Moekan

February 23, 2008

Do you have a fetish for maid robots? I don’t. But that didn’t stop me from checking out Moekan. Yeah, you’ll get to see lots of pretty maid robots here. Don’t worry, they won’t be that hideous looking pieces of scrap metal, but they look, move and speak like human beings so much so you would think that they’re one.
 
Basically, this is a 3 episode OVA of 30 minutes each. The setting is on a huge island called Moekko Island whereby robot maids are assembled, programmed and trained to do various stuffs from the simple household chores to combat techniques. Wow. A whole island just for this purpose. So now we know where robot maids come from, do we? Just kidding.
 
Since I’m inclined to watch animes which have comedy element, this series do have some of it but it isn’t that much. Not in the sense that you’d go laughing rolling on your stomach all the way. It’s probably they’re trying to mix in some drama and romance. Yeah, what are the chances of a human guy falling in love with a robot maid. Ah, it’s not the outside that matters, but the inside that counts. Wait, that’s made of all steel either.
 
Episode 1
The episode begins with a dream of a place being annihilated and engulfed in flames. A guy is seen holding a girl in his arms. Kanzaki Takahiro (looks a bit like Ilpalazzo of Excel Saga) is rudely awakened by 1 of his robot maids, Kirishima, when she tossed an alarm clock at his face. Can a maid do that to her master? Anyway, she mentions that he has a guest, Rei, a member of the info department and the person from HQ he’s supposed to meet. Takahiro says Rei seems to be doing well as he narrates that he himself is the chief of a training facility for maids ranking D and below, and this solitary island that has severed all connections to the outside world. He’s also gotten used to it (maybe it’s a good thing for certain people. You don’t have to bother what’s going on with the rest of the world). Rei hands him a top secret report and wants him to use his work to add combat maid training programme to a girl named Rinia, who’s an old android type, location and year of production unknown because she lost her memories.
 
Takahiro further narrates that this is an anarchistic country dominating the world. Moekko Company is where the final work of AC Company’s guard maids are done and get their communication training on Moekko Island. Soon Takahiro, Rei and Kirishima are awaiting Rinia’s arrival when a transport cargo plane open its door as Rinia parachutes down. She gets embarrassed when the wind is bowing through her skirt and tries to cover it. Unfortunately, she gets a bumpy and harsh landing.
 
Rei introduces Rinia to Takahiro who will soon be taking care of her from now on. While Rinia introduces herself, Takahiro stood there and said nothing. Well, he did asks what are those extra pair of arms for. You see, Rinia has additional pair of short arms around her neck. Maybe it’s to help out with the extra work. Like they say, many hands make light work. Takahiro asks Rei why she brought her here and the latter replies that she found her before she was turned into scrap and wants him to train her though she’s old but she’s very good. Takahiro isn’t impressed with Rinia and tells Rei that combat maids aren’t ordinary maids as the training has high hurdles even for the latest androids. In other words, he isn’t confident if a worn out junk can overcome them. Rinia interrupts to apologize but Takahiro scoffs at her that he’s in a middle of talking to Rei. Rinia asks him to punish her and not fight with his friend. Takahiro asks for Kirishima’s opinion but she says that she’s cute. Takahiro says how he feels angry by just looking at Rinia, making her sad. Kirishima tries to cheer her up and soon takes her and show her around.
 
Takahiro walking through the corridor and all the maids get up and greet him. After telling 1 of the maids how her ribbon’s untied, he bumps into a group a mechanics. Except for the mechanic head (let’s call him Oraji because that’s what Takahiro calls him), the others fear him and steps aside to greet him. Oraji asks Takahiro to bring the newly arrived android for maintenance but Takahiro says he’ll think about it. Oraji says how he looks gloomy but Takahiro replies that he’s born like that. Maybe it’s the result of being on this island too long. The other mechanics mentions how they’ve never seen him laugh before.
 
Takahiro and Kirishima heard an explosion-like noise and rushes there. They spot Rinia under a heap of boxes. She’s having problems getting out since it’s too heavy. Kirishima asks her to switch to combat mode, which Rinia did and max it. It explodes, blasting the boxes, Takahiro and Kirishima away. Takahiro yells if she knows the meaning of moderation when a screw on Rinia’s neck comes loose. She says her neck armour’s a bit bent but Takahiro yells back that there’s no time for that.
 
So Kirishima fixes Rinia back and says to have maintenance check. Rinia seems worried and tries to give excuses like she’s old and therefore hard to break. Takahiro orders her to get one and have a technician look at her. Later that night, Takahiro says that it’s finally done and thanks to Rinia, he’s having a hard time. He leaves his office to find Rinia waiting outside thanking him for his hard work. She asks him to have some tea, which he agrees. He finds the tea exceptionally delicious but tells her the hallway isn’t a place to make tea before handing her a training programme book made by Kirishima. He also says that the maid training programme starts tomorrow. Rinia is all excited and promises to do her best.
 
The next day, Rinia starts by cleaning the place. From sweeping, cleaning the chimney, polishing the statue to laundry work. Rinia soon made friends with Jissouji Fuyuha, the librarian of Moekko Island. Erm… If maids here are all programmed, why do they need a library? We see Takahiro watching them from afar. Also, Rinia made friends with Suzuki, who’s walloping her takoyaki. I don’t know, Suzuki kinda brings back memories of those little blue creatures called Smurfs, each time I look at her, even though she doesn’t resemble one. Anyway Takahiro seems a little impressed with Rinia. Later when Kirishima asks him how Rinia’s doing, he says he doesn’t know. Takahiro is standing on a cliff alone watching the sea when Rinia comes up to him and brings some lunch. Takahiro asks Rinia to eat but Rinia says she can’t when her stomach growls. Erm… Do robots need to eat normal food? Maybe high-tech robots have to do so because they look, act and talk like real human beings. Takahiro mentions that before helping out others, she should fill her own stomach first. Rinia does and feels happy. He also asks if she’s gotten used to living here and she says yes but made some mistakes and keep troubling everyone. Takahiro also asks her about her past memories and her reply that they’re vague and scattered but if she keeps on walking not knowing what she’s aiming for and wonder are those memories or dreams. She continues although she met Takahiro recently but feels like she’s met him a long time ago. She soon apologizes and thought she had said something wrong. Takahiro dismisses it.
 
That night, Rei asks Takahiro about Rina as they sip some wine. He mentions that he sees her as a dropout android but has improved a little. The next morning, Rinia’s vacuum cleaner is causing mayhem and is out of control. Takahiro tells her to flip the switch but it broke. The mayhem is causing some damage to the place and is heading towards Takahiro and Fuyuha. The vacuum stops in time when Kirishima unplugs it. That’s all it took? Haih. Rinia apologizes and says that she doesn’t get along well with machines (ironic for an android, isn’t it?) when Takahiro slaps her. Everyone is shocked. He tells Rinia that he forbids her to use any machines from now on and go clean some windows. Later Takahiro confronts Rei and asks why she left that garbage with him. Is it for revenge against him who took away her glory. Rei says it’s what she wanted and returns him a time piece but Takahiro says he doesn’t have anything like it before. Rei says he’s extremely forgetful. Some blabbing about time and magical machine that gathers everything. Rei wants him to take care of Rinia but he refuses and asks her to take that useless thing and leave.
 
Later that night as Takahiro leaves office, he finds Suzuki who brings him to see Rinia still cleaning windows. He asks what she’s doing and she says she hasn’t finish cleaning all the windows and that she’s useless and clumsy. Therefore this is the only way she can make up for it 1 more time. He notices her arms are injured and wants her to come down and stop work. But Rinia says it’s okay and she’ll move slowly. Takahiro orders her to come down but Rinia’s still stubborn, thanking him for his thoughtfulness. Soon she falls off the ladder. Takahiro drops his crutches to catch Rinia. As usual, she apologizes for always causing trouble before passing out. Takahiro panics a little and calls for the emergency team. We see Rinia recuperating in a tube. So that’s what her extra arms are for. A convenience to cover her boobs. So some talk of why wants to send her back so as not to cause unnecessary trouble and the rest says like how she wants to stay here and be accepted by him. Oraji says she’ll be alright and talk some sense into Takahiro to treat her more nicely. But Takahiro says he’s only her master at this training centre and thus can’t be kind to anyone because it makes parting more difficult. Rinia wakes up when Takahiro walks in. She says though she’s useless and not needed, she doesn’t want to leave this place and promises she won’t break down and do her best. Takahiro scolds her that she hasn’t noticed that the more she moves, the more work he has to do and orders her to stay in bed till she gets well. Everyone and Rinia is happy. Urm… What’s this? Androids need to go to toilet? Yeah, Rinia rushes off, which made Takahiro burst into a heartily laughter. Everyone is surprised that it’s the 1st time seeing him laugh. Kirishima says to herself how she envy Rinia because she’s opening the door to the chief’s heart when no one else could. The next day, Rei leaves in a helicopter looking quite pleased and says it’ll be okay and the lost times will be written again.
 
Episode 2
A helicopter is seen leaving a maid on the island, Kazusa Asagiri. Takahiro wakes up from a bad dream to find Kazusa naked by his side. He doesn’t remember who she is. Kazusa is sad that he doesn’t and says she wants to see him when Rinia comes in to wake him up. She spots them together, gets embarrassed and says don’t bother her as she quickly leaves. Kazusa dresses up and introduces herself that she’s from Alice In Chains (no relation to that rock group), product management department observance class, discipline and enforcement team. Takahiro’s asking what’s Alice In Chains doing here (not doing a concert of course) but Kazusa says nevermind that and points to him and says isn’t this sexual harassment (robots have rights too, I suppose). Uh huh. Takahiro finally realized that he’s naked.
 
The next morning, Kazusa reintroduces herself again in Takahiro’s office. He doesn’t look amuse and thinks the department is mocking him by sending her here. Rinia, Suzuki and Fuyuha are eavesdropping outside the office when Kazusa says she’s under orders to be Takahiro’s bodyguard. He says he doesn’t need one and tells her to go home. Kazusa still adamant to protect him. The duo argue till Kirishima knocks them both on their heads for being noisy and stubborn. Kirishima allows Kazusa to work with the other maids in the kitchen till Takahiro changes his mind. The 2 have no choice but to agree.
 
In the kitchen, Kazusa is impressing the other maids with her cutting and cooking skills. Takahiro watching from afar when Rinia asks what he’s doing. He says he wonders if a battle maid can do cooking. Soon he has a taste and is impressed how delicious it is. Kazusa getting all hyped up and says it’s good to keep her around but Takahiro says only for cooking purposes, pissing her off. Rinia compliments her cooking in which Kazusa thanks her. At night, some masked criminals are seen running away but Kazusa catches up to them. The criminal fires his machine gun but misses as Kazusa lands him a powerful kick, making him pass out.
 
Next morning, Takahiro is taking a walk in the woods and spots Kazusa’s knife and boots lying around. He also spots her sleeping atop a tree as she soon wakes up. Naturally he asks what she’s doing up there and she says the nice breeze passing here feels good. As she comes down, a branch broke and she fell on him. He tells her to stop the bad jokes and that she could die from that fall. Kazusa looks sad when she hears the word ‘death’. Because of that, Takahiro wonders what’s wrong but Kazusa says it’s nothing and apologized, promising not to do it again. She starts to cry and Takahiro feels guilty and just asks her to be careful next time and not to cry. Rinia is walking by and spots the duo making up and getting all friendly. Rinia has that worried expression on her face.
 
A helicopter is seen leaving something on the island again. This time a big hairy white dog. Takahiro wakes up from another bad dream to see that dog in front of him. Later he hears from Kirishima that it’s another order from HQ to train and discipline it for army use. Wait a minute. Wouldn’t it be easier to send it to a specialized dog school. Besides, I thought this place is to train maids only. They also find out it’s 15 years old, which is quite old in dog years and is fit for retirement. Suzuki asks for its name but there isn’t any. Takahiro asks her to give it 1. She says ‘Dog’ but Takahiro quickly rejects it. So is ‘Hairy Dog’. I guess Takahiro decides to give it a name himself and comes up with Inoue-sensei. Inoue-sensei? Who, what, when, why? Kazusa then comes out from the bushes all dirty and messy and Takahiro asks what she’s doing and Kazusa replies it’s a secret. When Kazusa spots Inoue, she freaks out and runs away but Inoue kept chasing her. Takahiro starts laughing at the ‘strange bunch’.
 
That night when Takahiro decides to retire to his room, he sense some danger and takes out his pistol. He opens the door to find Kazusa sharpening her knives in the dark. He asks how is she protecting him like that and she says she’s guarding his room and since he didn’t come for a long time, he decides to sharpen her knives and get that dog. This surprises Takahiro. Rinia is passing by and spots Azusa being tied and wrapped up in a mattress and thrown out of the room. Rinia is worried and thinks Takahiro may like Kazusa. Oh now this maid is harbouring some feelings for a cold bugger like him. The next day, Kazusa is being chased by Inoue and is making a mess everywhere. Takahiro has had it and is going to try to get Kazusa over her fear of dogs as he holds her down on her knees and lets Inoue licks her face. Kazusa is still scared and freaking out, yelling like a desperate girl. Takahiro then opened her eyes and tells her it’s not the enemy. Kazusa then realized it as she felt some warmth. Takahiro says about the weird things on his island and though they’re weird, he likes them all. Rinia blushes as Kazusa pats Inoue and apologizes. Soon the 2 like each other, did things and have fun together. A (wo)man’s best friend? I’m glad that they’re buddies now.
 
Nightfall, and several masked terrorists are seen heading towards the island on a boat. At office, Takahiro compliments Rinia’s tea and asks her to try her best when Kazusa comes in and says something is wrong with Inoue. Fuyuha thinks it may have caught a cold from playing too much water. Kazusa remembers bathing it earlier on and feels guilty. Outside, Rinia tells Kazusa to be cheerful and the duo chat about what it means to be alive. Because they’re androids, Kazusa thinks it’s the same as being dead. Rinia fumbling on what to say and eventually says that though she doesn’t know, she thinks she’s alive because she feels happy when Takahiro compliments her tea and that feelings aren’t made up. Kazusa realized a little when Fuyuha arrives and gives Kazusa a book that may help Inoue. Back at the room, Takahiro notices Inoue’s condition isn’t improving when Fuyuha and Rinia enters and say Kazusa went to the lighthouse area to gather some herbs.
 
Suddenly, they heard some explosions and saw smoke coming from the lighthouse area and rushed there. The terrorists are fighting with Kazusa and plans to kill her for foiling their plans and killing their comrades. They also mention how they’re going to kill Takahiro after this. Takahiro and gang arrive in time and he remembers Kazusa being all dirtied before and is convinced someone is after his life. The terrorists fires away when Takahiro uses his pistol to take out one of their guns. Wow. A small shooter like his can take out a bigger sophisticated one. The terrorists notices Takahiro is here and uses their in-built jet shoes to get on top of the cliff to where he is. As they prepare to aim, Kazusa manage to slice 1 of them with her knife. The other terrorist has his target locked on Takahiro. He shoots at him but only manages to shoot his pistol away. Kazusa gets in front of Takahiro to protect him. As the terrorist pulls the trigger, Inoue suddenly jumps in font and takes the bullet. Kazusa can only watch in horror. She manages to stick her knife at his throat and orders him to get off the island or else she’ll kill him. The terrorist must know not to mess with a maid who’s mad and decides to back off. However the boat he escapes in explodes. Takahiro then says "Death to those who failed. That’s how Moekko Company is". Kazusa frantically telling Inoue to get a hold of itself. Inoue licks her face 1 last time before it passes away. Kazusa in shock and crying hysterically.
 
The following day, they buried Inoue and Kazusa thanks it for teaching her many things and that she’ll never forget about it and vows to continue protecting. As everyone leaves, Rinia stood there thinking that there’re lots of sad and painful things and even so, she likes this island. Takahiro calls out to her as Rinia comes following. Takahiro notices a thunder storm coming as he walks off. Indeed stormy days are awaiting him. That’s because the next scene, in some room in a highrise tower, some guy is saying something about Takahiro’s discipline and therefore needs primary army’s intervention because leaving him alone on that island is too dangerous to their company. Some boss approves his proposal to assassinate Takahiro. I wonder why leaving Takahiro too long on that island is a threat to them? Is it because they can’t monitor him and make him do whatever fancies and whim as they please?
 
Episode 3
Oraji can’t believe that Takahiro says Rinia’s going to undergo some Espionage Maid training programme. Takahiro mentions it’s orders from HQ and he has 2 days to give his reply. He also says the programme is to increase Rinia’s sex appeal and raise her a Sexroid. Oraji says it’s a trap and Kirishima agrees it’s a plan to get rid of Takahiro. But Takahiro mentions that he doesn’t have Nursery Cryme Powers anymore. They’re powers to destroy the world and somehow he lost it. He’s among the 5 people who has such powers and his is Water’s Nursery Cryme, to control water and shadow freely. Kirishima says there may be people at HQ who don’t think he has lost it but Takahiro says he has refused HQ orders and orders preparation for evacuation of all maids and staff because he doesn’t want them to hurt Rinia. He asks Kirishima to make counterattack plans and will fight this alone.
 
Rinia talking to the mechanics and giving her tomatos that she planted at the hangar. Two maids passes by Takahiro and notices that he’s happy before excusing themselves. Rinia then arrives and gives him some candies. She tells him his candy colour is blue as it’s the same colour as the sky and he’s clear like it. Rinia goes on to give her multi-coloured candies as Takahiro looking at his in his palms. At the library, Kirishima tells Fuyuha, Kazusa and Suzuki about Takahiro’s evacuation orders tomorrow, surprising them. Kazusa asking why is Takahiro the only 1 staying back to fight. Kirishima is hesitating when Suzuki asks if Rinia has anything to do with it because whenever Kirishima’s hesitating to talk about Takashiro, Rinia is always involved. She wants to know what’s going on between Rinia and Takahiro. Kirishima starts crying. Meanwhile Takahiro is walking through some misty barren creepy place when a young girl from behind returns his time piece and has been looking for him forever. He takes it as she says clocks are magical instruments that gather scattered times into 1. Takahiro then realized she’s Rinia. He soon wakes up from the dream and sees the time piece on the table next to him.
 
The next day, everyone is preparing for evacuation. In the office, Oraji says judging by the amount of troops sent by HQ, their counterattack success is only 30%. He also mentions an amphibian vehicle at the underground hangar near the lighthouse area if he ever needs to escape. Takahiro asks him what is Rinia to himself. He says she’s different from the rest as though she’s been entrusted something from someone. Soon all systems of Moekko Island can be controlled from this room is completed. Takahiro thanks Oraji for taking care of him but he says don’t say goodbye as they’ll meet again. As everyone boards the helicopters, Rinia asks about Takahiro who says he’ll board a different one later. She says she wants to board the same helicopter with him but he tells her to get on 1 now, which she does.
 
At night, Takahiro is standing above in the hallway and notices how quiet it is. He’s seeing visions of his maids and staff greeting him. He realized that tough he doesn’t have the qualities of happiness, he realized it when everyone’s gone. Suddenly to his surprise, he sees Kirishima, Fuyuha, Kazusa, Suzuki and Oraji. He noticed that Kirishima had told them and asked her why she had done so. Fuyuha mentions that his thoughts and theirs are the same and will follow him anywhere. Takahiro also sees Rinia there and wonders why she hasn’t evacuate yet. She replies that she’s a maid and will stay with her master at all times. The gang then took a group photo.
 
Several battleships are arriving. In the office, everyone is busy typing something on the computers. Takahiro sees Rinia and shows her the time piece Rei gave to him. Some talk about clocks and memories. It’s midnight and Takahiro asks Kirishima to send the final response to HQ. Everyone is waiting when the radar picks up several missiles which the gunboats launched. The energy barrier is launched and activated which protects them from the missiles. Now it’s their turn to go offensive. The whole island become gun turrets and starts firing away, destroying the fleets. I guess HQ only have the numbers. But it’s not over yet. Soon submarines emerge as… weird androids?! They manage to take out the turrets easily. Since the androids are going to reach the base in no time, they decide to go fight them upfront outside. Takahiro orders Rinia to stay by his side while the others head outside to fight. The defensive barrier is broken and the androids are rushing in. Erm… Can a few machine guns and bombs destroy these androids? Kazusa’s knife must be bloody sharp to slice an android like that. An android breaks the door where Takahiro and Rinia is and summons the rest of them here. The duo took refuge under the table. But Takahiro gets wounded on his shoulder. His pistol manage to take out 1 android per shot but more came streaming in. The others manage to get back in time to dispose of the menacing androids. However Takahiro collapses and the whole place is in ruin and flames.
 
The gang then is hiding in the medical room. Takahiro notices how exhausted everyone is an thinks they’ll lose. Rinia asking how did this battle start and why can’t he stop it all because she can’t stand watching everyone get hurt meaninglessly anymore. Suzuki then yells at her saying that everyone’s doing this to protect her, shocking Rinia. Fuyuha adds that they don’t want to make her into a play thing of some rich guy. Rinia apologizes and says she’s useless after all even though everyone’s fighting and getting hurt, she didn’t notice anything. Rinia thinks it’s better that she didn’t come in the 1st place and disappeared or never have been born (wait a minute? I thought robots like her are made. Unless it’s their term of course). Takahiro tells her to keep quiet and don’t say stupid things and if she cries, he’ll become lonely too. Kirishima says that they’re not only fighting to protect her but their own memories and the ones they love as well. More talk of realisation when Rinia drops to her knees, apologizes and cries. Takahiro tells Oraji to show them the way to the lighthouse.
 
Everyone is walking through an underground path there when Takahiro realized he forgot his time piece at the office. Rinia offers to go back and get it but Takahiro says it’s okay. Rinia tells him not to worry as se rushes back there. She manages to find it when an android confronts her. Rinia powers up. The rest manages to reach the lighthouse when Suzuki feels hungry and asks Takahiro is there anything to eat. He hands her his blue candies. Then some android flips some switch which shoots all the missiles at the lighthouse. The gang takes cover. A rain of missiles is blocking their path. Kazusa says she’s going to get the vehicle but Takahiro feels it’s impossible to dodge this attack. Suddenly Rinia with blue aura around her, shows up and is walking towards the lighthouse with the missiles still raining down. Takahiro tells her to stop and wonders why she has to endure pain and suffering. Some flashback of Rinia waking up and walking aimlessly from a scrap factory. She says she has a reason to walk now and endure sufferings, for Takahiro and everyone. As the morning sun rises, Rinia’s nearly there when a missile directly hits her and sends her flying, ripping off her extra arms. Takahiro rushes to her side, not regarding his own safety. He’s holding her in her arms and is asking why did it become like this. Rinia says she finally understands. To get his and her lost past back, she came to him. Rinia returns the time piece to him. Takahiro apologizes and says he’s an incompetent fool. Oh now, he’s caught her disease as well. I thought Rinia has this bad habit of saying over and over how useless she is, and now Takahiro has it too. Rinia then tells him not to cry and that she’s very happy. Some sad but happy talk before Rinia closes her eyes. Takahiro lets loose a blood curling scream as he sheds a tear. With the other androids arriving, Takahiro is now very mad. Uh huh. There’s a black aura around him. He unleashes his Nursery Cryme called Kanzaki Of Pure Darkness as it blasts away the androids.
 
Takahiro narrates ever since then, it’s the 1st time it snowed on Moekko Island. Back at the highrise tower in the city, Rei is saying to herself about that clocks are magical instruments line and says it’ll definitely be her turn next time. It’s a sunny day on Moekko Island and everyone’s back and fixing up the place. Takahiro is in the medical room watching Rinia in a tube chamber as he tells her to quickly wake up because everyone is waiting for her as he looks at the group photo.
 
Moe moe moe…
Not really. Unless you really dig life-like maid androids. Overall, I guess this short series is pretty much okay to me. I was just wondering what happened in the end. I mean, the ending was a happy one but does this mean that the HQ has given up their attempts to assassinate Takahiro? Maybe. After seeing him unleash his super power Nursery Cryme, better not play play with this guy. I’m glad with how Takahiro turned out at the end. In the beginning, he was a cold, bitter, lonely, depress and unhappy person. Though he didn’t like Rinia at first but he gradually soon learns to accept her and probably in a way, you could say he got a little attached to her in the end.
 
One thing I want to mention is the Nursery Cryme thing. First I thought this series was based on some manga or something but I couldn’t find any sources of it. I tried to do some research on the Nursery Cryme but didn’t come up with any info either. So I came to a conclusion that this Nursery Cryme may be just something created for the anime. The subs make it seem like there was some back story or something happened back then. Maybe there was. Or just something if the producers ever wants to make another OVA out of it.
 
Not to say that this is totally a crappy anime, but because of the unexplained stuffs, it puts a little damper and confusion in the end. Besides, it’s almost that each episode can stand alone as it’s own as the focus of each episode is nearly different. The characters here are also sufficient and won’t amount to anything much. I mean, it’s only 3 episodes, right? But if you’re a bishoujo and bishonen fan, then I suppose the drawing, art and animation would appeal to you. Me, I think I’m better off watching harem animes… maid harem animes… Hahaha.
 
Moekan

Ippatsu Kiki Musume

February 22, 2008

Well, I’m sure in life that we all do face situations whether it’s just a little pinch or life-threatening. Because of that, we have to rely on our instincts, reflexes and our knowledge in order to get out of those sticky situations. This is the same case for the anime Ippatsu Kiki Musume, which literally means one-shot crisis girl.
 
Just as the name of the anime, we have this unfortunate girl, Kunyan, who is always in some sort of unfortunate situation. Yeah, she has to come up with whatever ideas and use whatever items possible in order for her to overcome it all. It’s do or die. Call it back luck or what, but by the end of each episode, she’ll usually makes it, barely or by luck.
 
