Super Gals

May 28, 2011

Is there a difference between a girl and a gal? Apparently there is if you watch Super Gals. From what I can tell, being a gal means wearing trendy clothes with the latest and trendiest accessories and hanging out with your pals in busy-cum-crowded commercial districts. Sounds like a trend and a step to become a public nuisance or delinquent, eh? Unless you’re Ran Kotobuki, that’s a totally entirely different story. This 52 episode anime series may seem like a show about bratty girls going about and living their gal lives. However there is much more than to just these trouble teenage girls as viewers can learn some slice of life lessons, laugh out at some ridiculous comedic moments and endure the love pangs of the characters as each day passing by promises to be different and exciting. I’m not really going into my usual episode by episode blog (read: lazy) so those wanting to have a brief summary of the episode can go to or Enoki Films for it. There is the good ol’ Wikipedia too for some other information such as brief descriptions of the characters but just like many old anime shows, don’t expect much or to be brimming with lots of info. So my blog will be just listing down the memorable stuff from the series.

Ran Kotobuki – The main protagonist and the girl who ‘owns’ Shibuya. No, her father isn’t the mayor of this Tokyo ward but rather she is the number one gal in Shibuya. Literally everyone who walks in that town knows who she is. Like your typical gal who loves to party and have fun, Ran loves spending her time hanging out in the streets of Shibuya and goofing off rather than doing those boring stuff like studying. Something that athletic and iron-willed gal is weak at. Yeah, I guess nobody is perfect. However she isn’t all just fun and games as she also protects the street she loves by kicking ass of small time criminals like lady harassers or snatch thieves with her trademark platform boots boomerang kick. You really got to love how it really does fly back right back into her feet! Yeah, why do we need the police in Shibuya if we have Ran keeping it safe? But don’t be fooled that if you think Ran is totally a good hearted person all the time. Unless she wants to help you, don’t even bother coming to beg her for help because she isn’t going to do something that is troublesome (from her point of view). But there’s always a way around it. She’ll make a total u-turn and go all out to fulfil that request if you bribe her with fashion accessories like nail polish or best of all, free food. Beware though, she has a food grudge too and if you’re responsible for ruining her meal, you’d be regretting that you’re ever being born. Ever. This girl really does have a big appetite and ‘runs out of fuel’ when she’s hungry. She has winner’s complex and would get herself into any kind of competition no matter how silly the title is because she just loves to win. Yeah, a simpleton.

Police story – Ironically, Ran is the daughter of a family that holds its pride in its generation of being police officers. Local detective chief Dad Taizo whose wife, Kiyoka who is also a police officer, is always trying to persuade Ran to become an officer like her other siblings, Yamato and Sayo but Ran always boldly tells him straight that she isn’t interested in becoming an officer and will never be one! Oh, a father’s heartbreak. Not even Taizo’s Giant Swing (used as punishment) won’t change that gal’s mind.

Megumi Toyoguchi – The voice behind Ran. Due to Ran’s character and the first time I heard her being her typical loudmouth, it reminded me so much of Burn Up Scramble’s Rio Kinezono! See the similarities of both anime characters that she voiced? Ironically, Rio is a policewoman having love problems (as opposed to the Rio in the original Burn Up series in which she has money problems) and Ran here comes from a generation of police officers. It feels like they’re both the same character but in a different anime.

Case of a serial liar – As we all know by now how Ran isn’t good at school work and never finishes her homework on time. So much so when it is time to hand it up, she’ll cook up exaggerate long unbelievable stories like how she was abducted by aliens and her journey throughout the world that made her unable to complete it. I’m sure her homeroom teacher, Nakanishi has heard it plenty of times and each time having to whack her with a harisen (paper fan). Yeah, that harisen is even exclusively for Ran! And at the end of that tall tale, Ran will just spit out the real truth. Well, not much difference too because Nakanishi will still be pissed off and trying to reprimand Ran. Can she actually make it to the next grade?! She might be dumb in that sense, but she’s not that stupid. If she was, she probably wouldn’t know how to make up all those creative lies as it involves geographic locations and some common sense.

Miyu Yamazaki – Ran’s classmate and best friend. Another independent and strong girl as she comes from a broken family. She is in lovey-dovey relationship with Ran’s older brother, Yamato. Though she may look cute and nice upfront but she hides a dark past of being a leader of a gang called Resistance. A troubled kid then who always got into fights. When she and Ran first met, it’s not like they really like each other as Ran was of course bribed to change Miyu.  She changed over a new leaf and cast away her past when Yamato deeply cares for her after getting into a final recent fight with another gang, Eagles.

Aya Hoshino – Ran and Miyu’s latest close friend after Ran ‘saved’ this model student from compensation dating. Unlike Ran, Aya is a total opposite as she isn’t confident or honest of showing her true feelings. She is shy but studious so it doesn’t take a genius who Ran comes after for help when her homework deadline nears. You know, Ran is so unashamed of her unfinished work that she even has the cheek to ask other people to complete it for her!

Sayo Kotobuki and Masato Iwai – The pair of junior detectives obsessed with a famous cop movie called Run! Odaiba Cop and its lead character, Detective Kudou. They know every episode and have every darn merchandise and video on it. Both Sayo and Masato are so called dating (they have no qualms letting others know that they are a couple) and often role plays as detectives to keep Shibuya safe. But sometimes you wonder if a bunch of kids can really do the job as it seems that they’re just playing around (like those dramatic scenes in public that Sayo is going to ‘die’) so it’s hard to take them seriously. But they do take their investigation seriously and with pride. Yeah, they even have their own detective theme song! Either way, you can’t hate them and in fact love them all because that the one and only Rie Kugimiya is the voice behind Sayo. Datchu!

Yamato Kotobuki – Miyu’s responsible and mature cop boyfriend and Ran’s older brother who is being stationed at Shibuya. Oddly the girls usually use his police box as another one of their hangout places.

Odaiba Shark – The cool lead of the Odaiba Cop series, never seen without his shades off. He might be famous but that popularity comes into question when Ran comes into the picture. You could say that during one of those hotspring trips where he was on site for a film shot, since Ran was there, her legion of fans swamped over her and his presence was even hardly noticed! Otherwise he brings hope and happiness in the eyes of Sayo with some words of wisdoms and lines from the show. Odaiba Shark never sleeps!

Rei Otohata and Yuya Asou – Both are the top ranking boys of Meisho Daichi High School. The kind of good looking boys that every other girl would love to swoon over. Both guys are good friends though their personality may contrast. Perhaps Rei’s coolness can be attributed to his cold and indifferent attitude. Is it a surprise why he doesn’t have any girlfriend because he rejects them? He is best described as a person who is a pro at evading answering the obvious questions. You’re not going to get a simple yes or no, but an answer something like it is up to you to decide. Yuya is friendlier and because of his second placing behind Rei in the rankings, Ran and her pals always call him ‘Second Place’. Is that an insult or what? Ah well, get use to it.

The Ganguro Girls trio – Those annoying tanned girls of Shibuya are always locking horns with Ran. But you know who always ends up on the losing side. I can never tell them apart except for their different coloured hairstyles of red, yellow and blue. They are loyal followers of Rei and would go to great lengths to ‘protect’ other girls from coming close to him. Not that he cares or minds what they do anyway.

Gal lingo – Throughout the series, there will be short notices to inform viewers the slang that gals spout. Though I find that many are just abbreviated forms of the words. I guess it should be common knowledge if you want to be a gal. Trivial advice: “If you fall 7 times, get up 8 times”. Heck, don’t fall in the first place then.

Tatsuki Kuroi – The ‘monkey boy’ from the neighbouring prefecture of Machida is also known as Machida Black for his para-para dance moves. Uses English in some of his lines and everyone calls him Tatsukichi.

Mami Honda – The daughter of the wealthiest and famous family in Japan. Not to be fooled by her debutante looks, proud and prideful Mami is also a gal and is the queen of Ikebukuro. She meets her rival in the form of Ran but in each challenge (whether it’s a ping pong match or snowboarding duel), she always loses out. If not, the match ends in a draw. How can you beat that girl and even on her own home turf? Mami’s dad has always told her daughter to be the best in everything so each flashback sees her undergoing ridiculous uncanny training for whatever ridiculous subject to be the best. She may be the best in everything (from tennis to racing and even play performances) but when it comes to just Ran, she can never come out tops. And is it fate to be cruel to her for Ran to always show up or bump into Mami at times when she doesn’t want to see that idiotic hyper active gal? Mami has a follower, Harue Kudou who was an ex-member of the gang Eagles. She holds a grudge against Miyu as the reason for making her ex-boyfriend breaking up with her but it’s actually that guy who is being a jerk.

Mami’s ridiculously long limousine – Seriously, how can that car even turn?! To house her clothing wardrobe? Why the heck does she need lots of sophisticated doors and locks too? Who wants to steal them?!

Mami’s ridiculously large mansion – Believe me, it covers a skiing resort and even a space shuttle launching pad. WTF?!

Para-para dance – I don’t know if this move was the craze many years back. Remember para-para sakura? Some of the scene changers see the characters in chibi form doing their own para-para dance (except for Yuya’s, which seems lot like a panic move) with an equally catchy para-para techno music. I also tried to imitate the para-para moves in the opening credits but found myself to be laughing at the end because it felt funny (not to mention how much I sucked). Hey, even Hachiko is doing it!

Hachiko – Remember that famous loyal dog? Shibuya has erected a statue to commemorate Hachiko but the odd part is how we see Ran and Tatsuki ‘using’ it by sitting on it to have a better view to search something or even seek solace by talking to it about their problems! Even if it’s an inanimate object, can’t help that even Hachiko would get upset about it, eh? On another note, an owl statue is erected for Ikebukuro because ‘fukuro’ means owl in Japanese (but I guess it’s just wordplay because it could also mean envelope). So when it comes down to the battle of Shibuya’s Ran and Ikebukuro’s Mami, it’s always dog against owl.

Ran’s first disciple – A girl named Maki from Hokkaido goes all the way to Shibuya to be Ran’s disciple since she idolizes her very much. Seems that got to her head as she uses her newfound fame to have guys treat her. Till they realize her ploy and are going to get back at her, Ran steps in to prove that Maki is just more than her disciple, but her friend. Maki goes home and hopes to work hard to become a full fledge gal like her.

Love matters – As we all know Sayo-Masato and Miyu-Yamato are inseparable couples. Yuya has a crush on Ran ever since they first met but due to her rambunctious nature and his own nervousness, he doesn’t pretty much get the chance. Till Tatsuki comes in and proclaims out loud that he wants to become her boyfriend (because they both do the para-para). To Yuya’s dismay, Ran actually finds Tatsuki amusing and agrees! They really seem to suit each other seeing that they both act like idiotic simpletons. Bakappuru (combination of baka couple)! Yuya tries several attempts to make himself look cooler and that ‘show boy’ Tatsuki an idiot but it always seems to backfire. Worse, Tatsuki calls him ‘brother’ and thinks Yuya is testing them to see the strength of their love. Later in the series, Yuya becomes Mami’s boyfriend due to some misunderstanding. He has to put up with it all as the rest think they’re going steady as a couple. He is going to take some time off Shibuya for a while. Mami has her fair share of failed relationship with boys who are just in for her family status but she really fell for Yuya because he sees Mami as Mami herself. On the other hand, Aya too has a crush on Rei but we all know the shy person she is and the cold jerk he is. Aya was once set up to confess to Rei but that guy bluntly rejected her. Poor Aya. Yeah, we know he’s trying to give her a heads up that he can’t make her happy so better get disappointed now than regret it later. But she kept persevering until Rei becomes her boyfriend. Well, actually it isn’t official that Rei accepted her. He’d just let her do what she wishes and did mention he prefer to see her smile. I know this may sound a little odd but you know, when you’re totally in love with a person, even if Rei warned he will end up hurting her if she continues to love him, Aya accepted that.

Grand Prix Race – There was this one episode whereby Yuya challenged Tatsuki to a race over Ran. Soon every other guy pops up and wants to join in to claim Ran as their boyfriend. Ran finds it interesting and approves it as the guys go through lots of challenge and in the end, only 4 of them remain. Yuya and Tatsuki are among them and the other 2 are actually underlings of Mami. Her idea of having them enter the race is so that when they win, they will proclaim their love to Ran and dump her for Mami. Seems great until halfway through the final climbing obstacle, the guys betrayed her and wanted to truly claim Ran for their own because they don’t want to have anything to do with that bossy psycho b*tch anymore! Though they falter, Yuya and Tatsuki were just inches away from the goal but failed to cross it due to Yuya’s realization of fear of heights. Nobody wins and they had to disperse before the police take them in.

Towa Himeji – The owner of a cafe called Palm Tree that was in danger of being shut down but Ran and her pals helped out and managed to keep the cafe open. Seems Towa is the only person that Ran can’t stand up too because Towa threatens to spill embarrassing details of Ran if she doesn’t do as she is told (Ran and Towa know each other since childhood days). Towa is also close friends with that Odaiba Shark guy. Later Miyu works part time at Palm Tree to supplement her income.

Kasumi Tsukino – When rumours that Ran is turning into a nasty gal, it actually turns out to be a bratty kid that is sullying Ran’s name and even went to great lengths pulling nasty pranks on her friends like destroying Miyu’s precious handphone and ripping Aya’s train pass. Seems Kasumi wants to be the number one gal in Shibuya and like they say, this place isn’t big enough for the both of them. But you know, all her silly attempts to embarrass Ran and make her leave Shibuya flops big time. She is so annoying (even much more than Mami) and uses so many dirty tactics in her lame attempts, I was hoping she would be killed off somehow. However towards the end of the series, seems she isn’t all that b*tch when she competes in a flea market sale with Ran to buy a coat that she believes is the gal idol she adores. Though Kasumi lost out (she had to refund a kid who bought her defective toy) and was to admit defeat, she receives the coat from Towa and from the way things show, Towa may be just that gal whom Kasumi admired.

Naoki Kuroi – This skateboard kid is Tatsuki’s little brother and easily falls in love with almost any girl he sees. It all started after seeing a sticker from Tatsuki bearing Ran’s face and tries to take Ran as his girlfriend. Ultimately he loses out in some ramen battle with Tatsuki and probably he did all this was just to remind his brother about taking over their dad’s ramen business. Just like Ran, Tatsuki would prefer to do as he wishes to. Naoki becomes part of the junior detectives, joining Sayo and Masato’s detective role plays. Naoki’s falling-in-love trend continues with other girls like Miyu, Towa and Sayo. All ending up in heartbreak of course. In the final episode, he seems to have fallen for Kasumi.

Those guys – Why is it that the guys in Shibuya do not have any second thoughts about being rough with a lady or gal? Maybe Shibuya is a tough place so they’re exercising gender equality? Not. What about those guys who just easily come up to a girl and try to hit on them even though they really don’t want their company? Thank goodness we have Ran around.

Love hurts – What is love without its fair share of pangs and problems. There are quite a few of them. There was an episode whereby Ran believed some handphone fortune telling because it was quite accurate. Part of its advice to avoid disaster befalling on her was to avoid certain circumstances and it seems to point towards Tatsuki. Poor Tatsuki thought Ran was avoiding him and to make things worse, he saw her hanging out with Yuya. Once he manages to discover the root of the mystery, they’re back to being the bakappuru they happily are. Don’t believe everything you read, girl. Towards the end of the series, Tatsuki feels that his love with Ran hasn’t advanced to the next stage (not even kissed? Not even holding hands?) and questions if Ran really does love him. Of course Ran has her own gal pride so it’s obvious Tatsuki tells her straight that there is a girl who cares for him back in Machida so he’s not going to be in Shibuya for a while. Though this caused Ran to be a little alarmed, nevertheless she plays it down. Turns out that girl Tatsuki was referring to was his teacher who was supposed to guide him to pass his exams. Phew. After being around Mami for too long and seeing how Tatsuki and Ran are perfect for each other, Yuya is ready to confess that he is ready to leave Ran in Tatsuki’s hands and happy to settle with Mami. Before he could speak any further, Mami misinterprets this as his attempt to confess his love for Ran. Mami challenges Ran to another ultimate life-and-death battle over Yuya. Both girls give it their best shot but there seems to be no end. Till Yuya finally intervened and accepted Mami. To her, he’ll always be number one in her heart. Aw… We all know how cruel Rei can be as he seems to be ‘neglecting’ Aya. So much so Aya has that Otohata Syndrome. She feels distant from Rei as each passing day. A senior classmate, Kazuki Katase notices Aya’s suffering, comforts and helps her out. In no time, Aya and Katase start dating and Rei doesn’t seem fazed because well, it was her decision. There are even times Katase confronts Rei about him mistreating Aya but the latter doesn’t even bat an eyelid. Aya and Katase seem to fit each other since they’re both studious. Aya spends more time with him studying and less time with her gal pals. However it seemed forced. Each time she talks about her pals, Katase would shrug it off and that they’re from different worlds. The last straw came when he mocks her pals. It is later revealed that Katase did a despicable act by trying to steal exam questions due to pressure from his family’s expectations. He thought Aya and him were the same but thinks their difference is that Aya is more true to herself. Katase soon leaves to study overseas and I guess this case opens the door to Aya’s heart that Rei is still the only one for her. Though it may seem that Aya and Rei are back but trouble starts brewing again when Aya asks Rei personally if he likes Ran. It’s like opening Pandora Box even if Rei warned her it would not be at her advantage to do so. Since she is persistent, Rei answers yes, confirming Aya’s fears. Hey girl, didn’t you remember making that promise that you’ll be okay even if you get hurt by him? See, play with fire lah. Aya falls into depression but to make things worse, rumours are spreading that Rei and Ran are dating since they were spotted together at a cafe (she was just asking him to do her homework, what else?). To add salt to wounds, many believed that Ran stole Rei from Aya. And what does that indifferent jerk do about it? Nothing really. Ran was of course oblivious even if Aya was acting real strange. Their relationship is strained as Aya avoids Ran, even taking the honours class instead of continuing in the same class with her pals. But all is back to normal when Ran manages to give her usual reprimanding advice once more. This time Aya isn’t going to run away but try her best. Sure, it’s not like Rei did acknowledge her to be his girlfriend (“Do as you wish” line again) but in the final episode, I think they become a couple because I believe we haven’t see Rei’s face as close to Aya’s before.

