Kimi To Boku

July 29, 2012

Hey! They’ve finally made a sequel for Ouran High School Host Club! Oh wait. It’s not. When I first laid my eyes on Kimi To Boku, I thought how similar it was to Ouran High School Host Club in terms of the main group of characters. Let’s see, both series have got this prankster twins, then we have a serious bespectacled guy, a lively one who acts like the idiot of the pack and yeah, an effeminate one that some can’t tell whether he is a guy or girl. Other than that, everything else differs and that means the storyline too. In Ouran, we have the host club members hosting rich girls in their school for a profit. Whereas in Kimi To Boku, it is just a focus on the daily lives of these high school boys who have been friends since childhood. Feels like nothing much, eh? Well, that’s why you have the twins to spice up things, no?

After seeing so much of these kind of genre lately and it all involves around a group of girls (A Channel, Lucky Star, Hyakko, Azumanga Daioh to name a few), it is somewhat a little refreshing to see one that revolves around a group of boys. Good news (for me) is that there isn’t going to be any yaoi stuffs. Just plain ol’ friendship among the guys that include moody Kaname Tsukahara, twins Yuuta and Yuuki Asaba, effeminate Shun Matsuoka and the returning overseas half-Japanese kid Chizuru Tachibana as they hang out with each other in their everyday life through adolescent-hood. Seems like fun?

Episode 1
Shun, Kaname and the twins are getting ready on their first day as second year high school students. The quartet have lunch together at their favourite spot on the roof with the twins as usual love picking on Kaname just to make him mad. Kaname and Yuuki have been put in the same class but Yuuki is the kind that doesn’t really ‘socialize’ with others. While others may look at is as ignoring others, Yuuki feels their words doesn’t resonate with him. The topic changes to one whereby Kaname was in love with their kindergarten teacher, Kaori-sensei and their belief that the person who slept in the middle will have years of his lifespan shortened. Shun really believed in it and thought Yuuta was going to die and invited Kaname to sleep with them so there won’t be an odd number to make someone in the middle. But the twins couldn’t sleep in peace even though they’re sandwiched between Shun and Kaname because as twins, naturally everyone will look at them as one individual, right? So Shun and Kaname switch to the middle but still, the twins can’t sleep when they’re apart. So it ends with Yuuki and Shun in between. But when Kaori comes to sleep next to Kaname, Shun ends up as the middle person! I guess he couldn’t get some sleep… Another reason for Kaname’s grumpiness is that he wants Yuuki to join a club. Not that he is really interested in joining any but Kaname insists. So he is forced to try out several clubs like basketball but Yuuki’s just being a pain. Just standing there like a stone… Maybe he really isn’t interested after all. And even if he did try, he bests everyone! Too good! At a dead end, their teacher, Kouichi Azuma advises to check out other clubs because sometimes people don’t always want to do what they’re good at. They check out more clubs but Yuuki continues to fool around (for instance, he thinks Kaname wanted his indirect kiss from the tea cup!). So eventually when Kaname finds out Yuuki’s love for anime and manga, he got so pissed off he should’ve said it from the start and saved them the wild goose chase. Kaname may seem mad but as Shun puts it, he has always cared for all of them. When Shun was worried he was sleeping as the middle person, Kaname offered to switch places even if it means giving up sleeping next to Kaori. Yuuki takes his first step into the manga club but finds nobody. I guess even if Kaname is upset that it feels like a Going Home Club, at least he got his goal of getting Yuuki to join a club, right?

Episode 2
While Shun is waiting for the rest at the rooftop, he spots a petite girl, Masaki Satou with a bruised knee nearby. He tries to help her but she asserts she doesn’t need his help and runs away. Eventually he catches up and gives her a band aid. When he returns to the rooftop, his pals are already eating and thought Shun was late. Masaki returns to spy on them and as Kaname got chopsticks splinter in his finger, this prompts another flashback during kindergarten whereby Kaori would whisk away the pain with some magical words. Shun finds a letter in his shoe locker. Not a love letter. A bad luck curse letter! Kaname feels it may be a prank and he might know who the culprit is. See Masaki staring intensely close by? Who else could it be? Over the next few scenes, Shun experiences ‘bad luck’ like Masaki pulling his chair away, switching his books to porn magazines and splashing the tap over his face. Man, what’s her problem. Kaname and Shun spot an obvious trap to trip the latter. They pull the string put only a mannequin is dragged out. A trap within a trap because the teacher thought they were pulling a prank and they got reprimanded. I guess slowly the rest of Shun’s pals also get a part of his bad luck. After Masaki partially blinds him with the mirror, Yuuki went after her but ends up in a room filled with girls changing. Thinking back what Shun did to earn her wrath, they think it must be the funny band aid he gave her. They observe her and notice she gets mad when people try to help her even though she has a hard time doing the task herself. Another flashback during their kindergarten days. This time when Shun was frantic about the tulips they planted will die during winter so he started digging the snow away with his bare hands. But he was told about the tulip’s toughness and how snow will eventually melt. In the end, their tulips bloomed beautifully. Suddenly a rock meant for Shun is thrown at Yuuta. He is bleeding! Shun can’t take anymore of this and chases down Masaki. He tells her off not to get unrelated people involved. She too says all she wanted was just to scare him and blames him that she doesn’t need his help. Then Yuuta flips up her skirt! WTF?! Before you jump the gun that he is a pervert, he did that to ascertain the band aid she is still wearing. He asks her if she was happy. Masaki starts breaking down that she was indeed happy. People usually ignored her. Shun feels he wasn’t bothering her or anything and apologizes if he had overstepped his boundaries. He might chase her again since he still got more band aids. Plus, it’s hard to tell her to stop if he doesn’t know her name. So they both made up as Yuuta notes how his feelings (for the tulips) weren’t for nothing.

Episode 3
Erm… Why is there an extra person in the group now? Since when has Masaki become part of the circle? I guess you can say she’s here because of Shun. Yeah, you know why lah. And Shun was dense enough not to realize why her face was red. Maybe she’s sick? Yeah, lovesick perhaps… Yuuki’s class gets a new transfer student: Chizuru. The instant Chizuru takes his seat next to Yuuki, he gets so excited and loud that he is that kid he once played in the park before. Eh, who? Of course Chizuru thought he is seeing double when he sees the twins as he makes himself comfortable with the gang. Yeah, it’s going to get livelier with this blonde around. However Yuuki still doesn’t remember who he is and considers him a stranger. So did he get the wrong person? Then seeing Shun, he thought ‘she’ is Yuuki’s girlfriend! Attempts to tell him that ‘she’ is a boy failed. That flat chest reason… After school as the twins are at the bookstore, Chizuru talks to them once more. He tries to make them remember about the special toy he gave him back then. Yuuta seems to have fuzzy memories of it but doesn’t remember much in detail. Even so, he doesn’t remember him. Though Chizuru stopped bothering them, he accidentally gets into trouble when a group of delinquents thought he was laughing at them (he was laughing to himself). Chizuru tries to be tough but the guys are tougher. Then, the twins pass by. With a slick distraction, the trio make a run for it. Another flashback moment. When the twins were young, Yuuta was sick so Yuuki was out at the playground alone. He met a kid and they didn’t speak the same language (Chizuru was speaking German) but that didn’t stop them from playing together. Yuuki then taught him how to obtain a Gachapon and to his dismay, first timer Chizuru got a Gachapon figurine he had always wanted but never got. Chizuru offered to give it to him but he didn’t want it as he felt it was better to get it on his own. As they continue playing together, one day Chizuru fell off a tree and cut his waist. Yuuki wanted to get help from an adult but Chizuru dismissed it as nothing. Yuuki apologizes but of course it’s not like Chizuru could understand. Once Yuuta is well, it’s Yuuki’s turn to get sick. Yuuta is on the way out when Chizuru comes by to give him the Gachapon. His family is supposed to be leaving Japan. Of course Yuuta didn’t know what is going on and just accepted the Gachapon from the stranger. Yuuta gives the Gachapon to Yuuki as he wanted it so much and told him about how he got it from that blonde stranger. With their memories clear now, Chizuru had fun then so even if he got hurt, he didn’t want Yuuki to apologize. And so… The circle of friends expands with yet another member… Talkative, isn’t he? So when Chizuru finally learns Shun is really a guy, the shock has him passed out. The twins wish he’d never wake up. Or else he’d never shut up. Oh…

Episode 4
I don’t know how but Chizuru manages to get his friends to attend this night ‘mixer’ in the park. Not that everyone is enthusiastic about it. So Chizuru has everyone introduce themselves and talk about the kind of person they like. Then it starts raining… In school, Kaname bumps into Azuma and they talk about their precocious times during kindergarten. When Azuma was a high school student, he and his friend Akira were tasked to help out Kaname and co’s kindergarten. Of course Kaname didn’t like it and sees him as a threat to his beloved Kaori. Well, even the young girls are trying to vie for his attention. Kaname tries to look cool but it always ends up backfired despite Azuma always trying his best to be nice. The last straw came when Kaname and Kaori were creating a snowman. The snowball was too heavy for her and she fell. But Azuma caught her. Kaname ran off crying alone (because he felt he looked like a fool) so Azuma had the right words to comfort that little guy. He thinks Kaname was a cool kid because he’s there to fight and defend Kaori. But Azuma doesn’t seem to recognize Kaname when now that he’s all grown up. Later Kaname falls sick and his nice day of rest is ruined to see his friends in his room. In his room!!! While Shun is the eternal nice guy, you can expect a hard time from the trio. Yeah, Yuuki even took a photo of his sleeping face on his handphone! More irritation when Yuuki impersonates Kaname by wearing his glasses and even worse, Kaname’s mother, Youko comes in to join the fun. How? When Chizuru was praising her beauty, Youko mentions his friend was trying to make a pass on her. Kaname wasn’t the slightest concerned so this sends Youko crying! Then Youko ‘talks’ to him about not holding hands anymore or never saying he loves her and if they could go back to the way things were. Has the love disappeared? Dramatic mother… If this is how mommy always acts, is it a wonder why Kaname is always grumpy? So when Youko goes out to the supermarket, Kaname’s other childhood friend, Hisako Aida visits him. No reprieve for this guy because they start rummaging his desk to find a picture of him, Hisako and her older sister Shizuna. I think Kaname will end up getting even sicker because everyone starts diving onto his bed! But he’ll be alright because he ends up laughing with them. So when the guys leave, Chizuru notes how it’ll be better in school without him. Because he won’t have to put up with his yelling! But then again, it’ll be boring so he hopes he’ll be well soon. And all that racket has made him sweat a little so he’s a little better. Since he can’t sleep, he might as well go over his notes when Hisako points out the guys have already taken them. Yeah, I guess that was the real reason they came here, eh?

Episode 5
It’s the hot summer and Chizuru tries visiting his friends’ house. Well the twins are busy ‘saving’ the world. Yeah, playing their video game shooting zombies. Then he visits Kaname and obviously that guy is trying to lock him out no matter how hard he is trying to get in. So the only one left is Shun, eh? I’m sure that guy won’t take no as an answer. Chizuru lost himself in making snacks with him till Shun finds out his real intention was to hang out with everyone else. Did he expect everyone to go out in this heat? At least wait till it’s night time when it’s much cooler. Besides, there’ll be a festival too. On his way, Chizuru meets Masaki who wants him to leave her alone. I guess he got her attention about Shun inviting everyone to the festival. At the festival, with their limited funds, they decide to buy different things and share. Masaki didn’t like Chizuru calling her Mary because of her hairstyle which somewhat makes her resemble a sheep. Masaki thought she could impress Shun at the goldfish stall but flops. She becomes depressed as Chizuru tries to cheer her up. However she gets further upset when he continues calling her Mary. Now it’s up to Shun to weave his magic. He gives her a keychain. That’s when Chizuru realized that Masaki may be in love but Kaname pulls him away. Meanwhile the twins suck at the goldfish stall but their sneaky comments of the owner cheating has them earn a few free goldfish. The gang also meet Hisako and Shizuna. Masaki realizes she has lost the keychain and tries to find it herself before Shun returns from buying fireworks with Hisako and Shizuna. Eventually she has to seek assistance from the other guys and they find it being used as a prize at a shooting stall. Of course the owner won’t just give it back even though he found it on the road. What proof does she have to say it is hers? Looks like she’ll have to shoot it down if she wants it. So when Masaki agrees to play, the first thing she targets is the owner!!! Oh sh*t!!! So everyone tries their best in shooting but they all suck. Till Yuuki steps in. Look at the way he coolly holds the gun! He just might pull this off! Unfortunately he shoots down the other prizes he wanted instead. Damn. Seeing how desperate Masaki is, he spends his last money on another try and down to the last bullet, Masaki prays hard. Very hard. I guess it worked, huh? Chizuru can’t help notice how cute Masaki is when she’s smiling. So when Shun returns, they all start playing the sparklers. Guess which grumpy guy did Chizuru target his fireworks at? It ends with them watching the fireworks.

Episode 6
Shun is going to get a haircut but the twins are treating this like a delicate surgery operation! You’re not in safe hands, Shun! He can’t stop worrying all the way! Shun got his hair short enough but it doesn’t look odd. With the gang studying together, Youko joins them. She wants Kaname to choose which is more important: His studies or his mother! Guess what he chose? Without hesitation, his studies! Oh man! The heartbreak! Enough drama material for his friends to reprimand him. Yeah, Kaname got even the guts to tell his mother to get out of here because she’s just in the way!!! After eating watermelon, I guess the rest aren’t so keen on studying even if they have brought weird study aid tools. When Chizuru wonders how long Kaname has been wearing glasses, this prompts another flashback. When the gang was in middle high, Kaname was already experiencing vision problems but refused to wear glasses. Then when his friends found out he got glasses, they wanted to see it real badly but Kaname vowed never to let them see him in glasses because he fears he will be laughed at. So Yuuki suggests a thumb wrestling match and if he wins, Kaname must show them his glasses. Yeah, they’ve drawn some cutely weird face on the thumb too. And the twins force one on Kaname… A couple of girls asked Yuuta to join the volleyball club but they got embarrassed when they realized they were talking to the wrong twin. The thumb wrestling match proceeds and of course Yuuki is trying every trick in the book to get Kaname to wear his glasses so he could see better. This only serves to upset him even further. Can Shun restrain that raging bull? Eventually Yuuki got bored with the match and just stole his glasses box to see what it’s like. They accidentally bump into some seniors. Though Kaname apologized, Yuuki didn’t. Later Kaname overheard and thought Yuuki got into trouble with the seniors and is in a dilemma to go save him and let him get what he deserves. I guess you know what he’ll choose. He rushes to his other pals to inform them to save Yuuki when Yuuta starts acting strange and just holding his hand. Then it dawned to Kaname that it wasn’t Yuuta but Yuuki. Yuuta whom the girls mistake as Yuuki actually went to the volleyball club as he was forced by the seniors to go watch them play. Shun wanted to tell him but he looked so desperate and in a rush that he didn’t have time to explain. In that distraction, Yuuki wins the thumb wrestling match. Ever since that day, Kaname put on his glasses because he felt nothing good comes from not being able to see. But his friends didn’t tease him and notes how good he looks with it. Those memories were something Kaname didn’t want to remember when the twins threaten to reveal it all to Chizuru. “Don’t say it!”. Shun on his way home runs into Masaki who is surprised by his new haircut.

Episode 7
The gang are surprised Yuuta is being asked out by a girl named Rina Takahashi. So they try to make him spill out the details without being too direct but I guess it didn’t work. He thought it might be someone who took his dictionary? As the gang ponders if Yuuta did reject her, it doesn’t seem to be the case because he can’t walk home with the guys and have something to do. I guess this means the spying and tailing him, eh? Yuuta walks home with Takahashi and it is obvious he knows his pals are following him. At the cafe, the gang continue to observe the pair. Takahashi likes books and Yuuta agrees to lend her his CD. Because his friends were relatively noisy, I guess Yuuta had to purposely blow their cover. Takahashi already left. So does he like her or not? Yuuta remembers helping out Takahashi during gym class. Takahashi’s friends are surprised that the shy girl managed to score with Yuuta though she isn’t planning on confessing to him. After they leave, Yuuta comes in to lend her his CD. As they walk to the locker, they hear her friends’ comments that they never thought Takahashi could pull this off. Seems she was challenged to do this dare and they were confident he’d rejected her. Takahashi realized Yuuta always knew about this and since she didn’t want her friends to hate her, she played along. In tears, she realized how she looked so stupid and apologizes. She also thanks him for not rejecting her and mentions her fear of being alone. Yuuta says she doesn’t need to force herself away from them and if she doesn’t dislike them, she should be with them. He wipes off her tears. Takahashi announces to her friends that they have broken up and that love isn’t a simple matter. Yuuta’s pals also find out about the truth and to make it up to them, Yuuta buys them a drink. But they all have to share.

Episode 8
Ryuunosuke Matsushita hopes Yuuki can help out and contribute his manga work for the club’s anthology event. Guess what? Yuuki delegates this job to his friends. Yeah, they’ll each draw a page and combine it into a story. After discussing on the genre they’re going to draw, they pick the drawing order. Yuuta is up first and his drawing of the classic hero manga is damn good! Wow! Watching Yuuki with his anime and manga helped improve this skill? WTF?! And he’s not even into it. It goes downhill from now. And you thought Yuuki would be able to draw decently, right? Wrong! His drawing sucks. Even the theme and story changed in his lazy drawing. Too simplified! Next is Shun but it turns out too girly! Is this a shoujo manga?! Bright sparkly eyes… It is Chizuru’s turn and after seeing the ‘youthful’ interaction between Yuuki and Matsushita (he came to check up on his progress), Chizuru changes the entire theme into that cliche high school romance! The theme now is friendship! How come the hero’s hairstyle looks like Chizuru? And why is there suddenly a happy ending with a marriage?! Kaname is handed a tough task as the final person and you know with idiots screwing up like this, it’s going to be hard. Anyway, his drawing is the worse among the quintet and everybody is just laughing their heads off! The gang thought they should make a copy as commemoration of their hard work but Yuuki sent it to the shredder! If they didn’t stop him in time, all their hard work would’ve been gone… Yeah, and he submitted that shredded work to Matsushita… Hey, the bottom’s cut off…

Going a little back in time, this is just after when Matsushita got Yuuki’s help to contribute his work. The manga club members are happy and couldn’t wait what kind of manga he’ll draw. They wonder what kind of hero he’ll draw. Matsushita also gets to work to draw his own hero manga based on Yuuki but it didn’t turn up well. First, he’s got Yuuki and his friends in a tokusatsu spoof but Yuuki ends up being the lazy one. Next, a samurai theme and Yuuki didn’t end up heroic as he should. Then a lone wolf delinquent idea with a gang fight and romance brewing. Of course the ending is screwed up because Yuuki had to leave in the middle of the fight to watch his favourite anime. WTF?! I don’t know how Matsushita can come up with all this and I’m sure if this was a comedy, it’ll be damn successful. Matsushita is close to coming to a conclusion that Yuuki may not be heroic after all since his stories turn out this way. Suddenly Yuuki pulls him away from an incoming football and a falling dustbin. Yuuki kicks the football away, equivalent to a baseball’s homerun. Matsushita narrates most heroes come from faraway places but the hero he admires is not from a distant planet (since that’ll be too much trouble instead) and thinks Yuuki is far greater than any hero.

Episode 9
The school cultural festival is around the corner and Kaname is the committee head is having his hands full with students bugging him with requests and favours. I wonder if he can handle the pressure. Well, if he can handle certain idiotic friends, I’m sure this is nothing. Chizuru and Yuuki slip out of class to show Shun and Yuuta something. They created some cardboard ride and want them to ride it. Chizuru is having a hard time dragging Shun (I’m sure he’s not that heavy) so the twins ‘cheat’ as they start running in-sync. Eventually they reach their destination, Azuma. They are here to ask him for some materials to borrow but get sidetracked in asking him if he has a girlfriend. They are surprised he hasn’t has any despite being popular. They thought he couldn’t settle down with one and changed one every day! Then it’s that grumpy beast coming to look for a couple of idiots slacking on their job! Chizuru and Yuuki are to make copies of a notice. But their ignorance on how to use a copier has them fooling around so Kaname has to do the job himself. If you want something done, do it yourself. Kaname is swamped with more requests so he has his pals put him down his role for the ghost house that his class is doing for the festival as the receptionist. You know this isn’t going to turn out well. True enough, Kaname is in a rage, searching for the irresponsible duo who put him as a ghost role. To avoid being caught, they hide underneath the skirts of Shun and Yuuta (their class is doing a cross-dressing cafe). Kaname senses something amiss underneath the skirt and tries to lift it up. What does this look like in the eyes of the public? Even if Shun mentions he is wearing jerseys beneath, I’m sure everyone would mistake him as an even perverted pervert because he is now adamant to lift Shun’s skirt. There’s nothing to be afraid if he’s wearing something underneath, right? Well, not what others would think. Especially now Masaki has seen what this pervert is trying to do to her Shun. He gets whacked! At the end of the busy day, Kaname remembers a forgotten request to get black out curtains for his ghost house. Unfortunately there are none left. At a loss, Azuma comes in with advice that some classes took more than they really need so if he borrows some, he should have enough. That really saved his day from being a total disaster. On the way home, the usual suspects continue to irritate Kaname but only Chizuru gets hit. He notes if he loses focus, he’ll be swept away. But then, he could see a change in scenery. Chizuru gets upset and threatens him with his ghost role thingy but Kaname fights back that he’ll use his council powers to make him do some dance at the festival. Power abuse?

Episode 10
During the festival, Chizuru and pals flop in some quiz. Were they even serious in trying? Only Kaname scored full marks. Chizuru also observes Masaki’s interaction with Shun. Kaname, Chizuru and Yuuki wait in position at ghosts but the latter duo aren’t interested in scaring people and ‘help’ them out with their romance. Then it is Yuuta, Shun and Masaki coming in. Shun and Masaki got freaked out but upon seeing Kaname, they realize he wasn’t that scary. Yuuki and Chizuru ditch their post to go walk with the rest, leaving Kaname to be alone. Masaki thought she held Shun’s hand during the duration but to her horror, it was Chizuru’s hand! Now that is real horror! Slap! Meanwhile Kaname scares his next victim but it turns out to be Hisako and Shizuna. They end up laughing upon realizing it’s him. Since his shift is over, they have him accompany them around the festival grounds. Chizuru and Yuuki line up outside Shun and Yuuta’s cross-dressing cafe. It’s a long line but Akira cuts in between them. Chizuru didn’t like that and especially the way he mocks his stature. But Akira goes off when he sees Azuma. Chizuru spots Masaki rehearsing her lines as her class is doing a play while she has a minor role as a mouse. Masaki accidentally has a paper cut so Chizuru got slapped for nothing when Shun comes by. She is happy when Shun promises to come see her play. Meanwhile Chizuru notes how she really isn’t cute and doesn’t like the help of others (that band aid incident) but as Shun points out, he went after her. As they are late to see Masaki’s play, they have no time to change and even drag Kaname with them. Masaki is nervous backstage as the Cinderella play begins. She thought she will be alright since she won’t be able to spot Shun so easily in the crowd. Who knows, because of their cross-dressing costume, they stick out like a sore thumb! Because of that, Masaki fumbles her lines and at the end of the play even as Shun congratulates her on the fine play, she runs away. Chizuru goes off and finds her sulking in the toilet (Chizuru is dressed as a female so I guess it’s alright for him to enter). He comforts her that Cinderella messed up more lines than her but you know, Masaki thought this was her chance to show off to Shun but failed. He stays with her till she feels much better. He notes her weird habit of running into the toilet when it is usually the rooftop or river. But Masaki also notes his weirdness because he is the only one who chased her into the girls’ toilet. He is stunned at her smile but realizes he can’t leave since he gave his wig to her. At the end of the festival, Kaname and co bum around in class tired instead of joining the others at the bonfire dance. Of course Chizuru had the worst experience because the girls called the teacher after discovering a guy in the girls’ toilet. And what a freak he was since he was in a girl’s clothes. However he can’t help think about Masaki. To defeat this depression, he tries to tell the guys on how the girls’ toilet looks like.

Episode 11
Because their usual rooftop has been closed due to wet paint, the gang have their lunch at the cafeteria. While ordering, Chizuru spots the girl who played Cinderella at the festival, Kayo who is helping her mom in the cafeteria. Mommy messed up Yuuki’s order but instead of giving the correct one, she adds more stuff as her token of love. WTF?! Yeah, if she was only 20 years younger… However Yuuki isn’t fond of eating here every day because he is collecting stickers from buying bread. Collect enough points and he’ll get a plate with a manga character he likes. And he is very far from achieving that goal. Chizuru comes up with a plan to help Yuuki get all the stickers by rotating their duty to buy and eat bread. Then they spot a couple of guys trying to make a pass on Kayo. Chizuru thought of playing hero but to everyone’s surprise, Kayo tells them off for being childish. Yikes. Don’t play play. Yuuki sees Kayo eating bread and wants her sticker but mommy misinterprets he wants her daughter instead! However Kayo is also collecting stickers so she can’t give it to him despite mommy asking her to make him an exception. Kayo tells him to collect them himself instead of taking from others. So mother and daughter get into a little argument about the former embarrassed to have the latter as her daughter who won’t even give away a measly little sticker.

Yuuki is at the bread shop pondering to buy bread himself when he meets Kayo. Taking a look at his sticker card, seems all he has are single points as compared to hers. At this rate, it’ll be a long time before he’ll get the plate. However those with higher points cost more. Something students can’t afford but Kayo is working part time so she has the money. Whether she can finish that big piece is another story. As they leave, Yuuki notices a bread without a sticker. Then Kayo realizes a couple of girls stole them and catches them to return the sticker. Yuuki felt embarrassed for somebody yelling just because of stickers. He is pretending that he doesn’t know her! Well, you wouldn’t want people to steal stickers without putting in effort too, right? During recess, Chizuru hates eating the bread despite he was the one who came up with this idea. He feels left out that he is the only one eating bread while the rest are eating cafeteria food. The ever nice Shun offers his food but Kaname warns not to spoil him. As usual Chizuru steals Kaname’s food and another bickering begins. Masaki comes by to ask for Shun’s assistance with her homework. And with Chizuru bugging her, looks like Shun has to sit in between them. Chizuru wanted to put ketchup on his food but since it isn’t coming out, he uses too much force and the ketchup ends up on Shun’s blazer. Chizuru helps wash it off as he asks Shun if he has anyone he likes. Not at the moment. Chizuru? He can’t really say. Shun wonders if the rest have any. Kayo enlists Yuuki’s help to clean the cafeteria table but he isn’t so interested till she agrees to give him some sticker. Well, the way he is cleaning the tables, this better be worth at least 3 points. Kayo needs to go home early since it is their family’s custom to eat dinner early. Seeing she is an only child, she doesn’t want mommy to eat alone. So about the sticker? It’s going to take a while to come off… And it was only 1 point… But as Yuuta notes, at least she was nice enough to give him one. Oh, and Yuuki can’t help think about Kayo. Is he really for real?

Episode 12
Because Shun’s brother, Fuyuki mixed up their textbooks, Shun has to go exchange it at his middle high. Chizuru is ecstatic to see the cute little brother he has but to his shock, he is nothing like Shun! Foul-mouth, violent and the rebellious kind, which part of him did Yuuki say he was totally similar?! The hair?! WTF?! Plus, Fuyuki keeps mocking Chizuru about his stature. And yeah, Fuyuki is a little pervy too because he is trying to look up at girls’ skirt when they’re going upstairs!!! How can he do something so shameless in public?! He blames Shun for not having any porn and if he doesn’t use ‘it’, it will rot away! Chizuru tries to be mister-know-it-all and that Fuyuki can ask anything relating to that subject. So is it true that a girl’s boobs feels like your upper arm? Hah! They don’t even have the answer for that. Then they are surprised to hear Fuyuki has a girlfriend! Serious?! Not even Shun knew! He’s not trying to pull a fast one, isn’t he? The rest pester him to show his girlfriend but the teacher confiscates his handphone. They’re more concerned about his girlfriend than his handphone so I guess Fuyuki has no choice than to bring them to the kendo club she is a member of. The kendo teacher remembers Shun and Yuuta who were once in this club and has them demonstrate to their juniors despite their reluctance. Finally Fuyuki’s girlfriend, Mamiya makes her appearance. She is surprised of his presence here but he says his brother felt like checking out the club again. Chizuru wanted to spill Fuyuki’s pervertness but got beaten up. Did he nearly die? Anyway Mamiya will call him tonight but Fuyuki panics because his handphone has been confiscated. He is worried if he doesn’t pick up, she’ll call the house. And if he is in the bath at that time, his parents might take the call and he won’t know how to answer them on whom this girl is. Why not just say she is his classmate? Chizuru agrees to help him retrieve his handphone and drafts in the rest. And the rest I mean only Yuuki tagged along.

Fuyuki isn’t having much confident with the duo because the way they said things, it’s like they’re expecting to fail! With Yuuki distracting the teachers (catching up on old times, eh?), the duo infiltrate but in order not to make the teacher suspicious of his handphone suddenly disappearing, Fuyuki wants to use Chizuru’s handphone as a decoy! A struggle ensues as Fuyuki accidentally trips and his hands touched the boobs of an old teacher. She just plays it cool and walks away. But Fuyuki is close to death because his question to how boobs feel like… Wrinkled plums… In the end, not only they failed in the mission, Chizuru got his handphone confiscated too. Meanwhile Mamiya is worried that her armour would stink and Fuyuki wouldn’t like it. Her lapse in concentration has her sprained her ankle. Shun and Mamiya talk about Fuyuki and the reason why he likes him despite some of his bad behaviour. I guess girls do prefer bad boys, huh? Shun agrees and remembers when they were young, Fuyuki tried to help out when Shun was in distress. So when Fuyuki return to Mamiya, he smelled something weird and this causes Mamiya to run away in tears. He thought she found out about his perverted habit. Fuyuki felt lifeless and wants to die. Thinking he is done for and that Mamiya hates him, Shun tells him he was too busy having dirty thoughts to even pay attention to anything else. Shouldn’t there be something else he should be worrying about than himself? Then it hit Fuyuki as he runs after Mamiya. He catches up to her and though she is embarrassed of the stinking smell of her armour, he pinpoints the smell from the source of her bandaged sprained ankle. He offers to take her home but she is worried she doesn’t know what to say to her parents. He just says to tell them he is her boyfriend. Plus, his handphone is confiscated and he would prefer her to call his house. As Chizuru and his friends walk home, he laments about this generation gap thingy but the twins point out a difference. Unlike Fuyuki, Chizuru has no girlfriend! Haha! Chizuru wants to know where Fuyuki went wrong and since Shun mentioned he is foul-mouthed and violent like before, that’s like he never changed, right? Yeah, he never did. And even so, there are times he shows his kind side.

Episode 13
While Chizuru and the twins are exerting their usual 100% stupidity over the fruit juice they bought, Shun comes by showing them a list for workplace experience. Among them is Hidamari Kindergarten, the kindergarten which they once attended. Chizuru feels left out so Shun invites him to come along. Maybe he was just waiting for this cue, eh? And yeah, a cue for the twins to start teasing Kaname about how his love life will unravel. Will Kaori still be there? At the kindergarten gates, Kaname warns the rest not to say a word that will make Chizuru know he was once in love with Kaoru. Or else. Hear the crunching of his knuckles? A little boy, Ken attacks them and thinks of them as trespassers. He even thought Shun is a girl because his hair got caught between the tree branches! Kaori greets them and is glad to see they have grown. Chizuru introduces himself and Kaname doesn’t like him trying to make a pass on Kaori. After Kaori leaves the guys with the kids, the little ones start jumping all over them! Naughty kids! Pulling Chizuru’s hair, stealing Kaname’s glasses, proposing to marry the twins (yikes!) and even a kid wanted to kiss Shun’s cute face! OMG! So playing toys and playing house isn’t easy with children these days. Little Sono even asks Yuuki how many kids he wants! Geez, kids these days… Dragging Kaname into playing house with them, the number of ‘kids’ just keeps increasing with Chizuru and Ken coming into the picture. But Sono feels having 3 kids will be tough. Ken thinks he’ll be the first son instead but that role has already been assigned to Kaname. So what will that specky be? A guard dog! Not going to happen. The drama takes a dramatic turn with Ken kicking the table over and running away. And Kaname gets blamed because he refused to be the dog. I guess it’s no surprise the guys are tired out during the toilet break. Kaname complains about Ken’s rudeness. However Shun feels he is a good kid but doesn’t know how to show it. Kaori comes in to invite everyone for snacks. Erm… Isn’t this the men’s toilet? What does this mean? As Yuuki puts it, Kaori doesn’t see them as men. Now and then… He was directing that to Kaname…

Ken was straight to say to Kaname’s face that he hopes Kaori will turn him down! I hope he didn’t choke on his cookie. Yeah, these guys are really on bad terms. Kaname can sense that Ken likes Sono. Later when Ken tries to give some cookies to Sono, the rest thinks he stole them and starts mocking him a bad boy. He got upset enough to steal and eat everyone’s cookies. Hey, he’s living up to the nickname they gave him, right? Then he kicks Kaname in the guy when he tried to stop him. But Kaname chases him outside and comforts the little guy, letting him cry all he wants. And vomiting on his shoes too… He brings Ken back to the rest who are playing a group game. Sono is supposed to guess the person standing behind her and she can guess it right it was Ken. Why? Because he is always holding something sweet whenever he comes near her. Ken apologizes for everything and gives her his cookies. At the end as Kaori sees them off, she thought Ken was here to also do the same. But who knows, Ken pushes Kaori into Kaname’s arms! Then he signs off with a ‘V’ sign. Sono hopes she could see them soon and play house again because that guy was so cool she really wanted him to be her husband! She asks what Ken would like Kaname to be and he replied, his brother. Shun also notes how Kaname and Ken were like brothers but of course the latter scoffs it off. Shun unintentionally mentions Ken was just as passionate for the girl he likes as was Kaname for Kaori. Oops. Slip of a tongue. Chizuru now knows Kaname was really in love with Kaori and can’t help laugh his ass off. And the unlikeliest guy you’d never thought will get hit is going to get a piece of Kaname. Oh Shun… Ah well, there’s a first time for everything. Even first love.

We and Us = Wuss?
Well, a second season did come and go back in April 2012. So it’ll be some time before I sink my hands into the sequel. Yes, I plan to watch this series’ next season even though the ending wasn’t much and felt just like any other ordinary episode. Isn’t this what this kind of genre is about? Cute boys doing cute things in their own cute way. Sounds sissy? Well, I’d rather have these kinds of boys with mischief in the name of good fun rather than scary delinquents. But boys will be boys and they have their own brand of mischief and cheekiness as long as they don’t hurt others. The relaxing and calming pace of this series will either bore you or make it a casual entertainment. Nothing more than your laid back and light-hearted slice of life moments with some little laughs here and there. Nothing complex, dramatic, suspenseful or filled with twists. So don’t expect to see someone suddenly getting into a road accident or the sudden departure of a dear friend (to another country or world).

I can’t help compare the guys here to those in Ouran. First and foremost the twins. As compared to Ouran’s Hitachiin twins, the Asaba twins’ pranks are not as energetic and active as the former. You can say they are the passive type. Many of their mischief are confined to just words and even if they say it, it will be in an expressionless and monotonous manner. Ironically their deadpan expression and witty lines make them funny. Yeah, those one-liners can make them good stand up comedians. As twins, I thought their presence will be shared equally but I have this feeling that Yuuki somewhat stands out more compared to Yuuta. Plus, if you want to size up which twin is more mischievous than the other, I think Yuuki would be the one that would be more prominent. The other idiot of the group and the noisiest one has got to be newcomer Chizuru. He is like a cross between Ouran’s Tamaki and Honey. The former because he acts like an idiot and the latter because of his short stature and blonde hair. Every group needs to have a rowdy kid to liven things up, right? That’s where Chizuru comes in. Too bad he always bears the brunt of Kaname’s hit. So with Chizuru and twins being the interesting troublemakers, I’d say the group will have their own Baka Trio, eh? Kaname’s counterpart in Ouran would obviously be Kyouya. Both wearing glasses and are of the serious type. But unlike Kyouya, Kaname isn’t the kind that loves money. I guess in each group, you need somebody who easily gets pissed because it makes it fun to tease, right? Yeah, I suppose Kaname falls under this ‘role’ because the twins and Chizuru just love to pick on him and make his blood boil. Despite his hot-head and short fuse, Kaname still cares dearly for his friends. He just doesn’t show it the gentle way like Shun. Maybe that is what you call tough love. Finally Shun, he is like Ouran’s Haruhi because for both characters, you can’t clearly tell their gender and many would mistake their original gender as the other at first. Shun is the calmest and nicest among the guys and even if he gets mad, I won’t consider it as one since he sounds so soft and it hardly makes any impact that would indicate he is pissed off. If you want to know what real anger is, refer to Kaname. That guy really needs to take some anger management classes. Or, the Baka Trio should take some classes on etiquette. I would prefer the first one, though :).

I thought Masaki would be a core member of the group but since her appearance was just on and off, it sometimes make me feel that perhaps the show wants to make it as though it is an all boys only group. Sure, this show is supposed to be about the guys and the stuffs they do but would a girl make a difference? Maybe. Just like in Ouran whereby Haruhi is the only girl among the boys, Masaki could’ve been the only female among the guys if she is considered part of the gang. But as we know, she is just sticking around because of her crush on Shun and too bad that effeminate guy doesn’t really notice it. Not a single bit. And don’t you notice that Chizuru is starting to have feelings for Masaki too despite saying how uncute she is whenever she gets violent or scorning him? Perhaps if he treated her kinder, she wouldn’t have given him all those cold treatment, don’t you think? Or she could ignore him like how she does for Kaname and the twins. Since Masaki is too focused on Shun, I guess she is oblivious to Chizuru’s crush on her. Maybe I’ll see a love triangle forming in the second season and see their friendship being tested. Youko is another amusing character simply because she isn’t your typical nice mom. The kind of mom who wants to delve deeper in a relationship with her son. So desperate that she doesn’t mind doing it in front of his friends. Would you like to have a dramatic mother like that? Sure, his mom and friends are the source of his grumpiness and mood swings but I hope Kaname won’t go as far as to say he is adopted when mommy’s dramatic act crosses the line. Hisako and Shizuna are the other pair of characters whose presence in this season is lacking. Feels like their role is just an introduction and that they are Kaname’s childhood friends and nothing more. From what I observed, Kaname may have feelings for Shizuna (with that photo he kept in his desk) but with his lingering feelings for Kaori, can he make up his mind or continue to just watch by the sidelines? Maybe that’s why the twins find it amusing to tease him and all. Now with Chizuru finding out his first love, it’s only going to get worse. Azuma and Akira are another set of characters whom I feel their role is just introductory. I had this feeling that they would play a prominent part later on but as it turns out, the main guys can do away with these characters.

So the romance part isn’t its strong point. Heck, the guys are good looking enough to easily get their own girlfriend and maybe even form their own host club. Hah. Just kidding. But I can think of a few reasons why they don’t. Kaname’s grumpiness is a turn-off, Chizuru’s monkey-around would have girls think twice if they want to have a noisy idiot as their boyfriend, the twins just couldn’t be bothered and not interested with anything and Shun… Is that a girl? Of course as mentioned Masaki likes him but seeing that it is a one-sided affair, I wouldn’t really count it. Oh, I just remembered. What happened to Yuuki and Kayo anyway? Was hoping to see something out of it but I guess I’ll have to wait for the sequel to find out if anything develops on this part. Yuuta seemed like he was the closest and the first among the friends to have a girlfriend but turns out he was just helping her out so she doesn’t feel bad. So yeah, no wonder they each haven’t got a girlfriend of their own. Even side characters Fuyuki and Mamiya seem like they have a higher chance of hitting it off. Speaking of that guy, even if he is totally different from Shun (you’d be wondering if they even came from the same mother), he still cares about his brother despite putting up his rebellious attitude. Maybe some love for a girl did that kid some good too, eh?

I’m not sure if the producers of this show and the manga author of this series are feline lovers because the episodes are peppered with them. Not that we see the characters owning cats as their pets anyway. So in certain scenes, sometimes they substitute what the gang is doing with the actions of the cats. Perhaps a distraction or a kind of ‘censor’? Mind you, there is nothing explicit in this series. Maybe just to give a different view and change of scene? Otherwise, you’ll have several mugshots or camera angles of the cats in what they usually do such as sleep, eat and play. I am not a cat lover so don’t hate me when I say that some of the cats do look ugly (there are cute ones too if that is what you want to be assured of). Well, maybe certain species of cats do look like that. The drawing and art of the series from the characters to the scenery are quite light and simple so much so the styles reminded me of Honey And Clover and Nodame Cantabile. Then I confirmed it was done by J.C. Staff who also did those animes.

I guess the voice acting is pretty okay. At first I thought the same seiyuu was voicing the twins. Besides, they sound so expressionless that they sound the same. Well, almost the same. So we have different people voicing the twins with Ryouhei Kimura doing Yuuki (Kodaka in Bokutachi Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai) while Kouki Uchiyama voicing Yuuta (Ichika in Infinite Stratos). Other casts include Miyu Irino as Chizuru (Syaoran in Tsubasa Chronicle), Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Shun (Mikado in Durarara!!), Yuuki Ono as Kaname (Arai in Kimi Ni Todoke), newbie Miyuki Satou as Masaki, Saki Nakajima as Kaori (Saki in Hayate No Gotoku), Sayuri Yahagi as Hisako (Haruna in To Love-Ru), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Fuyuki (Rin in Ao No Exorcist), Kousuke Toriumi as Azuma (Gennosuke in Basilisk) Yuuki Kaji as Akira (Akina in Yozakura Quartet) and Sakiko Uran as Youko (Setsuno in Toriko). A pleasant surprise for me is Mamiko Noto who is the voice of Shizuna. Yeah, it made my viewing pleasure even pleasurable. The opening theme is a rock pop piece entitled Bye Bye by the rock band named 7!! As for the ending theme, it is a slow and nice ballad, Nakimushi by Miku Sawai. Even if the song is about the singer singing about her own weak self, it gives off a feeling of friendship and trust of her friends that she can rely on to get her through rough times. The few insert songs such as Sora, Candy and Tomorrow (all by Shouta Aoi) aren’t bad either as they give out a soothing and heart-warming feel. Some of the background music are also nice and pleasant because of the acoustic guitar pickings.

With the theme of friendship as the main emphasis, it isn’t always necessary that the birds of the same feathers should flock together. Having unique people within your group is what makes your circle more interesting. This anime may not amount to anything extraordinary or groundbreaking but at least it shows that not only all-girl groups can have fun. Boys can equally have fun too. And the fun may not necessarily be outrageous or slapstick. Just as long you have your own gang to hang out with, everything works out fine. Unless you are the one who bears the brunt of the mocking and teasing then that’s a different story. Lesson learnt: Beware the twins as they can spell double trouble and the dumb blonde for he can magnify the annoyance. Triple the fun but also triple the trouble. That’s life for us boys.

Manyuu Hikenchou

July 28, 2012

ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY BOOBS! BREASTS ARE POWER! WE LIVE FOR THE TITS!!! After that distasteful experience with Seikon No Qwaser, I thought I would never see another anime again that has to do with boobs. I guess I was wrong. Perhaps there is some mysterious allure about boobs that keeps people like us coming back to watch them. Okay, maybe it is just me. But if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like boobs popping out to your face almost every 2 seconds, please skip Manyuu Hikenchou and watch some other animes that will provide you with more intelligent food to your brain. I’m already a hopeless and gone case watching this one.

So basically, you just need to know one single important premise that is the fundamental ingredient to this story: Big boobs rule! Everything else much falls or follows this decree. Heck, even the opening narration gives you an idea of what to expect: “Tits are the rule of this world. Big tits are fortune and wealth and you are not human if have none! During this peaceful Edo period, a powerful secret organization called the Manyuu Family enforces, manages and raises the majority of tits in the shogunate’s stead. The Manyuu’s style defends that one must show the body and cut the tits. Written in their safely kept secret scroll, they are timeless techniques for all times, places, ages and countries on how to raise all kinds of boobs.” See what I mean? So if you are going to survive this world, you need tits. Otherwise you are as good as nothing. Dead. Wish you had never been born. Which sicko came out with this rule anyway?! Must be one damn persuasive sicko to even have all the women down the generation to wholeheartedly agree that boobs are everything. The bigger, the better.

Of course not everybody really agrees with this case and thus the setting for the story. We have the successor of this Manyuu Family trying to rid of the stranglehold they have been holding for generations by trying to leak out the deepest secrets of raising big boobs to the mass public. Sounds easy? Well, you don’t have internet in those days and if you’re going to impart the most well kept secrets, expect deadly assassins and pursuers to be hot on your trail. All because of boobs… See, boobs can be like a double-edged sword too.

Of course with tits as the main theme, once again my experience tells me there are going to be several versions. Mostly censored. True enough, there are a few variations on them. For the TV channels that aired this series, they are heavily censored. Which means, expect those blinding lights cutting across the screen or filling in as the characters. With or without those lights, I guess viewers would have been ‘blinded’ by the scene already. I have only seen the Director’s Cut, which is a fancy name for webcast release. I wouldn’t say this is totally uncensored but partial. Yes, there are some parts whereby the tits are so visible and at other times, it’s that annoying streak of holy light. So to be safe if you want to see tits all the way, better buy the DVDs and Blu-Rays because if you spend your 2 cents worth, you’ll get a view-all worth your money. Don’t boobs worth that much to you? See, without knowing I already sound like a pervert.

Episode 1
I guess having big tits also have its own problems. Especially if you’re the daughter of a farmer and a commoner. Kagefusa from the Manyuu family is leading a Tits Hunt and in this unfortunate village, Oume gets her big tits cut off while her father can only watch in horror Kagefusa’s ‘cleansing’. Scary! Some time later, Chifusa is escaping the village with the secret scroll. Kaede, one of the pursuers and servant of Chifusa couldn’t understand her reason for doing so. Chifusa is shot by Kagefusa in the hip and falls down the ravine. That was intentional because she notes that troublesome woman won’t die so easily. Despite Chifusa being the successor of the Manyuu family, Kagefusa believes that foolish girl never stood a chance to be one. She proceeds to violate and molest Kaede while mocking she has been betrayed and abandoned by her master. I’m not sure if Kaede climaxed but I’m sure Kagefusa had a thrilling time doing that. Yucks… Muneyuki and Kyouka get word on Chifusa’s escape and Kagefusa tracking her down. Kyouka hopes Kagefusa won’t be hasty in killing her even though Chifusa got elected as a successor when she’s got the blood of their enemy flowing inside their body. And the head of the Manyuu family, Munenori was the one who selected her. Flashback reveals how Chifusa lost in a friendly bout with Munenori. She couldn’t why he elected her as a successor as she considers herself weak. He proceeds to show her a secret scroll, Manyuu Hidden Technique Secret Scroll and wants her to inherit this scroll, its style beyond its limit and that talent. Chifusa is made to cut a stray woman’s breast as criterion to be a successor and by that time she will know what kind of power she possessed. Chifusa couldn’t do something that cruel but is caught between the horrifying cries of the woman and her father’s scary orders.

Chifusa wakes up in the care of Oume (she found her by the river bed). She doesn’t question Chifusa and continues to nurse her. However she is envious of her huge racks. Chifusa helps out with the chores and Oume saw the carving of the Manyuu Family on her sword and this brings back horrifying memories. Chifusa plans to leave tonight so as not to cause her more trouble. She learns Oume used to live with her parents but after the Tits Hunt, they couldn’t live with the embarrassment and abandoned her. Even her fiancée dumped her. She shows Chifusa her shrunken boobs and due how she lost her pride as well. Chifusa felt sorry for her plight but could see her trying to stab her with a knife for revenge from miles away. The only thing she could do is to let Oume cry in her bosoms.  Wasn’t that comforting? As Chifusa prepares to leave, she is greeted with a stray gunshot from Kagefusa. Oume breaks down upon remembering her. Chifusa isn’t going to forgive her but reluctant Kaede steals her sword. Chifusa is shocked to see Kaede’s boobs have also shrunk. Since she went after Chifusa, she received her punishment and got her boobs cut. Kagefusa blames Chifusa for abandoning Kaede and that she is the one who took her in after she left. But she is thankful that she ran away for this may increase her chance of getting selected as the next successor. Kagefusa starts slicing and Chifusa can only dodge. Couldn’t bear to see this, Kaede tosses Chifusa’s sword back to her and in a well timed strike, Chifusa cuts Kagefusa’s boobs! The effect is not only Kagefusa’s tits shrink but Chifusa’s boobs became bigger! Too big! So huge that it’s like it’s going to explode!!! She realizes this is what Munenori may have meant about her powers. She takes out the secret scroll and reads aloud some of the techniques on how to enlarge one’s breasts. Kagefusa is dismayed that she intends to spread the secret all over the nation. She leaves Kagefusa reeling on how commoners feel with small boobs and leaves. Not even her pursuers dare stand in her way. But Kagefusa vows to track her down and cut her boobs. Later as Chifusa talks to Kaede, she tells her she is going to fight against this unreasonable world made by the Manyuu Family. She is going to change the people’s mindset. It’s not going to be easy and there will be lots of enemies. Despite so, will Kaede follow her? Of course. In view of this, she has a favour to ask from Chifusa: She wants to fondle her boobs. On second thought, maybe she shouldn’t follow her.

Episode 2
There is a little commotion when a kid bumped into the humongous boobs of an aptly named woman, Chichi. She is going to teach that kid some manners but Chifusa saves him and chides her despite having big boobs, she has a mentality of a child. The standoff ends when a hostess with equally big but droopy boobs, Ame Shuji shakes her boobs in public to woo the men. I guess boobs really solve problems. Kaede wonders how Chifusa took Kagefusa’s boobs but she doesn’t know exactly. Narrating about the secret scroll she has, the Tokugawa shogunate tried to acquire this power and gained access to ‘that’ centre. Using plastic surgery techniques passed down through generations, they obtained the trust of many generals. As their tribute, they introduced the Kenchichi system and that power grew to influence at every festival event. Thus the scroll contains that secret and if she masters it, she will break that stranglehold. But all this talk has made them hungry. And they have no money. Yeah, with those huge tits, having a proper diet is essential. So how? Kaede has Chifusa do several street acrobat performances. I guess the men are only interested to see her boobs bouncing. The more it shakes, the more coins they get. Talk about selling your boobs for money. Enough for them to fill their tummies and talk about their good ol’ childhood days. When they leave the shop, they ambush a couple of assassins by surprise hired to hunt them. She leaves them a message for Kagefusa to face her directly and not use this cowardly method. Because of that, they can’t stay in this town and move on to the next. After being given directions by an old man, they are surprised to see Ame as the hostess of the inn.

They have a nice time relaxing in the inn and that night as Chifusa takes a bath, Kaede comes in wanting to do Chichitogi on her. What’s that? It’s a beauty enhancing and boob sharpening technique. Maybe it’s just a reason for Kaede to fondle her tits. Even if Kaede starts her sob story, it’s just an excuse to get close up and suck her boobs! Sicko! With Kaede acting like a drunk, Chifusa suddenly feels dizzy. Then Ame comes in and reveals she laced the food with illusion herbs. She is jealous of Chifusa’s tits because of always swinging her boobs, overusing this technique caused them to sag. Ame uses her Chichimudou (Boobs Illusion) technique to produce an illusion effect that paralyzes Chifusa. Yeah, she’s admiring at the sight of the swinging boobs. Before Ame can cut her, Kaede’s obsession with boobs distracted her and causes her to trip. This breaks Chifusa out of her spell. Ame continues to charge but Kaede kicks her in the stomach and then cuts her breasts. Yup, her breasts shrunk while hers enlarge once more. Oh, Kaede is still drunk about boobs. Next morning, Ame wakes up to find her guests have left. Chifusa leaves a note (along with payments for their stay) that she is on a run. Seeing she wants her to become a good hostess, she also has a remedy for her sagging boobs: Wear a bra. Well, this might do. Kagefusa is furious that her target has already left and vows to find her at all cost. Chifusa thanks Kaede for helping her out in yesterday’s fight but she doesn’t remember much. Not even the boobs? Chifusa also knows the reason why she can steal the boobs from others. A technique called Chichinagare (Boobs Flow) allows the transfer of water from one body to another. However it’s only one way so that means she can only receive but not give. So much for Kaede’s hopes for sharing some of it. But do not fear. To control this technique, she plans to return to Munamori village, the birthplace of her mother. Yeah, further the cause of tits and share them!

Episode 3
The chief village, Yotahachi is waiting for his number one student (read that as the girl with the biggest breast in the village), Kayo to return since there is some competition coming up. However he gets word that she has been assaulted and to his dismay, her boobs have shrunk. He fears this is the Chichikakushi (Hiding of Boobs) technique. Chifusa and Kaede are trekking and halfway dead. They haven’t eaten in 3 days. Something about Kaede keeping all the hard earned money but somewhat ended up squandering them all. So they work part time at beauty cafe called Chichiminazu. Waitress rubbing and shaking their boobs? I know what kind of job this is going to be. While serving a drunk female customer, Chifusa is taken aback when she starts fondling her tits. Her reflex is to smash the tray over her head! The chief maid punishes them without dinner tonight. As Kaede laments Chifusa’s actions, she learns about Chichikakushi and that 10 women have recently been assaulted. That night, Chifusa is supposed to dance in front of the male crowd. Yeah, shaking her boobs again. Hey wait a minute. Why is there loud disco music in this era? Chifusa is very embarrassed despite the men trying to make her show more. Kaede couldn’t take more of it and smashes that guy’s head with a wooden bucket. They got fired. Haha! So continuing their hungry journey, they collapse halfway. They are found by Yotahachi and brought back to his village. While filling up their stomachs, he tells them about the rumours of the recent phenomenon of Chichikakushi. Women with big tits walking alone at night will get ambushed only to find their boobs small the next day. As proof, he shows a picture of before-and-now of Kayo. So what has this got to do with them? You see, in this Mie country, there is this tits shaking festival called Chichifuri. This is done whenever a new lord takes possession of the seat. Each village will send a representative and the winner will of course receive an excellent monetary prize. I guess Chifusa could see where this conversation is heading and wants out even before Yotahachi could ask her to be a substitute for the festival. She doesn’t want to shake her tits in public (Kaede doesn’t have any to shake to begin with!) but Yotahachi knows about their financial problem and agrees to give them a cut of the prize. So both sides of the village meet with their representatives. The judge, Obugyou wonders about Yotahachi’s representative since only local villagers can only participate and not foreigners. But he’ll allow it since they don’t want to receive the wrath of the lord if the festival is suspended.

That night, the chief of the other village, Sugoroku sees Obugyou and it seems they are in cohorts. They plan to make stronger sleeping pills for Chifusa and send in a hired assassin to do the job. And when they win, they’ll get a cut of the share. That night as Chifusa takes a drink, she is ambushed by the assassin but quickly fights back. Realizing the sleeping pill he is to put on him and the carving of the Manyuu’s family on his sword, she realizes there is no such thing as Chichikakushi. The assassin is glad is work to find Chifusa is made easier as they clash. Next day, Chichifuri begins with the lord, Hatomune Mie flagging off the event. I guess the assassin failed since Chifusa is up against Toyo in an event to see who can win the heart of Hatomune by shaking their boobs harder. Since Chifusa is losing out, her team splashes water on her to make her nipples visible. Hatomune is fascinated to the other side rumbles Toyo’s breasts even further. I can’t believe the guys are spellbound the more it shakes. Chifusa’s side isn’t going to lose out and shakes even harder. This causes her top to come undone. Hatomune sees the twin beauty and announces Chifusa as the winner. Toyo thought showing tits was prohibited. If that’s the case, she gladly shows hers. However Hatomune chides her that there is an obvious difference in flashing your boobs intentionally compared to accidental nipple slip! WTF?! Sugoroku tries to claim that Chifusa isn’t from their village but Hatomune shows he isn’t just a perverted lord. He knows what is going on. The assassin is in his hands and knows they are in cohorts using Chichikakushi to damage their opponent. He starts explaining about the Manyuu techniques and the hidden scroll. Obugyou and Sugoroku will be tried as normal criminals but as for the assassin, he’ll have to lock him up underground for now since he can’t oppose the head of the shogunate. With that over, Hatomune wants the show to continue and the girls to continue shaking their tits! Later, Hatomune’s subject retrieves a letter from the assassin which reveals Chifusa’s real identity and a bounty of her head. He thinks the shogunate will be indebted to them if they pursue and retrieve the scroll. However Hatomune tears up the letter and doesn’t care all about that. The only thing he cares are those beautiful tits. That’s a good thing or bad?

Episode 4
Chifusa and Kaede are enjoying the good seafood at the seaside village of Matsue. Can they pay for all this? Don’t worry. Kaede didn’t drop her wallet this time. Only thing is, she only has a coin left. Oh sh*t! Ooiso is going to make them pay with their bodies. You mean, working as tits shaking waitress? Actually, diving to catch seafood. With Mizuki’s guidance, the girls get by but Chifusa’s big boobs make it hard for her to dive! It’s so buoyant! Mizuki tells them about Ooiso who was once known as the Mermaid of Matsue till her breasts suddenly developed. Even though she tied weights, it restricted her mobility. Ooiso loves working as a diver but laments her big boobs getting in the way. All this big boobs talk pisses off Kaede as she tells her if she hates it so much why not let Chifusa cut it off then. Of course Chifusa shuts her up but Ooiso really feels she would rather loose these unnecessary boobs. Suddenly they hear Mizuki’s scream. She’s being attacked by an octopus. Violated, actually. Pervy octo… But once Chifusa unsheathes her sword, the octopus releases her and goes back down into the ocean. That night as the villagers gather, the chief notes how the octopus has come every year, dragging down divers and kids playing in the sea. Just a few days ago, some lecherous Duke was flexing his muscle to fondle the local girl’s boobs when the octopus dragged him under and returned his body full of odd spots. The guys want to kill this beast but the chief cautions them about this fearsome creature. He relates when he was young, he too was a boobs chaser who loves sucking on breasts. He tried to suck on a girl but got slashed and that’s how he got his eye scar. WTF?! How does this has to do with the octopus? Maybe this is a pun because ‘tako’ can both mean idiot and octopus. Oh yeah, the octopus. Let’s just kill it! But first, let’s party! Ooiso gets too close to Chifusa so much so Kaede had to show her the yellow card for touching her boobs! Even the chief thought they’re lesbians.

Next day as everyone goes in search of the octopus, Chifusa has seasickness and stays on the boat. As everybody returns to shore, the octopus suddenly drags Kaede down. Ooiso put some weights to dive down and cut Kaede loose but gets seized by the octopus. Chifusa dives down (with an anchor) to go save her. She notices she has less mobility and must end it with a single strike and avoid cutting Ooiso’s body. However the octopus is smart enough to use its black ink as cover and Ooiso as hostage. Chifusa doesn’t have the luxury of time since they’re running out of breath and the only way left is to do Chichinagare. She slices the tentacles and in the process, cuts Ooiso’s boobs. While Ooiso’s tits shrink, Chifusa’s gets even bigger. The octopus isn’t giving up and grabs Chifusa but this time Ooiso slices the octopus and her movement is like a fish. She kills the octopus and resurfaces with Chifusa. The guys first notice their absolute difference in boob’s size. But Ooiso mentions that the octopus sucked her boobs. I guess as consolation they can have octopus meat. Though Chifusa apologizes for cutting Ooiso’s boobs, she is okay with it. Since she hasn’t really paid her debts yet, she wants her to consider living here. Another yellow card from Kaede for touching her boobs! Later when the duo have left, Hatomune comes by looking for the legendary big tits diver. But Ooiso and Mizuki regretfully inform them there are no big tits divers because having those huge racks would be an inconvenience to their job. This causes Hatomune and the chief to run out in tears and start crying about boobs! I guess they are the only things on men’s mind. And the legend of The Female Samurai Versus Devil Tits Sucking Octopus became a legend told to many generations to come. WTF?!

Episode 5
Chifusa is a gambling hostess at a gambling den? Well, the guys are more interested in her bouncy boobs than the dice. Well, Kaede’s hurt in bed and being taken off by the gambling inn’s granddaughter, Osuzu. He recognizes they’re both in trouble so it’s best to help each other out. Flashback reveals when Chifusa and Kaede heard the cry of rape in the woods. Some beasts nearly got Osuzu and when Kaede went after them, she fell into their trap and knocked her head. Ouch. Oddly, the other thing the beasts shouted about was tits. Oh no. We don’t need another perverted beast around. They hear a commotion and it seems the patron Yasuke is causing a ruckus over his bad luck and loss. He is tossed outside as grandpa notes how Yasuke was once the finest chef around this village and an honest guy. The sudden demise of his wife (who was also the one with the biggest boobs around town) led him to ruin as he fell into gambling. Osuzu still believes he can still pick himself up but Yasuke tries to act tough like he doesn’t care. Chifusa catches him in the act of stealing offerings at the shrine to feed his gambling habit so they had a little talk and Chifusa doesn’t want him to blame his bad luck on tits. Yasuke reminisces the times he spent with his wife and his children. Those happy days running a restaurant when suddenly she just collapsed. His life went downhill ever since. Next morning Chifusa and Osuzu go out to search for herbs. Chifusa’s boobs are so huge that it really gets in the way. Yeah, she can’t stretch far enough… Ah, sometimes having big tits aren’t a good thing. Elsewhere Osuzu is ambushed by the beasts… Ewoks?! WTF?! They pound on her and the next thing Osuzu knows, she wakes up by her grandpa’s side along with the other men. She relates her horrifying story but I guess the men just want to hear more of those tantalizing rape play. Grandpa vows to hunt down the beasts but assigns Yasuke to protect Osuzu. If anything happens to her, he will not forgive her.

