Medaka Box

September 30, 2012

When you think about the student council putting up a box for suggestions, those who have seen Seitokai Yakuindomo would certainly remember this farcical implementation. However it is far a different case in Medaka Box. The suggestion box that will help you out with just about anything so long as you put in your request, the student council will see to it that your wish is fulfilled no matter what. Sounds good? Yeah, if only many of the other student councils in other animes or in real life would be as efficient and dedicated as this one.

Sandbox Academy is a large institution that houses a large number of students that are into sports. So it is not surprising to think that this academy is one big giant sports training complex and facility, though you have the basic school amenities. With many classes and students, being the student council president would be a tough job to handle all the requests, eh? Not for Medaka Kurokami. She takes her job seriously like as though it’s her life! She makes promises that can be fulfilled even if sceptics like us won’t believe at first but are made to eat our words once we see her weave her magic of doing the impossible. So nothing is impossible, eh? For her at least. Medaka genuinely wants to help out others that she would’ve easily overshadowed Mother Theresa’s work a million times over! I kid you not. As popular she is, she has also cultivated a handful of enemies. But that doesn’t stop her to reform and change them and turn over a new leaf! Wow. You really have to watch this show and draw inspiration from Medaka. So we see in this dozen of episodes of the requests Medaka and her student council members fulfil, changing the lives of others and of course themselves.

Episode 1
Medaka just became Sandbox Academy’s student council president and she vows to do everything she can. If you have any problems, and I mean any issues big or small, she’ll be there for you 24/7, 365 days a year. Now that’s dedication! See all the armband she’s wearing? From president to secretary to treasurer, she helms them all! Superb dedication! Medaka’s childhood friend, Zenkichi Hitoyoshi talks to classmate Hansode Shiranui about her landslide victory (she garnered 98% of the votes!) and her popularity not because she stands out but rather she’s used to standing over others. Zenkichi is done letting her boss around and won’t join the student council. So happen Medaka was there and drags him to her room. He’s blabbing he’s had enough of this, bla, bla, bla. How to shut him up and make him listen? Medaka strips down to her undies! She says all she needs is him and they have their first request from the suggestion box. Seems an anonymous student wants a bunch of delinquents bumming around the kendo dojo to be chased out. The kendo club used to have a colourful history but got disbanded due to lack of members. The building became abandoned and now it’s a hangout for third year delinquents led by Moji. Moji thought Medaka was no threat to him. He didn’t even realize she stole his bokuto away from him! Plus, to the untrained amateur eyes, it seemed like she cloned herself using some ninja technique to confiscate their cigarettes! Best of all, Medaka gives her lecture that makes them becomes their Buddha, their Goddess! She’ll change them and vows they’ll never slack off again! Start swinging those swords! Life was better when they were delinquents, eh? Maybe changing a new leaf isn’t so bad after all… In the aftermath Zenkichi talks to Shiranui about him and Medaka being together since young. She has this high level of demand that everyone needs to rise to her level and doesn’t know the meaning of hard work that doesn’t pay off sometimes. Shiranui notes that even if they were together for a long time, he still doesn’t understand her. But she thinks he’ll be free from her this afternoon as she’ll give her speech to recruit members for the student council body.

Zenkichi returns to the kendo dojo, shocked to see the place spick and span clean! Medaka did all that? It’s not like the delinquents are coming back. Medaka chides him of his foolish statement and expresses her wish to help others and that grades, records and rankings do not mean a thing. Plus, she respects those delinquents, remembering each of their names. Zenkichi gets even more surprise when the delinquents return to the dojo in their full kendo gear! I guess they really do change, though they may give excuses that they don’t have anywhere to go. They may be bad apples but they aren’t spineless cowards either. Zenkichi thinks back about Medaka’s domineering personality, all-rounder and extreme open mind which made her the target of jealousy. However even those who hate her ended up liking her. She is the kind of woman who doesn’t budge a step from her beliefs. Suddenly Zenkichi is knocked out from the back by his classmate, Hyuuga. Seems he was the one who sent the request and is not happy that instead of chasing those delinquents out, they are now here to stay at the dojo. Hyuuga then beats up those ex-delinquents. He explains he wants to do some serious dojo alone and hates teamwork and following orders and thought he could have this place all to himself. Moji and the guys stand back up to fight because Medaka’s words had taught them a good lesson. Hyuuga is going to swing his sword at them but is stopped by Zenkichi. Hyuuga may be right but Medaka is even more right because he’s the one who knows her best. But if he tries to say Medaka is wrong, he’s going to kick his ass. Hyuuga doesn’t give a damn about them so Zenkichi also doesn’t give a damn about his third rank kendo and punches him out with a punch.

Hyuuga badmouths them and vows revenge but is overheard by Medaka. Wasn’t she supposed to be at the student council recruitment? Well, she sent a proxy: Shiranui. Plus, Shiranui had sent her a request to cure Hyuuga of his badass attitude. Here comes the love!!! I’m sure he’ll never do bad things again. Once more, Medaka’s magic has worked its way because Hyuuga is sharing the dojo with Moji and his buddies, though they don’t seem to get along. Medaka shows Zenkichi a flower she plants in her room and plans to plant one each time a request is resolved. She wants to turn this place into a flower garden. As for nobody joining the student council in the end, she reiterates that he is the only one she ever needed. That’s because they know each other better than anyone else. She thanks him for standing up for her. He is the only one who protected her, the reason she can focus on helping others. I guess Zenkichi must have fallen into her charm and wants her to hand over an armband to help. I guess if you can’t beat them, join them. Yeah, he’ll go crazy if he keeps out of it and will turn this academy into a big flower garden. Medaka gives him a bug tsundere hug. Zenkichi notes he knew it would all end this way and despite what he said, he loves Medaka. Oh, for starters, Medaka gives him the post of a general clerk. Start small and work your way up.

Episode 2
Zenkichi complains about his black colour uniform so Medaka suggests wearing his jersey underneath his jacket. He thinks he looks cool! She also says now it’s his job to check the suggestion box. This time a second year, Ariake of the track club seeks their help. She has received a threatening letter and her shoes destroyed. This happened ever since she was selected as a regular for the sprint meet. Thus anyone could be a suspect due to jealousy. Because seeing Ariake in tears is so pitiful, Medaka is going to catch the culprit today! Today?! Yeah. Or else Ariake would be so disturbed, she can’t sleep tonight. Medaka’s deduction is awesome. She can deduce who the culprit is by observing the destroyed shoes! At least the traits of her culprit. She can tell a left hander did it because of its cutting. She can tell the culprit is a fan of this brand because the logo is left untouched. She can even tell she subscribes to what newspaper and where she lives due to the article that came out last week and its variation. WTF?! She remembered the letters from an article that was last week?! Shiranui’s information narrows down the suspect to Isahaya (don’t ask how she got her information). But as Medaka put it, they have no hard evidence and can’t charge her based on circumstantial evidence. So how? Who in their right mind would go ask the culprit directly? MEDAKA DID!!! Isahaya is obviously the culprit judging from her body language. Like all guilty people, she makes a run. Get this! Medaka could run and catch up with a sprinter!!! WOW! She even gets ahead of her and repeats her question if she is the culprit. Isahaya panics and her words were dead giveaway though she still denies she knows anything. She thinks she is dead meat but surprisingly Medaka hugs her and apologizes for wasting her time. She tells her to continue practice because she loves people who work hard. Zenkichi explains that it’s not that Medaka doesn’t doubt others, it’s that she knows how to trust others. He adds it was his job to deal with bad apples that she spared but now his job is to look after the suggestion box and will let her go. Soon Ariake receives a new brand of shoes and an apology note from the culprit. Now she can sleep soundly at night. But Medaka can be dumb sometimes because she misinterprets the note as another provocative letter and that the culprit has stolen her original (destroyed) shoes.

The suggestion box gets more cases and among them is a request to find a lost puppy. Medaka lets Zenkichi handles this one since, well, let’s just say animals and her don’t mix. So Zenkichi along with Shiranui go along and manage to find the dog. Wait a minute. That doesn’t look like the puppy? It’s a wolfhound. Gasp! Shiranui lets Zenkichi do the job seeing she prefers to see others suffer from a safe distance. She didn’t mince her words when she said that! Besides, she’s ready to take some pictures of Zenkichi ‘in action’. I guess Zenkichi got coaxed by her words that this is to score points with Medaka. She gives him sausages to attract the dog but I didn’t the dog wants to really eat his guts! ARGH! So Zenkichi is messed up and returns empty handed. Yeah, Medaka even got a lovely picture scrapbook of Zenkichi ‘in action’. Zenkichi is going to solve this case but since he mentions Shiranui’s name too much and is going to depend on her, Medaka decides she wants to help out too. Her excuse? She doesn’t like him begging others for help for her shortcomings. Oh, I thought it was because she couldn’t stand him with another girl. Oops. But why is Medaka dressed in a hideous but sexy dog outfit?! Is this her way to convince the dog to be her friend?! Shiranui thought she’s jealous enough to confront her fears but Zenkichi corrects her. It’s not that Medaka is afraid of animals, in fact she loves them! When Medaka closes in on the dog, the dog sees a demon aura behind her and cowers behind Zenkichi!!! WTF?! As explained, when Medaka was young, she had this duty to feed animals but they always went into hiding. Even the wild tigers and monkey at the zoo. Her aura must be overwhelming, eh? In contrast, humans accepted her as student council president based on her personality and not because of her ridiculous specs. The dog is returned to its owner but Medaka is still depressed. A failure as a human being says she? Well, Zenkichi notes she is more human being than you’d think. She loves animals and yet gets depressed. Is that so human?

Episode 3
Zenkichi is trying out a few sports club because of his rule to sweat 5 litres of sweat every day. Is this his way of saying to keep up with Medaka’s monstrosity? However Kanoya has business with him and wants to meet. Shiranui and Hyuuga wonder if Zenkichi will be alright. Well, Shiranui doesn’t consider Zenkichi her friend unless she needs his help. Pure evil! She even said it even without flinching! Anyway about Kanoya, he was once a candidate for the student council president and amassed his votes via violence. However Medaka stepped him and beat him up. Shiranui knows he’s up to something but won’t use the suggestion box. Of course. It’s going to be something fishy. She notices Zenkichi’s list of clubs he has tried but seems to have left out the judo club. Seems Kanoya wants Zenkichi to join him in taking down Medaka. He tries to persuade him that he gets nothing by being with that psycho b*tch’s side and since Medaka stole his position by force, it is only right for him to do the same for her. He asks if there is something else he’d rather be doing other than being her dog. He gives him one last chance to defect and to meet up later with the rest in a classroom. Of course Medaka has heard all that so Zenkichi quips she isn’t that popular. Her answer? It’s not important for everyone to love her but rather for her to love everyone! Wow. I just love this girl’s words. So Kanoya and his allies meet and they’ve brought all sorts of weapons for the take down. However he is not too pleased and blames them for his failure. Then when Zenkichi comes in, it’s not he is joining them. He kicks away the box of weapons and tells him off that Medaka is willing to love scumbags and enemies like them. Though he believes they won’t even put a scratch on her. But since he has heard his plans, he has to do something and answering his question on what he’d rather do, he wants to protect Medaka. Kanoya is blinded with rage so Zenkichi easily takes him out. Then he tells the rest to spread the rumours that there is a vicious watchdog at Medaka’s side who will not hesitate to take personal action if they ever do something like this.

The judo club’s captain, Nekomi Nabeshima wonders why Zenkichi hasn’t dropped into their club yet. I’m sure he isn’t scared, right? However this handsome guy, Kouki Akune dubbed the Prince of Judo claims he is just putting up a desperate act to stay by Medaka’s side. He claims Zenkichi is an insect and that Medaka is his flower. Zenkichi is appalled Medaka has no modesty in changing in her clothes. Close the doors and curtains will you! Why should she be ashamed? After all, she has no qualms in showing off her perfect figure! Oh yeah. I’d love to see that more. Anyway Medaka is changing into her judo outfit because she has received a request from Nabeshima who wants to find a successor for her judo club. Besides, there’s a familiar face there. This is the reason why Zenkichi stayed away from the judo club. So Akune is like fawning all over, bowing down and submitting to Medaka who isn’t please with his yielding attitude for her because she wants him to stand as her equal. While she sorts things out with Nabeshima, she has him talk to Zenkichi. You can tell the guys hate each other. Yeah, they’re insulting each other. They’re worse than cats and dogs. Medaka takes on the other members with her judo. I guess they’re so distracted with her boobs (who can’t resist touching them?) that they don’t even know she threw them over. Zenkichi talks to Nabeshima about Medaka who is so strong that nothing she does surprises him anymore. But she says she simply does what she’s able to do. What she’s doing is equivalent to them walking on 2 feet. Zenkichi dismisses his trying out of clubs was to keep up with her and instead it’s her who is dragging him around. Really? Akune would be happy to switch places with him since he said he was forced to join the council and that he put up with all this farce out respect for Medaka’s compassion. Since the duo continue to argue, Nabeshima decides to settle this via judo. If Akune wins, they’ll swap places. Akune becomes part of the student council and Zenkichi joins the judo club as their new captain. So this is her agenda when she submitted her request?

Episode 4
In a handicap match, if Zenkichi can take down Akune in one point before the latter reaches ten, he wins. Of course Akune the veteran easily overpowers Zenkichi the amateur. Nabeshima notes watching prodigies in action is no fun. She despises prodigies and prefers people who work hard. That’s why she dislikes people like Medaka and Akune whom she thinks should be group together. However Medaka says there is no such thing as a prodigy. The other judo members are astonished that though Zenkichi is a novice, he has not broken any rules. Zenkichi retracts his statement earlier saying that he only has effort. He acknowledges he has guts and effort since amateurs can’t stand back up after falling down 9 times. In the final round, Zenkichi is on the verge of falling so Medaka puts up her cutesy plea for him to win! It’ll be unbearable if he leaves her! In that instant Zenkichi got the strength to turn the tables and knock Akune down and win the match! Everyone is surprised at the outcome so Medaka explains every human struggle to survive. Thus there is no difference between them and that no such thing as prodigy or common folk. Zenkichi explains what happened to Shiranui who thinks she could’ve offered her help. What could she do? Maybe enjoy watching him suffer. Anyway the assistant of the judo club, Jounan took over the captaincy because he was brave enough to challenge Medaka. As for Akune, who knows what happened to him. But we’ll find that out soon enough because he is in the student council room admiring himself in the mirror in his underwear! WTF?! He explains Nabeshima dropped him from the judo club since she doesn’t need a member who is stronger than the captain. Akune told her he is no prodigy and used hard work and determination to get where he is now. So Nabeshima lets him off to use his hard work and determination to win the heart of the girl his love and have spoken with Medaka that he is free to join the council or any other club. Though he made a promise with Zenkichi, what is more important? Keep his promise or the girl of his dream? I guess that’s that. And yeah, Nabeshima hasn’t given up on Zenkichi yet. So as of today, Akune will be the student council’s secretary. Oh great. Just what Zenkichi needs for the rest of his days at school.

So the guys still aren’t amused facing each other and though the insults are still coming in, it’s much toned down. Medaka has a request from Yatsushiro who seeks help for her bad handwriting. Did you know Medaka was a bloody good calligrapher too? Since Akune has beautiful handwriting, Medaka has him take full responsibility of this request. That’s the best news he has heard, eh? Seems Yatsushiro wants to write a love letter. Though she may be a tomboy but she’s a girl and fell in love. Akune remembers how he confessed to Medaka but was rejected because she believes she shouldn’t belong to just a single person. He promises to write her a masterpiece that the guy of her dreams will fall for. Zenkichi talks to Shiranui about Yatsushiro and why Medaka hands Akune this case. From the way Shiranui says things, it’s like she has a knack in picking fights. Zenkichi notes that Medaka isn’t recruiting to lighten her workload. In fact, she wants to increase it. Though she will help people in trouble, she won’t save the weak. Akune shows Medaka his beautifully written piece of art but Medaka is not amused. In short, what is the point if he writes for others and it does not come from the feelings of that person herself? Plus, Yatsushiro wasn’t asking for help. She was making a wish. She feels disappointed in him and thought she would be capable in providing guidance. Shock! Well, this doesn’t put Akune down yet. He’s not going to concede after just one or two rejections. Thus he sees Yatsushiro and is going to train her to have better handwriting. She’s going to write it herself since if she’s going to make a wish, put in the effort to make it come true! So for the entire week, Akune coaches Yatsushiro to write better and in the end she manages to succeed with her blood, sweat and tears but the outcome of the person she gave it to is omitted due to privacy reasons. Medaka praises Akune for a job well done. The moment he’s been dying for, eh? Yeah, Zenkichi can’t watch. But thanks to him, Medaka’s flower finally takes its first step beyond the room.

Episode 5
Zenkichi and Akune are out flat from the tons of work. Medaka is still going strong! She could even beat the Energizer bunny! The trio discuss about the various clubs wanting an increase in budget. With limited funds, they can’t fulfil each one’s request. Zenkichi narrates Medaka lives alone and when she was young, she solved the world’s toughest maths problem and received a huge sum of money so it’ll be hard for her to handle matters pertaining to money. Akune suggests they hold a competition and the winning club will get a budget increase. Because Medaka wants a competition that will give each club a fair chance, Zenkichi points out a request from the suggestion box to find ways to utilize the newly finished indoor pool. Sure, it may seem it favours the swimming club but they’ll hold events in that pool that has nothing to do with swimming. But as Zenkichi finds out from Shiranui, it might not be so fair after all because there are 3 people in the swimming team known as Flying Fish made up of Yakushima, Tanegashima and Mogana Kikaijima. They will do anything for money and will even swim for other teams all for the sake of money. So all the 15 clubs that requested for the budget increase turn up for the inter-club aqua meet. Hey, there’s a UFO club too! I guess they need the extra funds to go interstellar exploring. Haha! Anyway Zenkichi notes a few familiar faces from the kendo club and judo club. Didn’t Nabeshima retire? The rules are explained that each club will be made out of 3 members. All guys will be handicapped and wear arm floats. Medaka wants to make this a fun experience for everyone so instead of the winning club getting the funds, the club who ranks ahead of the student council (yes, they’re participating too) will get their budget tripled! Wow! Extra motivation!

The first event will be underwater ball basket as Tanazaku Aso from the broadcasting club becomes the commentator along with Shiranui. Expect a lot of frank ‘evil’ comments from that petite girl (she terms it as know-it-all). To score, players need to dive underwater to get the balls at the bottom and throw it into the basket. Each ball is worth a point. Nabeshima has no qualms about cheating but Medaka isn’t fazed and will operate by her own standards. As the event begins, it seems the boys can’t dive as their arm floats keep them afloat and the girls can’t sink not because they are light but the balls are located deep at the bottom of the pool! Who said this was a shallow pool? Besides, the wet balls make it heavier to be brought up and tossed. Nabeshima sees Zenkichi and Akune relaxing outside the pool. Have they given up? Rather, they don’t want to get in Medaka’s way. Say, where is that girl? Medaka springs out from beneath the pool as she squashes all the 20 balls into a big ball and throws it into the basket with accuracy! Something to do with centre of gravity now that the balls are lumped into one. I guess everyone also tries to copy it but it isn’t easy as it looks. Yeah, Shiranui is enjoying watching the helter-skelter. In the end, the student council took only second place. In a way it is good because if they had ended up first, people would’ve suspected them. Seems the swimming club has taken first place. Heck, they finished way before Medaka without anyone noticing them! Medaka confronts them and explains about human heavier than water so they sink but with air inside their body they float. But for the trio, she knows before they took the dive, they empty their body of all the air and dived to the bottom without any air in their lungs. It’s like they’re like sinking corpses. She notes this is dangerous as one mistake would be fatal and don’t they care about their lives? They admit they don’t care about their lives because for one yen, they’ll gladly smile and die for it!

Episode 6
The second event is underwater three-legged race. Two participants with their feet tied together and will race to the other end of the pool with the winner earning 15 points and so forth. Medaka sits this one out since it won’t be fun if she enters everything. Medaka and Nabeshima talk about the Flying Fish trio so Kikaijima tells them about their dream to create a pool of money and swim in it all day. Don’t laugh… And what’s this? Zenkichi and Akune putting aside their difference to work together? They’ve got team spirit? But as soon as the race starts, they try to outdo each other! No teamwork! But it’s giving them an impressive lead. Surprisingly the swimming team are dead last and slowly trudging along. This is because Yakushima can only keep up with Tanegashima for 25 metres. Once they’ve reached enough distance, they pull off a crazy swimming feat to reach the end in first place! Zenkichi notes that teamwork wasn’t the issue here. They were swimming with their feet bound together that it’s dangerous enough for them to drown. The swimming club also dominated the third event which is eel catching. A point is sealed when you catch an eel. Of course the student council ended up with zero points because you know, Medaka and her relationship with animals. She scared all the eels away! The swimming club trio relish they’re going to get triple the money so Medaka initiates her goddess lecture mode that they’ve thrown away their sincerity in swimming all for money. She is going to change them and make them donate all their money to charity. But they’re not fazed and will make her sink in depression instead of water. The final event is to be chosen by Tanazaku and since she has a hard time choosing, she seeks Shiranui’s help. Oh no. The last event will be water kibasen. Though the basic rules of stealing your opponent’s headband to earn points and falling into the water will disqualify you still stands, it is made more interesting as the headband of the top team is worth more points. This means the swimming team at the top is very much targeted. The student council is currently in 8th place. Zenkichi totally loves Shiranui’s plan that he shouts out loud how much he loves her. Yeah, Shiranui replied she loves herself too much too! Medaka steps on Zenkichi’s head to remind him as his duty as student council, though he is free to love anyone. Really?

The swimming club trio discuss that the rules were made to pit them against the student council and the possibilities and points on how they will end up on top. To be safe, they just need to target the seventh placing team. But Medaka said the taboo word of teaching them things in life that are more valuable than money so they’re going to take her head on. The event starts and both sides clash. Medaka is lectures Kikaijima about their tactics being too reckless and that they’re drowning in money. But Kikaijima starts telling her why money is more important to them than their lives. Their family broke up because they don’t have enough money. All this money issue has made them care about money more than their lives. She doesn’t care risking her life for it since people will be upset if they lost their wallets but won’t miss them if they die. Medaka is pushed off but the guys throw their arm float to let her stay above water! Man, she’s like standing on water! Now it’s her turn to counterattack. Continuing with her lecture that this doesn’t mean they should throw their lives away, she jumps onto the swimming trio (like a frog?!) and tells them a lost wallet can be recovered but lost lives can’t. She’ll be sad if they die. In her ultimate display of affection, Medaka kisses Kikaijima!!! Since Medaka has stolen her headband before they splash into the water, it means her attack qualifies and this takes the student council to the top position of the table.

Tanegashima notes Medaka was even more reckless than them but this won’t change anything. However Medaka doesn’t want them to change and continue as they are. Except instead of dying for money, they should live for money. As long as they don’t die because of their lifestyle, it’s okay. I guess Medaka wants to swim in their pool of money too. Haha. More importantly, she tells them to treasure the lives of their friends because a dead flower cannot bloom. Kikaijima asks her guys do they care more about money or her. Of course money. Then she asks, do they love money or her more. They point out it’s her. She also replies the same. I guess they’re not that bad to sell out their soul and friends to money, huh? So the winner of the meet turns out to be Nabeshima and her judo club! While the heated battle raged on between the swimming club and student council, Nabeshima was on a roll stealing all the other club’s headband and won all the points by a landslide. Even in victory, she can be so cool yet so cheap. She challenges Medaka to come fight her directly next time. As promised, the judo club gets their budget increased three times fold but since they don’t need that much money, they shared it with the other clubs. How generous. Medaka tells her guys she has received criticism for using her own money for the event. So to ensure this never happens again, she has hired an expert to join the student council as the treasurer. Everyone, meet Kikaijima the first grade certified book keeper! Oh dear. She’s going to keep a close watch on their money. Oh dear.

Episode 7
Zenkichi accidentally enters the student council room to see Kikaijima changing. After beating him up, she wants him to pay up! I guess if he doesn’t want to live with her harassment, he has to. Yeah, here’s a receipt and thank you for your payment. Kikaijima is given an abacus to do her work since Medaka doesn’t need a computer as she does the calculations in her head. The duo do their own thing and the silence is making them feeling awkward. Zenkichi thinks he knows nothing about her while Kikaijima thinks he hate her. She remembers Yakushima and Tanegashima gave her the green light to be the student council’s treasurer when she was scouted by Medaka because they think it’s good for her to have more friends. She tries to start a conversation but flops. Then Zenkichi tries to break the ice so he compliments her nice body and ends up paying the price for harassment. Here’s a receipt for that. The silence continues. And the worse person they could imagine enters: Shiranui. She meets Kikaijima and wants to give her a big picture of her and Medaka kissing! Kikaijima wants to snatch it away but it seems she has duplicated lots of photos and from different angles! Zenkichi tells Shiranui to stop bullying her and will treat her. Kikaijima asks about Shiranui and all Zenkichi needs to know is that they’re friends. That’s it. About Medaka kissing others, she used to do this to all the elementary kids so he had to stop her. Kikaijima couldn’t understand why she would help strangers because for her case, even her friends abandoned her. Zenkichi asks about her relationship with Yakushima and Tanegashima. She views them as family. He points it out it’s the same with Medaka. Only that the entire world is her family. Kikaijima remembers Medaka meeting her after the pool event. She told her she loved her and recruited her to become the treasurer. It was the first time somebody asked for her help instead of compensation. Kikaijima realizes they’re conversing like normal so she thinks hard not to screw up again. She thinks she should follow Medaka’s example. And that means she confesses she likes Zenkichi and wants to kiss him! Eh?! Medaka and Akune return from a request only to see Zenkichi being pinned on the ground trying to hold Kikaijima’s advance! Too ambiguous! Well, they tell him to do it somewhere else or at least lock the door.

Yubaru of the art club requests Medaka to be his model. She will be perfect since his theme will be Goddess at the Beach. With Medaka not afraid to flaunt her body, I can see why. As explained, Yubaru considers himself an artist so he needs the right motif to draw. Recently he has been in a slump and the art competition is near. Till he found inspiration in Medaka. He finishes drawing Medaka (in body building pose?) but is unsatisfied. How can he be unsatisfied? He feels the drawing must surpass the motif or else it’ll just be like taking photo. What is he saying? Medaka is so beautiful that it cannot translate into art! Is that an insult?! Anyway it was enough to make Medaka fall into depression. Yubaru admits as an artist he is selfish. So Zenkichi goes off to find a replacement model. Initially Isahaya didn’t want to do it but I guess the blackmail made her had second thoughts. She wholeheartedly agrees when he flatters about her body. Seems Akune had the same idea and brought Nabeshima with him. With 2 hot ladies preparing to be his model, however Yubaru turns them down because they look scary. Art shouldn’t be used to inspire fear? Then he sees Kikaijima and wants her but she flatly turns him down. He’ll pay. OKAY!!! But he changes his mind seeing she’s just a Goddess at the pool and not the beach. Priceless… Medaka isn’t giving up yet and has Zenkichi and Akune be his model! Man, Yubaru is on fire sketching! However this doesn’t accomplish anything so it’s no good. So 4 beautiful babes and he can’t draw? How selfish can he get? He may be selfish but he tries not to be careless. Then comes in Shiranui and instantly Yubaru saw her as his ultimate model! True art! OMG! Don’t tell me he’s a lolicon!!! But his drawing of Shiranui turns out different (space girl?) and as I understand, Yubaru wanted to draw the goddess of potential, something Shiranui has and the other girls don’t. Yeah, I know she’s got lots of ‘evil’ potential. The girls can’t believe they lost out to her. So Yubaru submits his art in time and as thanks, he draws a group picture of them. But Medaka is not happy. Why? Because Shiranui is standing in front of her! WTF?!

Episode 8
The Disciplinary Committee (DisCom) is an independent organization of the academy that acts like a school police to keep the order. Yeah, they are even beyond the school board and faculty jurisdiction. I know this spells trouble. So in their weekly inspection, Harigane Onigase of DisCom’s Squad 3 is inspecting the students for their dressing. Is this an interrogation centre or school? If Moji and the other delinquents were dressed against the rules, how come no action was taken on them for the past few episodes because that’s how we see them dressed as? But if their clothes are against the rules, what about the student council’s uniform? Ah, Medaka’s cleavage exposure, Zenkichi’s jersey underneath, Akune’s chest exposure like Elvis Presley and Kikaijima’s swimsuit underneath. Onigase reprimands them at their room and points out Medaka is the worst offender of them all. But she says she is not ashamed of any part of her body! Onigase is worried she other girls might follow her bad example. On the contrary, she is considering making this the standard uniform for girls. In short, Medaka is not going to change her outfit. Akune reminds Medaka about her reputation of using violence to instil discipline. Ever since she came aboard DisCom, school violations have decreased dramatically. Medaka believes she has done nothing wrong and that people do not exist to follow rules. But rules exist to protect people. Onigase is so pissed that she’s causing damage to her surrounding! Zenkichi tries to convince her to let Medaka off the hook but Onigase isn’t budging and will report to DisCom’s chairman. Onigase gets this devilish idea to use the suggestion box. I’ve a bad feeling about this. Seems there is a request to find some object in a murky pool before it gets dissolved. Yeah, Onigase is a bad liar but Medaka is dense not to see it. The ploy is to have Medaka change her clothes, jump into the pool to find the non-existent object. While doing that, she’ll switch her clothes. But Medaka jumps straight in without changing since she doesn’t want to hear her blabbing! About her clothes? They’re just clothes. Wow. Such simple yet affective words. Onigase jumps into the pool too and says she already found the ‘object’. It’s her consciousness. Thank goodness she found it before the water melted it away, eh? Medaka has some spare clothes and since Onigase didn’t, guess how she looks like when the little brat wears her ‘oversized cleavage area’ uniform? Yeah, she looks even worst an exhibitionist than Medaka! Everybody’s looking…

And there’s that big photo of her with such exposing cleavage on the wall! Courtesy of you know who. Onigase is going to arrest Shiranui (probably for her messy face after food) so Zenkichi protects her. Well, Shiranui uses him and pushes him towards her to make them trip. Shiranui warns the brat not to stand out too much because there are other people who want revenge for her strict standards and that she shouldn’t be wasting her time on her. Zenkichi tells Onigase to let her go because as long as you feed her, she’s harmless. The duo find themselves handcuffed together. Was this Shiranui’s scheme all along? So where’s the key? Onigase has no key! Couldn’t she just break it with her strength? Anyway to get it off, she reluctantly has to drag him to the DisCom office. Yeah, Zenkichi can feel everyone’s piercing stare and chuckle. How embarrassing. They bump into the last person they don’t want to see them this way: Medaka. She thought they have overcome barriers to be friends! Not. Medaka is good in picking locks so Zenkichi tells her to set them free. I don’t know why she uses another handcuff to demonstrate and in the end, it’s a real good handcuff that she cuffed herself to Zenkichi! Now in an even more awkward position! Along the way to DisCom’s office, Medaka detours to help others in need. I guess Onigase has no choice but to tag along. But she observes how happy the students are after Medaka helps them. Hey, she’s the popular girl who won 98% of the votes, remember? Medaka senses another trouble. The kind they’ll be getting into. A pair of delinquents relish the chance to take them all out (they also have a bone to pick with Onigase for her past reprimanding on them). Onigase wants the duo to get down since this is DisCom’s job. However Medaka and Zenkichi use their kick to destroy the bat and send the delinquents running with their tails between their legs. Medaka had thought it was an odd way for the delinquents to play baseball so there’s no trouble or peace disruption at all. Onigase realizes she had broken the metal bat with her strong kick and wonders why she didn’t do the same with their handcuffs. She thought Onigase didn’t want them broken. Oh… Back at DisCom’s office, Fue Yobuko reads Onigase’s report to DisCom’s chairman, Myouri Unzen. Her opinion is that Medaka is a saint. But he notes that’s the kind that are hardest to deal with and that justice and charity don’t mix. Oh God. This kid looks more like a crazy villain than an upright disciplinary committee head.

Episode 9
Yobuko sends Onigase to bring towels to Unzen to watch him in action. Partly, she knows she has been slacking off lately and should do her some good. Shiranui meets Medaka who is on her way to the orchestra club as other clubs have complained about them being noisy. She is doing this herself since her other members are busy with other requests and is happy they are reliable. So the one (wo)man show is no more? Talking about the vice president post, seems Medaka wants Shiranui to fill it. Of course she denies and notes the obvious that they very well hate each other. Medaka knows that and still wants it because her members love her too much and need somebody to stand up against her. Who better than Shiranui? Onigase happen to pass by and it’s her worst fear to bump into them. Together. Unzen is at the orchestra club and he already bloopers who much he wants them to kill each other. Wait. He isn’t joking. Since clubs have been whining about them being noisy, he is going to punish them accordingly. The orchestra club president doesn’t know who this kid is despite his members fear his reputation as a genius who skipped grades. He thought he could talk his way out and cut the club some slack. He made the mistake of putting his hand on his shoulder. In that instant, Unzen breaks it! F*cking painful!!! Then he tells everyone has been sentenced to death since he stepped in to this room and to die as fast as possible. By the time Medaka, Shiranui and Onigase arrive, the room is filled with craters! Is this the moon or giant Swiss cheese? Unzen and Medaka meet for the first time and it seems Unzen’s conversation is rather hostile. He preaches his ideals of imposing the kind of justice by going overboard instead of talking things out that Medaka prefers. On the contrary, DisCom is a peace loving organization and only uses violence as means to that end to correct that which is wrong. Unzen is trying to hint in making enemies in both their organization and lashes out a projectile so fast that nobody could see what it was. It knocks off Medaka’s hat. She didn’t dodge because she believes there is no reason for her to be attacked. He does another move into her guts but she still stands back up and reiterates the same.

Onigase pleads to Unzen to stop since they have no reason to fight them. However he disagrees because of their type of ideals, justice and charity don’t mix. If Medaka is the innate of a goddess, then he is the innate of evil. She plants flowers, he uproots them. Medaka is confident they can still talk about their differences. Too late for that as Unzen notes. He already sent 3 assassins to dispatch her other members and if she can still say the same thing one more time, he’ll truly respect her to death. Noting the foolishness he has done, Medaka leaves Shiranui to handle things here. Unzen won’t let her escape and unleashes several invisible projectiles but Medaka ‘vanishes’ and only her clothes are left behind. Shiranui blocks Unzen’s way. She is confident she can stop him because he can’t attack a student who has done nothing wrong. Unzen asks Onigase if she was eating any food in the hallway. I guess she has to think hard about her answer. Even though she was, she replied no. In that case, Unzen will just watch the massacre from here. Medaka races against time to reach her members. Her super speed and strength that zooms past students will make them wonder who this wonder woman is. And when they realize it’s no other than Medaka, they calm down and say how it’s so normal. She being not normal is normal! Medaka knows she can’t make it in time but it’s not wasted effort. What she can’t stand is that there are other people trying to hurt others and they don’t realize it’s a wasted effort. Some Wolverine guy is going to claw Kikaijima from the back but Medaka swiftly takes him out with her lariat. Kikaijima doesn’t even what happened! With her precise calculations, she lands on the soft landing cushion of the track team. She borrows Isahaya’s spike shoes and Wolverine’s claws to run and climb up the next building. Seems this Hulk guy is going to smash Akune from behind with a bicycle (why is he pumping air when he’s just going to smash it over him!). Before he could, Medaka rides on top of it and notes who DisCom members don’t really know how to use stuffs and rides the bicycle from out of his hands! Pedalling as hard as she could, she is met with DisCom’s Vanguards setting up barricades blocking her path. You know this isn’t really going to stop her. Even with heavy things thrown her way, she can even slip pass them by flying over them with the bicycle! I thought she was doing an ET! Zenkichi is helping Yobuko carrying her stuff into the DisCom room which he is unaware of. Inside the dark room, she lets loose her chains but Medaka breaks through the door and breaks them all! Wow! She really made it in time! As Yobuko notes, she’s not normal!

Episode 10
Yobuko reports to Unzen that Medaka amazingly thwarted their plans in time. He wants everyone to pull back as they manage to learn she’s not a pacifist and will bite back when bitten. However Yobuko disagrees. From what Zenkichi told her, it seems she was not saving her friends but them. He mentioned Kikaijima had Yakushima and Tanegashima who won’t let a soul live if they touched their ‘daughter’ while Akune’s hobby during middle school was to ruin people’s life. Zenkichi may not be comparable to them but he is Medaka’s watchdog who shows no mercy and should her chains grazed his clothes, she wouldn’t be standing now. Yobuko doesn’t believe him (which is also a bluff in fact) but can’t help think the fact that nobody on both sides was injured. Save for some traumatized egos. She concludes Medaka isn’t one who bites back when bitten but merely wants to avoid casualties from both sides. Unzen couldn’t hear anymore of this crap and crushes his Smart Phone! He orders Onigase to tell the rest of the DisCom members to go home and make alibis because from today, he’ll be waging a one-man war. Medaka shows her members the Super Ball that Unzen used as his weapon. It has amazing elasticity and rebound. Unzen enters the room and is amazed she’s the first one to figure out this technique he has been using for over a year. Then he drops all the Super Balls from his sleeve and also mentions he modified them to be weapons. Unzen wants Medaka to be his friend since they’re both monsters. When he first saw her running for student council president, he thought of her as his mirror image. But that would mean she is his reverse and that they’re too similar to get along. Unzen talks about Medaka helping and loving people. However he says she’s cheating because she’s only looking at their good side as every human have their bad sides too. If she claims to be an accepting person, she shouldn’t be brainwashing people into acting the way she wants. For him, he fights evil in the name of justice but never felt justice was better. Rules exist to keep human in line but don’t expect them to change. In short, he hates humans and all their good values. That’s why he can uphold justice without bias. People who don’t adopt her ideals are unfit and though they may see her as amazing, she can’t expect everyone else to be amazing. Zenkichi feels weird because Unzen isn’t here to just give his speech to Medaka. Not that she would easily be swayed. As though he is buying time. Medaka corrects him. One, being a goddess is something Zenkichi assumed and she is no saint. Then she notices something strange in the Super Balls. There are explosives in it! Since the cat is out of the bag, Unzen whips out his matches. Wouldn’t everyone in this room get burnt? Unzen isn’t worried. He is crazy enough to do it! Medaka still wants to talk so he immediately lights the matches and the entire room goes boom! OMG! Others heard the explosion but think it’s Medaka as usual and that it’s normal. If they only knew…

Unzen rises from the rubbles. He survived the blast thanks to his cutting-edge pressure resistant clothes. Noting the damage isn’t as extensive as it should be, he sees a Super Ball on the floor. Could it be a dud? It can’t be because he has been carefully maintaining them all. Thinking back, he realizes in that flash, Medaka used the flower vase water to diffuse some of the bombs and kicked some away. Plus, the window was already broken and not melted due to the explosion heat. He is surprised to see Medaka and the others unhurt outside! This isn’t funny. Seems Medaka had rolled the carpet over her members to protect them from the shockwave and not the heat. This means Medaka bore the brunt of it all. And she did all that in a flash?! Freaking scary! She may be as crazy as him! Unzen mocks Medaka he is sick about her acting so saintly because her abilities would’ve easily let her escape unharmed alone but chose to save her friends. He predicts she is going to say since neither side are hurt, she’s going to let this slide. However Medaka tells him to shut up! She believed he was once a good innocent boy but somewhere along the line, he has turned into a monster and will not forgive him. OMG! Her hair changed! And with that piercing stare, for that second Unzen felt scared! Medaka is mad. She agrees with him they’re so alike and never considered herself always being in the right. She’s so used to helping others that she is scared and constantly worries and is simply trying her best to be right. Even if she doesn’t follow any of his ideals, at least she doesn’t put her friends in harm’s way. She’s going to let Unzen have his way and make him feel disappointed once she shows him she’s a worthless human being who allows rage to consumer her heart. Zenkichi notes this other forte of hers, the War God Mode, she was last seen in this state 3 years ago and when she’s in this mode, nothing can stop her. Unzen thought he can still take her on but Medaka lands a powerful punch in his gut that sends him crashing through the walls! Noting his uniform keeps him unharmed, it is good because she can go all out on him using her attacks at full strength. Prepare for sh*t!

Episode 11
Medaka warns Unzen that she has mastered all forms of martial arts but isn’t going to use them on him as martial arts aren’t meant to be used in anger. That would be disrespect to humans. In this case, she’ll fight him like an animal with raw brute force. Unzen thinks it was a mistake to lure her out in the open as his Super Ball works best in closed areas but he can’t give up now as the DisCom reputation is resting on his shoulders. He gives back a warning of his own. It doesn’t matter if she’s right or wrong, justice always triumphs! Unzen purposely gets hit by her punch that sends him crashing into the building. Zenkichi narrates there was this guy called Kumagawa who possessed every negative trait a human possibly could have. He loves hurting others and wanted to eradicate the entire human race including himself. Medaka continued to reach out to him but it was futile. So much so she had to resort to violence to remove him from school. She felt ashamed she failed to reform him and many people were frightened by her violent display. But Zenkichi is happy she is capable of anger. As benevolent she is as god for the sake of strangers, she can also be as cruel as the devil for the sake of her friends. Medaka knows Unzen’s plan to draw her into the building. She is about to swing a punch when her movements suddenly stopped. This is his trump card as he has placed strings all over the place. The strings are made from the same material as his clothes so he starts bragging about his justice. But she mocks him if this is the best he can do, a cunning scheme. Then she uses her monstrous strength to break free. Wouldn’t that tear her apart? She couldn’t care. Mere strings won’t tie her down. He already tore apart her heart when he hurt her friends. She’s crazy! His strings may be strong but the building it is attached to isn’t. She’s moving the buildings! I’m not sure if she’s joking when she says it’s her job as the president to move the school! Now she’s doing it literally. This sends the building collapsing. Unzen admits he was wrong. She isn’t a saint but a monster. Zenkichi tells Akune and Kikaijima this is the true Medaka and if they don’t want to back out, this is their last chance and to quit the student council for good. Of course, they’re not.

Unzen is pinned down by a slab and he is still cocky. Despite staring defeat in the face, he notes he is still victorious. Why? Because she couldn’t change his heart. He’ll still be the same human hater tomorrow. Medaka agrees she loves humans and that there is no need for him to reform as he won’t live to see tomorrow. Ironically when she says she loves humans, it sounds like she’s pleading for them not to shun her. She’s not a saint. Just a lonely soul with too much power. He may be just a 10 year old kid but has more life experience than her. He can tell she’ll give up on humanity soon because he’s worried she’s too sensitive to bear the pain. He will reform her and wants to be eliminated to protect her precious humans. Unzen notes if she disposes of humans to protect humans, she is no better than he is and will eventually remember that the person she crushed is a human. She is ready to strike but her friends hold her back. Do they have a death wish? Rather, they want to be part of her and will never quit the student council. In that instant, Medaka returns to her normal lively self. Just like that! She invites Unzen to join the student council and always needed someone to stand up against her. No thank you! She removes the slab over him and continues to believe he can make friends. She apologizes but is grateful that he helped her recognize her shortcomings. Then she heads off to the hospital because she notes there are some broken bones and battered organs. Well, in this sense she isn’t a complete monster. Unzen is shocked that she is able to snap out of her madness and pull herself together from that mental breakdown. It’s like someone pulled her out of it. Zenkichi leaves him with parting words. Though they both are right and not totally wrong in their own ways, it boils down to personal preference. And to him, he likes Medaka more than him. Yobuko and Onigase pick Unzen up and are surprised at the devastation. Unzen says they’ll exclude the student council from their supervision and will let their modified uniforms slide. He wants them to shape up since he’ll be out of action for a while as peace of Sandbox Academy rests on their shoulders. Unzen guesses Medaka has no idea the implications of removing him would me. The principal, Hakama who is also Shiranui’s grandpa is worried that his plans will fall apart if they lose just one of the Thirteen Party’s members. He seeks her advice but she recommends doing nothing and needs not worry. If he ever has any trouble, then he should use the suggestion box.

Episode 12
What?! An episode without Medaka?! How can the show without her as the lead survive?! Don’t panic. After that close victory over Unzen, she is recuperating in hospital and for the first time, her perfect record of attendance fell. This is the first day without Medaka in school. The student council is operating in a temporary place and talk about Medaka’s absence. So peaceful that it’s so unreal, eh? Medaka = trouble = normal? Kikaijima wouldn’t term Medaka as a troublemaker or one who digs up troubles. But rather diligently provides the seeds with water and fertilizer to cultivate them. Checking a suggestion box, Sasae Mochibaru the new president of the shogi club requests their assistance to find a missing chess piece. Erm… Why is she holding her head? She is afraid it will fall off? WTF?! Anyway the missing piece is the King and since the pieces are with the club for a very long time, she hopes they can find it before the advisor does. Well, it’s going to take some time since the room is very messy. Clean up time. The trio discuss about Medaka akin to the King since she moves in all directions and because it’s her, she could use that piece to checkmate her opponent. I too believe it’s not possible if it’s from her. They are also grateful because of her, they are working together like this. They can’t imagine what they’ll be doing if they had not met her. After cleaning up the room, the piece is not to be found. Zenkichi feels something amiss. He wants to know if there are other places they should be searching because it sounds as though Sasae doesn’t believe the piece is here and somewhere else. It’s like she hopes it will be found here. Akune thinks they should just use another King as replacement in the meantime although it won’t do as each wood comes in different shades and materials. Then he realizes all the King pieces of each set is missing. It’s not a simple case of a missing item anymore but theft. They try to persuade Sasae to reveal the name of the person she suspects. Akune thinks she may be suspecting Miri Natayama, supposedly the strongest shogi player in the club but has recently left. Naturally she was supposed to be the next president but Sasae got it. Even so, they note she wasn’t really club president material.

The trio confront Natayama at the rooftop about the missing King pieces but she denies having knowledge about them. Remembering Sasae’s words that she’s a good player, it was nice to have her teach them but she was so strict and yelled at beginners. Akune suspects since she couldn’t be the president, she left the club and stole the pieces. She continues to deny but says you can’t blame someone for being weak but rather for not trying to become stronger. Flashback reveals Sasae told Natayama to go easy on them because not all of them wanted to play shogi for the rest of their lives and just want to have some fun. That caused her to snap. Natayama notes she may not be as multi-talented as Akune but doesn’t intend to stay inferior to her subordinates. Not knowing the piece has been gone shows that they haven’t been playing for ages. It took Akune to realize that all the Kings were missing and this shows that the members don’t really care if they’re missing, right? So why do they need all the pieces then? Akune notes that this is somewhat her confession and will let the teachers take it from here and will try to not blow this out of proportion. However Zenkichi disagrees with his next step. Since the culprit is found, finding the missing pieces will be easy. If soliciting the teachers is always a way to resolve things, then they wouldn’t need the suggestion box, right? So what does he suggest? Zenkichi isn’t sure whether he is right or wrong but believes this is what Medaka would do: Challenge her to a shogi game! If he wins, she returns all the pieces or else they’ll let her go. Natayama thinks this is a joke, an amateur trying to challenge a pro. Or is she scared to lose? Fine! She tells him to line up the pieces but it seems he lined up all the Gold General pieces in a circle. What does this mean? They can only play Mawari Shogi since they don’t have the King, right? It’s her fault that they can only play this variation. She says they don’t care if the Kings are missing but after they start worrying, it’s too late to say that.

Akune lectures the pro on shogi. There is no such thing as a King in shogi. The word “King” came from the misprint of the word “Jade” (both kanjis resemble closely to each other and the difference is just a stroke) and that it just happens that jade ranks higher than gold and silver. Thus the word “King” is more widely used than Jade General. Wouldn’t it be odd if a king and general would be used together? The jade general may be ashamed of that but it would never use such excuse to run away and in fact fights to reclaim the throne. He’s telling her she should blame herself for turning tail and giving up since she failed to sense the strength in Sasae who trusted her. Natayama notes the irony of the student council that cares for both friends and foes. Even without Medaka, they still deliver. In the aftermath, all the missing pieces are returned and Natayama rejoins the club as she treats Sasae better. And just when you thought there’d be a peaceful end to the series, suddenly comes popping up a group of crazy looking villains! Who the hell is this Oudo Miyanokojou guy?! Who the hell is he to tell us the series is to be continued?!

