Despite how the name of this anime title sounds, Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun isn’t exactly a grim and sombre kind of genre. Well, the term ‘goshuushou-sama’ means condolences in Japanese and one might think that this series may be some sad tear-jerking drama. I assure you that it is anything like that. Far far from that.
 
Rather, this 12 episode series is more of a romance comedy and judging by the looks of it, this series is another one of those harem animes. So probably the condolences here goes to that pitiful poor male protagonist who has to cater to the many lovely girls around him. Yeah, at first impression he seems to have got it real tough alright. So is it better off being a lonely loser?
 
Anyway, as we see in episode 1, this main lead guy, Shungo Ninomiya, is no ordinary high school student. No, not that he posses some cool super powers but unlike most kids his age, he has some sort of military training (just like Sagara of Full Metal Panic) which enables him to effectively get out of sticky situations when needed. Like exceptional close combat quarters and even high and far jumping skills. Because so, I think that’s why the other students of the school loves ‘testing’ him. It’s like a battlefield every day. I mean, girls would tie him up and seduce him because they love seeing his troubled face. Guys would throw more physical and seemingly heavy mass objects at him just because they enjoy seeing his troubled face. What’s wrong with this people? Have they got nothing better to do? Amazingly, Shungo doesn’t get mad or fights back. He just dodges all the attacks.
 
Shungo’s troubles are going to get much worse when 1 day while evading his usual tormentors, a helicopter suddenly drops a girl named Mayu Tsukimura right on top of him. You could say she fell on him. Crashed on his face, rather. Of course at that height, landing on a human being would either kill him or knock him out. Since Shungo isn’t an ordinary kid, you know which of the 2 categories he falls into, right? Okay, a short flashback while he was young, about some childhood friend, about some promise. You get the idea. But he soon snaps back right out of it to see Mayu sleeping right next to him in the infirmary. So perhaps he’s trying to control his pervertness real hard and not do anything hentai to this busty babe but I suppose just like ordinary boys, he can’t resist to touch her. Before he could, Mayu wakes up and pleads not to touch her. However, it’s too late. To Mayu’s surprise, nothing happened. Then in a dramatic fashion, a guy named Mikihiko, who is Mayu’s older brother, appears from the window and Shungo gets a call from his sister, Ryoko. One thing which made me go WTF was that Ryoko is able to call Shungo while fighting a war in a foreign land. A female James Bond? Yeah, WTF?! Can he hear with all that noise? To cut things short, Ryoko has entrusted Mayu into Shungo’s responsibility. No 2 ways about it. He has too or else he’ll receive something more dreadful from his sister.
 
To make things even worse, the guys of the school starts entering the infirmary and it seems Mayu has some sort of an effect on them. Uh huh. It made them perverted. They want to touch her and feel her and hold her. Of course this isn’t something Mayu wants and ironically, Mayu has androphobia, that is, fear of men. So how can a girl who’s afraid of men exude so much sex appeal? Probably it’s because of that very same reason. Unlike Shungo, when the guys in trance touched Mayu, they are knocked out. Since Ninomiya is immune to it, he grabs Mayu and makes a dash for it. Those guys are like dead zombies. Shungo takes Mayu back to his mansion where they are safe for the time being. Inside, after introducing themselves, Mayu decides to make things up for the trouble she has caused by doing household chores but flops because she’s a klutz. Then when Mayu slips, Shungo somehow got the urge to kiss her. Fortunately, that didn’t happen because Ryoko and Mikihiko returned and interrupted them. So we hear an explanation about Mayu being a succubus. A kind of creature which depends on the life force of the opposite sex. So when the opposite gender touches or kisses the succubus, the victim will faint due to exhaustion of his/her life force being drained out. Sometimes it can be fatal if it amounts to a kiss. Shungo nearly got that. But somehow he’s immune to Mayu’s touch and I guess that’s why they want to entrust Mayu to him. Not only that, Ryoko and Mikihiko wants Shungo to help Mayu cure her androphobia. That’s going to be a lot of trouble.
 
Shungo goes to talk with Mayu after the latter finishes taking a bath but you know how klutzy and clumsy Mayu is, tripping and slipping so much so Shungo has an eyeful of her you know what. But it doesn’t end there. Ryoko and Mikihiko are even recording it on their video cam! Sickos! I wonder how many hits it will have on YouTube. So that night to start things off, the conniving elder siblings decide to make Shungo and Mayu sleep together. Meanwhile, the school’s student council president Reika Houjou seems to be preparing for tomorrow’s event. Reika is your typical rich heiress to some big corporation which has hands in nearly sector of the economy. Even if this young influential gal closes business deals with prominent figures around the world, she’s still a girl at heart because she harbours a deep secret crush on Shungo. Ah well, nobody’s perfect. So I guess that’s her main reason why she’d attend such normal high school. Plus, she has an ever-smiling always calm assistant named Mitsuru Hosaka, who usually has comments or says things he shouldn’t have, resulting in Reika giving him a good whack.
 
So in most episodes you’re going to notice some sort of this trend. Lots of ecchi fanservice. Shungo and Mayu gets into one of those sticky situations. Those situations usually turn out to be Ryoko or Mikihiko’s doing. And they have the whole thing recorded down on their little handycam. More fanservice. Shungo has to go along with Ryoko’s plans or else he’ll be sent to do some harsh training which even makes the devil cry. Some fanservice. Reika jealously watching from afar with a binoculars about how close Shungo and Mayu are. Hosaka says something he shouldn’t. Gets pounded. Fanservice. Flashbacks. Oh, I need to mention something about flashbacks. In each episode you’ll get to see snippets of flashbacks of Shungo’s past (another character who doesn’t remember his childhood life much) and they’ll be playing that solo flute background music. It was okay at first, but this signature music soon got on my nerves. It’s like everytime there’s a flashback, I’ll be going "Oh no, it’s that irritating BGM again…". Some of the flashbacks are pretty repetitive and because they’re not shown at 1 go, I don’t really get them and I think the producers may have jumbled up its timeline. And finally, more fanservice.
 
Episode 2 sees Shungo having a hard time sleeping because he’s trying not to get his lips locked with Mayu and nearly had one. Because of that, he doesn’t have much sleep as the next day he has to go to school with Mayu as the new transfer student. On the way, the duo meets Reika and Hosaka. You’ll know that Reika won’t take a liking for Mayu because the naive latter unknowingly teased her by saying how her name sounds like an unsaleable girl’s manga. Among other things. During swimming class, Shungo as usual is being pinned down by the other girls, the guys themselves are surrounding Mayu like wolves. So once again Shungo has to spring into action and save Mayu from their perverted clutches but the fence that Mayu’s leaning on fell through. The duo finds themselves in the infirmary and Mayu is on top of him this time. A surprise is in store for Shungo. No, Mayu is not ‘doing it’ with him but Ryoko has become the school’s infirmary nurse. Couldn’t stop tormenting her brother, can’t she? While Reika spies on Shungo and Mayu, Mikihiko appears and throws a challenge to her for Shungo. In a way, you could say she accepts it. At Shungo’s place, Ryoko and Mikihiko set up weird competitions for Mayu and Reika. Like cosplaying. Okay… in terms of boobs size, Reika definitely lost. Though in the end, Mayu wins, Reika is still not satisfied so Ryoko suggests that she spend time alone with him as the rest leaves. If she successfully flirt with him, Reika wins. Shungo must be dead tired and sleeping on the couch. Since Reika has never been this close to Shungo before, Reika’s heart is beating fast and is hesitantly using this competition as an excuse to undress. As Reika tries to kiss him, Shungo is moving in his sleep and did some awful submissions on her. As penalty for her loss, Reika is forced to become their live-in maid. She has to because of that blackmail video cam… Though as a consolation, Reika gets to be close to Shungo. Ryoko seems to like teasing Reika by doing some ecchi molestation on her. Yeah, it does ‘paralyze’ her.
 
So in episode 3, Reika starts her chores as Shungo’s maid. Ironic for a girl her status to do such things. Reika seems to get mad whenever she sees Mayu and Shungo together. And sometimes at very suggestive or misleading positions. I guess it’s in her right to install herself as the moral police and stop those 2 from doing whatever unethical stuff at home. At school, a classmate of theirs, Irori Okushirou, seems to call Shungo to discuss for their upcoming school festival while another classmate, Hinako Ayakawa notices how Mayu defended Shungo. I don’t understand the rationale of Irori just calling Shungo all the way out just to give him a piece of paper. Perhaps another secret crush for Shungo? But she seems more enigmatic daring rather than shy. Because of this short distraction, Mikihiko tells Shungo that if anything happens to her dear sister, he’ll have to bear some unfortunate consequences. Shungo hurriedly tries to find Mayu. It seems Hinako is taking Mayu out for shopping at town. Meanwhile, Reika has her plans to break up Mayu and Shungo in motion. We see that the shops that Mayu and Hinako enters, the macho men are disgustingly disguised and dressed as females! From playboy bunny suits to karaoke waitresses. Reminds me like that Inukami’s case. Ugh! Everytime the girls scream, Shungo manages to enter the shop and gets himself tangled in whatever sick ideas those macho men has, enabling the duo to escape to the next shop. It goes on and on and on. How many girly macho men are there?! Reika is surprised that Shungo is always there to foil her plans. At the end of the day, it seems Hinako and Mayu became good friends as the former isn’t suspicious of her anymore. As we find out those macho men are Reika’s subordinates, Reika herself wonders why would Shungo go to great lengths for Mayu. He himself doesn’t have the answer. The next day in class, Hinako gives Mayu a present but to her horror, it’s some yaoi magazine! At the same time, their homeroom teacher is conducting a spot check and Mayu is reluctant to show its contents and tries to run away. Only thing is, she slipped and the contents are soon revealed.
 
The start of episode 4 sees Mayu doing her own doujin work but got rejected when Hinako sees how terrible it was. Back at Shungo’s mansion, Reika is eavesdropping that Shungo and Mayu may be doing something perverted to each other. When she busts in, she finds out that they’re just playing Twister under the watchful camera of Ryoko and Mikihiko. Though Reika tells them off, Ryoko gets naughty with her… Later Reika is left to sulk about Shungo and Mayu’s relationship when she unknowingly made some decisions which causes the Japanese economy to nearly fall into chaos and panic. Dangerous. Reika once again finds Shungo sleeping alone but before she could land another kiss, Ryoko and Mikihiko whisks that hapless kid away to some training. Being left alone, Mayu decides to help out Reika by being a maid as well. Unfortunately, her help brings more trouble than before even if Reika repeatedly tells her not to lift a finger. If you’re wondering what kind of training Shungo is undergoing, viewers will have a glimpse of how he has to tackle a butcher, a carpenter and a journalist. Only thing is, those trio look more like blood thirsty masked psychotic killers like the ones you see in American horror movies. Is this what this poor kid has to go through every day? As Reika continues to clean up Mayu’s mess after mess, they accidentally stumble and fell into a secret door. The duo tries to make their way out of the dark passageway and comes to a place trapped with sensors. See, having big boobs have its down points. Anyway this triggered some life threatening obstacles, which the girls managed to dodge with the skin of their teeth. The duo finally arrives at an abandoned storeroom and finds lots of stuff belonging to Shungo when he was younger. Another round of flashback as we find out Mayu once liked a boy back then (looks like Shungo) but she can’t remember him because of some illness. Mayu then spot a little box and touches it, not heeding Reika’s warning. The room starts to rumble and they’re thrown into the bath area. It makes you wonder what on Earth those booby-traps are laid for in the first place. Anyway Ryoko comes home and is pissed to see them fooling around and decides to punish them both. I think this sister is a sadist.
 
Episode 5 sees the gang head to a southern island for vacation and some fun in the sun. More excuse to see the girls in their swimsuits. As usual, Reika is filled with jealousy while watching Shungo and Mayu’s getting-closer relationship from a distance. Hosaka comes up a plan for her. Mayu asks Shungo to put some lotion on her back when an embarrassed Reika in a skimpy swimsuit asks him to come with her. She too wants him to put some lotion on her back but it didn’t go too well so Reika ran away. At the same time, a female officer seems to be commanding a ship towards the island. That night, Shungo finds Ryoko and Mikihiko have left the island to attend some ‘business’ (fighting some foreign war I presume?) and that they have left a radio transmitter to contact her if should anything arises. Seeing that Reika is not around for dinner, Shungo decides to go find her. Reika is wandering on the island herself and hears an inner voice questioning her true intentions. Reika is worried that Shungo may not be able to keep his promise. By the time Shungo finds her, Reika is a little injured so he decides to give her a lift back to the hut. However, when Reika starts talking, Shungo has a feeling that this isn’t the real Reika he knows. Why, this one sounds darker and creepier. Shungo wonders if Reika is a succubus like Mayu too. Reika tries to force Shungo to kiss her but before she can do it, she passes out. Because of that, Shungo is indecisive on whether to kiss Reika to resurrect her. By that time, Mayu too has gone off searching for Shungo and spots him kissing Reika in his arms. Mayu is horrified. But before anything else could happen, an army of SWAT team arrives and surround Shungo and Reika while capturing Mayu at the same time.
 
Episode 6 continues where the previous left off. The trio are being tied and put into a room of the inn. Shungo wonders if this is part of his sister’s job while Reika thinks the Houjou Corporation has a hand in it. And Mayu can only think of that last night’s Shungo-Reika encounter. While we see a white haired lady, Shinobu Kirishima (looks like a simpler version of Aono from Sola), sunbathing on a beach, commanding an army officer to continue their plan, Hosaka comes by and swiftly deals with the guards guarding the room to release the trio. As they search for an exit, Mayu opens a door which is booby-trapped. Luckily it missed her. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so for Hosaka as the next door he opens, a gunshot is heard and Hosaka drops dead to the floor in face down his pool of blood. The trio are shocked but reinforcements arrive. Shungo has no choice but to take the girls and escape, despite Reika’s will to avenge Hosaka’s death. After they left, we see Shinobu appearing and telling Hosaka ‘how long is he going to lie there’. Shungo manages to take the girls to safety at some cave and decides to settle this himself. He knocks out Reika and tells Mayu to take care of her, before heading back. On the way, he easily disposes of the army until he meets some masked woman in tights. He lost. As Shungo regains consciousness, he finds himself tied to the chair as Shinobu and a few other soldiers beat him up. Another flashback of how this situation was similar back when he was young. Meanwhile Reika too has come to and learns of the situation. She and Mayu decides to go help Shungo. The funny part is that Reika knows the forest is filled with traps so she sent Mayu as a guinea pig by walking through it. Being the klutz she is, she triggered every darn trap! Amazing. Even when an enemy soldier (whose kid was one of those cross-dressing macho men a few episodes back) tries to help her, Mayu’s jinx seems to make him fall for the trap. And all those soldiers she encounters meet the same fate! She’s really a monster! A devil! Even Reika can’t believe it.
 
Anyway, all this is just a decoy as Reika gets ready to infiltrate the inn. Also, Reika has a flashback about her and Shungo when they were young. It seems that they’re quite close and even made a promise and a kiss. Back in present time, Reika manages to reach Shungo and free him but as the duo escape that mysterious masked woman appears and knocks Reika out. Shungo engages in hand to hand combat with her. Shungo manages to break her mask, which is revealed to be Ryoko! Oh, I should’ve guessed that this was all her plot all along. And Mikihiko is hidden in some plant recording it all as usual. Shungo has got some patient nerves not to blow his top after all he has gone through. Back at Shungo’s mansion, they are being explained that all this was being planned to access and see whether Shungo is the right man for Reika. So what are Shinobu’s thoughts after seeing it all? Well, this long serving servant of the Houjou family still isn’t too fond of Shungo nor trusts him and would not hesitate to stick her sword at his throat while waiting for orders from Reika to finish him off. Yup, looks like Shinobu has become their maid alongside Reika to safeguard the latter. And yes, Reika gives Hosaka a good pounding once she finds out this elaborated set up and that he is well alive and kicking.
 
Back to school in episode 7. While Shungo ponders about the events that has recently happened, especially Reika’s other personality, Mayu still can’t help but think about that Shungo-Reika kissing incident. But Mayu gets another shock when she sees Irori trying to get closer to Shungo. Mayu’s attempt to get closer with Shungo fails when Irori swoops him up first. I guess Shungo has no reason not to oblige her. Mayu comforts a depressed Mayu as a guy named Tasuku (judging from Hinako’s earlier talk, he may be Irori’s brother), watches and snickers from a distance. After Hinako leaves, Mayu feels light-headed and collapses but Tasuku manages to catch her. After school, Shungo finally gets to see Mayu but is surprised to see her with Tasuku. Before he can do anything, he is being whisked away by his buddies, Inoue and Yoshida to a room filled with other boys. He finds out that on their upcoming school trip, the guys are planning to sneak into the girl’s room and Shungo wonders why should he be part of their futile plan. It seems they’re keen on seeing Shungo do it with Mayu. After Shungo walks out of the room, he bumps into Tasuku who tells him that he’ll take Mayu as his, which causes Shungo to collapse (I don’t think it’s because of this shocking statement). Mayu rushes to Shungo’s side.
 
Back at his home, it seems Shungo has come down with a cold. Ryoko and Mikihiko has to leave to attend some business while Reika reluctantly has to go see some important client. This leaves Mayu and Shungo alone. We know why Reika doesn’t want this to happen. But as expected, Mayu’s klutzy-ness made the situation worse. This leads to Mayu to panic so much so she calls Hinako. Her advice is to cook something for Shungo but the meal turned out to be something pulled out from a hazardous toxic waste. Shungo has no choice but to eat it as not to break her heart. Too bad, I think his heart and stomach can’t take it, no matter how physically strong he is. Reika can’t concentrate on her meeting and decides to leave her client halfway when she gets a call on Shungo’s situation. Mayu continues to further panic and decides to inject a giant needle while cosplaying as a sexy nurse. It seems the injection has caused Shungo to hug Mayu against his will. When Mayu asks about that incident about kissing Reika, Shungo has already passed out. Later when everyone returns, they are surprised to find half-naked Shungo sleeping peacefully with Mayu. They think it’s part of his sick fantasy or something. Even Hinako, Inoue and Yoshida are there because since they’re worried of Mayu’s tone when she called. Reika must be real pissed off. I guess she won’t ever leave those 2 out of her sights again. Well, Shinobu, if you slit his throat now, there won’t be anymore purpose of continuing all this, wouldn’t it?
 
Episode 8 feels like a filler episode because for some unknown reason, Ryoko wants Shungo to make the best ramen for her. Yeah, don’t ask why. Just do it. So Shungo and Mayu Googled over the internet to see what are the best ingredients to make one. Funny part is that Shungo didn’t know that he got his arms rubbing Mayu’s boobs while he’s using the mouse to search the internet. Shungo goes on a journey to get the best ingredients while Mayu stays behind to watch the soup. Can Ryoko wait that long? Another funny part is that, all the farms that Shungo visit, has Mikihiko as the owner. Is it his twin or does he really own it all. The ingredients include searching for the finest grain (how long is he going to take? It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack), defeating a monster boar to get some pork, and some wild giant seafood. Meanwhile, Hinako has come by to help Mayu with the broth. Because it’s getting hot (depends how you look at it), Hinako puts on an apron swimsuit and forces one on Mayu. Fanservice time. Similarly, Irori arrives at the mansion to tease Shungo but couldn’t find him. Since she stumbles upon Hinako and Mayu in that outfit and in a misleading position (yuri!), Hinako can’t let her go just like that and puts 1 on her too. The next ‘victim’ is Shinobu. As she’s wandering about in the house as her beloved Reika has gone for a business meeting, she accidentally enters the kitchen. By that time, the 3 girls have gone ‘crazy’ and forces that outfit on her. You could say due to the heat, the girls lost their senses. Mayu ambiguously talking and doing ero stuff with something while Shinobu like a sad drunkard blurting out her despair of not being able to be with Reika. At the same time, Shungo has returned and soon the gang continues making the ultimate ramen. In the end, their hard efforts are being wasted because they see Ryoko eating a noodle cup ramen, a new product from the Houjou Corporation (which was made and decided during Reika’s business meeting). Though Ryoko is satisfied, Reika continues to brag about it, making everyone pissed off. Later as everyone enjoys their ramen, Reika bleakly moans and is left to wonder why does she have to eat a noodle cup ramen in an apron swimsuit alone in her room.
 