This series is quite short. In the sense that it’s exactly 3 minutes only! Wow. Reminds me of Di Gi Charat’s case. So you might think that with only 180 seconds of air time, there’d be nothing much to see, right? Well, the action here is pretty fast paced. So it’s enough to make curious viewers to be glued to the screen. Thus be careful and don’t be too slow, or you’ll miss what’s happening.
 
As the entire series spans only 16 episodes, I’m sure just about everyone can finish this in just 1 sitting. But there’s good news and bad news about this series. The good news is that in each episode, there’ll be a detailed explanation, whether it’s in a chart form, real live action demonstration or some theoretical analysis, that the narrator will narrate to the viewers about. Yup, lots of interesting scientific explanations about the methods, situations and such. Thus viewers can get valuable information and knowledge when watching this series. However, the bad news is that, each episode has an ecchi element. Yup, you’ll have to put up with topless and bare-chested ladies. With these 2 elements, it makes the series quite funny and interesting to watch. If not for the ecchi part, I would’ve even recommended it for school children to watch! (Who am I kidding).
 
So episode 1 starts off with Kunyan in some pinch already. She’s screaming inside a locked sauna because she slipped while enjoying it and dislocates both her shoulder and thigh joints. With that, she can’t properly move. The narrator says something about human’s body and water whereby a human body consists of 60%-70% water and if it reaches 20% loss in fluids, this may lead to death. And Kunyan’s water level is now at 11%-12%. She’s screaming for help but the receptionist guy’s sleeping on the job. No choice, she tries to crawl but slipped because her sweat on the floor is like lubricant, therefore no friction. Better hurry, since her water level is at 15% danger level. Kunyan tries a somersault roll to the door but can’t reach it still. So she goes back to her starting position and calculates the distance so that her face will be exactly next to the doorknob. She’s successful, but smashes her face right into it. Uh huh. She’s bleeding now. No time to rest as she tries to turn the knob with her mouth but it’s too slippery. It’s just getting worse and worse, isn’t it? Meanwhile, Kunyan’s buddies, Linda and Naja arrives and is ready to enter the sauna. They turn the doorknob, which causes Kunyan’s jaw to be dislocated! Linda is still trying to forcefully open the door as Kunyan is really bleeding badly. Oh, her water level is now at 19%! Since Kunyan’s blood is leaking outside the door from beneath, it freaks out Linda and Naja. Linda breaks open the door and Kunyan is ‘blasted’ away as she further bleeds. This causes her to have major haemorrhage resulting in SOS condition as she has passed over the 20% level already.
 
Woah! Poor Kunyan. It’s kinda creative that she comes up with all those ideas but it seems to backfire. So most of the other episodes will follow in this similar manner. Though I feel that some of them ends with a cliffhanger and the next episode doesn’t continue off from there. Uh huh. So like in the end of episode 1, is Kunyan gone for good? Dunno. Thus, I feel each episode serves as a standalone and that you don’t really have to watch them in order.
 
Episode 2 starts off with Kunyan having a giant crab stuck on her head. Linda is freaking out and thinks Kunyan is trying to monopolize the crab. So how did Kunyan ended up like that? Well, she mentions the crab attacked her when she opened the box. Linda teases her and says the crab may be trying to have sex with her. Kunyan’s reply "Aho ka?!" (Are you stupid?!). Yeah, you’ll hear Kunyan say this line several times when Linda mocks her. Anyway, they need to separate the crab from her face so that they could boil it as Linda tries to pull it off. The narrator relay some info on the crab legs and that it won’t come off easily. Furthermore, the crab is using its legs to attack Kunyan’s face. Linda teases her that she’s being held hostage by a crab. Aho ka?! Soon, Kunyan strips naked with Linda spraying hot water to make it come off but it tighten its legs instead. Kunyan then puts her whole head in the boiling pot (kids don’t try this at home). The narrator says about the best boiling crab meat time is about 35 minutes but Kunyan can only last 10 minutes. They then try to use centrifugal force to separate the crab. Uh huh some complicated formulas that the narrator is saying, which he himself doesn’t understand too. Linda spins Kunyan and lets got. The crab finally comes off and into the cooking pot. In the end, the duo are feasting out on the crab and saying how delicious it is. Revenge is a dish best served… erm hot and fresh?
 
In episode 3, Kunyan is watching an exercise equipment promo video and how to use it it called Muscle Boy Tom. She puts on that Tom on her body and follows the instructions as said by the video like turning and setting it to the max but it made her in a bind like as though her arms and legs are being tied up from the back. The video adds that once Tom detects the user is in danger, its safety system will go into effect. Kunyan asking it to hurry and tell her. But it seems the safety system is just to cheer you on. What the? Since she’s frustrated, she decides to get rid of Tom. Kunyan struggles to unplug the power switch on the wall. The video says whenever you yell, Tom will respond with his power up function, which is to exercise. Kunyan finds it funny and laughs. She’s then caught off guard and stumbles away from the plug. Kunyan thinking that she’s being beaten by this crappy machine. The narrator says about increasing electricity and a breaker will be tripped because Tom’s a machine, so there is a need to exceed 4000 watts. Kunyan decides to switch the air-cond and tv volume to the max. She crawls there and activates the remote with her chin. The power increases but it’s getting too cold and noisy. Finally it tripped. Later Kunyan passes Tom to Linda who’s doing pretty well herself as a frustrated Kunyan shuts the tv video off. I think she got all the exercise she needed during that struggle.
 
Kunyan is stuck in a yoga meditation position in episode 4. As she moves, she hits the cupboard with a bottle of alcohol on it. The bottle drops, breaks and spills. Kunyan thinks how wasteful it’s going to be and starts licking. The alcohol then reacts to the cigarette nearby and causes a fire. The narrator mentions how a fire can occur if alcohol comes in contact with a lit cigarette and be careful not to let it happen. Oh well, it just did. Kunyan saying how she can’t get water in this position. So she punched herself in the nose and uses her nosebleed to douse the fire! Erm… I don’t think that’ll be enough. She’ll bleed to death before the fire is put out. So Kunyan quickly ‘tip-fingers’ to get a kettle and pour it over the flames. Didn’t work either. Then she uses the chamber pot as she covers her nose and pours. Stinks. The idea and result, that is. She needs to throw something with lots of water if she’s going to douse the growing flames. Kunyan spots a box of condoms Linda forgot to take back. She quickly fills them with water from the kitchen tap and throws several of it. Finally the fire is put out. She falls back and heave a sigh of relieve as she thanks the condoms but wonders how she’s going to get out of her twisted yoga position. Now that’s another story/problem…
 
In episode 5, Kunyan and Linda are tied and stuck together in a metal drum. It all started when the 2 are washing Linda’s motorbike at the scrapyard. Linda’s standing on top of that drum and spraying water with a hose on her bike when she slipped. Linda’s hands grabbed and pulled Kunyan along with her. Since the hose is still running, in no time, it’ll fill up the drum and the duo will drown. Linda makes a joke and says she’ll stop it with her ‘Sumata’ (mata = crotch in Japanese). Linda then grabs and ‘strangles’ the hose with her thighs as she moans "Ah, F*ck me, f*ck me". Woah! The pressure is enough to cause the hose to be separated from the tap. But it starts to rain suddenly. Not to mention a heavy downpour. So the water is continuing to fill up the drum. Kunyan’s face is underwater, Linda asks her to rest her face on her chin, which Kunyan did. Kunyan thought up an idea and wants Linda to raise her chin by opening her mouth. By doing so, Kunyan is pushed higher and will be able to grab the drum’s edge. While doing so, horny Linda then says how ‘big’ it was her experience with some Italian, Puerto Rican and Japanese. But the biggest one was some American called Mike (must be some spoof of some celebrity) as she opens her mouth real wide and Kunyan manages to grab the edge and pull herself out. Linda wants to continue her American joke but Kunyan tells her to cut it out.
 
Kunyan gets a rude awakening shock in episode 6 when she finds herself being half swallowed by a giant python, Mike (no relation to that guy in the previous episode). The narrator says Mike is Kunyan’s pet and this python is from South East Asia with a length of 7m 5cm and it’s an aggressive animal known to swallow people. Kunyan is afraid of its stomach acid and imagines a skeletal self if she ever gets contact with it. She’s thinking of its weakness and decides to chop its head with her hands because she did it once and it released her. She tries with her feet but it didn’t work. Kunyan then uses a broom to make it appear that her upper body is her lower body. She draws a face on the broom with her feet and thinking of putting it in her ‘hole’ but thinks she’ll lose her virginity to a broom. She then thinks that she’ll just have to go deeper into Mike’s stomach and get out the other end but disgusts at the idea that a woman can’t come out of a snake’s anus. Frantically searching for things to substitute as the head, she eventually finds a Santa Claus balloon head but it’s deflated. Because Kunyan has constipation, she’s going to use her methane gas to inflate it and hopes no solid waste comes out. She must have a lot of gas because her fart was enough to inflate the balloon. With that, Mike releases her. We then see Kunyan being cautious when she sleeps. Can’t take anymore chances.
 
Episode 7 sees Kunyan all excited to go on a trip to Australia as she puts back her vacuum cleaner in the closet and heads to the toilet. But the closet door opened causing the vacuum to fall out and the closet door ‘locks’ the toilet door. While checking her stuff, Kunyan realizes she forgot her wallet and decides to go fetch it. As she turns the knob, the door won’t open. Since her plane’s leaving in 4 hours, Kunyan starts cracking on how to get out. Well, it’s the 8th floor, nobody can hear her scream so she decides to break down the door but it’s too tough. She then breaks the window with the basin and uses toilet paper and rolls it into a rope. The narrator says by twisting like that, it can become durable even though toilet papers are easily broken. One roll can make approximately 25m, so 3 rolls is enough to make a single strong rope. After 2 1/2 hours, Kunyan climbs down slowly but it starts to rain. The toilet paper snaps but Kunyan did some somersault flips and has a perfect landing (a perfect 10 points for it). But she realizes how to get back in and decides to climb back through the window. No choice even though she’s afraid of heights. When she finally reaches, the door can’t open. We see a layout plan of the room how the closet door is also blocking this door. Kunyan decides to go from the veranda. Unfortunately she slips. She does that somersault down again but lands on her back (0 points for landing this time). Kunyan is sad that she’s going to miss her trip. But since she thinks it’s summer there now, she heads to the airport in just her swimsuit and the basin as her only luggage. Why bring the basin along?
 
At the countryside in episode 8. Kunyan, Linda and Naja are taking a bath in a barrel but the place they’re in is fire because of dry air and leaves. They need to put out the fire fast. Linda splashes some water but the fire is too big. Naja tries moving the barrel but it’s too heavy. As they’re thinking, the water suddenly becomes hot and boiling as they leap out and are standing on top of the barrel’s edge. The place is also engulfed in smoke. Kunyan gets an idea not to inhale smoke by keeping their heads as low to the ground as possible. A piece of leaf touches Kunyan’s butt as she screams and unknowingly grabs a wooden lid. She gets an idea to cover the barrel with the lid so they can be on the water and lower their heads even more. While doing so, they’ll hope and wait for the fire to burn out. Then steam is seen coming out from Linda’s barrel as it launches her into the air. The narrator saying the power of steam whereby steam trapped in sealed barrel launched Linda high into the air. Naja too experiences one but Linda says it won’t guarantee an exact landing like hers the next time. Kunyan has an idea with all of them being launched at the same time by matching the timings and then kick each other in the air, which’ll create enough force to land them safely outside the flames. Since they’re in a chasm, he height difference in terrain will reduce their damage and break their fall. They soon launch but Kunyan receives direct kicks from Linda and Naja. Since Kunyan is in the middle, she doesn’t get to propel away like her other friends. Linda’s wondering where Kunyan is as they looked around. The narrator mentions that this place is later known as ‘Human Rocket Super Rotenburo’ and became the hottest trend… or not. We see Kunyan knocked out and on the lid saying "How nice" as she faints. Erm… Did you notice that the ladies are totally naked throughout the episode?
 
Kunyan is in a precarious position high up between 2 buildings in episode 9. How did she ended up like this? Thinking back, there was a club gathering at her place and Kunyan’s all drunk. Someone said she’s got acrophobia as Kunyan rebuffs and says she’s known as the Apex Of Shanghai and takes up whatever challenges. I see that’s what happened. Now Kunyan’s at her limit and is expecting a worst case scenario like how fast she’ll ram into the ground if she falls from this position. She does some calculations and formulas and comes up with 50km/h. Freaking out that she’ll die at this rate, she decides to push and climb herself upwards. While doing so, she notices her fingers don’t reach and thinks that the building is slightly tilted. She decides to go back down but slips. The narrator explains that it’s something similar to running a downhill marathon, whereby it’s harder than uphill because there’s a need to control the speed. Kunyan spots a window and decides to grab it but as she uses her feet to spring there, she couldn’t reach it because Kunyan forgot the fact that both buildings are tilted, the energy kick was greater going upwards and not sideways. But luck is on her side because she landed on 3 teenagers, who’re there 3 minutes ago to see her underwear. Yeah, saved by perverts.
 
Episode 10 has Kunyan doing a part time job offered by Linda as a round girl. But the super big takoyaki she ate yesterday got to her and she badly needs to go to the toilet. However it’s in the middle of the ring and stadium is packed. Kunyan thinks that each round is 3 minutes and that she has to go and return within that time frame. Though it’s short, it’s better than leaking out here and be on tomorrow’s front page. Kunyan decides to take her mind off by playing a shiratori game. By the end of the 7th round, she can’t take it and rushes out of the ring but finds an out of service sign on the toilet’s door and the nearest toilet is on the 3rd floor. She rushes there, looks at her watch and notices she has 1 1/2 minutes left. With no time left, she decides to use the worker’s elevator when the next round ends and heads back. So the next time she does this, she notices she has 2 minutes left but since she’s wearing a leotard and other clothes, she has to take everything off. That undressing has taken up some time and Kunyan has no choice but to rush back to the ring. So the next time, she’ll just wear the leotard and makes it in time. However, it won’t come out now. The narrator says about the ‘Dump Bio-rhythm’ and the next time she needs to take a dump is between the 10th and 11th round, that is, in the ring. Kunyan can’t hold it much longer and decides to end it as she strips and asks the boxers to look at her. The boxer sees Kunyan and faints. While everyone’s attention is on the boxer, Kunyan peacefully taking her dump. Ah, so relieved…
 
In episode 11, Kunyan got her hair stuck in the bathtub hole and the bathtub’s filled with water. Kunyan recalls that she and her buddies were drinking at a bar. Since they were too noisy, they got kicked out. So they decided to go back and drink at her place. Kunyan then decides to take a bath, but when pulling the plug, she slipped, resulting her hair to be stuck in the drain. Kunyan is thinking of ways to breath or she’ll drown. Kunyan thinks oxygen is carried in from the mouth and goes out through the butt, therefore it’s possible to breath in the opposite route. She tries to inhale and exhale through her butt but it didn’t work. Like real it could. Maybe the lack of oxygen in her head is impeding her thinking. Linda comes in to see why Kunyan is taking so long. Kunyan is relieved that Linda’s here but Linda too has that breathing through the butt theory and decides to give anus CPR! Of course Kunyan kicks her away and notices she’s wasted some energy and her suffocation process is getting faster. Kunyan decides to extract water from the tub as she takes a nearby towel and soaks it and squeezes it. It’s going to take some time. Naja comes in and also has that breathing through butt theory (why do they have such thinking?) but thinks that she won’t be able to send oxygen if there’s poop stuck in the middle as she rushes out. Kunyan is already hallucinating some weird creatures and notices the force pulling her hair is weakening because the water pressure has decreased since some of the water has been squeezed out of the tub. With that, Kunyan uses all her strength to push herself out and is successful. Naja comes back with some sort of sucking device…?! Probably to suck the poop out. Yeah, Kunyan mentions she’s too late for that. Good thing too.
 
The window shatters and Kunyan wakes up to find her thigh bleeding profusely in episode 12. She’s freaking out and her legs feel numb. Need to stop the bleeding. The narrator says a human body have 4 litres of blood and if 2 litres are lost, it’ll be fatal, that is, about 10 milk bottles. Kunyan has lost 1 litre already. She decides to get some dressing for the wound but notices the room is covered with broken glasses and it’s too dangerous to move around. I’m not sure how, but Kunyan gets her idea to stop her bleeding through some word game. Bleeding is to anaemia is to cartilege is to chicken meat is to Kashiwa is to Chiba prefecture is to peanuts is to persimmon seeds is to black beer is to hair. Must be some Japanese pun. Kunyan then ties her hair to dress the wound but is in an awkward position. Soon she gets to the phone to call an ambulance but because of her position, se can’t see forward. So she takes a broken mirror to so while keeping her balance. Better hurry because she mentions that she don’t wanna die looking this stupid. Since the mirror is cracked, it’s hard to tell the numbers. Though she manages to dial, she’s got the receiver on the wrong end and thinks she has dialled the wrong number as the other guy on the other end of the line kept saying "Moshi moshi, is anybody there?". Kunyan’s going to give up and fall, when the receiver lined up with her mouth and ear as she soon screams to hurry up and save her. But when the rescue team arrives, rescue was delayed a little longer because they saw her in an awkward position and mistakes her for a pervert.
 
Kunyan is riding pillion on Linda’s bike in episode 13 at the beach side. Kunyan tells Linda about the warning sign of rocks falling. But Linda says "Let’s watch out heads". She accelerates and breaks through the road barrier. What is this woman thinking? So Linda’s currently using the accelerator to offset the gravity as they’re on a steep cliff. Kunyan says they’ve got 2cm left before falling into the ocean below, which means they’ve only got 30 minutes. Linda says she isn’t worried because the gas will run out in 20 minutes and laughs. Yeah, she’s really nuts. Linda then says not to be a pessimist as they don’t know what’s below the cliffs. While Kunyan thinks there may be jagged rocks, Linda says there may be other possibilities like vacuum of space. Kunyan mockingly says to herself that Linda’s head is filled with vacuum of space. The bike is slipping and Linda says the bike is fully prepared for unexpected situations like this. Kunyan thinks it’s some in-built James Bond 007 gadget but Linda laughs it off and says she’ll be okay even if it falls and gets smashed because it’s covered with accident insurance. Kunyan gets an idea to make a rope using her clothes and asks Linda to lend hers. She ties the rope of clothes to her helmet and decides to throw it in hopes that it’ll snag on the guardrail. But Linda wants to do the honours because of her American cowboy thingy. As Linda swings, the helmet hits Kunyan’s head causing her to fall off. Kunyan looks down and sees lots of tetrapods below. Luckily her legs are grabbing a rock and is hanging upside down the cliff edge. Linda says thanks to her falling off, she’s able to make it up to the top as it’s lighter. Kunyan thinks it’s her plan from the start all along. Linda laughing as she rides off to go call for help. The narrator says at that point, Kunyan’s opinion on Linda changed from a mere ditz to a woman she could no longer estimate.
 
In episode 14, Kunyan and an old guy, Daigoro, is seen holding up a heavy closet. The narrator saying she’s working as a secretary for Daigoro, a high ranking official and that dresser closet weights 300kg. The supporting mass is 150kg, Daigoro is bearing 30% (45kg), Kunyan 70% (105kg) and Sayuri the inflated doll 0% (0kg lah). Kunyan recalls how they got into this mess. She opened the closet and thought a corpse had fallen out. Daigoro introduces her (Sayuri) as his dutch wife and then as Kunyan’s searching for things on top of the closet and standing on Daigoro, he pokes her butt. She kicks him of course and says what is he doing as she’s hanging on the closet top. Soon the closet came toppling. Back in present time, Kunyan says to use the phone but Daigoro mentions the phone is under his armpit and he can’t reach it and tells her to pull it out with her feet so he can dial with his feet. The phone sits on Kunyan’s panties (ahem ahem) and Daigoro says how he can see her panties and she’s got it steady and 1 can tell the value of a woman the moment you meet her and his intuition isn’t mistaken (old dirty pervert!). The phone rings and Kunyan finds the vibration stimulating as she’s asking him to hurry. Some girl, Aiko, picks it up and Daigoro tells her to call 119 quickly but she tells him to go die before hanging up. The closet is toppling even more and the narrator says the inclination is 30 degrees and the load is now 260kg. They’ll be crushed at this rate if they lose strength. But if they get inside the closet, they’ll be saved. Daigoro reminiscing moments he spent with Sayuri, the time he bought her through mail order, shared hidden rendezvous when his wife isn’t looking, portable and compact in a suitcase. Kunyan yells that it’s not a time to worry about his dutch wife and quickly takes him in. The narrator says Sayuri is able to support 150kg at most but the net load is now 280kg and since she’s bearing 100%, the closet crushes her. In the closet, Kunyan is thinking of using the phone to call for help but Daigoro could only think about Sayuri. Pissed off, Kunyan knocks his head.
 
On a hot summer day in episode 15, Kunyan is walking on a street when she forgot her handphone but spots a phone booth. As she enters it, she realizes she forgot to bring some change too. Just then, a lorry parks by and blocks the door. Trapped, Kunyan decides to wait till the lorry moves. However, it’s getting hot and stuffy inside. The narrator says a human body maintains body temperature separately from its surroundings but if it’s exposed to heat for long periods, it may result in abnormalities in the body which is called heatstroke. Kunyan strips down to her undies and decides to break the booth glass when she spots another lorry passing by and yells for it to stop. Well, it did as it reverses a little and blocks the phone booth. The ignorant driver gets out to get something to eat. Looks like he won’t be back for a while. Kunyan has no choice but to wait as she can’t do anything. The heat is taking is toll as the lorry which’s blocking the door finally moves. Naja comes in and asks why is Kunyan sitting around naked. Kunyan asks for water and Naja replies she doesn’t have any. Soon a car blocks the door and the duo are trapped once more. Naja is wondering what’s going to happen stuck inside a booth. Kunyan is all naked and saying weirdly this’ll happen. Naja says it’s so unlady-like but Kunyan wonders if it’s such a good idea to say those things and explains the thing which strip travellers in desert is the sun and you can’t win against the sun. Soon Naja too strips all naked and just sitting around. The narrator says how those 2 spend a happy summer day together when the truck and car finally moves off as we see the duo sleeping in the booth.
 
Even the narrator says something how something must happen to Kunyan (maybe living up to her title tagname?) as in episode 16 Kunyan is soaked outside her apartment on a rainy day as she spots a cat and brings it in. She takes a hot bath with the cat when the cat suddenly runs out of the bathroom. The cat switches on the hair dryer and goes back into the toilet and hangs it with its mouth, just above the tub’s water. I wonder if the cat is doing this on purpose. Kunyan thinks that if it falls into the water, she’ll be fried. The narrator says if the hair dryer falls into the tub, the current will flow through the water and since it uses a great deal of electricity, nothing in the water would be able to escape. Kunyan tries to approach the cat slowly but the cat got its paws on Kunyan’s hands. Hair dryer us dangling dangerously. Kunyan is asking to get its paws off her hands but the cat pushes it downwards. We see still snapshots of Kunyan trying to keep the cat’s paw at a safe level. Yeah, she’s thinking is she being screwed. All the while, baby. Right from the start. Kunyan then thinks that since it’s a cat, there has to be something it’ll play with and needs something to draw its attention. Kunyan shake her hips and asking it to come but the cat just keep staring. Kunyan decides to unplug to drain out the tub water. The cat looks down and this causes the hair dryer to slightly touch to water surface. No choice, Kunyan quickly throws the cat up and catches it but it lands in the water. The cat lets go of the hair dryer and Kunyan thinks she’s going to get fried. However, the hair dryer hits the side of the tub and splits into 2 with the main hair dryer falling outside and the cover inside the bath tub. Kunyan is relieved. She lives another day. The narrator says how a cat will often show up with its eyes on Kunyan’s cat toy since then (?). What the? Is the cat trying to play with her… lower… ahem ahem. Nevermind.
 
Overall, if I don’t mind the ecchi part, I guess this is fairly a decent show. Yeah, right. I mean, the good thing here is that it gives you an idea of what to do (usually what NOT TO) when faced with such a situation. I’m not sure if I could remember them but I’m sure my instincts too will come into play when the time comes. Besides, with all that informative explanations, I did learn a thing or two. Hmm… Then why not I go read a more proper source like magazines or journals, you ask? Yeah, probably I’d be interested if it is in the form of anime. Hahaha.
 
One thing I’d like to mention about Kunyan is that not only that she’s an luck-cum-unlucky girl who gets in and out of lots of trouble (good thing she is alive and breathing at the end of each episode), she’s like a monkey because she’s able to use her feet and mouth to do things as well! Uh huh. Didn’t you notice that she’s quite good in using them effectively. Maybe this shows that she’s been in lots of dangerous situations and has learned well to adapt. You could say Kunyan’s a survivor. Another thing is, I kinda notice that Kunyan’s pal, Naja, don’t really make much of an appearance. Just appearing in 4 episodes only. Perhaps the focus here is on Kunyan rather than anything else.
 
So I’m sure that people who’re experiencing a streak of bad luck, those who’ve hit rock bottom, don’t despair, take a look around you and access the situation. There’s something that can be useful and turn the situation to one’s favour. See, knowledge is indeed power. Of course the right application of it matter too. But if you’re talking about inviting trouble, then that’s a different story.
 
Ippatsu Kiki Musume

I didn’t really expect for the Zero No Tsukaima to have a second season entitled Zero No Tsukaima: Futatsuki No Kishi (Knights of the twin moons). Since the first season which was released in mid 2006, was a surprise hit and a really short one too. Probably because of that, the producers decided to capitalize on this and make fans happy with a second season in mid 2007.
 
However if you think the first season was painfully short, the second season is even shorter. Why? That’s because the second season is 1 episode shorter than the first season. Yup, only 12 episodes here. Is it a trend these days. Reminds me of Ikkitousen’s case. Maybe they’ll have an OVA at the end of it all too. In a way, it made me think and feel that there was nothing much to tell in the first place and the only reason why the show’s being released is to satisfy hardcore fans of the show.
 