It’s not the Ran I know! – There are a couple of episodes whereby Ran ditched her gal outlook and shockingly became a different person! In one episode, due to some wish on an arcade machine, Ran turns into a debutante! Such good and polite manners! Unbelievable! But I guess the gang rather have the old Ran back as they frantically search for the machine before it is being scrapped. Magically, Ran is turned back to normal. In another episode, Ran turns into a proper detective protecting the peace of Shibuya after sleeping on some weird pillow! Oh, Taizo must be so proud of this moment. Yeah, she even threw away all her gal stuff. Too bad it isn’t going to last since after sleeping on that pillow, she’s back to her gal self. Finally an episode whereby due to some ball Sayo got at some lottery, the ball violently bounced back and forth on Sayo and Ran’s face, causing them to switch bodies! Nobody is going to believe them so they have to act as each other for the time being. They both find out how each other have their own responsibilities and weren’t just goofing around. But they switch back at the end (that same ball bouncing effect) but this time Yuya and Rei switch bodies. Mami mistakes Rei for Yuya and drags him away! Man, that’s the first time I see that guy in a pinch but too bad it ends here and I would have loved to see how things played out.

Maru-Q Moon – Sailormoon parody. In one of Kasumi’s attempts to make Ran leave Shibuya by badmouthing her to the Ganguro trio, she gets into all sorts of trouble and ultimately dresses up as a magical girl but inadvertently saves others from danger. Soon she becomes a hot topic and everyone wants to find out her true identity. Well, even if she did, nobody would believe that kid. Hey, anybody could buy that outfit and don it.  In the end, due to some confusion, Ran ends up being revealed as Maru-Q Moon.

I am Zero. I have returned! – There was an episode whereby Ran was framed as the perpetrator disguised as her and does bad things. The local police believe it is Ran but her loyal fans do not. To prove that anybody could just dress as Shibuya’s number one, the fans all dress up as Ran simultaneously (how and where they get the wig and dress still beats me). At that point, it reminded me of how much this scene looked like Code Geass! Of course Ran is innocent and the culprit turns out to be the boyfriend of one of the fans, fearing that he would ‘lose’ her if she becomes too much of a gal.

Alone again, naturally – Miyu has never had a good relationship with her mom. They don’t even really have a proper talk. Not that Miyu doesn’t want to but rather her mom prefers to be out of the time doing other things and leave her daughter all to herself. Not that Miyu is complaining either. Now, Miyu’s mom is the kind of character everyone would love to hate. She is very irresponsible and her being a mother of Miyu is definitely unfit and unsuitable. When she defaults on her apartment’s rental for 3 months, she decides to pack up and leave, not caring for what happens to Miyu. This place may not be much to Miyu, but at least she has a place to go home. Now with it gone, where will she go? Heartless mom even told Miyu to survive on her own, perhaps going into the flesh industry. That’s it. Out of the door, she has left the building. Whether or not they’ll meet is another story. Miyu’s cry at that time was the most heartbreaking one ever. Thankfully she has kind Yamato she could lean on as he listens to her problem. Miyu temporarily stays in Ran’s room before moving to Palm Tree and then with enough strength to stand on her own, her own little apartment.

Fillers? – There are some episodes that focus on other minor characters. For example, Ran befriends a kendo girl named Shiori. She heard she is suddenly transferring overseas and goes to work hard to buy her a farewell gift and misses her kendo tournament. Turns out she wasn’t leaving but her brother. The gym teacher, Mr Gunjo seems to have a gold leaf exterior. He has been making his students to avoid talking with one of his classmates, Takazawa, as he blames her for their class failure and loss to Nakanishi’s class during the recent sports festival. Ran’s actions and words soon made Gunjo’s classmates to stand forth and reveal the truth about his nature and results him to be suspended. Ran’s friend, Rie seems to have a crush on a guy, Junichi from 5 years ago when she meets him at a place they’re both working part time as. Rie thinks Junichi and Ran like each other since Junichi is avoiding her. Turns out during their younger days when Junichi saved Rie from bullies, it wasn’t Junichi who beat them up. It was Ran instead as he turned into a cry-baby. In the end, they both reconciled their love for each other.

Other adventures – Sayo being ‘kidnapped’ so Ran and Kiyoka drag Yamato to rescue her as it turns out she was just accompanying a single father trying to meet up with his estranged daughter, a visit to a giant indoor ski park, a visit to the beach, Tatsuki thought Ran was working to buy him a birthday present but it was to go on a shopping spree (I guess her luck at a raffle to win him a monkey doll at the last minute still made him happy), Ran burning up to win the sports festival for her class because Nakanishi may overlook her undone homework (yeah, even working up her classmates to go all out because she lied that Nakanishi is dying!), invited to Meisho’s school cultural festival (yeah, the para-para competition between Ran and Mami is getting real long and tiring… More lasting than Duracell), Yamato introducing Miyu to his family and this means he has proposed to her for marriage (headache for Ran because this means her best friend will be her sister-in-law. Confused?), Tatsuki and Yuya going all out to find Ran’s lost wallet to prove who is manlier and the right to be Ran’s girlfriend, an ex-boyfriend of Mami returning to see her after many years abroad so debutante Mami takes her to some grand hotel with everything inside (yes, everything) but her rotten luck has her trying to evade being seen by Ran and co (who somehow won tickets to entire this pricey place) and in the end Mami shows her true gal character to that guy when several punks besiege on them and leaves him (how many ex-boyfriends does she have anyway?), Mami getting a weird hair accessory gift from Yuya (because it’s the cheapest) and goes to great lengths to protect it from people who wants to steal it (turns out to be some guy’s fake moustache!), Ran accompanying Nakanishi to patrol the school (because that old geezer is afraid of ghosts), a visit to Mami’s mansion, an invitation to Maki’s hotspring in Hokkaido, trying to catch a monkey on the loose during Christmas (Tatsuki could really communicate with it), a flashback how Taizo trained Ran to be a police officer (yeah, she was really enthusiastic back then) but his plans backfired after a series of tests (aliens in animal costumes?) when he accidentally ruined her lunch (yeah, Ran even remembers that food grudge till today), Odaiba Shark’s character is to be killed off due to some backdoor argument with the director so our Kudou actor is in danger of being out of a job and is set up by Towa to go on a date with Sayo so as not to crush her dreams (of course his role gets reinstated again), Aya working hard to make Rei a handmade Valentine’s Day chocolate (I thought she knew that guy dislike sweet things?) but was stolen by the Ganguro trio (in the end they gave it back to her after realizing how much effort she put in. See, they’ve got hearts too), a big ramen battle between Tatsuki and Naoki against a popular ramen chain (the former won because the latter’s management uses dirty tactics and the rival chef didn’t acknowledge to that) and Ran trying her best to study not because she fears of not making to the next grade but her allowance cut.

Towa’s leaving? – You heard that right. I’m not sure why, but she left her Palm Tree cafe to that Kudou guy and due to some misinterpretation, he accepts it. We see many of the main and supporting characters in this episode trying to get Towa a farewell gift but Ran is nowhere to be seen and time is running out. Tatsuki and Rei search the streets and it turns out she was hungry and couldn’t move. Oh yes, Sayo and Masato are first year students in Ran’s school, not to mention bratty Kasumi. Finally the Ganguro trio have their own boyfriends, but they get scared after seeing their aggressive nature. Come back, my love!

Ultimate Gal
So yeah, it was fun while it lasted. Many of the episode’s adventures aren’t complicated but straightforward so much so that the tension and drama of that particular episode makes it simple for the issue to be solved. Because of so, some are pretty predictable. Of course the main star of the show still definitely falls on Ran. She is the kind of character whom you’ll have mixed feelings with. It’s hard to hate her but at the same time not totally love her. Her boisterous attitude sometimes really annoys you but because she’s a simpleton, it makes a lot of things easier. She may not be the kind of girl who comforts you with kind and soft words but instead with her typical firebrand reality down-to-earth phrases to make you realize that if you’re going to spend time sulking, might as well you go do something about it.

The other characters are lovable at their own pace too. They each have their own set of problems and fears to confront to but with each other’s support, they’ll get by.  The length of the series is reasonable enough to flesh out the personalities of some of the characters though they generally remain the same character that we are all familiar to. So the police force can think of cutting down their cost to station more personnel at Shibuya because Ran is doing such a fine job keeping the place safe. Maybe not. There’s always something she’s in when she’s doing something. Ah, just give her a free designer’s bag or shoes or free meal vouchers each time she’s at it.

This is trivial stuff but due to the recent trend in animes, for series that lasts more than a single season, there will be multiple ending themes. For this one, however there is only one! Yeah, quite a ‘rare feat’, if I should say. Entitled Dakishimetai by Jungle Smile, it is a moderate ballad. Of course the opening theme, Aitsu by Dicot is catchy itself to the para-para flow.

The art and drawing lean towards bishoujo style. Well, cute girls with big bright eyes, that says it all, doesn’t it? Sometimes in the show they have a lot of other drawing such as hearts in crayons across the screen. At times they also use different background shades when the producers are too lazy, oops I mean for a change in scenery to draw the actual backgrounds. I think it will be tough to draw every detail to the billboards and posters that are hanged around the Shibuya area.

I can say that this series is the first series that made me a little interested in doing a little online research on the different prefectural areas and wards in Japan. I may not remember them all, at least I know where Shibuya and Ikebukuro are. Along with Akihabara. Heheh. It was interesting for the time being that I discovered a few geographical locations in Japan. Maybe if Ran showed a little more interest in Japanese history, I may even have looked it up.

So being a gal isn’t just about the outside, it is the inside of your heart and how you live your life and what you do as a gal (with some ironclad gal rule of course). I was a loner back in school so I can’t pretty say much about my social life. Heck, I’m even close to being a hikikomori otaku, shutting myself in only watching animes. Maybe I should take a step out into the city once in a while and socialize. Then again, I just don’t want to expose myself to any danger of being mugged or extorted. I think I’ll let the police do their job in my area. Super otaku Ming! Keeping it safe while watching anime in your own room is uber cool. That is an ironclad rule for an otaku!

Yuri Seijin Naoko-san

May 27, 2011

Eh? Erm… Ah… What’s this? When I first heard about Yuri Seijin Naoko-san and read that it was some sort of a short comedy, I jumped at the chance of watching it, albeit the single OVA episode just lasts over 6 minutes. Apparently the theme of the manga is yuri (lesbian) and the storyline goes something like this. We got this alien girl named Naoko from planet Yuri and is plotting to conquer Earth via Yuri-nization. Woah! Such a daunting task. She’s got to eliminate all the men in the world to do that, eh? Just like many other anime aliens who come to live with our Earthling kind, she’s always bringing trouble to a particular person he/she stays with or close to. In this case, the soft spoken Misuzu.

The episode opens with Misuzu’s mother worried about a stalker lurking around in their neighbourhood. Seems Misuzu’s mom is worried more about the molester than her daughter as she holds on to Misuzu’s erotic books. Oh shi… Naoko walks back home after school with her bespectacled friend, Hii-chan. They discuss about the molester when they see Naoko talking via her handphone underneath a little girl’s skirt! WTF?! Her reasoning? Apparently Yurians’ handphone won’t work unless it’s near a young girl’s panties. Yeah, I guess it emits some mysterious wave and signal that attracts lolicons and panty thieves, eh? You could probably guess Hii-chan is on the same wavelength as Naoko as she buys her story and believes as long as there are many little girls around, it is possible to communicate anywhere in the universe! Lolicons, the universal sign of love! Haha!

Naoko puts up posters of the potential types of molesters using Misuzu as the illustration’s model. Hmm… Flashing type, candid camera type and the one I don’t even know, tentacle type. Wow. How enlightening (read sarcasm). Misuzu’s little brother, Ryouta pops out from the corner and calls his sister but Naoko thinks he is the molester and gives her trademark punch. At first I was thinking why the hell is there a train running right smack in the middle of a residential area but it turns out it’s just a metaphor used to depict Naoko’s powerful punch that sends Ryouta flying. Then, Naoko plans to cut off his penis! Of course she was just testing Misuzu to see how much she cares about her brother. His penis, that is.

Naoko did some preliminary investigations by interviewing people about the molester (her methods are questionable) and has come up with a sketch of how the molester probably looks like. A cat-faced in a trench coat with tentacles? Real alien or figment of imagination (or sloppy investigation job), turns out that molester in the sketch is real! He grabs Ryouta as Naoko assures Misuzu her little brother’s penis are still safe. That’s not the issue here! Seems this molester fits all the example types that Naoko put up earlier. Naoko gives the molester her train punch and unfortunately also sends Ryouta flying along. Now she has a giant gardener’s scissors and planning to cut both their penis off! Too bad she backed down after ‘learning Misuzu’s love for his penis’ is much stronger. She is sure screwed up in the head. Yeah, she continues to make her phone call underneath a girl’s skirt. Shouldn’t she be ashamed? Apparently not. Hii-chan seems to be able to communicate with the molester and understands he has regretted his actions and repented. A train to Nagano appears as the molester gets onboard. Hii-chan gets emotional of this happy ending and the dispute settled so Naoko comforts her that Earthlings and molesters will one day cohabitate in peace. Is that the real issue here? As the molester continues his train ride, we see sleeping Ryouta finally waking up and starting to panic. Haha, he took Ryouta along with him and the rest didn’t even notice.

Watch Your Crotch!
Erm? So where is Naoko’s plan to take over the world through Yuri-nization? Heck, this is just a short OVA but even so, Naoko’s quirky character is sure amusing and had me laughing. Doom I tell you our world is if she actually succeeds in her mission. The way Misuzu talks in her monotonous and ‘tired’ tone seems to indicate that she has seen and know enough of Naoko’s antics almost as if she is immune to them as she isn’t that surprised.

The drawing and art of the characters are simple so much so it reminded me of Ichigo Mashimaro. Surprisingly Naoko is voiced by Satomi Arai who voiced Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun. Seems she is very suitable for crazy lesbian girls and odd characters. Ai Nanoka as Hii-chan is still recognizable even though I don’t hear much of her lately. At first I thought Kana Hanazawa was behind Misuzu’s voice but it turned out to be an unknown seiyuu, Akari Harashima.

If this series ever turns into a TV series, there is a high chance that I want to watch it. Hopefully Naoko’s nonsensical antics are still kept intact. Taking over the world through this Yuri-nization seems absurd but I guess conquering Earth via love is better than violence and wars. Oh, so probably how Naoko is going to achieve that by turning everyone into females is by cutting their penis. Yikes! I think I’m going to sleep with my legs tightly clutched closer to each other now.

Seitokai Yakuindomo

May 21, 2011

Remember that bunch of student council that laze around doing nothing but talking and getting warped in their own world and fantasies? Seitokai Yakuindomo isn’t a sequel or even related to Seitokai No Ichizon whatsoever. However there are a few similarities that I can see from both series. They focus on a group of student council members (duh!) and being the comedy genre, Seitokai Yakuindomo has lots of sexual innuendos and jokes. Lots of them. Perhaps in almost every gag, scene or line they show. Yeah, you can learn some new words in relation to sex here. So why wasn’t it classified as hentai? It’s mainly just talk. And even if they do show diagrams, be assured that they are heavily mosaic. So if you’re the kind that isn’t comfortable with sex gags and jokes, feel free to watch another anime.

Having said that, you’d think the perverted thinking one is the guy, right? Wrong! It’s the girls! What the?! Takatoshi Tsuda has just enrolled in Ousai Academy. Previously the school was only open to girls but this year it opened up to the guys as well, making it co-ed. Therefore, to some it has got to be harem paradise as females outnumber males by, I don’t know. Let’s just say male students are a very rare breed. Tsuda on his first day meets the student council members (all girls, by the way). They are president Shino Amakusa, the secretary Aria Shichijou and the treasurer Suzu Hagimura. Tsuda gets ‘invited’ to join the student council as the vice president so that they can have opinions from the male side and him to represent his gender. Sounds fair, eh?

Unfortunately, diligent Shino and rich girl Aria’s thinking are a little perverted. Okay, maybe too much. So much so each pervy line they come up with (amazingly, you got to hand it to them for even managing to think at such a way), Tsuda has to counter it with a comeback whether or not he raises his voice or just lethargic and tired of it all. Thankfully prodigy Suzu (her IQ is believed to be at 180) doesn’t share the same perverted thoughts but she has this peculiar complex about her body size and height. She definitely looks like an elementary school kid and if you really do say something about it, she flies into a rage! Just like that kid in Fullmetal Alchemist. Don’t say the ‘S’ word. But you can’t help that Suzu is so short that at times there will be signs pointing over that this is Suzu’s head or indicating where she is. Of course there are other colourful characters like the advisor of the student council, Naruko Yokoshima and Tsuda’s little sister, Kotomi. Uh… They have perverted thinking too. Why are the girls here so messed up? Then there’s this journalist, Ranko Hata, head of the newspaper club. She may sound deadpan and monotonous but she enjoys taking photographs and selling it for scandal/profit and even fakes articles or purposely twists her interviews to something scandalous. Dangerous girl. Each of the episodes is divided into short skits. Some of them just short random ones that zip by fast enough that you’ll be wondering what on Earth just happened. As such, I’ll be just blogging some of the important highlights of that episode. Important, I think.

Episode 1
Tsuda meets the student council trio and gets his first experience on how perverted Shino and Aria are although Shino did mention she didn’t want people to think of her as a slut. Girl, after more or less 13 episodes of the same thing, you’re fit and qualified to be one. Tsuda also gets a tour of the school and some of the important places. Like the girls’ toilet… Later they decide to have a suggestion box for the students on how to improve or if there are any complaints. Guess what some of the suggestions are? And guess what the ‘hole’ of the suggestion box looks like? Next, Tsuda is being interviewed by Hata. How to have the council a good image when you-know-who are acting so perverted, not to mention Hata’s misinterpretation? Get use to it, Tsuda!

Episode 2
Tsuda sees a bunch of girls encouraging their nervous friend, Mutsumi Mitsuba to go talk to him. After summoning her courage, what she actually wanted to say was she wanted to make a judo club. No love confessions this early yet. Tsuda takes Mutsumi to go see the student council but it seems to start a club, they need 5 members or else they’ll be just an unofficial one. Thinking that having an odd number of members would make that odd person left out, Shino increases the requirement to 6 members! As a duty for the student council members to play role model to the rest, they need to be in the top 20 rankings so Shino helps Tsuda to study. Since she’s thinking perverted stuff, it’s no wonder Tsuda decides to get Suzu to coach him. However she’s too strict and he’s too ‘slow’ so he goes to Aria. Then again, that maybe a bad choice. The test results are out and Shino is ranked first again so Aria teases her that her own boobs is the only thing that could beat her. Haha. That was supposed to be funny, no? The student council members help move equipments in the storage room to their respective class. See, it’s good to have a guy around to help carry those boxes. Tsuda meets Yokoshima for the first time and after their initial conversation, he really thinks she needs professional help. We all too. Shino and Aria’s grade are to leave for a field trip so they leave the student council in the care of Tsuda and Suzu.

