Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae

November 28, 2009

Back by popular demand! Both in the real world and in the story, I mean. That’s right. I wouldn’t have really thought that the producers would really have come up with the third season called Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae since everything seems to have indicated to have ended at the end of the second season. If you’re not familiar with Jigoku Shoujo, here’s a brief outline. If you harbour any deep hatred for anybody, you can send that person down to hell by accessing a website which only appears at midnight called Jigoku Tsuushin (JT). You will be given a straw doll and if you untie its red string, the person whom you hate most shall be ferried to hell immediately but your soul will also go to hell after you die.
 
For those faithfuls who have watched the second season finale should have know that Enma Ai has been released from her contract and job of ferrying those pitiful souls to hell and the rest of her JT team of Wanyuudou, Ren and Hone has been dispersed. But I guess there is too much hatred in this world and somebody has to continue doing the job, eh? In my opinion, this is still an excellent series if you want to know what kind of grudges human posses, from downright stupid and ridiculous to clinging on to their so called last piece of hope.
 
As seen in episode 1, that cheeky mischievous brat Kikuri makes a return by rounding up the rest of JT team. They even have a new member. A young boy named Yamawaro. Since Kikuri’s body is now a mechanical doll, you can see that she has Yamawaro has her slave-cum-servant because that gentle boy often obliges her childish wishes. Yeah, she has him wind up her key at the back of the body if she wants to continue moving. Furthermore, the entire JT seems to assemble at a middle school and even disguises themselves as staffs there. Their new hideout? It seems that the gathering at this school has also 1 purpose. A student by the name of Yuzuki Mikage has the ability to see potential people accessing JT through the eyes of Ai. So where is Ai anyway? Since she doesn’t have a body of her own, one night as Yuzuki is taking a bath, Ai suddenly comes out of her bathtub, kisses her and what do you know, she inhabits the body of this high schooler. Note, this isn’t going to be a yuri series. But that explains why she can see things. Enough to spook any girl. Of all the people, why her? You’ll find out much later in the series.
 
Anyway this episode sees Yuzuki and her pals, Akie Takasugi and Itsuko Hiraisho. Rebellious Itsuko doesn’t like their homeroom teacher, Tange, because he caught them in class passing notes. He also writes in his notebook the offences they make and this is a big blow if they want to have a bright future. Itsuko decides to create evidence against Tange and even ropes in reluctant Yuzuki to help like taking pictures of him hanging out with school girls but it backfired when her parents are there and finds out what she is doing. Her anger reaches boiling point as she accesses JT. Ah, all those familiar recycled lines are back. Take the straw doll… Untie the red string… Enter into a contract with me… The one you hate will be ferried to hell immediately… Your soul will also go to hell… You will never go to Heaven and will experience pain and suffering for eternity… When 1 is cursed, 2 holes are dug… The rest is up to you to decide. Itsuko has had it enough when Tange confiscates her mp3 player and learns that he has dispose of it. She confronts him and accuses him of failing students he dislikes and he counters that back by saying he will do the same to her and whips out his notebook. Yup, string pulling time. Now this particular season has Ai doing her delivery in a slightly different way. Since she inhabits Yuzuki’s body, every time someone pulls the red string, Yuzuki will enter through some dimension and experience pain like as though a giant cocoon is bursting out from her back. That cocoon turns into Ai and now her kimono has designs of balls, flowers and fans. Another recycled scene to note. Ai and JT send Tange to hell and in the aftermath, Yuzuki reappears back in reality and notices the mark on Itsuko’s chest. However the girls soon learn that Tange is never a bad person because Itsuko’s mp3 player was given to Akie to be given back to her later and that he had lied about it. Furthermore, his notebook has only doodles. The next day, Itsuko transfers to another school. Poor teacher…
 
So how is that for a returning bang to the series? Oh, the nostalgia of those recycled lines from Ai: "Ippen, shinde miru?", "Kono urami, jigoku e nagashimasu" and "Anata no urami, harashimsu". This particular season also sees Yuzuki trying to stop all those hopeless souls from pulling the string. Experience tells that people are too caught up in their hatred to listen to what this girl is trying to tell them. I’m not sure if this JT thingy is confined to this school and town area because many of the people we will see tend to come from here. Well, keep trying Yuzuki… Also note that this time one doesn’t necessarily need to have a computer to access JT. You can do it with the convenience of your handphone too. Vengeance made easy…
 
Episode 2 has Yuzuki continued to be troubled with her spooky visions. This time, another middle schooler, Akira who seems to be in love with a middle aged married woman, Mitsuko, of an electronics store. However, he notices she is being controlled by her overprotective and abusive husband. I can’t believe that jerk would beat his wife up even if she didn’t answer his phone call! Not even if she’s attending to a customer! How many times must he call in a day?! Akira has had enough of witnessing the husband beating his wife at a nearby warehouse and you know, he goes to JT. He enters the shop one day and wants Mitsuko to run away with him. She disagrees but the husband arrives at the doorstep. Upset of what he is seeing and confirming his twisted misinterpreting that she is having some sort of relationship with this kid, he starts attacking them. Akira takes drastic measures by pulling the red string. In the aftermath, he tells her everything is alright and will come back tomorrow. She agrees. But when he does so, he finds her missing, the shop in a mess and a picture of Mitsuko and her husband during happier times. What does this mean anyway? Did she run away by herself?
 
In episode 3, Yuzuki and Akie saved a popular idol, Jun, from being raped by an obsessed fan. Jun’s manager offers them to have dinner with Jun as gratitude. Upon arriving at the hotel, a girl named Masako approaches them and hands them a package to be given to Jun. After dinner, Jun and her manager panic upon hearing the package they received. Inside it, several erotic photos of Jun. Yuzuki and Akie leave to meet Masako again outside the hotel. Masako proceeds to tell them how she and Jun were from the same agency but Jun had mistreated her badly so much so she had to give up her dreams of becoming an idol. Masako even demonstrates her singing ability but in a nutshell, she isn’t even worth to be called an American Idol reject. HORRIBLE! Then Jun comes by to admit that she did horrible things to her in the past but even so she did it because Masako had no talent in singing. No matter how true it was, it was enough for her to access JT. Masako is offered a large sum of money to keep quiet but during one of Jun’s performance, Jun revealed the terrible things she had done to her road of stardom but was able to obtain her dream through her fans. Masako is part of the crowd, still isn’t convinced of what she has heard and pulls the string. Fancy seeing Ai and her JT team doing a Jigoku Concert? Anyway the lesson learned is that even if she has changed now, the fact that what she did in the past will still remain. In the aftermath, all her fans (even that rapist!) gather at the stadium hoping Jun will someday return.
 
Episode 4 feels a bit yaoi. Another schoolmate of Yuzuki, Takeru, was once a victim of bully by his classmates. But ever since he was saved by a guy named Nishida, he followed his path and became a little cooler. You could say that got closer and there are hints of yaoi moments there but nothing offensive. Then 1 day as Takeru and Nishida are in a bus, they witness some thug harassing a passenger. Nobody dared to stop him and even until the thug and his victim left, he still continued to harass him. To make things worse, Takeru saw how Nishida was quivering in fear in his seat. So where has all that justice he preached gone to? That’s when Takeru accessed JT and sent him to hell. He even said how the whole people in the bus need to be sent to hell but it doesn’t concern him. WTF?! More like he doesn’t know their names. So why not the thug at most? Not liking the hypocrisy? In the end, Takeru returns to his timid and being bullied ways. Why? His statement rings a frightful truth: "Even if I change, society won’t change".
 
Yuzuki bumps into a first year student, Ririka in episode 5, thus breaking her beaker. Luckily her teacher Miyama is a good and kind teacher and wonders if she is hurt in anyway. However Miyama starts getting harassing phone calls even right in the middle of the night from Ririka’s grandma who thinks the she is being a bad teacher! Miyama approaches Ririka about this so she will talk to grandma. However things didn’t get better when grandma even went to the extent of distributing warning flyers how terrible Miyama a teacher is! Oh God! Thankfully the other teachers are reasonable and try to quell that irrational grandma but to no avail. She even stops Ririka from attending school till Miyama resigns! Miyama one day goes to make a surprise visit to Ririka’s home. Ririka tells her reasons why grandma is acting so and that she is not a bad person. Grandma suddenly comes home and is surprised to see Miyama there. Miyama hopes Ririka would clear everything but to her horror, Ririka says how Miyama is threatening her to do this and that or else. Miyama is shocked and leaves. When she does, Ririka comes rushing to explain the reason she does so was because she thinks she will be fine since she is an adult. Unable to take this anymore, Miyama access JT that night and sends Ririka to hell with the reasoning that a teacher’s responsibility is to her students. The next day, Miyama sees grandma staring blankly into space from her window, wondering where her beloved grandchild has disappeared. Oh my. Even such a good natured person has resorted to using JT. Just goes to show how nasty humans can get.
 
Somebody wants to send Ren to hell in episode 6? I would like to see that but the person who requested it, Yuu, got her request rejected instead. As Hone is impersonating as a gym teacher in school, several students have become her fan, including an obnoxious and proud one, Kira. Yuu is also in love with Hone but thinks Ren is her lover, the reason why she wants to send him to hell. I think Yuu is trying to make Kira jealous that she is closer to Hone than her by using a band aid she received from Hone and making it look like a kiss mark on her neck. Kira accesses JT and the next day finds out her shoes are missing. Yuu is the culprit and she even lies that Hone was the one who told her to do this. Unable to take it anymore, Kira pulls the string. Now, Yuu’s horror feat features her in a race with the other JT members and Ai, to see who will be the first to reach Hone and claim her love. The thing is, Yuu employs dirty tactics to rid her competitors and even kicks Ai! Can she do that to Jigoku Shoujo? Yuu wins but finds her true self isn’t what it seems to be (she’s a bag of bones for those who can’t remember). The next day, Kira is over Hone and has found someone cooler to admire: Wanyuudou. WTF?! The taste these girls have. Just as Yamawaro said, anybody is okay for them as long as they are useful to them.
 
In episode 7, a transfer student, Inuo, seems to be everyone’s favourite kid because of his many talents. However, all this is just a lie as he is just doing what his lazy abusive single mother is telling him to do. However the class rep and his friend, Washizu notices something is wrong and pesters him to talk. He then finds out Inuo’s mom is faking an illness and wants him to report to the school authorities but Inuo is reluctant. The days pass and rumours has it that Inuo’s mom is seen going out with men from shady areas. When Washizu meets Inuo again, he panics to see a straw doll in his hands so he tries to persuade him from solving the matter through other means. Washizu shows Inuo how his mom is going out with those men and Inuo can’t take it anymore as he pulls the string. It seems it isn’t his mom he is sending to hell. It is Washizu instead. Methinks he can’t stand nosy people poking into the lives of others, that’s why. In the aftermath, Inuo becomes a crazy person engulfed in all the lies mommy has created and shows his tantrum, giving that mother of his something a little to fear about.
 
Yuzuki befriends a woman, Hatsumi when she returns her lost dog Momo in episode 8. However Hatsumi’s neighbour, Shintani doesn’t like her because of several misinterpreted references and misadventures she had with Momo. Now, Hatsumi is a very nice person and a responsible dog owner but Shintani thinks otherwise. She devises several plots to annoy Hatsumi and possibly to get rid of them. One day Shintani sees a TV show about food that one shouldn’t feed dogs and the next thing Hatsumi knows is that Momo is in a near death state. You know what this means. However Hatsumi is still able to tolerate it all even if Shintani continues to mock her and scatters her package containing dog sheets on the rooftop. Hatsumi tries to pick each one of them up and one was over the balcony. With her life hanging in the balance, I don’t know why Momo brought the straw doll instead. In Hatsumi’s panic to grab anything, she accidentally pulls the string before falling off the edge to the bushes below. Wow. The first case of accidental string pulling. Though Shintani is sent to hell, Hatsumi is seen recuperating and badly bandaged in hospital, wondering why pets aren’t allowed in here.
 
An unpopular girl in school named Kaede seems to becoming popular in episode 9 due to her fortune telling skills. Her little curses which comes true seems to help her as she credits it to a fox spirit named Inari. Then an obnoxious girl, Chizuru, decides to use her services by getting rid of some stalker. Initially reluctant, she gives in to pressure. However all of Kaede’s attempts to rid of the stalker failed so much so Chizuru thinks she’s a fraud and threatens to expose her as one. Kaede pleads for more chances and each time she goes to great lengths and does greater rites but to no avail. She gets desperate and contacts JT via handphone. How desperate is she? Before Ai could even finish her terms and conditions of the contract, Kaede pulls the string. Stupid girl indeed. She’s even laughing like a mad girl! The next day, Kaede learns that Chizuru had lied about the stalker and she made up the story just to dramatize everything. It’s just that Chizuru didn’t like his face. Chizuru then introduces a friend of hers whom she has someone in mind to kill. You can tell from Kaede’s expression that she’s in deep sh*t and had it. Yeah, stupid girl. Really.
 
Kazuya is a classmate of Yuzuki when she notices him delivering papers as his part time job in episode 10. Kazuya’s household seems to be in some sort of problem. Daddy doesn’t care about mommy and mommy seems to be infatuated in buying more kimonos in hopes of attracting her husband. The salesman selling the kimonos is a smooth talker just like how many aspiring salespeople would like to sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo. One day Kazuya confronted his mom and wants her to stop letting the salesman in but she disagrees, thinking that he’s a good person and continues to buy more kimonos from him. Well, only 1 option left. Then during a sports event, Kazuya overhears how the salesman is just using his mommy to get more sales. He goes home and pulls the string. But has all that changed? Because another salesman is seen trying to sell his stuff with more flowery and flattering words. I guess every woman loves to hear those sweet words, eh? Why not? Since her husband is unable to shower her with those.
 
A string of murders seem to imitate the story of a mystery novelist, Kamisaka in episode 11. Because of that, his popularity has skyrocketed due to the wrong reasons. A magazine reporter, Asaba, decides to interview him to find the truth and soon, the true murderer, a young boy, is caught and reveals that he did so because he found it interesting. However Asaba is upset to find that her editor twisted her facts to portray Kamisaka in a more negative light. One day, Yuzuki and Akie meets Michio, supposedly the elder sister of one of the murder victims. She is here to ascertain who she should send to hell, the writer or the murderer. Michio soon meets Kamisaka and with Asaba’s proof, finds out everything about the false media reporting. Then they got this sick idea with each of them sending the ones they hate to hell simultaneously. And with the count to three, they send the murderer, the editor and Kamisaka’s supposedly friend (initially he supported Kamisaka’s work but when negative news came out, he chickened out and turned against him) to hell. As the trio are to ‘celebrate’ their relief, suddenly Kamisaka disappears. It seems that he is being sent to hell by the murderer’s mother, who pins the blame on him the reason why her son did those cruel stuff. Though Kamisaka maintains his innocence that he didn’t do anything wrong, Ai tells him that the other victims also felt this way.
 
Episode 12 seems a little bit comical because of some loser-cum-joker classmate of Yuzuki, Nomura. I don’t believe I have ever seen anybody in this series nose bleed before. Anyway, this kid is using JT as some game to see which of the people he hates will get to go to hell first. They include a rude lady neighbour, an obnoxious male customer from the soba stall he works part time and the boyfriend of the girl (Kokoro) whom he secretly has a crush on. Nomura plays this game of his by sticking several round stickers over the body of a pin-up model on a poster for every annoying stuff done by them. If the sticker reaches her boobs, that ‘lucky’ person is to be sent to hell. I think. At the same time, one of Yuzuki’s friends, Nozomi (also working part time at the soba stall) seems to have a crush on Nomura and up to a point where the duo are to be going out on a date (perhaps he thinks he could never be with Kokoro?). One day, Nomura spots Kokoro trying to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge but he saves her in time. He learns that Kokoro is sad that her boyfriend was dating several other girls at the same time. Nomura gives her encouragement that she’ll find a better guy. She thanks him before they part. Back home, Nomura is confident that he is going to send Kokoro’s boyfriend to hell, since he has reached the goal. However it seems he can’t access JT. Why? Ai tells him that somebody else has a grudge on him. Who? It’s Kokoro! She can’t believe that she confided her problems in him and fears that he would tell everyone and ruin her reputation. Bummer. Nomura’s horror feat is also different because it is shown as live action sequences with Nomura drawn on a piece of paper as he is being boiled or being stapled. Then the funny part when Ai says that usual try-dying-for-once line, Nomura says how he doesn’t want to die! Too late. In the end, Kokoro gets herself her new boyfriend and she’s bothered a little by the mark on her chest. But she’ll think about that later. But poor Nozomi is in tears because of Nomura’s disappearance as her friends comfort her. Only Yuzuki truly knows what has happened…
 
In episode 13, a woman named Azusa confronts a police officer Norisha in episode 13 about he’s trying to forget something on the 6 Script Lantern Festival but he ignores her. Norisha is Akie’s father and to make matters worse, Azusa under an alias becomes Akie’s personal tutor. One day Akie visits Azusa at her house and sees the latter’s father in coma. Azusa plays guilty mind games with Akie by saying how her dad got involved in an accident but the police prevented the truth from surfacing and that person she holds responsible was Norisha, though the culprit Takumi is the son of an influential person and has fled overseas. Akie is shocked by what she has heard and when she goes back, she tells daddy how she wants to live alone, not giving him any further reasons. But this is all part of Azusa’s plan to make them suffer. Yuzuki helps Akie unpack in her new apartment and after that they attend the 6 Script Lantern Festival. The JT team explains that a significance of this festival is that is a time when the gates of hell opens. Akie decides to leave early when Yuzuki sees a light from a distance and approaches it. A woman appears to tell her not to go there or else she won’t come back. That woman disappears when Yuzuki turns around. She then senses Akie in trouble and rushes back. At the apartment, Azusa tells Akie to take a shower and while doing so, she has some accomplice of hers to rape her. Luckily Norisha appears fast enough to stop them (Yuzuki called him). Azusa thinks of pulling the string but Yuzuki manages to stop her so she flees. Then as Yuzuki is at the river, a little light enters her body and we see Ai separating from her body and now she has a body of her own. Ai rejoins her JT members as they welcome her back. Yuzuki thinks she is freed from this nightmare and goes to see Akie but she disappears in front of her. It seems Azusa managed to access JT and got another straw doll. Yuzuki can’t believe what she saw and could only let loose her cry amidst the pouring rain. Oh damn it! Why does an innocent girl like Akie get sent to hell?! Does Azusa hate her that much? I mean, she does know of the culprit’s name so she should’ve sent him to hell instead. Don’t get how some people think. Yuzuki walks to school dejectedly one day and passes a girl and notes how this is a start of a new nightmare.
 
That girl is Hidemi and in episode 14, she got lost in the city and meets a small time ruffian trying to make it big, Kinya, who seems to have a soft spot for her. Kinya learns that she is a model student with a bright future while comparing himself as a useless delinquent. You could say the duo got along quite well. However enemies of Kinya took pictures of them together and this is enough to ruin Hidemi’s reputation. When Yuzuki learns that Hidemi is planning on using JT, she tells her experience of what happened to innocent Akie. The girls decide to go find Kinya only to see him being arrested for beating somebody up. Hidemi is shocked to see what is happening and contacts JT. Later Kinya busts out of the police station. He takes the first person he sees as his hostage: Yuzuki. In all that chaos, he doesn’t recognize Hidemi, breaking her heart. Finally he does recognize but it is too late as she pulls the string. In the aftermath, Yuzuki sees Hidemi ditching her good girl image and lets loose her wild side. She’s going to hell anyway, right? Yuzuki is adamant of not giving up her quest to stop people from accessing JT but senses too many grudges from the crowd. Well, it’s such a hateful society. On another note, since Ai has her body of her own, no more that cocoon bursting scene. It’s back to that Wanyuudou’s fire carriage scene and well, sometimes she’s back in that eternal sunset hut with her faceless grandma perpetually spinning the wheel. Or else, Ai takes refuge with the rest of her JT members at the school. Can’t believe this is their base, eh? Also, Kikuri isn’t pleased that Ai is back because it means the rest would pay less attention to her. Hey, she has Yamawaro, right? Not enough? Pout all you want, kid. I’m rooting for Ai!
 
Usagi is a slow girl and in episode 15 she is constantly being saved by her close friends. As contrast, her brother, Michi is a successful musician. He returns home to their family and scolds her for being a turtle. But I guess even slow girls are capable of feeling hatred because Yuzuki senses Usagi accessing JT. She’s slow but not stupid. However one of her classmates, Endo, has a crush on Usagi and even asks her out! Love works in mysterious ways. Yeah, the turtle surpassed her friends in getting a boyfriend. Michi isn’t happy so he frames him by showing Usagi that he is two-timing her with photos of Endo going out with other girls. Eventually they broke up and when she goes tell Michi about this, he is surprised to see a straw doll in her hand. It seems Michi too has one! Are they planning to send each other to hell?! Michi explains how he’s always envy her because their parents always have expectations of him. In addition, he came back to tell them he was quitting his musician job. The siblings reconcile embrace and threw away their straw dolls into the river. Yuzuki is relieved to see what they had done and thinks this case is closed and needs no further intervention. Michi goes back but finds himself being sent to hell. It seems Usagi went back down the river and pulled the string. Still can’t forget the grudge? Perhaps she is still slow in that area. A short flashback how Michi disagreed to be Usagi’s bride when she grows up but said he would if she’d become beautiful. Usagi is still standing in the river believing that she could still do her best.
 
In episode 16, Yuzuki tries to stop a man, Nawa, from pulling the string but she is too late as Ai stops her. Nawa goes back to his mundane factory life and playing with a little girl, Kaya. Soon the factory receives a new worker, Yuki. Being a male dominated occupation, the guys tried to hit on her but Nawa inadvertently saved her (he was just passing by so the rest backed off). Feeling grateful, Yuki starts going out with him though he seems gloomy and a boring person. But that gradually changed when Kaya understood that he can’t play with her because he’s got a date. Finally Nawa tells Yuki how he sent his colleague Nakajima to hell. When Nakajima first arrived, he along with Kaya always played together. Nawa one day realized Nakajima is some sort of paedophile when he found several pictures of her in his room. He confronted him and though he admitted he wasn’t going to cross the line (he was just happy looking and not willing to take any physical action) and points back at Nawa that he is the same, Nawa couldn’t accepted it and decided to protect Kaya by contacting JT even if it meant going to hell himself. Soon Nawa finds out that Yuki was Nakajima’s boyfriend and that she infiltrated this factory to investigate his disappearance. She chose to get close to Nawa since he was his close friend, Now that she knows everything, Yuki sends Nawa to hell. Tit for tat. However all this was just a premonition Ai showed Yuzuki. A vicious never ending cycle of grudges. Yuzuki still wants to save him so Ai lets her through but she lost him among the crowd.
 
Episode 17 focuses on Yamawaro’s past. When Yuzuki sees one of her visions, she goes to see the grandma who accessed JT but finds out the mansion only has an elderly professor and his young wife. Though she sense something amiss, Yuzuki leaves. We learn that this couple had a son named Hikaru but he died long ago. Yamawaro was a mountain spirit and somehow he had an uncanny resemblance to Hikaru. He initially never thought of mixing with humans and even Ai once came to request him to join JT but he refused, thinking it was natural to be alone. Then curiosity got better of him. Yamawaro appeared before the professor’s aging and ailing wife and she thought her son had returned and treats him like her own real son. However the professor knows very well he isn’t Hikaru so he uses Yamawaro as his experiment subject to create some anti-aging and eternal life potion. Well it worked in a way. Eventually she realized what is going on and tells Yamawaro to run away. But as time passes, she couldn’t get over the fact her husband used their ‘son’ as an experiment and decides to send him to hell. When Yamawaro goes to have 1 last look at her, he sees the entire mansion sinking and her ‘mom’ embracing what looked like Hikaru in her arms during her last moments. This episode raises some questions. For instance, I saw that she had requested a straw doll when it was during its newspaper stages. Does it mean that she has been keeping Yamawaro’s straw doll as her son ever since? The reason why Yamawaro never appeared in the previous 2 seasons? Also, how come she suddenly turned back to her hagged old looks when Kikuri pointed out that Yamawaro wasn’t her son? Was it all just an illusion?
 
A radio show named Jotaro Shijimi seems to be popular with the school girls in episode 18. One of the girls Chiriko is a big fan and has a letters read nearly every night. Yuzuki and friends soon find out Chiriko is that person under the alias "Chi-chan". Furthermore, one of Chiriko’s suggestions for the show is to create a JT corner for one to take out their grudges. Then Chiriko meets another girl, Kaname, who happens to be another regular on the show going by the name of "Kaeru Hime". They both get acquainted and soon Kaname suggests for them to go meet Jotaro in person. When they arrive outside the station, Kaname is excited to see Jotaro’s co-host, Yume. As Kaname expresses her eagerness and dreams to become a scenario writer to Yume, Chiriko can’t help feel devastated that all this was just a made up script, thus crushing her dreams of whatever fantasies she had on Jotaro. She then contacted JT and one day as she and Kaname are walking to school, Chiriko asks if Kaname had told anyone else about the script and since the latter said no, Chiriko pulls the string on her. WTF?! She can’t accept the reality, eh? Chiriko goes back to her fantasy world of Jotaro, refusing to believe all that scripted stuff was real. Better to live within one’s fantasy than to face the harsh realities of live, huh?
 