The school trips starts in episode 9. Mayu watches from afar and is unable to do anything when Irori tries to invite Shungo to accompany her. Similarly, Tasuku wishes to spend time with her. Though Shungo spots this, Irori takes him away. As usual, a jealous Reika is spying on them. Looks like she has some sort of plan in store. Later on their way to the hotspring, Shungo and Mayu meet but are unable to convey what they want to say to each other. Inoue and Yoshida snatches Shungo right away. They force him to on a mission to take a peek at the girl’s bath which is situated high on a cliff (Hinako seems to shamelessly unwraps Mayu’s towel in front of the girls). For that moment, Inoue and Yoshida seems to have temporarily gained some superhuman strengths by dodging falling rocks and climbing faster than Spiderman with their so called will. Until the very last minute they flop and fell into the hotspring below. Shungo’s already halfway and he thinks it’s safer to climb up sideways away from the girl’s section. Unfortunately, he enters Reika’s personal hotspring and sees her naked upfront. Reika lets loose a blood curling scream as Shungo to falls down the cliff. I wonder why she didn’t beat him up later. Elsewhere, we see Tasuku’s flashback about how he was ‘humiliated’ by Shungo when he was younger and is planning to get his revenge.
 
After the bath, it seems the girls are really hoping for the boys to come sneak in their room during their discussion and even wonders if Shungo would come for Mayu. So the guys prepare to sneak into the girl’s room after a dramatic final meeting. Unfortunately, the teachers have set up traps everywhere and one by one, each of them are caught. I can’t believe there’s a room to with several screens to monitor the progress of the guys. Well, they failed miserably. They notice a guy (Tasuku) doing well to evade the patrol. Tasuku then calls Shungo and says that he’s going to do it to Mayu. Shungo decides to spring into action to stop him with the help of Inoue and Yoshida, who acted as decoys. Shungo notes that Tasuku isn’t an average human and finally meets him at the hallway. It seems Tasuku has possessed several girls to do his biddings to surround Shungo. Tasuku relates his humiliation but Shungo doesn’t remember, pissing him off. The electricity goes out and Shungo uses this chance to escape but is caught by Irori. She leans forward and gives him a kiss. During that period, Reika and Mayu are walking around when the lights come on again. To their horror, they along with Tasuku spot Shungo and Irori locking lips. After that being done, Irori coolly walks away, thanking Shungo for the ‘meal’ as he collapses. Mayu rushes to Shungo’s side as Mayu could only stand there and watch in horror. Oh great, another succubus. Probably why Irori is so keen on Shungo.
 
Because of that, in episode 10, Mayu remembers something similar happened to Shungo while they were young. It seems Shungo, Mayu and Reika were together back then. Back to present, nothing serious or life threatening happened to Shungo as he gradually recovers though he may feel a little dizzy on occasions. Tasuku and Irori bumps into each other and after a short chat, the latter approaches Shungo once more. Irori wants him to accompany her on this free day. I don’t know why he just can’t say no. Likewise, Tasuku also asks the same thing for Mayu. Mayu declines his offer and this time she has more confidence to approach Shungo and takes him away along with Reika. Speaking of which, that girl was spying from behind the bush and that shine off the binoculars was a dead give away. So as the trio had their fun filled day, Shinobu and Hosaka secretly follows them while Irori tells Tasuku not to cling on to the past. Later as Mayu and Reika are dressing up in traditional Japanese outfits, they’re being attacked by a group of ninjas (1 of them dressed as Snake from Metal Gear Solid). Instead of fighting back, they escape. When they could run no more and are being surrounded, it’s revealed that Tasuku is the one leading the attacks. He reminds Shungo about his past and the latter realized that Tasuku was 1 of the few bullies who beat him up back then. The attack continues and you really wonder if those ninjas are on par or not. Because even an unsuspecting Inoue, Yoshida and Hinako even comes in to join the fun as they thought Shungo had left them out of it. Everyone stops when Irori appears. Before Tasuku could say anything, she kisses him. Irori says that she has only loved Tasuku all the while. So WTF?! Why has she been baiting Shungo all the while? What was the meaning of her previous doings? Was it just to make Tasuku realize all this? Weird. What about the humiliation Tasuku was talking about? Is it losing to a girl? Besides, wouldn’t it amount to incest if 2 siblings were in love with each other? Anyway as the duo hug each other, Shungo’s pals are disappointed and thinks all this was just a setting up for the lovebirds. Ah well, at least this problem is solved. Reika goes home on her helicopter when her other dark self takes over. Shinobu wonders what is happening and before she knows it, Hosaka pushes her out! OMG! Something sinister is happening. Back at Shungo’s place, he finds the newspaper headlines labelling Ryoko and Mikihiko as terrorists. It seems like deja vu when a swarm of army invades the mansion to capture him. Then in Mayu’s room, we see a letter stating how she apologizes for everything and that this is goodbye.
 
In episode 11, the real Reika is having an inner battle but her darker side shuts her out. Shungo is tied up in a dark cell when Hosaka comes by and releases him. He takes Shungo to a little town where Shungo once lived. He enters a little apartment where he lived and encounters a dark Reika waiting for him. Shungo then has his memories flowing back and the flashback comes full circle. Ten years ago, he lived here along with Mayu and Reika while his parents and Ryoko was doing covert operations around the world. It seems Reika then had ran away from home and had stumbled upon this place. Reika was stunned by how a lone boy could do lots of things by himself and tried to help back in kind but just like rich spoiled brats who don’t lift a finger, couldn’t deliver the goods as well as him. Then Shungo was being beaten by Tasuku and his bullies when little Mayu comes by with a flying kick. How cute. Mayu seemed more energetic those days. As the trio lived happily together, Reika’s guardians come by to pick her up and they soon have to part. After Reika kissed him, she made him promise not to forget her. Shungo gives Reika his parents pendant as confirmation. Dark Reika notes that Mayu was the one responsible for Shungo’s memory loss. Soon Shungo passes out after Reika says he won’t hand him over to Mayu. It seems Reika has plans for Mayu and those doings at the end of the previous episode was part of her plan.
 
Shungo comes to and finds himself tied to a bed and Reika is in a very seductive nightgown! Yeow! She’s gently caressing him all over! I know lots of guys would like to trade places with him. But Hosaka has to interrupt them because of intruders. Uh huh. We see the Irori and Tasuku pair in some sort of 70’s colourful spy outfit rescuing Shungo after Reika and Hosaka leaves. Looks like they’re on his side. Since the pair are succubus, they tell Shungo that Mayu may soon die because she isn’t taking any life force to sustain herself. But the trio are being spotted by Reika who tells them that she will save Mayu in exchange that Shungo will pledge himself to her forever. If not for Shinobu’s appearance (that girl isn’t dead from that fall at that height?), Shungo might have caved in. Shinobu takes on Hosaka to allow the trio to escape. However Hosaka has the upper hand and disposes of her. Also, Ryoko and Mikihiko emerges to lend them a hand and to give those Houjou Corporation bastards a taste of what’s being labelled as terrorists. Mikihiko in a Harrier Jet? Irori and Tasuku stay back to help out as Shungo makes his lone escape. He come across his homeroom teacher driving her mini car along with Inoue, Yoshida and Hinako packed inside. I guess they’re pretty worried when Shungo and Mayu didn’t turn up at school. Anyway Shungo hitches a ride to where he thinks Mayu will be, Neverland Theme Park. True enough, Mayu is seen trudging with pain there and has arrived. Why here? Because during 1 of those flashbacks, Mayu did mention how she wanted to live in a castle so Reika suggests to go visit that theme park.
 
Episode 12 sees Shungo and gang arriving at the abandoned theme park. Mayu is wandering inside and is reminiscing about the past when Shungo finds her. They chat about how the theme park was closed down because of the ugly mascot and the nostalgic childhood they had when the trio were happy living together. Back then when Reika has returned with tickets to the theme park, Mayu collapses because of her succubus traits. Shungo thinking that a prince could revive a girl by kissing her, did so which led to Mayu being resurrected and himself collapsing. Because time is running out, in present time Shungo has no choice but to kiss Mayu but she stops him. She tells him the reason why he lost his memories was because of the kiss then which drained his life force and was nearly fatal. Reika then appears and confirms this. So back then when this happened, Reika was so shocked that her personality split into 2. Must be that traumatic. Because Shungo’s actions seems not to favour Reika’s, dark Reika is feeling pain in her heart after all that she had done. In her rage, she commands Hosaka to kill Shungo. He gladly obliges and won’t rescind that command. Meanwhile the real Reika is in some sort of dream world and encounters a child version of herself crying. Reika struggles to reconcile with her younger self but eventually manages to do so when she realized that this girl was the other self she created.
 
The real Reika returns and manages to save Shungo from a falling chandelier and instantly kisses him thereafter. It seems Shungo has taken quite a beating. Who would have thought this Hosaka guy could throw punches and kicks like a super kung fu master. Reika orders Hosaka to back down but he refuses and that ensuring his master’s happiness is the only thing he has in mind. Hosaka and Shungo continue to trade blows. As the duo are about to give each other the final blow, Mayu comes between them and uses her body to protect Shungo while absorbing Hosaka’s punch. This allows Shungo to land a good punch on Hosaka, thus defeating him. Mayu lies in Shungo’s arms and tells him to keep his promise with Reika before passing out. Shungo is desperate and is going to kiss Mayu when Reika interrupts to stop him. She tripped and accidentally fell on Mayu and lock lips with her. In an instant, Mayu opened her eyes and is shocked to see Reika on top of her. Well, she feels fine. The 2 girls had an argument and Mayu thinks Reika is a lesbian and did a horrible imitation of an evil laughter. Sounds so cute. Oh ho ho ho. So why is Mayu still alive? Ryoko and Mikihiko are watching them from the ferris wheel and comes up with a theory that Shungo’s life force may have been passed to Reika via the first kiss and then from Reika to Mayu. I don’t get it. If Reika’s not a succubus, how can she take or transfer life force? And even if that indirect kiss was from the opposite sex, shouldn’t Reika at least feel some life force being absorbed from her? But let’s just leave it there. Inoue and Yoshida manages to fix some electrical parts and lights up the entire theme park as everyone watches it in awe. Hosaka is leaving in pain when Shinobu comes to lend him a hand. Forgive and forget?
 
Things seem to return to normal for everyone and back at Shungo’s place, I wonder why Mayu is rubbing her boobs on Shungo’s back. Reika once again can’t stand the sight of this immoral activity and ticks them off. Shinobu does her usual entry and threatening which causes Reika to change her mind and let it go. Later as they’re walking to school, Mayu thinks of pecking Shungo on his cheek when Hinako calls him. As Shungo turns, it seems like they both kissed. Horror. Shungo passes out but luckily it isn’t life threatening either. So a little pandemonium ensued like Hinako squeezing and rubbing Mayu’s boobs, Ryoko doing her usual hentai molestation on Reika and the Irori-Tasuku pair being lovey-dovey in the midst of it all. It’s getting a little crowded and rowdy. Shungo comes to and Hosaka sends him his condolences: "Goshuushou-sama, Ninomiya-kun". Now we know why. He’s got his hands rather full, doesn’t he? But I guess he’s prepared to live with it as Mayu and Reika soon comes running to him.
 
In the end, I find this whole anime just average. Nothing that much spectacular. There isn’t anything more on this succubus thing and even though there is no cure for it as Mayu said at the end, she’d be happy as long as Shungo is around. And so the harem guy gets to live life with his ‘precious 2 girls’. Not that there is anything wrong with that but it made me feel that the other side characters are really just side characters. They don’t really leave an impression on the series and even so it’s just for a short while.
 
Though the drawing and art are to cater for bishie fans, there’s something about most of the characters which in my opinion makes them look less appealing. Perhaps it’s the way they draw the character’s eyes. Though this is quite standard in Japanese animes, I feel that their pupils are as big as their eyes which make the characters to have that ‘blind’ look. Furthermore, the character designs are quite simple and you may have trouble telling them apart if not of the different clothing accessories, hair colour and style.
 
At the start of each episode, except for the last episode, there will be short skits by several of the characters which doesn’t really influence the main storyline. For instance, Mayu getting tied up in a sexy suggestive pose when she got tangled up in some paper, Reika trying to fix her hair twirls, Reika trying to change the world’s mind that having smaller boobs is the in-thing, Mayu attempting to make her boobs smaller by wrapping them but they just ‘burst’ out, Shinobu doing all the household chores so that Reika doesn’t have too but the latter gets mad when she spots Mayu preparing dinner for Shungo, Hinako getting jealous of Mayu’s large boobs (yeah, even though she tried eating, it went somewhere else rather than to her boobs), and Mayu trying to tell Ryoko about the existence of aliens but the latter doesn’t believe her even though she went around the world taking shots of extra-terrestrial beings interacting with humans.
 
The voice acting is rather okay too and Reika’s seiyuu, Miyuki Sawashiro is still my favourite one because of the unique way she sounds. Besides, she was the voice behind Shinku of Rozen Maiden and when I first heard her lines, it did bring back memories of that series. She sounds exactly like that. Only add a more jealousy and prideful tone to it. Likewise, Mai Kadokawa does quite a fine job for a high pitched squeaky Mayu. You may recognize her as Mimi of Kodomo No Jikan and other not so squeaky voiced roles like Chika in Kyo No Go No Ni and Miru in Lemon Angel Project. Other seiyuus include Junji Majima as Shungo (Aoki from Kodomo No Jikan), Michiko Neya as Ryoko (Riza in Fullmetal Alchemist), Ken Narita as Mikihiko (Sesshoumaru in Inu Yasha), Kouki Miyata as Hosaka (Hanatarou in Bleach) and Saeko Chiba as Shinobu (Natsuki in Mai-HiME, Chika in Ichigo Mashimaro).
 
The opening theme song, Yubikiri is quite lively and upbeat as it reminds me of that race/chase song (darn! Can’t remember that name). Whereas the ending theme, Furefurepponpon! sounds like a cheerleading song. Both songs are sung as a duet by Mai Kadokawa and Miyuki Sawashiro. At first, I thought there wasn’t going to be a fixed ending theme (or even one) because the first 2 episodes show the end credits with continuing animation from the series. You can have your fill of fanservice of the girls doing some cheerleading moves and showing their love to Shungo. Nothing extreme, okay. The mid-intermission seems to show still pics of mainly Mayu and Reika in different poses and outfits, which I think are artworks from the manga itself. Besides, that background music during the mid-intermission sounds a little steamy and drowsy. Is that the sound of an accordion?
 
So if you want to watch this, just watch for the fanservice and some silly fun. Otherwise there are better harem and romance-comedy animes out there. Oh yes, if you buy the DVD version, there are more uncut and less censored scenes, which means more fanservice for ecchi lovers. Me, nah. I’ve had enough of my fill of this show already. I’m wondering though, what happens if 2 succubus kiss each other. Will they drain each other life force of resurrect each other? Or both. But we all know for sure that this sort of kiss won’t be the kind where the princess kisses a frog who will turn into a handsome prince or the handsome knight kisses the sleeping maiden to awake her from her curse. Love can sometimes be so tiring, literally.
 
Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun

  Aru asa totsuzen sekai ga kawattete,
  Kaeri no tochuu de kimi ni KISU sareru no,
  Sonna no aru wake nai ka
 
Sometimes it’s good to listen anime songs which don’t have a karaoke version from time to time. Yeah, Toshokan Dewa Oshiete Kurenai, Tenshi No Himitsu is one of those several anime songs which I really like to sing but unfortunately there isn’t a karaoke or even an instrumental version of it. At first the title of this song seems so long that it was hard for me to remember. Well, It literally means "Can’t Tell Me At The Library, An Angel’s Secret".
 
  Dakara atashi kara ippo fumidasu kedo,
  Suki na TAIPU kiite kata wo otoshita
 
This is the ending theme song taken from the anime series Kamisama Kazoku and is sung by Mai Mizuhashi. Actually, I found out some sites listed the credits of who sang this song to Miraku because it’s a group of 3 comprising of Mai Mizuhashi, Mayu Kudou and Fumika Iwaki. So I’m not sure why some listed Mai Mizuhashi as the main singer. Probably it’s because she does the lead vocals for the song.
 
  Oh kamisama onegai,
  Kiri sugita maegami ni sugu modoshitai,
  Nanto ka shite yo kotaenasai,
  Sore ja nakya ano WANPIISU ga niaeba,
  Subete wa umaku iku yo tabun
 
Because God is part of the the anime theme here (no serious religious controversy whatsoever, mind you), first thing listeners will note that this song resembles somewhat a lively and upbeat church gospel. You’ll know it with the heavy piano pounding and combine it with heavy bass lines, short sharp electric guitar, and a church organ for the solo part (I think that’s what it sounded like), you’ll get a mix of anime pop feel as well. Of course the background vocals won’t sound like those powerful American black gospel but it’s enough and suitable for this song.
 
  Oh kamisama onegai,
  Kare no suki na kyoku wo sugu oshiete yo,
  Uta ni shite nakayoku utau no,
  Sore ja nakya MINI no SUKAATO ga niaeba,
  Atashi mo yuuki deru yo tabun
 
Even if there isn’t any karaoke version for me to sing, it never fails to make me get up and do a little jiggle. This song is quite catchy and addictive and I’m sure it would appeal to any music lover, as they would do the same. Well, singing along with them doesn’t sound so bad after all. No high pitch or long sustaining out-of-breath lines. Even if there was a karaoke version, I’d be singing it without any major glitch. Smooth sailing all the way. Or if you feel like singing along as the background vocals for a change, it’s pretty fine too.
 
  Oh kamisama mitete,
  Ikuji nashi na kimochi sugu naosu kara,
  Nanto ka suru yo kitai shitete,
  Atashi kara aishiteru no KISU ga dekireba
 
As for the lyrics, it’s simple enough for me to remember the words. Basically the lyrics is about the singer praying for divine intervention to help her be strong for a particular guy she loves. Sounds simple? Well, I guess there’s gonna be lots of changes and things the singer has to do just to regain the attention of that love of hers. I’m sure we all hope for that in real life. But until then, let me continue dancing and sing along this nostalgic piece. Even though it’s just a couple of years, since I haven’t heard it for quite a while, it does feel like ages.
 
  Futari wa umaku iku yo tabun…
 
Kamisama Kazoku

True Love Story

July 19, 2008

Despite the name of this title, True Love Story isn’t exactly what or how a true love story is about. Love story, yes. True, perhaps. We know that there are dozens and countless stories and tales on love. Some simple and some really complicating. This anime series is one of those many ordinary love stories. Yeah, perhaps they should’ve renamed it to that.
 
Based on the game of the same name, just like many other OVAs, this series has only 3 episodes. Makes me wonder if you can really tell a love story with that amount of episodes. Ah well, if it isn’t over-dramatic and filled with heart wrenching emotional tear jerking lines, I suppose so. Aside from being a drama, romance and slice of life genre, judging from the picture of this anime, I could consider this to be a harem anime as well. So which girl will they guy choose? Will true love triumph in the end? Let’s find out how true this love story is.
 
Episode 1
At Tachikuka Kuutou High School, Yuuta Morisaki is getting his picture taken outside by his friend Seitaro Momochi but in actual fact, Seitaro is taking pictures of girls in their sporting action. He’s saying something about capturing their youth and brilliance now as the girls will age in time. I think it’s an excuse to get a little perverted. A tennis ball then hits Seitaro’s head. Hina Kusunose, the girl who’s playing tennis, comes to apologize but that guy is trying to change the subject by saying how pretty the sky is. Hina’s friend arrives and warns Hina about him being notorious for taking pictures secretly. Seitaro rebuffs and says it’s called Live Treasure Photography and that amateurs wouldn’t understand. With that he excuses himself when he’s actually using this chance to escape. Hina’s friend goes after him but Seitaro scurried away as fast as a cockroach. She then looks at Yuuta and a bunch of tennis girls appear and give him that look. I guess another misunderstanding arises, even if Yuuta has no part in it.
 
Hina and her pal are at the fast food outlet discussing about the upcoming ocean festival when the latter sports Yuuta and Seitaro coming in. She invites the boys to sit together but Seitaro comes out with another excuse to leave. As Seitaro dashes out, Hina’s friend chases after him. Hina and Yuuta are both alone and staring at each other blushing. Hina soon leaves. Yuuta is sitting alone on a swing and wonders what everybody is doing when he remembers something and dashes off.
 
Back at his home, Yuuta’s sister, Ruri, has just finished taking a bath and comes out in just a towel wrapped around her. She finds Yuuta setting up some instant food. He mentions why is she dressed like that and says in a way that the reason he doesn’t fantasize about woman is because it’s her fault. Huh? He tells her to be more self-conscious. Ruri seems a little upset and rushes off but Yuuta manages to catch up and apologize. The reason he said those things was because he respects her. But Ruri is just putting up an act and soon gives him a ‘lecture’ like how he can’t understand a girl’s feelings thus he can’t ever get 1 before heading into her room.
 
