Hansaku Iroha

June 24, 2012

The customer is always right. The customer is king. I guess when you are in the service industry, customers are like gods because they give you business and more importantly income. It sure feels good when you are getting your money’s worth of service, right? But have you ever felt how it is like to be put in the shoes of those people working in the service industry? Just like any job in the world, it’s definitely not a bed of roses and the one thing that one needs to excel in the job is to love it. Have passion for it. Okay, maybe sometimes the pay too but really, you need the perseverance if you’re going to make the customer’s day (and yours). Or else you’re better off doing something else.

In Hanasaku Iroha, we look at the life and behind the scenes of those working at the hotspring inn. Actually, the heroine in focus is the energetic and optimistic 16 year old Ohana Matsumae. A city girl like her has been forced to work at a hotspring inn, Kissuisou at the outskirts of the city Yunosagi, which is run by her strict grandmother. There, she meets various people and their several issues. Being the girl who doesn’t give in easily, she will always do her best in putting others first before herself and in the process learn a lot about herself and change for the better.

Episode 1
Ohana’s mother, Satsuki isn’t the kind of mother every kid would want. As a writer who is always trying to beat the deadline, she is irresponsible. At least being a mother’s role. Being a single parent is no excuse either. Poor girl has got to put up with her ridiculous excuses while holding it in, doing the chores and cooking. Things get out of hand when Satsuki is going to elope with her boyfriend due to his debt. Yes, make a run. And since a mother can’t bring her daughter along, she arranges for her to go stay with her grandmother Sui Shijima who runs Kissuisou. What’s a girl got to do? She has no choice. She tells her closest friend, Kouichi Tanemura about her sudden transfer and he is shocked. Why? Because he likes her. He never got the chance to confess till now. Desperate, isn’t he? Of course Ohana is also surprised. Everything happens so fast that Ohana had no chance to reply. Or rather he did not give her because his heart is wrenched, he ran away. What happens when the girl you love suddenly goes away? Ohana takes a train to Yunosagi and upon setting foot at Kissuisou, she tries to be helpful by pulling out weeds at the front. Just when she thought a girl, Minko Tsurugi is to lend her hand, she tells Ohana to go die! Before a cat fight can occur, Kissuisou waitress, Nako Oshimizu stops Minko and explains the weeds Ohana plucked were actually some plants she was growing. Oh dear. When she sees grandma, she doesn’t see Ohana as her own granddaughter. Sui and Satsuki had an estranged relationship so it’s not surprising she doesn’t really welcome her with open arms. To be fair, she will have Ohana work here and earn her keep. Any blunders will be docked from her wages. Sheesh… Ohana bumps into Enishi, Sui’s son and Satsuki’s mother. In short, her uncle who helps manage Kissuisou. He sees the similarity in Satsuki and Ohana. At least their looks. Then she meets head waitress, Tomoe Wajima who shows her around. Other staffs working at Kissuisou include the kitchen staff that comprises of Renji “Ren” Togashi, Tooru Miyagishi and Minko herself and the old geezer janitor Denroku Sukegawa AKA Beanman. Ohana works hard and in addition to being tired out, she feels lonely (she lives at Kissuisou with Minko as her roommate). Next morning, she tries to be helpful by airing Minko’s blanket. She got distracted to greet a customer, Tarou Jiroumaru so the blanket drops off the ledge and the customer below got the fright of their lives. Sui and Ohana went to apologize though the customers did not mind it. Sui summons Ohana and Minko to her office. First thing Sui did was to slap Minko! Ohana insists that it is her fault so Sui reminds her that the customers here come first. If that’s the case, Ohana also wants to get hit. Seriously? Serious. Sui gives her a double on her face! Ohana thanks her instead. Later Ohana tries to apologize to Minko but she still doesn’t like her. Ohana continues to toil away and no matter how sad she feels, she has got to soldier on.

Episode 2
Ohana is going to show them what she’s made of as she gets up early to cut down all the weeds. Sui then assigns Ohana to be a waitress under Nako’s wing, something the latter is not confident of. Due to her shy nature, the words just couldn’t come out so there are some details that she missed telling Ohana. So Ohana being the diligent girl went to clean a customer’s room (supposedly a famous writer) on her own. Ohana hears how Minko got reprimanded by Ren when she screws up a dish. Though Ren improvises, that means they don’t have time to make staff breakfast. However to everyone’s surprise, Ohana took the liberty to cook for them and it tastes good. Ren even hinted she is better than Minko. Minko gets even more upset with Ohana. She tries to apologize but Minko is just full of hate. Then a commotion from Jiroumaru. He is disheartened his work is missing and pins the blame on Ohana who cleaned his room. Yes, he is that so called writer. Ohana admits she did clean his room but the only papers she took out were those in the dustbin. Sui will have her staff look for his drafts and if they fail, Jiroumaru will have them take responsibility. That means, his stay here will be for free. Ohana searches for the drafts but feels down. She is suddenly roped in by Tooru as help to carry stuffs they are going to buy in town. Ohana didn’t like his inconsiderate behaviour so he asks if she is so amazing that she can do everything by herself. Ohana wishes him to die and their van nearly collided! Because of that, Ohana decides to walk back to Kissuisou herself. Ohana reflects how she hated her mother and because she never kept her promises, she decided to stop relying on others. Back at Kissuisou, Minko still hates her so Ohana has had it. She confronts not only her but Nako as well. She wants them to teach her stuff and in return she will rely on others and change. She forces them to tell her the food they dislike most and makes it for their next breakfast. When Ohana is at the dump, she remembers the paper trash she cleaned from Jiroumaru’s room. Her curiosity has her read his works. Not only it is like porn, but Ohana is the lead character! Then she sees Jiroumaru as he reiterates it isn’t his fault.

Episode 3
Ohana is kidnapped by Jiroumaru and in his room, he is trying to do bondage on her?! He’s such an amateur that he gets frustrated by his own uselessness. In fact, Ohana is the one who tells him how to tie her up and where!!! Jiroumaru reveals he isn’t the best author many claimed he would be. He is currently having a writer’s block so he started writing a sex novel to pay for his stay here. He thinks his life is over since he can’t even write that. Meanwhile everyone else is looking for Ohana and they feel it has to do with that missing draft. Ohana has an idea and that is to let her read his draft. The reason he can write about Ohana (among the yuri things she did with the other young girls in Kissuisou) is that he has been observing her. Nako comes in to clean so Jiroumaru hides Ohana. But because he is badmouthing her, Ohana shows herself. Desperate, he too tries to tie up Nako! Then Beanman shows up. Want to tie him up too? What about Tomoe? He’s screwed. The staffs have a meeting to discuss about Jiroumaru’s bluff. Though the rest clearly isn’t happy with the freeloader, Sui doesn’t want to doubt the customer just yet. Jiroumaru escapes by driving away in one of their vans so the rest chase him in another. It’s a little crowded if everyone cramps in, don’t you think? Finally at the cliffs, Jiroumaru is going to jump off and kill himself. Cornered, Sui mentions she has known Jiroumaru’s bluff all along and in this industry one cannot doubt the customer. She’ll call it even if he pays the bill after winning the award. But the most important thing is not to give up because the future is uncertain. More importantly, he is still their customer. Cool granny. The coward is filled with so much pessimism that he actually jumps off! But once he is in the water, he realizes he doesn’t want to die! This is when swimming prodigy Nako dives in the pull him to safety. Jiroumaru’s pessimism continues as he notes he can’t even die. Ohana slaps some sense into him and reminds him that he has talent and a line she quotes from his draft (“I want to sparkle!”). Ohana’s lecture how his novel taught her many things (I hope it isn’t the perverted aspects) and from now on, he will be working at Kissuisou to pay his debts as the staff have their meal at the beach. Nako makes up with Ohana. Back at Kissuisou, Sui prays at her late husband’s altar and notes Ohana as a splitting image of Satsuki. Denroku notes he knew Sui would know Ohana would set things right. Ohana spots Minko’s diary and she came out with a new word that describes her utmost hate for her: Hobiron. What’s that?

Episode 4
Ohana will also be attending school for the first time this semester since staying here. While walking along with Minko and Nako, they pass by another hotspring inn considered as Kissuisou’s rival, Fukuya. They’re bigger, grander and have existed longer than Kissuisou. Ohana is put in the same class with Minko. The girls are ecstatic to here she comes from Tokyo. The guys are also hounding her because they are fans of Minko. Suddenly Yuina Wakura ‘hijacks’ Ohana and takes her away. She did that as she understands what it’s like to be in her shoes. Cool Yuina introduces herself as the successor to Fukuya. She seems carefree and doesn’t mind if she works hard or not to be the inn’s successor because as long as she’s having fun, everything’s okay with her. During recess as Ohana and Nako eat together, they see a boy confessing to Minko but she rejects him outright. But he too isn’t backing out and asks the kind of guy she likes. Someone with a sharp tongue, kind, seeking initiative, serious about work, etc. Even going as far as describing the looks. Hmm… Sounds like Tooru. Can you live up to her expectations as her ideal man, buddy? When Tomoe finds out about the school confession, she plans to ruin the boys’ perception of Minko! That’s because she’s jealous that there is no men in her life! It’s just work, work, work. She gets even more jealous seeing Tooru tutoring Minko so close. Thank goodness Ohana and Nako were enough to hold her back. Till Tomoe realizes Ohana may have a ‘boyfriend’ too. Was Kouichi his name? Ohana accompanies Nako to the shrine. Nako reveals about her withdrawn and shy nature and began working at the inn for change. Explaining about the lost goddess who tamed the fox, the reason for the Bonbori festival taking place, in order for the gods to not go astray, the path to the heavens is lighted up. As token of their friendship, Ohana decides to call Nako by her nickname (Nako-chi). Nako remembers she tried coming up with various nicknames she can call Minko but none worked out. Back to work, Ohana hears more ridicule from Tooru on her first day at school. Could have gone on if Minko didn’t come in to help and thus ‘saved’ Ohana. That night as she soaks in the hotspring, she needs to come up with something to talk to Minko. She got off on the wrong start when she mentions how Tooru likes to complain. Reaction she got, but it was in defence of Tooru. Ohana realizes that Tooru is the person Minko likes. This embarrassment serves to make Minko hate her even more. Yeah, she coldly ignores Ohana. But she’s not about to give up and though she apologizes for saying something stupid, Minko tries to strangle her! Then they see Tooru’s bike turning into Fukuya. Oh wait. Why is he picking up Yuina?! What party are they going to? This is certainly getting complicated. At least for Minko’s heart.

Episode 5
Could this possibly the start of a love triangle? Well, Ohana’s blabber mouth has got most of the other staffs know what’s going on. Jiroumaru tries to be a smart ass and comes up with a conclusion that this is part of Fukuya’s plan to crush Kissuisou. I mean, they’re stealing Tooru away, right? Plus, Tooru isn’t coming in to work today and Tomoe’s alibi that she heard Tooru seeking Ren’s assurance that everything will be okay without him. Minko doesn’t believe Tooru would be led away with a higher job offer. Because of that, Minko can’t concentrate on her kitchen job and is affecting her. Tomoe reveals to Ohana that Minko had always wanted to be a chef without attending high school. She begged to Sui and Ren and was made to demonstrate her skills. Though she lacked everything, Tooru stood up for her and pleaded if they could allow her to work here because he can tell she has the right mindset. She has been grateful to him ever since. So with her saviour gone, where will she get her motivation? Ohana goes to talk to Minko and is going to give her support but ends up being locked out. She bumps into Enishi who enlists her help in finding decorations for the Bonbori festival. Noticing a piece of wood at the bottom of the lantern, she learns people write their wish on it while the gods find their way back to the heavens. As thanks, they will grant their wish. However only hardworking people will only have their wish come true. Ohana returns to Minko and argues about dragging him back. Minko has resigned to the fact he is gone for the better so Ohana scolds her back “Hobiron”! If she doesn’t want to come, fine. She’ll go herself. Ohana is serious. Trudging all the way to Fukuya, she actually causes a scene at the lobby screaming to meet the manager, Shigeko Wakura (Yuina’s grandma). Can she do it in a more polite manner? She wants her to release Tooru back to Kissuisou only to find out Tooru has already gone back there. Eh? Yuina explains one of their chefs had a cold so it was an emergency and they got permission to borrow Tooru. In short, Tooru and Yuina aren’t seeing each other. But the bike ride? She just wanted to ride it. Oh, Ohana has to bring the helmet back to him. Everything returns to normal at Kissuisou. Except for Jiroumaru. He may need to be wary of Tooru’s wrath for coming up with such a ridiculous theory. Tooru asks Ren what he would do if he actually went to work for Fukuya. He didn’t answer but Minko did. She’ll definitely stop him next time. When Tooru is about to leave, he sees Ohana taking out the trash. He notes how only she went for him. He thinks it’s not a big deal till Ren tries to stop him. Enishi is relieved Tooru got some experience at Fukuya but Sui cheekily says at least he has a place to go when Kissuisou closes down. Touch wood! Minko allows Ohana to call her nickname of Min-chi. In return, she allows to call Ohana’s nickname too. Because she took too long in deciding one, she takes back the offer. Ohana is grateful to Kouichi who has been encouraging her all the while via text. She now feels she has something to give her all.

Episode 6
Ohana gets her first pay. Even it’s only 8000 Yen, it’s better than her stinking unappreciated job back home with her mom, right? It was enough to motivate her to work harder. Keep it up girl. A consultant whom Enishi always awaits for her business advices, Takako Kawajiri pays another visit. As part of her plan to revitalize and improve Kissuisou’s image, this time it involves the waitresses. They are to wear some sort sleeveless Chinese qipao. I don’t think her English idioms matter. Because Ohana and Nako aren’t used in such a dress, they fumble over a customer. I guess he too was shocked if he did enter a hotspring. Oh, what will his wife and daughter think when they see him over Ohana. Start apologizing now! That was not only a disaster but a complete failure. Sui was never too keen on Takako’s advices but Enishi starts panicking when Takako threatens to leave, thinking she isn’t needed. Too late. She’s gone. Ohana learns that Enishi met Takako at a college and she majored in management. Yeah, better get your money’s worth. Recently Kissuisou has a dip in customers so it’s no surprise he is worried. Ohana goes to cheer dejected Enishi. Like mother like daughter, Enishi notes that is how Satsuki cheered him up when he was down. Ohana tries to ask around like Minko’s advice on cosplaying (“Go die!”) and to Sui about her worry if this place goes out of business without trying anything (she was forbidden to say that going-out-of-business phrase again). Beanman takes Ohana to a secret room behind the laundry room. It is filled with old kimonos believed to be from Sui. Ohana and Nako don them and the surprisingly fresh new looks please the customers. For older customers, it brings back nostalgic memories when Sui was working as a waitress here. Maybe this kimono was just a one-time offer because at the end of the day, they hang it back in the room. Though they return to their usual uniforms, everyone got the motivation they need to carry on. Ohana notes that whether or not Kissuisou changes, as long as they’re doing something, it is good enough.

Episode 7
A Tomoe-centric episode with her mom bugging her to get married, etc. She gets discouraged seeing the young ones and doesn’t feel alive anymore. She almost made a fool out of herself with that line in front of Sui. As Nako and Ohana are on their way to school, they feel somebody stalking them! Military men?! Nako in fear runs away! Turns out, they are people who play survival games and are somewhat frequent customers at Kissuisou and chased people around as practice. WTF?! Poor Nako. Yeah, they even go so far as to do some peeping mission. Ohana nearly could’ve been the ‘victim’ if Tomoe didn’t spot their ‘activity’ first. Tomoe sees Sui and thinks of returning to her hometown. Enishi teases her that even a woman like her finally gets to settle down so Tomoe bares her fangs at him! This ruins her mood and drops it. Meanwhile Nako can’t take anymore of the stalking. But there’s nothing Tomoe can do about it. Back home, Tomoe watches a war movie and gets an idea. She’ll get herself fired for the sake of those girls and she’ll start by harassing those customers. However her plan backfires. For instance, she rudely wakes the quartet up but being the soldiers they are, they consider it as a command from a higher up. Then when they didn’t touch the food the kitchen staff made for them and instead ate their military ration, Tomoe confiscates them makes them eat only an onigiri each. They take a bite and find it nostalgic and delicious that they want more! Then in a drill to invade the hotspring area, Tomoe is well prepared and fires away the water hose till they retreat! Look who is having fun the most. Then as those men leave, Tomoe thought they were complaining to Sui. Actually they are praising her as a brilliant commander! They salute her and hope to see her again next time. So successful that Ohana and Nako wants to learn more from her and call her their big sister. Back home as she receives from her mom, she realizes she feels lively whenever she is working. About that marriage thingy, she promises to give her a grandchild before she goes to heaven. Mummy agrees not to bug her anymore and just to stay healthy and come back home sometimes. With that, Tomoe is all fired up to get her job done as head waitress.

Episode 8
Ohana and Yuina discuss about the hotspring ranking in a magazine and it seems Yunosagi will be covered in the next issue. Imagine if Kissuisou achieves favourable reviews… Yeah, dream on. Suddenly Kissuisou receives many calls for bookings. Enishi and Tomoe aren’t confident they can handle 7 groups of 20 customers in total seeing today is Nako and Tooru’s day off. Sui reminds them that she was once a waitress too. Ohana and Minko return from an errand only to see Sui grasping her chest in pain. Ohana panics and drops her handphone before she could dial for an ambulance. Though Sui is hospitalized, she is stable for now as Ohana pays her a visit. Ohana is stumped why she didn’t let her call the ambulance and all she ever thinks about is the customers. Sui is fine if she doesn’t visit. Before she leaves, she tells her about an account book that she was about to get on her way then. On the way back, Ohana gets a surprise call from Kouichi. The line is bad so she can’t hear him say that he is now on his way riding a train to meet her. Ohana finds Takako and Jiroumaru coming up with a theory to share with the other staffs. They believe among the customers there are magazine staffers posing as mystery guests. They think of prioritizing a couple of customers they think are those people but Ohana feels they should treat all the guests the same. Takako has Ren make an exquisite meal for them. The pressure means he can’t work well. Oh God. He dropped the knife! With Kissuisou busy ushering the customers, Ohana remembers the account book and checks it out and finds notes of customers’ preferences and dislikes. She returns to the other staffs (who are worried about Ren’s strange act due to pressure) and asserts that they need to treat everyone equally because that is what Kissuisou stands for. Ohana has called Nako as reinforcements. Now the only thing left is to bring back Tooru since Minko can’t cook yet and Ren can’t be relied on. But Tooru is attending a friend’s wedding back in the city. How? Actually I never thought she would do this but Ohana actually did. She rushes down back to Tokyo via train right to the hotel where the wedding is supposed to take place! Is she that desperate?! Does she even know which room the wedding is held? Can she make it in time and back? What more, she is in her waitress outfit! Looking so out of place… Oh, with Ohana in Tokyo, Kouichi is just a moment away from Yunosagi. Yeah, they have and will miss each other alright.

Episode 9
Good luck trying to find the right hall. How can anyone tell with that kind of description? Ohana runs through the hotel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Yeah, everyone’s staring at her uniform. Some think it’s cosplay! She broke a slipper and feels defeated. Calling Tomoe to find out more information about the wedding Tooru is attending, she doesn’t know much except it is his old classmate’s. She gets a call from Kouichi and noticing she is down, he gives her the advice that all she needs to do is just take action in what she thinks is the best. That has always been her, right? She gets motivated for the task. That’s when Kouichi finds out she’s in the big city. Now he’s depressed. With gritty determination, Ohana finally finds Tooru and almost collapses in his arms. She excitedly calls Kouichi to thank him. Hope he doesn’t get any wrong ideas about this. Kouichi calls Kissuisou for a booking but it seems they are all booked out. No luck. Looks like he’ll have to return to the city. Ohana rides Tooru’s bike as he zooms back to Kissuisou. I guess it beats having a slow train ride. With Tooru reporting back, Ren turns back to his usual self. The nervousness just disappeared like that? Well, couldn’t have his assistant see his other side, eh? Kissuisou staffs goes all out at full force while Takako and Jiroumaru specially serve the mystery guests. In the end, they are able to get through the long day. The staffs see off the mystery guests and hope they will score good marks. Ohana helps an old lady and her adult daughter pack. From the way she said things, she might just be the mystery guest… Especially the daughter who is typing things into her laptop related to her ‘work’. The staffs enjoy a meal together as Tooru describes how desperate Ohana was. And as icing for their cake for their good work, Sui returns and in good health.

Episode 10
Ohana works so hard (chasing bats from the hallway?) so much so she falls sick and collapses. Now, it’s her turn. Nothing serious and all she needs to do is rest and she’ll be able to work tomorrow. While Ohana rests, her mind probably remembers all the task that she did up to the point she got sick. The other staffs also pay her a visit one at a time. But you know, Ohana’s mind isn’t sharp so she can’t concentrate or pay attention. Like Jiroumaru telling his porn novel, Tooru making broth and strawberries (from Minko) for her (why is he blushing while watching her eat? He also touched her forehead and got too close to her before realizing it), Nako putting her back to bed when Ohana wanted to get up to go back to work but was assured she and Tomoe can handle everything (don’t think this as a way that you’re useless) and Sui herself escorting her back to bed when she got up once more. Ohana dreams she meets Kouichi at the shrine. He tells her Kissuisou will be fine without her and to come home. Minko thought of playing a prank and draw on her face while she’s sleeping but she’s not that evil. Ohana is still drowsy and with tears in her eyes feels relieved that Kissuisou can run without her. Of course. They’ve been running even before she came. Minko mentions that the next time she wants to chase bats away, she should ask her help too. Nako saw Ohana’s handphone SMS about Kissuisou’s staff that they are incomparable to her and that they are fine without her. Nako tries to assure her it’s not what she thinks and it’s sometimes because they can’t afford to lose to anyone. It is not the end of the world nor do they not need a certain person. They want her back actually. At this time, Ohana has fallen asleep so Nako, maybe your heartfelt expressions were for nothing. But we viewers hear you :). I don’t understand this last bit because as Tomoe and Sui check on Ohana, they see Enishi and Jiroumaru preparing to come in with crackers and a novel respectively. The ladies shooed them away. Ohana dreams of Kouichi again. She tells him she loves Kissuisou and everyone here. I guess she has decided to stay. But why is she crying?

Episode 11
The results of the Yunosagi hotspring inns are out. They scored five stars! Out of ten. Darn. Worse, the reviewer calls it retro and boring! Not only Kissuisou but all other hotspring inns in Yunosagi scored poorly. All the managers of Yunosagi hotspring inns converge to discuss this and they feel the review is to promote a modern hotel not far from Yunosagi. Its completion will be a huge blow to their business. Busybody Ohana as usual eavesdrop on the meeting but was spotted by Yuina. Yuina has no attachment to any hotspring inn whatsoever or her own as she even wished to stay at that hotel for once. Ohana not happy. Rather than sitting down doing nothing, she confronts Sui about it but grandma is just cool and not getting the bad vibes get to her. If the review is bad, just move on and work to improve. Simple. Still sore loser Ohana isn’t going down with a fight and went to see the reviewer herself! Meanwhile, Kissuisou may be in dire straits because several customers called up to cancel their bookings. Oh, the power of words. Ohana remains stubborn in seeing the reviewer. The editor finally relents and guess who it turns out to be? Her mom. Oh dear. Ohana is clearly upset she returned to Tokyo without even informing her (oh, she broke up with her boyfriend already). Satsuki wrote that article because a higher-up told her to but what makes Ohana upset is that she does things without telling her. Now she’s bringing up all the past. This is turning to be a personal grudge? Can’t blame a girl her age, right? She held back everything the entire time. Satsuki just plays it cool. Rewriting or putting a correction notice isn’t possible, Ohana wants her to come and stay at Kissuisou to see for herself. And she’ll not be giving up till she does. Oh boy. It feels like Ohana doing an Occupy protest. Sitting outside Satsuki’s workplace with all the banners to come home, bla bla bla. Mummy is also stubborn. She’s not budging. Needing a break, Ohana visits the bookstore and surprisingly sees Kouichi working part time there. Ohana notices a part time colleague of his, Namiko Igarashi, clinging close to him. Not wanting to disturb them, she leaves. Returning to her Occupy spot, Satsuki gives her some food but in tears, she refuses to receive the enemy’s sympathy. Kouichi spots her and he treats her to a drink. There are so many things she wants to tell him in her pent up feelings so I guess she starts about that Namiko girl who seems to like him. Kouichi admits that she confessed to him but he rejected her. She was willing to wait. Ohana thought it was rude not to give a proper answer but reflects on herself that she too was the same. She is overcome with guilt and her heart is in disarray. After parting, she continues to walk in the rain whereby she thought she is being stalked. Running for her life, she drops her Occupy banners, ruining them. Alone, scared and confused, she is luckily found by Tooru and Minko who happen to pass by in their van. She starts crying uncontrollably in Minko’s arms.

Episode 12
Ohana is picked up and they stay for the night at the hotel. Tooru reminds her that it’s not just her personal problem but everyone at Kissuisou too. That night when Ohana can’t sleep, she and Tooru chat. She wonders if he has a girlfriend (what a way to ask him) so he questions her back that the real problem is her boyfriend in Tokyo. Next morning, Ohana requests the duo’s help to kidnap Satsuki! She’s got everything laid out and surprisingly Tooru agrees to conspire! But there’s a condition: Kouichi must also come to Kissuisou. Till Ohana brings Kouichi, Tooru plans to go shopping in Tokyo with Minko. Dream come true for that girl? Well, Minko was happy he brought her to places to eat. That’s about it. They’re just eating. Feel like puking? Yeah, they’re here to learn the different tastes of the famous stores. Ohana doesn’t know what to do to get Kouichi. Calling him didn’t work. He’s not at his part time job. I guess there’s nothing else she could do, eh? Till she bumps into Namiko. She was straight to tell Ohana to ‘release’ Kouichi. Including the exact place they’re sitting is where she confessed to him. However Kouichi couldn’t respond to her confession because there’s a girl he likes that is ‘postponing’ her answer. And he doesn’t mind waiting. Namiko asks how much she likes him and Ohana is unable to give a straight answer. Even if she did, it was probably as a human being. Namiko is called back to work. She notes she’ll never forgive her. Ohana feels guilty for being the bad guy. She gets a call from Kouichi who apologizes he couldn’t answer her call. Ohana finds out he visited Yunosagi when she was searching for Tooru in Tokyo. She feels terrible and concludes she has been thinking about herself all this while. He doesn’t need to come to Kissuisou. So that means no go with the kidnapping plan? Ohana wonders through the streets and feels nostalgic even if she was away for less than half a year. Meanwhile Minko ponders if she should asks Tooru’s feelings when she gets a call from Ohana. They meet up and though the abduction plan is off, Tooru feels he won’t be satisfied till he at least yells at Satsuki for writing that bad review. When they arrive at her work place, suddenly Satsuki is ready to go with them to Kissuisou. She’s happy that somebody is bringing her there. Eh? Well, she was able to take a few days off and was thinking of visiting the hotspring. Wasn’t Tooru going to yell at her? Apparently she was being friendly and all that he didn’t mind. Since she’s coming to Kissuisou. Minko is disheartened if he likes older woman. Or maybe it’s just the ladies in Ohana’s family… When they take a break, Tooru asks the real reason she is returning. Satsuki understands what Ohana feels because she too did the same thing to her mom who always thought about work. As for the article, she feels she has written the truth. It is boring and hasn’t changed. Even so, if the exterior changes, the inside is what it’s important. Resuming the journey, Satsuki continues she was always floating from place to place. Just when she got a place to settle down and planned on contacting Ohana, she came to her first. She asks if Ohana wants to come back to her but she’s fast asleep.

Episode 13
Kissuisou staff prepares to greet Satsuki. Feeling nervous, aren’t we? Well, the enemy is coming. Sui makes Nako Satsuki’s attendant because if she was herself, she might be tempted to slap her! Despite all that, she is still their customer. So with Satsuki’s arrival, she’s no different than she was. Lively and friendly. Enishi is worried because living with her has been a nightmare. At least to him. But Nako may like her because Satsuki praised how pretty she is. Satsuki has Ohana accompany her to the shrine. She starts talking the way like a mother, something Ohana didn’t like or not used to. Till she brings up the matter that she got rejected by Kouichi. Sure, there are lots of other guys out there and she shouldn’t be depressed about one boy. But she had better remember to show her what’s so great about this inn. Ohana returns and hears from the other staffs how they’ve been had by Satsuki. Like she ‘commenting’ on Ren’s cooking. Enishi thought he’s saved when he manages to call Takako over but Sui slaps him for relying on an outsider. Later when Ohana sees Sui, she mentions that even if Satsuki is her daughter and she took charge of her, there is a possibility her feelings might get in the way and prevent her from doing her job. When customers visit for the first time, they need to note their preferences and dislikes so that they can be well prepared when they visit the next time. But this customer though visiting for the first time, she actually isn’t because they know lots about her. That night, Satsuki requests some sake and geisha. Okay, if they don’t provide the latter, an old lady and young girl would do. Satsuki drinks with them and could you believe Ohana got drunk just over soda?! She’s like a heart broken woman spewing out her troubles over Kouichi! The adults are just being cool with her. Even toying around if she wants to go back to Tokyo and enter his life again. She doesn’t want to since she has her own life here. Sui dozes off as she mentions she dreamt Satsuki inherited the inn while Ohana was there. Next day, Satsuki leaves Kissuisou but not before handing Ohana the promised letter. She wrote about the balance between change and being retro. Kissuisou is always evolving to continue its unchanging service and protect its retro tradition. Overall she is happy with the staffs’ warmth and enjoyed her stay. That’s a praise, right? Did Enishi have to over react and cry and hug Beanman? Ohana narrates that though she misses Kouichi, she never got the urge to return to Tokyo. It’s because she has found a place to call home and she loves everyone at Kissuisou. She yells out at the top of her lungs her apology and thanks to Kouichi and sheds a few tears before moving on.

Episode 14
Ohana’s grade are taking a field trip to another hotspring inn. This one is way much larger than Kissuisou. Big enough to handle a couple of bus load of students. Doesn’t it feel odd for the girls to experience the service they have always been giving others? Ohana and co see the head clerk, Yosuke Hiwatari reprimanding a staff for not taking work seriously. Yuina knows this guy. He is her distant relative and fiancee. SAY WHAT???!!! See all Yuina fans go crazy! At the beach, a guy tries to confess to Yuina. Someone also tried to do the same to Minko but she doesn’t give him face. Ohana asks about the guy who confessed to Yuina. She turned him down and pretty calm about this. Even if she has a fiancee, hearing someone confess to you makes you happy. During dinner as the girls marvel at the large scale this inn can cope with, they notice Yosuke reprimanding his staff again for answering personal calls during their shift. Ohana admires Yuina who is engaged to someone who will inherit the inn and though she herself isn’t sure if she wants to be a waitress in the future, she is still going to try her best. While the girls prepare to take a bath, they again here Yosuke chastising the same workers to not take their time with their work. Yosuke goes to talk with Yuina so Ohana and Minko head to the bath first. Ohana thinks she spot something in the sea and rushes down to confirm if she really did see a kappa. Turns out to be Nako doing a night swim. They see Yosuke and Yuina chatting at the pier and couldn’t help go eavesdrop. Yosuke has dreams to work hard and make this inn the best in Japan. They also remember the promise they made to marry each other. Yosuke is serious that he wants Yuina to come work here after she graduates. He’ll be the CEO and she’ll be the manager. Yuina doesn’t seem too thrilled so she asks if he likes working at an inn. I guess he does but Yuina doesn’t give him her answer. When Yosuke is busy with his computer job, a staff wants to have a moment with him but he tells her to finish her job schedule first before coming to see him. Morning comes and Ohana and Minko can’t go back to sleep because they are so used to waking up early. When they head downstairs, they see a little commotion. Seems a bunch of female workers that Yosuke reprimanded have decided to suddenly quit. They tried to tell him but they claim he made them do all the work and went out chatting with his girlfriend instead. The manager tries to plead them to change their mind since they have many customers today. They continue they don’t enjoy working at a place with low pay. Yosuke is about to give them a piece of his mind for spouting crap but was held back by Ohana. However Yuina agrees with the disgruntled girls because working at an inn is hard and that you can’t expect someone to do something they don’t like. She adds that there are lots of things she wants to do in her life. She is going to pick the one she enjoys the most and make it her career. And running an inn is NOT on that list. Does that answer your question Yosuke?

Episode 15
The inn manager is having an emergency meeting about the shortage of staffs. Yosuke feels guilty that this would not have happened if he treated his staffs better. But this is no time to blame himself in this time of crisis. Ohana offers to help out seeing she has experience in this field but the manager declines her kind offer because this is their internal problem. Besides, they’re supposed to be the customers. Ohana and co are buying souvenirs when they spot the same bunch of ladies who quit the inn. Because they are still badmouthing the inn, Ohana confronts them and gives them a piece of her mind. Before things get descended into a cat fight, Minko and Nako take Ohana and run. Ohana can’t let this slip so she shoves the souvenir tasks to her pals while she goes back to the inn to offer her assistance once more. The manager learns she is from Yunosagi and he knows the place because he was trained there. He accepts her help. Ohana learns the job fast and though she may be a little rush in handling everything herself, Minko and Nako are also back to help her. She didn’t think she can carry all those trays by herself, didn’t she? Another crisis pops up as the machine for the food tray breaks down. They don’t have time to fix it. Ohana comes up with the shower tactic whereby when her mom came home before she finished dinner, she made her take a bath first. This means a change in plan whereby the customers will take a bath first so they have time to lay out the dinner. Yuina returns to the inn and sees Yosuke hardworking scrubbing the bath. Yuina doesn’t seem too happy when he praises Ohana for helping. She asks about what is so likeable about this job. Sure, he doesn’t have a life and can’t go out and have fun but there are things about this job he likes. Seeing Yuina has never lift a finger, he doubts she would understand. As for their promise, he wants her to forget about it because there is no way it will work since she doesn’t like working at an inn. He wants to marry someone who will work with him in this inn. Someone like Ohana. Now that really hits Yuina. She tries to show that she can also do some work but like any amateur, she sucks. Ohana and the other girls even helped out in other chores so when it is dinner time, Yosuke gives his hearty gratitude for making this dinner possible. As the girls soak in the hotspring, Yuina is experiencing pains and aches all over her body. Never in her life she worked so hard, eh? Next day before they leave, Yosuke plans to study again and learn to think about others. Yuina also thinks of studying about inns but doesn’t mean she’s decided to be a manager or work here. But it’s a possibility. A big maybe. Ohana and her pals return to Kissuisou and hand their souvenirs they bought for everyone. Yuina narrates she was brought up in an inn and being too close to it she thought it would be hard but it’s up to her to find the things she like and want to do.

Episode 16
Ohana, Nako, Minko and Yuina are roped in to give their opinions of what young generations want at the Yunosagi hotspring committee meeting. Well, keep dreaming of that ideal inn. Takako and Enishi bring back a film director, Tetsuo Isami. Enishi is not confident that his mom will approve of this but Takako needs him to be confident. All Kissuisou needs is to invest 10% and the result of people watching this movie will have flocks of people wanting to stay here. Call it free publicity. Sui has a private chat with Enishi and she leaves it to him to handle this. Surprise, surprise. The rest of the staffs are excited that Kissuisou will be the location of Isami’s film project and start dreaming. Everybody loves being in the movies, right? Jiroumaru is handed the task to write a scene that will show the true hospitality of this area. An abandoned pool in Kissuisou is the important factor for this film. I guess it’s up to the ladies to clean up all the moss and fungus, eh? This pool brings back memories to Enishi when he and his sister were swimming in it. Isami leaves and his next visit he will be bringing the movie’s 2 lead characters and by then they’ll have the contract signed. Several other Yunosagi inn managers approach Kissuisou and think of having a part in this movie project and also help split the cost but Enishi feels this is movie is solely at Kissuisou and all costs are solely borne by them. Isami and his crew return to Kissuisou and make some test shootings. Enishi is called to help play a main character in a camera test since the main actor is running late. By the time he gets dressed up, they put Ren in the role seeing the director insisted on someone more muscular. Ren so stiff… As Ohana and her pals clean the pool, Enishi and Takako talk about their times in college. They were in a film club and it was Enishi’s first piece of work as a writer in a perverted film that could send the director to prison at this age. However the director quit and this made all the other members to lose interest. So he decided to film it himself. Something about his youth and identity. Even if Satsuki who originally was supposed to inherit Kissuisou, was totally different than him, more popular and had charisma. Enishi feels he has the confidence for this project.

Episode 17
Test filming begins and this includes Ohana getting shot (fake blood!) and Yuina jumping off from the second floor! Don’t worry, there are cushions below. Sui gets a call from Satsuki not to invest in Isami’s project because he is a fishy guy but she reiterates she left Enishi in charge of that. Enishi and Takako stamp the seal on the contract and they seal the deal with Isami. They also give him the investment money that Sui had earlier given Enishi. The director and his crew leave and he gives hope to them to expect great things because they’ll be filming for real next time. Yuina overhears Shigeko and other hotspring managers talking about Kissuisou falling victim to that movie scam. True enough, Takako and Enishi are frantic because they got word that the movie is cancelled and Isami is uncontactable. It gets complicated because the contract is under Enishi’s name though it was Takako’s advice that led him to invest in it. Yuina rushes over to Kissuisou, worried everyone will be in a mess but to her surprise, everyone is continuing their daily lives and not let this setback affect them. Enishi gets a call from Satsuki who tells him about Isami. He fell into debt twice and was laid off by people in the industry. He would probably be using it to pay off the debts so getting it back will be hard. The actors and staff who are involved will also be in trouble. Enishi isn’t going to cry over spilled milk but feels he what he did was wrong. Takako and Enishi got into an argument because the former is going to Tokyo to settle things. She doesn’t want him to tag along because she can’t babysit him anymore. Plus, she blames this incident on him and she is just an adviser, not partners. She tells him to go ask his sister for help. Enishi wanted to slap her but Takako was enough to grab his hand and slaps him back! I guess that pain made him realize Takako is the kind of woman who can strike back and wants them to well, strike back (albeit the broken English). She isn’t amused. The quarrel takes them to the pool whereby the Ohana and co are still cleaning it because they have become so accustomed to doing so even if the movie is called off. They see the ‘lover’s bicker. Enishi tripped and almost got himself fall into the pool but how long can Takako hold him? Drop him or pull him back up? Since he can’t decide, she just lets go. Splash! She lends her hand to pull him up but he pulls her in! Double splash! Enishi doesn’t blame her as she has tried her best and hugs her. It’s an eye opener for Ohana and Nako but Minko is just rolling her eyes. So as not to be rude, the young ones leave to let the duo be alone. Sui has a meeting to with the other hotspring managers to inform them about their situation. Later Enishi goes to talk to Sui and though he isn’t protecting Takako, Sui feels she too must take her share of responsibility. Sui feels Enishi has grown up enough to protect someone. They remember how Enishi took up piano to attract girls but he sucked big time. If mommy had forced him to take lessons, life would’ve turned out differently. Also, he was a terrible swimmer. Enishi remembers swimming in the pool with Satsuki during summer. He called out to mommy and her attention was enough to make him happy. Oh, Jiroumaru has finally finished his script. Where the heck was he all this time?!

Episode 18
In this Nako episode, we see Nako wears the pants at home, taking care of her siblings, doing chores and cooking. Even her parents listen to her because they are busy arguing the best way to raise a child. WTF?! But outside her comfort zone, Nako is the shy girl we all know. It’s payday and though Ohana got her wages deducted for accidentally breaking a precious vase (or else she can pay the entire cost), Nako is surprised she got a raise. She thinks Sui wants her to change and expect great things for her. In school, Yuina is appalled at the cheapskate-ness of the girls in their meals so she suggests they go shopping after school. At the clothing store, Nako and Ohana may wear the same dress but the former clearly looks sexier! Yuina has her put on more accessories and with her praising comments, Nako buys everything she wore! After the karaoke session (Nako doesn’t sing well) and dining at the cafe, Nako seems not to be good with her words too. Maybe it’s the choice of words. She didn’t mean it in a bad way that Ohana is like her and has no friends. But how can that be in a good way either? Suddenly a group of dramatic street actors try to hit on them. Yuina isn’t impressed and tells them to really go and die (the actors are cheesily acting out that the girls are their oasis and will die in this desert). However to her surprise, they are actually hitting on Nako! Better run fast! Back home, Nako reflects her will via some mermaid metaphor. All she wants is to just swim freely but when the queen called her to wear heavy jewellery, the ornaments-cum-expectations are too much for her to carry and thus begins to drown. She thinks she should just act like her regular self. At Kissuisou, Tooru is shocked to see Ren dressing stylish! So am I! But when Nako comments his funny dressing, it sinks that guy into depression. Nako continues to be the cheery girl and spots a customer doing some weird ritual in the hallway. She tries to help out his luggage but was chided for ruining the film in his bag as he is filming the flowers blooming. Though he forgave her, this causes Nako to lose her confidence and returns to her shy ways. She thinks she doesn’t deserve in getting a raise and mentions a list of things she is bad at doing at work. However Sui gets the record straight with her. She wasn’t thinking of improving her will with a raise. When Nako was at school, a customer she served left a gratitude note that because of her advice, they were able to find a beautiful flower field. They will definitely come back to see her again. In conclusion, there are customers who like her work that’s why the raise was justified. Even if the real her is a lot more cheerful and she turns into a quiet and shy girl at work, there are things she notices that no one else would in addition to the welcoming service. Nako is so happy with those words that her smile was just unnaturally creepy. At least to Ohana and Minko. With her confidence back, even though this is not an ocean, she feels she can swim anywhere.

Episode 19
The cultural festival is coming so Ohana’s class is doing a princess cafe. They are happy to announce Yuina as the leader of the waitress team and Minko as the kitchen team (she’s not too happy being picked). But if Yuina didn’t like working in a service industry, why is she happily taking this role? Because it seems more fun than work. Plus, everyone has high expectations of her. Ohana and Nako get permission to take a couple of days off to prepare for the festival. Sui gives the green light and she’ll overcome staff shortage by calling for part time help from the union. And since Tooru plans on visiting, you can bet Minko is now looking forward to that day. What a change in character. Ohana learns Nako is part of the cultural festival committee and her class will be holding an art exhibit because a classmate is from the fine arts club. But Nako doesn’t seem too happy. Minko burns the midnight oil to come up with menus for the kitchen while Ohana solves the waitress uniform by using Sui’s old kimonos. Nako apologizes to her friend, Eri Mizuno that the class supposed to have agreed to this. She doesn’t mind seeing she has committee duties dumped on her. Ohana is so excited for the festival that she dreams a strange dream. Kouichi in that old kimono? While Yuina’s group are stunned by the beauty of those kimonos, there is trouble brewing on Minko’s side. She doesn’t approve the omelette rice dish on the menu since it is hard to make them with the utensils they have. But a girl insists on it because she wants to show her love to a boy she loves (that boy who confessed to Minko on the field trip but got rejected). The other girls think Minko is being cruel but she snaps and chides them for operating on an emotional level and that this isn’t about who likes who or she should let the person she likes influence the way she works (look who’s talking). The poor girl couldn’t take anymore shelling and runs out crying. Since it has come to this, Minko will do everything herself. Meanwhile Mizuno has all her artwork ready to be put up. There is one she hasn’t named it and wants Nako to give one. She panics and blurts out… Sloppy Omelette Rice.

Episode 20
Nako almost got nightmare of it while Ohana asks Tooru’s opinion on omelette rice. Both of them are in sync when they ask each other about it. Minko goes to buy all the needed ingredients herself. In class, Nako overhears Minko’s group girls about apologizing to her. Mizuno knows she wants to help her friend and lets her go. She sees Minko and Ohana in an onion cutting competition. Mind the tears. Conveniently it is lunch time so the girls take a break. Since the cafeteria is closed, they can cook with what they have at the home economics room. Nako orders omelette rice. Minko makes one and is an expert. Ohana thinks she wanted to become a cook because she liked the omelette rice of a particular shop she patron when she was young. Of course she denies it. Minko continues to make omelette rice for everyone so Ohana suggests that they make one for her. Seeing they can’t make one like this in class, Nako suggests a variation like ketchup rice and Yuina to add chicken pilaf. Minko finds it good so Ohana thinks of adding it to the menu. She’ll gladly help out. She better eat those words because Minko starts practising to make omelette rice that is suitable with the equipment they have in the classroom. Yeah, Ohana has to eat them all! Another one coming up! Nako returns to Mizuno who is putting the final touches to a painting. Is she drawing Nako? Next day of the festival, it is bustling with people and there is a queue outside the princess cafe. Tooru shows up and realizes the menu is so Minko-like. He sees the omelette rice and orders it. Flustered Minko gets to work. He thought the ‘love’ writing in ketchup was just part of the dish because the guy next to him also had one. See how Minko watch in baited breath… It’s like watching a teen drama. At the end of the festival, Ohana and friends visit Nako’s class. Yuina spots a painting entitled “Friend” but couldn’t make anything out of it. Was it that Sloppy Omelette Rice?

Episode 21
Guess what? Enishi and Takako are getting married!!! Love saves the world? I’m glad they love each other but how come Sui doesn’t look too excited even though she tells them to do whatever they want? Takako promises to work hard for Kissuisou but Sui wants them to hold a proper wedding ceremony (they initially didn’t want to hold it since they have no money) seeing wedding ceremonies aren’t for just self-satisfaction. Seeing holding it in a hotel would cost a bomb, Ohana suggests they could use Kissuisou to cut cost. It might clash with the operations but Ren leaves Tooru to be in charge of the food while Tomoe would gladly handle Ohana and Nako’s share of the work. So it’s settled. Tooru takes Minko to the market to get the best ingredients as Minko learns more of Tooru’s preferences (if he gets married, he wants 5 kids!). Tooru thought Minko’s depression was the cause of her recent slump and gives her advice that hard work never betrays anyone. Though this is not what Minko had in mind, she is glad he is concerned over her. Till he mentions Ohana’s name. Yeah, he notes Minko somewhat sounding like her. Because of that, Minko is showing her moody side to Ohana once more. She takes it out on Ohana over her loud, annoying and disgusting voice. After all that chiding, emotional Minko wants Ohana to go out with Tooru. Not that Ohana can understand what’s happening but looks like it’s back to that ‘die’ word again. Because thoughts are clouding Minko’s mind, she blunders again so Tooru dismisses her from helping him prepare for the wedding and he’ll do it himself. Takako seems to be spacing out, Tomoe thinks Ren might be the guy she is looking for while Ohana, Nako and Yuina sew a wedding dress made of curtains for Takako (it’s cheaper this way). Enishi tries to scout for a ring (perhaps a cheap but good one) but none of his old schoolmates really remember him or want to cut him a deal. Seeing how hard Enishi is pushing himself, Takako sees Sui and wishes to call off the wedding. Sui didn’t say anything and this prompts Takako to ask why she doesn’t acknowledge her or entrust the inn to them. Sui gives Takako a ring that her late husband gave it to her. Sui and her husband were working in the same inn when they met. She was a waitress, he was a chef. So when they got married, the inn owner offered them an inn with no successor. They along with Beanman (he looked so much younger and with lots of hair on his head!) worked hard to restore the inn. That time, they had no money to hold a wedding so Sui was given this ring. He named the inn in Sui’s name and hopes it will become successful. He was always by her side even after death, that never changed. Therefore to Sui, marriage is a promise not to let your spouse be alone again. Sui bows before Takako and entrusts Enishi’s happiness to her hands. Takako is overcome with tears and all the while she thought she was against her and never planned on letting them succeed the inn. But Sui affirms that because she really didn’t intend to. Oh, say it isn’t so…

Episode 22
Excited Takako wakes the Kissuisou staff up early for a meeting over her wedding plans. In class, Ohana gets a call from Satsuki. She isn’t coming to her brother’s wedding due to work. Then they talk about mummy who is always changing boyfriends and maybe it’s because she still have a one-sided crush on daddy. And Ohana thought her mom was sex-crazed! Well, Satsuki always wanted to find a new love to forget the old one. But recently she has been thinking she doesn’t need to get anything out of it. Ohana can’t help think about Kouichi’s case each time she hears one-sided crush and it sends her heart racing. The wedding dress is done and Nako nicely fits in (because she has the body and bust). They all thought Minko should try it out but she refuses outright, citing she hates frilly dresses. She goes overboard when she throws away the gown as Nako continued to pester her. Ohana confronts Minko about her attitude. In a nutshell, they argue about love. Minko thinks Ohana is stepping all over Tooru’s feelings. Ohana decided she’ll have a one-sided crush with Kouichi. They’ve already gotten physical but they stop not because Nako yelled them to but Tooru overheard Minko’s confession that she likes him. Later as Minko cries alone, Tooru comes up to her and explain though he is interested in Ohana, it is only to the point he is excited to see what crazy stunts she’ll pull off, nothing more. He also says some good points about Minko, sending her right into tears. In the end, Minko agrees to test wear the wedding dress and upgrades Ohana’s calling to ‘hobiron’. Yeah, Ohana is so happy her status returned back to that level… As for the forcing of Ohana to go out with Tooru, Minko wants to be more direct like her and won’t give up. The preparations for the wedding goes smoothly as Tomoe makes a deal with Takako to toss the bouquet at her. But on the wedding day, it seems Beanman was the one who got it!!! Damn! How can a short and slow guy beat an excited and fast woman? Yuina becomes the master of ceremonies while Tooru imposes lots of work for Ren (he did say he is at his disposal, right?). The first entertainment almost sends shivers down everyone’s spine. Jiroumaru is re-enacting a love scene between Enishi and Takako. While Jiroumaru is acting as Enishi, Beanman is all dressed up as Takako! He’s even wearing her trademark dress and putting on makeup! The worst part was, Jiroumaru actually kissed Beanman!!! I hope the guests didn’t lose appetite. The Kissuisou staffs hold it in as not to react because they’ll lose if they do :). Finally Sui gives her blessing speech. Something in her final words made the Kissuisou staff worried. She is going to sit back and enjoy her tea from afar. After cleaning up everything, Sui gathers the staff for an important meeting. She shows them a logbook from Beanman that he has recorded every detail and history of Kissuisou in it for 40 years. The other Beanman talked to her that he wanted someone to succeed the logs. So is Beanman quitting? Well more precisely, Sui will seal Kissuisou along with the logs after the Bonbori festival.

Episode 23
Of course the staffs are still reeling from the surprise. This is the biggest decision Sui has ever made. Takako thought it was because of Kissuisou’s financial situation so she sees Sui and vows to get it back. She wants Takako to take Ohana along back to Tokyo so that she can discuss her future with Satsuki. But she must be back for the Bonbori festival in which the inn is at its busiest. Enishi is worried and looks to Beanman for advice if he should go after her. Speaking his mind, he feels Takako thinks this is her first task as the next manager of Kissuisou and sometimes it is a man’s duty to sit and wait. On the train, Ohana calls Takako her “obaa-san” aunty. Well, her uncle is married so that makes them related, right? Takako would prefer “onee-san” (big sister) instead. They talk on why Ohana came to Kissuisou, the thought of her succeeding the inn and her ‘boyfriend’ in Tokyo. Due to the information given by Satsuki, Takako knows where Isami is. At the Tokyo Tower, Isami panics upon seeing Takako closing in and makes a run. She chases after him and causes a commotion and a threat to reveal him that has everyone staring at him. Panicking, Isami charges at her but Takako pulls off a cool judo throw. Now will he come quietly? Satsuki picks Kouichi up from his workplace and treats him to lunch. She talks about long distance relationship and dumping but Kouichi insists he didn’t dump Ohana. Satsuki brings him to her office whereby she shows him clips of the abandoned movie that Ohana and Kissuisou starred in (Isami didn’t have any use for it and thought he would get off the hook if he let her use it in her next article). Kouichi’s eyes are glued to the TV watching Ohana on screen. I guess after Ohana’s screen time is over, he leaves. On his way back, he is grateful for Satsuki for showing that clip because he was about to give up on Ohana. Then crossing the overhead bridge, he gets a pleasant surprise when Ohana is seen coming from the other end.

Episode 24
Ohana starts crying and tells him about Kissuisou’s inevitable closure. Kouichi mentions that after she left, Tokyo looked boring. Relating the video he saw, even though he has not been to Kissuisou, he started liking the place after watching her in it (sure, it’s not just Ohana?). He starts going about the long way about his feelings and whatever misunderstandings when Ohana suddenly covers her palms over his mouth. It’s not that she doesn’t want him to say it but this time she wants to say those words. But I guess it’ll have to wait a little longer till she finishes crying. Minko wonders about Ren’s early shift already over. Tooru mentions he went out drinking with his possible new employers. The thing that shocks her more is that Ren also invited Tooru to come along. She thought he is leaving her behind. He didn’t intend to but she’s underage and most places don’t accept that. Tooru tries to cheer her up with a line from a cooking manga. It brought back memories as they go take a nostalgic read over the manga that inspired them to become chefs. Funny thing is, they found out Jiroumaru was the one who wrote it when he was broke and starving. So… Their future was determined by this pervert? Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. When Ohana returns to Kissuisou, it is buzzing with booking calls. Thanks to a magazine which features Kissuisou on its front cover as well as super rave reviews. You guessed it, Satsuki is the writer. Enishi gets hyped up to rebuild this place but Sui insists Kissuisou will close after the festival. What a damper to the mood. She points out Ren and Tooru have already got a new place to go while Tomoe has already been scouted. They are willing to call off their new offer because they still love to work here but Sui tells them not to trouble their next workplace for selfish reasons. For once, Enishi stands up against her mom that she is the one being selfish but she isn’t budging from her decision. Get back to work and no more reservations after Bonbori.

Ohana, Nako and Minko ponder a lot while soaking in the bath. Nako thinks of confronting Sui to change her mind. But when the said person comes in, she chickens out. The girls watch her wash and bath herself so fast and how she slides all the equipments and cleans the place with precision!!! OMG!!! It’s like facing off with a final boss! When Ohana goes talk to her, all Sui has to say is she wants her to free herself tomorrow. While they’re gone, Tomoe would’ve decline a booking for a call after the festival. But Enishi goes against mom’s wishes and accepts the booking instead. Sui and Ohana visit the former’s late husband’s grave. She starts talking about how they started out of nothing and built Kissuisou from scratch even though they know nuts about running an inn. She feels Ohana doesn’t need to pay the burden of their dream. Ohana argues that they all love Kissuisou and the inn has grown in a way it doesn’t belong to them both anymore. It is also their dream. Sui starts feeling uneasy, close to collapse. Thank goodness it’s not deja vu (just a little tired) but resting at a nearby place, Sui mentions this is not the first time she has thought about shutting down Kissuisou. The first was when Satsuki ran away and wouldn’t succeed her. She realized she made her children endure her selfish dream. Enishi wanted to be the successor, even though there were other things he wanted to do. She thinks he isn’t fit for this kind of work and the workers will suffer. If they are going to be unhappy, she might as well close it down and free them from her dream. Ohana as a kid didn’t really get what old people are saying maybe it’s because they’re old (hey, she’s honest). But she’s not mad at her anymore and though she won’t agree to her plan, she’ll do her best anyway. This causes Sui to give out a heartily laughter that we would never expect to hear from this old lady. Meanwhile the other inn managers confront Kissuisou about not sending a representative to help out with the festival as agreed in the union. Enishi apologizes they are understaffed due to the festival bookings. Sui returns and apologizes for it. She wants somebody to drop whatever he or she is doing and go help out. None volunteered as a show of defiance. Ohana volunteers but Tomoe tells her not to. Torn between both sides, Ohana eventually listens to Sui and heads off. So does this mean she’s no longer part of them? Perhaps she realized too late she made a bad decision.