Yuzuki meets a young woman, Kaori, who is the heir of a famous flower arrangement organisation in episode 19 and learns that the head of the organisation has recently passed away. Kaori is running away since she did not like her predetermined future but was brought back by her childhood friend-cum-colleague, Tsukio and butler Kodakuri. At the funeral, Yuzuki spots the JT team and they are pretty shocked too to learn Yuzuki’s ability to recognize them seeing Yamawaro had put some illusion effect on them. Kaori soon runs into trouble with another woman named Yukina, claiming that she is the real daughter of the deceased. She wants to fulfil her late mom’s wish. In other words, she wants to be the next head of the organisation. Yukina has an even ulterior scheme. She uses the lawyer as her accomplice to poison Kaori. Tsukio overheard how Yukina isn’t interested in the organisation and is just merely using it as a stepping stone so that she could sell the land she inherit for a high price. When the nervous lawyer serves Kaori the drink, Tsukio drinks it in her place instead and collapses. Kaori is filled with anger and accesses JT. Later Kodakuri shows Kaori the dark secrets of the organisation whereby they planted flowers through the skulls of the deceased. Kaori realizes that this is what she had wanted to do all along. With that, she sends Yukina to hell and later tells dying Tsukio how she’ll use his corpse as her first project. Yuzuki is surprised to learn that Kaori has decided to accept this line of her family business. But later Yuzuki gets the most shocking news of her life. Ai tells Yuzuki that she will be the next Jigoku Shoujo and that it is her destiny. Wow. A successor. Erm… I don’t think this is the kind of job any girl would want to do. Besides, bratty Kikuri sometimes confront Yuzuki to say that she won’t lose out because Kikuri is bloody sure she’ll be the next Jigoku Shoujo. Dream on…
 
Remember Ai took on Hell Boy in the first season? In episode 20, she takes on Hell Professor. Another development is that, recall that cute little Tsugumi girl back in the first season? Yeah, she’s all grown up now and the thing is, she is working as a nurse at Yuzuki’s school! Tsugumi did appear earlier in the series. The time when she warned Yuzuki not to go beyond the shrine during the 6 Script Lantern Festival. Even the JT team failed to recognize her till lately. However, Tsugumi senses that someone wants to send her to hell. She resigns to her fate, only to be taken by some servant named Kikyou to see his master, Shougo. Yuzuki along with Ai and her JT team arrive at Shougo’s mansion and we see he has created some supernatural barrier preventing them from entering initially. When they do so, Ai shows us that she is capable than just sending people to hell as she destroys Shougo’s machine for that barrier. So why does Shougo hate Tsugumi? Actually he doesn’t and is actually an admirer of her dad, Hajime. Of all the mumbo-jumbo explanation, this is what I understand. Shougo is some accomplished mathematician who created some weapon responsible for the lost of many lives. One day he discovered something with his theory: The existence of hell. He got infatuated with it and did lots of research and because of his torrid childhood past whereby his dad used to hit his mom and one day mommy pulled the string and sent daddy disappearing. Soon mommy vanished too. But one of the conditions for accessing JT is to have that grudge feeling. How can he do so if he doesn’t have enough hate to send anyone to hell? Simple. He used deep hypnosis. Furthermore, Shougo says how hell is created by society and wants Tsugumi as part of his experiment as he ties her up in a crucifix position. He also wants to meet Ai after learning she has taken a body in this town. Ai agrees to deliver his grudge, much to the horror of Yuzuki and other JT members. Before Shougo could finish pulling the string, Kikyou did one on him on behalf of all the children he took in as atonement for killing their parents but had used them heartlessly in his experiments. Shougo realizes his hypocrisy and is sent to hell. As everyone leaves, Yuzuki pleads Tsugumi for help but she replies that destiny cannot be changed.
 
While Yuzuki is in a dilemma over her fate, in episode 21, she meets a young boy named Kaito. She notices his body bruises and concludes that he is an abused child. She learns that his stepmom, Nanami, treated him very nicely but ever since she got pregnant with her own child whom she names Mao, that’s where all the mistreatment and verbal abuse came in. No matter how small those mistakes are, Kaito gets punished. Yuzuki confronts his stepdad but the latter scoffs it off. The JT team tells Yuzuki that daddy actually knows it all the while. Just that he chose to ignore it. When daddy comes back, he hears another one of those abuses from outside and thinks he has to end it. One day, Nanami leaves for her usual medical check up so daddy takes Kaito to the mountains where he once promised they would all go as a family. At the lake, daddy attempts to kill Kaito! At the same time, Yuzuki tries to go stop them but is stopped by Ai. Ai tells her that hell is inside of everyone and decides to show it to her. Yuzuki witnesses daddy almost committing the hideous act but he backs out upon realizing what he is doing. But is too late because Kaito already pulled the string. So who got sent to hell? Mao! OMG! Can you send an unborn person to hell?! An innocent foetus who has yet to breath his/her first breath already sent to the eternal fields of pain?! Would it be conscious enough to know what pain is?! Because of that, Kaito and his family are back to the happy trio they once were. With that in mind, is it possible to send a fictional character to hell?
 
Yuzuki continues to despair about being the next Jigoku Shoujo in episode 22. So much so she collapses and comes to in Tsugumi’s infirmary. She seeks her advice but as usual nothing much could be done. On her way home, Yuzuki encounters Sumika, the reserved twin of the famous model, Yuika. Being a twin acts like a double edged sword. Though Yuika puts up a friendly personality in public, she is quite cruel especially to Sumika. She also uses her to do assignments she doesn’t like. Now that’s making full use of your other self. Nobody could tell the difference between them and the only thing which distinguishes them apart is the birthmark on Sumika’s hip. One night Yuika was out drunk with her manager-cum-boyfriend Masato, she got into an accident and broke her arm. Not wanting to waste her photo shoot, she sends Sumika in her place. Soon Sumika thrives in Yuika’s place and even does a much better job than her. She even starts getting into a relationship with Masato. What the heck, can’t tell the difference anyway. But all this you know, means Yuika is burning with jealousy. The twins confronted each other and Sumika isn’t Yuika’s shadow anymore as she is on par with her. One of the twins accesses JT. Yuzuki tries to stop them but can’t tell which of them has the straw doll. Later Masato meets one of them to say he is dumping her for the other. The dumped twin pulls the string. It is revealed the one who pulled the string was Yuika as she returns to her familiar spotlight while Sumika laments her fate for just pursuing her dreams.
 
Another bullying case in episode 23. The victim this time is a boy named Fumio. He is being subjected to that by Tomohide who seems to bear a very strong grudge on him, and his lackeys. Meanwhile Yuzuki is tired of her futile attempts so whenever she sees her visions (Fumio accessing JT in this case), she tries to ignore them. She also tries to study hard to take her mind of this. We also see that Tomohide isn’t a total cruel person. Back home, he takes care of his little sister while their single mom is away working. When she asks him about daddy, he didn’t say much but suspiciously he has a mark on his chest and things indicate he might have sent his own father to hell. One day Tomohide and his lackeys decide to return the camera that they got from Fumio during a previous bully. However, they see him so polite with his parents like as though the bullying had no effect on him. Tomohide gets furious as they take Fumio to the woods for another bully session. This time, Tomohide is going to get physical, which could land them in trouble. In Fumio’s panic, he takes out the straw doll. Tomohide knows his fate and challenges him to pull the string. He also warns Fumio that even if he is sent to hell, his miserable life won’t change. Fumio panics and pulls the string. The lackeys become afraid when they see Tomohide disappear before their eyes and flees. Next day in class, when the teacher mentions about Tomohide’s absence, his lackeys start panicking and blurt before the class how he was sent to hell. They get paranoid and start pointing their fingers at everyone for holding grudges while they cower in fear that they don’t want to be sent to hell. Fumio later learns what Tomohide say may be true because he witnesses bullying the high school he will be going to. Elsewhere, Yuzuki confronts Ai about her fate and the redundant existence of JT since hell is in everyone’s heart. So Ai says that Yuzuki hates her and wants to send her to hell! Yuzuki runs home and cries, thinking she too may be consumed by hate. Anyway, the reason behind Tomohide’s grudge against Fumio is not known.
 
Yuzuki continues to ignore her fate of being Jigoku Shoujo in episode 24 as she studies hard for her entrance exam. But she this Jigoku Shoujo thingy must be getting to her head because she is seeing visions of Akie! Not only that, the people around are starting to forget her! Then the entrance exam she took and thought had passed, it seems her number was actually belonging to another student. Thinking that Ai is screwing with her, Yuzuki is upset and calls her out. But only Tsugumi recognizes her. She invites Yuzuki to her home whereby she explains how her dad tried to stop JT but found out he was just part of the system and eventually gave up. Tsugumi too is tired of the whole thing and probably thinks Ai is showing her all this to make her think so as not to feel hatred herself and that some people actually may have found their last hope in JT. Since Yuzuki isn’t willing to accept all this, Tsugumi tells her a shocking truth. Are you prepared for this? Yuzuki disappeared from this world a long time ago and all that she has experienced was just illusions. The reason she told her not to go beyond that shrine was that she may be stuck in limbo in the after world. OMG! Yuzuki is dead?! Unable to take all this, Yuzuki runs back to her apartment, in reality is in a dilapidated state pending for demolition. She goes back to her room to see her skeletal self holding onto a stuffed toy. Ai and her JT team appear to confirm that this is her. Wow. I didn’t see this coming. So are all those visions and people with grudge for real or just part of Yuzuki’s illusions? Maybe that’s why Ai wanted to groom Yuzuki to be her successor? On an unrelated note, Tsugumi should’ve said "I see dead people…". Just kidding.
 
In episode 25, Yuzuki thinks Ai is still screwing with her. Since she is adamant that she won’t become the next Jigoku Shoujo, Ai shows Yuzuki her past. When she was alive with her parents, daddy brought her that stuffed toy as her early birthday present. They were happy then. One day, daddy who works as a bus driver got into an accident when the brakes fail. A lorry at the junction slams into the bus, killing everyone onboard. Daddy soon passes away in hospital but the family victims are enraged. To make matters worse, the bus company says that the error is artificial, pinning the blame on the driver. Because of that, Yuzuki and her sickly mom Sayo, gets shunned by society and even at school, Yuzuki’s pals ignore her. It’s so heartless for them to call them murderers! Sayo took up part time job at a grocery store of a childhood friend but the latter’s wife didn’t like the idea even if he was okay with it. Eventually she quit and her health worsened. Yuzuki took her to a hospital but not even 1 would treat her! Heartless! And I thought it was their oath to save lives. During Yuzuki’s depression, that’s when she met Akie, who gave her a candy. Sayo knew her time has come so she takes Yuzuki to an abandoned shrine where she passed away. After burying her body with sakura petals, Yuzuki goes back to her room and sleep with her stuffed toy. With that, all she remembers them all. Soon she hears Akie calling her. As they reach out, Ai disappears and Yuzuki now dons her kimono. She realizes the need for a Jigoku Shoujo and accepts her fate. She vows to purify this world and makes a promise to Akie that she won’t send sinless people like her to hell. But Hone says that this isn’t Akie and is just a guide. Yuzuki says that their master has disappeared so they will have to serve her. Everyone walks away except Wanyuudou. Yamawaro wanted to stay too but Kikuri pulls him away. At their base, they receive their next job. Oh no! It can’t be! Yuzuki the next Jigoku Shoujo has become true! Well, I don’t really blame her for changing her mind. Oh great. Her eyes are now blood red instead of innocent blue.
 
Yuzuki’s first job is to send Azusa to hell in episode 26. And the person who requested it is Norisha. Call it fate, eh? Meanwhile Tsugumi has a little chat with Ren and Hone before leaving town. Now it’s Yuzuki’s turn to say Ai’s recycled lines. Since Akie was sent to hell, Yuzuki gets personal and supports Norisha to send Azusa to hell. Norisha decides to go look for Azusa so he could see her fall to hell. Elsewhere, that spider comes out of Kikuri’s forehead! Scary! Norisha arrives outside Azusa’s home but later tells Yuzuki that he can’t do it and gives back the straw doll. Though he can’t forget or forgive her, Azusa has done something bad so she will eventually go to hell. Now that is some rational level headed thinking. If everyone could only think like that. However Yuzuki isn’t happy and decides to send Azusa to hell herself. Ai appears to stop her since this would be breaking the rules but Yuzuki blasts her away. Ai tells Wanyuudou to gather the rest. Yuzuki approaches Azusa and when she said "Ippen shinde miru…", she sounded more cute than intimidating. However Azusa soon turned into that spider who is going to send Yuzuki to hell for breaking the rules. Yuzuki trying to fight back the Master of Hell? Definitely a big mistake. Luckily Ai and her JT team appear and rescue Yuzuki from its clutches.
 
When Ai and Yuzuki are alone, Ai tells about the weaklings humans are, their desperate attempts among other things and I believe this is the first time I see Ai shed tears! Then she shows the reason why Norisha didn’t have the heart to pull the string. He saw how Azusa was taking care of her comatose dad. This has Yuzuki remembering her own case as she breaks down. But the spider soon appears and Ai says she will receive the punishment instead. The spider tells of humans’ never-ending hatred and that she will never be freed from this job for eternity. The spider releases a bright flash from light as Yuzuki and Ai find themselves in a flower field. Yuzuki is startled that she is starting to vanish but Ai hugs her and says that she is her. Ai kisses Yuzuki a second time and Yuzuki receives the memories of Ai’s tragic past before disappearing. The next scene shows what looks like Yuzuki leading a normal high school life as Ai reunites with her JT members. Finally Azusa confronts Takumi who has just returned overseas from the airport. She stabs him with a knife but soon disappears. While Takumi lies in his pool of blood, we see it is Norisha’s wife who pulled the string. Ai walks through the panic and fleeing crowd.
 
Just as with the previous seasons of this series, I find this season as engaging and interesting. There were several twists and unexpected turn of events. I didn’t actually expect an unborn child to be sent to hell! It is unfortunate that Ai has to continue with this job without any possibility of getting back her freedom. But I guess somebody has got to do the job seeing that humans will never learn and find the easiest way out. One thing still bugs me about Yuzuki, though. If she had died a long time ago and whatever experiences she had was just an illusion, how does she ever make friends with Akie? By right Akie would never have known who Yuzuki is. Another thing that I’m wondering is why Ai and JT were keen on making Yuzuki the next Jigoku Shoujo considering the fact that they know the truth behind her situation. I know that they were both abandoned by everyone else in the world but couldn’t they just tell it straight rather than let her find out the hard way that all this was just an illusion? Perhaps a reason I could think of was the need to find Ai’s replacement if she was to be released from her job like at the end of the second season. Another point to ponder is if all those people who were sent to hell are for real, was Yuzuki just a ghost existing in her own illusion parallel to reality? I felt that Tsugumi’s appearance in the show somehow lacked any impact in the end. It was like she wants to help Yuzuki out but lack whatever will or necessities to do so and in the end couldn’t do much.
 
It was pitiful to see Yuzuki going through all the pain at such a tender age. Her illusions were probably due to the fact that she still believed that somewhere deep down, humans have that hope to be saved. Just like Tsugumi once did. Well like they say, two wrongs don’t make a right and if Yuzuki went on continuing to hate those around her, she wouldn’t be much different from the rest. Now if she had actually continued to be the next Jigoku Shoujo I think the rate of people being ferried to hell will increase. Why? Oh heck, Jigoku Shoujo looks even cuter now! Haha! Just kidding. But seriously. Like a marketing ploy, eh?
 
In view of the technological advancement in accessing JT, I can’t help think what is the next step for vengeful people to access the site. I remember how Shougo did his research of its evolution from newspaper columns to basic programming to the internet and currently handphone. Maybe the next phase would be just to wish it real hard from the bottom of your heart, eh? Possible? It’s human hatred we’re talking about. Don’t be surprised to see that one can access JT from your TV set or even via telephone call. Dial 1-800-SEND-EM-TO-HELL to exact your revenge! I’m still curious to know what lies beyond the shrine pathway to hell that Ai ferries her victims into. I may have an idea but you know, I’d still like to see it. I also thought that this season would reveal the identity of the faceless grandma since she did make a short appearance. But that’s not important and another story.
 
Many aspects of the series in terms of drawing, art, animation, music and voice acting (more famous seiyuus lend their voice and make cameo appearance such as Rie Kugimiya, Yuko Goto and Kappei Yamaguchi) are pretty much consistent with the previous season. Yeah, I still can’t read the episode title which is still as ‘cakar ayam‘ as ever. Not that I could ever read Japanese kanji in the first place. But just a little note that the episode title now appears right before the opening theme, Tsukihana, sung by Nana Kitade. The song sounds a little like soft rock and the lyrics are a little abstract. As usual, Mamiko Noto who voices Ai once again does the ending, this time entitled Ichinuke. However I find this piece not as creepy as its previous seasons because it feels like a slow pop though it still gives off an eerie feel.
 
It was a good thing they made this series because I can see for myself the dark side of humans. As expected, some reasons were stupid and there are those which are pitiful. Hopefully I would learn from their mistakes and would not resort to such low-down tactics. I believe I have said it before that it’s best to control and channel your hatred into a more positive means. There’s nothing more to be said. Period. And if they are willing to make another season, you can bet that I will be eagerly waiting to see Ai and her JT team deliver their vengeance. Since I felt that this season didn’t have any clear cut indications that the series is at its end, my guess that another sequel is possible. Seeing the kind of direction in today’s life, maybe we need more Ai in this world. That would be like playing God. If you still insist that you can’t stand that person any longer, don’t just sit there. Go for the hell of it! You’ve already got one foot in the grave. See, have we learned anything so far?
 

Jigoku Shoujo

Sometimes it is good to go back and watch old school animes once in a while rather than always seeking to watch current ones. Having said so, I don’t really remember the reason why I decided to go watch Samurai Girl Real Bout High School. Perhaps it just caught my attention when I was just randomly browsing through the internet one day and my curiosity got the better of me.
 
From the short manga series of the same name (it lasted around 6 volumes only), the series was given the anime treatment back in the year 2001 although the anime storyline did stray from it. Now that is a pretty long time if you think about it. I guess at that time anime is in the process of booming so don’t hope for anything groundbreaking in this series. And if you are looking for some fanservice, just be warned that it isn’t as ‘good’ as today’s standards (don’t even start forming an opinion towards me!). But those were the animes back then. Can’t complain much, can’t we? What more do you want to expect from an action, adventure, comedy and fantasy genre?
 
The opening in episode 1 sees two men battling with each other in some ruins. Then a change of scene whereby our heroine of the story, Ryoko Mitsurugi, is heading towards Daimon Private High School and she is quite popular among the girls as they give her lots of stuff. Her pal Hitomi Yuki, teases her but Ryoko says she isn’t happy being popular. Photo bug Daisaku Kamiyama replies that isn’t true as she’s also popular with the guys. Real popular too. Isn’t this what most high school girls dream to be? Ryoko sense several shurikens coming her way and deflects them all. She dispatches several hidden ninjas but soon a number of them surround her. A group of people including a school girl announcer, Tamaki Nakamura, sets up several props for a K-Fight (Kenka Fight, for short). What in the world is that? Well, in this school, disputes are settled via matches and are even run by K-Fight Executive committees. So today’s fight is between defending champion Ryoko and the amateur ninja club. And the commentator is the principal of Daimon High, Takao Todo. The fight attracts all the students so much so classes are empty and the little petite teacher Misao Aoki thinks she has entered the wrong class. Aoki is so small that you could mistake her for a school kid! Anyway Ryoko beats all those ninjas flat and defends her title.
 
Later, Ryoko spars with her senpai, Tatsuya Shishikura in a kendo match. He praises her improvement and she seems happy. You can obviously tell that she has a crush on him. Ryoko senses something coming her way and stops a cloth with her bokuto (wooden sword). It’s from her senpai Azumi Kiribayashi and she says it’s a towel for her. But the towel is clad with nails! Azumi flirts with Tatsuya and takes him away, pissing Ryoko off. Yeah, the love rival. I smell cat fight. Meow! Daisaku and Todo are discussing how to make K-Fight more interesting since Ryoko is too strong and it’s getting monotonous. Todo thinks Shizuma Kusanagi is the only one who can challenge her but ever since he lost to Ryoko, he has disappeared, supposedly on a training trip. Ryoko spots a jewel pendant in her locker and puts it on. When she does, it starts glowing as she screams in pain before collapsing. The next thing she knows, she is standing there as though none of that happened. Suddenly Tamaki announces everyone to head down to the gym because anybody who defeats Ryoko will get their club funding 100 times more plus a trip to Hawaii. If no one wins, the fund automatically goes to the kendo club. Say, I noticed Tamaki has 2 assistants who seem to cosplay in various outfits. They’re acting like her echo… Everyone gets hyped up as Ryoko is reluctantly brought in, not to happy with another one of these fights. Ryoko beats all the pathetic club members flat but her next challenger is Azumi. Before the bout starts, Azumi mocks Ryoko and shamelessly flirts with Tatsuya. Ryoko’s bokuto vs Azumi’s long nigata trade blows till Ryoko did a trick by letter her bokuto being hit up in the air which allows her to step on Azumi’s nigata before retrieving it in midair and strike the final blow. But she stops short of hitting her. When Ryoko says that this isn’t practice but K-Fight, Azumi admits defeat. Everyone rejoices.
 
As Ryoko is congratulated by her friends, suddenly her pendant starts glowing and the next thing she knows is that she is in an empty gym. A voice welcomes her as Demon Lord of Yenen. That voice turns out to be some sort of war priestess as Ryoko is still pretty much confused on what is going on. The priestess points towards a dragon, in which it starts attacking them.
 
In episode 2, Ryoko wonders if this is a dream as she has no choice but to battle the dragon known as Demon Beast. She notices her bokuto flashing and is being told by the priestess of its God power. Finding it interesting, she uses her newfound powers to defeat the dragon. When the dragon disappears, the priestess is nowhere to be found. Her pendant starts glowing and the next thing she knows, she is back in her own room and the pendant missing. Her sister, Madoka, comes in asking about dinner and that is when Ryoko realized that the time now is 8pm but she is sure that the K-Fight had ended around 3pm. She calls Hitomi to find out what happened and it seems Ryoko collapsed after being congratulated, taken to the infirmary and went home. Hitomi thinks she may be suffering from amnesia from the fight’s shock. Meanwhile Shizuma is seen beating up a group of thugs with his Tiger Flame power move and a girl named Sara Himekawa, very delighted of his return as she hugs him. He is looking forward to his sure-win return match with Ryoko. Ryoko is pondering the events that have happened when she is being poured by a bag of sand. She knows it is Azumi, so a little quarrel before they chat. Azumi thinks Ryoko is better off learning swordsmanship than kendo and ‘thanks’ her that because of her defeat, she still has a long way to go.
 
Shizuma makes his grand return to Daimon High and Ryoko isn’t pleased that the banchou of Daimon High and previous K-Fight Champion has returned. You can guess that they start arguing right away. Lots of people either love her or like picking a fight with her. Soon another K-Fight match between the duo. They trade insults before the match proper. During the bout, Ryoko’s pendant starts glowing and a big flash of light engulfs the gym. A large sized man, Keiichiro Nagumo, appears before them. Todo recognizes him as the creator of K-Fight and its first champion. Thus, the strongest person on Earth. Nagumo is here to challenge Shizuma to a fight. Ryoko is upset for the interruption (actually more like being ignored). But Todo finds it interesting and will allow it. Before their match begins, Ryoko is shocked to hear Nagumo congratulating her for defeating Demon Beast on her first try. Thus she is spacing out on how he knows it considering the fact she thinks it was all just a dream. Shizuma isn’t on par with Nagumo’s level so he starts using his Tiger Flame. Nagumo notices this move which is the Fist of Kamui. Shizuma says it is his original move which he learned from a man reeked of booze. Nagumo wants him to show his Kamui powers so he too powers up with his blue flame. The fight ends with Shizuma being blown away hitting the other end of the gym wall.
 
In episode 3, Todo is seen talking to an old man, Tessai Onizuka, about Nagumo. In school, everyone is talking about the recent events (Shizuma has disappeared from the infirmary) and Tamaki bugs Ryoko for comments. Ryoko commits to challenge anyone and gives them the slip while they’re all hyped up. Ryoko meets Hitomi and continues to ask her about her passing out. Hitomi suggests that Todo may know something. Self proclaimed loyal follower Daisaku suddenly pops out from the water to inform Todo lives at a nearby Hiten Shrine. Ryoko decides to go there. Daisaku wanted to follow but Ryoko threatened him or else. At the shrine, Ryoko acts out a dramatic fight scene from a book. She gets embarrassed to know when a miko priestess, Miyuki, is watching her. But Miyuki ignores her and walks away. Ryoko tries to ask her if she knows Nagumo but she suddenly feels scared. Actually they’re being surrounded by a blonde lady, Mian, and her MIBs. An MIB gets rough asking Nagumo’s whereabouts when suddenly his hand starts to bleed. Before he could get physical, Tessai appears and singlehandedly beats them all since they aren’t going home after he says Nagumo isn’t here. Mian retreats for now. Tessai tells Ryoko to go home, in which she obediently obliges. Due to that, Ryoko can’t concentrate on her kendo practice with Tatsuya and he notices this too. During break, they chat as Ryoko indirectly hints if she isn’t cute because there aren’t many samurai drama otakus and that she’s a tall and violent girl (she really admitted it!). But Tatsuya says she is cute enough and possibly could go a step further by being a handsome girl. Ryoko felt happy but that atmosphere is cut short when she senses danger. Several sharp spikes come piercing her way. You guessed it. It’s Azumi. As usual, they trade insults and could’ve started a fight if Tatsuya didn’t stop them. However, Azumi is here to see Ryoko.
 
Azumi drags Ryoko to Hiten Shrine because there is a person she wants her to meet: Tessai. Hmm… Though he is an old guy, but look at his muscular body! Wow! The six-packs, man! Ryoko is amazed but the previous fight she saw and begs to be his apprentice. However Tessai refuses but Ryoko is persistent. Ryoko then takes up his heavy bokuto and says she will swing it till he accepts. He says to do as she wishes. Meanwhile Mian plans to kidnap Miyuki to lure Nagumo out. Before her MIBs could make their move, Nagumo appears and puts them out of their misery. It is evening and Ryoko continues to swing the bokuto till she tires out and collapses. She open her eyes to find herself in bed with Azumi, Miyuki and Daisaku next to her (that guy had secretly recorded her every move from the nooks and corners!). Though her hand is injured and bandaged, Ryoko learns that Tessai has accepted her as his apprentice as he tells her to rest up for tomorrow’s early morning practice. Ryoko is grateful and thanks him. Meanwhile Nagumo confronts Mian and smashes her car as a warning not to come near this place if she isn’t willing to risk her life and to relay this message to Gates before walking off.
 
Ryoko fantasizes that she’s a heroine of some samurai show in episode 4 when Miyuki comes by. Ryoko tries to explain but she just walks pass by without saying anything. Ignored? After finishing her chores, Ryoko goes to eat breakfast but isn’t happy to see Azumi, Daisaku and Hitomi there because they’re frequenting the place as though it’s their home. Elsewhere, Shizuma furiously arrives at Hiten Shrine calling for Nagumo to face him and in his rowdiness he notices Miyuki watching him. In his embarrassment, she nods her head so he understands that Nagumo isn’t here (does he like her? Blushing, you know…). A little kitten comes by and he starts playing with it as Miyuki watches. Ryoko is taking lessons from Tessai like how her bokuto can be an all-purpose weapon by being both a sword and a bo. She also learns that Miyuki’s mom, Misaki, died in an airplane crash. Later Ryoko starts panicking when she finds out that today is Miyuki’s birthday and rushes off to make preparations. At the cafeteria, she enlists Daisaku and Hitomi’s help to set up a party for that 14 year old. After she leaves, Daisaku is surprised to see Shizuma camping under the table! He overheard their talk about the party. Preparations for the party at Hiten Shrine are on the way and Ryoko isn’t happy to see Shizuma there. Especially in a panda suit. WTF?! Sara is also there and she is the same grade as Miyuki though she notes she rarely sees her and wonders if she attends school. Daisaku comes in to report that Miyuki has become suspicious of their birthday surprise and true enough, Miyuki sees the whole thing. So in haste, the elaborated party starts abruptly. Shizuma is playing on stage when Ryoko hits him to stop because she thinks he is scaring her.
 