In Medaka We Trust!
This is truly one of the best shows for this season. Although Medaka is the main focus and the reason why everything in order (or in trouble), she is truly an exceptional person. With her around, things are never boring and I could say the same for this show. Surprisingly when she did not make her appearance in the final episode (the flashbacks don’t count), it didn’t feel boring in anyway and it is good to know that the trio under her wing has been with her long enough to learn all the lessons that she has thought them. Very good indeed. Whether starting it off with Medaka taking on and fulfilling a variety of requests (which is what this series is about), to the recruitment of other student council members and ultimately the face off with the boss of DisCom, I have to admit there is never one dull moment. After this series has ended, there was an announcement that there will be a second season coming up later. Of course, with that kind of baddie appearing last minute, it indicates that things are not over by a long shot. Life after all is not a bed of roses. But that doesn’t mean you can’t plant them along the way, right? I too would love to catch Medaka and her team in whatever crazy antics helping out others around Sandbox Academy. Who will be the new antagonist to challenge Medaka’s ideals? What other more bizarre requests will they take on? No job is too odd for them to accomplish. And more importantly who will fill in the vice president’s post? So yeah. I’ll be anticipating the second season with much glee.

Medaka as the main heroine of this show is truly an amazing person. I think if I watch her in action a few more times, I’ll be converted to her ideals as well! She steals the limelight. She steals your heart. Ironically she puts into use her suggestion box idea but thinks out of the box to solve them. Isn’t she great? But the most important thing about Medaka is the lessons that we can learn from her. Also take note on the things that she has to say. They are really awe inspiring and she would have been a very good motivational speaker. She is not embarrassed to hide or rather has nothing to hide! That’s why she would so easily love to flaunt her body. An embarrassment to hardliner conservatives but a joy to ecchi fanservice lovers. Maybe we should put in a request for her to do a striptease, eh? Her character to love both friend and foe is something we should all learn. All world leaders should meet up and be changed by her. It is easy to be blinded by rage and to take out our raw animal instincts but how many of us can actually stay calm and not lose control of ourselves? It’s something hard for ordinary humans but remember, Medaka is not ordinary in this sense. Due to her superhuman strength, some may call her a monster but I guess this is rather perspective and boils down to the individual. As long as she doesn’t take it in a bad light (which I doubt she would), everything will be fine. Medaka is so skilled in everything that sometimes it is hard to believe that she is just bloody talented. It makes her so unreal. So less human. But I guess for a genius like her, it is the optimum level of what humans can attain if they work hard. However be warned, Medaka doesn’t actually save you from your troubles. It would be too easy for the requestor to sit back and relax and watch Medaka to just do everything for you, right? Not going to happen. She’s not doing charity despite her outlook. She only guides you and shows you the way. If you do not put in the effort yourself, then you cannot expect any help from her.

I noticed something about Medaka. Whenever she pops up from nowhere (usually surprising that person), she will be seen doing an imitating pose of the person she will be talking to. It’s rather odd because it also seems that she’s having fun doing it. Then as Unzen explained, I guess to a certain extend it is true that she wants to be accepted as a human being and since she isn’t really a normal one, she ‘imitates’ the actions of others thinking this is perhaps what humans do. At other times, she can be dense too and I suppose this proves that although she may exceed in every area that humans could master, she is not perfect. Her compassionate character may put her on par with a saint or Buddha but that is just what one will conclude when you see her good side. That’s why I understood why Zenkichi is glad to know that she has some less desirable traits like getting angry as well. It makes her more human. Sometimes maybe more human than others. Just remember to use it sparingly and as a last resort. Despite being an over achiever who gets everything, good in anything, has what most people want, it’s a good thing that she is on our side. Not some evil organization that will misuse its powers to bring suffering and pain to others in their quest for world domination. So people, think twice if you really want to test her patience. Unless you are more powerful than her then you’d be better off pick up trash in your spare time. The other habit of Medaka is when she mentions somebody’s name, it will be followed by his/her grade year. Maybe it’s her way of showing respect? Sometimes during the series, Medaka’s superhuman capabilities and ability to do everything reminds me of Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai’s Momoyo Kawakami. But now that I have seen Medaka in action, this makes Momoyo like a baby in comparison.

Possibly the most dangerous character that would even surpass Medaka herself (or anybody else) is Shiranui. To say that she is a wolf under sheep’s clothing is just an understatement. Firstly, there is a lot you do not know about this girl and despite she is always putting up a cheery personality and stuffing her face with all kinds of food, you can’t help feel that there is something deeper and more than meets the eye each time she says something ‘serious’. She does not mince her words in speaking out even if those words are about her being selfish or just using Zenkichi as a friend. And she says them with a smile! Secondly, her information source. It’s like she knows almost everything that goes around in Sandbox Academy. You can’t keep any secrets from her. She’ll even get the necessary materials to blackmail you! Third, you notice that many of the characters here do not mess with Shiranui. I don’t think knowing that she is the granddaughter of the principal is what made them stayed away. She may look harmless and you better hope she stays that way because who knows what you’ll become if you step on her toes. Zenkichi knows her better than anyone and making them to not cross paths with her is for their own good. So just in case you may find yourself in the worst scenario possible with her, have a pack of food ready in your hands. Maybe she ‘attacks’ because she’s hungry… Speaking of which, does this petite girl really have a Black Hole in her stomach?! Because she doesn’t seem to put on weight too. Or grow… Oops, I hope I didn’t make her mad.

It is a tough call to make to say which side of their ideals is justice. It depends on the person. For me, I would have agreed with Medaka since I do not like things solved via violence and simply, she’s cuter! Haha! But seriously. To say that Unzen is totally wrong and twisted in his ideals is just from your perspective and stand. Thus if you say so, you may view him as the bad guy of the series. What Unzen preaches and believes are also partly true. Because of the despicable nature of humans, sometimes the only way to rule over them is through fear and with an iron fist. Of course many of us would say it is wrong because of the values and beliefs that we have been brought up with. Medaka may have just proved that her way of talking things out and changing people’s heart may be the best solution but this is only confined to school. If she miraculously pulls this off on the entire world, then we can truly say that her method works. Not every human are the same. You can’t use a one-glove-fits-all approach to solve things. Since as far as this series is concerned, her record of changing the hearts of people doesn’t have a 100% record. As revealed, she failed to reform that Kumagawa despite throwing everything she had. And now Unzen. For now he may have backed off picking a fight with the student council but I doubt he really changed. But just for sake of debate, imagine if everyone in the world follows Medaka’s way, would that be possible? Imagine what the world would be like if everybody were such good saints. Boring, right? What about everybody going along with Unzen’s version of justice? Chaos everywhere, right? That’s why I have come to conclude that both Medaka and Unzen are right and wrong and that they both must exist for the sake and balance of the world. Just like yin yang. When there is light, there is also darkness. One cannot exist without the other. Wow. I feel so philosophical like Medaka. Hehe… At the end of the day, it boils down to what your beliefs and determination are and the path that you choose to take. As for Zenkichi, he has been hanging around Medaka for so long that he probably knows how she thinks, acts and goes about and even has form his own opinions about her. In some ways, he’ll be able to keep up with Medaka and not lose his sanity. And I thought he is sometimes a tsundere. He likes Medaka but insists he’s being dragged around by her. Hey, who wouldn’t love her? Okay, there’s that 2% against her.

I can’t help but find that some of the art and drawing of the characters to be odd. Especially the guys. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. I find them somewhat ‘pointy’. Be it their hair or some of their faces. And then there are those that seemingly have sharp teeth like as though they have fangs in place of them. Especially the delinquents or those tough looking ones. So when I first glimpsed at Unzen, from the way he looks, I could tell this is going to be one crazy and twisted kid. Like he just came out of the asylum not because on good behaviour parole but because he slaughtered all the officers on his way out. Really. So if Medaka’s smile is sweet, his one is scarily crazy. Perhaps the drawing of the characters may not be sophisticated and can be considered as simple but it makes the guys seem less human. At least the girls look cuter. Haha! Then again, it’s just my perception. Or rather the signature of this series’ studio house, Gainax. After all, I thought I could see shades of some of their previous works here like He Is My Master, FLCL and Mahoromatic. Did I already mention about the fanservice part? Oh yeah. Probably whenever Medaka comes into the picture, she is already the embodiment of fanservice of this show. Haha! I don’t want to think but I can’t help why she is so popular among the guys is because of her unique school uniform. Is she purposely exposing her cleavage? Well, according to her, it’s not that her clothes expose her cleavage but rather it covers every other part of her body except her cleavage! Oh yeah. I guess you can look at it from this perspective too. There are always 2 sides to a coin. On a trivial note, I noticed that the titles of the episode are taken from a speech of the characters somewhere in that episode.

This anime is in a way telling you that it is bad to judge others from the outlook. I probably learnt my lesson here because I was no longer shocked and surprised when I recognized Aki Toyosaki as the voice of Medaka. When I first heard her as Yui from K-ON!, I thought she was totally perfect playing ditzy girls roles. If not at least do her trademark voice. It’s a good thing that she doesn’t sound like those kind of roles that I had envisioned her for because well, a variety in the different kinds of character roles proves her voice is flexible and show us that she too can voice many other types of characters instead of what I have stereotypic formed in my mind. Actually, after hearing her voice Kunieda in Beelzebub, it’s one big reason why I wasn’t so shock when I heard her voicing this lead role :). Romi Paku is a veteran of voicing young boys’ role such as Edward of Fullmetal Alchemist and Ganta in Deadman Wonderland. And with her as Unzen here, she does quite a good job in making the character sound so badass. Yuu Kobayashi and Yuka Iguchi make their cameo appearance in the final episode as Natayama and Sasae respectively. Even if they didn’t pull off their trademark voices, they’re still recognizable. See, what did I say about judging a book by its cover? No crazy screaming voice from Yuu Kobayashi like she did in Kaede/Kaere from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and no annoying loli voice from Yuka Iguchi like she did for Index in To Aru No Majutsu No Index. Other casts include Yuuki Ono as Zenkichi (Kaname in Kimi To Boku), Daisuke Namikawa as Akune (Kazehaya in Kimi Ni Todoke), Ai Kayano as Kikaijima (Inori in Guilty Crown), Emiri Katou as Shiranui (Kagami in Lucky Star), Ayuru Oohashi as Onigase (Ayumi in Hoshizora E Kakaru Hashi), Ami Koshimizu as Yobuko (Horo in Spice And Wolf), Minako Kotobuki as Nabeshima (Yuuko in A Channel), Asuka Oogame as Ariake (Erio in Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko), Masumi Asano as Isahaya (Hakufu in Ikkitousen), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Tanegashima (Hibiki in Vandread), Makoto Yasumura as Yakushima (Ikamasa in Umisho) and Kazuyuki Okitsu as Hyuuga (Nikaidou in Ben-To).

I couldn’t wait to see what is in store for the next season so instead of writing a request into the suggestion box, I went to browse Wikipedia and found that this season is probably just an appetizer. Even though I have already spoiled myself on what to expect, but I won’t put it down here. Because there’s a big chance I might forget it by the time I blog this ;p. So I’m not going to spill out about the principal’s Flask Plan to experiment with students with abnormal abilities to mass produce them (thus the reason why Class 13 consists a bunch of abnormal students who never really attend classes except for Medaka), the return of Kumagawa into the student council and Medaka’s relieve from her post which leads to some royale battle between family branches over the right to be her husband. Oh sh*t! I just spoiled it myself. But nevertheless, it looks interesting, right? Especially with the abnormal characters from Class 13 that looks like they possess superhuman abilities so much so they’re just human in name. More powerful, more freaky, even scarier. Ooohhh… Well, at least in the eyes of a normal person like me. So it is my earnest hope that the second season could cover all this and last a little bit longer than this season.

Well, thanks to Medaka, I have learnt quite a lot of lessons from her and got inspired to do my best in whatever I can. Maybe I won’t achieve success instantly like she always does but I also accept my shortcomings (I have lots of them) and won’t feel depressed or bitter if things don’t go my way. Thank you Medaka for all the lovely acts of kindness that opened my eyes. However emulating them and to continue doing them in the long run might be another story… I can always give a reason that I am not Medaka. I’m not like an Energizer Bunny after all. Hehe… I truly feel the world could use a bit of Medaka’s help. She should be world president! I’m not surprise if she could put an end to all the civil wars, end world hunger and find a cure for AIDS! She may even discover the origins of the universe with her brilliant observation and deduction skills! With Medaka, I really believe she can do it all even if it does seem impossible! Well, that word doesn’t exist in her vocabulary and though she isn’t a goddess but just a human being who makes mistakes (only lesser) like anyone who walks and breathes on this face of the earth, at least for most parts she can be considered more human than others. So human that she isn’t human. Oh, what am I saying, I’m just confusing myself. So when you’re in trouble and in need of some assistance, don’t just pray and wait for help to arrive. Feel free to drop a line in the suggestion box. It won’t cost you a cent (maybe some food for a certain sly girl). But if you’re in trouble and Medaka happen to be just passing by, I don’t think she’ll need to wait for the suggestion box to help you out. That’s normal, right?

Black Rock Shooter TV

September 29, 2012

I didn’t expect Black Rock Shooter (BRS) to spawn a TV series albeit it only lasted for 8 episodes. All I remember were girls in hot outfits and cool weapons meant for fighting each other in another world while we have some sort of drama between friends in reality and the link between both worlds. I thought the TV series would be somewhat a continuation but as I watched, it follows a different storyline from the OVA although the same characters are retained.

In the OVA, Yomi Takanashi got jealous of her best friend Mato Kuroi when she seems to be friendlier with her other classmate-cum-friend, Yuu Koutari. Yomi eventually disappears and this causes Mato to head to the other world and merge with BRS to fight Dead Master who was possessing Yomi. For the TV series, Yomi and Mato still meet and become best friends but this time round Yomi and the other girls are plagued with their own issues while in the other world, their dark personas continue to fight as both worlds are entwined by the threads of fate. This is the story of their ‘pain’… Oh, that word and its synonyms. You’re going to hear it quite a bit of it.

Episode 1
A narration about the blue sky, ocean and tears that reflects the colour blue and a small bird that flies among the blue tears. Mato starts her first term as a middle school girl as she is making statements of opposites like long (the assembly) and short (the skirts). Till she sees a girl with a self made red chain stitch on her wrist, Yomi . Mato talks to her friend Yuu about wanting to be friends with her but back at Yomi’s house, she speaks through a paper cup telephone and the voice on the other side warns her not to. Mato reads a book about a multi-colour bird that flew to different world with different colours has been her favourite since young. Next day, she sees Yomi to ask why her surname is pronounced Takanashi (literally means no hawks) instead of how it is obviously read as Kotori Asobi (literally means where little birds play). She explains since it is only when there are no hawks that the little birds come out to play. Uh… What? Yuu brings Mato to the counselling room where they meet counsellor Saya Irino. She is being told no matter what kind of troubles or stress she faces, she can always come here to seek advice. On the way home, Yomi bumps into Mato on the streets and notices a multi-colour bird handphone strap she has. Mato is excited to know that Yomi too has that multi-colour bird she drew herself as her handphone screensaver. Learning that Yomi has an earlier edition of the multi-colour bird book, she decides to visit her home and take a look. They also exchange emails and Yomi gives Mato her red chain stitch. Suddenly the doorbell rings and her mom says she has a visitor. Instantly Yomi panics and doesn’t want them to come in yet but too late. The wheel chair ridden girl is Kagari Izuriha and she does not hold back herself to say Yomi did this to her. The atmosphere becomes awkward with Kagari around. She gives all the dirty coloured macaroons and while they’re playing dolls, Kagari speaks through her doll to tell Mato to go home. Eventually she leaves and feels how scary that girl is. She feels heartbroken and wonders if she had done anything wrong but receives an SMS apology from Yomi. Yomi speaks to Kagari via paper cup telephone and the latter reminds her that she is hers since she has to take responsibility for herself.

BRS finds herself in an odd place (heck, the entire world is odd). She thought she heard someone telling her to go home when she is rolled over by a large spider-like machine! Man, it’s amazing she hasn’t been flattened! Then she gets blasted away and drilled by its buzz saw while Chariot piloting the machine drops macaroons on her while telling her to go home. Would you believe it? BRS took all that sh*t and there’s not even a scratch on her! Mato goes to see Saya (who was in the midst of listening to her senior Arata Kohata’s trouble on how to court a certain boy). Saya learns that Mato thinks she is being hated. She replies when she first looked at her, she had such beautiful eyes. Probably because she rarely gets hated, it’s not good to make enemies. But sometimes you end up with them so you have to accept it. Her heart may hurt but it won’t bleed right away because someone else is enduring the pain for her. Later Mato goes to see Yomi in her art club and commends her artwork. She puts on a smiley face and invites her to the festivals but Yomi refuses thinking she’ll hurt her. Using Saya’s words, Mato assures her she won’t get hurt and wants to do things together. So touched that Yomi cried. Meanwhile, BRS fights back by materializing a cannon but it’s not good enough as she is chained to the wall by Dead Master. BRS continues to get sliced by the buzz saw. Eww! Looks painful but she doesn’t seem to be in much pain.

Episode 2
Mato’s mom helps her to get prepared for the festival. Mato vows not to get hurt. Meanwhile BRS chases down the spider machine but once more she gets caught in Dead Master’s chains. Mato waited for 2 hours but Yomi never showed up. Only much later that Yomi replied and apologized for not coming. Mato watches the fireworks alone and heads home heartbroken thinking Saya’s words were lies. In actual fact, Kagari has forbid Yomi to go the festival and forced her to stay with her at home. Since she can’t go, so Yomi can’t either. Yomi breaks down because she really wanted to go so Kagari is going to do something to remove her sadness and carve it into her. OMG! What the hell is she going to do with that needle?! BRS is able to turn the tables on Dead Master and trap her in her own chains. However she hears cries to save her. Before she could do anything, the little spiders whisk Yomi away. Mato wakes up sweating from a bad dream. Next day in school, she is shocked to see a heart shaped mark carved over Yomi’s chest. Yomi is puzzled she is not mad for not turning up at the festival. But if she wants to, she can. And so she did. She tells her off she is different than the small bird since she can’t go anywhere she wants and is a coward. Mato goes to see Saya. The counsellor deduces that if they’re both having the same dream, it means they’re deeply connected inside. Dreams can be used to express something that words can’t. It may be possible she knows what Yomi wants deep inside. Mato is outside Yomi’s house and the latter is glad to see her. But as she goes out of her room, she sees Kagari waiting by the stairs. Noting that she’s been waiting in her house the whole time, she is going to fall down the stairs and won’t forgive her if she dies. Guess what? Kagari stood up and drops down the stairs!

Unfortunately the b*tch didn’t die and just fractured her wrists. That’s it? Mato waits at the hospital and will not leave without Yomi. Even Yomi’s mom seems to be afraid of Kagari. She explains Kagari has loved Yomi since young. However when they moved to another town due to her husband’s job, Kagari chased them only to be met with a car accident. Though doctors cannot find anything wrong with her leg, the problem lies in her heart. Though mommy finds Kagari pitiful, Mato is upset that Yomi had to sacrifice herself and is more pitiful. Now that Kagari can’t move her hands, she wants Yomi to take care of her, do everything for her. Suddenly Mato knocks on the door and Kagari instantly turns hysterical and filled with hate over the other woman. She thought she saw Yomi smiling. Kagari continues to scream at the top of the lungs and wants that b*tch to shut up. Yomi is in a dilemma on what to do as she wants to be friends with Mato but can’t abandon Kagari. Mato says Kagari is only pitiful because she pitied her. Otherwise she’d be treating her just like she’s pitiful, just like she’s an idiot. Yomi realizes Kagari was becoming crazy because of her. She was afraid of driving her to insanity and in the end it was just easier to do what she wished. She tells Kagari not to lock herself up at home and to come out. Come to school. She promises she won’t leave her alone anymore. She can’t do it because she feels scared. BRS crashes into a house and breaks open a doll to see chained Dead Master inside. But the spider machine smashes into the scene for another epic battle. This time it rains more macaroon missiles so BRS counters it by evolving her weapon into a cooler cannon! Cool! Fire away! The machine bursts into flames but Chariot isn’t done yet and they engage in melee combat. Dead Master breaks free from her chains and also breaks the wall to the outside world. The force is sucking everything out when a devil lady, Black Gold Saw (BGS) plugs it with her saw and saves Chariot. When Chariot thought she had ambushed BRS, BRS sliced off her head! Suddenly all the screaming stops and Mato is let into the room. Yomi is calm. Kagari is calm. Oh, she’s smiling too.

Episode 3
Seems there is nothing to worry about. Kagari has returned to normal. She’s going out more often, doing exercise and a lot more cheerful. Mato excels in her basketball club so much so Kohata decides to make her a starter for the summer tournament. That means hell for her, right? Mato and Yuu are washing up but they see Kohata nervously giving a letter of confession to a boy! Surprise, surprise. Back home, Mato continues to read the book on the multi-colour bird. Its wings absorbed all the different colours each time it went to a new world. But because it absorbed so many colours, her feathers became dull. She ponders if the colour of that girl’s eyes change. Yomi calls Mato to chat but she may have got more than she bargained for because Mato starts talking about her inseparable best friend since young who is no other than Yuu. Starting to feel jealous, isn’t she? Mato and her basketball club go on an excursion and it seems she is having motion sickness and is trying to hold in her vomit! Wouldn’t it be better to just let it all out? Stubborn girl. BGS seems to be growing, urm, little hooded girls? Don’t they look like little trembling Kohata clones? An earthquake rumbles the place and they can tell somebody is coming. Suddenly slabs of rock fall and crush them. Slam! So much for raising them. Mato wakes up from this dream and talks to Yuu about it. Thinking about Saya’s words, she thinks the girl in her dreams may be the one enduring the pain for her. Mato and Yuu are buying souvenirs when they see Kohata buying a wooden sword supposedly for her crush as her pals tease her. Yomi thought of visiting the counselling room but changed her mind when Saya greets her. Saya looks through the year book and it seems she has circled out Mato and Yomi.

When Mato returns from her excursion, she gives her souvenir to Yomi, much to her delight. But because she starts talking about Yuu’s snoring during the trip, Yomi wasn’t really thrilled. Mato thought she could talk to her if she has any problems since they’re best friends but as Yomi mumbled, she’s not really her best friend. Yomi gives her a blue chain stitch she just finished. A crowd is gathering at the notice board. Mato and co go take a look and find something horrifying. When Kohata goes up to see it, she is shocked to see the love letter she wrote on it. Seems the guys of her crush are making fun out of it and everyone else starts laughing at the tomboy. But Kohata didn’t flinch. She puts on a cheery expression and takes off her letter. Mato and Yuu are so sad that they both cried! In sync? Yomi notices how close they are. BRS kills all the Kohata clones but BGS escapes. As Kohata sees Saya, the latter feels it’s better for her to cry. Oh, now it’s Saya’s turn to cry. She feels sad that she has become the laughing stock of the school. It must hurt a lot to stay strong and put on an act. Okay, this is just getting creepy. Later Kohata sprains her ankle in a basketball practice so Mato takes her to the infirmary. Kohata explains when something bad happens, she doesn’t like to think it’s someone else’s fault. If it’s so, she can’t do anything about it. So if it’s her fault, she can do something about it and could always run and fly. After Mato leaves, Kohata starts experiencing pain in her head. BRS sees a clone and extends her hand but she inches away in fear. BRS left eye turns into a bright blue flame as she cuts off the clone’s head! Mato could feel something wrong with Kohata and rushes back to the infirmary only to see her collapsed on the floor. Likewise, Saya too could feel what is happening and starts crying. Yomi who is visiting her, is shocked to see her in this state.

Episode 4
We see Strength dragging her loads of heavy equipment through the desert. One of them being Chariot’s broken and decapitated body. She throws it into the abyss. It seems Kagari has become a new transfer student in Mato and Yomi’s class. Everyone loves her even though she’s foul mouthed because she’s saying them in a cute way. Mato talks to Yomi about the new Kagari but Yuu calls for Mato since Kohata is back in school. Yomi notes how she’s always looking at their backs. Then she learns Kagari has joined the cooking club and has her own friends. It’s reversed now, eh? Yomi talks to Saya that Kagari was a person who depended on her so much and that she promised never to abandon her. Saya says she should relax because nobody will be troubled by her absence. No one needs her that much after all. Oh dear. Is that what she said? Yomi is so troubled that when she and Kagari are playing Monopoly, she shows her frustrated side. Truly reversed now their roles. On a cloudy to school, Mato meets Kagari who wants her to bring her to school. In class, Yomi arrives late and seems short of breath. She scolds Kagari for leaving without and was worried she wasn’t there when she went to pick her up. Kagari apologizes but her new friends defend her. Later Kagari talks to Mato about the changes. Initially she was lost and couldn’t do anything and now she’s perfect at everything. She has always depended on Yomi to do everything but now wants to do something for her. However she doesn’t how to do things for others. Meanwhile Kagari’s new friends tell Yomi off for always hogging Kagari. Yomi explains taking care of her was hard and that’s why when she gets along with others, she doesn’t mind. Then she realizes Mato and Kagari heard that and runs away. So when Kagari tries to visit her, Yomi tells her to go away and doesn’t want to see her. Mato is also worried and Yuu can tell. She asks her for Yomi’s email address and wants to be friends with her too.

Meanwhile Kohata’s boyfriend needs to talk to her. He apologizes for the cruel prank his friends put up. He was about to confess but Kohata doesn’t know who he is! Neither does she understand what has happened. The guy accepts what had been done is unforgiveable and is willing to change but really, she doesn’t remember a thing. Kagari visits again but Yomi still doesn’t want to see her. She receives an SMS and thought it would be Mato. The perfect solution to cheer her up. To her horror, it’s Yuu and despite her message that is worried about her, Yomi goes crazy and tries to break her handphone with her… Pillow? Realizing that Kagari is still waiting outside, then she realizes that she still needs her and rushes downstairs. Now she’s so needed, eh? She instantly hugs Kagari as she gives Yomi her cookies she made. Yomi is happy till she realizes Kagari did this to thank her or else she will never let her go. Oh no. The heartbreak is setting in as Kagari further explains though she said she was happy about her making friends but was just putting on an act. Before, she thought nothing would work out if she was gone but now she remembers not needing her that much. And yeah, she thinks she liked her. Liked? As in past tense? So let’s forget what happened up till now and release me, okay? Man, you should see the anger building up in Yomi’s face. It’s contorting into something evil. So her alter ego in the empty world who has been chaining up herself in a mountain of chains, it finally blows up. Now she has turned into a badass girl with a legion of skulls as her army. BRS arrives on scene and though she takes a blow, how do you deal with such monstrosity? Just fire back your gun lah!

Episode 5
BRS fires away at the army of the undead with her double barrel cannon! She even takes on the giant skeleton and the twin-headed monster in this approximately 2-minute adrenaline pumping action. Mato and Yuu go to pick up Yomi from her house but it seems her mom tells them to stay away. But Yomi comes out and walks with them to school. Seeing Mato has worn the chain, she also gives one to Yuu. The duo feel something is off despite Yomi putting on a cheerful display. Then Yuu realized Yomi used her hair to make the chain! During art class, Yomi suddenly takes the scissors and starts cutting her hair to make a collage! Mato tries to stop her but it looks like it’ll have to take more than words. Seems Yomi’s mom is putting a forlorn look because Yomi’s room is thrashed. It’s like she cut everything from the fabric to the furniture. Mato heard from Kagari that Yomi snapped. What does she mean? It means her heart died. Mato instantly slaps her! Yuu confronts Saya and blames her that she caused Yomi to behave so but Saya says she merely gave advice. Besides, it only hurts for a little while. A heart boosts recovery and regenerates again when it’s wounded. Mato continues reading the multi-colour bird book whereby its wing got dull absorbing all the colours, it fell and died. She wakes up from a dream seeing BRS in a heated clash with Dead Master. She doesn’t want them to fight because at this rate they’ll kill each other. Mato then starts to scribble in the book and put her own good ending about the multi-colour bird. When Mato goes to see Saya, the latter asks if she wants to save Yomi. Sure she does despite not knowing what it meant. In that case, Saya thinks she should die for her and starts strangling her! OMG! Then she backs off and says she’s just kidding! How can she do that with a smile on her face! Of course Mato leaves and is pretty much distraught Saya used to be nicer. Was she? Saya tells her to go to the art room to see something interesting. There, Yomi’s friends want Mato to take back a painting that Yomi drew. It is a creepy picture of Mato crying blood. Mato realizes she was the one who made Yomi snapped.

Yuu is absent during basketball practice and to Mato’s horror, nobody remembers who Yuu is. Mato becomes frantic, thinking about the times she spent with Yuu. But the odd part is the more she tries to think about her, the more she can’t remember. Thinking she should head to her house, but upon arrival, the place of her home is now just a river. And Yuu is there (maybe she’s a ghost because notice she doesn’t have any shadow!). Asking her if she wants to save Yomi, she mentions that the world where someone else endures the pain for you exists. In that other world, the other Mato is always fighting and shoulders all her grief and suffering. In the course of fighting, that other her will eventually be annihilated. This will in turn set her free from all the suffering and gloom. This was what happened to Kagari and Kohata. So to save Yomi, the other her must be killed so she can be set free from the grief that plagues her since Mato is believed to be the biggest cause of her suffering. Once she dies, she’ll be able to kill all her feelings for Mato. Mato disagrees because agony isn’t something that can be resolved by dying or killing. She believes there is a proper way to resolve it and that is by talking it out. Since she wants to talk to her and clash with each other’s feelings without relying on someone, Yuu cautions resolving this herself can be very painful. Mato will deal with it so Yuu puts her forehead on hers and Mato is transported to the other world whereby BRS is still fighting with Dead Master. Mato is being told she’ll have to shoulder all the pain and pain that she has gone through and Mato is determined to do that. Once Mato enters the other world, she sees Yomi right in front of her. However to her horror she realizes she has stabbed through her as BRS. Yomi/Dead Master dies and BRS’s left eye turns indigo colour.

Episode 6
Mato realizes she just killed the other girl that looked like Yomi. Lots of things start impaling BRS and this transforms her into Insane BRS! She faces off with BGS and whatever pain she feels Mato could feel it with intensity. Including the ripping off of her own arm! OUCH!!! Strength is seen dragging Dead Master’s lifeless body away. Yuu panics when she can’t wake Mato up. She brings her to Saya’s place and the sensei slaps her after learning what she has done. It seems if the girls have to endure great mental burden, then the girls in the other world will lose what little humanity they have left. Saya has put lots of mental stress on Yomi in order to awaken Dead Master. Yuu didn’t think Mato would get trapped there but Saya says BRS will destroy that world. If that happens, could you imagine what will happen to her then? Saya thought of killing Mato now but couldn’t bring herself to since she didn’t do anything wrong. Since Mato is trapped in BRS, Saya thinks of going to the other side and talk to her. Maybe her voice will reach her. She reminds that it isn’t Mato that she wants to protect, but that girl. Saya enters the other world and through BGS tries to talk to Mato inside BRS. The battle is still raging on as BGS manages to trap BRS. She remembers the summer that she first met that girl. When Saya was a student, she first saw Yuu coming out of school in her swimsuit. She invited her to her home and treated her. She learns from mommy that Yuu has gone through lots of hardships. Whether it’s being bullied, her own family who doesn’t care and her pig sty home, Yuu endured and locked all the pain in her small body. Saya continued to treat Yuu as her friend and one day as she talked to her, she mentioned how she admired her for holding in her anger. However Yuu said it wasn’t her. Whenever she’s bullied or felt pain, the other girl comes out and takes all of her pain instead. That’s why to her it doesn’t hurt.

One night Saya heard there’s a fire at Yuu’s place and rushed to the scene. She concluded she might have started the fire to take revenge on those who put her through everything. However as Yuu is being escorted into the ambulance, she could tell what Saya was thinking. Still, she put up a smile. Saya realized she was wrong and wanted to apologize but Yuu was whisked away in the ambulance. Later it was learnt that the cause of the fire was due to Yuu’s stepfather’s cigarette that he had forgotten to put out. Saya felt guilty and wanted to make it up to her. When she finally got to meet her, she exclaims she’ll do anything for her to be forgiven. Yuu notes this world is more painful than the other one. Though she doesn’t like pain, she was wondering if her other self should take all her pain. Since Saya did say she’ll do anything, Yuu wants to protect her and say her other name. Yes, it is BGS. Insane BRS breaks free and resumes the fight. Not even the Kohata clones BGS summons (now wielding sharp weapons) could beat her because Insane BRS decapitates them all! Insane BRS is about to strike BGS put her aim is off thanks to Strength’s interference. Then blasting away to another platform, BRS now faces Strength. Saya returns to her own world but laments she did something horrible and that girl protected her. She is sad she couldn’t do anything since she had a duty to protect that world so Yuu tells her she has been forgiven. Saya gets emotional so it’s Yuu’s turn to console her. Yuu apologizes to just about everything (for enforcing her wish upon BRS and Mato) and knows Mato is in pain right now. Mato narrates the reason BRS fights and hurts everyone is save them from grief but she feels that is wrong. BRS gets clobbered by Strength. Yomi returns to school and Kagari notices how cheerful she is. And she’s not putting up an act. Later Yomi sees Mato’s name in her handphone and deletes it.

Episode 7
Mato narrates how much she loves that multi-colour bird story. Despite having a tragic ending, she felt attracted to that little bird. Saya notes she can’t interact with BGS as she’s trapped in that world forever. Yuu thinks of going to that world to save her. Noting she is a mysterious girl, feelings like hatred, envy and sorrow hardly exist in her. She doesn’t acknowledge the part of her and tries to help the ones drowning in. Those emotions are what BRS is made of. She kills the emotions of others to save them from their sorrow. BRS will defeat their other selves and after that, they’ll never reach Mato ever again. BRS makes her counter attack on Strength. Mato’s voice is able to get through BRS to stop fighting but she shoots her own leg to shut her up. Mato hears Yuu’s voice that she must wish to get out of BRS. Shout out that she’s not her. We see clips of family and friends talking about Mato. In short, she’s a good girl. Then Mato realizes that she was running away so that she didn’t end up getting hurt or hate. That’s why she admired the tainted little bird. Yuu tries to calm her down saying that there is nothing wrong wanting to make a world a better place but Strength butts in on their conversation. She starts saying how she hates people who spread lies about her. Strength and Insane BRS exchange firepower and both take equally damaging shots. Strength ‘shows’ the pain she is experiencing and that her duty is supposed to protect her. The place is on fire and the fight becomes intense. Strength pounds Insane BRS to a pulp. Meanwhile Saya finds Yuu’s unconscious body by the bridge and takes her back. But Strength reveals something. She says she is the real Yuu and that the real Strength is down inside her just like how Mato is.

Yomi can’t quite put her finger on it. It’s like she felt something really painful had happened before. Then the teacher comes in to ask if the class knows anything about Mato because her mom called and she hasn’t returned home since yesterday. The class becomes alerted and Yomi might have remembered something about Mato and dashes out. She starts feeling pain in her heart. Then when the class see the police at the school gates, they think it must be something big. At the same time, Kagari’s heart also starts to hurt. Meanwhile as Strength (or was it Yuu) pounds Insane BRS, Yuu (or was it Strength), Mato can’t fathom that the Yuu she knew all along was actually Strength. As explained, Yuu’s heart was hurt very badly. When she was fighting in this world, the pain and suffering of the girls living in reality created both the emotionless girls and this world. They were influenced by the reality girls’ emotions and fought by their instincts. Till BRS came. They fought for the sake of fighting without thought of winning or losing. Before Strength was about to die, she heard Yuu’s voice and felt her pain was different than other girls. Since they’re mostly pain and hatred, if BRS kills her while she’s shouldering them, what would be left of Yuu? Yuu says her world is more painful and difficult. Even if she died with her pain, she’d still face more down the road. Since this other world is easy to understand and that one just fights and don’t need to think, thus pain is easier to understand than anything. Yuu suggests they switch places. She’ll stay in this world while Strength faces reality. Saya watches the motionless body of Mato and Yuu at her place. She apologizes for letting Strength shoulder it all but hopes she’ll protect that world in her place since that world is her only shelter. Yomi’s heart grows more painful each time she thinks about Mato. Then she remembers all the times she had with the person whom she calls her friend. She couldn’t understand why she was trying to forget her.

Episode 8
Yuu still continues to beat up Insane BRS like a punching bag and she’s taking out her frustrations of the real world on her. However Strength notes that her hope of wanting to save her from BRS is now impossible. She drops down the abyss since if she disappears, the pain that’s warping her senses will vanish as well. Once she forgets that, she won’t be able to remain in this world. Yuu doesn’t want that to happen and pleads for Strength to change her mind as she doesn’t want to face reality. This allows Insane BRS to finish her off. Mato finds herself in a dark place and sees Insane BRS before her. Then she realizes she has become BRS herself. Strength is cracking up (literally) and Yuu is frantic that she doesn’t want her to go since she’ll be all alone. Mato tells Insane BRS how she made her bear all her suffering and pain and that she doesn’t want to hurt anybody but herself. Eh? Say what? That’s because if you don’t get hurt, there are other worlds you can’t see otherwise. Insane BRS is happy to oblige to give her some pain. Lots of it. Red is for the blood that you cough up. Blue and black is for the bruises from the punch… Wow. That’s lots of colours :). Of course Mato is beaten up so bad that she’s about to go to the next world. She laments she can’t hurt anyone to hurt herself (well, it’s an ironic situation). Thinking how the multi-colour bird flew to witness the many different colours, Mato gets the strength she needs to revive and materialize a cool power machine gun. Yomi realizes she loves Mato wanted to share the pain, sadness and ache with someone. Kagari and Kohata start shedding tears when they remember their important person. While Mato and Insane BRS continue to churn out crazy amount of bullets at each other, we see the revival of Dead Master, Chariot and BGS. Mato is going to hurt Insane BRS no matter much she hurts herself just to get it through her heart. Is taking all the bullets her idea of getting hurt? Mato materializes a freaking huge cannon and blasts Insane BRS away!!! So powerful that it cracks the walls of this world and a myriad of colours start gushing in. Then everything goes boom!

The next thing Mato knows, she is in a barren world and Strength is lying close to death. Yuu doesn’t want her to die because she can’t handle reality but she points out everyone is here for her. Noting both worlds have merged, their hearts can also merge into one. Yuu still doesn’t have the confidence that people won’t like her so Strength assures her she is her soul. Without feelings, she fought for her. Without feelings, they can only act on instinct. That’s why they could never fight for someone they hate. They love her, they want to protect her, they don’t want to see her sad. That’s why they started fighting for her in the first place. She wants her to believe that the real world can be a nice place too. Before Strength disintegrates, she thanks Mato for teaching her how wonderful the real world can be and that they’ll always be friends. When the real Yuu wakes up, Saya immediately hugs her in her relief. Mato makes her way home and is surprised to hear Yomi calling her. Mato instantly comes hugging her and apologizes for hurting her because she wants to get hurt too. But to say to let’s suffer together properly? I hope she doesn’t mean that seriously. Mato narrates the world filled with different colours. Warm, bright, sparkling, dirty, sad and lonely colours. Because of so, the world is a beautiful place. Mato, Yomi and Kagari return to being best friends as Kohata and her boyfriend are back together again. Though Yuu takes her first step back into reality, she’ll be glad to know that Mato, Yomi and Kagari are always there for her. The quartet become good friends as each of them has the chain stitch as token to commemorate their friendship. In the other world, Strength revives and sees BRS who says she’ll continue to get hurt and bear the pain and thus continue fighting in this world. So the pain is not going to stop, eh?

What Is The Colour Of Pain And Sorrow? Can Hurt Feel So Good?
Well, the only thing that I enjoyed watching this was the cool fights of the dark personas. Trying to explain it in relation to grief, sorrow, suffering and the likes was a good try but for a guy like me, it didn’t really matter because not that I understand it all completely. The more I try to think about it and rationalize everything, the more complicated it seems to become. For instance, I was trying to comprehend wouldn’t it be better for the girls then to let their dark persona get defeated because this way they will be freed from all the pain that they are suffering now? If it is said that the girls in the other world bear all their pain, well, it looked like they aren’t in any pain at all. I mean, you see them fighting, get stabbed, shot, blasted, whacked and everything else but they don’t really put up an expression that indicates all those blows taken were actually that painful. Heck, in fact I felt painful for them the way they got gored! Maybe as explained, pain in this world is less complicated and simpler so even if it hurts, it is not like what we imagine, screaming and crying through the top of your lungs. But still, pain is pain and as long you’re a living thing, you are still susceptible to pain.

I guess the characters were rather okay. Each of them had their own issues to deal with and eventually overcame them with each other’s support. Mato may seem like she always happy and cheerful, the kind of girl that will not even hurt a fly. In a way that is a good point because I feel that no matter how angry and upset you are, you’ll be ‘blinded’ once you blow your top and lose control of yourself. From the world I come from, you would have to be higher than a saint to do that and if anybody of such really exists, first thing we’ll say that he/she isn’t human. So at least with Mato realizing that instead of brushing things she should be angry about aside and put up a happy face, now she learns to experience a new range of emotions. Sometimes it’s good to have a few negative emotions because too much of a good thing isn’t really good for you in the long run. Of course, too much of a bad thing is worse so it’s best to keep a good mix and balance of the kinds of emotion. Positive ones more lah. As compared to the OVA, BRS here seem to be more violent and brutal and it feels she’s like a heartless killing machine. So the reason why she appeared and started hammering all the other dark personas is still a big mystery to me. Maybe it was explained so it’s either I wasn’t listening or did I remember since it was complicated. I just know she kickass :).Perhaps all Kagari wanted was just a friend. She got so obsessed with this concept that she took it upon Yomi and made that poor girl her ‘slave friend’. Yomi was initially trapped and felt responsible to take care of Kagari. Once Kagari was set ‘free’, it ironically turned the other way round. Kagari doesn’t need Yomi anymore but Yomi couldn’t do without her. It tells us that this kind of extreme friendship isn’t really any friendship at all. Friends give and take and don’t hurt each other the way we see them do here.

Surprisingly I never have guessed that Yuu was Strength and vice versa. I was predicting that there would be more than Yuu to being just a side character for the TV series and perhaps somewhere at the end there was going to be a twist but I never expected they swapped places all along. It’s pitiful that the real Yuu had undergone a lot of bad emotions in reality. But if she has been fighting for so long in the other world, you would think that her hate and pain would have subsided in time, though I won’t expect it to completely disappear. Instead, she’s still that bitter girl who can’t accept reality and continues to take out her frustrations in the fights in the other world. Maybe it’s the kind of pain that won’t go away no matter how much time passes. Even if she had eternity, lived forever or fight and beat every persona meets, that kind of pain and suffering she experienced when she was a kid was too much to bear. Only with Strength’s near loss did she realize that her own world isn’t totally filled with such extreme hate and pain. When you’re in your comfort zone for so long, taking the first step out into a new world seems daunting. But that is what friends are for. I’m with a little step by step, she’ll manage to get by with her new friends. See, it’s not that bad, right? Saya is a mystery to me. Besides seeing her and her penchant for drinking coffee (which she reveals she hates anyway), it was hard at first for me to classify if she’s the villain or an ally. By deduction and the familiar looks, I could easily guess that BGS is Saya. I don’t really understand why she said mean things to the girls. Maybe it’s her way of being cruel to be kind. She had her reasons why she wanted to revive Dead Master and to ‘kill’ Mato but I didn’t really fully understand it. In the end, all she wanted was to save the real Yuu and protect the other world because as I am concluding, if the other world collapses, then the girls in this world will have to endure all the pain and suffering. Hey wait a minute. If the dark personas die, then the girls are set free from their emotion, right? As I found out, BRS fights the other inhabitants of the other world regardless of its impact on reality and this is what Saya wanted to protect. Uhm, so what impact was it BRS would have on reality? The girls being set free of those emotions? Argh! This is so confusing. I’m not going to think about this anymore.

So I’m going to turn my attention to the cool fights instead. All I can say is that they are mind blowing and creative. No doubt that it is the other world and it is exactly this reason probably why the imaginations and fantasy start flowing. Things that don’t really follow the physics of reality and that is why when I watched them in action, it was exhilarating, exciting and electrifying. I just wished they had shown more of such fights. Hah! Do I sound like a blood thirsty person? Just like in the OVA, the scenes alternate between reality and the other world. Sometimes I find it annoying because while I’m enjoying the fight, then the scene changes and this puts a slight damper on my enjoyment. But if this wasn’t done in this way, we won’t understand the big picture and see the effects of things as they bring about simultaneous results and consequences in both worlds. Maybe at times the fights might be gory and a little too violent for girls to watch. I mean, you see things get impaled to them, they get slashed and their limbs something get cut off. Not to mention the loser gets her head decapitated! And I am not sure if their blood is some dull colour instead of red. Case in point, when we see BRS get gored. Is that her blood? Feels like oil spewing out from a ‘machine’. I love the way the huge weapons the dark personas carry and the power blast that comes with it. You could say that their arsenal packs a load of punch. Each time they clash, it is of epic proportions. The odd buildings, monuments and scenes of the other world may look creepy but they also add to the excitement of the fight, be it getting smashed into it or just to enhance the effects of the bout.

The voice casts of the OVA were retained in the TV series with Kana Hanazawa doing Mato and BRS while Miyuki Sawashiro voices Yomi. If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention Dead Master because this dark persona doesn’t have any lines in the series. Kana Asumi also retains her role as Yuu but this time she doesn’t sound so girly like Yuno in Hidamari Sketch or Taneshima of Working!! At least when the real Yuu is revealed, she sounded like a crazy girl whom hatred and pain has eaten her sanity away. It’s the same case with Eri Kitamura as Kagari (Rin of Kodomo No Jikan, Kureha of Sora No Woto). When she was screaming in her climax scene at the hospital, man, I never thought she could scream like a crazy woman. She’s pretty convincing when she snapped. Newly added to the cast for the TV series is Mamiko Noto as Saya. What else can I say more about her? Her trademark voice is still there and I still totally love it. Also added is Manami Numakura as Kohata (Asano in Natsuiro Kiseki). When I first heard the rock opening theme which is the same name as this show, it somehow reminded me of Bakemonogatari’s ending theme, Kimi No Shiranai Monogatari. That’s because both songs are sung by Supercell (though for this show, Hatsune Miku provided the voice for the vocals). This is the same group which got inspired by the concept of the BRS character and came out with a song of the same name albeit a different one from this TV series. The ending theme is a slow pop rock ballad by Bokura No Ashiato also by Supercell.

As I found out from Wikipedia, this series was popular enough to spawn a few spin-offs of manga and games. From what I know, all of them have different storylines and more characters that have short and cool but seemingly unpronounceable and complicated names (at least to me). Reading briefly their profiles seems pretty interesting. Maybe it’s because I still had my mind set on the awesome battles that I saw in the TV series so I could imagine the manga panels and video game play if these characters were to unleash their cool weapons. I’m sure the series is trying to tell us a thing or two about friendship and not violence and fights solve your woes. If every time you want to free yourself from sadness and go into a fight, I think that will just mess things up further. That’ll be more than just a pain in the neck. Speaking about pain, to a certain extent pain is good because it tells us the limits of how much out body can take. It tells you to stop what you’re doing. Without pain, you might be going on light an Energizer battery till your body breaks down. And you still wouldn’t know it. I also found out that there were some character redesigns for BRS and Dead Master for the TV series. I don’t remember much from the OVA but perhaps some of the main features of BRS are still there. But for Dead Master, I remember she held some Death Scythe as a weapon in the OVA but here she uses chains. Plus, she resembles more of a bride rather than a gothic devil. Oh, I kinda noticed that the pupils of the characters’ eyes, how come they resemble like half cogwheels?

I’m not saying that I am suffering a great deal of pain and sorrow now but from time to time, I do feel such feelings. So what am I trying to say? That the other world whereby your dark personas fight and take your pain is non-existent! Haha. Just joking. Maybe it’s because I’m not a girl so I don’t have this thing so bad that it splits my emotions and creates another world. But would it be great if you had a doppelganger to take in all the pain and suffering for you and at the same time fight some serious kickass battles. And I’m not talking about creating an avatar and go play an MMORPG. Some say that pain is relative and to some it’s just mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter, that is. Seriously, would you want a hot chick with blue flaming eyes like BRS to shoulder your pain? Maybe if only I had those cool huge blaster cannons…

Nagareboshi Lens

September 28, 2012

Looks like this is another one of those single OVA about high school love and romance. I thought Nagareboshi Lens was a cross between Kimi No Todoke and Hiyokoi seeing the girl falls in love with the most popular guy in school and they end up going out together. Well, if you like your anime genre to be shoujo romance, I suppose there are plenty of such series and mangas out thereto satiate your need. Me? Since this is only a single episode, I’m just finding out how different it is from the other similar genres that I’ve watched.