Episode 25
As Yuina helps out Ohana with the Bonbori festival, Ohana can’t help wonder what her dream is. The Kissuisou staffs are in a hectic meeting. Due to the large number of customers and lack of staff, Enishi changes the meal to buffet style. Sui has already warned them not take on additional rooms and that they’re wrong if they can save the inn by overworking themselves. Enishi assures quality will not be compromised. Sui allows them to do whatever they wish but in exchange they must do like they always have for the Bonbori. When Ohana returns, nobody has time to talk to her or even take the wish tablets she got from Yuina. Except Beanman. Minko wants Ohana to stop siding with Sui because she thinks unlike her she has a place to go to. To Minko, this is her home, her dream. Nako even sleeps over so she can start work early. It’s early shut eye for the girls and Ohana doesn’t like how things are because everything feels uptight. Nako is here and yet they can’t talk. Even Tooru has something to say to Ohana. He thinks this is not the Ohana he knows. Where is the Ohana who butt into everyone’s business and making this place fun? Maybe Kissuisou didn’t chance. Maybe it’s her instead. As the staffs go into full speed, Ohana is surprised by Sui’s kindness that she allows her friend (Kouichi) to stay here in her room since she planned to show him around. Minko works so hard that she dozes off in class, embarrassing herself. She’s still not talking to Ohana, though. Ren and Tomoe get into an argument when the food isn’t coming out fast enough. Enishi had to tell them off to stop and remind them this is a crucial time to protect the inn. Even Nako could feel this is not the Kissuisou she loved. Everyone’s too focused on Sui instead of making the guests happy. She thought Ohana know something so she lets her know what Sui told her the other day about her dreams. Nako thinks Sui doesn’t know because she’s just a runner. Some people can’t have their own dream but they can follow the dream of others and make it their own. Things get worse when Tomoe sprains her ankle. They think of calling for help from the union but Yuina points out her side already did that and it was impossible. Tomoe insists she can still go on and won’t lose to Sui. This prompts Ohana to wonder if winning is more important than the customer’s happiness. But if they lose, Kissuisou will close down. Now it’s Nako’s turn to have a say. She wants the original Kissuisou back. The place where she could be herself. Jiroumaru starts getting poetic about Kissuisou’s lost dream that has everyone glaring at him with detest. Sui offers to work as a waitress in Tomoe’s place. Satsuki is also back and though as a customer, she is willing to help out. Enishi refuses them seeing it’s their own battle. However Takako slaps him and reminds him not to let his emotions get the better of him. With the festival closing in, everyone is busy at their station as Enishi accepts using Sui and Satsuki’s help. Ohana thought Sui was going to collapse again, but she’s just dizzy and recovers. She enjoys this kind of work whereby they place customers first and themselves last. Ohana feels weird seeing her mom and grandma working but realizes her dream. Thanks to everyone, they manage to get through the day but it’s not over yet because it’s time to the festival.

Episode 26
Everyone has got their wish tablets ready. Ohana receives an SMS that Kouichi has arrived in Yunosagi and excuses herself to meet him. She’s going to run all the way to the train station so as not to bother anyone? How far is that? Satsuki happened to see Ohana’s wish tablet. She wants to be like Sui. Not an old grandma, mind you. It’s because she takes pride in her job, works hard and never forgot her first wish. Thankfully Ohana doesn’t need to run all the way because Kouichi is already at the festival. So while they eat at the yakisoba stall, Ohana musters up her courage to confess she likes him. After the festival and back at Kissuisou, Beanman makes his farewell and gratitude speech. He is going to live with his son since it is time for him to think about preparing for the afterlife. It’s not that he’s being negative, I mean he’s already at that age. Then it’s Enishi’s turn. He agrees with his mom to close down Kissuisou. But this is only temporary. He is going to study and train hard so that he can reopen this inn one day. By then he hopes to keep the name because he wants to make an inn that would make his mom happy. The rest will gladly return to assist him when the time comes. Even Tomoe notes she will gladly leave her husband for that. If she ever gets married… Satsuki talks to Sui about her plans. She’ll be working as a waitress as a friend’s place and doesn’t want to follow Ohana back to Tokyo. That’s because she’s better at doing things herself rather than ordering people around. She’ll continue to be the mother Satsuki ‘hates’. For her sake. Ohana and Kouichi had their fair share of talk too. Probably Kouichi would’ve confessed again if not for Jiroumaru ruining the mood eavesdropping at the door. Well, it is his room Kouichi is sleeping in. Minko once thought her dream was to be a chef. But now she is certain she wants to be Kissuisou’s chef. Nako may not know hers yet but she definitely wants to come back here. Soon Kissuisou closes down and it is agreed the place will be preserved as a historical structure (Tomoe and Ren getting too emotional). Ohana says goodbye to her classmates and looks like she too has created lots of friends. Sui walks around Kissuisou for one last time as nostalgic memories of the halls filled with people overflow her mind. She thought she heard a familiar voice and it turns out to be Ohana wiping the floor. Didn’t she go back to Tokyo? Apparently she missed her train and is biding time till the next one arrives. So what better way than to give a proper thanks and goodbye to Kissuisou? Sui sees Ohana off at the train station as Ohana promises that she’ll come back here. Sui gives her Beanman’s logbook since she’s coming back someday. Sui will be waiting for her. I hope that means soon, right? We see snippets of life of the other characters. Enishi and Takako are working hard at Fukuya, Beanman playing with his grandchildren, Jiroumaru hoping his next work will be a hit, Ren and Tomoe working at their new respective place, Tooru helps Minko’s job application get accepted, Nako teaching the kids how to swim and Ohana now living with Satsuki starts off the day cheerfully as she meets up Kouichi to walk to school. She notes that she is a bud trying to bloom.

Always At Your Service…
All I can say is that this is such a heart-warming and heartbreaking story of love and life. It ends with such mixed emotions. While it is sad that the inn is closed and everyone leading their own separate lives but it is good to know that they will always have that special bond that connects them together whenever and wherever they are. Was it for the best interest in everyone for Kissuisou to cease operations? Even if everyone was willing to put their heart and soul into the inn they love, there is always the fear that one might become complacent and stagnant. So I guess in a way everybody have to walk a new path in life and learn new skills and abilities, adapt to new situations so as to keep themselves sharp and not rust. Well, if you want to keep the soil healthy, you don’t just plant a single type of plant, right? You would rotate with different types of plants from time to time. Thus it is the same case for Kissuisou. From the outside, it may look as though it is just another passing chapter in their lives. But do not fret as it is not closed forever, right? Though we won’t know when it will be reopened, I’m sure that Kissuisou is still ‘open’ right in the hearts of everyone. Because of the small size of Kissuisou, I guess that is why everyone is able to easily interact and get along well, thus a forging a special bond. Would it be possible if you had a big corporation and hundreds of staff? Yeah, you might not even know the other person in another department.

The character development is quite reasonable and the main focus of this series. Some may say that is Ohana’s presence that changes everyone at Kissuisou. Well, maybe she does. A bubbly girl from the city that never loses sight of her optimism. Okay, maybe when it comes to the subject of love. She’s not the kind of girl who would just sit around and pray some miracle would happen. No, if she has to get down and dirty to do it, she will. If she has to run across the continent, half way around the world, she’ll do it. Nothing can change her mind when she sets her mind on it. She’s the kind to do something first rather than think up of a plan. If it fails, then try again, right? It is only subsequently that her heart is clouded because she is confused of her direction in life, her crush and the course Kissuisou is heading. Must be an emotional roller coaster ride, eh? So along the way, with the indirect help of others she also transforms herself and finds out the kind of dream she wants to pursue. Heck, even the term she coined, ‘bonborimashou’ (which is translated as ‘fest it up’ and also the quote of the series) later is adopted and used by the other characters as well. Yeah, quote of the series alright. So now that she has confessed to Kouichi, are they an item now? Will Namiko give up on Kouichi now that both Kouichi and Ohana have confessed to each other? That would be another story. At first Sui looks like the strict no-fun grandma that may send her to the top of the list of most hated characters in the series. She has her reasons to be authoritative. If she was easy going and lax, would the staffs and everyone else respect her? Would work get done? More importantly and in turn, would customers be satisfied? Towards the end, she seems to loosen up quite a lot though she still maintains her usual composure. Satsuki may not be perfect but she isn’t such a bad mother after all although there are lots of points where she could improve and act responsibly. Maybe she’s always been a rebellious kid and her style of helping out isn’t straightforward and conventional. But when the time do arises, she’ll definitely lend a hand.

One of the characters that I feel has undergone massive change is Nako. In the beginning she was somebody so shy and the kind of girl that looked that she’ll even get scared by rabbit (honestly, what was I thinking?). As the series progresses, she opens up and can at least freely talk to Ohana and Minko without hesitation. Minko is a girl with full of angst. She could’ve been cuter if she loses that angry attitude. Maybe it’s because of her one-sided love with Tooru that makes her moody. Even if most of the time she despises Ohana, I’m sure deep down she considers Ohana her friend. I hope. Enishi has grown to be a man of his own. He no longer backs down when mummy makes a veto decision and certainly doesn’t depend on outsiders when a pinch comes to Kissuisou. If you want something done, you’ve got to do it with your own hands. But I guess you can’t call Takako an outsider anymore because she’s already married to him. That really caught me by surprise. I wouldn’t have guessed that this highly confident city woman and her erratic improvement plans (not forgetting her English words she likes to use as motivation from time to time) would tie the knot with her college sweetheart. Suddenly for someone who only visits Kissuisou on business trips on occasions, she is willing to live her life for it. Unexpected. But like I said, everyone undergoes some transformation here. Okay, maybe not all or at least not that I can see. Tomoe is still scouting around for her eligible guy. Good luck with that. Beanman has always been the backbone of Kissuisou and it’s hard to find someone as loyal as him. He also provides advice to the young ones if needed. Ren is also cool in his own ways but just that his fashion sense of trying to look young and cool may be a little off. Tooru has lots of potential to grow as a chef as well with Minko. Jiroumaru’s presence felt like he is just a calafare. He’s just around to pay for his room debts he racked up during his stay. I don’t know why others detest him so much especially Tomoe. Is it because of the porn novel he writes? Is it because he says the wrong things at the wrong time? Yuina who once dislike working at an inn will now slightly have a different opinion. Though it is not certain that she’ll be in that industry in the future, but I guess before Ohana really steals the heart of her fiancee, she has got to something about it. It’s nice that she is honest she wants to do things that she likes but how often true is that in the real world? Maybe with her pretty face and sweet personality she just might pull it off.

The drawing and art are quite good. The characters are given that bishonen and bishoujo look so you can bet that everyone here looks good. Even the old ladies too. Hehehe… As for the scenery, I wouldn’t go as far as to say they are so breathtaking that your heart will stop still while you admire the lush background in awe. They are good to look at by the way. Only because I come from the city and I have seen too much concrete jungle for a big part of my life. So a little sleepy town like Yunosagi which is located at the outskirts of the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, it is definitely refreshing to see the greens and natural environments. After all, this is one reason why people visit the hotspring inns, right? You come here to relax your mind, body and soul and you need to have the right environment for it. Of course the right people to provide you the service too.

The voice acting fits the personality of the characters well. I am ashamed of myself for not being able to recognize Mamiko Noto as Tomoe. I know Tomoe does not have many lines at first but at least when she opens her mouth I would have instantly recognized my all-time favourite seiyuu. Not only till the Tomoe-centric episode did I realize it was her. Are my ears failing me? Kanae Itou did well as Ohana displaying her as a girl with lots of energy and getting it done one way or another. Well, I guess it’s better than an airhead like Elsie in The World God Only Knows and an obsessed squid lover Sanae of Shinryaku! Ika Musume. Aki Toyosaki as Nako also shows us that she is not only fitted for ditzy roles like Tomo in Seikon No Qwaser and Yui in K-ON! She is able to bring out Nako’s shyness of interacting with others and that makes her voice suitable for this character. Chiaki Omigawa’s undeniable trademark voice made me feel that that she was like an even angrier version of Soul Eater’s Maka. Because Yuina sounded easy going and carefree, I thought she sounded close to To Love-Ru’s Lala. Well, both characters are voiced by Haruka Tomatsu so it’s no coincidence. Other casts include Tamie Kubota as Sui (Shizuki Ugaya in Hiiro No Kakera), Kenji Hamada as Enishi (Jouji in Paradise Kiss), Ayumu Tsunematsu as Takako (Marina in Mobile Suite Gundam 00), Cho as Beanman (Brook in One Piece), Tarou Yamaguchi as Ren (Hap in Eureka Seven), Junji Majima as Tooru (Kinji in Hidan No Aria), Junichi Suwabe as Jiroumaru (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis), Takako Honda as Satsuki (Hone Onna in Jigoku Shoujo) and Yuuki Kaji as Kouichi (Akina in Yozakura Quartet).

Both the rock pop opening themes are sung by nano.RIPE. The first one being Hana No Iro and the second one entitled Omokage Warp. I don’t know about the singer’s voice but I feel that her voice is somewhat hoarse like as though she just had too many drinks and sounds drunk. Heck, the similarity even reminded me of Honey And Clover’s opening piece, Dramatic. I prefer the ending themes better because of the cool guitar plucking or piano drill. The first ending piece is Hazy by Sphere and the guitar pluckings are the ones that had me loving this song. The second ending theme is Hanasaku Iroha by Clammbon and this time it is the nice piano play accompanied by strings that attracted me. Only thing is the singer’s voice I somewhat didn’t find it appealing. At first I thought the singer was nano.RIPE seeing that they both sound similar. This time it also feels like as though she was struggling to get her voice out (though this is actually how she sounds). There are also several special ending themes though they are all done by nano.RIPE. Tsukikage To Buranko and Yumeji are the pop rock type while Saibou Kioku and Hairiipu feel like slow rock. The background music aren’t bad themselves either because most of them are casual, easy and calming acoustic guitar plucking, piano sounds and other variety of musical instruments that would sooth the ears. They are quite relaxing and easy on the ears and it makes you want to lie down, close your eyes and think about good thoughts. At least that is what I felt.

The most important aspect as shown is to love the job you are doing. It would be a plus point if you can remember the customers’ preferences and dislikes. With good service, this is a main reason why customers would want to return a second time and more. In this kind of industry (and perhaps many others), money should not be the main motivation for doing your job. Work like these depends a lot on human interaction, trust and reputation so it is always best to treat others well even though the customer may be lousy or bad. You can’t lose yourself and give in to your emotions. After all, only when a customer is satisfied at the end of the day, that will truly be the best reward. For me, I was never good in mixing with others so it’s better for me to stay away from the kind of jobs that require me to face up front with a customer. Maybe that’s why I turned into an otaku :). If only I had people like them to serve me… Who knows? I may even change for the better if I started working in such places (not red light districts, mind you). Perhaps I’ve got to fest it up myself. And always remember, do put on a service with a smile. It makes a big difference.

How cool would it be for you to have the powers of an immortal. Each time you take a major damage, that body part gets healed. Each time you die a horrible death, you get revived. Sounds cool, eh? But something about this power baffled me in Itsuka Tenma No Kurousagi otherwise also known as A Dark Rabbit Has Seven Lives. The main character here has such powers. However he can only die up to 6 times and regenerate. If he gets killed by the seventh time, he stays dead for real. The spell resets itself in every 15 minutes so he can die again for another 6 times. Wait a minute. What the heck is this bloody limitation? Why would anybody get this kind of troublesome power? Sure, it’s to make sure you are careful with the limited lives you have but really, you have only 6 chances? Hell, it’s better than only 3 lives you normally get playing video games.

As far for the story, all I can say is that this main guy, Taito Kurogane seemed like an ordinary guy living an ordinary life going to a seemingly ordinary school, Miyasaka High. Yeah, like every main protagonist are: Normal but hidden with latent powers. Then he remembers a promise he made with a vampire 9 years ago, Himea Saito and reunites with her. Yeah, conveniently remembered his forgotten memories. Like every main protagonist out there. Then along with a group of ‘allies’, they go on some epic adventure to stop the resurrection of some ultimate powerful creature of the universe that could well, destroy the universe. Sounds like a typical action adventure genre, eh?

Episode 1
We are introduced to young Taito and Himea. The latter injecting some sort of power into him so that they’ll be together whether dead or alive. He becomes her slave but not the kind of love slave you think even though she proclaims she loves him very much. And from that instant, Taito’s life changes. Fast forward 9 years later. Taito is grown up and a high school student. He’s got the usual cliche childhood friend, Haruka Shigure as his classmate and the one having a crush on him. Oh heck, everybody in class knows of it. But what makes Haruka different from other girls in school is that she doesn’t have the hots for the super good looking and popular but acid tongue student council president, Gekkou Kurenai. This guy is good in studies and sports so much so the only thing you would think he could work on is his attitude. Well, he proclaims himself a genius so it’s no surprise he looks down on everyone else. Taito remembers how an injury prevented him from doing karate, a sport he excelled since young. But Haruka was always there to support him. Meanwhile Gekkou’s student council fellow, Mirai Andou is attacked by a creature coming out from a wormhole. She’s whiny, he’s not interested. Till he sticks his sword, Spell Error into that small fry to return things into normal. What is intriguing Gekkou is a manuscript that lists Himea as the ancient sorcerer and Taito as the sacrifice. His name also has something to do with it. When Mirai goes out to get drinks, she crosses the road and what do you know? An oncoming truck! Taito happened to pass by and pushes her out and gets slammed! He thought it was a miracle that he didn’t die. Till he realizes his head is detached from his body!!! FREAKY!!! Guess what? Mirai is pretty amazed at everything! Does she know the magnitude of what is happening?! Yeah, she thinks Taito is alright. Wrong reaction! Taito is in shock but puts back his head. In that instant, some magic starts working and poof! His body regenerates like as though he has never been hit! Something is obviously not right. Himea in some suspended animation is thinking about Taito. Wondering if he is living the good life and has forgotten about her. She hopes Taito will remember her and call out her name. Taito is still reeling from the shock and thought he heard a voice. Was it a dream he saw? He thought he had seen her before and then he remembers. That girl is Himea. With that, Himea is somewhat freed and changes her appearance to a 15 year old so that she could meet him. Taito is obviously frantic, wondering why he had forgotten Himea for 9 long years. He vows to save her and the promise they made. Where is he heading to? The playground where they used to play. Taito finds Himea waiting. Yeah, he’s late alright. What is another 5 minutes compared to 9 years? The romantic reunion is cut short when Gekkou stabs his Spell Error right through Himea’s chest.

Episode 2
A flashback of how young Taito and Himea met at the park. They become friends because of their similar predicament of unable to make friends with others. After she gives him her powers, they are attacked by a kid, Hinata Kurenai. He claims he is not on Bahlskra’s side or the church. Taito tried to protect Himea but each time got brutally killed. Hinata learns about the ‘curse’ Himea put on him. She loved him so much that she gave him powers that prevented him from dying. But like I said, for only 6 times in 15 minutes? Himea is willing to do anything for Hinata to spare Taito but he’d rather erase Taito’s memories. Before his mind went blank, he promised to save her. Back in present time, Gekkou mentions he stabbed her because Hinata is pursuing her. Gekkou finds out about Taito’s powers and sends Mirai, who is also his familiar into attacking mode. He powers her up by kissing her forehead. Himea uses a barrier to block Mirai’s blast and traps her. Mirai thought Gekkou was thoughtful of her when he throws his sword down when they demanded him to do so. Actually he claims he doesn’t need it to beat them. This was enough for Mirai to be happy and break free. She tosses Taito high into the air. Himea catches up to him and after confessing her love again, she gives him a flame spell that would burn up ordinary humans. This allows Taito to fight on par with Gekkou. Their fight is interrupted when Hinata attacks them. Gekkou changes his priority to kill this little brother of his. Taito also wants a piece of Hinata for what he has done to Himea. Gekkou wants Mirai to take care of Hinata’s spider monster and though he manages to stab Hinata, but his Spell Error has no effect and his body resurrects. Out of options, Gekkou wants Taito to team up. Hinata is willing to let everyone live if they give up Himea but you already know the answer. Taito uses his flame power to burn everything. This is his sixth death as Hinata changes his priority to Taito and views him as his biggest threat. Himea is willing to go with Hinata to spare Taito’s life but he doesn’t want her to give in. He already promised to protect her and if he could give up his life for her smile, he would willingly do so. Hinata is confident he won’t do it but Taito surprised him by going all out on his last life to burn him down. Before Hinata could regenerate, Gekkou cuts the source of his regeneration. Now Taito is just a head and shoulders. Yeah, on his last breath. Himea is inconsolable and the next thing he knows, Taito is pretty much alive, back to normal and in his classroom. Everything isn’t a dream because Himea becomes the new transfer student in his class and hugs him in an instant. Everybody not happy that a newbie is cutting in between Haruka… Yeah, now she’s got a rival. Gekkou makes Taito and Himea his slaves. That’s his term for being part of the student council body. No objection to it.

Episode 3
Probably Himea is in Taito’s class just to be close to him but does this give her the right to skip it? How can she be next to him when she’s not attending them? Gekkou gets another rude wormhole invasion in his room and sends Mirai to the frontline. Meanwhile Haruka has made a bento for Taito and everybody is watching with death stares to see Taito’s reaction. All they have are negative perceptions of him. To make things worse, Himea comes in and wants to eat lunch with Taito, oblivious to what is going on. Taito is caught between a rock and a hard place. Whose lunch to eat? Haruka is on the verge of crying. Himea is still bugging. Taito is somewhat ‘saved’ when he gets a call from Gekkou to come now. So Taito takes Haruka’s bento and will eat it later. But everyone still not happy… Suddenly an announcement that due to inspections, all afternoon classes and activities will be cancelled. So everybody else got the day off. Taito and Himea are on their way to the student council room when Taito is killed by a vicious bug. After resurrecting, he sees Mirai tackling the mother bug while Gekkou is just sitting his ass around watching. Due to this invasion, that’s why Gekkou convinced the principal to have everyone go home. Once the invasion is over, we see Saeko Suzae of the magic-oriented organization (an organization who is also chasing Himea – but thanks to the military’s barrier, the church and Temperon Crowley are unable to find her) explaining to Taito the many worlds that exists in this universe. As we know, Himea the vampire comes from the witch world while Mirai is from the demon underworld and the daughter of Indra. These worlds are connected by dimensional rifts and you must pass through them to reach different worlds. All different dimensions intersect at Miyasaka High, which was originally established as a facility to monitor intersection between dimensions. However only those under 18 years old are able to pass through the rifts and once over that, they are forbidden to enter the Holy Land (fancy term for rifts). The student council’s responsibility is to monitor Holy Land and eliminate any invaders. In return they are freed from obligations of normal students such as not needing to attend class. Yeah, and you wonder why Gekkou calls himself a genius.

Mirai realizes afternoon pool classes are cancelled and bugs Gekkou that she wants to attend one. Himea was cool enough to tell Taito that seeing he would be distracted with other girls, she is willing to kill every girl other than herself! She can say that with a smile?! While the girls play in the pool, Taito learns from Gekkou about why he hates Hinata. He tried to kill him. Gekkou thought they were always meant to be together and their relationship was unbreakable till one day he saw Hinata summoning monsters to kill their parents. Hinata didn’t have any further use for his brother and spared him for another 9 years. Gekkou couldn’t take that insult and worked hard. When the time came, Hinata sent Mirai (who was his familiar then) but was easily owned by Gekkou’s Spell Error and forced into making a contract with him. So each time to lift the curse on Mirai, Gekkou has to kiss her. Gekkou goes back to the room and is paid a visit by a monster. Stabbing his Spell Error or a talisman didn’t yield any effect. He has a message from Hinata (yes, he is still alive). He doesn’t want him to bother taming Himea since he can’t handle that crazy witch. He’s just warning in case if he’s foolish to keep her and to beware the moon’s encroachment. Meanwhile as Taito sits with Himea by the pool, he notices himself blacking out twice. Himea points out that he did not realize he has died twice and it is due to the red rain. They need to find shelter soon.

Episode 4
While Taito and Himea seek for cover inside the school building (he died a third time), Gekkou reflects Spell Error doesn’t work on certain beings. Those who serve Tenma. Wanting to prove Hinata wrong, he kisses Mirai and tosses her into an opening wormhole with him following shortly. A red blob possesses Himea and takes over her mind and body, catching Taito off-guard and killing him. With him dying 6 times already, Himea fights to regain control and tells Bahlskra to stop. In their inner consciousness, Himea and Bahlskra talk about the foolish weak human, Himea’s tarnished body, loneliness and how Bahlskra wants to be with her till the very end. Bahlskra is upset that Taito ‘stole’ her because the beautiful Himea only belongs to him. Himea tries to stall for time to let Taito run away (she’s crying blood tears!). Hopeless it may seem, he has no choice but to do so because Bahlskra is bent on killing him. While resting, he gets a call from Haruka who is worried he may be pushing himself too hard (still unaware of what’s happening). It made Taito realize he will never run away. He faces Bahlskra and vows to bring Himea back even if it kills him because he doesn’t know how to give up and will keep struggling till he emerges victorious. Hopefully it won’t be more than 6 times. Thankfully his 15 minute spell restarts so he gets to die another 6 times. At this rate, it won’t be hard to kill him off because he’s just like advancing straight into his attacks with no backup plan… What else can he do? Hope that his words will get through Himea. About the promise… Bla, bla, bla… Always be together… Yada, yada, yada. With his final life, Taito charges to hug her and then whisper those 3 words in her ears. That was enough to shatter the spell. Bahlskra reminds her he was born to protect her because she was lonely. Himea feels he can’t do that anymore because Taito was the one who found her. He warns Tenma is coming and will violate her body. By then she will have no power to protect herself and it will be over. But if she can be by Taito’s side, that’ll be enough. Bahlskra is defeated and Himea returns to her body but even in his demise, he feels Taito isn’t suitable to protect her. However when Himea collapses a second time, looks like another personality takes over. She seduces Taito to make love to her. Elsewhere in some universe, a voice is narrating that the ancient witch Himea has awakened and must be prevented from completing the secret spell of Rapture. The voice mentions she was born solely for that and to continue monitoring the situation. ‘She’ turns out to be Haruka and she couldn’t help wonder why she’s crying in the park. Oh God. Don’t tell me…

Episode 5
This other Himea’s personality is a spell she created when she was lonely: Rapture. Gekkou and Mirai are in some strange world. Gekkou as usual being the bossy one, not fearing this God known as Tenma. Tenma takes a hideous form and this is not his true form because if they see it, their existence will be obliterated. He shows them Miyasaka High and the prophecy has been set in motion. Mirai didn’t like the red blob destroying her Three Kingdoms book and attacks but was blasted away. Seriously, she was about to take on Tenma just because of her ruined book? Gekkou wants to know the purpose of this power demonstration so he mentions the appearance of Ramiel Lilith. She will destroy the world before destroying herself. Gekkou wants to know if Ramiel Lilith is Himea but Tenma says it is not her but the other ancient witch, the other God who desecrates worlds. Rapture lets Taito know about Tenma, Gods from beyond the moon who is coming to devour Himea. Tenma is willing to lend Gekkou his powers when the time comes to kill this witch. However he refuses. Gekkou guesses Tenma is afraid of this witch. If not, why ask a mere mortal like him to do the job? His cockiness seems to anger Tenma but he isn’t fazed. He will take up the challenge and grant his wish. Rapture attacks the red blob as Taito tries to convince Himea if this is one of the powers she created, she can also stop it. Taito sees her crying blood tears when the red blob strikes her back. Rapture regenerates the body. Taito wants her to bring the real Himea back but she mocks him he doesn’t know the meaning of true love. She wants him to answer why Himea is always so anxious and that he won’t be able to stop this magic. Taito blames himself that he is the cause Himea is unhappy. Even if he admits he is a useless fool, he still wants to see Himea and apologizes. Rapture senses Himea’s presence and tries to quarantine her. Rapture says Himea’s true wish is to bring rapture to this world. Taito reaffirms he will protect her from whatever and will not abandon her. He’s saying all the things girls would love to hear. “I’ll stay by your side. Forever”. So powerful his words and because mainly it’s his sincere heart that Himea returns to normal and the dark clouds are lifted. They kiss but were interrupted when Gekkou and Mirai return. Upon learning Gekkou has made a deal with Tenma, Himea prepares to attack but he points Spell Error at her throat. He wants her to spill everything about Ramiel Lilith. Seeing that she doesn’t know what he is talking about, he backs down and concludes Tenma have no use for her. He gives them a choice to believe him or not because Tenma has promised not to lay their hands on his slaves. Mirai interprets that to the rest that Tenma told him to kill Himea but he refused to be like Hinata because he won’t betray his comrades. This means Gekkou is going to punish her for good (locking her up and not letting see her TV show). Later Himea explains Rapture is one of her past sins sealed along with Bahlskra. So when Bahlskra died, the spell was restored. If not for him, she would have given up and wouldn’t be here now. Gekkou reflects Tenma’s words. The witch was broken by her solitude and at some point she will attack him and destroy the world just like in the prophecy. So if Himea isn’t it, who else? Oh, I can think of one person. Haruka chances upon Hinata who thinks those monsters beyond the moon are cruel.

Episode 6
Hinata mentions she is just a replaceable puppet and even if he kills her, those beyond the moon will create another observer. At first he thought of using her but decides not to interfere seeing she will plot her revenge against those who created her for making her life extremely painful. Taito tries to read up an introductory book to black magic from Gekkou. He took it without his permission so he apologizes but Gekkou continues to mock him with painful words so Taito wants him to prove he understands this book. Yeah, Taito is on fire! YEAOW! Taito cools himself at the toilet. The girls’ toilet. Izumi Aomi thinks he is having fun and wants to join the student council. Taito will let Gekkou know. Mirai and Himea are fascinated with this thing called dating so the former pesters Gekkou for one. Haruka gives Taito a large bento. It’s those death stares from others to tell him to eat the damn thing! Taito takes a bite and finds it delicious. Just when everybody rejoices in victory, Himea barges in and wants Taito to go on a date with her. Here comes the obstacle… Izumi sees a weird guy doing weird poses outside the student council room. He is Yuuichi Philier Cross and the school’s new English teacher as well as the advisor to the student council. Himea wants to go on a date now. Right in the middle of school. But Taito feels he isn’t strong enough to protect her yet. Though she is sad she agrees to go next time. Gekkou gets a call to deal with magic traps in the city and brings Mirai along. Is this the date she’s been waiting for? On their way, they pass by Himea who sheds a tear. I’m not sure about this prank of putting talisman as traps around town like in crane game machine. But we know Gekkou sucks in some of them while Mirai is just having the time of her life. Meanwhile Taito tries to become stronger by challenging dojos. He beats them all flat and wounded their pride! The national champion, the Olympic medallist and world champion stand no chance! Hey, he’s not a normal human to begin with. Several punks try to hit on Mirai but they are clearly possessed. But Gekkou easily takes them all out. They pass by Taito and mention about Himea crying. Gekkou tells him off he is an idiot because idiots repeat the same mistakes. Taito remembers Rapture’s words and realizes he made Himea cry again. He rushes back to class and instantly agrees to go on a date with her. Well, I guess dating in school after school hours isn’t bad. As long she is with him, she doesn’t mind where their date will be. Himea notes that she thought if she was with him, she would walk freely outside but even so, this world doesn’t treat vampires too kindly. Taito promises to be stronger to protect her from anything and everything. Have we heard that line before?

Episode 7
Needing to be stronger, Taito seeks Gekkou’s help. After a few foul mouths, he sends Taito into a portal. Just try not to die, okay? He meets a being called Edelka, one who grants anything but in exchange, something of equivalent value must be given. Of course Taito wants to be strong but he is shown a vision that Himea also paid Edelka a visit. When Taito really died with his battle with Hinata, she wished for him to be brought back alive and will pay whatever price. This means she has lost most of her magic just to save a puny human like him. Taito mentions he does want to be stronger but with his own powers. He doesn’t hate working hard. Edelka says if he assumes that wish would mean a cheaper price, then he is sadly mistaken. She’ll take what is important to him and place it on a side of the scale in the ring of fire to find its equal value. Since he did mention he doesn’t mind working hard, she gives him lots of information. Some useful, some useless. Search hard pal. She also takes something of importance to him before returning him to his world. Himea realizes that Taito went to see Edelka and will find out the truth. Well, she can’t hide it from him forever, can’t she? Taito wonders what was taken away seeing he still remembers his memories with Himea. They both go on a hunting spree to look for something he needs to protect her with. Going through different worlds, Taito must have experienced horrible deaths in his quest. But nothing that suits him. See how his head explode when he can’t process every bit of data in his own head!!! That’s why don’t study too much :). He even has time to return to taste Haruka’s delicious bento. At least that girl is happy now. Izumi is still waiting for a favourable answer to join the student council when she sees Cross. She knows something weird is happening in school (Taito on fire) and wonders if he could recommend her to join the body. Taito and Himea enter an area, a prison labyrinth in which Vishob Eleranka was sealed away for destroying the seven Alga when it was still the familiar of Fenolz. Taito clashes with this Vishob creature and the latter turns into… A cute cat? Taito wants this feline to be his familiar and calls him Nyankichi. The cat isn’t thrilled and only accepted everything because Himea said so. Making the contract and in exchange, Taito will give him 3 litres of his blood every day and when he will appear whenever he needs his powers. Gekkou is not amused to see Cross in his room. Seems Gekkou didn’t hand in the report to the military about the Tenma incident as required. Gekkou insists the incompetents should stay out of his affairs and it is because of him, damage was kept to a minimum. However Cross shows that he is a level higher than Gekkou as he is faster and more agile, stopping his every move. Wow. Now there is somebody who tops him. Can’t be cocky anymore, eh?

Episode 8
The student council takes a training camp at a beautiful beach right in the middle of school? Well, they are exempted from normal school rules. So what calls for this? Taito’s dismal grades… Yeah, blame it on him. Gekkou not happy… Even if this place is under military spell to keep ordinary humans away, why the heck is normal human Izumi here? Something about her becoming the student council’s secretary due to Taito’s screw up and ended up getting blackmailed. Even if the military did cave in to her demands, Cross feels she will be useful. Gekkou remembers his humiliating ‘defeated’ by Cross in the previous episode. Cross thinks he should be proud because he did a better job when he was a student council president (this means Cross is Gekkou’s senpai). Plus, Cross believes the weak should obey the strong (that’s you, Gekkou). Once more, Himea gets lovey-dovey with Taito, confessing her love for him (we heard that already). As the guys and girls are to be sleeping in separate rooms, Taito suddenly walks into a classroom. A classroom? It’s just an illusion (they’re in the toilet). Cool Cross attacks him, killing him several times. He notes Taito is too slow and weak to protect anyone like that so Taito wants him to train him to become stronger. Later, Himea attacks Cross for hurting Taito. She knows he is not human seeing he is regenerating but he notes he is one. At least on the outside. He notes her magic attack range and for that she needs a bodyguard. However Taito is too weak being one and her low instant spells can’t kill him. That’s why she wants him to be stronger. Unfortunately she is unable to do so herself because it’ll require him to be less human. He assures her he is good at teaching people. So this camp is also to improve his combat ability significantly. In the sense he will be strong enough next year to face a Gedgard, Primal Wyrms that are on a different level. In short, they are like Gods. At the end of this camp, they’ll be tested. If they fail, they can’t leave. This means a normal human like Izumi has to pass it too. Yeah, she’s already supporting the others to do their best. Before entering the dimensional door, Cross disallows Himea to take part seeing she is strong enough. Though Izumi doesn’t need to participate, she has to watch. So she sees Mirai getting beaten up, Taito killed many times and Gekkou being thought a lesson that he’s not the best. So the gang return beaten up and barely with any energy left. Izumi makes curry for them because she’s good at that. But meal after meal, you think everyone will get sick of it?! At least the guys are. It’s not a dish she is good at, it is the ONLY dish she can make. Even Cross calls Suzae for reinforcements. Cross is kind enough to let the kids take a break. Himea wants to head to the cliffs with Taito when they are surprised to see Haruka and Suzae. Haruka even more surprised to see Himea clinging tightly to him. So… Is this what they call training? Speechless…

Episode 9
So this is Cross’ suggestion for reinforcement not to get sick of those curry dishes? Gekkou not happy… And besides, he also brought her here not just for cooking but to watch the love triangle unfolding. I guess this guy is really bored. Gekkou should learn to control his emotions better. Maybe that’s why he takes it out on Mirai who teases him by covering with seaweed. Okay, that wasn’t funny. So with Haruka in the equation, this means Himea won’t get all the attention she wants, right? You can’t make every girl happy. With Haruka and Taito cooking together (Suzae sucks. She almost burnt the whole camp down), Himea distances herself. Izumi knows what is going on and supports Himea to get Taito. She suggests for them to hold a kimodameshi (test of courage) tonight. Gekkou disapproves but Cross says otherwise. Izumi assures Himea that she has rigged the pairing and would let her end up with Taito. However Cross saw this coming and rigged it again. This means Himea gets Izumi. The other pairs include Gekkou-Mirai, Haruka-Suzae and Cross-Taito. Disappointed? Mirai, Haruka and Suzae are just screaming their heads off. Himea talks to Izumi if she’s afraid of dying. Izumi takes it on a positive note because eventually everyone dies one day. The most important thing is to have fun now because they as humans have a time limit. There is another reason Cross pairs himself with Taito. To tell him certain stuff like the military knows the activation of Rapture at school and how everything and every action that has happened has been moving according to the prophecy. To avoid Himea from falling into the despair of loneliness, he wants Taito to like her. Of course that goes without saying. When Cross pats his shoulder, Taito temporarily saw some vision and became slightly weaker but brushes it off. The training continues and they get much better. Can you attribute this to the power of their friendship? That night as everyone is playing with sparklers and fireworks, Haruka has finally mustered up her courage to tell Taito that she loves him. Oh, Himea also heard that… So real trouble begins now, eh?

Episode 10
Taito knows he must make his feelings clear to avoid any half-assed endings you see in harem animes. Suddenly he gets a call from Haruka’s mom. She thought she is staying with Taito but he doesn’t know what’s going on. The truth is, Haruka hasn’t come back home and didn’t answer her handphone. It seems while Suzae is driving her home, she is being intercepted by the Entolio brothers, Serge and Hasuga who took Haruka as their hostage. Clearly they used magic in their attacks though their affiliation and purpose remain unclear. Taito is frustrated over his own uselessness to do anything. He thinks this is his fault and what Edelka has taken from him. Taito begs to Gekkou to lend his powers to go save Haruka. His begging didn’t move him but even if he didn’t say it, he was going to rescue Haruka. Why? Because all students in this school are his slaves! I love this guy… Suddenly Cross and Suzae come in and the school and an announcement made for everyone to leave school as there is a bomb threat. Miyasaka is tightly guarded by military guys. That serious, eh? Cross wants them to give up saving Haruka. This is an order from above and the military has received the church have been involved in the recent events (probably those same blokes who tormented Himea during those 9 years). They can’t try to negotiate because the military and church are on bad terms. They don’t want to make a wrong move that will result in an all-out war. The guys didn’t like his reasoning and attack but Cross was cool to fend them off. He is disappointed they didn’t improve much from the training camp. Smart Izumi surrenders on behalf of them all so Cross backs down. She made a wise decision seeing they can’t do anything if they’re dead, right? That night as Himea sits on the rooftop, a projection of Serge comes to negotiate with her. He is a Spell Breaker and for a price removes all kinds of spells and curses. He offers to exchange Haruka for her seeing they kidnap her for this as they are hired by the church to kidnap Himea. Abducting Haruka is just a scheme to lure Himea out. He also warns her the kind of emotional scar it will leave on Taito when he sees Haruka being beaten up to a point she is unrecognizable. They’ll be waiting for a favourable answer. Eavesdropping Izumi has heard everything and talks to her. For the sake of Taito’s love, Himea is willing to give herself up. She is happy to have make lots of memories with him and of course Izumi (though it’s just a short spell) and that Taito belongs on the side of the humans. Himea flies off to Taito. She freezes him and kisses him as his goodbye. Soon after, Izumi pays him a visit to tell him what is going on. He gets motivation to rescue them both. Then Gekkou calls him. He too can’t sit around and is going to take back the student council. He wants Taito to be a useful human shield. Breaking through the school gates, they dispose of the military which turn out to be Cross’ shikigamis. They confront Cross and he thinks the kids haven’t learnt their lesson. Mirai and Gekkou distract Cross so that Taito could enter the wormhole Gekkou opened seeing he has an idea of the Entolio brother’s hideout. Himea sees the brothers and wants them to release Haruka as part of their bargain. However they can’t as they have other use for her. Himea gets caught in their trap. The brothers report to their employers of their success in capturing Himea. Haruka comes to but it seems it is a different personality. Her request is to seal this ‘observer’ personality that was created by Tenma to observe Taito. In exchange, they will receive all information pertaining to Tenma once they annihilate her and seal Himea. But she wants them to promise to return Haruka to Taito since she has found the courage to confess to Taito and doesn’t need her around anymore.

Episode 11
Nyankichi helps Taito use some Yz spell to light the way. He ends up in the brother’s lair and finds both girls tied up. Meanwhile Gekkou fights Cross and is able to learn from his mistakes and at least cut off his tie. Cross gets serious and uses his magic to bind Gekkou. Though Mirai breaks his hand, Cross’ magic regenerates it as new. He is going to kill her but Gekkou pleads not to and even prostrates himself to demonstrate his sincerity! Oh God. I never thought this guy was capable of going this low. I guess this shows he cares for Mirai even if in normal circumstances he usually doesn’t. Cross steps on him but they are interrupted with Hinata’s appearance. Hinata and Cross face off in some conversation that Hinata is somewhere in the third Scudel of prophecy while Cross is barely at the first. Hinata also notes that Izumi is also in the prophecy, that’s why he knows about her (and probably why she was allowed into the student council). Cross wants to make Hinata his but his magic wasn’t powerful enough. Hinata signs off to tell his brother that he is 20,000 steps behind him and that the next time they meet, he hopes he would cut that step by 10,000. Wow. That’s a long way to go. Serge says he can only return one of the girls and tosses Haruka to him since she has no use for them. Due to their policy of protecting their client’s privacy, they can’t reveal what they did to Haruka. Serge creates spells and barriers while Hasuga breaks them, thus they are called Spell Breakers. Hasuga beats this guy up to the point of death. Nyankichi tells him to use the Skalz spell and sends a terrifying curse. Well, it’s up to him to figure out what it is. Hasuga continues to beat Taito up to convince him of giving Himea up but that guy is never going to let that happen even if they offer to make him human again and return to his normal human life with Haruka while completely forgetting about Himea. If not, he’ll die here. Serge’s spell is taking too long so Gekkou and Mirai show up. Taito gets up once more and his determination is strong as ever. Even if he feels scared and wants to run away, he can’t do it because he can’t live his life if he should do that. He is going to use all his powers so that nobody will cry anymore. Gekkou wanted to help (he offered his assistance?) but Taito doesn’t need it (yeah, he’s all beaten up and can’t heal himself as the regenerating spell is somewhat sealed).

More beating up means the more Taito won’t give up. Amazingly he can still stand and says he would rather die rather than giving up without a try. Those words opened Gekkou’s eyes and bring back cruel memories to the brothers of how they were beaten up and ostracized just because they are half breeds. Taito, still wanting them to give back Himea, couldn’t throw a weak punch and got punched in the face instead. Now he is all out of power. Gekkou is going to handle the rest but Himea awakens. She has already deciphered Serge’s spell and it seems this is the curse of Nyankichi. She breaks free and reunites with Taito. You know what she’ll do with people who hurt her beloved Taito, right? They’re going to die. Die a sh*tty death and burn in hell. However Taito hugs her and says she doesn’t have to deal with them anymore. He just wants them to go back together. Well, if he says so. So is this the power of love, asks Mirai. How would Gekkou know. Due to the spell Himea activated, this dimension will collapse so it’s best to get their ass out fast. Things return to normal and back at school, Haruka seems to not remember about her kidnapping. Just when they thought those fan girls are once more crazily hogging Gekkou, to Taito’s surprise they are infatuated with Serge and Hasuga. More bishonen, eh? Hey wait a minute! What the heck are they doing here?! As Gekkou explains for his scum brain to understand, they are now part of the student council and since their employer, the church have made it hard for them to find a job due to their failure, they’ll be staying here till things settle down. Himea assures Taito that if they try anything, she’ll kill them. She’s saying that with a smile, that’s what’s scary. Oh, and Haruka, she comes in, gets close with Taito, wants to go home with him and boldly says she loves him. Yeah, she didn’t care if everybody else was listening. And even if Himea did say she didn’t hear anything, it’s obviously a lie because tears start welling up in her eyes. Taito tries to assure her that he likes her more but Himea just keeps asking and asking and asking and asking… Just to be sure… Well, a bloody battle is heating up and this is going to be much harder than some fight against the prophecy.

Episode 12
It’s such a hot summer that Nyankichi thought of telling ghost stories to keep cool. Not working. Till Haruka shows up in Taito’s room. Yeah, he’s only in his shorts. She is here to give him tickets she won at the raffles to the hotspring. Wait a minute. A trip to the hotspring in hot summer? Are they going to fry themselves? Meanwhile Izumi tries to convince Himea to come along. She initially refuses seeing she doesn’t sweat and such but Izumi used the magic word: Taito. So as they go meet Taito in front of his house, guess what happens when Himea and Haruka learn they’ll be both going to the same place with the same guy? Oh yeah. Summer is going to be boiling and overflowing. So Gekkou and Mirai are there too. Even Serge and Hasuga. They say they are working hard to research the human world. But why the hotspring? Well, it attracts girls of a high calibre. I guess that says about their true intentions, eh? So we see this fanservice filled filler episode with them trying different baths, Himea wondering if Taito likes his woman with big boobs (he says he prefers Himea the way she is – I hope that’s not a sign for flat chest fetish), Yuika (Taito’s little sister who tagged along) wondering if the girls like her brother like in those galge but confuses herself, Izumi getting naughty by touching here and there on the other girls, Mirai talking about herself entering a love hotel when it turns out it was Mirai who barged in and ate everything and he had to make amends (how did he throw a tub exactly to hit Mirai’s head from the other side of the wall?). We also see Taito and Gekkou in some sort of endurance competition while the brothers watch them. Taito is obviously at the brink of his limit while Gekkou isn’t even breaking a sweat. Then there is this sauna endurance where the guys lock themselves in with a spell. So when even Gekkou can’t take the heat, they try to get out. Nyankichi has to remove the curse first but he knocks out due to the heat. Taito offers him his blood (at the expense of his life) to revive him and break the first seal. Now it’s Serge’s turn but he already passes out. Hasuga panics and breaks everything. Everything but the door. So hot water and cold water come gushing into the room. By the time the door unlocks, everyone is frozen in ice. While everyone is resting, Izumi gets drunk with a non-alcoholic beer (WTF?! Does that even exist?!). She mentions that high school may seem like forever but it only lasts for 3 years. After that, they won’t see each other anymore. That’s why she wants to have fun with everyone now. This pumps up Taito to party heavily without regrets but was reminded to finish his homework first. And without copying. Summer sucks… Izumi wanted to drink from Taito’s bottle but Himea snatches it away to forbid any form of indirect kissing. Does this include herself? Well, she doesn’t mind being labelled a pervert. Back in school, Cross tells Liir to play with the student council president a little longer. Seeing that everything is moving just as the prophecy ordains, he wonders if the black rabbit that resides within Taito awaken before the time comes. So as for the student council members, they must have feel refreshed after returning from the hotspring and are geared up for another mission in another dimension. Taito promises he’ll get stronger (didn’t we hear this many times already?) so happy Himea hugs him.

Mirai dreams that she is being attacked by bandits. Some cool bearded hero saves her but she sees Gekkou in him. Once she is awakened, she is thirsty but seeing Gekkou is stingy to give her money to buy juice, she drinks the entire suspiciously looking potion! So when Cross finds out about it, he hopes nothing will go wrong as this is a magical medicine prototype created by the military. Mirai bumps into Taito and when they start talking differently, you know they have switched bodies. Taito realizes he is in Mirai’s body when Gekkou comes looking for her. Seeing his scary face, Taito makes a run. Mirai is happy to be in Taito’s body and Himea thought it was him at first. Till she realizes a different presence and that she is Mirai. Himea is in a dilemma to touch Taito’s body because although it’s his body but it’s not him. Get it? In her delusion, Himea bumps her head into Mirai and they switch bodies. Mirai is happy with her newfound body while Himea is happy she can touch Taito’s body all she wants. It’s like her dream of uniting with him came true. Cross explains to Izumi and the brothers about the medicine. The soul of the one who drank it will switch to the other person that they made contact. Cross is interested to see what will happen if a demon like Mirai consumes it. Taito (still in Mirai’s body) thought she spotted Mirai (in his body) but it’s actually Himea fawning over Taito’s body. They conclude since they bump into Mirai, bumping each other’s head will turn them back to normal. Well, they only got a major pain in the head. Then they think it’s maybe because their hearts aren’t throbbing enough. Yup, maybe they should kiss. Taito, isn’t it weird to kiss your own body? As their lips inch closer, Haruka sees the inevitable. She gets disheartened that ‘Taito’ is also on to ‘Mirai’. How can you solve this misunderstanding? As Mirai experiments with Himea’s body, she is happy Gekkou didn’t recognize her. Then she bumps into heartbroken Haruka and they switch. So when Taito and Himea come by, a little confusion before they realize this ‘Himea’ is now Haruka. Then happy Mirai skips along and bumps into Gekkou. Switch again. It is then Gekkou understood what is going on.

Meanwhile Taito, Himea and Haruka think they should kiss each other to return to their normal bodies. Taito plans the order on who kisses who. Actually it’s not complicated. It’s just that who is who that we’re confused. So first we need Himea (in Taito’s body) to kiss Haruka (in Himea). On the outside, it may seem like the perfect couple but it’s actually girl kissing girl. So they psycho themselves that they’re kissing Taito. See those tears? I bet it wasn’t tears of joy. In the end, nothing happened. Wasted. Mirai returns to the student council room as the brothers and Izumi are puzzled with the very strange character change in ‘Gekkou’. Yeah, he happily opened a wormhole, returned with lots of snacks and stuffing his face with it like nobody’s business. So is this the effects of the potion Cross was talking about? Well, Cross thinks this is summer sickness. Yeah, he wants to watch what happens. So when the real Gekkou, Taito, Himea and Haruka show up, Mirai panics and opens wormholes to escape. Of course Haruka couldn’t believe what she is seeing while the rest give chase to that cheeky demon. Run, run, run. Chase, chase, chase. Is it that hard to catch her? But where do they end up to? I didn’t think they would do a cross-over but heck, it’s that The Legend of the Legendary Heroes! Brings back memories of that dango loving Ferris. Yeah, Ryner has no choice but to stick with her enjoying her dangos. A wormhole opens and the chasing gang steps all over her precious dango, ruining them. Ferris gets pissed and is going to kill them. Following them through the wormhole, Ferris thought Hinata is the culprit and attacks that guy who obviously isn’t aware of what’s going on. Yeah, what the hell is this dango they’re talking about. Hinata is somewhat interested in Ryner’s magic but his fascination is cut short when Ferris lunges her dango stick into his mouth. Since Hinata finds it delicious, Ferris forgives him and leaves. Huh? What… The… Hell…?! So if you’re wondering why the cross-over, it’s because both series are from the same creator, Kagami Takaya.

You Only Live Seven Times…
That’s it?! It feels like it hasn’t started at all. It feels like this season is just a prelude to whatever epic things that are to come if they ever make a second season. So we are introduced to the characters, especially the big badass creature known as Tenma. Then we have this prophecy thingy that piques my interest slightly. Sure, it’s some powerful witch known as Ramiel Lilith that will destroy the world as prophesized and the mysterious part was who this witch is. That is just about that as the story turns into one whereby Taito has to save Himea from her inner demons, trying to find ways to make himself stronger, throw in a little love triangle for distraction and finally ending with a rescue Himea arc. All without trying to die more than 6 times. So far so good. Well, I guess there are supposedly more than meets the eyes to some of the characters. For instance, Izumi couldn’t just be part of the student council just for some comic relief, right? She isn’t, by the way. As far as this series has gone, she seems like someone who is just bumming around the student council helping out a little here and there whenever she can. And Cross, he might like to do funny poses with himself but the way he talks and behaves feels he has an ulterior motive despite being from the military and siding our group of young heroes. That Liir girl appearing briefly shortly in the end as I found out is supposed to be a personification of the Holy Land. Didn’t get to do much, did she? Hinata seems like he is going to be the antagonist for this season but after his early defeat to Gekkou, he just makes random appearances, sometimes to mock how weak his little brother is and nothing much. So what is his goal anyway? Too much things to ask, so many interesting potential but too short for this series to answer. Even Haruka may seem like an ordinary person but that part which revealed her split personality indicates she too may be more than meets the eye and not just for the purpose of providing love triangle. Well, at least in the end she is more honest with her feelings and doesn’t hold back in confessing her love right in the face of her rival.

The best characters of the series go to Gekkou and Mirai. Yes. These two definitely should be the main stars of the series. Why? Their interaction simply never fails to amuse and crack me up. Mirai is such an airhead that she doesn’t really bother if that particular thing is a danger or menace to her or others. She doesn’t really get startled or panic unless when Gekkou gets mad. Whether it is in her words or actions, but at least she is being honest with how she feels, right? Mirai is also like the fanservice girl providing us her shima pantsu slips whenever possible. So how can you not love this idiot? Now can you understand why Gekkou wants to keep this familiar who once belonged to Hinata as his? Okay, maybe there are other reasons but since Gekkou didn’t say (and perhaps will never say), I’ll stick to this one :). Oh, and Gekkou. You got to love his badmouthing of calling others trash, small fry and garbage. It’s like he considers himself a higher being. If you want to go up to this moody guy, you better prepare yourself mentally because his words are going to hurt you as much as his Spell Error. Nobody can stand up to him with the way he uses his words and the answers he gives. Maybe except for Cross. I guess with him around, at least Gekkou won’t be so cocky and do whatever he likes. It keeps him in perspective that there are others who are well stronger than him. Gekkou may look cold and unforgiving on the upfront but I suppose that is his way of saying he cares. Imagine if you have a student council president who is kind and soft. Not fitting, right? You got to be tough if you’re going to take on vicious creatures from other dimension.

So Taito now isn’t an ordinary human anymore. Basically he has experienced death many times with his regenerating ability. It still bugs me why Himea did not put a spell on him that at least have more lives or shorten the time for the spell to reset. I thought she was that of a powerful witch. His desire to protect Himea is the fuel to keep him going on and becoming stronger than before. Sounds like a long way. Well, Himea is one of the most powerful characters in the series but her love struck over Taito makes it less obvious. All she cares about is just to be with him. I suppose if you’re stuck alone for 9 long years, you’d want to be with the one you love for every second. Each precious second counts because she won’t know when the next time she’ll be kidnapped again. I initially thought Bahlskra was going to be the main antagonist after Hinata and a powerful being. But I somewhat felt disappointed it fizzled out to be just a split personality of hers. The same case for Rapture. It is therefore sometimes annoying to hear Himea keep reiterating she loves Taito just as Taito himself keep saying he will be stronger. I know, we know. Just move along. (But ironically it’s not when Gekkou starts mocking and berating others…). The hidden antagonist which is supposedly the church, I wonder why they are so obsessed with Himea. Her snippets of her flashbacks indicate they have done some horrible experiments on her and it doesn’t seem pleasant. But really, church doing something on vampires? I thought their belief was in God. Unless vampires = the Devil. With Serge and Hasuga now part of the gang, it is going to get livelier than before. Anymore people care to join the student council? Oh, I almost forgot about Nyankichi. So what was his role again other than to provide help to Taito? I just don’t feel the stuff he did like the curse he placed on made him anything that Taito saw him as an item in his quest to become stronger. Maybe for now he’s just a mascot for the series.

