Fruits Basket

August 26, 2006

*Sniff sniff*… Oh my… This is such a heartwarming story. Yeah, I’m talking about Fruits Basket. I have to say that I really like that anime. The one thing that really touched me besides the storyline is this girl, Tohru Honda, the main protagonist of the series.

 
She’s really a unique character. A 16 year old high school girl who’s just being orphaned as her mom died in a car accident. But yet she manage to remain cheerful and optimistic about life. But that’s mainly thanks to her late mom too who also hold this same principle and passed it on to Tohru before her demise. In addition, Tohru’s such a kind and nice girl that her overpoliteness and over-apologetic ways will overwhelm you. Haih… Is there such a girl in this real world nowadays?
 
Anyway, here’s the storyline. Because of the recent event as mentioned above, Tohru now lives in some make shift tent in some forest and tries to live her life as normal as possible. That is, until she stumbles upon a house in the middle of the forest too on her way to school. And what a coincidence, that the house is dwelled by the ‘prince’ of her high school, Yuki Souma. I guess this guy must be the dream of every girl at his school. Of course, there’s another dweller, Shigure, Yuki’s older eccentric cousin. He works as some sort of a writer and the editor’s always hounding him to finish his work (as Shigure often tries to escape her and do other things), only to realized that he’d earlier done it already. So frustrating for her. Pity her lah. After all that chasing and screaming was just a waste of time.
 
Anyway, upon learning her current living conditions, both Yuki and Shigure suggested that Tohru lived along with them as their housekeeper. I’m sure those guys could use some cleaning up. After all, their house is in a mess and needs that ‘womenly touch’ to tidy up, don’t you think? Well, Tohru did turned down that offer, except the fact that a mudslide destroyed her tent. Plus, she holds that picture of her late mother very close to her. What about her other relatives? Well, her grandad’s retired and she felt that living with him would only burden him financially too. So what the heck, I guess living with the Soumas wouldn’t be such a bad thing. After all, Yuki the ‘prince’ is there, right?
 
But that’s just the beginning of the troubles to come. Another Souma member Kyo, barges in and demands to have his fight with Yuki. As Tohru tried to stop them, she slipped and hugged them. Suddenly Yuki and Kyo changed into a rat and cat respectively! What the? And Shigure’s passing by too. Whoops, another slip from Tohru. Poof! Shigure turns into a dog! What’s happening? Of course, who wouldn’t be surprised to see people changing into animals at first, right?
 
So after Tohru has settled down and is more composed, Shigure explains the Souma’s curse. When a member of the Souma family is being hugged by an opposite gender or under a very very very great deal of stress, he/she will turn into one of the animals of the Juunishi (12 animals of the chinese zodiac). Actually 13 animals, The 12 chinese animals and a cat. Ever wondered why a cat isn’t part of the zodiac? You see, long ago there was this tea party hosted by some God and all the animals were invited. But the rat told the cat that the actual date of the party was the day after, thus making the cat missing it. And when the cat found out, it got furious. Neat way to explain why cats and mice are bitter enemies, huh? Just like Yuki and Kyo too. Always fighting and can’t seem to get along well.
 
In addition, when they’re in animal form, they can still talk. Plus, the time to change back to human form is undetermined and unknown. Meaning that it may take a long time or just a short time to change back. And when they do, they’re usually naked (much to Tohru’s surprise and shock). Of course! Animals don’t wear clothes. And if they do, it wouldn’t fit them and thus will become lose.
 
Though, the Souma family is huge, not all of them are cursed with this. Plus, Tohru also learns that the head of the Souma family is Akito Souma. Since the cat’s out of the bag, Shigure now gives Tohru a warning and makes a deal with her. That she has to keep the Souma’s curse a secret from everybody or else her memories will be erased. That’s because if society found out, they’ll be shunned, embarrassed or whatsoever. And it won’t be just the memories of the Soumas that’ll be erased. With that, Tohru agreed and will do her best to protect the secret.
 
But Tohru won’t be intimidated by this nor would she just sit back and just try to keep the Souma’s curse a secret. In fact, she’s become more enthusiastic and interested to find out more about the Soumas. And that’s what the rest and most of this anime will focus on. How she meet new Souma members, interact and communicate with them, learning their past, and evidently how she changes each one of them, especially Yuki and Kyo. So the character developments of this anime I can say is superb.
 
So the first other Souma member that Tohru will meet is Kagura, and another member cursed with the Juunishi. Yup, she’s the pig. Yeah, she’s a wild child who’s madly and deeply in love with Kyo. Plus, she’s quite violent in expressing her love. No wonder Kyo wants to run away from her. She’ll beat him up everytime she sees him or he does something not to her liking. Poor Kyo. At first she saw Tohru as a competitor to Kyo so she decided to win Kyo’s heart by doing his laundry and cooking and things like that. But in the end, they both became friends.
 
Then she’ll meet with the genki Momiji (the rabbit) and the serious no nonsense family doctor Hatori (the dragon) at the school cultural festival. Just to note that, Hatori’s animal dragon meant that he’d turn into a seahorse. A find it a little funny, as I was expecting maybe a lizard or a komodo dragon. But a seahorse? Funny lah. Then there’s the ox Hatsuharu, who seems to want to pick a fight with Kyo. But he and Yuki seems to click, just like in the Juunishi how the rat and the ox do. Yeah, after the rat deceived the cat, it ride on the back of the ox happily to the party. Hmm…
 
Besides meeting other Souma members, Tohru has got a few problems of her own too. Like the time when her grandad asked her to come live with him alongside Tohru’s rude uncle and aunt. Tohru reluctantly left. Of course the house now seems empty and in a mess again without Tohru doing all the cleaning up. Eventually, her grandad understood her situation and knew that she’s happy where she is now and allowed her to go back and live with the Soumas.
 
Then there’s that Prince Yuki Fan Club, a club who seems obssessed with Yuki. Members of the club who can’t even get close and talk to Yuki, all of a sudden saw Tohru being close to him and chatting with him casually, that makes them all mad. But luckily, Tohru’s got 2 best gal buddies to back her up and protect her. The mysterious electric psychic, Saki Hanajima, and the ‘yankee’ Arisa Uotani (who seems to be hot-headed with Kyo). Both these girls are quite close to Tohru as a result of what Tohru’s mom did for them earlier on, thus indebted to her. As mentioned during these 2’s visit to the Souma’s house where Tohru’s staying (much to Tohru’s surprise when they said they want to take a look at the place she’s living in), Uotani was saved from those biker-gangsters and Hanajima… well, umm… she did want to tell but, her facial expression… well, I guess the Soumas lost their ‘appetite’ to hear further on.
 
Then there’s the part where they visit Tohru’s mom grave and it made Yuki and Kyo think a lot. Can’t remember. But I guess they felt lucky to met such a girl like Tohru (me too). And there’s the part where Tohru, Yuki, Kyo and Momiji took a trip to one of the Soumas hot springs rest house. The rest house owner, an elderly lady, seems to be the very apologetic kind. In fact to apologetic. You should see it to see what I mean. So funny! And here we also find out that Momiji is actually a year younger than Yuki and Kyo, and the same age as Hatsuharu. What a shock! And Tohru thought he was just a little kid and slept next to him in the same bed at the hot springs. But Momiji’s so innocent and his mind is like a child, he wouldn’t do anything suspicious. Plus, it’s even weirder when Momiji attends the same high school as Tohru’s wearing a girl’s uniform! He says it suits him! Weird kid.
 
Also the part where Tohru failed one of her midterms and needs to retake it (along with Hanajima), but she fell ill and became worried whether or not she’ll be a useful person when she grows up. Luckily with the other’s support and her memories of her late mother’s, she manages to pull through and she also finds her hopes back up. Oh yeah, do you know why Hanajima purposely failed the midterms? That’s because the retake is much simpler and she’ll be able to score. So true!
 
So as Tohru finds out more and more about the Soumas (like Hatori’s partially blinded eye and Momiji’s mom who unwanted him), there’s one Souma who doesn’t really like what’s going on. Yup, it’s Akito. He’s planning to make Tohru regret the day she met the Soumas. The first time Akito met Tohru was at the beginning of the new school term. Yuki and Kyo were surprised to learned this from Momiji and Hatsuharu. So a concerened Yuki rushed to find Tohru and see if Akito has done anything to her. Luckily nothing happened. But it seems that Akito has once tormented Yuki before, and Yuki seems to fear him in a way. Just like most of the other members of the Souma family, many of them have been abused physically or mentally tortured, thus fearing him like as though he’s God.
 
So more ‘adventures’ and comedy as Tohru proceeds in life. Like the delirious Ayame (the snake), who’s Yuki’s elder brother. Ayame’s wackiness is on par of Shigure’s but more extreme. One funny part is that during the days of his high school years, when he was a student council, something like addressing the problem of morally declining standards among the students. So what was Ayame’s solution? I expected he said something like ‘doing it’ with him. But what I didn’t expect that he was asking the GUYS to ‘do it’ to him! Yeah, he’s sacrificing (or offering if you see it this way) himself for their sake. Hahaha. But it was of course a no no still by the school board.
 
Although Ayame wants to improve his relationship with his little brother, Yuki doesn’t seem to be all for it. But nevertheless, Ayame never gives up. Plus we learn that Ayame runs some kind of a costume shop along with his assistant, Mine Kurame.
 
Then there’s that one-episoders where that particular episode focus more on that 1 Souma and that’s the only episode that Souma will ever appear in the entire series. Yup, the first one in episode 21 on Hiro (the lamb) who’s jealous of Tohru for ‘taking away’ his ‘girlfriend’ Kisa (the tiger). Yeah, he’s got an attitude, and he doesn’t really admit things. Kisa became close to Tohru because of her encouragement and kindness. Previously she stopped talking because the kids in her school teased her too much. So Tohru’s magic manage to open her up once again. Plus with Akito disapproving Hiro and Kisa’s relationship (Akito slapped Kisa. Oh, that demon!), Hiro couldn’t do much but just watched. Thus, he dislikes Tohru at first. But eventually, came to accept Tohru as a friend.
 
