Coyote Ragtime Show

May 26, 2007

When I first heard the name of this show, I thought it was that American cartoon Road Runner and Wile E Coyote show been given the anime makeover. How wrong I was. In fact, Coyote Ragtime Show is more like a futuristic science fiction space action adventure. Uh-huh, the show still have that ‘American’ feel. At first to me the series’s name is kinda misleading. I mean, how often does a show names itself after a coyote? Besides that Coyote Ugly movie, of course. So what are the chances in anime then?
 
In this anime, a coyote doesn’t really refer to an animal. It’s just a term used to describe renegades, outlaws or space pirates. But even though they’re on the other side of the law, Coyotes are not that heartless and have their own sense of pride such as not giving up on family and friends and looking out for them as well. See, they’re not that bad but I suppose it’s the way they do things. Like they say, a thief with a cause is still a thief.
 
So what you can expect from this 12 episode series is lots of spaceship chasing with lots of missiles and laser beams cluttering the emptiness of space. Also lots of gunfire power and explosions and sexy looking killer babes. Okay, maybe I’m just exaggerating. But you get the idea. However, this isn’t a comedy nor is it a no-brainer C-grade low production series. There is a storyline and plot though it’s only a dozen episodes long.
 
As seen in episode 1, an investigator from the Federation Bureau, Angelica Barnes, and her rookie police officer escort, Chelsea Muir, arriving on planet Sandvil. A desert like planet filled with monstrous looking insects. Angela has been chasing a criminal and Coyote known only as Mister for 4 years. Mister has been impersonating under several aliases (yeah, really lots of them) but he went missing a year ago. So Angela may have some info to track him down and believe he’s in a prison on this planet. At the prison warden head’s office, Angelica and Chelsea began to explain their mission and the man that they’re looking for. But their conversation is interrupted when the warden receives a phone call saying that there’re 10 bombs placed within the prison. Thinking that this is just a prank call, the frustrated warden just hangs up.
 
Unfortunately, that call wasn’t a prank one. Because soon after several explosions then occured just outside and across the office they’re in and it seems the much of thick prison’s walls has been destroyed. This causes a panic among the security but Angelica thinks that this is only the beginning. After evacuating the inmates to another place, the bomb disposal squad arrives and the head of the bomb disposal team and tells Angelica to step aside and leave it to the experts. This made Angelica a little suspicious. After a little investigation of her own, she finds out the bomb has been triggered was under the seat of the jeep that those 2 ladies arrive in. Yup, the culprit is the jeep driver that brought them here and the bomb disposal squad leader. Angelica knew of this because Mister used a similar tactic in one of his previous heist before. Thus Angelica orders a lockdown so no one can leave or enter the prison as she instructs the warden to do a background search on the inmates and check those who has been here a year ago.
 
Meanwhile, we see some evil looking woman, Marciano, who’s a high ranking official of the criminal syndicate called The Guild, in some large mansion receiving a phone call about Mister’s possible jailbreak. With a red glass of wine in hand, she looks like a vampire with her face so pale. Anyway she orders her robotic and android squad of female assassins, fondly known as The 12 Sisters (and considered Marciano’s ‘daughters’), to dispatch to the scene. The 12 Sisters look hot and pretty in their goth-loli outfit, with each of them named after a month (hey, it’s better than naming them after the 12 zodiac signs or hours of the day) and each have specific abilities. With some of them wielding guns, they look even dangerous. Don’t mess with them.
 
Soon it’s nightfall and there’s no sign of any move from Mister and his accomplices. But what’s that up in the sky? Is it a bird, a plane, or Superman? Nope. It’s The 12 Sisters parachuting down from the sky! This action pack part is awesome, The 12 Sisters slaughtered every security guard mercilessly. Pity those guards but those girls are hot! Wohoo! From the knife wielding June to the sword slashing July, bomb throwing August (she looks kinda cute when she runs around with those grenades in her hands), from sniper September to trigger happy January and March and info processing and communication specialist February. I suppose the producers ran out of ideas or designs for the goth-loli 12 Sisters because they decide to put October, November and December as young child-like triplets. I think they really ran out of designs. So Angelica tries to defend herself but I don’t think those puny pistols would work on those android bodies. One of The 12 Sisters, May, decides to attack Angelica but a rocket blast directed at May stops her from doing so. This causes May’s body to be destroyed, leaving only her head. Everyone looks up at the rooftop and to their surprise to see Mister! He looks really unkempt. Must be in prison for quite a while. And his accomplices are there as well, the bomb disposal team leader, Bishop, and that jeep driver, Katana.
 
After some short chat with Mister saying something about Diamond Head and not to underestimate him, Angelica knew what he meant as she instructs Chelsea and the rest to retreat back into the safety of the prison walls while Mister and his buddies left on some helicopter. Angelica explains that 4 years ago, Mister use this tactic to rob some bank by using a huge tsunami to get rid of all the obstacles and defences. Yeah, Mister’s really riding on the wave. So how is he gonna do the same here when the whole planet is a dry desert? Anyway, April, the leader of The 12 Sisters orders her other sisters to capture Mister at all cost when the ground starts to violently shake. The 12 Sisters soon realized a little too late that the bug repellant devices, devices which keep the blind giant insects but who’re sensitive to sound away from the city, has been disabled. Soon enough, it’s like a stampede of bugs (yeah, just like a tsunami but in a different form) trampling and engulfing the entire prison! Woah! Scary.
 
The next morning, the other police and officers arrive. The Guild also arrive to reclaim The 12 Sisters. Chelsea had some talk with Angelica but when the latter tells how The Guild has control over the police force, Chelsea decides to quit her police force and becomes Angelica’s partner and assistant. Hmm… At this point, I think Angelica really likes to eat those finger stick wafers. Yum. She’s got it all packed in a cigarette like box. Well, at least that’s what it looks like. Meanwhile, Mister along with Katana and Bishop are enjoying their meal on some space shuttle when Mister has been given a photo of himself and a young girl named Franca. He decides to go see her.
 
In episode 2, Mister did just that. After shaving his beard and tie up his long silver hair, he and his 2 buddies set foot there. At the bar called Pirate, Franca is serving her clients (Hmmm… Somehow like Coyote Ugly but no Tyra Banks or Maria Bello here) when news on the tv reports that jailbreak incident. Everyone in the bar, assuming they must be Coyotes, thinks it’s Mister as they started debating whether he got out or not. Soon it becomes a free for all but Franca steps in and gives a commanding order not to wreck her bar. But some guy says that this isn’t her bar and that it is Mister’s and asks her if Mister has contacted her or not. Franca look sad. But Mister’s whereabouts is soon answered because he steps right in, causing everyone there to be happy and celebrates his return. But Franca doesn’t seem so amused by it all as she walks up to him and gives him a slap! Wah. Perhaps that’s her way of saying welcome back.
 
Meanhile, Marciano is at some prosecution trial from The Guild. The other Guild members are wondering why Marciano sent The 12 Sisters to hunt down 1 guy. They also want to know what she wants from him. But in true evil mafia style, Marciano orders her 12 Sisters to gun down everyone in the room. Looks like she’s defecting. Perhaps it’s better this way. Angelica and her newly appointed assistant Chelsea have already begun their investigations too. Angelica thinks something big must have propped up since Mister has only 10 days left to serve in her prison term after committing some traffic offence a year ago. Angelica also learns about The Guild’s move on Mister and the authorities haven’t done anything because they’re under the control of The Guild. When Chelsea made some comments about this, it made Angela a little mad and she chided her does she has anything else apart from her good memory and large breasts. Chelsea has an answer for that too. She says it allows her to make friends and get free food as she shows Angelica her contact book. Angelica snatches the book away and saw some name that interests her – Super Soul. Must be some famous DJ guy.
 
Back at the bar’s rooftop, Mister is having a chat with Franca. We find out that Franca’s the daughter of the legendary and late Pirate King Bruce, who’s also Mister’s best friend. Bruce was killed by Marciano (the real reason still remain unknown throughout the series) but before he died he left a treasure on Graceland (no, not the home of Elvis). But since Graceland is under war with The Milky Way Federation, the latter is sending a huge atomic bomb to blow up the entire planet in a week’s time. And the clock is ticking. Franca tells Mister that if he doesn’t find the treasure soon, taking care of her up till now will be a waste. But Mister says that’s not the case and wants to know if Franca wants to know what treasure her dad left on Graceland. If she does, he’ll gladly take her there. But Franca has her doubts because she always thought Mister cared only about the treasure and not her.
 
But their conversation is rudely interrupted when The 12 Sisters showed up. Their mission is to capture both Mister and Franca alive. The 2 try to flee as Mister tries to contact his men but there’re some wave interferences which prevents him from doing so. Even those Coyote guys back at the bar are having a hard time keeping The 12 Sisters at bay. The other Coyotes let Katana and Bishop escape through some secret passage as they make their last stand. They could even make a joke out of it through some Coyote code which goes something like "If you take or borrow something, don’t give it back until you’re dead". But so sad they all died. As Mister and Franca tries to make their escape, Franca can’t help but think about her father’s death and how Mister gave her the pendant, which contains the treasure’s location, soon after her father’s demise. But Franca thought that Mister could’ve taken the pendant away by force if he’s after the treasure. Soon Mister notices a tracking device on Franca. He manage to give The 12 Sisters the slip for a little while before being found again.
 
Cornered on the rooftop, an explosion sends them both hanging on the edge of the roof. Marciano than reminds them not to kill them but it seems that the transmission is being interfered and being replaced by that DJ Super Soul. He had done so at the request of Chelsea. See, connections get you anywhere. So this Super Soul was just for this part. I wonder how Angelica knew all this was happening as she gives a thumbs up to Chelsea and says "Nice oppai!". Or is just some random shot? Bishop and Katana has finished repairing their pink ship, Coyote, and sets off to rescue Mister and Franca. But Franca can’t hold much longer as she asks Mister to take the pendant and let go of her. Mister rebuffs her statement and says she’s more important than the treasure and lets go the ledge sending both of them plummeting below. Luckily, Katana and Bishop arrived in time and catches them both as they fly straight into space. Obviously, The 12 Sisters are once again frustrated by their failure to capture Mister. Franca now decides to go to Graceland with Mister.
 
Episode 3 starts off with The 12 Sisters chasing Mister and co. Yup, a lot of gun battle and spaceship chasing scenes. But amidst of all that also got some drama and some plot development. To cut things short, Mister and gang are contemplating how to use their remaining time to get to Graceland and they can’t go straight there because it will just lead Marciano and her 12 Sisters directly there and they need time to search for the treasure’s location. Then what’s the pendant for? Mister doubts about the map of the treasure location in it. Also, The 12 Sisters are wondering about the whereabouts of May (didn’t The Guild reclaim her back in episode 1?). May’s head is in some birdcage and she’s with Angelica and Chelsea. Angelica’s interrogating her about Marciano’s motives and why are they targeting Mister. At the same time, Mister asks if Franca remembers Swamp Gordon, Bruce’s right hand man. Franca remembers him and to call him whenever she needs help, which she does.
 
The Coyote arrives at some planet supposedly where Swamp is with The 12 Sisters hot on their trail. Yeah, Swamp looks like singing some black gospel to his fellow church-goers. And some hairstyle he got there. Mister manage to land safely near the church after some intense battle which look like he took out The 12 Sister’s ships. But it seems that Mister and Swamp don’t get along well because of their past. Though Mister tries to be friendly, Swamp isn’t too fond of it (especially with Bishop. Those 2 are like loggerheads). We also find out that the pendant is Bruce’s fake eye as it contains every info that Bruce has seen. Mister wants Swamp to join them because the former thinks he needs someone equal of Bruce’s capabilitites to pull it off.
 
The next day, Mister has a private chat with Swamp in the church. Swamp still doesn’t like Mister as he doesn’t see him as the successor of Bruce’s treasure and wants to prove that he’s worthy of it. But Mister says that his intentions are to bring Franca there and will give the treasure to her. Before you know it, the 2 draw and point their guns at each other. Some talk that seemingly look like they’re gonna shoot each other. But actually they shoot and kill Marciano’s footsoldiers entering from the side of the church. Looks like The 12 Sisters are still pretty much alive and probably they have to trek all the way to this town since their craft has been blown to bits. The 12 Sisters soon arrive and another battle ensues. Mister and Swamp ran back into the Coyote along with Franca, Bishop and Katana. Looks like Swamp is joining them but he gives the excuse that he needs the money to repair his church after all the damage taken. The Coyote lifts off with with The 12 Sisters once again giving chase. Mister then fires away a rain of missiles at them. Unfortunately, it hit September, killing her. Wah, so fast gone already ah. And I was just getting to know her. I thought androids don’t die? Can’t she be repaired? Maybe the producers just want to kill off her character. Though there’re 11 of them now, I think I’ll still refer to them as The 12 Sisters. It sounds better this way. With that, Marciano decides to join the remaining sisters in their hunt for Mister.
 
One thing I like to mention is the single seated ship that the sisters use for aerial combat. from the outside it looks like your normal futuristic aircraft. But to pilot it, you are actually sitting in a position it as though you’re riding a motorbike! Maybe it’s to have that video game feel. I dunno. But I find it funny flying a craft at that position.
 
Episode 4 is mainly about Bruce’s flashback when he pulled off the biggest bank heist from the Central Bank. Katana and Bishop can’t believe it since there would be news about it but Swamp told them that to protect the integrity and trust, news of it was never leaked out. So we see Bruce joining the company under a different name, gaining the trust of everyone, working his way up within the year before the big robbery. The vault called Gigabanks is where the Central Bank store all it’s money. It’s like a huge complex version of the Rubiks Cube. Uh-huh. Bruce along with Swamp and 3 other guys even spend a substantial amount to build a duplicate Gigabanks with the blueprints Bruce has gotten earlier on, to practice their heist. Yeah, this is really big time. Because the vault is constantly spinning, anybody inside it could lose sense of direction easily. And another flaw of this Gigabanks is that whenever an emergency is detected, all the money will be transported to the top to be taken away safely through some helicopter.
 
So after much practice, and the night before the robbery, Bruce contacts Mister and says he’s going ahead with it. It seems those 2 are quite close from the way they talk as Bruce decides to leave the treasure to Mister instead of Swamp and asks Mister to take care of Franca if anything happens to him. The day arrives with Bruce and his co carrying out their plan perfectly without the hitch, passing each security measures with flying colours. I was grinning a little during that heist because the background music sounded like a spoofed version of Mission Impossible. In a way, it does remind me a little of that movie too. Once it’s all over, Bruce dresses himself as some military guy to evacuate the money via the helicopter. Once the helicopter is in the air, 2 of Bruce’s colleagues recognizes him and realized what has just happened but they couldn’t do anything about it. Yeah, he’s halfway to paradise by now.
 
In episode 5, Mister plans to cut travelling time to Graceland by taking some warp gate called Big Pink. So the fab five dressed up like some family tourist-cum-dealers to get pass some security check point. And with some slick moves and bribery (they sneakily swap whatever that priceless thing with a fake through distraction eventually), they all went through. Franca’s still having doubts about wheter Mister is just after the treasure only and feels unloved. Mister assures her after obtaining the treasure, they’ll all go on a vacation like a family. Franca seems happy about it when Mister signs up for a holiday trip to Aquaria (the poster Franca’s staring at) for 5 at the travel agency.
 
Meanwhile, Angelica and Chelsea are still interrogating May. May reveals to them about how it’s Marciano’s plan to capture Mister and get the treasure location out from him. Angelica doesn’t know about this until now. Mister and co begin their plan by splitting themselves into 3 groups, Katana with Swamp, Mister beside Franca and Bishop by himself. I don’t really remember what they’re planning. But it seems Marciano and her 12 Sisters have arrive and are requesting to enter Big Pink. Since the officials there don’t want to meet their makers, I suppose they just let them through. At the same time, Mister and Franca saw Angelica there as well and overheard her asking the manager there to tighten the security around Big Pink.
 
Unfortunately, Mister and co’s presence has been picked up by Marciano as The 12 Sisters prepare to arm themselves. While Angelica decides to go there herself if Mister himself does, The 12 Sister’s ships have caught up with Coyote. Katana and Swamp are in a pinch because they still need to pick up the rest and they can’t slow down or else they’ll be toast. I smell another explosive battle coming up.
 
Katana is really having a hard time trying to avoid those missiles in episode 6. He’s got lots of them on his tail. But he manage to dodge them. Luckily Katana manage to pick up Bishop shortly at the marketplace. As the other sisters take on Coyote, April along with January (who wants revenge for September’s death) decides to go look for Mister. They manage to find him and Franca at the marketplace and another round of chase and gunfire ensue. It seems the Coyote too has taken refuge inside the huge marketplace and in order for those sisters to force Coyote to come out, they start destroying buildings there. They’re really making a mess out of the place. However, this only made it harder for them to locate Coyote because… everything’s in a mess. During Mister’s confrontation with April and January, Mister got wounded by a gunshot. Luckily, Swamp fires a shot through the building which rips one of January’s arm. Though January wants to continue pursuing Mister but April says they need to retreat because Marciano’s mothership is gonna bomb the whole place away.
 
Katana realizes this too late when he saw everyone turned back as he lands to pick up Mister and Franca. The explosion damaged Coyote as it crashes. Mister and Franca got separated. April has her gun pointed at Mister and shoots his thigh. She must be really enjoying this. Meanwhile, Marciano and July appear at Franca’s side. After hearing those gunshots, Franca decides to give up her pendant in exchange for Mister’s life but Marciano just took her away as in 1 package. Since April has permission to do whatever she wants with Mister, she’s gonna kill him off when Angelica and Chelsea arrives in a vehicle firing several shots at them. Because I think Marciano changed her mind and told them to come back to the ship, April and January obeyed and did so.
 
Angelica is pointing her gun at Mister, who is limping towards the car. She threatens she’ll shoot if he doesn’t stop. I don’t know what Mister said but it made Angelica a little hesitant. Mister asks Chelsea to lend him the car in which she agrees. Soon Mister drives off to rescue Franca. Can he really drive in that condition? It seems Angelica decides to let him go to. When Mister manage to catch up with the mothership, he is welcomed with a hail of bullets. And I think because they’re so engrossed on finishing off Mister, they didn’t notice Franca strapping herself to the seat and ejecting out of the mothership. Mister manage to grab Franca, much to her delight as Katana arrives in his Coyote and picks them up. Wait a minute. I thought Coyote’s pretty damage. Unless he can fix it in such short time.
 
Even though Marciano has the pendant, she’s still fuming and orders her team to recapture Franca again. I wonder how many bullets the ship has. Is Katana’s manouevering so terror that he could really dodge all of them? So much bullets so little screen space. You know what I mean. On board the Coyote, Mister collpases due to his injuries. Franca seems very worried and fears the worse for him.
 
So in episode 7, the race is on to enter Big Pink. But Marciano fires some shot at the Big Pink’s entrance leaving her the only one to use the gate. Looks like our heroes are left behind. But they have a more important life and death matter to take care of. The gang did some operation on Mister and because he’s a tough guy and thanks to the basic medical knowledge of the guys (or rahter Mister’s the hero of the story ;p), Mister’s life is saved. Though Swamp thinks that the whole mission is a failure and the show’s over, after some encouraging words of hope from Mister, everyone has their morale boosted and are now trying to think of a way to get to Graceland. I’m not sure about what Katana said about being able to cut travelling time by half a day. Can’t remember. Is it giving Coyote some stimulants? Can’t be using their rocket booster as it will finish up their fuel in no time. Maybe.
 
We also see Marciano going through the video of Bruce’s fake eye and then some chat with Dr Nielson, supposedly some guy who maintains and checks The 12 Sisters, if Marciano has regretted killing Bruce. But Marciano just laughs it off. Soon Marciano receives some message from on of the members of The Guild, Hunter. He’s planning to impeach her for her treason and he’s blocking the exit at the end of the gate. Since Marciano has no conscious nor sense of righteousness, she rejects it and sends 3 of her daughters to destroy Hunter’s fleet. I think Hunter’s ships are just quantity and not quality as those 3 ladies dispose each and every ship easily. Makes you think this guy’s really worthy of The Guild with forces this weak.
 
Marciano even decides to have her fill of fun as she herself gets into those single seated craft and completely turned Hunter into memories. Oh wait. Maybe he’s not worth remembering at all. Hehehe. Yeah, firstly that Hunter guy underestimates Marciano too much and when he saw her overwhelming power, he got second thoughts but was too late to do anything. Meanwhile, Angelica and Chelsea too are making their progress and way towards Graceland by requesting for a ship that heads there. Chelsea thinks Angelica likes Mister because she’s obsessed in chasing him down. Well, if you look at it that way, she’s right.
 
The time limit till Graceland detonates is near in episode 8. Those treasure hunters now have less than 24 hours to find what they want or else. Besides we see some further flashback (which I feel amounts to nothing much) about Marciano and Bruce, okay maybe just the part where Marciano killed that Bruce guy, we see Marciano frustrated again. Why? Because Graceland now is some deserted wasteland. Yup, it’s unrecognizeable. Which means the location map on the pendant is rendered useless. Oh yet so close yet so far. What do you expect after many years without proper development or care. Anyway, still pretty determined, Marciano orders her 12 Sisters to go look for the treasure. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. But they’ve got to start from somewhere. From scratch.
 
Back on Coyote, Mister decides to save time by splitting his crew into 2 groups. One group to defuse the big bomb, Jupiter, and the other to find the treasure’s location. It’s a funny thing to see Mister pairing up loggerheads Bishop and Swamp together to go stop the bomb. Maybe it’s part of his plan to make them get along by working together. Since Mister has some information about the congregation of several big shots (okay, powerful politician figures) at Graceland about some peace negotiations, this means Graceland may have a chance of not being blown up. But to make sure of it, Bishop and Swamp dispatches there if the peace negotiations fail. Before those 2 left, Swamp gave Mister some compass device which will allow him to find the treasure’s location easily. I think this is more for convenience. I mean, then the pendant is useless right from the start, right? Hmmm… Maybe that’s why Mister didn’t put much hope into it in the first place.
 
It seems Angelica, Chelsea and May too have landed on Graceland but I’m not sure why they’re hanging around there in some barren wasteland in the middle of nowhere as they’re watching Marciano’s troops flying about in the sky looking for the treasure. Maybe Angelica’s waiting for Mister to show up. How does she know he hasn’t arrived yet. At this time, I think May has become quite close to those 2. Perhaps this part is for this. Some talking and ‘bonding’ between the trio. Not that I can really remember.
 
We see Bishop and Swamp infiltrating the peace negotiations between the Milky Way Federation and Graceland Liberation Army on Jupiter in episode 9. After changing their clothes to impersonate some Federation guards, Bishop has an idea of eavesdropping on their conversation by putting some device on some food tray and roll it into the room like some room service. Because those guys can’t be bothered with such petty things, they just ask him to leave it there and leave. And it’s quite funny to see Bishop and Swamp cramped together in the toilet cubicle and trying to listen to the conversation through just 1 earpiece. To their horror and surprise, the real and actual bomb is not on Jupiter, but on Graceland itself. To make things worse, it’s at a place called Godwing. What’s wrong with that. That location is quite close to the Gigabanks treasure! And the countdown is still ticking.
 
At the same time, Marciano orders April and those triplets to attack Jupiter but they accidentally and unknowingly destroyed the fake bomb. This prompts Marciano and the rest of those people watching on the news that there is no real bomb or threat. Which means the other Graceland Liberation Army members has stormed into the negotiation room and calls their Liberation general a traitor before shooting everyone there. Though the general tries to tell them that the threat of the real bomb is still there but those rebels didn’t believe his words and finish him off. Bishop and Swamp needs to get out or they’ll get caught between the gunfire as well. In the nick of time, the duo manage to escape and head down towards Graceland.
 
Meanwhile, Mister, Franca and Katana have already landed on Graceland and now just need to look for the treasure. But it seems the war between the Federation and Liberation has resumed on Graceland after hearing that the bomb was a fake. Either way they’ll die, right? At the same time, Angelica and co are still hanging around with her binoculars. See that’s what you get for lingering around too long. That’s because March and her footsoldiers to her surprise found them and is surprise to see May alive. So Angelica and Chelsea are captured.
 
While May gets a new body from Dr Nielson in episode 10, Angelica and Chelsea are brought to see Marciano. Angelica of course would try to get some answers like why is Mister here and such. And it seems her answers are confirmed when Marciano just told her that he’s here for the treasure. With that, she throws and locks Angelica and Chelsea into some cell. Though Mister, Franca and Katana are at the spot where the treasure is buried, the heavy fighting at that area prevents them from doing so. They have to disguise themselves as guards to go through. Soon Mister receives a transmission from Bishop about the real bomb. Looks like they have to hurry now. So does Marciano as she orders her troops to continue the search.
 
Mister found out about Angelica’s presence on Graceland when he happen to overhear some conversation between January and August. Thus he decides to go save her and tells Katana and Franca to go search for the treasure without him first. But back at the cell, Angelica isn’t gonna wait for her Prince Charming to come rescue her as she uses some mini explosive she carries with her to blast open the door and took out that useless guard guarding the cell. She should have done it in the first place. While trying to find a way out, the duo met up with May (I think she’s just wandering around too). But instead of turning them in, May helped them by showing the way out. I felt that this is just what May’s character is suppose to do for the entire series, though it’s just a short one.
 
Angelica and Chelsea driving a jeep are being chased by Marciano’s troops. Luckily Mister picks them up in the truck he’s driving when their jeep overturned. Angelica seems surprised to see Mister here. Mister asks Chelsea to take over the driving while he and Angelica fired some bazookas to their pursuers. I don’t know why they didn’t just avoid the incoming missiles. After all is calm, and some small chat, Mister says he can’t leave this planet because somebody important’s still down here and tells Angelica to leave the planet while she still can. Angelica refuses and says she wants to stay down here with him. Is that a slip of a tongue? As in be by his side or help him in his mission? I mean, the way Angelica’s body language might have indicate that she’s in love with Mister. Of course she gives him the excuse that she needs to arrest him. So Mister says something like how a romantic personality doesn’t suit her and asks her to evacuate as many people as she can from Graceland, which she agrees.
 
So in episode 11, Mister drops Angelica and Chelsea off somewhere as the 2 tries to persuade the Liberation Army about the real bomb threat and try to convince him to evacuate the people on Graceland. But you know, his pride is more important so some words from a bespectacled lady is not something he should believe in. We also see that Diamond Head incident flashback. Maybe it was love at first sight for Angelica when she saw him riding on top of that tsunami. And since then, she has been ‘chasing’ him. But how could she see his face when she’s down there and he’s up there. And the sun’s shining in her face too.
 
Mister manages to regroup with Franca and Katana. Bad news is, July has found the path to where those trio are and is making her way there. Mister, Franca and Katana finally arrives at the duplicate Gigabanks, and I believe the treasure is buried in there. I wonder if it’s still working. I mean, it’s been sitting there for ages without any maintenance, can it still function normally. Anyway it still functions normally. Mister and Franca decides to go into it while Katana stands guard. It’s quite cute to see Franca giving Katana a peck on his cheek before she goes in. I also wonder how Mister knows his way around inside it, since he has never practice with it before and has only seen that pendant video and played with a miniature version of it during his time on Coyote in the previous episodes. For your information, Bishop and Swamp have crash landed on Graceland and are now making their way to the duplicate Gigabanks.
 