Besides, the second season isn’t that all great either. In my most humble opinion, it sucked, sad to say. Okay, maybe it’s not that all bad. After the cliffhanger ending in the first season, I thought that was bad, but the second season lacked lots and lots of development. Firstly, I kinda notice that the supporting characters from the first season such as Kirche, Tabitha, Guiche and Montmorency, has been sidelined and don’t even play any significant role! It’s like the whole second season could be done without them. Secondly, we don’t get to see Louise’s Void Magic here. After that mind blowing super power at the end of the first season, what we see here are more of Louise’s failure kinda explosions (which is the part of the cause for laughter).
 
So just a short recap of what really happened in the first season. Louise (insert her long tongue twisting name here if you remember) has been dubbed Zero because of her 100% failure in using magic at Tristain Magic Academy. Students of the academy has to summon a familiar for life and because of that, normal human kid, Saito, from normal planet Earth accidentally gets summoned, much to Louise’s dismay. So instead of a typical master-familiar relationship, we see Louise-Saito relationship going beyond that. Since Saito’s a typical pervert combined with Louise who’s gradually falling for him (still in denial of course), you’ll see lots of hot cold hot cold love hate relationship between the 2. I suppose that’s the amusing thing about this series. And you can expect more of that in the second season. Plus, the kingdom of Albion declares war and is going to destroy Tristain first. With the help of Saito (believed to be the legendary Gandalf), his sarcastic talking sword Derflinger and Louise, they manage to take on the advancing Albion army along with their other comrades and thus save the day. I guess Saito prefers to stay back in this magical world rather than go back to his own, since he missed the chance to do so. At least, until the next eclipse.
 
That’s how it all went back then. So the war is still ongoing in second season and the newly crowned Queen Henrietta is reluctant to do so because she’s against all that fighting and killing. But she has to bow to the advice (other people may think of it as pressure) of her subordinates, she has no choice but to strike while the enemy is still reeling. Thus episode 1 sees Henrietta assigning Louise and Saito for a mission. But this episode starts off with that love hate relationship between Louise and Saito. Just when Louise is well… letting her familiar sleep next to her on her bed, Saito can’t control his inner lust and does that usual thing which always pisses off Louise. That’s right, Saito loves to ogle at ladies with big boobs. Because of that, Louise tells Saito to only look and her and proceeds to give him wear a weird spectacles. I’m sure all you gals out there want this device to check whether your guy is cheating on you or not. That’s because this spectacles will give out a beep whenever Saito’s having perverted thoughts! An excuse for Louise to give Saito a good beating and call him a dog. Yeah, Saito never learns one punishment after another. So much so that such ruckus is ‘normal’ throughout the academy.
 
Things get bad to worse when Henrietta is in town acknowledging to the crowd and Saito starts fantasizing at Henrietta’s valleys (ahem ahem). Louise is so pissed off that this perverted dog would even think of such thing to her majesty and uses her magic without thinking. An explosion occurs and the guards think it’s an assassin and throws Saito into prison. Henrietta visits Saito there and that bugger thinks she wants to get all lovey-dovey with him and even prepares to kiss her! Didn’t he accidentally did that back in the first season? However Henrietta is asking for Saito’s help to stop the war and wants him and Louise to go undercover and work in secrecy due to the recent events. Of course Louise soon comes in and is glad that Saito is alright. While the duo are on their way home, they share some moments together and had a chat. That mood is ruined once again when Louise finds out that Saito’s dirty thoughts about Henrietta and what he even plans to do with her! Saito’s in for another night of hell. This next scene is my favourite ‘misunderstood’ scene. One of the royal guards, Agnes (pronounced ah-ni-ass), captain of the Tristain musketeers under Henrietta’s service, hurriedly comes to Louise’s room and opens the door only to find Louise with a whip, on top a semi-naked and badly bruised Saito! Holy @$$! Agnes must be thinking that they’re doing something real kinky! Anyway, Anies tells them that Henrietta has been kidnapped.
 
By the way, if you remember the bad guy from last season, Cromwell, you’ll see him sitting in prison in this season. But his appearance is short-lived, literally. Some mysterious woman whom Cromwell knows sneaks in and kills him. Oh well. What a way to die. At least this answered my question of where this bugger was the last time round.
 
Remember that Prince Of Wales back in season 1? He’s supposed to be dead, right? Yeah, he’s back alive again in episode 2. Since Henrietta is still harbouring some love for him, it’s no surprise that when she hears his voice outside her window, and even proves it with some ring, memories of when they meet and their times together, Henrietta is bloody convinced he’s the real thing and decides to go with him to Albion. Uh huh, it’s like my boyfriend’s back, yahoo, I’m so happy. So this is actually the ‘kidnapping’ that Agnes told Louise and Saito as they rush to retrieve Henrietta. The gang manages to catch up to them and a short battle ensued. Even Kirsche and Tabitha are there to help, but not much. We soon find out that Prince Of Wales is indeed already dead but he’s being revived by that ring Cromwell stole from some water guardian back in season 1, and is under some spell. Though the gang try to convince Henrietta, she’s blinded by love and still wants to be by the prince’s side. Can’t blame her either. She does love him very much. I mean, if you’re being reunited with a loved one, would you want to be separated again? Soon Louise uses some spell in some magic book to break the prince’s spell. With the Prince Of Wales freed, he returns to his normal self but because he’s already dead, he has to stay one. Before he goes, we see a heart wrenching moment between them as the prince tells Henrietta to forget about him. So once again, the prince dies (I’ve never known a character who dies twice in 2 different seasons) and Henrietta cries uncontrollably. This is a such sad episode that it almost made me teary eyed as well.
 
Because of the impending war with Albion, all the males of the Magic Academy has been called to fight in the war in episode 3. However Saito is excluded because he’s a familiar. Yeah, I know what Saito’s thinking. He thinks he can flirt around. We’re introduced to a new character here, Giulio Cesare (no relation to that Rome emperor. Note that both his eyes are of different colours), who is somewhat a transfer student to the academy. Because of that and also he’s from Romalia, he’s been exempted from going to war. I’m sure all the girls are feeling lonely with all the boys gone. Besides, Giulio is quite good looking. Since he’s coming down riding a mighty dragon, it’s like prince charming on a white steed. Oh ladies, please feel free to fall in love again and discard those boys who’re going to war (poor Guiche. Montmorency just did this by dumping Guiche when she first laid eyes on Giulio in contrast to what she initially said how she’ll miss him). However, Giulio is interested in Louise. Because so, Saito gets a little jealous and a little quarrel ensued so much so Giulio challenges him to a duel whereby the winner gets to kiss Louise. Saito agrees. Louise is horrified. That pervert. I guess it’s okay for him to go round staring at girls’ boobs and flirt around but when others show interest in Louise, he gets all possessive. Jerk. Soon Saito requests Agnes help to train him use a sword. Don’t worry, Agnes is a tough girl and I don’t think she’ll be Saito’s type (lack of boobs might be the main factor). Of course during the training, Saito accidentally fell on top of Agnes and Louise just happened to pass by while searching for him. You know already lah…
 
The next day, the much awaited duel begins with all the other girls cheering on for Giulio. Though Giulio seems to have the upper hand during most of the match, in the end, Giulio lost on purpose and lets Saito strike him, pissing off the latter. I suppose it’s a win-win situation for Giulio because all the girls are over and concern about him. Later, Saito and Louise are being called into a room and are surprised to see Henrietta there. She tells them that Giulio is their ally and is working alongside them. Now Saito’s got to work alongside with this guy. But don’t worry, Giulio doesn’t really pose a threat to the gang nor does his role really have an impact on the entire series. Yeah, the ‘just there’ kinda feeling. In the closing scenes, we see a woman named Sheffield, addressing the Albion crowd with her speech. If you notice, she is the one who assassinated Cromwell. Later I found out that although she’s Cromwell secretary, she’s the real person holding power behind the Albion army.
 
Louise has been forcefully brought home by her strict busty elder sister, Eleanor, in episode 4. She seems to not like Louise that much and tends to ‘bully’ or be sadistic to her like pinching her cheeks. Thing is, Eleanor didn’t just drag Louise along, she also drags Saito and Siesta too. I need to mention something about Siesta in this season. Now, I kinda notice that she has become an annoying gal. Yeah, though I’ve always known the fact that she has a secret crush on Saito, I don’t really know when she’s so bold to even like him upfront. Saito is that usual pervert because Siesta boobs are bigger than Louise’s non-existent ones. So when they accidentally hug each after the carriage hits a bump, Louise lets loose another one of her explosions. They arrive at their large mansion and are being greeted by another of Louise’s elder sister, Cattleya. She’s a total opposite of Eleanor as she’s kind, gentle, soft spoken, dreamy, partly because she’s suffering from some illness. And busty too… Makes you wonder if Louise is indeed related to them ;P. The reason why Louise is brought back to the mansion is to find her a husband (because Eleanor thinks Louise is ‘useless’), much to Louise’s dismay and surprise. Shouldn’t Eleanor get married first since she’s the eldest? Yeah, some rantings on how her boyfriend walked out on her. No wonder she’s so pissed off. Then that night as Saito is searching for Louise, ends up in Eleanor’s room. Since Eleanor is dreaming, she hugs Saito. She soon realize what’s happening and well, I guess we all know where Louise inherited her whipping skills.
 
The next morning, the family seems to be having a gathering and Louise’s dad indeed wants Louise to quickly find a husband. But Cattleya seems to know that Louise is against it and tells Saito to look after Louise. Saito sets off to find Louise crying alone on a boat. He consoles her and tells her that they’re leaving. What follows next a little steamy scene. Not only Saito confesses that he loves Louise (liar! Unless he still means it’s okay to go around flirting) and embraces her, Louise blushingly tells him that she’ll allow to touch her anywhere as a reward (!). Oh great. I don’t really know whether they did it or not on the boat because it sounded so ambiguous. I suppose that kiss was too intimate when Louise open her eyes only to find her parents watching them. Haha. Caught red handed (only short with their pants down). Of course Louise’s dad doesn’t like it at all since Louise is having an intimate relationship with her familiar, and sends his guards to capture Saito. Though Saito fends them off with Derflinger, Cattleya assists them by using her magic to open a path for them to escape. On the other side, Siesta is waiting for them in a carriage as the duo gets on board back to the academy. Louise is still in her love struck mood until she finds out the night where Saito was in Eleanor’s room. Another mood spoiler. Boom! In the end, we see Siesta noticing this as she says how she’ll win Saito over with ‘these’ (her boobs). But I don’t really get to see how she uses ‘that’ over the rest of the series.
 
It seems Louise’s elder sisters have come to stay at the academy upon Henrietta’s request in episode 5. Oh great. More woes for Louise. Another you-deserve-it moment when Saito is washing Louise’s panties when Siesta comes in and even asks to try them on for size! As expected, Louise comes in and you know what’s going to happen. Woah! Is that a new nasty looking whip? I wonder why Siesta just stood there and try not to stop Louise from beating up Saito. Maybe she enjoys her man getting beaten up. However, before anything could happen, an explosion occurs. No, not from Louise’s, but from a nearby wall. The gang arrives to find a big hole in the wall and the headmaster Osmond, Agnes and 1 of her lieutenants Michelle are investigating at the scene. It seems some magic ring has been stolen but Osmond manages to mark the thief with some magic stamp on her chest before the thief escapes. But Osmond mentions that the ring in this academy are fakes and that the real ones are with Henrietta. Suspecting that the thief could be still in the academy, Giulio and Agnes goes off to search the students, while Saito is being paired with Michelle. Saito must be 1 ‘lucky’ guy because he gets to peek at girls’ chest and is being ordered to inspect Eleanor’s room. Okay, maybe there’s a down side to it. Though he successfully clears Eleanor, that woman kicks him out in a rage. Then it’s Cattleya’s turn. I guess after hell, it has to be heaven. However, Louise has a great sense of timing and walks in. Uh huh. She’s thinking Saito’s after all her sisters too.
 
Before anything else could happen, another explosion occurs rips apart a wall in Cattleya’s room. The others arrive and Agnes clears Cattleya of being a suspect. However Michelle finds the rings hidden in this room. Could it be Cattleya’s the one? Well, I feel that this part is out of convenience because Eleanor uses some magic potion to detect the real culprit. It’s revealed to be Michelle. This is part of the ploy to draw out the culprit. The fake rings are actually real ones. By telling so, the thief would try to discard it quickly and blame it on someone else. Michelle makes her escape after her short duel with Saito. Cattleya uses her magic to summon some Earth monster to successfully stop her. Later Agnes is interrogating Michelle and she finds out that she’s doing it out of revenge bla bla bla. While Agnes sympathizes with her, she also mentions that she herself has gone through the same thing. Agnes finds out that she’s taking orders from a guy called Richemont, which is her dad’s old friend, and decides to investigate further on him. Meanwhile, Louise prepares to test her new whip on Saito. Haih… such beatings have really become a daily ritual.
 
Remember that gay Frenchie, Scarron, back in season 1? Yeah, this guy’s back in episode 6 when Henrietta sends Louise and Saito to work there as undercover agents to assist further in her investigations of Richemont and to draw out their enemies. Uh huh, which means Louise has to dress up as a maid and work part time. Also, Scarron’s busty daughter Jessica is there and you know Saito… On 1 hand, he’s like fantasizing all over Jessica but the next minute when he sees Giulio (who’s also working undercover) flirting with Louise as a customer at Scarron’s bar, he gets so jealous. Saito leaves the place only to bump into Henrietta. Her majesty asks Saito to give her wear some of Louise’s clothes (too tight, if you know what I mean) and act as some lovey-dovey couple commoner. This is so that they could sneak around without raising suspicion from the guards. Is this Saito’s dream come true? At the same time, Louise bumps into Agnes and finds out about Henrietta’s mission and decides to follow her. Saito and Henrietta are taking refuge in a room when they hear footsteps of guards coming. What should they do? Jump out the window? They aren’t stuntmasters. Yeah, another steamy moment. When the guards barged open the door, they find just some couple making love before leaving. Woah! Henrietta’s on top of Saito and giving him a kiss! This guy is so damn lucky!
 
Meanwhile, Agnes and Louise followed 1 of Richemont’s henchmen to a place and overheard their plans. Since Louise is surprised over what she heard, the henchmen goes over to confirm his suspicions. Woah! Another steamy moment! To his disgust, he finds a couple of lesbians kissing each other before leaving. Holy #&^@!!! Agnes in her move to avoid being detected, locked lips with Louise! Oh the horror! Total shock! Soon word reaches Henrietta that Richemont and co will be attending a play by Scarron at a theatre. During the play, Richemont is discussing his moves with another comrade when Henrietta shows up and is going to arrest him. Richemont manages to escape underground but meets Agnes. We see a short clip of how Agnes’s village was being burned down and she was the only sole survivor. Her investigations have lead to her to believe that Richemont was the mastermind behind it all. Well, he does admit it. In the end, Agnes fury makes her stab and kill Richemont. That’s the last you’ll see of him. Afterwards, Louise as usual suspects Saito to have done something hentai to Henrietta but when Saito asks her back what she’s been doing, Louise has that awful flashback of her intimate moment with Agnes, causing her to fluster. Haha, now she can’t say that she’s ‘clean’.
 
With the recent developments, Henrietta is forced to sign a war of declaration against Albion in episode 7 though she’s against it. Meanwhile Saito buys some sailor clothes at the market and thinks of giving it to Siesta. Agnes is still continuing her investigation on the group of people who destroyed her village. Even though Richemont was the mastermind, he did ordered somebody to carry them out. So Agnes gathers the gang (some by accident) to an underground hidden archive beneath the academy. Umm… Does it look similar to Harry Potter? I mean, the path to the underground library is through the lady’s toilet? Well, this whole series did have that Harry Potter feel even back in season 1. It’s been some time we’ve seen Colbert as he follow the young ones there. I felt awkward in the part whereby Siesta joins the gang while searching for Saito to show off the sailor clothes Saito gave her to. Uh huh. Her annoyance level has increased here. Because of that, Louise is angry, jealous, mad, so much so she uses her magic to blow up the cave’s entrance. No way back now. During the journey, Colbert shares his views with Saito on how he’s against all this war thing and is quite interested to see what Saito’s world is about. Also, Louise gets flustered up again when Siesta tells her how Agnes is maybe into women, making Saito wondering what’s going on.
 
Upon reaching the archives, the gang are being warned not to use magic. The place is so huge and filled with documents that it might take a long time to finish. Better start now. While Agnes is sifting through the books, clumsy annoying Siesta makes a mess by dropping some books she’s carrying. Eleanor decides to clean the mess up by using her magic, but this causes the place to start crumbling as the security system has been triggered. The gang has to get out fast but Agnes has found the info she needed but to her horror, the all important page has been torn out. Thus she’s obsessed and decides to continue searching. Colbert and Saito are forced to carry Agnes out and just in time before the entire bridge to the archives collapsed. While being carried, Agnes remembers of a similar person who did the same thing back then to save her from the flames. Since Colbert has that mark on his neck, Agnes soon realizes that Colbert is indeed that person. On their way back out, the path was blocked by Louise’s explosion. So how are they going to get out? Giulio suggests that Siesta flirts with Saito. Well well. Siesta immediately agrees and quickly comes up next to Saito. What the? Before you know it, Louise gets mad once again and unleashes her explosive magic, which blasted the path clear. Yeah, fight fire with fire.
 
In episode 8, Eleanor locks up Louise because she’s against the fact that her useless little sister wants to participate in the war. Who’s going to believe that Henrietta gave her an undercover mission? Meanwhile, Sheffield orders tough guy Benubiru and his men to take the Magic Academy hostage to put pressure on Henrietta. Since there’re no guys left and the girls are given only sufficient training by Agnes and her team, it’s like child’s play. With the girls along with Osmond and Giulio taken hostage, the rest are in hiding and are planning how to deal with the situation. Louise on the other hand blasts out of her cell with her explosive magic and meets up with Saito, Kirsche and Tabitha. So we get to see a little screen time for Kirsche and Tabitha or else viewers might’ve forgotten that they do exist. Colbert tells them that he’s already sent some message for help and tell the kids to escape to safety. But will they do just that? Osmond tries to negotiate to Benubiru to take him and let the others go but that guy isn’t so convinced. Even when Cattleya and Eleanor turn themselves in and confirm their royal status, Benubiru still feels it isn’t sufficient. Agnes and her troops plan to surprise attack Benubiru but the latter saw through her settings and unleashes a surprise attack on them first instead. During the explosion, Agnes comes in to fight face-to-face with Benubiru. She thinks that he’s the guy responsible for burning down her village. Benubiru mentions that during that time, he was only a vice-captain and the one who burned down her village was his captain of much higher calibre, which was known as Enja the Flame Serpent. It seems Benubiru searching for him too because he wants to return the favour for the scars his captain gave him when he challenged him back then, which also resulted in the loss of his eyesight. Yup, that eye of his is fake. So how does he see? Just like snakes, he senses body temperatures around as his vision. I find Agnes’s fearful facial expression at the end a little funny when Benubiru is laughing like a mad man. And that ‘fiery’ military background music…
 
The hostage drama continues in episode 9 as Colbert enlists Saito’s help to make some explosive items. Don’t take too long. The wait and suspense is enough to piss off Kirsche. Once done, Colbert releases the items into the hall where the hostages are and with Kirsche’s magic to make a blinding explosion. Saito and Louise uses this opportunity to free the hostages but since Benubiru is blind, he isn’t affected. Kirsche decides to take him on but is no match for him. Before he could land the killing blow, Colbert intercepts. Benubiru is happy to ‘see’ Colbert. Why? Because he’s the Flame Serpent he’s been searching all along. Agnes is horrified. The same person who saved her is the same devil who burned down her village. Colbert and Benubiru engages in close combat. Agnes is blinded by rage and decides to attack all out on Colbert. Seeing that she’s out of control, Colbert uses his body to protect Agnes from 1 of Benubiru’s magic. She’s still mad, though. Benubiru is going to finish off Colbert when Agnes stabs and kills him. With 1 down, Agnes shifts her focus and is ready to kill Colbert. But the other girls try to talk some sense into her. Have you ever seen Agnes with full of angst? Colbert then reveals that back then he destroyed the entire village because he received orders that there’s some plaque and needs to contain it. After burning down the village, he realizes that no such plaque and feels guilty. While searching through the flames, he spots a lone survivor (Agnes) and carries her to safety. Colbert accepts the fact that he doesn’t expect Agnes to forgive him and even allows her to kill him but wants her to promise that this will be the last life she’ll take. Agnes is in a dilemma. Could she go on? Before anything could happen, Colbert slowly passed away due to his injuries. I didn’t really expect Colbert to die. Oh why oh why. The next day, Louise hands Saito a letter from Colbert saying his last words. Saito breaks into tears while reading it as Louise gives him a hug. So sad. As for Agnes, she’s still unsure whether to forgive him or not.
 
Henrietta assigns another mission to Louise in episode 10. This time, Saito and Louise are to fly that zero airplane of theirs over the Gotha city so that Louise could use her Void magic to disable the enemy and prevent innocent loss of lives. Saito is reluctant to go because of what Colbert wrote in his letter. Plus, Saito still doesn’t understand that noble thing of the honour of dying in battles. You’ll notice Saito never gets this topic. As Saito and Louise sets off and reaches Gotha, they’re being attacked by several dragon riders. Though they manage to take 1 out, Louise can’t perform her Void magic and as a result they crash land in the snowy mountains. So we get to see a little intimate moment here where Saito and Louise are taking shelter in a makeshift snow cave. Uh huh. Because Saito made a bad joke, Louise knocks him out and she thinks she has killed him. She doesn’t want him to die yet because she hasn’t confessed bla bla bla. So the next best thing to keep Saito warm is to… share some body warmth. Holy @#&*!!! Louise stripping naked! Not really. Just a little. However, morning arrives and it seems Saito has no recollection that Louise had done so. Bummer. Sheffield on the other hand, learns that the mechanical dragon (that zero plane) has crash land and orders her troops to retrieve it. Henrietta also learns of Louise’s failure and regrets her actions and she has no choice but to send her army to the front lines.
 
Meanwhile Louise and Saito are trekking through the heavy snow when they met an injured dragon rider, Henry, whom Saito knocked out earlier on. He tries to attack them but his leg is injured, preventing him to do so. Yeah, more of that honour crap talk and what’s more important in life by Saito speech. Instead of finishing off, Saito carries him since he’s against killing. The duo also learn that Henry has a fiancee but leaves her due to the war. Of course they gave him some advice to go back to her and such. Just then, Albion’s troops are in the vicinity and discovers their location. Henry gives his comrade a diversion to allow Louise and Saito to escape. All in good timing, Giulio arrives in a dragon to pick them up and head back to Tristain. Henrietta has an emotional reunion with Louise and starts apologizing but Louise says she’ll gladly give her life for her majesty. However Saito isn’t too amused by it all.
 
Since the airplane has been safely brought back to Tristain grounds, Louise and Saito are being assigned yet another recon mission in episode 11. But the duo are still quarrelling over that noble pride concept thing so much so Louise storms off with Giulio on his dragon. Giulio knows that the rift between the 2 is Saito’s inability to understand Louise’s true intentions. Also, Albion’s forces has abandoned Gotha and Henrietta’s troops have reclaimed it. While Saito is wandering in town, he bumps into Scarron and Siesta. It’s a small world after all. It’s even smaller when he finds out Scarron is Siesta’s uncle. Maybe that’s why he see the similarity in boobs size between Siesta and Jessica. Yeah, even Scarron quips that every member in his family including himself have big breasts. Huh? Isn’t that just muscles? Just like in Kirsche and Tabitha’s case, Guiche makes a return before viewers forget him, to show off his medal in combat. Nobody seems to be listening to his brave story. Louise later returns to her room to find Saito but he isn’t there. Weird part here is that Derflinger is giving some relationship tips to Louise. A girl taking some advice from a sword? Derflinger even suggests Louise to try being a familiar once and even asks her to dress in a skimpy cat outfit. I should’ve seen this coming because Saito, Scarron and co comes in and saw Louise in that outfit. Totally embarrassing moment. Because of that, Saito and Louise gets into an argument at the bar. Siesta lives up to her annoying tag by saying how she’ll not lose to Louise and quickly goes and dress into 1 skimpy cat outfit. Saito must be loving it because of the… you know what lah. Louise tries to hold Siesta back but in the process, her top came loose… I’m sure you can imagine what happens to Saito next.
 
At the same time, Sheffield is making her move as she’s going to use that ring Cromwell stole back in season 1 as part of her plans. As Guiche continues ranting about his life-death experience like how an elf saved him (?!), his remark on dying for pride pisses off Saito. He leaves when Louise supports Guiche’s view. Siesta catches up to Saito and manages to convince him to come with her to a room. There, they both shared a little moment of intimacy before Siesta kissed Saito! Woah! That’s the 3rd girl already. First Louise, then Henrietta, now Siesta. Who’s next, baby. I’m sure they could go on but it seems the town is turning havoc. Several of Henrietta’s guards are turning against each other. Well, this is due to Sheffield’s doing when she uses that ring which causes some mind control spell to whoever drinks it. Agnes reports this to Henrietta as Siesta gives Saito a sleeping potion since she realize that Saito will be going back to Louise (not to mention his heart is with her. Is she giving up?).
 
The final episode 12 sees Saito saving Louise in the nick of time from a possessed guard’s sword. Saito manages to despatch several of them easily. Word reaches Henrietta that a strong 7 million Albion army is on is way to attack them and that the place is now being evacuated. Henrietta insists she leaves on the last ship. But unknown to her, Louise has accepted a secret suicide mission from 1 of Henrietta’s high ranking subordinates. Saito tries to convince her to stop but decides to play along. Louise even tells him that she wants to marry as her last wish as proof that she has lived. So the duo did a mock wedding ceremony. They also bought each other some magical E Flowers (I’ll call it just that because its full name is hard for me to pronounce, spell and remember) which is said to be connected to the owner’s life. Saito put a little sleeping potion into Louise’s drink and soon Louise fell asleep after she drank it. Outside the church, Giulio is seen waiting for them. However, Saito tells him to take Louise to safety and that he’s going to stay behind and fight. Is he serious? I thought he was against that whole dying for pride thing. Well, not unless it’s to protect the one you love. Giulio agrees and off he goes with an unconscious Louise in his arms.
 