At Hina’s home, She’s taking a bath and remembering how she met Yuuta. That is, they bumped into each other at the school corridor and she dropped all her books. She wonders if he has forgotten. Looks like another kind of promise made. As Hina gets up from the bathtub, she slips and sprains her ankle. Later she’s lamenting the fact that she can’t go to her club activity tomorrow but thinks that she has a chance to go home with Yuuta.
 
Next day, Yuuta and Seitaro are at the school rooftop and the latter is admiring the ‘models’ below. Seitaro then says how Yuuta knew about Hina, in which he gave the bump in the corridor reply. Seitaro gives him a cute pic of Hina and walks away. As Yuuta looks at the pic and notices how cute Hina is and that Seitaro’s photography skills are something, Seitaro is seen running away from a group of girls who are angry at him and calling him a pervert. Yeah, they want to ‘kill’ him. Yuuta thinks that he should rethink who he hangs out with. He better.
 
At the infirmary, Hina is having her diagnosis report from the school nurse. Yuuta is walking by when he hears Ruri calling and waving him. He pretends not to see her and walks away. Ruri is pissed off when her friend, Yako Mukai, comes by and says that probably Yuuta’s just embarrassed as siblings shouldn’t be doing such things. While Yuuta continues walking, he spots Hina talking to the nurse. Hina too spots him. The nurse asks if she knows him and that he was in the infirmary earlier on for a different reason. She wants Yuuta to send Hina home. As the duo are walking home, there’s this uneasy, shy and not talking atmosphere. Then as they come round a corner, a cyclist suddenly appears, shocking Hina and nearly collided into her. Luckily the cyclist stopped in time. Yuuta tells the cyclist to be careful but the latter recognizes their uniform as she too comes from the same school and introduces herself as Satomi Kiriya. Since she’s in a hurry, she tells them that if there’s anything, they can contact her, before leaving. Hina then realizes Yuuta is holding on to her and pushes him away. She’s spacing out and blushing before the duo continue their walk home. Though Yuuta apologizes, Hina didn’t say anything. The 2 then stopped and stood at the beach. Hina asks if Yuuta knows anything about the ocean festival and that the fireworks over the ocean is really beautiful and wants to see it. But he says he has something important to do on that day.
 
Back in Yuuta’s room, Ruri barges in and notices him hiding something behind his back. Well, he’s actually admiring that pic of Hina in it. Ruri wants him to show it to her but he continues to deny. She asks why he ignored her this morning and as she’s talking, she manages to snatch the pic behind his back. Ruri comments how cute the girl is and asks for her name. Yuuta remain silent. As she puts the pic down, she tells him that she’s meeting Yako tomorrow and will bring him along as well, much to his dismay. Back at Hina’s room, she’s talking to her alligator stuff toy, that she’s happy Yuuta walked her all the way home like as though he cared for her. Are you sure that isn’t just obligatory or it’s because the nurse told him to? Hina also mentions couples who see the fireworks during the ocean festival will gain happiness. She continues to wonder if he really doesn’t remember at all.
 
The next day at the school pool, Yuuta is surprised to see Yako and couldn’t believe that this is the ‘ill-mannered, without a shred of delicacy girl’ he once knew. Yako softly hit his cheeks and wonders who is the one without delicacy and says though they’re childhood friends, he shouldn’t get too familiar with her. Yuuta then recognizes her. At a distance, Seitaro spots Yuuta talking with Yako and Ruri when he hears Hina calling him from behind. Seitaro is a little surprised as he tries to shield Hina from seeing Yuuta getting all friendly with a pair of girls. Unfortunately, Hina spots it already and because he seems so happy chatting away, you can see that spacing out expression written all over her face. Feeling devastated, she soon runs away. Seitaro is looking concerned. As Hina runs away, she says to herself that rather than having her around, he already seems happy and there must be someone he really likes. This is what happens when you jump to conclusions or judge things at first impression.
 
Episode 2
It’s morning and Hina seems depressed and spacing out in her room. She’s taking longer than usual to get prepared to go to school. At the school rooftop, Seitaro is calling Yuuta slow and dense. Yuuta wonders what he’s talking about. Seitaro says though he likes taking pics of girls, he can’t stand guys who make girls cry. Yuuta is still blur. Seitaro continues that there’re sound of cracks between him and her before leaving. So this guy is now a love consultant expert. Even so, Yuuta doesn’t get it. While walking downstairs, Yuuta sees Ruri who asks him to accompany her to go shopping after school before rushing off. Hina is sitting alone and spacing out on the bench when her friend passes her a sandwich. She notices something is wrong with Hina because she’s acting strange and that is willing to listen if there’s anything. Of course Hina couldn’t tell and says it’s nothing.
 
Yuuta wonders why he’s doing this accompanying thing for Ruri and Yako, who’re both trying out some swimsuits at a shop. Yuuta is quite embarrassed as Ruri is asking him to look properly. As he tells her that this is a girl’s bikini shop and he’s a guy, Ruri says that this is the very reason why she wants a guy to look at them and still has to see them at he pool next Sunday anyway. Yuuta seems surprised to learn that they’re going to the pool. Ruri asks him to wait a little longer and gets back to Yako. As Yuuta tries to put back the swimsuits, his hands accidentally touched another girl’s hand. She is Yuriko Shinosaka. He quickly apologizes and is embarrassed but she says it’s alright as she wants to ask something. That is, if he’s a guy, why is he looking at bikinis and thinks if guys really do love bikinis. Yuuta can’t give a straight answer (probably he loves watching bikinis too). Ruri calls him as Yuuta apologizes that he needs to leave now. Yuriko thanks him because she has always wanted to know more about guy stuff. Weird girl. Yuuta is thinking Yuriko must be from his school but don’t remember her. Ruri testing the bikini she chose, asking Yuuta for his opinion and then asks about Yako’s but Yako seems shy to come out of the changing room so much so Ruri has to ‘tickle’ her out. This causes Yuuta to blush. She was afraid to come out of the locker… She was afraid that somebody would see… She was afraid to come out of the locker…
 
On the way home, Yuuta thinks how pushy Ruri is and that all she wants is for somebody to carry their stuff. His mood changes when Ruri says she’ll treat them to some summer special parfait. At the restaurant, the trio are having their dessert and the girls are talking like how they’ve never changed. Yako asks if he notices her to be more feminine now but he replies that she’s still the same tomboy inside he knew back then. Ruri tells him to stop. Some spacing out from Yuuta when Yako says how he too hasn’t changed. Ruri left to get some cakes. Yuuta then notices Yako staring at him. She mentions about the ocean festival which brings back memories of him and Hina back then on the beach while they were talking about it. Yako thinks it’s childish about couples finding happiness there. He mentions she should go see it with somebody. Yako says she’s deciding whom to go with as she’s been asked by many guys and don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. She thinks Yuuta doesn’t have anyone to go on that day but he says he has something important to do then and soon take his bag and leaves, surprising Yako and Ruri, who’s on her way back to their table. Yuuta passes by some stuff toy vending machine, stares at it, before leaving. At Hina’s home, she’s spacing out when she gets a call from Youko Furuuchi.
 
Yuuta, Ruri and Yako arrives at the pool. Ruri spots Hitomi Arimori and waves to her. Ruri introduces her to them. Morisaki blushing and stammering. Ruri then teases him for being nervous. He tries to cover up and says why she didn’t tell him that Hitomi’s coming. Ruri replies that she wants to surprise him and says how popular Hitomi is with the boys, making her blush. Later inside the pool, Yako and Yuuta had a little chat and Yako is apologizing for saying bad things earlier on, though he doesn’t mind. She says Hitomi’s quite a pretty person. Yuuta adds that she’s like an idol of all their students. Yako notes that she can’t compare to Hitomi and is afraid Yuuta will forget about her. Since he did remember, she’s glad. Yuuta then says she never changed and Yako’s reply is that he’s kind. They resume having fun in the pool.
 
Hina and her friend are walking out from the pool when she hears Yuuta and co at the stuff toy vending machine. Yuuta is saying something about this doll but can’t remember. He spots Hina who is spacing out and goes to greet her but she says that she’s in a hurry and soon leaves. Yako asks who she is but he says it doesn’t matter. Though Yako is suspicious, Yuuta mentions it isn’t anything like that. Back at home, Yuuta thinks back why Hina’s in a hurry and wonders if she hates him. He then recalled Seitaro’s words. With that, he suddenly remembers a young girl cuddling an alligator stuff toy. Hina is looking out her window and wonders why she said such things. She notices how he looked so happy and wonders if he promised that person to the ocean festival and at this rate she won’t be able to tell him anything.
 
Next day at the library, Yuuta is reading a book when Yuriko comes by and has a chat with him. Yuuta is surprised to see her and gets a little noisy, earning the ire of the other people. Yuriko is fascinated that he’s reading a book which only she borrows. Yuuta takes a look at the card in the book only to find her name written there. She must be real obsessed about this book. Yuriko is so happy that there’s someone else who share the same interests with her. Has she ever thought about coincidence? Well, she thinks it’s fate because there are many books in this library and only they both picked this book. Nice theory. Yuuta says she’s exaggerating the ‘we’ part. Yuriko continues that she’s been reading all sorts of books and knows that only they have picked up this book. Why, she’s looking at him like a stalker! Yuuta thinks she’s too exaggerative as she still looks at him with fascination. Better leave before this weirdo comes up with another weird idea.
 
After the swimming class, Yako leaves only to see her senpai waiting for her. Yuuta arrives at the school gates but didn’t see Yako. She soon arrives and apologizes for being late. Yuuta tells her about a weird girl he met at the library and Yako thought he may be having a good time. Yuuta realizes why he needs to explain to himself since it’s Yako who is late. At a spot on the hilltop, they chat about the day at the pool and on Hitomi. She asks if they could go home together and he wonders if something happened when it starts to drizzle even though it’s still sunny. Yuuta then remembers a big tree and that young girl with the stuff toy when Yako snaps him back to reality by saying that a senpai at her club confesses his feelings to her. Yuuta mentions that she already told him that she’s been asked by many people. Yako teases him and says "Baka". As they both stood facing away from each other, Yuuta says how they’re no more kids. A small rainbow appears in the sky. Elsewhere, Hina is looking out her window and sees that rainbow. She decides to go to the ocean festival with Yuuta and watch the fireworks together.
 
Episode 3
Hina is narrating how her plans to ask Yuuta out to the festival haven’t progressed yet. At the rooftop, Hina’s looking for Yuuta with her bento when she bumps into Satomi. The 2 then chat. Satomi asks where her boyfriend is and this made Hina blush. Satomi says she didn’t mean it that way and asks Hina to send him her regards for helping her fix a flat tyre. Satomi then apologizes and says will talk to her later because she’s having her lunch. Hina’s walking and thinking when Youko calls her and says that she’s been looking for her. Some talk about them being trainees and Youko giving excuses to her senpais that Hina fell down and is in the infirmary. Youko thinks of eating Hina’s lunch as ‘punishment’ for slacking off but Hina’s ‘indifferent tone’ made Youko think that it might be for someone else. Though Hina says it’s nothing, they both shared her lunch.
 
Yuuta on the other hand is ‘sharing’ his lunch with the president of the computer club, Nayu Kamiya, because the latter says she consider this as forgiving them for ruining her lunch, much to his dismay who says she’s the one who left it at a place like this. She taste the sandwich and praises the taste though it looks mediocre. She then gets a little annoyed when she notices him staring at her and tells him shouldn’t he be in a hurry to somewhere. Hina spots Yuuta walking dejectedly but backs off when she hears Ruri and Hitomi calling and heading towards him. They offer him their voluntary cooking and since Yuuta is hungry, he’s quite grateful and gets a little emotional. Hina says to herself how she can’t do it as she watches from afar.
 
After school, Hina is waiting outside the school gates for Yuuta but he never showed up. She says to herself when she was little, there’s a boy named Yuuta whom she liked, but suddenly disappeared. She’s thinking of going home alone when she finally spots him coming out. Her heart is beating fast and is trying to sum up her courage to ask him to the festival. But she collided into him instead. Though he apologizes, she too did the same, especially the time at the pool. Hina then blushingly asks if it’s okay to walk her home, in which he agrees. On the way home, Hina tells him that Satomi said thanks for helping with her bicycle. They then spot a balloon stuck high up on a tree. Yuuta climbs to get it and Hina tells him to be careful but he says he’s good at climbing trees since young. Hina remember those same words he said when they’re young. The branch is going to break when he spots Hina’s facial expression which brings back memories of a young Hina before falling into the river. Since he’s alright, they continue to walk home.
 
As they pass the park, Seitaro spots them and says "That brightness… that intimacy… something’s happening!". He tries to snap a pic of them but Yuuta ‘blocks’ his perfected view as Seitaro curses him. A gust of wind nearly blows up Hina’s skirt and Seitaro is ruing his chance of a lifetime ruined by Yuuta but they’re both gone by the time he realizes it. Finally Yuuta and Hina part as they wave goodbye. Hina in her room happily telling her stuff toy her experience with Yuuta today. She wish she could hold his hands more casually and is confident that it’ll come true because she believes he is still as kind as before. A flashback of her and Yuuta when they were young.
 
Hina and Youko are coming back from camp training as they step out from the bus. Hina spots Yako and her senpai together. Back at Yuuta’s home, Ruri is thrilled that her bro got a stuff toy alligator for her back at the pool as he says it made her feel nostalgic. Ruri says that he should’ve gotten a green instead of a yellow one and wonders how she lose her old one which she treasured so much. Yeah, it might the one Hina’s having. At Hina’s room, she sees a summer greeting card addressed to Yuuta and a flashback of him giving her the green alligator stuff toy. So Yuuta probably gave that toy which belongs to his sister away. Bad boy. It isn’t right to give away someone’s belongings without their permission. Anyway, Hina was happy then. At the place where the festival stalls are being set up, Hina and Youko are chatting and the latter knows that Hina has someone in her heart and doesn’t want to be her substitute for the festival. She’s indirectly saying for Hina to go with Yuuta. Hina thanks her and soon rushes off and says she’ll be honest with him this time. We see Yuuta and Ruri riding a train to visit their mom’s grave. Hina is waiting at the railroad crossing when the train passes by. They didn’t see each other. Of course who could at that speed. Hina continues her journey once the train has passed.
 
Yuuta and Ruri are walking when he says he remembered a cute little girl but can’t remember what happened before that. He looks at an electric pole and says "Next time, let’s meet again here". He starts to remember that girl made a promise with him. That is, when she grows up, she’ll become his bride and will be waiting tomorrow at that tree. Yuuta then says will he be able to make it for the ocean festival to Ruri before rushing off.
 
The night of the festival arrives and Hina is in her yukata, spacing out and walking to the festival alone. But she meets Youko alone there too. As the duo chat, Hina says she’s okay since she didn’t meet him but definitely will the next year. Youko says in the end, it’s just the 2 of them again. Back home, Yuuta is looking at the summer greeting card Hina sent by hand and says that she’d came to find him after all. Yuuta rushes to the festival. The fireworks are being displayed as everyone watches in awe. Yuuta arrives but meets Hitomi, who is asking where Ruri is. He replies that she’ll come along soon but has to go now because he’s in a hurry. Yuuta is searching through the crowd and is thinking why he didn’t realized it at that time, the warmth of her hands, the same feelings he had when he was younger. He then hears Yuriko calling from behind. She is thrilled to see him and doesn’t think it’s a coincidence. But he thinks otherwise. Soon he apologizes and leaves in a hurry. This is the best option, I guess. Satomi on the other hand is watching the fireworks afar from a hilltop and is in her cycling gear while Nayu is seen catching goldfishes at the festival. After the festival ends, Yuuta is sitting dejectedly when a shock Hina drops her drink when she sees him. Also, Yako is apologizing to her senpai that she can’t (rejected?!) because she thinks he is nervous so much so that it’s strange when she spots Yuuta and Hina. A flashback of that scene at the end of episode 2. Yako guessed her wish didn’t come true after all.
 
Yuuta says the big tree has been replaced with steel towers. But Hina replies she’s always waiting under that tree with that green alligator toy, waiting for him to come because she wants to be with him forever and loved him even more as time went by and thus wants to see every year’s ocean festival with him from now on. Yuuta says when he was young and his mom was alive, he used to play a lot with a girl called Hina, though she used to fall and cry many times. Her smile was so cute that he liked her, even now he still loves that girl very much, which is Hina. Hina is very happy to hear this and as they stare at each other, Ruri, Hitomi and Yako are looking on while the little fireworks starts to shoot up. I guess Seitaro has to make his last appearance. Yeah, he’s saying in the end this is the only role he has anyway. Yuuta and Hina watch the fireworks while holding hands.
 
While walking home, Hina tripped because one of her sandals snapped. Yuuta manages to catch hold of her. Though they’re staring at each other for quite some time, they’re being interrupted when Nayu appeared and wonders what they’re doing over there. Yuuta tries to explain that it’s a mistake as Hitomi, Ruri, and Youko look on. Yuriko meanwhile says that she really doesn’t understand guys at all and wants to know more about them. Warning in advance. Stay away from this weirdo. Yuuta and Hina smiled as they hold hands.
 
Happily ever after…
Well yeah, like most love stories, it should end on a happy note. Childhood friends who made a promise to be with each other, finally the vow has been fulfilled. While it still bewilders me on how on Earth he could forget it and furthermore, those 2 are even attending the same school and it’s like right under their noses. Aren’t they curious to know each other even though they have little recurring flashbacks that the other may be the one? Besides, they did come face to face on several occasions, so shouldn’t it at least ring a bell like "Hey, have I seen you somewhere before?".
 
But the biggest disappointment of this series is the harem. Yeah, some of the girls didn’t even play a prominent role! It’s just like giving viewers the impression that there 8 girls (that’s right, count them from the opening credits) but in the end, some of them didn’t make that much impact and I think their presence could be done without. Like Satomi’s. I mean, she bumps into Yuuta and Hina, a short chat with the latter, and then never to come into contact again. What the? How about Nayu. Yeah, it was pretty hilarious to see her eating Yuuta’s lunch, but that’s pretty much about it either. Then the chemistry of the other girls weren’t that strong either. Of course Ruri is his sister and there shouldn’t be incest. While weirdo Yuriko’s fascination is more about the mysteries of men rather than love for Yuuta, Hitomi was because she’s the school’s popular idol so her feelings for Yuuta aren’t obvious, likewise even the closest one Yako, fizzled out in the end. So as predicted, it has got to be Hina. Who else?
 
I also want to mention that even though the drawing, art and animation just seems okay, the way they draw the characters face seems to make them look ‘chubby’. Yeah, probably it’s because their jaws may be a little too wide. In the end, there isn’t anything special about this love story and is just run-of-the-mill. I’m sure there are some cases like this in real life or in the movies but if you want to watch high school love stories, there are plenty of better ones out there. Maybe I should rename this anime to Mediocre Love Story.
 
True Love Story

Keitai Shoujo

July 18, 2008

Here’s another one of those pc dating simulation games which have been adapted into an anime series. Keitai Shoujo is more of an ONA and has only 6 episodes. Not only that, each episodes are only 5-6 minutes long. I know that these days the SMS have their own lingo and abbreviations but to adapt that ‘shortness’ in here as well?
 
So as one could have guessed from the name of this series, the theme must revolve around handphones, right? Yes. Handphones are inventions and a modern convenience that we all can’t live without today. Look at how it has evolved from a solid heavy piece of iron when it was first patented by Graham Bell (forgive me, I forgot the year) to something smaller than our palms which holds several versatile non phone-like functions like taking pics. Hmm… Wonder if you could call it a handphone anymore.
 
But besides that point, the main point of this story is about this main male protagonist, Hiro Aida. From the looks of it, it’s going to be some sort of a short harem love comedy anime, doesn’t it? Well, it is. As the short synopsis from Anime News Network states, that this Hiro guy gets to meet different girls in each episode who does normal things. So is there anything out of the ordinary here? Well, it also does mention how the only similarity is that each of the girls uses their handphone. See, we can’t really live without them these days.
 
Call 1 – Ichiru Mishima
We see an SMS message to wait at the usual family restaurant after club activities. While the other school girls are warming up for a run, Hiro is watching them and the SMS message reply goes "I got it, I’ll be waiting". Hiro’s friend, Keisuke Kotaka (your typical loudmouth other male side character) waves, calls and meets up with him. The girl’s run starts and soon ends. Keisuke is saying how Ichiru is so cool and asks if Hiro wants to go over. Hiro says he can if he wants. Keisuke then says is there any feelings and Hiro’s reply is that he was in the same class with Ichiru since junior high so he doesn’t feel anything now. That’s what they all say. Though Keisuke says that many people are interested in her, including himself. Ichiru spots them and waves. Keisuke energetically waves back but since Hiro isn’t waving back and walks away, that smile on Ichiru’s face turned upside down. So we know that this girl has some feelings for Hiro but that guy obviously doesn’t know about it. Childhood friend excuse.
 
