Highschool Of The Dead

June 25, 2011

Imagine one morning when you wake up, you suddenly find a great portion of society have turned into flesh-eating zombies. What would be your first reaction? What would you do? I may not fancy horror series but can you actually mix the horror genre with fanservice? At least that is possible in Highschool Of The Dead. Don’t get the wrong idea. You’re not going to see the undead with panty shots or bouncy boobs. That would totally be horrible. So it goes to show that fanservice is best done on the beautiful and living. Oh wait. What am I talking about again?

Basically in this series, you’re going to see a small group of high school students fighting and smashing their way across hordes of ex-humans-turned-zombies while trying their best to survive this sudden destruction of their boring daily tranquil everyday lives. Sounds fun? Unless you are the characters in the series having to think fast on their feet for survival and having sleepless nights about it or else you’d be zombie food in no time. So be prepared for some fanservice along the way as well as the excessive blood and gore. Hey, there are plenty of zombies to kill. It’s like somebody unleash a cheat code of an endless wave of them. Yeah, not fun if you’re them.

Episode 1
Take our main protagonist, Takashi Komuro. Right at the start, he is having a bad day. His girlfriend, Rei Miyamoto once promised to marry him when they were young, has dumped him for his indecisiveness and is now going out with their best friend, Hisashi Igou. That’s just great. He gets an earful from genius childhood friend, Saya Takagi for being heartbroken, depressed and being stupid. Yeah, how bad can his day turn? Much worse as he’ll soon find out. I guess he was ‘lucky’ to skip class as he witness a weird bloodied guy comes dragging his feet to the school gates. The teachers think he is trying to be funny and gets rough with him. Before he knows it, he gets painfully bitten. Worse, he turns into a zombie and proceeds to bite the rest and that is how the ‘infection’ starts. Takashi has a bad premonition so he barges back into class to take Rei (after slapping her, that is) and Hisashi to flee. Things start to intensify when Rei calls her police dad but he doesn’t pick up. Then the announcement from the PA system that everybody needs to evacuate before the announcer is attacked by the zombies. This causes the entire school to fall into pandemonium as everyone panics and starts running away in a hysterical stampede. As the trio make their way to the top roof, Hisashi gets bitten by the zombie principal. Up on the roof, the see military helicopters zooming by and the nearby town in chaos. In no time, a big majority of the local citizens have fallen victim to an unknown outbreak. Just like vampires, when you are bitten by a zombie, you turn into one. And man, believe it when you see a big chunk of the school has turned into the undead in just a blink of an eye! With a temporary barricade, the trio seek refuge at the top but Hisashi knows he is going to turn into a zombie and wants Takashi to kill him before that happens. Too bad Hisashi turned into one so Takashi has no choice but to butcher his head, the only way to kill a zombie. Rei is upset over Takashi’s act and she even thought of getting bitten to be turned into one seeing Hisashi is no longer around! She starts blaming Takashi that he enjoys doing it out of jealousy that they’re dating. Takashi tells her that he is going away since she doesn’t need him. At that moment Rei realizes he is serious about facing the zombies and going to his death so she pleads for him to stay. You can’t blame her for being fickle minded, considering everything that has happened today. They both embrace for the first time, on a day when everything has ended. Yeah, what a way to steal your best friend’s girl after killing him.

Episode 2
We see other survivors like chubby otaku Kouta Hirano escaping together with Saya. If not for Saya’s foresight and intelligence, Hirano could’ve been a long goner. But somewhere in Saya’s heart, you can tell she’s a tsundere because she did mention she’d prefer to be stuck with Takashi rather than this fatty. Takashi and Rei sit around in a daze as Rei tries to contact her dad. Although she was connected, it seems that there is panic at the other end of the line. She is cut off. Busty school nurse Shizuka Marikawa is such an airhead that when zombies crash into the infirmary, an unfortunate student got bitten in her place. If not for the skilful head of the kendo club, Saeko Busujima, she could’ve been the bustiest zombie. Saeko also takes out that poor kid before he turns into one of them. At least he died a human. Saya should learn to thank her lucky stars that she’s with Hirano. He’s not just an otaku, but someone who is obsessed with guns. He improvises some of the lab equipment to make his own gun and manages to kill several zombies. Looks like he enjoys his newfound calling. On Takashi and Rei’s end, they use the water hose to temporarily blast away the zombies who are breaking through before charging their way down. Don’t worry. Rei won’t be playing t a damsel in distress role. She is from the spear club so she can fight as well as Takashi. Saya does a little experiment. Seems the zombies are sound sensitive (they lunge towards the nearest loudest sound) but do not have any feelings (they do not react when things are thrown at them). Hirano’s ammo is running low and Saya’s b*tching and complaining did nothing but to attract the zombies. She is cornered when Takashi-Rei and Saeko-Shizuka group arrive in time to smash the nearby zombies. As the rest introduce themselves, Saya becomes distraught and hysterical after all those bloody sight and after seeing her own self covered in them, she breaks down uncontrollably. While taking refuge in the teacher’s room, Takashi thinks that they need to make sure that their families are alright.  They can try and get out via Shizuka’s mini bus. Then they turn on the TV to see horrifying sights of the pandemic and the camera crew being attacked. Looks like the whole damn world is done for.

Episode 3
The gang discuss what this possible outbreak is. Remember the Spanish Flu and London’s Black Death? But you know, people don’t turn to zombies and infect others. So this has got to be some new phenomenon. They need to stick together and cooperate if they’re going to survive. As they make their way to the mini bus and being careful not to make loud sounds, they stumble upon a small group of surviving students being cornered and go to their aid. The hall is their only exit and is filled with mindless wandering zombies. To prove Saya’s theory, Takashi decides to use himself as bait by standing in the midst of the zombie sea. It is working as he throws a shoe away as distraction. As the zombies move towards the sound, the rest silently make their move. However one of the guy’s metal weapon accidentally hit the stair railings. The loud sound echoes throughout the hall as the zombies’ attention shifts. Now they have to make a dash for it. Then that guy got caught by the zombie so I guess his girlfriend would rather die with him than live without him as she rushes to his side and gets bitten. Everyone gets into the mini bus and is prepared to go when they hear sounds of other survivors rushing towards them. Let by the sadistic teacher, Kouichi Shidou, you can tell this guy is a villain. Looking like a cross between Kuroshitsuji’s Sebastian and Claude, he lets one of his student gets bitten by the zombie after he sprained his ankle! Oh sh*t! Rei isn’t happy that Takashi picked up this guy and warns he will regret it. Shizuka powers her bus as they escape from school. On the bus, some delinquent kid didn’t like Takashi and fights him but gets beaten up. This allows Shidou to propose that the group needs a leader to survive and proposes himself. Those who are with him are taken in awe of his smooth speech but Takashi and co aren’t convinced of his cult-like nature. Look at how the other students’ eyes are so fixated on him as though they’re under his hypnotism spell. Rei couldn’t stand him anymore and decides to leave the bus. Takashi goes after her but a bus filled with zombies nearly crashes into them. Rei and Takashi are trapped in a tunnel and separated from the rest. Takashi tells them to meet up at the police station at the east section before both sides go their own way. Seems the fire burned out the zombies in the bus. Takashi and Rei fight and subdue a biker zombie before taking his bike and riding through the eerily quiet streets.

Episode 4
What’s this?! Already a recap episode?! What are they trying to pull?! Anyone it isn’t a detailed one and just a brief one from how it all started to where they are. The story proper resumes in the second half of the episode. Takashi and Rei stumble upon a dead police patrol car and take their guns and ammo. They stop at a petrol station to refuel but have no matter so as Takashi try to break the register for cash, a hoodlum guy takes Rei hostage. He’s human but has gone crazy. Yeah, after bludgeoning his entire family including his little sister, how can he stay sane? He proceeds to caress Rei’s boobs and thinks of making her his woman and threatens Takashi to refuel the bike or he’ll kill her. Takashi does so but as that guy begins one of his crazy yelling, Takashi whips out the police gun and shoots his shoulder point blank. Their ruckus have already attracted the zombies so Takashi and Rei zoom off on the bike and leave that braces guy to get bitten. Pitiful to let another human die but in such circumstances, would you do the same thing too?

Episode 5
Rika Minami, one of the 2 expert snipers sniping out zombies on the runway and clearing the way for the airplane of VIPs to take off. Meanwhile Shidou continues his annoying cult preaching so Shizuka and the rest thinks of getting off this bus and away from this weirdo. I agree they should because I think he’s much scarier than those zombies. Shidou agrees to let them go but wants Shizuka to stay as she is a medic. Hirano fires a warning shot at him that he can kill living people too. Shizuka and co successfully alight from the bus. Takashi and Rei zoom pass a chaotic section as humans attack them for no reason. Yup, everything is going out of control. The bridge is jam packed as the police are preventing people from crossing over. The duo try another bridge but it is also blocked. They hear familiar shots and find Shizuka and co cornered by zombies. They dive in to help as Takashi throws Hirano his police gun so the fatty has a field day taking out the zombies. The day is getting dark, they can’t cross the river but need a place to stay. Shizuka mentions her friend’s place (Rika) close by as she has the keys to her place. Upon arrival, I’m sure everyone could sleep in peace since the place has a high fence and there is even a humvee too! But the place is filled with zombies inside. I guess they have no qualms in taking the offensive and slaughter the entire place.

Episode 6
After all that blood and gore, I guess we need a little refreshing view with some bath time fanservice. I hope the girls’ loud bathing folly won’t attract the zombies. As for the guys, they check out the owner’s closet and to Hirano’s happiness, it is filled with lots of guns! He sure knows his stuff well. They ponder what kind of person Shizuka’s friend is for her to be living in such a posh place and having all these guns. It’s a good thing Shizuka has this kind of person as her friend, eh? As they watch the TV, they see the chaos unfolding on the bridge. If the police isn’t having their hands full barricading it, there are a bunch of troublemakers sympathizing with the zombies staging a protest, blaming all this as some cover up thingy. The police chief warns the leader to back off but he continues to mock them. He then pulls out his gun and shoots him dead! It’s getting crazier by the second! Even back in the apartment too. With the girls’ clothes left to dry, they are left to wear sexy outfits for the time being. Saeko in a naked apron? Why is Shizuka and Rei acting like drunken people? Are they going through some menopause stage with their emotional state of being? Must be the recent events. Rei talks to Takashi about Hisashi so he gets pissed off for bringing up the past and comparing his faults with him. As they calm down, they get intimate with each other. That is interrupted when they hear a puppy barking below. They go outside to see their place swamped by zombies. Back at the bridge, the police order the bulldozer to bulldoze through the zombies. Then the chief shoots himself in the head.

Episode 7
As they watch from above how the surviving humans get bitten, Saeko suggests that they dim the lights so as not to attract other survivors. She assures them she is just telling them the facts of reality and hasn’t sunken that far. Then they witness a father and her daughter, Alice Maresato trying to take refuge in a house. The occupants are reluctant to take them in. When the father threatens to break the door down, they relent but it was just a ploy to stab him. Alice is shocked as she sees her father dying in his own pool of blood. Poor kid, she’s going to be very traumatic. This also attracts the zombies. Hirano snipes them while Takashi plans to rescue her on his bike. Takashi dashes his way across as Hirano provides the much needed cover. Finally he arrives and takes out the zombies closing in on Alice. The other girls prepare to load the necessary stuff into the humvee and get ready to leave. Can’t stay here forever, right? Takashi gives Alice and the dog, Zeke, a piggyback ride as they carefully trudge their way on the wall. One mistake and they’ll fall into the sea of hungry zombies. Suddenly Alice has to go to the toilet. Of all times, now? He allows her to let it go on him. What choice has he got? Better keep your footing and balance. Though the humvee cavalry is arriving, it seems like an eternity for them to get through the zombie horde. Saeko must be pretty confident standing on top while the vehicle barges its way through. Takashi and Alice hop on as the gang make their journey to find a way across the river.

Episode 8
We see that even onboard Air Force One, the American president is having a dilemma to unleash some attack. Too bad the First Lady and some of the crew are already zombies. Better hurry. Meanwhile as the humvee makes its way across the river, Hirano and Alice have gotten pretty close to each other. Hope he isn’t a lolicon. Alice sings her cute rendition of Row Your Boat while Hirano his bloody version. “Shoot, shoot, shoot your gun, kill them all now!” WTF?! Rei gets a little jealous to see Saeko sleeping closely to Takashi. What’s more, she’s drooling over his pants! When they reach the other side, the girls change into their clothes while Hirano teaches Takashi how to use a gun. They continue their journey and it seems there is nobody around. Not even zombies. How peaceful. All that comes crashing down when they see the undead in the next corner. Shizuka makes sudden turns at any corner to avoid the zombies. So much so she loses control after it slides on some blood and crashes into some barb wires. The Rei is thrown off and the humvee cannot start. Oh no. Zombies closing in. Takashi tries to fire his weapon but as an amateur misses. With Hirano’s guidance, he gets by. The numbers are going to overwhelm them so I don’t know how Takashi got this idea as he uses Rei’s boobs as recoil cushion when he fires his gun! Isn’t that painful? What’s more, her boobs are shaking like jelly! Saeko’s acrobatic moves are another mind blowing act. We see her gracefully in action as Takashi’s bullets zooms by just inches between her legs or boobs! WOW! Saya decides to help out and not be just a useless lip service whiner and goes crazy with the gun. But the numbers aren’t decreasing. Takashi and Saeko barge through the zombie wave intending to draw their attention away from the rest. However even after at a safe distance and no matter how loud noises they make, the zombies aren’t attracted to them and continue their march towards the humvee. Hirano plans to release only Alice to safety but she doesn’t want to be alone as his face brings back memories of a similar one when her dad died. In the nick of time, firemen from opposite the barb wire rescue them as it turns out that one of them is Saya’s mom. She happily reunites with her while Takashi and Saeko continue their run through the town to meet up with them.

Episode 9
Takashi and Saeko turn back to a bike shop to take an amphibious vehicle. They did a little experiment and find out that the zombies are not good when it comes to slopes or stairs. Plus, they seem to not cross the river and ‘lost interest’ in chasing them. They take refuge at a sandbank in the middle of it. Saeko got wet from that experiment and changes her clothes. She mentions about him looking at her as a woman and he asks if she has anyone she loves. Her reply is that she does. After a little rest, they resume their journey deep into the town. Takashi crashes the vehicle into the little fountain pond and makes the vehicle go round in circles as a ploy to distract the zombies. The duo get off as Saeko starts smacking her way through. She seems to be having lots of fun striking the zombies till she sees a kid zombie. She is frozen and paralyzed at its sight and could’ve been another victim if Takashi didn’t swiftly take it out with his gun. Seeking shelter at a shrine, Takashi tries to cheer gloomy Saeko up and successfully manages to break her into laughter. Portable toilet? Saeko starts telling her past. She had a guy she liked but never got a chance to confess to him as she thinks she isn’t good enough. Apparently she mentions about killing someone before. Long ago, some guy wanted to make a move on her but because she had her bokuto (wooden sword) with her, she broke his bones. However the point wasn’t the fact she violently defended herself from being raped. It was she didn’t hold herself back and enjoyed beating the crap out of him. That is the real her and was this way long before the zombies showed up. The reason why she froze back then was she remembered this and realized she hasn’t changed but gotten worse. Takashi holds her palm as they soon kiss. Next morning, it’s bright and sunny. Only the sight of those incoming zombies is spoiling the atmosphere. Looks like they need to make another run. Saeko is still feeling miserable so Takashi forcefully grabs her boobs. If she needs a reason, she’ll give her one but even how tainted she is, he’ll admire her as the best woman for as long as he lives and wants her to live with her sins as her true self. Erm… Is he serious about that admiring part? Well Takashi, looks like you’ve got to take responsibility for that now. Saeko thanks him and returns to her vicious self, coolly taking out all the zombies and enjoying every bit of it. Finally the duo manage to reunite with the rest at Saya’s huge mansion.

Episode 10
Rei is undergoing Shizuka’s painful ointment treatment. No thanks to that Takashi who used her boobs as recoiling cushion. Ouch. I hope she doesn’t need to go for breast surgery or further implants. Just kidding. Saya is fresh from her argument with mommy. Soon they learn they may have to leave this place because it won’t be long before electricity and water supply will be cut off. And it’ll be hard to maintain for a large mansion like this. The reason those supplies were available was because the army was sent (that helicopter incident) to defend those plants and the people there continued to work freely from zombies. But how long can they hold out? They have families too. Saya assembles her pals and throws them a decision they need to make: To join or split from this bigger and stronger group. Takashi commends how Saya’s parents are doing everything they can to help but Saya gets pissed off and snaps. She goes on ranting about their success in a sarcastic way so much so Takashi couldn’t take much more of her b*tching and grabs her by her collar and shakes her! He chides her that she is the only one who knows her family are safe. They then see Saya’s dad, Souichirou, the current family head and former lord of the Tokonosu, demonstrating to the other survivors about the tough reality of survival. One of his retainers got bitten while trying to rescue another. Though a noble effort, he isn’t a human now. Souichirou will fulfil his duty to his retainer and slices his head off. Hirano isn’t convinced since a sword can break when it hits the bone but Saeko counters with other factors which makes a sword ‘strong’. Upset Hirano chides Takashi for not being able to use a gun properly and runs away. Hirano is caught by the adults as they want him to give up the guns he is hoarding. He refuses and clings on tightly to them. Souichirou comes by and learns what is happening and Hirano reiterates he won’t hand them over no matter what since he has found something he is good at. He is unable to answer when Souichirou asks him the thing he is good at. That’s when Takashi steps in to say Hirano is good at protecting his daughter. All his other friends stood by him and praise his bravery. He even gets Saya’s approval as she mentions from her own mouth she was being protected by him unlike her dad (she has something against her parents?). Lastly, we still see that Shidou guy still around. He receives a report from his ‘follower’ about a chance of being taken in to the mansion. Despicable Shidou seems to have absolute control over his students, taking pictures of them in an orgy. What the?! And I was hoping he would’ve turned into a zombie now.

Episode 11
Can you believe it? Shidou still continues his dramatic speech to his mesmerized students while he lets that ‘follower’ get chewed by the zombies outside the bus (apparently his punishment for talking back). Meanwhile Saya gets into an argument with a group of adults who refuse to believe about this zombie thingy and are against the use of violence. So does getting loud and going crazy count? Saya discusses with Takashi and Hirano about people in denial and change and then acknowledges Takashi as their leader, surprising him. Souichirou is having a talk with Saeko. He gives her his sword and thinks Takashi has grown into a fine man though he is still hesitant. Then Takashi’s turn to talk to Rei (did she put camera straps to support her boobs?). The way Rei said things was like she now really loves him and wants to be by his side even if he loves other girls. What a total change of heart. I guess Takashi isn’t that all a jerk now when he first smashed Hisashi’s head, eh? Women, can’t understand them. Oops. Sorry. Later Takashi talks to Souichirou that he plans to go out to search for his parents and Rei’s. However Souichirou’s party will be moving out tomorrow so if he doesn’t return, Takashi says to assume that he’ll be staying put there. Saeko is ready to go on another journey with them (what’s with all the sexy clothes she always wear? “Do you always try to seduce everybody”?).  Suddenly Rei bursts into an angry rage. It seems Shidou and his students have legitimately entered the mansion. We see a brief history that Shidou is the son of a senator but to him his dad is just a noisy bastard that drove his mom to suicide. That’s when Shidou decided to leave the family and became a teacher. Then his dad ordered him to hold back Rei a year in school just because he had unpleasant ties with Rei’s dad. Rei lunges the bayonet at Shidou’s face. She blames him for making her dad suffer and the guilt he held. She had to hold it all in as she knew it was him who altered her grades and if the investigations went well, Shidou and his dad could’ve been arrested. She is going to kill him. Souichirou encourages her to do what she has to do so Shidou dares her. But Rei puts her bayonet away and claims he isn’t worth killing, upsetting Shidou very much. Have you ever seen his face contort that much before? Souichirou has Shidou and his students leave his estate immediately. Meanwhile a bunch of submarine guys pray to God for mercy as they receive orders to fire warheads. And from Nasa’s view from space, it’s like several countries firing missiles, destroying each other and bringing Armageddon. Hey, we don’t need Judgment Day to come, don’t we?