Erm… It really feels exaggerated here because Saito and Derflinger is taking on the 7 million Albion army! I don’t know how he does it but it felt like trying to kill an ant with a nuclear warhead. It shows that quality is better than quantity and that the Albion troops are low level warriors. Louise awakens to find herself onboard an evacuating ship and to her horror finds out about Saito. Everyone is sad to hear Saito’s selflessness and Siesta blames herself for giving him that sleeping potion. In Saito’s last stand, he realizes that he wants to live on for Louise. Did he make it? Well, the light of Saito’s E Flower went out. Days later back at the Magical Academy, everyone is gloomy about Saito’s death. Louise is holding that E Flower of Saito’s close to her heart and admits in tears that she loves him. But the E Flower starts to shine once more and Louise look outside her window to see Saito walking towards the academy from afar. Can it be? How in the world could Saito be still alive? Louise rushes out and happily embraces him. Such a touching moment. Louise asks how did he get out alive, Saito mentions that he was being saved and revived by a fairy elf with big boobs (can’t believe Mamiko Noto makes her brief appearance here!). Uh… Is this the elf tht Guiche was talking about? Of course, Louise’s anger returns and she starts blasting him away. The familiar explosion (no pun intended) was enough to make everyone know that Saito’s back. Music to their ears? Yeah, everybody’s so glad Saito’s back, alive and kicking (more like running away). He’s saying how it’s easier to take on the 7 million Albion army than Louise’s rage. Hehe. That Saito still is a pervert right till the end because he could even fantasize Siesta’s large boobs when he runs pass her. He deserves what’s coming alright. Ah well. All’s well, ends well.
 
Overall, I think the whole 2nd season is just pretty much decent. I also kinda feel that it was a little disappointing and that the 1st season was still better. Don’t get me wrong here that this is a bad show. It’s just that the episodes seem to feel like fillers and the only development was between Saito and Louise. Everybody else was like didn’t really matter. Still the parts that I enjoyed were those steamy and kissing scenes not because I’m a pervert but because it took me by surprise. And those ‘misunderstood’ situations too. It never fails to make me laugh out loud as I think of the hilarious and outrageous consequences that could’ve happen (and most of the time it did). Because of that, the 2nd season feels a bit more ecchi. I wonder who’s next on Saito’s kiss list. Kirsche? Could be a possibility.
 
Of course the series’ ending felt like a rush job. I mean, Saito gets to play to good aspects of a hero. He goes into battle, he dies, then he comes back alive. Doesn’t it sound like a hero? Yeah well, this goes to show that you can’t really put a good hero down. Then there are some unanswered questions that bugged me when the series ended. Like where in the world is Sheffield? She didn’t even make an appearance in the last episode. But I don’t think it really ends there because back in season 1, Saito did promise that water guardian that he’ll get that ring Sheffield’s in possession back. Come to think of it, Sheffield has never met Saito and Louise face to face. Another unanswered question of mine is Foquet. Remember that villainess back in season 1 who fought alongside Cromwell? I thought she was Sheffield but I found it she wasn’t. So where did she go in the entire 2nd season?
 
Ichiko who sang the opening song for the 1st season also does the same for the 2nd one. This time entitled I Say Yes, which sounds pretty much like the 1st season theme in terms of the hype, upbeat and ‘loud and powerful’ voice. However, the ending theme of the 2nd season threw me off a little. Sung by Rie Kugimiya (also the voice of Louise), Suki?! Kirai?! Suki?!, it’s a song about Louise singing out her grouses about Saito’s lecherous and perverted ways! It really doesn’t fit the series, especially episodes which are sad and heart moving. Kinda reminds me of The Baka Song sung by Akane in Ranma 1/2. Only here you don’t have Louise saying baka in 90% of the entire song. In contrast to the lyrics like ‘I hate you’ and ‘I won’t forgive you’, it seems Louise has that tsundere mood because she too did eventually mention that she’s probably in love with Saito. Yeah, poor Saito. He’s in a dog outfit and being punished by Louise in this ending theme animation.
 
The drawing, art and animation of the series is still consistent with the 1st season and so is the voice acting. So no major surprises here. Not even the new characters. As mentioned the other characters, old and new, role didn’t developed much. I also kinda noticed that the mid-intermissions features a still picture of some part of Louise (sexy or ecchi or both?) in that cat outfit. You might not be able to see or figure at first but if you look closely enough, you’ll guess it’s her alright.
 
All in all, if there is a 3rd season, I would definitely watch it still because I’d really want to know what happens to the gang. Hopefully, if the producers ever make it, it should be better than its predecessors and probably a fitting grand finale to the entire series. About the part of being a martyr and die for what you believe in, that’s a little controversial and depends on the individual. So would I really go to great lengths and die for the sake for anime? Well urm… eh… If I did pass on, then I wouldn’t be able to catch my favourite animes, wouldn’t I?

Tenjou Tenge VS Ikkitousen

February 15, 2008

It’s time for another versus. This time, pitting two anime with lots of fighting and action. Okay, maybe not so much in the sense that there’ll be fists flying and blood spewing from the minute the show starts. But it was enough for me to classify them as one. Viewers who have watched Tenjou Tenge and Ikkitousen will notice some similarities and differences between the 2 series. So here we go again…
 
Nickname
Because of the series’ ‘overwhelming and overall standing out’ characteristics, this is the other alternative title that I nicknamed the series
Tenjou Tenge: The Flashback Show
Ikkitousen: The Panty Showing Show
 
Story based on
The basis of the series’ story
Tenjou Tenge: Flashbacks and back story telling
Ikkitousen: Loosely based on Romance Of The Three Kingdoms
 
Main lead character
Enough said. That particular lead guy/gal who’s the main star of the show
Tenjou Tenge: Souichiro Nagi
Ikkitousen: Sonsaku Hakufu
Hmm… You know these 2 character share some similar traits like they both love getting into fights and aren’t the brightest teen around.
 
The fighting organizations
The type of organizations or groups that are in conflict
Tenjou Tenge: Several clubs within Todou Academy
Ikkitousen: 7 warring schools in the Kantou district of Japan
 
The main team
Refers to the main group whom the lead guy/gal are in and fighting alongside with
Tenjou Tenge: Juuken Club
Ikkitousen: Nanyou Academy
 
The other members
Refers to the several other comrades of the team the main lead guy/gal
Tenjou Tenge: Maya Natsume, Aya Natsume, Masataka Takayanagi, Bob Makihara
Ikkitousen: Ryoumou Shimei, Saji Genpou, Gakushuu, Shuuyu Koukin, Kannei (okay, maybe this mad guy isn’t really part of the real gang but since he’s 1 of the 4 Devas of Nanyou, he deserves a mention)
 
Sidekick
Well erm… Not really the main guy/gal’s subordinate, but I kinda notice that they stick to them quite often
Tenjou Tenge: Bob Makihara. Because he’s Nagi’s best pal
Ikkitousen: Shuuyuu Koukin. Because he’s Hakufu’s cousin and is partly responsible to look after her
 
Antagonist
The main group of villains who give our heroes a torrid time and the reason why the show is action filled
Tenjou Tenge: The Enforcers. A group of police-like students who keep the peace and order by punishing those that don’t follow their rules
Ikkitousen: Rakuyou Academy. The winner of the previous tournament and is currently the most powerful among the 7 warring schools
 
The members
Refers to the group of people who make up the main group of villains
Tenjou Tenge: Mitsuomi Takayanagi (leader), Emi Isuzu, Bunshichi Tawara, Shirou Tagami, Kouji Sagara, Tsutomu Ryuuzaki, Shinobu Kagurazaka
Ikkitousen: Toutaku Chuuei (leader), Kaku Bunwa, Ryofu Housen (later defected to the other side). Okay maybe not much here but the heroes of this anime has to fight other schools as part of the tournament rules like Kan-wu, Kakouton Genjou and Taishiji Shigi
 
Tournament
There’s somewhat a tournament in the series to determine the next ruler
Tenjou Tenge: A tournament to determine which club becomes the next Enforcer of Todou Academy. In the anime, the tournament has yet to start
Ikkitousen: A tournament to determine which school will become the strongest and rule over the rest. In the anime, the tournament started and was ended abruptly with Rakuyou Academy pulling out during the middle of the series.
 
Mission
You could say it’s one of the main plot or storyline of the series of the heroes’ group.
Tenjou Tenge: To fight and go against The Enforcers
Ikkitousen: To participate and win the tournament to obtain the legendary Dragon Seal. But since they’ve failed, their objective is to stop Toutaku’s power crazy ideals
 
Eyepatch
Arr, matey! Not because the characters want to become a pirate that they don an eyepatch. Fashion?
Tenjou Tenge: Makiko wears an oversized eyepatch to hide and cover her scars, and her missing left eye
Ikkitousen: Ryoumou wears one in order to seal the dragon that’s inside her
 
Sword wielder
The character who wields a sword/blade
Tenjou Tenge: Maya Natsume holds a sword named Reiki as handed down to her as she has a neutral effect on the dark corrupted powers of the sword
Ikkitousen: Kan-wu wields a Blue Dragon Crescent Blade as she’s supposed to be the reincarnation of Guan Yu
 
Old man
Haha. I just thought it would be nice to mention some elderly guys instead of young teenagers
Tenjou Tenge: Dougen Takayanagi. Father of Mitsuomi and Masataka, who is part of some big corporation doing some experiments on the ultimate warrior. Eventually, Dougen has been overthrown by Mitsuomi and since then tries to correct his mistakes by coaching Nagi
Ikkitousen: Choukou Shikou. Considered to be Hakufu’s grandfather and is slightly perverted. In the anime, he helps train Hakufu at a hotpsring so that she could become stronger.
 
Mother
Refers to the lead guy/gal’s mom, who both seem too young for their age
Tenjou Tenge: Makiko is a blonde woman who is quite knowledgeable about Dragon’s Gate. Doesn’t make frequent appearance in the anime and seems to be quite serious. She’s a demon exorcist and in the past was a failed experiment subject to become an ultimate warrior. Makiko is sad when her son enters Toudou Academy because she’s afraid the resonance effect would awaken his hidden power
Ikkitousen: Goei seems like a carefree woman and regularly punishes Hakufu who mocks her by either spanking her or threatening not to give her food. Goei is sad of her daughter’s destiny to die in the end as Hakufu is supposed to be the reincarnation of Sun Ce, who’s destined to be killed by Ukitsu
 
The beast within
Refers to the main guy/gal’s inner beast (a dragon, that is) which causes him/her to transform at times
Tenjou Tenge: Nagi comes from a family of Demon Exorcist and has been taunted and bullied since young. If Nagi isn’t cautious the black dragon within him will consume him. Once Nagi is able to control and summon this power, his outlook appearance changes like he spots a long black hair
Ikkitousen: Hakufu has a sleeping dragon within her. At times when she’s being beaten up badly, her inner dragon will be awaken and this will turn Hakufu into a violent killing machine with a deadly aura. Hakufu will have no control nor recollection of what happened when she’s possessed.
 
Romance
Refers to the love triangles in the series
Tenjou Tenge: Nagi who has a crush on Maya but at the same time its’ Aya who has a crush on Nagi. Others include Emi and Mitsuomi, Shin and Mana, Mitsuomi and Maya (in the past)
Ikkitousen: Nil
 
Dead couples
Till death do us part. Not. I notice these lovebirds (in a way) die together in the anime
Tenjou Tenge: Shin and Mana. Mana assists Shin into commit suicide with herself when Shin goes berserk and accidentally hurts her. They died in the past (during the flashback, that is)
Ikkitousen: Toutaku and Ryofu. In order to stop Toutaku, Ryofu uses a powerful chi blast and sacrifices herself in the process
 
Ecchiness
Ahem ahem. Ever wonder why while the guys are so muscular and ripped, the ladies on the other hand are scantily dressed? Fanservice lah, what else
Tenjou Tenge: Ladies with large boobs and you’ll get to see some panty shots here and there
Ikkitousen: If compared to Tenjou Tenge, this one is more ecchi as the ladies have more oversized boobs and their clothes get ripped each time they go into battle, coming close to naked. Too much panty shots all the time
 
Slut
Girls who seem to be sleeping around with other guys
Tenjou Tenge: Mana. Though she’s Shin’s girlfriend, she seems to be flirting with Mitsuomi, who happened to be Shin’s best buddy
Ikkitousen: Kaku Bunwa. I guess she’s just more than Toutaku’s second-in-command. Later Kaku decides to change her own destiny by aligning herself with Kyosho Academy’s leader, Sousou Moutoku and well… it’s more than just a strategic relationship. In the 2nd season, she even sleeps with 1 of Moutoku’s men, Kakuka.
Say, don’t these 2 girls look nearly the same in the sense that they’re bespectacled and are in a way cunning?
 
Number of episodes
Tenjou Tenge: The tv series has 24 episodes and later a 2 episode OVA called Tenjou Tenge: Ultimate Fight continues where the tv series left off, albeit not much of a development here. There is even an alternate retelling of the story called Tenjou Tenge: The Past Chapter which is a movie length
Ikkitousen: The 1st season has 13 episodes and a 2nd season called Ikkitousen: Dragon Destiny spans an additional 12 episodes. Plus, there’re 3 OVA episodes which is seemingly quite hentai
 
Conclusion
Okay, I wouldn’t say both series are one of my favourites nor are they the worst so much so I regretted the fact that I watched them. If I had to choose between the 2, then I’d say Tenjou Tenge because of the cool fights in the earlier parts of the series. But that’s so much about it. There are some too in Ikkitousen but it’ll make you think that the fights are more for fanservice than anything. So if you like more gory, bloody and violent stuffs with lots of back story telling, then Tenjou Tenge should suit you. But if you prefer lots of fanservice and stories which are loosely based on the classic Chinese literature Romance Of The Three Kingdom, then you should have a look at Ikkitousen.

Yakitate! Japan

February 9, 2008

Based on my past experiences in watching animes which are food themed (well, actually as far as I can remember, Chuuka Ichiban was the other food themed anime), initially I was particularly interested in watching Yakitate! Japan too. But because it spanned 69 episodes (in which I consider it to be long), I was hesitant at first.
 
It was a good thing that I eventually decide to see the whole anime. Yeah, why must I rush and finish watching a series. I should take my time and enjoy them. Besides, it’s not like it has over a hundred episodes. And enjoy did I because it’s funny all the way (okay, most of the time) and it’s sure to tickle one’s bones.
 
The food theme here is mainly bread, and anything associated with it. So bakers wanna be, watch this series for inspiration on how to become one. However, I just need to inform those who intend to watch this series, that one needs to be quite knowledgeable and well-read not only in terms of Japanese culture but other bread making cultures like France and Germany as well. That’s because most of the jokes and puns are based on this. In each episode, there’ll be tons of such jokes and if you’re not ‘up to standard’, you might not get the joke. But don’t despair, the fansubbers who subbed the series did a very very good job in providing extra notes and information in addition to the subs. So hats off to those guys.
 
Besides that, the producers and writers of the series are a creative bunch of guys. That’s because they could come up with ideas and stuffs to make jokes or puns sound very closely to the name of the bread the characters make. Yup, another main core of the comedy comes from the exaggerated reaction just right after they put the bread into their mouths. Woah man! If the bread is so darn good, I wanna have a taste of it too! However, even if the bread do taste that good, somewhere in the series, they did mention that such reactions are only capable of being done by professionals. Which means, amateurs like you and me won’t have any reactions. Haha. Good also, because I’d like to save myself from all those embarrassing display of it.
 
I’m not sure how far fetched the producers and writers went in terms of creating such breads and I wonder if they really do exist at all (based on wikipedia, I read some really do exists) and the method of creating such breads. Though they are thoroughly explained from how they’re produced to the ingredients used, I could never understand in the end. Sorry guys. Looks like I only know how to eat bread. Hehehe. Yeah, sometimes I find these bread maestros so terror that before the baker could start, they don’t have a clue what he/she is doing, but after watching their initial moves, the ‘armchair critic-cum-commentator’ suddenly knows what he/she is doing and proceeds to explain it all like a pro. Of course this is to tell viewers what’s going on lah. If not, I’d be really lost beyond help. As if now I’m also lost but it’s not that bad. You should hear me say "Huh? What’s that again" and "Repeat that once again" or even "????!!!!!" most of the time. Uh huh. I really only know how to eat bread.
 
So the basic storyline is this young and talented kid Kazuma Azuma (are they playing with his name? Besides, he looks a bit like Kouda from Girl’s High) who is the grandson of Japan’s rice farmer. So how in the world did this kid ended up being a baker? Well, the rest of his darn family, especially his sister, Inaho, is bored with eating rice every day as their breakfast and wants a change. But that time, Azuma’s a rice supporter and backs up grandpa. So much so, Inaho couldn’t stand it anymore and forcefully drags Azuma to the town’s bakery and stuff the whole loaf of bread down his throat! After that, it’s like a miracle. Azuma suddenly becomes interested in bread and soon made friends with that particular shop’s baker.
 
That baker saw a hidden potential in him. Azuma has something important and essential in which most bakers would die to have for. He has Solar Hands (Taiyou No Te). I’m not sure of the detailed explanations but as far as I remember, because his hands are constantly in some warm temperature, it allows the dough to be fermented and kept in the right temperature without having to go through all that hassle. As time passes, that baker teaches Azuma the basics of bread but he eventually has to leave due to some reason. So Azuma made some promise with him that 10 years time he’s gonna be a famous baker.
 
Thus over time, Azuma’s family eventually gets to have experience the freshness and goodness of Azuma’s bread and creativity. Yeah, why even need to go to a bread shop when you have 1 who makes them right back at home. Even grandpa has become more receptive after Azuma manages to create a bread which mixes with grandpa’s favourite natou ingredients. So if you’re wondering why does the anime title have the word ‘Japan’, it’s because it’s part of Azuma’s plan to create a bread associated with and for the Japanese people. Like croissant to France and scones to England, etc. Thus the Japanese word for bread is ‘pan’. It would sound weird to say Japan pan (Japan bread) so it’s shortened to Ja-pan. You could say it’s like a pan pun with double meaning. And boy, does Azuma has so many different versions of Japan.
 
Before I go on, I need to mention to you that this Azuma boy isn’t the brightest kid in town. I mean, if you notice, he doesn’t really know the theoretical basics of bread (meaning he makes his own terms or just knows it’s like that) and because he seems to be having fun in making his bread (with that kid-like laughter), people thinks he’s not serious and is just playing around. Plus, Azuma isn’t good in Japanese language and often misinterprets lines, which gives rise and excuse to make lots of creative puns as jokes. Ironically, Azuma is bloody good in maths. A genius. I suppose this is the other thing other than baking, which Azuma is good at.
 
So 10 years have flown by quickly and Azuma is taking his first step to become a world class Japan baker by taking an entrance exam of Pantasia’s main branch. This company is supposedly one the most famous bread company in Japan and has been around for quite some time, thus establishing itself as one of the core bread specialties of Japan. We’re introduced to several characters who’ll be part of Azuma’s journey. Firstly, there’s this ‘clown’ (AKA comic relief guy)Kyousuke Kawachi (looks like Onizuka of GTO) whose favourite line is "Nanyate?!" (What?!). Though he has good knowledge and theoretical background in bread making, Azuma is always superior to him. It shows that hands on experience is better, huh? You’ll also notice Kawachi goes through various hairstyle changes throughout the anime, which are of course, beyond his control. Though initially, doesn’t like Azuma, but the 2 just get along fine. Because Kawachi doesn’t have Solar Hands, he does some training do get Solar Gauntlets, which is close the former. Not sure how, but something to do with focusing body heat to one’s hands. I think. Plus, Kawachi is the unfortunate victim of embarrassing reactions.
 
Then there’s Kai Suwabara. Looks like your typical serious no nonsense character. You might be forgiven if you think he’s in the wrong anime. That’s because he’s got a samurai background. So what’s a swordsman gotta do with bread making? I’m not sure and don’t remember his back story but it seems he wants to make the world a better place through bread instead of his sword. Thus he wants to be a baker. Doesn’t really quite fit it. Though he looks up to Azuma, he doesn’t get along well with Kawachi. Then there’s this cutie girl Tsukino Azusagawa, who has a dreamy voice (love her voice. Could just hear her talk all day). She has a knack to spot those with talent, and soon recognizes Azuma and Kawachi. I guess that’s 1 reason why she gave her hairband to Azuma (besides to remind him a baker most always be hygienic). This was also a reason why I initially thought Azuma’s a girl! Yes, the headband had made me thought of him as a her.
 
Then we have the head of Pantasia main branch, Ryou Kuroyanagi, who is a strict person and doesn’t like anybody who cuts in while he’s talking. Don’t play play with this guy. He actually has a Harvard degree in Food Science. His role in the earlier episodes is seen as the judge of the Pantasia entrance examination and you’ll guess that this guy will be a ‘victim’ of all those exaggerated reactions, especially Azuma’s. After tasting Azuma’s work, he gets worried the next time he has to taste Azuma’s next one and even prepares for the worst! Over time, Kuroyanagi will come to love Azuma’s bread and even go to great lengths and gives excuses just to taste them. So get ready for some serious laughs.
 
In this Pantasia entrance exam, only 1 of the many candidates will be qualified to get the job at the main store. Azuma barely makes it everytime (he got points deducted for being late. What a way to make a bad start) and it makes you wonder whether he’ll make it or not (of course he will. He’s the series’ hero). Yeah, a hero’s comeback, I’d say. Azuma manages to go to the final stage with his Indian Naan-like Japan. But it’s not only him who made it there. Kai and Kawachi too has made it. What about Tsukino? It’s revealed that she’s the granddaughter of Pantasia chain’s owner and her part was to scout for new talents and won’t be taking part in the finals. Because Kawachi knew that he won’t stand a chance against Kai, he teams up with Azuma by telling him some sob story of his like how his dad died and his siblings are in poverty so he needs this job badly to feed them. As mentioned, Azuma isn’t the brightest guy so he believes his story ‘bulat-bulat’. They make some 100 over layer croissant but Azuma decides to pull out last minute so Kawachi could have a chance of winning. Indeed, their croissant is out of this world (Houstan! Houstan! We have a problem. Haha!). Even Kai acknowledges defeat after tasting it while his own hasn’t even being tasted yet. Since Kawachi is overcome with guilt, he opts out and goes after Azuma. Which means, Kai wins by default. However, Tsukino isn’t gonna let those 2 talented guys slip away like that and invites them to come work at her Southern Tokyo branch.
 
Here they meet the loudmouth store manager, Ken Matsushiro, who spots an afro and always wear sunglasses. Not to mention he’s quite muscular and macho too. He’s also Kuroyanagi’s former teacher and is currently Tsukino’s mentor. Ken loves teasing and pissing off Kawachi and his sometimes his fooling around side makes you wonder he’s really serious. Even so, he’s got the knowledge of a word class baker. Don’t play play with him too. You’ll notice Ken’s role as the commentator to tell viewers what’s going on with the bread making and such. Then there’s another guy who works at the Southern Tokyo branch, whom everyone seems never to remember his name or even know when he’s a around. He’s Kageto Kinoshita. His existence is pitiful in the sense that while everyone else is busy preoccupying themselves with upcoming tournaments and such, Kageto is always left behind and has to do all the work himself so much so he has that ability to clone himself to do multi-tasking. Even Ken later said because of this skill he has 95% ability to copy other baker’s ability, though not perfect. And with this, Ken quips to leave him do all the jobs! They just get lazier and lazier, do they?
 
However a great store like Pantasia must have a rival store, right? Yup, it’s St Pierre and there’s 1 just situated diagonally across the Southern Minami branch. They’ve always engaged in price wars and such. Who says the bread industry isn’t a tough and vicious one. A particular baker of this St Pierre branch is Tsuyoshi Mokoyama, dubbed the king of sweet breads. I think this guy is gay because he seems to say ahem ahem hints to his ex-buddy, Ken. He likes to spend time beautifying himself but he still looks like an imp (really). It won’t take long before Mokoyama and Azuma engaged in a battle which will be featured on national tv. So much so, the Pantasia guys have to come and ‘take over’ because their reputation is at stake. However, the manager of Panatasia main branch, Meister Kirisaki (I wonder why he always wear a face mask and a cape) decides to have Azuma do his battle. At first I thought he was a bad guy but then came to know he’s on Azuma’s side. Since Meister (the title, not his first name) doesn’t make many public appearance, this competition must be big enough for him to do so. Yeah, not to mention he’s got a bunch of fangirls too.
 
I’m not sure what Meister meant when he went to meet Azuma and asks him what price would he put on the bread that he’s suppose to make in that tournament. So during the tournament it’s a closely fought battle and both Mokoyama and Azuma went on to score a full 10 points. Thus a draw. I can’t believe the spectators are so ‘follow the herd’ mentality. After the judges give 1 negative comment, it’s like they’re going "Yeah, how can it be like that. Boo…". What the? Then they changed their mind when it’s countered with a positive one. "Hey, if it’s like this, it’s true too". Fickle minded people. Anyway, Azuma uses some recycled bread and tells the judges his bread is supposed to be free (Meister comes in just in time to ask him this question), which is something I still don’t get.
 
The next story arc is the 39th Newcomers Battle, in which all first time employees of Pantasia come together in this annual event to promote new talents and creativity. Not only that, the winner gets 10 million Yen! Who says you can’t become a millionaire by being a baker. But this huge prize money reflects the change in times and prosperity of the Pantasia because during Tsukino’s time, that poor girl only got a backpack as the 1 of the main prize back then. Such huge difference. As this particular year has hundreds of newcomers, the tournament goes through several stages. I’m not sure how the preliminaries went, but as far as I remember, the candidates need to send over some table bread they made and shortlisted candidates qualify for the next round at the main branch. As expected, Azuma and Kawachi made it, though the latter renewed their rivalry. As for Kai, he’s being exempted because he’s the main branch’s rep. But Kai isn’t happy because he wants to get a revenge match for that loss during the entrance exam.
 
