11eyes

April 30, 2011

What happens when you find yourself in a strange parallel world having to fight ugly monsters for survival? Without knowing anything, thrust back and forth between the sanctuary of your own world and into the dangerous realm that doesn’t just happen once but repeatedly like a never ending loop. That seems like an interesting premise when I watched 11eyes, based on the PC game of the same name.

Every game or anime sure has its main hero. I’m not sure if I could classify this as a harem but Kakeru Satsuki lost his older sister after she killed herself 7 years ago after an attempt to take his life too. With an eye-patch over his right eye, Kakeru gets by his traumatic past and live his everyday life with childhood friend Yuka Minase as well as classmate buddies like the idiotic Tadashi Teruya and keeping-that-idiot-in-line Kaori Natsuki.

Episode 1
That normalcy is about to shatter when Kakeru’s eye starts to glow as he and Yuka are transported to a strange alternate world that they dubbed the Red Night. Well, simply everything here is covered in red hue. There are no other humans except themselves and what’s worse than creepy tentacle blob creatures that start attacking. Just when they are surrounded, the Red Night ‘cracks’ and they are returned back to their own world. We also meet other characters that would play a significant role later on such as the new transfer student from Italy but quiet and mysterious Shiori Momono, the brash delinquent Takahisa Tajima, the school nurse Saiko Akamine (why must many anime school nurse be busty and sexy?) and the serious Onmyouji swordswoman Misuzu Kusakabe. Kakeru and Yuka try to brush off that nightmare but at the park after Kakeru thinks he has seen visions of his late sister, once again they are transported to the Red Night.

Episode 2
Luckily they meet Misuzu who helps protect them from the blobs. After running, they arrive at a place with crystals and a little girl in white, Lisette trapped within it. They can’t be fighting low level enemies all the time, right? So yeah, meet the main antagonists of the series, The Black Knights, 6 ugly creatures (they remind me of some sort of voodoo thingy) bent on destroying our heroes whom they deemed as Fragments and will stop them at any cost of freeing Lisette. I guess this was just warm up so before any real fight could happen, the trio are popped back right into their own world. Is this getting annoying or what? Not when you have to deal with scary beings and the unknown. The trio discuss about the recent events as Misuzu has Kakeru show her his right eye but it seems normal. Later Kakeru and Yuka stop by at a cafe and are being served by a clumsy bespectacled girl, Yukiko Hirohara. They notice a scar on Yukiko’s hand heals. Kakeru sends Yuka home and she snuggles up closely to him, wishing to be with him forever. Next day at the school library, Kakeru gets more creepy visions of his late sister popping up behind the bookshelves before disappearing. There’s even a sketchbook leaving a note accusing him that he is the one who has awakened the demon. Then his eye problem comes bugging him again. Well, it may not be the Red Night but that is one hell of a Black Moon in the sky.

Episode 3
Apparently those who got whisked away to the Red Night can see the Black Moon. Kakeru wants Misuzu to teach him some sword skills so he can protect Yuka but she refuses. But do you think that is going to stop him? Later Yukiko meets Yuka (they’re from the same school) and I guess she’s got a little screw loose in her head because she loves greeting girls by groping their boobs. Kakeru and Yuka are at Misuzu’s house so she pulls off some demonstration by pulling out 5 swords she keeps in her palms. Hey, nice colours. Maybe if she had 7 of them, they would look like colours of the rainbow. Just kidding. Misuzu gives Kakeru one of her swords so they start their training. As a first timer, you can’t blame Kakeru for wanting to rush things and obviously he isn’t good at swinging the sword. Maybe he shouldn’t get mad because it caused them to be pulled into the Red Night again. Other than the blobs, 2 Black Knights start attacking them. Misuzu tells Kakeru and Yuka to take cover while she deals with them. Amazingly the biggest looking Black Knight, Gula gets easily killed by Misuzu. The other Black Knight, Ira goes hunting for the weak duo in a game of hide and seek. Ira finds them hiding in a car but had to retreat when a girl with chains fends him off. Hmm… Looks like Kakeru’s sister. Kakeru passes out but after regaining consciousness, he finds himself back in the original world. Misuzu introduces them to their new ally who has been to the Red Night and will be fighting alongside them: Yukiko.

Episode 4
Can an energetic and lively girl be much use to the gang? Well, she did survive the Red Night, right? So the quartet discuss further about the strange events, the Black Knights and why they are being called Fragments. Yukiko brings in Takahisa as he is the other person she has seen fighting in the Red Night. However that guy is reluctant to join their stupid club and dislikes the idea of teaming up because it is deemed as weak. Hey, do you want Kakeru to hog all the girls? Oh, like he’s interested in that anyway. Oh wait. This should be the least of their problems now. Later Kakeru resumes training with Misuzu. His eye starts hurting again but strangely he sees future visions and is able to predict Misuzu’s moves. So much so he moves ahead in place before Misuzu could act, confusing everyone. I guess we should’ve seen this coming because what would this show be if the Red Night doesn’t occur in every episode? They face off with Ira but Misuzu is having a hard time. Now, behold the magic of spectacles. Just as Yukiko takes off her glasses, her personality completely changes into a cold efficient killing machine wielding a pair of daggers! Woah! Don’t play, man. With her hyper-speed, she manages to wound Ira but before she could deliver the finishing blow, another Black Knight, Invidia stabs her chains through her. That’s when our Takahisa shows up to do some serious burning (he has pyrokinetic powers). Call it good or bad timing, the kids are returned back to their own world. As for Yukiko, don’t worry about her. She has self regeneration powers, remember? But dig this explanation of hers. She can’t DIE!!! Woah! An immortal.

Episode 5
Saiko who was once a street gang leader, found a young and abandoned Takahisa (his parents abandoned him because they found his fire powers troublesome) and took him in under her care. Can a gangster find love so easily? Well, must be her maternal instinct. We also see Yukiko likes Takahisa so she has no qualms giving him lots of junk food he likes munching about. Well, probably that was the motivation for him to join the rest of the gang. Not exactly joining by the way. Just in for the junk food. They are introduced to yet another member. She is Kukuri Tachibana, Kakeru’s supposedly dead sister! Well, her uncanny looks and similar name is just coincidence because this Kukuri is a mute as she communicates using a sketchbook. Later Takahisa tries to ride his bike out of town but a red barrier prevents him from doing so as he crashes his vehicle. He notices that other living creatures can pass through it. This means those affected by the Red Night are sealed within this area and cannot leave. As Kakeru continues his training with Misuzu, the Red Night comes again. As usual as Misuzu is busy preoccupied with Invidia, Kakeru takes Yuka to escape but Ira blocks their path. Option to run is over. Time to stand and fight. At first Ira is too good for Kakeru. Till his eye starts glowing again. He predicts Ira’s move and manages to slay him in the end. But such awakening powers comes at a price because he starts seeing a vision of a guy name Velad surrounded by bloody corpses, telling him about this curse Eye of Aeon he has. Hey, this Velad guy has one too. Don’t tell me they’re related.

Episode 6
So Kakeru is in some sort of pain. Back in their real world, in an attempt to heal and free Kakeru of his torment, I guess the only way to heal a guy is to do some sexual healing. Just kidding. At least this is what it looked like when Misuzu stripped herself naked and Kakeru and proceeds to get too close that would even turn on the tsunami alert. I think the healing must’ve worked because it seemed they had a good time in that ambiguous position. Just joking about the good part. And this part I saw this coming (I’m sure you did too). worried Yuka takes a peek through the door to see if everything is alright and what do you know? She misinterprets and thinks that bastard is being unfaithful to her and goes into shock. It gets even worse when Kakeru seems to be more concerned about Misuzu (weakened after that sexual, I mean spiritual healing) so upset Yuka rushes out of the house. When Kakeru catches up to her on the school rooftop and tries to clear the fact he and Misuzu are just friends (oh, did you forget that romp last night? Just kidding), Yuka confesses her feelings and wants Kakeru to kiss her to prove their relationship but he refuses. This yet another bad move sends Yuka running away again. Oh, love isn’t such an easy thing. Too bad this love triangle thingy has to take a backseat for the moment since Red Night is back. As they prepare to take on the blobs and the Black Knight, Acedia, Kukuri reveals her true angelic chain powers by slaughtering all the enemy including slicing off Acedia’s head. Fortunately for Acedia, a part of his head, Scholastica manages to flee so technically this weird stick Black Knight still lives. In the aftermath, Takahisa finds a shredded backpack belonging to Yuka so Kakeru fearing the worse, rushes to find her.

Episode 7
Yuka is having a traumatic time trying to forget Kakeru’s sex romp with Misuzu. At least, that’s what she seemed to me. The gang split up to search for her and Yukiko manages to find her at the shrine and tries to cheer her up by telling her past of how she has seen and lived through hell by being a merciless killer as an immortal at her hometown Dransvania. Something about because of that she had a split personality too. Meanwhile Lisette seems to have awakened and tries to break free from her barrier so the Black Knight’s leader, Avaritia had to cut short his Fragment hunting trip and return to strengthen the barrier. Kakeru and Takahisa are still searching when they witness Scholastica being vaporized by some unknown magic (it’s Shiori by the way. Anybody paying attention could guess it’s her). Then Invidia appears to take on the guys as revenge for scarring her face in the previous fight while Misuzu faces off with Black Knight Superbia. Superbia hints that she may be the legendary female Onmyouji, Misao of the Kusakabe clan that Misuzu admired. Soon Yukiko and Kukuri arrive to help out the guys. But Invidia has Kakeru in her clutches as she traps everyone in a cyclone barrier and is going to self destruct and kill herself while taking everybody along in her explosive blood. Yuka watching from afar gets terrified upon seeing Kakeru in danger so her cry awakens her latent power of nullifying everybody’s power. Good news: Enemy’s power is nullified. Bad news: Our powers are nullified too. Yukiko quickly finishes off Invidia for good. Psychotic and Kakeru-obsessed Yuka faints soon after. Back in the normal world as Yuka is put the bed, sleeping calmly, suddenly Kukuri’s sketchbook reminds Kakeru of that demon awakening note. Could she be? In another scene, we see a woman named Liselotte crying over the death of her beloved Velad and vows to destroy this horrible world on his behalf.

Episode 8
Kakeru tells Kukuri to leave Yuka alone after thinking she’s been the one who has been stalking him. In another room, Misuzu and Takahisa talk about Yuka’s nullifying powers before Takahisa goes out to look for Yukiko. Later Misuzu talks to Kakeru that she suspects Superbia as Misao due to her fighting stance and was paralyzed with fear when she faced her. She shows the same scar on her shoulder and lets Kakeru drink her blood from her arm. Oh, guess what? Yuka has awakened, went around looking for Kakeru and saw this. Yeah, I also saw this coming. Guess what happens next? A) She shrugs it off as a dream; B) She starts killing everybody; C) She gets shocked and faints. Although I pretty much thought option B would happen, C was the one that happened. Meanwhile Saiko reprimands Takahisa for fooling around and Shiori’s use of her magic to destroy some attacking raven confirms our suspicions that she is indeed no ordinary girl. When Yuka wakes up (had a nice refreshing sleep, no?), she sees Misuzu and Kakeru in another practice duel. When that is done, crazy Yuka went to lick Misuzu’s wound inflicted by Kakeru and proclaims now she is just the same like Kakeru. Misuzu leaves the house with Kukuri perhaps foreseeing that crazy Yuka wanting to spend time with Kakeru before she really snaps. Kakeru and deluded Yuka are doing house work when they are being attacked by Shiori’s magic. Kakeru realizes that Shiori is the one who wrote the demon awakening line. Takahisa finds Yukiko at school and they both share a little intimate time together. Takahisa realizes he’s been a lucky guy and is grateful to Saiko. They decide to go find her but to their horror, find her killed in an unusual position by Superbia. Wait a minute. It’s not even the Red Night, how could she appear here?

Episode 9
It’s no joke! Saiko is really dead! Takahisa goes into a rage that he starts relentlessly hunting down Superbia for revenge and in the process burns down the entire city. Unknown to him, this Superbia is just an illusion. Misuzu and Kukuri spot Yukiko and learn what happened. Yukiko will try to go stop him while Misuzu and Kukuri rush back to the house. Meanwhile Shiori believes that even though he is responsible for awakening the demon, she believes he is their saviour too. That attack was just a test. Misuzu and Kukuri arrive home but the former is faced with the real Superbia. Kakeru wants to lend a hand but is given the clones of the dead Black Knights to deal with. Superbia changes back to her human form and reveals she is doing this to avoid world destruction and protect Avaritia whom she loves. Say what? Yukiko tries to get Takahisa to stop but he mentions that he is going out of control and wants her to kill him before it gets out of hand. Reluctant Yukiko has no choice but to drop her specs. This is when the Red Night comes. While the battle rages on outside the house, it seems pretty odd that Shiori and Yuka are having tea inside. Perhaps they don’t want Yuka to turn crazier than she is now? As Kakeru defeats the Black Knight clones, Misuzu still finds herself hard to stand up against Misao. Even if Kukuri’s help of the angelic chains, Abraxas, Misao manages to break free and destroy 2 of Misuzu’s swords. Kakeru jumps in to protect Misuzu but Superbia retreats after realizing he has drank Misuzu’s blood. But she is content that she has managed to break their ‘bond’. In the aftermath, Shiori explains that she is from some magic office called Index and was sent to help destroy the magic that would bring disaster to the world. Even more shocking, she reveals the Black Knights were those magicians of Index. So the Black Knights were good guys all along and Kakeru-tachi the villains? Seems like it. Misuzu is trembling in fear since she realized the difference of strength between herself and Superbia. Then bloodied Yukiko comes in and says she has killed Takahisa. That’s no joke either. He’s really dead!

Episode 10
Shiori reveals more. Lisette’s real name is Liselotte, an immortal who was sealed by the Black Knights 64 years ago. That resulted in them turning into their hideous forms and Liselotte an innocent-looking loli in white unlike her true dark gothic form (resembling close to Rozen Maiden’s Suigin Tou). Velad (who is also king of Dransvania) and Liselotte were lovers and the former was sad how humans always ended up fighting and killing each other. He wanted the world to end but was killed by a close aide. Grief stricken Liselotte vowed to carry out Velad’s wish. Remember that Black Moon? Yup. That’s supposed to be gate that will open Hellfall and destroy the world. To do that, she needs to gather all 7 Fragments (the 6 protagonists and Liselotte herself) and Eye of Aeon to do so. But after she got sealed along with her memories, the Fragments (her power source which was from Emerald Tablet) are scattered throughout parallel worlds to weaken her power. Thus it was Lisette who was responsible for dragging the gang into the Red Night and making it possible for Liselotte to make a comeback. Kukuri is just a figment of Yuka’s imagination materialized for Kakeru’s sake and the real Kukuri is actually dead. By the way, this is Yuka’s world so feel free for Kukuri to vanish anytime. This is getting confusing. Probably Kakeru was just obliging Yuka when they kissed so as not to make that girl go psycho. So once again Red Night comes. Yukiko hasn’t gotten over her beloved Takahisa’s death and plans to get her revenge alone. Too bad she got killed and her Fragment taken out. So much for being immortal. I guess that is what made her live forever. The rest arrives and are shocked to see another of their comrade down. It gets worse because Yuka takes the Fragment and tosses it to Liselotte, freeing her. Oh, this is just great. What else could go wrong today, I mean tonight?

Episode 11
As gratitude for saving her, Liselotte kills Yuka. I don’t know whether to feel sad or happy. Maybe the latter. I’m sure most of us would agree. Kakeru now dreading the inevitable as he holds Yuka close to him. Avaritia sends Misuzu and Kakeru away, not wanting Liselotte to obtain anymore power. Shiori uses her magic to stave off his magic. They agree to fight Liselotte. Even Kukuri reappears to help them fight. For the record, this is the first time she actually speak a decent line. Kakeru and Misuzu are back in their normal world and manage to indirectly confirm with Tadashi and Kaori that Yuka may still be alive because they know her and Yuka’s parallel world still exists (something like that). As the battle rages on in the Red Night (Liselotte defeating them one by one), Kakeru and Misuzu ponder about the possibility of world destruction (the Black Moon is really closing in on the world). Then Misuzu confesses she likes Kakeru and there is one way to save the world. For them to bond together. As man and woman. In short, sex. Man, I don’t know how this would work but I guess time is running out so don’t think, just do it! How can you enjoy your last moment when the world is about the end? One last fling, eh? All behold the power of sex! Wah, from the way and angle they show things, must be a very deep and intense intercourse… I’m sure one part of satisfaction is guaranteed at the end and perhaps it managed to break a way to open up a portal to the Red Night. Misao then appears saying how everybody died in the hands of Liselotte. Except for Shiori who killed herself. Might as well die at your own hands, eh? Misao starts going crazy, thinking there is nothing worth protecting in this world since Avaritia is gone. She too soon disappears. Of all the people you wish to be dead, pops out Yuka from the portal. Actually it is Liselotte disguising as Yuka so that she could get close to Kakeru and kill him to obtain his Eye of Aeon. Soon the darkness envelopes Misuzu (I bet that last sex was worth it, eh? Just kidding) and then the entire world.

Episode 12
Fortunately all those events in the previous episode were just the future Kakeru saw using his Eye of Aeon. He really saw that far? So Kakeru is determined to protect Yuka and remembers the time how those awful kids pick on him after his sister’s death and Yuka was the only one beside him. Kakeru threatens to kill himself causing Liselotte to be cautious. Eventually he pierces his throat. But he later finds himself still alive. Seems Yuka’s nullifying powers caused the sword to disappear before he thrusts it in. While resting at a safe place (Shiori’s powers brought them here since Yuka’s power temporarily nullified Liselotte), we learn more confusing things like how Shiori who could travel to parallel worlds told every Kukuri about her power. Kukuri believed it and killed herself and Kakeru in hopes she would prevent that Hellfall. However the Kukuri who had Abraxas killed the Kakeru without the Eye of Aeon and the Kukuri without Abraxas could not kill the Kakeru with the Eye of Aeon except herself. I think it’s like that. F*cking confused! Soon Liselotte takes Yuka hostage. Liselotte goes up close to Kakeru, near enough to lick his Aeon Eye and trigger it. Shiori and Kukuri go into action to stop Liselotte but were killed. This time it’s for real. I’m not sure if Shiori has always been a doll all the while. I guess it has something to do about her Fragment. Misuzu summons her ultimate life absorbing sword to fight.

That’s when Velad’s voice tells Liselotte to stop her mad plans because he doesn’t want her to destroy their future. Like hell she will believe that. Yeah, even if he was her lover, destroying the world is another different matter. Well, there is one way to seal Liselotte for good. That is to use Shiori’s Fragment which contains opening portals and trap her in the time-space rift for eternity. Everyone cooperates to counter Liselotte as Avaritia uses himself to restrain her before they both vanished into the rift. Why didn’t they think of doing this a long time ago? Misao is sad of Avaritia’s sacrifice as Yuka returns to Kakeru’s arms. Misao uses her powers to send the kids back to their world. Certainly it isn’t their own because Saiko, Takahisa and Yukiko are very much alive and together, knowing nothing about the Red Night. Shiori and Kukuri are nowhere to be seen. Kakeru, Misuzu and Yuka continue their normal lives and are the only ones who retained memories of the Red Night incident. Hey, the Black Moon is still up there but not threatening anymore. There’s always another time, I guess.

OVA
Like always, an OVA seems to be the trend after the TV series ended. Nothing to do with the TV series’ plot and is more comical and fanservice with some sexual innuendos. You got to love the opening note how Kukuri jokingly tell viewers to stay 48 thousand light years from the TV to avoid eye damage. And then how this series is pure fiction and has no relation to reality whatsoever so don’t be offended. The episode proper begins with the gang being whisked away to the Pink Night. Yeah, you know something is definitely wrong here. Like how their powers changed. For instance, Kakeru’s Eye of Aeon sees through the girls’ clothes (why is he taking so long just to put his eye-patch back?), Yukiko becomes a perverted lesbian when she takes her glasses off (poor Yuka got French kissed), naughty Takahisa’s fire power is replaced with a water spray, Misuzu’s swords turned into something that can only be mosaic and Kukuri is able to talk but her words are naughty with each line needing enough censors to make the cut. I guess it’s best that Misuzu orders her to shut up and lets her revert back to her sketchbook communication but even so, she draws and write naughty subjects, enough to stress Misuzu out and knock her head with her sketchbook. And those little blobs, they resemble cute little docile things that you want to keep as pets. Then they meet the Black Knights as Pink Battle Style Ero Rangers but they self destruct after their introduction. Next, they see Liselotte whipping Avaritia in some S&M play. Leaving them alone, the gang thinks of dipping in the hotspring to relax but Misuzu is against it and is pretty stressed out. They go back to school and what do you know? A hotspring inside one of the classes. Might as well enjoy it. After changing into sexy swimsuits (Kakeru and Takahisa nose bleeding), Shiori suggests Kakeru use his powers to see whose world this belongs too. It seems to indicate Yuka’s when the water starts getting violent. The girls are stripped off their swimsuits so Yuka’s power goes incontrollable. As a result, Kakeru and Takahisa’s body turn into a feminine one! Hey, even the guys are shy about it. And at the end, Kukuri’s end note of how the guys lived happily ever after! No good? Yeah, it’s just fiction.