After all that twist and turns, Mister and Franca manage to arrive at the top section where the treasure is kept. Wow. There’re crates of money lying around. But the more important treasure is a video left by Bruce. Upon playing it, Franca watches a heartwarming video about her young self and her dad when he’s still alive, a time when they did so many fun things together. I guess this is the priceless treasure as compared to the other stack of money. Unfortunately, The 12 Sisters have found the location of the treasure and Katana is having his hands full as he takes on a one-to-one combat with June. I’m not sure why the other sisters aren’t there to help take out Katana. Maybe too many cooks spoil the broth or they think June can handle this one herself. Marciano soon arrives and thanks her daughers for a good job well done as Mister and Franca appears from the top of the Gigabanks.
 
So the final episode 12 starts off with Marciano racing to the top of the Gigabanks and the inevitable fight between her and Mister begins. During the fight, it is revealed that Marciano’s an android too! Not sure whether part of her or her whole self. But I think it’s the former because we find out that Marciano’s an ex-Coyote too. In the past, she got betrayed by Mister and Bruce, possibly why she hates Coyotes so much these days. But the reason why or how she was betrayed or if Mister and Bruce actually did betray her still remain unknown.
 
Meanwhile, Katana’s duel causes him to fall into the lake. Luckily, Bishop and Swamp are piloting Coyote and manage to rescue Katana before he drowns. When Coyote emerges from the lake, it started blasting away to keep things at bay. This causes the cave to start crumbling a little and the support of the Gigabanks to be weakened. So both sides had to flee from the scene. However, I’m surprised to see The 12 Sisters ‘fainted’ at the cavern there after the caving stops.
 
At the same time, Angelica and Chelsea are at some abandoned base and spots some personel there and makes him contact the president of the Federation. It seems that the president has some sort of link to The Guild because Angelica threatens to expose his ties with them if he doesn’t giver her the code for stopping the detonation. Of course as a politician, any scandal would be bad for his future and career so he has no choice but to give in. Or else, it wouldn’t be a good ending too, right? Once Angelica got the codes, she immediately contact Mister about it.
 
So now it’s a race to stop the detonation or else all their efforts will be wasted in the first place. Because the place where the bomb is located is quite narrow, Mister and co has to go there on foot to stop it. With luck on their side, Mister manage to disarm the bomb. Don’t worry, it isn’t that typical 1 second left when they stopped it, but 3 seconds. Phew. Angelica must’ve knew that Mister has successfully stopped the detonation because she and Chelsea are just sitting at some abandoned outpost and talking things. And when it’s that time the planet to blow up, instead they’re greeted by a beautiful sunrise. Angelica tells Chelsea that she’ll continue chasing after Mister and has another one of her finger wafer sticks.
 
But it isn’t over yet, as Coyote is flying out from the cavern and into the sky, Mister spots Marciano in her single seated craft. How did she get into her craft so fast? Looks like she wants a final rematch. Mister orders Coyote to turn around to face her. They both fire at each other and an explosion occurs followed by a thick black cloud of smoke. Wait, somebody’s emerging out from it. It’s… Coyote! Looks like Mister won. We see The 12 Sisters and Dr Nielson just standing and watching in disbelief as April sheds a tear. Can an android cry? In the end, Coyote blasts off through space and the gang contemplates what they’re gonna do next with their big catch. Hey, what about that Aquaria trip Mister said earlier on? Though they didn’t take every crate from Gigabanks, at least a handful is enough for their retirement. I mean, it’s not possible to load every single one of them onto the ship at that time. Plus, they’re racing against time to stop the detonation, right? Come back later and retrieve it you say? I don’t think those guys are that greedy. And looks like Franca’s already accepted herself as a Coyote most probably because her ‘family’ are one.
 
Overall, I guess this whole series is just okay. But the way it all ended left me a little dissatisfied, though it ends on a happy note with our heroes emerging tops. Especially The 12 Sisters part. So what happens to them after their mom’s demise, assuming she got killed? I read that many viewers didn’t like it and was disappointed at the end. What started out so promising in the first episode, suddenly just went downhill from the middle. I couldn’t agree more with them. But at least it’s not like I would scorn and criticize like the whole show’s a disaster. And also The 12 Sisters, as the series progress, I felt that they contributed less and less to the storyline and didn’t do much in the end. At least, they’re the reason why I kept watching the show. I still like their goth-loli outfits.
 
I don’t mean to sound or be a sexist, but I kinda notice that the main characters for the guys are on the heroes (with the exception of Franca) while the ladies are on the villains (with the exception of Dr Nielson and as for Angelica and Chelsea, at the start they seem to be after Mister but as the series progress they became Mister’s ally). It’s like ‘girl chase boy’ kinda thingy, don’t you think.
 
Though there are small character developments here and there but there are some that still remains a mystery like Marciano’s encounter with Bruce. Or is Angelica and Chelsea gonna be stuck on Graceland for some time since it feels like she’s giving Mister some head start before she comes chasing him again (if she ever leave Graceland, that is). Maybe all that mystery will be revealed if the producers ever decided to make a second season out of it. Of course the characters themselves are memorable with Mister being the rugged and macho guy and he showed that he isn’t just an ordinary outlaw or bandit as he has demonstrated his analytical deductions as well. And April is my favourite among The 12 Sisters simply because… she’s the prettiest one. ;p
 
The series has several background musics and soundtracks and there are a handful of them that I like, especially the main theme, The Showtime. That piece accompanied with orchestral strings and blazing trumpets and horns gives off a ‘feel good’, jazzy and exciting feeling whereby it sounds like one of those moments when our heroes are winning. The opening theme, Coyote, sung by Naoki And Power Sound seems quite fitting for this series while the ending theme Usuragu Kioku, by Sana is a more slow ballad and it features our heroes in those figurines rather than Japanese animation art.
 
So the main and important lesson here is about loyalty to your family and friends in addition to power struggles and civil wars would only make life miserable for everyone. Plus, if there’s a will, there’s a way. Hmm… I’m still wondering what is Mister’s real name. Probably with so many aliases, he may have forgotten his own real name. Unless that is his real name, it’ll be plain weird and funny if people ever called him Mister-san (literally Mr Mister from direct translation). Luckily nobody in the series does. Wherever Mister and his team may be, I’m sure it’s gonna be an exciting and explosive one.

Nowadays, you can make an anime out of any theme you want. As long as they have that typical Japanese bishie look and the voice acting, speech, dialogue and stuffs are in Japanese language. As for Canvas – Motif Of Sepia, the theme for this one is art. You know, those scribblings on some white sheet that normal and ordinary people can’t make out what the heck it is.
 
And as usual, since there isn’t anything much to tell or rather sustain the plot, there is only 2 episodes in this OVA. Makes you wonder why they didn’t just finish it off in 1 show and must split into 2 episodes of approximately 30 minutes each. Maybe it’s the suspense at the halfway point. Or perhaps, this is the producer’s way of ‘art’, if you know what I mean.
 
What more can I say about this anime. I mean, since it has only 2 episodes, the drama should last only that long, coupled in with a few comedy and slice of life elements. Be warned though there’s a short scene which contain adult content. Uh-huh. Did I just caught your attention? So if you want to know exactly where, read on. Thus, let’s start from the very beginning…
 
Episode 1
In the school’s office, we see out main male protagonist, Daisuke Asou, showing his artwork to the principal. Daisuke’s seemingly uninterested in his work when he reveals some simple and dumb painting. You know, the one where they draw faces of people using certain hiragana characters like ‘no’ for the eyes and such. Outside the office, Daisuke’s childhood friend, Amane Tachibana, is waiting anxiously. Daisuke then comes out of the office and tells her that he won’t get the scholarship afterall. And he looks unperturbed about it. Yeah, he’s really not interested.
 
So the next day, it’s like nothing bad ever happened. Daisuke yells at Amane to get up because the latter has trouble doing so. Once the finish their morning routine and preparations, then off they walk to school together. While doing so, they’re chatting about yesterday’s event at the principal’s office. At this time we find out as narrated by Amane, that Daisuke’s a gifted artist and they’re both high school students who decided to go to an art school together once they graduated. We also find out that Amane’s some sort of an anpan-infatuated/obsessed maniac. Yeah, she loves them so much and gets upset when Daisuke eats a karepan (curry bread) because Amane thought he had bought an anpan and ate one. What the? Is she getting the feeling of ‘betrayal’ here?
 
Anyway during school recess, Daisuke and Amane are having lunch at the school’s rooftop when Daisuke’s half-sister, Ren Sakurazuka, suddenly unleashes her flying kick at Daisuke’s direction. Fortunately, the 2 manage to avoid it, disappointing Ren a little. But that’s nothing because Ren’s mad at Daisuke because she felt that he has wasted a good chance to get the scholarship. And it seems that Daisuke has an excuse for everything Ren says as they both argue. Before that, I’d like to mention about that half-sister thingy. Why is Daisuke and Ren half-siblings? That’s because they both have the same father but different moms. Now that explains why they look so close but yet so different. Okay, maybe not. And just like Ren’s best friend, Ai Saginomiya quips "Thus, unknowingly they become siblings". Uh-huh.
 
But Ai interrupts their argument and says that if Ren gets the scholarship, her brother could get into a good school too. This made Ren a little embarrassed as Ren and Ai soon leaves. Later, the PA system announces to ask Daisuke to meet the principal in his office. As Amane waits patiently outside the office, she is greeted by a transfer student, Yatsu Nanashiro, who’s asking if Daisuke’s gonna continue with his art. Yatsu adds that if Daisuke can’t draw, then he’s not Daisuke. That guy must be really associated and synonymous with art and drawing.
 
In the evening while Daisuke and Amane are walking home together, he tells her that the scholarship will be decided in the next art tournament. He really seems uninterested in the whole thing. Then Amane yells to him that line from Yatsu but Daisuke just make donno and continues walking. Back home, Daisuke tries to draw but loses interest in it quickly and seems rather unsure about it all.
 
The next day at school, he tells Amane that he can’t draw, shocking her. Amane then gets emotional and started apologizing because she felt that she has put him through so much but Daisuke doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Then a teacher, Yuu Shinomiya, passes by and recognizes the both of them. Daisuke soon does too and calls her onee-chan. Later while walking home, Daisuke’s incessant talking about Yuu like how she may be his first love and such, made Amane a little worried and gets into one of those spacing out moments. Even back at home, Amane’s got a lot on her mind as she’s thinking of the events that has happened today and feels confused and doesn’t know what to do.
 
Before you know it, Yuu becomes Daisuke’s class teacher and during recess time, Amane spots Daisuke chatting with Yuu at the school’s rooftop. Yuu’s telling Daisuke that she’s living just next door to him and says that she’ll even come over and cook for him. Of course, this leaves Amane in spacing out mode before she leaves. Typical storyline. One childhood friend likes the other but can’t say it. Then somebody else shows up and gets too friendly with the other person and making the other one having ‘concern’ feelings.
 
While Amane’s leaving, she saw Ren admiring one of Daisuke’s paintings in the hallway. Ren then asks Amane "Are you gonna let her take him away from you?". Amane replies "Probably he’ll get back to drawing with her around". Ren then leaves since she says it’s Amane’s problem so she leaves it to her. Well, I suppose Ren might seem selfish but hey, she doesn’t want to get involve in other people’s personal matters.
 
Night comes and it’s a stormy one. As expected, Yuu cooks for Daisuke at his home. Hmm… I’m thinking where are Daisuke’s parents at this point. Though Yuu leaves once she’s done, she has to come back because the rain’s too strong and she can’t find her house key. Soaking wet, Yuu has no choice but to seek refuge in Daisuke’s house for now as she takes a hot bath. But while in the middle of it, a blackout occurs. Daisuke rushes into the bathroom when he heard Yuu’s scream but the lights came back on. In their surprise to see each other, they slipped and ended up in a compromising position. But that’s far as they go. Some blushing here and there. Nothing really serious as they finish up and went to bed. Meanwhile Amane’s feeling scared as she curls up and hides under her blanket in her bed. She’s got Daisuke on her mind and thinking of him.
 
Episode 2
It’s a clear morning when Amane’s walking to school. She’s passing by Daisuke’s house when she saw him and Yuu coming out together. Yeah, the 2 seem quite friendly with each other, chatting and laughing together. As usual and expected, Amane spaces out once more. Is she gonna do this everytime she sees them together? Perhaps. Amane walks to school alone and looking gloomy. She’s also thinking about what Daisuke said about his first love thingy. Is this getting irritating or what.
 
At school, Amane decides to have a talk with Yuu and asks a favour from her, that is, not to get close to Daisuke as she doesn’t want him to get hurt. But Yuu responds and asks Amane to continue believing in him. At the school field after having deep thoughts, she spots Yatsu doing her high jump practice and chats with her. During the chat, Yatsu tells Amane "Daisuke will do his best, so I’ll have to do my best". Then we see a short flashback whereby during their elementary school years, Daisuke drew an angel of Yatsu and the latter got so encouraged by it.
 
Back to present time, Daisuke saw and Amane and Yatsu together and interupts them because he thinks Yatsu’s being nosy but Yatsu got irritated and hits him multiple times (in a funny way, that is). While those 2 are monkeying around, Amane spots a girl watching them but she leaves when she notices Amane looking back at her. That girl, Yurina Kimikage, soon is breathing very hard and drops to her knees. Ren and Ai who’s passing by, asks what’s wrong. Yurina then recognizes Ren as Daisuke’s sister.
 
Later as Daisuke and Amane walks home together, Amane tells him about a girl watching him the whole time but Daisuke says he doesn’t know anything about it. Suddenly another flying kick from Ren. Luckily she missed and just hit the nearby tree. Yup, Ren’s disappointed again about not hitting her target. But it seems Ren wants an explanation from Daisuke. Yurina then appears and Ren tells Daisuke that this girl has got some business with him. However, Yurina says it’s not important and is going to walk away when Ren tells her that it’s important for her. While Yurina explains like how she has a heart condition and wants him to draw her, Daisuke refuses it, making Ren really mad as she walks away.
 
At home, Amane’s thinking a lot and by the next day, Amane calls Daisuke to meet her at some tree, a place where they first met and also where they both used to draw together when they were young. Amane wants Daisuke to help out Yurina but he still refuses and he gets angry this time. In his rage, he decides to go home. But Amane says that she won’t move from this spot until he agrees to do so. Daisuke tells her not to be hard headed and heads back alone. Soon it started to rain.
 
Back home, Daisuke receives a phone call saying that Amane hasn’t come home yet. This prompts Daisuke to remember the event earlier on and rushes out to that tree spot. There, he saw Amane weak and has fever from standing in the rain. Amane still refuses to leave until he agrees. No choice, Daisuke agrees though he doesn’t know if he’ll do well but he’ll try.
 
The next day, Daisuke prepares to draw Yurina and asks why she chose him. Yurina explains that she’s not afraid of dying but it’s her existance that she’s afraid of. Therefore, she wants him to draw her in detail. Thus, Yurina strips herself naked and starts posing with just a blanket. How can he draw in detail with that sheet covered across her body? I mean, it’s as good as if she didn’t strip naked at all, right? Anyway, Daisuke starts drawing. Yurina then asks why he agreed to draw her. He replies that it’s a request from a childhood friend. Some talking here and I don’t know whether Daisuke really drew Yurina in ever inch of detail till you could see how many strands of hair on her back (if she has, that is) or he’s just taking his time because Daisuke’s painting till evening! So long to paint a portait. Maybe he’s gawking at her body. *Wink wink*.
 
Later that night when he’s finally done, Daisuke visits Amane and brings her lots of anpan, making her feel happy. Amane thanks him for listening to her request. With that Daisuke hugs her. The next day, Daisuke’s drawing instead of attending classes. Everybody seems relieved that Daisuke has come out of his ‘artist’s block’ (if there’s such a term). Later, Yuu and Amane have another round of chat. Yuu tells her that tomorrow’s her last day of teaching and she wants to go without saying goodbye to Daisuke. Yuu adds "It seems that the Daisuke you trust is the same Daisuke I had in my memory". With that, Yuu asks Amane to take care of him. I guess this settles it for Amane.
 
As Yurina prepares to undergo her heart surgery operation, she thinks about the time with Daisuke and those last parting words of encouragement and the painting that he gave to her. Yurina seems pretty calm. Maybe it’s the drawing. Then on the day of the art exhibition, Ren and Ai are there when they saw Amane there too. They ask her where’s Daisuke and Amane replies that he doesn’t want to waste time to see his own drawings. So they hurriedly went inside to see. It looks like Daisuke’s painting has won first place and it’s a picture of Amane! Amane soon gets teary and rushes out. Where is she going to? She comes back to Daisuke’s house.
 
Daisuke’s pretty surprise to see her and the 2 did a little chatting. Amane wonders since she has never been a model for him so how could he have drawn her. He says that since he sees her every day, he can even draw her with his eyes closed. Yeah, that’s how long you both have been together. Daisuke says he wanted to draw the most important thing to him. With that, Amane hugs him and the 2 stare into each other’s eyes before they kiss. Before you know it, the 2 then started to have sex!!! YES! This is the part if you’ve been patiently waiting for. But unfortunately, the version I watched was censored. So I can’t really do into details here. Haha. Must be really a serious one. I mean, we see Daisuke taking off Amane’s shirt, revealing her bra as he’s on top of her and then… Poof! The scene suddenly disappears and jumps to the end with a picture sketch and Amane saying "I love you Daisuke". Yeah, more kissing after that too. I suppose after Daisuke has rediscovered his touch, it makes him realize his love and true feelings for Amane.
 
Final artwork
Overall, I guess it’s just okay for this short OVA. It really doesn’t amount to anything. Unless you want to watch the related sequel, Canvas 2 – Niji Iro No Sketch. Though not really a direct sequel because the main characters are different this time though Ren and Ai are in it. For me, I’m just stopping here. Then I found out that this series is originally based on a love-sim game as well. Not sure how close the anime’s storyline is related but I read the game’s quite popular. Most probably why it was turned into an anime at the end of year 2001. But somehow like I said, the series is just okay.
 
Because it’s really such a short series, I was left wondering what most of the other characters’ role are. I mean, take Yuu for example. She’s like entered into Daisuke’s life for a while, then leaves soon after. Not much impact on the series unless you want to consider this as to ‘take up some time space for the show’. Uh-huh, she’s like here today gone tomorrow. And if she doesn’t make her appearance, I think the series could still go by without her. The only funny part which I like most is the part where Ren gives her flying kick. Yeah, that part amuses me a lot.
 
Another funny thing I find is that this series has no opening theme song and credits but only an ending theme song and credits. It’s like, there’s a tail but no head. Everything else from the drawing, art and animation seems pretty okay (since it’s an art themed series, it could’ve been better, if you know what I mean). Yeah, it’s just standard. With a happy and feel good ending (if you want to take into account that sex part, that is. Hahaha. And I’m not a sick pervert!), this series is pretty much okay if you like watching really short OVAs that don’t amount to anything. At least you don’t have to crack your head over the confusing plots of certain series. A little tension and suspense here and there but it all ends well eventually. Hey, Picasso and Van Gough had it much tougher during their time. But that has nothing to do with the art of anime. Hehehe.

I keep telling myself that Otome Wa Boku Ni Koi Shiteru isn’t a yuri anime. This isn’t a yuri anime. It can’t be a yuri anime. Oh what the heck. It seems so much like a yuri anime. Since I’m not too fond of such animes, I try my best to avoid it. But then if I knew it in the first place, I would’ve skipped it, right? At first I thought it was plain ol’ harmless comedy-romance anime genre. As the series progress, I noticed that viewers tend to mention the yuri-ness of the series, which started me thinking "Yeah, they may be right in a way… But then…".
 
So what do I mean about being yuri in this 12 episode series? For those of you who don’t understand, the term yuri can be loosely translated as ‘girl on girl relationship’ or ‘lesbian relationship’. Uh-huh. For the record, if I’m ever to watch such ‘morally controversial’ series, not to say I’m a pervert, but I’d rather be better off watching hentai and ecchi ones as compared to yuri or even yaoi (I don’t want to even think about it).
 
The main protagonist of the series is Mizuho Miyanokouji. He’s a guy. A boy. A male species. An XY. You get. Nothing wrong, right? Now here’s the catch. Mizuho’s recently departed grandfather has left a will saying that he wants his grandson to attend the same school that his daughter/Mizuho’s mom, Sachiho did. Only thing is, Seiou Academy is an all-girls high school! What the? What kind of twisted logic is that? I mean, what’s the reason for him doing so. But since he’s gone, you’ll never find out the real reason why.
 
Though Mizuho objected it at first, luckily his cousin Mariya Mikado has an idea. That is, to dress and make him up as a girl. Well, since Japanese anime drawings and even voices of certain characters can fall either as a boy or a girl (and sometimes indistinguishable between the 2 genders), so I suppose it’s not that difficult in Mizuho’s case. Yeah, he looks and sounds like an authentic girl. How convenient. Another cross-dressing case.
 
Anyway, we see all that in episode 1 and a third year student Mizuho receiving some words in the principals office. Because Mizuho’s the only guy in an all-girls school, he has to keep his identity a secret or else you know the havoc and terror that will be caused. Luckily, Mizuho’s a nice and decent guy as compared to those really perverted guys you see in other animes. So girls, even if you don’t know his real identity, your safety is much assured. So the only ones that know Mizuho’s real identity are Mariya, the principal and Mizuho’s homeroom teacher, Hisako Kajiura.
 
So where’s the yuri part if you’re asking. Well, when Mizuho first step into the classroom, every girl who laid her eyes on him (yeah, I’ll still refer to Mizuho as a boy) fell in love with him because of her complexion, stature, looks. Name it and Mizuho’s got it. At least that’s what those girls think. Are they ‘deprived’ so much so that they swoon over a good looking cross-dresser? Can’t blame them. It’s an all-girls school. Talk about getting popular in an instant. Soon word of Mizuho’s debut spread throughout the school. Yeah, everybody loves her! Even the sight of him passing by is enough to make those girls paralyze in awe and admiration.
 
Mizuho tries his best to adjust to an all-girls school like trying to use the term watashi instead of boku (a masculine term for ‘I’). He still even had qualms of going into a girl’s toilet to do his business. Luckily, Mariya’s there to guide him such as always leaving the toilet seat down when finish doing one’s business. Also, Mizuho has to live in a dorm since it’s Seiou Academy is quite a huge place. There Mizuho meets Yukari Kamioka and Kana Suouin. Both Yukari and Kana are underclassmen of Mariya and Mizuho respectively and I think it’s the policy of this school that elder girls take on younger ones and treat them as their little sister. And as expected, Yukari and Kana are your typical squeaky voice very genki little girls. They’re eager and quite enthusiastic to meet Mizuho and is ecstatic when they do. Eager beaver.
 
Besides discovering his room to be all pink (what do you expect), Mizuho’s lying on his bed wondering his grandpa’s weird will when Mariya comes in. She notices him staring at her breasts and soon goes into flirtatious mode and on top of him. She even took off her top revealing her bra! Mizuho’s surprised but later Mariya revealed that she’s actually here to give him a welcome pyjama party and rips his clothes to put some pyjamas on him! This girl’s really daring. Don’t worry, Mizuho’s pyjamas isn’t revealling. Soon Yukari and Kana too came in to join in the party (no, I don’t find little girls in ‘sexy’ pyjama outfits to be appealing). Yeah, they even had a go by rubbing their faces on Mizuho’s fake breasts. Can’t they really tell it’s real or not. Maybe they don’t have one (or two ;p) to tell the difference. Just kidding. So those it look like yuri to you? At first glance maybe. And note to myself: Mizuho is still a guy, so it isn’t yuri still.
 
As Mizuho’s popularity soars in episode 2, his secret identity is known by a dark-haired girl, Shion Jyuujou sitting next to him in class. Well, Shion’s kinda observant when Mizuho do stuffs which is unlady-like. And at the toilet after Mizuho finished doing his business, Shion tells him that his zipper is open. Mizuho’s initial reaction is of course to check it. Oops. Busted. Secondly, when Shion later talks to Mizuho, because of the latter’s hesitance to answer whether he’s a guy or a girl, Shion’s suspiscions are confirmed. Mariya soon arrives and figures out that Shion knows about Mizuho’s secret. Good thing is, Shion’s a good person and won’t expose his identity because she thinks Mizuho’s a good person. Before you know it, Shion becomes best friends with Mizuho and Mariya and part of their ‘circle’.
 
I guess Mizuho’s still a guy deep down because he can’t help it but to look at girls changing into their P.E. uniforms. Not that he really wants to. I mean, he himself has to get into one. And because of that, Mariya and Shion notices this and proceeds to him some breast squeezing punishment. This isn’t really yuri, this isn’t really yuri. And it seems Mizuho’s popularity starts soaring again when he pulled off some cool manouevres while playing basketball. Kya!!! All the girls must be falling head over heels.
 
Because of that, this prompts Kana to ask Mizuho if he’s gonna become and Elder. In Seiou Academy, an Elder is some sort of a role model sister, someone which everybody loves, respects and looks up to. Plus, an Elder is selected through an election made by the students of the academy every year. And an Elder candidate needs to get at least 75% of the votes to secure her place as one. And when she does, everybody will call her ‘onee-sama’. Mizuho thinks that he’s not qualified and says that Shion’s more appropriate. However, Mizuho soon finds out that Shion’s actually an Elder last year, but due to an illness, she has been hospitalized as soon as she was elected and for the rest of the year and she’s actually repeating her term this year. In a way, Shion feels that she’s unqualified to serve her fellow students again because she was unable to do so back then. Mizuho felt bad and apologize as he didn’t know but Shion didn’t mind and says she’s happy to have those feelings.
 
Later as Mizuho and Mariya are walking in the hallway, they’re being stopped by the student council president, Takako Itsukushima, and her bespectacled assistant, Kimie Sugawara. At first glance, Takako looks like your typical arrogant, snobbish, b*tchy kinda girl. Yeah, she is. In addition, Takako and Mariya don’t seem to like each other, though they’ve known each other since young, and is always at each other’s throat. So Takako is arguing the fact that since Mizuho’s a newly transferred student, it wouldn’t be in line with the school’s traditions to elect somebody new and who isn’t familiar with the ways of the school. In short, she’s against Mizuho being a candidate as an Elder. Of course, Mariya isn’t gonna stay silent on it and reminds her that it’s the students who decide who becomes an Elder. Soon Takako and Kimie just walk away with that piercing look and poor Mizuho wondering’s what he’s gotten into.
 
Therefore Mariya is all excited to get Mizuho nominated as an Elder candidate in episode 3. She along with Kana and Yukari help spread the word throughout school. I wonder what Mariya and Shion’s really up to. I mean they know Mizuho’s a guy and they really want him to hold such position. Hmmm… Perhaps it’s not whether you’re a boy or a girl. It’s the heart that counts. Meanwhile, Mizuho finds out that Takako is in the same history lesson class with him. So some chat and by the end of the period, Takako with her usual obnoxious stand tells Mizuho that she won’t allow him to stand as an Elder candidate.
 
Later in the auditorium, it seems that the Elder position is a straight fight between Mizuho and Takako. And after the votes are tallied, Kajiura announces that the winner is Mizuho with a whooping 82% vote. As Mizuho’s gonna give his speech, Takako then suddenly comes on stage and grabs the microphone and blabs about how she doesn’t object to Mizuho about being an Elder but the process on how they all voted him and that this isn’t a popularity contest bla bla bla. Yeah, I think she’s just a sore loser. Just then, Shion stood up and giver her counter-attacking speech like hope and aspirations bla bla bla. Everybody loves Shion’s passionate speech too.
 