Episode 12
The missile war begins so much so we can see that familiar mushroom bomb smoke from outer space. Shizuka finally remembers Rika’s number and calls her. She is relieved her Special Assault Team friend is still alive but their joy is cut short when a sudden bright light engulfs the sky and cuts out all communications and anything that is electronic. So which means if you are driving a car powered by electronic, the brakes won’t be working. Like how Shidou’s bus crashes into the barricade and letting all the zombies through. Calm Saya explains the electromagnetic wave effect that fries anything that has a computer chip inside it. Souichirou commends her for being able to stay calm during this time of panic. Just then a swarm of zombies converge at the main gates. The workers close it, trying to hold them back but their numbers are overwhelming so much so the gate breaks. Let the hungry fest begin! Soon the zombie count increases as our heroes and other survivors defend themselves from the endless nightmare. Souichirou gets word that their neighbouring house hasn’t been attacked so he suggests that the survivors break through to that place. He tells Takashi to walk his own path and leaves his daughter in Hirano’s care. Saya know what this means but she gets a little slap from mommy that this decision hurts them too, it is what they want and that they have their own roles to play. Souichirou and his men start the offensive as Takashi’s head towards the garage to escape via another humvee. Though it is electromagnetic wave-proof, the mechanic is trying to repair it seeing that it is a little damaged. For the time being, the rest will have to defend the place. Once the humvee is up and running, the gang busts out and heads straight over the horizon. Souichirou and his wife’s fate are left hanging. But what are the chances when you’re being surrounded by zombies? Yeah, no regrets. Salute. Saya probably knew this was going to happen as she tries her best to remain her composure. Takashi and co continue their travel, with the usual zombie killing till their humvee can’t go on further. They reach outside a shopping mall.

There was an OVA episode released back in May 2011. Somehow it felt like a relaxed version because it lacks all those flesh-eating zombies. So if it doesn’t have that, what does it have then? Why, fanservice of course! Lasting approximately 16 minutes or so, we see Takashi’s narration of fighting and escaping zombies in the opening but he too gets distracted and fallen into the fanservice trap when he thinks about those erm, fanservice moments about the girls. So during their escape from the zombies, the gang ended up on a secluded little island with no other life forms in sight via little boat. Oddly there is a beach house filled with water supplies though no one is around. And yes, there are swimsuits too. Guys included. Get out of your tight clothes and let your bodies breathe! Disgustingly, Hirano put on a female school swimsuit. With the lack of food, the girls ‘force’ the guys to go hunting. Or else Shizuka’s boobs will shrink, according to her. Nope. Not her stomach. Takashi comes back empty handed while surprisingly Hirano has his net full of seafood catch. If it’s any consolation for Takashi, he and Zeke brought back some leafs to start fire. As they cook the fish, they suddenly smell something funny and as Shizuka point out, the leafs are actually hydrangea, supposedly gives hallucination when inhaled. Too late. I don’t know but how come every busty girl who hallucinates must get horny? Yeah, Shizuka and Rei start seducing Takashi. Even Saya. Something hot is raging inside her body! Saeko seems not to be affected by the smoke yet and takes Takashi to safety. But at a distance, I’m not sure if it’s her hallucination or her real desire because she wants to be his woman.

Meanwhile Shizuka and Saya start hugging each other because they see each other as Rika and mommy respectively. They proceed to do lots of skinship on each other. Back to Saeko, she starts kissing Takashi. But that’s not the end of it, Takashi pushes her down and, let’s say it really gets steamy from here. Morning comes, Saya realizes she is totally naked with Shizuka! Then to her horror, she spots Hirano doing something pleasant with a broomstick. Let’s say it was between his legs and moving in a systematic motion. The worse one has got to be Saeko. She’s not making out with Takashi actually. It’s Rei!!! HOLY SH*T! So once the gang realize their embarrassing folly, I’m sure it’s natural that they’re just sitting there in shock, reflecting if all this was just a bad nightmare. It isn’t. They really did it on each other. Suddenly Alice runs up to them saying that Takashi is in deep trouble. The disturbing part wasn’t the fact he is amazingly keeping 4 zombikini (zombie in bikini) babes from biting his flesh with all his limbs, but rather is still daydreaming that Rei, Saya, Saeko and Shizuka are doing something so perverted on him that he is going to cum!!!! I’m not sure if they want to let the zombies eat him or wake him up from his unsightly dream. I’m not sure if there is another OVA because as Alice presents in a slideshow form in the end, she’s saying how they discovered a tunnel that links to the mainland and that their fight will continue. Hey, where was she when the rest were engaging in such unholy act?

“The Zombies Are Coming…”
That’s it?! That is how it ended? Doesn’t feel like an ending! I can’t believe it was left hanging like this! It’s not over yet, really. It could have been quite a good series in my opinion if not for that half-assed ending that left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. Just like how the end quote perfectly summarizes the way the series ended: “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a whimper”. That’s right. What a wimpy ending. Anyway that quote was taken from a poem from T.S. Eliot, Hollow Men. Not that I have read it before or any of his works probably there’s a hidden meaning to it to say about us humans. Later I found out that the comic that this series is based on is currently ongoing. So I guess it’s better to end it there instead of putting in mindless fillers like a long running show that has everyone all vexed up.

For a horror genre, I was always on the edge of my seat for the entire duration of this series. It is not that I was scared out of my wits, but rather each time the zombies attack, it was nail-biting to see how the gang survives each fight. Of course we all know that our heroes will always make it through in the end but each of the assault from the zombies gave that dangerous feeling that they could be bitten the very next second. They may seem dull and like clones but they do give off that eerie feel. The subliminal message that this series is trying to say is probably the survival nature of humans. When faced with such a situation, we can see the true colours of our kind emerging. Some true leaders are born and some will turn to their dark side to do just about anything to survive. Then there are some that are willing to brave for changes and some unable to accept reality and shroud in their own world of denial. But even as we are now, are we no better than being mindless zombies? It makes us think of the many possibilities of the extinction of the human race and whether or not our own foolish doing is the cause of apocalypse. I wonder if those greenhouse and pollution effect has anything do with it.

You can’t help but root for Takashi and his gang. They may not be perfect but they rely on each other as they try and survive. Each of the characters has their own personalities, making the group quite fun. However because the series is too short, there isn’t enough time to appropriately flesh out the characters and how they will change as they further survive the carnage and pending apocalypse. We have short glimpses of Saeko’s past and Saya’s family but that doesn’t do much justice. Takashi has turned from someone who is indecisive into someone capable and reliable leader. I felt that Takashi and Rei’s relationship takes a back seat after halfway through. I felt that Rei didn’t really ‘stand out’ nor do anything significant other than her scorn for Shidou after reaching Saya’s mansion. Then again like I said, this series is too short for anything. Maybe I was having a wishful thinking hoping there will be some love polygon seeing that there were little hints of some budding romance. Uh, maybe this whole zombie thingy has got me crazy too. I have a feeling about Hirano’s character. I felt that as though the producers are telling us that otakus aren’t as useless as they seem. Saya may not be good at taking offensive but her intelligence proves vital. She isn’t a rich spoilt brat no more. But I couldn’t say the same for Shizuka because she’s still the busty airhead from start to finish. Hey, every group needs a bimbo like her. Who else provides a ‘good’ driver than her? Remember, everybody else is underage so they have no driving licence. Heck, you don’t need one now in this world. Come to think of it, don’t they look just like an RPG party? Takashi, Rei and Saeko for melee combat, Hirano the long range fighter, Shizuka the medic and Saya and Alice as supporting backup class such as mage and priestess. Don’t forget about Zeke as the mascot. Shidou is the creepiest non-zombie character and I’m not sure about his fate in the end when he crashed his bus. Did he get eaten or did he escape? I prefer and hope it is the former.

The characteristics of the zombie sometimes puzzle me. For instance their sensitivity to be attracted by sound. When Zeke was barking like mad against the hordes of zombies during its first appearance to protect Alice, why didn’t the zombies bite the puppy? Does it mean that they only bite humans? Then around the time Takashi and Saeko tried to distract the zombies from the rest and banged on the railing as loud as he could but the zombies continue their slogging towards the restless one. So this had me thinking that if you accidentally make a loud noise but slowly get away from the spot without panicking or being noisy, would you be able to evade the zombies? Just how come they know when to bite the human flesh if they lack all other senses? So if you play dead, are your chances of getting bitten lower? And why is it zombies can’t cross water? How can they tell when as mentioned they lack senses? Will they sink to the bottom? Yeah, might as well start living in the sea if you’re going to live a life free of zombies. Baffling but I guess that is what being a zombie means. Don’t try to understand them. Just kill them all! Bang, bang, bang, bang! Oops, sorry. Got carried away with Hirano’s modified overkill version.

The action of smashing zombies is definitely violent. But sometimes the action especially those involving riding vehicles can really be absurd. Take for instance the final escape scene from Saya’s estate. I’m not sure if Shizuka is that skilful in handling the humvee but can you believe it when she actually is able to tilt it and squeeze through the tiny opening of the barricade and zoom past it without error?! Wow. I’m speechless. And about Saeko’s ‘bullet time’ ability? I have no qualms about her excellent kendo skill and am confident that with her around, the gang will be in safe hands. But during the scene whereby she gracefully dodges her comrade’s bullets and continue her swinging like as though this is some sort of sophisticated art made my jaw dropped. Why not? This whole outbreak thingy was unexplainable in the first place so why not go all the way with the fanservice and violence. Yeah, who cares for the fanservice when you have zombies to fight. Probably to ‘relieve tension’ for viewers in between the bloody carnage? So perhaps that is why the girls still continue to choose to wear short skirts rather than long pants that may or may not be baggy and restrict their movements during fights. On a trivial note, each of the episode title has the word ‘dead’ in it. Dead on. Plus, it is a little creative to see how the title is being displayed as the episode starts after the opening credits, like being written with blood or on a signpost. Why do we need to be reminded of the episode title again right at the end just before the ending credits? This time in a more standard font. The next episode preview sounds like a cacophony of people speaking and shouting. It’s crazy. Besides, when everybody is talking, nobody is listening, right?

I don’t really have any qualms with the voice acting. Except for Takashi’s who is voiced by Junichi Suwabe (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis, Undertaker in Kuroshitsuji). Somehow I find his voice unsuitable as a high school student as he sounds more like a young adult. Noboyuki Hiyama as Hirano (Ikkaku in Bleach) proves to be quite fun when he gets loud or excited. Other casts include Marina Inoue as Rei (Kyoko in Skip Beat), Eri Kitamura as Saya (Ami in Toradora), Miyuki Sawashiro as Saeko (Shinku in Rozen Maiden), Yukari Fukui as Shizuka (Nia in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Ayana Taketatsu as Alice (Azusa in K-ON!, Ako in KissxSis) and Kishou Taniyama as Shidou (Saten in Needless, Takeya in DearS). The voice acting of the other minor characters are also convincing as they portray the people in panic as they scream just seconds before they are devoured or the fear they faced when they are so close to the undead or being bitten. Truly scary. The opening theme, which is the same name as the series is a total hard rock piece sung by Kisida Kyodan & The Akebosi Rockets. The tune and lyrics are definitely befitting the pace of this series. However each of the ending themes is different though they are all sung by Maon Kurosaki. They may range from slow ballads to fast rock to pop beats, and even one totally in English. I may not be right but I feel that many of its lyrics have this lingering feeling of what has happened to the world whether it’s ‘wanting to be with you’ or ‘if time would stop like this’.

It’s just frightening and terrifying to think that if all six over billion of us humans are turned into zombies. And that number is to hit seven in no time. It’s just a daunting task for the survivors to put a bullet in each head or smack it off. I don’t think the world has produced that much ammo. This is one case where disrespecting the dead is okay. But will be being the dead really be better off? So if it does happen, what would I really do? What can we do? Blowing up the entire world with nuclear bombs may be a way to ‘clean up’ the world and start anew but that would be just the easy way out, don’t you think? As for me, erm… Maybe I better start playing and practising those Resident Evil games just in case.


June 24, 2011

I have probably seen this type of romance genre a thousand times. It feels the same although they repackage it differently. Non-blood related siblings, sister taking the role of mommy for the brother, living together in a house who knows where their parents are, a childhood friend that has gone far away and suddenly returned during their teenage years, rekindled love feelings… Ah, so typical but yet made me watch it. The 2003 OVA Mizuiro is no different from this.

This series is based on the adult game of the same name. As I found out, there was an earlier OVA released the year before. However that one leans towards more hentai. Phew. It’s a good thing I found out about it or else I would’ve gotten a real shock if I ever saw it. In this OVA, I read that though the story remains somewhat the same, it is tailored so that all the female heroines could fit into the story.

Episode 1
A flashback when Kenji Katase, his sister Yuki and childhood friend Hiyori Hayasaka were young. At the gachapon stand, Kenji is disappointed to get a ring instead of a yo-yo he wanted. Hiyori wanted it but Kenji didn’t like the thought of giving it to her because when a guy gives a girl a ring, it means he is proposing. Hiyori would do anything to be his bride even if this means getting and trading a yo-yo for him. Hiyori and Yuki return to the machine and manage to get a yo-yo gachapon. When the girls return to Hiyori’s house, Hiyori gives the gachapon to Yuki and wants her to give it to Kenji for her. When Kenji and Yuki return to visit Hiyori, her house is already empty. Looks like they have moved out.

In present day, Kenji and Yuki are now high school students. Yuki wakes him up for breakfast as Kenji complains about hearing some childish voice crying in his room and knows it isn’t a dream. Yuki think it’s some controlled spirit chained to something that follows him to his room. On their way to school, they meet Asami Kozu who whizzes them by in her bicycle. Since they’re running late, they make a dash and manage to make it before the school bell rings. Yuki almost trip but Kenji catches her. This has Mutsuki Shindou teasing them that they are doing lovey-dovey things because they stay under the same roof as siblings (fact is, Kenji and Yuki aren’t blood related and nobody knows this secret). Kenji gives Shindou a chop in the neck that literally paralyzes her.

In class, Kiyoka Onosaki reminds Kenji that Valentine’s Day is approaching. He scoffs off the idea of getting obligation chocolates from Yuki when his male buddies chide him for even being lucky to get chocolates unlike them who don’t even get a single one. Poor guys. That’s why they’re just side characters. Back home, Kenji asks if Yuki has a person in mind to give her chocolates and if she does, he wants her to introduce that guy to him and make sure he’s a good guy. Sister protective complex? That night as Kenji is sleeping, he is awakened by a sound of a crying girl coming from his closet. He has a tough time opening it and when he does, an airhead girl falls out. Why airhead? She’s asking who he is and how she ended up here. She then thinks he’s a kidnapper and starts getting afraid! Her crying must have been loud enough to make Yuki come in to check the commotion. Thank goodness she didn’t jump the gun but Kenji is stammering to try and explain about the situation. Yuki remembers how she and Kenji first met crying Hiyori when she was lost. They comforted her and that’s when they became friends. So this airhead girl is Hiyori? It is. Yuki is surprised she’s grown much bigger (and in certain places too). Hiyori didn’t even realize it herself till she looked in the mirror.

They try to know how she got locked in the closet. When Kenji tries to put his hands on her, he passes straight through her! OMG! A ghost! Hiyori starts freaking out thinking there is one nearby. Told you she’s an airhead. But so cute lah. Hey wait a minute. If she’s a ghost, why can’t she just pass through the closet door? Is there some sort of barrier? As they discuss things, Hiyori doesn’t have any recollections of how she got here. So they try to talk about things they know in hopes of jogging her memory like the park they first met, the amusement park by the sea and their elementary school teacher Aoki. They must be talking for so long that it is now morning. As Kenji draw open the curtains, he start to realize Hiyori fading away slowly before completely disappearing. The next morning, the siblings discuss why Hiyori appeared and notice that she showed up in her childhood clothes. Kenji gets an idea from the graduation album to ask a teacher to look up on the records.

That night, it’s that familiar “It’s dark! Let me out!” voice again. Kenji opens the closet and the all-familiar Hiyori falls out. They continue their midnight chat. Next day in class, Kiyoka teases Kenji for staying up late when he suddenly asks her belief in spirits. If he can produce proof like a photo, she will. Later Kenji calls Aoki to ask about Hiyori. He mentions she had some illness and had to transfer school to be treated. Kenji goes back to take a polaroid photo of Hiyori. He shows it to Kiyoka but she doesn’t seem amused. There is no ghost she could see in the photo! But Kenji is adamant and points it right there. Even his male buddies don’t see a thing and nothing but his room space. Kiyoka’s conclusion? He has become obsessed with that spirit!

Kenji skips class and takes a train to the hospital where Hiyori is believed to be treated. He returns home and tells Yuki what he knows about Hiyori. He adds that after asking around the neighbourhood, her condition worsened and there is a possibility that she might die soon, thus the ghost thingy. Both siblings feel gloomy. Yuki remembers the time Hiyori gave the yo-yo gachapon to her. When Yuki tried to hand it to Kenji, he was more interested to go look at some remote controlled toy. Yuki briefly put the ring on her finger and was happy for a second before starting to feel sad and finally storing it away in her drawer. It is still in her drawer today.

Episode 2
Flashback how Hiyori wanted to be Kenji’s bride and Yuki for Kenji to be pick her up like prince on a white horse. They both made a promise. On a rainy day, Yuki notices that though Hiyori has been appearing daily, she didn’t appear last night. In school during recess, Kiyoka notices Kenji’s gloominess. He asks her about the reason a spirit appears. Her reply? Go ask the spirit yourself. Makes sense. She mentions that Yuki is down too and in no time, Kenji’s male buddies take him away for interrogation. Are they some sort of unofficial Yuki Fan Club? Shindou talks to Yuki about making their own Valentine chocolates but Yuki has got lots on her mind to pay attention to what she’s saying. They both head to the store to buy ingredients.

Back home, they notice Hiyori appearing early and think perhaps she comes out early on rainy days. Hiyori thinks the reason she is here because it is fun being with them like they used to be in the past and that she loves both of them. However the reason why she can’t open the closet still remains a mystery but she did mention how Kenji locked her inside though his dad came to her rescue subsequently. Next day on their way to school, Shindou mentions her failure to make chocolates and thinks of buying something else today and try again and wants Yuki to come with her. On another rainy day, Hiyori appears early and is shocked that Kenji is studying! She suggests that after the test that all 3 of them go out on a date to the amusement park together. He agrees. Yuki is eavesdropping outside the door and starts to get worried and wonders what to do. On the morning of the test day, Kenji wonders if he had said something wrong to Hiyori like how she couldn’t touch anything so it wouldn’t be fun.

After the test, Shindou thinks she has flopped big time and pesters Yuki to come to her place to help her. Meanwhile Kenji walks back together with Asami on a rainy as they discuss about things that couldn’t be done on a rainy day and even so, should make some special memories on a day like this. Back home, Hiyori wishes Kenji happy Valentine’s Day so he decides to take her to the amusement park this instant. They have a swell time together. Hey wait a minute. As a ghost, how can Hiyori touch and feel all the rides? After Yuki is done at Shindou’s place, she goes to see Aoki who has called her. He couldn’t help think about Kenji’s call that day and help out. He gives her a book from Hiyori from her last teacher. Yuki reads its contents and learns about Hiyori’s dream. Due to her bad health, she changed school many times doesn’t have lots of friends. But she was able to make 2 of them and really loved them. Though she is separated from them now, she hopes to meet them someday and tell them words she couldn’t manage to say before. Yuki rushes back home and opens the drawer to find Hiyori’s chocolates and a note saying goodbye. Then she takes her gachapon ring and rushes out.