The action can get bloody and gory. What do you expect when Taito dies in almost every fight he throws himself into. Then you see his limbs flying off, a hole right through his body and blood splattering everywhere. It’s like dying a gruesome death once isn’t enough. But I feel he may need more lives for a bigger battle, much bigger than the fate of the world: Which girl he would choose. He’s going to need infinite lives for that if it ever gets ugly. Because of the different dimensions that intersect and the several monsters that passes through, at certain points I felt that the monsters were scary enough to send some shiver down my spines. Okay, maybe I don’t like watching horror genres but they do look creepy to fit that bill. I still have sleepless nights if I ever remember how Edelka looks like. It’s a good thing Tenma didn’t show his true self. Now I know what he meant that our existence will be annihilated when we see his true form. Maybe my serenity of seeing something so scary. There is one thing I would like to mention about the hair of the main girls. No, it’s not their hairstyle. Rather, the tone and shading of their hair. Notice how there is like a dual tone? It feels like the dyeing had gone wrong and they are left with this weird colour and tone. I don’t know the meaning behind this but the other minor character females do not have this feature. Himea’s one has got to be an eyebrow raiser. In addition to her hair tone, she also has, how do I put it and what should I call them, little light balls floating across her hair. It’s like as though her hair is like another dimension as we see those light balls moving around whenever she turns or moves her head. Something like a stagnant light from a disco ball. Get what I mean? In certain scenes, there will be bats flapping their wings covering the edges serving as frames. At first I thought they were cockroaches till I take a closer look. Still gave me the creeps, though. There are a few fanservice moments too but those are minimal (most coming from Mirai as mentioned). So when the fanservice-y mid-intermission and that casual tropical background music come into play, it sends mix signals if this is a horror show with fanservice. Personally, I don’t think that’s a good combination…

The opening theme by Hitomi Harada, Once is your typical upbeat anime pop that fits the pace and tone of this series. There are a few ending themes for this series. The first one being Utsusemi by Akiko Shikata. With those eerie ‘hollow’ voices, it feels like a creepy and ominous song. Really. But it gets less scary and intimidating towards the end because it becomes more pop-ish. The other ending songs feel like character songs as the beat reflects the personality of the main heroines. Sparkling Kiss by Iori Nomizu is a lively, cheeky and cheerful song that pretty much fits the character Mirai is. Himea’s Strawberry Eyes ending theme by Megumi Takamoto is my favourite as the tune is catchy and feels like an idol song. Haruka’s Secret Tears by Mina is a moderate pop piece. Yuuichi Nakamura as Gekkou feels like he’s doing a Tomoya of Clannad only with more nasty retorts. Iori Nomizu as Nymph fits the airheadness of Mirai, which feels different from her role as the sick and sadistic Minatsuki in Deadman Wonderland and Nymph in Sora No Otoshimono series. Other casts include Megumi Takamoto as Himea (Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Shinnousuke Tachibana as Taito (Minato in Sekirei), Mina as Haruka (Sohara in Sora No Otoshimono), Chika Horikawa as Izumi (Misato in Nichijou), Junichi Suwabe as Cross (Archer in Fate/Stay Night), Jun Fukuyama as Hinata (Lelouch in Code Geass), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Serge (Usui in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama) and Kenichi Suzumura as Hasuga (Kairi in Peach Girl). The animation for the next episode preview is amusing. It’s a short story of Himea waking up, having trouble on what to dress. Then we move over to Mirai who is a heavy sleeper and couldn’t wake up no matter what. And when she does (this is my favourite part) she sees Gekkou’s angry face through the wormhole, gets spooked and suddenly is awakened from her slumber. Himea and Mirai rush and collide with each other and results of them being cloned. And all this turned out to be Himea’s dream. Huh?

It still bugs me what Taito has got to do with the dark rabbit within him (hence the name of this series). But I’m not going anywhere if I speculate what this bunny is. Does it have something to do with cats? Cats? Because cats have nine lives… I really don’t want to have this kind of regenerating ability. Sure you’ll die for real when you use up all your lives (no option to extend it further like in video games?) but having only one life is as good and perhaps even better because that way you get to treasure your only life and think real careful before pulling off any stupid moves that not only fails to save the person you love but also lose your life in the process. I know practice makes perfect but nobody is perfect, right? Not Taito anyway. I also don’t want to go dimension hopping or face off with nasty creatures from other worlds because that will be more than just a pain in the ass. Don’t want to lose my head either. Rather be a living coward and be called a trash, small fry and garbage. It’s so much safer.

Minori Scramble

June 22, 2012

Who could ever hate cute penguins? They are so adorable. Just like the Madagascar quartet or those who dance or surf, you can’t hate them. Okay, maybe the one in Batman Returns is another matter but really, who among us hates penguins? For one girl, Tamaki of Minori Scramble does. So what happens if you live in a house with a pair of crazy parents who are obsessed on researching those flightless birds? Yeah, it can really drive you up the wall. When you watch this single OVA, all you need to know about the plot is this: Girl and penguin get into a lot of crazy rampage throughout town. Period. I mean, how can a cute little penguin bring so much action, adventure and drama? Well, you can’t have 39 minutes just watching penguins living their usual daily lives, do you? This is anime! Not a documentary!

Destructive Feet…
Tamaki wakes up in not a good mood. She’s breaking down everything that has to do with penguins! Whacking her way through the house to find her father, she finds him sleeping in his lab wearing a full body penguin costume! Tamaki complains she had a nightmare and reminds him her hatred towards those penguins he considers cute because she was left to be raised by them and also abandoned alone at their colony. Yes, it’s called trauma. Suddenly the lab capsule hatches a penguin egg and out comes a cute little penguin. Dad: “Wow! It’s so cute”. Tamaki: Scary sh*t! So why does this penguin has both the face of a girl and the flightless bird? Daddy explains this is a penguin android named Minori that he has worked on all night to help Tamaki overcome her fear of penguins. How? On the outside it’s a girl (Tamaki not afraid) but it’s also a penguin (now Tamaki is shivering in fear). So can you imagine the horror when Minori spins her head round depicting different faces? How not to send Tamaki crazy?! Tamaki goes to complain to her mom but she finds Minori cute since it reminded her when Tamaki was a baby. Suddenly her parents have to leave for a conference at Shirayuki City and leaves Tamaki to take care of the house. With Minori. Ugh… She didn’t like this idea since she has plans with her friend Akira. So daddy says if she doesn’t like it, she can press the switch inside Minori’s penguin beak to stop her. Does she have the guts with that penguin face staring at her?

As Tamaki eats her food, she is dismayed to see Minori rummaging through the fridge, eating everything she can get her hands on. Is this what penguins eat? Tamaki can’t bring herself to press the switch since the thought of getting close is already scary enough. Then the fresh food delivery guy delivers fresh and live lobsters as ordered by her dad. Once Minori sees this, she goes on an eating rampage! She’s devouring everything with power! Just as Tamaki sums up her courage and is about to push the button, Minori evades and accidentally steps on a tomato bottle. The sauce squirted out onto Tamaki’s shirt resembles a lobster as Minori shifts her target to her. Run! Tamaki makes a dash outside the snowy neighbourhood and she thought she had stopped Minori by throwing a snowball into her face. Minori imitates and throws back one but it destroyed the post box! OH SH*T!!! Don’t get hit!!! Tamaki runs for her life narrowly avoiding all the snowballs Minori fired back but in the process causing damage and trouble to property and other passers-by. Then Tamaki rolls down a snowball effect to slam into Minori. She thought she had the last laugh but the town folks are not amused by the ruckus she has caused. But no time to argue because Minori is back with a vengeance! She’s using her own snowball effect to roll in everyone! Including Akira and Tamaki herself. Katamari Damacy anyone? They crash into the shopping district as the district president and his assistant see how cute Minori is trying to climb onto the pole of their lobster statue. Oh no. That’s not good. Minori attacks the lobster and this is when all hell breaks loose. Despite Tamaki’s warnings not to show Minori any lobster, they really can’t do anything about it since today the district is promoting their lobster specialty. Yeah, lobster everywhere. Lobster all the way! Minori assaults anyone or anything that resembles a lobster. President calls for an emergency shutdown in order to contain any further damage.

When Akira wakes up, Tamaki knows hell is just beginning. Why? Akira has this terrifying reputation of becoming insanely strong and invincible when she sees cute things. And now Minori is one of them. What happens when you put 2 crazy and resilient characters head to head? An epic power showdown! Though Minori slammed Akira into the fish shop, Tamaki thinks she can rein in Minori using a lobster. As she throws one and Minori catches it, Tamaki is going to use this chance but the fish shop owner wants her to pay for using his high grade lobster! No time for that! Akira catches Minori and while she is obsessed with the penguin, she didn’t watch her path and gets entangled and falls unconscious in a lobster balloon. Looks like it’s flying away… Tamaki chases her via President’s van. He tries to hook his harpoon while letting Minori take control of the wheels! Dangerous! They almost hit a kitten! Once he manages to nail it, Tamaki has a hard time pulling it down. But watch out! There’s a tunnel ahead! Phew. If she didn’t let go, she could have lost her head. President steps the pedal to the metal and catches up. By that time, Akira has awakened and panics since she finds herself high up in the air. In a crazy attempt to bring the balloon down with her weight, President drives the van off the edge as Tamaki jumps off to grab the string! The paper rips. Minori falls onto Tamaki while Akira into the van. Although the snow covered leaves of the trees break their fall, it’s amazing that President and Akira survived the crash! Really!

Tamaki is floating away but this is the least of her troubles. Minori climbs up the balloon and bites the lobster inflatable. Pop! It’s free fall! Tamaki probably had her life flashing before her eyes to have enough time to note how much she hates penguins. Though she falls into the icy cold waters, I’m amazed she could still survive the fall from that height. I mean, it’s like slamming into a brick wall, right? Tamaki thought she’s doom as she drowns but before she passes out, she sees Minori coming to her rescue. When she comes to on the shore, she realizes that Minori did save her like how those penguins did. Again, penguins saved her life. Suddenly Minori collapses. Tamaki gets worried and rushes through the forest to find help. When she gets to the road, there is a sign that says Shirayuki City is 15km away. Heck, is she going to run all the way there? Luckily, there is an abandoned bicycle by the dump. So without giving up, Tamaki peddles hard with all her might. Say, didn’t Tamaki just go through something like a triathlon? Reaching the convention centre, she barges in right in the middle of her daddy’s speech. She panics and wants daddy to save Minori but daddy is so happy she is worried about a penguin. He tells her to push to switch in her beak and without fear this time she does so. Soon, Minori revives after Tamaki calls out her name several times. Daddy congratulates her for becoming Minori’s master and the switch was actually an imprinting button that will cause Minori to acknowledge the one who pushes it as her parent. Wasn’t it supposed to be the off button? Well, obviously a lie because daddy couldn’t figure out a way to make her press that switch. And daddy ends the conference with this ‘demo’. Everyone gives him a good round of applause.

Back home, Tamaki and her family celebrate (fried lobster on the dish, what else?) but Tamaki can’t help but wonder why did Minori save her while she was drowning. It was before she pushed the imprinting button, right? Then they realize, there was a lobster sticking on to Tamaki’s shirt at that time. Oh well. The party starts with Minori continuing her rampage gulping every lobster she can get her hands on. Including Tamaki’s share. I guess she has got to teach her ‘child’ a thing or two about table manners, eh?

Ms Tamaki’s Penguins
What else can I say? Unless you’re not into the cuteness of penguins, you’re not going to be amused with this one shot OVA anyway. Minori is both cute and annoying but it is because of this that this OVA is quite an enjoyable watch. You see endless carnage and rampage once Minori gets activated and you could say the ‘action’ never stops. Oddly I don’t really find Minori to look very much like a penguin and even her back penguin face. If I didn’t know, I thought she would be some little blue bird. Even though she is an android as explained, I can’t help feel that Minori is like a little kid wearing a penguin themed pyjama. Either way, the kid or the penguin is going to look cute, right? I don’t know whether Tamaki’s dad programmed Minori on purpose because when she catches glimpse of a lobster, she goes berserk. It’s like nothing will stop her. And why does an android penguin need to eat real lobsters anyway? Realism? So once the ‘action’ stops, then it is drama time and we see the sudden change of Tamaki’s behaviour of one who hates and was traumatized by penguins to a girl who at least accepts Minori. Maybe it’s her first step in curing her phobia on penguins. Since Minori doesn’t look totally like a penguin, I guess that is why in a way it works because it gives a soft approach to help Tamaki overcome her penguin trauma.

As mentioned, the action bits are fun and in a way make the crazy antics a little hilarious. But of course some of them are exaggerative on purpose like the van crash into the forest below and exploded. For me, nobody would have survived that impact but all we see Akira and the President just badly messed up. The van must be a total wreck seeing the duo are stuck on a tree and the machine nowhere in sight (President was just holding the steering wheel!). Since this OVA was produced by Aniplex and Ufotable, the drawings of the characters make them look cute. If you have seen their works such as A Channel, 2×2=Shinobuden, Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight and Mitsudomoe, you’ll recognize that chibi cuteness. On a trivial note, the mid-intermission is slightly interesting because of the Rubik’s puzzle and sliding puzzle picture effect.

While I’m not obsessed into penguins, I still find them cute as before. But watching this series won’t make me go rush to a pet shop to buy one. Or even at least make a mechanical one.  Do pet shops even sell them? Think of all the air-conditioners you need to turn your home into an icy tundra. They may be cool birds but the cost will burn a hole right through your pocket. So making a half-girl, half-penguin android as a cure for those with penguin phobia? Maybe they should do the same for those with phobias on dogs, cats, bugs, etc. I bet it looks scarier than cute.


June 17, 2012

Wait a minute. Fights are allowed in school provided they are properly officiated? Okay. But this isn’t a martial arts school but magic and combat are also taught here. But seriously, having battles within the school vicinity is allowed as long as they follow proper procedures and rules? At least that is what I thought when I watched Maken-Ki! I don’t know how else to put this series. But here are a few important points and possibly the outline of what to expect of this show: 1) Slightly perverted boy but with his own sense of justice enrols in sort of prestigious school; 2) Lots of busty babes (including some flat chests for those with such fetish); 3) Lots of fanservice; 4) Using magic as part of their combat abilities in fights; 5) More fanservice; 6) That guy sort of accumulates his own harem; 7) Something more than meets this eye in this school; 8) Bouncy boobs + colourful panty shoots = fanservice, fanservice, fanservice! Now do you grasp what this show is about? You have been warned.

Episode 1
Haruko Amaya is on her way to see her dojo-mate and childhood friend, Takeru Ooyama whom she hasn’t seen since he left for middle boarding school. Entering his messy room (there are unpacked boxes everywhere), her sudden visit startles him as he struggles putting on his pants. In that instant, the boxes threaten to fall on Haruko but Takeru stops it in time. Not before he accidentally has his palm on her boobs. I guess she can forgive when he notes how pretty she has become. Takeru will be attending the same high school as her, Tenbi Academy. In addition to no required exams or interviews, Tenbi was once an all-girls school and just went co-ed this semester. Takeru is tired of his life surrounded by guys only during his boarding school years. I can see why he’s so eager to release some of his libido. Haruko touches lightly on why Tenbi is different due to its martial arts competition and miko dance but Takeru fantasizes it in a perverted manner. As Haruko is part of the team in charge for the opening ceremony, she leaves Takeru to his own device. Before his admiration for his newfound utopia could sink in, he witnesses a couple of guys battling out in a power fight. Another girl, Kodama Himegami is watching from above a tree. The fight causes the tree branch she is hanging on to snap. She lands on him and not only showing him her pantsu, their lips met! She is about to beat him up when she spots a familiar mark on his chest. The mark that indicates the enemy she has been looking for to defeat.

During the opening ceremony, Tenbi’s principal, Minori Rokujou introduces the school’s motto of Mind, Beauty and Body. She also mentions everyone will receive the Element to fight for the 8 Maken. If they can become its owner by controlling their Element, they’ll have a bright future. She has Garret Kinua and Azuki Shinatsu to put on a demonstration but they don’t want to since they’ve already fought each other earlier on. Did they fight over a teddy bear? Himegami offers to carry out this battle and points to Takeru as her opponent. Haruko is concerned that to use a new student would be dangerous but Minori gives the green light. Takeru is still surprised by everything but calms down when Himegami tells him to just put up an act while she takes care of everything. Summoning her shikigami, she wants him to plant a timed lightning ball into his heart since he has no resistance against any Elements. The induce shock may kill him several days later. The shikigami is worried over her actions since Kamigari will notice her if she overdoes it. Even so, her blood won’t calm down if she doesn’t. The fight starts off like normal. In a boring manner, that is. When Himegami starts projecting her lightning ball, Haruko senses something wrong and is about to go protect Takeru but someone else beats her to it. She is Inaho Kushiya and using an original Maken to block Himegami’s shot. Inaho gets very close to Takeru. Too close. She knows him, he doesn’t know her. So who the hell is she? As Inaho puts it, she is his fiancée. What?! Did he screw up somewhere? Takeru may be happy with that but Haruko clearly isn’t. Guess who got really beaten up now? That evening, Haruko goes to talk to Takeru in his dorm but again Inaho beats her. Why is she there? She’s going to live with him. How can the principal approve such a thing?! Well, she finds it okay for a fiancée to live together and that 3-bedroom room is too big for a single person to live in. Some principal. Oh, Himegami plans on staying here too. How the hell did it turn out like this? Haruko doesn’t want to lose out and also moves in, explaining she is doing this to keep an eye on them. They can argue about sleeping arrangements for all I care. The girls start arguing with Haruko just forbidding about everything. That’s got to be her favourite word. I’m sure Takeru is going to find this place both heaven and hell. That night Haruko goes check on Takeru. She didn’t like Inaho snuggling up close to him and beats him up in his sleep. Yeah, heaven and hell alright.

Episode 2
His cheeks hurt when he wakes up. Then when he goes to wash his face, he accidentally sees Himegami changing in the toilet. That’s the second time already. She zaps his eyes! He is fortunate he didn’t go blind. The quartet rush to school and the girls barely make it. Takeru could’ve been locked out if Himegami didn’t use her shikigami to pull him in. As Haruko explains, Himegami’s ability is invisibility as she can move things with an invisible force. Erm, shouldn’t that be telekinesis? She’s the only one who can do so without a Maken. The very strict student council president, Furan Takaki reprimands Haruko who is the vice president (she is also the dorm superintendent) for being close to late and talking too close to a boy. Then the gush of wind blows up her skirt to reveal her bear-print panties… Hear how she screams… Tomika Amado is Takeru and Inaho’s homeroom teacher while Minori doubles as the assistant teacher. Takeru is surprised that on the first day of class, there is physical examinations. The girls line up and head to the infirmary. Takeru and another dude, Kengo Usui got the same idea to excuse themselves to the toilet but in actual fact they went peeping. They are so in sync. The words, the actions… Anyway the perverts from outside the window are admiring the coloured undies and voluptuous bodies of the babes. I don’t know what kind of vision they have but it allows them to give points to the girls. Ah, paradise indeed. Kengo is about to give points for Inaho but Takeru covers his eyes! Can’t see his fiancée? However Himegami spots their unholy act and decides to punish them by really sending them to heaven seeing one of them didn’t learn from this morning’s retribution. She stomps on their faces and make them retreat like cockroaches. Her shikigami notes she is able to withhold her anger and not kill him. She doesn’t feel her blood boiling today. It’s the boys’ turn for check-up. They must really love this school because not only the female students but the female teachers as well are so damn sexy. Especially the sexy school nurse, Aki Nijou who is spouting some ambiguous lines. “Please put it in here…”.  It’s Takeru’s turn with her as she introduces him an aptitude machine called Keronbo (such a rude machine) that analyzes the compatibility of a person with a Maken. The analysis turns out Takeru has no match! So much so an emergency meeting is called with Minori and Keronbo’s so called genius creator, Gen Tagayashi. He couldn’t believe such a thing could happen since his invention is perfect (really?). In addition, for the first time there are 3 people without a match. Takeru is one and Inaho being the other. So if you can’t use your Maken, will that be a problem? It is! Though battles are carried if both sides consent (meaning, you can still get away when you refuse), there are instances when Maken is used outside battles and you can only rely on yourself to protect yourself. Later Minori and Aki talk about Takeru whom they believe is Sensei’s son. As for Inaho’s Maken, they think it is Kamudo. Takeru who has to live for a month without a Maken, talks to Inaho about the clubs they’re supposed to join. He asks her about being her fiancée. Clearly he doesn’t remember. See that unhappy look on her face? When a guy forgets a promise he made with a girl, you’re in sh*t. But she covers that up by not revealing it to him. It’s a secret. Haruko comes around so Takeru has her show him around the school of the various clubs. After viewing several clubs, Takeru finally thinks he has found the perfect club to join: Gravure Photography Club. Oh God. Whatever club he joins, Inaho joins. Haruko’s guess could be as good as ours on what kind of lewd things Takeru might do if he joins this one so she forces him to join Kenkeibu. Say what?

Episode 3
Kenkeibu is somewhat a public order team that Haruko and Himegami are part of. Apart from Takeru getting into that toilet trouble again (this time with Haruko), Takeru finds out more about Kenkeibu before he takes the plunge to join. Since there are all kinds of troublesome incidents at school, the student council is assisted by Madou Shikkoubu to help take care of those troubles. To support Shikkoubu, this is where Kenkeibu comes in. Both clubs are under the student council wing. Can’t they just condense it into 1 club? Since the school has become co-ed, they are expecting more of this kind of trouble and Kenkeibu will be more active this year. Takeru thought Kengo is going to harass Haruko with his sudden appearance. Apparently Takeru’s hand is faster than anything else and grabbed Haruko’s boobs instead. Oops. Then another faster fist lands on his face. Uruchi Minaya is Haruko’s friend and doesn’t like Takeru very much. See how hard she is grasping his hand? Plus, she did mention her favourite stuffs include Haruko and cockroaches like him are her dislikes. Hope you people get along well. They are interrupted by a commotion. A fight rather. The hardcore delinquent Kai Kurigasa wants Azuki to be his lover if he wins this match. Or else he’ll have to give up on her. Himegami officiates the match. She quips his straightforward love is better than a couple of peeping jerks (guess who). Kai’s Maken Steel Fullmetal means Azuki can’t break through his defence. It also means the guys get lots of fanservice from her clothes being ripped. Takeru couldn’t stand seeing a girl in a fight and wants to interrupt but was held back by the rest. Then something inside his body, his blood cells or something starts to activate. So fast that he got in between and stopped Kai’s full-force punch, though the impact blew him away. In that distraction, Azuki uses this chance to knock Kai out with a knee kick to his mouth. But the victory is costly because she loses her undies. Embarrassing…

Later Haruko warns Takeru for doing something that dangerous but she notes she is still the gentle and brave kid he was then. It’s not Takeru didn’t think girls are weak, he thought the outcome should be concluded in a fair manner. With Haruko asserting their duty as Kenkeibu to protect a fair battle, Takeru gets enough motivation to join the club. Not only him but Inaho and Kengo as well. As part of the custom to welcome new members and deepen their bonds, everyone chills out at the hotspring. After the guys get a good ogling at the girls in their swimsuits, it’s time for introduction. The student council is made up of Furan (president), Haruko (vice president), Yuuka Amado (treasurer) and Kimi Satou (treasurer). Making up Madou Shikkoubu is Minaya and Azuki while Chacha Akaza is from Kenkeibu as well as with Himegami. Aki is the club’s advisor. Now for some fanservice. Himegami is pissed off that G-cup Haruko is even using pads because she is afraid she might lose the guys to other big breasted girls. So furious that she molests the boobs for her! Kimi gets permission to also rub Aki’s humungous tits. The guys are at their limit hearing how the girls interact on the other side of the hotspring when they spot a bear. They need to drive it away without hurting it using Maken-Ki. Huh? First, the dumbfounded guys become the bait to get chased around. When everything is in order, Chacha uses her Maken Scale Compressor to enlarge a fence and Haruko trips the bear to spring it away. To avoid it being slammed into the mountain, Kimi unleashes Maken Tablet Comic Star to turn the rocks into cushion. There, no animals were hurt in the production of this episode. As explained, Chacha’s Maken that allows free control over quality and size of inorganic matters and Kimi’s Maken which projects word painting and special effects of the manga she imagines and draws, they make best partners. So get this equation: Madou Shikkoubu + Kenkeibu = Madou Kenkei Kikou. Shortened to… Maken-Ki. Geddit? With that, Yuuka welcomes the new members once more.

Episode 4
The first real activity the club did is to run 50 round laps! The guys are sure lacking in stamina behind the girls. Shameful. Furan goes over the basics of Maken that are special weapons with their own Element. But the ones they use are replicas. The guys seem sleepy so Furan has them round 50 more laps to stay awake! Yuuka has a better idea. She flips Furan’s skirt to reveal her cat-print panties! On the short them it may keep them alive. But with that amount of blood loss, it may not. The newbies undergo some meditation training by Himegami but Aki distracts their concentration. “Accept what appears in your heart without resistance”. They sure accepted her sexiness alright. Takeru is worn out back at the dorm so Inaho gives him a feel good massage. Probably his ambiguous sounds pissed Haruko off so she too joins in but hers is more painful. Then the sadistic Himegami steps on him as part of his massage and then forces him to go out with her tomorrow. This is part of her plan to ascertain the origin of his mark and whether or not he is really her enemy. So why the girls didn’t object to the date? So that they (along with Kengo) can stalk, oops I sneakily mean follow them. As Takeru finds out, Tenbi is such a big place and isn’t just a school. As Himegami puts it, has its own laws, administration and prices so much so it’s like a country within a country. WTF?! Takeru becomes the donkey carrying Himegami’s shopping boxes throughout her spree. The final shop is the lingerie. I guess Takeru’s fantasy got ahead of himself, thinking if Himegami would let him choose which underwear which suits her. Of course she warns him she’ll kill him if he peeps. The store gets crowded and I don’t know why, the other ladies start pushing. Can’t they see a guy holding boxes? Takeru trips and falls into the changing room where Himegami is, you know…  It’s just puzzling she has trouble fitting into her bra. Her boobs aren’t that big, you know? Forgive me! But it’s the death sentence for him. Zap! They stop over at the maid cafe Macaron for lunch and they see Azuki displaying her cutie goshuujin-sama act. In her embarrassment, she gives Takeru that death stare and aura! Where’s the love? Oh sh*t?! See her bend the metal tray! Perhaps this place lacks customers is because of the transvestite owner. Too macho for a maid cafe… Oh, see him bend back the metal tray!

Takeru and Himegami sit by a bench at the lake, Takeru’s compliments on her makes her blush and she realizes she had been enjoying the outing rather than confirming his mark. In her desperate move, she yells out to him to show her his chest! Oh, how ambiguous. This causes the appearance of what is believed to be Himegami Fan Club guys. Biyou Tanaka (specky), Ei Kobayashi (delinquent) and Shiisuke Yamada (fatty) perhaps are more than just stalkers. They can predict her movements and to the point they sweep clean the path before she passes! Sickos. They can’t let this jerk taint their goddess (I think they’re just jealous) so they are going to protect her. If school had just started and this year is the first year being co-ed, then it’s amazing that such a club is established quickly, right? Himegami uses her shikigamis to dispose of them into the lake. Himegami thought there’s another idiot, but this one looks serious. He unleashes his Maken Blade Snake and attacks her. Though she avoids, she chides him for attacking without warning or performing a ritual since it is not a way of the warrior. She is only half right that he is from Kamigari. More accurately if he brings back combat data of a talented Tenbi student, Kamigari will make use of him. During the second attack, Himegami deflects his projections but it hit Takeru. It ripped his shirt and she confirms there is no mark. The next strike pushes Himegami into the lake. Takeru grabs her and underwater, their lips accidentally meet again. Takeru powers up and turns into a completely different person. In fact, much more cooler! Himegami spots the now visible mark on his chest and notes he has the same ability as her brother: Convergence of the Soul, Blood Point. Takeru is so powerful that he blasted the baddie all the way across the lake! What happened to his pants?! Takeru returns to his normal self and has no memories of what happened. Himegami is grateful of his actions for saving and kisses him! That’s the third time! The fan boys and ‘stalkers’ are so upset that they start making a scene! Especially Kengo who wants to kiss Takeru to get an indirect kiss from Himegami! WTF?!

Episode 5
Haruko is bothered with thoughts of what happened. Especially that kiss. She shrugs it off but can’t get it out of her mind. Takeru assures her that though he doesn’t remember what happened nor is he familiar with Tenbi, he is sure he still needs some kind of power to protect himself and those around him. Haruko is not amused. Because of that, Takeru gets a feel of her ‘wrath’ as she makes green peas as his bento. You really don’t want to make a woman mad. He complains to Haruko but she tells him to cook for himself then. Take care of his own problems. Takeru tries to solve this amicably but he trips and accidentally pulls down her skirt. Furan and Yuuka misunderstood what they saw. But Takeru receives an uppercut from fast Minaya. He pleads his innocence but Haruko didn’t stand up for him. Guess that pretty much seals his fate. Takeru witnesses Chacha in an arm wrestling battle with another student (she beat that muscle guy without sweat!). As explained, Maken-Ki is going around accepting challenges from clubs for budget negotiations. Since Takeru and Minaya are not involved, Furan has them gather information from students about a recent incident of victimized students losing their memories. There are no known culprits or witnesses. Minaya is straight to the point to tell Takeru she hates him but since they are comrades, they have to work together to finish this case. Haruko and Kimi are on their rounds of negotiations. Kimi thinks Haruko has gotten soft due to Takeru. She denies but her nervous speech tells it all. She knows a lot about him. Because Takeru’s stomach is being noisy (he didn’t had lunch as Haruko confiscated his green peas), she gives him her sandwich to ‘shut him up’. Flashback reveals how Minaya first met Haruko when she spilled her lunch. She offered hers and slowly she started hanging around her and drew inspiration from her. As Takeru takes a drink, he is approached by a girl named Kumio Amio. On a pretence she wants to discuss something about the culprit behind the incidents, once Takeru mentions his name, she traps him in her spider web called Maken Zone Nephila. Thankfully Minaya was around so she fights her with her Maken Sword Perseus. Minaya makes the mistake of blurting out her name (because Takeru still called her by her first name instead of her surname), she got trapped by Kumio’s web. She reveals she is the culprit causing the incidents because the Maken-Ki higher-ups are too busy to accept her challenge. Takeru wants to call for help but was told off not to because if he does, he’ll always rely on others and they will not accept him (talking about herself?). Kumio beats Minaya up and the flashy incident was enough to pinpoint their location as Haruko propels into the battle scene with Kimi’s Maken Tablet Comic Star. She praises Minaya for doing her best and seeing Kumio has hurt her juniors, it is not a battle she will get but retribution. Using Maken Lock Heaven’s Gate to open an extra dimensional gate, she pulls out the most destructive of the 8 Maken, Murakumo. So destructive that the aura was enough to rip Kumio’s panty stockings! Without unsheathing it (because of her emotional state and opponent’s strength she can’t), she not only breaks Kumio’s Maken but knocks her out in just a swing! When it’s over, Takeru apologizes for being conceited to Haruko and to Minaya as well. But she calls it even since she was the one who told him not to contact the higher-ups. Takeru praises Haruko’s Maken and when it seems all would come to a good forgivable end, he trips on his phone on to… Well, at least he didn’t pull down her skirt. But falling on top of her was bad enough. What happens when you do that to the strongest person in Tenbi?

Episode 6
It was 8 years ago when Inaho first met Takeru. She was training alone in the rain. Due to this, Inaho is not her happy and active self. During Minori’s class of practising controlling their Element in a crystal ball, Takeru and Kengo discuss about the recent incident whereby Kumio became a victim and lost her memories via a third party. Minori demonstrates the importance of controlling one’s Element and has Kai go up against her. She is powerful enough to knock him through the wall! Inaho is worried about him but he assures her he is durable. Those are the exact same words she heard Takeru said 8 years ago. Noticing Inaho’s gloominess (maybe it’s the rain), Takeru takes her out shopping. At the park, Takeru suddenly gets nervous. He can’t hold it in anymore. He needs to do it now at the park! Is he going to show his true colours?! Apparently, he needs to go to the toilet. Hah! Once that’s done, Inaho tries to give him hints to make him remember his promise on that day. He seriously can’t and gives up. Not good. She can’t say it because it defeats the point if he doesn’t remember. I guess you can say she’s mad even if her face and words don’t show it. She wants to stay here longer and tells him to go home first. Flashes of harsh training by her dad zooms pass her mind. Takeru comes home but the rest feel it is too late for Inaho to be out by herself. Himegami butts in and mentions though she doesn’t know what happened between them, he should treasure her feelings since Inaho is his fiancée so there must be some kind of bond. Takeru instantly realizes his mistake and goes out searching for Inaho. But he bumps into Kengo. He doesn’t look happy. He saw Inaho crying in the rain and blames Takeru for making the gentle and cute girl cry. He punches his face! The guys have a manly face off but Takeru has no time to stall and starts his search. I wondered why Kengo suddenly become such a cool person but was it just to impress Himegami? At least her views on this useless pervert changed. Just a tinsy weensy little bit. Kengo is here to get a package he bought. Turns out to be a porn magazine. So, back to the perverted stupid rotten useless man tag. Inaho finds an abandoned kitten on the mountain path and seeks solace with it. The rain must be convenient to hide her tears, eh? Takeru’s voice distracts them as the kitty jumps off from her arms. Takeru spots the cat but a boulder threatens to fall on it. Rushing to save it, he uses what he has learnt from Minori’s class and with his Element, they are both saved from being crushed. However more boulders come falling from the sky! If not for Inaho using her Maken Kamudo to destroy them, they could’ve been squashed. Inaho collapses shortly and remembers how she was crying. Takeru tried to cheer her up but it was futile. He started banging his head on the tree till it bleeds (that durable line here). Hah! No wonder he doesn’t remember the promise! Inaho wants to be his wife when she grows up so Takeru promised to grow stronger so he can protect her. Inaho wakes up and finds herself being given a piggy-back ride. Takeru apologizes he can’t remember the promise but will try his best to remember and hopes she could wait a little longer. Also, he will get stronger so she doesn’t have to always save him. Even though he doesn’t realize those words were his promise, Inaho feels deep inside he hasn’t forgotten and that his feelings haven’t changed. She is happy with the way things are now. Also, the cat now becomes their pet and lives with them. Monji is its name.

Episode 7
Takeru gets into another perverted trouble while trying to stop a couple of girls fighting. Yeah, he got beaten up pretty good. Gen has completed his Maken for Takeru and was about to give it to him when a helicopter hovers over Tenbi. Looks like something important just showed up. And down comes Akaya Koudai and a group of girls known as Venus. They will be exchange students at Tenbi but Minori wants to know the real reason Akaya is here. Kamigari believes someone in this school is trying to revive Yamato No Orochi. Even if that creature is believed to be a myth, Kamigari doesn’t think so. As explained, Kamigari is an organization using Maken and Element to support the country from the shadows! During ancient times when Gods reigned, there were a group of people who did not want to be ruled by them and thus Kamigari was formed. For the past 2 years, they have observed that the Spirit Root of Tenbi – Spirit Mountain Amanohara’s nearby Element – showed great abnormalities. They are convinced there’s a God’s beast in Tenbi and that someone has already broken the seal. Akaya is here to find the culprit. Gen isn’t happy that Akaya is here seeing that he is part of the first generation Maken-Ki (in which Minori, Tomika and Aki were also part of). Akaya asserts he is here not to fight him and will be a temporary teacher at Tenbi. Furan is taken in by Akaya’s polite gentleman ways as he asks her to show him around Kenkeibu. With Venus being comrades with Maken-Ki till summer break, we are introduced to the ladies that make up this team. They include loli twins Airiru and Reel Finian, serious Demitra Midia, cheerful idol Syria Ootsuka and the arrogant and proud Chinese, Yan Min. Because Yan and Demitra look down on Maken-Ki, Azuki can’t let that slide. Looks like the rivalry is already at boiling point. Since battles within Maken-Ki are forbidden, they have to settle it via game. A 3-on-3 volleyball game, that is. But don’t expect this to be just an ordinary volleyball game. Yuuka sets the rules while Aki becomes the referee. The volleyball match is filled with Element inducing power shots. Both sides are evenly matched that the game is deuced. Both can’t afford to lose either because if Maken-Ki loses, they’ll stop activities for a semester while Venus will have to join Maken-Ki if they are defeated. I don’t know if this is legal because Yan hits the ball to the ceiling. Of course you’d shield yourself from the crumbling debris, right? Syria tries to finish off the match with a drop ball but Maken-Ki barely counters it. Chacha enlarges the ball and Azuki slams it right into Yan. Can’t take that, can’t she? Both sides get too serious and summon their strongest Maken and Element. As usual, Takeru can’t let the girls be in danger and comes in between the match. Though the explosion rips through the gym (everyone’s clothes are ripped apart too!), Syria totally falls for Takeru because he is seen protecting her from the blast. Oh dear. Not another rival for Takeru. Demitra thanks him for saving their friend and apologizes for going overboard. As for the match, it ends with a tie. This means that both sides have to acknowledge each other’s abilities for now. Lastly, everyone takes a group photo. Seriously?! In those ripped clothes?!

Episode 8
Syria becomes Takeru’s classmate and the guys are jealous that it is always Takeru… But for Kengo, he’s a Himegami fan. Inaho asserts she is his future wife but couldn’t answer back when Syria bombs her with questions she can’t answer. When and where is their wedding? How many children will they have? Hah. And she calls herself his fiancée. Syria is going to be his steady boyfriend. But look out Takeru. The other ‘zombie’ guys aren’t going to let you go easily! So if he doesn’t get beaten up by girls who think he’s a pervert, guys will do him in instead. The twins are popular among the girls in their class while there is a 3-way rivalry between Azuki, Garret and Yan. Those are their deadly auras, not their Element. Akaya is popular with the female students and while Demitra can cook, she just can’t control the fire. She wonders why students here are living a normal life because compared to Venus, they’ve been going around the world completing missions they take seriously. Haruko says this is their paradise and that they should enjoy to their heart’s content. The Venus girls support Syria’s love for Takeru and are willing to help her out with her date plan. They have all the details they need about this plain boring and perverted guy as well as the obstacles (read: those 3 girls – you know who). There’s only one thing you can do with obstacles, right? Yeah, get rid of them. Kengo complains he hasn’t got a girlfriend yet as he takes out his frustrations over Takeru because of his accumulating harem. Share the love dude! But Takeru receives an unsigned love letter to meet. No boy would turn this down, right? Well, just that Kengo was eavesdropping in the next cubicle. He reports this to Himegami and Haruko. The latter seems worried though she brushes it off. Kengo thinks there is a mystery phenomenon happening at Tenbi but Furan puts that mystery in a different way. Someone has been accumulating garbage behind the clock tower and wants the girls to investigate. Meanwhile Inaho follows a trail of goody bags containing snacks. In her thrill, she thought these were presents from Takeru. I don’t know how she’s so blind that she couldn’t tell this ugly doll isn’t the real Takeru. And she calls him her fiancée. Shameful. Takeru waits at the school gates and to his surprise, Syria pops up and they go on an outing at the shopping district. Then she brings him into a suspicious looking building. Takeru is suddenly strapped to a chair and Syria hopes he is well prepared. Gulp. Himegami and Haruko wonder who could’ve piled up the chairs at this place. Himegami knows they’ve been watch and true enough, Yan comes out from her hiding. Because Yan ‘compliments’ her technique of figuring out her presence, Himegami thinks she is from Kamigari. Inaho comes into the picture bringing the fake Takeru. She even needs Haruko to pinpoint this is just a doll. Dumb girl. In that distraction, Himegami’s shikigami steals Yan’s detailed plan about Syria holding off Takeru in a secret room and doing S&M. Yikes! Haruko and Inaho rush to the place while Himegami keeps Yan company. The duo slip pass Demitra and bursts into the building to find Syria in sort of an S&M outfit. She is singing her 98th consecutive song for Takeru. Get it? Song & Music. Duh… I guess he’s already dead at this point. When all is over and Takeru resting back in his dorm, he finds it weird that although Syria is cute and falls under his category of girls he like (read: big breasts), he didn’t fall in love with her.

Episode 9
Three days ago, Kengo rallies the boys for an all important event. Then he went to see Furan with a pile of signatures from the boys who are against pool classes of boys and girls to be at different times. Sure, what good is their life if they can’t see the girls in swimsuits so Kengo the smooth talker convinces Furan about gender equality, etc. Seeing that the girls will be dissatisfied with just signatures from the boys, he suggested they hold a water kibasen to decide to outcome. Well, in Tenbi everything is decided through battles, right? Though Haruko opposes it, Furan’s sweet talk made her convinced that she can’t lose to mere boys. Kengo and Takeru are climbing up the ladder to go peep on the girls changing. Their true paradise is coming! However the ladder is short 30cm. So close, yet so far. Kai shakes them down for doing something shameful till Kengo reminds him Azuki is also changing. With Kageshirou Usuya’s Maken that turns people invisible, they can peep all they like. However Kageshirou mentions he can only turn bodies invisible and not presence. Which means, Himegami and co will still find out. All for nothing. So the water kibasen is here and it will be 6 to a team. A side is out when they get their headbands taken or fall directly into the water. The last side standing wins it for the team. On the boys’ side, we have Takeru, Kengo, Kai, Akaya, Biyou and a small fry while the girls consist of Haruko, Himegami, Inaho, Azuki, Aki and Syria. Prior to the match, Kengo had discussed strategy with the guys. Everyone will face off one on one and Takeru will handle Inaho because she can’t fight back against him. But his plan fails instantly when Inaho refuses to go down tamely. Takeru has no choice but to use his secret weapon that Kengo told him. He whispered into her ears that her arms are fat. She is caught off-guard and her headband stolen. Now everybody thinks Takeru is a jerk. Biyou and his other fan club members assert their loyalty to Himegami. But they may have gone too far when they praise her small boobs. She zaps them and though she got the first victory for the girls, she let her guard down and her headband is stolen by Akaya.

Takeru squares off with Haruko. He squeezes her boobs to get her riled up. As she uppercuts him, he manages to steal her headband. Thankfully, his base caught him so he’s safe while Haruko is out. Kai and Azuki battle each other. She has a hard time reaching his headband due to his big size. I wonder how his base is able to support him. I don’t think the water is enough to support as well. But you know, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Azuki kicks him in the gut as he falls off. But her victory is short-lived because her headband gets stolen by Akaya. He faces off with Aki who has easily disposed of that nameless small fry. Akaya and Aki use their Element to do aerial battle. In the end, Akaya emerges victorious stealing her headband. But because he landed on Minori’s head, she throws him off. So both are out. Takeru and Minori flank Syria but their plan did not work as Syria has very strong arms. They almost fall off. Kengo charges ahead and sacrifices himself to strip Syria’s top but it’s all for nothing because she’s wearing a bikini underneath. Even so, I guess this is good enough for the guys. So it’s down to the wire. Syria is getting serious and asks Demitra to go full force. As she starts up, Demitra suddenly spots Minerva Martha and comes to a crashing halt. This means Syria is thrown forward and into Takeru’s arms. Now everybody is either shock or jealous at this scene. In this confusion, Takeru takes her headband and wins it for the guys. Yan wonders why Demitra suddenly stopped so she explains the last Venus member has arrived. This means they will carry out their assigned mission of investigating Tenbi’s students’ abilities and the abduction of the target. In the aftermath, the guys relish their blood, sweat and tears have brought them this day of co-ed swimming lessons. But they are disheartened when they could only hear the girls and not see them. Seems the girls have asked Kageshirou to make them all invisible. All for nothing in the end. Well, the boys have always been the biggest losers…

Episode 10
Takeru spots Minerva from the window and this alerts Kengo because this silver haired beauty is not in his list of girls! Who is this new goddess? Furan introduces Minerva to some of her Maken-Ki members. Minerva isn’t blind, she can’t open her eyes or else she’ll unleash some sort of power. From what I can see, a power to blow up the girls’ skirt to reveal their undies. Yeah, she likes it. We like it! Takeru and Kengo couldn’t find this Minerva and come into a showdown between Otohime Yamato (she is the third person without a Maken match) and Sho Tachinami. Takeru is made to officiate the match so Sho makes his move first with his Maken Kaesto that pulls his opponents within fist range. But it was a trap by Otohime for her Maken Zone Grooming Garden means she can control her opponent like a doll if they step into her Doll House territory. As explained by her older twin brother Gouken, she can also transfer the damage from the doll to the opponent hundred times fold. Otohime is breaking and twisting his bones! Ouch! Takeru wants to stop her but Otohime views this as going against her and makes Takeru her doll. Though paralyzed and in pain, Takeru realized it is not because he wants to stop fights because to protect the girls, but he can’t stand seeing the weak being beaten up in a one-sided match. He gets enough strength to break through Otohime’s grasp but she puts a stronger bind on him. Just then, Minerva comes in between to stop everything. With Akaya warning her about the consequences of going overboard, she reminds them they should be taking care of the job assigned. If they slack off, she’ll tell her grandpa who is the head of Kamigari. Minerva heals Sho but his deep injuries means he still needs to get some treatment. Takeru is introduced to Minerva who will be attending Tenbi from today.

But Takeru gets into another kind of trouble. The countermeasure he took during yesterday’s commotion around that battle has caused difficulties within the school. Plus, he has not passed his Element exam. Seeing it is essential a Maken-Ki member needs to master this and none has ever failed before, if he doesn’t pass tomorrow’s makeup exam, he’ll be fired from the club. So how to safe Takeru in such a short notice? As Minerva suggests, seek everyone’s help like a training camp! I don’t know if this was intended by Minerva because with Takeru’s harem roommates in the fray, it feels like a harem story. Oh wait. Isn’t this one? While Kengo helps Takeru to control his Element, the girls make dinner. Minerva asks the most interesting question simply because this is a training camp. “Who do you like?”. Himegami describes the person dear to her heart that indicates it might be her brother. While Haruko is obviously a tsundere, Inaho is not embarrassed to declare her love for Takeru. She even has marriage plans and how many kids they are going to have! After lots of lecture from Kengo (must be pretty tough seeing it’s already night time that Takeru is doing is practice), Takeru concentrates all that he has got and manages to use his Element and hit away the can. However they are puzzled if that mark on the tree was also his doing. The other Venus girls confront Akaya on why Minerva is allowed to go on her own. He explains Himegami holds a clue to what Kamigari, Ouken Yamato wants. They also ask about his orders for them to live a normal school life. He asks them if they like Tenbi. They do since it is better than the prejudice and discrimination they faced in other parts of the world. Himegami is training herself in the woods and senses Minerva’s presence. Minerva is able to see Himegami’s shikigamis and also her real body (a snake?). She says before her existence breaks Amanohara’s seal, Venus have orders to bring her to Kamigari. The shikigamis won’t allow it and hastily attack but only to be easily defeated. Himegami is prepared to take them all but Minerva has no intention of fighting her as part of her duty is to observe the strength of other Tenbi students. She observed Takeru the other day and saw the same spiritual waves he possessed like Himegami and finds him interesting. Also, she is going to love this place because of the many cute girls and splendid breasts. Oh God… I knew there was something weird about this girl. Too good to be true. Next day, Takeru passes his makeup exam and avoided being fired. Syria barges in and is upset she wasn’t invited to the training camp. Well, she’s part of his harem, right? But Minerva assures her when Japanese men treat their women coldly, it’s a sign of love. Blame it on the manga she’s reading… With that, Syria gets lovey-dovey with Takeru, enough to send panic signals to you-know-who.

Episode 11
Gen inserts a Maken into Takeru’s body configured especially for him. His Maken is the inner type and depends heavily on affinity. Though they can be activated any time, the downfall is that unless the opponent’s Maken is activated, he can’t use his. Takeru’s Maken has the ability to make his opponent’s Maken go berserk. Minori and Gen are worried that those group are trying to cause trouble again. They hope this Maken-Ki will be able to protect Tenbi’s peace and order just like how they did even if this becomes a trial for those who entered Tenbi. Gen notes he and Akaya didn’t pass that trial. It’s that time again for summer training camp. Yeah, training to use their Maken is just a pretty excuse for fun and fanservice. Why is every girl in the delusion naked?! However Furan says that this year everyone has to pay for the camp. Everybody is unhappy and complaining till Furan and Yuuka read out how the funds for this were ‘wasted’. Somebody bought lots of snacks, mangas, costumes and other unnecessary expenses. Looks like everyone is guilty as charged. To solve this problem, Takeru spots a poster and comes up with an idea to work part time and earn money. Azuki sees a long queue outside Macaron and to her dismay, her Maken-Ki members are working as maids and butlers! They are totally popular! She pins the blame on Takeru for doing something unnecessary but she has to deal with Kai who purposely came here to see her (even if he gave other excuses). So we have Himegami being the bossy one while her fan club members as her customers become subservient  (they thought she wrote ‘petanko’ (small boobs) on their omelette rice but it was her bad handwriting of ‘love’ – zap time), nobody could beat Inaho in a cake eating contest (the winner will have free drinks for a year; lose you pay all), Haruko being so clumsy that she provides more fanservice than seriousness and Kimi and Chacha going for a world record piling up 20 ice cream scoops! Takeru is surprised to see Gen, Minori and Aki patron the place. Macaron is their OB and the manager, Catherine formerly known as Gourou Fujioka (how did this delinquent become so feminine?) was also part of the gang. Takeru notes they were able to be like this after graduating and wonders if he and the rest too will be the same. Inaho slips up and nearly spills on the customer but it is her who is more distraught than the guests. Haruko needs to prepare iced milk so cheeky Chacha tells her she can extract it fresh from her own boobs and pulls down her dress!!! All the guys saw the best service for today. Distraught Haruko goes out to hand out flyers. Even if Chacha was just joking, she went overboard. She even quipped Haruko’s boobs grew bigger again most probably she’s a maiden in love. But Takeru took that seriously. Or was it because of her boob size? Because Haruko hasn’t come back for a while, Takeru goes looking for her. Meanwhile Otohime is spying on the place and is enforcing some sort of prank as part of her grudge plan. While Haruko is spacing out (probably jealous about Takeru), she is attacked by a guy in full body suit and full face helmet. The guy destroys much of the place when Takeru comes to her rescue. Otohime watches the fight and this is part of her plan to see Takeru’s real strength. Though this guy’s Maken is a replica, Takeru can’t use his Maken till he activates his. He thought he was a goner and before Haruko could return the favour and protect him, Azuki slams into that guy with a drop kick. With Minori and co coming by, they unmask the perpetrator and he turns out to be Gourou. He doesn’t remember what happened but knows he has been used just like that time. Gen explains years ago, Kamigari tried to rule Tenbi so the old Maken-Ki fought them but many got controlled by them. Gourou is one of the unfortunate victims. Otohime didn’t like how boring the show turned out to be and notes that they need to push him even more if he is to use his true strength. Her sister Kikyou returns and would love to join her in this game.

Episode 12
Haruko remembers when she was young, she wanted to save a drowning kid but she couldn’t swim. Though Takeru too couldn’t swim, he dived in with a branch and saved the kid as they both stay afloat on it. Ever since, Haruko wanted to change and be strong like him. One morning, Takeru gets called by Himegami as she tells him Haruko has disappeared. It is unlike her to skip class and knows something has happened. She wants him to search for her and not tell the others so as not to make them worry. Meanwhile Gen and co talk about Kamigari and perhaps Sensei anticipated this that’s why he sent his son here. Kikyou through a possessed female student tells Takeru that Haruko is in their hands and should come to face them at the tip of Amanohara alone. Takeru meets Kikyou and learns she is from Kamigari. She wants her to go all out and display his full force. Otohime notes this is payback for that embarrassment on that day and all he has to do is do what he is told if he knows what’s good for Haruko. Takeru questions their strength’s purpose so Kikyou replies it is to protect her pride because she believes the weak serving the strong is a rule for living beings. Takeru too wants to be strong to protect someone but won’t accept this fight. Kikyou forces him into one by using her Element that passes through his insides. Takeru doesn’t want Haruko dragged into this but Kikyou just keeps pounding him to remind him that those who don’t fight aren’t suited to protect anyone. Otohime tells Haruko that she is doing him a favour by making him strong and trigger his hidden power. Haruko remembers on that day, Takeru also lost something precious: His mom. Takeru also remembers how mom told him the strength to fight is never to subdue someone or be used for your own ambitions. It is to protect yourself, others and to stop fights. Takeru years that true strength and this triggers his hidden power. Great amounts of Elements are flowing out of the mountain and into Takeru. Now he has turned into some mindless monster. Otohime is thrilled that the outbreak of his wrath makes him assimilate Elements to the maximum. He can run berserk till his body breaks. Gouken warns at this rate, he may destroy Tenbi but Otohime says this is killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Because sooner later Tenbi will be ruled by them and they can use him to remove all their obstacles.

Takeru nearly slams into some of the Maken-Ki members who are taken aback that he is being possessed. Like as though he is a collection of Elements. Trying to restrain him by force won’t do because he shooting off powerful Elements. Otohime and Gouken note that Takeru may be a bloodline closer to theirs but Haruko disagrees he is not like them. On that day when he couldn’t protect his mom from a dojo challenger, it left a deep scar in his heart and the reason why he can’t stand to see others hurt in fights. That’s why he isn’t like them who’d control others to fight. Otohime shuts her up but is interrupted when the Venus girls infiltrate the place. They free Haruko and even prepare a dimensional gate back to Tenbi. Otohime is not in forgiving mood so Akaya tells her that her practice will make them lose the school itself. Besides, there are orders from above to be prudent so this means she has to back down. Meanwhile the rest can’t get close to Takeru because if they do, their Elements will get absorbed. Like a heroine falling down from the sky (at least to Chacha), Haruko arrives on scene and has Murakumo unsheathed. She plans to use her bane slaying ability to disperse the negative Element that made Takeru go berserk. She charges as he tries to absorb Murakumo’s Element. The place becomes chaotic and this berserk power may destroy him from the inside. Not sure if Haruko intended to stab him but his necktie pin Inaho gave him as a lucky charm stopped the sword. After all that dramatic blood cells, veins and heart zooming in effect, everything returns to normal. Everybody is relieved Takeru is back to normal but not so relieved when they find Haruko’s boobs pressing on his face. Yeah, this is normal alright. Instead of getting mad, they prefer to tease the tsundere. Kikyou shows up and has seen his incredible powers. He has the qualifications to enter Kamigari and offers him to join them. You know what his answer is, right? And with all the other Maken-Ki members backing Takeru that they won’t tolerate any more of their peace disturbing acts, they better go home or face their wrath. Kikyou backs down for now but will settle this one day especially with Takeru. She is looking forward to just how much they can go against Kamigari. In the aftermath, everyone returns to their normal life. This includes Takeru, Haruko and Inaho doing morning training (Takeru still sucks at stamina although he’s bloody confident at first) and Himegami using Kengo as her assistant in shopping. Good or bad thing?

With a series overflowing with fanservice, you’d expect more from the OVA, right? Yeah. That. So somehow, Maken-Ki manages to get that much awaited summer training camp. I don’t know how they covered all the expensive cost to reach this beach island, but Yuuka did mention she did some illicit transfer from Minori’s bank account… So what else to look forward to than to gawk at the girls in their swimsuit? Keep staring at all you want… Minori gives Takeru a pair of wristbands, each weighing 100kg as part of his control-your-Element training and has him run around the island with those. The guys have to sleep out in only a hammock so Kengo went to peep at the girls himself (Takeru fast asleep from that harsh all-day training) but he got fried by Himegami’s shikigami. Will that guy learn? Don’t bet on it. Next day as Takeru continues his training, Aki’s GPS detects some sort of never-seen-before power near the beach. Arriving on scene, they see a giant octopus violating the girls with its tentacles. Your much awaited fanservice scene! Paradise for the guys! Is it a wonder why they are paralyzed doing nothing? I think the octopus is a bi because it grabbed Kengo too. Suddenly Syria drops a kick right into the octopus’ head. She is going to take care of it when she hears how the other girls want that useless Takeru to do something. Immediately Syria purposely gets herself caught. Takeru releases his wristbands and uses his Element, Drive Kill Overblow as the octopus reverts into its small and harmless form. That night, the gang are doing kimodameshi (test of courage). Takeru thought he would get sandwiched between the boobs of Haruko and Inaho but he is let down because the girls aren’t afraid of the dark. While trekking along, they are attacked by a tree monster. The ground splits open and they fall in. The rest realize the trio haven’t return and know something is up. Haruko and Takeru realize Inaho is missing and go look for her. Takeru notices Haruka hugging close to him like never before. Could have gotten romantic if not for that tree monster showing up and grabbing them. Inaho arrives and saves the day to free them. But she has run out of power. Don’t fret. The other Maken-Ki ladies drop in and combine their skills with Minori unleashing her powerful punch to destroy the beast. That’s why she’s the best, right? It seems these recent attacks were from Otohime. She doesn’t seem disappointed but notes will have more fun the next time. Now with that out of the way, it’s time for full fanservice steam ahead! Yeah, the girls soaking in the hotspring. Feast your eyes on this, dude! Burn those scenes into your skull! Just too bad Takeru and Kengo had to be tied up faraway to prevent the unnecessary.