The second one in epsiode 23, appears Ritsu (the monkey), who’s the son of the owner of the hot springs. At first I thought Ritsu’s a girl, the way he dressed and her voice. But it turned out that he’s another cross-dresser, only more extreme! Something like he was so weak just like his parents that all they could do to defend themselves was to apologize. So Ritsu’s just like his mom. So hilarious lah. You should see him apologize too. Even for the slightest things. Of course, the other Soumas knew of this and don’t seem to have much pity on him.
 
Remember the Prince Yuki Fan Club, there’re 2 episodes dedicated to them, episodes 18 and 22. Well, not really dedicated to them. It takes a breather from that Tohru-learning-about-the-Soumas-thing. In episode 18, the fan club realized that their major obstacle to Prince Yuki is Tohru and to eliminate Tohru, they need to eliminate her friends. So the 4 club members decide to pay a visit to Hanajima’s house. Big mistake. Posing as school newspaper reporters and armed with a camcorder to discover Hanajima’s weakness. Of course, they didn’t manage to pull it off. After all, Hanajima’s little brother Megumi, is as scary as ever (reminds you of Ju-on). Yeah, he place some ‘fake’ curse on them, sending them rushing out of the house for their lives. Serves them right.
 
And in episode 22, focuses more on the fan club’s president, Motoko Minagawa. As her time in school is running out, so is her time to be with Yuki, therefore, she tries to pluck up her courage and confess her feelings to Yuki. Well, not really a direct confession and it didn’t end up the way she had hoped for. But she understood something about Yuki’ll always be in heart. Sorry I can’t remember this part. But something like that. I think.
 
The last 3 episodes of the series turned very grim. I had goosebumps watching this. All gags and comedy are shoved aside. Akito is making his move to make Tohru regret the day she met the Soumas. So he sends a Souma member, Kazuma, who isn’t a Juunishi, but Kyo’s master, to Shigure’s place. Kazuma’s intention is to ask Kyo if he is prepared to show Tohru his true form. At the end of episode 24, Kazuma takes off Kyo’s bracelet and Kyo transforms. Just as Tohru passing by, she saw what happened. She was shocked.
 
Kyo had turned into monstrous and ugly looking cat. Because he doesn’t want Tohru to look at him, Kyo ran away. As Tohru tried to run after him, she slipped and there she met Akito, saying to her nasty things. Luckily Shigure was there to stop from anymore damage done to her.
 
But the thing is, Tohru broke down and her hopes lost. I felt sad and pity for her. Was she regretting that she met the Soumas when she’s at her mom’s grave? I don’t know. But I guess it was too much for her to handle. Another funny thing is, Hanajima and Uotani were passing by and saw Tohru. As Uotani approached to comfort her, Hanajima obstructed her and held Uotani back and told Tohru to do what she needs to do. I wonder if Hanajima knew about the whole thing all along? The way she said things, maybe. Maybe not. With that, Tohru heads off to catch Kyo.
 
So does Yuki, after some ‘lecture’ from Kagura. So we hear a little story from Kyo about his cat curse. Seems like the cat is the only Juunishi who can transform into something that vile because of all that hatred locked inside it throughout the ages. Plus, when Kyo was young, his mom was always lying to him about his appearance. But Tohru told Kyo the truth, how he is scaring her and how she wants all of them to lived together happily. With this, Kyo manage to calm down and returned back to his normal form now that the bracelet is back in place. And the accomplice Kazuma seems to be glad that things turn out this way. Some guy. But I guess he changed to after seeing Tohru.
 
Finally, Tohru requests to have a talke with Akito. In the room Tohru along wilth Shigure, Yuki and Hatori. Akito asked why she’d come to see him, Tohru replied that she doesn’t know. Then Akito became furious and proceed to pull Tohru’s hair, as Shigure and Yuki tried to hold him back. So we hear some sad story how Akito as the head of the Souma family is holding the core of the curse (what ever that means). Because so, he’ll die young, thus the other Souma members let him do what he wishes. With so, Akito said once he’s gone, the Soumas will be so happy. But Tohru refutes, saying how dearly he’ll be missed and things like that. After that, Akito calmed down. I wonder if he really forgived Tohru and realized things. Dunno. It wasn’t shown clearly.
 
But I didn’t like the ending of this anime. Actually, there’s no ending. It just left hanging. As Tohru and the rest walked out of the main Souma house, as usual Kyo challenges Yuki to another fight, and we see how Tohru reminisces about her friends and everyone around her and how they’re all moving forward. End of story. Hey, this isn’t the kind of ending that I expected.
 
So eventually, there’re a few questions that remained unanswered. The most prominent one, so who in the Souma is the horse and the rooster? I was hoping for their appearance but nope, nothing. Then I learned that the anime story continues in the manga and in there too, Rin (the horse) and Kureno (the rooster) made their appearances. *Sighs*. Oh well, then another thing is that, as the series progresses, I noticed that there’re less transformation from the Soumas. Yeah, for example, like Kisa, only transformed into a tiger cub once and that’s it no more. Same with Kagura, Hatsuharu, Hiro, Ritsu and Hatori (his flashback doesn’t count).
 
Then there’s one part where Yuki fell sick during the school run, so they need to bring him back. I wonder why then would Hatsuharu need to change into an ox and carry him back. Isn’t he and Kyo strong enough to do so. I mean, it wouldn’t be such a burden for these 2 tough guys, right?
 
Overall, besides the ending I really love this anime as it really touched and moved my heart. Haven’t felt that for such a long time. And like I’ve mentioned earlier on, Tohru is such a unique girl. And how she changed and opened up the Soumas is really a wonderful thing. Though, it’s not clear whether she really likes Yuki or Kyo (the latter because she’s a cat person) more, but I guess the important thing is that those 2 get to get along better because of her (though not 100%). Plus, I really like it when Tohru smiles and when she’s all cheerful. It warms my heart *blush*
 
The opening and ending themes songs are quite waltzy and slow pace. Makes you feel like closing your eyes and sleep (not because it’s boring, duh!). Actually, it’s quite calming and soothing if I must say. Plus I find some of the background musics to be quite nice. Especially those slow ones with strings and piano. They really fit the scenario and mood perfectly. Like that piano version of Serenade at the end of episode 25 for the ending theme had a little emotional effect on me. Ahh… Really music to my ears.
 
But how sad there isn’t any plans to make a second season of Fruits Basket. *Long sigh*. So, If there’s ever season 2 of this anime, I’ll definitely without a doubt watch it. You can count on that.

Dearest

August 25, 2006

  Tsyuake mae no aozora wa,
  Hitoashi hayaky kokoro wo odoraseru,
  Kotoshi mo mou sugu natsu ga kuru,
  Machi mo hito mo ukarekibun de zawamekidasu
 
Mmm… Here’s another song that I fell in love instantly after just hearing the opening lines. Yup, it’s the opening theme song of I, My, Me, Strawberry Eggs, Dearest and it’s sung by Mieno Hitomi.
 
  Watashi wo to ieba anata no omoi,
  Kono machi de atarashii kaze ni fukarete,
  Sukoshi no fuan mo dakishime nagara,
  Kanaetai ashita dake wo mitsumete ikiru
 
I like the opening part where there’s some acoustic guitar playing. Overall, the entire song has a relatively moderate pace, not too fast nor too slow. Therefore, in my opinion, this song is also suitable for easy listening.
 
  Shounen no kokoro no mama otona ni natta hito,
  Futari deatta ano hi ni wo modorenai kedo
 
When I first tried to sing this song along with the singer, most of the time, my timing of the words doesn’t match the singer’s. Yeah, the timing of when to sing those lyrics is a little irregular, sometimes early sometimes later, rather than the usual predictable a-word-for-a-note kinda song. Since I’ve heard it several times already, by now I’ve already gotten used to it and have a general idea of the timing of those words, though I still make a few mistakes here and there.
 
  Hitomi wo tojireba hohoemu kao ga mieru,
  Daisuki na ano uta ima mo utatte masu ka,
 
Furthermore, singing this song too isn’t really that stressful or too hard. That’s partly because the singer herself isn’t the one of those with squeaky high pitch voices. Although, there are certain lines where she has to go a higher note but that’s still managable. Speaking of which, sometimes when I sing that part, it’s like a ‘yo-yo syndrome’. Meaning that sometimes I could get the pitch right but at other times I would really miss it, therefore going a little out of tune. *Sighs*.
 
  Watashi ni wa kikoeru yasashii koe to MELODDY,
  Yoaki na toki hodo, Anata wo omoidasu
 
At first the lyrics seems a little long-winded to me. What do you expect if the song is 5 minutes plus long rather than the usual 4 minute plus. Huh… 1 minute can say a lot of things. But that isn’t exactly it, both the chorus too repeats itself at the end of the song. Maybe it’s because of the timing problem earlier on, that made it hard for me to remember the lyircs. Conclusion, I still currently love singing this song and will continue to do so… that is, until I get some craze to sing another song. Hehehe.
 
  Anata wo wasurenai…

Kare Kano

August 19, 2006

When I first watched the anime Kare Kano, I felt that I’m somehow watching a manga, if you know what I mean. Yup, this anime is very manga-like in terms of the drawing of the animation and the way they draw the boxes and borders of the scenes as though as it is in a manga. Plus, there’re many kanji writings manga style too which make it seem like making the manga come too life. Basically what Kareshi Kanojo No Jijou AKA His And Her Circumstances is about teen romance and comedy with some slice of life in it.
 