Suddenly her pendant glows. Ryoko and Shizuma find themselves in an alternate but deserted dimension. The priestess appears (she greets Shizuma is Demon Lord of Panda!) and tells them that they are in Solvania. She says that she has summoned them for something important. A monster appears so Ryoko quickly fights it so that she could get back to Miyuki’s birthday. Back in the real world, the party continues with K-Fight matches (everyone lost to Tessai. Pathetically) and Azumi putting up her nigata display. I’m not sure if everyone is aware that Ryoko and Shizuma are missing. Anyway Ryoko tries to pierce to monster but finds its skin too tough. Though Shizuma is still in shock with what is happening, he tries to help out but gets eaten instead. However he manages to come out alive by holding the monster’s mouth open. Thinking back on Tessai’s words, Ryoko uses her bokuto to jam the monster’s mouth open and tells Shizuma to fire his Tiger Flame inside it. They defeat the monster and Ryoko tries to ask the priestess questions. But her pendant starts glowing and all she learns is that her name is Reiha. They are transported back to the party’s aftermath whereby everyone is like drunk, knocked out and sleeping. Shizuma gives a glowing plant to Ryoko and wants her to pass it to Miyuki. Later Ryoko meets up with Miyuki and does so. Gloomy Miyuki says how she was born in an unfortunate year and thinks she should have died instead of her mom. Also, she wonders the use of celebrating birthdays. Ryoko gives her positive views and reasons for living so Miyuki thanks her.
 
In episode 5, three baddies are planning to find Shizuma in order to draw out Nagumo. What is with these people and Nagumo anyway? At Daimon Outlet Mall, Ryoko desperately clings to the wall because she doesn’t want to do some cosplay thingy as requested by Hitomi. Since Azumi is working part time there too, her loser taunts angered Ryoko so being the kiasu she is, Ryoko changed her mind to cosplay in front of all the otakus as Mahou Waitress Oyster Lulu. How embarrassing. Tamaki is also there to emcee the event. Ryoko regretting doing this as the crowd goes wild. The 3 baddies are beating up street people to get them to spill Shizuma’s whereabouts. Sara is among the crowd so she rushes back to Hiten Shrine to find Shizuma but he is nowhere to be found. Only Miyuki is there and she points he is at the mall. Shizuma is seen carrying shopping bags fir his lady teachers when he spots Ryoko putting up her cosplay performance. Sara and Miyuki come by to warn him but Shizuma knows who the baddies are. They too have arrived. Tamaki sells the otakus Oyster Lulu merchandise as Ryoko takes her break but notices a deadly aura and wonders if it’s Shizuma’s. Shizuma confronts the trio at the car park. They introduce themselves as Setsura Kyogoku, Nanase Kuon and Akitaka Fudo. Shizuma teases Akitaka as uribo (baby wild boar) so this gets him mad. Before they could start fighting, Ryoko, Hitomi and Daisaku come by to warn them to stop. Whip user Nanase takes on Ryoko for interfering while Akitaka fights Shizuma. Initially Shizuma is at the losing end but he manages to grasp Akitaka’s powers and did some combo move to knock him out. Ryoko too is having a tough time herself as she gets whipped and Nanase unleashing her electrical powers via her whip. But Ryoko manages to get the upper hand by fixing Nanase’s whip to her magical wand so that she could get up close and knock her out. Shizuma now faces Setsura and his black wind powers. As usual, he receives some pounding at first but stuns Setsura with his successive use of his fire power as Shizuma blasts him away. An MIB watching everything contacts the higher ups about the trio’s failure. Suddenly Ryoko’s pendant starts to glow and several monster crabs appear surrounding them.
 
It seems the teachers and Azumi too are being pulled into this alternate world void of people in episode 6. Ryoko, Shizuma and the baddies team up to take on the crabs but their numbers are overwhelming so they make a tactical retreat. Ryoko needs to go somewhere first and tells the rest to head along. Daisaku and Hitomi follow Ryoko. In the empty mall, Shizuma and the rest encounter more crabs so he tells Sara to take Miyuki and run while he and the rest fight the crabs. But everywhere they run, they encounter more crabs. Ryoko runs back to the restaurant to ditch her magical girl outfit and don her usual school uniform and bokuto to get her confidence back. Hey, clothes maketh a (wo)man. She tells Daisaku and Hitomi what she knows about Solvania and how their powers are amplified here. Ryoko takes on the crabs (Hitomi being a scream queen) when Azumi shows up. They cooperate to take down the claw menace. Sara and Miyuki continue running after a crab discovers their hiding place (in the dressing room?). Definitely not a dream. The duo bump into the lady teachers and they continue running. I guess this is the best defence for them. On the other hand, Shizuma and the trio are tired after relentless attacks. Shizuma learns from Setsura about Yonshinkan who told them about him, Nagumo and Ryoko. Though he knows nothing much about them, he thinks that they have enough power to pull this crazy thing and realizes that they have been used as pawns. Miyuki, Sara and the teachers are cornered. Just before the crabs are going to dispose them, they disappear and Miyuki sees Reiha before her. Ryoko and Azumi are having a tough time too when Nagumo appears to help out. He tells Ryoko to destroy the Fuma Stone located inside the boss in which everything will be reverted back to normal. He wants her to close her eyes and heighten her divine spirit to find it since this is no longer her problem. She does so and her pendant starts glowing. Ryoko is transported to a water tank whereby she easily defeats the monster lobster boss. That easy, huh?! Everyone returns back to their own world like as though none of this ever happened. Nagumo then disappears in front of Ryoko. This guy has a habit of appearing and disappearing. It’s like now you see him, now you don’t.
 
Back in school, Ryoko, Hitomi and Daisaku are discussing the recent events in episode 7. Daisaku is upset because all his recordings on the monsters turn out to be blanks. His further investigation shows Nagumo did disappeared from the mall without a trace. Tatsuya comes by so Ryoko blushingly asks him to have lunch with her but he’s broke and his tummy growls. Before she could offer her bento, she is being hit by a basin. Azumi comes running to offer lunch. Both girls get into an argument though Tatsuya doesn’t mind but they do. So another K-Fight to see who gets the right to make bento for Tatsuya. K-Fight now stands for Kitchen. After over the top preparations, before the judges could have a taste, Shizuma snatches the meal away because he felt left out of the fun. After he eats them, he starts foaming in the mouth and collapses. Everyone relieved that they didn’t have to sample it. Tamaki announces a draw but Todo objects as there are no draws in K-Fight and changes the rules of winning. The first one to give their bento to Tatsuya wins. Luckily Hitomi gives Ryoko their practice bento this morning and off she goes looking for Tatsuya. Azumi uses her influence and summons her Secret Flower Arrangement Club (SFAC) members. The usual tussle so much so a cameraman got caught in the middle. With Daisaku’s help, Ryoko relies on him to pinpoint Tatsuya’s location via headphone.
 
Shizuma is recuperating in the infirmary (Tatsuya just left) when Sara comes by to give him her bento. Now that guy fears it after the experience he just had. Ryoko and Azumi busts in, gets between their crossfire and the whole infirmary is messed up. Ryoko is on a wild goose chase because every time Daisaku tells where Tatsuya is, she reaches there only to be told he isn’t. Fed up, she destroys her headphone. By that time, Azumi has found Tatsuya and is going to give her bento when she realizes it isn’t hers. She tells him to wait and will be back. She also orders the SFAC to get Ryoko’s lunch. Ryoko bumps into Sara and learns of the switch between their bentos when the SFAC steals her bento. They battle outside the school gates and Ryoko emerges victorious. Eventually a 3 person face-off as they toss their bentos in the air and grab them when they land. They check the insides and are assured that it is theirs. Off they go. Sara gives hers to Shizuma but when that guy eats it, he foams even more and experiences spasms! What a horrible day for him! Tatsuya leaves the kendo dojo and is confronted by Azumi and Ryoko who are pushing each other to have him taste their bento. Since he’s so hungry, he decides to eat them both. He takes a bite and finds them delicious. But soon after, he starts foaming like mad and collapses! Oh dear. These girls don’t even know how to cook properly! They start blaming each other eventually. Hey. What happened to K-Fight anyway?
 
In episode 8, on an uninhabited island, Setsura is talking to his uncle Genya Kyogoku about their alliance with Yonshinkan which will destroy them. But Genya isn’t going to listen to a failure and tells him to leave. Meanwhile a group of 4 hooded people are seen trying to revive something with a Demonic King Sword, Schwartzkaiser and a ceremony. This episode has the usual gang (including Tessai) heading to Azumi’s private beach for the holidays but Azumi is upset that everyone tagged along and that Tatsuya, the only person she wanted to invite, isn’t here. Ryoko recalls Tatsuya had an all-boys camping for the kendo club and since Ryoko felt left out, he suggested this for her instead. Since they come in 2 cars, the teachers are racing with each other to their destination. Hold on to your seats! When they arrive, Miyuki is a little traumatized as the teachers play beach volleyball while the rest takes a swim. Ryoko notices a lone uninhabited island so Azumi decides to scare them by telling a spooky rumour. However Ryoko and Shizuma think it’s interesting and decides to go there for an adventure. The kids take the boat there while the adults stay behind.
 
Setsura, Nanase and Akitaka are preparing to leave the island on their speedboat when Setsura gets shot. When Ryoko and gang arrive, they see another speedboat and hear fighting in the jungle. Setsura and co are taking Mian’s MIB and are having a tough time as Setsura is injured. Luckily Ryoko, Azumi and Shizuma come to their aid. Because Ryoko and Azumi continue to quarrel, the MIBs surround them and before Mian could give her shooting orders, Ryoko’s pendant glows and Nagumo appears. The MIBs fire at him but the bullets ricochet off as he knocks them all unconscious. Mian flees. Ryoko wants to give chase but Nagumo stops her. Ryoko bombards Nagumo with questions but he tells them that he and Gates (some guy running the New York mafia) are constantly fighting in an eternal battle (perhaps that opening scene in episode 1) and to stop this looping nightmare, he has to defeat a man named Ryugen Higashikata (Shizuma’s master). He tells Ryoko to take care of Miyuki and disappears back into the portal. Mian is reporting her failure to a mysterious hooded guy (Gates, perhaps?) but he doesn’t mind since the time for Demonic King’s awakening is near. Back on land, everyone sees off Setsura and co. Shizuma notes how they’ll come to Tokyo since they have been saved once and would consider this as repayment of favour.
 
Hitomi and Daisaku pleads to Ryoko to do a sequel of Oyster Lulu in episode 9 since it’s such a hit but Ryoko refuses since it’s embarrassing. Not to mention every damn person in town recognizes her and are even obviously pointing out who she is! When a kindergarten girl, Rumi, does the same, Ryoko strongly protests and causes her to cry. Panic and feeling guilty of not wanting to ruin this child’s dream, Ryoko reluctantly admits she is Lulu, making her happy. Rumi has a request for her. It seems her parents own Daimon Outlet Mall and are always overseas. Due to that, her brother Akira is acting up and she wants Lulu to change him back to his normal self. In the mall, Ryoko, Rumi, Daisaku and Hitomi confront Akira and his evil looking scheming caretaker-cum-company vice president (VP). Ryoko ticks him off for pouting so Akira flips up her skirt. VP sends 2 bodyguards to dispose Ryoko as he and Akira go up the elevator. Akira is kicking up a fuss alone in his room when VP comes by. Akira gives him an access card and tells him to do as he wishes. VP searches through the company database for any secrets that will enable him to take over the company when a bodyguard informs him that they’ve been beaten. Akira comes in and wonders what VP is doing but since he is bored, he is going to play with Ryoko a little. Akira controls the entire building with the main computer as Ryoko and co try to make their way up to the 60th floor going through all those obstacles. Meanwhile Shizuma, Miyuki, Sara and Azumi are at the mall when they spot Nanase in a cosplay outfit for a job interview at a restaurant (embarrassing!). Ryoko and the rest crash onto them in another failed attempt to reach Akira. Bored Akira thinks it is over while VP thinks he has found a paper clue to the company’s secrets and orders his bodyguards to kidnap Rumi. Ryoko is pissed and the rest wants to help out but feel they can’t go out in their soaked clothes. The restaurant manager offers them to wear cosplay outfits. Seriously?
 
VP has Akira and Rumi tied to a chair when suddenly in typical magical girl style appearance, Ryoko as Lulu and her 6 pals as her seafood friends appear to save the day. Even Shizuma is dressed as a magical girl! Yeah, Hitomi is forced to do so too. They put up a splendid performance as they take on VP’s bodyguards. Rumi is confident Lulu will use her magic to save them but VP scoffs it off. Ryoko is ready to admit the non-existence of magic when the restaurant manager appears. Since Rumi believed so much in magic, he puts on another cosplay outfit on her and frees her. Oyster Lulu Petite? Suddenly her parents come back via helicopter. It’s revealed that the restaurant manager is an internal director of the company in disguise, George the Ace. VP isn’t going to give up and is going to gun down the helicopter and kill the president when Ryoko knocks him out with her Oyster Lightning Drop. The kids reunite and reconcile with their parents as VP finds out the paper clue is some faded shopping list the president used as a bookmark. Ryoko thinks George cosplays as cover up in his investigations but he says it isn’t so and is more like it is his hobby. Speaking of which, he is counting on Ryoko for this coming Sunday’s performance. Ryoko reluctantly puts on another splendid show much to the delight of the crowd and Rumi.
 
Episode 10 begins with Ryoko and Nagumo being led by Reiha through an underground tunnel underneath Sargaia to stop the Ceremony of Makishi. They teleport to where the 4 hooded guys are as they say how the ceremony is almost over. They revive sine angelic-like demon named Kenma who is going to paint this land with the blood of 10 million sacrifices. Nagumo thinks Kenma is Gates and proceeds to do power battle with him. Ryoko suddenly wakes up in bed, sweaty and panting, wondering if this was a nightmare as her pendant is still glowing. Miyuki also experiences the same thing. Next day, it is Daimon’s School Festival and Ryoko and Tatsuya are doing some samurai remake play with the drama club. As everyone rehearses, Ryoko overhears how Tatsuya and the play’s producer, Shiori Gotou are childhood friends. That’s because unlike most childhood friends who get along well, they’re usually bickering since Tatsuya is always forgetting his lines. After practice, Ryoko and Shiori stayed back to put final touches on the costumes. Ryoko takes the opportunity to ask Shiori the kind of relationship she had with Tatsuya. After that, Ryoko and Tatsuya had a heart to heart chat but he soon leaves to do something. Surprisingly Azumi didn’t intercept. Tatsuya went back to help Shiori with the costume. Next day as practice continues, Ryoko suddenly feels uncomfortable when she finds out Tatsuya and Shiori were making the costume together. Because of the way they argue and the way he looked at Shiori, Ryoko’s heart is clouded so much so she can’t concentrate and lightly injures Tatsuya during a practice scene. Shiori calls it a day even if his injury isn’t serious. Ryoko alone outside school is reflecting the events that have passed especially with Tatsuya. She is confused, her heart heavy and sorting out her feelings when Shizuma comes by. They start arguing so he suggests settling a K-Fight now. They do so but Ryoko isn’t at her optimum as Shizuma easily blocks her attacks. He senses something amiss when she shed tears. Then the final move whereby he kicks her bokuto away and Ryoko couldn’t hold back her tears anymore as she cries and runs away, leaving him stunned.
 
Episode 11 is so like a flashback episode. Ryoko trains in the bamboo courtyard but her mind is still clouded with thoughts of Tatsuya that during 1 of her swings, her sword got stuck in the straw bag. Ryoko apologizes to Tessai so he says how she was like a graceful beast when she first came (flashback of episode 1 and that entire K-Fight with Azumi!). He wonders if she is lost because of love. Ryoko is startled so he advices her to kill! OMG! He did say that, right? Another flashback during the time Ryoko and Tatsuya chat whereby he commented her to be a handsome girl. In class, Daisaku shows Shizuma his complete photo collection on Ryoko but Shizuma gives it back to him and says it is incomplete because it doesn’t have times of her laughing or crying. Later Hitomi meets with Shizuma to ask if there’s something wrong with Ryoko since she can’t contact her (oh no. That flashback when Ryoko and Shizuma fought and it ended with her crying and running away). Tessai says that to kill is merely a play on words and suggests getting between them and abduct the man she desire. However Ryoko feels she can’t do that even if Shiori is her love rival (has she ever considered Azumi as one too?). He continues that there was a person who was exactly like her but he disappeared. He is Nagumo. Ryoko is shocked (flashback when Nagumo suddenly appeared and interrupted her K-Fight match with Shizuma). Miyuki comes by to say Shizuma was here to pass Ryoko her bokuto and lecture notes from Hitomi. When Ryoko learns how everyone was worried about her, she broke into tears. Tessai continues saying how she has changed in the sense her sword now lacks sharpness and has sunken very deep down. Though she doesn’t need to end up like him or Nagumo, he wants her to walk the path she believes. After Ryoko leaves, Miyuki wonders if Tessai has expelled her but he instead asks her age and says she will one day fancy a man and burn in his love. Miyuki doesn’t understand so Tessai just notes for Ryoko to do her best.
 
Setsura and co are beating up several MIBs and asking them about Yonshinkan’s plan in episode 12. Back at Daimon High, Hitomi finally sees Ryoko and asks her several questions but she apologizes and wishes for some time alone before running away. Hitomi wanted to go after her but Shizuma stops her and says Ryoko isn’t good with words. At Hiten Shrine, Miyuki sees a vision of Schwartzkaiser. Ryoko is practising but still can’t fully concentrate. The drama club continues to practice without Ryoko and Shiori thinks she has to change the script since they’re using a different person to replace Ryoko. Tatsuya says it’s impossible since it’ll be 3 more days to the festival and will talk to Ryoko. But Shiori replies she already did but to no avail. Just then, Ryoko comes in and apologizes and requests to rejoin the drama club, much to everyone’s delight. They are motivated to work harder. Tessai finds out Miyuki is going to the festival with Sara as he recalls how Ryoko told him she has slain the greatest enemy barring her path. Elsewhere, Setsura is telling Shizuma that something big is about to happen. The day of the festival arrives and of course there is the usual K-Fight but it’s between SFAC and the ninja club. Todo doesn’t seem amused and thinks he should’ve got Ryoko and Shizuma instead. After Shizuma finishes his rock concert and Azumi her flower arrangement performance, everyone goes to watch the drama play. Before it starts, Setsura and co come by and Shizuma knows it is happening. They are seen taking on several MIBs outside. During the middle of the play, Miyuki senses something coming but it’s too late as a bright beam of light crashes through the roof and onto the stage. Kenma appears and Miyuki recognizes Schwartzkaiser in its possession. However Kenma faces Ryoko and introduces himself as Willard Gates while the panic crowd flees. Ryoko is upset that this has to happen today as her pendant starts glowing. Suddenly all the MIBs turn into mini versions of Kenma and chaos ensues. Nagumo is seen arriving at the school gates.
 
In episode 13, those who can fight take on the mini Kenmas. Shiori confronts Gates to tell him off about ruining the play but Gates doesn’t give a sh*t and attacks her. Tatsuya uses his body to protect her and gets injured. While he is rushed to the infirmary, Ryoko is very pissed. She and Shizuma cooperate to take on Gates but their efforts were futile. Well, Ryoko’s bokuto even broke. Then Nagumo appears to say how he has been waiting for this day. He also says that Reiha chose her and not him. In addition, Nagumo says Shizuma is him because the latter has a future that Nagumo and Gates didn’t get to experience if not for Ryugen. Why is Ryugen so important? Get ready for this. He is fate itself! He comes and goes along the eternal flow of time between Earth and Solvania, thus influencing both worlds and its people. Holy crap! Nagumo is therefore here to change this fate. Nagumo unleashes a power move but it has no effect. So he tells Ryoko to remember to destroy the Fuma Stone just like how she did with that lobster monster back at the mall. Then he leaves Ryoko and Shizuma to take care of Gates. WTF?! I thought he was waiting for this day. Along the way, Nagumo sees Miyuki, who wants him to take her along but he just walk on into a building as Reiha appears besides him. Ryoko then throw her pendant to Gates since he wanted it so much but it disappeared from his grasp and reappeared back around Ryoko’s neck. She concludes that without the pendant, Gates won’t be in his perfect form and apologizes that she can’t get rid of hers. Gates says that he will take it by force. Ryoko gives him a lecture about this and that, and with full determination, she manages to recreate her bokuto. Wow! It’s like a light sabre now! Star Wars! Once more they cooperate to take on Gates.
 
Meanwhile Nagumo enters a room with Reiha to face Ryugen. Nagumo rants about his eternal loop nightmare and says the only way to end this is to defeat him. And in 1 power move, he blasts the entire room. Wow! Ryugen just appeared for a short moment and he got easily defeated like that?! Unbelieveable! Because of that, the powers that Ryoko, Shizuma and Gates got starts to grow weak. Now Gates is lamenting why now. Haha, funny. The 4 hooded people tell Gates to return in order for them to have a chance to save Solvania but Gates refuse, thinking he still has a chance to beat Ryoko. Ryoko decides to finish him off but Miyuki appears and say that he will not be defeated but returned to Solvania instead. Miyuki uses her priestess power and with Shizuma’s fire power, Ryoko breaks Gates’ Fuma Stone and returns him to Solvania. As the 4 hooded people curse their luck, everything on Earth returns to normal. The next day as Ryoko goes to school, she gets another K-Fight challenge from some Power Ranger-like club. She’s happy to take them on. Later that night as everyone gathers for a celebration at Hiten Shrine, Miyuki sees the spirit of Nagumo and Reiha outside and thanks them for she will be alright. They both disappear as she goes back in with Ryoko.
 
Well, well. Another one of those rather forgettable animes which has its ending feeling pretty much like a rush job though it ended on a good note. There are many things which raise an eyebrow or two. Like Ryugen’s very short cameo appearance. If that isn’t the problem, how about his easy defeat from Nagumo. It’s just like for convenience, if you know what I mean. Then there are some other questions that are still burning inside me. For instance why did Reiha chose Ryoko as the Demon Lord of Yenen. What the heck does that title mean anyway? What about the pendant Ryoko first found in her locker? Was it deliberately put there by Reiha? What about those Demon Beasts Ryoko had to fight earlier on? Was it Ryugen who with his own powers transport whoever he wants from Earth to Solvania, the reason why Ryoko’s pendant keep flashing and teleporting them to the other world? Who really are the Yonshinkan anyway and what are their real plans? To save Solvania or rule that place? Why the need to send Gates back? To show that they aren’t monsters like him? Will they be back since Ryugen has been defeated and the whatever passage that links Earth and Solvania is now sealed? Where did Nagumo and Reiha disappear to? Back to Solvania? Is that world domination and power crazy Gates be staying as a corpse for good? What about the spirit of Misaki that Nagumo saw in Miyuki? What the hell is the Fist of Kamui anyway? What does that feather at the final scene mean? Ah, so many questions but as Ryoko mentioned, she doesn’t know all that except the fact that she is Ryoko.
 
Another thing is that I felt that many of the other characters were sidelined in the final episode. I was expecting to see Azumi to kick some butt even if it meant her having just 5 seconds of screen time. But no, she had to go accompany Shiori to take Tatsuya to the infirmary. I guess that was what Ryoko meant that she has slain the greatest enemy barring her path. At least she doesn’t get her love for Tatsuya in her way anymore. I also felt that Setsura and his buddies’ presence were redundant after that monster crab incident. Didn’t do much either except just seeing them around helping kicking small fries. Then some characters were there because they were just there and don’t really made much impact like Sara. In my opinion, the series could’ve been done without her. Say, what happened to that Mian girl anyway? I’m still thinking why everybody wants to find Nagumo in the first place. Better stop asking all those questions.
 
Seeing that this is an old school anime, the quality of the drawing, art and animation is from that era. Don’t expect much. Plus, the action scenes are just so-so. Just like the fanservice moments. Nothing eye-catching, really. Perhaps at that time, the fluttering of a girl’s skirt revealing what is underneath is considered good. Ikue Kimura who voices Ryoko seems fitting for her role. You know, violent brute girls. Not to say that her voice is that polished but because of that it suits her character. Tomokazu Seki who does Shizuma sounds equally as brute and versatile in his role. If you know how Kenichi from History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi or Sagara from Full Metal Panic sound, you should have an idea. Satsuki Yukino does Azumi (Kagome in Inu Yasha) sometimes makes Azumi sound like an obnoxious one while Sakura Nogawa does Miyuki unlike her other livelier roles such as Runa of Seto No Hanayome and Hina Ichigo of Rozen Maiden.
 
The idea of using K-Fight to settle things still amuses me. I mean, what kind of education are we teaching our young ones even if this only happens in anime. Yeah sure, everyone loves a good fight. But wouldn’t it be better if we all just sit down and talk things out? Well, like they say, action speaks louder than words. Hey, it took a high school girl to defeat a powerful monstrous being, right?
 

Samurai Girl Real Bout High School

_Summer

November 26, 2009

An anime adapted from a Japanese adult visual novel, check. One main male guy, check. A bevy of cute girls around him, check. One annoying loser guy as his best friend, check. High school teenage drama comedy romance, check. And not forgetting the fanservice, check. You could be forgiven if you don’t know which anime I’m talking about since there are quite a number of them having all of the above. For this particular blog, _Summer (pronounced as Underbar Summer) also fits that bill.
 
With only 2 episodes in this late 2006 OVA series, for those hoping of any serious development should not have their hopes and expectations very high. After all, it is only a couple of episodes, right? And since there isn’t any other releases for the series ever since, in my opinion that this isn’t as popular as many of its counterparts out there. But there is no harm in checking this out, eh?
 
Episode 1
Ah yes. The near arrival of summer. What better way than to spend them by taking a peep at a couple of girls at the hotspring. Okay, maybe at least to some youths who insist on making such memories. You can tell Takumi Kaizu is to be the main male protagonist and he isn’t the perverted kind but is being led by his best buddy-cum-loser Osamu Funade to go take a peep at their classmate girls, Konami Hatano and Shino Ebizuka. Things get even hotter when Shino is going to force shy Konami to get naked. Since the boys are too noisy and pushy to get a better view, they stumbled out and got busted, beaten up and left tied up outside in the freezing cold. Do you think they deserve it?
 