Because there’re many candidates who qualify, the next round is to pick out some butter to make some high quality bread. Azuma chose 1 without thinking and those loser bakers thinks if they follow him, they’ll be guaranteed passage into the next round. Unfortunately, Kuroyanagi mentions the butter which Azuma and the likes choose, is actually margarine, thus failing them immediately. Oh no. Is this the end for Azuma? However, Kai tells Kuroyanagi that he didn’t ‘see that’. Because of that, Kuroyanagi gives Azuma a chance and leave it to Azuma to turn something of inferior quality to superior. Yup, Azuma makes it to the next round. Since the first 64 candidates qualify, those who followed Azuma is not happy because they weren’t given a second chance. Since Kuroyanagi has no time to deal with such petty issue, he told them to do rock-scissors-papers to see which 1 of them will qualify. Haha. It’s between the devil or the deep blue sea, because the 1 who win will have to face Kai in the first phase of the knock-out round. Now he’s really scared. Well, Kai gets a walkover because that guy chickens out before the match starts. Seems like Kai’s got an easy path. But he doesn’t like it as it’s ‘too easy’.
 
Azuma’s first opponent in this round is Tsukino’s younger tomboy sister, Mizuno. I somehow find her voice is unique and ‘muffled’. Mizuno doesn’t like Tsukino very much and she plans to steal Azuma away to her store if Azuma loses to her. Of course Azuma proclaims his loyalty to Southern Tokyo branch and won’t lose. He also tells Mizuno that if he wins, she must go back on good terms with Tsukino. In the end, Azuma wins with his melon sushi bread. Yeah, if I wanted to eat a Mizuno’s 100% melon bread, might as well buy a melon and eat it. But Mizuno isn’t done yet. She says she has a secret weapon waiting for Azuma.
 
In the last 16, Azuma faces off with a guy of Italian-American heritage named Sachihoko. Since the theme here is yakisoba bread and Azuma has no idea how to make it, he and Kawachi underwent some training under Ken’s ex-comrade, Ryu. Er… This guy’s a Chinese hitman and has no qualms about ‘taking out’ his victims if requested. After much training, Azuma gets another 1 of his creative inspirations by just hearing some random word. With that, he gets to beat Sachihoko flat (literally Azuma beats the bread to grill it) on match day. Holy crap! The bread Sachihoko made tastes so good that Kuroyanagi can’t control himself and starts stripping! Only to be held back by his men-in-black. But it wasn’t enough to beat Azuma’s sandwich-like yakisoba bread. Kawachi also beats his unknown opponent with his hot dog like yakisoba bread.
 
So Azuma’s next opponent is some large guy called Koala. Actually he’s wearing a koala mask. To cut things short, this Koala is actually Mokoyama! Ever since that draw with Pantasia, he has been fired because the owner of St Pierre, Yuichi Kirisaki, couldn’t accept such results. Since then, Mokoyama has been living in the streets and that’s when Mizuno picked him up. To show his gratitude, he dons a koala mask, calls her boss and does whatever she tells him to do. By this time, Kuroyanagi has enlisted the help of another bread maestro as a judge. He is the overly fat Dave (another guy who likes to say ‘isogashi isogashi’ meaning busy busy) and his tiny little maid assistant Heidi. This Dave guy is so fat that he needs an excavator to bring him up to the tournament place. Not to mention crashing through the wall. Dave judges by ‘screaming waves of love’ which detects sound decibels. The higher the decibels, the higher the love. So basically this battle is between Azuma’s green turtle bread and Koala’s dragon bread. I love Kuroyanagi’s reaction whereby he turned into Bruce Lee and made his trademark sounds. Azuma triumphs in the end, which made Mizuno mad as she fires Koala. Though Koala accepts it, eventually some sweet drama talk eventually brought them back together again. Though Mizuno doesn’t hate Tsukino that bad, but at least they’re on better terms now.
 
Kawachi’s quarter final match is with a guy who looks like a pig, Umino Katsuo. Kawachi made some crab-like bread but he wins by default because this Umino guy is being lovey-dovey with his young wife, pissing off Kuroyanagi. Haha. The much anticipated semi final match is between Azuma and Kai. Azuma creates some bread with his petalite board so much so it sent Kuroyanagi and Dave to heaven! OMG! Azuma killed them! It’s really a bread enough to die for! We see Kuroyanagi at some heaven cabaret as his reaction but initially has to return. He and Dave immediately declared Azuma the winner without even tasting Kai’s! That’s the 2nd time. Kai is furious and demands that he try his but Kuroyanagi says that if he can’t make him go to heaven, don’t bother even giving it to him. Too bad. This really sucks. By the way, Dave has run away with Kazuma’s bread, much to Kuroyanagi’s dismay because he wants to have a 2nd bite. That’ll be the last you’ll see of Dave. Note that Azuma won’t be using this ultimate Japan of his each time it’s because of the rationale that once you’ve tasted something that good the first time, no matter how much you eat it after that, you’ll get bored and tired of it and the effects won’t be there anymore. How true. Variety is the spice of life. By the way, Kuroyanagi’s reaction was so good that he’s seen trying to kiss Meister! OMG! Must be the aftermath of being in heaven. Lucky Meister has that mask to protect himself. So that’s what his mask is for. Must be real embarrassing once Kuroyanagi realizes what he’s doing. I’m sure all the fangirls wanna try this method out too.
 
How Kawachi wished for it to be an all Southern Tokyo branch final. But it wasn’t going to be the case because he lost to Shigeru Kanmuri, a junior of Kuroyanagi at Harvard and working under Tsukino’s elder sister, Yukino. Now, Yukino is the most vile and despicable woman whom everyone loves to hate. She may be goody goody up front but is dark and sinister behind. She even has that evil sinister laughter (her face will turn into that idiotic mad look whenever she does this) and her lighter has really big flames. She hates this whole Pantasia thing (he calls Azuma and co cockroaches) and is waiting for a chance to kick Meister out and take over Pantasia. Furthermore, she hates Tsukino as the latter’s an illegitimate child of their father. And when Tsukino’s mom passed away, Yukino mocks her and scatters her mom’s ashes on a nearby tree. I know we all feel like killing this woman. She’s really evil to the core. So why is Kanmuri working for an evil b*tch like her? Yukino’s funding his research of some yeast and Kanmuri doesn’t mind it all as long as he can get to money for his research. Oh yeah, I thought this Kanmuri’s a girl too because of his looks and voice. Later I found out he’s a boy, because he took his shirt off. Poor Kawachi fainted during the match because his dough wouldn’t ferment and it’s getting hot, so the spectators too becomes unruly. Yeah, leave it to Yukino to sabotage. She even destroyed Azuma’s petalite board after the match.
 
Thus it’s Azuma-Kanmuri final and each has their own reasons to win. Meister becomes the judge for the final, pushing Kuroyanagi to a ‘look only’ judge. Eventually Azuma triumphs as we see Meister’s reaction of a peacock coming out from his mask?! How does he keep a live bird in there? Because Shigeru lost, Yukino bombs his lab and destroys all his hard work. Bomb Voyage? I feel sorry for the guy. I don’t know why because after the finals, it’s the 3rd placing match between Kawachi and Kai. By right, 3rd placing matches should be before the finals, right? Before the match, Kawachi underwent some training as recommended by Ken at a church by a fake nun (haha. Her mocking line to Kawachi: "You’re only a side character who can say ‘Nanyate!"). Get ready for lots of ‘Nanyate’ punch lines. That word is so natural to Kawachi. Yeah, Kawachi even gets an afro. So in the battle of the French bread, both breads were so good that it earned them a draw. From time to time, you’ll see this Brad Kidd through Kuroyanagi’s reaction or flashback. He looks like Bill Clinton, only he’s got blonde hair and makes appearances in such parodies or jokes. Love that Double Classmate = Double Crust reaction.
 
With the newcomer battle settled. Kawachi may leave Southern Tokyo to pursue his dreams to work at the main branch (as part of 1 of the conditions of being in the top 3, since the pay is much more higher) though he often ‘visits’ Southern Tokyo branch. Also, Kanmuri decides to work at Southern Tokyo since there’s 1 seat vacant as part of his revenge to get back at Yukino. Though Meister had conducted some investigation to see whether Kawachi’s dough was manipulated, there wasn’t enough evidence and Yukino escapes scot free. We also learn that Meister is the son of St Pierre’s Yuichi, and it’s look like the father and son don’t look eye to eye. Yukino seems to discreetly team herself up with Yuichi to bring down Pantasia. She sends some St Pierre bakers to sabotage them (lying and telling them her being victimized sob story just to get them on her side) but after another battle, they realize Yukino’s a b*tch and turn against her.
 
The next story arc is the Monaco’s Cup at France. It’s a prestigious competition for young bakers all over the world and you could say this is equivalent to football’s World Cup. This is also a way for Kanmuri to get back at Yukino, win the prize money for their store branch (couldn’t remember the amount but I’m sure it’s worth millions). Since Japan had a dismal showing last year, they’re not regarded as favourites and it’s perfect for them to place bets as dark horses to win. The team who’ll be heading there consists of Azuma, Kawachi, Kai and Kuroyanagi as Japan’s rep. The rest of the gang stays back to watch the match via internet. When the gang arrives, they’re being greeted by a girl named Sophie, Meister’s sister who stayed back in France to be a baker. At first she gives insights to the team on how different breads are in the European side and gives them some lessons. Other than that, I find Sophie just to be a spectator along with Kuroyanagi during the matches. It’s like the series could go on without her. Before the real match begins, there’s somewhat an exhibition match whereby contestants from several countries exhibit their bread making skills even though it won’t have any impact on the real match. Kanmuri tells Kawachi that he’s role as the 10 Billion Yen clown is vital to increase Japan’s odds to win the overall. So Kawachi had the rest convinced to make him some Rodin sculpture in which Kawachi is inside the bread mould. Some queen of a fictional bread-sounding kingdom visits the exhibition. But Kawachi can’t hold much longer after sitting in that pose for 3 straight hours and needs to go to the toilet! He finally breaks which causes havoc, and even embarrassing that queen. So much so, Japan’s odds to win the cup is so low that even a chance for a comet to strike Earth seems more probable. Yeah, but if they win, they’ll get 15 Billion Yen. Wow!
 
The judge for this Monaco Cup tournament is a clown named Pierrot Bolneze. He looks, sounds and acts like a typical clown. He’s got lots of skill so much so if people asks how does he know or does it, he’ll always start off with "Once you’re a high level world class clown, you’ll be able to tell/do…". Don’t worry, Pierrot is a fair guy, though I kinda notice he seems to stick or be close to the Japanese reps. The main antagonist for this arc is the French reps, the Kaysers. There is such a bakery in France and is supposedly the largest bread outlet there. Funny thing is, they always wear a bird mask and you’ll never see their real faces, even during flashbacks. An excuse not to draw their faces? Another weird thing is that they seem to stack on top of each other like a totem pole! Though 2 of them initially are stacked and their younger brother, Edward, is on his own, later on, they decided to merge against the latter’s will as punishment. There’s one time where they show what’s underneath their cape on how they stacked. OMG! They’re like macho men wearing nothing but trunks. It’s so hilarious yet disgusting! The elder brother, Gran, has hands longer than his feet because of some weird rigourous training when he was young (hands being embedded in cement and has to move around or break out from it?). Plus they have some Goddess Hands in which all their fingers are really flexible. Much to their surprise, Azuma and Kai also possess this skill. By the way, since we’ve never seen their faces before, I’m wondering how those fangirls really fall for these guys. It’s quite a huge fanbase. Bird lovers?
 
The first round sees contestants making bread out of the ingredients they get through a roulette table and the fastest 16 will advance to the next round. You know what? Azuma and co got all eggs! What luck. Anyway with Azuma’s creativity, the gang makes it. Yeah, Pierrot clones himself so that he could save time tasting all those breads. Azuma’s bread was so good that it made Pierrot tell his flashback story. Over this arc, Pierrot takes over that reaction thingy from Kuroyanagi and will tell his sad clown story of how he’s being abandoned by his parents and raised in a circus in hopes his real parents will notice him. More fun pan puns. Hehehe. I can’t believe Pierrot’s being a long guest telling his flashback story way past midnight. And to hear hundred of his clones telling it, it must be deafening. Though the next round is still a team match, Kai wants to do this on his own after he receives a challenge from Edward. This time, contestants get their ingredients through a slot machine coins and Kai has got lots of them. Only to his horror to find out that each ingredient represented coin must be used to make a bread. Any wastage will result in auto disqualification. If Azuma’s got his Japan, then Kai has got his Lupan! Yeah, named after that famous anime thief. That’s because in order for Kai to beat Azuma, he has studied and stolen other bread techniques worldwide. As expected, Kai makes it in time and the Japs advances to the next round.
 
It seems Yuichi is plotting the downfall of Azuma and co and flies to France. He even tells the tournament manager to come up with plans to sabotage them. Yuichi isn’t your typical average baddie as he’s always 1 step ahead. So the next battle takes place on a deserted island and the remaining countries have to make a sweet fruit bread with the resources they have. Yeah, Japan’s in a disadvantage as they’re being placed in some isolated spot. It’s like survivor. Azuma got separated from Kai and Kawachi and was even feared dead! Furthermore, France’s Kaysers have been given a relatively easy spot where all the fruits are and they even have time to go tan in the sun and surf (so funny to see the totem pole surfing). As the match comes to a close, they plan to set the only forest with fruits with fire. Kai and Kawachi were saved from the Egypt team from the flames (the duo did some Matrix dodge in the forest) and it seems that this team is actually Monaco’s Secret Police and they’re investigating if there’re any irregularities in the tournament. One of the Egypt guy look like a pyramid with 2 legs sticking out! What the? What kind of costume is that? But in the end, leave it to Azuma to come up with ideas by using some underground potatos to make another bread. However, results of that match was void and another match is being scheduled as the tournament manager is on the run. Uh huh, this time they have to dive down from an airplane so that they could reach their battle place near some Mexican stream. But this is another plan to sabotage the Japanese reps as their team is the only one which seems to have parachuted into the world’s deepest cave along with Pierrot. Hey, Kai’s pretty afraid of heights. So the trio along with the clown had to find a way out and it’s pretty interesting to see Pierrot coming up with excuses not to swim to get help (earlier on the rest was counting on him to swim to get help but Pierrot is deadweight underwater). Azuma comes up with a bread which has a pun sounded like gills to make Pierrot swim and get help. If solving problems was only this easy.
 
I’m not sure how this match went that’s because soon as the gang gets back to Monaco, the countries who advanced to the semi finals are Japan, France, America and China. We also see the King Of Monaco, Leonhart XIV, to have a lion’s head! I thought it was a head mask. Is it really for real? Erm… it gets a little complicated because Leonhart is a good friend of Yuichi, though the king doesn’t know of his bad intentions. Also a flashback on how cruel Yuichi is to his children back then when he asks who’s the first person one should give bread to, as he eats it himself right in front of his starving kids. No wonder they hate their father. Also the semi finals see the Japanese being pitted against France. Surprisingly, I thought this was gonna be in the finals. Since the Formula 1 race is being held at Monaco, the theme is for each member (though it’s still a team event) to create a bread suitable for F1 racers. On match day, Kai and Kawachi along with the Kaysers are on site but Azuma is a habitual late offender has his reasons. He was with Leonhart and there was a traffic jam (yeah, the limo has some real sophisticated kitchen equipment and Azuma made his bread there). Erm… all those Kayser supporters are wearing bird masks! Time is nearly up so Pierrot starts judging. I don’t remember but Kai’s bread was a flop. Azuma arrives in time and lets Pierrot tastes his black tyre-like bread against Kayser’s Blue Lagoon. In the end, Japan won as they beat the home crowd favourites. However, though the Kayser supporters aren’t happy, Gran is gracious in defeat and leaves. That’s the last you’ll see of this bird people.
 
Their next opponent is the American team, led by Yuichi. However, I find this American team to be rather multi-racial. That’s because Sachihoko is in this team. The others are the German pastry queen Monica and an Eastern European mime-cum-imitator Shadow White. Funny thing is this parodied F1 racer, Mikail Schukappa! He looks and sounds like a total sissy! I was laughing all the way whenever he talked! Because Shadow’s exhibition bread was so damn good (since he copied Yuichi’s trademark Gopan. And if you’re wondering why Monica doesn’t have any speech lines until much later was because she was afraid that Shadow dude would copy everything she said), it made this Schukappa guy told his embarrassing Initial D parody past! Because of that, Azuma is spacing out. The finals is gonna be a 1-on-1 match and the bread themes will be clothing, food and shelter, which is a bread equivalent to beautiful bread, a bread suitable for everyday meal, and a bread that expresses one’s homeland’s taste respectively. The American team has already decided on their line up, starting with Monica, Sachihoko and finally Shadow. As for the Japs, it’ll be Kai, Kawachi and then Azuma. However, if they lose 2 straight matches, the 3rd match won’t even take place. Also the Southern Tokyo gang has arrived in Japan (Kageto came along or else he would’ve been forgotten anyway) to watch Azuma and co. I like the part where Azuma went to have a little chat with Shadow only to be annoyed that the latter copied his every moves so much so, Azuma did silly stuffs and Shadow could even copy them! Wow. Speechless.
 
So the first match… Kai lost to Monica (Yeah, Pierrot went to jail for abusing Chinese cabbages as part of his weird reaction) in the battle of semi nakedness! However after this, those 2 are like lovebirds, which pisses of Kawachi. The burden is now on Kawachi. We see a little of his flashback like how his dad died before realizing his dream as a baker so Kawachi is determined to win and surpass him. Is it me or is it Kawachi looks so ‘ripped’. With all that determination, Kawachi shows he’s not just a useless side character who only knows how to say nanyate and beats Sachihoko. So the final showdown between Azuma and Shadow. Actually more like Azuma vs Yuichi because Shadow has mastered Yuichi’s Gopan. Before that, because the previous match made a life threatening situation on Pierrot, Leonhart decides to transfuse his Bombay blood type to save him. We see that Pierrot is indeed Leonhart’s long lost son. Uh huh, they both went to that cabaret club in heaven and it didn’t take long before Pierrot realizes everything. But too late, Leonhart passes away to save him.
 
It’s gonna be a tough decision because Azuma promises his bread will take Pierrot to see his father in heaven again while Shadow also guarantees that his gopan will make Pierrot see his late mom too. In the end Azuma wins. Not only his bread sends Pierrot back in time, it also changes history! Holy crap! So has everything up till now changed? Dunno. Because we see Leonheart and his wife Maetal alive and scolding Pierrot to hurry up with his decision. Did he regret having strict parents now? Besides the Japs winning the Monaco Cup, Azuma also wins the MVP in which Pierrot gives him a ring in which if there’s any trouble, some legendary hero will come to the rescue if one calls upon the ring. Since Azuma thinks the ring will interfere with his bread making, he gives it to Tsukino. Also, Yuichi isn’t done yet. Instead of being viewed as the bad guy, he tries to shake hands with Azuma but the latter refused. While the Japs are celebrating, they got news that St Pierre and Pantasia has merged and Yuichi is the new MD. Yukino is made St Pierre president while Tsukino as Pantasia’s.
 
So the final story arc sees Yuichi throwing the gang a challenge whereby if they win, all the shares of Pantasia will go to Tsukino. Azuma and the rests accepts the challenge without thinking. Well, that 15 Billion Yen they won will be used as expenses for their upcoming challenge. Bummer. See, you shouldn’t be so rash. So the next battle is called Yakitate 9 and is televised over tv. They have to battle in 9 cities and in the end, the team with the most wins win. Another development is that, Yuichi requests Kuroyanagi to be a food critic because of his genuine impartial reactions and quit his Pantasia baker job. At first Kuroyanagi refuses saying that he might side Pantasia but after hearing some story how Ken actually abused him because he thought he’d leave baking and be a food judge, Kuroyanagi accepts it. I like that Takitate Gohan parody complete with even next episode preview! Yeah, some guy named Tom Crusoe with North Pole Hands!
 
Anyway the Pantasia team consists of Azuma, Kawachi and Kanmuri. I wonder where Kai went and I was hoping that he’d join in the gang. Since the battles take place in different cities, taking advantage of each city’s unique ingredients, somehow Kanmuri chooses to stay in inns with ominous sounding names like Nakisou (seem to cry) and Hakisou (seem to vomit). Even though St Pierre team are spending Pantasia’s Monaco win’s money like water, I suppose that leaves our heroes poor. So Pantasia’s 1st match is with St Pierre’s Tsubodzuka from CMAP (Cooking Meal Assemble People, which is some cooking reality series). I also notice that Kawachi doesn’t really help as he’s been sidelined by the other 2 so much so he goes and joins the spectator with Ken and Tsukino. In the end, Pantasia notch up their first win. Note Kuroyanagi’s Dragonball parody reaction.
 
The 2nd match pits them against Ryu. Yeah, that Chinese mafia guy doesn’t care and joins in for the money. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen him. Here, Kuroyanagi lost his taste buds but regains them again after Azuma’s dumpling themed bread. Another win for Pantasia. Isn’t that One Piece reaction from Kuroyanagi. The 3rd match sees the remaining CMAP members Kaname (the brains among them), Narumi (favourite quote "I want you to die") and Chimatsuri (special technique: Flaming Arm which allows him not to sweat in high temperatures…?!) decides to join forces against Pantasia. I don’t know why but Kuroyanagi even brought a tapir for his reaction. In the end, CMAP is still no match for Azuma’s Haniwa (some stone statue)-like bread and turned into Haniwa statues themselves. The 4th match is between a pair of ninjas. Why, it’s actually Kai and Monica! Why is he on St Pierre’s side? Something about how Kai needs to go all out and beat Azuma and be better than him (some Naruto parody here). In the end, Kai’s body twisting Lupan is no match for Azuma’s bone breaking one. Kai already knew he’d lost even before Kuroyanagi tastes it. That guy is like a monster zombie and doesn’t care if all his bones break or dies because he wanna taste Azuma’s bread. The problem with Kai is that he thinks too much about Azuma’s bread so much so he decides to kill himself! Monica asks the others to stop Kai. Ken then says how Kai isn’t a guy because he’ll leave a pregnant Monica fatherless. Actually he’s just bluffing but Monica had to play along since Ken gave her that look. In order not to repeat the past mistake like how Kai’s dad left him and never returned, he decides to go on leaving but wonders how come hugging a woman can just make them pregnant.
 
By the 5th match, Azuma has fallen ill and this is Kanmuri’s turn to shine. This time their opponent is Kanmuri’s half brother Tsutsumi, a fine Austrian chef who hates to be compared with Kanmuri. Also, we see Kanmuri’s dad is from the yakuza and this battle is important because the loser will become heir to the gang. In this jam making battle (no bread here because they want some variety to attract viewers) whereby Kuroyanagi does dangerous reaction stuff (kids, don’t try this anywhere), the match ended in a draw. So Kanmuri’s dad decides that both of them should follow their own destiny and chooses Ken as his next successor. Well, that guy has the body and attitude for it. Of course, Ken is reluctant. I don’t know how such Japanese game show works. It seems because of the draw, if St Pierre wins the next match, they can steal up to several spots Pantasia has won. So the 6th match is with some cartoonish seaweed character called Norihei. Because of his trademark "Desu yo" lines, did you notice the opening title has become ‘Yakitate! Japan Desu Yo"? Surprisingly, Norihei wins this seaweed bread battle! Can’t believe Azuma lost. Heroes don’t lose, right? But Norihei is glad that he fought with Azuma and gives him a book with his experiences in it. I kinda notice that during the Yakitate 9 matches, there’s a high probability that the 1st side who give their bread to Kuroyanagi to taste, will lose. Isn’t that the case? Does this give a whole new meaning to save the best for last? Yeah, just take note on this.
 
The 7th match is with Panda. Who? It’s that Koala guy, Mokoyama. It’s been a long time too. Now he’s wearing a panda mask because he’s been working too hard to beat Azuma so much so he neglects his skin care and can’t show his face. Haha. I wonder his face is ‘viewable’ in the first place. I guess that’s the reason why he’s on St Pierre’s side. Though Mizuno is mad at Yukino for the sudden change, it can’t be help since it’s what Panda wants. With Azuma cured from his illness, he defeats Panda with another sweet cake themed bread. Yeah, get the pun. It’s bread as in ‘Pan da’. Panda admits defeat and he actually turned into a real panda in the end. That’s the last you’ll see of this duo. By the way, Kuroyanagi’s reaction for Azuma’s bread here causes him to bleed profusely. Hahah. Now he realizes that he wants to live so that he could taste more delicious breads. Also, Kuroyanagi has been over doing his reactions so much so he even employed special effects like exploding himself into many chibi versions, when the actual fact he’s just put a decoy of himself and went somewhere else. Just like how magicians do their escape trick.
 
With Pantasia back to their winning ways, their 8th opponent is… Yukino! Oh no! That b*tch is back (not that Elton John song, okay) and it’s a battle of tarts. This match is to Yukino’s advantage because she has Blizzard Hands, which is suitable to make cold tarts. However, since both sides finished making their tarts, and wants Kuroyanagi to eat it fresh, they both stuff it down his throat at the same time. Unfortunately, he can’t handle it and it seems a disaster is gonna happen as everyone is being pulled into his stormy reaction.
 