As seen in the first episode, Yukino Miyazawa is the ‘perfect student‘ in school. Bright, smart, attractive, pretty, helpful, nice personality, active, and all other stuffs and qualiites that students dream to have. Therefore, she’s seen by many as the perfect role model. But behind that pretty facade is a completely and totally opposite person. She’s actually quite vain and loves it when other people praises her. Plus, she has that mentality and attitude where she has to be number one or the best of the best. And she’ll go to very great lengths just to keep it that way.
 
Well, at least until this guy, Souichiro Arima comes along. Arima’s also on par with Miyazawa in terms of intelligence, personality and activeness. So now there’s a challenger, huh. And this really gets to her when Arima manage to be the top student in the entrance exam pushing Miyazawa down to second place. So we see her coming up with lots of sly schemes and plots to bring her competitor down.
 
However, Arima had approached Miyazawa and confessed his feelings to her. Ah… A chance to tear him apart. So she rejected him. But Arima seems not to be devastated. Anyway, Miyazawa’s true face is exposed when Arima came to surprise visit her to return a CD. You see at home, Miyazawa looks totally different too. I couldn’t recognize her at first. She wears spectacles with that weird pajama (or was it a junpsuit) and a headband, and she lets loose her ‘devilish’ personality.
 
Oh, Miyazawa’s family too seems a little interesting. Wonder why her dad and mom looked so young? That’s because they married young. Also Miyazawa has 2 younger sisters, Tsukino (the middle sis who’s more laid back and goofy) and Kano (the youngest sis who seems to have some obsessive knowledge in shoujo novels). Then they have a pet dog too, Pero Pero which looked a little bit like that dog in Crayon Shin Chan.
 
So as Miyazawa’s true identity is discovered by Arima, in the second episode he seems to take advantage of this by blackmailing her. Yeah, he makes her do his stuffs like carrying his books and homework. At this point I was like having second thoughts about Arima actually being a nice guy. Although she deserves what she gets, but I pity her a little lah. As she could no longer stand being used by Arima, she breaks down, only to be comforted by a gentle Arima. Now this guy’s changed. And he gave the reason why he was using her like that it’s because he wants to be close to her and something like he hasn’t been with someone like her before. Strange use of method. But eventually, the 2 of them made amends and become good friends.
 
Can’t blame Arima totally too. You see, he’s got a tragic past too. When he was young his real father abused and tortured him. Because his dad was also debt-laden, he ran away with his mom leaving Arima behind. Luckily for Arima, he was taken in by his adopted parents who adopted him as his own child giving him all the love and support like as though he was their son. Because of this, Arima is somewhat fearful of his past.
 
So now, there’re 2 role models that the whole school can look up to now. Such lucky students they are. So this is where the love between those 2 really start to blossom. Yeah, at first they were good friends, then somewhat close but not lovers yet. The next thing you know, they really have feelings for each other and start seeing each other already and are officially a couple (sometimes even sharing moments of intimacy when theyre both alone).
 
So when Miyazawa’s family found out that she’s gotta boyfriend, they’re all into shock, wondering if she’s sick or something. Yeah, they can’t believe that their daughter would end up having a relationship with a boy. Especially her dad who seems like the overprotective kind at first (and possibly wanted to shoo him away), but when they saw Arima the whole family quickly accepted him, leaving Miyazawa quite embarrassed. I see looks do really count. However, as they say, life isn’t a bed of roses. You guessed it, there’ll be many many obstacles those 2 will face that will test their love and relationship.
 
So the first obstacle that’ll come between them is a guy named Hideaki Asaba. This guy’s a little perverted, though he may have good looks. When he first met Miyazawa and learned that she’s seeing him, he despises her. That’s because Asaba had this sick plan of him and his self proclaimed partner Arima to form ‘Asaba Merry Land‘ where there’re only lots and lots of beautiful girls and themselves. And since Miyazawa took Arima away, that plan won’t materialize. Thus, Asaba decided to break them up.
 
I can’t remember what happened, but after Arima told off Asaba about threatening or making Miyazawa cry or hurting her, I guessed he backed down and accepted their relationship. Now, he’s one of their friends (though at times Arima seems to disagree and suggests to have him ignored). What do you know, this Asaba guy really clicks with Miyazawa’s younger sisters.
 
Well it isn’t over yet. The second obstacle in the form of Maho Izawa showed up. She’s also an attractive and smart girl but she fell out of the limelight because of Miyazawa’s presence. Something like overshadowing her. So basically, she’s jealous of her and wants to get revenge so that she can be in the limelight again. She manage to manipulate and convince the whole class to go against Miyazawa by shunning her. Something like Miyazawa’s monopolizing Arima and Asaba (meaning keeping these 2 guys all for herself). Wah, how could those girls get jealous because of that. Well, I guess if you got 2 great looking guys in school and they’re in the hearts of every girls, wouldn’t you feel awkward that both of them are into this 1 girl? Furthermore, she’s the role model.
 
Eventually, Miyazawa manage to expose Maho’s plot, making her plan backfire. This time, everybody else including Maho’s close friends left her. Soon she repented her doings and before you know it, becomes one of Miyazawa’s friends. Yeah, at the same time too, Miyazawa gained other friends such as Sakura Tsubaki, the tomboyish volleyball player, Aya Sawada, a talented writer for her age, and Rika Sena, a gifted craftswomen and seamstress.
 
Oh wait, during the troubled period that Miyazawa and Maho were in, the appearance of a petite girl Tsubasa Shibahime seems to make matters worse. Tsubasa previously fell in love with Arima when they were in middle school. But some skateboarding accident prevented her from going to start high school with Arima at the same time. Because her confessions to Arima usually fell on deaf ears, she settled to be treated as Arima’s ‘little sister’. That is, until Miyazawa became her girlfriend. So she became jealous and proceeds to break them up. As compared to Maho, she’s more brute in the sense that she’ll physically do things to Miyazawa rather than in stealth or quietly. Plus, when the producers draw her when she’s being ‘devilish’, she looks kinda chibi and weird (also her character as well). You should see her if you don’t know what I mean.
 
But Tsubasa went to far by burning the 1 picture Miyazawa treasures most, the picture of Arima (which Tsubasa stole from her wallet). It’s really funny to see Miyazawa’s ‘devil face’ when she’s gonna pound on Tsubasa. But this Arima still blur, donno what’s happening between those 2 (though he knows that Tsubasa’s being physically hitting Miyazawa but didn’t really do that much either). So as usual, Tsubasa gave up her devilish plot to break them up and soon became their friend (darn… can’t remember how lah).
 
So there’s another obstacle to their relationship too. Nope, this time it isn’t some jealous teen, but their maths teacher Kawashima. Kawashima knows that these 2 are seeing each other and at the same time are the perfect role models for their school. Meaning that their image is important for the sake of the school’s image. So imagine what would happen if a scandal were to arise between the school’s top 2 students? Especially the school’s reputation is at stake. So Kawashima called them to his office and told them to stop seeing each other and break off their relationship. Yeah, and something like think about your future, bla bla bla. Plus, their grades were really starting to slip too but not at an alarming rate.
 
But Arima and Miyazawa remained steadfast. Saying that they can do both. So Kawashima decided to call both their parents and discuss the matter. Surprisingly, they’re quite supportive of their children as they wished them for their happiness as long as they know what they’re doing. In viewing so, Kawashima accepted their decision and believed in Arima and Miyazawa. Yeah, later on he’ll be supporting them both in things they do too (not ‘doing that’ lah okay).
 
So obstacles from third party have been overcomed, huh. What obstacles are there to their relationship now. Ahh… Now it’s more on themselves. What I mean is, now the obstacles to their relationship are themselves. The first test comes during summer break, where Arima had to attend the Kendo national tournament and will be away for months. Because of this, Miyazawa felt lonely and that feeling of I-can’t-be-or-go-on-without-him. But luckily, there’re Miyazawa’s newly made girlfriends there to be with her and take away the lonliness.
 
Mainly the middle part of the series shifts it’s attention away from the Arima-Miyazawa relationship and to the issues of other characters. For instance, Tsubasa. An episode on her lonely life where her mom died while giving birth to her and her dad is the only person she’d love besides Arima. Therefore, she’s quite possessive of him. When her dad gets into a relationship with another divorced women, Kazuma and then decides to marry her, she feared that she’ll take away her dad and she’ll be all lonely in this world. Thus, she does her best to object to their relationship by showing some ‘attitude’. Plus Ikeda’s got a son, Ikeda, who seems to be a nice chap though he’s part of some rock group.
 
Eventually, Tsubasa manage to turn her ways and accept things at it is. With Ikeda playing the role as her big brother, hey, that’s not too bad, huh. And her dad too now won’t be lonely. Besides, I thought that Ikeda would be a regular face throughout the rest of the series, but nope. Yeah, his appearance just ends there. Too bad.
 
Then there’s the part where Miyazawa and her family pay a visit to her grandpa. And we have a glimpse of how they met, fell in love (to their parent’s objection), get married and have kids. Yeah, grandad still having that I-can’t-believe-my-daughter-married-a-jerk-like-you and I-still-can’t-accept-that-you’re-my-son-in-law attitude. Though he seems to treat the girls nicely. Oh well.
 
Then, it’s back to the Arima-Miyazawa. Yup, Arima surprised Miyazawa by returning without her notice. Looks like she’s quite taken by surprise. Seems he won the Kendo tournament too. Yay! Now the both of them can spend quality time together. Oh no! But Arima’s past seems to be catching up on him and is having a devastating emotional effect on him. But with Miyazawa around, he manages to face his past and move forward.
 
So the several last few episodes again takes a little breather from the Arima-Miyazawa relationship. Although the obstacles this time are mainly their insecurities and doubts about their realtionship, but it isn’t that obvious. As we’re introduced to a new character Tonami Takefumi (so late! Appeared in episode 20). So is he gonna come between Arima and Miyazawa? Not really. Though at times Arima from a distance spot them together and misinterprets the situation, but Tonami actually isn’t really after Miyazawa.
 