No eye see…
Well I have to admit that though it started out pretty intriguing at first, somehow I felt it descended into mediocrity as it progressed. My head started spinning when they started explaining about parallel worlds and the likes. I was like going “Huh?” every time and I needed to rewind and replay those parts just to try and understand. Probably I didn’t play the game but from what I skimmed through, I believe it has more characters, development and plot especially in the game 11eyes CrossOver. So the whole thing about our main characters being the bad guys and the villains were the good guys didn’t surprise me but rather felt somewhat uninspiring. The Black Knights were acting like villains at first trying to rid of the Fragments (heck, their names are even in reference to the 7 Cardinal Sins) and the confused kids just trying to do their best to survive. Maybe they were guarding the witch for too long, eh? If only they could just sit down and explain things clearly instead of rushing into fighting each other. When many of them got killed so easily I started to have doubts if they weren’t as formidable as they look and just looked scary. Should the Index have sent more reinforcements when Liselotte starts awakening?

The ending also felt somewhat unsatisfying. I mean, it’s a happy ending whereby our main protagonists get to resume their normal lives so that is rather okay. But when they killed off Saiko, Takahisa, Yukiko and in a way Kukuri and Shiori, I just thought that everybody in the end will die to save the world. Like that kind of bad ending would happen in anime. Don’t want another School Days, eh? But when they brought back some of the dead characters, living in some other parallel world and a potential that may spawn a sequel, I guess to me that was just crap. So you’re asking me what kind of ending I would have wished for? The one where everybody dies!!! HAHAHA!!! Oops. Now I sound like a maniacal villain. Hmm… I just thought about this. Kakeru saw Misuzu’s confession through his Eye of Aeon, right?

Yuka has got to be the character that everyone would love to hate most. She was actually yandere potential. At any moment you could feel she could snap into her insane personality of wanting to protect Kakeru and ridding of anyone that gets between them. I guess Kakeru is partly at fault for not making his stance clear. Don’t consider the ambiguous parts but because of so, he is the second character everyone would hate. Misuzu has turned from someone calm into someone who hesitates and in certain point of view, a slut. Shiori was too mysterious for me to even bother with and Kukuri’s existence felt like a filler, someone this show could’ve done without. I’m still not sure why Yuka needs to materialize Kukuri even if this world they have been all the while is hers. She thought she could make it easy for Kakeru? What good that would do? Well, this love thingy is a messy thing. Speaking of which, I don’t think Liselotte was really in love with Velad. She was just using his demise as an excuse to destroy the world. Why didn’t she abandon her plans to annihilate the world and listen to Velad when he appeared? If she could be trapped forever in the rift so easily, don’t tell me they didn’t think of it in the first place. They spent decades guarding her and never a way to seal her permanently? And if Misao loved Avaritia so much, why didn’t she just follow him into the rift so they can be together for all eternity? There may be other questions that I wanted to find answers to but probably I lost interest and couldn’t remember by the time I write this blog.

The fight scenes were just ordinary and nothing to shout about. I’m sure you’d get bored after the gang slash or burn those low level blobs one after another so they throw in some Black Knights as sacrifice. The only other thing that annoys me utmost is the loud screeching sounds like the breaking of the glass. I don’t think it is my sound system problem but whenever they occur so suddenly, it really gives me the jump. Other than that, you watch this show for the minor fanservice. Notice how short the school girls’ uniform are so much so I think if they bend about 20 degrees, you could see their undies. Even if there is a little breeze, you can expect it to flutter about easily. I think Yuka and Misuzu contribute much to the fanservice scenes. Well you know those vague intimate incidents and that ultimate big one with Kakeru for Misuzu and for Yuka to be in her undies just to get Kakeru’s heart to sway to her. Yukiko has her fair share too seeing she keeps her daggers underneath her skirt just on her thighs. Besides her boobs groping… On a trivial note, the start of each episode has some guy narrating in Italian (I think) about the Red Night and how the kids will get out of this never ending nightmare. You’d be forgiven if you think that you are watching some dark intense foreign movie. The same case for the next episode preview but this time said by one of the characters instead. I remember it was pretty funny (though it wasn’t supposed to) that one said that there was no answer at the end to this nightmare.

Maybe a lesson that we can learn from this is to never judge a book by its cover. Just because something may look horrible and wicked, doesn’t mean that they are evil. And just because a girl seems innocent that doesn’t mean she is a total angel. Yeah, we all heard it a million times already that it is the heart that truly counts. So I’m still pondering why the heck is this series called 11eyes anyway? Does it have something to do with the Eye of Aeon? There is only one, right? Do eyes refer to something more subtle? Shouldn’t Avaritia have split the Fragments into say a million more pieces so that it really weakens Liselotte? I mean, 7 pieces isn’t going to take forever to gather if you think about it. Perhaps that will turn into something like the Shikon Jewel in Inu Yasha. Thank goodness that this series has ended as I do not wish to know any further answers because I am out of this nightmare.

Needless Specials

April 29, 2011

After more than a year has passed, finally I have decided to watch and finish these little special extra episodes from Needless. In my last blog of this anime, I only blog a couple of episodes of it because well, it wasn’t subbed. But even if it took a long time for it to get done, at least it is better late than never, eh? There are a dozen of episodes in this Needless Specials and each episode only lasts 3 minutes. Heck, only 2 minutes and 18 minutes to be exact, including the very short ending theme that differs from each episode. The Specials aren’t related to the plot of the TV series itself but still contains the same wacky and ecchi elements that you can expect from the series.

Episode 1
Cruz cross-dresses as a girl named Yamada Nadeshiko to infiltrate the all-girls school, St Lily Academy to investigate a certain case. Disc as the homeroom teacher introduces this new transfer student and we all should know that his investigation won’t go smoothly without his gender in danger of getting close to expose. I don’t know why the other Needless girls find her so fascinating. Must be the new cute thing in town, eh? So his first obstacle in his mission… Watching the girls undress in his class for gym. Hey, they’re all girls, right? Oh shi*t. Hope his erection won’t bust his identity. Thank goodness Cruz isn’t a pervert so he runs away to the toilet to change. He finds a pair of bloomers in his bag and panics on what to do next.

Episode 2
Cruz hopes his short bloomers won’t get him get caught. But Disc notices something sticking out of the bloomers! Is this going to be it?! Well, more like Eve hiding some can drink in there. Phew. During gym class, I’m not sure the kind of exercise Disc makes her students to do on the horizontal bars. Trying to captivate a man? Anyway that kind of hip swinging action is definitely going to bust Cruz’s gender. And then there’s one whereby they have to sit on the horizontal bar and treat it as though they are witches flying on a broom. Because Cruz isn’t putting his heart into it, Eve gives him a kick and he lands right on where it hurts most. OUCH!!! Cruz in pain manages to crawl himself into the infirmary.

Episode 3
Cruz thinks he is going to have a peaceful time there seeing nobody is here. Wrong! Why is Kuchinashi lying naked beside him?! She’s the nurse’s aide? She forces Cruz to sleep with her. Before any rape could happen, Setsuna knocks her out but she too has an ulterior motive. Using his fever as an excuse to shove a thermostat up his butt! Thankfully his gender is safe when Eve kicks the door open to pay Cruz a visit. The door slams Setsuna and Kuchinashi away. However Cruz isn’t there as he manages to crawl out and away. Yeah, this is definitely a horrible academy like you think it is.

Episode 4
St Lily’s dorm head, Seto and Solva come into Cruz’s class and demand him to follow them for a pre-dorm check-in interview. Read that as a body check. Gasp! Since they can’t forcibly remove their clothes, they have to do so via rock-scissors-paper game. To make things worse, it is 2 against 1 as Cruz is given a further handicap. Stripped to his undies! One lost and he is a goner! But extreme luck is on Cruz’s side that he won 10 times in a row and causes Seto and Solva to strip down to their undies. Because of that, they decide to strip their panties and show Cruz their nudity. What kind of sickos are they?! Better excuse yourself quickly before the erection gives way.

Episode 5
Summer is so hot that the girls are shamelessly flapping their skirt to cool down. In front of Cruz. Well, they’re all girls, right? Disc declares pool lessons so the happy girls strip. Cruz tries to give excuse that he didn’t bring his swimsuit but that means he will have to go in nude! Oh, now he remembers he brought them. Yeah, how disappointed some of the girls wanted to see Cruz naked. Cruz tries to change quickly with his uniform on when suddenly he realizes his swimsuit stolen. Yeah, Kuchinashi really wants to see her naked and tries to strip the poor chap. Before that could happen, Seto and Solva barge in and it seems their class is using the pool too. So in order to see who gets the right to use it, Disc suggests a pool kibasen as Seto and Solva pull Cruz into their side since they’re short on members.

Episode 6
Disc is on Seto, Solva and Cruz’s team (for balance, they say) while Eve, Setsuna, Mio and Kuchinashi are on the opposing side. The battle starts as Kuchinashi’s team charges in but Cruz’s team stays idle. Then he realizes all this is a trap and setup to strip him naked! Yeah, they all really want to see him in the nude. Cruz improvises quickly by banging his head with Kuchinashi. Both of them fall into the water as he strips Kuchinashi and uses her as a decoy to show her shameful are in place of his to everyone. Then he pretends to become totally embarrassed and cannot marry after being seen and such. Setsuna and Solva are happy that his body check is complete and gives the thumbs up. And what about the winning side to get the rights to use the pool? Dunno…

Episode 7
Cruz is shown his room in the dorm. Three juniors help him unload his luggage as they insist on giving him a massage. They proceed to do so after stripping him down to his undies so as not to wrinkle his uniform. Then they decided to give an oil massage but spilled the bottle all over their own uniform. So they undress but since it is slippery, they slip and in the process somehow remove Cruz’s undies! I don’t even know how that is possible. The embarrassed trio apologize and leave. When Cruz comes to, he is surprised to see Mio in his room

Episode 8
Seems that Mio is his roommate. Cruz is alarmed that at this rate his gender will be busted in no time. Too late. Mio already spots his guy thingy. But she thought it was some kind of blister! Safe? Apparently Mio bought his illogical reasoning that he has some sort of disease that is visible only when glowed in the dark (because Mio remembers she didn’t see it at the pool). Mio then uses an ointment over the blister! Setsuna and Kuchinashi come in so Mio shows the ‘blister’ to them. They are shocked as Setsuna strips Kuchinashi naked. It was a test to confirm if Cruz is a boy because she knows too darn well that no blister swells like that. She kicks that part (OUCH!!!) and is going to call the teacher but he pleads to listen to his case. Cruz tells them that he is here to find his missing sister.

Episode 9
Cruz tells the trio how his sister always protected him but set out on a journey to improve her skills half a year ago. Now she is missing and the only clue he has is that she may be at St Lily since this academy keeps close guard on all its info thus the reason he cross-dresses and infiltrate the academy. The trio agree to let him stay and not blow his cover. Then the problem of taking a bath arises. They think Cruz needs to take the bath at midnight after everyone has left. That night, Kuchinashi once again strips herself naked and is going to pound on Cruz. Well, she did mention that she’s not into boys but since he looks good in a drag, she’s okay with it! Luckily Setsuna knocks her in place as they prepare to enter the bath.

Episode 10
The quartet quickly rush into the bath (the girls didn’t have time to bath earlier on because of him). However there seems to be somebody there. It’s Disc. The reason they didn’t see any towel in the changing room was because Disc came all the way here naked from her room! The way Disc says things indicates she’s onto something on Cruz. Then the trio juniors come in as both sides fight to give Cruz a back scrub. It gets worse when Seto and Solva come in. To solve this problem, they suggest whoever pulls Cruz to their side wins. The tug of war begins but Cruz’s towel starts to come off.

Episode 11
Call it lucky or not because his crotch caught his falling towel. He tries to give an excuse that he’s hiding a shampoo there but this made it worse because the girls want to check it out. Then Eve comes in, slips on a soap and got her hands no his ‘elephant’. Then when his towel really came off, his identity busted for good and the girls start to panic that there is really a guy in the bath. Disc’s suspicions are confirmed since it was her plan to get hard evidence (no pun intended) by ambushing him here. Setsuna explains his mission to find his lost sister. Disc seems to know something about it as the clock strikes midnight and the bath splits open.

Episode 12
A stage appears as Disc explains that this academy offers a course that only a few people know: The Idol Course. Seems the junior trio including Seto and Solva are part of it and their lesson starts at midnight here. Disc continues that half a year ago, a lone girl came to this academy and challenged them but was defeated by her. She was in despair but Disc spotted her other talent, that is to become an idol. The masked lady enters the stage as Disc is going to show everyone her true identity. No, she didn’t unmask her but flipped her skirt! The odd part is that Cruz recognizes that area to be of his sister, Aruka! WTF?! Even if he knows she doesn’t wear panties due to martial arts training for mobility, it’s mind boggling that he should recognize that part. Aruka recognizes Cruz’s voice (thank goodness not by his anatomy). Aruka mentions her determination to protect him but at the same time is also a woman inside. Cruz understands and wishes her sister to carry on with her current life and will go return home himself. However Disc won’t allow anyone who has known this academy’s secret to just walk away. How? Cruz and Aruka debut as idols called Nopans in front of the mad crowd of fans (made up by those other Needless guys). And they’re not called that for no reason. Yeah, it’s getting breezy down there.

Needles to say…
That everything was pretty okay. Considering these extra specials are just nonsensical so in a way it was quite enjoyable. Okay, so partly it was those ecchi fanservice moments but to me they’re more towards the funny side. So every secret got revealed in the end. St Lily’s secret idol training course and Cruz’s identity as a boy. He sure came close to being exposed and each time you’d be holding your breath whether or not he’ll get his cover blown. A close shave you could say. It doesn’t help that the other girls want to strip him naked at least for the first half of the series. So a happy reunion for him and his sister in the end? But looks like he’ll have to cross-dress as an idol for a while. I wonder if those male fans will get mad and disappointed when they see what is underneath’s Cruz’s skirt. That will be another set of problems for him. So next time if you want to find a missing person, perhaps it is much safer to put up missing person posters or on milk cartons rather than cross-dressing and infiltrating a place so dangerous that you could get your ‘pride’ hurt. Ouch! Yep. It still hurts just by thinking about it.

Bleach part 2

April 23, 2011

ZZZZzzzZZZZzzzzZZZzzz… Snore, snore… ZZZzzzZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… Yawn, yaaaaaaawn… ZZZzzzzZZzzz… Oh, OH! Sorry, fell asleep there. Before I go back into my unconscious zombie slumber again, I just wanted to do a little review about that long running anime series, Bleach. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M STILL WATCHING THIS SH*T AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!!! It was fun and exciting at first but when it started to add in fillers in between story arcs, it became more than just annoying and irritating. It’s so DAMN FRUSTRATING! It is like as though the producers are playing with our patience. So with the first few lines already condemning this popular series (no kidding, this show has a huge fan base in Japan and in overseas especially), why am I still watching this? Why don’t I drop it when all those mindless fillers came in? I always had that little faint hope in my heart that the story arc will end. Still hoping… And praying… Maybe that is why the series is so mysteriously popular and manages to ‘attract’ and ‘retain’ viewers for a very long time. Looks like I’m in for a very long ride and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Still hoping…

Zanpakutou Arc (cont.)
Continuing from where I left off in my previous blog over a year ago, we had this so called interesting Zanpakutou Arc whereby the unique weapons of the Shinigamis materialized into living beings and went on a rebellion cause. So yeah, what else? It’s hard to remember all those details when it becomes draggy. Okay, what I remember is that Kouga’s Zanpakutou, Muramasa wanted to free his master but you know, that Kouga dude thinks his Zanpakutou is just a tool and treats him badly, unheeding advice from all our heroes. So we get to see a little flashback like how Kouga was part of Byakuya’s family and that time Byakuya’s dad, Ginrei was in charge of the 6th division. Kouga was the rising star in the clan and there were jealous people who wanted him down. They successfully framed and imprisoned him though he managed to escape with Muramasa’s help. Kouga soon turned crazy and started killing everybody so he was sealed by Ginrei and Genryuusai. At that point, no matter how much Muramasa tried to reach out to him, his voice never reached Kouga.

So back in reality, Kouga shows his ungratefulness by stabbing Muramasa. Even if Byakuya is going to kill Kouga, Muramasa still offers his powers to his master but that jerk shrugs him off. In the end, Byakuya kills Kouga but that isn’t the end of the problem. In fact, a new one just cropped up. Muramasa becomes unstable and in his sorrow, somehow is absorbing all the Hollows, turning him into a mean Arrancar in the process. Everyone tries to stop it including all the freed Zanpakutous from Muramasa’s spell as Ichigo gets sucked into Muramasa’s dome and battles the demon from within. As expected, Ichigo has to beat Muramasa and even made that Zanpakutou realize the err of his ways before he is really gone for good.

Zanpakutou Sword Fiend Arc
Just when I thought I could get back to the Arrancar fight, comes this sh*t filler. Yeah, the beginning of a long painful filler arc. What the hell is this for anyway? My guess is that before they kill off the Zanpakutous for good, might as well have them do a little adventure of their own. Seriously, what the hell is this for anyway? So even after Muramasa’s death, there are masterless Zanpakutous running rampage in Soul Society because they killed their masters during that chaos so without one, I guess you can say they’re going berserk. I don’t remember how but Mayuri calls them Sword Fiends. So we have the gang running around Soul Society trying to put out these Sword Fiends (some of their designs look so hideous that it makes you think that the producers ran out of ideas) or the Zanpakutous of the Shinigamis in some sh*tty pointless adventure or explores the bond between their masters. I’m not going to even put down a short sentence of what happened in those episodes since I do not want to relive the ‘nightmare’ of this arc. Otherwise, you can go to Wikipedia for a very brief one. Like you want to read it. Really.

Arrancar Downfall Arc
Oh finally! It is here. We can finally continue the fight between the Shingamis and Arrancar at the fake Karakura Town. Why create a life-like duplicate of the town? So you won’t have to fight in an empty all-white background, haha! Read more about it here at Wikipedia too. Anyway while half of the Gotei 13 squad members are fighting the Arrancars (Aizen, Gin and Tousen are temporarily sealed by Genryuusai’s firewall – not the PC one lah), Ichigo is having his hands full fighting Ulquiorra. So yeah, the much awaited power battle begins as we see Ulquiorra powering up twice to reveal his never-seen-before bat-like form (no, he didn’t turn into a batman) while Ichigo after taking lots of hard damage, unconsciously transforms into a super powerful Hollow himself. So powerful that even after all that mocking and scorning from Ulquiorra that Ichigo was a powerless and useless kid, he is made to eat his own words and before you know it, the tables are turned, Ulquiorra takes a terrible beating and turns to dust in the end. Just wow. Speechless.

Meanwhile Chad, Renji and Rukia take on Rudobone but eventually incensed Yammy disrupted the fight, took out his own ally and has turned into a giant version to wipe out the little heroes (something about wanting to avenge his humiliating defeat on Ishida in his earlier fight with him in a tower). Seems Yammy isn’t Arrancar number 10 but is actually number 0! I don’t understand this. Changing a double digit number into a single number, is that his special ability too? Sure, he is more powerful and has got more legs in his hideous form but you know the saying, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. But in this case, too bad our heroic trio got defeated. So size really does matter after all? Ichigo returns from his fight to help his pals but I guess he has got a better job to save Karakura Town so Byakuya and Zaraki take on Yammy in one of their ego and prideful fight. Mayuri creates some device to open up a portal to the fake Karakura Town as Unohana tags along with Ichigo back there. Unohana knows Ichigo is their only hope as she realizes he is the only person who has not seen Aizen’s Shikai. This means Ichigo will not be under Aizen’s hypnotic power unlike everyone else and must remain so if they are to have any chance of defeating him.

