Rocket Girls

January 29, 2012

Despite its name, Rocket Girls isn’t some sleazy anime title nor is it an idol-type anime aimed at young girls who aspire to be stars. Well though, it might have to do with stars but in a different context. Instead, this series if I could say is quite ‘intelligent’ with a pinch of comedy in its own way. We have high school girls living out their dreams by venturing into space. High school girls? Space? Mmm… Often those two words don’t come together in a single sentence but yes, this is what Rocket Girls is about. Sort of. So you think these girls have to be genius nerds to be astronauts because instead of doing what many girls their age are doing (shopping, gossiping, chatting about boyfriends and idols, etc) they’re into something astronomical, then you’re partly wrong because these girls too are ordinary girls. Just that they chose to do something against all odds and something extraordinary.

Initially before I started watching, I thought this was going to be something like Stratos 4, another anime whose theme is a bunch of girls riding up close to space and shoot down meteors. Rocket Girls isn’t close to this bit except maybe the skin tight space suit that shows their curves. Why make something that sexy? At first I thought it was for wind resistance but then it occurred to me, there is no wind in space! Fanservice? Probably. But this series is kept to the very minimal and not something you should look for. Oh, there are those darn aerospace terms too… There’ll be lots of them here so if you’re like me who have no slightest interest in science, physics, chemistry, biology and any other subjects that are associated with it, you’re going to go “Say that again, please?” most of the time. I know I did.

Episode 1
The summer vacation is here for Neris Girls’ Academy. So it’s no surprise Yukari Morita and her friends are noisily looking forward to it. But the strict principal has them remember the school’s regulations of being orderly and proper greeting. No fun. On Solomon Islands, the SSA (Solomon Space Association – staffs made up entirely of Japanese space agency workers) prepare for another trial run for LS-7 booster. This is going to be the 6th time and the previous 5 ended in failures. They have to make sure this one is successful because the public is getting fed up and viewing it as waste of funds. Isao Nasuda tells a colleague of the importance of this trial for future manned flights because of the need to perform maintenance for satellites in space in the long run. USA and Russia have refused to do it so they’ll be the ones who will undertake this mission and their ‘ignition’ to control space and the world. Inside the base, Satsuki Asahikawa, Haruyuki Yasukawa and Hiroyuki Mukai are making bets if the launch will be a failure. Satsuki bets a thousand times it will fail. Yasukawa doesn’t mind if it fails because he gets to go back to his Chitose Air Defence Force base. He remembers Satsuki’s harsh training of making him sit through a 20G simulation. He saw her happy face during his torment. The local Solomon Islands tribes people are celebrating that the Japanese are going to show them their ‘fireworks’. The odd part wasn’t how they love seeing the ‘fireworks’, but rather THEY’RE SPEAKING IN JAPANESE!!! LS-7 is launch but shortly it explodes into pieces. To the tribes people, the awesome ‘fireworks’ is a success as they rejoice. Obviously to SSA, another failure means another round of wasted time, effort and money. All down the drain. Back to the drawing board. Yukari returns home and is packing her stuff since tomorrow she will be leaving for the Solomon Islands.

Upon reaching Axia Island (note, this island is fictional), a Chinese guy, Chou ‘invites’ her into his Tenshin restaurant simply because Japanese people loves his food. She learns there is an airbase and wants to go over there. Nasuda is doing some recalculations. Man, look at his huge rocket ignition booster cigarette lighter!!! Calling a meeting with his staff, he mentions how their sponsor (some ministry) has decided to close their operations by the end of the fiscal year. But it’s too early to quit since there is 6 months left. He plans to use LS-5 to solve the weight problem instead of the thruster’s power. He has Satsuki analyze Yasukawa’s weight and how much she can strip him (he’s supposed to be the astronaut on the rocket if the trial is a success). Satsuki analyzes he will weigh around 55kg but Nasuda tells her to make it down to 40kg! Because of that, Yasukawa runs away from the base! It’s no joke! He rams through all the security in his humvee! Along the way, he sees Yukari and slams on the brakes. Yukari invites herself in for a ride to the base. However no time to argue because SSA’s helicopter is coming! They’re serious! How serious? They are preparing to fire missiles at him if he doesn’t stop! As Yasukawa puts the pedal to the metal, he tells Yukari to wave so they will not shoot. But they fire a warning shot! DAMN!!! Both sides aren’t giving in as Yasukawa is forced off the trek into the jungles. But Nasuda has an idea where he is heading. Yasukawa seeks a room to stay at Chou’s place till tomorrow morning. Chou gets the wrong idea after he sees Yukari with him and gladly lends him a room. Yukari wants an explanation so he says his job condition got worse, he resigned but it was rejected. Do you get it? As for he why she is here, she shows a picture of her father and is looking for him. He went missing 17 years ago while on a honeymoon, though he may look older now. Yasukawa doesn’t recognize this face. Yukari says she asked the police in Honiara but they replied there are many Japanese working there. Yasukawa agrees that there are around 600 Japanese people working there but that base was only built 18 years ago. Suddenly Chou brings guests to Yasukawa. It’s Nasuda and co. Did he betray him? Well, he values their patronage more than anything. Yeah, everybody can be happy this way. Really? Satsuki injects something into Yasukawa to knock him out as they take him away. Nasuda is interested in Yukari and has Satsuki analyze her proportions. 38kg, 153cm, 80-54-82. Wow! Just one look can tell. Nasuda gets even more excited and offers to help Yukari find her father in exchange for a little part time job. No, he’s not going to pimp her. What job then? Sit in front of a machine, answer when you get message, press a few buttons. A job so simple even monkeys can do it. Yeah, why not use a monkey then?

Episode 2
Yukari is taken back to SSA Base and underwent a full body examination. Yeah, every machine that ‘teases’ her body, she just gets so surprised. Ultimately Satsuki reports her as qualified so Nasuda is extremely happy that Yukari has passed to become their astronaut. Astronaut? Hey, this is what the part time job is? She won’t do it because for a high school girl, being an astronaut is way out of her league. How does Nasuda persuade her to stay on? He prays for her father… Oh, that sly dog. Next day Nasuda holds a meeting with his staffs and his calculations with a lighter Yukari that will propel them to success. So he wants them to train Yukari to the verge of death! Hey, who says it was an easy job. Okay, maybe the job was easy but they didn’t mention the super tough pre-requisites that come along. Yukari is made to undergo a 5G simulation by Satsuki, solve complicated equations by Kazuya Kinoshita (you thought algebra was bad, eh?), made to be a model for her spacesuit by chemist Motoko Mihara and basic survival training by Kurosu (see how far Yukari blown away after firing a shot!). When her skin tight suit is ready, she puts it on but feels exposed and the need to at least wear a bra. Motoko’s answer? Wear the bra outside. Yasukawa pays Nasuda a visit and it seems he’s a happy taxi driver. But when Satsuki comes in to report about Yukari’s solo hike, he gets upset that they’re putting a high school girl through hell and vows to bring her back. Yeah, Yukari is being dropped in the middle of the jungle and has to hike back to base within 3 days and with only 1 day worth of food. F*ck this part time job! Nasuda is going to do his part to look for Yukari’s dad and he recognizes the face in the picture. Flashback when he was shouting to the sky about his ignition dream, a local tribesman (which looks a lot like Yukari’s dad but very tanned), warned him that is the path to the spirits and he’ll have bad luck if he obstructs it. Nasuda gets a report that the wind have blown Yukari’s position over to the village of the Tariho tribe. Something isn’t good so he rushes his way there via humvee. Oh, Yasukawa’s taxi is stuck in the dirt.

Yukari is surrounded by the curious tribes people when she meets a local girl, Matsuri. Yes, she speaks fluent Japanese and even has a Japanese name. There’s a reason to it. When Yukari mentions her name, Matsuri realizes it’s the same as her father who is also the chieftain of the village: Hiroshi Morita. Bringing Yukari to see him, he looks like a hippy happy childish chief elder. Hiroshi acknowledges Yukari’s question that he came here 17 years ago. Yukari wants him to name her mother, his wife. He starts naming all his Tariho wives! Man, even going as far as to say all his 10 children with them! (Matsuri is one of the children of his many wives). Haha! This guy is really a joker. But he can still remember his Japanese wife’s name: Hiroko. Most guys in his position would’ve forgotten about it. Yukari gets upset and starts lashing at him that he abandoned his wife during their honeymoon. Her life was tough being raised by an average mom. She also mentions about the embarrassment when people asked her about her father. You know what is his reaction? He started crying at her touching story of a girl trying to find her father! Really a joker this guy! But play time is over. Yukari pulls out her gun and threatens him to come back to Japan with her. Oh, now he’s starting to panic. What about her responsibility to go to space? Screw it. Now that she has found him, she couldn’t care less about that life threatening job. However Hiroshi makes a deal saying that he’ll go back to Japan when she finishes her space mission. This way they’ll both fulfil their responsibilities and he’ll get to settle things in the village before he leaves. She agrees. Matsuri starts calling her onee-san (much to her dismay) and since Yukari is lost, Matsuri guides her back to the base. Desperate Nasuda than comes by. His worries were all for nothing when Hiroshi mentions about his daughter being here and that she’ll continue the space mission. Yeah, he’s asking for tobacco and medicine too. Yukari reaches back to base in record time: Half a day! Wow! She even beats Nasuda in a humvee who arrives shortly after. Mind boggling indeed. Nasuda takes a keen interest upon seeing Matsuri and Satsuki gives her the analysis of her physiques which is pretty much similar to Yukari’s. He offers her to become an astronaut and she happily accepts it. She loves the ‘fireworks’, eh? So Yukari, say hello to you back up crew. Oh, Yasukawa is still stuck trying to push his taxi out.

Episode 3
SSA is running LS-5 combustion test but it overheats and explodes. So much so you thought an oil processing refinery had been bombed by terrorists! Nasuda wants everyone to keep this a secret from Yukari and Matsuri. During meal time, Yukari isn’t thrilled with her healthy scarce meal that consists of everything low in calories. Possibly none. But why is Matsuri having fun making a mess with her food with ketchup and mayonnaise? Matsuri is being playful, Yukari is being noisy. Shhh!!! Yukari gets a call from her mom who is thrilled about her astronaut job. She won’t forgive her if she gives up halfway. As for daddy, she gave up on him a long time ago and it was her who went off searching for him herself. Yeah, she has irresponsible parents. In Kinoshita’s class, Yukari tops all his questions while Matsuri is the blur kid. But during a simulation, Yukari didn’t have the strength like Matsuri. They deduce while Yukari has total ability, Matsuri prevails in physical ability. On another simulation (Matsuri seems to be having fun), Satsuki notes how Yukari is slacking and at this rate, they can’t tell who is the real and backup pilot. Yukari says she isn’t aiming for space and came looking for her dad. Kinoshita knows her ‘convenient logic’ off not wanting to lose to Matsuri but want to be the main pilot. They report this to Nasuda about her clash of sense of responsibility and frustration of not wanting to lose to her half sister. Well, he’ll be counting on them to take care of the girls. Yukari gets this resolve that she doesn’t have to go to space and will have Matsuri go in her stead. Thus she treats everyone at Tenshin. Everybody eat your heart out! Hey, Matsuri going heavy on the ketchup and mayonnaise again. But in the toilet, Yukari makes a deal with Chou’s daughter, Han Rei. Every night, she wants her to deliver tasty dim sum worth around $30. But why $39? Delivery charges. But it doesn’t matter since she’s tasting a piece of Heaven and part of her plan to fatten up herself. The midnight snack rendezvous goes on till one day Satsuki notices Yukari’s slacking and increase in weight of 0.6kg. Yukari doesn’t seem too concern. But what is mind boggling is that Matsuri also gained weight. 0.7kg! WHAT THE?! See how shock Yukari is? Must be the mayonnaise! Yeah, she has the cheek to tell her to stop eating it!  Can’t be as Satsuki has taken this into consideration but it did not have any effect. One night after another midnight rendezvous, Yukari sees Matsuri singing to catch fish?! I don’t know if her sing is that effective but she caught 2! Oh, Yukari confronts her and tells her that in-between snacks are forbidden! She’s the one to say. But Matsuri knows that she has been sneaking out for snacks too because she could smell Tenshin’s all over her. She knows she doesn’t want to go to space and tried to be fat. If she doesn’t want to, all she needs is to say so and Matsuri will go in her place because daddy says it’s bad to lie. Yukari doesn’t appreciate her advice and tries to grab her fish away. They hear Kinoshita a few steps away asking them to be quiet. Yukari thought she is going to get scolded but he tells them to look at the Moon. Narrating back how he once watched enthusiastically the first man landed on the Moon in 1969. Ever since then, it has been his dream to go to space. Though he ended up as a salaryman, he still holds his dream close to his heart. With SSA, he thought he could continue his dream but failed an aptitude test. It was heartbreaking but the look on Satsuki’s face then was even more heartbreaking. Everyone in this base has a dream of going to space. When it seems she’s going to be crushed by the responsibility, just catch a ride on everyone’s dream. Kinoshita’s words have given enough motivation for Yukari to change her mind because she’ll start losing weight tomorrow. LS-5 combustion test continues to fail and explode. Did Motoko add some additional substance into it? I know, I know. Keep this a secret from the pair, right?

Episode 4
The engineers dread fixing the centrifuge and blame it on Satsuki. Yukari thinks it broke because she overused it. Satsuki seems to have that knack of reading people’s mind if they talk bad about her… While it’s being fixed, Yukari and Matsuri can do what they want as they head to the beach for some fun. They also meet Yasukawa there and he makes a few uncalled remarks on Kurosu. Be careful what you say, because that tough guy is really there. Now Yasukawa is going to get it. Oh, did I mention Kurose has a gun? Run faster! Yukari decide to visit the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) to see the orbiter she’s going up in. I don’t know why Yukari is being so violent as she tries to break down the locked door! Slamming and kicking it! Kurosu has to give up his chase to bring Yukari away. Man, she’s even kicking up a fuss. Violent girl. She thinks they have something to hide from her but the truth is, they can’t let a single speck of dust get into its construction. Nasuda finds out about her proactive behaviour but gives her the freedom to tag along till she is convinced. This includes their staff meeting. Yukari is being shown the orbiter by Mukai as he explains its makings, operations and the pros of conservative proven technological that withstands the test of time compared to new technology (my brain just turned off here. F*CK SCIENCE!!!). Mukai mentions about the recent failed combustion test due to some new solid fuel added by Motoko. Speaking of which, a loud explosion is heard at the nearby fuel plant. Yukari storms off to the fuel plant. As much as Mukai wants to stop her, she’s already gone in Yasukawa’s taxi. Yukari is feeling uneasy because she feels they have been holding things from her. She is worried that if the fuel explodes, the rocket will also explode too, right? And she’s going to ride it. Yasukawa explains Motoko is the source of it and her love for oxidation (what was this burning process again? F*CK SCIENCE!!!). She used to be a lab medicine maker till Nasuda ‘lured’ her away of making a liquid oxygen fuel for a hybrid rocket. He needed something cheap and with high propulsive force and if she can do that, she can do as she pleases. Of course that explosive nut straightaway accepts! Inside the plant, Yukari witnesses Motoko throwing her wedding ring for another KABOOM explosion. Motoko’s laughing like a mad scientist! Yukari barges into the meeting. Yeah, definitely not happy. She chides Mukai for being a hypocrite about his conservative technology and allowing Motoko to experiment on new solid fuels. Hey, she has a right to voice out. Who was the smart alec who gave her that freedom? Mukai responds that they are short of time and changing specifications will be risky. She wants to stop the production of the new solid fuel but an engineer wants to hear Motoko’s explanation. From what I understand, Motoko’s new fuel will be lighter than liquid fuel, which everyone thinks is impossible. Plus, the new fuel doesn’t actually need a container and burns from inside to outside, thus making the rocket lighter. Everyone gets excited of the new possibilities and recalculates. With the efficiency far exceeding liquid fuel, everyone approves the new specifications for a new and cheap hybrid rocket. Yukari is still not satisfied that everyone is changing specifications at this point and brings up Motoko’s wedding ring. But this makes them realize that the ring’s platinum as the catalyst to make the fuel as strong as that burn. As everyone congratulates Motoko, Yukari couldn’t understand a thing everyone has been saying and felt so left out. That’s why it was never a good idea to let her into meetings, right? Soon Yukari goes on a hunger strike and locks herself in her room. And she’s pretty serious about it. I thought they were happy in her losing weight but it seems if she loses more, they’ll need to redo the calculations again. Apparently Yukari isn’t being sore about the meeting but rather she doesn’t want to ride a giant bomb. Mukai tries to explain the new fuel is safer since it puts less burden on the rocket but she isn’t convinced with the ‘traitor’. Yukari’s stomach starts growling when Yukari’s mom comes by.

Episode 5
Hiroko works her convincing magic with her positivism. If using a fuel that’s never produced actual result is bugging her, then all they need to do is just get the results, right? Upon finding out they have 2 rockets, she suggests to a test on the unmanned one and then later launch Yukari. About losing their backup, she also suggests to build 10 rockets. Hey, the more you build, the cheaper the cost, right? (F*CK ECONOMICS!!!). Kinoshita notes it isn’t impossible but the most they can build is 3 rockets. Nasuda is excited with Hiroko’s ideas and accepts it whole heartedly. So I guess it’s the end of the hunger strike? Hiroko soon leaves since she’s a busy woman. She was just happened to be in the area so it wasn’t really her original intention to see Yukari. She learns of Matsuri and invites her to visit Japan once this is over. Yukari mentions if she takes the base’s helicopter, she’ll have time to see Hiroshi but she says she’ll do it another time. Kinoshita notes that they would love to have Hiroko as their pilot but because of her size, I guess not. So the engineers have to start working overtime in making another rocket. Soon news of Japan’s first astronaut which is a teenager catches the attention of the world! They couldn’t believe a high school girl would take on this role. This causes an influx of reporters onto the island. Now it’s bustling more than before. During the media briefing, Nasuda introduces the LS-5, Tanpopo (Dandelion) that will be making its journey into space. The media are a little frenzy over the skin tight outfit and are in a dilemma if they can broadcast this. Not naked but somewhat too sexy… They bombard Yukari with lots of weird questions (like if she has a boyfriend. What has that got to do with it all?). As for Matsuri’s relationship with her, Nasuda makes up a lie that she’s a daughter of a former Japanese soldier and thus a coincidence sharing the same surname. Yukari doesn’t like this but as Nasuda explains, they can’t say anything naive or will cause a scandal. Besides, something this sensational is to get a ridiculous amount of money. I can’t help think that the only reason why this received lots of media attention is the sexy skin tight suit… Yeah, sex sells. The girls are like SSA’s mascots.

Later Matsuri goes to see Hiroshi and tells him straight that Yukari’s flight is on 13th September and wants him not to place a curse and turn it into fireworks! So all the past failures were because of the tribesmen curse?! He agrees and wants Matsuri to protect Yukari. SSA runs a test flight and is a huge success. So the moment of Yukari’s much awaited debut has arrived. September 13th. Yukari enters Tanpopo with everyone making the final preparations and the media eagerly watching and awaiting its countdown. As Matsuri is giving support from the ground and going through pre-launch checks, suddenly an engineer spots an error. The flight is delayed tomorrow. The media hounds Yukari for answers but she tells them not to sweat it. I can’t believe they still can ask her weird questions like what’s for tonight’s dinner! Have they no better questions to ask? September 14th. Everything seems going fine. Till another error crops up. Delay again. September 15th. The media is wondering if this Tanpopo will ever get to fly. As usual, the team spots another error but Yukari can’t take it anymore and wants to take off, whether they like it or not. She won’t listen to reasons and gives them a minute to restart the launch or else she’ll launch the capsule herself. Nasuda confides with his staff and since they say that everything is alright, he gives the green light. Now it’s all systems go! Tanpopo soon blasts off into orbit. A nerve wrecking moment with each passing second as Tanpopo inches closer into space. Yukari tolerates all the G-force and pressure and vibration while reporting back to mission control. Finally she reaches space and everyone rejoices. However there is no report from Christmas Island as she should be passing over it at this point. Yukari looks out and sees an island but wonders if Christmas Island was this big. Well, it’s not. She’s over New Zealand!!! Oh sh*t!!! She drastically went off course big time!!! And the cause of how this screw up happened? Hiroshi and the Tariho tribe putting a curse because since it’s not the 13th, he guess it’s okay. Oh my. Hey, he didn’t break any promises, right?

Episode 6
Staying come and analyzing the situation, Yukari now regrets that she really should have quit this part time job! Action lah. The plan for her orbit re-entry will have her crash near Cocos Islands. As Yukari makes the necessary adjustments, suddenly Matsuri realizes she forget to tell daddy about the delay and thinks the failure is the works of the curse. Well, Yukari doesn’t really seem to believe in the work of evil spirits since it’s not as bad as being exploded. Till her capsule starts spinning violently. After taking control and analyzing the instruments, we learn the second oxygen tank is leaking. Fast. Though she’ll be safe if the first one remains intact, she sees sparks outside followed by splinters. She recognizes one of them as parts of the capsule. She starts to panic a little so Satsuki tells her to calm down since she can see her body readings. Yukari didn’t like that and got mad. Satsuki says she’s in her best shape when she’s mad. Referring to Mukai for a solution, he suspects some debris may have pierced through the capsule. As for fixing it, Motoko suggests using the fastener of the skin tight suit’s repair kit for Yukari to do extra-vehicular activity. With the media hounding for details, Nasuda agrees to let them know what is happening and any other relevant facts they have at hand. Yukari for the first time goes outside her capsule to access the damage. Seems there is a big hole at the bottom and radical cracks around it. While everyone is cracking their heads, Matsuri comes up with a suggestion. With 12 hours in Yukari’s life support, she wants to get Russia to launch Soyuz to save Yukari since due to the off course, she’ll be passing Russia’s Baikonur. Matsuri will go up in a third rocket to bring as much oxygen to Yukari. This will at least stretch her life support to 24 hours so in this period, Russia has to launch Soyuz. Everyone gets working while the engineers rush to finish the third rocket, Coconut. Yukari is starting to feel uncomfortable and breathing very hard. She thought she is at the end of her life when she sees a spirit before her but it turns out to be Matsuri. She puts a new pack of oxygen and Yukari can now breathe easy. Yukari is happy to see her as both girls watch the sunrise and wait for Soyuz’s rescue. However there is a problem: Soyuz can’t launch due to a breakdown. And the Russians aren’t giving a damn about it. When the girls find out about it, Yukari wants Matsuri to go home alone. But she’s not going to allow that. She starts ripping all her computer and electronics so that there’s enough room to fit both of them! Man, she’s strong enough to rip all those machines?! Those are expensive equipment, you know! Because of that, the screens down at mission control go blank as the base panics trying to find out the situation. It’s like they’re ‘blind’ now. Though the capsule may be little tight, they have to rely manually to press the buttons and levers. This is where Yukari comes in. She tops in this area. With teamwork and cooperation, they set the right coordinates for re-entry. Withstanding all the G-force, finally the capsule crashes into the water as the girls climb out to their relief. But wait. Why are there lots of people around them? Seems they did not crash into the ocean, but the swimming pool of Neris Girls Academy!!! Of all places! WOAH!!! Such precision landing?! Pure luck!!! I’m just amazed the school wasn’t destroyed from the impact it crashed. Oh, Yukari may get an earful from the strict principal for this.

Episode 7
Yukari is sure the big star now as all the girls watch in glee and excitement. The principal panics and is in a dilemma to call the fire department or police or whoever. She orders her pet honour student, Akane Miura to tell Yukari to see her. Akane is thrilled that Yukari finally made it as an astronaut. Yukari takes out the experimental goldfish from the capsule and notices that it’s not looking so well. Akane manages to get her attention to go see the principal but she screws that because the goldfish are more important. In a panic on what to do, Akane takes a look at the goldfish and realizes its decreasing level of dissolved oxygen. She quickly takes the tank and does a makeshift oxygen neutralizer thingy to have the goldfish back to normal. Is she a rocket scientist? Well, she’s from the biology club so she’s pretty well knowledgeable in this area. Then the Self Defence Force comes to pick up the capsule and the girls. Yukari offers Akane to come along since she’s the goldfish’s saviour. The principal is in total panic upon seeing the helicopters. First a spaceship, now the army. Yeah, all unwanted distractions. They return the goldfish to the professor and he is grateful that his 15 years of experiment bore fruit. Something about hitching a partnership with Nasuda to do research on some adaptation mechanisnm organ balancing thingy to solve the problem of vertigo (did anybody get what the professor said?). Later Akane asks Yukari about her experience as an astronaut and she explains the different and unique beauty of seeing the blueness of Earth. Noting how amazed she is, Yukari invites her to come see the base. Then the taxi comes as she has Akane go back to her school. Yukari and Matsuri are eating their heart out back at Yukari’s home. Well, mom didn’t cook it and bought it at some mall. Anyway they need to regain all the lost calories, right? Yukari mentions she’s going back to Solomon Islands to bring dad back and quit being an astronaut. But Matsuri mentions Akane may be sad not to see Yukari there since she’s the one who invited her. Hiroko gets this idea that she might move to Solomon Islands and live happily ever after. Yukari didn’t like the fact she faced death several times but mom says that comes with the job. Yukari goes to sleep as she can’t take anymore of this talk. In the middle of the night, she wakes up and looks up at the sky and notices how different it is. She can’t see any stars.

Next day in school, Yukari and Akane get an earful from the principal. By right she should’ve been expelled for doing a part time job which the school prohibits but decides to let this slide since the media has picked her story up (why is principal’s face so happy in the interview picture?). As for Akane, she’ll be suspended for a week for sneaking out of class. Yukari springs to her defence that it’s not Akane’s fault. Though the principal agrees it’s Yukari’s fault be she too must be responsible for tagging along. Akane is okay with the punishment but Yukari continues to beg on her behalf. The principal puts her foot down and reminds them about Neris’ proud, distinguished, elegant (and all that other crap) etiquette and that they should be more conscious of their position as high school students (b*tch!). Later both girls apologize but Yukari is adamant that Akane is the one who saved the goldfish. While Akane is astonished of Yukari being an astronaut, Yukari asserts she’s a regular high school student and didn’t want to become an astronaut. However the way she says it doesn’t seem to match her words. It’s like she’s still longing for the beauty of space when she was first enthralled by it. Despite of being suspended, Akane doesn’t regret being suspended. Matsuri picks up Yukari after school and they go jungle survival in Yokohama. Concrete jungle, that is. It’s no harm letting loose some steam once in a while. Shopping, eating, playing video games and the amusement park (people, don’t ever attempt a dangerous stunt like Matsuri standing on the roller coaster while moving!). As Yukari flips through the channels, she sees an interview whereby a fellow astronaut (she is a real life astronaut making a cameo as I later found out) acknowledges Yukari as her equal. Yukari refutes loudly and asserts she’s just a normal high school student. Back on Solomon Islands, Yukari packs up and is ready to leave. I’m sure the crew doesn’t want her to go (even if they have next year’s budget approved and could easily get work from around the world) but I guess it was a promise for her to do a one-time only job. Yeah, it’s like in order to aim for short term success, he just put the problem off later. Yukari isn’t happy Yasukawa’s taxi arrived late but she is surprised to see Akane stepping out of the car. But she doesn’t look good.

Episode 8
Seems Akane has motion sickness. What do you expect after 11 hours on the plane, 20 hours on the boat and 50 minutes by taxi! During her time being suspended, she thought of Yukari’s words that anyone can be an astronaut (which she herself can’t remember – yeah, it’s coming back to haunt you) and decided to go to space too. Nasuda has Satsuki analyze Akane’s physique and Yukari recognizes that phrase. Well, if Yukari is going to quit, they need a replacement, right? Well, she didn’t officially say she’s going back to Japan yet (when did she learn to twist her words?). Nasuda wants Mukai to make a double-seater orbiter since if there is only 1 pilot, she may not be able to do any other jobs. However Satsuki is against hiring the new girl since how can you put a person in a rocket when she can’t even handle motion sickness? Yukari brings Akane back to her room as the latter mentions how she didn’t like her life of living up to her honour student status that she’s struggling to do so. She admires Yukari for being able to live without limits. That’s why she wants to go up to space too. She doesn’t want her to quit so for the time being, Yukari brings her to the beach. While the engineers dread of making another rocket, when they see the girls pass, they get all the motivation to do their best. I guess the girls in a way provide a great morale booster to the overworked guys, eh? After their outing at the beach, they are picked up by Yasukawa who tells Akane the truth about the harsh path of being an astronaut. Should he scare her like that? He treats them at Tenshin and to eat their heart out since they won’t get the luxury of doing this. The girls take up his offer and order just about everything on the menu. He then starts worrying the impact it will have on his wallet. Man, the girls can really eat! And they’re ordering more! In the end, Akane feels queasy. I really thought she overate but I guess it’s her anaemia. Look, how can a petite girl like her eat so much? Akane undergoes the aptitude test but it seems she doesn’t have any endurance as she’s struggling to catch her breath. Then for the adaptability in change in pressure test, Akane continues to struggle but being an honour student, she can still answer questions that Satsuki poses. Though she has been warned by Yukari that Satsuki is a sadist, she still continues with the tests. But it feels like Satsuki has no heart to bully her. In the centrifuge machine, again Akane is struggling even if it’s just at 2G. Yukari is worried that Satsuki is trying to kill her by increasing another G but she tells her off that it’s not for her to decide since Akane hasn’t given up yet. In space, nobody can save you and you can only rely on yourself. Akane mentions how she threw everything to come here. Her parents totally opposed to this and she spent every last penny for a one-way ticket here. If she doesn’t get hired, she can’t go home. Eventually she passes out at 4G. Though the staffs lament her lack of endurance, Satsuki mentions her intellect and knowledge. So it’s ‘that’ for her. When Akane wakes up, she apologizes in tears about her failure. Now it’s Yukari’s turn to do some lecture. What about her dream to see the blue Earth? Didn’t she throw everything away to come here? Yukari vows to show her space and will take her there. Eh? Wasn’t she planning to quit? Well, she will. At one point. She’s really good at this now, isn’t she? Matsuri can tell she wants to go to space and realized that when she saw Akane. So Yukari promises the trio will go to space. But the next morning, Akane isn’t in her room.

Episode 9
As Yukari searches for her, she learns from Satsuki she has gone home. But she senses something amiss seeing her bags are still here and that they made a promise to go to space. Maybe it’s because of that she can’t face you? Upset Yukari goes to see Nasuda (eating potato chips with chopsticks?). He tells her she will have better chance of contacting her when she calms down. Going back to her room, she feels guilty that she may have made Akane that way. Hey, Matsuri eating potato chips with chopsticks too?! So it won’t get her hands dirty? But she eats everything else with her hands! However there is something fishy going on as Satsuki confides in Nasuda that they’re planning to keep a secret from the girls for 6 days. Training resumes as usual for Yukari and Matsuri but the former seems a little down. On the 6th day, Matsuri leaves for the southern jungles to collect rare nuts, Nasuda suggests of giving Yukari a special bonus. A security guard stops Matsuri from entering the jungle since a live firing exercise is being carried out. However she hypnotizes him to allow her! I thought it was her cuteness but the guard really seemed hypnotized via her eyes! What black magic did she use? Yukari is having a meal at Tenshin and she is obviously gloomy. Yasukawa comes in and is oblivious about her mood so much so you can say he didn’t care about his life. Yeah, he thinks the girls have a petty argument and even has his own opinions about it. Soon after, we see Tenshin like a battleground. The guys are cowering in fear behind the table as Yukari throws everything that she can get her hands on. I don’t think that wok is enough to protect you. Hey, Han Rei is on Yukari’s side. I guess as girls, she understands her feelings. Matsuri meets Akane in the jungle and even offers to eat the nuts together. Seems she is in some solo expedition. Today is the day she must make it back to base or else she’ll fail. Akane refuses help from Matsuri because she feels if she gets any help, she’ll fail. The reason she never told them was because if she did, they may sneak out to help her. As Akane treks along, she is about to give up when she spots a flock of swallows feeding on insects. Remembering Matsuri’s hint, she uses her biology knowledge to find food nearby. When Matsuri comes home, she sees Yukari in bed. Still gloomy. Still guilty. She has been thinking the reason she stayed was because she felt responsible for Akane coming here. Now that she’s not, she can go home. However Matsuri said that she met Akane in the forest, shocking Yukari. Whatever she knows, she tells. You can’t keep secrets with this girl! She’s too honest! And cool about it! Because you ask, you get. Yukari realized she has been fooled by that old geezer and sadistic vixen. Yukari goes wait at the gates and sees Satsuki there. Soon everyone from the team arrives. She realizes Kinoshita and Mukai are also in on this. As the day gets darker, they see a flashlight and a big probability is her. However Yukari can’t shout for help as this is a test. Matsuri knows the jungle well so she can guess where Akane is and the possibilities of where she’ll be if she goes in a certain direction. As Akane inches closer to the base, Yukari can’t help yell out to her. Well, it’s in a reasonable range so the guys let it pass. Finally, Akane reaches the finish line and into Yukari’s arms. Nasuda passes her. She mentions about getting a hint from Matsuri but they don’t know what she’s talking about (are they pretending?). Kinoshita considers that ‘hint’ as something that falls within her range of her intelligence and ability. I guess with the third astronaut on board, that means Satsuki can increase the training to 8Gs… Can’t wait, eh?

Episode 10
NASA needs to have their astronauts on Atlantis fix a damaged probe called Orpheus since they spent lots of research money on it and it needs to go all the way to Pluto. SSA is holding another press conference to introduce their third astronaut Akane who is also the mission specialist and 2-seater orbiter, Mangosteen. Nasuda receives some news during the conference so he leaves at lets the reporters have some Q&A time. Guess what they asked? Is knowing if they got boyfriends the only thing they’re interested in? Yeah, and the whole world is once again dumbfounded and abuzz that Japan has 3 teenager girls as astronauts. Way to go, Nippon! Atlantis’ Norman is fixing the probe when a little blunder causes him to slip the valve. It gets stuck deep into the probe’s crevice. Off all places it had to float to. Norman’s too big to get it. Houston, we have a problem. Seems when Nasuda learn of this, he already made a proposition to NASA and this will be a big chance for SSA to open up business opportunities all over the world. While the girls are embarrassed of the embarrassing photographs of them in the skin tight suits on the front page of the newspaper (on ALL the world’s newspaper, that is), they get an emergency call. During the meeting, they learn of NASA’s situation and Nasuda assigns Akane to be the one who will retrieve the valve. Hey, she’s the smallest size, right? That’s why sometimes being small is good. But Akane panics and doesn’t want to do it since it’s too soon (it’s only been a month since she’s in training as opposed to 6 months). She fears she might get in everyone’s way and wants them to call it off. Yukari calms her down and reminds her about her successful solo expedition. With that she gains her confidence and will do her mission. Yukari the captain and Akane will ride Mangosteen and rendezvous with Atlantis tomorrow morning since they need to exchange a spare part that’ll be coming from Texas. Back at NASA, mission director George Grant meets Professor O’Leary, the one who developed Orpheus for 22 years. He is told of the situation and contacts the Atlantis guys that the important thing is not a country’s interest but to cooperate since space research and development is like a gamble, he believes cooperation can guide that gamble to success (yeah, lots of money poured into it). There are no Americans or Japanese or any other nationality in space (hopefully it’ll stay that way). Looks like for now they those Americans have to swallow their pride and wait for help from those tiny Asian girls. With data from NASA, Akane practises via simulation in finding the best route to get the valve. That night she can’t sleep and calls her family but her brother Hideto picks up. She wants to apologize to her parents but was told they rushed to the shrine to pray for her safety since it’s her maiden flight. Even if they’re still mad at her, they’re still her parents and love her very much. Better make this one a success. Or else Hideto may get scolding on her behalf again. Later Akane along with Yukari and Matsuri take a stroll at the beach (because Matsuri is eating the stinky durian in her room!). Akane releases the fish they caught earlier on since she realizes they want to swim in the wide ocean. Then they admire the beautiful earthshine of the Moon (I felt turned off listening to Akane’s simple explanation…). Akane is confident she can be a mission specialist.

Episode 11
Mangosteen successfully blasts off into the sky and though Akane was knocked out, she’s okay when she’s awakened by Yukari. The Atlantis guys are amazed at the girls because they arrive in only 2.5 hours when rendezvous supposedly takes a day. That’s what you get for something small, light fast and cheap! Yeah, they are amazed at the gracefulness of the ‘angels’ as they dock with Atlantis. They get acquainted with the Atlantis’ crew, their captain, Wayne along with Louis and Gordon. As they start heading to the crevice, Wayne seems cocky that they shouldn’t start without him. But he calms himself down when Yukari points out he was the cause of the problem and when Akane helped him to get over (maybe his big size is making him move slower?). Akane spots the valve and tries to reach for it but her backpack is in the way. Norman thinks they should figure out another way but Akane will get it without her backpack. Is she crazy? Even with some saturation thingy, oxygen in her helmet will only last 3 minutes. Well, have some faith. They don’t plan to do suicide. Besides Yukari will pull her out once the time limit is up. The girls get started to pull this crazy retrieval. Even if you know she’s going to make it, we are put at the edge of our seat since she almost crosses her limit. Phew. The girls are invited inside Atlantis and the guys welcome them with lots of praises. They get to speak with O’Leary who is very grateful that their research on Pluto and Kuiper Belt will have some progress. Now it’s Norman’s turn to fix the valve but again he seems cold to the girls. Yukari notes his cockiness but Akane points out that these guys have to do 2 hours of pre-breathing before they can go outside unlike them. Norman could’ve done it via radio but he wanted to say it to them face to face. Once Norman fixes the valve, Orpheus suddenly ejects into orbit. What’s happening? From what I understand, due to a human error, its safety tag that allows Orpheus to receive remote control instructions from the ground is still attached. They need to remove it before it goes to Pluto. Sounds easy but neither Atlantis nor Mangosteen have the fuel to transfer to 3000km altitude. Wayne says there is no other way to do it but Akane insists there is. Okay, now my mind is so blur here. What I remember was, they’re going to use a two-stage acceleration of both ships to reach 3000km. However there is the problem of stabilizing Mangosteen’s payload bay, the timing of the second acceleration and Mangosteen’s re-entry at 3000km is very risky. Even if Akane had the confidence, Wayne can’t approve of this very dangerous mission and thanks them for doing more than enough. Yukari stands up for her that Orpheus is worth risking their lives for. They’re going to do it and come back alive. With both ground mission controls giving the green light, everybody gets busy.

Episode 12
NASA’s safety council terms the mission as very risky but approves it on 1 condition: The girls will do it. Satsuki is against the girls doing all the dangerous work and wants the girls to pull out. But Yukari thanks her for caring for them as well as everyone as SSA and loves them all. While Mukai and his team do test scenarios on the stress level on Mangosteen, Norman and Yukari are arguing who should do the rope work. Norman thinks they should just memorize the instructions. Then Matsuri’s necklace breaks. Oh no. I hope this is not a bad omen. Once the guys are done with the rope work, they want the girls to get into Mangosteen and will hold on to the rope.  Though the girls are supposed to do it, it’ll be alright if Atlantis keeps this a secret from Houston. Atlantis makes the necessary and final adjustments for Mango’s acceleration to rendezvous with Orpheus. Suddenly Mukai rushes in and in a panic. His face is visibly full of anxiety so much so he has a hard time saying it out from his mouth. Based on his calculations, Mangosteen will burn up upon re-entry. Oh no! What can we do?! Kinoshita doesn’t want Matsuri to tell the girls yet and have them continue the mission. Houston learns of this and O’Leary wonders if they have done a made mistake. Mangosteen is docked at Orpheus as Yukari reads the instructions needed for Akane to cut the jumper cable and release the safety tag. She successfully does so and Orpheus is on its way to Pluto. The girls are amazed by the beautiful sight of the sun rising over the Earth like as though it’s a scenery of twilight on Sahara. When they head back inside the capsule, they report they are ready for re-entry. However they can tell something is wrong when Matsuri doesn’t sound too happy. She can’t say it. None of the SSA crew can say it. Finally Kinoshita has them listen clearly to what he has to say. They are taken aback. Is there no other way? Any other way?

How come nobody thought of this but Gordon? Just like what Apollo did to land on the Moon, he wants to skip re-entry and do repeated ups and downs at the edge of the atmosphere to eliminate speed. Everyone scrambles to find the data and instructions needed for the girls to return safely. They will do 3 ups and downs but the problem will be timing and angle. Slightly off and you’ll bounce back into space forever. There are 24 checkpoint angles for re-entry. Since there will be no communication during re-entry, they need to carve the numbers onto the board. Akane remembers she gave her pen as souvenir to Atlantis but don’t fear, as an honour student, she can remember all the numbers. All accurate! Man, I already forgot the first one… Re-entry begins as they try not to waste any precious fuel. However halfway, Akane passes out! Oh sh*t! NO amount of yelling can wake her up so it’s Yukari all by herself. How then? Do some guesswork! But even so, the G’s are taking a toll on her body and she too passes out. But… these girls must be one heck of a lucky pair (or freaking lucky Yukari must’ve guessed it right) because they didn’t get fried and are floating over Yokohama over Tokyo with lots of military helicopters escorting to their safe landing. As the end credits role, a reporter is seen taking short interview of the supporting characters of the series. Some of them have the best closing lines: Hiroko: “Rather than getting in a car accident or slipping in a bathtub, don’t you think dying in space is better?”, The principal: “She said it was impossible to control because it was a space ship but to land it in a place like this (the school’s pool)…”, Yukari’s friends: “She sends us mail every day though I think it’s great to think of it as mail from space”, Motoko: “I think it would be better to do it while unconscious than awake”. Everyone continues their normal life. SSA still working hard, Hiroshi still Tariho’s tribe leader, Chou and Han Rei still running Tenshin. Well, maybe except for one. Yasukawa went back to being a pilot a Chitose. Gave up the taxi life already, eh? In no time, the Rocket Girls are back up in space for another mission as Nasuda narrates the unshakably brave Yukari’s unmatched pilot skills, Akane’s above-average intelligence and comprehension (though she may still have trouble with her physical composition) and back-up Matsuri’s sharp intuition, he is tremendously confident in SSA’s irreplaceable astronauts.

Space Girls Rock!
Surprisingly, this series is quite entertaining. With some of the dialogues witty enough to tickle your rib bones, it is funny in its own way. Yes, it’s the conversation and interaction that makes the comic relief parts funny. Otherwise, other than the drama, the talks involve complicated (to me at least) scientific explanation that no matter how many times I replay that scene, I will never get it. I know it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to enjoy or understand what they say but let’s just say I’m not that smart. Maybe average people who do not have any knowledge about aerospace may find it difficult to comprehend a scenario but then again, not just anybody can venture into this field and work out the magic numbers and calculations. Because of all these, there is a sense of realism in the entire series, even if the terms sound like gibberish to me. Though there are some parts which boggles my mind like how Yukari’s Tanpopo crashed into Neris’ pool without at least cracking the building from that height and velocity. I know it’s water but even so, shouldn’t all the water be splashed out too? Or the fact about using high school girls because of their light weight? If this was possible, don’t you think the space agencies would’ve used them? Yeah, maybe girls at their age would rather go shopping, gossip and talk about boyfriends and idols. The realism is so because the show has got help and guidance from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). When you engage this kind of organization, you’re going to expect something authentic, bona fide or at least close to reality and not something which is totally made up. Their reputation is on the line, you know. The drama at points can get a little tense because since it’s space, any slight mistake will send you to your doom. So for me, the space mission dramas kept me on the edge of my seat but deep down, you’d feel you want to root and support for them all the way and pray that they come back alive.

The characters are the main reason why this series is successful in its own right. Here we have hot-headed and stubborn Yukari whose self imposed mission to find her father quickly turned out into a personal responsibility to accomplish her tasks that sees a development into this area. I guess with her agreeing to go onto further missions, it proves that she is sticking around, eh? Yeah, she can go see her dad anytime at the village. He’ll always be around. That guy is the total joker of the series. Wished he had more screen time saying funny stuff especially during his ‘first confrontation’ with Yukari. That was indeed hilarious. It’s still a mystery why he left Hiroko in the midst of their honeymoon and how he ended up being Tariho’s chieftain. Hopefully he won’t make any more black magic to destroy all the rockets. Whether true or not, believe it or not, sometimes the path to the stars are sacred and when native people make a claim about evil spirits even without scientific proof as backing, you can’t say they’re entirely wrong or ignore them. So maybe Hiroshi became an indigenous person because it was some sort of a ‘warning’ to the SSA people about trying to play God or at least trying to reach Him? I feel Yukari could’ve been a much better person if not for her grumpiness and moodiness but I guess that’s where her other teammates make up for it. The ever positive and truth-telling Matsuri is a great girl and because of her Tariho tribe background, some say she gets her ‘baseless confidence’ just because of that. But hey, it’s better being positive than negative, right? And yes, if you have dark secrets, never ever tell it to her. A good upbringing by her dad, she will never lie. That’s good, right? So you can count on her never joining agencies like CIA, FBI, KGB that involves double-crossing and espionage. Akane is also a positive and very polite girl that makes up for her shy demeanour and weak physical endurance. I suppose each time they head into space, she’ll be in knock-out mode and Yukari will be her ‘alarm clock’. With these trio on board, how can you not say the aerospace industry is not getting anywhere interesting?

The other supporting characters at SSA too are amusing with each their own characteristics. Nasuda is like a business-minded boss who always wants to seek business opportunities and the need of having light and cheap crafts. What better way to do so by using high school girls, right? If he was running a business in other areas, say properties or selling insurance, I guess he can be really a successful one. Hey, he ‘persuaded’ Akane to become a part time astronaut to a full time irreplaceable asset. And he didn’t even do much to change her mentality. All his cards were perhaps laid out right. Satsuki’s sadism makes her someone you’ll dread to be with at every physical test but at times she shows she cares because it’s not like she really wants to kill you. Remember, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I think this is her motto. Or maybe she’s just being plain sadistic. Motoko has got that sleepy look on her face but when it comes to explosive, she turns into a mad scientist. If she was hired back in World War II, I think she could’ve been the one who created the atomic bomb. Kinoshita is the calmest of the lot and though he has his own dream crushed, he is happy to see others living it out. Mukai, maybe he needs more sleep so he won’t mix up crucial data that could’ve fried Yukari and Akane during re-entry. With these few people and other SSA staffs working together closely, this little base can be considered as a one big family, eh? As for Yasukawa, the reason why he stayed back for a little while as a taxi driver was most probably he felt that his previous job was given to somebody else better (a high school girl in this case) so he lingered on a while to see how she would fare. I don’t know, this was what I felt though he too is genuine that he didn’t want to see Yukari hurt when she was first given the job. The Atlantis’ American guys are a nice bunch too. But Norman’s cocky attitude is like a mirror reflection of Yukari’s impetuous. I guess every crew has got to have a rebellious one, right? Even if he is so, deep down he’s a nice guy and still wishes the best for the girls. Thankfully there aren’t any space-race politics in here to rear its ugly head. True that there is no nationality when it comes to space, the cooperation of nations is much needed to make it a success. If we can’t rely on ourselves, who can we rely on? Remember, to take a phrase from a horror alien movie: In space nobody can hear you scream.

The opening theme is Rise by ICHIKO. This rock piece wasn’t very appealing to me because it felt like the singer was shouting and some her lines were out of tune (though this is actually how the song is supposed to sound). It reminded me of her style in the Zero No Tsukaima series’ opening themes. But surprisingly the ending theme, Ashite Ike No Bus Ni Notte by Misae is a sunshiny catchy song. Can’t help do a little dance each time the lively ending song comes about. The special ending theme for the final episode, Waratte by ICHIKO is a fitting anime pop piece as the happy tune suits the happy ending and pace of the series. Well, at least she’s not ‘shouting’ here. On a trivial note, the mid-intermission shows the several vehicles that appear in the series like the rockets and oddly, Yasukawa’s taxi! We are informed of the few specs but nothing much in detail. Though I wished that they would have varied a little more vehicles like Soyuz (perhaps it did not appear in the show) and Atlantis instead of showing the same 3D rotating vehicle for a couple of episodes before changing to another one.

I still do not harbour any dreams of going to space or become an astronaut after watching this series. Heck, not even any interest gained in the topic of space at all. But watching space themed animes do make me feel how small and insignificant we are in this endless mysterious universe. I don’t think as an otaku, I’ll pass any of the aptitude tests. A complete failure! I may not even withstand 1G! But watching others do it and living out their dream is also in a way fulfilling and exciting. The amount of time, energy and money spent and dedicated for something that seems so easy yet demanding and gruelling. So who says a monkey can do this ‘easy’ job? On a side note, a monkey was indeed one of the very first animals that went up to space back in the late 1940s. I’ll be waiting for the day when man takes his first step on the red planet Mars. Or then again, it may be a high school girl who will be the first one that will do that job. To go to where no (wo)man has ever gone before. If that ever happens, you could say that a truly Heavenly Angel has arrived.

Bakuretsu Hunters

January 28, 2012

If you like old classic animes with magic and adventure, then you should try Bakuretsu Hunters or also known as Sorcerer Hunters. Well, not really your RPG type of game-turned-anime but you know how all animes are back in those days? A group of imperfect heroes setting out on a journey to rid the land of evil people who are abusing their powers at the expense of the innocent citizens. So how long ago is this series? Oh, not too long ago. 1995. Wow. I suddenly feel so old.

So okay. One of the main reasons that got me into trying this series was the synopsis. Apparently in this land known as the Spooner Continent, there are some sorcerers that can use magic. Some use it for their own gain and turn it into the land of the law and rule with an iron fist. Thus the people are at the mercy of these heartless sorcerers. But do not fear. There are secret groups called Sorcerer Hunters who go about punishing these evil blokes to keep the land safe. I mean, after many years of war and strife and with peace settling in, you’d want to maintain it as long as possible, if not forever. Is this the storyline that got me attracted? Well, no. This one was: “Under the guidance of Big Momma (their boss) Carrot (who turns into a giant monster every time he’s placed under a magic spell), Gateau (a bodybuilder), Marron (a mage), Chocolate and Tira (who can transform into dominatrix’s at will) must stop the evil sorcerers from picking on the weak. However, none of them (except maybe Marron) have a clue to what’s going on”. Ah. I thought this was going to be a funny show. Funny, yes. But not in the way that I thought it would be.

Episode 1
Carrot Glace meets a young girl, Lila. First thing he asked her is to go out with him! Her reply? Run away! But he gives her his umbrella and goes away. He returns to his mates, Marron Glace, Gateau Mocha and sisters Chocolate and Tira Misu (both whom are fighting over that perverted Carrot). An angel in a Chinese dress, Dotta appears to relay a message by Big Momma. They have to eliminate Viscount Regner as he is secretly raising a Gamuru, a fearsome dragon. Plus, he is abducting women to raise this dragon in which they must also destroy. Carrot rushes off to save the damsel in distress. Does he think nothing except pretty girls? Seems Big Momma has also sent someone to guide them. Turns out to be Lila. The gang learns that her sister Laura is missing and her parents died a long time ago. However it’s revealed that Lila is a spy for Regner. Carrot sneaks around the lair and sees Laura trapped in a cage. Just because a pretty lady asks to be rescued, doesn’t mean you have to rush in, right? See, now he falls into the pit. And Gamuru is supposedly to be in it… Lila and Tira talk about loving the same person. Lila knows it well because she too likes the man but her sister was the one that ‘won’. Suddenly Regner’s hands come out of Lila’s mirror to strangle and abduct Tira through it. Seems Lila is doing this because she hates her sister for stealing her only love and will do anything to make Regner happy even if he spells out what he is doing. He entrusts her to protect him since he knows those Sorcerer Hunters will come to kill him. True enough, Chocolate, Marron and Gateau arrive. Chocolate is surprise and upset that Lila is part of this and what she is doing. Chocolate transforms into a sexy babe (S&M style) to save Tira from being Gamuru’s first victim of the day. Regner hides himself behind his illusion mirrors. She warns Lila not to touch the lever that will send Laura into the pit. However she doesn’t listen so Chocolate shoots her wire string but is blocked by Tira and breaks her handcuffs. Marron uses his magic to light up the place so with Regner’s shadow visible, Chocolate strikes him and breaks all his mirrors. Regner drops the cage into the pit but Laura comes running out! Look at those toes running up the chains!!! Amazing! But it’s not Laura! It’s Carrot! How the heck did he perfectly disguise himself as a girl?! Anyway he had earlier saved her and Laura should be home by now. He tells Lila the value of her only sister because he too has an only brother (Marron, that is. Is he badmouthing him with all those stupid, perverted comments?). He even thinks that they should go on a double date! Tira throws Lila’s mirror into the pit so Regner dives in to grab it. Oops. Looks like he became dragon food. And they don’t need to take care of Gamuru since they’re confident it’ll get food poisoning. Do men taste that bad? Lila happily reunites with Laura.

Episode 2
Big Momma gives the Sorcerer Hunters another mission: To destroy a Metasenia Flower which uses prohibited magic by attaching itself to a person, sucks its life and its seed creating a living clone out of it. Arriving at town, Carrot rushes in. Because he spots a wagon filled with young and pretty girls! Actually, they’ve been shunned and forced to leave town by Lady Amore who is jealous of their youth and beauty. Seems she has taken all their boyfriends and is the one in possession of that Metasenia Flower to create an ideal male. Yeah, she is so bored that she doesn’t appreciate food! I don’t know why, perhaps Carrot doesn’t like long explanations so he swallowed a pebble! WTF?! As the guys roll into town (the girls in hiding to prevent suspicion), Amore spots the guys and takes interest. She envisions putting all their good features together to result in the ideal man she dreams. I thought it looked like nothing close to all 3 of them. That night she pays a visit by disguising herself as a flower seller. She is taken in by Gateau’s muscles, Marron’s politeness and Carrot’s, erm, energy? But in the end, the leaf she gave them turns out to be a seed of the flower as it stuck onto their face. It causes them to go into a vegetable state. Tira decides to settle this herself and wants Chocolate to be by Carrot’s side. Amore is eagerly awaiting her ideal man to be born from the flower when Tira sneaks up on her and attacks with a broom! Then she takes off her sunglasses and turns into another battle-ready sexy babe! Amore recognizes the Sorcerer Hunter but won’t give her ideal man to her. She throws a leaf bit Tira deflects it back to Amore’s face. While the guys return to normal, has Tira become the new Amore? I mean, she’s enjoying a luxurious life in her place. However she sets frees all the manservants and tells them to remove the Metasenia Flower, in which they happily obliged. She notes that men are much cuter when they’re imperfect. I can think of lots of reasons women would disagree on that.