The gang track down the beasts and finally spots them. However the beasts are smart enough to lay traps along the way. Slowly all the men fall into them as Chifusa and Kaede are the only ones left. The Ewoks are chanting tits but when they see Kaede’s, they get disappointed on how flat it is! They’re gunning for Chifusa’s but got taken out easily. After rounding them up, Chifusa takes off their disguises and it seems they are Yasuke’s children. The reason they are doing this is because they miss their mother’s tits. They are worried they may forget how soft it was. Chifusa feels for them because she too remembers how her mom used to comfort her with her boobs whenever she gets bullied by Kagefusa. Chifusa wants them to apologize and in return she allows them to cuddle her tits all they want. Well, she may regret that because they didn’t even hesitate! Extreme molestation! Feeling violated? It’s a wonder why Kaede didn’t join in but just watched in awe. Meanwhile, romance is brewing between Yasuke and Osuzu. She knows he can’t forget his wife nor can she be compared to her but she wants to be his. As they embrace, they realize Chifusa, Kaede and the kids watching in disbelief. So all’s well, ends well. Osuzu becomes their new mom, Yasuke stops his gambling habit and promises to work hard and Kaede though feeling disappointed everything that happened was just about tits, gets to feel nostalgic about her own mom’s boobs. After they leave the village, grandpa seems to be eavesdropping on Osuzu and Yasuke’s naughtiness but is threatened by Kagefusa who wants to know if Chifusa has stayed over and where she went.

Episode 6
Chifusa seeks Munenori’s second chance to catch Chifusa and take back the secret scroll. She can’t forgive Chifusa for stealing the scroll to secretly improve her skills. Munenori tells her to go find her answer. Chifusa is being ambushed by Kagefusa’s squad. However she starts seeing visions of her mother in them. Hmm… Maybe it’s their tits. She can’t focus so in a desperation move, she slices their boobs and sends them retreating. Yeah, getting bigger again. Kaede just returned from fetching water and is also bringing back a bald nun who almost drowned, Kenkyou. She is horrified not to see Chifusa down but her boobs now even bigger! So big, so unsightly! Hear her horror scream. Well, it must be getting real heavy, eh? Kenkyou takes them to her Kyukyou Temple nearby as they meet the head nun, Juchini. Chifusa’s boobs are so big that she can’t even get up after bowing. She examines her boobs and finds there are lots of deep grudges inside. Letting her tell her story, Juchini concludes it is not that she can’t control her sword technique in stealing other people’s tits. It is rather she wants to take them all. Because of her feelings she had for her mother, she bears a longing for her and thus it is her selfishness that took in all the tits. Juchini has a procedure that will help lose them. I don’t know. It sounds so pervy because if you look at it from another perspective, they have something to do with boobs. Like the temple sandwiched between 2 mountains that are named after boobs. Then a statue on the tip of the mountain that resembles nipples. All Chifusa needs to do bring them down one by one to wash in the holy river and then bring them back up again to reconstruct them into a pile. In the end, a fountain will come flowing out of the ‘tits’. Seriously, can this work? No wonder Chifusa tried to run away several times but she always get knocked out by Juchini’s staff. More importantly if she wants this to work, she must lose her selfishness and vow never to take another person’s tits again. Kagefusa’s squad report their failure and plead for a second chance. But she has no use for scums like them and cuts their boobs! Kagefusa’s servant, Kokage returns and reports Chifusa’s hiding at Kyukyou Temple.

Chifusa starts her training but at this rate, she’s going to take a long time. Then while bathing herself that night, Kenkyou offers to wash her back. I don’t know if it is this temple’s tradition to use one’s boobs to wash your back. Or is Kenkyou a pervert? Suddenly Chifusa sees visions of her mother and gets lost in her boobs. That’s when she is smacked out by Juchini that this set up was a test and that she is still weak for giving in to the temptations. But when Chifusa learns this is all part of the training of pulling of milk from the breasts, she blows her top. Chifusa is a step away from completing the statue when suddenly Kagefusa appears before her. Hey, looks like she busts up. Kokage restrains Kaede so as not for her to do anything funny. Kagefusa calls her a hypocrite for wanting to spread the secret scroll but instead is using it to make her own boobs bigger. She steals the scroll from her and despite Chifusa’s warning that those who are not the successor cannot read it, Kagefusa doesn’t give a damn and continues. Thus Chifusa points out to the Chichinagare section. Kagefusa learns this technique is inherited by blood and cannot be mastered no matter how much one trains. She cannot believe this crap and in her rage is going to cut Chifusa. Kaede uses and tosses Kokage as a weight to block her slash. Throwing Chifusa’s sword to her, she makes a clean cut but doesn’t feel the strike cutting through. Then the truth… Kagefusa was wearing fake tits!!! That desperate, huh? She starts going into despair that Chifusa will never understand how people who have their tits taken feel. It is then Chifusa tells her sister to cut her tits with her own hands as she vows never to take anymore tits. Kagefusa couldn’t do it eventually. She admits defeat as she can’t cut the most beautiful tits in the world. Besides, her tits are inside hers. So with the sisters emotionally reuniting and making up, Juchini congratulates Chifusa for throwing away her selfishness. As they complete the statue, a fountain gushes out. But the sisters know Juchini is lying and pulling a fast one when she mentions their mother is crying from heaven. That’s because both of them are from different mothers! Yeah, wasn’t she the one who pumped up the fountain? All a big scam… Juchini tumbling down the mountain… Kagefusa hands Chifusa back the scroll and allows her to go on spreading about the technique of healthy tits. But when she comes back, she better give her back her boobs. Muneyuki receives word about Kagefusa’s failure so he sends Ouka Sayama to do the job.

Episode 7
In a town, there has been occurrences that women’s tits are being stolen by Boobies Kid. But the common people seem happy when news of that happens. Chifusa is having lots of muscle ache not because of her boobs but the heavy stone carrying work she did then. I guess nothing beats to have your muscles done in by a good masseur, eh? When they hear the town in commotion about the Boobies Kid leaving another note, they learn she steals boobs from the rich and gives to the poor. Robin Hood of boobs? This time the target is a lady who has disrespect for others. No wonder the people are happy. Chifusa offers her service to be her bodyguard but the lady kicks Kaede out for being flat. She’s even showing her disrespect for Kaede right in front of the people! She may be fat but at least her boobs aren’t as flat as hers! Oh! That has got to hurt. Ouka comes by and volunteers to be her bodyguard but the lady refuses to hire this flat chest too. Suddenly Ouka slashes open Chifusa’s clothes, leaving her no room to even react. She reminds her about the difference of being skilled and having big tits are 2 different matters and not let her petty pride get in the way. The lady makes her an exception. That night Chifusa asks Ouka how she became so skilled so she mentions about practising hard for survival. She doesn’t expect Chifusa to understand her suffering but Chifusa mentions she has seen many less fortunate people suffer and knows what it feels like. Ouka may have indicated her boobs were stolen by the Manyuu Family but refuses to say more. In the dead of the night, Chifusa becomes the decoy sleeping in the lady’s place when Boobies Kid strikes. Chifusa notices she is draining her boobs with the use of her own hand and this is not a Manyuu technique! Catching her in the act, Boobies Kid recognizes Chifusa but makes a run for it when Ouka comes chasing her down.

As they split up, Chifusa comes into Boobies Kid and she reveals herself as the masseur. She bows then and further explains she is Momoha Munamori from the bottom rung of the family. She is proud to meet her and feels she is suitable to be the heir of their family. As they talk about Chichinagare, Ouka cuts in on them. Chifusa is surprised to see the Manyuu Family’s mark on her sword. Momoha wants her to run but Chifusa will stay and fight her. She fears the length of her long sword and waits for an opening to counterattack. However she easily dodges it and Chifusa has her first experience of what it is like for her boobs to get cut. It’s that burning sensation. Don’t worry, she didn’t lose much. Momoha distracts the fight so that she can take Chifusa and run. Not before Ouka cuts a deep wound on Momoha. Ouka follows the blood trail but loses them when the trail vanishes as they have taken a boat to escape. Back at the inn with Kaede as they try to heal her wound, Momoha knows she won’t survive long so she reveals about her technique of performing Nyuuki directly on her hand to steal boobs. Since she is an amateur, she can only take them. But it is different for Chifusa’s case because she inherited that technique from their head, Chikumi (also Chifusa’s mother). As for the part of giving tits to the poor, it is just a simple tit manipulation of body massage. Momoha is proud to be able to protect her and wants her to keep the family’s bloodline alive. I hope she didn’t miss out on any important details because she’s gone now. Next morning, Chifusa and Kaede leave town and Muneyuki gets word of Momoha’s death, the existence of the survivor of her mother’s family and Chichinagare. Kyouka seems happy and looks forward to exciting things happening.

Episode 8
Hatomune is having boobs withdrawal! He’s getting edgy that he escapes from his castle! Beware the perverted lord on the loose! Ouka isn’t pleased as she receives order through an informant to return to Edo. Chifusa regrets dragging Momoha into her problem till it resulted in her death but that doesn’t mean she can start pondering the absurd question of why breasts exist. Well, Kaede has a ‘smart’ answer. So you can tell the back from the front! Of course Kaede gets jealous again when she thinks about Chifusa’s humongous racks and starts molesting them, attracting a crowd. Among them, Hatomune who is ever ready to pounce on them! With Chifusa’s reflex, he’s never getting near those twin peaks. The girls notice Hatomune being popular with the people. Masquerading as the connoisseur of boobs, Mr Breasts (?!), this is a way he gets to listen to his people. Wow. Sounds like he’s a responsible man. Till he starts groping breasts of other women. Feel like taking back what you said? Fortunately, the women were cool enough not to even let him get close. Chifusa didn’t like his head always filled with boobs so he asks her why God made boobs side by side and not one on top of the other. Besides being gross, it is because boobs are equal! God will never make a breast superior to the other, big or small. Wow. Seems so enlightened but is this just a ploy for him to touch Chifusa’s boobs? Even if it was, he failed. On the way out, Chifusa and Kaede encounter an assassin who has orders from the higher ups to kill her. Needing time to figure out his tactic, Kaede offers to distract him but was easily dispatched. In that confusion, the assassin strikes. As Hatomune frolics with the babes, a weakened Kaede drops in to inform that Chifusa has been captured. The assassin is holding up Chifusa in a house of his conspirator, Hanima. He is keeping her alive because his actual order was to send her to them. The assassin wants to test the scroll and has lots of S&M torture devices in mind to try on Chifusa. He gets turned on by her intimidating eyes and would save the fun for later. Just to show he means business, he makes a tiny cut on her smooth boobs with the tip of his sword.

When Kaede wakes up, she is shocked to see herself in bed with Hatomune! Even if it was a joke, it gets even worse when he admits he won’t really do anything to a flat chest. Yeah, that was worse alright. How many times have this guy been beaten up today? Anyway, Hatomune has observed for the past several days about a suspicious house that the Manyuu Family was secretly using. Hatomune and Kaede are to sneak in without any reinforcements because he doesn’t want things to get out of hand to the public. Chifusa is surprised to see them coming in to her rescue. But when Hatomune sees the scratch mark on her boobs, he is filled with rage! Burning rage! So when Hanima and his men come in to have some fun with Chifusa, Hatomune becomes Sammo Hung! Watcha! You can’t beat this guy! Hatomune reveals himself but Hanima thought he is an imposter and calls his guards to take him down. Hatomune now turns into a fearsome samurai warrior! Slashing down every man with ease! Untouchable! Boobs are his motivation! Oppai! Oppai! Oppai! Chifusa faces off with the assassin and since she knows his tactic, she takes him down in one strike. When it’s over, Chifusa is grateful to him. How to repay him back? Just let him touch her boobs once. Eh? No resistance? Well, Chifusa allows just this once. I guess the shock of her cute embarrassed face must have made him change his mind. Ah well. When cannot touch, want to touch. When got chance to touch, don’t want. Chifusa and Kaede leave the city as Kaede teases her about her embarrassing expression. And Hatomune may just be regretting he should’ve touched those boobs…

Episode 9
Is this for real?! Kaede has big voluptuous boobs?! Even Chifusa can’t believe her eyes and touches it! Seems real! Till all the air comes out! Fake boobs?! What upsets Chifusa most is that she spent a big amount on plenty of those fakes! As usual, on their journey jealous Kaede has lots to say about Chifusa’s big boobs like how the dango owner gave her extra dangos (though Kaede ate them all) and some flashback how they measured their boobs every day when they were young. Kaede trips and tumbles down the mountain. She encounters a man, Sakouji Itamune who is being pursued by a group of females. Chifusa recognizes them from as Manyuu members and takes care of them easily. When Sakouji puts on his glasses, he gets excited upon seeing the most ideal boobs and wants it for his model. Ranting about the hidden beauty he has searched for years, Chifusa thought it was her but surprisingly… It’s Kaede he’s referring to! OMG! Flat chest lover! Sakouji the painter wants to borrow Kaede for a day but Chifusa reminds her about their journey. Well, I guess if an under-appreciated person like Kaede is ‘needed’, she’s not going to miss this chance, right? So Kaede follows Sakouji back to town and they visit the festival to pass the time. Back in his room, Kaede feels embarrassed to strip when Sakouji wants to start his painting. She eventually does but when he starts praising those flat chests, Kaede slaps him and runs away in tears. Chifusa who has rented the next room has heard everything. She tells Sakouji how Kaede once had big boobs but was taken away as punishment. Sakouji realizes his ignorance has hurt her and that her flat chest wasn’t divine. Kaede is stumped why he loves flat chest seeing in this world, big boobs are everything. As Kaede is crying alone at the bridge, the Manyuu pursuers confront her. They tease her for the shame she brought to the Manyuu Family and that it is better to die then keep living this pitiful life. Thankfully Sakouji was there to butt in. And I mean, he really crashed his butt onto the pursuer’s face! The pursuer mocks him that selling paintings of flat chests is like hoping for a death wish. She continues to tease him by making him look at her better body. However Sakouji sticks strong to his beliefs and believes an era of flat chest will come! He thinks the idea of big breasts are good is messed up and his paintings will change the world! Admitting he is the biggest flat chest lover (oh, the oxymoron), he accuses the pursuers to be afraid of him, that’s why they attacked him. Turning over to Kaede, he expresses his feelings for her wasn’t on a whim. Do I see love blossoming between them? In the end, Chifusa takes care of the pursuers. Since they’re from Manyuu, she doesn’t hold back. Back at Sakouji’s place, he starts painting nude Kaede. In the end, he wants her to come with him but she apologizes that she wants to continue her journey with Chifusa to get back her boobs. By then, he may have found her unattractive. He understands as Kaede returns to Chifusa’s side.

Episode 10
Chifusa falls sick just when they are so close in reaching Munamori. As Kaede nurses her, Chifusa finds that she has secretly been keeping a growth chart of her boobs for 2 years! Two freaking years without her knowing!!! At first she wanted to burn it but Kaede is not going to let her life’s work ruined! According to her calculations (WTF?!), if Chifusa is successful in returning all the boobs she had stolen, her boobs will be smaller than before they left the village. To Kaede’s surprise, Chifusa allows her to sleep and hug her. Didn’t expect that, eh? They reminisce that it has been 8 years since she last collapsed from a cold. Then she starts remembering those memories and each time felt closer to remembering something important. Like how when she first collapsed then, Kaede was by her side and to Munenori’s dismay, her boobs have shrunk. Munenori assigned Kaede to be Chifusa’s servant. Chifusa and Kagefusa also looked up to Muneyuki a lot so it’s like he is their motivation for making them work harder. And even after Chifusa’s mom died, his words helped her stopped crying as he continued to teach her swordsmanship. Meanwhile Muneyuki just finished his round of breasts inspection. In a hut, he nearly vomited but cools himself by taking a drink. Ouka lets him lie on her lap while he complains how he hates his job. Yeah, after looking at too much boobs, it’s really starting to get on his nerves. He learns Ouka has clashed swords with Chifusa but the latter got away. He wants her to leave Chifusa alone for a while. He wonders if she still misses her boobs.

Flashback 8 years ago, Ouka’s father took her to a duel with the main family. It is a rare invitation because depending on the outcome, their family will get an alliance deal. Ouka’s opponent was no other than Chifusa, who was nervous and edgy. In the end, Ouka lost and lost her boobs. She is further horrified when Muneyuki confirmed no matter what she does, there is no way to restore them. Ouka’s father couldn’t bear the embarrassment since their family’s name had been tarnished and the alliance called off. Ouka was thrown out of the house and works as a lowly Manyuu member. She got bullied over her small boobs and kept the vengeance in her heart. Three years down the road, she pleaded to Muneyuki to work as his lowly samurai. She had him check her breasts again and there was no sign of improvement. Seeing her tearful plea that even a flat chest daughter of a samurai can’t even become a tool to help her family become more powerful, Muneyuki makes her his bodyguard since he will be transferred to Edo soon and being the shogunate’s boobs inspector, he’ll be targeted a lot. He needs one who can wield the sword and the size of the boobs doesn’t matter. Since there are many people in Edo who have received the secret techniques of enlarging their boobs, it’s not too late to wait till she meets those people and decide whether to take their techniques. Ouka also met Kagefusa and Muneyuki had a test duel between them. Chifusa now remembers her first match with Ouka. She was panicking then and not knowing what to do. She tripped but as Ouka prepares the cut her, Chifusa’s panic random swing cut Ouka’s breasts. That was the first time she stole someone’s boobs. Next morning as they leave for Munamori, Chifusa vows to return all the boobs she stole but cautions Kaede because she has got too many to return before it reaches her turn. Will she turn into a granny then?

Episode 11
The duo arrive at Munamori but are appalled to see it abandoned. They meet with Granny who is more than happy to see Chifusa. She explains the village ended up like this because they participated in the Great War which divided the country and were destroyed by the Tokugawa government. Ever since Chikumi died, she left the Manyuu Family and lived here. The only other person living with her is Tsuyuha and her toddler, Hazuki. This is the first time Tsuyuha meets Chifusa but she thanks her for taking care of Momoha. But Chifusa apologizes instead for her death. On the serious business, Chifusa explains her travel back here to master Chichinagare. Tsuyuha guides her into feeling the energy that flows within her boobs called Nyuuki. As Chifusa meditates, she could feel all the boobs she has cut. It’s a big universe in there! Explaining that Chichinagare is the ability to freely control Nyuuki, she slices her boobs. This time Chifusa doesn’t feel that burning pain but a rather good feeling. Since her breasts shrunk a little, Kaede thought she could get back some of it. Keep dreaming, girl. Chifusa wants to truly master Chichinagare as she realizes the pain she has caused others when she cut their boobs. Meanwhile in Edo, Ouka follows Kagefusa and Kokage around. They remember the last time they duel and though they were evenly matched, in the end it was Ouka that dealt the final knockout blow to the back of her head. At an inn, Ouka thought they’re in the same boat since they’ve got their boobs cut by the same person but surprisingly Kagefusa doesn’t hold any more grudges. Then she starts teasing Ouka if she likes Muneyuki and has her drink up. Bad idea because she’s all drunk and pouring out her woes on Muneyuki! Yeah, Kagefusa is dozing off. An informant comes by to tell them to return since they have found Chifusa’s location. As Chifusa trains hard through the night and before she is thought Chichinagare, Granny tells a little story about her mother. After they were overrun by the Tokugawa, Chikumi went to join Manyuu and became Munenori’s concubine. That was how Chifusa was born. Granny was concerned Manyuu was just trying to get their secrets but Chikumi promised they will not get them as long as he lived. Plus, this is the best way to raise Chifusa whom she wanted to be a beautiful flower rather than one who wields a sword. Then one day against Granny’s wishes, Chifusa ran inside a room to see her mom covered with blood. Seems she has committed suicide to keep the secret from falling into Manyuu’s hands. Chifusa realizes she was a fool then not knowing her mother’s wish. However she is no longer a little child who knows nothing. All she can do now is to accept everything, master the secret technique and to answer those who rely on her. Granny is brought to tears seeing how similar she is to Chikumi. As they start the training, Muneyuki and his assassin squad have arrived at the village.

Episode 12
When Muneyuki received word on Chifusa’s location, he is happy that he will become more powerful when he attains Chichinagare. Kyouka writes to Munenori about the remnants of Munamori clan and Chifusa’s aim to master Chichinagare. If they capture her, Chichinagare will be theirs and everything is going according to their plan. Chifusa seems to be in tears upon hearing Tsuyuha’s words that she needs a mother’s heart to control Chichinagare. However she tells her that every woman has a strong heart. Kaede spots Muneyuki’s team arriving and rushes back to warn Chifusa. Ouka knows they have been spotted but Muneyuki reminds her this isn’t a slaughter. But the other assassination squad members mock Ouka over her lost boobs. Ouka wonders what had changed Kagefusa’s character because when they were called back, Kagefusa wasn’t interested and stayed back. Once Muneyuki meets with Chifusa, he wants her and Kaede to return to Manyuu and receive her punishment. This will mean Chifusa will get her boobs cut and since Kaede doesn’t have any, she’ll be executed! If they refuse, they will be killed here along with the others of Munamori blood. Chifusa’s stance is clear. She is not going to let him attain the secret through their blood. Muneyuki sends his assassination squad into action as Chifusa takes on Kirino. Chifusa has trouble taking on her speed and is saved by Tsuyuha in battle gear. She easily slices Kirino’s boobs (it was more pleasure than pain for her). One of the assassins is aiming for Granny but was dispatched by Kagefusa. She is helping Chifusa because of their promise. She has to master that technique and return her boobs. They will stall for time to let Chifusa and Kaede run away with Hazuki as she is the last bloodline of Munamori. Muneyuki sends Ouka after them. And she can settle her personal grudge this way.

It’s a showdown between the duo but Chifusa wants her to let her escape this time. She understands her grudge but promises to return her boobs after she masters Chichinagare. However Ouka is more pissed at her weak resolve rather than her grudge. Stealing boobs, baring her fangs against Manyuu and then running away, she wonders how Chifusa can still keep a straight face and has she ever thought the effects of her treason on the rest of the Manyuu. Suddenly Hazuki starts crying. It’s a sign that Tsuyuha has been defeated. This has Chifusa remembering Tsuyuha telling her about a mother’s heart. She lets Hazuki suck on her tits but finds it ticklish. But seeing how Hazuki wanted to suck on them more, she allowed it and experienced a gentle feeling. With this key word, Chifusa calms herself as she notes she wasn’t only careless, she ran away from Manyuu and ignored the situation. As both ladies charge forward, both their swords break. By the time Ouka unsheathes her second sword, Chifusa cuts her breasts with her bare hands! Not only that, Ouka’s breasts have returned! Taking advantage of this confusion, Chifusa makes a run for it while Kaede notices her boobs have shrunk. They meet up with the rest and Tsuyuha still lives albeit slightly wounded. Kagefusa wants Chifusa to try out Chichinagare on her since she has mastered it. But when she chops her boobs, only Kagefusa’s fake boobs dropped out! Looks like she has a long way to go… Muneyuki gropes Ouka’s boobs and is fascinated Chifusa has learnt Chichinagare. He plans on regrouping when Ouka apologizes for her failure. He too says sorry for groping her boobs roughly. Well, she didn’t mind and would love to have him touch more but he cautions her not to get excited over a little growth. After all, he has examined far more impressive boobs in his work. He should’ve realized this statement was the reason why Ouka suddenly turned bad mood. Chifusa and Kaede prepare to leave and continue their journey to master Chichinagare to return the boobs to their rightful owners. Kagefusa warns that Manyuu will came after her more persistently than before and even if they do, Chifusa isn’t going to let Chichinagare fall into their hands. She narrates boobs are the centre of this world. But that means you’ll soon become a mother, the proof of being a woman. Without the being influenced by Manyuu, the proof of life, that is the sacred vow Munamori has taken. Boobs should be respected as they are and will aim for such a world.

What else more do you get from buying the DVDs? More boobs!!! Boobs, boobs and more boobs! Lasting between 2-4 minutes, the 8 specials (some termed them as OVAs) are either Kaede’s record book on Chifusa’s boobs growth or Chichitogi among the ladies. Can you stomach more boobs for your boobs amusement?

Special 1 – While Chifusa is sleeping, Kaede is on a measurement spree on her humongous boobs. After tying her up in an S&M style, Kaede measures the boobs from all positions to even her nipples. Those protractor and ruler come in handy? Yeah, she even weighs them! But unfortunately for us viewers, we won’t get to hear how many centimetres or grams they are as it’s like Kaede is leaving out this juicy bit on purpose. So with the final resilience test using a heavy duty boobs pressure tester, Kaede is having a field day in this paradise of hers while it boggles me how can Kaede sleep through all that racket…

Special 2 – As Chifusa worries about her sagging boobs if they grow any bigger, Kaede offers to do Chichitogi but all we see her doing is just squeezing them. Chifusa wants her to cut it out and wonders if there is a more normal way to do so. Well, there is. Having her put clapping her hands together to raise her sagging breasts, it is just a ploy so that the pervert can continue squeezing and harass those tits. Extreme molestation! Till Chifusa realizes she is fooling around…

Special 3 – Chifusa lets her huge boobs float in the hot water tub while Kaede drools over them. She gets a knock on the head when she can’t control her lust for those boobs. Seeing she is desperate, Chifusa helps out by reading some of the secrets in the scroll. However since it’s not working out the way she wants, Kaede is going to bring forth sure-fire methods in breast forging. That is, to attach her mouth to Chifusa’s breasts and keep on sucking! Maybe she’s doing it too rough, that’s why she gets another knock on the head. Another failure…

Special 4 – Though reluctant, Chifusa allows Kaede to mould her breasts as a model. As she puts on the sticky plaster over her boobs, Kaede starts narrating on how to analyze someone’s personality by just looking at their breasts. She uses Ouka (Plate Form – annoying type), Kagefusa (Rocket Form – b*tchy and greedy type) and Ooiso (Tare Panda Form – morbid and gross type) as examples. Please note, these are just her delusions and DOES NOT work in real life. Meanwhile, Chifusa somehow screwed up by moving too much and has the mould covering almost her entire body and can’t move. Kaede admires the Venus de Milo view hopes her boobs will get even bigger.

Special 5Chifusa is being chased by assassins as Kaede narrates and observes her luscious bouncy boobs as she runs, swings her sword and swims to fight and escape the enemy. Finally as Chifusa slays yet another woman’s breasts, we hear Kaede narrating the fate of their world about stealing and gaining breasts, survival of the bustiest and their journey’s continuation to suck more breasts from the enemy so that she could share her ever growing boobs with her.

Special 6Ouka helps Kagefusa do Chichitogi. Because she’s not doing it properly, Kagefusa tugs Ouka’s boobs as punishment. Given a second shot, Ouka continues her Chichitogi (feels like she’s milking from a cow) and Kagefusa finds her good. So good that she climaxes and discharges milk!!! WTF?! Well, this is what happens when she is in a state of ecstasy. While Ouka is shocked, Kagefusa wants her to bathe and drink in it. Ouka is terrified but Kagefusa starts squirting on her. Turns out to be Ouka’s nightmare and she just had too much sake before bed.

Special 7Chifusa gets to bath in peace seeing Kaede is not around to harass her boobs. On the contrary, she is hiding outside the window spying. So Kaede observes Chifusa soak in the tub, letting her boobs float and then wash her own boobs. Each time, she feels envious that she too once had boobs like that. Then Chifusa starts massaging her own boobs and Kaede thinks she is performing Chichitogi on herself. But Kaede was too noisy at this point in her fantasy so Chifusa shoos her away. More bad luck for Kaede because she got stung by bees. The good news? Her boobs are swollen to B-cup size! The bad news? She doesn’t like this form of temporary enlargement magic. See lah. Always harass Chifusa’s boobs. Now she got divine retribution.

Special 8Ouka has gotten her boobs back and while she is fantasizing on how Muneyuki grabbed it so hard then, she becomes embarrassed when she realizes Kagefusa, Chifusa and Kaede were watching her from the start. With Kagefusa fondling her boobs, Kaede also wants to do the same to Chifusa. Not a chance. Once Kagefusa is done with Ouka, she turns her attention to Chifusa. While rubbing those huge tits, she wonders when she is going to give her back her boobs. Noting she needs a mother’s heart to master Chichinagare, Kagefusa and Kaede disguise themselves like those Ewoks kids so they can suck on her boobs while Ouka restrains Chifusa. Once Chifusa is tired out, she does her unenergetic chop on their boobs and since nothing happened, they resume the tits sucking and squeezing process once more. At this rate, it may go out of shape.

Tit(s) For Tat! Size Does Matter! Big Is Beautiful!
Oh God. I think I’m going to puke too after watching too many boobs. It’s a good thing I didn’t become someone obsessed with boobs by the time I finished watching the anime and its short specials. Worse, someone who fears them! Heard of boobs-phobia? That would be mastrophobia. So the way the anime ended indicates that this is just the start of another long journey of changing the world’s mindset on boobs. For most of the episodes in this season, it is just about Chifusa and Kaede’s journey to return to their homeland and during the trip, they enter into different towns, get slightly involved in the town’s matters (of course with Manyuu’s influence spreading wide and far, it’s no surprise you can see one or two agents around), solve their problem before continuing their journey. In a way, the episodes seem like fillers while bits and pieces of the storyline are scattered as we go through them. So most of the side characters you see are only for that particular episode. After that, you won’t see them again. But that is not entirely a bad thing and you won’t really notice this because, yeah, we’re all focused on the tits, right? Whether it’s sucking tits, molesting breasts and rubbing them the stimulating way, admit it, you can’t take your eyes of them.

As the series ends, it also leaves a few questions for me to ponder. Seeing that Kagefusa has helped the ‘traitor’, wouldn’t she and Kokage by punished when they return? I mean, Muneyuki has witness her ‘betrayal’ by helping Chifusa and the Munamori bloodlines escape so wouldn’t this amount to treason? In that case, shouldn’t Kagefusa be following them on their journey too? It’s like after the aftermath of the final battle, she isn’t really concerned with her own fate over her actions and that it was like nothing. In view of this, wouldn’t Granny, Tsuyuha and Hazuki should also be following them? Now that the Manyuu Family has confirmed there are remaining survivors of the once-sworn-enemy (still is, from the way I see it) Munamori clan, they will go all out to hunt them as they will hunt down Chifusa and Kaede, right? Unless their focus now is primarily on Chifusa who has taken the first step in mastering Chichinagare. Another boggling question is, if Chifusa said that Chichinagare can only be mastered by members of her own bloodline, don’t you think Muneyuki and the Manyuu’s Family aim to master it is deemed futile? Maybe they don’t know of this yet. And from this point of view, you can say that their technique is safe and foolproof from being stolen, right? So why the heck should Chikumi commit suicide in the first place? Ah, matters of the boobs are complicated and not easily understood. And yeah, when you cut boobs, the entire boobs should come out. Blood and gore, not just water, right? Seeing that Chifusa wasn’t the one who cut Kaede’s boobs, I guess she really does have to wait for a long time in order for her boobs to return to her original size. If ever that happens.

The most amusing character that makes this series funny is Kaede. Because of her jealousy towards Chifusa’s ever-growing boobs, you can’t help laugh at her when she throws a fit being that resentful servant. She never fails to make me smile whenever she enters this mode and her desperation reveals her true colours as a pervert. I feel if it wasn’t Chifusa’s big boobs, it could’ve been others. Talk too much about boobs and she’ll snap and go crazy. Don’t care whether you are her best friend, master or enemy, as long as it’s about boobs, she’ll lunge at you if you annoy her enough. It was nice she has an episode focused on her (because too much focus on Chifusa’s unsightly huge racks has become an eye sore). Yeah, the one with the rare small tits lover. In today’s world, I guess there are some people who share that passion that small is more but that’s just a small section as compared to the main norm who would still love big ones. As for Chifusa, she learns a lot during her journey and reflects upon her actions, especially stealing boobs from others unwillingly. I guess you can say that not only her character grows but her boobs too! The latter is more obvious of course :). Hatomune is particularly a good guy despite his perverted tendencies for boobs. If this world did not revolve around boobs in the first place, he would have either been a very good and respectable lord or a nobody. I thought Kagefusa was going to be the main antagonist of this series. But after she tasted defeat for the second time, it’s like she gave up being Chifusa’s enemy and become her ally instead. After all, even if they are not really sisters related by blood, they are still sisters under the same clan. She’s not as bad as we thought she would be. Just that she needs a little anger management. As for Kokage, I felt she was just excess baggage. Since she is to Kagefusa like what Kaede is to Chifusa, we don’t see her doing much except following her around doing some reconnaissance here and there. Still, Kagefusa takes good care of her.

Now that Ouka has got her boobs back, will she let go her grudge of 8 years? Still, she is under Muneyuki’s order so if he tells her to move, she goes. About whether she will end up his lover is a different story. Maybe if she enhances her boobs, she’ll stand a chance? But that guy has seen so many boobs in his life’s work that he is somewhat immune to them. So the nice guy like Muneyuki turns out to be the real antagonist after all? Hiding behind his nice and polite facade maybe because he is the boobs inspector and has a certain image to maintain? The final bit reveals that his goal all along was to attain and master Chichinagare and it feels now that matter has come to light, he will stop at nothing to get it. Kyouka is equally dubious as to whether she is good or bad but her actions indicate highly that it should be the latter. We don’t see her doing much in this season, and someone who is just bumming around the house, mocking others while having that face which looks like she has an ulterior motive. And certainly we don’t know if Munenori is the biggest crook as the head of the Manyuu Family. He doesn’t make any rash decisions and from flashbacks we see, he did give his fair share of advice to Chifusa and Kagefusa.

Now on to fanservice and tits! When you see this series, you have to be resolved that you are going to see fanservice and ecchi moments in almost every scene you see. The reason why this show was not classified as hentai was because nobody ended up having sex. Just like Seikon No Qwaser. See the loophole? I am not a boobs expert but the way the series portrays those big and bouncy boobs, it feels and sounds like as though they are made of water bags inside! I know a big percentage of our body is made up of water but for most of them to be in the boobs? You can’t really say they are flabby fats now, can you? Seriously, how do you get water in those boobs to inflate it so big? Plastic surgery? Not that I can see the medical technology in this era. Magic? You don’t see wizards and dragons in here, do you? Something to do with the secret scroll? Perhaps. If that scroll really existed in today’s world, I wonder how much it would fetch on ebay and Amazon. It would be something that many are willing to die for, don’t you think? When the characters start squeezing or rubbing the huge boobs, it somehow feels that the boobs isn’t, well, how should I put it, they don’t seem like human skin. Get what I mean? From my perspective, the boobs appear to be like plastic bottles. So fake… Yeah, maybe. There are a few panty shots but boobs are aplenty. I mean, you’re in an era whereby a fundoshi (loincloth) is considered normal underwear. There is no colourful and different lingerie designs. Where’s the sexiness in that? Another ‘interesting’ bit is at the end of the next episode preview. Some of the previews we have Chifusa narrating in what I call a boob philosophy. What? Hear this one: “Hate the sin and don’t hate the boobs”. Yeah, how does that sound? True, right? Here’s more: “If you’re not careful, you’ll lose your tits”, “The sway of one’s feelings is the sway of one’s tits”, “If there are tits you throw away, there are some you can pick up”, “Even for exceptional boobs, there are small misunderstandings”, “Boobs are something that become heavier with age” and the final masterpiece, “All roads lead to boobs”. Aren’t they motivating, no?

For the voice acting part, it is hats off to Aki Toyosaki as the voice of Kaede. And I thought her voicing as ditzy girls was good, making Kaede sound like a maniacal pervert was just convincing and perfect. Though she too had a voice role in Seikon No Qwaser as Tomo, but that character wasn’t a pervert but an airhead (just like what her trademark cute ditzy voice is best for – Yui in K-ON!, Uiharu in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun and Kanetsugu in Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls). It’s either you will squirm with disgust or grin with glee whenever she makes her character go breathing hard or just jealous. That’s why some of the other segments in the episodes are amusing like the sponsor screen whereby she narrates her lines with full of passion and lust! You can’t beat that. And for her Kaede’s record book specials, she’s absolutely a wacko perverted nut case in just reading out the segment’s title. It’s like she’s so hard-up for it. Really. So that’s why, once more it’s hats off to Aki Toyosaki for doing such a wonderful job making Kaede a totally amusing and perverted character that we both love and hate so much. Thank you. Mamiko Noto also has a role in this anime as Ouka. Mostly she sounds serious and one you would not expect to provide any emotion. Except of course when she is fantasizing about Muneyuki. Then it’s that fawning voice all over… Atsushi Ono as Munenori (Giriko from Bleach) sounds like as though he has some lump in his throat or he underwent some throat surgery. It’s like as though his voice can’t come out despite his soft-spoken nature, making him sound like mumbling. Other casts include Minako Kotobuki as Chifusa (Tsumugi in K-ON!), Kaoru Mizuhara as Kagefusa (Gisen in Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls), Kenji Hamada as Muneyuki (Enishi in Hanasaku Iroha), Ayahi Takagi as Kyouka (Mikako in Sora No Otoshimono), Tohru Ohkawa as Hatomune (Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist) and Misato Fuken as Kokage (Utao in Kamisama Dolls).

As far as this anime is concern, you won’t be considered a true pervert that the women will hate if you love boobs. In here, you can declare your undying love for those pair of luxuries! I’m sure if the feminists see this show, they’ll be calling for the producer’s head and condemning every aspect of it. This series would be considered and insult to women all around the world and portraying them and especially their breasts as sex objects. Well, that depends on your stand on how much ‘pinch of salt’ you would like to take from this anime. So be careful never to try out the stuff you see in this show in real life. You’ll be slapped with tons of sexual harassment lawsuits. You know what they say when hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And all because of a pair of boobs… I figured I said too much of that word already in this blog.

You thought the world would have been a better place if boobs were given such a prominent importance. But look how much trouble it turned out to be. I guess as human nature, whether it is boobs or not, they’ll always be that secret powerful something everyone else wants to steal and rule the world. Do you still think drinking milk and the belief of having someone massage your breasts will make them bigger? Well, thanks to anime, I’m sure we’ll see breasts in a whole new different manner now, eh? So it doesn’t matter what kind of boobs you have. Big or small, sagging or firm. The most important thing is the inside that counts. No, I don’t mean the water or gel that props them up. The matter of the heart, that is. Once you have got a big heart, then the boobs don’t matter anymore. Hmph. What am I saying? Tell that to all the people in this anime and I would receive a chilling rebuke for my b(l)ooper. And if they ask me to go research and do more study on boobs, that’s like keeping abreast of things, right? Oops, I think I just made another booby there.

Carnival Phantasm

July 27, 2012

Prior to the start of the much anticipated Fate/Zero sequel, Carnival Phantasm was released back in August 2011 in conjunction to celebrate the Type-Moon game company’s 10th anniversary. The dozen of OVA episodes are mostly wacky and nonsensical stuff coming from mainly the company’s famous franchises of characters such as Fate/Stay Night and Tsukihime. Seeing that I have only watched Fate/Stay Night, there is a chance that I might not understand the deeper meaning to some of the jokes involving the Tsukihime characters. Sure, it may seem funny and comical at first glance but do the characters actually act this way? From my experience with Fate/Stay Night, let’s just say they are turned into comic relief characters, which is basically what the entire show is about. So whether you are familiar with both the series or not, you can expect to laugh out loud at some of the most ridiculous scenarios they are in.

Split into 3 seasons of 4 episodes per season, though each OVA is only 15 minutes short, the episodes are divided into several segments. Some lasting to as short as a minute and others almost the entire duration of the episode. Thus in most episodes, you can see a familiar kind of segment present. For instance, the OVAs are hosted by a bunch of chibi-like cats (supposedly taken after some of the characters in the said series) that work in a café called Ahnenerbe. The quartet include Neko Arc (Ahnenerbe’s owner), Neko Chaos (cigarette smoking cat), Neko Destiny (more reserved and sensible) and Neko Babbles (always violently nodding her head in agreement – that’s her only form of speech). Later they are joined by an otaku cat, Neko Evolution. They also give comments on that particular segment besides introducing to viewers the upcoming segment. Other regular recurring segments include White Moon Princess Phantas-Moon (a magical girl version of Arcueid beating mushroom-like villains with some fancy magic move as this segment is mainly a ‘Next Episode Preview’ – why does Ren always have something in hand at the end of it? What is it for?), Seihai-kun (a somewhat horrible visual representation of the Holy Grail offering its ‘advice’ to those in need), Afterschool Alleyway Alliance (somewhat a stand-up comedy hosted by Satsuki, Sion and Riesbyfe. Quote of the segment by Sion: “That was all within my calculations”. What’s with that pose each time they restart the segment after that quote?) and Taiga’s Dojo which is actually the next episode preview which is hosted by Fujimura and Ilya. I guess this is the only section we’ll get to see Fujimura pulling off her lively and dramatic acts. So are you ready to have fun?

Episode 1
* After that serious introduction to the Holy Grail War, suddenly the rules of the 5th war have changed. Now we have most of the Masters and their Servants participating in a quiz game show. Despite putting on a goody-two-shoes face, Rin actually wants to win it at all cost even if it’s using dirty means. So why have a quiz instead? Don’t want the city to be destroyed again, eh? So we have the contestants fighting it out in games instead. Card games (are warriors suited to play docile games like this), tennis (do you want to play with Berserker?), Black Beard (Lancer got stabbed to death with Gilgamesh’s Noble Phantasm) and a bunch of other ridiculous events. In the end, Shirou finds the Holy Grail and cracks it open only for Neko Arc to pop out. Then all her clones put Shirou into a rocket and blast him off to space. It’s a sign that the Holy Grail is too much for a human to handle?
* Phantas-Moon: We see her defeating some mushroom enemy, narrating the next episode (I have a feeling Akiha will always be the baddie) and in what’s in Ren’s hand? Chikuwa.

Episode 2
* I don’t know why but Neko Chaos wants Neko Arc to shoot beams from her eyes. When she does, Ahnenerbe is destroyed and he finds beams so… Unisex?
* Phantas-Moon: Another mushroom villain defeated. Another next episode narration and this time a konnyaku in Ren’s hand.
* The rocket carrying Shirou crashes onto the sandy beaches. But it’s fanservice segment with mainly the Tsukihime girls in their swimsuits out to play. Shiki is one lucky bastard or is he one poor unfortunate soul with all the girls hanging around him? Arcueid, Ciel and Akiha are already fighting over him. Paradise or hell? Till Kohaku suggests a volleyball competition to enhance their friendship. I guess friendship is more than at stake when the main prize is to spend a night alone with Shiki in a private room. It’s do or die! So we have Arcueid-Ciel-Miyako against Akiha-Sion-Hisui. No matter where they hit the ball, on purpose or not, it always ends up in Ciel’s face. With both sides not backing down and even unleashing powerful techniques (heck, are they playing volleyball anymore?!), they decimated the beach (score line 525 points each?!). They even destroyed Shirou and Neko Arc’s hard work in repairing the rocket.
* Sharing tables: Messed up Shirou shares a table with Shiki to tell him he couldn’t fix the rocket…
* Afterschool Alleyway Alliance: Rants include trying to introduce themselves since they don’t often appear. All Riesbyfe is interested is her laundry and overdue DVD rental. And they think they captured the hearts of the audience… “It’s all within my calculations”…

Episode 3
* Neko Destiny gets emotional and tries to leave Ahnenerbe because she thinks all their faces look the same. But the rest aren’t fazed…
* Arcueid is bored staying at home and waits for Shiki at school, much to his dismay. Much to Ciel’s even bigger dismay. She thinks the school is her territory (probably the only place Arcueid can’t lay her fingers on Shiki – in love triangle sense). Because Arcueid really wants to be with him, next day, she becomes a transfer student in his class. She did the entrance exam and aced it (she’s a vampire so I guess her intelligence is above par than of normal humans). Ciel isn’t thrilled that her sanctuary is now invaded. Worse, Arcueid ‘beats’ her at her own game of telling her to go back where she came from because it’s her territory with Shiki from now on. But Arcueid is finding hard to keep up life as a student. So at the end of the day, she sends in her withdrawal notice. So fast, huh? Just when Ciel thought her peaceful days at school are back, then pops up Arcueid again. If she can’t be a student, she might as well be the groundskeeper at school.
* Shirou finds Fujimura and Ilya sleeping comfortably in the middle of the hallway. Ilya forces him to sleep with her (nothing hentai, mind you) and since he can’t escape her hug, he too falls asleep. Saber spots this and curiously sneaks up close to Shirou but was caught red-handed by Rin. It’s her ploy to get in between Shirou. Ilya didn’t like her taking her spot so she starts biting her head (reminiscence of Index?). Even if they are arguing loudly, Shirou is still asleep. Hey, Fujimura too. While a spell was casted on Shirou, there wasn’t any on Fujimura. She’s just a heavy sleeper…
* Afterschool Alleyway Alliance: Talking about standing out more (Riesbyfe different set of clothing), bad manners from adults and winter. The smoothness is always interrupted by Riesbyfe intention to go home and “It’s always within my calculation”…  They think they really rock this one… Hope so.
* Phantas-Moon: You know what to expect after defeating a spicy mushroom loli, right? Now Ren has a kombu seaweed in hand.

Episode 4
* Rin returns only to hear a recorded voice message from Shirou requesting her to record a show (he’s tied up with his part time job). Because Rin is bad with machines, she isn’t looking forward to it despite the easy instructions on how to do it. Archer spots her in distress but Rin maintains her superiority over him. But does she really know how to record with a Blu-Ray player? Where is the disc? Are these his porn discs? She’s starting to panic. She thought the player is going to explode when she pressed a wrong button. Finally Archer explains how Blu-Ray recorder works. You don’t need a disc as it is recorded in the hard drive inside the player. It is after that you only burn it onto a Blu-Ray disc. Embarrassed Rin hits him away. When Shirou returns to watch it, looks like Rin has recorded the wrong channel. Phantas-Moon anyone?
* Shiki and Shirou are having a big major headache. They have their dates clashed with all the girls. It would be bad if they can’t fulfil them. Shiki comes up with a super date plan timetable to avoid getting killed. Let’s say the periodic timetable is much easier to remember than this complicated diagram. So hectic… Now you know why dates make or break you, right? Even Shirou has come up with his perfect plan and they think it’s flawless. Upon looking at the overall picture, they suddenly feel it’s impossible. Yeah, they’re screwed big time.
* Phantas-Moon: Poison yuri fungus this time? Daikon radish from Ren? Hey, this show has reached its 106th episode… Magical girls are indeed popular…
* Afterschool Alleyway Alliance: On the subject about friends and marriages, the usual suspects again cause the usual ruckus. So are they glad they made it this far? Yeah, they should be breaking up! “It’s all within my calculations”…

Episode 5
* Berserker crashes through Ahnenerbe and leaves a trail of destruction in his wake. Neko Chaos thinks it’s manly?
* Sharing Tables: Kuzuki shares a table with Nero. He thinks the latter is an animal lover seeing lots of animals are popping up from his body.
* Ilya’s game pad batteries are out so she has Berserker do errands to buy them. Can he understand and not screw up? Yeah, she was this close in clearing the stage. While he makes his way, one of Ilya’s servants, Leysritt keeps an eye and prevents delinquent Gilgamesh from causing trouble. Before their fight can begin, Gilgamesh is defeated when Berserker’s weapon accidentally crushes him. Leysritt is dragged back by her chief. Berserker meets Lancer and fights him to make that dude to become his dog pet. WTF?! Well, the warehouse got decimated as a result. Dragging Lancer and rushing along, Berserker crushes Rider along the way and loses his ‘dog’. Then he finds the battery store is closed today so he starts hitting the door with his weapon! So furious that the impact slammed Saber away when she comes out of a nearby restaurant. Saber defeated?! I don’t know how but he found Lancer too. Talking out like best buddies, he thinks it’s best for him to go home. Berserker flips the note behind to find Ilya has written an alternative store. Dragging Lancer to the general department store, he jumps 10 floors up and crushes Caster passing by. Defeated! He is about to fight Archer browsing at the section when he tosses Lancer at him. The surprise move defeated Archer and by this point, Lancer is more than defeated. He’s just dead. Still, he drags his body back to the mansion. However Ilya scolds him for buying the wrong thing. He got an electric kettle instead. But popping out of it is Neko Arc. She grants Ilya’s battery wish but it’s the wrong brand…
* Phantas-Moon: Well, this samurai mushroom is immune to her magic attacks. So how? Just punch him in the face! Oh, why is Ren holding the collagen? The series is reaching episode 174…

Episode 6
* Phantas-Moon: What the heck is that meganeko mushroom? What the heck is that mini mixed pot Ren has in her hand? Now Phantas-Moon has a new series called Hardcore? And while the cats of Ahnenerbe are worried of their negative balance, Neko Evolution barges in so that everyone can cheer on his favourite idol Phantas-Moon. How does this help in settling the bill?
* It’s a heartbreaking drama of how Sakura gets beaten up by selfish and heartless brother Shinji while Rider can only watch on in silence. You feel like wanting to kill that bastard for making poor Sakura do all the hard work while he enjoys himself in his warm and cosy room. Rider keeps wondering why she sticks by him through thick and thin. She can’t run away from his violent behaviour but at the same time she feels she can’t get by without her. That’s sisterly love for you. Rider gets back at him by purposely doing accidents on him. Yeah, even almost killing him with her Noble Phantasm. Sakura confronts Rider and knows she has been protecting her. Despite all that, she still wants to continue to be with Shinji because he’s her brother. Rider is willing to make Sakura her master but she refuses (because Rider gets more votes in the popularity polls?). She’ll settle this herself. One night, Shinji tries to rape her so she stabs a dagger into his chest. Not just an ordinary dagger. The kind that makes him sexier? She didn’t like what Rider did as she notes because of Shinji as a loser, he made others look good! True! In the end, Sakura doesn’t blame her brother for everything he has done as she continues to live the life as an ill-fated sister.
*Sharing Tables: Archer sits with Nanako who badmouths about female masters (Ciel and Rin respectively). See the burnt table in the end? Guess we know what happened to them, eh?

Episode 7
* The cats are eating a delicious ramen. They find out Neko Babbles made it and the ingredients are dangerous enough to be mosaic out.
* Shiki explains to Arcueid what okonomiyaki is. She had the wrong idea of an octopus wrapping around a pig? Because Shiki has always cooked for her and she doesn’t want to lose out to Ciel, she decides to make one herself. First, she went diving into the freezing waters for fresh octopus (you must be crazy to see a scantily clad woman in this cold place). To get pork, she assaults Nero to get the pig out of him. Then she burns her ingredients over the pot just like how she imagined it. That’s not okonomiyaki!
* In a love drama that involves Caster and Kuzuki, she always does her best and watches from afar in this on-sided love affair. You can’t tell if Kuzuki is reciprocating her love with his single grim expression. Caster gives him a handmade charm and it soon Kuzuki gets lucky and wins lots of prizes. Even God defeats his enemies without him knowing or lifting a single finger. Caster is watching Saber obsessively through her crystal ball. It seems she is a fanatic fan of Saber and has lots of costumes, photos and figurines on her. Issei didn’t like what he sees and is going to report to Kuzuki. Though she isn’t fazed, she can’t let Kuzuki see this room too. One night while working on a Saber figurine (she’s welding it?!), Issei shows Kuzuki the room. Caught in the act! What is she going to do now? Kuzuki takes out a ring and gives it to her as a present. While Issei is shocked at this unexpected development, it is tears of joy for Caster. He even suggests that they go on a vacation to Hawaii (a prize he won). But Caster cries louder when Kuzuki praises a very good Saber figurine she made. Does this indicate he’s her fan too?

Episode 8
* King of the Wild: We have Saber personified as a male African lion, sleeping, bumming around and eating Lancer as her meal.
* Saber works part time at Ahnenerbe and the cats can’t help bow to her. See how moe she is in a maid outfit? The king of knights! Rin is having a hard time as her customer. Saber is picky on what kind of food she orders as well as its servings. She imposes her ideals on other customers as well but this results in Ahnenerbe recording high sales level as never before. So can she work here every day? Dare they ask the king of something like this?! Saber meets her match in the form of Gilgamesh the customer. She has to hold it in while putting up with his arrogant demands. I mean, he pays well. Look at him throw all his jewels and coins! Saber has the last straw when Gilgamesh wants her as take-out. She snaps and turns into a dark gothic lolita maid and reprimands Gilgamesh for wasting food. Tired and hungry (though she won’t admit it), they give her eat a special stamina replenishing meal. All the customers rejoice at this moe sight. With Gilgamesh now a good boy, Saber wants him to follow her out to town tonight. All the customers instantly become her followers and worship her. Neko Chaos notes how men are corrupted by darkness and Saber learns work = worship. When Saber returns home, she returns to her normal self when she meets Shirou. She gives him a cooking pot as his birthday present (he does the cooking around the house). Nevertheless, he is happy.

Episode 9
* The war for the Holy Grail takes on a different twist now. It’s a Grand Prix Championship! The teams will be randomly given a car. Rin-Archer got a Cadillac, it’s a classic car for Kuzuki-Caster, lucky Lancer gets a dragster, Shinji-Rider a bicycle (hey, she’s a rider after all, get it?), Shirou-Saber a coin operated animal ride (100 Yen to start!) and Ilya-Berserker a transform car. What kind of car is that? Berserker transforms into a mean tank! Berser-Car. Geddit?! As the race starts (why does it feel like Death Race?), Lancer makes a good start leaving his competitors eating his dust trails. However dragsters can’t turn, right? Yup, he crashes out at the first corner. Because Kuzuki-Caster team prefers to go on a honeymoon instead of racing, Caster leaves Assassin as her replacement. Man, he’s coming in driving a huge truck! And he’s hot on the tail of Rin-Archer team. So how did he manage to leave the temple? He brought the temple along!!! That’s why he needs a truck! See him speak to his ‘brother’. Shirou-Saber got knocked out because they are too slow (to go fast, you need to insert more money!). A stray shot from Berser-Car hits Assassin as he falls off the cliff. He jumps down to save his ‘brother’. I guess he’s out, eh? Ilya-Berserker chases after Rin-Archer but Gilgamesh on his sports bike enters the fray. He chains Berser-Car to the road and Ilya makes a blooper by firing and instead blows themselves up. It’s neck to neck between Rin-Archer and Gilgamesh. Oh look, now Rider is peddling to the max. It’s a scary ride for Shinji sitting in the front basket. But no matter how good a rider she is, she is too fast and breaks through the road barrier, flying into the sea. Into the final corner and stretch, a third team is gaining on them: Shirou-Saber. Why? How? Shirou is breaking his bank and inserting coins like mad!!! No more sumptuous meals from now on. Just tea on rice. In a mad dash to the finish line, Shirou uses his Trace On to materialize a sword. That is the difference that makes them the winner. Yeah, just by the skin of their teeth. The prize is of course the Holy Grail and they can wish for anything. So what is their wish? They want their money back…
* Seihai-kun: Shinji complains that Gilgamesh won’t listen to him despite being his master (really?) so Seihai-kun’s solution is throwing him a tool called Friend Maker. It’s a knife… Go show him who’s boss!

Episode 10
* Ahnenerbe is swamped with kids. They’re playing with the cats like toys but only Neko Destiny seems to take a liking for them.
* Akiha waits patiently for Shiki to wake up despite running the risk of being late to school. Kohaku gives her tea to drink while she waits. By the time Shiki rushes down, he is puzzled Akiha is not mad. Instead, she has reverted to a 4 year old! Yeah, the drug in Kohaku’s tea made her more than just being honest with her feelings. It’s going to be troublesome seeing she is acting like a kid who doesn’t want to leave Shiki’s side. And he thought of leaving it to Kohaku to handle it, eh? No such luck. In class, everyone is envious but Shiki covers this up that due to his negligence, her emotions are unstable and she reverts to a child-like state. I guess this fires up the guys even more, eh? They are in danger of going out of control! Lolicon! Shiki can’t even have piss, oops I mean peace (no pun intended) because Akiha even wants to follow him to toilet. I don’t know how, but he takes a leak with her next to him. Now it’s her turn but she wants him to accompany her. Satsuki was passing by so Shiki assigns her to escort Akiha. Satsuki is forced to undress and wipe her (all visuals and sounds are purposely censored out) in the cubicle. I guess Shiki owes her big time. Shiki carries sleeping Akiha on his back on his way home. Unknown to him, the drug effect has worn off and she is now conscious. He notes how she grew up before his eyes, became prettier and steadier than him and is glad he left the Arima family. Then he said something uncalled for. There is one part of hers that hasn’t grown. Feel the full rage of Akiha now!!! Just when she thought she had a better view of him, then this. So people, make sure you think before you say and especially to whom you say. That’s why silence is sometimes golden. Oh, Kohaku has made Hisui drink the tea and it’s like with have a clone of Kohaku now…
* Brainwash Detective Hisui: Kohaku writes up ridiculous detective stories with supernatural elements with intentions to enter it as a competition. Ridiculous scenarios, ridiculous revelations but eventually Hisui herself liking it. Huh?
* Seihai-kun: Shirou complains that Archer told him he will never be a hero. No problem. Here is the Hero Creation Kit to solve your woes. It’s a knife… He’ll be a hero after killing a million people…

Episode 11
An entire episode dedicated to Lancer? Well, if you have been noticing how Lancer has been conveniently dying in all the skits, it turns out to be some horrible premonition dream. Feeling weird from those dreams, Seihai-kun appears and offers his assistance to save him. However he shrugs it off and doesn’t need any warnings from that ugly mascot. Seihai-kun warns him those deaths will come true and he will be really killed if he is not careful. By who? By the story. Is he screwing around? Don’t think so because the iron pillar almost fell on him! Watch out for tomorrow’s race… So during the Grand Prix, death is racing through Lancer’s mind before the start. When it’s green light, his dragster can’t turn. The brakes aren’t working too. But he isn’t going to die easily as he sticks his lance into the tracks. Though he crashes at the first turn, he comes out alive. So for over the next few scenes that Lancer should’ve died, we see him overcoming them all with his improvisation. I guess he remembers those dreams well. Final Destination anyone? Seihai-kun is impressed he knows how to break free from his cursed destiny cycle and mentions he will overcome every last death in the story. Then during the quiz show whereby he is supposed to be impaled by Gilgamesh’s swords, though he gets stabbed with some, he manages to break free from his shackle and vows to win the Holy Grail. So in that scene whereby Shirou is taken into the rocket, Lancer manages to make it in time to ride that thing. After it crashes onto the beach, Lancer relaxes and thinks he has bested his destiny of death and should live here in peace. He falls asleep but is awakened by the noisy sounds of repairs. Then he realized it isn’t over yet. The beach volleyball slams through the rocket and right into his face, cracking every bone in it! Dead for real? Seihai-kun appears before him and creepily reminds the dead Lancer that death is always close by and that he has to overcome every last death in the story. Maybe he didn’t see that one coming, eh? But it ends in a cliff-hanger about Lancer’s fate. We see his hand busting out from the makeshift sand grave he is buried underneath in.

Episode 12
* Seihai-kun: Kotomine complains about Lancer who is always dying and wants a better Servant. Seihai-kun throws him a Servant Strengthening Device. Well, it’s actually a knife. Just kill him and forge a new contract with another Servant!
* Dokidoki Super Date Plan: Remember that messy chart Shirou and Shiki came up to date all the girls? Yeah, they’re so screwed. They’re going to follow with the plan anyway. But Shiki starts off on a failing note. Yeah, he overslept. Meanwhile Shirou is eating breakfast with the rest and is confident he can get through this. Shiki finds himself in Kohaku’s experimental tube and she is going to send him to explore the edge of the universe! Kohaku thought her teleportation device worked when Shiki actually cut a hole in the ground. So we see the hectic date plan in action as the guys rush back and forth between places and giving excuses to the current girl they are with so they can rush to the next scene. Several close calls of the girls bumping into each other. I guess this is true when you say a man can’t be at two, or in this case, several places at one time. Shirou has his hands full dating Sakura and Rin at the cinema respectively as well as accompanying Saber at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Shiki is running about to be with Arcueid at the movies, Ciel at the curry restaurant and Hisui fixing her roof (giving excuses he forgot to buy a certain tool even though she got them. Yeah, need a bigger one!). Must be one tiring day to keep up with it all, eh? Just when Shirou thought he can make it, suddenly Ilya pops up. She is upset he promised to take her to the amusement park. Then it hit him he forgot all about her. It gets complicated when Rin, Sakura and Saber all converge together. Big sh*t, dude. At the same time, Shiki also remembers he totally forgot about Akiha! So screw the big plan because the only thing left is to gather all the girls at the park and figure out something. Hope so. And what do you get when you have all the girls congregating at the park? Two boys sweating profusely seeking to quell the suspicions of the ladies. I guess they didn’t believe their lame excuse of a surprise wanting to have fun with all of them together and to make everyone happy. Suddenly Sion appears and reminds Shiki about their date today. Probably that guy already broke down so he admits he totally forgot. Arcueid transforms into her True Ancestor vampire form while Saber unleashes her Excalibur. Now sh*t is going to hit the fan! You know what they say about women and hell’s fury? Yeah, that sentence. Hey. Shouldn’t all the girls be beating them up instead of these two? I suppose this big explosion was why Fuyuki City was destroyed and not the previous Holy Grail war. It’s amazing they survived that… Oh, what did I learn of this multiple dating? You’re screwed either way…
* Taiga’s Dojo: Fujimura is in denial that this series has ended and tries her (futile) best to keep the show going. “It’s just the beginning!”. Desperate calls for another season aren’t going to change anything you know… Season four, please! I want a season four, damn it! And yeah, the cats of Ahnenerbe hold a farewell party to close this series. Once everything is over, the telephone rings and the person on the line is Ayaka Sajou. Who? Supposedly as I found out, the protagonist of the unfinished original Fate/Stay Night novel. Hey! Isn’t that Kana Hanazawa’s voice?