Episode 3
The field trip to Kyoto begins. Too bad Tsuda isn’t here to counter their perverted jokes but Hata is waiting for an opportunity to take scandalous pics of them. Tsuda has to complete a load of paperwork but it seems he has no time to complete them because Kotomi keeps bugging him to do her stuff. This includes trashing her own room. WTF?! Too bad he gets reprimanded by Suzu the next day. Meanwhile the field trip, Shino is troubled getting her photo taken because a crane seems to get in the way. Also, Shino is excited of visiting a historical place but goes crazy when she finds it to be under renovation. Tsuda follows Suzu back to her home to complete the paperwork. On the way, they meet a foreigner. Tsuda stammers his way while Suzu is flawless. Till the foreigner calls her a little girl, did she snap and even say the F-word! Oh gosh. Aria and Shino stop by a shop and are in a dilemma on what to get Tsuda for souvenir. Something perverted I guess… Then they stop by deer park and while Shino feeds a deer, the deer got all over her like as though she was being raped! A similar case happened to Tsuda. He was helping Suzu getting a book from the top shelf but she slipped and fell over him. Then her mom walks in a sees this. By the way, she didn’t freak out.

Episode 4
Aria and Shino return from their field trip and give Tsuda and Suzu their souvenirs. Hata comes in and shows the gang photos of them that she took. Later a melon bread left by Shino on the table went missing and she first suspects Yokoshima. True enough it was her. Mutsumi goes to talk to Shino for advice because she is nervous when somebody approached her she wanted to join her judo club. Shino gave her perverted advice but since Mutsumi is oblivious of what she meant, so it’s like they’re both talking different subjects. Shino must be sleepy so she wasn’t concentrating during Hata’s interview so she unknowingly accepts her proposal of a public improvement plan that includes a pool opening article with a sexy photo of her. Later the student council members celebrate Shino’s birthday. Then she open presents she got from them. Tsuda gives her a music CD while Aria a pedo bondage teddy bear. She’s loving it… On a rainy day, Tsuda and Shino share an umbrella as they walk home (Hata as usual tailing like a future Paparazzi). Tsuda gives the whole umbrella to the birthday girl and goes back home soaked in the rain. He caught a cold.

Episode 5
Tsuda is shocked that Aria and Shino are serious and without their usual perverted punch lines. Unfortunately, that was just a dream. Yeah, he’s got fever to dream something like that. Tsuda stays home recuperating so Shino later pays him a visit and feels guilty for making him sick. She gives him a porn magazine to make him feel better (just like what Kotomi did too). Kotomi eavesdrops and hears ambiguous sounds coming from his room but actually she was just digging his ear. Mutsumi tries to test Suzu’s IQ but doesn’t even know the answers to the questions she posed. Some of them even wrong and Suzu had to correct her! Tsuda is back to normal health as Shino dreads the day of having posed herself in a sexy photo for the pool. Thankfully she gets by. There seems to be someone in school that Aria is interested in. Turns out to be a stray kitten. Yokoshima lures Tsuda to the resource room and probably has something perverted on her mind but Tsuda locks her in. For the school’s 50th anniversary, Shino tries to put up a website but is no good with computers so Tsuda helps her. In the end the website looks like a shady one. Hey, everybody will visit it, right?

Episode 6
This episode begins with some idol action flick and a horror film that Suzu and her mom are watching in episode 6. They fight over the remote control. The student council members are to investigate ghostly sounds in the school. Unlike Shino who is totally into it, Suzu isn’t good with horror stuff but is dragged along. Turns out to be Yokoshima reading some Boys Love magazine and those sounds are just her lustful panting. Tsuda and Shino are invited to watch Mutsumi and her judo class practise. Shino later has hiccups so Aria tries some unconventional methods to stop it. Putting a shoe close to her face? For the summer vacation, Shino wishes her student council members to keep a particular day free because they’re going to the beach. It’s a traditional event to strengthen their bond. By now, I can think of 100 perverted ideas why she thought so. The girls go shop for a swimsuit and Suzu indeed looks like a child when she dons one.

Episode 7
Yokoshima drives the gang to the beach. The usual fun in the sun and sand. Suzu tries to hold in her anger for being mistaken as a child while a beach bum tries to hit on the girls but fails because Aria claims Tsuda as her husband, Shino’s inflated dolphin hit his crotch and he got more than he bargained for when he tried to tackle Yokoshima. Yeah, she becomes a lustful monster that hunts him down! Because Yokoshima got drunk and passed out, the rest have no choice but to stay at a nearby inn. The girls aren’t fazed of having a guy like Tsuda stay with them since they think he is into 2D. Worse, gay. Shino and Tsuda just came out from the bath when they spot Hata. Oh no. That means trouble. They bribe her with a drink to make her remain quiet. That night as they sleep, Shino unconsciously crawls next to Tsuda and sleep while Hata tries to snap a scandalous shot from afar. Morning comes and Yokoshima gets a reprimanding that all this happened because of her fault before they take a drive home.

Episode 8
For the upcoming sports festival, why the heck all the sports events they suggest are related to sex?! Oh yeah, it’s Shino and Aria we’re dealing with. Hata comes in for another interview for the heck of it and to make profit from anything scandalous she can take. The girls are having a hard time taking care of a fly in their room so when Tsuda manages to swat it, they treat him like their saviour. The disciplinary committee, Kaede Igarashi pays the student council a visit and thinks something fishy and unhealthy is going on between them. No thanks to Hata who has blown their cover of their previous beach trip. Well, she didn’t really say anything. She just showed them photos. Smart ass. As Kaede interviews the gang, we learn she has fear of males and thus the reason why she enrolled in this school. But her nightmare began when it opened up to guys. Kaede leaves them with a warning. But Shino assures Tsuda won’t do anything funny on them because he’s the kind who would rather get raped than to rape! The judo club is to have a practice match with another school. However a member got injured so Shino decides to step in as a substitute. The match has both teams with 2 wins and 2 losses each and Shino will be entering as the 5th and deciding bout. She manages to win the match since she was throwing her opponent by imagining some forced upon Boys Love romance.

Episode 9
This has to be the most screwed up previous episode summary because it narrates nothing on sexual innuendos. Shino decides that the student council will have their own newspaper so that it would be easier to publicize events and announce things. Tsuda is tasked to write an article essay but I’m not sure about how Shino and Aria interpret after reading it because it became dramatic and strayed from its original path. Their newspaper becomes a success but it seems his story is making girls cry… Later everyone helps to set up for the sports festival. Sports day arrive as the girls take part. The other ‘unimportant’ guys are sad that they seemed unhappy even with this newfound harem. They rational it’s because they aren’t part of the main story and rejoice. Kotomi comes to cheer for her brother. The final relay race between clubs sees the student council taking the win. Shino’s rational for making Aria the third runner rather than the anchor (which was given to Suzu) was because she doesn’t want a situation whereby the win was decided by her boobs. To end this episode, they resume that dramatic story written by Tsuda with more exaggeration. What the hell?

Episode 10
The student council members pay a visit to Aria’s large mansion. They meet her maid, Sayaka Dejima. Oh no. Not another pervert. Especially when it comes to Aria. Dejima is a new maid so it can’t be helped if she gets lost while taking the gang around the mansion. Suzu is having a hard time trying to be sensitive because everyone else around her seems ‘dumb’. She dreams of becoming a taller and bustier self but eventually has that horrible feeling. Kaede is still having troubles communicating with the opposite sex so Kaede interviews her and twists her past experiences of being a moral committee member by cheating on lots of men. Then a little peak of how Hata passionately does her Paparazzi job and all the necessary equipments she brings along. The school cultural festival is here. Aria enters her play though her lines are totally screwed up (sexual innuendos included), Suzu taping her mouth to prevent herself from screaming inside the haunted house, Kaede trying to pour tea to guys from a distance and Yokoshima doing well in a basketball competition. Tired Tsuda fell asleep on the bench and wakes up when the festival is over and Shino sitting next to him. She cheers him up that they have the folk dance tonight and wouldn’t mind if he dances with her. Shino’s body language may indicate she has something for Tsuda but that’s just premature (no sex pun intended). Hey, for once a normal ending without any punch lines or innuendos.

Episode 11
Kotomi pleads for Tsuda to watch her study because she can’t concentrate if nobody does. Seems she is trying to enrol into Ousai Academy and all the questions Tsuda asks in the mock interview moves towards a perverted direction. Hata interviews Mutsumi and learns that her future dream is to become a bride. Shino and Aria fight over Tsuda for his help to carry things so Suzu comes in and misinterprets what she sees. She experiences another one when she sees Shino and Aria caressing each other’s hips (something about their desirable hip size). The student council members spend time spring cleaning their room and not a dust in sight. Shino gets flustered when she hears Tsuda complimenting her beauty. Turns out he was referring to the window wiping job she did. The gang are invited to Aria’s villa for a Christmas party and Kotomi is even invited. As the party starts, Tsuda remembers how Kotomi asked him about Santa’s sexual desire. I mean, would it be more effective if they hang panty stockings instead of the typical little red ones? Then the present exchanging part, the light is switch off and everyone gets a random present. To Tsuda’s horror, he receives the one he doesn’t want most. It’s from Dejima and the present seems to be vibrating… Later Shino personally gives Tsuda a present for his hard work. Why is it vibrating too? Then they go out to play in the snow and miraculously saw Santa! I think he is fake because there were only 2 reindeers pulling his sleigh. He gives them a present. Guess what? It’s vibrating… Even Santa is sick!

Episode 12
For the New Year, the student council members pay a visit to the shrine together. Suzu ties her hair to Tsuda’s hand so as not to get lost and to prevent people from thinking she’s a kid and Kaede starts shivering when she sees Tsuda next to her. It’s not the cold, you know. In school, the gang thinks Yokoshima is terminally ill because she has no interest in any sexual desires! Hata too is a little ill (the media is easily infected by the trend?) but that doesn’t stop her from going around twisting Tsuda’s words. Suzu helps to tutor Kotomi for her entrance exam. Kotomi wants her to verbally abuse her?! Not going to happen. Suzu becomes a little happy when she is being praised by Kotomi. For Valentine’s Day, the other guys are anticipating chocolates from the girls. Why not? Since they make up the majority. However it isn’t going to be because the girls here give the chocolates to their own same sex. But for lucky Tsuda, he gets some chocolates from his student council girls. Soon Kotomi takes her entrance exam but you’ll wonder if she’ll pass or serious since her answers on the multiple choice sheet resembles some picture. Like she understood the questions anyway. Kotomi then attends the interview for her entrance. Guess who is the teacher interviewing her? Yeah, it’s Yokoshima. Due to their perverted thinking, they get to communicate with each other on good terms. Because so, Yokoshima thinks of passing her! What kind of teacher is this?! So when Tsuda has a vague hint of who interviewed her, it’s no surprise he would think the world is over. The results are announced and Kotomi is successful in her application. Thinking this is a dream, she wants to be pinched. Shino pinches her nipples. Yeah Tsuda, reality is so messed up.

Episode 13
Suzu introduces her student council members to a friend of hers from the Robotics Research Club, Nene Todoroki. If Tsuda thinks she is going to be another ordinary person or a mad scientist the most, think again because this girl has got a few screws loose in her head. Yeah, she creates some inventions that even needs mosaic. Why are many of the girls in school like this? How did Suzu ended up befriending her anyway? Mutsumi’s actions seem to indicate that she has feelings for Tsuda and just when she’s about to confess, turns out she was just worried about her sweat from judo classes and thinks Tsuda has sweat fetish. The producers had the cheek to put the ending credits in the middle of the show. No jokes. Really! We see snippets of Kotomi going through the dilemmas of love of some baseball guy. Even the acoustic background music does fit the mood of the way it is shown. The second half of the series sees the gang reminiscing memorable memories. It isn’t your typical flashback or recap episode because many of their memories are screwed up or made up. It’s mainly how they first met and the first appearance of the other characters. Yeah, more like fantasy and drama than anything real. Then a short clip about some magical girl show called Magical Mako (Heartcatch Pretty Cure parody, I guess) and finally the gang breaking the fourth wall like talking how the year passed by so fast like as though it felt like just 3 months, which is a typical duration for a 13 episode anime. Shino and Aria will still be sticking around in the student council even if they are third year seniors now. Yeah, what would we do without her sex jokes. And that’s how it ends to. Work harder with your assholes tightly close! So, how can you not blame people for thinking you’re a slut?

Episode 14 (OVA)
There is actually episode 14 but this is the OVA that came out back in April 2011. More or less the same sexual innuendoes. We see Kotomi attending the opening ceremony as Shino gives her opening speech. Amidst all that, Shino’s mind starts to have this dilemma about lifting her skirt up! Later Kotomi pays a visit to the student council room as Shino takes her on a tour to various places that have a high probability of doing lewd things. Say, doesn’t this feel like deja vu, Tsuda? Only difference is that Kotomi is real fired up, even having her own comments about it. The student council students have Todoroki fix their clock as Tsuda comments she’s good with machines and her reply is that ‘machines’ often tinkered with her (read that as a sex joke). Hata interviews Kotomi. As usual lots of weird questions but it ended with both of them spewing out Tsuda’s sexual delusions (all false by the way). Suzu disses the idea of sitting on Tsuda’s lap when her chair is too small. She also scorns him for when he did something that was off by 1mm. The reason being, she just measured herself and grew by that much. “Don’t look down on 1mm!”. Kotomi introduces the student council members to her first friend: Toki. Looks like a delinquent girl. However they find she’s a klutz. Shino was going to reprimand her for dressing sloppy but Kotomi stood up for her saying she looks hot so she easily gives in. Then it’s Kaede’s turn but after Aria mentions about Toki looking like a guy, she touches her flat chest and calls it safe. Afterwards they learn her sloppy dressing was because she accidentally tucked in her shirt into her panties instead. Yeah, really a klutz. Why are they looking so relieved?

Then Hata interviews Toki and as usual, more weird questions. The student councils discuss on who is to become the next student council president. Tsuda suggests Suzu but she refuses because she is too short and nobody can see her at the podium. Hata interviews Dejima about her work but you know, that’ll usually turn out into something perverted. The school is having a sketching competition as Shino and Tsuda pose for Aria and Suzu. Aria suggests that they kiss! Tsuda becomes Suzu’s model and the latter gets pissed off thinking he is looking down on her! Then when they change to Suzu, Tsuda notices that he is out of paper so the other girls including Yokoshima (why the heck is she hiding there in the first place?) tease him about making a sex gag. Then the student council members practise using the broadcasting room. Suzu is learning which button is which and accidentally presses Aria’s butt. This turns her on and if one isn’t bad enough, Shino gets dragged into the flow. Shino has a test run over the microphone and that skirt flipping dilemma comes to mind again. Tsuda sees Shino doing a pretty fine job without mistakes but Aria mentions that during practice with a banana, she bit it. At the end as they leave school, Shino makes that same blunder statement of working harder with their asses tightly closed. Lastly, Shino meets her childhood friend Amano and introduces her to Tsuda. Seems they both click very well but Shino seems to be puzzled over what they’re talking about.

This Isn’t Student Sex Counsel
I can predict what kind of year Tsuda will face. Hopefully his thinking won’t turn into like them after staying together in the same room for too long. I hope that wasn’t too ambiguous. As you know, the sex jokes have become some sort of a staple food for this series. So it’s either you love them or disgust them. Tsuda has got to be so used of making counter comebacks that if somebody were to make a sex joke without him around, it feels really odd. You know who to call whenever such an occasion arises. Yeah, maybe since the school just turned co-ed, you can’t blame some of the girls for being ‘deprived’. Shino and Aria can be future porn stars or make a career out of it :).

During the course of the TV series, there are many lines that were purposely censored out. However the fansub that I watched went a step further by putting in translated words in replacement of those censored lines and making them look like a whole complete sentence. Though whatever they say may be up to one’s guess (of course it must be something naughty, or else why go censor it?), nevertheless it feels better and less annoying instead of translating the lines with censored-out words. In a way, it doesn’t ‘kill’ the joke as we get to ‘understand better’ and ‘see the whole picture better’ with the complete line. You’d get irritated if they’re making a statement only to be filled with beeps and you would have to guess in order for you to comprehend. Or else, you’d still laugh but rather because it’s a ‘cue’ for you to do so but you won’t get the meaning. Do you *bleep* and get what I *bleep*? See, now do you understand? Good job and hats off to those fansubbers.

There were a few instances whereby Shino’s appearance may have indicated that she have some feelings for Tsuda. Like that umbrella incident or the time she actually mistook Tsuda’s window cleaning compliment as one for her. I was hoping that maybe something romantic would develop out of this but I guess nothing really much happened. Maybe it’s just her. Well, this series isn’t about character development (it’s about sex gags for the umpteenth time) so don’t expect anything much. Kaede won’t be getting over her extreme fear of males anytime soon and Mutsumi will always be the simple-minded girl misinterpreting Shino and Aria’s perverted jokes. Aria may be a rich girl but she’s just a ditz, if not for her being a brunette, she would’ve been a classic example of a dumb blonde. For instance, you may be wondering why she’s standing like a log in front of a door. Till she realizes that unlike in her home, doors at school aren’t automated and thus won’t open by itself. Duh! Perhaps that’s how she got her twisted perverted thinking. It doesn’t help when Dejima is an equally twisted maid herself. With Yokoshima being a shotacon, makes you wonder how she ended up being a teacher. I hope the students won’t grow up the wrong way under her guidance. Hata has got to be the most amusing character because of her sneaky-like behaviour. What’s more, after hearing Satomi Arai voice lively characters like Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun and the narrator in Ookami-san To Shichinin No Nakamatachi, it was just mind blowing to hear her play a deadpan role. In fact, it suits the character very well.

If you keep your ears open, you’ll notice that the title of each episode segment (except for the last episode, all the other episodes are divided into three parts) are lines said by the characters somewhere in that section. Due to the nature of the skits, that segment doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the title. And because of those stamps which serve as comeback points, you may get confused or unaware that it is the title. At the start of each episode, while Aria hits a drum and Suzu blows a whistle, Aria will tell viewers about Ousai’s school regulations. Actually they don’t feel like any sort of rules at all. Feels like some random nonsensical lines made up for the purpose of making us viewers go “Huh? Say what?”. Yeah, not even Tsuda is amused. As for the next episode preview, it is just a narration of what pages the anime will cover from the manga. I didn’t like both the opening and ending theme of the series. The opening theme is Yamato Nadeshiko Education by Triple Booking (seiyuus of Shino, Aria and Suzu actually) and each time I hear this ‘lively’ piece, I felt goosebumps coming up all over my skin. “We love Ousai, we love SYD”. The ending theme entitled Aoi Haru by Angela (initially I thought it was by Yu Kobayashi who did the voice of Yokoshima) is even more unbearable. Especially the part whereby the singer squeezes in lots of words into a single line, making it sound like a weird kind of rapping or fast talk. Getting those goosebumps again! Oh stop it! I don’t want to hear it again!