Episode 3
13 years ago, Sacher Torte AKA Zaha (because that’s how you pronounce it and I feel it’s much cooler spelling it this way) left Big Momma because he believed her chosen path was wrong. He promised to return with his own ideal to create a new reality and then he will be closer to God. Carrot is being his lecherous self hitting on just about any woman in town! Eventually he is taken by the Oiblert’s family butler to see the mistress, Barbara to tell tales of his adventure. Yeah, Carrot just wants to have a passionate night with her and gets ahead of himself with his perverted fantasies. Just when he thinks he is going to get started for real, to his horror he spots his mates staring from outside the window! Don’t want to be caught dead in those sisters’ eyes, eh? He takes Barbara like a doll and runs away! His mates are puzzled how he ended up here first when they realize Barbara’s butler is a sorcerer. He’s not just an old geezer because he is one creepy dude who can bend his joints in all directions! Look at him standing on the ceiling! This is no horror show! He gives the gang a good fight. Meanwhile Carrot is being brought to a dark room and Barbara reveals her collection. They are handsome men turned into stone. So is Carrot going to be part of her collection? Heck no. Ugly men like him get abused! Say what?! Barbara is actually a sadistic S&M queen as she starts whipping Carrot. I think he’s enjoying it. Marron and Gateau fight the butler to give the girls time to find Carrot and will take a while to take down the butler. When they do, they didn’t like seeing another girl laying her fingers on him. Since when it’s their absolute right to step over him? Chocolate transforms to her S&M type and it’s a battle to see who has the right to abuse Carrot. As Barbara fires a shot at Carrot, she thinks she has the last laugh. However as mentioned, though Carrot is powerless and can’t use magic, he has an ability that allows him to absorb magic. This will turn him into a Minotaur called Zoantrophy. He squishes Barbara instantly! To turn him back, it is Tira’s turn to transform and start whipping Carrot back to normal. So who’s the real S&M queen here? In the aftermath, one of the girls that Carrot tried to hit on is seen crying near the stone body of her boyfriend in the mansion’s rubble. Carrot returns her flower hair accessory and she goes off on her way.
Episode 4
It’s the Sorcerer Hunters’ day off so they head to the beach. Oh no. Guess which pervert is on a rampage? It’s sad that the beach girls have to beat him up to keep him at bay. Lots of times. Somebody should lock this pervert up! However this attracts the attention of a woman named Bomber. She has a favour to ask and wants him to accompany her to tonight’s fireworks festival. He can’t turn her down, can’t he? She gives him a charm and puts it on his pinky as a promise. He remembers her as the woman who was arguing and broke up with her boyfriend earlier on. Tira and Chocolate aren’t happy he’s frolicking with another woman and has him go search for a non-existent beach ball. It’s a trap as he falls into a deep well. But they didn’t count on his power to climb out, eh? Yeah, it’s that promise that spurns him. That night as he makes his way to meet Bomber, the transformed sisters tie him up on a cross like a crucifix on a mini hill. I guess they didn’t calculate that with his perverted power, he manages to break the base of the cross in his struggle. With his legs free, he runs through the woods, across rivers and waterfalls like Jesus Christ with a cross tied to his back. Man? Where did he get so much energy? The fireworks start as Bomber gets worried. Tira and Chocolate approach her and apologize Carrot won’t make it. But speaking of the devil, he soon comes rushing in. What did I tell you about his energy? In his happiness, he leaps too far and comes crashing into the many fireworks cannons below. This sets off a chain reaction of all the other cannons. But the public can’t tell the difference if it’s messed up since it still looks pretty. When it’s over, Bomber comes rushing to Carrot and thanks him for the big success. Big what? Seems she is a fireworks artist and is part of tonight’s fireworks competition. Initially mistakenly placed the ignition on top of her fireworks. She thought Carrot was the right person to ignite it since she saw him taking all those hits and physical abuses well. I’m sure she got the wrong idea but it’s true. Then her boyfriend returns. He apologizes and wants to start anew. She forgives him and they happily reunite. Oh Carrot. The heartbreak. But he takes it like a gentleman and tells her never to let him go and walks off. But don’t despair, at least he has Chocolate and Tira who will always be with him.

Episode 5
Carrot’s ‘girl sensor’ must be working perfectly well because he rushes over to a large lake to see a young girl. Guess what’s her name? Lake. After learning she is alone and has no parents, Carrot plays with her. Nothing hentai lah. But he sounds so gay. Having the time of their lives, eh? When Carrot’s mates show up, Lake is nowhere to be seen. Oh, don’t tell me… Because of that, Carrot sinks into depression. That evening when Marron goes to look for food and the rest prepare fire, a grown up version of Lake appears beside him. Now he’s back to normal. They have a little chat before Tira catches him in the act of fooling around with another woman. However Lake again mysteriously disappears. That night, even though Carrot is tied up, he hears the voice of a woman calling him and I don’t know how he broke free, but he did. He follows the voice to see a middle aged woman. Carrot knows she is Lake. How? She never changed. Plus, he’ll always recognize a girl he loves no matter how much she’s changed. Oh, I’m sure he recognizes thousands of girls. Marron returns to his mates and warns that they have to leave this place by sunrise as he has been told a fearsome tale by the villagers. Lake tells Carrot that this lake existed before men and once every 100 years, it will test humans to see if they’re worthy to continue existing. The energy of the lake slowly changes the spirit of the lake into a human form but can only be outside the lake for a short while. Meanwhile Carrot’s mates are running to find him because they are worried about his fate. Whoever the spirit encounters is tested as a sample of the world. If that person has an evil heart, the lake will flood the village. Okay, besides Carrot’s pervertness, he’s a good guy, right? Nothing to worry. Well thing is, if that person has a good heart, he too will lose his life. The next time Carrot sees Lake, she is already an old woman. She collapses in his arms and he has a favour of her: To play with him again. She promises since she felt very happy to be with him despite a short while. He also promises he won’t forget about that. Soon Lake disappears down the lake as she thanks him. When Carrot’s mates arrive, they are relieved he hasn’t been turned into stone. They get a shock he suddenly drops like a rock into the lake! Nothing serious thankfully. Don’t scare us, man. He soon resurfaces and points out to the beautiful sunrise scenery.

Episode 6
Marron is attracted by the sad but pure grass whistle of Kou. Meanwhile Carrot tries to get a bunch of local girls to cooperate to help solve a case. By telling their underwear colour?! A ploy easily spotted by Tira as she ties that pervert up and drags him away. She reminds him of their mission to catch the culprit of using some Forbidden Curse that turns people and things into pure crystal. When she returns to the rest, Carrot must be one hell of an escape artist because he switched his place with a dog! How did he do it?! While frolicking along, he tries to flirt with a girl, Lin and she takes a liking for his quirkiness. Suddenly a bully interrupts. Carrot tries to stand up like a gentleman but gets beaten up! He gets rough on the girl. Kou is passing by and is upset over what he sees and aims his grass whistle at the bully. During the struggle, Carrot got in the way of Kou’s whistle so he absorbs the magic and turns into Zoantrophy. Tira, it’s your job. Later Kou confronts the bully at the outskirts and belts out his punishment. The Sorcerer Hunters hear the grass whistle and rush to the scene to see the bully totally crystallized. Marron starts to have suspicion so he talks to Lin and learns her parents are dead. She has a brother who vowed to protect her but left to become stronger. That night at the inn, Marron discusses this with the rest. Seems Kou may have got the power he needed but doesn’t quite know what to do with it. Marron thinks of talking to him first. That night, Carrot is being his pervert self again as he sneaks into the ladies’ room to confess his love for Lin. Turns out to be the wrong bed because he confessed to Tira! She punches him. Shouldn’t she be happy? Oh yeah, he said Lin’s name. Marron confronts Kou and wants to place seal on his powers but he wouldn’t allow that since he had obtained something to protect his sister. The ladies’ interrogation of Carrot has to be put on hold since they hear fighting outside. Part of the streets (and that poor dog) has turned into crystals during the fight. With the other Sorcerer Hunters arriving, Kou ups the ante and in his rage is consumed by the power, crystallizing everything. If not for Marron’s barrier, they could’ve been part of the cool solid rock. Then an attack that almost puts Carrot’s life in danger, Marron becomes upset and rages against Kou. He does love his bro that much? Marron is to deliver the final blow but Carrot comes in between. Can Marron stop in time? Well, let’s say Kou isn’t seriously hurt. Kou and Lin emotionally reunite and promise to stay with each other. In the aftermath, Big Momma praises Carrot for a job well done. Thinking he’ll get a big reward, she reminds him of all the past mistakes so they’re even. So he’s back to the starting line. Haha!

Episode 7
Saint Light River is a magic river that flows in mid-air. There’s this Flowing Spirit ritual whereby legend has it that a rock is thrown into the magic river upstream. Over time as the stone rolls down and is reshaped by the water, if it is shaped into a human, a saviour who will release the world of sadness will be born. The family responsible to throw the stone from the top is Rivertop while the family responsible to pluck it is Marineside. Sorcerer Hunters visit the Elder Chief of Rivertop and learn the ritual has been carried out 18,253 times. He believes a saviour will come. They see a picture of Marina Marineside, the girl in waiting who will devote her life to the saviour and must be purely free from the desires of the world. If the saviour is not born? She will die a virgin. Chocolate and Tira transform and is going to teach that old geezer a lesson for ruining the youth of a woman but is stopped by Gateau. Where’s Carrot? He’s rushing down the road going to seal his fate with Marina!!! Of course this means the sisters are hot on his heals to prevent that from happening. On his way, he bumps into Daniel Riverside and hides with him. Daniel mentions a certain girl he loves residing down the river but doesn’t have the courage due to their traditions and legends. Urm, Carrot not interested to hear it all. Carrot head butts him, Daniel strangles him, Carrot tells him to just do it! Carrot starts shivering when he realizes Chocolate and Tira show up. He pretends to be dead but as Chocolate notes, she is NOT a bear! They attack so he escapes down the magic river via a big wok. Daniel is seen arguing with the chief and then leaves in a huff. As Carrot flows downstream, he picks up the cat who earlier stole his fish. Then he falls off and nearly drowned but the cat saves him. Yeah, it performed CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Carrot! His first kiss went to a cat!!! But no time to rest because the sisters have catch up so it’s back down the magic river. Seeing him paddle so hard with so much energy, the sisters decide to give up. Meanwhile Daniel is on his way down too. When Carrot reaches the end, he is happy to see Marina but to his dismay, Daniel beat him to it and they’re both embracing. Heck. Even the cat found its own lover. Carrot, you’re just unlucky. Then Carrot spots a human shape rock under the river. He calls out to the lovers but starts thinking over the chief’s words how Marina have to devote her life to him. I guess it’s better to keep quiet, eh? And the chief isn’t such a stubborn old goat because he accepts the young generation to make their own legend.

Episode 8
Carrot wakes up from a nightmare but can’t remember it. So irritated Tira hits him on the head and tells him to sleep forever. They get a new mission from Big Momma. Their target is a mad professor named Lionia. She also leaves it to them how he is abusing innocent people. Big Momma notes that this mission may be Carrot’s awakening. In town, the gang sees Lionia recruiting the men to help fight evil spirits in the Ghost Town behind his castle in exchange for their children’s safety. Carrot got the guts to console some man’s wife by hugging her! It’s no wonder he got kicked out of her house when he became ‘too kind’. Marron and the rest ride Lionia’s wagon to Ghost Town but soon learns it’s a trap. The next thing they know, they’re in Ghost Town but their bodies have become kids! Seems Lionia loves playing with kids and with his magic diorama, all his tricks become real and terrifying in Ghost Town. It can be scary for kids, you know. He is playing with his candle trick when Carrot sneaks in, blows it out and sneaks out without Lionia realizing it! Must be the wind. Carrot heads to Ghost Town but is terrified with the skeletons and other beasts Lionia unleashed. As for the rest, with their kiddie bodies, their powers are not much use so their only hope is Carrot. Speaking of which, they are reunited with him. As the sisters are about to cry in relief in Carrot’s arms, it is Carrot who cries in theirs for being fear of those skeletons! I guess he never change. Some last hope he is. With Carrot telling what he saw, they realize Lionia is abusing innocent people by turning them into children and have to defeat him. As they head to the exit, Lionia burns his diorama. Then his room explodes. Play with fire lah… But the burning town starts to relive the terrifying trauma Carrot has. Something to do with Zaha. It is so great that he turns into a rampaging Zoantrophy. Though he has not been hit by any magic, Lionia’s diorama is a magic one so he must’ve slowly been absorbing it. Tira and Chocolate transform but Big Momma notes Carrot can’t bear his past and that fear has made him turn into Zoantrophy and his power is running wild. The sisters can’t stop him so she intervenes to calm him down. Carrot finds himself a kid and sleeping in the comfortable arms of Big Momma. When he wakes up, he wonders why everyone said he saved them but he doesn’t remember anything. Big Momma prays he must accept his dreaded past the next time for the sake of the future.

Episode 9
Lord Croissant is a rare sorcerer who uses his power for good so it’s no surprise that the people love him. However Big Momma receives a request for the Sorcerer Hunters to kill Croissant. Though they don’t accept requests from anonymous people, the requester mentions that Croissant had killed a Sorcerer Hunter named Opera. She is Gateau’s partner and he is visibly upset to know this. They go see Croissant and he allows them to do anything and even challenges to kill him if they can. Telling his story, Croissant built an opera stage and met with an opera singer Anna Pestori. He fell in love with her but was soon kidnapped by an evil sorcerer Bagel, whom Gateau and Opera was chasing after. Bagel had this obsession of turning those he kidnaps into animals and in Anna’s case, a cat. Though Croissant and Opera teamed up to rescue Anna, Opera stayed back to let him escape. Gateau is not convinced but Croissant knows Opera’s last words, “Open the door”. Croissant notes that Opera’s body was later found so he wonders it is Gateau who killed her. Later Bagel was killed by other Sorcerer Hunters. Anna appears and I guess that’s when bored Carrot decides to take interest and flirt around. Back in their room, Tira wonders if Croissant is the requester. Requesting his own death? Since he is invincible under the full moon, he is trying others to kill him. Gateau isn’t still convinced. And Carrot? He still hasn’t given up on Anna to sing for him! The sisters are going to give their punishment so Anna tells them the truth. Croissant teamed up with Bagel and betrayed Opera and killed her. Anna isn’t in love with Croissant and is merely a pet to him. Back to their room, Gateau thinks Anna is the requester since she is afraid of Croissant. As Chocolate goes out to search for that lecherous Carrot who slipped by her fingers again, she sees a cat transformed into Anna. Croissant won’t let her go since she has seen that. They fight but she is no match for him. At the stage, Anna tells Gateau that she wants him to take her away from here. She can’t be herself ever since she was rescued. Seems she is cursed to take on the form of a cat and the only time she’s human is on a night of a full moon. Gateau wonders why she lied because Opera would never turn her back on the enemy. Croissant appears and says his existence is only for Anna. Though it is Bagel who turned her into a cat, Anna is barely keeping herself in human form because of his love for her. Anna insists that she loves the stage instead of him and wants the applause and cheers of the audience and not his love. Carrot applauses at the moving stage performance so Croissant throws him a knife and wants him to kill Gateau or else he will kill Chocolate (all tied up). Croissant admits that he was the one who killed Opera to show his love for Opera. No choice, Carrot points the knife at Gateau’s neck (is he playing around?) and the latter doesn’t seem to be worried. Carrot eventually decides not to because he knows Chocolate will kill him later. Spot on! Marron and Tira bust in to save the day but Marron’s seal has no effect since it’s full moon. Anna goes up to Croissant and stabs him (I thought killing him was impossible). This shows that she doesn’t really love him. Well, I guess it was enough convincing for Croissant. With that, Croissant disappears along with his mansion (why must mansions collapse when their masters die?). In the end though they couldn’t figure out who the client is at least everyone is together for the moment. And Anna turned back into cat? Carrot makes an uncalled remark saying how he could’ve been a free man should Chocolate be killed. But she is not in a good mood and is going to kill him! “Open the door!”. Oh Carrot. You’re so dead.

Episode 10
In a gambling town, Sorcerer Hunters are to investigate the sorcerer-sponsored gambling murders that have been occurring here. But Carrot just wants to gamble and flirt with the girls! All they need to do is win big to lure the sorcerer out. How can they do that? As Big Momma explains, since their hearts are pure, God will be on their side! WTF?! Isn’t gambling bad? Gateau arrives as a drifting cowboy and makes his entrance by beating up Vegas‘ men. Though he only wants meals and not money, he will do anything. Vegas’ wife, Ruriko allows him and since she said so, Vegas permits it. Meanwhile Chocolate, Tira and Marron are winning big so much so they’ve been invited to a special gamble. I guess God really is on their side. Except for Carrot who is accumulating debts and acting like a desperate gambling addict! He is thrown into a prison as he witnesses Vegas kills another hopeless addict with the snap of his fingers. Carrot is amazed by his strength and will do anything to get out. Anything? Ruriko invites Gateau into her room but he soon leaves. In the special gambling area, Chocolate, Tira and Marron realize they’ve been set up when Vegas unleashes a monster to attack them. Everybody else bets on them. During the fight, Gateau who was sneaking around joins in. Then in the final push, the monster goes berserk and rams a pillar, causing Vegas to fall off his balcony and to his death. What?! That easy?! With his spell gone, the monster reverts into… Carrot?! Man, his face is all bruised up. As Gateau leaves town, Ruriko mentions how she just wanted him to have a pleasant memory as a memento of his trip. Gateau replies he is a Sorcerer Hunter before a man. As the Sorcerer Hunters leave, Carrot was let known he lost big at the casino to get inside among the enemy. But he got sealed inside that monster by Vegas’ magic. But everything ends well, so I guess it’s okay. Carrot makes an uncalled remark when he says Gateau kept the girl all for himself when everyone is having a hard time. He gets another punch in the face.

Episode 11
The gang haven’t eaten for 2 days and Carrot is so hungry he ate grass! YUCK! But that can wait since Big Momma gives them a mission to find out and put a stop to a sorcerer using forbidden magic of Mind Separation (separating one’s soul from one’s body) and Mind Harmonize (putting that soul into another body). Carrot tries to ‘steal’ an apple from a tree but was told by a villager not to touch his mother’s tree. The Sorcerer Hunters decide to back off since the villagers aren’t too happy about it. Suddenly Carrot smells something nice. Woman! Oh sh*t! Where the heck did he get so much energy?! He sees a hot babe in the flowerbed till he realized some hot guy is sleeping on her lap. Disappointed? The maid, Sanchu seems pretty concern with Yukke Namuru when he suddenly collapses as he’s about to shake hands with Tira. Marron notes how he doesn’t have long to live. Inside the mansion, they see his twin brother Kuppa. But they soon leave since they have no business here. Till they realize Carrot isn’t with them. Man, he hasn’t given up on Sanchu. Sneaking around inside the hallways, Carrot eavesdrop Sanchu and Yukke talking about the latter not wanting to be the devil and is worried about Kuppa. Kuppa suddenly emerges from the ground and he sees how lovely the both of them are. Comparing them like his parents, he uses Mind Separation on Sanchu and places into his parent’s portrait. His mom comes out of the portrait but it’s just Sanchu in the form of his mom. Carrot tries to stop him but was stopped and half his body stuck to the ground. The rest of the Sorcerer Hunters come in. Sanchu starts crying and wants to return to her original body. Flashback reveals how the twins lost their parents very young. They dabbled in this Forbidden Magic and used it on a random couple. However they could not touch them. Kuppa is disappointed and since they want to return to their original bodies, Kuppa stepped and crushed a materialized gem from the magic, killing them both. Yukke is shocked and felt guilty so he uses Soul Harmonize to turn them into apple seeds and planted them. Kuppa wants to turn Yukke into his father so they can live as a family like before. He also knows Yukke has spent his life turning all those gems into apple seeds and delivered them to the couple’s family. By doing so, he is using part of his life force. Kuppa then wonders if they have ever had their father put them on his shoulders or their mom to stroke their cheek with her hand. He is envious they had it all and God had to take important people away from him. He starts using Mind Separation but Marron uses his seal to backfire on him. In his last breath, Kuppa realizes how warm Sanchu’s hands were. Sanchu and Yukke declare their love for each other as Yukke says they’ll always be with her. He also wishes Sanchu raise both their trees so he uses Soul Harmonize on themselves. In the aftermath, Sanchu grows both the apple trees just fine.

Episode 12
A monster created for war via Forbidden Magic during when Spooner Continent was at war, Lord Chronodragon is about to be revived. Big Momma says they can’t kill it but can put it to sleep for another 50 years by destroying a gem at its tail. Man, this Chronodragon is so big that a village is situated right smack in the centre between its head and tail. At the village, grandpa Bread tells them that there is a way to kill Chronodragon for good and that is by destroying a crystal at its head. The Sorcerer Hunters are puzzled why Big Momma didn’t tell them of this. I guess Carrot is willing to do the job for Bread’s granddaughter, Butter. Don’t lay your hands on her! That night as Marron and Gateau go to scout the place, the sisters are worried that Carrot has escaped to flirt with Butter. Surprisingly, he went to speak with Bread and he breaks the ice with some Best-Playboy-in-Spooner-Continent talk. Yeah, guys will be guys. Bread mentions when he was young, he saw a legendary hero (Zaha) appeared and killed Chronodragon. Next day as they set off, Bread also wants to undertake this journey. Marron and Gateau come back from their journey and show a torn doll. They feel he has not told them the entire truth. Bread reveals the land built on Chronodragon is very fertile. Though the villagers reap its benefits, they were living in fear. When Chronodragon was about the revived, that hero appeared and killed it. When it died, it released all the energy in its body once, destroying his entire village (probably why Big Momma didn’t say a word on this). He feels that if Chronodragon is revived, Spooner Continent will be devastated and it’s better to sacrifice a few lives for the greater good and be free of their fear. But the gang do not agree with him and have decided they will put it to sleep. As Sorcerer Hunters get ready to climb the tail, they realize Bread has gone alone to the head. Carrot rushes off in hopes of stopping him in time. Age must have gotten to bread as he catches his breath while resting halfway. He sees a vision of the hero who lends him his power. Bread is at the top and is about to sink his dagger when Carrot calls out for him not to. Bread fights the hero’s will but this exhausts him greatly. He lies motionless in Carrot’s arms. Yeah, Carrot can even make a joke about ‘blossoming a few flowers’ so he can’t die at this place yet. Meanwhile the other Sorcerer Hunters destroy the tail’s gem and prevents Chronodragon’s revival. But they hear Carrot’s blunt incessant screams from across. Next day, Butter goes on a journey to bury grandpa at a place without Chronodragon. Carrot is obviously depressed as he wonders if Bread’s way was wrong.

Episode 13
Big Momma reprimands Sorcerer Hunters for not only failing to seal a Forbidden Magic book, Rouge Camera, but release it as well. Guess whose fault it was? All the more, Dotta was there so they’ve got to clean this mess up. In town, Dotta spots Carrot in old feudal clothes extremely popular with woman! She realizes she has lost her wings but isn’t worried since she never liked it anyway. Then she sees another Carrot, hurrying to finish this mission as he rushes off. Meanwhile Chocolate and Tira see Gateau an oil merchant and flocks of woman are coming over to see his muscles. WTF?! The sisters find feudal Carrot playing around with his harem. They’re going to whip him good. However this Carrot remains stubborn and doesn’t want to return to them but stay with his harem! They see Marron who is a little girly and is satisfied in just watching over his brother. The sisters are upset that they’re the only ones who didn’t get their wish like everybody else. They meet Dotta and are brought to their own house. They are greeted by Carrot with a bowtie and he is happy for all 3 of them to live together. Chocolate happily agrees but Tira so as not to lose out decides to stay as well. Several days pass and on a day Chocolate and bowtie Carrot leave for shopping, Tira spots the original Carrot. Inside the house, Carrot says he tried to get Rouge Camera inside the harem but the girls were very tough. Tira is confused of who he is and for once Carrot is spelling way the particulars of the mission! They are here to seal Rouge Camera that reads people’s wishes and desires and makes them come true. They failed to seal it and were swallowed by it. Tira can’t remember it because she is bewitched by the camera. So this world is a fake world created by that Forbidden Magic. Tira tells this to the rest but they don’t believe her. They wonder if that Carrot is making this up. Then they realize that Carrot isn’t around and must be on his way back to the harem to destroy this world, which will cause them who are part of this dream to disappear. At the harem, there are 3 Carrots now! Which is the real one?! Bowtie Carrot takes his sword out and is going to kill the fake ones. However the rest can tell he is the fake because he did not go after other girls. Chocolate cuts him as he is revealed to be Rouge Camera. He intends on sucking them in again because he can’t exist without a story since he is a book. He insists they are fictional characters in a made-up story and reality doesn’t exist. The other Carrots confront him and wonder what will happen if they combine back into the original one and see what if the original dreaming one disappears. They one to be the ones who will determine what is a dream or reality. He sounds like a real man trying to do it but soon they chickens out. Enough to piss those sisters off. Just do it!!! They are all thrown out of the book as Marron seals it. Everyone is glad that they’re alright as Tira wonders if Carrot is the real deal. But wait. Are they really out of the book or still in the dream world? Something for you viewers to figure out.

Episode 14
The Sorcerer Hunters are being hired by a rich dude, Londo to rid of a monster residing in the gold mines or else the villagers will starve since this land has no crops and depends on its gold. But that fat pig himself seems have more than enough to eat. However later Londo’s clerk tells them to stay away or else they will earn the wrath of their local God. Leina prays at a local God’s statue and is surprised to hear God’s voice saying how she’ll meet a wonderful man. Turns out to be Carrot. She isn’t amused and says he’ll be punished by God for doing so. What’s Carrot’s answer? God is his close friend! Oh God! He even pulls a prank that his hand got eaten by the statue but Leina runs away in embarrassment when Carrot points out in a way she was concern for him. Leina is a hard worker and does her work without complain. However the employers take her for granted and leave her do all the jobs while they relax themselves. Leina is saving to buy a butterfly hairpin but that dream is dashed when it was just sold. A little girl, Boro whom she is a friend of got it because her mama bought it for her. And Leina thought her mama had financial problems. As Leina trudge along, anger starts to build in her heart and she finds herself in posh restaurant. She also spots a girl who thought she was sick but is well and chatting happily. She realizes she has no money to pay and decides that she too can be dishonest and tries to walk out. However a waiter catches her. But she is saved by ‘God’. Yup. It’s Carrot who picks up her tab. She thanks him and will repay but he doesn’t need her money and just wants to go out on a date. Leina is not amused because she feels he is just like every other people seeking to take advantage of her. But she backs down upon seeing his silly funny face and apologizes for taking out on him. Though she won’t really date him, at least they can have tea together. And while Carrot is fooling around, his other mates are working their ass off. At the gold mine, they realize the sound of the monster is due to the wind blowing through the tunnel (thus the monster doesn’t exist) and the clerk may have been fooling his master to keep this secret all to himself. The clerk is watching them and doesn’t like this one bit that his secret his exposed but has a plan up his sleeve. Carrot is about to move in on Leina when he sees Marron. Looks like he has to excuse himself. Better hurry because he’s in a middle of a date. The clerk soon kidnaps Leina and hires her to bring Carrot to him. She is tempted by the gold at first but refuses since no matter how poor she is, she won’t sell her heart. At the mine, Marron shoots Carrot with a magic stone and turns him into Zoantrophy. He goes on a rampage. Everyone sees Zoantrophy and thinks it is God (since they both look alike). The clerk is going to use Leina as a hostage but when Zoantrophy closes in, he runs away. Yeah, his act backfired and came back to haunt him. Leina thought she was done for but Zoantrophy ignores her. She thanks ‘God’. Londo is trying to run away with as much gold he can carry but Zoantrophy destroys his mansion, much to the joy of the people. Now it’s time to bring the beast back. Yeah, a couple of women are the ones who could tame ‘God’. It is raining gold coins as the people starts picking them up and hails God for justice done. Boro wants to share some of the gold she got with Leina but she doesn’t need them because she has got something very precious from God. Big Momma praises the Sorcerer Hunters for a job well done but Carrot may have did a little mischief by stealing a piece of gold himself… Leina continue to work hard and she may be the first girl who really thinks Carrot is God and will always be thinking of him. Yeah, maybe the God of Pervert, that is.

Episode 15
There is no assignment this time so it’s a vacation for the Sorcerer Hunters. Somebody quickly restrain that Carrot! Big Momma discusses with one of her knights, Millefeuille along with Dotta about the time to Zaha has come. Zaha has sacrificed many during his journey in order to achieve his goals. He has been gathering souls that cursed him and absorbing them and transform them into his own power. At that moment, he is most vulnerable and they will use it to strike him down even if it’s a cowardly manner. Now he is at Soul Home, the summit where souls with hatred gather. A village girl is running scared from those souls and bumps into Carrot, seeking his protection. Time to show his manliness. But the souls go away. He meets her family who are grateful and tells him about Soul Summit. The girl also mentions that a hero (Zaha) went to the summit alone and hope he is fine. She wouldn’t mind giving her heart and body to him. Not to be outdone, Carrot also rushes to the summit to defeat the troubled souls and bring peace to the village. I guess his motivation is the girl, not saving the village. As Zaha starts the process of absorbing souls, Big Momma appears and is about to blast him. Suddenly Carrot shows up (fooling around in Zaha’s clothes?) so Big Momma abandons her plans since her powers will kill him too. Though alive, Zaha is hurt so Carrot help nurses him as he sets up a campfire. Both have a feeling of seeing each other before. Upon knowing Carrot saw his soul absorbing, Zaha picks up his sword and is going to kill him but his injury prevents him to go further. Meanwhile Big Momma informs the other Sorcerer Hunters to go save Carrot. Carrot continues to treat Zaha nicely. But he has a condition. Since Zaha is going back to the village as a hero and girls will flock around him, Carrot wants at least one girl. Plus, he will keep what he saw a secret. Zaha wonders why he came back knowing he still wants to kill him (that feeling is still there). His reply is that he is the messenger of love! Even though it’s silly, Zaha takes a liking for him since he looks very convincing. But when he learns Carrot’s name, he gets mad and is going to kill him. At that point, Big Momma interrupts by splitting the land and sends Zaha falling into the chasm. Big Momma laments how their failure to defeat Zaha was because of Carrot, though he won’t be punished for it. Millefeuille will continue on Zaha. The Sorcerer Hunters rescue Carrot, not knowing entirely what happened while Zaha still lives and is bent on making him realize his dream. What’s with that gorilla scream? Pain or just his way of letting things out?

Episode 16
I guess Chocolate and Tira stepped out of their line by punishing Zoantrophy too much that Carrot needs to see a doctor. But upon seeing the cute nurse Arama, his injuries instantly vanish and his flirt switch on! The sisters want to beat him up but Arama protects him since he is injured. Then Dr Iiwa steps out to see what’s happening so Carrot overacts his pain and wants her to admit him now! I know it’s fine for Carrot but Gateau saying how his heart is also hurt too?! He got whacked of course. Carrot isn’t pleased to see his mates paying him a visit. I don’t know why but Gateau starts stripping and showed him his stomach muscles as his present! He swings this way too?! Out! Chocolate fantasizes some dramatic ‘tear-jerking’ delusion with dying Carrot getting pervy on her. Since Carrot got hurt by her delusion, he kicks them all out. With the big obstacles gone, he can go flirting all he wants. Yeah, he wants Arama to cure him with her love! Oh, she has a needle for him. Oh, he’s feeling better now? However she has phobia of needles but will be okay if she uses a bigger one. Oh sh*t! Now who is going to get screwed?! Oww!!! Later he goes to see pensive Iiwa and offers to help her out. A rock suddenly drops on his head (from you-know-who) so clumsy Arama drops loads of ice on him to freeze the hell out of him, and then pour boiling hot water. He’s going to rack up more injuries at this rate. That night, Carrot still has so much energy to release and is not going to waste his youth. He sneaks into Arama’s bed but finds Tira waiting. He escapes but Chocolate is at the door. Let the punishment begin! You know, this is a hospital and they shouldn’t be making so much noise. As he escapes, he is pulled away by Arama and brought to Iiwa since the latter wanted to see him so much. Could this be it? Meanwhile Marron and Gateau see a villager with stomach pains and wonder why he didn’t go to the hospital nearby and everyone is just standing around. However they respond with that fearful look in their eyes. Carrot walks through a room filled with specimen jars till he sees Iiwa waiting next to a bed. She seems very inviting. She’s been thinking about him all day, her heart set on him and her heart crazy for him. He dives towards her but suddenly sees a scalpel in her hands. Marron and Gateau meet up with the sisters as they learn from the villagers Iiwa is a maniacal surgeon and performs any surgery regardless of one’s sickness. Carrot is tied up as Iiwa prepares her surgery while Arama starts up the chainsaw!!! Oh damn!!! And his mates… They’re not going to rescue him and just having tea since they really want him to be in better care and pray for a successful surgery. Yeah, this will be a good lesson… He’ll be alright. Hope this will cure his pervertness.

Episode 17
Perhaps that surgery didn’t cure him because Carrot continues to flirt. And gets rejected. But the Sorcerer Hunters get an emergency call from Big Momma and are transported to her castle, Sutera Church. Seems the revival of a Magic Fortress (by Zaha of course), a giant floating castle created during the war that will devastate everything in its path into ashes. How are they going to stop this fortress? They have to climb to the top and to its eye and defeat the enemy who is controlling it via his will. They have to do it fast because the fortress is on its way here. So the Sorcerer Hunters are thrust into action while Big Momma stalls for time by putting up a big barrier around the castle. It’s not going to be easy since the gang have to traverse various traps and undead skeleton army. As they reach the top, a creepy humanoid (its eyes and mouth switched places) emerges from the eye. He wonders why they are stopping him. Big Momma recognizes him as the boy from that time during the war, the boy who admired her and thought it would be worth his life if she recognized him. Carrot plans on turning into Zoantrophy but Marron thinks otherwise since it will be too much magic for him to handle. Eventually he becomes one and true enough he comes crashing. As the Sorcerer Hunters think it’s the end of the line, the Haz Knights, Millefeuille, Cinnamon Tea, Chiffon Cake and Kahlua Milk appear to dispose of the minions. Big Momma then reunites with the boy. Inside the fortress, they see his corpse as Big Momma realizes how lonely he must have been all these decades as he used his life to seal this fortress. She apologizes and accepts her heart since he has always been thinking of her. With that the fortress crumbles. The Sorcerer Hunters comment about love transcending time and the power of love. But it’s a different kind of love for that idiot Carrot because he tries to hit on Millefeuille! Till he finds out he’s a guy… Zaha notes the force of will becoming a great power. Since Big Momma has shown her Haz Knights’ power, he is going to realize his dream since the rest must be within the Sorcerer Hunters. Hey, I noticed something in this episode. No girls for Carrot to hit on!

Episode 18
Zaha is in a fight with Lord Tartlet but he gets stabbed and killed! Big Momma summons the Sorcerer Hunters for another important assignment. Their next target is Tartlet, a Magic Engineer (one who developed Forbidden Magic during the war). At the end of the war, all Magic Engineers were sealed to prevent them from creating new forms of Forbidden Magic. She sensed Tartlet’s seal has been broken and fears it will bring an era of war once again. Flashback reveals Zaha making a deal with Tartlet. In exchange for getting killed, Tartlet will absorb all his powers. But he must rid of the Sorcerer Hunters. Failing to do so within a period of time, Zaha will absorb his life. So it’s either one who will live or die. As Tartlet blazes a town with his newfound powers, you think a newly freed person is going to quietly get sealed back again? Yup. The Sorcerer Hunters will have a tough time caging this power-crazy guy back. As Tartlet unleashes his stone golems upon them, Zaha is watching the fight via a crow. He remembers how he was scaring young Carrot and co by wondering which one of them is the God of Destruction (yeah, his goal is to destroy the world). That’s because with great fear, it will bring back memories of the past and they will become aware of the other self. Zaha peeks into the souls of the fighting Sorcerer Hunters but sees them as reincarnated past heroes and not the power he seeks. Based on deduction, that means Carrot has got to be the God of Destruction, right? He peers into his soul and what does he see? Girls, girls and pretty girls everywhere! HAHAHA!!! Oh, you’re so screwed! A fool till the very end! He laments his death was all for nothing as Tartlet continues to absorb his powers till he can’t control them and goes out of control. Carrot absorbs his magic and turns into Zoantrophy. Zaha realizes his other form and peeks into his eyes and finds the God of Destruction. Zoantrophy smashes all the golems and eventually Tartlet himself. Tartlet realizes he got the short end of the stick because when he mentions he will be the new ruler and the one closest to God, Zaha comments that’s why he cannot win against God himself! Plus, a mere sorcerer like him couldn’t absorb and handle all the great powers like Zaha. With that, Zaha absorbs his life and revives.

Episode 19
Lord Wacky knows a famous painter, Julian Monet is in town and plans to make easy money by buying his paintings and selling it to collectors at a higher price. However he needs capital for that and this means unreasonable tax increase for the innocent citizens. Yes, it’s a job for Sorcerer Hunters once more but Carrot as usual prefers to be chasing skirts. Good thing, he got rejected but does this mean he’ll give up? Till he bumps into Julian painting. Suddenly Tira and Chocolate feel awkward for this painter guy. Let’s say they’re blushing around him. Julian realizes that he can complete his painting. Not because of the sisters but Carrot! Making him as the model, it’s like magic and with a stroke of the brush, Carrot forms onto the picture with doves around. Carrot gets bored and starts hitting on the girls but all he attracted was doves. Marron notes he isn’t an ordinary person since his picture is able to predict the future. But Julian says pictures must be drawn from the heart and the heart mirrors the truth. His pictures aren’t complete unless the heart of the subject is shown. He then invites them to stay with him at his rented cottage. The sisters realize his paintings are sceneries so he mentions he only draws people if it’s family, friends or lovers. He then invites them to be their model. The sisters tell Carrot that they’ve found a new love and wish him well. Carrot is supportive of their happiness. Looks like he finally got his freedom. Yippee!!! As he continues to flirt around, he still sees visions of the sisters reprimanding him. What is this lonely feeling? As Marron notes, there are some important things that can only be seen in the distance. That night before they leave for their mission, Marron tells Julian to leave them quietly. He knows that it’s concerning the girls. The Sorcerer Hunters ambush Wacky’s mansion as he attacks. The sisters seem bungling and not their usual self. When word that Julian has already left town is out, Marron explains that Julian was well aware of what’s going to happen and was planning to leave anyway. Wacky gets upset and is going to kill them. Firing at the sisters, Carrot uses his body to protect them. He says he prefers them to return to their original way and he won’t mind getting whipped many times. This proves it. He’s a masochist. He becomes Zoantrophy and stomps the greedy bastard. Now it’s the sisters’ job to bring him back and well, the whipping tonight seems more painful than usual. Back at the cottage, they see some of the paintings Julian left for them. A scenery of the wheat field to wish for peace, Carrot’s picture to show the life force of the earth and the one on the sisters which slowly transforms into their other selves and Zoantrophy in the background for courage.

Episode 20
Health freak Wacky is so into health that he has slaves moving his revolving gold statue. Let’s say it looks like the Oscar trophy giving a Furher salute. The Sorcerer Hunters move into town with the guys dressed as girls to elude Wacky’s capture. A little boy, Next mistakes Carrot as his dad. This attracted the attention of the guards who want prove that the quintet are sisters. Marron shows his pretty face (bloody convincing!) and the guards apologize and leave. The odd part was how Gateau was blushing! Man, he is dangerous. Next’s mom, Yesterday takes them in and reveals Next’s dad died 3 years ago and was murdered by that evil sorcerer. Plus, Carrot resembles him a lot. Carrot seems to be getting along fine with Next. Yeah, there’s a kid in every one of us. Just more in him. Or is it, he’s trying to win Yesterday’s heart? Better be safe than sorry and tie him up just in case! That night, the sisters talk to Yesterday about motherhood. Later they chat about their own real parents which they don’t know since they were raised by Carrot’s parents from young (this explains why they’re ‘close’ to him). Next day, Next goes up to the sisters and squeezes their boobs! OMG! Has Carrot thought him to be a pervert?! But thankfully, when he said he will play with them, it was just normal kiddie’s play. Carrot reads a diary of Next’s day and his happy days watching Next grow. Suddenly Yesterday is kidnapped. Carrot and Next stayed back but Next insists he wants to tag along to see his father’s murderer die. Yup, he knew dad was murdered all along. Carrot tries to be a man and tells him that even baddies are people. I don’t know, being honourable doesn’t suit him. Yeah, he’s better off being a pervert. As the Sorcerer Hunters barge in to attack Wacky and his macho men underlings to rescue Yesterday, suddenly Carrot and Next come in. Giving an excuse that the kid won’t listen isn’t going to cut it. Carrot turns into Zoantrophy and says he’ll avenge his dad and watch every bit of it. Zoantrophy tears the place up as Next watches everything without blinking. In the aftermath as they prepare to leave, Carrot hopes Next will take care of himself and for Yesterday, if there’s anything urgent, don’t hesitate to call him. But Next is the one who tells him to lay off his mom! He’s going to grow up to be a fine protector. Next asserts he’ll become a Sorcerer Hunter when he grows up so Carrot gives him his dad’s diary and says there are more important things than becoming strong. I knew it. Carrot is better suited as a pervert. Big Momma laments that the Sorcerer Hunters should have more time (to defeat Zaha) when Zaha pays her a ‘visit’. He is here to tell her that he is going to Platinum Mountain to harness the energy that will unleash the God of Destruction in Carrot. Tira and Chocolate wonder if their real dad is a pervert like Carrot. Better not think of the possibility. But he is nowhere near that because it’s revealed their real father is… Zaha!!!

Episode 21
Big Momma sees a fearful prediction that the God of Destruction has been awakened in Carrot. Haz Knights sets off to Platinum Mountain and faces off with Zaha. The blast is so powerful that it ripped a faraway bridge Carrot, Tira and Chocolate are crossing. The sisters thought Carrot is going to save them but he just saved himself by grabbing on to their plank. Idiot! No time to worry about that. There’s a waterfall ahead. They regain conscious later at the riverbed and no serious damage. Resting in the nearby cottage, Chocolate thinks of stripping to dry their clothes. Tira was hesitant but what choice do they have? As we know, Carrot isn’t interested in them and leaves giving excuse to find firewood. Firewood? Hey, has that guy ever lift a finger before? The sisters talk about being their true selves when being in love. That night as Carrot snores like a pig, the sisters thought the other was sleeping and snuggle close to him. Sleep talking Carrot hugs them and says he’ll make them the happiest people in the world, much to their happiness. I bet he was dreaming of some other girl. Chocolate knows of Tira’s feelings for him and says should anything happen to her while she’s on duty, she wants Tira to look after Carrot. Tira says the same for her. Carrot’s sleep talking topic is wide. Yeah, it includes food, getting punished for being lecherous (must be natural, eh?) and of course, going after more babes. The sisters decide to punish him for real by pecking him on his cheek each. Haz Knights’ assault continues well into the night but Zaha has the upper hand. The Haz Knights are getting beaten up while there is no scratch on Zaha. Finally it is between Zaha and a very worn out Millefeuille. No prizes to guess who will be the only one left standing. Morning comes, Marron and Gateau find their mates sleeping safe and sound. However Carrot wakes up in cold sweat as he sees vision of Zaha taking him away. But the rest do not see anything as Carrot struggles in pain. Hey, I noticed something in this episode. The second time there is no side character babe for Carrot to chase! That’s because it’s the start of the final arc…

Episode 22
The Haz Knights are being healed in Big Momma’s bubble. Though they failed their mission, she is glad they came back alive. Millefeuille knows they cannot beat Zaha and wants to know what her plans will be but she tells them to concentrate on getting healed. Dotta informs the Sorcerer Hunters to return to Sutera Church. For some reason, Big Momma didn’t straight away teleport them as she needs time to prepare something. Hmm… Carrot seems perfectly normal now. Yeah, he’s going to flirt around. What happened to that pain anyway? In a town, Carrot realizes he is in hell because the old guys are dressing like girls! Then he learns of a new sorcerer, Margo who is behind all this and plans to stop her. It’s going to be real hard because Margo looks like a trendy teenager. Oh, I can see why Carrot wants this mission so badly. However the rest mentions they have been ordered to return to Sutera Church and did not receive orders to rid of any evil sorcerers here. Plus, Margo’s harsh laws are pertaining to clothing and food and the lives of the citizens are not threatened. But Carrot will not accept that reasoning. He asks them what is Sorcerer Hunters. He can’t do anything he wants and just being ordered by Big Momma to go around killing baddies. Is that what being Sorcerer Hunters is about? NO! It’s to help those in need. Shock! Those words coming from this man?! He plans to stay back so the rest return without him. And I knew it was too good to be true because he’s going to spread his wings!!! THAT IDIOT!!! That night, he crashes into Margo’s place and is going to give her his sense of justice. More like fooling around. She isn’t interested and has her manservants beat him up. Yeah, he is really that useless. Tira and Chocolate sense something wrong and decide to turn back. Can’t leave that pervert all alone after all. Marron and Gateau come into a couple of Sorcerer Hunters who have been ordered by Big Momma to rid of Margo. Gateau borrows Carrot’s words about being Sorcerer Hunters but since the duo are stubborn, they fight. And lost. Carrot could’ve got beaten up further if not for the sisters. Yeah, they’re the only ones who are allowed to punish him. The sisters advice Margo to be a good girl and go home. But she refuses and shoots her magic. It hits Carrot. When he turns into Zoantrophy, Margo got scared, cried, reflected on her actions and will go home and be a good girl. The sisters tell her a good advice she can use when she grows up: Love. In the aftermath as things return to normal, well almost. Carrot is still trying to hit on Margo! But she rejects him thinking this old man has no money! The sisters realize this was Carrot’s true intention and beat him up. But still he doesn’t learn. After Margo reunite with her dad, he still asks her to date him when he’s rich. Margo isn’t going to buy that and tells him off that money can’t buy true love! Smart girl! Big Momma remarks how Carrot has become to understand the freedom to decide, act and the responsibility behind all that freedom. If he wishes to shatter this fragile moment, she may have to defeat him her own way. She wonders if Carrot will say her method is wrong like Zaha but notes he too must have his own way.

Episode 23
Though the gang returns to Sutera Church, Big Momma tells them to rest and have dinner. The all-important urgency was that she wanted to see them since she regards them like her own children? That can’t be just it, right? As they leave, Big Momma notes that what she said wasn’t a lie. She really wanted to see them. For one last time. Carrot pigs out during dinner but the rest have doubts since Big Momma is acting suspiciously strange. The sisters think Carrot is going to get fired and thus this is his last supper. They go meet her and plead for Carrot’s case. Going to the extent that they’ll do his workload or quit Sorcerer Hunters. Big Momma on the other hand says she is doing this for the sake of the continent but when she finds out about Carrot’s dismissal, she gives off a laugh. Marron and Gateau are also suspicious that Haz Knights aren’t around to protect Big Momma and ‘threatens’ Dotta to tell the truth. She brings them to where Millefeuille is being healed and they are surprised that the powerful Haz Knights are in this condition. They talk about the purpose of the establishment of Sorcerer Hunters, to keep evil sorcerers at bay who abuse innocent people. Giving an example with sorcerers as a wolf, the citizens as sheep, when you put them together, common sense has the wolf always eats the sheep, right? Unless you keep the wolf properly fed and in this case, sorcerers are given privileges. But some sorcerers abuse their powers and cause torment (just like how wolves sometimes kill sheep just for fun). Then they talk about Zaha. He is the former leader of Haz Knights and thought it would be best to destroy the world by looking for the God of Destruction and thus separated himself from Big Momma. Speaking of which, I don’t know how he got up to some lost city in space, stabs his sword into its rocky ground to unleash all the Platinum Energy to target down to the world. He doesn’t believe in Big Momma’s way of not shedding unnecessary blood because he firmly believes there will always be evil in a human’s heart. The weak and powerless will still be persecuted. By crushing this chaotic world, a new ideal world will be built. Big Momma doesn’t acknowledge his future of sacrificing innocent lives. Legend has it the God of Destruction once destroyed the world but the Four Peer Gods defeated him and the world was created. However the God of Destruction has been reincarnated in another form and is living in this world. Zaha knows who this God resides in and that is Carrot. Marron deduces that the only way left to save the world is to seal the God of Destruction. Thus their return to the church can only mean one thing: To kill Carrot since what Zaha fears most now is losing Carrot. Tira and Chocolate couldn’t believe their ears as they realize what Big Momma’s words meant now. Carrot is being called by Big Momma as he lies asleep on her lap. She asks his dreams. His reply? GIRLS!!! But he wishes for his dream to be the same as reality since he too would like his mates to be around. As Big Momma prepares to kill him, the first person to interrupt is Zaha. He is appalled by her way of doing this. If she is planning to take an innocent life, then her way is no different than his! However she says that instead of letting the Four Peer Gods (reincarnations of the other Sorcerer Hunters) do it, she will beat the burden herself. When the rest come in, Zaha disappears. The church starts rumbling as Carrot wakes up and sees Big Momma crying.

Episode 24
The lost city hovers over the church as Zaha unleashes the souls to wreak havoc. Carrot wants to confirm if Big Momma tried to kill him but she couldn’t answer. But for the rest, the solution is clear. If they get rid of Zaha, then Carrot will not be in any of this sh*t. Carrot wants to come along since they’ve always been together. Useless or not, that’s another matter. Big Momma just lets them go, believing they are the Four Peer Gods who will stop the God of Destruction. Riding up the flying rocks onto the lost city, they confront Zaha. No matter how much they fight, they couldn’t even land a scratch on him. Zaha tells them that he has met them all before and the reason they can’t remember because Big Momma sealed their memories. He has them remember them once more. During when they’re kids, they’ve always played together and Zaha was indeed on their side then. Though he isn’t Tira and Chocolate’s real dad, he plays a father figure to all those who do not have parents. Yeah, he was such a kind man showering them with simple gifts and sword lessons. Till that obsession to find the God of Destruction and scared those poor kids. This fear from his younger days has causing Carrot’s power to go berserk. He is in a daze and if left alone, he won’t ever return to being human again. He starts feeling the pain, brushing aside his mates as the God of Destruction within is close to awakening. Partially transformed, Marron tries to calm him and uses his life force to seal the God of Destruction and return Carrot to normal. Carrot is upset and mad as Marron lies motionless in his arms. Zaha mocks Marron that his love for his family killed him and thus a poor excuse for a comrade. He is going to awaken his awful power within Carrot. He summons a stalagmite that pierces and curses through Marron’s body.

Episode 25
Gateau steps in to take revenge for Marron since he is obviously stronger than Carrot. However Zaha is much stronger and sends the muscle man flying a few blocks. He mocks him that his concern for his friends is his weakness. Then he summons a stalagmite through his body. Now he tries to get it into Carrot’s head that his inner force was the one that destroyed this lost city. Hmm… Pretty much looked like our world, doesn’t it? People, cars, traffic jams, buildings. Then the God of Destruction. Poof! Everything goes up in smokes. Carrot understands why Big Momma wanted to kill him and was going to resign to his fate to let the sisters kill him. However they want him to live even though they know they can’t win. Though the sisters fight, it didn’t take long for them to get a stalagmite each. Dotta is saddened by their deaths but Big Momma says that since they’re the Four Peer Gods, they will continue to live forever although their flesh has been destroyed. Though their souls will go and live in another world, they will lose memories of this world and will never return here. And in that other world, it seems the quartet are living the life of high school students? Tira and Chocolate spot Carrot and have a feeling they’ve seen him before. They also instantly take a liking for him. But during the festival, they see him with another girl so they try to forget and give up on him. Carrot gets beaten up but he tries to remain cool despite his sadness of his dead peers. He even has time to wise crack that Zaha is taking out his frustrations on him because he can’t live the way he wants or fall in love. What about the difference between love and desire? There is no difference! Wow. Enough to make Zaha mad. Don’t try to understand fools. Zaha continues to use Carrot like a punching bag but Carrot can withstand all that pain better thanks to the hard training of a certain pair of sadistic sisters. Zaha tries to make him give up hope in order to bring out the God of Destruction. Carrot then dares him to kill him, knowing well if he does so, the God of Destruction in him will also die. Zaha throws down his sword and lets him decide to whether ruin the world or himself. Dotta lets loose a blood curling scream as she is devastated to see Big Momma killed herself.

Episode 26
I don’t know how they got time to put Big Momma nicely in a coffin when the end of the world is so close. But looks like Big Momma’s soul too has gone to the other world. She meets Tira and Chocolate and they recognize each other. As the sisters tell their problems about the guy they love, Big Momma gives them hope and encouragement to be true to their feelings. As they rush off to find Carrot and give him a Christmas present, they bump into Marron and Gateau. Both sides are trying to find a certain person but can’t remember who he is. Meanwhile Carrot takes the sword and stabs Zaha. I guess he missed all the vital parts since Zaha is still alive, shattering the sword from his own body. Zaha starts using his Platinum Energy so Carrot makes a run for it and falls into the sewer. He is cornered and Zaha starts firing the energy into him. Carrot tries to resist the God of Destruction from awakening so it might seem like he’s becoming a mad man trying to maintain his sanity. Screaming here, aimlessly swinging his sword there. Raging here, berserk there. Man, it’s tough. The lost city crashes onto the ground below as Carrot cannot withhold it any longer. He calls out to his mates’ name and they instantly remember who he is. I don’t know how, but suddenly their curse has been uplifted and they return to this world. Hey, the guys are going shirtless! Don’t hope for the same for the ladies but you can expect their clothes to be more revealing and sexy. Yeow! However everyone is surprised to see Carrot in the hands of the God of Destruction (his face looks calm and happy?). Instead of fighting Zaha, they rush to greet him who is barely conscious. The sisters confess their love to him. I guess Zaha is also at a lost of what to do. And yes, Big Momma revives much to Dotta and the Haz Knights’ relief. The lost city warps back through some portal. In the aftermath, Big Momma and Zaha confront each other. Big Momma says he has lost since he underestimated them but Zaha admits nothing and through time and space, it won’t be over. She notes how he never changed. Neither will she. Zaha leaves but it looks like he is in another world. Is he trying to start all over again? And in this world, somebody that sounds like Carrot is trying to hit on a girl. Going skydiving?

Eh? What the heck is this unsatisfying and rushed ending? Several months after the TV series ended, the OVAs of the series came out. I learn that there were complaints that the TV series wasn’t being faithful to the original manga works and thus the reason why 3 episodes of OVAs were released at the end of 1996 and early 1997 to appease fans who thought the TV series was ‘drastically’ changed to adapt it suitable for children. WHAT?! What do you mean suitable for children? How the heck should this kind of show be suitable for children? Carrot’s obsession in skirt flirting is already a bad point. Oh, what the heck. We’re all living in a screwed up world, whether it’s reality or fantasy. So I guess the OVAs are being much more true-r since there will be more characters that did not appear in the TV series that will show their familiar face and the character designs too will revert back as to the original works.