It’s Tsubaki that he’s after. Uh-huh, you see, another kid with a tormented past. When Tonami was a child, he was fat and chubby so much so he was being bullied. But Tsubaki saved him and in return she made him do things and in a way bullied and tormented him. So Tonami went away for a while and now he’s back, tanned and gorgeous looking, to get revenge on Tsubaki. However Tsubaki doens’t know that this is the same Tonami as before.
 
In the meantime, Miyazawa and the rest of the girls are planning what to do for the upcoming school cultural festival. Wow. It took spanned over a few episodes (the planning) and in the end, we didn’t get to see it either. Yup, the series just ended then. Oh but before that, Asaba’s doing some ‘dinner show’ where he’s the ‘main course’ to attract girls. And he’s so free too that he’d even asked Miyazawa and co if she needs his help with their cultural project. So as Arima and Miyazawa assures and affirms each other’s love (so I guess no more problems already for these 2, the way I see it), Tonami is waiting for his chance to get his revenge on Tsubaki. So he played 1 on 1 basketball-cum-conversation with her. Well, what do you know, they’re both good too.
 
Before Tonami realizes it, he seems to be developing feelings for her. Then the last scene of the last episode, they both kissed! And the narrator went like ‘His And Her Circumstances…’. Ohh… Looks like it’s now their turn to be like the Arima-Miyazawa thing. One thing I find annoying about the last episode that the narrator seems to repeat the lines twice. I mean there’re 2 narrators, a male and a female narrator. And after 1 had said 1 line, the other seem to repeat it. Irritating! Fuan to mendou to kuyashii da yo!
 
In conclusion, I find this anime quite okay, just above average. One thing I notice that this anime tends to be very repetitive, repeating what has happened over and over again especially at the start of each episode. Maybe it’s to make the episode a little longer? I prefer the first half of the series where it’s more funnier than the second half which I find it a little boring (and repetitive). Overall the pace of the anime is slow and draggy at times. The words on the screen sometimes may clutter. So a person like me who doesn’t know how to read kanji will be at a total lost.
 
The visual for the end credit is quite unique too. It’s live action moving forward through the school corridor or the streets. Plus, we get to see the real faces of the voice actors of the series when they tell of the next coming episodes. Hmm… Not really what I expected them to look like (note that this isn’t really meant to be insulting). Probably I’ve seen to many ‘Japanese Anime Girls’ and come to expect that.
 
Then I found out even though the series ends just there, the manga still continues the story from there right until they’re married. Yeah, read somewhere that Miyazawa got pregnant while still studying and she and Arima married young just like her parents did after graduation. Also, what happened to other characters in the series as well. But I’m not gonna read the whole 21 volume series. I’m just happy with the anime and the way things are.
 
So lesson learned… Be careful if you always argue with somebody, because you might end up liking/dating/marrying that person in the end. Oh wait, that’s not a good one. Love conquers all. Yeah, that oughta do it. So a toast and many best wishes to Arima and Miyazawa – the best anime couple! Hehehe.

Araiso

August 18, 2006

You know, the reason why I wanted to watch Araiso Private High School Student Council Executive Committee is because there are only 2 episodes. Yup, just 2 episodes but each episodes are a little than your usual anime series as it is approximately 30 minutes (compared to 22-24 minutes). Also, I read that this anime is supposed to be adapted from the manga called Wild Adapter. I’ve taken a look at some pic shots at the manga and I can pretty much say that Araiso somewhat really looks like it.
 
So basically it’s about these 2 guys, Kubota Makoto and Tokitou Minoru, who are part of Araiso High School’s Student Council Executive Committee. You might have guessed it already from the title of the anime. It seems that this Executive Committee is quite a feared body in school. As seen over the 2 episodes, most students who happen to identify these 2 guys from there, start to shiver or get their butts up and move away, so as not to want any trouble with them.
 
It isn’t that these 2 guys are such bad people going around beating up or blackmailing people. Well, they may be tough and have conventional ways (a little brute force, that is) to solving things but I guess that’s the way it’s gotta be to keep the peace around school. Yeah, I think that’s what this committee is mainly set up for besides the usual student council thing.
 
So as you can see in the opening sequence of the first episode, some poor defenseless guy is being harrassed by some school bullies. You know, the usual protection money thing. But luckily, lady luck’s shining on this poor chap as Kubota and Tokitou manage to show up in time and teach those bullies a lesson.
 
Anyway, the first episode is mainly about the school having some sports festival. Something like those who participate in it will have their grades in gym class a raise. Well, I suppose that there’s a catch to this. Heard that those who didn’t previously participate will eventually show up and then there’s gonna be a lot of rough play and injury because they’re gonna be desparate. Something like that.
 
So the Executive Committee’s head Takahisa Matsumoto, and his assistant, Haruka Tachibana, decided to request for the other members of the committee to participate and at the same time to play guard (meaning keep watch so that nobody gets injured). I like to mention first that one of the committee members, Fujiwara Yuusuke, seemed to look up to Kubota very much. Like if there’s one small tiny bit of praise (okay, maybe not), he’ll get all excited. Or even if he gets noticed or used by him too. And he can’t stand some other guy being alone with him (like Tokitou). Some guy.
 
However, at the same time, those school bullies who’re shamed earlier on wants to get their revenge on Kabuto and Tokitou during the games. But as a precautionary measure, somehow Kubota and Tokitou’s name appeared on every games’ list. But the school bully head (let’s call him that) seems to know that they will only play basketball.
 
And how true. At least the bullies were making quite a number of students injured so much so Kubota and Tokitou and the rest had to check it out. Can’t believe the refree teacher didn’t see all of it. So Tokitou decided to go in and have a basketball match with the school bully head. Of course, during the match, he turned nasty and slit Tokitou’s hand with a hidden knife. After witnessing this, Kuboto felt a little mad and decided to enter the game too. Of course, after Tokitou’s being treated.
 
During the match, they played a little dirty too. For instance, seemingly making a pass when it actually is intended right at the opponent’s face. Eventually, the bullies lost and were the ones most severely injured. And because of that Takahisa made some announcement that the school bully head will get quite a raise in his marks. So pitiful and ironic. But he got what he deserves. And what’s with that part where the school bully head ended up in the school doctor’s room? Gonna get whipped? Supposed to be rejoicing, right? Maybe not.
 
The second episode seems more like the Executive Committee trying to investigate some mysterious ghost hauntings in the school grounds. Yeah, there’re some compaints of some strange sounds at school. So why would the other committee members agree to do such a thing? See, it’s summer and it’s so so so hot. And the room that the other members usually get together is in dire need of an air-conditioner. So Kazumi Katsuragi AKA Gwaymu, strike a deal with Takahisa that they’d investigate the hauntings and solve it in return for an air-conditioner in their room.
 
So their first night at school made quite a few shocking discoveries. Well, the good thing was, it isn’t anything supernatural. The bad thing is, the activities of the other students they do after school is pretty much discovered. Like smoking or some couple gonna make love. So first night, found not what they intended to find.
 
But the next day as Fujiwara went to do some clean up in the store room, he accidently remove some seal and was then possessed. Looks like some restless warrior who died and previously the school ground was a battlefield in which this warrior died. So the other members didn’t noticed it at first. But as soon as it started attacking the group, they realized it isn’t Fujiwara anymore and they need to do something about it.
 
The funny part was Kubota decided to recite some prayer lines to calm the spirit. But did it work? No it didn’t. Then why did he do it? That’s because he saw it in some show and it’s supposed to work. Hahaha *Doink*. Anyway, it just made the spirit stronger. So Kubota and Tokitou teamed up to fight the spirit but it seemed futile. Eventually, after much beating, they manage to spot some seal on the ghost and destroyed it. Yay! The spirit’s gone, but Fujiwara’s taken quite a beating there. Poor guy, can’t remember anything, his body hurts and nobody pities him. And it’s dawn already.
 
In the end, they didn’t get the air-cond because they wrecked the sports room and other areas of the school when they’re fighting the spirit. How sad. I guess it’s gonna be a long and hot summer. Hang in there you guys. You’re supposed to be tough.
 
Overall, I find it okay with it’s light hearted comedy and action. Also most of the characters somehow reminded me of Gensoumaden Saiyuki characters. Heard that donno the producer or so did some work on the latter too. Like Kubota looked like Cho Hakkai, Tokitou looked like a cross between Homura and a less fierce Kou, Fujiwara seemed like Genjo Sanzo, and the school’s doctor, Tohru Igarashi reminded me of the Goddess Of Mercy. Speaking of which, why do all school lady doctors need to dress so sexy (and besides she seemed to like to flirt with Kubota). Then there’s that one guy in the committee who looked like Ken Nakajima of You’re Under Arrest.
 
Like I said, it’s rather okay. With Kubota and Tokitou making a great team. And if the producers decided to come up with more episodes in the future for this OVA, maybe I’ll watch it. But in the meantime, I’m simply just not reading the manga. Not interested. Not into it.

Ginban Kaleidoscope

August 12, 2006

Do you think that ice skating and the supernatural could really go hand in hand? Of course, if it’s Ginban Kaleidoscope, that is. Okay, maybe the term supernatural doesn’t mean really scary or the horror type. Plus, this anime is more of the sports type with some elements of comedy and romance in it.
 
So to start things off, let me introduce first the main character, Sakurano Tazusa. She’s the kind of girl where it’s ‘a rose with a million thorns’. Yup, don’t be fooled by her beautiful and pretty appearance. Because deep down she’s quite an obnoxious, arrogant and selfish 16 year old. Plus she consider herself to be the $10 billion dollar face. Perasan betul. So you’ve already guessed it by now that she’s quite a talented and aspiring ice figure skater. At first looks she looks like quite a good figure skater, considering her age and the fact that she has to juggle her school life as well (though, academically I’m not really sure).
 