Next morning, Takumi gets up on another school day, cheekily wakes up his younger step sister, Sana Kaizu, while his childhood friend Konami makes breakfast. Which harem series won’t be complete without that ominous-sounding and mysterious loli, Chiwa Amano. She pops into their house and starts chatting about Takumi’s possible imagination on Konami. Then everybody meets up and goes to school together. We see that even if Sana is in high school, she still trips like a toddler while walking. Is that supposed to be moe or what? Furthermore, Shino hints about that peeping incident which confuses Sana so Chiwa explains to her. I’m not sure if she purposely did any miscommunication. Osamu retaliates by showing his naked top since he has seen theirs but Shino beats him up instead. In class, Konami tells Shino not to be too harsh on the guys but she isn’t going to back down and thinks they deserve what they got. I notice that their homeroom teacher, Hinako Nanao, has a strange little chibi girl helping her do classroom chores like dust the blackboard dusters.
 
During recess, Osamu lost a bet so Shino has him treat everyone lunch. Osamu isn’t going to do it alone so he drags Takumi into helping him out. Konami wishes to help out but Shino stops her since those losers needed to be taught a lesson. Hey, what is this?! Hinako is trying to get free food from her students?! WTF?! Popular lady-like senpai, Wakana Shimazu, comes to the cafeteria and several guys try to hit on her. If not for her ever follower-cum-protector friend Yuno Kawakami, those guys wouldn’t have backed off. Don’t want to mess with a girl with a wooden sword in hand, right? Weird part is that Wakana doesn’t know how to use a vending machine. Is this what living a luxurious life is all about? So why eating with everyone else today? Something about oversleeping. Erm… Anyway, Takumi helps her out so she feels grateful and promises to repay him back someday. Helping out at a vending machine can get you a future repayment? Wow. I need to try that too but in Wakana’s case, you can tell it’s because she too has a secret crush on Takumi. After Wakana and Yuno leaves, Osamu teases Takumi for getting too close to Wakana and does some submission move on him. But he gets pounded by Shino who got impatient for waiting for their meal. In class Takumi ponders about the girlfriend thingy while Hinako is too hungry to conduct a proper lesson so it’s a self study period. Some teacher…
 
Takumi, Konami, Shino and Osamu are chatting at a cafe together. Osamu is jealous of Takumi’s ‘gift’, in the sense he has several beautiful girls around him (he names everyone except Shino, much to her dismay). So he is pumped up and determined to get a girlfriend of his own. The cafe owner, whom I shall refer to as Master, suggests that Osamu get Shino as his girlfriend since they’ve been around each other for so long. They both vehemently dismiss the idea. Master continues that their argument is a form of their friendship and to treasure it because even if everything changes in the next 10 or 20 years, that friendship bond will always remain the same. When Takumi and Konami walk home together, he thanks her for everything, making her happy. He reaches home to find Sana wanting to have a gathering next Saturday for the Tanabata festival.
 
The day arrives as everyone goes on an outing together and the girls in their yukata. Chiwa is running some fortune teller stall (looks ominous) while Shino is manning her shrine. She is soon relieved from her shift to join her buddies. Shino gives Osamu a punch in his stomach as a no-peeping warning. But will that guy listen? Yeah, he tries to take one but before he could see anything, he suddenly doesn’t feel good. Courtesy of Chiwa driving a nail into a straw doll. Elsewhere, Hinako is sitting happily on the beach because her stomach is full when her long time pal, Kasumi, meets up with her. Kasumi is getting married soon and she will inform Hinako of the date. Back home, everyone write their wishes on a piece of paper before hanging them up on the bamboo tree. As they watch the beautiful starry night sky, Takumi ponders about the future and the girl who will be by his side. We see his wish is for everybody to stay like this forever. We all know that the only thing permanent is change, right? And if you wait a little after the end credits, you’ll get a little informative details about the Tanabata festival and other trivia like Hinako’s penchant to buy useless mail-order stuff with her pay which results her unable to afford food and thus scouring for free food (she really got her priorities wrong!) and Osamu’s nickname as funamushi which means sea slater.
 
Episode 2
Ah yes. What a way to start another episode with the girls having fun in the pool. But how come Osamu is the only guy there? I know he gets pounded before he could make his perverted move, but where is Takumi? Well, he is seen teaching Wakana and Yuno how to fish. Wakana’s rod starts reeling so Takumi tries to control but ends up falling into the water after Yuno panics and bumps into him. Though they’re sorry about it, Takumi is okay and fine. Back home, the usual stuff. Konami cooks breakfast as Takumi wakes up and does the same cheeky thing on Sana. Chiwa again pops in to warn Takumi about his water-related bad luck but it already happened. When Sana comes down, Takumi surprised that she wants to learn cooking. Konami teaches her and well, she almost destroyed their breakfast. Take it one step at a time, girl. Because of that, during recess, Shino is laughing her ass off when she sees Takumi bento filled with nothing but octopus-shaped meat. By the way, where is Osamu? He is at the rooftop confessing to a girl. But the girl rejects him. Total failure…
 
After class, Shino has something to do and is unable to walk home together with Takumi and Konami. When Konami mentions she has started doing club activities, Takumi gets suspicious and due to the lack of info, he decides to spy on her. On his way, he is being called by Chiwa into her fortune telling club. She gives him a glass to eavesdrop the next room: Girls changing room. When they come out, Takumi sees Shino in a traditional kimono as Chiwa concludes that Shino may have joined the tea ceremony club. The duo take some secret passage to continue their spying, erm, I mean observation. Shino indeed is learning the tea ceremony process and since she is an amateur, she has a long way to go. I can’t believe Hinako is trying to get a taste of the tea too! Thankfully the club president slaps her hand away.
 
Later Takumi tells Master about Sana and Shino’s sudden interest in cooking and making tea respectively while Osamu is lamenting his girlfriendless state. Master replies that it is natural for them since they are becoming adults. When Takumi says that Konami is the only one that hasn’t changed, Master and Osamu say that Konami has been collecting seagull stuff for some time now and it’s a surprise that he never noticed it since he’s always with her. Master continues that because they’ve been so close, he took things for granted and never noticed them. Perhaps it is Takumi himself who has changed without even noticing. Back home, as Konami studies with Sana, Takumi notices all the seagull stuff Konami has from her hairpin to her bag accessories. Sana then asks Takumi to go for next week’s firework festival with everyone. Konami suggests the lighthouse to get a better view since the normal place will be crowded and there is a high chance they’ll get separated. That night, Takumi wakes up from a weird dream whereby he was young and running towards the lighthouse with a girl his age.
 
Next day in class, Hinako seems very happy and she’s bragging about some pleasant ring (hint, hint) but nobody seems interested. Takumi reflects on Master’s words and after class, Konami and Shino go off somewhere as she tells Takumi to head home alone first. Osamu is going to give his love letter to whoever but I know too well of the kind of outcome he’ll get. As Takumi walks by a row of shops, he spots Chiwa there and wonders why she is here. The store lady recognizes Takumi and this surprises him because it has been a long time since he visited this area. He remembers how he and the rest used to frequent this place when they were young and that time he thought things would never change. The lady tells Takumi how Chiwa takes care of the kids who come by here. Chiwa is embarrassed and wants Takumi not to tell anybody else about this and that this would be their secret. He agrees but Chiwa makes double assurance as she warns him if he does so, she’ll curse him. Don’t you dare…
 
The day of the firework festival arrivals as Takumi and the rest make their way to the lighthouse. Wakana and Yuno are also waiting there for them and this prompts the rest to say how beautiful she is. Jealous Shino states how he likes graceful ladies like Konami and Wakana so Osamu cheekily asks her the reason she joins the tea ceremony club, only to be given a swift kick. However everyone already knows of it so Takumi suggests going to watch her gracefulness one day. Shino agrees and will invite them. Except Osamu. Boo hoo. The gang had their fun at the lighthouse area throughout the day and when it is time, they find that the gate is locked. Konami gives Takumi a key to open the padlock as the rest rushes in. Takumi remembers the other girl he was running with to the lighthouse was no other than Konami. He also remembers how this was their secret base and since Konami was a cry-baby, Takumi had to comfort her every time. They frequent the place until their parents found out and got scolded. They then stopped coming here and soon after met with Shino and Osamu. Konami is glad he remembered because it was an important memory for them both. She has also written diaries so that she won’t forget those feelings and thinking in the future. As everyone watches the fireworks display, Takumi narrates that he’ll never forget this moment no matter what happens, their summer that will never return again.
 
Underpar Bummer
Erm… What exactly happened here? Three words. Nothing much happens. It’s like there was no development or whatsoever at the end of it all. I mean, I don’t expect Takumi to choose which of the girls to be his girlfriend in the end but my best bet would be his childhood friend Konami. Don’t forget the gracious and pretty senpai Wakana, the clumsy loli sister Sana, the brute and possible tsundere potential Shino and the mysterious white haired Chiwa. Just short of a megane girl. So the entire series is like just pondering about their possible future and the stuff they do now together. Can you say I’m satisfied with that kind of open ending?
 
To be fair, since there are only 2 episodes, of course there isn’t enough room for development. There are some build-ups in certain areas like Chiwa’s responsibility to whoever those kids are or Sana and Shino wanting to pick up further home economic skills. But that’s about it. Because of that, many of such scenes felt like it was just to introduce or fill up space. And if the producers ever wanted to make a TV series out of it (not likely) they could do so with some of the little developments mentioned here. Even so, some of them are insignificant like Kasumi’s short appearance is left a lot to be desired. I still find Hinako the most amusing one. She should have more screen time. It should be funny to see how she gets her free meals from students.
 
Sure this OVA teaches us to cherish the time spent together because time only moves forward and time wasted will never be redeemed in any way. I just wish that this OVA could be done better since there are too many of such genres out there in the market so it is going to be tough to stand out. Yeah, up the fanservice, that will attract many male otakus to give this one a shot. Summer memories are made of these… Some may call me unproductive for wasting my time watching anime, but hey, as long as I’m happy. Just think back of all those happy moments watching good and bad animes. Worthwhile, don’t you think?
 

_Summer

Soon after my pink haired anime girl airheads, I decided to do one which seems to pose a threat and danger to those around them. Since pink was used in my previous blog on airheads, the same colour will also be used for menaces. Yeah, I kinda noticed too that girls with this hair colour too may look cute, kawaii and moe but their character show otherwise. Beware and take precaution everyone! So here is the list of pink haired anime girl menaces. In my opinion, of course.
 
Louise Francoise De La Blanc De La Valliere (Zero No Tsukaima)
Louise
Now if her name isn’t a mouthful to remember to begin with, how about her zero talent in magic. Every time she tries to cast a magic spell, in ends up in disaster, thus her fellow mages nicknamed her Zero. Till she summons a human familiar from another world, Saito, it is then her tsundere character begins to show. Yeah, Saito can be blamed on his part for being a pervert but calling him a dog or water flea and subjecting him to cruel and painful ‘lesson-teaching’ tortures is too much.
 
Haruko Haruhara (FLCL)
Haruko Haruhara
What is your first opinion when a girl comes riding a Vespa and whacks your head with an electric guitar? Not good. Too bad that happened to Naota. Because of that, his life is in a mess as she becomes his live-in maid. Not to mention Naota has to transform and fight huge and weird dengerous mechas and the sort ever since. She may be some outer space alien investigator but her energetic and spontaneous attitude itself can be quite annoying.
 
Megumi Momono (Mahoraba ~Heartful Days~)
Megumi Momono
A university student taking a year off? Can she afford that? Wait a minute? She’s taking a vacation because she can’t afford to continue her studies! What’s more, she bumps around Narutakisou and the worse part is that she likes to hang out and party in newcomer Shiratori’s place. Better to mess up someone’s room and privacy instead of your own, eh? She is also a heavy drinker which means she has a tendency to get drunk.
 
Michiru Mamiya (Magikano)
Michiru Mamiya
Ayumi’s younger sister who is hell bent on preventing her from breaking her curse which would allow her to become the next head of the family. She is extremely powerful and wicked. She will stop at nothing in order to attain her goal of ruling the world. If not for the Demon Lord awakening inside Haruo and defeating her, the other girls may have been done for.
 
Runa Edomae (Seto No Hanayome)
Runa Edomae
As San’s eternal rival, this popular mermaid idol seems to have superior complex and would use any means to best and outdo San at any cost. She also treats San’s fiancee Nagasumi like her slave. She also has her own bodyguard-cum-fans whom she does not hesitate to ‘use’ for her own ends. Plus, her maniacal trademark laughter adds another reason why she is such a menace.
 
MM AKA Mei Mishima (Kemeko Deluxe)
MM
Sanpeita’s life has never been worse ever since a girl which resembles closely to his childhood friend comes crashing into his life. Literally. Though she uses some fat stubby robot named Kemeko to do her battles, MM’s personality while piloting Kemeko definitely raises much anxiety and misunderstandings as she tries to protect Sanpeita from the clutches of the mysterious Mishima Corporation.
 
Guu (Hare+Guu)
Guu
If you think the jungle is a dangerous place, then you’ve obviously haven’t met Guu like how Hare did. Yeah, his life has turned upside down and you can say because of the pranks and unnecessary stress this bizarre sadistic girl does, Hare has a potential to have a future psycho. Total meltdown! The things she does defies logic and science and those she swallows into her stomach would definitely find it a totally strange place to be.
 
Miku (Akikan)
Miku
The mixed juice Akikan despises other Akikans who have Owners because she was abandoned by her own Owner from the start. Well, oddly her Owner was a cat so I guess you can’t blame her for that. But causing grief by separating other Akikans from their Owners and absorbing their powers makes her a character to be wary and on one’s toes. Though she is defeated and becomes a docile character in the end, it could be a different story again if her cat Owner really doesn’t want to accept her.
 
Perona (One Piece)
Perona
Serving under the Shichibukai Gecko Moria and with the powers of the Horo Horo Fruit, she has the ability to create ghosts which could either send her victims into depression or explode. You could say that you can never be happy with this woman around. She has a penchant for cute things and dreams of having her own kingdom where all her cute zombie animals would serve only her.
 
Escartin Mutsumune (Getsumen To Heiki Miina)
Escartin Mutsumune
A sports announcer wannabe but her role has been always overshadowed by newcomer Mina Tsukuda. Because of that, she feels jealous and tries to sabotage her but her plans often backfires and she ends up reaping what she sows. Though Mina may not know of her true motives, Mutsumune is still considered a menace, also to her own self too since she ends up in bandages after all that hurting.
 
Raichou Hiratsuka (Kyouran Kazoku Nikki)
Raichou Hiratsuka
Does being labelled the "Empire’s Terrorist", "The Bureau’s Biggest Mistake" and "not even a death sentence is enough" sufficient to label her as a menace. I don’t really know what she has done to be called those but even if she is being reinstated as the Bureau’s head, she does have an ulterior motive even if she does talk innocently and in a cryptic way. Besides giving real life danger tests to the Midarezaki family, she also threatens to remove Ouka from the operation if Kyouka does not accept some mission.
 
Natsumi Hinata (Keroro Gunsou)
Natsumi Hinata
A violent and fiery tempered girl who abuses frogs even if they are incompetent invaders trying to take over Earth? Well it’s good to keep them in line but with all the physical abuse, "boke kaeru" name calling and mistreatment, this warrants an investigation from the SPCA! Frogs have feelings too, you know! Ironically she ‘gets along’ well with the other platoon members. Some sort of a love-hate relationship, eh?
 
Christine Hanakomachi (Daa! Daa! Daa!)
Christine Hanakomachi
The very wealthy half-French half-Japanese classmate of Miyu and Kanata. Of course being rich doesn’t mean that money can buy you everything. She harbours a very deep crush for Kanata but every time she sees Miyu being close to him, she will go into a fit of rage, often uprooting stuffs that even make the Incredible Hulk seem mild. But after she snaps out of her rampage, she’ll fix it back and apologize. Hey, the damage is done, girl.
 
Elda Maaka (Karin)
Elda Maaka
What is worse than a vampire who looks as young as her granddaughter? Why, a vampire who was once fallen in love with a human and got betrayed by them due to uncontrollable circumstances. Doesn’t get along with her daughter-in-law (Elda was sealed away in a coffin for a very long time by her), she is the only person in the whole wide world her grandson fears and when she meets her other granddaughter (Anju) for the first time, she’s already in the latter’s bad books. Furthermore, whenever she sinks her teeth into humans, she takes away their love, since she is attracted to this kind of blood taste. Need I say more?
 
Nagomi Shiraishi (Akane-iro Ni Somaru Saka)
Nagomi Shiraishi
Hah! You thought that this quiet girl won’t amount to anything or hurt a fly. Erm… Well so far she hasn’t but the reason why I find her a menace is because of the air of mystery surrounding her. She mysteriously pops up anywhere and anytime and I think she is some sort of an alien spying on Junichi. Whatever observation she has in mind, her subtle and enigmatic ways is enough for me to consider a threat because simply not much is known of her.
 
As usual, this list is not meant to be definitive as there are many other pink haired anime girl menaces out there. If you think that they should belong in this list, be my guest to add them. Certainly being pink haired isn’t the only factor which makes the character menacing. There are many more other aspects varying in all shapes and sizes. Heck, this pink thing is just some random blog that I’ve chosen. Besides, red should be the international colour code for danger. But you know, being pink and mean certainly does make a peculiar combo. Now, if only Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants was an anime character… All beware the pink menaces!

Pink. I don’t know what prompted me to do a blog on this and in this particular as such. Perhaps pink could be considered a girl’s favourite colour because it seems sweet. Well, at least that’s from a guy’s perspective like me. One of the colourful aspects of anime characters besides their colourful personalities is of course their colourful hairstyle.
 
Recently my mind was just wandering and it hit me that it seems I noticed that some anime girls who have pink hair are somewhat airheads. Not all of them but the ones which suddenly came to mind during my thoughts meandering. They may look cute, kawaii and moe but they are in some ways seem goofy too. Before this ‘hot’ topic cools down or wan, here is the list of pink haired anime girl airheads. In my opinion, of course.
 
Lala Satalin Deviluke (To Love-Ru)
Lala Satalin Deviluke 
She may be a princess of the Deviluke Empire which rules many parts of the galaxy, but I guess even alien princesses like her have weird love tastes because she is engaged to a normal plain Earthling, Rito. She may have invented lots of inventions but has any of them ever worked? Besides causing poor Rito and those around her trouble many times. Even if that guy is in a pinch, it’s like she’s having fun and oblivious of the dangers that she is posing. Heaven knows what will happen if she actually ascended the Deviluke throne.
 

Miharu Sena Kanaka (Girls Bravo)
Miharu Sena Kanaka
Sure Seiren is a planet which lacks lots of males and yeah, they are a hot item. Although glutton Miharu does not really display desperate attempts like her fellow Seiren citizens, her naivety about Earth’s culture and customs increases her misunderstandings. Though her feelings are sincere, she is not afraid to display her open affection towards Yukinari. Even if they are public display of affection.
 
Yuna Miyama (Maburaho)
Yuna Miyama
The self proclaimed wife of Kazuki and though she cares for him, she is possessive and becomes jealous when other girls show a particular interest in him. Hey girl. You have got to know that life is like that when you are in a harem anime. It’s all about give and take. I remember she did throw a tantrum once and poor Kazuki had to pacify her by using his limited magic powers, in which if he uses them all up, he’ll be turned to dust. Does she even know what the implication of this is? Maybe. But too late.
 
Akari Mizunashi (Aria The Animation)
 Akari Mizunashi
An optimistic and cheerful girl who becomes a trainee undine (some sort of a gondola rower-cum-tour guide) on planet Aqua (formerly known as Mars). Perhaps it’s because of this nature of hers coupled in with her amateur skills which make her seem like an airhead otherwise she is quite the nice girl she is as she gains valuable lessons from life via her friends and job.
 
Yachiru Kusajishi (Bleach)
Yachiru Kusajishi
A petite and carefree girl who enjoys sweets and snacks. Her behaviour is very child-like not to mention her bad sense of direction. But even with his airhead exterior, there has got to be something about her which makes her powerful. After all, she is the vice captain of the 11th division of the 13 Gotei. But until that is revealed, she is still considered a moe airhead.
 
Yayoi Asuka (Koi Koi 7)
Yayoi Asuka
Among her pals, she seems to be the only one who doesn’t physically take on the enemy and instead cheers them on. Maybe it’s for moral support but at other times she is just as ditzy and having fun even in troubled times. Though she made a promise to protect Tetsurou, her penchant for crab bread makes her drop just about anything for that little piece of dough.
 
Milfeulle Sakuraba (Galaxy Angel)
Milfeulle Sakuraba
The good news about this happy-go-lucky girl is that she has a tremendous amount of good luck. The bad news is because of that, a tremendous amount of bad luck follows her. And due to this both good luck and bad luck counter each other off. Not without all the hilarious troubles and antics ensuing in the process which gives everyone the usual headache and nuisance.
 
Mayu Tsukimura (Goshuushou-sama Nimoniya-kun)
Mayu Tsukimura
She is a succubus who feeds on the life force on others. She has fear of men because of her special powers to attract them, though she can’t control them. She is clumsy and klutzy what more not good in cooking or cleaning. Every time she slips and trips, she ends up in an embarrassing or bad situation. Shungo is going to have a tough time trying to get this girl getting over her fear.
 
Moka Akashiya (Rosario To Vampire)
Moka Akashiya
A vampire who is sweet, cheerful and positive? But because of her naivety she gets into problematic situations. Especially now that she has taken quite a liking for her fellow human classmate, Tsukune. This Moka is supposed to be a total opposite of her other inner self which is more cold and reserved.
 
Yuuna Konnyaku (Kage Kara Mamoru)
Yuuna Konyaku
Probably the most airheaded girl in this list. Not only clumsy, klutzy and ditzy, this banana loving girl is so prone of attracting trouble like as though she is some sort of trouble magnet, her family’s protector Mamoru has a hard time saving her from every mess she’s gotten into. Of course she still doesn’t know of Mamoru’s true identity but deep down in her heart she has a crush on him. Ah, something even which Mamoru who is supposed to know everything about her, doesn’t.
 
Misha (Pita Ten)
Misha
A perky ever-smiling and over-happy angel sent down to Earth to spread joy and happiness as part of her mission. However even if her true intentions of doing so, somehow she makes many mistakes and turns good situations into bad ones. In short, making matters worse off than before. heard of the saying "If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it". Can’t help to lend a hand, eh?
 
Yume Kuonji (Kimi Ga Aruji De Shitsuji Ga Ore De)
Yume Kuonji
The youngest of the Kuonji sisters, Yume’s existence is often ignored and because of that I guess you can’t blame her for suffering from an identity crisis. Attempts to get her eldest sister Shinra’s attention end up all in vain. Yeah, she’s got some book called Yume Note whereby she is some mahou shoujo heroine taking on baddies and saving her sisters. A self-centred delusion, like Ren says. Definitely lacking in personality.
 
Lucy Maria Misora AKA Ruuko Kireinasora (ToHeart2)
Lucy Maria Misora
An alien who greets people in a silly way by raising both her hands high up in the air and say "Ruu~". Thing is, everyone tags along and follows her greeting, thinking it would be fun. I’m not sure if being in her original alien form means having not to eat because she was ‘saved’ by Takaaki from hunger when she’s weakly squirming on the ground. Though she is a good natured alien, but using matchsticks as currency? What about drawing the entire crop circles on the school compound? Some may find her cute but I think otherwise…
 
This list of pink haired anime girl airheads isn’t meant to be definitive or exhaustive. I am sure there are other pink haired airheads out there but just that at that time this is all I could think off. And if you don’t take into consideration the hair colour, there are even more airheads out there from all walks of lives. Young and old, humans and non-humans, boys and girls, the list just keep adding up. Not to say that these pink haired airheads are the new dumb blondes in anime nor are they totally silly, I’m sure that deep down in their heart they are the kind and nice girls they are. Just that they seem to annoy the rest with such an exterior behaviour. Pink may be the new moe colour… Now everyone, sing with me to Aerosmith’s song: "Pink it’s my new obsession…".

I thought that this was a hoax after all those several false alarms and delays. Even if it did come true, I too initially thought Suzumiya Haruhi-chan No Yuutsu was the much anticipated second season. Well not really. You see, this 25 episode series is considered as an ONA (original net animation) as it is released via the Internet. I’m sure with the popularity of its predecessor, this one should be a hit with hardcore fans of the series and other anime goers who aren’t into all that Haruhism thingy (like yours truly).
 
Unlike its first season, the ONA is very light-hearted and the main focus here is comedy. That’s right. Laugh out loud for all you want. It is a random comical parody of the series using the series’ characters. All in chibi mode. So cute! Kawaii desu!!! Furthermore, each of the episodes only lasts between 3-5 minutes the most except for the final episode which lasts a little longer. Eight minutes. Oh yeah. Very long indeed. If you think Kyon’s sarcasm and jabbing in the other series was funny enough, wait till you watch this one. He’s more cynical than ever since the quirkiness of Haruhi and her SOS Brigade members has been upped. You can tell when Haruhi zooms in quickly and bumps her head into the screen and collapsing from its effects. Yeah, and no relation to the TV series storyline or whatsoever either. So you don’t have to worry if they screw up the chronological events or such.
 
Like in episode 1 whereby Kyon comes home tired and starts having a weird dream. Okay, he is counting sheep in the form of Asahina. Haruhi is the cruel ringmaster forcing the poor sheep to jump through a ring of fire. To complicate things further, Kyon encounters Koizumi, Tsuruya and Nagato as Mt Fuji, a hawk and a tiny eggplant respectively. It’s understandable he wants to get out of this dream so Nagato suggests sleeping. Well, if you enter this dream world by sleeping, then obviously to get out you have to sleep, right? Well it isn’t working till Haruhi and Asahina tries to help him count sheep with that cruel jumping act again. Obviously this shocks Kyon because he doesn’t want Asahina to be hurt. The next thing he knows, he is up. What a way to start the New Year.
 