Power Fights, Power Fanservice…
Just as I feared, it ended up something like this. Incomplete. The fanservice was such an overwhelming factor for this show that the plots such as Maken, Elements and Kamigari have been overshadowed and were just an excuse for this over-the-top fanservice. Really. Though we have a short glimpse of Takeru’s past (at least on why he grew up to be considered ‘honourable’ thanks to his mom) and Inaho’s first meeting with him, everything else in the plot was just forgettable. If you don’t remember the all-important “Takeru is the son of Sensei”, I guess that is fine too because if they don’t mention that either, this series won’t really go anywhere too. Then there is the Venus girls. Arriving halfway at the series, anyone would have thought that they would be the final antagonist for this season or at least a commendable opponent to Maken-Ki. Then it turns out they are their comrade because after experiencing a few fun days at Tenbi and realizing that this place contains much more justice and impartiality as compared to the real world, they become their allies. This is not a bad thing but the worst part is that they didn’t even pull off any memorable Maken or Element moves! Oh yeah. They were just there because they were just there. Get what I mean? I thought at least we’ll be able to see some cool moves when they face off with Otohime but you know, she knows she won’t make it out alive based on numbers so that’s the end of it.

So forgettable everything else that was to advance the plot that if you don’t want to remember Himegami’s little background or her goal to find out if Takeru is the enemy, you can let that slide too. So what is about her brother already? What is it about her true form? Well, I guess we wouldn’t know if they don’t make another sequel, right? And that mark on Takeru’s chest? What is the significance of it? How will it impact everything? Like I said, the sequel. If there should be one. Maybe when Takeru saved Himegami during that fake date, she perhaps realized he is not the enemy. That’s what I concluded because she didn’t really say he is no longer a threat to her and resembles closely to her brother. As for Kamigari, from the way they show it, they will be Tenbi’s greatest threat and Maken-Ki’s opponent in the foreseeable future. However their presence was like touch-and-go in this season. Sure, it sounds like they are some grand mysterious badass group but they hardly make their presence felt here. You would be intrigued each time their name is mentioned but you’ll get nothing more out of it. Otohime and Kikyou may be part of the group but their last episode attack hardly do any justice to stamp Kamigari’s existence for this show. It feels like Otohime’s prank gone wrong on a big scale. That’s why I say the fanservice overshadows everything else.

The version that I saw, there are censors here and there so my guess if you want to see ‘everything’ ‘clearly’, you will have to get the DVDs. Yes, it is annoying that the white streaks of light are blocking out areas that every guy would definitely have their eyes focused intensely on, however this is not evident in every scene. Sometimes it’s like when the producers feel like it, they let some fanservice through to tease us and make us want more. Of course the more dangerous positions will be totally ‘white out’. The power fights are just an excuse for more fanservice display because for instance, the intensity of the powerful force will somewhat reveal the pantsu. So are you more interested in the fight or their coloured undies? Which brings me to my next point in this fanservice-ful fanservice. The girls’ uniform especially their skirt is so bloody short that it makes you wonder why they are even wearing it. The slightest wind blowing up will already reveal just about everything and if there is no wind, you can just tilt your head a little to catch a glimpse of what is underneath. It’s no wonder why boys are flocking to this academy since they have opened their doors to co-ed. Ironically for a show filled with fanservice, there is no beach episode!  Till the OVA, that is. And the water kibasen will be the only episode you’ll ever get to see the girls in their swimsuits for the TV series. Oh yeah. Don’t forget the mid-intermission filled with fanservice moments too.

And for buying the DVDs, you’ll get more fanservice specials. I think there are going to be 6 of them in total but I only watched the first special after too much numbing fanservice has diluted my interest. Really. You can expect lots of that and drool over the girls like in Special 1 gives us Haruko in training. It is something like Isshoni Training With Hinako. All we’re interested in are the fanservice close-ups when Haruko does her exercises. From push-ups to sit-ups, to squats to stretching and swinging of her bokuto. Our eyes are definitely focused on some other ‘juicy’ body parts other than her eyes :).  “Do your training every day and you will be awesome in no time”. I think watching her would be pretty awesome enough. Some perverts will take it further by ‘training’ a ‘little body part’ of theirs rigorously. Then you can peek at Haruko bathing and cleaning herself from all that sweat. Are we starting to like this training? So yeah, my guess is that the other specials may be something very much like this.

The action sequences are rather okay but I won’t say that you will be awed by it. Of course there are some exaggerative moments (like Takeru blowing away that unnamed enemy across the lake and even having his pants knocked off. That’s really funny) but I guess this is what happens when you combine magical elements with your usual combat skills. It is interesting to see that each of the character have their own Maken and skill however many of them especially the minor ones, you will only get to see a short glimpse of their Maken unleashing its power. It’s good that fights don’t last episodes after episodes but I wish that we could see a little more variety than just showing once and that’s it. Even for the main characters, Inaho’s Kamudo still remains a mystery on what it can do because all I see is that she materializes it and since it is hard enough, it is able to stop lots of attacks. But that’s about it. As for the humour factor, most of them depend on the ecchi fanservice. That’s what this series is about, right? So we got poor Takeru in the centre of different kind of ‘fights’. He gets beaten up by girls if he accidentally gets into perverted situations, he gets beaten up by boys because they are envious that he attracts all the babes and leaves them none, he gets beaten up by enemies who want to see his true power and he beats himself up if he finds he isn’t strong enough to overcome his own weakness and protect others. Funny, isn’t it? Not if you’re in Takeru’s shoes.

Well, I don’t know what else to say about the characters. They are pretty typical and stereotypic for this kind of genres. Takeru is the usual hero and though he may be a little perverted, he has his own integrity that he sticks too. He may be weak now but by practising harder, I’m sure he’ll be able to unleash the most powerful Element and Maken or whatever that is hidden latent inside his body that others will eventually view him as the most powerful of the powerful. Get what I mean? Oh, it’s a shame that when Takeru finally has got his own Maken implanted, he didn’t really get to show it off. Unless him absorbing all of the Elements in the final episode was it. Yeah, instead of making other Maken go berserk, his own went on a rampage. Haruko may be playing big sister to him but she’s displaying more and more tsundere behaviour towards Takeru. She is the person whom I bet Takeru would most likely end up with in his harem. For example if you remember when Syria becomes part of Takeru’s harem, that guy did mention even if she had huge melons, he didn’t fall for her. This could only mean one thing. Then he reacted when he heard Chacha’s comment about Haruko being in love. Was that concern out of jealousy? Himegami is the coolest character in the series because of her sadistic ways. She doesn’t let others control her and stand up to her if you dare. Of course at times she may blunder but that is nothing compared to the resident airhead as in Inaho. She and Syria are compatible in this area that’s why they are going to be good rivals for Takeru.

I guess Maken-Ki is such a big group that the other characters don’t really stand out (not talking about their boobs, mind you) and even if they do, it’s just for a while. Furan is the serious president but ever since Akaya makes his presence, she starts falling for that guy and would fluster if he’s around. Yuuka sure loves teasing her about this. Kimi’s interest in yaoi manga is scary (she was more worried about her torn manga when possessed Takeru went on a rampage) while Chacha is the dense funny foreigner and Azuki the tough chick. I wonder if Minaya is on good terms with Takeru after that Fumio incident. You need a guy who is more of a loser than the hero so that the hero could look good, right? Kengo fits that bill and though more perverted and more of a loser (because he doesn’t get the girls – they just flock to Takeru, haha), he too has his own ideals and would set Takeru straight if he feels he is doing something wrong (like when Inaho cried). I have already said about the Venus girls and their presence felt just to make it more the merrier. But I can’t help think that if they are on Maken-Ki’s side, wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest seeing that they too have their own orders from Kamigari? Gen and Akaya don’t really get along so there must be something that happened along the way. So being on Maken-Ki’s side is just a facade for something deeper or friends for good?

One thing that bugs me is that if Tenbi is once an all-girls’ school, how did Gen and Akaya end up with Minori and co as the first generation Maken-Ki? Unless it started out co-ed before it closed to girls only and then recently opened back up. Because as far as I remember, Gen is the guy who created Maken. Heck, why would I remember something that won’t be bothered expanded further in the show when I can just remember the mind numbing fanservice? And Tenbi being like a country of its own? Now, that is pushing it far. Yeah, it may be the hidden powers in that mountain. No matter how much interesting it is about what is so special about Tenbi that Kamigari would want to take over it so badly, thus probably the reason why it led Gen to create Maken, it will never be answered because of… The fanservice. I know. I said it so many times and it’s becoming annoying because really, that is what this series is going to be if you’re the kind that despises this type of genre.

Okay, so it is alright if you get into fights that are properly overseen. But it still feels weird to use fights to settle things or get what you want like in this show, get a girl to go out with you (what a shame for the boys to lose). What are you trying to inculcate by doing so? Sure, you might say that action speaks louder than words and that it is better to let your fist do the talking. I guess diplomacy is dead in this anime. Haha. Thus when Kamigari really do strike Tenbi, don’t expect to see everyone sit down obediently and quietly at a round table and talk things over. If you want something, grab it by force! A word of caution, though. To over-quote a superhero movie line: With great powers come great responsibilities. Make-n sure you use for powers for good and not for your own selfish means. Make-n sure you control your power and not let sure your power controls you. And of course… Make-n sure you makenai (don’t lose)!

As the saying goes, if you don’t succeed once, try, try and try again. ~De geso. So it is with glee and utmost happiness that our adorable squid girl has not given up on her self-appointed plans to invade mankind yet and thus calling forth for another sequel, Shinryaku!? Ika Musume S2. That’s right, call me a sadist but I just can’t help love seeing cute Ika getting owned and invaded herself due to her naivety and gullible character. Thus her invasions always end up in failure and often with hilarious unwanted results. Oh, Ika. You bring back the fond memories. Now you get to do it all over again with another dozen episodes :).

In animes with their titles having an exclamation mark, usually another exclamation mark will be displayed if a sequel is spawned. For instance, Himawari!! and Hayate No Gotoku!! But for this series’ case, we have a question mark instead. I can only think of a reason. That is, we’re not sure if Ika is going to have a successful invasion or not. Haha! I bet you already know the answer. Putting a question mark next to the exclamation mark may signify disbelief and it is possible you might feel that way because you know, if Ika wanted to invade mankind, she would have done it a long time ago. The sequel follows the same pattern and style as in its predecessor so expect to see the same kind of hilarious jokes and antics Ika and the rest of the gang at the beach-side town of Yuigahama and the seaside family restaurant, Lemon that Ika is forced to work in. The wall that was accidentally destroyed by the squid girl and therefore the need to work to pay back for it. Hey, it still isn’t fixed. Maybe they really want to keep her….

Episode 1A: Won’t You Invade?
Ika gets emotional after watching an alien invasion movie. Well, the alien lost and died. She is being reminded by Eiko to get to work and even if Ika did blame them that they are the ones who interfered with her plans, all she ever did after that as a freeloader was playing games and read manga. Shameful. So is she going to pick a fight with a killer whale? She’ll die. How about with Chizuru? She’ll definitely die. See, peace is the best. However Ika isn’t going to be put down and plans to set forth her invasion plans. Walking on the beach, Takeru’s ball rolls up to her. Thinking it’s a bomb like in the movie, she throws it into the sea, much to his ire. She feels pretty good that she has taken care of her obstacles even if the bomb is fake. When Cindy wants to interview her, she thinks her tape recorder is a trap and breaks it! At Lemon, she pushes Nagisa away when she thinks a timer is a bomb (Nagisa more afraid than ever of course). Sanae wants to film her but Ika instantly runs away! Gorou wants to treat Ika to a plate of shrimp pilaf (to impress Chizuru of course) but Ika thinks he’ll poison it and denies (although she was drooling a moment ago). Ika goes back to Lemon and starts her invasion plan by standing on a table. Of course everyone will be wondering what the heck this is about. Stealing some prawns in the fried rice and excreting black squid ink on Sanae and Cindy. They find the ink delicious. Then she starts her invasion but felt her hair tentacle being pulled as she crashes to the ground. Oh, it’s Chizuru. See those deadly eyes? I hope she hears her warning not to run wild in the shop. Instantly Ika becomes docile and apologizes on her knees!!! Super effective! After Chizuru apologizes everyone for the commotion, Ika thinks her first stage of her invasion plan has concluded. Did it even begin?!

Episode 1B: Is That A Love Rival?
Kiyomi pays Ika a visit at Lemon. Though Eiko notes she is a good girl, she wishes she won’t stay here. That’s because a deadly aura is stemming out from Sanae… Oh, she’s really jealous Ika is getting along fine with her. Yeah, this is not good. At least for Sanae. Eiko tries to make Kiyomi leave by letting Ika off earlier but Kiyomi is waiting for her club members to arrive. Tomomi Mochizuki, Yuka Nishimura and Ayano Watanabe arrive and Sanae is shocked to see Ika has so many other friends other than her (was she living under a rock? Oh, under her delusions rather). She tries to eavesdrop on their conversation but caught red-handed. In a panic, she tries to explain she is not a suspicious person and blurts out she loves Ika. Sanae is surprised that none laughed at her despite her screw up because they admit they love Ika too. Sanae realizes that everyone loves Ika. For instance if Nagisa really hated her, she wouldn’t have continued working here. However she is still bothered that Ika doesn’t like her. Kiyomi asks Ika’s opinion about them so she says she doesn’t hate them. So does this mean she doesn’t dislike Sanae? Nope. She still dislikes her. Oh, the heartbreak. Seeing Sanae sad, Ika changes her mind and this causes Sanae to be happy. That creeps her out as she takes back her words. Sad again. Like you. Happy. Dislike you. Sad. Maybe not. Happy. On second thought… This cycle goes on and on so much so Eiko is disgusted by it. She thought Kiyomi and her friends would be disgusted too but is shocked to see them finding her funny.

Episode 1C: Isn’t It A Jellyfish?
Due to the sudden jellyfish invasion in the sea, lots of customers are being treated. Ika relishes this divine punishment on humans and decides to go join them, only to get stung. Haha! Ika helps collect the jellyfish and sees Gorou doing the same. She teases him for just collecting a small bag as opposed to her big catch. However it soon breaks and she gets stung all over. So that’s why… Ika wants to have a competition to see who can collect more jellyfish. At first Gorou refuses but Chizuru mentions she wants to oversee the competition. Seeing 2 people aren’t enough, she gathers more people in which the one catching the most jellyfish wins a prize. With the beach-goers chipping in, the jellyfish catching is on the way. Ika thinks she is getting ahead of those puny humans with her large catch (she never learns, doesn’t she?) and even stealing from others. Then a rightful divine intervention when her tentacles got tangled and cause her to drop everything. It’s that stinging feeling again. At the end of the day, Ika is confident she is going to bag the big prize and tries to brag to Gorou. But it doesn’t matter to him who wins or lose, he is moved that everyone helped in to make the sea a better place. Ika didn’t like his answer and proclaims she loves the sea more than anybody. Chizuru announces the winner to be… Cindy and her scientists!!! Woah! They’ve got bag loads of jellyfish! Eiko is suspicious how they’ve gotten so much. Did they cheat? As they explain, they catch one first, then use a ray gun to duplicate them! Behold the wonders of science! Eiko kicks them and reminds them they should be ridding them instead of multiplying them!

Episode 2A: Won’t You Go To Elementary School?
Ika follows Takeru to his class and thinks she can handle the kids. However she got owned by them. The teacher, Aiko Saito however is upset that this squid girl has stolen the hearts of her beloved students and is completely ignored. Worse, the kids side with her so she sinks into depression and turns the class into a self study session. Ika, thinking she has won over the kids, starts preaching her propaganda to get back at humans and take back the beautiful sea. Everyone rallies behind her as Ika leads them out to the field. However she is bumped into by a bunch of football bullies who are always hogging the field. She wants to settle this via football. She doesn’t even know what that game is. Of course Ika is a klutz because she keeps missing the ball! To solve that problem, she uses her tentacles to score a goal. However it’s a handball and it doesn’t count (note the kanji for tentacles has ‘hand’ in it too). Ika still needs to do something to show off and has her teammates pass the ball to her. But each time, she fails to even kick it! They let her be the goalkeeper and her tentacles are stretched all over the post. How can anyone possibly score like that? The opponent kicks and since the ball is too fast, Ika chickens out and lets it through! As Ika is losing confidence, the bullies feel it’s bad to not allow her to use her weird hair (because she’s pretty much useless without it) and with the class cheering for her, they don’t want to look like the bad guy. So they conspire to let Ika score a goal. The game ends in a tie so Ika tells everyone to get along and to share the field. Everyone is surprised the bullies actually listened to her. Ika feels nice being praised when Aiko returns. She is going to have her students back. Ika is confident about their unity that won’t fall apart easily but… Aiko treats them to ice cream and instantly all the students flock to her side! Where the heck was the loyalty?

Episode 2B: Won’t You Cosplay?
Noticing they don’t have many female customers, Chizuru and Eiko feel they need a hot guy to attract them. Who? Use Nagisa. Well, with a different hairstyle, she definitely looks like a man. Even she herself notes she is mistaken as a man sometimes. The tactic is successful to bring in the ladies but Ika wants to reveal her true character and scares her. Nagisa needs to show everyone her cool side and hides her fear, much to Ika’s dismay. Now needing male customers, Minamikaze’s Owner sends his daughter Ayumi to them to help work on her shyness. Ayumi is put in a maid outfit as Chizuru gives her some knuckle weapon just in case for self defence. Isozaki comes in as usual to hit on girls and is going to ask Ayumi out. Ayumi summons her courage to ask his order. At this point, Isozaki gets scared upon seeing her weapon and becomes a good boy. This boosts Ayumi’s confidence because every guy who sees her weapon doesn’t dare to do funny stuff. Ika felt she is being sidelined (invaded rather) by Nagisa and Ayumi and wants to cosplay too but Eiko notes she is already cosplaying as a squid! Haha! Owner returns and is not happy to see Ayumi dressed as a maid. He feels she is no different when she wore that squid girl outfit and takes her home. Then it hit Nagisa as she realized she is no different too. The reason she can stand up to Ika is because she is dressed up as a guy. It’s the same as running away. Next day, Nagisa doesn’t want to be a man anymore so Chizuru is okay with it since she made her do it against her will. Ika comes in dressed as Queen Ikazabeth (?!) and starts gathering her loyal subjects. The only thing she got are puzzled stares from the beach-goers and those who truly bow down and want to do as she commands are Sanae, Cindy and the scientists trio of Martin, Harris and Clark. Ika suddenly doesn’t feel like cosplaying anymore…

Episode 2C: Won’t You Lose Some Weight?
On a hot day, Ika and Eiko are shocked to see Sanae dressed up in a training outfit. This intense heat could kill her. Her purpose is to lose weight but she doesn’t look fat. Actually, she recently has this habit of putting Ika’s picture while she’s eating. Before she knows it, she ate too much and has gained weight. Hah. Ika feels like she is some kind of side dish. So as they talk about weight and dieting, they wonder how much Ika weighs. Only 100kg?! Chizuru thinks the scale is broken. Eiko didn’t think so but suddenly Chizuru power chops the scale into half, asserting it IS broken! Oh sh*t! I guess this means she did put on some weight, eh? Back home, Chizuru is still concerned about her weight and with the newly bought scale, she has Ika weigh again. This time only 30kg?! How did she shed 70kg so fast? Ika demonstrates her bracelet which can alter her weight depending on the situation. This is to complement her power when picking up heavy things as she needs to be heavy in order to do so. Wondering how light she can possibly get, Ika tests it out and gets blown away by the wind! Only 0.0005kg! Ah, every girl would love to have that bracelet. Ika gets an idea to conquer the land, air and sea with her light weight. As she soars through the sky, suddenly an eagle grabs her as food!!! HELP!!! I don’t know how, but Ika is able to come back alive (albeit messed up) and because Chizuru still wants to have a look at her bracelet, they struggle and this causes Ika to become heavy as she sinks deep into the ground. Man, at 20,000kg, she might be going all the way to the other side of the world.

Episode 3A: Won’t You Take A Walk?
Alex is disheartened that Sanae pays more attention to that squid girl instead of her own pet dog. Jealousy looms… Even dogs have feelings, you know. The last straw came when Sanae starts hugging visiting Ika in her new straw hat and sandals like nobody’s business so Alex bites Ika’s leg. Noticing the jealousy, it’ll be bad if Ika starts to hate Alex and won’t come round to play anymore. So it is suggested that they both go for a walk to get to know each other. How to guarantee that crazy dog won’t bite her? If he does, one bite = one less meal. Along the way, Ika notices the pretty useless and lame dog Alex is when interacting with other dogs of different sizes (acting big and getting scared) and even getting lost. However she realizes that she too is the same so she makes up with Alex and tries to look on a positive note. Getting an idea watching someone play fetch, Ika throws her sandals but Alex is reluctant to go get it. After all that yelling, Alex finally gets his bum moving but throws her sandals into a house compound. Ika threatens him to get it back. Alex enters but is faced with a menacing dog. Alex can’t put up a fight due to their size difference so luckily Ika is there to protect him. After a little struggle and cooperation, they both manage to escape. Ika reconciles with Alex and thinks he has done a good job though the sandal is torn. When they reach home, Sanae is concerned that Ika is all messed up. Yes, she is ONLY concerned with Ika. Alex gets so jealous that she bites Ika’s leg. Back to square one…

Episode 3B: Won’t You Exercise?
Ika notices a bunch of kids coming to shore to do some radio exercise. She couldn’t understand the funny movements. Is this brainwashing? But it turned them from lifeless lumps to bundles of energy. Because of that, Ika can’t concentrate on her job back at Lemon as she can’t get the music out of her head and starts re-enacting those weird poses. Cindy thought she is doing some alien calling, Nagisa fears she is doing some new scary ability, Sanae misinterprets that Ika finally accepts her love! Not! Eiko thinks she is looking for a fight and even punches her in the face! Ika accidentally spills a bowl over Chizuru and apologizes. Realizing this is one of the exercise moves, she continues with subsequent moves but Chizuru thinks she is fooling around. See the knife coming out? Yikes! Ika decides to join the exercise next morning and when it starts, her tentacles accidentally hit and knock out all the kids! After finishing it at a safe distance, she is given a card to stamp her first attendance. At first she fears that she got stamped for the sake of her health but finds out from Takeru that completing the card would allow her to get a prize. So the next day, she returns with the card fully stamp with her own stamp. Yeah, don’t come back anymore.

Episode 3C: Won’t You Help?
Gorou notices Ika’s speedy tentacles in retrieving the boys’ ball deep in the ocean. He thinks she can be a good lifeguard. Reluctant at first, of course he tells her about the rewards and one of them being Chizuru’s specially made bento. Yeah, Ika ate them all. For the sake for another lifeguard, Gorou is willing to put up with it. Gorou takes Ika to patrol and demonstrates what they should do. All she understands it’s some kind of warning. Easy? Well, she took it too literally and prevents most of the beach-goers from having fun. Yeah, everything is just dangerous, eh? Then while cleaning up the rubbish, she spots shrapnel in the sea and prevent a couple of boys from getting into the water. Gorou thought she once again was getting in their way and gives up on her and felt he made the wrong decision to ask her for help. I guess she didn’t explain it too well about the rubbish men made polluting the ocean. Later, 4 boys are seen drowning and calling for help. Gorou and Isozaki rush but no matter how fast they swim, they won’t make it in time. Ika’s tentacles made it in time to pull them out. While their mothers apologize and thank Ika (Ika giving them her own advice), Gorou realizes that even if she is not a lifeguard, she’ll always be watching and protecting others.

Episode 4A: Won’t You Speak English?
Because Takeru is lost for words when a foreigner asked him for directions, he runs to Eiko to teach him English. Ika also wants to learn because she’ll be invading America soon. Haha. Big joke. So their tutor will be Cindy. Takeru wished every American was like her who can speak Japanese fluently but Ika takes it the wrong way. Yeah, she doesn’t want every American to be a crazy scientist after her ass. With English lessons starting, Eiko is disheartened not only she doesn’t understand a single word, but Takeru himself can speak some due to the TV shows he watched. What more, Ika is learning so fast that she too can speak English! Although they are mostly about invasion. But will Eiko accept Ika teaching others?! Even Chizuru can speak good English. Wow. Eiko must feel left out. So over the next few hilarious scenes, we have Eiko and Cindy talking different subjects and misinterpreting each other. For instance Cindy thought Eiko considers her colleagues as psycho (she meant ‘saikou’ (the best) – referring the drink she was drinking), she thought Eiko called her a bimbo (‘binbou’ (poor) – comparing their house to hers), next lesson will be Monday night (‘mondai nai’ (no problem – seeing Cindy looks apologetic), must eat duck meat (‘itadakimasu’) and it ends with Cindy rushing out in panic thinking there is an alligator (‘arigatou’ – thank you). Eiko is pretty confident that though they may not be able to speak the same language, they communicated via heart. If she had only knew. The next time Eiko passes by a foreigner, she is ready to show off her English skills. When he asks about the train station, Eiko responds “I’ll kill you”. I don’t know why she even glared at him with that death stare. The foreigner got so scared and runs away. Yeah, better to find it himself. So what did Eiko actually say? Arukeru yo (You can walk there). Now we know some words we shouldn’t mix English and Japanese…

Episode 4B: Won’t You Stop?
Eiko surprises Ika with a tickle. Ika does it to herself but doesn’t find it surprising. Eiko explains it doesn’t work on oneself. Oh no. See that cheeky gleam in Ika’s eye? Her first victim is to harass Nagisa. Of course it works. Of course when the real pervert Sanae wants her to tickle her to her heart’s content, Ika ignores her and tickles other customers. Though she is made to stop, Ika gets confidence she can take down Chizuru. Eiko warns her not to as this will mean a declaration of war. Still, squid girl doesn’t listen. Ika sneaks up on Chizuru and tickles her but there is no effect! Oh sh*t! Now she’s going to get it… Chizuru tickles her till she almost dies laughing. But now Ika can’t stop hiccupping. Something bad will happen if she hiccups 30 times. Her tentacles will be mutilated and go out of control attacking everyone. WTF?! Anyway to stop it, they must make her happy. They go to great lengths to please her like letting her win a video game, body massage, giving her an allowance and even a sumptuous lobster and prawn meal but it didn’t work. Chizuru has had it and gets rough with Ika. Oh God. Say your last words. Nooo!!! Ika starts apologizing profusely but Chizuru strikes at her throat! Or at least the wall next behind. Seems it is just a scheme to scare her and cure her hiccups. It worked! Ika is so happy to be alive that she finds this a new form of happiness. Yeah, good for her.

Episode 4C: Won’t You Flow?
Ika follows Takeru and his friends to the river. Takeru teaches her to make a leaf boat and Ika makes one that has a rock as a passenger. The boys are in a dilemma to tell her it will sink or not because they don’t want to ruin her pride. One of them manages to convince Ika to exchange the rock for a fake light rock. Then it’s race time so everybody agrees to let Ika win because they know she is a sore loser. As the race begins, everyone’s leaf boat is faster so they sabotage to sink their own boat. Though Ika’s boat is left, she chases it to see how far it can flow. I don’t know how, Ika transforms into her chibi mini self and goes on a little fascinating adventure downstream. Ika is disheartened her leaf boat gets swallowed by the ocean but soon realizes the river is connected to the sea. Nearby is Lemon and the place she calls home. But it’s not Lemon but Lennon! OMG! It’s John and Yoko! Still so hippy as ever! Peace and love, baby! So how far has Ika gone to? Who knows? Takeru and friends are already back at Lemon wondering where that squid girl has gone to.

Episode 5A: Isn’t It Radio Controlled?
Takeru saves up his hard earned money to buy a remote controlled truck. He treasures it very much so it’s a heart stopping moment each time he sees Ika handle it in a way that almost crashes it. Ika thinks of playing it outside since the space inside the house is too small but Takeru won’t risk it. When Takeru went over to Yuuta’s house to play a new video game, Ika thinks it is okay to take the truck out herself. Soon she immerses herself in fun and the expected happened: She accidentally crashes it into a wall. Knowing Takeru will be mad, she tries to cover up that she will be his remote control toy. Obviously it seems odd that Ika moves to the command of the remote control so Eiko hijacks it and wants her to clean the toilet! Surprisingly Ika cleans the toilet and they both smell something fishy. As Eiko finds the broken truck in the drawer, guilt ridden Ika apologizes to Takeru about what happened. Takeru dismisses it that toys break down often but his actions do not seem to match his words as Takeru runs away. A few days later Takeru gets a brand new truck and it is even an upgraded version. Thanks to the scientist trio of course. But in exchange they get to borrow Ika for a day! Oh sh*t! Takeru presses a suspicious button as the truck transforms and flies away into the sky! Looks like they’re going to get an earful from Eiko…

Episode 5B: Isn’t It Tanabata?
Ika learns about writing wishes on Tanabata and wants to do so. However Eiko tells her off not to be greedy to write ALL of her wishes and can only write down one. Good luck thinking. Lemon is lively because of the Tanabata bamboo tree and of course the important thing is not whether one’s wish comes true or not but rather the fun of think about the things one like. So we have Nagisa’s wish to see squid girl’s invasion fail and even the scientist trio ironically seeking God’s intervention to solve the mysteries of aliens. Ika is still thinking hard on which wish to put down. She wants all of them. To be the strongest, to grow taller, to have shrimp meals… Eiko tries to advice her about being selfish and shows Kiyomi’s as an example in hopes she could learn something. But Kiyomi panics and takes back her wish (something about having bigger breasts). She blanks it out before anybody finds out. Eiko’s wish is to pass her grade as Ika learns the history and tradition of Tanabata. Sanae explains the Hikoboshi and Orihime love tale that they could only see each other once a year. Ika finds that not bad when Sanae thinks they could become like that pair. Why? Because she only gets to see her once a year! Haha! Still thinking what her wish should be, Takeru and his friends show Ika their support as they write down their hopes for her successful invasion. Their greatest wish is for her to be happy so they don’t mind not making their own personal wish. Ika is touched by their kindness simply because now she can write her wish to eat an ocean of shrimp. Yeah, maybe she could just find others to fulfil her other wishes. Ika is devastated to see lots of world peace wishes on the tree and is distraught this will ruin her invasion plan. Wasn’t her wish to eat shrimps? Eiko reminds her happiness comes in different forms to different people but most of the wishes hanging there are pretty selfish ones… Chizuru’s wish: Hoping Ika will work here forever; Cindy and her scientists: Hoping to examine Ika; Sanae: Wanting to be forever united with Ika. Ika realizes she has asked for too much and now knows the only truly thing she wants: To be safe. I have a feeling it won’t come true…

Episode 5C: Can’t I Play Alone?
Takeru is bored stuck at home seeing all his friends have their own plans. Ika joins him in watching TV and laughs at every programme because she thought everyone’s voice was just plain funny. They are told by Eiko to get out and play since it’s a waste to watch TV on a beautiful day. But she herself goes back to her room to try out her new video game… Ika takes Takeru to the park and teaches that guy to be a Play Alone Meister since he always get caught up in playing with his friends and doesn’t know other ways to have fun. Yeah well, Ika is sure good at that because she has been doing it since coming on land… Get what she means? While Takeru ponders the best way to play by himself, Ika gets bitten by an ant and thinks of following it back to its base and invade it! WTF?! She observes it till she finds a couple of nasty boys destroying the ants’ base. She scares them away and saves the base. Ika and Takeru return home and tell Eiko and Chizuru about their day. Takeru feels he has a lot to learn about playing alone but one thing still bugs Eiko. Couldn’t they have played together?

Episode 6A: Won’t You Jog?
Gorou joins Chizuru and co jogging. Ika, Eiko and Takeru decide to take a break so the duo continue on their own. I guess it’s a chance for that guy to be closer to his crush. After the trio’s curry break, they go round town sightseeing and visit the Buddha statue at the temple. Ika is frightened by its size so Eiko teases her by striking fear into what this Buddha could do to her if she has an evil heart. Then when they enter inside the statue, Ika realizes she has been had. They have ice cream at the end of the day and Ika felt the spirit of creating something that big reminded her of what humans are capable of. Elsewhere Gorou is having a hard time keeping up with Chizuru. Obviously he can’t lose out to a girl, right? But Chizuru isn’t breaking into a sweat. Even Gorou himself ran out of water and had to borrow some from Chizuru. By the end of the day, he still can’t admit that he’s at his limit and wants to carry on despite Chizuru mentioning not to overexert himself. And yeah, Chizuru is going to run more as part of her diet plan. Though Chizuru reaches home and notes she only ran half the distance today, Gorou is probably dead tired at his doorstep.

Episode 6B: Isn’t That An SP?
Sanae gets whacked when she tries her usual harassment on Ika. Takeru’s friends show up and warn her about giving Ika a hard time. They proclaim they are Ika’s protectors. But don’t you think it is mankind who should be protected from her invasion? Sanae realizes by becoming an SP, she’ll get to be close to Ika so she returns all dressed up like one. She assures them her feelings come second to her duties to protect Ika and accidentally ‘protects’ Ika from a bird dropping. The friends are convinced and let her be Ika’s SP.  A fluke?! That easy?!  Sanae continues to put up a serious presence, scaring customers away with from Lemon her intense staring, helping Ika cross the road, taste her food for poison and yeah, pop up right in the middle of the bathtub when Ika had made sure her surroundings are clear (Ika’s scream was hilarious!). Sanae stands guard outside and Ika couldn’t sleep knowing that fact. She counts shrimps to sleep. She got knocked out by the third count… Sanae is fighting herself to resist the temptation to go see Ika’s sleeping face. Eventually she gives in but falls into her own traps. In the end she falls out the window. It’s amazing she didn’t even scream considering all the traps (especially that painful bear paw trap she stepped in). Sanae realizes she forgot about her duty so the next morning, Eiko and Ika are surprised to see messed up Sanae tied outside the house. What happened? Sanae has ‘caught the bad guy’. Is this a joke?

Episode 6C: Won’t You Take A Trip?
It’s time for another adventure and dialogue-less mini Ika segment. We see the tiny Ika waking up from her comfy enclosure to do some clean up. She gets spooked by a rubber whale and gets blown away on a paper sheet out the window like a magic carpet. She got attacked by an eagle but it soon drops her down to the garden. There, she has fun by herself and sleeps on the sunflower till it starts raining. She takes refuge in a food can and misses her nice owner Eiko. The rain clears up and she is startled by a frog by it is nice enough to give her a ride. Ika walks along till she finds herself in a doll house and once again starts missing Eiko. Then a couple of cats start chasing her before cornering and playing toss with the little squid. But they make a run for it when they see a dog, Alex. Ika is knocked out unconscious when Alex sneezes. When she wakes up, she finds herself in the warm palms of Eiko as they return back home. I remember the last time this was a sick dream by Sanae. The good news is that this isn’t her dream. Bad news? THIS IS GOROU’S DREAM!!! WTF???!!! It’s giving that guy the chills!

Episode 7A: Won’t You Welcome Our Guests?
Owner wants Ika, Eiko and Chizuru to come to his house after work. Eiko spots those hideous Ika masks used as flower pots. She thought Ika is going to relive those bad memories but thankfully she didn’t recognize them. The trio are puzzled and felt awkward inside the house because Owner is being a little loud and pushy, not wanting them to do anything. Did they make him mad somehow? As Ayumi points out, he is in fact happy in every way. How could you tell anyway? He’s been asking them questions that he couldn’t care less and then goes off to make something. Eiko panics that he wants to keep them prisoners here (he comes out time to time flashing his knife!). Eiko wants to go to the toilet so Owner shows her and Ika the way. Ika tries out the high tech toilet but when she comes out, she felt depressed and like as though she has been violated. Eiko peeps inside to see those hideous Ika masks on the wall and as the toilet bowl!!! Owner treats them to a delicious meal and dessert and it is revealed this is his thanks to them. Ever since Ayumi went to their place, she is able to express her feelings more. Though she still has a hard time dealing with men, at least there are impressive improvements. He hopes they would take care of her now. The pleasure is theirs but since it’s already late, he kicks them out and tells them to go home. Some hospitality…

Episode 7B: Isn’t It Amnesia?
As Ika rushes downstairs for her favourite fried shrimp, she trips and falls hard, knocking her head. Yup, she got amnesia and doesn’t know who Eiko and co are or what she’s doing here. But she got easily tamed when they feed her the fried shrimp. However Ika’s body must be reacting to instinct when she suddenly bows down and apologizes that she can’t accept a shrimp from Chizuru. Hehe… Cindy and Sanae find out about this and try to implant fake memories that she’s an alien or lover. Even Chizuru had her fun by saying she is Eiko’s sister! Ika finds it hard to believe which story but settles for Chizuru’s. Yeah, Ika calling Eiko her onee-chan is creeping Eiko out! Ika still isn’t sure what she really is so Chizuru tells her what she knows: She’s from the sea, doesn’t like sharks, loves shrimps and if she takes off her ‘hat’, she’ll die. Ika instantly starts laughing because she couldn’t believe she comes from the sea. Or else why would she be breathing air, right? Yeah, I’d like to know too. As for the ‘hat’ part, she tries to take it off but couldn’t. She forces it and starts bleeding! In that instant, she gets all her memories back and her life flashed before her eyes. She remembers everything except, well, anything that has to do with Sanae. Who is she? Haha! Maybe she really doesn’t want to remember her.

Episode 7C: Won’t You Join A Club?
Ika meets up with Kiyomi and her friends as they talk about clubs. Ika wants to join an Invasion Club and if there is none existent, she’ll make one. Her friends are excited and agree to join her. Ika makes Lemon the club room. Her friends wonder what this club does and Ika doesn’t have an answer! WTF?! Since they’ll be doing invasion, they come up with an idea by drawing a map of places Ika has ‘invaded’ like Lemon, Eiko’s house and school. By drawing a connecting line, they sum that the area in between have been invaded. Great idea, eh? So it seems ‘invading’ is going around having fun at places like bowling, family restaurants, shopping malls and pool complex. Yeah, everybody is having a great time ‘invading’. They have got the entire town ‘captured’ at this rate. One rainy day, Kiyomi is absent from the usual club meet. She never turned up so the meeting disbanded. Eiko thought the club is done for because Ika forced them to join and they may have started to get bored. Well, Ika’s confidence is so low that she may even believe that! Have some faith, will you! It is learnt that Kiyomi is having a cold so Eiko suggests this is a perfect opportunity for their club. Ika and the girls visit Kiyomi and consider her home ‘invaded’. And what do you know? Ika catches Kiyomi’s cold so it’s now their turn to visit and ‘invade’ her home. Wait a minute. Squids getting sick?

Episode 8A: Won’t You Watch Over My House?
Eiko and Ika see Sanae setting up surveillance cameras via her laptop as precaution against burglars. Ika is left to watch the house herself but she quickly opens the door upon hearing a shrimp salesperson. However it’s just a trap by Eiko to test whether she’s worthy. She doesn’t trust her but Ika assures she’ll not fall for the trick again. Ika rules the house but finds it boring to do things by herself and dozes off. A robber comes in but is shocked to see Ika. But Ika thinks it is Chizuru’s dad! How otherwise would he enter the house? Actually the door was unlocked. In order to avoid being found out, the robber plays along with dumb Ika. I guess he ended up playing video games with her too. WTF?! He then learns Ika isn’t part of this family as she brags about invading this house. What the robber understands is that she is probably just like him and that she was trying to get away when she thought he was the father and relieved upon finding out he is not. He becomes friendly with her and asks the kind of places she invades. Bowling alleys, family restaurants, shopping malls and pool complex. Yeah, those places of ‘invasion’. Hey, they even ‘invaded’ the police beat box. He thinks she must be some pro and having her own organization (Invasion Club lah) and wants to join. Then he sees her coolly turning away a person passing around a circular like a pro. Then he realizes she is just watching the house and has been had. He sends her to go get Chizuru so he could use this time to rob. Ika happily goes to Lemon to inform of the good news but the sisters are suspicious. Then Eiko realizes it is a real burglar and rushes home. However they see the police handcuffing him away. Thanks to Sanae’s surveillance cameras, she is able to call the police and apprehend the criminal in time. Holy sh*t! Aren’t that places in their house?! Real stalker! No privacy! So remember, keep your doors locked at all times!

Episode 8B: Won’t You Cut It Off?
Ika follows a trail of shrimps and ends up trapped in the cage. Yeah, the scientist trio are happy they can experiment her to their heart’s content but when Eiko mentions about telling Chizuru, I guess they still remember how fearsome she is and drop the idea. Ika feels ashamed over her addiction to prawns so she is going to stop that habit. Can she? Chizuru dangles her favourite fried shrimp so she can’t resist and takes a bite. However it’s laced with poison so Chizuru says sayonara. While Ika is choking, Chizuru reveals she was just lying and warns if she takes them from the store again and they’ll be poisoned. So if she can’t control herself, she’ll end up dead? Well, it’s a way to tell her to lay her hands off the customers’ shrimp. Yeah, that ‘Please don’t feed the squid’ sign looks ridiculous. At least we know Ika isn’t totally obsessed with shrimps because Sanae comes dressed in one and she is more freaked out than turned on. Other than that, Ika is having a hard time trying to hold it in. It must be really unfair because of all days, the supermarket is having a shrimp fair and Kiyomi’s mom has made a curry shrimp for her. So pitiful that Ika even starts biting the leaflet with shrimp or the TV featuring a great lobster. Doesn’t taste the same, eh? Then she couldn’t take it anymore and gives in. She runs to the store to find all shrimps are out of sale, none are left at the sushi shop’s conveyor belt and in her desperate attempt jumps into the sea but gets trapped in the net. Unlucky day… Ika continues to see shrimp in just about everything. The rock, dog, statue, etc… Even if Eiko and Takeru did give her a real lobster, Ika just didn’t have the mood. Chizuru gives her gyoza dumplings in which she starts glomping them all. Inside the dumplings are little shrimp and while Ika continues to stuff her face reiterating she hates shrimps, she’s finishing the plate… Just get over it.

Episode 8C: Isn’t It Heatstroke?
Due to heatstroke and dehydration at Lemon, Ika collapses and finds herself in the lifeguard’s first aid booth. The doctor wants her to rest till feels better. Then Gorou comes in with another heatstroke patient: Sanae. Oh God! Don’t leave that dangerous thing here alone with Ika! Too bad, she has got to put up with 30 minutes of rest time. And during this time, Ika can’t help worry, feel anxious as her mind starts going wild thinking about the harassing things Sanae would do once she wakes up and take advantage over her weak condition. A minute seems like an eternity as Ika prays really hard. Very, very hard. She can put shame to all those church-goers. Yeah, suddenly God really exists. Ika is relieved when Eiko comes in to check on her but that is short-lived because she has to go back to help with the busy store. No! Don’t go! It’s back to that nervousness again. What would she do? What would she do???!!! Even if Eiko is sure Sanae won’t abuse the situation, this isn’t enough to calm Ika’s heart. She thinks of using the water bottle to defend herself in case when suddenly Sanae jumps up! Ika got a heart attack and faints. When she wakes up, she finds Sanae not in her bed and thinks it’s a good chance to escape while she still can. Then it’s not the doctor who comes in but Sanae! Oh sh*t! However Sanae gives her a water bottle and thanks her that the drinking water she gave her made her feel better. She’ll treasure it for the rest of her life. Ika realized that water bottle in her hand just became her sacrifice! Getting freaky… Sanae wants to take care of her but Ika isn’t convinced. She assures it’s unfair to take advantage of someone who is helpless (can we trust her?). Sanae stays true to her words and treats Ika like a queen. Getting use to it, eh? But what happens when she’s back to normal? See that glint in her eye? See her wanting Ika to get well soon? Maybe she’ll take her time recovering… Yeah, the heatstroke must be getting to her.

Episode 9A: Won’t You Play House?
A little girl named Risa wants Ika to marry her! Do we need another rival?! Actually, she wants her to play house and Ika is supposed to be her husband. After explaining what playing house means, all Ika understood was she has family issues. Eiko comes looking for Ika but was forced to play house too and becomes Ika’s wife. Sanae happened to pass by and didn’t like what she saw. She scolds Eiko over her ‘betrayal’. Risa ropes her in and makes Sanae Ika’s mistress. Oh God. I think most of the time Sanae isn’t acting and wants to bring Ika to her love nest for real. With Kiyomi passing by, Sanae goes into defensive mode blabbing about that rivalry thingy. Risa is thrilled a love triangle is forming. Yeah, real life drama. So she makes Kiyomi Ika’s new lover. So we’ve got a cat fight on the cards as the ladies want Ika to choose between them (Sanae isn’t even considered). It gets complicated when Risa changes the situation to Kiyomi being pregnant. All that drama turn into some life threatening thing for Risa as Ika ‘sacrifices’ herself to save her. Risa returns home after a satisfying house and Ika wonders what kind of family she comes from. Seems Risa loves watching dramatic soap operas. That’s where she gets her ideas. From the idiot box…

Episode 9B: Didn’t We Have Plans?
Chizuru and Eiko give Ika their unwanted bag and organizer. Though she lists down the things to do in her organizer, she doesn’t know what else to do in her big bag till she bumps into Kiyomi who gives her good tips. Seeing Kiyomi’s organizer has lots of stuff written down, Ika takes the initiative to be like her. Though it may be good Ika sticks to her plans, but it is getting annoying to the point she actually follows them to the very dot. This means she leaves a job unfinished if it’s time is up and moves on the next thing on her list, much to Eiko’s ire. Suddenly Ika is faced with a dilemma on what to do because there are several stuffs that needs her attention at once and they are not in her plan. She starts panicking and goes haywire. Then she senses crazy Sanae rushing and how did she elude her? Hide in the bag! Phew. Meeting Kiyomi again and telling her how her plans didn’t work out, Kiyomi explains that sometimes she can’t follow her plan. But Ika takes this the wrong way and thinks it is okay to skip it. Yeah, an excuse for being lazy. So all her planning on invasion, she completely ignored the schedule, eh? So why draw it up in the first place? One day Ika dropped her organizer and Sanae picked it up and read her plans before returning it to Eiko. Why is she so calm and honest? That’s because Sanae is going to wait for Ika when she shows up at the hotspring next weekend. However we know Ika isn’t going to follow it and changes it to the amusement park so Sanae can soak there all alone for how long she wants.

Episode 9C: Won’t You Go To The Amusement Park?
Ika is excited to head to an old amusement park with Chizuru, Eiko and Takeru, though she doesn’t even know what an amusement park is. From the way Eiko explain things, Ika gets spooked because all that pops up in her imagination is Sanae. That scary, huh? Upon arrival, it seems the park has only coffee cup rides! The ticket seller explains due to lack of customers (thus lack of revenue) and the economy, this once big park has its land sold in order for it to be maintained. And with the lack of staff throughout the years, he is the only person left because they couldn’t afford hiring others and he wanted to keep this place alive. But he says after today, the park will officially close for good. Eiko is touched by his story and vows to have fun for the entire duration (they bought whole-day tickets – on a scrappy piece of paper. Hah! No money to even do a proper ticket). Ika is having a blast but Eiko soon finds herself with motion sickness. To her dismay, the park will close in 10 more hours so it’ll be bad if she goes out on her promise. She tries an animal ride. It may be cheap 10 Yen but the duration was so freaking short! Keep feeding it money! Night falls and Eiko feels tired even if she didn’t do anything exerting. Ika is still on a roll and traumatized Takeru may never drink coffee again! Eiko is brought to tears thinking back nostalgic memories when she spent time here with her family. The ticket seller lightens up the mood with a little fireworks display before officially closing the park. Some time later, Eiko sees in a magazine that the park spot has been renewed. Into an adult bar, that is. Yeah, the ticket seller did get a new job, eh? Bunny girls, beer and booze… Oh, the ruined memories…

Episode 10A: Won’t You Grill It?
Eiko isn’t too happy that Chizuru and Ika are too fast eating up the beef in their Korean BBQ. Plus, she didn’t like Ika using additional chopsticks with her tentacles. It’s like hogging the beef. She tries to tell her off but Chizuru warns them not to ruin this wonderful moment. Better listen to her. Eiko schemes to let them fill up their stomach so she can have some beef by suggesting some chicken and pork. But they’re not eating. Why? Korean BBQ is all about beef so Eiko can be their guest by eating up all the chicken and pork. Backfired. Eiko tries to play psychology by telling Chizuru she will get fat and jogging will only build muscles. With her out of the way, now it’s Ika’s turn. She rants about respecting the beef and making all the juicy juice come out but Ika just ignores her. Otherwise how can she enjoy it will all that complicated stuff, right? Ika then sneezes and her black ink covers the entire grill. Chizuru tastes it and finds it good. Eiko was reluctant but Chizuru shoves it to her mouth. She too finds it delicious but felt she has ‘lost’. Chizuru has saved the best beef part for last. Eiko and Ika think she was playing dirty as they are already full. Sneaky Chizuru claims then she will have to eat it all herself. However famished Takeru comes in and is amazed with the delicious meat. The ladies forgot all about him as they give all the meat to him. I don’t understand why Chizuru forfeited. She could’ve shared with him, right?

Episode 10B: Won’t You Protect It?
Eiko saves Ayumi from a bunch of guys trying to hit on her. She wants her to teach her self defence so I guess the best person for teaching the basics will be Chizuru. She needs someone to pretend to be a ruffian attacking her so she can demonstrate. No way, man!!! Eiko and Ika ask Gorou’s help but he refuses even if it’s just pretend. But when Chizuru is the one who asked and talks about protecting a young girl, he instantly agrees. Yeah, all that crap about duty, bla, bla, bla. He charges and in an instant he is on his back. Did you see that attack?! I think nobody did. It’s like as though he fell over himself. Chizuru lets Ayumi know that she uses her opponent’s strength against them so this method allows normal girls to defend themselves. But we know Chizuru isn’t a normal girl, right? Don’t let her catch you say that. Gorou continues to be Chizuru’s punching bag all because he felt it was worth the pain for getting to touch her. At the end of the day, Owner comes to pick Ayumi up. He pats her shoulder and instantly she gives him a reflex judo throw. As for Chizuru, she is nursing Gorou who is pretty much bandaged in hospital. I guess to him it was worth the pain. Love hurts…

Episode 10C: Aren’t You Cold?
It’s a bloody hot day at Lemon and no customers are in sight. Thinking of closing for the day, the scientist trio have a solution. With science and technology they turn the area into an air-conditioned zone. Kiyomi and pals are dying from the heat when they are shocked to see snow around Lemon! Thanks to the artificial snow machine, they can have winter any time this year. Come on in and have a warm meal with warm coats provided. Ika didn’t want to help Takeru make a snowman so he convinces her about putting insignificant humans to shame. I guess he knows how to press her right buttons now. Ika makes a gigantic snowman before Chizuru suggests making an igloo. Cindy has just walked in to the freezing zone in only her bikini and stumbles upon the gang having nabe inside the igloo. At the end of the meal, they realize the entire area has been blanketed by the snow blizzard! Serious! Making their way back to Lemon, most of them are losing it. Cindy thinks she’s going to die and Ika feels comfortable falling asleep. Once they reach back, the idiots say the machine is spoiled and there is no way of undoing the process. Till they remember it has a heating function too. Doh! So everybody feels relieved as it gets warmer. And warmer and warmer and warmer. Sanae comes in thinking everybody is having some endurance test or something. Yeah, the batteries to turn off the heater is dead. Upon knowing that outside is no longer the snowy blizzard, everybody breaks out from Lemon and relish summer is the best! Winter sucks! And maybe those idiots may want to do something about their machine because it is snowing in Okinawa…

Episode 11A: Isn’t That Hypnosis?
Sanae tries hypnotizing Alex. Actually the dog got bored and fell asleep rather than her hypnosis working. So why is she into this? You could’ve guessed it’s to use it on Ika for her unholy desire. To make sure it works, she tries it out on Eiko. Feeling bad for her, Eiko plays along to become a crow. Though happy it works, Sanae still wants to make sure and tests it on Nagisa. She too was made to play along but felt very embarrassed. To make sure for real, she does it on Chizuru and turns her into a cat (playing along too). Now she can unleash it on Ika! Ika finds a 5 Yen coin while stacking the bottles before returning to the front. Sanae starts her hypnosis but it’s not working. She realizes everyone was playing along, much to her dismay. Ika picks up the hypnosis book she is reading. Following its instructions, Ika uses her coin to play hypnosis. Nagisa became the first victim and acts like a real monkey! OMG! It worked! Ika’s evilness starts working and even Eiko herself became a crow! But Sanae says she’ll do anything whether hypnotized or not and hugs Ika. This causes her to fall and break her coin. But a WTF moment when Sanae suddenly falls asleep. Ika is on a roll and is going to resume her hypnotism on Chizuru, the final boss. Yeah, now she’s feeling like an invader, eh? Don’t say Takeru didn’t warn you. But it’s not working since it’s broken. The scientist trio appear and reveal they have created a hypnotic coin to use against aliens. But since it worked on humans, they deem it a failure. WTF?! Chizuru’s dark aura starts oozing when she finds out they’ve invented something useless once more. Instantly they go down on their knees and promise never to do it again! You don’t hypnotism for that. Then she confronts Ika about her hypnotism. She’d like to give that a go on her too. Ika is seen working hard than ever and even if it was just Chizuru’s bluff, I guess it’s good that she’s through with hypnotism.

Episode 11B: Won’t You Join The Team?
Owner comes to Lemon with another hideous Ika mask. But it’s not just an ordinary mask. It has some robotic functions and you could say makes it even more effective than the real Ika. Owner and the scientist trio teamed up to create this Ika so that they could beat the real deal with the same functions but better performance. Wanting another duel to take the real Ika as his, Eiko thinks it’s best for her to lose or else they’ll have to go through another of this sh*t the next time. However Ika isn’t going to back down. Both squids slug it out and it seems the real one is losing. Not only that, she gets easily irritated by the mocking function they have installed! Isn’t this like a school kid fight? Both start shooting their squid ink. Back at Lemon, Nagisa trips on a power cable. Oh yeah. Robo Ika’s power just got cut. Time to go manual. Why still need to be man-powered? Not high performance at all! Being the scientist they are, they tire easily. Chance for Ika? Yeah, she also tires out. Fit Owner takes over and just when he thought he had escaping Ika cornered, the cable length reached its limit. Never thought about that, eh? Ika counterattacks and wins. Owner and the scientist trio admit defeat but will be back with victory next time. Ika would be happier if they didn’t.