And when Shion has finished her speech and gave the microphone back to Takako, Shion collapses. Like as though like a reflex action, Mizuho immediately carries Shion in his arms and leaps out of the auditorium to the infirmary. The girls there must be watching this in awe and amazement. Wah. Just like a fairytale before their eyes. When Shion opened her eyes, she finds Mizuho by her side but Shion told him to go back to the auditorium because she feels that Mizuho’s the right one to become and Elder. Upon re-entering the auditorium, Mizuho is surrounded and greeted by all the girls who’re amazed at Mizuho’s earlier action. Even Yukari and Kana are fantasazing Mizuho as their own Prince Charming. With that, Takako has no choice but to accept Mizuho as an Elder but still remain her suspiscions about him. Sore loser. The next morning, Mizuho gets his first taste of ‘royal’ treatment as every girl he walks pass, bows and greets him as he makes his way to school. Thus, as Mizuho says, his days of an Elder has just begun.
 
I’d like to also mention one of Mizuho’s classmates, Kei Takanashi, who reminds me a bit of Yue of Mahou Sensei Negima. Uh-huh, she’s that typical creepy quiet voice monotonous sounding character with no expresssion kinda face and sometimes scheming up things. Being the drama’s club director, Kei has a close friend, Michiko Takane, who’s the opposite of her (on the outside looks, that is) and this 2 are always seen together. Michiko smiles more compared to Kei and is more sociable. Such an odd pair. Like they say, opposites do attract.
 
I somehow find episode 4 to be a filler episode. Or rather to introduce a new character to the gang. It starts off with Mariya telling ghost stories on a stormy night and Yukari seems quite scared of it. Then something about why is Mizuho’s room the only room facing the north side of the dorm. Not too sure about that one. But it sounded like a prelude to something scarier. The next night, Yukari’s still afraid of the previous night ghost stories so much so that she wants to sleep with Mizuho. Well, seeing no harm, Mizuho accepts. Then this is the funny part. The next morning when Mariya comes into Mizuho’s room only to find Yukari’s arms aroung Mizuho and the former saying "More… more…", Mariya misinterprets the situation and went crazy. Is the roof shaking and walls vibrating enough to tell you how berserk Mariya went?
 
Anyway, Mizuho finds out that his room is a forbidden one. Meaning, there’s a tragic story behind this room 22 years ago. During that time, an Elder was staying in this room too with an underclassman who has a weak body. Since the latter found out that her sempai’s gonna graduate and get married soon, she snuck out of hospital and hid in her closet and wait for her to return. And since it was summer vacation, she didn’t. Eventually, she waited and waited until death becomes her. Since then, the room is closed off. So why is Mizuho staying in this room? Because of his late’s grandpa will. Yeah, that old bugger also mentions this in his will. Haih…
 
Later when Mizuho and Kana are together in the room, the room shakes violently and Mizuho wonders if it’s a ghost. Kana says of something similar happening before and mentions something about a charm in some closet made by a priest to seal some ghost. Upon examining the closet, they find that the charm is all torn up. Suddenly a girl floating in the air with some glowing aura around her. She saw Mizuho and recognizes as her Elder and proceeds to hug her. Yeah, she speaks real slow. After some talk and introducing herself as Ichiko Takashima, she realizes that she’s dead and a ghost now and mentions how Mizuho resembles so closely to her Elder. Don’t worry. Ichiko doesn’t look like your typical scary horribly disfigured ghost but rather a cute bishoujo. Good thing about dying young is that you don’t have to worry about looking old. Just kidding. So don’t kill yourself!!!
 
Since Ichiko has no where to go, Mizuho allows her to sleep with him in his room. Yeah, talk about sleeping with a ghost. As Ichiko snuggles up close to him, Mizuho can’t stop wondering what kind of Elder Ichiko’s is. The next morning, you guessed it when Mariya came into the room. Uh-huh. Another girl this time, but same thing. Ichiko’s arm all over Mizuho’s and saying "More… more…" before Mariya blowing her top once more. At this rate, the house is gonna need some serious repairs. Or maybe that’s just metaphorical. Can’t help it if Mizuho’s that popular, right?
 
As a continuation from the previous episode, episode 5 starts off with Yukari freaking out when she sees Ichiko floating and passing through things, though Mariya seems pretty calm and accept the fact that Ichiko’s a ghost. And when Mariya reveals that Mizuho’s a guy, Ichiko instead of being shocked, gets even more excited and delighted by the fact that she’s a he because Ichiko wants to ber Mizuho’s bride. Still dreaming isn’t she. Anyway, we find out that there’s some invisible barrier that’s preventing Ichiko from stepping outside the dorm. Yup, she’s confined to the dorm area.
 
It’s quite funny to see how Yukari gets freaked out everytime she sees Ichiko so much so Ichiko starts crying. And before you know it, they calmed down, had a little chat and became friends. Wow. Just like that. Meanwhile, Mizuho’s doing some research when Takako comes up to him and thinks he’s studying about the school’s past Elders. I think Takako is afraid of ghosts. When Mizuho just mentions a little about it, Takako gets all nervous and scared. Yeah, it happened in the previous episode too. Just a slight mention and she’s shivering.
 
To cut things short, Ichiko’s Elder is Mizuho’s mom. I guessed that from those flashbacks Ichiko had and it made me go "Hey, doesn’t that resemble so closely to Mizuho. I think it’s gotta be his mom". And I’m right. Then this is the part I don’t get. Because Mizuho felt how lonely Ichiko might be all these years, he decides to take her out that night. And it seems if Ichiko’s touching Mizuho, she can actually go out of the dorm’s perimeter! So as they walk thorugh the tree-lined pathways and talk, find out about each other and stuffs, then at the church, a crying Ichiko starts glowing and floating above the altar. Ichiko thinks her wish has been fulfilled because of what Mizuho did. Probably why she didn’t went to the other world because of her unfulfilled dreams. Soon she tearfully wishes him goodbye and disappears.
 
As Mizuho makes his way out and back to the dorm, he spots Mariya who guessed that Ichiko may be gone. But Mariya cheers him up and says that there’s a big surprise waiting for him back at the dorm. Why, it’s Ichiko! What the? I thought she’s gone for good. Maybe the producers felt that making such a short appearance for this character won’t justify anything (like not fulfulling her wish ;p) and decides to extend her stay. Yup, that’s the part I didn’t get. Why has Ichiko returned. Whatever the reasons, she’s part of the gang now.
 
I guess you can’t have a series without that usual summer and swimsuit episode. That’s what episode 6 is, though you won’t see girls in their swimsuits throughout the entire episode. For obvious reasons, Mizuho can’t change into a swimsuit (maybe he should learn it from Hibiki in I My Me Strawberry Eggs) and Mariya gives the excuse of feminine problems. By the 3rd day, rumours are spreading that Mizuho may be boycotting swimming classes. This is very un-Elder like. So Takako confronts Mizuho about this and the thought of his identity being exposed is playing in his mind. But luckily, Takako just thinks that Mizuho’s a bad swimmer. Phew.
 
But mainly this episode is about Mariya vs Takako in a swimming competition. Something about inevitable fate to fight each other bla bla bla. So some flashbacks here and there why the 2 hate each other like how naughty Mariya put frogs in Takako’s desk, and how the 2 did some training for the upcoming competition. Because Mizuho notices how tired Takako is during class, he invites her to have lunch with her. There they both chat and we find out that Takako was invited to be part of the track and field team. Because she can’t handle both club and student body activities, Takako decides to withdraw from the track and field invitation since the student council election is drawing near. Ever since then, Mariya hasn’t forgiven her and has branded her a traitor.
 
Because of the heat of the sun, Takako soon faints, freaking out Kimie nearby. But it seems Mizuho knew what to do as he takes charge of the situation like asking Kimie to bring a wet towel as he uses his lap as a cushion for Takako’s head. At least Mizuho knows a little bit more about her and wants to be her friend. Matchday arrives with Mariya and Takako a little surprised because their competition has turned out to be an explosive affair with the other girls coming to watch their duel. Yeah, it’s like watching a national event. And it’s not gonna be just some plain swimming competition. Why, there’re obstacles in the swimming pool to traverse as well. Maybe it’s to make it more interesting. Of course lah. Though I don’t really know who won the match, but it seems that in the end, everybody had lots of fun. And because of that, later on Takako receives a letter and a photo from Mizuho and the other girls at the beach saying how Takako inspired Mizuho to be less afraid of the water. Hey, I think I’m noticing something here. Why does Mizuho’s body proportions look like those of a girl? Didn’t know he had a sex change. Just kidding. What I mean is that, even if a guy looks girly, he still has his male physique, right? Or maybe I need to check my eyes and see if I’m seeing things.
 
It’s autumn in episode 7 and looks like black is Seiou Academy’s uniform colours instead of the usual white. In this episode, it’s more on Kana. That’s because Takako’s inspecting the students and she finds Kana’s head ribbon too big. What the? And she orders Kana to take it off but to Kana she can’t because it’s something precious to her. So you’ll also see Mizuho trying to reason and hear both sides of the party. And you’ll notice that the answers he give are like ‘on the fence’ where both are right and at the same time makes them realize things. Wow. I wish I had that kind of analytical and persuasive skills. Anyway, to file an objection and challenge the student council’s opinion, Mariya and co went through some process which I don’t really remember in which the entire student council body will be notified and must reach a consensus. In other words, some sort of a debate.
 
Because of Kana’s refusal to take off her ribbon, she’s being badmouthed by other b*tchy girls but luckily Mizuho’s there to stand up for her and put those girls to shame. The tongue is sharper than the sword. Mizuho finds out that Kana’s an orphan and because she doesn’t know how her parents looks like and she got the ribbon from the orphanage’s director. That ribbon is her source of strength and motivation after that director passed away. Ever since then, Kana has been wearing that ribbon.
 
So the day comes where the debate to have Kana take off her ribbon or not takes place in the auditorium. I find this part amusing. Mizuho’s showing the audience that because everyone has different impressions, you can’t judge a person based on that 1 impression. Mizuho than proceeds to wear Kana’s ribbon and shows the crowd that the ribbon now looks smaller on Mizuho’s head. Yeah, she’s got a big head. Hahaha. Just kidding. See, it’s the perception. With that, everybody as usual is very awed by Mizuho’s speech and votes in favour of Kana to keep her ribbon. I guess those girls never looked at it this way before. Kana’s happy and grateful for what Mizuho has done for her. But this only arouses Takako’s suspicions even more. She’s thinking is Mizuho her ally or foe. Sore loser!
 
Now it’s Yukari’s turn in episode 8. Yukari is having some serious self confidence problems about her running competition and own abilities. Yeah, lots of spacing out, depressing feeling and not acting liker herself. Speaking of acting, it seems that Kei has cast Kana to play a leading role. Though not confident at first, after a few words of encouragement from Mizuho, Kana’s more confident and will do her best.
 
We find out that Yukari once had a sister-in-law whom she looked up too very much, just like Mizuho. Pretty, elegant, and all those nice things you could ever think of. It’s also the reason why Yukari came to Seiou Academy. Sadly, Yukari’s sister-in-law passed away. In a way, you could say that Yukari’s just chasing the shadow of her sister-in-law. So for the rest of this episode, we see Mariya, Mizuho and even Ichiko trying to give some advice and words of encouragement to Yukari. But is Yukari listening? I mean, when she sees Kana getting more successful in her play practice, Yukari gets even more depressed.
 
That is, until Mizuho gives her another one of his eloquent and realizing speeches. Like how before Mizuho’s mom died, she asked Mizuho’s dad not to allow him to cut his hair. Though Mizuho tolerated it, throughout the years he began to understand that by keeping long hair, he’s able to choose which kind of different hairstyles he wanted. So what’s this gotta do with it all? The different hairstyles represent different paths in life to choose from. I see. But you also can have different hairstyles with short hair too, right? Anyway, the important thing is Mizuho and the rest wants Yukari to be happy. And after Yukari saw how Ichiko tries her best to leave the dorm on her own because she feels Yukari shouldn’t stop running (ironically she’s running away, wasn’t she?), Yukari then apologizes and hugs her. The next day, Yukari has her confidence back and is ready to continue running.
 
The upcoming shool festival is nearing. But in episode 9, Mariya notices how mature Mizuho has become so much so, she starts to become jealous. Well of all people. In the past, Mariya has always been there for Mizuho and taught him everything but now it seems that Mariya has fallen under Mizuho’s shadow. Something like Mariya’s who’s walking in front has been overtaken and surpassed by Mizuho. You get the point. Meanwhile, Mizuho’s surpised to find that he’s to star in a Romeo And Juliet play alongside Takako. Later when Mariya encounters Takako, Mariya thinks it’s revenge for that Kana’s ribbon incident but Takako says that everything that has been done all Mizuho’s doing. This pisses off Mariya because originally she was the one who came up with all those plans and stuffs. Something like somebody else’s getting the credit for one’s work. I mean, isn’t this Mariya’s intention initially when she decides to let Mizuho be an Elder? Because of this, Mariya starts to avoid Mizuho.
 
So while Mizuho and Takako rehearsing their lines as Romeo and Juliet respectively with the other players who’ll be taking part in the play, they’re shock to find out from Kei that there’s not only several kissing scenes but a bed scene as well! So funny to see Takako so unnatural (because she’s embarrassed) rehearsing her lines while Mizuho’s just cool. So the practice reaches the kissing part. Kei says it’s okay since they’re both girls. Mizuho knows this better himself. Since it’s just practice, Kei allows a peck on the cheek, in which Mizuho does. However, this still causes Takako to be all red and soon faints.
 
Though Mizuho notices Mariya acting strangely towards him, he still can’t figure out why. Like how Mizuho tries to return Mariya’s planetarium book (because Mariya’s class is doing a planetarium for the festival) but Mariya acted as though they weren’t friends anymore and when Mizuho grabs her arm because Mariya tried to run away, the latter screams and ordered him to let go her hand. That serious ah. Later in the evening as Mariya runs alone at the track, some deep thinking about how lonely she feels and such when Takako appears and meet her since the play practice is finished. It seems Takako wants to know from Mariya whether Mizuho’s a friend or enemy, whether he’s helping her or looking down or her. In short, I think Takako’s falling for Mizuho! Uh-huh, Takako also said something like how she can’t get a hold on her feelings and wants to know Mizuho’s true form. Maybe she’s suspecting something amiss or perhaps blinded by love. Wait! Is Takako okay being a yuri even if she doesn’t know Mizuho’s true identity? Remember, Mizuho’s a guy, Mizuho’s a guy, this isn’t yuri, this isn’t yuri.
 
Preparations are nearly completed in episode 10. So we see Takako and Mizuho having some chat here and there when Mariya drags them both into her planetarium. There they saw how beautiful the stars were and prayed for the play to be a success. Even Shion seems to notice and tells Mizuho that probably the reason why Takako has changed was because maybe she likes him. Back at the dorm, Mizuho’s really into his practising so much so he didn’t see where he’s going a falls down the stairs. Luckily Mariya’s there before he starts tumbling down. Later, Mariya even got Mizuho to practice that kissing scene with her. I’m not sure whether Mariya’s pulling a prank or not but Mizuho’s really serious about it and when his face nears hers, Mariya pushes him away and runs out of the room.
 
The day of the festival begins with Mariya trying to attract customers to come into her class’s planetarium. At the auditorium, after Kana’s play, it’s time for the moment that everyone has been waiting for, Romeo And Juliet starring Mizuho and Takako. The play seems to be going on smoothly and during the kiss scene, Mizuho just pecks Takako on her cheek. But during the bedroom scene, Takako’s unaware that her costume’s stuck in one of the props, causing it to be ripped and exposing her sexy (oops. sorry) underwear. I wonder why is Takako getting all embarrassed. I mean, there are only girls in the hall. Not even a single boy. That is if you don’t count the fact that Mizuho’s one. But nobody there knew he was one at that time, right?
 
Mizuho upon seeing this, swiftly uses his cape to shield a semi-naked Takako and covers her up with a bedspread. Before you know it, the 2 locked lips! The crowd is going wild! And for my own information, this isn’t yuri! It’s still a guy kissing a girl in the back of my head. Mariya who had just arrived, saw this and is shocked. Perhaps she’s thinking now this guy is going that far now. Mariya’s gone by the time that scene ends. Later back in the dressing room, Mizuho apologizes to Takako but the latter says she isn’t mad and just walks away. Yup, it seems that she’s really in love with him now. She gets all flustered up and breathless everytime she just thinks about it. And from now on, Takako’s no more that arrogant b*tch. Yeah, she sounds more like an indecisive unsure emotional teenager in love. What a change. Meanwhile Mariya’s sitting all alone in the auditorium and is wondering if she herself is in love with Mizuho because she doesn’t like the Mizuho who’s surpassing her and being kind to everyone. She just wants Mizuho to be kind to only her. Now not only she’s jealous, she’s now selfish as well. I guess Takako and Mariya really did swap roles.
 
Perhaps because of so much jealousy and hatred, Mariya came down with a cold in episode 11, after waking up from some dream whereby Mizuho extends his hand to save Takako instead of her and that kissing scene. So Mariya wears a face mask to school and everyone is concerned about her. Maybe they’re more concerned if they’re gonna catch her cold. Everytime Mariya sees Mizuho, she gets embarrassed and runs away.
 
Later Mizuho and Shion finds Takako and Kimie putting up some posters for some upcoming dance party. Now it seems that everytime Takako sees Mizuho she gets all flustered. But Takako manage to regain her composure and tells her that the dance party is a party where most girls will come in pairs but some who come by themselves. Since this is an all-girls school, the role of the Elder here is to escort and dance with that single lady, as a male role. You know what this means for Mizuho. Mizuho immediately accepts it and asks Takako to do her best, causing her to fluster all over again as she quickly stumbles out of the library. She’s wondering why her heart’s throbbing everytime she’s near Mizuho. You’re in love girl, and you don’t even know it.
 
Back at the dorm, Mizuho informs Kana, Yukari and Ichiko of this and the trio are excited and all of them wants Mizuho to be their dance partner. Mariya comes down for tea when the trio asks her to get well or else she’ll miss the dance but Mariya just quickly went back up. Mizuho suspects something amiss and tries to talk with her but Mariya didn’t say anything and walks away. So much so Mariya skipped school the next day. Since Mizuho’s had enough of Mariya avoiding him and thinks this has got to be more than just a cold, he decides to confront her that night.
 
Mizuho’s trying to talk to her in Mariya’s room while Mariya’s hiding under her blanket. Then this is the shocking part. Mizuho then rips away her blanket and strips her!!! Oh my goodness! Did he forget that he’s a guy?! Though Mizuho’s intention is good and is to wipe and cool her back, but I can’t believe he stripped her like that! I can’t get that scene out of my head. So some talk and flashbacks which made Mariya realized things and soon she asks Mizuho to date her this coming Sunday. So Sunday comes and Mariya’s cured from her cold. The 2 went out and had their fun in the city. Then in the evening while talking things, several flashbacks and making up at the park’s bench, the ironic part is when Mariya jokingly hugs Mizuho’s hand and her breasts are touching it, causing Mizuho to be embarrassed. It seems Mizuho interpreted that night’s incident differently when he daringly stripped her! How many times have I said strip already? Mariya also said to herself how she likes Mizuho but this has been a natural distance for them both since a long time ago.
 
Meanwhile, Takako can’t seem to concentrate on work because of her feelings towards Mizuho as she’s walking back when 2 guys appeared and decides to kidnap her for a ransom. Luckily Mizuho and Mariya are coming back in the same direction and heard the screams of Takako. Naturally Mizuho took action as he rushes there and lands one of the baddies a kick in the stomach. The other baddie upon seeing this then took out a knife and slashes across Mizuho’s t-shirt, ripping his bra padding. Mizuho then gives him a judo throw and flings him over. I can’t believe those bad guys gave up so easily and ran away. Yeah, they’re not fit for the job. Anyway, a worried Takako (like an emotional teenage girlfriend who’s really in love with her boyfriend) rushes over into Mizuho’s arms and sees whether he’s okay. However upon seeing Mizuho’s bra padding and male chest, in her state of shock and speechless-ness, she steps away fearing the worse, that Mizuho’s a guy. Oh oh. Identity busted. But finding out Mizuho being a guy isn’t that bad, isn’t it? Unless Takako really did fell in love with a girl. Or maybe it’s because Mizuho lied to her about his secret identity. Either way, the truth is out. Yeah, the truth hurts too. Just like love.
 
Just like anybody who has made a shocking discovery, naturally he/she would run away in shock, unable to look at his/her new found identity in the face. That’s what Takako did at the beginning of the final episode 12. Word spread throughout the school on how Takako nearly got kidnapped and how Mizuho saved her. Takako can’t seem to concentrate on things because of what has recently happened. Even when Takako on her way back (heavily guarded by other student council members) met Mizuho face to face, the former just manage to thank Mizuho.
 
Back at the dorm Mizuho’s just staring at the night sky when Mariya comes in and tells him not to worry because she thinks Takako won’t tell on him. Just then we find out that Ichiko is able to go to the dance after all because now she’s able to leave the dorm’s perimeter through Kana and/or Yukari. More like convenience. Later at night, Mizuho can’t sleep because he’s thinking of his graduation and what he’s gonna do next.
 
The next day, Mizuho’s talking to Takako outside the student council office (I think he can’t face her as well) and says that he doesn’t expect her to forgive him because he has deceived her in the first place but Mizuho wants to participate in the dance as his last duties as an Elder. With Takako surprised, she rushed towards the door but somehow can’t summon the courage to open it and starts crying.
 
The night of the dance came and Mizuho looks as elegant as ever (in the eyes of those girls of course). I suppose the main girls will have their share of the dance with Mizuho, starting with Kana. So some chat about how they’ll do their best and ponder about the future after Mizuho’s gone. Things like that. Then it’s Yukari, followed by Ichiko and then Shion. The other girls must be watching in envy. Meanwhile, Mariya meets up with Takako outside the hall and has some char with her. In a way, you could say those 2 reconciled. Mariya also mentions something about Mizuho’s honest intentions to save her without thinking of the consequences of being exposed. Therefore the question isn’t whether Mizuho’s a guy or a girl, but rather Mizuho is Mizuho. Err… Well, if you want to look at it that way then I suppose it’s okay. Therefore Mariya is Mariya and Takako is Takako. I see. After hearing all this, the 2 realized how they both had changed and soon laughs.
 
The time for the final dance whereby the Elder chooses someone to dance with and the spotlight is now on Mizuho. As he’s searching through the sea of crowd (I guess the other girls must be really keeping their fingers crossed), Mizuho spots Takako and invites her for the final dance with him (too bad for the rest, but either way, they felt ecstatic that Takako was chosen). While the 2 dance under the watchful eyes of the crowd, Mizuho thanks Takako for everything and with that he has no regrets. But Takako says not to decide things on his own because she was initially shock to find that he’s a boy but ironically was the one who rescued her. In addition, he saw her semi-naked and even kissed her. Thus she wants him to take some responsibility.
 
Just then the spotlight on the 2 goes out, leaving the hall in total darkness. Power cut? But in the darkness it seems that Takako felt Mizuho taking her hand. Takako decides to confess her feelings then but before she could finish her sentence, the spotlight comes back on when Takako realize that she’s holding Mariya’s hands and nearly kissed her! Close shave. How ironic to fall in love with someone whom she didn’t like very much in the beginning. Though Mariya says how unfortunate her dance ends here, the 2 eventually started arguing. Things are back to normal. Soon every other girl wants to have their dance with Mizuho and rushes towards him, especially Mariya who hasn’t had her dance with him yet. This is gonna be a long last dance.
 
Now this is the strange part. When the end credits are rolling, we see Mizuho having fun with the rest of the girls throughout the remaining days of his school life and vacation spells. What’s so strange with that? Thing is, Mizuho seems to decide to do it all as a girl! I mean, has he decided to become one? Has he relinquished the fact that he’s a boy? Maybe she doesn’t want to ‘scare’ the rest who doesn’t know about his true identity. Yeah, as mentioned, Mizuho is Mizuho, regardless of whether he’s a guy or a girl. Finally, we see Mizuho has already graduated as he leaves his diploma scroll on the desk that his mom once used.
 
Overall, I think this whole anime is pretty decent with the whole series having Mizuho passing off as a girl and trying to keep his identity a secret to the majority. But as the series progresses, I felt that Mizuho has become more and more of a girl and the series to be a little boring until the penultimate episode. But that’s not the important thing. With everybody eventually loving Mizuho, I guess it’s not a bad ending after all. Though it seems a little rush in the last episode when they tie things up.
 
One thing I happen to notice is the part where the characters become chibi. Of course we know things get comical when they turn into that form. Somehow I find the chibi-ness to be odd and weirdly cute. I mean, their heads become big and round, then their eyes become so small like a dot and their mouths too become small and short and close to their little eyes, which reminds you like a jawbreaker or a lollipop. Hey, don’t they look like Lego toys too? You should see it to know what I mean.
 
This chibi thing is also evident in the mid-intermission. Though the first half of the mid-intermission shows the normal and pretty girls in a certain pose, the second part of the mid-intermission half sees them in their chibi form and it’s like some prank has been pulled on one of the characters. Whether it’s Mizuho freaking out that he’s got a little beard/moustache protruding out or getting trip on some banana skin. Funny. Even the music for the mid-intermission sounds ‘chibi’ for the second part to match the chibiness of it all.
 
Even the ending credits has signs of chibi-ness (what’s this?! The gang flying in the sky thingy?!). And the next episode preview sees the chibi girls walking in a row as they narrate about the next episodes. Yeah, sometimes they’re walking upside down too. Weird. The opening theme song, Love Power, by Aice5, sounds like a girl’s choir, which seems pretty fitting for this series.
 
When I first watch this series, I can’t happen to notice that some of the characters remind me of those from Da Capo. I mean, Kana looks so much like Sakura, Yukari resembles very closely to Miharu, Takako has that uncanny appearance as of Aisia’s, Mizuho certainly has Kudou’s looksKajiura may be Koyomi’s twin sister and Mariya reminds me of Kotori if you put some long hair on the former. Okay, maybe Mariya and Kotori don’t really look alike but it must be the red hair thingy which they both have in common.
 
You might notice a little ecchi element in the show. That’s because this series was originally an adult visual novel and then a pc game with adult content. You know what this means. But at least the anime is more toned down. So if you think that this is still yuri, then I suppose if you look at it in a way it’s alright. If not, you can consider this to be a harem anime as well, because it fits the criteria as one, don’t you think? If you like this kind of short teenage girly kinda series, then I guess this one is okay. And remember, the main lesson of this series is not to judge a book by its cover. It’s the inside that counts the most. Okay, so don’t go try cross-dressing and do the same thing. It may not turn out too well.

Sakasama No Chou

May 18, 2007

  Itsuka hikari ni mukau, Sakasama no chou,
  Kimi to kami wo kiru, Kagami no naka
 
If those words sound familiar then it’s because it’s from the song Sakasama No Chou, which is the opening theme of the first season of the anime Jigoku Shoujo.
 
  Jugyouchuu no ryouku, Hibiku ashioto,
  Taezu ame no oto ga, Tsuite kuru yo
 
One thing good about this song is that because the singer, SNoW, has a hoarse voice (not to insult her), I don’t have to worry about high pitched lines or long sustaining notes. Which means I can sing this song easily and don’t sound horrible like I should. Though, I still don’t sound as good as the original (or even close!), but it’s better than those high pitched ones.
 
  Kanjiru mama no katachi wa mabushii,
  Amai hana ni naru doku no mi ni mo naru
 
Unfortunately, there isn’t a karaoke version of it. Dang. Why does such song which is easy on my voice seems not to have a karaoke version. Not even an instrumental version of it. So I have the honours of doing a duet with SNoW herself. Uh-huh. As expected, her more melodious voice covers up mine.
 
