Lovely Complex

March 29, 2008

Love isn’t an easy thing. Sometimes or rather most of the times, it’s hard to understand, thus we always say love works in mysterious ways. And even after watching Lovely Complex, I don’t think I really understand it all but it’s quite amusing to see the funny side of love. If you think the anime title suggests a shopping mall catered for all kinds of lovers, then you’re wrong. It’s the complexity of love. Hmm… Maybe it could also mean an obsession or phobia. But I’m pretty darn sure it’s not a shopping centre.
 
I’m sure most people would agree with me that a love comedy romance genre is one of the most if not the number 1 all-time favourite genre that we’ll all find enjoyable to watch and would probably go straight into watching it without any doubts or hesitation if there is a right balance of script, story, characters and such. This series didn’t disappoint either.
 
While watching the series, the first thing that will strike you (if you’re doing some analytical thinking rather than just staring and watching ‘blindly’) is that it deals with the stereotypic view that taller guys have to date shorter girls. What if it’s the other way round. It seems funny, right? Our 2 main protagonists, the towering female ‘Amazon’ giant Risa Koizumi who stands at 172 cm tall, and the shorty ‘chibi’ guy Atsushi Otani who is only 156 cm. Well, if you put them together, you’ll definitely see a difference in their stature. But over the series, I find that even though their heights are not as standard as what a guy’s or a girl’s height for their age should be, it’s not like she’s that tall nor he’s that short either. I mean, maybe they’re different by a head’s length, that’s all. Furthermore, their surnames are a contrary to their sizes. While Koizumi means small spring and Otani means big valley. It should’ve been the other way round, Oizumi and Kotani. But of course, it’s all part of the joke.
 
To make things worse, it’s like fate played a cruel joke on them as they are always seen bickering with each other at first. So much so, the duo has been given a nickname All Hanshin Kyojin. It’s a type of Japanese stand up manzai comedy whereby 1 of the comedian is tall and the other is short. Typically, it starts out with both of them having mutual feelings for each other. Hating each other, that is. Then gradually Risa will start to develop feelings for Otani and tries to face her fears and confess to Otani. However, that short kid is so bloody dense that even when Risa manages to finally say it (after all those obvious hints failed), this guy still thinks it’s somebody else. Oh come on. How dense is that? Soon Otani and Risa becomes a couple but of course they will face lots and lots of obstacles in their ‘fragile’ relationship. I kinda notice that Risa is quite an insecure and emotionally unstable girl, even if she plays tough on the outside. That’s because I kinda notice that the slightest thing which makes her doubt or hesitate about their relationship, will send shockwaves to Risa or even make her mind go crazy with her unfounded thinking of the worse case scenario. It’s like she’s going through a roller coaster ride of mood swings. In a way, it’s pitiful to see her in this state, but I must admit that due to her slightly ‘crude’ character, it makes it quite funny to watch each time she goes into that mode. Will their love triumph in the end? Let’s find out.
 
It all started in episode 1 when Risa was caught sleeping in an assembly. Anybody that tall dozing off could be spotted from anywhere. She’s like a sore thumb sticking out. Therefore, Risa is punished to attend summer class whereby to her horror, that shorty Otani is attending one too. Not only there goes her summer break, but to spend her summer classes with the most despicable guy, she must be thinking if God does really exists. As usual quarrel quarrel quarrel. Just then, a tall guy, Ryoji Suzuki comes in and Risa instantly falls in love with him and decides that he’s going to be her girlfriend. Otani notices this and makes a deal with Risa. Because Otani plans to become Suzuki’s pal, he’s willing to help Risa get close to him in exchange that Risa helps him to get close to her other close friend, Chiharu Tanaka. So it’s I scratch your back, you scratch mine. Deal. Then there’s another couple who’re Risa’s close pals as well. They’re the lovey-dovey couple Nobuko Ishihara AKA Nobu and her beau Heikichi Nakao. This duo have no qualms of showing their love in public. Embarrassing? It doesn’t matter so long as they both love each other.
 
So the group of six heads off to the water park as part of Risa and Otani to get close to the ones they have their heart on. But it seems the duo are alike because they really enjoy rides and having the thrill of their life! Wohoo! Then it hit them that they were having so much fun together, they forgot what their initial mission was. Too late. Because Nobu has Nakao, it’s obvious that Suzuki is left alone with Chiharu. Next day in school, more quarrelling from the All Hanshin Kyojin. It’s such a typical scene so much so you’d expect it in every episode. Risa then finds out to her horror that Suzuki may have fallen for Chiharu! Bummer. Chiharu has always been a shy girl who’s afraid of guys, likewise Suzuki with girls. But I think those 2 suit each other in terms of their soft spoken and shy nature. Shock! Heartbreak for Risa. The guy she loves has fallen for her best buddy. Can it get worse than this? Risa and Otani accepted the fact that Suzuki and Chiharu are now a couple but makes a bet among themselves to see who’ll get a boyfriend/girlfriend first. If Otani wins, Risa will have to buy him a pair of basketball shoes and if Risa emerges victorious, she’ll get all the video games she wants. It’s on.
 
So in episode 2, Otani spots a weird hairstyle to attract girls. Don’t think it’ll work. Risa’s laughing her ass off. But Risa notices that she’s being left out after seeing Nobu with Nakao and Suzuki with Chiharu. Over the series, you’ll see that Nobu and the rest will scheme and try to make Otani and Risa an item. Of course with hilarious results. So the only thing Risa and Otani have in common that they like is some bald punk-like singer called Umibouzu. Mention this name, and they both get all hyped-up, excited and they could connect very well. Otani decides to give Risa a ticket to Umibouzu’s Christmas concert. Risa also finds out that Otani is a member of the school’s basketball club. It shows that you don’t need to be tall to be a basketball player. Your passion is enough. As Risa and Otani are on their way home, Risa bumps into a girl which has an uncanny resemblance to Chiharu. To make things worse, Otani knows her. She is Mayu Kanzaki and is Otani’s ex-girlfriend. No wonder Otani was pinning for Chiharu because she looks like his ex-flame. Risa also finds out Otani was dumped by her as she went steady with another tall basketball player, whom Otani nicknames Giant. Because of that, he became conscious about his height. Risa is a little worried to find that Otani is talking to Kanzaki the next day outside school and Kanzaki wants to meet up and talk things with him on the day of the Umibouzu concert. Of course Risa just played supportive and tells him to go. On the day of the concert, Risa is obviously falling for Otani as she’s worried whether Otani got back with Kanzaki. Besides, she’s there alone and the sight of other lovey-dovey couples doesn’t help either. Risa injures her leg then. But to her surprise, Otani shows up because he mentions about making a promise with Risa first. With that, the duo had a good time and Risa is able to forget her worries. On their way home, I guess it’s Otani’s turn to be surprised because some random guy who seems to know Risa, suddenly hugs her. Oooh.
 
That guy is Haruka Fukagawa. Yup, a guy with a girl’s name. Hmm… Looks handsome too. He is Risa’s childhood friend and Haruka fell in love with her back then when Risa saved him from a bunch of bullies. He’s so happy that he finally gets to see Risa, but I guess the feeling is not mutual. I find that this guy’s like a player, though he has other girls chasing after him but he still wants Risa. Furthermore, he doesn’t like Otani and is mad and wonders how Risa could fall for a chibi guy like him. Yeah, he’ll not hesitate to tease or bully him. The feeling is mutual too for Otani. He left the duo alone and walked home by himself. Anyway, it’s the New Year in episode 3 and the gang goes to a shrine to pray. Kanzaki is at the shrine too, which makes Risa start to worry all over again. But Kanzaki clears the air with Otani saying how she didn’t dump him for his height and soon leaves with her Giant. Valentine’s Day is nearing and the rest thinks Risa should make some chocolates for Otani. Of course Risa brushes it off but finds out that Otani likes chocolate cake. Then at the school gates, Haruka is waiting for Risa and if this tall girl isn’t enough bickering, Otani has to contend with another 1 from Haruka. Like he needs another one. Plus, Haruka is also a student in their school. Can it get any worse? Haruka has no qualms in proclaiming his love for Risa and even makes a bento for her. It seems Risa has made some chocolates for Otani but the latter refuses because he thinks she has Haruka to give it to. Pissed off, Risa tells Otani off that she’s going to do just that. So Risa went out with Haruka and had some fun but it isn’t as fun when Otani’s around. So some chat here and there as Haruka thinks Risa is truly in love with Otani the way she says his good points. But Haruka isn’t giving up yet because it’s his dream to make Risa his girlfriend. The next day, Otani apologizes to Risa and would accept her chocolates. Surprisingly Risa accepts. That’s because Otani soon finds out that the chocolate cake Risa made was just an obligation chocolate. Haha.
 
In episode 4, we see how the basketball club tries to persuade new members to join their club. Uh huh. How is a shorty person like Otani going to do a slam dunk? I’m sure you’ll start raising your eyebrows first and then burst into laughter because you’ll see some guy dressed in a black outfit lifting Otani up so that he could make a slam dunk. Is that a rip-off or what? But this episode sees how a new character, the very girly Seiko Kotobuki, having a huge crush on Otani. Her voice is so girly, either you feel that she’s so cute or so overly disgusting. It all started when Otani ‘saved’ her from a dog while on his way to school. Ever since, Seiko has fallen head over heels for him. Plus, she’s a freshman in Otani’s school too. Be wary Risa, you have another competition coming your way. Things get heat up because in the end outside school as the gang are walking home, Seiko can’t contain her feelings anymore as she suddenly hangs her arms around Otani’s neck and kisses him! WOAH! Double triple shock! Everybody has just witnessed that! OMG! I didn’t see that one coming. The surprises just keep coming.
 
But Otani is feeling on top of the world and pretty good in episode 5 because he thinks a cute girl admires him so much enough to kiss him. Perasan. At the same time, Seiko’s girliness is enough to make most viewers’ hair stand on ends and at the same time annoy Risa. Yeah, she’s really really in love with Otani. Risa gets even depressed to find that she has grown some more during her school’s annual physical examination. During a basketball practice, Otani hurt his finger and this made Seiko panicked. So she rushes him to the infirmary. I’m sure Nobu’s trying to ‘poke some fire’ when she says what will happen if Otani is all alone with a cute girl in the infirmary. Uh huh. Otani is on the bed and Seiko next to him. Seiko is feeling hot and decides to unbutton her shirt. Be still, our hearts. But I guess Risa decides to rush there to tell Otani the real truth when she overheard some guys saying how Seiko is Seichirou. Get what I mean? Seiko is a boy! Yes! A male!!! A cross-dresser! OMG! I didn’t see that coming too! Risa arrives to late to see Otani passed out and Seiko with her top off. That explains why she’s so ‘flat’. Hahaha. Just kidding. The next day, the gang are trying their best to conceal their snickering behind Otani’s back. Otani’s not too happy after that shocking development. Later Seiko comes crying to Risa telling the latter how Otani may have found her disgusting. But Risa thinks otherwise. Her words was enough to calm Seiko. Seiko’s words too realized Risa a little and Risa decides to try and be more straightforward with Otani the next time. Risa admits to herself what she likes Otani but Seiko mentions that from now on, they’ll be rivals for Otani’s love. Umm… I think given a choice between them, my guess would be, Otani would definitely choose the lesser of 2 evils. Unless he turns homo. From now, I’ll still refer to Seiko as a girl as it’s much easier that way. Plus, Seiko’s more comfortable being a girl. But after this, I don’t really see Seiko being ‘actively involved’ or make an impact trying to make Otani hers. It’s like she just have cameo appearances now and then.
 
Once again the rest, especially Nobu and Nakao, are trying to play matchmaking with Risa and Otani in episode 6. This time a beach outing for the gang. Purposely, the gang leaves Risa and Otani alone and Risa seems so unnatural when she’s trying to confess. It looks harder than she thinks. Saying those simple 3 words (or perhaps just 1 in Japanese, "Daisuki", that is) can be so tough and nerve wrecking. So I guess to calm her nerves down, she and Otani had a little chat. Risa even mentions that since Otani’s such a nice guy, she might even fall for him (hint hint) but Otani is disgusted with that and tells her not say such disgusting things. Before you know it, another round of quarrel ensued but it ended with Risa in tears. Of course the rest were eavesdropping and tells him off. Even after all that hinting that Risa gives that Otani’s the guy she’s fallen for, he’s still as dense as ever. Being feminine doesn’t suite Risa as it backfires when she tries to act like 1. Soon Risa’s birthday is coming up and Otani calls her to meet her at the train station for some fireworks festival. Risa arrives in her yukata and to her delight, Otani gives her some limited edition CD of Umibouzu. Risa feels confident now and finally confesses she loves Otani. But that guy just stood there speechless. I wonder if he understood what she just said.
 
He didn’t actually. At the start of episode 7, Otani thinks that Risa’s love is referring to that Umibouzu CD. Don’t you just feel like smacking him over and over? Risa sinks further into depression and this is quite useful because her class is doing a haunted house for the school cultural festival. Yeah, she’s like a real depressed ghost! She’s like the real thing. I guess their haunted house is a success. Later Nobu approaches Otani and even tells him straight in the face that Risa is in love with him but still that idiot dismisses it, sending Risa deeper into depression. Hope she doesn’t turn into a living dead. Risa then heads to Haruka’s class and Haruka along with Seiko finds out that everybody in the entire school knows that Risa likes Otani and the only person who doesn’t know this is Otani himself. Do you feel like shooting that guy now? At the end of the day, Risa and Otani are alone in the classroom as Risa once again tries to tell Otani that the person she likes is in this room. Well, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out since there are 2 of them. Yeah, that guy isn’t that bright either. He’s still thinking. Thinking! Don’t tell me he’s thinking Risa is in love with herself. But once Risa leaves, it started to hit Otani that she may have been implying that it’s him and is bloody shocked. Took long enough buddy. But is it… Last time that happened, he’s as blur as a brick.
 
Okay, so he finally realized it in episode 8 but wonders why would a tall girl fall for a short guy. Also, their class is going on a field trip and because the All Hanshin Kyojin is trying to avoid each other, they end up missing their flight and has to take a later one with their homeroom teacher. And when they arrive, the rest thinks that they’re a couple already since they both arrived late and together. Of course the duo dismisses it. The part in the bus was pretty hilarious because Risa and Otani are so deep in their sleep that efforts to wake them up is futile and the duo had foodstuffs stuffed into their mouths. As usual, when the wake up, they had their fun together (I’m amazed how those 2 could even have so much fun riding a rickshaw) and Risa is still having wild thoughts whether Otani really likes her or not. Yeah, she’s going psycho. Then at a store, Otani is having trouble reaching some bear curry box high up on a shelf (reminds you like that case back in the 1st episode when Otani can’t reach for a book in the library). Risa reaches the box and gives it to him. Otani then decides to give an answer to Risa. He thinks that it’ll be weird for their All Hanshin Kyojin status to be suddenly turned into a couple and thinks they should remain the way they are now. Another heartbreaking moment for Risa. Risa decides to retract her confession and runs out in tears. Otani then realized that he might have said something wrong. He has to be careful with his words now. Anything can send this girl into an emotional frenzy mood swing.
 
The school trip continues in episode 9. Risa is once again back in her gloomy mood and Nobu even suggests some moves to punish Otani. But that girl isn’t in that mood right now. Why, Risa even has a dream whereby their heights would be reversed so that this troublesome thing would never have happened in the 1st place. But I guess she has to live with it and the fact that every other girl has a date and confession stories. Luckily Risa’s got Nobu as a good pal to give her some advice and keep her sanity in check. Erm… I’m not sure what that midnight yuri thing between Nobu and Risa is all about. The next day, the students continue their trip and Risa’s in high spirits once again. So Otani and Risa go round taking shots of themselves in Umibouzu poses. Then a funny part whereby several girls came up to Otani asking him for his help to take their pic and they’re all over his cuteness and his dialect. Risa gets mad and turns on her scary face, making those girls flee. They’re saying "Is she his girlfriend? No way!". Those words remind Risa of Otani’s earlier words back at the store and she gets another gloomy feeling. She then realizes she lost her wallet so the duo went to search for it by backtracking their steps. It’s nightfall and they still couldn’t find it when the duo spots Umibouzu in person! Woah! A dream come true. It seems Umibouzu is on a vacation with his family and he also happens to pick up Risa’s wallet and was going to hand it over to the police. While Umibouzu hails a taxi, Risa and Umibouzu’s wife had a little chat whereby Risa finds out how she rejected Umibouzu’s confessions at first but soon finds herself falling for him. Before they know it, they got married and started a family. Risa’s morale is once again boosted and after Umibouzu left, she tells Otani that she still likes him and tells him that she’ll definitely make him fall in love with her. Ganbaru yo, Risa.
 
In contrary to episode 10’s title which goes something like "The Epic Breast-Baring Battle!", there isn’t going to be any scenes of any girls baring their chests. Nothing ecchi here. Well, Nobu tells Risa that she has to act more feminine than her usual crude ways if she wants to win Otani’s heart. So Risa has to literally "stick her boobs out". Christmas is coming soon and Risa remembers the events that happened back a year ago. So Risa asks Otani if he’s busy on Christmas and the latter replies he is because his old basketball team is organising a party. Furthermore, Kanzaki is going to attend because she was the ex-manager. I know how Risa’s going to feel. Just when she’s getting back with Otani, a piece of his past is coming back threatening to steal it all away again. So Nobu and Risa ended up going to Otani’s party and I realized that Nakao too is part of Otani’s basketball team. Am I that blur? Good thing is, Kanzaki isn’t there but Risa finds out that this is a plot by the other basketball members to get Otani and Kanzaki back together. You know, Risa can set the world record of the fastest mood swings. Risa wants to go home after hearing some ambiguous talk from Otani and the other guys. Nobu and Nakao then conspire with the other guys to make Risa and Otani closer by locking them in the store room. If you expect them to get all hot and well, passionate, then it’s not going to happen. Just some talk here and there. Risa then presents Otani her Christmas present, a pair of gloves. Of course Otani asks if Risa likes him that much and with him closing in on her face, anybody would mistake him for going to kiss Risa. Didn’t happen because they started arguing. And when Nobu and Nakao finally opens the door, it wasn’t what they hoped for. But at least their quarrelling means that they’re back to normal.
 
Episode 11 sees Risa playing a dating simulation game and she’s practically in love with the game character Cain. If only Otani could be like him. But it’s New Year’s Day again and the gang heads off to the shrine to make their usual prayers. Later, to start off the new year, Risa and Otani went to belt their heart out by singing Umibouzu karaoke songs. The next day at school, Nobu tells Risa that she heard from Nakao that Kanzaki has broken up with her boyfriend. Oh the horror. Risa wonders if Otani would go back to her now. Then as they walk out from school, they bump into Kanzaki who invites them to watch a basketball game. At the game, Otani, Risa, Nobu and Nakao arrives and Risa is thinking another worse case scenario as he tries to keep Otani away from Kanzaki. It’s going to be hard because Otani’s other pals are trying to make them talk together. Not looking good. Umm… Is throwing a ball at his head going to work? Didn’t. How about grabbing his arm and go in the other direction. Not if the other guy is pulling at the other end too. If this go on any further, Otani will be ripped into half! So Risa lose out as Otani goes to talk with Kanzaki. Risa decides to leave as Otani notices so. But Otani soon comes following her. Risa asks about him and Kanzaki but Otani replies that he may be more suited to a girl like Risa. So I guess that settles it but we wouldn’t just settle for things to go so smoothly like they’ll hug each other or lock lips. Dream on. For now. As expected, the duo starts bickering because they thought the other said some funny things. But above all, they made up once again. That’s what Nobu and Nakao think when they spot the duo arguing from afar.
 
After New Year’s Day, the next big event to look forward to is Valentine’s Day. So in episode 12, Risa remembers that time 1 year ago where Otani rejected her homemade chocolates. While walking, Risa bumps into Haruka and Seiko who’re shopping for ingredients to make Valentine chocolates. I kinda noticed that Haruka and Seiko are always together even though there isn’t anything going on between them. As expected, Haruka gets upset when he hears how Risa is going to give her chocs to that midget. However Seiko is on Risa’s side and she herself is going to give her chocs to Otani. But this Haruka is so full of himself. Why, he’s bragging that even though he’s got 7 girlfriends, he’s got not much long to go… 90 years left, that is. Hahaha. Since Haruka found out that Otani once rejected Risa, he barges into his class and yells at him in front of everyone. Later as everyone finishes making their chocolates, Risa is going to give hers to Otani but that guy again rejects them because he’s feeling half-hearted about her and walks away. WTF? Because of that, Risa gets mad and throws the whole chocolate gift at his head! He deserves it. More lecturing from Risa before Otani takes it. But when Otani opens the present, he finds the written words ‘midget idiot’ on it! I guess that’s worse than an obligation chocolate. It seems that Haruka has written on it while Risa is out. Furthermore, he mentions that he’s not going to lose as he eats the real chocolates made by Risa. Loser.
 
More All Hanshin Kyojin bickering in episode 13. What a way to start an episode. It’s like they’re putting on a show each time. I guess it’s normal. But here, while the gang dines at the cafeteria, Nakao brought up a subject that since Otani’s too short, he wonders how he would kiss Risa. Don’t mention that Seiko incident. Hehe. Back home, Risa wonders about kissing Otani and it does seem weird. Next day at school, Otani gives Risa tickets to Umibouzu’s concert in return for her Christmas present and Valentine chocolates. Risa is all excited once again and vows to become a girl kissable for Otani. Huh? But Otani comes down with flu a day before the concert so Nobu and Nakao encourages Risa to go visit him. Upon arrival, Otani’s mom and sister are quite elated to see Otani’s girlfriend. I’m sure Risa likes being called that but she says she’s here to hand him his report card. Otani is surprised to see Risa as mommy and sister brings in some cake. The duo even cheekily teased Otani since Risa is so tall, he’s going to have problems kissing her. Of course Otani denies it and pushes them out of his room. Risa then realized that today is Otani’s birthday and since Otani isn’t feeling too good, he tells Risa to go to the concert alone. A little chat here and there. During the conversation, their face gets too close so much so when Otani faints (due to his fever), his lips touched Risa’s. Oh dear! Does that count as a kiss? But Otani got his face in the cake. Risa is embarrassed and all flustered up and decides to leaves in a hurry. Unfortunately, the next day, Risa gets Otani’s flu as they both head for Umibouzu’s concert. But that’s not the bad part. Thing is, Otani doesn’t remember he kissed her. Double blow.
 
Because of that, in episode 14, Risa becomes her zombie self as she plays her dating simulation game, infatuated with Cain. Even her family is praying for a miracle. In addition, Risa’s in a pretty bad mood at school as blur case Otani wonders what’s wrong with her. It’s funny to see a desperate Risa telling Otani to give back her first kiss. However it seems the class has a new transfer teacher, Kuniumi Maitake AKA Maity, who looks just like Cain! Risa’s falling head over heels over him. Not only that, other girls too. Except for Nobu, who’s shivering everytime he does his charm or the girls start swooning. Risa even volunteers herself as the class rep and even drags a reluctant Otani to be 1 when Maity asks for volunteers. Another funny part is that during Maity’s class, Otani is sound asleep so much so Maity decides to wake him up by blowing in his ear. Otani wakes up screaming. Now all the girls wants to fall asleep so that Maity can blow in their ears. Later at the basketball practice, Otani has been promoted to captain with the departure of the club’s senior captain. Another round of chat between Risa and Otani and by the looks of it, Otani seems to care for Risa in a way by asking her not to hang around ‘cold’ guys like Maity. Then Otani remembers the time he was sick and Risa was in his room. He was so close to her face. Could it be that those memories are coming back? Otani then says how a grain of rice was stuck on her forehead, that’s why he got so close to her face then. Oh the shocking horror. So it wasn’t about the kiss anyway. Another emotional ride for Risa as she says how worried she was, how she’s trying to be good for him, bla bla bla. In her haste, she grabs Otani and kissed him! This surprises Otani as he asks what’s that for. Risa has had enough of it and tells him that she’s through loving him and runs away. While running down the hallway in tears, she bumps into Maity but didn’t stop or whatsoever and just continued running. Maity notices this.
 
Risa is going crazy and her family is really starting to worry about her cuckoo behaviour in episode 15. In school, Maity asks if Risa’s alright and the latter didn’t even realize she bumped into him yesterday. Then at the cafeteria, Risa tells Nobu and Chiharu that she’s through with Otani and is now focusing on Maity. Of course Nobu is against it. Meanwhile, Nakao and Suzuki are talking to Otani about that kissing incident. I guess Risa just about snapped because she has formed a new club called Maity-sensei Fanclub and she herself is the president. Yeah, all the girls there are really swooning over him. I suppose with Otani out of the picture, Risa can concentrate on her new love, which looks like her Cain. There’s a funny Q&A part whereby Maity is the guest of honour and the girls are taking turns asking him questions. But every answer Maity says it’s a secret. Even so, it’s enough to make all those girls go crazy swooning over him. Must be his voice. Nobu is bloody mad at Otani and thinks it’s his fault and wants him to go apologize in hopes that she’ll quite the fanclub and things will return back to normal. But when Otani does so, Risa questions him back, which made Otani speechless. She tells him she’s given up liking him and leaves. But Risa burst into tears and all in good timing, Maity happened to be nearby. He asks what’s wrong and lends her a shoulder to cry on. Otani thinks of going after Risa but sees her together with Maity. Jealous? Next day, Otani learns that their basketball coach is injured and is being replaced no other than Maity. Just great. So the duo had a 1-on-1 competition and Maity is a pretty good player. Yeah, all the fangirls are cheering at him. Later Otani is sulking because he can’t even steal the ball once from him. Nobu suggests Risa to go talk to him, in which she went searching for him. Otani is seen having a chat with Maity outside. The conversation may make it seem that Maity has ill intentions but I assure you he’s just trying to get to the root of the problem and solve it all. He’s a good guy. No doubt Maity’s pretty cool, calm and suave as oppose to Otani’s it’s-none-of-your-business behaviour. Finally Maity says that he’ll take Risa for himself in which Otani replies it’s okay with him since he doesn’t like her. Bad choice of words. Because Risa’s standing behind Maity paralyzed as she has heard every single line. The ultimate heartbreak. She’s got to be real ‘suay’ to have been rejected by a guy twice.
 
Episode 16 continues where the cliffhanger left off with Risa trying her best to keep her sanity as she walks away. Of course we know deep down, she’s been torn to shreds. Nobu and co are really mad at Otani but that guy seems to blame Maity for interfering. Meanwhile, Maity spots Risa crying alone and went to chat with her. She tells him what has happened between them all this while. With that, Maity says he’ll work his magic to make Risa happy again. Woah. Maity’s like an angel sent from above in Risa’s hallucination. Next day, another basketball 1-on-1 between Otani and Maity. During the game, Otani slips and sprains his ankle. Later a concerned Risa offers to ride him home but Otani says he’s fine and tells her to quit that Maity club. Maity then arrives to offer to drive Otani home, which he refuses. He then offers to drive Risa home, which made Otani decide to ask Risa to give him a ride home, surprising her. All part of Maity’s plan. Yeah, it’s to make Otani jealous. Hehe, on their way home, they got chased by a policeman who finds them riding in tandem. Everything seems back to normal the next day in school. Risa also notes that each time she gets her hopes up, it all ends up disappointing and doesn’t want to think about it. Later Haruka comes over to mock that midget when he finds out Otani got injured. Plus, he’s complimenting how Risa should’ve invited him to join her Maity fanclub because he’s always been looking up to him. To cut things short, Haruka is Maity’s cousin. Is that shocking or what. Probably the reason why Otani finds them both irritating. Later, Risa tells Otani that she has quit her Maity club because he had told he to do so. Risa offers him a ride home but he refuses again. Another bickering ensues till Otani agrees but this time he’s doing the peddling. While Risa gets her bicycle, Maity appears and gives Otani some advice. But I suppose it’s the way he put his words, because it seems to be pissing off Otani. As the duo ride back home, Risa notes how it’s better being an All Hanshin Kyojin pair rather than going through all those love pangs. They ended up getting chased by a policeman for riding in tandem. Is that against the law?
 
The Maity fanclub has been disbanded because it’s come to known that Maity has a fiancee in episode 17. Too bad girls. Also, Nobu isn’t happy since Risa decides to take her relationship with Otani as an All Hanshin Kyojin. Otani’s basketball team will be participating in some tournament and to his horror, they’ll be up against a very strong team in the 1st round. Otani’s already thinking of defeat. Where has his optimism gone to? Risa and the other girls decide to come cheer them on anyway. So before the big day, Risa made a few banners and headbands to support Otani. During match day, Otani is so depressed so much so he tells Risa not to bother cheering for him because he’ll lose anyway. This attitude pisses off Risa as she punches him and gives him another good round of lecture. Otani realized when he opened up Risa’s bag to find all those cheering banners and has his hopes up again. Because of that, he tells Risa to watch him because she’ll fall for him again. Say, don’t their opponents look like tall typical American basketballers? Are they NBA stars? As expected, Otani’s team lost. But it was a good match with Risa and the rest cheering them on. Later, Otani and Risa are sitting together outside on a bench as Otani thanks her for coming. Risa replies that his cool play made her fall in love with him again. Then, just like divine punishment, Otani says how he’s no good without Risa but it seems Risa has fallen asleep and didn’t hear a word. Haha. Now it’s Otani’s turn to feel the pain. Yeah, and Nobu and pals are spying on them behind the bush and are wondering what’s going on.
 