Some kid named Potato Chips or Potee for short is seen rampaging through the sets because he wasn’t featured in the TV series. What a way to start off the OVA by breaking the fourth wall. He is adamant that he will show his true powers here. But he is swallowed by the tsunami that Jii was riding on. On to the story proper, the Sorcerer Hunter ladies are soaking at the hotspring for a much deserved rest. Yes, fanservice and boobs galore. They meet Potee’s mom, Salad. Though she looks like a loli with a youthful body, she’s actually 35 years old. Things like that can only happen in anime. Tira has a bad feeling that perverts are watching them. True enough, it is Carrot along with Potee and Jii from atop a rock. Chocolate thinks of paying Carrot a naughty night visit so Salad too wants to join in. Why do the sisters look so surprised upon hearing that? But it’s happiness for the guys and they even talk back to the narrator! Since Carrot has angered the narrator, he makes the rock collapse and has them fall into the hotspring below. Hey! Why the heck is Marron in the middle of the hotspring?! During meal, Gateau introduces his little sister Eclair. Yeah, Carrot instantly wants to flirt but thankfully Tira and Chocolate’s hand slip, putting a stop to his lecherous ways. Carrot starts fantasizing doing a threesome with Salad and Eclair. Then Dotta appears. Her overly long speech makes you feel like you want to tell her off STFU! So long that you might even forget this is a delusion by that pervert. So when she’s done blabbing, she turns into some magical girl to punish Carrot but he turns into Zoantrophy and goes even wilder. Yeah, she got owned too. Even Chocolate has her own fantasy doing it with Carrot.

That night, Carrot kicks thing off by sneaking out of his room to go night visiting. Potee and Jii also follow, much to his dismay. The first room they visit is Eclair and they see the sexy body of… Gateau?! WTF?! He’s doing macho poses?! Don’t worry, Eclair is also there doing macho poses. WTF?! Gateau teaching her to master the macho poses for the sake of their late parents?! WTF?! Anyway it was enough for the perverted trio to lose interest and head to the next room. That would be Dotta. But she and her lover Sirius are gazing at each other nervously. Carrot can’t accept this ‘newcomer’ to be Dotta’s lover and tries to intercept. However they are so deep in gazing at each other that they are oblivious to noisy Carrot. Next room. Now Carrot is frustrated and is going to molest Salad cukup-cukup but Potee won’t allow that. Jii holds Carrot down while Potee rushes to Salad’s room to protect her. Meanwhile Chocolate begins her night visit to Carrot’s room with Tira following close behind. When Potee enters Salad’s room, Salad had just left to check on Potee. She enters Potee’s room but couldn’t find him. Suddenly the lights went out and Chocolate starts caressing her, thinking she is Carrot! With Tira turning on the switch, Chocolate is shocked to see herself over Salad but the latter doesn’t mind and notes it’s her first time doing it with a woman. Carrot breaks free from Jii and barges into Salad’s room and instantly kisses her lips! But… She is actually Potee! YUCK! Trying to get out of his nightmare, Carrot spots Salad in the hallway and rushes towards her while the ladies are groping in the dark. Oddly if it’s so dark, why doesn’t Tira take off her glasses? Carrot pounces on Salad and will be her partner this evening. But that won’t do because Chocolate and Tira saw what he’s doing. It gets worse when Salad says to do it gently with her. The sisters transform into their S&M costumes and get ready to whip and kill that unfaithful bastard. Looks like they won’t go gentle on him. Elsewhere, Potee thinks it’s his chance to hit on some girl in her room but to his dismay sees Jii underneath the blanket. The old geezer misinterprets Potee has feelings for him and starts chasing for his love. Yeah, the whole night’s screwed. Everyone is screwed. In the head or some other part. Even Big Momma loses her sense of seriousness when she indicates she might transform into a magical momma and punish them.

Marris Eden is running away from a pack of zombies trying to… Rape her? An insignia glows on her forehead as she clobbers one of them with a rock. She realizes she killed her dad. Bloody… Then she falls off the cliff to her bloody death. But… She wakes up and walks off. As narrated, a magic book called Necronomicon (not a necromancer version of otakon, mind you) was created by some evil group for immortality. Though it is currently sealed in a secret labyrinth, it has killed 200 million people during the war! Big Momma summons the Sorcerer Hunters for their next mission. The client this time is Marris. Yeah, Carrot already wants to flirt with her. But he realizes she’s rather emotionless and cold and even starts pressing her boobs! Hit him on the head, girls! Big Momma explains she was transformed along with her entire village into living zombies by a necromancer, Death Master. Originally necromancers have powers to turn dead bodies and make them do their bidding. But in Death Master’s case, he can turn a living person into a zombie doll. Marris somehow escaped that fate when the insignia on her forehead disappeared. Thus breaking Necronomicon is the key to saving Marris and the rest. Millefeuille will join them on this mission since he is guarding the seal of that book. Hmm… He looks like a cross between Bleach’s Yoruichi and Kuroshitsuji’s Prince Souma. Hey, he sounds more girly, acts more girly, more talkative, flirtier and ‘naughtier’! He’s clinging onto Carrot! Even if it’s not his fault, Carrot gets hammered by the sisters. As Millefeuille leads them to the place, he once again gets flirty with Carrot so the latter tells him off to act like a man! This is a cue for Gateau to show his manly muscles. Then Millefeuille starts fondling Chocolate’s boobs and Tira’s thigh. Yeah, they like it. With the gang in their silly antics, Marron talks to Marris and learns she has no feelings whatsoever and would rather die than live like this forever. But Carrot won’t allow it since she has to go on many dates with him! Somebody should continue to hammer him.

Walking inside the cave, Carrot wonders how to beat Death Master so Millefeuille thinks all he needs to do is absorb his magic and become Zoantrophy. Then he gets flirty with Carrot again, prompting the sisters to butcher him. But Millefeuille says that he isn’t only interested in Carrot but everyone else. So he’s a bi! As Millefeuille unseals Necronomicon, suddenly they are surrounded by zombies. Death Master thanks them for unsealing it as he will finally be the King of Death. The zombies attack while the heroes try to hold their ground (Carrot being useless running around as usual). When the book falls into Marris’ hands, Death Master controls her to make her give the book to him. He then turns all the zombies into stronger hideous demons. Then Death Master’s magic hits Carrot and he turns into Zoantrophy but Millefeuille thinks it’s not enough. Death Master absorbs the book and transforms into a strong skeleton monster and slams Zoantrophy away. Tira cuts off his head but it rejoins back. Death Master is giving the Sorcerer Hunters a hard time when suddenly Zoantrophy turns into a powerful dragon and disintegrates Death Master!!! Wow! A second transformation! Soon everyone in town returns back to normal. Carrot still wants to date Marris as celebration but the sisters won’t allow him. Uhm… It seems Death Master isn’t really dead yet because a part of his hand wasn’t disintegrated as he resurrects. He is confident that he is a zombie master and therefore can’t die. But his joy is short-lived as Millefeuille (in his Haz Knight armour) is there to kill him for good with his Phoenix Ascension. Big Momma praises him for a job well done and hopes he will continue to guide the rest. She also says those kids will become necessary things and Millefeuille will do anything as she commands. Oh, Carrot still not giving up on Marris. So is Tira and Chocolate. Always back to square one, eh?

Legend has it when this holy tree is in full bloom (the last time being 10 years ago), lovers who confess under it will forever live happily ever after. And for demonstration, we have Potee and Jii doing it! Disgusting but funny! When it comes to the kissing part, angry Chocolate throws them away for ‘insulting’ the legend. Then when she thought her darling was behind her, it turned out to be a drunkard old man. Oh! How the heck did this once quiet place turned into a popular crowded tourist hanami festival area?! Oh Chocolate, I can understand your pain. It gets more unsightly when Carrot is doing his skirt chasing. Stop it! You’re ruining the mood! Oh who cares? Nobody’s listening. Even Potee and Jii are chasing girls. Carrot gets involve in a brawl with a man over a soba stall girl. That guy turns out to be his father, Onion. But the girl ditches them both. Now we know why Carrot is so lecherous. Like father like son. Carrot is disappointed with all the ugly men doing their ugly performances. Yeah, at this rate he can’t find any pretty prey. Then he spots a pretty girl, Shiorina. He goes up to her and his speech is very poetic and romantic. Unfortunately he can’t maintain that momentum as he turns into pervert. Chocolate and Tira whip him up for good just before he could kiss her lips. And all the ugly men get a free show of the sadistic sisters whipping the perverted loser. Gateau doesn’t want to lose out as he strips and flexes his muscles and macho poses with Eclair. “Look at me!”. Oh! Big Momma is also there and she lets her hair down by belting out a song! Dotta lets Marron smell some alcohol so he becomes drunk and puts on a crazy fire show. It’s one crazy night. The narrator is so pissed that everyone is having fun so much so he threatens to quit the second half.

Well thankfully he didn’t because we continue with glimpses of young Carrot and co’s past playing on this tree. Tira is crying because she’s stuck up the tree so Carrot helps her down. Chocolate wakes up to see everyone snoozing but Tira is watching at the tree. Chocolate climbs up and sees the view and remembers how she caused trouble back then. She ran away and up this tree. Everyone went looking for her but only Carrot finds her and tried to persuade her to come down. Chocolate just sat there without saying anything so Carrot stayed at the bottom of the tree with her. Tira and Chocolate see Carrot running their way. Suddenly he is very manly and cool. He wants to say his feelings for her. Though he is surprised to be affected by the legend but he realized something. The legend is just a way to be honest with himself. He wants to put an end to this stubbornness. The sisters listen and could this be really it? The moment that Carrot finally wakes up to their love? Carrot confesses that he loves her. Oh, those words. Must be magic words to their ears. “I love you… Shiorina”. Eh? Shiorina is seen waiting at the opposite side of the tree and she is troubled on what to do as she meets up with another guy. Carrot realizes his blunder while the sisters are frustrated about this embarrassment as they slowly put on their S&M outfit. Hahaha! I knew it was too good to be true! He was just using the legend to seduce but it backfired! Now his speech sounds so perverted and desperate. As he tries to pound on Shiorina, he pounds into Tira and Chocolate. Let the whipping begin! It’s the end for you, boy. Feels good taking it out on him, eh? The sisters drag a ‘lifeless’ Carrot away. What’s with that fed-up-but-still-won’t-give-up look on their face. Disappointed? Of course. How long have you known Carrot? I think they purposely let his head bang into a pebble. Ah, a legend ruined by everything so unholy. If only they could turn back time and return to those innocent young days. Whereby everyone was just playing and having fun.

BAKA-retsu Hunters…
Everything was totally silly though it was pretty enjoyable in its own way. The only reason why I said that and what makes this series fun is Carrot! Without that lecherous flirting bastard, the show would have been passed on as something mediocre. Maybe in fact it is one seeing that a big chunk of the TV series sees the Sorcerer Hunters gang randomly going from one town to another doing the same mission. Get rid of the evil sorcerer abusing his/her powers and useless Carrot has nothing but girls on his mind. Though there are a couple of episodes following this formula but given a little twist like that Rouge Camera episode, I feel it’s just practically overall the same. The OVA may be true to the original works but I also feel that it didn’t serve as anything important for development. I mean, look at the first OVA filled with fanservice and comical hijinks moments, the second one to remind us what they do and the last one also a comical feature but with memories and flashback. I think if you really want to know what’s happening or appreciate the bigger picture, you still have to go read the manga. Besides, I browsed through Wikipedia and find that there are much more, yes, very much more of other characters that did not even appear in both the TV series and OVAs.

I have so many things to say about Carrot and mostly is about his flirting ways. But I think that will just be repeating myself over the same thing. At times he may say the right heroic words that make you go “Wah!”, but often it feels like there’s an ulterior motive behind it. There are times he also has the best comeback lines too. It’s ironic that he calls himself the messenger of love and it feels like an excuse to go pounding on poor girls. He just never learns. In each town he goes, it’s like his lessons of getting beaten up by the sisters resets. Maybe there are a handful of girls who like him simply not because he’s a lady killer but of what he indirectly did to save their circumstances. Otherwise a big majority would love to put this guy on their list of women’s number one enemy. Oddly he doesn’t want to flirt with Chocolate who is so ever ready to even give her own body (whether he wants it or not). I just wonder why Chocolate and Tira can never really get tired of putting Carrot in line. Their ‘tolerance’ really amazes me. I guess this saying is often true: Women always hope for the man to change but men always think the woman will stay the same. The opposite is often true. In a deeper sense, Carrot and the sisters are like a masochist and sadistic pair, don’t you think? Carrot is really annoying, disgusting but funny and rather convincing when he is chasing after girls. How often have you heard a hero or a leading character with such an undesirable trait? Probably turning into Zoantrophy and smashes around is the only time he is being useful. Heck, I even wonder why he carries around a sword and I’m sure he never uses it properly except randomly swinging around like a toy. Otherwise, he has to rely a lot on his mates to complete the mission. I don’t really know what Big Momma sees in him unless she beforehand knows the God of Destruction resides inside him and wants to show him the true path by treating him kindly. So if you’re wondering why Carrot doesn’t get punished because he likes giving other girls a hard time, it’s probably because he isn’t a sorcerer. So I guess that ‘loophole’ saves him, huh?

I noticed that there is a visible difference between the characters between the OVAs and TV series. Though Carrot is the useless skirt chaser in both, but in the OVAs, he is much noisier. Marron in the TV series seems to be the serious dude and the voice of reasoning in the group and his only expression comes when big brother is in trouble. But in the OVA, he shows more of his sad and concerned (in a disappointed way) looks. I know Gateau himself is a little oddball in the TV series but in the OVA, his character is totally like a stripper wanting to show off his abs anytime, anywhere! As for Tira and Chocolate, their dominatrix outfits in the OVAs are more dangerously revealing. Probably that’s what is toned down in the TV series. Big Momma is an obvious different one in the OVAs because she too has her funny side that we never see in the TV series. In the latter she always exudes an air of maturity and exceptional kindness (she never raises her voice even when she’s disappointed). In a way you could say that she is quite a respectable person. Then come the OVA, she’s like so laughable. Don’t even mention about Millefeuille. That guy is like a totally different character. If I didn’t get to know his name, I wouldn’t even probably know it’s him. Oh, I noticed his Haz Knight’s armour pretty much ‘toned down’ in the OVAs. What do I mean? In the TV series, the Haz Knights’ armour is so big and bulky it makes you wonder if they can fight in those outfits. Whereas in the OVAs, the armour is the right size and what all typical hero battle armours should be. Oh about Dotta? She’s still cheery in both versions. Just that she’s more talkative in the OVAs. So what I figured out is that the OVAs are more comical than the TV series and if this is so, does this mean this is how the mood and pace of the original works are? And then some new characters like Potee and Jii, I thought they would make an impact in the OVAs but unfortunately they were just as comic relief and nothing important. Salad, Eclair, Onion and Sirius make appearances so short that if you think about the plot and character development, you can even leave them out. What plot and character development?! I don’t think this series has strong points in these areas as well. Like I said, it’s a silly show so you’re here to see the comical stupidity of Carrot.

It’s hard to say if Big Momma’s way or Zaha’s way is the right one. After all it boils down to your own perception and believes. Looks like even after the big war on Spooner Continent, there is still a need for secret groups of Sorcerer Hunters to go around putting abusive people in power rightfully where they belong. It’s a never ending job and since we all know too well that humans don’t change. Give a little bit of power, they think it’s God given and their right to rule over others. Besides, I wonder what happens to all the bad sorcerers the heroes dealt with. Do they die for good? Or they get imprisoned somewhere? There are some mind boggling things for instance Zaha’s ambition of being closest to God. What does he mean by that? But it feels like he is playing God by wanting to destroy and recreate the world. Is that what he meant by being closest? So him going around gathering souls so that he can unleash some power to awaken the God of Destruction. I mean, he could’ve just head to Platinum Mountain in the first place since as far as I’m concerned, that was his desperation move to achieve his goals. Am I missing something here? Or is it he needs to find out where the God of Destruction lies? What about the final scenes whereby the God of Destruction awakens but did not destroy the Earth? What does that imply? Then how the heck did Big Momma revived herself in the end? It feels like she just killed herself to go to the other world to help bring back the Sorcerer Hunters. But in the event if she doesn’t do so, I’m sure Carrot’s voice will still reach the rest without her intervention.

There is something strange and peculiar about this series that has been bugging me ever since I watched the first episode. It’s the majority of the characters whom are named after desserts, snacks and food! I know in a fantasy genre, it’s nice not to have your typical Earthly Tom, Dick and Harry names or those hard-to-pronounced (thus hard-to-remember) tongue twisting names like as though you are reading a different alien language. But naming them after edibles is certainly an eyebrow raiser. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong but with the setting and pace of the show, having the characters named so cuts the enjoyment since there is a feel of inappropriateness. What do you think about bad guys named after delicious sweet desserts and characters after tasty edibles? Feels like I’ve just lost my appetite and don’t have room and stomach to savour any more treats. Like some weird aftertaste lingering in the mouth. But then again, this could be just me. If the characters are not named after food, they are named after some ordinary English words. Uhm… Yeah, it may just be me. The action and fight sequence aren’t anything to shout about and I feel the recycled bits and scenes are often too repetitious. For instance Chocolate and Tira’s full transformation scene is getting a little tad tiring because well, it’s the same thing over and over again. Do that for almost every episode and you can have that scene burnt into your cranium for the rest of your lives. As for the drawing and animation part, somehow I find the OVAs are a little sloppier than the TV series. Maybe in the latter’s case there are more comical moments but even so, it feels the animation isn’t as good as the former.

Surprisingly the TV series’ opening theme, What’s Up Guys, a duet performed by Shinnosuke Furumoto and Megumi Hayashibara (who are the voices of Carrot and Tira respectively) is a catchy funky piece of beat. At times I couldn’t help shuffle my feet each time I hear this song. The ending theme is Mask by Masami Okui and Kasumi Matsumura and feels like a song suitable for dancing at night clubs. I’m not saying that I frequent such joints but hearing those techno disco-like beats, that is the kind of expression that first conjures up in my mind. As for the opening theme for the OVAs, it is sung by Mari Sasaki entitled Shoot! Love Hunter. Not as appealing as the TV series’ but resembles a feel more towards anime pop. Just like the OVA’s ending theme too, Whip On Darling by Megumi Hayashibara and Yuko Mizutani (the voice of Chocolate). The lyrics are about their feelings for a certain good-for-nothing you-know-who. I can’t help smirk at the final lines of the lyrics which goes “~I will make him turn toward me, my darling. Until then be a good boy~”. I don’t that is ever going to happen. Surprisingly there are a few nice background music, some slow and sexy, some fast paced and adrenaline pumping, some comical to eerie and suspenseful. But it may just be me again since I often hear the same ones being played over and over again.

There is a sequel spin-off OVA called Sorcerer On The Rocks. Yeah, I think it’s named after that hard liquor. However I didn’t feel like watching it since I have had my share of this series so I’m rather ‘full’ at the moment. As I read, this sequel spin-off has an entirely different cast of characters and plot. Hmm… I think if there is no funny Carrot going around hitting on girls only to have his advances rejected and be at the painful receiving end of a certain bunch of sisters, I think I’ll pass. Hah! Please don’t think that I have taken inspiration from him and become Carrot version 2. Even if he really exists in this world, I don’t think all the sexual harassment lawsuits are going to put this guy down. Where else to lose all those energy of love? So how the heck can the God of Destruction reside in a guy who is so pervy? Should have been the God of Pervert instead. Well, some things are just hard to explain. But I guess the important lesson that we should all learn from this series and Carrot is that, to make love and peace, not war. Be cautioned though, there is still a limit of how much love you can show :).

Beelzebub OVA

January 27, 2012

I don’t really know how long Beelzebub will actually run. At first I thought it was going to be just the usual 26 episodes, half year series. Then when it crossed that number, I thought it will run for a full year. Now since it has passed that, I’m really not sure anymore. Something similar that I thought of Fairy Tail too. Perhaps this is another one of those animes that will go on forever like the Holy Trinity of Bleach, One Piece and Naruto. Or maybe it will end hundreds of episodes later like Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn. Anyhow, I decided to watch Beelzebub OVA first seeing it was released before the run of the TV series. You can say that this is some sort of appetizer before the main dish. So no harm trying to watch what this series is about (since I don’t read the manga) and conclude if the TV series is worth watching.

We know that delinquents are just about anywhere. In the streets and high schools. Ah yes. High school. Ishiyama High School is absolutely the worst delinquent high school ever in the face of the planet. So much so you would think what the heck is this school existing for? Are the delinquents groomed to be future mobsters, yakuzas or criminals seeing their f*cked up attitude is so f*cking rotten? Well, if you like delinquent themed animes with lots of fighting and don’t mind the occasional comedy in between, yeah, you can give this anime a try. So the supposedly strongest juvenile delinquent in Ishiyama is Tatsumi Oga, a first year. What makes him stronger is a baby attached to him. Delinquents may laugh at that sissy sight but make no mistake and do not hastily jump the gun. Baby Beelzebub is in fact a baby of the demon world and deemed to be the next Demon King! Yikes! So if an infant like him is already so powerful, can you imagine the power when he grows up? And with the odd combination with Oga, you can say life is pretty much like hell for everybody. Delinquent or not. But mostly the former.

As the OVA starts, we see everybody in school fearing Oga. Well, not everyone. There are some strong delinquents who would love to pick a bone with him. Several strong second year students confront him and are even trying to be the first one to beat the guy up. But Oga takes out a rattle. A rattle? Then he starts beating them up all in one blow! He is more concerned if Beelzebub would wake up because if he starts crying, he casts a very strong electric shock. So remember, never make that baby cry! Ever. Speaking of which, too late for Oga… Get ready for an electrifying time… Later Oga explains to his forced lackey Takayuki Furuichi how he got into this mess. While he was doing laundry by the river (drowning some guys who beat him up actually), he saw an old moustached man (looking like Freddie Mercury) floating by. Suddenly the old man splits into half and out from inside his body came Beelzebub. He tries to be nice to the baby but each expression he made was bloody scary! However Beelzebub likes it and instantly takes a liking for him and has been attached to him ever since. Well, some craps are hard to believe but trust me, it’s much easier to believe what he said. They are soon visited by Beelzebub’s demon nurse maid, Hildegarde AKA Hilda. She tries to pull Beelzebub away but he is reluctant to part and electrocutes them. Introducing herself, this baby, Kaiser De Emperana Beelzebub IV will become the king of all demons and Oga cannot part with him for he has chosen him to be his father. Say what?! You could rarely put a delinquent and a father in the same sentence. Seems the current Demon King was busy playing his handheld and couldn’t care less about whatever schedules he had. So he decides to entrust it all to his newborn son and orders Hilda to take the baby to the real world, find someone who will raise him up and then destroy the human world. Oh sh*t! Yeah, I guess destroying humans will be such a tedious task. Why not let someone else do it. And thus Beelzebub was sent via Dimensional Transport Demon, Alain Delon (somewhat named after that French actor), who is that old guy. If Oga refuses to do it, Hilda will kill them.

As explained, Beelzebub is attracted to strong people and thus why he picked Oga. Oddly, those who are fiendish, arrogant, criminals and can’t even be regarded as human among humans. I guess delinquents like Oga fit that bill, eh? So if Oga finds a stronger delinquent, he’ll be free as a bird because Beelzebub may just pick him as his next parent. Apparently there are 4 strongest delinquents at Ishiyama. They are termed Touhoushinki and their strength are somewhat like the Four Emperors. Anyone would seriously think thrice to mess with them. Oga starts looking for the first one, Hajime Kanzaki but is stopped by his henchman Takeshi Shiroyama. Kanzaki tells him if he can beat Shiroyama, he’ll listen to anything he says. And in one blow, Shiroyama is sent crashing to the ground. He pleads for another chance to fight. However Kanzaki tells him to jump out the window. Since he is reluctant, Kanzaki wants Oga to smash this guy through the window then. Oga felt he isn’t the guy and punches Kanzaki out the window instead! While resting at the park, Beelzebub got freaked out by a cat and starts crying. The shockwaves fell a tree and it threatens to fall on a lady with her baby. Swiftly Oga uses his arm to prevent the tree from falling on her. That was nothing for him? Back home, Hilda introduces herself to Oga’s family and informs she will be staying with them from now on. It’s no surprise his family members get the very wrong idea about this situation and beats him up, apologize to the lady and promise to take responsibility in raising the baby. In his room, Hilda reminds him the further Beelzebub is from Oga, the louder his cry and thus the stronger his shockwaves. Once it reaches 15 metres, it will be instant death. So make sure you never let that baby out of your sight, okay?

The lady that Oga saved earlier turns out to be Aoi Kunieda of the Red Tails all-female delinquent group. She is the strongest female in Kantou and also one of the Touhoushinki. The reason she was in disguise so that nobody could recognize her babysitting her baby brother. Next day, she and her members return to Ishiyama to teach this Oga guy a lesson because since their departure, lots of damage and injuries had been done to the school. When she first confronts him, she realizes he is that guy who saved her and starts hesitating if her disguise is found out. Oga plans to fight her even if he has the baby on him (she thinks he will use it as a human shield). Kunieda demonstrates a powerful move that destroys the school walls but Oga evades all of them with ease. Oga catches Kunieda off-guard when he puts his hands on her shoulders and requests that she become Beelzebub’s mother!!! Even Beelzebub starts liking her. However she decides to retreat and becomes klutzy. Even bit her tongue? Too bad, another sad Beelzebub is coming your way, Oga… Later at the riverside, Beelzebub is trying to teach the baby about being a man and not to just cry at every single thing. Seriously, can he? Suddenly Beelzebub is being kidnapped! Better run as fast to catch up if you know what’s good for you! Suddenly that old guy runs up to him and wants Oga to jump into his dimensional rift. Yeah, he split his body open. Meanwhile Hilda finds Furuichi and wants to know where Beelzebub is since she has his milk. But they too are kidnapped. The delinquent behind this is yet another Touhoushinki, Tatsuya Himekawa. When his underling returns with Beelzebub, they wonder who that old guy behind him is. Then ripping out from his body comes Oga as he beats up all the small fries. Himekawa wants to buy Oga and work under him for whatever price but he isn’t interested and gives him a knuckle sandwich in the gut. However Himekawa is using some ceramic band on his stomach. Then he uses a staff baton with 1.2 million volts on Oga but it’s nothing to him. Yeah, Beelzebub’s cry is far worse. Oga combines with Beelzebub to produce a fiery Beel Blast that shatters Himekawa’s band, that guy and probably the building. Just when they thought everything is going to settle down, the last of the Touhoushinki shows up, Hidetora Toujou. Looks like this is going to be another big fight. Hilda now understands why Beelzebub is attracted to him because they are both similar. And as narrated, this event which inspired fear in all delinquents in the country became known as The Fearful Legendary Baby Carrying Banchou, Beelzebub!

Don’t Throw The Baby Out Of The Bath!
Hmm… Even with that cliff-hanger ending, I guess it’s interesting enough for me to go watch the TV series then. Well, nothing pretty much ends yet since it’s just only the beginning. From the style of action and comedy, I can say that it’s as close and similar to Gintama. There’ll be many moments when the funny part could drop in and suddenly make you laugh. The action is also quite okay and perhaps we will see them pulling off lots of exaggerated and powerful moves than we see here in the OVA. The drawing and art are your typical conventional Japanese anime. I won’t say that the delinquents really look ugly and like horrible criminals because if you look at it in another way, most of them have this bishonen look that makes them pretty much looking like a, erm, pretty boy. Please don’t punch me for calling you that!

It’s just ironic that you put a delinquent to be a babysitter for a baby demon but I guess this is suitable if you look at it this way. You can’t be raising it to be an angelic angel, right? And if you’re going to destroy humans, what better way to be placed under the care of the most vile and despicable human? Since the OVA is just an introduction, the characters you see here are just introductory and may not seem to do much. And I’m also sure there will be more characters and their roles in the TV series. After all, it is still running so I guess there are going to be lots of plots (not to mention fillers) to keep it coming. Man, Oga has got a busy year pacifying Beelzebub and also keeping his strongest delinquent title.

There is one little annoying thing that is present throughout the majority of the series: Beelzebub’s little dick. I guess there’s no harm if you’re showing a baby’s anatomy since that is what Shin Chan Crayon also does but to see Beelzebub’s little elephant in every scene he appears, it’s like watching soft porn. Get what I mean? I mean, it’s like watching every scene whereby every girl is topless or having a panty shot in every incident. Okay, maybe this one is a different case because there’s a different standard for ecchi fans. But a guy’s dick? And Oga doesn’t mind letting that baby crawl all over him it’s like he isn’t bothered about that little anatomy touching here and there. And you know, Beelzebub loves crawling all over his head, back and shoulders. Eeww… Has anybody ever considered putting some clothes or at least diapers for that toddler? I guess not because you’re going to see that baby in his birthday suit as his trademark costume. So how? Accept and live with it!

I prefer to start watching my animes once they have ended so that I can ‘plan’ my schedule in watching them. So I’m not really sure if I can wait till when this series ends or I’ll just decide to jump in straightaway like what I did with Fairy Tail. So there’ll be this issue that I will catch up with it and then following on a weekly basis which would turn into a drag and bore like what I sometimes experienced with Bleach and One Piece now. Of course if I start now I won’t be bored and still be amused because this series is considered new to me and there will be refreshing stuffs that makes this anime different than others. You know what they say about fathers being a 24/7 job with no rest days? Well Oga, you’re in it for a long ride. I guess now I understand why people get freaked out or distressed when a baby starts crying loudly in public. No electric shockwaves through the body. But piercing shockwaves through the eardrums. Now do you think taking care of a baby is easy pie?

Dragon Crisis

January 22, 2012

The only reason you should watch Dragon Crisis is Rie Kugimiya. Okay, so that is my opinion. But really, otherwise there is nothing extraordinary that makes this action-adventure with some love-comedy-romance stand out from the rest of any other animes in this series. Don’t know who this Rie girl is? Well, unless you’re new to the world of anime, Rie Kugimiya (to me of course) is the best voice for any tsundere loli characters. Enough said. Please note that I am not an obsessed fan of her but when she goes into this kind of mode, it makes the character cute and moe, no matter how annoying or irritating the character is.

So the basic premise of the story is something like this. Normal kid, Ryuuji Kisaragi‘s life will soon become anything more than plain and ordinary when he starts getting involved in the dangerous world of Lost Precious. The series starts off by throwing lots of terms that I feel weren’t explained clearly for viewers like me to understand. If it was so, why the heck do I need to go off searching through other sites to find out what it means? So what is this Lost Precious? Ancient artefacts believed to yield some sort of super power to the holder. Then you have other terms like Breaker (people who are able to use Lost Precious and there are several rankings that come with it), Cursed Precious (a total opposite from Lost Precious and like its name suggests, bears negative effects) and Treasure Hunters (people who seek out Lost Precious). There are other more terms as you will come across in this dozen of episodes.

Episode 1: The Abducted Girl
So we get a glimpse of his boring life. He lives alone. Goes to school alone. Classmate Misaki Etou likes him. Oh wait. This isn’t so bad. Too bad he doesn’t know and she’s too shy to say anything. Her friend Mao Aikawa always helping her out for that confession. Masato Aikawa the perverted buddy of Ryuuji who is often the comic relief and gets whacked by Mao if he steps out of line. How much boring can this get? Well, apparently a hot babe, Eriko Nanao starts walking into class and takes Ryuuji for the adventure of his lifetime. Can she do that?! Right in the middle of class?! Apparently if you are Ryuuji’s cousin I guess it’s alright. If you don’t mind everybody staring at you. Eriko makes Ryuuji her first assistant of Seven Tails, a group she just formed to recover Lost Precious around the world. Well, I guess Eriko wants to be accepted by the Society that badly that she resorts to this kind of desperate measures. I hope Ryuuji has enough time to absorb all of what she has to say. Anyway this first mission is to retrieve some stolen suitcase from FANG, supposedly an S-Class Lost Precious that was taken away from her family. That night, they wait at the harbour for the exchange to take place. Eriko uses her Lost Precious, Genbu Kochou (Butterfly Illusion Dance) to distract the enemies as they drag the heavy suitcase into her car. So heavy, it feels like there’s a corpse in it. It doesn’t take long for the MIBs to regain consciousness and what ensues next is a high speed car chase through the warehouses. During the chase, the suitcase opens and what comes out is a blonde girl. Ryuuji pulls her back in and as for the perpetrators behind, she blasts them with her fire!!! That’s one mean streak of fire she left behind! She then collapses so Eriko is thrilled that she may be more powerful than an S-Class. Back home, blondie is hostile towards Eriko but very clingy onto Ryuuji. Probably Eriko tried to remove her collar. Don’t get too close. She bites. Blondie knows Ryuuji’s name so that guy is left to ponder if they have met previously. Why is his name the only thing she can say? It’s getting annoying. Perhaps blondie is sticking so close to Ryuuji, it gives perfect excuse to leave her in his care. Hey, she’s the only one she accepts, right? Would you abandon a cute loli like her? Soon Ryuuji is made to do his first errand as he meets Misaki waiting outside his apartment (how long has she been stalking him there?!) to return his bag when he suddenly left class. But no time for chit-chat because Ryuuji gets a distress call from Eriko. His apartment is trashed and apparently Eriko thought of giving blondie a bath and that’s when she went berserk. But she found another important discovery: A red dragon mark on her left hand. So this confirms it. She is the mythical Red Dragon. Over dinner, they discuss about dragons and they take form of humans when they’re young before taking on their true form when they mature. Ryuuji decides to call her Rose since that is what her mark resembles. At least Rose’s vocabulary has increased to the point of saying her own name. Eriko befriends Rose with… Ice cream. That always works. So with 2 pretty babes living with him, is his morning going to get livelier? You bet. There’s this scientist, Tokura come blazing in from his helicopter! What the heck is bata-bata anyway?

Episode 2: The Black Assault
Tokura is a dragon researcher from the Society as the trio get transported back to HQ. I guess with a discovery of a dragon, they get special treatment, eh? Tokura seems excited in researching on Rose but be careful, she can burn you. Ryuuji remembers setting foot in this base long ago because he took his Breaker test here. His level is 10, supposedly the highest among all Breakers and there are only 7 of this level 10 Breakers in the world. Plus, his parents are very famous Treasure Hunters. Rose is scared to have this mad scientist conduct analysis on her body but with ice cream and Ryuuji around, she allows it. As they discuss things, it seems that it may be very well Ryuuji’s parents who discovered the origins of dragons while travelling in some Eastern European country. Yeah, Ryuuji seems to start remembering that he actually met an egg during his travels in his younger days (he got lost somehow). And that girl who hatched from the egg was Rose indeed. Perhaps it’s that imprinting which has Rose remember who Ryuuji was. It’s like a newly born bird recognizing the first thing it sees as its mother. It didn’t take long for Ryuuji’s mom to call him and she’s taking and instant flight back to Japan. Looks like all she’s interested in the dragon and Lost Precious, not her son. Ryuuji can’t take anymore of this and doesn’t want to have anything to do with Lost Precious. He just wants to go home and probably resume his uneventful life. Eriko tries to change his mind when the place is on full alert. A good looking youngster, Onyx makes his cool entrance into the facility by disposing of the numerous guards. See the black mark on his hand? Yup, he’s the Black Dragon and is here to reclaim the Red Dragon princess. Really, can normal bullets stop this dragon? He waltzes through everything with ease. They can’t even put up a decent fight. So much for all those hi-tech security. You can’t beat a dragon after all. Onyx makes his way into where Rose is and shows his true power as he throws Ryuuji across the room. Onyx forcefully takes Rose away as Eriko notices her family’s Lost Precious’ earring on Onyx’s ear. Well, he admitted he somehow got it 10 years ago and is from FANG but I don’t he’s going to give it back. Since Ryuuji is powerless to stop Onyx, she agrees to quietly follow him. I thought Ryuuji didn’t care anymore? Apparently now he does. DON’T GO!!!

Episode 3: Contract of Determination
Rose continues to cry so Onyx can’t understand why she would have feelings over that inferior creature. Rose isn’t still fond of Onyx even if he treats her good. Seems Onyx wants Rose to become his wife and that collar on her neck is their proof of engagement. Anyhow, Rose doesn’t like it, what more want it. Onyx realizes a transmitter on Rose’s collar so he tells his assistant Kai to prepare for assault. Meanwhile Eriko and Tokura try to convince Ryuuji to go save Rose. You can’t blame him after all that he has been through. Anyway he’s not the kind of guy who would abandon a loli so he makes a decision to go save her. Eriko brings him to a chamber to retrieve Ryuuji’s personal Lost Precious, Slash Breath. With lots of concentration, Ryuuji is able to focus his power and use Slash Breath. Ryuuji and co arrive at Onyx’s tower as they begin their assault. Onyx tries to change Rose’s mind that humans and dragons cannot co-exist. Since she still insists on Ryuuji, he will have him killed if she doesn’t give up on him. Ryuuji uses Slash Breath to destroy Onyx’s barrier on the tower while Tokura’s hands is busy filming with all the evidence he can get. They enter a room to see Onyx trying to marry Rose in a haste engagement ceremony. I don’t know how Onyx convinced her but it’s from Rose’s own mouth that says she hates humans because they hate dragons. So she hates Ryuuji too? Now, yes. But it took Ryuuji 4 simple words to instantly change her mind. “But I love you”. Now she’s repetitively saying “I love you Ryuuji” like a broken tape recorder. Onyx isn’t pleased with the developments. To protect Ryuuji, Rose’s wings spread. Ryuuji easily cuts off the collar with his Slash Breath. Combining with Rose’s power, they make a formidable team in keeping Onyx’s power at bay. This also allows Eriko to retrieve her stolen Lost Precious from him. Onyx bids farewell to Rose and turns into his true form: A giant black dragon. Erm… The tower is going to collapse at this rate. Don’t worry. Time to power up. How? An insignia glows on Ryuuji’s hand and combining it with Rose’s mark, they did an Engage to turn Slash Breath into a more powerful weapon and in a slice, send Onyx crashing in defeat. However Ryuuji is hit by Kai’s weapon in the stomach. Here’s another surprise too. He won’t die. That’s because Rose’s kiss heals him. More accurately her dragon breath did the curing. In the aftermath as Rose replays that “I love you” line over and over again, Ryuuji vows to become stronger so he stays by her side.

Episode 4: Beauty on the Beach
What’s this? Rose screaming at Ryuuji that she won’t do it? Seems Ryuuji made a promise with his friends to go to the beach and this means he will have to leave Rose behind. I can see why she’s upset. Eriko whispers something into her ear that calms her down. Oh no. So Ryuuji meets up with Masato, Mao and Misaki at the beach. Can Misaki finally get the courage to confess her love? She seems to be able to do so when Ryuuji is running towards her. She extends her arms but he just ran pass through her! Actually he ran towards Rose! Why is she here?! Not to mention Eriko too. Well, they sure didn’t tell him they’re coming along. The artificial skin covers Rose’s mark so nobody can tell she’s a dragon. I hope it’s waterproof too. Back in the hotel, they receive a letter with a dragon’s mark to meet. They meet Margarite or Maruga for short, the imperial princess of the White Dragons. She has a request to ask of them: To recover the White Dragon’s heirloom, a Lost Precious called Ice Rage that was stolen by humans. The current owner is George Evans who is currently living at a nearby church. He’s a dangerous guy because he belongs to a group that sees dragons as evil and will not hesitate to kill them. Why them? A certain somebody is a Level 10 Breaker and also did an Engage with a dragon. They can’t refuse since George’s aim is to kill dragons. Oh yeah, did I mention this George guy is a Level 10 Breaker too? Ryuuji decides to check things out by visiting the church. He seems like a nice guy. George notices Ryuuji is a Breaker too when he reacts to Ice Rage. George tells of a story whereby a century ago, a dragon attacked a village. A hero appeared out of nowhere and killed it before disappearing but left behind this sword. Thus he decided to take this path when he received this sword. Then Rose comes in looking for Ryuuji. Her dragon mark is hidden so George welcomes her and goes get some ice cream. But they can’t leave since Rose ‘burnt’ a few punks on her way here. Yeah, that’s what they get for trying to hit on a loli. But they want payback. Since they do not heed George’s words to leave (and called him an old man), he uses Ice Rage to send them running for their lives. I think he overdid it a little. Ryuuji and the rest go back to confront Maruga about the sword because they feel it’s a little weird that their heirloom killed one of their own kind. She apologizes for not telling them some details but still wants them to retrieve the sword. Ryuuji’s friends barge in looking for him but Masato cuts in and suggests taking Maruga out to tonight’s festival. So partly it’s to get Misaki closer to Ryuuji too. But what are the chances. Then they see the same punks causing a ruckus. Oh, George is there too to give them divine punishment. But the moment he sets his eyes on Maruga, he falls for her. If only he’d knew… Away from the crowd, Maruga tells Ryuuji an old tale whereby a dragon fell in love with a human girl. But the villagers killed her after thinking she’s conspiring with evil. When the dragon found out, he flew into rage and killed many villagers. Its kind took pity on him and consigned him to oblivion. This incident left a deep scar and after that, no humans and dragons fell in love any more. George then comes by and asks Maruga if she would join him for the Mass.

Episode 5: Unpleasant Awakening
With the unexpected turn of events, Eriko plans to have Maruga date George and during that time, they will steal Ice Rage from the church. Ryuuji also has his own ‘task’ and was told by Mao to personally give a puffer fish handphone strap to Misaki. Maruga is left alone with George and that guy would gladly do anything for her. Even teaching her how to swim and search for her missing top. All going according to plan. Eriko and Ryuuji drive over to the church while Rose stays behind (amazingly she didn’t follow him like she always does). When Misaki runs up to Rose, she misheard her saying how she and Ryuuji are Engaged! At the church, the retrieval just got complicated because some guy is taking a kid hostage. Eriko’s Genbu Kochou causes a distraction, enough for Ryuuji to knock him out. In the aftermath, George thanks him for protection the church. Ryuuji asks Maruga if Ice Rage is a Cursed Precious since it can take control of one’s mind. Maruga reveals the slain dragon is her uncle. To avoid chaos, the White Dragon king which is also Maruga’s father took human form and killed her uncle. After that it was taboo to speak about her uncle but they never expected his malice would dwell in the sword that served his tombstone. Eriko also mentions that Ryuuji was once affected by a Cursed Precious. Rose thinks it’s better to tell George directly but Ryuuji thinks this can’t be solved through talking. She gets upset and runs out. Maruga explains how her uncle loved visiting the human world much to her father’s chagrin though her uncle treated her kindly. That heirloom sword is her uncle’s legacy of atrocities but now it’s only her memento of him. She wants to get it back before it goes berserk of malice. While George is reflecting his actions, Kai tells him of a certain red dragon. He is in a great dilemma and wonders why the Lord has put him in such great trial. When Ryuuji realizes Rose missing, they go in search of her but were intercepted by his friends. They can no longer stand him doing his own thing and want him to join them. But he has no time for this so he swiftly gives the strap to Misaki and rushes off. Rose confronts a very disillusioned George and in no time, he doesn’t see her as an innocent girl but an enemy of God. DESTROY!!! Ryuuji and co arrive in time and it seems no words can reach him since he is taken over by the Cursed Precious. As they fight, the malice of the sword gets stronger and stronger. Ryuuji plans to take away the sword from him. As Ryuuji and Rose Engage, Maruga freezes George with her ice powers but he breaks out and walks towards her. He is about to strike her when her necklace shines, making him recognize her. Ryuuji fires his Slash Breath to release George and break the sword. Maruga felt her uncle was touched by the person he once loved and was released from his hatred. George couldn’t believe how he was saved by the very dragons he detest but as Ryuuji notes, it was Rose and Maruga who saved him. Next day before Maruga leaves, she gives Ryuuji a kiss as a blessing. Rose… Not… Happy… Furthermore with Rose pestering him for marriage, Misaki fears that may be the true meaning of engagement for them.

Episode 6: Attack of the Wolf
As Ryuuji attends a party organized by Society for Lost Precious collectors, he sees a girl trying to rescue a kitten from a tree. They fall and Ryuuji tries to catch her. She could’ve landed on her own feet if Ryuuji wasn’t there. She isn’t amused of his interference and goes off. Ryuuji returns to Eriko and Rose and is introduced to some of the famous Lost Precious collectors, including a newcomer Saeki. Noticing that Eriko have only half of the Lost Precious earring, he offers to find the other half. Ryuuji flips through a magazine and sees a shadowy picture of Odd Eyes, a criminal (with wolf ears and tails too?) who only steals A-Class Lost Precious. Ryuuji also meets that cat saver girl at the party but she’s not too thrilled to see him. Suddenly the place is under siege. It is Odd Eyes and she is making her steal. It’s odd to see the dumb security trying to catch her. When she goes on the table, they also go on the table. Have they ever thought what happens if she pulls the cloth from beneath them? Damn right. Ryuuji recognizes Odd Eyes as that girl he just met when they come face to face. A stray knife throw is about to hit an elderly woman but Odd Eyes uses her body to protect her. Ryuuji protects Odd Eyes from an attack so the security head is surprised that he is protecting a criminal. The lights go out and this allows Odd Eyes to escape. After taking statements for an entire day, of course everyone is tired. But Ryuuji wakes up in the middle of the night to see Odd Eyes trying to steal Eriko’s earrings. Ryuuji wasn’t fast enough so he got strapped together with Odd Eyes in some strings. Better release them fast before Rose burns them alive for Ryuuji’s unfaithfulness… However they are still bounded by the wrist. They’ll have to wait a day or two to come off. That long, ah? Eriko does a tickling interrogation to find out more about her. Her master calls her Ai and takes care of her after her parents abandoned her. The tattoo on her body proves that she is a werebeast and when emotions flood in, she turns into one. Break time. What? One of Eriko’s liquor spilled so it’s bath time. This is going to get messy. Then after that, more interrogation. Rose takes a liking for Ai because of her fluffy tail. Ryuuji thinks it’s best for Ai to leave her master but she is adamant in supporting his ideals. Eriko and Tokura discuss that some old guy named Furumori, a Level 9 Breaker and Lost Precious researcher may be Ai’s master. Since his data is highly classified in Society (some incident many years ago whereby he disappeared with a large number of Lost Precious after stumbling upon some forbidden research), Tokura will continue to do more investigation. However Ai disagrees that Furumori is her master since her master is young. She believes his ideals that Lost Precious shouldn’t be monopolized by a group of people. Saeki comes by and seems to have found the other half of Eriko’s earring. But the box is a trap as the gas sends Eriko and Rose unconscious. Ai is relieved to see her master. Ryuuji wonders if he is Furumori but Saeki says he has long abandoned that name and sprays gas to knock him out.

Episode 7: The Truth About Wolves
Ryuuji is thrown into Saeki’s ‘dungeon’ at his hideout. After talking with Saeki, Ai gets this urge to put on the pair of Lost Precious earrings. The power of this artefact is that it allows the user to hear the true thoughts of the speaker. So as she continues to chat with her master, she realizes the discrepancy in his words and heart. Ai is acting so strange that Saeki can tell she may have put on the earrings. Can’t blame her after hearing how she was actually kidnapped by him and raised as his pet dog as an experiment. Meanwhile Eriko and Rose are racing against time to Saeki’s lab as Tokura confirms the identical iris match that Furumori is indeed Saeki. Ai frees Ryuuji but wonders why she can’t hear his thoughts. She breaks down upon knowing she has nothing left. Ryuuji offers her to live at his place. Wait a minute. You may want to reconsider that, boy. As if a certain jealous red dragon isn’t enough… Ai hears his true thoughts how he wants to protect this cutie so they make an escape. Saeki is not going to make it easy, though. Saeki reveals more truth that she was originally a human to begin with. He takes off his shirt and we see several Lost Precious marks embedded onto his body. He has fused with 5 of them. Story time. So that we understand why he is a twisted bastard today. During one of his research, his female colleague was killed by a Cursed Precious. There was a Lost Precious that had that ability to remove that curse and was in the hands of a collector. He refused to lend it as Furumori begged to higher-ups of Society for negotiation but in the end she died. That’s when he began to move against Society by abducting and robbing. Ryuuji and Ai run away from Saeki but his variety of powers have them cornered. Saeki has this thought of fusing with Ai, a result that nobody would know how it would turn out. It’s now Ryuuji’s turn to give his lecture about ruining lives of others. Are we interested to hear this? He gets his determination to protect others as a Breaker. Eriko and Rose arrive as the latter gives Ryuuji his Slash Breath. They Engage to power up and take on Saeki’s various powers. He uses a darkness power that completely paralyzes Ryuuji. Rose’s resolve to protect Ryuuji burnt the darkness away and destroys almost all of Saeki’s embedded Lost Precious. Ai is in a way still loyal to her master but Saeki doesn’t feel that he has done anything that needs repenting or sinful. He mentions about people’s feelings being contained in Lost Precious and there is no way for them to move on to the next world as they’re being used. How would you feel like if you were trapped in eternal darkness? That is what he had felt from the Lost Precious he had stolen. He uses his final Lost Precious to turn into dust and become one with the atmosphere. Ai wants to know what he really thinks of her so in his final truthful words: He never loved her once and was just her pet. Painful as it may sound, but hey, it’s the truth. In the aftermath, Tokura’s research has Ai having a glimmer of hope. Seems one of the collectors at the party had a daughter who was abducted many years ago. Ai seems to fit all that description and she looks forward to be reunited with her family. At least she doesn’t get added to Ryuuji’s harem. Haha. And Ryuuji, he is serious in wanting to register himself as a Level 10 Breaker with Society because he wants to learn more about Lost Precious and this world.

Level 8: Risked Test
This was inevitable. I expected this. Rose is the new transfer student in Ryuuji’s class. Gasp! Makes it easier when the headmaster is also part of Society, eh? I guess having Rose as Ryuuji’s distant relative from America who is a genius so much so she skips grades, cuts it, right? When Rose is asked to introduce herself on what she likes, she mentions 2 things: Ice cream and Ryuuji. Scandal! I wonder if Misaki will accept this. Of course not! Let the cat fight begin! But that will be for later since another mysterious woman waltzes right in and fires a bazooka at Ryuuji! The missile follows him wherever he goes and at a safe place, he slices it with his Slash Breath. Actually this babe is Bianca Alexandra Lou and a researcher of Society from San Francisco. She is sent here to officially test Ryuuji and take samples of his data as part of the process of his registration into Society. But seriously, a bazooka-like thingy just to capture data? Even Eriko has a little fear in her because she remembers the same treatment she got when she first registered at Society. So Bianca wants to measure Ryuuji’s physiques. Oh, Rose wants to do it. Can she? Be my guest. Till Masato barges in (because of another beautiful babe arriving on scene), I guess Ryuuji prefers to have this guy take his measurements. How disappointing. Bianca proceeds to test Ryuuji through various assessments. Some odd. Oh wait. All of them are odd. There is one disturbing scene whereby Ryuuji got his ribs x-ray. Misaki took a shot of it and is breathing so hard! Creepy stalker! Then Bianca continues with her assessment with Ryuuji’s history to see if his Breaker ability is inherited or not. Mao realizes Ryuuji’s birthday is tomorrow and while Bianca got distracted, she peeks into her computer to see his likes. Frogs? But it was good enough hint to let Misaki know what to get for his present. Then to test Ryuuji’s Breaker power level, she has him fight against a giant Neo Golem. How did she drag this large humanoid weapon here? As Ryuuji takes it on, Bianca realizes the limiter which is supposed to shut it down immediately if anything goes wrong, is missing. Of all times? Bianca suits up and is going to shut it down manually. Why do all switches have to be at hard-to-reach places? She has a flashback of some experiment gone wrong. The person who saved her was no other than Ryuuji’s father. Rose disregards Ryuuji’s advice to spread her wings or breathe fire to go save him. Then they Engage and his Slash Breath was enough to take down Neo Golem. Bianca is ecstatic that his Breaker’s power is set at 5,800 which is the highest ever recorded in history. Who is the culprit who removed the limiter? Well, Kai was there watching so… And I wonder how they managed to repair all that damage done to the school building. Next day, Bianca seems to have moved next door to Ryuuji because there are more things she wants to research personally. Beginning of a new nightmare? And when Misaki manages to give Ryuuji his present, he freaks out upon seeing frog designs on the towel. He hates frogs! But how? Somehow Bianca messed up his likes and dislikes. Ah well, nobody is perfect.

Episode 9: The Mirror of Truth
Eriko receives a large painting as part of her commissioning appraisal of Lost Precious. Seems today is the day Misaki has sum up her courage to bring a basket of goodies to Ryuuji. Oh, Ai is also there with the same intention. I can see where this is going. As everyone is enjoying the cookies and cupcakes, suddenly words of “LIAR!” start appearing over the painting. Ryuuji thinks he saw a silhouette in a window of the painting when suddenly a bright flash of light absorbs the girls into it. The girls are wandering around inside the ghost town of the painting and there are words of “LIAR!” everywhere. Then they are chased by a masked serial murderer maniac with an axe. They end up locking themselves in a mansion. Ryuuji has called Bianca for help (what’s with her line “One for all, all for me” line?) and she analyzes it to be a Cursed Precious. It is some sort of trap that reacts when people are nearby. Plus, its target is only women and its power invalidates powers of other Lost Precious. They can see the girls moving and running in the picture as well but can’t do anything. The girls go downstairs into a room filled with photographs of other girls on the wall. Misaki confronts a mirror whereby the murderer asks what her most important experience is. She stammers and is being told she’s a liar. Though Misaki is break out of the spell when they break the mirror, soon each of them is confronted with their own mirrors. They deduce that they have to tell the truth and a lie will have them forever stuck like those girls in the photographs. Eriko and Ai answer the murderer’s question truthfully (something to do with Ryuuji as usual). It’s Misaki’s turn and she is afraid to let out the truth. Flashback reveals how she tripped on her first day at school and Ryuuji was the one who helped her out. I guess that’s where it all started. Rose encourages her to tell the truth so that they can all go back so Misaki manages to say her encounter with Ryuuji was the most important one. When it’s Rose turn, before the murderer could finish his sentence, Rose profusely says Ryuuji’s name! But the murderer isn’t happy and still thinks they are lying because that’s what all women are. The girls rush out and the painting starts to react to Bianca. At this moment, he wants Ryuuji to use his Slash Breath. In all good timing, he pierces the dagger into the painting to free the girls. In the aftermath, Bianca concludes this painting was drawn by someone who was betrayed by his girlfriend, that’s why he has harboured hatred against lies. Thus the only way out was to tell the truth (was it?). Ai thanks Misaki that if she hadn’t told the truth, they wouldn’t have gotten out alive. So what is the truth, Ryuuji asks? A secret. But is it really over yet because like in a horror movie suspense, there is a gaping hole at the back of the painting and the murderer ‘escapes’ into their toilet mirror. Oh look. “LIAR!” is appearing over it! Creepy!!!