Even for those of you who find the pervy jokes to be funny, just remember to never try them anytime or anywhere. Unless you know that person very well, it may be very offending and you may get into trouble for sexual harassment. So do you think it’s better to have a bunch of student council with such a thinking? Unless everyone shares the same thoughts. I don’t think it would be right for me to say this series would be a good substitute for sex education because of the terms, words and ideas you see from watching it (damn horny Japanese people…). Maybe SYD also stands for Sexy Young Damsels. Oh no. I think I’m starting to think like them already.

Riding on the wave of the Galaxy Angel series, finally I manage to finish up the sequel spin-off, Galaxy Angel Rune. I remember in my previous blog of this series, I was rather a little upset because of all that licensing thingy since nobody subbed it and such. Well, I don’t know who subbed it this time but it made me had the opportunity to finish it. Thanks. In this spin-off, we can expect the wacky stuff that the original Galaxy Angel series offered us but don’t be too surprised if it doesn’t seem all too familiar. That’s why it’s a called a sequel spin-off lah.

Instead of Milfeulle as the ditzy very lucky lead, we have her sister in place, Apricot. Thing is, she has a fear of men and at the slightest touch, she’ll panic and gain superhuman strength, enough to toss that poor chap away. Then we have the crude Anise, the no nonsense swords(wo)man Lily, the happy and carefree robot Nano Nano Pudding and the split personality of kind Kahlua and aggressive Tequilla. Oh yes. Don’t forget that flying black head cat, Mimolette that is close to Kahlua, their on-screen commander (literally) Isabella and that cross-dressing dorm manager guy, Kuuchen. Ah yes, what a new lovely bunch of quirky characters.

Episode 4
Continuing from where I left off a few years ago, Apricot and Nano are to accompany Princess Natsume Izayoi of the Arms Alliance as she arrives to sign a treaty. Seems Natsume is tempted to eat ice cream, crepe and chocolate but held back by her head butler Tanaka and his assistant Satou due to a vow. Each time, she takes it out on Tanaka when she fails to land a bite. They learn Natsume has never eaten sweets before and due to the royalty’s strictness, no one eats sweet things before reaching the age of 10. Natsume has just celebrated her 11th birthday recently and thus Tanaka wanted her to eat a cookie that is worthy of being her first. Apricot and Nano take her to a nearby stall and though it is delicious, it isn’t the taste she hoped it would be. Natsume is disappointed and wants to return home but Apricot pleads her to come with her to her dorm. She meets Kuuchen who treats her to his cookies but again it isn’t what she had in mind. Kuuchen suggests trying at a store on Planet Desperado. By the way, that planet is in the midst of wars. It has been ongoing for years. While barely getting caught in between the crossfire, Tanaka and Satou use their diplomacy to end the war! Why the heck didn’t they do it much earlier? On the planet, Natsume patrons the store and takes a bite of the cookie. However she is disappointed and feels it is laughable, shocking the owner. After Natsume returns in time to sign the treaty, she secretly goes back to Kuuchen. Yup, she prefers his cookies and finds it to be the best. She offers him to work as her personal chef and will pay 1 million in cash per month! He laughs it off as a joke as she realizes what he lacked wasn’t skills of a great cook, it was hospitality and a creepy character. Huh?

Episode 5
Lily and Anise are hunting down a criminal, Kuroki. But since they disagree on how to catch him, they fight each other, which allowed the suspect to escape. Ten years later, both meet at a bar in hopes to reconcile. However they seem to get on each other’s nerve while managing to refrain from doing anything physical. For instance, telling past stories like how they first joined the Rune Angels (didn’t like each other and fought) and joining Apricot at a fine dining restaurant (Anise was loud and fussy so disgusted Lily fought her till the shop was destroyed. Yeah the bill wasn’t for the food but reparations and lawsuits). Then they decide to go to another joint since they couldn’t agree and another fight threatens to begin. Till they hear a roadside performer singing about not wanting to grow up. They patron a nearby stall as compromise and decide to talk about the good parts instead of remembering memories of each other fighting. They remember how they trapped and captured Kuroko (turned into Dejiko in her desperate attempt to escape?). But each time they try to say how they did a better job than the other, provoking anger. Like Kuroki’s capture led to Anise’s discovery of a secret location and organization that she destroyed, but Lily captured the true boss (Gema?) and destroyed their stronghold, which led to Anise saving her comrades from thousands of Gemas and then leading to her imprisonment for destroying planets. This led to her breaking free with the prisoners and forming an independent government but was subdued by Lily’s Democratic Unity Federation. I don’t know if all that was true. In the end after that long story, they both started fighting again and destroy the stall. It got worse instead, eh? I think for these girls, they just let their fists do the talking.

Episode 6
The girls are shocked to see Nano and Natsume debuting as idols. On a talk show, Natsume reveals how her meeting with Nano led them to being idols (she was bored, that is). The duo became so popular that they have overtaken the Rune Angels and are even doing their jobs! Like unloading cash to the public just to catch the bank robber?! And the news is entirely nothing but them. The other Rune Angels confront the duo while performing in one of their concerts. They want them to stop mocking their name. Natsume throws down a challenge saying that she will admit new members to her group while the least popular of the 4 will be fired. The rest seems to indicate Apricot as so as they start fighting among themselves. During the concert, the quartet try to win fans’ vote (Lily and Kahlua increasing their popularity but Anise and Apricot went the other way due to their lame gag). Then a space quiz as only Kahlua manages a point and the rest, chicken egg. As Natsume is about to announce the result of the new members, Apricot says she can’t go on and has always viewed the Rune Angels as the 5 of them and this will not do. Though touched, however the rest take it as a sign she’s stepping down so unhappy Apricot rejoins the competition. Natsume resumes the announcement when a sniper is ready to take her out. Nano spots this and quickly pushes Natsume out of harm’s way. The other Rune Angels go into action to apprehend the culprit (thanks to Apricot’s super strength) Nano reveals she knew Natsume was targeted and was secretly guarding her. She has always been a Rune Angel all along so she steps down from being Natsume’s partner and rejoins her friends. The Rune Angels sing their swan song. Back home, the girls are watching a replay of their concert. Lily shrugs it off as a silly thing but she secretly watches herself singing in her room while the rest tease Apricot for being the least popular.

Episode 7
The much awaited appearance of the original Galaxy Angels! Yay! We see them leading different lives and the most different one has got to be Vanilla. She has let her hair down and is a teacher. Hey, where’s Normad? Oh, Chitose isn’t forgotten too. WTF?! She’s doing accounting? The originals are to pay Rune Angels a visit. While Apricot dreams of what dish to make to welcome her sister, the rest are starting to dread it. Like Anise (she owes Mint tons of money), Nano (fear she isn’t a worthy creation of Vanilla), Kahlua (thinks Ranpha may be mad over some group date thingy) and Lily (resolving to greet the Angels with a brass band?). Rune Angels individually go off to ‘prepare’ for their original counterparts’ visit in a week’s time. But they decide to show their true strength and go on beating up baddies throughout the universe with outrageous moves so much so they abandon their post and journey into space. We also see the original Angels making their journey for their promise. The oddest one has got to be Ranpha. She gives her inconsolable husband a divorce letter. She says she was interested in marriage but not married life! That poor chap is really crying!!! Isabella and her army are waiting to greet the original Angels’ arrival (Rune Angels are missing by the way). After waiting for such a long time, she gets upset that no one turned up! We see how Rune Angels went on to live their own lives like Apricot becoming a farmer, Anise conquering planets but turned into a sad wandering hippie, Kahlua and her own bustling panty hose business that went bust, Nano achieving some absurd combination and Lily touring the galaxy with her castanet (she’s not that popular anyway). As for the original Angels, they never reached their destination because they either got lost, strayed or gave up. Don’t feel bad Chitose, at least you’ve been mentioned that you’re not related to the story. Insult? What an inconclusive end after throwing everyone into chaos, fear and confusion!

Episode 8
On a rainy day, a mysterious little girl haunts the dorm. It all began when Kuuchen takes her in soaking wet when she suddenly disappears. This causes Kuuchen to frantically start digging the yard. Anise feels something freaky in her room while Kahlua gets a mysterious SMS before disappearing and the dorm blackout. The girls start panicking when they actually see the ghost. Apricot spots Kahlua’s SMS and reads the message to be from a girl named Rainy Day Melissa. Seems it is linked to an inactive online horror website. Suddenly she can’t move her body and felt somebody climbing up her body! Yikes! Scary! Lily is talking to the mayor and learns their dorm used to house an IT network provider that went bankrupt shortly. Before it was to be sold off, all its employees disappeared after a lightning strike. Ever since on rainy days like these, there are sightings of a ghostly girl near the dorm. Lily rushes back to the dorm and finds it dark. She spots Melissa. At the same time Kuuchen has found a memory chip motherboard and smashed it with the spade, causing Melissa to disappear. Everyone wakes up like as though waking up from a nightmare. Lily explains how this dorm used to be a transmitter provider and that lightning strike may have caused such events to happen and thus the reason why a character that should only exist on the internet became real. Due to certain events, Melissa can only move about on rainy days and this time of the year. Kuuchen was probably possessed by Melissa to free her. The girls see Kuuchen putting up a grave for Melissa but are shocked to see them having a nice chat! Before disappearing, Melissa thanks them for freeing her and to come play again. So that haunting was her playing around?! And since now she can move freely like this…

Episode 9
Anise prays at the shrine to become a rich celebrity so she doesn’t have to work anymore. She is bestowed a hay straw. Except for Nano, her other pals don’t believe and mock her. Anise and Nano go around town hoping to strike it rich. However they bump into several people who use their items. So much so Anise had to become a rude ruffian to demand for something in return. In the end, she manages to get the loads of cash from Natsume. The duo decide to go on a trip to become celebrities, shocking their pals. The envious trio too decide to follow and break their banks to go on a trip. Not that Isabella is happy anyway. Whatever first class treatment and facilities Anise and Nano enjoy, the rest experience low third rate ones. Then at a party to celebrate Earl Danish’s birthday, Anise bumps into that old geezer. He’s so weak that he’s going to die from that but tells Anise he will give her his entire fortune if she stays beside him. He does something perverted on her so Anise punches him in the stomach. Yup, hastening his death alright. Anise announces to everyone how she inherited the Earl’s fortune as the party turns into an inheritance celebration. They are going to let her taste the feast when she is shocked to see Apricot, Lily and Tequila in a giant soup cauldron. They got into that mess via some automatic massage thingy. Natsume thinks this is some legendary soup and wants a taste of it. Even the Earl. Yup, he revived. As they try to get their hands on the soup, chaos ensues and in the end the soup spills and floods the entire place. Anise is sad she couldn’t be a celebrity but Nano comforts her that they get to stay forever this way. But it gets worse when Anise receives a hotel bill for damages. There’re lots of zeros by the way. Yeah, now she can really stay longer with them and not only she didn’t become a celebrity, but deeper in debt! Work harder, girl.

Episode 10
The Rune Angels used a very destructive power that destroyed lots of planets on a mission. Because of that, the higher ups think of having them undergo retraining. The girls still think it’s not their fault and put the blame on other things when the retraining military barges in. Under the supervision of Kanesaka, the dorm becomes a retraining HQ for the Rune Angels. It’s either they go through and complete the entire training or beat instructor Sakae in any training exercises. Sounds easy? Think again. Sakae beats them flat in all exercises with his superhuman strength. Like in gun assembling and target shooting (he just threw a gun part at the target), swimming and rescue (not only he dived in to save to victim but caught a whale for lunch too) and parachuting (Anise tied his parachute down so he dives down without one! Don’t worry, he still lives. Impossible!). The Rune Angels learn Sakae is some sort of living weapon and hear stories of how he is a legend in the military. They get to know his weakness. That is, he is stupid and fails in doing simple things. As the Rune Angels continue to sabotage him (of course they fail), they resume training and slowly are being awed by his ways and simplicity. They complete the training and developed fighting skills comparable to Sakae so much so the higher ups got worried and decided to let them go on a paid leave. The Rune Angels are vacationing on a planet but got involved in a Male Festival (some fight for a holy tree – isn’t that Dejiko they’re after?). Sakae is also participating since the competition only uses physical brawns. He’s like a rampaging demon! The girls team up to fight him but they have no choice but to combine their hearts and unleash their ultimate power. Sakae still stands in the end. Though the girls are disappointed, Sakae speaking for the first time tells them they have grown stronger. The girls cry and emotionally hug him. And what new legend born from this?!

Episode 11
The Rune Angels are to investigate a murder case of 1 of Natsume’s many servants, Suzuki 1062. As Apricot does the groundwork, surveillance camera photos show that Anise was at the murder scene last night. She denies and gives her alibi that she was called to patrol. Her reasons were suspicious because it’s not like she’s hardworking and never told this to her pals. Murder mystery lover Kahlua comes up with a motive of why Anise killed Suzuki: She lost money due to gambling and needed cash to repay her debts. She entered Natsume’s place thinking she has what she needs but when patrolling Suzuki spotted her, she killed him. Everybody believed that theory and Anise is taken away for interrogation. However another murder occurred. It’s Suzuki 3516 this time. Back to square one, the investigations continue and Lily now appears in the surveillance photos. Of course she denies saying she was there to help look for clues to help Anise. However it is suspicious since Lily and Anise are always fighting. Anise creates her motive to kill like giving birth to Suzuki and had to abandon him for her job. So she killed him to keep him quiet about her other children. Like that happened. But the rest believed it! Lily counters with proof she found on the site: Nano’s tail fur. Nano admits she was there playing hide and seek with Mimolette. This has Kahlua to pinpoint the suspect she learned from TV dramas via some cast list. The third person is always it? Seems Kahlua’s name is the third one and thinks she might be the culprit. But it may be Tequila since she has no other memories when she is her other self. Yeah, some affair thingy maybe. Kahlua is ready to be taken in for her crimes when reports of mass murders of Suzukis come in. Their bodies lay strewn all over the palace. They notice their body stretchy like rubber. Tanaka suddenly remembers something important. Actually there was no real murder. Just that the Suzukis were shedding their skin since last night was the full moon of the 7th year. Case close? But it seems some Suzuki (no. 62 pretending to be 1062?) taking out the real 1062 and a bunch of other Suzukis. Erm…

Episode 12
The Rune Angels are to investigate a Hotspring Comet believed to end wars. After Apricot’s blunder causes them to crash land, they are greeted by a boy who is the only person on this comet. He touches Apricot but she doesn’t panic. Seems he’s a conscious entity materialized by electromagnetic waves. Since he has no name, Apricot calls him Onsen-kun. He guides them to the hotspring as the girls change into outfits by just imagining them. Then a foot massage to collect their data on what pain they are suffering. Erm… Looks like crucifix? The rest are in pain except for Apricot who is laughing. No worries, eh? Then as they trek to the goal, Anise and Lily get into a heated competition eating manjuus. Nano sits in a mini sauna while Kahlua and Tequila change back and forth via some electric hotspring. Apricot is near the goal when Natsume’s fleet appears. She tells her this is a demon comet that must be destroyed. The reason wars ended wasn’t people changed their minds but rather they overheated from hot water and died out. Onsen-kun is sad and laments how it is always the same every time. People enjoy at first but once they find out he’s a menace, they try to destroy. Apricot reluctantly rendezvous with her pals in their respective Frames with orders to destroy the comet. However she can’t do it after thinking about it though she accidentally zaps her pals. Onsen-kun thanks them and will try to change the comet’s direction to save their planet. This results the comet being torn apart due to the immense stress. Pieces of the planet come falling like shooting stars. A minor character makes a wish to have more appearances but I guess the comet comes crashing on him. Wish not granted? All isn’t lost since the main hotspring crashed into their dorm so they can bath all the time. Why are they bathing in their full clothes? Apricot is sad of Onsen-kun’s fate but he assures her he is alright since he’s reduced to a voice core. He will continue his journey and will only return in several million years. Apricot promises to live till then. Can she do that?!

Episode 13
Since Apricot is having her day off, the other Rune Angels are to retrieve a giant Lost Technology peach in space but got sucked into it. Apricot spends time with Milfeulle and thinks she can’t be like her sister yet. Yeah, destroying planets and cities. Even Milfeulle has good fond memories of trashing 100-200 planets! Oh, the trauma for the customers nearby who overheard that! Suddenly they see Anise becoming a badass biker delinquent leading a pack of badass followers doing mischief. They also see Tequila trying to seduce and do naughty stuff to an underage boy, Lily breaking the traffic rules and Nano doing a ding dong ditch on Natsume’s mansion. Considering how large her palace is, it really takes time to reach the gate. If you have to do it several times… Poor Satou. Tired out from the walking. Poor Natsume and Tanaka. Tired out from that weird Rune Angel dance. The Rune Angels’ dorm is messy and even Isabella and the mayor close an eye on this case and would just observe them for now. Heck, they did worse things than this. Says a lot, doesn’t it? Even Milfeulle is okay with it since this is what their commander said.

But Apricot is adamant to return her pals back to normal so she goes off alone to find the peach. She meets it but finds her pals guarding it. The peach plans to control them to take over the universe. They attack Apricot but Milfeulle arrives to help. Then the fallen Rune Angels combine into a mean dark mecha so Apricot and Milfeulle do the same and merge into a cool heroic one. What’s with that meaner-looking machine gun they have?! A power battle filled with power moves ensues but the evil side is winning. Apricot isn’t giving up because she won’t forget all those fond memories they spend together. This causes her pals to start remembering as they fight against the controlling evil. In the state of confusion, the duo use this chance to use their ultimate weapon, Luxiole Cannon and send the peach crashing into a planet. The rest return to their normal state though they have no recollection of what happened. Then a boy appears out from the peach (that minor character in the previous episode) but the planet is soon blown in half! Don’t worry, that kid who was being controlled by the Lost Technology still survives. Though they just leave him floating in space since their retrieval mission was a failure. Like Milfeulle said, everything is back to normal so don’t worry about the minor details. Everyone return back to the dorm and it seems they have a thing of becoming a delinquent gang. Are these the bunch of people who are going to protect the galaxy? Oh heck, don’t mind the minor details.

Rune Rules!
And so it ends here for me for the entire Galaxy Angel series. Thank you Angels for making my time an enjoyable one. It’s hard to compare the Rune Angels with the original Angels due to the vast difference in number of episodes. Furthermore, I find that the Rune Angels are slightly less comical in the sense that they aren’t so dim-witted like their original counterparts. Because of that, I feel that they have a slight competency to it though I may be wrong. Some of the episodes in this series too ended randomly and had that no-effect thingy when the next episode begins. However the way they do it seems like it isn’t so obvious. Mainly because I guess the story lasts longer for the entire episode as compared to the original series which is split into half. As usual, some of the mysteries I would like to know but ended abruptly such as the true murderer in Suzuki’s case. I wish it had something to do in further episodes but I suppose they leave it to your conclusion. Also, we don’t see them going around finding Lost Technology in a big chunk of the episodes as we see them getting involved in other antics like becoming idols or confronting a haunted dorm.