When Love Comes Crashing In…
Yukko can’t stay and help Risa Hanakago with her homework today since she has to meet with her boyfriend from a different school, Haru. Risa notes as long as Yukko is happy, she’s fine. She too wants to fall in love with her. She might get that wish sooner than she thinks because a football crashes through the window! It’s amazing she didn’t get a bit scratch from those little sharp broken pieces. The culprit, Touga Yuugure comes by and apologizes. Their eyes met and safe to say, Risa has fallen for him. Touga may be the most popular guy in school that many girls dream to have. However as Risa states, they’re already dating. By the second week, she gets to learn more about him. His siblings, his ear pierce, his birthday, his blood type, zodiac, etc. But the most surprising (and pleasant) thing she learnt is that she is his first girlfriend. Serious? Does he look like he’s lying? Risa flusters and thinks they need to exchange items. They give each other’s pen. Risa is motivated to study harder using it and will enjoy studying a lot more.

Soon their relationship becomes known and Risa feels guilty in a sense that some girls are sad that Touga isn’t available anymore. Because of her, they’re devastated. Their dreams crushed. The teacher wants Tomocchin to grab the CD player for his English lesson. Since it’s in Class 2. Knowing Touga is in this class, she gets permission to get Risa to tag along. Once they enter, everyone recognize Touga’s girlfriend. But that dude is sleeping in class! Risa sees the pen she gave him in use. By the time he wakes up, she already made her way out. “Bye-bye”. Hey, better than nothing, right? Tomocchin mentions that Touga is an okay guy and though he is popular, not every girl in school likes him. Up till now he hasn’t manage to find a girlfriend. Maybe he was just waiting to meet her? Though Tomocchin got the player, she didn’t take the CD. Perhaps it’s a scheme to let her be with Touga alone? Yeah, that’s why he came looking for them. They exchange phone numbers and write them on each other’s hand. No paper, no problem. Risa narrates she going out with Touga may have hurt some girls’ feelings but it can’t be helped. Sometimes you have to be selfish. Risa is about to prepare herself for PE class. She allows him to tie her hair. Once she is done, he immediately hugs her! Followed by a pat on the head. Is this his way of apologizing for not being able to go home with her today for he has supplementary classes?

Back home, Risa can’t help get Touga out of her mind. She is afraid he doesn’t feel the same. She gets a call from him. He wants to meet at school to return her English textbook when his handphone battery dies. Risa peddles along and chances upon Touga’s friend, Yuudai. Seems he is out with his own friends too. Seeing Risa for the first time, Yuudai’s friends note how cute she is and try to make a move on her. Yuudai tries to tell them to stop but they’re not listening. They suggest she break up with Touga but before she could answer, somebody covers her mouth from behind. It’s Touga! He looks pretty mad. That piercing stare… They know not to mess with him. Touga wants to see Yuudai tomorrow morning at the market. He knows what he’ll be getting. Touga bring Risa away and thankfully no incident happened. At the bridge, Touga returns her textbook. She gets emotional because she can’t help feel being hopelessly in love with him. He tells her it’s fine to let it all out and will accept everything about her since he too can’t get enough of her. They share a kiss under the starry sky narrating that the world sparkles and the stars tremble in their eyes whether it is morning or night or even in their dreams.

Sparkling Love
So well… Nothing pretty much happens. Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Girl goes out with boy and they continue to preserve their love like see in fairytales. I’m sure if they want to expand this into a TV series, there’ll be enough material for it. But will that be any different or stand out from the rest of such similar romance genres? You’ll probably guess the trials and tribulations they’ll face in maintaining this relationship. From love triangles to the things they do and the essential lover’s quarrel, it’s pretty much an overused recipe for this genre. So much so to me this show doesn’t really stand out. I was close to a big yawn till Yuudai’s friends showed up to mess around with her. I thought it got a little interesting with trouble showing up (certainly love isn’t a plain and smooth sailing bed of roses) but since the OVA is running out of time (it’s only 18 minutes long by the way), I guess they don’t want to get into trouble with that guy. Who knows what he’ll do especially if you mess around with his girlfriend. Loved by the girls, respected by the guys.

The art and drawing are pretty typical to a shoujo genre with pretty people and characters with big sparkly round eyes. Speaking of sparkles, this show is filled with them. It makes everything feels so, erm, sparkly? From the time Risa and Touga first met to the time she got his pen, writing his phone number on her hand and that final kissing scene. Man, it really gives a whole new meaning to sparks flying out. I guess when you’re in love, everything just sparkle and shine like the brightest star in the sky. It’s like magic. Kana Hanazawa was recognizable as Risa and she put up her usual cute and lovely voice display that makes Risa, well, cute and lovely. A bit like Mato of Black Rock Shooter and Susukihotaru of Otome Youkai Zakuro. I think. Shintaro Asanuma as Touga sounds pretty generic as the popular guy in school in love with an ordinary girl. His previous voice roles include Takatoshi of Seitokai Yakuindomo and Kazuma in Hoshizora E Kakaru Hashi. The ending theme, Hitokuchime No Koi by Infinity featuring Mayumi Norinaga, I thought it sounded like a cross between Fairy Tail’s ending song Glitter (Starving Trancer Remix) (which is also sung by them) and Ano Natsu De Matteru’s ending piece, Vidro Moyou.

Well, I just ran out of what to say and probably what I wanted to say I have already said it or felt it was said too often and decided to omit it and not put it down in this blog. I mean, what else can I comment about this OVA? Just one episode, the characters are typically like that and the plot that doesn’t really go anywhere. Maybe I’m just too captivated by the sparkling stars to just say anything. Maybe I won’t see them now in real life but perhaps when I fall in love. When will that happen? Since no football, cricket ball, tennis ball, baseball or even the lacrosse ball crashing through my window, I guess it’s not happening, huh? On second thought, I wouldn’t want any ball to come breaking my window because I don’t want to clean up after.

Ano Natsu De Matteru

September 23, 2012

Oh hey! They made a sequel spin-off of Onegai Teacher! Wait, no. Not exactly. It has little elements from Ano Hana too. Ano Natsu De Matteru is also set in the summer and we have a group of high school friends who are from the movie club deciding to make a summer movie but end up learning more about themselves and their feelings among each other. Only difference is that we don’t have the ghost of a childhood friend but aliens. Say what?! That’s right. Aliens. Aliens from outer space. For those of you who are ‘old’ enough to have watched Onegai Teacher (for the record, it came out in 2002 and it’s already a decade later. Wow. I feel so old), you may have noticed lots of similarities this anime has to offer. Some of the characters, certain settings and some of the love setup. As I have found out, Yousuke Kuroda who wrote the screenplay and Taraku Uon who designed the characters both contributed to Onegai Teacher. Is this a rip-off or an updated setting to cater for current pop culture? Neither. It may be similar in some ways but this anime can stand on its own. You don’t have to watch Onegai Teacher to see this one and it’s a pleasant surprise for those looking for some teen romance with some drama.

Episode 1
Kaito Kirishima believes that when you die, you travel to somebody’s heart and stay, live on as memories. Yup, not go to heaven. Even so, memories fade in time and that’s why people want to leave something behind. He is testing out is film on the bridge of a dam when a UFO crashes nearby. The impact was so great that Kaito was blown off the bridge and would’ve probably been killed if not for a gentle soft hand that reached out for him. But could it be a dream because he wakes up on the wrong side of his futon come morning. On his way to school, he spots a red haired girl in the train. She is being starred by other passengers like as though she did something wrong. In class, Kaito discusses with his friends, Tetsurou Ishigaki, Mio Kitahara and Kanna Tanigawa the kind of movie they’re going to make for the summer holidays and Kaito was supposed to scout for the location yesterday. Cheeky Tetsurou suggests using shy Mio as the main actress and she doesn’t even need a script to go with. Hmm… That could only mean one thing, eh? Kaito tests film his camera and spots the red haired girl outside the window and is somewhat attracted to her. His friends tease him she is his type of girl since he continued to record her (he forgot to turn off the record button rather). That red head is Ichika Takatsuki and is a new transfer student in this school. The guys are crowding around her but Lemon Yamano shoos them away by threatening she’ll do ‘amazing’ things to them if they don’t. I want to know what those ‘amazing’ things are. Ichika eats with Lemon and she is somewhat nervous in the conversation. Tetsurou and Kaito observe from afar and Tetsurou has all the information on her from her three sizes down to her shoe size. Seemed he used his playboy charm on a teacher to get the details. The duo then go up to Ichika and ask her if she could help out in a movie they’re making. Guess what? She instantly agrees. Wow. That saved lots of time. Lemon also wants to help out. Seems she have this friend of hers named Lucas (that Hollywood guy?) that she wrote her script to so she assures them they can leave the film’s plot to her. Mio and Kanna (who definitely has hots for Kaito) not wanting to be left out also decide to join in the project. The friends see a mark on Kaito’s neck and think it’s a kiss mark. Kaito dismisses it’s an insect bite he got from yesterday’s outing when he suddenly remembers the UFO crash. Him going suddenly silent means the rest accuses him that it really is a love bite. Makes him look suspicious of what he’s filming then, eh?

Kaito is feeling happy over the developments when he sees Ichika fishing at a stream. He goes up to tell her there are no fish in this stream, much to her embarrassment. As they walk home together, Kaito fantasizes Ichika will praise him for his keen observation that she transferred alone and her dilemma of having no place to stay. That’s when he’ll offer her to stay at his place and coach her acting if they live together. But… Kaito wasn’t daydreaming. Ichika heard everything for real! Oh God! So embarrassing! Kaito couldn’t possibly bring Ichika home suddenly seeing he lives with his older sister, Nanami (their parents are dead). Ichika doesn’t want to be a burden on him and decides to search for a new place to live. Kaito changes his mind and lets her in anyway since his sister won’t be back so soon. Kaito couldn’t believe how Ichika dragged her heavy luggage all the way so she gives an excuse she is used to grabbing it (almost revealing she used gravity). As Ichika takes a bath, Kaito suddenly feels pain on his neck. Then he collapses unconscious. Ichika heard a loud thud and rushes out to see Kaito out cold. To her horror, scales are forming on his neck. She summons Rinon, a cute alien inside her luggage and the luggage itself transforms into some hi-tech equipment to heal Kaito. Then she kisses him. Nanami is coming back with Mio as they talk about the former’s business trip to Bolivia that will last about 3 months. Nanami thought her eyesight is getting worse to see a girl clad in towel holding Kaito in her arms inside a bright circle of light. Yeah right. That can’t be happening. So opening the door again, Nanami and Mio see a girl clad in towel holding Kaito in her arms. Just no bright light. It’s real! Here’s another shocking scene: Ichika accidentally presses her boobs against Kaito’s face. Is it an unfortunate thing he isn’t conscious?

Episode 2
Ichika is spewing lots of jargons. Not that I understand. What I do understand is that she left on a journey to find something. Along the way, they encountered some problem so she took emergency measures to get to her destination and that’s when the UFO crash happened. Nanami thought she had the weirdest dream. In her dream there’s this cute girl just like the one sitting in front of her. Nope. She’s real. Second round of fainting. So Nanami and Kanna ‘interrogate’ the duo and since Ichika is panicking, she’s spilling out all the truth. Damn those jargons. What the heck is Quon Linkage? Alterian beyond repair? Inclove wrecked? WTF?! Too complicated! In short as Kaito puts it, she has issues and offered her to stay here for a night since she has no money. So about the hugging? She was just nursing him. Yeah, what a fine word for putting a guy on your bosoms as nursing. Well, she even admits that this is how she heals people on her home planet. Planet? Oops. Hometown. So where does she come from? The north. Hokkaido? Further up. From overseas, eh? Her Japanese is damn good too. They thought they hit the wrong button when Ichika couldn’t say about her parents. Nanami instantly becomes emotional (in a funny way) because she knows how tough it is without parents. Nanami feels she could entrust Kaito to her since she will be leaving tomorrow. Kanna disagrees of the proposition. But Nanami says if Ichika can’t handle it, Kanna will cover for her. That okay? Besides, Kaito won’t do any funny business, right? RIGHT?! Obviously Kanna is mad when Kaito walks her home but soon she decides not to hold a grudge and believe in him. Kanna calls Mio who then calls Tetsurou and he decides about tomorrow’s meeting place for the movie. Ichika cooks noodles for Kaito (tastes sour) so he asks why she transferred to study here. She says there is a place she is looking for. As Kaito washes up, he spots the bite mark on his forehead and thinks it has multiplied but didn’t give it too much thought. Meanwhile Ichika talks to Rinon and it seems restoring the ship is out of the question. Kaito is so exhausted that he fell dead asleep once he hit his futon. Next morning, he is awakened by Ichika wearing a negligee! But he has to go see Nanami off or else she won’t stop crying. Really. So Nanami gives her tearful and emotionally charged farewell speech at the train station. Just go already…

After that Kaito takes Ichika shopping and when they return, he is surprised to see his friends gathered at his house. How did they get in? Lemon thought his locks were old, which is probably a way to say she broke in. Huhuhu… Due to Lemon’s seniority, she somewhat becomes the leader as she lays out her grand plans for the project. They’ll be using a script she wrote for 20 years?! A work so grand it’ll put Hollywood to shame?! Everything will be in CG?! You don’t need a camera for that then, right? The story is about zombie breakout at school?! Since Kaito objects all the way, I don’t know what bones Lemon broke in him to shut him up. Tetsurou asks Ichika if she has any requests and she mentions she would like to see some beautiful scenery and explore all sorts of places. Everyone agrees and this way Kaito thought she could find the place she’s looking for. To celebrate, Lemon has them drink some funny Dynamite drink. But it tastes good. Oh no. Look at her snicker… I don’t trust her. Soon everyone starts getting high like as though they’re drunk or a little dazed. Kanna then asks Ichika directly about her feelings for Kaito. Before she could answer, her pet Rinon starts dancing in the middle of the table. Everybody started laughing how cute this creature is. Yeah, they never thought it was an alien and think it’s some kind of wild local animal they’ve never seen. With that, Lemon suggests playing the King Game. Notice this? How come Lemon is the one who is always the King? Did she rig the whole thing? Of course the last bit whereby she ‘orders’ Ichika to have sex with Kaito, that’s a no go! In the kitchen, Kaito suddenly felt dizzy and almost to the point of passing out. Ichika sees the mark on his forehead and wants him to close his eyes. Then she makes him feel better by kissing it. I’m sure that worked even if the mark wasn’t there. Kaito wanted to say something but she put her fingers on his lips and doesn’t want him to say those words.

Episode 3
Kaito wakes up to the weirdest dream in his life. Ichika rejects his love because he is a bespectacled fantasizing pervert. Ouch! Because of that, Kaito leaves a note to Ichika that he’ll be taking a day off and wants to be left alone. Is he sick? Love sick, yeah. Ichika has Rinon do a scan but finds nothing wrong with his body. In class, Ichika shows the notes to Lemon and the sneaky girl knows Ichika must have said something for this kind of development to occur. It doesn’t help when you can read Ichika’s body language like a book. Tetsurou, Kanna and Mio don’t remember much at yesterday’s gathering when Tetsurou passes Kanna a letter from Lemon. It’s a picture of Kanna in a sexy pose during the King Game!!! No!!!! Good blackmail material!!! She better not let anyone sees this! Ichika couldn’t fathom Kaito’s behaviour and comes to a conclusion that he may have discovered her identity as an alien and will call the Men In Black (MIB)! Agent K?! Meanwhile, Kaito further fantasizes Ichika revealed his failed confession to his friends and they are all laughing about it. Tetsurou thought of visiting Kaito and worded in a way that even made Kanna rush off there first. “Nursing to his heart’s content…”. Lemon pops up from nowhere and feels this is their chance. Man, look at the big camera she’s prepared! For realism, eh? Kaito is surprised to see Kanna at his doorstep and since he thought Ichika will be mad he brought her in (he thinks she’ll label him a lady killer) so he decides to bring Kanna out to town. Unknown to them, the busybodies led by Lemon are tailing-cum-spying them. Oh, don’t forget that big camera she’s got. As Ichika walks back, she sees Kaito with Kanna in the passing train and believes they know her secret identity. She summons Rinon but that little blob is dozing after enjoying a cup noodle. Tastes good, huh? So in town, Kaito films Kanna while they go about and Lemon films them. Capturing the spark of youth that only lasts in an instant, huh? As if you don’t know Mio’s feelings for Tetsurou already, she tugs Tetsurou’s sleeve so that they could go buy some drinks together. Mio tells him that if he’s interfering with someone’s love life, he’ll end up getting hurt by himself. And real painful. He assures he’s just helping out and that Kanna and him are just childhood friends.

Kaito and Kanna talk about why he skipped school and of course Ichika. The moment seemed right for Kanna to confess but was rudely interrupted by the wheezing sound of Lemon’s rolling camera. Woah! WTF is she shooting up so close?! Embarrassed Kanna couldn’t allow this invasion of privacy (including that sneaky photo that she took of her) but was distracted enough to allow Lemon escape. She chases after her. Then when she sees Tetsurou and Mio are also around, she realized that she has been spied on the entire time. How embarrassing. Kaito bumps into Ichikawa. Guess what? The boy runs away. The girl chases him. Once she catches up to him (more like they’re both out of breath), Ichikawa hopes he wouldn’t tell on her (about being an alien) and wants him to keep it a secret. He too agrees he won’t tell anyone (about the confession) since he got rejected. Then they realize they’re talking on different subjects but couldn’t bring themselves to say what it is since well, it’s a secret, right? So they grab some food and chatted aimlessly and touch on any topic except that of yesterday’s.  He realizes their relationship was just budding and felt a weight lift off his heart. While waiting at the train station as Kaito films Ichika as practice, she asks who it was that he was rejected. She makes guesses that it’s Kanna or Mio but when she cheekily mentions herself, Kaito froze. Oops. Looks like she hit it spot on. Oh dear.

Episode 4
So shocked that Ichika just entered the train and left without a word while Kaito just stood there. Next morning, Ichika tries to act natural but gets startled when Kaito speaks to her. She nearly dropped the knife onto happy Rinon! Dangerous! Not so happy now, eh? In class, Kanna and Mio apologize for yesterday but they can feel something awkward going on with Kaito and Ichika. Even Lemon. See how she teases Ichika by mentioning Kaito’s name each time. Kaito fantasizes his ultimate reconciliation plan with Ichika that ends with a hug. Man, he’s hugging Tetsurou. Good thing Tetsurou’s not gay. So is Kaito. Actually he’s here to deliver the bento Ichika made for him. Kaito seeks his advice and asks hypothetically about the love problems between A-chan and B-chan. His advice is not to lose his head. Apparently Ichika also asks the same thing the same way to Lemon. Since A-chan doesn’t dislike B-chan, isn’t it okay to go for it? Ichika isn’t so sure that’ll work out since A-chan will have to leave town soon. As Kanna talks to Kaito, Lemon teases them about her voluptuous body (my foot!) in a swimsuit. Ichika sees them and quickly goes away. Kanna advises Kaito that he needs to get a hold of himself and be there for Ichika since she’s a foreigner. And Tetsurou thinks Kanna as C-chan the rival is digging herself deeper and deeper… Kaito once again fantasizes aloud the right plan to make up with Ichika. So much so Manami Ogura heard it and has him tag along with her shopping. He can’t say no… Ichika also thinks of making up with Kaito when she sees Kaito and Manami together. All that worry turned into jealousy. She summons Rinon but the pet is ignoring her since it is happily rolling around with the green tea container. However she warns that if it ignores her today, there’s no telling what she’ll do. Remember the knife? Oh sh*t! Better get to her right away! Rinon appears before Ichika and you can tell she’s real mad as she squeezes the little alien while taking out her jealous frustrations! Scary!

Ichika tails the duo shopping, walking into a lingerie store, watching a movie (was the anime Highschool of the Dead a movie?!) and finally back to her place. Ichika’s mind runs wild on the possibility what might happen when a sexy babe and a young lad get together in a room. As Manami takes a shower, Kaito sits around and is surprised to see Ichika standing behind him. She isn’t putting up a happy face. She takes him to leave but he doesn’t want to rush. Ichika gets upset and throws her bag at him despite not knowing why she’s feeling so. Manami comes out to see them and understands what’s going on so she plays around with Ichika that ‘people are free to fall in love’ and ‘obstacles come naturally with love’. Ichika is replies about her duty given by Nanami to look after Kaito. Is that an excuse? Manami wants Ichika to be honest with herself but is appalled when she realizes both these kids are dense. Then Tetsurou comes in. Eh? What? Oh, Manami is his sister. She is already married and each time she and her husband, Satoshi get into an argument, she runs away here. Yeah, this time he erased a show she recorded. Lame! On the way home, Ichika apologizes that everything was her fault. To make it up, she’ll do anything. Anything? Kaito wanted to ask her answer about his feelings so what better way than to use this chance via getting her to tutor for his upcoming exams. However he won’t get that chance since Ichika becomes a demon tutor, making Kaito study way past bedtime. Look at the stack of books he has to cover! Yeah, he even has to continue study during recess. Regretting it? But his friends are glad they aren’t awkward with each other anymore. So exams come, exams go and the hard work paid off. He might not get the best score but at least they’re decent on more than half.

Episode 5
Summer begins when the girl you like is wearing shorts and singlet revealing enough to leave space for her boobs to bounce about. Ah, yes. Real summer. Yeah, Kaito feels he won’t survive this summer… Ichika learns about Kaito’s video camera in which he found it in the attic. Probably it belongs to his late granddad. Their close proximity is interrupted when Lemon and the rest are here to start their filming. Lemon as the director has written today’s scenario Hong Kong style and our main heroine Ichika is in a tight catsuit (borrowed from the cosplay club). Yeah, looking hot, isn’t she? If the lines are to be adlib isn’t bad enough, wait till you hear the plot. The encounter of the heroine who is an alien with an Earthling boy. Yikes! Since Kaito will be behind the camera, Tetsurou will fill in that role. As the shooting starts, Ichika seems pretty good in her adlib but Tetsurou dramatically changes the direction. Now he’s an MIB out to get Ichika?! Of course he was instantly ‘killed’. Lemon liked that? While Lemon is coming up with subsequent scenarios, Ichika thanks Kaito for trying his best to choose a location that she was looking for and incorporate it in the movie. Tetsurou and Kanna observe the interaction between the duo so Tetsurou asks Kanna to go bring drinks to them. Kanna then asks him if he knows her true feelings. Of course. A long time ago. Embarrassing, eh? Realizing that he’s helping her (since they’re childhood friends as he claimed), she says she’ll support him the next time he has someone he likes to. Well, not going to happen as we know. Lemon finishes her script and this time the heroine will return to her spaceship to escape pursuit and meet up with her comrade. Played by whom? Rinon! Then Tetsurou barges in again to change the direction. He’s the brother of the slain MIB out for revenge? Rinon shoots him ‘dead’. Lemon thinks that was amazing? The real romance story gets back on track when Kaito is cast as the main lead (well, Tetsurou is ‘dead’, right?). So who is manning the camera? Lemon of course. The lines closely follow what happened in real life. The time when Kaito offered Ichika to stay at his place. As they pack up, Kanna asks Ichika what kind of ending would she like. A happy one. But of course.

Back home, Kaito continues to film Ichika because as instructed by Lemon to ‘record the heroine adapting to human life’. Ichika hypothetically asks what if he finds out about the heroine’s true identity. His answers seem unenthusiastic like as though he wasn’t expecting that to really happen. Anyhow, he doesn’t mind and will be fine with it. Next day the filming is cancelled since it’s raining. Kanna takes the initiative to pay Kaito a visit to hand him some groceries for lunch. They heard Ichika scream and actually it’s because she’s surprised that her room is leaking. Well, this house is already that old. Ichika invites Kanna to eat lunch with them. Kaito continues to film so he thought Kanna should help out with the conversation. The girls talk about family but Kanna accidentally asks a question that she thought it was rude: How long is she going to stay. As she leaves, she feels guilty for asking that and meets Tetsurou along the way. I bet it’s not just coincidence. The duo sit and talk at the bus stop. Kanna feels she should not get in between them so Tetsurou just tells her to confess since Kaito and Ichika haven’t done so. She can’t because it’ll be awkward if it doesn’t go well. Plus, they’re in the middle of filming. So is she just going to wallow in depression? Kanna chides him off that he doesn’t understand because he hasn’t fallen in love before. Yeah. Uhn… The rain stops and Kanna feels that she’ll act normally like she always does and that’s that. That night, Tetsurou tries to sneak into Kaito’s room via his balcony window. Why not the front door? Something is up. Damn right. He tells it straight to Kaito’s face that Kanna likes him. Say what?! Oh, Ichika seems to be eavesdropping outside the room. Is this going to get interesting or messy?

Episode 6
Manami is holing up at Tetsurou’s place again not because she had an argument with Satoshi. She’s supposed to leave for a trip with her friends but they all pulled out last minute. So as not to make it go to waste, she gives Tetsurou tickets to Okinawa. He calls Kanna about it and she is excited to go. However she will have to call Mio and Kaito to invite them. Ichika at first was worried why Kanna called so late and that Kaito was so eager to go on the trip. Then she sees magazine photos of the beaches of Okinawa and totally fell in love with it. Never knew there was such a beautiful place on this planet, eh? Plus, the trip will also be part of their filming. Once there, the guys compliment Kanna and Mio’s swimsuit. Till the ‘big’ one came. Shoot. Once they had their fun (I guess they aren’t done with that), Lemon starts her filming. Their filming attracted many onlookers. Among them a couple of girls, Kaori Kinoshita and Chiharu Arisawa. Kaori seems to recognize Kaito and gets excited with this unexpected reunion. So who is she? Short story: His fiancée. Woah! Long story: She’s his elementary classmate who sat together with him due to some pairing. Yeah, I think the rest would go with the short story thingy. Ichika and Kanna not happy… Tetsurou thought things were going to be lively when suddenly Chiharu takes a liking for him! And Lemon is filming the priceless expressions of the youths. It’s good to be young and in love.

Back at their lodging, Kaito gets ‘hounded’ by Kanna and Ichika. No matter what he says or explains, it’s useless. He has no right! See Rinon cowering? That says it all. Tetsurou can’t shake his leg too because he’ll get a hounding of his own. Not by Mio. By Chiharu! I guess exchanging email address was a mistake, eh? Can’t turn down a cute girl? Well, she’s pretty excited and can’t stop yapping! STFU! Hey, wait a minute. What is Chiharu doing here? And if she’s here, that means… Seems Lemon has recruited Kaori and Kinoshita as guest crew members of the film. Just great. Kaori asks Kaito which one of the girls is his lover but he denies that they are. That night Ichika is talking to herself about her own feelings. Lemon may have overheard her so she advises to be honest with herself. In Rome, do what Romans do. But this is Okinawa… Next day, Kaori and Chiharu join the filming. Ichika couldn’t help notice how close Kaori is clinging onto Kaito. Oh, at the back too, Chiharu is doing the same to Tetsurou. Today is sure as lively, eh? Suddenly they realize Kaori and Kaito aren’t around and fear the worse. Kaori brings Kaito into the forest and admits she wanted to be alone with him. She asks what if she was seriously in love with him. Kaito replies though he said he doesn’t have a lover, there is someone he likes very much. And before he could finish that sentence, tears start streaming down Kaori’s eyes. Wow. That’s fast for a heartbreak. Tetsurou got ambushed by Chiharu in his bedroom. Oh shi…She’s wrestling with him, admitting she’s the aggressive type who lacks self restraint. She’s going to kiss him!!! OH SHIIIIII… Fortunately Chiharu is being pushed off by Mio who lands on top of him (and Chiharu squishing Rinon. Splat!). Tetsurou and Mio find themselves in an awkward position. Ichika and Kanna go in search of Kaito. If Ichika hadn’t rustled through the leaves, she would have witnessed Kaori confessing to Kaito. And Lemon laments nobody came back to continue the filming…

Episode 7
Ichika narrates she may not have understand what they’re saying then because she too couldn’t understand her own feelings. Ichika couldn’t bear watching further and runs away. Rather afraid. Scared to face her own feelings. Mio walks back with Tetsurou and she hopes he won’t tell anyone. Tell anyone what? Was it her over him or that he saw her with no pantsu? So everyone returns and resumes filming. During a scene, Kaori asks if Ichika likes Kaito and this throws her off her balance. And as they take a break, Chiharu comes chasing Tetsurou once more. Persistent, isn’t she? Kanna thought of seeing Kaito in his room (Rinon still flat out!) but Lemon is only there. Without revealing too much, Lemon says she can tell about Kaito just by looking at him. Kanna asks about his feelings so Lemon agrees over a drink. Of God. It’s that Dynamite drink again. Yeah, Kanna is so drunk that she didn’t realize she’s being filmed while spewing out her feelings and what’s this? She’s been made to cosplay too?! Oh God. Kaito went to see Kaori at her hotel but she’s not in. She has a left a message for him via the receptionist.  Kaori had gone to meet Ichika who called her out. She asks Kaori’s feelings for Kaito and her reply is she likes him. Well, she’d said that just to see her reaction. Kaori explains she was rejected. Not by Kaito but her senior back in Tokyo and came here to get if off her mind. She tried to cover up her grief but caused lots of pain to others. She cried then because Kaito’s word was exactly what her senior said. Word for word. She tells Ichika what Kaito said and could tell he likes Ichika instead. Well, that’s what childhood friends are for. As Kaori leaves, Kaito enters the picture and isn’t sure of what’s going on. Ichika tells what happened and he understood. Ichika adds that this was probably what Kaori wanted to say to him but she interrupted them then.

Well, Chiharu is one girl who will really chase her guy right till the ends of the earth. Right now, Tetsurou has been running away from her so much so he is in town. Mio helps him hide but was soon found out. Chiharu takes him away to resume their date but Mio pulls Tetsurou’s other hand. Then Chiharu teases Mio that she likes Tetsurou. Oops. Spot on. However Chiharu tells her off there is no way Tetsurou would like an exhibitionist like her because she also saw her no pantsu. A weirdo who gets turned on by letting strangers walking around with no pantsu. That’s when Mio admits she’s a nudist. Mio explains how this behaviour stems from her parents and thought it was normal to do so at home till she found out later it wasn’t. She couldn’t tell anyone and since she had low blood pressure, sometimes to forget to wear them. She tried correcting it but her forgetfulness got the better of her. She thought of keeping a low profile but when she made friends with Tetsurou, Kaito and Kanna, she felt fun being with them and couldn’t tell them too. Tetsurou reprimands her for being silly and no matter what, he’ll always support her and never hate her. Even Kaito and Kanna would do the same. Then Mio confesses she likes him. Back in the hotel room, Chiharu is one inconsolable girl. She felt like a dumb ass for being in the way of Tetsurou and Mio. Yeah, she chased him around all day. She came along with Kaori to help her out with her problems but ended up just like her. Kaito and Ichika walk back and wonder if Tetsurou is having a hard time being chased around. Do guys get turned off if a girl keeps breathing down his neck like that? Absolutely. Kaito says he doesn’t want to be chased. He wants to chase instead. He makes his first bold move towards Ichika. Their lips were THIS close into meeting when Kanna interrupts them. She’s still drunk. But she’s in a cat maid costume now. She’s fluctuating between happy and angry. And she wants to kiss-kiss too. Best part, Lemon is filming it all. This girl… On the final day, Kaori helps finish up with the film before she rushes to the airport. She whispers to Ichika if she keeps stalling, she’ll steal Kaito away. So the gang pack up and continue their remaining time having fun in the sea before they leave for home. Ichika narrates she finally realized how she feel about Kaito.

Episode 8
I’m sure Kaito and Ichika are lamenting how close they were to kiss. But remember, it isn’t really their first though the first time was when Kaito was out cold. For Ichika, she reminds herself she can’t forget the reason she came to this planet as she detects some trouble but she couldn’t summon Rinon (who has detected something big). Kaito and Tetsurou go over the film. I don’t know what happened for it to change into something like Ultraman versus Godzilla thingy. Tetsurou makes Kaito spill out the details of what happened between him and Ichika. So it’s a nearly kiss lah. Then the other girls come by and notably Mio has cut her hair shorter for a change. Oh, Tetsurou don’t have to worry if she’s going commando today. She remembered to put them on. Meanwhile Lemon goes to see Manami at a restaurant and it seems they know each other. Manami wonders if she’s still doing this high school thing so Lemon notes she is eternally 17 years old. Don’t joke. It may be truer than you think. She shows Manami a secret notebook and wants her to help out with the messy situation. See the smirk on their faces? Yeah, it can only mean one thing. See the love flow chart inside it? Yeah. That. Kaito reviews the film when she first met Ichika and the time when he fell off the bridge at the dam but there seems to be nothing recorded in it. The usual friends meet up at the festivals and the girls are lovely in their yukata. Ichika is thrilled with all the food and has never tasted anything this good. Tells a lot about her cooking, eh? What do aliens eat by the way? As they go around the stalls, Lemon pops up and has an activity that will have them enjoy the true meaning of summer: Kimodameshi (test of courage). You know how it works, right? Go in pairs, walk up the dark path to the shrine, make an offering, come back. Oh, do it in pairs. Kanna gets her wish when she is paired with Kaito and all she needs is the right moment to get close. Mio gets Tetsurou but she’s such a scaredy cat. Ichika scoffs off the superstition and urban legends of monsters, ghosts and spirits of the dead with no scientific proof when suddenly Lemon goes missing. Feeling scared all of sudden, isn’t she? She starts apologizing for not respecting them and this is all part of Lemon’s plan to film their wonderful reaction.

Tetsurou and Kanna are the first to reach the shrine but they are spooked out by a female ghost! Their scream alert Kanna and Kaito who are several steps below. A good thing for Kanna because she gets to huddle close to him. Tetsurou realizes he is on top of Mio during that commotion and their lips met! Then they realize they have been had when the female ghost turns out to be Manami, who is supposed to help out with their kimodameshi. Got it all on footage, Lemon? Kanna was this close to telling Kaito something important when they hear Ichikawa’s scream (actually Rinon popped up before her face). Kaito then rushes down the steps to go save her and tells Kanna to stay put. Oh. I guess that settles it. Ichika learns from frantic Rinon that the rescue signal went off automatically and can’t be cancelled. Plus, the rescue craft is coming. When? Now. The craft crashes near them causing a mini earthquake. I’m not sure if this robot craft is able to listen to reasons because Ichika is trying to tell it she’s not done with this planet yet and that the signal is false. When Kaito comes into the picture, Ichika takes him and run with the robot close behind. Ichika orders Rinon to call Rinna and she wants Kaito to escape by himself but of course he can’t leave behind the girl he loves so he fights back that robot with a stick. Well, better than nothing even if it does no scratch. The robot flings Kaito off the edge but Rinon piloting Rinna comes to Kaito’s rescue. Seeing the robot has grabbed Ichika, Kaito and Rinon make a mad dash towards the robot and crash into it. Kaito protects Ichika when he jumps off and though bleeding heavily, Ichika heals him with her equipment. When Kaito comes to, the robot is out of commission, tearful Ichika could only apologize profusely (she said nothing but “I’m sorry”) and their friends baffled to what just happened.

Episode 9
Ichika teleports her friends and the damaged robot near the dam. She comes clean that she’s an alien and shows the ship she came to this planet with. Kaito somewhat knew Ichika was along this line and the reason why he wasn’t that surprised. She also lets them know the robot that attacked her was a rescue pod when her ship accidentally sent out a rescue signal. She destroyed it because she doesn’t want to go back yet as she has yet to fulfil her goal of looking for a certain place. She is unsure if it exists since it’s from her memory. Her friends promise not to tell anyone. If they do, how would believe them right? Seems Ichika is scared of the MIBs who will dissect her if they find her. What? Do they really exist? Tetsurou suggests to give them a tour since it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance (heck, normal people don’t get a chance). It’s late so everybody parts and assures Ichika to act normal like always. Walking back, the friends feel it’s unbelievable that Ichika is an alien. It’s like they’re waiting for someone to pop out with a hidden camera. Lemon says she had a hunch from the start since she is an agent from the MIB. What?! Really? Her friends think she’s lying. Don’t laugh. It may be truer than you think. Meanwhile Ichika apologizes to Kaito about crashing her ship into him and if she didn’t heal him with her alien technology, he would’ve died. But he doesn’t mind because if it never happened, he would never have met her. However there’s something that Ichika hasn’t told anyone yet. When the Federation finds out the rescue pod is destroyed, they’ll send an investigator to investigate. If that happens, the others may get dragged into the mess. Thus her time here is limited. Kanna sleeps over at Mio’s place and the former is surprised to know about her feelings for Kaito. Well, it’s dead obvious, wasn’t it? Kaito dreams that he had to say goodbye to Ichika who will be returning to her home planet. He swears to come visit her. Only her home is at Andromeda and it’s 2.3 million light years away! Oh sh*t! Take the Galaxy Railways maybe? Next morning, Ichika decides to go out herself and declines Kaito’s offer to help. So it’s another awkward atmosphere between the duo. So when her friends gather at Kaito’s home, they learn that she is out and start filming on their own. Kanna remembers how she first met Kaito. He was a transfer student from Tokyo who recently lost his parents. Despite that, he put on a cheerful expression and that is probably what made her noticed him and fell in love.

Next morning, Ichika continues to go out by herself to search for the place since this is her ‘problem’. So when Kaito’s friends get here, Kaito has already gone off on his own. They go through Kaito’s camera especially the one with his ‘date’ with Kanna. You can observe her expressions fluctuating between happy and concerned. The latter when Ichika’s mug pops up. Kaito is hanging out alone in town when Lemon sits by him to offer her advice. She thinks he’s still a kid because he thought Ichika doesn’t understand how he feel and declined to let him help out. She asks if he knows Ichika’s feelings and what she was thinking or feeling when she came here all by herself. Ichika summoned her courage to reveal her true identity but has he answered her? So his homework is to think what he can do for her because if he really cares, the answer should be simple. And yeah. He finally knows what to do. Kanna sees Kaito taking pictures of sceneries and so one morning she confronts Ichika who is about to leave the house early again. Knowing she is going to search for that place again, she asks if she’s going to leave after finding it. Then she admits she loves Kaito and will be glad if her rival disappears. She knows she has realized Kaito’s feelings and surely must have come to realize her own. Saying that she’s an alien or can’t be together to answer his feelings are just excuses. And to look for that place is the big excuse for her to avoid seeing Kaito (Rinon looking so duh in hearing the girls talk about their love problems). She adds Ichika can do something about that because all she needs to do is to admit she likes Kaito and become a couple. Something right before her that Kanna can never attain. She calls Ichika an idiot and runs off. Kanna thought Tetsurou loves kicking her when she’s down and supporting her was just a guise to see her in this state. Kanna starts crying while admitting her love for Kaito. All Tetsurou can do is just cover her eyes and stand by her side. Nearby, Mio is also crying her heart out. Ichika meets Kaito who is still taking scenic pictures. She says she had a chance to go back but didn’t. And with Kanna making her realize that this place isn’t the reason why she wanted to stay, she wants to confess. However Kaito won’t let her because he wants to do the confessing. So finally Kaito says it in person, “I love you”. He has loved her since the time he first met her. The moment we have been finally waiting for: The kiss. Ah, first for Kaito but the fourth for Ichika. Fourth? The previous 3 times when she healed him she had to lock lips by transferring her nanomachine cells into him. Kaito feels disappointed that wasn’t romantic at all. What do you know? Ichika is going to have her fifth one then. Encore! Let’s do it again! And I knew it. Lemon is filming this priceless shot from a distance!

Episode 10
Kaito is having this wonderful dream of that kiss with Ichika. But he’s actually kissing Rinon! Well, he might be a good kisser since Rinon’s blushing. Ichika sits close with Kaito and she has Kanna to thank for, for making her realize her feelings. Speaking of which, that girl thinks she can’t meet the rest as her face is swelled up from all that crying. Tetsurou was visiting her but I guess even a girl needs her own privacy. On his way, he bumps into Mio who offers him to eat her handmade lunch. Mio remembers when she was in Kanna’s class the first time and became friends. She also met Tetsurou and probably fell in love at first sight since he remembered her name. Well, he called it his feminist gentleman to memorize every girl’s name and face. Kaito and Ichika are so close together that only Lemon’s filming interrupted them. How the heck did she get in?! That’s invasion of privacy! Oh, she gives Kaito a present: A condom. Is this a joke?! Well, she wants them to treasure this miraculous relationship match made in heaven. Well, probably a different kind of star, that is. Mio talks to Tetsurou about why he invited Ichika to help with the film despite knowing Kanna’s feelings. He wanted to help both Kanna and Kaito and didn’t know which way it’ll end up. Mio thinks he should be more honest with his feelings as he had always had his eyes on Kanna. If he keeps avoiding the issue, time won’t solve everything. It was him that she was able to speak up about her feelings. Right now, his feelings are probably in disarray so Mio understands and leaves. Tetsurou shows his frustrated side for the first time as he doesn’t know what to do. That night, Ichika and Kaito went out for a walk. Heck, it wasn’t any walk because they teleported to a place so they could watch the starry sky and get close with each other. Ichika right now wants to be with him, others and complete the filming. Manami teases Tetsurou for being silent right after he came home. He didn’t want to hear from a future divorcee but she terms it as just a runaway. Must have got into another argument, eh? She may have nailed it that he doesn’t understand a girl’s feeling since he the virgin has never dated one before. Then she leaves for a trip with her friends. Tetsurou gets a call from Kaito to resume filming tomorrow. He can tell he has made up with Ichika and wants to know about Kanna then. That’s why Kaito is gathering everybody to tell them all about his feelings. Tetsurou got upset and hangs up.

Tetsurou calls Kanna to meet at the lookout point, a place they used to spend a lot of time together when they’re young. Kanna thought he was just wasting her time when he finally summons the courage to reveal the truth. Though he wanted everything to work out between her and Kaito, he really didn’t want that to happen. If Kaito and Ichika got together, maybe she would become free. But that didn’t happen. He ended up toying with the girl he loves and made her suffer. Kanna flusters upon knowing Tetsurou’s feelings and even though it’s bad timing, at least he managed to say it. He knows that even if Kaito loves Ichika, her feelings for Kaito won’t change. That’s why he likes her. So once Kanna rushes off (I guess she rejected him), it’s Mio’s turn to give crestfallen Tetsurou a hug from the back. She allows him to cry and thanks him because she was able to change to become stronger. Kanna runs all the way to Kaito’s house just to tell him that she loves him. Three times. Hey, at least she said it with a smile. Though Kaito apologizes because he loves Ichika, Kanna isn’t worried and thanks him for listening instead. So everything back to normal? The friends resume their filming and Rinon wakes up from its peaceful slumber suddenly feeling frantic. When Kaito and Ichika return home, Ichika’s sister, Emika suddenly pops up before them and hugs her in her relief that she’s still alive.

Episode 11
Ichika explains that the rescue signal was an accident and Kaito admits to busting up the rescue pod. When Emika learns Kaito is her boyfriend, she blows her top and reprimands Ichika by pulling her cheek. Not only has she made everyone worried, but she’s found herself a boyfriend on this primitive planet. So once everything calms down, Emika properly explains that when they received her signal, her status changed from stranded to missing. Her family became concerned that she had to drop whatever she’s doing, rent a fastest ship to go look for her. Kaito thought that since Ichika is confirmed to be okay, wouldn’t that solve things? It’s not that easy boy. Ichika went missing on a planet whereby contact is prohibited with its inhabitants. As far as the Federation is concerned, they want to know what happened to her and if they discover what she’s been doing, she’ll be arrested and put on trial. That’s why she came here to retrieve Ichika before it gets out of hand. Ichika doesn’t want to go home but Emika warns if she refuses, not only Kaito but the entire planet may bear the brunt.  Oh sh*t. This is big sh*t. Still, Ichika doesn’t want to leave Kaito and teleports away with Rinon. Kaito continues to ask Emika could Ichika return home and then come back here but it seems it’s not as easy as that too. Kaito then wants her to take him to space too. Emika continues that Ichika always mentioned about a place she dreamt about. She too has that dream. Their ancestors probably have encoded that image into our genes but she never thought too much about it. She has scanned the planet on that image but none of the location matches. And about bringing Kaito to space, it’s not that easy either. Since Earth is a Development Level F, she can’t bring an inhabitant to space. Till their planet has developed interstellar flight, made contact with them and joined the Galactic Federation, then it will be possible. But that will take hundreds of years. I feel it’ll take longer… So unless the Federation changes its policies, there is nothing they can do. Ichika has to return home. It’s for her own good. Their friends are wondering why the duo are late so Lemon sends Kanna to go check on them. She meets Ichika halfway and learns that the search party is coming for her and she has to leave. Kanna gets upset that she’s abandoning Kaito. It’s like her feelings were weak even when they’re dating. Is she going to leave the person she loves? For the second time, Kanna runs away from Ichika. Tetsurou cheekily note that the duo may have ditched filming to make out together when Kanna returns visibly upset. She tells them about Ichika leaving for space. First thing they mention is about Kaito. Is she fine with all this? OF COURSE NOT! Looks like all those feelings are flaring up again. Meanwhile Emika encounters Lemon.

When Ichika goes back to Kaito, she pecks him on his cheek. Oh dear. Is that a goodbye kiss? She has decided to leave and summons Rinon to teleport her but wait! Tetsurou and co kidnapped Rinon! They’re not going to let Ichika have her way! At least they don’t want her to run off till they finish the film. They want to know what her real wish is. Of course, she wants to stay with Kaito because she loves him. Kaito also reiterates he loves her and doesn’t care if the galaxy turns against them. Sure you want to do that? But what can they do? Lemon has an idea that Ichika can stay on Earth. The possibility is very low but it’s not zero. The place that Ichika is looking for. It’s not possible that aliens have come here before. Even if Emika said there were no locations that match it, it probably was encoded well enough so that it won’t be easily found with their technology. If they can show proof of it, then Ichika will get to stay on. So Kaito and co take every map they could find from the library and like searching for a needle in a haystack, go through every map to match that location that exists in her data. As the girls are sleeping, Tetsurou tells Kaito he confessed to Kanna and Mio’s confession to him at Okinawa. Tetsurou was thinking about himself and didn’t want Kaito to end up like him. So the hard work paid off as they finally found the location. However Emika contacts them that the search party is already here. Ichika orders Rinon to jump her but it seems a barrier has been placed over the planet. Noting that the location is 3 hours away from here, Lemon becomes their saviour. Yeah, she’s driving a weird van. She has a driving licence? She passes the gang several tools that will act as decoy and a robe that will hide Ichika’s biological fingerprint. Where did she get them? Emika. Lemon drives as fast as she could but the robot attacks the vehicle. Tetsurou and Mio offer to be the decoy as they ride out on their little scooter and go a little off track. When this is over, Tetsurou invites Mio out to the movies. Just the two of them. Would she pass this chance up? Another robot attacks the van and this time Kanna offers to be the bait. She’s doing it not for Ichika but the guy she loves and for him to continue smiling. She’ll make him regret for not choosing her in 3 years! Well said. Then off she goes into the forest. Lemon hands Kaito his camera and wants him to film the beautiful climax of the heroine escaping her enemy’s grasp while running for her destination. Another robot attacks but Lemon hits a button to strike it away with a robotic arm. Woah! What kind of van is this?! They think they’re reaching the home stretch when they hit something invisible and the van goes crashing on its side.