Episode 10: Adult’s Ritual
Rose, Ai and Misaki are crying! No, it’s not Ryuuji dumped them or made them pregnant. They’re cutting onions! Yeah, they along with Ryuuji and Eriko are on a BBQ picnic. But trouble comes looking for Ryuuji when a blue dragon, Sapphi wants revenge on him for injuring her beloved Onyx. Oh, he’s still alive? Yeah, Sapphi is his future bride. But you can tell she’s a ditz because she fails to materialize them. And even if she did, she made a blooper on herself. So much for that intimidating appearance. She retreats when Eriko unleashes her Genbu Kochou on her. At this point, Rose’s blunder also causes to let Misaki know she’s a dragon but she promises not to tell. As not to lose out, Ai reveals she’s a werebeast. Sapphi gets a lecture from Kai for pulling off something that would bring trouble to Onyx. She notes her powers aren’t the offensive type and wants her to stay put. In school, Mao is shocked that Misaki and Rose are best friends. What happened to the rivalry? Ryuuji is absent from school because he is attending another party event hosted by the Society with Eriko because he wants to better know Society’s plan. She cautions him that there are others who are targeting him since he is a Level 10 Breaker. Tokura and Bianca are also at the party and the scientist intends on collecting data at the newly repaired building that belongs to Onyx so rest assured he won’t be observing Rose for the time being. When Rose walks homes, she encounters Sapphi. Again the blue dragon blunders and got herself wet. Nice little Rose brings her back to let her have a nice warm bath and even shares her ice cream. Heck, what the heck is she doing here anyway? Because Rose is a newbie, Miss Know-It-All Sapphi tells her the ritual to be a true dragon. If Ryuuji kisses her mark, she’ll become one just like how Onyx did with hers and that’s why she is his future bride. So what are the good points of becoming an adult? Guys will take you seriously, you’ll get more hugs, your heart will flutter endlessly just by looking at him. Wow. No wonder Rose wants to become an adult quick. Sapphi is supportive for Rose on Ryuuji because this will be better for her and Onyx. When Ryuuji comes home, Rose pesters him to turn her into an adult. Don’t take it the wrong way, pal. Learning that Sapphi was here and the adult ritual, Ryuuji agrees to do so. When he does so, Rose suddenly starts feeling weird and doesn’t want him to touch her! Eriko understands what is happening and goes to have a girl talk with her. She assures her she’ll get used to it in no time and that Ryuuji doesn’t hate her. In a nutshell, it’s that stage girls experience when they’re in love. Now with Rose out of the way, Eriko has to calm panicking Ryuuji. This is going to be a tired day. Don’t worry boy, it’s just a natural reaction a girl would have when she likes a boy. The awkwardness between Ryuuji and Rose continues next morning. Meanwhile Maruga learns that somebody has messed up her library of forbidden books. Though there were none missing, she realizes it was done by the black dragon.

Episode 11: Dragon Crisis
Now it’s Bianca’s turn to wear Eriko out. Yeah, she forgot her breakfast. Anyway Eriko is annoyed seeing the duo act like that so she’s in some sort of dilemma in missing those ‘peaceful’ times. Rose asks for advice from Mao and Misaki about love. Misaki seems pretty okay till she learns Ryuuji kissed her. The reason Rose seeks Misaki’s advice is because she knows Misaki likes Ryuuji too and thought she’d understand her. Meanwhile Ryuuji seeks advice from Masato. Of all guys… I guess he’s the only ‘best friend’ he’s got to confide in such things. Masato is happy despite being surrounded by pretty girls, he’s still very much a cherry boy. Unfortunately, he has no real experience so he’ll have to take the offensive. Sapphi goes back to get her boots she forgot but was captured by Eriko and Bianca and made to spill the beans. She seems pretty confident that it would just increase their affection for one another and preparation for some connection. During PE, Rose collapses after a high jump. She is rushed back to the lab (you can’t bring a dragon to a normal hospital, can’t you?) her temperature and perspiration are high but there are no signs of virus or anything. Tokura doesn’t know if the medication he’ll give will bring harm or good. Plus, Sapphi notes this didn’t happen to her. Kai then comes in with a fake pass and wants Ryuuji to come alone to talk to Onyx via some Lost Precious communicator. Onyx tells him Ryuuji is the reason why Rose is unconscious. Not him. Not Sapphi. Onyx went to do some research (the break in at Maruga’s library) and learnt why he was able to use Slash Breath or Engage with Rose. He is no ordinary human and not by the fact he is a Level 10 Breaker. He points out his name which means Dragon User and he himself is a Lost Precious. The kind that can wield the power of dragons so much so he can communicate, command and defeat them. Something that is called Dragon Crisis. He deduces that Rose feared him deep down in her heart because to the dragons, he is an enemy who can take away their freedom, make or break them. As long as he remains by Rose’s side, she will become weaker so the only cure is to hand her over to Kai and she will get treated in his place. Ryuuji doesn’t believe him but he asserts that he is the only guy he wants to kill and not Rose. Plus, even if he had forcefully taken his bride away, he would still help his own kind. Rephrasing his line that dragons and humans can never coexist, more accurately, Ryuuji and Rose cannot coexist. This matter concerns Rose’s life so he can’t be thinking about being selfish. Reluctantly, Ryuuji agrees to hand over Rose but he must do it voluntarily otherwise he will never leave her. In an odd situation, Ryuuji threatens the scientist to release Rose as Kai takes her into her limo. Kai tells Ryuuji goodbye on behalf of Rose while the guards arrest a stunned Ryuuji. Eriko and Ryuuji are under house arrest. He becomes depressed as Ai pays him a visit at school. Mao wants Misaki to confess quickly because if not, some girl will take him away in Rose’s absence. But Misaki doesn’t feel right. Later she sees him at the rooftop. Ryuuji explains that Rose has returned living with her friends since the environment here is not suitable. There’s nothing he can do and it’s the best thing for Rose. Misaki says that she has always been watching him (in stalker sense or as in the big picture?). She noticed he has changed ever since Eriko and Rose came into his life. Although he is smiling and talking as usual, she feels it is all fake. As if somebody is impersonating as the Ryuuji she knows. Ryuuji goes back to see Maruga waiting outside.

Episode 12: Engage
Though Rose wakes up with Sapphi by her side, she seems to not remember who she is. Or anything else. As explained by Kai, she lost some of her memories due to the medicine and fever. This is so that she won’t kick up a fuss about a certain boy. They will have her flown back to Albania tomorrow before her memory recovers. Maruga tells Ryuuji and Eriko about Onyx’s research on red dragons. This means he hasn’t given up on Rose yet. Plus, Onyx and Maruga are childhood friends. Ryuuji doesn’t want to hear anymore of this and gives an excuse to go out to buy ingredients for dinner. Maruga goes after him but he won’t listen. How to catch his attention? Slip and sprain your ankle. Continuing their talk, Ryuuji feels guilty for hurting Rose and couldn’t do anything for her. Maruga feels he is just feeling so as an excuse to get away from Rose. About Rose’s fever, it could be just an emotional change within her body affecting her health. Just nothing but a simple change in emotions, that’s all. She also believes he and Rose could present a new possibility for a relationship between humans and dragons, just like her uncle did but never materialized. So ultimately he has to decide whether to become an enemy of the dragons or a friend. The decision is clear, isn’t it? When they return home, they see Sapphi has left a message on their window of Rose’s departure. So Ryuuji skips school the next day to rescue Rose. Kai and her men are leaving via private jet by FANG. Inside the plane, Rose still doesn’t have her memories back. Sapphi feels pity for her but she is surprised to see Onyx there. Looks like he’s recovered. As the plane starts taxing, Maruga stands in its path. Do they seriously believe she can singlehandedly stop the plane? Do they seriously believe they can ram over her? Not if she turns the runway into ice. Oh, now the plane’s skidding. Tokura and Society have also ‘hijacked’ the airport as the security trucks weave between dangerously the wheels of the skidding plane. Onyx knows they’re not going down without a fight so it’s time to show some of his powers. Ai also joins the fray upon learning from Misaki but is distraught she saved the wrong guy and not Ryuuji. I don’t know how Eriko did this but she drove her BMW right to the top of the plane! Speechless.

Sapphi tries to make Rose remember her memories. How? Ice cream? Mmm… Remember that taste? Yes. You can’t forget it. Then Rose realizes Ryuuji and his friends are in the room. Though happy to see him, she still feels scared of growing up as she wants to stay a kid and be with Ryuuji. However Ryuuji says that everyone have to grow up eventually and decide their own things. At first he thought of protecting her and ended up treating her like a kid. Now he wants her to be an adult because he too wants to grow up with her. Rose hugs him when he said the 3 magic words: I love you. But it’s not over yet. Onyx in his dragon form starts lifting the plane. But he is hit by a Lost Precious weapon, supposedly thrown by Ryuuji’s parents. Don’t lay your claws on their kid! Ryuuji and Rose did a Love Engage? What’s that? Perhaps a fancy term to kiss. Okay, maybe not just an ordinary kiss because the power of their love is so great and overflowing that it causes Onyx to disintegrate!!! WOW! See, you don’t even need to use the Slash Breath. Even he is mesmerized by this awesome power! So, see you again sometime soon when you’ve recovered? Ryuuji and Rose sleep side by side against the plane’s wheel. They look so calm. Wait a minute. Shouldn’t the wheels be burning hot? In the aftermath, Ryuuji returns to school. Rose also returns to school. Mao has a book worth of tactics for Misaki to ‘retrieve’ Ryuuji. Yes, the battle has only begun. All the girls seem to flock around our Ryuuji. Even Sapphi is a new transfer student in their class because as admitted, she’s here to bug them till Onyx returns. Ai is also here, not to lose out on the love fest. Maruga is also here because it’s interesting. Bianca is also here to show off her prized autograph she got from Ryuuji’s parents. Eriko is also here because… Erm… Because… Does she need a reason? And their new teacher turns out to be… Kai! Why doesn’t anybody recognize her?! Oh Ryuuji. You’re one lucky bastard. That’s why you need losers like Masato so you can stand out even more :). Finally Tokura with a hidden camera in class observes (‘spy’ might be the right word here) on the coexistence between humans and dragons as Ryuuji and Rose hold hands. Is the data interesting or a young couple in love?

Draggy Crisis…
Uh… Though the series may not be as bad as I predicted, there are some fun moments but nevertheless at times I find it draggy. So the dragons continue to remain the mysterious beings they are among humans who will continue to be fascinated with such mythical beasts. I thought there was going to be more explanation about them or other stuff like Lost Precious and Society but I guess we are ‘distracted’ with the mini arcs before concluding with a ‘feel good’ ending. So indeed humans and dragons can actually coexist. It’s just the question of whether they want to or not. Ryuuji and Rose are off to a great start as role models for future lovers who believe love shouldn’t just remain within their own race. I was also hoping there would be some explanation about Ryuuji being a Lost Precious himself. Maybe I wasn’t listening or didn’t understand some part so I could’ve missed it. If he is one, thinking about it, so his parents gave birth to a boy or made a Lost Precious? There are many other questions that bugged me and this included Saeki’s mention of feelings trapped in Lost Precious. So really, what are Lost Precious really made from anyway? I wish that part was explored as well. How about the part young dragons take the form of a human? And why ice cream can help initiate the recovery of lost memories? Okay, so the last one was a bit of a no-brainer.

As far as the characters are concerned, they are pretty much one-dimensional and lacking in any depth. Sure, you see Ryuuji and Rose taking steps forward in their relationship but that is to be expected. Besides, it’s not like there is any great change whatsoever. Rose has always loved Ryuuji from the start. She was just confused when she experienced a different emotion. Ryuuji has always cared for Rose from the start. He was just unsure and indecisive if his actions will hurt her. Misaki has always that one-sided crush on Ryuuji and it will continue to be so for a foreseeable time. Mao always wants to play match-making for her best friend and as-predicted-since-you-first-laid-your-eyes-on-him Masato the eternal loser. Ai just wants acceptance and love and probably she indirectly found that in Ryuuji’s kindness since her original master has gone with the wind. Eriko goes around in theses ‘adventures’ feels like she wants to move up the ranks of the society while Tokura is just a data collecting and recording freak just as Bianca is as a test and observation freak. If Sapphi’s hair wasn’t blue, she could’ve been the clumsy dumb blonde of the series. Onyx as the typical villain is the kind that will come back to haunt you if you don’t put him down for good. As indicated, looks like he will be back once he recovers. Again. And the way things are going, he’s doesn’t have any intention to give up on Rose. Kai is the most mysterious one. She is definitely Kai’s loyal subordinate but I’m still wondering why in those mini arcs, she was the source of many of the problems that Ryuuji and co had to face. What was her goal in doing so? Is it to test them? Part of some observation? Or to buy time while Onyx heals? Her appearance as Kai’s teacher puts another question mark over her true role and identity.

Frankly, I was hoping there would be an episode for a cat fight! What am I thinking?! This kind of show, with many gorgeous girls flocking around a single guy, you’d expect some sparks to fly, right? Ding, ding! On one corner we have the main favourite Rose. On the other corner we have other dark horses vying for a piece of the trophy in Ai and Misaki. Throw in Maruga if you will since there is a chance she is really interested in him. And probably minnow contenders in the form of Sapphi, Eriko and Bianca. Sure, many would write off these trio having no chance as a couple with our Ryuuji-kun but if you think deeply about it, Sapphi may be a tsundere even though she gives excuse to pester the gang till Onyx returns, it may be an indication that she likes Ryuuji. Eriko may not show it but don’t you feel she just wants to play more than big sister to him? This might be farfetched but if Bianca couldn’t get her hands on Ryuuji’s dad, she may settle for his son as consolation. So let the harem fight begin! In my dreams. So the tough part isn’t about finding Lost Precious, handling Curse Precious or the prejudice of some of Society’s members viewing him as a Level 10 Breaker, but to keep control and good harmony among the girls. Doesn’t seem like it in this series for now. That’ll be another story.

I don’t know, it may be my computer hardware or perhaps the source of the video. Somehow I find the hue of the series to be a little bright. Okay, not to the point that I have to put on my sunglasses to watch the show but there is a feel it gives off a certain brightness. Maybe it’s Rose’s yellow hair that makes everything look bright? I don’t know about this too but it may just be me. Japanese animes typical trademark are the characters’ large eyes, right? Somehow I feel that the eyes of the characters here are slightly bigger than usual. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked. Having wide eyes may not be such a bad thing after all. As for the action, well, some of them are pretty hard to believe. Especially Eriko’s driving. She’s like a pro demon stunt driver behind the wheels. The current weapons that humans have may not be enough to even match the power of the dragons, sometimes it is redundant to see them put up loads of security and then the powerful dragon in a blink of an eye destroys it all like as though he is ripping a piece of paper. So the only thing that can fight a dragon is a dragon or Lost Precious? Don’t forget or underestimate the power of love too. Or just call Ryuuji.

Rie Kugimiya as the voice of Rose, she is a perfect fit with her character. Rose may not be a typical tsundere here but nevertheless she still sounds as cute as Rie Kugimiya’s other tsundere loli roles like Nagi in Hayate No Gotoku, Louise in Zero No Tsukaima and Shana in Shakugan No Shana. So it’s either you’ll love or loath her high pitch squeal during the sponsor screen. Other casts include Hiro Shimono as Ryuuji (Keima in The World God Only Knows), Yukana as Eriko (C.C. in Code Geass), Yui Horie as Maruga (Kotori in Da Capo series), Yuka Inokuchi as Ai (Rin in Maburaho, Nao in Yosuga No Sora), Mayako Nigo as Misaki (Sasa in Omamori Himari), Hiroshi Kamiya as Onyx (Nozomu in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series), Emiri Katou as Sapphi (Kagami in Lucky Star), Yuki Matsuoka as Bianca (Orihime in Bleach) and Nobuo Tobita as Tokura (Domon in Flame of Recca). The opening theme, Immoralist by Yui Horie sounds kinda, erm, ‘chaotic’. Listen to it for yourself. The ending theme, Mirai Bowl by Momoiro Clover starts off like a Broadway style before turning into a pop-ish parade-like finale. The animation here has the characters in their chibi version (well, maybe except for the fanservice ones – the girls in swimsuits, that is) and I believe there are some characters in the animation which I have not seen in the series before. Are they really minor characters from somewhere in the show or I simply do not recognize them? Or just extras? Speaking of chibi, I find the mid-intermission which is filled with lots of chibi versions of CG Eriko and spinning around. It feels rather odd and funny. It made me go WTF?!

Whether there are dragons, mythical items that brings good luck or curses, it all boils down how you respect and use it. Tools work better if you don’t treat and see them as mere tools. Ryuuji’s case is one of those many incidents of girl-comes-crashing-into-peaceful-my-life (you might have seen it in other different forms like falling from the sky or wrong place, wrong time). It could have been any other girl (wolf girl, snake girl, dog girl, you name it) but he got a dragon girl instead. Dragon girls have potential to be upgraded from a pet to lovers and possibly your future bride. So the next time you get one, don’t straight away send it to the zoo or animal shelter. Just make sure you have lots of ice cream in hand just in case. See how useful ice cream can be? Looks like I need to one now to cure this drag or I might plunge into a crisis of my own.

All good things must come to an end. For that, I wonder what more amazing and wonderful encounters- “Embarrassing remarks aren’t allowed!”. Eeehhh???!!! I can’t believe I just cut myself off like that. Looks like I’ve caught the ‘disease’ and a little hooked in watching the Aria series and thus just into the final leg (as far as I am concerned) of this series.

Prior to the third season, an OVA called Aria The OVA ~Arietta~ was released way back in 2007. As we know this series is of the calm and soothing space so for those who are expecting something out of the ordinary just because it’s an OVA, well, don’t hope so much. This OVA follows the same recipe and ‘ingredient’ that makes its predecessor seasons well received and serves to whet your appetite for the upcoming season. If you’re an Aria fan, that is.


As Akari waits for Alicia’s return, she wonders why she hasn’t put on her glove. As Ai pointed out, she has become a Prima. Because of that, Alicia is never coming back. But thank God that was just a dream. However because of that she is seemingly spaced out. After Alicia leaves with a customer, Akari wonders why she was chosen. Then the phone rings. It is Akatsuki and he is not happy she interrupted his “Alicia Time” since he can’t hear her voice message. I didn’t know he was this desperate and nutcase. However seeing her down, he didn’t feel like teasing her. Later as Akari practises with her friends, they talk about their future of being a Prima. Well, they don’t look too satisfied since their seniors are too good. They are after all the Great Water Fairies. Then they meet Al and they ask him about his time being an apprentice. The girls are grateful for having their seniors guide them and for now they’ve got to do their best and follow in their footsteps. Alicia returns with the customers and it seems they have become instant fans of hers. They even want to ‘molest’ President Aria’s flabby belly!

Later Akari tells Alicia about that Prima dream of hers. She felt unconfident when she’s no longer around. This has Alicia narrating her tale. When she became a Prima, she became selfish and didn’t want Grandma to leave because she doesn’t want to be alone. However Grandma said it’s not that she is leaving her, but rather it is Alicia who is leaving Grandma’s nest. Grandma has confidence in her of becoming a Prima and by just looking at her back, Alicia felt calm. Even when Akira and Athena became Primas, Alicia did not have the confidence to coach an apprentice. Akira with Aika as her apprentice comes by and notes Alicia still did not take on an apprentice. She wants her to come with her tomorrow. Akira brings Alicia to meet with Athena at the top of the Campanile tower. They are overwhelmed at the scenery overlooking Neo-Venezia. Akira mentions how the Campanile collapsed many times back at Man Home. Each time that happens, they just rebuilt another one. It’s like the Venezians wanted to leave this scenery behind. So this is also similar to the Undines. Just like the seniors who guided them, the day will come for them to hang up their oars. But if they can relay this feeling of this lovely town to them, the next generation of Undines will be the new Campanile. With Athena’s singing to cheer Alicia up, Alicia starts realizing that she wants to share those feelings she did with Grandma and discover herself with someone although she still lacks confidence. And soon, that’s when Akari came. So why did she choose her? It’s a secret. Teeheehee.

Akari is still worried about her first appearance when she arrived as an apprentice so Alicia suggests climbing Campanile. Now? At this time? Is it open? Well, Alicia had contacted the tower’s administrator so he lets them in via back entrance. Everybody in this town must be her fan. Easier to get favours done. As they walk up the stairs, Akari gets excited of feeling the serene, deep and gentle sounds of the city that she peeks through the windows. Then walking up hand in hand, Alicia notes that when she took Akari as an apprentice, she was worried if she would be a good one to her. But she always followed right behind her and with her pure heart, Akari discovered many things that Alicia never noticed. Thus, Alicia took her courage from her. At the tower top, they see the awesome night lights of Neo-Venezia. Akari narrates that the day for them to part will come. But for now, she wants to stay behind this person whom she cherish and love so much a little longer.

Aria The Origination

The OVA was sure a nice way to have a little peek into the past of the 3 Great Water Fairies. it tells us a lot that even they seem perfect as they are now, back when they first started, they are just like any other apprentices with feelings of nervousness and uncertainty. And as time passes by, they mature into the respectable Prima Undines that they all are known as today.

So basically when I watched the third season, based on the title, I thought this season was going to narrate the origins or the early development of Aqua. Well, you could say it’s a little misleading because it is not a prequel season of any sort but rather a continuation from the second season and OVA. Nevertheless, Aria The Origination is still a nice worthy sequel to watch and a big possibly the final series of the Aria instalment.

Episode 1
As Akari, Aika and Alice practice together, they see an unusual sight of Akatsuki and Al studying together for their promotion exam. Good luck. Back at Aria Company, Woody delivers a gift to Alicia. Turns out to be sakura tea and sakura jam from a customer they had during the Carnivale. They decide to call their friends over for tea. I don’t know what’s with President Aria today. It’s like he’s being clumsy. He nearly choked on lunch, fell off the chair, got his stomach bitten by a crab while fishing and yes, also another bite from President Maa when he tried to appeal to President Hime as a polite waiter. The tea party starts when the girls arrive. They talk about some of their experience with their customers like Alicia’s with the mother and daughter pair that sent her the gift. Aika also relates that Akira is cool. There was a customer who was fooling around, dancing around on the gondola. Akira never raised her voice and her superb control was preventing that idiot from tumbling over while Aika was about to snap. Then it happened. He trips and falls off but Akira shows why she is one of the Great Water Fairies when she not only keeps the gondola steady but pulls the fool up! Amazing! The only thing that fell into the water was his mask. Alice also mentions Athena also had experienced something similar. A kid was pestering his mom to buy ice cream and causing a ruckus when his mom refused. But Athena made some funny stupid faces and the kid started laughing. The juniors note how they have a long way to catch up but as Alicia mentions, they too have a long way to go themselves. What do they mean? Even if they’re at the top, they won’t be satisfied with how much they have progressed. If they ever do, then they won’t move forward and find their own radiance. In other words, they keep improving themselves, right? The juniors are all fired up to do their best so much so their juniors will have something good to say about them. The seniors are excited to wonder what kind of Prima Undines they will become. The kind that they have never seen before and will bring new wonderfulness to Neo-Venezia.

Episode 2
Akari gets a surprise request from a customer to row her around. Talking to her pals about it, Aika has suspicions on the customer and thinks she is someone who loves toying with Singles. Or worse. An inspector on some spot check and if she fails, she’ll be demoted! Next day, the customer, an elderly lady named Amaranta leaves Akari to show the Neo-Venezia that only she can guide her. Alicia and President Aria tag along. I guess Aika and Alice become stalkers, giving excuse that they’re worried about Akari so that they can tail them. As Akari guides her around, it seems Amaranta has been to these places before. I mean, she could even tell a butter potato stall has changed its butter! As their schedule is nearly up, Akari wants to show her one more special place so she agrees. Rowing through the narrow alleys and waterways, they come out to the back of the monastery to see a beautiful garden with colourful flowers. Then as Amaranta suggests, they decide to explore what’s behind that door. Paddling through the dark waterways, they eventually arrived at an area where a wisteria tree is in full bloom even if its blooming season isn’t here yet (something about this place has no wind reaching it or sun hitting it). Akari realized that Amaranta has been to all these lovely places she has showed and apologizes because she thought she had shown her special places to her. However she says her heart is filled with today’s wonderful memories since all the places she has guided were coming from her heart. That is very important since her heart wanted to show her around Neo-Venezia she truly loves. Besides, what she really wanted to see was Akari doing her best to show her around. And she is very assured that the legacy of Aria Company has been passed down successfully. Aika and Alice’s spying is busted so they start ‘accusing’ each other that the other wanted to follow Akari. On their way back, Amaranta explains that there are other people who prefer to ride on a Single’s gondola. There’s a system where one could have cheap rides using Singles which became widespread so everyone could help nurture them into Primas. Alicia says that when she was a single, she used to guide Amaranta around. She too had her fun memories with Akira and Athena then. Amaranta feels like Neo-Venezia has become even more beautiful each time a new Undine is raised. That’s why she rides on Singles’ gondola and it’s her pleasure to see their progress. She gladly accepts Akari’s proposal to guide her around again when she becomes a Prima.

Episode 3
The girls are talking some of the monuments brought from Man Home undergoing maintenance works. Wait a minute. The real monument itself is being brought from Venice to Neo-Venezia?! Why build a replica when you can have the real thing, right? Later as I found out, Venice was submerged in water, the reason for all these monuments to be brought here. They decide to see those places and have tea there. At San Marco Square, they see a patissier, Henri selling chocolates to a bunch of kids queuing up. Aika recognizes him as he is from a hotel that Himeya is associated with as a business partner. A kid trips and breaks his bottle of chocolates. He starts crying as the girls try to comfort him. Henri gives the kid a new bottle and after the girls bought their share, they enter Florian Cafe to admire its original paintings on the wall. When they leave, they don’t see Henri’s stall anymore and wonders if he has closed for business. Over the next few days, they notice Henri’s peculiar behaviour. He is selling his stall at different place and each time he seems to be looking at those monuments. They wonder if he is into building research. On a free day, Akari revisits San Marco Square and sees Henri entering Florian Cafe to admire the paintings. When they meet, he thanks her and wishes for her to meet tomorrow as he has something to give her. Next day, Henri shows her new bottle designs for his chocolates. When Akari showed concern for the chocolates when the bottle broke that time, that’s when he thought he wanted to make his customers smile. It’d be a pity if the chocolate was wasted before the feelings that were put in were delivered. He wonders when he forgot those feelings. Thanks to her, he was able to remember that feeling again. In order to make his customers smile more, he thought of a way to deliver those feelings and realized the need to put various wrapper designs. Thus he was walking around those buildings to draw inspiration or when he can’t think of anything. He gives Akari and President Aria free bottles of chocolates as gratitude. Then he treats them to cafe latte at Florian Cafe. They meet the cafe owner and discuss about the paintings. Then it hit Akari, things made by people contain feelings of people that made them so they become inheritances passed down over time. Cherished, yet natural parts of their surroundings. She feels Henri’s chocolate is also the same, as long as he puts his feelings in it, it’s the same as everyone else and that everyone can smile. Thus if his chocolates become a natural part of this town, it’ll become a wonderful natural belonging. With that, Henri continues to sell his chocolates, putting his feelings in it to make customers smile.

Episode 4
Akari notices Alicia’s busy schedule and wonders if she even has a day off. She is sad that she can’t be of more use to the company. Since her usual pals are busy tomorrow, Alicia suggests her to do a Traghetto tomorrow. Tra what? It’s a bigger gondola used as a ferryboat to ferry people across the Grand Canal. It is operated by 2 Undines, one at the front, the other at the back and there are many crossing points along the canal. Some use it as a means of practice to become an Undine. It’s also a means for Singles to accept customers in the water tourism industry and since different Undines from different companies are paired up, it’s become somewhat of an attraction. But rowing a Traghetto is different since it requires special sense of balance. The customers will all be standing and some may even carry luggage with them. Akari is paired with Atora (I thought she looked like Abel from Trinity Blood) and Anzu from Orange Company and Ayumi (I thought she’s a cross between Akira and Aika) from Himeya. Akari is the only one who is doing it for the first time while the rest are veterans. As they take turns to row across, Akari notices Anzu gloominess. Atora mentions she failed the Prima promotion exam the other day and even so, she keeps challenging herself to go on. She also mentions that their senior who supervised for the exam is very strict. Then from Ayumi, Akari learns that she doesn’t want to be a Prima but rather loves the Traghetto job since one can earn a reasonable income. Plus, seems Singles who failed to become Primas settle for this. Anzu tells Akari about her failure. But Akari notes that she herself isn’t skilled to take on the promotion exam since Alicia has not talk to her about it. Even if the time comes and she fails, she’ll keep pushing on like Anzu.

When it’s Akari’s turn to row with Anzu, the rest are amazed at her amazing rowing skills. At the end of the day as they finish up, they praise Akari for her skills and are glad that they got to train together. Ayumi notes at this rate, she may become a Prima the next time they meet. Oh, Anzu getting a little ‘berserk’ as she congratulates Akari for being a Prima. She’s still an apprentice lah. Atora feels Anzu shouldn’t blame herself since it’s their strict senior’s fault. It’s as though she doesn’t acknowledge their skills nor want them to become Primas. She is starting to get the idea of settling in as a Single specializing in Traghetto but Ayumi says they’re different because Atora really does want to become a Prima. Ayumi wonders why Atora doesn’t challenge herself again since failing her promotion exam a year ago. Atora couldn’t answer but Anzu knows how she feels. It can be painful and scary for one to fail something but once you’ve become stuck like that, you can’t adapt yourself. Thus, if you can’t change others, you can always change yourself. That’s why she wants to become flexible so she can take any shape, absorb anything and do anything. Akari is confident that they can do it as long as they don’t close up themselves. Atora and Anzu get their confidence to give it a try once more. Akari and the rest walks home as she narrates no matter what path one chooses, those who keep moving forward can see it shining brightly somewhere. She hopes to keep going forward no matter how far. I just wonder why Akari, Aika and Alice don’t do this Traghetto for practice sometimes. I thought they need all the practice and experience they can get? Aiming for a Prima so this kind of ‘low-level’ job isn’t in their sights? Nah.

Episode 5
As the junior girls are in town, they see Athena passing by and her singing has everyone stop and listen to her beautiful voice. They witness another extraordinary feat when a girl’s straw hat got blown away with the wind. Alicia gracefully manoeuvres her oar and gondola direction to retrieve and return it to the girl. Again the crowd applauses. During lunch, the girls talk about Alicia and Athena’s natural talent and probably the kind that is only one in a thousand. However this hit Aika very hard as she starts becoming gloomy. Her concern is how Akira felt when she’s among those naturally talented Primas. Looks like her depression season is setting in because she is further gloomy upon seeing Alice’s skilful handling of the gondola and Akari easily making friends. She doesn’t even have the heart to finish her trademark quote! When Aika gets off, she notes to herself how they don’t realize what it means to be a hard worker because these aren’t talents one is gifted with. Walking back to her room, she sees Akira (she is totally unrecognizable in different clothes and her hair tied up!) doing spring cleaning. How long has she been moving? Akira notices Aika more irritable than usual and forces her to help out. Aika sifts through the old photo album and sees a picture of the 3 Great Water Fairies. Then it’s depression time again when she notices Akira is the only Single among the pack. She feels so sad for Akira that she felt mortified. It’s like deja vu when those girls were badmouthing her, eh? Akira says though she lacked special talent and it didn’t took just hard work, that’s why she took a little longer to be a Prima. However she is glad she has them as her friends. But Aika still isn’t happy and wonders how she draws her strength for support.

Looks like it’s story time. That photo was taken when Athena just got promoted to a Prima. Though Akira was happy, however she soon sank into depression. She feels she is no match for them who are naturally gifted. It must really have got to her because she started searching for a four-leaf clover in a bed of ordinary three-leaf clovers. She couldn’t find one and thinks she is those unblessed ones and thus the difference of what makes a Prima and not. Till she meets a very young and happy Aika who notices her searching. She tells still-depressed Akira to give up since there is nothing can be done if there is none to begin with. Well, Aika isn’t being mean. What she meant was if that’s the case, all she needs to do is get what is missing. She puts together a three-leaf clover and a heart-shaped rose petal and makes it into a four-leaf clover. That’s when Akira learnt something important. If there are people naturally talented like her friends, then all she needs to have is a talent that exceeds their own through hard work. Aika is in tears with that story so Akira is relieved she doesn’t remember that meeting. Akira gives her a bookmark with a pattern of three-leaf clover and heart-shaped rose petal. Aika becomes happy and promises to cherish it. Well, if Akira says it’s a charm to become a Prima, why not? She is back to her usual self with Alice and Akari not having a clue what just happened. Aika notes how she has the best person in the world that everyone is proud of. A wonderful miracle born in Neo-Venezia. Then she realizes she said an embarrassing line and goes berserk with her kinshi line on herself!

Episode 5.5
This is the special unaired episode that comes with the DVD. Since Alicia will be out all day, Aria Company temporarily suspends business for the day. Akari and President Aria take a stroll through town. A residential place to be more exact. A place not part of the tour guide so it’s a little different. They get thrilled seeing laundry being hang between the blocks (?!), play some basketball, lie on the park, President Aria dancing a weird dance with the kids (or is he teaching them?), watch their meal made of dough been made freshly via rolling over some wires (see how the flock of birds and pigeons descend on President Aria’s crumbs! The guy next table sure is laughing like mad!). Akatsuki spots them and decides to pull off a prank on her to take his frustration for not being able to see Alicia on his day off. WTF?! Each time he chases after her, he gets lost due to the winding maze-like alleys. Then he sees her staring at a shop window and was in such intense concentration that he was oblivious to Woody. Yeah, he unknowingly agreed to everything he said to RSVP to some school reunion and even gave him his pizza! Man, he didn’t know the pizza was gone when he took a bite from it! Akatsuki is still hot on Akari’s heels, not really giving up as she makes her way back to the crowded tourist square. He sees her up the Campanile tower but was told to take the normal elevator like the public and not use the secret back entrance. Oh my. Good luck queuing at the long line. Well, he doesn’t have to since he spots her in another building. Aika and Alice spot Akatsuki being sneaky and decide to follow him. Seems Akari and President Aria are happily sitting about in a place that only they themselves know. A secret place not even Alicia or their friends know about. Akatsuki is having a hard time finding the stairways when he sees an opening and disregards whether he has authority to go up the dark stairs or not and climbs it. He reaches the balcony to see Akari sleeping. Then he surprises her by yelling a loud “Big Double Sideburns Attack!”. Thank God she didn’t die of heart attack. He learns that she is here to meet a gentlemen whom she secretly come to see him. Oh? Okay, turns out to be a head bust at the corner of the balcony. Haha. Then Akatsuki is shown a grand view of the plaza when he bows his head with the same level as the bust. Akari narrates the reasons why she considers this her wonderful secret place so Akatsuki also says he will make this his secret place too. Then they realize Aika and Alice spying so Akatsuki chases them before they get the wrong idea he ditched Alicia. Ah well, I guess this is everybody’s secret place now.

Episode 6
During practice, I’m not sure if Akari imitating President Aria would constitute some form of training. This has Aika scolding here and prompts if Alicia has ever scolded Akari. Nope. In fact, Akari has never seen her mad before. Yeah, there’s no way Ms Perfect would scold anybody, right? Akari also wonders if Athena scolds Alice. In fact it’s the other way round. Alice scolds Athena for her clumsiness and will never allow herself to get scolded! Wow. Who’s the senior and junior now? Alice still has her reservations so she tries to spy on Alicia and Akari in hopes to catch them in one of those secret moments whereby Alicia loses her cool. Each time, nothing that sort happened, Alice gets busted and gives a lame excuse of what she’s doing. Then Akari breaks Alicia’s favourite tea cup! Jenjenjeng!!! Could this be the moment? Nope. Alicia is glad she is not hurt. Suddenly Akari’s gondola drifts away but Alicia goes to retrieve it. What about now? Nothing either. Besides, it wasn’t really Akari’s fault as the rope was somehow cut by a sharp object. Then Alice starts drawing this weird conclusion: What if Alicia has given up on Akari? Over the next few days, Alice couldn’t find a reason to it all and decides to draw up a plan to have Akari make a genuine mistake to see if Alicia will get mad. While eating parfait at the cafe, fate has an unusual way of intertwining things. Yup, Alicia and President Aria are seated right across her! When they join her, Alice’s mind starts getting paranoid if this is some kind of punishment game and if she knows what she is secretly doing.

Then Alicia asks if she has anything in mind she wants to ask since she has been staring really passionate at her so it made her a little anxious. Now that they’re alone, she doesn’t have to hold back. Oh, she’s on to her! Alice sums up her courage and tells her straight the problem that is bugging her. However Alicia sends President Aria to deliver a sweet to a girl in another table. I don’t know why but he is taking a rather long detour before delivering it. When he comes back, Alicia has him deliver another sweet to a boy in another table. He seems faster this time. Then following Alicia on the stroll, Alice asks why she didn’t point out the mistakes President Aria did when he took a longer time the first round. Alicia replies if she kept saying like “No, not that way”, he might become afraid of making mistakes and eventually won’t be able to move. At least that is her way of doing things. But what happens if the same mistake is made over and over again? Then she will think it over and reflect upon her own lack of knowledge. After all, she is an imperfect human being too. Seeing there are times that won’t go well, it made her realize that teaching and being taught are similar. So all she can do is become one with Akari, face her ordeals and fail with her, and finally share her happiness. They meet up with Akari and Aika so Alicia hopes they can keep this conversation a secret. Why? Because it’s embarrassing. However Alice came out with a somewhat perfect comeback in a deadpan face: She doesn’t need to. Seeing them both so alike is already embarrassing enough! Oh my! How disrespectful? “Please scold me…” Haha! Oh Alice…

Episode 7
Today is the anniversary of Aria Company’s founding so it’s natural that it is closed. Alicia, Akari and President Aria make their way to Burano Island, a fishing village now and back at Man Home to visit Alicia’s senior, Anna. Seems she is happily married to her fisherman husband Albert and has a son, Ahito. She left Aria Company when she got hitched and pregnant with Ahito. But life isn’t a bed of roses as Anna explains. When she first arrived on the island, she was alone, her husband was always out fishing and the villagers treated her coldly. She took up sowing Venetian laces and from there gradually learned to mix around. Anna gets a surprise when her husband comes back. Seems Grandma is with him as he bumped into her and she’s here on Alicia’s invitation. Albert’s sumptuous seafood catch of the day has the ladies making splendid mouth-watering dishes. They talk about being grateful for the company and the encounters that brought them together. But Grandma says that it was President Aria who formed Aria Company instead. It was during a time Grandma was at a loss and was an Undine at Himeya. Back during her younger days (her real name is Akino – and a fine pretty lady too), she was known as the Ace and admired by many. One day she spotted President Aria staring at the ocean and sitting at the same spot. She got fascinated and joined him but no matter how many questions she posed, that cat never answered (duh!) or moved from his spot. As she continued to join him, it made her realized she was too busy to enjoy the many wonderful everyday moments and before she knew it, time flew by. She felt something wrong because President Aria continued to sit at that spot even when it’s raining! Out of sympathy, she sat by him and before she knew it, the clear blue skies of the morning greeted them. Then she understood, thanks to him she realized that she was pushing herself too much. Soon after, she went on to form Aria Company and wanted to see the world reflected in his beautiful blue eyes together. It beats me how President Aria became so playful. But that’s another story. Hey wait. Just how old is President Aria?! Back to our ladies, Grandma is confident that Akari’s own Aria Company will start. They all are excited to see her Aria Company that no one has ever seen before.

Episode 8
Alice eagerly plans for her much awaited picnic with Athena tomorrow. When she returns from bath, she finds a very tired Athena straight in bed sleeping. Next morning, Athena wakes up early and goes out for a job. Of course how would Alice feel? She starts playing picnic in her room when she can’t wait anymore. Then Athena storms back and apologizes. She is able to go on the picnic now but Alice is hurt. She doesn’t want to anymore and storms out although it isn’t Athena’s fault to begin with. In that instant, it’s like some sort of cliche because President Maa is happily munching on the banana, throws away the skin and Athena slips on it. Aria Company gets a frantic panic call from Alice. They head over to see Alice in a loss what to do. What’s wrong? Hmm… Athena seems pretty fine. She’s up and about doing things normally and in a coordinated way. That’s it! She’s not clumsy or dopey! But the actual fact is that she got amnesia when she tripped and fell flat on her face! She can’t remember their names except for President Aria. Then when Alicia goes up to her and smiles, Athena remembers who she is. What magic did she put? No magic. As explained, she just may have temporary memory mix up. Before Alicia leaves for work, she tells the duo to observe her for the day. If things don’t get better, take her to a doctor. They decide to bring her out to her usual places in hopes for her to regain her memories. But Alice starts having this thought: Wouldn’t it be better to have a no-clumsy Athena? Of course not! At the chocolate store, seems Athena only starts remembering President Maa’s name. Alice is pissed off so she decides to return to Orange Planet to have her pick out her favourite oar. Athena does it right and not only that, remembers Akari’s name. This strikes a bad chord in Alice’s books because she starts thinking if she is the only one she doesn’t remember. Going back to Aria Company, Alice sinks into depression so Athena asks her to describe how she was to her. An extremely senior who always caused trouble and worries her. So she hates her? Not exactly… So that means she likes her? Alice says if given a choice, she would choose the latter. Then she starts crying. Alicia tells Athena that it’s already enough. Athena apologizes and says that her amnesia was fake. WHAT?! When Alice stormed out then, she thought Alice was fed up and was really worried. So she wanted to know how she felt and pretended to have amnesia to find out her true feelings about her. A relieved Alice wishes for her to say it straight next time. And it is that part of her that she… HATES!!! Ooohhh. Alice getting mad now and giving Athena a real good lecture! After they leave, Akari wonders how Alicia has known this all along. Well, she knows Athena long enough to know she has been pulling crazy stunts like this for a long time. After all, they’re still simple girls too and will be worried about the feelings of the precious people close to them.

Episode 9
Alice graduates from her school. Yeah, she has got lots of admirers asking for her second button. Aika and Akari greet her as they continue their practice. Now free of school obligations, I guess she has more time to spend practising with them, right? Back home, Athena suggests to go for a picnic tomorrow. For sure. For real this time. But it’s not going to be just an ordinary picnic. Athena also suggests Alice to become an Undine with Athena acting as her customer. Alice is graceful, skilful and perfect handling the gondola as she takes Athena through several places. An exceptional extra-ordinary for a person her age. As they ride through the canal and while waiting for the water to fill the water elevator, Alice tells how she likes singing but is bad at it thus her low confidence. Athena gives the ultimate advice: If you don’t love your own singing, how can you expect others to love it? As they make their way to Hope Hill, Alice is surprise to see Akari, Aika and several higher-ups of Orange Planet standing by the slope. Athena tells that long before water came flowing on this planet’s surface and named Aqua, it was called Orange Planet. Hey, I thought Mars was known as the red planet? Must be that orange glow it gives off during this time of the day? As a final request, Athena wants Alice to sing. Well, I won’t say it’s the best but she’s not bad. At least enough to move Akari to tears. Then it is revealed that this is a test to see if Alice is qualified to become a Single! And she did it with flying colours! Hey wait! Athena is not taking off just 1 glove. She’s taking off the other glove too! OMG! This is unprecedented! Alice has become a Prima Undine! She is valued by the company so much that she is given the nickname Orange Princess! Way to go Alice! It’s tough juggling school life and being a gondolier so she really deserves this. Alice couldn’t contain her emotions and lets loose tears of joy. But it’s a different kind of tears for Akari and Aika when they realize she leapfrogged them! Nevertheless they are happy for her as the friends embrace each other.

Episode 10
It’s Alice’s first day as a Prima and she’s nervous stiff. I think the customer will enjoy it because she’s cute! Alice gets depressed when she finds out Aika and Akari have been spying on her job. For a long while… Akari invites her to go moon-gazing tonight. As the trio share the dumplings while watching the Moon, President Aria tries to share his with President Hime. Of course she ignores him. He tries pushing in his tummy so much so she gives in and shares his dumpling! Could this be it? Alice teases Aika that she was expecting Al to come seeing that she thought it was supposed to be only 3 of them. Embarrassed Aika sets off giving an excuse to find Al. Eventually she does and in her happiness, gets a little ahead of herself and stands on a plank on an unused well. Well, it breaks, she falls in. Al lends a hand to pull her up but he too gets pulled in. It’s either he got no strength or she is too heavy. I think it’s the latter since she admitted it. Yeah, all those dumplings. They try climbing out but each time, sliding back or falling off their balance. Just when they see President Maa as their hope, that little kitten jumps straight down into Aika’s palms! Aika wants him to go on an important mission to bring Alice but can that kitty cat understand what she says? I mean, each time she throws him out (don’t worry, he’s very light and agile), he jumps back in, thinking all this is fun and games. Finally when he is thrown out and doesn’t hop back in, all hope is lost because well, President Maa forgot what he’s supposed to do and wanders off. So the duo has no choice but to sit around till whatever help arrives.

With the Moon’s reflection shining brightly, Al starts his lecture about its forces of attraction and repulsion. Oh God. I don’t want to hear science… Aika notices this close romantic moment but Al had to spoil it with more Moon stories and legends. Better kinshi and forbid him before he starts telling tales of other planets too! It gets a little dark and I don’t know why, Al hinted he’s afraid of it. Don’t Gnomes work underground? Sure they have interior light but this contradicts a very early episode in the previous season whereby Al guided the girls through the dark. Aqua’s second Moon passes by and illuminates the area. Hey, Aika and Al are so close like in hugging position! They’re not embarrassed by it? I’m not sure when Aika said the little Moon got to close and having succumbed to far too much of Aqua’s influence, was she referring to the rocky satellite or Al? I don’t get it too because she slowly backs away and starts crying. Al’s answer of Aqua is under influence of the Moons as well calmed her. I’m sure everyone is waiting for this moment. The moment Aika goes up to him and… Her stomach growled… Ah! Damn it! I can’t believe it ruined the moment. How can she be hungry this fast when she had so many dumplings! As she laments her failure, Akari, Alice and the presidents wonder what was ruined for her. They pull them out and head back to Aria Company so Aika makes a lie that the centrifugal force was ruined. Huh? I don’t get it. Don’t worry. So do they. Then Al takes Aika’s hand as they walk along. He quotes this is the force of attraction. Oh Al… I didn’t know it… Or is it just the effects of the Moon? “Embarrassing remarks aren’t allowed”. And I’m not sure if the Moon is really the one causing strange forces of attraction on Aqua just for this night because President Aria and President Hime are gazing together! You’d never see this scene anywhere before.

Episode 11
Akira is having a tough time trying to figure out a nickname for Aika. Selfish Queen? The Great Princess? Forbidden Princess? Serenade of the Cry-baby? Amazing nicknames, huh? She sure does know her junior well. So is she ready to be a Prima? Yeah, this is going to be a tough choice. She hears nearby girls talking about Alice’s skipping a grade to be a Prima and how Aika must be under great pressure to live up to Himeya’s expectation. Akira seems troubled so much so Aika herself is worried that she may have done something wrong. Since Akira can’t really put it into words, she treats Aika to gelato. She hears Aika singing praises about Alice’s success but won’t lose out as well. But this only serves to depress Akira even further till the point she tells Aika not to worry about it and drop it. However in a role reversal, it is Aika who tells her why she will move forward to open up a future for an Undine. She is grateful to Alice for letting her taste this feeling. Looks like Akira worried for nothing. So this means, she wants Aika to cancel her next free day off shopping with Al to do some special training with her! Gah! Regretting it? Then she hands her the list of nicknames since it’s better to ask the person herself which one sounds better. Aika realizes the meaning of this and in her happiness hugs Akira. After all, everything is for the sake of her Rose Queen. Is that the nickname she picked out? Alice isn’t used to her nickname yet but she’s getting busier by the day with lots of customers streaming in. Though she has more confidence and can row around without breaking a sweat or like a zombie. Her customers are so satisfied that they plan to hire her the next time they come back. Even a little boy appreciates her work and thanks her by giving her a sweet. However, Alice notes that being busy has its pleasures, she feels she doesn’t have free time to meet up with her friends. She feels lonely. She gets a little down and goes back to her room to see Athena, Aika, Akira and the presidents munching bananas like nobody’s business! Don’t talk with your mouths full! And no Alice, you’re not dreaming. Seems her friends are here to share with her some delicious pizza. As they eat and chat, it’s like the good old times but Alice can’t help feel they might never meet again or have this sort of free time chance in the future. She laments she doesn’t have an excuse like this pizza to meet them. But Akira says she has one. In fact, she doesn’t even need one. If it’s Alice, that’s a good enough reason. Alice becomes happy and feels she’ll be fine because she has friends like them.

Episode 12
Akari practises with Aika and notes how it’s lonely without Alice. Nevertheless she’s going to do her best. However Aika is crying and in no mood to joke around. She starts apologizing that they can’t be together anymore. That’s when Akari realizes AIKA HAS BECOME A PRIMA!!! Look, ma! No gloves! Akari congratulates her but she still doesn’t look too happy. Several snippets of Akira undertaking Aika in a Prima promotion exam. She passed in the end and both senior and junior are in tears. Akari relates the happy news to Alicia so the latter mentions how relieved Akira must been because she’s always worried that Aika can’t just be a Prima but one who must carry the name of Himeya. Akari also tells another happy news how Aika is made to be a manager of a newly opened Himeya branch at Santa Lucia station. However she is puzzled why she started crying. I can think of an answer. Alicia drops a surprising news: Akari will have her Prima exam tomorrow. That night she can’t sleep so she takes her gondola out and meets Akatsuki who seems to have lost his wallet. He understands her feelings since he too is going to take a promotional exam soon. Then Woody comes by as his wallet has been found. With all the talk of dropping and falling, Akira must really be a nervous wreck, eh? The word ‘ochiru’ in Japanese though it means drop or fall, it can be synonymous with failing a test. I wonder how many times they said ‘ochiru’ in that sentence! Oh, the word ‘ochitsu’ (calm down) also sounds close enough… Oh Akari, will you be alright? Next morning, it is raining so Alicia suggests postponing the exam to a better day. But Akari insists taking it today since she has waited for this day. If it clears up by afternoon, that is. It does clear up so the exam begins with Akari rowing Alicia as her customer. She passes by several places and meets several other characters throughout the series and friends. As she passes a bridge, Akatsuki and Woody do an embarrassing cheering on pose for Akari (and perhaps Alicia too). But Akari wasn’t so much embarrassed, but a little worried when Woody notes that Akatsuki is nearly falling off. It’s that ‘ochiru’ word again…

The path has Akari rowing through a very tight and narrow waterway she never knew existed. Not even an inch for mistakes! However she doesn’t feel nervous before. Why? Because all those practice with her pals paid off. Reaching out at the end, Alicia is very satisfied and felt the gondola became one with the water. Her final task is to row to wherever she wants to because she must choose what kind of Prima she wants to be. Akari chooses Aria Company because she wants to be like Grandma, Alicia and a Prima of Aria Company itself. In Alicia’s closing statements, she mentions how her world completely changed when she came to Aqua. Her ordinary days began to seem like as if the world was sparkling marvellously like a casted magic spell. It gently wraps Aqua and goes on endlessly like the sky and sea. She is glad to have met her and thanks her Aquamarine. Aqua what? It means the unfathomable blue. Alicia takes off Akari’s glove and congratulates her on becoming a Prima! Hooray! Congratulations! They day she has longed for has finally arrived. All the juniors have graduated into Primas! But Alicia has something important to say. Oh no. Please don’t tell me…

Episode 13
Though Aika and Alice learn Akari became a Prima, the shocking news is not that Alicia is going to retire as an Undine, but getting married! SAY WHAT???!!! Who is that lucky guy?! Oh, the telephone rang. Who could it be? It’s Akatsuki! He’s damn shocked that his beloved Alicia is walking down the aisle. At least we know he isn’t the guy :p. Yes, this is not a dream. See all the customers cheering for her and the flowers she got? That show how much everyone loves her. Actually, she’s not retiring for good as she has been invited to join the Gondola Association and it has been her dream to devote herself to the future of Aqua’s Water Guided Tours Association. I know she’s the Ms Perfect that everyone knows but even so she’s human and not Super Woman so she can’t possibly handle 2 jobs at the same time. Till things at Aria Company settle down, Alicia will live here till her retirement ceremony. However Akari doesn’t seem sad as she goes about doing her daily chores and is busier than ever taking over Alicia’s duties. But is she really going to be alright? There was a document she didn’t understand and called out to Alicia but she isn’t in. It’s getting lonely, isn’t it? Then she starts crying as Alicia comes back. Akari pours out her feelings how everyone loves her because she’s kind and thus everyone doesn’t want her to retire yet. Alicia hugs emotional Akari and tells her the truth that she knew had skills of a Prima for a very long time. She was afraid of losing this precious moment spent with her and had to be strong since she is her senior. She blames her selfishness. Akari has calmed down and says that she has experienced many happy things and deep down in her heart was worried and scared when things changed. Noting how everyone else is walking their own path like how she first came to Aqua, she wants to send her off with a smile. Akari gets Mailman as her first customer. Seems he already is retired and is now doing management work in the office. During rest, Akari notes how it will be really lonely once the retirement ceremony is over tomorrow. Mailman assures her that even if she has inherited Aria Company, she has the entire Neo-Venezia behind her.

The retirement ceremony is soon here as Alicia is guided by Athena and Akira through the procession. Akatsuki can’t stop being a cry-baby. Alicia passes the baton (oar in this case) to Akari as the latter thanks her for everything. Alicia looks back one last time and bows, shedding a tear or two. Next day, Akari sees lingering visions of the gang in Aria Company. I guess the memories are so strong she gets to feel the nostalgia. Then it’s time to open for business. Akari narrates the rest of the friends on how they are doing. Woody continues to send fresh eggs to her and is rearing chickens back on Ukijima. Aika garners respect and is doing well at her new branch but is still the same cry-baby when she’s with Akari. Al has been promoted and it seems the both are going steady (at least this is what I observed). Hey, he’s taller now! Akatsuki is also promoted but sometimes stops by at Aria Company. What’s with the sour face dude?! Yeah, probably he still longs for Alicia or at least what she left behind. A way to show he cares? Don’t worry, time will heal your heart. Like, in 10 years. Haha! Alice also garners lots of admirers but she prioritizes meetings with Akari and Aika or else the world will be destroyed!!! WTF?! What kind of excuse is that?! Athena has retired from being an Undine and made her debut as a diva. Man, her voice rocks! With 2 Great Water Fairies out, I guess this leaves Akira to be the number one Prima Undine in Aqua, right? Alicia is still busy with schedules, meetings and lectures but from time to time, she still stops by Aria Company to visit with Grandma, much to Akari and President Aria’s delight. Best of all, her wonderful warm smile is still there. Ah… Lastly, Akari has taken a junior and my guess is right because she turns out to be Ai! She’s starting out as a Pair. And what’s this? Akari spotting a new hairstyle? She looks more mature too though her trademark sideburns are still hanging there. Oh, her character is starting to resemble Alicia and Ai so much like Akari during her apprentice days. Though it’s a new beginning, feels much like nostalgic history repeating itself, eh? Yeah, Akari is learning to give off a wonderful smile like Alicia too.