Back at the fake Karakura Town, Hitsugaya takes on Harribel in an ice versus water battle, Soifon and Omaeda against Barragan in a cat and mouse game because Barragan’s touch could just rot anything (like Soifon’s left arm fell victim to it) and surprisingly the numero uno Espada turns out to be laidback Starkk and his tomboyish Fraccion, Lilinette as they battle against Kyouraku and Ukitake. The Espadas have the upper hand and the Shinigamis with no cards left to play. It gets worse when Wonderweiss opens up a large portal and releases lots of Grand Menos in. See, if you don’t finish the job fast enough, this is what you get. Luckily, the Vizards are back and show that they are a force to be reckon with as they swiftly take out all the low level Hollows (considering their level up, these Grand Menos are a piece of cake). So will they be an ally to the Shinigamis? Heck no, they are Aizen’s enemy. Yeah, just worded differently though it means the same thing. So our Vizards team up with the Shinigamis to turn the tables on the Espadas. Hachigen offers his services to Soifon-Omaeda and takes out Barragan in his own rotting game (yeah, some flashback how Barragan became an underling of Aizen so that he could kill him and reclaim his crown as king of Las Noches. Too bad that won’t be happening), Kensei and Mashiro beat up Wonderweiss, and Love and Rose team up to duel Starkk-Lilinette and their ‘exploding wolves’ technique with Kyouraku eventually finishing him off.

With the top 2 Espadas gone, Aizen has gotten weary of this battle. Yeah, the firewall is gone so he goes over to Harribel who is in the midst of her fight with Hitsugaya, Lisa and Hiyori, and slashes her because he thinks she isn’t strong enough to fight for his ideals! Oh sh*t! Are you interested in seeing Harribel’s flashback on how she decided to follow Aizen and something about sacrifice? Not that I can remember. Aizen starts taunting everyone so hot-headed Hiyori starts charging in and gets sliced by Gin instead. Elsewhere, Komamura and Hisagi fight Tousen. More flashback on how he strayed to find his own path of ‘justice’ after his close friend died. Tousen powers up into an ugly fly and the funny part was that though he has got his vision in this form, he states how Komamura looked uglier than he thought. It’s like the pot calling the kettle black. At the end of the fight, Tousen is defeated and realizes the err of his ways. Just before both sides could have a short touching reunion, Aizen kills him. So much for that.

At this point, Ichigo appears but his one-shot attack failed to kill off Aizen since he put some protective barrier behind his neck, which is a blind spot. This is why Aizen is the most powerful villain of all time. All the Shinigamis and Vizards attack him simultaneously and nobody got even close enough to wound that cool guy. I guess if not for Genryuusai’s firewall, Aizen could have taken out everybody singlehandedly without losing a single casualty on his side. It really puts a shame on the Shinigamis seeing the vast difference in their powers. So with all the captains out of commission, it is the battle of the big bosses. Finally we get to see Genryuusai in another serious action. However Wonderweiss’ existence and power was to nullify Genryuusai’s Zanpakutou so that old fart has no choice but to use his body to absorb his own flames and take serious damage or else everything and everyone in this fake town will be burnt to a crisp. Aizen plans on killing Genryuusai for he is the history of all Soul Society but is interrupted by another surprise attack from Ichigo. Who else is left to fight? Plus, Aizen has fused with the Hougyoku in his chest so any wounds he receives will be healed. Aizen isn’t just a cool and calm baddie but shows that he is one heck of a future planner. What do I mean? You see, from day one ever since Ichigo became a substitute Shinigami, Aizen has been watching him and all his fights were actually planned by him! Woah! Not only that, he claims to know Ichigo since his birth! What is he? His mother?! It really bugs me how Aizen could really get his information and watching Ichigo’s fights like say, inside Byakuya’s Bankai.

So are you feeling afraid now Ichigo? Look who dropped by for the fight? It’s Ichigo’s dad, Isshin! If you had suspicions if he was a captain-class Shinigami, this confirms it. So I guess this Shinigami thing runs in the family, eh? Isshin teams up with Yoruichi and Urahara to fight Aizen while Gin fights Ichigo in a long awaited rematch (yeah, the last time they fought shortly was about 200 episodes ago. Haha!). Even Urahara’s trick doesn’t work against Aizen and only provided temporary solutions. With each passing minute, Aizen becomes so strong that his appearance even changes. Gin was about to let Ichigo go and give him a chance to escape but decided to kill him after concluding he is a ‘weak’ person and wouldn’t want anybody so to fight Aizen. He got interrupted with Aizen’s appearance, a sign meaning he has taken out the trio. I guess Aizen has got no time to deal with a small fry like him so he and Gin leave for the real Karakura Town hidden at Soul Society. Aizen is so powerful that he took out the Cleaner Train in the Precipice World! Isshin confronts Ichigo and takes him to the Precipice World to have him learn on his own the Final Getsuga Tenshou move (apparently time in this world runs differently in the real world so you could say he could take his time. But hurry, he has only 2000 hours, that is approximately 3 months) while daddy takes guard. In this underwater world, Ichigo faces a younger version of Zangetsu and learns that his Hollow side may be originally one with his Zanpakutou. Since Zangetsu is reluctant to teach him, Ichigo fights a combined enemy to force the technique out of him.

Meanwhile Aizen and Gin has arrived in the real Karakura Town. Some of Ichigo’s pals, Tatsuki and Keigo are conscious (I guess it’s their turn to shine after a long ‘slumber’. Get it?). They can sense Aizen’s heavy and damaging spiritual power and presence so they try to make a run for it since Aizen wants to kill them. If not for that annoying Don Kannoji guy (and later that afro Shinigami guy to join in), they could’ve been toast. I guess Aizen must be enjoying it playing tag with them because my guess is that if he is really serious, he could’ve killed them all in a snap of his finger. But instead, he lets them run and run. Rangiku manages to get into this world and confronts Gin but the latter kills her and rejoins Aizen. But there is a twist. Gin uses his Zanpakutou to wound Aizen and leaving a lethal poison from his Zanpakutou in his body. After all this time, this is how easy Aizen will be killed?! Yeah, apparently Aizen knew of Gin’s intentions and brought him along because he was interested to see how he would kill him. Satisfied now? His cursing must prove so. Gin escapes with the Hougyoku but his relief turns out to be a short one because Aizen regenerates since the Hougyoku is part of him. One bad deed deserves another as Aizen slices Gin. So there’s this flashback that reveals that Gin spotted Aizen tormenting Rangiku and vowed to kill that tormentor who is no other than Aizen. So he played the villain’s role all along just for this? Anyway it didn’t turn out good because Aizen is too powerful. And yeah, Gin’s dead. So this confirms it that his smile is part of his face.

As Aizen continues to chase Ichigo’s pals, everyone please put your hands together and herald the return of Ichigo. Oh yeah, now he looks more powered up, more bad-ass and erm… Longer hair? How long has he been the Precipice World? Long enough for Isshin to even grow a beard. Man, that dad is unconscious. Now for the ultimate power battle. And I really mean power battle. Both sides has been swinging power moves that is enough to crack the ground, disintegrate mountains, alter terrains and send rippling shockwaves throughout the edge of the universe. Okay, so I made the last one up but even if they did want to show the magnitude of the power, they could’ve done so. All I can say for this battle is, WOW!!! AWESOME!!! SUPER POWER PLAY!!! Now this is the reason why we watch Bleach. This was the reason what made Bleach so awesome in the first place. This was the reason why we loved Bleach. Not those mindless crappy fillers. This action is what Bleach should have been about and this fight made us remember the coolness and awesomeness we have long forgotten. The best part is that Ichigo not only manages to effortlessly stop Aizen’s blade with his 2 fingers, he seems bloody bored at Aizen’s cocky, high and mighty speech. He has to. I mean, he’s had enough of this arc which is getting real draggy and wants to put an end to it for good. Aizen undergoes several mutated transformation, supposedly some super evolution via Hougyoku. In my opinion, it makes him look like a freakish monster. So is he a Hollow or not now? If evolving into some super being means making you look like this, I’d rather be a wimpy kid.

Now it’s Ichigo’s turn to unleash his Final Getsuga Tenshou. It’s form? Ichigo BECOMES Getsuga Tenshou itself. Now looking more bad-ass than ever. Short flashback reveals that Ichigo discovered the trick in learning this final technique. Ichigo couldn’t defeat Zangetsu and thought why the heck am I fighting someone who could easily finish me off? Then he lets Zangetsu stab him, which means accepting Zangetsu. The catch of using this deadly power is that his Shinigami powers will be stripped. Only good for only once, eh? Ichigo unleashes a torrent of darkness that engulfs Aizen. Met his match for the first time, eh? However due to Hougyoku, Aizen is still alive. Too bad Ichigo is all out of energy and with no more Shinigami powers, is Aizen going to have the last laugh? Not if Urahara could help it. Seems in their earlier match, he planted some kido inside Aizen before his grotesque transformation. With Aizen weakening due to Ichigo’s blast, the seal takes effect. Furthermore, Hougyoku doesn’t see Aizen as the most powerful one and abandons him. Have any final words before you are completely sealed off? Save it for eternity. In the aftermath, we see many Shinigamis undergoing recuperation and some taking up more self-training. When Ichigo is reunited with his friends, he collapses. He wakes up several days later and is being told that he just went through a few stages of losing his Shinigami powers and it’s not over yet. It can be sooner or later. Tomorrow, next week or even 5 years down the road. But Ichigo doesn’t care for all that because he is happy that all his friends are alive especially Orihime who is now rescued and safely back on their side. They make preparations to head back to their real world. As for Aizen, he is being sentenced by the Central 46 committee to 20,000 years in some prison since he can’t die. The ironic and pathetic fact is that Aizen was able to get on their nerves by mocking them, that’s why they double his sentence from 10,000 years. Wait a minute? He’s an immortal and you only plan to lock him up for 20,000 years? That’s a bloody short time. Why didn’t they give him a prison sentence for eternity? No wonder those idiots were so easily massacred and fallen into his plans in the beginning. Makes you wonder how they think. It’s just sad that those blokes are still around.

Bleak…
Oh finally! FINALLY! HALLELUJAH! It’s finally over for real! I can’t believe it! And I thought that this arc was going to run forever seeing the amount of fillers in between. Yeah you could say that the producers have the cheek to slot in mindless fillers during this crucial arc even at its climax. Although it doesn’t last half a year but a few weeks, even so is enough to annoy and irritate. It puts a damper and halt on the flow of watching the series. So I heard that the fillers such as some Arabian Nights-themed, Soul Society in a movie making frenzy, Soul Society New Year special, Monster side story and that crap about Hisagi thinking Rangiku was trying to hit on him was to commemorate the manga’s 10th year anniversary or promotion of another Bleach film. Clap, clap, clap. Hooray… I didn’t know that… Good for you… Now, can we go on with the story, please?

So after 1 year plus, what else can I say? The only thing amusing is Aizen because he fought everybody and beat them to a pulp. It’s like he is an untouchable and nobody comes close in just touching his hair. Okay, maybe some managed to knock him off guard but that is nothing to the retribution he will do to you. From the Shinigami captains to the big boss of Gotei 13 to all the Vizards to even other Bleach casts, who else who hasn’t fall to Aizen’s power, please step up and take your slice. He took on everybody and comes out tops and is worthy to be one of the most successful and powerful villains in the annals of anime history. Of course, my guess was correct that Ichigo will be the final guy who will defeat Aizen and return everything back to normal. The final fight was the only good thing that had me glued to the screen after a very, very, very long period of mediocrity. I also felt that the fights of other Arrancars with the other heroes turn out to be one long draggy affair. Couldn’t they finish it in 1 episode or the most 2? Ah, that’s why this show seems to last forever.

However my other main grouse for the ending of the Arrancar Arc is it felt like a rush job. There were too many characters and their whereabouts and circumstances of some were left hanging. They were not properly explained so it left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. For instance, Yammy was eventually defeated by Byakuya and Zaraki but they just left him there. Why didn’t they kill him? So what happened to some of the Arrancars that didn’t die like Grimmjow or even that loli Nel and her comical subordinates? Where the heck are they? And what will become of the Vizards now that their revenge has been fulfilled although Ichigo did the job for them? So will the loss of an arm by Genryuusai and Soifon be permanent? What happened to him? What happened to her? What happened to them? What about those? Where are they? And what about the time Ichigo unconsciously transformed himself into a powerful menacing Hollow? I thought he would use this in the final fight but I guess it wasn’t necessary. So many questions, but after over a long period, I don’t think I’m really that interested to find out anymore because I’m so glad it has already ended. Who cares about those minor details when you have a happy ending. Hey, will Division 3, 5 and 9 get new captains? It’s been a long time since that position hasn’t been held by anyone (that Rurichiyo Arc does not count).

And after that, I don’t think the series will really end yet. That’s because another new arc has started. And yeah, before that even happens, as predicted another round ‘interruption’ before this new arc. You guessed it, mindless filler craps. I couldn’t care less if it’s some nice retiring guy of the 11th Division, Kon hogging the spotlight to save some busty lady (OMG! It’s Mamiko Noto – so watching this filler wasn’t that bad after all, hehehe) from her breakup with her boyfriend who turns out possessed by some Hollow and then getting back together again, Yachiru meeting an old comrade of her Division who somewhat turned into a Hollow, and Hitsugaya’s day off visiting a granny who can see spirits. Previously I thought one of the fillers set another potential for a long story arc just like how they did for the Zanpakutou Arc. Calling it the Hell Verse, the way this one episode filler is left hanging, I thought it will continue somewhere in the future. But it may not because I read this is just a promotional stint for the fourth movie that has been released in December 2010.

Everything else has been the same from the seiyuus of the characters (I felt Chad’s character has been side-lined the most seeing that he doesn’t have many lines to spout – something his taciturn character is), the drawing and art, the action and fight sequences coupled in with the seemingly dreary flashbacks or explanations, the unique designs of the episode numbers, the comical sections at the back (mainly Shinigami Illustration Book Golden and Arrancar Encyclopaedia, which sadly ended because as Gin noted there are no more Arrancars left) and the several opening and ending themes that comes with it. At this point, the series has a total record of 13 opening themes and twice the amount for its ending themes, 26 (not including the new opening and ending theme for the new arc). They may vary from rock to pop, fast to slow but they don’t really appeal much to me. In the short span since my last blog, nothing really much changes in terms of the character development. Sure we get to see some of the past of some of the characters but if you’re talking about Ichigo, he’s still powering up and fighting stronger baddies. That’s about it.

Thus I really, really, really hope that the series will end somewhere soon (fat chance!) and put me out of my misery. As long as they don’t put mindless fillers, it’ll be fine. Yeah, this series have earned a reputation as a Filler God in my books. Dropping it would be an easy way out but I’m going to continue watching because I still have faith in it. Especially with the new arc currently starting its run. Hopefully, I won’t fall asleep… while… I’m… at it… ZZZzzzZZZzzzz…

Galaxy Angel A

April 22, 2011

More hilarious slapstick comedy for my main course. What else but the third season of Galaxy Angel series called Galaxy Angel A. Honestly, this whole series don’t need to be divided into seasons since every darn episode is independent and random of each other. More like extensions in my opinion. You’ll never figure out the logic of how things ended in a certain way in the previous episode, only to be restarted in the next. Maybe it has something to do with Lost Technology, eh? So after watching the previous season and whetting my appetite, I’m sure ready for another 26 episodes (or 52 episodes as some may refer to since each episode lasts around 12 minutes each) of whatever thrown at me. Of course it won’t be a new season without new characters.

Episode 1
As such, Twin Star Unit made up of twins Kokomo and Maribu Peirot successfully apprehend escaped cat burglars (literally). Their unit commander, Mary meets Volcott at the bar. Seems the Angel Unit has been disbanded 3 months ago. The real reason was they fought over who ate their meat buns. The real culprit: Volcott. Oh geez. How petty. Mary mocks him that he’ll be fired so Volcott panics and decides to revive his Angels for the sake of his retirement. He goes around the galaxy to round them up (after they found out he was the real culprit) but are reluctant to go back since Milfeulle won loads of cash via lottery. Who needs to work with this much money? Till a Lost Technology whirlpool goes on a rampage. With Volcott’s passionate speech, the Angels are back to stop the menace. However Twin Stars swiftly capture it and even clean up the city, accidentally taking their money bag along. The Angels chase but lost them. They contemplate ton their next move. Milfeulle wants to rejoin Angels for old time’s sake but the rest aren’t interested. Then they spot the Twin Stars in the same cafe and they all start arguing and lose the Lost Technology and money in the process. Next a forced retirement party for Volcott against his will (false recorded speech included). The whirlpool starts attacking again but evolved. Milfeulle misinterprets Volcott’s plea for help (he’s mouth was taped) to reassemble the Angels. What motivated them to come back? 10 times pay! Another misinterpretation on Milfeulle’s part of course. Twin Stars are having it tough when the Angels arrive to help. Unfortunately they start fighting among themselves, destroy the city and ignore the whirlpool. In the end, the Angels become wanted criminals and are on the run. So much for a grand comeback.

Episode 2A
Volcott and his Angels plus the Twin Stars and Mary are to attend a meeting for their previous rampage. But Milfeulle’s is running late so Volcott goes to get her. Since he couldn’t find her, he comes back dressed as her! Everyone could see the obvious except the officer! Then he notices Volcott not back so Mint ‘goes out to look for him’ and comes back dressed like him! This goes on each time the officer notices somebody missing. Vanilla becomes Mint, Ranpha becomes Vanilla and Forte a hideous version of Ranpha. So much so Ranpha gets back at her by dressing as a punk Forte. Twin Stars notice ‘Vanilla’ missing and decide to go ‘look’ for her so that no one is missing. But the rest accompany them to ‘protect’ them. After beating them up outside, they duo are dressed as Vanilla and Normad. Yeah, the officer has no qualms since everyone in the Angel Unit is here. He’s so blind! As for the real Milfeulle, she tripped down the stairs and fell asleep. Sweet dreams.

Episode 2B
Kokomo is sick of training and being treated like a kid down to their meal. He takes Maribu and leaves the base. So happens the planet they’re on, Lost Technology in the form of black balls start appearing and multiplying. They make a deal with Mary that if they solve this, she won’t treat them as kids anymore. It’s tough and Kokomo seems to bear the brunt of it. After realizing its attributes and that they multiply whenever there’s space, they’re going to trap it when the Angels come by and start zapping to transport all the buildings away to a smaller planet! It’s getting very crammed! Ironically the Angels are treated as heroes and Kokomo isn’t happy a bit.

Episode 3A
The Angels are to retrieve a book of proverbs of a historian. However the planet is abandoned due to the crust collapsing and moving tectonic plates. Since their ships are under maintenance, they have to cram into Milfeulle’s Frame. On the planet, the rest make Milfeulle guard outside while they go in to retrieve the book. However Milfeulle got distracted by a squirrel, slips and has her face stuck in a pillar crack. They have to get her out because she’s the only one who can pilot her ship and have 10 minutes before the planet dies! They try all sorts of stuff but to no avail so they start panicking and argue among themselves. How the heck did Mint fit her giant planet destroyer gun in her bag?! How many does she have?! Milfeulle starts crying and apologize for being at fault. A stroke of luck has a statue come rolling down and free her so everybody manages to leave in time. However it seems Milfeulle’s Frame got stuck in an asteroid crack soon after.

Episode 3B
The Angels split up to look for Lost Technology on a planet. This planet has a weird custom whereby a little good deed done will be repaid with a huggy hug. Forte is disgusted with this and avoids helping out all the animals that are in a pinch (no matter how absurd the help needed is), much to Milfeulle’s dismay. But Forte gets a sly idea. That is, to help everyone but where masks of their other comrades. This has the animals to hug the unsuspecting gang, taking them by surprise. Forte and Milfeulle find the Lost Technology stuck in the ground, takes it out and fly off. Forte gets this creepy feeling of some voice thanking her. Suddenly the planet hugs them for pulling out that painful ‘thorn’. Crushed!

Episode 4A
The Angels minus Milfeulle are trapped, taking refuge in a mountain cave awaiting rescue in a war torn planet. They are about to give up when they hear the winning lottery number over the radio, which has 500 million cash! They turn greedy once they realize that less (wo)men more share and try to outdo each other by being the last survivor and not fall asleep. Seems Vanilla is eating Normad! Even the rest thinks he is tasty and have a bite but finds it awful. Hungry and weakened, they don’t seem to care about the ticket anymore and burn it before collapsing. But that’s when Milfeulle excavates her way in so they instantly revive and salvage the ticket. Luckily it’s still good. They are frolicking with their 500 million cash when they get to know from Volcott that since the Angels failed to stop the war, the civil war has become more holistic. This means the currency has devalued so much that it’s worth as much as toilet paper. Bummer.