So where does the supernatural part fit in? Well, as we can see in episode 1, Sakurano is currently doing one of her performance in Canada during the Women’s Figure Skating Grand Prix. Simutaneously, we’re shown of some cool manoeuvres being pulled off by some aviator, also somewhere in Canada. Just as fate would have it, Sakurano stumbled in one of her moves and falls quite badly. And at the same time, that airplane had some engine malfunction and crashes. Nobody could’ve survive such crash.
 
Back to the ice skating ring. After the performance, Sakurano crossed path with an American skater, Dominique Miller (who looks a bit like Carrera of Karin). And from the looks of it, Dominique too is one of those cocky and arrogant types. She was insulting and mocking Sakurano. But the bad thing (or a good thing if you look at it that way) is, Sakurano doesn’t understand a single word of English. However, she felt that the conversation isn’t a good one. Suddenly, out of the blue, some voice in her head keeps asking her to reply "Kiss my ass!". Of course, Sakurano thought she might be hearing things and just said that to Dominique, who then felt shocked and walked away.
 
So the next day, she kept hearing that same voice over and over again. Is she going crazy? Not until she shouted "SHUT UP!!!" intended for the voice in her head, only to be directed to some nun in her school. Oh no, beginning of a series of misunderstandings. Embarrassed? Who wouldn’t. After getting some ‘lecturing’ from that nun, she proceed to the toilet and starts shouting at that inner voice.
 
So it’s this part that we know that the inner voice is actually Pete Pamps (looks a bit like Joey Wheeler of Yugioh), the pilot who died earlier on in that fatal plane crash. So why is he possessing Sakurano? Well, we here some story from Pete saying that as he approaches Heaven’s Door, God couldn’t allow him to enter just yet. And he can only do so after 100 days. Why? Donno. Not explained too. So God drops him down right back to Earth. Only thing is, he landed in Sakurano’s body, the exact time when she slipped too. Talk about coincidence.
 
And at home, Sakurano tries a series of excorsism methods, but to no avail. Yeah, he just couldn’t leave. But the thing is, Pete doesn’t have any control over Sakurano’s body. Meaning that, whatever Sakurano does, sees or feels, Pete will also do, see or feel the same thing (whether he likes it or not). And he’ll lose conscious everytime when she goes to sleep. This is gotta be real hell! Of course, with this, Sakurano uses this as some ‘torturing device’ too. So it’s quite funny the part especially where she needs to go to the bathroom blindfolded!
 
So you’ll be seeing a lot of bickering between the 2. So in episode 2, Sakurano still can’t believe that she’s being possessed. Of course, shouting and yelling to herself in the morning with her coach, Takashima, and her little sister, Youko, watching in disbelief. Always thinking that the stress of the tournament may have got to her head. Thus, they try their best to put up with her ‘mood swing’. Another misunderstanding (for the sake of convenience, let’s call such situation where Sakurano scolds Pete but somebody else thinks it’s him/her who she’s scolding, misunderstanding, ok). But who’d believe you if you said you’re suddenly being possessed by some Canadian ghost, right?
 
By the way, since Sakurano is the only person who can hear (I’m not sure if she could really see him, though when they show Pete is for the viewers’ convenience) him, throughout the series nobody knows the existence of Pete. Yeah, for such a main character it’s kinda ironic.
 
In this episode too, we’ll get to know that Pete really hates tomatoes. Yup, he really does. So another torture device Sakurano can use (and she’ll use it often!) whenever she doesn’t like what Pete says. So bad. Also we get to know that Sakurano has a really bad reputation with the media. Yeah, the media doesn’t seem to like her and always blaming and portraying her as a scapegoat. Why? Somehing to do with some very important tournament where some another terror national figure skater, Shitou Kyoko, injured herself. Thus, Sakurano had to carry the burden of her country and as her replacement. The country expected her to get 1st place, instead, she ended up in a disappointing 17th. I guess that’s why Sakurano’s cold character too. Can’t blame her entirely.
 
To make things worse, some superviser of some figure skating body, a seemingly elderly and cold Yukie Mishiro, always seem to be sarcastic towards Sakurano. Plus, Sakurano doesn’t really like her that much either, and nicknames her ‘Nasty’ or ‘Sarcastic The Third’, something like that.
 
At the end of the episode, we see that a freelance reporter, Kazuya Nitta, seemingly arranges a meeting between Sakurano and her arch-rival Shitou at a hotel. I don’t remember much why he’s doing so, but unlike the other reporters, he’s quite different from the rest in the sense that he doesn’t want to blame or accuse Sakurano. I think the meeting was something like trying to mend their differences kinda thing and for the future of Japan’s figure skating. I think.
 
In episode 3, Sakurano has her hands full. She’s got her school final exams to deal with, her upcoming skating competition, and Pete. So we’ll see her practising some terror spin of hers but she always ended up falling. At this point, you’ll know that Pete seems to be the nice guy, and the rational and calm voice of reasoning. Yeah, he does give words of encouragement to Sakurano and slowly throughout the series, you’ll see how he changes her. Also, one thing I’d like to note is that, most of the international skaters have that ‘Japanese Anime Girl’ look. I mean, for instance, that Russian skater, Lia Garnet, doesn’t look like a Russian but so ‘Japanese Anime Girl’ look. I didn’t even think she was from Russia in the first place.
 
Nothing much in episode 4 as Pete gives more words of encouragement to help Sakurano win a place in the Olympic team. Because of Japan’s dismal performance, their representives has been cut from 2 to 1. Yup, and her main rival for that lone spot is no other than Shitou. Plus, more of Sakurano’s jump spinning move and failing at it. At this point too, there’re quite a number of ice figure skating terms for the moves which I couldn’t remember. I was like going, "Er… What was that move called again?" and "Is that move called that?". But most of the time is the usual "Huh?". Oh, and some more misunderstandings too.
 
I like the funny part where Sakurano as usual is scolding Pete but at the same time her classmate and best pal, Miki, just happen to walk pass by and is shocked to hear those words by Sakurano, as though it was directed to her. Then she’d just run away and say something and Sakurano would go like ‘no, wait it’s a mistake’. Poor girl. But so funny lah.
 
Just like in the previous episode, episode 5 too isn’t anything that much. Sakurano takes a break from her practice and goes out on a ‘date’ with Pete. Well, can’t call it a date if you’re seemingly alone. But anyway, for once, she does the things that Pete likes, such as eating steak and reading books on aviation. Plus, I think this episode brings those 2 a little closer to understanding each other, don’t you think?
 
In episode 6, with the help of Pete, Sakurano comes up with an entirely new skating programme, much to her coach and little sister’s delight. That’s because, she found out that one of her rivals is going to use the same skating programme as well. Don’t want to cause the wrath of the media again at a point like this. So we get to see her new programme in episode 7. It’s a cafe-themed programme. And Sakurano’s outfit’s like a waitress. With that jazz like background music, and that fun and light-hearted comical performance, I must say that it’s kinda interesting too. This of course very much impressed the judges and Mishiro as well, at the same time pressuring other skaters after her especially Shitou. And then when it’s Shitou’s turn to perform, she fell. Oh no, this could be bad for her. Yup it does, Sakurano gets chosen for the Olympic team.
 
I really hate those evil ^&#$*@ reporters! Uh-huh, in episode 8, those bad reporters decided to bring down Sakurano’s confidence and pride by staging some mock press conference. Yeah, they’re asking questions which somehow doesn’t really relate to ice skating like her relationship with her coach, Takashima, since she’s living under the same roof as him. Plus, something about her parents, which nearly breaks down Sakurano. But luckily Pete is there to help her. And another lucky thing is that Kazuya manage to sneak in and ask the right questions in favour of Sakurano. Way to go Kazuya!
 
And before you know it, she’d be answering back with style (and confidently filled sarcasm and wit) questions right back at those bad reporter’s face. Hahaha, serves them right. Their plan backfired. And in the end, their scheme was unravelled by Kazuya and they’re finally put out of commission. Good for them too.
 
Since now that it’s confirmed that Sakurano will be Japan’s representative, a swarm of reporters are swarming over her coach’s house waiting for her comments. Just then, Kazuya managed to whisk her away from the frenzy back to her place. So there’re times where Sakurano had wild imagination and thoughts of her ‘abduction’ that Kazuya might actually make a move on her. Why wouldn’t she? They’re back at Kazuya’s apartment. But rest assured that it isn’t so. See, Kazuya’s a really good guy.
 
So the cat’s out of the bag when Sakurano accidentily bumps into Kazuya making him drop photo albums. Well, the pictures in the album aren’t her, but Shitou! My my, this guy has a crush on Shitou. Because Sakurano still felt indebted to what Kazuya did earlier on at that mock press conference, she’d be willing to give him a free interview in time to come. Hmm… He’s writing a book called Ginban Kaleidoscope but it’s only partially filled.
 
In episode 10, Sakurano realizes that the day of the Olympics at Torino is exactly the same day Pete will leave her body. Oh my, now she feels reluctant for Pete to leave her. Same for Pete too. But Pete’s always being positive and looking at the bright side of things. But she’s still down and can’t concentrate. Eventhough Pete tries to talk to her about the Olympics rather than his departure. There’s a lot of emotional talking (at least I felt sad) about her wanting to let Pete do what he wishes during his final days, but Pete turns down. I guess she’s really gotten used to him and his presence by now. But just before the episode end, Pete wished for Sakurano to kiss him.
 
But she pulled that one back at the start of episode 11, saying  something that he doesn’t have a physical body so she can’t really kiss him. Yeah, it would be insane too if someone saw her trying to kiss the air. Wierd. So off she goes to Torino. But before that, she bumped into Shitou who now gives her full support for Sakurano. Ganbaru ne! At Torino she’s really an unknown, but the press there seemed nicer.
 