Of all the characters, I find the Suzukis to be the most annoying yet amusing one. What the heck are those little white clone blobs anyway? They sure are a bunch of multi-tasking and multi-purpose servants and could sure come in handy such as becoming your unconventional shields for the spacecraft. The hilarious part is magnified when Tanaka and Satou start squabbling among each other. Due to the short nature of this spin-off, there wasn’t enough time and space to flesh out the main characters but I suppose you can guess they’ll be the same bunch right till the end. Hey, notice how the Rune Angels never meet Isabella face to face in person? She’s always seen in a monitor screen so much so I thought she was just someone made out of pixels. It’s a pity that all the original Galaxy Angels could only make a brief appearance as I thought they would actually meet each other and do some huge battle in the end. Maybe better not. They’ll destroy the entire universe if both the predecessors and successors combine their powers. Internal fighting, that is.

I skim through briefly over the internet and Wikipedia and learn that the game and the anime series do have their difference so I guess with a different story line and other characters, you’ll have to play the game if you want to know more and experience the true universe of the Galaxy Angel. For instance, Natsume is the latest member to join the Rune Angels in the game but in the anime she’s still a princess. As for me, I think the anime is enough or I’ll really become like one of them. It’s ironic that a unit made to protect or find Lost Technology end up being such a destructive force. Well, somebody has got to do the job. Maybe that’s why there were no more sequels after this because there were no more successors to the Angel Unit. Angel-tai, over and out.

Nabari No Ou

May 14, 2011

I think I have said this somewhere in my blog before that when you think of ninjas in anime, the first thing many will think off is that blonde whiskered-faced Naruto. Yeah, that ninja series just overshadows other ninja-themed animes due to its overwhelming popularity like the total eclipse of the sun. So perhaps it is no surprise that some and newer anime viewers may not recall Nabari No Ou. Yes, this is another ninja-themed anime but without pulling all those flashy ninjutsu in every fight scene possible. Some, but not all.

This series has its fair share of action, drama and of course comedy (take it with a pinch of salt, that is) but unlike taking place in fictitious lands with elaborated characters, Nabari No Ou’s setting is the current modern day Japan. Yes, ninjas do live among us and some even holding real life jobs. Like they say, don’t quit your day job. So it’s like leading a double parallel life. On one hand you have the current normal world and on the other you have the ninja world that is called Nabari. And as you know with several ninja factions due to some history thingy which I am probably not interested to learn or know, they are always like fighting among each other. Heck, mankind has a strong reputation and history of just making wars on just about anything. And who better than to stop all the ninjas from killing each other before Naruto will be the only ninja left standing (just kidding on this bit) other than the ruler of Nabari itself. Who would that be? Whoever that is as long he/she possesses the omniscient and omnipotent Shinrabanshou. Sounds easy? Remember this quote: “With great powers, comes great responsibilities”.

So happens that the coveted Shinrabanshou is residing inside an apathetic kid named Miharu Rokujou. Seems the kind of person who doesn’t care what is going on with the world. Who could blame him? He has no memories of his early childhood life, his parents are dead (currently living with his grandma who looks more like a middle aged woman) and is content with the boring everyday routine. Till yeah, people he has never met before trying to take this Shinrabanshou thingy. So what the heck is this Shinrabanshou? Supposedly some secret ninja technique personified as a white haired girl, filled with so much wisdom and power that if activated, you could see black scribbles flowing out from his skin. They look like creepy crawling ants. Yikes! So it’s like the whole hijutsu (secret art) written on a living scroll being embedded into Miharu. Since I’m not going into my usual episode per episode blog, you can check out Subculture Anime Blog or Random Curiosity, which I visit to read summarized details about the episodes or Hijutsu for more detailed summaries and even Wikipedia for some other information. I’ll just blog on the gist that I deemed important. (Read: an excuse to be lazy).

Miharu’s life is about to change when his classmate Kouichi Aizawa and Irish-born teacher Thobari Durandal Kumohira (both from the Banten ninja village) plead to him to join their ninja club. Heck, do such clubs even exist? Can it even exist?! Correct reply from Miharu: Turn them down. Just don’t get involve. But how could he not seeing that he has Shinrabanshou within him? So I guess it takes an enemy ninja to attack him and that’s when he accidentally unleashes the awesome powers of Shinrabanshou. Unfortunately he can’t control it well and Shinrabanshou herself is a kind of a selfish brat trying to persuade Miharu to use her for his desires. So after being given the rundown of what he is going to be in, will Miharu still say no? Not like he cares anyway. Thobari pledges his loyalty to protect Miharu while the leader of the ninja clan of Kairoushuu pursuing the hijutsu, Toujurou Hattori announces to his followers that the holder of Shinrabanshou has been found. After all these years, was it worth it finding a needle in a haystack? Miharu, Kouichi and Thobari receive another ally in the form of samurai girl and guardian of the Fuuma ninja village, Raimei Shimizu. Raimei learns of Miharu’s indifferent and carefree attitude and decides to take him and the rest to her Fuuma village to seek the advice of its leader, Koutarou Fuuma on how to seal the hijutsu (which is Thobari’s initial intention). Since Thobari has amaxophobia (getting easily sick in just riding any vehicles), makes you wonder how he made his trip to Japan. Don’t tell me he walked or swam.

Upon arrival, a big chunk of the village is being attacked by the Kairoushuus, led by gun wielding Kazuhiko Yukimi and Kira user (a kinjutsu – forbidden and deadly technique. Each ninja village has its own kinjutsu), Yoite. You don’t want to mess with this guy because he can shoot life force at you which hurts like hell. The drawback is that each time he uses this technique, it takes a bit of life force out of him. So you got to have a long life if you want to use this frequently. Kairoushuu is successful in obtaining the scroll of Tenpeka (Fuuma’s kinjutsu), overwhelming Miharu and co before escaping. So the gang sits down with Koutarou and his underlings like the messy-haired no nonsense second-in-command Saraba and the loli medic Juuji and discuss about obtaining other villages’ kinjutsu. Likewise, Hattori also has the same intention. The kids return home while Thobari stays back (must be his phobia thing). Miharu is ambushed by his own teacher who is from Kairoushuu for what else… Shinrabanshou. See what greed can do to people and what’s more, this teacher doesn’t learn but thanks to Kouichi and Raimei, Miharu is safe but they are no match when Yoite comes knocking them out and takes Miharu back to his secret hideout. A dilapidated tram? Yoite wants Miharu to use his powers on him to make him as though he never existed. You heard that right. Not kill him, but never existed. So how different is that from death? Sure, Yoite give him 3 choices to choose from but I guess Miharu has to choose the final one which is to help him since the way Yoite put it he will definitely kills his pals if he doesn’t. So what the heck, he’s already deep into this sh*t, why not?

Raimei temporarily leaves the gang to search for her brother Raikou whom she believed joined Kairoushuu and was responsible for slaughtering their family and clan so Miharu, Kouichi and Thobari take up their first mission to obtain a kinjutsu, they start out by helping out Yae Oda of Togakushi ninja village and president of her own dispatch company, Fog Blue. She offers them their kinjutsu, Izunashingan (ability to read the hearts and minds of others) if they manage to help her assassinate a corporate guy called Mr Frosty (not the snowman lah). He is going to make a deal with another unscrupulous guy, Hideo Nowaki. Yae has a grudge on Frosty because she believed he was indirectly responsible for killing her daughter in some medical experiment as he also creates dangerous weapons and has some ties with Kairoushuu. Yae could use her Izunashingan and got more than she bargained for when she tried to read Miharu’s heart but was overpowered by Shinrabansou. Yukimi and Yoite are assigned to be Frosty’s bodyguard. They start moving but the attempted assassination is stopped when the Kairoushuu duo hold Miharu to hostage. Yoite becomes insane when he realizes Yae’s kinjutsu, taking out Frosty’s bodyguards. He stops when Miharu steps in to protect Yae. Thobari is about to kill Frosty but his naivety prevents him from doing so (his principle is never to kill anyone no matter what) so this gives Frosty an opportunity to point a gun at him. Luckily Kouichi appears in time and kills Frosty and uses his hypnotism on Nowaki to make him believe he was the one that killed everybody. With that done, Yae hands over the Izunashingan scroll as promised.

Miharu stays with Thobari for the time being so he tells the latter that he is bent on using Shinrabanshou to save Yoite. Thobari isn’t happy seeing his goal is to seal it. Elsewhere Yoite’s body is starting to give way due to his Kira usage so he treads his way to find Miharu. He collapses outside Thobari’s house and is found by Hanabusa Seki, Thobari’s love interest and palaeontologist. She takes him in and treats him nicely but he remains suspicious of her kindness. Heck, he is so when anybody shows him kindness. Yoite tells Miharu to bring Izunashingan and Engetsurin (Banten’s kinjutsu) or else the lives of his friends at stake (apparently he said those he shot his life force with will die along with him if he kicks the bucket). Meanwhile Raimei finally confronts Raikou but the sword fight ends with the former being wounded heavily. He takes away her sword and that means an embarrassment in the code of the samurai. Raimei is taken to hospital but is soon discharged. They meet Gau Meguro, Raikou’s assistant as he tells them the truth about Raikou and is willing to put his own life on the line. When Raikou’s strict mom became the head of the clan, he started to hate her when she disallowed to help a friend that later died. He started to believe in his uncle who shared the same ideals. Then one night they go confront his mom. But as it turned out it was just an old grudge his uncle wanted to get back at her. They start a coup d’etat that killed his mom and this eventually led to Raikou into killing his uncle and the rest. That was when Raimei saw and misinterpreted things. He did this to protect her and didn’t mind if she hated him and left the clan to join Kairoushuu. Raimei returns to finish her fight with Raikou. She lost again and was about to be slashed when Gau comes between them. He believes this is his punishment for breaking his promise not to tell and feels siblings should not fight. Gau is hospitalized but in coma and though Raikou would continue to be under Kairoushuu, he leaves his sword at the battlefield.

Raimei informs Miharu that Thobari told her about his determination to help Yoite so she is going to help him whenever possible too. Soon Miharu decides to join Kairoushuu because he feels he will be able to achieve his goal here. He meets Hattori and surprises him and his blind companion, Ichiki by handing over the Izunashingan scroll (seems it was all part of Koutarou’s plan to let him have it. I mean, he wouldn’t have gotten it so easily, right?). So much for Thobari wanting to protect him. I mean, each time you restrict the kid, he’s like getting fed up and wants his own freedom. Can you blame him for his defection? Both Banten and Kairoushuu receive an invitation to the Kouga ninja village, blended in as a university called Alya Academy. Yukimi, Raikou, Yoite and Miharu are to represent Kairoushuu and the funny part was Raikou trying his hand at the driver’s wheel. He crashes straight into the drain! He was damn confident of his driving skills… Upon arrival, they are welcomed by the students of Alya in place of the bed-ridden and ailing headmaster who is also the head of Kouga. Of course everyone’s intention is to obtain Daya, Kouga’s kinjutsu with the properties to heal or cure any sort of illness. That night, Banten and Kairoushuu are being attacked by the students but these low level ninjas are easily overpowered. So more revelations like the academy girls want to use Daya to revive their headmaster but the only thing to activate it is the need of young human sacrifice (that’s why Banten and Kairoushuu are here for) and the vice principal of Alya, Kannuki wants to get his hands on Daya so he could sell it and make a handsome profit. While rounding up and trapping the gang, Kannuki shoots and kills Kouichi.

When Miharu sees Yoite being hurt by one of the academy girls, he starts going berserk and his Shinrabanshou going wild. However Shinrabansou backs down after seeing Miharu and confused and lacked the determination because he is afraid to bear the consequences though he wants to fulfil Yoite’s wish. Kannuki and his men confront the headmaster and threatens to surrender Daya or he’ll kill each of the prisoners. The headmaster doesn’t flinch and suddenly Kouichi busts in to kill the corrupted baddies. OMG! He’s alive after being shot in the heart?! After freeing everyone, the headmaster’s granddaughter is desperate to cure him but he is just tired of everything and is prepared to die like an ordinary old man and wants to end all this. Before he passes away, he hands the Daya scroll to one of the girls who in turn hands it over to Miharu at the end of it all before they return home. And Koutarou indicates that he was the one who set up the invitations and all. That guy is sneaky. Kouichi reveals that he is an immortal as a result of some experiment of the previous Shinrabanshou owner gone awry ages ago. He is one of the two immortals created as they go in search of Shinrabanshou in hopes of dying. It’s tiring living forever. Miharu hands the Daya scroll to Hattori but learns that even if he assembles all the kinjutsu, he isn’t concerned whether Yoite lives or dies. The final kinjutsu has to be Engetsurin, which is the most mysterious of them all. Thobari is supposed to know where it is but he isn’t telling. Kouichi suspects Thobari may be hiding something. Something big especially if many of them do not remember events that have occurred 10 years ago. Miharu and Yoite leave to find Hanabusa in hopes she may reveal something about Engetsurin. She denies she knows anything and as usual treats them nicely. Then the doorbell rings. It is Yukimi looking for Yoite. He leaves after believing that she doesn’t know anything.

While Raimei and Kouichi are searching for Engetsurin, they are being attacked by Yukimi. Raimei leads him to their school so as to prevent him from finding Thobari. But seriously, he’s a school teacher so of all places she had to pick was the school. Duh… Another confrontation in the books. Yoite surprises them by stepping in and stop Yukimi. They both struggle while Miharu wants Thobari to hand over Engetsurin. Like hell he will. They’re not even on talking terms. In the end, Yukimi flees. Soon Yoite’s condition worsens as he develops high fever and his hands and feet are starting to have that gangrene effect. Thobari on the other hand suddenly disappears and Hattori suspects Miharu and Yoite will rebel against Kairoushuu. With Yoite in hospital, Miharu learns he has about 1 month to live. Eavesdropping Yoite got scared and uses his Kira on Gau when he got into an argument with Raikou. Miraculously, Gau wakes up from his coma. Miharu goes out to find Yoite in the city and deep snow and manages to catch up with him. Yoite opens up a little and reveals how he was given such a name so Miharu assures that he’ll always be there for him. Gau tries to make up for lost time and gives Yoite a cake as thanks for saving him in Yukimi’s place. Next morning, Miharu and Yoite left and defect from Kairoushuu as they go see Yae in hopes of using Izunashingan to contact Shinrabanshou. Kairoushuu was researching on this but it wasn’t complete. Meanwhile Ichiki sends her Tategami assassins of Kagerou, Shigure and Hyou to hunt down the traitors.

Miharu and Yoite meet Yae in her hometown and convince her to use her Izunashingan. She faces Shinrabanshou but was being told that she is not going to grant Miharu’s wish because it’s not what she wants (read: Boring) nor Miharu’s true wish. She reminds them that Miharu isn’t ready to use her before being overwhelmed. Meanwhile Gau tries to convince Hattori to change his mind but the latter believes Yoite’s role has ended. During all that, Tategami wipes out every other employee in Fog Blue as punishment to Yae for cooperating with the traitors. Then they break into Yae’s home and capture them. Yae falls into despair after learning the fate of her employees. They are going to rid Yoite when Miharu threatens he will kill himself this instant if they harm Yoite. For now, they just bring all of them back to their HQ. Tied up Yae meets Hattori and after being remembered about her past, it is part of Hattori’s plans to let her use Izunashingan and read his heart on why he wants to use Shinrabanshou to save humanity after all that meaningless hateful fighting and bloodshed wars. Another one of those twisted reasoning, I guess. But Yae disagree with his thinking because even if peace do come, it would not bring people happiness as they’ll be like a uniform state of the living dead without memories, feelings or bonds. Kouichi and Raimei go see Koutarou for help but he is reluctant to get involved giving excuse of not wanting to start a war. But he says they can make their own movements if they wish to. Yoite is held up in a different room. Gau sneaks in to rescue him but is faced with arriving security. To his surprise, Raikou helps them get away.

Yae’s assistant, Kattou with the help of Saraba to rescue her. They briefly encounter Raikou so she warns him that his ideals and Hattori’s are not the same. They are soon faced with Shigure and Hyou. Raikou stops Hattori and Ichiki on their way out. He is prepared to die but wants them to spare Gau. They leave him to deal with a Tategami member, Shiranui but Raikou escapes seeing he has more important stuff to do (went back to the field and reclaim his sword). Thobari is practising some technique in the forest when Koutarou shows up and tells him about the current situation. Miharu and Yoite continue their escape. Weakened Yoite wants Miharu to escape himself and leave him behind. But Miharu refuses to abandon him even after he tells him that the life force he shot his friends with and will die along with him is a lie. They are faced by Yukimi and soon the other Tategami members. Luckily Gau, Raimei and Kouichi show up for the counterattack. But Yukimi decides to bring Yoite and Miharu back and claim the spoils. He intends to use this as a chance for the traitors to repent for their actions but Hattori doesn’t believe. Hattori goes on to say how he found castaway Yoite as a kid and let him learned Kira so that his wish to cease existing will be fulfilled one day. In exchange he is to serve under him and since the awakening of Shinrabanshou, he feels Yoite has swayed from him thinking that Shinrabanshou can fulfil his wish.

Gau, Raimei and Kouichi are faced with Kagerou and Kairoushuu ninjas while Raikou manages to break into the room Hattori is in. Hattori orders Yukimi to take Raikou out. Yukimi is taken down but Ichiki holds Miharu hostage. Then Hattori orders Yoite to fire at Raikou to redeem himself. But Shiranui charges into the room. Raikou successfully lands a killing blow though is wounded by it. Hattori gets into the midst of the action and kills Raikou. When Raimei and Gau reach the room, they are horrified to see Raikou’s body. Ichiki blames Yoite that he is at fault for all that has happened and Hattori to same towards Miharu. Miharu goes berserk and Shinrabanshou starts activating. Must be one hell of a shock because a storm is forming in Shinrabanshou’s awakening. Upset and raging Raimei and Gau attack Hattori but were easily defeated. Seriously, trying to take down the big boss himself? Everybody escapes outside since it’s getting dangerous. Raimei takes unconscious Gau and meets up with Kouichi (fresh from slaying Kagerou) Thobari as they watch Shinrabanshou unfurl and taking its form. A giant double helix DNA? Thobari has no choice but to use his Engetsurin, which is some sort of a device that plays back past memories. Even if you weren’t there when it happened, you still get to see the ‘movie’. 10 years ago, we see Thobari and his grandpa running away with young Miharu and his parents from Kairoushuu led by Hattori who is seeking Shinrabanshou. After grandpa and Miharu’s dad are killed, Miharu’s mom, Asahi was wounded and this Shinrabanshou inside her starts to leave her body. Thobari tried using a half baked technique learned from grandpa to separate the Shinrabanshou but failed. As a result, Shinrabanshou transferred itself to Miharu. This causes everyone there to have their memories erased (including Koutarou and Kouichi). However only Thobari has his memories intact. In present, Miharu starts calming down after learning the truth but is upset Thobari was hiding this from him. This makes Miharu wanting to use Shinrabanshou’s power more.