  Kyou mo ame ano hi to ima to,
  Sora to sora de tsunagitai no
 
Lyrics wise, this song isn’t about your typical simple love song. I mean, for a supernatural anime like this, the words for the theme song has to be fitting, right? Basically it’s about lonliness, abandonment and such. I think. Feels kinda a little abstract too if you ask me. Nevertheless, with the chorus nearly repeating the same words (especially the last part where it’s quite repetitive), it’s not that hard to remember the lyrics. Okay, so I did took a while to remember them.
 
  In this craziness uncertainty hitori hitori no omoi wo,
  Bokura wa doko ka ni nokoseru darou ka
 
Speaking of which, there’s one part which I’m still trying very hard to get it correctly, the timing and all. And that’s the bridge part. I felt like I was singing a ‘slow rap’ because she was singing the lines without fullstop. Because of that, it’s like a tongue twister to me and I usually fumble the words. Sometimes I’m too fast, sometimes too slow, and sometimes I just mispronounced it. Haih, still having problems pronouncing correctly after all this time.
 
  In this craziness you gave me live hitotsu no omoi wo,
  Bokura wa doko made mamoreru darou ka
 
The song overall isn’t flashy as it doesn’t have blaring and ear-piercing instruments. Not to say that this is a 100% ballad but it seems slow and smooth with a few guitar pluckings here and there with the drum beat solo at the end of the song. Easy listening? Maybe. Depends on how you look at it too. Anyway, I’ll be continuing my duet until the karaoke version comes out and I’ll do a solo by then. Wait a minute. Who am I kidding. There’s never going to be a karaoke version.
 
  In this craziness uncertainty hitori hitori no katachi wo,
  Bokura ga doko ka ni nokoseru darou ka,
  In this craziness you gave me life sorezore no katachi wo,
  Bokura wa doko made mamoreru darou ka

Tsuyokiss

May 12, 2007

They say that life is one big play and that the world is your stage and the people are like characters in the play. Only different is, there isn’t gonna be a retake shot if one ever did a mistake or blunder. Though this anime Tsuyokiss isn’t directly about acting or theatres, at least there’s a link to it. I think.
 
This 12 episode series anime is your typical high school comedy romance anime involving cute, pretty and handsome high school bishies that involves a bunch of zany and wacky characters. So if you’re anticipating with great hopes that this anime is Oscar material, you’re likely to be disappointed. Unless you really love this series very much, then yeah. Would one consider it to be a harem anime? Well erm… maybe not so. Yeah, there are several girls outnumbering the guys as the main casts but love wise, there isn’t any cases here whereby a few girls having a crush on a single guy.
 
Originally started off as a H-game (hentai game to those who don’t know) and I read that the anime version is less hentai than the pc game. Which is a good thing to me. Yup, no girls baring their breasts right upfront or desparate perverted guys who can’t seem to hold their advances back and would rather pound on the girls and later get pounded themselves. Also there are some differences when this series made the crossover to the anime world like the main protagonist. But I’m not going further into that.
 
So people, meet Sunao Konoe, the main female protagonist of the show and an enthusiastic drama actress wannabe. Sunao’s a newly transferred second year student to her new high school, Ryuumei Academy. And on her first day and debut first episode, she’s already running late because she wakes up from a dream (or nightmare depends how you view it) that her play has no audience. Could be a bad sign for a future actress. In most episodes, the beginning will usually start off with Sunao in some play theme. Then something goes wrong and she wakes up from the wrong side of the bed and realizes that it’s all just a bad dream.
 
Anyway upon arriving school, she’s gonna find a few weirdos inhabiting the school like Otome Kurogane, some tough girl who carries a sword wherever she goes. Yup, even in school. Is this allowed? Maybe she threatened to school principal with it. Yeah, she’s reprimanding some guy for being late too. A Gestapo of the school? At class, Sunao’s introducing herself and how she’s a theatrical play freak. I guess everybody’s in a shock to hear that because it’s a defeaning silence for them rather than a round of applause. Later, Sunao asks the girl sitting next to her Shizuka Asada (and soon to be best friend) where is the theater club so that she could join one. Shizuka mentions that this school there isn’t one, shocking Sunao. This prompts her to decide to form a theatre club. But Shizuka further mentions that any club formation or whatsoever must get approval from the student council president, Erika Kiriya.
 
Wow. The student council place is such a large and nice area. It’s even a building on its own in the school grounds. Is this where all the school budget went to? When Sunao later arrives at the student council place, she barges in and causes Erika to bump into her assistant Yoshimi Satou AKA Yoppie (a nickname which she reluctatly accepts because Erika likes to call her so), ruining her tea enjoyment. Though Sunao tries to appeal for her theatre club, Erika instantly gives her disapproval. Yeah, must be because of ruining her tea. Erika, who reminds me of Megumi of Muteki Kanban Musume, may look pretty on the outside, but she’s actually arrogant, bossy and b*tchy. And because of that she and Sunao are never on good terms, always at each other’s throat. Uh-huh something like Suno’s twin-tail (which Erika nicknames her for her double ponytails) is no match for her single ponytail. I think Erika is more into a yuri relationship too. I mean, she ending up on top of Yoppie when Sunao barges in earlier on. And there are few ambiguous yuri moments throughout the series which may indicate so. After much persuasion, Erika gives Sunao a chance, that is to do a play for her. And if Erika finds it interesting, she’ll approve the theatre club.
 
Sunao leaves to start on her Romeo and Juliet play when she passed a boy, Leo Tsushima, but didn’t notice him. Leo feels that he has seen her somewhere before but can’t put his finger on it. At the hall, Sunao’s practising her lines but is getting nervous as she remembers her past whereby she got stage fright and her situation got worsen because some kid called Leo called her a daikon. Well, daikon is actually a type of Japanese white raddish. But in theatrical terms, it means a person is useless in acting. Yup, it could be very detrimental for an actress wannabe, especially at a young age. SO you could say Sunao’s ‘scarred’ by that event.
 
Soon Erika comes in to watch the play and is confident that Sunao won’t suceed because you need 2 to tango. Meaning, you need at least 2 players to play Romeo and Juliet and in this case Sunao is handling both main parts, but surprisingly doing well. Just then Leo comes in and Sunao spots him, which prompts her to bring back those infamous memories. But the set crumbles and in the midst of it Sunao ended up on top of Leo. Meaning, Leo broke her fall lah. Leo soon remembers Sunao and calls her daikon. But Sunao slaps him and is nearly in tears. Later Sunao cleans up the mess and is complimented by Shizuka who seems to like her play, making Sunao cry in tears of joy. But all that happiness turned into anger when Shizuka asks her what daikon meant. Hmm… That word seems to be a taboo in Sunao’s vocab.
 
At the student council’s place, Leo’s wondering why did he get that slap and is feeling depressed when the other student council members come in. Speaking of which, let’s go through briefly about the other zany student council members. Besides Erika and Yoppie, we have Leo’s childhood friend Kinu Kanisawa, who’s short and also short-fused. Because of that, she’s also violent, vulgar and childish. Don’t mess with her. Unless you’re Nagomi Yashi. Both Kanisawa and Nagomi often quarrel among each other with Nagomi often calling Kanisawa, Kani (crab), and Kinu calling Nagomi Coconuts. No further comments. Another one of Leo’s childhood friend is Subaru Date who is sensible and quite down-to-earth kinda guy. Then there’s Shinichi Samesuga AKA Shark who’s your typical hyperactive guy who likes to flirt but is actually a loser because he doesn’t get what he wants in the end. Yeah, he tried to flirt with Sunao but was given the cold shoulder. Somehow I find that Leo, Kanisawa, Date and Shinichi are always together most of the time, so much so that I once thought the quartet lived together in Leo’s place. I think. Also, the 3rd year student Otome is one of the committee members in the student council.
 
Not on the student council team are Sunao’s 2-A classmates. Besides Shizuka, there’s also Youhei Murata, whom nobody (including me) can’t seem to remember his name correctly (like remembering as Tamura), and Noriko Nishizaki, a photograph maniac and the typical character without any proper lines and dialogues except some high pitch squealling or whatever gibberish she’s uttering. Hmmm… I’m not sure whether Murata and Noriko are dating or what. Faint hints but not conclusive enough. Maybe it’s because they’re always seen together. Because of Sunao’s animosity with Erika, Sunao’s class 2-A is always rivalling with Erika and her other second year student council members class of 2-C. Yup, the whole jin-jang gang is in that same class. Sunao also has a little more down-to-earth sister, Honoka.
 
Besides the students, there are the teaching staff as well. Though not many (only 2 seems to be in the regular casts), one of them include Inori Oueyama who has a talking pet parrot Tsuchinaga. This parrot is one of my favourite characters not because of its ability to speak fluent Japanese, but sometimes it makes sarcastic remarks and jokes. And the voice actor for Tsuchinaga seems so fitting for the role. You should hear it if you want to know what I mean. Then there’s the school principal Heizou Tachibana, your big size bearded guy with scars on his face. He may look tough and intimidating, but he’s okay.
 
By the way, since Sunao’s name means honest or frank, and because she’s an actress wannabe, at times her friends usually notice that she’s not being honest with her feelings and would say to her "Sunao ja nai", meaning "You’re not being honest". Though I’m not too sure whether her pals are playing pun with her name intentionally. And Sunao would always reply "Don’t play with my name". So is Sunao acting or what? But if you look at it in a way, it means Sunao’s not a good actress because her pals could see through her, right?
 
So in episode 2, Sunao’s quest for forming the theatre club continues. But more of those daikon nightmare and flashbacks. So much so Honoka thinks that Sunao’s in has a crush on someone. At school, Sunao’s putting up flyers of her intention to form her club but was told by Otome to take it down because there isn’t any approval. And Sunao’s able to do so from the principal’s office. Tachibana after seeing Sunao’s enthusiast gives his stamp of approval without question. But it seems that nobody’s taking up the offer. Sunao later finds out from Shizuka that because her theatre exhibition performance clashes with Erika’s school uniform event, and event where it’s like a showcase to see what school uniforms the students will be wearing for the next school term. Which means, all those perverted guys will be attending this.
 
Unperturbed by this, Sunao decides to go ahead with her plans and thinks that this is part of Erika’s plan to foil hers by purposely putting it on the same day. After setting up her stage, it seems Otome tells her that the uniform event has been planned 6 months ago and it’s not a compulsory for everyone to attend, that’s why Otome isn’t there, making Sunao feeling a little better. The fashion parade starts off with some models (who else but the student council members) in weird costumes and some in very revealing swimsuits (like Erika’s. Well if you’ve got it, flaunt it) and maid like outfits (like Yoppie’s). Is this really a school uniform festival?
 
Meanwhile, Sunao starts her performance alone with Tsuchinaga as the only viewer. I guess that’s not bad. But a bunch of gangsters (all of them bald with some red markings on their forehead?) arrive and is demanding for Otome and rips the set. Sunao wants him to fix it but the gang leader doesn’t and is gonna punch her only to be stopped by Otome’s sword. Soon a battle ensues and Otome uses her Devil’s Butterfly move to destroy their bikes and send them retreating in shame. Otome reveals that she’s been watching her play from the rooftop all the time and that she hates the student council though she’s in it. With that, Sunao and her become good friends. Uh-huh. At least they have the same view of the student council. Must be Erika. She’s like the big bad boss there.
 
Which high school series doesn’t make do with a school sports festival? That’s what episode 3 is about. Mainly, Erika issues a challenge to Sunao that if she beats her, Erika will approve her theater club. And so the challenge is on. But before that we get to see the other characters in their antics such as some race whereby Kanisawa sabotages the competition using nets, electric shocks and sticky glue. Is this allowed? Because of that she won. So if you cheaters think it’s cool to do so, remember this saying: a cheater doesn’t really win, he/she just ends up in first place. Hehehe. Then there’s that weird find the whatever-stuff-written-on-the-piece-of-paper with Leo needing to find a ‘ponytail’ while Murata gets a ‘twintail’. Also a volleyball match whereby Otome thumps her opponents with her super special dragon fireball move. They should’ve surrendered earlier.
 
Erika wins all the matches that she is involved. Is she that talented or the others fear some retribution from the student council? Then the final boxing match between Murata and Date ended in draw which means there is a tie and no outright winner between the teams. So Tachibana some high in the sky T-beamed dodgeball game whereby whoever falls off the beam loses. So it’s Sunao vs Erika. Though Sunao’s pretty determined, Erika’s powerful shot is way too good and wins the match when Sunao faints and falls off due to exhaustion. Not before Otome jumps and save her from plunging to her death. Later when Sunao comes to, because she lost, she has to clean up after the school grounds (in a maid outfit?) and because her pals saw her great determination, they decided to stay and help her out, making Sunao quite happy.
 
Episode 4 is one of those flashbacks but it’s not on Sunao. It’s on Nagomi. Nagomi’s out somewhere in the city at night when she encountered those bald gangsters. She’s gonna take them on but those gangsters decides to flee upon hearing Otome’s voice. It turns out it’s just Sunao who’s impersonating Otome’s lines. Though Nagomi says she could’ve handled them all herself, she thanks Sunao nevertheless. Nagomi then returns home and we find out that her mom has remarried another guy after Nagomi’s dad demise and Nagomi doesn’t really like the new guy because her dad used to teach and make her various delicious food. Thus it was her dream to become a chef but since her dad died, it seems impossible to her now. Uh-huh, she gives her long face whenever she’s back at home.
 
So besides Sunao bumping into Leo at some bookstore and that terrible daikon memories oh hers, lots of spacing out and flashbacks from Nagomi thinking about the good ol’ days. As Nagomi wanders around, she finds Sunao practising her play lines by herself. Sunao’s embarrassed and surprised to find Nagomi watching her play and after some talk, Nagomi has a little self confidence and heads home. The next day, Nagomi comes by at the same spot to see Sunao practising there again. Somehow the play reminded Nagomi so much like like her past that it started to make her cry. Sunao saw this and soon they had some chat about hope, dreams and not giving up bla bla bla. With that, Nagomi has her confidence fully restored because Sunao says the reason why she wants to act is to make people happy. Just like what Nagomi’s dad said, to cook to make others happy. The next day, Nagomi doesn’t really harbour any hard feelings for her mom and stepdad as she continues to watch Sunao’s play for Shizuka. Nagomi gives them her hand-made lunch and is happy when the 2 said how delicious it was.
 
Sunao decides to get a part time job in episode 5 after seeing some spotlights she wanted badly but it’s too expensive. She then applies for one at some curry restaurant and is accepted. You’ll notice that you’ll never really get to see the full head and body together of the restaurant’s owner, some huge Indian guy. You’ll just see his body at first and when he speaks, some cartoonish box will appear and you could see his cartoonish face. Anyway, to Sunao’s surprise, she finds Kanisawa working there too. Since the 2 don’t like each other, Kanisawa tries to get her to quit like making her memorizing the hundreds of various dishes on the menu and Kanisawa giving her some daikon curry. Yeah, lots of tension between the 2. But Sunao remain steadfast, working throughout the day and night.
 
Of course the other characters came in to the restaurant like Leo, Date and Shinichi. But since Sunao still hasn’t gotten over that daikon incident, he gives Leo an extra spicy dish and yells at him to get out. Yeah, it’s too hot for him to handle. Then Kanisawa and the owner dreads the moment Nagomi steps in because she can eat some super spicy curry dish within 20 minutes, in which, that person gets his/her meal free. And Nagomi’s doing it everyday. Oh the losses are running up. Also Otome visits the restaurant and Sunao treats her. Of course arrogant Erika has to come in and invites everybody because Erika’s paying. Because of that, Erika orders lots of stuff causing Sunao to be in a frenzy.
 
But Sunao showed Erika that she had memorized all those stuff in the menu when Erika asks her questions on it, surprising Kanisawa. After everyone has left, Sunao and Kanisawa are cleaning up the restaurant but bumped into each other breaking the plates and have spice covered all over them. The owner suggests that they take a shower. While doing so, some talk of apologizing and stuff as the 2 become friends. But all that seems distant the next day when they bumped into each other breaking the plates as they started quarelling. Well yeah, I guess it’s a different kind of friendship. Then back at home, Honoka comes into Sunao’s room and asks her what she’s doing with a flashlight. Yes, a flashlight. Looks like that pay isn’t enough for the spotlight and Sunao decides to settle with this mini one. Uh-huh, she’s done for with that part time job too.
 
Sunao has been accidentally ‘kidnapped’ and brought along for the student council’s annual survival training trip in episode 6. Uh-huh. Tachibana thought that Sunao’s part of the student council because he always seen her with them. But it’s too late to turn back now. As usual, Sunao tries to help out but Erika uses her authority to delegate duties to her members while she herself relaxes. Because Erika told Sunao that she could do anything because she’s ‘useless’, Sunao got mad and storms off and tries to find some food to prove Erika wrong. Wait a minute! Why do those daikons look like penises!!! Forget it. Though everyone else is back at camp and finish preparing the food, Leo notices Sunao isn’t back yet and goes searching for her. When he does, Leo tries to persuade Sunao to come back to the camp but she says something like how she doesn’t want to be near him and runs away. With Leo chasing, before you know it, they fall off a cliff and into the sea below, swimming towards and resting on a nearby little rock. Since Sunao doesn’t want to be alone with Leo, she decides to swim back but it seems there are numerous sharks swimming and circling around them. Wait a minute. Nobody got hurt and no blood, right?
 
I like this one short funny part where we see Tachibana standing on some cliff in his loincloth. Then all of a sudden he flex his muscles and gives off a loud "HMMPHHH" before the scene quickly changes. Because so, it’s so funny that it made me go "What the… What was that all about?". Anyway, the gang notices Leo and Sunao is missing and starts looking for them. Better hurry because the tide is rising and the small rock is getting smaller and smaller and soon there’ll be no place left to stand. And those sharks are still circling them. Wah. That patient, huh? Sunao can’t take it anymore and is gonna faint when Otome comes to rescue by slicing the water in half, making a pathway to the island (wah! Better than Moses did when he opened the Red Sea) with Tachibana disposing the sharks.
 
Back on land as Sunao’s still unconscious, the gang wonders whether Leo did something on Sunao, which Leo denies. As he wonders why Sunao stll hates him, Leo realized from the others the true meaning of the word daikon. It seems that back then, what Leo had said was meant to be a compliment! Did he know the actual meaning in the first place? Otome’s pretty shock by it too. Yeah, she doesn’t know what daikon meant either until just then. You’ve just insulted a girl and broker her heart without knowing it boy. With that, Erika overhears and knows Sunao’s phobia. Oh that b*tch is up to something. I can feel it.
 
So Leo decides to apologize to Sunao in episode 7 but she just ran off. To make things worse, there’s an upcoming festival all about daikons! Her worse fears come true. Then at school, the student council announces that they’ll be promoting that festival and need volunteers. Thus, the ones scoring the lowest in the upcoming test has to participate and shall wear some daikon costumes for the promo. With that, Sunao gets hyped up and tells her class to beat 2-C. Later Shizuka and Noriko arrives at Sunao’s home to study but asks her about what happened between her and Leo. Sunao tells them of that daikon incident but the 2 say that the daikon promo thing is made by the student council so it’s not really his fault because Leo has no control over it.
 
The next day, Leo arrives at Sunao’s house and truly gets on his knees and apologizes after some talking like how he thought that term was meant to be a compliment. Hmmm… Seems Honoka’s starting to like Leo and wants to call him onii-chan. Yeah, must be his charming looks. Sunao’s feeling pity and is going to forgive Leo when she suddenly remembers some letter back on the stage when she was young. Yup, Sunao soon runs off. The test begins the next day with Sunao’s class emerging tops. But since Sunao scored the lowest, she has to wear the daikon costume, along with other students who scored the lowest too. But it seems, to Erika’s surprise, Sunao isn’t fearful of the daikon anymore. Sunao didn’t even object or show the least bit of fear when Erika hands her the costume. Looks like she’s gotten over her fear of daikons. After putting on, Sunao also finds Leo wearing a daikon costume and the 2 had some chat before Sunao telling Leo that she forgives him.
 
The opening dream sequence for episode 8 is quite amusing because it’s a Snow White theme. With Sunao as Snow White, Erika as the evil queen, and the 7 dwarves made out of Otome, Yoppie, Kanisawa, Nagomi, Noriko, Shizuka and Inori. The evil Erika gives Sunao a daikon in which the latter eats and soon falls into a deep sleep. Leo the prince then came to wake up the sleeping beauty but Sunao wakes up first and wonders why she’s dreaming such a dream.
 
Anyway, this episode is about Sunao visiting some parade festival with Honoka and Shizuka in their yukatas. Sunao’s eager to go because of some famous actress making her appearance there. At the festival, Sunao somehow ended up participating in some beauty contest and it seems that some old guy as a judge quickly fails them all (especially Kanisawa who’s disqualified because of all those fake implants) and declares Inori as the winner because of her big boobs which he’s fascinated with women with such because Tsuchinaga dives down from above and unties Inori’s top with its beak. Pervert. Yeah, it seems that Tsuchinaga also mentions that it’s a no-contest and that Inori is the outright winner from the start.
 
Later at the parade, Sunao tries to get a glimpse of the actress and in the midst got separated from Honoka and Shizuka and bumps into Leo. Leo offers to help find them but the 2 end up spending time together like at the swings at the park, having fun at the night festival stalls , visiting a haunted house. Wow. It’s like they’re on a date. That’s what Murata and Noriko thought when Sunao and Leo bumped into them. What’s this? Otome and Tachibana teaming up to beat the crap out of some thugs surrounding them. There’s this funny part where Shinichi’s having his love destiny being read by Inori. He’s asking how is it when Inori replied… Please wait for your next life! Hahaha! Even when Shinichi asks does he have any chance with girls who’re size 35, Tsuchinaga tells him he needs to be hard working. Yeah, Shinichi’s even shocked that a parrot is teaching him.
 
Finally Leo and Sunao are alone at some hilltop as they watched the fireworks. You know, shy shy blushing here blushing there. When Leo apologizes and how he likes Sunao’s acting, making her happy, and the 2 face each other which seems like a prelude to a kiss, suddenly Kanisawa (with Date and Shinichi tagging along) interupts them by saying something about taking their spot for the fireworks viewing, surprising the 2. Kanisawa’s even jealous that Leo invited a girl to their favourite spot. Sunao then thanked Leo for it all and rushes back home. Remember how yuri Erika is? Yeah, it can’t get any yuri than this. While Sunao’s running pass some bushes, Erika and Yoppie’s head pops out from it when Erika notices Sunao passing by. But if you look closely at those 2, what on Earth are they doing there?! I mean what’s Erika doing towards Yoppie. Is that grimacing facial expression from Yoppie pleasure or what. My mind somehow is running wild on its own.
 
Anyway, Sunao reaches back home to find Honoka and Shizuka there. Those 2 are teasing Sunao that she may be out dating with Leo because they saw her with a goldfish in a plastic. Of course Sunao is blushing but denies it all and says she was with him to find the 2 of them. But either way, those 2 still are pretty convinced that Sunao’s with Leo the whole time. Uh-huh, Sunao’s in a pinch. Later, Leo arrives back home and a familiar voice greets him "Welcome back. You’re late". Hmmm… Sounds like Otome. The plot thickens…
 
So episode 9 starts off with that Leo-Sunao ‘date’ at the festival and that letter thingy flashback. Back in school, class 2-C are trying to decide what to do for the upcoming school festival. Yeah, Shinichi and his perverted idea of some perverted cafe with waitresses dressed in black leather sexy outfits holding a whip while they serve. Besides that, Sunao tries again to persuade Erika to allow her to do a play for the festival. You know the answer. Not approved. Later as Suano’s sulking, Shizuka and the other girls (her other classmates whose names I can’t remember because they’re ‘insignificant’. Sorry) are impressed by her efforts and wants to help her out.
 
Then some more of those Leo-Sunao moments when Sunao coincidentally bumps into Leo at the supermart. Uh-huh, you know lah. Shy shy blush blush. Typical. More younger days flasback. So typical. Later though Sunao is thinking of creating a fake club, she decides to scrap the idea after Otome told her it’ll be breaking the rules. Sunao then tries to play reverse psychology by telling Erika that fake club thingy in hopes that Erika will grant her wish for being honest. Well, nothing’s changed. Erika’s still adamant with her no decision. Just then, Shizuka comes in and hands in an agreement with the entire class 2-A’s signatures whereby giving Sunao the permission to do anything she wants for the festival. Which means a play is possible. And since it’s a class agreement, Erika can’t do anything about it and has no choice but to approve it. Yay! The theatre club has finally been given the green light.
 
So we see Sunao and her classmates making preparations for the festival with some rehearsing their lines and some setting up the stage and props. Sunao’s thanking Shizuka for her idea when the latter says that it’s actually Leo’s. Later in the evening she meets Leo and thanks him. He wishes her good luck and reiterates how he likes the acting Sunao, making her feeling happy. That night when Sunao’s out in the city, she spots Leo across the streets and tries to catch his attention by waving and calling him. But she saw Otome together with him and they look like as though they’re a couple with Otome adjusting Leo’s necktie and patting the back of his head. Sunao felt devastated. Just when she’s just about to realize her true feelings for Leo, then came along some other girl. And to make things worse, it’s one of her best pals. Well, seems like it. Sunao has never officially confessed to him or vice versa. Is there gonna be a love triangle? Oh the tension and suspense is killing me. Just kidding.
 
Since the theatre club has been formed, most probably the arc of the story will shift towards Sunao’s feelings towards Leo. Thus episode 10 begins with one of the most bizarre dreams ever. Yeah, Sunao’s in the process of marrying Leo and is gonna kiss when Otome shows up in a tuxedo suit. Then Leo changes his suit into a wedding dress and he and Otome runs off. Is that shocking or what. So in school Sunao’s wondering about what kind of relatinoship does Leo and Otome has between them. Though Sunao wants to ask Leo but it seems her embarrassment got the better of her and is unable to do so. Therefore she tries to avoid seeing them both.
 
Other than that, we see the girls of 2-A rehearsing their lines (very badly so much so you’d think they have no hope). I like the funny part whereby Otome gives the class 2-A some onigiris as testing because her class is doing an onigiri cafe. Murata seems looking forward to it but when the whole gang ate it, it tastes horrible because the onigiris were filled with weird and unsuitable fillings for an onigiri like mustard cream, pizza and even peanut butter! Murata doesn’t want to break Otome’s heart and says how delicious it is. Thus Otome gives him the whole sack of onigiris. Better eat his words now. Yeah, he’s munching it all down. Also, class 2-C doing a haunted house with weird monster costumes, Erika uses her indirect authority (or rather charm) on the guys to speed up the props for the festival by promising to give them a kiss if they finish fast (as opposed to what Yoppie said to Erika that they’ll be left on a deserted island), and Leo asking Sunao to dance with him for the festival (yeah, and all those busybody class 2-A are happily watching nearby).
 
Later as Sunao decides to take a shower, she overhears Otome talking with other girls in the shower how she’s going to ask Leo out to the dance. Sunao also finds out that Otome is Leo’s cousin and because Leo’s parents are away for a long time, Otome lives with Leo in the same house and takes care of him. Finally Otome delivers the killer blow when she says how she actually likes Leo. Sunao can’t believe she’s hearing this. How she’d wish that this is all a dream. Unfortunately it isn’t. And because it’s not the beginning of the episode either. ;p. Anyway, Sunao leaves without being noticed by the other girls.
 
