Dokkoida?!

July 24, 2010

Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer. Sleeping with the enemy. It’s just right underneath your nose. Ah, all those statements rang oh so true if you’re watching Dokkoida?! A science fiction action comedy also known in Japan as Sumeba Miyako No Cosmos-sou Suttoku Taisen Dokkoida. Phew. Now that’s really a mouthful to pronounce if you’re not fluent enough in Japanese. So how does this show have got to do with the statements above? As far as I remember from the synopsis that I read, it’s about a bunch of superheroes and super villains who like in many genres like this engage in a never-ending battle between good and evil. But there is a twist. As we all know even superheroes and super villains have alter egos and normal lives, in this anime when they aren’t fighting each other, they are living together in harmony in the same house without knowing each other’s other identity! How ironic is that?! I suppose that’s where the fun is.
 
In the near distant future where contact between Earthlings and aliens are possible and with the advancement of technology, as usual we have a galactic force that keeps the peace of the universe, Galaxy Union Police (GUP). Well, sort of. The odd part for these uniformed guys is to enlist the help of toy companies to test power-suits that will help combat universal crime. Don’t laugh. Toys these days aren’t child’s play and are serious business, man. Why toy companies instead of the serious dedicated research team? My guess is that they can make side income if they ever needed and since that even aliens are otakus, at least this would quell their suspicions. Oh, who am I kidding?
 
As episode 1 opens, normal Earthling kid, Suzuo Sakurazaki is searching for a part time job in Nakasora City since his last one has gone bust but to no avail. A little alien girl in a weird outfit, Tanpopo, is looking for an unemployed person and spots Suzuo as the perfect candidate. Suzuo spots a kitten crossing the road and saves it but causes a traffic jam. Tanpopo then whisks him away. She is eager for him to put on a transforming belt and explains she is from a famous 10,000 year old universe toy company, Otankonasu Co. Wow! What a long history. Never heard of it! She shows a picture of what he would look like when transformed. Named Dokkoida and supposedly designed by her. Just like any normal people would, Suzuo suspects something is wrong so he declines and flees. An A-Level universal Criminal, Dr Maronflower and his giant bug robot wreck havoc on the city. While doing so, Suzuo tries to call for any available part time job vacancies but there are none so he thinks it’s the bad economy. I mean, who would offer him a job now since the city is under siege? No choice, he goes back to Tanpopo and agrees to her offer as she puts the belt on him. He transforms into Dokkoida! Some robot superhero in diapers! And you thought Superman was bad enough. What kind of design is this?!
 
Tanpopo wants him to beat up and arrest that criminal but he is devastated to learn his superhero role because he thought it was just a toy and the job was a toy tester. Not fit to fight, Dokkoida tries to escape while Maronflower attacks but is intercepted by Nerloidgirl and her pushy talking rabbit. They are supposedly from a rival toy company, Emerald Co. Maronflower is thrilled that they’re here because he intends to reveal their identities and be free. Nerloidgirl is soon taken out so Maronflower shifts his focus to Dokkoida. Not even pleas to pay for his house utilities and other expense could change his mind to fight. Since Dokkoida is still running away, Tanpopo decides to use her final strategy by guiding him to push some button on his diapers. Something about selecting some music and when played, its hypnosis will change his character due to some alphapha thingy. Indeed his character is now like all those heroes you see in sentai shows, not to mention his heroic talk too. He destroys the robot but Maronflower escapes. Tanpopo gets a call from her chief about the music chip not inserted into the diaper so she guess that Dokkoida must have simply drawn in by the rhythm himself. She pretends she didn’t hear that. At the end of the day, Tanpopo takes Suzuo to the inn that he’ll be staying at: Cosmos House, which is provided by GUP. Due to some rule of those involved in testing of power-suits, they can’t reveal their identities. So Tanpopo transforms into a little Earthling girl, Kosuzu, and lives with him as his little sister. At the same time, Maronflower needs to hide till they have their next plan figured out. So he and his robot assistant, Kurika, transform into Earthlings, Kurisaburo and Kurika Kurinohara and their relationship are grandpa and granddaughter respectively. Both sides meet face to face at the gate of Cosmos House. Suzuo and Kurisaburo have a feeling they’ve seen each other before but cast aside their doubts and shook hands to be good neighbours. See how fun all this is going to be?
 
Episode 2 starts with a flashy ad to recruit members into the GUP. Safe? High pay? All misinterpretation and lies! The jurisdiction chief of GUP, Mogumoggle is trying to hang himself due to some report that GUP is suffering embarrassing and heavy casualties from some Mars Squad Annihilation but was saved by his secretary, Ogiwara. Who says this job was easy? Mogumoggle and Ogiwara talk about Dokkoida and testing of the 2 power-suits to fight universal criminals. Back on Earth, Kosuzu cooks for Suzuo but her cooking is horrible. Is this what it’s called universal delicacy? Not very appetising. Suzuo eats it all after learning she puts lots of effort in it. Don’t worry, there’s more. *Puking*. They receive a fax of 2 escaped A-Level universal criminals who happen to crash nearby at a riverbank. They are an S&M whip-wielding perverted lady, Hyacinth and her S&M tied-up blindfolded slave, Pierre, and a magical girl princess, Edelweiss (OMG! It’s the voice of Rie Kugimiya!). The duo start quarrelling as soon as they land when Nerloidgirl arrives at the scene. They even bicker who should fight her! It’s settled via rock-scissors-paper and the victor goes to Hyacinth. She mercilessly whips Pierre to unleash some ultimate animal power stored inside him. Meanwhile Tanpopo and Dokkoida are on their way and come into Edelweiss. She shows her ability to create and control golem but it looked more cute than scary. Dokkoida softly punches it to send it crashing behind. Edelweiss picks herself up, trying hard to hold back her tears while maintaining she isn’t crying or defeated (acting like a little girl now, eh?) as she goes away (and trips!). Is she really an A-Level criminal?
 
Meanwhile Hyacinth revels in her new unleashed monster as Pierre transforms into a… little harmless koala?! Nerloidgirl easily disposes of them. Tanpopo and Dokkoida arrive late so a quarrel between rival toy companies ensues. Dokkoida tries to solve it like a gentleman but gets hit by Tanpopo’s harisen each time when she finally drags him away. Nerloidgirl reverts to her normal form, Asaka Nogiku, and feels she will meet Dokkoida again. She can count on that. But you know what? Outside Cosmos House, Suzuo and Asaka come face to face. It’s that sinking feeling of seeing each other somewhere before. But they cast their doubts aside, thinking it’s the fashion trend or just deja vu as they shook hands to be good neighbours. Feel like smacking yourself? That’s why I don’t blame Mogumoggle and Ogiwara who are dumbfounded that they can’t even tell each other out. But rest assured because according to GUP rules, if their identities of those involved are found out, the test will be cancelled. They didn’t recognize each other, right? Yeah. And why put Nerloidgirl in the same inn? Well, it’s more economical that way, says Mogumoggle. Hey, ever heard of a millionaire policeman? After some thinking, it occurred to me that the reason why our heroes and villains in this series keep fighting each other is because of this test project. Therefore, the villains are ‘let out’ of their cell in order for our heroes to fight and test their suits. Some contract this is.
 
Some residents of Cosmos House meet a new family that just moved in, The Umegis. A father, mother, baby Jiro and young daughter Ruri who seems to be bitter and runs away. Suzuo is still poor and can’t afford a decent meal (damn low GUP pay). He meets Ruri shaving apples at the park as she accidentally cuts her own finger. It seems her bitterness stems from her past whereby kids avoided and left her out in some game called ‘hana ichi monme’. Suzuo tries to be nice to her but she still acts up and runs away. She goes back home only to find Jiro (her parents were out looking for her) as she plays with his clay toy. You can safely say Ruri is the alter ego of Edelweiss because heck, it’s the voice of Rie Kugimiya! Later that night, Edelweiss and her giant clay golem unleash havoc on the city as she reminisces about her painful past whereby the kids too didn’t help her when she was bleeding to death. Nerloidgirl is there so a fierce battle commences. Tanpopo wants Suzuo to transform and beat the crap out of them but he runs away citing he needs training to be stronger. Chicken! Heck, he just doesn’t want to die. But after seeing some otaku guy crying his heart out to a girl named Riko buried underneath the rubble, Suzuo got his justice sense kicked in after mistakenly thinking Riko is innocent Ruri. It’s revealed that Riko is some anime blow-up doll of that otaku guy. Dokkoida goes to fight the menace and easily defeats it. Nerloidgirl is impressed and even says she might fall for him. Actually it was just the clay monster’s own blooper that caused it to be destroyed while Dokkoida was just scared stiff the moment he got squashed. Later Suzuo finds Ruri at the refuge shelter. He puts plaster on her finger and this causes her to cry aloud. You can say she takes a liking for him and even wants him to be her coach to cut apples! Ruri and her family soon happily reunite. That’s when Suzuo realizes she isn’t Riko. Meanwhile a starving lady, Sayuri Yurime, crawls her way to the front gate of Cosmos House and meets Kurika.
 
Many of the Cosmos House residents are frightened by a spooky ghost-like sound in the night in episode 4. Next morning, they try to see the inn manager but nobody has ever seen his face before so Suzuo concludes this place is haunted. However Kurika tells them that a woman has occupied a room supposedly where the ghost-like voice came from but the rest remembered the voice was of a man. Meanwhile Mogumoggle receives a message from the head chief of GUP and he isn’t pleased about the unfavourable report on Edelweiss. Besides always failing to remember Mogumoggle’s name, he warns to mole will be cleaning toilets if he fails this time. Suzuo and Kosuzu are watching GUP TV reports about Hyacinth and Pierre unleashing devastating attacks. Sadistic and hentai, if I should say. Suzuo decides to go out and buy lunch (don’t want Kosuzu to make, eh?) and sees ‘dying’ Sayuri on the way. She pleads for help and I guess her charms worked on Suzuo as he helps her. Since she is hungry, he takes her to a ramen shop and her enormous appetite has her gulping down bowls after bowls like nobody’s business. He’s already broke, you know. Revived Sayuri walks back with Suzuo as they meet Kosuzu, Ruri and Asaka. I smell catfight between Ruri and Sayuri over Suzuo.
 
Meanwhile Maronflower is disheartened that some simulation game called Chiuri-chan is sold out. He goes to find the culprit who bought the last game and finds it in the hands of Umegi Papa. They fight for the game. Yeah, men and their fantasies. With the rampage, Asaka and Ruri go off somewhere to transform so that they could protect their loved ones. Sayuri takes this chance to seduce Suzuo but Kosuzu’s pestering for him to transform snaps him out of it so he leaves. Sayuri is pissed that no man has ever rejected her advances and takes it out on Pierre who happen to come by. Dokkoida, Tanpopo and Nerloidgirl arrive to face Maronflower but Edelweiss soon appears followed by Hyacinth-Pierre. Hyacinth imposes sadistic pain on Pierre so he could transform into a menacing space sabre tooth tiger but he turns out into a harmless seal. She kicks him away in her fury and with that the villains all retreat but vow to be back. Mogumoggle has resigned to his fate as a toilet cleaner when chief calls him. Seems he is interested in the developments of Cosmos House with its various weirdoes and plans to use the special 24 hours surveillance and coverage as exchange info with the media. So for now the mole’s job is safe. As for the rest of the Cosmos House residents, they’re still having sleepless nights over that spooky voice. Has to be that masochist Pierre lah. Who else? And if you didn’t notice by now, Sayuri has to be Hyacinth.
 
Being broke and not having a decent meal still bugs Suzuo in episode 5. That’s why it’s a sin to be poor. So he bugs Kosuzu for an allowance raise but gets an earful. He wants to take up a part time job but is reminded those testing the suits can’t do so under some contract rule. On a day when Dokkoida fights the usual A-Level villains with Nerloidgirl, he is disheartened to learn the baddies even got allowance from GUP! High ones! They use it to make better enhancement for their evil contraptions. They start comparing allowances and even Nerloidgirl hints she’s getting a high one too! So much so they call off the fight! Dokkoida rushes back home to pester Kosuzu about the double standards and demands a raise but she doesn’t give in. Suzuo sees Kurisaburo and Kurika earning lots of cash by selling their inventions to the public at high prices and even Sayuri-Pierre get to eat at places for free. Then he spots Umegi Papa who isn’t doing too well and is down on his luck so Suzuo gets motivated to work harder. That is, to go on a strike till Kosuzu gives in but as usual she doesn’t give a sh*t. Suzuo gets an idea by turning Dokkoida into an anime and earn copyright money and starts practicing an ultimate move. Though lame and unsuitable, he keeps trying. Tanpopo watches from afar and notes how hard he is trying and negotiates with her chief for his allowance raise. Dokkoida does several part time jobs including cooking, babysitting and public bath house guarding to earn enough money to afford a decent meal. Before he could sink his teeth in, his university buddies take him away on a blind date. To his horror, he learns his blind date is Asaka so she takes him on a drinking spree from one place to another till he’s drunk. Kosuzu waits for Suzuo to return and when he finally does with Asaka, she gladly tells him she successfully got him a raise. But Asaka misinterprets that he needed money for blind dates so Kosuzu also misinterprets and learns he did part time jobs thus cancelling his allowance. What a bad day. So near yet so far. Destined to always be poor.
 
The heroes and villains are in their usual battle in episode 6 but the hot summer has their suits overheating so they decide to call a truce. WTF?! The rabbit then suggests going to a gorgeous pool in the next town as everyone starts having their own fantasies. Dokkoida calls to find out the entrance fee but it’s too expensive. Thus everyone pool their money and decide to race. The winner gets to go to the gorgeous pool with the money enough for only 1 person. Dokkoida, Nerloidgirl and Maronflower are in the lead as Maronflower unleashes destructive beams to take out the competition and at the same time destroying the city. In the end, Nerloidgirl uses her ultimate move to silence Maronflower and Dokkoida but her power-suit malfunctioned and went out of control, destroying the gorgeous pool. Soon after, in their Cosmos House residents form, they decide to go to a cheaper but crowded public pool (what a coincidence all of them are there). Ruri wants Suzuo to teach her swimming but got Kosuzu as her demon coach instead. Sayuri has all the perverted men as her servants while Maronflower tries to hit on several young ladies. Then they see an ad about a team swimming competition and the prizes include those that they yearn for. They transform into their alter egos to enter the tournament and are surprised to see each other (duh!). They agree to work together for the race as Hyacinth whips Pierre to turn him into a vicious beast but he turned into a cute octopus instead. The race starts with Dokkoida first up but his heroic introductory speech was too long so he started late. And when he does, he did some super dive and got stuck at the pool’s bottom. Safe to say, they didn’t win because everyone has left and he’s still stuck there. How heartless. That night, Kosuzu gets a rude awakening when Dokkoida suddenly appears as she starts screaming when his power-suit starts leaking out water.
 
The Cosmos House residents are making their wish upon a shooting star in episode 7 as Suzuo wonders what Kurika’s wish is. Suzuo’s mom called and it seems she knows who Kosuzu is as the latter admits they did some mind altering thingy. Mommy sends them both new yukatas for the festival. As Kurika talks to Maronflower about the festival, she finds out he is inventing some machine that would reveal Dokkoida and Nerloidgirl’s identities without fighting at the festival. Suddenly an explosion occurs and it destroys the entire inn. The next thing Kurika knows, she wakes up in a field and finds Suzuo a little kid and she is his teacher. As they walk on, Kurika spots a tunnel and gets startled. Faint memories of the explosion came back but nothing more. Walking through the end of the tunnel, they appear in a zoo. Kurika gets startled to see Pierre and Sayuri but they run away. Suddenly the scene changes to outside the school. A bunch of kids are bullying young Asaka. They tease Kurika but soon leave. She consoles Asaka before the latter goes home. She spots Ruri sitting in the classroom and when she draws open the curtain, she’s in a spaceship dressed in a futuristic outfit with Tanpopo.
 
Another sudden change of scene as she sees young Maronflower battling young Suzuo with his dinosaur robot. The robot goes haywire as Kurika acrobatically saves everyone and ultimately got blown up with its self destruction mode in the sky. Several confusing scenes like Kurika finds her robot form staring at the starry sky in the fields. Next thing she knows, she is sitting beside Suzuo’s mom at the festival. She is grateful that she looked after her son and intends to send a new yukata as gratitude. Suzuo shows Kurika a pretty glowing ball and when she touches it, she finds herself back in normal time with the other Cosmos House people. Suzuo gives her a yukata he got from mommy via mail delivery. There is even a letter of thanks to Kurika for being a good acquaintance at the festival. Kurika is brought to tears as everyone gets startled but she is actually shedding tears of joy. Everyone soon wear their yukata and prepare to head to the festival except for Maronflower who is being tied up in his room. Kurika narrates her dream and wish is to live happily along with everyone else in Cosmos House. So did that meeting with Suzuo’s mom real? Did she go back in time? And was that explosion just an illusion? Do robots even dream? Whatever it is, I’m glad Kurika know what’s important to her although she may be an evil scientist’s assistant.
 
After watching a TV drama about forbidden love (siblings that aren’t blood related making love, etc) in episode 8, the girls of Cosmos House start having their suspicions because they have a pair that closely fulfils that condition close to home. Especially Kosuzu. Her mind is going wild with the doubts, suspicions and maybes. Her reaction like blushing and jumping the gun of what Suzuo might do to her during meal and bed time but that guy is so oblivious to what’s happening that you wonder if it’s a good or bad thing. Next day, the other girls spy from afar. This sister love thingy doesn’t go down well with Sayuri and Ruri since they think they’re more charming and beautiful themselves. Perasan betul. Asaka dismisses it but Maronflower strongly disagrees as he explains the technicalities of onii-chan-imouto-love (must be playing too much of these games). The desires that all men dream of! He even demonstrates by playing his imouto-moe themed game, 13 Sisters! Sister Princess parody! Ruri and Sayuri get motivated to do what it takes to make Suzuo theirs. When Suzuo returns, Ruri and Sayuri in a sailor and frilly Victorian outfit respectively go to great lengths to woo Suzuo with their dramatic over-the-top embarrassed-like sister-moe acting. Of course they fail as that guy is too blur and they even went to refer to their 13 Sisters guidebook! Kurisaburo lends Suzuo his 13 Sisters game to Suzuo. Kosuzu is horrified to see Suzuo being hooked playing the game and her suspicions increase further.
 
That night, she can’t sleep because she’s in a dilemma if Suzuo is that kind of person when she spots a cockroach and lets out a blood curling scream. The other residents barge in and to their horror find the siblings in a compromising position, confirming their fears about his imouto fetish. Panic Kosuzu nervously explains the truth but the rest don’t seem convinced. The next thing the siblings know, Edelweiss, Hyacinth and even Nerloidgirl are taking out their frustrations on the city. Dokkoida and Tanpopo appear to battle but the ladies ask him if he has a sister. Confused, he answers "Sort of". This makes them even more upset so Dokkoida gives them his heroic lecture that sisters are important as they’re part of the family. The ladies realized and feel relieved as they happily withdraw, thinking that is natural and Suzuo don’t have the guts to go after a girl. This leaves Dokkoida even more confused. Later, Kurisaburo and Kurika are watching a TV drama about forbidden teacher-student love. Onegai Teacher parody!
 
Episode 9 begins with a flashback of a lady being left behind by her love. Kosuzu initially refuses a request from Mogumoggle to find the universe’s number 1 actress but changes her mind since her evaluation is on the line and if she refused, the part will go to Emerald Co. That actress, Marilyn Mororoe appears in front of their doorstep asking for an address. She intends to take a break from acting and stay with the siblings who will also have to protect her. Marilyn seems to know Suzuo is Dokkoida. After they tour the city, they have a party with other Cosmos House residents at the park. Except for Kurika who is sent by Kurisaburo on an errand. Marilyn disguises herself as Mariyama Moroko as she and Kosuzu agree to keep their real identities a secret. They each take turns to do lame performances like Asaka’s drinking, Sayuri’s chopstick-breaking-breasts, Suzuo nearly revealing he is Dokkoida in some impersonation act and Ruri-Kosuzu duet. Later Marilyn meets up with Kurisaburo and it’s revealed that she came here to see him. She loved him and has always. She reveals she became a famous actress so that the ex-space pirate could know where she was and would come get her 1 day but he got captured by GUP (also that flashback in the beginning). She is willing to abandon everything and elope with him to anyway but that guy isn’t interested. Suddenly Maronflower’s ex-pirate gang members Same Shark appear to kidnap Marilyn. Kurisaburo does nothing and allows her to be taken away.
 