Episode 4B
As Mint searches for files in the archive, she fools around with a Lost Technology duck helmet. It was hard to get it off at first but when it did, she is horrified she is bald! Seems it has a mysterious effect to ‘melt’ away hair of those who put it on. She puts on a paper bag and tries to dispel suspicion of others but her act makes it even more suspicious. Bribing Ranpha? Threatening to flush Normad down the toilet? Normad mentions that a rumoured Lost Technology helmet may grow her hair back so they go back to the archives and search. They find 3 animal helmets so devilish Mint uses Normad as a guinea pig to test its effect. Let’s say the first 2 were disastrous. Deducing the final one to be correct, she puts it on when her other pals come in. They are not only shock to see her bald, but she has no face!!! WARGH!!!

Episode 5A
Ranpha stops by a planet looking for water and bumps into an old robot version waitress. She orders something but it wasn’t up to her expectations (soup with bolts?) and since she can’t pay, the robot becomes hostile. Ranpha fights it and tries to escape but it’s damn persistent. The robot is about to deliver the final blow when it ran out of power. But the solar power recharges it back and the good news is its memories have been restarted. After making sure that the telephone charge is free and making a call for help, Ranpha accidentally drinks the mineral water. Oh no. Here we go again. No money, no talk.

Episode 5B
The Angels are being recruited by Ms Kulimanju. They were against it since it will break the unit up. But when they hear how much she will pay, it’s “Yes, Madame!”. Money faced. However they are tasked to do stuff like clearing space garbage, capturing a snow eel, fighting off space pirates, getting rid of fake goods and clean the entire mansion. At the end of it all as Kulimanju is to reward their efforts, trouble starts knocking on her door. Space garbage piled up in her backyard, the snow ell, monster flower plant and space pirate start attacking her mansion (they followed the Angels back). The Angels escape and leave her to deal with the mess. I guess no amount of money could make them clean up this mess, eh?

Episode 6A
A doctor diagnoses Mint with a Kigurumi (full body costume) Disease and must be hospitalized. Can he tell with just a magnifying glass? Anyway he warns Mint is she wears kigurumi 1 more time, she’ll die! She tries to keep this a secret from her pals and even resisted wearing the kigurumi present that they give her. All of them had the same idea! Then she gets discharged and on a planet to find Lost Technology, seems everyone is wearing kigurumi for a festival! Even her pals are wearing it! How cruel! Must… Resist… Everywhere Mint runs or escapes, she’s bound to have someone giving her a kigurumi as a prize! She can’t take it anymore and faints. She wakes up in hospital and to her horror finds her pals dressed her up in a kigurumi. In the end, she didn’t die and goes back to her normal ways, enjoying wearing them. And that fake doctor tells Forte she has Weapon Sickness and can’t use weapons or else…

Episode 6B
The Angels are vying for Miss Female Soldier. Forte, Ranpha and Mint try to sabotage each other to demerit the rest and make themselves look good in front of the judges. While happy Milfeulle is just plain unlucky as the judges bear the brunt of their antics. Then they want to see how they spend their outdoor activity on their day off. After making Vanilla stranded on a beach, the rest once again resume their sabotage. Then a call that a missing soldier is in their area as they use this chance to score points. After more in-fighting, eventually they stumble upon the collapsed soldier. OMG! She’s a real hot beauty! She also excels in all the fields that the Angels are good at! They’re in a dilemma to help her or not! Thus the cliff-hanger end for us to think what happens next.

Episode 7A
The Angels are sucked into a mysterious gas and crash land on an unknown land. Thinking it’s Milfeulle’s good luck because they don’t have to do paper work for the annual tax. But Ranpha wants her to wish for them to return home or she’ll die of men0less withdrawal symptom. They go hunting for food the next morning but got into all sorts of trouble. Eventually they eat Milfeulle’s abundant cooking since the organic ingredients rolled right at her feet! Lucky alright. However Ranpha insists she wish for them to go back. Six months passed and the girls are getting used to this lifestyle. Except for Ranpha who is hallucinating. She and Forte team up to steal crops and stock in hopes Milfeulle will hate this planet and wish to go home. However a year has passed and amazingly this bandit thingy lasted that long, Looks like Milfeulle really loves it here.

Episode 7B
Kokomo and Maribu accidentally left behind a box of Lost Technology rice jelly. When they realize, it’s too late as the Angels have eaten them and turned into children. Naughty children! Angels turned little devils! They cause mischief around as the duo try to catch and round them up but it is them who get owned instead. In the end after all that trouble and chaos, it seems the superiors too turned into kids after eating those rice jellies at the meeting. Now we know why the military acts like kids.

Episode 8A
Milfeulle gets jailed for laughing at the king’s portrait. He’s got a funny face by the way so you can’t blame her for being irresistible. Vanilla devices all sorts of plan to free her and even with Milfeulle’s luck, her stupidity causes destruction and to be caught. Eventually the whole city is destroyed and on her execution day, she’s still laughing at his face. He’s going to exact a capital punishment worse than death: Turn her face into his! However her other pals turn up to rescue her but they end up laughing too. In the end, everyone got their face turned into his and they all end up laughing. Moral of the story: It isn’t physical beauty that counts. It’s money, baby! Since everybody’s laughing, all’s well, ends well. Yeah, she who laughs last laughs best. Oh, forget it.

Episode 8B
Forte helps Volcott with a Lost Technology box but accidentally drops it and unleashes a mysterious gas. Next morning, both of them switch genders! This leads to Ranpha starting to fall for Forte (cliche anime scenes of boy meets girl included). Eventually she confesses her love so this freaks Forte out and makes a run. But no matter where Forte escapes, Ranpha the stalker is able to find Forte just about anywhere. Like predator and prey. In the end, Forte gives up and succumbs to marriage. Just before giving the ring, Forte opens that box and changes the gender of her other Angel pals. They all become rowdy men. Ranpha now wanting to marry pretty woman Volcott! It’s chaotic!

Episode 9A
Vanilla collapses while peddling lucky charms in the snow. A doctor takes her back to his mansion and treats her. When she wakes up, he tells of his past how he and his bro used to plan world domination. However his bro decided to bully him as his first step to world domination and unforgivably drew on his face! Meanwhile the government and military argue over holidays so much so the government pulled funding and food for the latter. Poor Forte, Ranpha and Mint only have a strand of noodle to share and eat till Milfeulle pops up with her cake. Seems she’s got a lucrative part time job so Forte wants her to introduce them to it. They are taken to a planet whereby they fix some robot. They realize it’s a mecha so the evil scientist, Mackoi can’t let them leave after discovering his world domination plans. Forte and co play along in hopes of taking him out when he lets his guard down. The doctor sees the mecha rampaging and unleashes his but due to a chronic disease, lets Vanilla pilots it. Both mechas fight and Vanilla wins. In the end she draws on Mackoi’s face.

Episode 9B
The Angels are hanging precariously over an endless chasm. It all began when they were singing a happy-happy song and stopped for a break. Milfeulle’s lunch portion rolled off the cliff and as she chased it and almost fell off, caused a human chain to where they are now. The rest start blaming each other for being the cause when the rope gives way. Luckily Mint grabs onto the rock and everyone else on her. She gets selfish and tries to rid them. Then the rock breaks off but this time Forte clings on. She too thinks of the same thing. It gets ridiculous as everyone except Milfeulle starts flying and attack each other. Milfeulle pleads for them not to fight and somehow holds everyone over the chasm. Of course they all fall and it’s the same thing all over and over again.

Episode 10A
The gang are shock to see Ranpha nursing a baby. Seems she got it from a Lost Technology bamboo tree. Soon Mint and Milfeulle also go get their own baby. Then Vanilla ditches Normad to get twins! She passes 1 to Forte. Though reluctant at first, Forte eventually falls for the baby’s charms. The Angels are busy taking care of their babies and ignore help transmissions from war zones. When they find out the babies will disappear to the Moon when they grow up, they sink into depression. Then the inevitable happen. But the grown up babies return with grandkids and they all go about their baby shopping spree together.

Episode 10B
Mint is sad her cat Miiko just passed away. Milfeulle is sad she lost her wallet. Ranpha decides to use hypnosis to help Milfeulle recover it but realizes her ritual summons dead spirits. Miiko’s spirit possesses Milfeulle and Mint is happy to spend time with her cat since they don’t know how to revert things back. Mint takes ‘Miiko’ to look for Milfeulle’s wallet and dispel suspicions from their passing pals at the same time. Then they bump into and cause Mary and her Twin Stars to drop light bulbs. During that, Milfeulle’s memories return. Ranpha continues her weird ritual so much so Miiko possesses everyone and causes trouble. In the end, Ranpha too gets possessed with everyone else at the same time.

Episode 11A
The Angels complain about their low pay. They patron a sushi bar but faced a strict and rude octopus sushi master. He swallows their pay as entrance fee. However he seems to be treating Vanilla and Milfeulle nicely and accommodating their orders. The other trio are unhappy of his favouritism so they think of eating him since there are no other dishes available and to get their money’s worth. The octopus panics as they corner him, ready to devour him but Milfeulle protects him after feeling pity for the weak. The octopus then swallows them all but spits them outside, forbidding them to come back again. After their next payday, they return for revenge but it seems the octopus has some comrades with him. Better back out while you have the chance.

Episode 11B
A rich old geezer, Dandy Salvatore arrives at the Angels’ base wanting to adopt Ranpha as his daughter. It began last week when he was lost in an unfamiliar city and Ranpha showed him kindness regardless of his status. Though Ranpha doesn’t remember all that, she quickly agrees to his idea and calls him dad. Soon she starts getting cocky, bossing around everyone, giving orders and becoming the leader of Angel Unit. So much so Mint has to hold back Forte who wants to shoot her. Then on a mission to attack some frog enemy, Ranpha orders her team to charge in without a plan. They get captured but the enemy says they will release everyone without harm in exchange for their leader. Ranpha is in a dilemma when suddenly her dad informs about the mistake in her adoption. Apparently it was someone else. Bye… The frog leader wants to adopt Ranpha since he has taken a liking for her. The rest has no qualms about it. Thus Ranpha continues her ‘happy’ life with the frog community.

Episode 12A
Milfeulle wakes up one morning to find her comrades appropriately dressed and serious for work! Never having to work this hard in her life, she tries to persuade them with stuff they like but they brush it off. Next morning, Milfeulle wakes up and finds them as pillaging pirates! This cycle goes on and on so confused Milfeulle is dragged into various versions such as idols, basketball players, midgets, giants, robots and dragon-faced! It’s revealed that she was sleeping on a Lost Technology pillow and Milfeulle’s other versions are causing havoc in the bridge. Then the pillow glows as we see Vanilla reading a fan letter complaining why the series is always left unfinished, making the show so half-assed and irresponsible. Normad’s answer: It’s a problem of love. The staffs here have no love for their work! Oh, I don’t know how true that is!

Episode 12B
The Angels are on a blind date on a cruise that includes a hot handsome hunk, a pervy drunk ugly alien octopus, a sick dying boy, Volcott himself and a rice cooker (WTF?!). To lighten up the mood, Ranpha decides to play the King Game (all other outside casts are also included). It results in hilarious disastrous outcome like the ill boy really dying after being chosen to kiss the octopus, a cat henchman to be given an ‘upgrade’, a tongue twisting awakening from Milfeulle and Forte singing her favourite song. Since the octopus still wants to make Forte hers, she goes berserk while Ranpha leaves with her hunk to somewhere quieter. Can she hit it off this time?

Episode 13A
Vanilla is sent to buy eggs but what the rest didn’t know is that she’s a robot and the real Vanilla kidnapped by those cat burglars. They built this robot to get their revenge. Kokomo and Maribu are out when the former bumps into robot Vanilla. She then goes berserk and starts attacking. A funny part was how the twins ran to Mary for help but she panicked and spewed how useless and unreliable is! Anyway the trio got smashed. Forte, Mint and Ranpha go in search for Vanilla (still can’t tell she’s a fake) and even got chased by her. In Kokomo’s attempt to show this Vanilla is fake, he accidentally pressed the self destruct button. This causes the robot to crash straight into the cat burglars’ hideout and explode. The real Vanilla is free and takes care of them before everyone returns home with the eggs.

Episode 13B
Forte accidentally makes Milfeulle, Normad and Vanilla press a Lost Technology button. Thinking bad luck will follow, they get paranoid at every package delivered at their doorstep. However it turns out to be merely a frying pan, blanket and divine revelation. The other trio conclude that this button grants desires and start arguing over it. Then Volcott informs them that whoever pushes the button will get what they want but their loves shorten. The amount is on the item they received. Milfeulle’s life shortened by 3 seconds, Normad by 728 years (half his life gone!) and Vanilla by 15 nights. The greedy trio are going to back off but after concluding they’d rather die happy with their desires, start fighting over it. In the end they really died instantly. Milfeulle felt sad but saw the happiness in their faces. She makes a wish on the shooting star to live a long life for them. Yeah, she would live for 400 years…

Episode 14A
A military guy leaves a Lost Technology magical wand in the care of the Angels. Seems magic do come true if you do believe in them and there’s a set of instructions on how to use it. One night the gang in weird outfits (Volcott as a girl?!) sneak in to use the wand but nothing happened. Since it’s embarrassing enough, might as well go all the way as Volcott teaches them ballet for rhythm for the transformation scene! Once that’s done, they do so and their transformation scene looked more like an anime opening animation (Sailormoon parody too). At the end, an embarrassing photo of them emerges from the wand. The army storms in as the military guy points out it was all a setup to let those stupid Angels to try and activate it. Since its activation method is too embarrassing, no one tried. He confiscates the wand and photo so the Angels are hell bent on taking the photo back. I guess that’s how this item started wars even if it isn’t a war item though many fought over it.

Episode 14B
Mint and Ranpha are stranded in the forest due to Ranpha’s irresponsibility (man thingy and gambling loss, what else). Ranpha gives Mint eat some weird seeds so the next morning Mint is devastated to find her body a big tree. Ranpha leaves so Mint has to put up with spiders, a dove making next on her head and a young boy, Makoto. His whole village soon starts worshipping Mint because the ‘wisest’ lady of the village says she is God. Ranpha returns and takes advantage by claiming she is the servant princess so everybody starts worshipping her. When Mint wakes up, she sees grown up Makoto and learns 10 years have passed. He explains Ranpha returned with the Angel Unit to try wake her up but failed and eventually gave up. While Mint is thinking, suddenly Makoto is an old dude and dilapidated Normad below her. 80 years gone by! Normad explains how Ranpha and co came back after hearing she woke up but as usual nothing happened. He continues how the rest are doing like Milfeulle owning her own army fleet and winning victories (due to her pure luck), Ranpha married Kokomo but soon separated and Forte having her own oden empire. While Mint is lost in her thoughts, another 30 years passed! The doves have evolved into intelligent beings on war with humans. Then Mint sees Ranpha asking to come back to where everyone is. Mint is reborn as a new bud. Owari (end) or okawari (extra helping)?

Episode 15A
The base is on fire as the Angels evacuate. However the capsule won’t budge since it mentions they’re overweight! Though it’s just an evacuation training, reports printed out that they’re fat pigs unworthy of living! Forte orders them all to go on extreme dieting by trekking the desert for a week in aptly pig costumes. This attracts news coverage and a following so much so people cheer on those ‘pig’s to go on. When they reach the end of their goal, the gang misinterprets the people cheering on them ‘pigs’ as insults and destroy the entire city. Then the evacuation training once more and this time it’s a success. However the machine detects their malnourishment and force feeds them till they’re fat like pigs! Now it’s saying only fat pigs deserve to live?!

Episode 15B
Milfeulle fails her pilot licence renewal test and this threatens her to be fired. Volcott arranges a special coach for her to pass in a week’s time: Lt Kensit AKA The Rattlesnake. He takes Milfeulle deep down to the dark depths of the underground slums to see a woman to renew her licence via hacking. Milfeulle isn’t happy using such a method and runs away only to be kidnapped by the cat burglars. Kensit tracks her down but finds her happily baking cheesecake for them. Then they return to the centre as Milfeulle finds out today is Kensit’s birthday and he has to renew his licence today too. She bakes him a birthday cake and they celebrate. Volcott finds out the reason Milfeulle failed: She forgot to write her name on the paper despite answering correct.

Episode 16A
Milfeulle accidentally bumps into shoulders of a group of high-end ladies and ‘died’. The rest decides to avenge her via volleyball challenge. However all the exaggerated super moves they pull off took each other out. Like Ranpha’s Supernova Genocide move said to be able to be used once in a lifetime because it reduces its user’s life by 100 years! The high-end girls didn’t even need to lift a finger to score. Their own blooper will do the job just fine. When everyone is ‘taken out’, Milfeulle is down so her pals encourage her to sing. In the end it turns into a next episode preview sports genre style. Huh?

Episode 16B
Ranpha’s niece, Haliu and her friend, Erica pay her a visit. Problem is Ranpha told lies to them that she’s the squad leader. However that’s not the only lie she told. Apparently outrageous and unbelievable settings for her mates. Ranpha definitely in a pinch. She wanted to back out but Haliu is fierce to keep her ‘subordinates’ in tow. Too bad Ranpha subsequently got beaten up badly by Forte as Vanilla takes over the base tour. Then 1 of those lies has Volcott on alert because the kids mention about a thief trying to steal Lost Technology. Turns out that there really is a thief but just a petty one. The military surround and arrest him. Haliu and Erica are awarded the medal of honour for averting the greatest threat! They visit bandaged Ranpha in hospital and think how her pals are strange but simple. Haliu also thinks she could control them better than Ranpha if she was their leader. I think not.

Episode 17A
Rebel robots attack the base to steal a stone believed to create miracles. The Angels go all out to protect it but the baddies are hot on their tail. The Angels win when they use an asteroid to send the chasing pack smashing into it. From hero to zero, they throw away their pride and decide to hijack the stone for themselves. Upon landing on a tropical planet, they are being attacked by the rebels. Mary reveals to Volcott that the stone was just a bait to make their army stronger for counterattack. The real stone is with Kokomo and Maribu. Forte, Ranpha and Mint fight over the stone so Milfeulle decides to cut it equally for everyone to share. Can she? Volcott desperately tries to reach the Angels because he is being told if the stone is cut, the bomb inside it will explode. Too late. Boom! Volcott wakes up to find it all a dream but it seems his Angels reprimand him for sleeping in.

Episode 17B
Milfeulle is sad her pals won’t join her in the hotspring bath. Forte goes hiking to find a weapon store house, Ranpha skiing to hit on several hot guys (who are fighting over her as well), Mint at an antique candy store eating candies and Vanilla climbing the mountain for spiritual training. Milfeulle is at the hotspring alone and even pretends to do things with her pals but finds it no fun. She posts the Ojizou statue and decides to pray for her pals to join them by baking cakes on the statue heads. Then strange events send a flood to wash her pals right back into the hotspring. Milfeulle is glad her pals get to join her and is ever grateful to the statues.

Episode 18A
Because Ranpha mocked science, Maribu challenges her to predict the future. It’s his scientific robot versus her fortune robot. Vanilla sets the questions to predict and each time Forte-Mint and Kokomo intercept to make it true because they want the other side to win so they could have the delicious food promised by the losers. However all outcomes ended in a tie (both sides came true). Including the question of who will be promoted first, Volcott or Mary. I can’t believe they’re ready to assassinate them but eventually back out. Realizing how the future is changing to fit the predictions, Milfeulle asks how the base is going to be destroyed! Then Mint asks the final question that’ll create separate futures so that the fate energy they create will collide and eliminate each other. That is, who will win! Time goes back by 2 years when the military guys are excited about the new Galaxy Angel Unit to search for Lost Technology. The Admiral decides to use old ladies from the neighbourhood instead. Nobody won, eh?

Episode 18B
The Angels have their fate read by an old fortune teller and were told they’ll be kidnapped. Shrugging it off at first, it starts becoming true when Milfeulle starts disappearing while shopping after following mittens she likes falling from the sky. Then when Vanilla meets the same fate, the rest go in search for the fortune teller but she’s nowhere to be found. Ranpha and Forte start panicking and decide to disappear with the things they desire if they’re going to get kidnapped anyway. Mint is the only one left as she investigates into it but eventually gives in to her temptation and disappears. Mary and Volcott analyze the case as Mary concludes the culprit is unknown but thinks she can bring them back if they manipulate the enemy. She uses Volcott to make him wish for the Angels’ return. Even if he’s wishing is from the bottom of his heart, his desirable stuff kept falling out of the sky. Mary laments that the Angels’ misfortune is not being kidnapped by an unknown assailant but to have a superior like him.