Episode 12
Don’t worry. They’re still alive because Rinon became a large airbag to cushion the impact. Lemon tells the duo to make haste because she’s confident she can handle this robot. Well, not by herself. See her van transform into a Transformer worthy robot? Cool! Kanna runs into Manami halfway and gets in her car. She better step on the pedal because ‘stalkers’ are chasing her. She didn’t expect the ‘stalkers’ to be this big, huh? Another robot intercepts Kaito and Ichika but Emika’s little ship help buy them some time. Rinon pilots it to let them escape. That’s all Emika can do for them since her ship is surrounded by the robots as they are surrounding the planet. I wonder if they have any more men left to spare if more robots came after them. Kaito and Ichika sit the train to their destination. Ichika feels sorry for getting everyone involved but Kaito feels she doesn’t need to. He wonders if he can visit her planet someday and meet her parents. He wished he could introduce her to his too. Though he has gotten over their deaths, he wished he had made more memories with them. That’s why he records everything and his friends with his camera so he won’t regret it later. Ichika is glad she came to this planet. She had fun and even fell in love. For the umpteenth time, they reiterate their feelings for each other again and promise to love each other always. Oh, say that again for the camera, will you? Meanwhile Lemon’s van has its limits but thankfully her backup arrives. Yeah, the MIBs! Oh sh*t! She really works for them! Tetsurou’s scooter runs out of gas. The end of the road? Not quite. A rain of missiles destroys the robot as Tetsurou hears a familiar voice: Satoshi. OMG! He’s working for the MIB too!!! Kanna and Manami also get reinforcements from the MIBs.

Kaito and Ichika have reached the lake, the exact location in Ichika’s memories. Suddenly an alien probe appears from the middle of the lake and the large flash has Ichika viewing her memories of this place. She is surprised Kaito is in it too when she realized she gave some of her cells to him. They see an alien writing on a tree as proof of its existence but when they return to reality, the tree has already rotted and the robots surround them. Kaito is pinned down while Ichika is dragged away. She doesn’t want him to be hurt anymore and feels guilty that her selfishness has hurt everyone. However Kaito disagrees that nobody feels that way and in fact this is his own selfishness. He doesn’t want her to go. Ichika resigns to her fate of being taken away and says those feelings that have grown inside will last forever. Kaito vows to find her and she promises she’ll wait. I hope he lives that long if you know what I mean. Emika and Ichika hear the voice of what could probably be their ancestor. She thanks them for finding this and explains she didn’t come to this planet on purpose but had to make an emergency landing and was saved by a man. He became dear to her but since interaction with inhabitants with this planet is forbidden, something was coming to retrieve her. Even though the memories of this planet’s inhabitants will be wiped out, she wanted to preserve the memories with him. Even if she lost them or couldn’t remember, at least her memories will live on in them.

A few months passed and Kaito and his buddies attend school like normal. Tetsurou gets a love letter from another girl and he’s not too eager about it. Kanna teases him to properly answer and at least get a girlfriend. She suggests Mio who doesn’t mind about that suggestion but you know Tetsurou, he’s not the kind of guy who wants to commit. Kaito just snickers… Nanami just came back from Bolivia and has bought lots of weird souvenirs. One that includes dolls that grant wishes. She asks about Ichika so Kaito says her term abroad has ended. The friends are surprised to learn that Lemon is transferring away due to ‘family circumstances’. She gives Kaito the film roll as a parting gift. She notes it is incomplete and that he will be the one who will create the grand finale. The friends gather to watch the film and it’s a crazy montage of all they had filmed. Screw the plot, it has everything recorded including the times that they spent together. Enough to bring tears to the eyes and nostalgic memories, eh? As Kaito narrates his believe on people living on as memories when they die and the fading of those memories, the reason of wanting to leave something behind is his motivation of why he wants to keep the film rolling. We see short snippets of Manami still hanging out at Tetsurou’s place (see all the beer cans she drank?!), Kaori and Chiharu together (Chiharu probably gunning for some other hot hunk now. May God help him) and Lemon working at the base of the MIB looking at the blueprints of Ichika’s ship. Oh, Rinon is with her?! That alien pet never returned? Few years down the road when the school have their usual cultural festival, the movie research club is screening the film that they did last year. The film called Ano Natsu De Matteru that was left behind by their graduated seniors and they totally love it because it has mecha, aliens, SFX galore and the heroine was quite pretty. Well, I don’t really want to comment on the ‘quality’ of the film but being amateur film makers, I guess it is good enough. But the final part of the film is a shot of Ichika and Rinon on her shoulder! OMG! Did she come back?! I guess she did because she was wearing the shirt Nanami bought for her as a souvenir from Bolivia! I hope this is not special effects… Is this the kind of happy ending she hoped for?

Summer, Aliens and Heartbreaks…
I was almost close to tears the way it ended. Thankfully I didn’t have to sob so much like I did in Ano Hana. It was pretty much sad to see Ichika and Kaito get separated in the end. Was it for the better good for mankind? Maybe primitive creatures like us won’t understand the bigger implications of why such a simple love relationship can’t be comprehended by so called higher life forms, the reason why they took Ichika back home. Perhaps their thinking and laws are much different. But when it comes to love, shouldn’t it be the same? If Ichika as an alien could even fall in love, I’m sure her species would somewhat understand it too. I know. You’re going to give me that uphold the law crap thingy. But that’s a different story. The end teaser that Ichika may have returned to Earth probably was to sooth viewers that this series didn’t end in total tragedy after all. Lovers separated far apart between different galaxies. I bet something must have happened because if felt the Federation was taking this matter seriously. But for Ichika to return in that short amount of time for the gang to complete the film and even passed it on to the juniors of the club, whether it was resolved fast or she was given temporary reprieve, it doesn’t matter. I’ll stick to the fact that Ichika did come back to Kaito’s side. Saves me lots of headache thinking.

So the summer that changed everybody but end up somewhat the same. Well, one thing, none of the friends really become a couple with the other since they held on strongly for the feelings of their loved one even though they knew they would be rejected. But the most important thing was that they manage to say it out instead of keeping it in their heart, putting up an act that won’t be so good for their health. Because suppressed feelings are like ticking bombs. The more you hold it in, the worse it’ll become when it explodes. It is just the question of when. So with them getting their feelings off their chest, the good part is that they still remain as best friends. It goes to show that if you really love someone, you’re willing to let him/her go and be happy for his/her sake. So the love flow is something like this Mio -> Tetsurou -> Kanna -> Kaito -> Ichika. Looks like it’s one way. It was slightly messier when Kaori and Chiharu got into the mix. It would be if they hadn’t given up. Love is always a complicated issue. Wonderful if you get it right. Heartbreaking if it doesn’t go your way. So it does proof that love between intergalactic species is possible. But then there’s the case of distance… If you’re willing to travel and live very long, yeah, I’m sure it’ll work out. And you thought only  human species can experience love, eh? Ichika might be an alien but she displays emotions like as though she’s a human being. So I can conclude that the only difference between the species is the technological advancement. Otherwise, they’re the same, right?

The more I look at Kaito, the more I thought he looked like Ano Hana’s Jinta. Must be the messy hair. Just put on some spectacles. He’s a nice kid who has a penchant of fantasizing (mostly on Ichika) and just like the rest, may be clueless about his feelings at first but given the right push in the right direction, he becomes a man of his own. At first when I saw Mio naked in her room (she conveniently held stuffed dolls over her to ‘cover up’), I was thinking, did the producers forget to draw some clothes on her or was she really a naked fanatic. It wasn’t for just a scene, but for every scene that we see Mio in her room. Then when she revealed she’s a nudist, I guess the picture becomes clearer (not her body, mind you). It is ironic that she has sensitive skin and being a nudist outside her home would be bad for her health. It might not be a good idea to reveal to the world that she’s a nudist but at least she doesn’t have to be so afraid to hide it from her friends anymore. I bet they’ll always support her (and each other) even if she was a serial stripper. Tetsurou is a guy who is torn of helping his friends out and thinks he can handle his feelings if he keeps them hidden. I guess guys like him too have their limits. So what happened to his invitation with Mio to the movies? Maybe it was just one-off? He didn’t say he wanted to be her boyfriend. I suppose that’s the down part of being a feminist gentleman. Lots of female admirers to the point it really annoys you. Yeah, what’s the point if he doesn’t have Kanna. Rinon is the cutest and most amusing mascot character in the series. Each time I saw it happily frolicking around, it would bring a smile to my face. It’s just too damn cute in whatever it does. Who wouldn’t want to have Rinon as a pet? Maybe they sell it at the stores… Little plushie Rinon dolls, that is. Manami’s attitude to leave her home for every single little petty argument make her seem like an irresponsible person. But that’s just jumping to conclusions based on what we hear instead of really knowing what actually happened. Satoshi is an MIB member, right? From the way Manami acts, she doesn’t know of her husband’s job so probably that’s why the ‘silly’ things they do, they often end up bickering over the slightest things. Can’t imagine if you suddenly know your spouse is a secret agent, eh? Won’t it be like Mr and Mrs Smith?

I’ll probably be making a few references to Onegai Teacher from now on. For starters, let’s look at Lemon. She is the most intriguing and mysterious character in the series. With her deadpan voice, she pops out from nowhere and has the right words for just about everything. At one point I thought she was an alien! Then as the series progresses with her incessant filming of others, I began to feel she is somewhat familiar. Like I have seen her somewhere before. Then I realized, isn’t she that character from Onegai Teacher? Heck, they look and act bloody similar. Even the school uniform that Lemon wears was the one we see Ichigo wore in Onegai Teacher. It’s like jumping in from another dimension, eh? And their names are taken after fruits too. So we have Lemon Yamano and Onegai Teacher’s Ichigo Morino. Mountain (yama) and forest (mori). Coincidence? Think not. Because both characters are also voiced by Yukari Tamura! I smell a conspiracy here! So if Lemon wasn’t an alien, she as a member of MIB at least proves why she is able to do such impossible tasks that a girl her age or in fact other ordinary humans wouldn’t.  I won’t dismiss the faint possibility that she’s part alien too. She says she’s eternally 17 years old and Manami calls Lemon her senior. What does this tell you? I briefly read a few comments about Lemon’s identity over the web and some say she’s the sister or the daughter of the characters in Onegai Teacher, so and so. Some are pretty interesting and the way Lemon shrouds herself in mystery, it makes it all exciting that you really want to know who this girl is but she just wouldn’t let you. Without her, the friends wouldn’t probably have stayed the same and never moved on in their relationship because she’s the one who gave them the slight initial push. Probably her timing as a school student was to observe Ichika and when she’s gone, Lemon too ‘disappears’. I wonder what happened to all the footage that she shot. Yeah, all those ‘privacy invasion’ footage. She has this face that enjoys seeing couples getting close to each other and at the same time, the kind of face that tells you she’s going to use it for blackmail material. But I don’t think Lemon is such a cold-hearted girl to do that. Or maybe. Yeah, that Dynamite drink… Good confession tool. The MIBs seem like capable people after all despite their brief appearance. If they have the technological weapons to counter the robots, it shows that humans aren’t that primitive after all, right? Or maybe they just borrowed it from alien technology. Those who have crash landed here.

The scenic lake that Ichika was also the setting for Onegai Teacher and that mysterious ancestor voice that the sisters heard at the end could have been Mizuho (the alien female protagonist from Onegai Teacher). Heck, it must be her because the seiyuu was also from the same person, Kikuko Inoue! So do you still not believe this is somewhat related to that series? And if you take a closer look at Ichika, you may see that she resembles Mizuho a lot. Both are red heads and they wear spectacles. Oh, not to mention about their well endowed body figure. So really. Ichika may be the descendant of Mizuho after all. Since this anime was made almost 10 years later, whatever happened to the characters in Onegai Teacher is really one’s guess. In Onegai Teacher, Mizuho and Kei were forced into marriage since they were found in a compromising situation which threatens to expel Kei from school (also to hide Mizuho’s real identity). There their love blossomed but not without the complications of love triangles from their friends too. Ano Natsu De Matteru is closely similar to this but only thing is Ichika and Kaito didn’t get married at the start nor are they having the teacher-student relationship. One thing I didn’t understand was how the emergency signal in Ichika’s ship went off. Did Rinon screw up big time? It seemed apologetic so that must be it. But I consider a blessing in disguise because if had that not happened, Ichika and Kaito’s feeling wouldn’t have grown stronger. Like they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Yukari Tamura despite not putting on her high pitch voice is still recognizable since her voice is unique enough to be identified as the deadpan Lemon. Huhuhu… Those must be her favourite ‘words’. She might be best doing lots of genki lolis with high pitch squealing but I guess there are times when you sometimes need a change of breath air and voice something that isn’t your usual. I remember she also voiced characters without emotion such as Saku from Tantei Opera Milky Holmes and Nagisa of Sketchbook ~Full Color’s~. Rina Hidaka probably got the ‘easiest’ role because as Rinon, all that alien ever says is “Non, non, non~”. And I don’t think that little blob is speaking French either. Her other roles include Hideyoshi of Sengoku Otome Momoiro Paradox and Airi in Ro-Kyu-Bu. Haruka Tomatsu yet again voices another alien girl coming to Earth. That was Lala of To Love-Ru. But instead of a genius airhead, Ichika displays more emotions like a high school girl unsure about her feelings at first and then subsequently one who knows she wants to be by her lover’s side. Kana Asumi as Mio sounds a lot shyer and vulnerable than her other role as Yuno in Hidamari Sketch and Taneshima of Working! Other casts include Nobunaga Shimazaki as Kaito (Orobas in Shakugan No Shana III Final), Hideki Ogihara as Tetsurou (Itsuki in Shuffle), Kaori Ishihara as Kanna (Reki in Hidan No Aria), Ai Kayano as Kaori (Hibino in Kamisama Dolls), Yuka Iguchi as Chiharu (Index in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Aya Hisakawa as Nanami (Arimi in Marmalade Boy), Fuuyuka Oura as Manami (Hiro in Kaibutsu Oujo) and Yui Horie as Emika (Naru in Love Hina). Something about the opening and ending themes that reminded me how similar they are to Kotoko and I’ve Sound. Such music style of theirs only brings back nostalgic memories when I was watching Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins because their music was featured in its opening and ending songs. Though the opening theme, Sign is attributed to Ray, the lyrics were written by Kotoko and as for the ending theme, Virdo Moyou is sung by Nagi Yanagi, the music is composed by I’ve Sound.

Overall, I didn’t expect to enjoy this anime at first, but that’s my fault for trying to form high expectations and judging a book by its cover even before watching. I thought it was going to be a silly love harem comedy. Just add an alien girl into the mix and with the heat of summer already at its peak, temperatures are going to rise even further! Boy, I was so wrong. It turned out to be quite a ‘beautiful love story’ with a little pinch of sci-fi. Okay, maybe a little bit more. It also blended it a friendship and coming of age theme. Youth is a time where you learn things the hard way, pick yourself up and move on. And these guys get to experience it all in the period of one summer and in the end stay true to themselves. A story like that doesn’t get any better than this. Though it may not be possible in some ways, but at least what this series is trying to convey is that love transcends through time, ages and between species. That’s why when you get a chance in love, it is best that you give yourself and the person you love a chance. Who knows when the next opportunity will come. Will there even be one if you let it slip away? Watching this series even gave me a glimmer of hope that maybe a useless otaku person like me could find such a beautiful love story in my meaningless life. If only I could get off my seat and take my eyes off anime for a while… And in the even if I really do, I hope I don’t have to wait for such summer. Or worse, 2.3 million light years away!

Brave 10

September 22, 2012

If you ever need to do something big, something that you can’t do it all alone and by yourself, say, saving the world from falling into the hands of a megalomaniac, the first thing to do is to assemble a group of people and make a party, right? And I mean form a team not the kind that parties all night. After all, no man is an island, right? Just look at the Avengers. Even superheroes need to have a group to work together for the greater good of all despite having their egos clash. So as in the case of the anime series Brave 10, well, it’s something like that. Set during the Sengoku (Warring) Era, a warlord requires the assistance of 10 ninjas with their own unique abilities and starts gathering them.

However as I found out, the characters weren’t really plucked from thin air and though fictitious, they are based on some real life historical personalities and were possibly modelled after them. Heck, at least it’s much better than switching them to opposite genders, right? Brave 10 is one of the few Sengoku Era animes (others include Sengoku Basara and Samurai Deeper Kyo) to have its characters based on the novel that was written in the Edo era called Sanada Sandaiki. So if you’re looking for some ninja and samurai action during those feudal days of old Japan, you might enjoy this manga-adapted anime.

Episode 1
Saizou Kirigakure finds a priestess from Izumo, Isanami alone and messed up in the forest. She bugs him to save her. Yes, bug as in pester. But he’s not too interested seeing he doesn’t want to get into trouble. Too late. Her pursuers have arrived and are bent on eliminating all witnesses too. As the hero, Saizou carries Isanami over his shoulders and easily kills all the pursuers with his sword move, Ougi Tendagaeshi. Once it’s over, Isanami continues to bug him to protect her since he is strong and it won’t be a problem. Still, he’s not interested so she throws a tantrum that a real man would want to protect a lady. Saizou shoots back that he hasn’t heard a word of thanks from her and before he knows it, she isn’t listening to a word he says and wants him to come with her to Shinshu Ueda. Perfect timing, his stomach is growling and she’ll treat him to soba. I think she’s treating herself too because she ate lots of bowls! Big eater! After she thanks him, she knew he would be the one when he threw her over his shoulders. She felt safe and thinks he’s a good guy. Saizou leads her to Shinshu Ueda and is about to leave her there but she still needs further directions to Ueda Castle. Something he is reluctant to do. Suddenly they are being attacked by Sasuke Sarutobi of the Sanada ninja clan. He is surprised to see Isanami with the Iga assassin. In short, Saizou and Sasuke hate each other and try to rip each other’s guts out. The cool fight is interrupted when Isanami has had it with them both and stops them. She says she is here to see Yukimura Sanada. Inside Ueda Castle, Isanami manages to meet Yukimura as Saizou analyzes Yukimura’s terrible personality despite being a clever and eccentric lord. Isanami seems relieved to have found Yukimura and reveals her story. Her shrine was under attack. Everything burnt down and everyone was slaughtered. The shrine master forced her to escape but before he was killed by the assassin, he chanted some protective charms onto her head band, told her to seek Yukimura then and dropped her down the bridge. Isanami is at a loss on what to do and without Saizou’s help, she wouldn’t be here now. However Yukimura doesn’t want to get involve since she is being chased and can’t risk getting killed too. You’re on your own, girl. To show that he’s not a cold-hearted bastard, he allows her to stay here for the night. Saizou is about to leave but he couldn’t since Isanami is all over him emotionally breaking down. Pity…

So once Saizou is able to leave, he is dismayed that Isanami is following him. Well, she does feel safe around him, right? Even if she stayed, she doesn’t know what to do tomorrow and wants him to stay with her. He’s not convinced so Isanami just lies flat out on the ground, thinking she’ll make this area her camp. And if the wolves get her, she hopes he’ll come back to retrieve her bones. Huh? Saizou makes it clear that he isn’t that kind of guy and couldn’t give a sh*t what happens to her. Suddenly they’re chained by the assassins and it seems Yukimura has used them as bait to walk into their trap to find out what he’s up against. Saizou breaks out of his chains with his hidden blades and kills the ninjas with his Shunko move. Isanami is so distraught at the bloodshed that she falls into a trance. Her hair band activates and turns into a growing black ball. Anything it swallows will rot right away. Saizou is able to calm her down and return her back to normal before it grows bigger again. Yukimura agrees to look after Isanami so she hopes he can take Saizou in too because he is a samurai without a master. Then after learning Isanami treated him to soba, Yukimura and Sasuke mock him for owing the girl a favour. Now he can’t back out because as a man he’ll have to repay her and do physical labour. Yukimura discusses with his servant Rokurou Unno about Isanami’s power to destroy all living things. Those who control it will rule the world. Noting that a certain ‘racoon dog’ desires more than he deserves, he is going to teach him a lesson but needs to gather the number of men equivalent to the fingers he has on his hands (that’s 10 people for those who don’t know how to count). They know Saizou is eavesdropping so Rokurou uses a technique that gives him a great headache. Saizou returns to his room and though doesn’t trust Yukimura, he notes it’ll be interesting to see what he’s planning. Next morning, Saizou is shocked to see Isanami casually sleeping next to him. Worse, Sasuke treats them both differently with double standards. So nice to Isanami but couldn’t care less about Saizou. Is this girl worth all the trouble?

Episode 2
Ieyasu Tokugawa is growing impatient and by hook or by crook, he wants Hanzou Hattori to bring to him. Meanwhile Saizou can’t stand to choose Isanami’s dress for the harvest festival dance so he sneaks away. At the waterfall, he sees a familiar blonde and it turns out to be Anastasia AKA Ana, his childhood friend. Catching up on lost times, Saizou is surprised Ana is working under Yukimura. Seems she was supposed to assassinate him in his sleep but screwed up. He then offered her to work under him so she defected and tadah! And here she is today. Before Isanami could slap Saizou for being a womanizer (she’s so obviously jealous), Yukimura grabs her hand. Ana reports that there may be sightings of uwabami, large snakes that can devour humans. The festival comes first so he hopes Ana can take care of it. As the dance is on the way, Ana thinks Saizou is afraid of fighting for someone. People like him float away if they don’t have anything to hold them down. After the dance finishes, Isanami immediately heads where Saizou is going to. Yeah, she’s sticking to him like a leech. Ana leaves them alone. Isanami points out something eerie coming from a nearby forest. Checking it out, an uwabami attacks them. Oh, since Isanami is afraid of snakes, she faints. Just great. Now he has to carry her while evading the snake. Saizou notices runes in and uwabami’s eyes and knows it is being controlled by a puppeteer. When he stabs its eyes and kills it, the snake explodes since it was set to do so when it dies. Saizou and Isanami are buried alive. He wonders how she can remain optimistic at a time like this. She says he is her light in the darkness and felt warm. He disagrees since he is someone who takes and passes from darkness to darkness. Rescuing her was just a coincidence. Even so, to Isanami he is dazzling in her eyes. Isanami talks about her parents, in which she has none. As far as she was told, she was found abandoned at the Izumo shrine as a baby. Then they see the air flow and think there is a way out. But Saizou will need to open the hole bigger. However there is a risk that the ceiling will cave in and crush them. Don’t worry. Isanami believes in him. And what do you get when you put all your faith in this guy? He doesn’t disappoint and makes a hole big enough for them to get out. But then they see the castle under attack. Hanzou leads his men as he kills anybody who doesn’t answer his question about the whereabouts of Isanami.

Elsewhere Sasuke is having his hands full against the uwabami puppeteer, Oukatsu. He gets poisoned and will soon lose his vision till Ana drops in to assist. Then they realize Oukatsu is just a decoy to stall them for time. Sasuke continues to fight her and since the forest is his domain whereby he can summon the animals to do his bidding, Oukatsu won’t get out of here alive. Saizou and Isanami return to the castle but instead of staying put as told, Isanami heads in further and meets the assassin who killed the shrine master: Hanzou. In the nick of time, Saizou drops in to do battle with him. However Hanzou too has got his set of tricks and manages to cut a little wound over Saizou’s forehead. As Yukimura and Rokurou have finished evacuating the people, they have no reason to hold back and unleash their powers to kill the low level ninjas. Hanzou deflects every move Saizou throws at him and mocks him the alleged prodigal ninja that everyone believed he is since nobody could cut him and hence his nickname Marici. Hanzou deals a devastating Ougi Kasho Zanmai blow to Saizou and before Isanami’s rotting powers could awaken, he knocks her out. Fortunately before he could take her back, Saizou stands back up and deceives him with a body substitution and thus successfully wounding Hanzou. With Ana and Sasuke coming into the picture, Hanzou has no choice but to postpone this battle and retreat.

Episode 3
Yukimura notes that some villagers died in the attack but thanks to Saizou, Isanami was prevented from falling into Ieyasu’s hands. He has a favour to ask of him and that is to take Isanami back to Izumo. Juuzou Kakei, another of Yukimura’s men has been investigating why Izumo was attacked. Ieyasu stayed there long after he burnt it to the ground. Though he destroyed everything, it felt he was desperate to find something and thus the reason he is after the sole survivor: Isanami. If they haven’t found it, they must still be there. Isanami is needed because she is familiar with the area but will she return there? If it’s a trip with Saizou, she’ll do it! There. Simple. Oh, Kakei is coming along with them too. But the most disappointed one is Isanami because she thought it would just be her travelling with Saizou! So excited that she couldn’t sleep last night and I guess it’s true what they say about three’s a crowd. On their journey, Kakei can’t stand how slutty Isanami is acting since she is so close with Saizou (he doesn’t give a sh*t) and the way she dressed. But she’s not listening… So close that Kakei thought Isanami is Saizou’s wife! Ironic for a girl to grow up in temple and knows no shame. Perhaps the shame of the outside world is what she is oblivious to? Kakei and Saizou talk about Yukimura hiring 10 heroes called Braves. So far he has recruited Sasuke, Rokurou, Ana, Kakei, Saizou and Isanami. Though he can understand why Saizou chose Saizou despite being disrespectful, he can’t fathom his choice for Isanami since she’s just an ordinary girl. But Kakei wasn’t there to witness that rotting power, right? Definitely not an ordinary girl. Continuing their journey, they meet a lady who hurt her foot. I guess they can’t abandon those in need but why Saizou has to do the job? They take her across the bridge and it seems Kakei can’t cross it due to fear of heights! Suddenly a gust of wind holds Saizou down and the lady turns out to be a thief, Kamanosuke Yuri. More precisely, a guy dressed in women’s clothing. His bandits appear and it’s obviously a trap to rob them. However all his bandits bite the dust when Kakei fires his rifle at them. Saizou is able to break out of the wind trap with his sword and briefly clash with Kamanosuke. The thief notes he won’t get to save this precious girl and cuts the ropes, letting Saizou fall down the valley. Don’t worry. There’s a stream below. And Kakei had to take the long way down just to pick him up and resume their trail to rescue Isanami.

Meanwhile Isanami is tied up and Kamanosuke reveals he wants a new toy to play with. He can’t wait to see Saizou’s face when he kills her before his eyes. Isanami gets sick upon hearing his ‘hobby’ of killing people and taking from others is his only pleasure. Isanami believes Saizou will come rescue her so Kamanosuke beats her up and mocks she is the kind of girl who relies men for everything and the least deserving of life. Saizou and Kakei see Isanami hanging on the tree on the edge of the cliff and know it’s a trap to lure them in. But the fastest for Saizou is to start climbing the cliffs. At the top, Kamanosuke plays dirty to knock him off but Saizou regains his footing and plays that dirty game. Kamanosuke loves that evil look in his eyes and feels he has killed more people and spilled more blood than him. He wants to have fun with him but his Otsumuji couldn’t beat Saizou’s Shunko and got cut. By this time, Kakei had taken the long way up and rescue Isanami down. Crazy Kamanosuke is thrilled at the developments and wants Saizou to kill him. He was about to when Isanami comes in between. One more inch and she could’ve been slice. She wants him to stop since he can’t fight anymore and that Saizou has achieved his goal to rescue her. What about the bad things he did onto her? She looks fine, right? Saizou puts away his sword and walks away. Kamanosuke is not happy and screams for him to finish the job. They let him be, screaming in his frustration. Meanwhile Yukimura receives a note and since Ieyasu’s tyranny is at its extreme, knows he won’t let this go. Rokurou wonders will Mitsunari Ishida move. Yukimura believes so since he must be at his limit to send this letter. He wants Rokurou to copy it as this information cannot get out. Rokurou uses his right eye to absorb all the words in the letter before Yukimura burns away the blank letter.

Episode 4
Tsunamoto chases his lord, the lord of Oushuu, Masamune Date to return to his castle. Masamune thinks that old man is useless because he can’t fathom why he would send the Izumo priestess he’s been hiding back to Izumo. He senses there is something more than meets the eye and thinks it is Kushimitama, a relic that houses the soul of the gods. He wants to acquire it and turn this world upside down. Saizou and co reach the burnt down temple at Izumo and start searching for anything they deem important. Isanami can’t help get emotional thinking back this place was filled with life and peace. Saizou comforts her that they can’t bring the dead back to life but at least she can figure why it did happen. After all, this is the most the living can do. So happy that she hugs him and is not letting go. Didn’t see this coming, eh? The search is futile but Saizou notices the shrine pillar is the only one not burnt down since it is made of bronze. Next to it on the ground is a funny symbol as he has a rough sketch of it too. Thinking they need to move the tiles to resemble it like the yinyang, Kakei tries his hand at it but it’s not budging. Isanami somewhat recognizes the symbol and her body naturally knows which tiles to move despite she having no knowledge on what it’s about. Once the symbol is perfectly constructed, it opens an underground passageway. Through the dark passage, they end up with a wall bearing Izumo script. Not that Isanami can read it. So it’s useless? But they won’t have time to decipher it since Hanzou and Oukatsu have followed them down here. Noting they have saved them the trouble of searching, Hanzou wants them to hand over Kushimitama. Isanami remembers the temple master gave her that hair band as her own protective charm that she must never remove. So that’s Kushimitama? She is overcome with guilt that it is her fault that everyone in this temple had to die.

Oukatsu fights Kakei and pins him down with her illusions while Saizou clashes swords with Hanzou once more. Both took some damage but Saizou receives even more when Hanzou uses his Ougi Kasho Zanmai. Isanami starts getting distraught though Saizou is back up on his feet. Before Hanzou could make his move, a gust of wind interrupts Hanzou and blasts through Oukatsu’s illusion. He is Kamanosuke and he is not going to let anyone play with his toy because he is the only one allowed to shed blood fighting to the death with. Since when did he decide on that? Anyway Hanzou is more skilled than him so Kamanosuke takes several cuts. Saizou needs his cooperation if they’re going to beat this guy. So how does he convince that pervert to agree? He’ll play with him till he cries once this is done. I guess that works. Kakei uses this chance to use his hidden rifle on her but he misses and she constricts him like a snake. Oukatsu didn’t expect Kakei to use his own rifle to shoot through his arm, thus the bullet went right through her chest. Saizou and Kamanosuke cooperate and end their fight by defeating Hanzou. Kamanosuke scorns his crappy fighting that made him waste energy so Saizou says his support equally sucks. Isanami treats the trio and still feels she is at fault that Izumo got attacked but Saizou says it is her hair band that is the source. Suddenly Masamune riding his horse snatches Isanami away. Didn’t anyone see that coming? Oh, they’re too weak, I guess. Too weak to pursue too. Masamune wants them to tell their master that Kushimitama is in hands.

Episode 5
Saizou remembers the only friend he had. He was strong and wanted to be like him. However when he went to serve his new master, he was killed and his body tossed into the river. It was like as though their lives were just tools. Ever since, Saizou kills to live and won’t expect anything from anyone. Saizou wakes up and thinks he is done doing this job since he has no obligation to finish it. Kakei tells him off that he didn’t want to report his screw up that he lost Isanami. Kakei will do the reporting to Yukimura. So once Yukimura receives message of Isanami’s capture, he orders Sasuke and Ana to bring back his comrades. Meanwhile Isanami is locked in Masamune room and she tries to put up a tough act. Masamune’s subject, Kojurou witnesses her rotting power so Masamune explains about the treasure that she has, Kushimitama. Long ago, humans received 4 powers to control the land in place of the gods and Kushimitama is one of them. Since Ieyasu’s influence is spreading but won’t take any action, he will use the power of the gods against them. It may start a war but he thinks it’s a good idea because his goal is to cause massive unrest that will turn the world upside down and rewrite the country’s history. Masamune isn’t too worried that although others are after her, not many can get near here (her rotting power). Sasuke and Ana sneak into Masamune’s castle. Sasuke is going to bust her out but Isanami doesn’t want to follow him back, thinking she is guilty for hurting everyone. Ana purposely got herself captured to buy Sasuke time but after learning Isanami won’t budge, she easily beats up her perverted captors and heads straight to Isanami’s room. Yeah, men are easily bought over with those boobs… Ana tells her off of trying to be the pitiful heroine and that by closing her eyes and ears are the easiest way to live. She asks if she wants to be protected forever and even though not physically strong, the courage to move forward too is a strength. That’s why Yukimura chose her as a brave warrior. With that, Isanami agrees to go with them. Sasuke adds that none of them are afraid of getting hurt so Isanami asserts she won’t too because she’s a brave warrior.

And just like that Isanami returns to Yukimura’s side. Woah?! That easy?! They even beat Kakei and co returning. But Saizou doesn’t seem relief to see Isanami back at their side and gives her the cold shoulder. Yukimura sees Kamanosuke and says Saizou is working under him and can’t have them fighting each other. Kamanosuke swiftly attacks Rokurou (he countered with a swift block) so Yukimura says he should not attack fast but build it up patiently. I think Kamanosuke likes that idea too. Yukimura allows him to stay. Saizou is still having clouded minds so Sasuke goes to fight with him and tell him a thing or two. Unlike him who works hard, Saizou already gave up. He might not like acting like a hero but that’s just an excuse he can’t do it. He can’t accept his weakness. He cannot admit it. That’s why he cannot do it. In an ironic twist, Sasuke then offers his hand to him and says they need him so he can be stronger for someone else. Yukimura praises Sasuke for such words and offers Saizou the choice to run away and live like a toothless dog or rise up from where he is. I guess you know the answer because Isanami is so happy that she rushed to hug him. Masamune is annoyed that Isanami has escaped. Yeah, I still wonder how the heck it happened. He eagerly wants to pay Yukimura a visit. Saizou and the rest report to Yukimura about the Izumo script they saw but couldn’t understand. Yukimura orders Saizou to look into Rokurou’s right eye and all his memories start flowing out into it! Rewriting the words down on paper, seems it isn’t anything much so Yukimura ushers them all out. However as we know, it is something more than that because Yukimura warns Rokurou not to let anyone touch his right eye since they are the only ones who knows about this. Whether he is following or fighting fate, he is placing his faith in Saizou.

Episode 6
Everyone thought Yukimura got kidnapped since he is missing and his room is in a mess. Turns out he went ahead with Rokurou to his private hotspring. Saizou takes a walk through town when he sees Kakei involved in a fight with a guy claiming to be Buddha’s servant, Miyoshi Seikai Nyuudo. This strong dude is enough to admit bluntly he has no money to pay for food (he claims Buddha servants eat for free) and he is on a holy mission (to search for his missing sister, that is). Kakei wants him to stay and work to pay for his food and damaged property but Seikai mentions Kakei should do it instead since he was the one who was sent blasting through the wall. Blame himself for being weak. Kakei can’t stand his insults and points his rifle at him but Seikai bends it with his bare hands! Now it’s broken. Kakei is also broken… So Saizou inevitably gets into a fight with the monk and soon Kamanosuke joins in the fun followed by Sasuke. Ana would have but she can’t handle this kind of men. Seikai accepts this as a challenge from God. Yukimura and Rokurou happen to pass by and they see how Saizou is acting naturally as the leader while they fight Seikai. Though Seikai is strong enough to deflect sharp weapons with his muscles, it ends with Saizou getting the better of him as he says his head is the only place that lacks any muscles. Maybe he should pray harder. Isanami, who has been eating like nobody’s business, won a giant plate of dango. When Seikai sees her, he immediately wants to hug his sister! Oh sh*t! That’s his sister?! However Isanami doesn’t recognize who he is and hides behind Saizou, upsetting Seikai. Saizou guesses he has siscon so he whispers an idea to Isanami who then manages to get this big guy under her control. As her brother, she should be ashamed of himself for acting like a thug and should stop attacking his friends. Plus, he should reflect upon himself and fix up this place. Yeah, he did just that without objections. Siscon… Later Seikai reveals to Yukimura that he and Isanami are not blood related but siblings of the Izumo shrine. When he was 8 years old, he found abandoned Isanami. By 15 years old, he left the shrine to travel the world and came to a conclusion that all gods are the same. He recognized Isanami because of her Kushimitama. She is the only priestess possessing it. But Isanami still doesn’t recognize him. He has trained hard on his journey so it’s no surprise that she doesn’t recognize his buffed physique. Showing her a sketch when he was 15 years old, Isanami instantly recognizes her brother. Should have shown that earlier. Yukimura offers Seikai to work for him and he whole-heartedly agrees. We know why lah…

The gang take a dip in the hotspring as Saizou learns Kakei is on a travelling journey and also to fix his gun. Yukimura knows that guy knows how to take care of himself and is just working for him till he finds a master who can give him more. He adds a man is happiest when they are protecting their loved ones but Saizou thought it was just a cheesy line to keep his subordinates in line. Well, followers won’t always fall in love with you, right? Meanwhile Isanami thinks Ana is bragging about her big boobs and insulting her little ones because she mentions she would like to have small ones like Isanami’s. Yukimura pays them a visit and assures he isn’t interested with Isanami’s when Seikai drops in to ‘protect’ his sister. Ana got so pissed off that she freezes the entire hotspring. There goes the warm bath. Saizou leaves and meets Kamanosuke at the river. That idiot really bathed at the cold freezing waters? When Saizou pets his head, a fuzzy and warm feeling overcame Kamanosuke. He runs away while reminding him that he will kill him. Oh God! Don’t tell me he’s turning into a tsundere!!! He talks the problem of his feelings with Sasuke and from what he says, it’s true that Kamanosuke has developed some sort of feelings for Saizou even if he doesn’t know what it is. Yukimura gets an invitation from Ieyasu, a sign that he has already begun to move (perhaps to show off his power by gathering everyone) so he is going to the capital to see what this old guy can do.

Episode 7
Yukimura has Rokurou, Saizou and Isanami accompany him to the capital while the other stay put. Kamanosuke and Seikai not happy… Along the way, Saizou wonders who they’ll see in this tea ceremony. Yukimura thinks it will be primarily Maeda, Mori, Uesugi and the rest of the 5 elders. Mitsunari and Kanetsugu Naoe will be also there. Oh, don’t forget Masamune too. And he’s going to make a good first impression by wearing extravagant clothes. Yukimura and co meet a young boy who tells them the road ahead has been washed out by the rain and tells them an alternate route. Saizou smells something fishy about him because he smells gunpowder. Suddenly Yukimura’s entourage is being besieged by traps. Swift thinking prevented them from certain deaths but that wouldn’t be possible if Seikai and Kamanosuke didn’t show up to help deflect the other dangerous traps. Oh, so they followed them, huh? The boy reveals himself and is amazed at them for being the first people ever to avoid all his traps. He has been searching for a good master and wants to work under Yukimura since he is good in explosives and setting traps. To Saizou’s dismay, Yukimura agrees since he feels he has lot of guts and asks for his name. Rokurou Mochizuki is his name and since they can’t have another guy by that name, the boy agrees to change it since that Rokurou name sucks! An insult to the real Rokurou? Yukimura calls him Benmaru, which was once his childhood name since he admired his guts. As his first order, he wants Benmaru to stay put at the inn while they visit the tea ceremony in the capitol. No buts. As for Seikai and Kamanosuke, he wants them to return to Ueda but knowing they won’t, he allows them to do as they please. Yukimura and Rokurou leave for the ceremony so he leaves Saizou in charge to take care of the rest. I mean, the bunch fighting among each other is more worrying, right?

Yukimura and Rokurou meet Mitsunari on their way in. Mitsunari mentions about the secret message regarding Ieyasu’s behaviour but he did nothing. Now it seems Ieyasu is attempting to provoke him into a war. He hopes Yukimura won’t rush his decision and would establish his position first. Noting that this tea ceremony is just a public display of power, Kanetsugu joins the conversation and mocks how that ‘racoon dog’ was trying to speak. He can’t believe he has issued a weapons ban decree. Masamune is the last one to arrive late and the first thing he did before sitting next to Yukimura is to draw his sword at him. They thought he is defying the weapons ban by he claims he is merely putting on a show for his tardiness. Masamune needs a volunteer and guess who he picks? The swordplay begins and it may seem Masamune is dead serious in cutting Yukimura. The latter seemingly cool and playful but he is easing everything with precision. One wrong move and he’ll be sliced. It ends with Yukimura tripping but he uses his leg to deflect the sword which ended close enough to Ieyasu. Since everybody was laughing at Yukimura’s foolishness, I guess nobody saw it as a threat. As they leave, an informant tells Yukimura to make an immediate appearance at Fushimi Castle for that incident. Not doing so will have consequences. Mitsunari and Kanetsugu know this isn’t fair as he will not be able to talk his way out of this one. Of course Yukimura won’t be going. While Masamune discusses about the boldness in Yukimura’s eyes and his slippery footwork, his men come to report that they have sighted Isanami in town. That night as Ieyasu’s men try to arrest Yukimura, he and his entourage had already escape and are making their way back to Ueda.

Episode 8
Masamune didn’t think his plan would backfire as he speaks to Ieyasu who is angry that he has been embarrassed. So upset that he will not stop to anything to capture Yukimura and that means giving Masamune to kill him on the spot. Ieyasu’s men catch up to Yukimura and co fast but thankfully with Benmaru’s explosives, they are kept at bay. Yukimura orders Saizou and Kamanosuke to scout the road ahead and it seems all of them have been blocked. Continuing their path will only end up in Lake Biwa and it’ll be too cold to swim (was that a joke?). This is an obvious trap to kill them all in one swoop. Speaking of Masamune, here comes that dude and he is brought lots of men with him. Obviously the chase is to cover the fact he is here to retrieve his treasure. Yukimura mocks him that he can’t handle it and that his ambitions are too small. Masamune gets riled up and orders his men to attack. A big brawl ensues as Yukimura’s warriors show what they’ve got in terms of quality over quantity. They end up at the lake as Masamune’s ninjas confront Saizou. He draws his sword and they remember hearing legends about him being a stone cold killer but don’t give a sh*t and attack. Saizou fends them off as he tells them he is not an Iga ninja but Yukimura’s warrior. So, he’s finally accepted and admitted that, eh? Masamune is going to settle his bout with Yukimura when a large ship fires away causing Masamune and his men to retreat and curse Yukimura’s devil’s luck. Yukimura and co board the ship to safety and it seems they are reunited with Kakei onboard. Actually this is not his ship but the sworn brother and pirate Jinpachi Nezu (I thought he looked like a shaman). Seems Jinpachi thought Kamanosuke is a woman and wants ‘her’ to stay on his ship!!! He got disappointed to know he is a guy. Asserting that wine and woman are his pleasure and that he lives for fun, he isn’t happy with Kakei because he helped out only because he thought there were hot chicks but this bunch seems hardly worth it. Where’s that busty blonde bombshell? Anyway Isanami points out that she’s a girl so Jinpachi brushes her off that he is not interested in flat chests like her! Wait a minute. Wasn’t Kamanosuke ‘flat chest’ too? Seikai got upset he insulted Isanami and attacks him. However Jinpachi is able to stop his weapon with his bare hands and strike him down with electricity bolt.

Jinpachi wants the rest to proof their worth to stay on his ship. But they’re not going to fight with swords but sake. Yukimura gladly agrees. Saizou isn’t happy that they have to finish drinking all the barrels but no one but him is complaining, right? Yeah, even Isanami and Benmaru would like to have a taste of it. Oh, Kamanosuke is already drunk… Before you know it, everybody is on good terms with each other. Saizou learns from Kakei that while during his travels, he heard of this pirate had imported some guns and made his way to his ship. Not willing to part with his guns, he was challenged to drink but by the second barrel, they became brothers. So fast? Jinpachi gave him a gun but it wasn’t for free so he’s on this ship working to pay his debt. That night, Yukimura and Jinpachi chat. Jinpachi thinks he was crazy as he was surrounded with no means of escape. Well, there was. Either heaven or hell. Yukimura says he believed in his warriors that’s why things worked out. Jinpachi continues people like him are always bound to someone and unlike him who doesn’t because he is free. His own man. Nothing but the endless sky, sea and ship. He doesn’t have to worry about paying taxes or fighting people’s war because a pirate’s life is to drink and have fun. Smooth Yukimura mentions about those who are bound wherever they go and those who are always free. Whoever one serves and wherever one lives, if it’s their own choice, then that can also be considered free. Jinpachi thought he paid his warriors but on the contrary, they chose to be with him on their own free will. Once they reach land, seems Jinpachi has joined Yukimura as he leaves his ship to his mates. Saizou feels Yukimura has used his trick to gain another weirdo. Must be that smooth speech last night. Or perhaps he’s too drunk and the same reason how Kakei became his sworn brother. Isanami is thrilled that they are gathering more and more people so Kakei notes that the bond between men is an interesting thing. With this, Yukimura has the 10 warriors he need.

Episode 9
Sasuke eagerly goes to welcome Yukimura home. He sees some new faces but gets very acquainted with Jinpachi’s pet panther, Veronica. Since Ana is out on patrol, Yukimura puts the gathering on hold till tomorrow since he has finally assembled all his 10 warriors. That night, Isanami relishes sleeping in her own futon when Ana drops in. Though she forgot to buy souvenirs, she makes it up by telling stories from her journey. Isanami is happy this family is growing bigger. Saizou sneaks into Yukimura’s room not because he has turned gay but rather he wants him to come clean with this assembly thingy. Yukimura draws a yinyang symbol and 8 circles around it. These are symbols of elements that make up the universe and keep it in balance. Each of the elements is represented by the warriors. Earth (Seikai), metal (Kakei – his gun), thunder (Jinpachi), fire (Benmaru – his explosives), wind (Kamanosuke), grass (Sasuke – the forest is his domain), ice (Ana) and water (Rokurou – remembering everything just as the water’s surface reflects all). Saizou thought he is darkness but Yukimura says he is light instead. So does this mean Isanami is darkness? Remember her powers? You can’t be serious. Meanwhile Ana tries to kill Rokurou in his sleep. More accurately, she wants his right eye that remembers everything. Rokurou fights hard to fend her attacks but is poisoned by her weapon. Instead of letting her gorge his eye out, he blinds it. Sasuke attacks Ana and is surprised to see her true colours. However he hesitated and got frozen. Kakei, Seikai and Benmaru hear a commotion and see what’s happening and go to get Yukimura. Saizou and Isanami catch Ana in the act. Ana downplays everything she said to Isanami that there is no such thing as a cosy place. What she calls home is a lie and this world is to kill or be killed. To prove her point, she stabs Sasuke. Yukimura treats Rokurou’s poison and the latter apologizes for his failure. But Yukimura is glad he kept his promise of not letting anyone touch his right eye. Saizou chases Ana as he realizes she is working for another master and thus a spy. Saizou is not in his usual mood. He has the eyes of the killer so Ana tries to make a run for it but he’s faster and stronger. Noting that Ana is just doing her job, he is going to do his. Man, he’s mad. Saizou manages to pin her down and is going to make her talk. Unfortunately there is a river nearby so she uses her technique to call forth a huge ice and escape in that distraction.

Sasuke, who is still alive albeit injured, feels guilty over his failure but Yukimura can’t have him wallow in depression and needs him to find out Ana’s true goal. Saizou returns to Yukimura since Ana has fled. They resume talk about Rokurou’s right eye which has been ruined. Jinpachi returns from his outing and wants to join in the conversation. Yukimura allows it since he is a newcomer, he may see the bigger picture. Letting him know that each warrior represents an element vital in balancing the universe by neutralizing each other’s effect, Jinpachi could guess they were brought to suppress Isanami’s power of darkness. Yukimura explains she was found abandoned at Izumo shrine and the temple master who raised her soon realized there was something strange about her. Each time she is sad, her sorrow summons the darkness. Each time that happens, a priestess goes missing like as though she has been swallowed by darkness. They search the shrine grounds and found darkness seeping out from under the yinyang tiles. According to legend, underneath likes the slope to the Underworld. When she cries, she is calling for the darkness from the Underworld. There is only a person who can do that. Izanami No Mikoto is the goddess of death who threatened to kill a thousand men in a day by drawing strength from the negative emotions of humans. Kushimitama keeps this power of destruction contained. In short, Isanami does not protect Kushimitama but rather Kushimitama protects the world from Isanami.