Kosuzu is looking for Marilyn but spots her being kidnapped and calls forth Dokkoida. He goes into action but his pathetic and feeble punch did nothing to the mothership and got blasted away by the engines. Mogumoggle contacts the other power-suit users and reveals info about Marilyn and to go rescue her. That’s because she’s to announce her engagement to some millionaire called James in 2 days so Same Shark gang was here to kidnap her for a ransom. However they couldn’t keep up with their pace as the pirates head into space. They are confronted with Maronflower who is in their way and an epic battle ensued. In the end, lots of wreckage and debris in space as Maronflower and Marilyn meet one last time on the moon. Maronflower tells her he isn’t the same pirate he used to be but Marilyn sees nothing wrong and that he is a kind person despite his appearance and is willing to follow him all the way. However he called the police and just like deja vu, Marilyn relives her painful past of being abandoned once more. In tears, she bids him farewell. I feel bad for her. Perhaps Maronflower too loved her deep down but just don’t want to drag her into all this mess.
 
Mogumoggle is drowning his sorrows at a bar in episode 10. His life is screwed. This was what happened. The GUP chief, thinking of increasing GUP’s popularity agrees to do a 24 Hour Close Surveillance reality TV on Cosmos House (like The Truman Show). Plus, he wants Mogumoggle to make sure everything doesn’t get busted. Tough, isn’t it? Mogumoggle disguises as Cosmos House’s manager. The TV stations led by Takeda (he’s got shaky legs?) starts filming the unsuspecting ladies of Cosmos House. Ambiguous close-ups and shots that send all those perverted otaku alien into nose bleeding and swooning frenzy over the moeness. Beware those numerous little alien cameramen! They’re everywhere! The ladies suspect they’re being watched but can’t pinpoint because the aliens are good in hiding. The station’s rating goes up to… 20%! Then it hit over 30% after showing Sayuri’s sexy and sadistic ways over Pierre. Is this what we all want to see?! Suzuo on his way back picks up a lottery setup by Mogumoggle and wins the grand prize to the hotspring (all-you-can-eat meals included). The catch is he has to bring along 8 people, 5 girls and 3 guys. WTF?! The Cosmos House residents fit that criterion! More hidden filming on the gang like on the train to the hotspring (Mogumoggle impersonating as a waitress) at the place itself (now as an inn hostess). The ladies think how familiar the impersonators look like their inn manager but dismiss it. As they soak in the hotspring, Kurisaburo turns into a dirty old man and decides to drill a hole to peep into the women’s section. The cameras are closing up on the ladies and the moment everyone is waiting for when suddenly they see Kurisaburo’s ‘little buddy’! Instant protests and calls of utmost dissatisfaction flood the station! Instant plunge in ratings!
 
Takeda has a plan to revive his ratings. Mogumoggle receives orders from his chief to impersonate as Maronflower so that Dokkoida and Nerloidgirl could show up and fight. Why him? Well, the chief blames him for not putting hidden cameras in the hotspring and this is ‘affecting’ his image at GUP. Some chief. Mogumoggle does so in a badly designed and flawed robot and tries to draw out the heroes. However jet fighters came instead and fired every darn missile at him, taking out the cameras too. As for the gang, they’re busy eating to even notice the ruckus outside. The food must be yummy. With the ratings plunged, Takeda’s hippopotamus chief tells how their sponsors have pulled out and punishes him by banishing him to some freezing bureau. GUP’s chief is blaming Mogumoggle that his failure has embarrassed him. But the mole snaps after he constantly mispronounces his name as Ogiwara tries to restrain him. The Cosmos House residents are back and wonder where their inn manager has gone to as they also notice how peaceful today is. It’s better for them not to know all that has happened. For their own good. Ignorance is bliss!
 
The heroes and villains in their usual slugfest when Maronflower’s robot threatens to fall on a harmless kitten in episode 11. Dokkoida saves it and earns the respect from both sides. Mogumoggle and Ogiwara are showing the results of both power-suits of the toy companies to a panel of judges which include his chief. However, Senator Woodpeck dismisses everything before he could finish and decides to put for his Judge Gear Project and Osabaki M5 to show them the true meaning of heroism and that this test is just a decoy for it. Suzuo, Kosuzu and Asaka are being contacted by GUP chief saying that their power-suit test is terminated. Ogiwara trying to restrain unsatisfied Mogumoggle in the background. Asaka too isn’t happy with the outcome and feels they’ve been messed around while a melancholic atmosphere befalls on the Cosmos House. Even the baddies are being told by GUP about this. That means it’s back to their jail cells. The Umegi family plans to move out and back to their countryside and work in their parent’s field since Umegi Papa’s company folded while Kurisaburo and Kurika plan to move to England. That night, everyone has a big farewell party as Suzuo can’t hold back his tears (and his vomit soon after). Next day, most of them have left. Suzuo talks to Kosuzu about her future plans when she whips out a memory-erasing gun. All those related to the test must have their memories erased. Suzuo is against it after all the memories and time spent together. But teary and reluctant Kosuzu eventually pulled the trigger. Suzuo finds himself alone in his room and goes about with his normal life as with Asaka.
 
Tanpopo returns to her toy company and working with her chief when beaten-up Mogumoggle stumbles in. He notes that only Dokkoida can save the galaxy. A group of militia storm into the building to take them hostage but Tanpopo escapes. When Suzuo comes back, he is surprised to see a badly bruised and weary Tanpopo but cannot recognize her. She tells how Mogumoggle did some research and revealed Osabaki’s ability to hack into systems and their plot to overthrow the government with the army, GUP and Woodpeck on its side via coup d’etat. She doesn’t think Suzuo will forgive her if his memories come back but he is her only hope and the only one she can rely on. She wishes for Dokkoida to come back and fires her gun to regain his memory but only fire blanks. She collapses but not till she calls him "onii-chan", Suzuo starts to regain those memories. GUP surrounds Cosmos House as Asaka rushes into Suzuo’s room to tell him to make a run for it. To her surprise she sees Dokkoida with Tanpopo in his arms and thinks he is Suzuo. But he denies and asserts that he is Dokkoida.
 
In episode 12, the news reports Tanpopo as a spy, traitor and a disgruntled employee of a terminated project. They also reveal Suzuo as the suspect behind Dokkoida. Dokkoida takes on the GUP but some barrier restrains his powers. That’s when the villains (after breaking out of their cells) appear to aid him. They realize Dokkoida’s real identity and can’t help feeling like a fool in some ways but Dokkoida is still blur and thinks his Cosmos House neighbours are dressing up as the villains! The baddies note that they are not here to help Dokkoida as criminals but as neighbours of Cosmos House. Woodpeck orders GUP’s withdrawal and initiates Osabaki (hundreds of laser guns in space) to obliterate the terrorists. The gang regroup inside Cosmos House and plan to take down Woodpeck by heading towards his Osabaki operation factory to gather his criminal evidence. How are they going to do it? It seems Cosmos House also doubles as a mighty spaceship! Woodpeck isn’t pleased as Mogumoggle prays for the universe’s final hope. The ship is taking lots of damage from the Osabakis so Maronflower and Kurika do a kamikaze to take out the main Osabaki server which will also cease the rest (something about saving costs – even bad guys are poor too). They finally reach the space factory. Hyacinth surprisingly gives Edelweiss words of encouragement to go on but they too soon succumb to their injuries in order to buy Dokkoida and Tanpopo time to reach the central area. Suddenly Woodpeck finds himself surrounded by Mogumoggle, Ogiwara and the GUP. Seems Ogiwara played along and recorded every careless speech he made. The one which reveals how he’ll rule the universe and is the law himself is solid proof for his downfall. Don’t people like him ever learn? No wonder the good guys always win in the end.
 
Dokkoida and Tanpopo reach the main room and battle tons of Osabakis. The news warns everyone watching to take refuge from Osabakis’ invasion. But everyone (especially the kids) eventually stay put because they believe Dokkoida will win and cheer him on. Tanpopo reveals that the alphapha music that powered him was misconstructed in the first place and it was himself all along. But she believes he had it in himself and feels she has chosen the correct person. Dokkoida is also glad he took up this part time job or else he won’t be able to meet all those wonderful people. That’s when they see Asaka as she reveals and transforms into Nerloidgirl. Seems her rabbit did her a favour by locking up their boss so that she can go help out. Or maybe the rabbit just want the universe to know it’s his power-suit design that saved the world. Together Dokkoida and Nerloidgirl combine their powers and finish the job. In the end, peace returned to the universe as Tanpopo, Suzuo and Asaka are awarded with the highest honour and treated as heroes of the universe. Suzuo has a request. That is, to continue living with the other residents of Cosmos House. Yup, the ‘villains’ are beamed down at the gate of Cosmos House and their happy days continue. Tanpopo is motivated to do her best even if it’s making bigger and better breakfast.
 
Oh yes. I love such a happy ending. But something at the end feels missing. Are the Umegi family going to move back too? Ruri is there but not her other family members. It would have been complete if they do but I guess on harsh times they have to go back to their countryside. And maybe if everything goes well in the end, hopefully they will rejoin the rest back at Cosmos House. So with everyone now living happily, I’m wondering if the project to test the power-suits is on. Even if they do, it won’t be effective since their identities are known. Besides, that rule of staying anonymous has been broken, right? Maybe Tanpopo will continue to be an employee of her toy company and design more toys from Cosmos House. But given some of the broke nature and cost-saving measure issues brought up in this series, I’m wondering if it’s a long sustainable and profitable business in the first place. But as we eventually learn, money is no substitute for companionship as Suzuo will come to realize that. Oh, who am I kidding? Money is everything! Money is justice! If not, why even house heroes and villains together, right?
 
The ironic part is how the villains are eventually the good guys and the ones supposed to uphold justice of the universe are ultimately the villains. To modify a saying, if you fight a villain more than enough times, the villain becomes your friend. Just like in shonen mangas and animes, eh? It’s funny to see Dokkoida spewing his heroic lines of justice every time he makes his appearance. They may sound morally right but it can be downright annoying if he does that every time. Not to mention many of his skills are useless. It’s also hilarious every time Kosuzu keeps Suzuo in line (at least from her perspective) by hitting him with a harisen. It’s like they’re like a manzai comedy duo, eh? I suppose Suzuo has no qualms about everyone loving to gather in his room. So it’s going to get even livelier than before. He’s got a sexy babe and a little kid fighting for his love not to mention a third one, Asaka coming into the picture. Well, she did admit in the final episode that she really could fall for him but I’m not sure if she’s serious or not. I mean, that guy is so kind to ‘lend’ her his fridge to stock up her beer cans so that she could come over and get drunk. A thing about Suzuo that quirked me was his t-shirt. Notice the Dokkoida face on it? It changes each time reflecting Suzuo’s expression and actions. Everyone should’ve got a hint that Suzuo is Dokkoida by that. Yeah, even Tanpopo is careless not to see this one. Haha. Maybe they didn’t bother much of this t-shirt design because it’s just well, a design. Hey, it’s by a toy company, right?
 
Kurisaburo may be an ex-pirate and a brilliant mad scientist but he’s got like another personality. And that is to like playing simulation games in which everyone would only think typical otakus would touch. A guy will always be a guy. Kind hearted Kurika must be some sort of a super artificial intelligence because she even develops thoughts and emotions as the series progresses that Maronflower doesn’t remember programming her for. So another question. How in the first place do these criminals get A-Level rank? Perhaps the same reason why the GUP may seem all powerful and righteous but just as useless and pathetic as the villains themselves. For instance, Pierre can never transform into a menacing beast Hyacinth hopes for (except in the final episode). Does he really have all those ferocious beast stored in him in the first place? I think it all cancels out each other. Can we trust a bunch of useless enforcers to protect the galaxy but at the same time a bunch of villains who aren’t so bad themselves? Yeah, it’s going to be such a peaceful universe. Mogumoggle isn’t so bad himself once you get to know him but rather his chief. I wonder if he has learned his lesson. Or more importantly, got that mole’s name correct.
 
I love the opening theme by Psychic Lover, Itsumo Te No Naka Ni. It is a very lively and catchy rock piece. I can’t help myself do a little jiggle every time the opening song is played. The ending theme may not be as attractive to me, the pop piece of Chikyuu Merry Go Round by Kana Ueda. The drawing and art of the ending credits animation here are like in sketchy-art on the Cosmos House residents. The next episode previews are nonsensical ranting that doesn’t really tell what the next episode is about. At least not directly. Seeing that this is a year 2003 production, the animation and art are of course of that time and aren’t anything to shout about. There are some fanservice elements in this series but they are considered mild and nothing provoking. Unless this is your first time seeing such skin.
 
So if you think Superman looks embarrassing with his red underwear outside or some female superhero wearing her lingerie out to battle, wait till you see Dokkoida’s diapers. If you think that there’s something wrong in the design, maybe it’s to make villains laugh and lose concentration so the good guys can swoop in for the win. And for you grownups who think toys are strictly for kids, those little plastic plaything play a great part in enhancing your child’s creativity and ingenuity. Whether it turns out effective and useful or not is a totally different story. Toys can serve as a model for greater future inventions! And if you ask me would I take up a low paying part time job to test a particular toy, well that depends. If it involves ‘checking out and thorough examination’ of figurines or test playing eroges and H-games, maybe I’ll consider it. As long as it doesn’t involve wearing diapers to save the world. Yeah, Dokkoi!
 

Dokkoida

Must be a trend if I’m feeling bored, eh?. Yup. Due to that, once more I decided to do a little versus to kill a little time. Should I be watching some anime if I’m bored? Since I’m not a total otaku, I can’t be staring at the idiot box 24/7. Bad for my eyes. Heck, it isn’t better either since I’m facing the computer monitor. Anyway this time’s versus blog pits against two animes adapted from the classical Chinese literature, Gensoumaden Saiyuki (Saiyuki) and Asobotto Senki Goku (Asobotto). Not that I remember much from both series since I watched them pretty long time ago and it’s not like I watched every single episode of it. So yeah, may not be comprehensive but what the heck. It was just to pass the time. So be pleased to note that this won’t be as long as a novel or last even a couple of minutes.

Alternate name
The other name given for the anime series.
Saiyuki: Paradise Raiders. (Huh?! WTF?!).
Asobotto: Monkey Typhoon. (At least this sounded better).


The world setting
Saiyuki: Humans and demons once lived together in harmony but that peace was shattered when the demons started attacking humans.
Asobotto: A thousand years in the future, due to a virus called Destruction (how aptly named), a large part of the world has been reduced to uninhabitable desert wasteland, threatening both humans and asobots on the brink of extinction.

The travelling heroes
Our main group of heroes (or anti-heroes) on a journey.
Saiyuki: Genjo Sanzo, Son Goku, Sha Gojo and Cho Hakkai.
Asobotto: Sanzo, Goku, Joe, Tongo and Suzie.

Their race
Most of them aren’t exactly humans.
Saiyuki: Except for Sanzo, the rest are youkais (demons) whether they are former humans or born half-human.
Asobotto: Except for Suzie, the rest are asobots, a form of robots (derived from blending words, association and robots together).

The monk
As we can see that both Sanzos share the same name and are based on their Chinese counterpart, Xuan Zang. But the Sanzo in Saiyuki is an anti-hero, meaning he isn’t the kind who opens to anyone, cold, short tempered and couldn’t care less, though he provides rational thinking. He wields a gun and sometimes uses his Manten Sutra as his weapon. For the Sanzo in Asobotto, awakened from his thousand year slumber, he is like what most typical good guys are. Plays big brother to Suzie and wields a magic harmonica that can power up his comrade asobots during battles.

The monkey
You can’t have a Journey to the West story without the main monkey as both characters are based on their Chinese counterpart, Sun Wu Kong. Saiyuki‘s Goku was found by Sanzo when the former was in prison, though the latter had no intentions of looking after him but takes him in since he had nowhere to go and that he was probably calling out to someone with all his heart. Asobotto‘s Goku on the other hand was forced by Sanzo to go on a quest. Both wield a staff as their weapon and I believe both of them also act like monkeys. They may not be fooling around all the time but they aren’t exactly the gentlemen kind either. And of course, just like good guys, their sense of principles and all that, bla bla bla.

Gojo VS Joe
Both are based on their Chinese counterpart, Sha Wu Jing. But unlike Asobotto’s Joe who needs water (lots of them) to survive, Saiyuki‘s Gojo dislikes them especially swimming. Gojo’s weapon is Shakujo in which its connecting chains can extend and fight enemies at a distance. Asobotto‘s Joe’s weapon is Feather Sword and he powers up to change it to Feather Blade after collecting 6 keys.

Hakkai VS Tongo
Both are based on their Chinese counterpart, Zhu Bai Jie. Saiyuki‘s bespectacled Hakkai is a former human turned youkai while Asobotto‘s Tongo is a big fat cat with an eye-patch. Hakkai fights using his energy blasts from his palm via chi powers while Tongo has a weapon called Chain Hammer.

Their mission
The objective of the group or else it will be redundant if they’re just roaming and bumming around, right?
Saiyuki: To travel west and stop the revival of the demon king Gyumaou.
Asobotto: To stop the destruction of the world by collecting the 49 legendary keys to unlock the Twin Headed Dragon Door.

Antagonists
Supposedly the baddies of this series. You can’t call good guys good when you don’t have bad guys, right?
Saiyuki: Gyokuman Koushou (who seeks to revive Gyumaou), Kougaiji and his team (consisting of Dokugakuji, Yaone and Lilin) and the heretical forbidden child of a god and human Homura and his henchmen.
Asobotto: Professor D (who seeks to find all the 49 keys for his sinister plan), The Quartet (consisting of Casper, Marty and Marie), Dobberman King and sisters Mion and Shion who later defected to joining Goku’s group.

Transforming animals
Saiyuki: Hakkai’s little white dragon, Hakuryuu can transform into a jeep and provide the quartet transportation over their journey.
Asobotto: Goku’s Skywalker is a robot horse while Mion’s Saachi is a weasel that can transform into a hoverboard and Shiyon’s parrot can turn into a walkie-talkie.

In the end
What happened to our heroes and the future in store for them.
Saiyuki: After defeating Homura, the gang continue to travel west.
Asobotto: After all the keys have been collected, Goku and co choose to go back to the past.

Drawing and art
Refers to the visual art of the characters.
Saiyuki: Leans more towards bishonen.
Asobotto: Leans more towards cute and kawaii.

Number of episodes
Saiyuki: The original TV series ran for 50 episodes in year 2000. It has spawned several OVAs (Saiyuki Reload: Burial and Saiyuki: Kibou No Zaika), TV remakes (Saiyuki Reload and Saiyuki Reload Gunlock) and a film (Saiyuki: Requiem) between 2001 and 2007. Must be that popular, eh?
Asobotto: The original TV series ran for 52 episodes in late 2002 and that’s it. Not that popular, eh?

Opening and ending themes
Saiyuki: The original TV series has 2 opening themes (For Real and Still Time, both by Hidenori Tokuyama) and 2 ending themes (Tightrope by Charcoal Filter and Alone by Mikuni Shimokawa).
Asobotto: There are 2 opening themes (Beside You: Boku Wo Yobu Koe by BoA and Wo Ai Ni by dream) and 4 ending themes (I Wake Your Love and Burning Dance both by m.o.v.e., Kasumi Yuku Sora Se Ni Shite by Janne Da Arc and Lolita Strawberry In Summer by SweetS) and a special ending theme called Asobotto Senki Goku No Sekai for the final episode.

Conclusion
From a glance, it looks like Saiyuki would fare better than Asobotto in terms of just about everything. Partly because I have seen more of Saiyuki episodes as compared to Asobotto. I’m sure there are more anime adaptations of the classical Chinese literature but if you really want to know more and is interested, it is better to go read to original real deal. Besides, there are countless adaptations into films, novels, television series (especially those Taiwan productions) and even games. So remember, it’s the journey that matters and not the final destination. Just like life itself. Hmm… Now that I am no longer bored, maybe I should resume my journey of watching animes.

Gensoumaden Saiyuki Asobotto Senki Goku

Man, I never thought this series would be continued let alone finished. That’s because when veteran mangaka Rumiko Takahashi decided to conclude her long running series Inu Yasha back in mid 2008, I guess it is right and timely for the producers to finish the anime as well. After a 5 year lapse, Inu Yasha: The Final Act is all set to tantalize viewers and fans to bring this series to a close.
 
One thing to note for newbies who wish to hop in and watch this series, you’re going to get confused if you have no background knowledge or watched its prequel. Yup, this sequel relies heavily on all that knowledge fans and viewers who have read and watched the TV anime so do yourself a favour if you want to understand things better by doing some reading or retro watching. Because of that, the sequel gets straight to the point and does away with filler episodes. Meaning, you get intense developments and plots all compact into 26 episodes of non-stop action and drama. Better than lasting for 167 episodes, right? Right. Thus this final act covers the remaining chapters of the manga and stays true to it.
 