To Risa’s horror, she has to spend her summer vacation attending classes with the rest in episode 18. Perhaps thinking too much about Otani doesn’t improve her grades. Also, Risa’s birthday is coming up soon and the rest wonder what Otani’s going to give Risa. Hehe, those smirks on their faces. Besides, Suzuki and Chiharu got their faces red when Nobu figures out Suzuki gave her a cute rabbit ring for her birthday. So next day Otani asks Risa what she wants for her birthday but she says she doesn’t want anything. Of course Nobu pounds Risa and tells her otherwise. Well, Risa did want something as her birthday present, Otani’s love, that is. Another flashback whereby Risa confessed to Otani 2 years back and he laughs it off as a joke. Meanwhile Otani is with Nakao and Suzuki in a shop selling cute stuff for girls but Otani is hesitating to buy some rabbit pendant. The next day, the class throws a birthday bash for Risa. Even Maity’s there but Otani is no where to be found. Soon the fireworks began as everyone rushes to the rooftop to watch. Risa gets a message on her handphone to look behind. She spots Otani standing at a dark corner and quietly goes to him. Otani gives that rabbit pendant to her which makes her happy. As they chat, Otani tells her about that incident whereby Risa fell asleep. Risa now thinks that it wasn’t a dream after all. Before anything else could happen, Otani kisses her! Risa is in shock. She wonders if Otani has fever. Hehe, Otani’s asking if she can put on a better reaction face. If that kiss wasn’t enough, there’s round 2 coming. Yeah, Otani grabs her wrist, stare Risa in her eye and the duo lock lips again. Aww… The best birthday gift ever. It would’ve been funny or devastating (depends on how you look at it) if they’re caught red handed by the rest. I guess the fireworks display is just to brilliant.
 
Risa can’t contain her happiness so much so she almost told the rest what happened back then in episode 19. Luckily Otani’s there to silence her but the rest has already eavesdropped and wants to know all the details. But Otani’s keeping his mouth tightly sealed. Later at a restaurant, Otani gives Risa some tickets to some World Athletics Championship, supposedly hard to find, as their first date. Then Risa bumps into an old friend who thinks they’re a couple but Risa brushes it off and says they’re just friends, pissing off Otani. Oops, slip of a tongue. Next at the stadium, Risa arrives late and decides to make up for it but realizes that in her haste, she left her handbag at home. So Otani has to treat her today. During the game, Otani notices Risa’s gloomy and asks her to come with him somewhere to talk things. Some lover’s quarrel before Risa repeatedly says she loves Otani. While he’s acknowledging in embarrassment, the whole stadium goes wild and cheering. It occurred to them that their drama has been televised on the big screen. Holy cow! I guess this is more interesting than the games. The duo felt embarrassed and rushed inside the building. Otani decides to go get some juice after another short round of bickering inside. Risa can’t seem to be patient and decides to go to where Otani is. To her horror, she spots Otani talking with Kanzaki! The fear is coming back. Risa rushes off in tears but her blister on her foot stopped her. At that time, Kanzaki also noticed her. Kanzaki then helps put some band aid on her and notices Kanzaki’s a nice girl. So a little chat as Otani says that Risa is her girlfriend. But Kanzaki isn’t here to take Otani away. It seems she’s gotten back with her Giant boyfriend and soon leaves with him. That’s the last time you’ll see her. Risa gets emotional for jumping to conclusions and her eyes were too teary to watch the rest of the games. Funny part was on the way out, Risa’s saying how her heart was stolen again and Otani is pissed off replying how many heart she has. Then a girl calls out to Otani and it seems he knows her. It’s his neighbour, Mimi Yoshioka. Looks like another tall girl. Mimi’s asking who Risa is and Otani replies she’s his girlfriend. This surprises Mimi very much. As the duo left, Mimi is looking scornfully at them and can’t believe a girl like her is Otani’s girlfriend. Oh oh. I smell another jealousy case coming up.
 
Obviously Mimi has a secret crush on Otani. So another challenge in episode 20 as Otani and Risa are officially a couple, much to Nobu and co’s delight. Mimi was once in love in Otani but because of his short stature, she always bring him milk to drink so that he could grow tall. But it never happened. In a way you could say she gave up when Otani started seeing Kanzaki. Then suddenly Otani drops a bombshell by saying he’s got a girlfriend as tall as her. How would you feel? All those past efforts wasted. Mimi is burning with rage and jealousy inside. In front of Otani, Mimi may be that cute model but you’ll soon find out that she becomes the devil in front of Risa and threatens to make life hell for her. Mimi is sure scary. Risa must be feeling pretty scared. She tries to relate her experience without overdoing it to Otani but that guy brushes it off. So lots of scary looking moments from Mimi as her looks is enough to intimidate Risa. Yeah, Mimi’s trying to find out if Risa used any magic tricks and such to win Otani’s heart. One night while the trio are walking together, another argument between Mimi and Risa which causes the former to blurt how she likes Otani more than the latter. Of course Otani heard it and Mimi runs away in tears. Risa goes after her to console her. Mimi unleashes her evil scary side venting her fury on Risa but this time, Otani saw it. Mimi gets depressed with her true colours revealed. So Risa suggests the 3 of them do something after school. It’s like a date and it’s funny to see 2 Amazon ladies clinging on to the midget. Mimi notices how Otani and Risa could click so easily and having lots of fun together. At 1 time Mimi’s acting like a spoilt brat so much so Risa can’t stand it any longer and punches her face! Not good for a model. Eventually Mimi learns Risa has been rejected twice and she’s been trying hard all along. This time Risa runs away in tears. So after some talk, Risa feels better and she walks home hand in hand with Otani. As for Mimi, she may have given up because she told Otani how she can’t deal with an idiot like Risa. I guess the battle ends here. Meanwhile at school, the homeroom teacher is telling Maity that the All Hanshin Kyojin may have to break up because they both chose different career paths.
 
Actually Risa doesn’t have her future plans charted out yet while Otani decides to become a teacher in episode 21. I wonder if he’ll be mistaken as a student. But this episode is mainly about Nobu and Nakao. Nobu is going to attend an undergraduate university faraway in Hokkaido. Thus she needs to attend an interview there first. Which means the lovey-dovey couple will have to do a long distance relationship. Though Nakao accepts it but deep down, he’s breaking apart. Yeah, he’s going insane and it’s pretty obvious. Greeting a mailbox? Lots of drama and spacing out. After all this time Nobu and Nakao has helped Risa and Otani (whether they want it or not), it’s time for the latter duo to return the favour. Of course Otani just told Nakao straight in the face that if he doesn’t want Nobu to leave, just say so. But I guess Nakao decides to make things ‘easier’ when he acts like he doesn’t care anymore and has 3 lovely woman behind her back and wants Nobu to forget him. This is the funny part. Nakao proceeds to name the 3 women. First, Maiko (Maity dressed as a woman!), then Suzuko (holy cow! Suzuki in 1 too!) and finally Haruko (before Haruka could appear Otani slammed the door)! On the day of Nobu’s departure, everyone is there to see Nobu off. But Nobu and Nakao manage to reassure their love. I love you more than anything in the world and a warm hug. So touching. I wish I was like that too. With that, Risa wonders about if hers with Otani will end up well like this. The closing scenes shows a boy, Kohori, who’s being told by a fortune teller that a tall woman is going to bring him trouble.
 
While Nobu’s back and the couple are more lovey-dovey than ever in episode 22, Otani is studying real hard while Risa decides to take up a part time job as a waitress. Risa’s a little clumsy, breaking plates and stuff. Plus, the lady boss is quite a strict elderly lady. Risa seems to notice that her part time colleague, Kohori, is also an Umibouzu fan. So you could say they clicked right away. If you notice, this Kohori guy is as short as Otani. So when Risa brags about him at school, Nobu thinks she has midget fetish. Besides that drama whereby Risa tries to comfort a depressed and stressed out Otani for failing his practice exams, it seems Kohori has taken a liking for Risa as he thinks he’s a nice girl. One rainy evening while Risa is taking a short nap at the restaurant (got tired after trying to memorize the menu), Kohori notices how sweet Risa’s lips are. I guess he couldn’t resist it and he tried to kiss her while she’s sleeping! Luckily before their lips met, Risa opened her eyes. Kohori of course is embarrassed and apologizes. But the problem’s only beginning. To Risa’s horror, Otani has just witnessed it all just outside the window. "Oh my God". How she wish this was all a dream. Otani walks away but Risa goes after him to explain things. Otani replied that she has midget fetish, sending her shockwaves. Naturally Otani would be pissed off as he ignores Risa. Even Nobu and Nakao are upset and thinks Risa brought it upon herself and can’t help her anymore. She’s on her own now. Later Kohori apologizes again and decides to give Risa a ticket to a rare exclusive Umibouzu radio concert. Risa is torn between Otani and Umibouzu but decides to take Kohori’s offer since she’s a sucker for Umibouzu and thinks she isn’t two-timing Otani. The duo had a great time while Otani meanwhile tapes that Umibouzu concert and decides to pass it to Risa once done. Risa and Kohori are walking home together when they bump into Otani. Another misunderstanding arises. Risa says that she’s to blame and such but Otani says he doesn’t care anymore as he’s breaking up with her and walks away. Oh no. Previously rejection, now break up?
 
Even though in episode 23 Otani says his break up with Risa is ‘folever’ (yeah, he misspelled forever) but I don’t think it’ll last long. A reason why Otani decides to do so because he thinks it’ll interrupt his studies. Is it? Risa tries to amend things but it seems hopeless. Even if Otani doesn’t want to be with her anymore, Risa continued to make some supportive headband and banners to cheer on Otani’s upcoming exams (even though they’re recycled goods from that basketball tournament). "Otani For Life!". Later Otani bumps into Kohori and the former finds out Kohori is taller than him by 2 cm. Otani plays a dirty trick by asking Kohori to look down as he punches him. Otani says that’s for his fault for everything. Kohori tells him that the reason why he wanted to kiss Risa while asleep because she looked so pretty, surprising Otani. A short argument resulted in Kohori saying that he likes Risa and isn’t going to hold back anymore. Christmas Day and the restaurant is organizing some karaoke party. While Risa sings her heart out, she realizes it’s not the same without Otani and rushes out. I think Kohori realizes Risa still has a heart for Otani. Otani too feels the same way and so happen they bump each other on the street, reconciled and are back together again. Otani also confesses he loves her. That’s fast. Even Risa mentions that if he’s going to say something like this, she doesn’t mind breaking 100 times. Risa is embarrassed that Otani is hugging her in public. Since he’s short, he’s got no qualms about hiding his face. Soon it’s New Year’s Day and the gang finds Suzuki failed his entrance exam because he was sick. Which means, he won’t be able to attend the same college as Chiharu, who has passed. Suzuki claims he broke his promise to protect Chiharu but it’s more of his pessimistic attitude which causes Chiharu to snap. Woah! I’ve never seen Chiharu raise her voice before. Why, she even lift the desk to show her anger! Anyway, they can’t stay mad at each other and soon reconciled, promise to do their best, etc. Yay. Back together again. Fast forward to the day before Otani’s exams. His family kicks him out of their quarantined house because every family member has come down with a level 5 virus. Level 5? Looks like the only place he can stay for the night is at Risa’s since the other guys aren’t available.
 
Otani meets Risa’s family for the 1st time in episode 24 and they’re sarcastically asking if he’s okay with a giant like her. Otani sleeps over but did midnight oil burning. If you’re expecting any steamy romances to bloom, drop it. Nothing happened. Next morning, it’s snowing so much so all public transport are cancelled. Plus, Otani has woke up late and is in a hurry. Risa offers to ride him there on her bicycle. Kids, don’t ride recklessly like her. They arrive in time (and in 1 piece) as Otani goes in to take his exam. After that’s done, Otani and Risa went out on a date only to bump into Mimi who’s doing a modelling shoot. Mimi has no qualms taking a chance to cling onto Otani’s arms. One of the producers spots Risa and decides to ask her help in the photo shootout. Wah. Risa looks so girly. And unnatural doing those shots. Mimi is more pro. When it’s over, Risa thinks she’s not suited to be a model but wants to become a stylist instead. With Otani’s words of encouragement, Risa gives him a hug. A week later, the exam results are out and Risa’s entire pals, including Haruka and Maity converge at the restaurant she works. Yeah, they all bluff Kohori how they’re Risa’s family (Nobu and Nakao being her parents while Haruka and Maity as Risa’s lovers). Risa soon finds out from Haruka saying that he saw a depressed Otani sitting by the train station. Thinking Otani has failed his exams, Risa rushes out to find him. The strict lady boss for once allows her because she was once like that while Kohori gladly covers for her. She manages to find him on an overhead bridge and thinks he’s going to jump and tackles him! Of course, Otani’s confused but tells her that he passed. He was just tired then and the reason why he didn’t pick up his handphone because the battery went flat. So as the 2 comfort each other, they exchange another round of kiss. Graduation day, the All Hanshin Kyojin are late as usual as everyone else is already assembled in the hall. Because the speaker is ill, the duo had be the replacement as punishment for being late. They’re still as comical as ever on stage, living up to their tagname, arguing and making blunders. Finally Risa decides to just say it from her heart. She gives an emotionally rousing and farewell speech. She’s glad that she had met Otani and loves him, vice versa. With that and from now on, they’ll always be together.
 
Overall, I’m pleased and satisfied with the way everything worked out and ends. Risa is still the most amusing and personal favourite of mine in terms of her overall character. Of course Nobu’s punishment on Risa like a knee kick to the back still rocks. I like the way the animators draw Risa in her several moods and forms. Like when she’s gone insane and nuts she looks like a mad squirrel, or when she’s annoyed or suspicious she’ll look like an old woman, and when she’s really sad and heartbroken, she looks so pitiful. Otherwise, Risa’s quite a pretty girl herself. If you don’t mind the height. With that, I’m sure this series will appeal to bishie fans alike with handsome and pretty looking teens.
 
I like the character developments especially between Risa and Otani from start till the end. I suppose love does and can change a person in more than 1 ways. Though the other supporting characters too have their own little development, it doesn’t feel like an ‘isolated’ case or a filler, even if it doesn’t amount to anything much.
 
In addition, the voice acting is superb, especially Risa’s. Akemi Okamura who voices her did a splendid job in making her sound loud, crude and ‘crazy’. You could say I never got tired of her speeches. You may recognize her as the voice of Nami in One Piece. Likewise, Otani is voiced by Akira Nagata, a newbie and his voice too is perfectly suited for the character. I’ve never enjoyed loud funny bickerings in my life especially between a boy and a girl till this series came along. Not to say I’m a sadist or what and not that I will look forward to such squabbles. Other excellent casts include Saori Higashi as Nobu (Chuta of Chousoku Spinner), Kenjiro Tsuda as Suzuki (Otona Lambo of Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn, Inui of Prince Of Tennis), Fujiko Takimoto as Seiko, Yasuhiko Tokuyama as Nakao, Junichi Suwabe as Maity (Cain in Trinity Blood, Atobe in Prince Of Tennis, Kyosuke in NANA), Masaya Onosaka as Haruka (Momoshiro in Prince Of Tennis, Vash in Trigun) and Kae Araki as Mimi (Miaka in Fushigi Yuugi).
 
There are several nice background music (BGM) in the anime and my favourite ones are those slow piano ballads or the orchestra string types. With the variety of BGMs, each are tailored to suit perfectly the atmosphere in the series. Like Risa’s theme is quite upbeat, lively and filled with all those horn fanfares. The 1st opening theme Kimi + Boku = Love? (sounds like a math equation) by Tegomass is also upbeat and lively but the 1st ending theme Kiss – Kaerimichi No Love Song also sung by the same group, is a more slower piece. The 2nd opening is Hey! Say! by Hey! Say! 7. Yup, the group named the song after themselves. I think. They also did the 2nd ending theme Bon Bon. Both themes sound like a group song and has that buoyant feeling. I kinda notice that the animation for the 2nd opening has the characters in fashion consciousness while the 2nd ending animation looks like oil-based crayon paintings.
 
So it goes to show that love really isn’t a smooth and easy ride. Though at times I do feel pitiful for Risa for going through all those ups and downs, hot and cold moments, but I’m glad it ended well for her. Not to say that I really understood the workings of love but at least it gives me a glimpse and insight of what torrid moments a person in love might’ve gone through. Hopefully, I won’t have to undergo all that ;P. So yes indeed, love is sure a complex matter.
 
Lovely Complex

Being

March 28, 2008

  Takanaru kodou fureau ima erande,
  Susume toki no hate e…
 
Wargh! Okay, let me try to take this whole thing from the top again. Nope, I don’t think that will do either. Sigh… I guess it’s pretty hard trying to sing or even get it right, even after several attempts. I admit that I really fell in love with the song Being when I first heard it. This is the second opening theme for the anime series Shakugan No Shana and is sung by Kotoko.
 
  Potsuri kokuu no you ni tsubuyaita,
  Mata ashita ne tte kotoba,
  Moemeguri terasu taiyou no you na,
  Tsuyosa to eien ni kogareta
 
As usual, my vocal problem while singing this song is that it does have that high pitched tunes and long vocal sustaining lines. I guess most of Kotoko’s songs are like of this nature. Even so, I’m quite determined to overcome it. Yeah, I find this quite challenging and enjoyable. Surprisingly I kinda noticed that most of the time, I’m able to prevail over these tough parts. Is it that my efforts are bearing fruit? Yeah, right. The verses and bridges are okay and manageable and I think I even sound as close to the singer! (Yeah right. Dream on!).
 
  Tatta hitotsu nokoseru nara,
  Sonzai wo daita kono shunkan no egao wo,
  Tada hitotsu mamorubeki wa,
  Kimi no mirai
 
Aside from having a great voice, one must also have great lungs to sing this song. Yup, this is another problem I encountered. At the end of each chorus, you need to sustain your voice for a certain period of time. It seemed like an eternity to me trying to hold my voice but once I can’t anymore, my voice will waver when I try to do the impossible and go on. Especially the last chorus before the song ends. I’m not sure whether Kotoko really can sustain her voice that long or is it part of the recording special effects. Yeah, I always lose out here. Because so, the breathing timing has to be precise so as not to end up catching your breath in the end and at the same time ‘disrupt’ the flow of the song.
 
  Setsuna yurete kishimu kono yo wo erande,
  Zutto unmei no chi wo kakeru,
  Mebae hajimeta honoo mune ni hime,
  Ima wo asu wo kimi e
 
Though with more practice and ‘training’, I’m gradually feeling that the ‘tiresome’ feeling each time I sing the song becomes less and less, but it’s still pretty obvious that there is still more do be done. Previously, I get tired as the song gets near the end. So much so I really do sound like an unenergetic person trying to sing!
 
  Kakegae no nai kimi to no ima erande,
  Zutto yoru ni niji wo kakeru,
  Tashikameatta tsuyosa toki ni kae,
  Sora wo umi wo koeru
 
The song lacks any background vocals but I could say that would be the least of my problems. I mean, I’m trying to figure out the timing and such to sing this song right so I couldn’t really be bothered with that. Speaking of timing, I’m still having a slight problem trying to start my opening lines when the song starts. I dunno why, but I’m usually thrown off and it’s either I’m a second too late or too fast. I timed that the singing starts at the 9th second into the song. Having done so, each time when I start singing I have to look at the timer of my radio so as not to lose track of time (literally) to make my start. Yeah, it’s become a habit now.
 
  Takanaru kodou fureau ima erande,
  Kitto unmei no ri ni ikiru,
  Itsuka kie yuku honoo negai ni kae,
  Yume wo asu wo kimi e
 
Just like the title of this song, it’s about existance, which basically fits the theme of the anime itself. Something also about moving forward into the future and such. Because I’ve sang this piece who knows how many times already, it’s expected that the lyrics has already been drilled right into my head. Yosh! Let me have another round of practice. I’ll show the world (myself rather) that I can sing this song right just like Kotoko herself! AAAAAAAAA!!!!! Dang. That won’t do.
 
  Sora wo umi wo koete………
  (NOOO!!! I can never beat this part still!!!)
 
Shakugan No Shana

Seto No Hanayome

March 16, 2008

Arranged marriages. Sounds familiar? What about arranged marriages between 2 people of different backgrounds. Well, I’m sure fans of the series know what I’m talking about when I say Seto No Hanayome, right? Not only we have an arranged marriage of 2 youngsters, but of totally different species as well! Have you ever thought a man and a mermaid could go well in holy matrimony? I mean, one lives on land and the other underwater, among other things.

But I won’t have any time worrying about such things because I’ll be laughing my way from start till finish. Of all the mermaid themed animes, I could say that this series is my favourite because of its crazy ninkyou (chivalry) love comedy. Besides, at the start of each episode, the narrator will narrate some lines about innocent love and such and asks viewers to please laugh as hard as you can. With that, I can foresee lots of hilarious and crazy antics ensuing.

There are 26 episodes in total for this series. How I wished it could last longer than that. Oh well, can’t complain. In episode 1, we see a young lad, Nagasumi Michishio, drowning while swimming in the sea during his summer vacation. Just like in space, nobody underwater can hear you scream. Maybe Nagasumi’s hallucinating since he’s near death as he sees a mermaid extending her hands to save him. Nagasumi soon passes out and when he open his eyes, he finds himself on a rock and his dad next to him. Nagasumi tries to explain what has just happened but his dad brushes it off. Back at his grandma’s place, Nagasumi once again relates his ordeal when his grandma tells him that it’s an unfortunate sign if he was rescued by one. Before anything could happen, a cute girl, San Seto, comes by the house and instantly asks Nagasumi’s parents, their permission to let her be his wife. Shock! But that’s the start of it. Soon several yakuza men appear wanting to talk to them. Of course their parents are really freaking out and I kinda notice Nagasumi’s mom always scorns her son "Who do you take after". Well obviously it’s gotta be 1 of the parents, right? Or both.

Well, if you’re standing over a cliff, first impression is that these yakuza guys are gonna drown you. Better say your prayers. But as they dive in, they soon find themselves in a room filled with even more yakuza men. With Nagasumi passing out, 1 of the yakuza men, Masa, gives him CPR to revive him! It was pretty funny the way they show Masa giving Nagasumi CPR, like as though he’s kissing him! And thus, Nagasumi’s first kiss is stolen by a tanned afro guy with a low sexy voice. So over the series, whenever Masa makes his appearance in front of Nagasumi, Nagasumi’s face will change to be all lovey-dovey as he says "Masa-san" in a lovey-dovey tone. Pretty hilarious. Anyway, the leader of the yakuza, the scarface scary looking Gozaburou, who is also San’s father, mentions that a mermaid’s existence cannot be known to human. And if ever there are such cases, the only way is death! Though San wishes to take responsibility as she was the one who saved him, Gozaburou totally disagrees. But his wife, Ren, says that there is another way to save the entire Michishio family from death, and that is for Nagasumi and San to get married.

Gozaburou isn’t too pleased upon hearing these because I think this guy wants to keep his daughter all to himself and instruct his men to kill Nagasumi and family. A lot of loud panic, havoc and chase ensue. San pulls Nagasumi back to the surface but since she’s in mermaid form, she can’t run. Why doesn’t she transform back to her human form then? Well, later on in the series, you’ll find out that young mermaids have an inability to keep their human form when they are being wet. Their flippers will only become legs once they are dried. As they become adults, this occurrence will become less. So while the duo are having some time on their own on the rocky cliffs, Nagasumi finds out the reason why San doesn’t want to run away even though she knew of the consequences because of her ninkyou (chivalry) pride which is the core of being a ningyou (mermaid). Yeah, a play of words here. You’ll hear this from San everytime some chivalry thing comes up and the scene will be filled with Sakura petals floating and the music becomes a little dramatic. Soon Gozaburou finds them and is gonna kill Nagasumi but the latter gets on his knees asking for permission to let his daughter marry him. Well, surprised at first, I suppose Gozaburou still find it hard to accept that a human is gonna marry his daughter and goes back to his killing frenzy mode, but only to be held back by his men. It’s a good thing San didn’t take after her father’s character.

 
So is being married to a yakuza’s daughter a fate worse than death? That depends on how your view it. Though Nagasumi is just an average guy, over the series, you’ll see how the relationship of these 2 develop. Of course not to mention with all the other characters thrown into the fray, which makes it so much more interesting and funny. Just to note, I think it’s best for the characters to call San, San-chan because San-san sounds awfully weird.
 
But not all the people in the Seto yakuza clan are violent, such as Masa and Ren. So in episode 2, Ren, the ever gentle wife of the yakuza (the only time she lets loose her other side is when her husband is doing stupid things, to keep him in control. I guess you could say behind every successful and failed man is a woman) tells Nagasumi’s parents and grandma to take care of her cutie San. Since Nagasumi is still thinking about that incident, his grandma comes in and tell him why not take San out for a date. Wah. A date already in the second episode? Why not. They’re engaged after all. At the night of the festival, Nagasumi and San had their first date. Seems perfect, until Nagasumi realizes that all the stalls are run by the Seto yakuza clan! OMG! It’s like they’re watching his every move and if Nagasumi makes a wrong move, they’re ready to move in and make a fresh kill. Better be wary. Yeah, Gozaburou’s there too. And watching.
 
I’m sure Nagasumi is torn between his love and life when San suggests how they should hold hands as they’re a couple. Then during a goldfish catching event, a shark splashes water on San, turning her into her true form. I wonder why a shark is in there. Well, he’s not just a shark, he is Shark Fujishiro and is 1 of Gozaburou’s men. Yeah, this guy worries about nothing and wonders only if the things he could eat are good. Because San is in mermaid form, it would be bad if people sees her. So Nagasumi takes San to a secluded area and starts wiping her feet. Of course, Gozaburou, Masa and Ren are walking by and saw this. Misconception arises. What in the world are you molesting my daughter?! That’s it! Your head is gonna roll! Luckily, Masa realize that Nagasumi was just trying to wipe her feet dry and constrains his boss. San is annoyed by the fact that her dad tried to intervene and leaves. Then another water-threatening-to-fall-on-San incident. Nagasumi manages to spot it in time and pushes San away. Thing is, his hands touched her breasts. In her embarrassment, San lets loose a blood curling scream. This made Nagasumi a little deaf. San apologizes and explains that a mermaid’s voice can be used as a weapon too. Later as Masa teaches Nagasumi how to dance, San’s a little panic because since Masa was the 1st person to steal Nagasumi’s kiss, she thinks he’s all over him. Also, San panics when she loses her engagement ring but Ren returns it to her saying that it was Gozaburou who found it and how similar this is when they wre young too, making Gozaburou blush. But that guy throws that ring away as not to be further embarrassed and that ring lands directly on Masa’s fingers. San freaks out and her super voice blows Nagasumi away. Good thing is that he didn’t die but is covered with bandages from head to toe. I guess he’ll have to expect and live with the pain from now on. So was drowning a better choice then? No, I think it’s right for him to live. No doubt love hurts, literally. But you’ll see the good side of San.
 
Since Nagasumi’s summer vacation is gonna end, his family has to return tomorrow. So Nagasumi decides to spend his last summer days with San in episode 3 on a desserted island. However, unknown to them, it’s a trap set by Gozaburou to elimnate Nagasumi. Uh huh. Some visions of his girly happy times spent with San, only all to be crushed away with Nagasumi’s appearance. This time Gozaburou sends a tiny palm size assassin, Maki. Her voice is quite amusing as 1 minute she’s so goody-goody and squeaky in front of San, but so crude and rude when with Nagasumi. Yeah, I really love her voice. Reminds me of Suisei Seki of Rozen Maiden everytime she says her "Desu" lines. I’m not sure what Maki really is but she carries a spiral sea shell with her which shoots powerful force of water, enough to bring substantial damage. Maki also calls Nagasumi sea louse or sea cockroach. Of course Maki is trying to kill Nagasumi behind San’s back and that guy is having a tough time trying to stay alive and at the same time not worry San. After all that failed and near attempts, Maki’s true colour is exposed when San shields Nagasumi from Maki’s weapon when she’s about the assassinate Nagasumi behind San’s back. I’ll spare you the dramatic I’ll-die-for-San talk. San is disappointed in Maki for being a disgraced but since Maki is loyal to San, she has no choice but to repent her actions. Next day, Nagasumi prepares to leave by train and tells San that he’ll come and visit her whenever he can. But to his surprise, San decides to tag along and says it’s her duty as his wife. I’m sure Gozaburou can’t allow that as he’s clinging on to the window next to Nagasumi’s seat. Just close the window and hope he falls off and die. Hehe. Just when Nagasumi thought his troubled days are over, he opens the bag to find that Maki too has tagged along. Oh great. While San is happy that Maki is on board, Nagasumi thinks otherwise. Looks like he can’t keep his guard down ever.
 