In episode 2, Haruhi throws a tantrum for being bored so much so a potential member joining the SOS Brigade decides to not do so when she sees Haruhi in some weird position. Yeah, what a turn off. Also, Kyon is shocked to find Nagato playing eroge. Hey, even aliens find some of our weird culture amusing. He gives her a pair of rabbit earphones so that those ambiguous eroge sounds won’t be obviously heard. If you remember that Ryouko girl was trying to kill Kyon back in the series, she has returned to do so but flops when Nagato intercepts. Before she ‘dies’, she says of other powerful members in her group who would kill him and I’m not sure what Kyon meant that Yasu is the culprit. Who is that guy anyway?
 
In episode 3, Asahina turns on the TV to find a quiz show hosted by Haruhi. The contestants are Kyon and Nagato while Koizumi takes on the cameraman role. Haruhi is asking non-local out-of-this-world questions which pisses off Kyon so she tries to look for one and ends up asking a random one. What is that dog’s name? Urm… Anyway since they were given ample time to answer, by that time, the lady and her dog are gone. Then in episode 4, Asahina now notices Nagato playing eroge but is too shy to say it. As the week passes, Kyon notices how the bookshelf is gradually being replaced by video games while Haruhi notices that Nagato is into cosplaying too. Later, Ryouko revives but it seems she is smaller than her usual self. A miniature? Because of that, she isn’t that threatening anymore. And after Nagato saves her from a cat, she allows Ryouko to live together in her apartment. Viewers will notice how Ryouko becomes Nagato’s ‘maid’ and is always at her mercy due to her miniature size. Now she’s more funny and cute rather than dangerous.
 
Those computer club member losers challenge the SOS Brigade via a computer dodgeball game in episode 5 to retrieve their ‘stolen’ computers. Initially Haruhi refuses and even commented how their lives aren’t worth betting on (super insult!) so they eventually bet on some weird looking handmade kappa model made out of several animal bones. I guess that was interesting enough to make Haruhi in. So she destroys their dodgeball CD and says playing the real dodgeball game would be better. Oh oh. Now they’re in big trouble. Somehow, Haruhi altered some data which allows everyone to power up 100%. Which means, making totally exaggerated power moves. Haruhi is getting excited at every moment (no dirty thoughts here, mind you) and in the end as expected, Haruhi wins. Since the model is too ugly, Asahina refused to accept it and it is being returned to the computer club. Bummer.
 
In episode 6, Asahina notices a closet full of cosplay outfits and when she finds out that Nagato is wearing them too, a little cosplay war erupts between them but Nagato always wins. Also, Kyon borrows an entire anime series that Nagato has finished reading. This prompts Asahina to misinterpret that he has maid fetish after seeing the lead character dons such outfit. Back at Nagato’s apartment, Ryouko is upset that she is being treated like a baby. For instance, she is so small that Nagato puts her in a baby pouch and such. But in the end, Ryouko can’t help joining in the fun of it all. Yeah, Nagato starts singing and shaking… Too fun to resist. Belt it out on a duet, baby! Haruhi organizes a sport contest in episode 7. First up is a borrowing race and Kyon borrowed Koizumi after his note says "Barrier to love". Yaoi thingy? OMG! Kyon says "I love you" to Koizumi! Yeah, Haruhi faint at that thought. Meanwhile Taniguchi has to go borrow a kappa. Good luck finding one. Next event is the tug of war. Since they have no rope, they use Kyon as replacement. Here comes the pain. Or strain, rather. Taniguchi manages to find a kappa. Where? He stole the computer club’s model, of course. But by the time he returns, everyone has left and the game over.
 
In episode 8, Haruhi organizes a Close Encounters Of The Third Kind Spring Festival and has the guys draw lots to see who gets to be the demon. Taniguchi got the honours. To add salt to injury, he is being isolated while the rest parties in another room. Uh huh. Some sushi eating contest between Kyon and Nagato. Later as Ryouko tries to trap Nagato using an age old tactic, she gets trapped by Nagato instead. As a result of her ‘capture’, Nagato dresses her up as a Hina doll but the dress is too heavy for little Ryouko. Her torment continues when Nagato unwraps her obi (a traditional kind of belt) and sends her spinning. Oh what the heck, they’re both enjoying it. In episode 9, Haruhi has her SOS Brigade give ideas for screenplay scenarios and since they are all so good, she vomits blood as her reaction. Huh? In the end, it is some otaku maid script whereby they all have 1 month to live and have to fight each other. Don’t ask me anymore. Even poor Asahina got so confused that she just stopped thinking. So when they are filming the first scene which involves a fight between Kyon and Nagato, the latter wins and as a result, Kyon ends up exploding again. Yeah, you should stop thinking and trying to make sense.
 
Ryouko thinks of letting Nagato sleep in on Sunday morning in episode 10 but when she finds her staying up late playing eroge, she whacks her to sleep. When Nagato leaves the apartment, Ryouko tries to get up to the sink but ends up banging heads with Nagato. After Nagato leaves, Ryouko does household chores and once she’s done, she realizes what she is doing and plans to escape. After opening the door with an umbrella and making her way down the elevator, she is confident of her freedom and resumption of her mission to kill Kyon until she spots a cat and changes her mind. Yup, going back to the sanctuary of Nagato’s apartment. In episode 11, Nagato puts Ryouko in a box before Haruhi, Asahina and Tsuruya drop by to make Valentine chocolates. Haruhi and Tsuruya plan to make a life size chocolate of Asahina but abandoned the idea when Nagato says how it is impossible to preserve such a life size chocolate. So they make their own chocolate designs and began packing them into boxes, only for Nagato to finish eating them all. After the girls leave, Nagato lets Ryouko out of the box and she is pissed for being treated as a kid. Nagato offers her a piece of chocolate and though reluctant initially, she accepts and you can say their relationship is mended.
 
The girls of SOS Brigade decide to give Kyon and Koizumi their Valentine chocolates in episode 12 but they have to earn it. Kyon and Koizumi are discussing about it when a limo pulls up outside the school and a maid alights the vehicle (actually it’s Mori), jumps and breaks through the glass via trampoline in a dramatic style to pass Koizumi a package. It seems it is a bunch of clothes and Koizumi’s idea is that they dress up as male hosts. The duo dress up and barge in with their charming charisma only to make Asahina cry. Haruhi reprimands them. Meanwhile Tsuruya is walking by when Mori passes her. Tsuruya notices her strong presence and wonders who she is. In episode 13, Haruhi decides to celebrate Halloween but know nuts about it. Based on a single picture from the internet, she grasps her own version of Halloween. A guy in cloak with bats and a pumpkin on his head. Need I say more? Haruhi has Nagato and Asahina carve the pumpkin head and because of Nagato’s precision of which hole is too big or crooked, Asahina ends up almost carving the entire pumpkin. Tsuruya brought some bats near her house and with a couple of candles, they put the pumpkin on the biology model. Looks likes some evil God if you ask me. They left this model thingy at the computer club and go party at Tsuruya’s place. Later, Nagato takes Ryouko out to shop for dinner. That night as they are to turn in for bed, Ryouko is shocked to see Nagato playing eroge and destroys her computer and orders her to sleep. Sometimes being small can be scary too.
 
Haruhi plays a nasty prank on Kyon in episode 14 by asking him to catch a balloon. Before he is able to do so, she shoots a dart and bursts it scarring him. Kyon retaliates and shoots the dart directly at Haruhi. Now you have upset God! Haruhi also retaliates but Kyon dodges and this hits Asahina. The duo felt guilty and promise never to use such items again. But in order not for the balloons and darts to be wasted, they decide to have an art competition with it. I don’t know why Asahina is being tied up like a crucifix. With Koizumi as the judge, they make weird unrecognizable designs (at least to me) and hang it on Asahina. They got bored and this broke the heart of Koizumi and Asahina. As they are cleaning up, Haruhi finds it hard to remove the balloons and decides to use the darts… Didn’t she promise? Ah well… Ouch! In episode 15, Nagato makes a dog from the balloons Kyon gave her previously and uses her ability to make it move. While Ryouko is engrossed playing with the doggie, she gets into another of Nagato’s trap. The doggie comforts her (yeah, now it’s talking) and says to call him Kimidori, after the colour of its body. Nagato uses Ryouko as another experiment as she ties her to a several balloons and sends her floating. What did she use in those balloons? Hydrogen. Err… Don’t they burn easily? Yup. They do. Hey, they’re touching the light bulb. Oops, too late. BOOM!!! There goes the whole apartment.
 
Another host show from Haruhi in episode 16. This time a cooking show and you don’t want to know what kind of food she cooks even though she says her theme is simple and healthy. As in most cooking shows, to save time, the food is usually pre-cooked. Haruhi has Asahina bring them in but sadly she trips and spills the entire pot. All those 50 hours… During the break, Kyon tries to learn using the katana from Nagato but is too much for him to handle. Finally with the soup being boiled for 5 days, Asahina is taking all the precautionary steps to avoid another slip up. Unfortunately, she trips on the earlier pot left lying on the floor. Hey, if a soup is being boiled for 5 days, shouldn’t it be evaporated already? Haruhi thinks of doing a hanami (flower viewing) in episode 17 and you’d be surprise as Kyon of how she connects cherry blossoms with blood splattering and digging a hole. As expected, Haruhi MAKES Kyon do the digging for the hanami spot and even has Koizumi side with her. All they need now is a private place. Tsuruya suggests her authorized-only-people area at Tsuruya Nature Park, in which there is a hidden story where they may actually find something there. Uh oh. Not good. At least to Kyon.
 
Haruhi picks a random spot for hanami in episode 18 and has Kyon start digging. She assures him that she will send some assistance. However his assistance in the form of Nagato, Asahina and Tsuruya are more interested in playing in the sands. Asahina then finds a red jewel. Nagato thinks it’s some intelligent life form among other incomprehensible ramblings. Of course Kyon wouldn’t think that is possible so Nagato throws the jewel and breaks it. Some spirit is released and everyone forgets what they are doing here. The girls go back to Haruhi and Koizumi becomes Kyon’s relief. Koizumi has a plan as he calls Arakawa who comes by fast in his limo. Then another dramatic skydiving from Mori as she crashes down to the ground. It’s amazing she can survive without a parachute! But because of the impact, the hole is dug. Arakawa and Mori soon leave. Haruhi comes by and congratulates Kyon on his good work. Since Mori’s drop was unspeakable, Kyon decides to take the credit. But the end scene left me a little baffled because Kyon notices Tsuruya making a threatening call about some breach in security. Yeah, he wisely chooses to ignore it.
 
In episode 19, Haruhi wants to have a Christmas party but is suspicious about Santa’s motives. Thinking that they’re sort of agents and are out to target the SOS Brigade, Haruhi decides to come up with a strategy to counter Santa and his agents. I don’t know the plan sound one-sided because it involves Kyon hiding alone in the computer club room being labelled as the fake room for SOS Brigade while the rest parties on in another room. And Kyon cannot object to it! Haruhi also ropes in Tsuruya to help combat Santa due to her martial art skills and has Kyon putting on that horrible pumpkin headgear. Can’t stop laughing, can’t she? Meanwhile Taniguchi dressed in a Santa outfit is trying to get rid of the kappa model (he’s still having it?!) as he enters the computer club room only to see Kyon in that pumpkin suit. Haruhi then comes in and is amazed to see Santa. Then for unknown reasons, Taniguchi starts growing into a behemoth self and starts running away. Kyon notes this is how Haruhi would like to see Santa as. Haruhi and Kyon are chasing him as Tsuruya uses her rope skills to capture him. However Taniguchi slips out from his Santa clothes and escapes. Haruhi feels distraught and calls for Santa to come back. Later Taniguchi is out in the cold naked and wondering what has just happened. Better not to know, buddy.
 
Ryouko and Kimidori try to pull a prank on Nagato in episode 20 but Nagato is like ignoring them and foiling their attempts. Finally a prank which has Kimidori stuck under the fridge, Nagato roughly pulls it out only to burst. Ryouko is devastated and feels guilty and spills everything in tears. Then she finds out that it is all part of Nagato and Kimidori’s ploy to play a trick on her. Pissed! Ryouko is so cute when she is angry! Haruhi along with Asahina, Nagato and Tsuruya go watch a live Power Ranger-like live action play for kids at a mall in episode 21. They’re so into it. Yeah, Arakawa is the so called hero while Mori is dressed in some monster outfit. Kyon and Koizumi bide their time by putting together a jigsaw puzzle with 100,000 pieces. Extreme. After the show, the girls try to go get autographs. Tsuruya takes her leave and confronts Mori and requests a duel. They trade punches and the intensity of their match affected Kyon and Koizumi. How? Kyon is going to put the last piece of the puzzle and rejoice all their painstaking labour when Mori is sent blasting their way. All their efforts down the drain… Though Tsuruya eventually lost to Mori, Haruhi and the rest come back and are puzzled why the guys are in state of shock. No words could describe…
 
Ryouko reprimands Nagato and Kimidori for being carefree in episode 22 and gets them to help her out with the cleaning chores. After that is done, Ryouko wonders why Kimidori is in a kite so Nagato puts her in one too. Yeah, join in the fun first. Ask questions later. In episode 23, another talk show hosted by Haruhi with Kyon as her guest. She starts putting the blame on him and eventually wants him to come up with a topic to talk. She even brings in Nagato but each time they try to think of something to talk, they get distracted by Asahina playing outside. In the end, nothing worthwhile to talk about. Haruhi uses her trump card in the form of Koizumi who has pulled some strings and drafted several scenarios. All Kyon has to do is pick one. A scenario on Nagato’s gourmet report? That’s not even related to Kyon. In episode 24, Ryouko and Kimidori are bored after finishing their chores. Kimidori remembers a box from Nagato, in which she tells them to open if they ever feel bored. Looks like it is some bomb device and it is stuck to Kimidori. Then a scissors comes out and Ryouko has to choose which of the 2 wires she has to cut. Time is running out and Kimidori doesn’t want to involve Ryouko anymore and flies out to the open sky to detonate. Ryouko is devastated and memories of their time spent together raced through her mind. The bomb explodes. When Nagato comes back, she finds Ryouko and Kimidori alright, though the latter is a little charred. So they were just putting up a dramatic act. That bored, eh?
 
Episode 25 starts off with a PC dating simulation-like scenario. You know, the visuals, onscreen narrations and poses of all the girls in the series and that lively background music to complement it all. And that typical bitter sweet love story with a total of 10 heroines. Yeah, even Kyon and Koizumi are wondering what the heck was all that. Back to the randomness, since it’s raining, Haruhi gets another quirky idea to change the wardrobe of Asahina. She captures and ties her up before proceeding to draw and design on a whiteboard. One word sums her drawing up. Lame. I don’t know how the designing become some sort of monster fighting scenario. Tsuruya comes in and decides to help out. After all that hyped-up claims and confidence, it turned out just as lame. Nothing much changed. Nagato explains that this room is under the influence of Haruhi’s powers. So perhaps Tsuruya doesn’t suck in reality, eh? Since the drawing didn’t work out, Haruhi and Tsuruya directly change Asahina’s clothes. A swimsuit with butterfly wings? Also, since they’re going to make a film, Haruhi wonders who will play the monster and Nagato agrees. As expected, the result can be summed up in 1 word. Yeah, lame. If you want it in 3 words: "What the heck?!". Kyon notices Koizumi not in his usual antics and finds out he is worried that since there are 10 heroines and 2 unassigned, he wonders if he is targeted. He thinks the other heroine is Arakawa but Kyon couldn’t care less. Finally Nagato lets Kyon try out her dating simulation game which has Ryouko a yandere path, Arakawa some accidental meeting path (more like accident) and Mori a maid and happy ending if he beats her in the end. So what is the genre of this game exactly, Kyon asked? Love story, says Nagato? Yeah, there is blood in every part…
 
Surely with the randomness of the series, I don’t really expect it to have a proper ending. Though the episodes here can serve as a standalone and do not depend on each other, sometimes I can’t help feel that there are certain episodes which ended in a way which makes me raise a question or two. Like the one whereby after Mori parachutes down to create a big crater and save Kyon from lots of digging work, I wonder what that call Tsuruya made was about. Suspicious indeed and I thought that would be something more to it in the later episodes. Maybe it was just a build-up to the fight between her and Mori? Or what about the time Ryouko said that some evil organisation was out to get Kyon but that didn’t materialized anyhow.
 
I’m sure that even if this series is supposed to be serious or funny, Kyon’s life is definitely in for more peculiar nature of Haruhi and the SOS Brigade. It’s amazing those other members could put up with Haruhi but I guess it’s better than keeping her bored. You know the world will end if she isn’t. Hmm… I just realized that this series lacks the much needed presence of Kyon’s little sister. After the first episode, I don’t remember her being featured prominently since as far as I am concerned, she is also quite a popular character with Haruhi fans. As for Ryouko, it is amusing and funny to see her in such a chibi size. Methinks it is better for her to stay that way and be Nagato’s ‘pet’ rather than trying to kill Kyon. I’m sure she has learnt to love seeing that she gets along well with Kimidori. On another note, the short rock and roll instrumental ending theme surely fits the bill very well. Sometimes it makes me want to get up and do a little shuffling with my feet.
 
Well there is nothing else and much I can say for this series. I had my fair share of laughs and I wished that the producers could make more of this short and random comedy. It’s like having a bite size and a little doze of laughter rather than sitting down for a full 24 minutes laughing all the way. But I feel that this ONA serves as a ‘warm-up’ to the much anticipated second season which has already been running right after the ONA ended. Now that this series has whet my appetite, I’m ready to go watch the second season. Watch out, Haruhi. Here I come!
 

Suzumiya Haruhi-chan No Yuutsu

Getsumen To Heiki Miina

November 15, 2009

What is the first thing you conjure up when you hear female in bunny-like outfits? Playboy? Not unless you’re and anime otaku and have watched Getsumen To Heiki Miina, then I guess this would be the first thing that comes to your mind. This series is an adaptation of the in-anime series which is made for that popular Japanese live action drama, Densha Otoko (Train Main). Perhaps with the show being such popular at one time, it is no surprise that they decided to make an anime out of this.
 
So if you are thinking that the plot of this anime mainly revolves around ecchi fanservice, then you’re way off the mark. In a nutshell, think of them more as alter ego heroines protecting the planet from aliens. Bunny aliens. The fanservice here is mild and the bunny outfits that many of these ladies adorn aren’t that provoking (though one of them is). I remember reading a review saying viewers who intend to watch this show should leave their brains at the doorstep so I concluded that this must be a very funny series. Funny, yes. Very, no. But you indeed have to discard some logic and reasoning because in this world setting, aliens do exist although we see only the rabbit form of them. And people do acknowledge the existence of those bunny outfit heroines who are from the Rabbit Force, each of them having Miina in their names.
 
To start things off in episode 1, normal high school student Mina Tsukuda has just landed a juicy role as a sports announcer in SpoLuna. She’s trying too hard so much so she nearly made a bad start by being late but makes it in time. The midget director of SpoLuna, Katou D, isn’t too pleased with Mina’s tardiness because timing is everything. Mina isn’t going to be alone as an announcer as she has veteran announcers, Daisuke Kiryuu and Suiren Koushuu alongside her. Then there’s the supposedly ‘back-up’ announcer, Escartin Mutsumune. Though she may put up a friendly disposition, she actually hates Mina because she’s always thinking that 3rd announcer seat should’ve been hers and thus her big break. This jealous-laden girl is your typical b*tch and tries to secretly sabotage Mina but it always backfires and deservingly reap what she sows. Other than the SpoLuna’s TV crew member, AD Suzuki, Onoue P is a mysterious boss of Luna Television. A taciturn character but don’t look down on him yet as he has his subtle ways of judging a character. Due to Mina’s near blunder, the rest are thinking about removing her but Onoue isn’t going to make a hasty decision yet.
 
In school, we are introduced to several more characters like Mina’s friend Tomo Mochimura, Mina’s childhood friend Kanchi Hazemi and the self proclaimed Mina fan Junichiro Yoshimi. Mina’s debut has sure garnered lots of attention so it’s no surprise that her popularity is rising. Tomo advises her about juggling between her job and study but Mina is fine with it. Mina’s next assignment is an interview with a returning famous baseball player Tsuyoshi Nikaidou. However Mutsumune purposely gives Mina the wrong direction to the dressing room so as expected she gets lost. Thinking that she has found the place after hearing Nikaidou’s voice, she opens the door to see someone lying on the floor and Nikaidou’s face seems different. Red eyes? She closes the door and before she could wonder what is happening, the door blasts open. Mina thinks she is done for when that weird Nikaidou is going to pound her but a lady named Miina Ootsuki kicks him away. Note her cleavage and plunging neckline. How low can you go? Ootsuki is here to arrest the imposter but the latter escapes via transforming himself into a red liquid. Ootsuki tells Mina that she has to transform by doing a Ju-Jitsu. Elsewhere, Katou is once again stressed out by Mina’s disappearance so he has Mutsumune on standby. Looks like her plan is going well. Not until some red liquid floods the hallway and takes her down.
 
Everyone in the stadium is awaiting Nikaidou’s return when the red liquid emerges and transforms into a giant mecha version of Nikaidou, shocking the crowd. With Ootsuki making her appearance a large scale destructive battle is at hand. While at it, Mina is being confronted with a floating baby! Now this is the funny and odd part which viewers would first find. When this rabbit-like bundle baby, Nanashi (meaning Nameless), speaks, his voice is so falsetto! Too hilarious! Even if he is trying to be serious but his falsetto voice is a dead giveaway and I can’t help laugh each time I hear him speak! By the way, how can he talk if he always got a pacifier in his mouth? Anyway Nanashi is the leader of the Rabbit Force team and explains how aliens from other planets love interfering with Earth’s unique sports culture simply because it’s the most popular entertainment in the galaxy. Hey, I did say to leave your brains at the doorstep, didn’t I? Nanashi says Mina is also a Miina and her responsibility to protect Earth from these bad aliens like in this case, a crazy Nikaidou fan who wants to badly replace him. Mina has no time to think what is going on as Nanashi plants a vegetable she hates most down her throat, a carrot. And after saying Ju-Jitsu, a lengthy elaborated transformation with an equally lengthy explanation occurs. Oh now she’s power up into some crime fighting alien busting super heroine named Miina Tsukishiro. Besides, she has 2 giant carrots as her weapon which could transform into any tool/weapon she desires. By the way, as narrated her carrot weapon is blasted from the moon in just 14 seconds! Wow.
 
Tsukishiro and Ootsuki team up to defeat the alien menace, much to the crowd’s delight. They then arrest the rabbit alien under the "No Interference With Other Planets’ Culture Act". If ever such an act exists… Later everyone celebrates their success at a Japanese restaurant and Katou wonders where Mina was because she was supposed to interview Nikaidou. Note that Mina cannot reveal her identity and Mutsumune is lamenting her fate as she is covered in bandages. Initially I was wondering why nobody could recognize that Mina and Tsukishiro are the same person. Something like the Superman theory? But there is one obvious difference besides their different clothing. Tsukishiro is bustier than flat-chest Mina. Ah, I see that’s why nobody in their right mind would think they’re both the same person. So in most episodes you’ll notice this sort of format. Mina goes about with her announcer job and school life, some sports-crazy rabbit alien tries to take over/interfere in a particular sports it likes, Nanashi appears anytime and anyhow (usually in a weird way) to inform, Mina dreads drinking the carrot juice and transforms to kick ass, busts the alien and saves the day. Mina will also meet other Miinas along the way and you can tell that each of them have their unique vegetable as their weapon. Also not forgetting Mutsumune’s sabotage plan. I don’t know if she’ll ever learn but I guess she’s taking the never give up and try again advice the wrong way. She ends up getting hurt badly in each episode and each time Katou is about to scold Mina for screwing up, some report which increases their ratings changes his mind. It’s all about the ratings, eh? And yes. We can also see Mina’s mom and dad cooking some stuff in the kitchen while talking things related to Mina.
 
Mina, Suiren and Kiryuu report another successful arrest from Ootsuki on a pro-wrestling maniac alien in episode 2. Mina is assigned to do research on this sport as Suzuki shows her a huge library of Luna Television’s data collection ever since its inception. Good luck girl. She burns the midnight oil doing her research and we see Mutsumune actually living in the station itself! Yeah, in some room tucked away in some warehouse. She really dreams of that announcer job so badly, eh? The next day Mina shows the script she has written from her research to Suiren but the latter disapproves it since it isn’t from her own words. She has no choice but to memorize it. Mutsumune tries another sabotage attempt by handing Mina a fake script in case she forgets her lines on air. Mina starts to panic when the script is scribbled with nonsense. But Mutsumune’s joy is short-lived because Mina closes the script and starts reciting her lines from her heart. Meanwhile, Katou is acting strange. Nope. He IS strange. He is bigger than usual! Katou gets excited the more Mina reads out her lines. The fake Katou is actually an alien as he takes out his wrestling moves on Mutsumune (the real one stuck in toilet). Here comes the pain. The alien is demanding a fight between 2 of pro-wrestling greatest legends but Mina earnestly pleads for him to leave and that his request is impossible since one is dead and the other retired. The alien is still in disbelief and is going to destroy the station if his demand isn’t met. He summons his pals as they start attacking the station. Mina reluctantly transforms and does several submission moves to subdue them and make a successful arrest. Later at the restaurant, Katou is reprimanding Mina for leaving her broadcast while on air and is considering removing her. This news is making injured Mutsumune happy. However after hearing their ratings went up because people liked Mina’s bravery and heartfelt plea, Katou changes his mind and Mutsumune’s sorrow continues. Drink up everybody!
 
Mina makes another late entry for her job in episode 3. Elsewhere Kanchi’s little sister, Nakoru wakes him up. In school, Mina meets up with Nakoru and notes that she is in middle school now and Nakoru intends to join the cheerleading club to cheer her brother who is in the school’s baseball team. Later Mina is surprised to find her next interview assignment as her school’s baseball team. Of course this garners the attention of her schoolmates. Mina tries to interview Kanchi but he coldly ignores her and leaves. Later Nakoru confronts him and he thinks how Mina has changed. That is, she seems so proud in front of TV. So Nakoru go ask Mina which side she is on. Is she cheering for Kanchi or just for her job? Her reply is that she is on both sides and remembers the promise she made with him. Soon a baseball match between their school and a rival school begins. Mina takes a short leave since her handphone is ringing, pissing off Katou. That call is from Nanashi. I don’t know how but he comes out from her handphone just to tell her that a baseball crazy alien has infiltrated the stadium. Mutsumune intends to lend her cheering support to the rival team when an alien behind her gets hyped up. The alien starts her extreme cheering version by using an invisible spacecraft to send the cheerleaders flying in the air. Mina transforms and another successful apprehension sending the crowd wild. The match continues as Mina continues her announcing. She notices Kanchi in a pinch and once again leaves her seat. She yells to him and makes a hand signal which looks like a rabbit. This was the promise they made, about a signal to use his magic ball to determine the outcome. Kanchi understands and unleashes his super powerful magic ball. That night at the restaurant, Katou once again scolds Mina that there is no such thing as a magic ball but since their school won and their ratings have gone up again, there’s nothing much they could do about it, eh?
 