For the uninitiated, a short recap on what this series is about. It’s about some middle high school girl, Kagome, who is able to travel back to the feudal era via her family shrine’s well. She gets entangled in a battle over a little piece of jewel called Shikon Jewel that supposedly grants great powers, rule the world, you know, that kind of stuff. And of course she travels across the land to find the broken pieces of jewel shards with our half-youkai (demon) Inuyasha, a cursed but lecherous monk Miroku, demon slayer Sango and her flying pet cat Kirara and puny fox youkai Shippou. Add in lots of characters and battles and you have one heck of a first season. And the last time the series ended, the jewel is near completion and in the hands of the series’ main bad-ass guy Naraku.
 
Enough of the retro stuff so let’s skip to the first episode in this sequel. Naraku’s detachments, Hakudoushi and Gouryoumaru are making a pact with Kagura against Naraku to collect all the Shikon shards. Kagome returns to the feudal era with Inuyasha but is attacked by Hakudoushi as he steals her shard. Likewise Sesshoumaru’s group is looking for Naraku’s heart. Kouga faces off with Mouryoumaru but the latter retreats after barely escaping from a scared arrow shot courtesy from Kikyo. Kohaku on a demon hunt comes face to face with Kagura. As they fight, Kagura reveals she knows Naraku’s heart’s whereabouts but wants Kohaku dead. However she tells him to run away because it’ll be problematic if they got his heart. Hakudoushi appears and thinks Kagura has betrayed him and fights her. Inuyasha and co arrive to save Kagura. Gouryoumaru transforms into Mouryoumaru and chases after Kohaku. Kagura says Akago with Naraku’s heart is inside Mouryoumaru. Hakudoushi and Akago plan to strengthen Mouryoumaru to replace Naraku. Naraku interferes from afar so that Hakudoushi could become vulnerable as Miroku sucks him into his Wind Tunnel. They felt they’re being used to get rid of Hakudoushi. Kagura flies away by herself but Inuyasha promises to get her heart back. Mouryoumaru has got Kohaku in his grasps but was intercepted by Sango and then Inuyasha before fleeing. Sango realizes her brother has got his memories back but he is reluctant to be with his sister.
 
In episode 2, Inuyasha stays guard at a grave of Midoriko, supposedly a priestess who absorbed youkais and her soul crystallized to create the Shikon Jewel. He spots Kikyo’s Shinidamachu (Soul Collector) and follows it to meet her. She tells him his sword won’t kill Naraku and if they need to obliterate his soul, their best chance is the Shikon Jewel. They need to collect the shards quick and have only 1 shot at it. At that point the jewel will be defiled and fused with Naraku and at this moment they have to purify Naraku. Kikyo of course thinks she’s the only one capable of pulling off this job. She then disappears. Inuyasha doesn’t agree to that idea since it will mean taking a part of Kohaku’s shard which is keeping him alive. But the kid knows what he has got to do and doesn’t mind. Well, he says he’s not going to die, but to defeat Naraku. Erm, just putting it in a different perspective is he? Meanwhile Kouga defeats the guardian of some Wolf Tribe’s grave to obtain a claw weapon, Goraishi. Kagura comes to face to face with Naraku, who gives her back her heart and freedom. But he pierces her body, fills it with miasma and misses her vital organs so that she could die a slow and painful pathetic death. As Sesshoumaru battles Mouryoumaru, though the latter’s shell armour is think and hard, Sesshoumaru manages to break it. But the price is that his Tokijin sword broke. Mouryoumaru uses this chance to escape. Weakened Kagura knows her time is up as she lay in a field of flowers. She is surprised to see Sesshoumaru. He notes not even Tenseiga could save her. Kagura dies as Inuyasha and co arrive too late. He asks Sesshoumaru if she has suffered and his reply: She smiled.
 
Inuyasha and co enter an exam ground of some fox youkais in episode 3 who are tricking the group in order to obtain higher ranking. Shippou gets hyped up that he can advance by tricking or beating up Inuyasha and does so, earning the 3 little fox youkai admirers. Shippou then meets a girl named Mujina who plans to avenger her father’s death so sympathetic Shippou agrees to help as she uses her sword, Dakki to absorb Inuyasha’s Tessaiga’s demonic aura and powers. She tricks Shippou several times whenever she gets cornered. In the end, she can’t beat Inuyasha and is revealed to be some old uncle raccoon dog, much to Shippou’s dismay. Inuyasha is suspicious of Dakki’s abilities and decides to investigate. Toutousai approaches Sesshoumaru to reforge his Tenseiga into a fighting sword. Its new ability includes opening up a meidou (path of darkness) to send the enemy’s body to the other world of the dead. Thus the move is called Meidou Zangetsuha.
 
In episode 4, Inuyasha brings Dakki to Toutousai. The old guy says if it was a real one, he would’ve been dead meat and Tessaiga rusted and unable to return to its current state if it completely absorbs all its demonic aura. The gang fight off a giant youkai hunting down a blacksmith, Toushuu who forged his Dakki. When Inuyasha beats him, Toushuu absorbs the youkai and the Dakki has scales on them. His obsession in possessing the most powerful sword has him clash with Inuyasha. Dakki is also fusing with Toushuu and scales are starting to grow over his skin. Inuyasha’s Tessaiga is on the brink of breaking each time the swords clash while having its demonic powers absorbed. In the end, Dakki didn’t want itself to be destroyed and lets Toushuu absorb the final blow and Tessaiga, killing the guy. Tessaiga absorbs the fallen Dakki and now has scales. Meanwhile another new detachment of Naraku, illusionist Byakuya blackmails a young Wolf Tribe member into bringing Kouga’s shards or else his little brother will die. Eventually Kouda and Inuyasha meet up to face Mouryoumaru once more. Inuyasha tests his new dragon-scaled Tessaiga and though its overwhelming powers absorb Mouryoumaru’s large amount of demonic powers, it heats up till it explodes a little and hurt Inuyasha. Mouryoumaru is heavily wounded but escapes. Byakuya makes his appearance and greets the gang a little before flying off in his huge paper crane.
 
Mouryoumaru is in the midst of absorbing youkais to strengthen himself in episode 5 when Sesshoumaru shows up to test his Tenseiga. But with Naraku’s orders and Byakuya’s distraction, the baddies fled. Kohaku joins Kikyo on her quest to hunt Naraku and is prepared to lay his life for the cause. Toutousai is brought to see what’s wrong with Tessaiga. He mentions nothing is wrong with the sword but it’s Inuyasha instead. In short, since the sword powered up, he too needs to train and match its level to be able to control it. He suggests seeking a sage named Yourei Taisei. They find him to be like a 2D house cloth because he claims an ogre took his innards. Plus, Tessaiga is sealed so Inuyasha won’t rashly unsheathe and start hurting innocent youkais. As they go around searching for the ogre, they find a menacing snake-lady youkai. Inuyasha uses his claws and smelling sense to find her demonic aura point to defeat her. But she wasn’t the real deal. The real ox ogre who claimed to have killed the sage now attacks him. With his determination to avenge the sage’s death, he unsheathes his sword to locate and destroy the ogre. It’s revealed all this was just an illusion and training for Inuyasha to enable him to see the true demonic aura and how to use the dragon-scaled Tessaiga. As pointed out, it’s a sword to cut demons and not absorb demonic aura.
 
In episode 6, Naraku absorbs a youkai and demon-eating tree named Youmeiju. While chasing Mouryoumaru, Kouga bumps into Kikyo. She wants him to hand over his shards but he refuses. Mouryoumaru confronts Naraku as they fight. Naraku acknowledges he knew that they will betray him when they got detached. Mouryoumaru absorbs Naraku and the jewel to near completion. He goes after the remaining shards and targets Kouga nearby so both Kouga and Inuyasha team up to but Inuyasha can’t see its demonic aura so Mouryoumaru has them in his grasp. Kagome’s arrow frees Inuyasha as Mouryoumaru escapes. Akago senses he is unable to use the Shikon Jewel when Naraku appears and says he is devouring him from within and destroys his barrier via Youmeiju. Naraku then takes over Mouryoumaru’s body. Miroku uses his Wind Tunnel to suck him in but it’s taking a heavy toll. Inuyasha stops him though he managed to suck in Akago’s guardian stone. Naraku mocks them for not finishing him (because he still has his heart) and will regret it before disappearing. Kikyo notes how miasma has affected Miroku’s body and if his Wind Tunnel is closed a second late, he could’ve died. The rest plead to her to save him.
 
Kikyo heals and purifies Miroku in episode 7 though miasma is spreading in her own body. Naraku reunites with what seems to be a clone of himself, supposedly his negative feelings and hints he knew of Kikyo’s plan to purify him with the jewel. Later, Kikyo gets trapped in a web trap by Naraku and has Kohaku stay as far away so as not to taint his shard. Inuyasha and Kagome come to her rescue but fell into Naraku’s web trap. Kagome sees the sad past of Inuyasha and Kikyo. When they come to, Kikyo tells them of Naraku’s plan to separate Kohaku from her, using her to lure Inuyasha out and showed Kagome those visions to sow negative feelings in her. Kagome is Kikyo’s only hope to be saved as she tells to retrieve a bow from Mount Azusa’s mausoleum. Kohaku is being attacked by Byakuya who is going to taint his shard but is saved by Sesshoumaru. Byakuya then flees. Inuyasha stays with Kikyo while the rest head to Mount Azusa. Of course Inuyasha and Kikyo had to go there too after sensing some danger. Kagome climbs up Mount Azusa and sees a spirit impersonating as Kikyo. She sees visions that amount to hate, selfishness and jealousy but in the end, her resolve to save Kikyo was strong and broke free from the spirit’s illusion test and Naraku’s web. However, she starts falling off as she calls for Inuyasha to save her while Naraku notes he has to kill Kikyo.
 
Inuyasha catches Kagome in time in episode 8 but Naraku captures the rest, especially Kikyo. Kouga fights off Naraku’s offence as Kikyo notices his shards purifying and hopes to use this chance to destroy Naraku. Miroku tried using his Wind Tunnel but is just absorbing miasma. Inuyasha shows up and fights him using his dragon-scaled Tessaiga to open up a dark portal believed to be Naraku’s body whereby Kagome spots the Shikon Jewel. With Inuyasha off to save falling Kikyo, Kouga tasks upon himself to destroy the shard but Kagome suddenly senses it disappeared. Naraku has got Kouga in his tentacles and his shards tainted. Kagome realizes the Shikon Jewel is being hidden in Kikyo so she fires her arrow at her while Naraku tries to intercept. Kagome’s arrow reaches the Shikon Jewel in time and sends the purified jewel back to Naraku but the thick miasma layer is tainting the jewel so Naraku absorbs everything. Inuyasha takes Kouga away from Naraku’s grasp leaving behind Kouga’s shards. The Shikon Jewel is totally tainted as Naraku proclaims victory so weakened Kikyo tells Kagome to protect the final shard in Kohaku. He taunts them all before disappearing to retrieve the final shard. In the aftermath, Kagome feels guilty for not being able to save Kikyo. Everyone reflects on how Kikyo did her best to save them. Dying Kikyo spend her last moments in Inuyasha’s arms. A tearful and heartbreaking final moment talk you usually see in such tragic love movies. "I have always loved you", things like that, bla bla bla. And yes. They shared a final kiss before Kikyo dies. I don’t know but I get a feeling that anti-Kikyo people are rejoicing about this.
 
Kouga parts with Inuyasha’s gang in episode 9. That’s the last you’ll see of that dude. On the other hand, Kohaku follows Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru’s mom pays him a visit and uses her Meidou Stone to unleash a dog youkai so Sesshoumaru uses his Meidou Zangetsuha to cut it. The youkai didn’t die but instead snatched Rin and Kohaku to the other world. Sesshoumaru follows closely into the other realm. Though he manages to kill the youkai, Kohaku is still alive due to the shard but Rin is seemingly dead. They follow the dark path and defeat the Master of Darkness but Rin is still lifeless. Sesshoumaru gets frustrated over the results when his Tenseiga glows a bright light, healing all the dead corpses around it. He and the kids return back to the normal world via a bigger meidou portal and mom notes how his Tenseiga has matured. However she warns him that Tenseiga can only be used to save a life once, among other lectures like fear, sadness and compassion. Do you think Sesshoumaru really cares for all that? Mom puts her Meidou Stone over lifeless Rin and a bright light soon emits from it, bringing Rin back to life. Sesshoumaru is pleased and leaves. Mom warns Kohaku his life is just like Rin’s, meaning it too can’t be saved by Tenseiga.
 
Inuyasha and co take refuge in a village filled with flowers in episode 10. But they learn the village head, Kaou, a youkai that can read the sadness of one’s heart and show them dreams to feed on their tranquillity. Inuyasha gets trapped in his illusion and is shown a dream whereby Kikyo beckons him to follow her. He’s so calm that he’s crying blood in reality! Luckily he snaps out of it after hearing Kagome’s voice as the duo soon combine their powers to destroy Kaou and rid the village of his parasitic flowers. The gang continue their journey and are being told by villagers about weird happenings at a lake. They check it out to find a large reflection of Kanna’s mirror in the middle. A giant youkai warrior, Mirror Spirit, emerges from it and surprises the gang as it wields a Tessaiga of its own. As Inuyasha battles it, he shockingly finds he can’t pull off special abilities from Tessaiga. Ironically, with Kanna’s instruction, Mirror Spirit is able to unleash Tessaiga’s moves. Shippou uses his tricks to let his comrades escape so Kanna and Mirror Spirit go in search of them.
 
As Kanna searches for them in episode 11, she reminisces about Kagura and wonders if she has attained freedom. She manages to find and break through Inuyasha and co’s temporary barrier. Attacks against Mirror Spirit are useless as Byakuya watches alongside emotionless Kanna. Each time Mirror Spirit takes a hit, it regenerates but at a price. That spot taken the hit is reflected on Kanna’s body as it cracks. Inuyasha’s determination to fight back that replica Tessaiga has his face nearly turned into a youkai. As the fight continues and both sides taking its toll, the gang realize Kanna’s cracks and Naraku’s intention to destroy them both. They try to tell her to stop but she continues. Inuyasha tries to take back Tessaiga’s powers by cutting Mirror Spirit’s Tessaiga but Kanna uses her limbs to prevent it and cracks further. Inuyasha successfully lands a hit on Mirror Spirit’s Tessaiga and regains its power back. His face also reverts back to normal. With Kanna cracking up (no pun intended), Inuyasha doesn’t kill her as Kagome tells her she is free. But Naraku orders Kanna her final task. That is to bring them along to her grave. Like a time bomb, Kanna explodes. Before Inuyasha’s Tessaiga’s barrier protected them, a fragment stabs right into Kagome’s eye as she sees a vision of the tainted Shikon Jewel with a sliver of purity. She hears Kanna’s last words that the light will kill Naraku. Byakuya notes how cruel Naraku is and thinks he has to be cautious and soon flies away. Kagome tells the rest what she has seen and that Kanna didn’t really want to die.
 
Miroku and Sango are having a tough time battling a bone youkai in episode 12. Miroku has absorbed too much miasma and Sango poisons her Hiraikotsu to defeat the youkai but it’s ultimately Inuyasha who delivers the finishing blow. Myouga suggests to go see a drunken youkai sage, Yakurou Dokusen, to fix Hiraikotsu. Sango faces a test of the many youkais that made up Hiraikotsu. She wants them to fight alongside her again but they feel betrayed. They will do so if she promises to leave Miroku, something she can’t as she says she can’t live without that monk because he gave her strength bla bla bla. I’m sure with that answer, you can tell the youkais aren’t pleased. Miroku on the other hand sees Yakurou about his poison in his body. Yakurou gives him a medicine-cum-poison. If he drinks it, he will feel no pain while absorbing poison but it serves only as a painkiller as it doesn’t heal or cure his miasma problem. Miroku is determined and drinks it, though Inuyasha has his reservations. Because of Miroku’s strong determination, the Hiraikotsu youkais decide to fight alongside Sango once more and Hiraikotsu is repaired. As Sango thanks Yakurou, he mentions that Hiraikotsu isn’t the same before and has changed. She will only understand it when she fights.
 
In episode 13, Sesshoumaru fights Shishinki, one who claims to have fought his dad but lost. He also claims Meidou Zangetsuha was a technique his dad stole from him. Shishinki’s meidou may be smaller but it’s a complete circle as compared to Sesshoumaru’s crescent. Inuyasha and co are also there but Sesshoumaru warns them not to interfere. Shishinki further reveals that Tenseiga was originally a part of Tessaiga. Furthermore, it is a sword casted away with unwanted and incomplete techniques from Tessaiga. Sesshoumaru is obviously vexed and couldn’t comprehend why his dad did all those stuff while Shishinki continues mocking him. In the final fight, Sesshoumaru couldn’t care less about all those reasons. He feels Tenseiga resonating and thinks it’s telling him to fight alongside Tessaiga and save Inuyasha. He draws Tenseiga and a super large and complete meidou appear above Shishinki and sucks him into the other world (aside from devastatingly changing the landscape). Sesshoumaru isn’t satisfied because he feels Meidou Zangetsuha was complete only when it was resonating alongside Tessaiga. Inuyasha probably tries to cheer him up but Sesshoumaru is cold as ever and tells him they are destined to fight till their deaths.
 
Sesshoumaru alone goes to confront Toutousai in episode 14 and claims he knew everything from the start. Well, he admits he was the one who separated Tenseiga from Tessaiga. Sesshoumaru also realizes his dad’s plan to have him master Meidou Zangetsuha and then get it absorbed back into Tessaiga. He tries to kill Toutousai but he hid well and told him he won’t understand daddy’s long term plans and to throw away his attachment to the sword and hatred for Inuyasha. Elsewhere, Naraku approaches Kohaku and tries to take his shard but a purifying light from it stops him and allows Kohaku to escape with Rin and Jaken. Naraku plans to cut off Kohaku’s head and slowly defile it as he chases the pack with his miasma. Inuyasha and co rush over but Byakuya stops them. The rest take him on to buy time for Sango to go ahead. She intercepts before Kohaku (under semi-control from Naraku) could cut his own head off. Naraku mocks her but she remains steadfast. She throws Hiraikotsu at cocky Naraku and he is surprised by its different power (Hiraikotsu has the power to draw in and shatter demonic aura now). Noting that he has no time to recover from a different poison, Naraku barely escapes. While recovering, Naraku tells Byakuya to take a fragment from Mirror Spirit and send it to Sesshoumaru whom he is going to use as his pawn. Kohaku is being healed by Kagome as they chat about how he felt Kikyo’s purifying light powers flowing through Naraku’s tentacles when he tried to take his shard. Kagome thinks Kikyo’s power still remains in Naraku and remembers Kanna’s last words. Sango says it straight to her little brother that he is weak in heart and strength, the reason Naraku is taking advantage of him. He can’t be freed from Naraku if he fights alone. Miroku notes miasma has spread further in his body.
 
In episode 15, Sesshoumaru receives the fragment from Byakuya and spreads it over Tenseiga so it will have similar abilities to Tessaiga. Though he knows this is part of Naraku’s plan to get an advantage over them, he thinks this trap is worthwhile. He returns to fight Inuyasha and because of the fragment, it’s like deja vu. Inuyasha’s Tessaiga can’t unleash its usual moves while Tenseiga imitates them all. The gang aren’t happy and Inuyasha thinks he sank this low just to get Tessaiga. Byakuya transport the feuding brothers to another youkai realm to fight so as not for the rest to interfere. Inuyasha turns into a demon to regain Tessaiga’s abilities. Sesshoumaru uses Meidou Zangetsuha to suck Inuyasha in. Thinking it is over, he throws Tenseiga into the vortex. Tessaiga turns into its dragon-scaled version so Inuyasha uses it to cut his own demonic energy. The energy flows through his body and Tessaiga so Naraku tries to kill him by taking control of Tenseiga. As soon that happens, Sesshoumaru hops in and reclaims Tenseiga and continues to attack Inuyasha. As the swords clash, the Mirror Spirit’s fragment fell off and Tenseiga broke. It seems Sesshoumaru did it on purpose as he acknowledges Inuyasha as its true heir. Tessaiga turns black and supposedly it’s Meidou Zangetsuha version (both swords have become one, that is). But they are in danger of being trapped in the other world as Inuyasha loses his demonic energy and reverts back to his normal self. Inuyasha sees a strip of light (Tenseiga) and cuts it, sending both brothers back to their normal living world. Toutousai tells Sesshoumaru to take Tenseiga from the other world (though its ability has reverted back to its original form, that is, it can only heal and cut things that are not of this world) but he shows no interest and goes off. Rin takes it along hoping Sesshoumaru may change his mind.
 