Home sweet home in episode 4. Not. Though Nagasumi has finally come back to his home, he has to give up his own room to San and he himself sleeps in the attic. Even though they’re engaged, it’s not like they could sleep together, right? Just for precaution, though Nagasumi isn’t that perverted. Nagasumi is soaking himself in the bath and doing some deep thinking when San and Maki comes in. In San’s panic, she lets loose her mermaid scream, destroying part of the house. San apologizes and gives them some gold coins as compensation. You see, the Seto clan is quite rich so Nagasumi money face parents wouldn’t mind if she keeps destroying the house over and over. And you’ll see this quite often. Destroy repair destroy repair. Later Nagasumi and San take a stroll downtown and San is fascinated with things in his town like convenient stores. Then the duo spot 2 gangsters harassing a pair of ugly girls. Those gangsters have no taste at all. Before anything could happen, Nagasumi’s classmate, Mawari Zenigata, who is also the school’s enforcer and favourite line "Do you need Mawari to teach you the rules of society?!", comes up to take those bullies up to task. But they decide to take their fight with Nagasumi. He panics and grabs both guys as they jump down the bridge into a river. San’s such an innocent girl. Everytime she hears some chivalry thing or feels she can’t do something, she gets a little depressed and thinks she’s not being a good wife. As the bullies are getting mad, Mawari jumps down to beat them up and save Nagasumi. However, Mawari can’t swim and starts panicking. While the bullies use this chance to attack, San is underwater in her mermaid form and unleashes her supersonic voice to disable them. Back on land, Nagasumi dries San’s feet away from Mawari. Later Mawari comes by and praises San’s brave efforts and thinks they could become friends. Just then it occurred to San that Mawari is the daughter of a policeman and she aspires to be one. Uh huh. It couldn’t get worse than this. Daughters of the law and yakuza friends? Haha, San is a little panic and even starts calling Mawari, Omawari (meaning police in Japanese). But that end scene may suggest that Mawari may have a liking for Nagasumi since she’s wondering what’s his relation with San.
 
Not only Nagasumi has to be wary of assassination attempts, he has to keep his engagement to San as well as the mermaid’s identity a secret. That’s gonna be real tough. In episode 5, Nagasumi is rudely awakened by Maki who drops a knife, narrowly missing his head. Other than that, it’s back to school and we’re introduced to Nagasumi’s classmate and pal Saru, who just like his name suggests, looks and acts like a monkey. That annoying guy instantly fell in love with San when he first laid eyes on her but Nagasumi gives him a good whack. At school, another character whom we’ll only know as Inchou (her real name will never be known throughout the series. Probably they did it on purpose to ignore her) because she’s the class rep. However, it’s gonna get worse from now on. If transfer student San gets to be in the same class with Nagasumi, then their homeroom teacher would be… OMG! Isn’t that Gozaburou! What’s he doing here? Didn’t he die falling of the train? You can’t kill a tough cookie just like that. I’m sure we all know what he’s thinking. Besides, something about the school having ties with Seto clan too. To cut things short, San’s entire family is at this school! Ren is the school’s nurse, Masa as their maths teacher, Shark as the P.E. teacher and even that Octopus Nakajima as the home economics teacher (I wonder why nobody notices a large octopus in school). Just great. It’s gonna be a family affair alright. I guess the father wants to be close to his daughter and not lose her. The next day, perverted Saru drags Nagasumi to watch some girls changing. Nagasumi tries not to get involve but Shark caught him. As for Saru, he’s already no where to be seen. So Shark decides to eat Nagasumi and another hilarious round of chase. At a dead end, Nagasumi has no choice but to run through a room filled with girls changing to avoid being devoured by Shark. Mawari later captures and interrogates him. Nagasumi has to remain tight-lipped on Shark’s identity and is in a pinch (as always) when San comes in. She’s not mad but rather sad in her failure as his wife to convince Mawari that Nagasumi had no ill intentions. Nagasumi is happy that San stood up for him and starts believing in her as they walk home together hand in hand. Enjoy the moment while it lasts. Soon Gozaburou’s back to his usual ways causing more trouble for poor Nagasumi.
 
In episode 6, though San is getting along well with the other girls, Mawari wonders the relationship between San and Nagasumi. There’re some flashbacks about childhood friends Nagasumi and Mawari, but I’m not going into it. At class, Mawari finds out that San is the daughter of Gozaburou and Ren but they live in a different house. Which means, San lives with Nagasumi. For whatever reasons, it was enough to make the boys jealous as they pound Nagasumi. Losers. It is during that commotion, a flower vase accidentally splashed on San’s legs. Nagasumi’s reflex action is to dry her legs, increasing the jealousy rage of the guys as they continue to hound him. However, Mawari did spot San’s legs transformed into a mermaid. With that, Mawari decides to conduct water splashing experiments to see whether San’s a mermaid. It’s pretty funny to see Nagasumi blocking all the water with his Nagsumi Barrier (his body). Mawari still suspects something fishy but Nagasumi isn’t doing this to protect San’s identity, but Mawari as well from the mermaid’s wrath. Later Mawari confronts the duo at the park and Saru is with them. She tells them that she thinks San is a fish and pulls a cat out of the bag. Since cat loves fish, soon a mob of them starts attacking San. Do mermaids and fish taste the same? Maki is there and tells San to unleash her supersonic voice but San can’t because Mawari and Saru are watching. Nagasumi comes up to Mawari and tells her to stop but Mawari acts all spoiled and runs away. See, when you cross the road, you should look right, left and then right. A speeding car is heading towards her. Nagasumi pushes Mawari out from harm’s way while San unleashes her supersonic voice to stop the car. I wonder if the car driver knew what hit him. Mawari wakes up in the hospital with the rest around her. Saru tries to convince how San uses her voice to save her but Mawari doesn’t believe. During the quarrel, they knock over another flower vase, splashing on San’s legs once again. Nagasumi Barrier too slow this time. But Mawari just covers her legs with a towel before anything else happened (did Mawari herself saw it?) as she thanks San for saving her before dragging a pestering Saru out of the room.
 
A super popular idol Lunar AKA Runa decides to move in to where San is staying after learning San had moved into the vincinity in episode 7. In short, Runa is your typical jealous rival to San in every way and though she may look cute and moe upfront, she has a devilish side. When she goes into this mode, you’ll notice a change in her personal, voice and her face will go ‘insane’. Plus, Nagasumi’s a fan of hers without realizing that Runa herself is from a mermaid clan called Edomae. Yup, a rival yakuza group of the Setos. Runa’s revenge must be real deep as she cancels all her concert just to exact her vendetta on San. And it all started because San beat her in some singing contest while they’re kids. Uh huh, those yakuzas somehow love San’s dull kiddy song (probably it sounds cute) as opposed to a more talented Runa’s one. Who wouldn’t get mad. Vengeance runs deep. More woes for Nagasumi when he accidentally spots Runa in her mermaid form on the streets and she’s indeed that pop idol. Runa of course freaks out and calls her 2 hip hop bodyguards to take him away. Another death awaiting Nagasumi since he found out another mermaid’s identity? Luckily San arrives in time to rescue him. Though San still considers Runa to be her childhood friend, Runa doesn’t. So some talk here and there and Runa is still jealous that San has everything and is always on top (inferior complex). Thus Runa plans to steal Nagasumi for herself and end San’s happiness. Like how Nagasumi finds Runa sleeping next to him the next morning. But San isn’t jealous because she thinks his first kiss is stolen by Masa. To make things worse, Runa is transferred to the same class as Nagasumi’s as Gozaburou mentions how Runa is San’s relative. Saru and the other guys are jealous that Nagasumi has 2 lovely ladies. Soon those loser boys treat Runa like a queen as Runa thinks she has beaten San. In addition, Nagasumi’s class is split into 2 factions. San supporters and Runa lovers. Wow! It’s like a clash between the sun and the moon.
 
That conflict turned into an all-out war in episode 8. Uh huh. The whole school is decimated and it’s like Mad Max era! While both sides are at each other, they still hunt down Nagasumi whom they put the blame on. Saru has become some sage and says only Nagasumi can end all this. Well, there’s a 3rd faction. They’re the girls of Nagasumi’s class led by Mawari. Yeah, dumb loser boys. Back at home, the Seto family are converging and wonders if they should go all out with Edomae clan since Maki is seriously injured. Previously Maki confronted Runa and they didn’t like each other. Though we didn’t see what happened, things suggests that Maki was brutally attacked by Runa. Even San wants revenge but Nagasumi says violence isn’t the way. So he goes to find Runa and suggests a singing competition to end all this. Runa agrees and says if she wins, Nagasumi will become her slave. A concert is soon held and is packed with fans alike. Runa struts her stuff and at the same time keeping San away from the stage. But San eventually manage to do her part. Both factions are losing themselves because of the mermaid voices so much so they’ve become… well, we could only see ‘censored’ signs on them. Must be real bad. Poor Mawari and co. They’ve been kept out of the concert. Um… Maybe it’s best to stay away after seeing those ‘censored’ signs. Because Runa is mad to see her fans like that, her singing causes the war to resume once again. San and Nagasumi join forces to save the day as San sings to power up Nagasumi. Woah! Nagasumi looks like Bruce Lee and is so ripped! The action here is depicted in stick people! Nagasumi beats the crap out of both sides. When it’s all over, Runa is crying over her loss when San wants her to apologize for attacking Maki. But Runa says she didn’t do anything to her. Ren and Maki then appear to tell the whole truth. It seems Maki wanted to attack Runa then but missed. So 1 of Runa’s hip hop bodyguard accidentally smashes Maki into the wall. Maki was too embarrassed to tell anyone her ‘loss’, thus contributing to the misunderstanding. In the end, Nagasumi is glad that both girls are back on good terms (not really) but to his horror, Runa seems to be staying at his place as she has breakfast with his family. Ah, another 1 to add to his misery. Yeah, Runa considers Nagasumi to be her slave (though I feel she’ll gradually start liking him but won’t admit) and at times she’ll give him that groin stepping punishment. Ouch!
 
Another weirdo appears in episode 9. It’s the rich wealthy kid, Kai Mikawa, another mermaid clan with influences and stronghold in many sectors. Actually, he’s not a mermaid as his true form is a killer whale. Anyway he resurfaces his giant submarine from the school gym (is that even possible?) to declare his undying love and marriage proposal to San. Another loser who thinks money can solve and buy everything. This guys throws money away like as though he’s printing them. Kai went ranting on his flashback how he met San and fell in love with her. I’ll skip this part aside from the fact that this guy has agoraphobia (fear of wide open spaces). That’s a total opposite of claustrophobia. So to keep his sanity, he wears a spacesuit! What the? He feels much comfortable in it. With Kai’s appearance, Saru instantly becomes his underling, calling him master. Since Kai finds out that Nagasumi is engaged to San, he suggests a duel during the sports festival for San before leaving in his submarine. However the next day, Kai has become a transfer student in Nagasumi’s class. It just gets weirder and weirder. I wonder why he doesn’t wear the school uniform like the others. Probably he looks cool in that white general suit. The sports festival soon begins and Kai notices that even though some events he won, the girls still hang around Nagasumi. As for the events he lost, it was basically his own arrogance and stupidity. The final race is the deciding one but it soon starts raining. Oh oh. You know what this means to the mermaids. I’m not sure of this part because Kai’s submarine bursts through the ground with Saru on top and starts firing missiles at Nagasumi. San uses her voice to make everyone and the missiles sleep. Is a mermaid’s voice that powerful? It sounds so much like a kiddy’s yodel. Well, I suppose everything goes back normal the next day.
 
In episode 10, Nagasumi wakes up to find a muscular man in a dark body suit asking him his relationship with Runa. Hmm… This guy looks like he’s taken after Arnold Schwazenegger’s Terminator and even has lines from him. First reaction for Nagasumi is to freak out. At school, Nagasumi tries to relate this incident but nobody believes him. That guy is even stalking Nagasumi at school and has a shotgun in hand. Is everyone so blur or is it just Nagasumi’s imagination? Not. He’s the real thing because that guy meets Shark and the latter seems to know him. I’m not sure what happened to that duel or Shark. Soon that guy chases Nagasumi through the school hallway and this time Kai too sees him. The duo are running for their lives. I don’t think hiding in a toilet cubicle would help either. Kai panics and even calls NASA to shoot a beam from space at him. Didn’t work. So Kai charges at him with his sword but that guy easily breaks it with his fingers and knocks Kai out. Now he turns to Nagasumi. San appears in time to save him but it seems that guy quickly covers San’s mouth before she could unleash her supersonic wave. Gozaburou appears and the 2 men fought each other. The duo are causing a big mess. I mean, after that San-Runa war devastation, now this one? In the end, the fight ends in a draw. Ren and Runa show up and it’s revealed that that guy is Runa’s dad, the head of the Edomae clan. Since his name isn’t revealed, let’s just call him Papa. He’s a man of few words so he doesn’t say much but Ren says Papa is here because he wants to see his daughter. However, Runa doesn’t like it and I don’t think it’s the lovey-dovey kind of relationship. This is the weird part, he leaves through the school incinerator while saying "I’ll be back" and giving a thumbs up. Going down to hell? San apologizes to Nagasumi that she ‘forgot’ who Papa was. That’s why she couldn’t tell him who he was when she first saw him.
 
Sun and Runa decides to go on a diet in episode 11 (teenage girl hormones to keep slim kicking in) and we find out the Seto clan owns and does a large chain of tv shopping products. I like the funny part whereby Nagasumi and his dad spots a mermaid porn video and decides to satisfy their curiosity. Hahaha! I didn’t expect it to be fish porn! So nothing much to see here. Also, Gozaburou buys lots of stuffs to help San out like some bath stream exercise device. Nagasumi wonders how Gozaburou would look like in mermaid form and decides to peek only to have San misinterpret that Nagasumi may like men! Why not? His 1st kiss is stolen by Masa. Then there’s a ‘mer-water’ drink which Nagasumi accidentally drank. Though it has no effect of mermaids, but it has a devastating one on humans. Soon Nagasumi grows into a giant, destroying his house and is like a barbarian! Now he can’t risked being seen by everyone but Inchou seems to notice it from her window and thinks her glasses are faulty. Haha. Octopus tries to stop Nagasumi but fails. Nagasumi’s causing a rampage and nearly hits his own parents. Shark and Masa manages to save them in time. At this point, you’ll notice Nagasumi’s mom falling for Masa too :). Kai says how he’ll stop him as he launches some space rocket sending Nagasumi to the moon. But still, he’s unstoppable. San is saddened that she can’t do anything but Gozaburou is happy thinking that he’s got rid of the kid so San will have to come home. But Ren hits him away and gives San some special trident spear. San throws it with all her feelings (on the 2nd attempt since the 1st one she accidentally broke it) and with that, Nagasumi is sent back to Earth in his normal size. That part seems far fetched. But this part seems like deja vu because Nagasumi is unconscious so Gozaburou orders another CPR from Masa! OMG! A second kiss! It’s enough to wake him up. Nagasumi sees San and remembers everything as he thanks her. But he still wish he was back on the moon since his return isn’t ‘welcomed’ by some people. You know who lah.
 
In episode 12, San went out shopping with Nagasumi’s mom, leaving Nagasumi alone with Runa. But Nagasumi gets a shock of his life when Runa shyly invites him to her room. What is this guy thinking? Because of Runa’s egoistic pride, I’m sure it’s not what he thinks. Runa wants Nagasumi to help her with her studies and this is the best chance since San isn’t around. Kiasu. Uh huh. Her grades are so bad that Masa thinks she’s collecting zeros. Don’t blame your idol work on it. Of course Runa abuses her slave physically and verbally (this guy can grow up to tolerate all kinds of household pain). A quarrel ensues as Runa realizes how Nagasumi cares for San a lot. Then they got into a compromising situation. Unfortunately, they realize Maki was watching the whole thing like a show as she tells them not to mind her and carry on. She’s even taking down notes! The duo pushed each other away in embarrassment but some water spills on Runa’s legs. Runa orders her slave to clean it. Just then, all in good timing (bad timing rather) Papa comes in to see Nagasumi in a positing of wiping Runa’s butt. Haha. Classic one. Looks like porn. This causes a very huge misunderstanding. At the same time, everyone else gathers outside the house and thinks Nagasumi is cheating on San. I guess there’s a first time for such crisis in every marriage. It didn’t help since Runa lied about Nagasumi flirting with her. Papa asks if Runa likes Nagasumi, in which she answers yes, sending shockwaves. With that, Papa tells Nagasumi to take the responsibility and be Runa’s husband! Nagasumi is whisked away in Papa’s helicopter as San tries to go after him but is held back by Gozaburou. That guy is obviously happy that with Nagasumi married to Runa, San will have to come home. But San isn’t jealous nor mad. She’s regretting the fact that as his wife, she wasn’t there for Nagasumi to stop his flirting ways, provide him with more love and attention. If only there are many girls like San in this world.
 
Nagasumi is locked in Edomae’s cave in episode 13. Though Runa still brags to a depressed San, but she doesn’t feel that happy because she notices Nagasumi still has eyes for San. So Runa went to see Nagasumi and a little flashback of how when Runa’s mom passed away, her dad always ignored Runa, leaving her alone. The only friend she got back then was San. But San topped in everything and had everything Runa didn’t. So Runa orders Nagasumi to love her. I don’t think this will work either. Everyone’s at the wedding ceremony, the procession begins but Nagasumi tells Papa that he can’t accept this wedding. Runa is in tears when she tells Papa how Nagasumi rejected her orders to love her, pissing Papa off. Some talk here and there and Runa’s lie that Nagasumi was flirting with her is revealed as she tells the truth. Just then, San crashes in and makes her way by slashing (but not killing) the guards. San confess how she loves Nagasumi and wants to offer herself to be his wife again. She’s also severing ties with her Seto clan, sending shockwaves to Gozaburou. Nagasumi tells San that since they’ve met, he is her husband. But the Seto and Edomae sides are gonna clash, Runa and San teams up to sing. Their singing must have some hypnotic effect as everybody in the room danced till they drop dead tired. I think this should be a good way to end all wars. When Runa comes to, she finds Papa by her side asking her if she wants to redo the wedding. Runa replies that she’s fine with the way it is now. I guess it’s better to have him as her slave even though deep down in her heart she likes him. As for San, since it ended well, I think she took back her word in severing her family ties.
 
Nagasumi picks up a stray cat in episode 14 when it’s seen ‘attacking’ Maki. Well, I suppose to a little fry, a cat’s lick would amount to be tasting her. Even San and Runa are really afraid of it. Nagasumi has an idea as he brings the cat to school for some sadistic laughter against Gozaburou. But to his surprise, Masa isn’t afraid and tells him that when someone grows up, that childhood fear would go away. This puts a damper on Nagasumi’s plans. But to his delight, he finds that Gozaburou is still afraid of cats because of an incident which scarred him when he was young. That plan is back in action. Gozaburou and Maki plots to get rid of the cat and thinks Nagasumi is on to them by summoning 3 fishes, which’re supposed to be Gozaburou’s bodyguards. Funny thing is, they enrolled as students in the school and nobody notices their fish-like heads! Blur cases. Of course those 3 fishes aren’t as smart as they look and even attacked the wrong person when Nagasumi tells them that Kai is Nagasumi. When they finally got it right, the cat jumps out and chases Gozaburou and the trio. They’re running for their lives. Note the different view from their perception and reality. It’s like a devil monster hunting them down. The panic gets out of hand when Kai contacts the military and Gozaburou the fire department. Though the calvary arrives, luckily Ren is there to calm and explain things down. Stupid husband. But during that panic, Maki tripped and was left behind, but the cat carried her out to safety. This made Maki having mixed feelings. Later as Nagasumi walks home with Runa, Gozaburou and the 3 fishes come up with another plan. Yeah, 1 of the fishes badly disguises himself as a school girl. Everyone can see through that disguise lah. Nagasumi decides to play along when that fish bravely takes the cat and tosses it over the bridge. While the scaredy-cat quartet rejoices, Nagasumi notices the cat can’t swim and decides to jump in. The cat has an unlikely saviour in the form of Maki as she races through the water to save it as repayment of its earlier deed. After that, the cat seems quite attached to Maki, freaking her out as everyone else still fears it. Some fears are really hard to get rid of.
 
Episode 15 is Inchou’s episode and we see that she really has a secret crush on Nagasumi as she dreams of him as prince charming on a white stead. Hmm… I think I can classify this series as a harem anime too. At school, Kai tries to persuade San to go on a date with him but is futile. Saru then suggests a double date. Perhaps we should call it a triple date because Mawari and Runa along with Saru gets dragged into it. At the park, they drew lots to see who dates who. Nagasumi gets San (Yay!), Kai with Mawari while Runa and Saru. During the boat ride, Runa is still in panic that she’s being paired with a monkey and orders Nagasumi to buy her a juice. I guess he’s used to being her slave and rushes off to get 1. He bumps into Inchou on the way and breaks her specs. Woah! Inchou looks pretty without her glasses! She’s so cute! I wonder why she never does this in class. Because so, Nagasumi doesn’t recognize her and since Inchou is blind as a bat without her glasses, they think they’re strangers. Feeling sorry, Nagasumi decides to ask Runa for some money to replace the glasses. Runa gives him her credit card with a condition before San takes Runa away to spend some time with her. So Nagasumi and Inchou unknowingly head together to the nearest specs shop and Inchou thinks his voice sounds like the guy she loves. It’s closer than she thinks. She went about telling her personal feelings bla bla bla while he’s unaware she’s talking about him, gives her some advice. I can’t help but smirk all the way. Meanwhile Kai and Mawari are alone on a boat and they panicked because they’ve never been this closed before. I’m not sure about that Seto family playing baseball at the park during Nagasumi and Inchou’s journey, except it was a failed plot by Gozaburou to assassinate Nagasumi. The duo finally arrived at the store and Inchou got her replacements. The shop owners are bloody surprised at that super credit card and since it’s authentic, they even got a limo cab for the kids to go home! Riding in the limo, Nagasumi tells Inchou to put on her new glasses in which she did. Inchou panics instantly upon seeing Nagasumi and realized everything as she rushes out. Nagasumi chases her and catches up to her. That blur guy still didn’t manage to recognize her because Inchou did an awful voice tone change. Just before Nagasumi could ask her name, San and family passes by so Inchou took the opportunity to flee and tells him she’ll do so the next time they meet. Next day at school, Nagasumi approaches Inchou. Does that guy realize who Inchou is? Nope. He just tells her Gozaburou is calling her. We’ll never know her name.
 
Yet another new character in episode 16. This time another transfer student in Nagasumi’s class, the serious and busty Akeno Shiranui who wields a sword (is that allowed in school?). To cut things short, she’s a mermaid examiner and can be seen writing notes in her little book. Her job is to ensure that mermaid’s existence doesn’t get expose and to see those who live in the human deem fit to continue living there. Or else it’s back to the sea bed. Because so, Akeno is very knowledgeable about the gang and knows lots of details about them, making them surprise at first. When San realizes that Akeno is a mermaid and her job, she trembles in fear each time she sees her. San looks cute whenever she’s afraid and nervous of seeing Akeno, who’s watching her every move. Kai’s noisy behaviour makes Akeno to fail him. San wants to continue with the examination when as usual, a flower vase water splashes on her feet. Nagasumi Barrier not quick enough. Akeno is swifter as she disables the whole damn class before they can see anything. The hand is faster than the eye. This leads to the fish trio and Kai to challenge her in the hallway but are easily defeated (Kai got his eyes poked!). Then Gozaburou appears but he listened to Akeno’s words to keep the other students at bay. Hehe. No backbone. Next is San (after her legs are dried) and is a sword duel in the hallway. I’m not sure if the other students understand what’s happening but they’re enjoying it. In the end, Akeno tells San that she has failed because she almost revealed her mermaid identity and has 1 week to return but will delay her decision of reporting to her superiors because she can’t land a hit on San. She won’t report it until she gets to do so. San is relief as Akeno walks away. I think Akeno gains a few fans of her own as she gains respect from the students in the school.
 
Akeno beats a bunch of delinquent lord bandits in episode 17 so much so word goes around that she has become the leader of the bandits. Since those loser bandits are beaten, they consider her like a master and keep following her even to school. Saru also ditches his loyalty to Kai and pledges it to Akeno. But that girl don’t give a damn about that monkey. However, this made justice and righteous (yeah right) Mawari think that Akeno is a delinquent too and decides to go all out against her to protect her school and society. I guess Saru even took advantage of the situation by selling merchandise of Akeno. Why not. Akeno’s got a pretty sexy figure if you don’t mind her attitude. Of course those jealous girls led by Mawari are against it, confiscates them all. I’m not sure what Gozaburou, Masa and Shark are plotting against Akeno as they see her as some threat. However, Ren’s there to stop whatever her baka husband is trying to do. After San tells Mawari she shouldn’t judge a person she just met, Mawari realizes she has treated Akeno harshly. Later, those bandits decide to defect and go against Akeno by teaming up with the other school girls under Mawari and soon round 2 starts. I guess those girls won’t even listen to Mawari now. No choice, Mawari unleashes a flurry of cats (what the?) to stop everyone as it starts licking here and there, ahem ahem, those unmentionable parts. Well, it seemed that way. Ren steps in to quell everything and tell off those girls. Soon everything went back to normal and Akeno and Mawari are now on good terms. As for Saru, he goes back to be Kai’s underling. Now that’s fast. Of course, I suppose you can’t be boss if you don’t have 1 because Kai accepts Saru back. As for Gozaburou, Masa and Shark, I donno what plot they’re plotting but Ren found out about it just in time and punishes them by crucifying them. Lord have mercy on their soul.
 
A sudden school trip to Kyoto in episode 18. This is bad news for those mermaids because it means getting into a hotspring. While the Seto gang are enjoying themselves, Nagasumi spots Akeno alone and went to chat with her as Akeno admits how she’s having it tough making friends. Maki sees them and uses this chance to ambush Akeno by firing her water shell gun. Though Nagasumi blocks most of the shots, there are some which sprinkled on to Akeno. To Nagasumi’s surprise, Akeno didn’t change into a mermaid. But soon Akeno lean towards Nagasumi and says how she’s trying hard to hold it back actually. Maki withdraws when Mawari and Inchou arrives. Akeno thinks this is part of Nagasumi’s plot and that he has betrayed her trust. Later San apologizes to Akeno after finding out what happened and tells her that Nagasumi has nothing to do with it. Now this is the ambiguous part. Later Akeno and San decides to go to the hot bath together alone. Thinking what I’m thinking? Mawari and Nagasumi are passing by and heard ambiguous misleading statements from the 2. "Let’s do it when we’re adults", "I don’t care whether you’re an adult, you need practice!", "We can do it when no one is around", "Let me teach your body…", "I’ll be gentle with you", "I’ll slowly wet you", "You must resist it". Holy crap! And to see not so clear figures of 1 on top the other, those 2 must be really blushing and panicking! Mawari decides to enter to stop them but Nagasumi worries that this will reveal their identity and tells Mawari to only have eyes for him! Those words paralyzed Mawari and another misunderstanding arises. Yup, it’s like a confession. Blush blush. Just then they heard ambiguous sounds from San and Akeno and Mawari rushes in to see them… well let’s just say this part is more for fanservice. Good thing is that they’re not in mermaid form. Nagasumi pulls Mawari out just in time before the duo turned into their true forms. It’s revealed that the duo are actually training to try and resist changing into their mermaid form. Pretty hard, huh (you horny guys, I don’t mean your part down there!)? That night, Nagasumi and Akeno had a little chat as the latter wants Nagasumi to break up with San seeing that coexistence between humans and mermaids are futile. But he says he’s not giving up so easily especially on San. Nagasumi apologizes for this morning event in which Akeno brushes it off as a misunderstanding. Meanwhile, Mawari has a hard time sleeping and a little panicky because of that ‘confession’. But this is the last time you’ll see any love-chemistry (even if it’s a fake one) between Mawari and Nagasumi. Dunno what happen after that.
 
It’s revealed that Akeno is working under some guy called Knight and reporting to him in episode 19 and their real goal is to break up San and Nagasumi. Runa wasn’t in the previous episode since she’s away busy shooting a film. And it is in this spot where her movie shoot is. What would this series be without that crazy loudmouth dual personality girl. However, the movie set is destroyed. Don’t despair, Papa comes flying in a helicopter and dropping breifcases of money to fund its repair! Wow. Money do fall out from the sky, literally. Furthermore, with the lack of actors, a suggestion that all the students participate in the shoot as well. Meanwhile, Akeno schemes with the fish trio and Kai to let Nagasumi drink some juice bottle which Knight gave to her earlier on. Why are they teaming up. Well, if they suceed, Akeno will unfail them. Some blunders made them all drink the juice but Nagasumi had an experience before and avoids it. This drink will release the strongest desire of those who drink in them. Uh huh. Prepare for some extreme rowdiness! Akeno starts chasing Nagasumi frantically, Runa wants to punish her slave. Nagasumi is cornered by the girls when San appears to protect Nagasumi (she also drank the juice). It’s another round between San and Akeno but before they could finish, Knight appears and knock some senses into her. The place is still as messy as before. Later Akeno reports to Knight that San’s inner desire was to protect Nagasumi and though their plan was a failure, Knight tells her to continue watching them.
 