A short flashback reveals how Hiyori came to Kenji’s place in hopes of giving her chocolate to him. But he saw him eating Yuki’s and decided not to and lied she messed up baking it. Back at the park, it is confirmed that Hiyori in a way is a ghost because the other people can’t see her and they think Kenji is a dangerous person for talking to himself! By the time Yuki reaches the amusement park, Kenji and Hiyori are riding the Ferris wheel. After reaching the ground, Hiyori thanks him and says it is her time to go. She asks him if he’d prefer good or bad chocolates. Hiyori doesn’t give Kenji any space to say what he wants and is about to leave when Yuki appears and calls her a liar. She knows Hiyori loved Kenji a lot and wonders would it be okay to leave without saying anything. She shows her the chocolates she made and the one they once made together and then shows Kenji the goodbye note. Yuki reveals that though she managed to exchange the ring with Kenji for the yo-yo, it was Hiyori who actually got the yo-yo and not her. She felt guilty that she should have returned it to her but never did. Yuki passes the ring to Hiyori (now she can hold it). Hiyori begins to float away into the sky. Kenji gives his answer on the chocolate: It may not be the correct answer, but he’ll be happy with either one (is that another on-the-fence answer?). Hiyori smiles and vanishes in a happy mood.

The next scene shows Kenji and Yuki visiting Hiyori at the hospital and the airhead girl seems to be very much healthier. Hiyori’s mom reveals that before her operation, she started talking about the past events and having dreams about it. She thinks she must have met them in her dreams and thus gave her the courage to face the operation. Yuki asks Hiyori if she stills Kenji and she too throws the same question back at her. No prizes to guess what their answer is. Hiyori wishes for her to wait till she is discharged as they both renew their promise.

Fuutsuiro (Normal colour)
Even if the ending is nothing much, but in a way it is heart-warming. The whole series was something about Kenji made to remember his feelings with Hiyori when she suddenly vanished and then reappearing again. As for Yuki, it was the part of fulfilling her promise. It was just a simple task of exchanging the toys, I guess. Hiyori was absolutely cute as an airhead ghost (and even more so by the fact that she is aptly voiced no other than Yuko Goto) though certain things still bug me like why she cannot pass through several objects and why she appears in night time and particularly in Kenji’s closet. They may have said something about their past childhood that they often did but I guess I shouldn’t be too worried about the details. For a short series, the pacing and the drama are rather okay.

I know this OVA as said has been tailored to fit all the other girls but I find even so they don’t really make an impact even with their short appearances. Shindou and Kiyoka are probably for comic relief while Asami was well, I thought she had a potential to confess her feelings to Kenji and make it a little more complicated but you know, how much can you achieve with just a couple of episodes? So much so I thought that the OVA could be done without them since the big focus is still between Kenji, Yuki and Hiyori.

The drawing and art seems light and somehow lives up to its name. Yeah, at points they seem like water colour. Surprisingly there are no fanservice elements. Nothing close. I suppose after having the previous OVA filled with hentai, I’m sure the producers would like to do something different. Just your ordinary love and romance genre that’s all. So while this kind of genre never seems to bore me and I keep coming back to watch them from time to time, but I guess that is where the magic is even though they have slightly different plots, predicaments and character designs. If I was visited by a ghost of a childhood friend, I’d probably run to the nearest exorcist first. Definitely don’t want to undergo an afterlife marriage.

Asobi Ni Iku Yo

June 18, 2011

What do you think when you hear a series with such a name as “I Come To Play”? Furthermore, would you even suspect anything fishy with its second title, “Bombshells from the Sky”? Yeah, I don’t blame you. Maybe you’re thinking that this is another one of those soft porn series. Asobi Ni Iku Yo may be a romantic ecchi comedy but it isn’t anything hentai. Heck, I don’t think that’s even an excuse. Alien cat beings that look like your Akihabara neko-mimi-onna complete with tail, check. Wearing tight body suits, check. Harem, check. Physical action… gun fights, I mean, check. Storyline… Erm… I’ll leave it to you to decide. I guess these are what you can look forward to for this show.

Episode 1
Seems like Earth has come into contact with aliens and three different factions are trying to decipher what the heck “I came to play” means. Are they the aggressive king wanting to take over the world? Are they like little kids just wanting to play? Or are they just here for breeding purposes and ensure survival of their race? Okay, I made all that up. We also some chic in a body suit infiltrating some ship but the captain detonated and sinks everything. Back on the hot and warm shores of Okinawa, Kio Kakazu attends a memorial service of his grandpa’s death anniversary and meets up with his eccentric uncle Yuichi. He must be thinking how on Earth this happened because a cute cat girl is sitting and drinking among them. She is Eris and her cat ears and tail are for real. Hey, that makes her having 2 pairs of ears, right? Kio accidentally sips the beer and passes out. Next thing he knows, he wakes up in bed to see semi-naked Eris sleeping with him. Hope he hasn’t done anything to her. Why is she doing this? Apparently uncle Yuichi told her to do anything she likes. Haha. Okay, so I guess you must’ve figured it out by now that if a tsundere next door neighbour-cum-childhood friend comes checking on you even if it’s some excuse to see if Kio is hiding some porn magazine, you can tell she has a crush on him but obviously doesn’t want to admit it. She is Manami Kinjou and gets a rude shock after seeing Eris coming downstairs. It’s a very good scenario for misinterpretation. So what happens when Kio’s homeroom teacher, Maki Itokazu too comes in and sees the ‘foreign product’? Yeah, I know. We’ve seen this cliche so many times.

So the gang sit down and talk as we learn Eris is here to play while collecting info on Earth. Yeah, that’s got to be convincing enough. She even demonstrates with some hologram communicator thingy to move some spaceship. Since it’s all over the news, you might be an idiot not to believe. Eris also reveals her Catia race’s intention to befriend Earth. I’m sure every guy would want to be friends with a hot cat lady. We see gun freak Manami and CIA wannabe spying on their conversation with her high-tech equipment and relaying information to her supervisor JACK (believe me, it is her initials because her real name is too long and too hard to remember). Seems there is more than meets the eye to this Manami girl. Heck, even Maki-sensei too. What the heck is this Beautiful Contact Sect she belongs to? A bevy of spy beauties flanking unsuspecting Kio? Oh yeah, add another girl to the harem while you’re at it. She is Aoi Futaba and though she may look shy and soft-spoken, behind that exterior is a tough fighting machine. That girl who kicked ass in the beginning was her. Belonging to Japan’s Immigration Bureau and nicknamed Momiji the Devil, she too has a secret crush on Kio. She asks him for a date but was ‘interrupted’ when her ‘uncle’ takes her away for some secret mission. Aoi scares that ‘uncle’ by showing how serious she is, making him swear in his pants when she fires a warning shot at the windshield. And all these 3 ladies, they seem to have orders of taking out Eris. I thought it was more of the harem thing, the less the better but it’s actually each of their organization have something against Eris. Hey, I don’t even care.

Episode 2
Manami and Aoi continue to watch Kio and Eris. Apparently Eris is in the midst of experiencing her first mating season. Need I elaborate more? She is acting a little seductive because she read some ‘materials’ underneath Kio’s bed. Good thing (or bad, depending how you look at it), nothing happens. Next day, Eris introduces her several Assistdroids, cute little speechless androids that can help around with just an order. That night, Maki’s Beautiful Contact makes its first move. They try to eliminate Eris as they want to cut off ties between humans and aliens. Say what? And they claim to represent humanity? That’s a joke, right? Not. Aoi changes her plans to intercept. Eris is tranquilized and kidnapped by Manami who later hands it over to JACK while Yuichi takes Kio away. Kio recognizes the watch Manami was wearing (due to a particular scratch mark) so he knows it was her then and pleads her to help find Eris. They also have Beautiful Contact to help them. Eris is being held at some military base probably being treated like some hostile alien. Kio and the gang break in and would you believe it, the military isn’t as good as these people. Kio is relieved to find Eris safe. Apparently she doesn’t need their help to break out and freed herself. So now another tough part of escaping. Eris summons her Assistdroids to disarm all the tanks right down to the army’s uniform to leave them stark naked. That’s alien technology for you. Probably it would be embarrassing if it was reported they lost to a bunch of kids so it was covered up of course. Back in Kio’s home, the gang gets a surprise visit from Eris’ superiors. They have decided on making arrangements for a formal friendship. That means, they’re going to be staying here a little longer, right?

Episode 3
How do you convince a nation to be on friendly diplomatic terms? Why, dress in swimsuits of course! Real cat ears even better! So, that’s how Japan succumbed to defeat, eh? Just kidding. Due to Manami and Aoi’s previous actions, they have been treated as traitors from their organization and they can say bye-bye to their career in it. Fortunately, Kio’s house is made the embassy of Catia with its own laws and under the Catia government (attacking it would lead to an interplanetary war, so they say) so by staying here, both girls will be safe. Ah ha. So a prelude for a harem setting, eh? Yeah, they can all live happily together. Can they? Wait a minute. A small plot of land becomes an embassy of Catia? What more, someone’s house? Oh sure, it’s not like the neighbours will be bothered by it. But don’t hope for any cat fight between the girls yet. After seeing enough action, fighting among each other is the least they’d want to do. So what better than to chat and get along and learning more about each other. Manami and Aoi talk about Kio, getting to know they both like the same guy. What do they see in him anyway? Beats me. Suddenly an intruder sneaks into the house and kidnaps an Assistdroid. Manami and Aoi have no time to put on any clothes as they chase the suspect. Naked. Hope the darkness was enough to cover them. Though they manage to save the Assistdroid, the suspect escapes. Finally they realize their predicament when Kio sees them. Later as Manami and Aoi talk, Manami decides to support Aoi for Kio. Eris offers the girls to become members of Catia embassy because of their special talents. Manami gets a call from JACK about some information about the suspect. And that suspect turns out to be some eye-patch maid, Sarah, apologizing to her master, a 12 year old girl for not being able to bring her gift.

Episode 4
That little girl, Antonia (oh yeah, her full name is ridiculously long, I tell you) addresses her fans of the Underside of the Kitten Paw, a group of people obsessed about cat ears (what else?) and plans to worship Eris as a their new God (why not? She’s the closest thing to the real deal). I guess a rich girl like her have so much time, so much money to waste. Yeah, she’s got a huge ship of her own. Meanwhile Eris is feeling a little energetic as explained, she is going into heat. Something to do with her first mating season, I guess. Kio, you lucky bastard. Just kidding, nothing happened. Yet. Manami and Aoi are given their own personalized Assistdroids to command. If we have alien cat race, then we have an opposing alien dog race too, right? That’s Dogisia (dog ears anyone?). Led by Jens and her snickering dog-like Muttley (I see some resemblance to the sidekick of Dastardly), they plan to prevent any diplomatic relations with Catia and Earth. As part of Eris’ mission to observe human culture, technology and economy, which better place than to do so at Akihabara. Oh God. Of all places. I don’t know what else to say. Really. They have a fun time browsing and shop till they’re broke. It’s too tempting to resist. While waiting for a train, they sense something amiss because the entire area is void of people except themselves. Thinking that this is a trap, the plan is to let Eris, Kio and Manami board the train while Aoi go find the responsible party and will rendezvous with them later. However it’s a diversion as the real trap is on the train. The train is ambushed by maids as they kidnap Eris and Kio. Aoi comes chasing with her bike (she can actually keep up with it?). The unbelievable part was how Aoi was hit off the train, tumbled down to the tracks so much that it definitely looked it hurts and miraculously, she’s alive and not a broken bone! Manami and Aoi do some research on the fanatic group and get ready to go on another mission while Antonia addresses her maid army that the dawn of their world is here. Yeah, too much free time probably.

Episode 5
Kio and Eris wake up in their captive room but are treated like kings. It’s no harm staying for a while, right? After the sumptuous meal, the duo try to breakout but it seems Eris is in mating heat so she can’t use her power suit effectively. They are soon being accompanied by a life-size Assistdroid. Mascot? Definitely it’s someone underneath it. Yeah, it’s Antonia actually. Kio notices the place is big and lonely. All the video games are customized to be single player only as the maid explains it wouldn’t be right for the followers to beat Antonia or have the heart to intentionally lose. Meanwhile Manami and Aoi try to rent a powerboat for their rescue mission but found out that Yuichi had bought it. He agrees to let them use it but in exchange they have to help out with his gay film director buddy. After dressing up in a very revealing outfit, the duo ditch filming before it starts and charge towards Antonia’s cruiser. See all the high-tech weapon and system, a bunch of girls can even shoot a hole and penetrate into the ship. The ship is taking on water as the maids go into action. Sarah is immobilized by all things cute so she can’t fight back when she sees the real Assistdroid. Aoi takes on Jens who has also infiltrated the ship in a battle of the power suits. Jens commands her army to shoot at her coordinates. Manami finds Kio and Eris. They bump into Antonia and her other maid, Maya. The recent events have opened Antonia’s eyes as she feels guilty for troubling Eris and orders everyone to abandon ship. Kio decides to go back and look for Aoi. With Eris’ suit he borrowed, he manages to find her and escape before they become part of the watery grave.

Episode 6
While the Catia superiors are discussing about the possible interfering by Dogisia, Manami and Aoi continue to train. Manami makes a deal with Aoi that if she teaches her to fight, she’ll help Aoi get close to Kio. Chaika gives Manami and Aoi a large simulator area to practice since the backyard just couldn’t cut it. Kio on the other hand takes Eris to meet his film club members. They want to film an alien movie but think Eris looks too human so they decide to ditch the idea and do a romance film instead. This turns on Eris. Aoi practices her cooking and gas a virtual Kio to taste it while Manami does the same with her target practice while going ecstatic over the fact with all the guns at her disposal. Manami asks virtual Kio about his feelings and he answers them honestly. For instance, he confessed he liked her but thought she already had a boyfriend (that JACK) and thought he got dumped. This only upsets Manami further as she remembers how her favourite watch got that particular scratch (probably that’s when her feelings for him began). Back in reality, Aoi has Kio to test her cooking but finds out that the virtual Kio’s answer and the real one differs because the virtual one is what she ideally wanted and that there is no guarantee to know the thinking of the real one. Manami takes heart that her argument with virtual Kio was just that, a figment of her heart. As for Eris, she is forced to take pills to end her mating season prematurely. Now where’s the fun if no cat girl pounds on Kio.

Episode 7
I expected this to happen and it finally did. Eris becomes a transfer student in Kio’s class. Heck, so is Antonia and her maids too! Man, it’s getting crowded. Do you go around protecting your oujo-sama by pointing guns at other students that get too close? Kio’s film club president is trying to recruit members. Eris decides to join and this causes the rest of the girls to join. Kiasu… Now they’ve got a glut of female members. The film club is going for a beach camp. During the ride, the original film club’s female members can tell that they’re in because of Kio. Manami brushes this off and says that Aoi is after Kio instead, causing her to fluster and panic greatly. Antonia offers the girls to wear her expensive swimsuits. They realize that the swimsuits have a hole in the back to accommodate Eris tail and one of them was wearing it backwards! Nose bleed! During the night barbeque, Kio takes Aoi to have a private chat. Unfortunately, it isn’t a confession. Kio wants her to teach him to fight so that he won’t be that wussy boy the girls will always have to protect. Aoi felt hurt and decided to excuse herself to be alone. Thinking she’s just a fighting doll in his eyes, Aoi takes out her frustrations on Eris that she can’t win. Eris tells her that she feels safe with him when a little girl, Ichika pops up before them. The camp is also suddenly attacked by Dogisia Assistdroids. Aoi is able to fend off the little army with several special power seals Ichika gave her. In the aftermath, they conclude Dogisia Assistdroids cannot regenerate like Catia’s so they probably stole electronic items to repair themselves (which solves the case of missing electronics on the island). Do broken Dogisia Assistdroids are shipped in a crate and returned back to Jens.

Episode 8
Another broadcast by Antonia and Eris to their fans to slowly turn this cult thingy into a proper fan club. Can it? Aoi continues to train Kio but later sees Manami lazing around though she gives an excuse of not wanting to interfere with them. This leads them to have a short tussle and firing guns with bullets that eliminate inanimate objects. Read: Their clothes. And this leads them to have a full all-out jungle guerrilla duel to settle their argument over you-know-who. At the end of the confrontation, Manami wins so the loser has to do what the winner says. Manami wants Aoi to kiss Kio. No way! Okay, at least for a start, change the way she addresses him. Suddenly a couple of snipers target them. If not for their quick reflex, Manami could’ve taken one in the head. According to Aoi’s plan, Manami is to bait and attack at the same time to allow Aoi to find their position. Another unbelievable moment is when the sniper fires a shot at Manami (must be real confident to leave it in the hands of her friend), Aoi’s sharp shooting skill disintegrates the sniper’s bullet! The snipers try to escape since their position has been discovered (not to mention that all their clothes have been disintegrated) but are cornered. Manami and Aoi come back home as Kio and Eris have prepared dinner with the help of the Assistdroids. Since Kio is being dense and oblivious to the efforts Aoi put in, Manami locks his neck. As for the snipers, they are shipped back in a crate to Jens. Why still naked?

Episode 9
Eris tells the gang that the first Assistdroid will be paying them a visit. She tells them a little about its history like how an accident made it trap in some space time rift and was recently retrieved. However Eris feels gloomy about it. Soon the first Assistdroid, Lawry arrives at Kio’s doorstep. They talk about how early Assistdroids were made to resemble like humans and because of that could sometimes bear hatred or fear. Catia was split in having such Assistdroids as some of them think it was a disaster and this led to a civil war. Though the ancestors have already repented, Eris still feels guilty, the reason why she is feeling down and doesn’t know what to say to her. Kio takes Lawry to the sea and shows her the beautiful side of this planet. Lawry tells him about her kind master and wishes to carry out his final wish by singing a song from Earth on a night sky (this isn’t a joke). Lawry starts singing some lonely spaceman theme which soon turns into a musical collage by all the girls in the series. That song is supposed to be a hit? In the end after Lawry departs for home, Kio is being told that a masterless Assistdroid has the option to choose a new master or deny a recharge. Lawry chose the latter. She’s glad that all the Assistdroids in his hands are happy.

Episode 10
It’s Christmas as Manami pushes Aoi to make a break with Kio while she has the opportunity since Eris’ mating season is put on hold. Captain Kuune takes a break from her spaceship post to visit Kio and Eris and leaves Melwin in charge. Kuune gives Kio a power bracelet as an emergency weapon and hopes Eris will teach him how to use it. Manami isn’t happy of Aoi’s present choice to give Kio. A DVD of an old TV show? Aoi wishes to take it slowly and prefers for things to stay the way it is now. She’s just happy to be with him. Because of that, Manami gives Aoi a dressing down like she would lose her romantic chance to be with him. That girl sure has a problem. Like she’s the one who is dating him in the first place. Yeah, probably she’s using Aoi as an excuse that if they both start dating, she’ll start giving up on Kio. Lame. Suddenly they are being attacked by Dogisia Assistdroids, who then attack the embassy. I guess they really mean war this time. At the same time, the Catia spaceship is being ambushed by them as they burst their way with explosive seals and freeze the Catian space personnel in time. Kuune has been injected with lethal nanomachines, which causes her to collapse. Before she falls into a comatose state, she gives Kio her multi-task bell. Melwin makes contact with them and both sides learn what is happening. Seems Dogisia has retained absolute control over Catia’s spaceship. With everyone and everything locked down and there is nothing they could do about it, the spaceship will crash into Earth within 2 weeks.