EX Special
* Prologue: When Shiki was young, she met a mysterious lady, Aoko. Well she stepped on him right on his face! He called her master and each time he hugged her, she would start to breathe heavily. She also gives him wear strange mask spectacles, in which he thought he could surprise Akiha. Huh?
* Michael Roa Valdamjong shares a table with Nero as he pours out his woes to him. Maybe he had drank too much…
* Radical Karen-chan: Karen shows Lancer and another girl (don’t know who she is) a stack of banknotes she got doing some illegal job of separating male and female chicks. She wants to give it to them as reward but they refuse. Karen slaps Lancer with the notes and gets this excited feeling in her heart and wants to do it again! Behold the power of money! After she donated the money to Shirou and his girls, she observes how chaos ensued with the family balance altered. Yeah, everyone is fighting over it. Then she gets this evil idea and concludes the world runs on money. The larger the amount, the lower the humans will sink lower. While walking around town, they are surprised to see Bazett handing out tissues as her part time job. Learning the church hired her to do a lot and yet paid her so little, she flaunts her money to coax her into becoming her Servant. But seeing how Lancer and Bazett are chatting casually, Karen shuts him up by inserting the stack on banknotes in his mouth.
* Super United Cats Squadron: More like seeing 5 clones of Ren in a tokusatsu-like spoof. We see her in different outfits and versions while Shiki provides the tsukkomi.
* Phantas-Moon The Movie: Our heroine encounters a trauma monster. I guess it has something to do with the pent up feelings of the heart. Her magic didn’t work till the appearance of another heroine, Kaleido Ruby (Rin?). Yeah, Phantas-Moon is relieved she isn’t the only weirdo in town. But she lost motivation when she learns this monster is from Ruby’s world and she rather have Ruby clean up her own mess. Eventually she forces her into combining their powers to transform into a giant Neko. In a big punch, the monster is defeated and the girl trapped within it is set free. She realizes her mistake and that everybody loves her. But in the end, the entire city gets destroyed and Ruby makes a move (somehow she let the monster get away). So the tragedy was caused by changing the game material?
* Short skits: How do you spell and pronounce Nero’s real name? Nrnvqsr. Quite a mouthful to say, eh? It’s a hassle while filling up forms; Shiki thought he heard a dog howling in the middle of the night. Turns out to be Kohaku and Hisui playing a retro video game and Hisui thought she needed to howl into the control for some effect.
* Lunar Eclipse: After a long time and when Shiki has grown up, he finally meets his master again. She stepped on his face again! Yeah, it’s that familiar step alright. Aoko still has not change because she’s still nose bleeding at the sight of him. When Shiki thanks her and feels glad to have met her, she is happy that her plan of raising a child to become her ideal spouse was successful and hugs him. Shiki notes she may be the sixth heroine and things would get messy if she appears in fandisks and fighting games.

Ilya Castle Special
In a retro RPG-like video game, we see the Masters, Shirou, Rin and Sakura along with Servants, Saber, Archer, Rider, Caster and Lancer under the guidance of Fujimura plan to put an end to Ilya’s rebellion by invading her castle. So we have the players facing obstacle stages like the first one jumping on rocks. I don’t know what’s going on but Saber is more interested in getting all those food power ups laced across the stage. Are they supposed to cooperate or fight each other? Anyway Saber was this close to the goal before plunging to her watery grave and ends up in second place. Hear how Shirou screamed “SABEEEEEEEEEER!!!!!!!!). Because she lost, she gets no lunch. Dang. The next stage is some mushroom ride. I don’t know how this stage works. They are supposed to ride a mushroom from one platform to another and when they land on that platform, they must eat as much food they can. The final dash is climbing up a hill slope and just when Saber is inches away from the summit, she slides down to her death, earning her third place overall. SABEEEEEEER!!!! No lunch for her too. The next stage sees the gang fighting through adversaries like Assassin and Gilgamesh while making their way into Ilya’s castle. So the final stage is set with everyone against tantrum-throwing Ilya in her Berser-Car. With Saber unleashing her Noble Phantasm early and several times, we hear Ilya whining and complaining about adults and society, bla, bla, bla. Everybody should just die! They try to convince her she’s not a doll as she thought but a human. However she’s not convinced. I don’t know how the talk got deviated into lolicons. In the end, Saber and Lancer are the only ones left standing. Surprise, surprise. Even Lancer couldn’t believe he is still alive. Though they defeat Ilya, it’s not over yet. She presses a self destruct button and will take everyone with her. The castle starts crumbling as everyone makes a mad dash to save their skin. Oh well, I guess Lancer died in the midst… The survivors made it out before the castle collapses for good and the narration about the aftermath in which there were no records of this incident, either being tampered or what, the truth remains shrouded in darkness…

As I read, this is Fate/Stay Night’s author’s original version of the series that was never completed. Ayaka was the main heroine Master with a male Saber as her Servant. This condense and digest version that lasts only 12 minutes feels like a movie trailer. We see Saber battling out Archer in the subway over Ayaka’s limited life; Ayaka visiting her father and older sister’s grave on their first death anniversary while narrating the bad personality she has such as being gloomy, coward and narrow-minded. I’m not sure why she was trying to chop off a pigeon’s head but eventually couldn’t do it herself; She is visited by Faan Sankureido who wonders why she hasn’t made any preparations for the battle since midnight tonight will signal that 8 years have passed. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with the Holy Grail but he tells her she has nowhere to run; Ayaka gets ambushed by Lancer in her home and when he stabs her, a bright light emits from within her when she calls out her father. She has summoned Saber as he mighty swing of his sword breaks his lance; A montage of messy fights, gloomy drama and evil madness; Saber talking to Aika about the Grail, though ironically made to collect miracles with no observable form, the wishes of people, it won’t activate till it has collected enough of those wishes. As the Grail is a conceived human thought, it is tragic as many people harbour greed and evil intentions. Thus the Grail is corrupted from the start; A super power battle in the night city with Saber and Archer that has the former unleashing his Excalibur move; Fanatical Aika believes in Saber that he would come back one day because she loves this prince of hers.

Carnage Fantasy… It Was All Within My Calculations…
I guess everything was pretty much fun. The wacky and spontaneous antics using the characters from Fate/Stay Night and Tsukihime can make anime viewers who aren’t fans or familiar with these shows to even laugh. For I could not say for Tsukihime (because I have not watch it yet), some of the characters from Fate/Stay Night has been depicted as somewhat a different role as they are in the original series. The most obvious one would be Lancer. He has turned into somewhat a clown or joker in this series. Somebody whose role is to die in almost every skit he appears in. If not, get bludgeoned or beaten to a pulp. Someone whose character is destined to be killed off for the sake of comedy. Well, I guess you can’t complain since he gets more screen time here than in the TV series. As for Saber, she lacks the dominating and commanding presence that I was familiar with. Though Saber is a glutton, but this aspect of her character has been magnified in here. Food is only her mind. Food is the only thing she thinks of. Eat, eat and eat. Well, can’t fight on a hungry stomach, eh? Caster was portrayed as a woman in love but it was a surprise that she has obsession for Saber too. Rin was like a scheming lady and would do any underhanded tactics to get what she wants. I don’t remember the reason why Assassin had to guard the temple and because of this fact, his presence is very much lacking in this series. I guess of all the Fate/Stay Night characters, I would say he is the one who made the least appearance.

Initially I thought that some of the skits would go on in almost every episode like Phantas-Moon and Afterschool Alleyway Alliance. But I guess people would get bored if you show the same thing over and over again in every episode despite each content is different though it maintains certain repetitious elements. Except for Fujimura’s segment in the next episode preview which is definitely at the end of every episode. It’s fun seeing her ranting about and acting so lively. I wonder what will happen if you click ‘no’ before this segment starts. I guess we don’t have a choice, do we? Ah, it happened once and they blame it on running out of budget. Is there are third choice, say, ‘maybe’? Maybe not because perhaps all that was within their calculations. Haha! Too bad we don’t get to hear more of that overly used line ever since the Afterschool Alleyway Alliance got discontinued.

Overall there is nothing more that I can say about this series. It’s just a mix about just about everything and anything that goes. Aside the comedy, we’ve got fanservice (that beach volleyball game), romance (that Caster and Kuzuki’s case), drama (that Sakura and Shinji’s scene), action (that hilarious race) and the harem factor (that doomed super date plan). The opening theme is quite a big lively affair with a mix of anime singers coming together to sing this song. Super Affection has Minami Kuribayashi, Miyuki Hashimoto, Faylan, Aki Misato, Rino and Yozuca banding together in this hyped up anime pop. What is more amusing is that we see the characters from Fate/Stay Night and Tsukihime doing a vigorous dance in the opening credits. How odd can it be to see the characters dancing together? It can be as worthy as Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu’s Hare Hare Yukai if you learn the moves. I did try for a little while but I gave up because I ran out of steam… Uh huh. I feel you need to move quite a bit, like swinging your arms and hips in an energetic way. The ending theme by Masaki Endoh, Fellows is a likeable pop rock. I don’t understand the implications of the characters from both series as seen in its ending credits animation trying to pass on to the next person, whether it’s just a normal tap on the shoulder or touch of the palm. Be careful if you’re the next person receiving it from a ‘scary’ one like Nero and Berserker. Hmm… Since Saber is the final character at the end of the line (more so because the song is ending), I wonder who is the next person Saber is reaching her hand to. Did I miss out on any character?

Even though this series was enjoyable, it did not make me rush out to go buy all the games under Type-Moon and play them. I guess this Fate series has been quite a successful franchise that it spawned quite a few sequels itself. Not that I am interested to play them anyway. But it did make me interested to want to have a look at the prequel Fate/Zero and perhaps maybe Tsukihime in the near future. And if they make more sequels out of this, I would surely want to watch more of the gags. Just hope that I won’t die laughing at every scene. Don’t worry, that was all within my calculations too. Season four onegai! Hope this is within their calculations.

Steel Angel Kurumi

July 22, 2012

Imagine if you have a maid who is strong enough to lift and carry anything hundred times her weight. Imagine if you have a maid who is faster than the speeding bullet, train or Superman. Imagine if you have a maid whose unrivalled loyalty would put Hachiko to shame. Imagine if… Hey wait a minute. Would that be a maid anymore? So it is in the case of Steel Angel Kurumi that I thought these all-multi-purpose artificial humanoid should serve its purpose well in the development of mankind instead of being used as modern warfare weapons by the army. Of course there is more than meets the eye to these super human maids knows as Steel Angels and their purpose of being created.

Set in the Taisho era (circa 1912), it is a wonder why we have such high-tech advanced technology in an era whereby development is just picking up in Japan. Do you know what a steam powered locomotion is? Yes, it is that era. So having these Steel Angels that are so lifelike would actually be unthinkable at that time. But instead of really focusing on the dark sinister truth that the reason Steel Angels were made (that will be much later towards the end), we are going to see the misadventures of one Steel Angel in particular, the pink haired Kurumi who was accidentally awakened by a weak (read that as being bullied) priest boy in training during a dare. You know when a baby bird hatches and the first living thing in front of its eyes will become its mother? Yeah, the same thing when a Steel Angel awakens by a kiss from her master.

Episode 1
Dr Ayanokouji feels Angel Heart Mark II will be the trump card that will save mankind as he looks at his mechanical doll, Kurumi floating unconsciously in a test tube. Meanwhile Nakahito Kagura is being forced to come along with his brat friends to Ayanokouji’s mansion to rescue a girl. Rumour has it she was kidnapped, dissected and only her head was left in a jar pleading for help. Since Nakahito comes from a family of Onmyouji, that’s why they’re bringing him to defeat the evil doctor. Along the way, they pass by a military excursion but decide to leave seeing they don’t want any trouble with them. But this means the plan to invade Ayanokouji’s mansion is still on. Seems the military is bent on bringing that doctor back too and is making their way over. Hmm… What is that huge thing they are transporting? The brats sneak into the mansion and pushes Nakahito down into the dark place to get the job down. He makes his way through the dark hallways and corridors and it seems the place is like a creepy experimental lab. The brats hear funny machinery rumbling noises and think it’s the evil doctor getting mad. They start getting scared and flee, leaving Nakahito behind. That kid enters a room and sees an unconscious mechanical doll, Kurumi. A slight tremor jolts the place but it thrusts Kurumi forward. Nakahito and Kurumi’s lips meet and this activates her. When she opens her eyes, she starts calling him master and gets all clingy over him. Ayanokouji rushes to the scene and is puzzled over her activation when the ceiling collapses. It is Dr Reiko Amagi on a huge robot and she is going to bring him back to the military.

Episode 2
A group of men are meeting and discussing the emergency situation of Ayanokouji’s Steel Angel has been activated with Angel Heart Mark II. They are very concern about this and can’t afford to allow this to go unchecked. Meanwhile Amagi wants Ayanokouji to return to the military and continue to do research on Steel Angels but he refuses because he doesn’t want them to be killing machines like her Kongo. He then orders Kurumi to destroy Kongo. Eh? What did he said of not turning them into a killing machine? I guess it’s not a human life so it’s fine. Kurumi refuses because she doesn’t recognize who this strange old man is. He tells her he is her creator and she misinterprets he is her mother! When the other soldiers surround the place, the support Kongo was on gave way. A slab falls on Kurumi as Kongo grabs hold of Nakahito. Amagi has no choice but to use Nakahito as hostage. But Kurumi breaks out from her slab, destroys Kongo’s arm with a punch and saves Nakahito in lightning speed! Wow. Kongo continues to attack but Kurumi stops its brute strength with her hands. Then she tosses it in the air like a beach ball and kicks it away! She makes it look so easy. Ayanokouji wants Kurumi to rescue him but she doesn’t feel like it till Nakahito mentions for them to just get out of here. Ayanokouji brings them back to a shrine. Nakahito rushes into his brother’s arms, Kamihito, proclaiming how scared he was. Seems Kamihito and Ayanokouji know each other. Kurumi gets jealous because somebody else than her is hugging her master and throws Kamihito up on the roof. Meanwhile the soldiers find Amagi stuck to a tree. They report that their target got away but found a woman among the rubble. Why aren’t they in a hurry to bring her down? They want to see her pantsu, do they? Amagi reports her failure to the general and will accept any punishment. But Amagi wants him to come see an object of research she recently obtained. Ayanokouji and Kamihito talk to Nakahito to find out how he activated Kurumi. Did he do anything weird? He remembers the kiss but is too shy to tell. They kept pestering him so this annoys Kurumi. Guess what she did? Eventually Nakahito reveals the kiss though it was an accident. Ayanokouji thinks it’s impossible but all Kurumi cares is that her master woke her up with the power of love! I guess it beats whatever speculations they explained about her awakening. Not that she or I could understand. Elsewhere in a lab, Amagi shows the general another Steel Angel she got. This second one called Saki was developed by Ayanokouji in absolute secrecy. The general could even joke how life-like it is. Yeah, think of touching her boobs? Noting that there are 2 Angel Heart Mark II with different sizes, Amagi says the smaller one fits Saki’s heart size. Again the old geezer could joke the bigger one is meant for bigger boobs. Haha… Amagi is going to do her best to get Saki working.

Episode 3
The general introduces Amagi to Dr Brandow of the British Empire and wants them to work together in activating Saki. Brandow had worked with Ayanokouji in developing the Steel Angel Project when the latter was studying abroad. Ever since, Brandow has also conducted his independent research at the British Royal Academy. Nakahito thought he is having a nice morning dream till he realizes he is sleeping in the bosoms of Kurumi. He screamed like as though he saw a ghost. He is apparently embarrassed by this and is acting strange during breakfast. Kurumi thinks he is not feeling well and though his body temperature may be slightly high, Kamihito assures that is a sign he is healthy. Ayanokouji visits Kamihito to tell him that his mansion is surrounded by the military and it has become their possession.  He also notes that Saki and the Angel Hearts have been taken but is assured they’ll not awaken Saki since this the technology they have in this era will make it impossible. As Nakahito and Kurumi sit around bored in the room, Kurumi wants him to call her plain ol’ Kurumi and order her to do something. Or else she’ll cry! So who is the master around here? Not wanting to cause a scene, he orders her to get some rice curry with cutlets. Out in town, they arrive at a popular curry house but why the heck are they cross-dressing? So that nobody could recognize them? But when they bump into a couple of ladies in trenchcoat, they flee. Nakahito feels they should return home. That’s an order. He gets reprimanded by Kamihito for disobeying his instructions to stay. Kurumi protects Nakahito and says if he wants somebody to take the punishment, she is willing to take it for her master. Also, seems the trenchcoat ladies have tailed them back to the shrine. At the military training grounds, the general and the professors are using a couple of Kongos to test out Saki’s strength. She surpasses all expectations and destroys them all with ease. General notes with Saki in hand, no enemies will stand in their way and will become the greatest world power. Great. Just what we need another megalomaniac. He thanks them both (Brandow attributing Saki’s activation solely to Amagi) and then asks about Saki’s obedience. Amagi mentions she has an in-built obedience circuits and cannot disobey. I guess this was just a question for the perverted general to ask if Saki could even do ‘that’. Without flinching, Amagi confirms she can as long as she gives the orders.

Episode 4
Kurumi is in a romantic lovey-dovey dream about Nakahito. She’s just hugging the blanket. Nakahito and his brother are up early doing their usual cleansing ritual at the waterfall. Kamihito is a pro so he emerges from the waterfall without being wet at all. They meet with Ayanokouji and he wants Nakahito to come with him to his secret lab in Izumo to find out the mystery of how he activated Kurumi (he still doesn’t believe that accidental fluke). Originally Kamihito was supposed to do it with his mystical magic but Nakahito managed to do so without the use of any spells. Ayanokouji notes that since he has awakened Kurumi, he is the only one who can control her. Meanwhile Amagi orders Saki to go defeat Kurumi. As Nakahito sweeps the grounds, the bullies confront him and want him to spit everything out. They think something big has happened seeing the military is occupying the decimated mansion. As they get rough and forcing him to tell, Kurumi in search of her master jumps in and pushes them away. She was about to teach them a lesson for picking on her master so Nakahito orders her to put let them go and that she shouldn’t be rough on people. I hope the bullies learn a lesson from now on. Still, Nakahito isn’t amused and wants to be left alone. Kurumi ponders if she has done anything wrong for Nakahito to hate her but she dismisses she was doing what’s best for him. Suddenly her heart beats and feels something strange coming. Saki arrives at the shrine looking for Kurumi. Showing her strength, she cracks the shrine pole with a single chop. Ayanokouji is surprised Saki is activated. When Kurumi shows up, Saki straightaway attacks her. She wants her to stop seeing she is wrecking Nakahito’s home in their power fight. Kurumi doesn’t fight back and only evades upon realizing something. Saki continues to pound her mercilessly.

Episode 5
The guys don’t understand why Kurumi refuses to fight back and continues to be Saki’s punching bag. A shrine pillar is about to fall on Nakahito. Kurumi quickly protects him and shoves it away. Nakahito learns that he ‘ordered’ her not to get rough on people, the reason she isn’t fighting back. This allows Saki to pin her and is about to strike her throat when she suddenly stop dead in her tracks and collapses.  Amagi makes her appearance and laments that Saki’s forced activation via electric shock didn’t work. Thus Saki’s awakening wasn’t a real one. Ayanokouji is shocked to hear it was Brandow’s idea. From the way Ayanokouji and Kamihito said things, Kurumi is happy that Saki is her little sister (at least to her understanding). Seeing she wants her activated, I guess there is only 1 way left. Yup. Nakahito must kiss her. After much pestering, he sums up his courage to give it a shot but was pushed away by Kurumi who changed her mind. Yeah, her master’s lips only belong to her. So how? Kurumi will do it herself. Serious. Once Kurumi kisses Saki, she activates, surprising everyone. So this method really works. Saki is also happy to learn Kurumi is her big sister. But she won’t listen to Amagi anymore (she wanted to examine her body). Nakahito notices Saki’s badly injured body and tells her that it is okay to get rough, depending on the situation. Do you think she understand that? Suddenly something crashes down on them. Ayanokouji is injured and unconscious. Seeing destroying Kurumi has failed, Brandow takes him away in his… UFO?

Episode 6
Brandow is talking to his employer about Kurumi and the Angel Heart Mark II. He is concerned about Kurumi and feels the need to retrieve her as soon as possible. Hey, there are lots of unactivated Steel Angels there. Amagi learns from the general that everything from the Angel Heart Mark II to the blueprints has been taken by Brandow. Looks like he is a spy from an enemy country but intelligence couldn’t determine his existence as a spy which means they are dealing with an unknown enemy manoeuvring in secret. I don’t believe this. The army making this kind of mistake? He can’t make any move because the Steel Angel Project is only by a top few high ranking people in the military. Rousing the army against an unseen national threat is not logic thus he can’t exercise his powers of command. Blaming Amagi for it all, he wants her to resign. But from the way the general puts it, it means that Amagi won’t be troubled by the system by acting independently if she quits the army. She gladly resigns and it seems the general has an ulterior motive. One of the Steel Angels taken is to his liking: Karinka. Kurumi and friendly Saki help rebuild the shrine. They also take the initiative to build a love nest. Oops, I mean a lovely little house nearby. Amagi sees Nakahito and asks him about his collaboration with Ayanokouji. It was the new life he sensed he was creating. Ayanokouji’s science utilizes the power of mysticism that Kamihito’s family has guarded tightly throughout the generations. By combining science and mysticism, a new life is born. She has a request. Wanting to know about the secret of Kurumi and Saki’s activation as well as Ayanokouji’s reason for being kidnapped, she wants Nakahito and the Steel Angels to follow her to Ayanokouji’s secret lab at Izumo. I guess there goes their time at the love nest, I mean lovely little house. Remember the couple of ladies that trailed Nakahito and Kurumi back to the shrine a few episodes ago? Seems Eiko Kichijoji and Yoshiko Koganei are spies working under the general to watch over and secretly aid the Steel Angels. The general really seems to take a liking for Karinka. He’s even carved a wood sculpture of her. Don’t lose her head… Kamihito is doing some fortune thingy and he saw something unpleasant. The next morning, he sees the rest off and is confident they’ll be fine since Nakahito has the guardian angels of science and mysticism.

Episode 7
Kurumi is thrilled of seeing Mt Fuji during the train ride. Upon arriving at the destination, Nakahito is in need to see a doctor because he ate something disagreeable. Saki is tasked to bring their luggage to their inn alone. So much for that wonderful plan to be with Kurumi. I guess it doesn’t hurt if she just fantasizes herself doing little naughty stuff in bed with Kurumi. Kurumi is against the doctor examining Nakahito’s body. Nobody but her can touch his naked body! Till Nakahito says she must listen to what doctors say. Objection overruled! Koganei and Kichijoji are spying outside and it seems Koganei may have a thing for Nakahito because she is noting how cute his naked body is!!! (On a side note, Kichijoji has a thing for Amagi…). The doctor doesn’t find anything threatening with Nakahito and all he needs is to rest. As she goes back to her room to take some prescribed medicine, an imposter knocks her out. She then returns to the rest to have them take a litmus test with a reason there is food poisoning going around. Nakahito and Amagi’s litmus turn out okay but Kurumi’s wasn’t. The imposter needs to further examine her and ushers her into the room where she has Kurumi strip everything. Yes, everything. Soon, Amagi and Nakahito collapse. With some weird radar scanner, it seems the imposter has scanned and confirmed Kurumi’s Angel Heart Mark II. Because Amagi and co took too long, worried Saki made her way to the clinic and to her shock, sees Amagi and Nakahito out cold. The imposter is alarmed that she hasn’t examined Kurumi finished yet and has no choice but to flee via the window. It is revealed she is Steel Angel Kaori, created by Kageyoshi Kirimoto from Saitama. In the aftermath, Saki and Kurumi have that wonderful hotspring bonding-cum-skinship. At least that’s what Saki is dreaming for but to her dismay, Kurumi is already having her fun with Nakahito in the hotspring. Yeah, beaten again.

Episode 8
Amagi wakes up from a nightmare of being separated with Ayanokouji. Seems it has been days that Amagi and co have been stuck in town because a boulder has crashed onto the rail tracks. The army is having a tough time moving it and looks like they’ll be staying for a while. Amagi asks around for other modes of transport but none are able to do so. Kurumi comes up with an idea that she and Saki should go push the boulder away but Amagi doesn’t want them to do so because it will risk their secret being exposed as the boulder is currently at the centre of attraction of the public. So what does Kurumi understand from all that? She’ll put up a concert and be loved by everyone? No, no, no! That it will be okay if they do it without everyone seeing? Still, Amagi forbids them to leave this room. Will they listen to her orders? Later Kurumi tries to strip Nakahito into going to the hot bath with him. They accidentally drop the basket with Amagi’s belongings. Nakahito sees a locket containing Ayanokouji’s picture. Then as Amagi goes to the dining hall, he only sees Nakahito and fears the Steel Angels may have went to the site alone but Nakahito assures her they are taking their baths. Isn’t it awfully long? Yeah, they love their baths. Nakahito apologizes about seeing her locket and asks the kind of person Ayanokouji is like. Well, let’s just say he’s a good guy, strong sense of justice and it’s safe to assume that Amagi likes him. The army is still trying to pull the boulder with their tanks but it isn’t budging. Seriously, can’t they just blast it? Maybe ammos cost a lot then? But it seems Kurumi and Saki are at the scene as they secretly push the boulder away. The army is relieved but another Steel Angel, Tsunami (created by Kaori Kubo of Chiba) notes how Kurumi and Saki easily moved it since it was controlled by gravity. Kurumi and Saki return and feign they have finished their bath but Kurumi’s slip of her tongue that they can move on since the boulder is moved gave her away. Hey, look at her dirty boots. Yeah, I guess Nakahito was equally guilty in giving them orders to do so. No wonder he looked so nervous. However to Amagi’s relief, she hears the people praising the army for pushing the boulder away.

Episode 9
Kaori and Tsunami are reporting to another Steel Angel, Kaga about Kurumi’s powers that exceed all expectations. They think it’s because of the mystic power and her absolute master Nakahito. Amagi and co prepare to leave for the next town via train. Nakahito spots an old lady rushing to get on board so he has Kurumi carry her before the train departs. The old lady is grateful. In the next town, Kurumi sees a poster of a fireworks festival tonight and starts fantasizing her lovey-dovey fantasy with Nakahito. However Amagi notes they have to leave early next morning much to Kurumi’s dismay. All is not lost when Nakahito mentions they can watch the fireworks from their inn. So Kurumi rushes everyone to the inn but leaving poor Saki behind. While Nakahito and Kurumi go watch the fireworks on the rooftop, Amagi and Saki to the packing. Next door, Koganei and Kichijoji are eavesdropping but as usual, they get their usual fetish fantasies in the way. Kichijoji teases Koganei by reading out loud her steamy doujin fantasy with Nakahito!!! Extreme!!! Kurumi and Nakahito could’ve kissed if not for the fireworks distraction. What? Just the fireworks? No other nosy people? Nakahito recounts the events when he met Kurumi and thinks he finally understood his role with her. Happy Kurumi hugs him. As Kurumi goes off to get drinks, Kaga kidnaps Nakahito. Kurumi returns not only to find her master missing but a voice telling her she has her master. If she wants to find him, she must come to where this voice originates. Kurumi starts jumping from roof to roof across town in search for him (amazingly, nobody saw her. Maybe it’s too dark). Saki can also sense something wrong.

Episode 10
Kurumi reaches the rocky cliffs. Kaga throws Nakahito to her and reveals their true goal was to get her. Meanwhile Saki guides Amagi with her instincts to where Kurumi is with Koganei and Kichijoji close behind. Kaga wants Kurumi to come with them but of course she’s not going anywhere without her master. Seeing she has chosen this path, they plan to destroy her. Kurumi doesn’t fight back and evades their attacks (though she still gets beaten up). She doesn’t want to fight her same kind. Kaga blames Kurumi for having Angel Heart Mark II but she herself doesn’t know what it is. They think she’s playing dumb and for her to have forgotten her true role as a Steel Angel is unforgiveable. Seeing her as a threat, they are going to destroy her for good when Saki saves out of harm’s way. The trio start combining their moves to stir a huge whirlwind. Nakahito gets caught in it and injures his leg. Kurumi becomes so upset that she fires a powerful red projection right out of her fist to even dispel the hurricane! Woah! Kaga and co could barely stand. They still want to finish Kurumi off but their master tells them to back off for now. Saki wonders about the Angel Heart so Amagi thinks it must have something to do with the people who stole it from the military facility. Kurumi is stunned over what just happened. Koganei and Kichijoji just witnessed something incredible and feel they will understand the reason the general sent them on this mission. Back at the inn, Nakahito wishes to be left alone. He ponders about his uselessness and is Kamihito was around, he could’ve used his mystic powers to help Kurumi. Kaga and co report their failure to Dr Walski but he has them rest their bodies. Noting the instant power Kurumi exhibited that surpassed everything previously measured, he wants to hasten the awakening of Karinka.

Episode 11
Walski’s men are putting in the data retrieved from the battle with Kurumi into Karinka. He is confident she can counter Angel Heart Mark II because she is equipped with 2 Angel hearts. Kurumi is having her usual morning daydreaming fantasies. Saki thought of getting in part of the action but was punched instead. Yeah, Kurumi’s daydream suddenly turns into one beating up those who hurt her master. Saki goes to wash herself up and sees Nakahito sitting by the river himself. They talk about the recent events. Kurumi is finally awakened from her pig slumber by Amagi who is in search of Nakahito. As Kurumi searches for him, she sees them together, what more holding hands (actually Saki prevented Nakahito from slipping down). Her jealousy kicks in and she doesn’t even believe either words that it’s a misunderstanding. She takes Nakahito away for breakfast and the atmosphere gets awkward. Each time Saki tries to do something for Nakahito, Kurumi butts in to do it herself. Nakahito tells her to cut it out and this breaks her out. Calling her master an idiot, she goes out of the room. Amagi later talks to sulking Kurumi about the thing called jealousy and the best cure for it is to quickly go apologize openly and honestly. Kurumi took her advice and comes rushing into the room. She didn’t know she bumped Nakahito towards Saki so from her view, it looks like the duo kissed! In actual fact, it did not meet but very close. I guess that means no apology, eh? First the hand, now the lips. Stupid master!!! Kurumi really sulks for good, not talking to them during the meal. Later Saki summons her courage to go bath with Kurumi and comes clean there is nothing going on between her and Nakahito because she actually loves Kurumi. Kurumi also loves her because she is her one and only little sister. Just like that, their relationship is mended. Saki is so happy that she couldn’t sleep that night and thinks of bringing back cinnamon cookies so that Kurumi would be happy first thing in the morning. Seriously, the stores are open at this hour? As she runs along, Karinka ambushes her. She is disappointed her big sister is this weak.

Episode 12
Cheeky Karinka is faster and stronger so Saki has no chance to counter attack and gets beaten to a pulp. If you’re wondering why she still beats up Saki even when the sun has risen, it’s part of her plan to lure Kurumi out to save her so she can destroy them both at once. Kurumi and co see a note from Saki saying she’ll return by morning. She hasn’t and Kurumi has this bad feeling something may have happened. Figuring out Saki may have head to Kyoto to get cinnamon cookies, the gang take a train there. That far? And Saki was running there all night so it beats me how she would reach back by morning. Brandow contacts Karinka about completing her mission to eliminate Kurumi. Being the rebellious kind, she intends to do so but they didn’t say when. Since she has just awoken, she wants to go sightseeing. Brandow orders her to finish Kurumi now and not let her guard down but she doesn’t listen because she thinks she is strong. See how she crucified Saki on to a wooden pole? Saki should’ve ‘slept’ longer because this only means Karinka has time to ‘play’ with her boobs. Perhaps there’s a reason why they didn’t make her chest this big. What am I thinking? Upon arrival, Kurumi uses her sisterly instincts to guide the gang to a shrine. She is appalled to see Saki in a mess and won’t forgive this Karinka for it. She refuses to acknowledge her as her little sister but Karinka blames Kurumi for this happening to Saki because she should’ve arrived earlier. Amagi recognizes Karinka from the blueprint in Ayanokouji’s lab and wonders who made her from that diagram. Cocky Karinka is confident she is the strongest Steel Angel because she has 2 Angel Hearts but Kurumi is sure she will avenge Saki.

Episode 13
The big battle begins. Though Kurumi gets pounded, she can still match Karinka’s strength and speed. Karinka multiplies herself to up the challenge but Kurumi can still stand her ground. Kurumi just wants Karinka to apologize and she’ll forgive her but that rebellious girl isn’t going to do what she’s being told. Hey, she couldn’t even obey her master, right? Nakahito tries hard to invoke his mystic powers to give Kurumi some wind wall barrier but I guess he was too slow and Kurumi got owned and her Angel Heart went offline. Karinka is about to harvest her Angel Heart when it restarts again. But this isn’t the Kurumi we know. She is like an evil robot with no emotions. Showing her fearsome powers, she turns the temple into Swiss cheese with her blast! It’s amazing she blast everywhere except Karinka. Warning shots? Karinka got so scared that she can’t move. Now isn’t a good time to talk. Kurumi is really going to kill her. Nakahito thought he is seeing things but it is true that there are black angelic wings sprouting from Kurumi’s back. Probably it took him a while to realize what’s happening too because Karinka could’ve been scrapped metal if he hadn’t shout out for Kurumi to stop. In an instant, she returns to normal and apologizes for what she has done. Thinking it is the same as with Saki, she is going to kiss Karinka. However she wakes up before their lips touch. No lesbian scenes. Karinka runs away. Koganei and Kichijoji are stunned at what they saw and will need to report back to the general. Meanwhile in Walski’s flying fortress, Brandow informs Karinka is in hiding and could not be contacted. Walski thinks the effect of having 2 Angel Hearts has caused the obedience circuits to malfunction. Seeing desperate times comes desperate measures, he is going to use ‘that’ plan.

Episode 14
Karinka is pouting like mad but being the sore loser she is, she is going to find out Kurumi’s weakness and beat the crap out of her. Meanwhile Amagi and a bunch of scientist prepare to repair Saki. In the mean time, Nakahito will have to stay with Kurumi. Oh yeah. Big chance to make a love nest. However it is not what Kurumi wanted because the place they are staying are stationed with guards. She wants to go on a date and throws a tantrum when Nakahito refuses. Not even his orders work. Kurumi then forces him to come along with her. See, no matter how many guards you put, she can just evade them all by jumping past them. Koganei and Kichijoji are tailing close but they spot a girl (Karinka in a very good disguise) zooming past them. How can a girl on a bicycle go faster than their sidecar? Kurumi and Nakahito try out the many rides at the amusement park. Karinka acts as the park’s staff and pretends to take a survey of where she gets her energy. Koganei and Kichijoji sense something amiss that she wants to find out about the Steel Angel and plan to intercept. Kichijoji uses a sticky tape on a rod to fish away the paper so the rest thought it was the wind. Karinka isn’t giving up and this time comes back with more forms and on a wooden board. Before Kurumi can write, Koganei throws a card to cut off the tip of the pencil. Next time, eh? Yeah, Karinka returns with a full booth and a pen. Now nothing can stop her. She even offers all-she-can drink lamune. The detectives hide in a nearby booth and shoot a sticky substance on the pen. Kurumi can’t write so Karinka tries to take it off. It is so sticky that it tore of the paper and in her haste, the lamune bottles got smashed. Better luck next time. Karinka senses something amiss coming from the nearby booth and attacks. Her disguise comes off but seeing nobody is in, she goes after Kurumi. The detectives are hiding on the ceiling and realize she is the Steel Angel Kurumi battled the other day. Kurumi and Nakahito continue their date. She is proud nobody can interfere with their love time but feels bad for that hard working staff for working. Well, Karinka isn’t giving up yet… Yeah, hard working alright.

Episode 15
Koganei and Kichijoji report to the general over what they saw. He orders them to take a picture of Karinka. I guess it’s because he really likes her. Meanwhile the repair on Saki is making headway progress but Amagi is concerned when Nakahito told her about Kurumi sprouting black wings. Kurumi and Nakahito are on their way to the Milk Hall to work part time to help cover for travel expenses. Karinka in yet another good disguise (school girl uniform) is at it again but Kurumi starts staring at her? Could it be her identity has been found out? Yes. Kurumi thinks Karinka loves playing disguises and recognizes those knees anywhere! WTF?! As part of Karinka’s plan, she pretends to be goody-goody giving reasons she has become a good girl after her kiss. Kurumi starts smothering her with her love but Nakahito doesn’t trust her. But with Kurumi’s plea, Nakahito eventually relents. The trio start working as waiter and waitresses in the Milk Hall. Karinka observes klutzy Kurumi getting into all sorts of trouble while poor Nakahito either bears the brunt or helps her out in a fix. She is pissed she could lose to a dummy like her. When the bar master tells her to get back to work, Karinka becomes klutzy herself and is disheartened she has been categorized the same as her idiot sister. Nakahito helps her out and says to do their best because he wants to believe in her. Karinka starts blushing at his straight looks. Because she can’t take anymore of Kurumi’s silliness, she brings her to the rooftop and asks her straight but politely (she’s getting goosebumps doing this). Kurumi couldn’t answer (because she doesn’t know) so Karinka becomes pissed and leave. That night Nakahito asks Kurumi’s rendezvous with Karinka at the rooftop so Kurumi lets him know what she asked. After thinking a long time, Kurumi realizes why she is strong. She owes it all to his kiss. The kiss which started everything and made her powers a miracle. Eavesdropping Karinka concludes she can get strong by kissing Nakahito and targets his lips.

Episode 16
Saki is fully recovered and Kurumi receives her with lots of love. Karinka dreams big of stealing Nakahito’s lips and beating Kurumi up. Yeah, dream on. As Kurumi and co board the train, Karinka comes running to Saki to apologize for what she did (she’s a bloody good actor). Saki of course forgives her. As the train moves, Karinka plots her way to kiss Nakahito. The detectives are watching nearby and a certain shotacon can tell that Karinka’s target is Nakahito. I’m sure we can tell why she’s pretty concerned for Nakahito, right? She can predict the moves that Karinka will make! First, Karinka pretends to get a closer look of the ocean view but as she is about to kiss, Kurumi butts in so she kisses her cheek instead (to Saki’s horror). Kurumi thinks she loves her that much and returns with another peck on her cheek (also to Saki’s horror). Next, Karinka feigns dust-in-her-eye move and wants Nakahito to get it out. When her lips are getting close, Saki slams her fist into her cheek. Conveniently, there was a mosquito. But it still hurts. Lastly, Karinka purposely spills her water on Nakahito’s clothes and wants to take responsibility. She ushers him to the back of the train. Saki wants Kurumi let Karinka to handle it. However Saki too has an ulterior motive. If Karinka hits off with Nakahito, then Kurumi will be all hers. At the back of the train, Karinka tries to forcefully strip him. The bumpy train movements of course had them slip and their lips met. Too late Koganei. His lips are stolen. Though we don’t see any improvements, Karinka feels stronger. Hmm… Must be her mind. At the next stop, Karinka is going to punch Kurumi but she stops it with her fist. Karinka realizes she didn’t get stronger and remembers Walski’s words and comes to a conclusion the kiss only works on Kurumi’s Angel Heart Mark II. She is about to sink into depression when Nakahito apologizes to her for his carelessness. He has observed her and that she is trying her best to be a nice girl (her acting all this while must be bloody good). He hopes that can start over and be friends. Karinka starts blushing and shakes his hands. From now on, she couldn’t care less about Kurumi. As the train ride resumes, Karinka keeps staring at Nakahito and even sitting up close to him. Kurumi didn’t like what she’s doing but she claims she’s just a kid and doesn’t understand. Saki agrees with Karinka and Amagi reminds Kurumi to act like a big sister. I guess you can say in this way, Karinka has beaten Kurumi, eh?

Episode 17
The gang arrive at Izumo. But they’ve got a new problem. Kurumi and Karinka fighting over Nakahito. Amagi reminds them about their important mission of finding clues to help them uncover Ayanokouji’s kidnapping. I think they prefer the petty fight. Boy, it’s going to be hard. Yeah, solve the problem by just putting Saki in between them. She’s like a ‘rock’ between those 2 squabbling ladies. Amagi asks around but nobody knows anything. While eating at a ramen store, they are visited by a lady named Nadeshiko. She recognizes the Steel Angels and proceeds to bring all of them to Ayanokouji’s secret lab underneath a temple shrine. Nadeshiko reveals she is a Steel Angel as well and though she was built earlier than the trio, she was supposed to watch them awaken in this lab. But that didn’t happen. Noting that Ayanokouji has been kidnapped, she has been guarding this place ever since by his orders. She feels that people from the Academy are the culprits behind his kidnapping. Who? A group of scientists from the future to change mankind’s history. Ayanokouji is one of them. Now that explains why there are such high technology inventions in this era. However Ayanokouji did not agree with their way of using Angel Heart and split. He wanted the power of Angel Heart Mark II to protect the entire world. For that, he needed a powerful mystic. She thinks Nakahito is the person Ayanokouji was seeking as a mystic is the only one who can control Steel Angels loaded with Angel Heart Mark II. Since Kurumi is the only one here with Angel Heart Mark II, the other one is with the Academy. Anyhow, the fate of humanity depends on it! Kurumi didn’t understand all that complicating hullaballoo stuff. What she understood was her love and her master’s will save the world! Karinka butts in to tell her they have kissed but Kurumi doesn’t believe. She dares him to ask Nakahito himself. Which she did. Her fears come true upon seeing his reaction. So she asks him the all important question: Which does he love more? Of course he can’t really answer that, right? Kurumi narrows down the question. Narrow it down? How? “Do you love Kurumi?”. Now that is even tougher! Instead of giving the simple and certain ‘yes’, he ‘expanded’ it by telling her he feels better when she’s around. Enough for Kurumi to be happy. But Nakahito wants to be left alone for now because there are important things he needs to think about. Like about his powers and burden to save the world. Yeah, humanity’s fate is resting on the shoulders of this little kid. As he ponders alone at the beach, he sees a strange kid, Mikhail walking towards him. Though he can walk on water, but he’s no Jesus Christ. He pleads for Nakahito’s help to save him but I guess Nakahito got hypnotized and follows him. Well, the good thing about Kurumi is about her annoyance of wanting to be with Nakahito every time. So when he’s not around, she senses something amiss.

Episode 18
Kurumi and the rest search for Nakahito but couldn’t find him. Kurumi blames herself for causing this to happen. Nadeshiko believes he may have been kidnapped by the Academy seeing she saw something in the sky but wasn’t a shooting star. Karinka seems to know where that place is. Nakahito wakes up inside Academy’s base with Mikhail next to him. The latter wants his help to stop Kurumi (because she listens to her master) so that they can take out her Angel Heart Mark II and store it elsewhere. He explains an Angel Heart has the power of angels sealed within it, the reason Steel Angels aren’t just mechanical dolls. However Ayanokouji wasn’t satisfied with that and built and even more powerful Angel Heart Mark II. Since he was relying on a power they were never meant to touch, there is something else within that Heart too. It also contains the power of demons. Remember Kurumi sprouting black wings? Yeah, that. Nakahito doesn’t believe that demon crap but Mikhail warns if Kurumi transforms into that, there will be no turning back and the world will be destroyed. Still, Nakahito won’t do something that results in Kurumi’s death. Mikhail realizes he loves Kurumi but tries to convince him Steel Angels don’t need love. They are things. Nakahito begs to differ because he has seen different emotions coming from Kurumi. Nevertheless Mikhail notes it is a thing trying to pretend to be a human. Since he loves her that much, it is all the more reason why he must stop Angel Heart Mark II with his own hands. Is he willing to watch Kurumi turn into a demon? Mikhail leaves to give him more time to think. Amagi reports to the general about Nakahito’s kidnapping and soon, Koganei and Kichijoji formally introduce themselves to Amagi and the Steel Angels. Upon the general’s orders, they are to escort them to the military plane where they’ll be heading towards Academy’s base. Nadeshiko will stay behind and wait for Ayanokouji’s return. Nakahito thinks really hard and all the times he spent with Kurumi. There is no way she is a demon with that smile so innocent. Well, they say still waters deep.

Episode 19
The heroines arrive at the flying fortress of the Academy. The Steel Angels and Amagi dive down. Don’t they need parachutes? I know they’ll survive the fall but won’t that be a hard thud? Anyway Karinka leads them through the maze since she is familiar with the place. Then they see Nakahito. Kurumi and Karinka rush to greet him without thinking. Turns out to be a hologram and this is a trap to separate them all. Amagi meets Brandow who brings her to Walski so she can hear herself about the truth. Walski starts explaining that in the future, everyone was living in peace till an unknown and powerful enemy whom they refer to as Demonkind attacked and destroyed the peace. Seeing normal weapons had no effect, they merged science and mysticism to create Steel Angels and Angel Heart. However the Demonkind’s power was overwhelming and Angel Heart didn’t exhibit its full potential power. Something was missing. It was the power of a superior skilled mystic needed to draw out Angel Heart’s true potential. But in the future, mysticism was on the verge of extinction and even so, they are inferior. That’s why they return to the past to impart that knowledge to the future. However Ayanokouji objected to that idea because he felt it wouldn’t guarantee them in defeating Demonkind. He believed in making a more powerful Angel Heart and created Angel Heart Mark II by sealing Demonkind’s powers within it along with the power of angels. Walski and the rest felt it was too dangerous to be used as a weapon as they do not know if they could control its power. Amagi couldn’t believe Ayanokouji would create something so dangerous for mankind. Walski says only Nakahito is the only one who can stop Kurumi. He wants Amagi to help convince Nakahito to stop her before she turns into a demon. Brandow brings Amagi to unconscious Ayanokouji (he has been in this state ever since) and leaves them for a while. Meanwhile trapped Kurumi’s persistence pays off because she keeps banging the unbreakable wall till it breaks. Frantically finding and calling out to her master, she beats up all other Steel Angels that get in her way. She comes into Tsunami and co and she is adamant on going to her master’s side. Mikhail visits Nakahito to get his answer. His reply? He has faith in Kurumi. Since they have no time, Mikhail hypnotizes Nakahito and kisses him! OMG! Yaoi scene. But… Mikhail transforms into her true Steel Angel form.

Episode 20
Kurumi blasts the trio away with her super powers. She continues her search when she runs into Mikhail who has both Angel Heart and Angel Heart Mark II. She traps Kurumi in a shrinking energy barrier. But Kurumi’s power of love for her master has her bust out in no time. Kurumi continues to throw futile punches at Mikhail. In a swing, Mikhail slams Kurumi stuck to the wall. She reminds her that Steel Angels are created for humans and must never put them in danger. As she is about to retrieve her Heart, Kurumi deflects her hand. She didn’t see that coming? Anyway the deflected blast knocked out a tower and caused the surrounding areas to explode!!! Ayanokouji finally wakes up as Amagi explains everything. They go to confront Walski and he wants them to stop the Steel Angels from fighting each other. Ayanokouji is shocked to hear Walski created a Super Steel Angel by combining 2 different Angel Hearts to create Mikhail. Though Walski was against it, it is the only way to stop Kurumi before her demon powers awaken. Ayanokouji rubbishes that thought so Walski wants him to shut Kurumi down with his own hands. However Ayanokouji says Kurumi has no shutdown system. He adds Steel Angels aren’t just mechanical dolls and if he pits Steel Angels against each other since they are not their true enemies, pitting 2 angel elements against each other will yield unknown results. Saki and Karinka cooperate to get themselves out. Then they hear Nakahito’s cries and bust him out of the room. They go search for Kurumi and see her fighting with Mikhail. They can’t interfere because they know they are no match. So just watch and pray. Kurumi wonders why they must fight. Mikhail replies she is something that must not exist. Kurumi isn’t going to lose so she starts activating her power.

Episode 21
Kurumi is blasted off Academy and into the forests below. Mikhail fires a powerful shot to make sure she’s dead. Well, a big part of the forest got destroyed in the process. She goes down to confirm but Kurumi surprises everyone watching by standing back up. It is then Kurumi’s inner power activates and she loses her senses. Faint outlines of the black wings can be seen. Mikhail attacks again but it doesn’t work. Kurumi goes on the offensive but each time she gets hit by Mikhail, she gets back up like the hit was nothing. It’s like she’s an emotionless and heartless killing machine. Mikhail gets a taste of pain when Kurumi easily throws a tree log right into her! The power fight continues and if this goes on, the entire forest would be wiped out! I’m serious. Mikhail’s combat abilities reach her maximum. Kurumi deals the final blow with an enormous power blast. So powerful that the only thing Mikhail can do is shout her name. Nakahito wants Saki and Karinka to take him down to stop them because he could tell Kurumi doesn’t want to fight and that there was sadness in Mikhail’s eyes. When they arrive at ground zero, Kurumi is the only one left standing and this time her black wings are completely materialized. Looks like turning into a demon is the ultimate price she paid.

Episode 22
Kurumi doesn’t recognize them and fires away. Even if Saki and Karinka protected Nakahito, he still got wounded. At least a bloodied shoulder. Walski orders using some gravitational force to suppress Kurumi’s movement. It didn’t work because Kurumi unleashes her Barrier Globe to protect herself and negate the gravitation force. Then she targets the Academy by firing a beam. It’s like slicing through butter with a hot knife! Yeah, looks like a mini Death Star. A boulder is about to crash on Nakahito and the Steel Angels but thanks to Kamihito’s mysticism, they didn’t become pancakes. Kamihito is here because of the dreaded premonition he saw. The Academy crashes hard on the ground and though the base is heavily damaged, there is still power for certain functions and everyone is safe. They just got a bad landing. Walski and Ayanokouji blame each other that this happen. Ayanokouji explains that Steel Angels have souls just like humans. By sealing Demonkind powers, the power of Angel Heart can be increased. Because Walski made them fight, the angel element that governs Angel Heart rejected them and thus Demonkind took over. Now Kurumi is governed by Demonkind and is a Chaos Angel. Nakahito gets treated in the base while everyone else discuss what to do before Kurumi fully regenerates. That will be in 2 hours time. Now she’s sleeping like a baby in her Barrier Globe. Yeah, all hell will break lose once time is up. The only way left as Walski thinks is to focus all the energy Academy has in annihilating Kurumi’s existence, even if it destroys Academy itself. Saki protests against the method because she believes Kurumi can return to her normal self. But Ayanokouji is not saying anything. But another emergency is creeping in. The Barrier Globe is rapidly expanding and so is the Demonkind wave reading.

Episode 23
Kurumi fires another black beam at the grounded Academy. This time damaging the crucial power reactor that is needed to annihilate Kurumi. As Brandow states, attempts to redirect and bypass power source are futile because this is as much the base can take. Repairs will take 3 hours, something they don’t have the luxury of waiting since Kurumi will be fully recharged in an hour’s time. Kamihito volunteers to slow down Barrier Globe so he starts chanting to keep it from growing. Walski is at a loss of what to do. Kaga comes in and has grasped the situation. She and her Steel Angels will offer to convert their energy into the power needed to compensate the power shortage and even pass the 100% output mark. Though it may cost them their lives, she reminds them that Steel Angels’ duty to protect mankind. If they can use their lives to accomplish this, they will be proud to do so. Walski has no choice but to agree with them. Karinka and Saki go see Nakahito and hope to cheer him up. However that kid still blames himself over Kurumi’s transformation so much so Karinka had to tell him off that she likes him and did everything for him even though she knew he did all he could for Kurumi. She won’t forgive him if he gives up on Kurumi. She won’t like him like this. Now it’s her turn to get emotional. What good would it do if there are 2 of them crying? Well, Saki the ever kind comforting soul is always there when you need a shoulder to cry on. The sun is setting and Kamihito must be one awesome dude fully concentrating in his chanting. However he must be at his limit since Barrier Globe is expanding. Finally he breaks. I guess he is only human. Nakahito comes to the bridge to learn what is happening. All the more to hear from Ayanokouji that their only choice left is to annihilate Kurumi. Yeah, he’s not going to let that happen. Ever. Saki and Karinka join the other Steel Angels in lending their energy while the Chaos Angel revitalizes.

Episode 24
Well, the mini Death Star is much bigger now. But deep down inside Kurumi’s consciousness, she’s calling for her master and feeling very cold. All the Steel Angels lose their life giving their energy to the reactor. It is only a matter of seconds before the final blast will be fired. Nakahito rushes out towards Kurumi but he was stopped by Kamihito. Big brother had to slap him to make him realize that he can’t do anything. Not that he is being negative but really, what can he do? As they head into the safety of the base, Nakahito heard Kurumi calling him. He gives Kamihito the slip and rushes back out. Everyone can’t stop the impending shot because if they do, everything will be wasted. Nakahito gets absorbed into Globe Barrier and meets Kurumi. He hugs her as he whispers that no matter how much she changes, Kurumi is Kurumi. That was enough to awaken and return Kurumi to her normal state. WHAT???!!! IT WAS THAT EASY???!!! But too late. The final powerful blast is fired. This might be even bigger than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. But it boggles me it didn’t destroy the nearby mountain. Next scene we know, Kurumi kisses Nakahito and awakens him. Reverse, eh? Another mind boggling thing is that, assuming if they were caught in the blast, how come only their clothes got zapped. Even if the Barrier Globe protected them, how the heck did they lose their clothes? Whatever. Anyway Nakahito confesses he loves Kurumi and they both kiss again. This time, their kiss emits a powerful light. So powerful that it returns all the energy to the other Steel Angels, reviving them (including Mikhail). Wouldn’t want this to end on a bittersweet note, don’t we? Everyone is surprised at the turn of events (probably watching the duo kiss too) and no Demonkind presence is detected within Kurumi. Ayanokouji realizes their mistake. They have overlooked something very important. It isn’t the mystical powers or the strengthening of Angel Heart that matters. The most important thing to a Steel Angel is the relationship of trust between herself and the mystic. To put it in another way, it’s the power of love. Yeah, love conquers all. Koganei and Kichijoji return with the military reinforcements but it’s all for nothing since it has been settled. But it’s good, right? Believe me, I don’t think all those Kongos would even have a chance against evil Kurumi (they fail badly against Saki, remember?). Nakahito and Kurumi see the first star in the sky. He believes if one sees it, they’ll be guaranteed to be happy. But Kurumi doesn’t believe it because she has been happy for a long time.

Steel Angel Kurumi Encore

I thought this was going to be a summary recap because of the name in its title, Encore. You know, as in, do it once more all over from the top. But instead of boring us with 4 OVA episodes that summarize what happened in the TV series, Steel Angel Kurumi Encore is in fact an extension of the said series with four additional episodes that takes place in the aftermath where the TV series ended. The plot is nothing serious and feels like fun and fillers. So I guess Encore is like, fans couldn’t get enough of the Steel Angels and want more. I think I’ll stick with that.

Episode 1
Amagi talks to the general about Ayanokouji who is trying to rebuild Academy at a ramen stall where Saki and Karinka are working at so that they won’t ‘get in the way’ of Kurumi and Nakahito as who knows what those 2 are doing back at the shrine. Suddenly a movie agent from Shochikubai Movie Company is taken aback by Saki’s beauty and wants her to become an actress! At first Saki was reluctant but seeing how excited Kurumi and Kamihito were, she decides to give a try. Saki gets new experience being an actress. Sometimes she fouls up but she carries on. But she also likes her new job because she gets to be physically closer to Kurumi (she acts out scenes for her during the bath). Saki soon becomes famous and has her own fans. One day, the director lets Saki in on the good news that she’ll have the chance to act in Hollywood for over a year. However this means she won’t be returning to Japan for that period though he assures her this is for her future and will leave after the end of their current movie project. Saki contemplates of quitting acting because she can’t see her beloved sister anymore. Ultimately it is up to her to make the decision. One night she sees Kurumi sleeping with Nakahito and hears her talk in her sleep that her master is the only one for her. It’s decided. Saki leaves onboard the liner as her sisters and Nakahito wish her goodbye. It might get lonely but it’s for the best. But for Kurumi, she’s got Nakahito. As the liner leaves, Saki sees Kurumi crying and then suddenly jumping into the water! Saki also jumps down into the ocean and swims up to Kurumi. She feels happier by her side. Well, what a wasted chance because she soon learns Kurumi had dust in her eyes and jumped into the ocean to wash it off. WTF?! But Kurumi notes that she too is happy that she didn’t go because she is happier with her by her side. Yeah. It’s short but welcome back.

Episode 2
Karinka isn’t happy about Kurumi and Nakahito’s usual morning ruckus. She then receives a love letter wanting to meet at a certain place and she can identify him with a rose in his pocket. Kurumi also finds out about Karinka’s date and is happy for her. Next day, Karinka isn’t pleased that Kurumi rushed her so much so she is 30 minutes earlier than her appointed time. Worse, she knows her sister and Nakahito are spying on her. Why are they cross-dressed again? This time they brought Saki along and I know she has to disguise herself because she is famous. But disguised as a thief?! It’s amazing nobody reported her. Then the mysterious date shows up… Kamihito?! Karinka quickly takes him away while the ‘stalkers’ follow. Later Karinka finds out Kamihito didn’t write the letter and it was just a coincidence he is wearing a rose in his pocket that the florist gave. But Kurumi and co see them as a lovely couple and start confusing themselves if they marry, would Kamihito be their older or little brother-in-law? Kamihito thought she should return to her waiting place but Karinka wants him to hang out with her for the rest of the day. Simply because it’s more fun to see those ‘stalkers’ panicking. So whether it’s riding a tram, at the movies, the zoo or the department store, Kurumi is like the idiot and feels like she’s on a date with Nakahito. Karinka’s feelings get confused when Kamihito praises her and even thinks she could have had a better time with the mysterious date. But she realizes she is not ready to fall in love yet. Kamihito takes it as she is still attached to Nakahito and it’s okay not to give up because a person’s feelings can’t easily change. She should be herself and cherish how she feels at this moment. I guess this means, Karinka isn’t giving up on Nakahito because the rivalry to wash his back with Kurumi continues. And the real mysterious date turns out to be… The general! He’s still waiting there! But it’s already late. He isn’t giving up yet so tomorrow he will send her another letter!

Episode 3
Kurumi is bugging Nakahito to kiss her like how he first did when they are being visited by Nadeshiko. But she’s only here for a quick visit as she has to return to Ayanokouji’s place. Kamihito notes how Nadeshiko is the epitome of an ideal Japanese woman even if she’s a Steel Angel. Since Nakahito also agrees, this worries Kurumi. She decides to be one and thinks really hard. Think, think, think and think. Nothing. So much so Saki discreetly helps her out by giving her a book on it. I’m not sure if Kurumi can understand those hard words. Oh well, never give up. Next morning, Nakahito is surprised that Kurumi has turned into an elegant and polite traditional Japanese woman. She excels in cooking, flower arrangement and even sewing. Even if she gets praised, she has to hold back her squeal and maintain her proper manners. Plus, it’s tiring to uphold the traditional way. Nakahito wonders if she is pushing too hard since she looks exhausted but she assures him everything is okay. But true enough, she collapses while cooking. When she wakes up, Nakahito has heard everything from Saki and tells her to just be herself. She is worried about not becoming his ideal woman so Nakahito relates when Nadeshiko was here, he was impressed with her ways. However she notes that he and Kurumi had something that others don’t no matter how much one practices: Feelings. It is important how they feel and care for each other. That’s why they should both be themselves and take it slow, walking on the same path. Thus Nakahito likes the way Kurumi is and pecks her on her forehead. I guess this will do. Happy Kurumi returns back to her genki self and hugs him.

Episode 4
All the Steel Angels rebuilding Academy heard this rumour that whoever kisses Nakahito will be the strongest Steel Angel. They confront Nakahito and Kurumi at the shrine wanting that kid to be their master. It’ll be over in just seconds. Like he can do that. Like she’ll allow that. Kamihito offers to be their master but they ignore him. Nadeshiko returns seeing she has heard the rumour. Seeing both sides aren’t going to back off, Nadeshiko suggests a competition in which the last one standing will be Nakahito’s master. The first round is a true or false question relating to Nakahito. Get a wrong answer and you’re disqualified. Only 5 will get to advance. Though Nadeshiko and Saki are the judges, at this point a mysterious masked Steel Angel, Yaoi makes her debut. Who? Actually it’s Koganei in disguise. So she’s still after that kid’s lips, eh? Embarrassing questions pertaining to Nakahito is asked and the field is quickly reduced. In my opinion, those Steel Angels shouldn’t just guess blindly because they should have followed Kurumi who is the best Steel Angel who knows everything about Nakahito, right? So the candidates are narrowed down to Kurumi, Karinka, Yaoi, Kaga and Tsunami. Second round is an Old Maid card game. But Tsunami got disqualified though she finished her cards. Since there are joker cards with Nakahito’s portrait, the rules state that you’re supposed to hold on to them if you love him that much. WTF?! So with Tsunami discarding everything, I guess it’s out for her. Third round is based on luck. Rock-scissors-paper. Karinka lost while Kaga got disqualified because she used some Steel Angel skill in 0.0001 second to cheat. So in the final between Kurumi and Yaoi, they’re supposed to carry Nakahito, complete a jigsaw of his portrait and take him to the goal. It’s a close fight as both sides are neck to neck and Nakahito exchanging hands several times. Racing towards the finish line, their tugging causes Nakahito to be in pain. Kurumi immediately let go and this causes Yaoi to win. Thankfully Yaoi didn’t kiss him because she knew Kurumi did something admirable. Kurumi praises this spy from the military. Eh? How did she recognize her? Her knees! Oh yeah. I forgot about that peculiar recognizing ability. The other Steel Angels aren’t happy and want a rematch seeing a human competitor was involved. However she says that even if they redo, the results will be the same. The reason they got these far is because of their important feelings for each other. A one-sided feeling is no good for a mystic and Steel Angel. If they have feelings, then they will all be able to find a fabulous master. This event was to make them realize that. Yeah, but how did the rock-scissors-paper fit in that? So I guess it has got to be Kurumi for Nakahito, eh?

Steel Angel Kurumi Zero

What the?! What happened?! Suddenly from all that annoying comedy and light-hearted moments, Steel Kurumi Zero suddenly becomes a heavy melodrama that is void of any antics and funny moments that you would expect in this series! You’re not going to laugh a single bit here. Guarantee. The triple OVA episodes are gloomy and serve as a prelude to the birth of Angel Heart. So that is why it is named Zero, eh? So the past takes place in the future. Confused? Maybe that is why Kurumi and her sisters were modelled as we know them. And the stage is just the apartment room they stay in. Never changes. No other characters except them too. Feels like a stage play…

Episode 1
An announcement to advice everyone to stay indoors due to the acid rain. Bored Karinka complains she can’t go out so Excelia warns her not to. Kurumi returns from her club activity and makes a confession. She has a guy she likes. It is her club instructor and she felt happy that they get to chat. Her sisters want to know more but Excelia the landlord isn’t too thrilled. Because Kurumi forgot to ask his name, Excelia looks up the database and his name is Michihito Kagura. Upon realizing his registration number is #132459 Gamma, Excelia suggests they stop searching for more info on him. She tries to dissuade Kurumi from seeing him by throwing questions if she knows where he came from and liking him based on meeting him the first time. Kurumi is adamant she likes him so Saki the moderator settles the situation. As Kurumi and Saki bath together, Kurumi is still worried and unsure. Saki gives her advice and encouragement like a big sister. She believes in her and will support Kurumi. Soon Kurumi announces she not only wants to be with the person she likes, she also wants to see everyone happy. A bright light emits from her body. Is it an angel?