Episode 10
Ana returns to her master: Hanzou. With their other comrades, they discuss about the world is about to shift dramatically when Ieyasu and Toyotomi clash. It doesn’t matter which will win because they will be the ones ruling from the shadows. Their plan now is to capture Isanami and take Kushimitama but first they need to eliminate the warriors guarding her. Yukimura gets a surprise visit from Mitsunari and Kanetsugu. Since they have no time to talk at the capital and that Yukimura never responds to his letters, what a better way than to pay a personal visit. Besides, this backwater country is so well defended that it’s a perfect place for a secret meeting. Was that an insult or compliment? They discuss about Ieyasu’s outrageous tyrannical behaviour and his accusation of Uesugi plotting against him. Mitsunari says he has gathered his soldiers and that Uesugi has allied with them. He cannot forgive Ieyasu for offending Toyotomi and wished if they only had some earth-shaking power. Yukimura says he shouldn’t wish such things because such powers only would bring trouble. Saizou is watching Isanami from afar but notices someone targeting him so he runs far enough to face off with the culprit who is no other then Hanzou. He reveals his plans to Saizou as the latter realizes he is the one Ana is working for. Hanzou mentions this will be the start of the tragedy between the Iga 5 ninjas and the warriors. Sasuke and Kakei also realize they’ve been lured in. One of the Iga 5, Kaiou, the master of insects makes her appearance before them and though she has orders to kill all the warriors, she has a personal grudge to settle with them because they killed her sister Oukatsu. Meanwhile Seikai who is sitting under the waterfall suddenly reaches enlightenment. Realizing that all gods are the same and since Izanami No Mikoto is a god, he simply needs to have faith in his sister. What the heck is that screwed up thinking? Suddenly a heavy black ball is dropped on him. Another Iga 5, Byakugun attacks them and would’ve strangled Benmaru to death if Seikai didn’t burst out of the ball.

The insects are covering Kaiou’s tracks so Sasuke and Kakei are having a hard time sensing her and at the same time they have to deal with the bugs. Eventually it is too much for them to handle as Kaiou gives Sasuke a kiss of death and implants a bug that will eat away his heart while the ants paralyze Kakei. When both the guys are down, she summons her insects to eat their flesh. Elsewhere Seikai is evading the insanely strongly Byakugun who is throwing and kicking big rocks like as though she’s tossing a beach ball. She even can buff up her body so much so Seikai’s attacks are like tickles. Once he has finished his fill of punching her, it’s her turn to retaliate. The monk lost so can you say his faith wasn’t strong? As for Benmaru, the explosive he threw got deflected and exploded the rock pieces that knock him out. Isanami senses something wrong and rushes to Saizou. Well, with her in the picture, it’s like trouble coming after you. Hanzou ties her to the tree to make her watch their death duel. Her sadness starts awakening her powers so Hanzou finds it interesting to watch. He accelerates it by slashing Saizou all over and blames Isanami is the one at fault. If she had never met Saizou, this would never have happened to him or anybody else. Because of her, Saizou got hurt. She really believes this guy after all that they’ve been through? I know past trauma is one thing but this?

Episode 11
Isanami seems to have calmed down when Saizou gets back up on his feet, though Hanzou continues to blame Isanami that her friends are slowly being erased one by one. Kamanosuke is stretching his legs in town when he spots Sasuke’s ferret. It leads him to an alley whereby he suddenly steps into an illusion. The kind of world whereby he is a woman! A princess! And she’s got this handsome butler, Raizu who looks a lot like Saizou (or Kuroshitsuji’s Sebastian. Get it?). So in this world, the girly guy doesn’t want to go to the ball which is actually a marriage meeting but the butler tries his best to persuade him. At the ball, he doesn’t like the fact that everyone wants to get married desperately but stops to think if he would actually meet one too. Blur visions of Saizou flashes through his mind and this made Kamanosuke feel he has forgotten something important. Then he hears some girls badmouthing him so he returns to Raizu who has prepared the rose bath he wanted. Soaking in, he feels so comfortable that he doesn’t want to move. Raizu also wished he would stay like this forever. Then he suddenly realized he doesn’t like this kind of pleasure. He wants the smell of rust and blood. This sweet smell makes him puke. He wants that man with the terrifying gaze of a killer. The rush of killing another is his ultimate pleasure. He stabs Raizu and breaks free from his illusion. Kuchiba of the Iga 5 couldn’t believe someone broke through his illusion and gets slashed by Kamanosuke. But when he learns he prefers blood and pain, Kuchiba uses his technique to rain his blood over Kamanosuke and give him the pain he wanted. Got more than he bargained for, eh?

Jinpachi is fishing peacefully when the lake suddenly freezes over. Oh yeah. Finally he gets to meet the busty blonde that he heard so much from Kakei. But she notes it’s goodbye for him. So soon? As they fight, Jinpachi can still flirt around (“If you want to shut me up, I prefer you use your lips”). Ana puts on a cold exterior and fight till Jinpachi notices her face starts wavering. Short flashback reveals Ana was from a foreign royalty but they were killed and she tossed away. To take back her proof of royalty and return to her homeland, she made a deal with Hanzou and only lived to accomplish her own goals. She did what it took to achieve her dream in this cold world and never looked for warmth or comfort. But meeting Yukimura and his warriors may have a slightly adverse effect to that. She’s in a dilemma but eventually regains her composure and resumes her battle. Ana pins Jinpachi down and though to her it may seem he’s begging for his life, he doesn’t want to die here since the ocean (and plenty beautiful women) are waiting for him out there. She tells him to curse his fate but he disagrees because he lives freely. Ana believes the strong always controls the weak and that he has no freedom. But he throws it back right at her and this enrages her as he freezes him entirely. Yeah, now he shuts up. Uhm… Notice this trend? Each time Hanzou says something terrible, Isanami’s power starts to awake. Then it takes Saizou for the umpteenth time to tell her not to listen to this freak and in the process of that distraction gets hurt. Doesn’t she learn? Seeing Saizou getting up and fight again broke Isanami’s heart even further. She still believes she caused everyone pain and that she is useless and weak. An inner voice asks her if she wants power. And if so, all she has to do is remove her hair band. I don’t know she break through the ropes but be prepared for one helluva big sh*t power because Isanami just transformed into a helluva destruction goddess. So badass that she is causing an eclipse. Wow!

Episode 12
Rokurou wakes up and feels the need to head over to that growing black ball that Isanami has become. Though he lost his right eye, he still remembers the prophecy. Yukimura helps him there. Hanzou understands what’s going on and mocks Saizou that because he has learnt the meaning of friendship, it made him weak. Hanzou believes as a ninja that one can only count on his own ability. Yukimura thinks he is pathetic for only thinking about power but he says back Yukimura is a bigger fool for not attempting to use such power in his hands. Adding Yukimura is a weak man since Ana infiltrated his defence with ease (Yukimura claims he is generous) and that Ana is just a tool to him. Saizou gets upset and disagrees. She was never a tool because she was putting her life on the line for what she believed him. Hanzou isn’t going to waste any more time on him and lets them watch him control the darkness. With Kushimitama in hand, he jumps up to the black ball but it’s not responding. Then he suddenly knows the meaning of fear. It rejects Hanzou and swallows him alive! Good riddance. Rokurou heads towards it and mentions about the prophecy. The only way to stop it when darkness rises is to use the lives of the 9 other elements. Rokurou prepares to use his life but Saizou pushes him away before the darkness can absorb him. Yukimura says that thing isn’t Isanami anymore but Saizou objects. Besides a different form, everything else is the same because she acts without thinking and causes nothing but trouble. Oh so true. And the prophecy? Screw it! He’s going to cut open that darkness and bring her out his way. Saizou cuts the black ball and gets swallowed into it. He says because they’re united by their common identity as warriors, they can face any opponent and that is their true strength. He feels they’ve all rallied around her and without her, they’ll always be one short.

Seikai remembers how he had an argument with the temple master over different ideals so he left on a journey to find the true meaning of gods. When he returned enlightened, the temple was destroyed and that’s why he wanted to find her and teach her since she is waiting with a smile. Seikai is close to abandoning his faith but Benmaru says even if he doesn’t believe in the gods who had abandoned him, believe in his friends! He gives him a contraption for his fist so when Seikai gets up and punches Byakugun, it really packs an explosive punch! Boom! Not even the strongest person can withstand that. It’s revival time for our warriors. The darkness has confused the insects so Sasuke and Kakei are free. Kaiou gets tied up in vines and the poison is fast covering all over her. Kakei puts her out of her misery. Kuchiba thought he had defeated Kamanosuke but he didn’t know pain turned that pervert on. He relishes that feeling and in a flash returns that pain many times fold to him before killing him. That’s what he lived for, right? Ana tries to retrieve her sword but gets shocked by Jinpachi’s lightning. Not knowing his abilities made her careless as he breaks out of the ice easily. Ana collapses into his arm and he even quips they are even because he lost so much blood that he can’t even ‘stand it up’. Gosh.

Saizou is still alive inside the ball and Kushimitama guides him to Isanami. She is still spewing all those negative thoughts. For a guy who doesn’t care about anything, it’s ironic he has turned philosophical at this point. He tells her off everyone has some darkness in their hearts. Having pain in her head shows that she is human. He doesn’t care if she’s a human or some goddess of darkness, to him, she will always be Isanami and is one of the 10 warriors. So come out now this instant! Isanami frees herself and jumps into Saizou’s arm. This results in everything reverting back to normal. Ah, the bright sunlight. With Isanami free from black ball, Yukimura hugs her and is relieved she is alright. Saizou also thanks the rest for doing well their part. Ana laments that the royalty proof kept by Hanzou is fake. Jinpachi is willing to let her off the hook but she feels nobody would forgive her after what she did. Since her dream is gone, she has nothing left. But Jinpachi wants her to use this chance to join them and start things anew. Kanetsugu and Mitsunari learn about the dark power from Yukimura. They feel they should not seek such powers and must do something with the power they already have. As they leave, they say the next time they meet, it will be on the battlefield. So Yukimura has to join them too? Meanwhile Masamune learns that the real treasure was Isanami and not Kushimitama. Then he leaves because he wants to attack head on Mitsunari, Kanetsugu and the rest. He is going to start a war on a big scale.

With everything back to normal back at the Ueda Castle, Saizou asks Yukimura if he had gathered them knowing what would happen. He didn’t. Wow. That was such a big risky gamble that could’ve got them all killed! Even if he had told them earlier, could they have stopped it? Since more will come to seek its power, he is counting on his warriors to handle it. So they’re just like pawns? Well, at least he believes in them. He also notes he may be a pawn moved by an unseen power. For instance, civil war. Isanami comes by making a gigantic plate of manjuus for everyone. As usual, she and Saizou get into an argument. Then she delegates jobs to Benmaru (to heat the bath), Seikai (to do strong duties– that’s not even a job!) and Kakei (to make futons – WTF?!). But Kakei points out more importantly they need a captain for the 10 of them. Kakei declines since he is often away so Saizou thinks Sasuke would be perfect since he is a monkey familiar with this territory. And they both fight not because Sasuke was mad with his insult but to point out that is Saizou’s job. And Kamanosuke bugs Saizou to fight him. Okay. Just bring it on!

Ragtag 10
Hmm… Just when things are getting interesting enough and then it ended, I just thought how short this series was. Maybe it should’ve lasted another season? It seems there are some unfinished businesses the reason why I felt the ending is just okay. For instance, I was thinking Masamune is going to play somewhat a pivotal role towards the end seeing he is one of those crazy characters who live to fight and that war is his best friend. Or make that his bride. The way he was being portrayed and the directions of where things are going, at least to me seems that he is going to have an ultimate showdown with Yukimura and the little skirmish at Lake Biwa was just an ‘appetizer’. Where was all that in the end? If they did not include Masamune’s role and presence in the anime, I guess the flow will still work. That’s because, what initially started as Yukimura’s quest to gather 10 men to fight against Ieyasu, subsequently turned into a mini arc that reveals Isanami’s hidden dark powers and a little team of deadly ninjas that are bent on snatching it. And that impending war between Ieyasu and Toyotomi? It felt like just a setup for the next storyline if the producers ever wanted to make a sequel out of it. Yeah, that would be another story. So just like Masamune’s case, Mitsunari and Kanetsugu’s presence sure can be done without. It does nothing for the main plot that you see here in this dozen of episodes for this season. But that’s not entirely a bad thing, right?

So on to the characters. Basically our main protagonist Saizou has turned from someone who doesn’t care into someone who believes (albeit he doesn’t show it) in the power of teamwork and friendship. Thus that fateful encounter with Isanami in the forest you can call it coincidence, fate or destiny but it sure did Saizou a hell lot of good. He is totally different from Hanzou because though both are initially selfish and only fend for themselves, Saizou realizes that he can’t just be a one-man hero. He may not have realized all this on his own and thanks to other people he meet, certainly he came to realize his shortcomings and weakness. They say no man is an island, right? But still, I have yet to hear Saizou admit his weakness and shortcoming despite hearing him acknowledge he is no longer a loner but one of Yukimura’s warriors. Maybe that will be for later. Saizou may look serious and your no nonsense person but in his own way, he is also a weirdo like he always claims when Yukimura adds another person to the group. So he thinks he is normal or unique, no? Plus, you can bet Saizou is the one doing all the rebuking and tsukkomi when a comical incident arises. Now do you think he is not a weirdo? You know what they say about birds with the same feathers? For Isanami, in terms of fighting abilities, she is the weakest among the pack but once you unleash that deadly power, she’s equivalent to the devil. Isanami is made to look like a ditzy damsel in distress who can’t do anything for herself. Sometimes whiny too. But a good aspect of her is being cheerful and optimistic. Except for the last part whereby Hanzou played mind games by sowing guilt into her mind. It’s good that she has the support of the rest but ultimately it is up to her to banish her own inner demons. Literally. It is not clear whether she harbour any romantic feelings for Saizou because at first she clings on to him like a leech as she sees him as her light in her desperate time of need. Of course her body reactions seem to indicate so especially when she first came to know Ana. Then as the family grows bigger, this was less obvious as she spreads and puts her faith in the rest.

Ana being revealed as a spy was a little surprise to me and I thought she may just be putting up an act for some hidden motive. Though her betrayal is real, at least she has her reasons for doing so. Because she is part of the warriors, I guess she is the only one of Iga 5 who survived and have a chance to reunite with the rest. We don’t really see this at the end but I’m sure it will happen. After all, even if she did put up an act of being part of the warm family, what she experienced with them was real and not fake. So she deserves being giving a second chance. Sasuke as Yukimura’s loyal ninja has a quirky behaviour. He may not be the one who speaks much but when he does and finds out Yukimura has heard it, he becomes shy and scoots off. Funny… Kakei also has this complex for Yukimura and if anybody tries to disrespect him, he’ll tell them off. Same thing with Seikai for Isanami but in the monk’s case he is slightly more extreme. So I guess now he not only has to believe in god but in his comrades too. After all, praying and god can only get you there so much. Kamanosuke must be the most twisted character within the group because in addition to his love for killing, he really acts like a tsundere when he realized he couldn’t understand his feelings over Saizou. Perhaps wanting to fight and kill him is just an excuse to be with him and get his attention.

I feel Rokurou, Benmaru and Jinpachi didn’t do much in the sense that their screen time were lacking. Though for Jinpachi’s case is because he came into the picture after 2/3 of the show, Rokurou who has been following Yukimura like his personal bodyguard feels like he is just a side character. Besides his powerful memory right eye, the only skill we see him in combat is some supersonic wave that makes his enemies have a major headache. Ever since Jinpachi joined as the final member, he doesn’t really hang out with the rest and prefers to be by himself alone but nearby. Oh, what was his pet Veronica’s role supposed to be here? A mascot? Don’t we have Sasuke’s animals for that already? Just like Rokurou’s ability, we don’t get to see much of Benmaru in action either. Throwing a few explosives here and there when needed, that’s all. The big leader of them all Yukimura may seem like a laidback and casual fellow but don’t be fooled by his looks because he not only has the brains and the tactics (okay, sometimes he just had none) but the caring attitude that makes him respected and the warriors following him. Well, where is the fun in such head if he is always so serious and not fun to chat with? Yukimura’s character allows him to mingle and be at grassroots level with his warriors, subjects and people. That’s why in his own way he is successful and Japan would flourish if he becomes its ruler. Or not.

The action is quite satisfactory and though you see the characters pulling off their unique moves, at least it feels that they don’t overdo it despite having some exaggerations. Like Ana’s ice freezing powers, Kamanosuke’s wind power, Oukatsu’s snake summoning and Kaiou’s insect master. Due to the short duration of the series, I guess it is both a good and bad thing that you don’t see fights that last and drag on for episodes. Thus it’s nice to see the different mix of abilities from each of the warriors (based from the elements that they are based on) such as Sasuke using the animals to aid in his fight, Kakei and his rifle, Benmaru with his explosives and Seikai’s incredible brute strength. Saizou isn’t too shabby either with his swordsmanship. Living up to his legendary rumour wasn’t just hearsay because if you make him mad enough, he’ll cut you down in a blink of an eye. There are some things that I would really like to know about his sword because it’s like whenever he uses it, scriptures appear over the blade when he powers up. As said, the number of episodes in this series does not permit us to have further insights on the past of some characters. It would be refreshing to also know how Saizou came to be and ended up so albeit his short narration of how he decided to walk this bloody path was enough to give us an idea on what he went through. In those days unless you’re the royalty, everybody has his or her own tough time. There are a few scenes that are bloody but nothing graphic enough that will make you puke. But still bear in mind that since this is an action samurai/ninja genre, you have to expect some of that.

Besides the action, it is a surprise that there are a few comical moments too. Not the exaggerative kind whereby the anvil drops on your head. No, not that. Mostly the comedy part comes from the witty lines of some of the characters. Like I have mentioned, Saizou’s punch lines. Jinpachi too has his own amusing lines that will make you smirk. Of course Yukimura sometimes act like a big joker and clown but probably that is to hide anything that would alarm and worry the rest. Still talking about comedy, this leads me to the next episode preview. Yes, this is the funniest section like as though this segment is reserved for spewing a little nonsense. For instance, we hear Saizou and Sasuke insulting each other, Rokurou would love to help Yukimura’s insomnia problems but he prefers the breasts of a woman, Veronica licking Saizou and then biting him (Jinpachi’s concern is that Veronica would get stomach ache!), Hanzou faking his death because he was tired working for the morons (to explain his long absence in between the episode) and Saizou narrating that he’ll avenge the death of his fellow comrades by saving Isanami when they haven’t actually been killed off yet. Of course some of the dialogues are of philosophical of nature (okay, maybe heroic is the right term too) so it would be quite pleasant to hear them once in a while.

Daisuke Ono as the voice of Saizou is still recognizable but he isn’t playing the kind of character that is full of manners and polite like Kuroshitsuji’s Sebastian or laidback ones as in Satou of A Channel but something similar to those with angst like Shizuo in Durarara and Yondaime in Kamisama No Memo-chou. Maybe I haven’t been hearing Rina Satou’s voice so much lately so I didn’t guess it was her behind Isanami. Well, if she made her voice like To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s biri-biri Misaka or Kaoru from Amagami SS, then perhaps there is a chance but I just couldn’t here for her case. Other casts include Toshiyuki Morikawa as Yukimura (Naraku in Inu Yasha), Hiroshi Kamiya as Rokurou (Mephisto in Ao No Exorcist), Tetsuya Kakihara as Sasuke (Natsu in Fairy Tail), Yuu Asakawa as Ana (Motoko in Love Hina), Ryotaro Okiayu as Kakei (Houou in Katanagatari), Motoki Takagi as Kamanosuke (Renji in ef ~A Tale of Memories), Kazunari Tanaka as Seikai (Bachi Guu in Green Green), Izumi Kitta as Benmaru (Cordelia in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Kazuya Nakai as Jinpachi (Hijikata in Gintama), Takahiro Sakurai as Hanzou (Jenos in Black Cat), Takehito Koyasu as Masamune (Kururu in Keroro Gunsou), Hikaru Midorikawa as Mitsunari (Rukawa in Slam Dunk), Shinichiro Miki as Kanetsugu (Urahara in Bleach) and Kikuko Inoue as Oukatsu (Chitose in Chobits). The opening theme by the duet of Daisuke Ono and Tetsuya Kakihara, Shouryou Hirai sounds like a rock piece. If you ask me, Daisuke Ono shouldn’t be singing… Furthermore, his voice was in the lead and ‘covering up’ Tetsuya Kakihara’s voice so much so I couldn’t hear the latter singing unless I strain my ears. The ending theme, En Otoko -Adiós- by Adapter sings the entire length with a synthesizer voice… I don’t know. Some parts in me feel it isn’t suitable but another part of me agrees since the rock beat is somewhat suitable for an action genre like this.

As we can see the importance of comrades and teamwork portrayed in this anime. Since nobody is perfect, we use each other’s abilities to make up for each other’s shortcomings. Sure, being selfish, egoistic and thinking of yourself to gain ultimate power may grant you so but not only will it make you lonely at the top, can you even handle such great deal of power? Yukimura assembling his motley crew of 10 warriors with their own peculiar behaviour shows that you don’t need to be perfect like Superman to be a hero. No matter who you are in this world, be it the emperor or a common peasant, you are still a human being. Ah, humans. So many problems for one species and even among ourselves. So, true to the balance of the universe and yinyang, when there is darkness, there’ll always be light and vice versa. If there are power-hungry people out there, there are also certainly righteous people who will put a stop to that tyranny. So to quote Benmaru again, if you don’t believe in God, at least believe in your friends or comrades because they haven’t at least abandoned you yet. Well, you know what they say about fortune favouring the brave, right? But don’t be as bold as brass, okay?

Recorder To Randoseru

September 21, 2012

I guess it is only in animes that characters aren’t what they seem. At least in size. Just like how Fuuka Esumi was in Yoiko and Honey senpai in Ouran High School Host Club or Mika Suzuki in Doki Doki School Hours, these people don’t seem to look their age. In Recorder To Randoseru, we have this elder sister who looks like an elementary kid while her younger brother who looks like a high school student. Misconceptions always arise because of their stark difference in size and stature.  Thus the very oxymoron term of the little big sister and her big little brother. And since each episode is only 3 minutes short (no pun intended), I suppose the fun is seeing how they go about acting their age, which really isn’t in the eyes of society. Oh, watch out for paedophiles too :p.

Episode 1
What’s this?! A cameo appearance at the beginning of the episode by Mayu and Hana of Morita-san Wa Mukuchi?! Anyway, they see this handsome guy, Atsushi Miyagawa playing his recorder at the slope. Till he starts blowing them. Oh, the cacophony! Run for your lives! Atsushi is worried if he’ll do well in tomorrow’s test. Back home, his little big sister (oh, the oxymoron), Atsumi gives him a coat and scarf since it’ll be cold today. Noticing he is worried about his recorder test today in music class, Atsumi cheers him up to do his best. Atsumi meets her friend, Sayo along the way. She instantly falls in love with Atsushi. But she’s snapped out of her daydream when Atsumi greets her. Atsushi meets his classmate Hina who notes that today is exceptionally cold. Atsushi proceeds to show her the scarf and coat combination but the way he ‘reveals it open’ to Hina made the next lady thought he’s a flasher! It doesn’t help when Hina ambiguously said “It’s too big. It won’t fit”. He is going to lend ‘it’ to her when he is arrested and taken in by the police! Suspected molester apprehended. Oh sh*t! So happened there is a sign to say beware of child molesters…

Episode 2
Sayo thought Atsumi is going to get another calcium drink for herself to grow. Atsumi doubts that milk will make her grow taller since all their meals at home are calcium rich and yet she doesn’t grow. She believes it doesn’t help one bit. But why is she drinking milk now? Sayo learns her little brother is in grade school and wants to know if he’s adorable. Well, she thinks he is too big to be considered cute. On the way to do some errands, Atsushi wanted to get free candies being handed out by a bunny mascot but only Atsumi was given. It’s only for kids. Bummer… At the supermarket, Atsushi laments his height and wishes he is a normal kid but Atsumi says many would kill to get this tall. She says she likes the way he is now and this calms his heart. Then she has him grab the flour on the top shelf and says she’ll always need him. Yeah, now we know why she ALWAYS brings him along during shopping, eh?

Episode 3
Sayo hugs Atsumi from behind and loves her for being tiny and cute like a little doll. Despite Atsumi’s birthday earlier than her, Sayo prefers her to be younger than her. Well, if looks… Then Sayo feeds her with lots of food to make her grow and this prompts Atsumi to say it’s not that she’s short because she is short (another oxymoron!) of food. She asks Atsumi’s type of guy (see all the guys all ears?). Atsumi wants Sayo to reveal hers first so she says anyone who is 180cm or taller. That’s freaking tall! Atsumi also prefers tall guys and wouldn’t want to date any guys shorter than herself, 137cm. I think every guy in her grade qualifies. Sayo continues to fantasize about her ideal tall guy. Read: Atsushi. He sweeps her off her feet on his white stallion, galloping along the beach. Ah, so wonderful. Just let her dream…

Episode 4
Atsushi’s friends, Takumi and Tetsuya race him to see who can change the fastest. But when homeroom teacher, Futami Moriyama sees Atsushi topless, she screams and runs out! Too mature, eh? Then for PE, she has the kids pair up to do warm up. Since Atsushi is without a partner, she’ll do it with him. Till she realizes he is too big and all over her. Another freaking out again. In the teacher’s lounge, she talks to colleague Nakimura that she went to an all-girls’ school and can’t handle men well. She thought she could handle elementary school kids till Atsushi came into the picture. Now she thinks she should’ve gone teaching at kindergarten. That’s an isolated case, lady. Tetsuya is Futami’s son and sometimes mistakes calling her ‘mom’ in school instead of ‘sensei’. Hina teases Atsushi and calls him ‘daddy’, bringing that guy to tears. Hina and Atsushi walk home and they talk about the class bulletin to be careful of suspicious people. Atsushi assures her to stick to him and holds her hand. Then the PTA members see this misleading scene and thought a suspicious man is leading a young girl away! Hold it there pal! Atsumi comes home to see Atsushi sitting dejectedly in a corner and lamenting he can’t even protect the girl he loves! Poor guy. Oops, I mean kid. But guy sounds fitting…

Episode 5
Atsushi needs a demon costume for the bean throwing festival so Atsumi suggests getting it from their neighbour Take. However his costume is too scary that it scared all his classmates! Since nobody threw beans at him, his friends suggest he’ll have better luck with third graders. Though they are really scared, they start throwing beans like as though he’s the real demon! Atsushi slips and falls all over Futami (his hands on her boobs). This causes her to freak out and run away. Tetsuya thought he really scared her. Hina and her friends, Midori and Jun thought his demon play was good and wants him to do it again. He pretends to be the demon and they pretend to be scared. Guess what? Some mother thought the pervert is scaring little girls! Call the police! Not again! So it’s no surprise that when he comes home, he is through playing the demon. Atsumi returns the costume to Take and he remembers how he was always the target. His mom would throw the beans at him, blaming the demon for him being jobless. Maybe he should actually try to look for one instead of bumming around.

Episode 6
Hina asks what kind of chocolates Atsushi likes. His friends tell him eating too much chocolate is bad for health and that he must share it with them. I know what they’re up to. Atsumi and Sayo are out shopping and they note Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Had she bring Atsushi out with her, he would’ve bugged her to buy him chocolates. However Sayo is bugging her to buy and make some. No difference. While making chocolates back home, Atsumi wonders if she has any guy she likes to give the chocolates. She says it’s to just friends and will give her too. Atsumi could guess the chocolate they’re making is for her. Duh… But she’ll nicely wrap it for her! Atsushi’s female classmates line up to give him their chocolates. How sweet. Imagine the scene if adults see this… Takumi and Tetsuya only gave chocolates from each other. They reason they wrapped it up so cute that it may seem a girl gave it to them. Atsushi is happy he can eat all the chocolates he got but Atsumi only says he can eat a box per day and have to share it with her. No fun. Then she opens the box from Hina and smoke came out! Uhm… Has the chocolate melted? Gooey… I think they’ll get sick if they eat that.

Episode 7
Atsumi won 3 tickets to the movies but isn’t sure what to do with them. Despite being a romance genre, Atsushi wants to go. So who gets the third ticket? Sayo waits for Atsumi outside the cinema and is on the lookout for ‘2 very short people’. But when Atsumi turns up, it’s that head over heels feeling for Sayo when she lays her eyes on Atsushi. Thinking it’s her boyfriend, Atsumi dismisses it. Sayo jumps to a conclusion that he is still single. They watch the movie and while the girls couldn’t stop crying, Atsushi fell asleep! They part and all Sayo could think of is Atsushi. Speaking of which, his eyes are also red not because of crying but because he’s sleepy.

Episode 8
Atsushi is supposed to celebrate Doll Festival at Hina’s house but is not sure what to wear. He thinks of going in this revealing punk outfit! Better let big sister handle it. Looking through all the hand-me-downs from Take, Atsushi tries out a seductive Casanova outfit. I think he should really let Atsumi take care of it. Atsushi arrives outside Hina’s house but her mom is suspicious who this bugger is. When he replies, “Hina’s friend”, she immediately shuts the door and locks up! “Hina is not home!”. Atsushi goes back depress but Atsumi cheers him up with a cake she made and that they could celebrate Doll Festival together. She advises him to tell his friends to prepare their parents ahead of time. Hina and her friends are about to begin their celebration and think Atsushi’s absence is due to something coming up last minute.

Episode 9
Atsushi goes to get some hand-me-down clothes from Take. Since it all reminds him of his ex-girlfriend, he gives Atsushi all the shirts! Take is at their place as he relates the recent thing that happened to him. He broke up with his latest girlfriend and it seems everything from photos to DVDs remind him of her. Including the place they work together so he quit! WTF?! Don’t want to run into your ex, eh? And mom just stopped feeding him after that. See the sign “Get a job!”? Get the hint? Take notes Atsumi a fine lady and remember he used to come look after her when he was in high school. Atsumi also remembers saying she would be his wife. Oh, is he going to pop that question now? He asks… Will she take care of him? Oh brother… Take gets fired up to find a job but decides to start part time. Why? You don’t start running when you begin a marathon, right? And here he is, doing laundry for 100 Yen. What a slow start…

Episode 10
Atsumi reminds Atsushi he needs to reciprocate the favour to girls on White Day. However, what can he buy with his limited allowance? Eggs, butter and chocolate? And he’s raking in Atsumi’s help. No choice, sis. You gotta help. Noticing he has lots of girls he has to give to, they need to make a bigger portion but reprimands Atsushi when he thinks the cookie she is making is for him. Atsushi is going to return Hina’s homemade cake with something equivalent. No, he’s not making another lethal cake! Thank goodness it’s just a horrible drawing for the wrapper. Atsushi’s friends come up with another ploy to eat his cookies. They tell him girls are conscious about their diet and will help him eat away all those fattening stuff. Unfortunately Futami confiscates it all since she clearly said not to bring sweets to school. After school, Atsushi manages to give his to Hina. The school gets a call from the public that a suspicious individual is at large luring children with presents! Hina opens her present back home but couldn’t understand why Atsushi gave her a trading card. Huh?

Episode 11
Atsushi is watching TV and not doing his homework. Till Atsumi reminds him he may end up like Take. Better start revising. Since he can’t focus at home, he is at the library. Sayo sees him and thinks he is studying. Erm… Elementary grade materials? Oh, he must be studying to be a teacher. The misunderstanding when Atsushi says it’s for his future job (with Take in mind) and agrees with her he’s having it tough on his day off. Since Sayo has to go, she gets a surprise when Atsushi pleads for her to stay and not go! She flusters and runs away. Could this be true? Actually Atsushi wanted to ask her with some tough questions. In the end, he couldn’t solve them and on his way back meets Hina. He wants her to show her work to him. However the part he is pleading ‘to show it to him’ caught the attention of the passers-by. Oh no. I can see it coming! “Come on. Just let me see yours! I’ll do nothing else!”. Just when Hina relents and takes out her homework, Atsushi is already gone. He’s been taken away by the adults!

Episode 12
Since there will be volunteers for the traffic safety programme, Futami wants her students to greet them. Especially Atsushi. Make sure he makes them remember his face. So when Atsushi goes up to one of them, he introduces himself. Of course the junior officer thought he is trying to hit on her. At least not when she’s on duty. He even gives her a card of his address and phone number. What will she think of this?! Worse, Atsushi is bugging her to remember his face and not forget him! She panics and runs to her senior’s side. The next day, Atsushi sees people staring and whispering things about him. He thinks they have remembered his face. I think not. Then when he holds Hina’s hand, those people shout for the police and the officer jumps and restrains him! Anything he says is used against him! They can’t believe he came back here again (repeat offender?). Because this is his way to school (he’s targeting school kids?). He is an elementary school kid with a bag to prove it (he’s got props for it? Could be stolen too). Futami prepares the class register, class photo and physical examination sheet. She’s all ready now. Guess where’s she going? To bail out Atsushi from the police station! Man, she must be a veteran in doing this all the time.

Episode 13
Atsumi and Atsushi are at the hanami when they see Take doing his part time job selling dango (dumplings). Take mentions about Hana Yori Dango which literally means dumplings over flowers but can also mean boys over flowers. Is he trying to advise Atsushi if he ends up like him, he’ll go back to dumplings? He dreams of marrying someone rich. Maybe he just needs to put in more effort. The duo come into Futami and her colleagues. Since they’re all drunk, they think Atsushi is drunk because he is saying Atsumi is his older sister! Futami crawls all over Atsushi, hoping he won’t get interrogate by the police again. While Futami rants about the numerous trips she had made to bail him out, the siblings make a run for it so she didn’t realize it is Take who is lying on her lap face underneath her boobs. Maybe this motivation will make him try harder to get a job.

Episode 14
With the new school term, the new first year students mistakes Atsushi as a teacher and crowd around him with their problems. Futami goes out to quell the misunderstanding he is not a teacher and they conclude he is her boyfriend! No! Atsumi too is having tough. The first years are thinking she may be a genius who skipped grades and are curiously peeking from outside her classroom. There’s a whole bunch of them! Sayo decides to explain to them but she’s ranting away all the good points of this little sister of hers! Her sister?! So boring, so long-winded, too wordy, too long (fast forward please) that everybody had left by the time she finished her ‘awesome praises’. But I guess it’s good too since she cleared the area for her.

Episode 15
Atsushi meets up with his friends but it seems his bicycle has training wheels. That’s because he has been falling off too many times so this prompted Atsumi to attach them. His friends think it’s uncool but if he takes them off, Atsumi and mommy are going to be mad. Hina comes by and thinks they are picking on him. But when she realizes she is really using them, Atsushi tries to show he is a man and takes them off. Then they practice with him at the grassy riverside. He can fall off as many times he wants without getting hurt too bad. Yeah, he did just that for almost the entire day! From the sound of it, did he end up crashing onto his friends? So when finally he is able to balance, I guess his friends would love to do the riding next time because they’re pretty messed up too.

Episode 16
Futami wants his students to write an essay about their dreams. Guess what is Atsushi’s dream? To be normal. I guess this doesn’t sit well with the rest of the class. Back home, he finds Atsumi having the same problem of turning in her future occupation. But first she needs to get into college. Atsushi thinks hard on the people who are picking their jobs right now and concludes the right person to talk to is Take! The jobless guy might be depressed upon being asked but realizes this means he still has a future. So Take is going to teach him what all guys dream for in their lives. He didn’t realize what Atsushi meant when he thanked him for helping out with his homework. So when Atsushi hands over his essay to Futami, he mentions he wants to be a porn star! WTFFFFFFFFFFF???!!! See how Futami turn into a demon!

Episode 17
Since Atsushi is inviting his friends over, Atsumi makes pastries for them. However she outdone herself and has made too much. So many surpluses that there’s more left even after handing some to Take. She invites Sayo over and she flusters upon seeing Atsushi whom she thinks is the neighbour. They both are talking differently because Sayo thought her ‘neighbour’ likes kids and Atsumi admits he always gave hand-me-downs. She couldn’t understand why Sayo finds the unemployed 32 year old so attractive. Sayo eavesdrop Atsushi and his friends about ‘changing jobs’ and ‘lacking the necessary skills’. I think they’re referring to a video game. However Sayo misinterprets he is having a hard time finding a job and feels for him. So sympathetic that she feels the need to cheer him on and tell him to not give up.

Episode 18
Atsushi and Atsumi’s family are at a hotspring inn. However their parents’ yukatas have a sizing error. Did the tailor made the wrong specifications? Looks baggy… Atsumi makes her way to the bath when she sees a little girl waiting outside for her parents who are already inside the bath. She invites her to come in with her. To her horror, she realizes she just entered the men’s section since the girl’s father is in here. Atsumi panics that she’ll be arrested and charged as a pervert and rumours will spread. However the father wonders where Atsumi’s parents are. Phew. Sometimes it’s just grateful to be small, eh? Then Atsushi comes in and before he could spill everything, Atsumi knocks him out with a tub and says this is her ‘father’ and takes their leave. Atsumi’s parents wonder if she is dizzy out from the bath and again before Atsushi could tell what happen, she stuffs his mouth with food! This time she enters the female’s section alone and the women praise her for being a mature girl to come here alone without her parents. Don’t mind her…

Episode 19
The sports festival is coming up and Futami advises Takumi and Tetsuya to train hard. However they feel lots of people are going to get hurt the way Atsushi is dragging his partner around in the three-legged-race. Atsushi asks mom to come to his sports day. She’ll gladly go. Till she learns she can participate with him. Oh! Suddenly her back hurts. What about daddy? Oh! Suddenly his knee hurts! Atsumi, you’re the only one left. Atsumi sees Take in his part time job vending ice cream outside the school. He gives her a free ice cream on the house. Atsushi’s size is clearly an advantage because in all events, he stands out. Literally. Too easy! The opponents are not happy because they’ve got a big guy on their side and want a handicap. However it is pointed out they already have one. Look at this heartbreaking scene: Atsushi dragging his partner around through the ground during the three-legged-race. Amen…

Episode 20
Continuing the sports festival, the next event is scavenger hunt and Atsushi’s parents could imagine the happy scene their son in. But when they see him carry Futami over the finish line (his target is to grab his favourite teacher), all their dreams come crashing down. Atsushi learns Take is outside and goes to see him. Take makes Atsushi take over his job so he could slack off a bit. At this point, Sayo arrives and is surprised to see him. She later tells Atsumi that her ‘neighbour’ is outside and Atsumi doesn’t deny it. Seeing Atsushi reunite with her, Sayo thinks their families must be very close to each other. The event resumes with the mixed relay race for kids and their guardians. Before the start, Atsushi is placed within the guardians and Atsumi escorted to the kids’ side. Naturally… The race starts and they have no time to argue and set things right. Just go with the flow. Oh, the elementary kids could even give Atsumi a run for her money!

Episode 21
Sayo visits Atsumi and sees Atsushi sleeping. Take happen to come by to pass them excess ice cream. Sayo and Take greet each other but Atsumi is baffled. Haven’t they met before? They both deny and this is their first time. Atsumi explains the sleeping one is her little brother who is an elementary school children and this ice cream guy is their neighbour. Can Sayo handle the shock? Sayo sits alone so Take talks to her. It’s natural that the person she imagined didn’t match up to reality but at the same time she can’t stop thinking about him. She doesn’t know what to do. Take says maybe she doesn’t have to do anything and if she lets time pass, the answer will come naturally. Sayo makes her decision.

Episode 22
Since Atsumi is rather tired, Atsushi has to take himself the clothes he’ll be wearing to school. He decides on a hand-me-down from Take he has never worn before. Erm… Isn’t that a little too revealing?! That see-through singlet does make him look like a rock star… Crazy… So of course when Futami sees it, she freaks out. She wants him to cover up but there are no extra clothes. He’s going to take them off! Okay, better to have it on then. His guy friends think the shirt weird though they like it but the girls are confused. Hina thinks if he’s wearing it, it must be okay. On the way out of school, Hina mentions she likes his usual looks the best. As Atsushi is going to hold Hina’s hand, a couple of guys rein in the ‘sick bastard’. Not again!

Episode 23
Atsushi and his friends visit Atsumi’s high school cultural festival. Atsushi really does fit in here because the students are bugging him to come patron their class. But he gets easily frightened by the ghost… The trio meet Sayo and her friends whom they think Atsushi is her boyfriend. She points out he’s Atsumi’s younger brother, they thought she’s referring to Takumi and Tetsuya. Atsumi is not around since she’s busy with a play. She is playing the most important roles that nobody else can play. Yeah, child roles. Sayo treats them to snack and Atsushi notes how it tastes just like the one Atsumi made yesterday. Well, that’s because this was made by Atsumi herself. Sayo’s friends encourage her to go with her ‘boyfriend’ but she’s hesitant since he’s just an elementary kid. If she doesn’t want to, her friends would want to! So eventually Sayo takes Atsushi and his friends around. A fortune teller invites them to take their reading as a couple. Sayo seems nervous but realizes Atsushi and his friends more interested at a robot model nearby. Yeah, so an elementary kid…

Episode 24
There is a large crowd buying bread at the school canteen. At this rate, Atsumi and Sayo won’t buy any. Sayo has an idea. She gives Atsumi a piggy back ride. Shouldn’t she be bringing something back on her behalf instead? This is embarrassing. In class, Sayo pets Atsumi and has always wished for a younger sister. Is this what she think it’ll be like? Sayo learns how Atsushi calls Atsumi. Nothing extraordinary. She thought calling ‘onee-sama’ would sound more fitting to ‘nee-chan’. Sayo and Atsumi are out shopping together and since there aren’t any clothes for Atsumi’s size, she thinks they should go for mother-daughter clothes. Sayo treats Atsumi well throughout the day and they had lots of fun. So when she invites her to buy bread at the school canteen again, you think she’d pass this chance up again? Even if she brought her own lunch.

Episode 25
There’s one more marble cake left and it is decided they’ll have a contest for it. Since Atsushi is big, if they hold a race, he’ll definitely win. Girls will be involved too so they need to use their brains. Turns out to be hide and seek. Yeah, Atsushi is at a total disadvantage. Too big to hide! The traffic officer ladies are here to give a talk on road safety when they see someone suspicious hiding behind the dustbin. Hey, it’s that guy they’ve caught before! Atsushi explains he is playing hide and seek and if he is caught, he won’t get the last marble cake. The ladies think it’s his term for bloomers, Mar-ble. Mar-buru. Mar-bloo. So bloomers, right? Making him even more suspicious is when he starts running thinking his friends have found him. The officers chase after him but the junior mentions that bloomers have been abolished some time. The senior got distraught and realizes how old she is! Enough time for Atsushi to run away but bumps into Futami. The officers think he’s into grown women too! The kids are waiting in the hall when they see Atsushi being chased by the officers. They tackle him right on stage! However they realize their blooper when Futami and his friends explain. To hide the embarrassment, they feign that this is a demonstration on how to apprehend a criminal! The duo realize their wrong and how much he has suffered because of the misunderstanding. The junior feels of wanting to help him so the senior is confident she’ll get her chance one day. But she didn’t count on getting that chance so soon and in the same day because an adult has apprehended Atsushi as a stalker targeting elementary children! This is going to be a long tiring affair.

Episode 26
Atsushi and his friends are playing rope skipping. Since he is too tall, they suggest he crouch and jump. Looks odd. Getting tired, isn’t he? Sayo and Atsumi are studying at home when Atsushi returns. Sayo feels happy that she greeted him but reality strikes hard when she sees his kiddie backpack. When it’s time for dinner, Atsushi happily pulls them along. At the diner, they see Take working here part time. He gives them free desserts. Is he sure? Well, it’s his last day here. Get a permanent job already! Atsushi and Atsumi walk home together and since it’s a little dark, Atsushi promises to protect her if someone bad comes. He carries her over his shoulder, much to her embarrassment. Then the all too familiar siren… Oh sh*t! He got arrested again.

Special 1
Atsushi hopes Futami can teach him swimming. She doesn’t mind till she thinks his big body might just overwhelm her. Better change your mind! Atsushi and Atsumi are at the public pool. Sayo is there too and she must be desperate to show her swimsuit to Atsushi. Yeah, the price tag is still on it. Too bad that kid doesn’t see anything special and drags the girls into the pool. Too bad Atsumi is too short that it seems like she’s standing underwater. Sayo has these romantic visions of Atsushi but I guess in reality it wasn’t meant to be. Even if she tries teaching him swimming, he’s just fooling around. Later Take notices the tan Atsushi has and have something he can wear to go along with it. Hawaiian getup? Atsumi thought it suited him too much and should just return the clothes.

Special 2
Take is now working at a bar. He spots Atsushi and invites him in for a juice. Master thought he is a new worker and makes him start as a bartender. The female bartender freaks out at Atsushi looking at him because well, he was told to keep watch on things. Take realizes Atsushi is now working and tries to tell Master that he is too young but he dismisses it as a joke when he asks Atsushi’s age. So Atsushi imitates the female bartender, making her nervous. Then the traffic officer ladies come in for a drink and are shocked to see Atsushi working. They confront Master about letting a minor work but he is still convinced he is of legal age. Then witnessing his acting like an elementary kid, he finally realizes he really is an elementary kid. Seeing is believing. Atsushi goes home and gets reprimanded by Atsumi. But seeing that he mentioned he has learnt a lot of stuff at Take’s new place, she lets it slide. If she’d only knew. Lastly the senior officer lady is drunk and is taking out her problems on Take. Yeah, she’s hitting 30 and still unmarried. OMG! She’s strangling him! I wonder if he can survive this job.

Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover!
So in the end, things never really changed, huh? Atsushi is still acting like a happy innocent elementary kid while Atsumi as the responsible and caring sister. Too bad that just doesn’t translate well in the eyes of others. At the end of the anime, I thought at this point the police would have at least recognized who Atsushi is. I mean, he is already a frequent ‘visitor’ to the station, right? So unless they really have a bad memory or they change the personnel so often like they change underwear, they and the public should at least know who this Atsushi is, right? Seeing him getting arrested for being a suspect as a molester, stalker, paedophile, child kidnapper, flasher and the likes may be funny and hilarious but when you think about it, it feels pretty annoying. If this goes on anymore, will they be considered as the ones who destroyed his innocence? Who is to be blamed if Atsushi grows up to be a serial psycho? Better be safe than sorry? I know they’re trying to tell us to protect our kids and be responsible citizens but it’s getting pretty old reporting the same guy every day, don’t you think? Thus every time this arrest happens, it just brings back memories how Atsushi’s case is pretty similar to Mitsudomoe’s Soujirou (the Marui triplets’ big fat father who is often mistook as a suspicious bad guy).

I’m not sure if Sayo is still bent on pursuing her love for Atsushi. It’s good that she still keeps her cool after finding out the truth but I’m sure she did think a little ahead the implications if she went out dating with him. Sure, in the eyes of the rest, they seem like the perfect couple. But legally, Sayo can probably be charged for leading a minor! Plus, how would you like it if your boyfriend has a body and face of a hot and handsome guy but the mentality of an elementary kid? It’s a whole new level of maturity in this point of view. I guess there is a subtle hint that tells us how true this is. Grownup guys are like kids on the inside and young girls can be more mature than you think. Take’s job hopping is somewhat a running gag for this series. Either he bums around and gets nagged by his mother or he only does his part time job for a very short limited period of time. I think he qualifies to be a NEET. Just needs an otaku hobby… ;p. Plus, did you notice you can never see his face? At least not his eyes. Maybe they don’t want to hint that this is what unemployed 32 year olds look like. Atsushi’s friends show us the innocence they have for their age. Atsushi may be big but they don’t see him as the ‘big’ as other people would view. They happily mix around with him and don’t understand the implications about a grownup man holding a hand of a little girl. I suppose the age of innocence while melt away once they enter high school, huh? Futami is a good teacher. Just that she needs to get used that Atsushi is just a kid in a grown man’s body. Kids can strip freely without raising an eyebrow but adults… This really makes Atsushi in a bind and especially for Futami who isn’t good in dealing men.

Rie Kugimiya as the voice of Atsumi really fits her loli-like character. Though she still puts on her trademark high pitch voice, she fittingly sounds responsible and mature and not like the tsundere loli character roles that she usually does. Ryotaro Okiayu voices Atsushi and he did a pretty good job in making the character sound like a kid his age but stuck in a different body. I mean, this is the guy who voiced Byakuya in Bleach, Mitsui in Slam Dunk and Tezuka in Prince Of Tennis, so he sounds slightly different than those usual serious roles. Other casts include Aya Hirano as Sayo (Lucy in Fairy Tail), Takahiro Sakurai as Take (Jenos in Black Cat), Aya Uchida as Hina (Ascoeur in Kiddy Girl -and), Aya Gouda as Takumi (Taketo in R-15), Yoshino Nanjou as Tetsuya (Kokoro in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes) and newbie Tomoe Tamiyasu as Futami. The pop-like first ending theme is Glitter by Aoi Tada featuring Sister 773 while the rock-like second ending theme is Stare by Paprika.