The next day the festival starts and so does Sunao’s play with Erika’s watching it from her VIP seat. Sunao’s play seems to be going on smoothly until she saw Leo and Otome sitting together. Because of that she fumbled her lines and freezes, making the entire play a failure. Later Sunao’s no where to be seen but her pals think she needs some time for herself. Hmm… Date is asking Kanisawa to be his dance partner as the latter agrees to deepen their friendship. Shinichi wants his friendship to be deepen to but the 2 says he stink and isn’t really a friend. Oh the heartbreak. Though Shinichi tried to ask Nagomi but she just gave him that scary glance which made him back off instantly. And I’m not sure what Erika’s so frustrated about, sitting and thinking back at her student council room yelling "Seriously, it’s senseless!".
 
Sunao decides to skip school after her dreadful performance and after seeing Otome and Leo doing ‘lovey-dovey’ things outside the school gates in episode 11. That’s her reason for skipping class? Kanisawa who’s rushing to school spots Sunao sitting on a swing and tries to knock some sense into her but Sunao just got up and ran away. Back at school, Erika is having a meeting with Tachibana and says she’s gonna hold a selection for the student council president because she doesn’t want to be one anymore as her tenure’s coming.
 
I’m not sure about how this selection works but it seems like everyone’s gathered in the hall to hear some debate with the potential candidates voicing out what they’ll do and such just like how politicians do it during elections. So it starts off with Shinichi saying how he’ll enforce gender equality by allowing guys and girls to change together during P.E. period. Yeah, this guy never change. And donno on what criteria, Tachibana declares Erika the winner of the debate. And I didn’t know Date’s a little pervert as he says he’ll enforce sporting skirts. I can’t believe he said that. Ultimately, Erika still wins. And when it’s Kanisawa’s turn, before she could say anything, Tachibana declares Erika the winner. Hahaha.
 
Sunao’s absence in class has been noticed by her friends alike. Yeah, Sunao’s spacing out and wandering somewhere in the city. It’s been 3 days already, girl. She meets Nagomi and the 2 had some chat before Sunao realizes something. Otome tries to visit Sunao at her home but wasn’t in. Instead she saw Honoka. And that Honoka seems to take a liking for Otome instantly and wants to call her onee-sama. This girl really looks up to a lot of people. Why not. She’s one of the shortest among the bunch. Hahaha.
 
Otome finds Sunao sitting dejectedly at the beach and the 2 chat. It seems Sunao’s so heartbroken that she doesn’t want to act anymore. Otome tries to knock some sense into Sunao and there are hints that they both find out that they like Leo. But because of Sunao’s indecisiveness and pessimism, Otome throws down the gauntlet and says she’ll not give Leo to a girl like her because it’s not the Sunao she knows and asks her to go find her own answers before leaving. Likewise the same thing back at the student council when Date is trying to make Leo realize things like how he’s running away from his feelings and try to consider the feelings of others. So while Erika finally gives her flawless speech, we see Sunao holding that letter which is for Leo.
 
The final episode 12 begins with Erika unsatisfied with the debate because her opponents are so ‘low-leveled’. Shinichi even tries for a second time by promising how he’ll make all girl’s uniform breezy, only to be remarked "Disgusting" by Nagomi, sending Shinichi crying in disbelief. Meanwhile, Leo is rushing to find Sunao and manages to do so. As Leo tries to find out why she skipped school and such Sunao lands him a slap because she don’t know what crap he’s pulling and says doesn’t he know her feelings. Of course Leo is that dense and doesn’t know what she’s talking about until she mentions that letter which she put all her feelings in it 10 years ago for Leo, returned. Leo still doesn’t remember.
 
Then Shizuka arrives and asks them what are they doing, that is, are they dating or what (of course Sunao denies it), since everybody’s worried and waiting for her back at school. With that, Leo says she can be depressed later and takes Sunao’s hands and rushes back to school. They finally arrive with Leo announcing that he has brought the final challenge. Everybody looks relief and alive once more as Sunao heads up to the stage. Though Sunao doesn’t know about the selection, it seems Erika has recommended her and shows her a letter. Yeah, something strange about that letter because there’s a line saying "Reason for recommendation: It’s meaningless for no one to challenge me although I will win anyway". And Erika’s pretty confident about her victory.
 
At first, Sunao’s just standing there not knowing what to say. She’s wondering what she’s doing here and probably have fallen into Erika’s trap. That is, until Leo shouts out "Go, daikon!" as words of encouragement. Though irritated at first, Sunao then regains her confidence and speaks. Well, I find her speech to be like some impersonation of the characters she first met back at episode 1. I don’t know if those people should feel insulted or what but I guess since they find it so amusing (or rather their impersonated 15 seconds of fame), they didn’t mind it at all and is amused by it all. Maybe Sunao’s acting is damn good. But poor Shinichi. He’s anticipating his turn greatly but Sunao just skipped his and mentioned about the cool guy Date. So sad. Besides the impersonation, Sunao’s debate is also like a short episode recap. Summarizing things of what has happened and her adventures when she transferred here.
 
Finally Sunao ends by telling why she’s on stage because of someone who’s always supporting her from behind (hint, hint) and will keep on acting so that she could share her feelings with everyone. Thus, jokingly tells everyone not to play with her name anymore. With that, everybody gives her a standing ovation and a round of applause. Erika then comes up to her and says she finally did it before shaking her hand. Everybody’s in estacy. This has never happened before or thought would never happen. Tachibana then declares Sunao the winner of this battle.
 
Finally we see Sunao giving Leo the letter. Leo finds out that the reason why the letter was returned is because the stamp on it is fake. Sunao’s real shock. But nothing is more shocking when Leo opens the letter and it says "Leo, I love you". Woah! Sunao’s freaking out why she wrote such a thing and says how she didn’t change after all this years. She’s glad that the letter was returned. Leo feels the same way too because he also mentions that he hasn’t change as well. As they’re going to kiss, they’re being interrupted by the whole jin jang gang who’s watching them. Sunao pushes Leo away. Erika then quips that since she’s won the selection, now she wants a boyfriend. Though Sunao says she doesn’t want to be the president, Erika mentions that she herself is the CEO and will be commanding her still. Meaning, Sunao’s gotta to do all the work while Erika shakes her leg.
 
Just then, the other girls steal the letter from Sunao’s hands and reads it, pissing Sunao off. But it seems that all this is just an act! Yeah, Date’s the director and everything’s going smoothly. Before you know it, everybody’s arguing that they should be the main character. Even the teachers and Tsuchinaga wants to become the main character. And that Shinichi’s dreaming of wanting a beautiful harem. While everybody’s arguing among themselves, Sunao tells everyone to take a group photo when she bumps into Leo. Yeap, their lips met! Is that just an act or for real? Anyway, every darn character that has appeared in this series, from those bald gangsters to the curry restaurant owner, appearing for 1 last time in this big group photo. Hey, there’s even the little Sunao and Leo. How can the same person from 2 different eras be at the same place at the same time? So makes you think that this whole series is just 1 big act with different actors and actresses playing roles for the same character just at a different time. Or is it special effects to put them all together. Of course I’m only kidding about that part. It’s anime lah.
 
Overall, I kinda enjoyed this series with all the funny antics and stuffs. The characters are just loveable, probably wacky and zany in an interesting way. Okay, maybe not the wackiest or craziest I’ve ever known, but they’re rather okay in overall sense. And I’m not putting up an act about this.
 
One thing I’d like to mention about this series is the scene changer. It’s a short clip lasting only a second or two whereby it shows the characters in some costumes and some theme settings and at the end of it, that character says "Tsuyokiss". Well, it’s great at first because it’s like an eye candy getting to see the various characters in various outfits and probably ecchi and sexy poses in addition to knowing their name and their class. But after a while it gets irritating and annoying. Why? Because the scene changer can take place either several minutes later or just a few seconds after the last one! Imagine the frequency of it. So much so that when it happens again I would go something like "Oh no. Here it comes again… Tsuyokiss". At least it didn’t happen for the final episode and in that last episode, the only "Tsuyokiss" mentioned was during that big group photo with everybody saying it. At least the mid-intermission is less irritating as it shows a still pose of the characters scrolling across the screen and at the end, the highlighted character will get their big face mugshot appearing next to their still pose picture.
 
Though some viewers have complained about the drawing and art quality of certain episodes, to me they all seem pretty okay. I mean, it won’t get this series nominated for best picture, best sound, best script, best actor, best actress or whatever best of the best category. Besides, the character development is close to nil unless you consider that Leo-Sunao one to be such. But if you’ve seen lots of this kind of anime, you’d probably guess how it all turns out in the end.
 
Since the anime itself isn’t that ecchi (there are hints of it anyway), I suppose the producers decide to put the ecchi part at the end credits. Yup, you’ll find that the girls to be naked there with their arms strategically across their bodies like as though they’re hugging themselves or with their backs facing the viewers. You know what I mean. And if you’re the kind that quickly switches off the tv when the end credits start to roll, don’t. That’s because there’s some more clips at the end. Albeit just a short one and won’t amount to anything that important, but it may serve as a build-up to the next episode or tie up certain things from the current episode.
 
So is Sunao and co going for a second season? Well, there isn’t anything to say that there’ll be one. Maybe it’s budget constraints. Or maybe she has got better offer somewhere else. But that’s showbiz. Just like life itself. It’s just one big entertainment. And just like in the movies, you have to be at your best performance, or else you’re out. So simply remember this if you’re not up to par in real life: Death is life’s way of saying, "You’re fired!". Now beat that Donald Trump.

They say that there should be no barrier to love. Whether it’s age, religious beliefs, social status or position. But would the norm of society allow it? Big chances that it wouldn’t. Even in today’s world where there’s much more freedom and awareness, the general public still has a rigid view of love and marriage. It’s somewhat like that in Oku-sama Wa Joshi Kousei.
 
In this anime, we have this cute 17 year old high school girl, Asami Onohara, who is actually married to her physics teacher, the understanding Kyosuke Ichimaru! Yes, this actually transcends all those beliefs that when 2 people tie the knot has to be of the same race, religion, age group and such. Therefore, to avoid any racket about their relationship, their marriage has to be kept a secret. Besides, would it be weird if one finds out that it’s just more than a teacher-student relationship? Don’t worry, it’s not an arranged marriage in the first place either. It’s true blue love. Yeah, good thing. Say, doesn’t this remind you of Onegai Teacher too? Same case isn’t it?
 
Thus in this 13 episode series of half hour each, or rather 26 episodes of approximately 15 minutes, we’ll see the obstacles, trials and tribulations of Asami and Ichimaru on how they try to lead a ‘double life’. Meaning that they try to go on living their lives normally without having other people to suspect that they’re married. It’s gonna be tough. But as they say too, true love will get them through. I think it’s like that.
 
Each episode starts off with Asami narrating the same thing. Like telling viewers her name is Asami (yeah, in a way her name’s been drilled into my cranium), that she’s in high school and 17 years old and she has a secret that she keeps from everybody, that is, she’s married to her Ichimaru-sensei. But I find Asami to be a little ecchi, which makes this comedy-cum-romance series a little ecchi. Yup, sometimes she has this wild imaginations of doing her ‘first time’ with Ichimaru but it all just smothers down because she’s still a little conservative, shy and perhaps a little naive. Ironic. Because of that, Asami’s your typical (and probably most ideal to guys out there) housewife who wants to do anything to please her husband. Yup, as long as she makes him happy and see his smiles. Luckily, as mentioned Ichimaru’s a nice and understanding guy and wouldn’t take advantage of her. Or maybe he’s blur and oblivious to her ‘advances’. But the main point is that they’re both in love with each other very much.
 
So in the first episode, we see Asami who has 2 best buddies, Satomi and Kasumi (what’s with the ~mi name ending thing?), who knows that Asami has a crush on Ichimaru and you know, tries to play match making. You could say that those 2 are like busybodies. But I guess it’s better this way rather than knowing the whole truth. Also, since it’s Ichimaru’s birthday, Asami decides to skip club activities and bluff her friends saying that she’s gotta prepare for her dad’s birthday.
 
Which brings us to this. Well, you see, Asami’s dad actually doesn’t approve of their marriage in the first place but because his daughter’s so in love and that love knows no barriers kinda thing, he makes Ichimary signs a contract in which, until Asami graduates, if he were to have any sexual relations with Asami, the marriage will become null and void. That sure explains certain things. Also, Asami’s father has a habit of barging right into their house as though it’s his and gets drunk drinking his can beers. And sometimes when he barges in, it’s usually at the moment Asami’s gonna make her ecchi move on Ichimaru like getting into the same bath with him.
 
Just when Asami has finish preparing a feast for her husband’s birthday celebration, she accidentally trips and ruins the whole dinner and making a mess out of it. And when Ichimaru arrived home, he wasn’t mad but happy that she at least remembered his birthday. Aww… Married couples should learn a thing from these 2.
 
In the second part, Asami receives a love letter but Satomi in her excitement accidentally embarrassed her by reading it out loud during Ichimaru’s class. Of course, they got some ‘lecture’ and were told not to do it again. Later on, Satomi wants to have a look at that guy who wrote the love letter but Asami doesn’t wants to. Because of that, Asami fakes a stomach ache and her pals took her to the infirmary. On their way Ichimaru saw and heard what has happened and proceeded to give her a piggy back ride there. Of course her pals thinks it’s a good chance for Asami to get close to her crush. Asami then explain things to Ichimaru when they’re alone there. After he left, her friends arrive and teased her that it was all part of her plan to get close to him and thinks Ichimaru has a thing for her. Asami soon fakes illness even further to change the subject. Later that night, Asami’s apologizing to Ichimaru of all the awful things that has happened today because of her. But Ichimaru told her that it’s okay because if she has gotten a love letter, it shows that Asami’s still cute. Aww…
 
Episode 2 sees Asami’s class doing a cafe for their school cultural festival. Uh-huh, that waitress dress is too revealing for Asami. Thing is, Ichimaru’s colleage teacher, Sonoda wants him to come along to see the popular cafe theme class which Asami’s in. Of course, there the 2 lovebirds are surprised to see each other because of the implications that may arise if their relationship’s ever found out. As Asami’s serving them, Sonoda seems to be gawking at Asami’s low-cut short skirt outfit as Ichimaru tries to block his view. But he tried to hard and slipped from his chair and bangs into Asami. And she’s on top of his face!
 
To make things worse, Asami’s dad has come visiting the school and even has a seat at Asami’s cafe. Ichimaru spots him and tries to warn Asami as quickly as possible and make their escape. Unfortunately they tripped. Now Ichimaru’s on top of Asami! You know what this means when her dad saw this. Yeah, in his rage he wrecked the whole cafe. Later Asami got some lecture from her dad and leaves after he saw her quite happy because he said something like how that perv teacher was looking at her all the time. Well, I guess Asami looked at it in a postive way. For the rest of the day, Asami and her pals visited the other classes and she and Ichimaru have another of those love assuring talks when they reached home as they hugged each other.
 
In the second part, because Ichimaru is quite busy recently, Asami feels a little lonely. During her walk back home she found a stray cat and decides to take it back home. Calling it Kuri, Asami finds out indirectly that Ichimaru prefers dogs and decides to put Kuri back to where she found it. But during one stormy night, she thought about Kuri and decides to go find it but her search was futile. Soaking wet in the rain, lucky she bumped into Ichimaru and explain to him things. Soon they both searched for it and managed to find it taking shelter under some wooden altar. Back home, Ichimaru allowed Asami to have Kuri stay at their place so long as she takes care of it and such, much to Asami’s joy. You could say that it’s like Asami’s first ‘child’.
 
So in episode 3, besides Satomi and Kasumi are shocked to find Asami having a child and presuming it’s from Ichimaru, only to their relief to find out that it’s Kuri, Sonada’s confiding in Ichimaru and wondering whether their other teacher colleague Iwasaki (why do these teachers look like teenagers?) has a boyfriend and dating or not. And later, Ichimaru accidentally stumbles upon Iwasaki having an affair with a student in the teacher’s room when he returned to retrieve a forgotten textbook. Busted. What’s happening to teachers these days?! Yeah, maybe she wanted to teach sex education upfront like that. Anyway, that coward guy just ran off. Iwasaki  just stood there and cried before running away. Ichimaru’s just shocked over what he has saw. Looks like he’s not the only one with a relationship with a student.
 
Back at home, Ichimaru receives a phone call from Iwasaki to meet her and tells Asami that he’s going out to meet a friend in need. At the cafe, Iwasaki tells him that she ended the relationship with that student and Ichimaru promising not to leak this out. Well, to cut things short, as the series progresses you’ll find out that Iwasaki has a crush on Ichimaru. But since Ichimaru notices it’s getting late, he has to cut short their conversation and rush home only to find Asami sleeping on the floor and concludes that she must’ve been tired for waiting for him as he tugs her back in bed.
 
The second part sees Ichimaru and Asami having new neighbours moving in next door to them. It’s Sakura Mizunoshi and her little brother Sasuke. Hey, did they took those names from Naruto? They look quite keen on knowing Ichimaru and Asami well. And since Ichimaru and Asami can’t reveal their relationship, Ichimaru says Asami is her little sister. Sakura seems to be the flirting kind as she hugs Ichimaru and gives him some coupons to come visit her at a nightclub where she works. I hope Asami’s not jealous. Nope. Just surprised.
 
And Asami doesn’t even know what a nightclub is and thinks it’s a place involving different sweets and candies. *Smack*. But luckily she’s got Satomi and Kasumi to tell her about the adult stuffs. Must be real shocking, huh? Asami’s a little worried. Later that night, back at home, Sakura and Sasuke came over to have some party. Looks like Sakura’s another beer guzzler. Yeah, so many cans of it. And it seems Sakura’s making her move on Ichimaru boldly asking her to marry him now! She even hugs him! And she also signals Sasuke to do the same as he too enthusiastically hugs him. Is she drunk or just an act? However, Asami’s slip of her tongue to stop them and called "Danna-sama" (husband) prompts Sakura to be a little suspicious. But Asami quickly says "Onii-chan" (big brother).
 
And later on, when they got worned out and slept, Asami decided to take a bath and think things over when she heard another commotion. It seems Sakura’s all over Ichimaru again and wants him to marry her now. Asami can’t take this anymore and tells her to stop and was going to confess that she loves Ichimaru but faints shortly. When Sasuke said how awesome it would be if Asami’s her mom, Sakura got a little irritated, knocked his head an said "What do you mean, stupid son". Oops. Busted. Yup, Sakura is actually Sasuke’s mom. Yeah, I was wondering why she looked so young like a teenager. Maybe she got Sasuke when she’s an adolescent. Anyway the next day, Sakura genkily waves to Ichimaru as he goes off to work. Sasuke’s really taken a liking for Asami and calls her onee-chan. Yeah, after which everytime you see him, he just wants to hug Asami and rub his face in her bosoms. That perverted kid. Asami’s looking worried because even though they’re married, they can’t say it to anyone.
 
Doubts are rising in Ichimaru and Asami’s relatioship in episode 4. That’s because Asami spots him talking with Iwasaki at first, but nothing to it. And later when Asami went shopping to buy a shirt for Ichimaru, her 2 busybody pals thinks she bought it for her crush when Sasuke arrives and hugs her butt…?! Satomi’s pretty surprised that Asami’s got a little brother (remember Sasuke keeps calling Asami onee-chan). So no choice, Asami drags Sasuke and Sakura into a nearby alley and told her to keep that Ichimaru as her brother thingy a secret from those 2. Of course Sakura agrees to play along and later tells Satomi and Kasumi the shirt Asami bought is for her cousin whom she somehow refers as her onii-chan. Well, at least they bought it. So off Sakura goes to her work and drags Sasuke along. Meanwhile the trio spots Ichimaru and Iwasaki together at a restaurant. Of course you know both Asami and her 2 pals interpreted the situation differently as the latter thinks it’s a teacher to teacher thing. It seems that Iwasaki is trying to make her advances on Ichimaru by telling him not to leave her all alone and even puts his hand on her breasts! But the ol’ faithful Ichimaru (or rather blur case) still doesn’t know Iwasaki’s on to him. And because he doesn’t want to let Asami know what happened, back home he’s giving excuse like he’s working overtime and such, prompting Asami to be worried because she felt that he has lied to her.
 
So more of those indecisive feeling and spacing out from Asami in the second part. Though Ichimaru says he’s going out for dinner for some teacher’s gathering instead of staying home to eat Asami’s cooking, Asami feels that she can’t believe his words now. And at the gathering I’m not too sure if Iwasaki’s drunk or not, but it seems she can’t hold back her advances and tries to kiss him while Ichimaru tries to hold her back but they tripped and… she’s on top of him! Iwasaki apologized after that and some talk like how she thinks Ichimaru has someone else he likes and that she’s useless. But Ichimaru doesn’t thinks so, cheers her up a little and heads back into the restaurant. And when Ichimaru arrives home later, Asami rushes to him and flung her arms around him. As the 2 talk, though Ichimaru didn’t really say about that close encounter with Iwasaki, at least Asami believes in him.
 
Asami and Ichimaru’s secret is in danger in episode 5. That’s because Sakura and Sasuke spotted from their place, Asami giving Ichimaru a kiss! Thus they decide to pay Asami a visit. Because Asami had noticed them spying when they kissed, she’s a little worried. Then the turning point is when Asami tried to save Kuri who’s stuck on a tree but slipped and fell. Of course Asami’s initial reaction is to call out "Danna-sama" and this made Sakura confirmed that they’re not siblings. Eventually, Sakura found out the real truth and is disappointed that she can’t make Ichimaru hers anymore. But at least she accepted the fact. And that Sasuke… He’s still hugging and pining for Asami. Haih…
 
Ichimaru’s grandma decides to pay them a visit in the second part. Thing is, Ichimaru has never told her that Asami’s still in high school. And grandma is eagerly wanting them both to make a baby soon because she wants to hold her great grandchild in her arms! Though the duo tried to calm her down, and before you know it, grandma jumped to a conclusion that Asami’s already pregnant! Because of that grandma plans on staying at their place until Asami gives birth. To make things worse, Asami’s dad as usual barges in and finds out about Asami’s mistaken pregnancy and wants to void the contract. Grandma’s shocked to find out that Asami’s a high school student. Though disappointed, grandma soon leaves but vowed to live a long life until she sees her grandchild. Meanwhile, Sasuke who was spying on them, happily relates back to Sakura that Asami’s still a virgin and that contract thingy and is excited that he’s still got a chance and is gonna give it all! That perverted kid. Anyway, Sakura just give him a knock on his head. Though Asami wonders if their marriage will ever break down, she’ll wait for Ichimaru forever.
 
Ichimaru and Asami decides to go to the beach in episode 6. While taking a train there, Ichimaru bumps into Iwasaki who’s happening to board the same train as well. So Ichimaru has no choice but to accompany Iwasaki while Asami sits somewhere far behind. Seems Iwasaki is snuggling up close to him. But she was just joking. But Iwasaki got off the next stop because she’s heading to a different destination. Well at least Asami could sit back next to Ichimaru for the duration of the ride. At the beach, their day of fun is almost ruin when Asami spots Satomi and Kasumi there too. But because those 2 are blur heads, Asami manage to hide her face away from them as they walked pass. Oops, she nearly choked Ichimaru there when she covered his face (she buried him in the sand earlier on) to hide him from her pals. Then at the hot spring, that perverted Sasuke springs and hugs a naked Asami! Why that kid. Luckily Sakura’s there to knock his head and knows why he’s so eager to go on this trip. Later on, Sakura tied Sasuke to his bed and says it’s his bedtime. Yeah, she foresee what that perverted kid’s gonna do. In the middle of the night as Asami and Ichimaru slept close together, Ichimaru somehow felt Asami had shrunk but found out it’s actually Sasuke between them! How did he… When did he… And Sakura’s too drunk to notice it all.
 
It’s the fireworks festival in the second half as both Ichimaru and Asami continue to have their time together. Unfortunately, Asami finds Satomi doing a yakisoba stall and has to stand in temporarily for her because Satomi wants to go see her boyfriend. No choice for Asami since she doesn’t want her cover with Ichimaru to be blown. While Ichimaru’s alone, he bumps into Iwasaki and the 2 chat. Still trying to flirt isn’t she? When Satomi returns back and thanks Asami for standing in, she gives her a yakisoba as gratitude and mentions seeing Ichimaru walking off with Iwasaki. Oh the doubts are flowing back again. But even though Iwasaki asked Ichimaru out for a drink, he apologizes and says he has important matters to attend to before rushing off. Yup, soon he reunites with Asami much to her delight as they watched the fireworks and ate the yakisoba Asami brought. It was nearly like that Disney’s Lady And The Tramp scene where their lips nearly met as they suck the end of the yakisoba when Asami’s dad in a mask interrupts, surprising them. Though he’s busy slurping away the yakisoba, at least Asami’s glad that they could both watch the fireworks together.
 
In episode 7, Asami finds Ichimaru clutching his stomach in pain after Sakura and Sasuke came over to have some nabe with them during the summer vacation. As Asami takes Ichimaru to the hospital she saw Kasumi in the next bed and freaks out. Of course Satomi’s there too. So those 2 busybodies try to find out why Asami’s here when Sakura showed up and saves the day. Looks like she’s got some stomach pains too. After her pals left, Asami stayed by Ichimaru’s side the whole night and the next day is very relieved to find that Ichimaru’s okay. When they arrived home, they’re surprised to find Asami’s dad there. He’s mad that the house doors weren’t lock and tells them what if a thief comes in. But Asami’s dad actually came over to give them some stomach bands to keep their stomachs cool before leaving. Well, he’s not such a bad guy afterall.
 
In the second part, Asami and her 2 buddies are selected to be in some relay race. Because Asami isn’t that confident, Ichimaru decides to give her a reward if she wins. And that Asami thinks it’s… let’s say her first time with him. You know what I mean. So mostly Asami is trying and practicing hard for the event so much so her 2 pals also joined in after seeing such burning and determined spirit. Because of that, Asami often gets tired and even sleeps during Ichimaru’s class. But he knows what’s going on and let her be. In the end, sports day arrives and it’s being cancelled to next year. Why? Because it’s raining. I wonder why they can’t postpone it to next week or so. Anyway, Asami feels disappointed that all her efforts are wasted but Ichimaru says he’ll give her the reward for trying her best. And the reward is… an astronomy year book. What did she expect? In return, Asami gives Ichimaru a big heart and says that she’ll always treasure a reward from the heart.
 
Asami accidentally bumps into a guy Kouhei nicknamed Erosaki in the library in episode 8, revealling all his porn pics. Erosaki then told Asami not to touch those and pushes her away causing Asami to fall. Yup, Erosaki saw her panties and was taken into it. In Asami’s embarrassement she ran away. Later she relates the incident to her 2 friends and they told her that Erosaki is rumoured to be a first class adult video maniac. Wow. What a title. Later in the hallway, Erosaki tells Asami right in front of her friends and other students that he wants to film her with his video cam. Oh, the horror. Asami declined and her friends just took Asami along with them and walked away. And back at Sakura’s place, we see Sasuke having a heap of porn videos! And he’s fantasizing of doing it like this and like that with Asami only to get a kick from his mom. So Asami has this indecisive feeling of whether or not she’s attractive enough to Ichimaru and even appears herself wrapped only in a towel in front of Ichimaru. But Ichimaru isn’t a pervert and just pretends to continue reading his book. So are you gonna do it Asami?
 