Episode 11
Well, actually Earth won’t be crushed by the spaceship. As explained, there is some programme that will disintegrate the ship that will not decelerate when entering a planet’s atmosphere. But there is a way to redirect its path and that is to restart the main system. However only Kuune is able to execute such orders, thus the reason she was made unconscious. The Catians realize Kio having Kuune’s bell and immediately recognize him as their new captain. For their rescue mission, they get Antonia to buy a rocket (damn filthy rich kid she is) so they can head to space and Ichika a seal so that they can unfreeze the Catian personnel. Just as they thought they have everything going as planned, they receive news from Antonia that no country is willing to sell her a rocket due to the pressure and threat by Jens. Though they just need a rocket engine, there is a way to create the body. Kio can do it. Eh? How? Using Kuune’s bell to imagine and materialize it. What the? Oh, whatever. As for the rocket engine, the gang head to some chilling country. Maya’s ex-comrade, Colonel Arishkova agrees to give one to them. While Kio is trying to imagine the rocket, Manami confronts him about his decision on Aoi and Eris. Well, let’s say he wants more time to think about it. Afterwards, Aoi who eavesdropped on them confronts Manami and isn’t happy that she is poking her nose around. She chides Manami for possibly misguiding him and knows she also likes Kio. She was just forcing him to do something she herself can’t do. Both girls start slapping each other but before it can blow into an all-out cat fight, the alert is sounded as there is an intruder in the base. Aoi finds the intruder holding Kio hostage. She recognizes him as the captain of the boat who blew himself up in the first episode. Aoi’s sharpshooting skill disarms him quickly. The intruder isn’t happy Arishkova is selling out their country. But they have bigger problems to worry since they receive word that NATO is on their way here to annihilate them after believing they are terrorists who has taken over the base. They will arrive in 3 hours. But it’s more than enough time for Kio to finish creating the rocket. Yeah, he makes it seem so easy. Antonia and her maids stay back to buy the rest time as they get ready to blast off into space.

Episode 12
Would you believe it? Those maids on bikes take on the NATO army in tanks and are winning? The terrain is icy too. Anyway as Kio and co wait for the rocket to refuel, Manami once again bugs Aoi to confess now. She’s really got a problem so much so she herself snaps and takes out her frustration on Eris, like how she was here way before that cat b*tch (made that one up) and knew Kio much longer. Eris doesn’t know what’s really going on but seeing that both Manami and Aoi really like Kio, she suggests that the 3 of them become his lovers! Oh yeah, that is what a harem is all about. Finally the ship is refuelled and they successfully blast into space. While the Assistdroids build a warp module, Jens and her Dogisia army (in little UFO ships? Really) start their attack. Before they start their battle, Aoi gives Kio a kiss as her replacement Christmas present. Manami soon follows suit and finally Eris as not to be left out. Wow! That’s 3 kiss in a row. He really scores with them. With the romance put on hold for the moment, Eris, Manami and Aoi don some sentai-like outfit (complete with their own moves, weapons and flashy names) to fight them as they buy time for Kio to warp to the Catia mothership. Can 3 ladies battle hundreds of enemy ships? Heck, theses babes kick ass, don’t they? Kio’s ship crashes into Catia’s mothership as he makes his way to the rest fighting the waves of Dogisia Assistdroids while the Catia Assistdroids free the frozen Catia personnel. When Kio reaches Melwin and her crew, he is taken to a core centre to reboot but it rejects his orders because he is not Catian. Upon their advice, Kio wishes upon the bell to alter his DNA into a Catian. They don’t call it multi-tasking for nothing. Meanwhile our ladies beat Jens in a dogfight as the latter crashes into her launch base. However based on the calculations, it is going to crash right onto the Okinawa island. Manami and Aoi decide to alter its course to make it burn up during re-entry but this would mean sacrificing themselves. I mean, at this point, what have they got to lose? No, seriously. Oh course we can’t have hot babes dying in the last episode so a miracle has to happen. Kio’s ship zooms pass by in time as Eris grabs them in before the base vaporizes. As the girls happily reunite with Kio, they are shocked to see Kio with cat ears and tail! OMG! Why didn’t he change back after that? Beats me. Yeah, Antonia sure loves him even more now. Another potential rival? In the end, everything returns to normal as Eris shows the gang a Space Elevator as Catia’s present to Earthlings, an equipment to get into space without using a rocket. Hey, it looks like a big Christmas tree and what do you know? Because of its water droplets cooling off (and some other mumbo jumbo), it’s snowing on Okinawa.

Playtime’s Over!
Oh, thank God! It has finally come to an end. Overall this whole series was just mediocre and I really found myself hard to stay up and follow right till the end. There were too many loopholes and inconsistencies to begin with. For instance, Manami and Aoi being fugitives seeking refuge at Catia’s embassy and even with that inter-planetary threat, how come no CIA or immigration bureau members come close to take them back or at least approach them? Can we humans actually let ‘traitors’ go? It is mind boggling that the girls can actually take out a group of army so it makes you think, why the hell does the country need an army for? Just call in this bunch and they’ll do the job just fine. Kio being an otaku should have at least smelled the love triangle between Manami and Aoi miles away and yet he is as dense and blur as a rock. Okay, even if he doesn’t know their true feelings, his actions really do indicate that he is totally oblivious to their hidden crushes. No wonder he currently doesn’t have a girlfriend. Those kids going up to space in the final episode, I wonder how they can withstand the blastoff into orbit when they have no astronaut training whatsoever. See, so many questions and probably much more so much so I have already forgotten on purpose.

The love triangle between Manami and Aoi felt like a little side distraction to everything. Sure, we see a little tension here and there especially Manami who is really annoying trying to set Aoi and Kio up just to cover her own drawback and failure. Eris as a cat will always have that playful and flirty character but she doesn’t seem to be taking the love relationship any further. Besides, her mating season got ended prematurely. Any chance for that in the future? Some of the supporting characters felt like they had no impact at all in the series like Antonia and her maids. After the kidnapping of Eris and Kio, it’s like she and her cult club toned down a lot after becoming their allies. Even if her maids didn’t play any significant part in stalling the NATO army, I’m sure our main heroines can do an equally good job. Maki and Yuichi have been reduced to just minor characters and I was hoping that they would somehow play a significant role (besides pretending to be Eris and Kio as decoy in the final few episodes) because I think Yuichi is pretty cool in his own ways while I thought Maki would’ve been part of the harem. Maybe there’s too much already.

Ichika remains as the most mysterious one. Popping up from nowhere in the middle of the series, not knowing if her motives actually make her an ally or foe to the gang and in the end, where the heck is she? Who is this girl in the first place? Say, what happened to that JACK girl anyway? Jens and her Dogisia army may be the main antagonist but I felt she wasn’t much of one seeing that she spends most of her time in some room devising her plan and her only physical contact with the main protagonist was that short fight with Aoi onboard Antonia’s ship. She and Muttley never felt threatening at all. The Assistdroids are cute in their own way but too many of them doing just about anything sometimes make them a little annoying. Good ol’ little assistants we can always rely on, eh? They’re even useful in providing ‘censors’ with their signboards during fanservice moments in addition to light angles and ‘dark shadows’. So if you want to see it all laid bare without those irritating obstruction, go buy the DVD.

The opening theme, Now Loading… SKY! by Sphere is quite a catchy pop piece with a little hip hop in it. There are 3 different main ending themes, each attributing and suiting to Eris, Manami and Aoi. They are Happy Sunshine by Kanae Ito (for Eris), Omoide Ga Jama Wo Suru by Haruka Tomatsu (Manami) and Kokoro No Madobe Nite by Kana Hanazawa (Aoi). Of course a few special ending themes like Oira Wa Sabishii Spaceman by Minori Chihara (Lawry) and the final episode’s Smile Peace from Kanae Ito, Haruka Tomatsu and Kana Hanazawa. I find that some of the background scenery of Okinawa during the summer time to be quite breathtaking. So all isn’t lost considering the poor plot and storyline, I guess those art and drawing are the little salvation points for this series but still it isn’t enough to save it from being just second rate. There are several trivia and parody to spot if you keep your eyes open. For example, Seiken No Blacksmith’s characters of Luke and Lisa making their short cameo appearance as with Kampfer’s Mikoto and Akane.

So the next time friendly cat aliens or any other extraterrestrial life forms come looking for peace and to make friends with us, why not? Especially if they come wearing school swimsuits. Don’t want to pass up this chance, won’t we? Ironically if Catia really wants to befriend with others, shouldn’t they make peace with Dogisia too? Maybe it is the latter who doesn’t want? Perhaps that’s why cats and dogs never got along well. And if there is another sequel for our Catia girls to come play, would I want to watch it? Well, let’s just say I came, I saw and I left for good! Don’t want to play anymore!

Amaenaideyo Katsu

June 17, 2011

What the heck?! I remember after watching the first season, I never wanted to watch its sequel, Amaenaideyo Katsu due to the bad taste of fanservice I had. Well, that was many years ago and it seems in a ‘short’ span of time, I guess my heart and mind must have changed a lot, eh? Reflecting back on my previous blog on this Buddhist-themed anime, I remember categorizing it as hentai but back then, I was a newbie in anime so I didn’t know the difference between hentai and ecchi. So to put things straight, this isn’t hentai but more towards ecchi.

So to refresh what this series is about, it’s about a group of high school kids who stay at the Saienji temple and work as local monks, exorcising spirits and ghosts. Seems like a distasteful element for fanservice, we have this kid, Ikkou as the only guy staying in the temple because he is the temple’s head’s Joutoku’s grandson. The amazing thing about this guy is his pervertness and his lust (aside his laziness and not doing well in his school work, which is basically typical in most guys like him). Yup, whenever he gets really excited and stimulated, his inner powers will awaken and vanquish the restless spirits and send them to the other world in peace. And after that, there’s this pervert rebound in which he becomes a monster and will pound on the girls. The only way of course is to beat him up. Is there no other way than to unleash this sort of power? Does it really beat the good old traditional way of exorcising? Maybe this way is much faster and effective. Maybe the girls get a kick out of beating him up after all that. However there are some monks in the background that are bent on awakening Ikkou’s power to see whether he’ll walk the path of light or succumb to the darkness.

Initially with the second title as ‘Katsu’, I thought that it meant victory. But upon closer examination of the kanji, I found out it meant punishment. How aptly named. At least for Ikkou’s case. In addition, the word ‘ama’ can mean don’t be naive or a nun (or b*tch in derogative terms. Oh yeah). So for the rest of the pack, we have Chitose (a brute girl and potential couple pairing for Ikkou – always quarrelling, that is), Sumi (thick eyebrows girl that attracts animals), Yuuko (tomboyish flat chest and equally brute as Chitose), Haruka (the bustiest and laidback girl), Sakura (bespectacled and overprotective siscon glutton) and Hinata (Haruka’s little ‘soft spoken’ if not taciturn sister with a little fire breathing demon as her pet). We can expect more or less of the same thing (the fanservice, that is) in the first season, but since it has been a long time since then, my memory of it has been a little fuzzy. What else is new? Yeah, add a new girl to the mix.

Episode 1
She is Kazuki Kazusano. As introduced, Ikkou and Chitose first met her when they are tasked to one of their usual duties at the Toudou household. Kazuki is from a rival temple a short distance from Saienji and seems to show the duo that she is a formidable nun, exorcising the spirits like a real pro, putting those 2 to shame. But Kazuki seems to like Ikkou. Yeah, if a cute nun comes up to you in a seductive tone and moves, would you be able to resist it? Not if you’re Ikkou. So one night as he lures Ikkou into a room and tries to seduce him, if Chitose and Yuuko didn’t come in time, he might have awakened fully and who knows what might have happened. Each time you’ll notice this kind of trend. Kazuki puts up a goody-two-shoes image of wanting to be close to Ikkou but you can tell that she has an ulterior motive. She wants to awaken Ikkou’s power and show him the ‘right path’ (I hope nothing ambiguous here). However each time she is close to succeeding, some interfering force (especially Chitose) would come break them apart and put a damper on Kazuki’s plan. Back to the drawing board.

Episode 2
With the new school term, Ikkou, Chitose, Sumi and Yuuko are now second years and in the same class, thanks to Joutoku who also doubles as their school’s principal. Haruka and Sakura are third year seniors as Sakura flexes her new power as the student council president. Hinata enters their school as first year and it seems she has a new classmate and a transfer student: Kazuki. Oh yeah, I saw this coming. As Kazuki represents the first year students for a speech for the opening ceremony, a sudden gust of wind flips up every girl’s skirt. Looks like the perverted ghost of the student council founder is back. With all this glorious new chics, it’s hard to see why he doesn’t want to go to the next world and stay here instead. That stupid ghost tries to aim for Hinata but thanks to the charms the other girls gave her earlier, he can’t lay his perverted hands on her. He is subdued and stored away in the gym in a tight seal but Kazuki frees him after offering him a deal. Of course this is part of her plan to awaken Ikkou’s power. While having Ikkou take her and Hinata around which clubs to join, the student council founder interrupts Haruka’s judo class with some masked wrestling thingy, as usual blowing up the girls’ skirts and clothes with his wind power. Because of that, Ikkou’s power awakens as he sends the jerk to the other world for good. Won’t be coming back ever.

Episode 3
I remember faintly that there’s this deceased classmate of Ikkou’s, Yanagi who has a crush on Sumi. Yeah, he returns. He must be enjoying peeping at girls so much so he can’t leave this world yet. Since Ikkou and him are arguing over some telescope that can see through girls’ clothes, our usual nuns give them a sound beating. However Yanagi is back because he has found his new love: Kazuki. He loves that feeling when she exorcised him. But she feels exorcising small fries like him doesn’t satisfy her need and it definitely has to be Ikkou. Because Kazuki clearly indicates she prefers Ikkou, this sends Yanagi reeling and will have his revenge on the upcoming sports festival. It will be Yanagi versus Ikkou since some group of hate-Ikkou guys approve of it. Yanagi beats Ikkou flat in the first few races since he’s a ghost so he can fly rather fast. Till Kazuki’s prayers intercept and zap that cocky Yanagi with her lightning to let Ikkou catch up and win. Then it’s a race between Kazuki and Chitose. Kazuki plays dirty on Chitose but divine punishment lets her have her own taste of her own medicine. At the end of the day, Kazuki lures Ikkou to the equipment store room. The girls and Yanagi sense something amiss and blew the wall. Well, seems like they’re in an ambiguous position. Since Ikkou is already have awakened, Haruka pulls a naughty move by revealing Chitose’s breast to awaken Ikkou and send poor Yanagi to the next world. But the next day, Yanagi is still lingering around and since he and Ikkou are fighting over another perverted scheme, Hinata’s little demon burns them. Yeah, love is like that burning feeling.

Episode 4
Hinata joins a haniwa (clay figures) club. She forces Ikkou to join and because of that Kazuki also joins. Yeah, this minor club that is on the verge of being ‘extinct’ is revived because all the other guys too joined since cuties Hinata and Kazuki are in but they didn’t expect that jerk to be in it too. Well, you win some, you lose some. The haniwa club is to go on an excavation trip. Sakura tags along because of her overprotective nature while Chitose… We all know it’s to prevent something horny happening between you-know-who. Each time Kazuki gets close to Ikkou, those loser guys promptly take poor Ikkou away. Yeah, there was even a time whereby she tried to do it with him in the bushes! Due to the numerous failures, Kazuki takes out her frustration over some seal, breaking it. This causes a giant haniwa to emerge from the hill. It causes all the other guys to become some lust monster. Seeing the state of events, Hinata is forced to unleash her little demon that turns into a giant monster itself as it violently takes out the giant haniwa and rips it to pieces. OMG! Hinata, is that really her true self?

Episode 5
Due to the recent events, Joutoku sends Hinata and Ikkou to a temple Saichouji for them to train and control their powers. Ikkou’s tremendous lust power and Hinata’s control of the darkness (some Six States manifestation thing which I don’t understand because I’m not a religious person ;p). Saichouji is run by a sexy priestess, Miyako. I hope Ikkou can keep his pervertness in control. Miyako subjects the duo to tough temple chores as worrywart Sakura ditches her own temple chores with Chitose and Yuuko to see how Hinata is doing. Of course Miyako knows their presence and after a short round of talk, they are sent back to Saienji (not without punishment from Joutoku). That night, Miyako puts them to a test as she seduces and awakens Ikkou. Gosh, he really turns into a perverted monster! Hinata can’t use the usual violent path to knock Ikkou out. Hinata starts to panic and the more she hesitates, the more Ikkou is going to ‘eat’ Miyako. Finally, she manages to successfully use her power to suppress Ikkou, much to her own relief.

Episode 6
A week has passed and Miyako will have them undergo the final and ultimate test, to trek into the Danda cave and read some sutra prayers at a statue deep within it. Seems like an easy task. Till restless evil spirits start to lurk, thus a place on Earth that is closest to hell. Hinata becomes afraid as she remembers her torrid childhood. She was born with powers and has those demons as her friend. When she uses them to punish those who picked on her, she is sent to live at the temple. However Haruka wouldn’t want to part with her and also went with her. However Hinata is unable to abandon her demons and is going to hell with them. Ikkou steps in and persuades her to come back to them. I guess the demons saw that Ikkou really meant what he said and went back by themselves, leaving Hinata with Ikkou. Hey, they even meet some Hindu Goddess. At the end of the ordeal, the duo comes out of the cave alive, though a bit roughed up. The other Saienji girls who were worried sick about them, ditched their chores once more and are happy to see Ikkou and Hinata passing the test. As punishment for ditching their chores, the gang is made to wear some revealing swimsuits and go pick undersea shells. Lastly, we learn Miyako is Haruka’s elder sister and the latter doesn’t want the rest to find out about their relationship yet. Hey, I noticed something for these past 2 episodes. No Kazuki annoyance!

Episode 7
Too bad, she’ll be back. It’s that season again whereby the animals are in heat of mating. Because of Sumi’s Six States, she tends to attract large amounts of animals (even from other prefectural!) and is kept locked inside the temple compound while the rest patrol and capture and incoming strays. Sumi feels guilty that she is the cause for making her pals work so hard and some of them getting a little injured. Ikkou tries to give words of encouragement but that only further demoralizes Sumi. When Kazuki finds out about this night patrol thingy, it doesn’t take a genius to find out what her plans will be and for what purpose. Yeah, she’s like an animal in heat too. Kazuki purposely opens the temple to let some strays enter. As the girls have their hands full trying to keep them at bay, Kazuki moves in to provide Ikkou with lots of fanservice. Oh no. He is going to awaken! But what is this?! Ikkou knocks his head on the ground and prevents himself from awakening! Woah. This is a first! This inspires Sumi to recite her mantra well to control and calm the strays.

Episode 8
Ikkou got hurt in some brawl between Yuuko and a bunch of gang delinquents. As the girls visit him in hospital, they notice a stubborn little boy refusing to undergo surgery (something about his mom was always busy with work and had no time to see him). Yuuko could relate her similar situation with him and goes to talk to him however he remains scathing and not budging. Plus, he mocks her about her bad cooking (he saw her gave Ikkou eat her disastrous piece and nearly died). She throws down a challenge to him. If she is able to cook a good dish for him, he will have to undergo the surgery or else she will listen to what he has to say. And thus Yuuko’s training days begin but they’ll have to do it fast since they’re running out of time. No matter how much they let her practice to cook potatoes, she doesn’t seem to have a knack for it. Kazuki also joins it but you know how it’ll end. Surprisingly the little demon is one hell of a cook as Ikkou is seen eating all its dishes! It’s so good that it brought back memories and sceneries of his mother’s cooking! WTF?! Yuuko is down after numerous failed attempts and was ready to throw in the towel but after a short talk with Chitose, she realizes what is important. Just like her own mom who is a workaholic, no matter how busy she was, at least she made sunny side up eggs for her. Yuuko vows to make the perfect egg as they continue their rigorous practice, cracking possibly thousands of eggs (all of them wasted! Enough to feed the entire African continent, if you ask me) and intensive training that doesn’t seem to have any bearing to make eggs. Baseball? In the end, Yuuko is successful so the boy keeps his word.