A little flashback in episode 16. 15 years ago, Hitomiko had powers on level with Kikyo to repel Naraku. In present day, Naraku uses his spider web to kill her. Before she dies, she told the villagers to separate her body and head but they bury her as a whole thinking it as respect. Inuyasha and co arrive after following the spider web and being told by the villagers what happened. They see Hitomiko alive but being manipulated by Naraku who wants to take away Kagome’s powers and kill her. A trap sends Kagome right into Hitomiko’s barrier. Kagome wants to save her but Naraku mocks her the only way out is to kill her through the spider in her chest. Either way, Naraku wins because Hitomiko’s soul will suffer eternally and Kagome’s heart will become corrupt. Hitomiko is not always under Naraku’s spell as she managed to give hints to Kagome on how to defeat her such as using the spiritual energy residing in her bow she got from Mount Azusa and the reason she was named Kagome. Kagome thinks hard but couldn’t make sense of it except her mom named her so because she some light on her chest resembling some overlapping squares and that when she played with other kids, she knew who was behind her. She sees the symbol in the spider so Kagome wishes upon the bow’s power and fires a shot. The arrow disappears before Hitomiko and reappears behind her and heads straight to shatter hidden Naraku behind and bring them both back to the normal world. Before Hitomiko passes away, she tells Kagome that her power was only unleashed when she fired the arrow and something is sealing her powers. She thinks it is Kikyo.
 
According to Kaede, she thinks it’s the evil will residing inside Shikon Jewel, Magatsuhi, that is sealing Kagome’s powers out of fear. In episode 17, many youkais are trying to kill Sesshoumaru after learning he has lost Tenseiga but were easily killed by his claws. All talk only. Naraku tells the tainted Shikon to rid the purity light inside it and allows it to borrow his body as Magatsuhi materializes from Naraku’s body. Magatsuhi fights Sesshoumaru and mocks he is weak. Kohaku, thinking he is one of Naraku’s incarnations and couldn’t defile his shard, attacks but it backfires as Magatsuhi taints it and makes him unconscious. Sesshoumaru is in a bind when Inuyasha and co arrive to help. Magatsuhi stares at Kagome and causes her to pass out. As they continue to battle, the tide is always in Magatsuhi’s favour. Sesshoumaru finally uses Tenseiga to cut the youkais that made up Magatsuhi’s body but is unable to cut his flesh so he gets engulfed by his tentacles. Suddenly a bright light emits from his missing left arm as he slashes the wrapping tentacles. Not only has he got his left arm back, but a new sword, Bakusaiga. Bakusaiga’s effect has Magatsuhi unable to regenerate and its effect continues to spread. Sesshoumaru finishes him off but he barely escapes. In the aftermath, Toutousai tells him Bakusaiga has always been hidden in him. In order to use it, he has to stand on his own as a greater youkai.
 
Kagome wakes up from a nightmare in episode 18 that she failed her exams. See, skipped so many classes to play in the past lah. She tries to purify Kohaku’s shard but is unsuccessful. They think Magatsuhi has sealed her powers and the reason Kikyo’s powers didn’t work on him was probably she was focused on defeating Naraku. Sesshoumaru goes off alone to find and kill Magatsuhi. Kagome returns to her world to study for her entrance exam. Since her family is away on a hotspring trip, she is home alone. Inuyasha pays her a visit so they both chat about stuff like Kikyo. Inuyasha vows to protect her with his life. They could’ve kissed if Kagome’s family didn’t return home. Oh, the perfect time. On the day of her entrance exam, Inuyasha tries to bring her back to the feudal world but gets caught in a frantic chase to search for Kagome’s lost bag in a crowded train. Though they managed to find it, Kagome is disheartened to find her exam ticket is missing and thinks her life is over. Not till mommy shows up at school to give it to her because she left it on her table. Phew. Thankfully, she passes her exams. Theoretically, if she wasn’t messing in the past, she could’ve been a top model student, right?
 
Inuyasha’s supposed to stay for dinner but he destroyed the kitchen while trying to kill a cockroach with his Kaze No Kizu in episode 19. Haha. Overreacted. Meanwhile Byakuya distracts Sesshoumaru by letting him fight a fake Magatsuhi. When he realizes the illusion, he uses Bakusaiga to destroy the thousand youkais Byakuya summoned to keep him company. He didn’t expect that new powerful move, didn’t he? The real Magatsuhi possesses Kohaku and before he flies away, he stabs Sango as Miroku has absorbed too much youkai poison and his miasma scar is inching closer to his heart. Inuyasha and Kagome return to find out what has happened and goes after Kohaku. Sango spends a little private moment with unconscious Miroku. She kisses him as gratitude for always risking his life to protect her and Kohaku. When Inuyasha and Kagome catch up (and Sango soon to follow), Magatsuhi tells them Kohaku is seeing repeated visions of his scary past of killing everyone. Kohaku in fear, sees Kikyo’s Shinidamachu and follows it. He sees his sister pleading for him to save her and Miroku because she believes in him. Kohaku snaps out of the spell as a purifying light emits from his tainted shard. He decides to do a crazy stunt to force Magatsuhi out by jumping down the abyss.
 
I don’t know how but Magatsuhi has been forced out just like that in episode 20. Naraku’s tentacles grab Kohaku so Sango uses Hiraikotsu to free him. Sesshoumaru appears to destroy (but not kill) Magatsuhi with his Bakusaiga and Tenseiga. He returns to the village upon learning Rin’s fate. Naraku then appears and holds Kagome hostage. Kagome senses his Shikon Jewel and tells Inuyasha it is in his right shoulder. Inuyasha and Sango cooperate to hit that spot but it seems Naraku’s body is made of the armour Mouryoumaru got when he absorbed the latter. Naraku wants Kohaku to hand over his shard or else he will kill Kagome. Kohaku agrees on 1 condition, that he release her unharmed. As Naraku grabs and brings him closer, Kohaku takes out Kagome’s dropped purified arrow and strikes at the jewel. Taken aback and fearing this will harm him further, he releases Kohaku while Inuyasha unleashes Kongosouha to free Kagome as Naraku flees into the sky. Meanwhile Miroku and Rin are up and feeling better since Magatsuhi’s presence is gone. But while Jaken and Rin are taking a walk, a youkai believed to be from Magatsuhi kidnaps Rin. When Sesshoumaru returns and learns of this, he realizes Naraku’s intention to seal the powers of Bakusaiga and Tenseiga. One of Naraku’s tentacles is stealthily crawling from behind. In a flash, it pierces through Kohaku’s neck, taking his shard with it up to the sky. Kohaku falls lifeless while Sango becomes an emotional wreck. Naraku combines the final shard and with his powers, defiles it totally and Kikyo’s speck of light in it is gone. Upset Inuyasha and Kagome use their last efforts to locate and destroy Naraku but he mocks the weak beings they are and how Inuyasha wasn’t able to save Kohaku like Kikyo’s case before disappearing for good. As motionless Kohaku lie in Sango’s arms, a speck of bright light emits from his back. It seems to be Kikyo’s speck of light. It left the shard when it was taken and stayed with Kohaku. The gang figured Kikyo considered saving Kohaku’s life more important than destroying Naraku.
 
Kagome returns to her modern world in episode 21 for a short while to find she has passed her entrance exam and even attends graduation ceremony. Then it’s back to the feudal world. Can I say she has best of both worlds? Naraku absorbs the Shikon Jewel and emits so much miasma that the surrounding creatures instantly turn into bag of bones and the entire area into miasma zone. Devastating. Worse than global warming effect. Inuyasha and co go face Naraku while leaving Shippou and Kohaku behind with Kaede. Naraku’s body is now a large spider and the inside is larger than it seems. They see Sesshoumaru there as he enters to body to save Rin. They too follow. Since they’re fighting Naraku’s body parts, he can regenerate and it is useless to go on. Inuyasha is going to use Meidou Zangetsuha but changes his mind after seeing a vision of Rin walking around aimlessly. Kagome tells the rest to find and destroy the Shikon Jewel since sensing its strong presence deep within Naraku’s body and that the jewel is still in its original form. The gang are separated when Inuyasha suddenly turns into a youkai and violently turns on Kagome. As Naraku explains, since they’re near the jewel, his soul has been toxified by it because he’s a weak youkai. Kagome makes a run but Naraku offers her a solution. He gives her a miasma-filled arrow and wants her to shoot it at Inuyasha to save herself. Kagome refuses so she falls deep down the pit.
 
Naraku shows Miroku and Sango a horrifying vision of how Miroku’s dad was killed by his own Wind Tunnel in episode 22. Sango is petrified so Miroku tries to calm her down that this all a trap. But as Naraku continues his attack and Sango in danger, Miroku has no choice but to use his Wind Tunnel. Its tear is widening so he seals it for the time being. He bids farewell to Sango and decides to go solo, much to her dismay. Youkai Inuyasha walks around aimlessly and after thinking about Kikyo and Kagome, returns to his normal self (see what thinking about women can do), but Naraku continues to mock him so he turns back into a youkai (damn). Kagome wakes up to see Sesshoumaru driving Naraku’s inner youkais away. She follows him. Rin wakes up and gets scared upon seeing Magatsuhi and runs away but bumps into Inuyasha who is going to kill her. However Inuyasha still has little control of himself so he attacks Magatsuhi instead. By the time Sesshoumaru and Kagome show up, Naraku’s body swallows up Rin as Magatsuhi possesses Inuyasha. Meanwhile Kohaku, Shippou and Jaken fly into Naraku via Sesshoumaru’s double-headed beast A-un. Magatsuhi throws away Tessaiga since it’s the final link between Inuyasha and his mind. As Sesshoumaru fights his possessed brother, Inuyasha has many thoughts of spending time with Kagome (is that thinking about women again lah) so he is able to break free from Magatsuhi’s control. Kagome throws him Tessaiga so he has full control over himself but as he approaches her, Magatsuhi tries to possess Kagome. Tessaiga turns into its dragon-scaled version and Inuyasha’s youkai vortex has taken hold of Magatsuhi’s. This allows Sesshoumaru to use his Tenseiga and kill Magatsuhi for good.
 
Inuyasha returns to his normal form in episode 23 and Kagome has her purification powers back and also the speck of light returns to the Shikon Jewel. Kohaku, Shippou and Jaken got separated from each other. Byakuya intends to make Miroku use his Wind Tunnel to kill himself along with the fake Naraku Miroku is seeing before him. Likewise, Sango too sees a fake Naraku holding Rin hostage. He taunts her that this is her chance to kill him and at the same time sacrificing Rin to save Miroku. Inuyasha and Kagome arrive just in time to stop Miroku before he could use his Wind Tunnel. Sango in a dilemma, is ready to sacrifice Rin and throws her Hiraikotsu. She is under a spell so she can’t hear Kohaku calling out to her. Kagome pulls off that disappearing arrow move and manages to injure Naraku. Enough time for Hiraikotsu to miss Rin and Byakuya to lose an arm. Byakuya explains what is happening so Sango feels guilty. On top of that, Sesshoumaru’s there. Guilt ridden Sango has no qualms of being torn apart by Sesshoumaru but requests him to wait till Naraku is defeated and Miroku’s life saved. Inuyasha, Kagome and Miroku follow a different light to reach the real Naraku. He continues to taunt them as Inuyasha unleashes Meidou Zangetsuha but misses. Well, it nearly got Shippou. He sees Byakuya taking some demonic energy from Meidou Zangetsuha with his sword. Naraku unleashes an even poisonous killer miasma but Inuyasha uses his Tessaiga barrier to shield themselves. Proof that Naraku is getting desperate despite his mocking and calm appearance?
 
Sango enters the fray in episode 24 and throws her Hiraikotsu at Naraku but it returns with miasma, weakening her. She falls into the pit as Miroku follows her. Both lovebirds huddle close together and resigned to their fate. Their despair powers Naraku as he unites with the tainted Shikon Jewel. So much so he can’t be sucked to the other world by although he takes a direct hit from Meidou Zangetsuha. When Naraku says even if he dies, the Shikon Jewel will always remain, this prompts Kagome to think the reason why he tried to destroy their bonds was because the jewel didn’t grant his real wish and that he understood the pain of loss. Now it’s Inuyasha’s turn to lecture. Something about them being half youkais and possessing both human and demon heart. He unleashes Meidou Zangetsuha this time in blade form and cuts Naraku. Seems that it has transformed based on Tessaiga’s ability as compared to Tenseiga so you could say Inuyasha has fully mastered the move. Jaken reunites with Sesshoumaru, Kohaku and Rin. Sesshoumaru senses Naraku getting desperate since his body is violently shaking and more miasma is released so he uses Bakusaiga to wreck havoc and Naraku’s body unable to regenerate. Shippou on the other hand reunites with Miroku and Sango and gives them a pill to remove miasma from their body. Seems Miroku’s Wind Tunnel curse is weakening since Naraku has taken some damage. Kagome knows Tessaiga and Bakusaiga can’t kill Naraku’s soul and that’s what her purification powers are for. She aims her arrow at him when suddenly Byakuya appears from behind and slashes her with his Meidou Zangetsuha sword. Inuyasha returns the favour and sends him to the other world but Byakuya has no regrets playing his final role because he knows he will only die when Naraku dies. Finally everyone assembles as they face off with Naraku.
 
The final assault on Naraku begins in episode 25 but Naraku merges his soul with the Shikon Jewel to turn into a monster. Though Naraku’s body is falling apart, the gang realize his intention to destroy the village below. The miasma-laden body is dropping and destroying the land below as the villagers make a run. As the heroes reach the ground below, Kagome spots the jewel and takes a shot and directly pierces it. We see Naraku’s wish was to have Kikyo’s heart. The miasma vanishes and before Naraku dies (he’s like a head sticking out from his vertebrate), he tells them that he made a wish upon the jewel that it would be granted when he dies after Byakuya slashed Kagome. A wish that the jewel forced him to make for itself. To prove Naraku is no longer in this world, Miroku’s Wind Tunnel is gone. But their happiness is cut short as meidou opens up behind Kagome and swallows her. The well from the village that Kagome used to travel between both worlds is also gone. Then Inuyasha realized if the Shikon Jewel wanted to survive, it wouldn’t have let Kagome survived so he cuts open a meidou and enters it to search for her. Kagome finds herself living a normal high school life. She is stumped that her shrine with a well is a storage shed and the sacred tree has no scar. Then she realized it’s an illusion by the Shikon Jewel. She sees her family and friends frantically calling out to her at the place the well once was. She meets the jewel who tells her to make a wish to return to that normal world of hers or forever be trapped in this darkness and be alone for all eternity where no one will come. Inuyasha is faced with several youkais who tell him he is inside the jewel. In addition, Kagome has a fear of the darkness and will give in to her desire to make that wish. Among the other gibberish I understood was, it’s some plan to imprison Kagome and fight an eternal battle with the youkais till the jewel falls into the hands of another who will use it for dark purposes since the jewel is indestructible. Some vicious never-ending cycle. Kagome is overcome with fear as Inuyasha hopes she won’t make any wish.
 
Inuyasha fights of the hordes of regenerating youkais in episode 26. He sees sleeping Naraku and fighting Midoriko and being told about some eternal battle between the souls. Inuyasha disagrees with all that crap because he gives that lecture of how he learned many things with Kagome and without her he won’t be here and have no friends bla bla bla. His faint voice managed to reach Kagome but she is still in a dilemma as the jewel pesters her to make a wish, even if it’s seeing Inuyasha. Remembering her grandpa’s words that the jewel will be totally purified when the correct wish is made (also the fact that it never grants one’s true wish), she decides not to make a wish because she believes Inuyasha will come for her. Inuyasha follows Meidou Zangetsuha’s instinct to cut open a light path and is reunited with Kagome. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. They kissed! Woot! Kagome now knows the correct wish (hope it wasn’t from that kiss), that is she wants the Shikon Jewel to disappear forever. It cracks before being purified by the light and then destroyed for good.
 
In the aftermath, it has been 3 years since that incident. Miroku and Sango have started their own family and have kids. Three of them. Way to go, monk. He narrates how back then a pillar of light appeared which causes the well to reappear but only Inuyasha came out alone though he said Kagome was safe. Kagome is back in her own world, graduated from high school. She also thinks back then how the well reappeared in her shrine and rushed into the arms of her worried but relieved family. But Inuyasha suddenly disappeared back down the well and ever since, she has been unable to go back to the feudal era. Just like Kaede concluded, probably her ability to travel back then was to fulfil her role to destroy the jewel. Then 1 day, she sees the sky at the bottom of the well and mommy tells her it’s okay. Inuyasha on the other hand rushes over to the familiar scent at the well. He reaches his hand in and pulls out Kagome. Everyone is happy to see her. I don’t know how but probably it was her desire to see Inuyasha again that got this thing to work again. Whereabouts of other characters include Shippou continuing his training to be a full fledged fox youkai, Kohaku training to be a stronger demon slayer, Myouga and Toutousai travelling together, Kouga marries Ayame and becomes head of his wolf tribe and Rin lives with Kaede. Finally it seems Kagome has decided to live her life in the feudal era as a priestess and be with Inuyasha forever because she’s calling passing by Sesshoumaru her brother! He looks so annoyed just like Inuyasha! I bet we’ve never since that kind of expression before. Oh yeah, that Jaken imp is still tagging along by Sesshoumaru’s side.
 
So okay, the ending was satisfying. No complains in the sense that I want it to end better. The good guys win at the end and peace is restored, right? But it just bugs me a little to note that Kagome decides to continue living the rest of her life in the past. I mean, she rarely attends high school or have any other activities in her daily life so it’s just fitting to go back to the place whereby she’s most familiar and comfortable with. I thought her brother was joking but it’s true when he said her sister married right after graduation when his buddies pestered him to introduce his hot sister to them. Haha. Even that Houjou guy who supposedly has a crush on Kagome is seen having a new girl. Better that way, pal. I wonder how this will affect the effects of time. I mean, somebody from the future going back to live in the past. I wonder how she’s going to tell people her age. Born in year XXXX, currently living through year YYYY. Hey, she’s negative ZZZ years old! Don’t you think? And I suppose Inuyasha can’t complain too since Kagome is believed to be a reincarnation of Kikyo. If he can’t have his first love, might as well settle for this one. And see, how a woman can change a (half) human? Inuyasha may still be the rash and crude dude but he’s at least better off than when he first started.
 
With the fast paced of the series, I find a number of new and old characters come and go. Especially Naraku’s reincarnations. Well, I guess they’re disposable in the first place. Seeing that even Kikyo died, I too was hoping some other main characters will perish, such as Kohaku. But I guess you can’t turn it into a real tragedy, eh? For Sango’s case, I find her an emotional wreck in some ways. The main contributing factor is knowing about Miroku’s cursed fate and Kohaku’s near-death experiences. Every time they do some death defying stunt, you can expect Sango to get all concerned. Can’t blame her since they are important people in her life. Miroku may be less lecherous in this season but that’s just because he’s got much of his Wind Tunnel to worry about. He could die any moment with his Wind Tunnel widening. The reason why Sesshoumaru still keeps Rin around still boggles me since as far as I know, he hates humans. Some sort of attachment and his ego can’t let him say of this exception?
 
Then there are those main characters which I personally feel are like excess baggage and don’t do much. Such as Shippou and Jaken. It’s like their roles are not only limited but I felt the series could go on even without them. They’re like comic relief in the sense that even though they talk big like how they are also able to do this and that, when faced with the real thing, they start finding excuses to chicken out. Especially the final assault on Naraku. Then Myouga’s case was like that flea’s role was just to reveal Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru’s dad’s plans and reasons for doing things in such mysterious ways but nothing else important. I would really have forgotten about Kouga if he wasn’t shown in the end. After getting his shards stolen by Naraku, it’s like he knew he would be a burden to Inuyasha and co and decided to go back. You could say his character is killed off in a way, right? It’s such a waste since he got Goraishi and just a short time using it. I thought he liked Kagome too. Maybe he knows deep down that girl will always look at Inuyasha. Hey, now I remember that raccoon dog, Hachi. Remember that companion of Miroku? What happened to him? I know he’s just a minor character making very little appearance in the first season but he doesn’t make a single one here! Not important, huh?
 
Naraku is so vile to the end that he makes a cool villain. Always keeping a step ahead of the gang and his mockery really does get to you after hearing one too often. I was predicting Byakuya would betray Naraku somehow but I guess his role was just mainly observing the heroes. With a number of detachments defecting, it’s about time Naraku had one which doesn’t (apart from Kanna, that is). As for the Shikon Jewel, it finally occurred to me that the little ball is just one greater form of evil. No wonder Kikyo decided to destroy it along with her death 50 years ago. But you know, evil don’t really die… Imagine all the trouble that comes with it and just because of a little ball. Sheesh. And I thought Magatsuhi being the evil will residing in it will be gone after he was destroyed but no, there’s another one as the jewel itself. Another development factor in this series is also seen in Tessaiga. Over both seasons, we see how Tessaiga developed several techniques and each skill it gains, it becomes more mature and stronger. So I guess it’s no surprise that the earlier skills that he mastered like Kaze No Kizu is used much lesser once Inuyasha truly mastered the ultimate Meidou Zangetsuha move. Just to keep Sesshoumaru fans happy, I felt Bakusaiga was ‘given’ to him as a ‘consolation prize’.
 