What’s this? Mutsumune getting her big break as an announcer in episode 4? It’s not a dream. Really. Looks like some announcer of a different section went out so I guess this gave Mutsumune an opportunity. Meanwhile Mina oversleeps while doing her homework as Nanashi appears to lecture about her attitude on protecting Earth but Mina says Ootsuki is always around doing a perfect job. Then Lunar Television holds a Lunafesta for summer celebrations and one of the programmes include a female beach volleyball tournament among the staff under different programme segments. At the fest, Mutsumune has garnered some fans of her own and thinks her time has come. But she gets jealous once again when more fans of Mina turn up. The beach volleyball tournament starts with Mina and Suiren as a team. Mutsumune has a SpoLuna mascot as her partner but unknown to her, an alien has intercepted to be that mascot. I’m thinking in the hot sands, why should that person wear a full costume anyway? Amazingly it’s a Mina-Suiren and Mutsumune-SpoLuna mascot final. Mina takes a beating but after some words of encouragement from Suiren and unintentional Mutsumune, she gets her confidence back. In the end, Mina-Suiren team wins. But that’s not the end yet as the alien starts acting up. Since this alien is the type that loves stealing trophies and sells them at a high price, it isn’t too happy with the lost. It grows big and stomps on Mutsumune. Ouch. Deja vu? Mina goes into action as Tsukishiro but finds the alien too much to handle. Thankfully Ootsuki appears before Tsukishiro becomes smashed carrot. Though the alien is defeated, its comrades beam it up to their little ship and escape. Ootsuki is not about to let it get away and pounds it and sends it crashing into the bridge. But they eventually manage to get away in a little escape pod. Ootsuki wants to give chase but Nanashi says to attend to the injured and tells Tsukishiro how Ootsuki has always been protecting her. Lastly the aliens decide to abandon their trophy collecting ways and find a new craze to increase their sales: T-shirts of Mutsumune! Ah well, at least she’ll be famous in a different universe.
 
In episode 5, Tsukishiro must be getting used to this lifestyle after another successful alien arrest. But a little girl notices her transformation back to Mina. That loli, Yuu Takanashi, joins SpoLuna as an announcer for a special broadcast. She is more fluent, smooth and professional so much so it puts Mina to shame. But if you think Yuu is going to be a goody loli, think again because she has a dark side as she threatens Mina for money to buy juice. Then she indirectly hints how tough she’s having since she’s playing 2 roles. Could it be that Yuu knows of Mina’s other identity? Because of that, Mina feels depressed so Nanashi gives her a memory erasing ray gun and to use it on anyone who has discovered her identity. Next day, Yuu knows that Mina has a secret crush on Kiryuu and threatens to reveal her secret. Mina has no choice but to be her errand girl-cum-slave or else. One day as Yuu continues to boss Mina around, she notices a family with a picture of a Ferris Wheel in hand. Yuu tells Mina that she can go home early. Mina learns from the hostess of the restaurant that she is a friend of Yuu’s mom. Due to Yuu’s parents working overseas, Yuu always felt lonely. Mina realizes and decides to take Yuu to ride the Ferris Wheel. However due to impending bad weather, the ride is closed so Yuu throws a tantrum like a brat. As they take a walk by the riverside, Mina ponders whether to use the ray gun but ultimately decides not to. Then she realizes what Yuu meant by 2 roles is that she is referring to her announcer job and high school student life. Yuu indicates that she would like to be Mina’s friend. Then in a train, Mina threatens Nanashi by pointing the ray gun at him saying that she will not use it to erase memories and will use her own powers to solve them. Funny to see Nanashi sweating and panic.
 
Mina’s next assignment is to cover a football match but the referee is an alien in disguised, red carding everyone for the stupidest reasons. The alien beams up all those who oppose him into his spaceship, including Mina. With that, Yuu decides to help Mina as she transforms into Miina Tamamushi. So another Rabbit Force Miina, eh? The 2 oversized cherries hanging from her rabbit ears do look out of place. As expected, Tamamushi wins the day and arrests the alien. By the time Mina transforms into Tsukishiro, everything is already over. The next day as Yuu reads her broadcast, she becomes like klutzy Mina as she stammers and mispronounces every line. Finally we see Yuu meeting up with Nanashi and that the duo collaborated to see if Mina is worthy of being a Miina. The ray gun is just a toy and if she ever pulls the trigger, only "Failure!" lines would come out of it and that Mina would of course fail her mission. Nanashi is upset because of this, he is misunderstood to be the bad guy and wants Yuu to properly explain it to Mina. Yuu notes that she is one of Rabbit Force’s early members and that Mina will eventually learn stuff that she doesn’t want to, especially the real meaning behind their genes. Back at the restaurant, Mina can’t seem to figure out who Tamamushi is but feels she has met her before. Ah, that Superman theory…
 
Kiryuu and Mina head to the hotsprings to investigate a case whereby rugby players have become more aggressive and violent during their game after taking a dip there in episode 6. I see Mina gets her chance to be close to her crush but Suzuki starts panicking and relays his worries to cool Suiren because you know, he thinks Mina is at that age whereby she falls in love, starts dating, bla bla bla. The duo reach the hotspring inn and the hostess mistakes them as newlyweds but Kiryuu clears the air. Meanwhile Mutsumune is also at the hotspring and has set a series of traps whereby she’ll make Mina trip, a basin knocking over a head and then the final touch of her slipping into the hotspring. Mina is fantasizing a mixed outdoor bath but finds out that the baths are gender separated. Disappointed? Mutsumune has been waiting for a while and thinks if Mina is ever coming so she steps out from her hiding place and got caught in her own trap. Several wires proceed to grab Mutsumune underwater. When Mina comes in, Mutsumune attacks her but luckily Mina slipped on a soap and evaded her kick. Ootsuki appears to knock her out. She tells Mina how Nanashi contacted her about a secret UFO base under the hotspring. Their intention of using the personality switch machine is to have the leading teams disqualified by making them go berserk. After Mina transforms, she tells Ootsuki how she doesn’t want to be a Mina and also she likes Kiryuu. While Tsukishiro is giving her thoughts, the UFO emerges and attacks them. One of its wires has got Ootsuki so Tsukishiro unleashes her carrot missiles to take out the menace. And I can’t believe Kiryuu didn’t think much of all the commotion. Probably he’s a little drunk? Not till the explosion sends water gushing here and there and almost destroyed the entire place. After the capture, Kiryuu rushes over to see if Mina is alright and thankfully she is. Suiren then comes by in her bike. Shouldn’t she be shocked to see them together clad only in towels? Anyway the trio report their scoop on the alien’s scheme and later at the restaurant, Katou fires another one at Mina about the hotspring repairs but since international relationships have been restored, Sports League will sponsor SpoLuna and cover all costs. Saved.
 
Everyone is shocked to learn from Katou that Suiren will temporary stop working at SpoLuna because of an affair scandal in episode 7. Her place will be filled by a veteran announcer Kouzai. Mina does an investigation job to meet the paparazzi, Sanae Tsutsuji, who took that scandalous photo of Suiren. Mina’s fears are confirmed when Sanae shows her a photo of Suiren in a misleading kissing-like position with a man. She wants her to give up the photos but Sanae blackmails her to give some money in exchange. Well, I’m not sure how much Mina has but breaking her piggy-bank isn’t going to be enough that’s for sure. Sanae isn’t going to buy it and leaves. At that time a rabbit alien assassin narrowly misses its shot on Sanae and escapes. So they take cover back at Sanae’s home. Mina learns that Sanae is some antique weapons freak and she’s trying to get enough money to salvage them and save them from being destroyed. Right now Sanae is trying to save enough for a tank model 601. Seriously? Then Mina goes to inform her that model 601 is going to be used as a target practice scrap at Mt Fuji so Sanae is suspicious if she’s trying to do this in exchange for the photos. However Mina is sincere and she’s doing it because she couldn’t bear seeing her friend sad. Since when did they become friends? Sanae runs away as Nanashi appears (WTF?! He’s making a funny face?!). Mina is pondering what will happen if a Miina uses her powers other than for mission purposes. For the first time we hear Nanashi’s deep manly and serious voice! He explains there is a Miina who did that but soon her powers were sealed, got kicked out of Rabbit Force and became a rogue.
 
Sanae is at Mt Fuji and tries to save model 601 from the onslaught of several alien assassins in tanks. She calls Mina who is in the middle of a meeting for help since she’s the only friend she’s got. Tsukishiro arrives in time and deduces why the aliens are targeting Sanae is because of the photo. Upon taking a closer look, the alien assassin can be seen at the edge of the photo. Sanae remembers that Suiren was investigating a corruption case between the alien and a sports league director. Suiren entered the room to confront the man and that’s when she took the photo. After that, Suiren did a judo throw on him. Tsukishiro is relieved that Suiren didn’t have an affair so she unleashes a rain of missiles on the other tanks but their numbers are overwhelming. Nanashi appears and we learn that Sanae is the rogue Miina. He makes a deal with her to take the seal off if she cooperates so Sanae transforms into Miina Satsuki to help take out the menace. But since she’s a rogue, she doesn’t have her blueberry weapon. Not to worry, Nanashi has ordered a delivery of an outdated weapon: A bazooka. Hmm… That delivery girl suspiciously looked like the one back at the Japanese restaurant. How can a bazooka defeat a whole bunch of tank army? I don’t know but they did it. Sanae salvages model 601 back in her room and since it is too big, it collapses. Guess who is walking in front of her house? Yup. Mutsumune. Thinking of replacing Suiren, eh? Ouch. So kids, don’t think bad of other people. Heavy things could befall onto you. Mutsumune’s dream is further shattered because Suiren is back as SpoLuna’s announcer as she clears the air up. And at the restaurant as everyone celebrates, Mina notices how Kiryuu is always looking at Suiren with a warm and gentle feeling in his eyes. I know, I know. It’s called love…
 
We learn Kanchi is a big fan of Tsukishiro in episode 8. Because of that, he didn’t hear Nakoru calling him for dinner and gets surprised when she comes in. Nakoru becomes a little depressed when she learns of this so she talks to Mina about this that of all the Miinas, why is Kanchi obsessed on Tsukishiro (referring to her as bellybutton flashing weirdo?). Nakoru feels Kanchi may not need her anymore because he never tells her anything. Mina gets a rude shock when she finds out Nakoru and Kanchi aren’t really siblings. Nakoru’s mom who lives faraway once told her that they could live together once she reaches high school. Though Kanchi doesn’t know about this. Then Nakoru gets hurt when Kanchi jokingly says he’s tired of eating her mini hamburgers and that he is going to move to USA to be a major baseball league player. However Nakoru says he can’t become one and runs away. Elsewhere, the way Nanashi appears makes it as though everyone misunderstood that Mina has a baby at such an age! Anyway he’s here to tell that an alien signal is nearby and is the one relating to missing baseball players. Kanchi is taking a break during his baseball practice when an alien appears and wants his magic ball so he teleports him with his ray gun. Nakoru saw everything but was too late to do anything. Tsukishiro and Nanashi arrive and learn what happen. Nanashi traces the signal to pinpoint their location but Nakoru persists she wants to tag along.
 
Kanchi is being taken to a cornfield and is amazed to see all the famous baseball players there. The alien is assembling the best baseball players for a universal baseball team and wants Kanchi to sign a contract that will make him play in intergalactic matches. Kanchi is still indecisive so the alien says that there’s a possibility that he could marry Tsukishiro. But Kanchi refuses since that won’t allow him to eat Nakoru’s mini hamburgers as he’ll be playing in faraway planets. The alien gets desperate when Mina arrives so he hypnotizes the other players to keep them at bay. Since they are normal humans, Mina can’t hurt them. Nakoru tries to bat the alien away but is blasted away instead. She lands in a tomato field and after she accidentally swallows a tomato and say Ju-Jitsu, she transforms into Miina Minazuki. Since the alien is trying to get rid of Minazuki, Kanchi unleashes his magic ball but to the alien’s dismay it is nothing close to its name. Even so, the slow ball was enough to destroy his speed meter as Minazuki gives the finishing blow. As Kanchi passes out, Nanashi explains that Nakoru’s mom was once a Rabbit Force member but retired once Nakoru was born. When that happens, the power is passed on to the child and the mother will have none of it. In order to protect ex-Miinas from alien harassment after their retirement, their identities were hidden and they moved from place to place. Nakoru realizes her mom’s case and Mina does the same when she realizes her SpoLuna segment is starting. She barely makes it and manages to sooth Katou’s anger with a video which solves the missing baseball players’ case. In the end, Nakoru notes how she’ll continue to live in this house because she is Kanchi’s sister and as everyone in SpoLuna celebrate their soaring ratings, Mutsumune is so relieved that she didn’t get hurt today. Suddenly just about everything fell on her. Haha! A cue just for that. That has to be her trademark already.
 
All the 5 Miinas are seen imprisoned in an alien spaceship in episode 9. It all happened when they each received a disc which threatens to expose their real identities. That’s when they fell into this trap and got imprisoned here. Tsukishiro is in a further pinch because her broadcast is to go on air in 27 minutes. Ah, late again. Can she get out of this and make it? Because of that, Mutsumune gets the shock of her life when she gets a call to replace Mina. Her big break is coming but she finds her room door locked. Remember her room is situated in the warehouse? Yeah, some big prop is blocking it. Of all times… Anyway the ping pong crazy alien wants to play a table tennis match with the Miinas in which if they lose, their identities will be exposed. No choice so first up is Satsuki. As the game drags on, she hears the alien playing guilty mind games on her and lost. Tamamushi figures that the ball has a device which psychologically attacks their mind if they stare at the ball at an extended time. At the end, they’ll end up hypnotized just like how Satsuki is a vegetable. Tamamushi is up next but falls meets the same fate. Then it is Minazuki and the same thing. Next is Tsukishiro and well, no different. But at least Ootsuki’s voice manages to snap her out a little before fully succumbing to the inevitable. All that is left is Ootsuki. Meanwhile Mutsumune isn’t going to give up yet and is crawling through the air vent. Time is ticking and even news that Mutsumune has gone ‘missing’ reaches the crew. Same thing with Suiren. Her bike is found abandoned at the riverside. Onoue is looking cool as he says to believe in them.
 
Ootsuki takes on the alien and is in danger of getting hypnotized. However Ootsuki’s determined speech seems to indicate that she is Suiren. She defeats the alien and frees the rest from hypnosis. However the alien isn’t going to give up and like the sore loser he is, is going to expose their identities. But it isn’t working since their ping pong match gave Nanashi enough time to hack and delete the videos. The Miinas violently take out their frustrations on the alien even sending shivers down Nanashi’s spine. "Oh my God…", says he. The spaceship is self destructing as Nanashi only manages to teleport Satsuki, Tamamushi, Minazuki and the alien safely down to the baseball stadium. Ootsuki escapes with Tsukishiro in her arms. I wonder if their suit can withstand all those re-entry temperature and force seeing that they aren’t that fully covered. Before Tsukishiro passes out, she indicates that she knows Ootsuki and Suiren are one. Ootsuki whispers that everyone at SpoLuna is waiting for them. Suzuki starts panicking as countdown to airing is closely ticking away. Kouzai shows up last minute as replacement but in within 3 seconds from air, Mina and Suiren appear right on the dot to take over (haha. Kouzai has to hide under the table). Phew. And where did Mutsumune ended up? She ended up in some garbage bin after sliding out from a garbage chute. How suitable. Finally we see a lady strolling at the beach saying to herself that she set up all this as a preliminary test.
 
In episode 10, Ootsuki ones again saves the day but not before causing her usual damage. Katou is upset that she is destroying sport buildings and stadiums. Back at SpoLuna, it is confirmed as Mina notes how she knows Suiren is Ootsuki. Then she gets an assignment from Suzuki to accept an interview from a gossip magazine. Kiryuu meets Suiren at a bar and notices her gloominess but she leaves. On her way, Nanashi confronts Suiren about her destructive ways in which she says she can’t help it every time she is Ootsuki. Next day, Mina meets the gossip magazine reporter Sumire Nishiha (looking like that lady at the beach in the previous episode). Sumire takes Mina on an outing which seems like friends having fun rather than an interview. When they come across a stall selling merchandise of Ootsuki, Sumire asks Mina’s opinion of Ootsuki’s violence. Seeing that Mina is on Ootsuki’s side, Sumire signals a fleet of battleships and beams them up. Meanwhile SpoLuna is covering a wrestling match when it’s intercepted by wrestling mania aliens. Suiren confronts them but is blasted away. Then herald Ootsuki who does her usual wild rampaging and almost endangered the lives of the spectators. The alien has got Kiryuu in his grasps and tells Ootsuki not to do anything funny or else. Ootsuki is in a pinch and she just stood there receiving the electric shocks from the alien. Kiryuu says not to care about him and wonders where her wild self has gone to. Ootsuki admits that she’s not the strong woman he thinks and can’t do anything that would force her to leave him. At that point, Ootsuki’s powers has been zapped as she reverts back to Suiren (why is she naked?!). Everyone now knows her identity. Kiryuu confronts her and wants to know why she hid this from him. Is he not trustworthy enough. Suiren didn’t answer so he walks away.
 
Mina and Sumire too are watching the events unfold so since it turned out like that Sumire is going to transform as she takes a bite from a potato. Mina realizes that she is also a Miina, Miina Shiwasu and is the Rabbit Force’s inspector and a super celebrity Miina. She drops down to Earth and uses her seductive charms to even make the alien voluntarily surrender. The power of persuasion… She’s smooth… On board the battleship, Mina learns from Shiwasu’s assistant Yayoi, that they are from the Rabbit Force Legion, an organization which gives Miinas their true powers and that Shiwasu controls this huge army. Back down on Earth, Shiwasu continues to use her spunky personality to run down Ootsuki and as a result everyone is convinced of Ootsuki’s atrocities and supports Shiwasu to get rid of Ootsuki. Mina rushes back to SpoLuna to find Suiren’s resignation letter. She goes after her but Suiren tells Mina to continue being an announcer. As Mina is on her way back, Sumire appears and says she’s starting a "No more Ootsuki" campaign since her actions were damaging the Miinas’ reputation. Plus, this is an order from the commander of Earth’s Rabbit Force. Because of that, Nanashi has been demoted since he supported Ootsuki. Sumire is expecting Mina’s cooperation. Mina is in a dilemma on what to do.
 
In episode 11, Shiwasu uses her influence to make herself even more popular, even taking over all Tsukishiro’s websites. But is she really that popular? I mean, Yoshimi is really getting bored of her high and mighty attitude and because of that, he’s being zapped by beams and instantly turned into a Shiwasu supporter. You must love her or else… While Mina’s dad declares his undying love for his wife, mommy says how she was once a Miina. Mina arrives at SpoLuna only to find out that Kiryuu has submitted his registration too. Also, SpoLuna may be closed down since in a way it deceived people about Ootsuki. However they could be saved if they broadcast an Ootsuki bashing script. Since SpoLuna is Katou’s dream, he is desperately trying to save it. Selfish guy. Meanwhile Yayoi is seen talking to Shiwasu about this little harassment on Ootsuki which went too far. The reason Shiwasu did this was just to knock Ootsuki off the top spot for the best Miina. But it went overboard instead. Shiwasu hushes Yayoi fearing that somebody may hear them. True enough, Nanashi has eavesdropped it all behind the air vent. Later Ootsuki visits Shiwasu in her battleship and the latter thinks it’s a good chance to put the entire blame on her. At SpoLuna, Mina is now the main announcer with Mutsumune and Nikaidou as her co-hosts. Mutsumune having her big break now, eh? But why isn’t she happy? The broadcast starts but Mina ditches the script and conveys her earnest feelings to Suiren. Katou starts panicking that his dream is over (that selfish guy!) and even tries to intervene but luckily Suzuki restrains him and says how viewers aren’t stupid. Mina decides to do the unthinkable. She transforms into Tsukishiro in front of everyone, risking her career as an announcer and thus revealing her identity and shocking them. Carrots don’t taste so horrible now, eh? She then flies up to Shiwasu’s battleship to bring Suiren back. Shiwasu considers this an act of treason and orders all battleships to attack and capture them.
 
However it is a different story on the ground because everyone is rooting for Tsukishiro! With that all the other Miinas, those we have never seen previously or suspected to be one (like those pair from the Japanese restaurant and that bespectacled girl who makes cameo and random appearances and does odd part time jobs such as food seller, hotspring hostess and bartender), all transform to come to Tsukishiro’s aid. Meanwhile Nanashi appears in front of Kiryuu and tells him to deliver a video to expose Shiwasu’s malice. He goes to SpoLuna but manages to toss the video to Mutsumune before being floored by guards and Nikaidou. Mutsumune did something good for once by giving it to Onoue before she too is pinned down. Onoue decides to be the announcer. As the other Miinas destroy Shiwasu’s other battleships, the video is being played and exposes Shiwasu’s true colours. Everyone now supports Tsukishiro even more. With the other Miinas standing steadfast against Shiwasu, Suiren transforms into Ootsuki and together with Tsukishiro blasts Shiwasu’s battleship. She has no choice but to flee but promise will be back. Good riddens. In the end, everyone in SpoLuna celebrates at the restaurant as Suzuki receives a flood of calls and emails demanding the reinstatement of Suiren as announcer. Katou can have a peace of mind since his dream is back on track. Why is Mutsumune in bandages? Was that tackling from the policemen that bad? Lastly, we see Mina having no qualms of transforming into Tsukishiro since everyone knows her identity as she blasts off into the sky. Yeah, carrots aren’t as bad as she thought to be.
 
So the ending was pretty okay. Though it ended on a happy note and that everyone gets to continue with what they do most but I felt that there are a few things which still bug me. Like instance for the other Miinas which make their short cameo appearances in the end. I thought there would be episodes that will feature them all since we are introduced to some of them. Especially that bespectacled random job girl. It’s like they are teasing viewers by showing her mysterious presence here and there and in the end, she’s part of the Miina Rabbit Force. I wonder what kind of punishment Shiwasu will get since she went this far just to get her number 1 spot. Then there’s the case of the relationship between Kanchi and Mina. Nothing much, really. Now that he knows of Mina’s true identity, would his love for Tsukishiro be the same? Same thing about Suiren and Kiryuu. Now that everything is okay, will there be any chance of any relationship developing between them. So is Kiryuu back as an announcer too? Must be since Suiren is back. Whatever happened to Mina’s crush on Kiryuu? Perhaps saving Suiren was a more important task. Will Mutsumune’s dream of being an announcer be realised? Yeah, she’ll need to go through lots of pain first. The reason why she lives in the studio is still unexplained, though. And what about the time Nanashi did that manly voice back then? Was it really his real voice? And about Yuu’s statement that Mina will learn the truth about their genes? Was it just mother passing her powers on to her child and that’s that?
 
Though Mina may be a little klutzy and an air-head at times but at least she has her principles like what all main heroines in any show should have. But I guess having her destiny as a Miina while juggling high school life is something she has to live with. Mutsumune may seem like a typical obnoxious rival but in the end she showed us that she isn’t totally heartless. It’s better to bring down your rival fair and square, right? Thinking back of all the dirty sabotaging tactics she used. I guess not. Katou is sure an amusing character for a little guy whenever he goes into loud mode every time he is stressed. Being a director is a tough job too. Onoue is still mysterious in the end and I was hoping he would be some sort of the true leader of the Rabbit Force but that didn’t happen.
 
The drawing, art and animation are of high quality though sometimes I feel that the characters lack some details. But the thing which I liked most is the computer graphics which are very well done. This is usually done during the transformation period whereby Miina’s weapon is being delivered from the hi-tech secret moon base in an over-the-top fashion. Cool. All very smooth and top notched. Marina Inoue who voices Mina/Tsukishiro is still recognizable if you are familiar with her seiyuu roles in series such as Kyoko of Skip Beat and Chiri of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. But I’ve got to like the voice of Nanashi who is played by Jouji Nakata (also did double voice roles as Onoue). Till this day I can’t help but laugh every time I hear his falsetto voice. And to put it with a floating rabbit-like baby bundle, that’s got to be super hilarious. I still can’t believe he has the capability to do such a voice since his other anime roles that I know are of the low voiced kind like Giroro of Keroro Gunsou and Gran Kaiser of Yakitate! Japan. Other casts include Eri Nakao as Mutsumune (Miki in Hayate No Gotoku), Shizuka Itou as Suiren/Ootsuki (Wilhelmina in Shakugan No Shana), Hiroki Touchi as Kiryuu (Abel in Trinity Blood), Kana Hanazawa as Nakoru/Minazuki (Potemayo in Potemayo), Kazuko Kojima as Yuu/Tamamushi (Chiharu in Lovely Complex), Ayako Kawasumi as Sumire/Shiwasu (Aoi in Ai Yori Aoshi) and Mitsuo Iwata as Katou (Kintarou of Golden Boy).
 
Speaking of the Rabbit Force, I later found out that the one in Densha Otoko has a different and separate storyline from the anime. They even made 26 episodes out of it. Not sure whether it ran separately or in that live action drama or maybe they are just volumes in case fans of that series are really interested to know what it’s about. The storyline is about the android Miinas (12 of them to be exact) defending Earth from an evil organization bent on preventing humans from colonizing the moon. Hmm… The drawing and art of Tsukishiro here seems more mature and a little better. Yeah, no wonder it is such a hit with the otakus. Not to mention the figurines…
 
The next time I look up at the moon, I’ll be thinking if there is such a secret hi-tech base singlehandedly run by a certain falsetto baby. Besides, that pattern on the moon is starting to resemble a lot like a rabbit. So rabbits do exist on the moon or even as aliens. Not. So kids, remember to eat your vegetables because they are an important ingredient and ally in saving the world! That’s right. Sexy bunny-outfit heroines can do a better job than Ultraman, Marvel comic characters or even the Powerpuff Girls in protecting Earth from aliens. I also tried to take a bite from a vegetable I hate most (heck, I hate any kind of vegetables) but didn’t transformed into a Miina even after I said Ju-jitsu. Oh right. You have to be a girl in the first place. Yeah, I almost forgot to take back my brain left at the doorstep.
 