Then I don’t get this Olympic short programme. I wonder what’s it’s significance, held just a day before the real thing. Is it some sort of practice? But why are there judges to judge their performances? But anyway, Sakurano is set to be the first one. But she didn’t feel any pressure as she mentioned that as the first skater, the judges won’t have any previous skater to compare her with. She manage to perform her cafe-themed skating performance blowing away the judges. I think she got a podium finish. Can’t remember was it 1st or second place. But that night Sakurano had trouble sleeping not because of tomorrow’s event but for Pete. Haih… this girl. And as usual Pete was there to comfort her.
 
So the final episode, instead of performing for her future career, Sakurano performs for Pete’s last flight. Yeah, during the performance, it was as though they were flying through the clouds. I kinda like this part. Although the results showed that Sakurano didn’t win a medal, as she got 4th place (Lia won the gold), she wasn’t bitterly disappointed. Wow, she’s really changed.
 
The thing is, I didn’t really like the ending. I was bitterly disappointed. After the results, Sakurano went over to some frozen lake and have a final chat with Pete before he goes away forever. Something like don’t go, I don’t care if you possess me forever. But Pete had no regrets and accepted his fate and felt it was a good thing that he met her. And as Sakurano wanted to say one last word to Pete, he disappears. "I love you, Pete", she finally confessed. Whops… A second too late. I’m having goosebumps now.
 
So the disappointing part was that I though there’d be some explanation why was Pete excluded from Heaven for 100 days. It’s really a mystery. And maybe I expected too much too. I was hoping Sakurano and Pete would eventually get together again. In the sense that I thought Pete may be lying in coma somewhere and when his spirit disappeared from Sakurano’s body, he’d be awaken. Didn’t. SO DISAPPOINTING LAH!!!
 
In the end, we see what happened to the other characters. Coach Takashima married his long time lover, Hitomi. Yuuko has a boyfriend. Miki is now seemingly designing some new costumes. Kazuya taking photos of Shitou as she practices under the watchful eye of Mishiro. And as Sakurano walks by she notices a plane flying overhead. She just looked up and smiled. The end.
 
Overall, the whole story mainly focus on the relationship between Sakurano and Pete and how the latter changed the former. I really enjoyed this anime and sometimes I have that heart warming feeling especially in those last few episodes. I’m glad that Sakurano’s a better person now. And I’ve also learned and realized a few lessons in life here from Pete’s optimism. But the ending ah… How I wish it didn’t turn out that way.

Yume Mite Iyou

August 11, 2006

  Yume Mite Iyou, Kimi no mirai mieru,
  Ookina yume ga, Itsuka mirai hiraku
 
Here’s another classic and early anime song that I’ve fallen in love with when I first heard it. Yup, it’s the ending theme song for Sakura Taisen, Yume Mite Iyou.
 
  Wakatte iru yo minna mo,
  Ganbatte ru ne itsumo
  Tokidoki wa megeru koto mo aru keredo
 
The start of the song will give an impression that this may be a chinese song. That’s because of the seemingly sounding like chinese musical string instruments used (I think so lah). So you might be taken into surprise when they start to sing in Japanese.
 
  Yume mite iyou, Mirai wa kitto,
  Kibou ni afure, Kimi no soba ni aru,
  Dakara zutto zutto, Yume mite iyou
 
The song starts off with a slow pace first then gradually introduces strings which then makes it quite a lively piece. But overall, I’d still consider this song to be a ballad. One thing though, if you intend to sing this song, you need to sing it with a group, like 5-6 people (at least the chorus part). Otherwise, a solo performance wouldn’t be really fitting. Believe me, I tried it myself (still haven’t in a group), and I find it better the former way.
 
  Kokoro ni sakura sakaseyou,
  Sore wa yume miru koto,
  Itsumo yume wa miyou
 
So you’ve guessed it. I’m having the instrumental version (read: no background vocals) rather than the karaoke version. But I don’t think the latter exists. Plus, the lyrics are short and simple enough to remember. In addition, this is the first song that I’ve actually remembered the entire lyrics! Hehehe, saves the trouble of needing to refer to the lyrics whenever I’m singing this song. Though, I’ve hardly sing this song nowadays, but singing it once in a while sure does bring back memories of that time (and the time when I’m watching that anime too).
 
  Dakara zutto zutto, Yume mite iyou…

I can’t actually remember the reason why I watched Izumo: Takeki Tsurugi No Senki in the first place. Was it because of the girls? Nope. Harem and lots of girls, yes. But cute and kawaii girls, no. Was it because of the storyline? Nope. It’s just average and typical action adventure mix with some supernatural fantasy. Was it because of the character developement then? Nope either. It’s quite stagnant throughout the 12 episode series, with no major changes and you can pretty much guess what kind of characters they are after the first few episodes.
 
So why is it that I watch, ah? Donno lah. But anyway, allow me to recap on the entire storyline. So the first episode opener sees some sort of a flashback and some guys fighting, and then some female figure saying something. Don’t quite remember. Then we move on to our present world, where you’d pretty much guess that this guy, Takeru Yagi, is gonna be the main protagonist of the series, having his nice sleep interrupted when 2 girls came to wake him up. And you’ll pretty much guess here too that these 2 ladies are gonna be part of that harem that I mentioned earlier on. Yup, they’re sisters, Kotono and Asuka Shiratori.
 
But Takeru isn’t really related to them, just that he’s just living with them in the sister’s grandpa’s kendo dojo since Takeru’s parent’s demise. But he still calls him grandpa. Anyway, the usual morning breakfast with the family then off to school, where they meet Takeru’s best pal, Takeshi Yamato. Because of both these guy’s names sounding quite close, I got confused in the beginning who is who. Bla bla bla, and in class now we’re introduced to some new transfer student from America, Seri Oosu. She doesn’t seem to have that American accent, though she’s originally from Japan. Then what do you know, Seri then burst into excitement when she spots Takeru. Yeah, claiming something like her childhood friend, bride-to-be kinda stuff. Not imporant. But what I’m guessing that she’s gonna be part of  the harem too.
 
So after class, back to grandpa’s dojo, Takeru sees his grandpa’s ceremonial sword in some cabinet. Curious, he went to pick it up. Then a flash of vision of 2 guys fighting. Wow… What was that all about. Anyway, more bla bla blas. Then we shift scene to that mysterious lady like figure from the beginning. Yeah, she’s trying to summon somebody, and it looks like Takeru through his dreams.
 
Okay, back to the dojo, present time. Grandpa is having a talk with Takeru and Takeshi about some upcoming kendo tournament. But he can only pick 1. And without haste, he chose Takeru, eventhough Takeshi seems to be the better one. Of course, how would you feel if someone inferior than you gets chosen for some tournament. Jealous, right? Yup, that’s how Takeshi felt and he requests a rematch to prove that he should be the one going. Oh oh, do you feel a crack in the friendship? This is just the tip of the iceberg.
 
So match time, fight fight fight. And what do you know? Takeru actually delivers the winning blow. I guess that settles it. Takeru is in and Takeshi’s out. However, Takeshi’s not satisfied by this still. So as Kotono approaches to comfort him, Takeshi vent his frustration on her. Luckily Takeru, along with Asuka and Seri were nearby to stop him. And before you know it, these 2 guys are fighting each other and that best pal friendship thing seems like it never existed before.
 
Then suddenly strange happened. An earthquake! Wait a minute, why are their bodies going like ‘double vision’ (don’t know how to describe this part)? It’s that mysterious maiden figure again. Takeru and Takeshi recognize this lady from their dreams. And in a flash, soon the group’s being transported into some portal. And when they awoke, they find themselves in some ruins, just like their school, but much more run-down and covered with creeping plants and moss.
 
So, episode 2 continues where we left off. The gang is now split into 2, with Takeru, Seri and Asuka in one group, and Takeshi and Kotono in the other. As both groups are trying to figure what’s happening, a swarm of insects beseiged them. Well, I guess it’ll be a good idea to run since you don’t have any weapons with you. But lucky Taksehi, he finds a sword somewhere and doesn’t hesitate to use it. He seems pretty good with it.
 
Finally they’re able to meet outside the school in some open field. Still trying to figure out what’s happening, mysterious giant figures in cloak suddenly appear. Looks hostile. Yup, they are. As Takeru, Seri and Asuka flee, Takeshi and Kotono are surrounded by them. And they produced some bright flash which teleports these 2 somewhere else. Too bad Takeshi dropped his sword. But Takeru dashed back and grab the sword to prepare and fight back. As soon as one of those hostiles was gonna slash Takeru, out of nowhere some guy on a horse slashed the hostile and following him are a band of warriors attacking the hostiles. Looks like they’re saved in the nick of time. Presumably I guess these are the good guys. Has to be.
 
Then some girl, Sakuya, appears and wave to the group to come this way to escape getting caught between the fighting. As she leads the group through some forest, they heard some strange footsteps. Oh, nothing to worry about, as it turns out that the person, Mai Kitagawa, and her pet crow, is one of Takeru’s classmates and is also somehow mysteriously pulled into this world. Ah, another girl to the harem.
 
Now we shift scene to where Takeshi and Kotono has been teleported to. Looks like some dark cave. As Takeshi awakens, he sees that maiden figure in his dreams. Yeah, now we know her name, Himiko. Along with her too, is her dad, Oonamuji, and his son, Minakata. The bad guys? The scenery would appear to suggests so. And we see how Himiko how grateful she is that Takeshi has come to her. Er?
 
Back to the other group. Takeru and co are now camping alongside the group which saved them. The head of the group, Kagutsuchi, and his daughter Sakuya, explaining about the current situation of this world. Something like how people in our present world who died, will be reincarnated to this world that they’re in now, and vice versa. Uh-huh. And how the ‘humans’ of this world are fighting against the Akuryo (term for the baddies here). So it’s basically a good versus evil. Also, something like Himiko wants to crete a new world where both worlds will merge, therefore she needs to eliminate the current one that exists. Something like that. But the story is interupted (and epsiode ended) when the Akuryos launched a surprise attack on the group.
 