Episode 2
Medical check-up indicates nothing wrong so Karinka thinks it is ESP and she’s an esper. Though Kurumi is worried, Excelia thinks she’ll be a good research subject. Like she wants to be that. The topic changes when Karinka gets upset that her boobs didn’t grow. Next day, Kurumi is off to her club activity and is going to confess to Michihito. She is given several words to say. Saki is positive, Karinka just unsure while Excelia remains pessimistic. She feels it will not go well. Karinka thought of spying on them but Saki thinks that’s rude and has her go shopping so that they can celebrate when Kurumi comes back. Excelia investigates something called Angel Holder in her laptop. As the girls wait for Kurumi to return, they notice she is awfully late. Perhaps they are doing something cheeky? Then when she comes home, they can tell it didn’t go well because she’s putting up a gloomy expression. If you’re not convinced, how about now as Kurumi starts crying and hugging Saki? As explained, Michihito said he loves her. So was it tears of joy? Actually it will only be a week. In one week’s time, Michihito will leave the city and never return. Though he understood her feelings, Kurumi felt it was unfair and continues crying. Karinka then wants to celebrate since Kurumi has a boyfriend and she’s going out. It’s not that she’s heartless but if she cries, Michihito will feel sad and certainly she doesn’t want that, right? Surprise this is coming from Karinka. Kurumi promises not to cry anymore. She then washes her face and the bright light begins emitting again. She thinks her feelings are so strong and that she loves Michihito so much that it shines and takes an appearance of an angel. She believes she’ll be alright since she has the angel’s blessing. Excelia is eavesdropping outside as she notes how she wants to believe the strength of her feelings is calling the angel. Next day, Kurumi leaves for her date as the other girls support her. This goes on for a week till the day Michihito leaves the city. That night, Kurumi couldn’t stop crying. So much about the promise.

Episode 3
Even if Michihito is gone, they still keep in touch via Voice Mail every day. Phew. Thank goodness for technology. Each time the laptop beeps, Kurumi would come rushing just to talk to him. Even if she’s in the middle of the bath and only clad in a towel. But that conversation turns out to be their last. It has been 2 weeks ago since Kurumi heard from him and this causes her to sink into depression and lock herself up in the room. Saki won’t forgive him if he was just playing with her feelings. Karinka notices Excelia have the address of Michihito thanks to her hacking even it is unethical. That guy still reads his mail but why isn’t he contacting Kurumi? Excelia explains that she have known something like this would happen a long time ago and because it would cause Kurumi to be shocked, she didn’t say anything. Remember his registration number? Seeing he has a Gamma, it means he is a Holder. When humans feel inferior, they submit into a life of humility and live in an unconscious state. So what happened to Kurumi was caused by him saying he loves her. This illness may take a toll on his health and his body may stop functioning. Excelia continues explaining about living things, existence and fate. Showing the scars when she once cut her wrist, Excelia too was once a Holder. Getting out of her sickness was her goal in life and meeting Kurumi, Saki and Karinka gave her a new power of life. That is the reason why she is alive now. To cure Michihito’s illness, Kurumi must summon the angel. Suddenly the laptop beeps and instantly Kurumi rushes out to answer it, beating everyone else who was nearby -_-. She starts pouring out the things she do, her feelings, that she wants to kiss him and knows he is dying and in pain. In tears, she will summon the angel to ensure his happiness because she loves him. When she says those 3 magic words, again bright light emits from within and this time an angel materializes. Excelia narrates that this is what Ayanokouji said. Fairness is disguised. An angel descends. An angel’s calling. The angel appears to a person of pure heart. Its existence was contained in her heart and therefore the Angel Heart was summoned. I guess this was the memories Kurumi had when she was first awakened by Nakahito’s kiss in the lab. Kyuiiin!!!

Steel Angel Kurumi Ni Shiki

This sequel doesn’t feel like a reboot of the series nor does it feel like a direct continuation. Taking place 75 years after the first season ended, Steel Angel Kurumi Ni Shiki sees the usual gang but as new second generation Steel Angels in a new modern misadventure of their own. New era, new environment, new master, some upgrades, but same ol’ habits die hard, right? Right. But this sequel feels more yuri in fact and there aren’t any ‘real’ enemy and drama that we see in the original first season. Yeah, feels like some mindless plot for Kurumi to stay with her new master 24/7 and other jealous people who are bent on separating them. So what about being protectors of mankind’s future? Have they forgotten about that? Not Kurumi, the producers lah.

Episode 1
Nako Kagura isn’t just a miko priestess but a cellist playing to the crowd. Did I mention that she is clumsy too because she almost stepped on a chicken on her way down. Yeah, everybody thought it was somewhat funny that she tripped. Oh, I may want to add she is a simpleton too because she gullibly believes Misaki, her mom’s word that she will meet a lovely person this week (she got it from an astrology book) and for that matter she has to prepare a room with 2 years worth of textbooks by taking it to the unoccupied warehouse. While transporting the books, she meets her friend Uruka Sumeragi who helps her out. Nako shows an underground path she recently discovered. Curiosity kills the cat as they venture down the dark path. Uruka teases scaredy cat Nako that there is something when it’s just a lie. But the second time round, there IS something. Making a run for it, they get lost in the labyrinth till the seek refuge in a dark room. The pursuer inches closer and it is revealed to be a cute dog. As Nako is infatuated with its cuteness, something tells us this isn’t just an ordinary dog. See its computerized eyes as it is scanning its surroundings? Suddenly the room activates. The Buddha statue starts flying towards them. Another round of running around the underground maze till they finally get above ground. The statue seems like it is going to stomp on Nako when a bright light swallows her. Inside the light, Nako hears a voice (sounds like Ayanokouji) wanting her to hear his wish. Seeing her as the successor of this temple and for the sake of the future, he wants her to revive his daughter, the new advanced and reformed type of Steel Angel. She is Kurumi. Not just Kurumi but Kurumi Ni Shiki (Second Generation). The statue cracks open and falling out comes Kurumi. I suppose at the angle you can’t escape your lips getting kissed. So with that awakening kiss like how Prince Charming did to Sleeping Beauty, Kurumi wakes up and Nako becomes her master. It’s starting all over again.

Episode 2
Kurumi is so happy that Nako is her master that she kisses her again! Uruka is horrified because well, Nako’s lips are supposed to belong to her. I guess that says a lot. Nako thought she was just dreaming when she wakes up in bed with Misaki by her side. Apparently not. Kurumi is there too. Misaki seems to know a little about Steel Angels because grandpa used to tell her stories about them (though very exaggerated). Plus, she had grandpa’s diary that explains them all. Yeah, that diary that they always used as a coaster for hot cooking pots. No respect for books… Though Kurumi can’t remember much of her adventure before this awakening, her (annoying) cheerfulness is still there. Then the doggie comes in and it is revealed to be Can-1, Kurumi’s companion. However Misaki gets infatuated and attached to that cute dog. Now she makes it her new companion, eh? Nako takes a bath and we recognize Kurumi’s trademark airhead-ness as she gets in with her while making a big foam with the body soap. Uruka returns to her mansion so dejected, so long face that her dad, Tenkai is shocked that his beloved daughter didn’t respond to his greeting. Uruka in her room tries to calm down but she can’t help think that Nako’s lips have been stolen but that pink airhead. Now getting frantic, Uruka takes her binoculars to check on Nako’s household (they are neighbours by the way). To her horror, she sees Nako running out in her towel while being chased by naked Kurumi. Uruka breaks down in tears and to eavesdropping Tenkai, he is going to get to the bottom of this as he calls GAIN, the family’s troops. Yeah, it’s a big deal if his precious daughter cries. Next morning, Kurumi goes to school with Nako. Seems Misaki has arranged for her to be in the same class. Off Kurumi carries Nako jumping and gliding through the air. Nako is thrilled with this jet coaster-like ride. However that enjoyment comes crashing down when Kurumi mentions she doesn’t know where her school is. Great. So now they’re lost.

Episode 3
Somehow they manage to reach school but Kurumi continues to be the cheerful airhead despite being late, much to the teacher’s ire. Kurumi is clinging to Nako so close that everyone is talking about them. Jealous? Uruka’s worse fears come true when she spots them together. At the rooftop, Uruka finds out that Kurumi has bathed, slept and even borrowed Nako’s pantsu! All true but somewhat exaggerated. She wants Nako to stay away from this person because she thinks she’ll be taken advantage of due to her quiet nature. But Kurumi starts getting teary eyed wondering if she’s bothersome (we think she is). I’m sure Nako couldn’t go with Uruka’s flow and her heart softens when she sees Kurumi in that state. So yeah, Kurumi is not bothersome. While Kurumi rejoices, Uruka sinks into further depression. Meanwhile Tenkai receives an application of Kurumi as the transfer student from Misaki. Then he receives a call that GAIN has been dispatched to ease Uruka’s heart and that they have found the ‘enemy’. On the screen, Tenkai is shocked to see Kurumi’s picture. He wants GAIN to start their mission immediately! Now it’s his turn to go hysterical. As Kurumi carries Nako out of school, a stealth bomber parachutes down a mecha that suddenly attacks them. For some reason, Uruka can tell this robot from the family’s army division is from her dad. Yeah, the mecha’s name is codenamed Uruka. The principal can’t do anything about the mecha smashing around the school grounds simply because of the written agreement. I can tell his hands are tied by a certain someone. Kurumi evades with ease the mecha’s blows but when Nako gets hurt by a wood splinter, Kurumi gets mad and calls forth Can-1. Instantly that canine comes flying (transformed into a jet?!) and then Kurumi rips apart her school uniform (WTF?!) so that Can-1 can deliver her maid uniform with a few enhanced features (for a transformation scene I guess). WTF?! Then in a single strike, she destroys the mecha. While everyone is shocked at what they see, Kurumi realizes she has just ripped the uniform Misaki gave her and calls herself an idiot. Uruka notes she isn’t an ordinary girl. Tenkai is upset that his mecha got trashed and in his anger accidentally breaks his Buddha statue. But this uncovers a sleeping Saki…

Episode 4
Tenkai plans to awake Saki and make her as part of his family agents for the sake of Uruka’s smile. Kurumi excels in sports that she has gathered a huge number of fans. How does it feel like to be in the spotlight now? Kurumi listens to Nako playing her cello. Her cellist teacher, Yutaka Kizuki praises her playing though there is room for improvement. Kurumi didn’t like Kizuki for wanting to make Nako practice forever. But if Nako says Kizuki is a nice person, Kurumi accepts him. Tenkai’s bunch of scientists are at a dead end. They can’t seem to activate Saki and the big boss wants her awakened now. Uruka spots them and she misinterprets what they are doing with a body naked of a lady. Kurumi and Nako return home and they are surprised Uruka is there (probably she bribed Misaki with lots of seafood). Actually Uruka is here on a mission. Tenkai wanted her to retrieve a secret book on Steel Angels believed to be in Nako’s household to activate Saki. So for the sake of their future, Uruka pretends to be a nice and friendly girl (despite how she loathes it). When Nako and Kurumi take a bath together, she starts searching the place but Can-1 interrupts by chasing her around. She blames all this happening to her on Kurumi. After dinner, Uruka thought of staying for the night seeing she doesn’t want to be home alone. Nako and Kurumi thought they spot somebody (Tenkai peeping with his binoculars) on Uruka’s mansion’s veranda but Uruka panics and dismisses they are seeing things. Then she sees the secret book being used as the pot’s coaster. She starts acting strangely, distracts the ladies to take the book and changes her mind to return home since she did saw her father on the veranda. Bedtime, Kurumi asks if Nako likes Kizuki. She dismisses that fact and she only admires him because he is a great cellist. Kurumi wants her to choose who she loves more. Kizuki or her. Of course she can’t. Tenkai praises Uruka for getting the book and now nothing will stop them from achieving their goals. Yeah, keep dreaming…

Episode 5
Reading the book’s instructions, Tenkai doesn’t believe the rubbish of the needed love bond and kiss to awaken Saki. Uruka is still delusional. She sees Nako in Saki and fantasises that they will be together from now on. So much so she kisses Saki! Oh sh*t!!! Yeah, her first kiss went to a Steel Angel instead of a certain someone. But look on the bright side. Saki indeed awakens. Uruka finds it odd that Saki keeps calling her her master. Saki (in teary eyes) wonders if she has seen her other sisters but of course Uruka doesn’t know anything about this. Misaki makes Kurumi debut as a miko priestess along with Nako to revive the shrine. It doesn’t disappoint because with all the crazy fan girls squealing, they rake in big money. So much money that they can even afford shabu-shabu. Uruka still dreams of her ultimate dream with Nako when Saki wants to wash her back. She relents when she puts on that teary eye act again. Uruka feels disgusted at Saki’s praises about her beautiful soft white skin. Next day, Kurumi receives a love letter in her shoe locker and is about to discard it but Nako says she mustn’t break the heart of her admirer. If she says so. As Kurumi waits for the person, it seems this is a setup so that Saki can destroy her in one shot in a surprise attack as instructed by Uruka. Saki pulls off a powerful punch but Kurumi is able to catch it before it connects to her face (not without creating a powerful crater in the wall!). With their Angel Heart resonating, Saki recognizes her sister and rejoices. Hmm… Looks like she still has some affection for Kurumi since she is holding her arm. Kurumi also remembers her and introduces her to Nako. She learns Uruka as Saki’s new master and since they live next door to each other, they can see each other often. Isn’t that good? Well, not for Uruka, who is appalled ever since this development unfolded. What a turn of events. Didn’t expect this, eh? Kurumi concludes that it was Uruka who sent the love letter to get Saki to meet them. Saki is grateful but I’m sure that wasn’t her intention, right? Nako didn’t know Kurumi had a sister and Kurumi really would’ve forgotten all about her if not for today. Yeah, there are loads of other things she can’t remember. So I guess both sisters are so happy that they start waving and calling to each other right across the room, eh? Uruka is saddened that her first kiss was laid to waste and blames Saki. She thought she’s having a nightmare and sleeps with her. I’m sure that’s not the problem. Next day, Kurumi and Nako find Saki a transfer student in Uruka’s class. Hey wait a minute. If Uruka is a year older than Nako and Saki is Kurumi’s younger sister, doesn’t that make things complicated? Oh what the heck, since Kurumi has got Nako (hugging all over her) and Saki has Uruka (holding her arm closely). Nako feels this is bad luck while Uruka a great evil.

Episode 6
Nako plays the cello much to the delight to Kizuki and the rest. He thinks it’s like she’s in love. Nako denies but Kurumi insists she is. This is where Uruka affirms that Nako IS NOT in love. Saki realizes Kurumi and Uruka love Nako but she herself loves Kurumi and Nako. She wishes she was Nako. Love is so one-sided, eh? Later when Uruka finds out Misaki is making swimsuits for Nako, she offers to take them to her private island in the south when Misaki agrees to make a swimsuit for her. Uruka thought she could get rid of the Steel Angels by not letting them on the plane, giving an excuse they are heavy. No problem. Just fly alongside the plane! Uruka finds her swimsuit to be quite revealing and sexy. To her dismay, Nako and Kurumi are wearing the same pattern. Did Misaki run out of materials? Or could it mean her swimsuit is meant to be a special treat? Uruka laments she couldn’t spend a single second with Nako because Kurumi keeps hogging her. While they are out on a boat, Uruka plans to get rid of Kurumi by telling her about the legendary lemon pearls. If they find and give to their loved one, they’ll forever be together. Kurumi dives down as Uruka is confident she’ll not come back up. Indeed there is a lemon pearl factory on the sea floor but it is tightly guarded and will not let a single intruder in. This will spell Kurumi’s doom. Or so she thinks. Kurumi is attacked by mechanical sharks and one of them took her top. Saki dives in to see what’s taking her so long and sees what’s happening. Kurumi is adamant to get that top back (because Misaki made it for her) as she summons Can-1. The dog turns into a fish tail so Kurumi can match the sharks’ speed.  Saki helps take out the sharks as well as riding the missiles to take out other torpedoes. WTF?! In the end, Kurumi crashes through the factory and manages to get her top back. But the factory explodes and rains lemon pearls. Nako thought she saw a mermaid but it turned out to be Kurumi. Back on shore, Kurumi gives Nako a lemon pearl and is so happy they can be together forever. Uruka is left cursing the outcome and doesn’t accept Saki’s lemon pearl.

Episode 7
Several priests are in a ceremony to awake Karinka. Uruka isn’t happy Kurumi once again is too close to Nako and calls dad to unleash another mecha. He’s already sent one as they speak but soon as the giant robot lands, Kurumi destroys it in a single punch and is pissed for interrupting another together-time with Nako. Back to the drawing board… Because Nako intends to enter a concour, she didn’t tell Kurumi and co that she’ll be back late and practises under the eyes of Kizuki. Since Misaki too isn’t home, Saki offers to cook for Kurumi and Uruka. She is happy they will get to taste her cooking. Uruka on the other hand is grumpy seeing she is invited but Nako isn’t around. Then they wait for Nako to return so they can start. Time passes and it’s getting late. Kurumi turns on the TV to bide the time. A channel is showing a woman pouring out her troubles that her husband had an affair with someone in his club and they both eloped! Uruka fears the worst as this may be happening to Nako. She starts screaming right in the middle of the room! Some delusion she got. Thinking she is in danger, Kurumi takes her and rushes to school. Looks like Saki will have to wait for another time for them to taste her cooking. Uruka is uneasy flying so high so she struggles and accidentally covers Kurumi’s eyes. This causes her to crash into the school building. Rushing along, Uruka is disheartened to see Kizuki close to Nako. Could it be true? Actually because of that ‘earthquake’, Nako fell and he was just applying a band aid. Uruka realizes she slipped up this time and just says they were here to get her since it’s late. Kizuki notes the nice and caring friends she has. Kurumi carries Nako on her back and she gets her confidence to do her best for the concour. Nearby, Misaki meets a priest who tells her that the last Steel Angel of the second generation series has been recovered and will revive soon. She is worried the effect it will have. So after all that chanting, Karinka finally opens her eyes.

Episode 8
Karinka is surprised at the development of the city 75 years on. Yeah, she sports a new hairstyle and her outfit isn’t dangerously revealing like the last time. Kurumi is throwing a tantrum by herself because she is bored and Nako is busy with her cello lessons. Uruka revels in her despair till she realizes she too is in the same predicament. Saki gets an idea and tells Uruka that Nako’s class has been cancelled and wants to meet her at the park. She also tells this to Kurumi. If you’re wondering why Nako didn’t tell them directly it’s because it’s Saki’s scheme to meet them both at the park in Nako’s stead. Then she’ll use Nako’s lateness to accompany them and they’ll have a swell time together. You and I know this isn’t going to work out the way she wants. And since Kurumi and Uruka are so infatuated that they’re going to be with Nako, they didn’t really bother to think logically. As Saki runs along, she gets attacked by Karinka. Uruka and Kurumi bump into each other at the park and while waiting for Nako to show up, Uruka shows pictures of them as childhood friends. She envies Kurumi who can be honest with her feelings but Kurumi feels Uruka too can be like her. Suddenly Kurumi’s heart feels pain. She gets a telepathic warning from Saki about their little sister. Suddenly the liner crashes onto land close to them (I wonder how Karinka hijacked and steered this big ship) and Saki is tied to the pole on the edge of it. Karinka meets Kurumi and wants her to come with her to meet the people who revived her. Because Kurumi doesn’t remember anything, Karinka’s reminder about Steel Angels to serve humans, bla, bla, bla, didn’t ring a bell to the airhead. So Karinka beats her up and chides her for the things she is doing now which is not accomplishing her true purpose. Kurumi doesn’t fight back while Uruka watches in horror. Then when it starts raining, Nako and Can-1 come by and see the inevitable.

Episode 9
Karinka tells Nako she is going to take her sisters with her and that she is too weak to even oppose her. So don’t even think about fighting back. Kurumi surprises her by getting back up on her feet despite still being weak. Kurumi says she’ll always wait for her master and this prompts Karinka to further pound her. Uruka tries to wake Saki up but there is no response. Karinka gets cocky while fighting Kurumi (who has called forth Can-1’s powers) and blames her for all that has happened. Nako didn’t want the sisters fighting but Karinka lashes back she doesn’t know anything and smacks her. This of course enrages Kurumi. Meanwhile Uruka is desperate to awaken Saki and kisses her the second time. Saki immediately opens her eyes. Uruka blames Kurumi that Nako is hurt but wants Saki to discipline her disobedient little sister. Then she realizes her second kiss… Karinka didn’t like the fact she could feel Kurumi’s power in her Angel Heart despite having the advantage. Kurumi and Saki team up to fight Karinka but are still no match. Nako’s worries and feelings reached Kurumi that her Angel Heart starts to power up. Karinka couldn’t believe the surge in power and continues attacking. Kurumi is able to stop her attack with just a palm. It ends with Karinka’s defeat as she realizes Kurumi’s sudden power. It took 120 priests to awaken her but only a small frail girl to awaken Kurumi. Before she falls into the sea, she also realizes how cute Nako is. Oh dear… Misaki notes this is Nako’s true power. Her love is what makes a Steel Angel strong. With that power, they will make the future better. As everyone reunite, Uruka and Kurumi get into an argument about the power of love. They try to outdo each other that their love for Nako is bigger than the other. You must be tired of hearing this, Nako girl? She thought pinpointing at the rainbow would solve it all, but it only fuels their love argument. Bridge of love? Yeah, they even get Nako involved… Guess what happens the next day? Karinka becomes the new transfer student in Nako’s class! She shoves off the girl sitting next to Nako and makes that her seat. Kurumi not very happy… Just great. Now she gets another rival and the bickering is not going to simmer down. Bad luck for Nako indeed.

Episode 10
Karinka is now staying at Nako’s place. Don’t ask. Because of that, she and Kurumi get into an argument that results in breaking Nako’s precious cello! Oh sh*t!!! Though later Nako forgives them, the duo still feel guilty. And the concour is around the corner. However Uruka saves the day as she brings Nako back to her mansion. To her delight, it is filled with various famous cello brands. Hmph. Rich people and their money… Since they are expensive, Nako has to practice here and so for the time being, she stays at Uruka’s place. Uruka even had Kizuki come to her mansion to guide Nako. Kurumi and Karinka lament Nako not around and because of them she got into trouble. Thinking Nako wants her cello back, they decide to go buy it but you know how expensive one is, right? So how? Work part time. Man, with these ladies using their super strength like child’s play, the construction company should just hire them and fire all the other workers. They don’t even need equipments because the Steel Angels themselves are sufficed in carrying all the heavy materials. So in the end, they manage to buy the cello (the pay must be damn good for them to buy it this fast) and on their way to meet Nako, the head priest who revived Karinka, Toushi confronts them. He is not happy Karinka disobeyed his order and is now siding with the enemy. He and his priestesses (it’s odd to see them in office saleswoman clothes rather than miko priestess outfit) subdue them both. But Kurumi’s Angel Heart resonates as her feelings for Nako is strong. They break out of the barrier and continue their journey. Toushi wanted to give chase but was stopped by Misaki. She wants the Steel Angels to continue doing what they are doing now (protecting their loved ones and enriching their heart) and not let this old bastard decide the future he claims he is protecting. Toushi agrees to back off but cautions he will be watching them. Nako is happy Kurumi and Nako got her a new cello as she lets them hear the fruits of her practice. Uruka is back to her grumpy ways because Kurumi butted in. Then as she watches the TV programme on the upcoming cello concour, she learns the winner will be an exchange student at a prestigious music academy in Wien, Austria. Then it hit her. Nako will be going away! NO WAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!!!

Episode 11
Kurumi asks Nako why she wants to be a cellist. It is her dream to go around the world to let people listen and comprehend her music. The concour is tomorrow as Uruka reluctantly meets Kurumi about Nako going away if she wins the concour. They don’t want to be separated from her, right? Nako comes up with devious schemes to prevent Nako from attending the concour but they all seem criminal-like. Because gloomy Kurumi didn’t say anything and even if she did, it was just she doesn’t know anything anymore, Uruka gets upset that she’s all talk about protecting her master, bla, bla, bla. She’s not going to rely on her. Uruka sees her dad and begs him to give her the latest Mobile Armour that is still in experimenting phase. She even agrees to be the test pilot. Though reluctant, he eventually agrees seeing Uruka ‘threatens’ she will not smile for him. Always daddy’s girl… Misaki walking back from an errand late that night sees Karinka alone and sad. Karinka tells her about Nako going away and thinks she will be sad if that happens. Misaki gives her advice like parents normally do. To believe in your own feelings. Early dawn, Uruka is at the gates of Nako’s home. She is adamant to stop Nako even if this will make Nako hate her. But right in front of her is Kurumi. All Kurumi wants is to hear Nako’s cello performance and doesn’t want Uruka to interfere with her dream. She takes Uruka far away but is intercepted by Karinka as she crashes onto a building top. Karinka mentions abut Nako’s power required to save the future and thus the need for her to get stronger. That’s why it’ll be bad if Nako goes away. Uruka thought she has the same thoughts as her but Karinka tells her not to get the wrong idea and that their feelings are different. Despite so, they have a common goal and same opponent. The power battle begins and at the rate they’re going, they might just destroy the building. Hmm… The Mobile Armour Uruka is wearing looks scanty… Maybe that is what makes it light but destructive. Though Kurumi gets beaten up, she’s not going down easily because she is going to protect Nako’s dream. Nako wakes up and prepares to head for the concour, unaware what is happening between her childhood friend and the Steel Angels.

Episode 12
Nako is nervous as the concour begins. But she is going to do her best for everyone’s sake. Speaking of which, it’s her turn. Meanwhile Kurumi always stands right back up even after being beaten to a pulp by Uruka and Karinka. Toushi and his priestesses are chanting faraway but it has no effect. Once they think Kurumi is down for good, they rush over to the music hall. Nako has already started playing so how? Uruka is going to fire her missiles into the hall!!! WTF?! What is she thinking?! Nako is inside and will get hurt! She doesn’t care? There’s no other way?! However Saki (carrying Kurumi with her) pleads them not to do it. Kurumi still has enough strength to rant about her master’s dreams. She doesn’t want Nako to become sad and wants her smiling always. Uruka takes on Kurumi in yet another flashy missile battle while Kurumi reminisces the good times she spent with Nako. It’s amazing that nobody heard the missile explosions rocking outside. Ironically, Kurumi could hear Nako’s cello instead. After taking a direct blast (even Can-1 got blown off), her feelings for Nako are so strong that her Angel Heart activates and a bright light emits. She sprouts wings of a white angel. Everyone including Toushi and his priestesses are amazed at the sight. Except for Uruka. I guess it wasn’t the bright light that blinded her. It’s her jealousy. She is still adamant on taking care of Kurumi despite pleas from Saki not to. Then after memories of Nako flashes through her mind, she then realizes and stops her actions. She breakdowns and comes to terms that she too wants Nako’s dreams to come true. At the end of the concour, Nako is announced as the winner. Later Nako goes to meet the gang outside, though she is puzzled with Kurumi’s messed up appearance and Uruka’s flashy fashion. They congratulate her and wish her all the best overseas. However she says she is not going abroad. That’s because the winner of the high school division will be going to Wien. Plus, she really doesn’t want to go overseas in the first place. What a big relief! And this means a big hug from happy Kurumi. I guess this also means back to the normal bickering over Nako’s attention. Yeah, Uruka and Karinka want Kurumi to stop hogging Nako all to herself. Nako thinks this tussle is some ultra deluxe bad luck, but a good one. WTF?! Then it isn’t bad luck, right? So Nako and Kurumi continue to live together with the latter carrying her all the way to school while the rest wait for them at the gates.

Kyuiin! Goshujin-sama, ~desu…
Those are the 3 words that I would exactly summarize what Kurumi is. More accurately, these are somewhat her favourite words. Basically, I find Kurumi quite annoying throughout the series. In both seasons, her persistence in wanting to be with her master makes it irritating to watch. And being such a ditzy airhead herself, it is somewhat silly. I’m not saying that I hate her, just that how can a moe heroine be so irritating in almost every scene she appears? I’ll give her full points for her unwavering loyalty towards her master but she needs to learn about restraint and reservation. It’s like there is almost no private time for her master to be by himself/herself. She’s always bugging to be with her master and attaches herself like a leech. Plus, the way she hangs on and wants to do everything makes her an overprotective manic. However she can be too demanding when it’s come to reassuring if her master loves her or somebody else more. How can you even compare? But then again, being an airhead has its good points. She doesn’t really understand those complicated stuffs and simply goes with her guts feeling of love. Yeah, love conquers all. Like the saying goes, those who actually win are those who don’t really keep count of the score. And yes, the early bird catches the worm too. What do these idioms have to do with Kurumi? That’s right. She’s usually the first to get her arms wrapped around her master. I think she can break the world record of the most hugs and embraces done in a lifetime. Oh, what about that uncanny ability to recognize knees? I don’t know if it’s a programme error. Since she has no shutdown feature too, I guess changing her attitude won’t be possible, eh?

The disparity between the first and second season left a lot to be desired. There were many questions forming in my head by the time I finished the entire series and I was hoping the second season would somehow have some connection with the first. What happened to Nakahito and the gang during the Taisho era. How did Kurumi and her sisters end up in a frozen state before being found by their new masters. Why Kurumi doesn’t remember much about her past despite being a mechanical doll/robot. How the heck did Can-1 became Kurumi’s companion. It’s like as thought the second season is a spin-off unrelated to the first season. It’s like they’re using the main characters from the first season and inject it into a new series with a modern twist. Therefore any answers for all my questions were never answered and the second season just ended with a big letdown. 75 years must be a big gap to fill and definitely things must have changed. Thus the second season’s plot tussling and fighting over Nako seemed like a filler and rather forgettable as compared to the first season’s plot in which we had the mind boggling people from the future trying to save humanity by going back to the past. The threat of the real enemy Demonkind never felt it was there all along. We were just told some super alien being is destroying mankind in the future and the Steel Angels combined with the powers of mysticism are their only hope. Hence, the first season was like fighting against inner demons and clash of ideals instead of unravelling the mystery that may be the key to save the world. At the rate we see Kurumi and her sisters are going 75 years later, are we so sure mankind will be able to defeat those Demonkind? Besides, if I want to start thinking about those time paradoxes, I would have a severe migraine now so it’s better I stop all those questions of how the future will change by changing the past because if you do, the change in the course of history may not even make you present in the future and thus the inability to send you back in time to change history. Phew. I think I just got a headache there.

Commenting on Saki, I find her to be just a quiet observer. I know she displays more lady-like manners than her other sisters but in both seasons I feel she’s just like an observer as she can’t really butt in or intervene to make a difference. Each time things don’t go her way or as she wishes, she’ll just lament and heave a sigh. So if Saki wasn’t part of the main heroines, I guess the story will still move on and will not tangent off drastically. Karinka is the brat of the pack and causing trouble is her specialty. Especially to Kurumi. Her temperamental and scheming behaviour makes her fun to watch but I guess she lacks luck the reason why Kurumi always comes out top. In both seasons, Karinka’s debut is somewhat similar. She is awakened by an unconventional method, seeks Kurumi to beat her up, doesn’t obey her master’s orders, just when she loses to Kurumi she doesn’t care about her anymore and her new target is to get close with Kurumi’s master. Say, I’m wondering what happened to all the other Steel Angels. Since they have made their appearance in the first season, there were none other than the usual trio in the sequel. Are they saying Kurumi, Saki and Karinka are the only Steel Angels awakened in this era? Or have the others gone to the scrap metal factory? Besides, don’t you think that the other Steel Angels’ costume look like cosplay outfits? You can mistake them for being an otaku convention gathering. I guess the creators got creative in designing their clothes too, huh?

For Kurumi’s masters, they may both be nothing extraordinary and weaker than what many would perceive as main heroes and heroines in animes (they’re kids for heaven’s sake). Though they find it troublesome having Kurumi around at first, gradually they learn to understand and accept her. So going through all the misadventures must have blossomed their relationship. The annoyance becomes part of the routine and I bet if Kurumi isn’t around anymore, they would feel lonely without her smile despite her being an airhead. So what happened to Nakahito and Kurumi at the end of the first season is anyone’s guess. Heck, they may even get married but and even though there are some things that seemed impossible between humans and Steel Angels, I suppose this pair can make it happen. Yeah, love is always the answer. It may be hinted that Nakahito may be Nako’s grandpa but this is just my speculation. So what about Nako and Kurumi? I think it will turn out yuri. The antagonists in the series aren’t really baddies. Walski and Brandow were just doing what they feel they believe is the best path for both sides while Uruka was totally blinded by jealousy. Probably they had focus on the wrong thing because they feel Kurumi is the source of their trouble and must be eliminated. Once they get their perspectives right, they understood that it isn’t just about Kurumi but everyone else that is associated with her. The other minor characters aren’t that prominent though they play a little role in the development of the story. Romance wise, besides the tussle between the main characters, the rest felt like unrequited love. Ayanokouji x Amagi? Didn’t happen. General still has his obsession over Karinka? Maybe he died happy in his dreams. Koganei and Kichijoji’s admiration over Nakahito and Amagi respectively? Maybe it’s best to just keep it to themselves. Will Uruka ever make Nako hers? You already know the answer. As long as a certain ‘demon’ is around, those childhood memories are her only salvation. I hope Uruka learns that no matter how filthy rich she is, money can’t buy me love. You need to earn that.

The action bits are rather okay and it may feel exaggerative because the Steel Angels pack a power punch so a big crater is to be expected if they miss their target. The way they go rocking is like they could level the place in minutes if no winner is decided. Besides, I’ve been pondering this in the second season. Wouldn’t the Demonkind sealed inside the Angel Heart appear if Steel Angels were made to fight each other? Kurumi and Karinka do have their bout but the threat of the demon was never really present in the second season. Unless as said back in the first season, all traces of Demonkind vanished at the end after that revelation kiss. Can-1 as additional accessory to Kurumi’s arsenal felt insignificant and if it wasn’t a dog, it could be something else like say, a machine.  Either way, it isn’t going to play any significant role in changing anything big. It’s just an excuse to make Kurumi fly and have a little more variety to her attacks instead of her usual punches and kicks. As for the fanservice, there are little bits of nudity here. Meaning you can see the tits of the girls when they enter the bath or hotspring. The short opening animation of advising viewers to watch at a safe distance in a well-lit room is a little amusing because the characters are drawn in chibi form. Sometimes they make funny comments especially those episodes featuring an unknown character at first, which will have our main Steel Angel going “Who is that person?”. I find it odd with the next episode preview. I don’t know why or the reason behind this but it is done twice. After the first version of the preview, the second version has a slightly different set of lines and dialogues with some scenes differing from the first.

Atsuko Enomoto is okay in portraying Kurumi as an airhead. She was the voice of Misaki in Angelic Layer and Yukino in Kare Kano. Sometimes I feel hearing too much of Kurumi’s kawaii voice and speech pattern may start to get on to your nerves… Veteran Rie Tanaka as Saki is still fine voicing polite characters like Alice in Cube x Cursed x Curious and Chi in Chobits as opposed to devilish ones like Suigin Tou of Rozen Maiden and crazier ones as in Sanada from UFO Princess Valkyrie. Other casts include Masayo Kurata as Karinka (Koyomi in Girls Bravo, Shinobu in Love Hina), Houko Kuwashima as Nakahito and Nako (Sango in Inu Yasha – I guess you can say though Kurumi have different masters in different times, they’re still by the same seiyuu, eh? ), Hirotaka Suzuoki as Ayanokouji (Tatewaki Kuno in Ranma 1/2), Ai Orikasa as Amagi (Ayame in Sakura Wars), Yasunori Matsumoto as Kamihito (Galian in Marchen Awakens Romance), Tomomichi Nishimura as Walski (Elder in Chrno Crusade), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Brandow (Naraku in Inu Yasha), Kikuko Inoue as Nadeshiko (Belldandy in Aa! Megami-sama), Omi Minami as Excelia (Mika in Doki Doki School Hours), Mie Sonozaki as Uruka (Hazuki in Happy Lesson), Kotono Mitsuishi as Misaki (Excel in Excel Saga), Rikako Aikawa as Can-1 (Hare in Hare+Guu) and Unshou Ishizuka as Tenkai (Bunta in Initial D).

All the themes are sung by the seiyuus of Kurumi, Saki and Karinka. The opening theme, Kiss Kara Hajimaru Miracle is an infectious and cute song despite sounding a little silly. What do you think of the song with lyrics like these: “Pawafuru mirakuru ima kuru; Hajikeru majikaru wandafuru’ Rirkaru Komikaru koi suru torokeru; Mi-ra-ku-ru-mi”. Sweet… Rhyme-y… Probably this song is one of the few best parts and saving grace of the series. The second season version is the same song but given a more modern techno and dance beat. Yeah, now you can dance to the tune too. The first season’s ending theme, Eien No Kotetsu Tenshi sounds dramatic with all that horns blowing in the background. Steel Angel Kurumi Encore’s ending theme, Suki-suki-suki-suKisu Shite sounds like it’s back to that cutie silly but lively pop style again. As with the dark and gloomy theme of Steel Angel Zero’s theme, the ending theme called Hajimari No Kiseki sounds just that. The second season’s ending song is Sunda Aozora No Mukou Ni and is a slow-moderate anime pop piece. There is also a live action version of this series but I didn’t watch it. I briefly read it is something similar but has its own divergence from the anime as well. Well, don’t want to be watching more of Kurumi’s annoyance in 3D.

Having this kind of maid sticking around you may be annoying, bad luck or the work of the devil but consider it a blessing in disguise. It shows that not only the popular people get the girl (or a maid or cybernetic robot in this case). And you can always depend on them to do everything from A to Z without complain. We’re just not sure of the sex part seeing Nakahito didn’t get to try it out with any of the trio because he’s too shy and underage. Whoops… So watch this show if you only like your maids with super powers and sugary-coated moe. Otherwise you won’t get anything much (perhaps just guilty pleasure) or lose anything important. Okay, maybe just your time if you are the kind of person who feels that time is so precious that it is not to be wasted. Even so, what the heck are you watching anime? But really, a kiss just to activate a high-tech and lifelike robot? If it was that easy, you don’t need a rocket scientist to bring life into such automaton. Call it the kiss of life, but can I do the same if my computer isn’t working?

Usagi Drop

July 21, 2012

Every family has their own skeletons in the closet. Other than reunion gatherings during the lunar New Year, I guess the only other time when most of the family members will gather is when one of them passes away. Now, what would you do if you found out that one of your family members had an illegitimate child out of wedlock? Shocking, eh? Are you going to take care of this lonely child or abandon this innocent little soul? The choice is yours to make. If you choose the former, then continue on and go ahead to watch Usagi Drop. Even if you do not fit into this criterion but is a single parent or a young parent just starting a family and having a few new additions to the family, I’m sure this sure will inspire you. I’m not saying this series is a solution to fix those age-old problems, but you’ll be motivated to carry on and do what is best for your child.

Basically, in this series we have the main protagonist, Daikichi Kawachi. He is already at the ripe old age of 30 years old. Still a bachelor. Still single. I suppose in today’s hectic life, people like him (and yours truly) are so busy about their own lives that they don’t have time to sit down and think about marriage and raising a family. But all that changes when he finds out his grandpa had a young child that nobody knew and since his demise, with nobody else looking after that kid, Daikichi takes it upon himself to look after her as his own child. Can a man just change his priority just like that in life? Well, like I said, this show is quite inspiring in that sense. So we see how the relationship between both of them blossom that they look like a genuine family unit. It’s good for the grownup because it opens his eyes to a wonderful world he has never known. It is good for the child because there will be less one lonely abandoned kid bumming in the streets resorting to crime.

Episode 1
Daikichi Kawachi’s grandpa, Souichi had just passed away. As he returns to his mom’s house where the funeral is held, he spots a quiet girl in the garden, Rin Kaga. She runs away. Talking to his mom who that girl is, she lets him know Rin is grandpa’s illegitimate child! Holy sh*t! Souichi is 79 years old when he passed away! How the?! What the?! Daikichi could even joke that this means Rin is mom’s sister and his aunt! Bad timing for jokes dude. Anyway his lover abandoned everything and ran away so looks like this kid has nowhere to go. So as all the other family members gather, Daikichi observes Rin doing her own thing around the house. Nobody else talks to her. Reina (the daughter of Daikichi’s cousin, Haruko) is being noisy and hyperactive, not fully understanding the impact of her surroundings. Well Reina did ‘interact’ with Rin and that’s just to steal her Cat’s Cradle and show it off to the grownups. Then the guys stare at Daikichi. Yeah, he looks like Souichi when he was younger. Daikichi takes over watching the incense that night and notices Rin trying to stay awake and keep watch. He lets her sleep on his lap. Next day, Reina continues to throw a fuss when Haruko tries preventing her from throwing chrysanthemums as she wishes to make a flowerbed over grandpa. Daikichi calls Rin over to say her goodbye to grandpa. But she refuses and jumps out of the house. She plucks a few bellflowers to put it in grandpa’s coffin. Daikichi knows these are grandpa’s favourite flowers. Rin asks if grandpa is going to wake up again and Daikichi replies he isn’t. Then Rin starts crying. Next day as everyone is talking about who to take responsibility of Rin, Reina complains to Daikichi (she pummels him with her stuffed doll?!) that Rin ‘cannot talk’ and is boring. Of course Daikichi disagrees. To shoo her away, he gives her all his candies. So back to the serious talk, Daikichi thought his mom should do the job but she instantly disagrees, giving reasons of how hard it is to raise a child and the sacrifices she made all over her years. In short, everyone has their own reasons why they don’t want to take Rin in. Till one of them suggests to put her in a facility did Daikichi stomp his foot down. Then he calls out to Rin and asks if she wants to come home with him, shocking everyone. Instantly Rin comes rushing into his arms. And so, now Daikichi takes on the responsibility of a 6 years old girl. She wakes this old guy up because he is hungry. But Daikichi didn’t like being called that. Because she is her aunt!!! A growing girl like her needs more food but all Daikichi has is rice. So how? Rin makes onigiri with rice and salt and it was simply delicious. Poor but happy as a family, right?

Episode 2
Daikichi brings Rin to buy clothes and other necessities. Then he realized that tomorrow is Monday and he has to start thinking of nursery school. I guess he bought a lot of stuffs, eh? Back home, he calls Haruko for advice on how to enrol someone in nursery school. Haruko can’t help much because that bratty Reina is bugging her to let her talk to Rin! I really want to say STFU to that girl. Reina gets to talk with Rin as Daikichi looks up the internet. I wonder if Rin is ‘controlling’ Daikichi’s life because she’s like teaching him a two about saying grace for breakfast and not putting his elbows on the tables as bad manners. Daikichi has work too so it is no surprise he rushes as fast as he can to the nursery school. Because Rin had that sad look on her face, he makes a promise that he’ll definitely come back for her. He rushes back to work across town and ponders he never thought of her feelings and that her mom’s position and grandpa’s lifespan aren’t under her control. Yet the sad fact was that she was left all alone. Daikichi catches the train and his panting is so hard that the woman next to him thought he is some kind of pervert! Daikichi is swamped with work and with meetings late in the day and working overtime, Rin is feeling that Daikichi may not turn up at all. All the other kids have left. So much so the nursery had to call and remind him. Once he manages to leave office, he makes another mad dash. Never thought it was THIS far, eh? The nursery lady was kind enough to wait with Rin till Daikichi arrives. Though Rin is happy, she acts up and gives him some paper burdocks she made for him as punishment. Daikichi eats them as a sign he haven’t forgotten about that needle-swallowing-promise, returning Rin to be her happy self. The process of Rin waking him up in the morning, sending her off and rushing back to work and coming back late at night becomes a ritual. He might even be slipping up at work. On another night walking home, Rin is feeling sleepy so Daikichi carries her on his back and sprints home. Isn’t that going to make him tired? But Rin is happy as she gets to see a different view from a higher perspective. Back home, Daikichi goes through all the documents that mom gave him before he took Rin in. One of them includes the maternity record book. He notes how the relatives talk like as though Rin is a horrible villain when the real one is supposed to be Masako Yoshii, Souichi’s lover and Rin’s mother. Next morning Daikichi wakes up and thought he had wet his own bed! Well, Rin may have crawled over to his side before returning to hers. She asserts it is sweat. Though Daikichi believes her, somehow she isn’t convinced…

Episode 2.5
These short 5 minute specials come with the DVD and there are 4 of them. Since I watched this series in chronological order, don’t be surprised to find a special episode sandwiched in between. For this first one, Rin uses coloured leaves with crayons to make her own marine life. Seeing how she is so into it, Daikichi buys her a book on fish but the way she could identify some of them made him think she just wants to eat them. They collect more leaves and Rin didn’t want Daikichi cheating by cutting them. However he makes an excuse that this is what you called adult intelligence. Can’t argue with that, can’t we? Then the leaves start to get all wrinkly and the acorns filled with holes due to bugs. He calls Haruko for advice. I’m not sure what they did for the acorns (the holes are gone!) but for the leaves, they are kept in their crisped form with books pressing over them. In the end, Rin compiles a magnificent album of underwater life called Aquarium of Leaves. Man, that’s creative work.

Episode 3
Rin didn’t like an educational programme about bacteria. This prompts her to ask if she will die too. He cheers her up by lifting her but the low roof means Rin got her head bumped on the ceiling. Oops. At work, Daikichi talks to colleague Gotou about children. She’s the best person for it because when she got pregnant, she asked for a demotion so she could go home at regular times. So the thing he discussed with her is about kids wetting their bed. No problem. Just make them go to the toilet before bedtime. Daikichi’s mom called up to check on them. He plans to bring Rin over this weekend and also to search for clues on Rin’s mother. Rin remains quiet and sticking to Daikichi like a leech at mom’s place. Yeah, she even wanted to follow him to the toilet. Daikichi’s other sister, Kazumi couldn’t believe he really took her in. So when they talk why Rin is being introverted, Daikichi explains it is because they were uptight at the funeral. If adults are gloomy, kids tend to think they’re mad at them. Mommy could feel the truth in his words because she too went through that. Daikichi continues to tease Kazumi. She got so pissed that she threw an orange in his face! Mommy breaks the ice with Rin by playing Cat’s Cradle with her. Actually Rin is much better than her. Plus, mommy may like Rin because the little girl notes she doesn’t look old enough to be her grandma. Yeah, young at heart. Daikichi goes over to Souichi’s place and finds nothing important. Not even a will. But a modem catches his attention. He returns to see Rin sporting a new hairstyle (to match Reina) and wearing clothes from Kazumi’s younger days. Daikichi talks to his father as the latter lets him know that mommy used to work even after he was born. But when she was pregnant with Kazumi, she had to return to the hospital. By the time she was able to return to the company, they already found a replacement. Since Kazumi was tiny, mommy often had to take leave from work or come back early to look after the kids. Perhaps she was always giving Kazumi the priority, which led her to become arrogant like that. Daikichi and Rin leave and Rin whispers in his ear wondering if they can come back again. Of course they can. Mommy seems to have taken a liking for Rin since she wants a grandchild. That’s totally opposite when nobody first wanted to take her in, right? Maybe she’s someone else’s responsibility? But Kazumi isn’t too thrilled. She doesn’t want to raise a kid while working because she’ll lose her womanly charms. Has she even got a boyfriend first or not? On the train ride home, Daikichi asks if Souichi had a computer. She mentions the maid used it. Who is the maid? Masako. Rin didn’t like her much because she was always angry at her and the feeling is mutual with Masako. Thus she wanted to forget about her. Daikichi seeks more advice from Gotou about sacrificing for a kid and changing jobs. That night Daikichi spots Rin getting up going to the toilet herself. Looks like she wet the bed again. “No it’s sweat!”. He talks to her wondering if she had a bad dream. Suddenly one of the hardest questions that a child can pose to you: “What’s it like to die? Are you going to die before me?”. He assures her she will be alright till she becomes a lady or at least an aunty. Till then he promises he will not die. It must be his big hug that convinced her. As for wetting the bed, he says it’s nothing to get mad or laugh about and that it’s fine to use the toilet before going to bed. He’ll accompany her if she’s scared. Next day, Daikichi requests from his colleague Hidaka to transfer him to a department that requires less overtime work. After learning about his situation, he understands and will go talk to the chief. But his junior didn’t like it and wants to continue working as they are. Daikichi mentions about transferring of managers which is pretty normal and the department will eventually settle down when he’s not around and return to normal again. So life with Rin becomes less hectic as he no longer needs to rush her to nursery. Daikichi thought that stuffed doll was Rin’s dog. She points out it’s a rabbit. Oh, I wouldn’t have guessed…

Episode 3.5
The second of the specials, Daikichi wants to know what Rin wants for her Christmas present. And she better decide soon since Santa has to come from a faraway place. She wants another bunny so that this one will have a friend. Coming home from work and school, they decorate the tree and Rin writes a thank you note for Santa with cookies and a carrot to go by. Carrot? That’s for the reindeer. Reindeer eats carrot? Rin can’t sleep so Daikichi gets her to quickly go to dream land by saying Santa won’t come to those who aren’t asleep. “Quickly turn off the lights!”. Dead in the middle of the night, Daikichi tries to take and put Rin’s present by her side while she’s sleeping. Hope the creaky floor doesn’t give him away. Next morning, Rin is one happy girl because her bunny doll has got a new friend by its side.

Episode 4
Rin’s friends ask her about her mom since it is always her ‘dad’ that picks her up. But Rin corrects them her dad is her Souichi. Confused? So who is Daikichi? Can’t be her mom, right? Yeah, she doesn’t know him that well either. Kouki scolds her friends for asking weird questions and takes Rin away to play. Kouki doesn’t care if one needs a dad or not. This means he lives with his divorced mom. Do kids know what divorced means? To put it simply, when you stop getting married. Daikichi arrives to pick up Rin and at the same time Kouki’s mom, Yukari Nitani is there for the same. Hey, she’s quite pretty. Both families walk back together till the different paths part them. Rin wonders if her mom got a divorce and if she’s like Nitani, she would like to meet her. Daikichi enthusiastically agrees. I guess he likes her, eh? Daikichi gets an earful from mom when he deduces that Souichi’s maid is probably Rin’s mom. Nevertheless she finds out for him that Souichi hired her from an agency and is Masako herself. Daikichi’s colleagues invite him to a farewell party. He didn’t want to attend seeing he is now a changed man with new responsibilities. But Gotou pesters him to come because she will bring her child along so he can bring his too. I think it’s an excuse she just wants to drink. So Daikichi and Rin did turn up. But Rin is quite timid in front of the adults but gets along well with Gotou’s son, Yuu. Gotou loves Rin so much that she wants her to be her daughter! I think she’s drunk when she said that. Soon Daikichi and Nitani enrol their kids in a nearby elementary school. Though Daikichi knows nuts about anything, he gets by with Nitani’s help. She notes how Rin fully trusts him despite always talking back and won’t keep quiet at home. No matter how you look at it, they’re like a family. As Rin is sleeping, Daikichi goes through the maternity book again only to find a website. Thinking that is what the modem is about, he goes online to see a blog page by Souichi. I guess he had trouble typing with the keyboard and there are lots of typo errors. Seems he was trying to write something as a secret code away from Masako. Since he got tired of writing the blog, the next clue is in the maternity book. Flipping carefully through the pages, Daikichi sees a hidden letter underneath a page. Reading it, the note says whoever reads it must be one who cares for Rin very much. This letter gives an account on Masako, Rin’s mom. Firstly, Souichi would like to state that Masako is the kind that is easily misunderstood and not a bad person. She loves Rin very much to the extend she is willing to continue to be his maid and hide her existence from his other relatives. However she may not have the maturity to act as a parent and left. At the end of the note is Masako’s number. Daikichi is pondering whether to call her or not when Rin bugs him to help her tie her hair into rabbit ears because she wants to be cute since her friend said she wasn’t. I guess girls at her age are starting to think like a lady. So Daikichi didn’t do a good job. It’s messy an uneven but heck, Rin still likes it. Then off she goes to practice some performance for Parents’ Day, Daikichi notes that Rin has matured a lot mentally but there’s still a side that hasn’t matured yet and needs an adult to keep an eye on. He thinks if Masako abandoned Rin thinking she’d get over it soon enough since she didn’t like her to begin with, he’ll truly hate her. Daikichi buys a study desk for Rin and though it may look plain, at least she can use it till high school. Well, Daikichi convinced her to get a table that is more lady-like rather than kiddie. But when Rin shops for a perfume, Daikichi puts his foot down and it’s a big no! I guess some lady-like things will have to wait for much later. Late that night, Daikichi calls Masako and to his surprise, she picks up.

Episode 5
Daikichi finds Rin crying in her sleep. He thought of letting her sleep with him but she just took her bunny doll and went back to sleep. Huh? While on the way to his mom’s place, Daikichi remembers making an appointment to meet with Masako. Leaving Rin in mom’s care, he waits for Masako at the family restaurant. He wonders why a person who went to great lengths to hide her existence lived so nearby. Then he calls her. He is surprised to see her sitting behind him. She is surprised to see Souichi. Well, didn’t his relatives note how he looked so much like grandpa? After showing Rin’s photo, Masako puts away her work materials (seems to me she is a mangaka). Masako explains that work was a reason why she left Rin. Even when she was pregnant with Rin, she was determined not to think of her as her daughter. The kind of work she does isn’t something she can do while raising a kid. Souichi convinced her to keep the baby and when Rin came into this world, she saw how cute she was and loved her a lot. But she couldn’t handle juggling between work and as a mother though at times Souichi cared for her. Daikichi learns she often takes walks at night so he tells her Rin still cries at night because it’s scary for her to find no one is by her side in a situation like that. That’s why Souichi wanted her to be part of the family. Masako has no objections of Rin living with him despite the fact she was once in her tummy. She doesn’t even know how she should feel for Rin. On the way out, Masako wants Daikichi to use his surname for Rin so it won’t be so hard on her. I guess you’ll be treated differently when your surname is not the same as your guardian. As a guy, Daikichi doesn’t understand the importance seeing changing one’s name won’t be that easy and that Rin is only 6 years old. Masako says that as a woman, she doesn’t feel attached to her surname because it’ll change when she gets married. She lets him know the name Rin is from Souichi. But Daikichi wants to talk to Rin and get her opinion first. It’ll be cruel if he decides without seeking her view. Daikichi returns to his mom and she instantly labels Masako as the villain. Then on to the talk of changing Rin’s surname, mom instantly agrees. Her reasons are exactly the same as Masako. It’s like hearing a tape recorder… Daikichi then decides to adopt Rin and he means it. It’s not like he’s passing the baton to someone else. If it’s for Rin, he’ll do anything. Later Daikichi buys a children’s kitchen knife Rin wanted. They make curry (Daikichi is good because he’s been living alone for so long), take a bath together (nothing fishy going on) and brush teeth. Daikichi has a hard time trying to put it in words about him becoming her father and changing her surname to his. She doesn’t agree and prefers her name. Besides, grandpa is her dad and Daikichi is Daikichi. She likes him the way he is. Daikichi is overcome with tears but brushes it off as sweat. It’s not even summer… Daikichi attends Rin’s graduation ceremony at the nursery. Then he calls Masako to update her of what has happened. She continues eating her pudding while some guy who could be her boyfriend just watches her eat all that fatty stuff. She wouldn’t mind because she thinks she’s a bad person. Rin thought she has graduated and hugs are for babies but Daikichi says sometimes adults want to be hug too although he doesn’t know why. Since it’s okay, Rin hugs him and he assures her he’ll hold her in her arms no matter how old she is. Then she realizes and apologizes she should’ve hugged him when he cried then. She promises she’ll hug him the next time he cries. Daikichi wonders if he is raising Rin or the other way round.

Episode 6
Daikichi takes some photos with Rin during her entrance ceremony. While shopping, Rin thinks a cereal is a snack instead of something you eat for breakfast. On the way home, they see the splendours of the blooming sakura trees. Daikichi thinks of planting a tree to commemorate Rin’s entry into elementary school. He continues he has a tree himself too. When he was born, his parents planted a fragrant olive tree and for Kazumi a sweet olive tree. But it was a bad memory for Daikichi because Kazumi was always ripping his tree as she was jealous his tree was more fragrant than hers. Seeing they have a few loquat seeds, they plant one in the house as Daikichi mentions about being a ninja who trains by jumping over a hemp plant every day till it grows taller. Now we know why ninjas can jump so high and far. Rin starts jumping over it several times… While preparing for school tomorrow, Daikichi gives Rin a whistle to blow in case she is approached by suspicious people and to take cover in any house or shops. Next morning, Daikichi gets a distressed call from Nitani. Seems Kouki got too excited and went off on his own. Oh by the way, the kid is here now. And he’s all messed up. After cleaning him up, Daikichi prepares himself from work when he hears Rin’s whistle. He panics and rushes outside to see if anything has happened but finds Kouki fooling around with her whistle and jumping over the planted loquat spot several times. Then off the kids go to school. Naughty Kouki convinces Rin to follow him through a shortcut. Seems like a long way round through people’s backyards. Kouki accidentally breaks a pot and they both make a run for it. So back home as Rin tells Daikichi about Kouki’s mischief, she feels her loquat tree is somewhat a different commemoration than Daikichi’s birth fragrant olive tree. She gets a little depressed wondering if grandpa did plant one for her. Daikichi feels sorry for her. Just when Masako thought she would never have to see Daikichi again, here they are talking again at the family restaurant. After passing a photo of Rin’s entrance ceremony, he asks her if she had planted a tree for Rin. She remembers there is one but was planted by Souichi. Daikichi wants to replant it in his place and asks for the location and type of tree. She’s not pretty sure and even if she’s a mangaka, she can’t draw maps well. Heck, she doesn’t even know where north points to! Daikichi finds the tree at Souichi’s place while Rin in his mom’s care, she shows her the olive trees she planted for her children. It is very big now. Mom has a tree that grandpa planted for her too. It’s a sweet olive and it is very, very big and tall now. Daikichi returns with the tree and it turns out to be a fragrant olive tree. Rin takes care of the tree and even measures her height with it. Daikichi notes that he doesn’t even know Rin till half a year ago. But even long before the day they first met, she was in the same flow of life as him. One morning, Daikichi hears the frantic whistle blow again. Kouki with Rin tagging along is in a frantic because a weird old man is outside the house. Just when Daikichi is going to give that weirdo a piece of his mind, Rin manages to get their attention and explain. The weirdo actually turns out to be Matsui the neighbour. Oh… Daikichi and Kouki (by force) apologize but Matsui also apologizes for being at fault because his call may have startled them. After that, Daikichi thanks Kouki because while he ran away, he dragged Rin along. He can count on him a little. A little? Because he’s still a brat.

Episode 6.5
While walking back together, Rin and Kouki are fascinated by the sakura petals at a park. So it is decided that tomorrow afternoon that they will come here to watch the flowers as its season is almost over. But that night Daikichi cautions that tomorrow may rain since spring storm is coming. Plus, it is now raining too. Rin suggests making Teruterubouzu. Next morning, the rain clears up and it’s a bright and sunny day. So did it work? Well, for the girl it did. But when they meet at the park, the sakura petals are almost gone and its leaves scattered all over the park. However they see an amazing and beautiful phenomenon. A big puddle of water that reflects the sky while the sakura petals sprinkle all over it like as though the sky is in full bloom.

Episode 7
Haruko and Reina suddenly pay Daikichi a visit. Hmm… Something must be wrong. Just as Daikichi suspected, Haruko is having problems with her husband and the in-laws so she and Reina ran away from home. Since she had no siblings, she didn’t know where to turn to. Look how convenient Daikichi has become, eh? While they are out shopping, Daikichi thinks it must be a worst case scenario when Nitani happens to be at the same supermarket. He tries to clear the air that Haruko is just his cousin but he worried for nothing because the ladies are getting along fine. Even Rin and Reina have already make friends with Kouki. Haruko teases Daikichi that he may have a thing for Nitani but he brushes it off. His body reaction doesn’t look very convincing. After the girls are put to bed, Daikichi lets Haruko know that he called her in-laws while she was in the bath. She didn’t like what he has done but it is obvious that there would be people are worried for them. Even if Haruko had left them a letter and may be fine for her, it may not be for Reina. I guess they’re arguing loud enough for Rin to eavesdrop on them but Reina ushers her to sleep next to her. She says her parents are always fighting and whenever that happens she always pretend to be asleep. Haruko is on the verge of a breakdown when she decides to go to sleep. They see the girls holding hands while fast asleep. Next morning, Haruko is surprised to see Rin up early doing the cooking. She thought Daikichi is making her cook for him so he scoffs off that they always cook together. Rin stops them before it turns into an argument (albeit the harmless kind). Then with Kouki coming in, he thought Daikichi got married! Then he gets disappointed to learn Haruko is just his cousin. The kids talk about being single, which is like divorced. Ah, kids don’t need to understand such complicated stuff. Yeah, cheeky Reina even asks if Daikichi wants to get married and if Haruko wants to stay single. Can’t really answer, do they? While Daikichi is washing the plates, Haruko thinks he’s been busy lately because of Nitani. Not that he would admit it all but he worded it in a way that he is helping her out since Rin and Kouki do get along fine. He might not know the details of what they went through and it’d be rude if he was being too forward. This has Haruko noting that it must be hard for a woman to live alone. Haruko sends Reina to school and wants her to keep their run away a secret. However as soon as she meets up with her friends, she blurts out everything! Oh dear. Haruko hangs around town alone while pondering over things. That night, Daikichi is relieved to hear Haruko isn’t going to make a big deal out of this and ask for a divorce. Actually, she thought about it every day! She explains how she only felt as a family with Reina and everyone else the enemy. She got married right after getting a job because it was her girl’s dream to be a good wife. Staying the way she is now is the safest for family though having a normal family is tough. She rarely talks to her husband because he works overtime and comes back late. She has bottled her feelings all these years and it is what made her get through most of the stuff. It may be unhealthy but if she doesn’t, she’ll snap. Daikichi notes she has become stronger but that is only when once you start raising kids. When you keep at it, you naturally get used to it. Haruko says she never wanted to grow or nor become strong in the first place. She wanted to stay a girl forever. This prompts Daikichi to think the meaning of being married and a parent. That night, Reina could guess it was her daddy’s car coming to pick them up though Haruko dismisses because he wouldn’t be off work this early. To her surprise, it really is daddy. Reina rushes into daddy’s arms as he soon apologizes to Daikichi for the trouble caused. Haruko thanks Daikichi for everything and the latter is okay if they come again next time since the little ones get along well.

