. This means Plasmagica is putting up a concert to demonstrate. At first nothing happens but a gentle reminder from Cyan that they need to enjoy themselves, it doesn’t take too long before energy comes bursting and lighting up everything. With that, Moa’s work is recognized and now allowed to continue her stay at Midi City. The king hopes they can broadcast some of the music to them. He heard they are building a music theme park, Puru Land and if so, they would like to help fund the construction costs in return. Angelica right away makes contact with the person in charge. Done deal. An emotional goodbye for Moa when she parts with her parents. But on the journey back, some bug monster mom gave her as present escaped its cage. Oh no. Looks like it wants egg for its next meal…

Episode 3
Sweet Sweets Girls Fes is a candy-cum-music festival for all girl bands to sell sweets and perform. If Plasmagica is in, I guess this mean Criticrista is going to be there too. The annoyance is still strong… Later Rosia talks to Cyan privately and thanks her for saving her. Since she is still prideful, she vows to be stronger next time to save her. Chuchu rallies her band mates to make sweets. Unfortunately none of them have baking experience so it is up to her to teach the basics. After bloopers and failures, they finally get it right. At the festival, Chuchu is overwhelmed with all the amazing sweets that the stalls are selling. However she starts to worry that everybody’s sweets are superior to theirs. Her worst fears come true when all the stalls have their sweets sold out. Even Marimari and Tsugihagi who aren’t part of a band and are just here to have fun, the free sweets they make for refreshments suddenly get mobbed by the crowd. Next thing you know, it’s all gone and they earn loads of cash! Chuchu goes into panic mode as she desperately tries to advertise her sweets. No takers. Cyan notices this and lets Chuchu take a bite to calm her down. You know what they say that desserts is the stressed spelled backwards. In no time, other people start to patron their stall and eventually their sweets are sold out too. Meanwhile, Shingan Crimsonz who thought they have been side-lined for too long is happy to get a gig. They didn’t realize they are to play villains at a children’s live sentai show. Sure, they’re mad but with Rom’s passionate persuasion, they get fired up to do their job. Oh no. Now they are rampaging the stage and scaring the children… Meanwhile a group of rich guys especially Orion are watching Shingan Crimsonz. They wonder why Orion is so infatuated with these poor guys with no money. Because it will be interesting to see what will happen when they get a taste of money. Oh yeah. Time to hatch their devilish plan…

Episode 4
Darudayu meets Grateful King relaxing on a sunny beach. She believes that according to a legend, peace will always be broken by someone who wants to ruin it. Therefore she is here to tell him TAM will be on a journey to find the legendary Melodisian Almaz, a high purity Melodisian Stone. Since they’ll be away, she wants him to take care of Midi City. He can’t say no despite already retired… There’s another event for all girl bands: The Sparkling Midicians Long Beach Water Sports Meet Full of Girls. What a long name to hide a swimsuit fanservice event… As the events is team based, the girls of the bands are randomly divided into teams. Retoree is not pleased she ended up in the same team as Rosia. The feeling is mutual, b*tch. Gracing the event is Trichronika broadcasting their performance in the middle of their Rainbow Galaxy Tour. As the games get on the way, Retoree feels she still isn’t good with crowds so she sits herself out in the storeroom. Rosia comes in looking for something and of course they get locked in. What to do but to sit around awkwardly till help arrives. If it ever arrives because nobody knows where they are. Inevitably they had to bring up the topic of Cyan. Rosia assures she isn’t interested in Cyan and will not steal her away as she is only interested in her talent. She is the only person she doesn’t want to lose to and whether she wins or lose, it helps her make her own music the best it can. When their band mates realize they are missing, they go in search of them before finding them trying to work together to get out. In the kibasen event, the duo work together perfectly to win the game and overall. Even enemies can be best friends. Like in shonen series, right? Meanwhile a group of Myumon students are trying hard to catch up on their tardiness to meet up with Ogasawara for a karaoke session?

Episode 5
Those rich guys are actually from a new band under the record label company, Judas. They are Arcareafact (comprising of Orion, Titan, Argon and Selen) and have usurped Trichronika for the top spot. So rich they are that they drop money on the streets and parachute down just to taunt Shingan Crimsonz in their face. Naturally, Maple relays the news there is going to be a battle of the bands between Shingan Crimsonz and Arcareafact. Meanwhile Dagger wants Ailane (alleged Queen of Darkness) to continue to dye all Melodisian Stones with darkness with the music of Bud Virgin Logic (BVL). His true resurrection will occur when Puru Land finishes and he will have his revenge on Plasmagica. Ailane’s subordinates, Peipain and Hundreko wonder if they can trust Dagger. Ailane doesn’t care about hope and dreams. She’ll send everyone to hell! At the battle of the bands, Shingan Crimsonz sings first followed by Arcareafact who in their usual fashion drop free money to the audiences! In the end they won by a huge margin! Crow and the rest are bitter in this defeat and believe they have bribed their way to victory. However Rom punches him and says a loss is a loss even it is dishonest. The only way is to start from scratch and perform in a way to reverse it. The Arcareafact guys are basking in their rich victory party. However Titan isn’t in the mood and leaves. He makes his way to a secret underground sewer to spend time with his little brothers, Balt and Nickel. It seems their family was rich too but their father’s business failed and everything was taken away. Plasmagica did some research and found Arcareafact had cheated. They want to relay this news but see Shingan Crimsonz eating their heart out and putting all that behind them. I guess there is no need to tell. Dagger then makes a personal broadcast to BRR and declare his war against Plasmagica.

Episode 6
Dagger will have Plasmagica in a battle of the bands against BVL. Rosia recognizes Ailane as she is the new transfer student in her school. She tries to peek into her clubroom but is caught red handed. Rosia tries to act tough but Ailane tells her it is her best interest not to say anything. Cyan is supposed to come up with a new song but she is in a slump and overslept. Meanwhile Yaiba calls Aion and Crow to meet. He shows them an old photo of a band named Amatelast. They don’t recognize this frontman but after taking a closer look, he is definitely Shuuzou. Guess who is the drummer? Rom. They realize the duo have been in the same band as everything about them fall into place. Then they hear their music. Nothing much. Just generic rock music. They want to go confront Rom to ask for more but turn into chickens after he lets out his usual loud voice, scolding them for being late for practice. Kai and Riku show Shuuzou the article of Arcareafact’s huge victory over Shingan Crimsonz. What bothers them are the rumours they used money to cheat. Shuuzou tells them not to believe gossip papers because for those who love music, money can never corrupt their heart. Can it? Cyan is still in a slump. Worse, her band mates come in to give her motivation as they are worried for her and she lies to them that she is okay. In the end, all that pressure and guilt builds up. What does she do? She runs away! But she isn’t directionless. She goes to see Grateful King.

Episode 7
Cyan hopes he could help her write a song. He can’t do that as writing songs are purely done by oneself. However he can help push her in that direction with some special training. Starting off with massaging his shoulders. Sure this is not a scam? Yeah, put some rhythm into that wrist. Rom is not pleased the guys are slacking in practice. So how? Time for a special training tramp! Unfortunately they got lost in the forest and stumble upon some lame guards trying to guard an entrance to some place. But Shingan Crimsonz are lamer since they got thrown away by the mountain guardian. They are saved by that old egg man and they spend their hardcore time together. The guys then work up the courage to give Rom the photo and the CD. Time to spill the beans. It was the last music he made with Amatelast. Back then, they weren’t afraid of anything and thought they could make it to the top. However as time passes, the band’s goal changed. Eventually they broke up and they went different ways. The guys pay back and alleviate Rom’s regrets by writing a new song. Meanwhile those guardians thought Shingan Crimsonz had come back but it is TAM. They won’t let them path but TAM shows their worth with some flashback of their journey? So touching that they just decide to let them in. WTF. Cyan’s training continues. She has to carry all the heavy luggage, clean the pool and carve 4 blocks of ice to fit into the fridge before the sun melts it. Why not just let the sun melt a little then? Not thinking. When Cyan thinks she can finally play an instrument, Grateful King wants her to play all the instruments simultaneously. She can’t so he tells her to stop complaining or else she can’t find the god of music. As she thinks, she sees visions of her band mates. Then it hit her. The god of music was always by her side. With tears, she calls Retoree to apologize for running away and comes clean about her slump. However they are all here. Didn’t she realize she was lugging their luggage? As true friends, they knew she would go find Grateful King whenever she is in trouble.

Episode 8
With Shingan Crimsonz back in the groove, Maple will organize another battle of the bands. Naturally Orion doesn’t see the point of this and wants to reject but their manager wants them to accept it so that they can crush their enemies so much till they will never challenge them again. It looks like the manager is brainwashing them or something. Titan just dropped in and feels like the guys are hiding something but they too Titan has been hiding something as he is always late and never gave reasons. With the revenge battle on, Retoree and Cyan take precaution knowing that some sort of cheating might happen again. Rosia’s band mates talk to Chuchu and Moa as they feel Rosia is acting suspiciously and not telling them things. Another one keeping secrets? So they invite Rosia out, some nostalgic flashback of how close they are and voila! Now Rosia is on talking terms. Wow. So easy. The revenge battle is here. As usual Arcareafact put up their snobbish confidence like as though the match is already decided beforehand. That’s when BRR shows them proof of how they cheated previously. A security guard was an eyewitness in seeing them bribe everyone in the concert. They also hacked the main server to manipulate votes. This doesn’t sit well with Titan as he genuinely doesn’t know about this. Orion continues to badmouth his rivals about being poor. Rom is about to punch him but Shuuzou stops him. He is protecting Arcareafact because they are his juniors. However Rom shouldn’t be fighting with his fists but music. Shuuzou also tells off Arcareafact that they can’t buy everything with money. He knows they’ll find out what’s important after this battle. Arcareafact goes first. Seeing how talented they are, they don’t understand why they had resorted to cheating. Shingan Crimsonz then sings their new song. The end results show Shingan Crimsonz won. But Arcareafact doesn’t feel bitter like as though their Melodisian Stones were purified. Orion apologizes to Titan for cheating and sullying his song writing. Titan also reveals his family tragedy. When they return to celebrate, it seems their manager has taken everything belonging to them and cleaned out their bank accounts and ran away. Good thing they’re not so materialistic anymore but what now? Titan’s little brothers suggest coming to their place. Can it fit?

Episode 9
Rosia reveals that she peeked at Ailane playing the piano in the clubroom, she was reeking with dark aura. Plus, she had this extreme hate for music which gave birth to that darkness. She wants Plasmagica to pull out of this battle but you know, trust in us, believe in us, that kind of crap that will make everything alright. Dagger and Ailane are discussing their revenge plans. Peipain and Hundreko talk that something is wrong with Ailane. They have always been with her and she never hated music. It’s like their words don’t reach her anymore. On the day of the concert, Criticrista find Peipain and Hundreko in a dilemma to do Ailane’s plans. Rosia gives her piece of mind as she doesn’t want Midi City destroyed. But the duo cannot disobey her. They feel she has been acting strange since associating with Dagger. Then here comes Ailane herself. Rosia asks her hate for music but Ailane doesn’t intend to tell her. Not like it matters. When her underlings speak up that this is wrong, she tells them to shut it and fulfil her desires tonight. If they really want to stop her, do it with their so called wholesome music. BVL goes first and their dark rock seems to revive Dagger. What a lame alien form? But suddenly he reverts back to his little blob form. While Plasmagica is performing, Ailane chastises her subordinates for not playing the music of darkness. They reply how much she has changed and hate music she once loved. So you see, the power of emotions and friendship could overcome and change Ailane back. They should have the balls guts to do this from the start if it was this easy… Before the winner could be announced, an angry Dagger absorbs those useless BVL and sucks Plasmagica into another but familiar dimension. Doesn’t this world look familiar? Déjà vu time. Yeah, Dagger is a roaring lion monster this time.