Episode 19A
Vanilla receives a love letter. Though Normad isn’t happy, the rest are going to help her out. First they rummage through Volcott’s secret shoujo manga collection to have an idea. Vanilla then writes back and receives a prompt reply wanting to call her. Then they play a dating simulation game and soon she makes the call (though her lines were just ‘yes’ or ‘no’). To everyone’s surprise, the guy wants to meet her so Mint helps dress her up in various fashion outfits. When Vanilla returns, she tells the gang that they did something (purposely inaudible to leave it to our imagination). Jealous Normad decides to go back 1 week in time to do all those stuff before that bastard could make his move. He is successful in doing all that and happy he is completely victorious in this perfect love game. Then it hit him he was the mysterious guy who did all that! Woah!

Episode 19B
Ranpha’s ship bumps into another pirate ship that causes her Lost Technology to be destroyed. She isn’t going to let the pirate lady off the hook but space fish start attacking the pirate ship since it’s made out of special metal. Ranpha fends the fish off and decides to go in and save her regardless of how much she tries to play down her futile attempts. Then in the bridge, Ranpha only sees her hologram and learns her real body is dead and she is just memories of this ship. She is heading back to her planet filled with roses. The fish start attacking again so pirate lady thanks Ranpha and ejects her before the ship is totally destroyed. Ranpha decides to return her beret to her home planet.

Episode 20A
Ranpha falls head over heels over Captain Harry who will be temporarily training the Angels. Seems he is good at everything, not to mention his cool and calm attitude. In short, he is perfect. Forte refuses to accept that there’s such a person and when Ranpha and co hear rumours Harry is married, they try to find his flaw. They use tempting tactics but it was futile and even fallen into their own trap. Paranoid Forte searches his room and thinks he’s a spying alien. Then Harry comes in, she points her gun but he was just correcting her pose and thanks her for everything since he’ll be leaving soon. Forte starts blushing. As they see off Harry, they can’t believe that such a perfect person exists. Then his wife comes to get him. They see the fat ugly lady and think this might be his flaw but his real wife turns out to be a hottie! Their total lost. Harry’s ship takes off but explodes! But Harry calls to say everyone managed to escape and is alright. Why is Volcott having an unhappy expression? Was he the one who put the bombs?

Episode 20B
Forte has to transport a dangerous criminal known as Morio the Planet Destroyer. Maribu accompanies her much to her dismay because she thought of being alone with this strong dude. Outside a tunnel, Maribu wishes to take a detour but Forte just went straight ahead, cracking the boulder. Ultimately its outer layer breaks off small enough for it to go through the tunnel. Then going uphill, Forte accelerates and suddenly brakes to send the boulder flying and crashing ahead before the truck smashes into it to break the boulder. But inside it is a small black ball. Continuing the journey, Forte taunts for Morio to come out when they arrive at a fragile bridge. Forte tests it but it soon starts collapsing so everybody is holding tightly on the edge. Forte orders Maribu to drop Morio and when he does, it’s just a ploy for her to dive down to grab Morio because she’s interested to check out what kind of person he is. Well, we’ll leave that to your imagination.

Episode 21A
Milfeulle obtains a magic pot that could grant 3 wishes. She uses the first one for lots of food ingredients and the second to change her body into ice cream. WTF?! Inside the freezer area, Forte, Ranpha and Mint fight each other over the right to get the last wish. Suddenly the place is being taken apart so everybody clings on for dear life. However Forte and Mint are happy that Ranpha is at the edge of the wall because this means less rivalry. Milfeulle gives them another emotional dressing down for being selfish to make them realize. But she’s upset and reveals that the pot grants 4 wishes and will use them all up. She wishes her body to return to normal and is going to use the last one to save Ranpha. But the pot slipped from her hands and into Ranpha’s forehead. Ranpha knew this was coming and lets go of the railing and floats into space.

Episode 21B
Milfeulle’s pals task her to warn Sergeant Battler living alone on some planet that a comet is on collision course with it. However Battler refuses to budge, saying he only obey orders from His Excellency, Shosho. Back in the building, Shosho turns out to be a dog. Milfeulle tries to pretend to give signals from Shosho to evacuate but he’s not buying it. She accidentally touches Shosho’s medal and this made Battler mad and yell at her. While Battler is at a tomb reminiscing horrifying war memories, Milfeulle spots a picture of Battler and his superior supposedly to be Shosho and that medal must belong to him. Then a fire breaks out. Battler overcomes his trauma to save Milfeulle and Shosho. He realizes Milfeulle was protecting the medal. Then Shosho barks at the incoming comet so they evacuate and Milfeulle gets to come home.

Episode 22A
The Angels and Twin Stars are forced to play a 3-letter shiritori game because Milfeulle activated that Lost Technology that’ll destroy the universe! Of course they foul up but thankfully a turtle Forte found a few years back prove to be useful as it reverses back time by 1 hour. But they keep screwing up so Maribu says it’s futile to go on since the possibility of completing the game is 20 trillion times! Good thing Maribu got a time reversing crane so he suggests they can go back in time to stop the person who made it. 700 years back, they knock out the inventor Harold and turn him into a pro baseball player. But they are stuck and can’t go back to the future…

Episode 22B
Bored Forte, Ranpha and Mint physically abuse Normad. It was funny that the piano sound was just a tape and Vanilla wasn’t really playing but kneading on a piano-like stove! On a shopping errand, Mackoi switches Normad with another doll. It took a month before those blokes realize it but shrug it off. Another month later, Normad returns as a handsome humanoid cyborg. He plans his revenge on the Angels. Even Vanilla isn’t spared. He has lost hope in everything because he thought she’d come to rescue him when he was kidnapped and waited. But she didn’t. They fight but the Angels are ultimately captured. Normad wants to blow up everything. Vanilla pleads for him to come back to her arms but Normad isn’t going to be swayed by her words. But when he explodes, he releases the Angels and then goes on a journey to seek the answer on love. Though he finds whatever that universal consciousness is, he finds it lonely. Vanilla sits on a swing alone.

Episode 23A
The Angels are under attack by seaweeds since as Vanilla mentioned, they haven’t been treating it good. Though they fight against it, they’re being overwhelmed and are forced to become its slave and put on fake flatteries. Once it has enough, it decides to go back so the girls shed crocodile tears to see it off. When the seaweed is confirmed gone, they’re back with their devilish and sarcastic comments of it. However the seaweed’s departure was just a bluff to see their true intentions. They fight but lost easily again. They are forced to sell the good points of seaweed products throughout the universe. Ranpha and Forte later try to rebel against it as Volcott assembles the Angels. It seems their counterparts in the unit are made of seaweed.

Episode 23B
While everyone is enjoying Vanilla’s oversupply of salty fish jerky, Vanilla is hunting down Kokomo. That kid is reluctant to eat it and takes refuge in a town whereby a bar owner pities him and hides him. But Vanilla is persistent, stalking them day and night by placing fish jerky all over till Kokomo snaps, burning the town down. Vanilla is also exerting her limit to deliver fish jerky from her ship to the town. The townspeople can’t take it anymore and capture Kokomo to make him eat the jerky to save their town. As they approach Vanilla, they are shocked to see her transformed into a stone statue. Something about her iron will to deliver the jerky (?!). Many years passed and Kokomo is an old dude spreading the taboo about not eating fish jerky to a traveller. However he breaks the rule and the smell of fish jerky breaks Vanilla out and the chase resumes. Meanwhile the rest are still eating fish jerky and are almost done! They spend their whole lives eating?!

Episode 24A
Aliens are attacking but the Angels are missing in action. Because of that, a decision was made to recruit additional Angel members. The Angels are unhappy about this and reluctantly went through the interview though they purposely rejected all applicants. Later Forte’s friend heard about the recruitment and bribes her to get her to join. Forte brings her in but it seems the other Angels were bribed too and brought their own friends to join. The competition to see which one will be accepted starts as the juniors have to put up with the weird habits, pastimes and activities of their seniors. They can’t take it anymore and decide to form their own group. Since the original Angels don’t want to work with each other, they go on a mass recruitment drive. When the aliens return to attack, the hall is filled with lots of newbies so much so you can’t tell where the main characters are.

Episode 24B
After watching a cheesy drama, Maribu and Kokomo think of knowing more about their mom and force Normad to help out. Based on the memory recall, she has a star tattoo on her back neck but she is their mom 5 years in the future (?!). Normad says it is possible to meet her now and may be even in this base. The duo devise plans to go check the Angels’ back neck and finally spot the star on Vanilla’s! Normad couldn’t believe it so he malfunctions till he burns himself out. Kokomo and Maribu start fighting over each other to meet their mom. Why are they claiming their mom is theirs? Aren’t they both? So much so they start destroying the base and Mary and her colleague (this one has a star on her back neck) had to stop them. As for Vanilla, the star was just a lucky charm sticker. Good relief for Normad, eh?

Episode 25A
Volcott’s last dying wish is to have the Angels put on bracelets and become Angel Five and save the galaxy. In a Power Ranger spoof, this episode shows short episode snippets of Angel Five as they fight baddies, face internal conflicts, Mint’s bluff betrayal, temporarily being replaced by new units, meet a Jesus-like character and defeat the final boss. But it’s not over because dying (again) Volcott gives them trading cards as their battle against evil continues.

Episode 25B
Ranpha and Milfeulle are sent to rendezvous with Mint on a planet where manners must be adhered strictly and any disrespect to the king will be severely punished. The duo can’t help notice a string hanging out of the king’s head. Ranpha’s reluctant to say anything but Milfeulle speaks her mind and they nearly get caught. Later the duo discuss the effects of pulling it and it got them more curious to do so. Over dinner, the string seems to be too enticing and teasing as they hold back their temptation. Eventually they decide to pull it when the king is asleep. But they’re indecisive so their ruckus woke him up as they accidentally pull it. The king is happy as he mentions it won’t work when he pulled it himself. Turns out to be Mint trapped in it as she’s happy that she’s free. Soon Kokomo and Maribu arrive and they spot twin kings (must be Ranpha and Milfeulle). Kokomo is of course curious to pull it… The real king is enjoying his life somewhere else and thinks that was a good Lost Technology that allowed him to get away from his boring palace life.

Episode 26
Episode 26 is totally void of all those antics we are used to by now. A serious and dark episode of Galaxy Angel? Is this even possible? Anyway the Angels are to capture a dangerous escaped prisoner named Rebecca. She set the Transbaal Planet ablaze 500 years ago. Thing is, she is a normal human. As they search for clues, it seems there are conflicting reports and no pictures on how she looks like. Further investigation shows the massacre may be a cover up for some military accident. Thus Rebecca was created as a scapegoat for the people to channel their hate for the cover up. Milfeulle finds a sketch pic of what Rebecca may look like from the diary of the first warden who committed suicide. She is sending it to Forte when the latter’s group comes under attack. The attacker is revealed to be Rebecca but she has super human powers. Ranpha thinks she’s a ghost but Forte realizes she is the manifestation of hate and emotion of the people. Milfeulle is stopped by a warden who wants to let Rebecca free because he pitied her seeing her ‘lost’ in her cell’s eternal hell. Eventually Milfeulle and Vanilla head to a mansion with a coffin inside. Rebecca is bent on activating and blowing the satellite to end all her painful suffering when Milfeulle and Vanilla arrive and show her a female sleeping in the coffin. It’s revealed Rebecca is modelled after this person. Since it’s hard to totally fabricate a lie, the military used a volunteer scapegoat as her model and redirect the people’s hatred. Rebecca doesn’t believe it but her model apologizes and feels guilty for causing her to exist and suffer. She hugs Rebecca and causes her to disappear. The Angels return the model sleeping peacefully in the coffin back to the original place. They feel sad she has to sleep for another 1500 years (Rebecca was supposed to be imprisoned for 2000 years but the people revolted and wanted a death sentence). But such a long time is needed to heal all hatred since she’ll be sleeping, time will fly by like it was nothing. They pray that the world will be a better place when Rebecca wakes up.

Universe Idiots!
Woah! What a sombre end that this series has come to. I really never expected to end it this way since I thought it would be one of their trademark silliness. But of course I know it won’t be the end yet as there is another season coming up right after that even if they showed the ‘to be continued’ remark at the end. I guess this serious final episode did a good thing by changing the pace and feel of the overall series before it gets too ‘predictable’. I know I have said previously that I accepted the random and cliff-hanging endings of the episodes and how it didn’t bother me how everything restarted like as though the consequences in the previous episodes had no effect on the subsequent ones. But the way they show it in this season was a tad too much, so much so it really annoyed me because I felt that I wanted to know what really happens next rather than just leaving it to our imagination. So when this humourless final episode came by, I have this feeling to forgive all that has happened. However I am hoping there are some like the build up to Kokomo and Maribu’s mysterious mom had me intrigued and I hope this would be explored rather than just a one-off random shot.

Of course I managed to catch a special extra episode that comes with this season. Back to the usual flow, we see Volcott and Mary competing in this year’s Chicken Bastard Flight Competition. Volcott in a chicken suit? Can he seriously fly? Of course not. Fell straight down right off the ramp. Don’t worry, each team will have 3 tries. Due to some Loch Bro monster in the lake, the other teams have pulled out, leaving Volcott and Mary’s team left. Kokomo could’ve flown further if the monster didn’t hit him back. Milfeulle and Vanilla are dragging the supposed sure-win flight craft to Volcott. Only 2 more mountains to cross. Okay, don’t put your hopes on them. Ranpha and Forte join them and they really pick up speed when the cat burglars start chasing them because the irresponsible duo gambled and went off without paying. Worse, they put the debts in the Angels’ name so everyone’s involved now. Volcott tries to become one with the chicken, trying to understand the chicken. Heck, chickens can’t even fly. Then his Angels come rushing in and send him off the ramp with the craft (a duck?). Anyway it didn’t work as they fall straight down. Since Milfeulle got infatuated with the monster and starts chatting with it, it just ends here. I guess nobody won.

Though it isn’t any different from the previous seasons, but I feel Forte, Ranpha and Mint displayed their selfishness more in this season. We see them fighting among each other more this time. Perhaps there were more episodes, I suppose. It wasn’t just about money anymore but down to their likes as well. It’s amazing that this unit can stick together for so long. Oh I forget. Each episode restarts. I’ve also seem to notice that Vanilla too has her hidden agenda. She isn’t that totally innocent God-praying medic that we all think she is. Though she doesn’t get into lively arguments like the trio, at times she goes off doing her own selfish stuff. After all, Normad must be one heck of a patient believer in her, seeing that the actions she took were for her own scheme rather than something for the people or world. Don’t you just get disappointed, Normad? And yeah, that ex-missile AI seems to be a consistent punching bag for those who’d love to take their frustrations out on him, whether it’s to shut him up or some experiment or just plain bullying. Is it that fun to torment a stuffed doll? Worse, he still can’t move in his present body. Ever consider getting into a mobile one. At least one that looks cute? As for Milfeulle, she’s still an airhead though her heart is gold. But her luck sometimes can be a jinx and gets the gang into all sorts of trouble. Otherwise, she is really sincere for the rest not to fight and have to tell them this each time they start arguing for their own selfish reasons. If Maribu is the brains, Kokomo is the brawns. However Maribu sometimes display his devilish side by playing pranks or teasing on unsuspecting Kokomo (like falsely telling him he was born a girl). It’s just too bad that Kokomo falls for it most of the time. And Mary, I thought she’d be a more capable commander but the way I see it, she’s of the same level with everyone else.

For this season’s mid-intermission, we see the Angels trying comment, retort or joke on a real picture being shown. It’s not that I understand but I guess Vanilla is supposed to counter all that with a single punch line. I thought Normad’s line of giving her a zabuton (cushion) for her tsukkomi was just a way of saying she has the best answer but I kinda noticed that as the episode passes, Vanilla is sitting on more zabuton and her seat is getting higher and higher. Well for a character who doesn’t talk much, she sure says the ‘right’ things. Yeah, it’s the weight of the words one says so it goes to show that the rest are all just empty talk. Hehe… Though there is no fortune telling thingy at the next episode preview like they did in the previous season, this time we see the Angels in chibi form doing something odd. We will see the Angels doing that same stuff for a few episodes before another change. For instance, Forte doing hurdles, Vanilla sweeping and Ranpha flying a kite.

All the opening and ending themes are sung by the seiyuus of the Angel Unit. The first ending theme, Galaxy Ba-ban-ga-Bang! seems like a cosmetic makeover of the first season’s opening theme, Galaxy Bang! Bang! Just change the lyrics and rhythm and wahlah! You’ve got a new song. The second opening theme, Angel Ukkii! feels like a dance pop that makes you want to shuffle your feet. Doki, doki! Shuwa, shuwa! Those who are familiar by now the trademark type of songs of the Galaxy Angel, should be able to identify with the first ending theme, Angel Wasshoi! The second ending theme, Dotabata Angel Loop is no different but feels a little like a pop idol song and even sees the Angels in idol-like outfits. However the special ending theme for the final episode, In The Chaos by Jam Project featuring Masami Okui departs from all that with the rock pop feel to bring an appropriate serious ending feel to the season. Yeah, it lasted for a full 3.5 minutes long.

Well, now that I am at this point, the next season will be the final one so I think I’m all up for it. What more should I expect seeing that I would have been really familiar with the kind of (mis)adventures the Angels will get into. I know that 3 certain Angels won’t be embarrassed to take each other out when their own interests is at stake. I know a certain Angel who loves cooking cakes and sweets but a carefree ditz. I know a certain Angel who says lesser lines than a children’s picture book. I know a certain pink stuff will face more abuse no matter how sarcastic or true-in-your-face lines said. I know a certain commander who can’t give up his post yet because of his certain Angels. I know, I know. I’m going to watch the next season even though I know what kind of antics and missions are in store for the gang. But that’s the kind of romance, you see. You’ll never know what kind of unexpected stuff is going to happen anyway.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, far, far away. Oh wait. It wasn’t that long ago that Ookami-san To Shichinin No Nakamatachi came out (July 2010, that is) and it isn’t that far away either (production made in Japan or if you want to look at this way, those fantasies right in our heads). When we were young, I’m sure our parents must have read us fables, folklores and children’s fairytales that delighted us. In this series, some of the familiar characters of those stories are given the anime treatment that parodies those fairytales, turning it into a romance comedy with some drama and action.

Set in the fictitious city called Otogibana City, there is a high school called Otogi Academy. Within it, an organization named Otogi Bank that accepts requests from students to ‘fix’ their problems (like a loan) in exchange for their help later on (like a repayment). As many of the characters are based on a fairytale character, it may take some time to identify them since it isn’t like ‘cut and paste’ thingy. For instance, our lead heroine and part of the Otogi Bank, Ryouko Ookami as many would guess it right at first go, would be the wolf in sheep’s clothing. No, she isn’t a villain hiding underneath a heroine skin nor does she have split personality, but rather she is someone who isn’t honest with her feelings. You’ll understand what I mean after watching this series. Oh wait a minute. How come Ryouko suspiciously looks like a grown up version of Toradora’s Taiga? Yeah, I can see that same flatness there too. Oh sh*t! Don’t hit me! Then there are some characters that are a fusion between several characters such as Ryouko’s friend-cum-roommate-cum-Otogi Bank colleague, Ringo Akai. Yeah, this loli is the Red Riding Hood that we all know but due to her manipulative nature (in a good way), she’s akin to that ‘poison apple’ you see in Snow White.

Episode 1
We see Ryouko taking on a delinquent but some interrupting force causes the delinquent to go off pace and ensures Ryouko to knock him out. She returns back to Otogi Bank with Ringo and we are introduced to the other members like its president Listz Kiriki (based on the grasshopper in The Grasshopper and the Ant fame), the vice president and his cousin Alice (the ant), the maid Otsuu Tsurugaya (the crane in the Japanese folklore Tsurugu No Ongaeshi), flirtatious Tarou Urashima (that Japanese folklore of the same name), his ever clinging girlfriend Otohime Ryuugu (also from that Tarou Urashima story) and the quirky scientist Majolica le Fay (sorceress Morgan). On the way home, Ryouko bumps into a guy, Ryoushi Morino. Though nervy, he gets to the point straight. He confesses he likes her. Not that she’s interested anyway. Ringo decides to play mother-in-law and scoop more info on this guy. Ryoushi has very good hunter skills (thus based from the hunter in Red Riding Hood) and thus Ringo brings him to Otogi Bank in hopes of recruiting him. He also has fears of people staring at him. I guess that’s why he prefers to stay out of the spotlight. As Ryoushi reveals he was the one who helped Ryouko with that delinquent back then, the rest are eager to employ him but Ryouko isn’t because she felt he was just watching while she was being attacked. Ryoushi has got to use this chance to prove himself to Ryouko. Besides, it’s a great way for him to stay by her side instead like a stalker hiding in the dark.