Papa wonders why Runa is always depressed and whatever he does doesn’t seem to please her in episode 20 so much so he went to ask Nagasumi for advice. I guess it’s a man to man talk. Obviously money isn’t everything and 1 solution is to spend quality time with her. So Papa did some research on how a girl thinks and discovers galge over the internet’s search engine. Next day as Nagasumi and co are walking to school, to their horror (and Runa’s embarrassment!), Papa is seen dressed in a school sailor girl outfit! It looks horrible! Not even to mention he tries to make that girly voice! Does he have no shame? Anyway, Gozaburou finds out about Papa’s intention and also wishes to do the same for San. So back home, he along with Masa and Shark played a galge. It doesn’t suit a yakuza boss. Don’t ever let anyone else catch them playing this. Next morning, Nagasumi wakes to his horror to find Masa in a girl’s dress and calling him onii-chan. No more that "Ah… Masa-san…" line. Downright horrible and disgusting. Gozaburou too had the same idea to dress as a girl with cat ears as he and Papa wildly chase a totally embarrassing San and Runa as they try to get away from their stupid shameless fathers. Both dads cornered their girls at the school rooftop when Ren comes in to give them their punishment. After telling off these 2, they apologize and Gozaburou puts his cat ears on San. Now San definitely looks cute and moe in that. Back at home, San secretly admires herself in a maid outfit with cat ears. Super cute! By the way, from now on, I kinda notice Papa will be dressed in that girly outfit of his. Does he think he looks cool in that? Not. Did he not learn that its this dressing which is making Runa drifting further away?
 
Nagasumi is excited because he got a love letter in episode 21. Unknown to everyone, it’s from Inchou. However, Maki reads the letter aloud and causes everybody comes to know of Nagasumi’s secret. Thus the gang decides to hide behind the bush and spy to see if Nagasumi would really show up at the meeting place. Somebody appears. Wait. It’s Papa in that girly outfit! Oh the embarrassment. Then Nagasumi appears but is beaten up by Gozaburou and Papa thinking that he’s cheating on San. So Nagasumi is in a dilemma what to do and had a chat with Ren in the infirmary. Ren gives Nagasumi a potion which will make all the girls fall for him at first sight. I suppose this guy is desperate, knowing his previous experience with one. The effect must be damn good because Ren is all over Nagasumi! Don’t want to mess with a yakuza’s boss wife, as Nagasumi runs out. But there’s a downside of the potion. If every girl loves him, then every men will hate him. Another chase ensue throughout the school as the men wants to kill him will the girls want to love him. Yeah, all the girls sees a different and ideal version of Nagasumi. Nagasumi comes back home to even find his mom falling for him (what the? Vision of Nagasumi as Masa?!). Next day, the potion effects wear off and Nagasumi receives yet another love letter. Change scene to that meeting place and we see Inchou waiting there and in her beautiful form. Yeah, she’s a real beauty. Inchou sense somebody coming and quickly confesses. However, that person is San. Oh no. Everybody (and those spying) gets the wrong idea that Inchou may be into that kind of yuri relationship. An embarrassed San apologizes but Inchou runs away. Inchou is thinking she still has a chance to solve things and comes to reveal herself as some Amazon jungle girl who will 1 day steal San’s heart before leaving in a commotion. Not good. In the end, Inchou is again depressed and is resigned to the fact that she has to wear glasses for the rest of her lives in order not for everyone to recognize her as that Amazon lady. Poor girl.
 
Runa needs someone to act as her boyfriend as practice in her upcoming show in episode 22. Since Runa can’t have her slave do it, she decides on San. And I thought that was a new character but it’s actually San dressing up so manly and acting so brute! I only realized it halfway. It’s bloody hilarious (and disgusting) the way San acts and talks (but it was a damn good one). San is best when she’s her cute girly self. Runa then decides to ask someone else for help. Remember that Sun-Runa war? Yeah, it nearly started again. Even Mawari and her girls are ready to join in. So Runa decides to practice for a different role, which is some puppet show, and the next person she asks is Maki. Refuse at first, Maki agrees after being persuaded by San. Quite funny to see Maki being tied to Runa’s hand and everybody’s bloody convinced that Runa is a good ventriloquist. I mean, how can both the master and puppet talk together simultaneously. Furthermore, they’re both at each other’s throat. It’s so convincing. Akeno realizes what’s going on and warns not to reveal Maki’s identity during the show but she isn’t gonna listen so Akeno has the fish trio and Kai to subdue them. So once the class period ends, Runa makes her move by dashing to her limo waiting outside school. Maki uses her water shell gun to move around (or even fly! Reminds me of Midori No Hibi’s case). Careful, or you’ll bump into things and hurt Runa. Oops. Too late. The duo spot San taking on Akeno and Maki is touched by San’s stand to help them and decides to help her by flying down towards them. Of course from that height, I’m sure the impact is quite painful. In the end when Runa comes to and asks San to help write the script while Maki is being ‘attacked’ by that cat while still wearing the puppet outfit.
 
Akeno asks where Masa learned his swords skill that he thought San in episode 23. Masa says he can’t remember. That’s because Akeno notices how San’s sword skill is somewhat similar to the sword skill supposedly passed down in Akeno’s family. Plus, Akeno has an elder brother who went missing. She wants to find him not because she worries about him, but to punish him for being irresponsibly leaving without saying anything. To cut things short, Masa is Akeno’s long lost brother. Woah! They look so different. How did Masa ever ended up like that. Gozaburou tells Nagasumi how it all happened. Akeno’s brother was some government official and 1 night Gozaburou was drunk and talking to him. Since Akeno’s brother mention something about San being married, Gozaburou gets furious and accidentally hits him. He lost all his memories. Not wanting to for anybody to find out, Gozaburou gives him a fake identity, false memory and did everything he could so he could’nt remember his true self. I see. At the dojo, Masa wants to take a look at Akeno’s sword because it felt nostalgic. So Gozaburou and Nagasumi go to great lengths in order for Masa not to regain his memories. Yeah, Nagasumi has to fake that he’s in love with Masa. Haha! "Gay love, kill me!". Everyone’s shocked to hear it (Akeno writing it all down and Inchou eavesdropping too). San is shocked but remembers that Masa was the 1 who stole his 1st kiss. During an attempt, Nagasumi knocks Akeno so much so she reverted back to her child-like character. Meanwhile, memories are flowing back to Masa as he and his other self had some talk. Bla bla bla. I’ll always be a part of you, etc. Anyway, the old self doesn’t mind being in the shadows because the current Masa has a new family and such. Masa goes to sooth a childish Akeno and says he will always protect her but Akeno doesn’t believe him. San arrives and throws Akeno off the roof and the latter is back to her normal self. Don’t try this method, kids. Good thing is Akeno doesn’t remember what had just happened. As Gozaburou and Masa had a chat over the bridge, Nagasumi is having a hard time convincing San that he isn’t gay. Ah, the damage’s done. Oh yes, Inchou goes to a saloon and requests for an afro hairstyle! Well you won’t get to see her in 1.
 
Kai has a disease that he doesn’t want anyone to know about in episode 24. Well, it’s just a boil on his butt. Must be a damaging factor to his ego. Because of that he’s been acting strange. So happened that Saru was walking by the clinic and overheard the doctor telling the nurse how Kai’s case was sad and there’s no hope. Saru is devastated. But the doctor is referring to his attitude than anything else. Saru confronts Kai and the 2 are talking different things. Kai makes Saru promise not to tell anyone. But Saru seeing that he has to do something for his master’s last days, eventually whispers to Nagasumi and the other girls about Kai’s condition. Everyone realize that they’ve been harsh on Kai and feels pity for him. Even the teachers got to know about it. How touching. They’re so unnatural when they decide to throw him a class party. Kai even received pics of San and even has escorts on his way home. Of course he thinks it’s timely for his egoness to be recognized and doesn’t mind it all. The news spread throughout the whole country and somehow people think he’s the legendary guy. A typical mountain made out of a molehill. Back at Kai’s submarine, he’s watching the news only to find out that he’s dying of a terminal disease. It hit him then. Kai then rushes to Saru in tears asking him what’s going on. Of course the duo talked different things. Kai says the doctor told him it’s not life threatening (referring to his boil and not the disease) and would go away if he just rub some medicine as Saru slap some senses into him. Resigned to his fate, Kai asks for 1 last favour before he dies, that is a final duel with Nagasumi. The day arrives and everyone is there to watch Kai’s last grand exit. I can’t help but chuckle even though they portray that sombre mood. Kai takes off his spacesuit and doesn’t care about the sun shining in his face anymore as he starts slashing Nagasumi childishly. Nagasumi just stood his ground. Kai gets emotional but his punches on Nagasumi had no power nor effect. Eventually, Nagasumi punches him as Kai drops to his knees pleading for everyone to love him. San tells Kai that everyone around him loves him while Nagasumi sheds a tear. Kai then collapses as everybody rushes to his side. The next day Nagasumi is mad at Kai for that huge misunderstanding but Kai says it’s their fault for misunderstanding the whole thing. Ah well, everything’s back to normal.
 
Nagasumi and San had their first quarrel in episode 25 when San is telling him something about his socks and not leaving tissues in his pants. But since that guy is so engrossed in watching Runa on tv, this causes a rift when Nagasumi said that they’re married due to circumstances. That jerk can be so insensitive. After a short quarrel, Nagasumi still thinks he did nothing wrong and refuses to apologize. I guess it’s pretty obvious that they’re avoiding each other at school. Soon, the whole Seto family gathers because they’ve received an invitation from a noble called Yoshio Minamoto, who’s inviting them to his party. Though Gozaburou didn’t want to go, they had to to show their face as the invitation states other clans will be attending too. Actually, this Yoshio guy is a playboy and has ill intentions. He wants San to be part of his harem and this party is just a bait to lure them. Plus, Akeno is working under him as an apprentice knight. Gosh. The next day, every San member has left and Nagasumi wonders what happened. Even at school, everyone seems to notice the Seto family is absent. Kai and Runa went to see Akeno for answers and knows the dreadful thing awaiting the Seto clan even without Akeno saying. I know Kai’s gonna save San because he loves her but Runa? I wonder why she’s so eager to go save him. Meanwhile Nagasumi is spacing out and tries to find San but to no avail. He finds that ring in San’s room and gets emotional after some thinking back. At the party, the Seto clan realizes this is a trap when nobody else appears except Yoshio, who gets excited upon seeing San. So he uses some gas to make them all go to sleep. San calls out Nagasumi’s name before she passes out. Nagasumi is at a bridge as Mawari comes by to give him some advice. I’m not sure if Mawari know what’s happening, but it was enough to boost Nagasumi’s morale. Then Kai’s submarine emerges from the river and tells Nagasumi to come aboard to save San. And off goes Nagasumi, Kai and Runa as Mawari salutes them. After all the times San has saved Nagasumi, it’s his turn to return the favour. In the end, we see Yoshio preparing for his wedding with San, who is being hypnotized.
 
In episode 26, I’m not sure why Saru tags along besides always wanting to be by Kai’s side. I thought humans aren’t supposed to get involve in all this? Anyway, the Seto family are locked in an iron wall prison and attempts to breakout are futile. Kai’s submarine arrives at Yoshio’s place and Runa uses her voice to disable the mines. Upon crashing into the place, Yoshio sends his guards against Kai’s submarine officers. Runa helps by using her voice and we see that ‘censored’ signs again. Nagasumi went ahead and calls for San once he enters the main room. Yoshio commands Akeno to take care of him while he goes to see how San is doing with the preparations. Akeno is in a dilemma because she can’t disobey her master’s commands. Then some words made Akeno realize and so she defects and points the sword at Yoshio. With that, Yoshio summons a giant eel to eat them. But Gozaburou arrives in time to stop it. Looks like the Seto family has broke out of their cell. Yoshio orders his followers to stall them as Yoshio escapes. Even Papa arrives to help out as each Seto family takes on the fight. Shark must be happy feasting away. Nagasumi chases after Yoshio and enters a room where San is held captive. Yoshio beats up Nagasumi but the latter manages to snap San out of her hypnotic state by blurting out his true feelings. Yoshio is mad that his plans are ruined and shoots his gun at San. What kind of man points a gun at a lady? However, Nagasumi takes the bullet! OMG! San is horrified and decides to use her song to power up Nagasumi. But he stood back up even without her doing so. Yoshio continues firing but Nagasumi stops it with his true power. Nobody can stop him now. The tables are turned with Nagasumi defeating Yoshio all in the name for San. Yes! Beat up that bastard. It’s revealed that Yoshio is some fat ugly catfish and Knight makes a deal with him that he won’t report this if he’d let this go. Nagasumi and San had an emotional reunion as they both apologize. They reaffirm their love when Nagasumi puts back that ring on San’s fingers as they embrace. What, no kiss? Ah, Masa-san… In the end, everybody goes home and everything is back to normal. Okay not everything. Because Nagasumi is bloody ripped and manly! Woah! Is that okay? But I’m glad everything ends well.
 
Overall, this is 1 amazing series and I really enjoyed it from start to finish. The ending though it ended well, I felt that I still haven’t had enough of the series. Yeah, asking for 2nd season already. The drawing, art and animation is pretty standard but I like it when the characters go into their chibi mode, especially during comical scenes. Everybody looks so darn cute, especially San. I also kinda notice that whenever there’s blood spilling out or tears streaming, the blood or tears will be shown in a ‘reflective’ way. It’s hard to describe. It’s like a scene whereby the sunlight shines and reflect the water surface on the lake.
 
In some episodes, there’ll be a short segment called Kyou No Masa-san (Today’s Masa-san). We see Masa sitting and drinking in a traditional Japanese bar, hosted by a very beautiful Mama in a kimono as Masa talks to some troubled character, giving them advice. Those characters include Gozaburou, Maki and even Nagasumi’s dad. By the way, did you notice that Nagasumi’s dad has been ignored more and more as the series progresses? Yeah, he’s so sad that not even his wife looks at him anymore. Poor guy.
 
The voice acting is great and in my opinion one of the best. That’s because each character sounds really like they should. Due to the nature of the comedy, you’ll notice how the characters tend to shout or raise their voices each time. San is voiced by Haruko Momoi who in real life is a famous singer herself. She did quite a pretty good job making San sound funny, cute, blur, assertive and other moods to suite the scene. She also did voices for Utamaru in Da Capo, Marin in Magikano, Maya in Ragnarok The Animation, Chika in Ai Yori Aoshi and Komugi in Nurse Witch Komugi. Others include Takahiro Mizushima as Nagasumi (Shimotakatani of Girl’s High), Daisuke Ono as Kai (Koizumi of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu), Kenta Miyake as Gozaburou (Sydonay in Shakugan No Shana, Klaus in Hayate No Gotoku), Natsuko Kuwatani as Maki (Suisei Seki in Rozen Maiden – hah! I was right!, Yue in Mahou Sensei Negima, Kanako in Love Hina Again), Takehito Koyasu as Shark (Kuroyanagi of Yakitate! Japan, Kururu of Keroro Gunso), Rika Morinaga as Mawari (Sousei Seki in Rozen Maiden, Francesca in Kaibutsu Oujo), Noriko Rikimaru as Inchou (Nori of Rozen Maiden), Sakura Nogawa as Runa (Hina Ichigo of Rozen Maiden, Nemu of Da Capo, Ayumi of Magikano) and Masashi Yabe as Saru (Same in Tsuyokiss). Hmm… I kinda notice most of the cast are like a reunion from the Rozen Maiden and Magikano series. I can’t find any other roles by Katsuki Murase who voices Masa. Must be a newbie since he’s low sexy voice is quite unique.
 
The opening theme, Romantic Summer, sounds like a summer rock n roll song and is sung by Sun & Lunar (Haruko Momoi and Sakura Nogawa) and we see the gang doing some nice summer beach dance. Okay, maybe except for Nagasumi who’s trying to get away from Gozaburou’s wrath. Ashita E No Hikari is the 1st ending theme is sung by Asuka Hinoi and it sounds quite slow and calming. If you notice, each time an episode adds a new character, the ending theme will also add them here. Sun & Lunar again sings the 2nd ending theme, Dan Dan Dan, which is more lively and pop-like. The animation here sees the characters in chibi form on a sushi conveyor belt. I notice the characters animation depends on what they did for that particular episode. Oh yes. The credits scroll horizontally instead of the typical bottom to top. As for the next episode preview. I just want to note that the narration seems to be so fast paced like as though they’re trying to squeeze in all those gibberish in a short amount of time. It’s sounds so funny. Except for the final episode preview whereby it goes something like "For once, Mishishio Nagasumi is pissed oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooff!!!". Wow. That’s a pretty long angry sustain. Some of the episode titles are amusing like episode 11’s ‘Armageddon’ to episode 16’s ‘Minority Report’ to episode 20’s ‘An Elegy Of Men’.
 
The characters are all pretty amusing themselves, even those who are side characters or make just a short appearance. I guess this is the main appeal which makes the series so wacky in the first place. I’m just wondering why those fish trio didn’t follow the Seto family to Yoshio’s party. I thought they were part of Gozaburou’s men. Also, there are a few trivia for viewers to spot, especially in Papa’s case with several references to Arnold’s movies like Total Recall and Terminator.
 
So of course in the end, the usual love conquers all lesson. It doesn’t really matter what kind of background one comes from (okay, maybe just a little) but I’m sure I’ve said this many times before that what’s important is the true love between them. Hmm… Nagasumi and San’s case do remind me of Narue No Sekai’s couple Kazuto and Narue. I just hope Nagasumi would get along well with most of his in-laws. And that he’s not gay! Marrying the daughter of a mermaid clan yakuza boss may seem like a hard thing. But it beats marrying to your job. Haha. Just kidding. I think I’m ‘married’ and a ‘slave’ to anime…
Seto No Hanayome

Lucky Star

March 15, 2008

Here’s another anime which brings me back to the good old days when I was watching Azumanga Daioh. Not to say that this series is very similar to it, but I had that feeling when I started watching Lucky Star. There are 2 main reasons why this series has that Azumanga Daioh nostalgic feeling. Firstly, this is a gag anime. Which means, most of the jokes here are like of a stand-up comedy. So don’t expect to see lots of action-like comedies such as anvils falling on the character’s head. Secondly, there isn’t any real plot besides seeing how the girls going about with their lives during their high school years.
 
Only difference with Lucky Star is that there’s a touch of anime otaku-ness and there are quite a number of anime references and parodies because of the main protagonist who is an anime otaku geek herself. Though I don’t really consider myself a devoted anime otaku (in comparison to those really obsessed day and night, my case seems real puny and insignificant), but I thought it would be nice to see how an anime otaku goes about in his/her youthful days. Not to mention how that person thinks and does things, it must be heavily influenced with them. It’s kinda interesting, though.
 
So if you’re the kind that do not favour like gag animes like this, I’m sure you’ll find it hard to sit through the entire 24 episodes in this series even though it’s comedy with slice of life. I must admit that there are times when I caught myself yawning. Partly it’s because I watched this show way past midnight which contributes to the lack of oxygen in my brain. Haha. Good thing it has no more than 2 dozen episodes. I wonder if I can last that long thing. Thank goodness I managed to finish watching it.
 
Let me introduce to the main anime otaku protagonist of the show first. She is Konata Izumi and you might mistake her for an elementary school kid because of her short stature. But don’t judge a book by this cover because this girl is an anime, manga and game otaku freak (though stature has nothing to with it). The ironic thing about this girl is that, she is quite athletic and intelligent, but she doesn’t do well in exams (read: bad grades) and doesn’t join any school clubs. She can really spend hours staring at the google box playing games and watching countless anime videos but can’t really sit through a minute nor focus on homework. She’ll get dizzy and such. Is that what being an otaku all about? Stereotypic, isn’t it? Anyway, Konata is voiced by the up and coming multi-talented Aya Hirano. Who is she? Fans of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu should recognize her as that weird Suzumiya SOS Brigade leader character in that series. At first I couldn’t recognize her because Aya Hirano does an amazing job making Konata sound like a lazy, laid-back, lethargic kid. Well done. Besides, during the series, you’ll see several references between Konata and Suzumiya and it makes you go "Isn’t that just ironic…".
 
Of course it wouldn’t be fun if the focus was just totally on Konata alone. Also in her circle of friends (not anime otakus too, mind you) and always hanging out with her during their tenure at Ryou High School are twins Kagami and Tsukasa Hiiragi, and Miyuki Takara. Let me go briefly over them. Now, I guess that most of the funny punch lines and rebuffing jokes comes from Kagami. That’s because Konata loves teasing Kagami with her anime references, which pisses off Kagami at times. Among the quartet, I find her to be the most ‘rational and normal’ one. Unlike Konata, Kagami is more studious and has better grades, though Kagami herself loves playing video games albeit a different genre from Konata’s. So how can 2 so contrasting characters be so good friends? Well, opposites do attract. Besides, it be boring if everyone is the same nice girl, right? Hmm… Maybe Kagami in a way enjoys all those teasing statements. Kagami is voiced by Emiri Katou, who is a newbie since her resume on anime voice acting isn’t that ‘long’.
 
At first, I thought Tsukasa is Kagami’s little sister because she keeps calling the latter ‘onee-san’ (big sister). When I found out that Tsukasa is a twin of Kagami, then it occurred to me that maybe Kagami is the elder one between the twins. You know, 1 of the twins came out earlier than the other. I mean, you can’t have both twins coming out at the same time during birth, right? Tsukasa’s a little klutz and scatterbrained. Plus, she’s also not very good in her studies, blur case, not well organized, forgetful, all second only to Konata. Heck, it’s like she’s taken after Konata or is her disciple or what. It’s a good thing she has Kagami to look out and remind her. Also, Tsukasa’s voice actress, Kaori Fukuhara is a newbie and her resume is much shorter.
 
Finally, Miyuki is your typical pretty, smart, soft-spoken, well-mannered bespectacled girl from a rich family. Not to mention that ‘excellent proportions’ for a girl her age ;P. I find that of all the quartet members, she’s the one who makes the least frequent appearance when the gang gets together. I guess it’s better and funnier if it’s Konata-Kagami, huh? Miyuki may seem perfect but she too does have flaws of her own like she hates going to a dentist and has really poor eyesight. Uh huh. She can’t see anything without her glasses on. Aya Endo voices Miyuki and though she isn’t a newbie like the other 2, I looked up and didn’t find much anime characters I know (also she didn’t voice that many characters) and the only ones I recognize is Imari of Inukami and Kasumi of Oku-sama Wa Joshi Kousei.
 
Then there are other characters too. Such as their homeroom teacher, Nanako Kuroi, who isn’t just Konata’s teacher, but an online game player like Konata as well. How is it like having the same person as your teacher and a game companion. I’m sure Konata gets some timely reminders whenever she logs on to her online game late at night when she should be sleeping or studying. Then there’s Yui Narumi, who is Konata’s elder cousin and a married policewoman. Now, having said that, don’t think that she’s a strict person. She’s a total opposite. Why, Yui is a wild, crazy and carefree character and at times it makes you think that is this lady fit to be a cop. Definitely not. So don’t try and get booked by her. It’ll be hell on earth. Yeah, the way she drives is totally out of this world scary and likes to get drunk! Are you still thinking she’s fit to be an officer? Maybe she likes Konata a lot since she frequents her house (yeah, like barging in and doing her trademark ‘I’m here’ wave). I like one episode part whereby Konata asks Yui to help her do her homework but the next day Konata has to redo her work again because everything was wrong. Konata then tells Yui about this but Yui makes her ‘escape’ by saying that if she does her homework, she’ll end up redoing it again. Then there’s Soujiro Izumi, Konata’s widower dad, who is an author who works at home. You may guess that Konata gets all the otaku influence from this guy. Yeah, he’s one too. But you won’t get to see how far. Is this the way to raise your daughter? While most parents wouldn’t agree on raising one’s child like that, but I can see that Konata and Soujiro’s love is genuine. Just that, they show their love differently from the rest. Soujiro is always trying his best to try and help Konata with stuffs, but usually Konata ignores him. Poor guy.
 
Before I go on, I’d like to mention 1 thing, which is the opening theme song, Motteke! Seirafuku (Take It! Sailor Uniform). When I first heard this song, I was kinda quite amused by it. That’s because the it’s sung by the main quartet and it sounds very rap-like. Not to mention the animation is quite wild, crazy and cute with the characters (and even unknown ones) doing some weird cheerleading dance. However, when I heard this song the 2nd time, it started to send shivers down my spine. I don’t know why but each time I watch the episode, I’ll definitely fast forward and skip this part as I somehow can’t stand the song anymore. Yeah! Yeah! My Darling Darling Please! Oh please! I can’t get that tune out of my head. Argh! Are they trying to do something like Suzumiya’s Hare Hare Yukai’s dance? Even so, I think I still prefer Hare Hare Yukai.
 
What I can say after watching the entire series is that most of the ‘plot’ sees the characters discussing and talking over things which happens daily in our lives. It’s like have you ever wondered why so and so always happen in such a way. I mean, it makes you go "Yeah, I kinda noticed that too" but because it seems so petty we don’t really take the initiative to question it further. For instance, when you take a train, some have the tendency to fall asleep and miss the stop they’re supposed to get off. And why is it when people always say "Give me 5 more minutes…" when they need time to do something or finish whatever they’re doing and not 10 minutes or 30 minutes or God forbid, 1 hour! Or whenever you have an idea or inspiration, you tend to procrastinate to pen it down the next time, only to forget what is it when you’re going to pen it down. Or what about the time when you’re totally sleepy the whole day but when it comes to the proper sleep at night time, you’re wide awake. So you see, it’s quite interesting to note this little petty things in life and it’s kinda amusing to know it too when they brought the topic up. Of course, with Konata around, you’ll be expecting some anime otaku references and Kagami’s rebuttal statements. If only real life was like in the animes.
 
So the skits of each episode can last for several minutes long or even a few seconds short. And they don’t have to be related to each other either. Thus at times if you’re not really paying attention, that particular skit may come and go so fast that you’ll wonder what just happened. And sometimes a particular topic may be ‘split’ as an unrelated one will be shown in between them before it continues after it. I’m not sure if I got that sentence and meaning right. In each episode, there’ll be lots of trivia and references to actual animes like Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu, Keroro Gunso, Full Metal Panic, Yugioh, Shuffle, Gundam, Initial D and Fullmetal Alchemist. OMG! There’s 1 part they did a Da Capo parody! Ah, that show does bring back some memories. Some of them are copyrighted so much so you’ll wonder if the producers did it on purpose when they use a censor beep while the characters make some references to them. Beep! Anyway, since it’ll be impossible for me to blog the entire episode with excruciating details, I’ll just blog on the more memorable ones.
 
Like in episode 2, we see Tsukasa’s procrastinating ways of how she puts off doing her homework during a long stretch of school break. Yup, though she and Kagami has been playing together ever since the start of the holidays, Kagami has been waking up quite early in the morning to do her homework and other stuffs while we see Tsukasa sleeping in her bed. It’s way past noon, girl. And she deserves to feel that I-haven’t-started-doing-anything-yet guilty feeling when she realizes it too late. So even if they’re twins, it doesn’t mean that they’ll share the same good ol’ values. Also in this episode, we see Konata getting a part time job as a waitress in an otaku cafe to fund her anime otaku habits. Yeah, even Kagami is in disbelief that this geek really has a part time job. See, don’t judge a book by its cover.
 
Or in episode 6 where by the quartet along with Kuroi are taken to the beach side by Yui but that cop woman got lost (crazy Initial D parody here!). Though they eventually manage to arrive, because Yui got so drunk, they had to spend another night there. Also, we see that Kuroi, who herself is single, thinks Yui is a single woman just like her. By the way, we’ll never get to see Yui’s husband as Yui always mentions that he’s working away. Poor Yui, probably she’s lonely. Is that the reason she’s wild? Nah. Also, the quartet baths at a public bath house and I don’t know why Konata is so interested in Miyuki’s assets. Anyway, Konata misses a chance of a lifetime to see a successful prank she played on Miyuki. Also, as we know of Miyuki’s fear of going to a dentist, her mom, quips how she’ll bring 1 home to see her then. Hehe.
 