Are you following me? Oh, I want to note that there’s gonna be a lot of back and forth between the groups. Yeah, one minute this group, the next minute the other group. But it isn’t just confined to this. Even the battles are back and forth. Good guys attack Akuryo, then the latter retreats. Then Akuryo attacks them back, then the good guys retreat. You get the point.
 
So episode 3, continues with the ambush. But the good guys manage to retreat safely. Hmm… I guess strange 2-legged lizards are equivalent to horses too in this world. So the gang arrived at the main base, where we’re introduced to this lady, Amaterasu, who’s Kagutsuchi’s wife and also the head of this rebellion. More talking which I don’t remember. But Takeru wonders about Takeshi and Kotono and how they’r doing right now.
 
Back to the other side (I’m getting tired of this already). Himiko explains that she needs Takeshi to help fight against Amaterasu and her allies but Takeshi refuses. Fast forward to the part where Takeshi and Minakata are having a ‘friendly duel’. Again Takeshi lost and Minakata commented on how he sucked. Too bad, loser. Then we get to know how great a flute player Kotono is (which somehow calms the Akuryo soldiers). More talking and back and forths. Anyway, Minakata together with Takeshi assembles a small army for patrolling purposes, when they’re ambushed by the good guys. Takeshi grabs a sword and before you know it kills somebody. His conscious is playing with him here. I never killed anyone, this is the first time I killed somebody. Ah, what the heck, Takeshi’s gonna be siding with the bad guys, right? But anyway, it seems that the good guys are losing.
 
So in episode 4, one of the good guys who manage to survive the onslaught, made it back to Kagutsuchi’s place and reported what happened. Of course, he’d mentioned seeing some strange guy in some strange black clothes (Takeshi lah!). And Takeru suspect that it could be Takeshi. Anyway, I’m gonna just blog on important points of this episode from now on. We’re introduced to some red-hair chic, Rin, who seems to be wanting to ally herself with Himiko and offer her services to her, but Minakata doens’t really approves of it. Takeru and co visits a village where the recently wounded warriors of the recent ambush are recuperating. Takeshi and Kotono have a private moment. But Kotono mentions something about Himiko being misguided but Takeshi said he would for now play along and side with them and see how thing goes. So he pledges his allegiance to Himiko.
 
Finally, at the village where Takeru and co are resting, we see Kitagawa awaking right in the middle of the night, trekking through the forest and reaching the edge of the cliff. Then she takes a rock and smashed some crystal glass which serves as a force shield to hide the village from the Akuryo’s view. Barrier gone. Ooo… Now I know that her role in the group is something to be like a traitor.
 
Episode 5, Sakuya and Seri finds Kitagawa fainted at the place where she smashed the barrier. But because Kitagawa had done so, now the Akuryo can find where Kagutsuchi’s hiding. And so another attack led by Minakata. But Minakata had a face-off with Kagutsuchi and Takeru and lost. But these 2 didn’t kill him but instead rush back to check on the safety of the women and children of the village. You guys should have done so lah to save all the trouble. I think or else they wouldn’t be good guys, don’t you think.
 
Because of this, Takeru and Kagutsuchi embark on some mission to find Takeshi and Kotono to save them. Once they arrived at Himiko’s camp, the rash Takeru heads in without thinking. Of course, Kagutsuchi spots Himiko too and wiftly proceeds to fight her only thing is, Oonamuji is in the way. As Takeru finally finds Kotono and prepares to make his escape, he and Takeshi for the first time meets face to face and have another one of their duels. Well, Takeshi lost again. I guess this confirms that they’re no longer buddies anymore. Plus, Takeshi doesn’t want to go back with Takeru. And so, Kotono also follows suit. Does she have a soft spot for him? But anyway, it’s something like ‘playing along with Himiko’ plan. With that, Takeru and Kagutsuchi fled.
 
Episode 6 is mainly about how Amaterasu tells the group that in order for them to go back to their world, they need to seek the powers of the Shisen (4 pretty ladies with super magical powers). So the group with Sakuya tagging along travels to meet them. Of course the Shisen wouldn’t just accept anybody and you’ll see a series of tests that they have to go through and pass. Of course they made it and to pass the final test, Takeru has to ‘fight the dark side of his heart’. I guess it’s Takeshi that Takeru’s thinking as the ‘dark side’. And he passed with flying colours too. With that, the Shisen now accepts Takeru as their master. By the way, one of them reminded me of Shampoo of Ranma 1/2 (I guess she’d be the comical relief with Seri to fight over Takeru’s attention), and one of them reminded me of Mint of Galaxy Angel.
 
However, the traitor Kitagawa is now trying to inform Oonamuji of their location while the Shisen was busily infusing their powers into Takeru’s sword, except for Asuka who noticed and realized what was happening. With Kitagawa’s cover blown, Oonamuji possed and took over Kiatagawa’s body (like remote desktop control) and kidnaps her. By the time the group finished their business they realized that Asuka’s missing. To make matters worse, an army of Akuryo soldiers are coming their way. But an enraged Takeru sliced and diced his way through them like a hot knife through butter.
 
Episode 7, just like previous episodes, more talking and back and forth (I’m really really really tired of this). The end part saw Takeru and the girls manage to arrive at Himiko’s camp and resuce Asuka and Kotono (these 2 sisters for the first time are reunited and are so happy to see each other). Then another Takeru-Takeshi battle. You guessed it, Takeshi lost again. With the Akuryo’s army increasing in numbers, the Shisen then finally used their powers to transport Takeru and the girls back to their world. But Takeshi decided to stay behind. Maybe it was a good thing to leave him back there.
 
Well, episode 8 seems to take a break a little from it all as it focuses on Takeru and the rest of the girls now back at their own world, and how Sakuya tries to understand things from their world. More light-hearted, this epsiode. Like as though nothing happened since Takeru and the rest were gone. Asuka is still mad over her kidnapping by Kitagawa but Kitagawa seems repentant and is willing to turn over a new leaf. However, their stay is cut short when Takeru has a weird dream of Himiko asking him the real Susano to awake. Susa who? Sorry If I didn’t introduce this Susano earlier on.
 
He’s some guy that Himiko wants to awaken. As in the earlier episodes, Himiko saw his soul being reborn into Takeshi but now she realized that the real one may be in Takeru. I guess she chose the wrong person from the start, did she? Even so, Takeshi even affirmed to her that he’ll stay by her side no matter what. So the playing along with Himiko’s plan isn’t in force now, huh? I guess Takeshi’s seriously into it now. Anyway, more on this Susano guy later on. And so with Sakuya’s powers, they head back once more to the other world. Oops, Sakuya forgot her gifts.
 
So the gang landed back at the school ruins in episode 9. Now Himiko’s going to take Takeru but Sakuya chants her magic to block whatever Himiko is unleashing. However, that lightning bolt hit Kotono and she fell like a dead corpse to the ground. Just in time the Shisen arrived and Himiko fled. Just as you think it was over, Rin now appears and tries to pesuade Takeru. So some story telling about Himiko and Susano. Yeah, something like Susano died while protecting Himiko in some war and his soul was then reincarnated into Takeru and Takeshi. So Himiko needs to awaken him so that she could use his powers to help recreate a new world. I think.
 
But the Shisen interupted and Rin (I found out she’s one of the sisters to the Shisen) counterattacked, hitting Kitagawa’s crow. For the first time we see that the crow is actually a human. Too bad she had a short appearance and died. By the way, Rin already fled. After giving the ‘human crow’ a proper burial, Takeru must now head to some other world where Kotono’s spirit is and bring her back before it’s too late. Yeah, that blast from Himiko was too powerful that her soul was blasted away to some other dimension.
 
Episode 10 also nothing much except some journey to the other world to save Kotono. Yeah, some great terror ferocious looking guardians like that minotaur of that world even lost to Takeru’s sword. Can’t believe that they’re that weak. Only can talk big and sound fierce only. Anyway he managed to saved her, and they returned back to the ruins and Kotono’s state returned back to normal. Now the preparation of the final battle begins
 
In episode 11, Takeru along with Kagutsuchi and the girls arrived at Himiko’s palace to settle things once and for all. So we see Takeru and Minakata duelling and Kagutsuchi taking on Oonamuji. But unfortunately, during the former’s battle, the Susano in Takeru was unleashed and in the process, he killed Minakata. Now Takeshi’s really mad. But before they could fight they’re whisked away by Himiko inside the palace. Then this part I don’t get it. After Minakata was killed, Oonamuji just gave up and disappeared. I mean he gave Kitagawa her freedom (meaning no longer his puppet) and he just disappeared. What the? Then Kagutsuchi felt a little bit sorry for Oonamuji. But Oonamuji told him not to say a word. And then, vanished. So is he dead? Didn’t see him in the end either.
 
So final episode. Just let me mention first that Rin was also killed with Takeru’s immense awakening power. Good for her too. I guess nobody pitied or noticed her even when she died. Another Takeru-Takeshi fight, but before the winner is decided, Susano now really awakens and interupts the fight. With Takeru and Takeshi in a state of trance, Susano tells Himiko that he now needs to move on. What the?! He should have done this in the very beginning and save us all the trouble. I guess realizing it too late is better than not realizing at all. And Himiko accepts his decision. And off Susano goes. So the war is officially over.
 
As Kagutsuchi and Amaterasu thanked Takeru and the girls for their help (with a sobbing and reluctant-to-see-them-go Sakuya), they bid farewell as the Shisen once again used their powers to send them back to their world (I heard something like they would someday come back and visit them. How? These people got no powers lah). Except for Takeshi who decided to stay behind and be with Himiko. Now he’s Himiko’s new lover? What does he see in her, and vice versa? Heard something like Takeshi said he belongs in this world (?!). And they both wathing from a distance as Takeru and the girls are teleported back. End of story.
 