Episode 8
Rin’s summer vacation starts but she’s up early and doing lots of chores around the house like normal. Meanwhile Masako is having a hard time keeping up with the deadline of her manga. She’s dozing off and has bag under her eyes. Her colleague takes her out to the family restaurant for a break to freshen her up but she’s pretty worried about the deadline. Yeah, it’s tonight. He tries to advice her not to overdo it and that she is earning enough. Though this may be the case, she is concerned it will be a different story next year since there are up and coming mangakas. He tries wiping her face but she blows her top and leaves when he refers to her as a girl. She insists she is a mangaka. Daikichi plans to visit Souichi’s grave next Saturday. Rin wasn’t too keen at first because she wanted to bring the bellflowers (which haven’t blossomed yet) to his grave. But Daikichi says the important thing is that she is there. While accompanying Rin and Kouki to the day-care centre, Rin spots the Obon Festival poster which is around 10 days away. Cheeky Kouki goes off to catch cicada skin. Yikes! He has a box full of that creepy collection! He sticks one behind Daikichi’s back! Daikichi and Rin are on their way to Souichi’s grave when he accidentally brings up the subject of his grandma in which Rin thinks she could be her sister. Thankfully the conversation didn’t steer into a bad direction. At the grave, seems someone has recently washed it and there are pen tips and an ink bottle next to it. It could only be one person. Daikichi wants Rin to pull the weeds while he rushes off to find Masako. A short distance away, Daikichi sees Masako walking away with her colleague. He calls to her to let her know that Rin is with him at the grave. He tells her Rin is important to him and couldn’t care about her circumstances and have no intention of letting her meet Rin unless Rin wants to. So what is he trying to say? She can come watch them clean the grave in secret. When Daikichi returns, he thought he saw the same lonely expression when he met Rin at Souichi’s funeral. Luckily it’s just in his mind as Rin is like a happy little bird. Masako watches in secret and is amazed to see Rin all grown up. On the way back, Masako feels she wants to work even harder and thinks of taking up that new job. She wants to work so hard so she won’t remember what she ate yesterday (?!) and forget these memories. Rin thought of visiting grandpa’s house but Daikichi notes it belongs to his uncle now. But it’ll be alright if they just go into the garden. Upon entering the garden, Rin is devastated to see the plot of bellflowers gone. Daikichi quickly cooks up a story saying that his uncle at least knew it was grandpa’s favourite flowers and since winter is coming, they’re not guaranteed to blossom when spring comes. Daikichi is relieved he took that olive tree back intact as Rin herself is thankful that they took some of grandpa’s bellflowers back home then. While Masako continues her manga work at full speed, Daikichi and Rin celebrate together the latter’s seventh birthday. On the day they’re supposed to go to the festival, Kouki arrives first. Where’s mom? She’s busy putting on her yukata. I’m sure Daikichi would love to see her in that. Yeah, he’s looking forward meeting at the stalls. Who is acting like an excited kid now?

Episode 8.5
It’s time to leave the festival but Kouki is still feeling energetic and not sleepy. Before he could rush off somewhere, Daikichi grabs him and then lets the kid swing on his arm like a monkey bar. I wonder how long he could hold up. Nitani gives Rin a hairpin accessory. Taking a detour to the river, the darkness is soon lit up by little fireflies. I guess Kouki is now feeling sleepy so he and his mom part ways. Rin hugs Daikichi and he notes how she has grown taller.

Episode 9
A typhoon is forecasted tonight. Kouki starts laughing when he misheard the news reporting the train will poop (unko) but Daikichi sets him right that it is the train will be operating (unkou). Then too much pooping talk means Kouki needs to head for the toilet too. Daikichi wonders Kouki’s call as running out of toilet paper. But he wanted a ruler instead. A ruler? What for? It’s a long poop. Yucks! As Daikichi takes a break at work, he talks to his married male colleagues about insurance and education for their kids. Though they are always seen complaining, he felt there is a sense of security deep down. In class, Kouki can’t seem to be a good boy and draw quietly unlike Rin. He fools around especially throwing his hat in the air like a boomerang. Even when the teacher tells him off, he soon returns to his playful ways. Then when Rin couldn’t take it anymore and tells him to instantly stop, he agrees! Everyone is shocked! Daikichi goes to pick up Rin and it seems Kouki will be the last kid left if they leave. Seeing his gloomy expression, they in-sync invite him to walk home with them. Not letting this chance pass up, eh? While walking through the rain, the kids play in the puddle like the kids they are. Back home after taking a bath, Nitani comes by to thank and apologize for taking care of her son. Since only Rin’s clothes fit him, it’s odd to see Kouki wearing them. Yeah, he wants Daikichi to lend his clothes. Wouldn’t that be too baggy? Then as the ladies cook, Nitani is surprised her son wants to help out. He never did so before. Okay, maybe he’s just playing around cutting the onions and making odd shapes with the burger patties. Hope it tastes good. Daikichi asks him if he loves his mom. Despite being a naggy old lady (gosh, the kid is calling her mom this?), he loves her. Kouki is dozing off doing his homework so it means it’s time to go home. Rin didn’t want them to leave and suggests if they could stay just like Haruko and Reina. Of course Daikichi says they can’t. Those two are a different case. Daikichi calls the taxi and a little spark of romance may have set off because Nitani notes Daikichi’s kindness in holding an umbrella and escorting them to the taxi. Next morning it is all bright and sunny and Kouki once more is early at Daikichi’s house. Because he was hesitating to come in, Daikichi and Rin just realized and quickly stop him before he does. Yeah, look at his dirty shoes!

Episode 10
Rin loses a milk tooth of hers. Daikichi attends Rin’s school’s cultural festival. He is surprised that the father of one of Rin’s friends is a handsome guy despite the same age. Even some of the mothers are swooning over him. Well, he was once a model. Then meeting up with another acquaintance of it, before you know it, Daikichi has made friends with a few fathers. He then sees Nitani at Kouki’s classroom. Hearing the talk from other mothers about the flu season depresses her. She is worried for Kouki because you know, boys don’t really like to put on much clothes even when told to. When Rin and Kouki comes running down the hallway without their jackets, Daikichi gives them a stern reminder but they continue as they are. Well, Daikichi knew this was coming because he was like that too when he was young. Nitani laughs and feels relieved since he was like that too. On the way home, Nitani notices Rin’s face redder than usual. Daikichi is surprised he didn’t even notice it. Touching her head, it seems she has a fever and it will get worse. Seeing a doctor, he assures Rin doesn’t have the influenza but gives advice to wear a mask as precaution. Rin’s condition takes a turn for the worse that night. Daikichi calls mom for help and she is even more dramatic. Call for the ambulance! Daikichi gets worried and couldn’t sleep when Rin doesn’t even want to drink a special juice with medicine he made. Next morning, Nitani and Kouki come by to check on Rin. Daikichi is starting to panic because he has never seen Rin in such a state so Nitani says he can’t lose his cool. An adult has to stay calm and tell the child they’ll be alright. Rin will be fine as long as he is here. Nitani does all she can to nurse Rin and makes her feel better before she leaves for work while Daikichi takes a couple of days leave from work. Though Daikichi seems calm on the outside as he puts Rin back to sleep, his heart is stirring. Nitani and Kouki also come by that night to make porridge for Rin. Kouki even helps out when he heard Rin asking for water. Daikichi thanks him and notes how Rin feels more relaxed when he’s here. However he still needs to keep his distance so as not to catch anything from her. He’s fine with it though. Of course not! Next morning, Rin is back to her healthy self and Daikichi’s nightmare is over. As Daikichi picks up Rin from the day-care centre, Kouki wants to come home with them. I guess that time was just a one-time offer. Isn’t he supposed to go home with mom? Well, Kouki points out mom is in bed with a cold. Oh dear…

Episode 11
While shopping for stuffs, Rin feels guilty for passing the flu to Nitani. Daikichi assures her that the flu is everywhere. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t. Oh, Kouki’s tooth is starting to come out too and he’s pulling it out! Daikichi and Rin walk Kouki back to his apartment and don’t want to disturb his mom resting. But that kid was so noisy ringing the bell that mom had to come out. So Daikichi and Nitani meet face to face. I can guess their sentence is made out of these: Thank you, sorry, don’t worry. While brushing teeth, another tooth of Rin is coming loose. Daikichi and Nitani (already well) meet up with his other father friends at the park as their kids practice rope skipping for a competition. I guess it’s the season of losing your milk teeth because their kids’ tooth is also coming out. Daikichi realizes he doesn’t have a cute tooth container for Rin like the rest. He never thought there would be such things existed. Rin gets one from Nitani. Daikichi weighs himself and finds he has gained weight so the next time he joins the kids practising rope skipping (the other fathers had the same idea too). He might seem cool and like a boxer but he ran out of steam. Daikichi mentions he isn’t Rin’s real father and unlike them who has spent their entire time with their kids, he spent all his time for himself before Rin came in, in which his lifestyle suddenly changed. He is wondering if he can live without any time for himself in the future. The rest don’t think of it that way at all. Rin may have flopped in the rope skipping competition, but she got first place for skipping ropes backwards! 203 times! Daikichi and Rin visit his mom on a weekend and she really wants to do something to Rin’s loose tooth. While eating dinner, that loose tooth came off. And she’s bleeding! Later Daikichi talks to Kazumi as he found out she’s getting married soon. The problem is her soon-to-be husband wants a kid fast but she is not too keen. She still wants to maintain this single life of hers and doesn’t want to turn into a whiny old lady. Well, she sounds like one to me already. Besides, how did she manage to get married if starting a family wasn’t on her mind? Whirlwind romance? But for Daikichi, he is sure it will all work out since this is what she decided. He may sound like it doesn’t concern him but he had never been in a position of a mother, father or husband. True. He remembers what Nitani and the other guys told him then. Even if they don’t have time for themselves, the time spent with their child is also their time and it is very precious. Being a parent isn’t anything special and if you look around, there are parents everywhere. After the family prays at Souichi’s grave, Daikichi remembers the important moments from the time he first met Rin. He probably would continue to be alarmed over the smallest things from her (because she’s getting another tooth loose), in any case, that smile will turn into his own happiness. Oh, Rin has lost 2 of her front teeth. Looking very cute and funny… So what do you want to wish for Christmas?

Lovely Drops
Ah well. This is such a heart-warming and sweet series. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. In any case I felt the focus of this entire series is on Daikichi and Rin (duh!). That’s because it didn’t really tie up what happened to Masako after that grave visit. So does this mean she really wants to forget about Rin? Rest assured Rin is in safe hands. I thought there was going to be some budding romance between Daikichi and Nitani late in the series but I guess it never happened. Perhaps the joy of taking care of their kids is more important than thinking of getting married. Look at it this way. It is only after that you are married and settle down that you get to know each other’s faults and less desirable qualities. Which of course may lead to divorce (and it will be the second time for Nitani’s case). So by staying the way as they are, they get to continue to communicate and help out each other as always and more importantly the kids don’t get dragged into the messy tussle of legal proceedings and such. Well, one day when they kids grow up, they’ll really know the meaning of divorce. But for now, let’s have them think it’ another form of being single, eh? So while the ending may not be much and it feels more like life-goes-on, I suppose this is the best way for this short series to end. It could have lasted longer but that will be repetitive and boring. All you see here is mainly Daikichi and Rin bonding with each other and doing things together. I know real life is like a routine but if this is going to be applied to the anime, then that’s a different story. From what I further read on the brief plot on Wikipedia, though the first half is what we see the focus on Daikichi adopting and bringing Rin up, the remainder of the manga focuses on Rin 10 years later as a high school student, the truth about her family ties (I guess when you’re a kid, you don’t really care about the details of who is who), her feelings for Kouki and her decision for a career. Seems interesting for a sequel. If that ever happens, I’m sure I’ll be sticking around to find out.

It is obvious that within the few months since Daikichi and Rin met, their lives have been drastically changed. For the better I would say. Daikichi learns how to take responsibility while Rin opens herself up more. They may not be directly related but it goes to show that they love each other like a real family. At first everybody was treating Rin like an outcast. Slowly, all that seemed forgotten and Rin is as though like part of their family from the start. That should be the way. It might seem odd that Daikichi is not married and yet he has a child to take care of but you don’t have to be a conventional family unit in undertaking responsibilities as a parent. Because Daikichi has lived alone for so long, he is quite self sufficient. With Rin in the picture it doesn’t add to his burden. Though it might be hard to get used to this life but look at how they are getting through. Daikichi is not alone in raising Rin because he has his family as well as other parents to help each other out (and I don’t mean using Google or play online simulations in raising a kid. It’s the real deal in asking for help in person). As far as I can see, he is doing quite a good job in involving himself in Rin’s life and trying his best not to make any traumatic memories. I won’t really say Rin comes from a broken family but the circumstances in which she arrives in this world would definitely make her the source of bully and ostracize. Kids can be honest and cute, but they can also be cruel. Thankfully Rin did not face this problem. Yet. Kouki is a cheeky boy and like boys his age, it is natural for him to be mischievous. I guess it reminds Daikichi of himself when he was younger, eh? Though naughty, at least he still thinks of Rin and protects her whenever the need arises. You can say Rin and Kouki are close enough to warrant that cliche childhood-friends-turned-lovers story once they hit puberty (as I have mentioned earlier on). Of course we don’t see any sort of that romance blooming between them at this young age. Ah, the age of innocence. At first Reina seems like a handful to handle with her tantrums and fits but after getting to know her a little, she isn’t as bad as I thought. Maybe all she wants is just some attention. Now good friends with Rin, she seems less naughty than before. Another point to ponder: If Rin is Daikichi’s aunt, that means to Reina, Rin is her grandaunt! How often can you have your grandmother the same age as you!

As with Daikichi taking care of Rin and the issue of family ties and dependability being addressed, I’m sure the other dark issue is Masako’s case of abandonment. Just like in the real world, there are mothers who wouldn’t bat an eyelid to abandon their child. It is worse if they do so right after birth. It is hard not to see Masako as the villain but I guess you can say what she did was also a blessing in disguise. For had not she left Souichi and Rin, Daikichi and Rin wouldn’t have met and these events leading up to where they are now will never happen. Of course it is still a bad idea to dump your kid at a crucial time when your child needs a parent’s love the most. Masako must have loved Souichi so much to even listen to him and keep the child rather than go for abortion. However maybe she still has to think about herself and that’s why she left. Souichi is at an age where he just may kick the bucket any time. And true enough it did happen. Masako is still young and perhaps that’s why she needs to find a way to support herself. Perhaps the reason why she became Souichi’s maid in the first place to earn extra income to supplement her mangaka job? It’s not my place to say it is good or bad what Masako did in general and even after seeing Rin in secret, she still doesn’t harbour that motherly love. But I hope there won’t come a time whereby in the future Masako would come knocking on Daikichi’s door wanting her daughter back. That I feel would be unfair to Daikichi who has put in all the effort, hardship and trouble to raise Rin, who has also bonded and trusted Daikichi like her own father (despite saying Daikichi is Daikichi, I feel deep down she looks to him as her father just like how she did with Souichi). Of course no family is perfect too as we see in Haruko’s case. Despite having a seemingly perfect family, she feels isolated and her husband is a workaholic. It is easy to always resort for divorce (like cases nowadays) but sometimes to make marriages work, lots of sacrifices to be made. I know I’m not the one to say either since I haven’t experienced it but being married is like give and take. You don’t just understand the other instantly. It takes a long time and possibly an entire lifetime to know the good, bad and ugly bits.

The drawing and art seem simple enough to be close to a water colour-like painting. However this is quite obvious during the parts before the opening credits. It is like as though the colouring wasn’t filled enough so as to see the water colour-like effects. Otherwise the drawing of the characters and background sceneries are quite simple and light. In a way, some scenes make Rin look quite cute. Especially when she makes her kiddie smile. Now that she has lost her two front teeth, she looks even cuter. Or like a Cheshire cat? There is a live adaptation film of this series but I didn’t watch it. I guess it’s more or less the same thing. The opening theme is Sweet Drops by Puffy AmiYumi. Yes, that girl group duo who had an American cartoon of their own. Since I don’t watch their show, it’s not like I recognized them. I think they even made a cameo appearance as the nursery school teachers. Seeing a little resemblance… However this song when I first heard it, it felt awfully familiar, like as though I heard it from somewhere before. Then I realized that is not the case. In fact it sounded very similar to Bobby Fuller’s I Fought The Law And Won. Well, it’s a happy, happy, happy song that makes you, er, happy. I swear I thought the ending theme was also familiar in this sense. High High High by Kasarinchu sounded like some pop country music but I just can’t put my finger on it. Anybody can help me on this? But hearing this song, you really feel like going high, high and higher. In both the opening and ending credits animation, there are lots of crayon and kiddie-like drawings scattering all over the screen. Cute?

At first I thought there was something unique about Rin’s voice. She sounded like a real kid instead of those grownup female seiyuus trying to do a squeaky high pitched girl’s voice. True enough, Ayu Matsuura was only 10 years old when she took on this role. I would say this is her debut in TV anime but her second since her first voice acting role was a movie for children. Another real young girl lending her voice is Nanako Sudou as Reina. She was 9 years old when she debuted in this role as her other role as far as I could find was that side character Risa in Shinryaku!? Ika Musume S2. I couldn’t find much info on Noa Sakai who is the voice of Kouki. Not sure whether the person is a kid but from my experience, she would be an adult who fits voicing boys’ role. However this is only her first and only anime role. At points I thought Mamiko Noto was the voice behind Masako because of the character’s soft and monotonous voice. Even so, there were parts whereby she didn’t sound like my favourite seiyuu so I wasn’t sure. Upon checking, Masako is voiced by Maaya Sakamoto who did Ciel in Kuroshitsuji, Haruhi in Ouran High School Host Club and Morute in World Destruction. Other casts include Hiroshi Tsuchida as Daikichi (Masamune in Soul Eater), Sayaka Ohara as Nitani (Alicia in Aria The Animation series, Erza in Fairy Tail), Kana Ueda as Haruko (Rin in Fate/Stay Night), Yumi Uchiyama as Kazumi (Nagi in A Channel), Yui Kano as Gotou (Kazuho in Nabari No Ou, Cecile in Gosick) and Atsuko Mine as Daikichi’s mom (Maiko in Okusama Wa Mahou Shoujo).

Being a parent or a single parent isn’t child’s play. May look easy and fun at first but when you’re in this kind of job, you cannot quit halfway, have no breaks, no compensation and it is full 24/7 attention and care. Of course the rewards you reap from all that will be worth a zillion dollars plus all the material wealth you would accumulate even if you have lived a hundred lives. I know I myself have yet to get hitched or think about starting a family. Can I blame anime for being my ‘baby’? I’m sure my uncles and aunties will start asking and the usual eternal question, “When are you going to get married ah?”. I’m around the same age as Daikichi when I watched this series but I just can’t find the courage to take the plunge. Yet. You know, that fear of failing, screwing up, falling short and not living up to expectations. But that’s life. The scary part is that after hearing so many cases of child abandonment, neglect and abuse all over the newspaper and internet, it feels so disheartening and de-motivating. But sooner or later I too would have to go through this phase or risk being a single otaku for life. Maybe I need to watch more of this sort of animes before I really get moving in my life. Really, I kid you not.

Nekogami Yaoyorozu OVA

July 20, 2012

Remember that lazy cat that does nothing but laze around the house? No, not Garfield but Mayu the Cat God. Unlike the former who is a glutton, Mayu bums around the house all day doing nothing but playing old video games. Hey, what’s a bored cat got to do since he got banished from Takamagahara for illegal gambling. Of course this Nekogami Yaoyorozu OVA feels like one of those fillers. Heck, the TV series also felt that way since it’s about Mayu and her other friends (mostly deity pals) in their little daily adventures. So if you’re hoping for some news to further the plot of searching for Kukuri’s successor as the guardian cat on the moon shrine, please don’t. Just enjoy seeing Mayu and co enjoy life on Earth. And since this OVA was released in spring, what better way for it to be a hanami (sakura viewing) episode.

Ohanami Ghost Busters
Shamo reads Yukina’s manga based on real life incidents. This time it is about a rumoured ghost of the abandoned hospital that had a single sakura tree in its garden. Off topic, Shamo seemed like she was the one responsible for the hospital closure… Well, she is the God of Poverty. Meanwhile at Yuzu’s place, Mayu is playing a video game with Hasumi. Why a cold game on a cold day I wonder. Anyway they lost. The rest of their friends think of doing hanami so Gonta being the manly (fox) man who wants to impress Yuzu, he volunteers to go look for a nice hanami spot (he heard that magic word of ‘porori’ that he might see Yuzu ‘reveal’ something). However the place is crowded and he got swept away by the crowd who wants him to join drinking with them. Meanwhile while waiting for Gonta to return, Hasumi mentions she spot a lone sakura tree at an abandoned hospital. It’ll be a perfect quiet spot for hanami. Yuzu can’t leave the store unattended in the middle of the day so Yoshino suggests watching the shop while they go because in the course of her job, she has seen lots of sakura flowers bloomed. Down but not out Gonta gets lively again when he hears the magic word, actually it’s Shamo buying takoyaki from Boss and Lackey’s stall. Oh, they’re still around but if Shamo’s around, shouldn’t the place be out of business? He joins them and learns about the abandoned hospital setting in Yukina’s manga. It is said that there were many victims being stripped naked and tied up. Oh… Speaking of that tree, Mayu and the gang are already there. Mayu could sense a ghost girl watching them but since she isn’t threatening, she just lets her be. They settle down and Sasana and Meiko are in a competition by bringing in tons of takeaway foods. Can they finish all that? As they take a group photo, the ghost girl secretly joins in.

Gonta returns to the shop to warn Yuzu but only finds Yoshino. When he learns where the rest have been, he tries to rush over there but bangs his head on the door’s ledge (despite successfully avoid crashing into the vases). When he wakes up, there’s no time to lose but he may have been too late because the sakura tree is attacking Mayu and co. The tree grabs Yuzu and Gonta and since he can’t break free, Mayu transfers their Friendship Power so Gonta can power up and break free. Then the tree explodes (WTF?!) and Yuzu safe in his hands. The ending gets sweeter for Gonta because Yuzu wants to marry him and they kiss! CAN THIS BE OH SO TRUE?! Of course not. In your dreams! That was when Yurara hammers Gonta up with her hammer because she is pissed off that his stupid dream is so ideally perfect and lacks realism. Yuzu would go anywhere with you? Sparkly teeth? Power of friendship? Get real. Gonta is still back at Yuzu’s shop so when he’s up for real, he rushes over. Mayu and the gang are still having their nice picnic when Gonta warns them about the ghost and wants them to leave as soon as possible. But Mayu says they don’t plan on meddling with her so it’s okay to leave the ghost girl alone. Perhaps Gonta went out of line by saying it’s because of the lingering ghost, she’s causing everyone problems and the construction can’t continue. The ghost girl can’t let that slip by. She thought she would let them hang around thinking they are harmless hanami people but now she thinks they are comrades of the construction guys.

She makes herself visible and warns them that she’ll protect this tree. However she chooses to solve her problems easily and not via violence. That is, they’re going to play the traditional game of strip rock-scissors-paper. Oh, so that’s how the victims ended up naked. They must’ve got distracted by her cuteness. Yuzu steps up for the challenge because she knows she isn’t evil and that she can’t leave her alone. Because of this, Gonta volunteers to go first. In short, he lost every match. Down to his underwear, he realizes he has been thinking too much on Yuzu and not on the game. Focusing his mind to turn the tables can he make a comeback? Nay. He lost. Totally naked! Ghost girl ties him up with the tree branch and just when Gonta thought it would be his ‘victory’ that Yuzu sees his naked body, looks like everyone wasn’t paying attention to that loser. Bummer. Next is Yuzu and she’s not going to lose. Erm… Okay, she lost. Wow! Yuzu in her undies! Wohoo!!! Gonta must be the happiest man to see this. Only if Mayu and the gang weren’t blocking his view. BUMMER!!! CAN’T SEE A DAMN THING!!! Mayu and friends think there is something fishy going on seeing ghost girl is on a winning streak. They feel she’s pulling some trick. There is indeed a trick. Each time she touches the tree, she gets to read the mind of her victim and thus she knows what hand they’re going to put. Mayu notices this and remembers hearing stories about plants and trees having abilities to read minds of living creatures. In the final move, Mayu shouts out to Yuzu what’s for dinner. In that distraction, Yuzu’s mind is disrupted as ghost girl can’t read her next move and loses her hand. But it’s us viewers the ultimate winner because Yuzu’s sarashi accidentally comes undone… Okay, so we don’t get to see her tits. At least we’re not as bad as Gonta who still can’t see anything. Total bummer.

Yuzu talks to ghost girl and the latter would hear out her wish since that was the deal. Even if Yuzu only won once, it was because ghost girl was cheating in the first place. Yuzu thanks her instead since she loves this sakura tree ever since she was a child. She never thought she would see it again. She further remembers this tree was the hospital’s centrepiece and actually got removed via depth-charge 3 years ago. You mean it wasn’t fell like other trees? Anyway this is the reason why ghost girl should ascend to heaven. At that moment, ghost girl felt inner peace and crosses to the other side. The sakura tree also vanishes. And Gonta, you can stop complaining about ‘porori’. It’s long over… Later, Mayu relays the news to Yuzu that a new park is being built on that hospital ground. And on Yuzu’s cupboard, the group photo of the hanami and the ghost girl in it. Wait a minute! A ghost in the picture?!

Seriously. Haunted Sakura Trees?
Well, the OVA seems okay and I guess one of the few reasons was to have a little fanservice on Yuzu. If you’re her fan, that is. But that doesn’t amount to anything much and felt just like a little ‘reward’ for sticking with the series (there was no fanservice whatsoever in the TV series as I recall). Mayu may still be the lazy cat but despite her being the star of this series, I thought the impact of her presence was very much lacking. So much so it felt like she’s just a side character. Of course the biggest idiot hogging the screen and the one who will draw your attention is Gonta because even though he’s a god, he’s still a guy and a pervert who wants to see Yuzu with her clothes off. I guess it’s a blessing that he didn’t get to see any ‘action’ in the end. Always a loser, huh? I suppose being the God of Wealth doesn’t mean you will have all the luck, eh?

Hasumi makes a decent appearance in the OVA and though not much, it’s not as scarce as her miniscule screen time in the TV series. Likewise, I also almost forgot about Sasana and Meiko. I thought they weren’t there with the gang. Yeah, they seemed like the ‘ghost’ to me. Haha! I thought there would be competing even more among each other over Mayu but they’re rather mild here despite that short single scene. Aren’t they supposed to fight over Mayu whom they want to marry? It’s complicated. Go watch the TV series if you want to know what I mean. So the other characters like Shamo, Yukina, Yurara, Boss and Lackey were just around so that you won’t miss out on them. The OVA could have been done without them if you ask me but if you don’t put them in, you’ll start asking where the heck are they such as Akari, Shizuha, Amaterasu, etc.

The ghost girl who seems to be haunting the sakura tree was just someone who had an attachment to the tree and wasn’t really someone evil. With the tree gone at the end, I guess that means the tree is also a ghost, eh? Though she doesn’t feel scary or spooky (heck, do ghost girls residing in sakura trees look this cute?), I hope this doesn’t make anyone start freaking out and be paranoid that sakura trees may be haunted and think twice about hanami. Maybe if you hear the Weeping Willow cry, then that’s a different story. Run and don’t look back!

Full Moon Wo Sagashite

July 15, 2012

What would you do if you were told you have only 12 months more to live? Would you go crazy and become paranoid? Would you go out and live your life to the fullest? Or would you like me (if it ever happens, touch wood) go get a second opinion? For Mitsuki Kouyama of Full Moon Wo Sagashite, she would have chosen the second option. I mean, if your days are already numbered, might as well do all the things you love so that you can depart from this world without regrets, right?

If you are into shoujo type of animes, than this should suit you just fine because it has got drama, it has got some romance, it has got some song and music. Probably most of the ingredients that many teenage girls would find this show ‘watchable’. Okay, perhaps maybe back in the year 2002 (when this series started airing). Nowadays girls won’t even watch this kind of series anymore. So what about me? Am I considered a teenage girl since I’m watching this? Well, from the comments I have read randomly over the internet, those who are fans of this show definitely have lots of good things to say. They were touched and moved by the story, characters, bla, bla, bla. To ascertain that, that’s why I decided to give this series a shot. You were expecting some other reason? Then why not this: It’s an old retro anime that I haven’t seen so I was curious. No, I didn’t judge the cover by the book. (So okay, maybe Mitsuki’s twirling corkscrew twintails caught my attention).

So the story is something like this. Orphaned 12 year old Mitsuki Kouyama loves to sing. However she has something that every singer would dread and prevent them from doing what they love. She has throat cancer. Surgery would have done the trick but she is most afraid of losing her voice (I guess medical technology wasn’t so advanced then). Plus, doctors can’t really force their patients to undergo the knife if they don’t really want to. So without Mitsuki’s own permission, there is nothing more they can do except give lip service to persuade her. One day, a pair of shinigamis, Takuto and Meroko pay her a visit and somehow they told her she has got only a year to live. Gee, why the warning I wonder? And isn’t it odd that a middle school girl could see them when no other people could? I guess you have to believe they are telling the truth firstly, you can see them, right? That is definitely a tell tale sign. So what is Mitsuki to do than to sneak out of her house to a music audition in the city to achieve her dream before she kicks the bucket. Takuto upon seeing Mitsuki’s determination and love for music agrees to let her take the audition. However she is underage so Takuto gives her swallow a drop of his blood so that he can transform into a gorgeous 16 year old blonde to sing. In exchange, when her time is up, she will have to go quietly with them. Hey, can you really cut a deal with a shinigami? Another odd thing is, when she is in this mode, her throat cancer is gone! Man, she should stay in this form but will everybody else believe her? Is this the life she wants?

Now this is another mind blowing thing. Once it is transformed Mitsuki’s turn to audition in front of the panel of judges, they are so astounded and taken in by her ‘beautiful’ voice that they immediately pick her, cancel the audition (so sorry for all those girls who had auditioned before her. Especially those who were after her number) and make her sign a full contract with the music record. Wow! What a way to reach instant stardom. Talk about rising to the top so fast. This is way better than going on American Idol. To conceal her identity, she goes under the name of Full Moon (that is what her name Mitsuki also means) and as a rising pop star, I’m sure lots of fans are eager to know her background and all. But the way I see it, Full Moon rarely divulges in her personal life and there is no case of anybody trying to get to know more about her. I guess it’s the era before Facebook and Twitter so people aren’t really obsessed and respect her privacy. If only this happens in real life. Mitsuki also has to keep this a secret from lots of people. Imagine what would be the world’s reaction, especially her strict grandma and friends if they ever find out she’s actually a pop star. So the trio rely on each other to avoid this and help Mitsuki achieve her dream before her time is up. Isn’t this odd too? A pair of shinigamis whose job is to take away people’s life, taking care of a 12 year old girl for a full year? It makes you go WTF?! And since this is quite a long series (52 episodes running for a full year), my memories are somewhat fuzzy. As usual I ‘depend’ on Wikipedia to refresh them. Like I can remember them either. Maybe I’ve got some tumour that induces my memory loss. Touch wood!

Some of the main characters and points in the series:
Mitsuki Kouyama – Despite having throat cancer, a weak body and a cough that makes everyone worry if she’s going to collapse or not, Mitsuki chooses to remain positive, cheerful and helpful girl. A big motivation for her to become a pop idol is because of the nice boy she loves, Eichi Sakurai (at first I thought I heard Ecchi…). Coming from the same orphanage, she never got the chance to tell her feelings because he left for America to be an astronomer. They made a promise that the next time they meet, they will have already fulfilled their dreams. So by becoming Full Moon, she hopes that her music will reach and find him and thus to reply his feelings that she loves him.

Takuto and Meroko – The pair of shinigamis taking on a self duty to protect and help Mitsuki. While Takuto is the moody one, Meroko is the cheerful one. As the series progresses, it is obvious Takuto develops feelings for Mitsuki though he keeps denying it (I consider him tsundere) while Meroko totally has a one-sided crush on Takuto and would go all the way out (most of the times) to make Takuto look at her. But obviously that never works out. Seeing they are invisible to the eyes of others in their shinigami form, they take a form of a cat and rabbit plushie (Takuto and Meroko respectively) so that they are visible. Just hope other people don’t catch them moving or talking. Since Takuto can only transform Mitsuki to Full Moon, he usually accompanies Mitsuki to auditions and work while sulking Meroko has the ‘honour’ in staying at home disguised as Mitsuki so this will not raise any suspicions that her granddaughter is out doing something ‘dangerous’. Meroko has this shinigami handbook in which if a word appears backwards, it will indicate that item/thing/somebody will shorten Mitsuki’s lifespan and her death brought forward. Wah. So to say she doesn’t necessarily have exactly a year to live, right? And how ironic it is when the pair goes to great lengths to save Mitsuki’s life by trying to avoid her from meeting that fate. Doesn’t it go against their job’s description?

Fuzuki Kouyama – Mitsuki’s strict grandmother who hates music. You can’t blame her once you understand how she lost her daughter Hazuki who eloped with a musician and they both died in an accident. Because Mitsuki is the only relative she has left, she takes her in but doesn’t allow her to stay in the main house (she lives in an annexed part of the big compound). I guess that is pretty convenient too seeing she might go crazy if she sees and hears Mitsuki talking to herself when she is conversing with Takuto and Meroko, right? Fuzuki has a full time housemaid, Yoneya Tanaka who can be silly at most times but she deeply cares for her master and her granddaughter.

Keiichi Wakaouji – Mitsuki’s doctor and the Kouyama’s family doctor. How often can you have a nice and handsome doctor by your side? Could have been the most eligible bachelor of the year.

Masami Oshige – Full Moon’s manager and always tries her best to do what is best for Full Moon.

Madoka Wakamatsu – Every idol surely must have her own rival, right? Well in Full Moon’s case, it is the b*tchy Madoka whom everyone loves to hate. She holds a bitter grudge for Full Moon because she was somewhat ousted in the audition that Full Moon made her debut. She thinks if her number was earlier, she could’ve been chosen instead (I doubt it). Therefore, Madoka goes to great lengths to sabotage Full Moon’s concert and do what it takes to give her trouble all while being sneaky underneath a goody-two-shoes facade. I guess causing this kind of trouble and spreading bad rumours of Full Moon is what she does best in and constantly.

Myself – The title of the debut single from Full Moon. Initially the record producer, Takasu wanted her to sing a pre-written song but she felt it wasn’t suitable and took up his challenge to write her own sing (something which he isn’t confident seeing she is a novice).

Who says being an idol is ever easy? – There are a few challenges that Full Moon/Mitsuki will encounter. One, trying to act like a 16 year old can be tough for Mitsuki and is taking a toll. Due to the age difference, she feels depressed but gets her confidence back after meeting 3 girls at a hill supposed to have this rumour that if you have turned 16 years old on this hill, you will find a boyfriend. Well, would Full Moon count? Then we have a little girl named Nanami abducting Takuto away. She refused to hand him back to Mitsuki seeing she is lonely and her parents are always busy at work. But things do work out in the end as she reconciles with her parents (supermarket live drama?) and becomes Full Moon’s number 1 fan. Mitsuki gets disheartened when Myself becomes a smash hit, none of the girls in her class were really talking about it. Worse, they were saying bad things about the single. So Meroko jumps the gun and tries to advertise the single with near disastrous results. But the good thing is Mitsuki is able to make a few friends of her own. Of course it is found out that the badmouthing was referring to the fact they couldn’t buy the CD anywhere. Then Mitsuki wants Wakaouji to hear the song seeing he hasn’t heard it himself. He refused partly because it brought back bad memories when he was a musician. It has something to do with Mitsuki’s late parents too. But Mitsuki is happy when she gets to know he has a copy of her CD. Full Moon also learns some of the rules in show business when she debuts on TV with enka singer Fuyuko Komaki. A misunderstanding occurred so this causes Komaki not to like Full Moon very much though Full Moon works hard to earn back her trust. No idol is ever safe from the hands of the paparazzi. In Full Moon’s case, she almost got her identity revealed with the pesky Saegusa. All his subjects that are caught in a scandal will have their future destroyed and thus forced into an early retirement. When Full Moon was caught having dinner with Wakaouji (even if it is nothing serious I assure you but people can really make a mountain out of a molehill), it could almost spell the end of Full Moon. But with Takuto coming to her protection, Saegusa got spooked by the ‘ghost’ he sees, quits his job and leaves town. So he finally learnt his lesson to respect the privacy of others, eh? Full Moon holds a mini concert at a pre-school, but a little boy Taiki (looking very much like Eichi) keeps sabotaging the concert like stealing her costume and wrecking the stage props. He did this because the girl he likes will leave after Full Moon’s concert. Seeing their similar circumstances, Full Moon manages to advice them even though they are apart, they can still be together if they don’t forget each other. Also, Full Moon gets a temporary manager when Oshige is out sick. Rookie Koutarou Akiba doesn’t seem cut out for the job and makes many mistakes. Though it is sad he has to leave in the end, but he continues working at a shop promoting Full Moon’s goods. Full Moon is at risk of having her kiss stolen by a playboy who befriends her. Till Takuto saves the day and that jerk’s girlfriend comes into the picture. Why didn’t she dump him already? Mitsuki’s friend, Kumi is asking for her advice on love on the boy she has a crush on, Machida. However the guy misinterpreted and thinks it is Mitsuki who likes him. Though Kumi is heartbroken, Mitsuki manages to clear up the misunderstanding and bring a happy ending for Kumi and Machida. There is also this high school festival in which Full Moon becomes the prize. The winning guy gets to kiss her! Takuto enters the fray (taking a human form) and amazingly wins it despite his cheating competitor. Meroko on the other hand entered some beauty contest and also won (it bugs me how can outsiders like them win) to attract Takuto’s attention. But all she was Takuto winning and almost kissing Full Moon and broke them up before their lips are sealed.

Who says being a shinigami is easy too? – Well, an old guy collapses in front of the house and good ol’ Tanaka takes him in. As gratitude, he gives her some stone. Not just an ordinary stone. The kind that repels the shinigamis out of the house. They can’t get in the barrier and they are rushing for time seeing Full Moon has a job to do.  They try to contact Mitsuki who is inside the house and still wondering where her shinigamis are. Eventually when they do, they manage to break the spell (pushing the stone into water to dispel its effect) and even made it in time for the job. Phew.

The b*tch is back – Madoka is the source of that paparazzi incident and hell she is still going to give a hard time to Full Moon. This time both ladies are locked in a competition to see who will get the lead role in a shampoo commercial. Because Meroko’s handbook reveals the word ‘audition’, she tries to delay Mitsuki from reaching the audition (I felt it could’ve been avoided if she just said something about this). In the end, Mitsuki lost out to Madoka when she arrived late. Though Meroko is able to prevent Mitsuki from a certain premature death, she still feels guilty for trying to stop her. But she is back to normal once Takuto says a few things enough to cheer her up. Madoka also spreads nasty gossip about Full Moon, prompting the site to cancel the stage for her first live solo last minute. So as not to disappoint fans and cancelling the concert altogether, they manage to secure the pier and hold the concert under the starry night sky.

It’s out – It’s amazing the first time round how Mitsuki, Takuto and Meroko could fool Oshige and Wakaouji that Mitsuki and Full Moon are different persons by switching back and forth. But this time round, she comes clean with them. I guess the transformation scene nails it. Being the good people they are, they won’t go round spreading the news of Full Moon’s true identity. So I guess it is easier with a few more people knowing about her secret. Mitsuki doesn’t need to be in a hurry to hide and change.

Wakaouji x Oshige? – Oshige moves closer to Mitsuki’s home so she can easily get in touch with her whenever a job arises (though grandma is still unaware of everything). Tanaka gets jealous thinking Oshige is Wakaouji’s girlfriend (even though they admit they are not) and challenges her to housewife duties competition (see, what did I tell you about having a good looking doctor? Even ordinary housemaids like her ends up liking him). Though Tanaka scores in all of them, leaving Oshige in her dust trail, Tanaka gives up because she saw how good they boot look when they are together.

Eternal Snow – This is the second song that Mitsuki wants to sing. It is also the song her father, Aoi written when he was under the popular band Route L. Guess what? Madoka also wants to debut with this song and has Takasu as her producer. Because of this, every other producer doesn’t dare go against him. Mitsuki is left to beg Wakaouji to become Full Moon’s producer seeing he was part of the 3-man band Route L. Eventually he agrees and becomes her producer with a set of conditions. I guess this means he will become a part time doctor, eh? Takasu knows Madoka is putting up an angelic facade and has a grudge against Full Moon. However he doesn’t care for all that and wants her to believe him. However Madoka couldn’t resist in ruining Full Moon’s image and is back to her sabotaging self and spreads rumours of Full Moon and Wakaouji seeing each other. But it backfires as Takasu walks out on Madoka seeing she doesn’t trust her and wants her to remember the reason why she is singing (feel bad to say “You deserve it!” when Madoka is crying like that). With Full Moon going full steam to release her second single, she along with the shinigamis rummage through the family’s store to find the reason behind Eternal Snow (it was Aoi’s love for Hazuki). Mitsuki gets a new goal to make everyone who listens to her song to feel warm inside.

Lost and found – With Madoka now a fallen idol, there are people who are talking bad behind her back and she herself has a change of manager. Her turning point is when she meets Mitsuki (not knowing she is Full Moon). She learns more about Madoka. A reason why she hated Full Moon because she doesn’t believe the path of an idol is a bed of roses. Madoka went through the harsh and bitter realities of life being an idol so that’s why when Full Moon shot to stardom, she thought she must have some connections and pulled strings. Nice Mitsuki even gives Madoka renewed hope to continue singing because she wants to hear her voice. It’s not about being rivals or who is better. So, Mitsuki is now Madoka’s number 1 fan? At least that’s what Madoka thinks. Oh, Madoka did manage to release her version of Eternal Snow but that is much later and around Christmas.

Izumi and Jonathan – A new pair of shinigamis entering the fray. Izumi is a cold-hearted person attempts to steal back Meroko (his previous partner) from Takuto. So another one-sided crush, eh? As for Jonathan, I thought he was looking like a ghost coming out from that cartoon show, Casper. All I can see him is a comic relief, annoyingly fooling around though subservient to Izumi. In fear that Mitsuki can see shinigamis, Takuto and Meroko along with Mitsuki go to great lengths to make it as though she can’t see Izumi. But Izumi has his suspicions and they are in a pinch since Full Moon is putting up another concert for her fans. Though in a cleverly disguised and smooth transitional switch just before the concert starts, Izumi isn’t a dumb shinigami and just pretended to play along with their silly game. Izumi is also bad enough to fake an email from Eichi, getting Mitsuki’s hopes up. It doesn’t help when Takuto also lies and sends a fake one so as not to hurt her feelings. Eventually he apologizes but Mitsuki isn’t going to let that little distraction bother her.

Dicing with death – Mitsuki’s throat seems to be getting worse and concerned Fuzuki wants her to go for a surgery. I don’t remember how but they didn’t go through with it and Mitsuki’s tumour stabilizes for now. Mitsuki also meets a lonely old man who lives by himself, Sanada. She makes frequent visits to learn that because he was too focused on work, he neglected his wife and child and only realized the importance of life when they died. Sanada is biding his time and can also see shinigamis. His time will be up soon but hopes to see his wife’s roses bloom before he goes. Izumi is the shinigami responsible for taking his life and shows Mitsuki the harsh reality of what is to be done upon her when her time comes. Izumi takes Sanada’s soul but he dies with a gentle smile after he gets to see the flowers bloom in the final seconds.

America here we come – Full Moon entered some music festival and won. That means a trip to the USA. They are further motivated when Mitsuki’s previous orphanage teacher, Kasumi seems to have some information on Eichi’s whereabouts. However, they forgot about grandma. She can’t just let her daughter go overseas just like that, right? But do not fear. Wakaouji explains to her a new medical treatment only available in the US that will help in Mitsuki’s tumour. Fuzuki is not convinced and doesn’t allow her to go. Eventually Mitsuki, just like her mom, departs to America with or without her approval. Of course this is traumatic for a grandma like her who has lost her daughter to something like this and now her granddaughter is in danger of repeating history. So we learn why Fuzuki hates music so much. In fact, she was once a music student. She fell in love with a boy but he was so focused on his music and pressured by the concours, he eventually chose music over love. That’s why Fuzuki views music as nothing but bringing misery and this is compounded when Hazuki died. Landing in America, the gang stayed at Kazumi’s place (along with her American husband who conveniently speaks fluent Japanese) before making the long trip to the place supposedly where Eichi is staying. Along the way, they stop by the canyon and Mitsuki got her precious pendant from Eichi stolen by a conman who pretended to take a photo of her. So precious that she would rather stay back and search for it rather than miss the last ride back up the canyon. Of course Takuto stays with her as well as the gutsy park ranger that came down looking for them. Luckily for Mitsuki, she manages to get it back because the dumb conman is still hanging around (amazingly he and his cronies had a camp right down the canyon. WTF?!). Mitsuki thought Takuto dived down the ravine just to get her pendant. Apparently she forgot he could fly as a shinigami. So when they start arguing about worrying each other, Takuto blurts out she likes her. However Mitsuki isn’t fazed because she took it the other way. We all love each other because we are friends, right? Is that a good thing or not?

The truth hurts – As the gang approach Eichi’s home, Meroko notices Eichi’s name spelt backwards in her handbook. Oh no. Takuto scouts ahead and manages to find the home Eichi lives in. What he makes is a shocking discovery: EICHI IS DEAD!!! They try to prevent Mitsuki from coming to the house and making excuses for her to go back but I guess they aren’t that persuasive. I mean, she is this close to seeing him and now you’re giving him reasons not to see him? Something smells fishy. And when she learns of what happened to her source of motivation… It was just heartbreaking. It’s like she has lost all hope to live. But what bugs me is that Eichi has been already dead for 2 years!!!  The way his adopted parents acted was like his death was just a couple of days ago! I know when someone you love dies, it seems just like yesterday and forever for the pain to go away. Their son and his wife who adopted Eichi then also perished in the accident. Another thing which bugged me is Kazumi’s information. It’s been 2 years Eichi died right? So the people around the area should have told her something about it or wouldn’t know who this kid is. So again, how reliable was Kazumi’s information? Another heartbreaking scene was how Mitsuki ran through the snow and found Eichi’s grave. She lies there hoping to go away with him…

Living zombie – When Mitsuki returns to Japan, she is so bloody depressed that she is as good as dead. Fuzuki is appalled at what happened (I guess she thought the treatment didn’t work out), scolds Wakaouji for letting this happen and severs him as his family doctor. Because of that, Mitsuki becomes a ‘good girl’ and will listen to whatever grandma says. Too good to be true? But Mitsuki is obliging everything grandma says so much so she is starting to worry and creeping her out. Where has the rebellious Mitsuki go? Seeing Mitsuki has lost her motivation to do her best, she wants to give up singing and thus rumours are spreading that Full Moon is retiring. Not that her fans like it. Not that Madoka would like it. Now she wants to beat her rival on a fair footing, eh? Not that Takuto would like it because this was part of their deal, right? But he can’t transform Mitsuki into Full Moon anymore. Why? If Mitsuki doesn’t want to, then all the magic in the world he has can’t even make her. You can bring a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink. Not that Meroko would like it because she is so desperate, she goes to seek Izumi’s help. It only gives him more reason to come up with a nasty scheme.

When death comes knocking on your door again – With Mitsuki’s tumour getting worse, Fuzuki desperately goes from one hospital to another to find a cure. But it all comes back to Wakaouji because he is an expertise in the field. One night, Izumi entices Mitsuki to come with him so that she could be with her parents and Eichi. Well, he is going to make her jump from the building! Izumi didn’t expect an obstacle: Fuzuki. She came looking for Mitsuki and tries to stop her from jumping. Though Mitsuki manages to come down, Fuzuki slips off… Just when she opened her eyes, she is going to witness her grandma’s death. Thankfully, Takuto saves falling grandma (she is now unconscious so no worries of her getting freaked out that she is ‘flying’). Takuto and Meroko didn’t like Izumi’s dirty trick to take Mitsuki’s soul. But really, if he is not him, can Takuto do the job when the time comes?

Ghost of the past – Throughout the series, Takuto has been warned not to remember his memories when he was living as a human. If he ever did, he will turn into a ghost and forever wander in limbo. That seems to be happening now because after all that short flashbacks that causes him headaches, he finally realizes who he is. He is Takuto Kira and is one of the members of Route L. He died in a bike accident when he realized he had throat cancer. He doesn’t want Mitsuki to have that regret so unconsciously that’s why he wanted to help her achieve her dream. Takuto lectures Mitsuki the importance of living so Mitsuki u-turns her decision of not wanting to sing anymore because Eichi would have wanted her to continue with her dream even after his death. But Takuto is at the risk of turning into a ghost. So how to stop that? Mitsuki’s singing of course! So not only her songs are a hit, they can help stop a shinigami from turning into a ghost too! Haha! But this doesn’t mean Takuto is free from the curse yet. With his weakened powers, Takuto is unable to keep Mitsuki transformed as Full Moon for a long duration. This is bad seeing she has a comeback concert. Plus, Takuto reveals his true identity to Wakaouji. Of course he is shocked. But didn’t he see a connection in their names and the several other hints? Maybe it’s because he truly believes Takuto had died (thus the reason Route L suddenly disbanded and faded into obscurity). But he certainly didn’t see him coming back as a shinigami, didn’t he? In Izumi’s attempt to convince Meroko one more time to be his, Meroko is more mature now and only advises Izumi’s misfortune that he doesn’t know what love is.

To save a shinigami – While Takuto is resting (but in pain), Meroko tries to find any cure to stop him from becoming a ghost but to no avail. Mitsuki wants to save Takuto so badly this time (after all, he saved her on a few occasions), she went to Izumi for help. I know he’s a bad guy but what else can she do? Izumi knows a way to prevent that and wants Mitsuki’s soul in exchange, something she is willing to give and even seal the deal with a kiss. However Izumi was just testing her and did not go through with it. Eventually he too indirectly helps out by informing them about a mystic flower that makes one forget about everything when one kisses it. It can be found back in their spirit world and in a cave in which the door only opens as the flower blooms during a certain time. Oh, that’s tonight. How convenient. However Takuto would not only lose his human memories, but his shinigami’s as well. This means he will forget all about Mitsuki and Meroko and all the things they did. Meroko risks being punished by heading in to get that flower despite all the traps and setbacks. So now the big question. Let him retain his memories and risk him turning into a wandering ghost or make him forget but let him stay a shinigami. Of course Takuto would rather risk turning into a ghost than lose his precious memories he had up till now. So how? So how?! I’m sure this wasn’t intentional to catch Takuto off guard. You see, Mitsuki confesses that she likes Takuto. And I mean not just as friends. Then she kisses him and with a petal of that flower inside the glass of water, Takuto drinks it.

Swan Song – Mitsuki graduates from high school but it’s going to be hectic because Full Moon will be holding a concert to commemorate her first year as a successful singer. On the day of her concert, it is also the day she will die as a full year would have completed its cycle. So everyone from Mitsuki’s friends and even Fuzuki attend the concert with much anticipation. Madoka kicks off the concert but when it is almost Full Moon’s turn, the flower is taking its effect so Takuto is having a hard time keeping Mitsuki transformed. Meroko cuts her hair and turns it into a ring to give it to Takuto. The ring contains her powers so even if he forgets he will still be able to keep Mitsuki transformed till the end of the concert. The plan works but Takuto has totally forgotten everything. Much to Meroko’s heartbreak, he doesn’t even know why he is here. Then of course Takuto risks becoming a ghost once more because of his recurring memories. But this time he is going to be the one to take Mitsuki’s life. Meroko somewhat sacrifices herself to absorb Takuto (that’s how it seems to me) so that Full Moon can continue and finish her concert. So if Takuto is gone, how is she going to keep her Full Moon appearance? Thank Izumi for that. Well, at least he just put up a hologram image of Full Moon and I guess everyone is thrilled with the superb effects of Full Moon’s change in clothes. At the end of the concert, Full Moon makes a stunning announcement that she will go on a temporary leave. Not that her fans are happy about. I mean, she’s been pulling this sort of stunt going missing a few times before so to hear it from her mouth this time must be true. But don’t worry, she promises she’ll be back. If we only have fans so understanding like them because they promise to support her. That’s call keeping the faith. Mitsuki is rushed to the hospital and in Wakaouji’s hands for her operation. The operation is a success but Mitsuki wakes up in the hospital bed crying because Takuto and Meroko are gone forever.

Aftermath – Takuto is in some sort of limbo world when he meets a goddess. He doesn’t remember anything but feels that he needs to protect somebody though he can’t remember who. As punishment for dabbling with the flower, the goddess will punish them and that Mitsuki will die. You cannot change fate. Suddenly it’s like Takuto remember as he pleads to screw with that destiny thingy and is going to protect her. Meroko would also gladly give up her life to save Takuto. Seeing their strong determination, the goddess allows fate to be changed and lets Mitsuki live. Woah! All you need to show is your steely will and you can change fate! But the goddess banishes Meroko as a shinigami forever. That is, Meroko has been promoted to an angel! Her kindness has proved to the goddess she is exceptional. Yeah, I thought it would be ironic if she continued to take souls with that kind of personality. As for Takuto, because he wasn’t really a full shinigami, he is given a second shot in life but will face the same trials he did as he was alive. Mitsuki cannot see shinigamis anymore and though she didn’t lose her voice, it will take some time before she’ll get it back to how she originally sounded. It’s like she is having a hard time struggling to string a simple sentence. You know that sound when you temporarily lose your voice, right? Then Mitsuki spots Meroko in a tiny bunny form. She leads Mitsuki to Takuto who is some wondering musician. Mitsuki called out to him so loud that her voice returned to normal! Takuto sees her and did he remember her? With Meroko saying goodbye, Mitsuki is happy that she is reunited with him.

Almost Total Eclipse Of The Heart…
Is this how it ends? I just can’t help ponder what will happen afterwards. So Mitsuki reuniting with Takuto, how will that change the course of her future? I’m not sure if Takuto does remember her but his final headache seems to hint that he might. If so, will they continue being the pair that makes Full Moon the successful idol that everyone loves? Then won’t it be like continuing to ‘deceive’ others? I thought she was going to confess her real identity at her final concert but no… It was just “I’m taking a short break”. Heck, I even thought she would say something about retiring. After all if Takuto isn’t around, who else could transform her? Izumi isn’t going to be her future partner in crime, you know. Maybe like Mitsuki said that Full Moon has grown bigger to be just herself. So she can’t simply kill off this character just because she knows she is going to die. And look what we have in the end? A big change in destiny. That’s why I am in a dilemma should she reveal her true self. Grandma would die of shock, her friends would never believe that the famous idol is their friend right under the nose and the paparazzi will target her as their source for scandal material. You know, using magic and lying about her age. That kind of stuff.

Apparently the ending of the anime is so because as I have found out there are quite a number of differences between the anime and manga. The anime ended while the manga was still ongoing and thus the disparity. For instance in the manga, Mitsuki’s frequent transformation has caused her tumour to ‘disappear’ and literally cured. This is what I initially thought of how her illness can be cured, did not I? Putting aside Takuto’s failing powers, he could just leave her in Full Moon state before the clock strikes midnight to save her. Easy. Or a cheekier way is just adjust the clock faster. Haha! Also in the manga but was lacking in the anime is the past of Meroko of how she came to become a shinigami (which is not even touched at all in the anime) and her relationship with Izumi. Jonathan has been reduced to a minor comic relief side character but the manga portrays him to have a darker and more prominent role pertaining to the taking of Mitsuki’s life. Takuto didn’t really die in the manga but was lying in coma unlike in the anime. He also became a couple with Mitsuki in the end while Meroko and Izumi become a couple once more. The anime part which briefly explains how Meroko and Izumi were once partners as shinigamis left me baffled. We know Izumi is trying to court Meroko back to his side using his devilish methods. Then there is a flashback that tells us Meroko was once in loved with Izumi and confessed to him. However he rejected her because he didn’t believe in such feelings. Then it took some time after Meroko gets paired up with Takuto and to the point of her falling for him that Izumi tried to win her heart back. So this part I don’t get it nor could I connect the dots. Why would Izumi want Meroko back when he didn’t even love her in the first place? Well, perhaps you don’t realize the importance of something till you lose it.

Takuto is such as a moody guy that to a point that I would consider him a tsundere. You can tell by the way he interacts with Mitsuki and Meroko. Okay, guys do act that like to show he is tough and manly. You don’t expect to be a sensitive guy asking how you are feeling, right? Can you imagine a Takuto like that? I guess that’s why Meroko likes him. Yeah, he’s hard to get. What’s the point of getting something that is easily obtained? Of course hidden beneath that grumpy and grouchy behaviour is someone who cares greatly. So great that even the goddess is willing to bend fate. Hey, it’s interesting if you change destiny with your own hands, right? As many of the characters undergo some change, for instance Meroko isn’t just blindly after Takuto’s love. She learns the kind of love that if you love someone so much, that you are willing to let him go and do things that do not benefit yourself for the sake of the other person.It’s a good thing that she finally got promoted to an angel. But this leads me to question how she became a shinigami in the first place. I guess as Izumi put it, it is as punishment for those who didn’t take their lives seriously, had lots of regrets when they were living and the irony is that they have to go on taking souls of others as their job for eternity. So the only way out is to put your own life on the line? I didn’t know being a shinigami was this complicated.

Mitsuki has always been the cheerful and optimistic girl but of course you hit turbulence on and off and Eichi’s death was a real blow to her overall morale. For a young girl to have touch and change the lives of lots of other people, it is quite an incredible feat. She has never lost sight of her goal and dream (except for that tiny black chapter when she found out about Eichi’s death) and kept doing her best despite knowing her D-Day is inching closer. That’s why whether she’s a little girl or an idol, everyone simply loves her. You would never have thought Fuzuki would change or even accept music and never in her wildest dream would she want to hear Mitsuki’s song. Of course the near death of Mitsuki opened her eyes. If she was going to keep Mitsuki safe by restricting a lot of things on her, then she would be just doing the opposite and more harm. Wakaouji who became a doctor just to get away from the trauma during his time at Route L (because medicine and music don’t share any similarities, right?) even returned to music that he vowed never to venture back into. So have you heard of a successful musician and a throat doctor in the same sentence before? Even Madoka is not spared from the change. Though she remains Full Moon’s rival in the end, she isn’t a b*tch as we once knew she was. Once she clears her mind and sets her goal on the purpose she sings instead of sabotaging Full Moon’s efforts, she is quite the okay girl after learning the meaning of humility. Even if it is not directly, Izumi also changed slightly albeit he still maintains that cold personality. If not, why would he bother helping Mitsuki in the end? He might be a shinigami that takes lives but that doesn’t mean he is a bad person.

I had this feeling and guessed Eichi’s fate was going to be somewhat like how it turned out. Life is after all not a bed of roses so my guts told me it’s not going to be a happy reunion. True enough, he was actually dead a long time. I just can’t get it off my mind that nobody got the right information about Eichi’s death till the very last moment. It’s like misinformation. I guess this solves why there is no news of Eichi after he left for America. Dead people don’t write letters, call or send emails. Though Eichi is a very prominent and important person in Mitsuki’s life, to us viewers he is just a side motivation for why Mitsuki continues to love what she is doing. Eichi may have a great impact on Mitsuki’s life but certainly flashbacks of him and his nice and kind advices only serve as connecting the dots to where Mitsuki gets her encouragement from. It’s great that a single guy can make her go this far. So do you think that most of us have something sort of like this that makes us push further? So Eichi is a dead person throughout the series and is only ‘alive’ during flashbacks. And in the heart of Mitsuki as always of course. It was really heartbreaking to see her reaction when she finds out about Eichi’s demise, it’s like she just had a total eclipse of her heart.

Over the course of the series, there are many things that bugged me but I probably had forgotten most of them. Heck, I didn’t even touch the Flower of Forgetfulness. One of those questions that I never forgot is the irony of shinigamis who are supposed to take lives instead help keep a life who will eventually be taken. Isn’t that the same as casting the wrong job for the wrong person? And for the pair to be sticking around Mitsuki for an entire year without the shinigami department not knowing anything, it’s like the higher ups are sleeping on the job, eh? Or are they just watching to determine if they have something or what it takes to change fate. And being shinigamis, hasn’t Takuto and Meroko been doing their job of taking other souls too? Mitsuki can’t be the only soul that departs from this world for the entire year, right? Doesn’t their boss realize the lack of souls coming in from their part? Then about Meroko’s handbook. So if something dangerous pops up and shortens Mitsuki’s lifespan, than that one year to live thingy isn’t true, right? What was it again you can’t go against fate? I guess that’s why with a handful of such dangers averted, maybe it is no big deal changing the big one at the end. Seeing that Mitsuki can only see Takuto and Meroko in their shinigami form, don’t other people find it weird that she is talking to herself? Like an imaginary friend? So there are certain scenes whereby it is clear there are some interactions between Mitsuki and the shinigami duo right in the crowd. Don’t people find it odd? Oh, blame it on the great effects that the movie is filming nearby. What movie?! And yeah, what about Takuto and Meroko in plushie form? It’s not that they sit still and in fact move about for most of the part in this form. So is everybody that blind not to see moving stuffed dolls?