Episode 10
Arcareafact’s manager shows up in time. However she changes into her true form: The Queen of Darkness otherwise also known as Victorious! She easily defeats Dagger and returns him to his weakened state. So much about the déjà vu fight. She declares war on everyone and the day the music die will be the day Puru Land holds its opening concert. Till then, have fun. I guess we all have a common enemy now. Because the good guys are pitying the baddies. Cyan asks if Ailane is okay. Maple asks if Dagger is okay. He suggests calling a truce and Dagger reluctantly agrees but asserts he has no intention of becoming his friend. Shingan Crimsonz wonder why Aion is in shock. Because apparently he realizes Ailane is in BVR. So? Ailane is his sister. Oh… So where does Aion go to when he is depressed? Ailane knows he’ll hang out at the tallest building. She blames him that because he loves music so much, he pushed it all onto her. She has had it with him and runs away. Time for the guys to have a guy talk and the girls to have a girl talk. Ailane reveals they come from a wealthy noble family. Aion was supposed to succeed his father and naturally had to learn and do lots of things. With high expectations and hopes, pressure got to him and his only solace was music. Father did not like that and wanted to take that away too. Aion remained stubborn and was then kicked out of the house. Ailane asked if music was more important than family. He could only apologize and this made her mad. With Aion gone, naturally Ailane became the next successor and was put through the same torture. And yes, she too cracked under pressure and turned to the dark side. But she realized too late she was only being used by Dagger. Overall, she didn’t hate music. The guys are much shorter. They eat and tell Aion to go tell his true feelings to his sister. Simple. Before Ailane and her subordinates leave for home, they reconcile and Ailane in a long time declares she loves him. In a sisterly way, that is. Meanwhile TAM has found Melodisian Almaz. Maple relays the good news that Plasmagica, Shingan Crimsonz and Criticrista will all perform at Puru Land’s opening. But guess who is back to also help them? Grateful King!

Episode 11
But look who is also back? Trichronika! This is part of Grateful King’s plan so that they can all write a song to fight as one against Victorious. But first, a flashback from the villainess side to understand her background. On the Planet Ordinis where gifted children are given special education from young and those not special enough are left behind, a young Victorious and her friend Astreal are taking a positive note to pass tomorrow’s exam. Climbing an endless thorny vine? They’re singing and climbing their way to the top while encouraging each other. Till Victorious slips and pleads for help. Astreal ignores her and continues climbing. The shock of the betrayal has Victorious falling to the bottom. Her Melodisian Stone got corrupted and gave her power. Inches before Astreal reaches the top, Victorious flies up before her and scorns her for her betrayal. This causes fearful Astreal to fall back down. Oh, so close yet so far. This makes Victorious realize the true potential of the power of darkness. But it was still not enough for her to stand at the very top and needed more energy. That is why she targeted Sound Planet whose energy is harvested from music. She decided to toy around and become Arcareafact’s manager to take advantage of everything. Cyan with the help of everyone finally writes a song. On the day Puru Land opens, Moa’s mom and dad give their opening speech before Grateful King starts the first performance. But before that can even begin, Victorious has begun her schemes by trapping the audience in her thorny vines. She even traps our band heroes in another dimension because without their instruments, they cannot fight her. All is not lost because Maple summons his mecha that was created in secret with Moa’s dad.

Episode 12
Maple frees our heroes back to their normal dimension. Just when Maple is going to attack, the machine breaks apart. Too heavy. We saw this coming, right? Because he isn’t the one who will defeat the big bad boss. Before it is Victorious’ turn, TAM returns with Darudayu throwing Melodisian Almaz and having everyone play to power the stone up. This also helps power Maple’s mecha as he rides the stone to crash into Victorious! Apparently that crash has made her feel some sort of wonderful feeling. Flashback after Arcareafact lost to Shingan Crimsonz, she went on to target Plasmagica but is baffled their music could connect hearts of BVL. This is when she remembers she used to sing a lot with Astreal. Funny “Justice is power” song… This makes her realized she was so concerned about getting stronger, she locked those feelings and love for music in the depths of her heart. Obviously. She wants to sing again. While the girls are happy Victorious doesn’t hate music and that she has repented, they mourn the death of Maple. Thankfully comic relief characters can’t die. He just returns as an over-burnt egg. Yeah, everybody is now mocking him and Maple is snapping at everyone’s ungratefulness and didn’t get a hero’s welcome. See! We all love that comic relief character, right?! The concert restarts again as everyone plays their gig. Those Myumon students finally arrive and Ogasawara is shocked to see the return of Dagger. He is in his true form but his head is still a blob. Funny… At the end of the concert with Ninjinriot appearing (where the f*ck were you guys?!), it is time for Cyan to say goodbye and return. Some tears flow, some thank you, some goodbyes. Cyan returns and looks like she has finally found her groove in writing her song for her school’s festival.

Hard Rock Save The Space
Well, I almost saw it all coming. At least the general pattern of the story. Group of good guys band together to unfairly outnumber and gang up against the villainess who didn’t have time to flex her muscles or strut her stuffs. Thanks to the power of friendship and music, even the baddies will become soft and return to the light side. Cyan returns home. The end. So I’m not sure if this sequel is any better or not because I’m still not really impressed. I mean, it’s not really bad but I wasn’t really all that excited when I watched this second season. It only feels like it is made for those who love furries playing rock music. Lots of different furries, that is.

Character development doesn’t feel that all great this season too. With so many characters now into the mix, it is so hard to give those lesser band mates any screen time for instance like those from Criticrista. Nobody except Rosia stands out and even so, Rosia is just reduced to some annoying side character. Even the new characters feel like they were just shoehorned into the show for the plot despite looking as though they have some potential in them. It also feels like as though they serve to troll viewers to make us think that they might be the main antagonist but as soon as Victorious pops up in her true form, they die down and go back into the shadows. Sure, we see them in the final episode credits montage with BVL still doing their personal gig and Arcareafact enjoying living the dirty underground poor sewer life (because it hell beats all those shiny rich things, right?), but then it doesn’t really matter at this point. They don’t even join our last season’s bands in fighting Victorious. It just feels redundant.

Worst of the new characters are Ninjinriot. These people appear for just the first episode (and the most the beginning of the second episode) and then disappear for the rest of the episodes! It makes you wonder where the f*ck did those guys go and what were they doing when evil was lurking in Midi City and our heroes and heroines are the one who are doing the real work. It’s like tossing to them their responsibility, no? You just say a few words and tell what is happening or what will happen and then to be never heard off again. And then they appear in the final episode just to thank them for doing everything (yeah, they just help destroy the baddie and save the future which is supposed to be your job I believe) and are there just to take Cyan back. Some futuristic heroes they are. I want to argue that they should have just gone back further in time to prevent Victorious from turning to the dark side but then again, I’m thinking they don’t want to dirty their hands and let somebody do the dirty work. After all, the present isn’t their, uhm, future? Pretty forgettable, if I should say.

As for our recurring main and supporting characters, Trichronika and TAM are side-lined for most of the season by going on a tour and journey respectively only to show up in the final moments so that we don’t forget that they too are the heroes and deserve to be part of the winning team. That’s the thing when you have too many freaking characters. Even our main characters from Plasmagica also don’t feel like they have the spotlight well enough. Sure, Moa has her own episode, Chuchu making sweets and Retoree seemingly has one so she could reconcile with Rosia, because most of the stuffs like Chuchu being used by Dagger out of her own jealousy are mostly covered in the first season. Heck, even Dagger coming back felt like a troll because he didn’t really do anything. He would have had he not been usurped by the dark queen. And with him back in business with Ogasawara, not sure if he will be continuing his shady ways and ambitions (seeing those Myumon students are perhaps under his agency now – I don’t even know what this distraction is for this season). I think he is the only evil looking one still at the end. At least Victorious has gone back to being looking more like a great diva. Perhaps it’s because Victorious was never evil to begin with unlike Dagger (assuming) and that’s why she turned back. Maybe the bands should sing another song to cure Dagger and make him look all cutie and nice.

So this season seems to pay more attention to Shingan Crimsonz instead because they’ve got a new rival in the name of Arcareafact (now ex-rival) to deal with as well as the ‘shocking’ revelation of Ailane being Aion’s sister. You see, these newbies from BVL and Arcareafact looked like they have potential with their seemingly interesting back stories to tell but then when Victorious decides to play her card, all that is tossed aside. Well, at least Maple didn’t become a running joke this time because it is only shown once, Angelica beating the S&M crap out of him when he stepped out of line. Remember that? And so what they discovered Rom’s past with Shuuzou? A sign for them to band together stronger as brothers? I thought they’ve always been this idiotically close to begin with. There are many other smaller bands that debuted last season making their cameos here but I suppose they don’t even matter because I still don’t even remember their names. Oh yeah, lastly what can I say about Cyan as the main heroine? My thoughts is that if Midi City has a big crisis, just call her. Forcefully bring her to this world if you have to. Because there is nothing more that saves the universe than Cyan and her song writing. Yeah. Hard rock (and a certain other hard mineral rock too) save the space.

With all of last season’s seiyuus retained, a few new ones join the cast. Most notably Miyuki Sawashiro as Victorious. She sounds like she is devilishly having fun with her antagonistic character. Personally, I still feel Sayaka Ohara still takes the cake as the best voice for badass villainess but Miyuki Sawashiro deserves a pat on the back here for truly making her character’s voice shine. The other new casts include Ruriko Noguchi as Ailane, Aimi Tanaka as Peipain (titular character in Himouto! Umaru-chan), Ibuki Kido as Hundreko (Claire in Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance),Yuusuke Kobayashi as Titan (Subaru in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Taku Yashiro as Orion (Hayato in Mayoiga), Chiharu Sawashiro as Argon (Natsuki Ise in All Out), Eishin Fudemura as Selen (debut) and Mai Goto as Astreal (Mika in Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu).

Just like last season, Plasmagica dominates the opening and ending themes with their trademark rock music. Heart Wo Rock is a little catchy thought I find it weird that the girls (especially the guitarists) doing strange dances to the beat of the tune. For example, shaking their right hand and that very strange marching. I suppose you won’t be bothered by too much of it when you’re quite into the pace of the music. The main ending theme is My Song Is You while the special ending song for the final episode sung by Cyan is Close To You. The animation uses the same CG design as in the first season so I thought they were reusing the same recycled stuffs. Maybe for the animation but not for the song. There are also a few insert songs but those rock genre they didn’t really appeal to my taste. Except for that one whereby Shingan Crimsonz were introducing themselves and at the same time describing or somewhat paying tribute to the food they’re eating. That was hilarious.

Overall, this season feels like a waste of potential with some boring and predictable storylines, it would only appeal to hardcore fans of the series. Just because of a few cool looking male furries and lots of cute female furries doesn’t mean that all the music they sing are music to my ears. Maybe this fad has ended and it is time to bury the series instead of milking it dry with another season. I don’t know. Personally I think it should be that way to ‘end’ it here seeing this season had a ‘decent’ ending that ties up lots of strings and holes. Even in show business, you need to know how to quit to stay ahead.