Then in episode 7, Konata’s interest seems to be on Maria-sama Ga Miteru now, so much so she tries to act like one. Rosa En Bouton… Petite Souer… Not! Doesn’t fit her! So weird lah! Also, Tsukasa gets a new handphone, but because of her clumsiness, she breaks it. Oh the heartbreak. We see why in episode 8, Miyuki’s assets are really her assets. Uh huh. In a tight race, nail biting finish, Miyuki wins the relay race with her bosoms… And I’m sure Soujiro isn’t just there to take pictures of his daughter at the school festival… If you ever here Tsukasa play a recorder, just be sure to leave the room because her ‘melody’ will definitely fill the air so much so we’ll have to leave to make room for it ;P. Kagami is a better recorder player then. Remember that even if all those delicious sweet dessert and cakes looks tempting and appetizing and you have that I-can-finish-it-all attitude, wastage is a bad thing. Konata, Kagami and Tsukasa find out the hard way in episode 9 when they took too many of them but now have to eat their words as they’re stuffed to the max and have plenty more to go. Now they have to pay. The extra price and the suffering of stomach discomfort. Haha.
 
Tsukasa gets a new handphone in episode 10 but she can’t contain her delight and spams Kagami with lots of SMS. Also, the twins visits Konata’s house and are surprised to see how Konata’s late mom, Kanata, looks so much like her. She does look so much like her! Why, I even thought that was Konata at first. Another embarrassing moment for Kagami when Konata decides to give her a nickname but it doesn’t work. So when Kagami suggests Konata to call her Kagami-sama and Konata does, it does annoy Kagami as she tells Konata just to call her the usual normal way.
 
Episode 12 must be one of my favourites because frequent visitor Konata brings along second timer Kagami and first timer Tsukasa to a Comiket convention. I wonder why Kagami wants to tag along since she doesn’t like all the hoo-haa and geeks there. Yeah, it seems Konata has them brought along as part of her plans to buy some anime stuffs. Wow. Konata’s addressing and giving orders like as though this is a war-like situation! What to do when this happens, where to go at what time. Uh huh. Even Kagami mentions how if she’d just put all this amazing passion and energy into her studies. But I suppose it’s what Konata love as she’s like a general and is giving such convincing military-like commands. Of course, naive and ‘weak’ Tsukasa gets dragged around the crowd. Ah, the casualties of war. But the gang manages to make it back out alive. I’m sure all this must be just a breeze to Konata. I kinda noticed that Tsukasa has been scarred by this event and in future episodes, if there is any references made to the Comiket, Tsukasa will go into ‘fear and traumatic’ mode. Poor girl.
 
Then in episode 13, it’s Valentine’s Day and I really thought that there’s some boy whom Kagami really likes as she gives him her homemade chocolates. But it all turned out to be Konata’s wild what if imagination, pissing Kagami off. Haha. They really had me there. By the way, I kinda noticed that there was a guy giving another guy his chocolates! What the?! Gay love?! But in the end, the quartet shared the chocolates among themselves as they got no guys to give to. Tsk tsk tsk. I wonder why aren’t any guys trying to hit on these gorgeous ladies. I mean, if it’s otaku freak Konata, I’d understand. But pretty Kagami or even busty Miyuki? Come on guys. Don’t tell me there are other better 2-D girls out there. Um… I think there are. Hehe, excuse me.
 
Episode 14 introduces a heap of new characters. Including those unknown character which I have mentioned during the opening credits. So that’s who they are. Firstly, Yui’s little sister Yutaka is going to live with Konata since she’s going to start her new term at Ryou High School. Though she is innocent and naive, she’s quite positive and cheerful. Your typical cute moe girl. I think it runs in the family. The short stature thing. Yeah, Yutaka looks like another elementary school kid. I suppose Soujiro is glad to have her because that guy always wanted more daughters in his family. An unexpected chance meeting with her would-be classmate, Minami Iwasaki, would make them seem to be best pals forever. It’s a small world after all. Minami is Miyuki’s neighbour, and that very quiet, soft-spoken girl is always concerned about her ‘assets’. Uh huh. Let me just tell you straight, she has a flat chest. And whenever there’s some references to boobs or things like that, Minami will heave a sigh of disappointment and pap her… Okay that’s enough. Other than that, she doesn’t portray much emotion.
 
Then there’s the foreigner student, Patricia Martin, from USA. She loves manga and anime and I suppose that’s where she learned her Japanese culture from. I don’t think anime and mangas can be generalized as the entire Japanese culture. Besides, if Patricia gets into an argument (especially with Kagami in the last episode), she’ll conveniently say how that line contains too much Japanese words she doesn’t understand. Patricia also works part time in an otaku cafe alongside Konata. Birds of the same feather flock together. Then there’s the manga enthusiast Hiyori Tamura, who’d go to great lengths to protect her ‘manga hand’. Yeah, she views it as an asset to her future manga career. Besides, because Tamura always notices how close Yutaka and Minami are, coupled in with her doujinshi interests in yaoi and yuri, at times, she’ll imagine and fantasize some yuri scenes between the 2. Control, control. She must really like it a lot. Patricia and Tamura are classmates to Yutaka and Minami but since Kagami got separated (meaning, she was placed in a different class. There was an episode which suggests that she loves hanging out with the gang and chose a subject to be with them even though it was a subject she isn’t interested in) from her usual gang during her 3rd year, she has a couple of buddies of her own like the passive but caring Ayano Minegishi and her childhood friend Misao Kusakabe, whose voice sounds sly with an accent. As opposed to Ayano, Misao is more lazy and simple-minded. Another Konata in the making?
 
Kagami has been tricked by the April Fool’s joke in episode 15 when Konata tells her that she actually finished her homework in episode 15. Yeah, one bad deed deserves another when Kuroi plays 1 on Konata too. In episode 16, Kagami, Tsukasa and Miyuki are being invited by Konata to her cosplay cafe workplace. It’s a chance of a lifetime to see what kind of job Konata does. However, along the way, some geek guys took non-stop photos of Tsukasa because she resembled some cute anime character. Hehehe. When the gang arrives, they’re being served by waitresses from the Suzumiya anime with Konata getting dressed as Suzumiya herself. Uh huh. Expect lots of lines from that anime. What’s the recipe to make this drink? I’m sorry, that’s classified information. Haha. It’s that time traveller Mikuru’s classic line. Yeah, even that waitress who played Nagato even asked that Kyon-like customer for permission to go make his drink. But the most amusing thing here is that Konata and the other waitresses got up on stage and started doing the Hare Hare Yukai dance! Even all the guy customers got up and do that jiggle. I nearly did one too (by the way, I sucked). Kagami, welcome to the world of Suzumiya. No, the world of anime otaku!
 
Episode 17 sees how Yutaka, Soujiro and Yui trying to set up a birthday bash for Konata (Hmm… the countdown scene looks like the one from the American series, 24), only for Konata to tell them at the end that her co-workers are throwing 1 for her and that she can’t make it. Oh all the hard work… Also, there’s a long stretch whereby it’s on Kagami, Tsukasa and their other sisters. One of their elder sisters is mad that Kagami forgot to buy some stuff home for dinner since their parents are away. However, it’s actually Tsukasa’s fault due to her forgetfulness. Since her sister insisted that she should cook, Kagami isn’t too happy and she along with Tsukasa went out to get the stuffs. A little tension there. In the end, their parents came home to say that their whatever meeting is next week. But their relationship is back to normal when big sis compliments Kagami for knowing how to pick the right ingredients.
 
We find out the reason behind Miyuki’s bad eyesight in episode 18. When she was young, she and her mom used to read books in the dark or bad lighting. So kids, remember to not only read books but watch animes on tv at a safe distance and with good lighting. Sounds familiar? Then in episode 19, the gang prefers to ask Miyuki about their homework problems rather than referring to Kuroi herself. Is that an insult or what. Also, Kuroi overslept and missed her whole free Sunday. Yeah, by the time she wakes up, it’s back to work on black Monday. Also, innocent Yutaka spots Tamura’s sketchbook filled with yuri sketches of her and Minami. Tamura has a hard time trying to explain what it’s all about. I don’t think Yutaka understood everything in the end.
 
Soujiro gets the shock of his life in episode 20 when Konata jokingly says that she’ll get a boyfriend and make many memories with him. Freaking out! Also, Yui catches Konata playing games or reading manga instead of studying. but it so happens that Konata is taking a break and unfortunately each time Yui comes in, she’ll see her in such state. Yui quips that Konata must be taking a really long break… Then a school trip to Kyoto in episode 21 whereby a hapless Tsukasa gets licked by deers while feeding them. Feeling dirty and violated? Anyway, who’s that damn guy laughing like an idiot in the bus when it’s not supposed to be a laughing matter. Then this is another part where they got me. Kagami received a letter from a guy asking to meet her somewhere. When Kagami finally does, some guy comes up to her and tells her something. No, not a confession. He’s asking her for some souvenir Kagami bought earlier on. Uh huh. Because this guy has got some male ego like he doesn’t want his buddies to find out that he’s a fan of whatever collectible or else it’ll be all too embarrassing, he wants to get that souvenir from Kagami instead. And I really thought there was a guy who finally noticed Kagami. Haih… Oh he heartbreak. Don’t worry Kagami. You don’t need jerks like him.
 
Episode 22 is a little heartwarming because Kanata returns in a ghost form to see how Konata and Soujiro are getting along. Yeah, we now know that Konata got her short stature from her. Also lots of anime and otaku lines so why did a girl like Kanata settled for a guy like Soujiro. Simple. Because Kanata’s the only woman he’s ever loved (even if at a point he’ll settle Kanata as some game gal). Though Kanata is a little worried how Soujiro brings up Kanata (yeah, Soujiro asking Konata how to reach some H-scene that he’s having trouble getting to! What games are you letting your daughter play?), eventually Kanata can rest in peace knowing that everything’s going to be okay. Okay, maybe a little dysfunctional (not as bad as The Simpsons). When Soujiro and Konata decides to take a family pic together, Kanata decides to join in but to the duo’s horror, they saw a ghostly figure in the pic…
 
Yutaka and Konata gets sick in episode 23 and Konata is using this excuse to play her games. Even Kuroi mentions how she’d prefer Konata to lie and say she was up studying all night rather than watching late night animes when Konata’s anime has been rescheduled. At least that girl’s being honest. Another poor thing about Kuroi is that after typing a long blog, she decides to publish it but the internet page cannot be displayed. As she clicks the ‘back’ button, the page has expired and cannot be displayed. Oh poor girl. She goes and get some early sleep. I hope it doesn’t happen to me too, especially when I’m typing this blog (touch wood).
 
If you’re wondering about that wild opening song, then the final episode 24 sees how Patricia gathers the girls to do a cheerleading for their school cultural festival opening. Uh huh. So that’s where all the moves come from, though there are some additional moves and it lasts a little longer. Patricia manages to bribe Konata into doing it with a ticket to Aya Hirano event. Ironically, I’m thinking that Aya Hirano is herself, so couldn’t she just she herself anytime? Hahaha. I’m just joking and making no sense. See, a little nice words and PR could even make Kagami join the squad. I still can’t stand the song but the choreograph was quite good. With lots of hard work and practice, they manage to do just fine. But the girls are stiff and frozen just before the opening performance. A funny ring tone from the student announcer eases their tension as the curtain rises. End of show.
 
Well, I don’t think that’s all the series has. I was just blogging on the main part of the series which involves the main cast. At times during the show, there’s an interesting character called Meito Anisawa (voiced by Tomokazu Seki who did Kyou of Fruits Basket and Chiaki of Nodame Cantabile). I have this feeling this guy is supposed to be ripped off from some anime. Even the drawing of this character is slightly different from the rest as it’s a bit sketchy. Anyway, Meito is quite the loudmouth and passionate guy. He runs some sort of an otaku merchandise store and he along with his other motley staff crew considers Konata to be the most valuable customer. Thus dubbing her as the Legendary Girl A. Whenever Konata enters his store, all staff will be on alert and they’ll start making plans or spy on what Konata is browsing at. Of course in the end with all that hoo-haa, Konata doesn’t buy a single thing and leaves, making Meito and his gang all disappointed that their efforts are unnoticed and wasted. My favourite one was when it seems Konata has already decided to buy a merchandise and takes it to the counter. Everyone is so happy that finally the legendary girl has bought something from their store. The cashier tells Konata the price of it and as Konata reaches into her pocket to take out her money 1 by 1 (with the other staff looking on in suspense), she finds that she is 3 Yen short! Thus Konata decides not to buy it and leaves. WARGH! So frustrating. Yet so close yet so far. Keep trying you guys. It goes to show that sales is only done after the customer has really bought it.
 
Besides that, at the end of each episode, there’ll be a segment called Lucky Channel, hosted by a pair of student navigators, namely Akira Kogami and her assistant Minoru Shirashi. Now, this Minoru guy is an actual person himself. Meaning that he uses his real name in the anime and if you notice, he is in Konata’s class and does make cameo appearance here and there (is Sebastian his real name or what?). But the most amusing one is Akira herself. With her trademark greeting "Oha-Lucky" and squeaky genki voice to greet viewers, at first everyone may think how cute and lovely this girl is. However, you’ll notice the sudden change in her voice and personality during the show into a rough, rude, crude and violent girl. Yeah, I don’t really pay attention to whatever they’re hosting about because all I’m every interested in the Lucky Channel is how Akira abuses Minoru verbally or physically like showing him her bad finger or even throwing things at him! Uh huh. Akira may look all goody-goody at first but you’ll soon see her true demonic colours as she gets pissed off with the slightest thing Minoru says (which could even upset her!). So Minoru has a really hard time trying to be nice and has to be patient. After all that blabbing, they’ll say time is up and sign off with their trademark "Bye-bee" line. Hiromi Konno who voices Akira did a pretty amazing job with her hot cold hot cold character.
 
Sometimes you just want to strangle Akira but you can’t because she’s so damn hilarious in both modes. Though it’s like that in most episodes, there’s 1 whereby it starts off with Akira already in that sullen mood! She’s as unpredictable as the weather. Then a time when she’s supposed to make her singing debut, the first time she was down with a flu! Yeah, too bad, for once she had to shut up. Hehe, When she gets well, then it was in a karaoke box instead! Like a spoilt brat, Akira considers herself to be some popular idol doing some low-down cheap stuff in Lucky Channel. She hates those who are being popular to her. And when this Minoru assistant is seemingly getting more and more popular, she threatens and plans to get rid of him. She manages to send him to retrieve some water from the mountains and since then, Lucky Channel has got a new handsome host, Daisuke Ono. Another real life person. This is the guy who voiced Enju in Rozen Maiden and Koizumi in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. Of course Minoru comes back all dirty and messed up but Akira is unappreciative of his efforts so much so Minoru goes berserk and goes on a rampage! The whole studio is destroyed! Yeah, an episode without Lucky Channel with just some producers whispering something. Then some gang leader-like lady forces them to reconcile and make good for the last episode. Though the duo reluctantly does and in the final episode, Minoru doesn’t seem to fear Akira anymore. Uh huh, Akira makes a very very short appearance during the Ryou High School’s cultural festival opening ceremony (must be Minoru’s way of getting back at her as he shuts her out so quickly) and it’s Minoru’s ringtone which eases the girl’s doing that cheerleading performance tension.
 
I guess that pretty sums up this entire enjoyable series and as a gag anime, I’d say the voice acting is quite nicely done. I kinda notice that many of the minor characters are being voiced by the same person. They are Fumihiko Tachiki (Zaraki in Bleach) and Kujira (Orochimaru in Naruto, Obaba in Nagasarete Airantou). It’s like the producer is trying to save cost or what as you’ll see their ‘insignificant’ roles as students, announcers and passerby. Since Kujira’s voice sounds like an old woman (not meant to insult her), when she voices a student, it sounded so out of place. Yeah, it’s really obvious.
 
One thing unique about this anime is that there is no fixed ending theme. For the 1st half of the series, the ending themes are the main quartet trying to sing some anime karaoke songs behind a closed karaoke room. Of course some of them sounds horrible but it’s better than me anytime. The second half of the series sees a real-life action Minoru singing his solo songs. It’s kinda funny and weird as there are no background or accompaniment music. Just his voice alone. And sometimes the producers had the cheek to ask you to turn off the speakers during his performance. Also, Minoru will be seen doing some silly things but I suppose you’ll want to focus more on the splendid background scenery rather on his whatever antics, in which the producers also have the cheek to put some funny animation on him like stars covering his face while singing. And at times, there’ll be several pretty ladies to accompany him as he sings, but you’ll notice how they’re laughing at it all. Even so, Minoru is really 1 heck of a performer. Uh huh. I remember there was one time after he finished singing, he jumped down the cliff! The words on the screen prompted did he really do it? But soon we see him climbing back up and we hear disgruntled voices of disappointment in the background. Haha.
 
Speaking of music, at first I really didn’t notice the background music and even so, I’d think that they’re just to make it so that the dialogue won’t sound ‘defeaningly silent’. As the series progresses, I kinda notice more and more background music, some of them quite catchy. However, I also noticed that some of the music have the British pop group, The Beatles, influence. Yup, one of them almost sounded and reminded me of their piece, Strawberry Fields. Though it didn’t sound exactly, the next episode preview’s music sounded like it came from Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Also, another piece sounded like the Fab Four’s A Day In Life, only much livelier. Besides that, there are tons and variety of background music ranging from lively and upbeat to one that sounded like a Hawaiian theme to even one which has that Enya feel! Then there’s 1 solo piece which sounds lethargic, which is Konata’s Theme and that song really fits her. Then there’s a song titled "Gyaaaaaaaaa" which really amuses me because of it’s name. Though it’s only 10 seconds long, it sounds like the kind of music in which an aftermath of some bad thing has happened. Funny.
 
Unlike other animes which releases their soundtrack with over 40 background music, I think the producers are pretty smart as they gradually and partially release the anime’s soundtrack as the series progresses. It’s like making hardcore fans waiting each time as each album contains only about 10 songs. Even so, the first half are background music and the balance are some sort of Radio Bangumi, meaning some blabbings from Akira and Minoru. I won’t be surprised if the producers release more albums even after the show has ended since I kinda noticed that there are some background music not featured in the albums yet but heard it in the anime. But that’s just the background music. Why, there are even more albums in the series that you could ever imagined. There’s 1 album on the girl’s ending theme karaoke session, to character image or drama CDs, and even a soundtrack on the game of the series. A game? Yeah, I guess it’s so popular (or kiasu) that Lucky Star even has a game made. It’s 3 in 1. Manga, anime and game. All in 1 package for you hardcore otaku fans.
 
Though the anime is quite colourful, the drawing and art seems a little simple, so it may be a turn off to bishie fans. But for a gag anime lacking action sequences, I think it’s pretty reasonable and okay. Hmm… I wonder what is that cute sleeping cat in the mid-intermission and the intermission just before Lucky Channel all about. Maybe something to do with Azumanga Daioh? Dunno. Just speculating. The episode titles are short and sweet but due to the nature of each episode, I can’t see how the title is related to the skits in a particular episode. Meaning that it doesn’t do me much good when I’m trying to recall what happened in a particular episode. But my favourite episode title is the final one entitled "TBA". Haha. During the next episode preview, Kagami’s narrating it and even quips that the producers even haven’t named it yet.
 
I read that there is a debate between who is better, Konata or Suzumiya. Well in my personal opinion, I would say it’s Suzumiya because that weirdo is God! Everything centres around her! Besides, I felt in a way that Konata is taken after Suzumiya. Meaning that, it’s not the looks that I’m talking about but rather Konata herself is a fan of it in the anime.
 
I’m sure in life, there are lots of things which happened like that in this anime, even without all the anime references. Life itself is indeed ironic and don’t you think that animes are taken after life itself? Though I don’t want to be like Konata but I sure do enjoy anime in my own way. As anime is a growing global phenomenon, it’s hard to isolate it from every day life. At least from my point of view. That depends if anime is really popular in a country or not. Long live anime!
 
Lucky Star

Nagasarete Airantou

March 9, 2008

Uh huh. It seems that this week’s blog will also be on harem animes. Yeah, I must really dig them a lot. So, have you guys ever wished that there was an island inhabited by females only? And that you’re the only guy on the island? Must be really heaven on Earth, isn’t it? Well, I actually don’t harbour such dreams at all. Unless there’s an anime like that around, then you bet I would definitely be curious to watch it.
 
Nagasarete Airantou is such an anime. Woah. I must be thinking that the sole guy on this island must be feeling real lucky to have a bevy of beauties around him. Well, not really. Firstly, our main protagonist, Ikuto Touhouin, isn’t the kind of perverted kid. I guess you horny people must be thinking it’s such a waste to put a ‘normal’ kid in such circumstances.
 
There are 26 episodes to this harem love-romance comedy genre and as seen in the first episode, we see Ikuto running away from home because he had a quarrel with his dad. What’s a kid to do. I’m not sure of the real reason why he decided to take a liner, maybe it’s to get real far away from his dad. Unfortunately, during a stormy weather, Ikuto is thrown overboard. The ship crew did notice somebody falling off but it’s too dark to see anything. So he throws that floater only to hit Ikuto on his head, hoping that kid will survive. It’s a miracle Ikuto did survive such strong ocean waves and currents but no matter how hard he tries to swim back to the ship, he just keeps drifting further and further away.
 
A nice sunny day for fishing as we see 1 of the inhabitants of Airantou island, Suzu (looks like Shinobu of 2×2=Shinobuden), and her pet pig, Tonkatsu, doing a little fishing. And she’s got a big catch. Okay, that isn’t a fish, but Ikuto. Suzu, being the nice girl she is decides to give Ikuto a mouth-to-mouth CPR. Well, it’s enough to make him come to his senses. By the way, I realize that this is the only kiss throughout the entire series. Yeah, since this is a harem anime, I thought I’d be seeing 1 at the end, but nope. Besides, wild imagination and fantasies don’t count. Soon the island’s elder, Obaba, takes Ikuto in and puts him under Suzu’s care, since she’s the one who found him. So here’s the weird part. Suzu doesn’t know Ikuto is a boy. Well, can’t blame her, this whole island is devoid of men. Soon shocking news spread throughout the island like wildfire that there’s a man on this island. At first I thought the women on this island are going to be the perverts instead. They all came rushing down and are jealous to see that airhead Suzu, who’s having the guy all to herself.
 
One of the ladies, Ayane, who is the self-proclaimed rival of Suzu, decides to kidnap Ikuto but her plans doesn’t work out. Later, Ikuto decides to freshen up himself and takes a hot bath in Suzu’s home only to find himself nosebleeding profusely. Yeah, I’m not sure why Suzu doesn’t feel all embarrassed when getting into the bath semi-naked with a guy. Maybe she hasn’t had an ‘experience’ with one. Haha. Yes indeed, you”ll find Suzu a little naive and blur at times. Throughout the series, you’ll wonder if Ikuto will die of lack of blood because in nearly each episode, he’ll be in such situations. Uh huh. Most of the girls here are a little daring and wouldn’t hesitate to go into a bath with Ikuto. Get ready for some blood bath. Literally.
 
Anyway, stubborn Ayane eventually manages to kidnap Ikuto when Suzu lets her guard down and during this ordeal, Ikuto meets other female inhabitants on the island which you could say will be making their appearances quite often throughout the series. I’m sure Ikuto’s had it with all the girls chasing after him soon after (this is totally different case if you’re a popular guy in high school) and once again Suzu comes to his rescue. Fed up with all the racket, Ikuto decides to leave the island on a wooden boat. He soon finds out the hard way why nobody can leave this island. It’s because the island is surrounded by violent whirlpools and if and if anyone who gets sucked in and is lucky not to drown, will be thrown back ashore. Geez, no wonder everybody here can’t leave. Just like Hotel California. You can check in anytime but can never leave. Even if one tries to do so by air, he/she will be greeted by tornados. This whole damn island is like cordoned off from the rest of the world. Ikuto has this ‘can’t give up’ attitude not because of his strong character, but because of his dad. Yup, you’ll find out that the reason why Ikuto ran away was because his dad thinks that he’s no good and always in the way. So words like ‘impossible’ and ‘you can’t do it’ has become such a taboo that if you mention it right in his face, he’ll snap and tries to go all out and proof otherwise.
 
As Ikuto try and try again to leave the island, his attempts seem futile but he manages to pass first batch of whirlpools. However, he is met with another resistance, a white whale named Sashimi (I don’t think the name fits it). Ikuto thinks Sashimi is going to prevent him from leaving the island when in actual fact, it’s trying to protect Ikuto from the mother of all whirlpools. This whirlpool is bigger and deadlier. I’m sure after waiting for so long without a guy on the island, they wouldn’t want to let this opportunity go, right? Perhaps Suzu didn’t realize it yet as she rescues Ikuto yet again with Sashimi’s help. I guess Ikuto has no choice but to live with the fact that he’s stuck here for who knows how long. Hey, but at least he’s got cute pretty babes on his side. Then again, he isn’t the perverted kind because he gets another nosebleed when he sees Suzu in her soaking wet clothes. Ow! Too hot to handle.
 
Before I go on, let me introduce a few things first, especially the other main cast of girls on this island, whom have their own agenda to make Ikuto theirs. Okay, maybe not all the time, but sometimes. As mentioned, Ayane is Suzu’s rival in every aspect (yeah, even breasts size) but ends up losing in each one (uh huh, even her breasts size). Besides, she’s my favourite character in terms of her mischievious ways and I like the way she yells or let loose her screams because they’re so ‘convincing’ that she’s in some sort of pain or trouble. Then there’s the apprentice carpenter Rin. She doesn’t have that muscular body of a carpenter and instead have that thin slender one. Doesn’t seem to fit. Anyway unlike most girls, she’s uncomfortable when she’s revealing too much skin and among the girls, the most ‘shy’ one when it comes to Ikuto. Also, Rin calls Ikuto her ‘danna’ (husband). Future prospect? Then there’s this little kid, Yukino, who seems to like animals and is always riding her giant bear, Kuma Kuma. She doesn’t like being referred as a kid and tries to be more grown up for Ikuto’s sake. I can safely say that she’s still many many years behind. Then there’s the western culture influence and science freak, Chikage. Her sole purpose of her wanting Ikuto is not because of love, but to conduct experiments on a male body. Finally, there’s Machi, who’s Ayane’s sister and also some sort of miko priestess on the island along with Ayane. She’s the most scheming of them all and don’t be fooled by her stoic expression. Yeah, she reminds me of a chibi version of Enma Ai of Jigoku Shoujo. Ayane fears Machi very much because she has a straw doll that she uses which’ll cause Ayane a great deal of pain whenever she insults or go against her. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
 
Another thing I want to mention are the animals on the island. Sure, the girls here look cute and pretty but the animals totally look different. Why, they’re drawn in a way which makes them look round and cute! The kind of drawing you’d expect to see for a children’s programme. It’s so vastly different! Some of the names of the animals are a directly translation of what they are in Japanese and are repeated twice like a bear is called Kuma Kuma, as eagles are Taka Taka, to ducks are Kamo Kamo and dogs Inu Inu. At first, everybody on the island seems to communicate well with animals. Yeah, they’re talking in weird languages and everybody else except Ikuto (and me) can’t really understand a word they blab. Must be the fact that they’ve been living alongside these creatures for so long that they could speak each other’s language. Eventually, in a later episode, Ikuto manages to understand what they’re saying and is able to communicate with them. I call it convenience because you’ll soon hear the animals talking like humans in Japanese too. Hey, it’s better than saying random words which makes no sense throughout the entire series.
 
In episode 2, we hear why the island has no men at all. It seems that 12 years ago, all the men went out fishing and were caught in some super tsunami. Ever since then, no one has heard from them again. Hmm… I really wonder how old is Obaba. Over a hundred years? Since Ikuto is still the hot topic on the island, the girls still can’t get over the fact that Suzu is hogging Ikuto all to herself (even if Suzu doesn’t realize it) and makes a ruckus at their place. There goes a good night’s sleep for Ikuto and more nosebleeds. So the next day Obaba decides a Catch-The-Groom-Hide-&-Seek Tournament to see which girl will have the rights to marry Ikuto and bare her some grandchildren. Well Ikuto, your opinions don’t really matter. The whole island has become a battleground and the time limit is till sunset. The first woman who touches Ikuto wins and if nobody does so till then, Ikuto wins. So a hilarious chase ensued thorughout the island as Ikuto barely escapes each and every one of their traps and schemes. Being chased by a girl has never been this dangerous. Falling off cliffs, falling into a river. It makes internet dating seems much safer. Time is nearly up as Ikuto is at a cliff. Ayane thinks she has the last laughs but eventually flops. Soon sunsets and Ikuto thinks he has won but Obaba says that Suzu had won. During the chase, Ikuto had ventured into a prohibited forest an encountered a giant menacing panda (who looks more cute by the way), Pandaro. Ikuto saved Suzu from a menacing threat and accidentally touched her breasts as he pushed her away. However, Suzu says that she doesn’t want to marry Ikuto because she thinks Ikuto should be with the girl of his choice. Well, I guess that statement is like putting salt over the wounds to the other loser girls. But at least this way, the girls get another shot of reclaiming Ikuto, whether it’s by hook or crook. So what was the day-long tournament for? Well, it was a way to get those girls to stop chasing Ikuto once and for all if he’d settle down with 1 of them. Dang. I guess, Ikuto would rather be a bachelor and have girls going after him rather than settling down with 1.
 