A girl named Kakari Haibara comes to Otogi Bank for a request. She has a crush on a tennis club member, Ooji who is quitting due to his injury. She wants to do something before he hands in his club resignation. The gang goes into full swing as Ryoushi volunteers to observe Ooji. But due to his phobia and suspicious action, things don’t seem to go well. D-Day arrives as Ooji is limping his way to hand in his resignation. As a last ditch attempt, they are going to stop him via bicycle-powered pumpkin carriage courtesy of Majolica. Ryoushi takes up the challenge of peddling it even if it means attracting an awful lot of stares from others (who wouldn’t? I mean, look at this weird transportation). How to counter this problem? Wear a blindfold. How to see? That’s another problem. Since there are no brakes, Ryoushi starts panicking when he takes off his blindfold. Kakari is sent flying and accidentally her right foot right into Ooji’s face. The momentum really sent him flying and knocked out. With that, they take his resignation and go off but Kakari left behind her sports shoe (doesn’t this seem familiar?). Ryouko and Ringo on their way home, encounter that delinquent who brought some pals for revenge. Ryoushi uses his body as shield as Ryouko beats them all up. And though it may still be a long way, at least Ryoushi takes the first step into becoming part of the Otogi Bank. Meanwhile Ooji is doing a Cinderella-thingy by searching for the girl whose not foot only fits into that sports shoe, but whose impactful kick to give him that same pain. Who else but Kakari fits that bill like a glove. I hope he doesn’t become a masochist because he wants Kakari to kick him more before offering her to play tennis with her.

Episode 2
It’s been a week that Ryoushi has been part of the Otogi Bank. Though he has gotten used to it, there are some things that still doesn’t change. His phobia. He hopes he can be a useful companion and be by Ryouko’s side. Ringo listens to Ryoushi’s reasons why he likes Ryouko. Something like her insides and outsides don’t match, she looks strong but also weak. Ryoushi spots Ryouko trying to get friendly with his hunting dogs. She tries to give excuses but he notices how the dogs are attached to her when they usually don’t to other people. A girl comes looking for Ryouko for a request but she’s out so Urashima decides to take her request in her stead. Unfortunately, he got too flirty and this prompts Otohime to do something to him that producers would like us all to leave it to our imagination. Ryouko comes back then and hears her out. Seems she is being threatened by her violent ex-boyfriend and wants to avoid seeing him. Ryouko and Ryoushi head to the park, where they’re supposed to meet. However they are set upon by a group of delinquents from the Onigashima territory. Their numbers were overwhelming but bloodied Ryoushi managed to return back to Otogi Bank to alert the others while Ryouko was captured and taken to an abandoned warehouse tied up. She put up a brave face but in fact deep down she is scared. Luckily reinforcements arrive as the Otogi Bank members help take out the menace and Ryoushi supporting and covering everyone’s backs from the shadows with his slingshot. The delinquent boss takes Ryouko hostage so Ryoushi faces him in a fist battle that eventually has him emerge victorious thanks to his determination to protect Ryouko. Though he collapses in the end, everyone happily heads home.

Episode 3
A short flashback that shows Otohime as a chubby and slow kid. In present, she seems to be facing off with an eternal rival, Mimi Usami. She challenges for them to take part in next week’s Miss Otogi Academy Contest and if Usami wins, Otohime will continued to be called ‘turtle’ (oh yeah, this is turning out to be like the tortoise and the hare). Otohime requests the Otogi Bank members to help her win the contest. Ryoushi learns Listz was last year’s mysterious winner (?!) and his cross-dressing ability allowed him to gather info. So what is the best way to secure your popularity fast? Why, condemn the other party with false lies! Oh, the treachery! Both Usami and Otohime went all out against each other with such low dirty tactic while the other girls in Otogi Bank also participate in this contest. The heated dirt throwing, mudslinging contest reaches boiling point when both girls spew profanity and lose support so much so their ratings drops close to 0%! Flashback reveals how Otohime was bullied and left to do chores by other kids but Urashima was the only one who treated her equally. Thus she decided to grow up beautiful so that he could be proud of her. The day of the contest arrives as the girls parade in their swimsuits (except Ryouko in her normal clothes). At the end of the votes, it seems that the winner is Himeno Shirayuki (of Snow White fame) with the most votes followed by the disciplinary committee member Momoko Kibitsu (of Momotarou fame). The highest Otogi Bank member was Otsuu coming in at 10th place. Usami and Otohime weren’t even ranked. Usami starts crying and blames it on the overlapping loli appeal on Ringo and yeah, another quarrel on the cards. In the end, Otohime learns that it was part of Listz’s plan to have her ratings drop because all she wanted was just Urashima’s vote. And that’s the only vote she got from. Both of them reconcile and the battle between the tortoise and the hare ended. Looks like Ryouko too got a vote. From Ryoushi. Not the kind to express her true feelings out loud, she punches him as usual.

Episode 4
Ryouko sneakily tries to buy some girl’s romance novel from released by her favourite author Yuki-sensei. In school, Ryoushi saves Otsuu from an incoming baseball. Because of that, she tries to repay him by becoming his maid in his home. It’s great that somebody is willing to serve you in anyway, but it gets creepy after a while. At least in Ryoushi’s case. Ah, the jealousy of being served by a maid 24/7. Ryouko and Ringo follow Ryoushi back to his apartment where he lives and run by his aunt Yukime. Ryoushi learns of Ryouko being a fan of Yuki-sensei, which is actually Yukime’s penname. During dinner, Otsuu suddenly collapses from fatigue and sleep deprivation (she was really serving the rest without stop). Otsuu is still adamant of returning favours so Yukime puts down her foot that her selfishness has caused trouble to everyone. Flashback reveals why she is so obsessed on returning favours. Apparently she was saved by a boy from getting hit by a vehicle while crossing the road. However she was unable to repay her debt when he died in hospital. Thus her fears of never ever repaying her debt surfaced. To help Otsuu out, the Otogi Bank members decide to become her maid and serve her. That means, wearing a maid outfit too. Otsuu feels indebted and wishes to repay them but as Ringo says, everyone did lots for her and her favours will keep piling up. In short, since they are friends, these little kind of favours of helping each other out need not be counted. Otsuu realized their kindness and from now on will treat them as irreplaceable companions rather than strangers. And to celebrate, everyone throws a party in Ryoushi’s room. Man, it’s going to be a long night. Next day, Otsuu continues to return the favour to Ryoushi and Ringo. As companions, that is. Whether she really changed or not is a different story.

Episode 5
Listz meets the Director of Otogi Bank, Araragi Lamp (Genie of the Lamp fame) to report the weekly affairs. Since he’s a dirty old man, I guess that’s why Listz was smooth enough to provide his Otogi Bank with lots of luxurious facilities. Momoko comes to see Ryouko (partly she is fond of her too) and meets the boy who has a crush on her (apparently, she’s a bi too). Back to business, Momoko wants to visit Onigashima High School since they have a new student council president and wants them to accompany her. Since there have been malicious reports of Onigashima students, Momoko thought of having a ‘chat’ with her counterpart. The Otogi Bank members with Momoko and her underlings (parody of the dog, pheasant and monkey in that story of course) arrive outside Onigashima High School. As a delinquent school, it sure lives up to its name because the delinquents start attacking our heroes. Thankfully they came prepared as they advance through the dark and graffiti-filled walls of the school. They enter the student council president’s room and Ryouko freezes upon seeing who the new president is. He is Shirou Hitsujikai and someone she fearfully knows. Momoko warns him if he causes anymore problems or else they won’t let this pass so he assures them that he will try his best to send this message to his unheeding students since he is new. However the rest are suspicious because he seems to be in command of the delinquents, giving them orders during their charge into the place. However without proof, they can’t do anything but to watch for now. Ryoushi talks to Ryouko and makes her feel a little better. But it’s just the calm before the storm because Hitsujikai is planning something malicious with his busty girlfriend, Reiko Kokonoo.

Episode 6
Ryoushi tries to seek more information about Ryouko’s past from Ringo but Ringo refuses to tell and wants him to gain her trust and ask Ryouko herself instead. Listz and Alice are trying to gather data on Hitsujikai but nothing solid while Ryouko remembers fearful flashback about Hitsujikai. Seems they were once dating. But he tried to rape her so she told her friends but they didn’t believe her and thought she made it up to get back at him for being dumped. Ryouko then transferred schools and struggled to become strong so that she won’t be betrayed again. Thus her ‘wolf’ character developed. Ringo also reminisces about how she met Ryouko. As a new unfriendly transfer student, the teacher even asked Ringo to take notes to her. She entered her messy room and saw her cute sleeping face and that’s when her interest to know more about Ryouko peaked. Ringo helped nurse ill Ryouko then as she gradually opened up her heart and that’s where their friendship began. Ryouko trains hard at the boxing gym but her trainer known as Oyassan isn’t happy the way she trains to attain ‘fragile’ strength. On their way home, they spot a bunch of delinquents mugging a helpless kid. Ryouko goes to defend him and taking them all on her own. If not for Ringo’s fake police cry, she could’ve been beaten up badly. Ringo then confronted Ryouko about lying so she assured her she’ll never betray her and be by her side no matter what. Ryoushi too thinks back how he first got attracted to Ryouko. He gets his resolved to protect her so he rushes to Ryouko (just coming out of the gym) as he promises to become a strong man who can accept everything about her. Ryouko’s trainer and his other fellows overheard the commotion and tease them both, causing unbearable embarrassment to the wolf. Back home, Ringo notices Ryouko’s little mood change and threatens not to let her eat dinner till she tells her everything.

Episode 7
Ryouko and Ryoushi are out on a double date with Hanasaki and Ami Jizou. This was how it all began. Baseball ace Hanasaki requested Otogi Bank to investigate a mysterious person who has been cleaning and preparing meals in his room. The secret surveillance reveals Jizou to be the culprit. They showed her the proof and she admitted it. It all began when Hanasaki lend shy Jizou his umbrella. Both sides meet and though she confesses, he tells her straight he doesn’t hold any romantic feelings for her. That’s when Ringo comes up with this double date plan so that Ryouko and Ryoushi could lead them both (like that would succeed perfectly) with Ringo spying behind. Even so, Hanasaki didn’t say a word. Then at a park as they set up a picnic, Ryouko went off to save a kitten on a tree but the branch broke and she fell into the river. When Ryoushi rescues her, he is shocked to find Ryouko has lost her memories and is her child self. Jizou is getting nervous by herself and rings Ringo for help so she in turn calls Ryoushi on where the heck they are. He is reluctant to explain what has happened. He is happy he gets to spend time with Ryouko as she takes him away to accompany her. Ringo spot the happy duo together and thinks she’s just tired. Haha! Like she’ll ever believe the duo could get along this fine. Eventually it rained so Hanasaki and Jizou go off as Ringo rendezvous with Ryoushi and Ryouko at the cafe. Ryouko isn’t happy that Ryoushi lied about saying he would be there for her (he was discussing with Ringo about calling her parents on this case or admit her to hospital). Along the way, Ryouko bumps into Hitsujikai. Luckily Ryoushi was following close by to pick her back. Hitsujikai tells him what happened between them, about their ‘intimacy’ and the ‘lie’ she told. He is in this city to find her. Ryoushi swiftly prepares to fire his slingshot but Hitsujikai was faster, cutting its elastic. Though Ryoushi doesn’t care about Ryouko’s past, he is adamant to protect her. Hitsujikai leaves. Soon Ryouko wakes up in hospital and her memories recovered. Sly Ringo has Ryouko wear a pair of cat ears as service for Ryoushi and that poor guy gets punched. Ah, back to normal. And as for Hanasaki and Jizou, they’re both another happy pair living together.

Episode 8
This episode begins with a weird movie-like promo of Ryoushi, Ryouko and Ringo facing off against the 3 pig Tonda Brothers. WTF?! Back to the story proper, the gang gets a request from the butler, Hammel of the Nezumi Clan. Seems he wants to find a bride for the future head of the clan, Chuutarou. They have to do it before his 12th birthday next week. Note that Mahoromatic parody between Hammel and Otsuu! With Hammel’s suggestions of an ideal bride they go meet prospective fiancees that include Alice, Jizou and Otohime. But each time Hammel comes up with a negative and messed up opinions of those girls, enough to make them blow their top or stunned. The funny part is that Chuutarou wholeheartedly believes in him! It’s like he has no backbone. One minute he agrees and goes up to the girl, wanting them to be his bride and the next, he discards them after listening to Hammel’s caveats. Heck, they even include cameo appearances of those girls from Toradora and To Aru Kagaku No Railgun (must’ve something to do with the seiyuus of the characters here)! Yeah, who’d want a tsundere and biri-biri? Then it’s Momoko’s turn (obviously her boobs lah) before shifting to flat chests like Ryouko and Ringo (that wasn’t a compliment either). I guess the ladies are ready to use violence to take it out on that disrespectful butler when suddenly Hammel changes his tone. He mentions about a bride that money or experience cannot buy: A childhood friend. Then pops up the girl who has been tailing them all the while: Uika. Chuutarou heard a rumour she liked somebody else but she says that isn’t true and only likes him. Hammel points out that Chuutarou’s mistake was listening to him and those rumours. There was no need to go on a bride search because the greatest treasure was always beside him. Chuutarou and Uika embrace. Back at Otogi Bank, the girls confront Listz because he was partially responsible for selling them out. Not so funny now, eh? As atonement, he has to treat them all to cakes. Since his wallet is a little thin, Ryoushi has to help him out. And that Tonda Brothers movie thingy? Looks like Ringo was the one who made it.

Episode 9
Ryouko and Ryoushi help Shirayuki to take care of her seven young siblings. Yeah, instead of 7 dwarves we have 7 little brothers and sisters. However Ringo seems reluctant to face Shirayuki. Back at Otogi Bank, the gang learns Shirayuki is going straight to work to support her siblings and not continue her studies due to financial reasons though she has good grades. Ryoushi learns about Ringo’s past. Ringo’s mom took her to a big mansion and that’s where she met and became close friends with Shirayuki. When Shirayuki and her mom left the mansion, Ringo asked if she would ever see her again and Shirayuki nodded she would if she became a good girl. Subsequently as Ringo and her mom started to get accustomed living in the mansion, she learned Shirayuki was her step sister of a different mother. It seemed her mom forced Shirayuki and her mom out of the house since dad was divorcing the latter. Ringo felt guilty that she stole Shirayuki’s father and home and though she came to this city, she couldn’t find the courage to face Shirayuki and avoided her. It has been 3 years since. The gang comes up with a plan for them to patch things up and that is to patron the water park (owned by Lamp of course). Everyone arrives except Ringo (who is still watching from afar). Till Shirayuki dives in to save one of her siblings drowning. Note, Shirayuki can’t swim despite the irony she won the Miss Otogi contest. After Ryoushi saves her, Ringo does CPR on her. Later they both talk things out and Shirayuki never had ill feelings towards Ringo. Instead she thanks her for being her little sister, bringing her to tears. Later Ringo confronts Lamp and wants her to grant her a single wish (as opposed to 3 wishes that they could receive) even if it is ahead of her time. Lamp agrees seeing the determination in her eyes (partly she sucked up to him like a loli). That wish is to have Shirayuki getting a special scholarship to further her studies. Lastly Ryouko wakes up from a dream of getting kissed by Prince Ryoushi. Too bad she had to give the real him her punch when she sees him. How unfair.

Episode 10
There are nasty rumours being posted everywhere about Otogi Bank. Thinking it must be the work of Hitsujikai, Listz suggests doing a promotion with 30% off special on requests. I guess it’s a deal hard to refuse so a long queue is seen lining up outside the room. So everybody has to work hard for a few days till the promotion ends in a few days time. Ryoushi comes into a guy named Saburo Nekomiya (Puss and Boots fame) who knows lots about Ryoushi, including his confession to Ryouko. He wants to help him out to bring out the real man in him. Though Ryoushi would like to give it a pass, seems he was forced into it. Meanwhile Ryouko and Ringo find injured Reiko outside their dorm. They take her in and learn that she was on the run from Hitsujikai and his delinquents. He dumped her and wanted to sell her off. This strikes a hateful chord within Ryouko as she vows to help her out and transfer Reiko to their school. As Ryoushi attends Nekomiya’s training, Ringo is still suspicious of Reiko and reports this to Listz. Otsuu helps to keep an eye on them from the opposite building. Trouble comes to some of the Otogi Bank members when Urashima has been forced by Onigashima delinquents to come follow him quietly because they have Otohime in their custody while Otsuu has been knocked out by a stun gun. Alice goes to meet Usami but finds it was a setup. However Usami realizes her friend sold her out so she takes Alice on the run with her. Ringo gets a mysterious call that puts Shirayuki in danger so when she runs all the way there and sees her and her siblings safe, she realizes it was a diversion. Ryouko comes home alone and is puzzled to see Reiko’s change in character. Next thing she knows, she is tied up in a truck being transported to somewhere.

Episode 11
Ryouko is taken to Hitsujikai as he thinks of using her as a bait to lure the other Otogi Bank members out. The remaining Otogi Bank members regroup and soon go out on a rescue mission. Listz saves Alice and Usami from the chasing delinquents, Urashima turns into his gentleman mode to beat up his captors and Otohime does the same with those girls who tried to hit on Urashima. And Majolica’s fart mechanism saves the day for Otsuu. Huh? So the entire gang arrives outside Onigashima High School. Momoko and her underlings including the Tonda Brothers are here (thanks to the promo the Otogi Bank did, this help came in handy for them). So it’s another round of charging into the school to get to where Hitsujikai is. Ryoushi learns Nekomiya’s reason of helping him out. There was a girl who helped him before but he chickened out and later realized how shameful it was that he abandoned her. That girl was Ryouko (remember that flashback in episode 6?). Even if he is filth, he decides to make that one person stronger and thus took it upon himself to train Ryoushi. He respects Ryoushi for being able to be honest with his feelings and thinks he is the only one who could protect Ryouko.

Ryoushi finally reaches the room Ryouko is held captive in. Hitsujikai is waiting for him and wants to see how hard he’ll fight for Ryouko (apart from crushing their hopes). Hitsujikai seems to have the upper hand but when Ryoushi cools his head down, he manages to land a blow into Hitsujikai’s face and make him bleed. Furious Hitsujikai is about to unleash some raging move when Listz comes in. He warns him that since he has taken the fight to Otogi Bank, he must be prepared to face their wrath (yeah, all those promos did come in handy after all). Listz tells his buddies to head home as Hitsujikai backs down (when Listz opens his eyes, I guess he really means something serious, right?). Reiko mentions how it all turned out unfavourably but Hitsujikai is more interested to crush them with his bare hands since their bonds have gotten stronger. In the aftermath, Usami and Otohime make up while Nekomiya says his farewell before parting. He notes how they both didn’t run away this time. Next morning as Ryouko takes up Ringo’s advice to be with Ryoushi, she was going to confess something important we all have been waiting for. However Ryoushi got into his phobia mode and ruins the mood, earning another punch from Ryouko. Maybe we won’t get to see another chance like this. Sighs…

Episode 12
Machiko Himura is doing her morning paper delivery part time job when she spots Ryoushi. Concluding from his ‘big house’ and his ‘expensive-looking’ dogs, she thinks of finding her happiness in him. She tries all sorts of methods to attract his attention in class (they’re classmates by the way) but I guess she can’t wait so she gets straight to the point of asking him to marry her! She even goes to the Otogi Bank to request to borrow him for tomorrow’s date. Is Ryouko okay with this? Well, since she can’t tell her their relationship and said that there is nothing in between them, you know what that means. As Ryoushi and Machiko go out dating, Ryouko and Ringo tail them. Ringo because she loves teasing and seeing the reaction of a certain somebody and Ryouko, oh you should know by now already. During the date, a couple of loan sharks confront Machiko. Seems daddy ran away with the money she left for her dad to pay his debts. So how else are the loan sharks going to recover their debts by searching for the next related kin, right? Ryoushi uses a smoke screen for them to escape. Machiko lets him know the truth as she apologizes that she dated him so as to get away from this life and find happiness. Ryoushi decides to help her as he calls Otogi Bank for information when the loan sharks return with more of their buddies. Ryoushi goes into manly mode and fights them upfront and is joined by Ryouko shortly. In the end after the police arrests the baddies, everyone throws a welcome party at Ryoushi’s dorm for Machiko as the new resident. Later Machiko talks to Ryoushi alone as Ryouko eavesdropped. Machiko really felt he was cool and was about to confess when Ryoushi changes the subject to Ryouko. She is weak inside but tries to appear to be strong to protect herself. He feels he is a bum but hopes to work hard to be strong for her. I guess in a way you can call that a rejection from Machiko’s point of view. After Ryoushi leaves, Machiko knows Ryouko eavesdropping so she confronts her about her feelings for Ryoushi. Though still hesitant and not the kind of answer we’re hoping to hear (“I don’t dislike him”), at least it made Machiko try not to steal Ryoushi. As everyone play sparklers, Ryoushi once more confesses to Ryouko that he likes her no matter what. Hey, at least she didn’t punch him.