In the second part, Asami got taken ‘hostage’ in the train when a woman accused a guy of stealing her purse. Luckily Erosaki’s there to save her but that guy flings Asami at him as they both fell down and bent Erosaki’s umbrella. Though the thief got away, Asami thanked him and doesn’t think that he’s such a bad guy as everyone thinks he is. Still wanting to show her gratitude, Asami decides to buy a new umbrella for him. But she got a little lost finding his place in the thunder storm before she finally manages to. Because she’s soaking wet, Erosaki told her to get a shower and borrowed her some of his dry clothes. Asami finds out that he’s filming for some contest and is editing his footage and only needs a girl to complete it, which he says Asami is the perfect one. With that Asami agrees and Erosaki starts filming. Asami told him she has to go home but I think Erosaki has a crush on her and wants to confess, pushing her onto his bed. Just then Erosaki’s sister came in. Wait a minute. Isn’t that Iwasaki?! Oh well, she’s here to visit his little bro. Soon Asami heads home and because it’s raining, she had to borrow the umbrella she bought for him to get back. Back home, Asami assures her eternal love for Ichimaru and says she loves him and wants to be loved by Ichimaru her her heart, body and everything as she plans to refuse that modelling thing the next time Asami returns the umbrella.
 
Because Asami and her pals failed some volleyball test in episode 9, they have to stay back for further practice. And it seems that Iwasaki is quite a pro volleyball player herself. As she tries to help them by showing them how to spike the ball and stuff, Ichimaru walks in and the ball hit his face, knocking him out cold. Iwasaki decides to take Ichimaru to the infirmary and tells Asami and co to finish the practice. Because Asami’s concerned about Ichimaru, she decides to go take a peek only to find Iwasaki with him there. And the 2 are like about gonna kiss. Well, that’s what Asami saw as she heads back to the gym only to be hit in the face by a volleyball shot from Satomi. Yeah, Asami ended up in the infirmary herself. Luckily a PA announcement saved the day and Iwasaki has to go to a teacher’s meeting. Later Iwaski’s wondering something fishy about those 2 when Erosaki comes rushing in to see if Asami’s okay and offers to walk Asami home while Iwasaki does the same thing for Ichimaru. How are they gonna solve this? They can’t be coming home at the same time, right? Lucky they didn’t. But Iwasaki and Erosaki bumped into each other outside the train station and wonders why the other’s here.  But at least, Asami and Ichimaru reassured themselves that they only loved each other and have nothing to do with the Iwasaki siblings.
 
Asami has to study for a test in the second part. So in order not to distract her from her studies, Ichimaru decides to help out with the household chores. Unfortunately, he sucked big time. Breaking plates and making the vacum cleaner stuck. And each time something goes wrong, Asami has to stop her studying and try and fix the mess. Even Sasuke came over to help but his in an awfully playful mood. I wonder if he’s really there to help. In the end, they both realized that they’re just making a nuisance as Asami has to help and do things eventually. Yeah, as though it’s better to ask her and do it in the first place. While Ichimaru’s feeling guilty, that irresponsible Sasuke just said that he’s going back and off he goes. No comment. Ichimaru then rushes out to buy some cook book so that he could at least cook breakfast for Asami tomorrow. Though Asami did an all-nighter, she finds a blanket on herself and finds out that Ichimaru’s doing the cooking. Though it isn’t that tasty with a few flaws here and there, at least Asami’s happy that he did his best for her sake as she heads to school after the meal.
 
In episode 10, Ichimaru decides to ask Asami to watch the night sky alone with him since he’s taking the night shift to watch the school that night. Iwasaki too knew of this and decides to use this chance to show Ichimaru her feminine side. That night arrives and Ichimaru contacts Asami to come once he has finished setting up the equipment. Unfortunately to Ichimaru’s surprise, Iwasaki’s there and greets him. She even made him dinner and tries to ‘seduce’ Ichimaru in that sexy pose while looking through the telescope. As fate would have it, Asami arrives and misinterprets the situation before running off. Ichimaru goes after her and tries to explain but Asami turned a deaf ear and continues running away. Ichimaru’s expressing how he got into this mess as we see Iwasaki eavesdropping their conversation nearby and is even more suspicious about the 2. And even back home, Asami’s sitting in the dark crying even though Ichimaru’s trying to explain things again to her. She’s really hurt even though it’s not his fault.
 
Iwasaki reveals to Ichimaru that she knows he’s dating Asami. Well, it’s better than knowing they’re married. Iwasaki promised not to leak this info to anybody provided that he stops seeing Asami. Now that’s gonna be tough. And Ichimaru’s slip of the tongue by thanking Iwasaki for it only confirms her suspicion that indeed the 2 are seeing each other. Later when Asami enters the lab to ask Ichimaru about Iwasaki, Ichimaru got a little panic and shoos her away. Ichimaru then noticed Iwasaki’s watching as she quips how adorable he is to obey her words. A misinterpreted situation but at least it’s better this way. Feeling mad, Asami decides to ‘get back’ b cooking some spicy dinner. This made Ichimaru to confess that Iwasaki knew of their secret. At least Asami’s heart’s at ease knowing that Ichimaru didn’t two-timed her. Just as they’re about to kiss, Sasuke barges in and wants to sleep with them since Sakura’s out working late. Asami allowed him and that kid slept the whole night hugging her like as though she’s his bolster. Finally, Ichimaru whispers to Asami that he’ll take her go see the stars for real some other time.
 
In episode 11, Asami decides to go to the supermarket to buy some miso soup ingredients. There the storekeeper (let’s just call him Storekeeper) instantly fell in love with Asami when he first laid eyes on the angel. Since Sakura and Sasuke were there too, Storekeeper managed to find out her name. After Asami has paid for her stuffs at the counter, Storekeeper proceeds to ask Sakura, who’s the next person in line, how is Asami related to that guy (Ichimaru). She replied that they’re siblings, which made Storekeeper very happy as he’s fantasizing he’s got an opportunity to court Asami. Oh oh. Another obstacle in their relationship. And Storekeeper even dressed nicely and waited for Asami at the train station. Once Asami arrived, he gave to her a bouquet of roses and boldly asked her to marry him! Of course Asami is in shock and just excused herself. His first rejection, huh?
 
Later on, Storekeeper meets Ichimaru walking pass by the supermarket and had a chat with him over tea. Storekeeper tells him how he’s in love with a high school girl but got rejected. Ichimaru of course didn’t know that the girl he’s talking about is Asami and gives him words of encouragement. Storekeeper gets excited and thanks Ichimaru. Back at home when Asami and Ichimaru talked about the day’s events, only did Ichimaru realized what’s going on. Soon Storekeeper comes calling at their doorstep. Asami asked Ichimaru not to tell him she’s in. It seems that Storekeeper’s here to ask Ichimaru’s permission to marry Asami and he’s getting all hyped up. Ichimaru put his foot down and told him he can’t. As Storekeeper asks for a reason, Asami appeared and tell him that she loves somebody else and wants to be with that person until the day she dies. Oh the heartbreak. Storekeeper then left very dejectedly. Though the 2 feel sorry for him but at least they know they’re true to each other. The next day, Asami meets Storekeeper in front of the supermarket and apologizes for last night. But it seems he has gotten over last night’s incident and we find out that he’s so happy because he patronned Sakura’s nightclub. Ah, I see… And he wants to do it again tonight. Oh well, at least he’s happy again.
 
The second part sees the class taking a 2 day 1 night camping trip to the woods. With the students busy with stuffs, here Iwasaki once again tries to make her move on Ichimaru. But he changed the subject and heads back to camp. Iwasaki’s not giving up yet. Later that night after the typical hot spring bath, when everyone’s asleep, Iwasaki sneaks out of her room only to bump into Erosaki as well. He tells her if he’s looking for Ichimaru, he’s already left. Meanwhile Satomi wakes up to find Asami gone from her bed too. It seems Asami and Ichimaru is on their secret tryst to watch the stars together alone. All seems clear until Iwasaki shows up. She tells Asami to go back to bed and the latter like a good girl does. So this is Iwasaki’s big chance. Though she got real close to Ichimaru, before Iwasaki could do anything, the light of a flashlight caught her by surprise. It seems Asami’s back with Satomi and Kasumi. It seems they too wanted to watch the stars. Safe in a way. Oh well, yet so close yet so far for Iwasaki. As they watched the beautiful night sky, Asami spots a shooting star and makes a wish that she hopes she could make many twinkling memories with Ichimaru, much more that the stars in the sky.
 
The 2 lovebirds had their big quarrel in episode 12. It all began when Asami accidentally spilled some tea and not only it scalded her hand but soaked Ichimaru’s book that was lying there. Initially, Ichimaru seems pretty concerned about the book more than Asami’s hand, prompting Asami to be a little upset. Ichimaru then tried to make things up by feeding Kuri with milk but spilled it when Asami says she wants to help. A little quarrel ensued before Ichimaru accidentally shoved Asami and with that Asami ran away in tears. When Ichimaru decides to go look for her, Asami’s dad came in bringing some takoyaki and is asking about Asami’s whereabouts. Ichimaru lied (in a guilty way) and said she went shopping. Furthermore, Asami’s dad is thinking of staying over tonight. Meanwhile, Asami’s sitting alone in the middle of the cold night on a swing and worrying about Ichimaru. Back home, Sakura and Sasuke came by. A sharp Sakura notices things and ‘asks’ if Asami had brought her coat when she went shopping. Soon, Ichimaru’s on his way. However once he left, Asami came home and they told her he just went out to meet her. The 2 tried their best to find each other and finally managed to do so at a railway crossing. In their joy they rushed to hug each other. More importantly, they apologized and make up.
 
Ichimaru receives a call at school from Storekeeper that Asami has collapsed in front of his store in the second half. This prompts Ichimaru to take an early leave and rush there. Iwasaki who overheard it asked Sonada what has happened and he replied that Ichimaru’s sister has come down with a fever and was taken to the hospital. And when Sonada mentions he never knew Ichimaru had a sister and thinks her name’s Asami, this further fuels Iwasaki’s suspicions. At the hospital, Asami tells Ichimaru that the doctor said she has a cold and is better for her to rest at home. Back home while feeding Kuri, Asami faints prompting Ichimaru to panic. He goes to find Sakura next door but Sasuke says she’s working at the nightclub. So Ichimaru and Sasuke played doctor. He even rushed out to the store to get some stuffs and even Storekeeper looks worried that he even says it’s okay to pay later since Ichimaru forgot to bring his wallet. Then back at home, Asami’s dad arrived and to his horror finds out about Asami’s condition and told her not to die! The 2 men for the first time cooperate to make some meal for Asami but they weren’t good at it. They can thank their lucky stars when Sakura arrived and took control of things by making some porridge. That night, though Asami’s cold has subsided, everybody is happy and Sakura says she still needs to rest. The next morning, Asami’s back to her normal self and thanking Ichimaru for his efforts. Just  as they’re about to kiss, the gruel Asami was cooking spilt over.
 
In episode 13, Iwasaki continued her investigation by asking Satomi and Kasumi if Asami has any siblings, which they said she’s an only child. When the 2 relate it to Asami later, Asami is worried that Iwasaki may find out about their marriage. Iwasaki even told Ichimaru that she doesn’t know he has a little sister, making Ichimaru worried a little. And at the cafe, Iwasaki adviced Ichimaru that it’s not good to be in love with one’s siblings. But it seems Ichimaru has to be careful with what he says as it may give rise to their secret being exposed. Yeah, a lot of psychoing stuffs Iwasaki’s trying to say to him like how bold he is to date his student and how siblings shouldn’t get married. Oh oh. It’s getting deeper and deeper. Ichimaru soon takes his leave but forgot his briefcase. Iwasaki then decides to take it back for him. Storekeeper then called Asami and told her that Iwasaki was just asking him directions to Ichimaru’s house causing her to panic a little.
 
Iwasaki arrived in front of Ichimaru’s house and thinks he’s not home yet since there’s no light. Ichimaru then just arrived and is surprised to see Iwasaki there. He thanks her for bringing his briefcase and says he’ll take it from here but Iwasaki feigns chest pains so Ichimaru had no choice but to take her in. While Asami’s hiding and inside the house, Iwasaki notices how clean the place is (like as though there’s a woman cleaning it) and there’s even dinner ready for 2 people. She even spots a bra and panties in the pile of clothes and says that he lied about living alone and that he lives with Asami. Ichimaru’s cornered. He can’t come up with anymore excuses. Just then, Asami saw a dead cockcroach in Kuri’s palms. She screams in fear and runs out of the room where she’s hiding and grabs hold of Ichimaru, asking her danna-sama to save her. Iwasaki now saw the whole thing and is very sure that they’re married. With tears swelling up in her eyes, Iwasaki runs out of the house. Asami wonders what will happen to them since their marriage’s been discovered.
 
The morning of the previous night’s aftermath in the second part sees how the 2 couple vow they’ll always be with each other no matter what. In school, Ichimaru’s been called by the principal to his office. Upon arriving, he finds Iwasaki there and thinks that she may have exposed his secret. Without haste, Ichimaru quickly hands over his resignation letter, shocking everybody. He says he has all the legal documents and apologizes for the trouble caused before walking out. Kasumi overheard this at the teacher’s office when the principal came in and told the other teachers of Ichimaru’s sudden resignation. Kasumi rushed to the cafe where Asami and Satomi is and told them about it. Asami then got up and leave. At the park, Ichimaru’s sitting on the swing alone when Iwasaki comes by. She tells him that she didn’t exposed his secret as she went to the principal’s office to get a replacement for her winter shift and she thought Ichimaru might be able to do so. With that, Ichimaru felt relieved.
 
Just then Asami arrived but heard Ichimaru confessed to Iwasaki that he’s married to Asami and apologized for holding it from here because there’s no other girl he loves more than Asami. Asami then rushes over to hug him. Iwasaki assures them that she won’t expose their secret. Though she’s sad she can’t be with him anymore, she can’t bear to see the person she loves sad and wish them both happiness as it started snowing. Back home, Asami and Ichimaru are celebrating Christmas together and finds that the present they gave each other are the same, an orange scarf. Are they going to do their first time? Woah! They’re going for it. Oops. Asami’s dad comes in in a Santa suit. Hey, those 2 seems to be sitting back in their original positions fully clothed. Maybe they’ve come to anticipate his arrival, huh? Soon, Sakura, Sasuke and Storekeeper arrives to celebrate Christmas at their place. As the gang celebrates (yeah, Sakura giving some wrestling moves on Sasuke), Asami and Ichimaru looked outside their snowy courtyard with Asami asking Ichimaru to continue loving her forever and ever. Yup, and they finally kissed.
 
Overall, I kinda enjoyed this series. But the fansub note at the end seems to indicate otherwise. Uh-huh. It stated something like "We hope you enjoyed this series as much as we hated subbing it". That bad huh? But thanks anyway for putting in their ‘love and effort’ into subbing the series.
 
Though the drawing, art and animation seems to be pretty standard to me, I can’t help but find the faces of the characters a little ‘stretched’. Meaning in a way it made the characters look a little chubby and sometimes I feel that their eyes are a little further apart than they should. And I still can’t believe those young adults look so much like teenagers. Though the main cast of characters are relatively small, at least indirectly they played a little part in ‘strengthening’ Asami and Ichimaru’s love. Some you just love to hate (like Asami’s dad), some blur cases (like Asami’s pals), and some you just want to land a knock on the head (like Sasuke).
 
The opening theme song Love Love Chu Chu, sung by Ayako Kawasumi (who is also the voice actress for Asami) sounds quite cute and fitting for this anime. Whereas the ending theme song Ai No Koneko, sung by the voice actresses of Asami, Kasumi and Satomi, has all those trumpets blazing with the end credits shows Asami in various sexy poses. Well yeah, ecchi right till the end. But don’t worry it’s not ecchi the whole way. So for those of you whose threshold of ecchiness is very very extremely low, then I suppose you don’t wanna watch this one.
 
More importantly, people could learn a thing or two about maintaining and sustaining their love relationship or marriage like these 2. Just like how most episodes end with Asami narrating some love words of encouragement such as to keep on loving her with lots of love. Just like in the next episode preview "So love me lots and lots next week". Haih… If only everybody in the world is like them. Wouldn’t it be so much better this way? But more importantly… can I be like that or will I find someon like too?

War, war, war. Conflict, conflict, conflict. Fighting, fighting, fighting. Have we heard enough about it already. Well yeah, how unfortunate to say that it’s all part of our blood and culture. So much so that without it, it won’t make us humans at all. But in Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na – Crescent Love, the war is supposedly over and an uneasy peace reigns over the 2 feuding races, the humans of planet Earth and those lunar people on the Moon. Were you expecting aliens or dark creatures like vampires? Nope, it’s homo sapiens and homo sapiens. They’re just from different places.
 
You won’t really get to see any bloodshed war violence in this 12 episode anime. Which is I think a good thing. Since there isn’t any action in this series, this is another of those fantasy rather than science fiction (with people living on the Moon, of course) because it has some comedy and romance elements in it. Originally this was a pc game which is adapted to an anime series later on. But I’m not sure how close the show follows the game.
 
And as seen in the first episode, the first few minutes narrates the aftermath of the deadliest war between the 2 races. You know, it ended with both sides taking serious damage and casualties. So you’ve guessed it that it all takes place in the near future. Many years then passed and we have this beautiful Moon princess, Princess Feena Fam Earthlight (do Moon people have weird sounding names too?), princess of her Sphere Kingdom on the Moon, along with her clumsy maid, Mia Clementis, decides to visit planet Earth for a homestay to get to know the planet well before she becomes queen.
 
Back on Earth, we’re introduced to a high schooler guy Tatsuya Asagiri, who’ll probably be the main protagonist by the looks of things, and other characters relating to him who’d probably be regulars as well. Like his little sister Mai, who’s part of some school band and plays the flute (but you won’t see her do that as the show progresses) and his classmate and close friend, Natsuki Takamizawa, whom I thought (and was even hoping) has feelings for Tatsuya but nil. Just his normal average friend.
 
Maybe the inflation in the future is quite high or parents don’t give them enough pocket money or they have to many wants and needs. That’s because after school, Tatsuya and Natsuki works at the latter’s restaurant, Trattoria, who’s also owned by her dad-cum-chef, Samon. Natsuki also has an elder brother, Jin, who also works as a co-worker there. Jin is the one providing most of the comic relief in this series. For instance, Jin likes to tease Natsuki especially about her bad cooking (which is true) and even calls her ‘Carbon Master’, because of her ability to turn edibles into charcoal black… whatever that is it’s turned into. And usually Natsuki would throw him out of the window or hit him away with the wooden rice scoop. Another funny part is, when Jin breaks something from the restaurant, Samon always tell Jin that the damage will be coming out from his pay, much to Jin’s dismay. As the series progresses, you’ll notice that his debt has run up so high, it’s like he’ll be working his entire life for free! And possibly his next 10 lives. Bad luck? Yeah, his dad seems to do so even if it’s not his fault. Must be the scape goat, huh? I guess if you look at it in a way, the rest has a ‘clean sheet’ so might as well put it all into this one. But generally, Samon’s a pretty nice and fair person. Maybe all this is just a joke. Maybe not. It isn’t clear (and Jin’s debts) in the end either.
 
Anyway, Tatsuya has been persuaded to go home early. Seeing nothing wrong to it Tatsuya arrives home (just next door?!) to be informed by his elder sister, Sayaka, that the princess of the Moon will be living with them for her homestay. Mai looks like she’s in shock mode, just sitting there staring blankly. Now why would a princess like her live at a commoner’s home instead of some luxurious 5 star hotel. Firstly, Princess Feena isn’t the snobbish but the humble type. Secondly, Sayaka’s the primary secretary to the United Nations (UN) and what better way for someone with political ties between the Earth and Moon to guide her around. And thirdly, she likes Tatsuya. Okay, maybe that one you’ll find out later in the series. By the way, Sayaka dislikes the idea of being called old (typical lady who doesn’t want to acknowledge the reality of aging). There’s one time where the President of UN is complimenting Sayaka of her efforst both at work and home, so much so she says she’s like a mother to her other siblings. Hehehe. Her intentions were good but if you look at this way, it would indicate that Sayaka’s… Hey, luckily she didn’t take that too personally.
 
As Princess Feena takes her first step into the house from their garden, she trips! Shocking everyone a little. But as soon as she got up, as if it’s like some random reaction, Tatsuya approaches her and pinches her nose! WAH! Can you do that to a princess? But Tatsuya explains that’s his way of affection. Strange one. So in Mai’s perception, everytime Tatsuya or his family/friends does something that is deemed inapropriate to Princess Feena, Mai would shiver in fear (in a funny way) and would wildly imagine she and her family being executed whether by a gilotin or crucifix in public. Luckily Princess Feena says that there’re no laws to punish those who show their affection. Safe. But it seems that Princess Feena has met Tatsuya before when they’re younger but Tatsuya doesn’t remember. Especially that nose pinching incident. Uh-huh. Seems like Tatsuya’s a ‘habitual offender’ since young.
 
And as usual, everyone heads next door for a welcoming party for the princess. And while enjoying the food, suddenly some old bugger comes out from underneath the princess’s skirt! A pervert? Well, he’s actually Takashi Takano, the world’s greatest photographer AKA The Great Master. Because he has some ties with the Kingdom Of Sphere, he has been given approval by Princess Feena’s dad, King Lyones Theo Earthlight, to document her studies on Earth. Takano is quite an experienced photography having done the same for Princess Feena’s mom, the late Queen Cephilia (who seems to be a splitting image of Princess Feena), and her grandma too. With the ability to just pop up anywhere, Takano has an assistant (let’s just call him Assistant) to help him with stuffs and he always give him 3 seconds to do it, mostly running away, that is. And yes, according to my observation, Takano’s subtly a pervert. The episode ends with some strange blonde little girl, Wreathlit Noel, who looks like Piyoko of Di Gi Charat or Cosette from Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette, watching them from above. And I mean she’s hovering above outside the restaurant. Can humans fly too? Maybe she’s not what she seems to be. And for the next few episodes, you’ll see her short presence here and there and wonder what’s she doing or up to.
 
But being a princess doesn’t mean just staying at home all day long or go shopping. Yup, in episode 2, Princess Feena decides to become a transfer student in Tatsuya’s class. And Natsuki’s really freaking out. Though Mia wants to accompany her, Princess Feena doesn’t allow her to, much to Mia’s dismay. While walking to school, Princess Feena is fascinated by the natural stuffs here like trees and rivers while those on the Moon are all artificial. Well, in the first place, the Moon isn’t a place to live. And if you want to establish life there it has got to be all artificial. There isn’t a call number to ask God to please plant some greens there.
 
At school, Tatsuya’s class are shocked to find the princess of the Moon will be schooling with them for the duration of her homestay. Naturally, because she’s a royalty, everyone avoids talking to her so as to avoid saying something unpleasant. Soon, Natsuki and her friend, Midori Touyama, broke the ice and they’re like chatting like good friends. But Natsuki’s slip of the tongue saying that the princess is residing at Tatsuya’s home, got all the guys dragging Tatsuya out the class and ‘questioning’ him. I don’t know what Tatsuya said but at least he manage to satisfy all their queries.
 
Also it seems that Princess Feena is quite good in kendo. During lunch, Mia comes to visit the school to bring Princess Feena her lunch but was scolded instead. Lucky nice ol’ Tatsuya defended her actions. Remember how pervert that Takano guy is? Yeah, he suddenly pops out and shows his documentary work about a pic of Feena changing into her PE uniform! Of course Princess Feena snatches it away and blushes. Now how is that documentary like? Soon Takano runs away on his Assitant’s shoulders.
 
Though Tatsuya wants to take Princess Feena around after school, it seems that she has been called to perform her duties as a princess and is being escorted away by the military ambassador of the Sphere Kingdom, Karen Clavius. Later that night Princess Feena returns to Tatsuya’s home and finds him standing there and the 2 had some chat. Can’t sleep, huh? Is this an early symptom for a love sick guy? Just kidding. Anyway before you know it, Tatsuya pulls off another one of his nose pinching affection but quickly withdraws and apologizes when he realized what he has done. Good thing, Princess Feena doesn’t seem perturbed by it. See, bad habits die hard.
 
I felt that episode 3 is just some filler episode. Firstly, Princess Feena decides to do part time job as a waitress at Trattoria, gets to know more about her waitressing job, smiles a lot and what happens when customer see a beautiful princess serving them? They’d want to be served by her, right? I guess it’s a way to attract customers into their restaurant. Besides Jin trying to make an accident so that Princess Feena could fall into his loving arms (yeah, right loser) and failing at it, the main thing about this episode is the cooking competition between Princess Feena and Natsuki as suggested by Jin. With 2 pretty ladies duking it out, who wouldn’t want to go watch this Iron Chef competition.
 
The competition starts with Samon, Sayaka, Takano as the judges. And they randomly pulled in Wreathlit from the public as the 4th judge. What the? As predicted and expected, Princess Feena’s a multi-talented lady serving up mouth watering dishes after dishes while Natsuki lived up to her Carbon Master name. Yup, in short Princess Feena won. Wreathlit looking quite full and satisfied there. Natsuki’s feeling depressed later but is consoled by nice guy Tatsuya (though he teasingly calls her Carbon Master) as he pinches her nose and eats a piece of her cooking to prove her wrong that nobody will ever eat her cooking. The next day, though it wasn’t Princess Feena’s fault when one of her cooking ends up burnt, Tatsuya still picks it up and eats it and says he didn’t have a chance to taste her cooking yesterday, which made her feel a little happy. Maybe he’s just hungry or his taste buds impeded by the Carbon Master’s cooking. Just kidding.
 
Episode 4 is another filler episode, but a funny one too. There’s this part where Princess Feena, Natsuki and Tatsuya were walking along the river bank when they saw a dog being swept away by the current. Princess Feena then decides to rescue the dog by jumping in as well. Tatsuya and Natsuki’s watching and waiting… Several seconds has passed… The exciting music in the background is still playing… The princess hasn’t resurfaced yet! So funny to expect Princess Feena to resurface but it didn’t. Well, she did resurface later with the dog. Only thing is, she doesn’t know how to swim. Uh-huh. Jin who’s passing by asks what’s going on. Before he knows it, Natsuki throws him into the river and asks him to save the princess but his leg got cramped and soon flows down the waterfall. You missed your big chance buddy. Of course Tatsuya jumps in and manages to pull her and the dog to safety. Now the CPR part. Can Tatsuya do it? Reminds you of Sleeping Beauty, doesn’t it? Well, Tatsuya buddy, you missed your chance too. That’s because Wreathlit subtly did some finger waving magic thingy which causes Princess Feena to spit water out onto Tatsuya’s face. At least she’s okay now.
 
Then back at home, that perverted Takano’s using Tatsuya’s room and showing him video clips of Princess Feena, Sayaka, Natsuki and even Mia bathing! Though Tatsuya’s against it all, Mai happened to walk pass by and saw. You know what this means. Oh yeah, Takano’s gone already. That guy… To make things worse, Natsuki and Princess Feena walked in to see what the commotion is all about. You know what this means too. Luckily the girls forgave him later.
 
Also, we find out that Tatsuya’s dad, Chiharu, is some sort of an Indiana Jones kinda adventurer and is currently missing during one of his expeditions (something involving aliens) when Mia asked about some locked room in the attic. It’s actually their dad’s laboratory filled with ancient artifacts but because nobody has entered it for some time, it’s quite dusty and dirty. So Mia and Princess Feena suggests that they want to help clean the place up. While cleaning, a bug flew passed by causing Mia to freak out and faint. Princess Feena in her haste and panic along with Tatsuya and Mai, trip and fell down the stairs on their way out which causes Tatsuya to faint and Mai to chase imaginary butterflies…?! Realizing that Mia’s been left behind, Princess Feena contacts Karen and informs her about the emergency situation and soon arms herself Rambo style with that huge machine gun and dashes back in to save Mia.
 