Morita-san Wa Mukuchi anime make a small cameo appearance in this series. For instance, the girlfriend Take recently break up, his DVDs are of this series and in the penultimate episode, Megane was one of the people who brought Atsushi to the officer. These cameos are because both series are made by the same studio house, Seven. As much as this series wants to tell us not to judge a cover by its book, it doesn’t hurt to be a little careful. Maybe too careful in this case. Ultimately it’s what the inside that counts, right? It’s because of too many of such incidents that prompt society to be suspicious and judgmental. So the question is, will Atsushi grow older into an old man when he grows up? Will Atsumi grow taller than she is now? Will Sayo ever find true love or make Atsumi her sister? Will Take ever get a job? Can genuine adults ever get to even hold the hand of a child in public anymore? Well, just hope you don’t get arrested for a suspected molester.

Ao No Exorcist

September 16, 2012

We’ve often heard about stories from the movies how the big bad Satan himself wants to destroy humanity by coming down to Earth himself via some vessel, right? How often do you hear Satan sending his own son instead? After all, God sent his only son Jesus to Earth before so why can’t the devil do it himself too. However if you think that Ao No Exorcist is about the prevention of Satan’s son from awakening his true powers to destroy Earth, I won’t say you are totally wrong but that is not what this series is about.

Rin Okumura in the eyes of many seemed like a normal kid. Only thing is his penchant into getting into trouble. Lots of trouble. It’s like as though trouble follows him everywhere. Unlike his twin brother, Yukio who is a total opposite, polite and considerate. If not for them being placed under the church, father Shirou Fujimoto‘s care, who knows what Rin would turn out to be. A delinquent turned mobster maybe. Worse. As you probably would have guessed, Rin isn’t an ordinary kid. He is in fact the son of Satan whom Fujimoto has carefully sealed its powers with the demon sword Kurikara for 15 years. And when Satan attempts to claim his son back and has Fujimoto killed in the process, Rin vows to become stronger and beat the crap out of Satan! Woah. Can the son of the demon lord do this? Well, I can guess that Fujimoto who has been a real father figure would have more impact on Rin’s life than Satan himself. Just like in some cases whereby kids grow up in an adopted environment instead with their biological parents. And thus this series chronicles Rin’s struggles to become an Exorcist with his other comrades in order to achieve his goal. Yeah, I know. It’s pretty ironic. The son of Satan joining an elite group bent on eradicating the devil. Oh, Rin must make sure his real identity isn’t found out either. You know how many people hate Satan because their loved ones were killed by him.

Episode 1
Many years ago, there were several attempts by priests to prevent Satan from coming into our world known as Assiah. Unfortunately many of them were burnt by the blue flame of Satan. Rin gets into another trouble. He beat up a few guys till his knuckles are bloodied. Not because he has a penchant for blood. Rather, he wanted to stop them from mindlessly killing innocent pigeons. Even if he gets a part time job, he doesn’t stay long. Each successful one is like a big thing for the other fathers of the church. His records speak for themselves as he may not stay long in his supermarket part time job. Yup, he already encountered a few problems that are enough to piss the store manager. However. Yes, however. His cooking for a food sample booth may just turn things around. Delicious! A good news that warrants celebration! For the first time, Rin may be staying longer than a day. Later in the day, Rin spots a girl, Yui who earlier visited his church (she was complaining she can see spirits). A naughty spirit stole her scarf and since Rin can also see this mischievous spirit, he goes after it. Causing a hell lot of ruckus during the chase inside the supermarket, he manages to save Yui from a falling stack of beer cans. However, Yui is bleeding and unconscious. Ah well. There goes his job. Yup, he got fired for his violence and sits dejectedly at the park swing. Yukio and the fathers are wondering why Rin is late for the celebration which also doubles as Yukio’s farewell party to True Cross Academy. Yukio goes to find his brother and brings him back. Yui’s father also thanks them for saving his daughter but scoffs off about Rin’s remarks about seeing spirits. Before Rin could rant his mouth off, Fujimoto shuts him up and gives Yui a charm and hopes daddy won’t pin the blame on her. Oh, Rin is also grounded for the bill Fujimoto received for the supermarket’s demand for reimbursement for what he destroyed. Next morning as Yukio has left for the academy, Rin could see strange little floating spirits, Coal Tars. Rin meets up with the bullies who plan on paying him to shut his mouth over the pigeon shooting incident. He doesn’t want anything untoward since he too will be going to True Cross Academy. But when he makes fun of Yukio, Rin blows his top and gets violent. He gets pinned down and before the bully can burn him with a hot iron rod, blue flames start to emerge from Rin’s body. While the bully’s underlings run for their lives, it is apparent that the bully has been possessed by a demon named Astaroth. He greets Satan’s son as blue flames are proof he is so and wants him to return to Gehenna (the demon world). Fujimoto has already predicted this and exorcises the demon out from the bully. Telling Rin about the 2 different worlds and how they should never be connected, he warns that now his true identity has been revealed, many more will be targeting him. Now he must run and hide for he is the son of the evil Satan himself. Can Rin fathom all this for the day?

Episode 2
While Fujimoto takes Rin and run across the rooftops, Rin remembers when he was young, other people kept calling him a demon which he furiously denied. Astaroth revives in the bully’s body (because his body is easy to possess due to hatred) and resumes his hunt for Rin. After dispatching demon corpses, Fujimoto and Rin safely arrive back at the sanctuary of their church. But they have lots to prepare in setting up barriers since it’s going to be a big battle before the break of dawn. Fujimoto shows Rin Kurikara in which his demon powers are sealed within. This sword is more previous than his life and he must protect it at all cost. However he must never wield it and doing so will have him awaken as the devil. Rin must be thinking, if he is a devil’s son, what does that make Yukio? Fujimoto explains that they are fraternal twins and since Yukio had a weak body since birth, he could not bear the power and only Rin has the devil’s powers instilled. But why did Fujimoto kept this a secret? Raising him as a human was the only best way and condition they would let him live. Astaroth crashes a truck into the church to pick Rin up. Fujimoto wants Rin to run and gives him a handphone containing only a number of his trusted friend before locking him down in the cellar. Fujimoto and the fathers fight back Astaroth but the night has made him too powerful to be contained by simple spells. Stubborn Rin busts out of the cellar and demands the truth from Fujimoto. What Rin says next hurt Fujimoto’s heart. Rin doesn’t want him to call himself as his father since he isn’t a real one to begin with. The slap across his face isn’t enough because Fujimoto’s heart starts to waver. Oh crap. Satan possesses Fujimoto and is please to see his son. He opens the magical gate and beckons Rin to return with him to Gehenna. Fujimoto is still strong enough to fight back and the only way to end this madness is to kill himself. Oh sh*t!!! It is then Rin started realizing things. Flashback of Fujimoto’s kindness flashes through his mind. Rin draws out Kurikara and slices the gate. Worried Yukio returned to check on things. All he sees is the church totally destroyed, the other fathers wounded, Rin crying and Fujimoto dead. As everyone pays their last respects at Fujimoto’s grave, Rin thinks of calling the number on Fujimoto’s handphone. Suddenly, Mephisto Pheles, the Japanese division of True Cross Knight Order and his men appear before him. Noting that the presence of Satan’s son walking around Earth would only be a threat to humanity, he is here to exterminate him. Rin has only 2 choices. Let them kill him or he kills them and run away. But Rin wants a third choice. What’s that? Make him his comrade and he’ll beat the sh*t out of Satan’s ass! He asserts he is not the son of Satan but Fujimoto. Too late of saying that now when he’s dead, eh? He doesn’t care if he’s a devil or human and there is no other way than to move forward. Mephisto finds it amusing and allows Rin to join them becoming an Exorcist.

Episode 3
Mephisto is also the principal of True Cross Academy and goes under the public name of Johan Faust V. The academy is so big, it’s like a big city sitting on an island by itself. Even the halls and rooms are so lavish that you wonder if this is really an educational institution. Something a country bumpkin like Rin finds it totally wow. He is surprised to see Yukio as an honours student giving his speech as the first year students’ representative. He is glad Yukio turned out to be someone like this because he was always a cry-baby and it would be better if he didn’t get involved in the demon world thingy. Rin follows a funny looking dog that turns out to be Mephisto. He gives him a key that leads him to the Exorcist cram school in whichever door he unlocks. Making his debut in class with his other new fellow Exorcists, here to receive Exorcism training. The odd students include a delinquent looking guy with a blonde streak of hair, a bespectacled baldy, a carefree but insect-phobia guy, eyebrow girl and her friend, a hooded character and some kid with a bunny hand puppet. Do Exorcists have to be this weird too? To add to Rin’s surprise, Yukio is also in this class. But as their teacher. Yukio has been studying Exorcism since 7 years old and at this age after all that training, he is like a genius now. Rin is shocked that it seems Rin also knew about this and confronts him for an answer. He points out that Rin was the only one among them who doesn’t know. Ever since their birth, Yukio has been stigmatized by Rin, the reason why he can see demons. They accidentally break a beaker that attracts low level spirits. While Yukio coolly fires his gun at the spirits, he asks Rin why he wanted to be an Exorcist. If it is for revenge or his sins forgiven by father, he should better off be dead. So was Fujimoto’s death Rin’s fault? Well, Fujimoto’s body, the strongest Exorcist that lived was the only body that won’t fall apart after being immediately possessed by Satan. That’s why Satan was always targeting him and he was able to keep the devil out with sheer willpower. Therefore Rin must have said something hurtful that would’ve weakened his heart. Yukio accuses Rin as the one who killed their father and points his gun at him. Rin is full of rage and unsheathes Kurikara, warns Yukio about ever doing that but if he wants to shoot, then shoot. The sword was meant for the large spirit appearing behind Yukio. Rin admits he may be an idiot but he’ll never fight his own brother. Fujimoto died while protecting him and he doesn’t want to become an Exorcist for revenge. But rather to become stronger so others would not share the same fate. Yukio remembers that was the same reason why he became an Exorcist. So the duo will be living together in an abandoned dorm in True Cross Academy. That way, Rin’s identity will have less chance of being discovered while ‘jail keeper’ Yukio can keep an eye on him.

Episode 4
Rin may be the son of Satan, but he’s still like a normal high school kid when it comes to studies. He’s not good with them. Bummer. It’s going to be a long way to become an Exorcist. Rin gets permission to follow Yukio on an errand to a medicine store within the campus. While waiting outside, Rin spots Shiemi Moriyama tending her garden. She gets spooked when she thought Rin is a demon. Taboo word. However Rin notices she can’t use her legs. Before you know it, they’re on good terms as he learns this garden belonged to her grandma who died in an accident last winter. She may be in Amahara Garden, a fabled place with all the beautiful plants and flowers of the world. Yukio has just finished his business with Shiemi’s mom and of course she has him take a look at Shiemi’s feet, believed to be possessed by a demon. Though it is not threatening yet, Yukio knows the demons is trying to enter her heart via her unprotected feet and its main body is somewhere in the garden. But Shiemi treasures this garden so much and even claims she doesn’t see any demons whatsoever. Then when she collapses, they take her in and mom relates how ever since grandma died, she has been tending the garden. All Shiemi thinks is about her grandmother now. Shiemi dreams that she saved up to travel around the world. Erm… I don’t that amount will be enough to get her anywhere. Then after her grandma’s death, Shiemi was distraught that her garden will lay to waste when she heard a voice claiming to be a fairy of this garden agreeing to lend her its power to protect this garden. Shiemi felt guilty that she was too late to save grandma when she was crushed under the vines scaffolding collapsed. Rin finds her in the garden again that night and he realizes she is the same with him. Trapped in the past and blaming herself. With some tough works to cheer her up, Yukio notes that her feet will be healed soon and everything else was just a problem with her broken heart. Shiemi is suddenly consumed by the flower demon who wants Shiemi all to herself. Rin can’t do anything rash as Shiemi is being held hostage. But Yukio threatens to fire his gun and he is not bluffing. He really fired! The demon chickens out, releases Shiemi and Rin uses this chance to slay it. Shiemi’s feet are healed and she can walk again as mother and daughter have an emotional reunion. Yukio reveals the bullets of his gun are just vitamin capsules. Rin gets a surprise when Shiemi becomes a new student in the Exorcist class. Sure she’s not here because of Yukio?

Episode 5
Rin dreams that he is a cool hero in front of his classmates. Better for him to keep dreaming but not right in the middle of class okay? Yukio returns the test results and Shiemi could’ve scored higher if she had written correct names of plants instead of the names she made up. Well, Rin fared worst. He only scored 2 marks! To rub salt to his wounds, the delinquent-like Ryuuji Suguro scored 98 points! So we’ve got 2 stubborn hot heads arguing right in class… Rin learns that Suguro is the son of a famous temple head in Kyoto and his marks aren’t just fluke because he entered this academy via scholarship. While Rin and Shiemi talk about being an Exorcist or having friends, Suguro teases them for flirting in broad daylight. Rin flusters and denies that Shiemi is even her friend. Disappointed, Shiemi? The gang have a physical training under Kaoru Tsubaki. A training that will have them get use to how demons move. But starting off with large frog demons called Leapers? Of course Suguro and Rin try to outdo each other and end up in another big quarrel. Suguro gets warning not to get too involved with Rin while the latter finds out from his buddies, Renzo Shima and Konekomaru Miwa that Suguro’s aim is to be an Exorcist and kill Satan (doesn’t this sound familiar?). 16 years ago, Satan killed off lots of prominent clergymen around the world and that incident has been known as Blue Night. But their temple head who was just an apprentice then, hid and prayed in a corner. Just like Suguro, they want to rebuild the temple and restore it to its former glory so they came here to become Exorcists. Tsubaki had to leave due to an emergency (his darling must be calling him) so he leaves the student to their own devices. Suguro thinks Rin is a spoilt brat and had connections to make his way easily into this academy. He challenges to look into the eyes of a Leaper as they can look into the past of your soul. So you must stay strong and not waver a single bit. If Rin comes back in one piece, he’ll acknowledge his determination. Rin isn’t going to take up this ridiculous dare and Suguro gets even upset knowing that his friends has told Rin about his ambition. Flashback reveals Suguro followed his temple head around but people shunned him. Despite that, he never had bad thoughts about them. Suguro couldn’t understand why the people turned on them seeing it was Satan’s fault that their temple was destroyed. He vowed to be an Exorcist and beat Satan and not be cowards like everyone else. Suguro decides to do the challenge himself but because he was thinking back about his past, that slight window of opportunity has the Leaper attack him. Rin leaps down and manages to get in between and calms the demon. Of course the guys start arguing again when they both claim it is their original idea to defeat Satan. Yukio watching from afar contacts Mephisto about what happened. And Mephisto, he is seen meeting the Earth King demon, Amaimon. Yeah, you should have guessed with Mephisto weird looks, he isn’t from this world. He doesn’t want to return to Gehenna because he views this place as a fun playground. Sounds like he has an ulterior motive.

Episode 6
Even if True Cross Academy is like a high class institution, why is everyone fighting over to buy bread? Don’t they have enough? Well, Yukio doesn’t seem the need to go through all that because he has a group of fan girls who would gladly share their bento with. He rather ditched them to go have scrawny lunch with Rin? I know. Things can get scarier if he chose one over the other. Because every other meal is bloody costly (it is a school for the rich after all), Rin goes to see Mephisto for a monthly allowance. Is 2000 Yen per month enough? Rin better learn to keep a cool head. So to solve their food woes, the brothers go out shopping and cook themselves. Rin is good in cooking since the fathers back at the church are a hapless lot. I guess this is the only thing he is good at besides getting into troubles. Next morning, Rin thought Yukio stole all the dishes he made last night. Then it hit them. Since they are the only ones living in this dorm, who the heck was the one who cooked their breakfast every morning. Oh sh*t!!! Hey, there’s somebody cooking there now. Turns out to be… Mephisto?! Actually he is here to cover for Ukobach, his familiar who was the one making their breakfasts. Seems Ukobach stopped working when the brothers barged into his territory, the kitchen. So till he recovers, Mephisto will be in charge of making their meals. Oh God. That curry just knocked Rin out! Ukobach, come back!!! When Rin encounters Ukobach, they both have a cooking competition that ends with not only delicious food being made but friendship as well. Shiemi visits the dorm to deliver something they ordered and the stalking fan girls think she is Yukio’s girlfriend. They wait for her outside but she never turned up because she went home straight via dimension gate. I can’t believe they stalked this late. Curiosity has them entering the dorm and in the kitchen they thought the sumptuous side dishes were created by Shiemi (Ukobach actually). They sabotage it by throwing them all in the bin. This enrages Ukobach as he dumps them into a big cooking pot! Is he going to cook them?! The brothers come in to see the commotion so Rin handles this one. Not with violence. But he reminds Ukobach that he would be happy if people said his cooking was delicious. So would anybody think the dish he is making now will make everyone say it is delicious? If you’re a cannibal maybe. Then they hear the girls murmur and lament why Yukio won’t eat their lunches and for once, Rin knocks his brother as the source of the problem. He makes Yukio eat all their bentos packed with every bit of their feelings in it. Yeah, he got sick… Don’t worry. Ukobach has made a special stamina restoring meal for him. Get the puke bag!

Episode 7
While Shiemi is worried about making new friends, for the next step to become an Exorcist, the Esquire Authorization Exam is required. For that, Yukio prepares a week-long special training programme. Because Rin is a total noob in this area, the guys explain to him the different specialties Exorcists are classified into (Knight, Dragoon, Doctor, Aria and Tamer). One can specialize in more than 1 area like Yukio is both a Dragoon and Doctor. In a class with Igor Neuhaus to summon demons to use as their familiars, seems Izumo Kamiki and Shiemi are able to pull off the summoning process. They have potential to become Tamers, Exorcists who fight using familiars but must never give in to their weaknesses because the familiars will turn on them once they sense their master is inferior. And if a demon goes astray, just destroy the array you summoned it with. Because Shiemi was persistently and annoyingly bugging Izumo and Paku Noriko to be her friend, she agrees to let her be one but from what others would call it, an errand girl. I guess Shiemi was desperate not to even notice this. She thinks this is what friendship is. So the training camp will be held no other than the dorm. Hey, it’s cheap, right? Izumo continues to let Shiemi do the work so Rin had to tell her not to allow herself to be used like that. Shiemi disagrees and reasons she doesn’t want to rely on others and need to be stronger to help someone. Paku is worried the way Izumo treats Shiemi but Izumo feels everything will be alright as long as they both stick together. Flashback reveals Izumo was always a loner and when only Paku came to help her, that’s when they’ve been friends ever since. A hideous monster attacks them and Paku is knocked unconscious while its liquid threatens to burn through Paku’s skin. Izumo summons her familiars but they turn on her seeing her heart is wavering. Rin and Shiemi show up. Rin fights the beast while Shiemi summons her cute little green familiar, Nii-chan to stop the wound from spreading on Paku’s body. The monster pins Rin down and laments he is under someone’s order to kill him. It escapes when Yukio fires a shot into its back. Izumo cries alone in a corner that she couldn’t do anything to save her only friend (Paku still lives and thanks Shiemi for saving her). The monster returns to its master who is no other than Igor.

Episode 8
As Izumo talks to Paku, Paku drops the bombshell that she has decided on quitting this cram school. She assures her that even so, this will not change their friendship. Izumo couldn’t concentrate and made silly mistakes in class that otherwise she never would have. This causes a tension between her and Suguro about ‘being smart’. Rin didn’t want to get involve but with them loudly bickering, he tells them off to shut up. Well, I guess this means everyone gets punished. Guilty or not. Call it team spirit. That’s right. They are reminded Exorcists do not fight alone and must complement each other by covering each other’s faults. So with a heavy stone on their lap each, they’ll take the 3 hours of Yukio’s absence for a mission call to cool off and get to know each other. Three hours?! Suddenly the lights go out and it only seems the dorm is affected. That same monster comes attacking again. Shiemi summons Nii-chan to stall it with some plant root growth. However it won’t last long because the monster splits itself into 2 and unleashed some foul ghoul smell that is weakening them. Rin offers to be the bait, much to Suguro’s dismay because he is doing something reckless on his own. Suguro and Konekomaru start reciting long fatal verses that are deadly to such demons and Suguro tells Izumo to butt out if she’s not going to help. Far away, Rin lets loose his blue flames as he confronts the monster’s half. He sees Igor and this is his plan to lure him out and wants Rin to demonstrate his powers. In a single strike, the monster is defeated as Igor escapes. Back to the rest, the monster breaks through Shiemi’s defence. Shima has a hard time warding it off since Suguro and Konekomaru aren’t done with their reciting yet. Izumo summons her familiars but this is only temporary because the monster is stronger. Suguro is just a moment from having his head crushed when the lights come back on and he finally finishes his reciting. BOOM! Goes the monster. Phew. So while Suguro and Rin as usual getting hot headed about the latter’s recklessness, Izumo and Shiemi make amends. I guess with Paku leaving, she’ll be the only girl friend she’s got, eh?

Episode 9
When Yukio returns with Igor, Rin wanted to point out the enemy that guy is but Mephisto comes slamming in to reveal that this training camp was just a cover up for the Esquire Authorization Exam and to look forward for their report. Yikes! There are Exorcist teachers coming out from just about everywhere in the room! So while the gang are getting treated, Suguro thanks Shiemi the most for saving their lives but chides the hooded and rabbit hand puppet kid for not doing anything. Like they care. Yukio confronts Igor about his actions that nearly revealed Rin’s true identity. He notes he was just acting on Mephisto’s orders to go all out like as though he is going to kill him. Besides, all these measures are to access Rin’s abilities and he wasn’t really planning to kill him there. Yukio sees Shiemi and they talk about the time when they first met. Fujimoto brought him here and he was nervous stiff. But Yukio can’t help think of Igor’s words on Rin. That night, Yukio catches Igor in the act of sneaking in trying to kill Rin. They face off on the rooftop as Igor summons his monster familiars (his body is filled with arrays!). Rin jumps into the fray ready to slice Igor but was kept at bay by holy water. Once they manage to corner him and erase his familiar, Igor reveals he is a survivor of Blue Night. He was slightly possessed by Satan that night and lost his left eye. When his family attempted to save him, Satan killed them all using him. Because of that, he’ll never forgive Satan and that goes for his son as well. He’ll kill him even if it means sacrificing his life. Rin takes a blow and tells him he’ll be his opponent no matter how many times he wants. Just stop getting other innocent people involve. Igor lets him live but warns there are many others like him out for his head. Shiemi comes rushing to the rooftop and sees Rin badly wounded and forces him to be healed by her. Shiemi has already made her decision. She is going to continue be an Exorcist. Soon Mephisto relays the good news that everyone has passed the exam and to celebrate it, everyone will have monjas (hot plate pancakes). What?! Nothing extravagant? Oh well, it’s still good. Yukio confronts Mephisto about Igor who gave in to his emotions so he promises he will not let this happen again. The way he smiled while saying that makes it vague… Then he contacts Amaimon about what happened and plans to let him enter True Cross Academy soon. Amaimon can’t wait to test Rin’s strength.

Episode 10
On a hot day, Rin learns about the different ranks being an Exorcist and the highest one being Paladin. Only one Exorcist can hold that title at a time. Yukio chides Rin’s fighting style which relies too much on Satan’s power because he has a habit of unsheathing Kurikara. The argument escalates till Rin accidentally breaks Yukio’s glasses. Don’t worry, he has lots of spares. But he receives an emergency call. Seems the keeper of the south gate of True Cross Academy, Kuro the Cait Sith is on a rampage. He just learnt and cannot belief that Fujimoto is already dead. Attempts to subdue him went futile but Rin could hear Kuro’s cries within his heart. A little history on Cait Sith shows that it was once worshiped as a guardian spirit and co-existed with humans. But as time goes by and the sericulture abandoned, its home got demolished and it turned into a demon. Many mystics came to appease it but nothing worked. Tells us a lot about their faith, eh? Till Fujimoto who was a Paladin showed up and pacified it. Not only that, he made Kuro his familiar. All without resorting to violence. Yukio is about to use a container he thought as a special grenade on Kuro. This container was from Fujimoto and was told to use it on Kuro if he goes berserk. Rin doesn’t want it to be killed even if this is their last resort. This is Rin’s chance to prove he is going to use his head and not rely on Satan’s power by reasoning with Kuro. Well, he did use his head to head butt Kuro! Rin’s words reminded Kuro how similar they were to what Fujimoto said when they first met. He is lonely and sad because humans have forgotten about him. He wants them to be friends. Emotion overcomes Kuro as he starts crying and reverts back to a little harmless black cat. Mephisto and Amaimon are watching the ‘happy ending’ from the tower. Amaimon couldn’t make a proper decision on Rin since he wasn’t fighting. However he decides to go sightseeing and learn more about Japanese culture. WTF?! Kuro becomes Rin’s familiar as the gate keeping duty will be assigned to another familiar. The container turns out to be catnip, something that Kuro loves very much. Why the heck did Rin drink it too?! Awful, isn’t it?

Episode 11
Rin, Shima and Izumo are working at a beach house that belongs to Tsubaki’s wife as part of their Exorcist mission. While Izumo is floating in the sea, her leg starts to cramp but a little kid, Youhei saves her. She thought he is a pervert because he grabbed her flat chests and attempted to kiss her (he was trying CPR). Then they see the ocean turning black and as the priest mentioned, it is from a giant squid that and this incident is as recent as a year and a half ago. A man went out to slay it but never returned. The trio learn that Youhei’s sense of direction is so bad that they have to guide him to the pet shop to pick up his dog. Ironic to see visitors guiding a local around! They learn Youhei’s dad was the one went out to sea to kill the creature and since he never came back, Youhei vows to be the one who will kill the squid. I’m sure all this squid talk is affecting their appetite. But who knows, Tsubaki is treating them to a squid meal! Everything is made from squid! Tsubaki wants them to watch over Youhei so he doesn’t do anything stupid. Next day, they just watch Youhei sitting at the dock from sunrise to sunset. Wow. He can sit there for hours?! Izumo goes to talk to him when suddenly the giant squid appears. Kuro fights it but becomes weak when he bites it (cats have a weakness for squid and becomes sick when they eat them raw). The squid is advancing and Youhei is not in sight. Actually, he is on his motorboat firing his harpoon at the beast. Rin swims up to the boat and tries to make him realize what he did is impossible but I guess if you’re blinded by revenge, you’re as stubborn as you can get. With a little fling from the squid’s tentacles, Youhei is sent flying and then sinking deep into the ocean. Though Rin saves him, he is in a dilemma to unleash Kurikara. He pulls it out once the squid covers his friends’ vision from the shore. Suddenly they hear someone calling out to Youhei. It is his father and he has returned. In the end, Tsubaki explains his research on the squid. It wasn’t really threatening to them. Youhei’s father did set off on a journey but got lost and tried to find his way back to Japan. Who knows, the squid too had a bad sense of direction. Youhei’s dad did fight the squid but that’s when they both realized it was worth nothing. Besides, the squid had already changed for the better. I guess Rin was the only one touched by the father and son reunion. And Izumo couldn’t help feel that everything that happened just sucks… Yeah, even Youhei’s dog has her matching set of eyebrows…

Episode 12
Finally. Shiemi wears the school uniform instead of her usual kimono. Was it that hard to get them? I’m sure the guys would love the new ‘sexier’ look. Anyway, the gang are to be paired up to search for ghost sightings as reported in Mepphy Land (a theme park with a certain principal as its main theme attraction). Rin and Shiemi spot a little boy ghost crying on a carousel and think he is the culprit. The ghost starts telling his sob story of how his parents made a promise to take him to the amusement park if he gets better but he died and couldn’t live up to that promise. But it’s just a distraction to harass Shiemi. So it’s a naughty ghost after all. Shiemi chases after as Rin was careless to let Kurikara get stolen by Amaimon. He plays with the sword by drawing and putting it back. Now you see the flames. Now you don’t. Amaimon plans to fool around with him since he has so much free time. Rin is having a hard time chasing this pest and Amaimon is making Rin look bad. He couldn’t touch him, get near him. It’s no wonder Amaimon is puzzled why Satan and Mephisto are interested in this loser. What a letdown. Rin loses himself to the blue flames and becomes a killing machine. This is what Amaimon has been waiting for. The power clash has the amusement park trembling like as though an earthquake is happening. Meanwhile Shiemi has been through lots of pranks the little ghost made her go through when the building they’re in collapses. Metal beams threaten to fall on her as she protects the little ghost and Rin couldn’t make it in time to save her. Unintentionally, his blue flames burn the beams to nothing. The little ghost thanks Shiemi for having fun with him today, something he has never experienced in life. So I guess this means he is ready to go over to the other world. Before Amaimon could finish off weakened Rin, the hooded kid gets in between. She recognizes the Earth King and wants to know how he got into this academy. Amaimon had his fun, throws back Kurikara and escapes. While Rin laments how weak he is to even have his sword stolen, the hooded kid finally chucks away her hood. Wow. She is one hot babe! She is Shura Kirigakure, a senior investigator and upper first class Exorcist of the True Cross Vatican branch sent to investigate the Japan branch’s ‘risk factor’

Episode 13
Shura has the badge and licence to prove her position as she wants to speak to Mephisto. Dragging Rin along with her, she seeks Mephisto’s explanation why he kept the Vatican in the dark about this. Mephisto reveals his plan to raise Satan’s son as a weapon against the devil himself. Since he hasn’t mastered his powers yet, presenting the incomplete weapon to the Vatican won’t do. He also answers her question that Fujimoto was involved in this and that he planned to raise him till his powers fully matured. Shura takes Rin for interrogation inside a room. She reveals how Fujimoto found her in a world where every day was a struggle to just live. Since Shura was skilled in handling demon swords and when Fujimoto told her to take care of Rin in case anything happened to him, she didn’t like him pushing to her a job of teaching a kid to use a demon sword. He may not look tough but he’ll make her laugh. Shura draws her sword and Rin and explains the day Fujimoto died, she was promoted and is under the Vatican orders. They are suspicious Mephisto and Fujimoto are hiding something so she is permitted to terminate them or anything if she gets enough information that connects to Satan. And seeing Rin’s blue flames just convinced her. Shura swings her sword and makes Rin run around like a monkey. Seeing the way he clumsily dodges her attacks, she doesn’t believe this kid can even scratch Satan. But badmouthing Fujimoto of being a coward was enough to piss Rin off. He fights back, makes a lot of useless random movements and gets beaten up. But when Rin says he is going to be a Paladin, the best Exorcist ever to beat the crap out of Satan, Shura remembers Fujimoto’s words about him making her laugh. Then she realized that the joke may be on her because what Fujimoto was raising wasn’t a weapon, but a son. Shura will continue to observe Rin but delay her report to the Vatican. This means she will be staying here though she is still suspicious of Mephisto’s true aim despite being told he wants peace for all humankind and Assiah, the reason he left Gehenna and joined True Cross Knight Order. She reminds him her superiors still don’t trust him and in their eyes, he is nothing but a demon. As for Kurikara, she’ll keep it as precaution and if Rin wants it back, he’ll have to proof he is strong enough to wrest it back from her. Rin remembers when he was young, he was throwing a tantrum and using his supernatural strength to trash the class just because everyone called him a demon and he put them in hospital. Fujimoto was the only one who can calm him down and even depart some advice that he’ll be alone if he keeps up with this, girls like those cool types and to be nice with other people. Though Rin isn’t the kind who will get an answer by sitting down and think, he trains with Kuro, the way he knows best. Shura becomes a replacement teacher for Igor in their class (she wasn’t even trying to give a proper explanation for his dismissal) and the rest note an air of difference over Rin. Till his stupidity and slacking in his studies pop up.

Episode 14
It’s the summer vacation for True Cross Academy. But for our budding Exorcists, another summer camp courtesy of Yukio and Shura. Who says being an Exorcist is easy? Trekking through the dense forest and setting up camp may seem like child’s play. Wait till it’s dusk. That’s when the low level demons will hang out. For once, Rin really felt he was doing something with his friends. Real friends. He was always a loner and even if he offered to help, his supernatural strength just frightened others. As night falls, the training begins. There are 3 lanterns hidden in the forest and those who find them will be given the right to join actual missions. They are only given basic necessities like compass, a matchstick and torchlight so it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Rin thought it was nothing hard but as Shura tries to hint to him, the darkness of the forest means his blue flames will stand out and so, try hard not to use them, okay? As Yukio flags them off, little demon moths start pestering the candidates. Since they are given only a matchstick, it’s either they use it to light the lantern or the flare to signal for help. But that means you’re out. Rin heard Shiemi’s scream and when he rushes to her, she is already unconscious. Rin is so upset that he couldn’t control his blue flames. Think nobody saw it? Yeah, Suguro may have. But Rin can still worm his way out since Suguro wasn’t really sure on what he saw. Shiemi wakes up and Shima attacks them thinking they’re the enemies. Then they get a call from Konekomaru that he has found a lantern and needs their help. Knowing this demon lantern will move once it is lit (it has a habit of attacking women too), Konekomaru plans a formation for the gang to move it back. Along the way, they see a flare shooting up in the sky. Who could have opted out? Izumo or the bunny hand puppet kid, Takara? Lazy Shura sends Yukio to do the rescue. Rin and co come across a bridge and the ‘water’ is filled with bugs! Eww!!! Shima not liking this… Suguro comes up with a smart way to move the lantern across by using Shiemi as the bait (she sits on Rin’s shoulders while he crosses the bug pit). Then when the lantern comes chasing them and reaching the other side, they’ll put a charm to immobilize it. As soon as everyone crosses the river, a giant moth leaps out from the pit and grabs Rin.

Episode 15
Of course Suguro is not going to abandon Rin even if he tells them he can somehow manage it (he wants to use his blue flames I guess). Suguro manages to strike the moth in the head with a combination of Shima’s staff and talisman to free Rin. Then what? Now run for your lives!!! Once they’re at a safe distance, Suguro chides Rin not to be a hero and to sometimes rely on them too. That’s what friends are for, right? When they return to camp, they are surprised to see Izumo and Takara already there. They’ve done their task a long time ago. What about that flare? Suddenly Amaimon drops in with his pet, Behemoth. Amaimon can’t get in with the barrier Shura sets up so she explains about the Earth King to the rest. This isn’t part of the training. Shura gives Kurikara back to Rin seeing he already exposed his flames. She tosses holy water to everyone except Rin. We all know why. But giving an excuse that he is allergic to holy water? No time to argue because earlier on Amaimon had planted a parasite onto Shiemi so she commands her like a doll to his side outside the barrier. He takes Shiemi away and as usual Rin goes off to save her while Shura has her hands busy with Behemoth. Despite being told to stay in the barrier, Suguro couldn’t contain his anger that Rin once again went off on his own so he too goes after him. Amaimon teases around Shiemi’s body to stir Rin’s anger and Rin was blown away without any effort. Amaimon couldn’t comprehend why Rin didn’t unsheathe his sword. Before he can gouge out Shiemi’s eyes, Suguro, Shima and Konekomaru fire their fireworks at him. No effect (unless you count the afro it made) but it served as a little distraction. Amaimon gets upset that he got mocked and ignored. He sends Shima flying away with a kick and breaks Konekomaru’s arm with a flick! Is this how powerful this dude is? Then as he strangles Suguro, Suguro mentions he was actually pissed off on Rin’s attitude to go alone and couldn’t care less about Amaimon himself. That’s when Rin realizes that he couldn’t hide it from anyone anymore. He doesn’t want to lie to them further. He takes out Kurikara as everyone witnesses the blue flames covering Rin. This is the battle Amaimon has been waiting for as the duo start their power battle. Mephisto enjoys the entertainment with his tea while Yukio who has returned (the flare signal was a fake and distraction) takes out the parasite from Shiemi’s neck. Rin’s power soon becomes too much for Amaimon to bear and the tables are turned on him. Yeah, that is one crazy power like Satan himself. He is his son, right? Mephisto felt Amaimon has had enough and transports him back into his cuckoo clock. However Rin isn’t going to end it all yet and slices it apart. Mephisto notes how the flames have consumed him.

Episode 16
Even the blue flames are too much for Rin to control himself. Rin couldn’t differentiate between friend or foe and targets Yukio’s group. They are ready to take the necessary precautions when suddenly Shiemi hugs him to bring him back to his senses. If you think the trouble is over, it’s just the beginning. The new and current Paladin from the Vatican, Arthur Augusto Angel has seen everything. You can say he is Shura’s superior and wants to know why she hasn’t been reporting back to the Vatican. Furthermore, Shura tries to protect Rin when Arthur was going to crush him with his Caliburn sword. Arthur isn’t convinced with anything even if Mephisto comes into the picture. I guess the only way he could stop his execution is a well-timed communication from the Vatican itself. They want Arthur to rope in Mephisto for a trial order. Rin will also be taken as evidence. Mephisto gives Kurikara back to Yukio. It is broken and can no longer suppress the flames. Mephisto attends the interrogation while Rin is crystallized. Mephisto is cool and confident in telling everything and the truth, all that they want to know since there is no point hiding it anymore. This includes about their plan to raise Rin as a weapon against Satan since humans lack any weapon that could defeat the devil. Elsewhere, Yukio reveals the true identity of Rin to the rest. Though they are shock, they’re not going to stand around to let Rin get executed. Suguro mentions his family was once in possession of a demon sword and if they bring it back to Yoshikuni, the blacksmiths there may be able to fix it. Upon arrival, they are greeted by the blacksmith (with a heavy kansai-ben) supposedly Suguro’s childhood crush who has taken over her family’s tradition. Taking a look at Kurikara, she is able to repair but needs demon metal. You can’t create them from your own hands, can’t you? So where are they going to find that? As Suguro remembers, there may be some shrine nails leftover that was burnt down during Blue Night. Reaching the shrine, they are stumped to see nobody around. But further investigations reveal that all the monks have been knocked out. Furthermore, demons impersonating as the voice of Buddha are playing on their mind to make them succumb and turn against Rin. Though tempting, we know they aren’t that weak. They overcome the mental attack with their determination and destroy the demons. On an unrelated note, I guess the monks in this aspect are considered weak, aren’t they? They get the nails they wanted and return to the blacksmith to reforge Kurikara. Meanwhile the judges are in a dilemma whether to trust Mephisto or not because he has been in their service for 200 years (Arthur on the other hand is just directing guilty-don’t-trust-this-snake comments all the way). Suddenly the ground shakes. It is Amaimon and he wants to get his revenge on Rin. As Mephisto notes that this is not his plan, this will be a fine time to demonstrate what Rin is capable of and convince those Vatican people. And yeah, clear him of his charges while they’re at it. The choice is in their hands…

Episode 17
I guess when Amaimon is in a rage, nothing can stop him. Not even the Paladin. Is he all talk? Well, if you’re fighting that crazy powerful golem, it might be a different case. I guess those Vatican duds couldn’t care what Mephisto do as long as he gets rid of the menace. Though Amaimon has Rin in his grasp, Yukio and the rest appear just in time to give Rin his repaired Kurikara. Rin awakens with the blue flames engulfing and in a powerful strike, kills Amaimon just like that! Super power!!! After Rin collapses, Arthur wants to finish off Satan’s lineage (loser!) but the judges tell him to back off because they decided to cast their lot on Mephisto’s gamble. Oh the irony. Worshippers of God trusting in the demon… So with Mephisto receiving a new decree to look after Rin, he informs all his Exorcists about it back at True Cross Academy. What’s in it for them? Nothing! Damn. Curse you, son of the devil! But as Mephisto reveals to Yukio, he too isn’t sure if Rin can be Assiah’s saviour and said that only in the spur of the moment so they would let Rin live. And to make sure this plan must work, they must fulfil 2 conditions: 1) Rin must pass the Exorcist Authorization Exam in 6 months; 2) He is to be under 24 hour surveillance in case anything goes out of hand. He’ll leave it to Yukio and Shura. Impossible, right? Well, they have no choice either. Then make the impossible possible. So Rin returns to class with his pals but of course with their newfound knowledge, it’s hard to see him other than the son of Satan, though they still try to act normal. As they’re cleaning up the class, a bunch of Coal Tars deposit fell onto Shiemi. Without hesitation, Rin’s blue flames become visible to save her but he is restrained by Suguro to remind him that his flames kill people. He continues how everyone in this room had their family members killed during Blue Night (the reason why they’re in this class now) and though they still have doubts on him, Suguro will not hesitate to kill him if he harms his friends. Yukio takes Rin away for a special training. It might look simple to just light the candle without over-burning them but I guess for a guy like Rin, he’s going to need an awful lot of time. He better master it within 6 months. Or else. Yukio and Shura also do their own brand of training (they’re on a much higher level than Rin) as they talk about Yukio too is under surveillance. Though he has no powers of the devil, seeing what has happened, the Vatican is not going to leave any stones unturned. Rin is so awed by their training that he forgot to control his own flames and burns their clothes. At least he left their underwear intact. A slight improvement that he can control his flames? Not! Konekomaru finds Suguro studying hard because he wants to be strong and become an Exorcist soon or else he can’t face his relatives when he meets them again. As Konekomaru sits alone in a dilemma, a voice tempts him to give in to his dark side. Rin is still having trouble controlling his flames so Izumo helps him out with some advice. Rin finds it odd she is helping him on her own accord. She says she isn’t afraid of him because half-demon people aren’t that rare and most of them are Exorcists. Suddenly something from the shadows attacks them.

Episode 18
A strong demon attacks them but Yukio’s holy bullets makes it run. Mephisto has every able Exorcist to search for the demon that had infiltrated the school. There are only 2 possibilities for this to happen: 1) There are defects in the barrier; 2) Somebody let it in. The Esquires are to check on the barriers. How many are there. Twelve thousand. Oh shi… Shima wonders if Konekomaru will quit but Suguro doesn’t think so as they make a pledge to defeat Satan together. The demon, Gufuu, was actually possessing Konekomaru and he is trying to convince him to accept him and give in to the darkness of his heart to be stronger. Rin is forced to continue his candle training and he wants to look for the demon as well. Like he will listen. Then Konekomaru appears before him. Yukio is in the toilet and there are hideous spots growing around him when they hear Konekomaru’s scream. What he, Suguro and Shima see is Rin (with his blue flames) trying to cut Konekomaru down. They didn’t see Gufuu possessing their friend. If only Rin had explained better instead of wanting to cut it down… Rin is so upset that he accidentally fires his blue flame at Konekomaru. Suguro dives and saves him though his back got a little burnt. He reminds Rin that he’ll kill him without hesitation if he tries to kill his friends and that his flame can kill people. Meanwhile Shura and Tsubaki follow a trail to a van that turns out to be a dimensional gate. On the other side, Shura treks through the snow and comes across a burnt down lab. Konekomaru finds himself in bed with Suguro keeping watch. He asks Suguro about what he thinks on Rin. Let’s just say an idiot with scary powers is among his answers. Konekomaru thinks of quitting because he can’t take this anymore so Suguro reminds him how his mother died protecting him from Satan’s flames. Suguro leaves to continue checking the barriers as Konekomaru catches glimpse of his burnt back. Gufuu sows guilty mind games onto Konekomaru that this wouldn’t have happened if he had accepted him. In that moment of weakness, he accepts Gufuu and gets possessed. Suguro saw what happened and went after him. Gufuu finds Rin and attacks him, using Konekomaru’s hatred as fuel to kill Satan’s son. Rin has thing or two to say about his reliance on that demon because he’s supposed to rely on his other friends. He wants him to believe in him to jump. Konekomaru gathers his strength to jump out from Gufuu. Rin catches him and at the same time slices Gufuu. Shura reports to Mephisto about her discovery of the lab that was banned by the Vatican 300 years ago for doing research on artificial life. Konekomaru’s friends pay him a visit but he’s not in his room anymore. They fear the worst. He’s trying to leave the academy when Rin comes by. Konekomaru explains how he was taken in by a priest after his family was killed and the reason he became an Exorcist is to repay his kindness. Calling himself a coward and a burden to others, Rin didn’t care about all that because he considers him as his friend. But he tried to kill him via a demon and it might happen again. Will he still consider him his friend? That’s why Rin wants him to believe in him. Just that simple? And with their other friends coming into the picture, it’s safe to say Konekomaru will be staying.

Episode 19
Shiemi notices Izumo’s birthday is coming up soon and suggests holding a surprise party for her. Because the rest are arguing about petty stuff, Suguro puts his foot down and delegates duties for each of them. They also have to try not to let Izumo know about this. Shima sees Paku to ask for advice on what Izumo likes. Izumo gets the wrong idea in seeing the duo close together. Later Izumo talks to Paku to find out if she’s dating Shima. She covers herself by saying they’re talking on the topic of migratory birds. Konekomaru is still wary of Rin as they are both being assigned to make the cake. But he observes Rin isn’t as bad as he thought. When Yukio visits Shiemi, she asks if the brothers ever celebrate a real birthday party. Not exactly because their birthdays are so close to Christmas that it seemed like a Christmas party altogether. Which means the birthday cake that Rin is making turns out to be a Christmas cake! Time to remake it. Oh, the Christmas cake they send it to Mephisto as appreciation. Shima and Paku are out to choose a present so Izumo tails them like a stalker. The way she observes, she starts thinking they may be moving too fast in their relationship. The last straw came when she spots them almost trying to kiss but actually Shima was just trying to get dust out from her eyes. So with Izumo revealed, the duo also accidentally revealed the birthday bash. Izumo gets upset and confronts the rest for keeping her in the dark. She thinks they want to have all the fun by themselves. The point she wants to say is that it is unfair to throw a birthday party now when some of their birthday has already passed. If they refuse to do that, she’ll refuse to participate. So I guess they’re going to hold a simultaneous party for Suguro, Shima and Paku too. So as the party gets underway Shiemi notices Yukio hanging out by himself and goes talk to him. Yukio reveals he has no idea who their parents are or when they were really born as they were told their birthday is on 27 December. Each time they tried to ask about their real parents, Fujimoto would dodge the subject or give ridiculous answers. Thus the truth was never told except for one. On the day he first met them, it was on a snowy day. Shiemi is happy for them to be born no matter what day it is. Yukio gets a shocking call that the fathers from his church have been murdered.

Episode 20
The brothers rush back to the church only to find the fathers being wrapped with magical threads. They are barely alive due to the defensive barriers they put on before being attacked. However they have the most 8 hours to live is they are not freed soon. There is also a message in Polish on the wall that says he will not forgive those connected to Satan. Rin runs out in hopes of finding the perpetrator because he is after all the target. Yukio thinks this is a trap by the culprit and reminds him of his promise to protect him. But Rin doesn’t listen and scoots off. Rin finds the masked perpetrator at an alley. He uses the same sticky tread so that Rin cannot draw Kurikara. He tells Rin he isn’t going to make him die so easily and wants to make him suffer like he has. Then he escapes and Yukio this time chases him. In a tower, he spots Igor and thinks he is the culprit based on some of the evidence. However Igor rubbishes his logic and claims he has not done anything. A small explosion distracted Yukio and Igor got away. Back at the academy, Shura explains more on the lab how the experiments involved fusion between humans and animals. They may be linked to Igor since he quit being a teacher and returned to his native country, Poland. Rin wants to go after him but Yukio makes sure he doesn’t this time as he shoots a tranquillizer into his brother. Yukio and his group of Exorcist track Igor deep down in the sewers. Yukio went after him but soon realizes that one of his members got mummified in magical threads. Once Rin wakes up, he still wants to play rescue hero. Shura reminds him how he can’t control his flames still and flashing it around has caused lots of trouble for others. She gives him one more shot to control them in this real life training, not practice. The masked culprit is attacking Suguro and his friends at the dorm, turning them into hostages. The only demand he made was that the son of Satan can only come in. Mephisto is going to teach this bugger a lesson but his fire magic is doused by Arthur shooting a fireman’s hose. He is here to arrest Mephisto on grounds of suspicion that he is behind the banned human experimentation. Mephisto agrees to go with them since he has a thing or two to say to the Vatican. Yukio sneaks in to the dorm and witnesses the culprit using Shima’s phone to call Rin to get over here. Yukio uses holy water as distraction but it didn’t work and he too ends up as a hostage. The culprit is going to kill the hostages for breaking the rules when Rin crashes in. He further surprises everyone that he now can control his flames. The flames also burn through the thread. The perpetrator gets upset and attacks but is fling outside the building in a swing of Rin’s sword. Shura unmasks the culprit and is surprised to find see a woman. She gets up and runs away. Igor obstructs Shura and tries to go after the woman but was pinned down. He wants them to let him go after that woman who is his wife, Michelle. While Rin frees the fathers from his church, Yukio is sulking that it was his aim to protect Rin. Now it has turned the other way round. He is picked up by a man and brought to Ernst Frederick Egin, his grandfather.