Thus the rest of the episodes will follow some sort of this pattern. Ikuto tries to go about living on the island and he finds out more and more of the islands weird customs and habits as he gets use to them. There are times on and off where the girls decides to try their luck in taking Ikuto’s heart away but flops big time (especially Ayane). If not, Ikuto will try to help the girls and other inhabitants with their problems, thus resulting in some hilarious adventure. Over time, you’ll notice Suzu unknowingly falls for Ikuto (and she doesn’t even know it’s love) and gets that jealous feeling when other girls come close to Ikuto or sees him being too friendly with them. Besides, the reason why Ikuto is staying at Suzu’s home is not because she won the tournament but rather, since Suzu saved him and nursed him back then, I guess it’s only right to go back to that place.
 
Furthermore, Ikuto is the kind of person who doesn’t believe in all those mythical stuffs. So even if he witnesses 1 with his own eyes, he’ll try to reason with some scientific and logical approach. Stubborn guy. But there are some things which he has to accept like in episode 3, he discovers all the women in the island are bloody strong and has the strength to carry tons of humongous vegetables. It’s like the Amazon women of the east. Girl power! Uh huh, poor Ikuto doesn’t want to lose face or pride and it was funny to see him trying to choose which killer mushroom (looks like a penis!) is edible. I really wonder how you could tell them apart. Ah, must be if you’ve lived long enough on this island, you’ll be able to do so. We are also introduced to another girl, Mikoto, who’s in love with Rin. Yeah, she’s 1 of the few girls on the island not obsessed with Ikuto and has that crude ‘uncle’ attitude whenever she sees Ikuto. Yuri girl. She’ll do anything to separate Ikuto away from Rin but I suppose Rin wouldn’t let things go her way. So it ends with Ikuto managing to proof that he’s not just a freeloader and saves Suzu from… earthworms? Ah well, at least Suzu is thankful that she thinks of Ikuto as a family and lifts his spirits up.
 
In episode 4 whereby Ayane accidentally eats Machi’s food and ends up trying to get away from Machi’s wrath. Also, we find out that Suzu’s an obsessed mame daifuku (some sweet dessert cake) lover and would become a slave and do anything to get a bite of it. So Machi bribes Suzu so that she could get Ayane for her. But Ayane isn’t going to run forever and tries to figure out Machi’s weakness, which is revealed to be her age. Not that she’s old, but she despises the fact that she has to grow old. Though Ayane laughs like mad and even snatches away her voodoo doll, Machi has the last laugh as she summons a spirit to do her vengeance. Here comes the pain. Later, Suzu accidentally breaks some statue containing a spirit and a ghost (looks more cute than scary) comes haunting them. Suzu is terrified as she believes in all those superstitious stuff but Ikuto doesn’t and thinks it’s just some prank. In the end, even with the other’s futile attempts to rid of the ghost, it becomes depress because Ikuto is in denial of its existence. Haha! So Ikuto just tells it not to be mean and such and the ghost leaves happily. It’s Yukino’s turn in episode 5 as she enlists Ikuto’s help along with Suzu and the other animals to search for her missing Kuma Kuma. Okay, so all the bears in the forest looks the same (just like that killer mushroom case) and poor Ikuto gets whacked (with reason or not) from the wrong bears. Soon Ikuto learns of Kuma Kuma’s unique crescent shape marking and how Yukino grows up close with Kuma Kuma. We also learn that Ikuto has acrophobia when he and Yukino is trying to cross a run-down bridge high up. As expected the bridge collapses but Kuma Kuma appears in time to save them. Looks like because Kuma Kuma is also searching for them, they missed each other while they’re on the move. In the end, it’s here which Ikuto finally somehow understands what the animals are talking. Still in denial, though he gradually comes to accept it. But how come this doesn’t apply to Tonkatsu? Well, even Suzu says that that’s the way it speaks and what it says is just anybody’s guess. In other words, Suzu doesn’t really know what it says. Must’ve been lucky all this time to understand what it says, huh.
 
An earthquake causes the entire island’s hotspring to dry up in episode 6. Wow. It must be a real huge system if it’s going to a supply such huge amount of water to the entire island. So Ikuto has to go help fix the system along with Suzu, Rin and Yukino, after getting some lecture from the girls that personal hygiene is important. Of course, how do you think the girls stay so pretty and beautiful. Haha. So the gang reaches a well supposedly to clear the dirt which has been blocking it. However another earthquake causes Ikuto and Suzu to fall deeper inside. Suzu is injured and Ikuto carries her on his back to find another way out. They walk through the caverns of a seemingly underground river till they reach a dead end but notices an opening high up. Ikuto also spots some big rock which is clogging the entire systems and tries to break it with a tiny rock in hand. Is that possible? That’s going to take ages. Well, don’t say impossible to this kid. But that knocking seems to wake up some sea creature. Is it Loch Ness’s Nessie? It doesn’t look happy. Okay, maybe because of the water pressure, that huge rock finally breaks but the current is pulling them in. Luckily Ikuto manages to save her and they come bursting out of the well on a geyser just when a worried Rin decides to jump in to save them. In the end, the system is fixed and Ikuto relaxes himself in a hot bath back home. Well, since Suzu comes in with a towel, it isn’t that bad, until she loses it. Now the bath is tainted with blood. Blood bath, literally. I wonder what’s that sea creature anyway. It did pass by Ikuto while he’s trying to save Suzu during that strong current but nothing more.
 
In episode 7, Ikuto learns that Suzu’s master is a twin tail cat named Shima Tora who is also the leader of the southern region. You see, this island is divided into 4 sections and each section has its own fearful leader, like how Pandaro is the eastern leader. So Shima Tora is asking Suzu and Ikuto’s help in a battle who’ll determine the next leader for the southern region. Yup, it’s a battle of cats vs dogs. In addition, Machi and Ayane has gone to the dogs… side, that is. The first side to paint a moustache on the opponent’s leader wins. As expected, lots of crazy and frenzy action ensues before the cats win when Shima Tora dresses up as Tonkatsu as a decoy. In the 2nd part, the gang decides to go see the sakura blooming trees, which is on the northern tip of Airantou. Of course, Machi comes up with her schemes to be with Ikuto during the journey and looks even though the rest are suspicious, she really does make it look genuine. Ikuto’s going to experience a different kind of fear. After trekking for some time, they come across the northern leader, a scar-faced tiger named Taiga. However, Taiga claims that he isn’t the northern leader because somebody else has beat him and lets them through. In the end, they all manage to reach the sakura tree and watch how it blooms beautifully. Then as they decide to head back, Ikuto realizes he’s being played for again by Machi when the duo trekked by through some dangerous cliffs while the rest take a smooth ride on the dolphin’s back home. Hey, why in the first place didn’t they use this method?
 
As part of Chikage’s plans to study Ikuto, in episode 8, she invites him and Suzu to her large western style mansion. We also find out that she has a gentle pink elephant, Panako, as her maid. Chikage tries various outfit which causes Ikuto to nosebleed. Why is she doing it? She read from a men’s magazine washed up ashore that’s how people dress up. Soon she brings them to her basement and shows them various inventions from Ikuto’s world washed up on Airantou. She must be an avid collector. Since Ikuto is familiar with these things, he amazes the girls by telling them what they are and how it functions. Because it’s already late, they have to stay for the night and Chikage took the liberty to cook some dinner. Unfortunately, though Chikage’s an excellent inventor, she’s a terrible cook. Uh huh. That octopus is still alive girl. And Ikuto isn’t your guinea pig. Oh wait. Maybe to her he is one. Finally, Chikage makes some curry which Ikuto enjoys it. After dinner, they have to take a bath. Yeah, all part of Chikage’s plans to study them. She also thinks Suzu’s breasts are one of the largest on the island. So as Chikage hides underwater in the bath to observe, Panako comes in and offers to wash Ikuto’s back. Panako then jumps into the bath but lands on Chikage. I hope she’s not that heavy. you know how heavy and elephant calf weights, right? Later when Ikuto and Suzu tugs in for the night, Suzu is mad that he didn’t allow her to bath with him but gave the green light for Panako. Well, I guess if she’s an animal, there won’t be any nosebleeds. Besides, who ever freaks out when their pet animal comes to bath with them. But Suzu’s still pretty adamant in wanting to bath together with him. Though she isn’t a pervert, I felt that this made her sound like one.
 
Feels like a rotation system because it’s Rin’s turn to get a little of the spotlight in episode 9. Rin invites Ikuto to help her with a construction project as part of her plans to impress him. Well, if Mikoto’s there, then I guess it’s going to be a pain. Yeah, she’s telling Ikuto to stay away from Rin or else. But Rin just landed a kick on her. So Ikuto and Suzu stayed at Rin’s place and the next day Rin’s young mom who’s trying to set Ikuto and Rin up tells that guy that this is part of some training to train himself up. Mikoto decides to add fuel to the fire by telling Suzu how close Ikuto and Rin are but that dense girl don’t even know what love is. So as the gang tries to construct the house, Mikoto tries to obstruct Ikuto and makes him fail in whatever he does. The duo is like in some heated battle with each other so much so the house is completed in no time. People, no matter how competitive you are, don’t try this anyhow. Rin too tries to impress Ikuto but her clumsiness foils everything. Besides, Ikuto is too focused on beating Mikoto so I don’t he’d notice anyway. By the end of the day, they celebrate and Rin’s mom blurts out how Rin and Ikuto should get married while she’s drunk, to Rin’s horror. When Suzu and Ikuto return back to their home, Suzu wonders that love thing Mikoto told her earlier on. Still can’t comprehend it? Yeah, she’s even having trouble pronouncing it.
 
Episode 10 is a little heartwarming episode. Since it’s raining, the whole island takes this opportunity to rest. Ikuto notices Suzu depressed look, not to mention her change in personality. Where has that positive energetic girl gone too? While most of this episode sees how the bored gang are faring back at their home, mainly Ikuto finds out about Suzu’s late mom. Each time it rains, Suzu is always reminded of her, especially of the song her mom used to sing to her when she was young. Also something about how Suzu’s mom wanted Suzu to marry the man of her dreams and wear her wedding dress. But I suppose we can’t really leave these 2 alone because there’s a moment whereby their face was so close in a way you may think they’re going to kiss, the other girls showed up. Actually because they had nothing to do, they bumped into each other (what coincidence) and decide to come here (what coincidence too). But Ikuto thinks that the girls didn’t come over coincidentally but to give Suzu some company. It’s like being part of her family or something like that. So after some bath and meal, the girls left and the duo are together as they chat a little more.
 
Suzu gets a fever in episode 11, so Ikuto plans to bring some ice from the island’s highest mountain peak (I later found out it was called Mt Fuji. I was wondering why they didn’t call the island Honshu or Hokkaido too). Ikuto along with Yukino, several of her animals and Yukino’s mom, Kagami, took a journey there. Hmm… Kagami looks so petite and young. So we all know where Yukino gets her stature from. Uh huh, not to mention her childish nature. It’s all in the genes. Once again, Ikuto has to overcome his fear of heights as they trek high up on the mountain and face various obstacles like a stormy blizzard, slippery roads and not to mention snow fights. Can’t resist one, can’t they. Ayane and Machi even decides to tag along but is more of a burden than anything else. Uh huh, another one of Ayane’s fantasies whereby she gets to warm up Ikuto with her naked body. Anyway, Ikuto manages to take a cart worth of snow and ice but going down is more dangerous. He did slip and nearly fell to his death but the others came tumbling down and created a snowballing effect. Though they manage to reach ground level safely, the ice is melting fast and Ikuto needs to hurry. Why didn’t he thought of using Taka Taka’s flight in the 1st place? Yeah, scared of heights issue. Anyway with no time left, Taka Taka carries Ikuto all the way back to Suzu. But upon reaching, the snow has already melted to palm size. But good news is, Suzu has recovered and is well. So what was that excursion all for? Bad news is, now it’s Ikuto’s turn to catch a fever. Must’ve caught it from that snowy adventure. Ah, just rest the good old fashion way and drinks lots of water.
 
Is Machi really serious in learning how to cook? Well, in episode 12, Ayane ticks her off by saying that since she’s no good in cooking and doesn’t do any housework (because scheming Machi always uses Ayane to do her part or disappears whenever it’s her turn), she decides to learn some cooking lessons from Chikage and Rin. Erm… Chikage’s place looks awfully messy while at Rin’s place, Machi’s scaring the wits out of everybody with her slicing the fish with the knife comments. Sounds like a horror movie. Soon Machi invites Ikuto, Suzu and Ayane for dinner but the trio are being warned by Rin not to go to Machi before collapsing. Well, if it’s Machi they’re talking about, I’m sure it’s enough to make them turn around but a spirit Machi summoned, forces them to enter her house. Feels like a horror movie now. While waiting, the trio hear sounds from the kitchen worse than those in an abattoir or butcher’s place. Furthermore, the food that comes out looks… disgusting and unappetizing. Zero points for presentation. It’s really out of this world. More like not for this world. I guess Ikuto has to be a man and has to take the first bite but surprisingly, it tastes delicious. It goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover. But better watch what you say because Ikuto in his delight promises how he can finish up all this delicious meal. With that, Machi continues bringing out more dishes and forces them to eat it all or else. Ugh. If the plants here are giant size, what are the chances that the sea creatures are too. Better eat your words now. Woah! Bloated! Oh the torture.
 
It’s Tonkatsu’s birthday in episode 13 and Suzu’s trying hard to make some tofu but flops. In order to keep Tonkatsu from knowing, Suzu enlists the help of a chicken, Karaage, his and family to keep Tonkatsu at bay. But mainly here, Ayane discovers a photo which Ikuto left behind in his notebook. A picture of a cute girl wrapping herself around Ikuto’s arms. Ayane comes to a conclusion that this girl must be his girlfriend. The other girls also heard of this and decides to take advantage by cheering up Ikuto. Uh huh, like Yukino puts too much make up and looks horrible. Yeah, that wild imagination of Ayane’s is so dramatic. Airantou Live? Dream on girl. Suzu later finds out that Ikuto has left her a note saying that he has gone out to sea. Is he trying to leave the island again? Suzu fears the worse and rushes there. She manages to catch up and finds out that Ikuto’s just trying to send a message bottle. The other girls show up and tell him to forget about his ex-girlfriend (jealous selfish girls they are) but Ikuto says that the girl in the pic is his little sister, Misaki. Phew. Less 1 competition, if you know what I mean. Plus, it’s Misaki’s birthday too and Ikuto wants to send at least a birthday message. So after the gang made some tofu which looks like Tonkatsu itself and Tonkatsu gulps it down happily, Suzu and Ikuto rides of Sashimi’s back as Ikuto throws the bottle message as far as he could. And that last scene seems to indicate perhaps the 2 had feelings for each other because they’re like almost hugging each other like lovers but didn’t say anything. But we all know deep down, right? By the way, the ending theme for this episode is ‘special’ because it features Tonkatsu singing the entire song. Pu pu pu pu pu pu pu…
 
A mysterious thief is stealing food from the homes on Airantou in episode 14. Due to circumstances, evidence points to Machi. But Machi says she’s not the one. Ikuto and the gang turn detective to track down the thief and Machi joins them for personal vendetta. But it seems the thief is slippery as an eel. Then Ikuto hears someone in the bath and goes to have a look. Nosebleed! Who’s that girl? What’s she doing in the bath? Because it’s too bloody, that girl too faints. Once she comes to, she introduces herself as Mei Mei and was recently washed ashore. However, Mei Mei has a very shy complex so much so she has fear of meeting people face to face (so how is this different). However she denies about stealing any food and says that it may be her friend Touno, whom she hasn’t met since she got washed ashore. Suzu and Ikuto decides to hide Mei Mei from Machi because since the latter has been made a scapegoat, she won’t be listening to reasons. Um… Mei Mei has an uncanny way to hide herself. I mean, she disguises herself in various costumes to blend into the surroundings like a tree stump. Eventually, the thief has been caught and it’s revealed to be a kappa! What in the world? Because Ikuto doesn’t believe in myths, he resigns to the fact that this kappa is just a turtle, pissing it off. Machi is going to take her grudge out on it when Mei Mei comes between them and pleads not to hurt her friend Touno as she asks for forgiveness. Ah, I see the kappa is her buddy. But as Machi is ready to forgive Touno and even sticks out her hand for it to shake as forgiveness, Touno bites it. Oh oh. Back to square one. Back to fighting. Even so, I can’t believe that Machi is losing to that mischievous kappa. It’s like she’s no match for it. In the end we see Mei Mei and Touno apologizing to Obaba for all the trouble that they’ve caused. Looks like Mei Mei is here to stay and I suppose should be part of the ‘harem’.
 
I think Mei Mei is pretty much comfortable with Ikuto and Suzu and Rin helps build a house for her near Suzu’s in episode 15. But Mei Mei is still having problems interacting with the other girls on Airantou, so Ikuto and Suzu tries to cheer her up and give her some advice into adapting to life here. We also hear Mei Mei’s story on how she met Touno. She accidentally smashed some shrine and released Touno who was sealed years ago by some monks. Since the current river is so polluted, they decided to find a new 1 to dwell. The rest of the episode sees how Mei Mei’s shyness forces her to dress in some weird outfits, like a fiercesome bear (this is how a REAL bear should look like), scaring poor Yukino away. Maybe it’s too real rather than her cute Kuma Kuma. Because Ayane wasn’t in the previous episode’s thief chasing incident, she gets to know from Machi that the island has a new resident and proceeds to go see them. When Ayane spots Touno, this immediately brings back horrible memories as she starts to panic. Yup, Ayane is afraid of kappas because it scared her very much while she was young. Touno is intrigued to know that there’s another kappa existed and chased Ayane throughout the island, pestering Ayane to tell it more about the kappa she met. But Ayane’s freaking out so much that she won’t be able to hear a thing. Later, the gang finds out that the cause of Ayane’s kappa phobia was because Machi used to dress up as 1 and scared her. Uh huh. Machi enjoys seeing her little sister freaking out. Sadistic.
 
In episode 16, Pandaro is seeking revenge as he heads towards the western region because he had lost. Meanwhile, Shima Tora comes to warn Suzu and Ikuto about this. It seems Pandaro wants to get his revenge on the person who defeated him, which is Touno! Yeah, Pandaro is already at Mei Mei’s doorstep but when he sees how cute Mei Mei is, he decides to take her instead (isn’t that kidnapping) and forgets about the duel with Touno. Shima Tora appears in time for some action but Pandaro manages to escape with Mei Mei. Soon Pandaro come across Taiga, who has come to take back the 1 who defeated him, to the northern region. By that time, the gang manages to catch up and Taiga claims that the 1 who defeated him was Mei Mei! Uh huh. It’s just some lucky fluke by Mei Mei and Taiga’s at the wrong place at the wrong time. In Mei Mei’s shyness while trying to get away, she accidentally made a huge rock come crashing down on Taiga. I guess that’s the part where Taiga said he’s no longer the northern leader several episodes back. Before Pandaro could run away further, Taiga defeats him for good. However Ikuto tells Taiga to leave Mei Mei alone. Taiga wonders if Ikuto desires Mei Mei that much and challenges him to a 1-on-1 duel with the winner keeping Mei Mei. Taiga seems to have the upperhand, beating up Ikuto real good but the kid is pretty stubborn and not giving up. Another round of nosebleeds when Taiga’s slash accidentally rips off almost the strategic places of Suzu and Mei Mei’s clothes. That’s Ikuto’s noseblood in Taiga’s face. A mysterious shadowy figure appears and uses this opportunity to tell Ikuto Taiga’s weak spot, which is between his twin tail (at the butt?). Ikuto takes this chance to strike Taiga down in 1 blow. Taiga admits defeat and heads back to the north. While on his way, that mysterious shadowy figure says how Taiga did this to boost Ikuto’s confidence by letting him hit him but Taiga shrug it off. Hey, doesn’t that shadowy figure looks like that chicken Karaage? While Mei Mei apologizes to Ikuto for the cause of their fighting, Suzu feels a little worried as she notices how close Mei Mei has gotten to Ikuto. That Pandaro still hasn’t gotten over Mei Mei and plans to abduct her again but it seems Pandaro’s wife finds out about it… Uh oh.
 
Chikage decides to play magician and become some sorceress in episode 17 when she finds and activates some magic book spell. The next morning, the whole has turned topsy turvy in terms of appearances. Animals become handsome or pretty human beings while the ladies become some sort of animal. Well not really, they still have that human form but just have extra animal features. Like Suzu has cat ears and tail, Ikuto becomes a dog, Ayane a rabbit, Yukino a bear, Mei Mei a monkey. You get the idea. Woah! Tonkatsu is a real pig and Touno is super sexy! Suzu and Ikuto concludes that this must be Chikage’s work and goes to confront her but she seems to be having fun and doesn’t want to stop. Because Ikuto doesn’t believe in magic, Chikage tries hard to convince him by doing all those magician tricks we see on tv. While trying to stop Chikage, the book she had in her hand accidentally fell to reveal a marshmallow-like Genie, Makun. This is better than an ordinary genie because Makun can grant 7 wishes! That’s a lot. Of course with the abundance of wishes, the gang makes silly and useless wishes, wasting it all away. So it’s down to 3 wish. As Suzu wishes for Chikage to be captured, Chikage makes a wish to be freed. So that’s 1 more to go. Everybody starts fighting over what the last wish should be when Machi appears and wishes for a cup of tea. Granted. Argh! There goes all their hopes of turning back to normal. Chikage decides to continue with her other magic experiments when a beautiful blonde girl (whom Ikuto and Suzu bump on their way but wasn’t sure who it was) shows up and beats the crap out of Chikage because she didn’t clean her room up. This pretty thing is Panako! OMG! With that, the book is destroyed and the spell is broken. Everyone returns back to normal. As for Ikuto, he wakes up the next morning thinking that the weird events was just a dream. Better for him to be in denial.
 
A new character is introduced in episode 18 and this time is Shinobu, Mikoto’s sister with exceptional sword skill. I find it weird that this lady has a little cow called Beef Jerky as her sidekick. Here, Shinobu decides to challenge Ikuto (as oppose to Mikoto’s naughty letter saying that Ikuto has a blind date) after hearing rumours that he’s the strongest person on this island (thanks to Shima Tora). But Ikuto refuses to give in to her demands and ignores her. Well, Shinobu’s pretty stubborn and keeps pestering Ikuto. That is, until Ikuto has enough of nosebleeds (ahem ahem. By accident of course) in which he decides to undergo some basic sword training under Karaage. Besides, Shinobu has a bad sense of direction, meaning she gets lost easily. Hmm… Perhaps the reason why she didn’t make her appearance earlier in the series. Anyway, match day arrives and Shinobu is dressed in a gothic dark dress (thanks to Chikage) as the other girls arrive and become spectators. Shinobu uses her cloning technique and seems to have the upperhand over Ikuto. The match ends when Shinobu is going to deliver the final blow but trips. Ikuto’s reaction is to catch her but his hands grasps her breasts. Ulala. Shinobu is ‘paralyzed’ and admits defeat though Ikuto says it’s just a misunderstanding. Blush blush. Erm… I’m not too sure, but is Shinobu falling for Ikuto? Maybe not. Because the next day, we see her pestering Ikuto to be her master and wants him to train her. And Suzu thought she’d be able to get rid of her once and for all with that duel. More fuel to jealousy.
 
Episodes 19-20 feels like a novel mystery as we see Chikage as a fan of one, a famous villain called Beniyasha whose author is unknown. Here, the gang are being invited to a hotspring run by a lady named Sakuya. Funny thing is, Sakuya’s a robot. Uh huh, when she bowed, her head fell off. What harem animes would be complete without the android female. Furthermore, Sakuya did mention that she came to this island a long time ago. Meaning to say, such advanced technology existed way back then! Ikuto seems to believe this more, which pisses of Touno (whom Ikuto still denies as a turtle). Of course the girls have their intentions to bath with Ikuto but knows he wouldn’t let them in. Chikage comes up with a plan so that they could do so but she overhears Ikuto and Sakuya’s conversation how it was somebody else named Beniyasha, which invited them to the hotspring and not Sakuya herself. With that, Chikage declares this to be some mystery. I don’t really understand this part because Chikage did mention something similar to this ever happening in the novel. That night, the gang heard screams from Chikage and rushes to the scene. We see Sakuya immediately going into combat mode. Uh huh. She’s packed with loads of arsenals coming out from her body! Anyway, it was just Shinobu. She got lost on her way to the hotsprings. Later, Ayane decides to have the advantage by beating everybody to bath with Ikuto and goes into the bath first. What she thought was Ikuto, turned out to be Beniyasha! ARGH! Her screams was enough to make Ikuto come running in. It must be horrible because Ikuto too screamed. Sakuya then comes running in only to see the whole area covered with blood! Oh no! Is Ayane dead? Actually, it’s Ikuto’s nosebleed. Phew. They had me there for 1 second. When Ayane comes to, she was going to tick off Ikuto but suddenly felt itchy throughout her body. Beniyasha then appears before them.
 
Beniyasha confirms that he was the one who sent the invitations and that he has the antidote to cure Ayane’s itchiness. If Ikuto wants the antidote, he must catch him and soon disappears. Back at the inn, everyone still wants a piece of Ikuto so Chikage comes up with a plan to leave a note telling Ikuto which room he wants to spend the night with. I guess the girls are excited about it. Later Beniyasha puts forth his mischievous plan as Shinobu become his 1st victim. Yup, she passes out after she can’t take the tickling while being strapped to some chair. Next is Mei Mei but the shy girl is suddenly so bold and is all over Ikuto. Uh huh. Beniyasha put some Horny Mushroom Potion on her. What the? Then it’s Yukino’s turn. But Ikuto arrives in time, causing Beniyasha to spill some liquid and when Yukino wakes up, to her horror she thinks she has wet the bed. Next is Rin. Oh wait. It’s just Mikoto molesting Rin. Better let them be. Finally the chase ends on the rooftop but Beniyasha knows Ikuto is afraid of heights and tells him it’s impossible to beat him. Since Beniyasha said that taboo word, Ikuto gets pissed off and charges at him. Beniyasha then tosses the antidote which made Ikuto change his path. Though Ikuto manages to get hold of the antidote, he’s falling to his death. Sakuya arrives in time to catch him by her arms. Unfortunately, her arms fell off. But it was enough to break Ikuto’s fall, though the landing still hurts. Beniyasha then laughs before flying away in a giant kite. Ikuto gives chase but it was just a decoy. The real Beniyasha is still up on the roof. Just then Chikage comes up to him and it’s revealed that Beniyasha is Chikage’s mom. Wah. Another young looking mom, which looked so much like her daughter. Chikage’s mom is quite impress with Ikuto. The next day, we see her continuing her novel on Beniyasha. So this mother-daughter pair was the mastermind behind everything.
 
Ayane is looking for Machi because the latter’s neglecting her duties in episode 21 so much so Ayane accidentally knocks over a statue and breaks a seal of a mischievous racoon. Yeah, that racoon is somewhat stuck in a kettle. The racoon has the ability to change its appearance and it loves to play pranks on the inhabitants with its new found freedom. Thus the gang have to catch and seal it back before it causes more havoc. But telling it apart can be difficult because the racoon does look like the real thing. Only way to tell is its protruding belly. Which means Ikuto has to experience more nosebleeds. While the racoon runs riot with its pranks and staying a step ahead of everyone, we also find out that Rin likes to dress in pretty clothes when no one is looking. So of course the gang misinterprets when they caught Rin dressing up. Rin’s feeling so violated. Eventually their attempts are futile and are on the verge of giving up. Suzu notices how words like ‘impossible’ and ‘can’t do it’ doesn’t make Ikuto snap and he’s just cool about it. Suzu seizes the opportunity to capture the racoon and Machi soon seals it for good. The girls compliment Suzu for her sharpness and says it must’ve been 1 of the benefits of staying with Ikuto, making Suzu blush. Just when they found the real Ikuto tied up in a crater, Ayane and Machi decides to ‘check’ whether he’s the real thing or not (evil perverted smirk on their faces). Another round of chase. And when they cornered him, Machi plays dirty by shoving Ayane aside, causing her to break that racoon’s statue seal again.
 
In episode 22, Yukino gets hold of a legendary blue bird’s feather while taking a walk with her animals. While Ikuto is busy practising, this causes Suzu to feel ‘left out’ (more like jealous) and leaves. She bumps into Yukino who tells her about the feather. With that, Yukino drags Suzu along to find the bird to prove that what she saw earlier is true. During the search, Yukino spots a fat ugly grey bird, but thinks it’s cute and wants to grab it. Of course that bird tries to escape (see, being fat doesn’t help) and manages to fly away. However as the duo chased it, they fell into a deep ravine and are trapped. Furthermore, it’s raining and Suzu has injured her leg. Some chat between the 2. I wonder how Suzu fit all those large chestnuts in her clothes. I can’t really say that’s what make her breasts so big. Haha. Just joking. Ikuto realizes Suzu hasn’t come back yet and goes to Kagami’s house to find that Yukino too hasn’t come home. So he starts searching for them. Ikuto manages to find them because that legendary blue bird appears and leads him to the ravine and Suzu never gave up calling out Ikuto’s name (the place must be real echoey. How can Ikuto hear in all that rain noise?). We also see that the blue bird transforms back to that ugly fat grey bird. I don’t really understand this part or the meaning of the grey bird disguised as the blue bird and this will be the last viewers will ever see it. Ikuto and the other girls pulls Suzu and Yukino out with their hand-made contraption. Ikuto carries Suzu on the way back and chides her for not telling him that she’s hurt. Plus, he didn’t mind since they’re family, which made Suzu happy. Ikuto also wishes how he could stay on like this forever.
 