Episode 9
As Joutoku is away visiting Miyako, the girls are surprised to find an abandoned baby right at the temple’s door step. Except for Haruka, the rest thinks of taking care of the baby in case his mom changes her mind to come back for him. The girls try several stuff to quell the baby’s crying but to no avail. Sakura is pretty stressed out reading what is to be done from a baby’s magazine. Even Kazuki joins in as part of her seductive plan to show Ikkou that she’s good with children and score with him. However the baby continues to weep loudly. Till he ends up in the boobs of Haruka that he became quiet. Oh no. Please not another pervert in the making. Meanwhile Miyako talks to Joutoku about Haruka’s harsh upbringing as substitute for their late parents, the possible reason why she turned out like this. She was hardworking and all but after she left for Saienji, it’s like she released everything after finding her newfound freedom. Soon the baby’s mother comes back to retrieve him as she regrets her earlier actions. The gang realizes why the baby is attached to big boobs because his mom has oversized bouncy melons too. Ah…

Episode 10
Kazuki is fed up of her failed plans so with the help of her underlings, she plans to seduce Ikkou. For instance, forcing him into a maid cafe whereby she acts as a clumsy maid (till the police raided this illegal shop and take Ikkou away for questioning) and playing a long lost sister with amnesia (Chitose broke them up because the logic is, if she can’t remember her memories, she wouldn’t know Ikkou as her ‘brother’). Thus her plan shifts to get rid of that dangerous woman by letting her subordinates approach her and make Chitose the lucky winner and win prizes. Do they need to go through that lengthy repetitive procedure since in the end all they want is to lock her up? Anyway with Chitose out of the picture, Kazuki moves in as she takes Ikkou to a hotel on a pretense to exorcise a ghost. Before she could get horny with him, a real ghost appears (one of the subordinates actually brought a real ghost for realism! WTF?!). The female spirit is unhappy with their flirting because she never had a chance like that in her life. Meanwhile the other Saienji girls confront the underlings and beat them up to free Chitose (previously as Chitose enjoyed those prizes, the other girls spotted her and followed her). So the girls barge in the room as it is Chitose is the one who awakens Ikkou and frees the spirit. Kazuki is upset that once again her plan is foiled. The next day in school, Kazuki confronts Chitose and professes her love for Ikkou and wants to bring him to the right path by unleashing his powers, shocking Chitose.

Episode 11
Some vengeful western guy is unleashing his western zombie spirits over the city because of people failed to believe his research or something like that. The girls go into action but because of the recent events (failing his school work, that is), Joutoku ties and blindfolds Ikkou (bondage position?). Why are the ghosts such perverts? Yeah, and you thought being scary means just that. Kazuki meddles again and this time unleashes Ikkou’s powers to disintegrate all the spirits. It is revealed later that the western guy is a subordinate of Kazuki. He too is a spirit and is vanquished after Kazuki has taken advantage of him and he outlived his usefulness. Because of Ikkou’s awakening power, he collapses later since he can’t handle it. Ikkou dreams how he was taken away to the temple because of his powers. The girls take turn to look after him till he regains consciousness. During the summer break, Chitose and Ikkou go on their temple duties together and Kazuki becomes jealous upon seeing how close the duo are. While Ikkou, Chitose, Yuuko and Sumi are walking home one day, they spot Kazuki spying on them but she runs away. Chitose tells Ikkou to go after her in which he did. Though Yuuko thinks she just given her rival a chance. Ikkou finds Kazuki as they chat. She wants to run away with him.

Episode 12
Alone together in a room, Kazuki reveals why she always tried to seduce him. She was also the same like him and empathizes with him. Because of her powers, she was sent away to the temple at a young age. Thus she wants to awaken his powers to release her uncontrollable powers of lust. Soon Ikkou’s powers start to awaken and this time the light from his awakening is much larger than before, causing chaos over the city and turning certain people into doing evil stuff like rioting and stealing. The Saienji nuns realize that the release of massive amount of power will do more harm than good and rushes to the scene. Hey, do they have a driving licence? Don’t worry. Granny does. Oh sh*t! Her driving is really hell! Plus, the car has rocket boosters for them to fly of ridges!!! OH SH*T!!! Thank Buddha that everyone is still alive at the end of the ride. Just to show how much Joutoku trashed the vehicle, the car fell apart after that! As Ikkou awakens, it seems he is a totally different person as he absorbs Kazuki’s soul. While the girls take care of the large amount of evil spirits attracted to the light, possessed Kazuki makes his appearance before the girls. He blasts everyone away but Chitose stands firm on her ground, insisting that he is still Ikkou. In the end, Chitose’s scathing remarks as she undresses herself and causes the real Ikkou to awaken instead. Kazuki is pulled out by Chitose and Ikkou takes a beating worse than his usual. Later, Kazuki decides to undergo retraining as she leaves via train and pecks Ikkou on his cheek! So it’s back to the usual noisy days for Ikkou and the girls. The constant arguing with Chitose included.

Episode 13
A bonus episode sees the gang trying to exorcise a spirit at a hospital. Seems the dead patient has no qualms of taking out his fetishes on whether or not the girls are dressed as nuns or nurses. Even Kazuki is back. Why? Because in the previous episode preview, she said how she loved this series and couldn’t leave it after knowing there’s still an extra episode left. Haha! However suddenly everything goes to a halt due to an equipment malfunctioning as we see that the gang is just actors in a studio! Holy cow. Is everything just an act until now? The rest of the episode sees the casts being interviewed over their thoughts on working on the series (multiple fanservice shots included). Hmm… Their characters do not differ much from that in the series itself. Except for the little demon. That little guy is actually a famous big shot but submits to Hinata! As everybody gets ready to resume shooting, a real ghost suddenly appears. The Saienji gang aren’t really actors. They are the real monk and nuns we all know as they pretended to be actors to catch this ghost. However the spirit is unhappy that a bunch of amateurs are ruining the good name of filming as she summons hundreds of her other comrades. It ends with chaos as the spirits do perverted stuff on them. Even Joutoku is not spared! Perverts even after their deaths!

Stronger Purification Ritual Needed
Oh well. I can’t believe I finished this series. The whole fanservice thing was mind blowing so much so it reminded me of Rosario To Vampire. Except the girls here aren’t monsters but nuns. Doesn’t make any difference. And their school skirts are so short that it really makes you wonder if they would be a violation to the public indecency law. Just by bending over a little or a little breeze would reveal all that colourful eye candy underneath. Hey, that’s what this show is about, right? Speaking of which, another mind boggling thing is how a big majority of the ghosts and spirits in this series are so perverted. They wouldn’t pass the chance to flip up the girls’ skirt or open their robes. Do they all really have such unfulfilled desires when they’re alive? Except for Yuuko and Hinata, I think the spirits aren’t lolicon and are more into busty boobs than flat chests. Even Yuuko had the cheek to tell those spirits to not ignore her and do some perverted stuff on her!

Kazuki may be seen as an antagonist in this series but it’s because of her twisted past that made her do flirtatious stuff with Ikkou. Even she herself once said that after making a great impact at the start of the series, she gradually turned into some unimportant (more like annoying) character because of her failed seducing plans. Yeah, I also felt like that even if she doesn’t say it. Kazuki does make a little tension for a love triangle between Chitose and Ikkou but ultimately, seasoned viewers would always bet that it would’ve been Ikkou and Chitose, though they are nowhere close of confessing or showing their feelings anytime soon. As far as my memory serves me right, this season doesn’t see the girls trying to use their own bodies most of the time to awaken Ikkou’s power in desperate times. We also get a short glimpse of some of the girls’ past and how they successfully control the Six States that they represent. As for Ikkou, he doesn’t change. He is still a pervert though deep down he is still a good kid and cares for the rest like how the rest cares for him because they are family. Though it’s a pity he gets beaten very often because he gets misunderstood and is in the wrong place or the wrong time. Well, part of it. At other times he deserves it. I’m just wondering about those monks who want to see Ikkou’s awakened powers. Now that it has been proven that it brings more harm than good, will they leave Ikkou alone?

Though the mid-intermission sees the Saienji girls in several sexy positions and semi-nude outfits, it felt like recycled illustrations because I remember those were the same pictures they used for the previous season! And I thought at least they would put up new ones (not that I was hoping for any, mind you). Even Joutoku has her own picture in the final episode but hers is nothing fanservice like. Would you want to see an old hag in… Oops, sorry. Because of that, there aren’t any pictures of Kazuki. Maybe she did the most fanservice stuff in the series by undressing herself before Ikkou many times so I guess she has shown us enough fanservice shots. The opening scene (the one whereby it tells viewers to sit at a proper distance from the TV, bla bla bla) is funny itself seeing it is a short random take of the characters doing funny things. For instance, that little demon doing some concert act, Ikkou mistaking a guy in drag to be a lady and one making Ikkou sounding manly and serious. Of course some of them are for fanservice shots like Hinata-Kazuki and Miyako.

So this show isn’t meant to tell you that being monks and nuns, behind their holy facade, lies a sinister and perverted nature. If abstinence of sex is preached, don’t you think using the power of lust to awaken some super power to exorcise spirits just makes it ironic? Maybe if that turns out true, it’ll become a sex cult instead. “Ecchi na koto ikemasen to omoimasu”. Oops, wrong anime. But sometimes depending on circumstances being a pervert isn’t bad because it shows you’re a healthy growing up kid. Gokaishinaideyo! (Don’t misunderstand!).


June 11, 2011

I’m sure we all dream to have a maid to take care of our daily needs like cooking, laundry and cleaning. One that is hard working and does not slack off or run away for unknown reasons. So how can you have a machine robot that works diligently and also at the same time looks human enough with emotions and feelings? Just watch Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden. She fits both descriptions. What? Did I give an impression that it was possible in the real world?

Episode 1
As introduced, Mahoro, a battle-type android, her lifespan is coming to an end. Because she has contributed greatly by defending Earth from aliens, the Vesper Organization decides to retire her. Though her days are numbered, if she lives without fighting, she can live for 398 more days as opposed to 37. Suguru Misato takes a bus home to interview a hired maid when a couple of robbers hijack it. Scared Suguru plucks up his courage to tell him off but the robber is unfazed. Mahoro is on that bus too and quells the menace by stopping his bullets with her fingers and then knocking them out. After everyone gets off safely, Suguru returns home and finds Mahoro in his place. After hearing her explanation about being an android, defending Earth from aliens and her duty of being a maid to fend off boredom for retirement, he decides to give her a try. His house is filled with filth to the brim! You can’t see the floor! Good luck Mahoro on cleaning. By the way, his parents died when he was young so he has this large mansion to himself. After cooking, she goes bath with him. Suguru must be daydreaming that he nearly drowned in his tub. When he comes too, apologetic Mahoro laments she’s not fit for this maid job and breaks down. Suguru immediately stamps the contract and gladly hires her.

So in each episode, you will see how the master-servant relationship grows as they both bond together. When I say master-servant, I mean nothing ecchi though this show has some of those ecchi elements and slight nudity. Suguru being a normal boy growing up has his own interest in reading Playboy magazines but that is just about it. He doesn’t do anything dangerous like outraging the modesty of Mahoro or any other girls. Even so, his ecchi habits don’t sit well with Mahoro. Ironically as this is an ecchi series, Mahoro’s trademark line each time she spots or confiscates one of Suguru’s porn magazines, “Ecchi na koto ikemasen to omoimasu” (I think ecchi is bad). Come on, can we guys have a little fun of our own? Not on her watch. And at the end of almost every episode, a countdown of how many days Mahoro has left before she ceases to function. Hmm… Might be ticking down slowly, but hey, why the rush?

Episode 2
Suguru’s pals and classmates (Toshiya Hamaguchi, Kiyomi Kawahara, Miyuki Sakura, Rin Todoroki and Chizuko Ooe) are suspicious of his new maid since he gets to eat delicious bento and his clothes are well ironed. Mahoro drops by to deliver the dessert she forgot and shocks everyone. They ask their relationship and she replies “I offered him my body and heart… I hope to contribute to him…”. Suguru’s single homeroom teacher, Saori Shikijou isn’t happy because she got her eyes on him but now another girl comes between them. Suguru remembers Mahoro cleaning his room and may have stumbled upon his porn mags under his bed. He rushes home and too bad she has already done so. He gets a good lecture that being perverted isn’t good and the real functions of a female’s breasts. Later his friends pay him a visit for Tanabata festival. Saori shortly drops by and interrogates Mahoro. Though Mahoro doesn’t like lying, she sees how uncomfortable Suguru is and makes up stories of her past. Saori is still suspicious so she stays back for dinner (also to seduce him). Even Mahoro has this uneasiness feeling in her heart. Then it’s bath time and since Saori won’t allow them to do anything lewd, she decides to go in the bath too. It ends up both ladies taking a bath. Saori throws down the gauntlet and mentions how Suguru loves big boobs as oppose to her non-satisfying little ones. Mahoro punches her boobs. Saori isn’t going to give up yet. Mahoro changes her Tanabata wish of world peace to having bigger boobs. I guess this is more important, eh?

Episode 3
In the hot summer, Mahoro tries her best to do housework and not let the heat or sleepiness get to her. After shopping ingredients for dinner, Mahoro is pissed to see Saori coming to their place for dinner. It’s like she’s treating Suguru’s home like her own place. Mahoro’s jealousy causes her to accidentally blow up the heater so they go to take the public bath run by Miyuki’s family. They treat him like part of the family (since dad got 4 girls and has always wanted a boy). Suguru pays a visit to his father’s grave. Mahoro realizes that she was the one who killed his father during one of her mission (she was ordered by him to do so). Thinking that he may hate her once he finds out the truth, she decides to atone for her sin by serving Suguru till her very last day.

Episode 4
The gang heads to the beach and though Mahoro didn’t want to come along giving her maid duties as an excuse, the rest have her tag along since there isn’t any point if she doesn’t come. After buying their swimsuits (why is Saori flaunting hers in the shopping centre? Isn’t that sexual harassment?) it’s time for fun in the sun (the usual horny Saori on the prowl). Due to last night’s error on a military ship using extraterrestrial weapons, a giant robot crab is wrecking havoc on shore. More like ripping the girls’ bikinis off. Mahoro goes into combat mode to subdue it. Both sides are in recharging phase but Mahoro knows she won’t make it in time so Suguru helps and guides her to shoot and destroy it. Thankfully due to the thick smog during the battle, the rest didn’t see anything so Mahoro and Suguru were able to fake an alibi by being unconscious.

Episode 5
The Vesper council are reviewing Mahoro’s recent combat. They receive a letter from her describing her summer activity: Ascertaining rumoured ghost stories of Suguru’s school as a research project. The guys are scared to their wits after encountering first hand a ghost girl with red hair climbing the stairs. Mahoro (in a miko priestess outfit) notices this to be a prank by the girls but decides to play along. Mahoro then actually meets the real ghost and they both get along with each other. Seems the ghost can’t move on as she’s waiting for her guy to confess her feelings. So after the guys find out the girls were behind this, they head to the pool and see a ghostly encounter. Actually it’s Saori sleeping naked in the pool to cool down! What’s more, she thinks the kids are having an under-18 orgy party at the pool! Anyway the gang soon see a real ghost swimming and everyone faint. Mahoro knows who this ghost boy is and takes him to see the ghost girl. They confess and disappear. Back at the council, they are pleased with Mahoro using her remaining time wisely. However when they read her request for breast enlargement, they shoot it down! Flat chest lovers!

Episode 6
Mahoro has been chosen to dance on the stage at Bon Odori. She was reluctant to participate till she saw Saori as one of the past girls to do so. Mahoro summons her servant, Slash (is that a black cat or panther?) to help Suguru’s dog, Guri to keep watch over the house while they’re gone. After donning a yukata and with lots of practice, the dance goes well, much to everyone’s delight. The friends meet up with each other during the break. However Saori was there to ‘kidnap’ Suguru to do horny things. Till she bumps into Mahoro. Then a shooting contest with Suguru as the prize. It got serious so much so Mahoro was going to use her real guns with live ammo! Thankfully the shop closes. Later Mahoro seemingly has fun in the rain and after it stops, everyone watches the fireworks.

Episode 7
A pair of escaped prisoners could’ve killed Chizu who was on her way to school in their speeding car but she was saved by a good looking guy, Tou Ryuuga. He soon becomes a science teacher in Suguru’s school as all the girls start swooning over him. Suguru’s friends come by his house later (Saori invited herself of course and still acting like it’s her own place) and Mahoro becomes disturbed upon learning Ryuuga’s name. During her shopping errand, she is forced to fight Ryuuga in an armoured suit. Seems he wants to settle this match to see who is stronger: Vesper’s Mahoro or Saint’s Ryuuga. Luckily with Slash backing her up, he flees. Back home, Mahoro’s mind becomes preoccupied with thoughts of why a Saint warrior is acting on personal reasons. Both sides have fought with each other countless times to decide the human race’s fate though the fight was never finished. Ryuuga goes around school asking for info on Suguru and it seems everyone has nice things to say about him. Of all people, he had to ask Saori, who suspects him of being a gay shotacon! Later Mahoro and Slash confront him and want him to not involve Suguru but he isn’t fazed. Back home, Suguru notices Mahoro acting strange and thinks there’s a link between her and Ryuuga.

Episode 8
Mahoro wakes up from a nightmare of killing her commander. In school, Suguru goes around asking his pals about Ryuuga so much so they think he swings that way! Especially you-know-who. Ryuuga returns to his HQ to train as he narrates how he was made to believe he was the strongest. All that vanished on his first mission when he was easily defeated by Mahoro but was spared. Thus he wanted to settle the score and trained hard. Come Saturday, Suguru invites everyone including Ryuuga to his house for a BBQ party to discreetly find out if he has any connection with Mahoro. He then takes Ryuuga to his room. He learns that Suguru doesn’t know the truth of how his dad died (he was told he died during an accident in an inspection trip). Suguru tried to proof he could live on his own till Mahoro came along. Why is he telling him all this? Because Mahoro is like family to him. Later when Mahoro confronts Ryuuga alone, he tells her he has been given a ‘warning’ not to touch her and offers her to a challenge. Mahoro agrees and gets to pick the time and date.

Episode 9
Mahoro requests Suguru to go out on a date with her. So when Saori finds out about it (other than Mahoro owning a car and a driving licence for just about any vehicle!), she plans to put a stop to their lewd activities (look who’s talking). Mahoro knows Saori will tail them and even wants to wipe her out with her missile arsenal! Thankfully Suguru suggests doing nothing. Suguru and Mahoro enjoy their time at the amusement park while unlucky spying Saori always have to bear the brunt of her actions. In the Ferris wheel, Mahoro tells him about Ryuuga and that he came to investigate them both. Since he found nothing interesting, he’ll be leaving soon. At the park, Suguru mentions how she sometimes has a sad look on her face, causing her to be a little depressed. She then hugs him so he reconciles with her. She can tell him her secrets when she’s ready and happy. Messed up Saori comes by and pesters Mahoro for a ride home after both ladies made a short temporary alliance to scare away thugs threatening Suguru. When they return, Mahoro prepares herself to face Ryuuga and promises to be back.

Episode 10
Flashback of Mahoro created 9 years ago for war. Though she was incomplete, she was sent to undergo lots of adaptation tests. We also see her spending some quality time with her colleagues (at a hotspring probably that’s where she got small boobs inferiority) and Commander Misato. Her records of defeating enemies even if they sent in new versions exceeded expectations as they continue to use her as deterrent and warning. In order for her to take some time off fighting, she is shown a large collection of the world’s movies to pick and watch those of her choice. Like she can finish all of them. Mahoro continues to live intertwine between war and peace as enemy attacks continued intermittently. Till that fateful day when a base in USA was under attacked and Misato ordered her to shoot him. In present, Mahoro gains intuition after all those battles and seeing so many died as she prepares to face Ryuuga.