Yeah, his reaction is Lord Of The Rings parody! Azuma and Kawachi are the Hobbits and they have to get rid of the loquat ring (Kuroyanagi) into the burnable garbage which only comes once a year. Tsukino is the queen and she sends Meister (Gandalf), Kanmuri (Legolas) and Ken (either Aragorn or Gimli) as part of the fellowship of the ring. If that loquat uncle looks like Golem previously, that’s because he plays 1 here. My Precious… As they face the dark forces of Yukino, is the ring gonna corrupt Azuma? I mean he doesn’t want to throw it because he wants to make a good tart out of it first. But the ring sees the warm side of Azuma and sacrifices itself. With that reaction over, back in reality, Kuroyanagi declares Azuma the winner. Yay! That b*tch lost because she doesn’t put her heart and soul in making them. Remember how funny Japanese game show works? Even though Pantasia is trailing 3-5, if they win the last one, they’ll steal an additional spot because it’s sandwiched between 2 Pantasia spots. Huh?
 
However the last episode and the last match starts off differently as we see the final minutes of Azuma alone taking on Meister! Wait a minute? He’s on St Pierre’s side? But I think it’s because he decides to go up against a talented baker rather than go with his dad. Yeah, lots of last episode parodies and punch lines. Because Kuroyanagi went ‘missing’ after tasting Meister’s bread, Yuichi decides to step in and judge. Though Pantasia protests, there isn’t any other choice. Okay, so he went missing too. With no judge left, Tsukino uses that ring to call forth Pierrot! Yeah, he comes flying down from the sky. I guess this is so that viewers won’t forget him. Uh huh. Also Inaho, Azuma’s 4 grandpas (this kid has got really lots of grandpas), Kai, Monica, Sophie and Sachihoko are there.
 
We see Azuma’s revolutionary character changing bread because it changed a rude Kuroyanagi into a gentle one, a funny Pierrot into a serious one, and an evil Yuichi into a kind hearted one! Plus if you notice, Azuma hasn’t mentioned his Japan ## anymore because Ken thinks all those were his experimental breads and that Azuma has perfected his Japan! We find out that Yuichi is that person back in episode 1 who taught a young Azuma about bread. So how did he turn out this way? Kuroyanagi and Pierrot is unable to give a definite winner and calls a draw but surprisingly, Yuichi gives the win to Azuma! Pantasia makes a comeback to win 5-4. Pierrot mentions that Yuichi may be playing the bad guy for the sake of Japan’s bread industry. I guess it makes sense. Without any baddies, Azuma and co won’t push their limits or creativity. Before Yuichi can reveal, the effects wear off and he’s back to his evil side. Then there’s the question of who should one give the bread to besides oneself. I don’t remember but the answer seem something like it should be the person who loves bread. So Azuma gives his to Tsukino. Sorry pals, no chemistry here. Meister and Sophie doesn’t hate Yuichi that much too. Though Yuichi says it isn’t the end yet, because he only lost Pantasia’s share, he renewed his challenge to Azuma saying that the battle has only begun, in which Azuma accepts and will give him everything he’s got.
 
Overall, I’m quite satisfied and enjoyed every single moment of this series, though the end wasn’t really much of an ending. You’ll even enjoy it more if you’re quite knowledgeable about stuffs as each episode is filled with tons of trivia, parodies and rip-offs. Besides the in-anime information, at the end of most episodes, there’s a segment called Yakitate Seeds Of Knowledge whereby there’ll be additional details of the food, ingredients, or even historical and cultural info associated with that particular episode. Of course, I still blur case lah. Depending on the story arc, there’re several mid-intermissions, each of them has a hint of afro. The later ones have the characters in chibi form which reminded me of South Park.
 
I like the voice acting of the characters. There are several star-studded casts. Azuma is voiced by Yumiko Kobayashi (Sarah of Love Hina, Ogata of Shakugan No Shana), Kawachi by Shuuhei Sakaguchi (Kakouton of Ikkitousen: Dragon Destiny), Ken by Hiroki Touchi (Abel of Trinity Blood, Seishirou of Tsubasa Chronicle), Kanmuri by Marina Inoue (Mutsuki of Manabi Straight, Wataru of Hayate No Gotoku), Kuroyanagi by Takehito Koyasu (Ilpalazzo of Excel Saga, Hotohori of Fushigi Yuugi, Ryosuke of Initial D, Faust 8th of Shaman King, Johan of Mamoru-kun Ni Megami No Sukufuku Wo), Meister by Sho Hayami (Wolfwood of Trigun, Karina of Inukami), Pierrot by Tomokazu Seki (Kyo of Fruits Basket, Sagara of Full Metal Panic), Yuichi by Fumihiko Tachiki (Zaraki of Bleach) and Yukino by Atsuko Yuya (Angelica of Coyote Ragtime Show). Even Rie Kugimiya who’s famous for Shana in Shakugan No Shana is the voice of Monica. I find that the voice actor/actress for the rest of the main characters like Kai and Tsukino are really unknowns. Probably why I never heard them anywhere (not that I’ve watched every single anime).
 
Besides, the anime has lots of background music ranging from slow piano pieces to faster and lively beats. But I find that most of them sounded like the French fanfare with all those trumpets and horns to give a French-like atmosphere. Probably because of the Monaco Cup arc and maybe French bakers are considered tp be world class. Of all the opening and ending themes, my favourite one is still the 1st opening theme, Houkigumo, by RHYTEM. Others which sounded okay are the rap-like 1st ending theme, Sunday, by The Babystars, and the slow ballad 5th ending theme, Merry Go Round, by Mai Hoshimura. The 2nd ending theme, To All The Dreamers has Ken doing his Saturday Night Live Fever disco dance. The worst of the songs to me is the 6th ending theme by RYTHEM, Kokoro Biidama. It sounds so ‘sissy’ and doesn’t fit the series.
 
Aside Kai-Monica’s romance, there isn’t any others though viewers keep hoping there’d be some between Azuma and Tsukino. But that kid’s first love and passion comes in the form of baking. I’m sure he has a clear decision if he has to choose which one. Although there are times when Azuma did say some ambiguous statements to Tsukino like asking her to go out with him and making her blush, but it’s all related to baking and bread. Should he see a love consultant? I guess he’s better off with a dream job rather than a dream gal.
 
It also goes to show that you don’t have to sit around and think real hard for an idea to surface. Perhaps Azuma is just an extraordinary kid and it’s pretty amazing how he gets his ideas by just witnessing random events. Uh huh. You don’t need a degree to be a genius. You just need the passion and love in whatever you’re doing and you’ll just do fine.
 
Once again I’d like to praise the producers and writers for coming up with all the jokes and creativity. It’s been a wonderful ride and the series is more than just making bread with all the drama and adventure. How I wish I could get a taste of Azuma’s different varieties of Japan. Each time he comes up with a new bread, it nearly made my mouth water. It doesn’t matter which country the bread comes from, as long as it tastes good. I’m so like a glutton. Yeah well, like I’ve always said, I only know how to eat bread.
 
Yakitate! Japan

Northern Lights

February 8, 2008

  Kimi ni todoke nothern lights…
 
I’ve got a feeling that Im able to sing Megumi Hayashibara songs. That’s because I kinda notice that even though her songs are not the kind which fits my voice, somehow I manage to sing it quite successfully, albeit not 100%. So Nothern Lights, which is the second opening theme for the anime series Shaman King, isn’t any different eiter.
 
  Hikisakareta futatsu no kokoro,
  Yukiba no nai omoi ga mune wo shimetsuke,
  Naze kono toki ni deatta no ka to,
  Toikakeru sube wa saeta kage ni chiru
 
Like most anime songs that I sing, the verses, in terms of its tune on my voice, are quite manageable themselves. Usually it’s the chorus part which ‘trouble’ starts. I wouldn’t really say that this song has lines which are quite high pitched but in order to sing the chorus, you need to have a powerful voice. Uh huh. At times, I find myself needing to use up all the energy and air in my lungs to deal with it smoothly. Surprisingly, I did pretty well (ahem ahem). But there’s a down effect to this. Towards the end of the song, I find myself tired and out of breath. Thank goodness this entire song is only 3 minutes plus.
 
  Yuragu koto nai,
  Tsuyosa na dou naku,
  Susunda saki ni,
  Motomeru kotae ga aru
 
Also, I sometimes have trouble in my timing during the first lines of the verses. That’s because I felt that there were too many words trying to fit in into that short line. So it’s like either I’m a word too fast or too short. Yeah, it made me sound like I’m stammering.
 
  Soshite itsuka todoku yume wo,
  Ima shizuka ni kanji you,
  Kimi ni no ketsui boku no mayoi,
  Meguriai ga sashishimesu
 
Luckily too that this is a full fledge karaoke version so with all those back-up and background vocals, the song doesn’t sound ‘hollow’ or empty. Yeah, this is the only song whereby the karaoke version’s opening lines has put in the real voice of the singer in order to let karaoke-goers set their pace. Since this song immediately starts off with a short verse and there’s no background or instrumentals to get karaoke-goers ready or on stand-by, I suppose it’s a pretty good thing.
 
  Ai mo tsumi mo yume mo yami mo,
  Ima subete mi ni mattote,
  Kimi no chikara boku no kokoro,
  Kasanariatta shunkan
 
I’m still wondering why this upbeat and lively song is called so. I mean, no doubt it’s probably to fit the series as its lyrics are about some journey with obstacles, hope and all that. Maybe northern here refers to North USA but I don’t remember seeing any aurora lights in the anime because it took place in the heart of the desert. Ah, must be the lights of the Great Spirits.
 
  Nani ga umareru,
  Do you believe in destiny…

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge

February 2, 2008

Lots of beautiful people here. Pretty people aplenty. Okay, for most of it anyway. That was my first impression when I started watching Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge. Just like most popular mangas, this one too has been adapted into an anime series. But unlike any other manga turned animes, as far as I’m concerned, this is the only anime I know that doesn’t retain its manga title. Yup, this anime is based on the manga entitled The Wallflower or also known as Perfect Girl Evolution. Of course, there are some differences as well between the anime and manga.
 
I could say that this anime would easily be included in my top all-time favourite animes because the comedy factor here is sky high. You could say that it even reaches the point of absurdity and nonsensicalness (if there are such words that exists). Each episode never ceases to make me burst into laughter.
 
Though the manga is still ongoing, the anime series has only 25 episodes. I suppose it’s more than enough wackiness to last a long time. The basic premise of the story mainly focuses on 4 high school boys, Kyohei Takano, Takenaga Oda, Ranmaru Mori and Yukinojo Toyama AKA Yuki. Their good looks alone are enough to make any girls swoon and fall head over heels over them. Yes. Pretty looking boys. At first I thought they’re girly guys especially Yuki, whom I thought was a girl! But nope. Hmm… Must be their lips. They’re every and any girl’s dream guy, heartthrob and hunk. So much so going to school is such a hassle. It’s a sin to be beautiful, literally. I mean, it really gets to you when girls are just more than avid fans. Yeah, more like obsessed love-stricken admirers. You have girls surrounding them all the time and going ga-ga just about the slightest thing they do. Not to mention a fan club totally dedicated to them. Is this the kind of popularity they want? Don’t think so.
 
However, that wasn’t really the basic premise. That just feels like the setting. Okay, now here’s what it’s all about. The handsome quartet gets to live in a big luxurious mansion rent free. But there’s a catch. In order to do so, they have to turn their landlady’s niece, Sunako Nakahara into a lady. Sounds easy? Wait till you see this Sunako girl. To cut things short, Sunako isn’t your typical girly girl. I mean, she’s not the tomboyish kind either. You see, Sunako has an obsession for darkness and horror-like stuff! Because of that, she rarely has friends and is always by herself (also read: stubborn). Uh huh. She has a couple of mannequins to keep her company and which she even talks to! Is that scary or what? Furthermore, at times Sunako looks like a character popped out from a horror movie!
 
No matter how scary she is, I guess the guys have no choice but to turn her into a lady. I mean, the rent free luxurious mansion sounds a once in a lifetime offer but failure to do so will result in them having to pay their rent 3 times the rate as penalty! Woah! Better start cracking your heads now.
 
Things don’t start off on a good note as we see the guys enjoying tea in the mansion’s garden when something inhuman pops out and scare the living daylights out of them in episode 1. They soon realize it’s Sunako. Yeah, such dark and deadly aura she’s got there so much so the lights even burst when she walks pass by! I hope these guys won’t get an early heart attack. Yeah, talk about having to live with a real life horror thing. At first their attempts to even communicate with Sunako failed because she pretty much locks herself up in her dark room watching horror and gruesomely dark movies. She also has a large collection of those weird stuff mad experiment scientists put in their jar. However, whenever Sunako sees the faces of these handsome guys, she’ll experience nosebleeds. Yeah, it look like their bright shining aura of handsomeness is too bright for her to handle so much so she’ll say "Dazzling creatures…" everytime when that happens. Also, the background music will turn into something like heavenly choir voices. Halelujah! How fitting.
 
So just how ‘ugly’ is Sunako? People who pass by her even thinks it’s a real ghost or monster and runs away screaming! Boy, this is gotta be a tough job. I love the funny part whereby the guys are at a cafe lamenting how they’re gonna turn Sunako into a lady when the waitress came to take their order. They reply "I want a normal girl". With that, we see all those loser girls suddenly appearing from nowhere creating a riot at the cafe trying to prove how ‘normal’ they are. How abnormal. Hahaha.
 
Since their attempts to even come close to Sunako failed, coupled in with the fact that she gets upset and disheartened when some random stranger calls her ugly, Sunako attempts to run away but Kyohei goes after her and tries to talk some sense into bringing her back. The real reason why she’s turned into something like this was because a guy she liked back then called her ugly. Call it silly or nothing much to it, but I guess that’s enough to scar a young girl’s heart and mind. Thus the word ‘ugly’ is taboo to her and if anyone calls her that, she’ll snap. Sunako eventually comes back to the mansion as she remembers the kindness the guys did to her earlier on. Though they later got a call from the landlady to check her niece’s progress status, they had to say that Sunako’s a magnificent lady already. I guess it’s more than financial reasons at stake here. Don’t worry guys. The road ahead is still a long one. Filled with bumps, cracks and portholes. Good luck.
 
So it’s gonna be like this in most episodes. The guys try to come up with various ways to break the ice with Sunako but with hilarious results. Usually it doesn’t work out well in the end because Sunako’s still that dark loving creature in the end. However, as the series progresses, you’ll see that the guys form a bond with Sunako. Yeah, these guys pretty much prefer Sunako over those jealous pretty school girls, so much so, those girls will wonder who that dark lady is and why such gorgeous hunks are with her. That’s because you’re losers, girl. Also, viewers will kinda notice it’s gonna be Kyohei-Sunako the way they interact or do things. No, not that they become a couple but rather it points towards that, even though you’ll see them squabbling. Ah, just like a normal couple in love, right? Okay, maybe not that normal. Erm… That’s because Kyohei’s sarcasm is enough to drive Sunako up the wall so much so at times she just wants to kill him. And she’ll do it I tell you! Luckily some force will restrain her from doing so.
 
I also want to mention that Sunako during the anime, has 2 forms of appearance. One form is her dark short chibi self and the other one is her tall beautiful self. Hey, Sunako’s not that ugly when she’s in the latter’s form! Why she even has beautiful eyes. When things get ‘hot’ or ‘excited’, Sunako will transform into this shape (some destructive mode, that is) or else she’ll be just that shorty person with no facial features. I also love the versatile voice acting of Sunako. In her chibi form she’s sounds like a ‘muffled’ crazy insecure chubby kid but when she’s in her other form, she sounds more ‘commanding’ and lose that weak girly voice. Somehow her form’s stature seems to have an impact on the series in the sense that when she’s in her chibi mode, people do bend down and talk to her and she even has difficulty reaching heights she would easily reach in her other form. Hmm…
 
In each episode, there’ll be at least 1 segment called Path To Become A Lady. It’s a short comical clip with the characters giving the do’s and don’ts of becoming a lady. It’s really quite hilarious and though some of the advice seems logical, try it at your own risk. I like whoever is screaming when the segment starts rolling. In some episodes, this segment may be replaced with another theme like Path To Do Housework or even Path To Become A Horrible Man (that’s right. You didn’t hear me wrongly), depending on the particular episode’s theme. Also each episode starts off with 1 of Sunako’s mannequins, Hiroshi (her other mannequins are Josephine, Akira and George), narrating some witty or sarcastic remarks which disgusts the 4 guys as they rebuke what he says. Remember, Sunako talks to her mannequins and treats them like her companions, so it’s right that they have a ‘voice’ in this series as well.
 
I kinda notice that at times when the comical action gets a little on the way (like getting shock, surprise or scared), or there are too many people or rather, unimportant characters on screen, the producers will draw them in a simple manner. In fact, too simple. It’s like those human symbols you see on road and toilet signs, only thing is they’re all white in colour. I’m not sure if this is the right description, but it’s something like this. Even the main characters sometimes get this treatment, usually their handsome/pretty face being retained but their bodies have been drawn into this similar manner. You may say that it saves costs and time, but you’ll find it funny and it does fit in the flow of the series. Marshmallow people?
 
So episode 2 continues with the guys trying to ‘force’ Sunako to become a lady, like having her bangs cut, but as usual, she doesn’t cooperate. I suppose spending too much time in darkness has resulted Sunako to not stand the sunlight too. Mainly, this episode introduces Noi Kasahara, who is Takenaga’s girlfriend. Your typical hyped and positive girl who eventually becomes best buddies with Sunako. Hey, since Sunako’s living with the guys, she not only does the laundry, cooking and household chores, she has to attend school too, right? Yeah, we see that whole bunch of loser girls waiting outside the school awaiting the arrival of their heavenly princes. They get a rude shock when they find out someone uglier than them following the heartthrobs and even living with them! Life is unfair. Anyway, these girls need to get a life.
 
Another bunch of loser girls introduced are the Goth-loli girls. A group of ‘ugly’ looking girls with ‘tentacle arms’ (are they trying to do some Hindu God dance?) dressed in goth-loli dressing and are one of the many obsessed admirers of the handsome 4. Their appearance are mainly comical and they always do their trademark sign by holding up their crossed finger high in the air and say "Goth goth… Loli loli". Expect them to flop or fail in whatever attempts they do, whether it’s to attract the attention of the guys or separate Sunako from them.
 
This episode sees how the boys in the school makes a competition with a reward of 100,000 Yen to see who can get a facial pic shot of Sunako. That’s enough to motivate any guy and they start chasing a hapless Sunako around school. Sunako manages to escape from them and seeks refuge in a shed but a quartet gang of Ganguro Girls (tanned bad ass girls whose appearances will be scattered and seldom throughout the series) cornering Sunako and bullies her to cut her bangs. Kyohei finds out about this and confronts the gang. Of course those love stricken bad girls try to play all goody and deny it. However, 1 of them accidentally injured Kyohei with her fingernails! Gasp! Sunako saw this and snaps out as she defeats the Ganguro Girls. Scary. Don’t play play. Sunako even cut her own bangs and demands the girls to apologize to Kyohei! Soon after Kyohei develops a fever and Sunako has to nurse him. But even when Kyohei’s sick, he’s still ordering Sunako around, making her wanting to kill him. The other 3 guys try to calm her down and give her some confidence of becoming a lady by showing a fake picture of a fat Noi while she was young and how she turned into a pretty and kawaii lady she is now. I guess, Sunako took that too literally because, she’s gonna kill Kyohei for being beautiful. Ah, haven’t I said that it’s a sin being beautiful?
 
Yeah, being beautiful is not only a sin, but in demand as well. In episode 3, several men-in-black (MIB) approaches Kyohei to recruit him as some host club member. Of course, that guy turns it all down. That night, the landlady unexpectedly arrives to see how her niece is doing but the guys give some excuse that she’s cooking and doing something. I guess the landlady is stinking filthy rich that’s because she’ll always come by in some exaggerated mode of transport, in this case, a bunch of helicopters, and wishing the guys in some foreign language of hers. Yeah, she eventually has to fly off because she’s a busy busy woman. Busy to go to her lover, that is. Before that, she tells the guys about the upcoming party in which she expects Sunako to be a gorgeous lady by then to attend. As usual, the foursome tries to ‘train’ her but is futile. Another Kyohei-Sunako spat so much so Sunako tries another attempt to take his life but is unable to do so because of his ‘dazzling light’. However, the MIBs storm into Kyohei’s room and kidnaps him. By hook or crook, they just have to have his beautiful face.
 
Thus, the other 3 guys along with Noi forcefully dresses up Sunako before they go on a rescue attempt. Upon reaching a club supposedly where Kyohei is kidnapped, the gang is shocked to find Kyohei being auctioned! Oh dear. Is this the price to pay for beauty? Sunako snaps and goes on a rampage causing the entire club to be demolished. Yeah, she’s claiming how she’s the only 1 who can touch Kyohei and nobody else, because she personally wants to kill him. Yeah, don’t get the wrong idea that she’s in love with him or what, that’s why she wants to rescue him. As the club owner tries to flee, he bumps into his girlfriend. Why, it’s the landlady! She saw all that’s happening and gives him her version of justice. Because of that, the landlady decides to cancel the party, and also the rent free agreement as penalty for the guys. Oh oh. Now they’re several zeros poorer. Erm… Isn’t that a bloody looooooong limousine the landlady’s riding in? Yeah, the guys wonder if it could even make a decent turn. I suppose being rich really attracts because the landlady has a new boyfriend too. That’s really fast.
 
Since the guys are broke, they’re thinking of ways to make some money. Luck is on their side because in episode 4, their school announces a prize money of 500,000 Yen for the best school cultural exhibit. Kyohei does some food stall but because all the loser girls are swooning over him, causing jealousy with the other guys as they vandalize his stall. Though Kyohei fights back, this causes his stall to explode because of the gas tank. Later, the gang finds out that Sunako’s class is doing a haunted house and decides to help her to win the prize, thinking that if she wins, they could get some portion of the money. In the end, it was enough for Sunako to win the prize. She’s a natural. Then an announcement that Kyohei wins as the king while Yuki as the queen (this poor guy reluctantly always have to be in a female’s role) of the school’s cultural festival. While the girls are loving it, the guys are in protest. Soon a battle of the sexes begins. During the chaos, one of the vandals decides to challenge Kyohei when Sunako appears to beat the crap out of the guy. Back home, the gang are happy to have won the grand prize and a further 200,000 Yen due to Kyohei and Yuki’s win but they soon receive a call from school demanding a compensation of 700,000 Yen for the damage Kyohei’s stall explosion caused to the school building. Ah well. Broke again. Easy come easy go.
 
A photographer, Kinoyama, spots Sunako’s pic at the school festival and becomes infatuated in making her his model in episode 5. In order to entice her to come, the guys tell her that the theme is set in a haunted castle. However, Kinoyama notices that Sunako isn’t the photogenic kind and isn’t satisfied with all the shots, so much so he decides to recruit the 4 guys for his photo shoot. Kinoyama seems to like Yuki and tells him how he couldn’t have done it with that ugly Sunako. This pisses off Yuki as he walks off the set. Kinoyama throw several insults at him. Sunako heard all this and destroys Kinoyama’s equipment. Kyohei rush to the scene after hearing some commotion but got injured on his way. Eventually the gang decides to leave the place as Kinoyama took 1 last shot of them. That last shot of them leaving was enough to win some prize. Kinoyama even invited them to his gallery. I suppose this winning shot wasn’t the most surprising one. That’s because the landlady’s there at the exhibit too and she instantly took their rightful share of the prize money as rent payment. Ah, broke again. Not their destiny to be rich, huh?
 
Sunako is feeling depressed so much so she neglects her household chores and stays locked up in her room in episode 6. The guys can’t figure out why and when they think it may be her birthday and throw her one, they realize it isn’t so either. Because of that, the guys try to do the household chores themselves but ends up worse than before. So much so when they head for school, all those squealing girls can’t stand the stench and kept their distances. Hey, this is 1 way of making them stay away. However, it had the same effect on Noi too. The guys then explained to her what had happened. Noi then tries to takeover the household chores as part of her plans to impress Takenaga. Unfortunately, she’s as ‘useless’ as the guys. Bummer. Noi then had a heart to heart talk with Sunako, in which Noi realized that Sunako is depressed because she missed Halloween’s Day. The rest then starts to plan a Halloween party for Sunako. Soon Sunako comes out to find the mansion decorated with a Halloween theme, much to her delight, as the gang parties.
 
Some gangster from the National Boss Association (is such association legal?) comes looking for the strongest man in town in episode 7 so that he could defeat him and rule the roost. I don’t know how, but this Mob Boss (let’s call him this) gets word that Kyohei is the strongest guy and proceeds to challenge him. Ah, once again Kyohei is in the spotlight. However, upon arrival at Kyohei’s school, Mob Boss falls in love at first sight when he sees Sunako. Yeah, love does work in mysterious ways. The guys think it’s a perfect chance for Sunako to turn into a lady. Not. Mob Boss eventually decides to send his henchmen to kidnap Sunako but they’re worried how to do so because by just watching her cleaning her mannequins, they’re thinking how scary this woman could get. But they accidentally kidnap Hiroshi in their panic as Sunako chases after them. Yeah, it’s even scarier when some scary woman starts chasing you too. Soon Sunako became Mob Boss’s hostage. Noi saw this and reported back to the guys but Kyohei just laughed it off, pissing off Noi as she slaps him. Noi and along with Takenaga, Ranmaru and Yuki went to save Sunako. However, they all became hostages instead. Mob Boss would only release them if Kyohei is here. Speak of the devil, Kyohei arrives to beat up Mob Boss and his croonies but is overwhelmed by their numbers. Since the gangsters threatens to harm Sunako, Sunako goes into rampage mode and beats up the gangsters. Think they could use this girl? Think again. In the end, everyone heads home and that’s the last time you’ll see Mob Boss. He got really beaten up. Yeah, love hurts. Kyohei is glad that Sunako’s safe and hugs her. But Sunako experiences another round of nosebleeding while Noi thanks Takenaga for standing up and fight earlier on (though he got beaten up) because she thinks it’s cool for a guy to protect a girl, making him blush.
 