Suzu really hates studying. Everytime when she has to go to school, she runs off somewhere else. Probably that’s why her maths suck. I didn’t know that Ikuto could teach. But probably to the lack of MAN-power, he and some of the girls do conduct some lessons on Airantou. Anyway because of Suzu’s hate of studying, in episode 23, Ikuto and the gang comes up with a plan to ‘bring’ Suzu to school. Like taking a different and longer route is actually the way to school. Eventually, Suzu knows what’s happening and runs away again. Wow. Suzu and Ikuto can really run long distance. Woah! She’s acrobatic like a monkey, jumping from tree to tree. Must be real desperate. Kids, don’t be like her in terms of running away from school. Eventually Ikuto manages to catch Suzu by tickling her foot when she thought Ikuto has been knocked out when she accidentally landed on his head. Even so, Suzu is mad because she thinks she shouldn’t be forced to do something she doesn’t want and that everyone just wants to make fun of her. But Ikuto says that everybody doesn’t think so and that they’re doing this because they want to spend time and be with her. Though Ikuto manages to persuade Suzu to come to school, everyone welcomes her but it seems Suzu has to undergo lessons by Chikage since her level is too ‘different’. Partly Chikage has her own experimenting agenda. And Suzu thought she could get some lessons from Ikuto. I’m sure she learned a lot today. But the end sees a message bottle drifting closer to the island. Must be some turning point since the series is near its end.
 
What are the chances a message bottled thrown at sea is replied in a short period of time? Well, it seems Ikuto has got a letter from Misaki the same way in episode 24. Isn’t that effective? Suzu picks up the bottle thinking it was Ikuto’s earlier message but when Ikuto opens and reads it, to his horror, he realizes that his sister is lost at sea after an accident (just like how she lost herself in that long winded letter! I wonder how she got the time to write it all down if she was in trouble). Ikuto decides to go out to sea to look for his sister and once again futile attempts to leave the island. Yeah, even the other girls tried to help him like using some giant slingshot. Then there’s Machi’s idea of the soul leaving the body but with a price that Ikuto must marry her. Ikuto’s real desperate to agree. But since Ayane wouldn’t allow it, she whacks Ikuto during the process and sends his soul right back into his body. Ayane’s going to face some retribution. It’s Chikage’s turn to come up with an idea. Yeah, that Makun genie is back. But this time he only gives 1 wish. Cheapskate. Ikuto’s slip of the tongue makes his wish ungranted. Yeah, he was thinking so many wishes and thought aloud "That’s not what I want". Uh huh, Makun granted that wish. Nothing, that is. Bummer. While Ikuto is depressed, Suzu is in a dilemma whether to help Ikuto off the island or not because she does want Ikuto to stay by her side. Forever. Obaba says there’s 1 way to leave the island, and that’s some thunderstorm tidal wave which comes by once in 100 years and washes everything out from the island. How convenient. It seems that time has nearly come. In addition, the storm is like a double-edge sword as not only it could make 1 leave, but could kill those who attempts it. So Obaba wants Ikuto to go and make a prayer to the Sea Dragon God so that his journey will be blessed, or else Obaba won’t even allow him to leave the island. However, Obaba says if Ikuto is to leave the island, Suzu will have to part with him. Is she ready for that? But Suzu seems to support Ikuto to leave the island, saying that worrying for his sister is natural. Though Ikuto is sceptical, he has no choice. While Suzu tells Ikuto how to get to the Sea Dragon God’s lair, the other girls are eavesdropping and with their ‘evil eyes’ they scheme not to let Ikuto leave the island. Can’t let the only guy leave, right?
 
The 1st step is to obtain a key to the Sea Dragon God’s lair located on the snowy top of Mt Fuji. As Ikuto and Suzu start their journey, we see Rin, Yukino and Chikage made a large maze to delay their journey. Since Suzu’s a mame daifuku ‘slave’, she fell for it and they both entered the maze. Of course, Rin pitied Ikuto getting lost and already put up some signs. Defeats the purpose, right? Chikage then unleashes some giant ball which smashes and flattens everything, including themselves. Pity Ayane. Thought Ikuto and Suzu has gotten out of the maze, they now have to face the 4 region leaders, as they have a duty to protect the Sea Dragon God. First up is Taiga. But Mei Mei and Touno appeared and the fight got interrupted (Taiga tripped on Mei Mei’s butt?). So off Taiga goes to hunt the one who defeated him. Again. Next is Pandaro, who’s been bribed by Machi to do so. But Shinobu appears and is mad that Ikuto left her out on some secret training and proceeds to take on Pandaro herself. Best to let them be. Next is Shima Tora. Something like Ikuto needs to spot which of the clones is the real 1 and he notices it with that fake tail thing. Finally high on Mt Fuji, the face the supposedly unknown eastern leader and the strongest of the 4. To Ikuto’s surprise, it’s Karaage. Suzu meant to tell him, but it seems she hasn’t got the time. So a battle between man and chicken (Karaage taunting that impossible and give up word to him) before Ikuto and his attitude assures him of victory with that hand changing sword technique. Karaage admits defeat, notes how Ikuto has become stronger and gives the duo the key. As they take a boat to the lair, we see Ayane clinging on to the bottom of their boat. Taking the fight down to the wire?
 
They arrived at the shrine and walk down the slippery pathway in episode 26. Ayane who’s been following them reaches there first because she slides all the way down like a roller coaster ride. As Ayane plunges deep into the lake, Ikuto and Suzu starts praying before leaving. Because of the currents, Ayane grabs on to something, which is the Sea Dragon God’s whiskers and accidentally snaps it off! Uh oh. Say, isn’t this the Nessie creature back in episode 6? Must be. Anyway it’s furious! Ayane resurfaces and surprises the duo but manages to get out in time as the cave starts crumbling, blocking the entrance path. I wonder why Ayane is still holding on to the whiskers. Ayane tells the other girls how she prevented Ikuto from leaving but Obaba says how they should consider his feelings and not be selfish if they want to be with him. Ikuto is seen pushing a boat out to sea and a thunderstorm looms. Obaba and the rest comes along to stop him but Suzu stops them. Is it ok, even if it costs his life? Suzu rides on Sashimi’s back and pleads for Ikuto to come back. Ikuto is facing the mother of all whirlpools and just needs to get pass this one. Suzu desperately tries to grab Ikuto as they’re being sucked in. However, in the end, Sashimi only brings back Suzu. As for Ikuto, there is a probability that he has already gone pass the whirlpool. Obaba says that the Sea Dragon God doesn’t look pleased and Suzu rushed back there to pray again. Of course, Ayane had that guilty feeling and decides to help out with the other girls too. Ayane reattaches its whiskers to appease it. I wonder how it could be reattached just like that. The Sea Dragon God is calmed down and Ayane for once decides not to be selfish and wishes for Ikuto and Suzu’s wish to be granted.
 
Ikuto resurfaces in a calm sea and a light from the tiny opening of the clouds shines on him. It’s like being dead. Call it fate or convenience, we see several macho men paddling towards Ikuto as Misaki calls out his name. Relief to see her, Misaki proceeds to tell him how she went looking for him when she gets word that he got lost at sea. But she too got lost and when the accident occurred, she was drift ashore to an island filled with men only. An island called Airantou. So probably that’s where all the men vanished to! Anyway, the guys are good and decent as they did a pretty good job in taking care of Misaki. Lucky no perverts. Thing is, Misaki is thinking of staying on that island longer and wants Ikuto to come along. But Ikuto says that he wants to go back to his own Airantou as somebody important there is waiting for him. So off the men paddles back with Misaki as they promise to take good care of her. Ikuto soon gets caught in a whirlpool again. It’s a sunny day on the all-female Airantou as Suzu takes a stroll on the beach. It’s peaceful without Ikuto. Tonkatsu spots Ikuto lying on the beach as Suzu rushes to his side. In a way, you could say she’s glad. Just then Obaba announces a 2nd round of Catch-The-Groom-Hide-&-Seek Tournament and once again Ikuto has to start running from all those man-crazy woman. I guess the other girls are glad that he’s back and they won’t give up that easily. Yeah, the producers even had the cheek to introduce a new character at the end during the chase. Haha. Too late to make her appearance. Obaba says since Ikuto is quite familiar with the rules, she doesn’t need to explain it all again and could start right away! At least we know Mikoto won’t be in. Heh, less 1 competition. Hey, Shinobu’s still fighting Pandaro! She gets mad when Ikuto accidentally ‘defeats’ it while running away from the ladies, and thinks he has stolen her victory. Ah well, it’s better to be chased by lonely girls driven by their maternal instinct to get married rather than loan sharks driven by their material instinct to get back their money.
 
Overall, I could say that I enjoyed the whole series, though at times I feel that the jokes got a little too repetitious after a while. Though the end doesn’t seem that all bad, I felt it could’ve been better. I mean, Ikuto gets to see his sister again but they soon parted ways. Don’t they want to go back living together? Oh yeah, maybe they’ve found their new place to call home. Especially Ikuto, who doesn’t seem to see eye to eye with his dad. But Ikuto’s flashbacks about how the quarrel came about never came to known. Like many harem animes, the guy didn’t really choose which particular girl he wants to be with. But from things, I could say and most viewers would agree it should end up with Ikuto and Suzu. And it’s amazing despite Ikuto being a non-believer in superstitious things, he gets along pretty well on the island. Perhaps he’s hoping that it’s all a dream?
 
The voice acting is excellent and as mentioned, my favourite one is still Ayane, who is voiced by Saeko Chiba (Dokuro in Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, Natsuki in Mai-HiME, Chika in Ichigo Mashimaro, Tsubasa in W~Wish). Yui Horie is the voice behind Suzu (Tohru in Fruits Basket, Eri in School Rumble, Siesta in Zero No Tsukaima, Tamami in Mahoraba) while Shizuka Itou does Chikage (Wilhelmina in Shakugan No Shana, Hinagiku in Hayate No Gotoku). Others include Rin by Ryoko Shiraishi (Hayate of Hayate No Gotoku, Kaede of Mahou Sensei Negima), Yukino by Shizuka Hasegawa (Yutaka of Lucky Star, Tomohane of Inukami), Machi by Mikako Takahashi (Rushuna in Grenadier, Ayako in Mamoru-kun Ni Megami No Suhukufuku Wo, Amy in Bakuretsu Tenshi), Mei Mei and Makun by Hitomi Nabatame (Yuuna in Maburaho, Miki in Muteki Kanban Musume, Nobue in Ichigo Mashimaro, Princess Feena of Yoake Mae Yori Iro Na ~Crescent Love~), Mikoto and Tonkatsu by Akeno Watanabe (Angela of Someday’s Dreamers, Haruka of Amaenaidayo) and Ikuto by Hiro Shimono (Sakauchi in Ghost Hunt).
 
With that, the characters are wacky enough to make the whole series amusing too. Though there are some minor characters like the Sea Dragon King and the mysterious blue bird which made me raise an eyebrow or two as to who they are actually. When an episode ends, there’ll be a little more screentime at the end. So don’t go switching off or turn the channel just yet. Besides, the next episode preview is just the title of the next episode and is located somewhere near the end during the end credits. Keep a sharp lookout for that. By the way, I also kinda noticed that the girls on this island has only 1 name. Meaning, they only have their first name and no family or surnames.
 
So if I’m ever washed away to an island filled with bishoujos, I think it beats being on an uninhabited island filled with unknown dangers. On second thought, maybe it won’t be such a good idea as I think I might abuse my ‘position’. Harem anime lovers should pretty much dream on for situations like that. That would probably be a much safer bet. Hmm… I’m thinking, doesn’t the Bermuda Triangle have almost the same circumstances?
 

Nagasarete Airantou

Mahou No Chocolate

March 8, 2008

I love chocolates! You know those dark brown chunky blocky bar shaped cocoa, butter and milk goodness when you put in your mouth, it starts to melt and you could feel ooooh lah lah, the sweetness of the taste and fragrance that not only melts your senses but your heart. Sorry, I actually got carried away a little back there.
 
Ahem ahem. So where was I. Ah yes, how often have I come across animes with chocolates as its main theme. Well, nil. Okay, maybe like Trouble Chocolate and such but nearly almost every romance anime has that Valentine Day whereby girls give their homemade chocolates to the guys that they love. Don’t even mention obligation chocolates. So if that guy really likes the girl, he will return some chocolates to her on White Day which is about a month later.
 
Thus with my love (addiction and obsession rather) of chocolates, I decided to check out this anime Mahou No Chocolate. However, this OVA has only 1 episode. That’s right. You can count them with the fingers on any 1 of your hands and still have balance. Haha. Just being sarcastic. Not only that, if you think 1 episode is pretty darn short, wait till you hear an even shorter news. The show only lasts about 8 minutes! Holy sweetness! There’re lots of other simple things which lasts pretty longer than that. Like eating chocolates. Tsk tsk tsk. One should take their time eating and enjoy to savoury goodness of chocolate rather than rush for time. Unless the chocolate is just a small insy tinsy mouth size bit, then it’s a different story.
 
Before I lose myself again, let me just go over briefly about the story. It’s about this girl Mami Itou who has a crush on her senpai (upper classman) Ishida, who’s also the captain of the school’s football team. Of course Mami hasn’t been successful in confessing her feelings to Ishida but when a mysterious person gives her some magic chocolates, supposedly have the magical ability to make a person’s wish come true, will Mami’s dream finally come true?
 
As the show starts off at Midorigaoka Middle School, we see Mami in a classroom alone with another person, Koko. At first impression, it might seem that Mami is trying to confess her feelings to Koko as she gives her a present. Koko then says she’ll accept them and is quite happy. What may look like a yuri scene because the viewing angle seems to make it so, it is revealed that they’re just rehearsing. Yup, Koko’s just acting as Mami’s boyfriend and playfully hits her head repeatedly and says "Why can’t you say a simple thing like that". Looks like the practice was a success but can it be so when the time comes?
 
So the duo leave the classroom and towards the shoe locker area, they talked on how Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. Koko remembers that Mami ended up not giving Ishida her chocolates last year but Mami says that she did give away her chocolates. To her dad and little brother Kazuki. Mami then mentions that Koko did confessed to her loved-one, Suzuki, on Valentine’s Day and wonders if there’s a secret to make it go well. Koko proceeds to tell her there is and last year, a day before Valentine’s Day, she got some Valentine chocolate from a strange girl in black clothing near her house. That girl proceeds to tell Koko that magic chocolate would let her get a boy’s heart. Koko thought it was a trick but when she gave Suzuki the chocolates, it was a success. Jackpot! Mami can’t believe it either.
 
Mami and Koko are walking just outside the school field as Mami wonders if that person is a witch or what, when they caught glimpse of Ishida playing football. Well, in Mami’s eyes, he’s totally cool. Mami also notices that Ishida is popular with the girls with a group of them cheering him on and thinks that it might not work out well too this year. Koko then says is she going to waste all her hard effort in making the chocolates this year because she may not get another chance as Ishida is going to be playing football at an out-of-district school next year.
 
As Mami goes on blabbing how her love fortunes this week are worse for a couple, a football comes straight smack into her face. Of course Ishida comes running to her and wonders if she’s okay. I’m not sure if the bleeding from Mami’s nose is from the ball that hit her face or whether she saw the moe-ness of Ishida. Either she looks kinda happy before passing out.
 
At the infirmary, Koko comes in to know that Mami is still alive and resting on a bed with a cloth covering over her eyes. Mami wonders where Ishida is and Koko tells her that he went back to practice. Mami then says "What a waste of this cute face" as the both gave out a heartily laughter. Just as Mami starts blabbing how she made deformed chocolates last year, Koko notices Ishida coming in and quickly and sneakily sneaks out to let the duo be together. Mami went on ranting how Kazuki complained about her chocolates but ate the entire bitter stuff. Thus she tells Kazuki that she’s going to make some good tasting chocolate this year. But this made Ishida to have that ‘concern’ look on his face as he left. I think Mami realized that Ishida was there but it was too late.
 
On the way home, Koko tells Mami just to confess straight to that guy and clear the air by telling him Kazuki is her little bro. Mami seems a little gloomy and is resigned to the fact that it was just a dream and it won’t be granted anyway, thus it’s a good chance to give up. Before the duo parted ways, Koko tells Mami to smile.
 
In the cold of the night, Mami is sitting dejectedly alone on a swing and the chocolate she wrapped in a present in her hands while thinking back how she put in lots of effort in making it. Just as Mami gets up and decides to go home, she hears a voice who is asking her is she worried about love. Mami spots a cloaked girl at the playground as she continue saying how she feels sorry for girls who’re worrying about love and that she can’t leave them alone. Therefore, she decides to give her some magic chocolates which will make her wish come true. She tosses a box of nicely wrapped chocolates to her. But before Mami could say anything more, she has already disappeared.
 
The next morning, Valentine’s Day on a Sunday. Mami’s mom is advising her to lie down or else her fever would worsen. Mami’s dad just told her to leave Mami alone, since she was up late and messing around. Furthermore, Kazuki teases her by saying that it’s Valentine’s Day and that Mami is still chasing after that football captain club guy, making Mami a little mad. Mami’s mom thinks it’s a nice thing to confess to her loved-one on Valentine’s Day but her father doesn’t seem to like it. Yeah, he’s saying how he won’t accept that boy (even though he has never seen him) and that Mami’s lover can be no other than Koko-chan. What the? Is this the kind of relationship a father wants her daughter to be in? Does he have such fetish too? I hope he’s just joking.
 
Mami is rushing to her senpai because she thinks he’ll be leaving soon. She reaches in time soon as the practice is over and calls his name. Before Mami could say anything more, a bunch of fangirls pushed Mami aside. Haha. They want Ishida to accept their love filled chocolates. What’s this? Ishida instantly apologizes to them all and goes help out Mami. Wow. That rejection was fast. I was thinking he’d be hesitating a little but nope. He just showed his palm to those girls. Ishida didn’t say a word and brings along Mami as he takes her hand and they rush off somewhere. Yeah, those girls must be real disappointed now.
 
At a secluded part of the school, Mami wonders is this the effect of the magic chocolate as she catches her breath. Mami then muster up her courage and is going to give the magic chocolates to Ishida. But wait. Why is she hesitating? Her heartbeat is louder than anything else. Finally, Mami realizes that she can’t do it after all and that she’s no good. However, Ishida immediately blurts out that he loves Mami, surprising her. Ishida continues that even though that he knows she likes a guy named Kazuki, but he has always liked her. He apologizes that he has been a bother to her and rushes off. Mami tells him to wait and is going to give him her homemade chocolates when she collapses due to her fever.
 
Ishida then carried Mami on his back to her home and Mami thinks to herself how she felt lucky and panic to her dad. Haha, Mami’s dad split into half when he saw Ishida giving Mami a piggy back ride outside his house. Then later in bed, Mami wonders what kind of strange chocolate might be in that box and is curious to open it. When she does, she notes that how Koko has gotten her. Yup, the words written on the chocolate were "To Mami. From Koko with love". Erm… I think it must be a joke too. Because I don’t think Koko is serious about going into a yuri relationship. Well, not that I’d know since this show is too short anyway. Finally as Mami smiles, she asks viewers if they believe in magic because she completely believes in it.
 
Overall, for a pretty short series, I’d say it’s just pretty okay. So that mysterious cape girl is Koko, huh. Koko’s a true friend indeed. Probably she had that whole magic chocolate story cooked up. She knew Mami would have the strength to give her own chocolates and it would be a disaster if Ishida saw that message. Thus it goes to show that probably the magic here isn’t from the chocolate itself but one’s hearts. Believe in yourself. As for Ishida, I think that guy likes Mami all along and we see that the magic chocolates didn’t even have anything to do with his confession either. Mami did decide to give him her homemade ones instead of the magic ones, right?
 
One thing I’d like to note is that the drawing and animation of the show seems a little cartoonish. Uh huh. I’ve been watching too many bishonen and bishoujo animes so much so when I saw this one, it looked out of place. Furthermore, the animation is a little bit chunky. No, not like the chocolate, but a bit jerky. I wonder if it’s my player or hardware problem. The colouring seems a little light and though there are some shadings here and there, it still looks cartoonish. I also kinda notice that there are a few easy listening background music from the usual piano solo and the ones which sounds like bell chimes to me.
 
Well well. For me, I think it be pretty easy for a girl to steal my heart if she’d give me chocolates ;P. Uh huh. A way to a men’s heart is through his stomach. But what has that got to do with chocolates anyway. Now if chocolates weren’t so expensive, I’d be having a mouth full of them already. *Sighs*. Oh well, at least I can say the lack of devouring them helps me keep my shape. CHOCOLATES! I WANT TO EAT SOME CHOCOLATES!!! SOMEBODY GIVE ME CHOCOLATES PLEASE!!! Besides, who ever said chocolates are bad for health? Don’t go overboard, that is.
 

Mahou No Chocolate

Happy Seven

March 2, 2008

Harem animes. Ah, somehow I have a tendency to go watch them. Happy Seven was no different either. The title may sound that it contains explicit adult material. I assure you it’s nothing near that. So if isn’t so, then it must sound like as though it’s intended for younger audiences, no? Not really either. This isn’t a Sesame Street type of educational series either.
 
I would say this series is more for teens as it has that bishonen and bishoujo feel mix with some fantasy and comedy element. Of course, as mentioned, another harem anime. Having said so, this isn’t the kind of harem anime whereby that sole lucky guy is a pervert. More like, he’s oblivious (not sure on purpose or not) to the love of the other girls around him.
 
This is a short series spanning only 13 episodes and it’s about the main protagonist Amano Sakogami. She’s the kind of girl who looks, thinks and does things probably like any other high school student her age. However, she has 1 big flaw. She’s an unlucky girl, meaning misfortune always fall on her. What were you expecting? Some sort of physical flaw? It’s amazing how she could still go on living with all that misfortunes. Maybe it’s because they’re not at a catastrophic level yet. Besides, if such misfortunes were fatal at an early stage, I’m sure the Gods Of Mischief wouldn’t get to play anymore tricks on here, wouldn’t they? Oops. Sorry. I don’t mean to insult her.
 
Thus episode 1 sees some kind of a flashback in the year 1333 when Japan is still a feudal country. Some red meteorite crashes into the area. Some chaotic events ensued but is it all just a dream? That’s because Amano wakes up and thinks it’s a nightmare. But there’s a real nightmare she has to face. There is a test tomorrow and Amano is still lagging behind! But her bad luck is just about to start. Not only she trips on her chair, she accidentally steps and squashes her new handphone. Bummer. All of a sudden she sees a bright red light from her window and Amano is soon in a trance. The next thing she knows, she’s at her school and spots a girl in purple kimono, Kokuanten, floating in mid-air. Kokuanten asks for her name in which Amano tells her. With that, Kokuanten unleashes several demons to kill Amano. I wouldn’t say it’s the end of her bad luck or what, because some guy in a shining white armour comes swooping down and saves Amano. You could pretty much tell that Amano has fallen head over heels over him. Then a bunch of 7 ladies in some cosplay outfit, proclaiming themselves as the Happy Seven, appears and kick some monster butt. Once it’s all over, the prince in shining armour gives Amano some stone which erases her memory.
 
Amano wakes up the next morning to find herself in bed at home. So was it all really just a dream? If it was, that guy was absolutely hot! I guess it’s a good thing she had that dream. So the day proceeds normally and in class we see Amano with her 2 best buddies, Mimi Masuko of the school’s reporting club and Nene Tokuda of the school’s newspaper club are planning to do a story on Amano’s streak of amazing bad luck. Erm… You could say that it’s like an insult but a reporter has got to do whatever it takes to get a story. Amano then spots that guy in her dreams outside and decides to go see him. On her way, she trips down the stairs and into a room called the Better Fortune Research Organization (BFRO). A bevy of beauties are waiting for her. Just like their club name suggests, the purpose of the club is to help students get rid of their bad luck and since 1 of the girls spots a dark aura of misfortune on Amano, they decide to help her.
 
So let me just introduce the members of the BFRO who are also the Happy Seven, which has member ladies ranging from young adults to high school goers and even kindergarten kids. There are high school girls Kuriya Kuroda (the ‘normal’ brunette), Okiku Sarasugawa (a little prideful and vain) and Tamon Kitayama (the shy and cry baby blonde). Then the young adults Miku Manakata (I think she’s the school’s physician and likes making adult jokes or comments when she can. Don’t worry, it won’t be very often) and Mahiru Oki (this monotonous expressionless sounding lady loves fish and anything to do with it. Nothing fishy, though ;P). Finally kindergarten kids are the lethargic-sounding pair of twins with weak bodies, Nami and Mina Kotobuki. Aside these 7, there are additional 2 members, Kuan Kitayama (the bespectacled computer genius) and Shouko Shouda AKA Shoujo (her true form is a pink puppy). Though these 2 don’t go into battles with the other 7, they are the ones who will help in detaching the bad luck. So it’s actually 9 of them. Why don’t call it Happy Nine, then? Because 7 is considered an auspicious number for Japanese people. Oh wait, if you include that prince in shining armour guy, Kikunosuke Kagawa, there’re actually a total of 10 of them. So this is the harem part. Hmm… I’m thinking that there may be a little bit of traces from the anime Happy Lesson, in terms of the characters. Hey, Mahiru is almost as close as Kisaragi, Miku like Yayoi, Amano like Uzuki, Kuriya a bit like Mutsuki and Tamon is a less crude version of Satsuki. Don’t you think? The BFRO needs to keep their Happy Seven identity the secret from everyone else and if there are any witnesses, they’ll use that stone to erase their memories.
 
After they introduced themselves, they suggest to Amano a way to rid of her bad luck. That is, by going to some stone secluded in some forests and pray for happiness. I guess Amano would do anything to get rid of her misfortune and does so. While praying, a bright light shines out from the stone. Amano hears a voice and Amano’s dark aura soon separates from her. That dark aura turned into a Magatsugami, monsters who are invisible and cling on to their prey so misfortunes befall on them. So that’s why Amano is having bad luck all the time.
 
Since the Magatsugami’s identity is exposed, it’s going to dispose Amano off when the Happy Seven girls, who were watching Amano from behind the bushes all the while, comes out and transform into the Happy Seven. I’m not sure if I should really consider this series to be a magical girl genre because the henshin (transformation) is equally lengthy. With that, they get to power up and go into battle. Soon Kikunosuke appears and transform into his prince in shining armour. Amano remembers him, which sends panic signals to the rest because Amano’s supposed to have forgotten about the whole event. Yup, that wasn’t a dream after all.
 
So in episode 2, we see the Happy Seven facing off with the Magatsugami. Fight fight fight. And if you know how it’ll all end, it all ends well with our hero and heroines triumphing. Unfortunately, before they could finish the Magatsugami off, Kokuanten and her partner in crime, Kiku Tomoya, appears and whisks the monster away. Amano seems to know who Tomoya is because that bad kid is the president of the student council. Yeah, they’re the BFOR’s natural enemies. I find it funny to see Tomoya’s office in the midst of the clouds and Kokuanten’s always soaking herself in a flying bathtub, as they discuss their next moves.
 
Also, the stone which is supposed to erase Amano’s memories didn’t seem to work and she has remembered everything since their first encounter. So the BFRO ladies decide to help Amano even further. We see that the gang lives in some run down cheap house as their base. Something to do with economical sense, as Kuriya mentioned (cheap rent, that is). Here’s a classic comment from Miku: "It’s best to put virginity under stingy people". Oh how true. Anyway, the gang needs some cooperation from Amano and did some Divine Spirit tests on her to determine why her memories weren’t erase because she’s got a little powers which are different from normal humans. Uh… I find that Shoujo’s tests by licking Amano here and there (ahem ahem) a little too… hot to handle, though Amano’s naked and that scene was done under that blanket. Still enough to make my mind go wild. No, I’m not a pervert. We also see Amano really takes a liking for Kikunosuke and the other girls are really ‘concern’ about this. This is a harem anime, remember? Furthermore, Kikunosuke took the liberty to guard outside Amano’s house while she’s asleep. Love meter rising up. The next day at school, Tomoya decides to make his move. He frames Kikunosuke for having cigarettes as the discipline teacher summons him (later the admits that he was wrong and lets Kikunosuke go) and uses a fake Kikunosuke to draw a love struck Amano up to the rooftop. Soon that fake Kikunosuke turned into that Magatsugami but before it can pound Amano, Kuriya and Okiku arrives in time to do a henshin and beat the crap out of it for good. You know, that Sky Canon combo move is equally lengthy and elaborate. Cool weapon. In the end, Amano decides to become the manager of the BFRO club. Well, though the girls weren’t so sure about it (especially Okiku, who’s against it), since Kikunosuke gave the green light, I’m sure there’s nothing more they could do. Yeah, I guess the only reason why Amano decides to do this even though she has no special powers or fighting skills is to be close to her boyfriend. Love meter going up even further.
 