Getsumen To Heiki Miina

Fruits Basket Soundtrack

November 14, 2009

It’s that time again. Though the Fruits Basket anime series has ended a very long time ago and no sequel has been announced ever since, that still didn’t deter me to go back and listen to some of my favourite background music (BGM) in the show. The music is equally as heart warming as the series itself and of course when I listen to such songs, it brings back nostalgic memories and possibly stir a little emotion in me when I was watching the anime.
 
There are several original soundtracks released between 2001 and 2002. As for the original soundtrack, there are two of them. Fruits Basket OST I is entitled Memory of You and contains 28 tracks while Fruits Basket OST II is named Eternal Memories and has additional 20 songs. There is also an image album called Fruits Basket Shiki (Four Seasons) – Songs For Ritsuko Okazaki and contains 11 songs. I’m confused to who are the rightful composers of the albums. I know that there is more than 1 but the crediting seems contrasting. So while I’m pondering who composes what, I’ll just list them generally. They include Jun Abe, Seiji Mutou, Masaki Iwamoto and Tatsuya Murayama. Of course they do the BGMs while Ritsuko Okazaki sings the rest of the vocal pieces especially in the image album. Listed below alphabetically are my favourite tracks:
 
1) Chiisana Inori (Orchestra Version)
2) Fruits Basket In Waltz
3) Going On My Way
4) Jokyoku (Overture)
5) Komorebi
6) Memory- At Home
7) Memory – For You
8) Memory – In Daily Life
9) Secret
10) Serenade (Piano)
11) Shuukyoku (Epilogue)
12) So Gorgeous!
13) Tada Nakitaku Naru No (Orchestra Version)
 
So okay, perhaps many of the pieces are just variations of one another in terms of tempo, musical instruments and arrangement. But that still doesn’t make them sound less interesting or boring. Somehow these variations enhance the atmosphere and mood of the setting. If I had to pick which of my favourites is tops, then it has to be Shuukyoku (Epilogue). A slow and calming piece which combines piano, orchestra strings and wind instruments in the best possible way to give a heartfelt effect.
 
Tada Nakitaku Naru No (Orchestra Version) is also another slow heartfelt piece and combining easy guitar pickings and orchestra strings both as its lead and strong background support. Of course a little bit of wind instrument and soft fanfare at certain points. Serenade (Piano) is a piano solo which is befittingly used as the ending theme for the penultimate episode of the series. The slow and calming pace of the song hides a sad and gloomy feel. Though the track may be named Secret, the way the echo chime instruments at the start of the song gives a mysterious and enigmatic feel. This effect is lessen with the introduction of the piano midway but goes back to its enigmatic ways towards the end.
 
Of all the 3 Memory-named tracks, the one I liked best is Memory – In Daily Life because of its lively and energetic piano pounding introduction and vibrant flute solo. Memory – For You is another slow paced melody which uses strings and tinkly synthesizers which kinda make it sound sweet and lovely. Just like Tohru herself. Memory – At Home is a tubular bell chime solo variation and gives an impression of a homely atmosphere. The shortest variation among the Memory-named tracks is Memory – On Vacation which is an upbeat and spunky. The short and quick strings accompanied with guitar, bass and drums in the background makes it feel like getting ready to go on a fun-filled vacation.
 
As the name suggests, Fruits Basket In Waltz is a short lively waltz BGM version of the opening theme and I remember is played during the next episode preview in the series. Chiisana Inori (Orchestra Version) is of course the slow BGM orchestra version of the ending theme and since it’s an orchestra version, that means grand orchestra strings to give a grand but soothing feel. This tune is also accompanied with piano. Jokyoku (Overture) another variation piece using horns this time to complement the magnificent strings and piano. Same feel with Komorebi which is also done at a slow soothing pace.
 
Going On My Way is a cheeky and fun piece which suits Momiji just fine. It conjures up a playful entrance of that little rabbit boy. Another Momiji related song is So Gorgeous! The song is totally played in strings only and on occasions the kettle drum to have that majestic effect. Those who have watched the series couldn’t really forget the other theme for Momiji. That’s right. It is Teru Teru Momiji, a piece which is played while he is at the hotspring. The BGM version is a short string version lasting under a minute. Also another song for Momiji is Hot Blooded Man. A marching-like tune which feels like giving out a patriotic sense because of the upbeatness.
 
There are some repetitive songs such as I’m Fairy is a repetitious happy-like flute lead with strings in the background. On the other hand, I’m Drummer is a song comprising of drum beats and cymbals only. Playing with the different tempo and beat, it sounds pretty repetitive after a while. I’m Chin-Don-Ya is a weird song because I don’t know what that lead instrument is since the tune of it makes it sound fitting for comical scenes. A seemingly laidback and another repetitive piece is Reason For Quibble. I think that’s the harmonica in the lead with the keyboards, bass and drums in the background.
 
Theme For Landlady sounds very oriental with the traditional strings and like what you’d expect to hear in such oriental shows. A variation of this tune entitled Theme For Landlady (So Hard) gives a hectic helter-skelter feel. I remember it was played when Ritsu and her mom goes into hyper apologizing mode. Try playing those traditional strings fast. It’s like fast forwarding them a little. Psycho Doctor starts out as a string solo and is later accompanied by piano. This piece is slow yet sad and unlike its name, not a fast psychotic melody. Solitude though starts off with a strange ‘slow-cosmic’-like feel, later it progresses into somewhat like a slow and soft rock because of the electric guitar and the background synthesizers. Mogeta No Uta (Instrumental Version) sounds like a combo between comical rock ‘n’ roll, soft rock and slow waltz. If my memory serves me well, it was played during the scene those Prince Yuki Fan Club girls at Hana’s house. Every time I hear this song, it makes me want to laugh. Another wild rock piece is On The Stage. Gives a feeling of a cool rock band performance. After hearing this piece, I’m wondering how this actually fits into the series.
 
With the fun pace and waltz-like tune of Both Styles, this tune sounds like another one fitting a comical scene. I’m Hardworking Fellow has a samba feel because of the lively fanfare. Forward Looking Attitude is mainly strings driven which makes it have a little cosmic feel and as usual though it may be slow, the song has a hint of sadness in it. Mysterious Family is a creepy piece due to the high pitched end notes of the piano. Gives out a fearful feeling and painful hidden secret for those cursed under the Souma family. Sounds like a song befitting a horror film (at least for the middle part of the song) because of the fast play of the electric harpsichord.
 
I don’t know. For me the vocal pieces sung by Ritsuko Okazaki don’t really appeal to me. Mainly it’s because of her voice. I know she sounds like that but every time I hear her voice for some of the songs, it somehow reminds me of the dubbed version of Doraemon… Anyway the songs she sing include the on air versions of the opening and ending theme in OST I while the image album she does almost half of the tracks. They are the full length versions of the opening and ending theme, For Fruits Basket and Chiisana Inori respectively, Serenade (Kiriyama Strings), Lovable Tomorrow (Fruits Basket Version) and Sky Blue (Kiriyama Strings). I’m still wondering why they call the image album Songs For Ritsuko Okazaki. Maybe as a tribute to her? Just like another single image album entitled Kazeiro – Songs For Yui Horie. Since she does the voice for Tohru in the series, this album has her singing her version of the series’ opening and ending theme.
 
If you noticed that most of the BGMs that I’ve blogged are from OST I and the image album. It is much later that only I found out about OST II which is a rare find and many listeners find it contains missing tracks from the series not found in OST I. Tracks under this album include Labyrinth (a creepy and slow piano solo piece), Abyss Of Despair (another creepy yet mysterious song. Is that the sound of an Owl hooting in the background? Scary…), Image ~Hanajima Family~ (the suspenseful nature of the track using short sudden bursts of the voices gives off a feeling that something terrible can happen anytime), Sea Of Illusion (a longer but echo-y variation of Secret), One-way Love (a slow piano piece accompanied with strings. The first half of the song may sound repetitive), A Thaw (another slow and calming piano with strings), Memories ~Sunshine~ (An echo-y bell and chime variation of Memory), Memory ~Beginning~ (a slow and soft waltz Memory version with quick strings and flute), Extreme Girl’s Heart (using tubular chimes and strings. Though it starts off on a slow and waltzy note, it suddenly becomes hard techno halfway like you hear in action video games then back to its initial tone), Momentary Storm (has a slow dramatic oriental feel), Shackles Of The Heart (music box-like instrument which is later accompanied with guitar and strings), Prince Yuki (pipe organs and voices in the background to give a grand presence), Breath Of Spring (a soft and calming mix between piano, strings and a little sound effect), Young Leaves (another slow and soothing piece using the electric piano and strings). Melody For Episode Eight (a cello solo), The Most Foolish Warfare In The World (entire song is in tubular chimes), King’s March (a grand tune what sounds like Scottish bagpipes to signal the herald of the king), Solitude Piano Version (as the name suggests, a slow piano solo variation of Solitude), Serenade Solo Version (a piano solo but a longer and full version almost lasting 5 minutes) and the crazy and wild vocal version of Mogeta No Uta.
 
Prior to the release of the anime, there is a drama CD called Hana To Yume which serves as a promotional item for the anime. I have never heard it before simply because it is already out of print and from what I have read it uses a completely different seiyuu cast from the anime. Then another drama CD released in 2005 way after the anime has ended called Fruits Basket HCD Series which features the voices of Yui Horie, Aya Hikasawa and Tomokazu Seki. Basically from what I have read, this HCD Series is based loosely on some Cinderella play in the manga. Sounds like a teaser for those who can’t get enough of the series, eh? But for me, since the series isn’t going to be continuing anytime soon, you can bet that I’ll continue to listen to those BGMs of the series. It’s a basket filled with a good mix of warm, cordial and pleasant tunes.
 
Fruits Basket

I remember after watching the anime series Hatenkou Yuugi, it somehow reminded me a little about another anime series, Samurai Champloo. How similar are these 2 anime? The first thing which hit me was that both series had a group of 3 people wandering around, arriving in random towns and places, getting into other people’s affairs and then getting out. Something like that. So here is a short comparison between the series.
 
The leading female
The girl who ‘unofficial’ leads the group of trio.
Samurai Champloo: Fuu. A feisty 15 year old who always wears a pink kimono.
Hatenkou Yuugi: Rahzel. A sharp tongued 14 year old who always wears a different dress every time she enters a new town.
 
The guys
The other 2 males in her group.
Samurai Champloo: Jin and Mugen.
Hatenkou Yuugi: Alzeid and Baroqueheat AKA Heat.
 
Jin VS Alzeid
Both men don’t seem to portray much emotion with Jin being mild-mannered and stoic while Alzeid sometimes can be cold and moody. Jin is a ronin samurai who is on the run for killing his master Mariya but that was in self defence while Alzeid is looking for a black haired woman with blue eyes who killed his father. Jin’s weapons include a katana, wakizashi and daisho whereas Alzeid carries a gun.
 
Mugen VS Heat
Both men display more emotion here as compared with the previous duo. Mugen is a wild, rude, uncivilized samurai and has non-blood related tough criminal pirates as his brothers and sisters while Heat is more of a playboy and has Seratiido as his older brother (the fact that Seratiido is Rahzel’s adopted father who kicked her out. What a small world after all). Mugen has a weird looking sword and his fighting style resembles like break dance whereas Heat has a butterfly mark on the back of his right hand which changes into some sort of magical angelic sword if he ever intends to use it.
 
How they met
They weren’t exactly together since they were born, weren’t they?
Samurai Champloo: Jin and Mugen were fighting each other and were both taken in for murdering the magistrate son’s during their bout. Before they’re about to be executed, Fuu comes to their rescue and in return they have to follow her wherever she goes. They don’t really get along well but of course as they journey together, you can tell that a bond is formed.
Hatenkou Yuugi: Rahzel has been abruptly kicked out from the comfort of her own home by her own dad with his reasoning to go see the world. Alone on her travels, she meets Alzeid who is seen extorting from somebody and later Heat (though I’m not really sure how they met for the latter’s case). As usual they don’t get along especially Rahzel and Alzeid but as time passes, they open their hearts.
 
Her mission
The reason for the main female lead’s travel.
Samurai Champloo: Fuu is to find her dad who has abandoned her since young and the only clue she has is "the samurai who smells like sunflowers".
Hatenkou Yuugi: Well, Rahzel do not actually have an actual goal since seeing the world is such a broad concept. Just take it one town at a time, lady.
 
Animal
What I noticed the lead female character always carries with her: some animal. I think.
Samurai Champloo: A little flying squirrel named Momo.
Hatenkou Yuugi: A little stuffed blindfolded teddy bear which can somehow fit in a lot of things. A lot.
 
World setting
Samurai Champloo: Japan during the Edo period.
Hatenkou Yuugi: Olden fantasy Europe.
 
Weirdness
The thing which I find weird in the series.
Samurai Champloo: Samurais rapping and doing hip-hop?
Hatenkou Yuugi: Rahzel taking out her long sword from her stuffed teddy bear?
 
Deaths
In many of the towns that the group visits in both Samurai Champloo and Hatenkou Yuugi, some of the characters they meet will end up dying either being killed or in a mishap. This makes both series having a gruesome and gloomy feel at the end of most episodes.
 
The pursuers
A group of men that seems to be hot on the heels of the trio. Sort of like villains for the series.
Samurai Champloo: Kariya and under him a group of 3 brothers, Denkibou, Umanosuke and Toube, seek to follow Fuu in order to save the trouble of finding her father.
Hatenkou Yuugi: Not much is known about him because he only appears in the last episode when he says how the real game for Rahzel begins now.
 
Her father
Refers to the real father of the lead female cast. Notice how both died in the end.
Samurai Champloo: Kasumi Seizou. The reason he left his family to save them from anti-Christian persecution. He resides alone on an island and reconciles with Fuu but was ultimately killed by Kariya.
Hatenkou Yuugi: Fabien Rose. Prior to being kicked out, Rahzel was abandoned in the forest by him but he soon changed his mind and went back to get her. By that time she was gone. He resides alone in his old shabby house and never gets to see Rahzel again and was ultimately killed by an unknown killer who seems to know Rahzel.
 
At the end of the journey
The fate of the group at the end of the series…
Samurai Champloo: All 3 of them separate and go their own ways.
Hatenkou Yuugi: Rahzel continues to travel with the rest and possibly with Seratiido too.
 
Weird games
Well, some strange sport that they played which served as fillers. I think.
Samurai Champloo: In episode 23, the gang plays over-the-top baseball with the American navy. This baseball game occupies the whole episode (training for the first half and the actual match play on the second half).
Hatenkou Yuugi: In episode 6, the gang plays a poker card game with surnames instead of shapes. This card game only occupies for several minutes during the first half of the episode.
 
Number of episodes
Samurai Champloo: 26 episodes in 2004.
Hatenkou Yuugi: 10 episodes in 2008.
 
Music
Samurai Champloo: Leaning towards rap and hip-hop.
Hatenkou Yuugi: Leaning towards Celtic-like tunes.
 
The series which is based on
Samurai Champloo: An original TV anime which is so popular that it was adapted into a 2 volume ani-manga.
Hatenkou Yuugi: Based on an ongoing manga called Dazzle.
 
Conclusion
I can’t really say which I one I’d prefer better. Not to say that both animes suck nor are they the all time best in my books. Samurai Champloo may fare better than Hatenkou Yuugi in the sense that the former has more episodes, which means they have more other interesting side characters, cover more places and more side misadventures. As of this point, both series don’t seem to have any announcement if there would be any sequel but I doubt it in Samurai Champloo’s case because the series itself has actually ended while Hatenkou Yuugi I felt that the ending was left hanging to serve as a build-up for a sequel if the producers ever thought they needed to do one. But I’m glad that I managed to watch both animes. Maybe they should do a fusion between these 2 series. Samurai and magic?
 
Samurai Champloo  Hatenkou Yuugi

Anime Girls Who Nose Bleed

November 8, 2009

Nose bleeds. In the real world, it could mean some damage to the tissue due to injuries or diseases. But I’m not here to blog about any medical topics associated to nose bleeds. In the world of anime, nose bleeds have been synonymously associated with sexual stimulation or arousal. Well, to put it bluntly that way. I’m sure there are many other definitions and ways to describe it. I supppose it’s the industry’s ‘trademark’ rather than showing some male anatomy erection.
 
Nose bleeds mostly occurs in ecchi and fanservice genre animes which serves to provide comical relief for some. As such, a big majority of characters that nose bleed are of course males, whether they are perverted by nature or have witnessed the erotic stuff by accident. Be it a little drop or a gushing out river. But do such nose bleed occurrences ever happen to female characters? Rare but there are. That’s why it is indeed odd and funny if you ever witness one. So listed below are my top 12 anime female characters who nose bleed. And in ascending order in terms of ‘brutalness’ of their nose bleed. Have fun.
 
12) Sakuya Kamiyama (Candy Boy)
Sakuya Kamiyama
Starting off the list is that lesbian freshie who is in love with one of her senpai twins. Kanade in particular. She gets excited just about anything to do with Kanade and takes pure delight by just being with her. Annoying or what? I remember seeing her nose bleed only once and that is when she fantasizes about herself and Kanade going into the hotspring together. It never happened but it’s disturbing to know that this kid has this nose bleed potential and if nothing is done, she could experience more bleedings of the wrong reasons.
Cure suggestion: Separate Kanade away from her.
 
11) Kitsurubami (FLCL)
Kitsurubami 
Probably the first and earliest girl who nose bleeds (at least to me). She got that when she was amazed after seeing an electric guitar being pulled out from Naota’s head. Because the guitar looked somewhat like a huge version of a certain male anatomy, well you can guess what that means. Size does matter, eh?
Cure suggestion: Next time Haruko is going to pull a guitar out of Naota’s head, make sure it is a ukelele.
 
10) Nene Andou (Hyakko)
Nene Andou
This class rep admits that she is bi-sexual but as far as I can see, she seems to be taking out her sexual fetishes on females for the time being. She gets one when she gets an overload of cute girls. Especially after flipping up Ayumu’s skirt and seems to take a liking for Torako.
Cure suggestion: Put her in a class with uncute girls and boys. But then again, the definition of cute may vary…
 
9) Reimi Odajima (Bamboo Blade)
Reiji Odajima
Initially thought to be Miya Miya’s stalker but it turns out that she’s an obsessed fan of her. Her nose bleed as far as I can remember comes only once and that is when she is super enthralled by Miya Miya’s ‘killing aura and behaviour’ during one of her kendo matches. She deserves this spot on the list because her nose bleed colour is black! Just like her dark sadist aura. See, too much of that also affects the blood.
Cure suggestion: Have Miya Miya far away as possible from this sicko.
 
8) Takako Kimura (Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens)
Takako Kimura
Though she isn’t an avid follower of the anime and manga genre, she does display some otaku traits. Among the nose bleeds that this art club president gets from includes a explosive violent one whereby she thought of the male bonding and possible rivalry between Jin and Daitestu. A yaoi fan?
Cure suggestion: Stop observing her art club members.
 
7) Kaneru Nidou (Doujin Work)
Kaneru Nidou 
Yeah, the queen of yaoi doujinshi. This doujin amateur gets her nose bleeds whenever she sees (or rather misinterprets) yaoi situations like seeing Justice giving Hoshi a mouth to mouth CPR after the latter gets stung by a jellyfish. And there’s another totally hilarious yaoi misinterpretation when she sees Justice tearing off Hoshi’s shirt thinking that they’re going to kiss when in actual fact Hoshi was seeking Justice’s permission to date Najimi.
Cure suggestion: Stop her secret hobby of doujinshi and have her eyes checked so as not to ‘see’ unnecessary fantasies.
 
6) Sunako Nakahara (Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge)
 Sunako Nakahara
One would obviously think that for a person who prefers to watch dark gory horror movies and keep to herself would never have the ability to nose bleed. Well surprise! She experiences nose bleeds whenever she comes into contact with ‘dazzling creatures’, especially the 4 guys that she is living with and in charge of turning her into a lady. It’s like some sort of an allergic reaction when their bright and blinding ‘beauty’ becomes too much to handle.
Cure suggestion: Wear sunglasses.
 
5) Kana Iriya (Iriya No Sora, UFO No Natsu)
Kana Iriya 
She is one of those few female characters whose nose bleed’s reason is not due to sexual stimulation. As a pilot of the Black Mantra and her job to protect humanity from invaders, the strain of piloting the super hi-tech jet often puts tremendous amount of pressure on her body and this causes her to nose bleed frequently and go into violent spasms.
Cure suggestion: Hmm… Too much of those injections doesn’t seem to cure her. Obviously she can’t stop piloting the jet either. Maybe she should try relieving all those stress by taking a different ‘jet ride’ on Asaba, if you know what I mean… ;p
 
4) Mikan Natsu (Potemayo)
Mikan Natsu 
Another case of don’t judge a book by its cover. Think soft-spoken girls will never nose bleed? Mikan holds a secret crush on her classmate, Sunao. Every time she thinks or fantasizes of him, she will have nose bleeds gushing out like a running tap water so much so she has to be whisked away in an ambulance due to blood loss. Not once but many times!
Cure suggestion: Since taking Sunao away is impossible, perhaps to have an ambulance and medic on standby next to her 24/7.
 
3) Bell (Hare+Guu)
Bel
The resident maid for Weda who comes to live with her in the jungle. She undergoes masive gushing of nose bleeds whenever she thinks of Weda as a child. At first I thought she was some sort of a lolicon but she only has this obsession on Weda herself and no other children. Not even Hare. I guess if you’ve been with a person that long, there is a danger of developing such obsession.
Cure suggestion: Do a hypnosis to erase how Weda looked like as a child.
 
2) Karin Maaka (Karin)
Karin Maaka
Originally billed for top spot on my list, this chibi vampire’s reason for nose bleed is completely different than the rest. Unlike other vampires, she is not a blood taker but a blood giver. What do I mean? Since she produces lots of blood, she has to inject extra amount of blood into her victims. However if her victim is depressed or sad, this will activate her sensation of a massive overwhelming nose bleed. Like a murder scene, eh? Should be a good blood donor for her case.
Cure suggestion: Have happy people all around her! Not only it could cure her, but it makes the world a better place, don’t you think?
 
1) Kanako Miyamae (Maria+Holic) 
Kanako Miyamae
The numero uno and mother of all nose bleeding anime girl goes to this self proclaimed yuri/homo sophomore of the Catholic all-girls high school Kisaki No Ame. A total loser and pervert and does not hesitate to fantasize perverted thoughts of those from the same gender. Her incessant nose bleeding coupled in with her horny fantasies makes her top this list and is the most sickening and disgusting character in this category which would bring shame to the nose bleeding genre or take it to new heights. You decide. Staining the statue of Virgin Mary? A grave sin that God will not even forgive…
Cure suggestion: Put her in an all-boys school. But this would lead her to develop her hives… Ah well, that’s another problem. Who cares, at least it cured her nose bleed, right?
 
And there you have it the top 12 anime girls who nose bleed. However this list is not meant to be exhaustive as there may be other anime girls who nose bleed as well. Just that at that time I couldn’t think of anymore of them and as I have mentioned, girls nose bleeding is indeed a rare incident. Perhaps there are others out there just that I didn’t watch that anime or a side character which I didn’t take notice of.
 
Nose bleeds in anime are definitely staying for the time being since there are quite a number of animes which cater to the male otaku for fanservice purposes. I guess it’s a cue to turn on, eh? It’s an amazing thing that they don’t die from masive blood loss. Something which can only happen in animes, eh? If this nose bleeding thing due to arousal really does happen in the real world, we’re in dire need of blood donors. Lots of them. Imagine the weird headline "Otaku Dies of Severe Lost of Blood Due To Nose Bleeding Stimulation". It’s like experiencing pleasure and pain both at the same time. To bleed or not to bleed? No questions, just let it flow…

Candy Boy

November 7, 2009

Finally I’ve managed to convince myself to finish watching the ONA (original net animation) production Candy Boy. I don’t really remember if I did promise myself the last time I blogged this series but I do remember that I was interested to watch it when the ONA comes out or finish. So okay, being an ONA means that the show doesn’t necessarily follow the weekly schedule of 1 episode per week. But since there are only 7 episodes in total, it took a whole year for it to be released! That’s like almost 1 episode per 2 months on average.
 
Well at least this ONA sequel is slightly longer than its prologue predecessor. Yeah, 14 minutes long on average. Hey, that’s twice the length so I suppose that’s good enough. Except for the final one which lasts around 20 minutes. As the second title of the series suggests "Nonchalant talk of the certain twin sisters in daily life", those who aren’t too keen on yuri drama shouldn’t waste their time on this. I don’t want to imply that I’m a yuri fan but you know my initial memory… Basically this ONA explores further the relationship between the twin sisters Kanade and Yukino as they continue their lives as Tokyo high school students. Since they are from the countryside, they reside at the school’s dorm. They are so close that people may think they are even into that. Now put in that lesbian junior Sakuya who is infatuated with Kanade and you’ve got more yuri drama on your platter.
 
Episode 1
The episode opener sees Kanade waking up first and tries to wake up Yukino but the latter is having some kind of weird dream. Perhaps a horny one? Yeah, she’s inviting Kanade to sleep with her. Looks like she did because of that they overslept and are in a hurry to catch a train to school. As they chat (about waking up among things which resulted in Kanade furiously pinching Yukino’s cheeks), stalker Sakuya comes by to greet her beloved senpai who is no other than you know who. I’m sure Kanade must be getting sick of this so as usual Sakuya goes on ranting about her sick fantasies. By this time the train has arrived so the twins got onboard, leaving that lesbian junior behind to dream all she wants. Sakuya eventually manages to get to school so she isn’t happy about that as she confronts the twins. As compensation she wants to go out on a date this Sunday. An excuse, eh? Then boldly right in front of Kanade’s eyes, Yukino and Sakuya trade stuff. New Kanade photos in exchange for 50 free pass tickets to a luxury hotel. Another cheek pinching moment. I can understand how Kanade feels so disgusted when she sees Sakuya during swimming lessons making a love umbrella picture on the glass.
 
After the twins do their shopping, back at their room Yukino shows Kanade the super soft pillow that she has bought. She claims the softness of the pillow is so that even dropping an egg on it won’t crack. Kanade thinks it’s an advertising gimmick so Yukino demonstrates. The egg breaks. Yeah, now the pillow stinks. One rainy day after class, Kanade notices her spare umbrella is missing and tries asking for anyone with a spare but with no luck. Sakuya comes by and she has no choice but to ask from her. But it seems she too didn’t bring any but offers her a ride home. Kanade declines. Kanade takes this opportunity to ask her about her relationship with Yukino and Sakuya’s earnest answer of would it be alright to have Yukino hate her so that she could date Kanade surprises the latter. Kanade thanks her and leaves. Kanade is waiting outside when Yukino comes by and as luck would have it, the latter has brought her own umbrella. As they walk out together, Kanade asks if she has deleted the photos since Sakuya asked her weird questions. Yukino did not answer but instead rush off in the rain. You know what this means. Yeah, notice the ever growing photos of Kanade on Sakuya’s wall. And it seems Kanade’s spare umbrella ended up in Sakuya’s hands and that it was her plan all along to get Kanade to have a car ride with her but even if that failed, she takes consolation in her umbrella. But she opens it to find it full of holes. The next morning, Kanade is a little pissed because Yukino continues to act sleeping and wants her to wake up this instant.
 