The singer Myco is the voice behind Mitsuki and Full Moon. At first I find it odd for someone with a little hoarser voice to play Mitsuki. That’s only because of my stereotype view that little girls like her are usually high pitch squeaky voice. But I reminded myself that Mitsuki had some sort of a tumour in her throat that’s why she isn’t sounding as a cute anime girl. But about her singing voice, I am not criticizing that it sounds horrible (no, it is not) but it’s not really that beautiful in the sense that it would make judges cancel other audition candidates and instantly win fans after her first hit. Forgive me but I am not the one to say too. I just find it strange that a girl with a growth in her throat is able to make the most beautiful voice after some transformation. As all of the songs sung by Full Moon are written by Myco and her band Changin’ My Life, each time her new hit single is out, the series keep playing it to death. It felt like she has no other songs at that moment and thus it is being overplayed whether it is serving as an insert piece or radio background music. Especially her first single Myself and then Eternal Snow. Aren’t we bored of hearing the same things over and over again? Guess not. The song is not that bad actually but hearing too much times can be quite annoying. Maybe because of this, Full Moon’s slow ballad adaptation of Eternal Snow is the best version and it beats Route L’s original which is a rock outfit and Madoka’s faster pace style. I guess Changin’ My Life is just a band famous for this series’ songs because this is where their hit songs come from. Oddly, after the series ended, the band broke up and Myco went on to do solo. It’s like as though they were formed just for this anime. Since Changin’ My Life’s songs are featured as ending themes of this series, besides Myself (2nd ending) and Eternal Snow (3rd ending), they also have New Future (1st ending) and Love Chronicle (4th ending). A couple of their songs that are featured less prominently and probably just one-off are Focus and Smile (which was played during Full Moon’s final concert). The all-girl rock group, The Scanty does the opening themes. The first one being I Love You and the second one, Rock’n Roll Princess. The group also made a cameo appearance during the music festival competition.

At first I thought a female voicing Izumi’s voice sounded rather odd. I was expecting a guy but Megumi Ogata (Shinji of Evangelion) did the role instead. Of course I got used to it. Madoka is voiced by Kana (real name Emi Oota) and this is her only role in voicing an anime character. I’m not sure if she is part of some band or what. Many of the other casts aren’t that prominent and do not have a long list of voicing roles to their resume. They include Yasuo Saitou as Takuto (Ryousuke Sakakura in Zettai Shonen), Chieko Honda as Meroko (Igarashi in Koko Wa Greenwood), Ryohei Kimura as Eichi (Hinata in Angel Beats), Teruaki Ogawa as Wakaouji (the titular character in Jotaro Zaizen), Tomomi Seo as Oshige (Tsubaki in Saint October), Norihisa Mori as Jonathan (Ichikawa in Hen Zemi), Mayumi Akado as Tanaka (Yakko in Akazukin Chacha) and veteran Kazuko Sugiyama as Fuzuki (Ten in Urusai Yatsura).

Whether you believe in fate based on the stars or destiny by your own hands, the important thing is to live your life to the fullest despite knowing the date of your expiration. I know I like to sing too but the kind of voice I have just puts me off. Probably why I never entered any Idol auditions. Would you rather hear songs from Full moon or sounds of a fool moan? If I really know my time is up, probably I would want to watch all the animes I can before I kick the bucket. Then maybe by showing lots of otaku determination and perseverance, I may just convince the grim reaper to extend my life to watch more animes. I’d be over the moon. Won’t that be asking for the moon? Ironically, maybe it’s watching too much animes that is the cause of shortening my lifespan. Now that’s what you call mooning my life away.

Mashiro-Iro Symphony

July 14, 2012

Teen drama and romance shows are aplenty these days. Mashiro-Iro Symphony is no exception and falls under this category. And for such stories to stand out, I was hoping it would bring me something unique and memorable. But I guess I have developed my own stereotype views after amassing a few of these facts: 1) Based on an adult visual novel game of the same name; 2) One main guy as the protagonist; 3) A bunch of girls that support him; 4) High school setting. I’m sure you can imagine what kind of show this is, right? Sounds like a typical recipe for a harem and fanservice anime, no? Well, I was mostly mistaken. There isn’t much that ecchi fans would find enjoyable. That’s because this is NOT an ecchi series or even close to it. I guess with so many adult visual novel games being adapted, it is not surprised that one might think it contains adult contents. That was one mistake I jumped into. The game may contain explicit contents but not the anime.

As for the plot, it goes something like this. A couple of schools in the neighbourhood are undergoing some experimenting phase by merging with some students from another school. However not every student totally loves that idea. One of the schools is a prestigious all-girls high school so you can bet there is some sort of standard and expectation they want to strictly adhere too and the risk if they open up to schools of a ‘mixed’ base. I guess this is where this main guy comes in. Can he sort of break the ice with the influential girl of this school and change her mindset or an inevitable ‘war’ is on track? And you thought being a high school student is easy with no responsibilities whatsoever. Well, not in this case.

Episode 1
A narration of what colour girls and boys should be and the colour of their relationship should they meet. It should be white, just like empty canvases as its colour is yet to be decided. Shingo Uryuu gets a call late at night from his sister Sakuno who is lost after returning from an errand. Getting the description of her surrounding, he knows where she is and scoots off to get her. By the time he got there, she is no longer waiting as she was following a strange cat creature and realized she got lost again. Before the batteries run out, Shingo tries to get more description of the place she is now. The funny cat returns to its master, Miu Amaha. Then it starts to rain when Shingo gets a call from an unknown number. She is Airi Sena and has found Sakuno waiting at a spot. Airi thanks Shingo because she too was somewhat lost and ‘saved’ by Sakuno. Eventually with more directions, they reunite at the park. Before they part, Sakuno is grateful and hopes they will see each other again. Airi agrees because they are already friends. Next morning, Shingo comes down to eat breakfast and wonders if this luxury fish was what she was buying last night. Actually rather it was in the bento she made because she knew Shingo wouldn’t be able to make it for today’s school opening ceremony. Shingo explains it isn’t strange that they go buy something luxurious at Kagami Mall but Sakuno tends to get lost. Seeing today is a special day, that’s why she went there. Along the way, they meet up with their friend, Hayata Mukunashi and come into a flock of high school girls in white uniform. As explained, their school Kagamidai Private Academy made a temporary agreement with Yuihimeijo Private Academy or Yuijo for short, which has been an all-girls school. They along with several freshmen will attend Yuijo for a test period of 10 months as test students. At the gates, they are greeted by an excited maid, Angeline Nanatsu Sewell or Angie for short. She greets them like as though they are coming home and is thrilled thinking Shingo is like a gentleman aristocrat. She brings them to the hall where the test students are supposed to gather. Teacher Machi Yatsuzuka seems to be afraid to come out hiding from outside the door since there are too many boys (she hasn’t seen this ‘much’ boys in her life?). Then they hear a familiar voice reprimanding the principal for being late and keeping the students waiting as she forcefully brings her into the hall. It is Airi and the principal, Ranka is her mother. Once Airi realizes Shingo and Sakuno in the group, she doesn’t seem too happy. In fact, she gets somewhat irritated and tells them that although Ranka wanted this merger, this doesn’t mean all the students will like it. This is their school and she will not accept them and the other boys because Yuijo is exclusive an all-girls school. I guess discrimination starts at school…

Episode 2
Shingo remembers he has long recovered from his asthma but is still sensitive to the air quality. Because of Airi’s stance, there is a gloomy atmosphere affecting both sides. Shingo goes to talk to her thinking she can help change this atmosphere but she is in no mood to talk. Looks like this is going to take a while. Angie tries to give words of encouragement as Shingo learns she is from mixed parentage (her mom’s from England) and despite wearing her maid clothes, she is also a student in his class. Shingo made the first blooper by accidentally entering the female’s toilet while Airi is in it. Hey, this was an all-girls school so signs weren’t needed, right? Shingo and Hayata talk about this school having facilities unsuitable for guys (what do you expect from an all-girls school? What’s wrong with changing behind bushes anyway?). Angie comes to cheer up the guys and they are joined by Sana Inui who mentions that though some are against the merger, there are others who aren’t. Just like the cup is half full or empty, eh? But Shingo notes as long as the influential figure in the form of Airi is around, the atmosphere won’t improve much. Shingo’s day gets worse. Blooper 2: Accidentally entering the class while the girls are changing. Blooper 3: Falling his face flat on to Airi’s boobs. Blooper 4: When his chalk broke, he bends down to pick it and Airi thought he was peeking at her panties. Even the girls from his own school now think he’s a pervert. So while eating bento alone in the garden, he sees that strange cat who is attracted by his food. That cat, Pannya returns to Miu when she comes by. She can tell he is somewhat depressed but she takes a good look around him. Since she has always been in an all-girls school, talking to boys is a new experience. She says though he may have a hard time till he gets used to things, this is a good school and he might get to like it. Back home, Sakuno tells Shingo her day and seems she has made some friends. She advises him to be himself. Next day at the assembly, some Yuijo girls are complaining about the boys from Kagamidai. Their vulgar language, their childish behaviour. But Ranka isn’t fazed, instead she notes how the girls started prettying themselves up since the merger. Saying they won’t become fine women if they don’t improve themselves and they’re being overconfident by not acknowledging the opposite sex, she holds a special curriculum. Starting off the long list of the curriculum is cooking class. The guys think the curriculum is going to make them more feminine seeing it is designed to improve femininity. As the guys have a hard time helping out, Shingo be himself and helps out the way he normally does. This earns Sana and Angie’s praises as she tries not to lose to him and overdoes everything. Hayata and the other guys decide to copy off Shingo and use this as a chance to cooperate with the girls. In the end, everyone manages to cook but too much of a portion. They have to finish what they make or else the teacher will fail them. This is where the boys come in. Large servings are no problem for them. So are you girls impressed now? Okay, maybe they’re close to exploding… A week later, uptight Machi needs the class to choose a rep from both sides. Initially Kagamidai wanted Hayata but he has his hands full as student council president on both sides. So naturally it goes to Shingo, right? Right. And guess who the rep is for Yuijo? Well, Airi couldn’t believe it had to be him. Believe it!

Episode 3
Shingo is worried he won’t get along with Airi but Sakuno is confident they’ll be alright. Shingo and Airi as the class reps work hard together but the atmosphere between them seems awkward. Airi makes herself clear that she doesn’t intend to get along well with the boys and thus to leave her alone. Once Shingo is done, he spots Pannya and follows it to the Nuko Club that Miu is a member off. It is a club that cares for injured animals like Pannya before releasing it back to the wild. Seeing the lack of members and Shingo isn’t in any club right now, she invites him to join. Next day when Miu visits Shingo’s class, Sana straightaway hugs her. She totally adores Miu and is also a member of Nuko Club. They meet Sakuno for the first time and introduce themselves. Miu invites Airi to have lunch together but Pannya is busy messing with her hair!!! So how to get the cat off? Leave it to Shingo. See how friendly the cat is with him? Though feeling awkward, Airi leaves and declines eating with them. Airi observes Shingo helping out the other girls and on another day as they rush to complete work together, he seems to have got the hang of it. She continues to keep her distance when Sakuno and the rest come by and want to walk home together. Airi has no choice but to join in. Sakuno talks to Airi if she is still against the merger. She mentions she can’t stand being with boys but funny thing she feels anxious when she’s near Shingo but not to the point of hating him. It just makes her feel weird. And it’s only him affecting her. I think there’s a word for that. It’s called love. Next day when the gang have lunch together, Sakuno suggests checking out Kume Mart which has the largest range of cheap goods. However Airi being the spoil sport reminds Shingo that they have tons of work to complete. So that’s that. As they are completing it, Airi is appalled at his suggestion of asking someone else to help them out. He has a point. With this pile of work and only them managing it, they won’t be finished till kingdom come. Besides, isn’t Airi in a hurry somewhere too? In a dilemma, Shingo offers to take on all the work. But stubborn Airi refuses to be in his debt. He suggests she could pay her back with interest. Since the midterms are near, she can help be his tutor in catching up to Yuijo’s level. How does this deal sound? Well, she isn’t happy either. She notes this is what she hates about him. He causes people’s hearts to sway. Sure it isn’t just you? As Shingo leaves, he is surprised Sakuno, Angie and Miu are waiting for him at the gates. Seems they want him to come along to Kume Mart. Well, they need a guy to carry the stuffs. While browsing through the aisle, Shingo catches Airi in the act talking to herself to make a purchase decision. Then she realizes Shingo starring at her and soon the rest and becomes embarrassed. Waiting a little longer to see if they’ll put a discount? And those savings can be used to buy vegetables? Can carry a lot if using the dry unwashed bag that is intended for the salt? Hmm… Sounds embarrassing if others heard it alright.

Episode 4
Airi comes clean. The reason why she wanted to finish work today was because of today’s sale. There’s a reason why she couldn’t tell everyone her secret. What secret? Since she lives alone, she couldn’t show signs of wavering and that could send signals of weakness. Being the principal’s daughter, she has to live up to expectations in the eyes of others though she barely manages to scrape by. But the rest are happy because they never think she had lied to them. Then they all visit Airi’s apartment and it is bloody cramped! The girls help make dinner and they happily eat together. Airi hopes they will keep this a secret in school and they agree. Next day, Airi joins them together in lunch and this brings a pleasant surprise to the rest. They see Airi’s bento which only consists of vegetarian diet! Poor girl! You call that healthy? Anyway the rest offer some of their meat to her which lights up her face very much. Airi decides to help Shingo study since it is next week and this brings an unpleasant reminder to the rest. Ugh… Exams… Soon. Airi wants him to come to her place for the tutoring. Isn’t it going to be cramp? So as not to make it as they’re doing suspicious, Airi wants Sakuno to come along too. Won’t that be even more cramp? Well, it’s going to get worse because Angie, Miu and Sana also tag along! I hope they can get some studying done in this small space. With Airi joining them for lunch every day, the mood at Yuijo also changes with the guys and girls mixing better. One night on the streets as Shingo talks to Miu (she’s wearing some weird animal cosplay as part of her part time job), suddenly Sana butts in between them and tells that male bug to scram! Woah! What the?! WTF?! What gives?! It is revealed that this is Sana’s true colours. She hates male and has been pretending to be a good girl since the merger. Oh great. Just when you thought Airi’s case is solved, now comes this one. See Sana staring at Shingo with full of detest? As the gang continues to study, they also help celebrate Airi’s birthday. It was a surprise because she never expected them to do such a thing as nothing of this sort happened when she was living with Ranka. Then the exams just came and went like that. After they celebrate, Shingo finds her staying back at the cafeteria. He extends his thanks for her tutoring. As the duo walk back, Airi says that she thought her lifestyle would be a weakness but oddly, everyone else didn’t see it as one. She thinks that is unfair and why she wanted to thank him for. Shingo mentions everyone has weaknesses and being able to change the mood may be his weakness as he does it for himself and can’t tolerate bad atmosphere. Airi and Shingo’s relationship may be a step closer as they start calling each other without honorifics (but still using their surnames).

Episode 5
When Airi reaches home, she is breathing hard and flustering. She can’t stop thinking about Shingo and wants to see him. Shingo sees Pannya outside the door of Ranka’s office. He overheard that the Nuko Club is going to be disbanded because some students are complaining the school is keeping animals despite the club just nursing them till they get well. Is it that big deal? IT IS THAT BIG DEAL! Shingo meets Airi in the hallway and the latter is obviously flustering while talking. Angie sees this and gets an idea what is happening between them. During lunch, the girls observe how Shingo and Airi interact with each other that they made this a topic of discussion among themselves. When the boys head to the toilet, Airi confirms Shingo is different than the other boys. Sana teases her that she is in love with him but this causes Angie to realize that Shingo is an attentive person and thus her maid rival! WTF?! So are they going to put him a maid outfit for some maid competition? Well, it’s not a fashion contest at least. But Sana doesn’t think it is possible for that guy to don a maid outfit and it would look better on her. The sudden silence has Sana appalled as she wants Angie to lend her outfit to her so she can prove it to them. However Angie says all her uniforms are in one size and that means it will be too big for her around ‘that area’. True, but Sana took it as an insult and starts chasing Angie around. Angie accidentally crashes into Shingo and before anybody knows it, Angie is crying like a little girl! Later Shingo visits Angie at her room (Ranka allows her to live in a room at Yuijo) and learns her mom is also a maid and currently serving an Earl in England. It is her dream to follow in her mom’s footsteps since she has been working diligently since young. The reason why she was crying her heart out then was because she almost lost her head dress. She considers them an important identity as a maid. Shingo doesn’t blame her but she feels he is like a big umbrella that covers her throughout the good and bad weather. As Shingo leaves, he finds Airi waiting outside. She mentions about him being different but he doesn’t understand. She is fine if he doesn’t. Next morning, Angie is full of vigour and is bugging just about anyone to give her something to do. Well, nobody has. So much so she even asked the teacher and cat (?!) for any task! Then she gets this idea of making the ‘crime scene’ herself. She’ll dirty the floor and when someone sees it, that’s where she comes in to clean it up. Unfortunately she trips and wets herself. Erm… Okay, that may lead to a misunderstanding but I guess that’s the best way how you should describe someone having the bucket of water poured all over. When her friends find out what she was trying to do, Angie thought she is a failure as a maid. Shingo tells her he understands she is trying hard to be a good maid but what she did today isn’t maid-like. Those words sting her heart as she excuses herself. Angie loses confidence and couldn’t help ponder why Shingo says those harsh words. Till Airi tells her about Shingo being a meddler and perceptive person unlike everyone else, Angie realizes that Shingo isn’t her rival, but an attentive person and a big umbrella. Then she rushes off to Shingo and requests to be her master and be an umbrella to protect him. Hope that doesn’t sound too S&M-like.

Episode 6
Seeing Shingo is now her master, Angie is ready to take on any task at his home. Unfortunately they have none for her. They do everything themselves. Angie at least wants to cook but that is Sakuno’s job. Insisting she still wants to cook for Shingo, Sakuno suggests a competition. Great. Now Shingo has to eat large servings from both sides. The competition continues as the girls want to scrub his back… And continuing right till bed time, Angie continues ‘helping out’ the way she can. Warming his bed? I don’t think he got enough sleep. In school, Shingo drops by Nuko Club to see Miu feeding Pannya (don’t talk with your mouth full! Besides, I don’t know what you’re saying, hehe). Apologizing he overheard her conversation with Ranka the other day, he wants to help out by joining the club. Their happy moment is disrupted when Sana comes in. She roughs him up for being close to Miu but learns a shocking discover when Miu tells her he is their newest recruit. So it can’t be help since Miu said so. Therefore Sana is going to have him work to the bone by putting up hand drawn recruitment posters all over school. I know her drawing is bad but at least any fool can tell that weird animal is Pannya. Not Shingo. He got punched for that. Shingo returns home and to his relief Sakuno and Angie have stopped their competition and cooperated to make dinner. Phew. No more over-full meals. Ranka pays them a visit to see how Angie’s doing. Ranka and Angie’s mom are good friends that is why she was left in her care. Reminding her if she has forgotten, Angie pinpoints she has been hectic with school, work and helping others. Plus, she has just found a new master. But when Ranka points out ever since Angie left, the student council members are finding it hard to cope with the increasing paper work. You know what this means? This means Angie is needed! And straight away she happily heads back to school. On a cold day, Shingo and Sakuno see Airi and Sana staring intensely at the notice board. Actually the Nuko Club posters are gone. Then with word from Hayata, Shingo rushes to the incinerator and puts his hand in (OMG?! WTF?!) to save the posters. DON’T TRY THIS STUNT!!! So how many did he save? Just two. And it earned him a bandaged hand. Was it worth it? Well, maybe. They learn the club will be disbanded if they don’t enough the minimum required members. They need six people and an advisor and the deadline is tomorrow. Angie and Sakuno take a look at the poster (see, even they can recognize that bad drawing as Pannya) and decide to join the club because the picture shows their feelings. They need one more. Just one more… Anybody… One more only… I think Pannya is trying to pinpoint Airi because it starts ‘harassing’ her! Of course since she doesn’t get along well with animals, Shingo couldn’t ask her and with Hayata swamped with student council work, it’s impossible. But he’ll try to bring up the poster incident during his meeting. Shingo and the girls start drawing new posters and put them all up over school. That night when it is raining heavily, Shingo and Airi forgot their umbrellas so they rush back to her home. Not wanting him to catch a cold, she insists he takes a bath first or else she wouldn’t let him go home! And she will only head in after in. Seeing they’re arguing on that, they start sneezing. I’ve got an idea. Why not go in together!!! Oh well, Shingo heads in first and suddenly the lights went out. Is it a blackout? Actually, Airi off the lights because she’s coming in too!!! Oh sh*t! Can’t see anything… With their backs facing each other, she wonders why he never invited her to join. Isn’t it obvious? She can’t handle animals well so it won’t be a good idea. For the record, nothing ‘happening’ happened in the cramped bathtub. But surprise, surprise. The next day, Airi says she is joining the Nuko Club.

Episode 7
Nuko Club has the required numbers to be officially recognized and Machi is their advisor. Ranka is surprised that even Airi who dislikes animals joined. Just what magic did they do to convince her? Well, let’s just say it is one boy… The club members attend to the wounded animals and Miu surprises Shingo by asking him to go shopping with her tomorrow. Can’t turn her down, can’t he? But why is Sana there too? She’s on a date with Miu? She doesn’t believe Miu invited him till she heard it from her mouth. Now do you believe it? Since Nuko Club is official, they are going to shop for equipments. Attempts by Sana to tell Miu to stay away from that garbage guy went futile. It’s like she ignored her and continued talking friendly with him. Then when Sana gives her a can drink, Miu drinks half and gives the rest to Shingo. But is she okay with that indirect kiss? Well, she doesn’t mind if it’s him but won’t do it to other boys. Well, that settles it. Sana couldn’t take it anymore and runs away. Miu wonders if it was something she said. Yeah, well… Don’t worry. Shingo doesn’t think it is her fault. It’s his. Like always. The Nuko Club members go on an outing to release a squirrel back into the wild. Sana got too emotional and cried! Need a handkerchief? Shingo and Sana are walking together as the latter mentions she still doesn’t recognize him as a club member. How to get him recognize then? Be a girl! Okay, here’s another plausible one: Show her the strength to make her recognize him. Next morning in the club room, it’s like everyone else purposely leaves to let Shingo and Sana be alone together. Sana helps put a plaster over Shingo’s shoulder because he slept in a wrong position. Shingo meets up with Hayata and he is shocked to hear from him that rumours are rife that he and Sana are going out. Well, he heard it from Sakuno. Uhm, she heard from Airi. Ah, but she heard it from Angie. She was the one who spread it around. WHAT?! It’s a maid’s job to further her master’s love? Oh, but she heard that from Miu. So Miu explains she didn’t really mean to cause the misunderstanding but thought since she dislikes men, Shingo would be the best person to talk too. Well, she was talking to him, right? Some not-so-nice-words thrown in of course. Then when Sana comes by to return his handkerchief, I guess this only confirms their suspicions. Shingo talks to Sana at the park and she allows him to call her by her first name. Without honorifics. She will do the same for him. Then he clarifies about the misunderstanding that they’re going out. I’m not sure if she’s happy or sad but she reasserts she has no interest in boys. She thinks he likes Miu even if they don’t match. I can’t tell if she’s happy or sad with that statement. Is she turning tsundere? But definitely Airi is worried because she spots them together. Next day in the club room, Shingo talks to Miu about Sana and how Miu works hard to keep care for this club. Shingo thought it would be lonely if all the animals are gone, returned to their natural habitat when Miu falls asleep on his shoulder.

Episode 8
There are a couple of abandoned kittens in Nuko Club. Because of their club only nurses lost and injured animals, they need to find a home for them. Everyone has their own circumstances that make them unable to take them home. Sana thinks she’s the only one left who can take it home but Miu disagrees and wants everyone to find them a home. Unfortunately there are no takers as well. Shingo comes into the club room to see Miu watching Pannya feeding the kittens (it seemed like a funny scene). Miu thought she should breast feed them and this startles Shingo. Suddenly the door slams open and Sana thought something perverted had come through his mind and kicks his face! Miu notices how good they are getting along with each other. You call that good? Shingo and Sana talk out the misunderstanding at the park. Sana feels she’ll take care of them if no home is found. Shingo remembers Miu’s scarred fingers so this prompts Sana to tell him on the day she first met her. Despite Pannya biting Miu’s fingers (because it was not used to humans then), Miu never gave up till Pannya became friendly with her. Does it hurt? As long as it’s calmed down, she doesn’t mind the pain. That’s when Sana started admiring her. As long as others are happy, Miu doesn’t mind suffering. That’s why Sana joined Nuko Club. She wants Shingo to admit he joined the club because of Miu. But worded it in another way I guess. It’s more of he respected her and wanted to help out. What about feelings of love or hate? Well, he doesn’t know about that. Seriously? He adds whenever he is with her, he feels relaxed. So what about Sana? I suppose he isn’t lying when he says she would be a great friend if he were a girl. Sana wants him to prove that he can become her first male friend (maybe he already did, just that she’s being tsundere). Next morning when Shingo enters Nuko Club, he is surprised to learn Miu had overstayed in the club room just to look after the kittens. He advises her not to push herself and he wants to help out too. She thanks him. Later when Sana talks to Miu, she asks her opinion of Shingo. Whenever she is with him, she feels relaxed. Hey. Doesn’t that sound awfully familiar? Yeah, probably the two think alike. Probably they… Oh, better not jump the gun. Another extraordinary thing happened. As everyone was trying to give names to the kitten, guess which name it responded to? Shingo. How about the other one? Make a good guess. Did you guess it was Miu? I’m sure this can be interpreted in lots of ways. But fun time is over as they are being called by Ranka. She really needs them to find a home for the kittens or it would be a bother for the school. Sana has drawn up posters for it but Miu thinks she will watch over them as her responsibility as club president. Shingo hopes she won’t overdo things and to rest because if she gets sick, it won’t do anybody any good. Again she thanks him. See that concern look on Sana and Airi’s face when they see them both talking? When it’s Sana’s turn to take watch, she tries to make the kitten respond to her name! Not working. She thought Shingo had overheard her (luckily he didn’t) and flusters. Shingo thought Miu had gone home and rest but is shocked to hear she got an emergency call from her part time job. Shingo is going to stop her. At first Sana stops him but realizes he is the only one who can do it and lets him go. Sana remembers when Miu asked her what she thought about Shingo. Her reply was someone who could make her happy. So she doesn’t hate him after all, eh? Shingo finds Miu doing her part time job and wants her to go home. But she insists she is fine. Uh… Coughing like that isn’t fine. And then she collapses. Now that is definitely not fine.

Episode 9
Miu is taken back to Shingo’s place to rest and recover. Next morning, Miu is fine and finds Shingo sleeping by the bed side all night long. It’s like watching over the cats, eh? As she leaves for home, Miu gives him her handphone number to let her know if anything crops up. In school, Sana laments her misfortune because Shingo got to nurse Miu instead. Then they go to the club room and are surprised to see Miu there! Isn’t she supposed to be home resting? Well, she couldn’t leave the kittens alone. She promises she’ll be leaving soon. I have a feeling I can’t take her word. Then Machi comes in and relays the good news: A kind soul wants to take the kitten home. Bad news? He can only take one of them. So it is with much heartbreak that they have to separate the duo (does it have any hidden implications on their human counterparts?). Sana asserts she wants to take in this Shingo the cat. I thought Miu forbid her? Well, the boss is away and since nobody opposes, she’ll just do that. On the way home, Miu talks to Shingo the cat like as though she’s in love with him, she’ll show him everything. Shingo just felt bad for himself. Curse yourself for having such identical names. Shingo gets a call from Miu as she invites him to her home. Sana doesn’t look please when she realizes he got her handphone number. Shingo asks Sana about Miu’s home and her family and I guess he must have said something wrong because he got kicked in the gut! While Shingo plays with Miu’s pair of cats, Miu went to bake some cookies while her mom, Yuiko comes in to thank him for what he did by hugging him from the back. How often you can get this kind of treatment from a girl’s mother? On to serious stuff, she wants to see the face of the boy who saved her daughter and that Miu is the kind of person who blames herself for everything. When she was young, the death of her favourite cat traumatized her. Thus she cares for those animals because she feels responsible for what happened. Now on to flirty stuff, Yuiko wonders when they can sleep together and blossom their relationship!!! Imagine what Miu would say if she sees mommy doing this. Oops, too late. And Shingo thought she was Miu’s sister. Buddy, in animes, mothers are ALWAYS young enough to look like your sister or girlfriend. So Shingo and Miu talk about the cats and Nuko Club. Shingo realizes he forgot his handphone and returns to get it. Then he sees a mind blowing scene: Miu running around naked chasing after her mischievous cats! Miu wants to walk him to the park seeing it will be awkward saying goodbye like this. Shingo assures her he didn’t see anything but she felt disappointed that he could be honest that he saw them. Okay, so he did. Now she panics even more. So which is it?! That’s why you can’t really understand women ;p. He has a request from her and wants her to involve him instead of doing everything by herself. She promises to it. Next day, Sana shows a picture of her being lovey-dovey with her cat and teases Shingo about it. They caught Miu doing sit ups (with Pannya?!) in the club room. She thinks she has gained weight but Sana was dense enough not to realize Shingo had seen something, the reason perhaps Miu is doing her exercise. Well, this saves another kick. Then Sana observes how Shingo and Miu help each other out. They’re so friendly that it breaks her heart. Airi spots Sana coming out from the club and wonders if something is wrong because she is crying. Yeah, she knows and understands it’s because of a certain guy.

Episode 10
Nuko Club release a pigeon back into the wild. Because Shingo continues to help Miu, Sana butts in instead. As they walk back, Airi talks to Sana and hopes she could cut that out. Sana dismisses whatever she meant and that she has always been acting like that. When Miu decides to stop over at a cafe, only Sana decides not to join them. So in class, the awkwardness between Sana and Miu is so obvious that even Hayata knows something is wrong, though he can’t pinpoint what happened between them. As the gang clean up the club room, Miu suggests Shingo to help out Sana clean the tank. Then when they return, Machi has some bad news. Seems the owner of Miu the cat has returned her because it was acting somewhat sick (like not eating its food) though the vet couldn’t find anything wrong. Sana relates that her cat too is experiencing something like that. Noticing Miu the cat wandering around the room like as though searching for something, then it hit Sana that it is looking for her other counterpart. Sana thinks of taking in this one too but Miu advises against it. She goes home to bring her cat as she thinks if they’re together, it’ll work out. Airi chases after her and mentions if she is fine living with a couple of kittens whose names are the same as her love rival. But Sana dismisses Miu as her love rival. She is someone whom she admires. And that’s that. Machi reports to Ranka what happened so Ranka thought she could take in the cat. But I guess she started comparing it to guys so there goes her chance. Shingo asks Miu why she opposed Sana adopting cats. She reveals that Sana is allergic to cats. I don’t understand about her symptoms not showing up right away when in the club room but it may be a different case when she’s at home. I thought as long as you’re allergic, your allergies will start kicking in. Shingo understands what Sana is feeling because he too had asthma when he was young and always felt impatient of unable to live freely. He notes them both as kind people who sacrifice themselves for the good of others. Miu lets him know that she plans to release the rabbit to the wild next week. This means Pannya will be the only one left. She tells him the first time she met Pannya was during her first year. It was a weird creature very timid of humans. The next time she met it, she was in her second year. But this time Pannya was weak, cold, afraid and alone. Like a lost animal who lost its mother. She thought of releasing it so it could rejoin its friends and family again. Besides, isn’t this what Nuko Club is about? Shingo felt the sadness in her words and suddenly hugs her. OMG! Is he going to rape her?! Just kidding. He confesses he loves her. She thought he likes Sana but he clears the air it was just a misunderstanding. And since he is okay with a girl like her, this time they mutually hug each other till Pannya interjects for some attention. They realize it is raining loudly but that is because the door wasn’t closed. Hey, I thought it was closed? Oh no. Want to bet somebody has seen it? Want to bet a zillion dollars it was ‘that’ girl? Sana sits alone at the swing, crying alone and thinking back all the fun times she had with Shingo (including the abuses). Airi covers her with an umbrella and realizes this may be big sh*t because Sana’s tears were so heartbreaking to see. She lets her cry her heart out while the losers in love hug each other. “Cry all you want for him today. Then forget about him…” :’(

Episode 11
The gang wonders Sana’s absence from class so Airi covers up for her saying she has flu. Yeah, she’s sick. Love sick perhaps. Shingo and Miu have a little intimate time together in the club room. They start off touching each other’s warm hands. Well, it’s a start. What were you expecting? Miu suggests he come study at her house tomorrow since her mom won’t be in till evening. But surprise, surprise. There mommy is ranting about her dreaming of becoming a teacher and her favourite subject is health and physical education. She wants to teach Shingo about fertilization. Be careful of this kind of mother. She’ll steal your boyfriend if you’re not careful! When Sana returns to class, she talks about her cats who are acting intimate with each other. Sana and Airi give Shingo that stare. He is having a hard time replying so what should be the best solution? Castrate Shingo the cat!!! And yes. Yuiko continues to bug Shingo over ‘physical education’… Can they study in peace?! When Shingo talks to Sana, he realized she knows about them confessing (heck, she saw it). Though it’s annoying, she can’t think of any other suitable guy for Miu. Then she warns him about getting dumped after Miu graduation but he’s being cool and level headed he can’t tell the future. I guess it’s her chance to say if ever that happens, she doesn’t mind being his girlfriend. However he assures her he will not use her as a substitute because that will be rude. Was that the answer she’s looking for? Sana comes back with a nice cover saying it was just a test and would report to Miu if he had caught on. Seeing he has not yet got any Christmas present for Miu, Sana wants to accompany him next weekend to go buy one. It’s their first Christmas and it mustn’t be a disappointing one. Later Sana talks to Airi about asking her to come along to buy presents. She thought it would just hurt her further. Though Sana seems to have better composure this time, she mentions that she still thinks of Shingo. Shingo accompanies Miu home from her job that night. Knowing Yuiko will be a ‘bother’, she wonders if it’s okay to go to his house. What about Sakuno? Don’t worry, she and the other girls will have a sleepover and all-night party at Airi’s place. When Angie mentions about seeing the lights on in Ranka’s office, Airi notes her mom is a workaholic but that is not what Angie is pointing out. She heard the merger has hit rock bottom and in worse scenario case, it will be cancelled. Not wanting to let this get them down, Sana has everyone play in the snow at the park. She asks about being in love and staying single. Well, the girls choose to be the latter because for Sana, with the exception of that guy, she won’t fall in love again. I guess it hurts too much on your first experience, huh? Sana teases Airi that the guy she’ll lose her heart to will be the best boyfriend in the world but she dismisses it and that she’ll definitely never fall in love after all. Even though it is snowing cold outside, it is getting hot and steamier at Shingo’s place. The moment we’ve all been waiting for: Shingo and Miu kiss! Several times! He must be one heck of a good kisser that Miu wants more! Man, I’m so jealous!

Episode 12
There’s always a right place for everything. So when Shingo and Miu got lovey-dovey in the club room, you have to expect that they will be watched by the other members, right? Of course Sana warns him if he makes Miu cry, he is going to pay. Instantly, he embraces Miu!!! Was that a reflex action?! Maybe Sana didn’t mean now so she tears them apart. Later when the other girls thought they see a larger and smaller version of Pannya outside, Sana notes it is Mamanya. Who? Pannya’s supposed mother. Though this means Pannya has a family, however Miu is paralyzed in shock. The gang head to the place Miu first met Pannya. The place was once filled with trees but now it is almost barren. Miu puts a hair accessory with Pannya’s scent on a stump. Then they hide behind a tree and wait for Mamanya and Chibinya (that’s what I call the little one) to appear. True enough, they both turn up and as Mamanya smell the accessory, she gives out a cry that longs for her offspring. The rest are in a dilemma to release Pannya because it has become their club’s mascot. But Miu with a smile decides to release it next weekend. Just like in life, they’ll all graduate and leave and can’t stay this way forever. Back in the club room as Miu happily plays with Pannya, Shingo thinks she may be overdoing it. Maybe she is because she’s hiding her grief through that. Airi remembers hearing from Machi that the merger has been disapproved by the board members. So when she tells her classmates, they are surprised. But they thought Airi was against it in the first place. Wasn’t she? Now she’s got her wish, eh? Airi explains she was against it at first because she was afraid Yuijo would change. However recently there is someone going through hard times and thought she is strong. She too wants to be strong like that for everyone. She feels if they encourage the merger, there may be big changes in their future, both for Yuijo and Kagamidai. So what can they as students do? Hold a student rally. Everyone gets excited and even thinks of bringing other classes and their parents to join.

Back in the club room as Shingo and Miu are alone, Shingo talks to her that the person Airi was referring to was her. But Miu dismisses she is a strong person Airi thought she was. In tears, she reveals she doesn’t want to give Pannya away. Breaking down, she wants to keep him forever. Shingo hugs her and assures he’ll always be by her side. Back home, Miu asks her mom for advice about cats usually dying before humans. Yuiko notes it is a painful experience but has always made memories with them in her heart. They have to move on. Giving an example like how she’ll graduate and move out of this house, it is a sad moment but if you let that sadness take over, you and everyone will end up in pain. What is important is the time you spend with everyone and what they mean to you. Airi sees Ranka about the rally for the merger. Ranka says to leave it to her and notes how the merger has been successful in its own way because her daughter is now more feminine. Yes, she even learnt to say sorry. Something she would never likely hear from her. On the weekend to release Pannya, Shingo wonders if Miu will be alright. She has already gotten over agonizing over Pannya’s departure. The time spent with it is her precious treasure. So before Pannya reunites with its family, everyone assures they won’t forget those times they had with Pannya. They may not be speaking the same language but you can tell they understood each other. And off Pannya goes with Mamanya and Chibinya. During graduation, Sakuno shows them her Yuijo uniform which will be worn next semester. Sana has become Nuko Club’s president when Yutsuki Onomiya comes in to tell them that she and others had spotted a raccoon giving birth behind the PE shed. I guess this means the club will continue to operate, eh? Shingo and Miu spend a lovely time together as she says just as she has made many memories with Pannya, now she wants to make memories with him. So the final narration of what colour should memories be. A colour sparkling like treasure. What about the future? Pure white because whatever colour it is, it hasn’t been coloured yet. Finally Shingo and Miu spot a familiar tail peeping out from behind the growth.

Boring-Coloured Love Story…
Oh well. That’s how it ended? I won’t say it’s a bad ending but I thought it could have ended better. Overall, even though the lack of ecchi fanservice is welcomed, I couldn’t help feel that this series was somewhat boring. I have to admit that there were many times that my attention was in the danger of being diverted to something else away from the screen. One of the few good points of a so called harem series is that the guy eventually picks a girl he wants to end up with and in this point, Miu, though she may be a year older but that is not the issue. The storyline of Airi opposing the merger seemed like the tone of this series but this was quickly done away with once she reveals her secret of why she was acting conceited. I thought this opposing thing was going to last for the entire duration of the series and thus the dozen episodes needed for Shingo to change her mind. Plus, he got off to a bad start in her eyes and accidentally ended up in ambiguous situations. But just a quarter of the way, Airi becomes docile and their friend. Which of course is a good thing. Quickly replacing that I feel is the interaction between Shingo, Sana and Miu. I am not sure if the school merger has worked because Sakuno showing off her school uniform could just mean that she decides to enrol at Yuijo next semester. But if it was so, doesn’t it feel like she’s abandoning her old friends at Kagamidai? I’m sure the siblings have more friends back in their own school, right? To just transfer to the new school to be with their new friends isn’t justified. So I really think that the rally had worked and those board members gave into pressure and some heckling by Ranka to withdraw their stance. After all, it is the students and teachers who want this merger, right? They are the ones going to school and making this a fun place. Not some fat bald old guys sitting on their fat luxury chairs making decisions that don’t really affect them.

The love triangle (or quadruple or more) does not feel intense and so you won’t be seeing the girls turning from best friends into bitter love rivals and slugging it out over a guy. For instance, Airi was just always there and watching. Especially over Sana’s actions. Maybe it is because of her hesitation did Shingo and Miu become a couple? If she had been true to her feelings (provided if she indeed had fallen in love with him at that time), it might have turned out differently. So when she sees other girls interacting friendlier with Shingo, she just gives out that worried look and doesn’t take any further action. Maybe she still has her pride to protect. What will the other girls think if the principal’s daughter suddenly finds herself a boyfriend? She’d be made to eat her words since she was against the merger at first. Now that doesn’t seem important anymore, eh? Sana’s actions were slowly becoming obvious that she is turning into a tsundere. If she truly hated him, any reason would have been good enough for her to beat him up and such. But was Miu the reason why she held back her feelings? Because she respected her so much, she’d be willing to give up on Shingo, therefore the tsundere attitude. It bugs me why she was putting up a facade and being friendly with him when they first met. Maybe it’s because once she finds out he and Miu know each other, there is this threat that her best friend will be taken away, thus the hostility. Either way, Shingo doesn’t realize Airi or Sana has feelings for him and the potential of this becoming a harem is like hoping the day pigs fly. Angie the happy-happy maid likes Shingo just on a master-servant basis while the expressionless Sakuno is well, naturally his sister. So does it feel like a harem here or just best friends in a club hanging out together?

Speaking of Airi, there is this special OVA that lasts around 15 minutes called Another Story “A Girlfriend’s Colour In Airi”. My big guess is that this dating simulation-like video is made for fans of Airi since she wasn’t chosen in the TV series. However we’ll be only seeing and hearing Airi’s voice as she interacts (the right word here is ‘talk’) with us viewers who are supposed to be her lover. We have no say in the dialogue. Isn’t that what real life is when a boy and a girl talks? Haha! The animation here is computer generated and this sometimes make Airi move like a robot. And at certain viewpoints, she really does look odd. Anyway if you love 2D girls saying how much they love you and all that or want to know what’s it like, this is a good chance for you. So basically we see Airi being shy-shy, embarrassed in become a couple. You know, the things couple should do like hold hands and kissing. Kissing? That’s to be expected right? Don’t so shy-shy. You’ll get used to it. In addition to just a shot of Airi’s face and upper body, I guess once a scenario ends, we can see Airi ‘hug’ us. Yes, that guy is supposed to be us. Then change of scenery of a date at the park. Expect the same kind of dialogue before it ends with that same hugging picture. Now Airi changes into her PE clothes and the drama and her emotions sort of intensify because she wants to us to be more than just classmates. With her status it’s going to be hard. Just give her a hug! So who says 2D girls aren’t easy to understand or ‘conquer’? And to assure all that, we get to see a close-up on Airi’s cute face (I thought at this point she looked a lot like Kodomo No Jikan’s Rin) and if you’re convinced or desperate enough, you might actually kiss the monitor! Note, I did not! Yeah well. Like she said, she probably would want to get to know us even better after school. What do you think she means and wants?

Pannya is one of those few things in this series that amuses me. What is that creature actually? Well, it looks like a cat and I thought it was that cat from Lucky Star. It is so round and its stubby legs so short, it is hard not to feel cute and go “awww…” deep down inside your heart. I guess with it being the first patient of Nuko Club and the last to leave (at least when the series ended), it feels like its whatever injury to its tail seems like a long time to recover. Like they say, it has become Nuko Club’s mascot. Who wouldn’t make such a cute creature its mascot? For example that scene whereby Pannya was nursing the abandoned kittens, all it did was just lie flat on its back and it looked like something round turned upside down! Get what I mean? Funnily cute, I’d say. For a creature that is very timid of humans’ presence, ironically Pannya has grown fonder to be with them especially Miu. It’s good that it isn’t afraid at the sight of just any humans but like all animal instincts, it too yearns for its family. Actually I never see that yearning in Pannya till the end. Maybe it thought its family are long gone and the only one left? The other amusing person is Yuiko. Not only she looks young, but is flirty. Maybe this isn’t like her but Shingo is an exception case. Yes, that guy is always an exception for the girls. There’s something special in him that makes him different. I bet it’s his kindness. So for Yuiko to even get physical with Shingo, it pretty tells you much about this mom. Maybe this is what keeps her young. Maybe that is why Miu never brought a boy home apart from her school being all girls only.

As for the fanservice, as I have mentioned it isn’t something you should look forward to when watching this show and if there are any, they are relatively kept to a very minimum. The bath scene whereby Sakuno willingly goes in to bath with her brother or Angie getting herself all wet wouldn’t constitute to anything stimulating. Really. Please don’t think I’m such a veteran expert in this area, okay? I guess the ‘biggest’ fanservice scene would be the one whereby Miu streaked out of the toilet in her home naked. I was wondering why the heck there was such a bright light coming out of the room. Were they turning on all the lights? Was there some sort of bright lights party? And when Miu ran across the scene, I instantly knew it was that damn bloody censor. I hope this isn’t the reason why Shingo decided to become Miu’s girlfriend! Hope not!

The voice acting casts include Takahiro Mizushima as Shingo (Nagasumi in Seto No Hanayome, Christopher in Scrapped Princess), Ryoko Ono as Airi (Mirajane in Fairy Tail, Hiyoko in Oretachi Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai), Noriko Rikimaru as Miu (Nori in Rozen Maiden, Kukuri in 11eyes), Mayumi Yoshida as Sana (Himeji in Himawari, Asuka in Oretachi Ni Tsubasa Wa Nai), Oma Ichimura as Angie (Ibuki in Happiness, Aya in Super GALS), Mai Goto as Sakuno (Mika in Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu, Ritos in Shukufuku No Campanella), Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Hayata (Yuuji in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu), Harumi Sakurai doubling as Ranka and Pannya (Hayami in H2O ~Footprints In The Sand, Yuri in Angel Beats) and Michiru Yuimoto as Yuiko (Jun in Happiness). At first I was wondering why Kei Mizusawa (Clarissa in Infinite Stratos) who was the voice of Machi had some other anime roles listed under the alias of Rino Kawashima. Apparently all the roles she voiced in the latter alias turned out to be hentai animes… I’m sure the misconception of using your real name for this kind of genre, eh? The opening theme, Authentic Symphony by Choucho sounds like a typical anime pop for this kind of series while the ending theme, Suisai Candy by Marble feels like another one of their trademark pop style like the ending song for Hatsukoi Limited, Ryuusei Record in Hidamari Sketch x 365 and Kimikiss Pure Rouge’s Aozora Loop.

I guess the underlying theme of this anime is about treasuring the precious times you spend with your friends and loved ones. As we know time moves forward and it will be impossible to get it back once it is lost. It is best to have every memory as a happy and memorable one that will last a lifetime. However there are times we feel sad and down and it is important not to let that overshadow and affect us to a point we can’t move forward. Just like in this ever changing world, nothing stays the same forever and the only thing that never changes is change itself. We may be afraid to face something new or change out from our comfort zone because we do not fully understand the implications. Some things need time to nurture and flourish and as far as this anime is concerned, that is what making new friends is all about. If you have to put a colour on everything that goes on in this world, I’m sure this world would be a very, very, very colourful place indeed. That is why every day is a very interesting and vibrant adventure. If the colour of pure love is white, what do you think the colour of hentai otakus should be? White. Because they reek of semen… Oh God. Lack of fanservice in this anime and here comes the dirty jokes… My face is dyed in red for saying that.

Though I didn’t get my wish for this series to be turned into a weekly anime TV series, at least the single OVA episode of Yuri Seijin Naoko-san that came out in February 2012 lasted longer as compared to the first one back in 2008. Yeah, 28 minutes this time instead of just 6 lousy short minutes. The fun part is of course Naoko herself who claims to be from this Planet Yuri and has plans to conquer Earth by yurifying everyone on this planet. I’m not sure if that is turning everyone into girls or making them into a yuri lover. Oh, I just remembered: Cutting off men’s penis to turn them into females! Yikes! With her peculiar antics, unusual rational and wits, life isn’t going to be a bed of roses for the girl that she is freeloading with, Misuzu. Can she stand all this yuri crap or be turned into one herself? Stay tuned for Naoko will show you the way…

Yuri makes the world go round…
Misuzu seems to be having hay fever. Naoko wants Ryouta to suck those mysterious fluids dripping from her nose! As Misuzu reads out the definition of hay fever from the dictionary, all Naoko can envision are naked men going around spreading their ‘membranes’, scaring little girls! I can’t believe Ryouta believed Naoko’s words and really tried to suck Misuzu’s running nose with a straw!!! Naoko vows to conquer the world via yurinization and drags Misuzu on to her gamepad controller-like pod and blasts off into the sky. She is going to use her ray blaster to counter this ‘hay fever’ thingy by using the features of this accelerated evolution gun to yurify the pine trees. WTF?! Then crashing in the middle of the forest, this feeling reminded her when she first entered an adult bookstore and was overwhelmed by the erotic atmosphere that made her feel her own sexual desires feel insignificant. And she left without buying anything. Naoko starts up her gun and fires one freaking big blast at all the trees! Suddenly all the trees are uprooted and fly straight into the sky!!! Is this what yurinization is?! Hey, aren’t trees asexual? Naoko narrates Naoko is apparently an alien and part of a species that’s been watching over the evolution of Earth since ancient times. She just can’t help wonder why the heck she is staying in their home.

Hii-chan wanted to come over today but Naoko feels it is not a good time. I know. With that crazy Naoko around, Misuzu feels bad for turning her down but can’t let her meet that alien anyhow. But speaking of the devil, suddenly they see Naoko climbing a pole imitating a lizard! Oh God. That wasn’t the worst part. More like, Naoko and Hii-chan can get along fine with their weirdness! Seems Naoko got lost while doing an errand. She left trails of porn magazines on the road but they’re all gone. Hii-chan thought birds took them away (WTF?!) when the real culprit shows up: Misuzu’s mom. She’s been picking them up and hands them back to Misuzu! She thinks they belong to her! Naoko even has the cheek to say books promoting sexual degeneration where kids can find them are a big problem. Mommy feels daddy is always at work and that she can’t watch the kids as much. Naoko starts thinking it is because of her father’s absence, Misuzu has been committing these crimes out of loneliness. She volunteers to become her father and allows her to touch her part down there…

So while Hii-chan visits Misuzu’s room (Naoko’s room is like a makeshift dump on the roof), Naoko mentions she has sent Ryouta on a ‘difficult task’ that will make him grow as a man. That is, to go buy a porn video. Do you think the storekeeper will believe Ryouta in that mechanized manly body? Misuzu remembers how much she loves her sister. Yes, the real Naoko. When she heard she was coming back, she rushed home only to find the yuri alien instead. Eh? Who was she? Naoko claimed she was her sister so Misuzu thought she really must have changed since she has not seen her in years. I guess her fetish for porn must be a dead giveaway because Naoko starts searching this room for hidden porn magazines. Would he real sister have any? Oh look. Naoko found one under the bed. Well, actually that belongs to mommy. Oh sh*t!!! Hii-chan is so touched by the story that she cried! WTF?! She even concludes that her real sister may be on Planet Yuri right now, learning the true meaning of yuri. Naoko agrees with what she says. Only thing is, Misuzu remembers she said something much different the last time (Naoko claimed herself to be human and wants to be called her sister). Meanwhile the storekeeper is seeking for Ryouta’s age proof. Since he can’t read the words on the buttons, he goes by his guts and of all the buttons, he had to press the one which is a bomb. BOOM! So when the news report of a terrorism-like incident breaking out at an adult video shop, Naoko quips they can’t even buy porn in peace nowadays. As for Misuzu, she really feels they have forgotten something. I guess little brother wasn’t that prominent in their lives…

Misuzu dreams when her real sister came back to watch over her when she fell sick. Then when she prepares to leave to Hii-chan’s place to study, Naoko also wants to tag along and brings Ryouta too. Thinking the sun is too hot, she thinks of firing her gun into it to advance the sun’s lifespan. Wouldn’t that turn it into a supernova? Or maybe she just wants to shoot something. While Misuzu is surprised that nobody seems to be bothered by Naoko’s oddities, Naoko is asking a policeman if there is any child prostitution ring around! Only MILF prostitution ring around… I can’t believe they made Ryouta carry that whatever heavy sack he’s been carrying so when he can’t further go on, Naoko reveals inside it to be a gift. Miyoko, a delicacy from her planet but why the heck does she need all that unnecessary machine just for that little box?! Naoko claims that one bite of this sweet will make TV Tokyo seemingly look 50% sexier. And suddenly all the men start to rush and gather around Naoko in a frenzy stampede. Is it true? Even the wise sage asks if this would work on any shows. Yes. Even recorded ones. Then it turns into a street musical about TV Tokyo getting sexier and sexier… Misuzu just couldn’t care anymore…

Naoko seems to be explaining that when you think of summer, you think of little girls playing in water. But why is she telling a guy who is walking his dog all this? More importantly, Misuzu and Naoko finally arrive at Hii-chan’s mansion. Misuzu hopes Hii-chan isn’t mad since it has been 3 days. I guess 3 days that they were caught up with that TV Tokyo sexy thing. But too late. Hii-chan has snapped and treating a little doll as the real Misuzu! So when the real Misuzu steps in, she can’t even tell which the real one is! Misuzu puts Hii-chan to bed as Naoko calls off the little girl water-playing festival. No joke! She even gives the cancellation fees to a bunch of them. Are they professionals as Misuzu claimed? Naoko than starts rummaging through Hii-chan’s stuff for her porn books. The place is a little bigger so she’s going to take a longer time. Hii-chan is embarrassed so Misuzu had to remind Naoko what she is doing is rude. But Hii-chan snaps again and starts treating the doll as the real Misuzu… Meanwhile all the men have their eyes fixated on watching the TV programme. Ryouta wanted to escape but he is being chained! Holy sh*t!

Ryouta is sad that their promise to go to Destinyland during summer vacation is up in smokes since daddy is pretty busy. Naoko crashes in with her pod to save the day because with her planet’s technology, they can just reach Destinyland in just a second. I thought the problem was money and guardian? Misuzu allows Ryouta to go with Naoko (is she sure about this) but doesn’t want to join them. Naoko figures that Misuzu may be shy and plans to find out where she wants to go. After plugging in several devices and a headgear that resemble mouse ears, putting them on Ryouta’s head reveals his deepest desire to enjoy himself at Destinyland. The odd part is his conversation with Misuzu in which his sister mentions there are all kinds of different penises! Is this what Ryouta really thinks of his sister? Then Naoko puts the headgear on Misuzu. By the time she wakes up, two and a half weeks have flown by and as Naoko mentions the headgear have this prolonged sleep inducing effect. Haha! The entire summer vacation wasted. Oh Ryouta… You had to bear the results of Naoko’s screw up but as mommy notes, they all had a good night’s sleep. Good nights, she means.

Unifying and P(y)urifyng The World…
Naoko is definitely an oddball and the reason why I was laughing all the way even if her yuri obsession and perverted behaviour seemed annoying. Though you can predict what she’ll kind of say (something perverted related anyway), I guess it’s this sort of amusing answer that throws you off your feet. However we don’t really see her trying her best to take over the world via yurifying. It’s as though she is just bumming around having fun, messing about with Misuzu, Ryouta and Hii-chan. At this rate, is she really going to conquer the world or will she end up as a statistical failure like that frog in Keroro Gunsou and a certain squid in Shinryaku! Ika Musume. Some of her gadgets like her big blasting accelerating gun are awesome. Just wished that I can see more of those firepower. Even if it’s at the expense of changing the nature of something ;p. Though I would have preferred to see more episodes on this, but I can’t complain. It is at least running on a longer duration this time. Thus the OVA is just random silliness instead of developing anything like the story (perhaps another alien who wants to take over the world via yaoi-nization, posing a rival and challenge to Naoko’s goal) or other characters (any more perverted yuri aliens out there?).

As for Misuzu, I just can’t help notice that she is such a soft spoken person all the way. I mean to have such an irritating alien living under the same roof (okay, maybe in a separate makeshift annexed structure but that’s not the point) and I have never seen her raise her voice, yell or get mad. Maybe she has resigned to her fate that life indeed is going to be one big troublesome stumble with Naoko around. Speaking of Misuzu’s real sister, what really happened to her anyway? From what I can see and understand is that she is currently missing for an unknown reason. Don’t really tell me she went to Planet Yuri after all. I can’t fathom a nice sister like her ending up to be a yuri pervert. As for Ryouta, I guess he is really a gullible kid. He wholeheartedly does whatever Naoko tells him to do and at this rate I feel not only his chastity but his sanity will be in danger too. He might turn out to be a ‘monster’ created courtesy by Naoko when he grows up. Hii-chan? She’s also slightly another oddball seeing she too accepted Naoko so easily. Maybe she believes in aliens too?

Both the opening and ending theme are sung by Mi-Ko. Both themes have this weird and alien-space-like feel to it. The opening theme is called Yuri Seijin Naoko-san (New Version) and in addition to the upbeat tune, the animation is filled with lots of craziness and weirdness. Gives you a fell on what to expect, eh? Yeah, the lyrics are even about Naoko herself. “Turning you into a deviant with just one glance”, “Caught up in a stupid fabulous romance, she’s feeling guilty about something, you can just tell”, “Her message from space is all mixed up but as long as it reaches you, it is okay”. Says so much about her, eh? Stay away from her as far as possible! The ending theme is entitled Photon Belt Kankou Hotel and besides the dramatic effect, it also gives that mysterious and enigmatic feel. Playing around with the pace, I think there are some lines like as though they are being narrated by an alien. Cute or creepy? What do you expect when you even have weird lyrics like “Say goodbye to the genes of the galaxy”, “Swallowed up by a speeding up fate to rot away”.

So there you have it. Naoko and her yurinization plans to conquer the world… Still in progress… I don’t think Naoko really needs that accelerating blaster to yurinize every male. At the rate Japan is going and considering if their preaching on this deviant is successfully ‘exported’ to the rest of the world, you’ll have yuri as a norm for the next generations to come. Hah. Like that will really happen. But next time I meet this type of alien, I hope to and try not to get swept into her pace because if ever one day I become a yuri fan, that will be a day I turned into a girl. Or worse, a yaoi fan instead.

Remember the first friend you made? How about ever wondering the best way to make a friend? And I mean a real person in the flesh in the friend instead of just liking somebody over Facebook. As humans, it is natural for us to find a group with similar interests or personalities. And of course there are others who aren’t so ‘lucky’. Being an outcast without friends certainly is no fun and as they say, one is the loneliest number. I’m not saying that Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai (I Don’t Have Many Friends) is an anime teaching us loners how to make friends but this is what usually people with no association do when they get together. Okay, I made that up.

However if you think about it, if a bunch of people with no friends group together, then you can’t call them loners anymore, right? Well, if they can start becoming friends among themselves first. You know what they say about birds with the same feathers? I guess these people need to have their own sense of belonging too. So in this series, we have the motley crew of high school students doing activities in a club that is supposed to help them in making friends. Expect lots of the typical high school antics that involves a group of students somewhat shunned by others. They include a returning ‘foreigner’ with a looks of a delinquent, his little sister with a gothic fashion, a bully with only an imaginary friend, busty Miss Popular, a rocket scientist, a maid and a loli nun supervisor. It doesn’t get any weirder than this…

Episode 0
This 10 minute OVA is somewhat like an appetizer for what to expect of the series. Kodaka Hasegawa is one heck of a popular guy. Look how he spends time with his harem girls, Yozora Mikazuki, Sena Kashiwazaki, Rika Shiguma, Maria Takayama, Yukimura Kusunoki and little sister Kobato Hasegawa. We see them having fun at the beach, playing a co-op handheld game together, singing at a karaoke joint, having a swell time at the festivals, watching the fireworks and playing a card game. Oh yeah, it sure looks like good times aplenty. So if you keep wondering why the stress on “We have many friends” and the flashing of the nabe pot, now it’s time for reality to hit Kodaka. He is rudely awakened by Rika with a taser! OMG! She’s not going to let him drift off to his fantasy land alone. And they’re in this dark sinister room with Yozora and Sena facing off in a yami nabe challenge. Both are at their limits. Flashback reveals Yozora suggested a practice nabe so that they don’t fail at nabe parties. So… What does yami nabe have to do with making friends? Maria is already out cold (she’s seeing demons), same case with Kobato and Yukimura is probably halfway dead even though she’s just scooping whatever horrible food into her mouth. As soon as Rika collapses, Yozora and Sena vomit onto Kodaka. It’s black! He narrates the very unfortunate story for the heroines to puke in the first episode. Well I’ve got sadder news. This isn’t even the first episode! Haha! So Kodaka narrates the Neighbours Club that has them doing fun things, encouraging each other and making memorable memories together so that they can become someone others can trust. Oh yeah. Trust in thy neighbour…

Episode 1
Kodaka could even scare the girls as he walks pass them. He thought he saw Yozora happily talking to someone in class. His thoughts are she is not the kind who mixes around since his observations have him conclude she is a loner. His interest piques as he opens the door. Yozora realizes someone was watching and returns to her quiet and distant self. Since Kodaka did see her talking to someone and there is no one else in the room, could it be that she sees ghost?! Actually, it’s her air friend, Tomo-chan. WTF?! Hey, they have air guitar, right? I guess it’s another way of saying imaginary friend. Kodaka thinks she should get a real friend and not an air friend but Yozora lectures him back he is not the one to say since he too has no friends. They talk about suggesting paying people to become your friends, the basis of what stipulates one as friends and today’s society that views badly on those with no friends. Joining a club in the middle of the school term is out of the question and a new member at this point would be just a stumbling block to the club’s goal. Suddenly Yozora gets an idea and leaves with a happy smile. Kodaka narrates he arrived a month ago due to his dad’s change in jobs. Because he took the wrong bus to Saint Chronica Academy in Tooya City, he ended up late to class. Since he was tired, everyone thought his tripping was him assaulting the teacher. Man, even the teacher got scared. Not only that, when he forgot to bring his textbook, the girl next to him instantly gave hers and by noon, rumours spread that he extorted a textbook. That bad, huh? He hasn’t gotten over that ‘trauma’ since.