Princess Feena’s scanner detects several bugs approaching. Because of that she just started shooting everywhere! There goes all the artifacts. Once everything settle down, she checks on Mia, who seems to be okay now. Soon the scanner picks up more approaching bugs but this time Princess Feena’s out of bullets. No choice, Mia arms herself with a knife while Princess Feena with a bug spray and prepares for the worst. Luckily Karen comes by in her helicopter and the 2 manage to get on it before Karen fires some missiles at the room!!! Now the whole room’s completely destroyed! Their next door neighbours must be watching all this in shock. Now that’s really an overkill. Later on, Sayaka’s giving them a lecture of what they have done. Princess Feena apologizes but Tatsuya says it’s okay and she should rely on him if she has any problems in the future. Meanwhile, Jin’s still lost floating…
 
What harem anime (okay, maybe an indirect one) would be without a beach episode with the girls in their swimsuits. That’s what it is in episode 5 when the gang takes a trip on a cruiser for their summer vacation only to be washed up on a deserted island when their cruiser blows up in the middle of the ocean. So of course they try their best by delegating duties for survival and at the same time have their fun. And that Wreathlit girl… I mean, she’s mysteriously there when Princess Feena gave her some watermelons but soon disappears. Hmm… Some people can get real dangerous when they’re drunk. Like how Sayaka pins down Karen sobbing how she doesn’t have a boyfriend and Assistant doing the same thing to Takano. And as for Jin, his makeshift raft fell apart. Yeah, stranded again.
 
But this episode also provide a little insights of how Princess Feena met Tatsuya. Princess Feena tells Tatsuya her story at night when the 2 are alone at a cliff. It seems Princess Feena has set foot on Earth when she was young and was found crying alone on a park bench by a young Tatsuya then. Princess Feena’s mom has just recently departed as Tatsuya found out and consoled her by telling her that his mom too had passed away. He also finds out that she’s from the moon, the reason why he’s keen on visiting the Moon and taking Moon Studies as one of his core subjects today. Just before Tatsuya could ask her name, several men in blacks, supposedly her bodyguard or something, proceeded to whisk her away. Not before Tatsuya told her how he promise to come visit her on the Moon someday.
 
Just then, Tatsuya realized that Princess Feena’s the one whom he met back then as she formally introduces herself and apologizes for not doing so earlier on. Tatsuya’s glad she came to Earth to meet him though he would’ve prefered to go to the Moon and meet her. Princess Feena too felt glad that she remembered his promise and to have met Tatsuya. Some lovey-dovey moments here and there but nothing that serious. Later when the gang regroups to their horror that they find out that this isn’t a deserted island after all. Yeah, there’s a civilization on the other side of the island. And since it was all part of Takano’s scheme, the rest of them are quite angry when Takano gives his usual 3 seconds order to his Assistant for their escape. But unfortunately, Assistant ran off by himself leaving Takano behind. I guess you reap what you sow. Hmmm… That Wreathlit girl’s sitting on a bench outside some shop eating a popsicle.
 
Things are starting to get a little serious in episode 6 when we see representatives of Earth and the Moon in some heated argument but managed to be calmed down by the President of Earth. Wreathlit’s role too is starting to get serious as we hear some inner voice in her, who calls herself Fiacca, reminding her of her mission not to let Princess Feena and Tatsuya get close to each other as she watches them chat from across the street. Besides that usual ‘lover’s accident’ like Tatsuya dreaming of Princess Feena wanting to give him something but woke up when he fell out of bed, and at school where both their hands met at the same time when they tried to reach for the dropped eraser, Tatsuya saves Wreathlit who stopped right in the middle of the road (probably listening to the voice in her head) from a speeding car. Hey, didn’t her eyes just turned red?
 
Maybe it’s Wreathlit’s seemingly state of shock that prompts Tatsuya and Princess Feena to take her back to Trattoria. There Princess Feena tries to wash Wreathlit’s hat with a dishwasher (?! ) because earlier on, Tatsuya dropped a melting ice cream on it, while the rest are asking Wreathlit some questions but she just sit there quietly. Thinking that she may be hungry, Natsuki brings out some food, which she digs in after her stomach growls. While doing so and observing the happy people around them, we hear Fiacca blabbing about not wanting the history between Earth and the Moon to repeat again as Wreathlit takes her hat and leaves. Yeah, maybe she’s tired of hearing her voice because it sounded like a mother-in-law. Possible. Fiacca told her to return and complete her duty but Wreathlit just ignores her and continued walking.
 
Later, Princess Feena is a little upset that Wreathlit left without saying anything and wonders if she’s mad but Tatsuya says that it’s okay and it’s not her fault to begin with. Tatsuya gives her another one of his nose pinching affection when Princess Feena seems to blame herself for causing other people trouble because she sees things from a princess’s persepctive. Then back at Tatsuya’s room, Sayaka comes in and asks if he likes Princess Feena. Of course, since he does but wants to maintain that male ego, he stammers and didn’t really give a clear answer. But he soon denies he has any feelings for her when Sayaka told him about the huge responsibilities that a princess must shoulder. And at the Moon Embassy, Princess Feena’s doing some paperwork and Karen notices her talk always has Tatsuya in it and proceeds to tell him the ‘discrimartory’ thingy like she’s from the Moon and he’s from Earth. Have we heard this kind of story many times before. Because so, Princess Feena has some doubts and when she comes back home, she just walks pass by Tatsuya without saying anything. So is your love thicker or some political status and stature more important? And I think if you’ve seen lots of this kind of story before, you’d probably guess how it’ll all turn out and end.
 
So in episode 7, a lot of spacing out and indecisiveness from those 2 lovebirds, so much so that they can’t look each other in the eye. So irritating. And everyone around them notices that they both aren’t acting like themselves. Furthermore, Princess Feena announces that she won’t be in school for a few days because duty calls. So lots of talking here and there bla bla bla. But the signs of trouble begin when Princess Feena returns home and bumps into Tatsuya there. But they find a pair of boots upon entering the house. Looks like they have a guest. Upon entering the living room, Princess Feena recognizes the guest as Jurgen Von Kruger, the young general of the Royal Army of the Moon and the fiancee of Princess Feena! He looks like your typical good looking guy but the arrogant, scheming and evil kind. And that’s what he is. Like how Mai accidentally spilled some tea on his uniform, at first he just smiled and asked if Mai’s okay, but later on he puts on a disgusted face and says how filthy those Earthlings are to touch him. @$$hole.
 
Jurgen is here to check on his future bride and soon leaves after shortly meeting Tatsuya. That night, Princess Feena and Jurgen are having their kendo practice together. Jurgen easily beats her and tell her to stop her futile plans to peacefully co-exist with Earthlings before leaving. Oh oh. This bastard is the kind where he wants to have an all-out war with the other race and living together harmoniously isn’t in his vocabulary. Of course he can’t act too rash or it will seem too obvious. So a discouraged Princess Feena had a little chat with Karen and likewise Natsuki with Tatsuya. I can’t believe that a girl had to tell him and make him realize that he’s in love. Because of that Tatsuya is determined and knows what to do as he rushes out of his home over to the Moon Embassy whereby Karen then tells him to meet Princess Feena at the park. There, Princess Feena still can’t look Tatsuya in the eye and tries avoiding him. But after some words from Tatsuya like not to run away and that he wants to go through and overcome all the sorrow and pain together and all that crap lovers say. Finally after all that talk, Tatsuya confesses to her that he loves her. Finally.
 
So in episode 8, no doubt Princess Feena is surprised at first but she feels the same way about Tatsuya. The 2 then head back to the Moon Embassy to discuss it with Karen but the latter seems to disagree with their relationship. She’s afraid of the complications that may arise with both races if their relationship carries on. Therefore Karen wants Tatsuya to duel Princess Feena in a week’s time as a test. And back home, Tatsuya explains it to Sayaka and Mai, who decides to support him afterall.
 
As Tatsuya tries to practice his kendo match with Princess Feena, he realizes that he’s no match for her. Takano then appears and propose to train him since he has trained the Royal Troops before. Surprise surprise. Anyway Tatsuya agreed to be his student and they began training at the mountains. So more talking and doing stuffs to cheer things up by the characters at home or at school which I felt are like time fillers for the episode. In a way, you could say that everyone is trying to be supportive of those 2.
 
The match day arrives (midnight actually) as the 2 prepare to fight with Karen as the referee. Though after all that training and much effort, Princess Feena is still the better kendo fighter and wins the match. Soon Karen asks them if they have given up. Of course the 2 remain steadfast and proceed to tell her all those I-won’t-give-up-or-abandon-my-hopes-and-dreams-for-my-loved-one kinda talk. With that Karen approves of their relationship and assures them of her support. It seems that the kendo duel isn’t the real test but the one from their hearts. Fresh and refreshed from the recent events, Tatsuya and Princess Feena hold hands and is about to kiss when they find out that everyone’s watching them. Close shave. Let’s not be hasty. And after everyone left, Princess Feena then replies her confession back to Tatsuya that she loves him too. Yay. Happy ending? Not just yet. Wreathlit’s watching them from above with Fiacca telling her how their relationship cannot continue any further.
 
So everbody is back to their happy-selves in episode 9. Mai even imagines her bro and Princess Feena being all lovey-dovey. Even Midori’s asking Princess Feena is she’s fallen in love with someone on the Moon because she looked so happy. But as Princess Feena says he’s more like a guy on Earth, Natsuki manage to stop and ‘silence’ her before she carelessly reveals Tatsuya’s name. Back on Sphere Kingdom, Karen tells King Lyones about his daughter’s relationship with Tatsuya. Of course King Lyones doesn’t approve of it because he thinks Jurgen as his daughter’s future husband. Jurgen overhears their conversation and comes in, asking Karen about Princess Feena. Karen told him the truth and all that before leaving. Unfortunately, as part of Jurgen’s scheming plans, he orders his Royal Army guards to arrest and take Karen into custody.
 
Back down on Earth, Tatsuya and Princess Feena are spending their time together. Takano is doing his usual spying but Assistant tells him to leave them alone. You go boy. And after some talking and as they’re about to kiss, they’re being interrupted by Wreathlit. You should’ve done that faster. Oh wait a minute, I did just say not to do things so hasty, did I? Hehehe… Gomen. At first they’re relieved to see Wreathlit again after she’d gone missing from Trattoria but Wreathlit unleashes some energy ball towards them. Woah. Now she can shoot energy balls. Furthermore, she changed her costume from a cute goth-loli maid one to a sexy intergalactic outfit. Plus, she turned into a grown up know with Fiacca taking over.
 
So some fighting, dodging and some talking like how Fiacca says she doesn’t want to hurt Princess Feena and once she eliminates Tatsuya her mission will be completed and how Princess Feena and Tatsuya won’t allow it and how they won’t leave each other. The 2 try to escape when Fiacca uses the leaves of the forest to slice and attack them. Tatsuya protects Princess Feena and got a little injured. The 2 are exhausted when they arrive at another part of the park as Tatsuya seeks an explanation on why Wreathlit/Fiacca’s doing this. She explains that war thing between Earth and Moon which she doesn’t want to happen again and something like she was created out of it. Huh? Though Princess Feena tries to convince her that as long as both parties get along well and understand each other, a war is impossible, she attacks them again.
 
Fiacca then raises some underground cables and whacks Tatsuya unconscious and wraps Princess Feena in them. Darn. She destroyed the beautiful park by uprooting something which takes years of careful planning and laying. Couldn’t she just use a tree? Maybe she doesn’t want to harm any living them except Tatsuya. But at the rate she’s going, it doesn’t matter right? Fiacca creates an energy dagger ready to stab Tatsuya as Princess Feena frantically pleads her to stop. Suddenly Wreathlit tells Fiacca to stop because this will create another sad memory and wants to observe them both a little longer. Though Fiacca says her ultimate aim won’t change, she agrees. Well, you should’ve said it earlier to save us all from this trouble. Maybe she wanted to open their eyes and make them sweat a little.
 
Soon Fiacca releases Princess Feena as the latter rushes to Tatsuya’s side to see if he’s okay. Before she turned back into Wreathlit, she told Princess Feena how she admires her courage and Karen has been arrested on the Moon. Fiacca also indicates that it might be her fault and reminds her that a war may errupt before leaving. At least Princess Feena is very determined of what to do now to end it all. Is Wreathlit regretting it all? I mean, we see her getting all teary-eyed and saying sorry at the end of it.
 
Thus in episode 10, Princess Feena along with Mia decides to go back to her Sphere Kingdom and talk things out with her father. While having an audience with her dad, she notices that he is unaware about Karen’s imprisonment. Then the usual ‘I love him’ regardless of his status line which the father doesn’t approve but Princess Feena’s words prompts King Lyones to remember something very similar to him and Queen Cephilia back then. It seems King Lyones was a commoner back then and he and Cephilia were very much in love with each other despite all the odds and barriers. They eventually got married. Yeah, that’s mainly what this episode is about, King Lyones’s flashback. But I don’t feel like going into all that details. And oh, it seems Chiharu has a hand in setting up those 2 together and those 2 guys are like best friends too. Also, Takano and his punk-styled Assistant’s there too. So the reason why he doesn’t approve of his daughter’s relationship is that he doesn’t want her to go through the same ‘love hurts’ process like he did.
 
Meanwhile Karen has escaped her imprisonment and fled to Earth as Jurgen announces to King Lyones. The latter then gives Jurgen permission to use whatever means to get that newly branded traitor back. Back on Earth while the President and Sayaka are discussing with the other Earth representatives about their current situation, Tatsuya is sulking and feeling mad that Princess Feena had left him alone and went back to the Moon when they had promised to do things together. If you think about it, she cares for you boy. Plus, Tatsuya’s recuperating from that injury he got during that Wreathlit/Fiacca encounter.
 
Just then Karen comes in and explains things. She’s thinking of taking Tatsuya back to the Moon. Karen made a mistake of bringing back Princess Feena alone because they’re only both strong when they’re together and not as an individual. And that was what the kendo test earlier on was for. United we stand divided we fall. And after some talk full of encouragement and hope, Tatsuya is now determined and says goodbye to Mai and Natsuki before following Karen back to the Moon.
 
Karen and Tatsuya has arrived at the Moon in episode 11 but encounters a little resistance. Reminds me of that Star Wars when the rebels took on the Death Star. Though Jurgen has ordered his men to fire at the intruder, Karen manage to dodge the laser beams. Meanwhile Princess Feena, who’s been curfewed in her room, looks out her window to see what all that commotion is about and to her surprise saw Tatsuya along with Karen. She’s sad that she can’t do anything.
 
For once Mia did something useful by opening the docking bay so that Karen could land her ship. I wonder how Mia knows all that technical stuff. Upon arrival, Karen gives Tatsuya a practice sword as his defence as they hurried into the base. Hey, wait a minute. How come Wreathlit’s here too. How did she come here? Don’t tell me she can teleport as well. Meanwhile Jurgen tells King Lyones that some agreements with Earth is in process but is actually sending fleets of warships to attack Earth. And back on Earth, the Earthlings are panicking to see and hear what’s happening and what’s unbelievable is that the news reported that the cause of this was the princess’s homestay!
 
Jurgen who found out that Mia was the one who let Karen in, takes her back to Princess Feena’s room and asks the princess to punish her. But Mia reminded Princess Feena all that promise thingy with Tatsuya which made Jurgen mad and aggressive towards Mia. Princess Feena put her foot down and with that Jurgen left. Then, Princess Feena calls out Takano and his assistant who’s been hiding in the ceiling (they’re here too?) and tells him that she needs to meet her dad for the sake of peace. In which, Takano gives her some sword which she uses it to easily slice the high-tech door into several pieces.
 
Karen and Tatsuya are taking care of some obstacles in the form of the Royal Army but manage to overpower them all. You wonder if those guards are properly trained, some even losing to a kendo beginner. Maybe it’s all in his determination. Soon Tatsuya bumps into Princess Feena. Though they’re happy to see each other, the first thing Tatsuya did was to pinch her nose! Uh… No comment. So some short talk before they hug each other as they prepare themselves to go meet King Lyones grasping each other hand’s tightly. No turning back now. Better hurry because the Earth and Moon battle fleets are getting ready to zap each other and repeat history.
 
The final episode 12 begins with both citizens of Earth and Moon watching anxiously the news of the impending war. Princess Feena and Tatsuya meets King Lyones whereby Tatsuya formally introduces himself, surprising the royal officials. As Takano is broadcasting live their audience, a lot of convincing talk from the 2 on how they’ll strive for a peaceful future. And Tatsuya’s classmates think it must be some debating show as they cheered on them both. And after those 2 declared their undying love for each other, Jurgen has had enough of this crap and decides to do things his way now. He and his supporters then tell the king that the arrangements with Earth is fake and he’s planning to have an all-out war with the other side and something about using the Moon’s ultimate weapon that was used during the previous war. Now Jurgen looks like a psycho. I wonder why Jurgen hates Earthlings so much and thinks his Moon citizens are superior to the former. I mean, both races are still humans and come from the same place a long time ago, right?
 
Jurgen then pin points his gun towards the king and takes him hostage. Threatening him and mocking him by saying that his time is over and now it’s his turn to rule. Typical megalomaniac. Princess Feena and Tatsuya’s persuasion seems futile until Takano reveals he has broadcast everything what Jurgen has said live. With that, Karen and her team of female special forces barges in and arrests the traitors. So easy. But not yet. Jurgen still refuses to give up as he swiftly knock one of the special forces over and steals her gun. He shoots at Princess Feena but Tatsuya jumps in front of her and took the shot. Oh no. Is Tatsuya really done for? Karen manages to quickly overpower Jurgen. With that over, now everyone focuses on Tatsuya. Who can survive with a bullet lodged right in his chest. Princess Feena’s crying and worried with Tatsuya lying in her arms. No Tatsuya, don’t die! Everybody else’s so sad too.
 
But it won’t be good if it all ends on a sad tone and everything up till now won’t be wasted. But I can’t believe this out-of-this-world and outrageous part on how Tatsuya is being saved. How outrageous? One of King Lyones men detect some huge unidentified craft on their radar. In short, that unidentified craft is an alien spacecraft! And it’s so bloody huge, that it’s probably bigger than the Earth itself. Yeah, it appeared out of nowhere too. That alien ship shoots down some beam which completely heals Tatsuya’s wound. Wow. Now that’s really alien technology. Or is it convenience? Tatsuya open his eyes and everyone’s happy to see him alive again. But that’s not the end of the surprise yet. Why, Chiharu returns through that alien teleport and everyone, especially King Lyones is surprised to see him. I see he got kidnapped by aliens. But it looks like he’s having fun on his adventure because he looks and sound normal in contrast to those fearful abducted victims.
 
Though earlier on in the series, Princess Feena carries a pendant from her late mom around her neck, I didn’t bother to mention it because it was just something trivial ;p. Anyway, that pendant opens with a message saying that she’s happy that her daughter has found someone important just like her and King Lyones did and wishes her all the best. So the 2 decided to go ahead with their destiny and such when King Lyones gives them the green light and orders the Moon troops to withdraw and resume peace talks. Everybody’s rejoicing. Hooray. With that Fiacca says she has no regrets after watching what has happened and bids goodbye to Wreathlit and disappears. Just like that? I really doubt her role throughout this entire series.
 
A few years later in some jam-packed stadium, it’s the wedding ceremony of Princess Feena and Tatsuya. Hey, Assistant now looks muscular and experienced and even has 3 assistants of his own. We see King Lyones playing shogi with Chiharu and Wreathlit bumps into Mai and Natsuki. Sayaka who happen to see Wreathlit rushes and lovey-doveyly hugs her. I didn’t know Sayaka’s quite fond of Wreathlit. This prompts Mai to say how Wreathlit’s appearance haven’t change all these years when Jin props up and says the same thing about Natsuki’s cooking. As Natsuki’s gonna hit him with her wooden spoon rice scoop, we see Jin and Natsuki’s mom arriving along with Samon. As Jin quoted, his mom seems to have returned from her trip to improve her cooking skills when she left home many years ago, his mom did the honours by smacking Jin with her wooden rice scoop, sending Jin flying into the crowd of aliens. What the?! Those little grey men are here to witness the wedding too? Anyway, because Jin made a mess of them, they all zapped him. And Samon says now his debts has increased to 3 billion!!! OMG! How does he manage to keep track of it all? BUt more importantly, will it ever be cleared?
 
Shortly, the ceremony starts with a dashing Tatsuya and beautiful Princess Feena taking centre stage. Princess Feena’s so happy that she shed a tear because her mom’s wish of normal relations between Earth and Moon have been realised and that she has many friends. Soon after a short talk of hope, they pinched each other’s nose and kissed. And this part I find it hard to believe. That stadium looks like a giant wedding ring in outer space and there seems to be a long red string connecting Earth and the Moon. Will this affect the rotation of the planets and such?
 
Overall, I guess it’s kinda okay for a short series with a pretty long name. I read that some viewers didn’t like it at all because the quality of certain episodes were ‘unacceptable’. Well, not that I notice it. Plus, since it’s a fantasy like series, I guess I can accept all the illogical and outrageous stuff especially the one in the end. So it wasn’t just peace between Earth and Moon, but aliens as well. Yeah, it’s a 3 way relationship now.
 
To me everything from the drawing, animation, voice acting and character development are satisfactory. Nothing that could be considered a breakthrough. Plus, with typical good looking bishies with big eyes, I’m sure this one should appeal to fans who love their anime art and drawing this way. I like those funny parts when the character becomes all chibi. They seem so cute yet so pretty. For those who’re after more on the storyline and plot, I think there’re better titles out there. Just for the record, I think Princess Feena is quite kawaii and pretty herself. Truly fitting to be a princess in terms of looks and character. If Disney should ever want to add more princesses to their list, they should at least check this one out.
 
But the good thing is that it all ended on a happy note and most of the stuffs are tied up at the end. Uh-huh. This is your typical and usual good fairytale ending anime style where the lesson is never give up on hope, love and the future. Though the road ahead may seem trecherous and unappeasing, but with perseverance and support, we’ll all be able to go overcome it in the end for the benefit of us all.
 
Maybe world leaders should watch this series and learn something or two. But then again with all those swelling egos and pride, they may not even have time for this. Hmmm… Come to think of it, maybe that’s why the aliens have ignored us all this while. Since we couldn’t even get along ourselves of the same kind. If only Princess Feena exists here… Your Majesty, WE NEED YOU!!!

Cromartie High School

May 4, 2007

Here is another nonsensical outrageous anime comedy. Yup, I’m talking about Sakigake! Cromartie High School. No doubt that the characters here are delinquents, but they aren’t as tough as they look. In a nutshell, they’re all dumb! In a funny way, that is. Uh-huh. So it goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. They just have that tough menacing look, that’s all.
 
With a total of 26 episodes and each episode is approximately 12 minutes, you’re gonna hear a lot of those ‘big talk’ delinquent style, filled with lots of delinquent cliches and parodies and even probably those you have never even heard of. And that’s what make it so funny. You think delinquents all this while are bad ass people who have no future prospect but to bully the weak, right? Well, not unless you’re talking about this one.
 
So our main character, Takashi Kamiyama, finally gets his wish to be enrolled in the infamous delinquent Cromartie High School. His reason? Well, he mentions that you have to read the comic strip if you want to find out how stuff came to be in the first episode. Now that’s a way to make a start. At first glance, Kamiyama may seem to be the only ‘ordinary looking’ student among the bunch. He even tried to look, talk and act like one through some book on how to be a delinquent on his first day, which he successfully followed step by step. The only catch is, the book mentions that all this must be done before the start of the school term! Bummer. I guess it won’t work now, huh? Even his first day he has encountered a weirdo already. When Kamiyama dropped his pencil, some guy called Masa took it up and eats it! So Kamiyama gave him a whole stack of pencils, in which Masa stuffs them all in his mouth! Woah!
 
Luckily Kamiyama has Shinjiro Hayashida to show him around at first. This Hayashida guy has a strip of purple mohawk hairstyle on his head which seems to be able to move on its own. So I guess you could say that Kamiyama and Hayashida are somewhat ‘best friends’ because they’re ‘always seen together’. Furthermore, when it’s time to choose a new leader for Cromartie, Hayashida has chosen Kamiyama as 1 of the 3 contenders because of his twisted logic that only a tough rabbit would lie down and sleep with lions. I mean, if you look at it in a way, Kamiyama’s the only non-delinquent looking guy around and based on Hayashida’s logic, it would mean that he’s gotta be the tougest of the toughest since he’s mixing among the ‘ferocious’ delinquents of Cromartie. And how did those blokes decide who’d be the next leader? The one with the strongest back, that is. And I thought it’s gonna be something like carrying something heavy. But it’s actually putting some insy teensy weeny little hot stuff on their back! And who would’ve guessed that Kamiyama won and those other 2 losers couldn’t take the heat and screamed like a little girl.
 
Thus, Kamiyama has become the so called leader of the first year students for Cromartie. And part of his first duty to reshuffle and reorganize the school is to visit some ‘powerful’ guy in the next class. Who could it be? Why, to Kamiyama’s surprise it’s… it’s… FREDDIE MERCURY!!! Yes, Freddie Mercury of Queen makes his appearance here as well. Well, actually nobody knows whether he’s the real thing or not. Even Kamiyama wonders if he’s really a student of this school and could he really speak and understand Japanese. Weirdo number 1. Because of his familiar look to a rock star, Kamiyama decides to nickname him Freddie. Plus, Freddie has no actual dialogue throughout the entire series and sometimes a Queen style electric guitar plays in the background whenever he makes his appearance, and sometimes rides a horse to school.
 
Kamiyama later then decides to visit the second time only to find weirdo number 2. And it’s not even human! It’s a gorilla! With also no spoken lines (duh!) and only the usual gorilla’s grunt, you really wonder if it’s a student of the school as well. It couldn’t get any more weirder as Kamiyama and Hayashida pays a 3rd visit to find weirdo number 3… a robot named Mechazawa. And the worse part is, besides Kamiyama and Hayashida, nobody not even Mechazawa himself realizes that he’s a robot! So much so that in episode 2, Kamiyama and Hayashida decides to go spy and see if anybody notices that Mechazawa’s a robot. It’s so funny to see that those people seem like they’re gonna say that he’s one, but in the end, it turned out to be something else. Yeah, those blur case even stabbed Mechazawa with a knife and thought that his skin is real thick! More like their head’s real thick. Not even when Mechazawa got kidnapped and bashed by some gangsters. And when the boss of those gangsters arrive, he’s shock to see Mechazawa as… an old acquaintance of his! Shock! Yeah, the 2 recognized each other and embraced. Let’s just leave it there, huh.
 
Other fun-filled Mechazawa episodes include episode 8 whereby the doctor has some problems checking on Mechazawa’s health and refers him to another ‘doctor’, in which to Mechazawa’s horror is actually an electronics store mechanic. His fears come true when he accidentally resetted his memory. Hope you guys have a back-up. Yeah, it happened again in episode 20 whereby Kamiyama accidentally deleted his memory (in the name or reprogramming because Mechazawa’s in loooooove) and is contemplating whether to keep it or not. Well, it seems that they manage to restore him… into an Internet shopping computer, that is.
 