Viewers who have watched the first season can still identify with the many materials retained and being used in this sequel such as seiyuus, background music, drawing, art, animation and even the title screen. The opening theme is a rock pop piece by Do As Infinity, Kimi Ga Inai Mirai. The first ending theme by AAA called With You, feels like techno pop. The second ending theme by Alan entitled Diamond, resembles more of a moderate pop tune. The final ending theme, Tooi Michi No Sake De by Takekawa Ai has R&B flavour in it with a little rapping. On a trivial note, I find the sponsor screen right after the opening credits to be a little funny. We see Shippou and Jaken playing some Red Light, Green Light game. Every time Shippou takes a peek behind his back, Jaken stops his task of inching closer to Shippou by making a funny pose or face. What the?!
 
That’s it for this series I guess. No more sequels whatsoever. Even if they intend to make one, perhaps it will be some filler OVA or a feature length movie. But for me, I have my fill of this series. I’m not a big fan but rather, how should I put it, someone who prefers to finish what he has started since it’s not that bad. At least I know I don’t want to be going back in time to fight youkais, levelling up my abilities just save the world and future. Heck, not even stay there. The way is forward with watching more animes! :). I still can’t believe a little jewel is the source of tons of misery in the first place. Maybe I need to beware of those little golf balls.
 

Inu Yasha

Much More Suigin Tou

July 16, 2010

Yeah, can’t forget about this one either after I did Mai. So after another long hiatus, it’s time for another picture blog tribute to my number two love of my life, Suigin Tou from Rozen Maiden. This is the third instalment of my blog tribute to her and I still find her dark gothic lolita outfit and long flowing white hair combo a captivation although. What more can I say? What more do you want me to say? A picture is worth a thousand words so it’s better to see and form your own prose like how I did with mine. Uhm… Yeah… Something like that.
 
 Sugin Tou 31
DARK ANGEL: If you don’t pay close attention, she may look like just a flying head in the darkness.
 
 Sugin Tou 32
BEHOLD: When there is light, there is also darkness.
 
 Sugin Tou 39
SITTING PRETTY: Who says she doesn’t look this good… And gets away with it.
 
Sugin Tou 34
EHEHEH: "Did I mess up something?"
 
Sugin Tou 33
UHM?: "Did I miss something
 
Sugin Tou 29
PISSED: Do you know what it means when you have earned her wrath?
 
 Sugin Tou 30
O PITIFUL ONE: "That would be you!"
 
Sugin Tou 35
 SISTERLY LOVE: It’s always a love-hate relationship. Come to onee-sama, my little imouto…
 
Sugin Tou 37
CURSED DOLL: Change up? What does it mean by that?
 
Sugin Tou 36
MYSTIFY: Enchanting and lovely but deadly at the same time.
 
Sugin Tou 38
 SWORD MASTER: Careful what you say. She can slice you up in a blink of an eye.
 
 
And for the final ultimate finish…
 
Suigin Tou 40
UNSTOPPABLE: Puny humans! Tremble in fear and brace yourselves for world destruction!
 
Woah. Where can I find more pictures depicting supremacy of my favourite Rozen Maiden doll just like in the last picture?! Even if she isn’t going to win the Alice Game (which I couldn’t care less about), in her own ways and my utmost opinion, she is the best doll ever! Maybe this world isn’t big enough for her to stamp her authority after all. SUIGIN TOU ZUTTO TO ISSHONI NI IRU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Red heart

After more than a year and a half hiatus, don’t think that I have forgotten about my one true 2D love. That’s right it is another picture tribute blog to my beloved Mai Tokiha. Yup, you can bet the heaven and stars that I am still pretty much infatuated with this orange haired lass from Mai-HiME. So why did it take me so long for another of this blog if I am still deeply truly madly in love with her? Well, there is a saying: Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or maybe I was just busy with my other anime blogs. Yeah, right.
 
 Mai Tokiha 91
TOO CLOSE TO COMFORT: Very enticing…
 
 Mai Tokiha 100
OTSUKARESAMA: Very, very enticing indeed…
  
Mai Tokiha 94
TRYING ON FOR SIZE: Do you need help with that?
 
Mai Tokiha 96 
LAP PILLOW: I wish that was me resting my head on them.
 
Mai Tokiha 98
HOORAY: Three cheers for Mai!
 
Mai Tokiha 95
DON’T LOOK BACK IN ANGER: "I didn’t hear what you say."
 
Mai Tokiha 99
DON’T MAKE ME MAD: Those scary eyes could make Bruce Banner wilt in his pants.
 
 Mai Tokiha 93
WHAT’S EATING MAI?: Girls her age has got lots of things to ponder.
 
Mai Tokiha 102
HEALTHY AND STRONG: Drink lots of milk and take plenty of calcium for stronger bones.
  
Mai Tokiha 101
PLEASE, PLEASE ME: Does this look like it came from an eroge scene?
 
Mai Tokiha 103
DRIPPING WET: Better than dripping in blood, right? Who am I kidding anyway?
 
 Mai Tokiha 97
LOOKING UP AT THE SETTING SUN: Which is prettier? She or the big blazing fireball in the sky?
 
 Mai Tokiha 89
TERRIFIC TRIO: With this line-up, you can’t go wrong.
 
Mai Tokiha 104
ALAKAZAM: Care to be a spell caster for an RPG party?
 
 Mai Tokiha 92
HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A MAI SCORNED: She’s going to turn the tables on you now.
 
Mai Tokiha 105
FLAMES OF FURY: If you have never seen a huge inferno, this is your chance to… On second thought, you don’t want to.
 
And as always, good things will have to come to an end. But fear not because be on the lookout for more future tributes to Mai (if you’re an obsessed admirer like me, that is). It may be in the next few weeks or months or even few years down the line but as far as I am concern, my love for Mai will grow and grow even more as the years go by. So theoretically, today would be the day that I love her the least, right? And even lesser as compared to lesser years! Oh, how time flies when you’re having fun. MAI-CHAN ZUTTO SOBA NI IRU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Red heart

Kampfer

July 9, 2010

When you talk about anime gender bender about a boy who can change into a girl and back under certain circumstances, most of us (those who have lived through the 90’s at least) would come to mind Rumiko Takahashi’s Ranma 1/2. A few seasons back, we have another anime series of this sort. Except that he doesn’t change genders at the splash of the water. Yup, if you have watched the ecchi fanservice action romance harem comedy called Kampfer, you will definitely know what I mean. What in the world does this word Kampfer mean? No, it’s not a corruption of ‘camp fire’, mind you. It’s German for warriors or combatants.
 
So what is this anime about? Based from the synopsis I read, this is what I understand. Well, Kampfers refer to the ‘contestants’ involved in a life-or-death battle against each other. The only catch is that you can’t choose whether you want to be a Kampfer or not and secondly, you have to be a female to be a Kampfer. Uh huh. I know what you’re thinking. Ecchi fanservice. I said that earlier on, didn’t I? So if you really hate your peaceful life ruined and have to live with the fact you’re going to fight other Kampfers for reasons unknown, well, that’s just too bad because some mysterious group called the Moderators said so.
 
Just like how in episode 1, your normal average high school boy, Natsuru Senou, wakes up one morning to find out his body has turned into a girl’s one. Not to mention a very busty one too. Unfortunately this isn’t a nightmare. Well okay, a living nightmare to him. But thankfully, he isn’t a pervert so he doesn’t go checking out his new body like some otakus would with their newfound body. To make things easier, I’ll refer make reference as a him or her depending on the gender Natsuru is in. In addition to her body change, she has a talking stuffed animal doll to tell her all that Kampfer crap, which includes the Bracelet of Oath that he can never take off to signify he’s a Kampfer. Harakiri Tiger is her name and part of the Entrails Animals. Say what? Basically Entrails Animals are messengers sent by the Moderators and each Kampfer should have 1 by her side. You can tell whether this doll is one because of its guts sticking out like a sore thumb (thus its name) and their bodies are like being subjected to some sort of horror torture. Not the kind of dolls you want to have for your kid. Oh yeah, did I mention the sarcasm that comes along with this little piece of sh*t? Anyway it’s school day so Natsuru must still be thinking that all this was a bad dream as he wakes up to find himself still an XY. He goes to school, meets up with his secret crush, Kaede Sakura. Their conversation ruined when a gunshot nearly hits them. You can safely say an enemy Kampfer is just across the street and this red haired foulmouthed barbaric b*tchy Kampfer, Akane Mishima, has a taste for blood. Natsuru can’t transform in front of Kaede or else she’ll think he’s some sort of pervert and runs away to transform. As opposed to Akane’s guns (called Gewehr), Natsuru’s weapon is Zauber (some fireball weapon). The fight could’ve turned fatal if Natsuru didn’t save Kaede and Akane herself from the falling pole. The fight ends for now as Natsuru rushes off to school. By the way, the odd thing about this Seitetsu Academy is, even though it is co-ed, male and female students study in separate blocks so you can see why some perverted guys are always dreaming that the other side of the grass is greener. Thankfully, Natsuru isn’t one of them.
 
Natsuru is in for another shock when a shy librarian comes looking for him. She is Akane! So to some, in addition to appearance change, some undergo a total personality change. In the library, Akane tells them that they are allies since they have the same colour bracelet: blue. Yeah, she got a Black Seppuku Rabbit as her messenger. She has a little knowledge about this Kampfer thingy like their enemies are those wearing red bracelet and their bracelet will shine to signify their transformation to a Kampfer or when another kind is nearby. The duo look try to look for more info but got into ambiguous compromising situation, something which the passing by sly student council president, Shizuku Sangou spot and wasn’t too fond of their boldness in public. On his way home, Natsuru gets into another mess. He thought Kaede was going to confess to him. Unfortunately, she wants to meet the female Natsuru and thank her for saving her life. Looks like she has fallen for her. Too bad if you look at it that way. Not sure what to do, I guess he has to go seek Akane for advice at the library. You can tell this specky girl too has a crush on Natsuru (the boy version, that is). Suddenly Akane transforms and before they know it, they’re being attacked by an unknown Kampfer via double chained daggers called Schwert. Aside from their bickering, they combined their attacks to corner and reveal the attacker’s identity and to their surprise, they saw helpless Kaede. Akane fires a shot thinking all this was her doing.
 
In episode 2, Natsuru stops Akane in time so her bullet misses Kaede’s face by an inch, causing that poor girl to faint. But the attacks continue so Natsuru is relieved that Kaede isn’t the culprit. But when the school bell goes off, the attack stops. Natsuru has been tasked of bringing unconscious Akane back to the girls’ section. Loving it or loathing it? Natsuru and Akane are being called by Shizuku to her student council room. She seems to know the ruckus at the library and hints the culprit to be a female. After they leave the room, Kaede comes looking for Natsuru. His happiness is short lived when she persists Natsuru to introduce the female Natsuru to her. Oh boy. Natsuru then invites Akane over to his house. Obviously Akane was thinking about doing this and that but actually he was thinking more along the lines about asking her advice on girls dating the same sex. The next day at the rooftop, supposedly where Kaede is supposed to meet female Natsuru, the plan is to have her do a retard dance so that she could hate her. Uhm… Natsuru is hesitant (not to mention his slip of tongue to tell her real name but Kaede is okay with that) so Kaede confesses her love and wants to date her. It would’ve been better if she had gone with the guy version but too bad. Unless Natsuru wants a bullet hole in her head, she has to do the retard dance. Unfortunately, Shizuku was there instead. She claims to have safely taken Kaede away and reveals herself as a Kampfer. With a red bracelet. Oh no. Enemies. Yeah, the one who attacked them at the library. For the record she’s got a Kanden Yamaneko as her messenger (that’s electrocuted lynx). So another battle round. Though Shizuku is strong, Natsuru and Akane work together to subdue her. However Natsuru makes a trade to spare her life. She wants Shizuku to leave Kaede alone, in which she agrees. But Shizuku asserts they’re still her enemies and will continue to fight them because she wants to know the reason Kampfers fight and perhaps make the Moderators pay attention to her. The next day, Akane and Natsuru are being called by Shizuku once more. She tells them about the fast spreading rumours about the female Natsuru and how Kaede is searching for her. To quell that, she wants Natsuru to be the new female transfer student. Oh yeah, this is getting messier by the minute.
 
And so female Natsuru does that (no choice though), something which every perverted guy dreams of doing and entering the forbidden zone. Not only Natsuru finds she is in the same class with Akane in episode 3, but she is attracting a hell lot of attention. She becomes instantly popular and every damn girl wants a piece of her! And you wonder why yaoi and fujoshi fans are rising in Japan. In short, they’re all weirdoes. From the pushy class rep, the vice club rep who likes to smell just about anything and the treasurer who likes to sell weird things at weird prices to make a profit. They’re all harassing Natsuru! Thankfully Kaede comes by to give them a piece of her mind and takes Natsuru away. Like she’s any better because she gets Natsuru all to herself. Because Natsuru still can’t control her transformation, the bracelet starts glowing so she has to make a run for it. Imagine what will happen to him if the girls find a boy in their section. Back to being the female version again, the whole class is having a hard time paying attention to the lesson in front because they’re more infatuated staring at Natsuru. Does this Kampfer thing come with some love pheromone or something? Natsuru then gets whisked away by the newspaper club member, Masumi Nishino, as she goes about her ‘interrogation’ on Natsuru’s life. As expected, the report comes out in a way that makes Natsuru some sort of lesbian so now all the girls really want a piece of her. To makes things worse (and you thought it wasn’t bad enough), the class rep trio use Natsuru to make money for their public funds. 500 Yen for each 30 seconds with Natsuru! And it’s a long queue! She’s sure being exploited. Not to mention she was kidnapped and nearly got raped by a bunch of girls. Can she hold on to her chastity? The odds of losing it as a girl seems higher. After a tough day, Natsuru goes home. Akane stops by and tries to get close to him but he is so dense (don’t blame his tiredness) that it’s so pitiful to see Akane frustrated.
 
The next day, the class rep trio are going to take female Natsuru away like as though she’s one of their toys but Kaede stamps her feet down and takes her away. During recess, Shizuku approaches Natsuru and Kaede and it’s like she’s trying to stir the hornet’s nest by saying how both the Natsurus are dating each other. This shocking news quickly spread throughout the school and every darn girl is devastated. I can’t believe how yuri they all are. Natsuru takes refuge as his boy version in the library (the only place where both genders are allowed in together) but Akane isn’t happy because she believed the rumours too. Then they fell on each other and got into another ambiguous compromising position. The worse is yet to come. Oh wait. It already came. Kaede saw this and she’s pissed that guy Natsuru would two-time female Natsuru who truly loves him. So Kaede vows not to lose out to him and is going to make the female one all hers. Just great. Maybe he should just accept the fact if he can’t have Kaede as his girlfriend as a guy, so be it as a girl.
 
More trouble for Natsuru in episode 4 because he learns that his female version will enter the upcoming Miss Seitetsu Academy Contest. I’m sure every guy and girl would be thrilled about it save for Natsuru. So he rushes to seek an explanation from Shizuku and thinks this is some sort of harassment. It definitely is unless you consider Shizuku’s reason for wanting to improve school life a rational one. Besides, Shizuku and Kaede are in this competition and it’s like the Clash of the Titans seeing that the duo are the school’s top hot beauties. And now with newcomer Natsuru into the equation, it’ll be Clash of the Gods. Shizuku allows Natsuru to pull out but on 1 condition. Body massage? Perhaps it’s Shizuku’s way of teasing him. Anyway she’s enjoying it. Would she give that up? Nope. She closes in on her like as though they’re going to kiss. Natsuru could’ve got his first kiss stolen if not for Kampfer Akane barging in. Because Akane put some bullet holes in the wall, Shizuku has Natsuru permanently in the contest as compensation. Not knowing about all those girly stuff, Natsuru has Akane take the lead in shopping her for a dress (though Akane would prefer the male Natsuru and thought it would be that 3 letter ‘S’ word). But his day won’t be peaceful because Shizuku also joins in and after that bra shopping incident, they all go to a karaoke joint and also invited Kaede. So it’s a battle to see who could sing a duet with Natsuru. She calls it a draw so Shizuku and Akane left for the toilet. Kaede takes this chance to try and get Natsuru’s answer on her love but she panics and runs out. When everyone comes back, Akane and Kaede got into an argument that the latter was trying to shamefully and unfairly seduce you-know-who when they’re not around (is she any better herself?). Kaede is determined to win the contest and proclaim her love for Natsuru to everyone so Akane thinks of joining this contest too. Oh yeah, things are heating up.
 
The school cultural festival is around the corner in episode 5 so the class rep trip and the rest have female Natsuru and Akane wear several outfits for the contest (part of their fetish and harassment I guess) before settling for a maid one. Then Kaede barges in and you can expect the catty fight between her and Akane, resulting the former to run away frustrated. Male Natsuru walks with Kaede on the way back and tries to patch up their relationship but Kaede misinterprets and is more determined to win the heart of the female Natsuru. The day of the festival arrives and the biggest attraction is of course the contest. Before it starts, some of the crowd received randomly thrown Entrails Animals. Female Natsuru appears in a dashing white military outfit while Kaede as a bride. Then it turned into some sort of fantasy love story which I don’t follow because it turns into a love triangle with Akane the cowgirl making her brute appearance. A struggle ensues which resulted in Natsuru’s top been ripped. That’s when Shizuku in some magician-like outfit takes control of the situation and knocks out all 3 of them, thus becoming the winner of this contest. Male Natsuru wakes up in the locker room, surprised to see Shizuku sitting by his side. He has got to expect his life is full of unexpected twists and shocks because Shizuku kisses him! Well, look on the bright side. At least his first kiss was in his male version. Finally, Natsuru’s childhood friend, Mikoto Kondou returns from her worldwide touring trip but can’t seem to find Natsuru anywhere at the festival. Hmm… She has an Entrails Animal too.
 
And so, Mikoto comes crashing into Natsuru’s life in episode 6 when the guy finds her making curry in a naked apron. Not good for Akane because that means more rivals. Due to the rumours, I guess it’s not surprising for Mikoto to even know both Natsurus are dating each other. For the second day of the festival, Natsuru’s class are doing a maid cafe and you know what this means. Yup, Natsuru in a skimpy maid outfit to attract the customers. An excuse to rake in the big bucks. 5000 Yen just to be served by her! Cutthroat prices! But who wouldn’t love to be with the hottest girl in town? Then Shizuku turns up and since she paid in advance, she has VIP treatment from Natsuru. But she is here to inform about a new Kampfer would make her appearance shortly. Then Kaede joins them as Shizuku vaguely hints about the Entrails Animals before causing more misunderstanding by saying she has kissed a certain someone in an empty locker room. Kaede takes Natsuru around the school festival when Natsuru notices she is being targeted and ditches Kaede in the haunted house to battle the white haired sword wielding Kampfer who is by the way wearing a red bracelet. She asserts her strong dislike for Natsuru but luckily for the latter, Akane comes to her aid. Shizuku stops the match and tells them all to revert back to their normal self. The new Kampfer turns out to be Mikoto (her Entrails Animal is Chissoku Norainu – strangled stray dog) and she is bloody shocked to see the true Natsuru. So they gather and talk as Shizuku suggests both sides make a peace truce for now. Natsuru realizes he has left Kaede alone and rushes to see her. Female Natsuru apologizes to Kaede and promises to make up to her with any wish. Bad decision because Kaede wants Natsuru to stay with her for the night.
 
Natsuru may be feeling on top of the world for spending the night at Kaede’s house even if he’s going as a girl in episode 7 but gets disheartened when Akane and Shizuku decide to tag along. Can’t leave things to go they are, eh? So much for privacy. Now the girls make a surprising find in Kaede’s large mansion. She has tons of Entrails Animal series! It’s like she owns a factory of them. Part of Kaede’s plan is to play some game where the participants will end up kissing each other after biting finish at the end of their stick. Based on random picking, first up is Akane and Shizuku. It ends with bold Shizuku homing in to kiss her. Is she a bi? Kaede tries to make it hers and Natsuru but fate just wouldn’t let her. Then it’s Natsuru and Akane but the stick broke before they could get their lips close. So heartbreaking for Akane. Kaede ends the game and takes the gang to her room and shows them her Entrails Animals collection. She points out her favourite one, Hiaburi Lion (burnt alive lion) as it was the first when she got. Mikoto somehow found her way to Kaede’s place and cooks curry for them. Shizuku pours curry over Natsuru’s head so Kaede suggests taking a bath. Oh no. True enough, Natsuru can’t bath in peace, not because she’s embarrassed about her large boobs but rather Kaede keeps popping up irritatingly second after second just to check on her. Watch out for a certain perverted stalker. Probably Kaede and Akane’s argument allowed Natsuru to take a bath. Then when it’s sleeping time, another debate who gets to sleep with Natsuru. She’s so popular, isn’t she? In the end, Natsuru has to sleep alone by herself. In the room filled with scary Entrails Animals! That night, Kaede sneakily comes in to tug in with Natsuru but the latter had changed back to a guy and is in a pinch. Before the molestation could begin, Kampfer Akane crashes in to fire a warning shot. She has no qualms shooting that b*tch to restore Japan’s declining moral standards. Has she looked herself in the mirror? However they are being interrupted by an attack from a white bracelet Kampfer. Hey, I thought there were only 2 sides? Schwert user Rika Ueda makes her move but retreats when Shizuku appears. She concludes ‘they’ are finally on the move. Amazingly, it’s mind boggling that Kaede fell asleep through all that ruckus. Even right till the point Natsuru put her back to bed.
 