At the family restaurant, Ichiru and Keisuke are having desert. While Keisuke is blabbing about stuffs, Ichiru has her usual sad expression on her face and pretending to listen to this chicken backside. She SMS why Hiro didn’t come and that guy SMS back that Keisuke looked interested in her and thus left them both alone. Hiro no baka! Back at her home, that’s what she said after reading that reply SMS. Okay, so it was just an unenergetic "Baka…".
 
The next day, Hiro is walking to school when Ichiru in her high spirits passes by and greets him. They had a little chat before she runs off and Hiro soon follows. Another SMS shown: "I’ll be waiting today". Ichiru is getting ready for the race when she spots Hiro, who is waving at her. I guess this is enough to lift her spirits and make her happy. She waves back energetically and seems pretty confident. So girl number 1. Nothing concrete yet. Will she just be happy loving him from a distance?
 
Call 2 – Sayo Tomoe
Hiro and Keisuke are walking downstairs and discussing some science fiction terms as Sayo walks by in an opposite direction. A couple of naughty boys are running and chasing each other. They accidentally bump into Sayo and made her fall off the stairs. Luckily, Keisuke grabs her in time. She stood up and whispered "Thank you". She seems quite shy. Keisuke introduces himself and guesses that she is a 2nd year and starts asking more questions about her (seems like an interrogation for a timid girl) but she just stood there silently. Finally she speaks up and says that he’s just a person she met today. While Keisuke is feeling happy and thinks this is fate, Sayo continues that she can’t give her personal info to people she has only met. She apologizes in a soft-spoken manner and leaves. Hiro is trying to withhold his laughter behind when Keisuke says that she’s not his type and walks away. Yeah, he probably scared her away. Remember, don’t talk to strangers. And Keisuke looks pretty strange… If you know what I mean.
 
Hiro receives and SMS: "How long are you going to take, Mishima is already here". He then comes out of the teacher’s room and SMS back that the homeroom teacher was lecturing him for a long time and he’s coming now. Hiro passes by to see Sayo outside in the rain, holding a wounded bird in her palms while sitting on the ground.
 
At the family restaurant, Hiro relates this to Keisuke and Ichiru and notes how sad she looked. They wonder who she is and don’t even know her name. Ichiru asks if Hiro is worried and the latter is taken aback a little but replies not really. Ichiru is looking a little worried. Why not, her crush is probably having feelings for a girl he just met. We then see Sayo coming out from the faculty room with a bird cage. That bird is now healed and Sayo seems happy. It’s evening and Hiro is on the school rooftop when he hears Sayo playing the piano while singing in the next building. He thinks of sending and SMS to Keisuke about her singing in the music room but decides not to and discards the message as he enjoys her music. Girl number 2. Showing some signs of interest here. Can’t blame Ichiru for being worried.
 
Call 3 – Miya Gotou
In the city, Miya is sending SMS to her pals when 2 guys show up and try to hit on her. Miya texts to her friends to go karaokeing but she’s being hit on. Hiro and Keisuke walking and talking when the former spots a girl in their school uniform ahead. Hiro asks if Keisuke knows her and he says a little and soon come to know that the 2 guys are hitting on her. "Those bastards… even though I haven’t gotten to do that yet…".
 
Anyway Miya asks if those guys have a car and they said yes and is parked nearby. Miya wants to go to the beach, in which they also agree but then she says she’ll go get a boat from a boathouse she knows. The guys are confused. Miya mentions her hobby is lure fishing and I’m pretty sure this isn’t what the guys had in mind. Though they said they haven’t done it before, Miya then suggests to go egging, which is interesting for beginners and starts to explain its terms and meanings to them. The guys then decide to ‘escape’ by making up an excuse that they had some previous engagement and thus can’t go anymore. After they left, Miya SMS: "They’ve stopped flirting with me. I’m going now, so tell me the place". She rushes off as Hiro and Keisuke watches her go by. Haha! That’s a pretty slick move to get guys off her back. Though during Miya’s conversation with the guys, she was texting to her pals at the same time. Though the subbers didn’t sub nor translate that part, I’m getting the feeling that Miya’s telling the entire situation and probably cursing and teasing how dumb those guys are while being hit on, to her buddies.
 
At school, Miya arrives at the Anime Study Group room. Keisuke greets her and says he’s been waiting for her as Miya smiles. Hiro receives an SMS from Keisuke how he has become friends with the girl who repelled those skirt chasers from the other day. Yeah, he’s planning on introducing her to Hiro soon, and asks him to relax. Hiro is smiling and says to himself what is it that should be so relieved about. Uh huh. Miya may pull the same trick on him. Thus girl number 3… Hey, Hiro has never even come into conversational contact of her. Is this possible in a potential harem anime?
 
Call 4 – Momoka Fujimiya
Momoka receives an SMS from Ami on why is she taking a road where she always gets pranked by those naughty kids and that she should’ve been faster if she had took Peach Fragrance Street. Momoka is outside Hiro’s house and later when Hiro leaves for school, a group of little kids zoom pass him. But those kids flip up Momoka’s skirt, revealing her kiddie bear panties. The brats tease and taunt her for wearing such a thing though Momoka says she likes it. So young and they have a potential to become perverts. Momoka yells back at them but they continue running away. She then realizes Hiro is watching it all from behind, gets embarrassed and runs away.
 
Momoka is replying through her SMS which says because the house of her senpai she’s interested in is on that road but decides to change that sentence of hers to tired of walking the same way every day and that it’s just for change. Well, the same thing happened again. Those brats flipped up her skirt and Hiro saw the whole incident once more. "Deja vu?". Got that right. In class, Keisuke is surprised and says out loud that Hiro managed to see Momoka exposed but luckily, Hiro manages to shut his big mouth. Keisuke then asks the place and time of when it happened and Hiro thinks he just wants to go see. True. Keisuke whips out a camera and says that if he doesn’t use it, it’ll be a waste. I think his entire life is a waste.
 
The next day, the mischievous kids are waiting their chance to flip Momoka’s skirt but Momoka is standing right behind them, catching them by surprise. As they run to escape, 1 of them tripped and bruises his knee. Momoka helps him up and Hiro spots her walking with that naughty bunch. At the park, she cleans up his wounds and politely tells them that they shouldn’t do such things. They understood and regretted their actions. She then puts a bear plaster on the wound and that boy thinks it’s cute. Momoko thinks so too and blushes as she feels happy. Hiro, yet again plays the role of a watching by-stander, smiles after witnessing the whole thing. Hiro then receives an SMS from Keisuke: "Why didn’t it come!!!". Well, that Keisuke pervert is seen sadly waiting at that spot where it’s supposed to happen but (un)fortunately, nothing happens. Wait there all you want. So girl number 4 admires Hiro (read: has a secret crush) and as usual, Hiro doesn’t show any obvious chemistry for her. Is her bear panties a turn on or turn off? Yeah, won’t be surprise if he prefers mature women. Unless he’s a lolicon…
 
Call 5 – Ayano Yamada
Ayano is coaching a member student at her archer club. Hiro, Keisuke and Ichiru are calling her handphone but she’s not picking it up. Hiro wonders if she has forgotten that they’re going home together and decides that he’ll go and call her. A club member informs Ayano that her handphone was ringing, surprising her. Hiro arrives at the clubroom and is being told by a member that Ayano is still here. He knocks the door and opens it, only to see Ayano changing. She gets embarrassed and mad. Like any natural reaction of a girl who’s modesty has been outraged, she slaps him while telling him to open only after he hears a proper answer. I can’t help but laugh at that funny sound Hiro made after being slapped.
 
The quartet are walking home and Keisuke and Ichiru thinks Hiro should treat them all to the family restaurant for that incident. As they argue, Ayano giggles, which caught their attention. Ayano says that she’s just thinking about how nice their relationship is. Hiro says it’s more like an undesirable yet inseparable relationship. Ayano just smiled.
 
Ayano SMS to Hiro that she’s got a match and suggests for them to come cheer her on. During match day, Ayano misses her target. I see, she needs Hiro’s presence to do well. Hiro soon arrives late and mentions to Keisuke that they found out he skipped cleaning. As the trio cheers Ayano on, Ayano hears Hiro’s voice. Hiro shows her a thumbs up and with that, Ayano gets her confidence back and hits the bullseye. Isn’t it amazing that all she needs is to see and hear him and that she’s like back on top.
 
Later at the library, Ayano picks out a book of poems when she receives an SMS about forgetting another promise again. It’s raining as she rushes outside the school gates to meet Hiro who tells her Ichiru and Keisuke have gone ahead first not too long ago. While walking, Ayano tells him about being engrossed in a book. She say some lines of a poem on rain. Hiro says he knows that one and is from Basho books but Ayano gives out a heartily laugh. Hiro wonders if he had said something weird but she says that it’s bad for it to be just the 2 of them and for them to hurry meet up with the rest. Ayano rushes ahead as Hiro catches up. So girl number 5, another classmate-cum-friend. Are we seeing any love chemistry patterns yet?
 
Call 6 – Epilogue
I thought I was being shortchanged when they start re-showing this episode as Sayo’s episode 2. Luckily, I stuck around and find out by the end of it, there are additional footage. I guess the story continues from there. It starts off with a message "Then Hiro comes across the cell phone girl, Rin. With Rin’s guidance, Hiro has woken up to true love. However at the cost of a visit that turned into a little farewell…".
 
At the park, Hiro is in a little panic, holding tiny Rin in his palms. Rin says that she’ll soon disappear but Hiro thought she’s going to disappear if he doesn’t get her. Since it’s Christmas Eve, he will confess now. Rin apologizes and says her lifespan’s a bit terminal, happiness of a cell phone girl matches the happiness of her owner and if Hiro becomes happy, that would be enough for her. Hiro still can’t believe that this is happening and pleads for her to stay with him till the end and watch him over. Rin mentions that the only thing left is for him to have the courage to confess. She apologizes once more and says she enjoyed the times with him. Rin points out that the person he loves has arrived and is waiting. Rin stars to glow and vanishes in a flash of light. Hiro can do nothing but wipe the tears from his eyes.
 
As Hiro walks towards the crowded area where people are seen counting down to light up the Christmas tree, he rushes upstairs and greets Sayo, who in return greets him. Hiro says he has something important to say to her and confesses that he loves her and wants to go out with her (so fast?! Probably time is running out. Haha). Sayo blushes and says that she loves him too and will be very happy to be with him. She takes his hand and continues saying "I love you" and he vows to stay by her side forever. The duo stare at each other next to the lit up Christmas tree.
 
End of call. Time to reload…
Okay, that little cell phone girl made a really short appearance here and I’m thinking, that of all the girls, Hiro chose that one? And when Rin disappeared, did he went to confess to the 2nd one he liked? So why Sayo? Let’s see… He can’t have feelings for Ichiru because they’re childhood friends. And according to anime rules and legends childhood friends must stay as childhood friends. Who am I kidding. I just made that up. But you know, if childhood friends were to fall in love with each other, it’ll get messy and complicated. Don’t want that to happen. Hiro too can’t choose Miya because of her two-faced character. She may be saying one thing upfront but meaning another thing behind on her handphone. Looks can be deceiving. He can’t choose Momoka because well… bear panties. That says it all. And obviously not Ayano. Why? Because she slapped him! Don’t want a violent women, doesn’t he? Be careful. She’s an archer and there’s a probability that she may strike his heart on the mark. So it all goes down to this safe bet, Sayo. She’s soft-spoken, kind to animals and plays great music. What more could a guy ask for?
 
Err… so my theory why he chose that twintail Sayo isn’t totally that accurate either. Well you see, I later found out that at the end of each of the first 5 episodes, there will be a poll that viewers can vote via SMS to see which girl Hiro wants to end up with. And the results of this poll will be shown in the 6th episode. So that explains why Sayo’s entire episode was initially shown. This also shows that many viewers seem to prefer Sayo as their main choice. Me? Well, urm… not that I have a particular girl in mind but if it goes down to just looks, in my humble opinion, I think Ayano looks is the prettiest among the lot.
 
In addition to my short research, I found out that the game synopsis is about girlfriend-less Hiro (he should’ve just opened his eyes a little wider. Man, 5 gorgeous girls have some sort of feelings for him and he doesn’t know it) who after downloading the cell phone girl Rin, is told that he has to get a girlfriend before Christmas or else Rin is unable to return to her own world and will forever vanish… along with his handphone. I have a sarcastic comment. Probably Hiro doesn’t want his expensive handphone to disappear… Hahaha. Just kidding. Since Hiro got a girlfriend at the end, I wonder will happen of Rin. But that doesn’t really matter.
 
The drawing, art and animation seems pretty standard and would cater to those bishie fans. The opening theme, Rensoku Jet sounds quite lively and upbeat while the ending theme, Mirai Angel sounds more like a video game dance song. Both themes are sung by the seiyuus of the 5 main girls. Speaking of the ending credits animation, I kinda notice that they show still pics of the girls, which I think are from the game. Except for the 6th episode, in which the end credit is in the middle after Sayo’s rerun episode and it shows several scenes in the other episodes in addition to the usual end credits.
 
I wonder if having such handphone convenience could lead to one having find true love. Well, probably in no time, a handphone will have this feature of love matching service. Oh wait, isn’t there such services already? Probably the hidden meaning the series is trying to portray here is that handphone and love have 1 thing in common. Communication. You can’t have good connections if one doesn’t have good communications, right? It’ll be better if one is a smooth operator. Signal is always clear and available and the batteries don’t die out as fast as they should. And my first love will always be anime… Argh! Can Rin please hook me up with a 3D girlfriend instead! Oh yeah, I probably need to download her from some website first. How much does it cost? Well, love should be priceless.
 
Keitai Shoujo

Da Capo II

July 12, 2008

I wouldn’t have really guessed that there would be a sequel to the Da Capo series. It never actually crossed my mind. So when Da Capo II came out, it was a surprise to me. I must be thinking that the series must have been quite popular for the producers to produce a sequel. However despite it’s name, this anime is actually the 3rd instalment of the series. Yes, not the 2nd instalment, but the 3rd.
 
One reason why they decided to name it number 2 instead of 3 is because that this series takes place 50 years after the original Da Capo series. Meaning that, you’ll see a bunch of new characters. For those who have watched the original 2 seasons, you would have known that everything has already ended there and then. Right on a happy note.
 
According to my research on sites like Anime News Network and Wikipedia, I find that the storyline is somewhat totally different from its synopsis mentioned. I mean, after watching finished the series, I was left wondering where this particular storyline comes in. You see, the plot is about a boy named Yoshiyuki Sakurai, who was born when Sakura Yoshino was feeling lonely. This Yoshiyuki guy is supposed to be the son if Junichi and Sakura were to get married. But that didn’t happen in the last season. Furthermore, the returning characters are Sakura and Junichi only. So the plot is about the characters who have to make a decision to either save the island that they live on, Hatsunejima, or Yoshiyuki, by undoing that magic from that great big sakura tree. In the anime, it didn’t even come close to this. Perhaps this is the setting for the pc game or adult visual novel, which the anime is adapted from.
 
But rather than fretting on little minor stuffs like that, let me just move on to the other things. In the anime, the sakura trees on the island of Hatsunejima still blooms all year long. And well, another reason why I decided to watch this series besides being a fan of the original Da Capo series was because of the beautiful people. Uh huh. The people behind the series still have the touch and what it takes to make the characters and the sakura petals gorgeous and stunning.
 
Since this is a sequel of the original series, there are a bunch of new characters as mentioned. However I kinda find that some of these characters have somewhat a similar look to the original predecessors. Like Yoshiyuki is supposed to be to new main male protagonist for this instalment as with Junichi in the previous. Koko Tsukishima looks like a cross between Nemu and Miharu, Nanaka Shirakawa reminds me of Kotori, Yume Asakura has that uncanny resemblance of Nemu, Otome Asakura a little like Moe but less dreamy and blur, and Minatsu Amakase share similar traits from Miharu like she’s a robot and must eat bananas (though she hates them, she has to). Sometimes I feel like they’re rip-offs from the original but sometimes I feel that if they make a totally new character, then I would miss the old one. Speaking of which, I wonder if the Suginami here is the same as the Suginami back in the original series. That’s because he looks and sounds the same. Not to mention his character too. Urm… Probably he’s some magical deity who lives forever? Nah! Or maybe the characters are descendants of the original characters and you can guess it by their surnames.
 
So episode 1 starts off with Koko confessing her feelings to Yoshiyuki under a sakura tree. But that was just a dream. We see Yoshiyuki living in his home along with sisters Yume and Otome. Just like its predecessors, though they’re siblings, they’re not related by blood. An excuse for incest? But in this season, you won’t have that lover’s relationship between siblings which happened between Junichi and Nemu. Phew. Yume here is more serious in reprimanding her bro while Otome plays a more big sisterly role here. Well well, how ironic. Yume doesn’t know how to cook and wants Yoshiyuki to fix something since Otome has left for school early. At school, we’re introduced to the new motley crew of this series. We have Koko’s best friends, the busty Akane Hanasaki and the monotonous looking Anzu Yukimura, the popular school singing idol, Nanaka, and of course Yoshiyuki’s pals, Wataru Itabashi and Suginami. Also a mean and always-have-that-suspicious-look class rep, Maya Sawai. Since Otome is the student council president, we’ll always see her vice president, Mayuki Kousaka, always next to her in school. Since Mayuki is more serious and has that ‘intimidating’ look, many students won’t want to mess with her and would get out of her way when she comes by. Note that she’s not a bad person. It seems Sakura Yoshino has become the headmistress for Kazami Academy and though she still looks young and petite, but I guess her dressing now makes her look a little more mature. And she has a little furry pet dog called Harimao (probably named after a tiger in Malay). Looks cute but hey, what happened to that cat Utamaru? Maybe cats don’t live that long. Haha, just kidding.
 
Anyway Koko is trying to ask Yoshiyuki to spend time with her at the school festival but since that guy is too busy, he and that press club member Suginami remembered that he has some chores to do for Sakura and quickly whisks away to her office. Since the duo didn’t find her there, Yoshiyuki spots an underground staircase hidden inside the closet. Before curiosity can kill the cat, Sakura returns to hand him some papers. Thus the rest of the day sees Yoshiyuki busy for the festival. Akane and Anzu are trying to play matchmaking for Koko and Yoshiyuki and sets up various events to get Koko to confess to him. It’s evening and the day is coming to an end. We see the gang leaving Koko and Yoshiyuki alone together at the sakura tree. Deja vu? Yeah well, Koko finally manages to confess to him. It’s like a dream come true, literally. Not wanting to break this cute girl’s heart, Yoshiyuki agrees to be her boyfriend and go out with her, making a very emotionally happy Koko to tears as they hug.
 
Yoshiyuki and Koko starts dating in episode 2 but it’s not like they’re being lovey-dovey with each other, rather shy shy blush blush. So leave it to Anzu and Akane to spice things up and make the right setting for them. Yume and Otome finds out why Yoshiyuki managed to get up so early this morning. Yeah, it’s because of a girl. Can’t hide that embarrassment from their faces. Other than that, it seems Suginami decides to drag Yoshiyuki into 1 of his investigations on the school’s mysteries when the latter mentions about that hidden staircase in Sakura’s closet. Should’ve kept his mouth shut. The dark passageway leads the duo to find a girl their age sleeping in a transparent capsule. Yoshiyuki accidentally presses a red button. The alarm is set off and the sleeping girl soon awakens from her slumber. This girl, Minatsu, just like any other person who wakes up from the wrong side of the bed, gets grumpy and angry. She wants to know why she has been awakened from her beauty sleep. Yoshiyuki tries to explain that it’s all an accident when Minatsu tells him that there are 2 things she hate the most in this world. Banana and humans. Banana? Anyway, she proceeds to give Yoshiyuki a good punch in the face. Ouch. A group of scientist then enters the room to calm Minatsu down. The head of the pack, Mizukoshi explains to the boys that Minatsu is a robot (yeah, how life-like. Is this how the future technology of robots will be like?) and wants them to forget what they have seen. Hey, isn’t this Mizukoshi that Mako girl back in the original Da Capo series? She looks more grown up, wiser and mature, unlike her tomboyish behaviour back then. Wait a minute. It can’t be her. It’s 50 years already. So must be her descendant.
 