In episode 9, Mechazawa ntroduces his little brother, Beta, who can only say "Mecha-ratta, mecha-ratta" and really freaks out and becomes ‘sick’ when Gorilla squashes him. The gang then decides to replace Beta after they squashed him a second time, only thing he’s a little smaller. And that usual Kamiyama theory saying that just like handphones, it gets smaller as technology advances. I see. That’s what Beta became too! And when it’s time for Mechazawa to pick up Beta, the gang at Maeda’s house tried to bluff Mechazawa by using a tin can as Beta! Eventually, Mechazawa found out that it wasn’t his little bro so much so the shock caused him to ‘shutdown’. So for the time being Kamiyama and co had to temporarily hide Mechazawa in Maeda’s room while they head back to school. When they come back, they find that Mechazawa is missing and they all started to look for him. After some time, they can’t find Mechazawa and decided to rest and have some drink. That’s when they saw Mechazawa has become part of the Maeda household’s new fridge! This robot can be so ‘useful’.
 
Then Mechazawa has a bad day in episode 12 when he told off his buddies to clean up their own mess instead for always asking him for help. His day gets worse when he’s being mistaken to be a pachinko slot by some ol bugger and a pachinko mechanic while playing pachinko, and even being mistaken as a bike when the gas attendant puts the gas nozzle into him! Because of that, he angrily rides his bike and crashes into several pieces. Luckily Kamiyama and Hayashida’s there and is put back together again. Only thing, is Mechazawa’s a super motorbike now! More on this later on.
 
Of course there are other ‘colourful’ (read: mostly dumb) characters such as Akira Maeda. He’s the most ‘normal’ in terms of rational thinking (but he’s dumb sometimes too) like how he sometimes questions Kamiyama or the other’s theory. Maeda is always prone to getting kidnapped by rival high schools such as Bass High School as they always use him as a bait to lure Cromartie students to fight them. Sometimes of course, those rival schools wonder if Cromartie really cares for Maeda as they rarely turn up. Probably, because Maeda has no nickname, he’s been ignored and disrepected by others as seen in the first episode. Also, due to whatever reasons, Maeda’s other classmates seem to like gathering at his house, much to his dismay. Also, the gang freaks out whenever Maeda mom comes in or sees her. Also another character without proper dialogue but just a short grunt.
 
Then there’s big bad bald Yutaka Takenouchi, who everytime proclaims to himself that he’s some powerful reliable bad ass guy controlling the year 1 students but has a weakness. And that is, he gets motion sickness easily. And that would even mean getting in a stationary car! And he tries his best not to vomit so as not to look like a sissy in front of those delinquents. Like there’s one case where he’s sitting at the back of the bus and trying his best not to throw up. Because of it, the other delinquents on the field trip decides not to disturb him because he looks ‘menacing’ with that look. But at at the same time, and unsuspecting Kamiyama sat on his lap and even offered him some pudding! But Takenouchi decides not to fight back or else he’ll puke. Oh the horror. It must seem like an eternity for him.
 
Also, the typical ‘want to take over the world’ Takeshi Hokuto who decides to use the influence of his father to rule every school he goes to in episode 6. That is, until he comes to Cromartie, in which he finds out that it’s a municipal school. And to cover up for his mistake and not to look like a loser, he decides to lie. And one lie leads to another because Kamiyama and his buddies are so dumb that they believe and misinterpret every lie of Hokuto’s. Yeah, everybody’s dumb. So much so that his twisted lies turned into some movement to fight his evil father in which Kamiyama and co decided to join him in his fight and called him captain. And when Hokuto decides to leave the group so as not to ‘burden’ them and made Kamiyama the new captain, Kamiyama and co then decides to stay over at Hokuto’s place to protect him. Hahaha. I guess he’ll never be able to get them out of his sights. Thus, Hokuto unofficially becomes part of Kamiyama’s group.
 
But Hokuto has a henchman, a subordinate whom everyone refers to as Hokuto’s Lackey or Lackey just for short. The funny thing is his real name is never mentioned throughout the series although he says he has one. The reason? Everytime he tries to mention his real name, everybody else switches the topic, lose interest quickly, easily distracted or there would be something to disrupt his name telling conversation like in episode 16 such as there’s a gang fight to a comet crashing into the school so much so that Lackey has to go finish it himself so that he could tell his name. But each time there seems to be something always distracting and in the end, we’ll never know his name. Yeah, he’ll forever be known as just that. Even Hokuto forgot his name though Hokuto reminisces the time when they spend together while they’re young. Unfortunately, that was somebody else and not Lackey because they only get to know each other since high school. Hahaha. See the twists and turns of the plot.
 
So most of the episodes in the series can range to just one short story lasting only a minute or so, or the entire episode itself. And those with multiple storylines may or may not be related to each other and can stand alone as an independant one. Thus, it’s better to switch off your logic and thinking when watching this because there are some episodes which don’t make sense and some even ‘reseted’ the effects of what happened in the previous episode. And when the episode ends or changes to the next story scene, the way they reveal or show the twist and turn of the events or climax scene, followed very quickly by the ending credits, it’s so funny that it makes you go "What the…". Yeah, it’s so fast pace that it never ceases to make me laugh.
 
There are those very memorable ones which are also my favourite such as episode 3 whereby Hayashida overhears Mechazawa humming a nice tune but can’t remember the name. So when he asks Kamiyama, he too can’t remember it. And so the search for the song name continues as they hum to each other to see if anyone recognizes it. It’s so darn funny to see them go "Hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm…". And in the end, we see all of them, even Freddie and Gorilla, standing on the school stage in several rows, humming the song like as though they’re singing a choir! So funny! And as mentioned in the end, even though they still don’t know the name of the song, at least their humming and singing got better. Finally, when Kamiyama decides to ask Mechazawa himself when he hears him humming that song, some ‘wrong move’ like answering yes to Mechazawa’s question that if he knew the song, prompts Kamiyama to think that the way he said things, he can’t ask that question anymore or else he’ll look like a fool. Hahaha. And I like the beginning of this episode where they show Freddie and Gorilla strumming a ukelele to that nice tune.
 
Or in episode 5 where Maeda has been kidnapped by Bass High students. Thus Kamiyama along with Hayashida needs to bring along Takenouchi to wallop those gangsters and save Maeda. And Kamiyama decides to take a taxi there. Though Takenouchi refuses to get in and decides to walk there, before you know it, he’s riding with them and they decided to do their planning in the taxi as well. And Freddie’s there as the taxi’s co-driver as well. The funny part is that the taxi driver didn’t know his way around and got lost. Yeah, Takenouchi can’t hold it any longer and tries to give excuses to get out of the taxi but to no avail. Then when Kamiyama decides to use a map to help the driver get to their location, to Takenouchi’s dismay, he saw the map is actually a world map! Idiots! And Kamiyama even said that USSR is still named Russia. Then Freddie, like as though following his animal instincts manage to guide the lost taxi driver from the rural area back to the city and then back to school. It must be a relief for Takenouchi when he got down and decides to finish the job fast so that he could pound Kamiyama and co. But he smashes the bottle on Freddie’s head after he quickly realizes that Freddie sends them back to Cromartie High. Back to square one. Hahaha. Yeah, they should’ve walk in the first place. Poor Maeda, he’s still tied up there.
 
Then there’s another school field trip in episode 11 whereby the Cromartie delinquents has to travel by airplane. You know what this means for Takenouchi. Unfortunately, there’re 2 hijackers who’re planning to hijack this trip and since it’s their first time, they’re rather quite indecisive. Takenouchi overheard them and uses this opportunity to call off the school trip. And because the hijacker is quite agoraphobic and uneasy among strangers (how ironic for a hijacker wannabe), Takenouchi orders his Cromartie guys to go home so that he could talk to them, much to those Cromartie student’s dismay. Only thing is, Takenouchi should’ve gone home with them too but somehow he got onboard the plane with them. Yeah, only the 3 of them. Must be really regretting it. And since then Takenouchi gets lost in the Nevada desert in USA (how he comes back to Japan is still a mystery) while one of the hijackers pretends to be Takenouchi back at Cromartie by wearing some white mask which made him look like some masked wrestler. And nobody even realizes that Takenouchi is missing. Yeah, everybody did notice something missing from that trip. And that is, their refund for the trip! *Triple smack!*.
 
A baseball episode 13. Well, actually the gang have a dream of playing in some terror baseball league and decides to form a baseball team, though Maeda’s pretty concern if they all know about the rules of baseball in the first place. So Kamiyama brings the entire gang to train in the forest. Unfortunately they got lost and have no food. Then this is the funny part. Freddie on his own, at certain times, leaves the group and treks across rivers and mountains till he reaches a restaurant and has a bowl of ramen. The ramen owners don’t mind because he pays them. After his meal, he will trek back to the group and sit dejectedly with them like as though nothing happened. Haih, this guy! Then Kamiyama remembers their original mission and the gang started playing baseball in the woods. One of the shot was too powerful and Hayashida went to get it. After trekking through rivers and mountains to where the ramen stall is, Hayashida is surprised! Not because he found civilization but because he manage to find the baseball! And he brought the baseball back to the group not realizing he could’ve called for help. When the group finally gets hungry and searches for food, they notce a fish paste on Freddie’s face and soon Gorilla beckons them and they think it’s a way out as they followed it. When they finally say bright city lights, they realized they’ve been following a female gorilla all the while. What happened to theirs who was original on their baseball team? Beats me. Hahaha.
 
Then the Japan Boss Championships in episodes 16-17 whereby all the bad ass boss of Japan are gathering to see who’s gonna be the big bad boss and rule them all. Of course Hokuto didn’t know of it at all and again lied that he’s gunning for the World Boss Championships when everybody cheered him on and asking him to do his best. Of course, Hokuto in the end didn’t know what it’s all about. Finally, the Japan Boss Championship starts and Kamiyama is there as Cromartie’s representative. And unexpectedly (or expectedly depends how you view it), Kamiyama won! How? Because he answered correctly a 1 true or false question to whether yoghurt is milk or not! Wah! It’s that easy to become Japan’s number 1 boss?!
 
Hmmm… I wonder how many field trips do delinquents get. That’s because there’s another one in episode 21. This time on a train to Kyoto. Takenouchi of course trying his best again. But there’s a point where he can’t take it anymore and decides to go to the loo and puke. But to his dismay there’s a long line waiting at the loo because they had too much drinks earlier on and somebody’s hogging it for quite a while. And it seems it’s Kamiyama as he comes out refreshed. Of course Takenouchi pushes his way and wants to be next but Kamiyama decides to use the Japanese eenie-meenie-minnie-mo to see who goes next. And the next person is… KAMIYAMA!!! Yeah, he heads back into the loo again. HAHAHA! Then later on, Kamiyama is regretting and thinking of how to explain to those Cromartie students of his because it’s his job to wake them up when they reached Kyoto but he fell asleep too and they’ve passed that stop. So Kamiyama tries to explain using a board map and before Kamiyama could finish those dumb delinquents concludes that they haven’t pass the stop yet and Kamiyama might as well go along with that. Even when Kamiyama decides to confess that this train isn’t going to Kyoto, the rest quickly say that they understood and need to switch trains. Real dumb!!! Yeah, donno how, Maeda got onboard the wrong train. In the end, the train reached back to where they started. Real idiots. And when Kamiyama told them something about the journey of the heart something like visualizing and remembering the place in one’s heart, the rest then thank him and concludes that they didn’t go at all.
 
But not all of the episodes are entirely on the Cromartie delinquents. There are those from other rival high schools as well. For instance, Noboru Yamaguchi, the leader of the first year students of Destrade High School. Appearing in episode 4, this sunglasses wearing and afro haired guy does a lot of deep analytical thinking and his subordinates thinks he must be planning something big against their rivals. But he’s actually thinking about being a stand-up comedian and what constitutes to be funny or not! Because of that, his deep thinking may seem ‘menacing’ to others. See, it’s all in the mind. Furthermore, Yamaguchi goes by his pen name of Ajishio Taro (Salt Boy) whenever he sends his postcard comedy. But always acknowledges that his jokes can only be rivalled by the mysterious Hachimitsu Boy (Honey Boy). And to his surprise, he finds out that Hachimitsu Boy is actually a student from Cromartie High and is… Kamiyama himself! And at 1 point he decides to eavesdrop on him telling Hayashida his funniest joke ever and stealing it. Only when he sends it in and the joke was played over the radio, he realizes how lame it was. Duh!
 
Also Yamaguchi has some sort of a right hand man, Jun Ishikawa, whom he always pounds when he tries to make a funny statement or do funny stuffs. Can’t stand anyone else who’s funnier than him, huh? But that changed in episode 14 when Yamaguchi decides to hire Akira Nakao as his second in command. What’s wrong with that? Nakao is actually a ventriloquist! And sometimes people get confuse which is the second in command, him or his puppet, Mick. And it seems Nakao and Mick can’t even decide which of them is gonna be number 2. Donno whether it’s on purpose or a joke. Furthermore, Yamaguchi told his men not to say that there’s anything wrong with the puppet or else… So much so Ishikawa decides to pick up one after that accidental meeting with Kamiyama (yeah, he too does a little ventriloquism) but even though Yamaguchi notices him, he still didn’t get to be one.
 
Other rival school delinquents include Jackson Setouchi, the leader of Bass High School, who has kidnapped Maeda and sends his right hand man Akio Takejo to go to Cromartie High and send them a message to come fight them or else it’ll be the last of Maeda. But when Akio reaches there, he’s surprised (and later panics) about the strange things in Cromartie and frantically relates it back to Jackson through his handphone, which Jackson reluctantly believes. Yeah, after seeing stuffs like Freddie on a horse, to a gorilla, to a vending machine without a coin slot (Hahaha. It’s Mechazawa actually), Jackson thinks that it couldn’t get any weirder than that. Wrong. Yeah, eventually aliens appear and the whole jin jang gang walked happily towards the sunset. What the? And what’s with that old man in the sky? Is he some sort of model or what since Kamiyama at certain points made some references to him and he appear randomly in some episodes.
 
A one episode appearance only in episode 15 is Kiyoshi Fujimoto of Manuel High School. Though he’s the leader of the first year students and uses aggressive and ruthless ways to solve problems, however he’s a nice guy online with extremely good netiquettes and has his own forum. How ironic. Then a ‘troll’ comes mocking and humiliating him online and Fujimoto has a hard time trying to reason with him and keeping his cool. So much so he can’t take it anymore. Then this ‘fateful’ meeting one day on the streets whereby Fujimoto’s psychoing himself what should he do, bumped shoulders into the contended ‘troll’. Before the ‘troll’ could apologize, Fujimoto lands him one super punch. Though the 2 still don’t know who the other is still, see it’s all a vicious cycle. Don’t too onto others if you don’t want others to do onto you.
 
Besides delinquents, there are other non-delinquent characters as well. Like that ‘hit’ stand-up comedy Pootan. Yeah, they’re just 2 grown up guys wearing some fuzzy animal suit but you could see their faces sticking out from it. The comedy I find is intentionally ‘lame’ which makes it funny and with 700 over episodes, it’s definitely a hit, right? Making its first appearance in episode 7 whereby Yamaguchi who hates the show decides to what’s so good about it since his rival Hachimitsu Boy loves watching it. Yeah, Yamaguchi’s trying to find out why it’s so popular and concludes it’s the suits which they never take off. Unfortunately, at the end, they did just that, much to Yamaguchi’s dismay.
 
Pootan also makes its appearance in episode 18 but one of them decides to use Freddie as a stand-in for an autograph signing session. So much so that a 10 year old kid, Osamu Kido (who looks like a delinquent. Probably I’ve seen too much Cromartie style delinquents or perhaps it’s their trademark drawing), an obsessed fan of Pootan, is psychoing himself that is this imposter Pootan the real thing. Yeah, Freddie’s moustache is a dead give away. Just when he’s about to accept that he is Pootan, he finds that his signature is ‘Freddie’! He can’t take it anymore as he throws the autographed pic on the ground and goes to the Pootan HQ to complain. Even that supposedly Pootan guy decides to bluff the kid by saying that moustache is the new Pootan trend. But he may regret his action when he gets fired and his Pootan role taken over by Freddie. Looks like Freddie’s the new Pootan. And his other Pootan buddy scorns him and that is, until he finds out he’s being replaced by Hayashida. Sad. Then he decides to get back the Pootan suit but Freddie seems so attached to it and not giving it up. And after some words from Kamiyama and co, he decides to do the most embarrassing old comical act in order to let Freddie give up his suit. While he’s doing it but before he could finish, Freddie already got bored and instantly took it off. Wow. That’s fast.
 
Then there’s that 1 short appearance by some guy called Sadaharu in episode 19. He’s the fastest motorcycle guy in the world so much so nobody has overtaken him. And he’s proud of it. Until one night, he spots Kamiyama riding backwards on a motor Mechazawa and zooming pass him. The next day rumours are spreading among the other bikers that he has retired. WOW! I guess he saw how he lost to some silly thing.
 
Speaking of that motor Mechazawa, Kamiyama decides to use it for the purpose of good in episode 12 when he rescues a lady from gangsters. After some cool display of powers and that weird music montage, the gangsters flee and the lady is grateful. The police then arrives and Kamiyama is sent to jail! And he’s wondering why? Yeah, probably he didn’t have his helmet on. The same thing in episode 19 but this time he saves that ‘troll’. With his helmet checked, tyre pressure to the right pressure checked and all other instruments in accordance to the national safety requirements checked, Kamiyama is pretty confident he’s not breaking the law this time as the police arrives. Unfortunately, he lands himself in jail again because… he has no motor license! Hahaha. Must’ve overlook that one.
 
Even Dejiko of Digi Charat has her cameo appearance. Appearing somewhere in episode 2 and a little longer in episode 25 whereby Maeda gets stuck in taking care of everyone’s pet that they brought to school. This prompts him to debate with Kamiyama if he really knows what a cat really wants and as suggested by Kamiyama that Maeda be a cat for a week. Yeah, and that Dejiko even asking him to end his sentences with her usual ‘Nyo’. It won’t work for a delinquent like you buddy. Just when Maeda understood how it feels like to be a cat, Kamiyama and co got bored of it all and decides to drop it, much to Maeda’s anger. Yay! Even Puchiko made a short appearance at the end of that episode.
 
Gorilla isn’t just there because so. He has an episode where entirely stars in it. After Yamaguchi and Ishikawa surprisingly find out that the sushi stall they patron at the end of episode 23 is a rogue gorilla disguising itself as a sushi maker (yeah, they thought it was an employee then when the sushi owner freaks out and says that there’s a gorilla in his shop), episode 24 sees how Gorilla manage to solve the problems between the sushi restaurant owner and his son (the latter wants the former to sign some contract to demolish the restaurant) by giving them a banana sushi. And it didn’t even say a single word! That’s because most of the analyzing is done by the father and son like how one man’s meat is another man’s poison. And just when the sushi restaurant owner is gonna accept Gorilla as a comrade (meaning, he was telling off his employees not to look at it as a gorilla but on same level as them humans), he finds out that it has been taken away by the public health authorities and concludes that it may have been a gorilla after all. Also in episode 25, those Cromartie dummies are having a hard time distinguishing who is the pet when Gorilla brings along his pet monkey.
 
Other short hilarious episodes include the time where Hokuto thinks his butler, Jeeves, may be related to Hayashida because the 2 look so nearly alike and invites Hayashida to meet his old man. But when the 2 met, the hype and way they say and look at each other was as though like they’ve never seen each other for years. But it all smothers down when they say they don’t know each other. Haih… Then Hokuto dreamt that he became a seal in class and woke up to find it’s all a bad dream. Or the time Hayashida came to Hokuto’s house to tell him something important but forgot what it’s about so the 2 spend the whole morning together like having breakfast to recall what is that’s so important. When finally Hayashida recalls, it’s just some omake on Mechazawa’s head as revealed at the end of that episode. Now how is that important. Or Akio noticing how a strand of Jackson’s nose hair is sticking out instead of listening to what he has to say.
 
In one episode, we find out why Takenouchi goes to Cromartie High is because it’s the closest school to his home since taking transport gives him motion sickness. But on that day, since he was lazy, he had no choice but to take the bus, much to his discomfort. And since there isn’t any of his Cromartie buddies around, he thought he could at least relax a bit on his motion sickness when to his surprise he saw Kamiyama in that same bus next to him! Takenouchi asks for an explanation when he finds out that Kamiyama’s house is even closer to Cromartie than his own, so why is he taking a bus instead of walking. Kamiyama then confesses that… he loves to take the bus! Argh! Tahanlah Takenouchi-san.
 
Also Kamiyama meets his old high school buddies, Tabata, who look like some simple cartoonish drawing, and did some catching up. Sounds like a sissy too. Then a time when Kamiyama decides to teach his classmates the meaning of punctuality when they decide to take on Manuel High. Yeah, they drag Kamiyama and tell him to be there too. No choice, Kamiyama sets an early time to meet there. Unfortunately, nobody turned up as he’s just the only one standing there. Not wanting to have the misconception that he’s not there since he’s thinking of going home, he decides to write on the wall a message that he’s been here. After writing a tiny long winded message on the wall, he thinks his buddies may be dumb and decides to write a shorter one. Well it says ‘Kamiyama was here’. Imagine what will the students of Manuel High think the next day. Also, a time where the gang decides to randomly pick a day as Freddie’s birthday and celebrate it all at Maeda’s house. Yeah, Maeda just shook his head. And when it’s Maeda’s birthday, they celebrate it on some boat house. You know what this means to Takenouchi, right?
 
Remember Hayashida’s mohawk hair? Yeah, there’s 1 short episode where Hayashida decides to tell Takenouchi that his mohawk hair is fake and even took it off right in front of him, much to Takenouchi’s surprise. Then the Cromartie delinquents decides to use Freddie to help them. But Freddie sulks and doesn’t want to and Kamiyama has to even hold his hand and that sort of stuff to ask him to do so. Donno how in the midst of it all, Kamiyama lost Freddie and we see Freddie switched places with some guy Mr Imai to sign some contract on his behalf, in which the contractor didn’t suspect Mr Imai’s a different person and thinks Freddie’s character is good for a change. Well, until Freddie is gonna sign it did that guy notices and his assistant quickly telling him to stop the signing. And back at Cromartie since those delinquents think Freddie has been gone for a while, they’re thinking of asking Gorilla but shortly decides not to.
 
Also, that hijacker telling those Cromartie delinquents about how he spend time in jail and got discouraged until he did some weird toy whereby one musn’t use force but gentleness and calmness of the mind to separate it. I suppose even if the whole school’s a delinquent, a sports day is still a must. Maeda’s confident that he’s gonna stand out in the 100 metre race when he finds out that a motor Mechazawa is also participating. Guess who wins? Yeah, the fumes of the exhaust must be choking. Then it’s the high jump event and Maeda thinks motor Mechazawa can’t jump and at least he’ll be able to shine this time. When it’s motor Mechazawa’s turn, he then changed into jet mode, took off and flew high in the sky! Off he goes to wherever that is. I think it’s a world record.
 
There’s even a Maria-sama Ga Miteru parody in the beginning of the last episode 26. All of those Cromartie delinquents have been given a female makeover and name (like Takashi becomes Takako) while maintaining their male gangster facial looks. And they all look hilariously and horribly ugly! It’s so funny to see Kamiyama as Sachiko and Hayashida as Yumi (still with that purple mohawk sticking out!). This storyline in this Marimite parody is somewhat similar to the one in episode 1 like that nickname thingy and when Kamiyama visits the ‘princesses’ like Freddie. Yeah, even Freddie has a girly makeover but still retains that trademark moustache of his. At least he’s not bare chested. Hahaha. Even Mechazawa too. This Marimite parody ends when the school receives a new student… Maeda’s mom. What the? Also a very short parody of the rock group KISS dubbed as the 4 Kings Of Cromartie. It ended when there’s actually 5 of them and 1 of them decides to take on that new additional member.
 
The last story in the final episode 26 has Maeda debating with Kamiyama and Hayashida about the future. Kamiyama seems ‘pessimistic’ like how can a delinquent have a future. I mean if you look at it in a way, it’s true right? Then I don’t know what is going on when Freddie and co tossing up Mechazawa in the air outside until they couldn’t catch him, dropped him and wrecked Mechazawa. It’s funny to hear Kamiyama saying that the Cromartie anime is coming to an end after going on air for 4 years, only to be quickly rebuked by Maeda that it’s only been aired for 6 months. Yeah, funny right till the end.
 
Overall, I kinda love this short, fast paced and nonsensical garbage. Dumb and weird seems to be the ‘theme’ for this anime. Speaking of which, in certain episodes there are weird creatures like that hamster appearing here and there on screen. I’m not sure what it means. Even at times you could a peek of Freddie, Gorilla and Beta’s head from the corner or something like that. Even the opening sequence is hilariously weird and the ending too is full of it. Sometimes you’d see the character’s face popping up suddenly or the zooming in and/or out of their faces which makes it quite funny. And sometimes, the characters would walk back and forth like as though somebody hit the play and rewind button!
 
Beware if you’re watching the series with subs. There is one sub whereby almost each and every sentence has the f-word or other vulgar words. Some may find it offensive, but to me, it’s real darn funny. I mean, gangsters using those profanity words would seem very fitting even if the Japansese audio doesn’t mean or go that far. Then there’s a more toned down sub version and the most extreme case they would just mention "I’m gonna fudgin’ kill you". Personally I still prefer the former one because it made me laugh the whole way.
 
I would also like to note that the ordinary delinquents besides the main casts in this anime look somewhat the same. I mean, though they look mean and such but I happen to notice and say to myself "Hey, isn’t that guy from Cromartie, then why is he in this other school". This in turn would prompt me to question "How can I tell they’re from which school". I mean, all the delinquents’ school uniform are the same so I kinda find it hard to tell where they’re from. But I guess that’s not really important. Yeah, the main characters have their name, age, school or whatever other information appear on-screen sometimes probably to remind you over and over again their names. It doesn’t get annoying because I seem to be unable to remember them until when the series is near its end. ;p
 
Basically, this is a predominantly male anime. Only a handful of females appear here and even so, it’s probably for a short while such as the lady whom Kamiyama saved from those thugs, and Maeda’s mom. Speaking of which, I was surprised to find out that Maeda’s mom voice actress is the talented Megumi Hayashibara! Wow. Such a famous voice actress doing just a short groan and no real spoken dialogue. And I would never have found out if I didn’t accidentally chanced upon it. Yeah, you could say her name caught my eye. Even Dejiko’s cameo appearance uses the original voice actress, Asami Sanada. And if you want to include that female Gorilla too, be my guest. Hey, I noticed that since this series revolves around high school students, I don’t recall even seeing a single teacher. Maybe they all resigned. Hehehe.
 
And just like in the opening narration by Kamiyama in every episode, whereby he warns viewers that the characters in this anime are delinquents and not to follow them or else you’ll end up in jail (hey, that’s Kamiyama sitting there!). But I think you shouldn’t follow these guys not so much it’s because they’re bad influence or for your safety, but rather more to save you from the dumb embarrassment! Hehehe. As mentioned, the ending credits is filled with weird stuffs and I think the next episode preview narration by Kamiyama doesn’t have anything to do with the next episode. Just blabbing some stuff. And it always ends with Freddie falling flat on his chest!
 
So, if you see thugs, gangsters, or delinquents from Cromartie High, don’t be afraid because they’re all just tough looking. Accompanied with meaningless tough talk, you’ll figure out it’s better to be afraid of heights and spiders. Alas, will Kamiyama lead his bunch of weirdos for the better or into a new era of silliness and weirdness? Hehe, I think you already know the answer. Thus, if you think life is boring and nothing exciting is really happening, come to Cromartie High, where everything is an ‘eye opener’. Yeah, you’re eyes will pop out in disbelief. It’s the most ‘happening’ school in town. Or perhaps it’s better to close an eye, shake one’s head and leave before anything happens. Yeah, it’s ‘tough’ being a delinquent.