Ara, ara. The Owari (End)?
Wow. What else can I say? At first I thought that this series was going to be end on a slightly disappointing note because well, nothing pretty much changes except the fact Akari goes around meeting new people and new encounters. But when Alice becomes a Prima, that’s when the pacing and flow starts to change. This is where it got interesting. Soon, Aika and Akari stepped out of the shadows of their seniors to become Primas themselves. Thus I have mixed feelings when the series ended. I felt sad that Akari and her friends along with many of the other characters could not continue the wonderful times they always had together like before. Well, they had 3 seasons of it already, right? Isn’t that enough? Haha. But on the other hand, I felt happy that everybody has moved on and walking their own path. You can’t stay in your comfort zone forever because sooner or later, things will eventually change. And that time has come, which is a perfect fit and end to this nice and heart-warming series.

The way things are looking, I feel Akari won’t be the airhead or clumsy person anymore. I mean, in that final scene, she was exuding so much confidence, grace and maturity that she seemed like a different person. But I notice that Akari isn’t the kind of person that goes into total shock when she hears shocking news. Like when Alicia retired, got married or even Aika getting promoted, she doesn’t display that incredulous looks like she always did when Aika often used her comebacks on. Instead, she had that calm (in a way it looked a little silly) look on her face. Sometimes it makes me wonder if she really understood the impact and magnitude of what is being conveyed. I was also very curious to see who this guy Alicia got hitched to. I really wanted to. I know that she has many fans and even die-hard ones (like a certain Akari bully), but there were no signs over the seasons to indicate or show that she is even involve with a man or at least a guy whom she takes interest in. It certainly did not occur to me that way. Maybe we’re just overwhelmed by her beautiful smile and grace :). Aika and Alice have also matured and are taking on their responsible roles though they may still be the same people when the friends meet up. Maintaining their friendship is still very much top priority, right?

I don’t know if this is really a tradition of Aria Company but it feels like this small company always (if not for most of the time) will only have 2 employees at a time. I’m sure money isn’t the real issue here. So when the senior retires, the junior gets promoted and steps into her shoes and will take on an apprentice herself. One out, one in. Maybe it has got something to do with that musical term too. Aria also means a long song accompanying a solo voice. That’s why it has to be single. Isn’t it a wonder why Akari sometimes felt lonely when Alicia isn’t around or the thought that she will no longer be around? I know she has her friends and other people of Neo-Venezia but I thought another person in the company would make things livelier. Sure, she has President Aria tagging along wherever she goes but I feel he’s just a pet mascot despite his status of a president. Say, since President Aria has been with the company since its birth and will be with it for many more years to come, doesn’t it make that cat a very, very old feline? Doesn’t look old, but sure looks fat! Haha! Oops, just kidding. But it still attracts President Maa’s biting with many more years of pain still to come… I’m sure with all the mails exchanged, Ai too has grown fond of Neo-Venezia and she will have her first experience of what it’s like to experience those wonderful moments as an Undine and make her own memories and friends. This may be trivial but during the first few episodes of the show, Ai’s voice during the mail exchange narration doesn’t sound like the little Ai I used to hear. What I mean is that she sounded a tinsy bit mature and I thought oh, looks like she’s grown up and won’t be putting on that cute loli voice anymore. Then slowly it’s back to that sweet shrieky voice again.

I’m not saying I’m totally disappointed but I was hoping to see and learn more about Akatsuki and his Ukijima and Al with his underground Gnomes. Sadly, though there may just be an episode with them hogging more screen time than usual, they otherwise do not make much appearance in this series. It would have been nice to know how these different places are related and in turn regulate and keep Aqua and Neo-Venezia afloat. There are some of the other new minor characters whom Akari met, I thought it would be wonderful to see how they come together in the end. For instance that Traghetto trio whom Akari practised with and Henri. Also, Akira and Athena don’t make as much appearance except for the important turning point to make their juniors into Primas. But then again, with the lesser number of episodes this season as compared to the previous, I can see why. And I also noticed that Aika doesn’t say her trademark line as often as she usually does. Maybe Akari has learned to say more graceful words or has Aika learned to appreciate Akari’s expression?

But the one thing that I was relieved that was not present in this season: The supernatural element. I was (and still is) spooked by the unexplained supernatural events in the second season and with this third season around, there is not a single breathe of it. So in a way, can I consider it to be refreshing? Phew. Now I don’t need to have sleepless nights anymore. Probably they want to concentrate on putting a fine finish to the series. Alas, because of this, in a way it still bugs me to wonder if that large Cait Sith cat is still around, still interested in Akari. Should be since she is now a Prima. Maybe he’ll be when he comes back from that Galaxy Railways trip in the previous episode. Speaking of which, maybe that’s why he and the other cats weren’t around this season. They already went to the stars the last time round and who knows when they’ll return. Hmm… Thinking about it, now I think I know why the second season was named as Natural. Supernatural in addition to the natural beauties of Neo-Venezia?

The opening theme for the OVA is Nanairo No Sora Wo by SONOROUS. Though it is another one of those slow and calming tunes, however I felt that the singer’s voice was somewhat a little drowsy or a bit ‘lethargic’ (which is ironic to the name of the band, if you get what I mean). The OVA’s ending theme is Ashita, Yuugure Made by Erino Hazuki. A slow pop ballad that befits the lovely final scene of Akari and Alicia together at the top of Campanile. For the TV series, the opening theme is once again handled by Yui Makino. Entitled Spirale, it feels somewhat similar to the second season’s Euforia. Maybe it’s her way of singing and Choro Club’s trademark playing style in the background. But this season’s ending theme isn’t by Roundtable featuring Nino anymore. Instead, we have Akino Arai doing Kin No Nami Sen No Nami. Though I can consider this piece to fit into the category of a slow and calming piece, however there are choir-like voices and singing here. I’m still wondering if it’s a suitable as an ending theme since I came to expect and was used to Roundtable featuring Nino’s style for this series’ ending songs. And yes, I still have to credit Choro Club for those beautiful background music. I am not sure if there are new ones played but I will never get bored of the favourite old ones even if they played it a million times, over and over again.

So is this really the end? Well, even if everything has to come to an end one day, it’s just a start of another new beginning. So perhaps the title of Origination for this series doesn’t mean a flashback season, but rather the origins of Akari’s new path as a Prima and Aria Company. Perhaps if they are to continue this series, they will continue and focus the story on Akari-Ai pair. If not, a flashback and origins. Either way, I hope I will be able to catch it during that moment and not wait for like half a decade down to road to decide whether to watch it or not. After all, it’s not a bad thing to see and experience the many spectacles, wonders and amazing discoveries that are not only peppered throughout the series but in real life as well. And if you have anything to say about that, hope it’s not “Embarrassing remarks aren’t allowed!”.

Before the start of the second season which is supposed to start in January 2012, there has been a release of a special episode called Tantei Opera Milky Holmes OVA. Yes, this single episode was enough to send back flooding memories about a bunch of ‘useless’ detective lolis even if they carry the great names of their famous detective forefathers. So bumbling and retard that their clumsiness and screw ups are the source of comedy and hilarity of the series. Do we really blame their lost of Toys or is it just them?

I’m not sure if this OVA is set after the events at the end of the TV series or somewhere in between. There was one flashback scene whereby it was from the final episode of the TV series (that was what I remembered) but then again at the end of the show, there is a next episode preview, which is one of the middle episodes in the TV series. Since this OVA is about Kokoro, I remember there was one episode whereby Irene kidnapped Kokoro so could it be a continuation from there? So could this be a missing episode in between or just something random. Heck, I couldn’t care less about that as long as they bring in the laughs.

The episode starts off with Tsugiko, Hirano and Saku preparing to infiltrate a heavily guarded mansion. It is a mission to rescue Kokoro taken as hostage. Probably the guards are just for show because the trio dispatches them easily like pros and when they arrive at the main room, their shock wasn’t seeing Milky Holmes at the scene but rather Kokoro happily singing like an idol in front of happy Irene. Uh… What’s going on? Anyway everyone is so thrilled by Kokoro’s singing that they join in the dance!!! WTF?! Till they realize each other. The girls are reprimanding Irene for kidnapping Kokoro but the smart girl gives and excuse that she found her unconscious on the road. Though, she was the one who made her that way. As for Kokoro, what’s with that getup? Feeling embarrassed? I’m sure she was just making up an excuse that they took too long to rescue her and thus dressed up like an idol to catch Irene off guard. Excuses, excuses… Well, Irene had 2 reasons why she ‘kidnapped’ Kokoro. Firstly, she’s cute (everyone has their weird fetishes) and secondly, her father’s company is going bankrupt. Again? The gold that she found was confiscated by the government. So Irene thought of turning Kokoro into an idol to scrounge up some money. Well, it’s not like Kokoro approved of it. Has she got a choice?

Back at the police headquarters. Seems G4’s office has been reduced to a narrow and cramped room. After all their failures and Kokoro’s recent kidnapping, I guess G4 has fallen down the ranks and got ‘reassigned’. The room is even smaller than Milky Holmes’ run down attic… Anyway Kokoro is shouting at the top of her lungs that she’s a police officer, bla bla bla, some unimportant flashbacks, bla bla bla, something about her IQ that has lots of zeroes in it (I agree with the zeroes and not any other number) that astounds those Harvard guys. Sheesh. You’re making the room feel even more cramp! Because her teammates aren’t interested, Kokoro threatens that she may take up Irene’s offer as an idol. You know what? They still don’t care! They don’t give a damn. Not a single sh*t! Kokoro panics and throws in a desperate move by saying that they’ll be lonely without her. Aren’t they going to stop her? Not interested… So much for friends. So how? I guess Kokoro is really desperate for some assurance so much so she ran down to Holmes Detective Academy to ask Milky Holmes if they will be lonely if she’s gone. Loser… Their reaction? They are ecstatic that she’s awakened to her idol side! Yeah, Nero wants to make character goods and sell them for profit! $$$ Ching! Ching! Even worse, Sherlock will support her all the way if that’s what she wants to achieve her dream. Fine. If that is how everybody wants to be, Kokoro slams her golden mask on the ground and calls it quits.

Soon Kokoro becomes the new idol in town, mesmerizing and racking up fans faster than filing up a glass of water. She attends lots of talk shows, lots of publicity and her face is literally everywhere in town. Kokoro! Kokoro! Kokoro! Come on. You want to cheer on her too, right? Yeah, that autography and hand shaking session has swelled her right hand. And you thought texting was the only reason that could sore your hands and fingers this big. While Irene is fawning over Kokoro, her dad is ecstatic that he can finally free himself from bankruptcy with all the money they have made. Milky Holmes is part of the crowd waiting to catch a glimpse of Kokoro coming out from the backstage into her limo. Sherlock calls out to her and her natural reaction was to protect herself from her gold mask. That didn’t happen. Did Kokoro hear her at all? Well, she’s in a different world now. So different that Sherlock feels somewhat empty. But why the heck is she bumming around at the cramp room of G3 (the new name for the police girls minus Kokoro)?! It’s already so cramp, they don’t need another one to fill in Kokoro’s shoes! Yeah, she’s annoying too… As Sherlock is feeling sad that Kokoro has gone away, Henriette reminds her of her duty to become a detective and not blame her uselesslesslesslessless-ness on someone else. This has Sherlock pondering the meaning of duty and dream.

The day of Kokoro’s concert, Arsene and her team steal Yokohama’s Red Shoes Riding Hood. Milky Holmes goes into action but they weren’t startled. Instead, they’re happy that they’ve found the meaning of duty and dream. Their duty as detectives and Kokoro’s dream of being an idol. What? Kokoro sees a news report of the battle between Phantom Thief Empire against Milky Holmes and G3. Looks like deep down in her heart, she is itching to get back into the action but Irene shuts the TV and passes her the mike. It’s idol time. Kokoro sings her heart out on stage while the battle rages on outside the stadium. Milky Holmes lives up to their useless reputation by getting beaten to a pulp. I’m wondering why Tsugiko and Hirano are fighting against each other? Saku is left ‘paralyzed’ when her lollipop is taken away from her mouth. Like taking candy from a baby, eh? Then the large screen in the stadium shows the battle outside. Kokoro stops for a while and is concerned but remembers that they didn’t give a damn about her because they didn’t even try to stop her from leaving. As she continues singing, she hears Sherlock confronting Arsene. Barely standing herself, Sherlock pours out her feelings on Kokoro. She didn’t want her to quit as a police officer and wanted her back because she was lonely (who else is going to hit her with the golden mask?). However she didn’t want to stop her from fulfilling her dream to become the world’s number one idol. So in order to put her at ease and not them see them in this pitiful state (too late girls), they have got to pull it together. For the sake of her dream. But Arsene doesn’t give a sh*t and kicks her away. Milky Holmes regroups and dart towards Arsene and her men. Look how cute they are dashing in tears, no? At that moment, Kokoro’s heart twitched. She knew what she wanted to do.

Before both sides could clash, a microphone is thrown between them. A girl in a golden mask stands before them. Heck, everyone can tell it’s you Kokoro. Then she throws her mask at Arsene but it hits Sherlock! Haha! I guess it’s her destiny to get whacked by it after all. So didn’t Kokoro give up being an officer? Well, she did not say she quit (eh? I thought she did? Did she forget?). That’s right, she’s back as a police officer. Oh boy. Milky Holmes and G3 are happy to see her and rush towards her to pester her for a plan. But being the stupid heroines they are, Arsene and her men got away scot free with the statue. Bummer. Another black mark in their records. Meanwhile Irene’s dad is in tears once more because he’s on the verge of bankruptcy. Something about he flopped big time selling his assets via foreign exchange. Maybe he should just leave running his company to Irene. As for that little smart girl, she isn’t giving up on Kokoro yet. Kokoro is back with a vengeance in the little cramp room. Yes, she’s laying down her goals but why the heck is Milky Holmes doing here? How cramp can the room get with 8 lolis in it?! While Sherlock is glad to have her back, Nero isn’t too happy because without her being an idol, all the character goods she made are now useless. Yup. She’s here to hand an invoice for the materials to make the goods. Yeah, why the hell must she pay! Lastly, Milky Holmes is watching a musical programme whereby Kokoro is supposed to star in and say her final goodbye to her fans. But it turns out to be Mori Arty making her debut song. The girls are taken in by her cuteness.

Idol Reject!
Yes, this OVA definitely lives up to its hype and serves as an appetizer before the second season. I’m very much anticipating to catch that to see more useless action from the bunch. They may be useless but they’re doing it in an annoyingly cute way so I guess that’s okay :). So basically this episode has Kokoro in focus as an idol though it feels as though she’s just trying to get back at her comrades for not caring enough for her. At moments you feel that even though she’s doing a fine perfect job as one, there is hesitation in her looks that could indicate that she misses the good ol’ police job. However if you really ask me, the police could be better off without her! Yeah, she should just join the Milky Holmes and become one big bungling family. On another note, I don’t think Kokoro would be good in any other jobs she ventures in. Haha! Is that an insult! Don’t worry, we all love you as much as we love Milky Holmes. Because of their twisted never-give-up attitude, it’s hard not to cheer for them. Looks like Arsene has still got a long way to make those loli detectives back to where they once were famed for. Oh, looks like they really stole the statue for good.

I think the number 130 is the number of the series. I don’t know what obsession Kokoro has with this number but this time her IQ level in this OVA just blew up to 1,300,000,000,000!!! I don’t even know how to pronounce this number. Then there are other times this number denomination appears like shaking hands with 1,300 people and her 130,000,000 copies of her debut CDs were sold. I thought the final number on Nero’s invoice should be 130,000,000 Yen instead of 38,000,000 Yen… The Gentlemen Thieves rarely had their screen time here. But it’s a good thing because it means we see less of Twenty’s self loving and distasteful nipples caressing antics. Well, there is one scene that he is scene kissing his life size bolster. So until then, my dream is that Milky Holmes never regain their Toys and continue fumbling in every mission and earn themselves a name in the Guinness Book of Records for being the most unreliable detectives in history. Or else they can quit and try being an idol. And fumble all over again.

And so the world continues to spin and turn on its axis as life goes on for everyone. Well, that’s what I thought Soredemo Machi Wa Mawatteiru (literally means, And The Town Still Turns) to be. About everyday people living everyday ordinary lives. Oh wait. Why is there a picture of a maid there? Is it about the ordinary life of a maid? Well, not exactly. It’s a little tough trying to sum up what this anime is about but I’ll try.

It’s about this clumsy and lackadaisical maid, Hotori Arashiyama who works in a local maid cafe called Seaside and is into detective mystery novels and films. But the story of the series is mixed and scattered with different other types of genres like aliens, ghosts and the supernatural. Hey wait a minute. I thought this was supposed to be a slice-of-life comedy? Yes, indeed it still is. Just that the many random stories are being told that way. Interesting, no? Odd? Yes. That’s why it’s interesting in its own way. Now, add a bunch of other zany characters and you’ll either love it or hate it.

Episode 1A: Fortune Cafe (Before)
Hiroyuki Sanada does his homework at Seaside. The only reason why he is doing it here (or perhaps why he is even completing his homework) is because he has a secret crush on Hotori. Too bad it’s one-sided. That doofus girl won’t even see it from a mile. Hotori sits next to him to copy his maths assignment but panics upon realizing some mix up between Japanese and European writing system. Discovery of the century? Anyway, Sanada is just happy that he got to be next to her. But back in class, their math and homeroom teacher, Natsuhiko Moriaki can tell she ‘cheated’ due to the blunder she wrote. See? Copy blindly lah. Lecture time. Hotori relates her troubles to her friends, bespectacled Toshiko Tatsuno and Harue Haribara (I thought she was a guy because she was ‘ugly’ with her beaver teeth! Forgive me, please). Tatsuno expresses interest in the maid cafe and plans to come by later. Be my guest. Seaside hardly has any customers and I guess I can assume why. The head maid, Uki Isohata, I thought she was a grandpa in drag. But she really is an old hag in a maid outfit. Please forgive me… What I’m saying is that there are no cute maids to attract customers. Get what I’m saying? It’s no wonder Tatsuno is pissed off that they even have the nerve to call this a maid cafe! She proceeds to give Hotori a lesson on how to properly act and greet as a maid. Uki suggests Tatsuno to work here but she already has her commitments in the ping pong club with Haribara. Then a customer is about to come in, Arai Kazutoyo a local shopkeeper. This is Hotori’s chance to strut what she has learned. However Hotori panics and her clumsiness only magnifies the effectiveness of her charm. Yeah, the customer is all over her! POW! So the rest of the scenes have Tatsuno trying to teach Hotori to be a clumsy maid. Let’s say she’s a natural. Then when Sanada comes in, Tatsuno finds out that he is a frequent customer here. She instantly wants Uki to hire her! Yup, she has a crush on Sanada. What else motivation does a girl need to don a maid outfit just to get the attention of the guy she loves? Her divine calling, says she? More like she’s in love. Yeah, just to note that they’ll have more staffs than customers…

Episode 1B: Fortune Cafe (After)
Hotori invites Sanada to Seaside after school for Tatsuno’s debut. As the girls make their way to Seaside, they are being caught by Moriaki who thinks they are flouting the school rules of having a part time job. They think they can lose him but he’s not that stupid. Yeah, they even lead him back to Seaside. He isn’t going to let them off easily. But how does Moriaki know about this? Apparently when Hotori invited Sanada, Moriaki was in class. Yup, he heard that. Haha. So it’s her fault by the way. But Tatsuno isn’t going to let her dream job slip away and plans to get permission. Well, Moriaki isn’t here to make them quit too. So girls, suit up and charm him of the ways of the maid… Erm… 22 minutes have already passed since… Is it that hard to put on a maid outfit? Hotori feels defeated that Tatsuno beats her in everything pertaining to maid appearance but as Moriaki notes, there is 1 aspect Hotori will always win. Hotori starts taking this as a sign that Moriaki may be in love with her! But what he meant was Hotori will always beat Tatsuno on eyesight! Duh! With Hotori out (I guess her confidence got crushed), it’s Tatsuno’s turn to make Moriaki’s whatever plan backfire. He orders black tea but Tatsuno is disheartened that Seaside doesn’t even sell tea! Well, Uki’s reasoning is that when you think of maids from England, you only think of coffee, right? In this case, Tatsuno seeks to capitalize on Hotori’s clumsiness by serving coffee instead. The coffee starts foaming as it is actually soda powder. But this clumsiness did not appeal to Moriaki as he starts his sharp lecture on how the heck she can mix up a coffee mixer and a soda powder. He continues ranting about her irrational behaviour. Well in a way, I guess he forgot about getting permission. As for Sanada, why hasn’t he turned up? Actually, he is standing outside. He can’t go in upon seeing Moriaki inside. Don’t want to be caught, eh? I don’t understand the end part whereby Moriaki is being served by pretty maids in which everything turns into a horror maid house, one where you can check in but never out. Maybe this is what Seaside cafe is really is.

Episode 2A: The Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Somehow Hotori can’t seem to get Moriaki’s face out of her head. In love? I don’t think so. She tries to take her mind off it by reading a detective novel but again his face pops up as one of the characters. Her little sister, Yukiko wants to play so she brings her down to her little brother, Takeru and forces him to play with her. How? He shuts off his video game. And he hasn’t saved his progress. They start blaming each other and when eventually Takeru hits Yukiko’s head, she starts crying. Because of that, Hotori gets the ultimate blame from mommy Yukimi. This is going to be one noisy affair. Thus Hotori decides to hang out at Seaside even if it’s her day off. Tatsuno is also there. In case Sanada drops by. Uki is surprised and wonders if Hotori is in love seeing she mentions about seeing Moriaki’s face in her head. I don’t know how the talk wandered into maths of differentials and integrals. Then some advice of deducting the perpetrator of a crime via the highest paid voice actor. Huh? Uki sends Hotori to buy onions and potatoes but on her way, she meets her arch-nemesis, the policeman, Shunsaku Matsuda (his hairstyle I thought he popped out from the Flower Power era). Is it a wonder to see why these 2 are like cats and dogs? Hotori flouts the rules by riding her scooter in a no-scooter zone. He tries to stop her. She ends up crashing into his crotch. Ouch! Probably that got Hotori to mix up her errand as he got potatoes and carrots instead. Then when she gets milk, Mr Policeman and the shopkeeper, Kikuchi Takanori pass remarks that it might help her ‘grow big’ so she takes this offence as a sexual harassment. Still not pleased, she scoots off on her scooter. How many rules has she already broken on this? When she goes back, Sanada is already in Seaside. Seeing her drinking milk, he mentions about her getting bigger. Hotori is upset that everyone is talking about her boobs and is going to sue him for sexual harassment even if what he meant was her height. Tatsuno leaps to his defence and becomes his defence lawyer. However we won’t see the trial because Uki on the other hand isn’t pleased with Hotori’s mix up and thinks she should develop her brains rather than her boobs.

Episode 2B: Shop Girls Are Sophisticated
Hotori comes up with a new way to greet customers. Rejected! What’s with that Vulcan salute? The trio shopkeepers of Kazutoyo, Takanori and Yuuji Sanada (Sanada’s baldy father and fishmonger) follow mysterious arrow signs that lead them to Seaside. Seems it is Hotori’s genius plan but they fell for it, right? Since they’re here, might as well discuss the festival plans here. However the maids are purposely screwing up their orders. Hotori becomes upset when Mr Policeman comes in and shows her all the arrow signs he has taken off. She continues to be rude to him so Tatsuno and Uki slam the tray into her head. Always maintain a service with a smile. Obviously she didn’t learn her lesson because she starts chasing a pair of high school kids for 30 minutes around town thinking they mocked her (dock 30 minutes of pay!) and badmouthing the regular trio shopkeepers for being a freak show (be grateful they’re giving you business by eating here!). Tatsuno comes up with a plan to design a signboard to attract better customers who will appreciate maids. Well, Hotori has to help out after being reminded by Uki the 10 years worth of free curry she gave her each time she came running and crying to her with her problems. The girls start painting upstairs and after hanging it out, they are disheartened to see a large Naito Dentistry signboard next to their block. Hotori tries to cut it down with the hacksaw but the dentist caught her in her rage! Apologize now! Hotori’s back day continues when she tries to deduce the perpetrator via voice acting as her siblings watch it on TV. They deduce who the culprit is even before being announced. How can this be? It’s a rerun. Grrr!!! Hotori forcefully turns off the TV, leaving Yukimi in tears. Oh, big sister is going to get it again…

Episode 3A: Eyes
Moriaki visits Seaside again. Could it be he is in love with Hotori? NOT A CHANCE!!! He is here to request a favour seeing she is into detective mysteries, she may help him solve a problem. He shows him a portrait of an old man. While the rest thinks it’s normal, only Hotori feels it is odd because the painting’s canvas is a perfect square. Moriaki further narrates how this painting was done by his late grandpa, an unsuccessful painter and a habitual gambler. After his death, he split his paintings between Moriaki and his other two siblings. But the real issue lies in the other portrait. The next portrait he shows has an old man with 4 eyes!!! Freaky! He couldn’t understand why grandpa did this and as you know as a math’s teacher, he seeks logic in his explanation and seems Hotori is the girl for the job to present him with an acceptable answer. The rest came up with their answer but it sounded lame like Tatsuno’s astigmatism (then there should be multiple nose, mouths and ears too, right?) and Uki’s grandpa-is-a-four-eyed-alien sure didn’t make the cut. Then it hit Hotori! Eureka! Moriaki is called to listen to her answer but were first given simple arithmetic problems as hints. Moriaki didn’t like how she’s beating around the bush so for the first time Hotori gets this high and mighty feeling of what it’s like to torment those who are less intelligent. Role reversal, eh? So Moriaki, how does it feel now when somebody forcefully drills into your head about something you don’t understand? Oh, can you accept this? Something she understands but he doesn’t? Anyway, now the real explanation. Hotori shows a dice she made with the portraits and the other sides which are hand-drawn. The number of eyes reflects the number on the dice since grandpa was a gambler. So when 6 sides of the portrait are divided between 3 people, this work of art lost its meaning. OMG! For once Hotori looks so smart!!! Is this the end of the world?! And true enough, Moriaki found the remaining 4 portraits and gives it to her as a token. Now she has a complete dice of weird eyes hanging in Seaside. Creepy! Take it down!

Episode 3B: The Cat Boy
Due to the last outing, can you blame Uki and Tatsuno to make extensive preparations to make sure Hotori doesn’t screw up on her errand of buying carrots and onions, no matter how ridiculous? Why not save the trouble and just do it themselves? Along the way, she sees a pretty young boy, Futaba Kon searching for his cat, Koban and tries to deduce the kind of person he is based on his voice and appearance. Kon knows who Hotori is since she is quite famous around here after that scooter stunt with the police guy. Koban isn’t coming out from a narrow alley and Kon’s attempts of persuading Koban to come out isn’t working (partly Hotori is trying to make stupid jokes out of it). Yeah, so dumb that it starts snowing. Suddenly Hotori strangles Kon!!! Her reasoning is that if Kon is in danger, Koban might come to rescue him. That’s not a dog! When the onion rolls out, Koban comes out and starts playing with it so it’s their chance for them to grab it. But Hotori panics upon seeing that Koban has no tail and thinks she might have accidentally snap it off! But Kon explains that Koban is from a breed of cats without tails. And yeah, waiting Tatsuno and Hotori really feel they should’ve drawn her a map and told her not to stop and smell the flowers. Next day in school, Hotori gets the shock of her life to see Kon in her school. Kon is not a boy, but a girl! She isn’t somebody younger than her but her senior! And Hotori really panicked when she thought she’d at least knew everybody’s name in her class. Hah! She even thought she’s a ghost! Kon is also a senior to Haribara in the ping pong club. So next time beware when you assume because it will be ASS-U-ME, get it? And even if maid and meido (underworld) sound the same, they aren’t the origins of maids so don’t ever write that down in your answer sheet!

Episode 4A: Formulas Of Love
I don’t know how many horoscope fortunes Hotori has watched but I guess she must been selective to choose one that suits her. Yeah, one that says about her intimate encounter with someone. And that someone she thinks is Moriaki. Well, it did turn true when he imposes extra classes for her!  As Moriaki watches over Hotori, his second nemesis, he remembers how his first nemesis was his maths teacher back in 2nd grade school. He couldn’t accept the answer of some division problem and stood up. The class cheered him. But when she akin it to real life like how there will always be balance and that you can’t finish everything like seeds and bones, the class jeered him and was embarrassed. He starts narrating how he gets this sickly feeling in his stomach each time he marks Hotori’s paper. The way she amassed ‘duck eggs’, she could open a store and sell them! Look at how she even writes the answers! Some halfway, some bastardized symbols. Just when he found something he could circle correct, he realized it was a big zero! She got everything wrong! Thus he thinks she’s a serial exam murderer! Though Hotori is confident of being a detective and maths has got nothing to do with it, Moriaki shoots back that she’ll forever be stuck in this grade. Horror! Hotori tries to be a smart ass by giving an equation for him to solve like how a sphere can fit into the house when the holes weren’t that big enough. Turns out her answer was the house was built around the sphere! Thinking outside the box, she says? See a very upset face here? I guess Hotori has no choice but to take up the maths book because she doesn’t want to be stuck forever. This has Tatsuno explaining a story she heard. Seems there was a student who loved Moriaki years ago. She finally summed up her courage to write her confessions in a letter. However his reply was appalling. And in maths equation. (Boy + Girl ) / Morals = 0. WTF?! This reached the word of the principal but he was so moved that he hung up that equation in his office. As for Moriaki, he ponders how Hotori and his maths teacher look so alike. Could it be she went back in time to be his maths teacher? That’s not how maths teacher should be thinking, should they? And what the hell is Hotori’s answer of Moral < Love?!

Episode 4B: Curse Roulette
As Moriaki rests in the teacher’s room, he and his other colleagues, Kameda and Nishi talk about reading tea leaves in a cup which spells your lover’s initials. What did Moriaki see? A pi symbol! That’s not even an initial! I guess maths will always be his first love. Kameda’s cup turns into the kanji of ‘curse’ and suddenly his chair stand breaks. No serious injuries though. In class, you just got to love the excuses Hotori can come up with for being late. You think Moriaki is going to buy it? So it’s more lecturing time after class and on the way to the teacher’s room, Moriaki has this devilish thought of putting a sweet revenge on her for his daily torture. He is going to make her sit on that broken chair and make her embarrassed falling down. He can’t wait to see that surprise look on her face. However upon entering the room, he sees 3 of the chairs mixed up. Oh no! Which is which? Oh, shoot. He should’ve marked it. His mind starts going wild thinking the consequences of this roulette game. Will it backfire on him? The chances are 33.33% He remembers that pi symbol and it’s starting to resemble to kanji word for ‘death’ (they look really similar!). Thankfully Hotori is stupid enough not to realize why Moriaki is sweating in his pants even though he is obviously acting very strange. Very indeed. So they pick a chair and at the same time, sit down together. One, two, three… Plop. Phew! Nothing happened. Then Kameda comes in and sits on the third chair. Oh dear… And Hotori continues to give outrageous horoscope excuses for her tardiness. The torture never ends…

Episode 5A: Toshiko Tatsuno Cannot Be Broken
Tatsuno won tickets to the screening. Now she just needs to get Sanada to come with her. Easier said than done. She picked a less popular movie so it would be easier for her to win the tickets and since the screening is on a specific time and date, she’s got a better chance of success. As the days start ticking down, Tatsuno really finds it hard to just tell “Please go out with me to the movies”. Okay, maybe those words are hard if you’re a girl in love. Every opportunity wasted no matter how close she got to him. Whether he is fooling around cleaning class or she flying down a flight of stairs and accidentally landing on Kameda’s foot (I don’t know how she got away by quoting history lines). On the day of the screening, Tatsuno is working at Seaside. What happened? She decided it’d be better to let life work for her instead of she working for life. Uhm… So she doesn’t mind passing that chance to be with Sanada? Well, he’ll always come to Seaside, right? And yeah, Hotori won free ticket passes too…

Episode 5B: The Amazingly Weird Card
Hotori teaches Yukiko to be an observant detective. She gets more than she bargained for when Yukiko draws her without boobs! Man, she’s observant. Takeru is a master of those card games and his buddies are amazed. However snobbish Eri Isezaki (why do her friends call her Ebi?) warns him about bringing such stuff to school. In class, Takeru gets a note from Eri saying that she will be visiting his home this Sunday. Shocking, eh? Even big sister is encouraging him to go haul her in and gave him some money to spend. Seems like a date to me and Takeru would be a dead corpse if his buddies find out that they’re out together like this. Let me give you a hint on Eri: She’s a tsundere. That explains it all. She wants Takeru to call her by her first name, has him buy ice cream and that poor kid gets pounded if he says the wrong word. Then in a candy store, Eri buys one of those card game packs but to Takeru’s horror, his friends are outside the store and are coming in. The granny was kind enough to let them hide in her room behind. The guys are looking for Takeru so granny has the cheek to say he might have gone to the world of adulthood! If they ever get what she means. Eri gives the deck of cards to Takeru. But to treasure it, he’s not going to use it to avoid getting mixed up. Takeru notes her different side from school. Back home, Hotori is commenting how youngsters have no shame flirting in public. She wonders where her lunch is as Yukimi points out she can eat with them since she’s like a kid and gets along well with them. Grrr!!! Next day in school, his friends wonder where Takeru has been so he lies by saying he was visiting a relative. When Eri comes in and as he tries to be friendly with her, she beats him up. It’s back to the devil woman. Poor Takeru is so confused. Back home when Takeru is commenting how mysterious women are, Hotori couldn’t believe her ears and laughed like mad! Actually he was referring to a character in the game card. And as for Yukiko, she dug up more dirt on Hotori by finding her exchange diary. She’s sure turning into a fine detective.

Episode 6A: Pandora’s Box
Hotori enters Shizuka Kameido‘s antiques store to get an early birthday present for Tatsuno. Of all places, she picks this one? How about that weighing scale so she can weigh the perfect amount of sugar for your coffee? Well, it’s broken. A creepy mask as a love charm? Shizuka put it on her face so much so it can’t come out. The usual gang are at Seaside to celebrate Tatsuno’s birthday. Hotori goes through the list of presents the rest got. Then she gives hers which is some box that she should only open on her actual birthday. Actually that won’t be coming true since Hotori mentions Shizuka got that box without the key. Now that makes it creepy. After that uncalled remark how this place is eternally reserved (Uki should hit her more times on her head), Hotori asks for Sanada’s birthday, in which he answers February. Then she pesters Kon but she is reluctant to say. Kon tries to change the subject but naughty Hotori has grabbed her student ID book. She tries to get it back but in vain because that stupid maid blurted out the date, which is today. Now everybody’s mood is ruined. How will she make amends? She gathers all the confetti on the ground and re-throws it over Kon. Happy birthday! That’s not going to cut it. Now she’s giving an excuse she needs to give her a present and the only thing left is that love charm. Since Tatsuno says she would prefer that, Hotori thinks switching won’t be a problem. Back home, Hotori and Kon pick the lock of the box and find a love charm inside it. Disappointed? As for Tatsuno, she storms back to Shizuka’s store to return this hideous gift. When Shizuka takes a peek into the box, she gets freaked out.

Episode 6B: Business Trip Maid Service
Tatsuno and Hotori have 2 weeks to complete their computer assignment. Hotori suggest going to Tatsuno’s house since her brother has a computer to complete their assignment. However Kon is sick so Tatsuno needs to go look after her. This has Hotori deciding to do her work at Sanada’s place. Uki lets her go seeing that they don’t have customers. What about the shopkeeper trio? Oh, she thought they were part of the furniture. That hurts! But guess who is tagging along too. Yeah, Tatsuno won’t miss this kind of chance in the world. Hotori calls Sanada about their visit so he sends them to buy some cream puffs in a faraway stall so that he has time to clean up his porn mags lying around everywhere. But he still has to delete all the porn images in his computer since Hotori will be using it. Oh, now you’ve cleanse yourself of the worldly desires. The girls arrive but upon realizing he doesn’t have a scanner needed to complete their work, Hotori leaves. Oh my! He deleted all his porn for nothing! Then Hotori spots a novel she thinks she lent him but she trips and his place becomes messy again, all the porn mags scattered. Hotori becomes shock and gives him a new perverted nickname. His life is so over… No choice, they go to Kon’s place. They see her in bed and her fever is serious. Kon says an embarrassing word so much so she was prepared to kill them! But they calm her down and convince her she was just spewing gibberish. As they put her to bed, they cook and clean for her. Hotori notices Kon’s weird guitar. It’s actually a bass guitar because it has only 4 strings. Duh! She tries to play it but there is no sound so Tatsuno turns on the amplifier. Can you imagine the deafening sound that could even spring Kon out of her bed. It’s amazing she didn’t die of heart attack. Hotori and Tatsuno return to Seaside and they see Sanada’s dad wondering why his kid is depressed. Hotori mentions about his lecherous tendencies so papa thinks sonny did something to her! Next day, seems Tatsuno has caught Kon’s cold and Seaside is closed because well, Uki too caught the sickness. Then it hit Hotori why she’s the only person not feeling ill. Remember the saying that idiots don’t catch a cold? What does this tell you about Hotori? She starts feigning that she’s so healthy that it makes her sick. Not working…

Episode 7A: Lover’s Elopement
Sanada didn’t like the idea of eating bread and crab for breakfast. As he waits at the bus stop, he is surprised to see Hotori there. Seems she doesn’t want to be late this time and woke up earlier. Ran out of excuses to give? Or rather some alphabetical discrimination during roll call? Yeah, it’s unfortunate her name is first on the list. As they ride the bus, Hotori falls asleep on Sanada’s shoulders. He must be thanking God for this moment. However he is in a dilemma to wake her up when they reach their destination or miss it. His choice? He’s not getting off! They end up at the last line. First period has already started and the next bus arrives in 20 minutes. Rushing back won’t do any good since it’ll be quite a distance back. Sanada suggests skipping school today so Hotori is receptive of his idea. They walk through town and Sanada’s face turns red when Hotori takes his hand to walk. Well, it’s her habit since she has younger siblings so it’s natural. But Sanada isn’t going to give up this happiness even if it uses up all the energy reserves in his life. Die happy, eh? After having lunch and at the river bank and having nonchalant chat about what will happen tomorrow, they take a bus back as Hotori notes how they used to play all the time as kids. He wonders why they stopped so Hotori gets aggressive trying to make him remember why. Turns out he and a bunch of kids didn’t want to play with a stupid girl. Oh, that has got to hurt. Brings back memories, eh? He apologizes but it’s no big deal to her now. Sanada goes back to his room and tries to write a diary of today’s outing. Yeah, it’s just 2 lines. Oh yeah. I’m sure he’ll win the Booker Prize for this.

Episode 7B: Night Walker
Hotori got freaked when she thought a ghost was at her door. Turns out to be Takeru who can’t sleep. Thanks to Hotori’s energy drink, he’s wide awake now. They decide to take a night stroll to lose those excess energy. They pass by Seaside to see Uki and the 3 loyal shopkeeper customers hanging out and the shopping arcade feels deserted like a ghost town. Passing by Sanada’s shop, she thinks of calling him to hire him as a bodyguard. Since she forgot her handphone, Takeru offers her his slingshot in his backpack to aim at the window. Unfortunately, Sanada just came out for fresh air when he got hit by the acorn right in the forehead! He’s one angry kid ready to rumble!!! Hotori, make sure you don’t let him know about this… Then they pass by a ramen stall and the owner recognizes her. But… Mr Policeman is there! It’s like his reflex action when her name is just mentioned, he goes into alert mode! It’s just your imagination, sir. Then at the convenience store, Hotori screws around with Takeru’s head as they cross over to midnight, confusing the kid about how tomorrow become today and today became yesterday at this point. When they return, Takeru realizes that Hotori must have sneaked out many times since she’s a pro when it comes to covering her tracks. I don’t mind that the siblings take a bath together but don’t you think Takeru is a little too old for this? Shouldn’t they have any shame of bathing together? And I’m not sure about Hotori’s method of killing somebody with a banana and then getting rid of the murder weapon by eating it. Seriously, do you eat a banana that you have just whacked someone with?

Episode 8A: The All-In-One World
On a rainy day, Hotori, Tatsuno and Kon take shelter in front of an auto laundry shop. After Hotori’s pestering that has Tatsuno getting them all drench, they decide to dry their clothes inside. Luckily nobody is in so they strip naked while they wait. Hope nobody comes in. They notice a dryer with lots of undies in it. They put their clothes back on once it’s dry but feels that their outside is just warm and need something to warm their insides (no perverted jokes here). Hotori buys an udon meal from the vending machine and watches it make the udon fresh. Kon buys one herself. Hmm… Tastes mediocre. Then Tatsuno buys a hamburger from the hamburger machine and finds it to be pre-packaged and ‘dented’. Plus, it has all the meat in the world put into it. Horse, rabbit, beef, pork chicken, you name it! Now Hotori tries the ham with melt cheese and it’s piping hot. With their stomachs full, Hotori feels they need to add this fun factor to Seaside but Tatsuno cautions they should improve their coffee first. When the rain stops, they leave. The person who was doing the undies turns out to be Haribara as she comes in to collect them. That night when Hotori is hungry, she returns to that laundry shop to buy food. She also sees Kon there eating away. Already hooked on vending machine food, eh? Later at Seaside, Tatsuno gives a jar she couldn’t open to Sanada. He does it with ease so she tries to find a really hard jar for him to open. When she finds one, it rolls off her hands and into a tight corner. I wonder how she gets so much strength to lift the furniture. But that would defeat the purpose if she could open it, right? Then when Uki returns, Tatsuno notes her torn stockings. When she lifts her skirt, Sanada spits out coffee upon that sight. Hotori and Tatsuno misinterpret he has a thing for Uki! Looks like he ‘died’ again.

Episode 8B: Band’s Labyrinth
For the school cultural festival, Hotori’s class isn’t doing everything simply because everyone is busy with their club’s own cultural activities. This leaves Hotori, Tatsuno and Sanada free. Kon comes by Seaside to show the gang that she has got a ticket to perform on stage at the festival. She wants to put together a band. All she needs is a keyboard and guitarist since she herself plays the bass. The drummer part has been taken care of and the honours goes to Haribara who went into drumming as part of Kon’s special training to improve her ping pong stamina. Hotori mentions she could play something keyboard-like while Tatsuno something guitar-like, though it’s been a while back. But to Kon’s dismay, Hotori plays an accordion while Tatsuno a violin. Well, not every instrument that has strings can be considered a guitar, dimwit! Though she accepts their instruments, it’s going to be a real pain to hear them play together. Even granny can’t take it. Let’s say it’ll speed up her migraine. Care to turn it into a karaoke cafe then? On the day of the festival, Tatsuno is happy to be able to walk around with Sanada. She invites him to come and see her performance but he says he’ll come even if she didn’t invite him. On the last day, those words have Tatsuno regretting what she said and is obviously nervous. She gets into an argument with Hotori and soon Haribara (who realized she has been tricked by Kon to play drums for this gig). Then when Kon comes in, they realize how cute she is in a maid outfit and felt lost. So the girls dub themselves as The Maids go on stage and put on a… Erm, sounds weird but it’s pretty catchy. I thought it sounded like a country song. Next day after clean up, life returns to school like as though there is no trace of that vibrant festival that took place.

Episode 9A: Clash! The Fairy VS The Reaper
A wife sells her husband’s weird collection to Shizuka to get rid of it at any price. The husband later reclaims it at any price.  This goes on and on and the price keeps increasing each time till both spouses come face to face at the shop. They argue to sell and buy so many times that Shizuka tells them that they owe her 5 round trips! During gym class, Tatsuno is infatuated seeing Sanada in basketball action while Hotori thinks she has jumped through some portal over a pole vault and landing somewhere off. Then a ping pong match between Tatsuno and Haribara. Their skills are fearsome enough to be dubbed the Fairy and Reaper! Even Kon has her own legend that will send shiver down people’s spine because she is known as the Devil or the reincarnation of Satan! Is this ping pong we’re talking about or some fantasy legend? Tatsuno and Haribara start their paddle action and because of that girl’s dramatic narration, everything seems so exaggerated. Like Haribara’s Reaper’s Scythe that makes you really stretch to receive the ball so much so you will fall and knock yourself out! Sounds like so recently made up… But Tatsuno is on the verge of experiencing this deadly effect but when she notices Sanada watching her so her determination has her get up and return the shot. In the end, Tatsuno lost simply because she is no match for one who kept practising continuously. Hotori comments that since she wants to be a detective, she doesn’t need to excel in gym because she’ll be finding out the culprit not catch him. The point? If Tatsuno is going to be Sanada’s wife, you don’t need to excel in ping pong. Haha. Sounds like she’s mocking her. And the reason why Sanada was so intensely watching Tatsuno? Her bouncy boobs…

Episode 9B: Collector’s Frenzy
A guy, Ryousuke Moriaki is disheartened that his mom’s favourite sweet shop will be closed at the end of the month since it’s not doing well. Shizuka takes a bite of a Rainbow Delights snacks and finds it delicious. She learns her grandpa got it from a stranger who randomly handed the snack to him. Also, grandpa has never seen such a snack in his days. Next day, she passes by Hotori and Kon and asks them about it but they have never heard about it too so it can’t be one of those new kids’ snacks. Shizuka tries to call the number on the wrapper to order more but the line is not in service. Seeing the snack has not expired yet, she Googles on its name and location but finds nothing. Plus, there is no city by that name in this prefecture. Shizuka starts thinking if this could all be fake but the part where a stranger gave it to grandpa is her only clue. She rides her bike out so that she can scout all the possible sweets and confectionery stores in that prefecture. While stopping at a ramen shop she asks the store lady about it and is surprised that she is the third person to have asked her the same question. The more answers she tries to find out, the more questions surfaces. She sure has a hard time sleeping. Yeah, she even thought if she really ate that snack or it was just her imagination. Then the inn lady takes her through the corridors and walking pass a door, she finds herself in the supposed city. However she wakes up from it as a dream. Back at Seaside, Shizuka has Hotori and Tatsuno recreate the snack’s flavour but couldn’t come close. Hotori deduces that the snack can only be from the future! Why? See the expiry dates have only the last 2 digits of the years so it may not be of this year but 100 of years in the future! Thus it’s totally possible for cities they’ve never heard of to spring up much later in the future. Well, who are we to say wrong? Say, she’s eaten too much of those and her stomach hurts. But what Hotori said may be true because Moriaki is seen at a welcoming home press conference about his success for time travelling! Since he is hungry, he felt like eating one of those Rainbow Delights. The press wonders if time travelling has made him crave for common man’s food. Common man’s food? Everyone takes out the snack and tells him they are practically sold everywhere. Looks like what Moriaki tried to do became a successful miracle in the future, eh?

Episode 10A: Holes
The news are reporting of mysterious holes popping up overnight. There’s even a hole expert to say how they are not man-made since they are perfectly round! At school, Kon is very excited about this holes incident and bugs Hotori to take her there since it occurs near the place she lives. However Hotori is very depressed. No joke. She ignores Kon but she tells her the least she could do is to tell it and get it off her chest. Hotori explains that she is the one responsible for making the holes! Last night when she went to the store to buy ice cream, she spotted a weird ray gun on the street. She picks it up and somehow accidentally triggers it. Now there’s your first hole. Then a weird alien being beams down, speaks to her in incomprehensible alien language. What should she do? Give back the gun? Give her ice cream? Then another bug alien shows up. And Hotori is caught in between their feud! In her fear, the gun activates to cause more holes and evaporates the bug alien. The weird alien takes the gun and blasts into the night sky. So will Kon believe her story? More importantly, will Hotori get arrested for making those holes? Kon shows her a weird bullet-like item she found yesterday. Hotori believes it looks like the same material as the ray gun was made. Kon demonstrates how this thing can restore broken things back to its original state, thus the reason why she believed her story and wanted her to take her to the place. There, they repair all the holes like as though none of them were there in the first place. However they unknowingly restore that bug alien too! As they walk away, the bug alien prepares to smash them! And what happens next is up to you to imagine. Heck, this story is even up to you whether you want to believe or not.

Episode 10B: Grandpa Smart Ass
An old guy, Zenji talks to a near-bald guy at the park but he doesn’t respond. Koban starts staring at him so it is then we find out Zenji is a ghost! He remembers how he was on his death bed in hospital and died. His soul left his body and was ready to be picked up to heaven. But the angels missed him and got someone else instead. Thus Zenji fell back down to Earth and is upset he didn’t get an escort to heaven. Though he is not sure what he did to screw up, he has been wandering around alone ever since. Oh, that was 10 years ago. WTF?! Seems only animals can react to him but not humans. Not even the shrine priest. They’re so oblivious. We see Uki praying to an altar of her late husband which turns out to be Zenji. She still loves him and ‘talks’ to him about her day. Zenji is obviously listening close by and notes if she keeps praying harder, he might move on. Till she gets clumsy with her words. Maybe she’s not praying that hard after all, that’s why he’s stuck. He also hears her talking in her sleep how he never bothered to visit her in her dreams and is probably goofing around over the other side. Zenji sits by a table in Seaside. Uki seems to be staring at his direction and tells Tatsuno to leave a coffee at that table. Zenji is shocked that she is able to see him as she approaches. Then she sits down and sits the coffee. Hah! It was for herself! Sanada is seen making a very long-winded, complicated prayer about his chances for Hotori. So Zenji’s comment? God has got it tough! Yeah, it’s not the part of granting people’s wish is hard, it’s figuring out what the wish is. Don’t worry? God will understand? Hopefully…

Episode 11A: Josephine’s Summer
Scene 1: Morning With Ayumu Arashiyama
Hotori’s dad, Ayumu narrates his peaceful morning walk with their tanuki (raccoon dog) pet named Josephine through the quiet shopping district, only to be interrupted by some of the lively shopkeepers about the upcoming typhoon. He passes by a jogging lady who always greets him but I guess with that chubby looks, it’s more like a turn off, eh? He tries to buy coffee at the vending machine but realizes the wind partially blew off the ‘out of service’ sign. Yeah, it ate his money. How bad can his morning get? With the wind picking up pace, pages of newspaper starts flying into his face. Turns out clumsy Hotori tried to pick the newspaper while brushing her teeth. WTF?! Back home, his kids pester him to take them somewhere but he isn’t interested and gives the ‘I don’t have summer break like you guys’ excuse and tells them to get big sister to take them out to the public pool instead. The kids aren’t happy and start moaning and groaning. Ayumu notes how his only true friend is Josephine. Yeah, somebody who doesn’t talk back, right? Plus, he has Hotori walk the dog on his behalf this evening. Dog?

Scene 2: Hotori Arashiyama’s Summer
Hotori’s siblings aren’t happy she’s off to class during summer break. Like she has a choice. Yeah, she thought she was late for her maths remedial class but turns out to be the first one. Wait. She’s the only one! I wonder how long Moriaki has been waiting. As usual, he is frustrated with Hotori’s low scores in maths. Why, there was this recent exam he just changed the numbers but the rest of the equations remained the same and amazingly that dimwit girl managed to score even much lower! Oh, he could feel the pain in his ribs. But he has a ploy that may get Hotori to like maths. He tells her how maths and detective work are alike and he is pretty convincing in telling the clues (formula and equations) will lead to the culprit (answer). Is it working? Hotori got motivated to solve maths but in the end… The case can’t be solved! Oh, here comes the pain again…

Scene 3: Josephine
Hotori reluctantly takes Josephine out for a walk. Seems Josephine wants to go the other way and pick up weird things. Hotori meets Kon and Haribara. After that name-calling insulting greeting exchange, Kon starts laughing at Josephine and notes how the pet is walking the pet! She can’t control herself! Hey, doesn’t Hotori’s face look like the tanuki itself too? Haribara can’t help herself too as Kon takes a picture of the duo and continues laughing. Upset Hotori sends Josephine to attack them but she’s just being cute. Back home, Hotori wakes up from a dream whereby Josephine told her she is packing up and leaving to return to the mountains. She rushes outside to see Josephine not in her kennel so she panics thinking she may have really left for good. She acts out a dramatic ‘come back’ scene so her family inside wonder what the heck is she doing drenched in the rain. Yeah, Josephine is inside with the family because of the impending typhoon forecast. Next morning, she tries to teach Josephine to shake hands like a dog in order to avoid others to call it a tanuki. WTF?! Is he blind? Or is she stupid? Or both? But it’s useless because Josephine licks her hand. However Josephine isn’t as dumb as she looks. She notes ever since she came, she observed the pecking order (from highest to lowest): Yukimi, Hotori, Yukiko, Takeru, Josephine and Ayumu. Yes, the only guy is the last in the order. Then it Hotori, she realized this is how Moriaki must have felt when he tried to teach her maths. Oh…

Episode 11B: Kon-senpai’s Silent Rage
Kon returns home to see Hotori letting herself in. Her boiling point starts increasing when she sees Hotori sleeping comfortably in her bed, the air-cond set at 24 degrees Celsius, a random inflatable next to her bed, a lukewarm drink Hotori took out from the fridge, drank and left outside and the worse of all that will piss her off is she left Koban locked outside. This does it. Kon turns off the air-cond so Hotori’s tropical dream of being served by several Josephines turns into a fiery fire of hell! Then as Kon cooks omelette, Hotori suggests in putting sugar. She pesters her as Kon politely refuses. But her persistence got to Kon as she gives off that scary leave-it-or-else warning enough to shut Hotori up. Hotori tries to sing a beach song but it sucks. Back at Seaside, Tatsuno waits for Sanada to show up since it is Hotori’s day off and wants to ask him out to the beach. That courage mustering feat again, huh? I thought she didn’t want to work for life? Anyway Sanada comes in looking for Hotori but was told that ‘the 2 of them went to the beach’. Sanada starts to panic that Hotori went to the beach with another guy and he might jump ahead of him in confessing his love to Hotori! Screw the beach! He’ll show the sea my rage! Then Tatsuno stammers in her invitation. Screw the beach! She’ll show the sea her rage! In actual fact, the ‘guy’ Hotori went out with is Kon. She thought she is going to have her perfect summer but it all goes downhill from here. When she tripped, her inflatable burst, it started raining and the waves washed away her top. Hotori is inconsolable like a cry-baby, not even caring her dignity as a woman while Kon tries hard to keep her calm. She tries to buy her a nice warm curry but the kitchen is closed. Boo hoo! There goes her summer…

Episode 11C: Mr Poorman
Actually this short black-and-white panel skits are scattered throughout the episode. It’s about the interaction between Mr Poorman and Mr Richman. The joke is about Mr Richman trying to show off the Mr Poorman so when the latter accepts his offer, it turns out more cheapskate than originally thought. Like having a sumptuous meals turns out to just be a picture and putting it under the pillow so you can dream about it, catching a beetle and only putting it in a gold cage that has 2 bars (so as to lower the cost. WTF?!), buying a popular DVD to watch but got no DVD player to watch (hence just admiring the DVD), visiting his winter villa which turns out to be shovelling snow to make a hole and a mixed rice that has nothing mixed in it. So who says being rich is all about style and content? Who is really the poor guy here?