Sunako thinks that her peaceful days are gone ever since she has to take over the household chores in episode 8. Though the other guys think of working part time in a restaurant to ease her burden, Kyohei still insists that Sunako cooks for them. Furthermore, Kyohei wants to eat nabe tomorrow. So Sunako and Kyohei head to town to buy some ingredients and it seems the townspeople misinterpret their relationship, thinking they’re a couple. Why, they even gave her some free stuff. But Kyohei buys them all and ends up poorer. Beside all that hoollo-balla at the shopping district, the guys got a part time job as waiters in a restaurant because of their good looks. Hey, their cooking sucks remember. We also see several Kyohei-Sunako moments. So as everyone try their best, in the end, the gang manages to make and enjoy a decent nabe meal.
 
Because Ranmaru has dozen of girlfriends, in episode 9, one of them a hotspring hostess, Sayuri, invites him and the gang to her hotspring inn. I think Ranmaru like older women that’s why I kinda notice he ‘snubs’ girls around his age. So the gang along with Noi, forcefully brings Sunako along with them as usual as they ride a train there. While Ranmaru hooks up pretty well with Sayuri, Noi wants to be spend some quality time with Takenaga. Since Noi mentioned that if she becomes Takenaga’s full fledge girlfriend, she’ll move in with them and takeover the household chores (even though she sucks), Sunako thinks this would allow her to shift all the household chores to her and tries to help Noi and Takenaga to be alone. But the hilarious part in this episode is when Kyohei and Sunako engaged in a frenzy super pulsating ping pong match. They’re both filled with passion and determination not to lose to the other. Can you see anything with everything zooming by so fast? Because of the intensity and energy, somehow Kyohei and Sunako kissed while flying in mid-air over the ping pong table. Argh! Her first kiss stolen by an irritating dazzling creature. Of course, more nosebleeds after that. The episode however ends with a cliffhanger. The gang finds out that the inn’s manager is dead and Ranmaru is seen fleeing the scene. Could it be?
 
Episode 10 continues to shock everyone except Sunako because she’s loving all the blood and gore, until she finds out that the manager isn’t dead but in critical condition and is whisked away in an ambulance. Ranmaru tells the gang how he went to meet Sayuri that night but saw the manager’s body instead and that he didn’t kill him. Meanwhile Sunako tries to play detective and to find the murder weapon even though the manager isn’t dead but I guess thinking about a blood soaked weapon is enough to turn her on. Soon Sayuri tells Sunako the possibility where the murder weapon is and an excited Sunako follows into a storeroom. But it’s a trap! Sayuri ties her up and sets the place on fire, claiming how nosy Sunako is. Looks like Sayuri is the mastermind of all that has happened. Before she leaves, Sayuri calls her ugly. Oh oh. Kyohei and the rest spot a fire coming from the storeroom and rushes there and just in time to save Sunako. The rest soon accused her of attempted murder but Sayuri laughs it all off and says that they don’t have any proof as she blurts out the whole truth. Well, be careful of what you say. Since Sunako’s playing detective, she’s got a tape recorder in hand. Busted. Initially Ranmaru sided with Sayuri, but after hearing how she called Sunako ugly, it’s over between them. Though Noi is a little disappointed for not spending enough time alone with Takenaga, that guy makes it up by giving her a kiss. Aww… While Noi is naturally embarrassed, Sunako is also too because it brought back memories of that ping pong match…
 
Because of that, Sunako has a hard time concentrating on her studies in episode 11. All she can see is that word ‘chu~’ (sound effect for a kiss). Thus the landlady throws down a challenge to the guys saying that if Sunako manages to score 80% in maths, they’ll only pay half the rent. Better start coaching her. Thing is, they too suck in maths. Thus Kyohei forces Sunako to study and eventually challenges her to see who’ll get higher marks. Kyohei turning into a nerd? The other loser girls must be having their suspicions. Oh what has happened to that handsome hunk. Yeah, run away in tears you losers. Back home, the rest decide to do the household chores to give Sunako time to study. After the exams, another flashback of that kissing incident made Sunako freak out and wants to commit suicide. Kyohei stops her by forcing her to kiss a skull…?! Uh huh. Something about a kiss doesn’t mean anything if she doesn’t want it to be. Sunako calms down. When the exam results are out, everybody finds Sunako has scored a chicken egg! Well, actually she did get all the answers correct. Only thing is, she wrote them down in the wrong column. Darn. There goes the rent waiver.
 
Episode 12 is a Christmas episode and it’s been a year since the guys were ‘gathered’ and stayed at this mansion. We see a short flashback of their past lives and how they managed to barely live with each other then. For instance, Ranmaru’s a spoilt playboy brat and was sent to live here to learn the ways of real life while Takenaga’s an antisocial introvert and was sent here to learn how to socialize. Yuki seems to be the most ‘normal’ one as his dad had to work away for quite a long time and thus Yuki has to live here. But the most pitiful one is Kyohei’s. He was born such a beautiful boy that his parents had a hard time taking care of him. Why? Kyohei has been constantly harassed and mobbed by people who are taken in by his beauty. Because of that, his mom can’t take it anymore and kicks him out of the house. It’s a sin indeed to be beautiful. I’ve said that once too often already. Have ever heard of a guy being sexually harassed? No wonder Kyohei turns down or ignores all those opportunities to become popular and such. He has too much of it. The landlady bumps into Kyohei by chance (living in a cardboard box?) and invites him to stay at the mansion. The landlady tries to make the quartet more socialable but they had trouble interacting with each other. Trouble soon comes as Kyohei’s fangirls gather outside the mansion, demanding to see him. Since Kyohei isn’t too fond of it all, he decides to end it all by… begging on his knees for them to stop? Well, I suppose it was effective enough. The trio saw this and was touched. Ever since then, they’ve changed their ways and the foursome become close buddies.
 
Hooray! Sunako has turned into a lady in episode 13. How did this happen? Well, Sunako accidentally ate some magic mushrooms that the Goth-loli girls initially gave to Yuki. With that, wahlah! You’ve got a pretty, kind and gentle Sunako. All that you’ve ever dreamed of or wanted in a girl. However, there’s a catch. With Sunako’s amazing transformation, her cooking takes a toll. Urgh! That chicken tastes horrible. Is this series saying beautiful people can’t cook? Anyway Takenaga, Ranmaru and Yuki wants the old Sunako back because I think being scared isn’t as bad as being hungry. The trio asks Kyohei to kiss her so that she could remember that horrible incident and return to her normal self. But Kyohei doesn’t want to because this way, they’ll get to live rent free. Thus they ask Takenaga but he can’t do it too because it’ll be like cheating on Noi. Eventually Kyohei too prefers the old Sunako because her cooking now really sucks. He tries to kiss her but an innocent Sunako slaps him calling him a pervert. However they got a surprise just when they’re resigned to the fact that they’ll have bad cooking from now on. It seems after much practice, Sunako’s latest meal is pretty decent. Kyohei is so grateful that he hugs Sunako. In her embarrassment, Sunako reverts to her old self. Yeah, back to the good ol’ days again. I’m not sure why but Kyohei is seen watching a horror movie with Sunako in her dark room. He’s saying how he prefer the old scary Sunako. Huh? Maybe he’s got too many girly girls coming after him and Sunako’s dark characteristics can be considered as ‘refreshing’.
 
Ranmaru getting engaged? Well, his parents are arranging it with some wealthy girl, Kikunoe Tanao in episode 14. I guess Ranmaru still wants to continue with his playboy days and asks the other guys to help him in ruining this omiai (marriage meeting). So on the day itself, Ranmaru is dressed like a bad boy punk equipped with bad boy attitude in order to scare the girl’s family off. Since that didn’t work. Ranmaru tries to act all strict and then cowardly to change their minds but all is futile. But it also seems that Ranmaru may be falling for Tamao. Tamao even went to the mansion to return something and Ranmaru tried to seduce her. Didn’t work pal. The next day, Ranmaru goes out with 1 of his many girlfriends as Tamao comes to the mansion again and waits for Ranmaru to return so that she could give him a gift. But Tamao sees Ranmaru coming back with another girl. This prompts Ranmaru to think if he could hit on any girl and tries to seduce Sunako. He gets beaten up of course. Next day, he decides to give Tamao a chance and goes to meet her at her school. I don’t remember why, the other guys called Ranmaru’s other girlfriends and tell of his location. As Ranmaru is gonna make a move on Tamao, his other girlfriend arrives and chaos ensues. Looks like those girls prefer Ranmaru to have a harem and not settle for 1 girl. Probably that way, he won’t be ‘taken’ just yet. However, after witnessing all this, Tamao isn’t mad and decides to become a girl whom Ranmaru can look at and win his attention.
 
The landlady invites the guys and Sunako to an island she recently bought in episode 15. Sunako is having a hard time because it’s all sunny and bright. Also, the island has a legend about some pirate, Captain Wing, who died on the island with his buried treasures but Sunako is more interested in finding skeletons and bones. However, Captain Wing and his undead crew comes back to life and possesses Sunako after she find his remains. I like the funny part whereby everyone is lost, hallucinating and going wild! Like Yuki sees Ranmaru as a panda while Ranmaru sees Yuki as a sexy woman. Yeah, Takenaga sees Noi as some dinosaur and Noi sees Takenaga in a naked apron. And the both of them wanted to ‘eat’ each other! Soon Kyohei is kidnapped and is to be made a sacrifice so that Captain Wing could be reincarnated as him. However, the dazzling beauty of Kyohei is too much for Sunako to handle as she breaks out of Captain Wing’s possession and goes into her usual evil destructive mode and beats the crap out of that pirate. See, not even ghosts can beat her. Soon landlady comes by in her helicopter to check how things are going. I’m sure they don’t want this to happen again.
 
The school’s sports festival in episode 16 and we see Kyohei and Sunako fiercely engaged with one another and every darn sport that they participated. Lots of silly exaggerated and funny stuff here to make viewers laugh and say "Is that even possible?". From the traditional kibasen (calvary) event to those weird obstacle courses. So it’s the last race and Sunako and Kyohei are neck to neck but it seems they’re tired and it’s taking a toll on them as they reach the finishing line. We then find out the hype and why those 2 are so into it as we hear a couple of boys saying how they made a deal with them, like if Kyohei wins, he gets an all-you-can-eat pass while if Sunako wins, she gets access to the bio lab filled with dissected models. Unknown to those 2 guys, the teacher is listening to what they said and they even blurted how they made a million Yen bet in order to coax the 2 into participating so that the sports festival would be livelier. But they realize it too late when the teacher takes the microphone and announces all deals are off. This shockwave sends Sunako and Kyohei crashing into the ground just before the finish line. Though nobody wins, the whole school lifted and threw them up in the air as they’re touched by their spirit and passion. You could say it’s all for nothing for those 2.
 
Because Sunako is spending too much time in her room and munching on snacks in episode 17, she freaks out when she finds out she has gained weight and pimples. Thus, this episode is mainly about Noi and Tamao along with a reluctant Sunako spending the day to beautify themselves at a spa. Why not. Noi and Tamao wants to become the ideal woman Takenaga and Ranmaru looks at respectively. While Noi and Tamao are enjoying the treatment, Sunako is experiencing hell! Meanwhile Ranmaru and Takenaga are bickering so much so they accidentally said something which hurt Tamao and Noi’s feelings. Sunako teaches those guys a lesson and the duo tried to be all goody goody and give their ladies some good treatment. There’s a saying that it’s difficult to take back one’s words after being said. Something like that. Sunako even asks the ladies to come join her in the dark side! But after some drama and apologizing, everybody’s back happily together again.
 
The gang decides to try another attempt to turn Sunako into a lady in episode 18. You know, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. This time, the guys decides to dress in dark horror outfits and even decorates the mansion so. Sunako has to accept or else she’ll look ‘out of place’ (isn’t she from the very start?). Sunako does look beautiful and scary in her dark gothic dress. Yeah, her hair’s a little like Medusa. However, Sunako decides to go to town to buy ingredients in this outfit, only for onlookers to look at her with suspicion and sort of gains unwanted attention. Then a misunderstood situation arise when she followed a boy to some playground and everybody thinks she kidnapped him! A mountain made out from a molehill. The media even surrounds that area and does coverage on it. Soon Kyohei comes to her rescue in a prince charming outfit and even rides a horse. All the ladies there once again fell in love and are swooning over him. Finally it ended with the people thinking that they’re just cosplaying or acting. As for Sunako, she tells Kyohei and the rest that she doesn’t mind wearing this dress once in a while.
 
It’s Valentine’s Day in episode 19. You know what that means. A torrid time for our guys. Yeah, the mansion’s garden is filled with crazy girls trying to give them their chocolates. Just take the backdoor exit, okay. However, Sunako is loving it. Why? Because she’s a chocolate freak! She really loves them and hopes she’ll receive some. Erm… I think the other boys will pass. She’s like having some withdrawal syndrome if she doesn’t get any. Uh huh. Scary. Even there’s no peace at school. What the? The male teachers even try to get a piece of Kyohei? I love the part where the girls tied Ranmaru to a bed in the infirmary and is going to jump on him, But because he’s so moe, they all ended up in nosebleeds, which pretty much look like a murder scene. Later, Ranmaru returns order by faking that he already has someone. Yeah, go away all you disappointed heartbroken girls. Yuki and Takenaga too try this tactic out and succeeds. However, Kyohei isn’t so lucky. The girls are forcing him to spill out the name of his love. So the 1st name to come to mind is Sunako. Everybody is shocked (the force of the explosion really shows it) but it’s enough to keep them at bay. In the end, Sunako makes a big chocolate cake… all for herself and her mannequins to feast on. Yeah, those guys have been running around all they and are tired and hungry but gets nil.
 
Hiroshi gets kidnapped again in episode 20. Well it seems Sunako is happily cleaning Hiroshi away in the garden when 3 loser girls thought that this Hiroshi is Kyohei’s beloved doll. They proceed to kidnap the mannequin even though they note how scary it is. Sunako is in a frantic and searches for Hiroshi but to no avail. The loser girls later realized that this isn’t Kyohei’s doll and sends a letter to Sunako telling their whereabouts. Sunako rushes over only to be told to hand over Kyohei if she ever wants to see her Hiroshi again. Yeah, those losers are fantasizing how they’ll get Kyohei to kneel down, strip naked, and caress his body. Sick. Sunako runs away but bumps into Kyohei and the rest. Kyohei decides to sacrifice himself by giving in to their demands in exchange for Hiroshi, surprising everyone. But those loser girls couldn’t get close to Kyohei because they passed out as Kyohei’s too moe and hot for them to handle. Kyohei leaves with Hiroshi and Sunako is pretty much happy that Hiroshi is back with her again.
 
Sunako’s dad comes to visit the mansion all the way from Africa in episode 21 after he heard rumours that she’s in love with some guy called Kyohei. Actually, he heard the rumour from the Goth-loli girls and man, he’s on fire. He’s entrance is grand and big so much so, it scared the wits out of the guys and even Sunako. But it’s just his fatherly love. After Sunako explains everything, her dad is still wary and even tests Kyohei if he’s good enough for his daughter through… a 1-on1- traditional kendo match? Anyway no matter how scary this guy is, he faints at the slightest scary stuff. The reason why Sunako drifted apart from him is because she doesn’t want him to know her weird hobbies. Then a flashback on how Sunako’s dad protected a little Sunako (looks no different from her chibi form) from a ferocious bear, tames it and decided that he’ll do anything for her. Eventually he came to like Kyohei and even asks him to take care of Sunako. Just then, Sunako’s mom drops by to ‘pick up’ her husband, literally. Wow! She seems so young and pretty. Makes you think if Sunako’s her daughter if not, where’d it all go wrong. So Sunako’s mom ‘picks up’ her husband and off they go. She’s strong indeed. Scary. It all runs in the family. As Sunako reminisces her family pic (that bear’s there too), I don’t know which smart alec decides to ask what’s Sunako mom’s measurements. Better cut that out.
 
It’s Kyohei’s turn to get kidnap in episode 22. Yeah, looks like a bunch of bungling cult members bundled Kyohei and Sunako into their van 1 night at their mansion. So the other guys along with Noi goes to their rescue. Tamao too comes along and it seems her driver has already stand by some military firepower. Don’t need to go that far, gramps. Kyohei comes to in a cave and tied to a chair. However, Sunako’s loving all those cult stuff and is getting really excited. Better not bother her or else she’ll turn into her destructive mode. We find out these cult members are actually Kyohei’s old neighbourhood store owners. After Kyohei’s family moved due to his mom’s inability to take all the non-stop harassing, business in their area has been on the decline ever since. Wow. This guy has some attracting power in nearly every aspect. Also since Kyohei’s gone, hard times fell on them and those selfish people want Kyohei to come back so that everything could become normal for them. However Kyohei mentions how his parents are better off without him. Just then, Yuki arrives alone to rescue Kyohei (the other guys chickened out). But the cult members notice how cute Yuki is and decides to give up and let them go. What the? Just like that? Yuki is pissed off because people thinks he’s cute rather than manly like Kyohei. But in the end, the gang are reunited outside the cave. Hey, where’s Sunako gone to? We see her drinking tea in Kyohei parent’s house.
 
In episode 23, one of the cult members tells Kyohei that his dad has taken Sunako so Kyohei decides to go pick her up by himself. Since it’s already late, they have to stay for the night. Hmm… You wonder if Kyohei is their son or not because their parents are plain looking. Mainly, we hear how Kyohei’s mom blames her husband on just about anything on their son’s beautiful looks. Because of that, Kyohei’s mom has to go through lots of harassment and such. Her mindset hasn’t changed since. She’s really scary in this mode. Furthermore, she wants Kyohei to disappear! Oh dear. What kind of mother is she. Sunako and Kyohei’s mom had a little chat. Just then all the girls get word that Kyohei is back and gathers outside the house. It’s deja vu again. Mom’s going insane. However, the other guys dressed like cult members save the day by telling those girls how those around Kyohei will be reduced to blood and unleashes The Divine Spirit Energy Examination Device. What the? That machine just came out from underneath the streets. They’re saying how everyone is possessed and starts the machine. What exaggeration! The girls get scared and runs away. Kyohei’s mom soon has a more favourable view of her son. While Kyohei and Sunako are walking back, they had a chat which made Sunako yell back at him how she doesn’t want to be with a dazzling creature by him. Soon Tamao’s driver chauffuers everybody home but Kyohei decides to stay behind a little longer.
 
Because of what Sunako said, Kyohei went missing in episode 24. Actually he’s wandering around and some good people takes him in for shelter temporarily. The other guys wonder where Kyohei could be and asks Sunako if anything had happened, but she said nothing. The guilty feeling is creeping in. Then by chance they saw on tv how some young guy is joining food contests here and there eating like a glutton. It’s Kyohei alright. Later Kyohei even joins some bike gang. During an interview, Kyohei did mention how he has no home to return to, prompting the guys to grill Sunako. Yeah, they lecture her how saying nobody wants to be with him is as taboo as saying how Sunako’s ugly. Yeah, it really strike her at her heart. So that’s what the giant arrow in outer space is for at the start of the episode. Sunako’s mannequins even lectured her! The guys and Noi decides to do a commercial at a restaurant to persuade Kyohei to come back. I like the funny part whereby a ‘dazzling’ Sunako comes in and shows the fried shrimps she made to a cameraman. You should hear his freaking out scream. It’s so darn hilarious! Yeah, the director’s wondering why the gang isn’t saying any lines from the script too. Kyohei saw the commercial and heads straight there. He and Sunako manage to reconcile a little but since Sunako is at her limits already, she gets into a nosebleed. That’s the longest she’s ever tolerated. Meanwhile the landlady is chatting with some director or producer in her exaggeratedly loooooooong airplane when she saw that ad. The landlady becomes angry and in her rage the whole airplane crashes as she thinks the guys are making a fool out of her niece. That does it. She’s coming to town. Beware guys.
 
The landlady comes to the mansion in a fiery rage in episode 25. Be prepared for a rude shock guys. D-day is here. She blames them that Sunako turned out like this. Yeah, fast forward that lecture. Soon the landlady confronts Sunako and finds out that the guys weren’t at fault. Also, the landlady’s back because it’s her husband’s 10th death anniversary and would like Sunako to dress up as a lady to celebrate it (does this imply she’s happy her husband’s dead? Just kidding). However, Sunako would if her aunt would do household chores for a day. She agrees. It’s funny to see the landlady doing household chores with her rich and famous mindset. It doesn’t work that way. In the end, Sunako admits they’re just from different worlds. A flashback about the time the landlady’s husband passed away and she was crying. Sunako comforted her and promised that she’ll become a lady. I don’t understand the part whereby the landlady said how a lady musn’t show her tears because it’s more beautiful than diamonds. Huh? Back in present time, Sunako finally has the determination to become a lady for her aunt’s sake and the rest of the guys and Noi helps her. Erm.. Did you notice know the landlady’s limo is bloody wide?
 
The gang arrived at the party smartly dressed, except for Sunako who is cloaked. As usual, everybody is taken in by the gang’s beauty and starts to gather round them. I’m not sure why, but the Goth-loli girls for once did something good as they distract the crowd, allowing the gang to find the landlady. They manage to find her outside the balcony and some drama and talk. The landlady seems to acknowledge for who Sunako is and still loves her. Just when Sunako is walking down the stairs, she trips and her cloak came off to reveal Sunako in a stunning white bridal-like gown. Sunako’s really beautiful! Kyohei catches her in his arms and they seem like a newly-wed. The landlady saw everything and gets excited and wants the guys now to turn Sunako into a super lady. Like hell they will. Yeah, they ran away asking her to give them a break.
 
Overall, I really enjoy the entire series and I wish they’ll make a 2nd season. I love all those wacky slapstick humour and it dawned to me that the characters in this anime has a tendency to shout or speak aloud at times. That’s mainly because there’re lots of rebuking to do. Not to mention freaking out moments. The show did have a good mix of humour and horror but the latter depends and is more inclined to the former. So you’ll be laughing your heads off and your guts out instead of squirming and squealing in fear. Also there seems to be lots of blood but it’s mainly from nosebleeds. Yeah, the characters seem to have ample amount of them.
 
The drawing, art and animation seems to remind me of Ouran High School Host Club because in this anime too, there are lots of beautiful and rich people. Okay, maybe we don’t have many rich people here but lots of bishies so bishonen and bishoujo fans out there should watch this for the eye candy.
 
The voice acting is superb and Sunako who is voiced by Yukiko Takaguchi is still my favourite character because of the versatile voice she perfectly portrays her character. Her resume is a short one and the only character I find she voices is Hinata of Lucky Star. Mai Nakahara is the voice behind Noi as she also did Mai Tokiha of Mai-HiME, Miina of Onegai Twins and Yuuna of Kage Kara Mamoru. Shoutaro Morikubo is Kyohei who also did Robert in Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nocchi Guu, Saji in Ikkitousen and Kirihara in Prince Of Tennis. Hirofumi Nojima is Ranmaru and you could recognize him as the voice of Boogie in Karin and Akatsuki in Aria The Animation. Takenaga is voiced by Tomokazu Sugita who is more famous in his roles as Rin of Shuffle and Kyon of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. Norihisa Mori voices Akira who did voices for Hokuto of Cromartie High School and Yoshimi of Di Gi Charat. However, I can’t find any info on Yuki’s voice actor. Maybe he’s a 1st timer.
 
Besides, the anime has a variety of background music ranging from those typical frenzy horror organ playing to even more slower acoustic guitar tunes. Though the opening and ending themes don’t appeal to me, you’ll kinda notice that the animation in the opening credits is filled with weird crazy stuff. Just watch it if you want to know what I mean. Though halfway the opening credits animation changed to be more ‘sexy’ as we see the guys semi-nude and with six-packs. Uh huh. The ending credits show a skeleton doing some weird dance while the credits are rolling in a skewed and crooked manner. For the record, the opening song is Slow, sung by Kiyoharu, who also does the first ending theme, Carnation. The second ending theme has a more tropical feel (probably because of the animation theme is set so) is sung by Bon-Bon Blanco, entitled Changing.
 
Another unique thing is that each of the episode titles are revealed at the end just before the start of the ending credits. Some of the episode titles are quite creative such as ‘Pirates Of The Tres Bien’ (my personal favourite),
Oui Monsieur’ and ‘Girls Bravo’. Shinichi Watanabe of Excel Saga fame does make his appearance in the show (because he’s the director for this one too). If you recognize his afro hairstyle at the start and end of the Path To Become A Lady segment, he is the voice for that segment’s narrator too. He also made a cameo appearance in episode 24 and is also the landlady’s former crush back in episode 1! This guy’s really popular.
 
There are several lessons to learn after watching this series. Firstly being it doesn’t matter how you look on the outside, it’s the inside that counts. Yeah, don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s also important that we accept who we are and those around us. Often, our stereotypical perception of others makes us form early conclusions about them at first impression. Like how all anime otakus are geeks and have no life ;P. I’m glad the guys saw Sunako for who she is and their relationship improves each day (okay, maybe not so smoothly). In addition, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and surely more than just skin deep.
 
And if you’re wondering what yamato nadeshiko means, it’s a Japanese term to refer to an ideal woman with all the desirable attributes from the perspective of a male dominated society (source from wikipedia). I’m sure we guys all do dream about that. So will Sunako’s path to become a real lady take longer than expected? Will she ever become one? Well, most important thing is that everyone’s happy with the way things are now. Some things are better left as they are, huh? Meanwhile, I’ll be taking the Path To Become An Anime Otaku… Oh dear, I’ve got lots to learn and catch up.
 
Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge

W~Wish

February 1, 2008

I’m sure there are countless philosophical sayings and idioms about dreams and wishes. But I’m not going into that. Instead because this is an anime blog, this particular anime has something to do with it. Based on the game of the same name, it’s no surprise that W~Wish being adapted into an anime. By the way, it’s pronounced as ‘Double Wish’. No, not ‘Wish Wish’, but ‘Double Wish’.
 
This is another one of your typical harem anime genre. Well okay, maybe not every darn girl here is after the affection and attention of the leading male character, but I kinda feel they have some sort of feelings for him and the ones who really do take action are just 2 of the girls. In a way, this theme also reminds me of Da Capo though there are some differences.
 