Shokugeki No Souma S2

March 24, 2017

Thanks to the mouth-watering first season, it was only right to satiate the quench and hunger of fans and viewers who want more of Shokugeki No Souma. Hence, your wishes are heard and the second season is served to feed our need once more. We can’t wait to see what our main protagonists cook up delicious and godly dishes that we pitiful commoners can only salivate and imagine we’re those lucky people tasting them. So if you love food but have to go on a strict diet, at least the doctor didn’t prescribe that you stay away and shouldn’t watch any food themed series. Have you heard of anybody getting fat visually? Oh wait… Being a couch potato and not exercising contributes to obesity… Damn it… Too late, I’ve already started…

Episode 1
We jump right into the quarter-finals for the Autumn Elections. Because Souma is our main character, he goes up first in the first match. His opponent? Alice. The theme will be bento. Alice finishes first and presents to the judges her high quality seafood temari bento. You can tell how good it is when Senzaemon goes topless! Apparently Alice doesn’t know about the unwritten rules about why she will lose. One, because those who goes second will always win and two, Souma is main character so he must win. So Souma’s fish theme bento by taking advantage of the bento box to turn it into soup as well as salmon roe that literally explodes into your mouth (inspiration based on some snack of a similar nature) sealed the win for him. In short, Souma used the bento’s shape to fill it with entertainment and enhanced its flavour with warmth compared to Alice’s cold chilling flavour to just fill the box that made Souma the winner. Alice tries out his dish and gets a flashback of her cold past and being filled up by the warmth of this bento. Cue for naked delusion reaction please…

Episode 2
The second round pits Megumi against Ryo and the theme is ramen. To fill in the time for this episode, we get to see Ryo being an excellent and serious chef since young. This little kid is the one who took charge of the kitchen and putting the adults to shame. Ryo doesn’t think Megumi is serious in her cooking because of her sheltered life. Chefs are all about winning or being beaten. Cooking is about bringing your opponents down to your knees. Wow. I never knew cooking was hardcore battlefield. Ryo finishes first and lets the judges taste his rich shrimp seafood ramen. I’m not sure if Ryo has a good naming sense because he calls this dish, Soupe de Poisson. Sorry, my French not so good. But don’t look down on Megumi. She is equally serious and has put in the effort too. In short, she improvises the ingredients she has to create another rich seafood ramen but her main ingredient is scallops. Shrimps versus scallops. Who will win?

Episode 3
If you follow the unwritten rules, Megumi should win, right? Well, sometimes you have to break that rule. Because Ryo wins. Even if Senzaemon didn’t go topless for Megumi’s dish unlike Ryo’s, he realized later that his underwear had gone missing! Hidden gem? The third match resumes the next day and has Hisako against Hayama to make hamburger. Meanwhile Souma is running late to the hall when he bumps into a punk dude riding his bike, Subaru Mimasaka. This is the guy that surpassed Ibusaki and Marui in the final moments to make it to the next round. Mimasaka is a bit of a weirdo himself. Not the fact he heavily locks and chains his bike or showing off his great embroidery, but the fact he knows every trivial information his opponents! This guy is a walking database! This guy even knows the average hours they slept in the past month! SCARY! As the match has started, Souma and Megumi have to watch in the waiting room with Mimasaka and Takumi. Hisako shows her savagery as she beheads a live terrapin and drain its blood to make burger meat! To show how scary Mimasaka’s accurate prediction is, he predicts Hayama’s win because his kebab dish made out of lamb and beef has a very strong aroma. Something about using achaar too. There she goes into her naked defeat. There goes Hisako’s dreams in replacing Erina. So sad. As Takumi and Mimasaka are preparing for their match, Takumi catches him red handed in touching his tools. He also knows he has been spying on him on the last few days. Mimasaka badmouths the bad tools he is using. Worse, he talks trash about Isami who will always be a second rate chef. Before the match begins, an emergency announcement is broadcasted. It seems Takumi and Mimasaka’s match will be also a Shokugeki.

Episode 4
Apparently veterans won’t be surprised of this Shokugeki because Mimasaka has won 99 of them! He will take Takumi’s knife if he wins otherwise Mimasaka will apologize to his brother right in front of everyone. Records show Mimasaka makes the same dish as his opponents but improvises them to stay tops. Thus he makes the same semifreddo. Not only he stalks his opponents to know and trace their thoughts of what they’ll make, he even exposes and badmouths them. Yeah, like reading out a book of your life’s story, eh? So if Takumi is starting to panic, how can his ‘supporters’ not stay calm? Of course, always go back to your family roots… Mimasaka serves first and let’s say his semifreddo makes one of the judges feel like a young girl. Takumi bounces back with his improvisation using some English rooted lemon with Italian touch and adding his secret family made olive oil. However Mimasaka starts laughing. All going according to his plan. He was counting on him using his secret technique (that’s why he already warned he knows everything about him) and used preserved lemons as his secret ingredient. In the end, all the judges unanimously vote for Mimasaka. So you think his ‘supporters’ might feel the need to speak to him or cheer him up so why are they b*tching about Souma not giving a f*cks? Then back at the dorm, isn’t it no surprise that Mimasaka is waiting in Souma’s room? As you might have guessed, the next round pits them together. He is here to wager another Shokugeki for his knives. He knows Souma will stand up for the humiliated and tries to get him mad to accept it. But Souma is cool. He isn’t rattled and is confident Takumi isn’t depressed after this. Instead he feels pity for Mimasaka. He respects him for recreating Takumi’s dish. But that’s just about it. He took advantage of Takumi’s trial and error effort and as a chef he can’t respect him. He doesn’t know the true joy of cooking. Souma accepts his Shokugeki. But he doesn’t want Takumi’s knife back but all the other 99 tools he took. So what will Souma wager for that equivalent value? He will quit being a chef! Gasp!

Episode 5
Souma further tells him the beef stew that he will make in the match. That’s when his pals rush him to stop giving out more information. Mito is most upset about all this. Souma explains he wants to return all the tools Mimasaka robbed. He will stake his pride as his chef to defeat him. Next morning, Mitsuru Sotsuda is at his doorstep. He is from the journalism club and has covered about his upcoming Shokugeki with Mimasaka which has set the entire school abuzz. This guy wants to be the best journalist so what the heck is he doing in Totsuki for? He bugs Souma for an exclusive interview but he ignores him. He remains persistent till people have the wrong idea about their gay relationship and so he relents. Souma lets him try out the beef stew he is going to make. Of course to a normal guy like him it tastes great but it isn’t enough. Souma reveals he told Mimasaka what he will be doing as this is his best dish before coming to Totsuki. Now that they are at the same starting line, will he evolve this dish or Mimasaka’s profiling will surpass him. As Mitsuru is full (it is blasphemy to not finish Souma’s cooking!), Souma needs someone who can test taste. Meanwhile Erina is happily reading her love manga. She realizes she ran out of volumes and Hisako isn’t around to provide her. She has left for a journey after realizing she is too embarrassed to face her after her loss. Erina thinks she is back but it’s just Souma and Mitsuru. Disappointed? B*tch mode on. She rejects them to test taste but after Souma says one of his dorm mates has the full manga volume, she agrees. The verdict? It’s trash. She didn’t even hint what is wrong. Well, you can’t argue with her God tongue, right? After a while, Souma hits inspiration and kicks Mitsuru out of his kitchen. Exclusivity over. The first semi-final math is here and the judges are all graduates of Totsuki like Dojima, Inui, Fuyumi Mizuhara, Taki Tsunozaki and Sonoka Kikuchi. Everyone is surprised when they see Souma using oxtail as his base. They think he has overcome his problem. Till they see Mimasaka is also using oxtail and the same spices! He knows everything! But now this is where Mimasaka surpasses Souma as he proclaims.

Episode 6
In addition to oxtails, Mimasaka has got brown sugar and a whole lot of other secret ingredients for his beef stew. Enhancing his perfect profiling is his revelation of Mitsuru’s weak birthday password that allowed him to peek at his interview findings. This guy is really a stalker! Souma is not fazed and starts cooking. I mean, he starts his cooking only right now. Mimasaka knows this is one way to defeat his perfect profiling by not planning and improvising on the dot. However most will panic and end up blank. He has high hopes for Souma and knows he won’t panic but will still fall short. Mimasaka goes first and needless to say the judges are awed. Souma goes next and although the first bite doesn’t bring any excitement, suddenly they are falling like riding a roller coaster! Souma reveals he was also thinking about Mimasaka. He also predicted what he would make but that wouldn’t be his own cooking. So his improvised cooking wasn’t just on the fly but he has drawn from all his experience throughout his life in making this beef stew which is unlike the profiling that has only 1 necessary step taken. The judges are in fantasy land. Nothing wrong about it except Dojima is dressing and acting like a girl! Hideous! In short, Souma unanimously wins the Shokugeki. As expected.

Mimasaka can’t accept this loss so Souma lets him try his dish. So good that it brings back memories of his childhood when he first started cooking. He had talent but his father who is a top chef didn’t like him copying his dishes. One day his restaurant was showcasing new dishes and hosting VIPs, Mimasaka added a simple twist so he could earn dad’s respect. Although he ended up winning, it made dad madder. He was then exiled to Totsuki and that was where he began using his profiling ability and concocting his twisted personality. All the tools are returned to their respective owners and everyone is ever grateful to Souma. Mimasaka will stop being a chef forever but Souma stops him. Souma calls Takumi to get his knife. Takumi admits his loss to Mimasaka but will beat him the next time. A new person to be gay with? But Takumi gives his knife to Souma. It is his now. At least his safekeeping. He will get it back once he beats him in their next Shokugeki. Souma tells Mimasaka to take his opponent’s entire pride in a single match again. Even if he is heavily defeated and crushed, you still need to open shop tomorrow. That is what being a chef is all about. In short, continue cooking. And this is what Souma meant about quitting cooking. It is just to start all over again. So he wasn’t really going to stop, huh? Mimasaka tastes Souma’s dish again and this time feels like a little girl. More hideous than Dojima… Souma’s win must now be a thorn in Erina’s side now. Can’t wait to win this and face her.

Episode 7
Now for Hayama and Ryo to face off. Souma irks Erina as he sits with her together in her special VIP room to watch. As Hayama is the favourite to win, I suppose that is why we have Alice to tell us about his past hell training, blah, blah, blah. I wonder how this will sit with Mito when she sees Souma being flanked by 2 hot babes. Anyway with the western style dish as theme, Hayama uses duck while Ryo goes for eel. It gets odder when the visual metaphor becomes a card game with monsters. Yugioh x Pokemon?! So we’ve got Hayama’s fragrant dish grasping the judges with its ‘eagle claws’ and Ryo giving them electric shock and explosion! So who will win? For the first time, the judges are having a tough time to decide. When the score is at 2-2, it all boils down to Kikuchi. She cannot choose. Of course we can’t have that so Dojima proposes. Normally a draw would mean rescheduling and fight another date but with everyone’s tight schedule this isn’t possible. So how? Let them both advance to the finals! This never happened before. Oh, when Senzaemon gives his approval means it will happen. Yeah, I thought it would be time for Souma to seek revenge on both together. While Hayama gracefully accepts this fate, Ryo is bursting with anger and rage. Our 3 finalists lay down their challenge to each other. The theme will be saury fish and the finals will be in 10 days. 10 days?! OMG. Filler time?!

Episode 8
Souma and Megumi head to the fish market. They see Ryo and Alice. Ryo has this knack to choose the freshest saury as well as its taste at its peak. They both make sashimi and let Megumi judge. Ryo’s sashimi is better. Some explanation about Ryo’s ability to determine everything that he touches. Even from how the fish lives to how it is transported?! WTF?! In that case this guy makes a good crime solver. They also hear Hayama was earlier here and the sellers were talking how great he is choosing the best ingredients with his nose. Yeah, I guess Souma is at a disadvantage if he can’t choose the best ingredients. He is turned into an underdog or no hoper since the media interviewing his rivals are shown their great demonstration but Souma has nothing to show for. Souma realizes aging may be an important factor so he ropes in Ryouko, Ibusaki and Mito to help since they are experts in aging techniques. Even with all the testing and the best saury they can come up with, Megumi still believes it doesn’t taste near as Ryo’s. This has Souma cracking his head. He can’t give up on aging now. When he decides to go buy more saury, he sees Fumio in her usual drinking. He sees the simple snack that goes with her drinking and hits eureka. He must have really hit an idea because he hugs her. Hayama and Ryo notice Souma has not come to the fish market ever since but they know he has a plan as he is not the kind to give up. On the final match day, the judges will be Senzaemon, Dojima and Leonora Nakiri (Alice’s mom). She might look beautiful but her Japanese accent is horrible! Hayama and Ryo take out their firm and exquisite saury. Souma? What the f*ck is that brown sh*t?! Not kidding. Literally, it looks like one long hard constipated sh*t!!!!!!!