Episode 12A: And The Town Still Turns (Part A)
There is a little tension between Kon and Tatsuno because of some petty issue that the latter’s refusal to join the ping pong club and the former thinks she was a wuss and ran away since she couldn’t beat her. To ease the tension, Hotori shows a fountain pendant, a combination of a magnifying glass and Mont Blanc pen (the pen part she received as a gift from her uncle). Hotori is pretty confident she is going to patent this ingenuity but Kon have to spoil her party and tells her the Mont Blanc pen costs very expensive. And she cut it in half just to fix it to the magnifying glass… To add salt to her wound, this combination isn’t anything new and is already long in the market. Oh, the heartbreak. Because of that, Uki allows her to go home and rest. Back home, she gets a call from uncle who is asking how she finds the pen. Gulp. Yeah, he wants her to come and visit him for the summer holidays. Double gulp. Needing an excuse to distract him during the visit, Hotori scours through the magazine to see a contest prize worth 5 million Yen. All she needs to do is write a detective novel and win first place. In addition to the money, her work will be published in Mystery Magazine. So Hotori burns the midnight oil writing her detective murder mystery about some murder that took place on some Jelly Island. Tatsuno got killed followed by Kon. Brilliant detective Hotori points out Kon is the culprit and her death was just fake. Yeah, some ping pong club thingy. Hotori is pretty confident she’ll land first prize. So much so it’s the case of counting her chickens before they hatch. Yeah, she’s dreaming she’ll make it big and famous. A week later, she receives a letter from Mystery Magazine. Thinking something amiss since it’s still too early before the final results are announced, she is disheartened to read that her works did not make it pass the initial round! Oh sh*it! She goes into deep shock and didn’t see the incoming truck. When she wakes up, she sees her lifeless body! OMG! An out of body experience! I’m not sure if the truck killed her or the shock. Must be the latter because her body looks pretty okay. The truck driver seemed pretty worried. Then she is whisked to heaven with the angels showing sketches of her past life. Is this how life flashing is done?!

Episode 12B: And The Town Still Turns (Part B)
I don’t know how, Hotori ended up in some Egyptian judgment chamber to be decided if she would go the heaven or hell (did they make a joke on the light holy feather?) before being whisked away by a Japanese admin guy who tells her to get into the Japanese line. Hmm… The Heaven Immigration Bureau looks like city hall. Hotori is being told she will get her approval as residence in about 2 to 3 weeks. The admin guy accompanies Hotori since it’s his job to assist new residents. He gives her a white flower named Silent Flower (kuchinashi no hana) and got the guts to make a pun that dead man tell no tales (shin nin ni kuchinashi). You can’t blame Hotori for beating him up. Hey, she just died. He brings her to an arcade to have fun so Hotori tries some Ghost Picture whereby she can make ordinary Earth pictures into spirit shots and tries it on Kon. Then she looks through the binoculars to find her body. At the hospital, the doctor gives the ultimate bad news that Hotori may be in coma and never wakes up, much to her parents’ dismay. Ayumu then runs off. She also sees how her siblings cried very hard (who are they going to fight with now?), her friends though arguing about Hotori still believes she can’t just die yet, Moriaki shedding tears upon knowing what happened (nobody to reprimand?), the shopkeepers being restrained by Mr Policeman because they want to get the truck driver’s head, there is a tear in Mr Policeman’s eyes too, Sanada very upset because he hasn’t confessed his feelings to her yet (why take it out on the swing?), Uki praying to Zenji that he will take care of Hotori (sorry granny, there’s nothing even grandpa can do), Ayumu rushing all the way to the temple and dumps all the money in his wallet to pray to God for Hotori’s recovery. Hotori suddenly felt how everyone cared for her and in tears realizes she still wants to spend time with them. However the admin guy says it’s impossible to go straight back and she may be able to see them again if she works hard here. Suddenly Hotori is being called to the bureau. She learns that she can go back immediately since her body is intact and her brain has miraculously recovered. Of course she’s not going to pass this up. Before she returns, she promises to pay a visit to admin guy’s grave but he replies that once she leaves this place, she will have no memories of being here. Hotori wakes up in hospital and is surprised this is some sort of candid camera. The nurse is shock of her miraculous recovery and calls the doctor. In the aftermath, Hotori recuperates in hospital as worried but relieved Kon visits her. Hotori is back to her usual self because she notes how daddy poured 3,400 Yen into the donation box to revive her and this means this is all she is worth! Plus, she found a new excuse for her Mont Blanc pen: It was crushed by the truck. She still hasn’t lost touch of this knack. But Kon thinks she got into this mess because an evil spirit possessed her. Showing a picture as a proof, Hotori freaks out upon seeing a hand over her shoulder! How did she mess this one up?

And The World Continues To Turn…
It is nice to know that no matter how clumsy or lackadaisical Hotori is, the kind of girl who will never score double digits in maths (no, I didn’t develop fear of maths after this), the girl who dreams to be a detective someday or somebody who just has a knack for giving excuses to get herself out of trouble, everybody still cares for her. It was a heartbreaking moment to see everyone crying during Hotori’s absence. I mean, without her, the town will never be the same, right? It shows she still has a role to play. So Hotori, rest assured that even though you are an idiot, you are EVERYBODY’S lovable idiot! Haha! Don’t take it the wrong way. In that sense, you are quite the ‘useful’ girl. Don’t worry about your clumsiness, some people in some parts of the world fawn over such ‘appeal’. Overall, the series is quite okay with its randomness and comical ways. I had much fun laughing out at some of the funny and silly moments but there are times whereby it left me stumped because I do not understand what is going on. This is usually the case when it deals with the unexplained supernatural stuff like aliens and time travelling. But I guess I should just leave and accept it as it is. That’ll be easier on me :). Because this is SHAFT’s production, you can still see some of their trademark visuals like that trademark despair sequence from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei or the dramatic effects. However there aren’t many varieties of visual creativity as compared to their other works so you’ll just have to do with what they’ve got. Of course the end card illustrations from different illustrations provide a little amusement.

Truthfully, I would have also preferred to see some of the characters making more screen time appearances rather than one-off or short ones. Perhaps if they have made this series a little longer then it would have been so since all the episodes are directly adapted from the chapters of the manga. And as I found out, as of to date, there are around 60 over chapters spanning around 8 volumes. I would have liked to see the relationship development between Takeru and Eri, the continued rivalry between Hotori and the ‘lively’ Mr Policeman, the cause and reason Zenji never went over to the other side, and yes, the one-way love chemistry between Hotori-Sanada-Tatsuno. But I guess I’ll have to make do with the random fun. I also love the narration that occurs at the beginning and the end of each episode. How should I put it? They serve as ‘words of wisdom’ and something for us viewers to think about since they are in a way related to that particular episode’s story. For instance, episode 3’s “Eyes are organs that actively convey unspoken intent, emotions and inner thoughts. Eyes can say just as much as one’s mouth” or episode 9’s “Humans pray to beings they cannot see or whose existence they cannot prove. If one’s prayers are answered, they believe in the existence of their guiding force. If not, they doubt whether their prayers were sufficient”. Sometimes it serves as a punch line like in the final episode whereby Hotori was taken to Heaven: “The town is home to many people. And just like that, there is now one less”. In many of the episodes, Josephine also appears in still pictures in between the episodes. But her words are shorter and random. Ending each of her sentences with “~poko”, what she has to say may or may not have any relation to do with what is going on. Sometimes I am left scratching my head to see how it is related. Or maybe it doesn’t at all.

Chiaki Omigawa is perfectly suited to play Hotori. Knowing her since she first debuted as Maka in Soul Eater, her voice definitely brings out the inept and lazy character in Hotori. Be it complaining or just being idiotic, you can’t help feel her ‘unpolished’ voice suits this role. I think it may be the first time for me to notice this. A guy voicing a female’s role. Who? Takahiro Sakurai as Uki! Here I thought it was an old woman or at least an elderly lady taking on the role but no, it is that very guy who voiced Suzaku in Code Geass and Jenos in Black Cat. Wow. He really sounded so different that I would never have thought a man was actually voicing this role. Maybe old people’s voice doesn’t sound as distinct as young males or females. I also thought and was bloody sure that Aki Toyosaki was the voice behind Josephine. But to my surprise it is Miyu Matsuki! I wouldn’t have guessed Hidamari Sketch’s Yoshinoya or Hayate No Gotoku’s Isumi would sound so close to Aki Toyosaki. Well, if it’s that ditzy dreamy voice, I suppose I can’t tell. Tomokazu Sugita is the voice behind Moriaki. Since I know him as Gintama’s Gintoki, each time I can’t help think he might turn into that silver perm samurai each time he raises his voice. Also, with Shigeru Chiba as Mr Policeman, I can’t stop myself from wondering if this guy will change into One Piece’s Buggy because his lively screaming really sounds like that clown pirate. Other casts include Ao Yuuki as Tatsuno (Mina in Dance In The Vampire Bund), Ryoko Shiraishi as Haribara (Hayate in Hayate No Gotoku), newcomer Rieka Yazawa as Kon, Miyu Irino as Sanada (Syaoran in Tsubasa Chronicle), Satsuki Yukino as Shizuka (Kagome in Inu Yasha), Emiri Katou as Eri (Kagami in Lucky Star), Mutsumi Tamura as Takeru (Kio in Asobi Ni Iku Yo), and Youji Ueda as the narrator (Saemon in Basilisk).

As shown in the ending credits animation, I thought that Kon and Haribara eventually would join the Seaside maid team but looks like it wasn’t to be. But at least they did their maid band gig for a short while during the festival. And so the ending theme, Maids Sanjou! by the Maids (the quartet behind the voice of Kon, Hotori, Tatsuno and Haribara) is a weird rock song (constipation as part of the lyrics?). Kon’s bass cover, Tatsuno’s electrifying violin, Hotori’s clumsy accordion and Haribara’s drumming, this ragtag bunch of maids seem like a maid version of K-ON!, don’t you think? How I wish their performance wasn’t confined to just the ending credits. Hmm… I kinda noticed this but doesn’t Kon’s bass resemble closely to K-ON’s Mio’s bass? But that red bass guitar back in her room looked so much like K-ON!’s Yui’s guitar. Besides, is it a coincidence that Kon’s name and K-ON! are the same spelling?! The opening theme by Maaya Sakamoto, Down Town is sung Broadway style and the animation feels like it plays out to the saying ‘the world is your stage’.

Life no matter how it turns out will continue to go on anyway. Just like show business. Just like the economy. Turning is part of nature’s law. Ever heard of the vicious cycle? Turn, turn, turn. Ah, who could forget that song from The Byrds. The world has been spinning on its axis ever since the day it was born. And perhaps the subtle theme here is to appreciate life and do the things you love because after all, we are only temporary tenants in this world. And when you’re gone, the world will still continue to turn… Oops, don’t want to end this on a gloomy affair. So let’s end this with three cheers for maids! Long live anime maids! Viva Japanese anime maids! Oh, too much maids is already making my head spin round and round and round and round…

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040

January 14, 2012

It has been mankind’s dream to develop technology to the extent that robots provide us with lots modern conveniences to ease the burden of our everyday lives. Seems pretty cool to have machines do those tedious and ‘boring’ jobs for you but really, is this the real meaning of living? Many cartoons and animes back in the 80’s and 90’s that tackle the futuristic human lifestyle with robots genre always seem to have this one-kind feeling. At least that is what I felt. Whether it is the Jetsons or Robotech, there is just this feeling of futuristic-but-yet-primitive experience. Hmm… Maybe the animation at that period isn’t that good yet.

So it’s the same case with Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, a year 1998 remake and retelling of the OVA called Bubblegum Crisis that first appeared back in the late 80’s. As usual, in the near distant future, mankind has advanced and learned to live with robots termed as Boomers. I guess it must be humans’ nature to get arrogant and step on the head of those they deemed weak so Boomers even if they have limited artificial intelligence, are a bunch of under-appreciated and discriminated lot of machines being made to do ‘dirty’ jobs that we humans don’t really want to do. Of course there are more dangerous jobs which are more suited for these automated machines but that’s beside the point. Having these Boomers with near-human-like characteristics, there are times their circuits may just go haywire and they snap. Going berserk and attacking their surroundings. So these Mad Boomers need to be constantly being kept a close watch on especially by the AD Police to prevent the livelihood and safety of the citizens from being threatened. Of course with the recent increase in Mad Boomers, the AD Police seems just like for decoration so we have a mysterious vigilante group that cleans up this mess faster before you can say, “OMG! Is that a bird? Is it a plane?”. Herald the Knight Sabers, a group of women in robotic-like hard suits to save the day. But they too have their own issues to deal with as the line between humans and Boomers further blurs.

Episode 1
As narrated, the Genom Corporation’s Showhamm Project, an ambitious endeavour to save the world and solving their energy woes is steadily progressing in orbit. Saleswoman Linna Yamazaki is going to have lunch with her female colleague when a biker lady zooms so close that she falls and causes her to spill her lunch. She confronts her but all she did was point to the scar on her forehead before riding away. She must be that desperate that she chases the biker down the steps (in high heels!) and even slides down the pole! Biker lady plays it cool by just going away into the opposite direction. Is throwing her high heels going to help? Nothing she can do but cry, right? Because of that, she gets reprimanded by her Boomer (robot) employer for being in a mess. She is made to clean up when her male higher-up offers to take her sightseeing tonight since she is new in Tokyo Megalopolis. Nene Romanova finishes her watch at the AD Police Intelligence Agency Management Centre while her colleague Leon McNichol continues to patrol the streets for Mad Boomers (robots gone crazy and dangerous). As Linna dates her higher-up she spots a poster that bears the same eyes of the biker lady. At a bar, the higher-up tries to caress her thighs and even threatens about her future career when a Mad Boomer starts destroying the place. Guess what? The jerk is the first one to run out for his life. As the other bar patrons panic and stampede to the exit, seems the Mad Boomer is targeting Linna. If she can’t get out, she goes up. Bad move because the Boomer destroys the stairways and leaves her hanging on the edge. Just then, a couple of suited Knight Sabers appear to come to her rescue and totally destroy the Boomer. Linna recognizes one of them as the biker lady due to her gesture. Once Linna is safe on the ground, they quickly disappear into the shadows as Leon arrives but it’s too late (seems he doesn’t like the Knight Sabers very much). Next day in office, Linna decides to show her appreciation to her higher-up by giving him a good punch. He deserves it. The biker lady, Priscilla S. “Priss” Asagiri a bar but she sees Linna in front of her. She’s not here to settle the petty grudge. She says she wants to join Knight Sabers but Priss just zooms pass by leaving her standing behind in her wake.

Episode 2
Leon is being reprimanded by his boss, Nick Roland because he was beaten to the scene by illegal armoured groups to handle the Boomer. As for methods to control the Knight Sabers, he gives excuse it is out of their jurisdiction. Outside, Leon’s partner, Daley Wong mentions about their hard suits which has more mobility from their K-suits. Though Leon things that they are only targeting Boomers and not getting into criminal activities, they are a bunch doing it not for justice but violence. Daley thinks that they may be doing it as tests for the suits and may be part of a larger organization. However Leon refuses to acknowledge them. Priss goes to see her superior, Sylia Stingray for her last gig’s pay. She also wonders if she can make another hard suit but reveals nothing further. Linna gets reprimanded while trying to search for info on Knight Sabers at work but her search is futile. Then she goes to use her higher-up’s PC in hopes she may find something. Nene detects somebody trying to access AD Police’s server and decides to scare the other end with a death threat warning. Sylia’s butler, Meisio Henderson advises her about not trying to increase members of the Knight Sabers too quickly but she’s in no haste. Sylia receives a message saying that Tower personnel are spreading counter claims that Boomers are safe. Sylia gets upset and smashes her screen. Seems she views Boomers as monsters and are a threat to humans. The chairman of Genom, Quincy Rosenkreutz talks to his vice president Brian J. Mason on how much he loves Boomers because they bear all of humanity’s burden. He despises humans for looking down on others to justify their existence. Even with the declining market and overproduction of Boomers, he wants the production of Boomers to continue as part of his Showhamm Project. Linna confronts Priss after her band rehearsal and is adamant she wants to join Knight Sabers because she always looked up to them. However Priss plays dumb and leaves. This time Linna follows her as she has placed a tracker on her bike. Can her scooter keep up? Of course not! Even if Priss is testing her, it broke down. Miraculously, Linna manages to push all the way to a place and spots Priss talking to Sylia. She enters the building after them. After following a secret pathway, she meets the Knight Sabers. Sylia seems interested in her after Linna explains her enthusiast in the Knight Sabers. Sylia tells her that the hard suits must be tailored made to fit the body and there isn’t any for her now. She has Linna do a simulation on past Knight Sabers’ action recorder to get a feel of what she’ll be experiencing. Linna seems to learn fast and she gets violent in destroying the Boomer. Though trembling at the end of the simulation, she mentions the incredible sensation of it.

Episode 3
Priss sees Nigel Kirkland to get her bike fix and also tell him that Sylia plans to create a new hard suit. Leon visits Nene to find out more on Knight Sabers but she feigns ignorance and tricks him with false info. Nigel goes to see Sylia and has brought along equipment to make the hard suit for Linna based on the data that she has and then conducting a test on it. Linna and Nene are at a cafeteria together as they talk about how and why they join Knight Sabers. Nene joined as she was scouted by Sylia for her hacking abilities. Their conversation is interrupted when a Boomer waitress accidentally spills a drink on a guy customer. He becomes furious and tells the Boomer to lick it dry. Linna can’t stand it and tells him off and embarrass the guy till he goes away. Meanwhile Mason sees Rosenkreutz about Knight Sabers but the latter is okay to let them roam free since they are taking care of the menace voluntarily. Plus, he has invested a lot in AD Police and that their most important thing is that they are being hated by the public. He also has pressured the media on not reporting the vigilantes. Furthermore, he notes that there is no such thing called Mad Boomers and it’s a non-existent threat. Nene and Linna return to HQ as they see Nigel leaving. Just in time for Linna to try on her hard suit. Yeah, lots of power ups and upgrades that even Nene would feel jealous. It’s a new model, remember? The inner suit is already so tight but it fits perfectly as Linna gets a feel of the suit and is having fun. Just then, Priss calls in to report a Mad Boomer incident. Yeah, it’s that Boomer waitress at cafeteria going berserk… Terrorizing by licking? Sylia has Nene and Linna blast right into action since it’ll take longer to send the suit to Priss. Priss takes on the Mad Boomer herself to free the captive but since it morphs its shape into a stronger one, she goes into hiding. Sylia tells Priss to get out and let Knight Sabers handle it. Leon and Daley just arrive at the scene in time for some Boomer-kicking action.

Episode 4
The Knight Sabers enter the scene exactly the same time with Leon and Daley. Leon goes to cover Priss and thinks he has seen her somewhere before. Priss uses this chance to escape so that she could get into her hard suit in Sylia’s mobile truck. Nene gets hit by the Mad Boomer so Linna charges and grabs it. Before she could crush its core, her suit malfunctions and shuts down. Now she’s a sitting duck. The Boomer starts crushing her when Priss returns in her suit to destroy the Mad Boomer once and for all. Because of the bungling AD Police backup charging in when the show is already over, the Knight Sabers manage to escape. Back in the truck while Linna is catching her breath, Sylia and Nene commend her actions but Priss is upset that Sylia sent a rookie into battle. Though Linna thanks Priss for saving her, she mentions she doesn’t want to be on a team with an amateur and leaves. Next day Linna goes to visit Priss at her trailer home in some rundown street to apologize. She wonders why she joined Knight Sabers and her reply is that it isn’t anything to do about upholding justice and she’s only in for the money. Linna vows to get stronger than her. Meisio is worried for Sylia but the latter insists that everything is alright and that she isn’t doing this to avenge her father’s death nor does she have any ulterior motives. Obviously a lie. When he mentions Jill’s case, Sylia suddenly cuts him off and raises her voice saying that it was an accident. Then she receives report from Nene saying she managed to find info on Genom’s server that all Boomers that have gone mad have serial numbers. However the thing that puzzles her is that those that didn’t went mad are on the list. Sylia fears that it is possible to choose which Boomers to go mad. She is further frustrated by the fact that her father couldn’t have made such algorithm that would be easily understood and that the core of the Boomers can’t be touched. At some factory, several suspicious MIBs inject some virus capsule into a Boomer. Linna trains hard to be strong while Linna continues her stage performance. Leon seems to be a patron at the bar and has found her. After her performance, Priss’ band-mates wonder if there’s something bugging her since she’s not really concentrating but she didn’t say anything. When she leaves, she sees Leon waiting outside but ignores him. Then she gets a call of another Mad Boomer case so she leaves a scathing remark (since Leon refused to be ignored) that she hates stupid idiots at AD Police and leaves him eating her dust trails. Then Leon gets a call from Daley of a Mad Boomer’s appearance.

Episode 5
AD Police along with Leon and Daley arrive on the scene. They barge in assuming that there are no survivors since the factory’s situation is getting dangerous. Yeah, the Mad Boomers are fusing with other Boomers. Sylia dispatches her Knight Sabers and though they also arrive at the scene, they just keep watch behind the shadows. They feel they need to cut the electricity power that is feeding the Mad Boomer power but Nene goes to take care of the AD Police’s spy cameras first. Mason talks to Rosenkreutz about letting the AD Police move first since their goal is to capture the Knight Sabers. Rosenkreutz the possibility of making Boomers go berserk on purpose but Mason denies and the current one was because they saved a core of a previous Mad Boomer (those MIBs) and planted it into this one. Rosenkreutz asks if Mason hates Boomers but he didn’t answer and leaves. Rosenkreutz wonders why Knight Sabers hate Boomers and wants them to love and respect Boomers since they are the ones who revived the megalocity. Once they do so, humans and Boomers can co-exist peacefully. Mason is passionately kissing a lady outside. He mentions that he hates Boomers even though he is kissing that zombie’s ass because he likes Boomers (WTF?!) but is searching for his own Boomer. The AD Police are having a tough time and are getting slaughtered. They never learn that their weapons have no effect. They call in the K-suits and though it seems they are successful, however the Mad Boomer begins to fuse with them! Once Nene cuts off the power supply shrinking the Mad Boomer to normal size, the Knight Sabers go into action to take out the Mad Boomer. Amidst the action, Sylia reminisces how she and her mom watched her dad creating a semi-human. Mom wasn’t happy because it’s like playing God. Of course mommy got upset that daddy considers his work more important than his family. So when mommy died, daddy promises to take care of Sylia. That is, by asking her to work for him. Yeah, use your child as your experiment, eh? What is a confused child to do but to agree all for the sake of her father. Though all she has to do is ‘sleep’, daddy was pretty happy that he can give life to a Boomer. Linna was in the best chance to destroy the Mad Boomer’s core but was paralyzed by shock. She sums up enough courage to crush it. With mission accomplished, they prepare to escape but the K-suit guys start firing at them, though it’s just as a threat. Linna slips down when a beam gives way. Her powers are exhausted so she continues to free fall.

Episode 6
Nene and Priss find that AD Police have surrounded them when they reach the top. But they go back down to save Linna from a rampaging K-suit who has a grudge against the Knight Sabers. Though Priss fights them, her hard suit soon loses power. AD Police has them cornered but suddenly a white Knight Saber appears before them. She is Sylia and she kicks AD Police ass so hard and fast enough to avoid their gunshots, she makes them reeling in defeat. This must leave another black mark in the AD Police records. Yeah, everything is showing on live telecast. Sylia gets a surprise guest: Mackey. He is her younger brother. Even Meisio is surprised by it but she welcomes him with open arms. Sylia sees Nigel repairing the hard suits. He needs at least a week to restore them back to normal. She blows her top thinking that period is too long and there may be possibilities of Boomers going mad. She apologizes after realizing her outburst and tells him about Mackey. Mason discusses with Rosenkreutz about the increased frequency of Boomers going mad lately but their Showhamm Project is on schedule. He wants Mason to focus on the project and let Yoshikiri handle all matters relating to Boomers. Mason then asks his lady to laugh for no reason. She laughed so long that it sounded so creepy. Mackey visits Nigel repairing the hard suits and admires what he does. Sylia then says he has no permission to enter here and wants him to come eat with her. Mackey praises Nigel and that he likes machines too. Sylia gets upset and yells not to consider machines like human beings. She soon apologizes for her outburst and assures him that he’s her real younger brother and will live together. Linna talks to Nene and she is envious that she didn’t need to put in much effort to move in the hard suit unlike her who has been going to the gym but feels her efforts are wasted. Nene comforts her by saying she too doesn’t understand how the suit functions too but if they don’t work hard, the hard suit will just be a heavy suit. Mackey brings food for Nigel and continues to watch him repair. Nigel slowly opens up and gets him to help out. Since he notices a part missing, he wants him to go upstairs to find it. Mackey gets excited and jumps at the chance of doing it. Thing is, he doesn’t know which room. Call it bad luck because the first room he had to pick was where the Knight Saber girls are changing. He panics and rushes back down but the girls follow him. Nigel tells them about Mackey being Sylia’s brother. But Nene is still upset and wonders how much of her he saw. He assures he left the room quickly so he didn’t see her pink panties. Oops…

Episode 7
Bill Nordberg operates a remote slave Boomer called Moto in the deep seas of Atlantic. He calls his wife Erin but she is furious that he only came home twice this year and even so that was only for 5 hours. She hangs up. Bill replays the video and his eyes must be bloody sharp because he zooms in the reflection of her watch and sees a naked man in her bed. Oh sh*t. He goes crazy. Nene tries out her fixed hard suit which has much more improvement. Though Nigel mentions that tuning has become faster due to Mackey’s help, Sylia wants Mackey to stay out of this since she wants him to be an ordinary boy and all this has got nothing to do with him. Later Sylia sees an informant, Kuzui and is upset that the production of Boomers will be increased. Something about exploration to the next frontier for resources like Jupiter and Saturn. Then she learns that Moto has been sighted in Tokyo. Kuzui reports to Mason the appearance of Moto in Tokyo for about a month since the reflector controlling it has a wife living there. Mason will have the AD Police take care of it. While Erin is frolicking with her lover, she spots Moto outside and is shocked her husband has returned. Nigel and Daley with the AD Police surround Moto but it escapes. Then they storm into Erin’s house but finds the situation under control (that lover is stark naked!). Daley does some investigation on Bill and thinks Genom is hiding something. Based on the video clip on Bill operating Moto, that latest clip is one month ago. Suddenly water bursts into the room and the transmission is cut. Moto starts rampaging on the streets and it seems to have memories of Bill spent with his wife. Nene and Priss only are dispatched to the scene since Linna’s suit isn’t ready yet. Nene gets pumped up to test her new improved skills on the Mad Boomer. Lucky Priss is still around to save her butt. Mackey learns that Priss’ suit isn’t ready yet and Nigel is lethargic in telling Sylia since he considers his job only to maintain and fix the hard suits. When Mackey is able to get through to Sylia and tell her about the problem, Sylia panics and feels guilty that all this is her fault. Too late because Priss’ left arm starts malfunctioning. Mackey then gives instructions on how to overcome her problem. Nigel makes this a special exception and helps out. Erin comes running frantically to the scene, thinking Bill has come back to see her. She is restrained by Leon and being told that her husband died a month ago in an accident. Priss manages to untangle herself and destroy the Boomer before they escape. In the aftermath, Erin is being consoled by Leon and Daley. They even went far enough to investigate how much her husband has been planning to come back to see her for his 3 week vacation, a trip to the southern islands that he is planning with her and a gold watch gift! Wow. Erin realizes how much Bill kept thought about her and breaks down. Well, too bad he’s gone.

Episode 8
A video interview on pensive Priss about her singing life and one if she wasn’t. Is this episode for Priss? We see her surprised that Nigel has taken on an assistant but he insists it’s more of Mackey finding his own comfortable place. After her performance, we see her ride her bike. Nigel spots her and gives chase. Stopping by somewhere (I guess Priss was too fast, so she stopped to admire the scenery), Nigel comes up to her and starts ranting how he was once a traffic cop chasing crazy bikers. However Priss knows what his intention is and asserts she hates the AD Police whether they’re corrupted or honourable. She ranks them lower than bugs and doesn’t intend to be his friend before zooming off. Daley teases him for being rejected. Mackey eats with Sylia as she notices he still continues to frequent Nigel’s place. Mackey goes on talking about Nigel working on a super bike and is amazed by it though he doesn’t understand it well. He says Nigel and Priss are similar. Though they don’t talk much, they love machines very much and somehow communicate with it. Sylia is upset and tells him not to chat during meal. She soon regrets her actions but Mackey says he’d always love her and thought if he came to live with her, things will be the same. However he is the only one who hasn’t changed. He is going to live with Nigel. Linna sleepovers at Nene’s place. Nene did invite Priss but she prefers to be a woman. Linna wonders if Priss likes women but Nene laughs it off but says Priss once loved a man but he died, the reason she’s singing in a band now. A Mad Boomer in the form of a race car goes berserk. Nigel and Daley dispatch to the scene. Nene and Linna are rudely awakened from their slumber by Sylia to quell the menace. The duo have a hard time keeping this fast machine at bay. Mackey contacts Sylia and says Nigel has completed his super bike called Motoslave and will have Priss use it since it is able to keep up with the Boomer. Sylia orders the duo to back off since Priss will ram into the Boomer head on. Playing chicken? Priss has full confidence in Nigel’s creation that it won’t break easily. They collide. Priss and the Motoslave seem okay. But the Boomer… It’s still going on. Priss turns around and catches up before successfully taking out its core and sending it crashing off the bridge. Priss sings alone on stage in her empty bar. She notices Linna, Nene and Mackey clapping while Leon watches from a distance. She continues her performance.

Episode 9
A reluctant maintenance worker and his Boomer conduct underground tunnel repairs. Then something starts to go wrong because he starts panicking. Linna learns from her colleague some office gossip (somebody got demoted for receiving kickbacks from Genom) and recently there are several Boomers going missing. Sylia is also investigating this case and finds it suspicious since there are several similar cases and though no humans were harmed and no Boomers went berserk, the news did not report anything on it. Also, Kuzui reports to Mason about the missing Boomers and thinks they may have been destroyed on site. He believes that many of the disappearances occur in Area 28, an area with a lab company called Bioscape is located. Suddenly somebody tries to hack into the data so Kuzui cuts intermission to catch the hacker but failed. The hacker turns out to be Nene. Leon almost finds out what she’s doing. Then they talk about that live house Priss performs. Nene could guess that he’s interested in Priss but he denies and says Priss was the one who invited her, surprising Nene. Since he doesn’t know much about her, she teases him if he wants to know her address but won’t give it to him. He ‘panics’ when he wonders if Priss has a special guy. Later Nene contacts Priss about Leon and teases her that she is after all a woman. She brushes it off. I guess Nene still couldn’t let this hot topic go so she tells Linna about it. Yeah, something about being a late bloomer and needing somebody to give a little push. A Knight Saber and AD Police as a couple? A group of maintenance workers discuss about not going to underground areas in outlying areas because everything below a certain level was Deep Underground, a forbidden and secret place whereby some companies and even the government built secret facilities. Those facilities did experiments like P4. He advises that if they ever hit one of those labs, never go in further. Meanwhile Sylia realizes that she may not hate Boomers but fear them. But why is Mackey still around? I thought he is living with Nigel? Unless Nigel lives here too? Sylia asserts that she will protect him. Later as Nene shows some hacking technique to Mackey, Sylia comes in. When she hears about Leon who is Nene’s colleague at AD Police and is interested in Priss and thinks of helping him, Sylia blows her top and ticks her off. She warns if she doesn’t know what she’s doing, she’ll get fired for dragging everyone down. Nene sulks every since. Linna sees Priss at the bar and asks why she hates AD Police. Priss thinks Nene may have said something so she replies that she just didn’t like the way they do things. They get a call from Sylia that a Boomer has gone mad. Nigel and Daley arrive at a facility in Area 28 where a Boomer is running rampage. I guess they couldn’t take care of it soon because the Knight Sabers kick into action. Nene charges straight to prove that she’s not a burden but her plan backfires. Suddenly the ground gives way and emerges a large Boomer (or is it a monster from those Ultraman shows?). It grabs Nene and the Boomer with its tentacle and starts devouring the Boomer!

Episode 10
Seems the monster is only interested in eating the Boomer and tosses Nene away. As usual the AD Police arrive late but the monster returns underground. Since the Boomer threat is gone, the Knight Sabers have orders to return to base. Kuzui reports this to Mason and that he has taken care of the media (covered up, that is). Leon and his boss are in a heated argument. Leon isn’t happy they have received orders from higher ups to drop this investigation. He is worried that no one will take care of the monster but the boss reiterates their job as to keep the city safe from Mad Boomers. A little trivia: Leon is so upset that he punches and destroys a button at the vending machine. I noticed the machine has the words “Coffee Breaker” on it. Breaker. Geddit? However they both have an idea. They visit Nene at AD Police in hopes of getting some information. She thought it was regarding Priss and tells Leon to do it himself. I don’t know how, but he managed to persuade to give him a top secret map of the underground of Area 28. Mason too has his own personal team who believes in him that Rosenkreutz isn’t aware about. The team descends into the tunnel to search for the monster. Mason he is not interested in the monster but rather the possibility that Boomers may have been born at the same place with it. Priss goes to see Sylia and tells her straight about what’s bugging her. She doesn’t want to suffer the mistake of others (though she doesn’t care if they get hurt) and wants Sylia to use her authority to withdraw Nene from the battlefront. But Sylia makes a bet. If Priss wins, she will have Nene withdraw but if Sylia wins, she must do whatever she is told to. The next mission will be the next bet. If Priss performs better than Nene, she wins. Vice versa. Mackey apologizes to Nene for Sylia but Nene feels that she’s been dragging down and that Linna is also surpassing her. But Mackey still thinks she’s incredible due to her hacking skills. As Nene takes out her little hacking device, she realizes the AD Police duo are missing some important equipment before heading to that place.

Leon and Daley are underground and see with their own eyes the monster devouring Boomers. Mason’s men arrive and attack. The monster backs away but they follow. Knight Sabers are also at the scene. Daley and Mason enter a place they think was once a lab but now the monster’s lair. The see all of Mason’s team dead on the ground. Then they are caught by surprise by the monster. It uses its sonic wave but it is only effective on Boomers. Though if you’re not careful, its enormous strength can still kill you like what it probably did to those guys. Leon is in the path of its direct hit when the Knight Sabers arrive to save him. Nene on the other hand hacks into the data to find the monster’s weakness. Because of so, Mackey and Mason’s professor is able to see the data as the latter tries to collect as much as possible. Then Sylia realizes the sonic waves only affects the formation of the Boomers and wants Mackey to prepare her hard suit. Linna and Priss are in a pinch since their suits become powerless. They are freed by Sylia who in turn gets captured (do we see a trend here?). Then she starts having this vision of her young self. A tidal wave is about to engulf her but she saw her dad (very gigantic) in the background. She snaps out when Nene calls to her. Seems she has found its weakness as she fires into the monster’s mouth and destroys its core. After it collapses, the Knight Sabers escape. Mason’s professor reports that the place was definitely Bioscape Lab and there were Boomer developments there. When he starts ranting about the monster’s origin, Mason cuts him off! Not interested in that kind of details, eh? Meanwhile it’s Priss loss so she has to keep her promise. That is, to wear feminine dress and make-up in a photo shoot. Nene can’t help herself to help Priss smile as she pulls her cheeks for the camera.

Episode 11
Another Boomer attack. Because Linna had to work overtime, she is rushing over to the scene in her mini scooter! Can she get there in time?! Unfortunately it breaks down. Nene and Priss are at the scene and took out the Boomer. By the time Linna pushes her scooter all the way there, the crowd applause the Knight Sabers. Mason reports the recent incident and status of the Showhamm Project to Rosenkreutz. Seems some Dragon construction of an underground stream is behind schedule. Rosenkreutz reminds him about the project’s goal to create unlimited energy. Then he adds that he is able to continue living without organs due to machines and these machines depend on energy. He bought all the Boomers and facilities created by Dr Stingray because he thought Boomers were a new form of humanity. But he was wrong. They are friends of mankind and he can’t be one of them. In short, he plans to become the system of this planet and guide humanity and Boomers to the true path. Forever. Oh uh. That doesn’t sound good. As Mason leaves, he comes into Kuzui who starts asking him several questions but he does not reveal anything. Kuzui reports to Sylia what he knows on Dragon construction and the use of outside specialists. This has Sylia remembering who Mason is. When she was young and her dad was busy with work, Mason told her to be a good girl and not disturb daddy at work. She wonders what his target is. Mason is researching the recent clip of the Knight Sabers in action and notices it is not an ordinary suit. He wonders if they are inherited from Dr Stingray. He pulls a list of staffs from Wiz Lab who aren’t dead and notices Nigel, an engineer in the Boomer facility, among them. Meanwhile Linna has taken leave from work to return to her hometown. She can only stay for a day but her mom insists to stay at least till the day after tomorrow. Linna could guess she wants her to attend a marriage interview. Damn right she is. She probably didn’t like the idea very much but when the other family and his handsome son come in, she starts blushing. Heh. Masaki seems to be quite a nice chap as they chat about things like Tokyo and what they want to do. He suggests that they start becoming friends to know each other better. Nene leaves her shift sharp but Leon and Daley wants her to work overtime to research a video clip of the Knight Sabers attacking a Boomer. Seems some good citizen has captured it on his video camera. Nene loathes it but she has to do it. While watching the clip, she notices how the Knight Sabers were perfectly recorded. But she senses something amiss. She wonders why the film was rolling even before they got there. Like as though someone was waiting for them. Then an alert of another Mad Boomer. As Priss rushes to the scene, Nene can’t seem to leave her office. She contacts Linna in the middle of her conversation with Masaki and wants her to take action now. You mean, really now? She is having a nice time with her date and you want her to leave him to take care of some Mad Boomer?

Episode 12
As Daley finds out, the Boomer just escaped from the hangar of the Ministry of Defence. The place is turned into a warzone as there are lots of missiles fired, destroying the homes. Civilians are being evacuated while the place is being cordoned off. I guess Linna can’t stop worrying so she had to excuse herself. Nice guy Masaki understands and lets her go do what she has to do. Because Genom isn’t releasing info on the Boomer’s specs, Nene uses her sophisticated virus to hack into the Ministry of Defence’s site to download all the necessary in a blink of an eye when the firewall’s down. Priss is the only one arriving on the scene as she watches the Boomer transform before her eyes. She is having a hard time finding the core and using up too much of her energy. So much so, Leon had to fire shots to back and cover her. He’s never done this for a Knight Saber, eh? Then Linna arrives on scene. Man, she must have taken the express train back and rushed into her hard suit. She gives Priss the much needed booster so they both combine their attacks to rip apart its core. In the aftermath, Rosenkreutz is reprimanding that Mason didn’t do anything to censor the media before it turn into this mess. He is not too happy knowing that the AD Police too didn’t do much. He worked so hard to get people to accept Boomers and also opposed to military Boomers and this is the result he gets? Well, Mason said he left it to handle it. Rosenkreutz got so stressed he starts coughing like mad. But Mason is smirking… While Sylia and her gang are having a nice meal down at the pool side, Mackey is impressed with Nene’s hacking and wants her to help him with the system downstairs. She shows him what she can and their face got too close and almost turned into a romance drama. As Mackey leaves for Nigel’s place, he is shocked to see him with Mason. So shock that he dropped his bicycle. Mason recognizes Mackey as Dr Stingray’s kid but Nigel dismisses it and says he has the wrong person. After Mason leaves, Mackey hounds Nigel for answers on what Manson wants or told him about Sylia but he didn’t respond. Sylia is being informed by Kuzui that Mason is searching for the Wiz Lab (supposedly Dr Stingray’s lab) underground which using his team of engineers of Dragon project. Sylia shivers in fear upon knowing that and mentions the name Galatea. Seems all this was part of Mason’s ploy. Kuzui sells out information to anybody who can give him the highest price. Simple economics? As a reward, he has his Boomer assistant strangle him! I guess he deserves it too. As Nene thinks about Mackey (nothing romantic lah), she runs a search on Sylia’s family. But she gets alarmed when she realizes the picture of Sylia and Mackey was taken 10 years ago in 2030 and wonders who this boy is.

Episode 13
Sylia goes to see an old acquaintance Dr Shan and needs his help. However he already knows the situation of Mason boring underground holes in Mega Tokyo to find Wiz Lab but kept missing. Though he too doesn’t know its exact location, he thinks the reason why Mason keeps missing is may be because of the old data. He notes the dots data Mason has and the lines data they have. And if they can find the right variable, they may know where the lab is. He gives the data to Sylia as a form of atonement since they’ve invested a lot in this study. Nene goes to talk to Priss about Sylia. She is curious about her and the reason why she created the Knight Sabers and her hatred for Boomers. Priss can tell she’s pretty bothered about it. Nene at work, hacks to find more information about Dr Stingray and finds something shocking. Sylia uses Dr Shan’s data, some sonar and the hard suit to narrow the possible locations to 27 places. She thinks of using Genom’s help to seal it and she’s confident now since technology now has made it possible as compared to 7 years earlier. Later Nene goes to talk to Mackey to find out more about his past with Sylia. Seems pretty much ordinary. Mason receives report that Dr Shan has been contacted. He notes that Dr Shan’s organization who’s active behind the world economy is quiet now because Genom had pushed them away. Since their history is longer than Genom’s, he thinks it’s worth using them. He also used Kuzui’s leak data after considering Dr Stingray’s past personnel network. And the reason he is negotiating with Nigel is because he wants to use the inheritance left by Dr Stingray. Sylia calls her Knight Sabers to check the undergrounds for Wiz Lab and will pay double. But Priss has a question and wonders if there is something dangerous since it’s her father’s lab. Sylia requests not to ask any more questions but Priss accepts the mission. However Nene ponders why she won’t let Mackey know about the mission. She goes on revealing that she did some personal search on her background. She found out that there are no records that Dr Stingray had a son. She thought it was a mistake in the family registry or reports on his birth or adoption. It’s like there’s no trace of him whatsoever. So who is that kid? Sylia remains silent. Nene continues if he is related to the lab accident. The year before the great earthquake, the company Dr Stingray was working for, Bioscape was bought by Genom who took over the Boomer project and it underwent mass production since Dr Stingray managed to create the core. Suddenly a mysterious lab accident happened and though police were called in, they failed to secure the situation and all lab personnel were killed. And since that situation is judged to be impossible to be saved, Rosenkreutz ordered the creation of an artificial earthquake which was in trial in that lab. Yup, so that killer earthquake that caused many lives was indeed artificial. Sylia can’t say anything. Not even what secret the lab holds. However she can say that Mackey has nothing to do with the accident. Because of that Nene can’t trust her anymore and walks away. Sylia feels remorseful that she didn’t tell them anything and took them for granted. But Priss and Linna are sticking with her since they can’t leave something dangerous like that. The duo start their mission as they blast off into the sky but a spy outside reports to Mason that they have begun their move.

Episode 14
Nene continues to be gloomy as Leon even notices this. But she changes the subject concerning his progress with Priss. Even Daley joins in teasing him, much to Leon’s dismay. Priss and Linna continue their underground work for Sylia. After that as they treat themselves to a well deserved hot spa and massage, they talk about their job. At one point Sylia seemed desperate. When Priss wanted to go off track and explore a region herself, Sylia was yelling at her to come back like a mad mother scolding her daughter! When they returned to her, Sylia wanted to continue on her own from this point but since they’ve come this far, Priss just can’t let it slide. Sylia agrees for them to help out further. Mackey is looking for Sylia but as Meisio points out, she’s not around. The butler says how she cares for him but it seems Mackey is rather feeling something strange in his body. Like as though somebody’s calling him. Sylia continues her investigation and even gets a gigantic cannon from Dr Shan. A spy reports Sylia moving out to Mason so he has them standby in action. Nene at AD Police receives a report of an underground explosion at the south area. She remembers this is where Whiz Lab is as Sylia had mentioned. She wanted to rush off but her superior gave orders for them to standby and do nothing since the decision came from top management. Nene contacts Linna at work, informing her that Sylia has gone alone to the lab and those agents from Genom are chasing her. Priss picks up Linna shortly as they rush to base. Sylia in her hard suit descends to the underground at the south area. Soon Mason and his team arrive and follow. And shortly after that, Mackey too sneakily climbs in. As Sylia wades through the underground maze, she enters a room and activates the power. Wait a minute. Power is still running in this area?! Continuing her journey, she passes by a machine that she identifies as Guinea Pig. Finally she reaches a room with a big blob in the centre and sets her microwave cannon to destroy it. Before she can do that, Mason and his team arrive. Mason thanks her for guiding her here and knows she intends to destroy the contents without unsealing it. He notes that 7 years ago, ‘she’ wasn’t affected by a destructive power like that. Sylia is confident because that’s 7 years ago. She isn’t going to let him have ‘her’. Then Mason realizes Sylia is using the power from Skyhook (some electric train/plane transport) to fire her weapon. I don’t know why, but everybody just stood there in shock while Sylia fries the blob. Shouldn’t Mason at least order his men to stop her? Nooooo. Instead they all just watch her. Then Mackey comes in. And he’s glowing! Oh, shortly after that, the Knight Sabers too. So hey, everybody’s here. Sylia is shocked that he is here. But the blob starts to crack and Mason notices ‘she’ is awakening. The Boomers in Mason’s team goes berserk while those in hard suits find it hard to control or command it. Mackey in a trance walks towards to blob as it opens and reveals a young naked but glowing girl. She looks like young Sylia? Since Mackey collapses, Mason has her come with him instead. As they leave, Sylia calls out to her ‘Sotai‘.

Episode 15
The Knight Sabers eject themselves from the hard suits but since Sylia is still in shock, Priss has no choice but to free her. As they head upwards, Priss went ahead to scout but comes into Leon. He realizes that Priss is part of the Knight Sabers. However he doesn’t take any action since he says top management has ordered AD Police to stay out of this and that he is off duty. Plus, reports are said that the Knight Sabers are committing some sabotage here. Mason talks to Sotai and notes she is not a golem but a true Boomer. He decides to call her Galatea. He continues that Dr Stingray wanted to create a new species beyond mankind but changed his mind. Not only had he sold his technology to that old fart, but his mind as well. He notes he is different and wants her to give him the power to awaken the Boomers. Nene visits Mackey and Nigel comes in shortly. They talk about Mackey not being a Boomer but he’s not human either. Mackey reveals that Sotai is the same age as him and that they are Sylia’s younger brother and sister. Nigel explains that he is more accurately a part from Sylia’s body but separated from her. These are called doppelgangers. Clones? Not exactly. When Sylia was young, her dad implanted some mechanism within her. It had been copied by synapse conduction from a human brain and integrated into her brain. Sylia is the only one how has it since her body didn’t reject the nano-mechanism. Of course, it was created by copying her mother’s Corpus Pineale. This is what gave birth to Mackey. As a doppelganger, he can’t grow. As for Sotai, she’s the archetype for all current Boomers. Since Mackey resembled too closely to a human, he was rejected. Mackey thought she was buried under the earthquake so Nene notes how cruel the earthquake was killing many people. However Nigel says that causing the earthquake was just the lesser of 2 evils.

Flashback 7 years ago when Sotai tried to escape from Wiz Lab. Anything that was machine related went berserk. Mason reported Dr Stingray’s inability to contain the Sotai Phenomenon and suggested Rosenkreutz create that earthquake. Though Dr Stingray managed to persuade Sotai to return to her room, all the wires bind and killed him although he tried to explain that he didn’t create her to do things like this. After she enters the room, the earthquake soon happened. Nigel says that he is the only survivor from Wiz Lab. Mackey explains that this is the very reason why Sylia hates Mad Boomers because at one point, he too went out of control. He is grateful that he is able to spend some fun times with the gang and shouldn’t have come here. He blames himself for making a bad decision to see Sylia and thinks he shouldn’t exist in the first place. But crying Nene disagrees very much because she feels that Mackey is Mackey. Linna talks to Priss at the bar. Priss indicates that she isn’t going back to be a Knight Saber. Thinking back at the events when Sotai appeared, anything Boomer related went out of control. Seeing that only real humans weren’t affected, this means that their hard suits are also Boomers! Isn’t it any wonder that their powers were more than ordinary? Mackey and Nigel knew about this. Only the Knight Sabers don’t. Then Leon comes in. He has eavesdropped them. Actually, they were talking so loud, anybody in the room could’ve heard them. Well, he’s not going to arrest them since he’s off duty and is here because he thinks there’s some live performance. As Linna leaves, she is confident that everything isn’t over yet. Priss invites Leon out to ride with her to some place. They talk why Leon didn’t report them earlier on (AD Police weren’t supposed to be there in the first place so there’s nothing to report). Priss thought he hated Knight Sabers. He agrees since they’re making a fool out of the AD Police. But with them disbanding, it’ll be hard to get any motivation to work. They also note how everyone from the government, AD Police and Genom tried to hide the truth from the public. But with the recent increase in Mad Boomers, it’s going to be tough to hide it anymore. Suddenly Priss is paralyzed like as though she has seen a ghost. She starts seeing visions of Sylia’s horrifying experiment. Not only her, but Linna, Nene and Mackey as well.

Episode 16
Sylia collapses and is unconscious. All the Knight Sabers rush back to HQ. Seems there is some glow on her chest. Seems she is resonating and reacting to with Sotai. Mason enters a dome to see Galatea ‘calling’ her friends but notes it’s too early to do so. She wants to go out and play. Sylia wakes up once the phenomenon is over. They talk about the same dreams they saw. Sylia reveals that she formed another group of Knight Sabers before them. One was a martial arts specialist and another an American Special Ops. No matter how good they were, they were too ordinary to use the hard suits. A hard suit can only maintain its shape & special functions by forming to a female’s body. Though the hard suits were originally from Boomers, the cores in their hard suits were copied from clean ones so the hard suits could never have a mind or move on its own. But another factor to successfully use the hard suit is that Sylia must like that girl. Nene panics upon thinking she’s a lesbian. Thus that person must not only get along with her but on the same wavelength as well. Priss isn’t amused that she manipulated them so now it’s her turn to get upset and leave. Sylia wants Mackey to call Nigel so that he can make new hard suits themselves. If the rest refuse, Sylia will do it herself. Daley teases Leon about his midnight rendezvous with a certain singer. But that soon turns into a conversation that AD Police will be absorbed into the normal police. Looks like Genom has decided to do them away. Leon goes to see Nick to confirm this. Leon says the only reason why he applied for AD Police because he hate those normal police sh*t. Nick notes that an excellent policeman can only be a policeman. Rosenkreutz warns Mason for hiding something and will lose his life if he betrays him. But Mason gives an excuse of some energy overflow experiment. Nene is bored at work. She receives email from Mackey to take measurements for the new hard suit since Sylia’s body has already matured and the core can’t be kept pure. Nene learns that the entire AD Police office is empty because they’re on strike against the merger. Suddenly somebody hacks into the system so the building automatically goes into a lockdown. Nene bumps into Nick and another couple of guys, Yano and Haruma. They are the only ones left in this building. To make matters worse, countless Boomers are swarming the place. Mason is pleased to learn some phenomenon spreading through at the Dragon Lines. He notes it is Galatea allowing the Boomers to show their true self. This means all those Boomers that are stored in the warehouse previously recovered by frontline officers. As Sylia takes measurements for the new hard suit, suddenly she collapses in pain as the resonance occurs. Mackey also feels it and seems to be losing herself, noting how Galatea wants to come out. But Nigel snaps Mackey out and tells him he is not a Boomer. Nick and the guys are pushed back by the swarm of Boomers. You can’t kill them all. Also, the lockdown has severed all communications to the outside world. Nene got the scare of her life when she sees a Boomer popping out from her book! Then she gets a call from Mackey that Nene is in danger. But how to help when you got no hard suit?

Episode 17
Leon and Daley talk about their possible future. Leon is puzzled why Genom decided to throw away AD Police since it’s their ‘shield’ to evade taking responsibility on Mad Boomers. Leon gets a call from Maria, Nick’s daughter, who is worried she can’t contact her dad. They learn that AD Police has been cut off from the outside world. Nick and the guys are trapped in the elevator as the countless Boomers are hot on their trail. Nick tries to open the door with his knife and climb out when a Boomer emerges. No matter how much they shoot and run (even with Nene’s guide), the Boomer waves are endless and many times nearly become Boomer victims. Very close shaves. On a floor stocking up their ammo, they discuss the downside of their firewall security system which ironically locks them out rather than protecting them. Something about till it rids of all the intruders, they can’t lower the firewall system. But Nene already managed to turn off all the internal sensors and shut down all the security systems. How is it even possible? Nene isn’t a hacker girl for nothing. But cutting off the sensors means she’ll be blind to Boomer movements. After Nene lowers the firewall, she starts the emergency call but the system blacks out. It is then taken over by Boomers and anything machine related goes berserk. Nick and the rest have no choice but to go higher and get better weapons at the substation at the top. Four more floors shouldn’t be a problem, eh?

Mason confronts his Boomer secretary as she is searching for data on Galatea. He asks if she will ever betray him and her reply is that she wasn’t programmed for treachery to the person who registered her. He points his gun point blank and asks who gave her the order and since her answer is the same, he fires several shots into her. Mason notes how the chairman is like a naked king protected by dolls since no Boomer will ever betray him. Rosenkreutz have discovered Galatea and is appalled that he wants to be evil but is confident that in this place he is God. Mason sees Galatea and she is quite close to him. However he is shocked to hear that she has made a new friend: Mackey. Priss, who was in practice with her band, couldn’t hear her handphone call. Once it’s over, she finally realizes it’s ringing (I wonder how long has it been ringing). It’s Linna and it’s about Nene in trouble. Priss rushes back to HQ and they discuss on how to save Nene since they can’t communicate with her. Nigel says the hard suits will take a week to complete and the fastest in 5 days.  Even so, Priss isn’t going to wear that Boomer thing but thinks of riding Motoslave. She wants Nigel to install an adapter so she can ride it without a hard suit. She’s going there by hook or by crook. Nene is hiding somewhere and makes a run for it when Boomers start invading the place. Everywhere she goes, she sees Boomers. She picks up a gun and fires. Well, not bad. But it’s just 1 Boomer. She is to meet up with the rest but the shutters come down, trapping her. Leon and Daley are outside AD Police HQ and soon all their other colleagues arrive. Something really is happening inside there and they need to get in. Priss then comes by and wants Leon to help her out.