Episode 21
Shiemi finds Michelle unconscious in her garden but since she is heavy (I figure Shiemi hasn’t the strength) so her little Greenman Fairies help to move her. Yukio listens to Ernst’s explanation about their mother Yuri. She was not killed by Satan but the Vatican for bearing the child of the demon. So burning the witch at the cross still exists even today? On the other hand, Ernst lost everything. His face, family and honour and was imprisoned for being the father of a ‘witch’. He knew he had grandchildren but couldn’t make any move to claim them as the Vatican wouldn’t have taken it lightly if they have found out about them. He is telling him this now because the reign of Grigori (the head of Vatican) is coming to an end. And with Mephisto who was assigned as the brothers’ guardian, now in prison, Ernst will be Yukio’s guardian. Noting that Mephisto’s manipulating can no longer save Assiah, Ernst takes Yukio into a secret Dragoon base, an anti-demon weaponry research centre. He wants Yukio to join him in creating a new era to ensure peace for all humanity. Rin joins in the interrogation on Igor as the latter reveals Michelle is actually dead but reanimated. Igor confesses he was once the head of that lab and cryogenically preserved his wife’s dead body but wasn’t the one who reanimated her. When he returned to the lab, his wife’s capsule was already open and Michelle ‘alive’. He knew a demon was possessing her but couldn’t bring himself to inflict more pain on his wife. When other Exorcists came to arrest him on grounds of experimenting reanimation on his wife, they burnt the lab down but Igor manages to escape with Michelle via dimension gate. That’s when he noticed she started to change. She started remembering the painful memories of Blue Night and became the Demon of the Dead and went on to hunt down all those related to Satan as revenge. He also mentions even if a demon possesses her, she is nothing but a corpse and will return to the earth in a few more days. Rin of course is going to track down Michelle so Shura gives him a talisman to trace her familiar who is already tracking her down. Rin gets a call from Shiemi who urgently needs his help.

Michelle wakes up in what she thought is Amahara Garden since the little Greenman Fairies and Shiemi are taking good care of her. They started talking about the garden and could become good friends if not for the circumstances which follows. When Rin arrives at the place, he is disheartened to see Shura’s familiar and this means Michelle is already here. Rin tells Shiemi to stay away from her but Michelle grabs her as hostage. She is hell bent on exacting revenge on Satan and is going to take everything away from Rin like how Satan did to her. But Michelle weakens and collapses. Shiemi disallows Rin to slice Michelle even if he explains about reanimation for revenge thingy and his vow to protect his friends. She feels Michelle isn’t really a bad person because if she was, Nii-chan and the other Greenman Fairies won’t get so attached to her. Rin backs down and reports to Shura what happened. But soon Arthur and his Exorcists show up. Rin gets beaten up as he takes Michelle into custody and will slay her in the name of Vatican. Igor’s timely appearance prevented Arthur from doing his job. He wants him to let Michelle go and will pay for her sins in her stead. Arthur ignores Igor and as he is about to strike Michelle, Rin gets in between them. He couldn’t care less about all that Vatican crap and won’t forgive him for trampling other people’s garden. Michelle watches the guys clash swords and is in a dilemma that the son of Satan is fighting for her despite she trying to take revenge. Shura stops the fight and wants him to calm down since this is going nowhere. Stubborn Rin charges but Michelle takes a shot meant for him. Michelle talks to Igor about Amahara Garden, a place where they can live in peace so Igor takes her to go find it. The Greenman Fairies engulf them in their plants before Arthur and his men could make their move. However after hearing the ringing of the bells, they immediately leave. Shura explains this is an emergency call from the Vatican. Arthur is surprised to see Ernst in place of Grigori who has been dismissed. From today onwards, Pope Ernst claims he will be in charge as he rallies the men that they will eradicate every demon in this world and restore peace. What do you know? Yukio must have taken up his offer to be working on his side now.

Episode 22
Rin may be late for school but True Cross Academy is temporarily closed since Mephisto got arrested (resigned as it was nicely put as). They suspect something fishy since at the same time Vatican got a new head. Yukio has got a big promotion. He is now a Paladin and the head of the Japanese branch. Yeah, Rin is upset that his brother beat him to become a Paladin first. Anyway, Yukio is in charge to carry out Vatican’s plan to eliminate every demon that exists. He hopes Rin will lend his strength. This means the rest of the Exorcist will have access to cool firepower. However as the Exorcists go on a demon hunt around the world, Shiemi is very troubled that this looks like a mindless genocide and massacre. Yukio reflects upon Ernst’s words that this plan will allow Rin to become human again once Gehenna is completely destroyed. Can mere humans destroy Gehenna? Well, he claims his team has toiled for 15 years to create some super bomb. However they need to open the dimensional gate to Gehenna. Though Satan can only open it, recently they have found a way to do so and it requires a large amount of demons’ blood. Yukio still has his doubts but Ernst mentions it will also cure him from being a demon. Yup. So I guess this confirms those growing spots on Yukio we’ve seen so far. While Rin and his friends are resting in a camp, a demon charges through. Before Yukio cold-heartedly kills it, Rin sees how it was crying and was just trying to avenge the death of its kind by the mindless killings of the Exorcist even though they were not provoked. Rin confronts Yukio about killing the master of this forest and wants to know if he is going to kill ever demon that exists, including Kuro and Ukobach. Yukio. Looks like Yukio is willing to go that far and even knocks out Rin. He gets orders to take Rin to the Vatican. Meanwhile Suguro’s blacksmith friend has did her research and relays her findings to him that the strange markings on the weapons absorb demon blood and warns not to rely on it too much.

Rin wakes up in the Vatican headquarters’ prison named Cocytus and Mephisto is just in the cell opposite him. Leaning that Yukio has become the new Paladin, he proceeds to reveal something about the research lab. It is true that around 500 years ago he was the head of that lab experimenting artificial life forms but Vatican banned it. Though Mephisto left, his subordinates continued to conduct experiments behind his back. So Igor is somewhat the assistant of his assistant of his assistant of his assistant of his- you get the point. That’s how they connected Mephisto to him. But someone out there saw Mephisto as an obstacle and framed Igor for it. He thanks Rin for the great conversation they had, transforms into a dog and makes his way out since he isn’t going to miss the greatest show on Earth. Once he leaves, Ernst and his men come in. He has Arthur bolster security as he can’t afford the ritual to be interrupted. Then looking at Rin, he notes how he resembles closely to Yuri. Suguro and the rest go to see Tsubaki for answers (since he’s the kind of guy who talks a lot). They learn Rin is going to be executed at the academy’s highest point. This was supposed to be done after the Exorcist Authorization Exam but since HQ is in a mess… As they head to the top, Arthur stands in their way. He is going to execute them all for insubordination and siding with the devil. Shura sticks around the fight him so that the rest can go on. Rin is tied down as the chanting ritual begins. Demon blood gathered from all the weapons flow out as Rin experiences excruciating pain. Yukio is horrified Ernst plans to sacrifice him to open the gate to Gehenna. This wasn’t part of the plan. Ernst says that Rin will become Assiah’s saviour and be seen as a hero who helped destroy Gehenna for the sake of humanity. When Suguro and co arrive, they see lots of dead Exorcist and Yukio covered in blue flames. Holy sh*t…

Episode 23
We go back a little while in time to see Ernst explaining that the quality of demon blood they gathered was so poor that they need to use Rin’s blood. Since he is not human, they can push him to his limits without any worries. Well, all that screaming doesn’t sound convincing. Yukio points his gun at him but he cautions him of doing anything rash because the bomber plane with the super bomb is on its way here so it’s either Gehenna gets bombed or the entire academy. Yukio offers to open the gate in place of Rin so Ernst agrees. Mephisto is watching with glee from afar excited at what is going to happen. Seems Amaimon is still alive and in the form of his pet hamster. Yukio turns into his demon form as some of the Exorcist gets burnt by his blue flames. Ernst is delighted he can open the gate if they use both their blood. So when Suguro and co arrive, they see the dimensional gate opening and the bomber plane just in time to release the super bomb. Ernst revels in the true light of human knowledge called Jacob’s Ladder that is flowing out from the gate when suddenly the light stops and out comes an endless flow of demons. Yukio hears the voice of Satan laughing in delight because well, do you think such a bomb could easily destroy Gehenna? Yukio blames Satan if he had stayed out of Assiah, Fujimoto and Yuri would’ve been alive. However Satan tells him he’s got his facts wrong and the one who killed Yuri is no other than Ernst who is struggling like a drowning insect on the surface of the gate. Yukio still doesn’t believe the devil so Satan makes him see the truth for himself via his eyes. Back then, Fujimoto was a cold-hearted Exorcist and he wanted Yuri to come back to the Vatican with him. Instead, she is happily living in the winter cabin with the harmless demon friends she made. She believes humans and demons can get along. Fujimoto wasn’t amused because he was under direct orders from Ernst to do what it takes to prevent his family’s name from being tarnished if Vatican ever gets wind that his daughter is associating with demons. Fujimoto was randomly shooting at the demons when Yuri got so mad that blue flames started coming out from her before passing out. After she has calmed down, Fujimoto learnt that Satan has set foot on Assiah about a year ago. Then, Yuri and her team of Exorcists were sent to investigate strange cases of incinerated victims. Suddenly all of them got burnt by blue flames. Yuri was the only one who survived. True Cross Order retreated but she stayed behind to search for those blue flames. Eventually she met a wolf (Satan possessing it) and she heard what he said back then. Seems everything he touched in Assiah burns up in an instant and Yuri understood how lonely he was. She offers him to use her body since it can withstand his blue flames as proven. So would you believe this? Satan inside the body of Yuri went on happily frolicking with nature for days to come?! They talk about life and Satan wanted that. You know what? He learnt a lesson from her how life cannot be taken or given but can be made. And that’s when Yuri got impregnated with Satan’s children. I don’t know how they did it but I’m sure it must be the same way God did to Virgin Mary.

Fujimoto soon gets imprisoned under the impression he laid his hands on Yuri though he didn’t do anything. His warning that Yuri is possessed by Satan himself fell on deaf ears. Ernst is distraught to learn Yuri is carrying the child of Satan and worse, she will keep them (Vatican also bans abortion so doing so isn’t an option). Yuri is charged in the Vatican court for bearing a demon’s children but as she tries to make them believe humans and demons can co-exist, they shoot her down and find her guilty. She is to be put to death and on that night she was to be executed, Satan tried to find a human body he could possess but every one of them got burnt up easily (thus what many believed to be as Blue Night). Even Ernst got possessed but he survived at the expense of his badly burnt body. Satan possessed Ernst to cut her free and escape but she couldn’t leave him behind. Mephisto went to see Fujimoto in prison as he is being told about Satan coming back to retrieve his wife and children but ended up killing almost every Exorcist in search for a vessel. With every high level Exorcist dead, I guess Fujimoto was the only one left he could deploy to kill Yuri and her children (Vatican’s orders as usual). The duo trekked through the snow and Mephisto gave him Kurikara to kill Satan’s spawns. Inside the cave, Fujimoto saw Yuri had given birth to twins. Rin is the one covered in blue flames while Yukio is the pale-skinned one. Before Yuri dies, she says this is proof that humans and demons can get along fine. Fujimoto is about to kill the babies but when he saw Rin smiling, he changed his mind. That’s when he decided to raise them as a normal human. Mephisto laughed out loud but found it interesting. He made a bet that if Fujimoto successfully raise them as human, he wins. Otherwise Mephisto will claim the children as his. To be fair, Mephisto sealed Rin’s blue flames within Kurikara. They head back to Vatican reporting that they have completed their mission. Back in reality, Yukio is confused whose story to believe so Satan tells him if he still find it hard to accept, ask that drowning Pope. Yukio pulls Ernst out to confirm if he was the one who ordered the burning of Yuri. To Yukio’s horror, Ernst says to him Yuri had died a long time ago in his mind. She was already dead when she carried those cursed twins. He will never accept them as his grandchildren as they have sullied his family’s name. Yukio is overcome with rage for all his lies but he got swept away and pulled under the gate. Well, he deserves it. In Yukio’s moment of weakness, Satan possesses him and has finally found the perfect vessel he can fully control.

Episode 24
Shura can’t hang around and play with Arthur anymore despite that bugger trying to stay true to his Vatican orders. Hello, demons are invading Earth. Wake up please. Arthur remembers confronting Ernst about his illegal plans of using the weapons of mass destruction. That’s when Ernst removed him as a Paladin and put Yukio in charge. Rin and co are pretty shocked to see Satan possessing Yukio. Seems Yukio’s body as the vessel was completed before Rin’s. Since Rin shared his blood, he always targeted him. Satan isn’t going to let his dream of merging Assiah and Gehenna to waste after he has waited excruciatingly for 15 years. With the gate now open, it’ll be bad if Rin closes it and will finish him off. Suguro wants to fight Satan seeing this has been his life’s goal but Satan is no pushover. Tsubaki covers and got burnt. Oddly, he didn’t die and despite Izumo summoning her familiars to wash off the flame with blood, Tsubaki doesn’t look that all badly burnt. I guess the good part of being young is that you get to be reckless because they still want to take on Satan. Till Satan’s powers break through their barrier and knock them out. With Shura now in the picture, she has a little bout with Satan to buy time for everyone to retreat before making a snaky escape for herself too. Taking shelter in a building, Shura learns of Satan’s plans and that Satan isn’t going to leave the gate since it is important for his plans. So they need to destroy that gate and stop the demons from coming in. Rin didn’t like the fact Yukio will be sacrificed. How can anyone possessed by Satan regain back themselves. Well, Fujimoto did so there’s little hope that Yukio may come back to his senses. Shura plans the attack that someone needs to fight Satan first and the other in hiding. The latter will then sneak up on Satan and try to disable him. Shura rigs the ‘lottery’ and makes herself go upfront for the attack. As for their other friends, they evacuate the people into the deepest and safest area of the Japanese Headquarters’ True Cross Order.

Meanwhile Satan reminisces the time he spent with Yuri (somehow I’m starting to see her as a hippy flower power girl) and creating their ideal world when Shura returns to start the battle. She may be able to fight on par but as human, she’ll soon reach her limit. Satan isn’t going to fall for her trick to move from his spot. When Shura is down, the fray has an unexpected guest: Shiemi. Can this little girl actually tell Satan to stop it all? Yeah, he’s not buying it. Rin who has been hiding behind all the while couldn’t take anymore of Satan’s abuse on Shiemi so he gets out. But he’s not going to fight his possessed brother. Instead, he is going to talk to him and calls him to wake up. Deep inside, Yukio wakes up and sees his brother getting beaten up. He wants to reach out and help but his inner demons stop him, trying to play mind games that there is nothing he could do. Fortunately the power of the siblings’ bond is so great that for that moment, Yukio came back to his senses. But he shot Rin! Yukio goes berserk and Satan won’t allow Yukio to retake his body back now that he has been awakened. He wants Yukio to finish Rin off but he couldn’t do it. He points the gun at his own head and prefers to kill himself and take Satan along with him. Hey, Satan too is panicking because he can’t believe this kid would throw his life away just to take his. Yukio is crazy enough to do it when Rin gets back up on his feet and punches him. He didn’t like Yukio acting so cool. He scolds him if he does that, there will be many people left behind who would feel sad. Rin knows because he experienced it in Fujimoto’s case. He doesn’t want to feel that ever again. In that moment, Yukio’s will kicks out Satan and he returns to his normal self so that the brothers could reunite and embrace. But save the emotional reunion later because Satan is still around and the gate is growing bigger. The final fight is at hand.

Episode 25
Long ago, Mephisto made a deal with an old scientist to give him eternal life. But once he had his feel, he will come take his soul. The scientist agreed to his conditions. Back to the fight, more demons are coming out of the gate. Arthur joins in the fight. Just when Rin thought he had cut the gate and closed it, it had no effect instead and it also unleashes a fiery blast. Worse, the gate is now moving towards town. Yukio blames himself for what has happened and though Rin doesn’t deny that, he feels Yukio should try to depend on him sometimes just like old times. Kuro has had it of running away and is going to fight back. Transforming into his large cat form, he gives the brothers a ride as they chase the gate. Demons have also break through the underground where people are taking refuge. The Exorcists are having a hard time dispelling the endless waves of demons. The sun just set and they can’t possibly hold out for another 12 hours. That’s when Konekomaru get an idea that since Japan Headquarters is directly connected to Vatican and there is a 7 hour difference, all they need to do is to bring the demons there via dimensional key and door. But Suguro has a better idea. He is going to bring the sunlight here instead. So the Exorcists gather all the mirrors they could find and blam! Amazingly this is what a considerable amount of sunlight can do to demons. It weakens them. If this was a video game, Yukio must be raking up the high score because he’s blasting through the demons like as though he’s a pro shooter. When the brothers fall off Kuro, Yukio grabs and unsheathe Kurikara. He too starts to emit blue flames. Then joining hands with Rin, the blue flame they could control so well now forms a phoenix as they fly up to the gate and cut it. Satan isn’t happy the sons Yuri bore will destroy their dream. However they couldn’t give a sh*t about his dream because all they care is to protect their precious friends. A warm light engulfs the sky as the gate closes. Satan apologizes to Yuri that he couldn’t make their dream come true but Yuri says he merely acted too early and it’ll be up to those boys to find out if the path they chose was the right one or not. So Rin reunites with his friends who are of course worried sick for pulling off such a reckless stunt. Can he make a promise never to worry them like that again? As for Mephisto, I’m sure he is pretty entertained by the flashy show. It also made him remembered about a bet he made with someone hundreds of years ago. Though Mephisto won, he finally understood his final words about wanting time to stop and the wonderful feeling it will be when that happens.

A month later, the academy is restored and Mephisto has been reinstated back as its principal. Classes for the Exorcists resume and it seems there are much more students joining this curriculum now. After what happened, they’re not going to just pray to God, eh? Though, Rin still slacks in class… Yukio has been demoted back to his previous post. Soon, Yukio brings Rin to the snowy place where Yuri gave birth to them since Mephisto wanted them to. Since Yukio saw through Satan’s eyes what happened, he somewhat understood what was going on. Friendly demon familiars lead them to the cave where the brothers were born and next to it, their mother’s grave. Yukio mentions about Fujimoto finding them on a snowy day when mommy entrusted them to him before she passed away. He wonders if it was right for them to be born since had they not, their parents wouldn’t have died and everybody else would have got on with their normal lives without getting hurt. However Rin has a different thinking. They’re here now because their parents tried their best for them. They owe their lives to them and everyone else and that makes their lives precious. So it’s back to more Exorcist missions as Shura and Yukio lead a team of Exorcists to fight of a demon that possesses vehicles called Ghost Rider. Well, he may be riding a bike but no flaming skull. Yukio isn’t amused Rin and Kuro wanted to join this mission despite Rin’s reasoning that brothers are supposed to fight together. It’s okay for Rin to unleash Kurikara and slice the demon but not for Yukio to take pot-shots at it? What was he talking about that Exorcists need to give a chance to listen to the demon before exorcising it? Rin was the one who drew first blood, right? Oh never mind. If it’s going to hurt people, might as well let Rin do what he does best in taking it out.

OVA
Yeah, what a better way to give the series’ mascot more screen time than an episode of its own. The setting takes place just after Kuro becomes Rin’s familiar. Kuro’s mouth starts to water since Rin is cooking a nice meal for him. But that devil boy teases Kuro because the dish is too hot for his sensitive tongue to take. And Rin is going to eat all the meat at this rate. Kuro goes to complain to Yukio but since he can’t understand cat’s tongue, he thought Kuro was relieving at someone else’s place and thought of giving him some training exercise. Upset Kuro decides to leave the dorm and go on a journey. On his way, he meets Izumo who is totally fawning over him. Till Paku arrives. Izumo acts tough and ignores hungry Kuro. Can’t let her friend see her soft side, eh? Next, Kuro starts to get fascinated by playing with Konekomaru’s cat toy. He’s got a ‘cat’ in his name, right? However he can’t stay long since Suguro and Shima remind him they’re going to be late for class. All that playing has made Kuro even hungrier. At the fountain, Kuro sees the hooded kid (Shura in disguise then) taking of everything! He is surprised this ‘guy’ had boobs! Shura is about to slay Kuro because she can’t afford any witnesses but she escapes since Mephisto (in dog form) is passing by. Kuro passes Takara but gets creep out with his tongue twisters! Woah. Can you do that? Ventriloquism and tongue twisting! Then Kuro meets Shiemi and thinks finally somebody who could understand his hunger. She brings him back to her home and whips him up a good meal. Wait a minute. Herb stew and cookies… Are they even food? Gulp. Definitely foul! Making his way to the south gate, he thought the guards would remember him but he remembers going on a rampage and hurting them so he can’t possibly face them again and goes away. Kuro starts feeling nostalgic and wants to go see Fujimoto. Yeah, he is going to where he is now. He’s not attempting suicide, isn’t he? Of course not.

Along the way, he stumbles upon Amaimon and misinterprets he wants to eat the cat (because he’s eating some octopus food)! Kuro then hitches a ride on Tsubaki’s bike (that gay teacher suited up in biker leather?!) and drops off right before the train station. Passing by a man eating ramen at a roadside stall, Kuro is puzzled of him wearing a coat in hot summer. Turns out to be Igor and he loves the spicy ramen for giving him a good sweat out. Kuro runs away not wanting to have anything to do with this weirdo. Kuro wanders into the store Rin had his last part time job and sees the fathers buying ingredients. Unfortunately he got kicked out by the store manager when he approached her (the manager was just making an impression she needed help so bad that doesn’t mind having cats help her). Kuro is picked up by Yui who wants to keep him. But after she puts him in a cute princess outfit, Kuro changes his mind and runs away. Kuro continues to wander into the night streets till he finally reaches Fujimoto’s grave. I’m sure Kuro isn’t seeing things because he is having a nice chat with Fujimoto about Rin and such. Fujimoto is grateful to Kuro because he has lived for over a hundred years and still takes time to watch over Rin. Kuro feels reliable and assures to leave Rin in his hands (or paws). Then Fujimoto bids farewell. Do spirits have anywhere to go? Kuro sleeps by his grave till morning comes. When he leaves, he is surprised to see Rin coming to pick him up. Seems he left his portion of the food and was just fooling around. He notes that yesterday’s meal was boring without him around. His words warm Kuro’s heart. So happy that Kuro leaps into Rin’s arms. But he accidentally turned into a big cat and crushes Rin. Oops.

Ura Eku – B-Side Exorcist
What do you get when you buy the DVDs? Little extra specials of course. This is what Ura Eku – B-Side Exorcist is about. Short nonsensical random clips that last no longer than 2 minutes and have nothing to do with the real plot. When you watch this, you’re here for the little laughs, right? Hey, all work and no play makes an Exorcist a dull job.

Ura Eku 1Yukio can’t sleep so he is counting the moles all over his body. He has 10,000 of them! Woah! Then he gets shocked upon seeing a group of moles forming the Hokuto Constellation. Doesn’t it look like the Big Dipper? And he thought his moles are increasing but those were just his tits… They’re flashing red? More moles continue to pop up like the starry sky and in his panic, screams so loud that Rin had to tell him off. Thank goodness it was just a dream…

Ura Eku 2 – Yukio narrates a true story or as he pictures it, the future that is scarier than any demon. When he visited Shiemi’s home, she shows him a picture of her younger self. That picture also includes her mom and grandma. Yukio is horrified to see her mom such a pretty lady then. Now that she is a fat unattractive lady, so is this how Shiemi will look like when she grows old?

Ura Eku 3Yukio warns Rin to hide his tail and not let anyone see it. However he still fools around and swinging it like a cuckoo clock! First warning… Then in class, Rin can’t hold back his urge to play a prank on Shiemi. He feigns that something is bursting through his body (his tail randomly poking through his clothes). Shiemi believed in the horror scene she saw and got so freaked out that she got knocked out! Rin gets beaten up for good by Yukio.

Ura Eku 4Mephisto is playing a video game with Amaimon, who is just probably munching away all the snacks he’s got by his side. Amaimon is spewing words with double meaning that the food he is eating tastes good and Mephisto excellent fighting skills. In the end though Mephisto won, Amaimon starts chewing his controller!!! Does that taste good? I think all he’s ever got on his mind is either to fight Rin or eat…

Ura Eku 5 – Rin narrates some statics on Suguro. He also mentions how he cares how his mean eyes look. Next we see Suguro getting up real early at 5.30am and throughout the next few hours, notice how he talks about his hair? From being messy right after he wakes up to pinning it while jogging and then fixing it before class. Yeah, he’s feeling real good about it. But as for Shima, he’s starting to panic because he woke up late (8am) and is rushing to get ready for school. Since Suguro has already gone to school, he claims it’s impossible to wake up at 5.30am and basic wake up time should be 8am. Isn’t that a little too late?

Ura Eku 6Shima calls Rin because he needs a big favour from him. In fact, Shima is in a crisis that he can’t get out by himself. Suguro and Konekomaru have already ‘abandoned’ him and Rin is his only hope left. Whatever it is, Rin doesn’t seem too interested and wishes him all the best. You’re on your own, pal. So what’s the pinch Shima’s facing? There’s a cicada right at his doorstep. He tries to kick it away but it flies straight at him! Argh!

Ura Eku 7Izumo fawns over feeding Kuro with her meat. Despite being just ‘okay’, Kuro just eats it and Izumo is so moe by it that she could die soon if this goes on. She wants to let Kuro play with her cat toy but has to go into hiding when Konekomaru arrives and lets Kuro play with his cat toy instead. Izumo gets startled when Paku calls her so Izumo has no choice but to watch Kuro leave with Konekomaru to meet up with Rin. Paku invites Izumo to go shopping with her.

Ura Eku 8 – After Mephisto tells an attendant to leave, he transform into his doggie form, goes around the academy grounds, gets fed, sleeps around and even uses the men’s washroom as his toilet. At least he doesn’t do it near fire hydrants. Then later when he meets up with Amaimon, and notes how he can’t abandon this playground because it’s so much fun. So this is the fun he is referring to?

Ura Eku 9Yukio is having problems trying to shoot down a demon cockroach. It’s too fast. Then he lures it with his manjuu and manages to dispose the creepy crawly. Then he realizes there are more of those cockroaches crawling around. Boy, this is going to be a long night. And so he heads to the convenience store to buy all the manjuus they have. Cockroaches love manjuus? I didn’t know that…

Ura Eku 10Reiji Shiratori narrates he is a first year at True Cross Academy. This is his first time attending school since prior to that he got involved in some ‘accident’. He might not remember what happened then but he has changed a lot since. He praises the buildings filled with history, the elegant students and the kind of encounters he’ll have today. Well, of all people he had to bump into Rin who is in somewhat a bad mood. Rin seems to know who he is and since that he is ‘healed’ he better not be causing trouble anymore. Then off he goes while Shiratori just apologizes. Walking along, Shiratori has a feeling he has seen Rin before. Somewhere before. His face looks bloody familiar. Oh God! Jesus Christ! Remember that bully who got possessed by Astaroth? Yup. This is him! See his face turn into a demon! Now do you remember the pain, the hatred?

Devil Slayer!
Wow. I actually didn’t find myself to enjoy this anime from start till finish. This is one of the very few animes whereby I could sit in and start watching an episode, got so engrossed with it without keeping track of time. Yes, it’s true. Each time I start watching, my eyes are glued to the screen and when it ends, deep down in my heart I didn’t want it to end since some of the episodes leave you in suspense (in a good way). I could easily have just start watching the next episode but I thought I should take my time. Since I’m already enjoying it, what’s the use of trying to go too fast. Even the filler episodes or scenes that have nothing much ado had retained my interest. So if this became the best action anime of the year I wouldn’t be surprised. If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, you call the Ghostbusters. But that’s only limited to ghosts and spirits. You call the Exorcists if it involves demons. There’s a difference, you know. Just saying.

As usual, the story isn’t really over by a long shot and despite having heard nothing about any continuation or sequels, I guess for this season everything is suffice. Being the son of Satan himself doesn’t mean you have to follow your father’s footsteps in destroying the world for a new one. Rin may be the son of the devil but he has a human heart himself. Fujimoto plays an important part in upbringing Rin the right way because Rin could’ve easily turned to the dark side in the case of bad parenting. With Fujimoto’s guidance, Rin realizes what is important to him and grows up (albeit he still has a long way to go) when Fujimoto dies. You never know what you’re missing when something is gone. To Rin, Fujimoto has always been his ‘real’ father because he was always there to support him in his time of need. So of course when the real daddy Satan tries to reclaim his son at the expense of Fujimoto, it is natural that Rin isn’t going to be too happy about it and be an obedient kid to return back to Satan’s arms. It’s like this. You’ve given up your baby to others to adopt. Many years down the road, you return to claim your kid back. Isn’t it unfair? All the years in bonding, building of trust and relationship and you so easy want to take back just because you were the original ones who ‘owned’ it? Rin may still be the hot-headed idiot, rash and reckless kid that charge in head on first. It’s not wrong if you say that he has the devil-may-care attitude :). But I guess he is the type that gets things done by doing instead of thinking. Good or bad, well, it worked out pretty well in the end, right? Lucky devil. It’s also good that Rin doesn’t have to hide his real identity from his friends anymore. There was this fear that they may hate him upon knowing he is the son of Satan and thus a change in direction of the story (it ended with good triumphing over evil, which is pretty predictable, eh?). Thankfully after being with him for quite a while, it’s safe to say that Rin and Satan are separate entities. Just because you’re the son of somebody with a hugely infamous massacre status, doesn’t mean you can treat the innocent child the same way. But would the world look at Rin the same way his friends do?

As we see Rin improving himself in character and skills throughout the series, we see a little of the opposite in Yukio. When Rin is rising, Yukio sort of ‘fell’. For a genius Exorcist who has excelled in many areas for his age, he thought it was natural for him to protect his brother and somewhat became obsessed with this thought so much so when Rin began to improve and surpass him (in the sense he can stand on his own without the need for his brother to come to his aid every time), Yukio became lost and jealous. His entire life he has been vowing to do just this and take away that, what is left of him? So in that moment of weakness, it led to his little downfall by being recruited by Ernst and subsequently being possessed by Satan. It was mind boggling that despite being twins, I thought it was odd that it was said that Yukio had no demonic powers because it was all absorbed by Rin. True enough, I suspected that something was ‘growing’ within Yukio when he acted suspicious so it’s not all true that he is void of any demonic powers. As twins, it is impossible not to inherit the same traits and abilities. Okay, maybe their personalities are like night and day but that’s beside the point. After all, they both came from the same father and mother, right? So did Fujimoto know this and didn’t tell Yukio so that he won’t worry? I’m glad that in the end, the bond between the siblings was greater and it allowed them to reunite as brothers that kickass. Maybe together, they may be a formidable weapon against Gehenna.

For the rest of the other Exorcist in training, they provide good support to Rin and Yukio. Each of them has their own inner demons and painful past so it makes them imperfect and more realistic. Whenever they fight together as a team, you can’t help but cheer them on to come out tops. Shiemi naturally opens up and gets used to making new friends. Also initially lacking self confidence, she slowly becomes capable to stand on her own feet (literally) and doesn’t want to be just someone who is always being protected, but someone who wants to protect what is important too. Izumo also learns to make new friends instead of just regarding Paku as her only friend. Just like in Rin’s case, it took the departure of her best friend to realize that you indeed can make friends and should give yourself and others a chance. Suguro’s hot-headed and stubbornness may rival Rin’s. He may look like a delinquent but never judge a book by its cover because this guy has strong principles that will put most holy men to shame. He always seems to scold and reprimand Rin for being reckless not because he doesn’t like that guy but in a way it’s his way of showing his concern. He is the kind of guy who believes friends should stick together and help each other out at times of need instead of going it alone since it’s not your problem. Konekomaru may be a coward and indecisive on his stand but he finds enough strength and the support from his friends to soldier on. I guess with Rin not harbouring any grudge since he got possessed, I hope this opens his eyes and realize this is what true friendship is. Shima is laidback but he still does what he can. Just don’t involve any bugs, okay? And Kuro, I feel that cat is more of the series’ mascot. Sure, the feline has his own abilities too but being cute for most of the show means that it’s just serving its role like a mascot, right? The only person in this team that is the odd one out is the ever mysterious Takara. Who is this ventriloquist kid anyway? I thought somewhere in this series there will be some light shed on this sarcastic admonishing kid but he’s just like something ‘extra’ to the team. I guess in every team there is always this kind of mysterious loner. He never helps out with the gang, always mocks them for being slow or weak whatsoever after he mysteriously gets the job done himself and is always on his own. So who is this guy who speaks through his bunny hand puppet, really? There is one short scene during the second opening of the Gehenna gate whereby we hear him say from his own mouth those biblical lines which I’m not interested in. Is he something bigger? Perhaps a second season would address this.

We’ve always been told that the demons are the bad influence and villains but you know, things are never straight whenever humans are involved. People like Ernst make the Vatican look like bad people because instead of serving God, it’s like they’re serving themselves first. It makes you think who the real demons here are. Satan or the Vatican. Maybe both. All Satan wanted was to create an ideal world with Yuri and he may be doing it the wrong way by wanting to eliminate this world. I guess it’s easier to start from scratch rather than trying to change everyone’s attitude. Looks like that ideal world will have to wait a little longer. Hey, what is a century to a demon? The Vatican are no goody-two-shoes either. They are so blinded by wanting to rid everything that has to do with the devil, they cast away their common sense and humanity. It’s too bad that Yuri had to bear the brunt of their narrow-minded thinking. I don’t really know how he used his influence to remove the current Pope but I’m sure he has his own network to do the impossible. Maybe because the current Vatican are just figureheads. Notice how weak they are? During Rin’s trial, they had to rely on Mephisto to get the job done and betting on his gamble I feel is just a cover up for their weakness because they know they don’t have anything better to counter the rampage at hand. And then when they got easily removed by Ernst, yeah, that confirms they’re just so weak. Well, that guy went to hell eventually. May God have mercy on his soul. He thought he had God’s blessing and was bloody confident he could destroy the demon world. Well if it was easy to destroy Gehenna, somebody would’ve thought about it a long time ago.

Arthur was in a dilemma to be a good servant of God, someone who upholds the law of the Vatican and someone who is trying to do something righteous. He isn’t that all a bad guy despite his arrogant nature and thankfully in the end his common sense prevailed setting his priorities right. Sometimes doing things not by the book may be the right thing in the bigger picture. Shura was once lost too and it took time for her after being rescued by Fujimoto to realize what’s important. Initially sent to spy and keep watch on Mephisto, I guess she has been observing too much that now she’s like part of the gang. I mean, what would happen if she reports the truth back? It’s game over. Why not stick around and have a little fun. After all, she wanted to see if Fujimoto stayed true to his words and how much Rin can grow. The other mysterious character is Mephisto. It is unsure if he is aligned to the humans or still has ties with his demon world. Maybe he’s a double spy? He’s cool, calm and careful in not showing his true colours and has his way around things. After living for centuries among humans, you think he hasn’t got used to how humans lived? Maybe so bored that’s why he looks forward to see the things Rin can pull off and enjoys watching the spectacle. So is he still trustworthy to the humans? Like they say, it’s better to know the devil than the angel.

Come to think of it, if there is Gehenna, the world of the demon, there should be one that would associate with Gods and angels, right? Where is that? I believe I haven’t heard any mention of it. So does this mean God doesn’t exist as far as this anime is concerned? Then why do we have the Vatican for? What are the priests preaching for? What the heck are the Christians’ faith for? Surely, there has to be God’s kingdom, right? So where do all the good souls that have been praying to God faithfully every night go when they kick the bucket in Assiah? Maybe I didn’t get something straight here. People still go to heaven or hell when they die. It’s not like Gehenna is hell but if that is where demons live, isn’t that close enough to hell? So perhaps another world where angels and cherubs exist isn’t so in this anime and even if they do, I’m sure it’ll be as much complicated, filled with conspiracies and underhanded schemes like the human world. Plus, when the Exorcists fight, some chanting and powers may have reference to Christianity and thus the existence of God may be real but what if it’s just make believe? Besides, it’s not like everyone here acted in a way that another world of God exists, right? The holy men didn’t talk about it. Satan didn’t even mention it. So, it’s just Assiah and Gehenna after all?

Something has been bugging me since the series ended. Who was the one that tried to frame Mephisto and used Igor for it? I mean the perpetrator must have gone through great lengths to do such an elaborated setup just for this but in the end, who was the culprit anyway? That same person who set Michelle loose and turn her into a revenge-obsessed Satan-related killing zombie. My guts tell me to point my finger at Ernst since the occurrences of events in the final arc were something more than just coincidence. However there is no evidence to convict him of doing so since it’s my mere speculation. I mean, Ernst had waited for 15 years just for this moment, right? And why now? I’m sure it’s not because Yukio had come to his side. So to draw the attention of the Vatican and the others away, this distraction of reanimation Michelle and framing Igor and thus Mephisto was called for.

The action is one of the highlights of the series. Not to say that you’ll be blown away but it’s enough to keep you in your seats for the duration of the fight. Each of the Exorcists possess their own unique ability to fight off demons but being low ranked Esquires our main heroes and heroines are, it still feels they need lots of training to power up if they ever want to take on higher level demons. Yeah, they just experienced it while taking on Satan. Instantly blown away. Now do you see why Fujimoto held the Paladin rank? But I was hoping that we could see more variety to than just Rin slashing his sword, Yukio firing his guns, Suguro and Konekomaru chanting their mantras, Izumo summoning her familiars and Shiemi using her Nii-chan and plants. Are there any other demon swords that Shura keeps in her cleavage? Aside the action, there are some funny moments too especially the interaction between the Exorcists. The comical parts are to relieve some tension here and there so as not to make this totally a dark demon series. So you can expect that Rin who is ‘not so bright’, this is where some of the blooper comes in as he tries to understand the theories and all. Hey, he is the kind that lets his hands (sword rather) do the talking, remember? As for the romance chemistry part, I wasn’t putting any hopes on it so I wasn’t really disappointed that nobody ended up as a couple in the end. Hah. Romance in an action genre? Though Shiemi likes Yukio but I feel it’s just as admiration and someone to look up to rather than anything more. Rin x Shiemi? Never even crossed my mind. There are some hints that Shima may like Izumo but it’s nothing conclusive either. After all, that guy sometimes is like a playboy trying to get into the good books of girls. So what happens if the girl likes bugs…

As the voice acting is superb, initially I thought Jun Fukuyama would be playing Rin’s role and have formed a perception of how the character would sound like before starting to watch this series. Well, it wasn’t Rin he voiced by Yukio instead so it threw my view a little off. Eventually I got used to everything so thinking back about it, perhaps he does fit the role of Yukio after all. So it’s Nobuhiko Okamoto who took on the role of Rin. Sounds a bit like Niizuma from Bakuman but without all the meaningless screaming but not as crazy as To Aru Majutsu No Index’s Accelerator. Kana Hanazawa was easily identifiable as Shiemi and her lively expression reminds me of the titular character in Kobato but not so much airhead-ness and Matsutaka of Hen Zemi but not so panicky. I had this feeling that Tetsuya Kakihara as Amaimon will burst into the fiery loud expression like his other role as Natsu in Fairy Tail. But throughout the series, he just sounds cool (maybe bored is the right word) and laidback. Except when he is mad of course. Other casts include Hiroshi Kamiya as Mephisto (Nozomu in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), Kazuya Nakai as Suguro (Hijikata in Gintama), Kouji Yusa as Shima (Gin in Bleach), Yuuki Kaji as Konekomaru (Akina in Yozakura Quartet), Eri Kitamura as Izumo (Kanade in Mayo Chiki), Ayahi Takagaki as Kuro (Mitsuba in Mitsudomoe), Rina Satou as Shura (Negi in Mahou Sensei Negima series), Daisuke Ono as Arthur (Sebastian in Kuroshitsuji), Keiji Fujiwara as Fujimoto (Ladd in Baccano), Ao Takahashi as Paku (Riko in Minami-ke), Ryotaro Okiayu as Igor (Kurei in Flame of Recca) and Megumi Hayashibara as Yuri (Lina in Slayers). Both the opening themes are rock based and suitable for an action genre because it gets you into the mood of what this series is. The first one is Core Pride by UVERworld while the starting funky bass lines of the second opening theme of In My World by ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D may just draw you in. The first ending theme feels like a song from a boy band. Well, that’s because Take Off is sung by the Korean boy band, 2PM. Yes, they are singing in Japanese but it feels so K-pop. The second ending theme, Wired Life by Meisa Kuroki is more of a techno dance pop. Something that would be suitable for nightclubs I feel.

So it’s just ironic that mankind’s saviour against Satan is his own son himself. It’s like saying if you want to beat someone, beat him at his own game. Of course it’s not guaranteed that Rin will actually defeat Satan for good at first attempt. After all, Satan is Satan because he’s such a powerful badass that nobody can touch in the first place. Isn’t that why almost every living thing he tried to possessed starts burning up? Too great to handle, I guess. Speaking of the devil, despite it’s cool to have the devil’s son on your side, it should not be an indication that you should abandon your current faith and worship the devil. Don’t start selling your soul to the devil too if you think that’s your only salvation! And if destroying the world to create an ideal one is your idea, you don’t really need God or Satan’s help for it. I feel at the rate we’re going, we are going to destroy ourselves eventually if we don’t do something about it. Maybe it’ll just take a little longer. Say, 100 million years later? Would I be considered a heretic if I say anime is my religion? Don’t burn me at the stake then. Burn me with lots of moe 2D girls! Haha! Geddit? Moero moe

Anime Group Pose

September 15, 2012

First impression always counts, right? Well, maybe. One of the hilarious aspects in watching anime characters is to see them pull off poses that would either make us go laughing because it’s damn funny, cringing with disgust since it looks so awful (and ironically sometimes yet so funny) or overwhelm us with awe because it makes them look so damn cool. What happens when you have a group of characters doing their own trademark pose? Yeah, a posse pose, if I should say. Here’s a look at some of them:-

Anime: Seitokai No Ichizon.
Group: The Student Council.
Pose Significance: It’s what they call the ‘Going Home’ pose and the pose they will do once they have finished their student council meetings, which is much ado about nothing.
Pose Difficulty: Easy. All you need to do is to do a ‘V’ sign with one hand and put the other hand on your waist.

Anime: Manabi Straight.
Group: Seioh Student Council.
Pose Significance: The Victory Pose signifies the girls’ achievement. Cute, no?
Pose Difficulty: Very easy. Just clench your right fist and raise it half way in the air.

Anime: Koi Koi 7.
Group: Koi Koi 7 girls.
Pose Significance: When announcing their arrival to defeat the evil (Gokou 5, that is) and to rescue their beloved Tetsurou. Wait a minute. If there are only 6 of them, why do they call themselves 7?
Pose Difficulty: Moderate. Considering you have to recite some ‘poetic lines of justice’, pulling off the final pose should be easier.

Anime: Tsuritama.
Group: DUCK.
Pose Significance: When you are an agent of the world’s secret organization, you’re supposed to have a cool secret salutation move too, right?
Pose Difficulty: Easy. Just cross-hug your arms while saying “DUCK!”. Oh, be sure to have that DUCK card in your hand too while saying that. Turbans are not compulsory but preferably required.

Anime: Yumeria.
Group: The main heroines of the series.
Pose Significance: After chalking up valuable experience and victories from defeating those enemy cubes/virus in the dream world, it’s high time to do a victory pose of their own. Or maybe they just had too much time on their hands…
Pose Difficulty: Easy. Nothing strenuous about the pose.

Anime: Soul Eater.
Group: Death The Kid and his twin gun weapons (in human form), Liz and Patty.
Pose Significance: Serves as a flashy introduction to the team (as far as I can remember, I remember only seeing it once in their debut). However you need to get it right due to Kid’s obsession of perfection.
Pose Difficulty: Hard. Well, it doesn’t look at all difficult and it’s only hard because Kid demands perfection. Off by an inch and you’re out!

Anime: Air Gear.
Group: Kogarasumaru Team.
Pose Significance: This is their trademark victory pose which is supposed to resemble their team’s emblem. Of course they have an updated version when they include more members into the team (as seen in second picture at bottom).
Pose Difficulty: Moderate-hard: First, it’s tough to get a big guy like Buccha to prop up that intimidating feel and make the pose look like an emblem. Second, Onigiri and Kazu seem like they need to do some balancing to pull off their part as the ‘wings’. And Ikki… Is that a crane pose he is doing?

Anime: Full Moon Wo Sagashite.
Group: The duo shinigami team called Negi Ramen.
Pose Significance: Introduction pose. Who the heck came up with this lame pose anyway?
Pose Difficulty: Easy-moderate. You may need to be a little acrobatic yourself to stretch those arms and legs a little back. Careful not to hurt your back.

Anime: Mahou Sensei Negima.
Group: Baka Rangers.
Pose Significance: What is a sentai group without their own pose to show off? In addition to this introduction pose, each of the Baka Rangers also has a little movement to display.
Pose Difficulty: Moderate. You know the typical drill of sentai-like poses, right? You need the teamwork, the synchronization, the timing, etc. Oh, please don’t ‘bully’ the Pink Ranger, okay?

Anime: Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu.
Group: SOS Brigade.
Pose Significance: Actually this is the end pose as a result of the dance in the ending theme, Hare Hare Yukai. What better way than to steal the hearts of fans with cute footwork and swaggering.
Pose Difficulty: Hard. In order to reach this final pose, you need to learn the dance movements to complement the entire thing. It’s not an easy task since I myself have difficulty trying to remember them (okay, it’s an excuse for being lazy and giving up too easy).

Anime: Oh Edo Rocket.
Group: Men In Black.
Pose Significance: This isn’t actually a real group pose of the group. When your group is supposed to be secretive that the public shouldn’t know, and if the public do discover your existence, just make up some ally of justice group pose to make it more believable. Did it work? Well, they’ve got the pose, don’t they?
Pose Difficulty: Hard. You need to be a little bit of an acrobat to do some of the poses. So if you are the kind whose body can’t stretch, you can forget about it.

Anime: K-ON!! S2 Uraon.
Group: The all-girls rock band, Afterschool Tea Time.
Pose Significance: WTF?! WTF is this?! Not only the drawing of this special segment sucks, but what the heck is this pose that comes at the very end of it all? Is it their way of saying goodbye and thanks for watching? Alright, I admit it. In a way they look cute too…
Pose Difficulty: Erm… I don’t know what to say. If you don’t mind being in a funny and embarrassing pose… Wait. Aren’t all poses to a certain extent funny and embarrassing?

Strike A Pose!
This list isn’t meant to be exclusive and there are many and much more anime group poses out there. Just that at this point I couldn’t think of them or recall them. Even if I remember a series, the pose within it may have slipped my mind perhaps it wasn’t that obvious or memorable. If you can find any more, please let me know because we all love to see what kind of poses these characters do to our amusement. Pulling off such poses defines a group and gives them an identity just like how symbols and logos make one recognize certain groups and organizations. There are also group pictures but I won’t go so far as to qualify them as one since it feels they are just posing for a picture that only serves as a team shot (to put up as your wallpaper, photo collection or the kind you see in opening and ending credits animation) although in name it is technically correct as a group pose. Then there are individual poses unique to the particular character as well but I’ll leave that for another day. In real life, group poses are equally important for group cosplay and the closer you resemble the original, the better. In a way, it shows your dedication, love and respect. But remember not to pose something embarrassing that you’ll regret later on.

Kimi No Iru Machi

September 14, 2012

Long distance relationships. They’re really hard to maintain, right? For those who can pull it off, hats off and many salutes to them. So in Kimi No Iru Machi, we see how the distance affects the romance of 2 young teenagers, tests their relationship and a little complication that arises when past loves get involve. It’s already tough maintaining a long distance relationship but to add a love triangle to the mix? Love sure is complicating. At least you can solve maths using proven theories… Haha! As I read from Wikipedia, this ongoing manga is set in the same universe and even takes place after the events of Suzuka. That’s because Seo Kouji is the same author for both series. Hmm… Let me try and spot some Suzuka trivia here… Okay, there are none. Not that I noticed anyway.