So the rest of the episodes will follow a similar trend. The BFRO with Amano tries to help out unlucky people. Of course they know there are some Magatsugami attached to them and tries various ways to detach them. Why didn’t they try praying at the stone like Amano did? That’s because they don’t believe in such crap. Well, there are several different Magatsugami’s, each 1 has a different name and does a different type of mischief or bad luck. Once the Magatsugami is detached, the BFRO will turn into Happy Seven with their lengthy henshins. Since it’s too long to show each one of them, they’ll show the ones who’ll be taking on the Magatsugami. Yeah, not all of them will enter the fight. Don’t worry, each 1 of them will have their chance to show us their henshin. By the way, the background music during the henshin sounds like a video game music. And if you notice, when they transform into the Happy Seven, their characters change too. Like Mahiru now has more more expression, Nami and Mina are more energetic and genki, Tamon is no longer that shy girl while Miku becomes a serious person. After a short battle in which the Happy Seven always triumph, the Magatsugami is then turned into a paper charm once it’s defeated. All’s well ends well.
 
By the way, I can’t help think that if the student council body is so powerful (even having ties with the local police force), I’m wondering why Tomoya didn’t just finish off the Happy Seven once and for all. I mean, I find that their co-existance a little weird. Though they won’t meet each other face to face most of the times, it’s like Tomoya is just playing the waiting game. And indeed he is waiting. He sees some latent powers in Amano which is enough to awake some Red Star power, which is located right beneath their school. Remember that flashback in the 1st episode? Yeah, it’s their school grounds alright. So Tomoya’s waiting for the day in which Amano’s latent power will mature, in which he’ll use it to unleash the Red Star’s power.
 
In episode 3, we find out that the Happy Seven girls are taken after 7 Gods of Happiness. Not that I understand nor do I want to delve further into that. Anyway, this episode sees how the BFRO has turned into some place where students and teachers alike blurt out their unlucky personal problems. Yeah. That’s because Amano wanted to make the BFRO club more popular and made this suggestion. I find it weird that the BFRO girls can detect a dark aura on a person when they put their fingers together to make a diamond-like hole in the middle. So a very short elderly teacher Chazawa, comes to the BFRO to seek some help. He’s sad that he’s got no girlfriend. Of course, since he has a Magatsugami clinging on to him, the BFRO girls advices him to go to the praying stone, which he dismisses to do such foolish thing. So the girls decide to help him out in a way like cooking for him and massaging his back to ease his loneliness. Since Chazawa was so happy, his Magatsugami was detached. Yup, another way to do so. If a person is happy, its power is enough to detach the Magatsugami. Since Chazawa fainted, the girls didn’t need to use that memory erasing stone on him and transforms into Happy Seven and soon defeats it. The end part was a little bit far-fetched. That’s because when Chazawa comes to, some random ex-student girl of his rushes in and hugs him, saying that how she wants to marry him. What the? So the shorty teacher finally gets married to his tall ex-student and they seem so happy in the wedding photo. Is there any such cases in the real life?
 
In episode 4, it is revealed that all of BFRO girls are secretly in love with Kikunosuke but are bound by some oath. Something about they cannot have an intimate relationship with him and must maintain it as friends, something about if Kikunosuke likes another girl they must support his decision and not be jealous. Uh huh. Tough luck. And I thought it would be fun to see some tugging in this harem anime. Ah, if girls in this world were only like that. Just kidding. Of course, Kikunosuke doesn’t know about this all and the girls try to hide this oath whenever he’s around. As mentioned, this guy is bloody oblivious to the love the girls show him, especially Amano. But I suppose this guy doesn’t want to turn a girl down and obliges whatever she gives and such. It’s so obvious Amano’s really head over heels over him. She can’t help fantasize everytime she just think about him. And she’ll be all sad and gloomy if he’s not around. Furthermore, Amano doesn’t know the other girls like him.
 
I guess love is in the air because Mimi too seems to have fallen in love with a cute guy named Kaoru Sajime. Since he’s in Kuan’s class, Mimi along with Amano and Nene to find out more about him. However, Kuan tells them that Kaoru is a girl who likes to dress as a guy. Oh the heartbreak for Mimi. Good thing she’s not into yuri. Well, is this considered to be her bad luck? Anyway, Kaoru is always alone and not mixing around so the gang did sense a Magatsugami clinging on to her. So the gang try to help her out by making her more feminine like do some shopping and such but they got carried away. Didn’t work. Then they did some research on her background like how she like to make plastic toy models and was even a model club member. During that time she was all cute and girly. So Okiku has a plan by asking Kaoru to make some plastic models with them along with the other male model club members. They find out that Kaoru was forced to quite the club when her parents found out and doesn’t like her to be in one. Since she was so happy that she could make models again, the Magatsugami detaches itself and a short battle with Happy Seven ensued with the latter emerging victorious. In the end, Kaoru becomes normal again (dressing up in a girl’s uniform, that is) and rejoins the model club again. Now all the guys are drooling. While the BFRO girls are saying some moral value lines, Amano comes in and excitedly tells them that the model club has a funny rule. She tells them that if any guys are caught falling in love with Kaoru, will be immediately kicked out of the club. As Amano laughs at it, the other girls aren’t. They’re pissed off but just manage to control their rage. Dense girl Amano says she could "feel a murderous intent" but brushes it off. Oh you don’t know how similar and close this same rule is.
 
Because of an occurance of a missing kid in episode 5, the gang decides to do some watch by working at some stalls at the festival. Guess what Mahiru is selling. Fish of course! I guess Amano’s pretty happy that she gets to go sightseeing with Kikunosuke but during that outing, Amano accidentally dirties Kikunosuke’s clothes when she drop some food stuff Kikunosuke handed her. A young lady, Wakana, passes by and offers to wash it and invites them to her house nearby. They hear her sad story of how her husband ran away leaving her all alone while drinking tea, but Wakana seems okay with that fact. Miku and Shoujo even suggests for Kikunosuke to go seduce her to cheer her up! Oh the horror for Amano. But that’s because they detect a Magatsugami on her. Poor Kikunosuke, he gets flustered up while trying to do so. That guys is really so innocent. Soon the gang decides to investigate a warehouse because Shoujo’s ears detect a sound of a boy. They find that missing boy wrapped in a cocoon and before anything could happen, Wakana ties up the gang with her web. Wakana’s saying how if she consumes the boy’s youth, she’ll look younger and her husband will come back to her. Like that will happen. The gang gives her their lecture on inner beauty and such. Bla bla bla. I guess those words are enough to detach the Magatsugami as the gang frees themselves and do battle. Love triumphs over (just kidding, more like the good guys win) and in the end, as the gang regroups, they notice Amano a little gloomy because she couldn’t do much nor help out. But when Kikunosuke quotes how cute Amano’s yukata is, all the gloominess is lifted and she gets her confidence back. That’s all it takes to make this girl happy.
 
If you’re having problems telling the twins apart, it’s not that you have eye problems. I still can’t tell them apart and in episode 6 is mainly about them. They refuse to wear any different ornaments because they want to be the same. But during a night fight with some mirror Magatsugami changes everything. Because the Magatsugami changes its appearance as 1 of the twins, the other twin has a hard time distinguishing which is the real one and ends up hesitating. Though she manages to choose the real one, the Magatsugami flees when the other Happy Seven arrives. And I thought twins had this instinct to tell each other apart at least. Because of that, the twins ended up quarrelling so much so they don’t see each other eye to eye. Funny thing is that, even so, they’re still sitting and walking together. Just not looking at each other. It’s so awkward. Can’t be really separated, huh? But you’ll notice that even though they don’t like each other at that point, they’re still concern about each other, albeit they try to hide it. Then 1 evening at a park, Kikunosuke advices 1 of them that Mina is Mina and Nami is Nami, that it’s okay to be different. So the twins got some different hair accessories to differentiate themselves and soon it’s round 2 with that mirror Magatsugami. It does the same duplicate trick but because of the hair accessory, they manage to tell each other apart and defeat that scumbag. In the end, we see the twins back on good terms and wearing several accessories from head to toe. Not that I could differentiate them still. Uh huh. Even if they said Mina has this shape accessory and Nami has this type, it’s all too confusing. By the way, I kinda notice that the rest of the episodes that follows, the twins aren’t wearing them anymore. It’s like they’ve discarded it and it’s all back to square one. No mention on what happened to the accessories either.
 
Episode 7 sees Kokuanten infiltrating the school as a transfer student to understand why those puny humans are so happy and what’s so interesting about school life. Well I find it kinda weird that Kokuanten goes around and unleashes her super power which causes a little havoc throughout school and still nobody really notices some extraordinary about it. Haih. Well, blur girl didn’t recognize who Kokuanten is when she accidentally bumps into her and even gives her some spice believed to have some love effect. So off Kokuanten goes to make that concoction in the lab when Amano’s playing some baseball below and the ball just hit through the glass window and ruins Kokuanten’s dish. Though Amano tries to apologize, Kokuanten’s naturally pissed off and before you know it she transforms back to her purple kimono and starts blasting away. Lucky Kikunosuke’s there to save her. So it’s a 1 sided battle in terms of numbers. Eight versus one. What are the odds. Even so, Kokuanten is still unbeatable and even quips that this is 1/1000 of her strength. Is she that powerful? Not only that, she did mention how Kikunosuke is the only 1 fit to be her husband. Holy schmoly! This bad chic too has a crush on him! This Kikunosuke’s 1 hell of a babe magnet! Lucky him. Anyway the battle ended with Kokuanten on the losing side and Kikunosuke’s going to deal the finishing blow when Amano comes between them to stop him. I don’t remember what she said, but it was enough to let Kokuanten go. Ever since then, Kokuanten’s having second thoughts about Amano and even spacing out. Back at that heavenly office of theirs as Kokuanten recuperates from her wounds in her usual bathtub, Tomoyo mentions how Kokuanten can’t die now because she’s important to him… as a tool.
 
Episode 8 feels like a filler episode because there are no henshins or Magatsugami fighting here. In this episode, because Amano is totally fantasizing on her beloved Kikunosuke, she accidentally signs up for some singing contest. This pisses off Okiku because I think she wanted to do this singing thing badly. So how bad is Amano in singing? Why, she’s tone-deaf! There goes their chances of winning. I mean, when she just opens her mouth, you could see the window of the club shatter and everyone is like as though being hit by a bomb. But Okiku decides to train her after she thinks that by doing so, she’ll be praised for changing this tone-deaf girl into a super idol. Haha. Dream on. So I don’t know how the training works because 1 of them involves running on a treadmill and if Amano doesn’t run fast enough, she’ll get electrocuted if she lags behind. Too bad Okiku gets roasted too. Then a time where Amano has to howl like a dog! Shoujo’s suggestion lah. But there’s 1 time when Amano opened her mouth and a beautiful melody comes out from it. Yeah, notice that Kikunosuke’s there watching. Ah, I see. So this guy must be in her presence if Amano’s going to do well. Okiku thinks that her plan has succeeded and calls the other girls to listen to her results. Since Kikunosuke’s not there, Amano opens her mouth again and not only the glass window of the club breaks, but the frame falls off this time! That’s twice already! So on competition day, Okiku thinks of even substituting Amano by wearing some big fake head mask. However, Amano really wants to do this (not after causing the stage to be messed up in some ruckus and making the competition postponed to afternoon) and after seeing Kikunosuke who gives her a moral boost, we hear Amano’s stunning performance. Yeah, singing and all comes from the heart. Though in the end she didn’t win, Amano felt happy because she get to sing in front of everyone and thanks everyone. Amano has another daydreaming of her own, which resulted in her again accidentally to sign for a participation in a manzai comedy. I guess this one will suit Amano well, playing the boke part. Yeah, Okiku can take her frustration out on her here. More training!
 
Episode 9 is a sad episode. It all started when Amano has to be hospitalized for falling down a flight of stairs. I thought her bad luck is over. Nah, maybe this is just her usual in-built clumsiness. At the hospital, Amano meets a young boy, Kouji, who tries to impress the other patients with his magic trick but fails. I also find it funny that the twins ended up in hospital after being tired out. Amano and Kouji became instant friends and she finds out that Kouji’s from her same school but because of his illness, he’s always away and in hospital for treatement. Amano then decides to make life happier for Kouji by calling her BFRO members and help him out with his magic performance. They did impress the crowd and Kouji’s mom is glad that her son looks happy. Then later on the rooftop as the gang takes Kouji for more practice but Kouji’s doctor is against it all. Soon we see a Magatsugami emerging from the doctor and before you know it, another Happy Seven battle. Kouji is shocked to see what’s happening. However the Magatsugami tells Kouji that he could make him stronger with 1 condition that he lets it possess his body. Since Kouji is desperate he dismisses the Happy Seven’s advice, pushes Amano away, and allows the Magatsugami to posses him, much to the girl’s horror. Of course the Magatsugami is doing as it wishes, causing more havoc. However, Amano’s hugging power is too much for the Magatsugami to handle and it detaches itself before being turned into a paper charm by the Happy Seven. Later, Kikunosuke tells Amano that she needs to give that memory erasing stone to Kouji because their identity has been revealed. But Amano refuses to do it and causes a fuss because she thinks all that wonderful memories will be gone. So she rushes to the hospital only to find that Kouji has passed away. Blinded by sadness, anger and disbelief, she runs out in the rain and even avoids Kikunosuke who tries to give her an umbrella. No words could reach her broken heart. Just then Kouji’s mom gave Amano a pic of them having their fun during their stay and is happy for what the gang did for Kouji. Amano could no longer contain her sadness and cries her heart out as Kikunosuke embraces her.
 
Tomoya decides to make his move first in episode 10 by wanting the reporting and newspaper club to do a pamphlet on each of the school’s club. So which club did Nene and Mimi choose first? The BFRO of course. The duo decides to do an interview on Kikunosuke and to Amano’s horror, she thinks they’re on to Kikunosuke as well! Yeah, they’re asking him questions like what’s his ideal girl. I don’t mean to be sadistic, I just thought that Amano deserves to feel such a way. While Mimi and Nene are doing their interview, several BFRO members are investigating a girl named Tomomi Sasaki who has a Magatsugami attached to her, so much so she doesn’t believe nor trust anybody. Soon Tomomi is brought to the BFRO’s room and as part of the ritual, the gang takes Tomomi to that praying stone. As she prays alongside Amano, the Magatsugami detaches itself but it seems it’s all part of Kokuanten’s plan as she throws some projection into the Magatsugami so that the Happy Seven can’t transform. Since Mimi and Nene is so excited about getting the scoop, they rush to the scene to take pics but got in the path of that projection. Amano tries to push them away but got caught. The next henshin scene is out of this world. Because Amano and pals transformed into… The Lucky Three! What the? Miko priestess outfit? Happy Seven, Lucky Three. Sounds like a happy go lucky slot machine combo . Hahaha. What’s this? Their weapons look like some celery? Anyway, the whole Happy Seven gang are in shock to see that the trio too has some super powers as they blast away the Magatsugami. However, this will be the last time you’ll see the Lucky Three in action because Kikunosuke gives Mimi and Nene that memory erasing stone. Dang. I suppose the Happy Seven don’t need a rival, even though they’d be their ally. Tomomi on the other hand is back to normal. In the end, Amano finds out that Mimi and Nene did all this info searching on Kikunosuke is so that they could give it to Amano. Hah, and she was doubting them in the first place. She’s lucky to have pals like them. But Tomoya isn’t perturbed at all as he prepares for the final battle. Probably he sees Amano’s latent powers making some progress.
 
Amano gets a flu in episode 11 when she’s been splashed by a puddle of water after a car zooms by. Too bad. She could’ve ask Kikunosuke out on a date to that amusement park Happy Land if she was well. Before that, we see Kikunosuke alone at the supposed Happy Land at night and that amusement park lady seems to be seducing him! OMG! Even a random lady loves this guy. This guy is too lucky! On the other hand, the BFRO girls notice that they’ve been trying to get close to that oblivious Kikunosuke, who’s just obliging them. I like the part whereby in the bathroom Mahiru offers to scrub his back while Miku offers to scrub his ‘front’. Haha. Of course that guy runs away in embarrassment. Because of this, the gang decides to do a rock-scissors-paper to decide which 2 lucky girls will get to be with Kikunosuke (consider this a date). The winners are Kuriya and Tamon. Lucky duo. So they went out with Kikunosuke and the rest doesn’t seem satisfied and proceeds to spy on their every move through Kuan’s computer technology, fearing that they may break that oath of theirs. The dating trio then heads into Happy Land. However, Mimi and Nene spots Kikunosuke with the other 2 and proceeds to call Amano. Amano who has just received the shocking news somehow got all the strength she needed to rush there! She’s no longer sick isn’t she? On a bench at Happy Land, Kikunosuke is tired and is asleep, Kuriya and Tamon uses this chance to peck on his cheek. However, to Amano’s horror she saw this. Yeah, selfish girl screams in disbelief and passes out. At this time, that amusement park lady who earlier seduced Kikunosuke actually had a Magatsugami attached to her. Kikunosuke decides to take this one himself and tells the rest to take care of Amano. We find out that this Magatsugami has some love confusing power, the reason why Kikunosuke wanted to do this alone in the 1st place. Uh huh, nearly got a yuri moment there when the Magatsugami’s projection hit the girls. In the end, Kikunosuke defeats the monster. The next day however, Amano confronts Kuriya and Tamon and the duo are fearing a backlash. Suspicious at first, eventually Amano forgives them thinking that they were under the Magatsugami’s spell. Phew. Safe. Lucky she’s not that bright either.
 
See, if your daydream too much about your boyfriend, it’ll affect your grades. That’s what happened to Amano in episode 12. But this episode begins with a flashback of Amano’s ancestor back during the feudal times, Sadakane. Um… Some alien invasion back then? Sadakane seals something powerful underground, supposedly the Red Star. In present time, we see Kikunosuke meeting up with Tomoya and Kokuanten on the beach. We hear that Tomoya blames Kikunosuke and co for the death of his brother but Kikunosuke denies if it was anything like that. However, there’s no back story to tell how this came to be. Perhaps you need to read the manga. The conversation makes Kokuanten thinks about that fiery ‘love’ encounter with Amano several episodes back. Next day at the school library, Kikunosuke catches Kuriya in his arms who falls off the stool, making the other BFRO girls jealous. But Kikunosuke has something important to tell them. If you’re guessing that he’s going to choose which girl he loves, then you’re totally wrong. Back at the base, he tells them that the Red Star is… the Evil Spirit Star. Tadah! Wow, I’m so shocked, I didn’t know about it. Puhleese! I thought it was something more than that but just something crappy. Besides, don’t they have at least a little idea that the Red Star is some evil source from the start? Meanwhile Amano is praying at a shrine and is still fantasizing about kissing Kikunosuke. She’s so full of herself. As she rushes off to meet Kikuno, to her surprise she sees him standing there. Nope, it’s Tomoya. Tricked again by Kikunosuke’s phone call part 2. To cut things short, Tomoya blurts out the whole truth about the BFRO girl’s oath about loving Kikunosuke. I wonder how he got that scroll in BFRO room. Amano is in total shock. With that, her screams created some explosion and her eyes changed. Her scream is loud enough to make the BFRO gang rush to the scene. I guess this shockwave is what Tomoya has been waiting for. That seal which Sadakane has appears on Amano and the Red Star beneath the school starts to glow, causing some earthquake. The BFRO gang arrive and Kikunosuke has Amano in her arms. Amano apologizes that she had no idea everyone loves Kikunosuke. She confesses that she loves Kikunosuke before she dies. OMG! Is she dead? It can’t be! Everyone is sad. It’s hard to hate this selfish girl now and I couldn’t say I like it that she’s gone but at least she realized it.
 
So the Red Star AKA Evil Star can be seen floating in the night sky in episode 13. Everybody in town is in awe witnessing such out of this world phenomenon. Tomoya decides to call it his Nirvana and it’s revealed it’s some sort of weapon. Amano is glowing in some light and is wrapped around Nirvana. Kokuanten heads towards Nirvana and powers up. Yeah, she even has her own henshin. So it’s 8 versus 1 again but Kokuanten is much stronger now and can even heal herself. However she stops attacking when she spots Amano in Nirvana. Some alien life force takes over Amano and begins to tell them how the alien race was fighting among themselves and this weapon was built to end it all. But they miscalculated its power and decides to bury it in Planet Earth. How powerful is it? Well, it could destroy the whole Milky Way, galaxy and the entire universe! Now that’s playing God. So back then during feudal Japan, those aliens made a deal with the emperor but the emperor went insane and betrayed then so they had no choice but to leave it to Sadakane. This goes to show that aliens indeed landed on out planet a long time ago. Since then they’ve detected some disturbance in the system and they’re on their way here to take back the weapon. You know, it’s pretty annoying that the alien starts off each line with ‘ware ware’ (meaning we). The system of the weapon is overloading and is going to destroy everything in 7 minutes. Yeah, it’s that lucky number again. The Happy Seven tries to stop it but can’t and realize that they must all channel their power through Kikunosuke. But that guy even mentions it’s not enough and needs Kokuanten’s powers. That bad chic is hesitating, which makes Tomoya panic. I’ve never seen Tomoya so frantic before. He’s pleading to her not to listen to them, saying that she’s got all the power she needed. Uh huh. This Tomoya kid thinks that since his brother’s demise, there’s nothing left for him in this world and that everything should just vanish. Sick kid. So which part of it did Tomoya intend to use Kokuanten as a tool? Maybe it’s to get rid of the Happy Seven.
 
Probably Kokuanten still harbours some feelings for Kikunosuke and decides to help him after all and brush aside Tomoya. In the nick of time, their combined powers managed to stop the system and frees Amano too. Then this far fetched part sees those aliens who planted that dangerous thing on this planet, arriving and beaming it up. They thank the gang and leave. You know, if you ask me, those aliens should’ve dismantled the whole thing in the first place rather than hid it on Earth. Dumb. Now they took it back. By the way, Amano’s alive and well. So the ending scene sees how Amano, her pals and the gang rush to school. Uh huh, now their school has a huge lake crater caused by Nirvana. Some last comments by Amano as the gang heads off to school while Kokuanten watches them from afar. The end. Yeah, Amano is still that klutzy girl, tripping on her way. Can’t blame it on bad luck.
 
Overall, this whole series was just pretty okay to me. Nothing that spectacular. Though it ended on a happy note, there were many unanswered questions like since everybody has witnessed that extra-terrestrial event, did the BFRO gang gave them the memory erasing stone? What about Tomoya. What happened to him? Aside being seen knocked out before the alien leaves. How does he know about the Red Star in the first place? And Amano. Does she still want to hog Kikunosuke all for herself or is she ready for some serious love battle. Whichever, at least she acknowledges that everybody loves him. Even so, Kikunosuke’s pretty oblivious when it comes to this.
 
One thing that I like about this show is the part where the characters go into chibi mode. Usually in comical situations and I must say they really do look cute. Like the mid-intermissions, not only the song is cute but each of the characters will have their chibi turn to say ‘Happy Seven’. At the end of most episodes, there’ll be a segment called Happy Channel whereby it’s hosted by Mimi and Nene as they introduced the BFRO characters 1 by 1 and they’ll do their specialties after reading some fanmail, all in chibi mode. My favourite one was the twins Nami and Mina. Some viewer asks them if they could divert all their energy into 1 body and when they do so, 1 of them becomes real weak and they other real hyped up! She’s really making funny hyped out sounds! Then there’s one where Miku gives some fanservice to the viewers… in chibi form. That doesn’t count. So if you’re wondering why they’re wearing Miko priestess outfits during the Lucky Three episode, probably it was from here. Also, since Amano is behind the scenes, she’s always waiting for a chance her buddies will introduce her but gets depressed as they seem to leave her out. Yeah, Amano always bear the brunt of some unfortunate consequences like getting bombarded with a rain of missiles. Then the as last Happy Channel introduces Kikunosuke, Amano wishes for him to introduce her, in which he did. By the time she gets on camera, Tomoya and Kokuanten takes over and says how the final battle will begin. Haha. Too late. Also, if you notice that during the interview in Happy Channel, there’ll be a small tv appearing at the bottom of the screen for the next episode preview. I’m sure with all the hoollo-balla going on, you won’t be able to see or focus on it.
 
Though both the opening and ending songs aren’t that appealing to me, they both sound happy, lively and upbeat. Quite fitting for the series. The opening theme is Akiramenaide by Little Non and the guitar playing style sounds like rock n roll. The ending theme Funny Girl is sung by YUKA and the entire song is in English. Well, probably with that heavy Japanese accent, you may not be able to guess it at first. Though the voice acting sounds okay, my favourite ones are still the twins, both voiced by Omi Minami (maybe the decide to name it after her and split her name in 2). She did an amazing job in making them really sound lethargic. She also did other voice roles like Hyatt in Excel Saga, Kei in Hand Maid May and Akira in CLAMP Campus Detectives. Oh, Mai Nakahara who’s the voice of Mai Tokiha in Mai-HiME, voices Okiku here. Mahiru is still the most amusing character to me in terms of fish. Yeah, I’ve never know somebody so attached to them and I’ll never look at one the same way again. As for Amano, I read many viewers hate her because of her selfishness (see that fish word in between. Haha, just kidding) in hogging Kikunosuke. But I can’t really blame her totally because she’s in loooove. Who wouldn’t?
 
I wouldn’t really emphasis that sharing is a good value here. I mean generally, sharing is a good thing but it depends too. I don’t want to be sharing somebody else’s disease, let alone boyfriend/girlfriend. But there are other better things to share such as kindness and happiness. If so, wouldn’t the world be a much better place? I’m just wondering that if they ever make a second season (unlikely), I’m just hoping to see some love battles over Kikunosuke. Yeah, I know I may sound a little sick. Love sick. Hahaha. Just kidding. Now, I wonder if all those bad lucks that I’ve previously experienced, was it really caused by those Magatsugamis? At least I know who to call. Ghostbusters are so yesteryear. But most importantly, be happy!
 
Happy Seven

Hikari

March 1, 2008

  Inori tsudzukete ii desu ka,

  Shinji tsudzukete ii desu ka,
  Zetsubou no mori ni sashikomu,
  Hikari yo…
 
Funny thing when I first heard Hikari, which is the opening song of the anime series Inukami, I didn’t really like it that much. Then slowly as I continued watching the show, somehow I felt ‘attracted’ to it and before I knew it, I had to have this song in my list of anime songs collection. Hmm… Maybe it goes to show that some songs need a little more time before they become ‘accepted’.
 
  Tsumetai daichi wo tsumasakide kete,
  Sukitate no kami hodoki tsukiyo ni mau,
 
When you hear this song the first time, the first impression is that this song makes a pretty good dance song. Yup, with all the techno sound beats, I’m sure this song fits nicely in those dance clubs and such. Besides, doesn’t it make you wanna get up and do a little shuffle with your feet? Of course I didn’t at first, but later on, I find it hard to ‘control the urge’. Who wouldn’t since it’s quite lively, upbeat and fast paced.
 
  Obieta hitomi no kodoku wa sute you,
  Tsuyogari dake ga itsumo tomodachi datta hi,
  Kanata ni oiteyuku
 
Thank goodness this song has a karaoke version with all the necessary back up vocals, or else I really suck big time if it was a totally instrumental version. Like most of the other songs that I sing, the verses are usually manageable. But when it comes to the chorus, my usual problem starts creeping in. Yeah, there is a line in the chorus whereby I need to go to a higher pitch, albeit it’s just a short one. I’m sure Yui Horie (the singer of this song) does it perfectly but it seems I need some more practice here. Lots of them. In the meantime, I’ll just have to put up with my inability and going off pitch each time I sing that part.
 
  Sukui wa soko ni arimasu ka,
  Fukai yami wo iyasemasu ka,
  Nukumori wo motomete ite mo ii desu ka
 
Because of that, I also kinda noticed that by the the time I reach the end of the song, I would be nearly out of breath and trying to do the last chorus line seems to take more effort and energy than usual. Other than that, I think I sound quite close for the other lines (like real). Lyrics wise, it’s simple enough to remember th lyrics though the chorus has a few words changed here and there but they’re manageable.
 
  Dare yori mo tsuyoku naritai,
  Itoshiki hito wo mamoritai,
  Watashi wa terashi tsudzukeru,
  Hikari wo…
 
Right now, I’ll just need to practice more and sing my heart out till I get it right. Or close enough. At least, I’ll have to catch my breath first.
 
Inukami