I’m not going to cry wolf…
I guess that’s the end of the show but it will be another story for Ryouko and Ryoushi. It was pretty much fun to see familiar bedtime story characters come to light in a different way. The character development for both the main characters is quite okay. The change may not have been very drastic but at least they’ve made some progress. Even if this is fairytale, nobody is perfect. Ryoushi isn’t somebody who hides behind the shadows and at times shows that he is capable of being his own man. Except for his fear of being stared at, that may take a longer while before he gets over it. Ryouko similarly still isn’t being true to her feelings but she doesn’t pen it all up like she did at the start. Probably bit by bit she’ll shed her wolf’s clothing. Yeah, that could that a long time too. Although this series is short, I guess they take the time to flesh out some of the other characters as well albeit just a brief one. Like Ringo’s case with her estranged step sister, Otsuu’s obsession of returning favours and how the couple of Otohime and Urashima came to be. If the series was longer perhaps we could see more insights on them and the other characters. For instance I would’ve liked to know why Otsuu and Majolica are close together. Besides, I thought it would’ve been good if Majolica had more screen time rather than just short cameos or spending her time in the basement making inventions. If she ditches her witch outfit and glasses more often, I’d say Majolica does look cute. Other fairytale characters like Hansel and Gretel too made their short appearance but that’s about it.

Another amusing ‘character’ is the faceless narrator of the series. Not just your typical narrator who narrates what has happened so far to make it like a recap, she too makes sarcastic remarks and jokes (like making fun of certain flat chests) or in-your-face statements that sometimes make it like as though the show is breaking the fourth wall. Oh wait, it is. Makes me go “Darn right she is”. The only annoying thing is that during some conversations, you will hear the speeches of the characters and the narrator both together simultaneously. It felt irritating because you can’t concentrate and it’s not like you can hear both sides talk at the same time. If not for the subs, I guess I wouldn’t understand a thing as I would be pausing and reading them instead. Heck, like I would understand even without them. The one character that I couldn’t comprehend is Hitsujikai as the antagonist. Maybe it is how the series left this little business unfinished. I’m still wondering the reason why he wants to torment Ryouko. Does he love seeing her anguished face? That familiar sense of superiority that he was able to make everyone believe his lies the reason of his return? The way he said things is as though he has some grudge against the Otogi Bank. Or maybe he’s somebody who loves creating trouble and the harder it is, the tastier and hungrier he gets. Ah well, I guess I’ll have to find out if they ever come up a sequel. What are the chances since Hollywood movies and animes are banking on sequels if they are well received.

There are quite a number of well known seiyuus lending their talents. In my opinion the best has got to be Satomi Arai (Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun) as the narrator. She certainly does well in expressing the several tones and pitches during the right scenes. Others include Shizuka Itou as Ryouko (Hinagiku in Hayate No Gotoku), Kanae Itou as Ringo (Saten in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun), Miyu Irino as Ryoushi (Syaoran in Tsubasa Chronicle series), Aki Toyosaki as Otohime (Uiharu in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun), Ayako Kawasumi as Otsuu (Mahoro in Mahoromatic), Yui Horie as Alice (Minori in Toradora), Kimiko Koyama as Majolica (Yukari in Rosario To Vampire), Hirofumi Nojima as Listz (Kitamura in Toradora), Shintaru Asanuma as Urashima (Takeru in Minami-ke), Rie Kugimiya as Usami (Taiga in Toradora), Yuko Kaida as Momoko (Ryoumou in Ikkitousen), Yukari Fukui as Shirayuki (Nia in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Mikako Takahashi as Jizou (Rushuna in Grenedier), Junichi Suwabe as Hitsujikai (Atobe in Prince of Tennis) and Mai Nakahara as Reiko (Mai in Mai-HiME). The opening theme, Ready Go by May’N is a catchy pop tune while the ending theme, Akazukin-chan Goyoujin by OToGi8 (the casts of the Otogi Bank members, that is), sound more like a video game-cum-group song. On a trivial note, I find the sponsor screen right at the end of the show to be amusing. With a video game-like background music, the clip is looped several times or rewind and replayed and the effect of it seems funny.

Even if this show has characters based on fairytales, their lives here are no fairytale as they have to cope and struggle with school life and such. This might be just premature but I think this Otogibana City is filled with lots of delinquents who have no qualms of picking a fight with people younger than them. Maybe that is a secret recipe of how heroes are made? So we learn a few things like the need to be honest with our feelings, a good deed goes a long way, help those in need, not all wolves are bad and every school should have a sexy disciplinary committee. Just kidding on the last one. Well, it’s not that I’m picking up my fairytale storybooks again for old time’s sake. But sometimes when I think about it, life is one big fairytale. So surreal but yet so fake. I’m just hoping that I will have a happy one (read: watch more animes). Oh, I almost forgot. And they all lived happily ever after. I just love a good happy ending.

K-ON! VS Sora No Woto

April 8, 2011

It was inevitable. Sooner or later I would have done a versus blog on this. Since K-ON! came out first and then followed by Sora No Woto approximately a year later, I guess many viewers felt how similar the characters looked and perhaps to some extend a rip-off. But I suppose that is just first looks and things at a glance. Otherwise both animes are quite different from each other. Of course there are some other similarities and that is why this blog is here to examine them. In my opinion of course.

Meaning of series’ title name
K-ON!: Short for Kei Ongaku which means Light Music (pop music, that is).
Sora No Woto: Sound of the skies.

Era setting
K-ON!: Modern and current day.
Sora No Woto: Post apocalyptic world after the great war that has ravaged mankind.

Location
K-ON!: Tokyo, Japan.
Sora No Woto: Seize, the outskirts and border of Helvetia.

The group
K-ON!: A group of high school girls forming a band called After School Tea Time.
Sora No Woto: A group of military girls of the 1121st Platoon.

Members
K-ON!: Mio Akiyama, Ritsu Tainaka, Yui Hirasawa, Tsumugi Kotobuki and Azusa Nakano.
Sora No Woto: Kanata Sorami, Rio Kazumiya, Filicia Heideman, Noel Kannagi and Kureha Suminoya.

The leader of the pack
K-ON!: Ritsu – club president.
Sora No Woto: Rio – Master Sergeant.

The other higher ups
K-ON!: Sawako Yamanaka – the club’s advisor.
Sora No Woto: Klaus – ranked Major and a despatch rider to the 112st Platoon.

Newcomer
K-ON!: Azusa.
Sora No Woto: Kanata.

Yui vs Kanata
K-ON!‘s Yui is your typical airhead, clumsy, easily distracted as compared to Sora No Woto‘s Kanata he seems more level headed even though as a newcomer she has lots of things to learn. Yui joined the band because she thought the club would be playing real simple instruments and for her case: Castanets. Kanata joined the platoon because she was inspired by a mysterious trumpeter’s song. Also partly, she thought that she could learn music for free! Both are nice girls once you really get to know them and have the gift of absolute pitch, that is the ability to tune their instruments without using a pitch tuner. As the series progresses, you’ll see how they both improve playing their respective instruments.

Mio vs Rio
Hmm… What is this near similarity with their first names? Oh well, K-ON!‘s Mio is shy and is prone to get scared of things that are macabre and horrific while Sora No Woto‘s Rio is the no nonsense and strict. Mio joined the band because she was forced to by Ritsu while Rio joined the army as a means to escape from her strained family relationship.

Azusa vs Kureha
K-ON!‘s newcomer Azusa is the second choice guitarist who is usually subjected to ‘skinship’ and pet name calling especially by Yui while Sora No Woto‘s Private Kureha is a gunner in the platoon and initially does not hesitate to boss around newcomer Kanata to show who is the senior one around. Azusa is always bewildered by her band mates nonchalant ways and laziness not to practice and even so they can make good music together. Kureha believes strongly in the military code and obeying orders as a soldier.

Tsumugi vs Filicia
Both K-ON!‘s Tsumugi and Sora No Woto‘s Filicia feel like big sisters of the group in the sense that Tsumugi often treats her pals to cakes and desserts while Filicia often looks out for her underlings. They both also have quite a casual and gentle personality. Tsumugi hails from a wealthy family and Filicia is the only survivor of a combat tank platoon.

Ritsu vs Noel
I guess by deduction that these 2 would be the ones that mirror each other. Obviously personalities of both girls are very much contrasting. K-ON!‘s Ritsu is like the irresponsible and lively troublemaker of the group and plays the drums while Sora No Woto‘s Noel seems like a sleepy and tired mechanic who pilots the platoon’s battle tank, Takemikazuchi. Ritsu’s obvious facial trait is her forehead while Noel’s is her sleepy looks. Ritsu is the childhood friend of Mio, thus their ‘inseparable’ friendship. Noel was once a child genius in resurrecting a fearsome bioweapon as ordered by the military officials that caused destruction and loss of many lives.

Other casts
Refers to the other supporting characters that are not part of the main group.
K-ON!: Ui Hirasawa, Nodoka Manabe and Jun Suzuki.
Sora No Woto: Yumina, Mishio, Seiya and Naomi.

Pet mascot
K-ON!: Ton-chan the turtle.
Sora No Woto: Shuuko the owl.

Nicknames
K-ON!: Azusa has been nicknamed “Azu-nyan” by Yui because of looking cute with cat ears.
Sora No Woto: Noel was dubbed as The Witch of Helvetia because of her role in resurrecting the destructive bioweapon Invisible Reaper. Klaus was mistakenly known to Kureha as Miracle Klaus or Desert Wolf because of his uncanny and similar resemblance to a brave tank commander of the Helvetian army who also shares the same name.

Siblings
K-ON!: Yui has a more responsible and mature little sister named Ui.
Sora No Woto: Rio has a late half-sister named Ilya who was the first princess of the Archduke of Arkadia.

Field trip
K-ON!: In episode 4 of season 2, the third years go to Kyoto on their school field trip.
Sora No Woto: In episode 5, the squad hike the mountains and the outskirts of the border to check on observation devices from the old era as part of their field trip.

Place of idling
Well, not much to do but to hang out, right?
K-ON!: The club room – drinking tea and eating desserts and snacks.
Sora No Woto: Clocktower Fortress – what else is there to do all day long other than to stand guard in this sleepy town?

Falling ill
K-ON!: In episode 12 of the first season, Yui gets a cold from Ritsu and this almost jeopardizes the band’s practice for their upcoming performance (though Yui tries to come to practice or even Ui covering up for her!). In episode 26 of season 2, it is Sawako’s turn to fall sick.
Sora No Woto: Kanata comes down with a fever from malaria after practicing hard with her trumpet in episode 3 but thankfully she is treated and cured three days later (the fortress was low on medical supplies so panic Rio had to rush all the way to the Orthodox church and request Yumina’s help).

Get inside it!
K-ON!: The girls don weird animal outfit and costumes to attract potential new members to the club. Not going to work.
Sora No Woto: All the girls can fit inside the spider-like tank relic, Takemikazuchi, do mock simulation, play music and it still works during times of war.

Maintenance
K-ON!: In episode 11 of the first season, Yui takes her guitar to the shop for maintenance.
Sora No Woto: In episode 4, Kanata accompanies Noel to obtain maintenance parts for Takemikazuchi.

GHOST!!!
K-ON!: In season 1’s episode 10, Ritsu organizes a kimodameshi (test of courage) and to Mio and Azusa’s shocking horror, they see a ghost while trekking through the dark forest, which actually turns out to be badly messed up Sawako.
Sora No Woto: In episode 2, Mio orders Kanata and Kureha to investigate ghostly sightings at the abandon section of the barracks. Though the commotion turns out to be Shuuko, however if your eyes were sharp enough, there were actually several real ghost sightings! Scary!

Wet weather
K-ON!: In episode 6 of season 2, the rainy season wrecks havoc and ‘separates’ Yui and her guitar.
Sora No Woto: In episode 9, the town braces itself for the coming typhoon as the girls have to go search for missing Seiya in the storm.

First snow
K-ON!: Episode 13 of season 1 sees the gang going about during winter.
Sora No Woto: Episode 10 whereby Rio and Kanata upon Yumina’s request to go check on an old woman living in the mountains.

Festival and celebration
K-ON!: Episode 6 of season 1 sees the school organizing a cultural festival and episode 7 a Christmas party at Yui’s home.
Sora No Woto: Episode 1 and episode 13 (OVA episode) see the town having their own traditional festival to commemorate the Fire Maidens. Also in episode 7, the girls attend the Fiesta des Lumieres, which is something similar to the Japanese Bon Odori.

Greatest challenge
K-ON!: Playing a live concert and aiming for the budoukan.
Sora No Woto: Preventing the tension and escalation of war between Roman and Helvetia army instigated by Hopkins.

Music instruments featured
K-ON!: Rock band instruments such as guitar, bass, keyboards and drums.
Sora No Woto: Trumpet/bugle.

Music genre
Refers to most of the background music or insert songs in the series.
K-ON!: Rock, pop and jazzy and casual tunes.
Sora No Woto: Orchestra and classical.

Insert song of the series
K-ON!: Fuwa Fuwa Time.
Sora No Woto: Amazing Grace (rendition).

Mid-intermission
K-ON!: A cassette tape turning on to Side B.
Sora No Woto: Chibi drawings of the platoon girls holding a giant flag and having a meal together.

Opening and ending themes
K-ON!: All themes are sung by the After School Tea Time’s seiyuu. First season’s opening theme is Cagayake Girls and first season’s ending theme is Don’t Say ‘Lazy’. For the second season, the first opening theme is Go! Go! Maniac and the second opening theme is Utauyo! Miracle. The second season’s first ending theme is Listen!! and No Thank You! is the second ending theme. Yui’s seiyuu (Aki Toyosaki) takes the lead vocals for all the opening themes while Mio’s seiyuu (Youko Hikasa) does all the ending themes.
Sora No Woto: The opening theme is Hikari No Senritsu by Kalafina while the ending theme is Girls Be Ambitious by Haruka Tomatsu.

Number of episodes
K-ON!: The first season has 13 episodes. The second season has additional 26 episodes.
Sora No Woto: There are 12 episodes in total.

Other special episodes
K-ON!: An OVA called K-ON! Live House was released back in January 2010. A film was planned after the end of the second season. For each Blu-Ray Discs bought, there are several short comical skits called Uraon!
Sora No Woto: Two OVA episodes were released back in June and September 2010 each.

Conclusion
It is hard to pick which one is better overall but personally I like K-ON! is because of Mio! Haha! Because of the popularity of this series, fans got their wish as a sequel was subsequently made and then a movie announced. Because of that, viewers get to see more character development of the girls as compared to Sora No Woto, whose run is much shorter. One thing I like about the latter series is the beautifully drawn sceneries. Might not be the best but at least they are quite pleasant to the eye. Anyhow both shows see how the main group of girls bond and interact with each other as their relationship deepens with each time passing by, making them family. K-ON! may lack any action bits and is usually more focused on the slice of life, daily drama that the girls go through and lack any action that adrenaline junkies would look forward too. Although Sora No Woto has this little fair share too, the tension and little action were just towards the end at the climax of the story. Perhaps in the future, there’ll be another anime about music with new characters that combines traits of the characters in these series. It would be really interesting to see how they turn out and look like. For now, let’s just enjoy the music that they play.

Galaxy Angel Z

April 2, 2011

Alright! Finally after all these years, I finally have the interest to start watching the original Galaxy Angel series that I was once so crazy about. Oh yeah. Who knows the real reason why it took my so long, but what the heck, let bygones be bygones. The wait has been worthwhile because it not only brings back nostalgic memories when I first fell in love with this series, but the expectation of the comedy and slapstick fun is still there and expected as how they did it when I first watched the first season.

The second season is called Galaxy Angel Z and had its run in early 2002 albeit there are only 9 episodes (actually 18 episodes as each episode is worth around 12 minutes). I may not remember the reason why the Angel unit was established to look for Lost Technology (ancient and mysterious technology – an excuse for weird and funny things to happen to add to the chaos) but who wouldn’t forget these lovable characters such as the ditzy airhead but awfully lucky and carefree Milfeulle, the oldest of the pack and a gun freak Forte, the showy muscle-brained woman who is always trying to court a handsome man for herself Ranpha, the junk food addict and costume-obsessed petite Mint and the taciturn God-praying Vanilla. Don’t forget that sarcastic ex-missile AI now-in-a-stuffed-doll Normad and their old geezer commander Volcott. You’re going to expect lots of fun and laughter as they go about in their missions, but usually end up in some sort of goofy antics. Oh, let the fun times begin!

Episode 1A
The episode begins with everyone except Milfeulle ate a Lost Technology pepper that turned them invisible. They go on a mission to raid the hideout of thieves who used the haunted and ghostly effects to scare people away. The thieves’ plan backfired when they think Milfeulle’s invisible pals are real ghosts. The Angels retrieve the money but get scared when they realize there is actually a real ghost among them.

Episode 1B
The Angels attend a pro wrestling match. An announcement that the public can participate and the winner will get an entire resort planet. Ranpha enters and beats her way to the final where she meets Great Muscle. However she couldn’t fight properly and has fallen head over heels by his good looks. Great Muscle allows the match to restart because he knows this isn’t her true powers. Flashback reveals he was saved by her from bullying kids and wanted to be strong as her. Ranpha continues to frolic around her ‘lover’ but beats him with her strangling of love. Great Muscle wakes up and realizes Ranpha never did forget about him. And his amnesia was due to the over-spicy bento she made.

Episode 2A
Mint finds a Snake Caveman costume in the cargo and wears it but cannot take it off. The Elder thinks he left that costume back at the base so Milfeulle escorts him back, leaving Mint behind. Apparently there’s a legend on this planet about Snake Caveman. The citizens mistook Mint for the real deal, capture her and she became an overnight celebrity. But she got tired of it all and decides to run away. When Milfeulle and Elder return, they are surprise to see the hunt for the Snake Caveman. Milfeulle bumps into Mint and thinks she’s the Snake Caveman and panics, hitting her away. In the end, Milfeulle leaves for her mission and leaves Mint stranded again.

Episode 2B
Milfeulle ate a Lost Technology sweet chestnut and becomes giant size. With Vanilla guarding outside, the rest device a plan to bring her out and calm panicky Milfeulle who wants to smash her way out. Then they got hungry so Milfeulle gives them eat her cake. But it’s laced with that sweet chestnut so everybody turns giant. It’s getting real crowded. Mint notices that the clothes and items with them also grow big and comes up with an idea. We see everyone is back to their normal size. Actually the entire base is greatly enlarged.

Episode 3A
Ranpha manages to get on a popular TV game show, Fearsome Castle. She thought of bringing Milfeulle along for good luck but some junk robot named Stebia always gets in her way. Each time she passes an obstacle, Stebia is always there to hit her away. Flashback reveals she picked it up and whenever some guy tried to hit on happy Ranpha, it always hit her away. Mint suggests that she do not smile or be happy. In the final event, Ranpha is close to defeating the final boss but backs down to take care of Stebia. She gives it a taste of its own medicine by hitting it away, causing it to cry out loud. In the end, the boss gives Stebia the ultimate prize because he was so impressed with the show, much to Ranpha’s dismay.