However this series is just a short one. I mean, there are only 13 episodes and each episode is only approximately 12 minutes long. Since there are opening and ending credits, the actual running time of the series is shorten to around 9 minutes. Probably this was the main reason why I decided to watch. Short and over in a jiffy. Though there are bits of comedy here and there, the series is mainly driven by drama, mystery and romance factor.
 
The basic plot of the story is about unidentical twins Junna and Senna Tono who attends Ouhama Private High School. However, due to some tragic and terrible accident many years ago which left their parents dead, Junna has no recollection of his memory before that. His only solace is with Senna and the 2 are like clinging on to each other as they go about living their lives, attending school and staying in a large house which their parents left them.
 
I suppose when I read the synopsis from Anime News Network, saying how ‘so many girls, so little time…’, I must admit that I was a little bit interested to find out more about this harem series. Then it went on to list on several girls who ‘abuse and use Junna for their own use’, which to me seems like some sadistic comedy at first and I was expecting to laugh at some serious comical moments and such. However, after watching the series, it didn’t come close to it. Perhaps in a general perspective. But it isn’t that obvious. Furthermore it ended how it ‘promises to be more than your average love-love story’. Average yes. More, no.
 
So episode 1 starts off with some weird dream. We can’t see anything but from the sound of it, I guess it’s Senna looking and finding her brother Junna. Back in the real world. The exams are over and everyone is relieved and the school is looking forward to the Cherry Blossom Summer Festival. We see Senna quite clingy to Junna in the sense that she wants to be with him forever and ever, do things together forever and ever. You get the point. If you say it’s love, then perhaps too much of it will turn it into obsession. Then 1 of Junna’s pal, Tomokazu Kishida, pops up to say how he wants to be with Junna and hold his hand too. Yeah, this guy is like gay (even sounds like one!). Though I feel that his presence are for comical purpose and to avoid this anime being totally dominated by just 1 male character. Tomokazu did hold Junna’s hand and of course Junna’s not gay so he finds it real weird as Senna tells him not to get over excited and says that only she has exclusive rights to touch her brother. No further comments.
 
Call it save by the bell because the twins are being called to the teacher’s office by their homeroom teacher. There, Junna thinks he’s being called because of his bad grades and goes on to confess but sensei laughs it off and says that it’s nothing to with it and is more of their personal family matter. So a short flashback of something burning and Junna standing and watching in horror. Sensei (let’s just call her that) is worried by the fact that the 2 of them are living alone. However, Junna doesn’t want to be separated from Senna because he thinks that she’s her only relative in this world and refuses sensei’s offer. Junna went on to say how Senna comforted him after the accident bla bla bla and that nobody has the right to break them up. Later in the evening at the playground, the twins had another round of assurance chat and Junna made Senna happy when he said how he’ll be with her forever.
 
Another weird dream in episode 2 about they have to hurry or else they’ll be late in catching the train. Back in reality, we see Junna’s class rep, Akino Iida, organizing what they should do for the upcoming festival. Looks like a haunted house and Akino goes on ranting about it. Uh huh. A supernatural obsessed freak, I must say. But the whole class seems uninterested and bored. Just then, a genki high pitched girl, Sana Fujie enters the class to bring Junna to the literary club. While Sana brings Junna along, Senna spots this and oh you could see that worried expression on her face. She must be thinking is this brother of hers two-timing her. Upon arrival, Junno finds out that this isn’t just a literary club but a helpers club as well. Not only that, the club is being headed by the school’s most popular, pretty, intelligent and rich girl, Tsubasa Outori. It must be a dream come true for a guy like him to meet such a girl. Moreover, face to face like this. Tsubasa tells him that the purpose of this club is of course to help others and with students busy preparing for the looming festival, surely help is needed. Not only that, since the literary club is short on members, doing so will help increase its awareness of the club and thus bring in new members. Killing 2 birds with 1 stone. I’m sure Junna would accept the job of distributing pamphlets because of getting to work with a pretty girl aside is helpful nature. What’s this? Senna is eavesdropping and is looking more worried than ever. Junna comes back home to find Senna in a cute outfit. I suppose she’s hiding her jealousy pretty well, isn’t she? Or trying to win back her onii-chan subtly. Yeah, she even comes in to take a dip while Junna’s soaking in the bathtub. However, Senna is being supportive of Junna being involve in the festival and decides to scrub his back real hard to make him work hard tomorrow (get it?). Okay, maybe it doesn’t sound like it, but I think she’s paying him back.
 
More weird dreams in the beginning of episode 3 whereby onii-chan has left some girl behind in which she says he can’t do that because of some promise. Meanwhile the preparations for the festival is underway and Junna is really busy helping others out. So much so he slipped down the stairs and spots Tomo Kishida standing there. Now Tomo is Tomokazu’s twin sister but they have very contrasting personality. Tomo is more stoic and expressionless and her presence gives a mysterious feeling. Anyway while Junna is nursing his back, he chats with Tomo. Junna’s wondering why Tomo isn’t helping with everyone else and if she continues this way, she’ll drift away. She replies that she doesn’t like it and more talk from her which I don’t get. Yeah, she speaks in riddles. Then they continue talking about dreams whereby Junna remembers the 1 at the start of this episode. Tomo is worried because he looks pale after that. But he says he’s alright and soon brings Tomo to see Akino. I guess he managed to persuade her to help out with their haunted house. Their class rejoices as Tomo is joining them.
 
Junna heads to Senna’s class and is surprised to see her in a maid outfit. But not as surprise as the next one. Why, Tomokazu’s in a maid outfit too! So are the other guys. Tomokazu rushes over to Junna and hugs him! He’s really a gay person. Then some remark how Junna couldn’t tell between the Kishida twins because they look alike which made Tomokazu reply how the Tonos too don’t look similar even though they’re twins, causing Senna to space out. Yeah, that gay boy went on to say Junna can’t tell him apart because he doesn’t have enough love for him. Tomokazu continues to molest Junna and the latter has enough of it so much so he pushes him away, causing Tomokazu to fall on some seasonings thus dirtying his outfit. Sana then comes in and decides to help out by sewing but hurt her finger, and ironing but burnt the outfit and decides to use water to cool the fire but uses vegetable oil instead. Oh oh. Fire in the hole! Sana’s more trouble than help. But the fire alarm it was enough to make 1 crazy policewoman, Yuuko Satou, to rush all the way there. Thank goodness only the outfit was destroyed as Yuuko gives them a lecture as the rest apologizes. It seems Yuuko is related to Junna as his older cousin and she wants to introduce somebody to the twins. Outside the building, waits a girl named Haruhi Inohara and she gets excited when she sees Junna. She runs over and hugs him. Not only that, she calls him onii-chan. Senna is in shock. Not because some unknown girl comes running to him, but the fact that Junna called out her name, when he supposedly has no recollection of any memories before that terrible accident. That’s another girl for you, boy.
 
Haruhi must love her onii-chan very much in episode 4 because she’s seen clinging on to him and following where ever he goes. Case of insecurity? Meanwhile Senna can only watch from afar with concern. The festival preparation is going smoothly as Junna continues to help those in need. I wonder what’s that one where he took photos of some pretty girl playing tennis and jotting down notes for. I know he isn’t a pervert and just doing his job but Haruhi isn’t too amused. Senna and Tomokazu are finishing up their maid cafe preparations when Akino comes in looking for Senna. She’s telling her how their haunted house has not enough decorations and there isn’t time to make new ones so she hope to get some strange objects which she heard that her house has them. I suppose Senna reluctantly agrees as she brings Akino and Tomokazu back to her house’s storeroom. I’m surprised that they don’t even know where the twins live. In the storeroom, Akino is checking for things they might borrow when Senna spaces out and thinks back about the time she’s comforting a crying Junna when they’re small. Senna learns that since everyone is rushing to finish the preparations, they may have to stay overnight at school. Meanwhile Junna has completed his task for Tsubasa and while taking a walk through the school corridors with Haruhi, they’re amazed with the preparations that’s been done. The 2 had some chat about how they’ll have fun tomorrow and such. At the same time, Senna is walking to school and wonders if Junna has forgotten about his promise. And that she’s the only one for him.
 
Everyone’s making a last push for tomorrow’s festival in episode 5 but Haruhi is seen fooling around with Junna, much to the latter’s dismay. Also, Akino injured her feet so much so Junna decides to carry her to get some help. I see some Jealousy here. Don’t worry, Akino won’t play any major role in the competition for Junna. Similarly, Haruhi tries to hurt herself so that she get some love-love from Junna but flops. She has no regard for her own safety and tries again but causes a mess this time. Senna ticks her off but Haruhi says back how she’s not in his class and Junna’s her onii-chan too. Cheeky little brat knows how to piss Senna. Yuuko soon arrives looking for Haruhi to bring her back. By force. Good riddens. Later Junna is walking around and spots Tomo alone at the school rooftop and the 2 chat. Hmm… The stars in the sky seem magnificent. Tomo says 1 of her riddles again "No matter what choices you make, what you do, I’ll always be here watching over everything". Soon Senna comes to the rooftop looking for him. I guess with Haruhi not around, Senna uses this opportunity to get up close with her twin. The duo then continue helping with the final touches. In the end, everything is done and they prepare to sleep. As expected, some perverted boys try to peep at the girls but sensei chases them away. Senna closes her eyes and is looking forward tomorrow with Junna.
 
Senna playfully wakes up Junna in episode 6 and the day of the festival is here. Akino is hyped up and wants to do a final check when Tomokazu tells her to be the 1st guest to go in. However, Akino is hesitating. She seems pretty scared. Uh huh. It’s ironic for a supernatural freak to be afraid of such stuffs up close. Sensei comes along and she goes in with Akino. Haha. So funny to see Akino getting freaked out. In a way, you could say the haunted house is a success. Soon the festival is open and outsiders soon start streaming in. Yuuko and Haruhi are on their way and the first thing Haruhi does is to find Junna when she gets there. Meanwhile Junna is visiting Senna’s cafe. He gets a warm welcome from his sis. Okay, maybe a little too warm (she purposely put his arms between her chest). So we see the twins having a fun time together and later Haruhi spots them. She wanted to go to him but the sea of crowd just pushed her away. Too bad. It’s not her day today. At the same time, Tsubasa is wowing the crowd with her live performance as Haruhi wonders if Junna has forgotten about her. At night, the twins are together on a bench with Junna saying how it’s over so fast when it took so long to prepare. Senna thanks him for a wonderful time and keeping the promise when Junna suddenly remembers about Haruhi. Senna tries to say it couldn’t be help and asks him not to force himself to remember things back then. So she doesn’t want him to remember his past. I think if he does, it’ll be filled with Haruhi and probably Junna will leave Senna. Their conversation is interrupted by the beautiful display of fireworks and we see Haruhi walking alone dejectedly through the school hallway. Junna then starts to have short flashbacks about the accident, Haruhi and Tomo, which makes him pass out. Senna frantically calls him but he’s just lying there without response. Tomo watches from above before walking away.
 
I’m not really sure what happened after that because in episode 7 it suddenly becomes a fun in the sun episode. That’s right. Everybody’s taking a break on a beach (as invited by Tsubasa) and an excuse to see cute girls in their swimsuits. Senna is a little upset that Junna is spending his time sleeping in the shade when he should be having fun with everyone else. I think that’s an excuse to make him notice her new and cute swimsuit. I suppose any flattery from him will do. Some chatting here and there. Soon everyone participates in what it’s called Outori’s League Beach Volleyball Tournament. Haruhi suggests that the winner be allowed to request for 1 thing when Yuuko says hopefully it’s not for her to do her homework. Since it’s a team game in pairs, the team is decided by a lot. Guess who gets who? Junna gets Tsubasa, Tomo pairs up with Akino, Sana’s with Tomokazu, Sensei and Yuuko together, and finally… Senna is with Haruhi. It couldn’t get odder than this. Though in disbelief of each other as their partner, but it seems the 2 are pretty coordinated and win their matches. Funny one was Tomo just stood there doing nothing while her bro gets hit by the ball. Eventually Senna and Haruhi wins the overall game and Haruhi wants a kiss from Junna. Sensei says she can’t allow that so she has to settle for a date with him. Since Senna won too, she wants in but Haruhi says no because she claims she was abandoned at the festival and it’s payback time. I suppose Junna tries to play fair and decides to go with Haruhi (maybe he’s just a womanizer ;P). So we see them having their fun when Junna starts to remember that weird dream. Did he collapse? The scene changes to evening and the gang are having their BBQ as Senna tells him not to scare them like that as he already did back at the festival. Junna assures Senna that he’s alright but Senna isn’t that convinced as she gets a little emotional and hugs him. That night as they’re playing with sparklers, Tomo again says 1 of her weird lines "Sparklers are similar to a person’s soul. Souls don’t know where they’re going to or returning from. And they don’t know what their wishes are". It concluded with Senna saying how she has only 1 wish, that is to be with Junna forever.
 
Sana is seen running to Junna’s home in episode 8. She’s doing some photo delivery for their recent beach outing to everyone and since nobody’s in school, she’s taking the liberty by going to everyone’s home. As the twins admire the photos, we see poor Haruhi under the watchful eye of Yuuko, reluctantly finishing her homework. Hehe. Haruhi really wants to go but Yuuko notes that she’s being playing all summer. Senna’s glad they’ll have some peace. Later Senna decides to file those photos in an album when Junna asks about the old photo album so that he could try and remember things back then. However, Senna tells him she accidentally threw it away. After that, the twins along with Sana went shopping and had their fun in the city. Sana soon leaves to be with her ‘friends’. Dogs? Yeah, it’s a (wo)man’s best friend. While the twins are in a stationery shop, Junna spots Tomo. He tries to follow her and it seems she’s leading him somewhere. But when Junna turns into an alley, Tomo is no where to be seen. In the evening, the twins are walking home when they saw a man, Koutarou Ryuuoku at their doorstep. He’s from the twins’ dad’s university doing some result gathering of his research and since his demise, there’re a few unidentified materials. He’s asking for a particular excavated dial. Though Junno doesn’t know about it, Senna seems worried. Furthermore, Koutarou says that on the day their dad excavated the dial, the twins were on site. Junna has a little flashback and his head starts to hurt. Senna then stood up and says she doesn’t know anything. Tears start to swell in her eyes before she runs to her room. Junna tries to open the door as Senna sat there crying saying to herself how she tried to forget it and that Junna don’t have to know it.
 
It’s already the next morning in episode 9 and Senna is still sitting in bed, not answering to Junna. Junna makes some breakfast and leaves it at her door. He does some thinking back about how Senna pays attention and does things for him after their parent’s gone and now he couldn’t do anything to help her. At the storeroom, Junna experiences another headache when he spots that dial. He also saw a stack of photo albums next to it. He goes through them and wonders why Senna previously said she threw it away. Seems normal until he sees Haruhi’s pic. He remembers Haruhi comes often here to play. Then it hit him. There are no photos of Senna anywhere. Wait a minute? Is Haruhi his real sis? That family photo seems to suggest so. In his frantic, Junna accidentally drops the dial, in which it began to glow red. This causes Junna to be in pain and some short flashback about Senna saying things about it’s okay not to remember his past. Later, Junna is spacing out while walking in the streets under the hot summer sun. Meanwhile, Haruhi gets to know that Yuuko is leaving due to an emergency. When the cat’s away, the mouse begins to play. Yup, first thing she’s gonna do is to pay Junna a visit. As she steps out of her house, Junna’s just passing by. Such luck. The duo then had something to drink at a cafe. Junna seems serious and he’s telling how Senna’s not in his memories and demands Haruhi to tell him what happened back then. Haruhi is speechless. Tomo then appears behind Junna. Tomo mentions how Senna is a person just like him, without a past and future. Haruhi continues saying Senna shouldn’t be here because Haruhi is his real sister and tells him to hurry up and remember the truth. Junna is in shock and I’m not sure why but the background seems to become ‘wavy’ glowing with weird colours. Meanwhile, Senna finally unlocks her door to find a breakfast tray lying there. She takes it to the kitchen. She then saw lying on the floor the stack of old photo albums that Junna was browsing through and fears the worst.
 
Sana is seen chasing her dog friend in episode 10. Once she finally caught up with it, she notices mists surrounding her and the background has become monochrome. Furthermore, as she puts her hand into the mist, it disappeared! What’s going on? The fog has descended upon this town too and Yuuko is informing sensei and Tsubasa to be careful, as the police doesn’t know the cause of it. Akino and Tomokazu meets them and soon spots Junna leaning on a wall looking not to good. They relate to him the supernatural things that has recently happened like getting lost in familiar streets, then finding themselves in unfamiliar territory before returning back to their normal spot. Also there are people who claim to see a white ghost. Oh oh. It’s getting scarier. Soon Sana bumps into then and she doesn’t even know how she got here, sending shivers down everyone’s spine, especially Akino (totally freaking out). Sensei suggests for everyone to go home. As they leave, Junna experiences another head pain and some flashbacks. The next thing he knows, he’s at a playground and spots Tomo, who seems to be leading him somewhere. He tries to catch up with her but ends up in a dead end. Junna does a little reflection and realize something as he rushes off. Meanwhile Senna is searching for Junna amidst the fog. Junna reaches the school rooftop to see Tomo there. She knew he’d come. Junna continues that she knew everything about him, Senna and this town. Tomo admits that she’s the Keeper Of Time, and her duty is to watch over everything. Oh great. Another time guardian. What crap is that? Hey, wait. If Tomo’s the Keeper Of Time, what about her twin, Tomokazu? Is he a time keeper as well? Dunno. We’ll never find out about this connection. Anyway, Junna doesn’t care about it and just want the whole truth. Tomo tells him that he must go back to the day where it all started. Soon, we’re whisked back to the time where Junna is a kid while playing with his sis Haruhi at the excavation site where his parents are excavating. Meanwhile Senna is clutching the dial in a really foggy world now, wondering where her bro is.
 
Episode 11 is somewhat a flashback episode and reveal what actually happened back then. We see a young Junna and his sis Haruhi playing. The family of 4 must be really close. This is how a family should be. Showered with warmth and love. Junna’s dad gives him a dial and tells him that the dial can make people’s wish come true but only once (a genie with 3 wishes seems a better deal, right?). His mom asked him what he wanna wished for and Junna said he wants to eat hamburgers everyday. Well, he needs to think carefully. After giving more thought, Junna thinks how everybody is having fun and wishes to see her. With that, the dial starts spinning and glowing red. Erm… can that be considered an explosion? I don’t know what’s all the zapping about but it must be scary for a little kid. Junna’s dad, mom and Haruhi starts disappearing then we see short clips of scenes from the accident to times of Junna and Senna together after that.
 
Junna snaps back into present time sitting on a swing in a gloomy and foggy playground. Senna is there to pick him up. But Senna soon confesses the truth. She is indeed Junna’s twin sister. Though they were together in their mom’s womb, Junna was only born into this world. But Senna didn’t completely disappear. She was with Junna the whole time as a spirit! Because Junna remembered her and she also wished for it, Senna too did made a wish upon the dial to be with Junna. With that, a new world was created whereby Senna was born as his sis and living with him was made possible. But Junna wonders about Haruhi then. Senna couldn’t say anything. Tomo then appears and say about how when one’s desire is strong, his/her wish can come true. But such strong wish comes with a price. Reminds you of Fullmetal Alchemist’s Law Of Equivalent Exhcange, doesn’t it? As compensation in creation of this world, Junna’s parents perished and Haruhi became someone who can’t exist in this world. Hmm… So how in the first place did Haruhi appeared back then? But I guess, with Haruhi’s appearance, that’s why this world is disrupted. Tomo continues saying that both worlds shouldn’t have crossed paths but the balance now has become unstable. Everything is because of Junna who left Haruhi in a dream world. Thus Haruhi came to this world where she don’t belong to look for him. She’s also been given a false past as his childhood friend. But this is no longer possible. So Tomo wants Junna to choose 1 of them, failing which both worlds will start to crumble as he can’t have 2 sisters coexisting at the same time. I’m thinking that, is this possible for a harem genre? I mean, the main guy doesn’t really choose who he wants to be at the end as he’ll still be flanked by all the girls. So this is a little different. Junna wants to have both of them (typical greedy harem guy in a way, right?) but Tomo gives him that cruel fate crap. Junna is in a dilemma when Senna gets a little emotional and hugs him saying that she wants to be with him forever. Ah well, surprisingly it wasn’t as complicating as I thought it would be.
 
Episode 12 starts off with Senna happily waking up Junna back at their home. Well, Senna seems to be acting like all this has never happened while Junna notes that the fog is thickening outside. We also see other characters at their own homes. Junna reflects back his wish to have Senna, in exchange his parents disappeared. Wow. That clashing background where Tomo is standing is filled with… clashing scenes…?! I don’t know how to describe that phenomena. Haruhi is seen walking in the streets when Yuuko spots her. Yuuko is telling her to stay home as Haruhi thanks her before walking away. Back at Junna’s home, he’s on his knees and in some pain (probably from that mental anguish dilemma). Senna rushes to him and helps him up but her carefree attitude pisses off Junna. He thinks they’ve killed their parents. Another round of flashback and drama. Senna admits that even though she knew the truth and 1 day it would come to this, causing Junna pain, it’s her selfish side as she wants to be with him forever. But till that time comes, Senna wants to stay like this. The twins hug each other but Junna says he can’t live without Senna either. Then he got an idea. He went to the storeroom and wish from the bottom of his heart at that dial how he wants a world where his parents, Senna and Haruhi can exist. Nothing happens. No good. Probably he used up his 1 wish back then. Senna walks out of the house only to see Haruhi passing by. Looks like the 2 are on good understanding terms now. Though Senna says sorry for causing all this, Haruhi mentions that she’d do the same thing in her place. Senna then takes Haruhi’s hands and the 2 walk hand in hand to somewhere.
 
The final episode 13 begins with Junna remembering why a wish don’t come true is because his parents told him how he must really put one’s heart into it. One must have a clear mind and pure thoughts (sorry, perverts alike, if you know what I mean). Meanwhile we see Tomo watching imminent destruction of the world. Looks like Heaven collapsing or something. Junna tries hard to remember how he did it and realizes that he wasn’t the only 1 who made the wish. He made it with Senna as well. He tries to find Senna but she’s no where to be found. Furthermore, the fog is creeping into the house. A short glimpse of what the others are doing like Sana with her dog at home, Tsubasa being chauffuered by her driver, Yuuko patrolling the streets in her car, Akino praying to ward off the evil, and Tomokazu… He’s taking a shower. Senna rushes out to find Senna with that dial in hand. We then see Senna and Haruhi chatting on the playground’s swing. Haruhi’s saying how she don’t mind if she doesn’t go back because she couldn’t be Junna’s lover if he was his sister. Another case of incest? Yeah, she even mentions how she wants to grow up to be his bride. The 2 realize their hands start to disappear as the world starts to crumble. Junna finally finds them and asks them to make a wish on the dial again. He concludes that with the combined strength of their wishes, the dial will answer them. Hey, it’s kinda funny to see the girl’s nearly invisible hands touching the dial. So does it really count? Nevermind. As they began wishing on the dial, the dial increasingly glows red and we see some exaggerated explosion blowing away the fog. Tomo is surprised to feel some power increasing. The next thing you know, the fog is gone and the town is back to normal.
 
Their wish must’ve come true because the next day we see Junna in a hurry because he’s late for school. His parents are there and Haruhi is waiting for him so that they could walk to school together. We also see sensei talking with Akino about some class preparations when a genki Tomokazu zooms pass by them. Sana is running alongside with her dog waving to Tsubasa who’s being chauffuered to school. Tomo is still looking and standing at the school rooftop. So is she still the Keeper Of Time? Is Tomokazu still her twin? Not important. But it seems based on what Junna said, Haruhi now is Junna’s childhood friend because he wants her to stop calling him onii-chan. Junna then mentions how he’s gonna be a real onii-chan soon. Back home, Junna’s mom is pregnant and looks like Senna will soon make her rightful appearance in this real world. A picture of them in the end indicates so, with Junna’s mum carrying her new bundle of joy as Junna, his dad and Haruhi look on.
 
Overall, I guess this whole short series is just okay. I mean, it’s another one of those harem genres but with a pinch of sci-fi element in it. Though I’m glad it all ended on a happy note. That part whereby Tomo says she’s the Keeper Of Time, is still the one which surprises me. To think that I’ve seen numerous of this kind of shows, I’d be able to see that one coming. Didn’t. I was expecting a more straightforward case like 1 of the girls is actually his sister and the other just in denial or something like that.
 
As mentioned that this series somehow reminded me a little bit of Da Capo, especially Senna, who looks like a younger version of Da Capo’s Nemu. In addition to that, because of the design of the school uniform, it resembles closely to the ones in the anime series Shuffle. Thus, in my opinion Senna here is somewhat a cross between Nemu and Shuffle’s Shion.
 
As for the drawing, animation, art and voice acting, they’re nothing to shout about and just sufficient for this short series. If you consider anime girls from games hot, then I suppose you could add those here into your list. I wonder if the gameplay’s storyline is similar and if so, would it amount as spoilers for those who haven’t played the game but watched the series, first? But I don’t have any intentions of playing it either. Besides Junna, Senna, Haruhi and Tomo, I felt that the other characters didn’t have an impact on the storyline besides just ‘being there’. I wonder if Tomokazu’s a hetero now in this new world. Probably. Junna must’ve also secretly wished for his gay pal to stop going after him. Haha.
 
So we learn that dreams and wishes are powerful tools which could shape or break us. It’s important to have the right balance between them. As too much of it, you’ll get more than you bargain for and too little of it, makes us feel lethargic and without motivation or any goal in life to look forward to. Now, I’m wondering if my wish to watch every darn anime in the world would be too much. But then again, I guess I should be happy with what I have now. O great magic dial, I want to watch this anime, please!!!
 
W~Wish