Episode 9
Underneath the moonlight night, our finalists begin their cooking. Because Ryo finishes first and serves, we have a little flashback of him and Alice’s battling it out. Alice always won and it took him 2 years to finally beat her. That is of course after he learnt her cooking style and knowledge. Ryo serves his saury in a pouch. You can tell how awesome it is when Senzaemon bares his chest and even grins. Leonora on the other hand turns into Buddha explaining word for word all the amazingness in fast forward fashion. Oh, she speaks fluent Japanese now! Sorry guys, she’s not going to bare her chest like you thought. When it is Hayama’s turn, Ryo thought he was joking because his dish seems lighter. But he hasn’t put the finishing touches. Once he sears his saury, an amazing aroma fills the hall. You can even tell how tasty it is by smelling without tasting. Of course when you taste, the better. The usual bare chest Senzaemon and Buddha Leonora. Of course don’t look down on Souma. His piece of sh*t is actually saury covered in salted rice bran. As usual, great reviews and all, blah, blah, blah. But then everybody notices something. Senzaemon didn’t strip his top. Leonora didn’t go into Buddha mode. Does this mean it Souma has lost? Why the f*cks everybody is so negative when it comes to the candidate they are supporting? Don’t jump your guns yet because the dish isn’t finished. You need to have seconds. So don’t say you’re full now.

Episode 10
Isshiki talks to Eizan and he knew it was all his plan to have Mimasaka target Souma for ultimate humiliation but his plan backfired. Souma presents his white soup which is soy milk to turn his saury dish into porridge. We’ve got Senzaemon clothes explode apart! So amidst their praise, Isshiki continues telling Eizan about the magazine focusing more on Hayama and putting down Souma (just like America’s 2016 elections?). Even when Souma defeated Alice and Mimasaka, the crowd doesn’t seem to acknowledge him. Isshiki once talked to Jouichirou about Souma. He views his son has no special cooking skill but lacks what a normal person would have which is the belief of losing to someone more talented. This is obvious when Souma never gave up after losing all the time to him. All Souma did was keep testing and retesting his recipes. Thus the reason why everyone is afraid to acknowledge him is because if they do so they are acknowledging their own lack of effort. So before the judges announce the winner, they give their evaluation on their dishes. Blah, blah, blah. But the one dish that sets the winner apart is the reflection of the chef as an individual. An own specialty dish. And the winner is… Flashback to Hayama’s past 8 years ago! F*CK!!!!! Do we need more tension???!!! Yeah, yeah. So we learn he was abandoned in the slums till Shiomi picked him up and taught him things. This gives Hayama a purpose in life and thus he is always grateful to her, the reason he must win this tournament. And if that story feels like a flag or something, it is because the winner is Hayama!!!!!!!!!! Shiomi is so happy rushing down to his side that he hugs her in front of everyone. I suppose Souma is in a dilemma now because dad told him not to lose to anyone before losing to him next time. So Souma and Ryo has Hayama make his saury dish for them to taste again. Part of their improvement plan, I guess. Later Souma gets a call from Jouichirou. He laughs at his son’s defeat. Souma is motivated to explore the kind of cooking he can only do to carry on his family’s business name. Isn’t that what he has been doing all the time? Souma and Ryo spend the rest of their time at Hayama’s place test tasting each other’s several dishes in a bid to improve. Even the Polar Star residents get the same idea. Shiomi warns them that they only have a short respite. After this they will be tossed out of the academy for a practical training programme called Stagiaire.

Episode 11
The first stage of Stagiaire will have students work at pairs. Guess who Souma gets paired with? Hisako. Not thrilled to see him, huh? They will be helping out Mamoru Mitamura’s western restaurant for a week. They notice customers leaving in a rush. Despite Hisako claiming she can cook and cut fast, but can she handle it when the stream is endless? When customers come in at one go, the staffs become chaotic trying to fulfil the orders. Because they cannot get it done in time, all the customers leave at the same time! But with Souma taking charge, things get a bit better. As much as Hisako hate taking orders from him, for the sake of this restaurant she has to swallow her pride and drop that b*tch attitude. It is learnt that the customers are rushing for the Bullet Train and that is why they are rushing for time. Meanwhile Erina is also having her Stagiaire. She is in confrontation with the restaurant owner who is trying to relegate her to washing dishes. Megumi better stay out of this… Eventually she takes over command of the place and customer satisfaction drastically increases. Yeah, it’s like she owns the place now. When Souma points out if Hisako is going to continue working in this restaurant, she realizes what he is implying and calls for an emergency meeting with the staffs. Although things are going smooth for now, once the Totsuki duo leave, things will go back to normal. Chaotic. The staffs feel changing too much would be meaningless so Souma has Mitamura think what kind of restaurant he wants it to be and based on the circumstances they are in, offers a solution. Nobody think that turning this restaurant into reservations only instead of walk-in would be successful. However in its own way it does because old customers who were too busy to come here can now make reservations to come enjoy their food. Things are less hectic this way too. Erina gives Megumi a ride home. She asks more about Megumi and of course she can’t thank her success without mentioning Souma. That name just infuriates her. But the mention of Hisako’s name has her suddenly become depressed. Speaking of her, Hisako is still reeling she doesn’t deserve to be with Erina, blah, blah, blah. Souma tells her she should walk by her side and not behind her and gives her the manga Erina wants as reason for her to see her again. After all, they both lost to Hayama and should find a way to beat him someday. For once Hisako returns a nice grateful smile.

Episode 12
Where does Souma get sent for the next Stagiaire? Oh. It’s a soon to be newly opened Tokyo flagship store of Shinomiya. Due to budget constraints, I guess Souma has to start helping out finishing the construction and fitting with Shinomiya himself and the minimal staffs that include Abel Blondin the head chef, Gao Wei and Lucie Hugo. After they’re done, Shinomiya cooks for them quiche. Despite tasting absolutely delicious, by Shinomiya’s standards it is not good. Shinomiya’s restaurant will have a few days of pre-open. This is like a test run where he invites customers he knows to taste the food and such. Of course Souma as his first time experiencing this falls behind and almost threatens to disrupt the work flow of everybody. He barely makes it by the end of the day. And you might have guessed, despite all the criticisms and scolding, he won’t get dejected so instead he learns to improve himself at night and more importantly ask questions. Thus you can see him improve day by day that he becomes faster than the rest on the last pre-open day. Since Shinomiya is holding a new menu competition among the staffs, Souma wants to join. Looks like he has found his specialty.

Episode 13
After the last pre-open day, the restaurant is closed for a private event that Shinomiya has invited certain people over. They are some of Totsuki’s alumni and Chapelle. Not forgetting Shinomiya’s mother. After the restaurant closes, they want to stay behind to watch the staffs in the new menu competition. We can tell this episode is all fully dedicated to Souma because we don’t even see what the other staffs cook. We see Souma drawing out his past experience to make his new menu. It must be awesome because he becomes Super Saiyan???!!! Even more so, we don’t see those ‘judge’s tasting the other staffs’ menu. It all boils down to Souma. He serves his best French dish, a whole quail which might look like a French version of substituted version of Japan’s oyakodon. Of course it tastes good as Souma explains all about it. Blah, blah, blah. But what is Shinomiya’s verdict? It is still low quality! It is good to be served at a small time restaurant but a flagship restaurant like his is a no. In fact, Shinomiya offers to teach how he could make the dish better. Souma couldn’t be happier. Better prepare yourself because it takes all night! Shinomiya’s final encouragement is for Souma to take the top seat of the Elite Ten. Montage shows other Totsuki students toughing it out in their own Stagiaire. Souma returns back his dorm only to find a box of Shokugeki challenge letters. In fact, one of them challenges him right now! Bring it on. There are more montages of the rest but the noteworthy ones are Isami back to his fatty form again and Hisako back by Erina’s side. Souma wins his Shokugeki and then throws down his challenge to everyone he can take on anyone anytime. Even right now.

Bomb Appetite!
OMG???!!! What happened???!!! Let me explain to you with this scenario. You once tried out a newly opened restaurant in your area. Everything was new, everything was fresh, everything was good. Absolutely the best. You know this is going to be your favourite place to eat for a long time to come. You recommend to your friends and family about this place. You decide to come and eat again but wait. It feels a little different. At first it wasn’t quite as good as the original but it was still bearable. But as you proceed with your meal, you find that it has lost the quality you thought it once had. It turned out totally different than the first experience. Very different. It’s like they changed the recipe or the chefs who did it. You decide that this place has become awful and just like how it betrayed your trust, you decide never to come back here ever again. Ever.

Sadly, this is my feelings for this season and I believe the same can be said for many of us who watched this (yeah, read those dreaded internet comments). Thanks to the first season, it has built a good base that makes us wanting more. Of course we were hyped and excited when we heard there was going to be a second season. And then it came. And went away quietly. Leaving us to question where it went wrong along the way. Although a direct continuation from the first season, the first half of the season was still enjoyable, it wasn’t as exciting that I had experienced in the first time. I shouldn’t be calling this ‘fatigue’ because this is only the second time. So for the magic to wear out this fast? Something must have gone wrong. By the time it reached halfway, the magic was close to zero. Almost completely gone. Instead of anticipating with glee for each episode, there was this dreaded feeling that I have to go through the same crap again. There was no more excitement. The excitement pretty much felt dead. And because this season had a few more episodes to spare after the Autumn Elections ended, the Stagiaire felt like filler episodes to close the season. Too late. Damage done. But if there is anything good about this final mini arc, at least it gives students a peak of what a real hell’s kitchen works in real life. Yes, real work life experience.

Perhaps it was the case of following the formula of if it is not broken, don’t fix it. Because this season offers nothing new and very much follows the pattern of the first season. Students fight it out in cooking battles but instead this season is pretty much concentrated on the Autumn Elections. That’s about it. The dishes they served up look pretty amazing and people like me will get lost in all the judges’ mumbo-jumbo as they try to explain and justify why that dish is so godly. Yeah, maybe that is why it has lost touch with us commoners. There might have been some sort of hidden frustration that we as casual viewers have come to terms that we will never get to taste it and thus no matter how much the wax lyrical about the food, we couldn’t care less anymore because it doesn’t reach us. I mean, why the heck should we get excited if we are not going to taste it anyhow? I mean, we can use our imagination to salivate but that only makes things worse. You know, dreaming of eating the best food but ultimate realizing you can’t afford it so you just keep on dreaming. Yeah. That kind of frustration.

The plot for the Autumn Elections was also very predictable. I actually predicted who was going to fight who and the winner of that match. All came out true except the second semi-final in which I was sure that Hayama would win (although it was a match in which I had the lowest confidence my prediction would be right) and they did the unthinkable of making both pass. Which is like a slap in the face for all of us expecting a winner. And this in which leads to the finals whereby of course made my prediction go off trajectory again because after watching so many series with a main protagonist like Souma (especially when you have your name in the title), I expected Souma to make a comeback and win so he could have his ‘defeat’ in the qualifying round avenged. And what do you know? Hayama won. Wow. That was unexpected. But I suppose it is a good thing because it shows Souma isn’t invincible. You win some, you lose some. Also, an excuse for Souma to improve himself because the chances of so after you lose an important fight is higher. Really. So put off that final boss fight with Erina and take a detour levelling up, getting stronger and fighting other sub-bosses along the way first. Guess we’ll have to wait another time.

There was little to no character development at all. Of course there is some development for Souma. He is the main character for God’s sake. But this guy is so good like the many other characters you see in this series, that when he improves, you don’t really see what he improves on. He looks the same awesome guy. Just like how Adobe Acrobat always want to update but you don’t see a freaking difference, right? Yeah… If this is already happening to Souma, what about the other characters? Sure, it is unfair to say that this season had only half the episodes compared to the first season. But the way some are shown makes them redundant. Like those Polar Star students and Mito are just reduced to cheering Souma. They didn’t even do anything significant. They’re forgettable. I could go on ranting about the other characters but that would be me repeating myself because they are more or less like this for this season. Pretty much everybody stays the same. Erina is still a big b*tch who hates Souma (albeit a little lesser but so miniscule that it won’t change anything), Hisako being a b*tch for Erina, Takumi still being gay for Souma and Megumi still that same panicky girl. At least she doesn’t have to rely too much on Souma this time. At least no running jokes like Souma’s bad squid tentacle rape combo for fanservice. Phew, right? But still have plenty of ladies stripping naked in their exaggerated delusion delight when they taste a fantastic dish. Yeah, those delusions and explanations are still the main trademark of the series. Truly, I really need to taste all of them.