But it’s going to get worse because the next day, Minatsu is seen as a new transfer student in their school. Upon spotting the person who woke her up, you can tell that she doesn’t really like him. At Mizukoshi’s office, she tells Yoshiyuki that due to circumstances since it turned out like that, he has to keep it a secret and gives him a thick operations manual. I guess something advanced has lots of technical stuffs to operate. It’s no child’s play. Because Yoshiyuki is so engrossed in reading and understanding how Minatsu works, he misses lunch with Koko. Uh oh, not good. Anzu and Akane spot him and think he’s reading something perverted. So as punishment, they suggest he treats Koko to some crepe. Being the good boy he is, he does but not with lots of those blushing encounters. Later on their way home, they spot Minatsu with Yume. Minatsu figures out that they’re both siblings from the way they talk but she soon starts to panic when she can’t find any bananas. Minatsu then starts to malfunction and smoke can be seen coming out from her ears. Yoshiyuki too panics and quickly brings her away, leaving Koko and Yume to wonder what’s going on. Hiding behind some bushes, Yoshiyuki realizes that bananas are Minatsu’s power source (weird. Why banana? Perhaps her predecessor Miharu loves it so much so the creators decide to take after her) and frantically tries to find some. Akane and Anzu are eating some choco banana (yeah, perverted guys may get the wrong idea if they see they way they ‘eat’ them) when Yoshiyuki comes by and snatches it away from them. Minatsu recovers after eating the choco banana (another scene which can be misinterpreted as something perverted) and we find out that even though she hates bananas, a chocolate covered one makes it less sickening. How ironic for one who needs to depend on banana power and to hate it at the same time. Perhaps she ate too much of it. Minatsu reluctant thanks Yoshiyuki for his help. Just then, Yume, Koko, Akane and Anzu come by to see them both in a compromising position. Grilling time.
 
Yoshiyuki tries to tell his sisters than Mizukoshi had requested him to keep an eye out for Minatsu without blowing her cover in episode 3. But of course, Yume remains suspicious and there are holes in his words. Koko on the other hand is pondering about Yoshiyuki’s relationship with Minatsu but seeing his troubled face, Koko decides to just trust him. Meanwhile, Nanaka is seen rejecting some confession of some poor guy. During recess, Yoshiyuki goes out early to buy bread when he heard a familiar breakdown sound. Yeah, it’s Minatsu alright. It’s either the robot or the bread. And so it’s the robot. He helps give Minatsu some of her bananas, in which she failed to eat in time, causing her breakdown. Yoshiyuki resumes his bread quest but finds that the place is being overcrowded with an unruly hungry mob. But then Nanaka arrives and offers to help him. We see her part the crowd like what Moses did to the Red Sea, but with her popularity charm. She gets the bread for Yoshiyuki before leaving. While Yoshiyuki wonders how she knows his name, we see a group of jealous boys with an equally deadly aura of jealousy. It’s hard being a silent fan of Nanaka, then comes a stranger and she gets so friendly with him. How not to burn with envy? Later Yoshiyuki meets up with Koko at the music room and finds out that she and Nanaka are best friends. It seems Koko is part of the band and plays the bass. While Wataru is on the drums, Nanaka is the vocalist. After hearing them perform, Yoshiyuki notices that a guitarist is missing. They tell him the band had initially 1 but that guy wasn’t putting his heart and should into it and was thus ‘fired’. Yoshiyuki picks up the guitar and starts playing. Sounds good. In no time, they invite Yoshiyuki to join their band and he agrees as they continue their jamming session.
 
On the way home after their practice session, Yoshiyuki somehow invites Koko over to his place. I guess most viewers are anticipating something ‘steamy’ would happen between this 2 since both his sisters aren’t in. What a great setting for 2 lovers to be home alone. Okay, they’re still quite shy of each other. Until Yoshiyuki stood up and accidentally trips because his legs are too numb after sitting in that position. Thus, falling on top of Koko. If Yume and Koko were to walk in right now and see this, they’ll blow their top. Speaking of which, Otome just opened the door. Too bad people, it seems the duo have managed to regain their composure in time. Otome asks Koko to stay over for dinner. Meanwhile, Minatsu is roaming in the streets, learning more about the human culture when Yume spots her. She too invites Minatsu for dinner. Thankfully, the dinner went well and nothing big really happened, though Yoshiyuki and Minatsu are surprised to see each other here (well, Yoshiyuki does live here). Minatsu is enjoying the curry meal and want seconds when Otome says how it’s made of banana… Are you loving it, girl? Once it’s time to go home, Yume suggests that Yoshiyuki accompany them. But Minatsu doesn’t need his help and rushes off on her own. So it’s back to Yoshiyuki and Koko alone. While walking her home, Yoshiyuki tries to apologize but can’t seem to find the right words. But Koko is understanding and feels happy now that he has joined the band. Yeah, she can see him more often and be closer to him.
 
Episode 4 begins with yet another 1 of Yoshiyuki’s dream with Koko. No, it’s not some wild fantasy but it might suggest so because Koko is blushingly asking him to make some memories with him! Woah! All dreams must come to an end as Yoshiyuki wakes up to find he’s running late for school again. He’s got to stop having such dreams. This episode is the school sports festival and we see everybody taking part. At the field, Nanaka is addressing her team mates when she spots Yoshiyuki and calls him. Hmm… I think Nanaka seems to like him and probably there’s going to be more than a girl which Yoshiyuki has to tend to. Now, that’s what I look forward to in a harem anime. Anyway, we see those loser boys staring at Yoshiyuki with their piercing eyes. The event starts with a well… double three-legged race. Yoshiyuki is being paired with Koko and Anzu but they tripped when the race starts. Since Yoshiyuki got his face in Koko’s boobs, Anzu cheekily pushes his head deep into it. Then it’s some borrowing race in which every paper poor Minatsu picks seem to say ‘banana’. Haha, it really does piss her off. Yume has to find a pair of gym shorts for her borrowing race and hastily tells Yoshiyuki to strip! After forcing his pants off him, Yoshiyuki is left half-naked in embarrassment in the middle of the track. Harassment! This prompts Otome to say "Sexual scenes are forbidden!". I don’t know how he got his shorts back but it seems Yoshiyuki’s private time with Koko is once again interrupted when the others join them for lunch. Anzu and Akane even suggest Koko to feed him lovers style. If she was so embarrassed, why did she obliged? Anyway everyone is really enjoying watching them do it.
 
The race resumes after lunch and Suginami hands Yoshiyuki a remote. Upon pressing it, some large net appears and flings the girls up in the air. When they land, they seem to be in some very suggestive positions. Next up is a 100m race but Suginami too has rigged Yoshiyuki’s shoes with some rocket blaster. So instead of reaching the finish line, he reached for the sky. Later, Koko is seen taking a slightly wounded Yoshiyuki to the infirmary. But their lonely time together is interrupted again when the P.A. speaker calls for Yoshiyuki to meet Yume. At the infirmary, Yume is interrogating Yoshiyuki on his relationship with Koko but that guy doesn’t want to say much and that it’s none of her business, causing jealous Yume to spray some painful disinfectant on him. Once the sports festival is over, Koko wants Yoshiyuki to follow her to the store shed. She then wants him to make some memories with her. Could this be another dream come true? Well, it’s natural for guys his age to conjure up something perverted. Not wanting to miss this chance, I guess he’s ready to accept it when Koko pulls out a camera. Yup, her intentions were to take a photo of them both. Well, memories last longer that way. Before they could take one, they are yet interrupted again by Akane, Anzu and Wataru who excitedly wants to take a group photo. See the trend? Looks like these 2 will never have a peaceful time alone. But it ends with Akane instructing Wataru to take a pic of the lovebirds together.
 
In episode 5, Koko is worried about where her relationship with Yoshiyuki is heading. Even though they’re spending more time together at band practice, but that’s just it. It’s not like they’re going out like lovers do. As expected, Koko’s concerned buddies (more like busybodies) Anzu and Akane decides to give Koko a little push. And since Nanaka overheard their conversation, she can’t help but to join in as well. The next day with Nanaka faking that she’s too busy for band practice, this gives Koko and Yoshiyuki the opportunity to go out together. Poor Yoshiyuki he has to endure another round of interrogation from Yume but he still manages to leave her in stitches. During their outing, Koko notices what couples do like holding hands but she herself is too shy to try it out. Then at the movies, Koko is surprised when Yoshiyuki grabs her hand. Could this be it? Nope, he was just reaching for the popcorn. Darn. Meanwhile Anzu, Akane and Nanaka are shopping together when they spot Wataru spying from outside a cafe. It seems that guy is spying on Yoshiyuki and Koko who are patroning that cafe. I guess they want to join in the ‘fun’. Probably with many people hiding behind something flimsy isn’t a good idea as their cover is quickly exposed. Yoshiyuki then puts on a serious and disappointing face which sends guilty conscious to those stalkers. But he was just kidding and in a jiff, he grabs Koko’s hand and runs out of the cafe. Yeah, pretty slick move. Now their real date can start with no more interruptions.
 
While the duo are sharing an ice cream on the bench, Koko wonders if this could be an indirect kiss when a lost kid is seen crying for his mama. Koko calms him down till his mom is found and Yoshiyuki notes that Koko will be a good mother, making her blush. When they’re walking home, Koko is trying desperately to hold his hand but can’t find the courage to do so. Yoshiyuki notices this and takes her hand. But then a dog starts barking at them. As Yoshiyuki pulls Koko away, she holds his arm out of fear. After the owner calms its dog down, Koko realizes that she’s holding his arm and wants to stay like this a little longer. The next day at school, Anzu and Akane are apologizing for intruding on her privacy but still had the cheek to ask how the date went. Koko mentions how her dream came true. Her pals think she and Yoshiyuki finally did a passionate kiss but to their disappointment, her dream was just to hold his hand. *Sigh*. I think viewers too feel their disappointment.
 
After Minatsu was ‘absent’ from the previous episode, I guess episode 6 has the spotlight on her before everyone starts thinking that this series is going to be Yoshiyuki-Koko show. Yoshiyuki is still wondering how he should go about taking care of Minatsu since Mizukoshi entrusted her to him. Another irony is that, human hater Minatsu seems to be making friends with Anzu and Akane already. Later at the park, Yoshiyuki spots Minatsu playing friendly with a dog. He approaches her and says how he’s happy with seeing her like this and invites her over for dinner but Minatsu isn’t pleased seeing that her number 1 enemy has seen her soft side. They leave each other after a short quarrel. Back home, Yume isn’t pleased to hear that since she had bought lots of stuffs for dinner and commands Yoshiyuki to patch things up with Minatsu. The next day as he’s walking to school, he spots Minatsu walking in the opposite direction reading a book on world domination! Woah! This girl is serious! They bump into each other and Yoshiyuki picks up that book before Minatsu snatches it back. It seems Minatsu is pleading for him not to tell anybody this. Yoshiyuki gets an idea… he blackmails her. Well, can’t be the good guy forever. At first looks, Yoshiyuki seems to be dating a reluctant Minatsu! Why, he even ditches Koko and the band practice just to be with that robot. Very worrying trend here. So the rest of the day sees the odd pair on their outing through town and it’s ironic for a robot to be fascinated with ‘advanced human technology’. I guess that’s what happen when you’re sleeping for too long. Rip Van Winkle? They even tried playing a video game at an arcade in which Minatsu overheats due to the intensity.
 
Minatsu comes to and finds herself resting on Yoshiyuki’s lap. She wonders why he’s doing all this. He replies that he just wants to get to know her better, and is his friend regardless of whether she’s a human or robot. We then learn something about robots and why Minatsu hates humans. I don’t remember all that blabbing but what I understand is that humans tend to abuse and mistreat robots (heck, even if there’s no life creatures, humans can still take it out on machines! Those savages!). Another irony is that humans are the ones who created robots and in time when robots became smarter due to artificial intelligence, humans perceive their existence to be a threat! Thus robots like Minatsu have been put to sleep. WTF? So what happened to all those modern conveniences and technology? Are they against it? Yoshiyuki feels pity and apologizes on behalf of all humans (if only everyone is like him) and says that Minatsu’s waking up isn’t a bother as she’s able to learn things. With that, Minatsu feels better and gladly accepts his invitation over to dinner. Back home, we find that Yume and Otome have cooked up a banana feast! Even Sakura’s there to join in. At the end of the day, Minatsu acknowledges that Yoshiyuki and co aren’t so bad after all and that it’s okay to be their friends.
 
It’s Nanaka’s turn in episode 7 after being left out in the previous. Here, we see ever popular Nanaka rejecting a popular football member guy’s confession. Because of that, lots of jealous fangirls of that guy are badmouthing her behind her back. Though Yoshiyuki wants to tell them off, Nanaka says that it isn’t necessary. But the girls continue their verbal abuses and Yoshiyuki can’t stand it any longer and lashes at them. Before this could turn ugly, Otome and Mayuki arrive to see what all the commotion is about. Remember, don’t mess with Mayuki. Later Nanaka thanks Yoshiyuki for standing up for her but unknown to them, an unknown assailant takes a pic of them with the handphone. Looking at it, you can say they’re quite ‘close and friendly’ with each other. Oh oh. That photo lands in Koko’s shoebox locker but Koko’s trust on Yoshiyuki isn’t wavering. She still believes him. Well partly she knows Nanaka’s her best friend and wouldn’t do something like this behind her back. Akane and Anzu approaches Yoshiyuki to find some answers but Nanaka takes him away quickly. Though she apologizes for the troubles she has caused him, Yoshiyuki says that it’s nothing. Nanaka then hugs him. Now, does she really have feelings for him? I know being the main guy in a harem anime is a must. Even later at band practice when Yoshiyuki compliments on Nanaka’s singing, they stared at each other’s eyes as though as some spark of chemistry has ignited and Nanaka making him confess that he likes her! Well, her singing actually.
 
After the practice, Nanaka stays behind to help out. Due to an impending storm, everyone else leaves early. With the music room lock, Nanaka has no choice to head to the rooftop to do her practice when the storm arrives and shuts the only exit lock. Now she’s trapped. So cliche. Yoshiyuki is back home and remembers he left his book at school and decides to retrieve it even if there’s a storm. At school, he hears Nanaka’s handphone ringing in a classroom (which she left behind) but to his surprise finds Koko on the other line. Koko is worried that Nanaka hasn’t come home yet when the handphone batteries died (so cliche!) and Yoshiyuki thinks she may still be in school and goes searching for her. Nanaka is soaking wet and cold on top but luckily Yoshiyuki manages to find her and breaks down the door. While he gives her his coat to keep warm, she apologizes again for causing more trouble. Of course, he says never mind all that bla bla bla. Then it occurred to Nanaka that she now understands why Koko is in love with him. But his kindness and gentleness can be a double edged sword as it could also hurt others. Nanaka suddenly hugs Yoshiyuki but realizes that this feeling/confession of hers is just of friendship, nothing more. As they head downstairs and out of the school grounds, she tells him to always cherish Koko when speak of the devil, Koko comes rushing in worried about them. Nanaka cheekily pushes Yoshiyuki towards her as the trio walk home. Well, if you’re hoping to see any love chemistry from Nanaka for Yoshiyuki, don’t get your hopes high up. This is the most it’ll turn out to be. Nothing more. *Sighs*. Reminds me of Junichi and Kotori’s case…
 
With the upcoming school field trip, everyone is getting excited in episode 8. Minatsu seems to be part of Yoshiyuki’s circle of friends and wonders what a field trip is like, though she won’t be coming along with them since she’s in a different year and class. So the coming Sunday, the gang head to the supermart to buy necessary stuffs for their trip. After finishing their shopping, the gang part ways and this part feels like some cursed horror movie because the screws of a billboard on a building starts to come loose and soon is going to fall on Yume and Minatsu. It really did crashed on Minatsu, as she pushed Yume out of harms way. Yoshiyuki and Wataru rushes over to the commotion and fears that the billboard may have collapsed on Minatsu. With the help of the crowd, they lifted the billboard only to find Minatsu unscratched and in perfect health. Everybody is surprised. Well, she soon starts to malfunction. An ambulance arrives at the scene and whisks Minatsu away. At the hospital, Mizukoshi arrives to take Minatsu back but tells Yoshiyuki that the situation may have start to worsen. So he leaves Yoshiyuki to explain it to his pals. Back at home, Yoshiyuki is finding it hard to tell everyone that Minatsu’s a robot but eventually manage to spill the beans. Sakura and Minatsu then arrive to further explain that robots with emotions and feelings were subjected to controversial debate (like those gene cloning research) and its research was put on indefinite suspension. So as not to stir the hornet’s nest, Mizukoshi had instructed Yoshiyuki and Suginami to keep this a secret since they were the ones who stumbled upon it. Minatsu and Yoshiyuki apologize and the latter pleads for his friends to keep this a secret. However, Wataru goes up to him and grabs his shirt. He tells him off not to look down on them as they would’ve done so even if he hadn’t said so. With everyone agreeing, Yoshiyuki is relieved that this is settled. The next day at school, everyone is having their usual lunch together when Maya looks upon them with growing suspicion. Another problem creeping up.
 
The school field trip begins in episode 9 and before Yoshiyuki leaves, Sakura gives him a pendant which looks like a USB port. On the train, Yoshiyuki is too tired because he spent last night listen to Otome’s ‘advice’. While Koko’s pals once again try to give the lovebirds some time together, Wataru and Suginami quips how for those 2 it seems more of a honeymoon rather than a field trip. So the gang did the usual sightseeing various places and fun on the trip like feeding deer and taking pictures. A funny part includes Akane getting stuck while trying to go through some small pillar hole as good luck. Sometimes being busty has its down points. Later as the girls are dipping in a hot bath, Koko laments that she hasn’t got to spend much time with Yoshiyuki. Though Koko brushes off those passionate romantic ideas from her pals, they decide to help her get closer with Yoshiyuki. The boys have also finished their bath and the usual and obligatory must-sneak-into-the-girls-room ideal. Yoshiyuki is against the idea but before he knows it, Wataru and Suginami wrap him up in a mattress and bring him there. The girls too had a similar idea on Koko but were stopped by holier-than-thou Maya. Soon the guys come barging in and drops Yoshiyuki right in front of Koko. Koko’s bag of panties accidentally opened and fell on his head. This causes her to be embarrassed and slaps him. Even if he’s not at fault. While the gang wants to leave the lovebirds alone, a robot staff comes in which prompts Maya to say how she despise robots and life would be better without them. So now we have a robot hater. This statement upsets Yoshiyuki very much and they both had a little argument. Though Maya leaves, it doesn’t look like she’ll change her mind on her grudge. Because so, Yoshiyuki is spacing out and thinking about it and not focusing on poor Koko. Even when they go buy souvenirs, Koko has been ignored by him. When they go back to the inn, Koko meets up with Yoshiyuki and asks him if he wants to go to the shrine together alone. A legend states that couples who write their name there will forever be together. Yoshiyuki agrees and promises with a yubikiri. We see Anzu, Akane, Wataru and Suginami spying on them. But the funny part was Suginami and Wataru disgustingly trying to imitate and replay that promise Yoshiyuki and Koko made. As everyone goes in for a bath, Yoshiyuki receives a call from Yume. From the looks of his face, it looks like trouble.
 
Due to that billboard incident, Minatsu has gained somewhat an unwanted popularity throughout Kazami Academy in episode 10. It’s like the students couldn’t believe that a robot is studying among them and subjects her to their teasing. I know it makes me wonder why a robot needs to attend school but those heartless students are too much. They’re treating her like an alien. Another irony, a robot with emotion and feelings but humans without one. Also rumours of her are spreading across the island like wildfire. Luckily Yume is there to stand up for her, though Minatsu doesn’t mind being ridiculed and such. Back at the field trip, obviously Yoshiyuki is being bugged by Yume’s call about the spreading of the rumour. It must be tough being a robot because students even come up to Minatsu to touch her just to have a feel how close she is to a human. Even if Otome and Mayuki steps in, but it’s just a temporary reprieve. Otome and Mayuki are discussing about this issue at the student council room when Otome feels a little dizzy before collapsing. Yoshiyuki gets another call from Yume about Otome’s collapse. Without thinking further, he decides to rush home but didn’t say anything much to Wataru about his sudden departure. Koko can only look on with disappointment.
 