Hattori is happy of the outcome and thanks Thobari for triggering the complete awakening of Shinrabanshou. Because of this, Hattori remembers some transfer technique which will allow the transfer of Shinrabanshou into his body as a capsule. Thobari tries to stop Hattori but is easily defeated. Yoite now tries to stop him but is too weak. Perhaps Hattori made a bad move by making him remember his painful past so this causes Yoite to go berserk as he fires at Hattori point blank! OMG! He killed him! Upon realizing what he has done, Yoite loses himself and falls into insanity by firing his Kira and tearing up Hattori’s body before preparing to kill himself. Raimei tries to snap Miharu out of his Shinrabanshou hypnotism but is futile so Yae uses her Izunashingan. She sees inner Miharu wanting to be left alone while Shinrabanshou bugs him to use her powers. Ichiki orders her Tategami to finish them off. Yukimi gets injured while getting in between but manages to stop Yoite from shooting himself. That’s when Shinrabanshou’s power grows and the ground gives way and swallows Ichiki and her Tategami. Suddenly Shinrabanshou herself can’t touch Miharu. Asahi appears before Miharu, apologizing for getting him involved as she just wants him to lead a normal life. Miharu suppresses Shinrabanshou and restores order around.

Miharu wakes up in hospital several days later and learns Yoite is missing after that incident. Gau and Raimei visit him but the latter slaps him since Miharu thinks it’s okay for them to hate him as the cause of Raikou’s death. Koutarou bugs Thobari as he tells him the events has been covered up as an earthquake. Thobari requests Yukimi’s help to search for Yoite but he is reluctant though he later helps out by handing him long time records of Yoite. As Miharu is discharged, he and Thobari have a little chat. Their stance do not change as Miharu still wants to use Shinrabanshou and Thobari will use all he has to stop him. Thobari tells him details on Yoite’s probably whereabouts. Miharu takes a train while annoying Koutarou bugs him all the way but becomes annoyed with Miharu’s ignorance of just about anything. Koutarou reveals his goal is the same as Hattori. But unlike him, he didn’t want to get his hands dirty as he prefers to sit back and watch how the world changes via Shinrabanshou. Miharu gets off his destined stop and walks to a church and sees Yoite sitting inside. Yoite is reluctant to wish for anything since he blames himself as the cause but Miharu wants to know what his real wish is. With that, Yoite wishes that things stay the same as they are because he doesn’t want to lose the feelings and bond he has made with everyone. Miharu respects his decision and will not use Shinrabanshou. She by the way is shocked with Miharu’s decision and tries to persuade him to use her. Miharu is strong enough to tell her that he has no further use for her! That’s the way to go. I’m sure Koutarou is pretty upset with Miharu’s decision but he has to accept it too.

In the aftermath, everyone resumes their normal lives. Miharu is livelier as Yoite stays at Thobari and Hanabusa’s place doing knitting with Gau. Raimei and Kouichi make frequent visits so it’s like they’re one big family. Miharu and Thobari take a walk to town to buy some stuff as they reconcile. They see Yukimi who passes them Yoite’s medicine, though it will only ease his pain. On another day, Yoite takes Miharu to see his house where he once grew up as a kid. His dad (I think) doesn’t recognize him as Yoite notices the nice garden. Finally one day as Yoite is knitting, he disappears into the wind. When Miharu returns, he only sees his clothes left behind. Realizing what has happened, Miharu vows never to forget him.

Ninjas Aren’t Extinct Yet…
It was a little bittersweet ending. I had this feeling in me that Yoite would not be around when the anime ends but at least he used his last moments to live to the fullest. He knew this was coming from the start and at the end he was fully prepared to face it. This entire series is basically around Miharu and Yoite. We see both characters that are cold, distant and unwilling to open their hearts to anyone else, bond together as they get to understand each other’s plight. In some ways, both of them are similar to each other. Besides their personalities, they both possess powers that could bring ultimate destruction if not used or controlled properly. Unlike other Shinrabanshou masters, Miharu was able to survive because ironically he did not use it and in a way sealed her inside his body. Abstinence is the best action, eh? At certain points, Miharu and Yoite were close enough that it may be enough to spark a yaoi relationship. Thank goodness it didn’t turn out that way.

Koutarou has got to be the most annoying yet mysterious character. It is as though he knows what is going on, sets up the stage for his ‘pawns and puppets’ to do the dirty job while he himself can be seen watching from afar with much hype and anticipation. You never seen him with a stressed or anxious look (even so, probably he was just doing it on purpose) so it makes me wonder if he is having fun all the way. Like as though the smile or smirk is part of his permanent trademark on his face. His sometimes snide and sarcastic remarks really do irritate others especially with Thobari. I guess the other characters are pretty okay too but since I have said this series revolves around Yoite and Miharu, I felt that the rest aren’t so properly fleshed out. It was nice to see Raimei and Raikou’s past and relationship resolved but even so for them and for the rest like Kouichi, Thobari, Gau, Saraba, Juuji and Yukimi I felt they were just secondary characters and Miharu becoming the ruler of Nabari or Hattori’s plan to use Shinrabanshou felt like a minor plot but in a way an important element in strengthening the bond between Miharu and Yoite. Since the ‘war’ is technically over, does this mean each of the ninja village will have their scrolls returned? Is Miharu still the ruler of Nabari? Will it also mean that Shinrabanshou is sealed for good? Till the next greedy villain comes along, that is.

One thing I need to mention about the drawing and art. Yes, the characters are drawn to your typical bishie good looking people. But that’s not the part that I am complaining. It is the background art that raised an eyebrow. Okay, maybe lots of them. If you look closely, you will notice it is drawn to a water colour-like painting. Very obvious. So much so it felt a little unreal. However due to the focus of the action in front, you won’t notice it as you won’t be concentrating on the background sceneries. Because of the light colour art and the slight simple details of the characters, if you don’t pay too much attention, both drawings and art of the characters and background do blend together. As for the action, I would say that they are pretty okay. Some fights here and there but if you’re an action adrenaline junkie, don’t keep your hopes high. As mentioned, no flashy and exaggerated moves pulled off. Of course you’d expect to see shurikens and kunais fly since I guess those are standard ninja weapons.

At first, I had this suspicion that Rie Kugimiya was the voice behind Miharu. I kept getting paranoid at myself hoping that she isn’t voicing this character. So when the series ended, I went to confirm and allay my ‘fears’ and true enough it is her! It’s Rie Kugimiya herself voicing Miharu! Well, actually there is nothing wrong with her doing so nor does the character sound unfitting. My perception is always that she has to voice loli characters. Tsundere the better. In my mind, she is always suited better to play such roles. Sheesh. I can never get over or accept if she voices other roles like Al in Fullmetal Alchemist. At least Yukari Tamura as Shinrabanshou was recognizable even if she didn’t go into high pitch cry. As for the other characters, they do fit their characters perfectly. They include Mitsuki Saiga as Yoite (Rossiu in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Daisuke Namikawa as Thobari (Fay in Tsubasa Chronicle series), Ayumi Fujimura as Raimei (Mafuyu in Seikon No Qwaser), Satoshi Hino as Kouichi (Saito in Zero No Tsukaima), Junichi Suwabe as Raikou (Archer in Fate/Stay Night), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Gau (Takumi in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama), Jouji Nakata as Hattori (Giroro in Keroro Gunsou), Kenjiro Tsuda as Yukimi (Inui in Prince of Tennis), Ryoutaro Okiayu as Koutarou (Akio in Clannad, Mitsui in Slam Dunk), Satsuki Yukino as Yae (Yoruichi in Bleach), Yuri Amano as Ichiki (Nanvel in Burn Up) and Kotono Mitsushi as Hanabusa (Boa Hancock in One Piece). The opening theme, Crawl by VELTPUNCH is a rock outfit suitable for the action pace of this series. The first ending theme, Hikari by ELISA sounds like a slow ballad filled with sadness but I find the second ending theme, Aru Ga Mama by Anamu & Maki to be somewhat unsuitable. That’s because it is an acoustic guitar solo and duet. Feels a little empty though calming.

All for something that is believed to be powerful, mankind has sacrificed and spilled blood to get it at all costs. In real life we may not have such ninjas but I’m sure there are shady underground organizations that would equally do just the same. Seriously if Shinrabanshou has this kind of selfish and conceited attitude, I think she fits to be more of a mass weapon of destruction rather than a tool to bring peace upon the world. Even I wouldn’t want to have Shinrabanshou reside inside of me. Getting your desires fulfilled through hard work and sweat is better and much more worth it than getting it on a silver platter or without effort. Who am I kidding? The more granted the better. Sometimes if you hear voices within yourself (like those devil and angel moments undecided to do something), maybe it’s just you and not that all-great-things-in-nature.


May 13, 2011

The mysteries of photograph. Like a picture, they tell a thousand words. Each photo has its own unique tale to tell. Well, Tamayura isn’t a series about photography, but the main character, Fu Sawatari enjoys snapping pictures with her trusty Rollei 35S. I hope many of you who aren’t ‘old’ enough still remember what a camera looks like instead of using that convenient all-in-one handphone for quick shots. Yes those square shaped tools that you need to squint your eyes into the small lens to have a good view of the subject taken. Of course there are more sophisticated ones that professionals use. But before this turn into anything else, let me go back to this series. So yeah, basically if you’re not into slice of life anime with calm and soothing atmosphere, you’re not going to enjoy this 4 episode OVA of approximately 15 minutes each.

Episode 1
Fu narrates the exciting feel when taking photographs. If you’re wondering what Tamayura means, they are those round light particles due to the reflection of the light you see in pictures. This is what intrigues and fascinates Fu the most. Her dad passed away 5 years ago and she has this one silhouette picture of him with lots of Tamayura floating around that she took. She has been wondering where this place is as she was too young to remember where the shot was taken. On the peaceful and scenic seaside town of Takehara in Hiroshimawhere she grew up, Fu enjoys taking shots of unfamiliar things as it brings joy to others when they see it. Especially that fluffy little cat called Momoneko. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be cute because it looks odd as it looks more like a moving cotton candy. As she tries to snap a floating seed with her makeshift hand camera, she nearly falls off the bridge but is luckily pulled back up by her friend, Kaoru Hanawa.

In class, Kaoru thinks Fu should start her own photography club since she loves it. Kaoru mentions she would love to start her own scent club since she has a scent fetish (?!). Later the duo visit Maestro at his shop to retrieve Fu’s repaired camera. Maestro seems to be hitting a couple of girls in his shop. The girls notice Fu attaching a ticket with no destination on her camera. Norie Okazaki and Maon Sakurada enter the shop and soon Fu makes friends with them. The quartet head over to Hoboro to have a great taste of okonomiyaki. They talk about the photo with Fu’s dad in it that she has fond memories of and have a look at the newly developed photos Fu took. Norie spots a cute girl in the photo but Fu reveals it is her brother, Kou. Norie takes a liking for Kou and after getting a group picture taken, Norie purposely follows Fu home to meet Kou. Erm… She’s so infatuated with him that she’s stroking his head with love!

Episode 2
Fu narrates how after her father died, she spotted Kou browsing an album filled with pictures of their dad. That’s when she remembered how she used to borrow dad’s camera and told him how much she loved taking photos. The quartet go around town and as usual Fu tries to take pictures of things even if it made herself in funny positions. They return to a cafe run by Fu’s mom. Norie obviously here for you-know-who. Yeah, trying to be a big sister for him, helping him with his homework. Norie gets too excited by the cuteness of the siblings till she burns out. The girls try a new dessert for the menu and find it delicious. Apparently it wasn’t mom who made it but grandma. Norie also thinks how cute grandma is so much so that serial moe harasser thinks this family is going to kill her by infatuation. Fu still has no confidence in some of her photo shots but grandma likes them because it brightens her day when she looks at them. Fu suddenly gets excited when she receives a letter from Riho Shihomi. She is a professional photographer whom Fu admires and in the letter a ticket inviting Fu to her photo exhibit. The rest notice her ticket without a destination and concludes it may be useless, sending Fu to depression. But after giving her eat some cake, she’s back to her happy self and in her own world. Kaoru suggests Fu should take up photography and be more serious in it since lots of people admire her pictures.

Come Sunday, Fu and Kou take a train to Shihomi’s exhibit. While walking through the hallway filled with photographs, Fu spots Shiho and gets nervous upon meeting her. Shihomi takes Fu and Kou around her exhibit. There are some pictures that looked terrible because it was her first time taking photos but she decided to exhibit them because she can’t replicate them anymore. Fu realizes she misplaced the present she got for Shihomi for the ticket but she doesn’t mind. Shihomi reveals the reason she gave the destination-less ticket. There are times when one feels unsure where to go but someday one must decide where to go but for the time being she has to keep that ticket even if her destination changes every day. There’s a place Shihomi wanted to go further or a person whom she wanted to see but thanks to Fu, she remembered that feeling again. At the end of the day, they part as Shihomi wishes to see more of Fu’s photos next time. On the train home, Fu ponders if dreams and Tamayura are similar. Upon arriving back, the station attendant gives Fu her misplaced present. Guess she forgot and left it behind before her trip.

Episode 3
During kindergarten, Kou drew a picture with lots of islands, a tree and a black rock. Fu thinks this is the place similar to the one in that photo when dad was alive. As the quartet test taste another new dessert, they discuss the possible place in Kou’s drawing. Kaoru’s older sister, Sayomi offers her help to find the place and has an idea where the place is. She plans for them to meet up and go together next Sunday. Norie was reluctant to go till Kou mentions he wants to come she makes a total u-turn on her decision. Shotacon… Though Sayomi told the gang to arrive sharp, she has the cheek to arrive 30 minutes late and even told them to hurry up or they’ll miss the train. After rushing from the train and hopping on to the bus, they have to hike their way there. How far up the peak? 2 hours. Seriously? Yes. Damn. No ride? Nope. Just walk. Damn! And 2 hours later, seems Sayomi got the wrong way. So they walk for another hour the other way. And yeah, not this place too. Lost. They all take a break as Fu apologizes for troubling them to come with her. But they’re okay with it since that photo became everyone’s memories without them realizing it. Though nobody remembers exactly where, Sayomi feels she has been there and though everyone may have forgotten about that memory, that photo makes them remember it. They continue their journey to the top but it doesn’t seem this is the place in the old photo. They have a good view of the scenery and feels their journey was worth it. Fu feels nostalgic and even though this may not be the place, at least she feels she met her dad for just a little while. In addition, this place gives them new memories. The gang goes to a public bath and Norie flusters to know that Kou is taking a bath with them together. Well, it is normal for Fu.

Episode 4
A flashback showing how Fu and Kou first met Kaoru and Sayomi when they’re young. They become playmates and due to Fu’s clumsy walking nature, that’s when they nicknamed her “Potte”. In the library, the girls are going through more candid camera shots taken by Sayomi. Seems she’s calling herself Shutter Change Hunter and never misses a nice moment. However Kaoru points out that Sayomi’s interest isn’t in photography but researching petite unexplored places. Shihomi pays Fu’s mom’s cafe a visit as the girls visit Maestro for clues of the place. Since he has no idea, they’ll have to wait for Sayomi’s complete investigation. As they head over to Fu’s place, Fu is surprised to see her. Taking a look t her newly developed photos, Shihomi praises them, flustering her. Grandma further compliments her. Shihomi takes Fu out for a walk as they talk. Shihomi reveals that she once temporarily stopped taking photos after realizing she didn’t improve. But one day after looking at the sky, she had this urge to take pictures of them and before she knows it, she started liking photography again.

The girls receive an SMS message from Sayomi about the place. Kaoru fears it’s going to be a Bloody Sunday. Why? Good news: They don’t have to walk. Bad news: They’re going by car. If you must know, her driving is terrible. For Heaven’s sake, there are kids in the car! Hold on to your seats everybody! I don’t know if it’s fluke since she’s drifting all the way up the winding mountain road. It’s a good thing everybody is still alive. She even got time to admire the scenery while everyone else was screaming? After parking the car, all they have to do is trek for 20 minutes to the spot. Upon reaching the place, Fu sprained her foot. Sayomi is going to call for help when they hear Maestro and the ladies he tried to hit on in his shop, arriving at the peak. Maestro treats her foot and carries her back. As everyone admires the beautiful scenery, suddenly Fu realizes that the black rock wasn’t so in Kou’s drawing. The view was in fact the back of dad’s head. He was half asleep when dad was carrying him on his back watching the scenery. Tears well up in Fu’s eyes as she is happy she is able to meet dad once more. Though she isn’t sure if this is the actual place, everyone is here thanks to the camera and that photo. Though she wasn’t able to meet him directly, his heart was definitely captured in that photo. Lastly, Maestro’s car is just parked 20 seconds from the peak as he gives Fu and Kou a lift home. Haha, guess the rest have to start walking. Sayomi, you didn’t do a proper investigation job, didn’t you?

Little lights of happiness…
So the series may not amount to anything much but that is to be expected with the calming and soothing pace of this series. I can say that this series is definitely heart warming. It isn’t about Fu becoming a photographer or trying to find the exact place in that photo, but rather the journey of making new memories together. It is a funny thing that a simple picture contains so much feelings and emotions and how it leads from one event to another. Photos are like time capsules too, a moment in time frozen and captured for us to see. It is sort of like a physical version of the memories in our head.

Norie has got to be the most amusing character here since she really hypes up whenever she sees Kou. Beware of this serial shotacon harasser. Maon is also another quirky one because of her communication via whistling. Seems Norie can decipher what she says. And that Momoneko cat, it still boggles my mind that it is a cat. Sure, the characters here look cute but for the sceneries, I won’t say that they are awesome but at least they’re nice to look at. If you buy the DVD, the episodes are combined together so there are only 2 episodes. The weird part is the intermission in which we see Fu doing a weird dance. Is that supposed to be some kind of variation of the hula dance?

I may not be interested in the Tamayura but I’ve always been troubled by the fact of why children have those red eyes effect when flash photos are being taken of them. Well, at least better than something unexpected popping up. No way! So maybe it’s time I take out my old dusty photo albums and remember all those nostalgic memories I had with my family, relatives and friends. Spending too much time watching animes has left me without taking any photos about anything for the past few years. Even the cameras we had have all outlived its lifespan. Yeah, handphones are such a convenience these days.