Episode 11C: Aren’t We Alone?
After another groping from Sanae, Ika tells her off in an evil fashion (not working still by the way). Her ‘evil’ side starts awakening as she puts purposely mayonnaise on a customer’s dish (it tastes good anyway) and giving Gorou certain notes as change (not that he minds it). Ika isn’t thinking when she said she’s not afraid of Chizuru. Yeah, she’s right next to her. Suddenly feel the chills, eh? Even so, she thought of being evil by purposely buying shrimp chips instead of salt and sugar as told. However Chizuru isn’t mad and lets it slide. On another occasion, she feigns giving Takeru and his friend shaved iced but throws it away before it reaches their hand. The shaved ice landed on Chizuru. Surprisingly, she thanks her instead of getting mad. One day, Chizuru calls Ika to go out shopping with her. Yeah, just the 2 of them. Ika starts panicking if she has made her mad. Her mind starts going crazy with the punishment she’s going to get. She thinks she’ll be having her last meal. She can’t escape. As she is about to enjoy her last shrimp, Chizuru asks if she is scary. Oh shiiiiii… Instantly she apologizes and promises not to do bad things anymore. Actually Chizuru felt they have never really sat down and talked together. All the while, she always spent time with Takeru and Eiko and felt jealous. That’s why she thought she could get closer if she could talk to her alone. So with that, Ika loosens up and they have a nice chat. Returning home, Ika is proud to tell the other siblings that Chizuru can feel emotion about the same things as other humans and has an unexpectedly human side to her. Oh no. You mean she wasn’t human all along? Chizuru takes Ika away for another different kind of talk. See that deadly aura? Hope you enjoyed your last meal…

Episode 12A: Won’t You Train?
Suddenly! Ika attacks Lemon, sending fear to everyone within! Surrender or die! Has she become a competent invader? Till she flops her line of making her loyal subjects serve her a large serving of fried shrimp rice. Flashback reveals she wanted to do an invasion training to protect them from other kinds of invaders. Other kinds? Like she is the one to say. However Eiko pointed out at their impenetrable defence system: Chizuru. See how she chops the fly without even looking? See how her swift air chop killed the rat? See how when a kid walked into the kitchen area, she told him nicely and instantly he freaked out, bowed and ran away. Wow. Impenetrable alright. But Ika is adamant in assuming the worst case scenario. Of course she has an ulterior motive. This fake training is to see whether she can invade Lemon if Chizuru is away. So take it from the top once more. This time it didn’t go too well. Nagisa blindfolded herself to avoid seeing the fearsome invader, Takeru and friends love being tied up by her tentacles, Gorou and Isozaki got distracted by girls and got easily taken out but this means Ika accidentally helped Ayumi who was being tackled by Isozaki, and Sanae the usual masochist loving every tentacle punch she gets. She has had it with everyone and ties them up with her tentacles. Now she feels arrogant that they can’t do anything when Chizuru is around. However she is give up when the scientist trio down because her tentacle is grasping them too tight and they may fire their brain exploding gun. Yeah, security is impenetrable even without Chizuru. But as suggested, they think Ika should receive some training too. Oh no. See the look in their eyes? Ika imagines a devastating scenario whereby everyone turned into zombies and are out for her! Run for your life! Even if they assured here it is training, Chizuru’s deadly aura, the scientists’ brain exploding gun pointing at her and Sanae’s maniacal expression tells her she can’t trust them. Yeah, run away!

Episode 12B: Isn’t It A Festival?
Eiko is upset that Ika saved over her video game file. In retaliation, she throws away her shrimp collection. The fight escalates to a point that they don’t want to talk to each other anymore. Chizuru and Takeru aren’t worried because they know they’ll be back to normal tomorrow. However to their surprise, they’re still not talking and are avoiding each other. It has never dragged this long. Eiko thinks of making Eiko and Ika clean the deck together but it gets worse when Ika’s tentacles (on purpose or not) has the mop land on Eiko’s head. Sanae is happy that with Eiko out of the way, Ika will be all hers. But she forgot that even if she hates Eiko, that doesn’t mean she’ll like her. Then noticing Ika joining Kiyomi, it dawned to her if they are apart, she might completely ignore her! Now she begs for Eiko to get on good terms with Ika but she’s not going to do that. Their stubbornness continues and you can’t say arguing with each other is the same as talking to each other, right? Eiko may have crossed the line by telling her to go back to the sea. Chizuru decides to close the shop early and have everyone go to the festivals. Ika wears Eiko’s old yukata as the jin-jang gang meet up at the festival stalls. Still not on talking terms, Ika leaves with Kiyomi and friends while Eiko with Sanae. I guess the rest have no choice but to let them be for now. While eating cotton candy, suddenly Ika gets somewhat philosophical about her life. Yeah, reflecting about her vague sweetness that is so like her life. Feeling empty, eh? Getting fixated over trivial things and ruin everything, just like her relationship with people, eh? Then she gets hyped up to play goldfish scooping (stall manned by Owner). She fails several times. That’s because she was using her hands. So she becomes an expert when she uses her tentacles. Feeling satisfied now? As Kiyomi and her friends go to get candied apple, Ika frees the goldfish at a nearby river. Then she realizes she is separated and lost.

Episode 12C: It Really Is A Festival, Isn’t It?
Kiyomi and co return to the rest and apologize they have lost Ika. The rest are worried except for Eiko who thinks it is what Ika deserves for she is hyperactive and always like to wander off. Then it starts to rain so everyone begin looking for the squid girl. Eventually Eiko gets moving to look for her. Ika is frightened by the pushing crowd. She loses a sandal and trips. Eiko finds that sandal and thinks Ika has drowned herself at the river. She rushes in to save her and to her relief is just a handkerchief. But seriously, a squid drowning? Suddenly Kozue shows up (still remember her from last season?) and says the more important are, the easier it is to mess them up. Advising her on that it is better to quickly make up on misjudgements, misunderstandings and ruined relationships, she points to the direction where Ika is. She is seen sitting alone next to a stone. Thinking she is done for, Eiko then covers an umbrella over her head and offers her hand. Ika is overcome with emotions and hugs Eiko like a lost child who has found her mother. They return to the rest as everybody heaves a sigh of relief (amazingly Ika didn’t smack Sanae away as she’s the first one to hug her). Chizuru notes that Ika has been the centre of their lives lately and perhaps they’ve already been invaded. Sure it’s not the other way round? Everyone joins the Bon dance. Next day, Ika and Eiko are in another feud (Ika accidentally dropped noodles over Eiko’s head). It’s déjà vu once more because they don’t want to talk to each other again. Well, do we have to go to the festival again or find another way to reconcile? I’m sure it’ll work out again because their relationship has always been love-hate, hot-cold.

Completely Invaded And Almost Jaded…
Yeah! The sequel doesn’t disappoint and I was having fun all the way watching the antics. Though some may find it more or less the same like the previous season with nothing new, but hey, if this formula works, why change it? Don’t go fix something which isn’t broken. Yeah, I’m hoping that there will be another sequel to satisfy my cravings on squid meat, oops I mean, the squid girl. Don’t lump me together as that crazy Sanae because I don’t rush in to grope, harass and molest that invader. So seeing how this sequel ended, more or less nothing gets done, right? But you can sure bet that Ika has made an impact in the lives of everyone. Without her, it doesn’t get livelier than this. Consider changing her occupation from invader to friend maker? But this season’s ending didn’t feel so much of a crisis that was in the first season. Back then, we had Ika suddenly unable to use her tentacles, her organs degenerating and thus returned to the sea. And when she returned, it was like she has  taken on a whole new personality. For the sequel, it was just a spat with Eiko and thus it doesn’t feel that ‘threatening’.

Some of the jokes were really good and had me laughing till the end like that English lesson episode. It made me think that I had really better be careful in speaking both languages so as not to make non-speakers of either language to misconstrue. Due to the short nature of each ‘independent’ segment, it never feels bored or tiring, that’s why I say this formula really works and one of the reason why I love this show. One obvious thing that was missing from this season was that horror-like segment. Yeah, remember that creepy doll Eiko had? Phew. Thank goodness we don’t have a single creepy episode here (unless you consider Sanae is one). Though those dolls do make a very brief appearance, that was just during Eiko’s very short flashback.

Basically everyone here remains the same wacky character they are in the first season. So there won’t be any surprises in terms of character development or advancement. Ika is still the usual gullible squid girl that makes you think she’s more of having fun than serious in conquering mankind. I mean, if she herself easily gets depressed and lose self confidence, how is she going to gear up for greater things like invading? So it’s like she’s using this invading reason as an excuse to go have some fun, though she may not realize this is the case. Yeah, the Invasion Club is just for child’s play, don’t you think? Thus in both seasons, Ika didn’t really learn from her lessons. That’s why I can consider her a successful failure. Get what I mean? Her invasion could see more success if she didn’t get distracted in doing things like watching movies, reading mangas and what invaders should never do, making friends. Yeah, things that people tend to have fun and enjoy themselves with. The only new thing we learn about Ika is her bracelet that allows her to change her weight. But that fact itself doesn’t change much of everything. The tomboyish Eiko feels more like a tsukkomi person for this series, especially when Ika becomes the boke. Each time some idiotic antic happens, Eiko will usually be the one to retort or rebuff. She may look like she has the edge over Ika but she too isn’t perfect. Especially when it comes to grades and English. Even Ika does better than her in other languages. If Ika puts her brains to it, she may very well beat Eiko as this brute girl uses more of her physical strength to keep Ika in line.

You have got to agree with me that Chizuru is still the ‘strongest’ character in the series and in terms of power and authority, nobody can top her. With that eternal smile across her face, you’ll never know what she is thinking or when she’ll turn into a deadly person. Even if being in the latter mode is just for a few seconds, it is enough to send shivers down everyone’s spine and make them know their rightful place. You wouldn’t want to mess with her. So is she human or what? I’m sure with her around, mankind can be safe from any kind of threat. If she cares enough to make it her business, then every invader would be in sh*t. Sanae’s obsession over Ika is so annoying but somehow it doesn’t irritates me. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t end up with what she truly wants (Ika) and settles for the next best thing (her beatings). In most scenes, you can predict this sort of pattern. Squealing Sanae comes rushing to molest/harass/grope/pound/assault/pester/bug Ika. Ika senses her mad dash. Ika punches her away. Ika breathing hard but relieved. Sanae down but happy. Get the picture? So is it any surprise when Kiyomi comes into the picture, she becomes very jealous? Maybe she should try not being a serial harasser and realize the difference in treatment is because Kiyomi doesn’t get physical with her like she always does. But wait. Sanae already tried something like that in the first season and it didn’t work out. So I guess this is the best, eh?

Other than that, all the other characters remain somewhat the same. Like Takeru is still the little kid brother, Gorou the committed lifeguard vowing to protect the sea and still love struck with Chizuru (though I feel it is only a one-sided crush), Nagisa the only one who truly believes Ika’s invasion is real and thus her fear is the reason why Ika continues to pick on her, Ayumi still unable to get over her shyness (though her dad said she had improvements, she looked the same to me), Cindy still hanging around researching on aliens and her MIT colleague-cum-scientists inventing weird things that would benefit mankind but not their goal. I felt Cindy wasn’t as prominent as she was compared to the last season although she is still a side character. She doesn’t feel so much as pestering Ika to admit that she is an alien. The scientist trio felt like they made more memorable presence than her in this season (because of their idiotic antics of course). I totally would have forgotten all about Kozue if she did not make her brief appearance in the final episode like she did in the previous season. Heck, I even forgot her name when she first showed up. No wonder I felt that there was something missing and couldn’t place my finger on it till I saw her. Well, looks like she only appears in times of crisis. For Ika in the previous season and to Eiko here. So there goes any hope of answering who she really is. Maybe next season, eh?

This season’s opening theme, High Powered sung by Sphere (a Jpop group made up of seiyuus that comprise of Aki Toyosaki, Haruka Tomatsu, Minako Kotobuki and Ayahi Takagi) feels like it lacks the energetic cuteness that was all the hype that it was as compared to the first season’s song. Though it is still good but I just don’t feel it gets you into the crazy antics or prepare you to immerse in the invasion fun of this series. I mistook last season’s ending theme to be sung by Ika’s seiyuu but it turned out to be Sanae’s instead. This season, Ika’s seiyuu, Hisako Kanemoto does the ending song entitled Kimo Wo Shirukoto. In terms of the tune and pace, I felt it was nearly similar to last season’s Metamerism. Just like in last season’s ending credits animation, this time round we have Ika strolling through the sandy beaches and if you stay tuned, you will see an object that is somewhat related to a segment in that episode appearing somewhere halfway. For instance, the ticket seller, the lost foreigner, the passing eagle, Ika walking Alex, those horrible Ika masks used as flower pots and even one with the beach blanketed with snow. On a trivial note, I happen to notice that one of the background music closely resembles to John Lennon’s hit song, Imagine. A tribute to him, I’d say.

So what’s next Ika? Considering that you still have a long way to go for your invasion plan, for the time being you’ll have to contend and overcome all the dangers that lurk around Yuigahama. Especially those closer to home. You’d be surprised and turned off if you ever advance to the big city if you can’t handle a small seaside town like this. But just like Chizuru had noted, Ika is definitely the centre of their lives so being invaded in this sense isn’t so bad, right? Right. They get to fight back of course. Can I be part of your life to? Can you come invade me and my town? Well, if you do really plan for a real invasion next time (I doubt it very much), I’ll perhaps put another question mark to that invading mission of yours. Over and out, ~de geso~.


June 15, 2012

I’m not sure what to make out of this anime Copihan because as stated it is just a school comedy taking place in Tokyo in the near future, year 2034. This series is a joint project of Gonzo and Kei, the illustrator manga version of Copihan who is best known for Hatsune Miku. But don’t be fooled to see any of that Vocaloid idol anywhere in this series. Besides, with each of the 7 episodes lasting as short as over 5 minutes, I can’t really fathom the randomness even though they are funny in their own way.

Episode 1
In the year 21st May 2034, Yuzuki Tsugayama is on her way to a baseball match. I’m not sure if it has something to do with boys peeping up her skirt. Sisters Saya and Sayu Mihashira are the cheeky commentators for the match between Kumashite High School and Sekishigire High School. When it’s Yuzuki’s turn to bat, she hits a home run on the first try! I guess this answers her critics for those who thought she is on the cheerleading team. Since Saya and Sayu continue to give lips service praising Yuzuki’s excellent play, Yuzuki is rather upset that they didn’t show her outstanding performance instead. And due to space limitations, they already warn this programme will be abruptly interrupted at 1:50, in which the climax has been cut out and replaced by the news. So much about finding out Yuzuki’s heroics.

Episode 2
Saya and Sayu get ready to host their live radio show for Kumashite High School. Saya starts off with a complaint to the principal that the east wing building of the school is taking forever to finish. Then they proceed to announce today’s theme for the listener’s mail (which is “I’m pissed off today”) followed by a corner that dedicates to those things you imagine a certain person would say (filled with corny puns by the way). Finally they announces today’s unlucky teacher and the results has world history teacher Ide as the ‘victim’. Speaking of which, a bucket of water just fell on his head. Coincidence or curse?

Episode 3
We are warned that this is a story about a busy girl who gets into all sorts of things. Yuna Kadokura is seen idling in the store flipping her pen till a customer shows up to buy a pack of cigarettes. The guy suddenly takes interest in her and wants her to be featured in the next issue of his published Playboy magazine. She declines but 3 weeks later, he face is in the magazine and the store owner thinks with her in it, more people will patron the store. While walking on the streets, she is stopped by a reporter who is scouting for new people to enter their makeover programme. Yuna declines as the reporter is interrupted by her handphone. After that, she continues pleading to her to join and what do you know? Yuna is on the programme and her makeover is so outstanding that it makes her look like a mature woman. See the before and after comparison? Her thoughts? Nothing really. Lastly her friends note how good she is at spinning pens and encourage her to enter a tournament. As usual she declines but 2 weeks later, there is a gold trophy sitting in her room. Uhm… I know she gets into all kinds of things but she a busy girl?

Episode 4
The female reporter who is covering the 24-hour coverage Mimasuka Police selects 24 year old police officer Haruhiko Tsugayama as her subject. Not looking forward, isn’t he? He is made to do an embarrassing “P” pose before the reporter follows him to his workplace at Hakoyanagai Police Station. The police chief Koshijo Kuwabara hijacks his screen time and later the reporter asks about Haruhiko’s reason of joining the force. It started off full of inspiration but when it turns into the part whereby his dad who was a policeman got fired, the reporter stops him and doesn’t want him to tell his sob story because it might scare the people. Then she thought there is a case going on as Haruhiko puts on his coat. Actually he’s just going out for lunch. I don’t know, she even suggests making a crime scene. Lastly as she asks him about the case he is working on (some hacker called Rei Deshima), Kuwabara once again tries to hijack the show using place cards. I don’t understand what’s happening because several guys in black start holding Haruhiko down and beating his ass with a club. WTF?! They say he’s out?

Episode 5
Hotaru Kitou leaves work, goes buy convenience store food and beer and then returns to the comfort of her home. After settling down nicely in front of her computer, she logs on to her… S&M lesson site!!! WOAH! As the sadistic teacher, she is going to teach all those sorry desktop pigs a lesson. Or a reward if you’re looking from their point of view. First, put your smelly toes on the keyboard and use them to close the laptop till they turn blue! Then put those toes on the keyboard and lick them! People, unless you are one of those ‘special’ people receiving this ‘special’ treatment, don’t try it anyhow or anywhere. It’s madness!!!

Episode 6
The events are similar to Saya and Sayu’s radio show but instead of focusing on them in the broadcast room, we see them from Hiromi Urino and her cat hand puppet’s view as the programme is being aired. While Hiromi is the quiet girl, the cat is the one who is being noisy and making all the comments. Makes you wonder if she’s a damn good ventriloquist. But definitely a person who is bloody good with her hands literally because on one hand she has this hand puppet and on the other she is texting with her iPhone!!! Superb! So we learn they are the pair who sent in puns and mails under the name of Mayori so much so they always win that handphone strap. It’s their 28th one. Because the puppet is being too noisy, Hiromi has to ‘shut it up’. But what does she mean, ‘no broken clutch system’?

Episode 7
At Hyakuten Shrine, Asagi Tsugayama notes her shrine’s 200 year old history and she is the 13th generation continuing to protect the shrine. Suddenly she sees a vision of a shady guy trying to make a pass on a lady. However she kicks him where it hurts most. This has her to remember when she realized about her modesty when boys started peeping up her skirt. Observing a couple of boys at the shrine, they started talking about a 5 Yen coin. Note that in the future, all sale and purchase transactions are cashless and are by card system so it is rare to see a real coin anymore. The boys make fun of how dirty the coin is and toss it into the donation box. Asagi notes if you look at the past and discover something new, then you have acquired knowledge. This has her remember the time she forgot to put her homework on her handphone. Her friend, Omoto Kumogiri offers to upload his data to hers. However she read his thoughts as this is part of his plan to get on her good side so he can receive Valentine’s Day chocolates. She gets annoyed and changes her mind. She is snapped out when the naughty boys make a mess over the leaves she raked. So she just heaves a sigh and notes there are things that are okay to be seen and those should be left unnoticed. The end omake feels like a dramatic movie trailer filled with madness and power.

Well, what just happened? Don’t get it, do you? I don’t blame you. Neither did I. So what I can see here is that each episode is focused on a particular character but nothing much in depth because it lasts for only 5 minutes! They are interesting in their own way like the athletic Yuzuki, the cheeky Mihashira sisters, the taciturn Yuna, the sadistic Hotaru and the ventriloquist Hiromi. You wish there would be some in-depth to these characters but the duration of the series won’t permit. By the time the episode ends, it makes you go WTF. So if you really want to watch this series, make sure you do so because you have free time on your hands. You won’t gain anything and of course you won’t lose much, just you 7 episodes x 5 minutes of life chucked away if you feel this series is a disappointment. The art and drawing is rather okay and your typical Japanese anime and if you like these kind of drawing then I guess you’ll find the cute girls here to your liking. The only interesting thing that caught my attention is the way people pay with their electronic cards. You don’t see them taking out the notes and coins anymore and it is amazing to know that this may be a possible daily occurrence in the future. A cashless society could save all those troubles of robbery and mugging but at the same a bunch of other headaches such as electronic breakdown like suddenly your funds go missing. There are pros and cons of having something that is tangible and otherwise. Oh wait. Was this series supposed to have any discussion on this? I must have strayed a little there. I’m not sure if they will be producing anymore future episodes but if they show more of Yuzuki’s shima pantsu, maybe it would peak my interest and have a peep…

Cube x Cursed x Curious

June 10, 2012

What happens if you are in possession of a cursed tool? You would instantly want to get rid of it, right? Any normal human wouldn’t want bad luck befalling on them. But ironically cursed items and instruments exist because of ourselves. Because of our nature to hate, envy and despise, such torture devices are created to hurt other people so that our hearts will be at eased. So when a cursed tool has been used millions of times to a point that it manifests itself with human characteristics and appearance, are we going to be in real big sh*t? Take Cube x Cursed x Curious for example or C3 (pronounced ‘C. Cube’) as it is known.

We have the main protagonist who may look like a giant docile iron cube but in fact, it is a compilation of 32 greatest torture devices ever created during the Inquisition period. I’m sure every interrogator would love to have her in their hands. Imagine the pain you’d put one into by using one of these babies. Erm… Well okay, back to the story. In short it is something like this. High school boy receives a cursed tool personified as a human. They live together. Cursed tool tries to undo her own curse. Not without having to face several obstacles from different organizations, each having their own reasons why they want or do away with that torture instrument. Add a little fanservice with some romance and what do you get? I hope it’s not a cursed predicament.

Episode 1
Haruaki Yachi receives a giant iron cube courier from his dad. Since it’s so complicated to open it, chuck it away in the store room! That night, he heard somebody snacking and it turns out to be a naked girl eating his senbei. Senbei thief? She accuses him a pervert. Once he realizes she is that thing, he treats her to more senbei over tea. Mmm. She likes it. This girl, Fear took that cube form because Honatsu (Haruaki’s dad) told her it was easier that way for her to get here, though she didn’t like that shape. Fear is a cursed tool powered by humans’ negative emotions. Because of being used too much, the curse began to gain human characteristics and her human form is her proof of existence. She was cursed and given consciousness. Because of that, it in turn activates another curse. One that makes her owner to go mad. Honatsu told her if she came here, she can undo the curse without harming anyone. Haruaki says this place is filled with orderly energy that gathers in this house. He is special and immune to curses. I hope so. A way to dispose of the curse is to think positive thoughts. Haruaki’s childhood friend, Konoha Muramasa visits with a ready-made breakfast. You can tell the girls don’t like each other as they piss each other off arguing. Like each other’s boobs about living together. Since Haruaki and Konoha need to leave for school, he leaves Fear with a… Rubik’s Cube? And also the remote for the TV (WTF is this kiddie show Nyan Nyan Paradise Hell?!). The programme ends and becomes a weather channel. Fear feels gloomy seeing the dark ocean. Not wanting to stay at home, she goes out to town and gets afraid of the many people. However she bumps into several nice shop owners who treat her to senbei and tea. Fear tells about Haruaki and Konoha the shopkeepers think it is Yachi’s son, Kuroe’s landlord and perhaps Nakajima know where that is since he is the president of Kuroe fan club. Fear couldn’t let them take care of her any longer (because it’s their policy to treat everyone like a customer) and leaves. Not before thanking them for the senbei.

Back home, she thinks of doing some cleaning up. This is where the trouble starts. She throws everything into the closet! The table! The TV! It exploded!!! On to washing, she dumps everything into the washing machine! Next is vacuuming. She’s hitting and breaking everything! It gets worse when she spots a spider and in her fear tries to smash it with the vacuum stick! Everything got demolished except for the spider who escaped into a tiny nook. So much for that. Back to the washing machine. It’s overloaded. She throws whatever clothes out on the floor and only manages to hang a shirt (almost got blown away by the wind). Then she realizes the disaster she made. It’s no surprise when Haruaki returns, he thought Apocalypse just came to his place. Fear even tries to lie her way out that a yellowish green three legged alien came by! Liar! Fear scoots off to bed while Haruaki wonders what the hell he did to deserve this. I guess he’s cursed :). He and Konoha go shopping at the district and learn from the shopkeepers about Fear’s outing today. He realized not wanting strangers to take care of her was the source of this mess. On the way home, Konoha wonders if he still remembers the first time she came here and she did equally weird things. She thinks he should tell Fear what he told her back then. Of course he can’t remember. Anyhow, just tell her how he feels and everything will be okay. Haruaki sees Fear and apologizes. He acknowledges she needs time to get use to things. He gets her to help him make dinner. Fear is sure she felt positive thoughts from the shop owners today but doesn’t know what to do to undo the curse. Haruaki believes in her though it will take time. No rush and don’t kill herself by overdoing things. Yeah, that’ll be cursed.

Episode 2
Fear gets a surname: Kubrick. No relation to a certain director. But why? Seems Honatsu has already arranged Fear to be enrolled at Taishuu High School with Haruaki and Konoha. Fear pesters Haruaki to comment about her school uniform so much so she fell over him. Imagine what would Konoha think when she sees this ambiguous ‘cursed’ position. Better dispel this misunderstanding quick. They meet the superintendent Gabriel Sekaibashi and he is one weird dude because of his gas mask. His sob story of his breathing disorder may have moved Fear but Haruaki and Konoha heard different versions the last time round (having a scar? Religious purpose). Gabriel’s secretary, Zenon Houjou comes in with a mask for Konoha to determine whether it is cursed or not. The result is negative. Fear introduces herself in class and instantly becomes loved by everyone. Things go downhill for Haruaki when Fear starts referring to him. Yeah, everyone wants to know how they’re related (they live together, right?). Even the class president, Kirika Ueno wants to hear more about this. Soon everyone bugs Fear to join their club. Fear feeling fear? “I’ll curse you all!”. Since Haruaki and Kirika have some lunch battle, Fear is roped in as judge along with Kana Miyama and Taizou Hakuto. The end result has Haruaki triumphing over Kirika, 3-1. Oh, Fear gave her votes to each of them. Kana takes a liking for cute Fear and can’t stop harassing her. Elsewhere in a dark warehouse, cigarette smoking blonde with a pair of large claws, Peavy Barroy (her favourite word is “B*tch!”) destroys some artefact and is not too happy they think she is weak. She notices an Auxiliary, Amanda Carlot watching and the latter mentions she has been supporting Peavy ever since she entered this country. Peavy asks if she has anything to do with Indulgence Disc and seeing she knows nothing, they go off to begin their operation.

Fear is happy with today’s class. She somewhat told off the maths teacher Sunao Himura the purpose of doing fractions. She thinks she’s so smart, eh? Looking over town, Fear feels she likes this town and its many kind people. She notices the calm ocean and it isn’t like the one she saw on TV that day. Haruaki notes it is dark and cold probably because of a typhoon. Fear asks if he really wants to know everything about her. Before he could say anything, Peavy would gladly answer all that. Introducing herself who is also known as Balancing Toy, she is part of the Knights of Gathering organization that opposes the existence of Waas (cursed tools) as well as against Honatsu’s stance supporting them. Fear was asleep and hidden in some old castle, probably why she eluded detection. Peavy wants to destroy all Waas and attacks Fear-In-Cube (what Fear is known as). Peavy also reveals the darkest secrets Fear hasn’t told Haruaki yet. Fear has killed thousands throughout the centuries. All kinds of people and status, innocent and guilty. Created during the Inquisition, she is a mere tool for torture and execution. Fear dismisses she was being used and didn’t like killing. Konoha didn’t like the way Peavy runs down Fear and attacks her with her hand blade, though she gets beaten up a little. Haruaki also steps in and wishes for Konoha’s help. She transforms into her true form: A sword. Haruaki uses her to attack but with the sheath on since they both don’t like bloodshed. Calculating Peavy’s weapon’s weakest point, they destroy her claw. She becomes upset as Haruaki realizes she is not wearing a cursed tool but steel so every attack hurts her. She loves the pain as much as she hates Waas. Peavy starts bleeding, Konoha starts getting the chills. Haruaki then realizes he himself is bleeding and all this blood turns Fear into a crazy mode (hear her maniacal laughter!). She’s going to hear their screams of horror.

Episode 3
Fear unleashes several of her torture mechanisms to battle Peavy. She cuts off her hand with a guillotine! Though weakened, Peavy is upset she was being ‘raped’ like this. She could’ve got herself killed if Amanda didn’t pull her back and escape. But that’s not the end yet. Fear now attacks Haruaki and doesn’t recognize him. He fights back and knocks the cube off her hands, returning her back to normal. But Fear is overcome with guilt that he has seen her true form as what Peavy said was true. Ironically being cursed and gaining consciousness, she learnt the concept of sin. It happens often enough that her curse is to drive her owners crazy, thus forcing them to use her. She feels she is bearing the sin of the curse and wonders if she can be forgiven. She can’t accept Haruaki’s kindness and flees. He tries to chase but collapses due to his injury. He wakes back in his room being treated by Konoha. She wants him to go to a hospital but Haruaki wants to go after Fear. He thinks she is not running away but trying to end this in an even worse way. She gives in when he calls her Koto-nee. She signs off by letting him know Fear is the same like her. She used to think like her before and didn’t have an answer. And yet, Konoha has always been at his house. Fear is walking in the rain, and she can’t get all the kinds of nostalgic screams out of her head. Kirika sees her acting strangely and calls her but Fear materializes a torture mechanism and attacks her (she can even remember how many times she used it!). Eventually Kirika’s voice reaches through but Fear only walks away with more remorse. Elsewhere, Amanda puts on a cursed item on Amanda: Chupacabra bandage. This is to save her bleeding arm and since they are living things, they suck on blood and causing her pain equivalent to death in order to prevent a fatal wound. Peavy feels she could still fight and their retreat then was necessary. Amanda shows how weak she is now by pushing her off balance with a bandage strip. She notes that Auxiliaries may not have combat abilities but they provide the best support for their Knights so they can complete their mission. If Peavy dies, Amanda would be deemed useless so her decision to take her away then was for the best.

Haruaki is frantically looking for Fear in the rain when he gets a call from Kirika. She tells him she bumped into her but is confused about what she saw. He hopes she would forget what she saw and will explain everything once this is settled. She agrees. Fear continues to wallow in guilt over her sins and thinks of sinking into the bottom of the ocean, the endless darkness just like the place she came from. She feels Haruaki won’t come after her since she tried to kill him. Fear plummets into the deep cold waters. Haruaki finds her dropped cube and jumps in to pull her out. Fear is surprised Haruaki is carrying her. She almost cursed him for commenting on her weight (hey, she’s a giant iron, right?). However he warns her he will curse her back if she says that. Like her boobs will stop growing. Haha. Anyway curses don’t work on him, remember? If she tries this again, he’ll drag her back as many times it takes. Fear lets him know that she is afraid of screams of the people she cares. If he gets hurt and scream like then, she may become her true self. So this is his chance to get rid of her for she doesn’t deserve his kindness or have the right to be here and rid of her sins. But does Haruaki care for all that? No. What’s important if she wants to stay with him or not. She thought he’s mocking her because he can’t be cursed so she tries to put a cold curse on him. Yeah, everyone gets that ever year. Back home, Fear tries to help wash Haruaki’s back. She’s already naked so she wants to strip him before he really catches a cold. The struggle has her trip over him. Hey, doesn’t this feel like déjà vu? Oh it is because Konoha sees this a second time. But it’s double trouble because Kirika is there too! Oh sh*t! It doesn’t help when Fear’s choice of words are ambiguous. “This is my first time so I might not be very good at it. I was going to use my body the best I can to make you feel good”. Konoha blows her top and is going to live with them from now on. Hah. This guy’s cursed.

Episode 4
Peavy wants Amanda to take off her bandages but the latter feels her body scars are ugly. Like she cares. If she doesn’t, she won’t let her assist her or forgive her. Kirika learns Fear and Konoha aren’t human. There is no other way than to believe it after what she has seen. Fear wanted to apologize for showing her strange side but Kirika wonders which side of hers is considered strange. The crazy one or the one as of now. However Kirika acknowledges her as her classmate making Fear feel happy. Suddenly they see Amanda hanging outside their house. She is not here to fight them but to advise them. Seeing their mission is to destroy that cube, she gives them a few options. First, destroy Fear themselves. Second, render it powerless and hand it to them. Third, let them capture Fear without any disruption. In return, they will not hurt anyone or any Waas unrelated. Haruaki won’t accept this crap but Amanda notes this is to prevent both sides from shedding unnecessary bloodshed. Fear is going to accept those options but Haruaki didn’t let her. Amanda gives them till tomorrow afternoon to make their decision and throws them a card as communication. Kirika takes the card seeing that they’re not going to comply with her orders. That night, Fear is attacked. Konoha thought she was fast but Fear was faster in counter attacking. She’s in her crazy execution mode. Though the attacker got away, Fear is breathing hard like as though she had a tough time calming herself down. When Peavy wakes up, she finds a large box with a card on top. Inside, a giant axe Waas that she thinks they want her to use. Next morning, Konoha confronts Fear and has a simple request: She wants her to die. Konoha starts attacking so Fear concludes she has been the enemy all along. Fear snaps and uses her drill to attack. Konoha wants to know what is on her mind and all Fear wants to know is her scream. Suddenly Konoha points out to Haruaki and Fear suddenly returns to her clumsy self. Actually everything was just a lie. Last night Fear seemed like a broken child and yet attacked with everything she’s got. She concludes she is still haunted by her past and there’s no telling when she’ll repeat this murderous cycle. Therefore she can’t allow her to fight alongside them because there’s no telling when she may attack Haruaki.

By afternoon, Fear feels it’s the best thing to head to enemy’s base because she’s still dangerous. Haruaki reminds her he has never found her troublesome or unpleasant so Fear tries to change his mind and threaten him with a weapon. Not working. Haruaki tries to hide a bleeding scratch on his finger but Fear finds out. And sucks it… Ooohhh… That sweet moment is interrupted when Peavy fires several bullets at them. Thankfully Konoha was swift enough to slice every one of them in half. They think she can’t win without her armour but on the contrary if she wore her armour, she wouldn’t be able to summon and use this giant axe she has named Dance Time. Though she hates Waas very much, this is needed to destroy Fear. She also lets them know Amanda is dead. When Amanda returned, Peavy cuts her with Dance Time and didn’t like her negotiation note. She didn’t want a peaceful settlement because she wants equal destruction to that cube, kid and sword for hurting her. With Amanda’s demise, her blood awakens Dance Time. Konoha becomes Haruaki’s sword to fend off Peavy’s Dance Time. Fear is reminded to stay out. They thought of destroying the axe seeing it will continue attacking them even if Peavy dies but to no avail because the axe is moving on its own as they can’t read the user’s chi from her movements. Peavy wants to know why he goes so far to protect that cube so he tells her that it isn’t the cube who is cursed but rather humans who are the ones who curse them. It is humans’ fault they ended up like this. He wants to help them in every way they can because he wants to. Then it made fear realize. She can’t accept this. Haruaki getting hurt and all. Right or wrong, hesitating isn’t her style. She’s going to do it because she is selfish and yeah, because she wants to. Watch out! Here she comes!

Episode 5
Fear joins in the fight and whacks Peavy away. She is willing to put her entire trust in Konoha and Haruaki and if she acts strange, she wants them to destroy her. It may sound stupid to them but Fear feels she is no longer a tool that is being manipulated and must take responsibility for her actions. Seeing it’s like this, Haruaki also wants to be selfish and ignores her request. He too will trust she will not go crazy. She assures she won’t because she is betting on her pride. However they need to regroup and plan since Haruaki needs time to recover. Kirika is at the gates of Haruaki’s house. Since no one answered the door bell, she comes in and gets knocked out by Peavy. She then uses her as hostage to draw them out. Fear comes out so Peavy is stumped she did this for a hostage as she is not human, pretending to be human and suck up to humans. She goes crazy blurting she won’t forgive her, what the tools that did to her parents. Fear doesn’t mind her cursing her because she can’t tell if the curse is the sin she committed or is cursed because she sinned. Peavy didn’t like what she say, how she said it and cuts Kirika! Fear tries to control herself from turning crazy. Holding it in will be tough. Then out of the giant weapon comes Haruaki and Konoha. In the surprise attack, they break Dance Time. Peavy still has a gun up her sleeves (in her boobs rather) and is about to shoot because Haruaki is busy attending to Kirika. All of a sudden, Kirika lets loose her whip to bind Peavy. Fear uses her weapon to hit her. Peavy starts panicking and in her fear calls out to Amanda to save her but realizes she has killed her. Kirika assures the gang that she only knocked her out and will be taking her. They see her wearing some sort of dominatrix outfit underneath her clothes. She seems pretty used to it and not embarrassed. The rest are confused how she survived the cut so Kirika takes out an Indulgence Disc from Dance Time and hands it to them. Though she doesn’t know much, it seems to be related to Fear.

Kirika and the others meet after school as she reveals all they need to know. The dominatrix outfit she wears is a Waas called Gimestorante’s Love. It causes its wearer never to die from external injuries and heals every damage. The curse is that she cannot take it off or else she will die. Thus she has to wear it for the rest of her life. The trouble is she didn’t choose to wear it. And to protect herself, this whip is also another Waas named Karen Kurokawa. Apologizing for hiding everything from them, she knew Fear’s identity when she first enrolled in school but that evening when she ran to her and Amanda’s visit changed things and she felt she needed to do something. She rewrote that card and tossed it back to Peavy’s hideout to cause conflict. But I guess too much conflict happened. Kirika also reveals she was the one who attacked them that night before and tried to kidnap Fear as she thought it was the best way to protect Haruaki. Seeing how Konoha and Fear were serious in protecting him, her actions were unnecessary. Konoha wants to know her ultimate goal. Would you believe it that it’s normal for a class president to help out her classmates? But seriously, she wanted to protect them from the shadows. She would’ve told them everything if not for the organization she is in that restricts what she can do. No, she’s not from Knights of Gathering but an organization that researches Waas and curses and her mission is to observe Haruaki and Konoha. She wishes for them to forget about all this and Haruaki is willing to do so with a condition that she tells him that organization name. What difference does that make? Yamimagari Pakuaki’s Laboratory Kingdom. What? The name of the unthinkable miniature country Kirika’s brother made. Back home, we are in a treat because we’ll be hearing ambiguous steamy sounds of Fear allowing Haruaki to ‘insert it’ into her! Yeow! Could’ve been a horny 2-minute sex scene if you let your imagination run wild! Till Konoha couldn’t take any more of it and reprimands Haruaki for ‘touching’ and ‘feeling’. Hey, even if Fear is in her cube form, he still touched and felt her, right? So actually he is trying to insert Indulgence Disc into her and the good news is she is unable to transform into her Iron Maiden form. The conclusion is if they insert more of such Discs, she won’t be able to turn into other forms and hurt others.

Episode 6
Kirika loses again to Haruaki in another lunch battle. Kana and Taizou want Fear to spill the details between Haruaki and Konoha. All she has to say about her are her tits and being an eyesore. The duo thought this could be a love triangle but Fear doesn’t know what it means. Yeah, she thought it’s something edible! Haruaki, Fear and Konoha are being called by Gabriel because his late friend who is an antique shop owner wants him to send a cursed doll belonging to his daughter (she is enrolled in this school but do not frequently attend classes due to an illness) to a certain place (Haruaki’s house). However as Zenon opens the trunk, it is empty so Gabriel has them go look for it, something that Fear is fired up to do. Zenon gets a call that several students have passed out and are being treated at the infirmary. Thing is, they were found at secluded places and it seemed their life force has been drained. The trio rush to start finding and they end up in a secluded building whereby a kid has his life force just drained out. The culprit is a doll taking on a human form. Calling herself Sovereignty Perfection Doll, she isn’t used to moving about in this form. Her owner, Shiraho Sakuramairi (the antique shop owner’s daughter) comes by to check out but Sovereignty tells her she isn’t going back to the confinement of that trunk. Sovereignty hates humans because she believes once humans receive payment for a doll performance, they will be chuck to a corner. Sovereignty controls all the other stuffed dolls to attack. Konoha wants to know why she drains life force but didn’t run far. Sovereignty didn’t reveal much. Only that she’ll come back to drain the students’ life force, which is better than wrecking havoc on the city. Sovereignty escapes while Fear and Konoha had to protect Haruaki from menacing anatomical models.

Once it’s over, klutzy Shiraho tells them how her dad found out about Sovereignty began talking and moving and took her away to somebody he knew. She thought it was Gabriel and came to school to look for her. She wants to know what they’ll do if they catch her. For Haruaki, he’ll keep her at his home till the curse is lifted. She feels she doesn’t know there’s a way to lift her curse and thinks she’ll be destroyed or lock away if caught. That’s why all they need to do is to tell her. Shiraho is willing to go with this and sees Sovereignty as a friend but fears the doll may not see her as the same. Fear promises she will find that doll. Fear instantly goes looking after classes and runs into Zenon. She gets a call that yet another student has his life drained. At the bench, Shiraho bumps into Fear (more like her boobs bumped into her face). After that initial boobs massaging talk, Fear lets her know of another victim and apologizes for her inability to stop the incident. Fear understands how Sovereignty feels because just like her, she is an object. That’s why she needs to tell her that curses can be lifted. Shiraho hugs her as a sign of thanks. Meanwhile Taizou thought Haruaki has moved on to pretty boys now because he relays a message of some guy wanting to meet at a certain place. Actually it is Sovereignty who called him. She admits she did the life force draining but it isn’t life threatening. But Haruaki lets her know she misunderstood that Shiraho’s father didn’t send her away to be destroyed and that Shiraho is worried about her. He wants her to come with him to lift the curse. However she responds by asking does anyone truly wish to lift their curse. A commotion is heard and it seems Konoha may have fallen victim.

Episode 7
Konoha is taken away by Zenon as Kirika confronts Haruaki for what has happened. Remembering how she wanted him to forget everything, he couldn’t tell her. At least later. Konoha wakes up in her room with Haruaki staying by her side. She has a request that will heal her faster: Hold her hands. No harm, right? Till she jerks and puts his palm on her breasts. She is able to sleep better and though panicky Haruaki manages to take his hand off once she’s sound asleep, her tossing and turning threatens to unbutton her pyjamas! And when it did, she turned into a sword. Phew. What were you expecting to see? Disappointed or relief? Meanwhile Fear is guilty that she failed to live up to her promise so Haruaki takes her shopping. See how excited she is looking at the shelf filled with varieties of senbei. After Haruaki teaches her how to choose fresh cabbages, she acts like a cabbage master parting her wisdom to old ladies. On the way home, she notes that hearing someone say “thank you” feels good so Haruaki tells her to rely more on others. That in itself can help people and make them happy. The reason is if someone is happy for being relied on, that means you’ve helped someone. That’s why he wants to help. Enough motivation for you to cheer up? Kirika shows up unannounced and she seems nervous. Because Haruaki is being dense, she blows her top that him saying nothing is enough that it was aggravating her. She says she is not involved with any organizations anymore and would like to know if there is anything she can help out with. If turning a blind eye to her secret changes his attitude, she’d rather have him acknowledge it and stay the same. Konoha wakes up and joins the trio in a discussion about the recent events. Konoha knows it isn’t possible that Sovereignty met with Haruaki because if she was, how could she have been attacked? Though she didn’t see the attacker’s face, they think Sovereignty may have a friend who can also drain energy. It gets complicated when they realize when and where did Sovereignty got that friend. Did they call out to one another and gather to one place? In order to answer all that, they need to find out about Shiraho.

Nobody knows much about her since she is often absent. Gabriel is away on some trip and the only place left is the infirmary which houses records of the students. The lazy school nurse lets them help themselves and the shocking discovery is that Shiraho’s picture looks like Sovereignty! As they rush to her home, more questions start to pop up. Who is that student who calls herself Shiraho? Why was she walking around that room? They find the house in a mess and somebody trying to strangle the real Shiraho. This somebody transforms into the fake Shiraho which is of course Sovereignty. She explains that she is androgynous so as to satisfy any desires her owner may have. Fear isn’t happy she was lied to and betrayed. Sovereignty goes out of control and attacks them even if she doesn’t want to. Kirika takes the stab but don’t worry, we know she won’t die. Konoha confronts Shiraho and the latter doesn’t want Sovereignty to be killed even though she tried to kill her. She reveals Sovereignty’s curse isn’t to drain energy but to make her owners love her to death. Till death do us part, eh? Shiraho remembers when she first met and talked to Sovereignty. She invites the doll to her room but she warns of her curse if she falls in love with her. She has this mechanism called Killing Organ and when their love reaches a certain point, Embrace Only Once activates and this will be the first and last embrace since she can’t draw the blades on her own will. So why did Sovereignty talked to Shiraho? She was lonely. Still, Shiraho invited her to her room as she wonders if dolls can fall in love.

Episode 8
Shiraho continues explaining that stealing the hearts of unrelated beings may be a way to slow the process. That explains why Konoha can still feel love yet there’s sadness left behind. Sovereignty was constantly feeding on hearts of her owners and measuring their love from within. Killing Organ activated when a certain limit is reached. However feeding on the love on others is what temporarily distorts her ability to measure love so she was feeding on the hearts of others so she could stay with her. Sovereignty could’ve run but decided to show herself to them. A reason she limits herself to school because it only works with strong feelings that come with puberty. So she got everyone fooled. Fear wants to know despite all that, why didn’t they want to try lift the curse. It’s because their love and curse are the same. Lift it and what would become of their feelings? Would it all be a lie even if it came from a curse? Well these feelings… You know how complicated it is especially you’re human. Fear apologizes if she has said something offending but comes up with a plan that she only tells Konoha, leaving everyone else in the dark. Outside her house, Fear has called Sovereignty and is sure she will turn up. That’s because suddenly Konoha takes Shiraho as hostage and will kill her! Haruaki is against this but he can’t do anything. Fear turns into her crazy mode and is bent on killing Sovereignty. The doll is crying in pain as blades spikes out from her body. Fear sends her into more frenzy when she mentions after she kills her, she will kill Shiraho. This causes Sovereignty to fight back as she summons wooden dolls to attack but they are easily take care of. Fear traps Sovereignty in a torture device and is going to tear her body into several parts. Shiraho begs not to kill her but the doll continues to crack. Fear challenges Sovereignty to show all her true love for Shiraho, thus extending all the blades and the final big one. And with her last drop of tear, Fear signals Konoha and Haruaki to cut out all the blades from her body. Shiraho and Sovereignty emotionally reunite.

After Kana manages to molest and harass Fear into becoming her partner for the sports festival, Haruaki, Fear, Konoha and Shiraho go see Gabriel. He needs to go apologize for knocking out students as well as to attend school. Shiraho doesn’t like him but he finds her insults beautiful. Whatever. The other reason he called them here is to show Sovereignty who is working as Zenon’s clumsy maid assistant. I didn’t know she had some fetish. Lastly Gabriel wants Shiraho to know that despite her father’s ailment and bringing her here, daddy thought her as something precious. Mentioning Shiraho was part of a famous theatrical group by her mom’s recommendation, Shiraho’s performance mesmerized the audience and though Shiraho thought daddy never had much interest in her when he went to see the play, he was the one who asked mommy to let her stop acting because he saw the real her and just that he wasn’t good at expressing how he felt. Konoha and Sovereignty make up and become friends. Sovereignty hands her Indulgence Disc to Fear. Shiraho is in class and a girl instantly strikes up a conversation. What else do they talk about? Love. Even to the point if Shiraho has a boyfriend. Without batting an eyelid, she says she has one. Shocking, eh? Fear has this feeling in her heart which makes her feel a bit gloomy, happy, embarrassed and envious so she goes to have a girl take with Sovereignty. Fear wonders if she could steal it from her. Sovereignty takes it as if she wants to know whether or not it’s inside her. Her answer? Maybe. Maybe not. Does she want it or not? Fear gets embarrassed and drops the question so Sovereignty advises her that time isn’t important because she is cheering on them both. I guess Fear didn’t understand what that means either. I bet it’s Fear x Haruaki.

Episode 9
Fear is practising some dance poses (she sucks) for the dance contest but she finds herself entangled in the hairs of Kuroe Ningyouhara. Yeah, she thought Fear is the suspicious person. Looks like Haruaki and Konoha know her and welcomes her back. Yup, she’s going to live with them. As apology to Fear who doesn’t seem to take a liking for her, she allows Fear to do anything to her body. What? Anyway Kuroe has returned from her travels and it seems she isn’t cursed anymore and won’t drain her owner’s energy to death. Fear is motivated and encouraged that it would help lift hers to. One reason she is back is because she thinks of reopening her beauty parlour shop again and also someone is after her. Speaking of the devil, that pursuer is right at their doorstep. She is Alice Bivorio Basskreigh of the Bivorio Families. Ironically these bunches of chasers are polite and has tried to kidnap Kuroe in the politest way possible. WTF?! Seeing Fear and Konoha getting defensive, Alice agrees to give up on inviting Kuroe but in exchange wants Fear to come instead. Of course that’s a big no. Alice leaves but promises will be back to invite her again. Elsewhere Kirika confronts Himura as the latter admits he was the one that let Sovereignty out of the trunk and escape. His reason is that as a member of the Laboratory Kingdom, the members thirst for knowledge and that Kirika is also a partner in crime. He gets dangerously close to her so she tells him to back off or die. He reminds her that she’ll never have a normal love life. Every guy she likes will never be able to love her back.

Haruaki, Fear and Konoha are distributing flyers of Kuroe’s beauty parlour reopening, Dannoura. I guess Kuroe’s famous because of her amazing hair stylist. They give a flyer to Kirika but notice she isn’t her usual self. Haruaki talks to Kirika about the pamphlet for the sports festival and hopes she could slip Dannoura’s in and would do anything like help out with her work. This attracts her attention so she enlists him as part of the committee assistant. Back home as Fear takes a bath, she feels she can’t lose out to Konoha and will pass out a billion flyers to best her. Kuroe comes in to join her and instantly splashing into the cram tub, she falls asleep! Is this her idea of spending quality time? This is Fear’s chance to check out an important part… Haruaki thinks he misplaced his handphone so he checks the bathroom only to hear a steamy conversation between Fear and Kuroe. Let your imagination run wild! Of course she was just checking out Kuroe’s hair. But when they come out, Fear didn’t like a certain pervert looking at their bodies while Kuroe is just the total opposite. Yeah, he could’ve joined them if he wanted to. But better not because Konoha’s killing aura says everything. Time for a family discussion! Everyone in the shopping district rejoices Kuroe’s return. They even give gifts as their token. Man, she’s raking the goods even before she opens. Even that Nakajima guy who is her number 1 fan club has his presents. One including a 24 hour surveillance camera over her shop. Stalker or what? Zenon on Gabriel’s behalf also sends flowers. Seeing Kuroe and Sovereignty are so in sync, they instantly hug and become best friends! WTF?! Zenon also has a gift from Gabriel: A Chinese qipao. Uhn… Zenon also gives them a maid uniform as her personal fetish. Fear dresses up in the maid outfit and because Konoha’s qipao is too revealing and threatening to bust any time, they swap clothes and start competing to hand out flyers. At the end of the day, Shiraho takes Sovereignty away so they can have their own date. Then, Alice pays a visit but as a customer. She even pays a huge sum of cash and to keep the change but Haruaki just couldn’t accept it. Mo yi si. When Alice leaves, she remembers something. Since it’d be a bother to cause a misunderstanding, she clarifies that she is the culprit.

Episode 10
Kirika gets a warning call from Himura to stay out of anything to do with Bivorio Families or else he’ll tell a certain someone about her something. Meanwhile Fear continues to practice her dance and she still sucks with those stiff movements even if Konoha is training her. All Fear see is her bouncy boobs and she gets backing from Kuroe who rants about their normal flat chests, that they lack nothing, humble, hiding their true image. Uh huh. Instantly they form a Humble Breast Alliance and try to ‘deflate’ Konoha’s monstrous boobs. But their fun time is interrupted when the news reports a body of a mutilated woman found on a curb last night. They think it is Alice’s doing and that she’ll continue harming innocent victims till Fear comes to her. They go confront her and though she didn’t really say it straight, she leaves them with a riddle because the woman last night and all those yet to come have something in common. She wants them to figure out what it is before escaping. The trio give chase till an abandon building in the forest. The ladies fight and Alice is just cool with her double bass. However she is concealing some tool within it. Alice activates it and decimates the vicinity. Haruaki is safe thanks to a torture device iron box Fear hid him inside. But Fear is not happy she failed and let Alice get away. As a result, the next day there are talks of another victim being found. Fear seeks Kirika’s help but she can’t help her this time. Plus, Kirika doesn’t look well. Like she’s in pain. Fear tells Haruaki to look after Kirika while she handles the case by herself. As Haruaki helps Kirika with the paper work, she mentions the sports festival may be cancelled due to the serial killings. Then she talks about the selfishness of her heart because she should’ve let him go with Fear to help out instead of hogging him so that she could be happy just by being with him. There’s a term for that: We call that love. When Kirika collapses, Haruaki rushes her to the infirmary. He can’t let the nurse take off her clothes. So in the end he takes her home via taxi.

Back in her home, he understands her whatever reasons if she’s trying to do something and trying to hide it because he considers her his friend. Because of that, she reveals she is being blackmailed and has been holding it. She wants him to look at what she’s going to do. Something naughty. Painful rather. In a slow process like a slithering snake, Karen starts wrapping around her body tightly and breaking every bone and muscle! OUCH!!! Once it’s over, Kirika feels much better as she explains Karen is cursed. It makes its owner want to choke, bind and harm someone. She is perfect for it since Gimestorante’s Love makes her invulnerable. So sometimes she would do this. Every day if needed. A filthy game she plays by herself. I guess she’s saying she’s an M. Haruaki understands she took all this upon herself because she didn’t want to hurt others. He wants her to give Karen to her as curses won’t affect him but she declines seeing if she lets this go, she’ll be nothing but an immortal burden. She wants to stay as his friend who can help. Haruaki leaves her to rest and meets up with Fear in the streets. Fear realizes something as she watches the news of yet another victim. She vaguely remembers the faces of the victims as customers of Dannoura. So people who patron the beauty parlour are being killed? To ascertain that, they view Nakajima’s security camera and see a customer giving Kuroe a bag which contains her hair as gratitude. Fear concludes the person who took the hair was absorbing it and that she suspects Kuroe as the culprit.

Episode 11
Alice remembers about her shabby church. Her home that no longer exists. She feels pain must exist in this world. Kirika turns up at Haruaki’s home to offer a third party view on the case. As pointed out, Fear has evidence Kuroe is involved in the killings and has also witnessed her eating the victims’ hair. In addition, according to the news, some body parts of the victims are missing. Kuroe suggests locking her up till their suspicions are gone but this upsets Fear that Kuroe still may have her curse. She leaves the room and Haruaki wanted to go after her but was told by Kirika to just let her be. Kuroe explains, eating her customer’s hair is a way of refuelling her powers. When she learnt the customer is dead, she also ate their hair in their memory. It would’ve been easy to tell Fear about this but she doesn’t think mere words would convince her. Suddenly they sense Alice’s visit. Haruaki tells her the common trait of her victims is that they are all Dannoura customers. However she tells them they are far off the mark. With Fear coming into the fray, Alice attacks but soon escapes with Konoha and Fear hot on her heels. Kirika doesn’t want Haruaki to rush because she senses something amiss. She deduces Alice’s tactic to split them all up. She is dead on because Alice returns and paralyzes Kuroe (leaving her eyes and mouth free to move) and wants to take some hostages. Kirika has no choice but to oblige because Alice is pointing her tool at Haruaki’s neck. Any moment, she can have fresh ‘juice’. In a dark room, she handcuffs them and makes a video message. If Fear wants them back safely, she must come with her. Knowing that Fear doesn’t understand the meaning of it all, Alice elaborates that there is no salvation without suffering. The Families just want to invite her to be with her. They wish to become part of her family because family brings salvation. In short, their stance is that they fully accept Waas, including their curses. As higher beings, they feel they can use curses to deal with humans however they deem fit. If they want to kill, then they shall kill. If they want to drive their owners mad, then they will gladly go mad. Seeing total acceptance and love of Waas is a key to being accepted, she had some family members die with no regrets. That is the common trait of the murders. It wasn’t Kuroe’s customers were being killed. They were coming as customers to be killed! The other common trait is that they were all wearing a cross. As for the mutilated bodies, the curse of Cannibal Cooker feels the need to kill and eat someone. With this, Alice invites Fear to come to this location and will welcome her with open arms.