Episode 3B
Mint and Vanilla are trapped in a mysterious foggy town trying to complete their mission. It seems everyone wants to get their bag whose contents are a mystery. They even know who they are. Every corner they run or disguise they put on, they are always discovered. They are eventually cornered so Vanilla opens the bag as Mint wakes up in her ship, laughing it off as a dream. The bag is still with her. Suddenly Vanilla warns of a sudden fog. As they enter, they soon find themselves in the same position like at the start of this segment. “You cannot go against fate”. What a creepy and mysterious feel to this hanging ending.

Episode 4A
Volcott meets up with the fat, old, rude, glutton version of the Angel Unit. He remembers how he worked as a pilot with the Fairy Unit and their mission was to destroy the giant turret of the enemy (cute octopuses?). They attack, break through and he managed to save Sylphy (Milfeulle look-a-like) and escaped in the nick of time before the support units blew up the place. Back in present time, Sylphy (hot and gorgeous! Polite too!) finally arrives. Volcott decides to ditch his military call to go out with her.

Episode 4B
Ranpha has left the unit to get married. However Volcott needs the remaining members to merge and pilot a mecha to counter the threat of a Galaxy Monster. Since they need 5 people, Volcott decides to step in. With the Grendizer spoof and even its own theme song, the launch explodes and fails. The girls try to persuade Volcott to give up but he mentions they’ll get a pay cut if they don’t participate. Forte and Mint make a total u-turn so Volcott decides to get Ranpha back and has Normad replace him. Again, the launch fails. Volcott’s persuasion too fails. Then the Galaxy Monster shows up. Ranpha is about to get married and receive her happiness. However she decides to go back to being single for the moment, cancels her marriage and joins the rest to launch. It still fails. Volcott has no choice but to unleash an already-transformed mecha, rendering their role useless from the start! It’s doing a fine job by itself. Ranpha sure regretted cancelling her marriage. Come back my youth!

Episode 5A
A group of robbers suspiciously resembling the Angel Unit are robbing money from Dream Foundation. A couple of military guys see Volcott on pretence to learn something from him but is suspicious of him. When the Angels return, coupled with the news report, the guys are dumbfounded that they fit the description of the thieves. Not only that, the girls are talking about their heist so loud and bold, oblivious of their presence. They think Volcott must have planned all this. Next day, the Angels continue to rob from Dream Foundation and defeat its boss. So much so the boss confessed to its wrongdoings as it turns out he’s a baddie and that the Angels just retrieved all his stolen money. Because so, there’ll be no more investigation on the robbers’ identity. The Angels scatter all the money to the people but forgot to leave some for their own.

Episode 5B
Vanilla gets struck by a magnetic storm lightning while fixing the antenna so the rest could watch their final soap drama. Due to that, she died and enraged Normad turns into a giant ball of cables (with 1 eye?) and exacts punishment on the rest. By controlling the gravity and flooding the compartment to make them repent and understand what Vanilla went through. Attempts to apologize or put up an act to free themselves fail. Suddenly Vanilla wakes up and it’s revealed she was just in deep prayer mode and can’t talk. Plus, the storm malfunction the suit’s life sensor readings. Everything returns to normal and they treat Vanilla better. As they’re about to forgive Normad, he gets cocky and mocks them so they beat him up.

Episode 6A
Due to a Lost Technology Tombstone the gang stored in their store, one morning everyone finds they have switched bodies! Then a mission comes up and they have to undertake it or else it’s pay cut. Forte (in Milfeulle’s body) leads the charge against the biker gang and successfully rounds them up. Back home, everyone is happy with their new bodies and is prepared to live life like this, much to Normad’s horror. Next morning, another body switch but the gang aren’t fazed and have come to terms and are used to it! Again next morning, the biker boss escapes and comes in looking for his arrester. He points his gun at Milfeulle but it seems she isn’t that Forte now (confusing?). They subdue him and another round of body switch so much so the baddie accepts his new body and everyone takes a nap! Later some soldiers barge into the store and destroy the tombstone, returning everyone back to their own bodies. The baddie is beaten up and rearrested as they learn the tombstone was meant to save souls and send them to Heaven. No wonder they felt like in Heaven, eh?

Episode 6B
Volcott tells Forte that they have to undergo a mission to seek an escaped robot from the lab they thought they had once destroyed for good back then. It is believed to be from the Lost Technology, Silent Soldier. Forte remembers fearful memories how she barely survived against it then. At the amusement park as they try to lure it out, Forte gets paranoid and sees vision of Silent Soldier everywhere. Eventually the real one shows up and they both fight. She defeats it with a special bullet Volcott tosses to her. She remembers that was how she was saved him back then.

Episode 7A
The Angels talk about a past mission whereby they faced a fearsome biological entity that ate galaxies and planets. The blabbing includes who fired the shots at it causing some catastrophic after effects. Then they try to blame, accuse, point fingers at each other for being the one responsible for triggering it. In fact it should be everybody’s fault but they shrug it off since it was done and case closed. Then they realize that it may be Milfeulle’s energy recharge that may have encouraged it. Just like that growing Black Hole behind. The Angels decide to close an eye and head back to base, ignoring help transmissions. The Black Hole is starting to swallow… Hey, there’s nothing they could do, right? So why be a hindrance?

Episode 7B
At a Mojave-like desert planet, the Angels are pigging out and partying like nobody’s business at a saloon. While Vanilla heals a little girl, some guy takes interest in Normad, takes him to his car and tries to make out! Sicko! Of course Vanilla wants Normad back but the kidnapper runs away instead. Vanilla goes to great lengths to retrieve it, the kidnapper goes to great lengths to stop her while on the run and Normad is touched that Vanilla cares for him and questions his existence to her. You have to be amazed at all sorts of transportation Vanilla rides to chase the kidnapper. And each time she comes back stronger after crashing into an obstacle. Sometimes making the hovering speed car looking slow if you think about it… Eventually at the end of it all, the tired kidnapper gives up so Vanilla takes Normad back. Normad feels she is his angel and their love story is about to begin. But back at the saloon, Vanilla sits on him as her nice and soft cushion. That’s what he is to her! Haha!

Episode 8A
The Angels vacation on a boat as Forte tries to catch the elusive giant fish and earn 1 million GCs (the currency). The rest are bored and not too hopeful but Forte’s patience pays off when it takes her bait as she fights it. However due to its enormous strength, it escapes. The fish returns to attack them and they start to panic. Even Forte becomes afraid of its monstrous strength but she can’t escape because her fishing gear seat is jammed. They abandon ship and Forte (every girl for herself!). The fish charges but before it could swallow Forte, she grabs it by its mouth with her bare hands and tosses it into the sky. But when it lands back into the water, it drags the ship and the raft the rest escaped on, on a high speed ride. It crashes into another ship belonging to Mint’s friend and sends them all flying into the sky. Hope they have insurance. Yeah, go for that money anyway!

Episode 8B
The Angels aren’t too interested being tasked to protect an endangered species, a land sunfish. But their interest peeked when they realized it is used to make Baby-Baby Face, a youth elixir. Forte, Ranpha and Mint try to persuade Milfeulle to join them and eat the sunfish but she is adamant to protect it. They ditch her and went ahead. On the planet, supposedly the last sunfish in the area, Milfeulle tries to find it but ran into all sorts of trouble (apparently her luck wasn’t working). Finally she spots the sunfish and chases it but the sly trio knock her out to capture it. See what greed can do as they slice it up and prepare to make nabe out of it. They go out to search for more ingredients to put in their meal. Milfeulle wakes up hungry and her face swollen due to the sunburn. She runs into the happy trio but their happiness is cut short when they find the entire pot empty. Seems Milfeulle unknowingly ate it all and her face becomes very smooth! Oh, how cruel! The one against it got all the spoils and the greedy ones deserved what they got with nothing. And does nobody care that the sunfish is extinct now?!

Episode 9A
The gang cheers for Milfeulle for her day off tomorrow. Seems they researched on her and found out that today is her most inauspicious day. When her good luck is away, bad luck falls in its place 100 times! They go to great lengths to ensure her stress level is low. Yeah, even if her towel is ripped, an asteroid is coming their way! Avert it quickly! On her day off, Forte, Ranpha and Vanilla do the groundwork of preventing any foreseeable disaster by tailing Milfeulle and ensure she stays happy without noticing them while Mint & Volcott work in the background. This includes becoming her bus driver (taking alternative ‘scenic’ routes) and destroying the entire developed are where the flowerbed was and replace them with flowers! How can they do it all in an instant?! Freaking unbelievable! Poor city got vaporized just for this. At the end of the day when everything seemingly is going to end smoothly, Milfeulle slipped on a banana. Then a car ran over her flower bouquet. This means a dormant Black Hole is threatening to swallow the entire galaxy within minutes! No persuasion would do! We’re doomed! But she spots a 4 leaf clover and becomes her happy self. Phew! That was close. Though there were no casualties and a big disaster was averted, a big chunk of the base was partially destroyed.

Episode 9B
Ranpha and Forte argue during meal so much so they got their clothes stained by curry. However Volcott hands them new uniforms (same design but looking a lot more purple-ish). They go on a mission to stop a rampaging giant robot. Though they have a hard time, suddenly everyone except Milfeulle powers up and use their super powers to defeat the evil. Why is Ranpha’s power turning into a pig?! At a cafe, they discuss that their powers must be given by God (I personally think it’s their uniform). They go on to save people with their newfound powers and are treated like kings. Unfortunately they get cocky and start fighting among themselves, causing destruction around them. Tearful Milfeulle pleads for them to stop and that’s when her powers awaken… It’s raining flowers! In the end, everyone realize their mistake and reconcile again. But a new chapter of new Galaxy Angels is cut short when they realize this is the last episode! And Normad is pissed that he only has this short screen time appearance.

Galaxy Clowns
Oh yeah. That was one heck of a ride. But that isn’t the end of it as I will be planning to watch the third and fourth season of it as well. Yeah, this is just an appetizer. But for this particular season, though it may be short, it is still enjoyable and fun. Due to the independent and nonsensical nature of this series, it doesn’t bother me that even if an episode ends hanging and when the next episode starts, it is as though none of the effects in the previous episode and everything has been restarted and anew. It’s like pressing a reset button. Heck, if you like, you can watch it in mixed up order too. But who cares about that. It’s not like this show has a strong and intricate storyline that we should follow closely and connect all the dots anyway. It is the laughs that I’m expecting and they don’t disappoint. This season is still as good as the previous partly because I’m familiar with the characters and how the series flows. Everyone here is still their usual quirky selves and I hope they won’t change. Maybe it won’t be good for the galaxy but it’ll be good for me! :).

Not every episode is funny and comical as there are a couple that gives a serious and sombre feeling, void of anything that will tickle your funny bone. I guess diversity is also good so you won’t laugh all the time until you’re a mad idiot. There were also certain episodes that bring in minor characters that show us how they are connected to a particular Angel. But it is just for that particular episode and it won’t be right to take up more than an episode since the show is about the Angels and not them. The short mid-intermission has the Angels tell viewers about some trivia, information or riddles that we viewers may not use them in our life (well, at least to me – for instance, should I consider enlightening that dog foods are tested by humans?). The next episode preview is another amusing segment. While we have the characters ranting and blabbing (it may be nonsensical, but the topic or the thing mentioned has something to do with what is to happen in the next happen), we see Volcott doing a random spin and let viewers guess which lucky Angel will be chosen. Having so will have their mug shot appear after it all ends. But before that picture, a lucky reading and item will be printed on screen. I’m not sure if we should it seriously or just to read it as a joke because for example, some of the lucky items are definitely impossible. Like a train. How the heck are you going to carry one around? Unless you take a miniature or model lah.

It seems that our Angels have their fair share of finding Lost Technologies and getting lots of trouble whether they’re on the job or not. Even with Milfeulle around, ironically she may pull in the luck but it’s just like yin yang, she also brings trouble. At least to the rest. And with them being money-faced, you can tell how well the military pays them. Pay cut seems to be a motivation for them to get their butts moving for a mission. They’ll always be poor if you ask me. All the money within their grasp? It’s easy come, easy go. Well girls, work harder because I’ll be ‘supporting’ all of you with the laughs that you’ll be bringing me in the future. You don’t need a Lost Technology to make me happy, that’s for sure.

Megane Na Kanojo

April 1, 2011

It’s not that I have any fetish for 2D bespectacled girls that made me watch Megane Na Kanojo. I just thought it would be nice to watch short independent OVAs and it would be a good break from watching long running animes or those typical 12-13 episodes seasonal animes. Based on the manga of the same name, the 4 short OVAs of approximately 15 minutes each do not have anything in common except each episode shows the normal lives of 4 teenage girls and how they deal with certain issues like love. The only other thing that they all have in common is of course, they all wear spectacles.

Episode 1
Junichi Kamiya narrates how he joined the Literature Club because the senior girl whom he has a crush on, Kana Asou is also in that said club. However he has something that he dislikes most: Spectacles. Too bad Kana wears them. Oh, those fleeting feelings of her wearing them and taking them off. As Kamiya chats with Kana, he tries all sorts of ‘persuasion’ to make Kana take off her glasses but I guess it has become a reflex to her even if he looked silly going over and standing atop the table just to take them off. So he tells her straight to take them off. Her answer: No way! She even shows him a statistical pie chart the good points of wearing glasses. While Kana’s reason of wearing glasses was to follow the teacher she admired of not wearing contacts, Kamiya’s trauma of them began because of some mad scientist teacher. Bad memories I’d say.

Kana thinks Kamiya’s persistence is because he is stalking her. So he mentions how attractive she looks without them. This has Kana to remember how she got that staring feeling during pool class and knew it was him and was ‘kind’ enough not to tell on him. As they both walk home, Kana spots the time from afar but Kamiya couldn’t see it. This has Kana to test him and concludes that he should get his eyes checked instead of focusing on her specs. Two weeks later, Kamiya is supposedly to have his glasses so Kana bugs him to put it on. She becomes so persistent that during the struggle to take it out of his bag, his specs fell out. She apologizes but it isn’t damage. Kamiya reluctantly puts it on and no matter how much he hates it, he admits that it made his blurry visions clearer. And ironically for the first time, he gets to see Kana’s pretty face clearly. She teases him and thinks now that they match each other. Kamiya suddenly felt this giddiness and hopes it’s because of his new glasses.

Episode 2
Aya Ichinohe is currently the most popular idol. Of course anyone who has reached that status would like to seek their own privacy and it’s no surprise that the only way she is going to go out in public without being easily spotted is to have minimal makeup, wear a beret and spectacles. Like that will work. Okay, it did. As she sips her coffee at her favourite cafe, enjoying every bit of her private time alone, the waiter, Takashi Miyaguchi comes up to her nervously trying to ask her out. From the looks of it, Aya knows that he doesn’t know she is the popular idol. Thinking how this development is as exciting as Audrey Hepburn’s Roman Holiday film, she decides to go out with him under the name of Shizuka Kimura in hopes to see his surprise face when he learns of her true identity. As the duo spend time together, it seems Takashi isn’t getting a clue who Aya is. Not even when the commercial of her pops up on the TV screen behind, he thought she just resembled closely to her! And she’s really starting to think that he is just more than slow. Though risky, she decides to give him a little hint. She took off her beret and well? He completely misses it. Now this is getting irritating.

She brings him to the karaoke box and sings one of her favourite songs. But that dimwit thinks she sounds just like her! Really, really annoying now. They continue singing as Aya felt how much fun she was having. At the end of the day before they part, Aya thinks it is perhaps a blessing that he didn’t realize who she is as Takashi asks her if she would like to go out with him again. Aya’s thoughts on how their status differ like the characters in Roman Holiday and could never be together. That’s when she takes off her glasses and admits she is a celebrity. However Takashi’s density has reached great heights because he still couldn’t recognize her and wonders if she appears on TV and such. It must be heartbreaking for a top idol not to be recognized. Hey, it’s a good thing if you ask me because you don’t want a boyfriend who is dating you just for your popularity, fame and money, right? So take his offer for another date next Friday, girl. Aya resumes her concert as she narrates that capable women are able to separate their love life from their work. As for her, she’ll find her own way.

Episode 3
University students, Mitsuki Kimura and Tooru Tanaka are dating but Mitsuki wonders if her love is one-sided. Things she tried to do like holding his hands or feed him seems to make her embarrassed due to circumstances. During a lecture, Tooru became sleepy and decides to take a nap (don’t worry, they weren’t in the front seats). Mitsuki will cover for him. She notices his glasses and decides to wear them as she wonder if she’ll see the world through his eyes and understand his thoughts. She gets groggy after a while and blackout. Tooru is rushing for his next class so he unknowingly takes Mitsuki’s glasses. When Mitsuki wakes up, she realizes she is all alone and her specs gone. Later Tooru SMS her to apologize that he took her glasses by mistake but Mitsuki decides to give him back tomorrow rather than the end of the fourth period because she feels that having his glasses is as though he’s right beside her and wants to wear his glasses as part of her selfish desire a little longer.

Mitsuki brings the glasses home and notices the dirt and fingerprint marks all over it. She remembers show her friend Maki was appalled that they weren’t doing stuff that lovers are doing though they have been dating for quite some time. She wants her to stop being shy. Because she is too deep in her thoughts, Mitsuki accidentally breaks the nose pads of Tooru’s glasses. She starts panicking and the next day as she waits for him to return the glasses, her mind is filled with thoughts that he might hate her for breaking his specs. When he arrives, both simultaneously apologize to each other. Seems Tooru’s carelessness has got him to break Mitsuki’s spectacle nose pads as well. She also showed him his broken one and they both give out a burst of laughter. As they put back their rightful glasses on each other, Mitsuki notes that though she wasn’t able to understand his thoughts by wearing his glasses, their feelings are similar and is less anxious than yesterday.

Episode 4
Tatsuya Takatsuka remembers how Chiaki Kuramoto, a shy girl transferred to his class during junior high. He teased her a lot (like how her glasses fog up when she’s embarrassed or nervous) but she retaliates in her own way and you could say that’s how their love-hate relationship as childhood friends was formed. Their ‘normal’ lives went on like this till they entered high school. Chiaki seems to have turned cold, avoiding Tatsuya and is no longer that shy girl he once knew. He wonders if she is just single him out since she treats the other boys normally and her extreme change in attitude. During recess, he manages to get a seat next to her and talks about the good ol’ days like being nervous in front of others. However Chiaki says she doesn’t remember of such things, quickly finishes up her meal and leaves.

Later during PE class, it hit Tatsuya that his teasing during junior high may be the cause of it. He goes to apologize but Chiaki insists that she worked hard not to fumble in front of others and overcome such fears and thus the reason why she decided not to remember the past again. This made Tatsuya mad because he took it she didn’t want to remember unpleasant times with him therefore making their relationship pointless. Tatsuya’s pals tease him for being rejected but they back down when they can tell he is in no mood for jokes. He is shocked about this and I know he did have fun teasing her but maybe if you could just see it from her shoes, the torment she had to go through? Tatsuya confronts Chiaki after school. He wants to ascertain the times that they spent together, what they mean to her. He grabs her hand as she suddenly blushes, fogging her specs. They stood there in the snow as Tatsuya realizes her warm skin and fogged glasses filled his heart mysteriously and those questions simply disappeared like the snow. Well, my guess is that Chiaki is being tsundere.

Heart of Glasses…
Okay, it was quite nice since the stories are soft, short and sweet. I personally like Aya’s story because it was the funniest one. It’s like she got more than she bargained for. She thought that being a popular idol means everybody could recognize her easily and thinks she could get some kicks on playing a little prank on honest but dense Takashi but in the end it just backfired. Chiaki’s story is a little mystery to me because I would really like to know the reason why she changed especially towards Tatsuya. But I’m sure glasses weren’t the reason. For Mitsuki’s case, it isn’t just about trying to understand one’s thoughts from the viewpoints of the other but rather understanding their hearts as well. Once you’ve understood that, you don’t need any sight or vision to feel the same. Finally for Kamiya and Kana’s tale, now that he has seen the true face of his crush, I hope he will get over his trauma and hate for spectacles and continue wearing them. I wonder if there is a phobia term of fear of glasses.

I myself wear glasses too but my vision is that bad that I need them to read or see distant objects in full detail. As there are many perceptions or views when one wears glasses. For instance it makes you look smart or mature but that depends on the person as well. For the otaku culture, some may find it part of a moe point. But would a girl find a chubby otaku with glasses attractive? More like the other way round. There is something about glasses that makes them plain and simple but yet so mystifying. Take for instance Superman’s case. Nobody could tell the difference that he and Clark Kent are the same person since it is just a pair of glasses that separates their identities. Oh I forgot, must be the red underwear he wears outside too.