Mimasaka if I should say is the only new character for this season and perhaps as the ‘antagonist’ he is pretty much by far the most interesting. He is intimidating and his unusual stalker method really gives me the creeps. He was one badass guy whom you’d want Souma to take down badly. However what makes me unable to like him further than that is the exaggerated effect of his database ability. I know this series has people with outrageous ability like Erina’s divine tongue but having Mimasaka like a walking computer it makes him so unrealistic. It’s like he has got everything covered. Everything. This guy if he didn’t end up being a chef, he could have been the human version of Wikipedia and WikiLeaks. Watch out because there is somebody who can remember your past just by observing every freaking thing you do and then do it better way than yourself. If this is a new way of stealing your identity, it is going to be a scary place to live in.

I have this conspiracy theory of mine. You know how everybody here makes super good food that they even though to ordinary people it will be so heavenly but among themselves are not good enough? Well, I thought that all those crazy reactions you see are the side effect of drugs! Yes people! This academy makes ecstasy drugs in the guise of food! Now, the only way for top people like those judges to get their fix all the time, is to get students to ‘improve’ on the ‘food’ and with the excuse of a tournament, they’ll get to taste and enjoy that ‘food’. I know this sounds like a stretch but let that sink in for a moment. This way, those cheapskate bastards will also get their fix for free because what better way than to get high frequently, right? So the one with the best drugs wins? Holy sh*t!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, if Stagiaire has the Totsuki students being sent to work temporarily at super high quality restaurants around the country, then considering that there are quite a number of first year students, does this mean that there are a hell lot of such super high quality restaurants around? This is not even counting the Totsuki alumni whom all of them have opened their successful restaurant. This means Japan (if not the world) is one big place of high quality gourmet? Where do commoners with no money go to eat then? Oh right. Maybe in this world everybody gets a decent quality meal no matter from what kind of poor background they come. Because such godly food will always save the day. The other thing that keeps bugging me is the number of first year students at Totsuki. My guess there is an extremely large number of them. Because after every major training camp or special event, you would hear the higher ups mention how so many are weeded out. Yet there are so many left (this is assuming from what I hear from the next event). Sure, we are only shown Souma and some of the major characters so we don’t really see all the other students who flop. Safe to say, all those whom we have seen so far and given at least some personality (like those eternal Polar Star bros, Yuki and Ryouko) all have potential to survive to become the next elite chefs.

Having said all that, the rock opening theme somehow doesn’t sit with me, Rough Diamonds by Screen Mode. Maybe the diamond needs more polishing? Then there is Snow Drop by Nano Ripe as the ending theme. No longer sounding bad when I first heard her a long time ago. This rock theme ending feels dramatic because it’s all on Souma. Yeah, it feels like the pressure is on him. A few more notable seiyuus lending their voice to this series this season. Those I recognized are Hiroki Yasumoto as Mimasaka, Sayaka Ohara as Leonora and Satomi Arai as Lucie.

Overall, this season may be disappointing but it still has hope. Note, this doesn’t mean this season is literally bad. I still enjoy this series but it didn’t reach the height of its first season. I know I have said that I may never want to step into a restaurant with such bad food again but in the future if I hear from others how it has returned to its original roots, nostalgia might play a decisive factor for me in giving this series another chance (yeah, read those hopeful internet comments too). A few bad things like the story and characters being underdeveloped and making the season lacklustre doesn’t mean that everything else is bad. That is the thing when you start off something great. The expectations are high and it is a hurdle that one must aim very high to replicate or else you fall hard. Maybe it is a good thing for me to continue eating cheap commoner food. Who knows if I get addicted to such high quality food, I won’t be able to turn back and ‘eat properly’ anymore. I’ll be starving to death because no ordinary food could satiate my palate anymore. Thank goodness for cheap economy mixed rice for being around…

Tales Of The Abyss

March 19, 2017

After the very awesome and satisfying Tales Of Zestiria The X, which was my first venture into the long running Tales series, it was the reason why I decided to check out one of the earlier adapted works, Tales Of The Abyss. Just like Final Fantasy, each series are a different set of stories and characters. So I’m hoping that with my preference for the fantasy genre, I hope it would lead me to explore other series under the Tales title or perhaps take some time off.

Episode 1
The opening narration tells us some heavy stuffs. The planet Auldrant that was created by 7 fonons is now divided into 2 countries: Kimlasca Kingdom and Malkuth Empire. Both have uneasy peace with each other. Yulia Jue as ‘the founder’ read from the Seventh Fonon, Lorelei that predicted the planet’s birth and its death. There is an order established to support and protect this Score. Part of the history include Kimlasca giving birth to one who will be called Light of the Sacred Flame inheriting this Lorelei power ad lead Kimlasca to prosperity. A couple of years later, somebody will destroy the land which he was born and this will lead to a full war cycle between Kimlasca and Malkuth. Phew. Don’t understand what’s going on there. Luke Fon Fabre sneaks out of his castle just when his maids are looking for him because Princess Natalia Luzu Kimlasca Lanvaldear is here to see him. Luckily his best friend, Guy Cecil knows where to find him. Luke is not fond of Natalia showing up here. Yeah, she is his fiancée and you know how sick you’ll be to see the face of the one you’re marrying many years from now. Haha! Luke is also unhappy is an arranged one and decided since birth. Making it even more painful is that Luke doesn’t remember the promise he supposedly made to her because apparently he was kidnapped by Malkuth since young but miraculously returned unharmed many years later although he lost his memories. Oh, there’s more. Luke is also suffering from some sort of pain in his head from time to time. Like as though a voice is trying to force him to listen to his will. No wonder that guy is so full of angst. Could this be Malkuth’s doing?

Luke is then called by his father the Duke. He learns his favourite teacher, Dorian General Van Grants will be heading back to Daath tomorrow. As he is the commander of Oracle Knights that is part of the Lorelei Order, his current mission has him to protect Fon Master Ion, leader of the Order. He is currently missing and Van’s mission is to look for him. But Luke is not happy because who is going to supervise his training? First world problems. He is also unhappy he is always locked up in the kingdom and can’t go anywhere. Though, mother assures he is free to do so when he comes of age. Van suggests training his heart out today to make up for his departure. While they’re swinging swords, a strange woman waltzes into the palace and starts singing, knocking them out with her song. Once Tear finds Van, she attacks him, calling him a traitor. Luke defends him and clashes swords with her. But their swords resonate since both are Seventh Fonon. Both are then blasted away to a faraway place. When Luke wakes up, he is on some flowerbed cliff near the sea. First time seeing the sea? Tear feels bad for getting him involved and will take responsibility of bringing him back. Why must he follow her? Because she does a better job in cutting down vicious monsters than your chicken sh*t ass. Luckily Luke’s lessons also pay off. Along the way, they meet a guy who is willing to give them a ride home. But he needs payment upfront. Tear gives her jewel. And Luke is happy he doesn’t have to dirty his shoes and can go home. Eh? I thought he wanted to leave the kingdom so badly and now he wants to go home? The ride home is smooth until the carriage is under attack.

Episode 2
The carriage gets out of the way. This giant military dreadnought, Tartarus is chasing a bandit believed to be from Dark Wings. Yeah, they just blow up the entire bridge along with the bandits. When Tear sees the military emblem, she realizes they are from Malkuth and they are heading into their empire. How could she even mess this up? After being dropped off at the small villager, we can tell Luke has been living a sheltered life as he takes what he wants to eat at the market without paying. This riles up the people as they capture him and bring him to Rose. They believe he is the food thief. Rose is currently entertaining Colonel Jade Cutiss of Malkuth’s 3rd Division Imperial Forces. If Luke is part of Dark Wings, it is his job to interrogate him. Luckily with Tear around, Luke isn’t able to give away his identity so easily. Remember, they are in enemy territory. Ion then pops up and claims Luke isn’t the food thief. He has done his research and shows proof that these creatures called cheagles are the ones stealing them. With everything settled, everyone lets Luke go. Luke is confused seeing Ion here. He heard he is missing but from the looks of it he is doing fine. Even his clumsy personal assistant, Fon Master Guardian Anise Tatlin is with him so this means his journey is officially recognized by the Order. While resting in the inn, Luke wonders if Tear has any paper so he can write his diary. A guy his age writing a diary? Well, since his kidnapping and lost memories, there is no telling if his amnesia will return so the doctor advised him to write one just in case. Luke asks about cheagles so he plans to head to the woods and catch one so he can show it to the villagers.

At the forest, they see Ion fighting off a few beasts. Although he won, it weakened him. When they introduce themselves, Luke is shock to learn Tear is Van’s sister and also from the Oracle Knights. He could have asked more if not for the cheagle popping up. Aww, how cute. Not to Luke. What’s wrong with this guy? Does he have some grudge over it? They follow it to the cheagle nesting where they meet the elder who can talk in their language thanks to the Sorcerer’s Ring that they made with Yulia forming a pact that became the symbol for the Order. The elder explains they started stealing food because one of them accidentally burnt down the forest in the north. It was the home to ligers. Now they have moved here to hunt for food so that is why they are stealing food. Luke doesn’t care about anything but Ion wants to negotiate with the ligers. As humans cannot speak their tongue, it is suggested a cheagle help play the translator role. The elder sends Mieu, the young one responsible for the accident to accompany them so as to take responsibility for his actions. Aww, isn’t Mieu cute? What’s your problem with cute things, Luke?! At the liger’s nest, Mieu tries to negotiate but the liger is very agitated as she is protecting her eggs. She will be even more so when they hatch and the village will be in danger as she will have to hunt for food. When negotiations break down, they attack. Luckily Jade is here to zap everything. With this problem solved, the cheagle elder banishes Mieu from their society as further punishment. Of course it is not forever as Mieu is tasked to serve Luke as his master for 1 full cycle. What a waste to give this cute thing serve this spoilt guy. As they leave the forest, Jade orders his men to surround Luke and Tear as he suspects them for emitting the Seventh Fonon.

Episode 3
On board Tartarus, Jade explains he detected Seventh Fonon coming from Kimlasca. This means the duo entered Malkuth illegally. He knows about Tear but wants to hear Luke’s full name. Luke obnoxiously tells him. Anise is happy because this means she has a chance to marry a rich person! Jade frees them and explains his mission is to head to Kimlasca not to start a war but to prevent one. Although it has been 15 years since the great war ended, there are skirmishes here and there. Malkuth’s emperor, Peony Upala Malkuth IX decided to send a letter to Kimlasca to conclude a peace treaty. Yeah, it must be getting tiring fighting forever. Ion is requested to tag along as a neutral ambassador. He is listed as missing because he escaped from Mohs’ custody with Malkuth’s military aid. So who is this Mohs guy? Current the Order is also divided into 2 factions. The reformist faction under Ion and the conservative faction under Mohs. It is believed Mohs wants to start a war. With Luke around, Jade believes it would be easier to use his status to pass the border. Jade hears about Luke’s kidnapping but is unsure about it because he never heard a thing regarding it. Tartarus is attacked by an army of griffons and ligers. Luke shows his chicken sh*t side trying to escape but gets owned by General Largo of the Oracle Knights whose mission is to retrieve Ion. Largo knows about Jade’s reputation as a necromancer as he scavenges corpses after the battle. Largo attacks Jade but Tear’s hymn paralyzes him and Jade is able to stab him. That easy? Ion is captured as he passes the letter to Anise and kicks her out of the dreadnought. Wow. Can she survive that fall?