Next day, Yozora wants Kodaka to follow her. Seems she has started a new club of her own called Neighbours Club and its aim is to make real friends. Oh, Kodaka is also a member because she submitted his application on his behalf. Just great. Their club room will be the chapel’s lounge seeing their advisor, sister Maria is also somewhat a loner. Birds of the same feathers? Yozora has also created a poster but the words don’t make sense. Ah, but if you read the message in a slanting way, you’ll get the message of its purpose to recruit new members. Who the hell can see that? Plus, she drew a horrible picture in case for those who can’t get the message. What the heck is that too? So off they go putting the posters around school. Yozora wants Kodaka to call her by her first name. He finds it hard and wonders if she has a nickname. She once did but refuses to say since a nickname is only what friends call each other. So they aren’t friends despite in the same club? Seconds after putting up the poster, someone comes knocking on their door. Good response, eh? But upon seeing Sena at the door, Yozora quickly slams the door! Eh? Wasn’t she keen on recruiting new members? She explains Sena is a popular girl with flocks of boys always following her as she’s the only daughter of the board chairman of this academy. She also has good grades, good in sports and the humongous boobs that would make every boy fawn over. Yozora couldn’t tolerate anymore the knocking on the door and tells her off popular people can go die. But Sena is still stubborn and is adamant to join as she knocks on the window this time! She really wants to join because she too wants friends. Those tears enough to convince you? So when the girls sit down and start talking, actually, they’re arguing right off the bat! Starting with those boobs… Kodaka guesses that a popular girl like her would be ostracized by other girls since all the boys who hang around her are just ‘balls carrier’ (ironically she’s a girl). He thinks it’s their perfect chance to be friends. Of course we know they already don’t like each other and continue their arguing. Well, that’s one kind of friendship, right?

Episode 2
Now Sena wants Kodaka to call her by her first name so it won’t seem he is close to Yozora. Women… As the club’s first activity, Yozora suggests to play a game that will foster friendship and wants them to bring their PSP. This game, Monster Hunter allows players to co-op and rely on each other in this fantasy world to hunt monsters. Sounds like a tool to deepen your friendship, eh? Sena seems to have attained the highest rank. Upon closer inspection, she played for 53 straight hours ever since! See those bags under her eyes? So as the trio embark on their quest, Yozora and Sena sabotage each other. Kodaka wants them to help each other seriously. Oh, they’ll help each other alright. Oh no. The girls face off beating up each other as Kodaka notes how the girls are feeling lively when they’re killing someone!!! Freaking scary!!! In the end, they both knocked each other out and they fail the quest seeing time is up. With this failure, the girls start badmouthing that games like this sucks (and they were just praising it initially). Kodaka has no say in it all as usual. In class, Kodaka hears his classmates playing the same game. He goes over to ask for some help. But the way he says it and his scary looks make them willing to oblige his wish. And yeah, rumours already spread he extorted classmates in broad daylight.

Now there’s a big TV screen in the club room. Seems Sena has brought her galge and Yozora agrees this might be a good practice for conversation. But seriously. Girls playing galge meant for boys? It starts off with a hitch. The girls arguing whose name to put (definitely not Kodaka’s). Ultimately Yozora hijacks the controller and gives Semoponume name for Sena. For the first girl they meet, Akari Fujibayashi, the girls are in sync that they should ignore and be cold to her! They don’t think anyone can be this friendly on the first meeting! They continue calling her slutty b*tch and how high school girls these days on the internet are (have they look in the mirror recently?). The next girl they meet, the librarian Yukiko Nagata (I thought she resembled closely to Suzumiya Haruhi’s Nagato. Heck even their name is almost similar), Kodaka thought they were going to reject her too but surprisingly they accept her because they plan to ace the next exam. As they continue to make friends with her, Sena gets obsessed and starts liking her. She gets immersed in the world (Sena cross-dressed as a boy while Kodaka a girl?) but suddenly Yukiko’s route takes a negative turn. She is avoiding her because of her cold treatment to Akari. Bad rumours spread and affect other girls if a girl doesn’t like you. Though everything can return to normal by just apologizing, the girls aren’t going to that but put their faith in Yukiko. Unfortunately Sena finishes with a bad end with Yukiko running away. Sena becomes heartbroken and emotional while Yozora is off to find that Akari slut b*tch and kill her!!! Next day, Sena gives Kodaka the galge and wants him to continue playing finish Akari’s route. Now she’s singing praises about this slutty b*tch? I guess she got taken in by her sad past, eh? Not only that, Sena wants him to complete all the other girls’ routes as well! See the bags under Sena’s eyes? Galge isn’t just a game. It’s life itself! Oh well, at least Sena bagged 7 new friends. All 2D girls…

Episode 3
Kodaka and Yozora enter the club room to find Sena playing an eroge! I think it’s a hentai version of The Sacred Blacksmith. Sena and Yozora enter an argument about their differing views about porn so the latter starts insulting her with lots of porn equivalent nicknames. Seeing that Sena views it as some sort of literature masterpiece, Yozora challenges her to read the lines out loud. Sena stammers and is embarrassed while reading over the lines till the point she can’t take it anymore and runs out crying. Sneaky Yozora had secretly recorded her reading and plans to upload it on the net! Even if she was just joking, that idea was too much. Then Yozora starts reading her own literature aloud from Chuuya Nakahara. Kodaka returns home as Kobato interacts with him like a character from her favourite anime, Kurogane No Necromancer. Kobato wonders which is important to Kodaka, her or his club (because he can’t come back early always). Guess what? He chose the club. At least he isn’t a siscon. Kodaka narrates his dad bought this house 10 years ago and when he was to be transferred to America, Kodaka and Kobato decided to stay back in Japan in this house. Next day in the club room, Sena wants Kodaka to teach her swimming. Why? She has made friends with Natsumi and it would be troublesome if they go to the pool or beach and she can’t swim. Note, Natsumi is a 2D character from the galge she is playing… W…T…F…?! Sena doesn’t want Kodaka to let Yozora know about this. So come the appointed day, Kodaka teaches her all he knows and Sena is quite a fast learner so much so she can challenge him to a simple swimming race (he won, though). Taking a break, Sena panics when Kodaka mentions he should go greet the board chairman since he hasn’t done so. She thought he wanted to go out with her or something but he says that their dads are old friends. Kodaka notes how Sena easily responded to the nickname ‘Meat’ that Yozora always insultingly called her. Well, it’s her first nickname and she’s somewhat happy. After Kodaka relieves himself, he sees a bunch of guys trying to mess with Sena. The guys would have gone away without much fuss when Kodaka returns but Sena had to stir up more trouble by being cocky and wants them to beg for forgiveness. Could you blame them for wanting to punch her? Of course not! Kodaka is fast enough to grab his fist and when he shows his scary delinquent face, they back off for good. Sena is still cocky so Kodaka scolds her that there are bad people worst than this and that he won’t always be around to protect her. So why does he care? Because it’s his business! Sena didn’t talk to him on the way home but when they part, it’s like she’s forgiven him. Back home while Kobato throws a fuss about a conspiracy that the bath turned cold and will never bath again (WTF?! She’s clinging onto him naked!!!), Kodaka remembers who he was always beaten up due to his hair colour. A tomboyish girl helped this weakling but Kodaka didn’t like he was being labelled one. They fight and the bullies didn’t want to be left out and it turned into a free-for-all. In the end, they both become friends as the girl said mommy told her it isn’t necessary to make 100 friends. Just make real friends you care about 100 times. Kodaka wakes up in the club room murmuring those words. It caught Yozora by surprise as she notes how he still remembers. But he didn’t much to it and leaves, wondering if that ‘boy’ (yes, he thought that tomboy was a boy) is still in living this town. Maybe not. It was 10 years ago. Hey, maybe it’s closer than you could think.

Episode 4
Kodaka walks into the club room to see a loli nun sleeping on the couch. He pokes her cheek only to realize Yozora has snapped an ambiguous picture. Blackmail material… When Maria wakes up, she isn’t thrilled to see Yozora. She relates how Yozora came into this room, slapped her twice, and relate something from the Bible that made her force to sign the paperwork to make this her club room. Only thing is, there is no such line from the Bible! She blackmailed a nun?! Furthermore Maria is only 10 years old?! She wants everyone to get out from her room but Yozora plays reverse psychology on her that it might be too hard for an ‘adult’ like her to carry out this task. Maria is fooled into begging her to become the club’s moderator, swear to God that she’ll never quit or else Yozora will have the right to strip and post naked pictures of her on the net and blackmailed into become her slave. All without even her realizing she has been fooled… Later Kodaka relates how he has got this feeling that he is being stalked. Sena laughs it off that it may be his true love but Yozora agrees to help him nail the stalker. It didn’t turn out they way they wanted because everybody is staring at them. A delinquent flanked by a couple of hot beauties. What is there not to stare? So in a simple case of letting the stalker follow and catching the perpetrator in the act, Kodaka finds out it is Yukimura and brings her to the club (Yukimura is actually a boy but I’ll refer to him as a girl because he is so girly).Yukimura wants to join the club because she is being bullied. Yozora explains about the existence of bullying and blows her top (for real) when Kodaka jokingly lumps her as a bully. Yukimura was following Kodaka around because she thought she can be like a strong man by observing him. Kodaka may realize that the case of shunning Yukimura may not be bully (they run away when she starts undressing and no one would throw the dodgeball at her) but Yozora allows her to join and quickly lets her fill up the form. Hey, Sena didn’t get such treatment! With Yukimura as a club member, she can be Kodaka’s underling and follow and observe him wherever he goes. Kodaka’s reputation is on the line yet again when Yukimura brings lunch and gangster comics for him (thanks to ideas from a certain woman). He goes to find her but passes by a lab. The explosion catches his attention and he sees Rika unconscious inside. He brings her to the infirmary. When she comes to, she visits him in his class to thank him. She is grateful for saving her life despite her life wasn’t in danger (she was making some sleeping potion). That’s because if he had not done so, she might have been raped! The way she passionately explains the term has everyone really thinking Kodaka might have violated her! I can’t believe Rika loves this kind of thing… Kodaka takes her outside to avoid his reputation from plummeting further. Still needing to thank him, she thought he got a bad hair dye so he reveals his blonde is natural since his mom is from England. Taking a hair sample, she reveals this is the first time she is interested in a mammal. Is there a hidden meaning to it? In the club room, Yukimura wears a maid outfit and serves Kodaka. It’s Yozora’s twisted idea about specially training her to become a real man. Don’t ask. Then when they talk about Rika, Sena knows her as a genius who has been inventing lots of stuff since elementary. Her dad got her to enrol here and she is allowed not to attend class since a special lab is created for her. VIP treatment? Why the heck need to enrol here for then? Soon, Rika visits the club with intentions to join it. She knows all there is to know about the club and perfectly deciphered the message from the poster. She is confident she can join because she has no friends. Yozora accepts her application so Rika gets attached to Kodaka. Then she shows everyone her favourite dirty magazine that excites and drives her crazy. Uhm, looks like a battle mecha manga. But the words she reads out loud can be dirtily ambiguous. And she’s reading it with full passion! So if you have a wild imagination, it can really get dirty. Yozora calls her weird and Rika admits to it and that no one will understand her. Then she wants to try out sex with Kodaka!!! OMG!!! Of course Yozora won’t allow it but Rika is keen to try out all sorts of stuffs with him. She is so friendly with that guy that the rest are just having that prickly feeling in their heart. How does it feel to have the only guy (or rather someone they love picking on) being hogged?

Episode 5
Since Kodaka is cooking a proper bento for Maria (Yozora only feeds her snacks after doing things for her), Kobato didn’t take this too well. Because of Kodaka’s delicious bento, Maria starts calling him her ‘onii-chan’, a disciple of God and badmouths Yozora’s snacks (say that in front of her face, I dare you). Rika notices Sena into games so she introduces the gang to a prototype game that a company (Largehead?) plans to release in the future. Romancing Saga XIV is an RPG game as they need to put on a headgear to experience the full effects. Choosing their characters, Kodaka settled for a wizard but turns out to be an otaku. Yup, wizard is only a title and he has no skills. In other words, he is useless. Rika is a gunner (who is this Final Fantasy character again?) while Sena is a blacksmith (note the very revealing outfits). Yozora is a rose girl, which is, well, a girl dressed in a rose outfit. Completing the team is Yukimura the samurai and Maria the healer (have we seen this nun somewhere before?). The first enemies turn out to be low-level eel-like creatures called warasubo. Kodaka felt pity for them just because they look ugly, they shouldn’t be taking them out. The girls are touched by his kindness but soon starts blasting and cutting them all down! No mercy! To make things worse, they don’t have any attacking skills since their programming pattern isn’t complete. Don’t worry, their deaths will not be in vain because they will live on as EXP points within them! The gang face off with the final boss (looking so much like warasubo – heck all the enemies look like that. They really recycled it to the max, eh?). Maria went off to sleep, Sena and Yozora sabotage and took out each other and even Yukimura and Rika fall. Just when Kodaka thought Maria has returned and is going to cast a revival spell, she chanted too long and was taken out. Game over. As Kodaka takes off his headgear, he sees Maria still sleeping. Then who? It’s Kobato who is playing in her place! Seems she is suspicious that big brother always come home late so her curiosity led her to come here and find out he is frolicking with worthless humans (she’s in that vampire anime character of hers). Kodaka promises to take her out for the weekend but the word ‘lunch’ prompts a sad look on Kobato’s face. Then Maria wakes up and gets all clingy over Kodaka. When she starts calling him ‘onii-chan’, Kobato blows her top. She returns to her anime character and after all that ranting, all she wants is to join the club. Can she? She’s from middle school, you know. Well, there aren’t any rules that say otherwise and besides, Yozora finds no reason to object. So she really has no friends, eh? But Maria protests and they both initiate a confrontation. Well, do you really want to see lolis fight? Passing cooties? Uhn… Cute or eyes-rolling sight? As the rest put away the games, Sena and Yozora as usual argue but for Rika, she finds it fun because this is the first time she is playing games with others.

Episode 6
When Kodaka’s dad told him they were going to move, he met up with that tomboy wanting to tell her something. She too had something important to say and they promised to meet again here tomorrow. However she never turned up as Kodaka waited the entire day. So he left without properly saying goodbye to his friend. He wakes up from this dream to find Kobato sleeping next to him. In the club room, Yozora notes that summer vacation is starting and ever since Neighbours Club’s inception, none of them manage to make friends. In fact some of them had their reputations worse off (the blondes). Sena wonders if the rest have been to a karaoke joint. She couldn’t believe Yozora did (with Tomo-chan anyway). Sena makes an excuse she never did that because it is considered peasant-like activity. So while the rest make plans to go for karaoke, you can tell from Sena’s face that she really wants to go. But Yozora kicks up her devilish attitude and makes Sena admit that she wants to go. Well, she’s not going to let her in if she did. And after forcing Sena to spill out loud and beg to join them, she still won’t let her. Heck, why does she need her permission to join in the first place. Deceived. What to do? Run away and cry lor. As Sena tells her servant about the ‘appointment’ she’ll have with her club mates, her father remembers Kodaka’s name. Kodaka and Kobato meet up with the girls and the way they say the order of how they arrive make it sound like a quiz. Kodaka has Kobato figure out the order. Okay, I’m not smart so I can’t figure who arrived first (Is it Rika->Yozora->Sena->Yukimura?). Arriving at the karaoke box, Yozora feels something wrong with the pricing. She finds it odd they have to pay per head when they are sharing the same room (well, she never encountered this with Tomo-chan because…). Though this is practically normal, Yozora and Sena scheme together to bypass this scam. They both decide to go in individually instead of paying for a group. But Kodaka gets a room for himself, Kobato, Rika and Yukimura. Screw your scheme. So while the quartet have fun singing together (they sound pretty decent), Yozora and Sena are left to rue their missed chance to be with Kodaka as they start spacing out alone in their respective room. Feeling left out, aren’t they? But I guess they’re somewhat in sync because they chose the same sad song to sing at the same time. Once Kodaka and co finish, they see tired Yozora and Sena waiting outside. They were trying to outdo each other’s high score even though they were in separate rooms. Can you believe how competitive they can get? Yeah, keep arguing about who is the real winner. And once they leave the place, the counter guy must be real relieved. The rest think they won’t see each other again for the summer vacation but Yozora says the club will be in full force and to meet again next Monday to discuss why they weren’t able to make friends up to now. Guess what? Yup. Yozora and Sena start blaming each other. The rest has heard enough of this and just move along… Just keep walking… Because Yozora was nagging to look and attracted onlookers, Sena got embarrassed and run away (in tears of course). Kodaka thanks Yozora for forming the club though it has only been a month, it has been surprisingly fun. This reminds Sena that her father wanted to see him and to come to her place any time. Yozora didn’t like what is going on but Sena wants Kodaka to keep this a secret or it will get complicated (the fact her father used his power to specially transfer Kodaka to this school). Besides, it has nothing to do with Yozora. Now it’s her turn to feel worried.

Episode 7
It’s the hot summer so can Kobato stand the hit in her goth loli dress? According to her, she has conquered the flames of hell. I guess she couldn’t take the heat and return indoors. Because Yukimura continues to serve Kodaka, he thought so as not to make her commit seppuku over her uselessness, she should serve Maria too as she needs the food. But she can’t be serving 2 masters so Kodaka reasons Maria is like her sister so it’s okay. But serve healthy food, okay? And Kodaka may have learnt when Yukimura served just that, she may have forced Maria to swallow all the protein!!! Better add not to give her additives from now on. One day, Kodaka was the only person in the club room (the rest were ‘busy’) and to figure out who is coming and who’s not, he suggests using the message board. Yozora and Sena are against it seeing they both had bad experience using the online feature. One probably did lots of bad things online and the other probably didn’t like the insults she got. On her 2D girls, that is. Kodaka even suggests SNS or nixi but I don’t even know what that is and there are certain requirements so it’s out of the question. Till Rika suggests keeping in touch with their handphone. Why does everyone look so shock? They really never thought about this great idea, huh? I guess Kodaka and Yozora are like ‘dinosaurs’ in using their handphone as compared to Rika and Yukimura who are like pros using infrared technology to exchange detail. So when the duo even manage to type in their address and save it, it was such an accomplishment. Rika and Yukimura felt they ‘lost out’ because the duo seemed so close when they were doing that. Then Sena gets upset. Why? Because she doesn’t have a handphone. Of course she gives her cocky reasons why a high class princess like her doesn’t need it. Yozora calls Kodaka and talks to him (even though they are nearby). This is a prelude to tease Sena and work her up because from now on, club activities will be via handphone. Yozora crosses the line when she whispers too much ‘MEAT’ in her conversation, upsetting that poor Sena once more. She’s really good in pushing this kind of button, eh? Dead in the middle of the night, Kodaka gets a call from Sena through his house phone. She wants to know his handphone model. Next day as Kodaka takes the bus to school, Rika sends him a naughty email, dragging Yozora into the ‘picture’. When Kodaka comes to the club, tired out Yozora warns him the true pervert Rika is. Yeah, Rika is on to yuri now. As long as it’s erotic, she is sure energetic. That evening, Sena comes in to show her newly bought handphone the exact same model as Kodaka’s. She eagerly exchanges mail address with him but as usual she and Yozora try to outdo each other that they don’t need the other’s email and if you want to give, then just give. Of course Yozora is a person who is better in this sort of argument and wins, reducing Sena to tears once more. Sena SMS Kodaka for Yozora’s address so she can spam her. In view of this, Yozora thinks she’ll really give Sena her address after all. See that evil glint in her eyes? Sena soon rushes back and she’s in a frantic. The spamming won’t stop! She seeks Kodaka’s help and Yozora’s prank may have backfired seeing how they are interacting close enough to fix the problem.

Episode 8
The air-cond broke. Starting to feel the heat now Kobato? Yeah, she’s still trying to act like her anime character. Then watching the latest anime episode, she gets an idea from her character when she changes into her true (albeit slightly) scantily form. Kobato starts doing her ‘transformation’ scene right in front of big brother. I guess he has seen it so many times that he isn’t fazed when she strips naked in front of him. So feeling much cooler in this casual form now? Kodaka notes these clothes are from elementary school and wonders if she hasn’t grown. Well, she certainly did shed a tear before giving off that immortality and never-grow-old thingy as her answer. In the club room, Maria hugs Kodaka and gives her thanks because Yukimura is feeding her right now. Kobato didn’t like it and pushes her away. Another round of loli fight. Maria thought she will become a vampire since she was bitten by her. The silly part is that she really believes it especially Yozora’s cure to bath in the sunlight naked. How can she be a nun when she’s so gullible? Maybe that’s why she is one? Sena and Rika start hounding Kobato over their unholy fetishes so Yozora has to swat them with a fly swatter to keep them in line. Is this going to be her trademark ‘weapon’ for tsukkomi? Yozora takes a dig at another galge Sena is playing. She hopes sharks will appear. Suddenly, sharks do appear! Sena thought it was just some cliché thing when suddenly it really turns into a bloody massacre end! Rika realizes the galge she is playing and notes this game is notoriously famous for bloody bad endings. One wrong move and you’ll dive straight into that bloody end. And since all the bad ends are completely incoherent massacres no one would ever seen coming, it earned its reputation as a joke game. I can see why Sena thought this was a funny or comedy game. See her break the disc in half! Then Sena just wishes she wants to go to the pool. Not that she wants to become shark meat or something but the heat is killing her. Seeing Kobato wants to go to the pool too, Yozora feels they can use this club activity as a dry run to make friends. Oh, Maria got reprimanded for actually running around naked on the church grounds. I guess God really is watching… Kodaka and Kobato meet up with the rest only to find a long line of people waiting for the bus. When they manage to get on, the crowd is making Yozora and Rika sick. Yeah, they’re not used in crowded places. Rika fluctuates between getting queasy and aroused. Meanwhile Kobato has got her faced smothered in Sena’s boobs… Not even big brother can help… Upon reaching the pool, they also see a long queue going in. The 50% discount of the entry fee is the cause. Yozora notes that she would rather pay double rather than to crowd with these people. Yukimura goes to chance with Kodaka and the other boys are afraid. She thinks it’s her as a weakling. Kodaka tries to explain but his scary face scares them away. Despite being boys, Kodaka can’t help feel nervy about looking at Yukimura changing. Sp why wear a female’s swimsuit? Yozora’s idea to be manlier, I guess. When done, they meet up with Sena and Kobato. Yozora and Rika are still reeling from the sickness and are sitting this one out. The pool is darn crowded that there is no space to even swim. Only standing room. Kodaka things back how the Neighbours Club was just the 3 of them and now has more members. Though he can’t say they made any friends, they’ve definitely changed. Suddenly he gets message from Yozora and Rika that they can’t take this anymore and are leaving. It’s not joke. They see them board the bus out of the place. Then it hit Kodaka that Yozora has not changed. With the fun spoilt, I guess the rest also pack up and head home.

Episode 9
Kodaka is being told to bring his swimsuit to the club. I guess by now Kobato can sense Sena coming and hides behind Kodaka’s back. It’s now a reflex, eh? They are surprised to see Yozora wearing a horse mask and striped suit. This is to make up for the pool incident. But she feels relieved that Kodaka and co immediately left after them. As Rika tries to seduce Kodaka in her normal swimsuit, Maria comes in and gets spooked by the horse mask. Yeah, she even believes it’s going to eat her (despite horsey being vegetarian). Kobato fuels her fear by siding with Yozora. So when Maria realizes it is Yozora beneath, she thinks the mask is cursed. Yozora puts the mask on her and she panics of not wanting to turn into a demon. Kobato uses this chance to make her stay away from Kodaka but Maria at least didn’t give up on that. Then it descends into a loli quarrel that we won’t be interested to see. Sena suggests for the club to go to her private beach villa like as in a training camp. Yozora is confident they can pick any day to come (because Sena needs to inform her dad). Why? After all, no one here has friends. True. But she’s saying it with confidence! Back home, Kodaka gets a call from Sena to come see her father. Seeing she asked him about the villa, his name cropped up and he wanted to meet him. Thus Kodaka and Kobato will be skipping club activities as well as Sena. So with only Yozora, Rika and Yukimura in the club, one is reading her novel, the other reading it in a perverted way and another just waiting to serve… Kodaka and Kobato arrive at Sena’s mansion and are greeted by the adults. Sena’s dad is a bit quirky because he forgot to introduce himself and even if he did, he preferred not to use his first name of Pegasus but Tenma instead (don’t they both almost mean the same?). His servant, Stella is equally quirky because she notes she’ll get pregnant if Kodaka stares too long at her. Now we know why Sena is like that too. Over dinner, Kodaka thanks him for helping transfer them to his school. As gratitude, he gives them a box of spicy sauce. Then they talk about Hayato (Kodaka’s dad), how he has been running around Japan all his life and always good at finding strange food and spices. And now he has gone overseas, leaving his children behind to go dig up ancient cities. Kodaka is okay Hayato being labelled an idiot but not trash. But of course Pegasus was only joking. Since it’s late, they’ll have to stay over. Sena takes Kobato to bath together (probably she’s still sleepy that’s why she went along). Pegasus and Kodaka have a drink together (it’s grape juice for the underage kid). Pegasus may have gotten drunk on the first round but I’m not sure how many rounds he had before he collapses on the bed. Kodaka goes to find Stella when he sees Kobato traumatically running out from the bath naked! I guess Sena must have violated her this bad, huh? Then comes Sena. Running out naked in her own fantasy world. All that comes crashing down when she realizes Kodaka is there. Yeah, he got the full view of everything. Probably it was too much to handle that Sena ran out into the garden naked! In the outskirts of town, who is going to catch her, right? Stella notes Kobato will sleep with her in the servant’s room while he can sleep together with Pegasus. Rest assured he will not wake up till morning. Kodaka is rather reluctant but would rather choose that because Stella says she sleeps completely naked. As Kodaka properly puts him to bed, he notes how they have been so good friends, the reason Hayato could leave his kids in Japan in his hands while he travelled. Next morning as they leave, Kobato is traumatized by whatever bath time she had with Sena that she runs away screaming, not wanting to bath with her again!!! Kodaka pretends he didn’t remember last night due to the wine to make Sena feel relief. Pegasus hopes Kodaka will take care of his daughter. I think he means it more than just in terms of friendship.

Episode 10
The gang takes the train to Sena’s villa. They are captivated by the beauty of the villa and the sea. Because Kodaka has got his hands full in putting sun lotion on the girls (that scene Kodaka x Yukimura probably just ‘killed’ Rika), Sena requests Yozora to do it on her. Of all people, she should know better. Yozora uses her feet to rub the lotion over her back. So when Sena realizes, she can’t get up because Yozora is pinning down her centre of gravity. Yozora continues to mock Sena and probably try to turn her into a masochist with all that stepping and insulting words. So how does it feel like to be stepped on considering she always stepped on other boys with her ‘goddess feet’? So when Sena is able to overcome Yozora’s violation, she realizes too late that she has shown her front to everyone else. Oh dear. It’s that cry and run away again. And you thought it wouldn’t happen here. Kodaka notices Sena sitting by herself so he cheers her up that he didn’t see anything seeing he was concentrating on putting lotion on Kobato’s back. So while the girls have fun, Kodaka heads to the market to get some ingredients to make paella. Yozora notices his good cooking and it is given seeing he has lived so long with Kobato. But for Yozora, home economics wasn’t memorable. She always stood in the corner and the other girls ignored her. The other girls also piled food onto her out of pity and she would eat it all unhappily. Then it’s the last day of the camp and seeing they haven’t done anything camp-like, Rika suggests an orgy!!! WTF?! Not Yozora would allow that so they settle for telling ghost stories instead. Science girl like Rika believe in the occult? Well, she admits she’s a girl first, scientist second. A perverted girl, that is. And she’s so proud of saying that. So the gang starts telling their ghost stories but it sounded so lame or comical. Except for Yozora’s. Her story of best friends driven to suicide due to betrayal had everyone spooked in the end! So much so they don’t want to go for kimodameshi (test of courage) anymore! I think they’re even scared of the darkness too! That night Kodaka can’t sleep not because of the scary story but rather he can’t help think about the betrayal theme. He wonders if that kid back then thinks she was betrayed. Then Sena wants him to accompany her to the toilet. Not that she’d admit it’s because she’s scared to go alone. At least she learnt her lesson not to ask Yozora. So it’s somewhat ‘annoying’ because while she’s in the toilet, she kept asking if Kodaka is there! “Yes, I’m here”. I think that will be the line he’ll repeat the most in his entire life. That’s because when he returns, it’s Kobato’s turn to ask his company to the toilet. Same thing. “Are you there?”. “Yes, I’m here”. And yeah, before he could settle in his bed, it’s Maria’s turn. Ooohh, it’s a miracle he knows what she wants. And then Rika. But wait. She doesn’t want to go to the toilet but to sleep with him! Kick her out! After all that, Kodaka thinks he needs to use the toilet too and bumps into Yozora on the way out. Yup, she needs to go to the loo. Isn’t it ironic she got spooked by her own ghost story? Yozora wonders if he was scared by the story and he wasn’t. But he feels it’s not good to betray your friends.

Episode 11
Kodaka dreams of his younger days playing with that tomboy. Somehow the name of that kid was always blotted out. Maybe he can’t really remember after all. But we all know who, right? In the club room, Yozora brings up the topic of the festivals tonight but declines to go. Remember her fear of the crowd? Even the perverted girl Rika agrees as she reveals her fear of crowded place when she once tried to attend a doujin convention. Man, it’s bloody packed! Not even her sex power could stave that off. But she found her way around it and got companies to mail her the doujin instead. I guess she can still feed her need in that sense. Sena then brings up the topic of takoyaki stalls and seeing Kobato and Maria (sprung to life from her slumber after hearing that word) wanted to taste them, Kodaka agrees to bring them. Even Yozora and Rika want to tag along. I thought they were afraid of crowds? Well, they really want to eat the takoyaki. It’s all in the mind… As the gang meet up, Sena is unhappy that Kobato is in her goth loli outfit instead of a yukata. Seeing they are in a nearby shop that rents yukata and that this is a special event, Kodaka and Kobato change themselves. All that is left is Yozora and not even Kodaka’s persuasion is going to make her put those traditional clothes on. Sena criticizes Kodaka’s yukata fashion sense and also about his hair colour which makes him look like a delinquent. She thought he should dye it. Kodaka did consider it but reminded her that he once told her that his mom is from England. So by dying it black, it will be like cutting off all links to his mom since his other features resembles Hayato. So meeting up with the rest, Maria is already stuffing more food than she can enter her mouth! Thou shall not be greedy! And Rika is practising to eat the chocolate banana in an erotic way… Yukimura brought back some takoyaki for Kodaka and he finds it not up to mark and rallies the rest to go find better takoyaki stalls. However the girls are already full. Disappointed?

Yozora takes this opportunity to head home but Sena challenges her to stay by playing some activities. Or is she scared to lose? Yozora uses the lesser crowd as a reason to accept her challenge and to teach her a lesson. Maybe she should just be honest that she wants to stay longer. They start off with the goldfish scooping. In short, they both suck. Big time. Sena uses her money to buy lots of scoop so that it won’t break easily. Though it works, the stall owner tells her to take her business elsewhere. Yeah, he’ll be going broke if others use this method. Not satisfied, they continue challenging each other at the other stalls. Rika suggests leaving them alone while they have fun together. Say, that’s a great idea. Why bother sticking around watching them in heated battle? Rika wins a shooting competition (despite the owner playing cheat by sticking the target hard to the plank) and won a video game console. She gives it to Kodaka so that he can play with it every day and treat it like her!!! Well, he decides to use it as club equipment. Disappointed? Status update: Yozora and Sena are still at each other’s neck. So when the duo reunite (I don’t care who is keeping the score), they decide to give up for today after knowing the prize Rika won. While waiting to Stella to pick them up, they have fun playing sparklers and a mini firework of their own. Guess which pair is trying to outdo each other? At the end, they smell something burning. It’s Yozora’s hair catching fire! Quickly Kodaka splashes the bucket of water on her. It’s not pleasant to get wet this way (this is not a sex joke, mind you) but at least the fire is put out. Obviously Yozora is in no mood and leaves. For the rest of the summer vacation, Yozora never turned up for the club. As the semester begins, Yozora comes in late but she sports a brand new hairstyle. She cut it shorter. Then Kodaka remembers who she is. Yes, it is Sora. The nickname he used to call that tomboy girl. So now do you remember? Yozora is so happy he remembered (after 10 bloody long years, that is) that she cried. Good to be back, eh?

Episode 12
The first half is a rerun of certain scenes in the first episode. But this is only putting the puzzle pieces together as we see them from Yozora’s perspective. Yozora recognized Kodaka instantly when he came in late on his first day because of his hair colour and eyes. And yes, his terrible smile and inability to get along with anyone. It just backfires. Yozora was frustrated that attempts to make him recognize her by passing by him many times didn’t yield results. She talks it out with Tomo-chan till Kodaka spotted her talking to her air friend. That’s when she got the idea to create a new club and decided on a chapel as its place because she always went to a quiet place to read a book. She was polite in asking Maria for permission but it seems Maria was bloody cocky, foulmouthed and not even letting Yozora finish explaining her visit. Now why know why she got double slapped and tricked, right? She deserved it! Thus Neighbours Club is a club for her and Kodaka to be friends again. But along the way, others joined and they did lots of activities together. Each time Yozora can only hope Kodaka would realize but we it didn’t. So back in present time, Kodaka wonders why she cut an awful chunk of her hair when only the little bit at the ends were burnt. Well, he dumped that smelly water all over her head, right? It’s going to stink real bad and wouldn’t come out no matter how many times she washed. However the other classmates think Kodaka have done something despicable to her! String this in a sentence: Yozora resisted, dump all over her hair, weird smelling white liquid you can’t wash out. Okay, they may have misheard the white part… But get the picture, you horny pervert? Yozora takes Kodaka away so that he could tell her all that he wants too. Reactions included. He just says she looks pretty good with that hair? That’s it? But good enough.

Walking to the club room, Kodaka learns she knew it was him all along and pretended not to know him because she disliked the idea of her remembering him but not vice versa. Kodaka says he couldn’t have figured it out since she always dressed like a boy and get into fights (girls don’t do that, right?). Well, Yozora never said she was once a boy and on the day he was supposed to leave, the all-important she wanted to tell him was that she was a girl. But she felt too embarrassed to show up in a skirt. As we know, seeing is believing so probably why Yozora wanted to show him as proof she is really a girl instead of just telling him. If she had known he was going to move, she would have found the guts to say it. Yozora hopes that they should keep this between themselves. I can imagine a certain blonde teasing nonstop if this gets out. So what shall Kodaka call her now? (Remember the nickname Yozora once said in the first episode but will not tell him because it is only used between friends?). Well, just maintain and call her Yozora as always. In the classroom, Rika gets totally excited to see this new ‘guy’. She tries guessing who this handsome hunk is (all wrong – I think she’s climaxing just fantasizing about it). Sena instantly recognizes her and wants her to tell her why she cut her hair. Of course she’s not telling. But Sena insists. Back to the same old argument, eh? Sena even teases her she got dumped and rejected, earning her a swat in the face! Rika returns with a white male uniform and bugs Yozora to put it on. When Maria comes by, she gets afraid of this ‘boy’ and thinks will eat her! Yozora continues teasing her so Maria offers Kobato as the sacrifice! But Sena wants to ‘eat’ Kobato instead. Now she throws the swatter in her face. Okay, end of teasing. Sena notes how she is still the same no matter the length of her hair. This has Kodaka to ponder now that they know who each other are, it’s not like they can suddenly go back to being the same friends 10 years ago. Though he doesn’t know what will happen between them now, he’ll stick around in this club to find out. Yeah, lively with all the quarrelling and pervertness.

Ah well. I guess this is how it pretty much ends. But I won’t say that I am sorely disappointed because there wasn’t any much plot to begin with. All we see them doing each time they enter the club room, each doing their own thing. Sena and her galge, Yozora reading a book, Rika typing into her computer, Yukimura waiting to serve, Maria napping and Kodaka just bumming around. So where is the interaction and conversation between them besides the 2 main girls arguing and throwing insults against each other? Heck, they are supposed to make friends with others, right? And right till the end they have made none from the outside. Unless you consider mixing among themselves count as making friends, then I’d say this club is somewhat a successful failure. Though there are interesting bits brought up such as Kodaka and Sena’s dad as best friends, I think you won’t get to know more than what is being told. So if you are the kind who likes flashback storytelling to understand the characters deeper, don’t expect this one. The only flashback and focus we have here is Yozora and Kodaka’s childhood and it is mainly to see if that guy could remember her. Well, it took a dozen of episodes but it’s better than never remembering, right?

The most amusing pair has got to be Yozora and Sena. In addition to Yozora’s reverse psychology sarcasm, their spat never ceases to amuse me even if their insults and b*tchiness get too annoying. It always ends with Yozora being top and Sena reduced to a cry-baby. Though this cycle may get repetitive and predictable, either you’ll shake your head or just smirk. I’m not sure if this is Yozora’s habit all along and the reason why she never made friends but in the final episode it is hinted that this holier-than-thou, high-and-mighty bully attitude may stem from that spontaneous caught-in-the-act scene whereby Kodaka found out she was talking to herself. And I would probably guess that her imaginary air friend is also made up on the spot, seeing her body reactions and all. Although I might be inclined to say she is talking to herself instead of Tomo-chan. Ugh, duh… To put it in other words, it’s like thinking to herself aloud but making as though she’s interacting with someone else instead of herself. Get what I mean? In view of this, does this mean Yozora is like having another personality? Not so far as to say a split personality because she only acts this way when she is with her club members. I mean, she has no friends so there won’t be anybody to confirm if this is how she usually acts. But really, I’d love the way she uses her words to ‘bully’ Sena. It’s like she’s a natural when she comes to this. So if you say that Yozora and Sena can’t get along, you’re only half right. They do get along in a way because they always quarrel. If they really hated each other, they won’t even talk to each other or bother showing up in the club room. That’s why they are a good example of being frenemies. But mostly more towards the enemy side :). So the slightest opening chance, they’ll not hold back and let everything loose. Even in the next episode preview. At least they keep their squabbling to words and don’t get physical. Yozora’s swatter may be a little exception. What I mean was fist fights or pulling hairs.

Kodaka must really have a problem talking to others. It’s like his natural reflex for his face to contort and look like a scary delinquent whenever he talks to others. The only exception is when he talks to the club members. Maybe everybody should be part of this club so he won’t look so scary, eh? Otherwise, he’s just an ordinary guy, who is caught in the middle of just about everything and couldn’t be bothered to really fix it not because he doesn’t care but rather nothing would change. Why waste time and energy? He’s seen it all so it comes to no surprise. That’s why he could only watch on if Yozora and Sena keep bickering. That’s why he didn’t react like any lolicons out there when his sister strips naked in front of him. That’s why he has no qualms when a loli nun comes hugging him like her own daddy. Okay, maybe he may have some reaction to Rika’s horniness if she ever gets bold enough to cross the line. Speaking of which, that genius really is a pervert. And if you think rocket scientists are smart nerds, watching her will definitely change your perspective. Lots of guys would definitely want to experiment with her but I’ll say she’ll only allow Kodaka to do it on her :). Every time she starts going into her horny fantasy, her imagination is so wild that she could even turn you on. Serious. Her heavy breathing and stimulating screams are certainly most convincing. She can almost turn any subject into a something dirty. Is this what you call a genius? She can be the next porn star if she ever gets bored with science. Maria is annoying but because of her gullible character, it makes her funny and cute. No wonder Yozora loves tricking her because it’s easy to fool stupid people. I know Maria is still a kid (though she won’t admit it), but certainly she can’t be believing stuffs easily. Stuffs which are impossible if you have been living in this world. I mean, she’s not that all innocent either. She gets loudmouth and her favourite swear word is ‘poop’, which she will not hesitate to use on Yozora or Kobato. So when she gets tricked, she really deserves it. Aside Yozora and Sena, Maria and Kobato are the other pair of rivalry but seeing lolis quarrelling over a big brother isn’t as fun as the sarcasm and insults the older girls spew. Though Kobato acts like her favourite anime character in most of the time, I feel it’s to cushion to impacts of reality seeing she has to live only with her brother. It’s like running away from reality but I guess that beats having an air friend. Yukimura’s presence felt lagging. It feels like she’s just waiting in the background and not having much lively participation with the rest. Though she really does join in, just that because of her soft spoken nature, it doesn’t make her stand out more as compared to Yozora and Sena. The only thing funny about her is the tendency to take Kodaka’s orders to the extreme. Maria could’ve died being overfed and it was hilarious (in the next episode preview) that she got so traumatized by it that she doesn’t want to eat anymore!

Over to the romance side, you can tell that all the ladies here have a crush on Kodaka. It is not obvious and not stated anywhere in the anime but the way they interact with him surely hints so. So they may not be lovey-dovey or shy-shy when talking to him (some treating him like garbage, one like a sex object, another like a worshipping idol and the other like her total master), but don’t you feel that he is the reason why they are still in the club? If not for him, my guess is that the club could have been disbanded (since the club was created by Yozora with intentions to make Kodaka remember so him quitting won’t be an issue). But that is as far as the romance thingy would go. You don’t really see the girls fighting over him for his attention. Maybe the lolis do but not to an obsessive degree. You can say they have buranko (big brother fetish/love). If you were hoping for a love triangle to brew between Yozora and Sena over Kodaka (like me), you’d be disappointed. There are hints to see them concern when the other gets too close but that is about it. No cat fights pertaining to love that’s for sure. Because of this, one obvious thing that I realized about Sena is that she may be putting friendship first ahead of being in love. For instance when the gang were at the festival, when Yozora wanted to leave, Sena could have just let her go so that she could hog Kodaka. But she didn’t and went on to challenge her in the various stall games, giving the opportunity to Rika instead. Even for the private time she and Kodaka spent at the pool, it never crossed her mind it resembled a lot like a date and got flustered when that thought came up. Maybe she does want to make real friends after all. Being the board chairman’s only daughter isn’t easy when you have lots of guys flocking by your side putting up a facade just to get close to you and the other girls ostracize you due to your status. After all in the Neighbours Club, she gets to be herself. But at the rate she is going, she’s raking up more 2D girlfriends than real life ones… So with the lack of this kind of romance, can this series be considered a harem? Whether it is or not, Kodaka will have his hands full with a bunch of girls. It’s going to be tough with the only boy in the club.

There is something I want to say about the art and drawing. At first I thought the series was made by SHAFT because the characters especially the girls resemble closely to those in another anime series, Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko. Yes, I thought I am seeing shades of Erio, Meme, Ryuuko, Yashiro and Maekawa in the faces of Yozora, Sena, Rika, Maria and Yukimura. It was very close enough to make me think it was SHAFT but something else was lacking. The messy words and notes and the creative visuals that is this company’s trademark. Upon doing a little research, it isn’t SHAFT who made this series but rather AIC Build, the company who brought us Ore No Imouto Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai (on a trivial note, the characters from that series do make a cameo appearance. If you’re fast enough, you can see their backs during Rika’s flashback at the doujin convention). So maybe it is indeed just a coincidence that the characters from both series have this look. But even if they do, I could feel that I have seen similarities of the characters elsewhere. For example, I thought Yozora looked like Mio from K-ON! Only difference she is a bully and not a timid person. Sena I felt look like a cross between Seitokai No Ichizon’s Mafuyu, Fortune Arterial’s Erika and slightly from OreImo’s Kirino (especially her attitude). Then Kodaka reminded of Jun Satou from Working!! I was shocked and thought Misaki of To Aru Kagaku No Railgun had gone soft from a biri-biri tsundere when she appeared as Yukimura. Kobato’s goth loli fashion style made me remember Sola’s Mayuko while Rika had traces of Sawako of K-ON! And for Maria… She resembles a cross between that glutton sister in To Aru Majutsu No Index and Yashiro of Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko. Heck, all 3 characters are voiced by the same seiyuu! Coincidence? As for the fanservice, I would consider them mild but Rika’s crazy sex delusions may turn you on. If nobody stopped her, she may have hijacked the show and turned it into hentai :). So the ‘consistent’ place to get your fanservice fix is the mid-intermission in which a female character will be in a pose and a round mark with words “Haganai” (the abbreviated form of this series’ name) will appear somewhere on their body. An excuse to show some skin, I guess.

Marina Inoue as the voice of Yozora fits well as someone with an acid tongue discharging insults without hesitation. She is suitable playing girls-who-are-not-so-sweet like Chiri in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Kyouko in Skip Beat and Tsukimi in Sekirei. Kanae Itou as Sena was recognizable whenever she starts fawning over Kobato. That perverted mode had me thinking she might break out into that squid lover Sanae in Shinryaku! Ika Musume. Okay, if she didn’t enter this mode, I’d still recognize her because I’m just fresh from watching her as Ohana in Hanasaku Iroha. Kana Hanazawa as Kobato isn’t in her full retard modes (sorry) that she usually plays like Shiro in Deadman Wonderland and Nessa in Fractale. But she still sounds convincing as a loli trying to live out her anime character in real life: Cute. And remember how I just said that Maria, Index and Yashiro are voiced by the same seiyuu? Yeah, she’s Yuka Iguchi and she doesn’t disappoint when she starts her loudmouth and screams. I think I’m starting to pigeonhole her for voicing roles like this. Misato Fuken as Rika definitely deserves high marks when she starts fantasizing or gets excited by the mere thoughts of something horny. Those cries of joy are certainly convincing that she’s really enjoying them. A departure from her other roles which are less ‘noisy’ like Utao in Kamisama Dolls, Yami in To Love-Ru and Eve in Black Cat. She was also as that succubus in Rosario To Vampire, Kurumu but she isn’t as horny as this one. Kodaka’s easy going nature must be because Ryohei Kimura used to voice characters of this nature like Eichi in Full Moon Wo Sagashite and Yuuki in Kimi To Boku. Newbie seiyuu Nozomi Yamamoto voices Yukimura (Rie Kaishou in UN-GO). Ayako Kawasumi makes a cameo as Akari but I didn’t recognize her because she was putting on a very girly voice and not the kind that I can identify like her role as Saber in Fate/Stay Night or at least Nodame in Nodame Cantabile. The fast paced opening theme is weird. Don’t ask. I don’t even know if the lyrics are trying to make sense of anything. Heck, even the animation is fluctuating between crazy (falling off the cliff!) and sexy (red ribbons anyone?). Entitled Zannen Kei Rinjinbu (Hoshi Futatsu Han) by the seiyuus of the 6 ladies of Neighbours Club. The ending theme is My Feelings by Marina Inoue and is a rock outfit. The amusing thing here is we see Yozora and Sena putting up a duet rock performance. While Sena is holding a real electric guitar (whether she can play it or not is a different story), we see Yozora playing her air guitar! Does she look convincing? And what’s with that sister getup in some of the scenes? It felt like Yozora was trying to seek forgiveness for her bullying ways from Mother Sena. Haha. That’ll be the day.

While most of us need friends in life to get through bad and testing times, I guess some of us don’t. I’m guilty for being part of that. Sure I don’t have many friends in life and even those in my early childhood days are all forgotten by now. I suppose there are many lonely hearts out there but do be careful the kinds of company you mix in even though there are many organizations that offer their assistance in becoming your friend like Befrienders. It doesn’t matter if you are in some weird club or plain normal organization, the emphasize of this series is to value that beautiful thing called friendship. When you do things together, you’d find more joy than doing it yourself. Have you ever wondered why meals taste good eating with somebody as compared as by yourself? Well, I won’t go as far as to say two is a company and three is a crowd… There are good friends who are always there in times of need and there are bad friends that get you off on the wrong foot. And then there are friends like these… For good or bad, better or worse. At least you can count on them being around. I thought of setting up a club like here to make some friends (partly to get around my nervousness when talking in public) but I discarded the idea because I envision it would turn into a harem. Like how I thought if this show would if it turned into one. Boku Wa Harem Ga Sukunai (I Don’t Have Enough Harems). So really, 2D girls don’t count? Hey, better than an air friend, right?

I guess idiots don’t really learn, do they? That is why they are doomed to repeat the same mistakes every time. Or rather we should give a second chance to the ‘less fortunate’ in terms for those who are mentally challenged. That’s why it I anticipated so much with glee when the second sequel Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu Ni came out. The first season was exceptionally hilarious and the double OVA episodes that came up prior to the sequel did not disappoint either. So as expected, this season we are going to see lots more all-hell-breaks lose antics from the idiotic group that gave us so much laughs, so much hope (that idiots can be smart too. Smart ass, that is) and so much, well, much ado about nothing.

For the uninitiated, this series has a school named Fumizuki Academy in which classes are streamed based on the students’ exam results with Class A being the highest and Class F the lowest. It is best that you do well in your exams because the studying amenities and facilities depend on which class you are in. So it’s either you have high class facilities (like Class A) or you have dilapidated stuffs (Class F) which aren’t even considered as anything conducive for studying. Is it a wonder why nobody here is interested in studying? You can swap those amenities via Exam Wars through some complex avatar summoning system. And we have this ragtag bunch of wacky underdogs in Class F who are going all out to prove otherwise that they may be stupid but not dumb. Erm, well, I don’t even know what I’m saying. They have to confront with all sorts of dangers and obstacles especially those that are closer to the heart. Yup, all those teenage romance must be starting to kick in. Hope I’ll get to see more of that here… I’m always a sucker for love triangles…

Episode 1
Already in the first episode, Akihisa is already in a bind. He is supposed to go on a trip with his 7 friends and he clearly remembers Akira’s words that the trip with his friends must be girls-free. With all the lame excuses he gives and the seduction Akira tries to pass over him, she agrees to the outing seeing Akihisa wanted to thank the girls for helping him in his studies with this trip. So with Akira as the driver of the minivan, Akihisa, Yuuji, Kouta, Hideyoshi, Himeji, Minami, Shouko and Aiko make their way to the beach. I don’t remember this but it seems Aiko has a thing for Kouta and from time to time would cheekily act seductively to reduce that voyeur into a nose bleeding fountain. Hideyoshi thought it would be a perfect chance to show that he is not a girl but each time there will be something that prevents him from showing off his body. That’s because even the lifeguard thinks it is dangerous for a ‘girl’ like him to undress in public. And so we’ve got the guys in a fix as usual because of the uncalled comments (Minami) and wanted comments (Shouko) on their swimsuit. Yuuji and Akihisa try to whack each other during the blindfold watermelon game and they don’t even show a hint of worry when the girls claim a bunch of guys were trying to hit on them at the store Yuuji, better be careful with your actions because Shouko can cause you so much pain… And Akihisa is too dense to realize what Himeji and Minami are hinting about being hit on. Akihisa and Yuuji lament their own unpopularity of being unable to hit on girls when they see an incredible sight. Kouta being surrounded by girls!!! OMG!!! I can’t believe it either! Is this true? Or are they fascinated with his camera? They decide to learn from Kouta and hit on girls but end up trying to outdo each other. Because of that, the girl they tried to hit on called the cops. Yeah, they sounded like bad perverts trying to start a conversation by taking a photo shot, eh? Changing their approach, they feel they need to compliment first. They start off good and would have nailed it if they had not end their exaggerated compliments with, “… You look great like a porn star!”. Back to the drawing board. Arguing and blaming each other, that is. They even think that they’re unconsciously holding back as the girls aren’t their type. WTF?! Just losers talking. Suddenly they see a pair of beautiful (but awfully familiar) ladies at the beach and their tackling mechanism kicks in. Suddenly they realize it is Shouko and Kouta in drag (he was forced to do it or else they’d kill him). Yeah, they’re going to teach the guys a lesson or two about infidelity. Be prepared. Be scared. Be… RUN!!! Oh forget it. You can never escape from the clutches of girls who hold a grudge. A very deep grudge. Akihisa, if you’re lucky, it’ll just be your right hand… That is spared!!! Oh sh*t!!! Yuuji, hope you can hold your breath underwater for a very long time while you prostrate before Shouko in the middle of the sea.

Episode 2
Akihisa is being tempted to cross the River Styx. It’s amazing they didn’t die from whatever punishment they got. So did the girls really forgive them? I mean, they seem to be in their yukatas, getting ready to head to the festival. Aiko loves making Kouta nose bleed, Shouko forcing herself again on Yuuji and Akihisa wondering if the girls really did forgive them. I mean, Akira is being awfully nice to treat him. Even Himeji and Minami offer to share their food with him (Yuuji has no say whatsoever with Shouko). Then the girls point out the First Annual Miss Yukata Beauty Pageant. Hey, why don’t we all participate and make good summer memories. Oh dear. Did you read between the lines? Hell begins now for the boys. Yeah, the punishment did not end yet. So the guys are forced to participate and cross-dress. Yes, even Hideyoshi but he is a natural. Get what I mean? The guys plan to lose so they can get out of these clothes fast. Their manhood is on the line! Akihisa steps out first and tries to act shy and quiet to conceal his real identity. However he scores big points when ‘she’ answers ‘she’ has no boyfriend. The chief judge, Obata would even give ‘her’ pocket money to tell him ‘her’ handphone number! What’s more, Akihisa denies he is wearing any bra and panties beneath (because guys wear underwear, right?). Oh yeah, that totally earned him a high score. Kouta is next and glad of the outcome because all he has to do is give dud answers. However when he answers a question pertaining to ‘her’ favourite dress, he passionately named every cosplay dress there is! The crowd goes wild as he scores much higher. Yeah, he scored an own goal. Now it’ Yuuji’s turn. Obata instantly likes ‘her’ because he likes tall girls and wants to date ‘her’! Even if Yuuji admits he is a guy, Obata will accept anything! Unfortunately Yuuji got zapped because Shouko thought he was two-timing! It ends with the stage exploding due to the extreme voltage… So are the girls happy now? Will they forgive the guys now? So as the gang eat dinner, the girls think of doing a cooking competition in which the guys will be the judge. Better refuse if you know what’s good for you especially Himeji’s death cooking. The guys aren’t full yet as Himeji offers her madeleine cakes she made… Instantly the guys jump into the sea to get fresh seafood instant. If they only knew Himeji forgot to bring those cakes. Too young to die? I thought they faced death so many times they should have been numbed by now.

Episode 3
Something is wrong with Hideyoshi. Why is he acting more girly than usual? It’s actually his twin sister Yuuko. Well, this was what happened. She was tasked by Youko to sing the school’s anthem for the academy’s promotional video. Though she is a model student and excels in just about everything, there is an aspect she doesn’t have but Hideyoshi does: Singing. So this is where the ‘advantage’ of being twins comes in. Yeah, Hideyoshi is forced to help her out. So they’re going to cross-dress and swap classes. Yuuko gets freaked out when she sees Class F. Look at all those FFF Inquisition. They’ll kill anybody in class who has a girlfriend. Yuuko also needs to keep her twin in check and each time he says the wrong thing that would threaten to give away his identity, she has to rush back, pull him over and lecture him. Whether it’s the same gender love talk with Kubo (Yuuko is a fujoshi), telling Shouko about wearing panties and a love confession from Kouji Yokomizo (Hideyoshi rejects him and says he’s only interested in little cute boys – he thought he had analyzed her love preferences. Well, at least those are for fiction). Akihisa thought the FFF Inquisition stopped chasing Hideyoshi (he didn’t know it’s Yuuko) because they ran after Yokomizo now. He thought that guy confessed to his sister because he rejected him. Then they go see ‘Youko’ singing and are captivated. Till Akihisa mentions that he heard rumours ‘his’ sister is a lesbian paedophile who doesn’t wear panties. Do you think he deserves to get beaten up? So Hideyoshi and Yuuko at the end of the day blame each other that weird rumours have surfaced. But they decide not to worry about it since this school is filled with strange rumours anyway.

We go back one year in time when the gang are first years. Akihisa has recently lost lots of his personal stuffs the school forbid during a spot check. Akihisa has a summon training with Minami and since he didn’t mince his words, she’s going to give with one heck of a good pounding. Even Ironman gives the green light. On his way back, Akihisa stops by a toy shop and sees a young girl (Hazuki) trying to plead for a blue fox stuffed doll she has not enough money to buy. Hazuki wants to get that doll to cheer up her sister (Minami) who has been down. Akihisa promises he will do something about it. Perhaps something else than the price tag which is a whopping 25,000 Yen! Even if they pool their money, they only have 11,000 Yen. They think he’s an idiot since he can’t even do simple arithmetic. Akihisa gets an idea and wants Hazuki to meet back at this park tomorrow. His plan is to get back all his confiscated items and sell them but first he needs to get the key to the locker Ironman is keeping his stuffs. He roped in his buddies to help but in the end Akihisa is the one who did all the work and felt the wrath of Ironman. He manages to get the key and his stuffs but notices a pile of old books that would need to be thrown away anyway. When he manages to buy the doll, it seems Hazuki already has a smaller doll. A nice girl spoke to Hazuki before she got here and gave the doll to her. She can keep this doll if Akihisa returns with the other one. Hazuki requests Akihisa to bend down so that she can kiss him on the cheeks. Though she notes he is stupid, he is kind and that’s why when she grows up, she’ll make him her husband. So the other girl who bought that small doll for Hazuki turns out to be Himeji. Next day in class, Ironman knows who is the culprit who took the confiscated items because some idiot left his ID behind. Brace yourself Akihisa! He makes him the Punishment Inspector to reflect on his actions. Hazuki returns to give Minami the doll and she is pretty much cheered up. Minami also says she has found an interesting guy. He is in the same class with her but one hell of an idiot. I know who she is talking about.

Episode 4
The guys are playing a card game of Doubt. Full of lies, if you know what I mean. Akihisa being the true idiot is always the loser… When Himeji comes by to show them some box of chocolates she got as reward for helping a teacher, the guys are more interested in finishing their penalty game. Himeji thinks their penalty game of removing clothes is forbidden (even if it was a lie) so she starts eating the chocolates. Suddenly Himeji starts acting strange. She knocks out Hideyoshi just before he undresses and takes over his place. Akihisa realizes he is in sh*t seeing Himeji as consumed chocolates and wants to end the game. But he can’t back out now seeing Shouko too has joined the game after knocking out Kouta and taking his spot. So it’s boys versus girls and the guys think they can beat the girls and get over this game fast. Wrong! They’re slowly stripping… Akihisa thought Kubo was helping him behind the girls’ back but in fact he was lying. I guess he wants to see Akihisa’s naked body too, eh? By this time, the guys are in their underwear. And because they don’t want to be a net idol like the girls wish, they make a run for it. See them chase the guys with girls’ uniform in their hands? Heck, it’s worse than running down the hallway in their underwear, right?

Kaoru wants Class F (and some Class A students) to participate in a trial run of the Summoning Exam System. I guess it’s punishment for certain guys running around in their underwear. But in exchange, she’ll give them meal vouchers and library cards. So Minami, Hideyoshi and Kouta start by summoning their avatars first. However something is odd with their avatars. They are spouting their deepest secrets. Something they wouldn’t have said out loud in person. A boy confessing to Hideyoshi? Normal. Kouta wants to see what is underneath Aiko’s skirt? Normal. But the avatars are being stubborn too and not listening to their master’s order. Minami’s avatar wants to be with Akihisa and that poor boy receives the brute end of Minami each time her avatar is about to reveal her secrets. Himeji tricks Akihisa into summoning his avatar. Same case for Shouko towards Yuuji. Aiko’s seductive teasing led the guys to being reprimanded (read: beaten up) further by the girls. Himeji tries to get Akihisa to say who he likes so he tricks her into summoning her avatar. Now everyone is even. All’s fair in love and war. Kaoru returns only to see the mess everyone is in. Why did she even bothering asking those idiots. Because the system is still running, elsewhere Hiromi Nakabayashi tries to confess her feelings to Kubo. They accidentally summon their avatars, which confess their true confession. Nakabayashi didn’t like the way she was rejected in an insulting way when Kubo’s avatar praised his love for Akihisa. And it was her avatar that blurted out the confession.

Episode 5
Akihisa gets a letter. A blackmail letter. It tells him not to get closer to any girls around him. He thought it was someone who is jealous of Himeji or Hideyoshi. So Minami is a guy to him?! Worse, there are cross-dressing photos of Akihisa threatened to be circulated if he does not heed it. It doesn’t help when Himeji wants to share all those photos on the internet (no, she’s not the culprit). So the guys meet and Yuuji is also in a precarious position (as usual Shouko wants to marry him). They want Kouta to investigate and in return they’ll give him their ‘treasured collections’. It’s a deal! The school will be going on a training camp. During the train ride, Minami has the gang take some psychology test but because of Akihisa’s answer pissing her off (he thought it wouldn’t. Wrong. Did more damage than ever), each of the psychological answers she reads for him are verbal abuses. So for food, Akihisa thought he is screwed up seeing he is the only one who gets to eat Himeji’s poison cooking. He thought he is saved when Minami offered hers but it turns out too spicy. Just when he thought that was a blessing in disguise to numb his taste buds, he eats Himeji’s portion and instantly gets knocked out. Too strong, eh? By the time he regains consciousness, the guys are already in their room ready to carry out their operation to find out the blackmailing culprit. From Kouta’s investigation, a surveillance camera reveals the culprit doing a deal with Shouko to make another proposal for Yuuji. This leads to the only clue that the culprit, a female with a burn mark on her butt. Kouta’s infrared camera can’t capture the mark nor their plan for Hideyoshi to disguise as a girl and enter the girls’ bath to check out their butts would work because the teachers made sure Hideyoshi as his own separate bath. Yeah, he is the third gender. Suddenly the girls barge into the room and surround them. They think they are the culprits for installing a spy camera in the changing room which they have found. And thus the huge misunderstanding had the guys bear the heaviest punishment ever. Stones on their laps… Keep them piling! At the end, the guys feel they should do the crime since they’ve already done the time and couldn’t care less. They are going to barge straight in but are stopped by the science teacher, Fumihiro Fuse. Hideyoshi and Yuuji tackle him so the rest could pass. But next is the PE teacher, Ooshima. Kouta becomes his opponent to let Akihisa through. But he is confronted with the worse teacher of all: Ironman. Even if Ironman couldn’t summon his avatar as he ran out of points, his brute strength means he is still able to beat up Akihisa’s avatar (and send some direct pain to that idiot himself). So not only they failed to unveil the culprit on the first day, they have to sit for supplementary lessons.