Alice leaves the trio locked up. After a few tiny blushing moments between Haruaki and Kirika, inclusive of Kuroe’s cheeky remarks on them, Himura enters the room. His helmet-like Waas, Il Est Dans Bastille has the ability to make its owner detached from this world and lightens your existence and actions. Himura has already warned Kirika to stay out and since Haruaki doesn’t know him, he makes a little introduction. Then he lets them know about Alice. Also known as Mother Canonical and the founder of the Families. If the founder of this madness is here, there’s no telling what will happen. Haruaki didn’t like Himura as the cause of Kirika’s pain but Himura gets rough with him. After freeing Kirika, she punches him and warns him never to lay a finger on Haruaki. But Himura has no interest in saving him. With the helmet only able to erase only another person’s existence, he knocks her out with a taser and brings her away. Desperate Kuroe wants to be freed and allows him to touch her! However he isn’t a pedo… Haha! Kirika wakes up in Himura’s car. He can’t obey her request to turn back and rescue them. However he is only interested to see the interaction between Families, Yachi household and Fear as his research because his job is to observe them. Kirika didn’t like how they’re being used as tools. She gets sick of everything and steers the car out of control. I can’t believe it crashed and exploded this easily. Injured Kirika limps away noting that if she can’t even save the man she loves, she doesn’t know what she’s living for. Fear and Konoha has just finished watching the video message when they see injured Kirika plonk at the doorstep. As she slowly heals, Fear wants Konoha to hit her for suspecting Kuroe but all she did was pinch her cheeks. Kirika asks if Haruaki had a power, what it would be. The ability to never be curse? Be a total pervert? His kindness? Well, it’s to have friends like them. So the trio are taking their next step of action as they confront waiting Alice at the harbour. A showdown over Haruaki if Fear wins and if it goes Alice’s way, Fear will go with her.

Episode 12
Alice’s tool, Cannibal Cleaver can remember any action it has taken. Thus it can re-enact the process of chopping up a human into beefy bits all at once. Fear and Konoha slice and dice with Alice as Haruaki realizes he is in a different predicament than Kuroe. He frees himself at the expense of till his hands bleed. Taking Kuroe and regrouping with the rest, Alice shows them SBR (Suicidal Beautification Reflector), a transcendent Waas. It has 3 abilities. First, it makes its owner beautiful. Second, it renders its target immobile (Kuroe’s paralysis). And third, as she is going to show them know, creates a perfect mirror clone of herself. Though they will disappear in 10 minutes, they are exact duplicates. So this is how she got the extra cash and herself appearing up suddenly. Unfortunately she just can’t clone the mirror. Seeing this is going to be an all-out brawl, Alice clones more of herself. Now she has an army. Fear tries to destroy SBR with her drill but one of the clones got in the way and enjoys being drilled through. Fear is traumatized and her crazy side threaten to be unleashed. Kirika attacks but gets seized by Cannibal Cleaver and Alice discovering the Waas outfit she is wearing. She tortures and mocks her (she her hand grabbing her innards!). Konoha is also traumatized but Haruaki begs for her to be his sword. He didn’t put up much resistance. Suddenly Shiraho makes her grand appearance inclusive with her grand insulting speech. That grand mood is ruined when Sovereignty is late on her cue to make her grand appearance. More embarrassing, she is klutzy. So why are they here? Do they consider them as friends? Well, they do owe a debt to Haruaki and co. Putting that out of the way, Sovereignty controls Kuroe as her doll and smashes SBR (I’m surprised Alice was caught off-guard). Kuroe uses her hair to hold all the clones till the 10 minute period is up so Haruaki will have to deal with the real one. Fear returns to normal and resumes fighting. She didn’t like Alice trying to force her to remember who she was. Accepting her curse doesn’t mean she’s accepted her past. It means she’s denying her present self. Alice is confused that she refuses to accept them. Fear says even if humans are weak and powerless, they always smile and are happy. She wants to be like that and humans are her transcendent. Fear and Haruaki’s combo cracks Cannibal Cleaver as Fear unleashes a Virgin Mary-like torture device. Alice is further confused because no human helped her back then, that’s why she can’t possibly believe humans to be transcendent. Praying to God what she has done wrong and why He did not save her, Cannibal Cleaver breaks while she gets engulfed by the torture device.

Though she is still alive albeit injured, Fear’s words did not reach deep into her heart. In a seemingly suicide jump off the pier, she lands in the arms of her beloved Abyss sailing away in a boat. They both have a passionate kiss. Fear and Kuroe are about to tow her back but Abyss transforms into a Waas to stop their attacks. Abyss notices Kirika from the Laboratory Kingdom and understands what is happening and decides to back down for now. He tells Fear to take the Indulgence Discs left behind by Alice’s broken Waas as her token of love. The discs she will take but she can keep her love! And yeah, don’t ever come back again! In the aftermath as Fear practises her dance moves with Kirika and Konoha, Kuroe notes Haruaki a pervert because last night she saw him inserting something into Kuroe’s ‘crack’. Ahem, ahem. She even got it on video tape! She then hands Fear and Konoha their payment for helping out at Dannoura. Fear got teased because she initially got 500 Yen as compared to Konoha’s 5,000 Yen. So she gets the same amount as Konoha too. Fear notes Kirika has left Laboratory Kingdom and gives her payment as her token but she says she left on her own will and to keep the money for herself. Then she undresses herself down to that dominatrix outfit (because it’s hot) and they continue practising the dance. Later Fear is still confused and asks Haruaki about Alice and the Families using people as tools. As there are people like tools and tools like people, she wants to know what the difference is. And if Konoha is nearly cured and Kuroe is completely cured but both have the same powers from when they were tools, are they humans that were tools or tools that became human? Are you confused? For Haruaki, he doesn’t think there has to be an answer. Konoha and Kuroe are just like her. With or without the curse, they’re the same. A mere tool shouldn’t worry about its own existence, right?

Episode 13 (OVA)
What do you expect OVAs to be these days? Fun fillers that has nothing to do with the plot. For this OVA, the gang takes a school field trip to the woods. However Gabriel via video message has a job for them. Not looking forward to it, aren’t they? He believes there is a cursed monster lurking near the camp grounds they are staying and wants them to investigate since it may have something to do with a cursed tool. There’s a small shrine inside a cave and it is said the monster also wields immense power. But Zenon suggest of putting it as low priority or optional because if it was that important, this field trip wouldn’t even be possible. Just treat this mission as optional and report that nothing happened. Wah. Like that also can. I think the kids would opt for Zenon’s option. The gang are also surprised to see Kuroe and Sovereignty at the camp since they have been requested to help out by Gabriel. Fear is trying to set up her tent but I don’t know how she screwed up so much so it looked like a piece of fancy art. Haha! Clumsy Sovereignty trips and I’m not sure what the heck is the implication of this because it’s like Shiraho freezes time and puts Sovereignty back on her balance. And cover her skirt to avoid us viewers from having the pleasure for any panty shots. Boo! The gang play in the river and cheeky Fear makes herself wet and ultimately Konoha. I know it’s for fanservice but you can’t really see anything. And the girls had to punish Haruaki for his eyes are looking anywhere else but their chest. Then Fear tries to splash water on Sovereignty but Shiraho once again uses her bullet time to use Kuroe as some substitution and block the water. WTF. After having a delicious curry steak meal, the usual quartet take a stroll and partly to look into Gabriel’s request. Suddenly they hear a scream and when they arrive on scene, they see fallen trees, cuts on some of them, big craters and oozing slime. Back at the camp as Fear takes a bath, she gets a feeling something is not right. Everyone was present during roll call and none seemed scared or anything. Kuroe thinks it’s the kind of monster that snaps people’s head when they get too close. When Konoha comes in, the Humble Breast Alliance couldn’t bear looking at all the ‘hot air’ in Konoha’s boobs and tries to shrink it! I’m not sure if the force of their palms will work. Embarrassed Kirika comes in but the rest know about her cursed tool so they watch her clean herself without taking it off. Again Sovereignty gets clumsy and trips onto Kirika. But this time Shiraho wasn’t fast enough to do her usual. She just enters the scene, breaths so hard and takes Sovereignty away. Huh? Returning back to the topic of that strange occurrence in the woods, Fear feels something odd about the place and could feel and eerie aura permeating from it.

It started raining that night so they further discuss what would the monster look like if it really exists. Imagine this. Fear feeling fear. Yeah, she must’ve imagined it would be a spider, something that she is really scared of. She really doesn’t want to think further about it but as the lightning casts a shadow over the tent, she may have seen the monster spider’s shadow! Haruaki wakes up to take a leak but he is being ambushed by the monster. His scream alerted the girls and when they get there, all they see is his jersey lying around. The trio make their way to the cave of the mouth whereby Fear is starting to tremble in, well, fear. Thinking about the times she spent with him, she summons her drill and thinks of getting over with this quickly. She is charging straight in like a bulldozer. As they advance deeper, they are being attacked by sticky threads and traps such as pit and falling logs. Konoha and Kirika realize something amiss. They finally reach Haruaki being tied up next to a little shrine. He is surprised Fear came to his rescue (though she seems like a scared victim). Konoha cuts him loose and Fear thinks the shrine is the cause of this bad luck and is going to cut it. But Konoha notes that the shrine is too new to be a cursed item. Then she throws her blades and pins the culprits down to the cave wall. It’s Kuroe and Sovereignty! They know it’s them because they saw a towel in a pit and noticed the logs made out of paper-mache. So they explain everything was a setup and that the incident in the forest was their doing. Yeah, they used familiars to dig up holes, scratch the trees and pour slime all over. As for the spider, you can thank Kuroe’s hair for doing that. But the big mastermind of all as they reveal is Gabriel himself. He wanted this to happen so that they could make some thrilling memories for themselves. I don’t think they looked very thrilled. He also wanted Fear to overcome her phobia of spiders. I don’t think they’re convinced with that either. Oh, Zenon mentions the best part. The video player is real cheap so don’t hesitate to go all out. I think that will help make them feel better, right? Yeah, see Fear smash it! Outside the cave, Haruaki is glad that she came to rescue him despite her arachnophobia. But Fear acts big and insists she isn’t afraid of them at all. Then a real spider hangs right behind her… Ready? Hear her scream! The gang return to Sovereignty’s tent but she hears strange noises coming from within. Could it be a monster? However to everyone’s surprise, they see Shiraho rolling about smelling the scent of Sovereignty’s pillow. She misses her and is somewhat in some withdrawal since she hasn’t had her daily fix of her. So what happens when both sides see each other? You thought Shiraho would scream in embarrassment and run away, right? Wrong! It’s the other way round! Since they have seen everything, she is going to MAKE them forget everything! Run for your lives! Yeah, she may be the real monster after all.

Cute x Creepy x Crazy = Cool?
It was fun watching this series. Yes, I’m surprised that I said that too. Not because of the torture devices and cursed tools that bring pain, mind you. I expected this show would end like this but the ending wasn’t so bad. The series divides itself into small arcs so it was manageable even if it was a short one. The flow of the story is also smooth and nicely fit in to the pace so you won’t really feel lost. Of course there are some explained parts which I still do not understand like Sovereignty and Shiraho’s case. I’m still confused why they were both acting like the other at first and such. As the episodes progress, you’ll find out more about Fear as well as the many organizations that are after her. Be it the want to totally annihilate the existence of Waas, using them as research materials or completely accepting them as the tools they are. Everybody have their own agenda in using Fear for their own ends. So in this sense you can say she’s quite the popular tool she is, eh?

Fear as the star of this series is of course the most amusing character as well as the one being given the most development. Because of her naivety of mixing in society and what is going on in the current world, it is fun to see her interactions with others especially with Haruaki. It never fails to bring a smile to my face whenever she starts spouting or acting haughty. Or whenever she and Cow Tits (her nickname for Konoha) interact. But her funny side is often shadowed by her darker side. As a tool who has taken a human form, it is at first odd to see her feeling guilty over her sins and having emotions. I mean, a torture tool that hates torturing people? It’s like saying a pilot who has fear of heights. But I feel it is better that she takes responsibility of her actions despite it is not her who was in control when people were made to suffer. It’s better than a tool turning crazy and wanting to see blood and hear screams, right? That is what makes Fear worthy of a place in Haruaki’s home. She has lived long enough to see all kinds of pain through her own eyes and hands so I guess it is high time she did something to undo the curse. It might take a while for her to get over her traumatic past but she is making huge steps to make a difference like not turning into her uncontrollable crazy self each time she sees blood. She also learns to rely on her friends and just like them, wants to see others happy, make others happy and be happy herself. Ah, if only the world shares the same sentiments like her.

Haruaki is your typical lead guy. He may not be perfect but loves to help others out and that’s why some of the girls like him. Yeah, the harem factor was just a side distraction for the plot of the series but I suppose you can’t have it serious all the way and having some comedic bits here and there would prove to be a good break and nice formula to keep fans in between the suspense, action and funny parts. So it still boggles me why Haruaki can’t be cursed. I am highly speculating here but he may be a Waas too. Of course as he has mentioned that his home is where positive energy gathers so perhaps by living in his home for a long time, he has become a natural curse averter. But there is one curse that I can see that will bother him for the foreseeable future: His harem. Haha! With 4 girls around him, each having their own feelings for that guy, it is going to get noisier and complicated. Perhaps if they are not fighting or in a case about something, they’d be fighting among themselves. That is truly a curse he can’t repel! So in the mean time, he has to put up with lots of ambiguous positions and get caught in misunderstanding situations. It’s better than fighting mad foul-mouthed b*tches and crazy nuns, right?

Konoha and Kirika are the calm and supporting characters to Haruaki and Fear. They calmly assess the situation before jumping in especially each time the latter duo get their emotions in the way. Kirika is a little taciturn in nature (except probably when it comes to the lunch battle) due to her involvement with an organization and cursed tools she possesses. When she is serious, there is a hint of sadness in the way she speaks, like she is hiding a sorrowful past or secret. You can’t blame her since she is wearing a burden and something that she is made to against her wishes. I guess if there was a sequel, they would expand her past as well as Konoha’s. Kuroe is a nice addition to the team and her honesty sometimes makes her a funny girl. She is not afraid to mince her words. Peavy and Alice as the antagonists may have stark contrast in their personalities. But each have been deeply affected by the cruel side of humans so can we entirely blame them for turning out the baddies they are? Their organization’s presence were never really felt in this anime and though just mentioned by name, it doesn’t mean it is the end of them yet. Because of so, I often forgot the organizations they belong to and always thought they were fighting as their individual self. I’m sure the Knights of Gathering, Laboratory Kingdom and the Families aren’t going to let Fear go just yet. There may even be more weird organizations out there for all you know.

At first when I saw the kind of visuals and angles this series presents, I thought it was SHAFT because some of them reminded me of how they did it in Bakemonogatari and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. Then upon researching, I found out it wasn’t them but rather Silver Link, the same people who brought to you the Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu series. Now come to think of it, I guess some of the visuals do seem familiar from this latter series. Another reason why I thought it was SHAFT was because of the end card with different illustrations from different people at the end of the series. As for the action, I could say that they are enough to keep you glued to the screen but beware because some of the fight scenes are bloody and gory. I mean, you can’t really have a clean fight if you are using torture devices, right? So if you can’t stomach limbs getting cut off right before your eyes, you know what to do, right? Yeah, one way, close your eyes for the entire duration of the fight! Of course you can’t deny the little fanservice here. Konoha’s boobs and the panty shots, all too common. Not much but it is spread out sparsely whenever they get a chance to show us viewers.

I have to give my hats off to Yukari Tamura as the voice of Fear. I would never have thought that she could pull off a crazy maniacal laughter that befitted Fear when she turns into her crazy mode. All the while my perception of her voice is to suit high squealing cute girls so with her portraying all the different moods and emotions of Fear, it was something astounding to hear her voice the character like that. Just reminds me of Togame from Katanagatari but with a much higher level. Sayaka Ohara also did a good job in voicing Peavy. She really sounds mad when she sets her sights in annihilating out heroes. She’s like the crazier version of Erza from Fairy Tail and you’d be surprised if this is what Aria The Animation’s Alicia would sound like if she goes mad and snaps. Even if Rie Tanaka (Saki in Steel Angel Kurumi) didn’t go into her screaming crazy mode, fortunately I still recognized her as Alice. Despite her polite speeches, you can’t help feel there is a twisted logic from it. Hmm… When I first heard and saw Kuroe, I thought she was somewhat similar to Kamisama No Memo-chou’s Alice. Well, they both are voiced by Yui Ogura but really, there are some striking resemblances in both the loli characters. Other casts include Yuuji Kaji as Haruaki (Akina in Yozakura Quartet), Minori Chihara as Konoha (Nagato in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu), Eri Kitamura as Kirika (Rin in Kodomo No Jikan), Chiwa Saito as Sovereignty (Rebecca in Pani Poni Dash), Yuka Iguchi as Shiraho (Index of To Aru Majutsu No Index), Mako as Amanda (Yurie in Kamichu), Shuuichi Ikeda as Gabriel (Shanks in One Piece), Ai Orikasa as Zenon (Naoko in Kono Aozora Ni Yakusoku Wo) and Jouji Nakata as Abyss (Giroro in Keroro Gunsou).

For both the opening themes, I thought the tune felt very Chinese-like. The first one being the rock pop, Endless Story by Yukari Tamura and the second one, Hana by Eri Kitamura. I thought the animation for the second opening credits felt like one for a Chinese martial arts serial drama! In contrast, the ending themes are to a slow beat. The first one by Eri Kitamura is Shirushi while Yukari Tamura does the second piece, Sympathy of Love. It makes you wonder after all that action violence, gore and blood, suddenly they play this, it feels a little out of place. There are a variety of the background music and they can range from funny (as in odd) to battle themes to sad piano pieces to creepy. Though some are quite catchy. Like for instance Dolls and School Life are surprisingly to my liking. I briefly sampled a majority of the soundtracks and I thought it reminded me so much of Rozen Maiden. At least it brought me back to those days when I heard the background music.

Maybe the underlying theme for this series is about humans’ nature to curse others. Because of our selfishness, tools of torture are created to inflict pain for our pleasure and to get what we want. Some of the torture tools shown by Fear are in fact real and not just made up. Of course some like Dance Time and Cannibal Cleaver are just made up for this series. It is sad that such tools get used and blamed when we are the ones who use them. And because of our endless ‘creativity’, it is no wonder as seen in this series, we could create several cursed tools that have a devastating effect on both the victim and owner. If you want to use a cursed item on others, you must be prepared to face the wrath of your own consequences too. After all like Enma Ai from Jigoku Shoujo once said, “When one is cursed, two graves are dug”. Ultimately everyone loses when cursed tools are used. Humans never learn and are doomed to repeat the same mistakes as how it happened in history. The world would have been a much peaceful place if such tools were never created. But what to do? Currently the so called curse tool in today’s era and generation is what we know as Weapons of Mass Destruction. No prizes for guessing what will happen if that falls into the wrong hands.

I have just realized this but I have been hooked in watching my animes for many years. Could it be that animes are my cursed tool because I can’t go on living without them (which otaku could?). I can give all sorts of reasons why I can’t give up but does it really matter seeing that I happily enjoy them? To others who aren’t into it, they may of course see it as a lifelong curse. Yeah, my social skills may be lacking because of that. But not being able to watch animes would be a far worse curse and ultimate torture. So I better continue watching more animes or else as Fear says at the end, “If you don’t watch, I’ll curse you!”.

A Channel

June 9, 2012

Again, a group of quartet high school girls each with their quirky habits going through about in their school life and daily activities with each other. Add some other side supporting characters to the mix to give a livelier atmosphere. Yes, I thought A Channel was a cuter version to Lucky Star and that first sentence summarizes exactly what this anime is going to be. No confusing plots, no dramatic twist and turns, nothing exciting that will make you jump out of your seats. So if you are not into this kind of slice of life comedy, you’re better off looking somewhere else. Plus, the episodes are made up of short skits that may not be necessarily linked to each other. But they are not that independent enough to break the flow of the story.

I guess that is what you would expect if you are going to adapt an anime based on a yonkoma (four panel comic strip). Therefore the main focus of such genres is of course on the characters. You’ll often see this quarter in every episode. Run Momoki the airhead and carefree second year student that loves tying up her bangs to reveal her forehead; Tooru Ichii may be a year younger than Run but she is so petite that she looks like an elementary school kid (what’s with the over-sized long sleeves?) and with her relationship so close to Run (at least this is what she thinks), she doesn’t hesitate to ‘threaten’ boys who get too close to her; Yuuko Nishi the slim and model-like (read: well endowed body) Kansai-ben classmate of Run who is a scaredy cat in some areas; Nagisa “Nagi” Tennouji the bespectacled intelligent classmate of Run and Yuuko but is very conscious of her weight (read: diet girl). There are a few other characters but we’ll learn them as we go along.

Episode 1
Yuuko and Nagi meet up with Run before class starts. Tooru comes rushing with a baseball bat and threatens those guys who are casually talking to Run! Extreme! Tooru remembers she managed to get into the same school with Run and soon gets permission to come to her house. She thought she was happy going to tell her about this when she sees Yuuko in an ambiguous position with Run. It’s like they’re kissing! Run introduces her friends but clearly Tooru doesn’t like Yuuko. Yuuko tries to be friendly but Tooru gives her a boob uppercut! WTF?! Then she scares her with her… Zombie trudge? WTF?! In school, Run’s class got a very lax and casual homeroom teacher, Taki Kamate while Tooru’s class gets the serious and poetry loving Kimiko Kitou. Yuuko notices Run dozing off in class. It’s like she’s about to fall any minute. Just when she thought she is going to, Yuuko tries to catch her but trips herself, making a fool out of her own self. It’s amazing Run can sleep while sitting. The quartet eat lunch together and talk about their favourite animals. Why does Run like animals that she can eat? How do parakeets taste like? Because Run feeds Yuuko some of her food, Tooru gets jealous and it’s deja vu again. Boob uppercut? Zombie trudge? They sure are getting along well, eh? Run is such an airhead that when she waves to Tooru, she almost fall off the window! If not for her friends who caught her, she literally could’ve taken the plunge. Yuuko gives some candy to stay awake. Run wants to save for Tooru but how can you split a candy in half? Use the penknife! See it slip away like a ricochet! Tooru’s sweet tooth means she has a keen smell of Yuuko’s candy even though the package is finished. Yuuko promises to bring more for her tomorrow. On the way back, Tooru feels depressed because she wishes she could be in the same class with Run. But she comforts her that nothing has changed between them. Nagi and Yuuko hug the little one seeing how cute she is but she freaks out. Run extends her hand to her as they run along. Next day as Tooru comes running to Run’s class with a baseball bat (no threat in sight), Yuuko gives her the candy she promised. Oh wait. What did she do to deserve that uppercut and walk again?!

Episode 2
Tooru comes to pick up sleepy Run to school. On the way, Tooru realizes Run’s mismatched socks. She thinks of going barefoot when Tooru realizes another thing Run forgot when she bends down: Her pantsu!!! Dangerous! In class, Yuuko borrows Run’s notes which are hard to read. Nagi scares Yuuko why she wears spectacles or else she would see things she normally wouldn’t have… Even if it was a joke, Yuuko is screaming fit like a horror movie. Yuuko needs to go to the toilet in the middle of class but is too embarrassed to say so. Run accompanies her with an excuse to escort her to the infirmary. The truth is, Run is the one who needs to go to the infirmary as she collapses halfway! Call Tooru! Actually it is nothing serious and is just lack of sleep. On a rainy day, Run gets drenched in the rain to school. Some guy in a flowery shirt is staring at her. Run and Tooru come up with a way to shield themselves from the rain since they forgot their umbrellas by cutting holes in a giant plastic bag. Yeah, they look like ghosts! Nagi suggests to dry their clothes back at her home but seeing Run is too impatient to wait for a taxi, they just run through the rain. Taking turns to bath, Run and Nagi take their turn first while Yuuko is left in an awkward atmosphere with Tooru. Want to watch horror movies? Gulp. Run doesn’t recognize Nagi when she takes off her glasses. Similarly, Nagi doesn’t recognize Run when she releases her bangs! They look so different. Yuuko thought if she closes her eyes, she won’t have to watch the horror video but with Tooru watching her, she is ‘paralyzed to death’. It is Yuuko and Tooru’s turn but the latter turns into a prankster touching her smooth body and not letting her wash shampoo off her eyes. So much so it sounded like an ambiguous yuri affair. Once they are done, they return to the room only to find it hot like the desert! Run and Nagi are half dead! Was this their idea of drying their clothes faster? To pass the time, they play video games and once again Yuuko is caught in between because Tooru and Nagi are dramatically challenging each other (Yuuko is in between them) while Run doesn’t want her to move an inch since she is braiding her hair. Then they hear the sound of grilling and it’s making them hungry. Turns out to be Run’s handphone ringtone! The rain is not letting up so Nagi’s friends leave. But they soon return shortly because they tripped and got all dirty again.

Episode 3
Run now remembers her socks and more importantly wear her panties. However she drags the wrong kid with her thinking it was Tooru. Still sleepy, isn’t she? Seeing Tooru isn’t with them today, they decide to go visit her class and see what it’s like. They see her the responsible student (like a teacher’s pet?) and tease her. Tooru’s classmate, Yutaka Imai makes several excuses and attempts to get close to Tooru, freaking her out. She seeks solace in hugging Run, Nagi and Yuuko. But why is she squeezing Yuuko so hard?! Run runs into that flowery shirt guy again who is lost for directions. He compliments her beautiful forehead! Don’t tell me he’s some kind of pervert. Next time they meet, Sachiyo Satou wants to thank her for showing the way to the infirmary (he is the school’s new nurse) and would prepare a special bed for her! Oh God. Run only finds it funny. I hope she has more sense than that. Tooru is annoyed he is getting to friendly with Run and warns him. However he notices her cute petite size and calls her Uni (sea urchin) due to her little pointy hairstyle. He probably is going to go after Run’s forehead again but excuses himself when he starts feeling sick. Run shows her friends an iPod she got but it’s not working. She tried several ways to make it work but her amateur methods only pisses off Nagi. Finally once it is working, now she has to put music in it. However she doesn’t have a computer to upload songs into it. Nagi, be cool… Yutaka again pesters Tooru but she gives her the slip by slipping out of her jersey. Nagi gets dressed for PE class but the way she said things on bloomers makes it an embarrassing statement. Happy Yutaka thought Tooru was looking at her but she was actually focusing on Run down at the field. Because of that, Kitou thought Yutaka volunteered to answer a question on the board. Run suggests Yuuko to untuck her shirt and it seems it’s like as though she is wearing nothing underneath! All the boys listening outside… She suggests the same to Tooru but her shirt is touching the floor! Like a one piece dress! Yutaka wants to partner Tooru for PE class but was taken away by her friend, Miho Noyama. Phew. Nagi scraps her knee so Yuuko takes her to the infirmary but sees Satou on the floor! He had a seizure? Run comes in and accidentally steps on his head. He felt honoured. WTF?! Yuuko notices Satou likes Run so he explains about her candid ways and her natural dominatrix ways and her forehead, her forehead, her large forehead. Oh shiii… Yuuko feels Satou’s weird taste is bad news but Run is okay since her forehead got complimented. What else can I say? Yutaka purposely lets Tooru explain the lesson she doesn’t understand so Tooru gets pissed off she doesn’t even get it. Miho comes to Tooru’s rescue again by taking her annoying friend away for reprimanding. Tooru realizes that it’s lonely without Yutaka around and to her horror of realizing this fact, she rushes all the way to bear hug Yuuko. Her innards may be squeezed out at this rate.

Episode 4
Run is still a sleepy head in the morning that she mistakes the weather vane as the crows’ strange movements. Run and Tooru are in some ‘argument’ over Yuuko’s good qualities. Why are they comparing it to animals? Tooru ‘lost’ when Run mentions Yuuko’s fabulous style. Yuuko tries to cheer Tooru up that sometimes small boobs are also in fashion and that she has a target audience! Well, well… Tooru starts squeezing her boobs in envy over her nice body. Suddenly Nagi remembers she’s supposed to shed a few kilos by summer. She gives an excuse that real summer doesn’t start in a month’s time. Nagi is dismayed that she may have gained weight when she finds her swimsuit tight. However upon hearing the same tight comments from others, she is relieved the swimsuit shrunk. I thought the swimsuit was tight in ‘certain areas’ for certain girls :). Miho approaches Tooru and admits she is her fan. Yutaka didn’t like Miho touching Tooru as she likes and ‘molests’ that girl’s hair. But her 3 minutes are up but Yutaka remains stubborn. Apparently Miho and Yutaka must be so close together to know each other’s signs so when Miho stomps her foot enough is enough, Yutaka obediently stays away from Tooru. Yutaka thought she could help Tooru by carrying her sack. It backfired because Miho gets to be close to her instead. Run’s class is in charge of cleaning the pool and you can’t have them work seriously without some splashing fun, right? But fool around too much and you have to stay back and finish the job. Nagi weighs herself but to her dismay found she had gained a kilo! She reasons it is her clothes and that her weight has not changed. She then reads sort of a sadistic diet advice and thinks her friends will be against it. In class, the person she least wanted to see is Tooru because she is sharp and can straight away tell her she is on diet. She remembered her saying that diet thingy in spring. However she doesn’t plan to tell the others. Nagi thought she would be bribed to keep her mouth shut but to her surprise didn’t want anything. If only the world was like this. Tooru says whatever she eats or does, she doesn’t grow. Especially ‘that part’. Since Nagi is pretty concern, Tooru suggests asking Yuuko. Her reply? She didn’t do anything. Like Nagi would believe that. As for Run, she has never stuck to any diet nor limit what she eats. Then they go search online for some diet advice. Most of them seems fake because it sounds too good to be true. I mean, lose 60kg? For Run, her weight will be negative and perhaps a ghost! Nagi goes back to the old fashion way of not eating but her friends think she should take it easy and not rush into it. They all decide to talk this over ice cream and other tasty snacks. That defeats the point, eh? Nagi got embarrassed when Yuuko notes she is just cute the way she is now. Next day, Tooru shows her friends her new socks fashion. Actually, she is so skinny that her socks can’t stay up! She wished she was chubbier! Nagi can’t let that comment slide. Even putting glue couldn’t stop the slide. Yeah, she really wishes she is fatter. Oh it’s driving Nagi crazy.

Episode 5
Run invites Tooru to the beach and adds an unnecessary comment for those with flat chests. She bought her a bikini but it was so loose that it slides off! Just how skinny is she?! Yuuko walked in but Tooru hides under the blanket. Because Yuuko has some ice cream, she comes out and is close to naked (even her bra straps become undone). So can Tooru still marry? Tooru’s class is in pool lessons as Miho and Yutaka take swipes at each other about their ‘fats’ making them float easy. But they see how skinny Tooru is. Summer vacation is next week and Tooru and Nagi isn’t thrilled to go to the beach. No swimsuit to fit? Can’t fit? They team up to tease Yuuko who has got it all. Nagi accompanies Yuuko to buy her swimsuit. Nagi was just observing at first but couldn’t resist the temptation to try some herself and in the end buys one. Meanwhile Run gives Tooru a swimsuit she can fit in. It was a swimsuit she once used to wear when she was in elementary school. Was that an insult? Yeah, it made her look like one, eh? So at the beach, the quartet have their fun in the sun, the sand and the sea. Yuuko falls into deep sleep while resting. She dreams of her friends serving her as the queen. Suddenly Tooru jumps on her and she gets this heavy feeling. When she wakes up, she finds her friends have built a magnificent sand castle over her body!!! Then they watch the waves pull up and recede at their feet. Getting dizzy anyone?  Only Yuuko. For lunch because Nagi wanted some tropical fish, Run was serious in going to sea to catch a fresh one! On the train back home, Yuuko wishes to stand instead of sitting despite the coach close to empty as she claims she still has lots of energy left. Actually she got her hair stuck between the doors. I don’t know how they got her out. Talking on the topic of getting tanned, Yuuko maintains her fair complexion thanks to her sun tan but Run didn’t use any and she still looks so fair. They rub her fair skin and think she’s an alien. Rest assured, she’s an Earthling.

Episode 6
Run finds Tooru in an embarrassing predicament. She is stuck between her bed and the wall! Must… Resist… Urge… To tease… Anyway she snaps a shot of her. Don’t go blackmailing. Run offers to cut Tooru’s bangs that have gotten long. Yeah, she ruined it! She’ll never go out again! To solve this problem, Run ties her hair the same hairstyle as hers. Run and Tooru are on their way to school and see a sign to be wary of perverts. Satou drives up to them and offers a ride. Run panics and thinks he is a pervert and makes a run. The commotion causes everyone around the think Satou is really one. Kitou thought Tooru was being concerned when she noticed her not looking too well. Even if she did explain her headache, Tooru tells her to get medicine at the infirmary. Hah. The last place she wants to visit and speaking of which, here comes her eternal rival Satou. They are arguing about each other’s dress sense of the white lab coat and will have Tooru decide but that smart girl ran away under their noses. Yuuko thought she saw fire coming out from a building and rushes to go put it out. Turns out to be Yutaka dusting the duster in an ambiguous manner. Because of that, it’s another embarrassing moment for Yuuko. It’s even more embarrassing when Tooru starts apologizing to her. You mean she prefers when she’s ‘abusing’ her? Nagi reprimands Run for buying a hot drink on a hot summer’s day. She was in a rush so she messed up. Yuuko remembers she left her important assignment in class and is scared to get it herself at night and pesters Nagi to accompany her. Why not just wait till tomorrow morning? Nagi decides to play a prank on Yuuko and also calls Run and Tooru to come along. First, Yuuko is made to run all the way round to the back of the school with a dog chasing after her (the rest were already inside – how the heck did they get the dog?). Then when Nagi fails to pick the lock of the front door, it suddenly unlocks and was it a ghost? Actually Run came in from an open window and opened the door from inside. Yuuko’s heart nearly popped out from her mouth. Yuuko becomes a scaredy cat clinging on to Nagi at every step. Nagi makes a detour and goes exploring the rooms because it’s just different at night. Gulp. Want to go see the anatomical model? Nagi and Yuuko take a toilet break and they see a spirit ball floating outside! They freak out and return to the duo but Run thinks they can save that person if they return it right away! What is she thinking?! But Tooru is baffled because she hears footsteps. Spirits have feet? Waiting to ambush it, they realize it is Satou walking around with a candle. I don’t know what his intention is but he’s symbolizing the candle as his life and soon collapses once cheeky Tooru blows it out (purposely?). They try dragging him back to the infirmary but he’s just heavy (don’t know how Run dragged off with only his pants). When they manage to put him in bed, Run tries slapping him to wake him up but Satou dreams of something romantic with Run and hugs her!!! Tooru is so pissed that she overturns the bed!!! Where the hell she got that strength?! Fortunately (or not) he didn’t die. In the end as everyone leaves school and part their ways, Yuuko realized she has forgotten to take her assignment. Yeah, all for nothing. All she got was her lifespan shortened from the scare trip.

Episode 7
Tooru and Run are talking and the former is worried with all the boys around Run, she wonders if she has been confessed to. Run remembers the candle Satou gave her. Uh, what? The quartet plan to visit the fireworks festival but before that they agree to go karaoke-ing. Yuuko is a natural and scores. Tooru is having a hard time choosing what song to sing so it’s Run’s turn. She’s not bad either. It’s Tooru’s turn but she’s nervous. Run gives her the encouragement to go on but before she could start, the waitress comes in to give their ordered drinks. Thus Tooru takes this opportunity to back down and return to her ‘song staring search’. Nagi’s enka rendition is fiery but it’s all so that she can lose calories and it some snacks. Tooru has no such worries. Tooru is still nervous so Run sings a duet with her and calms her nerves. While taking a break, they hear a familiar voice singing next door. It’s Satou! Hey, shouldn’t the walls of each room be sound proof so as not to annoy others? Anyway the girls cut short their session seeing they know what’s good for them. Don’t want that guy to find out, eh? As Run and Tooru look for yukatas to wear, Tooru gets disheartened she may be looking like a kid forever because she can’t even fit into the high heels! The quartet in their yukatas meet up at the festival. They go to the mask stand and thought Tooru likes anime masks. But it’s rather stalls from the shopping district always gave her free stuffs… Tooru gets jealous seeing Yuuko and Run taking a bite at each other’s food so Tooru bites off Yuuko’s candy apple without her knowing. Now you see, now you don’t. In the ring toss, the girls won fireworks as their prize. Run tries her hand but the ring ends up on her own head. Everyone tries their hand at candy carving. They are so intense that they forgot the fireworks are starting. Only Nagi would rather complete her candy carving than go see the fireworks! Because she was THIS CLOSE to completing it. Now she has to abandon it. Due to the crowd, Run takes her friends to a secluded spot for the best view. By the time they got there, it is the end and all they see was just the big bang finale. Wow. Amazing… That’s it???!!! As consolation, they play the fireworks they won. But they don’t have a light? Don’t worry. For some odd reason, Run brought her candle and matches. Miho and Yutaka enjoy themselves at the festival and also rivals Satou and Kitou bump into each other with the former teasing the latter about coming here alone. Run and co admire their sparklers and Tooru’s one was the last to burn out.

Episode 8
Nagi seems to be in caution mode. It’s because Kitou is at the gates wishing students good morning in an energetic way. Yuuko didn’t think of anything wrong till she is stopped by her to say it properly many times. The rest runs pass making Yuuko as the ‘sacrifice’. As usual Kitou and Satou never seem to agree on anything. One is serious, the other is lax. So much so Kamate notes they are quite in-sync and even jokes they should be dating each other. Tooru once again tries to ward off boys who are being friendly with Run. But they don’t feel any threat due to her small size. She returns standing on a chair so they get what she means and go away. Even in the new semester, Yutaka continues to hound Tooru. But with the 3-minute rule in the fan club, I guess she can’t be rubbing her cheeks forever. Tooru wonders what is so good about her that these 2 form a fan club of her. They say all the good things and this sends shiver down her spine. Why is she hiding behind a curtain? Then Kitou interrupts and has Tooru get the class’ assignment notebooks. Yutaka feels it is not fair and wants her to be subjected to the 3-minute rule too! Tooru is having lots to carry when Kamate wants to her to get coffee while she’s at it. Kitou puts her foot down and to not take advantage of her students. But Kamate blackmails her with her poem notebook so Kitou has no choice but to abide. Tooru runs into Run and her pals as they help her carry the books till she has nothing left to carry. Watching Yutaka and Miho see the heart-warming see. Then they see Run talking to a boy and Tooru rushing off. To their horror, the petite kid returns with the baseball bat and… Hear those screams? Later, Nagi and Yuuko are surprise to hear Run and Tooru aren’t talking to each other because they got into a fight. Apparently Run wanted to accompany Tooru back to her home but the latter is okay. There are perverts in the area so if Run did accompany her, she may be alone on the way back. That led to an argument and eventually Tooru slept in her place. Can you call that an argument? Yuuko notices Tooru drinking alone and she may be pissed because she tosses all the cans into the dustbin with accuracy. Nagi also notices Run reading a book. That girl, reading? No way! Of course, the book is upside down. Nagi and Yuuko are worried about them so much so Kitou overheard them and pesters Yuuko to tell the issue. This isn’t her day. Even Yutaka wanted to help but Miho feels it is better to leave them alone for now. Run decides to end this fighting once and for all and goes to buy bread. But she has not enough money. I guess Nagi has to cover her. Returning to the classroom, she sees a can drink sitting on her table. Underneath it says “Sorry”. Run rushes to the rooftop to see Tooru standing there. In no time, they patch back their friendship, much to the relief of their other watching friends. But ironically, it is Kitou that is moved to tears… This gives her motivation to write more poems in her notebook.

Episode 9
Halloween is coming but Nagi and Yuuko experienced one of the most dreadful things in the morning: Kitou’s energetic good morning call. Yeah, she’s still at it. Nagi is alarmed that somebody left an ugly doll on her table. A Halloween prank? Till they found out it was made by Run. Yeah, what the heck is that?! The girls think of making a Halloween party but Nagi is concerned about her dieting… But it’s settled that they’ll go to Run’s house for the event. Later Nagi notices Run drawing a horrible being in her notebook as part of her word chain pictionary challenge with Tooru. What the heck is that?! A bug? Is that something to do with the ugly doll too? Run hints that it can be eaten. WTF?! But Tooru guesses it right as a zebra. ZEBRA???!!! Yes, zebra can be eaten… By lions. Nagi then asks Tooru about the ugly doll. Seems Run has given Tooru that similar doll too but is smaller. Because Tooru wants to exchange, Nagi teases her unless she tells what it is. She asks her favourite animals. Nagi responds small animals like squirrels. I guess Nagi didn’t realize she answered her own question because she continues to bug Tooru over what that doll is. Later as Nagi goes to meet up with Tooru, she sees a couple of kids trying to trick-or-treat her! Those are her casual clothes?! She’s not even carrying candy. As they walk through the shopping district, every stall owner feels like giving Tooru free stuff! Man, it’s good to be her. At the bookstore, they see an ero manga with the lead character that closely resembles Yuuko. They get an idea if they show the author a photo of Yuuko, he’d pay good money for it. So they bought a copy. Meanwhile Yuuko helps out Run making cake. Run tries to show off her ability of cracking an egg with her hand but she flops. She tries again. And again and again and again… Don’t waste the eggs anymore! Run’s clumsiness has her spill the bowl of eggs onto Yuuko’s head. Because she feels guilty that she should be the one to suffer that mistake, she cracks another bowl of eggs and dumps it over herself!!! WTF?! What a waste! They both take a shower and Yuuko has to come out to the living room where Run put her clothes. In good timing, Nagi and Tooru see her clad in only a towel and start practising reciting lines from the ero manga! Even if Yuuko is embarrassed, she continues reading the entire manga! As they were about to get started on the snacks, Yuuko thinks they should make pancakes too. Nagi is worried about the calories but Yuuko assures her she made it less sweet. Then noticing Tooru’s clothes, Run lets the cat out of the bag that Tooru likes kids and should’ve handed out candies just like last year. Tooru tries to shut her up but the rest seems to have realized a cuter side to her.

Episode 10
Tooru happily steps and breaks on frozen puddles. Till she meets a black cat and they go on a challenging spree to break them. This leads her to an alley. In class, Nagi sees lots of names in Run’s notebook and thinks they are people whom she is cursing! Turns out to be Tooru’s notebook and they are challenging each other to see how many names of people they have met. But why does it sound so foreign later on? Oh, they’re from mangas she read. Do they count too? Then Nagi and Run start their own name challenge. I’m not sure if they made up those grand and hard-to-pronounce names. Later Nagi, Yuuko and Run visit Tooru’s place but they think she’s been kidnapped seeing the place is in a mess and the girl herself is not in. They find out Tooru is keeping a white kitten she found abandoned at an alley (the kitten messed up the place). Evening, Run accompanies Tooru to buy toys for the cat but Run thinks the adult toy shop is the place! Yikes! After visiting a real cat shop, they patron a dessert bar. Run thinks they should come up a name for the cat. Something to do with sweets since Tooru likes them. Seeing that her mixed soda contains cola, cider, ramune, ginger ale and melon soda, Run suggests naming the kitten Carbonation. Serious? Hope that isn’t just lots of air. Back at Tooru’s room, Run seems to be playing too much with Carbonation that Tooru feels neglected. Or jealous? On a snowy day, we learn Nagi hates such cold days. See how she’s wrapped up like as though she’s some sort of assassin? But Run is so eager because of the many things they can do playing with snow. So she waits for the snow to fall but loses her excitement when it did not snow by the fourth period. Just when she thought of giving up, the snow comes. She immediately rushes out to play with the rest soon follow suit. While the rest are making funny poses in the snow, Nagi continues to shiver. Not having fun? They build an igloo for her to stay in. She watches them play snowball fight and since she got up, her head hit the roof and sends the igloo crumbling. So miserable… But she can’t spread the gloom so she joins them having fun. Next day, Nagi is surprised that she hasn’t caught any cold since she played in the snow. Then she gets an SMS from Yuuko who has caught the cold, followed by Tooru with a high fever and then Run herself catching the flu. Then it hit her as she SMS back to her pals that she too is sick. You know what they say about idiots… But I guess being healthy is no fun because while her friends are resting in the warmth of their bed, Nagi and her classmates have to shovel the snow in the school compound. So miserable…

Episode 11
After noticing a bunch of middle school girls, Tooru remembers 2 years ago when Run took an entrance exam for the high school. Run wanted to enrol in 2nd High so Tooru also would like to enrol in wherever Run enrolled even if she could get into better schools. Run told her mom about this and she was okay. Till she mentioned about Tooru’s choice. Suddenly her mom changed her mind and became a demon that Run had better apply for a better school! Run is not confident with her scores so mommy was going to make a call to the cram school. Run succeeded in snatching the phone away so mom bribes her with a photo of a cow. She can have Kobe beef all she wants. That seals the deal. Tooru becomes Run’s teacher and the first thing she has Run do is memorize all the basics! I think the stack of books is as tall as her. Oh sh*t! I guess concentrating isn’t her forte because she starts hearing voices that pinpoints her to the right answers and words keep flying away. Yeah, dreaming… But Run shows she is serious and not giving up and wherever she goes, she has a book in a face. This means she is oblivious to her surroundings like almost getting hit by a car, being forgetful about her stuff and even reading while brushing her teeth. Amazing. On the day of the exams, she got so excited that her pencil tip broke and ricochet off into Yuuko’s nose. That girl who recently moved from Kansai here thought it was sabotage! When the test is over, Run apologized for that incident and they become friends. She shows Yuuko a picture of the cow which is her lucky charm. All the hard work paid off as Run manages to secure a spot in Aoigaoka High School. The beef sure tastes even better, eh? Tooru’s birthday is around the corner as Run accidentally drops the cake she bought for her. However the box is empty and it was just to fool her. It is in the second box. Taking no chances, Tooru wants to hold it instead. On the way to school, Run teases Tooru like a kid and as though she has watched her grown up before her eyes. They only met in elementary school… In class, the friends are going to eat the cake when Run points out one of them is laced with wasabi. It is easily spotted because one of them was green. Tooru gives this one, the supposed best job to Yuuko. Fire in the hole! Run announces there is a second wasabi cake but she realized she got it herself. To commemorate this, Tooru thinks of taking a picture but as they snap, Yuuko always seem blurry and they try several takes or even match her ‘movements’. Tooru secretly eats her cake in class so Yutaka notices this and realizes it’s her birthday. She writes the happy birthday greeting in her notebook to let her see. But Tooru corrects her wrong spelling, shocking her. With that, Kitou thought she volunteered herself to answer her question. Not again! Run shows the rest pictures and video clips she still keeps of Tooru’s birthday celebration in her handphone. Yuuko wants the recent one deleted because she doesn’t look too good being blurry. When Run mentions about being third years next year and having their exams, it hit Tooru how time flies. It only seemed like yesterday. Then she asks her why she changed her high school choice but Run decides to keep it a secret. Can’t say the beef was the reason, eh?

Episode 12
Tooru is saddened that she will have to part with Run once graduation comes around. In class, Nagi laments that she ate 2 boxes of chocolates and reading a book when she can’t sleep. Upon knowing what book she is reading, Yuuko opines that it is a real tear jerker but Nagi starts crying because she just started reading it and Yuuko told her the spoilers. A guy is talking friendly to Run. Yuuko dreads the scene if Tooru sees this. Thinking if should intercept Tooru and stall for time, speaking of the little devil, she’s already at the door. Panicky Yuuko tries to shield her from seeing the unseeable by suffocating her with her boobs. She almost died… Kamate wants to get Nagi to help pass out papers to her class but she doesn’t know her name. This has Kitou reprimand Kamate as a failure to remember the basics of being a teacher. During that, Nagi slips away so Kamate blames her for that and lets her do the handout instead. While sweeping outside, Yutaka spots a cat stranded on a tree and climbs to get it. She almost fell off dangerously when she got the cat. Though Miho and Tooru scold her, it’s not because Yutaka rustled the leaves from the trees on their heads but rather worrying them for pulling off that dangerous stunt. Yutaka is so happy that they care and she hugs them. But since she is playing around too much with the cat, she gets warned by Miho to finish her work. Run comes by to see Tooru as Miho and Yutaka are in awe to see their cute reaction. Run and co are eating at a fast food joint (durian burger?) so Run starts talking in an indecipherable language when she accidentally bit her tongue. What? Say that again? Yuuko is collecting points for a stuffed bear key chain. As she goes to toilet, she accidentally trips and reveals her butt to her friends, who cheekily use the point cards as scores for her ‘performance’. Yuuko notices a customer throwing away his point cards but she can’t put her hands into the dirty dustbin to get them so she’ll wait for the next one and ask them. Back at the rest, other customers are kindly giving them their point cards seeing they don’t need them. Back to Yuuko, her wait is in vain as the subsequent customers didn’t throw their point cards. Eventually she manages to get the key chain as Run makes a very tiny paper crane. She thinks of using Nagi’s spectacles as a magnifying glass! Run does and impression of Nagi after she borrows her glasses so the rest suggest Nagi to do an impression of Run. Though reluctant, she eventually does one but Run wasn’t looking. Well, she did say she didn’t like people watching her, right? Can do that again? Kitou thinks the fast food joint is the first step towards delinquency and it’s her duty as a teacher to stop that. But the lax Kamate and Satou would rather go to another place to dine. A fancy place. Oh, Kitou’s paying for it. Okay, split the bill… Tooru starts dozing off so it’s a sign that it’s time to leave. Run then admits she’s an alien but the odd part is Nagi and Yuuko accepting it than retorting as always. Then a UFO beams Run up as she says her goodbye. Tooru wakes up from this dream not wanting to part with her. It seems Run has already carried her back all the way to her home (in my opinion Run didn’t really seem like a strong girl so I was surprised she could do that). So when Run says she’s going home, Tooru hopes it is not to space. Tooru, she’s joking, right? That night as depressed Tooru goes out to the convenience store, she is surprised to see Run waiting for her outside. She starts crying and laughing, noting how she never changed before hugging her. Life resumes as normal for everyone and our usual quartet continue their outing together.

Short 3-minute specials called +A Channel that come with the DVDs. Of course more short random skits from the usual four girls. No different from the TV series except for the length of the clips.

Special 1 – Tooru visits Run to show her the high school uniform she got and tries it on for size. She also bought a V-neck sweater but it seems the sleeves are too long. On the contrary, Tooru thinks the skirt is too short but Run thinks she has pretty legs and it’s a privilege for high school girls. She tries to boost her confidence that they are in the same school now and congratulates her on her acceptance. But Tooru wonders why Run is wearing their middle school uniform. She was overcome with nostalgia when she saw Tooru wearing it.

Special 2 – Yuuko turns down an offer by her friends to go watch a movie after school. However with Tooru pleading, thinking she has gotten in her good books, she agrees. Till she finds out it’s a horror movie! NOOO!!! There’s is no turning back now! I guess you can tell from Tooru’s smirk that she is planning to spook Yuuko throughout the movie. Look, she’s already screaming before the movie starts. So when it ends, Yuuko got so traumatized that she bought a souvenir as an attempt to erase any of those scary memories. Each time the girls start talking about the movie, Yuuko will automatically seek refuge talking to her Bono chicken souvenir. That scary, huh?

Special 3 – Nobody wants to volunteer to solve Kitou’s question on the board. Since Run is sleeping in class, Kitou smacks her forehead to make her stay awake. Suddenly Satou pops up and hopes she would refrain from hitting Run’s forehead again. So why is he here? He’s bored. And to admire Run’s forehead. Can he stay and watch? Better return to the infirmary before Kitou blows her top. Later Kitou chides Satou for his actions but he’s being cool and taking it easy, reminding her that her strictness will scare away her students. Each time, this pisses her off and the cycle repeats itself…

Special 4 – Run returns to her room and before she could start reading, Tooru pops out of the bed, scaring her. So okay, she had a nightmare… Tooru was waiting for her but fell asleep. Run thought she had mistakenly went back to Tooru’s home, which happens very often. Tooru is glad she fell asleep in her house because she couldn’t have handled the nightmare alone. As Run goes to get snacks, Tooru follows her all the way instead of waiting, giving an excuse she can help out. Actually, she’s scared, isn’t she?

Special 5 – Nagi and Yuuko are out together when Yuuko spots a shop selling spectacles. Wondering if Yuuko ever changed her frames or used contacts and re-imagine herself for the summer, Nagi mentions her dad is sensitive to her change in appearance and have kept the same glasses and hairstyle since middle school. The last time she let her hair down, daddy went emotional in the sense he was so proud his daughter became so beautiful that it was creepy. Still Yuuko would like to see how she looks like so Nagi obliges. Though completely different, Yuuko thinks she is cute and should keep it like this for today. Yuuko needs to use the toilet but doesn’t know where so Nagi offers to find out. Unfortunately instead of asking an employee, she talked to the mannequin. Blind as a bat, eh? Better keep those glasses on.

Special 6 – Run and Yuuko are traversing a dark Run. Guess who is the scaredy cat? Then they meet a guy which turns out to be a zombie! Scream your head off! Turns out to be a game they’re playing. Suddenly we have the quartet in swanky suits, tight outfits and cool gears that make them a team of specialized agents. The Channel A. With nicknames like The Rose Red Knife Wielder (Run), The Silent Sniper (Tooru), The Poison Meister (Nagi) and The Crazy Chicken (guess who), you’d think they be the next generation of Charlie Angels. As wild as their imagination, it seems the reason they’re putting up with this is because of a cockroach in a room. Hard to tackle just a little guy, eh? The rest run out to leave Yuuko to deal with the little menace herself because… This is her room. This is the most freaking out moment in Yuuko’s life. She really lives up to her nickname. So when the bug starts flying, everyone makes a run for it. So much for never leaving a comrade behind.

Special 7 – Nagi is feeling drowsy due to low blood pressure. As she combs her messy hair, she unwittingly ties a high twintail. That served as a wakeup call because she gets spooked. Then as she puts on her yukata and tying her hair, she gets this idea of curling it. She meets up with Yuuko with that new hairstyle.

Special 8Yuuko can’t find her recorder so Nagi and Run think somebody must have stolen it and is licking and doing naughty things with it. Run lends hers but Nagi thinks that was Yuuko’s plan. She dismisses it and says if Tooru hears this, she’ll be done in for good. Oh speaking of which, look whose here. Behind your back. It’s that ‘abuse’ once more. Once the misunderstanding is cleared, Tooru apologizes as Yuuko notes how she has a one-track mind when it comes to Run. This embarrasses her so Tooru once more… Boobs uppercut… Zombie walk…

Special 9Yuuko has this uneasy feeling that somebody is following her while she is walking alone on her way home one night. Sounds like someone is tailing her. She hastens her pace and tries to seek refuge in a house but the dog scared her away. Thankfully she is safe and next day in school she relates this scary moment to her pals. Nagi thinks it’s bad since she was in her uniform. But Run understands her situation because she could be abducted. By aliens. She is more concerned about not understanding what the aliens are saying and even just broken Japanese would do. She thought Tooru was an alien because she didn’t recognize her little pointy hairstyle.

Special 10 – Nagi complains about Genzou. That old heater that is making lots of noise. She thinks the school should get rid of it and replace it with underfloor heating. Run feels she should treat this old man (that’s how she views the heater) kindly and should apologize for saying that. Tooru makes a voiceover for Genzou for realism. But still, Genzou isn’t getting warmer and installing underfloor heating isn’t practically. Run comes up with an ingenious idea to put kotatsu for all the tables. Nagi praises her so much that Yuuko is surprised of seeing this never-seen-before scene.

Special 11 – This final special lasts 6 minutes. The girls wonder why Nagi buys bread and doesn’t make her own bento. Too much hassle? They tease Yuuko for being a housewife but Yuuko jumps the gun with some naughty thoughts and causes embarrassment for herself. Run suggests to make and swap bento tomorrow. They could’ve turned it into a competition but Yuuko won’t allow it. Yeah, she has to wear a naked apron… Since Nagi is a total noob in making bento (she could’ve caused a disaster), Yuuko has to guide and teach her. Like a beginner. Yeah, even guiding her hand while she chops the vegetables. That bad, huh? On the other hand, Run and Tooru are cutting their fish like as though they’re in a surgery. They are even dressed for the part! Run suggests to make a character bento but the end result has a mean looking face rather than a friendly one. Carbonation steals a fish and causes commotion. The one whereby a pot drops onto Run’s head. Now you know why she’s a little quirky. Hope she doesn’t get quirkier. Next day as they show each other’s bento, Yuuko and Nagi’s turn out nice. Thanks to Yuuko the teacher. But all Nagi learnt is that her boobs were soft. Now it’s Run and Tooru’s turn. The bento is bigger than usual. So okay, that scary face bento… And beneath it, another bento box with a scary face but this time made of noodles. Nevertheless they have a great time eating them.