When Oracle Knights attack, one came too close to Luke. In his reflex, he pulls his sword and stabs him. Now this guy is in trauma. First kill, I presume? Yeah, it’s affecting him badly. They are captured by Asch who wants to kill them all but Legretta reminds him of the orders he has. They are locked up in a cabin. Jade can tell with Tartarus being stationary, they must have brought Ion to somewhere to activate something. He plans to ambush them when they come back but Luke is being chicken sh*t with his trauma. This means more killing, right? It’s fine that he cares about human lives and shouldn’t just waste them so easily but in order to stop a war that will cost more lives, killing a few is necessary. Jade uses his voice activation to shut down Tartarus and confuse the enemy. They ambush Legretta and her guards outside as they are returning with Ion. Coming into this fight is Guy as well as the beast summoning loli Arietta. Jade takes Arietta hostage and Legretta is forced to obey his command to be locked up inside Tartarus. Luke and co escape by foot but they have to rest since Ion is out of breath and pushing him further would mean shortening his life. Guy introduces himself to everyone. But he gets scared of shaking hands with Tear since he has a fear of women. The break is cut short when Oracle Knights catch up and attack. Once again Luke’s chicken sh*t trauma starts up. He is about to get slashed but Tear takes the strike for him before Guy cuts him down. Now his trauma worsens. It’s your fault Luke!

Episode 4
Tear is recuperating and what do you know? She can heal herself! Thanks for putting all of us in suspense. Especially Luke. Time to apologize? They receive message that Anise has already reached the naval port at the border, Kaitzur. Everyone makes their way there since they can meet up with Van. Upon arrival, they see Anise having trouble getting through as she has no proper documentation to proof who she is. Thankfully here is Van to pick them up. While Luke is such a happy fan boy seeing his sensei, the first thing for Tear is that she wants to fight him! WTF?! As if there hasn’t been enough commotion already. Ion tells Van that Mohs wants war, thus the reason he had to suddenly disappear. Tear blames Van for sending the Oracle Knights to attack but Van believes they are under Mohs’ orders. She is a believer of Mohs and doesn’t think he is out for war. But why did he task her to research the Seventh Fonon then? Since Luke doesn’t know what the heck is Seventh Fonon, a cue to explain to us viewers that this is some Score that Yulia created and lots of parties are looking for it. The port is then under attack by Arietta. It looks like she doesn’t want to do this but is under orders by Asch to snatch an engineer to fix their ship. If they want him back, Luke and Ion must come to Choral Castle. Unfortunately Van has no intention to go and rescue him because Ion and Luke’s safety are his utmost priority. Well you know what? Screw all that because everyone else will be going there.

At the castle, Guy tells Luke why he is quite familiar of this place is because this was where Luke was found after his kidnapping. This place was his father’s villa but abandoned during the war. Inside, Anise thought she could hug Luke after seeing a rate. Unfortunately she hugs Guy by accident. This triggers some trauma as he violently shakes her off. Everyone can tell something is off. He explains he wasn’t like this when he was young but something happened. He can’t remember. Oh, another amnesiac character? Yeah, just that short moment when his parents died he can’t remember. Arietta swoops down to kidnap Luke. Then she faces all of them and blames them for being bad guys killing the liger queen who was just trying to provide for its siblings and offspring after you baddies burn their home down. Arietta lost her parents during the war and was brought up by those beasts, thus the very close attachment. She sends her beasts to attack them but she ultimately loses. Meanwhile Dist and Sync are trying to extract some Fonon data out of Luke. Dist escapes once he extracts his portion. However Sync is interrupted by Guy and he escapes empty handed. Jade is shocked to see the extracting machine although he can’t explain what it is. Guy gives him the disc to analyze further. Everyone returns to the port and although Van isn’t amused everyone was being reckless, he lets it go and Luke is one happy boy again.

Episode 5
Jade analyzes the disc and so we see the gang explaining to clueless Luke its contents about isofons, Lorelei, fomicry and manmade replication. I don’t get it either… The ship is then attacked by Dist. Seeing Jade was his best friend, Jade can’t help diss Dist (pun intended). This makes Dist mad as he snatches the disc from his hands. In fact, Jade wanted to give it to him since he already memorized its contents. Dist can’t stand this anymore and summons his mecha to fight. Luke has a hard time till Van easily zaps it to smithereens. Won’t an explosion cause the ship to sink? Well, Van is a master. That night, Luke again has the inner voice trying to control him. Before he knows it, he lets out a destructive energy. Thanks to Van, he is able to calm down and regain normalcy. Van then reveals the truth he has always been locked up. It is so that he as the only person in the world who can use this hyper resonance to be under Kimlasca’s control. Normally it takes 2 Seventh Fonons for this to react that way but he is special, right? Luke is not happy that he is just a tool to be kept for war. Van convinces him to believe in himself and make the people acknowledge his achievements and preventing the war as the hero of peace. Luke returns to his palace and the first thing he does is to interrupt Mohs’ audience with the king (who is his uncle) about Mohs’ plan for war and to stop this sh*t. With Jade handing over his treaty, the king will go over it. I guess their part is done and negotiations will start, right? Everybody is so free so what can they do? They go visit Luke’s ‘normal’ house. Freaking big mansion…

They meet Natalia who is glad Luke is back but b*tching at Guy for being left out of the ‘adventure’. Folks, meet Luke’s fiancée. Anise and Tear… You’ve got some serious competition… Can you defeat a princess? Anyway, Natalia tells Luke to quickly go see his mom since she fell ill after he was blown away. Mom is glad to see he is safe. Tear also takes this chance to apologize. Mom hopes Tear would stop her intentions of killing Van because seeing relatives fight is sad. Next morning, Luke is called by the king for a job. Before peace can be achieved for both kingdoms, there is a mining town in Malkuth, Akzeriuth that is facing toxic miasma threat. Luke’s job is to evacuate them. He doesn’t want to do it since it has nothing to do with him. There is a reason why the king believes he can only fulfil this role. Reading the lines from a Fonon stone, it tells part of the prophecy that only somehow Luke can do it. I guess that should do it. While Luke is happy he can finally be a hero, Van talks to him that the prophecy is incomplete and there is another part. That part states that hero will also bring calamity. This move is for the higher ups to make him bring a war. What Van wants is for him not to evacuate the people but to neutralize the miasma with his hyper resonance. After that, flee with him to Daath where he will make Luke part of the Oracle Knights. Luke is happy with this offer but wonders why he is being nice with him. Long ago, Luke was undergoing horrible experiments of his hyper resonance and was sick of it. Van helped him get away. Yup, Van was the one behind his kidnapping. This time he will not fail. He doesn’t want Luke to tell anyone else about this or else it will be harder for him to get to Daath. Luke is such a happy guy but unknown to them, Natalia has been eavesdropping…

Episode 6
As Oracle Knights are seen patrolling the sea, they think Mohs might setup some trap to ambush them. It is suggested the ship will be used as decoy and the real unit travel via land. They will meet up at Chesedonia which is under Malkuth control and then head to Kaitzur. Van will be on the decoy ship and Luke isn’t happy he will be separated from his master. Van says he has to since his name is officially listed and thus it would be more believable if they saw him embark. Anise then comes in with bad news. Ion is nowhere to be found and thinks he has been kidnapped. Indeed. Several clown pirates are under contract by Asch to kidnap him. They can’t go rescue him as it will cause a ruckus and thus their decoy plan will be useless. As the place is crawling with Oracle Knights, the only way out is to traverse via some underground abandoned weapons factory. This is where Natalia meets up with them and makes her stand to decide travelling with them. Of course everyone protests including Luke. Till she whispers what Luke talked with Van the other day. In that case, he welcomes her aboard! Call it goodwill? He is the leader of this unit and he can do anything he wants! Do we need another rival woman? Don’t worry. She won’t be a burden as she is a skilled archer and healer. See, she just killed a couple of sneaking bugs to prove it. Natalia promises Luke she will not rat on him. We get to see our first cat fight when Anise clings tightly to Luke and Natalia is not impressed, telling this little b*tch to get away. While they’re at it, Tear seems to be turning into a joker since she is obviously scared of the dark and ghosts and trying to act tough. With Luke abusing Mieu, Natalia remembers the time Luke returned with his amnesia and she vowed to get him back to his normal state. She is thinking too much about this and couldn’t fight the spider bug before her and had to have Tear save her before the rest take it down. When they arrive out, Luke sees Ion being led into a dreadnought. Also with Ion is Asch and instantly Luke goes to fight him. This wasn’t surprising although it is to everybody. Because Asch’s face looks exactly like Luke! Asch stops the fight since the mission is to retrieve Ion and returns to the dreadnought. With the enemy seeing them, the decoy plan has failed. What now Luke? He is b*tching why he has to decide? Because you’re the f*cking leader! He decides to follow Ion. While trekking through the desert, he has this inner voice attack again. However he could recognize this is Asch’s voice. He tells Luke to come to Zao Ruins.

Episode 7
At the runs, Asch makes Ion unseal some seal. The rest just arrives so Largo and Sync keep them busy. This time Luke isn’t chicken sh*t and fights in his cocky style. Luke is shocked that Asch is using a same move from Van. He would have revealed more but Sync stops him. They have achieved what they want and now it’s time to escape. Yeah, the entire ruins are collapsing. Ion is unneeded and is returned to them. While Luke blames Ion for this rescue (because it would mean meeting up with Van later), the rest discuss the seal that was put here by Lorelei to protect Sephiroth. However removing the seal has no effect whatsoever and Ion cannot divulge further information because it is classified. Oh really? Arriving at Chesedonia, those clown pirates spot Luke and mistake him for Asch before realizing they are wrong and escape. As they board the ship, Guy’s arm begins to glow in pain. He was struck by Sync during the fight. Ion examines it and confirms it to be a curse slot. It is some Daath fonic arts that use people’s hidden memories to control them. The closer the user, the more powerful it is. This means Sync must be nearby. After they depart, the pain eases. Ion notes only a Fon Master can do this and it is no deny that Sync is one. Luke continues to be an arrogant dick that it is so f*cking annoying. He won’t even let Ion rest thinking they would lose ground catching up to Van. They rest anyway and I’m sure I’m waiting to hear Luke b*tch about being attacked by Legretta. She wants Tear to come back to their side instead of following these people. Also, it seems they have activated some forbidden fomicry technology and this upsets Jade. What Legretta claims they are doing is to free people from the Score as they are so dependent on it. How dependent? Well, the extreme case has them deciding what’s for dinner! Holy sh*t! After Legretta leaves, they continue their journey. As usual, Luke blows his top for being kept in the dark and not knowing anything. He starts b*tching that only Van treats him nice and won’t make fun of him like this. Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP! In that case Tear warns him he is only a puppet who can only move with her brother’s instructions. He better start thinking for himself or he’ll make an irrevocable mistake. Luke continues to b*tch… He even mistreats Mieu who is possibly the only loyal ally in this group and thinks Van is the only one who understands him. What a dick.

Episode 8
At Akzeriuth, the miasma is thick and many are infected. Luke continues to be a dick when he won’t help out. Not only he claims he might get infected, but as a hero he should be doing something more than this! WTF?! So he is just standing around while the others help the rest. Tear is taken away by the vanguard to examine some stone. She examines it to be fake but then they surround her. The guards are then slain by Asch. Luke and Ion trek deeper into the mine where the miasma source is believed to come from. Luke gets this headache again from Asch telling him to stop or he will regret it. He pays no heed. Because he must be so freaking happy to reunite with Van who wants Ion to unseal the seal on this door. Ion sees no point in this but with Luke begging him because sensei said so that he is the one to save Akzeriuth, he relents. More telepathic warnings from Asch but Luke brushes it off. In some room with ancient mechanisms, Van instructs Luke to focus and do the necessary. Jade meets Tear outside who informs him the vanguards have been exterminated by the Oracle Knights. It was a trap to lure her away so that she will not interfere with Van whose goal is to destroy Akzeriuth. Luke feels something wrong and indeed something wrong starts up. From his flashback, it seems Luke is just a replica. The place is caving in and Tear is angry Van has betrayed her about preserving the Outer Lands. Van lets her live so that she will understand the ugliness of this land. The entire Akzeriuth collapses and everyone dies. If not for Tear’s hymn protecting the group, they could have been dead too.