Galaxy Angel X

May 7, 2011

The fun and mayhem continue in the fourth instalment of this wacky slapstick series, Galaxy Angel X. Seeing that this is the last of the original Galaxy Angel anime series, I’m hoping that they will end it with style or go out with a bang. A bang of Big Bang proportions. Haha. And what’s this, they introduce a new character too to the Angel Unit too? Ah well, the more the merrier if I must say. So the age old question of will they be able to properly do their job as Lost Technology specialists? Heck, who cares about that when they have their own interests to take care of.

Episode 1A
It begins with Forte, Ranpha, Mint and Vanilla seemingly living a boring, poor and uneventful routine civilian lives while Milfeulle lives a luxurious princess life but is soon kidnapped by a masked prince as they go on a wild adventure. The quartet couldn’t take this life anymore and a number trigger makes them start to remember. Seems they fought some devastating space monster and perished. They hear voices of ‘Buddha’ telling them they are in hell and there is no escape from this endless world. They use tanks and fighter jets to blast their way out but eventually got stepped on ‘Buddha’. They are then reincarnated as flies as they try to persuade happy Milfeulle to use her lucky powers to change them back but she sneezes them away. Did she hear something? Did she start to remember something? Nah. Must be her imagination.

Episode 1B
A terminally ill girl, Chitose Karasuma watches the Angels play and is fascinated of wanting to be their friend. Soon the Angels are to visit Chitose as part of their mission to cheer her up. However Chitose soon collapses and wishes to be part of the Angels as her final wish. In no time, she really becomes one of them. In hopes of becoming friends, she goes up to Forte, Ranpha, Mint and Vanilla each. However her honesty in revealing the badmouthing of what the other said on a particular Angel has her shunned. The quartet soon start fighting among themselves and tell Chitose to butt out since she’s not involved. She collapses and lands herself back in hospital. Milfeulle accompanies her and thinks she’s still everyone’s friend. But the rest aren’t happy about Chitose’s attitude that got them into trouble. They think she needs to put in effort if she wants to make friends. Chitose doesn’t like that and runs away, smashing all the walls. Too energetic for a terminally ill girl, I’d say. She soon makes friends with Kokomo and Maribu in hopes to subjugate them and get her revenge on the Angels. She even has a countdown to their destruction: 85 days!

Episode 2A
The Angels are in a tense moment trying to defuse a mocking time bomb. Eventually Mint uses a chikuwa (tube fishcake) to stop it. Then Volcott suddenly collapses and nobody wants to do mouth resuscitation on him (who wants to lose their first kiss to an old geezer?). Till they use the chikuwa as an air passage and save him. Then a peace deal between 2 sides. One side uses a chikuwa to stamp but the other take it as a sign to start a genocide. Vanilla shoves a chikuwa into his mouth. He loves it and that is how peace came to the land. Huh? Chikuwa becomes an inseparable and multi-use item in everybody’s lives. At a stall, the Angels are being surrounded by armed baddies who want them dead. However they are cocky that they’ll be alright because they have the miracle chikuwa. Unfortunately they pull out chikuwabo (unbaked version) and got owned. RIP!

Episode 2B
Chitose thinks Milfeulle is the most dangerous Angel because she doesn’t know what’s going on in her mind. Yeah, we viewers have the same feeling too always. She tries to test her genuine friendship but each time she is ready to forgo her suspicions, a greater misfortune awaits. Like eating her cake (ended up in toilet because ate too much), saved by an incoming truck (got banged by train instead), fake her death (ended up in a real burial procedure) and badmouthing her pals so she could come save her (Milfeulle’s away shopping – here comes the pain). Then she hears Milfeulle saying how they’ve been friends from the start so her heart softens as they start hanging out together. Suddenly aliens attack. Milfeulle’s Frame accidentally sends Chitose crashing into the jungles below. Chitose becomes a female Rambo for 3 months before Milfeulle returns to pick her up. She is reluctant because all she ever had was misery whenever she’s with her. Then Milfeulle said the magic word: Friend. This has Chitose come running back to her but stepped on a landmine. Boom! She wakes up in hospital and learns Milfeulle brought her back and stayed by her side. But when Milfeulle comes in happy-happy, Chitose starts to fear her. Get away from me!

Episode 3A
Volcott collapses due to years of stress (guess from who) and is to undergo surgery. During the operation, the Angels find out the doctor is an alien bent on turning patients into his kind. The hospital has been taken over by the aliens. Mint has an idea. That is to shrink herself, Milfeulle and Vanilla into micro-size and do surgery from within while Ranpha and Forte guard the room and keep those aliens at bay. Inside Volcott’s veins, Mint has a thing against jelly beans so she goes crazy firing missiles at round stuff like white blood cells and ultimately his DNA. So much so this causes Volcott to change his structure as he takes on the alien in a giant wrestling deathmatch! His form change includes a pair of wings, a snail, panda, GT Queen, mackerel, celery, jelly, guitar duo and an underwear! The alien loses and explodes. In the aftermath when Mint and co are spit out, Volcott turns into a cute baby. I think the girls are okay with this.

Episode 3B
Forte accidentally steps on a father spider so the kid spider seeking revenge jumps into her mouth. Forte is also attending a marriage meeting with a kid, Dotour. Apparently marrying them would assure the military is generously funded. All about the money… Dotour likes her but Forte doesn’t so she leaves halfway. However to her horror she finds herself changing into a spider. The rest search for her but couldn’t find her. Dotour only recognizes Forte. She isn’t fond he’s close to her though he is sincere that he likes her from the start. Dotour’s caretaker comes between them and forcefully takes his young master away. Dotour’s cry enrages Forte as she transforms into a humanoid Spider Woman and chases after them. I’m not sure about that Spider Song in the Spider Zone but it made the caretaker crash after saving Dotour. In the end they have to part as it’s for the best. He thanks and won’t forget her. What’s with this comic book-like pose and ending?

Episode 4A
While looking for Lost Technology, Forte hits away a dog with a suspicious looking stick. Then the Angels defeat baddies in a cowboy town while spewing proverbs. They realize a Lost Technology makes the proverbs come true and thinks it is that stick. As they go find it, they get into all sorts of trouble because the proverb is somehow twisted like caught in a forest fire. They try using proverbs to put it out but it only gets worse. Finally they manage to douse the flames but couldn’t remember their initial mission and disband. Milfeulle decides to use the Lost Technology stick to get everyone back. Seems everyone is fused together. “One body, same existence”. That’s not a proverb!

Episode 4B
Forte has been killed so Ranpha, Mint and Milfeulle go search for the supposed culprit Vanilla. When they arrive, they find her dead in the bathtub. The evidence she left behind seems to indicate Milfeulle but she claims she is innocent. Then more clues lead them to Maribu and Kokomo. After revealing Vanilla is their sister, they died via poison in their tea. This leads the trio to Chitose in hospital. Revealing she is going to get her revenge for her sister Forte and points her gun at Milfeulle. Milfeulle admits she killed Forte. It all started when Forte praised the wrong name of Milfeulle’s dish. She couldn’t stand it and hit her head with a stone, though she didn’t mean to kill her. Chitose reveals she killed Vanilla and the Twin Stars because they’re Milfeulle’s siblings. She is going to shoot Milfeulle when Volcott stops her. Milfeulle calls him her father. Volcott takes Chitose out with him as he dives out the window. Milfeulle feels lonely and is going to commit suicide but Ranpha and mint stop her. Ranpha reveals she is her mom and Mint her father. WTF?! Confusing? Volcott is Mint’s brother and thus Milfeulle’s uncle. They insist that she’s being loved as they continue to live their life together. Confusing family ties! And those ‘dead family members’ are contemplating to assign Mar’s relationship…

Episode 5A
Chitose finds a Lost Technology rice cooker. Anything that flies inside it and those who eat its cooked rice will attain its power/skill. Because the Angels don’t recognize her, she sucks Volcott in and has them eat the rice. They all grow moustaches! They offer Chitose to join their unit. At first she was reluctant till they mention the ‘friend’ word. The Angels use Chitose in their job by making her eat the rice and power up so much so this includes doing chores for them. She becomes fed up and realizes Kokomo and Maribu as her true friends because they came to help. She sucks and turns into a large cockroach to get revenge on the Angels. In the end Milfeulle trips and ends up the Angels being sucked into the cooker. Back home, she eats the rice and is glad those hateful Angels are gone. Suddenly her face turns into Normad and it seems the other Angels weren’t sucked in but just left behind and ‘saved’ by Normad.

Episode 5B
In a cliche anime high school setting, Ranpha bumps into a handsome guy, Kazami. He calls her a dojikko and she’s not too happy about it. He becomes a new transfer student in her class. Seems the Angels are disguising themselves as high school girls to identify and capture an anti-government terrorist leader. However the girls got involve in love setting and fights as Ranpha spends more time with Kazami. Before they know it, time passes by and they are all seniors. The girls spot Kazami and Milfeulle together so Ranpha’s heart is pierced with pain. She realizes she is in love. Just when the anti-government leader shows up, Forte hits him away for trying to disrupt an important development (haha!). Seems Milfeulle wanted to hand over a present from Kazami to Ranpha because he’s leaving for London to study abroad soon. He couldn’t give it to her directly because he thought she hated him. Ranpha rushes to the airport but is too late. However Kazami didn’t board the plane. He wants to continue studying here with her. Suddenly Ranpha’s childhood neighbour friend, Tatsuhiko returns from New York to fulfil his promise to marry her. Ranpha is in a pinch and dilemma of this unexpected turn. It’s getting complicated…

Episode 6A
The Angels minus Milfeulle are going to have sukiyaki. Ranpha, Forte and Mint start fighting over the beef when a bull actually appears out from the pot and starts rampaging. Soon the other ingredients follow suit and the Angels recall how they bought it from suspicious sources. Then Milfeulle comes in and recognizes the bull. She saved him from aliens before. She also recognizes the other ingredients and has saved them from danger too. But the foodstuffs start wrecking havoc throughout the base. Milfeulle pleads for them to stop and will eat them with this sukiyaki soup base since they’ve become sukiyaki ingredients. They can be part of her flesh and blood within her forever. They are touched and soon disappear into the pot. When the havoc stops, Mary and her unit barge in. Seems the pot is of Lost Technology and amplifies the memories of objects inside it and realizes it. Which means this whole mess is Milfeulle’s fault to begin with since she is the one who bought the pot.

Episode 6B
In a distant future where war has ravaged and torn mankind, under Volcott’s Empire, he sent out marriage invitations. Five candidate princesses (the Angels) are flown in but those happy days aren’t going to last. They got discontented among each other and 1 day Volcott was assassinated and slowly all his descendents and heirs to the throne met the same fate. With no successor in sight, the 5 princesses become tyrannical rulers. Chitose leads the rebellion and chases the princesses into exile. She becomes the new head but due to pressure, gave in to temptations of power and became a tyrant herself. Exiled Ranpha returned and singlehandedly defeated Chitose and her army to be the next ruler and plunging the world into further chaos. Vanilla plots her downfall and successfully kills Ranpha with her Normad-like robots. She proceeds to set up a puppet government with Milfeulle as the ruler. But her luck declined and caused more destruction. Soon warlords rose to power over the land and it got so messy, confusing and violent that memories of long-time war turned into tales of folklore, picture motifs, literature, drama, heroic adventures and love stories! Then Volcott’s descendent declares the establishment of Volcott Empire as history repeats itself. I guess the prophet (Maribu) wasn’t really serious in saving the world. Just wondering around. Same goes to the hero (Kokomo). He isn’t really a hero because he always turns back to his home, forgetting to do something each time steps out. Just stay there…

Episode 7A
Ranpha forces her mates to form a rock band. During audition, Ranpha trashes the place and they went home without singing. But the judge is awed because her violence reminded him of his mom and passes them! With recording and their debut around the corner, Ranpha things their guitarist (Forte) is weak. She replaces her with a random guy and calls him New Forte and kicks the old one out. Forte isn’t giving up as she uses up all her savings wandering around and improving her guitar skills. Meanwhile Galaxy Angel’s soaring popularity has garnered fans from all over and becomes the top rock band. One night Ranpha and Milfeulle got into an argument over a snack and the press was there to snap pics of their in-fighting. This led to their downfall and breakup (even the fans now hate them!) as Twin Stars featuring Chitose becomes the new sensation. Ranpha refuses to give up and assembles her band mates again for a comeback concert. Seems promising but they don’t have New Forte or a guitarist. That’s when the real Forte shows up and offers to be part of the gang. Just as the curtain rises, New Forte appears wanting to rejoin so he starts singing. The crowd is taken in by his singing as he becomes the new fad, leaving the Angels stunned and neglected. So what the heck was Forte’s return for?!

Episode 7B
A peek into Volcott’s daily life and his thoughts. After making breakfast for his picky Angels, he sends them off to work. Then he gets scolded by his superiors for the mess the Angels made previously with the Lost Technology. After that, he gets a distressing call from them. Seems they screw up again and a planet is going to explode! But they’re more concerned about going shopping and wanting Volcott to buy groceries for dinner! Irresponsible! Volcott shops at the mart and falls for the cashier lady. Then the mart is being robbed so Volcott goes into manly mode to save the day. The lady admits she always liked him so they both elope and spend time together. The insert song Volcott is singing is totally horrible though the music is okay. Then the clock strikes 7pm and he remembers he must go home. The lady wonders if she’s not good enough but he mentions the happiness of his ‘daughters’ is more important than his. So another huge meal is made but as usual they are fussy. At the end of the day, the Angels treat him to a very nice massage. Seems they have ulterior motives to ask for money or reduce their job responsibility. His happy escape this is to be? Maybe he should just retire. Oh I forgot, he can’t afford to…

Episode 8A
The Angels are tasked to guard an important person to testify in a trial. Suddenly their truck is being attacked by guerrillas. The guerrilla leader notices that one of their deserters is among the Angels and wonders her return to return. As the Angels escape, certain events seem to trigger their traumatic past. Like the group of guerrillas (Ranpha didn’t want to celebrate birthdays to grow up), butterfly (Vanilla saw it being eaten) and a forest fire (Mint’s teddy bear bazooka-ed the house and burnt it down!). After getting safe into town, Forte goes off alone into a building and meets the guerrilla leader. He is Lembront and they both know each other. They fought side by side in impossible missions and were a good team before she left. Lembront points his gun at Forte and wants her to return. This triggers Forte’s trauma. Well, it reminded her that he stole her favourite gun. She beats him up and takes back the gun. Meeting up with her pals, they notice Milfeulle do not have any traumas. Heck, she doesn’t even know what that word means! Then Forte starts swirling her fingers and Milfeulle starts to remember a trauma. Probably an idiotic kind?

Episode 8B
Volcott is suddenly fired so he decides to start his own company. As the president, however he only has Forte and Milfeulle as his workers while Ranpha the research expert. They start selling flute candies and it takes the world by storm overnight and their company raking in big profits. However product rip-offs like harmonica gum and cookie piano start surfacing. I don’t understand why Volcott went to pray to holy Vanilla and Normad and built a statue next to their building. Feng Shui thingy? Heck, it flopped and their sales and stocks drastically dropped further. Luckily Ranpha comes up with a new product: Sneaker cologne. Yeah, a new hit. This world is so messed up for loving such weird products. Suddenly Mint buys over the company and becomes the majority shareholder. The rest aren’t happy she is their boss and rest to strikes while she retaliates back with her own ways. Their argument has them lose customers and drop in sales. Mint starts panicking when her business partners threaten to pull out so she seeks holy Vanilla and Normad for advice. She builds another large statue next to the building but it didn’t work out. In the end, all the Angels become normal working employees as they meet up together. Rags to riches to downfall and starting all over again. Like a familiar business cycle, eh?

Episode 9A
Kaiza Murakami is assigned to assassinate Milfeulle so he infiltrates as their division’s maintenance guy. Seems he has his own quirks like obsessed with observing his targets. Too close! So much so Normad could guess his motive so he makes a deal to let him live to spill embarrassing details on the Angels. Just that? I don’t know why he put Normad on his head but doesn’t he look more suspicious? He tries to take out Milfeulle (even considered her to be his girlfriend?) but each time she comes back normal and it’s poor Volcott who bears all the pain in her place. He’s pretty tough for an old geezer if you think about it. Then upon Mary’s ‘counselling’, he takes Milfeulle to hike up the mountains filled with traps. As usual the same lucky-for-her-not-for-him thing happen so once they reach inside the mansion, he tells her he wants her life! That’s not a love statement. She apologizes that she can’t because seems she has died a long time ago after going crazy about healthy food. Yeah, her body is in there! And Murakami now becomes an exorcist trying to snuff her out. Must get the job done no matter what, eh?

Episode 9B
Normad is fed up of Forte’s bullying so when Chitose overhears Normad’s revenge plan, she agrees to help him out. Normad is inserted Lost Technology limbs to move around but since he is weak, Forte pounds him easily. Chitose takes him on a boxing training as Normad goes on to be the undisputed boxing champion. He soon challenges Forte to a boxing match. Kokomo and Maribu kidnap and lock away Chitose because they think they can make more money than her and become Normad’s manager. On the other hand, Ranpha and Mint become Forte’s manager for the money. Kokomo and Maribu meet Ranpha and Mint to bribe them with gold so that Forte won’t make it to the match. As hard as the duo try to sabotage Forte, but she is just damn lucky! A fan of Mint’s Fan Club overhears her frustration. Seems he is a military admiral so he decides to oblige Mint’s suggestion to call the army and attack Forte! Next morning, the army comes attacking but Forte fights back. A missile is headed straight for her but Normad comes to her rescue upon hearing the news. He claims he will be the one to defeat her. They both team up to take care of the army. When they’re done, they head back together like pals to their waiting pals at the ring. Is their fight over or is it about to start?

Episode 10A
Mint’s room burnt down and causes all her kigurumis to be destroyed. Actually the fire was partly caused by her pals. She sinks into depression so much so she tried to hang herself! Quick intervention only prevented her death. Her pals decide to cheer her up but the things they do seem to remind Mint of her kigurumi and cause her more traumas. They have no choice but to reveal the culprit but seeing that she is all ears, they give exaggerated and false description. Mint goes into full force to find and capture the culprit. The rest are pretty sure such a person/creature doesn’t exist. Hell, it does! The whole race is visiting the base! When Mint finds out, she turns into yandere mode! The killing starts now! Don’t stop her or you’ll get killed too! Suddenly Volcott’s slip of the tongue reveals the true culprits so Mint realizes the whole truth. Oh sh*t! Yandere mode continued! Good or bad thing we won’t get to see her Double Limiter Cut because the time’s up. Die!!!