In episode 8, Shizuku asks male Natsuru to go out on a date with her. I guess knowing her for quite some time, she must be up to something so he agrees based on the assupmtion that they’re going to draw out the white Kampfer. No matter how you look at it, it seems like a normal boy-girl date though Natsuru seems to be in denial that all this was just a ploy. Of course we viewers would think otherwise too, knowing Shizuku’s sly behaviour. Nothing much happens on this outing as the duo visit the aquarium, walk hand in hand like couples do and Shizuku forcing the guy to buy her a souvenir in which he got her a sea slug keychain. Maybe it’s to signify the love-hate thingy. During lunch, they talk about love and such, why that guy likes Kaede so much when his love is unreturned. Then Shizuku mentions about the white Kampfers could be a third force. She dislikes the idea of fighting without a reason and refuses to play into their game. Amazingly, Natsuru fell asleep at such crucial information that I think he was hoping to hear for. Tired ‘dating’? He wakes up to find himself sleeping on Shizuku’s lap and hopes she has not done anything funny to him. On the way back, Mikoto confronts him and starts strangling him upon learning that he went out with Shizuku. Natsuru pleads for Shizuku to explain but she doesn’t help much because she told the truth: They were dating. The hand is getting tighter around the neck. Back home, now it’s Akane’s turn to barge in to confirm about the ‘date’ so she pesters him what kind of girl he likes besides Kaede. After thinking hard and through all the Kaede faces that pop up in his mind, he sees a tiny face of Akane. This brings joy to Akane as she transforms into her Kampfer version and forces Natsuru to go on a date with her. He has to because he’s got a gun at his head.
 
That date takes them to a hotel where they can spend the night. You can see where this is going. Unfortunately Akane won’t have Natsuru all to herself in episode 9 because Mikoto and Shizuku are joining them. Do we see a pattern here? Oh yeah, Kaede is there too so Natsuru is thrilled with that. So some poolside frolics and girly arguments with guy Natsuru finding himself yet in another love quadruple pinch. But Kaede is happy because if the girls are chasing after him, her prospects of getting female Natsuru are much higher. As part of the deal, the female Natsuru has to make her appearance and after that harassing swimming lesson to Kaede, Natsuru is sent to buy stuff and on her way, she encounters other white Kampfers who start attacking her. They are Sayaka Nakao, Hitomi Minagawa and Ryouka Yamakawa (if I remember well, they were the ones who received randomly thrown Entrails Animals at the school festival). Natsuru could’ve been toast if Akane and Shizuku didn’t show up. To Natsuru’s dismay, she finds out it was Shizuku’s plan to use her as a bait to lure the white Kampfers out but they retreated upon seeing how bickering Natsuru and Akane are. Back in the room, Akane is thinks male Natsuru is going to move in on her, but you know he’s so dense that even the Entrails Animals also give up. Natsuru joins the girls in the other room so Shizuku kicks up another storm about their ‘date’. That storm turns into a catastrophic one when Shizuku kisses Natsuru just to show it to them. Unbelievable! Except for Kaede who is truly ecstatic, the rest are as good as dead. Suddenly Kaede (now spotting evil eyes) takes Natsuru and hypnotizes him to go watch the fireworks alone together. Hmm…
 
Shizuku, Akane and Mikoto go search for the missing duo in episode 10 in hopes that they will not get ahead and make out. It’s better they search alone since they’ll get into an argument who is better suited for guy Natsuru. How did this turned into who-finds-Natsuru-first-gets-to-keep-him contest? But there’s something strange about Kaede. She’s seducing male Natsuru and he’s come to his senses, he’s definitely surprised to see this side of her. Not only that, she wants him to seduce Shizuku and make her fall madly in love with him. She has got him under her spell again and promises to give him a reward for that deed. Before she could kiss him, Kampfer Mikoto and Akane attack. Kaede is nowhere to be found and Natsuru somehow in female version has no idea how he ended up here and maintains her innocence. When they get back, Kaede’s alibi that she got lost while buying stuff proves Natsuru’s innocence. Then in his room, Akane gets desperate and tries to kiss him. Could have succeeded if not for the Entrails Animals interrupting their moment because they want to watch TV. Then everyone gets into the bath (female Natsuru of course) so the girls take their opportunity to harass her with their so called skinship. Kaede hypnotizes Natsuru to complete the mission. Male Natsuru confronts Shizuku in her room and pushes her down onto the bed. Looks like she’s not resisting so she kisses him and he somehow snapped out of the hypnosis. Surprisingly Natsuru’s reaction wasn’t in shock or close to it perhaps he was scared stiff or something. When Shizuku learns that he was being forced to do so by Kaede, she knocks him out and puts an end to their steamy affair. Maybe that can wait. Hope she doesn’t regret it. Meanwhile Kaede is discussing with the white Kampfers that her planned is ruined and will have to rearrange them. Next day on their way out, Kaede whispers to Shizuku in a dark tone that she has thrown away her pride. As swiftly Shizuku turned around, she only sees the usual innocent Kaede. However she still remains suspicious.
 
Male Natsuru is invited to Shizuku’s house in episode 11 and they’re not here for another date. Seems that Shizuku snuck out Kaede’s lion and slaps him till he wakes up. He sheds a little light on their situation. It seems once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, there were two sides that were constantly fighting each other. The Moderators was caught between these 2 forces and came up with a solution. They selected a team of warriors of another galaxy, red and blue, to represent the warring faction and battle it out. Those warriors are the Kampfers we know and victory of one Kampfer side will go to their representatives. So they’re being dragged into somebody else’s war? Seems like that. Shizuku wants Natsuru to fight alongside her against the Moderators after telling him how her beloved senpai, Tamiko, lost to a blue Kampfer long ago. Natsuru goes to ascertain himself if Kaede is really behind all this as he pays her home a visit. Kaede shows her true colours as she reveals she knew her lion was stolen and that she hates boys and wants Natsuru to remain as a female. Another round of hypnotizing. She wants Natsuru to get rid of her pals and in doing so, will give her a big reward. Shizuku, Akane and Mikoto are being called to the rooftop and they think it’s some confession by Natsuru. Instead it is a trap as they are being attacked by the white Kampfers. The short battle ends in the favour of our heroines. Kaede shows up and with her true self revealed, Shizuku questions her if she is a Moderator since she does not wear a bracelet. If she is to answer that, they’ll have to defeat her. Unfortunately they lost and got tied up. Kaede mentions about the white Kampfers’ creation to eliminate them because their existence are a hindrance to the Moderators’ plans. She despises the idea of them teaming up. As for Natsuru, she mentions she is the key to it all. So she proposes a simple rule. If Natsuru chooses to be a girl, Kaede and co wins but if he chooses to be a guy, they win because as we know, they are in love with the male version as opposed to Kaede.
 
Too bad Natsuru is under Kaede’s spell as she orders her to dispose of them. Natsuru then spots the sea slug keychain and regains her senses. She decides not to heed Kaede’s orders because although she confesses she likes Kaede, if she kills the rest, she feels something important would be lost. So she makes her stand by choosing Shizuku, Akane and Mikoto. Kaede is unhappy by her decision and will force Natsuru into choosing her (sore loser!). Natsuru’s motivation was enough to have the girls to break free and do battle. In addition to that, they have their powers increased. Then the weird part is that the Entrails Animals decide to lend their support by singing aloud Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Ode To Joy in German! WTF?! Shizuku and co easily overwhelms Kaede’s subordinates but Kaede tries her last attempting into wooing Natsuru. She tries to give her an advance kiss but Natsuru has decided he wants to be a boy and reverts back to one. Disgusted Kaede slaps and pushes him away. With that, she and her subordinates retreat. However Shizuku and co confront Natsuru and beat him up instead? Is arguing kissing another girl more important than letting the enemy get away? Err… It is. So the next scene fully descends into a fight over Natsuru as they all give him their kiss and shameless tactics of forcing the poor chap into touching their prizes assets. Like that guy has got enough trouble already. Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
 
A totally filler episode 12, what’s worse than Natsuru finding himself switched bodies with Tiger? It’s Tiger in his female version body! You can tell by its ears and tails sticking out like a sore thumb from Natsuru’s body. And you thought being a girl was bad enough. How the heck did that happen? Who cares? Apparently with her newfound ‘freedom’, Tiger ditches Natsuru and goes out. How about a role reversal and taste of your own medicine? Tiger soon finds her other pals switched bodies with their respective Kampfer girls and the quartet go do things that they couldn’t enjoy as a stuffed toy. Like eating nabe. Unfortunately they can’t pay so the shop owners, coincidentally run by the class rep trio, decide to have them pay via their bodies. It turned out to be a stage performance in front of other Entrails Animals. Since they’re being cheered on, the quartet enjoyed it and even went to the extent of stripping naked! Till Kaede passes by and ‘saves’ them. Though she notices the differences between the real ones, nevertheless she requests them on a date. Meanwhile our Kampfer ladies in their switched stuffed doll bodies converge at Natsuru’s house to figure out what is happening. Yeah, they’ve got a sharp tingling sense that their body is being abused for embarrassing purposes. Gone, all those dignity down the drain. Kaede brings the quartet to the amusement park and it seems the rides resemble torture devices. They even played embarrassing games and you can’t blame them for feeling top of the world since they have never enjoyed such sensations as a doll.
 
Suddenly Kaede runs out of the amusement park and to a church. Yup. She feels she has sinned too much and seeks a confession. I’m not sure if this is coincidence or what because the nuns are the class rep trio and they tell her straight in the face that she’s a b*tch beyond help. Thus the only way to ‘cure’ her is to subject her to hard labour. Yeah, all those odd jobs are supposed to have them buy some southern island. Only 5 billion Yen left. How long is that going to take? Looks like they may have to delay it because Tiger and co bust in to save Kaede this time. But will the class rep trio allow them to take her away so easily? Before an epic showdown could start, Tiger trips and this prompts her to note the pain experienced as humans. The quartet start hitting each other and revel in the misery of being human. WTF?! So much so the class rep trio just admit defeat. At the end of the day, Kaede feels sad because she may not see them again if they part but they assure her that they will see each other though in a different form. Then it’s revealed to be some Christmas Santa Claus bedtime story, female Natsuru is reading to her daughter with male Natsuru as the daddy by her side. I don’t know this even makes sense. And yeah, Kaede on a flying sleigh distributes Entrails Animals to everyone. Merry Christmas. Now we know why the world is full of them. Hey wait a minute. How will they change back to their original bodies? Who cares? It didn’t make sense from the start.
 
Oh dear. Look at what a fine mess this has gotten into. What mess? Initially, I expected to have some elements of girly fights since this it is considered a harem anime. But instead of that fight-to-the-death Kampfer tournament that I had expected this short series to build on, it totally descends into a shameless and mindless ecchi fanservice harem fight. So it’s like that Kampfer thingy was just secondary to all that. Do I sound like I’m complaining? So who the heck are the Moderators, why are these random kids chosen to represent and fight some distant feuding sides and other ‘interesting’ developments are somewhat thrown out and replaced with a mediocre ending. Yeah, save it for a sequel if the producers ever intended of continuing the story.
 
Natsuru is already clueless on what’s going on (though he may have gained bits and pieces of it along the way), what more with 3 girls vying for his attention. It’s like he’s become a trouble magnet ever since he could change gender. Besides, he’s still uncomfortable and embarrassed with the fact of a female’s body when just about every guy his age would be damn curious to ‘touch and feel’ here and there. But there is 1 thing that I would like to say about Shizuku, Akane and Mikoto which makes them better than the other girls. They are straight and hetero girls unlike the rest who are so yuri. It’s such a sad thing to see, girls going crazy over a new girl who happens to be the guy next door. Shizuku may be sly and teaseful but you can see that deep down she is still a girl and probably that’s her way of showing her love to Natsuru. She’s got her pride, you know. While Akane may be shy, it amazes me that she would even go as far as doing it with Natsuru, only to have it unknowingly rejected by that dense guy. Very frustrating indeed. Her Kampfer version may be tough but that’s her style. At first I thought Mikoto won’t be part of the love quadruple mess because she was a childhood friend who knew Natsuru has eyes only for Kaede. But you know what they say about childhood friends… Anyhow, I felt the trio were becoming more and more desperate in their attempts to win Natsuru’s heart. There is a limit on how bold a girl can be or throw away her pride, you know.
 
Something about Kaede bugs me. It seems she keeps a large collection of Entrails Animals and due to the revelation of her true character, she must have something to do with the Moderators. Though that is just highly speculation. But the thing which bugged me was if she was the one who handed the Entrails Animals, including to Natsuru, was she just playing dumb that she didn’t realize both Natsurus are the same? It makes you wonder how she fell in love with his female version if assuming she is fully aware that they’re the same person. Perhaps a setup? Is this why she gave Natsuru an Entrails Animal? Or maybe this isn’t the real innocent Kaede we all know from the start? Oh wait. Don’t tell me. A clone or a twin sister. Hah. I could write better plots light this. And what a sad state of one-way love affair this is. Shizuku, Akane and Mikoto love Natsuru who loves Kaede who loves the female Natsuru. Do you think it would be easier if everyone just give up? Yeah, where’s the fun in that?
 
My favourite characters are of course the Entrails Animals. Simply because of their sarcasm. It’s a shame that they did not make much appearance as I hope they would. I really love it the first time they mock each other like how they are rip-offs and sound-alike of certain seiyuus who voiced them. Right on! Perhaps they should have made a sequel spin-off series about them. Speaking of which, I’m not sure how many specials are there but if you buy the DVD, you’ll get those extra clips. I have only watched the first special which is a picture drama lasting a good 10 minutes. Yup. Still pictures while they rant about how they’re going to make themselves more sellable. Well, if they don’t have guts sticking out or die a horrible death, maybe the girls would love to squeeze them to death in their arms with their extreme passionate love.
 
And speaking of seiyuus, there are quite a number of famous ones here. I thought I would hear a male seiyuu to play Natsuru but Marina Inoue plays both gender versions of Natsuru. I guess it is fitting since she did play voice roles of both genders in other animes (not to mention save production cost). If you remember how Kyoko from Skip Beat sound like, you can easily identify her here. Yui Horie (Eri in School Rumble, Naru in Love Hina) is perfect as both opposing personalities of Akane. The twisted voices fit perfectly with the twisted personalities of the Entrails Animals such as Michiko Nomura as Tiger (Shizuka in Doraemon), Yukari Tamura as Rabbit (Rino in Gokujou Seitokai), Nana Mizuki as Yamaneko (Rina in White Album) and Mamiko Noto as Norainu (Sawako in Kimi Ni Todoke). Other casts include Kaori Nazuka as Shizuku (Nadeshiko in Inukami), Kana Asumi as Mikoto (Yuno in Hidamari Sketch series), Megumi Nakajima as Kaede (Miku in Akikan) and Yuko Goto as the vice president of the class rep trio (Asahina in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu).
 
If you have a keen eye, you can spot several trivia (besides the fanservice of course). For instance the characters may spout lines from other series which they may have voiced a particular character in that show or even visuals which parody other animes. Some of them include Gundam, Maria-sama Ga Miteru, Code Geass, Jigoku Shoujo and Revolutionary Girl Utena. And yeah about the fanservice, they are not as numbing as some animes but is enough to keep normal otakus happy. In my opinion. Swimsuits and baths, what more do you want? Like I said, this show descended into a shameless harem fight. Even in the fanservice filled ending credits, you could see the Entrails Animals popping out from underneath the girls’ clothes. So are you really paying attention to the song? What the heck is that violent hip shaking dance anyway?! The mid-intermission is also fanservice related as it shows the girls in random pose and outfits before their clothes turn into bikini and skimpy ones. Super sexy or what? On a trivial note, each episode title has a German word in them. Heck, I don’t know what that means. Even I don’t understand the ranting of the next episode preview by the Entrails Animals. Whatever those fantasy plot or made-up story they’re talking about, I’m sure it isn’t about the next episode.
 
I just concluded that the Entrails Animals are just fun to watch at and not to own. They can turn your life upside down with all that sarcasm. I wonder what kind of horror animals will they have in this series. Choking Pig? Beat To Death Seal? Slit Turkey? Maybe not. Cruelty to animals isn’t cool. Definitely will have issues with SPCA. Hmm… I have old Care Bear teddy bears locked away in my storeroom. Maybe I should check them out to see if those cute little furry stuffed dolls have their guts sticking out. Better not. I don’t want to wake up one morning to find my dick dropped off (Natsuru said that one time!) and myself turned into a pretty busty female. Then again, which is better/worse? Fighting an unrelated distant war or fighting off a horde of love sick girls? So remember, it’s not the outside that counts, it’s the inside. Unless your insides are sticking out on the outside.
 
Kampfer

Sora No Otoshimono

July 3, 2010

Would it be a good omen if something fell out of the sky and especially from the Heavens? Even so, would you take it and consider it as your own? If you say yes, how about a pet angel that will grant you any wish you desire? Sounds too good to be true unless you’re talking about the anime series Sora No Otoshimono. Hearing the name of this title may at first bring sci-fi elements to mind. Partially that’s correct till you see the images of this title. Sexy angels. What does that tell you? Yeah, ecchi fanservice. Do I need to elaborate?
 
So let’s get down to the story and the characters. In a sleepy town where nothing much happens, Tomoki Sakurai is your typical high school kid whose motto is "Peace and quiet is the best". Sounds like a pretty decent guy, right? That is, until you find he’s a typical pervert who likes nothing more than stare at girls’ boobs and panties. Is that his definition of peace and quiet? But no matter how perverted he is, you can tell that he is also a sincere person and that he still cares for those around him. Except his perverted side is more profound.
 
His childhood friend, Sohara Mitsuki, just like any other such animes, lives across his house, takes it upon herself to wake that kid up since his parents are overseas, and though she may be a violent girl, you can tell she harbours a secret crush on him. Ah, if he wasn’t such a pervert, it would all be perfect. Unfortunately due to Tomoki’s pervertness, Sohara has to unleash her ‘murderous chops’ in which that guy deservingly gets in almost every episode. It’s a wonder he doesn’t die from it. Then there’s the mysterious leader of the club called the New World, Eishirou Sugata. In short, he’s a weirdo. How weird? I don’t care about his scientific explanations and theories but this guy is obsessed with the discovery of The New World. Whatever and wherever that is, he believes that World is hovering close by to ours and he is pretty adamant to find it. You can’t blame others into thinking he’s a nut case. Finally, there is Mikako Satsukitane, the student council president and childhood friend of Eishirou. One thing about her, if she’s smiling, it doesn’t mean a good thing. Yup, she may appear nice and all but in fact is manipulative, cunning and a sadist. And she loves teasing Tomoki.
 
As seen in episode 1, Tomoki has always been waking up from this weird dream in tears about an angel in the sky wanting him to rescue her. But he has to put that aside since there is a commotion that Eishirou is attempting another one of his weird stunts. He is trying to fly to the New World via hang glider. Is he crazy? You bet. He fails miserably as always because God did not make men to fly. Sohara suggests helping Tomoki solve his dream problem, to go see Eishirou. Yeah, even that’s the last thing Tomoki wants on his mind. Too bad Sohara threatens him with her chop so it’s between the devil and the deep blue sea. In his dark clubroom, Eishirou explains the concept of the New World. I don’t know why Sohara is so impressed but Tomoki knows his peaceful days are numbered if he is going to seek this weirdo for help. His hell has just begun. Before he knows it, all that elaborated explanation leads Tomoki to being recruited into his club as Eishirou wants them to meet him at midnight at the town’s sakura tree. What does his dream have to do with the New World? Not sure. But he’s bloody sure that they’re connected. Now his peaceful days are definitely gone. That night, Tomoki seems to be the only turned up as Sohara is on a curfew and Mikako ‘kidnaps’ Eishirou for some help. Tomoki is going to leave when he gets a call from Eishirou to get out of there immediately. Too late. A black hole appears over the place and lots of ‘pillars’ start dropping. Tomoki must be lucky to have it all missed him. Just then he spots an unconscious angel and his conscious tells him to save her. A pillar threatens to squash them both when the angel awakens and saves him. She starts her ‘imprinting’ process and lands them to safety. She introduces herself as Ikaros, a Pet-class Angeloid and she is here to fulfil all his master’s wish and desire. Hey, it can’t be a bad thing after all, right?
 