Episode 18
Daley and his team are going to raid the tower via underground. After a colleague blasts a hole in the wall, Priss rides her Motoslave into it but she has to bring Leon along since he knows the place. Nene thinks she’s a goner when a Boomer corners her. Turns out to be Nick in a K-suit. Phew. But don’t count your chickens yet because Boomers soon swarm them. Just when they are caught in between, the Motoslave ambushes on one side. Nene is very much relieved to see Priss. Leon tells her to get Nene out first. As the guys continue defending against the Boomers, a stray Boomer (with a creepy maniacal laugh) fuses with Nick’s K-suit and causes it to malfunction. If Yano had not chopped it, Nick wouldn’t have made it out in time. Priss rams through a group of Boomer but skids and crashes. I don’t know how but they are reunited with the guys. How did they get down so fast? Unless Priss was riding and speeding around in circles. She wanted to pick up the Motoslave but it was too heavy. Ultimately she had to ditch it and barely dives through the closing gate to safety. Well, even if they’re safe from this side, there are more Boomers on the other side too. The gang are climbing up the Electronics Core Centre, which turns out to be some giant cooling system using Liquid Nitrogen. At this point Daley has restored power to the tower. The Boomers are catching up and fusing fast so Leon wants Daley to do something about it while they continue climbing to the top of the building. What the hell can he do?! Just then, Sylia, Mackey and Linna pop up behind Daley. They’re going to the top of the building as well via her helicopter. When the Boomers catch up to the gang, Nene’s conclusion was right as she mentions it’s not chasing after them but fusing with the core. At this rate, the entire tower will be filled with Boomers. But Nick gets an idea and he wants Yano to help him out and a little task for the rest. Nick is going to freeze the whole tower by turning the temperature down. Leon and the rest are at the top of the tower. Daley pilots the copter but he can’t get close since the taken-over-tower is trying to fuse with it! Yeah, now the AD Police tower looks like one big bad ugly mother monster. When Yano reduces the temperature to negative 140 degrees Celsius, Nick gives the signal for Leon to push the button to blow up the bombs he placed at the reservoir. The water that gushes out instantly becomes ice and in no time, the entire tower freezes. Now it’s like a giant ice tower. Now you can all relax and heave a sigh of relief as the copter comes to their rescue. One thing that boggles my mind is that when the ice turned into water, how the heck did the humans stay alive without getting frozen themselves? Meanwhile Rosenkreutz is going to teach Mason a lesson to make him remember that he is just his pawn when the female Boomer Mason shot dead enters the room. Unheeding his orders, she starts unplugging his life system.

Episode 19
Leon hijacks the TV transmission to warn everyone to evacuate as Boomers have taken over the city. Well, looks like everyone heed his advice because no humans are in sight. Only dead ones. Even that Rosenkreutz guy has been fused with Boomers. A narration of the brief history of Boomers. Created by Dr Stingray not as machines imitating humans, but a living metal forged with intelligence, how its seed was implanted in his daughter, how Rosenkreutz commercialized Boomers without making humans feeling guilty, how a Boomer’s date should be and their tendency to go mad recently. Also the huge investment of Genom in the formation of AD Police from an urban anti-terrorist force to specially deal with Boomers and the start of the Showhamm Project and the Dragon Lines which is believed to cause Boomers to go mad. Leon thinks of doing something about it and uses the remaining weapons to destroy the Dragon Line. The closest one connected would be the north of Nerima. Then they get a message from front line officers awaiting their instructions. Looks like they haven’t left. Priss is bumming at Sylia’s place. Perhaps the safest place in town? Unless it gets a direct nuclear hit. They talk about the Boomer’s controlled core in their hard suits that allows them to function it perfectly. Though Sylia hates Boomers, she is the most intimate with them since Mackey and Galatea were both born inside her brain. She thought as long as they used the purest core, the Boomers won’t go out of control. But they did. She concludes as long as Boomers can change shape, they can have a self conscious and logic that is totally different from humans. Thus a real Boomer is a Boomer that changes shape. That’s why she wants to exploit this feature aggressively and had Nigel and Mackey implement it in their new hard suits. Whether they go out of hand depends on the strength of their minds. Then Sylia starts feeling pain because of her resonance with Galatea.

Mason is lying on Galatea’s lap. She doesn’t understand lots of things especially Mason’s act of doing unreasonable things when he is human. He says he is not a perfect human. As revealed, he has artificial organs implanted in his body since young. Unlike Rosenkreutz who hated implants and thus chose to live a disgusting fashion with all those hoses, Mason believes humans can’t evolve anymore and the downfall of living organisms. He wants to see with his own eyes the complicated future brought upon by her kind. Galatea notes the Boomer parts has blended with his body and since it was made in an early stage, it won’t wake up. Mason asserts he is neither a human or Boomer, but an observer. Leon, Daley and Nene plan on how to destroy the line while waiting for the current and former front officers to show up. Nick arrives first and though he wants Nene to stay out (since this mission doesn’t use her incredible message), Nene tries to convince him with her strange kiddie talk. Then all of the front officers arrive so they can start their mission. Priss visits Mackey and Nigel working on the more powerfully enhanced and faster hard suit. Linna tires on for size. To see the biggest feature of this suit, Nigel leaves her to see it for herself. They receive a call from Nene about the pinch they are in. The front officers are attacking a large Boomer but to no avail. Leon and Daley get an idea of ramming the car into it but the Boomer stops it dead in its tracks and is going to devour it. It was a ploy to get it closer to its core and fire on it. We see how Leon is panicking while Daley is playing it cool. The Boomer is starting to fuse with the car but Daley wants Leon to wait a little more. How much more? A little more? Can we shoot already? Just a little more? Even they can come up with some wise crack. Leon is shouting if Daley wants to go back to his hometown farm. He replied he already did but didn’t like it so he came back here. Hah. With precision, they fire right into the Boomer’s core and escape from the car before the explosion rips it apart. However the Boomer still lives as another monstrous head jolts out from its body.

Episode 20
As Nene guessed, the load from the Skyhook has disturbed the Dragon Line and since the Boomer is connected to it, it’s like an immortal. Linna arrives and after being instructed by Nene to cut its connection to Dragon Line, the Boomer is successfully destroyed. Mason doesn’t want Galatea to talk to machines because he wants her to make his dream come true by changing the world. She thinks he wants to be God so technically in a way, yes. He mentions about Dr Stingray implanting seeds into Galatea to have some human traits and waited for a miracle to happen but didn’t as that was just a clue. Mason did it to himself and a Boomer core in his artificial organs as a control factor as he wanted to be an advanced human. Galatea notes that even so, he is still human. Then his chest starts glowing and in pain, Mason realizes Galatea has done something to him. Soon Mason is really in pain and in big trouble. It’s like he is being fused with machines as Galatea tries to awaken Dragon Line. Well, he did say he wanted to be God, right? And God watches from all those he creates below, right? Right. Sylia is with Nigel and she thinks he thinks she’s only been using him. I think what she’s trying to say that she’s in love with him. Nigel changes the subject and wants her not to wear to new hard suit since she has reached her limits and already a mature woman. When Priss returns to her trailer, she is attacked by… Little clown Boomers?! WTF?! There are too many of them and before she can become a laughing stock, Leon shoots them all away. After cleaning herself from some of the bitten wounds, she notices the city void of any citizens. Leon shows her a clip that Japan has been occupied by the International Organization Army, Boomers and other countries. Suddenly, Leon tries to kiss her! I understand Priss is stunned by why isn’t she resisting?! Where has that tough chick gone to? This proves she’s still a girl deep down, eh? But that moment is interrupted when she gets a call from Linna and Nene that monsters are on a rampage. As Leon gives her a ride back to HQ as fast as he could, the rest get suited up. Hmm… This new suit seems bulkier and they have to get totally naked to get in. Plus, there’s this yucky inner metal they’ll be covered with. What I understand is that by using the command from their brain, they can transform this inner metal and use it to their desires with most effect. As the trio leaves, Mackey hopes Nigel will continue to help Sylia although Mason did ask him to leave her. Also because he feels he can’t stay close to Sylia for long. Nigel assures him that he will continue remaining as the same person in the future as he is now. Priss just arrives and she intends to get suit up despite her pain. Sylia and co arrive and see the Dragon Line like a semi-living thing and its phenomenon is spreading rapidly. All underground equipment have been fused and turned into Mad Boomers. They attack but it is futile as the Boomer grabs Linna and Nene. Sylia is disheartened that it wants to become a living thing that badly and Galatea’s goal of covering the entire world with Boomers.

Episode 21
Priss returns to Leon all suit up and with a newly upgraded Motoslave, supposedly with the ability to merge with her hard suit. Priss doesn’t want Leon to go since he’ll be in the way so he wants her to promise to come back alive. Of course. She’s not going to do kamikaze, right? He then kisses her! If only her helmet wasn’t in the way. So with the girls out fighting, the guys are just hanging around, waiting and believing the ladies will come back. Yeah, Leon joins Mackey, Nigel and even Meisio for a drink. What a gender role reversal. Sylia fights hard against the menacing monster and realizes she needs to cut its line to stop it. She searches and attacks but the monster just wouldn’t allow her to get closer. Even if she manages to do some damage, it regenerates. Priss arrives and Sylia tells her to back her up but is soon ‘eaten’ up. Priss merges with her Motoslave to fight off other Boomers. Then Sylia tells the rest that with their new hard suit’s ability, they need to impose their own logic into this monster since it is rampaging without one. They manage to stop the monster and this allows Priss to fly into it and destroy its line and free the rest. Back at their HQ, everyone have their own little celebration. Leon talks to Priss the irony how he once hated the Knight Sabers because they easily cleaned up the mess the AD Police were having a hard time dealing with. He is impressed with them now. Well actually he was impressed with them for a long time. Just that he was envious. He then tries to remind her about their promise. You know, that one when she returns and without the helmet on. But Priss just flicks his forehead and calls him an idiot. Mackey is also feeling the irony that with Tokyo desolated and turned into hell, he feels like he is having the fun of his life with the gang. Then he goes to back up all the data to the media. That’s going to take some time but he’s going to use the remaining time he has to do so. Deep into the night, Sylia wakes up from a nightmare of an army of Boomers. But that’s no dream either because Boomers are invading from the rooftop! The alert is sounded and everyone is rudely awakened from their slumber. Mackey is so engrossed in backing up he didn’t even hear the siren? As everyone converges in the computer room, Nene informs that Boomers have invaded the building. However security cameras don’t show any visuals of Boomers. As safety precautions, Sylia orders the complete lockdown of the building. However Boomers continue to advance till they are just a wall away from where they are. But where are they? Nobody can see anything on the screens. Then it hit Sylia. They are invading from the top of building’s swimming pool. See them knocking on the aquarium glass? It took her this long to realize that?! Besides, how big and deep is her swimming pool anyway?!

Episode 22
Say hello to all the ugly Boomer mugs staring through the glass! No peace for the girls when they strip to get into their hard suit. Boomer staring happily… Like they should care about that. In no time, the glass breaks and water starts gushing in. They wait till the room is filled before making their swim to the top. It’s odd to see the Knight Sabers fight the Boomers underwater. Slow and floating like in suspended animation. Now if they just played a waltz piece here… Reaching the top, they are devastated to see their HQ fused with Boomers. Worse, the entire Tokyo has been fused! Apparently the HQ sits directly on the Dragon Line so it was directly affected by the phenomenon. Mason is having delusions seeing the ‘beautiful city’ so much so he sheds tears of joy. Ah well. At least that’s the only part he is left a human. And at this rate, the city may even become Cybertron. The gang rides through the transformed city but Sylia has an idea of a safe place. They reach the park filled with greeneries and true enough, there is not a sight of Boomers. That’s because they are busy fusing with machines. Can’t be fusing with Mother Nature, right? They are surprised to see several survivors staying here. But they get scared upon seeing the Knight Sabers and mistaken them for Boomers. Luckily no untoward incident happened. See, it’s good to sit down and talk. As the ladies get out of their hard suit, they learn these odd 50 survivors tried to escape when the city is being engulfed by Boomers. They ran everywhere but couldn’t escape till they reach here. However many more died along the way. They apologize for their earlier hostility and quickly get acquainted. How do they get food supplies? They take turns to go ‘hunting’. That’s a fancy term of pillaging unmanned shops. Hey Leon, how does it feel for a police officer to steal goods from an abandoned convenience store? That night, the rowdy bunch eat and drink like as though there is no tomorrow. Why not? Is there any? Nene goes to see Mackey typing something incomprehensible at the computer in the truck. Then she gets stunned upon seeing Mackey laughing like an idiot and glowing.

Episode 23
Leon talks to Priss about the International Army arriving and will disintegrate Tokyo since it is deserted. He wants to know who she is going to fight for and what to protect. She notes how talkative he is. Then it’s like they have this Mackey-in-danger sense. They rush back to the truck to see Galatea taking over Mackey’s body and implanting her data in him by deleting his human information and memories. How to solve this? Well, Priss takes a wrench and smashes the computer! There, fixed it. Okay, so Mackey’s out cold. The girls get the resolve to finish things off and especially Nene, she’s going to retrieve his memories back. I guess Leon got spurred from one of the survivors so he kisses Priss before she leaves (and the rest of the guys evacuating the area for good). He says he’ll give her a better one when she comes back. She calls him a coward and kicks his shin. Since when did he get so bold? The Knight Sabers prepare to infiltrate Genom but the fog made out of nanomachines is preventing them from penetrating. Mackey comes to for a moment and with his little memories barely intact, he contacts Nene and is going to do a risky move to send his human information to confuse Galatea since he is connected to her. At that short moment, they will break through. Nene is against this self-sacrificing move but Mackey is already prepared and says his farewell. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but the entire truck is shaking! The confusion is successful as the Knight Sabers pierce through the fog and into the tower. Inside the truck, it’s like everything is decimated. But why is Mackey like unscathed? Anyway, he is so robot-like now. As they fly to the top, they see fused Mason sticking out like a sore thumb. Priss was about to destroy him to put him out of his misery but Nene pleads not to since their enemy is not the Boomers. They just let him be. Yeah, his suffering will continue then.

Inside the tower, seems there is no gravity. They see Galatea but she unleashes several of the phenomena to attack them. They can’t touch it or their hard suit will become Boomers. Priss pulls off a risky stunt by ripping a power line. This results in her hard suit temporarily being fused with the Boomers. With Nene cascading the power, Priss blasts and disintegrates all the phenomena. Sylia confronts Galatea and says her birth is a mistake and her father’s murderer. But Galatea is confused why she looks like her even if she was born as an anti-seed of her brain, she was supposed to copy her brain functions only as she is neither her child nor clone. Well, she still came out from part of her body, right? Oddly, Sylia gets upset when she starts talking in robot language and orders her to speak in human tongue and stabs her. Hey, she’s a Boomer, remember? She gets her wish but she’s impersonating the voice of Mackey! Now do you wish she hadn’t talk? In his voice, Galatea tries to screw around with Sylia’s mind, saying Boomers are all connected in here and since they are born from her, therefore humans can also be connected. She wants her to become one with her or else she will suffer. The rest know those words belong to Galatea and not Mackey but Sylia can’t move as she is being fused. Nene fires several shots to separate them. But Sylia is still traumatized and feeling guilty for what happened to Mackey. The tower starts shaking and it seems the tower is becoming Galatea. Wow. That’s one big Galatea alright. And it’s flying too! I wonder which part on her Mason is sticking out from.

Episode 24
Galatea flies into space while the Knight Sabers retreat back to base. Worried Sylia stays by lifeless Mackey’s side so Priss tells Nigel to stay by Sylia’s side. Nene hacks into some spy satellite to see Galatea heading for the Umbrella, which is part of Showhamm Project. What I understand is that she intends to turn every machine in the entire world into Boomers and doing it from space is the fastest way. However as Leon notes, if others find out about Galatea’s plan, they may rain a nuclear attack on Tokyo. So they better get there first before she does. Yeah, see all the nuclear missiles attacking Galatea instantly turned into Boomers? You can’t kill her that easily. I didn’t know Leon has turned into some kind of romantic, saying how he wants to be with Priss till the end and don’t mind putting on the hard suit to fight with her. If Sylia ever made one for men, that is. I don’t know Priss was that receptive of Leon because she puts her finger on his lips and they both kiss. I guess this feels much better than all the words said, right? Too bad they have to be interrupted by Linna and Nene (probably they enjoyed spying on them) to tell them a way to launch to space. That is, to ride the Skyhook’s line via its cargo pallet. So only Priss, Nene, Linna and Leon make their way to Skyhook. Priss tells Leon the reason why she hated the AD Police. Seems a Boomer went mad at a place she once lived. The AD Police arrived and rammed through the place like nobody’s business. Priss wasn’t injured but ran away. However, a disk containing her favourite song and her dream to sing at the Wembley Stadium was destroyed. That’s it?! Don’t laugh… Leon has her sing it to him. When they arrive, they are shocked to see the pallets being thrown into the sea as they’ve been taken over by the phenomenon. Leon wants them to promise that they will come back safely (but of course). So the Knight Sabers trio ride Motoslave to match Skyhook’s speed. Priss may need more power seeing it’s a little heavier with additional passengers. Please don’t take it as an offence. I guess with that kind of speed, even Motoslave is able to blast off into the sky, enough to land inside Skyhook, though it is trashed. Inside, they see an operating Boomer not affected by the phenomena. It even can make a comeback by telling them off for not having tickets to ride Skyhook! Since the Boomer has no contact with its master and isn’t able to accomplish its mission, Nene tweaks a little to give it a new mission. Nene and Linna talk about fulfilling their dreams (Nene wanted to be an astronaut but was rejected due to her height, not intelligence. But now her dream has come true in a way, eh?). Priss pays her last tributes to Motoslave for all that it has done. Notice how Linna and Nene resemble more like a pair of jokers here? See their incredulous facial expression and action when they interrupted Leon-Priss’ kiss and explained how to get to space, the time when the pallets crash and Priss’ commented on their weight?

Episode 25
A narration of Galatea of how she came to be. A creation from Sylia’s brain despite being planted in the brains of many, it was only Sylia’s brain that has taken root. Her existence only serves as a focus for other human beings to hate and love and thus the creation of Boomers. All the while, she only watched mankind’s actions via the Boomers till her awakening. The time Mackey was rejected and her rampage through the facility and decided to be a good girl when Dr Stingray told her to go back because her mind wasn’t mature enough to revolt. She questions the things she is about to do and why she exists, why humans won’t accept Boomers for the soul that exists in them and to destroy her would mean severing every connection to everything inhuman. That’s why she thinks of becoming their God. Skyhook reaches Umbrella but breaks up upon contact. Luckily the trio got off in time. They rush through the corridors before sunlight could activate Galatea’s plans. While Nene heads to the control room, Linna and Priss follow the voice of the goddess (Galatea) to find themselves in the energy centre. Linna’s hard suit almost got taken over by the phenomenon and all she needs to do is stay focus. Nene tries her programming but is unsuccessful. Seems the phenomenon has already taken over Umbrella. Galatea creates clones of the Knight Sabers for them to fight. Not only they mimic the real ones, they can also mock. As in the case of Linna, she mocks her as a stupid living thing for trying to destroy her.  With all her flashbacks from the time she first met Priss, her higher-up’s harassment and failed marriage meeting, Linna isn’t swayed by her words.  After all, she accepts her destiny isn’t that good and the only thing she can do is to change it herself. She destroys the clone just as her pals did with theirs. But it’s too late because the solar power has powered the cannon as it fires its first shot down to Genom’s base. The only way is to destroy the energy centre before it is completely recharged for another shot. At first Priss plans on going alone since she thinks the rest will just be in the way but I don’t think the rest are going to let her get the good parts. As they are destroying the energy balls (looks like they’ve been overtaken by the phenomenon too), I’m not sure what Nene is doing because it looks like she’s trying to shift the direction of the cannon. Linna helps to distract her mind and prevent her hard suit from becoming a Boomer, but there’s only so much they can take. The cannon explode into pieces as Linna and Nene fall down into the atmosphere.

Episode 26
So are they going to really crash and go splat? Maybe. MAYBE???!!! YOU KIDDING ME?! Well, there is a way. Accept the hard suit as the Boomer, concentrate on changing its shape and wahlah! Is that a human plane they turned into? On second thought, it looks like a shark. But re-entry into the atmosphere is no easy feat. They’ve got to withstand the burning but thankfully they end up on a deserted island. Their hard suits destroyed for good and yes, they’re totally naked. Hey, who’s around to see? So Priss is all alone facing off with Galatea. She has Priss enter her memories as Galatea notes that the Anti-seed is now within her and her vital organs have been taken over by the Boomers. This means her mind and body have been dedicated to the Boomers. Her hard suit turns into a Boomer as Priss hang around lifelessly. However she breaks out with lots of determination because she knows she is very much different from Galatea. Her hard suit returns to normal as Galatea resume her attacks. I find Galatea’s low howling to be somewhat annoying. Unfortunately Priss’ hard suit runs out of energy. Then she hears a voice. It is Motoslave and he wants to combine with her to give her more power. I didn’t know Motoslave had a talking function? Besides, I thought it was really trashed then. Guess not. Motoslave considers Priss its master and not Galatea but even so Priss insists she is not that kind of person. With new firepower, Priss fires all she got at Galatea. With an even louder and more annoying howl, Galatea speeds up her evolution. A lump of Boomers start covering Priss but she focuses and transforms them into part of her body. Then she pierces through her core. Yeah, this is humanity’s gift to God. The explosion is so bright, you can’t tell which is the real sun. Even in her final existence, Galatea mentions how she found the right path of evolution. Her existence became eternal when Priss entered her and her consciousness was born from Sylia. Calling that as true assimilation, she will be everything and thus God’s real form. Galatea explodes into, well, ray of beautiful lights? It showers down onto Earth but it seems harmless. To Sylia’s happiness, Mackey is back to normal and is able to move. Galatea’s last words is that she wants Priss to accept her and allow to enter her. Probably she did or else how did she end up back down on Earth safely? Sure, her hard suit is totally done for (in a shape of angel wings?). Priss treks through the desert naked, singing. Hey, nobody is around to watch, right?

Bubblegum Burst…
Uh… What is this sudden ending? So abrupt. I don’t like it. It didn’t wrap up things. The battle to turn everything into Boomers around the world ended. That’s a good thing because we won’t have a machine to serve as a God. But I wish that the series could have wrapped up things by seeing how the main characters are reunited and even if life goes back to ordinary. But it may take a while for Tokyo since it will be an awful big mess to clean up the Boomer mess lying around just about everywhere. Somebody has to do it. And it won’t be Boomers. Aw… Now humans can get a taste of what it is like to work their ass off without much appreciation.

Maybe that’s where the OVA sequel called Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2041 comes in but very unfortunately that OVA was cancelled even before production started. I thought it would be the aftermath of it all and would glimpse what happened to the main characters. As mentioned that this is the remake of the original OVA series, I had a thought of wanting to watch it, but after seeing the animation and drawing style, it was a turn off and decided to shelve the idea. Yeah, just like that 2041 OVA, eh? You can say that the females here are drawn and look way much better than its predecessors so I would prefer the 2040 version of Knight Sabers as compared to the original ones that has that from-the-80’s-or-90’s typical look. There are other prequels and sequel spin-offs based on this series as well like AD Police and Parasite Dolls but I too didn’t have much interest in watching it. But I can pretty much guess it’s about the same thing. Boomers and vigilantes clash. Villains down, heroes win, world is saved till the next time.

Back to this TV series, the story changes from a mere Mad Boomer hunting to the awakening of Galatea and her obsession in turning the world into Boomers. So it still beats me how Boomers can go berserk if Rosenkreutz did mention that it’s a non-existent problem. Maybe to him. Though his intentions may be good in wanting to make humans and Boomers co-exist, but he is oblivious to the problems that the Boomers are causing the ordinary humans. I’m not very sure but I think he’s dead. Same case with Mason. I don’t know what kind of future he dreams about Boomers but he got more than he bargained for and perhaps the short end of the stick. Now he’s God. A dead one. There isn’t any interaction between the Knight Sabers themselves that makes it memorable or the impact that shows them they are really close to each other after being in battle for so long. It still feels like they’re a rag-tag team put together in the end. Just with a little more trust. Linna as a newcomer easily settles in, Nene still the perky hacker genius, tough girl Priss is after all a woman beneath her tough exterior and I find Sylia has these mood swings if you push her wrong buttons.

Chemistry and romance-wise, it was rather disappointing. But what would you expect from this kind of genre, right? Leon and Priss’ love may have progressed but it still feels that they haven’t gone up to the next level. It’s like hot and cold between these couple. While Leon clearly loves her, Priss is like playing hard to get. So with that kind of abrupt ending, do we get to see Leon and Priss reuniting and that guy who promised her to give her a better chuu~? Yeah, the last time we saw him in the final episode, he was just waiting. Waiting for Priss to come back. She’s stuck in the desert lah. Initially Nene didn’t quite like Mackey but as the series progresses, you can see her opening up more towards him. True or not, but I think Nene really does like him in the end because she truly wanted to regain his memories. You can’t love a guy if he’s being a vegetable, eh? So will Linna and that Masaki guy get back together? I think that case has already been closed because they both decided to walk their own path. But the most intriguing and puzzling one is Sylia and Nigel. I didn’t really notice she had feelings for him. But after that short outburst, they just went back to how their relationship was like in the beginning as we know. Why and how she came to like him is still a mystery. And that Nigel may be a cool guy who walks his own path and talks his own mind but I guess when it comes to women relationships, you don’t really want to hang around this ‘no fun’ guy. You know, every time he speaks, he gives off that feeling that he isn’t interested or it’s-just-too-troublesome impact.

The action is rather okay but sometimes I find it a little hard to believe. But then again, it’s one of those old animes from that era. When Boomers are involved, you can expect to see lots of mashing and explosions big time. I just keep wondering why the AD Police still continue to fire normal weapons when they very well know their pea shooters won’t even tickle them. Stall for time? Don’t they have better weapons to invest in? Oh yeah. Budget limitations. Along with corruption and red tape bureaucracy, is it hard to see why they don’t get things done and thus the formation of vigilante groups like Knight Sabers? It also boggles me how hard metal and iron that the Boomers are made of (including the hard suits) can suddenly turn into flexible flesh-like skin when they go mad. Maybe it’s science and technology. Too advanced for me to understand.

The series subtly takes a look at the prospect of men and technology. This is what happens when we decide to play God and not nurturing it good enough till it gets out of control. Kinda reminds you like the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, doesn’t it? So Galatea wanting to be God, can you say that mistake stems from us who created the artificial intelligence? Machines are supposed to do things based on what we programme, right? So if it develops its own logic and rationale from there, then we only have ourselves to blame since we’re the root of it. Our intelligence is reflected in the very essence of the machine’s programming. On a trivial note, whenever Galatea speaks in computer language, I find it pretty funny because it sounds like as though she is scatting! Don’t know what that is? Go Google it! Man, I thought she was going to break into a song. Technology is like a double edge sword. It can strike and it can also backfire. Especially if it ends up in the hands of the wrong people, you can tell that sh*t is going to happen. A very basic premise and ingredients for genres like these. Technology is supposed to enrich our lives, right? Here, Tokyo seems to turn from utopia into dystopia so did life for normal citizens improve?

So show a little appreciation for all the machines that make your life easy. They may not turn into Mad Boomers but if you don’t take care or treat them nicely, they can still get back at you by malfunctioning or just completely stop working. It may seem like the norm to hit your TV when something goes wrong. Well, it always works, right? At least on TV (oh, the irony) but have you ever thought that you may be just aggravating the problem? Strange as it seems, do you feel that it is the machines that control our lives instead of us? I have to admit that I am pretty much hook on this computer even as I am typing this… But in the event if machines do go mad, it’s much better than humans going mad, right? Because we’re more dangerous, unpredictable and harder to handle.

Azusa, Otetsudai Shimasu!

January 13, 2012

OMG! It’s no doubt Mamiko Noto! She’s in here as a leading character in Azusa, Otetsudai Shimasu! Well, if I didn’t go around randomly browsing anime series, I probably wouldn’t have stumbled upon this. Yeah, you could say she was the sole motivation that got me to watch this single OVA of around 45 minutes rather. Not because if there was comedy in it or am I a baseball freak (which is the theme for this OVA). Theoretically, if the role she was voicing went to someone else, I would have never watched it at all. Prejudice? Call it a particular obsession to a particular seiyuu.

The setting is in the not so distant year 2099. I guess in the future where everything is so automated, it feels so like in the past. Get what I mean? Robots and technology everywhere but it feels they’re so backwards no matter how ‘futuristic’ they are designed or functioned. Shunpei Harumaki is one of the baseball members of the Karugamo ‘Ducks’ High School Baseball Team. His grandpa Senzou is also the team’s coach. He is running late for a practice match. You can tell their baseball club hasn’t being doing well for a long time because their rivals, Eagles High School is really looking down on them. What’s more, Eagles have bought 2 high-tech sports robot in their team! Is that even legal? Consult the rule book! Yeah well, seems like it. Type 93 Ieyasu has 3 legs to bat. Is that legal?! Up to 4 legs are allowed. Type 92 Hideyoshi has a special disappearing demon ball ability. Is that LEGAL?! Up to 3 demon balls per match. Looks like Ducks are going to have it tough. However Ducks’ Captain mentions the rule they have forgotten: If your opponents don’t have sports robots, you are forbidden to use any! Captain is laughing like mad that no matter how technologically advance their robots are, they can’t use it against them since they don’t have a single sports robot. So it’s going to be flesh to flesh slugging. In the end, Ducks lost 0-26. Yeah, they got hammered and roasted. To add salt to injuries, Eagles’ captain thinks they need to go back and practice more since they hardly had one with Ducks. Total insult! Back home, Shunpei thinks they need to get a sports robot too but Senzou scoffs him off and says sports robots are evil. They don’t have a heart so they don’t understand the true spirit of baseball.

Next day in the club room, the club is in a pinch because senior Nakazato is quitting. This means they will be one member short to play and their club will be disbanded if the minimum number of members (nine in this case) isn’t met. So the only ones left are Captain, Shunpei, Doujima, Tonomura, the Yamada twins, Tanabe (everybody seems to be ignoring his presence) and the only girl in the club Mizuho Yuuki. Captain wants the twins to split into triplets! Is it possible? What about using that washing machine invention that Shunpei was inventing? Wait. Can it even play baseball? So the only option is to buy a sports robot. Where to get the money? Don’t worry, the drinks stall owner lends them his funds to kick start their dream. Shunpei and Doujima head to Akihibara to scout for a sports robot but they find out sports robot costs more than what they have. Nothing is cheap nowadays. What do you expect? A few pennies in a jar to cover it? When they finally find one that is within their budget, it turns out to be a maid robot, Azusa. The reason I could only think of why they bought it was because she’s rather cute. Or rather desperate to have another member. Back in the club room, Senzou is not too happy that they got a robot because it’s like their lack of guts will make them rely on that damn machine. Hey, at least it is made in Japan. Geddit? Maid in Japan. Haha! Those twins sure can come out with this kind of jokes. As Shunpei starts it, Azusa is rather stiff and talking very loud. Hmm… Maybe she needs some oiling. After that, Azusa is functioning as normal and apologizes for the trouble she has brought and would love to do anything to help out. Because she needs to oil her legs, the guys start gawking with keen interest. Mizuho beats all those dumbasses up. But since she is a maid robot, can she play baseball? Well according to Shunpei, she is a multi-purpose maid robot and certain stuff is like baseball. Like chasing after cats is like running and pounding a drying futon is like batting. I see… So all they need to do is to teach her the finer points of baseball. Thing is, she doesn’t know what baseball is. Oh boy. This is going to be a long day. Seems she is rather clumsy, klutzy and easily runs out of breathe. Wait a minute! A robot getting tired?! WTF?!

As an old humanoid model that is rare these days, Azusa needs to have her energy recharged the old fashion way. The members are contemplating to register Azusa and have her as their team manager seeing that having a cute girl in this testosterone-soaked club is soothing itself. What about Mizuho? Don’t they see her as a girl? They note she acts like a guy and have no boobs! Mizuho gets pissed that they don’t mind having metal boobs as long as they’re big and beats them up again. See, she’s acting like a guy. Back home, Senzou is giving Shunpei the silent treatment and eats his dinner at a separate table. Shunpei tries to lighten up the mood by saying he should bring Azusa back to cook but again he dismisses the idea and that robots should only be used for jobs that are too dangerous for humans to handle. Things like cooking or baseball should be done solely by humans. Next day everyone is shocked to see the club house cleaned up and in tidy order. Even the toilet is sparkling clean! So clean that they don’t even have the heart to take a piss.

Captain announces that everyone will be going on a training camp. Now. Right in the middle of class? Senzou has made arrangements that their summer vacation starts early but this means their winter vacation will be shorter. Too good to be true. As for the place, it will be Senzou’s hometown and they’ll be staying at the temple. The rest start giving excuses not to attend especially Mizuho who is concerned about separate toilets and rooms since she doesn’t want to put up with the den of wolves as her parents are pretty strict about their only precious daughter. However Senzou made the call and mommy is pretty happy to have her go on the camp since the adults can have a quiet summer. So much for that. No Mizuho, you’re not adopted. Upon arrival, they meet the temple priest who is Senzou’s close friend. Training begins with them pulling out weeds. By hand. Under the hot sun. How has this got to do with baseball? Maybe it builds character, stamina, patience… Senzou talks to the priest and he sees something different in Azusa. Senzou is surprised at his words and mentions she’s a robot. Next day, training continues with them pulling rubber tyres and a baseball practice that literally knocks them all dead tired. Azusa cooks them all a decent meal. During that, Shunpei spots Senzou visiting a grave. Talking to the priest, that grave belongs to Shigeharu Aida, the first person who created sports robot. But the priest reveals more that Shunpei didn’t even know. Shigeharu and Senzou were childhood friends and often played together when they were young. With declining birth rate and kids these days not interested in playing baseball, Shigeharu created the first baseball robot 20 years ago since the decline of baseball was unbearable for him. The first sports robot he created was so perfect that it was deemed a failure because it lacked of something called ‘heart’. Because of that Shigeharu sealed it away and devoted himself to create a robot with a heart. The reason Senzou hates robots is because he probably couldn’t do anything for Shigeharu.

Next day as the team is practising baseball, Shunpei is deep in thought over the priest’s words so much so he didn’t see a ball coming his way. Azusa spots this and activates enough power to catch it. Then she throws it back to them. So fast and hard that the metal fence dented! They learn she is usually in Economy Mode but can power up at will during her Power Mode. They have her test out several pitching and batting and her power is awesome. However she seems to have frozen after that. By using her Power Mode, her power often runs out very fast. The gang aren’t worried about it since they are confident every dugout has a power output to recharge and it’s not like she needs to be in Power Mode every time. Thus she can save some energy during other times and use Power Mode whenever the time calls for it. With the team’s spirits lifted, they teach Azusa several techniques that they specialize in. I don’t know why but the Yamada twins thought her how to do a manzai comedy. Maybe this is what they specializes in. Before they know it, it is the last day of their training camp. The rest wonder what kind of life Azusa had prior being put on sale, the master she had and the memories before they met her. They have mixed feelings since it’s sad that her memories can be wiped out a push of a button but at the same time, if she remembered them, it might be very troubled.

Back in the club room, Captain mentions their first match proper will be against Eagles. Time to regain their honour. Azusa is ready to do her best when she freezes. Looks like she ran out of power but Mizuho notices her time between recharges is getting shorter. Oh no. Doing further research, her battery lifespan is almost up and recharging her over and over will degrade it. Azusa is an old type model so her battery can’t be easily replaced. Plus, Azusa’s battery is made to last 12 years and she’s way passed that. They hear Azusa ‘sleep talking’ that she’ll be alright because she wants to help them out. The day of the Kantou preliminary tournament is here and Azusa still needs to be recharged. Eagles are laughing at their obsolete model as Ducks realize Eagles have added a new solar type robot, Type 99 Nobunaga to their team. Senzou gives his team a pep talk that they’re thinking up of excuses of losing to a team that have 3 sports robots but the real reason they never won was because they never gave it their all and were afraid to lose. However they retaliate by saying that they won’t run away or give up. That’s the spirit. With Azusa starting off, she surprises Eagles with her 150kmph pitching. It must be embarrassing to lose to a maid robot, eh? With Azusa effectively using both Power and Economy Modes to counter Eagles’ offence, they manage to keep the score tie. Nobody has scored yet. With Nobunaga coming into the fray, Eagles manage to score some points as Azusa continues her recharge during the turns. During that, nobody notices of Tanabe. He is like so non-existent that not only humans, but robots too can’t detect him going from one base to another! It’s like he suddenly showed up and everybody is stunned to see him there! Tanabe is so sad that he doesn’t mind losing or going out as long as somebody notices him. Captain also pulls off some weird batting move to catch his opponent by surprise.

Next up is Azusa as Senzou reminds her not to use her Power Mode since she is next on the pitching list. Though she agrees but Senzou notices she is lying because she went full power on the batting. See the steam coming out from her body? Ducks are leading by a single point margin. The final stretch is near and if all goes well, they could win it. They don’t want Azusa to use Power Mode recklessly because they want to continue playing baseball with her tomorrow. But when it’s play ball, she again uses her Power Mode to catch the ball and collapses. Suddenly her inner core powers up and she transform into a serious baseball player with the kanji words ‘heart’ over her forehead. Shunpei and Senzou realize she has switched to emergency reserve mode and she may be Shigeharu’s legendary robot with a heart. Azusa is going the end it all in 3 pitches. She even warns the catcher to stop her ball with his chest protector. Get ready. Grit your teeth. For the first throw, her throw was so powerful (170kmph, that is. So fast Ieyasu has no time to react) that she sent the catcher and umpire flying back. On the second throw, she reaches 2000kmph!!! Then on the final pitch she is going all out. Shunpei realizes what she is doing and yells for her to stop. After using up all her reserve power, she froze forever. Not. Back at school, Azusa is back to normal and continues to play baseball with everyone. Yes, they have won but Senzou is still sceptic that they were just lucky. Priest talks to Senzou and he never knew that the odd item that was given by Shigeharu and was using all the while as a paperweight was her battery and heart.

Always Glad To Help Out
Well, I guess it was okay for a short OVA. Nothing pretty much extraordinary. Now that I have got my fill of Mamiko Noto, I guess I’m pretty satisfied even if the series didn’t offer anything new. Basically it was just a bunch of underdogs going against all odds against a higher rank and cocky team (which probably led to their downfall because they underestimated their opponents). In the process, they bond together and become close enough for them to draw the spirit and determination which every team needs to make a miracle come back and win. Even if this is just Ducks’ first win in a long time, there will be more obstacles and greater opponents to come. Playing at the Koushien as a big dream for every baseball player so it’s not going to be easy. But that’s a different story.

Azusa as the ever helpful robot wasn’t treated as a robot or even a maid, but an equal comrade. Everyone cares about her and although they discover her Power Mode, it’s not like they abuse it and use it to their advantage. They even get worried about her next recharge. However her past and origins do bug me because I was slightly interested in knowing how she came about and ended up being on sale (shouldn’t outdated models by sent to the scrap metal yard? Too cute to dispose?). Maybe if they decided to expand this into a TV series or more OVAs, this area will be explored? Not likely. It has been years since this OVA came out back in 2004. Another thing which bugged me was when she transformed into that legendary baseball player. She obviously sounded like a different person that it wasn’t the voice of the Mamiko Noto that I use to know. Perhaps a different seiyuu? Not listed anywhere so I can’t verify this.

The other characters may not be deep enough since it’s only a single episode but most of them are amusing to keep this OVA entertaining. Like the Yamada twins’ manzai comedy and puns, Tanabe’s non-existence that nobody seems to notice, Captain’s loud and boisterous attitude and Mizuho’s tomboyishness. Call them all weird but in that case every team is weird in its own way. The winning formula is  always the trust, bond and teamwork that make them successful. Senzou may not like robots and some of his words are true. Robots lack the hearts that make us humans unique but notice that he gradually accepts Azusa for who she is? And when she lied about not using her power, did you notice that was a trait that makes us human? So who cares if Azusa is indeed some legendary sports robot with a heart. As long as she has a heart, it is all that matters.

Maids and baseball. You rarely see them in a sentence together. I guess now we can see maids in a different light. Instead of being proficient at local chores like cooking and cleaning, you can have one that excels in sports too. See the usefulness of maids? They can do just about anything and everything. Never underestimate them! Of course Azusa here being a robot means she is being programmed but like us humans, she too can learn. Using robots in sports that only humans should participate diminishes the true meaning and spirit of the sport. We strive for perfection but when we become too perfect, what does it really mean? Hmm… Maybe we can hire some maids to help in our country’s flagging badminton or football sport. Maybe Azusa would like to help out?

Aria The Natural

January 7, 2012

What kind of wonderful encounters await us? What kind of romance will we find in the daily adventures of daily lives as it is about to unfold? Embarrassing remarks aren’t allowed!!! Ehhh???!!! Oh, those familiar words ring a bell to you? Yes, it took me a damn long 5 years to finally decide and start watching the sequel, Aria The Natural. After my stint with the first season way back in 2006 (the first season came out in 2005 and a year later, the second season), I guess it took me too long to decide whether to watch it or not so much so I KIV (Keep In View) it till I almost forgotten about it. So what made me decide to catch this calming and soothing series? After too much mind blowing fanservice, violence and nonsense recently, it’s that time again for me to ‘detoxify’ all that with something neutral. Hence, that’s how Aria popped up in my mind. Well, better late than never.

For those who are not into the slow pace drama, try searching elsewhere as you may fall asleep after a couple of minutes. Thankfully I didn’t. The setting may seem cool. In fact, it is cool. Mars, renamed Aqua is inhabitable in the distant year 2301 with water enveloping the planet so much so a place which the series sets in, Neo-Venezia is somewhat a replica of our Venice. Basically, the series is about the daily lives and encounters and interactions with other people, discovery of new places and phenomena and topping it with reflection and realization. Though it generally focuses on the main character, Akari Mizuhashi as an apprentice Undine (a gondolier-cum-tourist guide) and her encounters, not forgetting the other side characters that will complete her wonderful time at Aqua as she strives to become a Prima (a professional and full Undine).

Episode 1
Ai is staying and helping out at Aria with Akari and Alicia since it is holiday season back at Man Home (new name for Earth). With the Carnival around the corner, President Aria (yes, that funny looking cat) goes off to a mysterious place as he did in previous years like with all the other cats. Later all the A girls (that’s what all the main girls’ name start with) meet up at the Bauta (those Venetian mask) stand and are joined by Woody and Akatsuki (still stammering when near Alicia). A large masked Casanova and his child attendants pass by. He is somewhat a legend from Venice back in Man Home in the 18th century and was sometimes known as a prison escapee, playboy, intellect, adventurer and celebrity. But he is somewhat an idol now. Later as Akari, Ai, Alice and Aika rest, they spot one of Casanova’s attendants and chase after it in hopes of unmasking his true identity. Akari and Ai got separated and end up in an unfamiliar place. They see Casanova and his child attendants. They ask if they have seen the rest. Without speaking, they hand them little bells and a castanet and start dancing and playing their instruments. Akari and Ai dance and follow them throughout the city till they reach the end of the line in which Casanova signals to them they can’t go no further no matter how much they want to. They are given a jasmine flower each as one of the child attendants unmasks and it reveals to be President Aria! Then the look through the opened door, Casanova looks back and unmasks. He turns out to be Cait Sith, the king of cats, supposedly a large black cat in fairy tales. That night, the duo are reunited with Aika, Alice and Alicia along with Al passing by. They spot the jasmine flower in their hands and realize they have met Casanova and want to know if they have find out his identity. Their answer? A fairy.

Episode 2
Akari, Aika and Alice take a practice row down Neo-Venezia since Ai has went back to Man Home. Aika notices a door near a Maria statue and finds a box with a treasure map in it. Initially she thinks the treasure is a fake but after Akari and Alice pester her, she agrees to go on a treasure hunt. Each map contains clues leading them to the next box as the trio enthusiastically read and follow as it leads them through many Calle (Italian for lane) throughout Neo-Venezia. Will they get to the treasure at this rate? While resting at San Marco Square’s cafe, Akari enjoys her cafe latte she never tasted in her life while to duo continue to search nearby. Akari and an elderly man exchange glances before they treat each other to more cups of coffee. Akari is surprised when everybody starts shifting and as explained by the mister, the cafe follows the shadow to keep cool various times a day since they have wine. He joins her and they chat about San Marco back on Man Home and how he spends almost every day at this cafe. Soon he learns she and her friends are on a treasure hunt so he prays they’ll find a good treasure. As they continue, the final leg seemingly is an easy clue but a little baffling because you have to go down to another world in the sky. Rushing down the dark stairways, they come out to see a beautiful scenery overlooking Neo-Venezia. This is the goal, the treasure. Even the final words narrate on the wall “Now you got a treasure in your heart”. The trio decide to put back the maps and boxes in their rightful spots. They notice many box marks and realize that there were many before them who also sought the treasure and put it back for the next one. When they return to San Marco Square, they see Alicia meeting up with that mister. He introduces himself as the manager of this cafe. He is happy they have found a wonderful treasure as Akari notes the person who hid the treasure is an expert of Neo-Venezia. That’s because while she was searching for the treasure, she was caught up in the magic of enjoying Neo-Venezia even more. So a rare case of the journey and destination is both worth it and important. Yeah, the entire Neo-Venezia is a big treasure trove.

Episode 3
While checking out tonight’s temperature, Akari realizes that there is going to be a meteor shower tonight. Because Alice can’t fully explain the effects of gravity, they meet Al who offers to explain over lunch. Hmm… Why is Aika blushing and nervous with this guy? Over the nabe lunch, Al explains how his job as an underground Gnome, keeps the gravity constant on Aqua. He also uses the nabe as an example of gravity and attraction. I guess this is one way to get those hungry people to understand better. As they leave, Aika nervously tries to invite Al to watch the meteor shower tonight. The rest thinks of inviting Akatsuki and Woody but Aika shoots them down thinking one is a kid and the other a loud party-pooper. They conclude she just likes Al. Right on the mark! That night, Akari, Aika and Al (along with their president cats) meet at the square. Alice is passing this one out since she is feeling sleepy. While searching for a nice spot to watch the meteor shower, Al suggests to have a walk around town since his eyes are quite used to dark places. They finally climb onto a roof and mark it as their designated spot to watch the meteor shower. Man, it’s going to be a little hard to get Al to climb up. I take it underground people have fear of heights. He has to go first or else he will be caught seeing their pantsu… They are amaze at the starry sky and as the meteor starts trickling in, Al continues his explanation about the shooting star phenomenon over a warm cup of cafe au lait. Suddenly Akari realizes she is alone with Al (who knows where Akari and the presidents have gone to). Her heart is beating faster each time she thinks about it but is interrupted when the real meteor shower rains down beautifully from the sky. At the end when they prepare to return, Al thanks her for this outing so she gets embarrassed. I wonder how many times she has said that “Embarrassing remarks aren’t allowed” line. And I also wonder how many times President Aria tries to hit and look good in President Hime‘s books. But failed miserably… There’s always another time…

Episode 4
Since Mailman’s boat is sent for repairs, he requests Akari to row him around so that he can do his deliveries. However Alicia notes she is just an apprentice and can’t be allowed to row alone with a customer. Though Mailman is okay to take this as his off day, Alicia notes that if Mailman becomes Akari’s instructor, it’ll be okay. Eh? Like that anybody can be her instructor, right? Akari and President Aria go pick up Mailman at the post office HQ. After that slightly embarrassing warm up (a postman’s job is tough and stamina-needed!), they got pick up mails from mail boxes. Akari is in awe of Mailman’s job and even had a hand herself doing his job, albeit clumsily. Thankfully, no catastrophe. After lunch, they see a boy, Sora who is anxious to deliver a letter now. It is to his teacher Ayano who is getting married at the church at this very moment. He wants to send her a congratulatory letter as well as an apology letter for all the troubles he has caused. They agree to deliver the letter but he must come along. As Ayano and her groom steps out of the church, Mailman delivers the letter. She reads it as tears well up her eyes. Sora’s heart warming and honest words reached her heart. Mailman goes back to the rest waiting at a distance as he tells Sora how happy Ayano was reading his letter. Shortly, Ayano’s boat rows by with Akira and Aika as their Undines. Akari takes his hands as they row close to them. Sora saying his final words to her before they part. As for Mailman and Akari, they continue the rest of the day delivering other letters. At the end of the day, Akari realizes that the entire Neo-Venezia is filled with mail boxes. Yeah, people here are all old-fashioned. No Hotmail, Facebook or Twitter! Can you live with that?! Mailman explains the joy and excitement of writing and sending a letter, comparing it to a form of treasure. Akari concludes that Neo-Venezia is like a little letter because you can always touch the heart of the people who created this place. Next morning, Akari gets a simple thank you letter from Mailman and is very happy about it.

Episode 5
Since it’s a public holiday, Alicia takes Akari and President Aria to a shrine island. After lots of Italian stuff, it’s time for a little Japanese tradition. At the tea shop, the old lady ‘warns’ Akari of the mischievous Okitsune and not to follow him to the other world. As they walk along the shrine paths, Akari felt somebody is following her. Then its starts to sunshower. As they run for cover, Akari and President Aria realize they are separated from Alicia. They walk around to search for her but Akari starts getting this eerie and afraid feeling each them she goes deeper. Suddenly it gets misty and they are caught in some weird procession with a group of masked people and its bride. Though Akari gives way, they stop and look at her! Then a tap on her shoulder! It’s that masked kid who has been following her around. Remembering the old lady’s words on Okitsune, Akari gives him her fried tofu package she bought earlier on so the procession continues. As it disappears, the mist vanishes, the sunshower clears and it’s a sunny day. Akari finds Alicia back at the tea house and tells her what happened. The old lady says Okitsune may have appeared because of her or the fried tofu since it’s its favourite food. Akari orders another package of fried tofu! On the way out, they see the earlier fried tofu package on a fox statue and Akari thinks just wanted some tofu. Then Alicia remembers the old name for sunshower (tenki ame): A fox’s wedding (kitsune no yomeiri). On another public holiday, Alicia offers to take Akari and President Aria to her special spot for picnic as part of their spring plan. While resting in the woods, President Aria must have got distracted chasing an insect. This leads them to an abandoned railway station as they discover railway tracks and follow it. Well, they must have trekked all day but the journey ends when they come upon a huge beautiful sakura tree. Next to it a dilapidated and abandoned coach. With a hole in the ceiling, they get a nice carpet made out of sakura leaves. Akari apologizes for Alicia not being able to show her special place. Alicia tells her a story about a teacher telling his student never to take the wrong path or he’ll never find his goal. Fortunately he veered off and though was in despair, he soon found a world more magnificent than the one he was searching for. What she’s trying to say is, if you don’t make mistakes, there are things you won’t discover. I’ve been wondering why President Aria has been bumming on top of the electric pole the whole time. Then it occurred to me he is stuck and entangled in those electric wires! It’s dangerous! Amazingly there is still current running through it! It’s a miracle he didn’t get electrocuted or else we have a fried cat. Haha! Just kidding. This lights up the coach and they have a wonderful lit up view of the sakura tree.

Episode 6
After practice, Alice invites Akari and Aika to her room. President Aria must still be in fear of President Maa who loves biting his flabby belly! He finds refuge on the bed top since President Maa doesn’t have the strength to climb up. Phew. At this rate, he may have died of heart attack. Athena also has them stay over for the night since she has got the dorm president’s permission. They have a feel of what it’s like to have dinner at Orange Planet’s cafeteria and a walk in the park. Athena puts a flower of Alice’s head to make her look pretty. Then at the mailbox section, Alice receives an invitation to an in-house Pair party. Akari and Aika are excited but Alice instantly circles that she will not attend, much to their surprise. A few Pairs pass by and they seriously and formally greet each other before going their way. As Alice retires to her room, Athena explains it’s not that she isn’t liked in the company but it’s more of the opposite. Everyone here admires here but all those envious looks feel like hostility to her. As they’re taking a bath, Akari tries to persuade Alice to change her mind but she is sticking to her decision and feels everyone hates her. Later as Athena dries Alice’s hair, she mentions how she is having fun with Akari and Aika. She replies that they are different as Aika is open in her speech while Akari is always smiling and having fun. She doesn’t have to worry when she’s with them. Athena says when she feels that everyone hates her, it’s more of like she hates everyone instead. But in Alice’s case, she’s more like afraid. Just like how the mirror reflects you, people will also reflect your heart. She wants Alice to smile more so that other people will smile back at her. As she goes back to her room, she watches in amazement how President Maa tries to bite President Aria once more. The fat cat thinks he’s safe on the bed but President Maa stood up and starts climbing the bed sheet. He reaches the top and finally gets to bite the flabby belly. NO longer a safe haven, eh? Alice is amazed President Maa tried his best and starts thinking that she too needs to do the same. Next morning, Alice wakes everyone up with her morning greeting. She sounds optimistic and lively. And on her invitation card, she circles the ‘will attend’ answer.

Episode 7
As the trio practice, seems Alice didn’t think that party was too bad at all. Plus, her seniors have invited her to practice with them. Though they tease her that her practice is doubled, she hits back that she’ll be a Prima faster than them. This has Aika trying to prove she is serious by manoeuvring the tight alleys. They spot President Aria in a gondola and follow him. He enters a small alley but Alice feels that it’s not a good idea to follow. Plus, she has school so they have to cut short their adventure. Akari tells this to Alicia so she says it must be a legend from Man Home. Something about cats have their own kingdom but humans cannot enter. Though she isn’t sure why, perhaps Cait Sith casts some black magic on it. Next day, Akari and Aika practice together and see President Aria once again in a gondola. This time they follow him into that small alley. The maze-like waterways led them to an abandoned area like as though time has stopped. They enter an old building possibly an immigration facility when Aqua was in the midst of development. As they row forward and deeper, unknown to them, cats are following them in the shadows. Then they realize that they keep coming back to this building and wonder if they’re going around in circles. A few more tries and even taking turns to row, it is starting to get creepy because they eventually come back to the same place! I’m having goosebumps too! Will they ever get out? Aika starts to feel a little freaked out when Akari starts hearing a voice calling her. She rows forward but comes back to the same place again. Now they couldn’t care less about the cat’s meeting and want to go home. Akari reflects on Alicia’s words and thinks this is punishment for trying to enter a forbidden place. As she apologizes, they see President Aria rowing up next to them. To their relief, he points the way out, a waterway they never realized it was there before. Aika, better quickly row your way out now! But President Aria isn’t coming. Well, he’s a cat so he’ll be able to find his own way out. As they row out, Akari looks back and catches a glimpse of a bunch of kitties and Cait Sith bowing to her. Next day when the duo with Alice practice, they pass by the entrance to that small alley and just ignore and row by. Yeah, once bitten twice shy. Curiosity killed the cat, eh?