Episode 10B
While Ranpha takes walk, she finds a tatami and uses it for her martial arts training. Suddenly an asteroid crashes into her but fortunately the tatami protects her as we learn it protects its owner from any danger so he/she can’t die. Ranpha uses the tatami to her convenience and advantage like taking out baddies and getting ahead of the sales bargain. But soon it becomes a pain because it slows her work down and it prevents guys from hitting on her so she ditches it. As Ranpha dates her boyfriend, on an outing they got into a crash but the tatami only saves Ranpha. She got pissed off with it and never wants to see it again. It flies away. Soon Ranpha is engaged and is waiting for her groom on her wedding day. However he is on the plane going to crash (WTF?! The pilot narrating his life story and how a flop he is during his pilot academy years!). Tatami suddenly appears to save the entire plane. Ranpha is grateful and realizes how kind it has always been to her but it soon disappears forever. Ever since, Ranpha takes regular walks at night.

Episode 11A
The Angels are supposed to be on vacation but they find out probably Volcott set them up to catch a hijacker, Excelsior on-board their plane. Mary is also there. To find the hijacker, the girls did outrageous and dangerous stuff. Like tying up the flight attendants and disguising as them. They also hijack the passengers to make them stand so as to find out the height that matches Excelsior’s description and torturing a couple of suspicious guys that fits the hijacker’s description but turns out they are innocent. Then Vanilla goes mission so the rest panic and go in search for her, thinking Excelsior has got her. Then they find she has always been in the pilot’s cabin all the while (after knocking out the pilots, that is). Mary is frustrated at how the Angels act so this causes them to suspect her as Excelsior. Of course one of his traits is that Excelsior is a man so their attention shifts to Forte. How can she proof she is a woman? Let’s just say it can’t be shown over TV. Does that nose bleed give you a hint? Eventually the whole ride went smoothly without a hitch till they land though they never caught Excelsior. Upon touchdown, the girls are arrested since they were acting like hijackers. The real Excelsior? Tied up along with the other flight attendants! Yeah, unknowingly captured from the start!

Episode 11B
The Angels are to investigate a girl with Lost Technology gems embedded over her chest. They learn this war torn planet has been raining nonstop since a year ago. Milfeulle takes pity on her and decides to let her ride in her Frame for a sky stroll. However the government deems it as robbery and chases after them. Since Milfeulle carries on, they shoot her down. The other Angels learn that the girl and this planet’s pulse are linked. The scientist knew it all the while if the girl dies, the rain may stop. They’re tired of it and will do anything to stop it. Milfeulle manages to fly her Frame again and takes the girl above the beautiful clouds. After talking to her, the next thing she knows, the girls are gone and Milfeulle waking up over a cliff with a bed of flowers. The sun starts to shine on the planet. She’s gone?

Episode 12A
Chitose has been transferred to the Angels Unit because of her determination to pursue an objective to no end by any means (?!). However the Angels completely ignore her in anything they do, annoying her very much. She gets a love lecture from Normad that she wants something in return to be loved and this made her realize. She decides to use a Lost Technology magic wand and turns herself into a doll and be their doll personnel (no turning back). Cute and attracting their attention at first but soon it’s back to their normal ways. Yeah, ignored again. Time passes and 1 night, Forte, Ranpha and Mint each have problems so each go to talk to Chitose who provides a listening ear. The trio make up and Chitose feels glad. Next day, she receives more attention than she bargained for because the Angels are fighting over her. This causes her to be ripped apart and eventually got sucked into a vacuum cleaner. Sad…

Episode 12B
Vanilla seems to be stalking a guy named Jay. Normad is in denial and jealous about it all and couldn’t believe Vanilla would fall for a guy she bumped into a week ago. Well, the rest don’t want to intrude on her personal life (maybe they don’t care) and shrug it off. Over the next few days, Vanilla takes Normad with her as she gives Jay weird presents like rotten sashimi and dried bonito. Of course Jay freaks out and her actions are also bewildering Normad. To support her or not… Eventually Jay confronts Vanilla and tells her off not to follow him ever again and rejects her. Normad tries to console Vanilla to forget about him but with her expressionless and deadpan face, it’s hard to tell if she’s heartbroken. One morning, Jay suddenly barges into the base looking for Vanilla. Seems he has fish scales all over! It isn’t a sickness as pointed out, but a curse! Not because of being rejected, but revenge for her fish-design umbrella that was torn when he bumped into her before. Be afraid when she’s mad! Oh, everyone else too soon have fish scales. Damn, her grudge runs deep! Remember, don’t make her mad…

Episode 13A
Chitose is upset her plans to rid the Angels flop once more. She finds a Lost Technology notebook that grants their wishes to come true whoever writes in it (Death Note parody?). The side effect is she will grow weak and skinny. To counter this, she eats a lot. Soon she starts stalking the Angels and has misfortune befall on them. However nothing serious happened so she gets upset. Turns out she misspelled words and her bad handwriting was the cause. She undergoes lessons and gets on to be promoted as the Commander-in-chief of Transbaal Kingdom! She then orders the Angels to undergo death training for a suicide mission. They disagree and fight but of course with her handy notebook, Chitose comes up tops. Wanting to do away with all that eating taking up her time (because she wants to torment the Angels more), Chitose writes in her notebook to become a fate giant! Due to her heavy body mass, her body is turning into a Black Hole and sucking things in. The Angels try to persuade her to give up the notebook but she isn’t listening. Till Milfeulle says the magic ‘friend’ word. However her notebook slips and the Angels accidentally get suck into her Black Hole and soon the entire base and kingdom. Repentant Chitose realizes her mistake and writes in her notebook how all she ever wanted was to make friends. 200 million years later, Chitose is reunited with the slightly physically modified Angels. Good to be back? She’s still collapsing, though.

Episode 13B
The Angels are in one of their usual antics finding Lost Technology. It turns out to be acting for a TV show. Not only that, the popular Galaxy Angel series is modeled after the Angels Unit is coming to an end after 3 years (reminds me of what Gintama did!). The Angels are just actresses as they lament what they’ll do once this show ends. Vanilla seems livelier than her usual character. While acting the final scene, suddenly the kingdom comes under attack by aliens. The Angels are whisked away to Mary. She wants them to substitute the real Angels. Why? The real Angels never existed! She wants them to go to the front lines and calm down nerves and boost the people’s morale. They are reluctant but forced into it since this is an emergency. The Angels are in some intergalactic ping pong match with the aliens as the military guys take a beating to cover for them. How dramatic. Their morale low so Forte wonders if they’re the invincible Galaxy Angels they were. Suddenly they return back to their goody and usual side and realize that they used to be the real Angels after all. Some Lost Technology they got involved in may have sealed their power and memory. They pray to return to themselves and defeat the small fries. That’s when the final boss appears. They leave it up to Mint to think of a way but she just drinks Tabasco (that word in Japanese is similar to smoking and thus a pun) and they got disqualified. With that the Galaxy Angel’s season ended. Yeah, the plot seems to be made up as things go by since it’s the last episode. So it ends like this?!

Big Bang Finish!
I was actually going to believe that this whole series thingy was just an act but of course they have to end it Galaxy Angel style. So I guess if you want to believe if this show is just another television series or they are the incompetent military girls for real, it’s up to you. I know that some of the antics are so unrealistic and the whole series that do not care about the effects of consequences would make us incline to believe more that such scenarios are only made possible if it was just filming, but in life sometimes the impossible and awkward do happen. It can only be true simply because, they’re Galaxy Angels. Who else could it be?

The little thing that is bugging me is Chitose’s role. Long ago I knew she would be appearing in the final season though I didn’t know much of her role. Considering some of the pictures and wallpapers I came across, I thought she will be part of the Angels going on goofy and hilarious misadventures with the gang. But no, all she was just a side character and don’t appear in every episode. Probably just half of them. Pictures can sometimes be misleading as I also once thought she’d be a nice and kind girl. I didn’t expect her to turn into a vengeful girl who wants to rid the Angels just because they ignore her and don’t want to be her friend (ah, probably that friendship thingy is her weakness and thus quirky comical nature in this series). So much so she adopts vengeance as her cool middle name. Hey, it’s her who said that. What happened to her countdown to destroy the Angels? Oh heck. Not that she’d be able to be successful anyway (with Milfeulle’s dumb luck taking into consideration). So it’s just basically the quintet of the Angels with their ever sarcastic Normad and commander Volcott. I also feel Mary and her Twin Stars didn’t make much impact this season perhaps due to the number of episodes so it feels like they’ve been sidelined and unimportant. Like Chitose.

Maybe I’m just foolish to wish some sort of a last episode revelation or a plot to wrap things up. I should be darn familiar with their kind of storytelling. Why am I saying this? Well for instance, in the last season I remember wanting to know more about that mysterious mom of Kokomo and Maribu. Just a one-off thing. Just like many of the other side characters that appear once in all its previous season. Only once and after that you’ll never hear about them anymore. Not that important, eh? Yeah, it’s the Angels that we care about. Well, they seem to be the same bunch we know of since the first season. The series also mixes in a few serious episodes so as not to have us think that this is an entirely no-brainer series.

The mid-intermission is an amusing section because it gives us viewers insights on the secret techniques of rock-scissors-paper game. What do I mean? You know that game we can only make three combinations to win or lose, right? Well, apparently according to them, there are 13 secret techniques which are more powerful and of course absurd. Nobody is going to believe all that veto power if you actually pull that moves of. Those illustrated techniques with their apt names seem like making shapes for a hand shadow or even using other items like tape or a computer monitor to render your opponent’s call totally useless and hand you (pun intended) absolute guaranteed victory. Is this even legal?! For the next episode preview, it starts as soon as the girls start singing the ending theme. I guess you don’t have to wait till the end, eh? Because of so, it is annoying to try and hear what they are ranting nonsensically and listen to the song at the same time.

It’s sad that there isn’t any word of a fifth season. I suppose all good things come to an end and even if I don’t mind this series churning out more seasons and episodes, you’ll eventually get tired of it one day because all the jokes will look the same and it won’t be surprising and exciting like the first time. Like first love, first date, first holding hands, first embrace, first kiss, first se… Whoops. Better to leave it as memories and reminisce the good old times. Even if all the episode titles sound like dishes from the menu, my appetite at this point for the series is still insatiable. I want more desserts! Yum. So honestly, why do they need a bunch of girls to look for Lost Technology? Isn’t the military cash strapped? Wouldn’t a bunch of old neighbourhood grandmas do an equally good job? Yeah, so goes the saying you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. But I have got to admit that it’s hats off to the Angels for doing a fine job for bringing in the laughs. I salute thee! They may be lost when dealing with Lost Technology but they certainly have a found a way into my heart <3.

Kurenai OVA 2

May 6, 2011

I didn’t expect there would be another OVA for Kurenai. Maybe I wasn’t keeping tabs with the series since I am not an avid fan, so when it came out last year, I was a little surprised. Just like the first OVA, it doesn’t have any continuation with the TV series and is split into 3 short segments. They are rather random with enough antics to keep you laughing, if not smile.

I’m not sure if this was on purpose because the title for segment clearly has the words printed “FUCK OFF” big enough in the background! Not joking! Anyway, Kirihiko is seen talking to Lucy May of Akuu Company. The latter mocks the swordswoman (who works under her) about making friends and did not expect her to show up during that hotel incident (see the previous OVA). Kirihiko isn’t amused of the crap she spouts and sticks her knife into the little notebook Lucy May was browsing (about Shinkurou). Lucy May goes off and thinks she doesn’t need friends. Later Kirihiko takes care of a jerk who thinks he could take advantage of a seemingly shy girl after bumping into her. Her mind is clouded with kindness shown by Shinkurou.

On her way, she passes by Shinkurou’s school and sees Murasaki sneaking in. Seems she wants to see Shinkurou (what else?). She takes Kirihiko along as the duo go on a little mischief in school from cooking to art class to unleashing the fire extinguisher. Then they both encounter Yuuno so Murasaki takes Kirihiko and run. She leaves Kirihiko in the science lab before going out to look for Shinkurou. Speaking of which, that guy is in class with Ginko discussing about that hotel incident with the Akuu Company when Lin barges in and is in a frenzy looking for Murasaki. Apparently her GPS indicates she’s in this school.

Yuuno comes into the science lab and confronts Kirihiko. She is suspicious of her intentions to get close to Shinkurou because she knows she is from the 13 Inner Families. Kirihiko stars getting scared and is being cornered. Suddenly Murasaki standing outside a tree branch (to look for you know who) yells out to her for bullying Kirihiko. The branch gives way. In a flash, I don’t know how her little knife could destroy the wall as Kirihiko dives down to save Murasaki. On ground, Murasaki tells her that Yuuno is a good person and not think of her badly since one can’t learn the truth from books or other people. Murasaki knows she is part of the 13 Inner Families and won’t judge her and thanks her for saving her. She is glad that she is her friend. Yuuno overheard this and goes to make up though she still doesn’t really trust her. Relieved Kirihiko notes that they too are friends. Then when Shinkurou comes by to see if they’re okay, Kirihiko suddenly hugs him as a sign of being friends. This irks Yuuno and Murasaki very much as they tussle to get a hug from him or least separate that blonde away.

The girls arrive at Shinkurou’s rundown place for a party. Seems it is leaking badly (Lin thinks leaking roofs are part of poverty!). They check the attic above to find growing mushrooms and fungi. Needing to exterminate it, I’m not sure why they had to barge into Shinkurou’s room and look under his sink to rid its roots. Among the shocking stuff they see include a Christmas naughty edition of an adult magazine and a pack of Playboy cards. Murasaki thinks it is his treasure and keeps the cards for safekeeping while the rest are pondering if these stuffs belong to him but you know, Tamaki and Yamie are determine to find out if these collections belong to that kid. For instance, they think of testing him tonight to see if he’ll notice his treasure is missing. They have to do it or they can’t sleep peacefully knowing their next door neighbour is a pervert and their chastity is in danger! I think it’s more of because they’re busybodies.

During the dinner, Tamaki and Yamie cuddle up closely to Shinkurou like as though they’re seducing him with naughty words (“Eat me for desserts”), trying to turn him on. But he is rather annoyed (like the other girls. Lin, cover Murasaki’s ears quick!). That night when he retires to his room, Tamaki and Yamie eavesdrop outside but there are no signs that he took out his ‘treasure’. He wasn’t too aroused, you think? More like annoyed! Same thing next morning when the irritating duo try to get him turn on but failed as he goes off to school. They leave it to Ginko and Yuuno. At the shoe locker area, both girls try to get him to reveal his treasure. He gets nervous and runs away causing them to feel suspicious. He runs back, afraid that his secret treasure has been discovered and goes to check them in his cupboard. After he leaves for a job, the girls are going to confirm this treasure box in his closet. They see several of his favourite anime and manga toys. Disappointed? Well, at least it puts that important matter to rest. Murasaki thinks the sink is still leaking so she decides to put that pack of cards together with the rest of his treasure.

Shinkurou is still upset thinking that they have found out about his secret when he spots the cards. Thinking it belongs to Tamaki, he goes knocking on her door and tells her off he is free to have whatever treasures while passionately asserting he loves them and there is nothing wrong with it. Thing is, he is holding the cards in his hand when he said that. Tamaki misinterprets this and SMS to all the girls. In school, Yuuno and Ginko are rather disappointed in him. Lin then forcefully takes him into her car. Murasaki shows him a photo album filled with pictures of her loli self. She wants Shinkurou to treat this as his treasure. What does this mean? You need to look at her and only her! No explanation needed! Poor Shinkurou, trembling in fear, tears in his eyes, unsure what the heck is going on. Who wouldn’t when you’ve got a sword being held right across your neck? Is she trying to turn Shinkurou into a lolicon? Some sh*t she has gotten into… Say, whose does it belong to, those porn stuff? Doesn’t matter. I guess they’re trying to say porn is bad…

Kuhouin’s Car
After watching some talk show about resolving problems, Murasaki gets this idea about helping and talking to the other girls by inviting them to do so inside her car (with Lin as the driver of course). Seems what the girls are unhappy or want to change all have something to do with Shinkurou. Yeah, not enough time to spend with him because the other girl is hogging him? Yuuno, Ginko, Tamaki, Yamie and even Kirihiko have their chance so Lin is confident that they can leave their problems with them. At the end of it all, Lin calls Yuuno and Ginko and wants them to tell Shinkurou “to remain as friends forever”. Are they going to accept that? Hell, no! Too late, Lin hangs up the phone. Shinkurou is walking back and by this time if he sees Murasaki’s car outside his place, he can tell it’s something not good. Damn right. So now it’s his turn to have a private chat with Murasaki. She tells him that she has Yuuno, Ginko and Kirihiko remain as good friends for him so this solves everything? Solves what? So that he could go out with her of course! No more love rivals. What does Shinkurou have to say? Heck, he has no say at all! Considering Lin is pointing her sword at his face! He gets a call from Yuuno but Lin confiscates his handphone to allow happy Murasaki to get all clingy with him. Yeah, you can count on him to do that.

Still troubled…
Ah well. Another nice OVA to remember the series by. Nothing that heavy considering a guy like me who doesn’t read the manga. So I guess the antics here are pretty random just like the last OVA. It is so ironic that Shinkurou, who works as a troubleshooter, still can’t troubleshoot his own problems with women. I probably have something sarcastic to say about that but I don’t want to earn the wrath of feminists and being labelled as a chauvinist due to some misunderstanding. Probably that’s what makes it fun since Shinkurou isn’t able to find any long term solution to this problem. Would you if you have a woman who points a sword at you, a happy-innocent loli whom you don’t want to break your heart, a perverted next-door neighbour with an equally busybody landlady, not to mention several of them having a crush on you? There are no action or fight scenes here so if you want to see Shinkurou unleash his secret horn elbow weapon like he did in the TV series, you’d be disappointed. Besides, you’re supposed to laugh and appreciate the drama here. No-no to violence.

I know that the art and drawing of this OVA is the same as the previous but obviously differs with the TV series. However I can’t help notice that Murasaki doesn’t look as cute as she was supposed to be (sorry, I hope Lin isn’t reading this). She just looks weird, maybe it’s because of her hairstyle and eyes (I really hope Lin isn’t reading this). At least her energetic and lively self is there. Because of that, I felt the other girls looked better than her (proves I’m not a lolicon), even Kirihiko (she didn’t appear in the TV series so there is no ‘precedent’). This OVA also leaves out Benika and Yayoi, though the former is just mentioned by name in this OVA.

Maybe there will be another OVA in the works or maybe there won’t since I didn’t bother to do any research or follow up to see how many actual episodes are to be produced. But if it ever comes out, you can bet I am going to watch it. Whether it is for the little plot like possible clash with the Akuu Company but I’d rather prefer to see the love triangle and mess he gets into it and he untangles and gets out of it. Or not. Want to make a bet whom he ends up in? Right. His job, maybe.

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