So maybe Tomoki thinks all this was a bad dream and wakes up the next morning in his room but to his dismay, Ikaros is by his side. Nope, not a dream. So to test whether she’s the real deal, Tomoki wishes for money. And a billion Yen he gets! Wow! Tomoki gets hold of the card Ikaros has in possession which grants his wish. Seeing that he can wish for anything, Tomoki starts getting weird ideas. Yup, that includes turning invisible to spy on Sohara changing and even outrage her modesty! Then stopping time and run around naked in town doing all the unthinkable things which isn’t possible if others would’ve seen him. Then back home as he feasts like a king, his thoughts tell him that all that left is world domination. But for now he wants Ikaros to strip. She does so and though Tomoki wants to cancel that wish, he learns that her programme does not allow her to do so. Next morning, Tomoki wakes up and gets the shock of his life. Nobody else is around. Seems that Ikaros has activated his wish for world domination and due to some research that not a single human would accept him as a ruler, she has every single one of them erased! Tomoki feels guilty and breaks down so Ikaros asks if she should terminate herself. He said yes and she was ready to do so. Till he stops her as he was just ‘joking’. In tears, he pleads to her not to do so as he doesn’t want to be alone but as she said, she cannot cancel orders. Wishing that all this was just a bad dream, you can’t help pity this selfish pervert the way he emotionally breaks down. Then the next thing he knows, everything is reverted back to normal. How? Well, he did wish that all this was just a dream, right? Right. Feeling relieved and learned his lesson, he tells Ikaros to do as she wish and allows her to stay by his side. Well, if she even knows what that means. Though Ikaros is loyal and can grant her master any wish, but I feel she’s like an emotionless robot without any independent thoughts of her own. Just like she only moves when is being told to do so.
 
In episode 2, Sohara finds Ikaros in Tomoki’s room. You know what that means. Ouch time. Seeing that Ikaros’ choker chain is tied to Tomoki’s hand, she follows him everywhere and even to school, attracting lots of attention. No choice, Tomoki sees Eishirou about this. Well, that weirdo tells him to watch over her till he figures out the details. Like he has got time for that. And I’m sure Mikako loves to see how this is developing. Ikaros gives Tomoki an older model card. During class, Sohara trips and Tomoki saw her doggy panties. Soon, her panties start flying out like a bird! Tomoki thinks it’s the card since it is flashing. Sohara thinks it is Tomoki and chops him. They go back to Eishirou and tell him the problem. However, no matter how many or what kind of panties Sohara try to put on, it blasts out through the window and into the sky faster than a fighter jet! I don’t know how, a pair of handcuffs appear before him and he puts in on Sohara. With that, she can’t defend herself if the wind decides to play a little trick up her skirt. That’s not a good thing, the way Sohara puts it. Tomoki tries to get order back but his stammering about panties has Ikaros grant him his wish. Yup, every girl got her panties flown away and assembled over Tomoki. Pervert’s dream come true?
 
So this is what I understand from Eishirou’s explanations. It seems the card first activated when Tomoki saw Sohara’s panties which he disliked and will remove it no matter what. So the answer is to wear panties that are acceptable to Tomoki. So Ikaros and Mikako go shopping and got a heap load of panties. However not one of them stay put! So one last chance, a bear print panty and somehow it worked. I’m not sure about the explanations that the card shut itself down but Tomoki glad this ordeal is over. Yeah, he doesn’t want to talk about panties for the time being. How long is that? That night, Tomoki and Sohara chat about when they were young. Sohara had trouble breaking boards for her karate practice so naughty Tomoki pulled down her pants. That’s when she developed her murderous chops and in a way, Tomoki got traumatized by the doggy print panties (not to mention dogs too) she was wearing that time. Realizing that he was the cause of it all, she starts throwing things at him. Remember all those other panties? This may sound like a disgusting new phenomenon, but they seem to be like a flock of migrating birds, flying in row all over the world! Panty meteor shower?! Even caught the attention of the White House people…
 
In episode 3, Tomoki and Sohara are having problems with their maths homework so who better to go seek for Eishirou’s help. They find his large house but the residents mention they have no son of that name. To their surprise (or horror, depending on how you look at it), Eishirou lives in a little tent by the river stream! Hey, he’s a weirdo, remember? Eishirou explains to the dumb ones and it’s like Einstein talking to a baby. Then he passes it to Ikaros to test her computational skills but all she did was scribble over it. He concludes she lacks computational abilities. In exchange for helping them out with their homework, now they help him out with his New World theory. Eishirou’s calculations has him believe that the New World is hovering about them but they don’t see anything so Tomoki has Ikaros fly around but her reports come back negative. Since everyone is staying for the night (oh yeah, now it’s turning into a camping trip), they draw lots to see what chores they’ll be doing. Ikaros has the task of buying groceries and apparently she doesn’t understand the meaning of acting more human because she starts flying. I guess the others are worried so they tail and watch her from afar. During her trip, she buys a watermelon that she’ll carry around for the rest of the series and a little chick (for meat) that will also follow her around. Because Tomoki is having trouble catching fish, Ikaros flies around the world and brings back a giant one. Eishirou and Mikako suspect her purpose as a Pet-class Angeloid as her speed is faster than the world’s best jet fighters. That night, Eishirou confronts Ikaros and wants her to tell him what she is but her answer remained the same. So he thinks the problem now is how sent her to Tomoki and for what purpose. The next day, Eishirou has Tomoki doing a hang glider stunt as part of his experiment and repayment for his homework done. Yeah, another big time failure. Ikaros asks Eishirou the meaning of fun so he tells her that it is her homework to find out.
 
Remember those flying migratory bird-like panties? They’re back in episode 4 and they’re coming home to Tomoki! Now he’s got a bunch of them! You know what will happen if Sohara sees this? Oops. Too late. She shreds them all with her chops. She wants him to get rid of all of them but will that pervert listen? Nope. He still keeps them. And because Sohara saw this coming, using one of Ikaros’ cards, she puts a spell that if Tomoki lays his eyes on a single panty, that panty will explode! Unfortunately the night before, Tomoki has decorated his entire house with them! From the walls to the outside garden! Every nook and corner is covered with them. Just how many panties are there?! Extreme! Now he’s trapped in a mine field! Boom! Bang! He tries to get out blindfolded but it seems touching them too will cause them to blow up. While Tomoki continues his explosive affair to get out alive, Sohara takes Ikaros out as she tells of her past why she ‘likes’ Tomoki. Apparently he was the only kid who came to her birthday party. Ikaros senses her master in trouble so they rush back to find the house like a battlefield.
 
Though Tomoki manages to make it out, he trips and got his face onto Sohara’s panties. The explosion sends her flying into the house. With Eishirou and Mikako watching this, they manage to convince and psyche him up to re-enter the house to save her. It would’ve been easier if someone else went in but you know Mikako, she loves making things interesting. Tomoki manages to find Sohara but she has discovered his darkest secret. A stash of Playboy magazines! I’m not sure what wish Tomoki put up the night before but as some sort of security system, a heap of panties turned into a robot and has got Sohara in its grasp. In a dilemma to save Sohara or his magazines, he chose the former and sacrifices himself by coming into contact with the robot to make it explode. His entire house is destroyed and collection shredded into pieces but Tomoki emerges with Sohara in his arms and the crowd goes wild after the dramatic endeavour. But the mood is spoilt when Sohara notices his pervertness once more and… You figure out the rest. That night as Tomoki sleeps, that dream angel is lamenting that she did not send an angel for things to turn out like this.
 
With his house decimated, Tomoki and Ikaros are trying to find a place to live in episode 5. Eishirou’s camp is out because the wild animals seem to have an appetite for perverts and dumb angels. Sohara won’t let him in because he will definitely steal her panties. All that’s left is Mikako, in which she offers them all to come stay. As the largest house in town, Tomoki and co learn that Mikako is the granddaughter of the local yakuza head. Ah, now we know where her character stems from. They’ll be fine as long as they don’t do anything silly. Oops. Too late. Ikaros rubs the Boss’ head since it’s like a watermelon! But Boss seems to like it and subjects them all to first class luxury treatment. Sumptuous meals and high class entertainment. Man, this is the life! That night, Tomoki mistakenly enters a forbidden place when he was going to soak in the hotspring bath. He sees Mikako bathing alone but too late as the alarm is sound. Every personnel go into full action to catch the ‘intruder’. Eventually Tomoki gets caught as Boss explains how this bath is sacred since a celestial maiden cleanse her body here. After her passing and the bath opened to the public, the town experienced disasters and was only quelled with a sacrifice. Tomoki is to be put to death at any cost. Oh the horror! Mikako can’t do anything and Eishirou can’t persuade them. Before a personnel is going to chop off Tomoki’s head, Ikaros grabs his wrist and though it may not seem like it, he experiences excruciating pain. And what is that scary power aura she is emitting? She asks what is he doing to her master and it could’ve gone from bad to worse if Tomoki didn’t order her to stop. After witnessing the spectacle, Boss hints he will overlook the events so Tomoki apologizes and takes his leave.
 
The next morning, Tomoki and co find themselves being flown to a distant uninhabited island. Since Tomoki isn’t going to pay with his life, I guess he has to live in seclusion for the rest of his life. Well, it’s better than losing his head. Even if this island is owned by Mikako’s family, it is really uninhabited and lacks any facilities. So better start your surviving skills. With Ikaros blasting off to fulfil her master’s orders of catching some fish, Tomoki tries to hunt food for himself but as you can see, he’s a total failure. Then Tomoki ate a weird mushroom and passes out. He wakes up only to find Sohara alone and scared and the others missing. Not to mention that scary howling. They take refuge and try searching the next day but their efforts were futile. Soon a whole month passed and the duo are accustomed to living life on an island. Look how tanned they are. One night, the usual nostalgic chat about being lonely and all that. So we’re thinking Sohara suggests easing that loneliness by having a baby since Tomoki promises never to leave her side. And you know what that means, right? Gulp. So are they ready to experience their first time? Apparently that had to wait as a giant threatening sea creature emerges. Tomoki goes all out to save Sohara till he finds out underneath all that oyster and seaweed is just Ikaros. She’s back from her fishing trip to parts unknown of the world and somehow those sea things got stuck to her. Using her radar to check for other signs of life, suddenly part of the forest fell off and we see Mikako, Eishirou, Boss and his subordinates watching them! Oh sh*t! So they were just in their backyard all the while?! And that scary howl was just a tape recorder. Since they had so much fun, Boss will let them off the hook with this punishment. Using their powers, Boss has his subordinate rebuild Tomoki’s house. Partly he seems to take a liking for Ikaros rubbing his head. Uhh… But Tomoki and Sohara’s ordeal isn’t over because back in school, Mikako plays those romantic I’ll-never-leave-you lines over the PA! They got it recorded! Such a sadist…
 
More trouble for Tomoki because in episode 6, another Angeloid, Nymph, is seen in his home like as though it is her own. A friend of Ikaros? Unfortunately she doesn’t know even if she has wings and the same choker around her neck. Unlike Ikaros, Nymph has independent thinking and emotions and doesn’t like humans whom she regards as bugs. But in this episode, the gang go on a beach trip after winning a lottery first prize. Even Nymph tags along. Wouldn’t they mind the new girl in town? Heck, the more the merrier, they say. So the usual beach affair. Bouncy babes in bikinis. Tomoki can’t leave Ikaros by her own or else she’ll do ‘un-human’ things so he teaches her how to swim like a human. This disheartens Sohara because she thought she was going to spend a little private time with him boating. She gets upset and boats by herself. Some flashback how Tomoki tried teaching her to swim when they were young and by the time she snaps out of it, she’s too far from shore. As expected, her oars fell off and she slip out while trying to retrieve them. Tomoki then realizes his boating promise with Sohara but too late as he spots her drowning. He wouldn’t have made it in time if not for Nymph’s help. Apparently, Eishirou won some prize so the gang gets to stay over for the night. That night Tomoki can’t sleep and sees Ikaros awake. She tells him Angeloids of her design don’t sleep or have dreams so he takes her out for a night stroll. At the same time, a bunch of thugs try to hit on Nymph. Tomoki goes to rescue her and since 1 of them got rough, the same wrist twisting what-are-you-doing-to-my-master tactic from Ikaros. Her aura is so powerful that it blows away the nearby rocks! Could’ve been bad if Tomoki hadn’t told her to stop. Enough to scare those jerks away. Tomoki is upset that she shouldn’t do those stuff and takes her away. Unknown to them, the rest are watching from afar and yeah, Sohara looking very shock. Haih…
 
Back to school in episode 7. Was that vacation refreshing? Well, you’re going to need it Tomoki because Ikaros and Nymph have become new transfer students in his class! Blame it on the card, dude, since Ikaros really wanted to be with Tomoki 24/7 so Nymph got irritated and made her wish come true. Tomoki is not too happy but he is reminded by Eishirou that he wanted Ikaros to act more human. Sohara on the other hand is glad and tries to help out but to her dismay she is way out of the Angeloids’ league. From solving difficult out-of-this-world maths questions to home economics to even English classes. They come out tops. Due to that, they’ve got a few fans of their own. Isn’t that a good sign? Then to make things more interesting, bored Nymph has Ikaros become the teacher for their next class! It is so interesting that even seniors Mikako and Eishirou are in their class and suggests making Tomoki a test subject! And today’s class is how to fly in the sky. They love tormenting him. Everyone gangs up to have Tomoki jump and fly out of the window and no matter how reluctant that guy is, call it smooth convincing talk or he just gave up and join them that he finally dons a weird flying outfit and makes his leap out of the window. Into the endless sky… Well for 3 seconds, that is. Then he comes crashing down just like reality. Now that has got to hurt. The next day, Ikaros and Nymph get a bunch of fan letters in their locker. As the Angeloids read their letters alone, Ikaros do not understand its content as Nymph shows her true colours. She mocks Ikaros and starts scanning her (regarding her multiple restrictions such as emotions, etc) and then revealing Ikaros as the Uranus Queen that wrecked havoc the entire Synapse. She is interrupted when Eishirou comes in. He too suspects about Nymph nothing that she is quite different from Ikaros. Lastly, a short clip shows how Nymph was sent down to Earth by her master to retrieve Ikaros.
 
It’s the traditional festival in episode 8 organized by Mikako’s family for the town to unite the people. Well, she’s got a yakuza background so expect a guy to sell rifles and guns at the place in addition to traditional food and games stall. So everyone is there including our protagonists. Mikako spices things up by organizing a survival battle contest using cork guns in which the last standing survivor will win the prize of 10 million Yen cold hard cash. Enough cash to buy one’s dreams. Who is up for grabs? Everyone for himself! Sever all ties! Get ready to kill! I don’t know why, everyone gangs up against Tomoki. They love him that much, eh? But they are taken out by the sharp sniper of Eishirou and Mikako. Both engage in mortal combat and are equal in terms of fighting skills. Poor Tomoki gets caught in between but he still survives. Meanwhile Ikaros destroys a huge chunk of the competition with her chaingun! OMG! She fragged the entire town! Her body count is rising to level high records! Till Tomoki stops her by shooting a cork at her head for overdoing it. When Ikaros flies away, she is being encountered by Nymph. She starts abusing and beating her up, claiming to know her true identity. But Ikaros maintains of her Pet-class type statement. That’s when Nymph unlocks her memories and we see Ikaros as some devastating weapon of mass destruction responsible for annihilating lots of human civilization. Nymph continues to mock her that her memories brought her to tears but that was a bad move because she has really awakened the true Uranus Queen. Ikaros goes on the offensive and lets Nymph gets a taste of her own medicine. Nymph crashes down and dirty in the ground as Ikaros unleashes a huge mean looking arrow of destruction, Appeloun, enough to destroy the entire country. She is prepared to fire and destroy Nymph but her emotional state pleads for her to leave. Though Nymph agrees, she vows to be back and warns her that sooner or later her master will find out her true identity.
 
Meanwhile Tomoki thinks he has a shot with the money now that the entire town is taken out. Seems Sohara is the competitor standing in his way. However the rifle dude warns him that he mixed up a real gun with the fakes. Guess what? Yup. Sohara has it. She’s so obsessed with winning so she could spend the money on some sick fetishes with Tomoki, she isn’t going to listen to him. Run for your life! In her obsession she accidentally fires a shot at Tomoki and that guy thinks he is done for. Luckily for him, Ikaros appears to take the shot in his place. I guess it takes death of a closed one to snap one back to his/her senses. But all that emotional drama comes to an end when Ikaros just wakes up. Hey, she’s and Angeloid (and more recently a WMD) so she can’t dies that easily, right? The final battle for the cash turns into a three-way fight. Tomoki, Sohara and the rifle dude. So he was in this game all along? A showdown between the trio and can the kids pull off a major upset. Seems like it… Not. Rifle guy wins so Mikako hands him the money and wishes him for next year too. Later as the fireworks are being displayed, Tomoki and Ikaros talk. He expresses his concern of her jumping in to save his life and that he would be upset if she had really died. Since her emotional restriction is gone, Ikaros starts crying and hugs his back.
 
In episode 9, Nymph returns to the Heavens but gets punished for her failure to retrieve Uranus Queen. Seems her sadistic masters are bored that they find torturing her in excruciating pain very entertaining. Is this what Heaven is? Then I don’t want to go there. For this episode, it’s the sakura viewing season so as usual, the gang patron the stalls and a nice spot for the viewing. Ikaros is worried about her past when she overhears other people saying that it is human to lie. Noting that is her master’s wish, she goes around telling lies to her buddies. Oh the heartbreak. Except for Mikako. Because I guess it is music to her ears when Ikaros tells her she is a good person. Haha. Then Ikaros sees Nymph again but the latter lies that she plans on hanging around with them when she’s actually planning to take her back to the skies. Nymph then goes to see Tomoki and based on her body actions, I think she’s turning tsundere. There is some rare perverted DVD that Tomoki wanted to buy at the stalls but since he has no money (earlier on he had to pay for an item Ikaros broke), he starts selling weird stuff. Yeah, his perverted stuff is driving the female customers away. He misinterprets Nymph’s advice to be an idol by selling naked photos of himself! Gross! Then he gets desperate by secretly selling Sohara’s panties and even throwing in a cute picture of her. He should’ve been prepared for the chop if he intended to do so. Anyway he got it.
 
Frustrated Tomoki throws up a tantrum when he sees lovely couples around him so Nymph helps him out by using a jamming system to make all the ladies for fall Tomoki. Oh yeah. Now he’s such a hot hunk. While he’s busy entertaining the girls, Nymph has been reluctantly relegated to a waitress job serving drinks so she shuts the system off and that’s when the ladies turn on him while he is showing his ‘tower’ off. Super ouch. But Tomoki thanks Nymph for helping him out before going to buy the DVD. This causes her to be in a dilemma over her feelings and the different treatment between both their masters. Eventually Eishirou confronts Ikaros and knows she had been lying all along. Thus her reason for lying is exposed so everyone is relieved. Except for Mikako’s one. I guess Ikaros is smart enough to agree with Mikako that she’s a good girl still. Eishirou notes how Tomoki has changed in the sense that initially he didn’t want to be with the Angeloids. When they get back home, Ikaros asks Tomoki what he thinks of her. This prompts him to tell his younger days when he was a weird kid so much so he had no friends. Thus the reason he doesn’t want her or Nymph to suddenly just disappear as it will remind him of his sad past. That’s when Ikaros kisses him and asserts that she will always be by his side. Since this is developing so fast, Tomoki reprimands and gives her another one of his lectures. And late that night, to his shock, he finds the Angeloids watching his perverted DVD! All part of trying to be human, eh?
 