Otome is recuperating in the infirmary and a flashback during her younger days when Yoshiyuki promised her how he’ll come to her rescue if there’s any trouble. True enough, he’s there when she open her eyes. But of course he doesn’t remember the promise and this was just probably out of instinct and concern. Yoshiyuki asks Mizukoshi if there’s anything that could be done to quell this problem but she mentions that not everyone will accept robots. Sakura comes by and takes the pendant from him and welcome him back. Back home, Yoshiyuki remembers his promise he made with Koko. Oh oh. So he rushes to school to find everyone has returned and dispersed. He finds Koko and on the way back tries to apologize profusely but Koko angrily told him back that even though he had to leave in a hurry, that was fine with her. As long as he told her beforehand. With that, she runs away in tears. Pitiful. The next day in school, looks like it’s Koko’s turn to give Yoshiyuki the cold shoulder. Not forgiving him yet? During recess, Maya bumps into Yoshiyuki on the rooftop and she tells him that if the rumour about Minatsu being a robot is true, she’ll not hesitate to take action to get her expelled from school. Because of Yoshiyuki’s body language, she thinks that the rumour is true and proceeds to the student council room to have Minatsu expelled. Yoshiyuki relays Maya’s plan to Mizukoshi but the latter understands Maya’s feelings and explains that Maya’s dad was the creator this robot technology. Since it wasn’t well received by many, he got the blame for everything. Soon he committed suicide due to the immense pressure. I can’t believe all those heartless monsters and their unruly protests. Because of that, Maya has been living a life filled with pain. So can we blame her now?
 
But the bullying and torment for Minatsu continues in episode 11. Yoshiyuki and co are having a hard time trying to fend of those bastards. It’s amazing to see how Minatsu who was once a human hater has gradually learned to be more tolerant of it all. Yoshiyuki feels that since all this was his fault when he first brought Minatsu back to life, he thinks of going it alone. Even if Koko offers to help, but he doesn’t want to get her involved anymore. Jerk. Did she already forgave him the last time? Sakura also comes up with the idea that Minatsu should live with Yoshiyuki for the time being. By the way, where did she live previously? Sakura or Mizukoshi’s place? If so, what’s wrong of staying put there. You can obviously tell that their relationship is on the rocks when Koko too skips band practice, avoids seeing Yoshiyuki at school and even lied to him so as not to trouble him. Koko must be feeling more and more distant. Meanwhile Otome is resisting a protest made by the PTA. As Yoshiyuki and Minatsu went out shopping, they bump into Maya. Will we see sparks flying? No. Yoshiyuki tells Maya that he understands her situation but Maya is still adamant, saying that he doesn’t know what it’s like to lose a family member. Minatsu also realized that she herself was once like Maya. Bitter, cold and hatred towards the other race. Well I don’t think Maya needs a sympathy from a robot. The stand-off could’ve go on if not for Maya’s little brother, Yuuto, appearing. Maya then left with Yuuto. At the same time, Koko is skipping school and Nanaka decides to check on her at her home. The duo had a heart to heart talk when Yoshiyuki rings her doorbell. Koko doesn’t want to answer it. After Yoshiyuki has left, Koko continues to emotionally blurt out her confused feelings. She also mentions how it’s painful being beside Yoshiyuki each time and worries what will happen to them if this continues. Nanaka lends her a shoulder to cry on. Well, Koko cried in her arms actually. Good thing she’s also there to provide an ear to listen. That’s what best friends are for.
 
Koko continues to skip class in episode 12 while robot haters up their cruel pranks by hiding Minatsu’s shoes. Good ol’ Yoshiyuki decides to help finding her shoes and eventually finds them in the incinerator. Can they just buy new shoes? But that’s not the point. The pranks have gone way out of control. You can’t help feel sorry for Minatsu and I’m sure Yoshiyuki’s blood is boiling and would’ve bring those responsible to justice if not for Minatsu’s I-don’t-really-mind-about-it attitude. Later Yoshiyuki bumps into Maya again and another I-hate-robots argument ensue. Maya says how not only robots killed her dad but it ruined her family, thus she can’t accept them. Now this is the turning point. Maya spots Yuuto across the road outside school as he rushes to greet her. Yuuto should’ve remembered his road crossing rules because whenever you’re not looking left or right, some speeding car who doesn’t know how to slow down at pedestrian crossings will quickly zoom by. That’s what will happen if Minatsu didn’t quickly dive in front of the van and shield Yuuto out of harm’s way. It could’ve been fatal but life is full of surprises and ironies. Now how will Maya feel that the 1 thing she hates most saved the 1 thing she loves most. Confused? Definitely. Though Minatsu once again comes out unscathed, Mizukoshi notes how they can no longer hide this.
 
The next day, everyone welcomes and gives Minatsu a standing ovation! What a turn of events. Now she’s a hero. So let me get this straight. Billboard falls on robot girl, nothing happened, everybody hates her. Speeding van coming, robot girl saves kid, everybody loves her. Doesn’t make sense, right? And both are dangerous life threatening situations. So do people need a human factor there? Maya has a change of heart and tries to apologize and thank Minatsu. She’s in an awkward position so I can understand how she feels. Minatsu of course accepts it whole heartedly. After this, Maya doesn’t hate robots anymore and even have lunch with the gang. Maya and Minatsu have a heart to heart talk and the latter wishes for both humans and robots to live in harmony. But this isn’t the end of their problems yet. Yoshiyuki, Minatsu and Yume are being called to the principal’s office and Mizukoshi explains that the school board directors have decided to expel Minatsu. Horror! Just when things are going right. Yoshiyuki tries to find Sakura but she’s nowhere to be found. On the way, Yoshiyuki bumps into Koko. To cut short that emotional speech, Koko wants to break up with Yoshiyuki! Double horror! Her reason is that she wants to go back to they way it was when they were just friends. I guess it feels that they were much closer then.
 
Episode 13 sees the whole school skipping classes as a protest on Minatsu’s expulsion. Oh now she’s a hero. Even Maya girl tries to get the higher ups to change their mind. Be careful what you wish for. Now that Maya has got more than she bargained for, looks like she can’t make a u-turn. Yeah, Maya is even leading the opposition group. This anime is so full of ironies. Just as in real life. If only kids can lead a protest against adults, that will be the day. Though Yoshiyuki manages to find Sakura, she too can’t do anything about it. Hey, what happened to that encounter with Koko? From the looks of it, Yoshiyuki may have accepted Koko’s decision. Probably there’s something more at stake. Losing their relationship or a friend. Well, Yoshiyuki chose. Anyway, with the help of Suginami and Nanaka, Minatsu enters the speaker room and announces throughout the entire school via P.A. system that she’s touched by everyone’s feelings. But she doesn’t want to trouble anyone anymore and thus wants everybody to allow her to live her final 3 days as a normal student. The students then bow their heads to plead for Minatsu’s final wish and I suppose they reached a deal.
 
The 3 days flew by like 10 seconds (which is true if you’re watching this series. Haha. Get it?). Minatsu has her last talk with Yoshiyuki on the school rooftop. She mentions how she’s lucky to have met him and thanks him. Because of that, she got to make friends and experienced the softer side of humans. Minatsu then took out her world domination book and tore it to pieces and it let be gone with the wind. Don’t need that anymore, does she? Yoshiyuki receives an SMS from Koko asking him to bring Minatsu to the hall. Upon arriving, the duo are surprised to find every student gathered in the hall for Minatsu’s mock graduation ceremony. Yoshiyuki finds out that it was Koko who had planned it all out and is later told to go backstage. After Sakura gives Minatsu her graduation scroll, we see the band of Yoshiyuki, Koko, Wataru and Nanaka playing a lively farewell concert to a teary and appreciative Minatsu. See, robots can and do cry after all.
 
Oh dear, the ending doesn’t really seem satisfying at all. Because of that, I still feel that the original seasons of Da Capo are better and I still prefer them over this one. But it’s not really over yet. Just before this series ended, I found out that there will be a second season called Da Capo II Second Season. So that will be the 4th instalment of this spin-off sequel. I hope things will get better from there and will be looking forward to it with much anticipation. No doubt that this season is a little disappointing, it won’t make me less a Da Capo fan. It feels that everything from the storyline to the characters were just sufficient for this season only.
 
Before I forget, let me say 1 thing. SO WHERE IS THE HAREM???!!! I mean, that Yoshiyuki guy got together with Koko at the very beginning but they both broke up in the end, which leaves the main male protagonist very much a single once again. We don’t get to see any fights over his attention as that particular Nanaka-focused episode was probably just a teaser. Mainly I feel this series is about Minatsu and the dealings about having robots within our midst.
 
The drawing, art and animation as mentioned are still as beautiful as ever, especially the sakura petals floating through the air. The voice acting is kinda okay and some of the seiyuus were retained for the same character they played in the original series such as Yukari Tamura as Sakura and Daisuke Kishio as Suginami. Yui Horie who was the voice of Kotori in the original Da Capo series, now voices Yume. Other seiyuus include Sayaka Aoki as Minatsu (Lisanthius in Shuffle, Kinu in Raimuiro Senkitan), Kaori Mizuhashi as Maya (Ai in Aria The Animation, Taeko in Ai Yori Aoshi), Kappei Yamaguchi as Wataru (Inuyasha in Inu Yasha), Minori Chihara as Nanaka (Chiaki of Minami-Ke, Aya of Tenjou Tenge) and Shizuka Itou as Mayuki (Wilhelmina of Shakugan No Shana, Hinagiku of Hayate No Gotoku). The others are relatively new voice talents or ‘not famous ones’ (because their resume isn’t that long. Sorry) such as Shintaro Asanuma as Yoshiyuki, Ayahi Takagaki as Otome, Yoshino Nanjou as Koko, Natsumi Yanase as Akane, and Tae Okajima as Anzu (Kotonoha in School Days).
 
Even the opening and ending theme songs have that Da Capo feel like its previous 2 seasons and once again Yozuca does the opening (Sakura Kimi Ni Emu) and CooRie does the ending (Yasashisa Wa Ame No You Ni). And if you listen closely somewhere in the lyrics, both themes have the word ‘sakura’ in them, just like the other openings and endings of Da Capo. I’ll say it again, it’s truly a sakura-themed series. The next episode preview at the end shows a still pic of a clock radio while the characters rant about something which has nothing to do with the next episode. At least that’s what I heard because they’re talking quite fast.
 
Having said that there’s a 2nd season for this 2nd instalment already, I’m wondering if they will make a 3rd sequel or a 3rd spin-off. Well anything is possible if you live on Hatsunejima. Just wish upon the sakura tree and they will come true. So I’m wishing that the next season I watch will be more interesting and hopefully more pretty kawaii bishoujos! And yes, the harem too!
 
Da Capo II

Be My Angel

July 11, 2008

  Tooi yozora ni hikaru chiisana hoshi,
  Kitto dare ni mo mada shirareteinai,
  Dakedo makenaide anna ni ima kagayaiteru,
  Nandaka dokoda watashi ni niteru
 
Sometimes it’s good to sing old anime songs once in a while. Ah, it sure brings back nostalgic memories when I first watched the anime series Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer many many years ago. Probably that time I was still schooling. Though I don’t remember much of the series, it’s not that I actually wake up and sat through and watched each and every episode of it. The main reason was because I kinda like the 1st opening theme song, which is Be My Angel.
 
  Iron na hito ga afureru machikado de,
  Nani ga hontou kawakaranaku narisou,
  Jibun wo sagashite kokoto no ANTENA nobaseta,
  Tokimeki ga wakaru, I wanna get it
 
Sung by Atsuko Enomoto (who also voices the main character, Misaki, in the series), I remember I made it a point to get a karaoke version of this song which I was so infatuated with back then. Thankfully, there is one and I found it after searching high and low. Hey, back in the olden days, the internet technology and speed isn’t as good or fast, you know. You can say I was pretty lucky back then.
 
  Yume wa koko ni aru yo,
  Donna toki mo sugu soba ni aru yo,
  Tatoe chippoke demo,
  Sou hajimari ni naru n da
 
As the song is quite lively and upbeat, it definitely suits the mood and tempo of this simulation sports genre. I think there are quite a few sound effects used here as part of the music. I think. As a plus point, there isn’t any high pitched or long sustaining lines so this song is practically okay and easy for a person with lousy vocal chords like yours truly. So much so, at some point I got too over-confident and thought that I even sound as close as the singer herself! Especially the verses! Yeah, right! Dream on. Besides, the lyrics are quite easy to remember (in reference to my Japanese vocabulary at this point in time) even if the song is about hope, dreams and moving forward.
 
  Itsuka meguriaeru,
  Tatta hitori shika inai watashi,
  Motto shinjireba ii,
  Mirai ga aru, Be my only angel
 
Okay, maybe the last lines of each verse and the starting lines of the chorus has that short slight change in pitch tone. But rest assured, those tiny parts are manageable. No big time screw up here. At least, nothing obvious. While singing this nostalgic song may be a passing thing, it’s good to know that I can still sing it properly without any tough exertion. Yeah, I still got what it takes to sing it, even if I haven’t sung it for a long time. *Sighs*. If only I had such confidence when singing other ‘challenging’ songs. Ah well, it’s better to master easy ones first before moving on to tougher ones.
 
  Be my only angel…
 
Angelic Layer

DearS

July 5, 2008

I’m sure that most of us believe that aliens do exists out there in this great big universe. What are the chances that another life form crashing into our shores and deciding to take permanent residence? No, this doesn’t sound like one of those alien invasion movies or sci-fi horror films. Well it may at first, but I assure you the anime series DearS is more of a romantic comedy rather than to scare the wits out of viewers.
 
In addition, this series has some ecchi elements to begin with. An excuse for some fanservice. I guess it’ll be better to have hot sexy alien babes rather than oversized intimidating ones due to the nature of the genre. Yeah, I suppose we all hope to meet such friendly aliens if they ever come to our little blue sphere. If not, might as well create one which will satisfy our imagination. This quirky series was created by Peach-Pit, the same people who created Rozen Maiden, one of my all-time favourite series. Thus, it was 1 of the reasons why I decided to give this show a shot.
 
There are 13 episodes in this series. Actually 12 episodes and 1 OVA episode. So what exactly are these DearS aliens anyway? Earthlings have given the name Dear Friends to these aliens, hence shortened to DearS. Yeah, very creative. They look like ordinary humans but you can really tell them apart from the sexy cosmic tight body fitting outfits that they wear. Furthermore, all DearS have some sort of a collar on their neck. To show that DearS are superior to humans, they have the ability to learn customs and obtain knowledge very quickly, especially having flair for languages (an excuse to speak in Japanese, of course). Ironically, I wonder why would they stoop so low for us. There is a reason, in which we’ll find out later in the series. Thus in order to integrate into Earth’s society these peace loving aliens have created a homestay programme to enhance their relations with the humans until their ship is repaired.
 
As seen in episode 1, it has been a year since the spacecraft carrying the DearS crashed land off the shores of Tokyo. You can see their spaceship floating on the water’s surface and a half broken bridge leading up to it. Their arrival has created abuzz among the locals and international community. Even so, this has created 2 factions among the humans. So it’s either you’re a DearS obsessed, crazed supporters (yeah, there’s even an online fanclub setup for them), or you’re an anti-DearS, meaning you have that thinking that all their polite hospitality is just a facade and that their real intention is to take over Earth one day. Can’t believe that there are such thinking around. Like this high school student, Takeya Ikuhara. He doesn’t like DearS too much and is sceptical of them unlike all his other perverted classmates (especially classmate Hikorou Oihiko) who are all over DearS. Though Takeya is still a pervert but he doesn’t show it like the rest of his pals. Since Takeya works part time at a video store, he often gets some porn videos for Oihiko.
 
Another character I want to mention is Neneko Izumi. This bespectacled unkempt messy-hair girl is Takeya’s childhood friend in addition to being his classmate. Just living a block away from Takeya’s cramp apartment (by the way, he lives alone. Makes you think where his parents are), she’s somewhat plays the role of waking him up every morning. Yeah, that guy is a heavy sleeper and no amount of alarm clocks can wake him up. If you’re expecting any chemistry between these 2, don’t get your hopes high up. Why would Takeya fall for a tomboyish boring girl like her? Throughout the series you’ll see that Neneko’s body language may indicate that she does harbour some feelings for Takeya. But that’s just about it.
 
But the most amusing character of all in this series has got to be their homeroom English teacher, Mitsuka Yoshimine. This teacher is obviously over-sexed and has the guts to shamelessly ‘exhibit’ herself in front of her students! Overflowing deepest desires? I wonder how she could land a job as a teacher as she even come to class wearing lingerie! Why, she also has self made sexual fantasy novels and later on, videos of herself! Too much! Even the most perverted guys in class aren’t too fond or disgusted with the way she sexily says things. Ironic. Yeah, the class rep did tell her to teach more ‘legal’ stuff suitable for their age but it fell on her deaf ears. Anything she does or any non-sexual interaction can turn into 1 if she’s around. If she says or does anything wrong, she wants you to ‘punish’ her… How nice if we had such a teacher? Urm… Better not.
 
Also in the beginning of this episode, we see a transport carrying a capsule of a hibernating DearS crashed off a bridge. Awakened from her slumber, it seems this particular DearS is in some sort of daze, not fully aware where she is heading or of her own existence. Fate must be playing a cruel joke on Takeya because while he’s walking home from school, he spots a girl (that DearS) wrapped in a blanket in an alley, all shaken up and hungry. Because she isn’t able to communicate, it’s hard for Takeya to know what she wants. Before anything could happen, she accidentally kisses him and well, something cosmic happened. But of course everything went by too fast and Takeya isn’t aware of what’s going on. To show that he’s not totally a heartless idiot, Takeya takes her back to his home. It then occurred to him that this girl is a DearS. So why didn’t this anti-DearS just chuck her back out on the street? Well, to show that he’s not totally a heartless idiot lor… Takeya is having a hard time with her because she’s naked and doesn’t even know how to clothe herself. Furthermore, Takeya keeps feeding her that melon bread and in future episodes, you could say she has some sort of an infatuation with it. A rival for Shana from Shakugan No Shana? In order for him not to let others know that he’s having a DearS (or else he’ll be labelled as a hypocrite), Takeya tries his best to hide the DearS. It doesn’t help when she is acting all ‘dumb’. Though he manages, but Neneko still suspects something amiss.
 
Takeya has to leave for school in the morning and tells her to stay in his closet till he gets back. Well, she took that too literally and really did stay in there till he gets back. This DearS too has no qualms about hugging Takeya shamelessly anywhere but unlike Mitsuka’s case, she doesn’t even know what she’s doing. That night, Takeya tries to have a decent conversation with her and is trying real hard to ask her name. The funny thing is her name is so long that it sounded so funny. Really. It’s that long so much so I can’t remember but laugh. I wonder if the voice actress got some tongue twisting problems initially. Anyway, Takeya decides to shorten it to just Ren. After knowing that is her name, Ren gets all excited and jumps on top of Takeya. Well at least she’s more lively now. Meanwhile a high ranking DearS, Ruvi, and her assistant, Khi, is inspecting the crash site of the capsule and concludes that an unmodified Zero Number has escape. The way she says things that it’s a bad thing and that this DearS is a defective one.
 
Episode 2 sees how Ren tries to communicate with Takeya but the latter isn’t too fond of her still. However, Neneko discovers them and first things comes to mind is that if she wonders if Takeya did anything kinky on her. Another funny point about Ren is that when other people proceed to ask about them, Ren will tell them straight in their face that Takeya is the master while she is the slave. Of course, everyone will think that Takeya has imposed something kinky on this pretty DearS, with that staring back while Takeya refutes it all and at the same time tells Ren not to say something that weird. Not gonna happen. It’ll still always be, Takeya is my master and Ren is Takeya’s slave. You know Mitsuka’s reaction already, right?
 
Anyway this episode sees Neneko teaching Ren about their customs and with her help, Ren’s Japanese language improves overnight. Also, Takeya and Neneko decides to take Ren out to shop for some clothes. Who’s paying the bill? Kind ol’ Takeya of course. Well, that’s what Neneko said. Unfortunately, Takeya bumps into Mitsuka while Ren is in her undies trying out some clothes. Mitsuka misunderstood that Takeya has a ‘lover’ and wants him to spill all the details. Because Takeya says it’s a misunderstanding, Ren felt confused and hurt (though she doesn’t know it) and leaves. Half naked. When Neneko realizes that Ren is missing, Takeya goes into full scale search mode. Feeling responsible? He soon finds Ren stargazing at the park. After some chat, it seems Takeya allows her to stay. Next time, he has to be careful with what he says because she’ll follow it blindly. After all, Takeya is Ren’s master, Ren is Takeya’s slave. Argh! Enough of it already! Neneko still thinks it’s something kinky. Something more than just a misunderstanding. On another development we see Khi with and another DearS, Miu (another DearS with a ridiculously long name. But it’s funny lah), having a meeting with the school’s headmaster. They will be attending Takeya’s school shortly after all the paper work are done as part of their homestay programme. By the way, I kinda noticed that in each episode, you’ll see a short clip of the headmaster happily attending to his little private garden at school.
 