+Smile OVA 1
If you still can’t get enough of the cute girls, be glad to know that there are a couple of OVAs to satiate your appetite. The first one starts off with Run dozing off in class. Yuuko thought she had learnt her lesson not to worry about her falling off. She thought of waking her up by mentioning about pancakes. Well, Run did wake up but she’s saying aloud and looking for pancakes. Yutaka is having it tough with her exams and thought of skipping some questions but Kitou gives her fiery and passionate speech about not giving up and accidentally slams her hand on her table. Ouch. She must have broken a bone or two. Kitou feels blessed that her students are helping her out. Till Satou comes into the picture. In order not to worry some of the students, she tries to show her injury is not that bad anymore but ends up feeling more pain. Just hold it in… Since she can’t write on the blackboard, Tooru offers to help out. In order for the chalk not to dirty her clothes, Kitou lends her lab coat. However it is just too big for Tooru so much so Kitou accidentally stepped on it without knowing and restricts Tooru’s movements. Tooru realizes Carbonation sneaked into her bag. But before bringing it home, she shows it to Yutaka and Miho. They are taken in by its cuteness and now have a reason to visit her. When Run and friends walk back, they pass by a park. The boys playing football had the ball rolled their way. Yuuko gives it back to the kid but he is amazed by her big boobs and wants to touch it! WTF?! Tooru thought of bribing the kid with a candy but Yuuko doesn’t think it’s necessary and lets her give the ball back to the kid while she takes the candy. Who knows, the crow starts chasing Yuuko for the candy. Meanwhile Run enjoys sitting on the animal ride. Isn’t she too old for that? Nagi is happy after knowing she has lost some weight and attributes it to her legs. In class, she thought her friends notice her slimmer legs but they point out a mole on it instead.

Yuuko invites them to a newly opened cafe near her place which is famous for its Pancake Mountain. I’m sure Tooru and Run would love to have a try. Yeah, Run is already imagining it with bigger proportions. On that day, Nagi thought God is testing her since she is the last to enter the lift filled with crowded people. Having faith in her weight, the moment she steps in, the elevator sounds. She uses this excuse to run up the stairs. Hope it works up an appetite. As they are seated, Nagi may have been overwhelmed by all the food on the menu. It’s because they are all high in calories. Yeah, plain water will do. Tooru is surprised to see Miho working here as a waitress and guesses Yutaka must be here too. But she assures even they can’t be together 24/7. When Run and Miho start talking on friendly terms, Tooru starts to panic and orders a wide range of dishes. Even in the midst of the conversation, Miho could accurately repeat all the orders that Tooru made! She’s good! Yutaka patrons the cafe and since it’s full, she is made to wait 20 minutes, something she doesn’t want. Miho makes her sit and wait since she doesn’t want her to know Tooru and her friends are here and crash in on them. Just when she thought the secret is out, it’s actually Yutaka making a guess that the uniform may be making her boobs look smaller. She deserves to be hit. Yutaka is placed in a separate room and though excited about the food on the menu, she lost motivation after seeing its high price. The Pancake Mountain arrives but Run thought the real deal was to come next. Uh… That’s the biggest it can get. Disappointed? Eventually Yutaka finds out about Tooru and in her excitement starts yapping away. Tooru is ignoring her and giving her that stare since well, she’s still chewing her food. Taking all the fun out of it, eh? Just when Yutaka settles in and thought a certain busy waitress won’t be here to bother them, then comes Miho to pick her up. Wait a minute. Why isn’t she in her uniform? Her shift’s over. Oh. Too bad Yutaka, looks like you’ll have to go with Miho. Run and co leave satisfied. Run thinks of making pancakes too but Tooru notes it won’t be easy to match this cafe’s level. Yuuko thought they were mocking her and says she can make tastier ones than this place. Maybe she shouldn’t have said it right in front of this establishment.

+Smile OVA 2
Yuuko gets a cold as her younger sister, Keiko nurses her. Though she has to leave for school, she is still worried but Yuuko assures she can take care of herself. Yuuko SMS to her friends of her cold so they plan to visit her later. Tooru feels ‘lonely’ because she has no one to tease. Yeah, she loves the reaction Yuuko does when she pokes her skin, eh? The friends visit Yuuko and since she is trying to play a good host, the rest tell her to get some rest. But when they are leaving, Yuuko hints for them to stay since she feels lonely and her family won’t be back so early. Probably this is a cue for Nagi and Tooru to get cheeky they are going to strip Yuuko and wipe her sweat! Maybe they shouldn’t make a sick person worse. Then Tooru made porridge and Tooru feeds Yuuko. The latter thought how nice of her to do so. But… Tooru starts feeding her at a very fast pace! Can’t keep up! Oh Tooru, have you got your teasing fix of Yuuko today? The telephone rings so Run picks it up. Since it’s a newspaper subscription, she tries talking in Kansai-ben! I guess that wasn’t what Nagi meant when she said try to act like Yuuko since this is her place. Nagi is shocked that Run and Tooru could carve apples better than her. So much so she ate her own works to cover up. Yuuko has a strange dream whereby she boards a train (Galaxy Railways?) when she transferred to Tokyo. After her friends leave, Keiko returns and realizes her pals were here to look after her. Probably she felt jealous and didn’t want to give the snacks she bought her. The tugging results in the plastic bag to be ripped and all the goodies come falling out. Maybe Keiko is jealous of Tooru. She asks Yuuko is she had come here and puts the full stop in Yuuko’s mouth, preventing her from elaborating further.

Run and Tooru succumb to the comfortable kotatsu but since it is going to be New Year’s Day, they have to visit the shrine near midnight. Yuuko thought Nagi had a shortcut to reach the shrine since she is leaving late. But it turns out she is making a mad dash to the station. They wait for Run and Tooru and when the latter duo arrive, Run got so focused on waving at them, she forgot to alight the train. Damn… Eventually they reach the shrine and there’s a long queue to ring the bell. And they see the first person in line is Kitou! Man, she must have waited for hours in the cold. The girls decide to go look around and at the souvenir charms section, they think Yuuko needs one to protect her from disasters. Does she look that unlucky? When it’s time to usher the New Year, Run rushed off to get sweet sake instead. Along the way, Run wishes lots of people Happy New Year and Yuuko thought she knows lots of people. Turns out she was just randomly wishing strangers. At the wish donation box, Nagi tells Yuuko that her measly 5 Yen couldn’t appease God, let alone make her wish come true. That’s cheapskate. Nagi is going to show her true devotion and splash some big notes when clumsy Run drops her wallet into the box. Bummer. Maybe she’ll get her wish. Then they have their fortune reading so it’ reads “Good luck” for Run, “Uncertain” for Tooru and “Bad Luck” for Nagi. Yuuko gets “Very Good Luck” so the rest try to pat her head and get some of her luck. Next, they read the wish cards on the wall. Tooru can guess that one is from Yutaka… In fact, she can tell her entire class was here. Run thinks they should write their wishes on the cards too. By this time, the line for the bell is gone so the girls take their turn to ring it. Thinking it symbolizes the dispelling of worldly desires, they start chanting for Nagi’s worldly desires to go away! Must be her diet obsession, eh? On the way back, Run suggests they watch the sunrise at her place and talk about the wish they wrote down in their cards. Nagi bets Tooru wrote down her wish to stay best friends with Run so Tooru agrees it is more or less something like that. More accurately, she wished for all 4 of them to be friends forever.

Lucky A Star Channel…
I suppose this series overall is rather okay. Lots of stuff here reminded about Lucky Star even if both series are different in their own ways. The characters are what you expect to be as they are from the start right up till the end. The little difference is that Tooru opens up more towards other people and has made new friends in not only Yuuko and Nagi but Yutaka and Miho as well. She may be very close to Run but she soon realizes that time doesn’t stand still forever. You have to move on as they grow up and learn about parting and separation. I’m not saying that Run and Tooru will be totally separated but when Run graduates, Tooru won’t get to see her as often as she will because they won’t be in the same school anymore. But that doesn’t mean they can’t meet up on other occasions and have fun, right? That’s why one of the important aspects of this series is to tell us to cherish our time together with our friends.

Because of Run’s personality, she provides most of the funny antics. Every girl group has got to have one of these airheads, right? That’s what makes them so fun in the first place. She hardly takes things seriously (that’s why sometimes putting herself close to danger) and is like in her world of her own that it will never cross your mind if she ever gets mad. Not that I can remember if she ever gets upset and even if she did, I’m sure she will look more cute and scary. I might really think she’s an alien. Nah. Yuuko is a nice person to tease. For Tooru at least. Maybe that’s why she’s friends with her. Just kidding. It’s bad of me to say this but whenever Yuuko is in her timid and scaredy cat nature, she looks cuter. Maybe there is some sort of moe appeal when she starts quivering… Nagi at times felt like a character whose role is to retort antics made by Run. Same case for Tooru. Say, I notice that Tooru doesn’t swing her bat around when boys get too close to Run. It’s not like they have given up on her. Maybe she has already earned some reputation so the guys know their limits and when to stay clear. At this rate, no wonder Run never got a boyfriend. Will she ever? Heck, none of the characters in this series seem to have a boyfriend. Well, this isn’t a romance series. But Tooru should learn to be more cheerful because with her expressionless feature, it feels like she is a half-zombie, the way she talks and reacts. On second thought, she may look scarier if she ever does smile.

Another amusing ‘pair’ is whenever Kitou and Satou start arguing with each other. Serious Kitou is always so tense up that she is always in reprimanding mode especially to Satou. He on the other hand is so carefree and doesn’t take her words seriously. I wonder if that guy still have the hots for Run’s forehead. Don’t hope to see any kind of chemistry brewing between them. Only sparks will fly. But the teachers along with Yutaka and Miho felt like distractions to the main quartet because you don’t really get to know them more than what is already known. If the show focuses solely on the main heroines, you’re going to get bored, right? It’s like having curry rice for each meal for a week consecutively. So featuring these minor characters provide some sort of a variety so that we don’t get sick of watching them. So I guess for Yutaka and Miho, for them to have a regular role, they have been selected to do the next episode’s preview instead and run wild (sort of) with their antics. So can anyone else join this Tooru club too? Three minutes rule apply, though :).

The art and drawing makes the characters look cuter compared to Lucky Star. However the odd part to me is that I somewhat find their body to be slimmer than usual, thus making their heads slightly blown up. Therefore the characters have that skinny look but not as far as making them look anorexic. The big part that made me remind this series something close to Lucky Star was the music. There are lots of fun and casual background music. Especially those enjoyable piano pieces, you might think that they came straight out of the Lucky Star original soundtrack. Then in each episode, there will be one insert song based on the theme for that particular segment. I’m not saying that I dread this part but each time the music starts, I’ll be going “Oh, it’s time to sing along with the gang again”. The opening theme, Morning Arch by Marina Kawano is an upbeat pop tune that suits the pace of the series. Somehow the ending theme, Humming Girl sung by the seiyuus of the main quartet made me remember about The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper although they don’t resemble each other. Must be the style of the horns and fanfare. Nevertheless it is still a fun and jazzy piece.

Kaori Fukuhara as Run sounds perfect as the ditzy airhead she is. That’s because her other role as such a character was Astrea in Sora No Otoshimono: Forte. Only difference is that one is an angel with humungous boobs while the other is a high school girl who is as flat as a washboard. Oops, sorry. Her other airhead characters include Plug of Fight! Ippatsu Juuden-chan and Tsukasa of Lucky Star (okay, she may be slow and clumsy for this one). Aoi Yuuki wasn’t her lively role like what she did for Ichigo in Yumeiro Patissiere and Murasaki of Kurenai. As Tooru, she really sounds monotonous and void of any expression. Makes you think that the character is born this way. She did voice this kind of roles before, such as Noel in Sora No Woto and Mina in Dance In The Vampire Bund. Minako Kotobuki did well with the heavy Kansai accent of Yuuko. I wouldn’t have guessed she was the one behind Tsumugi in K-ON! Other casts include Yumi Uchiyama as Nagi (Kazumi Kawachi in Usagi Drop), Ai Matayoshi as Yutaka (Kobato in Oretachi Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai), Momoko Saitou as Miho (Choco in Chokotto Sister), Daisuke Ono as Satou (Sebastian in Kuroshitsuji), Minori Chiara as Kitou (Chiaki in Minami-Ke) and Miyuki Sawashiro as Kamate (Shinku in Rozen Maiden).

If they make a sequel out of this, I’m sure I’ll watch it though it won’t be top priority. If you just want a story that revolves around a bunch of high school girls in their everyday lives, I’m sure you’ll find this your cup of tea. The story is at a calming pace and the characters are lovable in their own right. No outlandish fanservice, no extreme violence, no totally silly humour and well, no surprises either. But I do learn that if you want to try and tackle or get friendly with a girl, make sure she doesn’t have someone who comes running from another block swinging a baseball bat.

Morita-san Wa Mukuchi

June 8, 2012

There is this saying that once the words leave your mouth, it is hard to take it back. I’m not sure of its exact words or origins but it’s something along those lines (shame on me). I guess in today’s world whereby everybody is so sensitive that the slightest mistake even in the form of words would spark outrage. That’s why it is best to think before you speak. So as in the case of Morita-san Wa Mukuchi. How often do you have a lead protagonist that doesn’t speak out? Literally.

Everyone, meet Mayu Morita. A high school girl of Sakurabashi High School. It’s not that she is mute or dumb, just that her mom once told her to carefully think of the words she has to say to avoid any misunderstanding. However Mayu has taken it too literally and thus her taciturn and reticent nature. It’s not that she’s got the right to remain silent whatsoever. So by the time she finishes thinking of what to say, the conversation is already over. Or worse, people may have misunderstood things over her body action and her silence. Yeah, I guess this is where the funny part comes in. Throughout the series, you will not hear a word Mayu will say through her mouth. You’ll only hear them as her thoughts. And even if she did open her mouth, it is just the huff and gruff. Prior to the start of the TV series, an OVA was released bundled with the special edition of the manga. While the OVA is the usual 24-minute long duration, the TV series is however only 3 minutes long! Talk about nothing much to say, eh?

Miki Murakoshi starts off by introducing her friends like Chihiro Miura and Hana Matsuzaka. They get a little chatty before realizing Mayu is not among them. Where is she? She is at the library and notices a senpai forgetting her library card. She panics upon what to do and by the time she finishes thinking, that girl returns to take her forgotten card. Much ado over nothing? You can expect a lot of this from Mayu. Then while picking a book, she notices the girl nearby on a shaky ladder. She inadvertently supports it and thinks she may have startled her but instead didn’t expect to get thanked. Mayu goes out shopping with Miki as the latter is asking her opinion on the colour of the handkerchief she should get. Again, she took her sweet time thinking so it doesn’t matter because Miki already buys it. Miki and Chihiro give Mayu taste some cupcakes they plan to give to the cool captain of the football club. By now you should have guessed what Mayu will do and the outcome. Yeah, perhaps it is so delicious that she can’t put it into words. So flashback reveals her mom, Yumi told her to plan what to say carefully or it will cause a misunderstanding. You’ll notice this trend between Yumi and Mayu’s dad (let’s just call him Dad). Yumi gets suspicious about Dad’s flings. She coolly confronts him and with a smile wants him to come clean. He starts panicking, denying and at the end of it all prostrates himself apologizing and begs for forgiveness. In the end, they become the lovey-dovey couple once more. It’s amazing that they remained married all these years. Miki suggests Mayu to smile more but it just looks creepy. Hana tries to be friendly with Mayu but her creepy smile spooked her out! As Mayu combs Hana’s hair, she concentrates real hard as not to mess it up but Hana thinks her intense staring is scary. Hana admires Mayu’s long black silky hair too. Guys Ryuuta Kokubo and Kouichi Oono misinterpret the yuri scene. They recall how since she doesn’t talk much, hearing her voice (which in this case is just huffing and gruffing) is like finding something rare.

Mayu returns home to see Yumi berating Dad once more over his affair as she discovered another woman in his handphone. He’s acting so guilty even if Yumi coolly points out if he hasn’t done anything wrong, he should look at her in the eye and speak up or else she wouldn’t know what’s going on. I guess this is why Mayu also thought it is best to properly plan her words. When Mayu comes down later, looks like everything has been settled and she is puzzled they have become lovey-dovey. Mayu notices Miki wearing make-up and takes a closer look. The guys once more think it’s something yuri. There is this girl from another class (let’s call her Megane because she wears glasses) who admires Mayu from a distance. Wanting to hear her voice, she gets a cheeky idea to scare her. But she got more than she bargained for when Mayu faints of the shock. And she didn’t even scream. In home economics class, the teacher chides the group of girls for being noisy and should be more like Mayu. Actually she is really concentrating in making her dish. Miki and Chihiro taste her cookies and from their expression, it doesn’t taste good. This sends Mayu into depression but they cheer her up by giving a peck on the cheeks. The guys see this lovely scene and wish they will be reincarnated as girls in their next life. During pool lessons, water gets into Miki’s ear so Mayu offers to get it out for her. Once more, the guys view this as Mayu giving her a lap pillow treatment but this time they don’t want to be reincarnated as a girl, but a swimsuit! Miki and Chihiro have this misconception of a futon’s smell and fresh air. Mayu knows it is just an urban legend and the real fact is due to the dust in the local area but just couldn’t have the heart to say it. Ritsuki Yamamoto corrects their misconception and tells them not to breathe in this ‘fresh air’ as they will inhale dust and mites. She turns to Mayu and tells her she could’ve just told them about the myth. Suddenly Yamamoto says seeing her turns her on! Actually it’s a slip of her tongue. What she meant was seeing her like that makes her pissed off. Yamamoto admits that when she sees people, she gets flustered that she says weird things. All the more reason why Mayu (and us) should stop and think before we speak. Yamamoto tries to make up but once more she bloopers by saying how her eyes look like frozen squid (reitou ika) instead of looking distant (me tooku ita). Another shock for Mayu. Miki and her friends talk about how harsh Yamamoto was on Mayu and laugh it off that she may even like her. Megane girl didn’t like what she heard… Mayu and Miki are walking their way home. Mayu didn’t pay attention to Miki because she was distracted by a cat. When Miki nudges her, she replies with a “Nyaa~”, much to her embarrassment. I don’t think I would consider that as her first words.

Episode 1
Miki wants to copy Mayu’s notes. Since Mayu didn’t get the printouts from the teacher, Miki thinks of doing it later so she can copy from her. Miki rants about her admiration of the popular football club captain. All Mayu is doing is just hearing her out because she remembers Yumi’s words to think before she speaks. Miki spots that football guy passing and goes off to take a closer look. Phew. You’d wonder when she would ever shut up. Kouichi asks Mayu about the teacher’s printouts but since Mayu is giving him that intense look, he finds it scary and drops the idea (remember Yumi’s advice to look someone in the eye when they’re talking?). Miki is disheartened that the football captain is already going out with someone else. Mayu panics and starts thinking what to say to cheer her up. But that won’t be necessary because Miki has gotten over it and will move on. She thanks Mayu for always listening and this causes her to blush. Miki finds it cute and hugs her.

Episode 2
Chihiro shows Mayu a fashion magazine for her opinion. Thinking too hard, isn’t she? Miki butts in and has lots of things to say about everything. Yeah, miss-know-it-all is freaking the silent one out. Mayu sees a paper high up on the board almost falling off. She wants to pin it back but it is beyond her reach. Miki also sees this and takes a chair to pin it. Mayu thinks how cool Miki is and wants to be like her. But Miki didn’t want Mayu to hold the chair but her skirt instead. Mayu holds it too close, too close to her face in fact that when the guys see this, they start thinking it must be really nice to be girls.

Episode 3
Hana tries to talk to Mayu but her staring causes her to feel afraid. Actually Mayu saw a string on her head. As she is about to get it, Hana freaks out and apologizes for being rude. Once she finds out there is something stuck on her hair, she allows Mayu to take it out but Mayu’s fingers get entangled! Combing her hair, Hana feels that fearful feeling of Mayu staring at her when she is just concentrating on her brushing. With Hana touching her black silky hair, the guys relish in seeing this yuri interaction. Later when Mayu helps Hana carry things, Hana regrets for judging her too quickly seeing she is a nice person. She thanks her and they both smile at each other.

Episode 4
The girls are fanning themselves in class on a hot summer’s day. Miki wears herself out by double fanning herself. She finds it refreshing when Chihiro fans her but that was just a limited time offer. They do a rock-scissors-paper to see who will do the fanning. Mayu lost. Mayu tries several fanning ways and it makes her look like she’s grilling eel, making sushi rice or even cheerleading an idol concert. Funny. Hana comes by and almost scares them with her messy hair. She feels better when Mayu fans her. Miki feels hot ‘down there’ and would pay 100 Yen for anyone to fan her. Chihiro gets an idea to charge people to fan beneath their skirt. Great business idea? Well if they don’t mind the modesty part. Mayu sticks her face and body to the cool window. Her friends see this and imitates. Yeah, like a bunch of girls doing funny faces stuck to the window…

Episode 5
Miki asks Mayu if she wants to eat something on her way home. Thinking what to eat, she is surprised Miki knows she wants ice cream. I guess she’s been around her long enough to know what she’s thinking. At the ice cream parlour, Hana observes Miki and Mayu. It’s like Miki understands what Mayu wants even when she didn’t even say anything. Of course Mayu’s simple action has Hana guessing what she wants too. While eating their ice cream, Miki cheekily ad-libs a couple meeting outside. The girls then order parfait despite finishing their ice cream. Finding it too big, they share to finish it and find it delicious. Sweet paradise!

Episode 6
The girls are talking about colours and laces. What do you think it is? Handkerchiefs. The guys continue to observe the girls. On a hot day whereby their sweat is soaking their uniform, cheeky Miki lifts Mayu’s arm and smells her armpit?! WTF?! Then they share using deodorant. On a rainy day, Kouichi spots Mayu waiting and without an umbrella. He starts thinking of lending her his to see her smile but is also in a dilemma whether he should let her run in the rain to see her bra line. One of the bad points of thinking too long is that the window of opportunity will be gone. And so is the case of Kouichi because it stops raining and the sun is out. Mayu goes on her way and Kouichi continues his delusion.

Episode 7
Miki once more rants about her ideal guy. Chihiro advices that appearance alone isn’t enough so Miki teases her ideal guy is one with lots of money. She dismisses it and the man of her dreams is one who has a villa, a yacht, plenty of maids, able to provide her with lots of cute clothes and high heels. Isn’t that the same for wanting a rich guy? Asking Mayu’s ideal guy, she starts thinking hard. While she’s at it, they ask Hana. As long as it doesn’t have her living with her mother-in-law… Don’t ask further… Miki’s crush this time is a guy from the baseball club. Conveniently he is down at the field so Miki shows her pals. How come he is holding hands with another girl? Miki laments she can’t get a boyfriend though she is looking for someone kind and considerate. Mayu pats her head and Miki gives her that look so her friends misinterpret she might be into that. Of course not! That night Mayu asks Yumi for advice on her ideal guy. Of course it has to be Dad. Why else they’d be married?

Episode 8
Yumi helps Mayu’s friend put on their yukata. Their praises of her causes Mayu to blush. As they have fun at the festival, Chihiro teases Miki should be here with her boyfriend. I guess she hit her depressed button. Miki’s obi is falling off so Mayu helps her tie it back but isn’t sure of the next step. Although at the end Miki’s obi is fixed, Mayu’s yukata ends up loose. Must be that frantic, huh? Because of that, Mayu returns home early because she couldn’t fix her own. Looks like mom has got a lot to teach her. But her friends return to play sparklers with her.

Episode 9
The guys are lamenting they need to run laps on a hot day instead of watching the girls in pool lessons. Miki thinks it’s a good way to exercise but Chihiro teases her she must have gotten fatter so by swimming, it’ll be simpler for her to go on a diet. The girls watch in amazement that Mayu can hold her breathe underwater for a long time. The girls get spooked when they see Hana’s messy hair and thought she was a ghost. She somehow lost her swimming cap. Mayu notices a good swimmer and wonder who she is. She turns out to be Megane as she laments she can’t see anything without her glasses so she wasn’t able to see Mayu today. So close, yet so far… The guys return from their hell and feel like dying. The girls also return as they help each other tie and clean each other’s hair. The sight relieves them. It’s not so bad after all, eh?

Episode 10
As narrated, Yamamoto the class rep is not only good in sports, her grades are good but when she makes a decision, no one can respond. Megane thinks of helping Mayu reach a book on a library shelf. Before she could move in, Yamamoto couldn’t stand the sight and gets it for her. In class, Miki observes Yamamoto is pretty popular with the other girls. She wonders if she is interested in Mayu too. Megane overheard that thinks she likes Mayu. Yamamoto calls her out so that she can tell her the sight of her turns her on. Though Mayu shivers in surprise, Yamamoto apologizes for saying the wrong word as she meant it pisses her off. Mayu thought she made her mad so Yamamoto explains about her habit of screwing up the wrong words when meeting people because she gets nervous. What Yamamoto meant was her eyes seemed distant that it pisses her off but Mayu misheard that her eyes look like frozen squid. Because of that, Mayu closes her eyes. How can she read if she does that?

Episode 11
Mayu is in a dilemma to tell the truth whether she really studied for her exams to her friends. If yes, they would probably want to borrow her notes or fail together. If no, they might not believe her. Mayu is struggling what to say that she looks so odd. Oh, the exam is about to begin. At the end, her friends ask how it went. To say did well or not to, that is the question. The more she didn’t answer, the more curious they get. Mayu walks home alone and sees a newly opened cake shop. Though she has not enough money, she decides to treat herself. Though worried about the calories that were stated in the menu, she eventually enjoys her strawberry shortcake and milk tea.

Episode 12
It’s that time again as Yumi interrogates her husband for coming home late last night. A reception he says? Well, he’s been keeping this up every night so is he sure he isn’t having an affair? Which guy would boldly admit that he has one? Not to say Dad had an affair. Besides, Yumi wonders about her missing wedding ring. Mayu hears Yumi’s side of the story of Dad’s late night out and that he should spend more time with his family and her lost ring. Then she hears from Dad’s side about Yumi always getting mad at him. He assures her not to worry even if they have different personalities. Then Yumi in another interrogation wants Dad to explain about this club card he found. From an acquaintance he says? He must be hard working, eh? Because Dad can’t say anything, Yumi thinks she is losing faith in him. Then he shows her the lost wedding ring. He had it remade and thought of surprising her by giving it to her on her birthday. With that, their relationship is back to normal and the lovely couple they once were. For now.

Episode 13
Mayu meets up with Miki who is just saying goodbye to her college friend. Then they are surprised to see Chihiro parting with her boyfriend. Actually he is her brother. And he already has a girlfriend. Even if Miki didn’t say anything, Chihiro could probably guess a mile away what she was on her mind. Hana arrives late and apologizes she made a wrong turn and got lost. Miki teases her with a pun that she may be an airhead and sinks her into depression. Sorry is not going to cut it… As the girls shop, Miki suggests everyone buy the same matching items. From mugs to earrings, they don’t come in sets of fours and only have pairs of threes. So in the end, everyone orders the same strawberry parfait at the cafe. I guess this counts.

Episode 14
Mayu helps Yamamoto with the printouts. The latter feels the silence between them makes the atmosphere awkward. Well it’s good, right? Their hands are moving instead of their mouths. Actually Mayu is concentrating hard on punching the exact hole measurements. Their teacher Maki thanks them for helping out. She hugs Mayu because she’s cute (maybe it’s because she never talks back) and finds Yamamoto otherwise. She decides to treat them to juice and Mayu gets confused about Yamamoto’s request for coffee with or without sugar and mistakes them for people (Katou-san or Mutou-san), Maki observes Mayu buying a drink for Miki. Then she sees Yamamoto, making sure of her surroundings before taking a sip at the bitter coffee. Maki notes she has her cute side too.

Episode 15
Mayu is in an intense baking but gets startled when Miki nudges her. It causes the powder to blow over her face. Meanwhile Hana becomes strict in baking and doesn’t want Chihiro to underestimate it. Her friends see how good she is and though she makes them at home, it seems this habit stems from her mom and grandma always arguing about it so it’s faster if she did it herself. Thanks to her numerous baking, Hana has got her own biceps to show off! The girls eat their own finish product and Miki has eaten all of hers. Wondering why the rest left at least a piece, she realizes that it can be used to earn points while tackling a guy. Too late. Back home, Mayu wonders what to make with the yam. But she thought for too long and in the end just put 2 candles on it. What the hell is that dish anyway?

Episode 16
Mayu almost dozes off while reading at the library. Chihiro notices Miki reading a book on dishes of love. But can she understand French? Well, she’s just flipping through. They talk about the various books the library contains, even ones that touch on handling family crisis. This causes Hana to sink into depression because she doesn’t need one and sees it at home every day. Tells a lot what kind of family she comes from, eh? Miki observes Mayu trying to borrow books and she looks like a guy trying to buy ero manga! Mayu sees Maki returning books and thinks she reads often. Actually, she uses them as her head pillow while sleeping in the staff room. Yeah, books indeed very useful. Back home, Mayu reads the book she borrowed and finds the story weak and predictable. She heads downstairs to see her parents quickly reconciling after another interrogation. Why would she need a book when something more dramatic happens close to home?

Episode 17
The class will be having their seats arranged. Some of them have their desired location. Miki who wanted to seat at the back got the front instead. Kouichi gets his wish as he seats next to Mayu. As his chance to get closer to her, he purposely borrows and shares lots of things but to Mayu, she must be thinking he is one forgetful guy. But thankfully she continues to help him out when he wasn’t paying attention in class as the teacher wants him to continue reading where she left out. Mayu is like dozing off in her seat. Miki comes to wake her up but Mayu’s reflex slaps her hand away. Martial arts technique? Mayu wonders why a girl is looking at her. She points out this is her seat so Mayu gets embarrassed.

Episode 18
Miki suggests a sleepover but at whose house? Seeing Hana is in one of those deadly aura modes that her house is like a battlefield, they settle for Mayu’s house. Yumi has prepared their futon but why is there a brick attached to the pillow? Maybe it’s a sign that pillow fights aren’t allowed. Then as they put on their pyjamas, they see Mayu’s one very sexy. Actually she buttoned up wrongly. As the girls chit chat, they want to know more about Mayu. Guess what? She took too long what to say and by the time she realizes it, the trio are already fast asleep! Morning comes and Miki wasn’t able to have a goodnight’s sleep. Seems when she woke up to go to the toilet last night, she saw a female figure sitting upright by the front door and thought it was a ghost! Chihiro didn’t believe her but in actual fact it is Yumi waiting for a certain husband and she is pissed that he didn’t come home no matter how long she waited. And when he comes home in the morning, you can bet Yumi is about to blow her top.

Episode 19
As Mayu is at the library, she witnesses a junior confessing her love to Yamamoto. But she apologizes and can’t see her nothing more as her junior. Even Mayu herself gets emotional after seeing that drama but she didn’t realize Yamamoto came up to her. Realizing it’s bad to witness all that and love between girls do exist, Yamamoto hands her a tissue to wipe her tears. But Mayu uses it to plug her running nose. Yamamoto hopes she would keep this a secret. Not so much of herself but she feels bad for the junior. Megane dreads she isn’t able to see Mayu today but passes by her class to see her back with her friends. They note something good must have happened today. Mayu and Yamamoto’s eyes meet as they both put their finger over their lips. Though the rest are puzzled, Megane dreads something must have happened between them.

Episode 20
Maki introduces a new trainee teacher, Hama. However she has an anxious nature and can’t properly introduce herself, let not answer questions from students. Miki asks her if she has a boyfriend or not so she couldn’t answer that personal question and would prefer if they ask her favourite food or something. They’re not elementary kids, you know. As Hama observes the lesson from the back, she notices Mayu moving about (she thought it would be nice not to block her view). Then when she takes attendance, she sees Mayu staring intensely at her (she wanted to give her full concentration). Hama overhears Miki and co talking about her anxious nature and she didn’t know Miki’s nature to know better why she likes a certain guy teacher in comparison and thinks she did something wrong. She gets depressed and wonders if she is cut out to be a teacher. Maki lets her check the notebooks and sees a comment that she is looking forward to her next lesson. Hama gets encouraged to do her best.

Episode 21
For the cultural festival, Yamamoto’s class will do a flea market. Seems Yamamoto and Chihiro have made some sort of deal for the event. So Chihiro leads the class in telling them what they can bring. Even items they can lick, squeeze or leave behind? Mayu helps in the preparations and you can see how fast her hands work if she doesn’t talk compared to Miki and Chihiro, right? As everybody gathers their items for the flea market, they notice a jar oozing with evil aura. Yeah, you’ve guessed it. It’s from Hana and she thought ridding it would bring family peace. But it didn’t work… So as the festival takes place, the flea market is a hit and everything is sold out. Except for the jar… Oh Hana… And the best part is, they made a profit and Chihiro got her picture in the papers. Just as what she wanted.

Episode 22
Mayu gets a cold and is forced to stay in bed instead of going out to the movies with her friends. She writes a long SMS message to explain her situation but when she sneezed, she accidentally erased it all. So all her friends got was a short reply, “Sorry”. They decide to call it off to another day. Yumi remembers Mayu always get sick during her day off and she hasn’t changed because she still grabs her mom’s hand to stay by her side. That night when her fever has gone down, Yumi gives her eat some pudding that her friends bought.

Episode 23
Mayu notices Miki not in class today and worries she may have got into an accident. So worried, she didn’t hear what Chihiro and Hana said to her. Then she gets a short message from Miki saying she’ll be late because she hit a car. Oh no! The odd part is, Miki has always talked so much that when she is so brief, they don’t know what she’s saying. So when Miki makes it to class, she reveals that while she was on her way out of the cafe, her knee hit the car (probably she was daydreaming). The car owner was worried and wanted to take her to hospital but she refused seeing it wasn’t serious. He took her to the clinic just to be sure and she just got her knees bandaged. Because of that, she can’t keep up with the walking pace of her friends. On the way back, Miki assures Mayu that she’ll be alright. But I guess she wasn’t paying attention and looking straight ahead because she bumps into a post this time. If only Mayu had said something… So this time, they make sure they look left and right before crossing the street. Better safe than sorry.

Episode 24
The guys wonder if Mayu has ever gotten angry before. But they want her to scold them or be cold because they feel she has a cute side to that. However they got reprimanded by Yamamoto for slacking in their class duties. I’m sure they’ve heard it from her a hundred times. As Mayu and co eat at a fast food joint, Hana accidentally spills her drink on Mayu’s clothes. Though they manage to clean the stain, Mayu isn’t close to mad. But Miki has a feeling she has seen Mayu getting angry before. Thinking back when she was bullied by a kid as a toddler, Mayu did blow her top telling that naughty boy off for making her cry. Because of that, Miki orders extra large servings for Mayu as thanks.

Episode 25
Chihiro suggests her friends to work part time at her relative’s shop selling Christmas cakes. The rate is 800 Yen per hour and additional 500 Yen if they wear Santa Claus outfits. Immediately money face Miki bugs Mayu to come work part time. Mayu is a little shy in her outfit because it’s a little loose. Megane passes by and sees her selling cakes. Thinking of buying one and getting on her good side, she goes home to retrieve her money. At the end of the day, the cakes are sold out and the owner gives them extra bonus for their good work. Miki and Mayu go shopping for presents. Miki teases Mayu when she sees her buying a pair and thinks she is going to give it to her special someone like a couple. Actually it’s for her parents. When Megane returns, the store is closed since the cakes are sold out. Maybe she can treat herself to some pound cake…

Episode 26
Miki and Chihiro are fighting so they aren’t talking to each other. Hana thinks they’ll reconcile soon but Mayu can’t help worry. Both are her important friends and can’t treat one as a friend and the other her enemy. She thinks hard on what to do but nothing comes to mind. Yumi is fine with Mayu worried over her friends but advises her not to overdo it as it can make her heart pass out. I wonder how she does this with her husband all the time. Next day in school, Mayu continues to ponder and worry on what to say to make them friends again. Then she gets the shock of her life when they both come in back as friends. Yeah, Mayu nearly got the shock of her life. They apologize for making her worry. When the quartet walk home, they think of visiting the karaoke joint. It starts snowing so Miki suggests a race and the last one to reach will treat juice to everyone.

Special 1
This episode comes with the DVD. Chihiro observes chatty Miki ranting about the guy she’s interested in. It just brings back memories of the first time they talk. Yeah, Miki still talking about some hunk and dominating the conversation while Mayu just listened. Chihiro’s sneeze got their attention so the trio start talking. Okay, maybe the duo because even though Mayu is in but she’s not saying anything. So they eat lunch and Mayu brings her squid. Is it raw? Chihiro notes Mayu doesn’t talk much but Miki points out she is easy to understand. Case in point. Mayu is pushing her cheeks with her tongue. Squid stuck in her teeth? Yup. See? Easy to understand. Mayu spots a lint on Hana’s hair and is pondering whether to go pick it out. Hana notices Mayu’s ‘scary’ stare and runs away in fear. I guess that was easily misunderstood, eh? Ah, sure brings back good memories.

Special 2
Due to a notice that regular classes will be suspended to facilitate entrance exams, this prompts Miki and Mayu to reminisce about the time they also take the same exam for Sakurabashi. They barely made it in time and after the test, Mayu almost tripped. Miki would’ve said that forbidden word if Mayu didn’t quickly silence her mouth. But then a black cat and black crow pass by… Better hurry home. On the day results are out, Mayu is praying so hard that her number is up but Miki turned spoiler. Yup, she told her that her number is up on the board. Yeah, brings back good memories, don’t they? Miki says it was a piece of cake but Chihiro knows she’s lying. Mayu feels grateful for taking the entrance exam here or else she wouldn’t have met such wonderful people. If she could only say that out loud.

Silence Is Not Golden
So nothing much happens after all? Life goes on for Mayu and her friends. That’s about it. I guess I can’t complain with a series that is only this long. I suppose I was wishing for too much when the series should end with a big bang with all the characters making their final bow. But how can you have a final big blast when the main character herself doesn’t talk much? Speaking of which (no pun intended), Mayu should be every man’s ideal girl. Why? Because this woman doesn’t open her mouth!!! Haha! Hope you don’t take it as a sexist joke but it’s true. Mayu never really speaks to others in reality and even if you did see her open her mouth, that is only in the imaginations of her friends. I know everyone likes a child who isn’t noisy and quiet like her. But keeping her mouth shut for a long period of time like this usually would have people especially older people like our parents say, “Why cannot talk? Your mouth got gold, ah?”. I know Mayu is a nice girl and she doesn’t want to hurt the feelings of her friends by saying the wrong things. As we all know this saying too well, “The tongue is mightier than the sword”. The wrong words can pierce our hearts sharper than any sharpest blade in the world. So by thinking too much and keeping quiet, it feels like she is obliging the ‘you have the right to remain silent’ right. Anything she says may be used against her in the… Well, it’s not that she did some heinous crime, didn’t she? In either way, whether Mayu finally finds something to say or not, the situation itself will be solved. No worries indeed.

Mayu’s other friends are also nice girls but there is nothing special that makes them memorable. Miki is a talkative girl and is always talking about getting a boyfriend herself. Maybe it’s because of that talkative trait that she doesn’t score with guys, don’t you think? Chihiro likes to retort and tease Miki as well, especially when Miki comes up with silly ideas. I guess Hana is the slightly more interesting one among the quartet mainly because of her dark aura and her feuding family. She always gets depressed when the friends talk about something related to it. I’m curious to know what kind of family life she lives. But then again, I might not because there are some secrets that aren’t meant for others to hear. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Simple. Ryuuta and Kouichi are just guys with roles nothing more than admiring the girls. They seem to be interested in Mayu (see, what did I say about the attractiveness of a woman not opening her mouth?) but they usually don’t get pass more than the delusions they have. Don’t expect to see any romance blooming. Same case with Megane. All she ever does is admire Mayu from afar. She always misses the chance to get close to her or hear her voice. Yamamoto is only scary because of the way she sounds. Especially when she screws up the choice of words. I guess in her case, the mouth is faster than the brain, eh? But the most interesting couple has got to be Yumi and her husband. It is a wonder that Yumi gets to put up with her husband’s late nights. Don’t they get tired of this pattern? Well, men don’t really learn. That’s why they’re forever apologizing. I guess it is even scarier when a woman smiles and talks to you politely about your fling rather than raising her voice. But it is not clear if her husband really does have an affair or something. He just comes back late, that’s all. But his actions of prostrating himself in fear speak volumes, right?

Actually I don’t have any complaints about the art and drawing. They are just simple conventional Japanese anime style. But I just want to note that the OVA’s art and drawing seem to be more horrible compared to the TV series. Ironically it is the OVAs that should put in more quality. Therefore the characters in the TV series look much better and cuter than their OVA counterparts, which look just plain and well, unattractive. Speaking of the OVA and TV version, I thought I was being ripped off just like what Kyo No Go No Ni did when it adapted from its OVAs to the TV series. There were some episodes in the TV series that is just a retelling or more accurately a repeat of that short skit in the OVA. This happens especially in the first half of the TV series. It’s like seeing the same thing twice but from a different source. I also want to mention something about Mayu’s eyes. They look ‘dead’. No offence but just like Yamamoto noted, it makes her look like she’s spacing out or in worst case scenarios, a frozen squid (even if that was misconstrued). It is not like the other characters have that ‘dead’ look in their eyes. This is only special to Mayu. So why? My theory is that, she always thinks so hard on what to say that it makes her space out. Spacing out for too long makes her deeply immersed in another world, therefore the ‘dead eyes’ looks whether she is thinking hard or not. Okay, perhaps that was a little far-fetched but I believe it is something like that.

Kana Hanazawa does an okay job with Mayu. It’s not like she has to undergo various emotional states because the character itself doesn’t express herself well, so why the need to get loud, dramatic or excited? Well, Kana Hanazawa do voice other seemingly monotonous characters too such as Kanade/Tenshi in Angel Beats and Sora in Sketchbook ~Full Color’s~. Other casts include Haruka Tomatsu as Miki (Lala in To Love-Ru), Saori Hayami as Chihiro (Ikaros in Sora No Otoshimono) and Yoshino Nanjou as Hana (Kokoro in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes). The rest of the casts are lesser known seiyuus such as Amina Satou as Megane, Kouta Oshita as Kouichi, Ryuuichi Kubota as Ryuuta (I wonder if it is just a coincidence if the guys’ names are picked based on the seiyuus’ first name), while Mie Haraga as Yamamoto and Masatori Ki as Mayu’s father so far have only lend their voices to this series (you can say it’s their debut).

So this show teaches us to mince our words before you shoot your mouth. Of course don’t take too long or else you’ll lose the timing and window opportunity to speak altogether. Maybe firebrand politicians can learn something about her, eh? But if watching this show is supposed to make me get over my shyness and speak up it public, it did the opposite instead. Now I’m more fearful to speak my mind :). Sometimes it is a good thing to speak your mind but sometimes it does more damage than it is intended to. The trick is to balance to say the right words at the right time. That often isn’t easy. Probably I would have a few more things to say but after a little thinking, I think it’s best to make it short and sweet. And to end it with a motto that I have said somewhere in my earlier blogs, just because I don’t talk much doesn’t mean I have nothing to say. That really says it all.

After even watching halfway of Oretachi Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai, I still couldn’t understand what is going on. The main synopsis didn’t reveal much. All I could say from it is that the story focuses on 3 different guys in the city of Yanagihara. We have a guy who is working part time in a cafe, another guy doing odd jobs during the night life of the city and a kid with his negligent girlfriend who thinks he is from another world. Another world? Oh? It is going to get more confusing than this. I’m sure all these stories will intertwine somehow as we go along.

Besides, there are lots of minor characters in addition to the main heroes and heroines so keeping track of who is who or even remembering their names (for a dumb guy like me) can be arduous. Yes, at many times especially in the early episodes, I would be trying to figure out who this character is, if I had seen her or him anywhere before, how is she/he related to whom. Heck, they even introduced new characters at the end that don’t really do much either. Oh my. So many questions. No wonder I couldn’t understand. Based on the adult visual of the same name, I guess the reason why I’m watching this apart from the confusing storyline is the fanservice. Hah. That says it all. Even if I don’t get what is going on, probably it’s the fanservice that will make my day for this series. Not to say it is filled with lots of them in every scene but peppered here and there. So while I have my fill of fanservice, let me try and understand what is going on in the big picture again.

Episode 1
The usual quartet of heroines, Asuka Watarai, Kobato Haneda, Naru Ootori and Hiyoko Tamaizumi are in a typical fight (including typical fanservice) over the attention of one of the main protagonists, Takashi Haneda. Ah, this is what a harem should be, right? Yeah, the world is at peace alright. Elsewhere in a cafe called Alexander, the bar master, Karuo Karube talks to usual patrons Shuusuke Chitose and Kakeru Ootori. From what I understand from their empty talk, Karuo is getting married soon they’re supposed to throw a bachelor party (joint party as they call it). Is that a wise decision seeing some guy is going to get hitched and it wouldn’t be a good thing for his future wife, right? Oh, heck. All I know is that boys will be boys. But they will be reserving the place to hold a party for the waitress Kinako Mochizuki who will be leaving soon to concentrate on her studies. Then we’ve got this talkative waitress, Eriko Hino who despises Chitose but loves the cold and sarcastic Kakeru. She is also being invited to Kinako’s farewell party. The more girls the better, right? On a side note, while Kinako is taking orders, a naughty kid flips up her skirt to see her striped panties but is disheartened they are strawberry prints. So upset that he takes it off by force!!!! WTF???!!! Elsewhere, Hayato Narita considers a hard boiled guy while walking through the night streets of Yanagihara. We see him meet a black dude, Martinez selling rings in his roadside stall and a foreigner loli named Alice who is trying to speak better Japanese. I don’t know what Alice’s problem is, she is trying to convince Hayato that she’s appealing as an adult as she is wearing an elegant and stimulating underwear. She even shows it to him as proof. Yeah, she thought every man in this country is a paedophile. To a certain degree, I agree. Hayato walks around and we are introduced to the vast minor characters including a weird group with silly makeup called R-Wing. At the crepe stall run by Harue Kosuda AKA Pal-san, she hands him a handphone of some kid asking him to do a job but he’s not interested and hangs up. He doesn’t like suspicious jobs especially from that Eeji guy because even if that guy really pays, the jobs are really weird (spending a week in a rundown apartment with no electricity) and prefers to do any utility jobs. But Hayato needs a job so Pal-san lets him polish her car. Because he still owes her, he has no choice but to take it. Back to Takashi, he sees his girlfriend Asuka. After she leaves with her friends, he notes he has to hurry up and finish the remaining things he has to do (trying chicken saute and fried prawn meal was one of them?). That is because he is not from this world and has reincarnated from a place beyond the sky: Guretagarudo. He is the candidate to be its next king.

Episode 2
The usual start off with fanservice involving the main heroine quartet in a king game whereby Naru ends up squeezing Hiyoko’s boobs and the latter seems to be enjoying it. Whether Karuo and some other guy are watching them or some porn TV, but eventually they do climax in an ambiguous way. Hayato visits Pal-san and learns she has hand him a customer in the name of Naru. Hayato is being cold to this kid but Pal-san doesn’t want her to give up just yet. Naru is looking for her bicycle that she believes was stolen. Hayato realizes Naru is Kakeru’s little sister. He remembers Kakeru being called the Mad Emperor of the Night because of his wild and crazy attitude. Hayato was involved in a fight with a group called Yanagihara Flame Birds (YFB) a year ago and that’s when he met Kakeru. He wanted Hayato to join them but he refused. Elsewhere, freelance writer Chitose sees Yuu Yoneda as she hands him a book to review by an author named Tama Izumi. While he is reading the book, he thought he spotted the author sitting across. He is convinced by Kakeru to go talk to her, even making a dirty joke as ice breaker. Not working. But she starts loosening up when he calls her sensei. They talk about the article she is writing and he had the cheek to insert another dirty question (the colour of her panties). She actually answered it (though she wasn’t smiling). Chitose realizes he has been had by Kakeru. Back at Alexander, Chitose learns that he slipped up and mixed up Tama Izumi with Hiyoko Tamaizumi. He rushes to inform Yuu about his slip up but accidentally sees Hiyoko changing. She gives him a dead stare. Don’t forget the slap too. That night, the party for Kinako’s farewell is held. Karuo, Chitose and Kakeru are the guys while the ladies are made up of Kinako, Eriko and Hiyoko. Chitose plays host and tries to cheer up the atmosphere especially Hiyoko who isn’t too fond of him. The rest thinks he is hitting on her but Kakeru notes they suit each other. Chitose says he is a fan of Hiyoko’s works and finds her latest work interesting (though he hasn’t read it yet). However Eriko says the latest one was gloomy and should’ve given an honest opinion. Hiyoko sinks into depression so Karuo changes the subject to bloomers. Chitose becomes a joker with bloomer jokes before rushing out to find one. Once outside, he is relieved that the world is at peace.

Episode 3
A pool kibasen event to start things off with yet another fanservice note. Tops are flying off! Chitose begins his part time job at Alexander and is put under Hiyoko’s guidance (she also works here). She is reluctant to do so but since Karuo mention she doesn’t hate him, there shouldn’t be any problem. Chitose admits he hasn’t read her work but she expresses even so, it made her very happy. She then gives him a bloody thick manual of Alexander to memorize! 1051 pages in total. F*ck!!! Hayato walks around with Naru to find her bicycle. She misinterprets he has schoolgirl uniform fetish and admits that she has a fetish for working clothes. They run into several YFB guys: Chickedon, BunnyD, Kazuma Morisato and the rapping LR2001. They let Hayato know that something big is going to happen tonight. Something about R-Wing is going to enforce their religion throughout the neighbourhood and YFB isn’t going to let them do what they like because they are lovers of peace and justice. They even have the logo of their group printed on their shirts underneath! Hayato sees off Naru at the train station. He wonders if she and her brother are on bad terms. She doesn’t know as they don’t live together in the first place. When she leaves, she drops her wallet but he manages to give it back to her. She purposely dropped her wallet so that he could call her first name. She is ready to receive her forehead flicking punishment but he pats her instead. Then she trips on her way, revealing her panties. That wasn’t on purpose, right? Hayato is caught between the fight of YFB and R-Wing led by Archbishop. YFB mocks and teases them and got them with hilarious pranks (fireworks?). Then the real brawl begins. Hayato sees Kuroudo Hariu in the midst just playing his congas and not wanting to stop the fight. Hariu insists he isn’t their leader or anything. Suddenly Kakeru appears and he wants to play with Raven (Hariu). Archbishop pulls out a gun and fires at his arm. Kakeru doesn’t feel any pain and goes crazy instead. Hayato struggles with Archbishop to get the gun off him. The distraction allows Kakeru to slam Archbishop’s head into the wall as he warns the small fry not to lay a finger on him. Kakeru and Hariu prepare to fight but Hayato comes in between to tell them to stop. If they don’t break up, he’ll shoot with the gun. He tells them off with some advice to get some sleep (Hariu) and to go see a doctor about his arm (Kakeru). They both back down and end tonight’s recreation.

Episode 4
What the hell is this 108 sexy chosen teachers trying to impede Asuka sensei to Takashi’s class?! Even if it doesn’t make sense, it must be for fanservice as usual. Hayato meets up with Naru for another round searching for her bicycle. She is not happy he is not wearing his work uniform. As punishment in addition for turning up late, she wants them to hold hands. But they run into Ai Kouda who proclaims herself to be Hayato’s wife. Things get complicated when Martinez and Alice shows up. Now they think he’s gay and into kids too (because Alice said she’ll take in all his desires). Hayato and Naru along with Ai continue the bicycle search and bump into the YFB guys. Hayato wants them to take Ai with her but they’re not interested. They let him know that R-Wings surrendered but Archbishop ran away from hospital so they’re on a hunt for him. Ai got this cool idea to check out R-Wings and rented a cram space at an internet cafe. Hayato can’t do his research in peace because the girls are trying to outdo each other by seducing him. They got kicked out. Once Hayato is done, he is shocked to see the girls undressing outside! They’re swapping clothes? Then they start fighting over him again and this time the cafe owner (a big ugly lady) throws them all out for illicit sexual activities. Elsewhere, Chitose offers to help Hiyoko trying to reach a box on top of the locker. She insists and falls down. Her ass on his face. I guess the impact of her beating up is so great that the box dropped down. Kakeru patrons Alexander as Eriko tries to get friendly with him but was told off not to touch him, especially his shoulder. He was about to hit her but Karuo warns him so he cools himself. Grumpy Kakeru leaves and a guy in a hat and coat soon follow suit. Chitose thinks he has forgotten to pay his bill when he dashes off upon seeing his face. Chitose and Hiyoko go after him. The guy gets violent swinging the chair. Chitose got hit in the head while protecting Hiyoko. Suddenly it’s like Chitose turned into another personality (Hayato?). He easily beats up this guy and says something about telling someone to get back into the cockpit. Hayato returns to his home and sleep. In a different world, he meets up with Chitose in a church to interrogate the latter. Something about not using Scramble for stupid things he did earlier. Chitose mentions he got quite a bit of Scramble from Takashi because of Guretagarudo. He doesn’t know how many times he was thrown into the cockpit. They note Takashi has got the hardest role although they have been evenly split with Takashi in the morning, Chitose getting the afternoon and Hayato the rest of the night. Furthermore, the trio are also known as hawk, eagle and falcon respectively.

Episode 5
Two and a half years ago, Takashi’s friends dared him to ask Asuka out. To everyone’s surprise, Asuka says okay. Outside, shy Takashi dismisses everything as a joke and doesn’t want people to get the wrong idea about them as lovers. Asuka understood what he meant and only helped him out because he looked pitiful and didn’t want others to use her for bullying. Finding out Takashi hasn’t got anyone he likes, she wishes to keep things as they are now. And that’s how their relationship started. In present, Takashi accidentally sees Asuka’s panties because she was standing on a higher ground. A student (probably an Asuka fan) accuses him for being a pervert and liar. Takashi starts coughing but the guy is going to beat him up. Asuka comes down to find out the commotion and even so it doesn’t matter because Takashi is her boyfriend. The jerk is being made to apologize to Takashi before running off in embarrassment. Then Asuka questions Takashi if he did see her panties. She’ll kill him if he did and if he lies, she’ll kill him too. Oh sh*t! In class, Masako Takauchi reminds Takashi about the graduation anthology they’re supposed to do but makes him do it all by himself. Suddenly Takashi is transported to another world. He goes by the name of Sir Hawk Cyan Blue and everyone in the hall gladly awaits his return. He goes up to the only princess in Guretagarudo with royal blood, Princess Asuka who tells him enemies have been closing in since his absence. The great strategist Garuda has been taken hostage while Sir Eagle and Sir Falcon are currently missing. Princess Asuka orders Hawk to head to the northern forest to rescue their troops from enemy hands. She also wants him to return alive so he can return to her side. Takashi returns to Earth and accidentally kicks the water bottle of Hariu who is sleeping nearby. He thought he is Falcon but realizes he is wrong. Realizing he is Asuka’s companion and her remarkable sense of hers laying eyes on him, he cannot speak any further since his lips are sealed. But he warns him he might cut his stomach open to retrieve the jewel he swallowed. I’m not sure if that was a joke either. Though Hariu finds him interesting because Asuka chose him, he doesn’t have any pity for guys like him and seeing him just wants to make him puke. Probably the shock was so great that Takashi starts coughing and transport to the other world again. Hawk rallies all the allies on his side to fight against the enemies. Everyone is praising Hawk and vow to stand by him. With everyone all fired up, they begin their counter attack.