It’s time for the yearly school cultural festival in episode 10. Due to their town lacking in number of students, the festival is jointly organized with another local private high school, Sorami. And they seem like a bunch of stuck-up aristocrats looking down on this ‘poorly organized’ festival. Yeah, big time jerks, if I should say. Since they fired the first salvo by mocking just about everything lowly about them, Mikako can’t sit back and is going to counter their orchestra performance with their own rock band. To Tomoki’s dismay, everyone is a flop. I don’t know what weird seashell instrument Eishirou is blowing, Ikaros can hardly hit her tambourine, Sohara losing her drum sticks and I wonder if Mikako even knows how to play the bass. The only hope lies within Nymph who is quite adept with the keyboard. And during such times, all Ikaros could think was how to hold her master’s hands. The battle of the bands blows up into a full scale election-like machinery as Boss and his subordinates go around town gathering support for Mikako’s band. Soon the entire town is divided over both sides and it’s like a fiery battle could erupt any moment. Hey, it’s just a band performance, will everyone cool down? While everyone is focusing on Nymph, the soon realize a hidden talent from Ikaros. During the festival and before the showdown, the gang takes a walk around. Nymph sees Eishirou promoting his New World exhibit and this has her to remember the time when her cruel master beats her up, in addition to putting up a smile and saying thank you at every kick she gets. Heartless. Then when her master tells her to bring a bird and break its wings, Nymph has no choice but to do so since she can’t go against his orders. Totally heartless! So seeing Tomoki’s kindness, she can’t help break into tears. Of course the rest blames him for doing something to her.
 
The showdown has arrived and the Sorami counterparts put up a magnificent orchestra display. Then it’s Tomoki’s turn. He makes a false start by singing a horrible rendition about his tingling nipples! WTF?! Before they become laughing stock and lose the bet, he then passes the microphone to Ikaros (finally get to touch his hand) and when she opens her mouth, she’s got a damn beautiful voice mesmerizing the crowd. Everyone goes wild at the end and it’s safe to say who won. As Tomoki and co celebrate their victory, he thanks everyone for their hard work. Eishirou asks him if he is going to the bonfire dance but Tomoki says they only allow couples in. Sohara and Nymph offer themselves but after noticing that Ikaros really wants to go, they agree to let her be with Tomoki. But Ikaros is still worried about her past and if her master should find out and wonders if she should be this happy. Sometimes too much thinking and worrying is bad, so just enjoy the moment will ‘ya girl?
 
Tomoki is still the pervert he is and suggests for the gang to go for an open public bath in episode 11. Since the girls are smart enough to know his intentions, they reject his proposal. He goes to Eishirou for help. By know Tomoki knows how to play Eishirou’s game so when he mentions the possibility of the New World via girls’ bath, the bespectacled weirdo agrees to help. Eishirou uses a card he borrowed from Ikaros to study, to change Tomoki into a girl to infiltrate the bath. Hello people, it’s Tomoko now. So his first mission is to get into everyone’s good books by being the new klutzy transfer student. Seems to be working well so far. Having new fans and making friends with Sohara, Tomoko has stepped into a place where no men has ventured and got out alive or unscathed. The girls’ changing room. He must be loving it. In no time, he manages to convince the girls for a public bath. Though Mikako has her reservations, it was still enough to fool her. So Tomoko takes her first step into the bath while Eishirou spies as wall mural. Unfortunately with great powers come great responsibilities. Okay, not quite accurate but Tomoko misuses her ‘powers’ and goes on a wild perverted rampage! She’s like a horny monster shooting beams?! "Yes! Yes! Yes!" Ikaros is keeping tabs on Tomoko’s system stability and as a guy you know which part grows bigger as you get turned on, right? So how does that part grow considering Tomoko is a girl? Mind boggling?
 
Because of that, he lost control and the system starts malfunctioning. Tomoko changes back to Tomoki and it doesn’t matter if he has seen Sohara naked because this will be the most painful chop he’ll ever received. So how is Heaven like, boy? Smart Eishirou has retreated when he knew Tomoki went out of control. As punishment, Tomoki is made to clean the entire bath house. So the girls get to soak in peace and Ikaros feels happy that Sohara sees her as a normal girl. With her resolve to tell her master the truth, Ikaros goes to see Tomoki outside but seems to hesitate and is afraid he will hate her. But he compliments her for being more human and that it is okay to have a thing or two to hide. She starts breaking down so Tomoki says to tell him when she feels like it. Tomoki sees Eishirou for more information about the New World and Angeloids but he too doesn’t have much. Meanwhile Nymph’s master has plans on scrapping her. And yeah, Eishirou gets beaten up by Mikako and a rifle shoved up his face since she has a photo proof of where he was hiding in the bath house. No escape from her eagle eyes…
 
The gang tries to teach Ikaros to smile in episode 12 but yield unwanted results. Ikaros should know better than to seek Mikako’s advice. Hitting someone makes her happy but you know, it won’t be the same if Ikaros tries to do the same with her master. So one morning Tomoki gets the shock of his life to see her really smiling. Actually, Nymph glued her face that way. That’s not going to cut it. So Nymph suggests for the 3 of them to go on a date. Of course the date seems un-normal given the fact that Ikaros hasn’t fully understand about being human so Tomoki has a hard time as usual. As for Nymph, she’s in a dilemma about her feelings for Tomoki since he isn’t her master. Then at the zoo, Nymph mentions how they are like these animals, caged up and would be happy if were set free. Ikaros misinterprets this would make Tomoki happy and frees them all. I guess Tomoki is a trouble magnet because the wild animals chase after him and bite off his clothes till he’s naked. It got out of hand that even the army got involved and thinks this is a new kind of terrorism! Naked kid unleashing havoc at a zoo is terrorism?! He got caught and arrested but I don’t know how he was released. He reprimands them so Nymph suggests a kiss to end their date. Ikaros doesn’t know the pain in her heart is jealousy so she flies away. Nymph backs out upon realizing how embarrassing it is. Then she too flies away, wishing them goodbye and that was supposed to be some sort of her final memories with them. She thinks Ikaros will be fine with a guy like him. Soon Tomoki finds Ikaros and they walk home hand in hand. It is revealed the bleeping thing on Nymph’s choker is a time bomb and her time is running out. While laughing to herself in the rain, a powerful blast befalls on her. She recognizes the pair of harpies as Gamma Angeloids.
 
In episode 13, the Harpies tell Nymph that they’re being sent by her master because he was thinking about her and all that crap. Of course this sends confusing and happy signals to her that her master is caring about her but in actual fact his real intentions are to kill Uranus Queen, all the humans below and then see her reaction when she returns only to be told she’ll be scrapped. Jerk. Meanwhile the rest are preparing a Christmas party at Tomoki’s place. Ikaros has her mind preoccupied with Nymph’s words about freedom and revelation of true identity. Sohara notices and ‘allows’ her to go out. Ikaros meets Tomoki on his way back from shopping. She drops a bombshell bidding him farewell and that she will never forget and loved him. She flies off. Okay, bye. Would that go down well with Tomoki? Hell, no. He goes to find her high and low throughout town. Ikaros finds Nymph and before their conversation interrupted when the Harpies blast and knock Ikaros out. They reveal their lies to Nymph and that their master told them to bring back Ikaros’ system core and variable wings only. They are going to easily blast Ikaros away when Nymph unleashes her powerful Paradise Song beam towards them. Unfortunately Nymph couldn’t finish them off so the Harpies, like little school girls, impose their girly bullying on hapless Nymph by pulling her hair and pulling off her wings. So heartless. Pity to see Nymph in pain.
 
Soon Tomoki and his pals realizes what is going on and start heading to the angels’ whereabouts based on information of eye witnesses and Eishirou’s data. They arrive to see Nymph’s horrible fate. By that time, Ikaros too has come to and that’s not a good sign for the Harpies. You don’t want to mess with her. You don’t want to make her mad. And when she’s in weapon mode, you’re in deep sh*t. So deep that the Pacific Ocean is like the shallow part of a children’s swimming pool. Ikaros reveals the truth about herself to Tomoki but he says he knew it all along. The fact that he said he hated her being a weapon was that he meant he felt bad for her and thought it was too much for a girl to be a killing machine. As Ikaros is brought to tears by his kind words once more, Tomoki is also glad that she’s a weapon because now she can go save their friend. With that, she goes into combat mode and the Harpies better pray that they have lady luck on their side. Oh wait. They don’t. So are they still thinking of fighting her? How can you beat her fully equipped monstrous Uranus System arsenal? Well, it’s either their master’s wrath or this. As for the kids, they try to free Nymph of her chain. Though she tells of the time bomb, they persist that they’re here to save their friend. So I guess Nymph realizes lots of stuff like being happy and such. I also feel it wasn’t the axe Tomoki used that successfully broke her chain, but rather their determination. With Nymph free and the Harpies barely retreating back to Heaven by the skin of their teeth, Ikaros returns to normal mode and joins with the rest while watching the white snow fall.
 
I don’t blame you if you felt the ending was a little abrupt. No doubt that the ‘good people’ won the day and Ikaros reunited with her master, but that doesn’t feel satisfying since there are many questions left unanswered like the so called Heaven up in the sky, the angel that Tomoki dreamt and who or why Ikaros had her memories and other functions sealed and sent down to Earth. But don’t fret because a second season has been given the green light and maybe those questions will be answered and revealed. Yeah. Can’t get enough of those sexy angels, can’t we? Besides, if they made angels to be mass weapons of destruction (I guess to annihilate humans, what else?), why living things with emotion? Would it be better if it’s just a scrap of metal like a giant laser cannon? Maybe those sickos up there who must have been living so long got bored and needed their weapon to double up as their toy as well.
 
Tomoki may be a pervert but just like many young kid heroes in such show, he too has a caring side. He may have to forgo his peaceful and quiet days now that he has two angels to deal with but I guess he is okay with that. Something trivial about Tomoki bugs me. During comical scenes, half of the time he would be in chibi form. That means he would look so out of place and weird amidst the crowd. It’s really funny. Also the fact he goes into naked mode, a pair of wings act as his natural censor. And maybe with Tomoki truly accepting Ikaros, perhaps she could learn to smile. I bet I have never seen her with that nice facial curve (that gluing part does not count) because it has always been the blur gloomy expressionless look. Then after she remembered her memories, it was either that or crying. Angels like her are so emo… Oh yeah I forgot about her serious kick ass face in the final episode. Another initial aspect that I was pondering is the Ikaros’ inability to cancel wish. If Tomoki can’t undo a wish, why not give an order which is the opposite. I mean, if he changed his mind of wanting Ikaros to strip naked, then just give an order to not strip. Simple as that. I wonder if she still takes care of her watermelon and little chick.
 
Nymph is a totally changed character at the end too. At first, she started out hating humans and looked down upon them. Till she starts thinking about the cruel treatment her own master gave her all the while. It may not be a surprise that she’d fall for that guy. Oh wait. Maybe she already did. As for Sohara, too bad she couldn’t let Tomoki know her true feelings. Not even close. Better be quick since the ‘competition’ is getting a little crowded. It’s amazing that Tomoki has managed to survive Sohara’s deadly chops all over the years. Normal people would’ve been dead by now. And Tomoki’s not normal. He’s a pervert. Wait a minute, isn’t that normal for a kid his age? Mikako’s manipulative and cunning behaviour was amusing to watch especially when metes it out on poor Tomoki. Blame it on her yakuza background. Surprisingly she didn’t make any sly moves in the final episode but I guess she just left it to Tomoki since he’s in charge of his angels. As for Eishirou, what more can I say. He has got nothing but the New World on his mind.
 
He’s so obsessed about the New World that at the beginning of every episode (except the last), Eishirou will narrate to viewers about mankind’s progress in discovery, communication and exploration during the early ages and the turn of the century. History revisited. I don’t know all that mumbo jumbo he spewed because it somehow relates to the New World that he is hoping so much to discovery. Yeah, he has several assistants called Pretty ranging from a doll to a fish and even Mikako volunteered herself. For argument’s sake, if you ever believed in his New World theory, don’t worry, the New World won’t be some sort of an invisible planet on collision course with Earth like some Doomsday soothsayers would believe in. A ‘unique’ thing about this series is that each of the ending theme is different. No two are the same. They can range from typical Japanese anime pop to slow ballads to even those kind of music you hear in typical sentai shows. Of course the ending credits differ too. Some offering snippets of the aftermath of that episode, montages of previous episode clips or drawing sketches. Howzabout seeing Tomoko doing her physical training? Fancy seeing the gang doing retakes of the episode like as though they are acting in a film? Or perhaps a showcase of the characters in action? But don’t worry, the opening theme is standard and fixed. Entitled Ring My Bell by Blue Drops.
 
Then there is something about the episode titles. A word part of the title that is written in kanji, seem to bear a different meaning based on the hiragana or katakana written above it. Though the meaning of both words do not necessarily contrast each other, but they give the sentence a different new meaning. For example, episode 2’s "The Soaring Rainbow-coloured Underwear (Romance)", episode 7’s "The Cute (Exciting) New Girls", episode 10’s "Where The Angel’s Melody (Words) Go" and episode 13’s "The Queen (Thing That Fell) From The Sky". I wonder the significance of this double meaning. Maybe it’s to signify the hidden double standards the angels faced. Born to serve and make their masters happy from the moment they were born but not allowed to be happy for themselves.
 
So if you like your angels to be sexily clad and your ecchi fanservice filled with bouncy boobs and coloured panties (at least to Tomoki, he’ll definitely love it), then yeah, maybe you could enjoy this one. Me, can’t say I got disgusted with them because they were funny. Especially the naked kid alleged to have caused mayhem at the zoo as a new terrorism and the time Ikaros gunned down the entire town during the survival game. I still can’t stop laughing thinking about that. And if you ask me, it won’t be a funny thing if an angel suddenly drops down at my feet and proclaims herself to be my indispensible wish granting genie. I would take it as a sign as the end of the world! Just like that 2010 Hollywood movie Legion, eh? Hmm… Maybe I would consider if she’s a little kawaii and would grant my wish of watching every darn anime that has ever been produced. If that was true, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing up this blog. Oh yeah, I got to get me one of those cards. On second thought, maybe peace and quiet would be better.
 
Sora No Otoshimono

Touhou

July 2, 2010

From what I understand, Touhou Niji Sousaku Doujin Anime: Musou Kakyou (Touhou Secondary Creation Doujin Anime: A Summer Day’s Dream – phew. What a long title) is an anime series based on a highly popular shoot ’em up game made by a one-man team called Team Shanghai Alice. It’s some sort of a fan made game and it is quite popular. Taking a brief look at Wikipedia has me overwhelmed with all the information about the several games and soundtracks released, starting way back in 1996. Now that is a pretty long time.
 
So this anime is of course fan-made as well (by MAIKAZE, for the records) and that means it is not produced by those big experienced Japanese studios (duh!). I’m not a fan of doujin work nor am I obsessed with playing shooting games. Heck, I haven’t even played a decent game in years. What more a Japanese-made game. I read that this project is to be divided into 3 episodes, each lasting 20 minutes. The first one was released way back in December 2008 to coincide with Comiket 75. Why did it take me so long to watch this? Well, let’s just say I was much pre-occupied with some other animes at that time and it slowly slipped into a corner of my brain until recently I remembered by chance due to some mindless online browsing. Some excuse that was.
 
Anyway the setting of this series is at a place called Gensokyo, supposedly a world that exists quietly besides ours but separated by a mystical border. A melting pot whereby humans and other spirits live in harmony together. Every summer, there is a large feast held at the Hakurei Shrine of Reimu Hakurei. She is the one responsible guarding the border and as narrated, it’s that time of year again where all walks of life of Gensokyo converge for that annual feast.
 
As Reimu gets up early to prepare for the feast, she is somewhat disappointed that only Suika Ibuki turned up. I guess Suika is pestering her for some sake so she sends her off to do some shopping errands. Shortly after, Reimu to her dismay finds the donation box missing. Whether the donation box was filled with money or empty with cobwebs, it was enough to make Reimu deciding to cancel the feast. Is the donation box that important? At least to her. Another girl appears. A photographer-cum-reporter, Aya Shameimaru, could tell by Reimu’s body language that the donation box is stolen. Aya offers to help and uses her magic to summon her friend, Marisa Kirisame. Aya and Marisa got into an ‘argument’ but the latter had an alibi so obviously it wasn’t her who stole the box. Just like Reimu said, it’s better to shut your mouth and start searching because it will be faster. Okay, she didn’t exactly say that but you know it’s somewhere along that line. Marisa is reluctant to get involved. Till Aya threatens to expose some scandalous pictures. No choice. By the time the trio left, Suika returns but finds no one around.
 
Based on Aya’s info, the trio end up at Scarlet Devil Mansion. This is supposedly where the donation box was taken to because Aya suspects Patchouli Knowledge to have taken the box. Reimu gets upset over the thought that the bookworm will use it as a bookshelf. Meanwhile at the balcony of the mansion, Remilia Scarlet is talking to her maid, Sakuya Izayoi, about how the food and drink supplies had disappeared just the night before. She then spots Reimu and Marisa entering the mansion and gets a shock of her life with Aya suddenly popping up and handing her a newspaper to read.
 
In the library, Patchouli senses ‘intruders’ and true enough it is Reimu as she confronts her and demands her she return her donation box. She just jumped straight to that conclusion and started accusing her she stole it? As for Aya and Marisa, I guess the former continues to tease the latter that she ‘borrows’ books from this library without returning them (considering the vast amount of books this library has), which of course Marisa strongly rebuked so as not to get the wrong impression. Aya then starts throwing books and unfortunately one of them hit Patchouli in the face. Reimu must be very kiasu of her donation box because she tells Patchouli to get up and resume the conversation they were in the middle of. Has the thought of that she may be hurt crossed her mind? Apparently not. Elsewhere, Remilia reads the newspaper headline which says the feast is cancelled due to the stolen box and a search to retrieve it in its replacement. Wow. News does travel fast here.
 
By now, the magic battle between Reimu and Patchouli heats up, each casting spells against each other. Be careful of the books! In the end, Reimu’s magic reigns superior as Patchouli uses a spell to allow herself to escape. Patchouli is hiding behind some boxes when Sakuya appears beside her. Taken aback by her sudden appearance, Sakuya covers Patchouli’s mouth in order to keep her silent. But too late as Reimu has already spotted her. Before she could unleash another spell, Remilia shows up and questions Reimu about the donation box. How did she know it was stolen in the first place, get what I’m saying? She adds Patchouli can’t be the culprit as she was in this library all day long looking for her missing books in addition to the food and drink supplies. So Reimu thinks it has to be that ‘incident’.
 
That’s as far as the first episode goes and from the rumours I briefly skimmed through over the internet, some said the production has been scrapped due to poor response. The game may be popular but that doesn’t mean that will translate to be a successful anime, right? Hey, it’s fan-made so there isn’t like any deadlines to meet whatsoever. Even if they do make the next episode, I feel it won’t be anytime soon. Speaking of which, the next episode narration at the end of the first episode is a little cheeky. It says the title for the next episode is "Yukarin is 17 Years Old" but the narrator quickly retracts her statement and that it was just a joke because they haven’t decided on a title yet. Haha. Fooled for a moment there.
 
Talking about the art and drawing, when I first looked at it, I somehow felt it to be somewhat cartoonish and unrefined. Of course considering this is a fan-made anime, it is considered good already. But I will give them high points for the shading and colour hues. They are pretty good looking if you pay close attention to it. Seeing that this is a fantasy world setting, I’ll forgive them for the design outfits for the characters which ranges from priestess, maid, witch and… China military outfit? Sometimes I think due to that, others may be mistaken to think that those who watch this show are lolicons. Aren’t all the characters that have appeared in this episode little girls? And I wonder what are those 2 horns sticking out from Suika’s head. Hmm… She may not be human to begin with.
 
Another thing about this series is the use of several famous and veteran seiyuu. We have Kikuko Inoue as the narrator (Belldandy in Aa! Megamisama), Mai Nakahara as Reimu (Mai Tokiha in Mai-HiME), Aki Toyosaki as Suika (Yui in K-ON!), Miyuki Sawashiro as Marisa (Shinku in Rozen Maiden), Ayumi Fujimura as Aya (Kyouka in Kyouran Kazoku Nikki), Ayumi Tsuji as Remilia (Suzumebachi in Bleach), Rie Tanaka as Sakuya (Suigin Tou in Rozen Maiden) and Mikako Takahashi as Patchouli (Rushuna in Grenadier). They’re sure glad to help out a fan-made anime. I wonder do they get paid or just volunteering. It’s not about the money, it’s the passion! Oh, who am I kidding? Then I found out it is because of the use of high profile seiyuus, the series was renamed into a longer version (as mentioned at the top of this blog) in order to avoid confusion that this series is an official Touhou product. What? I’m already confused.
 
Sure, I do harbour my own dreams of producing my own anime. But in reality, the amount of time and resources make it impossible in my current situation to do so. Heck, I can’t even draw a decent one. Better off being a dream, huh? So maybe if the next episode does get released, I may take my own sweet time in watching it since this series didn’t end up being one of my top priorities to watch. As said, I was ‘frightened’ by the amount of characters, games, music, stories, print works and terms of this series. You have got to be an obsessed fan and play every one of them if you want to become familiar with it. I’m just leaving this series here as it is. So remember, it’s okay to lose your donation box, but not your donation source. :)
 
Touhou