Episode 11
A Saint android, Sera, narrates how their kind left their own planet a long time ago and travelled through space in search of civilization. They forgot how their planet looked like and only remembered its deep blue, probably why they got attracted to it. Since Earth was the first civilization they contacted, they didn’t want to fight but Earth was too underdeveloped and opposed any form of contact, thus Saint had no choice but to built robots to fight. Mahoro and Ryuuga prepare their face off as he wonders if her current life away from being a warrior and serving Suguru as atonement for his dad. She answers that was her initial intention but after spending time with Suguru and his friends, she decides to live the way she is now and her remaining days as a human. He finds it hard to understand her reasoning. Suguru becomes upset when he finds Mahoro’s farewell letter and confronts Slash. Though he is reluctant to tell where Mahoro is, Suguru orders him to bring him there as he is also his master. Mahoro and Ryuuga fight but Mahoro seems defensive and evasive. But it’s all a big gamble to set him up so that she could fire a super cannon that sucked the town’s entire electricity and blast him away! However Ryuuga still stands despite getting hit.

Episode 12
Ryuuga quickly counterattacks and rapidly pounds Mahoro. She remembers the time Suguru and co invited her for picnic (Saori inviting herself of course) as they talk about their future. But she is snapped out from Ryuuga’s incessant hammering. He is however unhappy that Mahoro isn’t showing her true powers and summons his trump card, Break Blade. Just then Suguru arrives and comes between them. Not caring what happened in the past, all he wants is to be with Mahoro. Ryuuga couldn’t understand his actions and hurts him to get him out of the way. This upsets Mahoro as she now unleashes her trump card, an energy blade from her fist. As she charges, Ryuuga realizes Mahoro’s expiring soon and the reason she chose to live with Suguru. Mahoro stops short of hitting Ryuuga because he put away his sword and admitted defeat. Mahoro and Suguru fly and embrace each other in the sky.

Mahoromatic: Motto Utsukushii Mono

That wasn’t really the end yet as a second sequel called Mahoromatic: Motto Utsukushii Mono (Something More Beautiful) spawned several months later after the first season ended. It takes off where it left off from the previous.

Episode 1
It begins with life returning to normal for everyone as Ryuuga returns and continues to be Suguru’s science teacher. He confiscates Suguru’s porn mag. Though Ryuuga is a friend now, Slash isn’t going to accept that even if Suguru and Mahoro are okay with it and confronts Ryuuga. He wants to continue living as a human after his last battle with Mahoro but Slash isn’t going to buy that and they both fight. They are stopped by Mahoro. During her long lecture, Suguru takes this chance to get his porn mag back (Ryuuga approves it) but when Mahoro finds out, she chases after him. Ryuuga and Slash chat so the cat says he’ll pretend not to notice him. Mahoro is successful in her confiscation. An artificial human nicknamed 370 approaches Mahoro and Suguru. While saying how she wants to live with them, if not for Mahoro’s quick reflexes, 370 could’ve been sniped out. Mahoro takes her somewhere else to talk but soon are being attacked by 3 Man-eater machines. Mahoro fights and destroys them all before escaping with unconscious 370. Feldlance reports to Professor Mephlis about Mahoro’s early interference that causes the failure of 370’s capture. However he is ecstatic that things are going on as planned and will tell Kanon tomorrow. Is this guy a stalker because there are lots of Mahoro pics on his wall?! Mahoro returns home with 370 to waiting Suguru.

Episode 2
370 is now called Minawa and works as Mahoro’s helper maid. However she is a total klutz and must be taught from scratch. Since she is same age as Suguru, she attends school with him. A bunch of people called Kanrisha (Keepers) are discussing about Vesper and Saint, especially the latter’s silence recently. They talk about the recent destruction of Man-eaters and how Mahoro fell into Vesper’s hands. They plan on going on a final decisive battle to unite the world and humanity and destroy those who disrupt stability. Mahoro decides to pay Minawa a visit after worrying too much about her. She, Slash and Ryuuga watch from afar her clumsiness and profuse apologizing. Then a football match, they thought she was going to do some reflex thingy but gets pounded in the face. Funny part: Mahoro disguised as a lamp post, lost her footing and the post hit right on Saori’s head! Mahoro, Slash and Ryuuga discuss that Minawa may have ulterior motives since she is Keepers’ android. But she recalls Suguru suggestion for them to live together and to get to know each other. If she lost the beauty of her heart, she’d be no better than the Keepers. That’s when he named her Minawa and suggested her to be her little sister. Mahoro hugs him. Mahoro wishes Ryuuga and Slash to take care of Suguru if anything happens to her. Ryuuga promises to do so.

Episode 3
Mahoro seems to be obsessed about making her boobs big like using a vacuum cleaner. Even if she did enlarge it, Suguru didn’t notice! Suguru’s pals are talking about UFOs in class when a real one suddenly hovers above their school. Ryuuga points out that it’s just Saint’s s unmanned advertisement craft and their purpose to gradually reveal extraterrestrial life to humans so as not to shock them. They want to see if they can live peacefully with humans. Saori finds out that Mahoro is using some sort of breast enlargement machine and mocks her. Suddenly the machine got onto Saori’s boobs and turned them into freaking humungous pumpkins!!! Then it got Minawa and turned them sizeable. Next onto Suguru and he too got boobs! Mahoro is pissed it only doesn’t work on her and destroys the machine. Haha! Mahoro gets word that Keepers’ giant machine is going to terrorize the town and goes to fight alone. Minawa soon joins in but she gets captured. Mahoro has no choice but to use the bra weapon her Vesper team sent her and say the embarrassing activation password: Breast Missile! The machine is destroyed and Minawa saved but Mahoro is traumatized when Minawa constantly mentions Breast Missile. However it was all just a dream so next morning everyone’s boobs revert to their normal size. Suguru tries to cheer her up by mentioning he prefers small boobs and the benefits of having smaller ones. But this only furthers depresses her. Can someone tell her that size doesn’t matter? Guess not.

Episode 4
Mahoro receives a report from Vesper that there is a bomb planted in school. She disguises herself as a transfer student under the name of Mahoko Suzuki to search for the bomb. Seems her pals instantly recognize who that new girl is. They search but did not find anything suspicious. They also notice somebody else is looking for the bomb because there are other holes dug up. Suguru’s pals eavesdrop them looking for something and conclude that they must be looking for a legendary love item that will deepen one’s love. Eventually Mahoro finds a rocket-like item in a freshly dug hole. But Keepers soon send their android to retrieve it but was taken out by Suguru’s pals in weird disguises. Yup, Mahoro and Suguru definitely recognize them. Soon they all start fighting and chasing for the item while Slash fights and takes out the android. In the end, it’s Saori who caught the item as it bursts open. It’s revealed to be her time capsule containing pics of her school days and her love diaries to a guy she had a crush on, Makoto. Saori is the culprit digging the holes because she wanted to get rid of it before the school undergoes renovation next year and discovers her embarrassing stuff. So it was a false alarm. What a wild goose chase. Vesper needs to have their intelligence department revamped…

Episode 5
Minawa wakes up from a dream whereby her predecessor, 369, left her. It’s Christmas as Suguru takes Minawa to town to buy presents. Funny part was how Ryuuga found out the shocking truth that Santa doesn’t exist by a couple of kids! Hamaji tries to ask Mahoro what Minawa likes as he wishes to get a present for her (because he likes her). The usual gang turns up at Suguru’s home for Christmas party. Saori being the usual nuisance so much so Mahoro had to threaten her several times that she’ll bury her for real! Hamaji rigs the gift exchanging lottery so that he could give his to Minawa (a picture frame). I find the rest’s presents are tad too weird. Ecchi book? Bust enlargement book? Diet book? And is that “Delight In The Morning Rush” some sort of horny book? Minawa’s present to Hamaji… A spanner. Minawa needs to go out to buy some stuff so Hamaji’s pals know about his crush on her (Mahoro and Suguru oblivious) and sets him up to accompany her. Along the way, he gives her a pair of mittens. At the end of the party after everyone has left, Suguru gives Mahoro, Minawa and Slash a scarf each.

Episode 6
It’s New Year’s Day and what a way to start it off with a fight at the shrine between Mahoro and Saori about 2D small breasts and fake CG polygon boobs (seriously), a duel of fortune reading, intensive pounding to make New Year cakes, a heated card battle that destroys the precious items in Rin’s house and a heated traditional badminton game (Minawa got in between and was sent crashing into the public bath chimney). On a side note, Hamaji tried to confess to Minawa but was interrupted by her hiccups. Try harder next time. I guess the fighting has to stop some time as they all go to the public bath, watch movies, a curry dinner at Suguru’s home (listen to Chizuko’s passionate curry judgement!) before finally burning stuff to mark the end of 10 days New Year. Minawa sleeps closely with Mahoro but unknown to them, Mephlis is observing and collecting their data via hidden transmitter.

Episode 7
Suguru sneaks out against Mahoro’s order for the town’s annual Hiryu Festival of Darkness (read: legalized all-out brawl). Mahoro and Minawa go to town to search for him and get involved in the fight after learning its simple rules. For example, safe inflatable weapons are only used and you lose if the flower on your head is broken off. Suguru and Mahoro-Minawa combo individually fight their way past friends and waves of townsfolk to reach the shrine (Minawa’s klutz earned her lucky wins – drunken technique?). Suguru arrives first and faces off with last year’s champion: Saori: He lost via her cleavage. Then it’s Mahoro’s turn (Minawa’s clumsiness took herself out) as Saori becomes a rampaging monster that puts Mahoro into defensive mode. Finally Mahoro uses her final technique that will also hurt her pride as a girl: Flat Wall Chest Attack! Saori lost and Mahoro is proclaimed the new champion. The crowd cheers her on so Mahoro gets sucked into their pace and accepts her victory.

Episode 8
Suguru’s grandpa, Yuichiro Gonoe comes to temporarily stay at his home. Of course he is also a little quirky. As Suguru’s friends and teachers visit, he observes Suguru’s ‘harem’, trying to get pervy with Saori (she actually pointed out to him that ecchi is bad!) and teases Ryuuga over drinking. That night, Yuichiro wants to peep at the maids bathing and manages to smoothly convince Suguru to take part. Of course they get busted. As Mahoro is giving them a dressing down, Yuichiro smoothly turns the table on Mahoro and says that she is the one who is most ecchi instead. Shock! During bed, Yuichiro gives Suguru some advice about being an elegant man (not a joke here). Next morning before Yuichiro leaves, he talks to Mahoro. Seems they know each other as he is her boss at Vesper. He just wants to make sure things between her and Suguru. They also talk about Minawa as Yuichiro mentions Mahoro has found something she doesn’t want to lose. After he leaves, Mahoro thinks the reason he visited was he wanted to see them 1 more time before the day of destiny that will conclude the future of Earthlings and Saints arrive.

Episode 9
Mahoro has a hard time explaining to Minawa about the significance of giving chocolates to loved ones on Valentine’s Day. Minawa remembers on the last day she met 369, she made a promise with her to survive because the latter wanted feelings. Ryuuga is stalked and swamped by lots of girls giving their chocolates as Hamaji’s pals set him up to meet Minawa. After that, the girls head over to Suguru’s home to give their handmade chocolates so that kid’s in a pinch on whose to eat first. It’s a decision tougher to make than your test questions. It gets complicated when Saori joins the competition (a boob-shaped chocolate laced with super drug!). Since Mahoro is giving him the cold shoulder, there is only 1 way out: To eat all the chocolates in 1 shot! Amazing but he soon collapses. The girls head home obviously disappointed but as Chizuko points out, Suguru values friendship more than love. Due to unfortunate events, Minawa has to chase her ‘fleeing’ handmade chocolate throughout town. She returns all messed up to waiting Hamaji and only manages to buy a little chocolate as replacement while apologizing. But Hamaji is grateful and shares the piece with her. Though Suguru has a little trauma of eating chocolates, he accepts the chocolates Mahoro gives him since he can keep and eat it later. As Minawa waits for Hamaji to get something he forgot, she encounters Feldlance.

Episode 10
Minawa is taken to see Mephlis. Seems her task was to gather info on Mahoro but they were all useless. He has no choice but to give her a final but easy mission to capture Mahoro: Kidnap Suguru and in exchange he will give her feelings. Minawa has lots on her mind that her actions are a little unusual. As Minawa and Suguru walk home together, Slash suddenly gets defensive. He deflects a knife from Feldlance as Minawa holds Suguru to a hostage. Mahoro, who has been walking Guri, heard a gunshot and rushes back to see the house destroyed and Slash heavily wounded. After being told what happened and the stakes, Mahoro flies off to rescue them. Suguru is imprisoned with Minawa (to watch over him) when Mahoro busts into the place. She fights Feldlance shortly before encountering Minawa using Suguru as a hostage. Mahoro throws down a gun but a machine binds her. It’s trying to make her powerless and causing her great pain. Suguru and Minawa rush to save her. Suguru tries to make Minawa realize the feelings she has all the while. Mahoro admits she was the one who killed his father. Minawa thinks she has found her feelings and fires several shots to free Mahoro but was shot in return. Mephlis becomes upset because those useless feelings always betray him. Unconscious Mahoro falls down into the core so Suguru grabs and falls with her.

Episode 11
Slash dives in to save the duo as Ryuuga destroys the place. Feldlance confronts Mephlis. Seems he is collecting data for Kanon and to use his research for reference material. He shoots Mephlis before making his escape. In the aftermath, Suguru meets the Vesper commanders while Mahoro stays by Minawa’s side till she recuperates. A scientist analyzing Minawa is disgusted with the many irrationally surgeries on her body but is amazed she survived so long. Ryuuga offers to take Minawa back in hopes their technology can treat her. Soon Mahoro and Minawa return to Suguru’s home and they all go to the hotspring with their friends (surprisingly Saori was invited). The girls set up Suguru and Mahoro to meet and spend quality time together at the hotspring. I guess they acknowledge defeat to Mahoro. Surprisingly, Saori too is calmly letting them go. Suguru and Mahoro try to reduce the ‘lies’ told to their friends as pre-arrangements have been made for Minawa to transfer out from school to cure her illness. Minawa gives her farewell speech to everybody but promises to return once she is well. Later Hamaji and Minawa have their private chat and Suguru and Mahoro the same. Mahoro feels she doesn’t want to die yet. Due to the recent event, her time to cease functioning is unknown.

Episode 12
Keepers gets word that the American president is going to betray them by revealing details of alien contact, the secret war between humans and Saints and even Keepers’ existence. They send 2 snipers (one being Oswald) to assassinate him. Kanon sees Keepers boss and reveals info on Mahoro like how some parts of her are alien technology but oddly her inner parts used screws and its manufacturer is Kono’s Heavy Industries of Japan. Mahoro wakes up from a nightmare of vomiting screws, nuts and bolts. She wanders outside the house and meets Feldlance. He mocks her about fear and death and reveals his mission to kill Suguru. He proceeds to rip her till her undies and caresses her soft body and a final weapon called Shining Darkness yet to be removed inside her body. In the aftermath we see a path of destruction and it’s Feldlance who is popping up from the rubble. Mahoro goes to see Yuichiro as he requests her to take Suguru and run. Suguru is in school and hears the TV news that the American president has been assassinated (familiar to Kennedy’s?!). Plus, Vesper has been blamed for the assassination. Then Mahoro comes flying in her harrier jet (like True Lies?) to pick up Suguru, though he doesn’t know what’s going on. Ryuuga and Minawa discuss with a Saint comrade, Leesha about humans preparing for war next time since they have successfully manage to jump into space.

Episode 13
The people in Vesper are apprehended for interrogation. Yuichiro attends a party thrown by the Keepers. He hears that they have made a giant fleet to space. They say it’s to make peace with Saints. Yuichiro mocks their ideals and thinks they should’ve resolve contradictions between humans first. Soon he unleashes Slash to rip the party apart. At the end of the bloody chaos and destruction, looks like only Slash is the only one moving. Mahoro and Suguru crash land nearby some South American ruins. Then they walk to the nearby beach and watch the sunset together before kissing. Finally. Better late than never. Suddenly Feldlance appears since he followed a transmitter in her brooch. Mahoro tells Suguru to run to the nearest city port while she fights Feldlance but promises to meet up with him there. Mahoro and Feldlance start their fiery power battle. In the end, Mahoro binds Feldlance and emits a powerful force bright enough so much so it can be seen from outer space and a large crater carved out from the island.

Episode 14
Ever since Mahoro ceased to function, Suguru left Japan to seal his painful memories. Soon the Keepers organization collapses as Earthlings and Saints reconcile. But Saints never settled down except on Silva Plana, a colony colonized jointly by Earth and Saints. 20 years have passed, in a bar Kanon is trying to get a man named Jils to return him to his homeland Earth. However he is being attacked by a samurai guy before being completely taken down. This Kanon is just an android model manufactured towards end of Keepers’ existence. Seems there are other Keepers android models as well. Jils is in cohorts with that hard bitten samurai, that turns out to be Suguru! He’s currently an assassin hunting all these androids. Suguru hears a familiar voice and is surprise to see Saori! Why, she still looks young and sexy! Though she recognizes Suguru, seems she is taking out her sexual lust on a couple of new male students under her wing. She’s not interested in him anymore? Forever a shotacon… Ryuuga talks to Leesha about the future, how Sera and Minawa are doing. Leesha tells how she fell in love with Yuichiro and became the first union between Earth and Saint. That bloodline continues in Suguru. Meanwhile Jils betrays Suguru by stabbing him in the stomach since Suguru himself has a bounty on his head. Apparently nothing happens because Suguru is part machine so he slices Jils into half, revealing the android he is. Suguru patrons a road stall while thinking back about the good times. I don’t understand this part because it’s like Mahoro in some suspended animation or subconscious thingy talking to Leesha, she suddenly materializes before Suguru. You can’t blame that guy as he thinks he saw the Angel of Death. Till she mentions her trademark ecchi line and for them to go home. They both emotionally reunite. What the heck! Suguru revert back to his young self again?! As the credits roll, we hear voices of the gang talking while past episode clips play by. Mahoro’s dream is to be Suguru’s bride. A final silhouette showing Mahoro and grownup Suguru together.

What the?! What a weak ending that was! No doubt the ending was rather dark, it was ridiculous that Mahoro who had ceased to function suddenly appears right before Suguru to be reunited with him. This isn’t a dream, right? It’s real, right? Mahoro did really appear before Suguru. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention to all that confusing mumbo jumbo in the end but does Mahoro really need to make Suguru wait that long? So reunited and it feels so good, eh? It’s like the producers didn’t want to make it a bad ending but 20 years feels like a period far too long for it to end it this way. So much so it made me ponder on several questions such as the whereabouts of the other characters and what actually happened to them like Suguru’s pals. Did they move on? And the Vesper council, did they become free and innocent after all that? Most likely since Keepers is gone. I suppose that means Vesper has become insignificant too, eh?

Mahoromatic: Summer Special

Perhaps to not leave a bitter taste in viewer’s mouth, a special episode released a few months after the second season ended entitled Mahoromatic: Summer Special and takes place somewhere during the second season. Mahoro finds a porn book belonging to Suguru and confiscates it. He reports this to his male friends at the park but they are relieved that she hasn’t confiscated the ‘ultimate’ one. To their dismay, they realize she was eavesdropping (while playing some hide and seek game with a little girl). Mahoro gets all the girls to help search and confiscate that book and even manages to bribe Saori with some fine wine to do so. On X-day itself, Mahoro and the girls march into Suguru’s room with an arrest warrant! Luckily Suguru saw this coming and already fled with his friends. Mahoro is going to hunt him down. Soon Kawahara and Hamaji got captured but Saori, who stayed back at the house to do some ‘investigation’, fell for one of Mahoro’s trap. Mahoro finds Suguru but he summons Slash to escape. But Mahoro is hot on his tail and chases him no matter how far they go.