When Luke wakes up, he notices the gang travelling in Tartarus in an underground land. This land is called Qliphoth. Part of the land where we see everyone else lives on is the Outer Lands which is actually a floating land in the sky floated by the pillars named Sephiroth rising from Qliphoth and Akzeriuth is one of them. 2000 years ago when miasma threatened Qliphoth, Yulia read the Score to escape destruction and raised the land. The only ones who know this are the higher ranks of the Lorelei Order and those who live in Qliphoth. Tear is one of the denizens. Now, back to Luke b*tching it wasn’t his fault because he was trying to save Akzeriuth. Worse, he tries to blame it on Van. We know he has been betrayed but still. Everyone is so disappointed in him. Yeah, it’s like everyone is saying f*ck you and leaving him. Some goodwill leader. Uh huh. Mieu is trying to console him and he still mistreats him. WTF?! F*ck you! As they are heading to Yulia City, Luke is shocked to see Asch here. Since Luke is in such denial, Asch has to tell it to him that he is his replica. Asch is the true one who was kidnapped 7 years ago by Van. I guess this explains why they look the same, right? Luke cannot accept this truth and goes crazy trying to attack Asch. Yeah, his brain is all haywire that he can’t even attack straight, screaming like he is a virgin to such plot twist. Well Asch, are you going to kill this failed replica?

Episode 9
Instead of killing Luke, he is now ‘living’ inside of Asch’s body. His physical might be lifeless but hey, it’s better than Luke b*tching around, right? Thank goodness. There’s some explanation why this is possible because they are perfect isofons and the fon slots that he opened at Choral Castle and making them link. Asch hates to admit it but he still has to take care of his useless replica. Luke better be thankful because Mieu continues to be loyal to him and won’t let Asch do anything to his physical body. At Yulia City, they see Tear’s grandpa who is going to use some memory particles from Akzeriuth’s destruction to lift Tartarus back to the Outer Lands. Their next destination is Belkend as Asch believes Van often visited Fon Machine Lab One there. There, they meet this old guy, Spinoza who is surprised to see Asch. He is among the group involved in Luke’s kidnapping. His team also used the forbidden fomicry technique on living beings. Spinoza won’t be lectured by Jade because he is in fact the father of fomicry and should know better. Jade will not deny his wrongdoings but 2 wrongs don’t make a right. That is why he came up with a rule banning it. Asch is unaware of Van’s preservation project so Spinoza flees. But he left documents to Wyon Cavern that mines minerals needed to produce replicas. At this point, Guy decides to drop out from this expedition and return to Luke’s side (his body is back at Yulia City). Hey, somebody needs to be by his side. He might be an idiot but he is his idiot. Asch has nightmares of being kidnapped and experimented on. When he escaped and returned to his palace, he snuck in and to his dismay saw a replica in his place with his family. Any kid would be heartbroken seeing this.

At the cavern, they see lots of high tech equipment. There is also data on the effective scale of fomicry that covers 1/10 of Auldrant. This data was from the war and Malkuth should have already disposed of it. Jade fears that Dist might have been able to recover it. A short earthquake occurs. Cue for Asch to save Natalia but sorry, no romance blooming. He is not into love at this moment. Asch explains that earthquake was from southern Rugnica collapsing as one of the supporting Sephiroth trees has been destroyed. This will slowly have an effect on other areas. Remember how Ion was kidnapped and made to unseal seals at Sephiroth? Although there are further seals that would make anyone unable to do anything, it seems Van has done something about it and can control Sephiroth. It seems obvious that Van’s plan is to destroy the Outer Lands. If going according to plan, the next to fall will be St Binah. Asch has had enough of Luke following him around and blasts his soul back to his body. Luke instantly wakes up and he is a changed man. Now he treats Mieu kindly. He hears Tear singing and tries to warn her that St Binah is next. However what is the use if he does not have a plan to counter this. It would be the same like Akzeriuth again. Nothing he can do to bring the lost lives back. An absolutely changed person, Luke admits his own pathetic and selfishness. He would even kill himself if it meant bringing back all the lives of Akzeriuth. He knows it won’t work that way and it will be hard to earn back the trust of the rest. But as a start, he shows his determination to start anew by cutting his hair. Not much but what were you expecting? A limb?

Episode 10
Luke tries to apologize to Tear’s grandpa but he shocks them by saying Akzeriuth’s destruction was bound to happen as predicted in the Closed Score. So another part of the book not known to many? They need to follow the Score so that they can have great prosperity as predicted. That is why Mohs was trying to start a war. When Tear mentions about St Binah falling, he assures that will never happen since that will be where the battle takes place. Later Tear tells Luke about Hod, the land where the great war took place 16 years ago. It was Tear and Van’s home. Because it was abandoned by the Score, he never forgave the world. That is why when she overheard about his plan about destroying the Outer Lands and not telling Asch about it, the reason she wanted to stop him because killing innocents for revenge isn’t the right thing to do. She has failed and even as far as saving Akzeriuth. When they return to Outer Lands, Guy is waiting for them. Luke tries to apologize but Guy accepts it all. Till he is shocked when he hears Luke for the first time saying thank you. Never thought it would happen, eh? Jade is also here to relay the news that Ion and Natalia have been kidnapped by Mohs. He intend to start a war blaming Akzeriuth’s destruction on Malkuth. Kimlasca’s reason for joining the war is the disappearance of Ion and Natalia. They head to Daath, the HQ for the Lorelei Order and meet up with Anise who is still pretty disappointed in Luke. Work hard to earn her trust back. Tear uses her status to enter the cathedral. Since they need to look room by room, I guess Mieu serves as a distraction for the guards. Imagine knights chasing down a little cute critter… Luke has to sum up his courage and kill some of the guards. He is still shaking but at least he made some improvements. So once the kidnapped are rescued, Natalia and Luke have to put aside their awkwardness. War is going to start soon so it is suggested to seek Peony’s help. They can leave via Tartarus that Asch left at the bay.

Episode 11
Along the way, Tartarus hits an engine problem. Funny thing is how Mieu thought they were going to sink and he can’t swim. Funny, because I thought he was always flying… The nearest port is Keterburg and is Jade’s hometown. They are outside what they thought is Jade’s house but it seems this house belongs to Peony! The previous emperor had lots of enemies so naturally his son was in danger and thus he was hidden and spent his childhood days here. The governor, Nephry Osborne is his younger sister who recently got married. She is surprised Jade is still alive as everyone thought he perished at Akzeriuth. She arranges for them to stay at a hotel. The receptionist is happy to have one of the two fontech genius staying with them. His real name is Jade Balfour and just took on the Curtiss surname as it was his foster family. The other genius Saphir Wyon Neis whom we all know as Dist. They along with Peony attended the same private school under the tutelage of Professor Gelda Nebilim. Anise also once met Dist as she noticed he was a lonely man who only talked about Jade. He was the one who gave her the stuffed toy doll. Later Luke is summoned by Nephry to tell the truth about Jade’s fomicry. When her doll was ripped, he used fomicry to replicate a perfect replica instead of buying it. He was only 9 then. He might look kind but he is actually a demon, experimenting on harmless creatures. That is until Nebilim took him in and he changed his ways. However after her death, he started going back to his own ways and with Dist did something even more terrifying. Nephry believes Luke as a replica is his only chance of saving him. After that, Jade knows Luke has heard from Nephry and tells the rest of his story. He was the one who killed Nebilim. Jade could control any arts except Seventh Fonon. Against Nebilim’s advice, he tried to control it and an explosion occurred, taking Nebilim’s life. He tried to use fomicry to replicate her but it failed. By that time his exploits have been well known so he was taken in by the military Curtiss family. As for why he banned it himself, it was because he almost got himself killed. He realized replicas do not have past memories so even if Nebilim looked the same, it wasn’t the real her. He intended to seek forgiveness so he could feel better but realized he will live the rest of his life tormented by the sins of his past.

Episode 12
Arriving at Grand Chokmah, the capital of Malkuth, Jade goes into the palace alone to seek clearance for the rest as they wait outside. However they are ambushed by Largo. The curse slot on Guy also works as a tracker. Guy is fully mind controlled as he attacks Luke. Tear’s earthquake reveals Dist’s position. They have to retreat as Jade has returned with reinforcements. Ion will try to heal Guy and he is possibly the only one who can do so. Shouldn’t he done this long ago? However he tells Luke a dark secret. Because a curse slot cannot completely control its target. It stirs up past memories and paralyzes the target’s rational thoughts. Therefore Guy could not have attacked had he not have a desire to kill him. Luke thinks hard about this. Tear tries to cheer him up that there are times Guy might want to kill him (during his arrogance) but since he came back to get him, there is still hope. After Guy is healed, Luke apologizes but Guy doesn’t pin all the blame on him. He reveals he is from Malkuth on born on Hod. When the war broke out, the Duke had all his family, relative and servants killed. So he joined his service as the Gailardia Galan, the House of Count Gardios to seek revenge and make him experience the same thing. Guy might still resent Luke a bit but he still wants to follow him on his journey to ascertain something. Everyone has an audience with Peony. As he knows the area St Binah is sinking, however it seems the council is reluctant to send in the military to evacuate the people. Malkuth has received an official war declaration from Kimlasca to avenge the deaths of Luke and Natalia at Akzeriuth. All sanctions have also begun. Malkuth thinks Kimlasca is the one orchestrating Akzeriuth’s destruction and they think if they send in the military, they will disappear along with the people of St Binah. Also, as they are going to war with Kimlasca, they don’t want to expend more troops there. Luke voices out to send him as he wants to atone. Peony agrees but he has them come to his room first. I’m not sure if he wants to show off his rappig (rabbit x pigs) pets, but Peony can use his status to reinstate Guy’s title as a Count (money eyes ringing for Anise). But Guy refuses seeing he has something to do with Luke and co (Anise so disappointed). Peony will also send someone to help them out. As Luke and co evacuate the people at St Binah, part of the land starts to sink.

Episode 13
A strange craft flies in. They heard about flight experiments using some ancient hover drive technology combining with fon machines. Noelle the pilot is the special assistance Peony sent. She picks everyone up but as St Binah rapidly descends, they have to pick up all the citizens left behind. Thankfully they made it just in time before the land crumbles below. Luke becomes desperate trying to save everything (including interrogating Van for a way) so Jade has to scold him for panicking. Once back above the land, they see the war has started out. Tear realizes this must be part of Van’s plan to eliminate both sides because now that the Sephiroth tree isn’t supporting the land, it will soon crumble and take all the soldiers along. Natalia and Jade agree to seek ceasefire from their side. Natalia is at Kaitzur’s naval port as she commands Count Almandine to stop the war now. She apologizes for not returning to Baticul to clear up the mystery surrounding her fake death (does Luke have to spam Akzeriuth’s destruction is his fault every time now?). However Mohs orders their arrest and calls them imposters. He mentions about Natalia’s different hair and eye colour from the royalty and he has statement from an old royal maid as proof that Natalia was switched at birth. Meanwhile Jade and Ion fail to persuade Peony to stop his side. He claims it is hard for them at this point to pull back unless Kimlasca retreats.

Tear and Guy are thrown into prison but are shortly freed by Asch. A subject sees Natalia and Luke. He calls Natalia as Meryl and wants her to revoke her claim as heir to the throne. He has them drink poison wine to kill themselves but obviously they won’t. The guards will kill them but Tear’s singing knocks them out. Then they head to see the king to confirm if Natalia is not born of royalty. The old maid confirms it. The real Natalia died stillborn and since the late queen couldn’t take it, she switched her own daughter. There is further proof that her remains were buried. Luke argues even if Natalia isn’t his real daughter, he still raised her as one. Unfortunately the king decided to listen to Mohs. He will kill them and make the war with Malkuth official. Mohs orders Dist and Largo to kill them. Dist isn’t pleased that Jade isn’t here. Asch then comes in to buy them time to escape. Asch blames Dist for betraying Van and leaking information to Mohs. Dist has no qualms in doing that since fulfilling his goal takes priority over his loyalty to Van. As Luke and co try to escape the kingdom, guards surround them. However the ordinary people fight back to protect them. They heard she was about to be executed for a crime she didn’t commit (thanks to the clown pirates spreading the word). Even if Natalia admits she is not the real princess, they don’t care because she cared for them greatly. They stall the guards enough for them to flee.