Episode 6
As explained, the purpose of this camp is to make Class A students perform better for fear of becoming like Class F and in turn hope Class F will be motivated into studying like Class A. But it’s not always true for the latter. Aiko comes by to cause her seduction trouble again. It gets worse for Akihisa because Aiko has a recorder that edits his words and makes it as though that idiot is in love with her. Better make a run before the ladies come back with their torture gear. Yuuji thinks she might be the culprit when Miharu barges in to get some lovey-dovey hug from reluctant Minami. It is even worse when Kubo comes in to give his views on same sex love. Worse, Aiko and Kouta continue to edit Akihisa’s words… So the guys continue their plan to reveal the culprit. Since Aiko is wearing shorts underneath, it’ll be hard to ascertain if she has the mark so the only way left is to barge in straight into the girls’ bath. This time they’ll need the numbers. Yuuji calls in the Ryou Sugawa and other guys and reveals their plan to peep into the girls but will meet obstacles in the form of the guarding teachers. He manages to convince them to join him in their mission to view paradise as they split themselves into several groups. Hideyoshi’s group comes into contact with Fuse first. The rest encounter Miharu leading her group of girls. Miharu and Akihisa argue about peeping over Minami’s flat chest so much so Minami can’t stand it anymore and twists his elbow. With all the other girls coming by, Aiko tells Akihisa there is one hidden camera left in the changing room and it’s not hers. While Kouta and his group engage the girls, the rest charge through and meet Ironman. Sugawa gets owned but he is clinging on to Ironman with his last ounce of energy. The other guys willingly sacrifice themselves so Akihisa can move forward. However he won’t reach there because the PA system announces that he should come to the guidance office immediately. So after another horrifying round of supplementary lessons, next morning Akihisa ponders of Aiko’s words. Yuuji gets an idea that they need to get that camera just to find the culprit. However it might be too good to be true. Was this camera easily put in a way to be easily discovered? Well, the first one was already a diversion to make the guys as bait. So to get the camera, they’ll need to barge in again. Their lost was due to numbers and the girls intervening. Yuuji suggests of recruiting more guys. Because of the school’s high profile, they’ll either punish them or cover it up and with high number of perpetrators, punishing them all won’t be so easy. Akihisa is made to convince Kubo and his class to join the cause but he declines (because we know Kubo isn’t into girls). By the third day, they’ve only got Class D and E as help. Nemoto as Class B rep had a bad encounter with them and with his estranged girlfriend Yuuka in Class C, it’ll be hard to convince them. But before things can start, the other guys report that they have been ambushed. So the girls are already making their move. Yuuji and his team make a quick move but everywhere they go, the teachers and the girls block their path. Yeah, you want to fight Youko with 7,000 points?! Out of plans, out of strategies, Yuuji tells the guys to just do what they feel in your heart. Everybody except Yuuji and Akihisa bow down to ask for forgiveness. It’s not because their pride as a leader they do not prostrate themselves. It’s rather they know it will earn them no reprieve even if they did so. So another night, another failure…

Episode 7
The cinematic trailer how the guys revealed the culprit and was rewarded to peep all they want is just a distant dream. Very, very distant. In reality they are being punished with stones on their lap once more. But they aren’t going to give up yet. Sugawa SMS Akihisa because he wants to know why he is trying so hard to peep on girls. It’s love of course. But Akihisa emailed to the wrong person: Minami. He needs to clear this up but Yuuji accidentally slipped on a banana and broke his handphone. In retaliation, Akihisa SMS to Shouko using Yuuji’s handphone that wants to propose. Inner fighting isn’t going to get them anywhere. But they continue with their plan taking yukata photos of Himeji so that they can rope in the other guys to help. That night when Akihisa is asleep, he is rudely awakened by Minami (she almost broke his back to wake him up – he might sleep forever at this rate). He thought it was that weird SMS he sent and would gladly take her punishment. He thought she wanted to hear his last words in person! How dense can this guy get?! Hideyoshi is sleeping and Yuuji is in the midst of getting raped by Shouko so he can’t get any help. Suddenly Miharu barges in to take Minami away so they can have a steamy time together in their own love nest. Ironman is coming and if he finds the girls in the boys’ room, they’ll get reprimanded. Akihisa and Yuuji volunteer to be decoys while they escape. They are going to run to the girls’ dorm but end up fighting over the dresses they were made to wear. Ironman let them off the hook because he thought they were trying to do that sort of thing together since they have no luck with girls. With the much needed photos, the operation will commence tonight. The guys discuss the guarded routes and observe that one of the teachers’ avatar can interact with physical objects and conclude when the teachers’ fields overlap, the different objects cancel out each other due to interference.

So that night, Operation Peeping Tom commences as everyone puts up a good fight so that Akihisa can get to Ironman unscathed. Surprisingly Class B and Class C lend their support because they’ve been convinced by the yukata photos distributed by Kouta. All the boys are united because they have one goal in mind! Coming into Shouko and Himeji, Himeji is upset that Akihisa wants to peep on Minami instead of her! Akihisa gives his passionate speech about living his life to his true feelings. His words moved Kubo so all the boys in Class A agree to back Akihisa up. The rest charge through till Akihisa is left confronting Ironman. He is still no match for him. Akihisa is going to pinpoint all his attack on his crotch but this is just a decoy to catch him off guard to nail him on the head. Akihisa is almost zapped by Miharu’s taser as she warns him not to get close to Miharu or else she’ll circulate his photos. Akihisa realizes she is the blackmailer and the one who planted the cameras in the changing room. She can’t let him live seeing he knows too much but was knocked out by Yuuji seeing she wasn’t paying attention to her back. All the boys revel in their hard work and that they couldn’t have pulled it off without cooperating. As they march in to the bath for their paradise reward, all they see is Kaoru bathing. ARGH!!! Their eyes!!! It is not so worth it!!! With that, all 149 boys from Fumizuki get suspended for a week. Big time suspension! Yeah, it wasn’t worth it… Once when all the boys return, Himeji apologizes to Akihisa for treating him like a peeping Tom. Suddenly Minami waltzes pass Akihisa and kisses him on the lips!!! I’m not seeing things!!!

Episode 8
This is Minami’s flashback. When her father and sister were to be transferred to Japan, daddy offered to make arrangements for Minami to stay back in Germany. She tagged along because Hazuki wanted her so much to come along. On her first day as a transfer student at Fumizuki, she screwed up writing her kanji name and became a laughing stock. Her understanding of Japanese language was lacking as she notices the other weirdoes in her class from badass Yuuji to girl-like Hideyoshi. The last straw came when she saw Akihisa in a sailor shirt and feels daddy had deceived her about Japan being the world’s safest country. Minami struggles to understand Japanese and inadvertently told off those who wanted to be friends with her (she heard those words from Miharu and thought they were just harmless words for people to leave her alone). Because of that, nobody wanted to be friends with her save for Akihisa who tries to be friendly with her. But he gets into an idiotic argument with Yuuji. A week passed and she still continues to find it hard to cope with the language. Akihisa talks to her but his words seemed so foreign that she didn’t know whether he was teasing her or not. I wouldn’t say Minami lied to Hazuki that she was having a great time but the word ‘interesting’ can swing both ways, you know. Then one day Akihisa said to her, “Tu ne voudrais pas devenir mon amie”. She couldn’t understand and tells him off, “What a sh*t man”. Akihisa misinterpreted that she is a man (“Watashi man” – I am a man). Yuuji explains what she is saying so Akihisa apologizes despite flat chest was in his sentence. Well, Minami didn’t need to understand that to break his arm. Maybe that’s where the pain all began. As she leaves, Yuuji tells her that she needs to look up at what he is at least saying and though he is an idiot, he is an interesting guy. Minami takes up the challenge so she can get back at Akihisa. Pondering what language he was spouting, she remembers when she and her family was in France and she was puzzled why everyone was calling her “Monami (mon amie)” instead of “Minami”. Realizing the words are in French, she head to the library to translate French to English and then to German (because there aren’t any dictionaries directly translating French to German). She finally realizes what Akihisa wanted to say, “Could you become my friend”. She felt that he had a rough time trying to put that phrase together of a foreign language even though he could hardly grasp his own language in class. Tears started welling in her eyes. Next day when Akihisa thought he made her mad again, she smiled and said in Japanese that she wants to be his friend. It might take time for her to string that sentence together but at least she’s making the effort.

Episode 9
So it is definitely no joke what Himeji saw and the FFF Inquisition is really going to kill him. Now Shouko wants to kiss Yuuji too and since he isn’t going to agree to that, she frames him in a way that the FFF Inquisition also holds him guilty. Of course in the kangaroo court, they have no say and it’s the death sentence. Yuuji finds out about the mistaken love SMS Akihisa sent during the camp. Himeji is obviously gloomy while Minami sits closer to Akihisa. Till Miharu butts in. This time Minami tells her she needs to stop doing all this because she’s going out with Akihisa. Gasp! (See how Akihisa instinctively dodge all the ‘weapons’ thrown by FFF Inquisition!). If not for Ironman throwing Miharu out of class, it might have gotten worse. Later Yuuji tells the guys that Class D is going to start an Exam War with Class F. It’s not about swapping facilities. Miharu is from that class and you know what she wants. Plus, the guys have racked up a reputation during the camp so the girls will be supporting her. Since the guys were suspended for a week, they don’t have enough points to recover for the war. They need to avoid the battle at all cost. Yuuji needs to confirm if Akihisa is really going out with Minami. Not that he can remember. Now he needs to clear up the misunderstanding to end all this. Akihisa sees Minami and Himeji to clear up about the SMS. The girls first thought he has a thing for Sugawa! Though the misunderstanding is cleared up, Minami beats him up because she has given her first kiss to him. If it’s any consolation, it’s his first kiss too. Well, she’s okay with that. Akihisa asks about her telling Miharu that they’re going out. Of course she explains it was a ploy to make her give up on her. Everything seems okay till Akihisa makes an uncalled comment that he really thought she was in love with him then and that couldn’t be possible because she was never that sweet. Backbone breaker, here it comes. At least that clears up everything and thus avoiding the battle with Class D.

However another problem is brewing and this time Nemoto’s Class B is going to war with Class F. Ever since the camp incident, Nemoto has been losing authority over the boys so this is a distraction to reassert that authority. Thus Yuuji suggests they need to start an Exam War with another class before they do. He’s going to do battle with Class D. Didn’t they just averted that? They’ll be given time to replenish their scores once the battle starts. This way they can take their time to build up their scores and Class B will hesitate to attack when they are at full strength. Though they don’t have enough points to beat Class D, Yuuji has another plan but for now he wants to provoke them into the war and Akihisa must cling on to Minami to enrage Miharu. Of course Minami disagrees to be that idiot’s girlfriend. The rest persuade her with reasons to be part of the plan. For instance, using Himeji’s father as an excuse to transfer her out again. Reading from the script isn’t working so Hideyoshi puts up a very convincing play as demonstration. So much so Akihisa didn’t want to wake up from this ‘dream’. So the plan involves Akihisa and Minami having a lover’s rendezvous at the rooftop while being confronted by jealous Himeji. They are confident Miharu will eavesdrop and react the way they want. The act commences and Akihisa notices Himeji not saying the lines from her script. Is she adlibbing? She’s so convincing. Yeah, we would know better she’s not really acting when she’s talking about her feelings. But she won’t forgive him about the first kiss. Akihisa spots a surveillance bug behind Himeji’s collar and tries to get if off her back. But on the front, it looks like as though he is dumping Minami to chase after Himeji. It’s truly heartbreak for Minami. She is done with acting and resigns to the fact that Akihisa may like proper girls compared to her. Akihisa manages to catch up to Himeji and get the bug off her. Even if he can guessed she seemed lonely then and that she admitted it was just an act (really?), he was too dense to figure out Himeji’s question of which of them he would choose if the situation arises. Making him worse than an idiot, he thought Himeji’s act was so convincing that it wasn’t an act. He thought she had some acting experience. How disappointing! IDIOT!!! How can he screw up the feelings of both girls in the same day without realizing it?

Episode 10
Minami is so pissed that he doesn’t want to see Akihisa anymore. Because he’s always talking about Himeji and treating her like a princess. Back to the plan, Yuuji needs to disseminate false info to Class B to buy some time. If Class D initiates a war with Class B, Nemoto would want to avoid unnecessary battles and opt out of the battle with Class F seeing he is out to maintain his position and not after their facilities. Yuuji sends Hideyoshi to bring Miharu to the negotiation table and provoke her hostility (he can’t use Akihisa or Himeji considering what happened). Then he wants Akihisa to eat well so this means Himeji has to cook for him! Oh God!!! Akihisa has no say in what food he will get (jelly, that is). As Himeji rushes off to make them, Yuuji says this is just a ploy because they may need weapons for the mission. Though the danger of Akihisa eating it still looms. They peep to see what ingredients she put in and she puts in everything that has nothing to do with making jelly!!! Later they learn Nemoto has sent a messenger to Class D to ascertain if the battle is true. To avoid that, Kouta is ordered to take him out with Himeji’s poison cooking while distracting everyone with a photo of Akihisa’s cross-dressing. This in turn will also help fuel Nemoto’s suspicions on Class D. Kouta returns with an information that he is seen talking to Shouko. Shortly, Shouko barges in to take Yuuji with her to see his ailing mother. With Yuuji out, can they continue with the mission? But Kouta feels something is amiss because if Yuuji’s mom is really sick, why didn’t they contact him directly? Though his handphone is broken, the PA system would’ve been fine. It must be misinformation. Looks like Nemoto is not dumb enough to be a sitting duck. He too is planning to buy time to figure out what is happening.

Akihisa, Hideyoshi and Minami go meet Miharu for the negotiations. Miharu tells the idiot to lay off her beloved and that he is completely undeserving of her love. Akihisa tries to explain that he may be stupid with lesser desirable qualities but Miharu tells him back that this has nothing to do with about something trivial. She has observed them together and can tell he treats Minami and Himeji worlds apart. He treats Himeji like a girl, a princess but when it comes to Minami, he is completely oblivious to her charms and treats her like as though she is one of the guys. Even if they had been putting up an act, dumping her and going after Himeji is unthinkable. Minami couldn’t take it anymore and runs out of the room. So while Hideyoshi also leaves, Miharu continues chiding Akihisa that she no longer sees him as her love rival because it’ll be a waste of time to be jealous to a pig who doesn’t even notice Minami’s charms. But Akihisa still had something to say. He said something inaudible that enrages Miharu. Yuuji returns and confirms Nemoto’s misinformation. By this time, Class D has announced their fight against Class F. Since they don’t have enough to win, Yuuji suggests they lose all-out. Yeah, what have they got to lose? Even so, how bad can it get? It will be just the battle between the reps of each class. Miharu versus Akihisa. Miharu lets her emotions control her because she couldn’t believe all the words he said to Minami were lies. Akihisa denies and instead admits those were his true feelings. He may be dumb but he knows when not to lie. At least he is honest about it. Yuuji suddenly stops the match because he’ll have FFF Inquisition take over from now. Actually they’re not here to beat up Miharu but Akihisa! Yeah, all part of Yuuji’s bigger scheme. If you can’t win them, call for a truce. That is what Yuuji did with Miharu and wants them to bury the hatchet. She agrees and lets them off easily on because she felt Akihisa wasn’t lying. But for Akihisa, it’s more torment because it’s more supplement classes with Ironman. In the end, the plan is a success as Nemoto calls off the battle. But that would be the least of Akihisa’s worries because Kouta replays the recorder during his speech with Miharu. When Akihisa admitted treating Miharu casually like one of the guys, she is someone he can always talk freely and openly to. The things she does sometimes are cute and that she is a charming girl. The guys are in shock because they never expected to hear this. Embarrassing? But true. Minami overheard that and when she goes home, Hazuki thought something was wrong as her face is all red. Minami is troubled that she has fallen hard for someone. Next day in school, Akihisa laments how he should apologize when Minami in her cheerful mood greets him. He is puzzled with her good actions like as though every wrong doing had been forgiven.

Episode 11
This is Yuuji and Shouko’s flashback episode. When Yuuji was an elementary school kid, you can say he is a smart kid. Scoring exam marks that will put his seniors to shame. Naturally he also thinks he is intelligent and this gives him the right to look down on others as nothing but the top is on his mind. That’s right. He thought himself as a hero just because he is intellectually superior to others. Shouko though was a transfer student 2 years ago in his elementary school, she was always close to Yuuji’s side. He was the only one she felt comfortable talking with as he treated her fairly. Though Shouko is also smart, good in athletics and came from a wealthy family, the other kids shunned her because of that. The only reason why he talked to her was not out of pity. Rather, he treated everyone equally. But that’s just another way of saying he doesn’t give a damn about anyone. One day on his way home, a bunch of senior bullies confront him to teach him a lesson about respect. But Yuuji being cocky tells those ‘stupid’ people about respecting him instead seeing they had an extra year of study and still couldn’t best his score. The bullies can’t touch him because if the teachers find out, they’ll be in sh*t as top students are naturally the teacher’s pet, right? The bullies aren’t satisfied and plan to get him back indirectly. Yuuji isn’t going to sit back and let them have it their way. He is going to teach them a lesson too. Knowing they were going after his stuff, he plans to provoke them further. He waits at the library to kill time before the bullies move in. Then he will call the teacher to catch the bullies in the act. The bullies couldn’t find anything valuable belonging to Yuuji in his class and settle to doodle his t-shirt. Shouko happen to pass by and is shocked to see what they are doing and tells them to stop. She tries desperately hard to protect the shirt and accidentally scribbled over one of the bullies’ shirt instead.

Yuuji returns to the classroom, confident the bully had fallen for his trap. But to his horror realize Shouko got caught within it. He remembers Shouko’s detest for transferring schools because she just made friends. If word of this bully gets to her parents, they will immediately transfer her out. However Yuuji is in a dilemma to go save her or turn a blind eye. Yuuji has a ‘confrontation’ with his older self. The latter is telling him no matter which decision he choose, he will get hurt. Young Yuuji is not confident of fighting the bullies because of the numbers. Old Yuuji tells him the meaning of a true hero. One that saves people despite knowing he will lose. Young Yuuji scrambles for excuses to save his own ass that this sort of thing only happens in anime and manga. He thinks his other self is trying to tell him being an idiot is better. Well, an idiot who jumps into the fray without thinking is cooler than him right now. Yuuji still thinks it is not his fault and if Shouko would just shout for help, the teachers come in and she gets transferred, it won’t be his doing. But Shouko never screamed. She continued to get beaten up. Couldn’t stand anymore of this, Yuuji dives into the scene. He tells Shouko to go straight home instead of calling the teacher. Then it becomes a free-for-all brawl among the boys. That was when he realized he was a pitiful weakling. As Shouko runs home, she hated herself for being scared and not being able to do anything. Yuuji felt it was his fault to drag Shouko into this mess but she didn’t think so. When Yuuji comes back, he is messed up and of course his mother is worried. He shrugs it off and the reason why she wasn’t panicking was because Shouko (who is still at Yuuji’s place) told her about it. Shouko apologizes to his mom that he was protecting her and ended up like this. If this isn’t going to be cleared up, his chance of entering a prestigious school will be in tatters. But mommy isn’t worried. She doesn’t want him to only excel in studies. She is happy he stood up for someone else. That’s when Shouko promised that when she grows up, she will become his bride. She will always love him and till that day comes, mommy will support her. And yeah, something must have screwed up along the way to turn Shouko into a crazy possessive lover.

Episode 12
Akihisa is surprised that there is something wrong with his summoned avatar. It has become a headless knight? I’m sure everyone else loves kicking his head… But it’s not only his avatar but the rest too. The avatars transform into popular monster creatures like werewolf, Dracula and succubus based on their defining traits. But Minami’s one is the weirdest. A flat block? Akihisa tries to avoid laughing or saying the word flat but ends up ‘dead’ when he describes it as ‘sturdy’. Maybe he should just keep his mouth shut. Suddenly Tsunemura and Natsukawa barge into their class and have a bone to pick with them (the event that happened during the festival from the OVAs). However Miharu and Kubo come to defend them (with their ulterior motives of course) and will not let the seniors lay a hand on them. The seniors are easily taken out and would’ve been defeated if Kaoru had not interrupted. She is going to hold an official event for Fumizuki. A test of courage. Putting the third years as the ghosts who will be scaring the second year challengers, the rules will be simple. The second years will pair up and go through the creepy corridors. If their scream reaches a certain level, they are disqualified. There will also be 4 checkpoints in which the challengers will engage in a summon battle with the ‘ghosts’. The challengers win if they clear all checkpoints while it’s victory to the ‘ghosts’ if the challengers fail to clear it all. Yuuji is being put in charge for the second years as he tells the pair to consist of a boy and girl. Why? Because he wants everyone to suffer with him. Yeah, he is forced to pair with Shouko.

With the event starting, many of the second years are easily frightened and disqualified. And then there are those disqualified because guys who are paired together were arguing about not being popular enough to hit on girls. Yeah, their loud arguing voice just went off scale. Akihisa and the FFF Inquisition watch with utmost jealousy when a pair is being so close during the challenge. You know, the guy vows to protect the girl… Riles them up, doesn’t it? However they get scared by the scariest ghost ever. Actually it is Natsukawa with a hideous make-up and gothic dress. Yeah, scary alright. This tactic allows him to scare more people so when it is Kouta and Aiko’s turn, they throw a life size mirror in front of him. He got scared of seeing himself! Kouta starts taking pictures of him and threatens to put this all over the internet. Natsukawa retreats as the pair reaches the first checkpoint and easily defeats the lowly seniors (I think Aiko stripped for the moment there). But reaching the second checkpoint, Kouta may not be able to handle it as Aoi Kogure of the tea club takes off her kimono to reveal the gymnastic leotard she is wearing. I guess he’s out. Hideyoshi and Yuuko are next up. Since womanly charms won’t work on them, Aoi retreats to let her guys do battle. They win but before they could move on, Tsunemura confronts Hideyoshi and has something to say. He confesses he likes him!!! He even came up with some sunflower poem! That’s got to be real scary! For the first time, everyone heard Hideyoshi’s girly scream. Yeah, he screamed like a little girl. Natsukawa and Tsunemura mock the second years and challenge Yuuji and Akihisa to get their asses here to them.

Episode 13
But Yuuji has a secret weapon. Is it Akihisa-Minami pair? Well, Minami is so scared of Japanese ghosts that she is clinging on to him. More like squeezing him to death. So scared that Akihisa sees her in a different light that makes his heart skip. But that won’t be for long because there is another ‘ghost’ they have to put up with. Yes, that jealous Miharu. She is being paired up with Kubo as they chase Akihisa and Minami round the place. After giving them the slip, Akihisa thought it’s about time she got used to Japanese ghost but she replies she can return and live in Germany. He thought it will be lonely till Minami realizes it wasn’t her she wasn’t referring to, but him. So does he really care for her? Well, this is where the dense part comes in. I’m sure Minami is trying to lead him into assuring he’d stay by her side but she got knocked out of the appearance of several ghosts. So I guess they’re disqualified as Minami is sent to the infirmary. Yuuji thinks the operation is the success because the secret weapon is actually Miharu and Kubo. They both fight Tsunemura and Natsukawa but lost. It’s time for Yuuji and Shouko to go in but they need another pair if they are to stand a chance. Since Himeji hasn’t been disqualified, I guess they mean her and also Akihisa (maybe Minami was only out). Akihisa feels they shouldn’t force Himeji since she is afraid of ghosts but Himeji will do it. She has watched Minami and got inspired. However entering the field, she gets scared and all clingy on Akihisa. Same thing, eh? Akihisa tries to cheer her up with praises and that she is like a princess but Himeji isn’t happy and begs to differ. Citing she is full of faults and the reason he never noticed it was perhaps he was keeping a distance. It’s like he’s always trying to be nice and hold back and when she looks at her, he’s not seeing the real her. She wants to know how he feels about her. Suddenly the place blacks out. When it gets lighted again, Akihisa finds himself paired with Yuuji. He knows this is Tsunemura and Natsukawa’s plan to switch them. The guys spot the girls and Akihisa wanted to call out to them but was reminded about the pitch level. Akihisa then whispers but it sounded ghostly to Himeji! Better stop it. I thought Himeji had lost her voice when she encountered several ghosts because she was screaming but without the voice. I guess she’s really trying to hold it back. Shouko is just cool. Nothing scares her.

The girls reach Tsunemura and Natsukawa and the latter pair are upset it isn’t the guys. They continue to mock Yuuji and Akihisa about being afraid and their all-time low stupidity. However this causes Himeji to blow her top and chide back at them. At this moment, she has gone over the permitted level and is disqualified. However she does not stop rebuking them for badmouthing her friends. They may be idiots and cause trouble but they also have many good qualities. Qualities that cannot be measured by grades. Tsunemura and Natsukawa are still unfazed and tell them to scram, in which Shouko takes upset Himeji and leave. Akihisa and Yuuji overheard their kindness and get pumped up to face the bullies. Before the much anticipated grudge match begins, Yuuji wants to do a penalty game, in which the loser will do whatever the winner says. Fine with them. After summoning their avatars, Yuuji and Akihisa instantly run away. The seniors start chasing them all around the place. Didn’t they realize the wild goose chase is on purpose? Just when they thought they spot Yuuji and Akihisa hiding behind a grave, it is a trap set by Hideyoshi and Kouta (imitating their voices with the recorder devices). Because they are out of the field, Yuuji calls for a summon battle in this area. An area whereby their maths score triumphs over the seniors’ physics score. The seniors thought their maths grade were good too but they realized it is as low as a typical Class F grade. Seems it was all part of Yuuji’s plan when he sent Miharu and Kubo to fight them and reduce their scores in this area. Yuuji and Akihisa easily defeated the pair who can’t believe they lost to idiots. They are even given a lecture about the good of being idiots because they get to devote all their attention to something. And when others call them obsessed, it is actually a praise to them. As for the penalty game… Akihisa is looking for Himeji and finds her alone at the rooftop. She tells him 2 third years came to apologize to her and knows it is his doing. She apologizes for causing him trouble but he says she is certainly no princess because no princess would have been brave enough to snap at their seniors. Instead he thanks her for enabling them to do their best. The thing that Himeji wanted to ask him all the while is… When is he going to start calling her by her first name. Akihisa reasons that it’s embarrassing if he does so because it will be like when they went to elementary school together. Well, he did try to practice it but still find it embarrassing. In return, she tells him a secret: She hasn’t given up on her first love and pecks him on his cheek. Though stunned, things get messier when Minami comes into the picture to remind him about his promise of being with her together. Himeji wants an explanation. Start running! Just like Yuuji. Because Shouko is forcing him to sign an instant marriage contract since they failed to complete the challenge together. So while they make a mad dash to escape, slowly all the other characters join in the chase for the heck of it. Even the FFF Inquisition. Hey, they’re running in circles! Idiots to the core!

Smart Asses…
Well, this season was as fun and enjoyable as the first even if they still used the same recycled ingredients that made the first season memorable. The first half of the series felt like gender wars between the boys and girls. And of course it is the girls that always triumphs over the boys no matter what. They are usually at the receiving end. No matter how much they try to best over them, it is just not their luck for the males to prevail over their female counterparts. That’s what I felt. So whether it is a beach outing or the training camp, it never really works out in the guys’ favour. For the second half, it is good that we have a few episodes that explores the past of Minami, Yuuji and Shouko before descending into another summon battle with the seniors. Thus in this season, we don’t really get to see the Exam Wars of other classes calling for it to swap for higher and better classroom amenities. We’ve already seen that in the first season so I guess it would be a bore if Class F were to repeat their nearly-nearly feat again. I don’t want to sound arrogant or superior but because of the main characters providing their stupidity, there were many funny moments that could range from a simple smirk to laugh-out-loud. That’s why in a way, being idiotic isn’t such a bad thing after all… I’m the one to say… If a third season comes out, I’ll definitely want to watch it. Not because I’m under the influence of idiots, mind you.

Basically everyone is still the same character we know back in season one. Akihisa and Yuuji the biggest idiot pair ever and they are like hot and cold sometimes. At times they cooperate with each other to solve the big problem but other times, they are at each other’s throat, trying to blame and shove the responsibility to the other. Akihisa may not excel in grades but he still has great qualities that you don’t learn in textbooks. He is a nice kid who likes helping those in trouble. Just a problem that he is too dense not to realize the feelings of Minami and Himeji. Maybe that’s why he is still a big idiot. It’s just too bad that Yuuji and Akihisa always bear the brunt of the jealous Shouko, Minami and Himeji. Even if it is not their own fault or doing. Well, after 2 seasons, you thought Yuuji may have learnt a thing or two about avoiding or at least predicting Shouko’s movements to avoid getting that painful torture. Not. I have to respect her for being persistent over Yuuji. Till death do them part? Hell! She’ll even follow him to his grave! No peace of mind forever! At least get a hint whenever the girls start emitting dark evil auras when they flirt or making a pass at other girls. Minami and Himeji did come close in letting Akihisa know their feelings but since it didn’t turn out well (heartbreaks included), I suppose it’s like another of those a-bridge-too-far, yet-so-close-yet-so-far moments. Just keep trying. I never thought they would pull off kissing him even with Minami’s bold one on the lips and Himeji’s little one on his cheek. Is that enough convincing that they are more interested in you than just being friends. Hmm… Maybe he needs a lot more convincing than thought.

For Hideyoshi, I felt that a big part they are treating him like a guy instead of a girl. But it also felt his gender is ‘determined’ based on whoever’s convenience. If the guys need some girl to fantasize over their ideal woman, then he would be a girl. But him getting punished along with the other guys, I felt that his punishment is the ‘lightest’ among the guys. Of course Akihisa and Yuuji will bear the heaviest suffering. Kouta is still the perverted ninja voyeur and hasn’t lost his touch with using his spy cameras and other gadgets for his voyeurism. He is the kind of guy who suits being a double agent so long you pay him the right price. Noticed all those cross-dressing pictures of Akihisa in his collection? He could really fetch a high price for it. And with his massive nose bleeding, he could have donated a year’s worth of blood to the blood hospital. The surprise for me was Aiko’s behaviour on him. She likes teasing him and the way she acts and teases around him to arouse his nose bleed makes it as though she has a thing for him. Or maybe she’s just toying around. At first it seemed like they had potential to be a couple but nothing towards the end indicate that they would be one. Miharu is still the annoying lesbian, obsessed over Minami. Just like how it will never get to Akihisa’s head that there are a couple of girls who have a crush on him, it’ll never get to Miharu’s head that Minami isn’t homo. During Minami-focused episodes, Miharu may have got the perfect chance into ridding Akihisa as her love rival with that true-in-your-face pep talk about not realizing Minami’s feelings but I guess the way he says it now makes him an even greater rival. Though Kubo is still into Akihisa, he doesn’t really do anything as wild as Miharu. This guy too won’t ever get it into his head that Akihisa isn’t a homo. Well, the gay elements seemed toned down for this season.

Hazuki wasn’t prominently featured in this season and if so was only during Minami’s flashback. Even if she did, I’m sure she’ll still want to marry that baka onii-chan. It’ll make the equation even more complicated seeing Minami is truly more in love with Akihisa than before. Would that be sisterly fight if Hazuki knew? In the last season, Akira made her appearance at the end of the series. But in here, she is seen in the earlier episodes and after that, who knows where she went. It’s like as though the producers forgotten about her. But still, Akira is still the same seductive sister that Akihisa dreads. Maybe that is why he doesn’t recognize when a girl has a crush on him. He might think something akin to his sister’s horrible prank. Trauma, I guess. Yuuko too wasn’t that prominent though that twin-switching episode was just her only limelight. Not that she was a prominent character in the last season but I thought she would be featured more since she along with Shouko and Aiko are considered as Akihisa’s inner circle of friends. Ironman is still the teacher to fear because if your scores go down to zero in the summoning wars, it’s off to his hellish supplement class. Though we don’t really see much of this in this season, I’m sure those who went through it will definitely have a chilly shiver down their spine just thinking about it. The FFF Inquisition are still losers but deadly ones. So never get a girlfriend right before their eyes or else it’s kangaroo court for you. Still wondering who they are beneath those masks.

I still do not understand how the avatar summoning and battling system works. Because it was explained in the last season, you won’t hear them repeating the same mechanics all over again here. Therefore I am still at a loss at how students can use their test scores as life points to fight their opponents. I don’t really get it. How can people with lower scores triumph over their opponents with higher scores and using the subjects they are good at. Huh? Lots of big question mark for me. Maybe I am truly an idiot. Maybe if I go watch Pokemon, it’ll be easier to understand. Akihisa’s avatar remains the only one whereby if you give pain to the little chibi, Akihisa himself will feel the pain. It does both good and bad for that kid. Maybe that’s why he is a special idiot too. In the final couple of episodes, Kaoru must have been experimenting with the summoning system again, that’s why the avatars go haywire and we see all the students’ avatars turning into monsters instead of their cute chibi ones. Well, nothing is perfect. There is always room for improvement. Okay, maybe there are some things that need more time to improve or never will. Like Himeji’s cooking. If you want to kill an entire enemy of a certain country, just send her poison cooking in. Guarantee to give you a one way trip to hell. So how did the guys actually survive her horrible cooking after cooking. Immune? There’s a simpler answer and it also begins with the letter ‘I’: Idiots.

The mid-intermission and next episode preview still maintain the amusing test questions. Not only there are questions that test your knowledge on certain subjects like science or history, there are some that serves as psychological tests too. I suppose EQ is as important as IQ. It is hilarious to read the kind of lazy and stupid answers, especially Akihisa and the guys write down and then the equally ‘tired’ and sarcastic short comments the teacher put down. Of course ace student Himeji’s answer is always what every teacher is looking for and you can see their praises reflected in the comment the teacher has given (it’s lengthier and even explains further to Himeji’s answer). And you wonder why she isn’t in Class A and still in the lowest Class F. Well, I can think of wanting to be with a certain idio-, whoops, boy I mean. But it is not Class F characters who give their answers during this test question segment. In some episodes, Shouko also has her answers but because her answers are based on her obsession over Yuuji, you can say that she’s equally as dumb as the guys in Class F. So how did she keep her place in Class A? I guess they don’t ask her this kind of questions in real exams.

The opening theme for this season is Kimi + Nazo + Watashi De JUMP!! by Larval Stage Planning. It feels like a cross between anime pop and a cheer song. The main ending theme is Eureka Baby by Natsuko Aso. If you are familiar with how the opening song in the first season sounded like, well this one felt somewhat similar to it with a hint of cheeky and mischievous bit in it. Also, the ending animation also feels like gender wars. Especially right at the end whereby we see the girls sticking out their tongue to us. I guess girls really have a field day in this series, eh? Except for the last episode, we see the guys also joining the girls doing that cheeky act. There are a couple of special ending themes. Milktub did the main ending theme in the first season and this time they only sing the one-off special ending themes. For instance episode 7’s ending piece entitled Baka To Koshitsu To Kodoku Meshi. It may be a slow rock but the lyrics sound funny (eating curry in the toilet?). Though it is mainly about eating food, but the lyrics soon turn into one that gives you hope and encouragement even when all seems lost. Then it’s back to their upbeat hard rock style like how we heard them back in the first season with episode 11’s ending song, Hi-Ho!

The underlying theme of course is to tell us that despite the need to study hard, grades are not everything in life. What is more important are the friends you have around you. Good grades can only take you so far but having good friends who support you all the way can last an entire lifetime. You don’t need any qualifications or degree to make friends. Just trust and believe. But sometimes you can’t help blame each other or make your buddy take the fall with you :). Hey, that’s what friends are for, right? A friend in need is a friend indeed. Test scores may be what separates between intellects and idiots but the content of your heart is what separates us from a real friend and a fool. Don’t worry if you find it hard to understand what I said because this won’t come out in the test. Maybe the test in life… To sign off with a proverb: Do not approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back and an idiot from any side.


July 6, 2012

It nearly got banned?! Woah, need to check this out then. Actually I have never heard of Gokujo till I read the little news that Japan has banned several episodes from being aired on television for having so called raunchy stuff. Actually they termed it as ‘self-restraint’ (inclusive of ’roundabout apology’) in cancelling some of the episodes though it was made viewable via webcast for a limited time. And you know human nature, when authorities do not allow us to do something, we rebel with all our might against the flow to do it. I guess that was my case when I decided to check out Gokujo to see for myself how controversial this short anime series with only a dozen episodes lasting 6 minutes per episode could be.

The setting is the all-girls high school named Gokurakuin Joshi Kouryou or Gokujo for short. Ironically with ‘gokujo’ meaning ‘the best’ or ‘the finest quality’, the plot and characters are somewhat a total opposite. The main character is Aya Akabane. At first from her mature looks, I thought she was the teacher. Heck, she’s a student! From her prominent big boobs to her hairstyle curls and down to her fashion sense, she’s not your typical angelic and well-mannered lady. Excuse me if I should call her b*tch as the right word but even so, that will be an understatement. As you can tell, she is the source of the many antics, troubles, laugh out loud laughter, ecchi pervert and yuri moments that the show has to offer. And if you really want to talk about the plot, heck, there isn’t because it’s basically situational gags of Aya and her other eccentric friends in their (yuri) misadventures at high school. Need I say more? Better watch out or your chastity will be in danger.

Episode 1
Aya is checking her perfect body and sexy style. Lots of self-boasting included. It’s taking her so long that she realizes she’s late for school. Yeah, and she claims she isn’t really done preparing yet. So while feeling bloody confident on her way to school, her friend Konatsu Toro calls out to her but gets abused (Aya holding her ponytail like pulling a radish from a ground!) for calling her “Aya-chan“ instead of “Aya-sama”. Yeah, she even purposely gloats her almost revealing boobs for they exist to be seen! The abuse could’ve taken a worst toll if not for Ai Nanasato coming by to tell them about the lost panties she has found. Aya laughs her ass off over that dumb incident but when Ai shows the slightly humongous granny-like panties, suddenly Aya stops laughing. Before she can make some sense into them, the duo rush off to school as the bell has rung. Aya is in the infirmary and realizes that she has all the while being commando and that panties is hers. Thinking back how this freak accident happened, while she was dressing up, she felt her panties was still wet and changed into a plain one. Well, nobody is going to see them, right? Ironically, she lets people see her boobs instead. In the midst of changing, she gets distracted by an SMS from Konatsu that she found a pair of cute cats (they’re f*cking each other!). And that’s when she forgot her plain panty was hanging on her ankle while laughing her ass off over Konatsu’s stupidity. Who is the stupid one now? Aya calls Konatsu right in the middle of class to tell her to get her ass over to the infirmary. You can tell something is awfully wrong when Aya is making the most beautiful smile. Asking politely to hand over her panties, of course Konatsu refuses. Now it’s the hard way. She’s forcing it off her! F*ck! Blaming her as the source of everything, thus her logic of why Konatsu should lend her panties to her! The struggle continues as Konatsu views Aya’s ‘flower garden’ or ‘rafflesia’. Most beautiful place in the world? So when she finally manages to strip them, Konatsu chases her down the hallway. I wonder how many students have witnessed this bare ass ladies act. Aya bumps into Ai and even brags about the panties she stole. So when Konatsu crashes into her, they both tumble and reveal their bare ass to everyone. They can still get married, right?

Episode 2
Aya’s hiccups are not stopping. Konatsu gets her hair pulling and tossing treatment when she tries to scare her as a cure. Not working. Ai suggests to drink a full glass of water but to hold her breath while she’s at it, she gives her a pair of chopsticks. I don’t know how, it ended up right in her nose! Konatsu tries to remedy of pulling her tongue. Kind of sticky, isn’t it? And since it’s not working, it’s hair pulling and tossing for that poor girl again. Aya panics if her hiccups reach 100 times (now she’s at the halfway mark) so Asuka Utsonomiya comes in to explain the mumbo-jumbo of diaphragm muscle suddenly contracting. After tying a ‘cute’ ribbon over her hair, Utsunomiya does a silly ritual to summon the spirits to have a look since she pinpoints ghosts as the source. Seeing her past of eating a pickled plum on the floor yesterday and stepping on dog poop today, she points her diaphragm resides a ghost! But why is she pointing to the forehead as the problem? The cure to exorcise it is to caress and lick her face!!! WTF?! Yeah, feeling very slimy, isn’t she? Then Utsunomiya sees the ghost in her lips and targets it next. Before anything more yuri can happen, Aya storms off in a huff citing their uselessness. On the way home, Aya is bloody grumpy and she blows her top when her friends couldn’t stop yapping about the quack remedies. Suddenly a fly enters her mouth and she swallows it. Instantly her hiccups disappeared and she thinks getting mad was the key to it all. But Konatsu and Ai know the disgusting thing that made it stop and choose not to tell and ruin her celebrating mood. I guess she deserved what she got, eh? Some things are better off not known. Let her be…

Episode 3
Aya’s sister, Saya visits her at the infirmary to hand over some strawberries she bought. Aya starts shivering in fear but her friends think Saya is such an elegant and graceful lady. Even Madoka Owada can’t contain her wild fantasies. Pissed off Aya tells them the real truth about Saya. Many years ago, a scary delinquent lady named Kaname Oku came to pick Saya up to ‘clean up some trash’. Aya got dragged along for the hell ride (maybe it was the way Saya held her while Oku rode her bike). The duo beat up a group of motorcycle gangsters without mercy! And to call them gangsters or delinquents is an understatement because they are more towards Grim Reaper and Demon King! That’s how the urban legend of them wiping out all delinquents in the prefecture came to be. Her friends still don’t believe her and think she’s exaggerating. Since telling them the meanness they’ll get when they become angry won’t work, Aya pulls down Konatsu’s skirt to reveal her bare butt! Then she compares it with hers to show a bruise that she got. What bruise? Can’t see anything. Suddenly Oku crashes into the infirmary and they realize the Demon King that Aya had been calling is their own school nurse. Scared Aya serves her the strawberries and is forced to buy some milk after Oku shows her brute strength. However Oku can’t enjoy them since the strawberries are spoilt. Aya can see this coming that her sister will blame her and is starting to feel the deep sh*t she’ll be in. Oku drags Aya and along with Saya on her bike, they’re heading to the shop that sold those strawberries so they could beat the seller up. Can Aya’s heart be at ease seeing Saya mentions she isn’t mad at her? Don’t be fooled by her smile…

Episode 4
Aya seems to be rather lively at the pool. I know she can show off her sexy figure in that bikini but her real aim is this. After Owada brings the camera she requested for, Aya goes underwater swimming snapping forbidden shots of the girls from underneath. Now their dirty little secrets will be hers says she? Then she spots Utsunomiya farting but gets a kick in the face. So a fierce battle begins including insults about still being a virgin. Till Utsunomiya ends with an advice that some things are better off kept to themselves. Aya lost. She is so upset that she kicks the water so hard that her foot cramp (actually she accidentally kicked Konatsu’s face). The rest know Aya is in trouble when only her bottom part of her bikini surfaced. I don’t know how they put it back but Aya is still unconscious by the side. And it’s getting worse by the second. See her foaming in the mouth? The only way to rescue her is via CPR. You know what this means. Yeah, Ai, Konatsu and Owada have their own hesitation or ulterior motive to give their first kiss to Aya. All that isn’t necessary when Utsunomiya volunteers to do it. Why are they so disappointed? But she won’t get her turn too because Oku comes by to see the ruckus those b*tches are making. Aya wakes up as she feels something slimy over her mouth. Then she realizes Oku is giving her a f*cking passionate mouth to mouth resuscitation! Her first kiss… It’s going to be a memorable one. On the way home, Aya laments today’s events and would have preferred a romantic kiss. Utsunomiya offers to give hers and pecks her on her cheek, leaving Aya pretty much stunned. Wow. Two kisses of different poles in a day.

Episode 5
Aya is sick and her friends think they should visit her. However Utsunomiya points Aya is in danger and will be going now herself. Why does she have all the exorcism tools with her? Aya is so sick that she can’t even pull up her own panties. She curses the kissing incident but blames it more on Utsunomiya. Speaking of the devil, there she is! After checking her fever, Utsunomiya points out she is being possessed by a ghost. That excuse again? Aya believes her since she is showing symptoms like feeling chilly. Hey, she’s sick, right? Utsunomiya continues to instil fear in her mind saying their school was a ground for warriors who met their untimely demise. Among the dead is a female warrior who forgot to wear her underwear and got killed. Crap. And that ghost is possessing her. Crap. She is going to exorcise it and for starters, to get some fluids into her body. Aya thought she chose the safest liquid she offered, water. But I guess she didn’t see it coming Utsunomiya transferring the water via her mouth! Passionately! That’s her third kiss, right? Next, Utsunomiya is going to wipe the sweat off her body. She blindfolds her and starts wiping her body with mayonnaise! Feels good? Finally it’s time for suppository. Oh sh*t! This is necessary for removing the spirit’s negative energy in her body? What the hell did she just stick up into her ass! Hurts like hell!!! But soon Aya becomes better and is back to her lively self, something that Utsunomiya feels it suits her. Sure, her body may be feeling good except for the pain in the butt. But what do you think was inserted into her ass? Ping pong balls!!! OMG!

Episode 6
Utsunomiya doesn’t give a sh*t about Owada’s fantasies. Then when Aya comes in talking about panties, she just leaves. Aya is puzzled by her moodiness and goes off to eat lunch with Konatsu while ignoring that perverted Owada. Aya talks to Konatsu that she feels Utsunomiya should be in their circle of friends since she took care of her when she’s sick (although the ping pong balls are a different story). Owada shows up to join them but was totally ignored as Aya continues to molest Konatsu. But Owada gets a surprise because Aya asks her about flashing. Aya draws a hilarious face over Owada’s boobs and stomach and calls it Bikini Monster Owada. Actually this is what Aya is planning to do. First they tail Utsunomiya home, Owada than flashes her body monster to her and this will cause her to be scared and start crying. This is when mastermind Aya will appear with a poster to say this is all a heart throbbing surprise. And the result will have Utsunomiya open her heart to them. Sounds easy? Well, it gets off to a great start. Till Owada’s can’t unbutton her coat to do her flashing. Konatsu gets distracted by a butterfly and drops Aya too early and sends her crashing. To the ground. Utsunomiya is still expressionless but apologizes she doesn’t know what to do at times like this. Owada just says a simple laugh will do and soon a little grin cracks over Utsunomiya’s face. Wow. That easy? I’m sure Aya is the most surprised one in this surprise feat.

Episode 7
Konatsu’s mom has bought tons of the famous Matsuzaka beef. Aya is going to have a grill party at her room. I guess it’s true when you say less man more share because Aya plans to leave out Owada and Utsunomiya. And do you know it’s true that the walls have ears too? Yeah, behind the cabinet, Oku has heard their conversation and is going to spread the word. So at Aya’s place before they dig in, she is disheartened to see Owada and Utsunomiya joining in. Aya is made to ‘shut up’ when Utsunomiya puts a piece of the meat in her mouth. Delicious! So happy that she starts her flashback mode (she could’ve eaten more like her pals if she had just stopped ranting). Eating meat back at her home with Saya and Oku is like a massive battle of survival. First, the beef they got was fresh from slaughtering cows in the vicinity. Then, Aya can never lay her chopsticks on a single beef because it becomes a big brawl each time. She always loses out. Not even the last piece. Even Saya had the cheek to tell her it’s not good to hold back and sometimes she should stuff herself with meat. Well, just hold in the anger… Her friends thought she is exaggerating again so Aya is going to do some abuse on Konatsu when suddenly Saya and Oku’s bike smashes into her room! Instantly taking out her friends with a single strike, fearful Aya has no choice but to offer all the remaining beef to them. And Saya’s swinging of the bat and advice of meat should be enjoyed together with everyone is a signal that she’ll get none eventually. The only person who is enjoying the meat is Utsunomiya who is happily chewing her share outside the dorm.

Episode 8
New transfer student from Los Angeles, Minami Kurihashi sees Aya in the middle of punishment of holding buckets of water (something to do with Konatsu not lending her panties?). Aya chides Minami for staring at her so the latter tries to be polite but since Aya continues to insult her, Minami reveals her dark side and gives that b*tch girl a taste of her own medicine. In class, Minami introduces herself as an angelic and friendly girl, much to everyone’s delight. However it’s just a ploy to gain their hearts and make them her slaves. Minami accepts to be the class’ health officer but she hears other girls pitying her over her post. As she goes to the infirmary to clean up, she is appalled at all the junk. After cleaning up, she goes into hiding upon seeing Aya and Konatsu entering their ‘home’. Aya goes berserk upon realizing her ‘treasures’ are missing. Konatsu thought she may have cleaned up and forgot about it but this earns her an abuse streak (pulling her hair, pulling off her pants thinking she may be hiding them there!). Minami feels pity for Konatsu as she sneaks out but when she hears Aya going to pummel the brains of the culprit, Minami can’t let her find out and is going to burn all the evidence in the incinerator. I don’t know how as she is reminiscing about a motorized toothbrush, she somehow stuck it up under Aya’s nose! Aya is furious upon knowing her ‘treasures’ are going to be burnt as Minami tries to worm her way out. Aya sticks the toothbrush into Minami’s nose. No more nice girl. It’s a showdown! Just when their hands touch, they start feeling how soft it is and something yuri could have happened as their bodies edge closer to each other if not for Konatsu coming by. Next thing Aya knows, Minami makes the infirmary her hang out place much to her dismay. Well, she is the health officer. So is she part of the gang now?

Episode 9
As Minami is taking out the trash, she is shocked to see a bloodied Aya unconscious by the incinerator. Seems Aya is having a case of amnesia and doesn’t remember herself and her friends. Why, she is shy and so modest! Covering up her boobs?! So un-Aya-like! Her friends have an emergency meeting to restore her memories. Aya is appalled at the grossness of her own room and even her own hairstyle. So as she tries to lose those tacky curls, her friends forbid her since if she undoes them, she’ll become bland and no longer special. I guess that’s what identifies her, eh? So each have their own try to make Aya remember. Konatsu offers her hair to pull. Not working. Ai brings out those granny panties. Not working. Owada does that bikini monster act. Not working. Minami brings in all her ‘treasures’ and that motorized toothbrush. Not working. Utsunomiya is going for that mouth to mouth water transfer. But since Aya is genuinely so embarrassed, Utsunomiya can’t bring herself to do so because she herself becomes embarrassed. They contemplate to send her to hospital or try repeating an accident that caused this when Aya serves them tea. Then they think it may be better for her to remain like this since she’s sociable. Then when Saya comes in, she learns about the amnesia problem and tells the friends this is a problem she had for many years. To cure it, Saya just gives a light peck on her cheeks. After several violent body convulsions, Aya returns to her brute, crude, rude, unpolished and moody bully we all know her. Yeah, she’s swinging around Konatsu via her hair like as though she’s swinging a lasso. Surprised, aren’t we? But good to have her back, eh?

Episode 10
Aya eavesdrop Ai and Konatsu reading a handphone novel and misinterpret that to be appealing, one needs to be wet down there. Then bumping into Minami, the duo trade insults to each other about being the wettest (and taking a pee doesn’t count). So the b*tches are going to have a showdown of the wettest tomorrow. Minami prepares herself by using Francois. Francois the motorized toothbrush. As for Aya, she’s forcefully stripping Konatsu to see what it’s like to be wet down there. Konatsu realizes what Aya is doing and tells her about the popular handphone novel she and Ai was reading. Suddenly Aya has this evil expression over her face. Next day, Minami is walking to school for the showdown with the toothbrush inside her panties! She must find it very stimulating, eh? Then appears Aya, commenting on Minami’s constipated look, she’s going to show her true form as the Soaking Wet Queen. Giving the signal to Konatsu, she turns on the pipe and the water starts gushing into her panties via hose. Then it gets too much for her to handle as she can’t take the sensation anymore. Aya pleads to Minami for help and wants her to take off her panties. Ai passes by to see Minami taking off Aya’s panties and Aya is claiming herself to be one appealing chick because she got soaking wet. Huh? Oh, the forgettable showdown ended in a draw.

Episode 11
Oku is going to hold a masquerade ball tonight. With all the girls in their fancy outfits, the most surprising one has got to be Aya! Not, she’s not in a horny or revealing outfit but rather a lady-like outfit that makes her look beautiful and so lady-like! Well, Saya made her wear it. Though she is not happy with this modest taste and wants to lift her skirt, her friends stop her because they don’t want their fantasies to be ruined. Oh God… Somehow the drink that Oku serves has most of the students getting drunk (despite 98% grape juice). Everyone is acting weird (Utsunomiya can’t stop laughing), some horny (Konatsu just wants to kiss). Minami is trying hard to maintain her sanity when Aya comes crashing into her. Minami realizes Aya is drunk when every question she asks, her respond is just a nod on her head and with a smile. Minami uses this chance to ask if she wants to kiss… Ai, probably the only one who is sober spots this horrifying act with Utsunomiya and is going to stop them. However she got distracted by Utsunomiya’s repeated punch on the wall (she’s still laughing). By that time, they’re already gone. Minami has brought Aya back to her room and something steamy is about to happen. Ai needs to stop them and since the door is locked, she crawls through the air vent with Utsunomiya close behind. I guess everything that Ai says is misinterpreted by Utsunomiya because you know, all she sees in front of her is Ai’s ass. “Watch carefully what is in front of you”, “Oh, there’s a hole (in the vent)”, “Something wicked is about to take place”, “We’ll have to force out way in”. Get all those subtexts from Utsunomiya’s point of view, eh? As Minami prepares to kiss Aya, Utsunomiya is going to do the same for Ai. Ai finally gives in and wants her to be gentle but rest assured, Utsunomiya is an expert in this sort of things ;). Then the air vent gives way and they come crashing down and everybody is knocked out till morning comes.

Episode 12
Minami is going to transfer out and back to Los Angeles and she seems eager. Wow. That’s a short time. Aya isn’t happy since nobody is going to clean the infirmary. Hey, it’s always messy in the first place, right? Aya puts up a brave front that she doesn’t care for that selfish annoying b*tch so Minami boasts how she likes it there better than boring old Japan. Aya continues to piss her off when Ai wonders if Minami could join them to make their final memories together. So that night as everyone plays fireworks, Konatsu sees Minami crying. It was the words Ai just told her. Ai said despite her personality, she doesn’t hate her. Though her stay was short, a lot has happened and to have her leave is really sad. Just when Minami is about to open up her heart and feelings, Aya had to come destroy the mood because she’s carelessly playing the fireworks and burns a part of Minami’s hair! That is clearly her fault but she won’t admit it. Next day, Minami leaves in an annoyed manner like as though she doesn’t care while Aya is still unapologetic. Minami leaves and sees the sadness in her friends’ eyes. Aya continues to be happy over Minami’s departure. Then at a secluded spot, Utsunomiya finds Aya crying and tells her it is okay to let it out sometimes. Even if she didn’t bawled, at least she has tears streaming down her eyes. And for the first time, Aya called Minami by her pet name, Minamin. If only she was here to hear this. But the next day, for reasons unknown, Minami suddenly returns! For revenge? Forbidden love? Supernatural powers? Whatever the reason, everyone is delighted to have her back but Aya returns putting up her tough facade telling everyone to shut up. Hope she doesn’t mean Oku or else there’ll be lots of apologizing to be done. Oh, that’s one already.

Of Bimbo B*tches and Psycho Sluts…
Okay… Firstly, I have to admit that I have watched lots of animes of this kind of genre so you can say that I am somewhat numb and immune to some of the disgusting jokes that would be deemed overboard for amateur ‘people who cannot take a little more bare skin’. Therefore I don’t really see or consider anything that would be deemed controversial based on my standards. Yes, MY standards. So some of the cancelled episodes maybe had topics that were ‘too hot’ to handle for some like stealing panties, butt baring scene, violent beat ups of delinquents, shoving things up one’s ass and getting wet down there. If you are a newbie, sure, you may be horrified in ever knowing that such offensive thing exists and can actually happen as far as this anime is concerned. But hell, if you’re planning to watch this series, you’re no means a saint because let’s just admit it, you and me who have seen this are just dirty minded bastards who revel in seeing sexual innuendoes among the slutty b*tches. Unless you got ‘lost’ and ‘strayed’ into this anime then that is a different story.

The characters as I could say are an interesting bunch because they are what keep this anime funny. Of course their attitudes are not something that you should be looking for as a role model. Take for instance a very good example is Aya herself, the biggest b*tch and slut among the girls. Everything about her is just about offensive. From the way she looks to the way she talks and acts. If this was a strict and proper society, she’ll find herself booked and breaking the law in just about every second! It’s amazing she isn’t quite seen as a delinquent yet (maybe Saya and Oku helped stem that with their badass characters). I wonder how many times she has gotten herself punishment and disciplinary records. That bucket punishment I guess was just the tip of the iceberg. I mean, if you have the school nurse as a delinquent, I’m sure you can tell what kind of teachers they have in this school too. Aya is also a bully but only towards Konatsu. It seems awfully painful the way she grabs and pulls her hair but heck, do you care? On the other hand, she also treasures friendship but does not show it and puts on her loudmouth and uncouth attitude. See how she wanted Utsunomiya to be part of a circle? See how she can still cry when Minami left?

I didn’t expect to see Minami to be part of Aya’s group so fast. Heck, there’s not enough time and episodes so I guess since she’s part of the main cast might as well put her in (well, she made her appearance after halfway of the series). Whatever happened to her plan to use her beauty to dominate school? I suppose all she wanted deep down was to make friends despite her rich and obnoxious background. It’s just sad it had to be the weird group of Aya and co. Utsunomiya has got to be the most mysterious character. You don’t really know what is going in her mind since she rarely puts up any emotions. I’m not sure if her exorcism and seeing ghosts are real but that seems like an elaborated excuse to get up close with Aya. She is one of those few characters who won’t go with Aya’s flow or get dominated. In a way, coupled with her expressionless face it makes her look cool. The other characters whom Aya are afraid are Oku and Saya. I’m sure she won’t be exaggerating stories on how fearsome and dominating they are at home and thus her instant trauma each time they make their appearance. While Oku’s rash delinquent behaviour and brute power makes you think twice if you want to mess with her, Saya is equally scary since she always has that eternal smile on her face. Sometimes it’s not a good sign and especially for Aya’s case. But each time Saya is about to do something that is seemingly horrible and painful to Aya in front of the eyes of her friends, it turns out to be something mild and gentle instead. So are Aya’s stories on her really just an exaggeration? But I guess with these ladies around, Aya won’t be having so much freedom to do as she pleases. But she’s still rude, crude and uncivilized when they’re not around. Never learn, will she?

I feel Konatsu’s role in this anime serves as the beat up girl or punching bag for Aya to take out her frustrations. Each time you see Aya gets pissed off and if Konatsu is in the picture, you can tell either it is her hair that is going to be pulled like a vegetable being plucked out from the grown and swing around like a rodeo rope. Otherwise she gets stripped. Somebody should call the abuse hotline and report her case. And you still want to be friends with this ill-tempered pervert? Aren’t there any better friends out there to make? If there is a group of girls, then there is always one who has to be the delusional fantasy dreamer, right? That is what Owada’s presence in this anime is about I feel besides providing the megane moe factor. Of all the eccentric main characters, Ai has got to be the only one that is normal and level-headed. Yeah, what is a group without the ever normal person among the pack.

I won’t say the yuri factor is obvious but at least it is noticeable. If you don’t get it to your head or get annoyed by the little yuri subtexts (including girls kissing), I’m sure it’ll just pass in a blink of an eye. Erm, make that two blinks. So I figure out why Aya’s friends stay close to her. One obvious reason: They secretly like her. Yeah, this is perhaps where the yuri part is. As mentioned above, ever wondered why Konatsu tolerates every torture Aya gives her? It’s because she likes her. Maybe Konatsu’s a masochist herself and despite disliking being pummelled, deep down she yearns for more. I don’t know. Just saying. For Minami’s case, if she truly likes Aya, then her character can be constituted to what most of us would refer to as a tsundere. There are hints that Utsunomiya and Ai also harbour a secret crush on Aya. There were several incidents that pointed to Utsunomiya having so for instance, kissing her and taking care of her when she’s sick. Ai’s concern that Aya’s lips were going to be stolen by Minami also shows that she cares for Aya more than just friends. What about Owada? Well, she’s generally being painted as a delusional yuri girl so I’m not sure if any yuri moments with any girl will do for her. But it seems it’ll be better if Aya is in the picture.

And for this kind of show, you can’t have yuri without the fanservice. Though present, I won’t go so far as to say every scene is filled with them that your mind will go numb. But the few butt baring scenes would either turn you on or make your stomach cringe. As already said, Aya provides most of them simply because she loves sticking out her boobs. Making as though they are busting through her shirt. Maybe it’s her way to assert her authority. I know, it can be frightening if a woman with big boobs try to push her weight around. Uh huh. Intimidating boobs she’s got there. But it’s not like she has the biggest boobs among the group (if I’m not mistaken, that ‘title’ belongs to Owada). At this rate, I am guessing that Aya has a potential to become a future porn star ;p. Due to the short duration and nature of the episodes, there are certain scenes and circumstances that I don’t understand. For example how did Aya ended up getting bloody and lost her memories or why did Minami suddenly decide to make a u-turn and return to her friends’ side. I know if you don’t mind the minor details, it doesn’t really matter how it turned out that way as it wouldn’t spoil your enjoyment of the series either. But it would be better if we know how lah.

The voice acting is pretty okay and once more, Youko Hikasa as the voice of Aya does another one of those degenerated characters like how she did so for Hana in Seikon No Qwaser and Shino in Seitokai Yakuindomo. Okay, so it’s not fair to label her that as she did play some other decent roles like Mio in K-ON! and Saki in Ro-Kyu-Bu. My favourite Mamiko Noto also had a role here as Saya but it’s just that seeing her Saya character is a scary smiling character, I can’t help wonder when will she break into that scary expression of Jigoku Shoujo’s Enma Ai. Ayana Taketatsu is recognizable as Minami and she could have sounded as close to her usual reprimanding roles like Kirino in OreImo and Mio in MM! should her character step further into that upset mode. Other casts include Natsumi Takamori as Konatsu (Mei Misaki in Another), Maaya Uchida as Ai (Rea Sanka in Sankarea), Nozomi Sasaki as Utsunomiya (Nanami in Bokura Ga Ita), Satomi Akesaka as Owada (Kurusu in Softenni, Futaba in Mitsudomoe) and Yukari Kokubun as Oku (Tsuna in Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn).

Watching this series brings back memories of watching an equally silly and hilarious anime called Girl’s High (Joshi Kousei). Well, the characters of both series have almost the same eccentric and oddball personalities. So does this mean that such exploits are only prominent in a school that is only made for girls? Hey, only if you have a girl with a crude, rude, uncouth, uncivilized, unpolished, moody, short-tempered, grumpy, irritable, bully personality who are as big as her own boobs. Is it a wonder why she doesn’t have her own boyfriend or is still a virgin (despite the fact she is from an all-girls’ school)? Would you even want this kind of sadistic arrogant woman to be your girlfriend? Well… Don’t let those gokujo boobs fool you. Resist the temptation…

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