Ironically, Slash tires out so at the edge of Hokkaido, Suguru wonders why Mahoro is adamant in ridding porn so Slash reveals it may have stemmed from his dad. Seems he too has his secret stash of porn. When Mahoro found out, he tried to hide it by saying ecchi isn’t good. She confiscates it all and so that’s how it all started. Backfired, eh? Plus, Misato even ‘made’ Suguru into an ecchi kid when he told him that guys have to be ecchi! Mahoro catches up to them so after seeing her iron will, Suguru is going to give up but they both collapsed. When they return home, everyone feasts as celebration for extermination of porn! But the guys don’t seem fazed. Later Mahoro enters Suguru’s room and decides to give him back some porn after seeing his determination today. Minawa’s clumsiness has Mahoro realizing Suguru’s fake walls. The whole stash of porn is stacked behind it! The guys spent the night hiding it all and thus that chase was just a diversion. Reprimand time… The guys lament that all their porn is gone but Suguru mentions Mahoro only found 15% of it and that his fight has just begun. The guys support him. Unknown to them, camouflaged Mahoro was eavesdropping. Yeah, it’s a never ending battle to rid porn.

Mahoromatic: Tadaima Okaeri

Maybe after a long time, it is a good thing to remind us of all shows again. So back in the late quarter of 2009, a 2 episode special called Mahoromatic: Tadaima Okaeri felt just right to remind viewers that our android maid isn’t really dead yet. So okay, so it takes place somewhere during the second season when Mahoro still has 270 days left. That’s quite a lot. Just kidding.

As usual one morning as Mahoro wakes up Suguru, clumsy Minawa accidentally bumps into Mahoro and this in turn reveals the stack of porn mags Suguru hid in his window. See, what did I tell you that you can’t get rid of porn? Later their friends come by requesting Mahoro’s help since they will be putting up a service maid cafe at the town’s anniversary festival. Mahoro insists that they should do everything themselves from making their own maid outfits to baking but she will help and teach them along the way. Saori was invited by the girls since they need adult supervision. Oh no. You know what this means when loggerheads like Mahoro and Saori meet, right? The gang works hard and is close to finish as the day draws near. After taking a well deserved bath at the public bath, the girls give Mahoro her own maid outfit as thanks, designed by them and the idea from Suguru. Minawa too has her own matching set. The gang parts to complete their final preparations. Unknown to them, Feldlance has been observing them. At school where Suguru and Minawa are, Minawa goes off alone to retrieve something when she is being attacked by Keepers’ robots. Mahoro senses Minawa in danger and turns back to rescue her from the clutches of the machines. Suguru also knows something is amiss when he sees Minawa’s ribbon on the ground and shattered glasses strewn all over the place. Mahoro is upset that they have messed up this special place belonging to Suguru and his friends and will take the fight back to them.

Mahoro battles the machines as she tries hard to keep her maid outfit intact. Not possible seeing how violent those robots are. Suguru takes unconscious Minawa to safety as the fight becomes aerial. The fight ends when Mahoro fires several shots into the robot and sends it crashing into Feldlance’s plane high up in the sky. When Minawa comes to, she notices injured Feldlance behind the corner. He says it was them who sent her here and have no intention of bringing her back. This ‘show’ was just a put on so that the higher ups won’t be suspicious. He leaves when Mahoro and Suguru come to check on Minawa. Mahoro tells Minawa to live life to the fullest and to experience things. Ryuuga and Slash come by to offer their help to rebuild the school since Mahoro needs to concentrate on sewing her torn outfit. She beats them up when they mention about her panties being visible. Next day, the gang makes it in time and readies all their preparations to open their cafe. You could say that business is bustling and a sell-out. At the end of the day, Mahoro bakes them a congratulatory cake. As she dances her way, her maid outfit rips to pieces! Luckily the girls brought spare clothes and have Mahoro put those casual ones and set Mahoro and Suguru to go out to the festival together. The other girls also head out with Minawa, leaving the ‘unimportant’ guys behind. During the break, Minawa suddenly gets excited because she thinks everyone is lovey-dovey with Suguru just like how Mahoro is with him, catching everyone by surprise. Well, being with him for a long time doesn’t sound like a good excuse. But they note he is cheerful now because of Mahoro. Night fall, Mahoro changes back to her trademark maid outfit as Suguru comments how this really fits her and it would be nice if they could keep spending time like from now on. But Mahoro knows in her heart she doesn’t have that long (we all also know how the TV series ended, right?). The duo reunite with the rest including drunken Saori (fresh from her awesome solo violin performance. No kidding!) and watch the fireworks.

Still counting down…
I’m not sure if there will be more production of this series. Oddly, I would have preferred the series when it was about the gang having fun and spending time together which probably served as fillers. So when it got a little serious like those background organizations and some intergalactic war thingy, I felt turned off. And with that kind of ending in the TV series, it was a real damper to the series. I thought everybody should’ve died seeing the way things turned out and the uncertain fate of the rest. So it’s better for them to spend their happy youthful days together even if it’s just confiscating Suguru’s porn, right? But you know, these kind of days won’t last forever and Mahoro herself knows that better.

It’s amusing to see the eternal rivalry between Mahoro and Saori. When these 2 argue, it has got to be about these 2 things only: Suguru and boobs. Big flabby ones or small compact ones, take your pick. Because Mahoro is an android, I guess that is the reason why she always comes up tops against Saori. It makes me wonder how that shotacon ever became a teacher. Well, maybe she takes out her fetishes only on Suguru? Till he grows up as seen then. Minawa is another amusing character. She’s so clumsy and klutzy in every moment that you’d find her adorable and lovable. Really. She has that blur look on that face and her soft and slow talking makes her even cuter. I guess her role in this series is as the dojikko maid rather than anything else. The other funny girl is Chizuko and her huge appetite. She really loves to eat and she has this hilarious skill that when she pops a food into her mouth, she goes into superb ecstasy so much so she can even tell where the ingredients came from! She can be an excellent food critic when she grows up.

Romance wise, don’t expect to see any of the characters becoming a couple. That’s because we’ve seen the ending in the future, right? Even if Mahoro and Suguru are oblivious to each other’s feelings, at least they have come to terms that they do need each other. Even their girl pals and Saori did acknowledge their lost so it’s about time they give up. Can’t beat a maid who is good in almost everything, right? Same direction too with Minawa and Hamaji. That clumsy girl is too blur and naive while that guy is too panicky so you can see each time even no matter how many times they’ve been given a chance together, it’s back to square one.

After Mahoro’s ultimate clash with Ryuuga, I felt like that Saint dude has been relegated to a secondary supporting character in the second season and he is just bumming around though his reason is to live an ordinary human life. The same case with Slash. Hey, I think Guri has gotten pretty attached to him, don’t you think? As for the other characters in Vesper, Saint and Keepers, I felt they didn’t have a major impact on the series except for the climax part when it matters most. Those Vesper guys (except Yuichiro) have never meet Mahoro ever since she started becoming Suguru’s maid while we’ll never know the reason about Mephlis final words about feelings betraying him.

All the opening themes are sung by Ayako Kawasumi (who is also the voice for Mahoro). I don’t know how to put it, but they sound like they are connected to each other. The songs are Kaerimichi – On The Way Home (1st season), Soreiyu (2nd season) and Tadaima No Kaze (OVA). As for the ending themes, they are sung by the trio of Miyuki, Rin and Chizuko. It feels like each of them has a particular theme. For instance, Mahoro De Mambo of the 1st season felt like mambo, Triomatic Ran! Ran! in the 2nd season has that marching beat, Summer Special’s Hiryu Musume Ha! Date Ondo akin to a festival beat and Ma No Tsugi Bugi from the OVA resembles like the showy Broadway. Each of them sees the trio in chibi form doing their dance and also that trademark ecchi line somewhere in the middle. For the TV series, after the ending credits and before the next episode preview, viewers are treated to a short segment called Satellite Poemer. I’m not the kind of person who appreciates poems so I don’t really get it when the characters start waxing lyrical about the ordinary stuff like food or being together with someone.

So people with maids out there, treat them better for they are humans and not androids in the first place. For Suguru and Mahoro’s case, I hope it won’t make people get the wrong impression that a master and servant’s relationship should go further and deeper than it is. Remember to properly hide your Playboy magazines if you don’t want others to stumble upon it. Who needs that anymore when you have the internet, right? See, you can eradicate a huge secret powerful organization but not porn.

Houkago No Pleiades

June 10, 2011

I’m still not into those magical girls kind of series. So I guess if you really want me to watch such genres, make it a short OVA with a handful of episodes so that yours truly can go check it out. Just like Houkago No Pleiades (Afterschool Pleiades). No harm, right? Since it’s short. I was wondering if this was supposed to be some promotional stint by that Japanese car maker, Subaru (yes, you read that right) since it collaborated with Gainax to make this 4 episode ONA (original net animation). Well, let’s just say that you won’t be seeing any Subaru car models. Just your typical magical girl show.

Episode 1
We start off with our main heroine, Subaru, watching the starry night sky as it turns into a spectrum of colourful light show. Well, at least that is how it looked to me. In school, Subaru goes up to the observatory but sees a guy (or is it a girl?), Minato. They both chat as Minato talks about hidden beauty, darkness and places that no one can come into. As it is time to leave, Subaru wonders if she could come again so Minato replies if the stars guide her than perhaps.

In a room, a group of girls in white magical girl outfits: Aoi, Nanako, Hikaru and Itsuki, are discussing about quickly finding a fifth member. As Subaru walks down the stairways, she accidentally trips on a blob that steals her compass. She chases it to a room and upon opening its door, she is surprised to see her friend Aoi. She too is surprised to see Subaru.

Episode 2
Aoi is reluctant to tell Subaru anything as she has nothing to do with it. Subaru wonders why she is treating her like this lately and her answer is that she is clumsy (hey, she’s a good friend telling her straight the truth). Subaru learns the blob is their President and is an alien race known as Pleiades. Nanako senses a great force from Subaru and wants her to help them out. Subaru is happy to assist them but Aoi insists she is slow, clumsy and doesn’t know anything (oh, what a ‘nice’ way of putting it).

Subaru sees the bowl of stars shaking and begins to hear something, surprising the girls. Hikaru peeps outside the window and notes that the shooting stars have appeared. She tosses a magical cane to Subaru and with President’s magic, Subaru transforms into a magical girl. Off the girls go riding on their wands into the sky above. Why does to revving sound like cars? Do Subaru cars sound like that?

After a short introduction, they let Subaru know that they are collecting for these kinds of stars known as Engine Fragments so that they can return President to his original star. I don’t really understand the mumbo-jumbo they explain about compression wheel and synchronizing the interference wave (what? Please repeat that again). The Engine starts stabilizing (since there is 5 of them) when an evil dude in a black mantle appears before them.

Episode 3
He is their enemy and is also collecting Engine Fragments though his intentions of doing so are unknown. Both sides fight but since Subaru isn’t able to concentrate, the enemy gets the Engine. Since this is the last of the fragments, he wants them to hand over theirs. Of course they won’t. He will take it from them by force in 3 days time on the night of the full moon.

Back in the room, the girls discuss about this as President explains (via translation from Nanako of course) that the Engine Fragments were broken into pieces from his intergalactic spaceship in an accident 2 years ago during his travel. If its powers are used wrongly, disaster will befall on a planet. Subaru is eager to continue helping them since she thinks it is fun but Aoi thinks otherwise as it is impossible for her to do so. She chides her once more that she is, well, clumsy, dull and slow. Didn’t see that one coming, eh? Subaru ponders over Aoi’s words and the next day as she enters the observatory, she finds the plants wilted and cries her heart out.

On a rainy day, Subaru meets Aoi at a bus stop. She mentions that she has improved and though she irritates her a lot, she still loves her and don’t want to give up. Subaru takes Aoi’s hands and make a run for it since the weather has cleared up. Their other ‘spying’ friends are happy that they made up. On the third night, the baddie shows himself up outside their school as the girls prepare for battle.

Episode 4
A short flashback seeing Minato watching the stars when the sky starts displaying a chaotic light show. One of them pierces through him and that’s when he thought he became a star then. Back in reality, the villain uses his fragment powers to turn the place into some space-dimension rift and revealing the girls’ Engines. Nanako, Hikaru and Itsuki attack him while Aoi protects the Engines. The baddie fires a giant fireball at Aoi’s direction. Subaru uses her body to protect her and this place she considers important.

Calling out Minato’s name, she absorbs the fireball and mentions that she also noticed the stars and him. Subaru flies up to Minato (the enemy as it is clearly revealed now) and hugs him. She remembers seeing those stars and knew that he was there and not an illusion. An evil aura seems to be dispersing from his earring. But Minato pushes Subaru away and says that he can’t go with her yet. He tosses her his sweater so Subaru promises to find him again. The scenery reverts back to normal as Subaru reunites with her other friends. Subaru heads back to the observatory and sees a little flower sprouting and expresses to wait for her.

Wish Upon A Pleiades Star…
Well, what more could I say since this is a simple magical girl show though it may be nothing much. What are you expecting? Huge battles, lolicon fanservice or even nonsensical comedy? I guess in this short ONA, they’re trying to tell us about friendship and forgiveness as seen between Aoi and Subaru. What could be a better way to end this short show with both friends being good with each other again. I felt that this ONA is to ‘test the market’ because if they ever wanted to expand the series and turn it into a proper TV series, maybe those unfinished plots like Minato’s reasons to collect Engines and President’s past could be explored.

Speaking of the President, I find that his lines are the most amusing and hilarious ones! In fact, President don’t really have any proper dialogue but the way that little cyan blob speaks is like though you fast forward somebody speaking on a tape recorder. Or a person being gagged trying desperately to talk! Or onomatopoeia of gibberish words of someone you’d call a chicken backside! I think I can do some nonsensical voice acting like that too! Nanako’s mysterious character to really decipher what it says makes it even funnier. The ending credits show different sketches of the characters illustrated by different people with their different styles and also rough designs and sketches of the characters and items during its production. Neat.

The drawing of the outer space background is quite nice but you know, I’ve always been overwhelmed by those photo shots of the galaxy and stars. Those magical and light sequences may be flashy but I can say that there are flashier ones (and even more outrageous ones) out there. At first I thought how similar the girls’ magical girl outfits were to Aria The Animation’s perhaps because of the long white dress but upon closer inspection, they’re not. I’m thinking if an advanced life form can make a spaceship to travel light years away from its home, why do they need the power of magical girls to help it gather and assemble its parts back? Maybe I should watch more magical girls to understand this.


June 4, 2011

Hmm… Where should I start this story? How should I start this tale? Who are the main characters and what their roles are. No, it’s not that I’m trying to be a screenwriter or playwright, but after watching Baccano, you start to ponder those questions because a story with a fascinating plot and a hell lot of characters involved that includes a pair of thieves, alchemists, gangsters, mafia, Camorrista, hired killers, informants and even more, it may seem everything just came straight out from the movies.

The main story’s timeline is set in America during the 1930’s period but as we go along, we’ll learn that it is essentially split into 3 different year periods. The way the story is shown may be confusing and overwhelming at first because bits and pieces of the plot are shown from all over and just about anywhere. For the first few episodes, you may feel puzzled and baffled as the events do not make sense nor are they connected. But if you are patient, you will be rewarded as you go along and at the end when you put together all the jigsaw pieces, you’ll understand the big picture as a whole. Interesting. Due to the ‘messy’ back and forth snippets and clips of the story, I won’t really go into detail into each episode but only the important events that happened in chronological order. If I could remember them. For those wanting more information can go to good ol’ Wikipedia for details about the characters or Star Crossed Anime Blog for a summary of all the episodes.

As mentioned, the many characters of the series are the ones that make it colourful and lively. You could probably guess from the opening credits as they display the names of the characters that will appear throughout the series (17 of them). However I feel that there are more characters to that and the reason why they aren’t shown in the beginning as I feel it will be a dead giveaway to a certain little plot (I also noticed that those other ‘unshown’ characters are from the Daily Days  – an information company). It will be interesting to see how many of these characters come together as they set off events from one another. Also said earlier, it is set in the United States so the characters are of different nationality and not your typical Takashi or Haruka to begin with. Heck, you may be forgiven to think that this isn’t an anime production (the drawing and art isn’t that obvious to the conventional anime style) in the first place till they start speaking Japanese. Non-Japanese people speaking Japanese? Odd. Oh wait. This series is an oddity in its own way. Come to think of it, it would be even odd if it was dubbed in English and the characters speaking in American accent! Oh, my stereotype thinking of animes.  Anyway, here is a brief description of the main characters:

Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent – These pair of bungling and idiotic thieves are the reason why you should watch Baccano. They provide comic relief to the entire series with their eccentric and flowery talk. Even if they seem annoying (especially Miria sometimes being an echo to Isaac or confirming with him), they are a pair that will be very hard to hate but love so much so you can’t help but root for them. They also have a peculiar habit of stealing odd stuff (like the heavy museum door?) and you have got to love some of their reasoning to rob. Listen to this one, the reason why they rob from the rich isn’t because they want to be Robin Hood but rather to prevent internal fighting for inheritance! And they think they’re doing a hell of a noble duty. Oh yeah. Really love them alright… Just like how they’re depicted as cards in the opening animation, they’re a pair of jokers.
Maiza Avaro – The bespectacled bookkeeper of the Martillo family in Manhattan and the leader of original alchemist immortals.
Firo Prochainezo – A skilled fighter and a new addition to the Martillo family. Is seen close with his mentor Maiza most of the time.
Keith, Berga and Luck Gandor – The mafia brothers running a small business in Manhattan. Keith being the eldest and the leader, Berga the second-in-command and Luck the charming and social one responsible for plotting out strategies. Say, doesn’t Luck look very much like Bleach’s Aizen?
Szilard Quates – A dangerous old guy that one must not mess with if you know him well. One of the original alchemist immortals, Szilard seeks to recreate the immortal formula for his own nefarious ends.
Ennis – A homunculus created by Szilard via his cells (how he does it and even made a female one still boggles me). Initially a loyal servant of Szilard but develops her own emotions.
Ladd Russo – A sadistic hitman of the Russo family who enjoys and seeks thrill in killing people. You can tell he loves his ‘job’ very much as he even dances in the pool of blood of his fallen victims. In happiness.
Lua Klein – Ladd’s fiancee and the only reason she’s staying alive is because she is to be killed by Ladd’s hands. What?
Chane Laforet – The mute knife fighter and daughter of Huey Laforet, a traitor who is currently being imprisoned for treason.
Jacuzzi Splot – Though the leader of his own gangster, the most evident trait about him is that he is a cry-baby! When the going gets tough, he starts crying. But when his members are in danger, he will summon enough strength to fight for them. Has a large sword tattoo over his face.
Nice Holystone – Jacuzzi’s girlfriend and partner in crime and expert in the explosive area. She wears an eye-patch to hide the right eye she lost via an explosive experiment. That empty are is useful because she keeps her tiny bombs in it.
Eve Genoard – The daughter of a wealthy family with a quiet personality. She is searching for her missing older brother.
Dallas Genoard – Eve’s brother and a small time thug going around causing mischief with his small group after his family’s fortune were robbed by Isaac and Miria.
Czeslaw Meyer – A young boy and one of the original alchemist immortals. Due to a torture and painful experiment by his guardian, he doesn’t trust anyone and wants to devour other immortals to avoid being devoured, especially Maiza.

The timeline of the main story is split into 1930, 1931 and 1932. I also feel that 1711 is also an important date as this is where it all started. Though this date won’t be shown with such frequency in every episode (besides the halfway episode) and just sparingly. There are other years as well but they serve more as a prelude to these main ones.

1711 – Where it all began on the Advenna Avis ship
A group of around 3o alchemists managed to summon the devil and obtain an elixir for immortality. The devil imparts several conditions like they can only find each other using their real names (the logic for this still baffles me) and if they ever get tired of living, they can devour themselves by placing their right hand over the other’s head and wish from the heart ‘to eat’. That same right hand can also impart knowledge of the devoured to others. However the devil only gives the knowledge to make the elixir to Maiza and in the event if they want to recreate it, they will have to ask him. Maiza concludes that nobody else should acquire this elixir as it would bring disastrous results. Everyone agrees except Szilard. Because of that, Szilard starts devouring one by one the alchemists and ultimately Gret, Maiza’s brother whom Maiza has passed on half of the elixir’s knowledge. Though Szilard is thrown off the ship in a struggle, the surviving alchemists decide to scatter themselves throughout the world after realizing the threat they possess if they stayed together.