Woah… Just like that it ended? So there was really no connection with the present real world after all. It was just things of the other world only. So the things we saw in the first episode like the dojo tournament, Takeru’s grandad and Seri as his childhood friend aren’t really that significant, huh? Or the fact that Takeru didn’t even choose which girl he’s gonna be with. So there isn’t any real romance at all too (especially the part in the beginning where Seri’s supposed to be Takeru’s loved one. So that makes the overall ‘love role’ redundunt, huh). In addition, there’re lots of standing around doing nothing from the girls, making their roles redundant too most of the time.
 
Overall, I think the whole thing is just average. I think I’m never gonna watch such animes again, so I better read carefully the synopsis of the show first before jumping in and then find out that this whole thing was ‘hah… just like that only ah?’.

Hanaukyo Maid Tai

August 4, 2006

Everytime when I think about Hanaukyo Maid Tai, somehow nudity and hentai comes to mind. Yeah, this anime series has got ladies really going bare-chested or showing their breasts in an obvious way. I guess that’s the main reason and formula for this show to be funny or else it wouldn’t be worth watching. Plus, if you really like shows with lots and lots of ladies in maid’s outfit, then I think you’d love this too.
 
Anyway, here’s the main story. 12 year old Taro Hanaukyo has just lost his mom. Therefore, he has to take a trip to Tokyo to live with his grandpa. As seen in the first episode, trekking through some wilderness (does Tokyo really have such a jungle there?). Just his luck, he stumbles a really really huge mansion. Seems like a serene place.
 
Then all of a sudden, sounds of stampede approaching. What could it be? Wilderbeasts? Nope. Hundreds of beautiful maids rushing to greet him. Wah… Talk about service at your feet. Of course, Taro’s pretty much caught by surprised by it all, wouldn’t you? And what’s with that French Kiss, tongue to tongue kiss with one of the maids? Wah… So young already get to experience this kind of kiss. Actually, that maid force it upon him.
 
At first glance, these maids seem so happy upon Taro’s arrival, that they’re living for him and only him. But all their excitement is contained when the maid head, Mariel, shows up. No, she’s not the kind where she’s strict and fierce, but rather more gentle, soft-spoken and kind. And it’s no wonder when Taro first laid his eyes on her, you guess it that he’s got a soft spot for her already.
 
But as the episode progress, you’ll find that Taro’s grandpa had also passed away. But before he died, he left in his will to Taro, his entire mansion and the entire maid force to go with it. Why him? Something about his disagreement of Taro’s mom marrying a nobody bla bla bla.
 
So Taro’s grandpa must be a real perverted person, right? Yup, I think so too. That’s the reason why he hired so many maids in the first place. Something like heaven on Earth, live like a king, with beautiful girls doing your every bidding. Some guy. If you look at it in a way, that these maids really have got no life, devoting themselves entirely to their master. Since Taro have never seen his grandpa before, that movie clip about the whole explanation doesn’t help either. Bit who cares, when you’ve inherited all this luxury.
 
So if you think Taro is gonna get corrupted by all these, think again. Surprisingly, throughout the series, Taro remains an understanding and kind kid, rather than changed into a spoilt perverted brat. That’s something good about him. So the rest of the first episode sees how he gets used to the 24 hour 7 days a week maid services. And I mean it’s round the clock service. For instance, when Taro wants to take a leak, there’re maids there even ready to unzip his pants and do the rest. But Taro isn’t comfortable with this and with the maids’ insisting, he accidentily pee-ed on his pants. So funny.
 
Ah, there’s another catch to this. You see, Taro is allergic to girls. Huh? Allergic to girls? Yes, it seems that if he ever comes into physical contact with a girl, his whole body will change colour and he’ll be some sort of paralyzed. Geez, what kind of an allergy is that. However, the only girl that doesn’t have such reaction on him is Mariel. Yeah, another reason why I think he likes her. Feels comfortable when he’s around her.
 
So the rest of the episodes are somewhat like that. Well, nearly. In episode 2, sees Taro attending school. But it won’t be just him attending school. Some of the maids will tag along secretly to ensure Taro’s safety and well-being. Of course, Taro won’t suspect anything with the maids’ careful coordination and planning making every move hidden so that Taro’s suspiscion is laid down to rest. I like the funny part is that when he’s playing basketball and there’re ‘invisible’ strings and wires to make him manoever and jump real high. Haih… Still didn’t suspect a thing.
 
Episode 3 is focus mainly on one of the maids, Ikuyo Suzuki. She’s the inventive one and behind all the inventions created in the mansion. But her inventions usually goes wrong and some hillarious after effect results. Especially her latest invention something to do with weather. Anyway, it overloads and the explosion causes all those in contact with its fragments, to lose their clothes (yeah, they become naked). Except for Mariel. Why is that? Donno. Seems that she’s the only one that won’t be ‘unclothed’.
 
What would a rich family be without a family rival. So in episode 4, introduces the Hanaukyo’s eternal family rival, Jihiyo Ryuka, who seems to be obnoxious, stuck-up and arrogant kinda person. Just as rich as the Hanaukyos but this time instead of maids, she’s got hundreds of handsome male bodyguards/butlers/servants in those nice black suits. Her purpose of her visit was to see Hanaukyo’s new head since Taro’s grandpa’s already gone. But to her surprise, a young kid like Taro? She couldn’t believe it and tries to have things her way. But in the end, some faulty invention of Ikuyo causes Jihiyo’s airship (in which she grandly arrives) to explode into smithereens (and partly the mansion too). Must be real embarrassed and angry.
 
There’s always one who’s strict and no nonsense, right? With the return of Konoe Tsurugi in episode 5 after some overseas business trip, she’s shocked to see the ‘saddened state of the Hanaukyo maids’. She thinks that they’ve gone soft and aren’t providing their best to their master. That’s because Taro’s been helping rebuilding the mansion since the last incident and Konoe believes that Taro shouldn’t be lifting a finger. But in the end, she accepts Taro’s decision for who he is.
 
In episode 6, the maid’s presence at school is busted. Yup, Taro finally found out when he got a paper cut and some girl sucks his fingers (you know what happens lah) and is warded to the infirmry. There he notice some band aid similar to one of the maid’s he bumped earlier on before leaving home. As Mariel was apologizing, as usual, Taro doens’t scold back, instead he said it was fun since now that he’s being noticed.
 
Episode 7 is just the whole gang going to their summer home. And the funny part is that in the hot springs, where the maids wanted to take a bath together with Taro (to his disagreement of course), and the part where they were asking Taro to take a peep at them (since there’s a hole in the wooden barrier). Yeah, you’ll get to see Mariel in her swimsuit (not a flashy one) but that’s about the best you get to see her, if you know what I mean.
 
Episode 8 is another episode which focuses on one of the maids. This time it’s Cynthia. Previously, she’s a young shy maid and mute. But here we discover that when she goes to sleep, her other self will be awaken. She’s now Grace, and is said to be the brains of the Hanaukyo team and mansion. Yeah, she’s pretty smart and more sarcastic, but she seems rather busy and has no time to relax.
 
For once, Taro would have a nice quiet day wihout his hundred maids. That’s because in episode 9, donno some festival, the maids are given several days off back to their family. Of course, except Mariel, Cynthia, and Konoe who stayed behind. Since it was really quiet, Taro decided to muster up his courage and confess his feelings to Mariel, only to be interupted with all his maids coming back. Why so fast? It’s because they said that their real family is Taro too. Didn’t I just mentioned that these ladies don’t have a life.
 
It’s more service and that’s what Taro’ll get in episode 10. You see, according to Mariel, since there’re so many maids in the mansion, each one is designated her specific task and time to be with Taro. So there’s a very tight schedule that Taro needs to follow. If not, then the maids will not be needed anymore and will be fired. And each time the maids think they get fired, some weird imagination of ending up doing some porn thing always comes to mind. Really got nothing else better to do. So, in order not for it to happen, Taro just obliged it and suffering in silence too. The funny part is where he has to eat alot to finish the ‘over-produced dishes’ made (becoming fat) and then going for excersice in the evening (becoming thin). So fat thin fat thin fat thin. Hahaha. Eventually, Mariel notices Taro’s suffering and something happened which I can’t remember. Some sort of a compromise I think.
 
Remember Jihiyo? Yeah, at her home, we hear that in order for her to inherit the entire Ryuka’s fortune she has to marry one guy… the head of the Hanaukyo. WHAT!!!!! Hahaha. Padan muka. If she don’t then she won’t get a cent and would she give up her living style? Definitely not. So here she goes trying and attempting to be Taro’s bride. I wonder why the maids of the Hanaukyo household let her in. Isn’t she the family rival. Hmmm… This Taro also… Lets her stay. Soon she’ll find out about Taro’s allergy and discover it won’t be an easy task.
 
Last episode, on Taro’s birthday. Every maid, including Jihiyo, has given Taro their present except for Mariel. This made Taro a little upset. Could it be that she forgot? Nope, in fact, she’s the last person to do so. And her gift to him… a cup of handmade ice cream. I forgot the reason why. Something to do with Taro’s mom. But in the end, he wasn’t mad at her anymore.
 
Overall, because it’s a relatively short series in episodes and time (10 minutes or so without opening and ending credits), I was inclined to watch it through the end. But I didn’t like those nude parts. Oh yeah, there’s a 3 part ova after that, but I read that it’s more on Taro and his adventures with one of the maids in each episode. I’m not sure if I want to watch it or not.
 
Plus, I’ve watched 1 later episode of Hanaukyo Maid Team: La Verite. The characters here seemed less cute and strange. Because of this, they look really weird. Also, it’s also less funnier and more serious and action packed (at least for that particular episode I’ve watched). This version claims to be a ‘more true’ version of the manga version as it follows closely to its storyline. But I don’t think I feel like watching it after that first and only time.
 
Oh yeah, did you notice that all of the characters in this anime have a white patch on top of their hair. Just like a snow capped mountain. So odd lah. Maybe it’s the character trademark for this anime. And in La Verite, it’s like a white ring around their hair, like wearing a white halo. Really odd lah.