Episode 14
Natalia is sad that she had to leave her people. Guy consoles her and she feels better. When everyone regroups, they head back to Belkend lab to search for clues on the fonic arts and fon machines. It is discovered that Qliphoth’s cause of liquefaction is in the core. It should be resting but is currently shaking violently by Planet Storm (an artificial planetary fuel distribution system). They need to build a fon machine to stop the liquefaction. But they need researchers for it. Don’t worry. Guy has enlisted Hencken and Cathy for the job. At first they refuse to do something this dangerous until Guy thinks of asking Iemon instead. Because they are bitter rivals at competition with everything, the old duo agree. But who is Iemon? Noelle’s grandpa. Oh… Luke sees Spinoza spying on them. He wants to chase him but Jade doesn’t want him to focus on such trivialities. The information shared wasn’t anything important. Guy gets a message to meet with Van. Van wants him to come back so they can revive Hod. But Guy doesn’t acknowledge his methods and even if Hod is revived, it will be a replica. Although Van considers Guy as his master but can’t obey his orders to stop this foolishness, they part ways. Anise is surprised her mom, Pamela sees her. Apparently Pamela loves donating to Lorelei because she believes in the Score that they don’t need money thereafter! No wonder Anise is always looking for a rich man to marry. They are attacked by Arietta’s beasts. Ion tries to protect a girl. Who protects Ion? Pamela. She gets struck. Why is everyone so shocked that an innocent person gets injured? With Ion seriously telling Arietta to stop, she gets scared and backs off.

Pamela is treated and in stable condition. During that commotion, Guy has regained his memories. He now remembers how his family was killed. His sister and maids tried to hide him from the invading soldiers. But they all were killed trying to protect him. The scene of dead women piling on him is somewhat the reason of his fear for women. It’s no laughing matter. After that, he met Van at Belkend who became his protector. They swore to take revenge together but now things have changed. Ion examines the Closed Score to find a Sephiroth’s location. He reads its premonition and everything that has gone according to it so far. But they find it a bit odd because Luke or rather Asch should have died at Akzeriuth. Then they realize maybe because of the existence of replicas like Luke, the Score was thrown off track. The next Sephiroth is located at Tataroo Valley. Anise sees a rare butterfly that would fetch her 4 million and tries to catch it! But a small earthquake rocks the place. She almost falls off but Guy saves her. Hey, he doesn’t have his gynophobia anymore. Inside the cave, the ancient mechanisms are exactly the same as at Akzeriuth. But they notice it is not working and believe Van has deactivated it to destroy the Sephiroth trees. But it starts activating and Tear starts to feel strange.

Episode 15
Noelle brings the gang back to her base and introduce them to her brother, Ginji. Also helping out is Tamara and Iemon’s assistant, Aston. It is already embarrassing to see old farts fighting each other over different opinions… The measurements they took from the Sephiroth is analysed and at this rate the trees are weakening and if nothing is done, the Outer Lands will collapse. Jade has a suggestion and that is to lower the Outer Lands. He needs a device that would stop the liquefying. They can load it onto Tartarus since it can withstand the fall. So as it lowers, the liquefaction will stop and this in turn takes care of the miasma. Luke wants to do his part to try and convince his uncle to sign a peace treaty. Nobody couldn’t believe it at first. Is he sick or something? But Natalia too has her own fears of returning to Baticul. She fears of being rejected again. I guess they can only move when she is ready. Natalia meets Asch and talks about her fear. He reminds her they once made a promise together they will change this country so that it has no wars. He advises her to do what she wants and not restrict herself to her birth status. Luke feels bad that had he not exist, Natalia and Asch could have been happily together. Another timely reminder from Tear that Luke is Luke. If not for him, Asch would have died at Akzeriuth. His life is only his to live. With Natalia ready to move forward, everyone returns to Baticul to see the king. First, Luke passionately tries to convince the king that Natalia has been his daughter all this time. Even if she isn’t his real daughter, all those memories were real. He is still concerned about following the Score. Luke argues how it deviated since he was born. It is proof that they do not need to rely on the Score to achieve prosperity anymore. He shuts up his subordinates and won’t allow them to talk bad about Natalia. I guess it finally sunk in which is more important. Do we have time for an emotional father-daughter hug? The king agrees to meet for a peace treaty and lower the Outer Lands.

But where will the place be held for the treaty? It can’t be at Daath since Mohs holds great influence. Luke suggests at Yulia City and it would be a great time for the rulers to see Qliphoth. After the treaty is signed, Guy interrupts and wants to know if the same agreement was made after the war at Hod. When the king says it is for Kimlasca’s prosperity, Guy draws his sword. He is mad that Hod was destroyed for that. He reminds him about his mother, the woman whom he married into the House of Gardios of Hod as a sign of peace. The Duke stands up and says if he is looking for revenge, kill him because he was the one who killed her. Oh, now Peony says it is him he should be killed. He explains fomicry was conducted as an experiment there and was covered up in secrecy by his father to pass it off as an act from Kimlasca to quash anti-war sentiments back home. The one who was behind it all is no other than Van. Luke, you mean to look so shock now? Ion explains Van’s name in the ancient language means one who would seize glory, exactly in line with the Score. Thus it makes sense how he knows fomicry even though it was sealed from the records. Guy is told to stop seeking revenge or else everyone in this room will have to be killed. Of course Guy isn’t looking for revenge in the first place. He just wanted to find out the truth of why his hometown and family were destroyed.

Episode 16
The device is completed and the old farts are fighting for credit. However the place is besieged by Legretta and her Oracle Knights. Tipped off from Spinoza, they can’t let them destroy the core. Iemon and Tamara sacrificed themselves so the kids could get away. Van now stands in their way. He is bent on destroying the world to create a new one. This means killing everyone because what good is a new world if the old lives remain. Uhm, does this mean he will have to kill himself too? So he is going to create a replica world but the rest argue how it is not possible theoretically. However Van plans to destroy Lorelei at the core. Although its existence is not even confirmed, if you take it into account, it is possible. When the Seventh Fonon disappears, the world and people will be unable to read the Score. Instead of fighting Van, the rest escape to Tartarus. The remaining old farts sacrifice themselves so they could escape. But Van didn’t pursue them since he was just the decoy. Everyone is taking some time to grief the deaths of the old people as they descend into Qliphoth.

But waiting for them at the core is Sync. As they fight, Luke cuts off his mask. He has the same face as Ion. He is also a replica like Ion. Yes, this Ion is also a replica of the original one. He is the seventh and final replica and was made as the Fon Master because his abilities were the closest. It was 2 years ago when Ion was born. The original Ion was dying and had no successor in sight so Mohs and Van did fomicry to clone Ion. Sync considers the other Ion replicas as failures. He is only alive to be used by Van. Believing his task has ended, Sync jumps off to kill himself. Everyone gets out from the core but Luke is paralyzed by the voice in his head. Doesn’t sound like Asch. When Tear tries to heal him, she gets possess. Through her the voice speaks and calls herself as Lorelei. She claims Luke’s fonon frequency is the same as the Seventh Fonon. This makes them perfect isofons. Something big is absorbing her power and wants him to stop it. Thanks to his actions, the core is calmed and Sephiroth stabilized. However it won’t last as long as she is trapped. Tear is free from the possession so they take her to seek treatment at a hospital at Belkend. She is fine for now but the doctor detected contaminated Seventh Fonons fused with miasma trapped inside her body. Jade deduces it must be during the time they took measurements from the Sephiroth. In short, if they continue their plan to lower the Outer Lands, Tear will absorb more miasma and her survival is not guaranteed.

Episode 17
It seems Tear is needed to come along with them as she has to activate the Passage Rings if they are to lower the Outer Lands safely. Spinoza has repented on siding with Van as he thought he would be given the freedom to research all he wants. Anise is not pleased that everyone is so trusting to allow this traitor back. Jade needs his ability to verify if it is possible to lower the Outer Lands and seal the miasma. Tear activates the Passage Rings in the Sephiroth trees and each attempt is clearly weakening her. Then they discuss about Van knowing about Lorelei’s existence. Guy thinks there was this ruin Van showed him back on Hod that could have been the Seventh Fonstone. Tear could be a descendent of Yulia and if Van could read it means he knows the future written on the Score. Tear tries to go off herself that night but encounters Van. He tells her to stop this foolishness as it is affecting her health. Van’s health is also affected from his doing but he doesn’t care as long as it is to free this world from the Score. He gives her another chance to join him. This time Asch attacks and the commotion wakes up the rest. Asch agrees that he is also disappointed in the world like him but there are others he wants to protect. Tear dares Van to kill her and just make a replica. Not so eager now, huh? Van retreats and tells Asch he will be waiting at the Absorption Gate. Time for Luke to feel disappointed that his sensei needed the real deal and not the replica. Still hung over about him? Tear regrets hesitating not fighting her brother seriously. But now she is resolved to fight him till the very end. The final Passage Ring is at Mt Roneal but they have to go through Keterburg. They see Dist throwing a tantrum because he has been left behind. Time for Jade to make this guy talk. It seems the God Generals are already at Mt Roneal. So naturally when they trek up the snowy mountain, they get ambushed. With the endless waves of soldiers, Jade causes an avalanche while the rest hide under Tear’s barrier. Once done, they head inside the ruin but once Tear activates the Passage Ring, she weakens. Well, looks like nobody saw this trap coming because Van has set the memory particles to flow backwards. Didn’t they find it too easy? Oh well. Anyway at this rate the Outer Lands will start collapsing again.

Episode 18
Since the Outer Lands won’t be collapsing immediately and the weather is bad, everyone rests back at the inn. Luke talks to Natalia and cheers her up by repeating Asch’s words of changing the country. Then he talks to Guy who is thinking back how different it would have been had he followed Van because he might end up being his God General but thankfully he didn’t. It must be a busy day for Luke because now he talks to Asch who is still injured from Van’s attack. There’s a lot of anger inside him and he wants Luke to kill, not just stop, but kill Van. Otherwise he’ll do it himself. When the weather is clear the next day, they head to the Absorption Gate. The floor gives way. Luke and Tear fall through, separated from the others. I guess it is Tear’s turn to have some quality time with Luke as she talks about her homeland she never knew. She was in her mother’s womb when Hod was destroyed. Van looked after her and taught her about its history as well as Fonic hymns. He might look kind but underneath that lurks hatred and vengeance, blaming those who rely on the Score and knew this would happen. That is why she has decided to stop him as his methods are wrong. They stumble into Van. He is an organist now? He is disappointed to see Luke as he was expecting Asch. Van doesn’t have any need for Luke anymore as he was just a substitute to overturn the Score. Although there are slight deviations from the Score, the main core is still intact and is still moving inevitably towards a certain future.

Luke and Tear team up to fight Van. Before the replica gets his ass handed to him, Jade and Guy arrive in time to assist. Van can’t believe he lost and jumps off the ledge. It’s time for Luke to show all that training because now he uses his hyper resonance to stabilize everything. But soon after he hears a voice in his head (also communicating with Asch) that he will send them a key to set him free as there is somebody is trying to capture him. Suddenly in the aftermath we see Luke lazing around in his room. Looks like everything has returned back to normal. The Outer Lands have landed safely, the miasma is gone and both countries are at peace. With everyone parted ways, Luke’s mom gives him permission to go see his friends before he turns into a hikikomori. Noelle is his pilot and when Luke learns Asch was recently seen in Yulia City like as though he is investigate something, Luke heads there as well. He sees Tear praying at Van’s grave. Asch has just left after talking to Tear’s grandpa. Remembering that voice, Tear also mentions a strange report that Van’s sword that was left behind at the Absorption Gate is missing. They think a surviving God General might have taken it. They immediately head to Daath to ask if Ion knows anything.

Episode 19
Also seeing Ion are Jade and Guy. It seems strange things have been happening since. Jade reports that Dist has escaped from his prison. He attacked a tra