Episode 8
It’s the season of Aqua Alta (high waters). Akari gets a call from Akatsuki to meet him at Leather Boot Camp on the double. There, she realizes it is Bocolo’s Day since everyone is wearing a red rose. Plus, Akatsuki has a basket of red roses. He plans to give them to Alicia. What else? So a single rose is not enough to express his infinite love? Haha, good luck. So Akari is called so that she can help him carry his basket with her mini gondola. Feel honoured, girl! Along the way, they chance upon Alice who has a rose too. But an obligatory one by the baker. Seems Athena too got lots of them from her young juniors. Alice didn’t give Athena one seeing another rose wouldn’t make a difference. But Akari thinks she’ll be happy to get it anyway. Continuing their journey, they meet Aika. Oh dear. Akatsuki x Aika = Argument + Insults. Pony-man… Gachapen… Akari notices she has a rose and wonders it’s from Al but she blushingly denies and says it’s for Alicia. Noting Akatsuki has a heap of roses, after learning Alicia is at the Gondola Society Meeting, Aika rushes off to give her rose to Alicia first. But Akatsuki is going to win by numbers. Then Woody comes by to deliver the roses Akatsuki orders. Yeah, more roses baby. They notice another box of roses for Akira. Yup, she too has her fair share of fans. Woody is requesting payment but Akatsuki blackmails him to reveal an embarrassing past story if he doesn’t put on his tabs. As Akatsuki haggles to buy more roses at the square, a lady tells Akari the meaning and origins of Bocolo’s Day. It means a flower’s bud and originates from Man Home hundreds of years ago. A lower class nobleman fell in love with a high class girl. To prove his utmost love for her to her father, he went to battle. But he was heavily injured and in his dying breath, picked a white rose and handed it to his comrade to pass it to the girl. When the blood stained rose reached her hand, she knew he had already died. As Akari comments on the tragic love story passed down as a tradition today, Akatsuki’s reply: “Embarrassing comments aren’t allowed”. Looks like there’ll always be someone to say that to her. Aika bumps into all and flusters. He asks about her rose so she nervously says it’s for Alicia. Al then gives her an uncut gem called Eye of the Rose and this has Aika wondering the meaning of his gift even though it’s not a rose, but it looks like one. Akari and Akatsuki are practicing for the latter to hand over the roses to Alicia. Akatsuki is so tense even if this is just practice. Yeah, Akari has full confidence she can imitate Alicia. As they start over, Alicia actually passes by! Her gondola is filled with heaps of roses. Because Akatsuki is in stammering mode, Alicia notices his roses and misinterprets Akari has received them from Akatsuki! Then she goes away thinking she’s interrupting something important! Oh Akatsuki, the heartbreak. He panics and trips, spilling all the roses. But they see the roses floating and Akari thinks it’s like his feelings spreading out further and further just like those old lovers whose heart are being reflected in the hearts of others. Akatsuki gives Akari a rose as reward for accompanying him. She notes this is the first time she receives one from a boy.

Episode 9
Akari is taking on a customer today with Alicia as her instructor. As she rows along and imparts her knowledge, the customer notices a private residence’s garden with beautiful blooming flowers. Alicia explains how such natural plants are rare on Neo-Venezia since it is a man-made and also how the owner uses Barometer to measure his wife’s beauty via growing flowers. Akari feels disappointed that though she travels here every day, she doesn’t notice this garden but is impressed with the customer for noticing it. To serve her customers better, later Akari goes off to find more wonders. She tells this to Aika and Alice and they too decide to show her some of the wonders in Neo-Venezia. Well, Aika and Alice are in some sort of competition to see who can show and explain the wonders of the places and monuments in Neo-Venezia. So much so it just sounds ridiculous. A door that never closes? Stairways that ends halfway? More like faux pax. But Akari is enjoying every wonder they introduce. Then Alicia passes by and learns what they’re doing. Akari plans to continue searching for more wonders tonight. But Alicia mentions it is not possible as this area will have power cut till tomorrow morning. Akari seems a little afraid. Why? That’s because she can’t sleep when it’s pitch black. That night when the power cut is in force, Alicia brings out and lights up all her coloured candles. Having their own little night tea party and since Akari still feels she doesn’t know much, Alicia tells her old story whereby she was a Single. A customer wanted to see some gardenia flowers but because of the rain, the flowers had fallen. She couldn’t forget the look on their disappointed faces so her Grandma brought her a candle that night. She told her to always keep a warm flame inside her heart even if it’s just a small one. If she’s able the way of the flame, she’ll be able to see hidden wonders. After that, she went to see the gardenias again. Though the petals had fallen but due to the dampness, it was exuding lots of sweet fragrance. As they turn in, Akari unknowingly blows out the last candle and she becomes afraid of the dark. Following close to Alicia up to their bedroom, they see a bright light coming out from the room. It turns out to be the bright shining stars in the sky. Alicia notes that she too doesn’t know lots of things but due to this fact, this means there are still many more wonders out there. The chances of meeting these wonders will be plenty and it’ll be tough since they are infinite. And since there is no end to wonders, that itself is wonderful.

Episode 10
Aika and Alice notice Akari knows a lot of the townspeople that well. She even gets a salad dish on the house for helping out with some advice! Must be embarrassing for locals like them, eh? Akari decides to skip afternoon practice to buy stuff on Burano Island. The duo decide to tail her to solve the wonder which is Akari’s mysteriousness and to find out how she makes friends when they’re not around. They follow her take a Vaporetto (slow ferry) and see her easily breaks the ice talking friendly to strangers as they too open up to her. Aika can never get over the ‘bump’ of the Vaporetto each time it docks. Yeah, she starts panicking whenever she hears that thud. Then on a stop, they see a mysterious man with large bags entering. Alice thinks he is the corpse man as his bag can fit a dead body due to the detective novel she just read. To their surprise, they see Akari and that guy have a friendly chat. As they contemplate to intercept to avoid her getting dragged into something dangerous, the Vaporetto docks and knocks them off their balance. They must be hiding behind the door all these while so when customers alight, one of them dropped oranges so they had to help pick up. Once that is done, they realize Akari and that guy is not in their seats and has already gone off. The Vaporetto sets sail so the plan is to get off the next stop and return in the next trip. You know how slow this ferry is, right? Yeah, I don’t know how much time has passed when they finally got back there. They hear President Aria’s voice and follow it till they reach a square. They see Akari along with many children around that guy. He opens his bags to reveal a music box and string puppets. Aika and Alice have a feeling they have seen him before. As he starts playing the music and dances the dolls, he invites Akari to do the same. She tries out as President Aria dances along much to the delight of the kids. Then Aika and Alice remember. He is a puppet show traveller and have seen him put up his performance when they’re young. They note if Akari hadn’t been friendly with him, they would never have remembered those lost memories. The add if you look through the ‘Akari’ filter, you see things that you never see before. Things that seem ordinary will start to shine brightly. Then in sync, they both tell each other off “Embarrassing remarks aren’t allowed”. Haha. At the end of the performance, Akari spots the duo and goes to them. They wave goodbye to the puppeteer and return. Oh, Akari forgot her shopping.

Episode 11
Akatsuki’s big brother of the Foreign Trade, pays Akari a visit and he has a request: He is nominating her for a job not as a tourist guide but to transport the fragile Venetian Glass. Apparently he took up Akatsuki’s ‘advice’ seeing his comments that Akari’s gondola is number one in Neo-Venezia for being ‘so damn slow you almost go to sleep’. Haha! That’s a compliment, right? Next day as Akari and Alicia arrive at Murano Island, the go see the Maestro to get the transported goods. He also has an observer for the delivery. However he is being unfriendly and rude to the Undines. He doesn’t want them to even carry the box of glasses in fear that they would say something bad! Maestro tells him off not to be rude to their guests. Along the way, Akari manages to break the ice with him so he opens up and tells them how Venetian Glasses are made. During the break, he is amazed an apprentice like her is nominated for this job. He reveals he wants to be a glass craftsman but there are prejudices of people wanting traditional craftsmen. Though Venetian Glass tradition originated back on Man Home, there was a break in tradition when Venice was submerged underwater. Those craftsmen were scattered throughout the world and when Neo-Venezia was created, they tried to revive this tradition. In the end, they have to start everything from scratch. Suddenly a dozing boatman threatens to hit Akari’s gondola. Akari uses her quick instincts and reflex to get her gondola out of harm’s way and save the glasses from being shattered. Continuing the journey, the observer apologizes for his earlier rudeness because recently there are many comments that Neo-Venezia is just an imitation of Venice. However Akari says those feelings reflect that he loves this place. Though Neo-Venezia is copied after Venice but due to the difference in its built and people, it creates a different feel. Fake or not, Akari still loves Neo-Venezia. True to Akatsuki’s title, Akari reached her destination at sunset. Akatsuki’s brother praises her for a professional job well done even if she’s just an apprentice. As the Undines carry the box of glasses, big brother teases the little afro observer for staring at them and wonders if he has become a fan of Akari. Blushingly he says those who think of them as wonderful Undines do exist here and now.

Episode 12
In the hottest summer on Neo-Venezia, Akari is surprised to see buildings over the ocean. As pointed out by Alicia, they are mirages created by the simmering heat. As Akari and President Aria take a walk, the heat must have caused Akari to start seeing illusions. For instance, there is nobody around and there are stalls selling nightshine chimes. Seeing President Aria running around, she decides to follow him since remembering Alicia said cats probably knows the coolest place in town. She ends up in a cafe and is being treated by the bartender to ice milk. As she relates her daydream-like visions, he tells her those are heat waves. The more you chase after it, the further it gets. But what happens if you manage to catch up after it? It gets a little creepy seeing the way the bartender talks and the sudden appearance of lots of cats appearing behind. He assures her this special place of theirs will always be the coolest. A gentleman in a trenchcoat treats her to another iced milk as the bartender says humans shouldn’t be in this place and once she finishes, she has to leave. Akari follows President Aria out and sees the gentleman to be Cait Sith as he takes off his hat. After she thanks them for the treat, she returns to reality and the bar is actually an abandoned place. Later, Akari goes to the stall to look for nightshine chimes and meets Aika and Alice. They browse and bought their respective chimes before returning to Akari’s place for some cool watermelons. Akari has an idea. Every night since, she takes President Aria out on her gondola with the chime to have their secret tea party. This goes on till the chime’s stone that gives out light starts to flicker. An indication its lifespan is near its end. To give it a proper farewell, it has become a tradition for people to let its stone drop off into the ocean while saying Tante Grazie (literally means thanks for everything). When Akari’s dropped, she realizes a crystal sticking in place of the stone. Alicia is amazed to see such a phenomenon for the first time. Akari feels that the chime doesn’t want to part with her as tears start streaming down her cheeks even if she doesn’t know why. She continues to hang the chime on her gondola.

Episode 13
Fans of Alice should love this episode since this is predominantly on her. Alice nearly knocks into another gondola during practice and thinks it’s because she failed to clear her resolution yesterday. What resolution? To walk home from school by only stepping in shadows! With some rules she set, she bounce her way from one dark spot to another. What about wide opened areas with no shadow? Thankfully, passing things like the airship counts because, a shadow is casted, right? However on the home stretch, she fails and steps into the bright spot. She becomes depress as Athena rowing a gondola with customers spots her and starts singing to lift her spirits. Next day, Alice continues to succeed her resolution and continues her shadow hopping challenge. Along the way she meets Athena (apparently her meeting was cancelled) who happily follows and observes her on challenge. As she hops, President Maa got excited and runs alongside her, causing Alice to lose her footing. Athena saves her by propping her up before her foot could touch the ground. However Alice isn’t happy she got help and decides to redo that part. Then at an open area where there are no shadows, Athena offers to cast her own shadow as a stepping spot. But Alice refuses and gets upset. She is going to redo from the part she met Athena and doesn’t want her following. Hopping along, she thinks Athena should fix her clumsiness first before helping others. By that time, the sunset glow has cast long shadows so it’s a little easier, eh? Alice reaches the bridge and sees Athena, Akari, President Aria and Aika in a gondola nearby waving at her. She is resolved to finish this last big obstacle and starts her hopping. But since her heart is disturbed, she losses her balance. Athena swiftly moves her gondola so that she could cast her shadow as Alice’s landing spot. Alice is still not happy and wonders why she is doing so. She replies she is an ally of Alice. Thus Alice decides to add a new rule that Athena can help since she isn’t just anyone. Athena starts singing and Alice realizes she was singing for her that time. Athena has always been her ally. Continuing her remaining journey, Alice puts on the happiest and most natural smile.

Episode 14
As the morning is unusually cool, Akari and President Aria wake up earlier and row around nearby. She describes the various wooden poles sticking out of the water and its purpose like to tie gondolas and as signs. When she goes back, she asks Alicia why their company doesn’t have its own Palina (painted poles). Well, it was like that when she first came here. Akari suggests making one so Alicia agrees. However she leaves it up to Akari to design it. That’s a big responsibility. Can she do it? Anything is fine as long as it’s the way she sees it. To draw inspiration, Akari takes out the old photo albums and sees a very young Grandma and President Aria. She sees a sketch of Palina in between the pages. Grandma happens to drop by so Akari takes this chance to ask her about the unfinished Palina. Something about they both couldn’t see the colour yet. Since Aria Company was just formed and they were busy, they left it for another day till they totally forgot about it. Alicia returns and is overjoyed to see Grandma. As Akari continues to ponder the kind of person her senpai is, she asks President Aria to describe her. I’m not sure if anybody can understand that clumsy dance because heck, even Akari can’t comprehend! Akari continues to burn the midnight oil to come up with the Palina’s design. Then she got it and starts work, designing and painting on a real one. Yeah, she’s really into it. It’s a one (wo)man show. Finally when it’s up, their Palina is a simple design like the ones on their uniform. As celebration, they have dinner by it. Alicia commends a job well done but Akari feels she wasn’t alone. She felt that her senpai she never knew was there all along while she worked. Alicia adds that when she’s retired, she’ll be here with her junior she’ll never meet. Akari feels scared if she will change then. Alicia assures her that the Palina will remain the same then and thus she will remain the same as then. This painted Palina will always be the Aria Company and even after she’s long gone, it is undeniable proof of days she spent here. It will never change as it represents her right now. Akari deduces that if you come to see this painted Palina far in the future, you’ll be able to ‘meet’ them now as they are.

Episode 15
Akari is having lunch on her own since her pals are busy. She is joined by Akira on her break. Soon by Akatsuki (what’s with that “Embarrassing remarks aren’t allowed” sneak attack?!). Noticing Akatsuki hungry, Akari tries to offer and feed him her fried shrimp. Since he is hesitating, Akira bites it first. Yeah, so Akatsuki and Akira also are always in arguing mode. Al joins them and mentions how Akatsuki hasn’t changed. Flashback time. As Al is born and grew up on Ukijima, he is a year older than Woody and Akatsuki and often looked after them. I’m not sure about Akatsuki’s Aqua-peace-protecting training by sliding down a giant slide. Woody is sure chicken, though. Then on some training on a swing, they are joined by a very tomboyish Akira and very polite Alicia on a school excursion (they sneak away). Daredevil Akira shows she has more guts than the guys as she swings further than Akatsuki. He challenges her to a slide duel. Yeah, Akira has got more balls than the guys, sliding down at high speed without fear. Akatsuki starts knowing the meaning of fear for the first time and was going to back out if not for Woody’s encouragement. He sums up his courage and slides. However when he is in the air, he did several somersaults and landed on his face. He started crying over his pathetic attempt but Akira gives him a hand and says he won instead. As the kids reconcile, Akatsuki was sure it was Akira’s win and was going to leave the protection of Aqua to her but she refuses. She thinks he misunderstood and that she’s not here for Aqua, but Aqua is here for her! Oh wow! Akatsuki wants her to be his big brother but she vehemently refuses. Back in present time, Akatsuki remembers those nostalgic memories and wonders what that ‘boy’ has gone because he has never seen ‘him’ ever since. Err… He never realized it was her? Alicia pops up surprising Akatsuki as she too remembers the nostalgia of being on Ukijima for the first time. It was then Akatsuki realized Akira was the ‘boy’! Akira doesn’t remember much. Akatsuki is devastated that his ‘brother’ has turned into a sissy cross-dressing man!!! Then he proclaims he has been a fan of Alicia then but was teased that he isn’t worthy of being one since he just realized that girl back then was Alicia. Akari starts noting this big circle in Aqua where people meet, pass and part. As time passes, things change but the big circle never and engulf the people in it. She laments she is from Man Home and not part of that circle. But the rest says she has been in their circle and right in the middle since everyone starts gathering around her without realizing it.

Episode 16
Alicia and Akari send their gondola for inspection but were told by the craftsmen its days are numbered and it’s better to get a new one. Akari is reluctant to part with it but he says using it will be rude to the customers. What about using for own practice? Well, that will be a pity to the gondola. Alicia suggests Akari have a farewell tour tomorrow with the gondola, going around Neo-Venezia and taking pictures with it. The next day after Akari and President Aria leave, Alicia puts on a sad expression. First time we’ve seen her like this? Along the way, Akari remembers the first time she became an Undine. She was a panicky and clumsy apprentice. First she picks up Akatsuki for the tour since he was his first customer. She remembers how she was slow and was late to send him but he gave her confidence that he could only pay the rate of an apprentice. Even if she’s an apprentice, she’s still an Undine. Yeah, that guy’s not bad at all. After dropping him off at the Ropeway Station, it is Alice and Aika’s turn. They row to the cape where they first met and reminiscence the good old times. Next, she goes around meeting other people like Mailman and Woody. The final destination is a canal where all apprentices undertake a test to become Singles. Remembering the time how Alicia passed her to become one at the top called Hope Hill, a hill overlooking the entire Neo-Venezia. On the way down, Akari enters like a dream world and sees an old customer requesting her to row on. As they take the slow ride, she wonders why he picked her gondola, so he says it may be fate. After a while, the old man disappears. Though not mentioned, we know he is the gondola’s spirit. Akari goes back to Alicia and finds it hard to hold back her tears.

Episode 17
The duo have a farewell-cum-thank-you dinner on the gondola. Alicia reminisces the times she was an apprentice and bumped into things, thus the scar on the side. Also the fun times cleaning, waxing and scrubbing barnacles off its bottom (believe it, it was fun). They are joined by Aika, Akira, Athena and Alice. Akari got the honours to do a farewell speech and toast. Then they see the photos Akari took with it and spot the one with Akari, Aika and Alice in it. Seems the seniors had one exactly like that too with this gondola. Just about the time Alicia became a Prima, she had to use a new white gondola. She is sad to leave this gondola so they took a group photo of it. The gondola was temporarily put away till she had confidence to be an instructor of an apprentice. That’s you Akari. After everyone parts, Akari decides to stay a little longer on the gondola. Maybe much longer because it starts drizzling and she doesn’t mind lying close to it, reliving all those precious memories once more. It’s sad but emotions got the better of her. To many, it may just be a boat but this shows how much she cares and respects it. So much so the gondola spirit is touched by her kindness and puts an umbrella over her. Next morning, the gondola is taken away. Few days later, they go and get their new gondola as Akari is amazed by it. Alicia says she is the first one who will use it. Akari is nervous rowing around town. Then they spot their old gondola passing by because of the marks and scars. Seems it is being used to transport goods. With that, Akari is able to move on and hopes to work together with the new gondola.

Episode 18
The girls are having a BBQ party. Aika is the last to arrive as Akari notices her new beautiful hairstyle. Aika flaunts it and is even happier when Alicia praises it. She also prays her hair will grow longer but Akira tells her if she has time to pray, she should make up for that by refining her skills. Party pooper. As they enjoy the food, they smell a funny burnt smell. No, it’s not some overcooked food. IT’S AIKA’S HAIR ON FIRE!!! Akira swiftly uses the table cloth to put it out. Then the dreaded moment… What are a few broken plates compared to a broken pride? Seems a part of Aika’s hair has become afro! Looks more like a tumour. Yeah, see all their Pac-man faces… Though she tries to remain positive, eventually she runs away. Akari and Alice run after her. Aika runs through the streets teary-eyed and with the cloth covering her head. Akari and Alice finally find her sobbing alone. Back at her place, they decide to give Akari a haircut. Before they can do anything, the afro part falls off! President Hime loves playing with it? Akari proceeds to cut her hair semi-long approximately to her shoulders. Aika tells them she was praying for long hair so that she can be like Alicia. However Akira pops up and says it’s impossible for her to be like Alicia. Those words don’t sit well with Aika and she’s about to hate when Akira insists on repeating it to get it to her head. Then Akira puts her foot down and tells her what she meant that she can’t be Alicia because she’s not. She can’t even be like Athena or imitate any others. Alicia is Alicia. Aika is Aika. Just be the best Undine in Neo-Venezia. This brings tears of realization to Aika’s eyes. Next day, the girls have another BBQ. They are surprised to see Aika’s new hairstyle: An even shorter cut. Akari starts praising so… Embarrassing remarks aren’t allowed! But it’s a different case for Alicia as she praises how it suits her so Aika is back to her happy self.

Episode 19
Aika catches a cold and will have to stay in bed. Well, 3 days straight cooped up in your room, who wouldn’t want to go out? She sneaks out and happily goes shopping with a gelato in hand, avoiding being seen by Akira. But then she seems something horrifying and runs away. Later Akari and Alice visit her but find her crying in her room. She reveals what she did today till the point she spot the duo practising together. Then it hit her how they’re doing fine without her and felt scared and uneasy. That’s when she ran away. Akari understands her feelings but Alice is all question marks. Then Aika would have them leave and wants to return to sleep. But they have bought some pudding with fresh cream so it’s going to be hard to pass up this chance. As they eat together, Aika narrates though she felt pathetic showing her cry-baby side, she felt happy they came to visit. Two days later, she is back to normal. She puts on her newly bought hairpins but starts feeling nervous. She tries to take her mind off it as she practises with Akari and Alice. To the extent of even mentioning how she keeps the gang intact due to Alice’s scary quiet face and Akari’s airhead and tendency to get easily distracted. The duo notice her cute hairpins and to top it off, passing Alicia also mentions how cute it is. So I guess she can’t hold it any longer and tells her buddies of her anxiousness. Seems she hasn’t show Al her new hairstyle ever since but can’t seem to find a reason to go see him. They allow her to go see Al while they continue the training themselves. As Aika takes the lift down to the underground world, her heart is getting more anxious. She sees Al’s superior Apa and was told Al is having early dinner due to his late shift. Aika can’t bring herself to say that she’s here to see Al so she just passes the puddings she bought to Apa to give it to him. She rides the lift up and out but changes her mind and goes down. I don’t know how many flights of stairs she has been walking but it’s getting tiring. And the nervousness in her heart too. Then she comes into Al and starts panicking. But Al is surprised to see her new haircut and approves the new look. To add icing to the cake, he also says the cute hairpin suits her. Ah, those magic words she long to hear. Aika narrates she wonders why she is so anxious all day just to hear those words but she’s somewhat happy now. It’s called fear of rejection.

Episode 20
It’s President Aria’s turn to catch a cold. As Akari wait for her friends, she spots a lady in a black mourning dress sitting by the pillar. Such a dress in this swelling hot summer? She decides not to stare as it’s considered rude. When Aika arrives, she decides to tell a ghost story to beat the heat. Akari is weak of those things… Anyway back in the old days of Venice, a woman was to be publicly executed. She begged to be buried on San Michele Island, an island filled with graveyards. But it was full and thus her request was never met after her execution. Soon strange things began to happen. She would appear out of nowhere near a pillar and requests to be taken to San Michele. However one must never go with her because you’ll be spirited away. Ooohh… Goosebumps coming out… But that’s a Man Home legend right? Well, apparently she too happens to appear in Neo-Venezia! Oh dear… As the trio continue their practice, they note Akari attracts mysterious phenomena easily and advice her to take precautions. Like don’t run up to everything and say “Wonderful!” or not approaching something dangerous. At the end of the day as they part, Akari is returning from an errand when the lady in black wants to hitch her ride on her gondola. Though Akari says she’s an apprentice and not allowed to take customers alone, there is no rule saying she can’t take a friend. Yeah, when did she uncover such a loophole? The lady is touched by her kindness. So where to? San Michele Island. Gulp… After Akari rows her there and is about to leave, the lady suddenly grabs her hand and takes her running deeper into the island. Zooming pass by the tombstones till stunned Akari can’t run no more. The lady says she is a good girl and wants to be with her forever. They’ll be alright since they’re friends. The wind blows off her veil and F*CK!!! SHE’S HEADLESS!!! OH SH*T!!! Suddenly Cait Sith appears behind her. The headless lady lets go and runs away. Cait Sith puts his paws on her face as she collapses into his arms in relief. Next thing Akari knew, she wakes up back at Aria Company. It can’t be a dream because there is a flower petal from the graveyard in her hand! Oh sh*t… Worried Alicia has been looking for her. She tells what happened and embraces her in her fear-cum-relief. Next day, she tells this to Aika and Alice. Aika starts shivering in fear upon hearing. It gets even worse when she shows the petal. It must be real! But Alice says there’s more to the ghost story. Apparently there is no such records of executed people requesting to be buried anywhere back in Venice or Man Home. Plus, that ghost story didn’t exist at all on Man Home! It was made up by someone in this city when Aqua was settled. So it’s a rumour made up in Neo-Venezia? But why does a ghost from the past in a made up story exist in the future and in this city? Well, that’s what makes it scary. EEEKK!!! Shriek all you want girls!

Episode 21
Akari hears sound of the train at night. Galaxy Railways? She tells this to her pals and now it seems Aika is starting to be weak against ghost stories because Alice mentions it’s a ride to the graveyard and you shouldn’t hop on board… Oh Alice… That night, Akari receives a letter with a large cat paw on it. It’s got to be Cait Sith, right? Inside, a one day ticket to Calle Tram tomorrow. Akari is in a dilemma whether to go or not so much so she’s spacing out. Her pals wonder what’s wrong with her so she starts talking. They misinterpreted that she may have found a guy she loves. Till Akari starts describing his coat of fur and tail… Uhh… As Akari is still contemplating (not because she’s afraid, but the unfathomable mysteries that she has encountered), Alicia says that just like her who wants to discover Aqua, perhaps Aqua wants to learn about her too. That night, Akari and President Aria wait at Calle Tram and as expected it turns up. All the other passengers are cats. Then a large conductor appears to stamp their tickets. There can only be somebody this big, right? A kitten throws a tantrum when he doesn’t have his ticket as the conductor prohibits him from stepping aboard. Akari gives her ticket to him, much to his happiness and is grateful. Then she knows the conductor is Cait Sith and thanks him for inviting her and for saving her the other night. He pats her head and puts his paws over her cheeks. She wonders who he is, where he comes from, how long he has been on Aqua and why he is appearing before and watching over her. In the end, he stamps both their foreheads. As the train departs, Akari and President Aria did not board and watch it takes off into the sky. Wow. It’s really like the Galaxy Railways. The conductor takes off his hat and it’s no surprise he is Cait Sith. He bows to Akari. Next morning when Akari wakes up, she is very happy that last night wasn’t a dream because the stamp is still on her forehead. Relating this to Alicia, she wonders if Cait Sith is really the heart of Aqua, then she is really amazed by just that.

Episode 22
Akari talks about the possibilities of different paths and future and stuff called the other parallel world. President Aria must be curious about it and took up Akari’s suggestion by trying to squeeze himself through the narrow openings between the stairs. Kids, don’t try this anywhere. It’s amazing that fat cat manages to squeeze through but that joy is short-lived because he bangs his head on the wall. Did he get amnesia? Nope. Apparently he got his wish of venturing to the parallel world. But he doesn’t like it because the genders of the characters are switched! Akari, Alice and Aika are boys?! Akatsuki and Al girls?! Though President Maa hates him, President Hime takes a liking for President Aria. Hey, at least this isn’t so bad, right? Till he finds out President Hime is male… Oh sh*t! I HATE THIS WORLD! I guess he can’t stomach kind Akatsuki feeding him so he rushes back thinking if he squeezes through that stairs once more, he’ll return to his own world. Too bad, Alicia, Akira and Athena (yes, they’re guys alright) interrupt and decide to cheer him up by throwing him high in the air. He’s not enjoying it. Then mama-like Woody was passing by and takes the honour of bringing him up really high in the air and then tossing him upwards. Woody fails to catch President Aria. OMG! He’s going to crash! Don’t worry, cats are pretty agile and know how to re-land on their feet. Oops, I take that back since it’s President Aria we’re talking about. CRASH! Don’t worry too. Cats have nine lives. Much to President Aria’s relief, he is back in the original world and clings on to Alicia in his relief. I guess he must be seeing too many things because he saw himself as a girl in the reflection! It’s just your own imagination… But good to be back, eh? Later, Akatsuki’s brother commends Aria Company for another fine job. I suppose as extra reward he decide to tell them past embarrassing stories of Akatsuki. You see, when Akatsuki was a bratty kid, he thinks he is the protector of Aqua and an artificial human! Each time he thinks mom is kidnapped by evil aliens and being replaced, he always asked her this question of his true identity to ascertain she’s not a fake. Maybe the temptation to tease him was too great (or rather he got sick of hearing the same thing day in day out) so big brother pretends he is an evil alien. Akatsuki got so frightened that he ran away from home in fear. I guess only mom can calm him and make a crying kid happy again. That’s why mothers know best. President Aria is taken in with the story and wants to hear more so big brother teaches him Akatsuki’s favourite signature pose. Yeah, he’s doing it pretty well. Akari spots Akatsuki while she is rowing and calls out to him. He is disheartened President Aria is doing his signature pose. Then he finds out how they’ve heard his story, he just ‘died’. And President Aria remained in that pose throughout the journey. Oh man…

Episode 23
Alicia and Akari guide an old couple celebrating their wedding anniversary around Neo-Venezia. Though the wife is positive and sporting, the husband is grumpy, He may not show it but notice each time he gets embarrassed, his ears while go bright red. The husband doesn’t want to continue to tour so the wife continues hers alone but wants to meet up later. Later Akari, Aika and Alice spot that old guy in a gondola shop and reprimanding the staff for not being able to meet his demands. Eventually he cancels it. Seems he wants a gondola to use for the Wedding to the Sea but the one prepared isn’t up to his expectations. Soon, the trio find him apologizing to a band of musicians (I later found out they are Senoo and Choro Club – the group responsible for this series’ lovely background music – making their cameo appearance!). They learn he was busy with work and hardly had time to take her travelling. She once mentioned she wanted to have the Wedding to the Sea so he thought this opportunity would be a good idea. Akari suggests using her gondola and since she’s saying how much she loves Neo-Venezia and its people, the old geezer has to accept, right? Aika and Alice help decorate the gondola while the old guy waits by playing President Aria’s flabby belly… He wonders why they can do so much for someone else so Alicia replies they must’ve been motivated by a customer who is trying hard for his wife. That evening as everything is prepared, his wife is surprised to see all this but nevertheless happy. Alicia, Akira and Athena brought their own customers who also want to witness this wedding. The earlier band members are happy to provide music. As the procession starts, the husband realizes he must have left his ring behind. Don’t fret, the wife coincidentally bought one earlier because she too had thoughts on this wedding. He is grateful for his wife for always saving him and how Aqua is a planet that can’t live with the help of the sea and that Neo-Venezia will always have everlasting love of the sea. Then they exchange vows and their eternal love for each other while the rest applaud.

Episode 24
On a rainy day, Akari and Alice head to Aika’s place for a study session to achieve their goal to become Primas. As usual, Aika fawns over the great Alicia even knowing her as the youngest Prima at the age of 15 while Grandma was the oldest and longest serving Prima to retire. Then they decide to give monikers and great ones to their seniors like The White Fairy (Alicia), Siren (Athena) and Crimson Rose (Akira). However it wasn’t good ones among themselves. Akari? Pigtails… Any better ones? Really Long Pigtails… Akira? The Wonderful Cry-baby (Embarrassing monikers aren’t allowed!) or Gachapen! KINSHI! KINSHI! KINSHI!!! Because the girls weren’t really studying, Akira comes in to give them do some filing work, much to Aika’s dismay. Once done, as Aika leaves to return the files to Akira, she passes by a group of girls whispering to themselves. Thinking they’re talking and admiring her, she decides to eavesdrop. But it didn’t turn out what she wanted to hear. So shock that she dropped the files and the girls excuse themselves. Aika heads back to the room and is visibly upset. She is upset that the girls weren’t talking about her but about Akira. What’s so bad about that? They’re badmouthing her. A visibly distraught Aika cries how it would be okay to badmouth her since she’s the heir to Himeya but shouldn’t do it to Akira since she got where she is now from scratch with her own strength. Akira has heard Aika’s words and tells her about the hard facts of reality that not everyone can be a Prima and the competition is fierce. Still, Aika still couldn’t accept nor tolerate their rudeness. Though she may be strict, there is kindness in her words Akira tells a story about a perfect grand wedding of a bride and a groom. Everything was wonderful till the bride tripped and fell face first into the cake. That incident became the talk of the town and only what the people remembered. The point is, we quickly become used to happy things as natural and yet even if just one bad thing happens, we take it seriously. And people make the bad things even more serious many times fold. She thanks Aika for crying for her but wants her not to worry because after all, it’s all part of give and take that she accepts because she’s a Prima Undine. As the sky clears up, the trio vow to get stronger and return to their happy selves.

Episode 25
Akari is worried since she hasn’t been receiving mails from Ai lately. It may be because her grandmother is unwell or busy with school. The Redentore Festival (some midnight party) is coming up next week as they talk about what they did for last year’s party. Going back to Aria Company, though Aika is happy to see Alicia, she starts having a bad feeling when Akira and Athena pop up. Seems the seniors want them to host this year’s Redentore. They will be in charge of food, decoration and programme. Yeah, they’ve rented a boathouse for their sake too. Consider this as special training. The girls get to work right away with Alice making invitation cards. Since the boathouse can fit 12 people, besides themselves and their seniors, they think of inviting Mailman, Grandma, Woody, Akatsuki and Al. Akari thinks to invite Ai for the last spot but isn’t sure if she can make it but sends her an invitation nevertheless. Next, the girls go shopping for food, cooking and get down with the decorations. Redentore night is here as everyone arrives and boards the boat. But Akari is worried if Ai will come since she hasn’t replied her mail. They can’t wait any longer and start rowing the boathouse. Fortunately, Ai makes it in time so they u-turn to get her. Apparently she is brought along with her sister’s husband who is on a business trip, the reason they’re late. Also, Ai didn’t reply because she wanted to surprise Akari. Thankfully her grandmother is recovering well. Akari, Aika and Alice serve the guests with wonderful food and later Ai and President Aria put up some sideshow in which Athena joins them. They find it wonderful? I find it plain weird. At perfect timing, the girls dim the lights so everyone could watch the magnificent fireworks display. Alicia thanks the trio for organizing this Redentore very well and inviting them to this enjoyable event. If not for them, everyone here would never have met and see each other. So bottoms up everybody!

Episode 26
The snow blankets Neo-Venezia. While Akari is out training with her pals, she is so deep in thought that she has no reaction to Aika’s trademark punch line. She asks them what they wanted to be when they’re young. Since the conversation has too much Alicia in it, I guess it’s natural to wonder what Alicia wanted to be when she was young. Akari gets that chance when she, Alicia and President Aria take a stroll through town. However she didn’t answer but starts making and rolling a snowball. She tries asking once more but was seemingly ignored. As they push the growing snowball, they meet several people who gladly help to their little bit to roll to make it bigger. Big enough to have trouble going over a little slope. But on the way down, I hope President Aria didn’t turn from a fat cat to a flat cat! See his marks on the ground! Thankfully, he’s still alive. Then they reach a dead-end but the residents there are amazed of the giant snowball and are excited to offer to make any one and invite them for outdoor tea. They turn it into a giant snowman complete with pretty decorations. This even attracts a passing-by ferry loads of passengers watching in awe. At the end of the day, everyone is satisfied of their achievement as the Undines leave. When Akari notes how it was fun and she has come to love this town more and more, Alicia tells her when she was young, she used to play in the snow and make snowballs when it snowed. Whenever she did that, somebody will appear out of nowhere to help make it bigger. In the end, everyone goes home satisfied. That was when she thought, this is what she wants to be when she grows up. Alicia puts on the prettiest smile that was worth waiting for. Have you become a fan of Alicia now? Akari thanks her for meeting her so she too feels the same. The snippets show the various people they’ve met, the other supporting characters and various places they’ve been to throughout the series. Finally Alicia asks what Akari wanted to be when she grows up. Her reply is a fairy. Alicia is confident she’ll soon turn into one. I’m very sure it means it’s Akari’s time to become a Prima on par with the Water Fairies of Neo-Venezia.

Naturally Good…
Oh yes. I was a very good thing I caught this sequel. There is a third season and I am planning to watch and complete my Aria series real soon. I may not have remembered much about the first season nor do I have any intentions of rewatching it, once again, watching sequels after a long time brings back very nostalgic memories. Each of the episodes may be following the same formula. Akari discovering and realizing something new, but this recipe never gets tire or boring (maybe once in a while I will be yawning but it’s nothing compared to the overall grandeur) because each time you’ll be interested to see what kind of discovery Akari unearths each day. Some of the words are heart-warming and make you realize that you should not take life for granted and also not to zoom pass as quickly as possible, but take time to stop and smell the roses. I hope I can take time off from my hectic anime pace to do that. Can I? To top it off, at the end of each episode just like in the first season, a touching mail narration and reply between Akari and Ai about the magical wonders she has discovered.

Even if over a hundred years has passed since the development of Aqua, life on this planet is slow, calming and soothing. It’s better this way, right? Why would you want to build another jam-packed, pollution-filled metropolitan city when you have the power to make a different one? But sometimes I do wonder about the technology here. It’s a blend between old and new ones. Notice how everyone does not own a handphone? There is none by the way! As far as I can see for this form of communication, it is those diallers (if you are old enough, you’ll know what I mean and remember how fixed telephones looked like) but with a pinch of technology in the sense that a hologram of the person’s face on the other end of the line appears when you take up the receiver. Also, I don’t really see any computers in Neo-Venezia. Not that I can remember. This means I am wondering how long does Akari and Ai take to trade mails. Can’t be using snail mail, right? So it has to be emails. I guess you won’t take days because I did a little research that it takes around 10-20 minutes for radio frequencies to reach Mars from Earth. Perhaps it’s not feasible to plant fibre optic high speed internet line between both planets, eh? And assuming Ai visits Aqua once a year, how long does it take to travel from Earth to Mars? Approximately 214 days as of today’s calculation! This means Ai will be a year older when she reaches Aqua and then another grade when she returns to Man Home! Haha. And Mars takes almost twice as long to make 1 revolution around the Sun. So people in Aqua live twice as long or short? Hmm… I shouldn’t be bothering about the details.

Because of the calming and soothing pace of the series and practically Neo-Venezia, notice that there are no criminal activities around? Hence no policemen? Everybody here lives in peace and tranquillity. This is what humans living among each other should be about. No fear of getting mugged at the next turn of the corner. If we could do this right here on Earth, I guarantee the world will be a much better place. The pace and the character development for this season may not have anything dramatically changed. But Akari along with Aika and Alice are working hard to achieve their goals to become a Prima. They may have learned and discover lots of things together but I feel that they and everyone else remains the same people as they are like as we know them. We are given a few insights of other characters but nothing too deep. Like the dark underground put that the Gnomes are accustomed in working and what it’s like being on top of Ukijima. Al makes more appearance here than he did in the previous season (if my memory serves me well, he only made once and that was the final episode) and he has this penchant to make jokes via puns. I don’t know if this kind of habit is only reserves for old folks as Aika always points out when he does so. For once, Akatsuki isn’t a totally obnoxious and arrogant person as I once thought of him. Maybe it’s just his pride. He still cares for his friends and is able to put the right words and encouragement if ever needed. But I really don’t see him a suitable match with Alicia :). Aika is definitely the lively one among the bunch and her trademark line isn’t just confined to her only but others use it as well, such as Akatsuki. Not only that, it may not be just embarrassing lines, but any other embarrassing words spout like monikers. Yeah, this is the trademark quote of the series.

However, there are some unexplained supernatural stuffs which really caught me off guard. For a very long time, I was really, really spooked. Especially the headless woman episode. I’m having goosebumps even as I am writing this. I was happily accepting this series as a calm and soothing one and not expecting such supernatural substance so when it really comes, I was definitely frightened out of my daylights. So is that spirit for real? I don’t want to find out! And what about Cait Sith? Who is really this large black cat? Is he some sort of guardian on Aqua? Or is this what Martians really look like? Cait Sith seems to take a liking for Akari and I guess it is her friendly and cheerful nature which makes her get along not only with humans and animals, but just about any other things. Because of that, I can say that Akari is saved from several supernatural events that ordinary humans would never have survived. Oddly after that Galaxy Railways episode, we don’t see him anymore. I thought he would at least make an appearance in the final episode. But like they say, some things are better left unexplained. Speaking of the other cats, though President Aria still longs for President Hime, it’s still a one-sided love. That fat blob is annoyingly cute and being the president of Aria Company, it is funny to see him bum around, having fun and eating like a glutton. Is it a wonder how his flabby belly comes about? And I notice President Maa don’t pounce on President Aria’s flabby belly every time they are together like before. Maybe that’s because President Maa has got a doll of President Aria to satisfy his cravings!

I have to admit that another reason why I came back watching this series is the beautiful soundtrack and music. They are all present and it brings back wonderful memories when I was listening to them. And up till today, I still enjoy those calm guitar pickings and soothing strings of the cello. Because of this, I finally took up my guitar and in the midst of mastering the background music of Aqua! Yes, a few more practice and I will be a master! This song is now my number 1 guitar picking and has overthrown Bleach’s Going Home which has been occupying that spot for years! I love this song and now even more so. You can expect all the themes and insert songs to be soothing and relaxing. It makes you want to really lie down, close your eyes and relax. The opening theme is definitely a masterpiece that suits the pace of this show. It is Euforia by Yui Makino and I can’t help but sing each time when the opening sequence is played. Mainly because there is no fixed animation so you’ll get to see the nice sceneries and the people of Neo-Venezia passing by. I thought there was a second opening theme when they decided to use the first season’s Undine theme also by Yui Makino. But it just lasted for 2 episodes and I think it is as a tribute to say goodbye to Alicia and Akari’s old gondola. Just when I thought I have memorized the lyrics for Euforia, they changed the lyrics but maintained the same song. Sheesh. Of course the final episode’s Euforia is a breathy and slow piano solo version. For the ending theme, the first one is Natsumachi by Round Table featuring Nino and if you have heard her style of singing, you can’t miss her. The second ending theme is Smile Again by Erino Hazuki. Each time the animation ends with a picture of starts making up to be President Aria’s face, I am tempted to say, “There is no President Aria constellation!”. Haha! Of course the final episode, they used the first season’s ending theme, Rainbow by Round Table featuring Nino and it brought back more nostalgic memories. As for the drawing and art, they might not be the best but the scenic picturesque compliments the quiet and slow pace of the series so in addition to the beautiful music, you may want to look around at the various sceneries, monuments and places.

It may not be any exotic places or dream locations. It could be your own backyard where you have been living for almost your entire life to discover something wonderful and life-changing. This show makes us appreciate the little every day wonders and miracles that tend to slip by because we are too busy engrossed with our lives to even notice it. If we can find just that simplest form of little wonder or show and share it to others, it will be very fulfilling and possibly the happiest experience ever made. Am I saying it right? Well, embarrassing remarks aren’t allowed!

Plastic Nee-san

January 6, 2012

WTF?! What the hell is this super short ONA with only 4 episodes lasting around 2 minutes each?! I don’t know, but when I heard the word ‘comedy’ in Plastic Nee-san, I thought it would be a good idea to just go and see some short random silliness. Silly, yes. Did I enjoy it? Well, I’m still in the midst of trying to recover from the ‘shock’ of what all this is about. From the short synopsis, +tic Nee-san or Chikku Nee-san as it is also known as, it’s about a group of high school girls who are part of the plastic model club talking nonsense and wacky conversations. How can you have that in such short animations? Well, they did it here.

Episode 1
As Nee-san is walking through the corridor, Okappa comes up from behind her and plays a “Guess who?”. She guesses correctly but is violently slammed into the wall!!! Nee-san plays ignorant but Okappa puts up the scariest face that would send a chilly shiver down anyone’s spines. Seems somebody has broken her plastic ship model in half. As explained, Makimaki found this broken in the locker. They both suspect is Nee-san and promise they won’t get mad if she confesses. But what is that devil look in Okappa’s eyes?! Is she sure she won’t get mad?! Because Okappa continues to give her that scary stare, Nee-san spills everything and admits she was the one who broke it.

Okappa returns to her normal self and forgives her since she came clean. However she must pay back for the model. Nee-san gets cocky and in addition to dig her own nose, she molests Okappa’s boobs and tells her off that it is her who will have to pay it with her own body! Okappa suddenly becomes a rampaging unstoppable perverted demon as she rips the sleeves off Nee-san’s uniform! Not even Makimaki is spared! Then she proceeds to tear off their skirts till they are only left in their undies! With Makimaki pleading for everyone to get along, Okappa starts pinching Nee-san’s loose belly so the cowering semi-naked girl apologizes and will compensate her model. Should’ve said that from the start, eh?

Episode 2
All of a sudden, Nee-san pesters Okappa for the person she likes, that special one whom she wants to kiss. Of course she’s more surprised of her sudden question rather than wanting to answer her. I’m not sure if Nee-san is drunk because she starts unbuttoning and undressing Okappa’s blazer while trying to squeeze information out if her lover is from the same school or class. So what’s it to her if she knows? Well, she wants to mess it up! WTF?! Of course she’s not going to tell! Nee-san gets mad and threatens she is going to put her bag between her thighs and rub it against her butt till she gives in! Go ahead. Be my guest. The harassment begins as Nee-san violently shakes her butt with Okappa’s bag in between but Okappa isn’t panicking. Not even shocked by her behaviour display. Just bengang sahaja… I wonder how long Nee-san can last. But more accurately, Okappa and Makimaki watching her shaking for hours! Since Nee-san is no Super Woman, she tires out at the end of the day but the bag is covered in her sweat! Yucks! Is she alright? Well, apparently yes and no. Nee-san forces Okappa for money so that she can buy drinks since she is thirsty so I guess she has no choice but to oblige.

Episode 3
Okappa tells Makimaki to wait in the club room first. As Makimaki continues to wait, I guess she got so bored that she starts acting a dramatic one-woman show of a love confession. Yeah, she’s acting it all out herself that! For realism, she forms her elbow like the shape of the lips and starts kissing it as ‘proof of her love’! Hilarious and disgusting! When she realizes it, Nee-san is watching from outside the door. Makimaki wonders if she has seen her embarrassing stint so Onee-san wonders what she’s talking about. Onee-san is further puzzled who Makimaki is and then yells at the top of her voice that the real Makimaki will never practice kissing and thus not a pervert. Of course that was just an act so Makimaki tries to poke Onee-san’s eyeballs and make her forget what she saw! Impossible. What has been seen cannot be unseen. Worse, Onee-san has already recorded that kiss on her handheld and shows it to Okappa who is laughing like mad. Makimaki ignores the duo and plays with her plastic models.

Episode 4
As the trio sunbath outside the class, Onee-san wonders if she looks cute doing so. But a fat chubby blonde (nicknamed Utsukushisa No Hito which literally means Beautiful Person) notes otherwise. Onee-san gets back at her by commenting on her small eyebrows. Utsukushisa takes out a hand mirror and examines them and notes she won ten to zero. This sends Okappa into a laughing frenzy while Utsukushisa continues to pinch and comment on Onee-san’s chubby face and lifting up of her eye bags. She then tells off Okappa for laughing at others and also about her own superb voice. Then noting Okappa’s hair has been ‘crying’ all the time and has been ‘shouting’ it wants to shine more, this serves to make Okappa laugh even harder. Utsukushisa unravels her beautiful hair and advises Okappa to take proper care of hers so they can aim for a higher rank. Now Okappa is foaming in the mouth from laughing too much and too hard. Turning her attention to Makimaki, she suddenly slaps her! This is for staring at her beauty with jealousy! WTF?! She goes on lecturing Makimaki as Onee-san thinks of trying to make that b*tch understand but I guess Okappa is so amused by everything that she prefers to let it be.

Spastic Nee-san
Uhh… What… The… Hell…?! I have to admit that even though the series is bloody short, but the spontaneous gag action and wacky talk was funny enough to keep me occupy for the few couple of minutes. It might not be anything much and I’m not sure if there are going to be more releases but if there are, I’ll just watch it to pass my time for some short fun if I have nothing else better to do.

So we don’t really see any relation between them and their plastic obsession. Just some nonsensical fast talking and humour that will either send you laughing or cringing. Oh yeah. The fanservice too. You can’t leave that out. If you want to leave some impression in people’s mind to remember something so short for a little longer, why not put in mindless fanservice. Besides like I’ve said, what has this got to do with plastic models anyway? I noticed that the girls wear funny caps on top of their heads. I don’t know if it’s an indication of their obsession or part of the plastic model club. See the little gnome cone (or is it a Pagoda?) on Nee-san’s head? That small box-like bus on Okappa and mini tank on Makimaki? Just plain weird.

So far the only other plastic model club in anime I know is Genshiken. With characters like these in the club, is it a wonder why nobody else joins in considering if these trio are the only members? A pervy talkative one, a scary one (if not laughs too much) and the other… Erm.. Uhn… Normal one? And if you are getting into plastic models because of these girls, then you are definitely getting in for all the wrong reasons…

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Another year, more animes to come :). Hopefully it will be another good year with lots of good animes. Okay, maybe that is not possible but let’s hope for the best. And what a way to start the brand new 2012 with of course another anime blog.

Teachers. They come in all shapes, sizes and attitudes. One of their main roles is to nurture the minds of the future generations. Of course there are good teachers and there are bad teachers. They primarily influence the way we think and how we end up. Unless you don’t really go to school or spend most of your childhood days outside school. As such, we expect teachers to be a role model and a learned person. However, what happens when your teacher looks much younger than you? Say, a kid? It’s going to be hard for the class to take the little teacher seriously, right? He/she is young enough to be your baby brother or sister. Furthermore, some may find it an insult because it’s like saying the class is stupid in order to have somebody younger than you doing the teaching. But you know, it’s not the size of your body that matters, it’s the grey matter that counts. So listed below are the few anime teachers that look like a kid.

Rebecca Miyamoto (Pani Poni Dash)

A child prodigy that graduated from the famous MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) at the age of 10. Now a maths teacher at Momotsuki High School to a bunch of weird students who enjoy teasing her (they nicknamed her Becky) and seeing her act like a little girl or child with her “Hau, hau~” crying trademark when cornered and frightened. Otherwise, she dons a lethargic and half-hearted expression to keep her genius reputation. Well, it’s going to be hard since everybody would love to hug a cute little girl instead of seeing her as a teacher.
Pet: A rabbit, Mesousa.
Seiyuu: Chiwa Saito.

Komoe Tsukuyomi (To Aru Majutsu No Index)

Despite her petite and small stature, Touma’s homeroom teacher is actually an adult who lives in an apartment by herself and loves chugging down beer and yes, smoke cigarette packs. In addition, she has a very high squeaky voice and her speech that ends with “~desu” may have many people think that she is a 12 year old kid. In spite of this, she is regarded as 1 of the 7 mysteries of Academy City. Though she has no esper abilities, she is quite a competent teacher highly knowledgeable in the esper field and at times is able to assist in performing certain magic spells.
Field major: Pyrokinesis.
Seiyuu: Kimiko Koyama.

Negi Springfield (Mahou Sensei Negima)

A 10 year old wizard in training who is assigned to be the English and homeroom teacher of the all-girls Mahora Middle School. He is the son of the hero Nagi dubbed as the Thousand Master who mysteriously disappeared. In order to find his father, he enrolled in a magic academy and as part of his training, he is sent to Japan whereby he is in charge of a class of 31 girls. Kind-hearted and caring (though child-like in some of his habits), how can you control a class with girls fawning over a teacher cute enough to be their little brother? Yeah, but that unwarranted cuteness has earned him lots of respect and admiration.
Specialized magic: Wind and lightning.
Seiyuu: Rina Satou.

Mika Suzuki (Doki Doki School Hours)

Just like Komoe, despite her cute child-like appearance, Mika is actually an unmarried single 27 year old woman who still lives with her parents. It doesn’t help much when she sometimes act like a child (did I mention that she’s lazy too?). It’s no surprise that her class doesn’t take her too seriously (partly her students are a bunch of weird and colourful personalities too). She is after all a kid at heart, right? That’s why her tall lolicon student Kitagawa loves teasing her so much just to see her cute reactions. Maybe she should just adopt Mikan, eh?
Dreads: Physical examination day.
Seiyuu: Omi Minami.

Yui Nonohara (Hani Hani Operation Sanctuary)

Naoki’s homeroom teacher. She is so short that she needs to stand on something to be at least by her students when she talks over her teacher’s desk. Once again, which class doesn’t love their teacher small and cute? She has a yellow car called Marupin and it does bugs you how the heck her legs can reach the peddles.
Car: Marupin.
Seiyuu: Yuka Inokuchi.

Ink Nijihara (Moetan)

She lives next door to Nao and is infatuated with him. Too bad it is a one-sided love. However she is devastated when she finds out that he is doing badly in his English and this means he won’t be able to enter university and she won’t get to be with him ever! So how? Transform into a magical girl heroine teacher called Pastel Ink! Yeah, I guess this counts too. It’s bad enough that 17 year old Ink already looks like a kindergarten kid so when she becomes Nao’s personal English tutor, can that guy take her seriously? He’d better. She’d better. Or else. And why is it hard to see that his childhood friend and magical English teacher is the same person? Must be the blue hair and duck-like outfit. Just concentrate on your English lessons, please!
Other job: Helping her fellow citizens!
Seiyuu: Yukari Tamura.

Professor Sagami (Macademi Wasshoi)

I’m not sure if he is human or some sort of a robot because he can separate his head from his body and still live. Otherwise apart from being a professor at the Magician’s Academy’s teaching faculty, he is also part of the discipline committee and has an army of golem droids as his army.
Army: Golems.
Seiyuu: Omi Minami.

Litte Ratus (Prism Ark)

A powerful magic user who is also a teacher at the Rozenburg Knight Academy. She is the homeroom teacher for Hyaweh and despite looking and acting like a child at times, she prefers to be treated as a teacher. That’s going to be hard, isn’t it? Late in the anime, she is seen as a spy working for Judas of the Templeritter.
Weapon: A couple of floating spheres called Bud and Fys.
Seiyuu: Kimiko Koyama.

Reborn (Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn)

Your life must be screwed if you are going to be the next head and successor of a mafiaso family. You’re even more screwed if your personal tutor turns out to be a baby! But you can’t easily take this baby’s candy away because Reborn is one of the strongest babies known as Arcobalenos and he is going to make Tsuna’s life a training hell and buck up. Ciaossu!
Weapon: A shape-shifting chameleon, Leon.
Seiyuu: Neeko.

And the lesson of the story is…
Never judge a book by its cover! Even if your teacher looks like a kid, you should still respect him/her because he/she is your teacher departing you with knowledge and life experiences. Okay, maybe for some they are hard to take seriously and also act childishly. But hey, it’s cool to have that kind of teacher instead of an evil brooding one or one that is always missing from class, right? There may be more child-like teachers out there as this list is not meant to be exclusive. So maybe in time I may just find more of them because well, they may be too small and short for me to see. Or even mistaken them for somebody’s kid. But if you still think that the idea of having a kid-like teacher is making you feel stupid, so ask yourself, if you’re that smart, what the hell are you doing in school in the first place?

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