Episode 3 sees Takeya and Neneko continue to help Ren adjust to living at his place. Also, they teach her to do stuffs like cooking. Okay, so nobody (alien, rather) is perfect as Ren still needs some improvement. On the other hand, Miu starts her homestay programme by staying at an old couple’s house. Also, when Takeya and Neneko head to school, Ren decides to go out by herself and do some shopping. Can she buy some stuff with just a few coins in hand? Because of the shop owner’s fascination of DearS, you can really see some double standards here. Like how a vegetable and fish seller always give Ren huge discounts. Now this saves a lot. There are 2 ladies who always do their shopping there too. They also take advantage of the situation to get discounts on the items they by whenever Ren comes by. Another one is the bakery shop owner (run Oihiko’s parents). He’s always giving free melon bread to Ren and saying that it’s on the house. But when the wife catches him selling it for free, she gets mad and pounds her DearS-sizing (erm… can I use it like the term womanising?) husband. This always happen in every episode. After Ren has bought lots of melon bread, she decides to go to school to give it to Takeya but on the way bumps into another DearS of the Biter type, Nia. She’s a little klutzy, absent minded and ends all her sentences with "~Nii". Though she’s here to capture Ren, she instantly forgets her mission when Ren feeds her with a melon bread. Nia then happily walks away. What the? You’ll see Nia blissfully walking through town in each episode trying to find Ren but often ends up forgetting her mission and doing other things instead. Like eating.
 
Ren arrives at school and surprises Takeya very much. It’ll get worse with that master-slave line. Yeah, Mitsuka brought Takeya’s ‘girlfriend’ to the class. All the guys in class are absolutely jealous that Takeya is hiding a pretty ‘girlfriend’, what’s more a DearS! And they thought he was an anti-DearS. Tsk tsk tsk. Yeah, Ren is hugging Takeya. While Mitsuka is having her usual fantasies, suddenly Takeya and Ren fell out of the window. Ren then uses some special power of hers to float down. The next scene shows them in the headmaster room whereby he approves Ren to be their new transfer student in their class. Things are gonna heat up, especially for Takeya. Because everyone is so into Ren, it’s getting out of control. Takeya takes Ren’s hand and tells her to make a run for it. Okay, she’s really running across and on top of the buildings. Back at Takeya’s room, we still see Ren taking a bath with her clothes on. That night when Takeya is asleep, Ren comes in and says "Sexual desire detected" and proceeds to get naked and sleeps next to him. "What was that just now?". Perverts of the world, how you wish you’d switch places with him now. Another thing to note is that from now on, each episode will feature short clips of a playboy guy, Hirofumi Nonaka. You’ll see him dating or flirting with some girl whom he fondly calls ‘Koneko-chan’. I’m not sure of his presence and role in the series probably to provide some bishonen eye candy. Also, there are 3 classmate girls who seem to take a liking for Ren. Everytime Ren seems down, they’ll blame Takeya for doing something bad or mean to her.
 
In episode 4, Ren’s high school life begins (I don’t know what happened after that last night. Was it just a dream?). Though she doesn’t know the meaning of what she’s doing, all she knows that it’s just a step to being close to her master. As usual, everyone is bombarding Ren with questions. Though Takeya acts like he doesn’t care or know anything but his body language definitely indicates that he worries about her. Other than that, it’s supposed to be Miu’s first day as a transfer student, but to her surprise, nobody seems to be excited of her presence. Miu seems to be taking it in good faith. Then at the assembly to her horror, she finds that there’s another DearS, Ren, who is the transfer student. Now her entire politeness goes out the window. It’s quite funny to see Miu in jealous mode and doesn’t like Ren very much (probably because of her bigger boobs). Ren though, isn’t sure of what’s going on and all her hostility is all about. While the whole class thinks Ren is the legitimate transfer student because she was here first, they accuse Miu to be the fake one. Though the headmaster and the other students don’t have qualms about having another DearS around (based on Neneko’s suggestion), but I guess to Miu she can’t stand having to have another ‘rival’ around. So Miu proposes a challenge whereby the loser leaves. The challenges include academic tests (in which Miu won by scoring perfect marks in all of them) and a cooking test. Funny part was Ren’s cooking looks sinister. Anybody in their right mind won’t even put that in their mouth. Unfortunately, Takeya had the ‘honours’ because Ren made it for him. Is he crying blood?! When Miu tastes it, she got all excited. It was so bloody delicious that it’s akin to the taste of the cosmos! Oihiko, one of the judges, decides to take Miu’s word and has a taste himself. He gets knocked out. Well it proves that alien’s taste are much more different than humans. One alien’s meat is another man’s poison. Something like that. Miu concedes defeat and leaves. But Mitsuka says that she will allow both DearS to stay. Miu is happy and decides to U-turn her decision to leave. She’s gonna stay to keep an eye on Ren and to find out who’ll be a more suitable transfer student. Let’s just say it’s a revenge-in-the-waiting grudge match for a particular sore loser. Meanwhile, Nia has returned to the base and meets her master, Xaki, to tell him the delicious things she ate today. Yeah, he tells her to wipe her mouth.
 
In order to show who’s boss, in episode 5, Miu seems to be teaching Ren to do things the right way. Yeah, though Miu is in the next class, she barges in to Ren’s class just to teach her how to do proper cleaning. Funny part was when after Miu showed her how to do it, Ren wiped her own forehead and says how tough it must’ve been doing all that hardwork. And she’s only watching! Haha. Because Ren is a klutz, she gets criticized by Miu, which leads the former to be quite depressed. You know, if a slave can’t be useful to her master, what good is a slave then. That’s what Ren is feeling. She’s having thoughts that she might not be of use to Takeya. Of course Takeya thinks that with Ren having to spend more time with Miu, he’s off the hook needing to watch over her. But Miu too gives him a piece of his mind when she tells him that he needs to have a little sense of responsibility. Good thing this guy has that guilty conscience so in a way, he doesn’t totally abandon Ren and a little chat makes them get to know each other a little better. Also that night, Miu meets up with Khi at the park and reports to him (yes, that Khi is a guy. I initially thought he was a she) about Ren. Earlier on, Khi got some punishment from Ruvi when that whipping b*tch questioned Khi about Ren’s capture. She didn’t like it. Also, in their language, Ren means ‘nothing’ so Khi somewhat a little suspicious that this DearS may be the one that got away during the lorry crash. Meanwhile, Takeya gets another hot steamy seducing "Sexual desire detected" from Ren. She’s saying it’s her duty to nurse him bla bla bla. To cut short all those words, Ren is willing to get physical and do it with Takeya if he wishes for it. It’s really gonna be an out-of-this-world experience, I’d say! Can Takeya hold back his pervertness? Or is he willing to forgo his believe that DearS are aliens waiting to take over Earth and have a wild time.
 
Well, in order to prove that Takeya isn’t a wolf and has absolute control over his inner pervertness, he tells Ren that this sort of stuff is kinda unusual in episode 6. Yeah, right. Since Ren feels Takeya thinks it’s a bad thing, she understands and stops. And went back to bed. That simple, huh? Did Takeya miss the chance of his lifetime? Probably it’s better this way. But this episode is mainly about Miu’s depression not being able to serve her host family. It seems the elderly couple are self sufficient so in a way, it made Miu feel ‘useless’. And because of that carefree Ren around, we get to see her jealous side once more as she takes out her frustrations on that ‘blur’ DearS. Then at the school rooftop while Miu is having a chat with Takeya (more like blabbing about the wonderfulness of being a DearS, which Takeya doesn’t wanna hear), because she can’t believe that she has to be with an imperfect DearS, she decides to teach Ren on how to be one. So Miu’s first step is to pay Ren a visit. The place looks messy. Does Ren really clean up? Anyway part of Miu’s ‘training’ include going out to buy food ingredients (Miu must be surprised everyone is so friendly to Ren) and some cooking (again Ren wipes her forehead and thinks it’s hardwork after just watching). Miu and Ren chat about being in some Community of the DearS, in which Ren is unaware and doesn’t care too much as long as she’s with Takeya.
 
Meanwhile back at the DearS ship, we see Ruvi talking to Khi and Xaki about how that ‘defective product’ has finished its rite of certification (when a DearS kisses somebody else) so she wants it to be captured real quick. Ruvi seems to be serious as she even tells Xaki that he must do it even if it goes against his principals. Xaki says he’ll relay that order to Nia. Can that happy-go-lucky DearS do it right this time? Back at Takeya’s room, after the DearS finished cooking, they decide to redecorate the place. Unknowingly, Ren throws away an unopened letter for Takeya. When Takeya comes back from his part time job, he is shocked to see his entire room decorated like a girl’s room! Fancy all those teddy bears and girly designs? Ren in a fancy lace-filled dress? Miu goes home to take a bath and it’s kinda amusing to see how she ties up her huge plume of her hair. Feels kinda heavy… It’s late at night and Neneko wonders what Takeya is doing outside. Well, he’s throwing away all the decorations when some little girl comes by him and does a tackling move on him. She is Natsuki and is Takeya’s little step-sister. Great. Does this guy need more girls in his life?
 
In episode 7, big brother fetish Natsuki comes to stay with Takeya. It looks like Takeya is unaware of her arrival because he didn’t get that letter, which Ren threw it away unknowingly previously. Anyway Natsuki seems to like Ren and in a way grows attached to her. Sort of. The following weekend, Takeya along with Ren, Neneko and Natsuki go visit the site where the DearS ship crash landed. You know it won’t be pleasant when Mitsuka is around. Yeah, she thinks Takeya is planning to have an orgy with so many girls around. Innocent Natsuki doesn’t understand all that adult talk and proceeds to ask Mitsuka to take a group photo of them. Mitsuka disgustingly take the photos in suggestive positions and even quips "I put the entirety of my womanhood in that shot". Don’t say anything, or else she’ll come up with more adult lines. There’s a short flashback on how Natsuki came to like Takeya a lot. It seems when they were younger, she got lost in a crowded area but Takeya managed to find and comforted her. When they go back to Takeya’s room, to Natsuki’s horror, she finds out that Ren is living with him! Yeah, that master-slave line again. This causes Natsuki to be upset and do her submission moves on him. I kinda noticed that Natsuki loves doing so on Takeya whether it’s his fault or not. In that instant, all love for Ren goes down the drain and turned into hatred. Natsuki wants Ren to leave her Takeya because she thinks her brother is all hers and only hers.
 
Even the next day at school, Natsuki comes barging in to demand an explanation from Takeya. Still not satisfied with the outcome, she even went to confront the headmaster and tells him to cancel Ren’s homestay. This is too much. Takeya can’t stand her bratty attitude anymore and tells her off. Natsuki can’t believe that her beloved onii-chan raised his voiced at her and rushes off. Not before pounding him of course. Wandering in the streets, Ren goes after Natsuki and finds her. She tries to comfort her but Natsuki still isn’t too fond of her. Just then, Natsuki’s mom, Harumi, arrives and gives her daughter a submission move, entitled Harumi Driver. So now we know where Natsuki got her moves from, don’t we? After clearing up the misunderstanding, Harumi says that everyone is coming back to Japan soon but since Natsuki couldn’t wait, she ran away. So Harumi’s here to bring her back and finish some paperwork. As they leave, Ren gains an insight to what a family is. A relationship where people love each other. Meanwhile we see Khi and Miu talking together. Miu is kinda depressed and thinks of dropping out of school. From this point on, I kinda noticed Miu is more gloomy and doesn’t hate Ren that much anymore. No more jealous voice tone.
 
Though Natsuki and Harumi has returned overseas in episode 8, this won’t be the last you’ll see of them. But even if they do appear in later episodes, it won’t be so prominent. But this episode sees how Miu decides to challenge Ren once more through some traditional game played by DearS, with Khi as the referee. Though Ren doesn’t want to get involve, Miu isn’t listening and soon the challenge starts. I don’t remember the exact details but it’s just like trying to catch fast bouncy flying balls scattered throughout the area. The one who catches the most balls in the end wins. And off they go. We see them flying and jumping throughout town trying to collect as much as they can as the people watch in awe. Nia also spots Ren and tries to go after her but as usual she flops when she collided into some melon bread. Funny part is when Takeya who is running about to find Ren, 1 of the balls got into his shirt and he starts bouncing away. Miu spots Takeya and knows that there is a ball in his shirt and starts to grope ‘here and there’. Takeya made a funny expression "My… My balls…". Hahaha. When Miu finally gets hold of it, they both fell into some deep hole.
 
Once they come to, we find out a little about Miu’s past on how she was traumatized by the fact that she couldn’t save her master when he was bleeding profusely. Because it’s kinda dark and cramp, Miu is paralyzed and thus can’t fly out like she usually does. Ren has returned to Khi but notices Takeya is missing. She gets hold of the shirt of Takeya lost and screams for his name. Takeya then thought he heard Ren’s voice calling for him which made Miu think that he might posses the legendary Gift, a relationship which allows master and slave to sense each other. But that’s only a legend. How true do we think it is for Takeya and Ren? Takeya also find out that the DearS are actual slave-like aliens and their existence are merely to serve and please their master. Miu also mentions that the DearS who have crash landed here are abandoned. With the high advanced technology of other alien species, don’t you think they would’ve been detected and picked up in an instant? In order not to portray humans as selfish cold blooded creatures, as expected Takeya doesn’t give a crap about that master-slave thingy and gives Miu a good lecture. But their conversation is cut short when Miu’s elderly host comes peering into the hole. Looks like they’ve just fallen into the well at their backyard. Miu gets her courage back and flies out with Takeya. Miu is looking more confident now but before she could thank Takeya, Ren comes crashing down on Takeya, hugging him like as though she missed him for many years. Ah, a mood spoiler in Miu’s eyes.
 
Looks like Ren and Miu are on good terms in episode 9 but this episode is mainly on Neneko. After Miu has done her shopping, she drops by at Takeya’s place only to find Ren in a cosplay outfit for Neneko’s sketching model. In no time, Miu too dresses up and becomes Neneko’s model. Takeya comes home and is surprised to see them so. But sometimes Takeya can be insensitive. He said a statement which even made the DearS to feel a pain in their heart even if it was meant for Neneko. Something about how Neneko has no sex appeal and it would be sickening for her to even display it half heartedly. Even after Neneko left, Miu lectures him but I think he still doesn’t get it through his dense head. Besides that usual sexed-up fantasy Mitsuka has about herself at the video store, Ren dresses Neneko in a girly outfit. Her logic is that Takeya will praise her in that outfit. Huh? Takeya comes back from work and thinks about what he said to Neneko. Next morning, once he realized he was late for work, he rushed out but happen to spot Neneko sitting alone at the river bank where he and Neneko once played as kids. He comes up to her and they both had a nostalgic chat. A flashback of them while they were young had Neneko being bullied by a couple of nasty boys who were teasing her of wearing a girly dress when she had always dressed in boy’s clothes. Takeya then comes by and give those bullies a good beating. That dress was particularly special to her as it was her mom’s 1st anniversary of her passing. So by wearing it, she felt like her mom had come back even if it didn’t suit her. Then as she sat alone crying, Takeya sprinkled a bunch of flowers over her and says that the dress suited her as she looked like a princess. I guess that’s when their friendship took off. Back in present time, Takeya is blushing and says he didn’t really mean to say that but before he could finish, Neneko is already on her bicycle and wishing him to do his best at his job. Yeah, he’s gonna be late.
 
In episode 10, Takeya and Oihiko are worried that they might have to repeat next year if they flop their exams. Since Ren wants to be with Takeya, she doesn’t mind flopping too. Miu is devastated by Ren’s actions and fears that this could embarrass or bring shame to the DearS. So Miu decides to help those hopeless students with their studies. On the way home, the gang bumps into Mitsuka who thinks they are gonna have an orgy! Anyway putting that aside, the gang manages to start studying back at Takeya’s place. Except Oihiko, who is excited and taking pictures of the place. So can he study? At the same time, Nia is happily searching for Ren, thinking that this will allow her to graduate from her apprenticeship. But she got too hungry to continue. We then see Natsuki in town. Looks like she’s back. But she bumps into Mitsuka. Of all people. Mitsuka proceeds to tell her that Takeya is having an orgy party! Though Natsuki doesn’t know what it means, she has a bad feeling that it may be perverted. Leave it to Mitsuka to elaborate the adult paradise… I think Natsuki gets the idea. Child corruption!
 
Back at Takeya’s place, the gang takes a well deserved break and Takeya has to go out to get some refreshments. On the way he spots Nia unconscious and thinks she’s dead. After feeding her, she is revived! But before anything else could happen, Natsuki comes by giving Takeya another submission move. She’s saying that she saved him from going back to his room to do an orgy. Seems Nia takes a liking for Natsuki and clings on to her. Yeah, Nia wants to join in the orgy even if she doesn’t know what it means. Natsuki thinks another DearS is gonna take away her brother as the 2 tussle with Takeya, nearly tearing him apart. Just then, they heard a commotion about a little kitten stuck high up an electrical pole. Nia uses her agility to persuade the kitten to come with her. As the kitten jumps, it jumped short and is free falling. Natsuki then slides by and hurriedly grab it in her arms. With that, Natsuki doesn’t view Nia that bad. The gang are surprised to see Nia clinging onto Takeya when he comes back. But it seems Khi is also there to take Nia back with him. After apologizing, he leaves and tells Miu that ‘those 2’ may soon have to part. Back at the DearS ship, Ruvi isn’t too pleased of the outcome. Yeah, Nia is still happily clinging on to Xaki and wonders if those words Ruvi said were something delicious to eat. We can all interpret it as she failed.
 
Nia has been punished by Ruvi in episode 11 by being tied upside down. I don’t think Nia seems to comprehend her situation. Ruvi sends Khi to do some negotiations while assigning the job to Xaki. Meanwhile Ren is watching some lovey-dovey videos in order to enhance her relationship with Takeya but the latter isn’t too fond of it. At school, Miu tries to return a pencil to Takeya but somehow can’t bring it to herself to do so. There’s a funny part whereby Ren spots a soy milk spot on the corner of Takeya’s mouth and proceeds to lick his cheek while that guy’s being reprimanded by the 3 girls. Everybody watches in shock. Soon all the boys gulped down their food and wants Ren to lick their face! Is that whole onigiri on that guy’s face too obvious?! Later, Takeya ticks Ren off and tells her not to do any of that anymore as those stuffs are reserved for lovers. It gets worse when Ren unintentionally reads aloud the kind of girls Takeya likes, mature women with big breasted. Must be hot news for the class! And Mitsuka… Meanwhile Khi meets with Miu and tells her that the rite of certification between Takeya and Ren is to be annulled.
 
Later when Mitsuka asks Ren for some help to get some materials (hopefully not porn!), Ren got lost and entered a room where Hirofumi is sleeping. This is the only prominent part he has, though I feel that it doesn’t have any great impact as well. Hirofumi spots Ren crying and the duo chatted about Ren’s unsureness about what she wants for Takeya. She also did mention that she wants to get physical with Takeya. So Hirofumi wonders if she wants to ‘experience’ it. Leave it to a lady-killer to get all lovey-dovey with Ren. Just then, Takeya comes in and sees what’s happening. Ren in her happiness pushes Hirofumi off the bench to hug him but Takeya is angry. Though Ren apologizes, Hirofumi tries to help indirectly by saying isn’t Ren’s homestay is with him and that aren’t they going out. Takeya refutes and says it isn’t like that. So will Takeya mind if Hirofumi takes Ren for himself? "It has got nothing to do with me!". Takeya storms out. Later as Ren and Neneko walk home together, they bump into Hirofumi cycling in the opposite direction. But it’s not like he wants to steal Ren away so he just leaves after a short chat. Maybe he just likes her soft smooth hair, that’s all. After Takeya returns from his part time job, he finds Khi and Miu sitting in his room. Khi has come to officially apologize to him on behalf of the Community. Furthermore, he’s asking Takeya to return Ren to them and would offer a replacement DearS, surprising him a little. Meanwhile, Ren is alone in town when Xaki confronts her and says "I will retrieve you".
 
We learn more of that master-slave relationship that the DearS are destined to in episode 12. That this friendly homestay programme is just a facade to conceal this fact and to portray themselves just as friendly aliens. We also see a hibernating DearS in a tube back at the ship named Fina. Supposedly I think the leader of this batch of DearS. As Khi explains even further to a surprised Takeya (oh since when that guy has shown a very concerned face about Ren), Xaki goes into offensive mode to try and capture Ren but the latter does her best to avoid. The townspeople upon seeing Ren in danger steps up to protect her. Xaki has no choice but to back down. Ren comes back to Takeya’s room and it seems Neneko is there too. More of that Ren-is-a-defect-and-must-be-returned-for-the-Community’s-pride explanation and since Takeya is her master, he has to decide. Takeya has flashbacks of the times he spent with Ren. Though he says all those doesn’t have anything to do with him, but I guess Takeya has to show that he’s not totally bad by saying that they should ask Ren herself instead and not treat her like an object. Ren’s answer: "Whatever Takeya wants, I want". Now that doesn’t really solves anything and the ball goes back to Takeya. Well since it turned out like that, Takeya doesn’t mind if Ren is taken back. After all, he doesn’t want to be near this weird alien. How can he do such a thing after that cool statement? Anyway Khi won’t take Ren back now and will do so after school tomorrow to allow her to properly say goodbye to her friends. Miu’s heart is wavering as she has a talk with her elderly hosts on what if she were to be gone 1 day. This topic startled them a little but Miu assures them that she’s not going away.
 