Episode 2
The twins remember how they threw a tantrum when they were young because their lunch boxes were slightly different. Then Yukino wishes for Kanade to buy her another of that pillow for Christmas so Kanade suspects that she may have bought a few of them and the reason why Yukino borrowed her allowance. However Yukino says anything she receives from her will be fine. Then Kanade realizes Yukino is eating her snack and it’s punishment time. In school, Sakuya continues to stalk the twins by taking photos of Kanade with her handphone. She’s so obvious. Sakuya hands a Christmas party invitation letter to them. Though Kanade is reluctant to come, Sakuya says she’ll delete the photos is she does. How sly. But the twins can’t attend because they have to go back to their hometown in Hokkaido. Sakuya surprises Kanade with the amount of info she knows about them. Courtesy from the snack bribes she gave to Yukino. Another cheek pulling punishment… On the way home, the twins notice that a new building for the dorm is being built. The company building it belongs to Sakuya’s dad. Which means that lesbian kid is relishing the moment when she’ll be moving in with Kanade once it is completed. Oh no.
 
The twins are out shopping for their Christmas gifts and Yukino hints of getting that pillow. That would be her fourth one already… Kanade suggests buying their presents together. They then spot a gemstone they like but Yukino thinks it is way too expensive. Somehow Kanade is like under some spell as she takes out their air ticket money to buy them! Kanade of all people? I’d understand if it was Yukino. Yukino tries to stop her but too late. So they cool things down and chat at the park. Yukino says how she thought it would be better if they were different and didn’t liked others to see them as being the same just because they’re twins. Even so, she didn’t hate it. Kanade apologizes for wasting their money like that so Yukino says she’ll forgive her if she puts the gemstone earring on her ear. In school, the twins are wondering how to get money for their return trip. Asking from their parents to send them money? Not good. Trade with Sakuya? No way. Not a chance! Before they know it, Sakuya comes by to hand them air tickets for their trip (she read in Yukino’s blog about what happened). But there’s a catch. There are 3 air tickets. Which means…
 
Episode 3
That’s right. Sakuya is tagging along with them back home. Yeah, her parents let her do as she pleases. It’s already bad enough at school, you know. Inside the airplane, Yukino shamelessly eats the souvenir snacks meant for their family while Sakuya rants about going to the hotspring with Kanade so much so she nose bleeds. Somebody arrest this girl before she turns into a serial pervert. When they arrive at their destination, Sakuya thinks they’ve got off the wrong stop because not only it is snowing cold but the place is desolated. That’s the countryside for you rich urban kid. Because of that she kicks up a fuss of not wanting to go. I suppose kind hearted Kanade can’t abandon her so she tries to force her along but she’s clinging on to the post real hard. Sakuya wants some motivation to go on and you know what kind lah. Sakuya then gets a snowball thrown at the back of her head. It’s from a young girl named Shizuku and is the twins’ younger sister. She’s here to pick them up but isn’t too happy to see them holding hands. Kanade introduces Shizuku to Sakuya (who may be jealous of another ‘rival’) but since she is hesitating what school grade she is, this prompts Shizuku to say how she even forgot her birthday and needed Yukino to remind her.
 
When they return to their humble abode, they learn that their parents have left for Kobe. It seems daddy got injured at work so mummy went there to accompany him but since the twins are returning, Shizuku stayed back. Before dinner, Yukino gets another punishment when Kanade finds out that there are 3 pieces of the souvenir snacks left. Two for their parents and one for Shizuku. Which means none for Kanade, eh? Meanwhile Sakuya goes obsess over the twins’ room and somehow she even knows which chair Kanade sits on. Creepy. Kanade and Shizuku are preparing dinner as the latter asks if she is going to college there too. Kanade might if she passes. Yukino comes by to help and as usual the twins get very friendly with each other which upsets Shizuku. In teary mode, she says how it isn’t fair that they get to be together. Her answer shocks the twins. But the final scene is a hilarious one because Sakuya is seen tied and wrapped up in a sleeping bag all alone in some dark room, wondering what has happened. Yeah! They should keep and put that sicko away like that for eternity.
 
Episode 4
The episode starts off with a flashback whereby the twins and Shizuku happily went to school together. Back in present time, the twins are having a heavy mind thinking about Shizuku. Shizuku confines herself to her room browsing pictures of the twins with her handphone and a lone sketched picture of Shizuku sits on her drawer. Morning comes and I don’t know how Sakuya got out from her confinement as she makes her way to the twins’ room so that she could give Kanade a good morning kiss. A short flashback from her sees a tense atmosphere between the twins and Shizuku during dinner and because Sakuya continued to rant about her fantasies and Christmas gift, before she knows it, she’s locked away to where she was. Served her right. Before Sakuya could barge in, Kanade opens the door, slamming it in her face. Ouch. Shizuku still feels gloomy so Kanade tries to cheer her up by asking to accompany her to the grocery store. Excited Sakuya volunteers while Shizuku retreats to her room. Kanade has no choice but to take Sakuya out (she’s treating this as a date…) so she asks Yukino to take care of Shizuku. Yukino goes to have a heart to heart talk with Shizuku and in short, she doesn’t want to be separated from her sisters. Yukino says Kanade never forgot her birthday but she was rather busy with school work although she wanted to draw a portrait of Shizuku as her birthday present. So she stayed up all night to do it and request Yukino to hide it from her. Thus they would never forget her birthday. Though Shizuku realized, she noticed that all that was a lie too.
 
That night Kanade asks Shizuku if she wants to take a bath with her but Shizuku prefers to do it on her own. Sakuya volunteers but is being snubbed. Shizuku asks Sakuya why she’s obsessed with Kanade and not Yukino. Initially Sakuya isn’t going to tell her until Shizuku bribes her with new photos of Kanade. She knows the trick too. We learn Sakuya’s birthday falls during school breaks so she rarely has friends to celebrate them. When Kanade heard this, she told her that at such times they have to change their way of thinking like saying happy birthday to one’s parents would be appreciated because on that day her dad and mom became parents so in a way it can be considered as their ‘birthday’. That’s the start of her admiration for Kanade and though she likes Yukino too, she doesn’t intend to view at them as twins. That night, Shizuku comes to sleepover with her sisters. She starts crying as she apologizes so they comfort her like how big sisters should. They promise to call every week but in return Shizuku has to attend school (she’s currently playing truant). Lastly she asks for a request in which to have the portrait not only with herself but with them as well. You could say that their relationship is patched back but I wonder how it would be like if Sakuya actually finds out the trio get to sleep together. Man, she’ll boil over. Thankfully she didn’t find out. The last scene is funny in the sense that we see the sisters happily trudging together in the snow while Sakuya falls flat on her face. Yeah, snubbed. Lastly a portrait with Shizuku and her sisters now sits on her drawer.
 
Episode 5
Kanade and Yukino are seen chatting with each other in the snow as Shizuku makes snow sculptures of what looks to be Sakuya. The scene suddenly changes to a warm summer grassy field and Yukino is a chibi fox character! Kanade lets her nibble her finger when Yukino asks if she has studied for her exams. That’s when Kanade woke up from her strange but embarrassing dream. Furthermore, sleeping Yukino is still sucking on her finger. Do they even share the same dream? Once they both wake up, Kanade wonders why she’s eating her fingers as cheese stick but Yukino can’t seem to remember so she doesn’t think so. But Kanade has proof and shows it with the shot she took with her handphone! Haha! Back at her! She doesn’t want to delete it too. In retaliation, Yukino threatens to send an embarrassing pic of her to Sakuya. As they tussle, a friend of theirs happens to open the door and see them in compromising position. The twins are chatting over lunch and once again stalker Sakuya appears. She’s going to get into trouble like that one of these days. So to get rid of her, Kanade throws her packet drink and just like an obedient dog, Sakuya chases after it. Later Kanade intends to go shopping alone for Yukino’s Valentine’s Day gift but the latter found out so she thanks her. Hey, notice a note on their room door stating the immoral couple they are!
 
In class, stalker Sakuya continues to stalk… So Yukino devises a plan which makes her go away. She told her how Kanade is having fever because of the huge amount of homework and exam preps after giving her their Valentine chocolates. At an expensive place, the twins share a chocolate cake, courtesy of the free coupon that Sakuya gave Yukino. There is only 1 coupon since Sakuya thought Yukino would be eating here alone so Kanade suggests to share. Yukino swipes a piece of chocolate cream with her finger and wants Kanade to eat from it. Yuri moment here. Uh huh. Sucking it real good. Later they go to a nearby chapel holding hands. Back in Sakuya’s room, though she laments she can’t be Kanade on Valentine’s Day, at least she got the pillow supposedly with Kanade’s smell all over that Yukino gave her. Yeah, she’s smothering her face all over it and fantasizing. Till she realizes a sour smell. Yeah, must be rotten egg. In the end, Yukino finds out that Kanade has more homework assignments to do, interrupting their plans to spend time together for the holidays. It seems the teacher doesn’t approve a sketch of Kanade’s. The one whereby she sketches Yukino as a chibi fox. No wonder. They’re not supposed to sketch fantasy matters and to think of all people, Kanade would sketch something like this. To be redone with extra 10 more sketches! Oh boy.
 
Episode 6
Kanade manages to redo and resubmit her work and to think that the teacher was really worried about her future. Since Yukino ‘advices’ her to plan her future, Kanade brings up the 7000 Yen she still owes her so she tries to give excuses but promises to pay back when she gets her next allowance. When Kanade learns that the pillow tainted with the egg is up for sale, she gives Yukino her usual cheek pulling punishment. Later the twins and Sakuya are discussing their new dorm rooms in the new building. Sakuya rants about hers with Kanade (some love nest she’s claiming) which is located at the top floor and is a huge room compared to the rest. Well, her dad’s company did make the building. Sakuya wants Kanade to stamp her approval on a form that will see Sakuya’s living-in dream come true. However to her shock, the twins have already submitted their forms long ago and tomorrow’s form acceptance is only for new residence. Sakuya is paralyzed in shock. Time for classes and the twins left. I don’t know why Kanade is obliged to take Sakuya along. Just leave her standing there lah! So much so Sakuya is pretty much ‘dead’ during her classes. Who wouldn’t after all that grand elaborated scheme comes crashing down at the last final moment.
 
The twins receive an SMS from Shizuku wanting them to return for spring break but Kanade intends to use that time to work so she is unable to fulfil her request. We see back in Shizuku’s home a large whiteboard which plots the dates of important events and she’s really looking forward to see her sisters. But when Kanade calls and tries to nicely tell her that she won’t be back, though Shizuku sounds okay with it, in reality she writes a big ‘DUMMY!’ on the whiteboard. Plans dashed. The twins talk about Kanade’s plan to enter prep school instead of an art college since she doesn’t want to add any financial burden or the fact she might not pass. Yukino says she wants to be with her forever so she plans to work part time so that she can help finance Kanade’s prep school fees and work hard together.
 
Episode 7
Kanade waits for Yukino to finish her part time cake selling job and remembers the time she told her how they’ll be together. Back in their room, Kanade is feeling gloomy and guilty because she thinks she is depending too much on Yukino. Plus, Yukino is juggling between her studies and work though she still puts on a happy face. Kanade worries that they will spend less time together like this. Next day while they are waiting for the train, Sakuya continues to shamelessly flirt with Kanade in front of the crowd. She is still keen on getting the same dorm room with Kanade. Then it hit her that she will graduate by that time so selfish Sakuya pleads for Kanade to fail a year! Real desperate. Even after school, Kanade continues to be gloomy so Yukino tries to cheer her up. After the duo come back from their errand, they are very surprised to see Shizuku waiting at their doorstep. Why is she here? Since the twins can’t come back, she decided to visit them. What about school? Holidays started early since they are remodelling the gym? How did she have enough money to come? She has her own savings unlike a certain twin sisters. Where will she be staying? With them in the dorm. Is that allowed? Permission granted from the president director who remembered her the last time she came. Ah, everything working out so well. Though Kanade is dreading it, at least she thanks her for coming, though at least she feel Shizuku should call so that they could pick her up. That night, Kanade continues to dread Shizuku’s weirdness. I mean, since she’s taking the upper bunk, she’s staring upside down from her bed at the twins like as though she’s that scary being from Ju-on! Shizuku wants to join them since it seems warmer but their bed isn’t that big. But when Kanade thinks of sleeping with her, Yukino kicks up a fuss that she’s leaving her. Ah, the dilemma. Thank goodness Sakuya doesn’t get to know all this…
 
But you know the next day as the sisters wait at the train station, Sakuya is particularly jealous that Shizuku is with them. She’s pissing off so much that she missed her train. Later in school Sakuya is bloody grateful after receiving a package from Kanade. Before Kanade leaves, Sakuya wishes for her to make up with Yukino since she’s in love with the normal Kanade. She thanks her. Oh, notice a long written notice on the twins’ room before the big highlighted words at the end: KNOCK, DAMN IT! Too much getting caught in the act, eh? Anyway Shizuku greets Kanade dumb onee-chan when she gets home because she finds out the reason why Yukino is working part time. It’s kinda odd to see a little sister lecturing her elder one. But when Kanade apologizes, Shizuku notes that she’s apologizing to the wrong person. Later Kanade meets up with Yukino and tells her what happened. She apologizes for depending on her and being too selfish, not looking out for others. So she suggests thinking their future together so that they can be together. As they eat some bread, Kanade tells Yukino that there is some crumbs on her lips so Yukino wants her to wipe it off. Kanade then swiftly kisses Yukino! OMG! Even Yukino is taken aback! Didn’t expect that, eh? Due to that ‘shock’, Yukino starts acting up. Yeah, back to normal. Lastly, we see the twins moving into their new dorm room albeit their bed is smaller than before, they both confess that they love each other. And yes, that annoying stalker Sakuya is outside their room fantasizing her usual stuff while trying to restrain herself from pushing to doorbell. Too late. Gave into temptation. Ding dong.
 
EX 01
Umm… Yeah… This is supposed to be an extra episode which is included in the DVD video before the release of the sequel ONA. This extra episode lasts only around 7 minutes and the setting is prior to the original ONA. So how far back? Not very far. It starts off with the newly arrived twins arriving at their new dorm before the start of their school semester. They are wondering if they have the right address because the dorm does not seem to live up to their expectations. Normal, that is. Especially Kanade who still can’t believe this is actually the dorm that they’ll be living in. So they go inside and check things out and you can tell from Kanade’s reaction that she isn’t going to like it while Yukino just accept and look at things at a different way. A small room with a bunk bed, no toilet, no kitchen, no living room and no dining room. Hey, what do you expect? So I guess this ‘shock’ is too much for Kanade as she goes a little ‘crazy’ watching the sparrows outside their room.
 
Yukino has Kanade come take a walk outside with her or else she has to do the boring job of unpacking. Erm… The river looks a little dirty… Well, what do you expect in the big city? They bought some ice cream at a store as Yukino sends some photos back to Shizuku via her handphone. After that, Yukino suggests going back to their room but Kanade still doesn’t like it. So Yukino says how she doesn’t mind the place as long as they could be together and wishes for Kanade to cheer up. With that, Kanade apologizes and feels better. Back in their room, Yukino loses her bet so she has to warm the bed but refuses. So she suggests that they both enter the bed together as it will be warmer that way. Kanade relents and agrees.
 
Yuri Candy
Zzzz… Oops, sorry. Almost fell asleep there. Okay, I’m not saying that this is a totally boring show that nearly put me to sleep (wait a minute, it nearly did). But I did mention earlier that this is indeed a yuri drama. Even with such an open ending, nothing really much happens. I mean, even if Kanade is facing a tough decision about her future path and her wish to forever be with Yukino, that intensity and suspense feels like it lacked any impact. In the end, they carry on with their lives and will take things one step at a time together.
 
The only hilarious part which ‘wakes’ me up is when Kanade punishes Yukino by pinching her cheeks. It’s kinda funny to hear Yukino squealing in her high pitched voice and receiving that painful punishment she deserves. Though Yukino may seem like the carefree and happy type as compared to a more serious and level-headed Kanade, I think it’s because of that Yukino is able to see what is important. It’s best to keep a smile and positive outlook albeit it makes her look like an air-head. Even if they are twins, their behaviour are obviously contrasting. I find Sakuya to be a very annoying character. Her outright lesbianism sometimes make me want to strangle her. She could have been like that Kanako from Maria+Holic. Just short of those incessant gushing nose bleeds and she’s in love with 1 girl rather than any of the whole same gender. Sometimes I’d rejoice when I see her receiving the short end of the stick like being tied up during the hometown trip or seeing her stunned when her plans failed. Forgive me if I sound like a sadist but that’s how I feel every time Sakuya displays her homo behaviour. Ah well, maybe that’s love.
 
Speaking of which I’m not sure if that kiss Kanade and Yukino shared could be considered a sisterly one rather than a lover’s type. I guess they are so close that they are used to doing things like holding hands in public. Note to myself: Do not attempt to watch anymore yuri themed animes because I just realized that such genre isn’t my cup of tea. Yeah, stick to my favourite love-harem-high-school-comedy. That’ll be just sweet.
 

Candy Boy 

I was surfing through the internet one day and to my surprise I stumbled upon an old series which I never knew had an OVA. It has been such a long time that I have watched Kashimashi – Girl Meets Girl so much so I actually have nearly forgotten that I have watched such a series in the first place. So it was quit a surprise to me when I saw Kashimashi – Girl Meets Girl OVA. And for the record, this 1 episode OVA has been released way back in October 2007. Now that feels like a very long time ago.
 
This is what I remembered about the TV series. Some guy named Hazumu is seeking refuge up the mountain after being rejected by the girl he likes. Somehow some alien spacecraft has to crash directly on to him. Feeling sorry, the alien in charge, Sora and his assistant, Jan-puu, reconstructed Hazumu’s body but the catch is that they reconstructed it as a girl! So everyone looks at him at a different light now. Especially Hazumu’s perverted dad who is fond of putting on some girly clothes or accessories and taking pictures of his ‘new daughter’ while mommy has to restrain him. Then of course the love triangle between Hazumu, Tomari and Yasuna. Thinking back, till today I still can’t make up my mind whether Hazumu is really a girl in his heart. Yeah, the series is definitely yuri. So for easier reference, I’ll refer to Hazumu as a she since well, he was once a boy and now looks and sound like a girl.
 
Thus the OVA is somewhat a continuation from the TV series and tries to explore and end the love triangle surrounding the trio. It has been 4 months since that incident and Christmas is just around the corner as the city is enveloped in white snow. We hear Tomari’s narration about some bond called destiny that will tie them together in some inevitable miracle. Tomari notices somebody throwing pebbles to catch her attention outside her room window and that person is Hazumu, who wishes to invite Tomari to a Christmas party. However Tomari snubs her so Hazumu just puts it in the letterbox.
 
Back home, Hazumu’s dad is once again his perverted self, snapping photos of Hazumu in a Santarina dress. Thankfully mommy is there to put a stop to it since Hazumu’s final exam is just around the corner. Weird thing is, mommy suggests Hazumu to put on a maid dress instead! No difference, eh? Hazumu’s male friend, Asuta comes by and is taken in by her dress. If I remember, that guy has a crush on his best friend ever since Hazumu turned into a girl. Soon Hazumu changes and goes to school together with Asuta, Yasuna and Ayuki. On the way, Asuta eavesdrops the girls’ conversation and fantasizes his own fantasy when Hazumu complains how their school uniform feels a little cold. Though he gets snapped out of it, he tries to give an excuse that he is a healthy high school boy, this level of fantasy is normal. Yasuna asks him what do normal boys think of since she isn’t familiar with that area so Asuta blushes and misinterprets that Yasuna may have a crush on him. Dream on!
 
In class, Hazumu notices that Tomari still continues to ignore her. Remember their homeroom teacher who always complain about whether she’ll meet her destined lover, Namiko? Yeah, she’s still lamenting her boyfriendless fate for 36 years and will be spending Christmas alone and even drawing a love umbrella between her and Sora on the window. Suddenly she sees Sora outside the window and tries to go after him. Of course she fell down the storey block. Haha! Now I remember that this tripping thingy is one of her unfortunate traits! Some things never change. Yasuna also spots Jan-puu outside the window. Later a friend of Yasuna reminds her about her flute solo for the Christmas concert. It seems she too is following the love triangle development but Yasuna says how she has freedom now and is okay being single for now before leaving to attend something. Yasuna goes to see Ayuki at the lab whereby they release the hatched butterflies into the greenhouse. They then talk about the relationship and Ayuki wonders if she’s getting off the stage. Yasuna mentions that she did tell Hazumu that she’ll be alright by herself, which is like rejecting her a second time but at least she has made her stand.
 
Meanwhile Hazumu and Asuta sees Tomari doing her track practice. Hazumu goes to ask about the invitation she sent to her for the Christmas party but Tomari totally ignores Hazumu’s existence and continue running. Namiko is watching from afar and is envious because you know of her case lah. But is that Sora coming up behind her? Anyway Tomari continues to practice till evening. Ayuki comes by to advice her not to push too hard. Then they talk about their feelings and Hazumu. It seems Tomari can’t forgive her for changing the one she loves so lightly so Ayuki advices her to go tell that feeling to Hazumu. Even Asuta gives his piece of advice on Hazumu’s troubled heart before she made the decision but was taken away by Ayuki. Tomari seems to be in a dilemma and troubled on what to do as Yasuna watches from afar, thinking back when she asked Hazumu a weird question if she likes Tomari but Yasuna answered her own question that she likes Tomari too and they both laughed.
 
Before the start of the Christmas party, Yasuna wonders if Tomari will show up or not. While Yasuna puts up a splendid performance, Tomari did not attend as she is doing a part time Christmas sales job. After the concert, Asuta is on his way to Hazumu’s home and fantasizing the kind of reaction Hazumu will display in gratitude for his Christmas present. Yeah, some perverted thoughts there. Don’t worry. This level of fantasy is normal… That is, until Yasuna spots him. Embarrassed, isn’t he? However Yasuna’s words are ambiguous because she tells him that she has been waiting for him and wonders if he has time after the Christmas party. Asuta thinks she is going to confess to him so he goes crazy for a while thinking about the what-if dilemma he has to choose between Hazumu and Yasuna. Yeah, dream on, pal! Actually what Yasuna and Ayuki want is Asuta’s cooperation. Soon Hazumu invites them into her home. Some party they have which of course has Hazumu’s dad continuing snapping all the way while the gang plays cards. Hazumu realizes that Tomari isn’t coming so Ayuki takes Asuta along and leaves early.
 
Tomari is in her room lying on her bed reading Hazumu’s Christmas party invitation when she gets the shock of her life seeing Ayuki standing on top of the bed in a Santarina outfit. Ayuki tells her to get ready but since she is still reluctant, Ayuki kidnaps her in a sack. With a little help from Jan-puu, Ayuki floats down out the window onto a cart peddled by the reindeer (it’s Asuta by the way. So that’s what they wanted him to do). They arrive at the shrine where Hazumu confronts Yasuna and wonders if she’s okay since she too likes Hazumu. Yasuna replies that she is now able to walk with her on her own thanks to Hazumu. A short flashback which has Yasuna telling Hazumu this and she doesn’t want that because she’ll end up relying on her kindness. Therefore she thinks she is the one who can make Hazumu happy and wants her to give Hazumu her honest feelings. After all that build-up and talk, Tomari isn’t just going to shrug it off her shoulder and turn back, isn’t she?
 
She walks up the stairs and finds Hazumu waiting. Another short flashback whereby Hazumu confessed that she likes Tomari and wants to be by her side. But Tomari did not give any answer and went away. So after a few more flashback clips, Tomari finally says that she will become Hazumu’s bride. Erm… Does she mean it as a girl to girl? Hazumu thanks her for her answer as they both embrace. Jan-puu then uses her magic and change Hazumu and Tomari’s clothes into a bridal outfit. She even puts up a mock wedding scenario. With Sora as the priest, he tells them to kiss as in exchanging their vows. And they did. It was weird for me to see 2 girls kissing. Oh well, it is a yuri anime after all. Then they all hop on the sleigh and fly through the beautiful night sky. Tomari’s final narration is about how no one realized a miracle that has rained down on this city. And that miracle is what people call love which makes everyone happy as such miracles exists deep down in everyone’s hearts. So I’m thinking their miracle is the yuri part? Unless you take into account love works in mysterious ways. At least they have found happiness in each other. Hey wait a minute. Isn’t that Sora and Namiko sharing a kiss? Yeah, she found her miracle too. It’s still funny to see Sora wearing that yellow alien jumpsuit.
 
So okay it did bring back some nostalgic memories while watching this OVA though ironically I can’t remember much of the TV series. Brings back memories especially of Namiko’s tripping, Yasuna’s inability to differentiate men in visual sense (which was cured at the end of the TV series), Hazumu’s perverted dad who can’t stop taking photos of him and Sora’s weird jumpsuit. If I remember well, those aliens left at the end of the TV series but my guess is that they’re back to see how their subject is doing. Haha, even they like watching love triangle drama. Just kidding.
 
One thing which raises my eyebrow is the opening theme song. Though it is the same theme that they use for the TV series, they played the entire full theme lasting over a good 4 minutes. While at it, they show several clips from the TV series itself. I can’t remember if the clips are part of the opening credits used for the TV series but when I started watching the OVA, I started going "Hey, isn’t this song a little too long for the opening". And when that’s over, approximately 5 minutes have already passed. No wonder the OVA is 27 minutes long. Not that there is anything wrong, but I wonder why they didn’t do the same for the ending theme too.
 
I wonder about the legal implications if they both decide to get marry. Well, Hazumu’s gender was recorded as a boy before he underwent that galactic sex change. Unless he did not change that registry, then legal wise, they are still considered husband and wife. If they ever really get married in the future, that is. Perhaps such a case would be easier and more acceptable in anime but in the real world… Oh heck. Tomari did say that love is miracle. Thank goodness I found that in anime. My first love and still going strong… So to speak, can I marry an anime character?
 

Kashimashi – Girl Meets Girl