1930 – The new immortals
Szilard is successful in creating the elixir of immortality. I guess after 200 years, there has to be some reward for his patience, right? However his underling Barnes who was in charge of making the elixir, the building caught fire and he only managed to save 2 bottles. Worse, Barnes encounters Dallas and his thugs as they steal his precious cargo. Szilard devours Barnes and has Ennis to hunt down the responsible party. Firo bumps into Ennis and you could say he starts to fall for her because he goes to great lengths trying to return her sleeve button she dropped. So when Dallas and co are being rounded up back to Szilard, it seems the elixir isn’t with them anymore. Szilard instils some fear in Dallas and co by devouring one of his friends and soon makes them partial immortals (they cannot be killed and their wounds heal but will still die of old age) and has them to go look for the elixir. Meanwhile the elixir bottles are being passed around Manhattan, exchanging several hands a few times and making those possessors who drank it immortals. They include Isaac, Miria, the Gandor brothers, Firo and his Martillo family members (they drank it thinking it was alcohol to celebrate Firo’s entry into their family).

Eventually Szilard manages to find Maiza and confronts him. At this point, Szilard has already devoured 2/3 of the original immortals and is going to devour Maiza. Szilard for an old guy can move and attack faster compared to Maiza. Crippled Maiza could’ve been done for if Isaac and Miria’s ill timing didn’t cause a commotion (the car they stole slammed into Szilard). Szilard orders Ennis to rid of the thieves but her previous meeting with them has caused her to hesitate and obey his orders since Ennis have become friends with Isaac and Miria. Szilard saw her betrayal coming because that was how all his past creations turned out. Ennis teaches Firo how to devour Szilard and in that instant, Firo did exactly what he is supposed to do and ends Szilard’s life. Firo heals dying Ennis and confesses his love for her. Everyone continues their celebration and as for Dallas and his gang, the Gandor brothers decide to punish them for killing their comrades during their rounds to retrieve their elixir by cementing their bodies in an oil barrel and dumping them to the bottom of the Hudson River. Hey, they won’t really die for a long time, right?

1931 – Onboard the Flying Pussyfoot
This is where half of the characters will meet. The transcontinental train, the Flying Pussyfoot will be making its way across the States towards Manhattan. Isaac and Miria board the train to meet up with Ennis after their failed California gold digging. They meet and befriend Jacuzzi and Nice (their gang are onboard to steal the explosives in the cargo) along with Natalie, the wife of Senator Beriam, her daughter Mary and Czeslaw. Ladd and his gang in white suits (so that they could see the blood colour of their victims tainted on it. Sick!) and the Lemures, a group of loyal cult followers of Huey in black suits under the guise as an orchestra band with Chane also boards the train. Isaac and Miria tell scaredy cat Jacuzzi about some urban legend called Rail Tracer that devours the passengers on the train. Jacuzzi starts believing it and coincidentally the white black suits start to hijack the train. Both sides soon plunge the train into a bloody carnage. Seems the Lemures are holding Natalie and Mary to a hostage to get Beriam to release Huey. But that is just a ploy so that they can obtain the immortality elixir and would even get rid of Chane once their mission is done. When the hijack begins, the assistant conductor, Claire Stanfield (funny, he has a girl’s name?) decides to assume the role of the mysterious Rail Tracer and kill the black and white suit perpetrators while ensuring the safety of the other innocent passengers after he learns that his conductor mentor has been killed by them before the train journey began. Claire is a highly skilled assassin previously known as Vino, the reason why he moves so swiftly like a ghost, in and out and even under the train with much flexibility and mobility. He is also the adoptive brother of the Gandors.

Czeslaw meets Ladd and acts like an innocent kid though he wants him to kill everybody onboard. Ladd is sceptical and because Czeslaw thinks he is invincible, Ladd blows his brain to bits! But Czeslaw is an immortal and in no time regenerates. Unknown to them, Claire saw all these events unfolding. Ladd also comes into contact with Jacuzzi and co but decides to put his kill on hold he wants to get rid of the black suits first (Ladd wants to kill Jacuzzi’s gang for since his uncle’s men were attacked by them though Jacuzzi insisted it was retaliation for killing some of his). A stowaway, Rachel (from Daily Days) has a close encounter with Rail Tracer and freaks out when he whispers to close into her ear (you’ll find out much later the freaking thing he said was something about ticket inspection and her having a free ride). Czeslaw too has a close encounter with the Rail Tracer and since he revealed himself as an immortal, Claire proceeds to continue torturing Czeslaw by biting his fingers off and scrapping his hands off the tracks! Meanwhile Beriam visits Huey in prison and tries to convince him to tell his followers to back down. However Huey is confident that Chane is loyal to him as he telepathically communicates with her.

Apparently trains at that time don’t move so fast so it’s no surprise that even when someone is running or fighting on top of the coaches, they won’t fall off. Ladd fights Chane while Jacuzzi takes on a Lemure underling. Ladd and Chane’s fight isn’t progressing anywhere as both are equally matched. Till Claire pops up and decides to side with Chane after hearing their side of the story. Claire even proposes to Chane to marry her. He wants her to get off the train and carve her answer on the coach. Ladd fights Claire but makes Ladd ‘jump off’ the train when he pretends to hold Lua hostage. Jacuzzi wins his fight against Lemure since the latter was using a flame thrower that exploded when he fell onto the tracks. Isaac and Miria save Czeslaw from underneath the train (Czeslaw panicked when he saw Isaac’s wound heal and thought he was going to devour him) and in some crazy events, the trio are swung up via some rope and safety. Jacuzzi and Nice manage to unload the cargo into the river and Chane is seen floating atop one of them. Claire sees Chane’s answer wanting him to find her and she will do the same (though her intention is to kill him). When the train arrives at its destination, Isaac and Miria are happy to see Ennis. Because they forgot to get her a present, they give Czeslaw to her as her little brother. Czeslaw finally meets Maiza but couldn’t have the heart to devour him. Instead he cried and hugged him that he wanted to see him so much.

1932 – The search for Dallas
Eve is worried about her missing brother and enlists the help of the members of the Daily Days, Elean and Nicholas to help search. Also, the Runorata family are also searching for Dallas so the Don and head of the family has his subordinate Gustavo to go look for him. After learning that the Gandors may have something to do with Dallas’ disappearance, Gustavo kidnaps Eve in hopes of luring Dallas out. Of course due to the guard’s incompetency, Eve escapes and is rescued by Elean. Once she learns the Gandors may know something about Dallas, she storms over unheeding the dangers she may pose to herself. They are interrupted when Gustavo barges in and sprays bullets into the brothers. However they regenerate and beat him unconscious. Then Don arrives and shoots Gustavo in the head for doing several unnecessary stuff. Luck reveals Dallas being cemented at the bottom of the river so Don makes a deal with Eve that he will rescue Dallas in exchange for allowing him to examine Dallas in his lab (for his immortality thingy). By 1933, Eve watches the river being excavated.

Also in this time period, we see Nicholas and Elean along with Rachel relaying information to the president of Daily Days of what has happened during the events on the Flying Pussyfoot like how Rachel got her leg injury (after rescuing Jacuzzi and his gang) and the possible conflict between Gandors and Runoratas on Dallas’ case. The odd part about the president isn’t the fact that he always remain unseen behind his desk of mountain of books, but rather he knows lots about the information and situation even before his employees  could finish explaining. What’s more, he knows pretty much more about the details than his employees. It’s like as though he is the author of this story. Nah. This show can’t be breaking the fourth wall.

And on a short time trip into the future in 2001, we see Isaac and Miria continuing their robbing spree (stealing handphones to avoid the problem of kids never talking to their parents face to face anymore? Yeah, how considerate). Then it hit them that they looked the same over half a century ago. Their conclusion? They must have been born this way! Oh goodness! See why you got to love this pair! Yeah, it never occurred to them that they are immortals and perhaps not in the near future. Or forever.

The OVAs
Well, if you buy the DVD, there are 3 additional episodes that reveals a little more about some of the characters and the aftermath of some of the events. We have also this new character called Graham Spector. He’s another eccentric and psycho guy. Wearing a worker suit and wielding a large spanner as his weapon, this poetic guy wants to find out who injured Ladd and made him fall off the train (currently Ladd is serving his time in prison though he remains his actions to kill were in self defence). So a short flashback how Graham and Ladd met and fought. Though Ladd won, he spared Graham because he thinks they’re both alike. Yeah, birds of the same feathers. Graham plans to capture Jacuzzi and obtain the reward from the Russo family. And to draw him out, he kidnaps to kidnap Eve, which unknown to them is Chane. Before that, Chane has become friends with Jacuzzi and his gang, since they treat her very nicely. Graham leaves a note for Jacuzzi to turn up alone and to bring lots of money in which he did. However he just didn’t bring the money but notes that if he turns him in, he will get a huge bounty reward instead. Jacuzzi’s other pals turn up claiming that they didn’t contradict the note and walked here by themselves (“I walked all the way from Mexico and ended up here”?).

Elsewhere we see Claire meeting up with Rachel and Czeslaw (the latter revealing to the former about his immortality). Czeslaw really freaked out when he realizes Claire is that Rail Tracer! Claire wants Rachel to give advice to best way to confess to a girl (Chane). Claire obtains information from Nicholas (after threatening him) about Chane’s whereabouts and walks right into Graham’s warehouse in the middle of Chane and Graham’s fight. Claire ignores Graham and proposes to Chane once more. Chane is confused and unsure because the only person she loved was Huey though she was never sure he loved her back because he never said those 3 magic words. She also remembers how she traded her voice so that she will never betray him in exchange for his secrets. Graham fights Claire and is shocked to learn that he is the one who injured Ladd.  Graham backs down and leaves after acknowledging that only Ladd can beat him. Claire proposes to Chane again and to start off as friends. She nods a yes.

Other events we see such as Isaac, Miria, Firo, Maiza and the Martillo family making a huge domino and celebrating after its knockdown success, Natalie rewards Rachel with lots of money but she uses it to buy lots of train tickets but throws them all away to compensate her free rides (yeah, that Rail Tracer thingy must’ve traumatized her), Eve sees an empty barrel after its extraction from the river and a short flashback how Jacuzzi tattooed his face to cheer down and out Nice on the aftermath of the explosion that damaged her face . We also see the whereabouts of some of the original alchemist immortals like Elmer Albatross who visited Huey in prison as the latter wants Elmer to find and make Chane in which he doubts is possible; Sylvie Lumiere who was Gret’s girlfriend and the only one who drank the elixir much later in life. Currently she is working as a singer and wanted to devour Firo for Gret’s memories but concludes that it would be safe in Firo’s hands; Ronny Sukiart the reincarnation of the devil who has been asked by Elmer to watch over Maiza and is thankful he kept his promise to do so as a human and not a devil. However Ronny notes that he does so because he was merely curious to see how the events unfold.

The story never ends
Just like the early and final scenes on how the Daily Days vice president Gustav St. Germain and his little girl assistant Carol contemplating on where the story starts or ends, there will never be one simply because, it is fun that way. Say what? I just found out that the light novel in which the series is based on is still ongoing. As I skim through briefly the plot, it seems there will be more characters (especially the remaining alchemist immortals) and different stories in different timelines. There are also outcomes of some of the characters like Chane and Claire married and Jacuzzi and Nice having a great grandson.

Besides Isaac and Miria (whom are my personal favourites), Ladd, Graham and Claire are the other most interesting characters in this show because of their screwball personalities. Claire may be an ex-assassin but at times he too proves that inside he is human and falls in love. Just like Graham, you just got to love his smooth speeches. It’s mind blowing that he likes to use this scare tactic of putting his victim’s face close to the rail tracks while threatening them. However some of the characters didn’t really do much such as Lua. I felt her presence could really do without and that her only ‘role’ was a prelude and setting to make Ladd and herself fall off the train during the climax. So maybe her appearance in the opening credits was just a trick to keep viewers on their toes to wonder how each of them will play a significant role. I also find Keith and Berga to fall under this category since Luck is the one doing the talking most of the time on behalf of the brothers. Heck, Keith doesn’t even have a single line in this entire show!

There is a question that I am wondering. Can an immortal devour himself? You know, placing your own right hand over your own head and eat yourself. Not possible? So what happens if there is only 1 immortal left after the rest has been devoured? Ah, I found out that’s when the devil will eat up the last remaining one and obtain all the knowledge devoured by all of them along the way. Wait a minute, a devil needs to do this? I thought he is supposed to be omniscient in a way? Then about Dallas’ case at the end. If he wasn’t found to be in the barrel, what happened to him? Was he there in the first place?

One thing I want to mention is the amount of blood and gore in this show. If you are not used to seeing animated human flesh tearing up to their bones or body parts flying off in all directions and then coming back together in one piece like as though nothing happened, you may want to stand by a paper bag just in case. It is definitely very graphic and not intended for younger audiences. Heck, when you have mafia and gangsters in your story, it’s not like the producers had kindergarten kids in mind while they’re making this show. The next episode preview is narrated by Isaac and Miria and as usual, displays their idiocracy, much to our delight of course. The OVA’s narration is done by Graham and is equally poetic to his style of speaking. The odd thing that still bugs me is that on the final episode of the OVA, they still put “What’s next on Baccano” (a cue for the next episode preview), assuming that there are some more episodes to continue after that but as far as the series is concern, it ends there.

The opening theme is entitled Guns’ & Roses by Paradise Lunch. It is totally instrumental but it is very jazzy and catchy. Now I could understand why this show and Durarara!! have their opening animation so similar in terms of the main characters being introduced here and short clips of certain scenes being played in the middle of it. They’re both made by Brains Base and thus it is no wonder when I watched Durarara!! a year ago, I was wondering why there were so many Baccano trivia. Yeah, even Isaac and Miria made a cameo appearance there! Not only immortals, but crossing dimensional gates into other animes as well like Tsubasa Chronicle. Haha! The ending theme is Calling by Kaori Oda and is a slow ballad while the view is a gloomy track and which probably goes nowhere. Here you can probably see the full list of the main characters in the series.

Overall, I find the entire series to be very intriguing and interesting.  Even it was mystifying with the different timelines shown and the many characters, it was done in a good way that kept me glued to the screen all the way. It also made me read up a lot of info and do some reading up on the characters and their roles to better understand everything. If they ever produce a sequel and retain this format, I’d be willing to watch it. But don’t wait too long because I’m not an immortal.

I couldn’t believe that there is another OVA for the Kodomo No Jikan series. And I thought after the second season that came in the form of OVA, there won’t be another round of horny loli to go about. This is what I found out. I think. Besides the TV series and the Nigakki OVA, there are a total of 3 OVAs. The first one being the one shown before the TV series started (the little girls trying to buy Aoki a present), the second one focusing on the relationship between Kuro and Shirai-sensei and the recent one released back in January 2011, which is this blog, is the third one. Wow, that’s a long time if you consider this OVA spanning 3 over years for just 3 episodes.

In this third OVA instalment, Aoki’s 3 little students, Rin, Kuro and Mimi follow him back to his seaside hometown. His colleague Houin also tags along in hopes to appeal to his parents as his bride. Looks like she hasn’t given up yet. Aoki is tackled by his younger sister Chika. Rin and Houin start thinking that she will be their future sister-in-law. Counting your chickens, eh? Chika proceeds to greet the kids but doesn’t seem too fond with Houin because of her bigger boobs. In the car ride, Kuro hears that Chika is popular with the girls during her school days and tries to get some tips from her but was ignored (if you watched the series, you’ll know Kuro is a lesbian and has a crush on Rin but that love is one-sided). Rin and Houin blush when they hear how Chika was telling Aoki that their mom got excited when she thought he was bringing home a bride.

Upon reaching the house, the gang meets Aoki’s mom. She welcomes them until she mistaken Houin’s flabby belly for being pregnant and repetitively slaps Aoki! How can my son do such a thing?! Why is Rin trying to put a pillow up her stomach to be pregnant?! As the little ones put on their swimsuit, Mimi feigns she has her period coming and thus forgot to bring her swimsuit. That’s when Chika comes in and fondles-cum-tests Mimi’s boobs. She proceeds to give Mimi her old swimsuit and teaches her how to use a tampon. I’m not sure if Mimi’s moaning is fear or sensation. As they play at the beach, Rin bluffs Aoki that she has been stung by a jellyfish on the thigh and wants him to suck the poison out. He was really going to do so when Kuro came by to note that the permanent marker is wearing off. Pissed off Rin buries Kuro in the sand. Yeah, she’s making Mimi at least building her ‘bigger boobs’. Rin gets an SMS from Reiji so Aoki teases her that he must be free. This upsets Rin as she tells him off that Reiji only has feelings for her mom. But what Aoki meant was he was free to watch porn. That’s a joke of course. Rin continues that when her mom was still alive, the 3 of them would go to the beach and had lots of fun.

That night back home, Aoki rubs lotion on Kuro’s back as she is in pain from sunburn. Chika talks to Houin about Aoki and since the busty teacher’s flustering is so obvious, Chika decides to tease her more and invites her to drink. As Aoki falls asleep, Rin comes in and sleeps next to him naked! Then Aoki starts cuddling Rin like as though she is a bolster! When Aoki awakens, he finds Houin and Chika flanking and sleeping beside him. They reek of alcohol too. Looks like Rin couldn’t take the heat and backed out earlier. She thinks it is impossible for it to ‘fit’ in. Aoki goes to sleep somewhere else as Houin unconsciously goes on top of Chika and starts kissing her! Yeow! That passionate tongue kissing! Because of that, the next morning Chika starts to fear Houin though the latter doesn’t have any recollections of last night’s hot passion. She’s obviously acting real strange.

That evening, the little girls make preparations for the Bon festival. Aoki comes back from an errand with Houin and notices Rin looking gloomy though she scoffs it off as nothing. Night comes as Kuro tries to play a sparkler prank on Aoki but it backfires. Chika becomes scared when Houin comes in to bath with her. Crazy city girl, she thinks… Rin becomes more depressed when her sparkler dims. Later Aoki goes to talk to her. She mentions something about she thought she could meet her mom again. Aoki notes how he thought he wanted her to quickly grow up so as to change all those sad feelings to memories. But he rather let her stay as a kid around him and spend her time as one. Aoki allows Rin to hug him, delighting her very much. The next morning, Aoki and co prepare to leave. Aoki teases Kuro who is really tanned and nicknames her so (her name means black) so Kuro gives that virgin a kick in the crotch. After all those kicking, he should’ve seen this coming. Before Rin leaves, she puts a photo that she took of themselves next to Aoki’s photo during his younger days.

Summer Holiday and Lolis…
Well, this OVA doesn’t feel like much. Just a little bit more on Aoki and Rin but nothing really concrete that will take their relationship to the next level. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s not like Aoki is a lolicon because he is a good person and teacher to begin with. Surprisingly this OVA isn’t as horny as the TV serious or previous OVAs. The only fanservice bit you’ll ever get to see is that short naked scene when Houin enters the bath to join Chika. This OVA was rather more of a drama and a smatter of some funny parts here and there. Otherwise if this is the real ‘final’ episode of the Kodomo No Jikan series, then what more can I say?

I guess it’s rather okay since it has been a long time since I watched this series and even if it doesn’t amount to anything much, missing a few other characters like Reiji and Shirai. Kuro and Mimi were just playing supporting roles and not much development for them. Chika was sure funny herself because she got more than she bargained for in the end. She thought she could tease Houin and have fun doing so but it turned out that she became very conscious of her. So what about Houin’s chances on Aoki? Maybe that will be another story.

So again, this series is about the childhood times of a person. If that kid has a traumatic childhood, then there is a big chance he/she will be unstable and most likely endanger not only everyone else but himself/herself as well. So it’s best that every child enjoys their childhood as we know, we all only have one. I don’t know if I’m wasting my youth being an otaku. You can call me a kid still or a big buffalo. Anyhow you look at it, I’m quite happy the way things are.

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