The next day at school, everyone is surprised that Miu is going away and wants an explanation from Takeya. "These are alien circumstances", he says. Soon it’s time to go and Khi mentions that Ren will be retrained and reborn as a proper DearS. That is if she comes obediently. Or else, she will be frozen and locked away for eternity. So Ren’s speech isn’t anything special. "I love this school. I love melon bread…". You get the idea. When it’s done, Ren did the unthinkable. She escapes through the window. Xaki has been waiting outside in anticipation of this. Another chase ensues. With that, everyone tries to go after her before she gets captured. Yeah, nearly the entire town goes after them. Too bad for Oihiko’s dad, mommy won’t let him chase after a DearS. As for Takeya, he gets a head start when Mitsuka arrives on her bike and wearing those revealing leather biker outfit. This must be the ride of Takeya’s life (depends on how you view it) and remember people, don’t ride recklessly. Xaki has got Ren cornered at the broken bridge near the DearS ship. I wonder how everyone arrived at the same time as Takeya and Mitsuka. Did that girls got lost? Takeya tries to stop Xaki but was fling into the waters below. Ren then swiftly jumps in to save him. After resurfacing and some touching words, Takeya has to show viewers that human beings are not as bad and cold as they usually are. Yes, he finally said it "I AM REN’S MASTER!". Everyone is happy as Ren happily hugs him. Well, not everyone is happy. Ruvi can’t believe that this is happening. But I guess there’s nothing much she can do now since it turned out this way. The end scene shows everyone resuming their normal lives. Miu continues her homestay programme, Mitsuka now asking Ren to read aloud some adult lines in class (some things never changed), Nia is still clinging on to Natsuki, Oihiko’s still a DearS fan (if not bigger), and Takeya, Neneko and Ren doing their usual shopping in which the store owners still giving them good offers and discounts.
 
As mentioned, episode 13 is an OVA episode but I found out that this was the original unaired 10th episode of the tv series. It takes place between episodes 9 and 10 and is dubbed by many viewers as episode 9.5. Perhaps 1 of the reasons not to air this episode is because of the tremendous amount of fanservice and nudity here. Even when the episode starts, we’ll see Ruvi and Khi naked in some sort of hi-tech shower. I think Ruvi’s a sadist because she did mention she’s gonna punish Khi. But this episode is about how the store keepers fixed a lottery game to allow Miu to win 4 tickets to a spa resort. Since her elderly hosts aren’t around, you can guess who she’ll take along to the spa, right? But before that, I like the hilarious part whereby Miu visits Ren, who is watching porn movies?! Ren did mention that Takeya like big breasted women and I think she’s trying to get some insights. Though we won’t be able to see the movie, you pretty much guess from the sound it makes and the shocking expression on their faces and even their comments! "How acrobatic this technique is?!" and "It really fit inside?!". Woah! And if you think that Takeya is getting all romantic over Neneko, then it’s just her imagination. Must be soaking too long in the bath. I wonder how true is this dream-cum-desire of hers. But Ren herself has no qualms getting naked and in the same bath with Takeya, freaking the latter out. We also see Harumi and Natsuki enjoying an outside hot bath somewhere. Because Natsuki is worried that the alien is seducing her bro by doing this and that (there’re lots of beep words on screen), Harumi is pissed on where she learned such words and proceeds to give her an ultimate submission move.
 
The day arrives and the quartet takes a bus to the resort. Nia spots them and follows. At the resort, Ren follows Takeya into the men’s room but Miu finds her and drags her away. Everyone nearly had a nosebleed of their lifetime. So expect the gang to have their fun experience there. As Takeya is soaking in a pool, he notices Nia looking through the glass ceiling above. I think he decides to go to the sauna. Oh and Mitsuka’s there too. In the men’s sauna, she shamelessly flaunts and exposes her assets. Stop the erection! The heat has got to her head, but she’s always like this regardless of the temperature. At the same time, there’s a reporter covering the area but is having doubts after she bumps into Mitsuka and Nia. Nia is fascinated with the things around but is told by a lady to dress in proper attire at certain places. Meaning to say, get naked. Nia then spots Ren and starts chasing her. And if they run through the crowded men’s section, I think the crystal clear water is gonna turn into crimson red blood. Now Mitsuka is an exhibitionist with lots of perverted guys surrounding and staring at her when Ren comes by. They think she’s been hired by the resort company for such superb service. Because Nia is chasing Ren at high speed, she misses and smashes through the glass window. Another failed mission. Takeya is outside enjoying the bath when the window pieces comes crashing down on him. He has no chance to escape. It seems Ren is faster than the falling glasses and swiftly jumps down and grabs Takeya out of harms way. She got her face in his crotch. Anyway the reporter is doing her usual rounds when they caught all this commotion live. Everybody is watching. Ren then starts saying that master-slave line. Miu is worried that things might not go well if Ruvi sees this. But Takeya and Ren are ‘saved’ by Mitsuka when that woman now decides to do some free show and fanservice in front of the camera. The gang then uses this chance to escape and leave the resort. Back at the DearS ship, Ruvi indeed has watched that live report and doesn’t like what she sees. She’s gonna take out her punishment on Khi. What does that poor kid got to do with it? Lastly, we see Natsuki and Hiromi on a plane touching down in Japan.
 
I have to admit that I don’t really hate this anime but at the same time, it’s not one of those animes that will occupy my top 10 list. If you like aliens and sci-fi, and don’t mind a little sexy, ecchi, fanservice or nudity, then I guess it’s alright to watch this one. At 1 point it got me thinking that in the case of this anime, we humans may have the tendency to teach these DearS to be ‘naughty’. How ironic is that. An advanced life form having no problems of adapting to our society and customs. Ah well, they’re slaves after all. Oops. I sound so cold-hearted. But the series may get to be predictable after awhile because in each episode nearly the same things do happen like the headmaster’s gardening and Hirofumi’s flirting. I also kinda noticed that Ruvi doesn’t come into contact with any humans and mainly stays in the mothership. Even she hasn’t met Miu nor Ren. Since the anime end doesn’t amount anything much, I guess those who want to know more about Takeya and Ren’s relationship concerning that Gift, will have to read the manga.
 
The drawing, art and animation seems to cater for those bishoujo and bishonen look. Yeah, I hope aliens are that gorgeous too. Haha. But at times the drawing of the characters become chibi whenever the scenario turns funny (like the characters in shock or being incredulous) and it’s kinda amusing to watch them in that form. The opening theme song, Love Slave by UNDER17 (On an unrelated note, I think the show should be watched by above 17. Haha. Get it?), made my hair stood on ends because of the girly way they sing it. Hold your hand, kamatte… Touch and feel, amaete… Yeesh! And what is that part where Ren and Miu almost seemingly locked lips! An idea of what the show is like? It kinda made me think what if 2 DearS did the rite of certification on each other? Do they become both master and slave to each other? Anyway, the song sounds a little cosmic. The ending theme, Happy Cosmos by Poppins sounds like a happy song and has the female character in chibi form doing some weird dance of theirs. This kinda reminds me of the ending theme for the 1st season of Happy Lesson, Yume No Miyako Tokyo Life. Only thing is it ends with a bunch of melon bread falling on them. Hmm… Melon bread must be to food theme of this series. Some of the background music too have that cosmic feel like the title screen (each episode is named as ‘Contact’) and the mid-intermission (Ren eating a huge melon bread and gets whack on the head by Miu). I also noticed that there are a pair of Eskimo girls in the ending animation whom I’ve never seen in the anime. Manga-only characters or just random characters?
 
Speaking of the title screen, I noticed that there are some alien cryptic writings, which I think are supposed to be the language of the DearS. I’m not sure if they’re supposed to be fancy and squarish hiragana or katakana writings because some of the pronunciations do fit some of those words. Perhaps it’s just coincidence. In addition, if you keep your ears peeled, you’ll notice that particular character who narrates the episode title will say that line somewhere in the episode. So the title isn’t a good indication of what that episode is all about. Yeah, some may sound sexy but that whole episode isn’t that ‘seductive’. Like episode 12 which’s entitled ‘Furthermore… It Was Hot’ is said by Ren while reading one of Mitsuka’s porn materials in class near the episode’s end.
 
My favourite voice acting is still Miu’s, who is voiced by Mai Nakahara. Her previous works include Mai of Mai-HiME and Noi of Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge. I love how her voice tone changes when she becomes jealous or is in disbelief. Ai Shimizu who voices the soft-spoken Ren was unrecognizable at first because she usually voices little genki girls like Mikoto in Mai-HiME, Makio in Umisho and Koyori in Sola. So it’s a departure from her usual stereotypic role here. Other casts include Kishou Taniyama as Takeya (Seiji of Midori Days, Takayuki of Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien), Chiwa Saito as Neneko (Natsuki of Keroro Gunsou, Sumire AKA Perma of Gakuen Alice), Kappei Yamaguchi as Oihiko (male Ranma in Ranma 1/2, Usopp in One Piece), Hiroaki Hirata as Xaki (Gojo in Saiyuki, Sanji in One Piece), Megumi Toyoguchi as Ruvi (Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist), Yukari Tamura as Nia (Misha of Pita Ten, Nanoha of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha) and Miyuki Sawashiro as Khi (Shinku in Rozen Maiden, Mint in Galaxy Angel). Kikuko Inoue who voices Mitsuka is probably the most ‘shocking’ one I find. Since most of her roles are ‘dreamy’ characters like Kasumi of Ranma 1/2, Goei of Ikkitousen, Mizuho in Onegai Teacher, Mami in Hand Maid May, and more famously as Belldandy in Aa! Megami-sama. So when she voices some over-sexed teacher, it was really unexpected.
 
If such DearS exists in the universe, based on our human’s slave treatment history, I’m sure not only DearS would want to give our planet a pass, but other advanced life forms. We’re such sadistic beings by nature. Yeah, it made me feel that this anime was made just to quell or give some hope that the entire human race isn’t so. There are. So before we’re able to have good relations with aliens, we must foremost have good relations among ourselves. But that’s another matter. Now, I wonder if I could get a DearS of my own. It’ll definitely be the ultimate ‘helper’ around. Yahoo! No more household chores or other ‘troublesome’ workloads. I can laze around and watch animes all day long! And perhaps get a little kinky… HAHAHA! Just let me have my own dream…
 
DearS

Manabi Straight OVA

July 4, 2008

Finally I’ve made it a point to watch Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight OVA. Though the subs for this OVA came out quite some time after the tv series has ended, I didn’t really watch it immediately. But that doesn’t mean I have forgotten all about this comedy and slice of life series yet. I kept this ‘reminder’ at the back of my mind until I have the right free time to watch it. Really? Am I such a busy person? Yeah, busy watching animes.
 
Like many OVAs of a tv series, this is an extra single episode DVD special. Fans of the series will definitely want to add this to their collection. Otherwise, I feel that it’s like a marketing strategy to make anime viewers who are curious enough wanting to know what this episode is really all about, to buy and watch the DVD.
 
Don’t expect anything that special or extraordinary from the tv series, though. As I’ve said, it’s just an extra episode. According to Anime News Network, this OVA takes place before the school cultural festival and between episodes 6 and 7 of the tv series. I thought probably the OVA will show how the girls go about in their daily lives after the end of the tv series. But seriously, I think if it does, you won’t manage to see the same quirkiness of the girls you’d expect to see in the tv series.
 
The story starts off with Momo narrating herself as a member of Seioh’s newspaper department and wants to do a special summer report called Student’s Special Rights. No, she’s not gonna do some protest or be an activist. But she did mention about wanting to win the Pulitzer Prize (something which she can’t really pronounce in the first place). Furthermore, Momo is seen following and taking pictures of Mikan. Yeah, it also seems that girl has woken up earlier than her alarm clock so much so her mom wonders if there’s a need to set it up in the first place after offing it.
 
The scene changes to Momo’s mansion. We see Momo along with Manabi, Mikan and Mei cleaning her pool. But Momo, being that mischievous girl she is, starts spraying the water hose on Mikan, ‘immobilizing’ her. Of course Manabi tries to assert her authority by asking Momo to get back to work, but was met with the same fate. Mei is of course amazed at the size of the mansion and wonders if they pay their taxes on time. Is that what she thinks. In no time, Mei gets Momo’s water hose sprayed in her face too. Haha, we see the 3 ‘victims’ lying down there as Momo still continues to spray on them when Momo’s maid comes by to bring their drinks and refreshments. Mikan is relieved but Mikan says no and reminds them that they’re here to work so that they could earn money for their special summer training camp. While Manabi is blabbing and imagining the perfect seaside training camp, the rest have already gone to enjoy their break. She’s devastated when Momo wants to drink her share. No choice but to go join them.
 
As they enjoy their drinks, they discuss the specialness of summer. Mei says that there isn’t anything special as it’s just the change of the state of mind of those who get easily influenced by the environment. Like going to school or not, or when it’s hot or not. Since Manabi and Mikan didn’t get it, they asks Mei to say it once more. She obliged. They didn’t get it. Once more. Okay, still blur. Care to repeat that? Before this could turn out to be a repetitive affair, Manabi wonders if Mei is easily influenced, in which Mei refutes. Momo then mentions how this is the first time Mei is playing with them outside school, causing Manabi and Mikan to say how special it is as Mei blushes while trying to change the subject that they’re here to work and not play.
 
Meanwhile Mutuski has just finished her sports practice in school and calls Mikan that she’s going over to Momo’s place now. On the way, she gets a little upset when she hears a couple of workers saying how they envy students having summer holidays now because they’re so carefree. Back at Momo’s place, the quartet are continuing their work but it looks like they’re having fun playing. Can’t resist, huh? Manabi mentions how a summer is special is because of its ingredients, from blockbuster Hollywood movies to having 5 scoop ice creams. Just then, Mutsuki arrives and is surprised that there hasn’t been any progress in their work yet. Yeah, she’s even a little disappointed that at least the serious Mei would put her feet down and see things through. How embarrassing. Mutsuki also chides them that’s why odd job workers look down on students. Silence fills the air. But Mutsuki can’t stay mad at them because she’s soon asking where’s her water gun. So the girls continue to have their water gun fight. I’m not sure whether they got the job done or not.
 
The scene changes as we see the girls waiting under the hot summer sun in sweltering heat at the train station. Manabi comes by to give each of them their ice cream but they don’t seem too happy. They ask her where are the spoons. Yeah, can’t eat or scoop them without spoons, right? Not too sure if they manage to get spoons but Manabi narrates that since they missed their transfer train, they have to wait 1 1/2 hours for the next one. That’s a pretty long time if you’re waiting under the sun. When they manage to take the next one, they all fell asleep onboard due to exhaustion. Manabi also narrates that the train ticket that they bought is special as it allows unlimited rides for express trains during the summer holidays and that it’ll be a 2 day 1 night Seioh Student Council Special Training Camp.
 
Even though it’s summer, the weather is still unpredictable. Upon reaching their destination, the girls are clinging on dearly to a post as a heavy storm is passing through. Didn’t they check the weather forecast? I don’t know who had to cheek to say that it’s something Mei will do because she should have known about their ‘lazy’ personalities. True. I think Mei must’ve caught their ‘lazy’ disease ever since she joined them. You could say that they’ve come unprepared. Just then, the girls spot Mikan being ‘blown away’ by the wind. Well, she’s actually rolling on the ground. The girls trek hard in the storm and tries to find a place to stay when Mikan once again is ‘blown away’ by the wind and into the fields. Better hurry go save her.
 
The girls manage to take shelter at a nearby inn and we see the inn lady talking to Manabi’s brother, Takefumi, on the phone. They are allowed to stay here and Takefumi tells Mikan that he has already transferred some money into their net account and also cancelled reservations at the initial hotel that they booked for their camp. After that, Manabi is thrilled to see the girls in their yukata and thinks Mei has the cutest. While Mei is reciting important areas of the place, Manabi suddenly jumps on her and strips her! Holy smoke! She really wants her cute yukata that bad? Momo quickly takes a snapshot. Hopefully that shot won’t appear in undesirable places. Then at the hotspring bath, we see the girls holding the 1st Seioh Student Council breath holding contest. And the winner is Manabi. Erm… Isn’t that Manabi floating back up with her face down in the water? Argh! Call for emergency! Call 119! Call 119! Now I learn that 115 is the number for domestic telegram in Japan.
 
Back in their room, we see Mei back to her serious and assertive self as she tells the others to stop doing silly things like Mikan not to fall asleep, Momo not to stand on her hands without any reasons, Mutsuki not to watch sports programmes, and Manabi not to eat those fattening snacks. Well, actually that last bit was said by Momo. Once Mei gathers the gang, she tells them off that they should have a sense of purpose and that this is a training camp to unite them all for the upcoming school festival. So she suggests that they play a card game first. The girls are excited. Ah, so this girl has learned to soften up too. I don’t really see how all that fun and games, including enjoying the massage chair, eating a wholesome meal and playing the obligatory ping pong match, as special training. Hey, maybe all that fun is to strengthen their relationship and bonds. You’re expecting something like an army boot camp? Come on, they’re just cute little girls.
 
That night, Mikan couldn’t sleep so she went to get herself a drink at the vending machine when a young inn staff girl spots her. The duo then chat away like how Mikan tells her she feels like she’s being left out by the rest because she doesn’t know what she’s good at unlike the rest. The girl also tells Mikan how she’s a little envious of this training camp of theirs because she has never attended high school before. But she’s glad that she got to inherit this inn and loves working here. Soon the inn lady comes by and the girl goes off to clean some room. Mikan apologizes that she dragged her into their chat but the inn lady is okay with it, saying that the girl hasn’t talked to people of her age for a very long time. She also went on to say how she used to often go on summer holiday trips with her buddies and that they would be a noisy bunch and talk about the boys they liked. Though she wanted that girl to attend high school, she rather come and help out at the inn. Since the inn lady feels the same way, she allowed it. She also feels that there’s more to attending school than just finding things you want to do. Though Mikan didn’t understand that, the inn lady says that she’ll understand it someday.
 
Bewildered at first, Mikan narrates how she hasn’t come to any conclusion on how to go about on stuffs like the purpose of attending school and the things she wants to do. But the only thing in her head now is the school festival. As she feels that this inn too holds special memories because she’s with everyone and wishes they too think the same, Mikan gets herself a sense of self confidence and heads back to sleep.
 
It’s a sunny day back at Seioh Academy as we see Momo uploading pictures from their training camp onto their website. She narrates that a summer holiday can be defined as a student’s right. A special summer holiday is a moment only for students. The thing that they call an answer is definitely contained inside this image. Meanwhile the principal of Seioh is looking at their website and is quite pleased. She then makes a phone call to Kyoko (the superintendent of Aikoh Academy against the school festival and is planning on cancelling it), who is also looking at the website, and wants to talk to her about some things and to speak her mind on it.
 
All in all, I feel that this OVA episode is just okay. As mentioned, nothing out of the ordinary. It’s just to satisfy our curiosities and probably to have a feel-good end to the series (if they’re not planning to make a 2nd season, that is). But I’m sure those who have watched the series would know the outcome of it, right? So it made me wonder a little that if Kyoko had really given a little thought for the efforts that the girls put in during their summer training camp. Maybe she didn’t see the connection of what this camp has got to do with the school festival. It’s not what the things they did. It’s the will and determination that the girls have.
 
The drawing, art and animation seems pretty consistent with the tv series, as well as the voice acting. Well duh? Can’t be making a complete makeover with a new cast of characters with this single OVA episode, can’t you. I wonder if they would make a second OVA. It’ll still be interesting to see what the girls are doing. You can still count on their quirky antics. Hey, I kinda noticed something is missing here. It’s that victory pose! Aww man, I really miss and love seeing the girls in that pose. I’m doing 1 myself now. Hehehe.
 
So it goes to show that as long as you are together with your friends, you can still have fun and learn no matter where you are. Yup, location doesn’t really matter as it all boils down how you make good memories at the place you’re at. Hey, I also noticed that Manabi didn’t say her usual catchphrase "Massugu Go!" (meaning, go forward) here. Maybe that’s already implied as well. So people, are you happy with your lives? Now, let’s massugu go with life!
 
Manabi Straight