Takashi is back home and didn’t realize his sister Kobato is sleeping in the living room. He turns on the lights to find her only wrapped in blanket. However Kobato doesn’t recognize who he is. He says that there is nobody else living here except them both. As Kobato goes to change, Takashi gets a surprise call from Asuka. At this time? Well, they’re dating right? So it shouldn’t be a problem. She wonders if he has found someone else. This makes him remember that Asuka told him she will gladly step down if he found someone else. Takashi wonders would it be better if they could be together for a little bit longer seeing he is going to vanish from this world. Next day in class, Takashi the class rep has a hard time holding everyone’s attention and cooperation for the graduation anthology. Takauchi takes over and ends the pathetic session to let everyone go. Nobody even gives a sh*t about him. Then another relapse for Takashi. This time Hawk is alone with Nameless Maid (Takauchi in this world and Princess Asuka’s, erm, maid). She wants to let him know her feelings even though she knows he belongs to the princess. She seduces him and the scene turns comical when Hawk notes about her boobs and comparing them to Asuka’s. Takashi doesn’t feel too good about this when Asuka invites him out to go shopping. He agrees and this brings relief to hear that. She notes that he has been avoiding their regular meetings and though he has been her boyfriend for the past 2.5 years, he has never asked her out once! She assumes he is trying to avoid her. Takashi denies and reminds her the time when she told him she generally hates most people and didn’t plan on going out on a date with anyone. But if she kept turning people down, they may start hating her so she thought it would be convenient if their relationship remained like this as a misunderstanding. Asuka realizes that because of this, she has been ignored for no reason for the past 2.5 years! She chides him if she just wants to ask him out then go ahead and that he didn’t even had the guts to ask her. Meanwhile Hayato sees a crowd. His worse fears come true when Martinez is taken away in an ambulance and Alice inconsolable.

Episode 6
Seems Martinez has been shot and from the description, it is by that guy in a hat and coat. Plus, he said he will kill Hayato. Pal-san tells Hayato and Alice that Martinez’s life is in no danger and should be discharge in a few days. Back in the other world, Hayato and Chitose are discussing that dangerous guy with a hat and coat is Archbishop. They have to be careful before Takashi and Kobato gets hurt. Hayato is filled with anger that he should’ve sliced that guy up but Chitose doesn’t want him to act rashly. Chitose returns to work at Alexander. As repayment for his bravery, Hiyoko takes a look at his wound and gives a new dressing. Chitose is caught between heaven and hell because in addition to lying on her lap and having a nice view of her undies, the sharp pain in his head is really painful. But he is happy to receive her ‘warm love’ and will not take it off for the rest of his life so Hiyoko changes her mind and tears it off his head. Naru surprises Hayato by wearing a cat outfit. In view that a mad guy is still lurking around, Hayato grabs her hand and promises to protect her. You can guess how she interprets this. He throws her into the train and advises her not to come to Yanagihara for the time being and that the search for her bicycle is put off for now. Hmm… Naru obediently understands… Hayato goes to see Kakeru in his club. He is here to warn him about Archbishop who is more than prepared to take anyone out. Kakeru feels confident he won’t lose since he has reliable bodyguards. Hayato tries to make him understand that those around them might be harmed, especially Naru. But Kakeru scoffs off that she is now just a stranger. Enraged Hayato grabs his collar but cools off. Hayato runs into Kobato who went out to buy some bread. She wishes for him to come home and eat dinner once in a while. Hayato continues looking for Archbishop and at a tunnel, Naru shows up. Didn’t she listen? Apparently when Hayato was advising her at the train, she misinterpreted all his words as romantic lines. I guess her lip reading is that bad, huh? Anyway she is disheartened that he isn’t in his work uniform. Their lively conversation is cut short when Archbishop finds them. He is going to make Hayato pay for the hell he is being put through. He shoots and the shot destroys the top part of Naru’s clothes. Hayato is filled with anger and a voice in his head telling him to smite the bastard. He regains himself and dashes towards Archbishop. Fast enough to knock a good punch in his face and causing him to miss his shot. Then praying with all his heart for the world to be at peace, the YFB guys come to take Archbishop away and Hayato sees Kakeru doing the same with Naru. So that guy still cares for his sister. In the car, Hayato reverts to another person. He is one of the throne successors of Guretagarudo, Garuda Darkblack or also known as Karura Itami. The admirable king has returned, claims he.

Episode 7
After a short break, I guess it’s back to the usual fanservice opening with the girls being told to add more fanservice to show more skin. Miya Yamashina would gladly do all those stuff in front of TV and even dresses in a scantily dangerous, I’m not sure if that is even proper clothing she’s wearing. Then they tie her up and they proceed to play Twister. Karura trades places with Hayato as the latter is seen plunging into the abyss while Karura rises up. He is bewildered that his country has been invaded by strange culture and buildings. A country now called Japan. He speaks with his vanguard, Phoenix Flare Gold (Kakeru). He notes he has been observing Kakeru and Chitose during his absence. Because Karura looks too much like Hayato, he needs to do something about his appearance. His drawing of his own self is horrible but Kakeru got the goods to make him look much better. I’m not sure what is this all about because Karura, Kakeru and the other YFB guys (including several R-Wing members) are holding a Christmas picnic right in the middle of the walkway! Karura doesn’t seem to know the snowman in this world is just a statue and not the real fearsome Snowman he knows back in his world. Yeah, he got frustrated since it is not listening to him. The YFB guys cool him down as Kakeru tells them he is their new emperor. The other guys aren’t happy this place is swarming with lovey-dovey couples so LR2001 suggests to go rape some b*tches. Karura is interested in that topic and wants to find out more! Reading a book on reproductive organs, he concludes he wants to ejaculate!!! Then this guy called Platinum came by to introduce his 71st girlfriend (WTF?!) but Karura thought he ejaculated and starts throwing a cake in his face. Then everybody starts throwing cake in public and the battle heats up with Hariu joining the fray. I don’t know why but they’re singing a dirty song too!!! Karura sees Kobato in the crowd and remembers her, Princess Dove, the daughter of the late king as the person he must protect. He ends the food fight and wishes to return to his castle.

Well, I guess you can say a man’s home is his castle so back at Kobato’s home, she recognizes him as Karura. The funny part is when Kobato tells him to take off his shoes, he starts stripping everything! Thankfully he didn’t get that far. Kobato doesn’t blame him for anything and Karura gets this warm feeling inside each time she smiles. He remembers the people of this town calls it love. Then he asks her to have sex with him! I guess she’s confused so he continues his harassment by squeezing her boobs! Sick king. Once that is over, she advises him not to touch a woman’s body indiscreetly and staying overnight without telling anyone worries the family. Karura assures her that since he has returned, he has no intention of returning this body to him as it will be his for eternity. The troublesome substitute will never happen again. Kobato is worried about the others so Karura is sure that his other brothers won’t rise again. Kobato gets distraught and that it’s not about Takashi, Chitose or Hayato she’s talking about but her real brother. The one who was there from the very beginning and not the different people who showed up afterwards. Kobato composes herself and mentions about her brother confining himself on his own accord and that no one else is to blame. She thought if she behaved as a good girl, he would come back but I guess she concludes she’s not, the reason for him not appearing. Seeing the tears in her eyes, Karura notes how they parted when she’s still young and she’s still waiting the day they’ll be reunited. A day that will never come. He wanted to help her even though he is only good at nothing and beating up others. Thus he decides to make her wish come true even if it costs him his life. That is because they are existences that were born in order to prevent her from becoming sad. He apologizes he couldn’t keep Phoenix’s promise and hopes Kobato’s world will be at peace. Karura falls back down the abyss and trades back places with Hayato.

Episode 8
This Takashi-look-alike, Youji Haneda is watching reruns of all the fanservice we’ve seen in the beginnings of this series. Karura crashes down and notes him as their great predecessor who disgracefully stepped down and their father. He wants him to return to Guretagarudo but he isn’t budging. Hayato and Chitose talk about how a priest told them when they are about to be swallowed by anger or hate, they should recite a chant to calm their heart, “May the world be at peace”. Chitose also notes another problem in the form of Youji. He is Kobato’s real brother. Up till now they’ve done their best for Takashi and never thought there was someone before them. Kinako patrons Alexander on her time off and along with Eriko, they make some bad puns. Since Karuo keep insisting about the big breast cream girl with star hairpin (Hiyoko), Chitose just tells him off she is out of stock. What he didn’t know was she heard it. Oh sh*t. Hiyoko forgot she had him remember Alexander’s manual (he did it actually!) so he gives her that dead stare. Kakeru comes in and notes how Karura disappeared so fast after having waited for so long. He plans to observe Chitose from now on. Martinez is discharged and he thinks Hayato is giving him his feelings with the ring he tossed him. Actually it’s believed to preserve life. At least that’s what the vendor said. Since he doesn’t want it, Hayato gives the ring to Alice who vows to make him happy but causing Naru to cast jealous stares. Hayato narrates they were born to protect Takashi who got the hardest part. Once Takashi graduates, they’ll send him to a hospital for medical check-up by using all the money and knowledge they have stocked up for this purpose. After that, they will hand over the cockpit to him and disappear. Takashi passes by a stall that Yamashina runs. She apologizes for making him stop since it’s his last day of exams. In the train station, Takashi sees Hariu. The latter is asking to be invited again but he’s telling it to the king, not Takashi. Plus, Hariu doesn’t know who this kid is.

In the other world, Hawk is in the woods and meets witch named Sparrow (Yamashina). He requests her to lend her assistance as he takes on all the winged enemies. At the end of the battle, he has taken too much poison and the only way Sparrow could cure it is to… Have sex???!!! At least that is what it looks like. If not, why the hell they got naked and a big blinding white censor across the scene? Oh yeah, the ‘poison’ did come out alright. Takashi laments being summoned before the test is bad. Asuka thought he did badly. Because Takashi worries about Yamashina being absent in class, Asuka gets jealous that he cares for other girls and not his girlfriend. So to lift her bad mood, he has to ask her out. So for the first time in 2.5 years, he asked her out to the arcade. As Takashi is about to leave class, Takauchi wants him to do a task today. He can’t seeing he has plans but she insists about his selfishness and should think about HER circumstances. She forces him to meet at 1pm but Takashi accidentally trips over her and in an ambiguous position. Asuka comes in but didn’t see what happened. Takauchi uses this to blackmail Takashi. Then she tells Asuka about the messed up boyfriend she has. Since she doesn’t show him her panties he looks at others. Takashi apologizes that he can’t go out with Asuka today. Then he starts coughing and on the verge of transporting to Guretagarudo. He says he will be back since they don’t have wings. Asuka is amazed at what she saw and thinks this guy is the real deal. Chitose now occupies Takashi’s body and plans to play along but Asuka asks where is Takashi’s whereabouts. She wonders if this is what they call multiple personalities.

Episode 9
Asuka can tell this isn’t the Takashi she knew. After all, she has seen this kind of thing for the past few years. She knows Takashi so well that she could say she knows him better than anyone! Chitose is forced to explain things because Asuka wants to help Takashi. But Chitose requests she keeps this a secret from Takashi seeing he doesn’t know there are others apart from him inside this body. When Chitose returns to meet Hayato, the latter isn’t pleased he has divulged their secret. Chitose did so because they themselves do not have much time either. Since Takashi hasn’t come back from Guretagarudo, they do rock-scissors-paper to take turns controlling Takashi’s body. Looks like it’s Chitose again as he has breakfast with Kobato. She is sad that with so many people coming like this, they’ll all disappear eventually. For the next few days, Chitose tries to act like Takashi. So unnatural. Hariu sees Takashi and notes that there are others too. It’s getting interesting for him. Suddenly Yamashina pops up and she’s bloody excited. She’s so scatterbrain that you can’t understand what she’s yelping about. Apparently that steamy thing she did with Takashi. Oh sh*t. Everyone’s listening! Well actually it turns out to be fortune telling which turned out accurate. Disappointed? Asuka is annoyed by the turn of events and calls Chitose with made up names. Asuka wants to speak with the real Takashi but Chitose doesn’t really know when he’ll return so assume him as Takashi. She wants to smack his head. Chitose finally reverts to his original body and continues his work at Alexander. Since it is nearly Christmas Eve, Karuo thinks of using his secret weapon to attract customers: The idol duo called Alex 2 and is made up of Kinako and Eriko. Well, the promo events seem to be a hit with fans. Chitose mentions there is a raw diamond among them he should consider. Hiyoko blushes thinking he is referring to her. But in actual fact, Chitose is referring to himself! He looks hideous cross-dressed as an idol. Boo! As Hiyoko changes clothes, she overhears Chitose, Kinako and Eriko talking about Chitose’s review of her work in a magazine. Chitose is really complimenting it but Eriko gives her honest opinion. She doesn’t like it. It’s a disappointment. Her previous work is better and shouldn’t be overstepping herself and just write about what she does best in the earlier works. Besides, this second volume didn’t sell well. Hiyoko comes out and thanks their thoughts in which she will use it as a reference for future works. Eriko continues to berate her that she has lost her charm. Chitose still feels her work is good though. Kinako thought Eriko was being mean but she insists it’s better to give an honest opinion rather than to lie.

Elsewhere, Hayato, Naru and Ai come rushing to Kazuma. He seems to have found Naru’s bicycle. Apparently it’s the wrong one. Then several R-Wing members pass by and they want to help look for the bicycle as thanks to Hayato because of what he did to put an end to Archbishop’s rampage. Kazuma can’t let this slide and contacts the other YFB guys to see who will find Naru’s bicycle first. Hayato and Naru return to Pal-san and Alice. They learn it is not the bicycle she is particular about but a pocket bell (some sort of pager) she left in its basket. It was a present she received from her mom and due to family circumstances, she leaves away from her. No one except her mom knows the personal details of that pocket bell. Hayato vows to find it so Alice thinks of using her father’s influence and vast resources to conduct and international search! Too much! She thinks an organization is behind it seeing she has seen several people carting off bicycles on their truck. Pal-san notes they are city council workers. Then it hit them. Since Naru has recently returned from overseas, city council may have towed away her bicycle that has been parked there for a long time. Next day, Hayato takes Naru to the bicycle compound where she finds her bicycle. She is so happy upon retrieving her pocket bell that she has a race with Hayato to the city. Bicycle versus feet? The winner is obvious, eh? Meanwhile YFB and R-Wing continue their competition but why the heck are they gathering piles of bicycle?! They’re still at it…

Episode 10
It’s Hayato’s turn to be Takashi and Asuka isn’t happy another fake one pops up. She warns him not to talk casually with her because she feels like smashing his head. She can say that while smiling?! Scary. In class, nobody gives a damn about Takashi (Hayato) who is supposed to assign roles for the graduation anthology. Hayato is a tough guy so he just assigns task to the class. They are not happy but Hayato f*cks them all off to do it! Takauchi is smitten by his fierceness and accepts his decision. She likes this kind of guys? No wonder she hates the real and weak Takashi. Later Asuka confronts Hayato and warns him she expects the real Takashi to pop up tomorrow. Or else. Yeah, disgusted Hayato feels he wants to rape her! Hariu is fascinated there are others more inside this body and thinks it’ll be fun playing with him. Later as Hayato returns to his original body, he is being invited by Naru to a luxurious indoor pool (her father’s company owns this place) as thanks for finding her bicycle. Oh, be careful not to let her bicycle get tow away again. Naru also invites Ai, Pal-san and Alice. Alice steals Ai’s pads so she could seduce Hayato with her eroticism but it just made her boobs uneven. Plus, Ai felt ‘lost’ after realizing she can’t beat Pal-san’s humungous melons. As they part, Hayato is disheartened that Naru and Ai stop by Alexander for desserts. Hayato gives excuses to hide himself so Eriko and Karuo wouldn’t recognize him. Then underneath the table, he forcefully switches to Chitose. While the girls are talking about Kakeru being featured in the magazine, Chitose slips away and hopes no one will spot him. Unfortunately Eriko did and thinks he is here to show off his girlfriend. Karuo also finds out so Chitose pleads to keep this a secret. Too bad they purposely let Hiyoko find out and the kind of reaction she puts up, it’s like as though she’s jealous. They hear Naru and Ai praising her recently released volume and they get excited upon reading the compliments of the magazine review. Chitose purposely makes Hiyoko meet her dedicated fans and both girls become ecstatic eager beavers to meet their admired author. After they leave, Hiyoko though happy to see earnest readers like them, it is exactly that she doesn’t have the courage to publish her third. She is worried it would end up disappointing. Chitose cheers her up by reminding her of her own words that she said she would be happy if only 1 person read her works. He suggests to let those girls read them first. Of course he will too as he is her biggest fan. Chitose walks into Alexander to see Eriko and Kinako still doing that Alex 2 pose. Then Hiyoko comes in. She is brimming with confidence as she confronts Eriko. She gives her a piece of her mind how her words hurt her so much back then that she wasn’t able to publish her third volume that she has finished a long time ago. When she was new here, Eriko was kind to her but now all she does is scold and preach. She wants to be like the old times. She wants to join Alex 2! Is that what it’s all about? The girls have an emotional reconciliation and to celebrate the birth of Alex 3, they put on an idol show. Later Hiyoko thanks Chitose for giving her the courage. Though he says he is her fan, she hopes he could be her fan forever. Asuka spots how happy the duo are and isn’t happy.

Episode 11
Hawk and Princess Asuka combine their powers to ward off enemies till they emerge victorious and earn the praise of their people. Takashi goes to school and to Asuka’s happiness, the real one is back and not some fake persona. As they talk, Takashi learns that Takauchi did and complete the graduation anthology herself. In class, Hariu whisks him away to discuss about imouto moe! WTF?! Apparently Kakeru is a pro in this area and though Hariu didn’t want to compete with him, he felt disgusted if there is an area he is not good at. So as they discuss the various types of imouto moe, chatty Yamashina joins in. However the imouto moe types she listed was a real sister, something that must be avoided for this category. Huh? Anyway, I don’t understand their discussion. Same case with Asuka. Takauchi seems to be friendlier with Takashi and notes he was quite cool yesterday. As Takashi and Asuka walk home together, they pass by Yuu who sees Takashi as Chitose. She is commenting about his school uniform so jealous Asuka takes him away before he develops a fetish for office ladies. To make it up for her, Takashi goes to buy crepe at Pal-san’s stall but she and Alice sees him as Hayato. Never mind the crepe then. Everywhere else they go, other characters in the series see Takashi as either Chitose or Hayato. Doppelgangers? Yeah right. Asuka needs to talk to him and invites her to her home (she lives alone). She asks him what is Guretagarudo. She heard it from the day they made their promise. Looks like his secret is out. Takashi tells her everything so she assures him she hasn’t told anyone. She wants him to quickly finish up this story because all stories end right? But it’s not easy as he is still fighting to retrieve peace for that world. Asuka wants him to choose which world he prefers so he says Guretagarudo. Asuka gets dejected but he continues the people of that world aren’t well off and needs him. Asuka tells him he had an imaginary younger brother called Asumu. Her parents weren’t always home and talking to other kids weren’t fun so she created him. She had fun with him and because of Asumu, she got to do things that she once hated. The point? Asumu is to Asuka just like what Guretagarudo is to Takashi. It is just a fiction of his imagination. Takashi insists that place does exist so Asuka shows him something. Putting in an old RPG video game called Wing Quest, it is about a group of heroes gathered by the holy knight Hawk to bring back peace to Guretagarudo that was destroyed by a group called Hunters. And the player can change the name of the princess so Takashi must have chosen Asuka’s. Takashi couldn’t accept this reality because he still thinks Guretagarudo is real.

So back in Guretagarudo (or at least Takashi’s mind), Hawk is confronting Princess Asuka over her betrayal even though his feelings for her was genuine. She turns into another form and fights him. Takashi faints and Chitose takes his place. He says Takashi may not be coming back. He concludes that the reason why Asuka chose Takashi instead of any other boys is that she sympathizes with someone who was hurt in a similar way. Asuka isn’t going to end it like this because there are many other things she wants to say to him. How to bring him back? Keep punching his face till he returns! Woah! She can’t be serious! Violent woman! Chitose can’t take the pain and switches with Hayato! But even her punches are too much that Hayato switches back! The switching goes back and forth several times till Karura takes over! Hell is about to break loose with the return of this king but Asuka punches him back to the abyss!!! He didn’t even last long! Oh, this girl! Asuka says the reason she talked to him wasn’t to make him forsake his fantasy. If going to another world and getting something good out of it, then it’s fine. Before she had Asumu, she hardly smiled. Now she’s smiling. The point is, it’s the important things that they need to get through life. Takashi/Hawk still remains pessimistic because he doesn’t have wings like her. Punching him again, she tells him even without wings, he can still come back to her because she wants to be with him longer. She envies him for being able to go to another world unlike her. Even if he does go meet Princess Asuka, but at least take care of this Asuka too. With that, Takashi is back. Yeah, his face is totally bruised. So it’s true that you need to punch a guy many times to get him back. Takashi now accepts Guretagarudo does not exist and when he returns to his own room, he sees the bank passbooks left behind by Chitose and Hayato. But Takashi notes he is not fighting anything nor has he saved anyone. Next morning, Takashi and Kobato head off in Kakeru’s van.

Episode 12
Resting at a park bench, Takashi remembers Kobato’s mom was an unstable person. Because of that their father couldn’t live together but mom always beat up Youji for being too close to Kobato as she sees a reflection of him in Youji. Takashi remembers the day he learnt of Guretagarudo’s non-existence, he talked to his other self and found out the reason for his existence. When Youji hid and shut himself in the abyss, the kind and invincible hero Takashi was born. Each time he felt incompetent or couldn’t bear the pain in his heart, he would quickly escape to the world in Wing Quest, a game he often used to play. Chitose and Hayato were 2 people he created to support Takashi. He feels they need to get Youji back for Kobato and that is by making him face his past. At the church, Takashi/Youji starts experiencing pain. Youji wanted to protect Kobato from her crazy mom so he killed her with his own hands. Of course he felt no one would forgive him and deserved to be punished by going to hell. But he doesn’t want to go to hell and wanted to be with everyone. Despite that, he thought it was better for him to stay down here in the abyss and forget everything. Kobato chants “May the world be at peace” to snap him out of it. She tells him about the kind priest who once took care of them and was told to give him a letter once he remembers everything. Inside, a newspaper clipping that states their mom committed suicide by poisoning herself. Takashi thought he killed her but apparently she survived and was hospitalized. Though Takashi feels what he did didn’t make a difference, Kobato notes he protected her that time. Because of that, she was able to grow up as she is now and hopes he would forgive himself. Youji rises from the abyss. Next morning, Youji and Kobato prepare to head to school. They meet Kobato’s friend, Akira Kikawa who seems to take a liking for her brother. Youji goes round to explain what happened to all those involved. This includes the people at Alexander (did Karuo purposely twisted his words?). Kakeru wanted Youji to let him see Karura as thanks but his impersonation sucks. Then visiting Pal-san, he thinks of stopping his handyman job. But Pal-san still makes him clean her car. Yeah, Hayato’s debts won’t vanish just because he changed name. Alice also feels Hayato won’t forget her seductive body and shows him her undies! This girl has no shame. Why, Martinez also wants to do him in!

In the bumpy train ride, Misaki Hayashida accidentally bumps into Youji. She bites her tongue each time she wants to apologize. Because Youji is having cold feet about calling Asuka, she gives him the courage and confident to do so. Youji meets Yamashina (still f*cking chatty is she. STFU!) and Hariu who is no longer interested in imouto moe. He admits Kakeru is of a different level as he desires the forbidden fruit. In short, he is going after his real sister Kobato! Youji calls Yuu about his last manuscript and she’ll be waiting if he feels like doing another one. Then he bumps into Takauchi who teases him about getting hard but wants him to make that call quick. Youji calls Kazuma, supposedly his best friend who has heard everything from Kakeru. I’m not sure about this but Youji is willing to engage in some same sex unrequited love with him?! WTF?! Youji also told him something that has been annoying him all this time: Kazuma’s long hair. Of course he didn’t like that. Ai and YFB guys hijack Youji’s call and are going to teach Kazuma a good lesson. By the way, they are just a flight of stairs away from each other. Start running! Probably the reason why Youji is grateful to Kazuma is because without him, he wasn’t able to meet Ai. Then the biggest demon of all appears: Asuka. She is not happy another fake persona showed up. Youji tries to be cool but Asuka didn’t like him ruining Takashi’s image. So how? She punches him! That should work, right? Life returns to normal for everyone. Youji still does his part time job at Alexander and from time to time dons the work clothes Naru loves so much. He is also moving on with his life and reading a book called clinical psychology to help with his ISH (Inner Self Helper) to help with his multiple personalities. Youji goes to school with Kobato but is ambushed by Asuka. She hugs him in hopes Takashi will come out. While Kobato wouldn’t mind having a big sister like her if she marries her big brother, in that distraction Naru cuts in and thinks of kissing him to bring Hayato out. While Asuka and Kobato restrain her puckering lips, Hiyoko steals the guy and seeks his advice about her fourth publishing and redoing her second work. As she thanks him, she is able to bring out Chitose so the other girls aren’t happy about her success and start fighting over him.

The motivation to buy the OVA for this kind of genre is the full fanservice, right? Oh yeah! But we have a false start because we see the naked skin of Takashi, Chitose and Hayato in the hotspring! ARGH! MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!! It could even get yaoi at this bloody point?! So back to some real fanservice after that ‘bad joke’. At Alexander, clumsy Hayashida is the part time staff because everybody else has left for the hotspring. Yuu visits and talks to Karuo. I guess his horny hormones is working up because he is making sexual harassment comments and wants girls to apply by sending it to his part ‘down there’. In exchange for letting Kinako and the rest go to the hotspring, they agree to send him back a picture of the hot bath. A picture he soon gets but it is a monkey taking a dip! Haha! However… Karuo believes this is Kinako’s true naked form and is bloody hairy!!! Is he blind?! At the hotspring, the monkey is violating Kinako while Eriko and Hiyoko are licking ice cream like… You go imagine. Nearby, the group of Asuka, Takauchi and Yamashina are also here. It seems due to a rumour on the website, there is a female ghost in this place and if you see her, your love blessings will increase. Likewise, Kobato, Alice and Kikawa are the other group talking about this rumour and it’s the same case for the group of Pal-san, Naru and Ai (why is Pal-san giving the duo some sort of stimulating foot massage?). All this talk about this ghost is probably just a distraction because you’ll feast your eyes on the various fanservice provided while the girls are talking about it. That night when all the groups prepare to take a dip in the hotspring, Kinako gets drunk. Naru and Ai thought they heard the ghost and got their shampoos ready. Naru is assaulted by Kinako who thinks she is Hiyoko (her boobs shrunk? That should be a dead giveaway). Naru and Ai retaliates by shooting shampoo over her. It stings the eyes! Takauchi gets hyped up thinking she has heard the ghost but shampoo got into her eyes so she takes it out on Asuka and Yamashina (boobs squeezing?). Meanwhile back at Alexander, Karuo is starting to see this monkey in Kinako and thinks he needs to see a real body of a woman in order to keep himself a human! I think he’s already a beast. Elsewhere, we see Kakeru as the one responsible for writing up that ghost rumour and he is furiously cooking up more for entertainment. Kazuma tried to peep on the girls but fell of the rocks. At the end when all the girls return to their room, some disappointed, some felt it was nothing much, our main heroines of Asuka, Hiyoko, Naru and Kobato spot somebody familiar outside looking up at the moon. They rush down to go see him. Well, whoever it is, we’ll leave it to your imagination.

Clipped Wings…
So… The entire story was just about a kid who was traumatized by killing his own mom to protect his sister. He couldn’t face the truth and hid in his own world while creating a bunch of split personalities to carry on with his life. Yeah, that should summarize this series in a nutshell. Therefore the confusion of us viewers seeing different faces when actually it was the same face all along adds to the confusion of it all. Because to everyone else, they saw the same face: Youji. At least with this revelation, it clears up the air on certain stuff. I mean, the main trio guys never really meet unless it is in that fantasy land so by putting together all the pieces, I’m sure this split personality thing makes sense. Really, how can you go to the other fantasy world that does not exist by just switching bodies?

Adding more characters into it only serves to confuse and distract everything. I mean take for instance that Hariu guy. The way he talks and everything seems like he knows something about the split personalities. Then I don’t understand what happened to have him talk something on imouto moe and in the end, it didn’t amount to anything much, right? Same case for those YFB guys and the ex-R-Wing members. The former seem like a bunch of dropouts going around and ‘protecting’ the city they love. I don’t even know what the latter’s plans are. After Archbishop’s flop and failure to get his revenge, you’ll never hear of him again. Alice is just a foreigner kid bumming around not afraid to show off her womanly charms. Has she learnt any shame not to show off her pantsu in public? Throughout the series there is this character called DJ Condor which only appears at the beginning (for fanservice mentions) or the next episode preview. I don’t know what his role is unless he is just like the host preparing viewers to tune into this so called channel.

Albeit much of the story and plot is confusing, I have to admit there were a couple of very funny and laugh out loud moments. For instance when Hawk was rallying his allies against the enemy forces. The funniest part was how everybody’s name or title came up onscreen. At first I thought this bugger was going to be somebody major seeing the producer even put up his name on the screen. And when too many popped up and the more ridiculous it sounds, I felt that there was something wrong. Then before I realized it, I started laughing so hard at all the ridiculous titles I see on screen. How could you not laugh to have warriors with names like “Kiss Me Right Now” or even “The Street Corner That Wets Lovers”! How absurd can it get?! Besides, some of the avatars were really funny. Besides cute kitty cats, rock stars (was that Freddie Mercury?) and cross-dressing freaks, we’ve got warriors that have the same face! Truly a funny moment. Another funniest moment is when Karura wrecks havoc in town as he starts his dirty singing and cake throwing in public. Definitely a WTF moment to behold but it was too funny for me to hold back and just let the laughter out.

Of course the major motivation or reason why anybody would want to watch this is the fanservice. So if you don’t get the plot or what is going on, just let your mind enjoy the fanservice. While some fanservice scenes are slipped through, the more dangerous ones are being censored with a yellow streak of line that says “Keep out!”. It’s like a crime scene and you are forbidden to go any further! I’m sure if you buy the Blu-Ray discs, you won’t have any of those annoying lines. But can you really consider this series to be a harem because well, even though it may be the same person’s body but the girls like a different guy.

Seeing that the theme of this series is about split personalities and multiple personality disorders, besides out main hero, some of the other characters too have another side. Take Kakeru for example. Without his make-up as the crazy Mad Emperor of the Night, he is the kind of guy who is cold, unfriendly and keeping his distance. One night falls, he turns totally into a different person, what more the leader of the YFB gang. Maybe that is why he sticks around with Hayato (or Youji, depending on how you view it) but prefers Karura because of his wilder sense. Yamashina also has a different side because on one hand she may look like the quiet girl but when she turns into a talkative scatterbrain, full stop or commas are not in her dictionary. That Takauchi girl may not have a split personality but after knowing how tough Takashi becomes, she treats him better. But this Youji guy must be one heck of an influential guy because of his presence around Yanagihara, he makes contact with lots of people and in a way helps them out. Who knows in addition to the main quartet of heroines, how many other lives he has touched. He may even have more split personalities. For each of the heroines, they see a different side to this Youji kid and probably that’s why they started liking this same guy in their own ways. Hmm… Maybe it isn’t the outer appearance that they fell for but rather the personality. So it’s the inside that counts, right?

On a trivial note, each of the episode title is in the form of a graffiti. Seeing them being laid out as a scribble on the street, wall or post is quite creative. But sometimes the writing can get too scrawl or doodle-like that I can’t make out what it says. Sometimes I may just even miss it because I didn’t even know there was some sort of a writing there. Also another thing about the episode titles is that they tend to be taken from a dialogue line somewhere within that episode. It may not be the exact same words but it will be along that line. So you may feel somewhat familiar if you hear the character saying something which is similar to the episode title. Otherwise, I don’t even understand what the title has got to do with the plot of that episode. It’s just something random, I guess.

I suppose everyone’s mind is like a TV channel in which they can tune into another channel to find the programme they want to see. A deeper meaning is that all of us tend to view the world and things around us with our stereotypic perceptions. A person may look like somebody we would normal think of until we see the other side. Mostly we would be surprise by a behaviour we would never expect to see. There are always 2 sides to a coin. Once you are tired of watching the same ol’ reruns and boring TV programmes, just switch off the channel and go outside to play. That’ll give you a refreshing view. But excuse me while I try to find a channel wave that consists of lots of 2D beauties…

Not every story ends with a fairytale-like ending, right? Sometimes it is sad that the heroes die at the end of the story but as they say, death is part and parcel of life. One of the 2 inevitable things in life (the other being taxes but that’s not the point). So in this blog segment, I have compiled and listed down several main anime characters that die in the final episode. It is tough deciding the definition of ‘main character’ and thus setting the criteria for them to be put into this blog. So I have opted that a character is considered to be main and in the lead if he/she is what 90% of the anime is about. Without this character, the story won’t flow smoothly. The plot has to involve this character or else that character is just considered a side or minor or even supporting character.

This means that typical villains and bad guys are not included in this list because well, in categories like action or fantasy, the baddie may be the driving force why the hero and his/her group of allies set out to defeat but evil characters are supposed to die at the end, right? So that is to be expected in that sense. However there are shows that blur the line between protagonist and antagonist so it is really hard to see them as the typical villain. Thus I would be using my discretion to see whether they are deemed fit to be put into this blog. So before we kick off, be warned of the following spoilers. Oh heck, most anime fans would already know.

Rosette Christopher & Chrno (Chrno Crusade)

The wild nun’s life and days has been numbered ever since she made a contract with the demon named Chrno, which is sealed inside a watch seal she carries around her neck. Each time Chrno uses his power and turns to his powerful true form, he has to use a bit of Rosette’s life force, something the loyal and kind demon is unwilling to do. In the final fight with Aion, Rosette unlocks her seal to give Chrno the power needed to kill Aion. They both secluded themselves at an abandoned hut and live the remaining bits of their lives together till they passed on with a gentle calmness on their face. There is a picture to show just that but I felt it was too heart breaking to bear. :'(

Sora Suzuki (Mahou Tsukai Ni Taisetsu Na Koto: Natsu No Sora)

A cheerful girl from the country side of Biei in Hokkaido, she is one of those who undergoes training as a mage apprentice in Tokyo. Sora has this condition which she inherited from her late father and this is what makes her dying. Each time she hears loud sounds, her heart will beat faster and a very loud lightning strike has triggered and accelerated this condition. The first time they found out she had this condition, it is estimated she only had a year to live. She returns to her hometown after becoming a mage to perform a magical vision at her dad’s grave that she has become a beautiful bride, a wish her dad wanted to see before his untimely death. After using up all her powers, Sora dies in the arms of her mom.

Yorito Morimiya & Matsuri Shihou (Sola)

Yorito loves taking pictures of the sky and on that fateful dawn whereby he wanted to take pictures of the sunrise, he met Matsuri, a yaka (immortal supernatural being with supernatural abilities). Being a yaka, they can never be exposed to sunlight or it will be their demise so Matsuri yearns to see the blue sky of the day, something Yorito promises to show her. With parties chasing after her head, the climax arrives when Matsuri and Yorito’s sister, Aono clash over that boy. Yorito turns out to be an ‘actor’ made out of paper when he got stabbed by the sword. It was something Aono, who is also a yaka, created when she couldn’t deal with the death of her beloved brother. Prior to stabbing Aono, Matsuri had stabbed herself so as to transfer her yaka powers to the sword and the stabbing stab to Aono would turn her back to a human. Matsuri vanishes when the sun rises. But the deaths of both Yorito and Matsuri aren’t in vain because it allowed Aono to walk under both skies.

Togame (Katanagatari)

The self proclaimed intelligent and genius strategist who teams up with the successor of Kyotouryuu (Swordless Technique), Shichika to hunt down and collect the 12 Deviant Blades forged by the famous swordsmith Shikizaki. At the end of their journey after collecting 11 of the Deviant Blades, Togame is fatally shot and injured by Emonzaemon who possesses the final Deviant Blade. Despite mentioning she was just using Shichika for her nefarious schemes and would kill him off after collecting all the swords, deep down within her she does develop feelings for him. Togame’s death propels Shichika to become the strongest and completed 13th Deviant Blade.

Kikuchiyo (Samurai 7)

Originally a farmer, he subsequently became a mechanized samurai to protect and help others. Due to his temperament, loudness and clumsy ways, he isn’t considered by Kanbei as one of the samurais drafted to protect Kanna village. Despite that, he continues to tag along and help out whenever he can. He is the final samurai to be acknowledged by Kanbei and also the last of the samurais to die. Probably already half dead when the fierce battle is taking toll on both sides, Kikuchiyo uses his final brute force to stop Ukyo’s crashing capital from smashing into the village. All that’s left after that screeching stop are his boots.

Gennosuke Kouga & Oboro Iga (Basilisk)

Both the Kouga Manjidani and Iga Tsubagakure tribes have been fighting each other for 400 years and an uneasy peace pact was brought upon them by Hattori Hanzo the first. However a power struggle to decide the heir of the shogun arises and both sides are once again pitted against each other in a battle royale to determine the succession dispute. Gennosuke and Oboro are lovers torn apart and their love tested by the war of between their clans. Both are the last members standing of their respective clan and are forced to face off with each other to determine the winner. Oboro is unable to kill Gennosuke and stabs herself, dying in his arms. Devastated, Gennosuke also stabs himself but not before writing down Oboro’s clan as the winner of this bloody conflict.

Madoka Kaname (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)

Madoka and her friend made a pact with the mysterious creature called Kyuubey to become magical girls to rid of the menace caused by witches. But everything isn’t what they seem. Akemi’s strategy to go back in time to try a different path to defeat the insanely powerful witch called Walpurgis yielded nothing good. Seeing everything that has happened, Madoka makes her wish of erasing every witch in the past, present and future. The result is that she becomes part of the universe and every memory associated with her becomes void. Some may argue that she didn’t really die and merely became a concept and shifted to another plan but I personally feel that even if Akemi is the only one who retains memories of Madoka and everyone else forgetting who this girl is, it doesn’t change the fact that she is dead because she can no longer smile, play and do stuffs with her friends. She is no longer around.

Misuzu Kamio (Air)

Yukito is trying to find the girl in the sky with wings and befriends the cheerful but clumsy Misuzu. She has been suffering from a mysterious illness that causes her to cry whenever she thinks she has made friends. Misuzu is actually the reincarnation of a winged creature who was cursed by monks before her death. Because a human’s body cannot contain a winged creature, Misuzu is fated to die young. When she and her aunt Haruko are taking a stroll at the beach, Misuzu got up from her wheelchair and tried walking towards Haruko as the goal. However once achieving this, she dies in her arms after accepting Haruko as her mother figure.

Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass R2)

The anti-hero of the series, Lelouch is the abandoned prince of the Britannia Empire and vows to overthrow the Empire by siding with the Japanese rebels (Japan is a colony under Britannia renamed as Eleven). A brilliant strategist and strongly believes that ends justify means, he possesses a power called Geass bequeath by C.C. that allows anyone who looks into his eyes to bend to his will. After disposing of his father Charles and installing himself as Britannia’s new Emperor, Lelouch rules his land with tyranny and at the same time destroying all those who oppose him. As part of his Zero Requiem plan, Lelouch has Suzaku dressed up as the rebel leader Zero to stab him so that the world could finally move on and be free of this ‘tyranny’. Some people still believe that Lelouch lives at the end but to me, that end scene of C.C. was just ambiguous and nothing conclusive. I strongly believe Lelouch sacrificed himself as atonement and for the betterment of the world.

Light Yagami (Death Note)

Some say Light is the antagonist and even though I have not seen this show (yet), I feel that Light though may not be your typical hero, he is just someone with twisted beliefs trying to correct the world by riding the criminals his way. Sure, it may seem wrong but with corruption at high levels and the inept police force that is supposed to protect the people, can you blame him for taking things into his own hands? Light is an intelligent son of a police officer who is bestowed a Death Note in which he can easily kill anyone just by writing his/her real name inside it. Under the name of Kira and in a high stakes game of cat and mouse, Light finally gets cornered and gets shot by Matsuda whom he felt betrayed by Light. After escaping to a warehouse, Ryuk wrote Light’s name into the Death Note, sending him into cardiac arrest.

Makoto Itou (School Days)

Everyone hates Makoto! Sure, we agree he is the villain of the series and even if he did turn into a sex-crazed jerk, that was as the series goes by. Okay, so it won’t help if I argued that he wasn’t such a bad guy in the beginning. The fact that he screwed around with every girl he could get his hands on and paid no attention to his original girlfriend, Kotonoha pitifully left forsaken, was the clincher that made this guy public enemy number one. So what happens when you f*ck around and realizing too late of the one who really loved you? In his case, he deserved what he got when jealous Sekai stabs him to death with a kitchen knife. Though Sekai got her uterus cut open by Kotonoha to proof that her pregnancy was a lie, Kotonoha is seen cuddling Makoto’s severed head on a yacht. Now they can truly be together!

Life After Death…
This list isn’t meant to be definitive as I believe there are there other animes I haven’t watched to find out the true ending of the main characters. Even if the main characters do die in the end, I’m sure they have left us with impressions in our hearts and memories, whether they are the good for the whole or just despicable deeds. So in that instance, you can say they have ‘lived’ even though they are already dead. Well, unless you are an immortal, everyone will one day have to kick the bucket, right?

This list could have been even longer because I did not add main characters that have really died in the final episode but revived. Sure, they do fit the bill that they died but one of my criteria too is that they stay dead. So in the case of Sakura of Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, he dies in every episode but because he gets revived, he isn’t listed. Same case with Hayami from H2o ~Footprints In The Sand~. She may have thrown herself in front of the train but she was revived in the end by the spirit council. Though Jubei of Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls sacrificed herself to defeat Gisen, buying the OVA episode reveals she didn’t really die and descended from the sky back into our hero’s arms. Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn‘s Yuni too sacrificed herself in the last episode but I feel she wasn’t really a main character and if she was, it was just because of the Future Arc that serves as the longest arc in this anime. Same case for Nagi from Deadman Wonderland. He didn’t really appear till halfway in the series. I don’t know if I should have put Yoite from Nabari No Ou in here either.

I don’t want to end this on a grim note but since we are on the topic of death, it is tad sad that when your favourite character has been given the chop. You won’t get to see anymore of your favourite character doing all sorts of things. But the most important factor as someone has said, is not the years in life that matters but the life in years. Who wants to live forever anyway?

Time Paladin Sakura

June 1, 2012

Hey, hey! It’s another Da Capo series! Actually, Time Paladin Sakura is a spin-off from the Da Capo series. It has nothing to do with the original plot of the Da Capo series as in this double OVA episodes, we have Sakura Yoshino as the main protagonist instead. Don’t expect this to be a love-romance genre, though there are some magic bits involved. This spin-off that came out in early 2011, uses the characters from the Da Capo series and some of its setting, nothing more. The plot is relatively simple (why make it so complicated when it is going to last for only 2 episodes?). Sakura may seem like an ordinary third grader but she has some secret powers. She is what you can call a Time Paladin and travels through time to fight villains, especially those who want to destroy or alter history for their own nefarious ends.

Episode 1
Back in the period of Edo, the magistrate chief and his men are chasing the elusive thief, Nezumi Kozou. Thanks to the distraction of a black cat, Archimedes (a black version of Utamaru – and talks!), Nezumi is apprehended. Sakura then appears not because she is arresting Nezumi, but the chief magistrate himself who is actual the Temporal Thief Suginami! He has loads of treasure stolen in his sleeve. Sakura uses T.P. Evolve Change so that we can see some henshin scene like a magical girl to reveal her true pink kimono uniform. In an attempt to capture him, Sakura accidentally destroys part of the roof with her magic cards. Not good if you’re trying to keep history intact. Suginami continues to mock her but gets trapped by her Giant Punch spell. He seems confident like as though he has a trick up his sleeve. Indeed he does. Out of the wormhole come his assistants, Nemu and Miharu to rescue him. Suginami thought he had the last laugh but Sakura zaps him as he drops his treasures. Maybe next time, eh?

Back in present time at Hatsunejima, the Sakunomiya Shrine houses the headquarters of the Historical Continuity Defensive Department which is headed by Chief (who is also Sakura’s grandma) along with Alice, Mako and Moe. Sakura gets lectured by Chief over her little destruction, which is unacceptable for a Time Paladin. You know who much work needs to be done to maintain history coherence? I don’t know. She reminds her of their important mission to stop those planning to rewrite or destroy history, bla, bla, bla. You think a young girl who is forced into this kind of line is interested to listen? She meets up with classmate, Junichi and on their way to school, he gives her some sweets seeing she had to rush for another time travelling job without breakfast. Junichi is the only person who knows of their secret. However they are stopped and chided by Suginami who is the student council president for eating in the school grounds and is going to reprimand them for being delinquents. With Nemu and Miharu coming by, Nemu offers to take care of the situation seeing Junichi is her little brother as Suginami can’t be late because he’s the school role model. In class, Sakura is a slacker in just about anything. She sucks in history (you think travelling back through different times would make her good in remembering dates, eh? Wrong!), she sucks in music and she definitely sucks in art (heck, Archimedes fares even better). During PE, Sakura thought she could dance with Junichi but got Suginami. Yeah, the duo are like cat and dog. It’s lunch time and before Sakura could sink her teeth into her food, she gets an emergency dispatch call from headquarters to move out. Oh darn. Hate this on-the-job-duty-calls, don’t you? Yeah, she’s being chased by the mammoth anyway. How can she run on an empty stomach?

Somehow she manages to finish that mission and she’s not too happy. Archimedes reminds her that only the Yoshino family has the powers to travel through space and time. Therefore it is her destiny to be a Time Paladin. Sakura isn’t amused, though. Junichi saves the day with more sweets and desserts for her hungry stomach. He mentions his dream of becoming a great pastry chef to make great Japanese sweets to bring smiles to everyone so Sakura says her dream is to become someone who will protect that smile. Back in the student council room, you might have guessed that Suginami is that thief. Yeah, the room is filled with stolen treasures. He is unhappy that this time he had only stolen a Bible. It could be from Geronimo or Shirou Amakusa, the one during the Shimabara uprising whereby the Christians rebelled against the Shogunate. Junichi knocks on the door and immediately the room reverts back to normal. Junichi got the scare of his life when he sees an eye popping out from the Bible. Maybe he’s just seeing things? One Suginami’s student council duties are over, he is now free to do as he wish as the Temporal Thief. He’s going back to Edo. Meanwhile Sakura gets another dispatch message while cleaning so she has no choice but to leave it to Kotori. When the eye from the Bible opens, Junichi suddenly collapses. The headquarters identify a Time Eating Worm, dangerous worms born from distortion of time that feed off various things and damage history. It must be eliminated before it grows. Though Junichi is resting at the infirmary, his mind finds himself in a desolated place, and Amakusa materializes from the Bible. He is going to be one with Junichi and… Did he kiss him?! Anyway, Junichi falls under his spell. Mako thought she detected another Worm but the signal disappears and she scoffs it off as a mistake.

Sakura is still in the Edo period when some guy is nearly completing his Elekiter. A lightning strikes it and the Worm turns the Elekiter into a giant monster. Sakura is to intercept it when Suginami and his assistants intervene. He won’t allow her to destroy that historical treasure even if it’s being inhabited by the Worm. Why? That’s because he is an ally of justice! Is he kidding us? Both sides attack and though Sakura won, the distraction causes the monster to go on a rampage. She brings order back by firing her Dimension Rifle (I thought she was going to pull off something like Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica’s Mami’s super blast) to destroy the monster. Suginami thought the treasure is done for but to his surprise and relief the Elekiter is still intact. But this causes him to be tied up and arrested by Sakura. Suddenly Sakura receives a distress message to return to headquarters as they are being attacked by an unknown enemy. Amakusa, who has seen visions of the world being led to the path of destruction and feels the need to correct it, barges into the main bridge and wipes everyone out. Sakura returns with Suginami only to find Chief messed up. Her worse fear comes true when she sees Junichi in Amakusa.

Episode 2
But as Amakusa explains, he is just borrowing Junichi’s body and memories. He is going to absorb the sakura tree, which is the spiritual tree connecting to all epochs. Chief, Alice, Mako and Moe combine their Fusion Magic to blast a Rainbow Storm into Amakusa but is has no effect. He returns the favour and knocks them all out. Amakusa continues to absorb the tree till it withers and is pleased to have the ability to time travel and rewrite history. When everyone regroups, they assess the damage as Chief orders a Dimensional Lockdown. Sakura keeps wondering about Junichi and wants to save him but Chief mentions she is in no shape to do so. Even if she could, the tree is already withered so time travelling is impossible. Meanwhile Amakusa has trouble using his powers and went back too far in time instead of his intended destination. Nevertheless he still causes rampage. The headquarters are able to detect him as Chief plans to deploy Magical Torpedoes and even the powerful but forbidden weapon, Magical Cannon. She has no choice since the enemy has absorbed the tree’s powers and must prepare for the worst case scenario. Sakura protests in using that as it might destroy Junichi’s body. She is escorted back to her room but breaks out and returns to the roots of the tree. Chief orders the firing of the torpedoes. Not only it did not work but Amakusa can still hop into other dimensions despite the lockdown. Suginami is confined in a room and ponders if the Bible and Junichi had anything to do with what’s happening now. He pleads for someone to release him when the door suddenly comes down on him, thanks to Miharu’s super punch. He should properly time his move. It’s time to bust out.

Emotional Sakura pleads to the tree to give her powers to save Junichi. A single petal drops into her palm and this is enough to open the dimensional gate for her. Amakusa finally arrives at his intended time period, the Shimabara uprising. Since Junichi is awake, Amakusa lets him see how his brothers and sisters were abandoned by God they believed so much and got slaughtered. Amakusa couldn’t believe He chose a corrupt future where cruel dictators flourish. His hatred developed into a Time Eating Worm and waited for ages for this chance at revenge. He chose Junichi because of his special body. It won’t be affected by the changes to history. His goal is to destroy everything and become God himself. So, another maniac who wants to play God, eh? Sakura arrives on scene as Amakusa dispatches his Worms to keep her company. Mako intercoms Sakura to return as they are going to fire the Magical Cannon. That distraction has Amakusa binding her for the moment. Chief fires the cannon but to their dismay, there is no scratch on him despite taking a direct hit. Amakusa is enraged and blasts away Sakura. Luckily he is caught by Suginami who happened to pop up just in time. Why is he helping her? Because he is the ally of justice! Remember? Actually, if the world was destroyed, he had nothing more to steal :).  Sakura can’t give up now and will think of a way to save Junichi. She will tackle Amakusa while Suginami and his assistants will take on the pesky Worms. Sakura wants Amakusa to give Junichi’s body back and he challenges if she manages to touch her, he will. Sakura clones herself as Amakusa confidently takes them all out till the real one is left. In perfect timing, the headquarters did a brief Dimensional Lockdown and transfer Sakura to the imaginary space. This allows Sakura to appear from behind Amakusa as she pats him on his back. But Amakusa isn’t going to honour his words and strangles Sakura instead.

Junichi fights to regain control of the body so Amakusa lets him taste some electrifying pain. Junichi wants Sakura to defeat Amakusa but she can’t because of his promise. He too reminds of her promise so Amakusa is surprised he is willing to sacrifice himself for these corrupt people. Junichi says there are people who would help others even if they are already hurt themselves. Sakura is convinced to finish Amakusa off and blasts her Dimension Rifle through Amakusa while Junichi holds him down. In the aftermath, Sakura is weeping over Junichi’s body. But alas, he opens his eyes! No, this is not heaven. As Chief explains, anything inhabited by the Worm will return to normal once the Worm is destroyed (like the case of the Elekiter). Junichi hopes Sakura won’t hate Amakusa too much because he just naive that he couldn’t forgive the evils of this world. Before he disappeared, he whispered something to Junichi: “It isn’t God who creates the future. Therefore I shall leave the future to you two”. Well, that’s a huge responsibility I’d say. But we’ll think about that after Sakura fills her stomach. Guess what? It’s deja vu again. Just before she can sink her teeth into that yummy dish, it’s another dispatch order. Why does Suginami always ruin her lunch time?

Magical Girl Sakura…
Everything is rather okay and perhaps the nostalgic feeling of the Da Capo series is what compelled me to watch this spin-off. So will Sakura continue her Time Paladin destiny with a different view now seeing it’s just more than a job or a family tradition? Well, that’s another story. But it still boggles me how they kept history intact with Sakura bloopering in some of the missions. Maybe they have a way. Like making all those who have seen lose their memories. I mean, if that is not the easiest explanation, how do you explain that all those people back in the olden days seeing magic from Sakura and hi-tech inventions (Suginami’s flying saucer)? Wouldn’t they be spooked to see flying humans and magic spells that come out from just cards? Hmm… Maybe that’s why we have legends and this sort of fairytales passed down from generations, eh?

Though the main art and drawing is still similar to what we see in the other Da Capo series, some of the characters have been slightly altered in their appearance. As we know Sakura in the original Da Capo series looks like a little kid but she’s actually a teenager. To match that, Junichi and Kotori have been turned into third graders themselves! While Kotori looks cute as ever (as she was even if she’s a teen), Junichi was just unrecognizable. The only reason why I would have guessed it is him is because off the process of elimination. Who else could this person be if you’re going to use the characters from the Da Capo series? Suginami also looks different too. He looks a bit like a villain. Due to the couple of episodes, don’t expect to look out for any character development. Don’t bother finding out why Suginami is a Temporal Thief along with Nemu and Miharu. It is mind boggling the fact that if Junichi knows Sakura’s secret as a Time Paladin, how come he doesn’t realize his sister Nemu is part of Suginami’s thief trio. Who the heck is Archimedes, really? Maybe every magical girl needs a pet mascot? Miharu is amusing because well, she gets to shoot beams out from her eyes! Okay, so the Miharu in the original Da Capo series was somewhat an android too. Kotori has been driven to the sidelines so much so her presence was forgettable. In a way, this OVA would’ve moved on with or without her appearance. The action is rather okay with all those fancy magic nicely executed. Thus Sakura isn’t just your ordinary magical girl who transforms but fights villains using her magic cards. If she had used those to capture her enemies, she might have been called Card Captor Sakura! On second thought, maybe not.

A totally different aspect to this OVA is that all of the characters are voiced differently from the original Da Capo series. Except for Suginami (still by Daisuke Kishio – Kaname in Vampire Knight). Yeah, it’s like the same guy transcending different parallel worlds. I guess putting different seiyuus mean you get a different feel like as though this is another parallel dimension. It felt a little odd at first without the squeaky Yukari Tamura voicing Sakura and instead we have Suzuko Mimori (Sherlock of Tantei Opera Milky Holmes) doing the petite blonde. Then we have newbie Aina Kase doing Junichi instead of Yuuki Tai. No more Yui Horie for Kotori but Emi Nitta (Malga Naruze in Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon). What was Akemi Kanda as Miharu now has become Ayana Taketatsu (Azusa in K-ON!). Mako was done by Yuki Matsuoka and now is voiced her by Kanae Itou (Sanae in Shinryaku! Ika Musume) likewise newbie Hitomi Haruka does Nemu instead of Sakura Nogawa. Archimedes is voiced by Rie Nakagawa (Nue in Tayutama -Kiss On My Deity-). The opening theme, Fly Away T.P.S. by Sayaka Sasaki is an upbeat dance-pop beat while the ending theme, Boku Wa Kimi No Soba Ni Iru is a moderate pop piece by yozuca.

I’m not sure if there are going to be another spin-off projects from this series. But if they do make them, I’ll definitely have a look because, well, for nostalgic reasons. This anime has become such to me. Maybe they can do one with an RPG theme, eh? So time travelling and keeping it safe from those with evil intentions seem like a tough job. Well, if it seems plausible, then the perpetrator who altered history will have a different path in the future, which means he/she will never had the chance to go back in time to alter history, right? Confused? Never mind. Can’t think on an empty stomach. Lesson learnt after watching this series: Better grab something to eat fast before something ‘important’ turns up. Well, like they say: Time waits for no man. Or a little girl in Sakura’s case.

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