Episode 1
Haruto Kirishima’s class is having a field trip to Tokyo. He calls his girlfriend Yuzuki Eba that he will be arriving and wants to meet because he has something he wants to give her. Of course after having not seen each other for quite a while, he really wants to see her no matter what. Haruto thinks back when Yuzuki first came from Tokyo to his school in the countryside of Hiroshima. He akin her to a storm instead of a wind of spring that has just arrived. Moreover, even though they weren’t related she was living under the same roof with him. And as time passes, the feelings between them grew since they were always doing things together and within each other’s reach. On the day she had to leave for Tokyo so he showed her in time a beautiful phenomenon of floating ice flowers. He doesn’t want her to return to Tokyo and stay by his side. Well, that didn’t happen. Since Haruto’s class will have free time until 5pm, he patiently waits for her at a promised spot. It’s just too bad they missed each other when he was still on the bus and she was on foot earlier in the day. Yuzuki doesn’t give up and sprints her way. Time is ticking down. Did she get there in time? Well, actually Haruto’s classmate, Nanami Kanzaki came to pick him up. Yuzuki did arrive. Albeit 5 minutes late. He’s gone. She is left panting to catch her breath as she remembers her sister, Rin’s words about still having long distance relationship: She’ll just end up even lonelier.

As Nanami and Haruto walk back together, Nanami drops a bombshell: She wants him to be her boyfriend! Yikes! Well, not an actual one but to pretend. Seems she has a friend from elementary school that moved to Tokyo. She wanted to meet up and since she’s the bragging type, Nanami accidentally told her she had a boyfriend. She can’t go back on her words because she wants to meet her boyfriend. But why choose Haruto? It could be any guy, right? Aha… At a crowded family restaurant, they finally meet Nanami’s friend, Haruna. She assures she won’t steal Nanami’s cute boyfriend. She starts asking questions like how long they’ve been together so I suppose they have to make things up. But the things Nanami say doesn’t seem to match the flashback that we are shown or she put it in an ambiguous way. Like Haruto confessed he loved her during the summer festival and though Nanami rushed to meet and return his answer, she never got the chance since Haruto’s friends call him away regarding Yuzuki. Seems Nanami rejected Haruto because of Yuzuki but he felt okay with it since he can give up on her and become friends again. However he wished she won’t tell Yuzuki since it will make it difficult since they live together. Nanami slapped him thinking he took her for a fool. She is saddened that he always chose Yuzuki over her. So was it true that Haruto did have feelings for Nanami ever since middle school? Flashbacks indicate that they do spend quite a considerable time together and even Haruto did confess out loud his feelings. I guess it ended when Nanami suggested they should stay as friends. Haruna moves on to the next question: They must have already had sex, right? Can’t answer that one, can’t they? Haruna gets suspicious because their body reaction is a dead giveaway. Plus, if they’re that close, how come they’re still calling each other’s surnames? Nanami panics and got so desperate that she put Haruto’s hands over her breast and shout they’re having sex too! That’s a good way to attract public attention. Mind you, this is a family restaurant.

They see off Haruna at the train station as Haruna whispers into Haruto’s ear that he is inexperienced since he should have at least squeezed her boobs. I guess she saw through them. As the train starts departing, Haruto holds Nanami’s hand to make it more believable that they’re lovers. At least till the train leaves. Once the train is gone, standing clearly on the opposite platform is Yuzuki! Shock? She may be putting on her sweet smile but it kinda feels sad. She notes how feelings changed. At least from her perspective, his feelings changed. He loved Nanami so much until a while ago. Since feelings can change just like that, long distance relationships never really work out.

Episode 2
I don’t think Yuzuki’s alright after having seen such a scene. Like as though she’s forcing a smile. Nanami too isn’t feeling great too and Haruto is just getting worked up if he would get any mails from Yuzuki. Maybe she’s mad after seeing her boyfriend holding hands with his former lover and won’t pick up the call? Haruto gets smacked by his friend, Akari Kaga for being a loser waiting for her mail and if he’s a man, he’s supposed to be doing something about it. I guess it did him some good because he’s going to visit Yuzuki’s house. Since the teachers are supervising the place, his friends agree to help him slip through and out of the hotel. First obstacle cleared as Haruto runs along the night streets of Tokyo. But when he reaches outside her house, he can do nothing but wait since he forgot to take his handphone along. He bumps into Rin coming back who tells him she passed Yuzuki on her way home and perhaps she’s wandering somewhere. She even teases him that maybe she got a boyfriend and went to see him. Haruto hopes she could call Yuzuki for him but from the way Rin says things, she hates her sister. She tells him to just leave her and she’ll come back eventually. Though she would feel better if she doesn’t. Rin finds it irritating to watch Yuzuki because she thinks she wins people over by acting like a hopeless girl. Haruto still believes in her so Rin shuts him up by putting her hands on his cheek. She also notes he is the same, irritating to watch. And if he is going to stand there any longer, she’ll call the police and report him as a stalker.

Haruto returns searching Rin in Tokyo. It’s a big city. He remembers when she first came to his home. She returned to Hiroshima because her dad once lived here. He failed to notice she was looking for a place to belong. Yeah, all the things they did together, now he only realized that? He should’ve got the hint when Rin told him that she drove her out as she never thought of her as her big sister! He remembers Yuzuki telling him her dad got remarried and her stepmom brought along her kids with her. Thus Rin isn’t really her real sister. She though relationships in her family were awkward so Haruto that in their case too, they can be called a family. He points out it’s okay to cry if she’s having a hard time and he’ll do anything to help. I guess she took up on his word to cry out. Haruto realizes he has to be her place to belong, a steady and reliable man whom she can trust. At the train station as he is about to purchase a ticket, he meets Yuzuki. Finally. She kept saying how late she is and has sent him a text to say that she’d come to meet him. But he forgot to take his handphone, right? She also heard the entire story about him and Nanami so rest be assured she’s not mad about that anymore. She ran around looking for him and checked every hotel but couldn’t find him. One best way to stop a girl from talking is to hug her. That’s an effective silencer. And if you whisper “I want to see you so, so much”, you just melted her heart once more.

On the way back, Haruto becomes an apologetic person for making her feel lonely. Sure, Yuzuki would like to talk something more than apologies but I guess he can’t help it if he wants to continue to call himself a dumb, slow-witted and shy person. Flashback time. When Haruto cycled Yuzuki through the sakura trees lining up the streets, he wanted to know her reasons for coming here. She once came to this town a long time ago and really liked this place then. It was probably at that time too when Haruto realized he had feelings for her. Just that his dumb, slow-witted and shy self prevented him from being obvious. But for Yuzuki, she had been in love with him for a longer time. Many summer festivals ago, Haruto found Yuzuki crying alone at the shrine. She doesn’t want to go back but neither does she want to stay. So Haruto took her to a nice place. At a lake, he claims beautiful flowers only bloomed once a year. Yuzuki didn’t see anything but when the fireworks soon lit up the sky, the reflections on the lake make it look like beautiful blooming flowers. Yuzuki was enthralled, finally smiled and came to like this town. Then they make a promise if something happens, she can always come back here. Back in present time, Yuzuki hands him a gift as replacement for his birthday present but Haruto feels embarrassed he forgot to bring hers. Of course, it’s time to go. Flashback of that ice flower scene whereby he didn’t want her to go and stay with him. Nanami told him about changed feelings and his, about his love for Nanami and how long distance relationships never work out. If that’s the case, he’ll go to Tokyo with her! However she dismissed that won’t even happen and even so, it would trouble her.

I guess he really doesn’t want her to leave this time and to make her stay a little longer, Haruto kisses her! How about seconds? Thirds? Urm… Maybe they should get a room instead of doing it on the bridge where every passing car can catch a glimpse of their lovey-dovey act. I know Haruto wants her to stay longer and this isn’t nearly enough but really, it’s time to go. Just as it was exciting to meet, it’s just as sad for them to part. Thinking about it just feels painful to be in a long distance relationship so Yuzuki jokes that maybe they should break up. Haha. Before they part, they make another yubikiri that they’ll see each other again. Haruto ends his field trip and returns with his friends via train. Though it’s still long distance relationship for them, he feels they’ll be alright. Their relationship transcends time and distance since their hearts are connected. Thus their long distance relationship has only just begun. I’m sure the handphone is quite the useful tool to keep them in touch, eh? Maybe they should add Facebook too.

Love Is All Around
Overall for a short OVA, I find it quite heart warming and enjoyable. For our protagonists, I guess it ends with them maintaining their relationship as usual. So it really does tell us love does conquer all. Considering the amount of detail I saw on the several characters of this series in Wikipedia, I guess there is some potential for it to be turned into a TV series since you know, this kind of genres will usually have lots of love triangles. But as far as this OVA is concerned, there was quite a strong drama and the several flashbacks that nicely tell the story of how they met and got them where they are. I wouldn’t say that the obstacles they faced in their relationship were harsh but I guess they handled it pretty well and kept their cool. At least for their level. Many girlfriends would have shouted their heads off if they ever see their flame with his ex-flame. What more holding hands. It might not be a very long time since they’ve parted but when you love each other so much, it feels like an eternity. And people nowadays they are so impatient so a workable long distance relationship is like a rare gem. After all, with today’s technology, the world can be considered such a small place in terms of communications. I’m sure if Haruto and Yuzuki aren’t in the same place, there’ll be other modes of communication that will make them feel close to each other.

There is this saying that distance makes the heart grow fonder. It holds true for Haruto and Yuzuki. So every chance they meet up it will certainly be worth every second. Everything they do together will be worth every brain cell committed to making memories. Having met from a young age, seems their fate is tied via red string, no? Hopefully it will last for a long time, if not forever. If Haruto could changed his feelings and get over Nanami quickly, I hope this won’t happen to Yuzuki. But that happened because Nanami rejected him so I guess it is no use for a guy to proceed further when a girl just wants to remain friends, right? And from the looks of Nanami when she rings him in to become her pretend boyfriend, it feels like she has some feelings for him deep down inside her heart. This is of course just my speculation. But you’ll never know. Haruto never realized his feelings for Yuzuki who pursued it till she left so the same thing may happen to Nanami’s case. You never know the value of something once it’s gone. Rin may seem like a spiteful b*tch who hates her sister but that’s only because we don’t know much about her and what went between them. Perhaps if there were scenes or episodes to explain this, I’m sure we’ll understand the situation better.

The ending theme, Tasogare Kousaten by Erina Mano is a lovely pop piece that befits the direction and feel of this series. The background music may not be obvious and noticeable but if you listen carefully to them, they are quite soothing and nice to listen to. Each seems fitting to the scene and drama that we see. For me, I have my scepticism in long distance relationship. I’m not very confident if such a relationship would work out. I’d be worried sick of the good, bad and ugly about her. Otherwise so long an absence that I fear I may just forget about the whole thing. Hey. Why am I assuming and talking about long distance relationship when I don’t even have a girlfriend!!! Well, it’s always easier to watch and comment on others than yourself, right?

Ben-To

September 9, 2012

Where in the world can you find a decent meal that is good and cheap? Well, I’m not a foodie expert but according to Ben-To, you can get delicious and tasty Japanese box set lunch at just half the price! Woah! What a bargain! But wait! There’s a catch to it. If you noticed you don’t see old ladies or mommies queuing up to buy those bento sets at half its price, then something wrong. Hey, how come there are young people fighting out and staking their lives over half priced bentos?! Yabai yo! Looks freaking dangerous just to get into a massive brawl with others just to get a cheap meal! Do you dare step in? Well, that’s the price you got to pay if you want your good food at a cheaper price. Like they say, it’s a dog eat dog world out there.

Of course this isn’t going to be a mindless brawl over the leftover bento sets that couldn’t be sold throughout the day at the supermarts. Many of those people who fight for their right to purchase the bentos at half price have their own code of honour and set of principles that they stick to. These are called Wolves. Then there are those who don’t give a damn and break every damn honour just for their own selfish gain. We have other names for that but you’ll find out as we go along. So as long as you want to eat your bento at half price, make sure you have good martial arts so that you’re not always at the receiving end. It’s sometimes good to ‘give’ too. And yeah, lots of endurance and stamina to take in those painful punches and kicks. Man, who’d know that just trying to get a decent meal would be so tough.

Yoh Satou is a high school kid. A poor kid. One who will soon be getting dragged into the world of fighting for bentos at half price. So what better way to get your money’s worth of food by buying those half price bentos with your limited funds, right? Seems okay. Wait till he sees the fierce competition that comes along with it. Oh, don’t forget the pain too. So it’s either you shape up or you don’t eat. Simple. And thus, begins Satou’s journey from just a mere filling his own stomach to the thrill of getting involved in such battles and yeah, some other conspiracies and powerful opponents he’ll face along the way.

Episode 1
The series opens with Satou getting beaten up. Real bad. And worse, he doesn’t know what hit him. How did he end up so messed up? Badly bruised and with nothing to eat, he collapses outside the mart. Next day, he begins his second day of school by walking out from the emergency room. On his way, he meets a girl, Hana Oshiroi. She was one of the many that observed Satou getting pummelled at the mart. Of course he doesn’t remember who she is. Initially she was shocked but soon gets excited thinking he is the kind of man who has abandoned his past. In school, he sees Sen Yarizui taking out the trash. He thought she looked familiar and realized she was also the girl at the mart that kept staring at him. He thinks she is in love with him! Dream on! Under Satou’s nose, Oshiroi gets kidnapped by Ume Shiraume! Satou is made to help Yarizui to take out the big bag of empty bento boxes. In class, Satou is eating his consolation fish cakes he bought at the mart when Shiraume confronts him. She gives him a hard slap since he unwittingly made fun of her name. Hope he doesn’t lose more memories as he already had. She warns him to stay away from Oshiroi. Satou narrates Karasuda Private High School that he transferred to have a dorm and though it serves breakfast it doesn’t serve lunch and dinner so students usually have to cook themselves or go out and buy their own. With his limited budget of course Satou makes his way to the mart again and Oshiroi is happy to see him here. Stepping inside, he also sees Yarizui who had earlier warned him not to come. After some guy puts the half price label on the bentos, Satou thinks it is his lucky day and rushes to get them. What he didn’t expect is to see a crowd of hungry brawlers behind him and gets beaten up. Again. So now do you remember how you ended up like that? Satou’s consciousness is fading but he notices how many of the brawlers called Yarizui the Ice Witch and speaking of her, she easily won her bout and got a bento.

Satou wakes up in the employees’ break room as the store owner known as Abura Kami (Oil God) was kind enough to let him and Oshiroi (still unconscious, though she didn’t get beaten up like him) sleep here. He wants Satou to escort Oshiroi home once she wakes up and says that he is a Dog. He further adds that though this is an ordinary supermarket, there are some that stake their pride by testing themselves in battle. He warns if this is all Satou has, don’t bother laying his hands on the bento. Plus, this store, Hoki Mart is the hunting ground for Ice Witch. Next day in class, Satou gets more slaps from Shiraume for defying her warning to be with Oshiroi. Yeah, she slaps him first and then asks if she could get mad. It’s like shoot first, ask questions later. That night, Satou and Oshiroi try their luck again at Hoki Mart. Now they are wiser and observe the crowd who are waiting for the God of Discounts (Abura Kami in this case) to mark the half price bento. Once he disappears to the back, it’s the beginning of the mad dash and brawl. Satou observes the many people turning into savages once the half price sticker is attached. Then he goes in but gets beaten up though he fares better this time. Yarizui enters the fray and easily overpowers her bigger and stronger opponents. Satou thought he could finally get one but Yarizui kicks him out. He lost again. Yarizui tells him if he wants to survive this ordeal, come to the clubroom 501 at 7.30am tomorrow. Satou finds it is the clubroom of Half Pricers Association. First he heard something ambiguous coming out from the room. Turns out to be Yarizui giving Oshiroi a back massage with her feet. Yarizui introduces herself as the only member and president of Half Pricers Association.

Episode 2
Satou also learns Oshiroi is from the novel club and is writing a novel and since she spends too much time on the computer, Yarizui was giving her a much needed massage. First thing, Yarizui is forcing Satou to sign an application paper to join this club! She’s rubbing her boobs against his back! Can he resist it? Nope. Welcome to the club. Oshiroi already lost a long time ago. To start things off, Yarizui shows them the wall of all the half price stickers she got from the supermarkets in the western territory. Hell, that’s a lot of stickers covering the entire wall! Describing some of the marts in their territory and those that will make better training. Then she explains some of the basics when entering the fight. For instance, you can’t start until the God of Discounts has left; One must also hunt for only 1 bento and not more; Have manners and wager your pride. This is how Wolves fight. Trying a different store tonight, Tokiwa, Satou and Oshiroi meet other Wolves: Bouzu (literally means monk but I would’ve preferred to call him Hage – Baldy), Agohige (literally means Goatee but I would’ve preferred to call him Headband) and Chappatsu (literally means Brown Hair but I would’ve preferred to call her Oppai – Boobs). The God of Discounts for Tokiwa is an old grandpa named Jiji. Before Jiji could finish putting the stickers, an unruly lady termed Big Boar ignores all the rules to grab all the half price bentos. She even reprimands Jiji in applying the stickers too slow. The Wolves try to stop her but are no match for this Pig who has no shame in baring its ‘fang’s in front of others. Because of that, all the Wolves line up to but instant noodles. Satou and Oshiroi share their little meal together. But soon, Satou gets into trouble because Shiraume confronts him. She’s threatening him about bringing Oshiroi around stores to fight for half price bentos. Despite Satou mentioning she is tagging along on her own free will, she doesn’t believe him and slaps him, followed by a kick.

Next day Satou asks Oshiroi about Shiraume. Seems she is her only friend since elementary school. She read her novel and had always been nice to her. Before Satou knows it, that overprotective b*tch kidnaps Oshiroi once more. Now you see her, now you don’t. Satou visits Tokiwa again but the other Wolves notice the arrival of The Tempest: A group of unruly rugby players. In addition, the Big Boar is also here. The Wolves give up and are about to head to another store when they see veteran Wolf, Wizard coming in. Satou remembers Yarizui’s words that those who have tasted blood cannot return to being Dogs and those who can’t handle it become Pigs. As Jiji starts putting the stickers, Big Boar scoots right to him. Alas, Satou uses all his might to stop her advancement. He is no match but sees Wizard easily reading her strategy and made the charging Pig crash into an aisle. Jiji has finish putting the stickers but now they have to deal with The Tempest. Wizard is going to teach those Pigs a lesson and though they play dirty, the other Wolves join in. Once they’re done, the Wolves stake their pride among each other. Did Satou win? Oh yeah. Elsewhere Yarizui wins hers easily as Satou gets a threatening call from Shiraume to prepare himself tomorrow. She blames Satou for being the cause of Oshiroi’s depression. Satou makes his way back to the club room and sees Yarizui waiting for him. Yarizui notices a laurel wreath on his bento as it denotes a bento that’s been handpicked by to God of Discounts. Many Wolves seek this laurel wreath because the one who gets it is deemed the victor for that day and territory. For Satou to get a laurel wreath on his first win, he must be something big. Sure, it’s not just luck? Mentioning about Wizard, he is Yuu Kaneshiro and is a third year in this school. Showing a scrapbook with all his sticker and victories containing the laurel wreaths from both Wizard and Ice Witch, each with their own stories to tell, Satou places his sticker inside the scrapbook. Before they dig in, they say grace for the food and the ingredients as honour and gratitude to those whom they had overcome. Yummy. Bento had never tasted so delicious, eh?

Episode 3
There’s this rumour that a first year student ran around in his boxers and jumped into the incinerator. This was how it all started. Without shame, Shiraume strips Satou right in class to confiscate his handphone as said in her warning last night. Everyone is turning a blind eye… Then at the club room, Yarizui has him strip again so that she could sew back his clothes. Because Satou wasn’t listening to her about the upcoming quality bento that involves sushi, once she finishes sewing, she throws all his clothes out the window! Then Shiraume comes in. She apologizes to Yarizui for her rash behaviour last night and learnt from Oshiroi that she was fighting for bentos as part of her research for her novel. Oh, Shiraume is also the student council officer. She approves the club since it has now 3 members. Satou then remembers his clothes and rushes out to get them. However a pair of girls found them lying on the ground and think they’re junk and burnt them. Kids, don’t try this anyhow because Satou jumped into the incinerator just to retrieve them! Yeow! I’m not having roast buns… Meanwhile a group of Dogs set their target on recruiting Satou and Oshiroi into their group known as Gundogs. The duo are at Tokiwa when the leader from Gundogs, Tomoaki Yamahara introduces himself. He offers them to join and by doing so, it will guarantee them a bento. As tryout, he gives them their jersey and when it’s time for the brawl, their Gundogs members set up a human barricade and make way for them to easily obtain a bento. Satou relishes in his bento but still feels he needs more time to think before joining them. The other members feel this is a lost cause since they are reluctant to join but Yamahara notes they can’t resist the lure of an easy bento.

As Satou heats up his bento that is coveted by others he notes that it doesn’t taste as good though it was easily obtained. Something doesn’t feel right. I can think of a reason why. He didn’t put in effort to get it, right? So for the next few nights, Satou and Oshiroi continue to obtain easy bento but each time, Satou doesn’t enjoy his meal as before. Hearing one of Yarizui’s stories of how she overcame 10 Wolves to get the last laurel wreath bento in an icy cold place and it made her victory sweet, Satou came to realize that the stronger your opponents, the more exciting it is. He has decided. That night as he meets Yamahara, he is going to give his answer later and his way. Once the brawl starts, Satou didn’t grab a bento but pushes away a Gundogs member. This is his answer. Doing it this way is boring and getting a bento with no effort isn’t interesting. The taste of bento that you desperately battled with Wolves to win is so good that you could cry. He returns the jersey to Yamahara and is going to get a delicious bento tonight. Satou fights his way for the bento when Dandou sensei lands a punch on him. Luckily Satou blocked it and since he already had a bento in his hand, it’s game over. Oshiroi sneakily grabs one too. Dandou tells Yamahara that Satou isn’t like one of them. His eyes are not of the likes of Dogs but of Wolves. Satou wonders if Oshiroi is okay being a member of Half Pricers Association. Ever since young, she was called a weirdo but Satou and Yarizui never did. She is glad she to have met them that’s why she is a member of this club. Back in the club room, Yarizui notices Satou had a good fight and asks him is a half price bento just a bento that didn’t sell. The duo reply it is something more than that. Yarizui hands them the key to the club room.

Episode 4
Another Wolf, Ayame Shaga AKA Beauty of the Lake racks up an easy victory over her bento. But what is this hot babe sleeping next to Satou in his room?! She is Satou’s cousin and what is she doing here? Does she need a reason to see him? Satou knows her tricks well enough not to get seduced. She wants to play one game of Virtua Fighter and if he wins, he can do anything to her like touching her anywhere. He’s trying hard to resist but eventually agrees to play. Unfortunately he lost. Now he has to do as she says. She needs a spare uniform of his school so Satou borrows it from Oshiroi. This is so that Shaga can enter Half Pricers Association and confront Yarizui. Shaga is a Wolf from the eastern territory and when a title bearing wolf enters another territory, a battle will ensue. Yarizui will be waiting for her at Hoki Mart tonight. Shaga continues to molest Oshiroi but she manages to escape after she can’t take it anymore. Then she reads the novel she is writing. Oh… Seems like yaoi fiction and Satou is the main lead! Saitou? Oh God… Shiraume barges in and blames Satou for harassing her Oshiroi but realizes the real culprit is Shaga. But when she gets to link Satou to it all (he got the uniform for her, right?), it was enough for her to kick him. Then she is going to prepare a warm bath for Shaga and drags her into it. Late that night, Satou is surprised to find Shaga in a frilly dress. Somehow she barely escaped from Shiraume. She tried to give excuse that her harassing on Oshiroi was to deepen their friendship so Shiraume too wants them to deepen theirs and stripped her to bath together. Shaga couldn’t handle it and ran out taking any dress she could find on her way out.

The duo meet Yarizui at Hoki Mart and it seems Yarizui and Shaga are aiming for the same bento. Yarizui also notices that Shaga is well informed about the marts in this territory. Then as the brawl begins, Yarizui and Shaga face off but the former has the edge. Shaga hasn’t given up yet and continues fighting with a pair of chopsticks. Yarizui notes she won’t win because she is focusing on her and not the bento. Since the desire for bento doesn’t drive her actions, they are no more than senseless violence. In the end, it is Shaga’s loss. Yarizui reminds Satou not to get his heart clouded and focus on the thing he should be thinking about. He faces off with Ren Nikaidou for the last bento and gets it. Shaga hoped Satou could eat with her but he says he’s going to do so in the clubroom. Yarizui can see how frustrated Shaga is and tells Satou to go with her. Satou still insists so she says she hates guys who don’t do anything when a hurt girl is in front of them. She asks if she was crying, would he do nothing? Nikaidou reports to his boss, Tadaaki Endou about putting their plan into motion before they can realize it. Endou doesn’t care how many Wolves bite the dust for this plan. Satou eats with sulking Shaga though she apologizes that she was also at fault. Since Satou lost the rock-scissors-paper game, he has to apologize too when Shaga steals a big chunk of his hard earned bento. In return she gives him a big hug. Meanwhile Yarizui is reading Oshiroi’s works but she’s reading it without emotion! So funny! Does she understand what she is writing?

Episode 5
Nikaidou notes that Shaga hasn’t leaked anything of their plan yet because if she did, they would’ve taken action. Endou wants Nikaidou to keep silent about this and continue observing Shaga. Nikaidou narrates his group is called Gabriel Ratchet. A pack of unsightly Dogs who have restricted their own way of life. Shaga patiently waits for Satou at her dorm but it seems that guy has been stripped down to his boxers by the officer for interrogation! He doesn’t care what reason Satou has because he’ll never let him or any guys approach Shaga. She’ll beat the crap into him to make him understand. That includes shoving up a battery up his ass!!! WTF?! So Satou makes a run for it before he gets screwed while the officer and his military men chase after him! Shaga manages to sneak Satou into her room and since she has no other clothes, she lends him her uniform. Actually it’s from her roommate, Asebi Inoue. Before Satou could shake hands with her, Shaga sends her to buy coffee at the vending machine. She warns Satou that coming into contact with Asebi means a terrible misfortune will befall on him. She gives him a protective charm just in case. Then it’s time to get some food and Shaga thought of going to a different mart: Ralph Store. As for Asebi, they don’t have to worry about her as she’s having trouble at the machine. Yeah, all the cans are flowing out! The good thing is that she doesn’t realize how unlucky she is. Shaga distracts the officer and tells Satou to head to Ralph Store firs. Of course everyone sees him in a girl’s uniform and especially Nikaidou who is somewhat disappointed in him. So disappointed that he held high hopes in him that he would rather see him get crushed by the Monarch. And for Oshiroi, she totally gives the thumbs up! Satou asks Yarizui who this Monarch is and as she explains, this store is one of this territories and he is not afraid to use dirty tactics to win. Shaga is not pleased to see Yarizui here since this is Monarch’s territory. She’s here because of a flyer that states a rare Hokkaido fair. The God of Discounts for this store, Kiku Matsuba AKA Macchan puts the stickers on. Until a year ago, she was a well known and active Wolf.

The brawl starts as Yarizui and Shaga face off. Yarizui emerges the winner again while lucky Oshiroi lands one without getting hit. With the last bento on the line, Nikaidou and Gabriel Ratchet surround Satou. Then Endou who is known as Monarch comes in to beat up Satou. Yarizui tells him he has already won but he asserts Satou will become a sacrifice to an all-out war between east and west to determine who is the strongest. He further insults Shaga as a useless mongrel. Satou wakes up (in his boxers again) in the employees’ room and he thought he ascended into adulthood with Macchan. He wonders about his performance (sexual) but she notes it’s satisfactory (the brawl). Yeah, he thought he should make it up in terms of quantity since he still has a youthful body! Till Yarizui and Shaga come in to pick him up. They are getting so close over him that Oshiroi got inspiration for her work when she saw this. Now if the ladies were only men… Before they start eating, Yarizui asks Shaga’s connection with Monarch. She says he wants to rule all supermarkets in the city and that operation begins 3 days from now. Gabriel Ratchet will launch an attack on all stores in the western territory and Monarch intends to settle an old grudge. Apparently the strongest Wolf of the east lost to the strongest Wolf of the west. She meant to tell Satou this but decided to keep it a secret a little longer (that part of hers sulking). Bringing him here today was just a coincidence. Yarizui feels she shouldn’t act alone as she may be targeted. But Shaga is not worried since she is just a pawn in his hands. Besides, he called her a mongrel and can’t let that pass. Nikaidou reports Yarizui has started contacting other western Wolves so Endou tells him not to let anyone close to this room where he is isolating himself. Three days of starvation will give him the ultimate power to crush Yarizui.

Episode 6
While Oshiroi gets inspiration to write more on her twisted yaoi story, Macchan sees Wizard. He tells her he is going overseas to study. Macchan feels she should’ve stopped Endou’s plans but Wizard assures her the Wolves will stick by their honour because those who don’t will be weeded out. Yarizui meets the other western Wolves and discuss about the impending invasion. But she’s going to Ralph Store because she heard a laurel wreath of a bento made by Macchan tastes superb. Meanwhile Shaga finds out more information from a retired Wolf. She learns Macchan’s title as a Wolf was Wanderer Butterfly. Every eastern Wolf admired her and was hailed as the strongest in the east. Till she battled the strongest in the west known as Wizard. Wizard won and since barely had the strength to go home and eat his bento, ate it all on the roadside before he lost consciousness. Yeah, he finished it clean. Endou was Macchan’s younger college classmate and when Macchan got married, he and his gang took over east in a blink of an eye. So ruling the west is just a facade as they want to recreate the ultimate battle a year ago for their own generation. Endou considers himself as the successor of Wanderer and wants to defeat Wizard’s successor: Ice Witch. While Gabriel Ratchet prepares to face off with the Wolves in western stores, lone Yarizui gets assaulted. Shaga takes Satou away from Tokiwa to tell him what’s going on. Seems Endou has an attachment to the name Monarch and he wants to become Monarch Butterfly because Wanderer means that said butterfly. So by defeating Ice Witch, he thinks he’ll become the ultimate successor in both name and fact. Satou needs to go warn her but it’s too late because they hear word in the streets that a certain girl got brutally attacked. Well, they didn’t see her body but just a pool of blood. When Yarizui limps into Ralph Store bloodied, Macchan understands what Nikaidou and Gabriel Ratchet are doing. By mobilizing the group, so that they could vacate eastern territory and even feign an all-out war. Though she is not a Wolf anymore, she finds them loathsome. Do those words hit a conscious nerve, buddy?

Endou is ready to beat up Yarizui to claim his title as the strongest. But Nikaidou stops him. He tries to make sense to him that he won’t be the same person he yearns to since it’s not the title of the strongest he has been pursuing but the free and beautiful form of the butterfly. Endou doesn’t care and beats the lights out of him. Then he tells Macchan to finish her labelling. Satou and Shaga come in and Yarizui is surprised to see him here. He reminds her about that ‘not doing anything in front of a girl’ line from her. They tell off Endou that he is not even a Wolf let alone a Dog, but a rat. Then the fight begins. Endou claims that his 3 days of starvation makes him the strongest but as Yarizui points out, as long as his target is her and not the bento, the power of a hungry Wolf will do him no good. Endou couldn’t get the better of Yarizui and resorts to using the trolley. Satou, Yarizui and Shaga combine their skills to knockout Endou and Gabriel Ratchet. Yarizui passes up the chance to take the laurel wreath so Satou and Shaga fight it out. Satou won. Yarizui is glad to see Oshiroi who tells her they have successfully defended their territory. Nikaidou wakes up in the employees’ room and he settles everything with Macchan. As of today onwards, Gabriel Ratchet is dissolved. Satou and the rest are enjoying their bentos but as usual, Shaga steals some from his. Oshiroi gets her fill by writing up her fantasies. Shaga wonders if she’s a wolf seeing Satou is always in the spotlight and she has never beaten Yarizui. For one thing, Satou thinks she’s not a Dog and something greater. Then talking about Wolf titles, Yarizui says as soon as he catches up being a great Wolf, he’ll earn a title of his own. Finally Wizard leaves the country for good.

Episode 7
Shaga shows the gang free tickets she got courtesy from Macchan to the Hawaiian themed pool run by Ralph Store’s conglomerate. Taking a train there, Satou seems to be the ultimate loser. Losing in the card games (because he’s got his mind focused on seeing Yarizui in a swimsuit), carrying all their luggage and guess what? Shaga realizes she is short one ticket and who is the one left out? Yup. That guy has to pay for his own ticket. He’s so darn poor already… Even worse, his Wolf title is Pervert! It doesn’t help that Nikaidou is also at the pool and has helped spread this around. I guess Satou lives up to that name as he can’t hold himself back to peep when he hears the girls changing in the opposite room. So pool, babes, bikinis, fun. You get the picture. Satou asks Yarizui how Wolf titles came about. Yarizui remembers her coming from when she grabbed a beer and it’s not that she wanted to drink it but she was attracted to its design. As for Shaga, when she won her first laurel wreath bento, she ate it all and ended up sleeping on the bench at the lake. Yeah, the titles don’t seem glamorous as they sound. Meanwhile Asebi’s rotten luck has her rolling off the truck (she’s sleeping on top of it?!) right to the pool. But she got to enter since she has one of Shaga’s lost tickets. So that’s where it went. The pool isn’t just what the Wolves are here for. Every Sunday, an hour before closing time, they also sell half price bentos. So for Satou, he still has hope to get some food after spending an awful lot today. The God of Discounts turns out somebody to be in a penguin suit. Since he can’t properly put the stickers, he rips the costume arm to do so! To make things more interesting, the bentos are put in a capsule and float in the pull, making battles harder to predict. Ready, on your marks, begin! If you haven’t done your warm up, you might experience some muscle cramps. Nikaidou wants to get some twin rice omelette because it is made by Macchan and they resemble her boobs… Unfortunately that lapse in concentration means Yarizui beats him to it. During the brawl, Asebi unaware of her surroundings fools around but doesn’t get a bento. Maybe she brought bad luck to others? Satou easily gets the laurel wreath bento because he is steering through the pull via ‘rudder’. Is his ‘thing’ that big?! Okay, it’s not his ‘thing’ and some board. While he is bragging in his victory, his pants drop. He wouldn’t have guessed Oshiroi was here too and she beats him up for showing his indecency in front of Oshiroi. Shaga also gets one that was surprisingly unguarded. So as the winners enjoy and share their meal, all is not lost for Nikaidou because Macchan made a special bento for him. As for Asebi, she felt she had so much fun but somehow ended up coming out from the sewerage.

Episode 8
A pair of twins who are also the president and vice president student council, Kyou and Kyou Sawagi hold a meeting with the student council body. Wait a minute. Kyou and Kyou? How can we tell them apart? Well, their name may sound the same but they are written differently in kanji. But still, how can we call them apart… Yarizui may be the best fighter in reality but in the gaming world, she sucks. She even lost to Satou. Then she asks how much this old video game console is worth. Why? Because she throws it out of the window! Sore loser?! Satou jumps out to save it!!! Kids, don’t try this anyhow. Now everybody sing, “I believe I can fly/I believe I can touch the sky“… Satou falls like a rock but this gives inspiration to Oshiroi who is experiencing writer’s block. Older Kyou can’t seem to hold her feelings in ever since they saw her in action that day. They decide to do some detective work and start by logging in to the Gabriel Ratchet’s website. It’s still operating? Anyway Older Kyou plans to sneak into the hospital and has Younger Kyou tag along. Because Satou cannot fly, he ends up in hospital covered with bandaged. Yeah, he’s like a mummy. What do you expect? He jumped from the fifth floor. Yarizui is alone with Satou in the room and to repent what she did, she’ll give him half her bento. The twins have infiltrated the hospital and it seems Older Kyou wants to meet Ice Witch whom they believe is hospitalized here. Older Kyou goes into Satou’s room thinking he is the Ice Witch while Younger Kyou observes with a laptop and all other gadgets they have prepared for this. Flashback reveals they heard about Ice Witch defeating Monarch and wanted to meet this powerful western Wolf. Older Kyou goes in to take measurements but Satou starts fantasizing that this might be his dream come true. A hot nurse babe seducing him? Yeow! Don’t want to wake up from this dream! However Older Kyou sometimes screws up so she had to switch with Younger Kyou to continue the measurements. I’m sure Satou won’t mind the nurse running riot over his body, right? The twins nearly had their cover blown when the head nurse comes in but she thinks they are trainees and wants them to change the bandage. Plus, Older Kyou can’t seem to contain her excitement and has this penchant of squealing loud enough. So back to the bandaging part, Older Kyou is puzzled to find ‘Ice Witch’s muscular legs. Then she realizes… It’s a guy! She got so panic that she ran through the halls screaming pervert. Yup, that’s his title. Satou chases her down but the further he goes, the more his bandages come off. Ooohh… He’s totally naked… Then Asebi accidentally spills hot milk over him. Guess what is Oshiroi’s reaction when she saw this scene? More sick inspirations…  Yeah, she’s nose bleeding. The twins regroup and realize they had the wrong person. However they feel a burden has been lifted off their shoulders and for the first time in 3 years, they race down to the supermarket to have a taste of what they’ve been missing. Shaga notices the president and her vice of her university coming out of the mart. She is further surprised to see every Wolf out cold. Speaking of food, where’s today’s bento?!

Episode 9
Asebi’s morning is another of her usual bad luck. One bad luck chain leads to another so when her kitty stuffed toy goes flying out of the window, she did a Satou. Miraculously she didn’t end up in hospital. Later she meets Shaga and intends to make a bento for Satou. Shaga sees Shiraume coming into her university and has a bad feeling about this. Satou tries out the bentos Asebi made. Let’s say it does not taste what it seemed. It gets weirder and weirder that he doesn’t know what he is eating. He has to finish it all? God help him. Meanwhile Shiraume is summoned by the twins as Older Kyou gets cocky showing her a clip about semi-naked Satou trespassing their grounds and wants and apology. However Shiraume plays cool and shows them a video how Shaga too trespassed her school grounds and also seeks their apology. So they settle it that they both apologize to each other and let this incident to further enhance their school relations. While Shiraume later tears up the letter, Older Kyou can’t help let out her squealing frustration that they had to apologize. That’s what you get for being arrogant. It backfired. Shiraume confronts Satou and thanks to him, she got humiliated. Guess what comes next for that poor chap? In her room, Shiraume sees Oshiroi and her heart is at ease. But she got riled up when she sees Satou joining her. Oshiroi is on fire! She’s typing down her yaoi fantasy like nobody’s business. Shiraume calls to check on her and since Oshiroi doesn’t want her to see her work, she tries to give excuses but clearly her body action is a dead giveaway. So much so she accidentally spills her coffee on her laptop. There goes her work… More accidents for her when she tries to fix the situation. Goodbye Saitou… Shiraume got cut off and fears something has happened.

The next time Oshiroi opens her eyes, she is surprised to see Shiraume on top of her! In bed! Warning! Yuri scenes ahead! Seeing Oshiroi is a little hot, Shiraume stays by her side (rubbing, touching her body…), makes porridge and then get them both naked for some yuri action in the name of cleaning her sweat. Oh Oshiroi, isn’t this what usually happens in your novel? Only thing is that they are men and somebody else? Oshiroi got so embarrassed and told her to stop. It accidentally bumped a magazine off the shelf (the background voice of the manly “Let’s get it! Let’s get it, let’s get it, let’s go!” sounds so hilarious!). Shiraume got curious and picks it up. I guess she didn’t like what she sees and leaves in a huff. So poor Satou… Another confrontation. It’s bad enough his perverted buddy is trying to get him to like some masochist porn, Shiraume shows him the magazine from Oshiroi’s place and inside it are pictures of macho men but Satou’s picture is overlapping each of their faces! Super impose?! Shiraume accuses him of harassing Oshiroi so when Satou explains Oshiroi is writing a weird novel involving macho men and that one of the characters is modelled after him, Shiraume slaps him with the magazine. She says she has read her works and it was nothing of this sort. She cannot believe Oshiroi would make a collage of him and would have a character modelled after him. The abuses get worse and worse, do they? Yeah Satou, maybe there is some appeal in all this… As if Shiraume wasn’t spiteful enough, her actions are making her climbing up the ladder of most hateful b*tches in history. Oh speaking on bento, where is my bento for this episode?!

Episode 10
The twins see Shaga to get submit her video game club activities or else the club will get no funding next month, though she doesn’t even know a thing. Then they ask her about trespassing Karasuda in their uniform so she says she wanted to meet the Ice Witch then. This excites Older Kyou but Younger Kyou plays it cool and tells her she’ll be receiving a summon before the student council soon. Satou checks out of hospital and he is 9,580 Yen poorer. Shaga meets Nikaidou and learns about the recent appearance of Orthrus. They have begun defeating notorious Wolves in the east one by one and it seems Endou was badly beaten up. There are any eastern Wolves that are able to take on them. Those who once fought them are too scared to even say anything. The only common thing the defeated Wolves remember is that they were plunged in darkness before their defeat. Everything else they don’t remember. Shaga tells Satou about this and wonders if he would come to the eastern territory mart for once. However he has been told by Yarizui to head to Kamoshida Mart as part of his rehabilitation and return. Oshiroi again is with a writer’s block (seems all the cliches she used are getting old) but then she gets an idea of a duo and heads back to pen it down. Satou is at Kamoshida when he sees the twins. They greet him as pervert but he doesn’t remember them. When Shaga comes by, she is shocked to see a basket over Satou and he is badly beaten. Satou recuperates outside and it seems he doesn’t remember what happened. The twins are disappointed that Pervert didn’t live up to his hype since he defeated Monarch. But Older Kyou feels the need to apologize to him seeing she overdid it but Younger Kyou reminds her their attacks have rendered him unable to remember. They will continue to scour marts near Karasuda in their search for Ice Witch.

Satou sees a Greek mythology book in the club room and is surprised it’s from Oshiroi. Greek mythology as her reference material? Turning to the page of Orthrus, he learns it is a twin-headed dog, the brother of Cerberus. Unlike Cerberus that guards the gates to hell, Orthrus guards the cattle but was killed by Heracles who had come to steal them. Satou’s thoughts wandered when he thought Yarizui would finally want to ‘do it properly’ with him tonight. Well, dream on. She wants him to come with her to a store instead and properly celebrate his victory. At Hoki Mart, Satou meets the twins once more. They apologize but he doesn’t remember for what purpose so the twins introduce themselves. When the brawl starts, a strange darkness engulfs the Wolves. Actually it turns out to be the twins using the basket to cover the visions of the Wolves. As you wouldn’t have guessed it already, they are Orthrus. When they hear Ice Witch, they get excited to know she is no other than Yarizui and fight her. She is no match for the twins’ perfect combo as Older Kyou is even cocky enough to taunt her if this is all she’s got. With their adeptness in using the baskets to their every advantage, the other Wolves see a sight that they would never see in their lives: Ice Witch has been defeated and lying unconscious in her own pool of blood! Gasp! Say this is isn’t true! Older Kyou taunts her and puts a basket over her head.

Episode 11
Nikaidou who has barely enough strength to stand, confronts the twins. They thought he wish to exchange contact information with them so they give him their contacts as they view it would only be polite to inform the supermarkets that they plan to visit. Back home, the twins are relishing in excitement about being Wolves. They remember the time when they were young and first saw Wolves brawling it out. They were so taken by it that when the teacher asked them what they wanted to be when they grow up, they replied honourable Wolves. However Older Kyou feels she didn’t do something honourable because she said something terrible to Satou last night. Or it might be just her dreaming and feels the need to apologize. Satou is too bothered by what happened last night that he couldn’t give a hoot to Oshiroi ranting about her novel. Yeah, he didn’t realize she got kidnapped by Shiraume in broad daylight in public! He learns Yarizui is absent from class since she is sick so he pays her a visit at her home. Sure, he got carried away with some pervy fantasies but back to serious business, he apologizes for letting his guard down last night. But it’s no big deal as Yarizui mention the Summer Solstice festival the day after tomorrow at Audrey Supermarket. To keep the freshness of the eel bento, they are made every hour and that means they can get some fresh bento during the labelling. Satou and Nikaidou meet the twins at Tokiwa and Older Kyou apologizes and since Satou doesn’t remember a thing, she flusters and Younger Kyou calls for a timeout. After a short discussion, Older Kyou changes her colours and acts cocky, calling them lowly mongrels huddling together. She ran out of what to say so Younger Kyou had to interject and looking around her surroundings, relays to Older Kyou that the duo should be called Two Dogs. They are going to beat them today too. And true enough, the duo lost.

Shaga meets the duo and informs them about what she has found. In a neighbouring town called Yumehiro, Sonic Store is managed by Sawagi Corporation and its president is the father of the twins. They were in Yumehiro till 3 years ago they quit being Wolves and left town. Nikaidou is heading there to get more information. Satou is also here to let the twins know about the eel bento. But since he sees the security officer holding up batteries in his hand, it’s that traumatic memories once more so he leaves it to Shaga to relay the information. The twins will gladly be there since they get to fight Ice Witch again. However they remember exactly on this day 3 years ago they tried to obtain this eel bent too. Satou is not happy that Yarizui is worse than before. Seems in her attempts last night to get rid of her cold, she took a hot bath. Then she got out and dressed lightly while blowing herself with the air-cond… Typical blunders… But she is adamant that she is game for tomorrow night and sends Satou to the pharmacy to get her some medication. Meanwhile Nikaidou talks to a Wolf of Yumehiro. He has asked lots of other Wolves but they are reluctant to give out any info and as a last resort, he called Macchan and she recommended him. Since this town has its own customs, by doing so he may lose his Wolf status tomorrow. However hearing the name of Macchan, who was his old friend, brings back nostalgic memories so he tends to ‘talk aloud to himself’. He says that a pair of Wolves used to prowl this town till they met their downfall via the Club of Heracles. Speaking of which, Older Kyou is experiencing a bad nightmare on that dreaded day. Younger Kyou thinks they should withdraw but Older Kyou feels they can’t let this chance slip since Ice Witch and Two Dogs are in this town. The Yumehiro Wolf continues that since word of Orthrus’ appearance has reached this town, he is sure ‘he’ will make his move too. And speaking of which, that guy has just arrived in town to take down Orthrus like he did 3 years ago. He hopes they can save Orthrus. Back to Satou, seems the only medication the pharmacist recommended is the suppository type. Who is going to insert it? Someone has got to do the ass job, right? Satou calls Oshiroi but it is Shiraume who picks up! Oh great. He tries to explain the need for Oshiroi to help insert the suppository but you know, Shiraume always cuts him off and thinks he wants Oshiroi to do it to him! Even if he manages to say Yarizui’s name, Shiraume tells him off to let her to it then onto him. Not only he has to prepare himself for her wrath, the pharmacist then recommends an oral version that works as fast as this one too. Damn…

Episode 12
Yarizui is still adamant that she wants to go to Audrey to defeat Orthrus and will use this remaining time to rest up. However Satou knows she is in no shape to do it and changes the setting of her clock. Besides, once in a while he wants to look cool and promises to get the eel bento. On his way he meets Heracles and is surprised by the things he said. He knows everything to even his intention to treat Yarizui with an eel bento. The usual Wolves see Satou in front of Audrey. Then he runs away. Could it be that he chickened out? Heracles meets them and tells them the story. Shaga and Nikaidou pass by Satou running the opposite direction and as they enter Audrey, they sense a very unpleasant atmosphere. Finally when the twins make their entry, they are shocked to see Heracles. He quickly reminds them they have no place here and to leave before the tears start falling. Of course they refuse despite being scared to their pants (or skirts rather). Heracles in unfazed since he has told every Wolf about their story. Orthrus was so strong then that they undermined the balance of the battlefield. He is going to bring their downfall once more. Older Kyou believes there are people who will fight them like Satou and Yarizui but their hopes are dashed when they learn Satou had just run away. Heracles continues to seek everyone’s cooperation to save this sacred supermarket from Orthrus. Giving an example if a nail sticks out too much, one must pull it out. Flashback 3 years ago when the twins once again made their regular visit to Audrey. Heracles greeted them and when it’s time for the brawl, he tells them off that they are a nuisance. Day after day, they are the only ones who win and all the rest got were leftovers. A fight like that is no fun and thus everybody decided not to fight them anymore. He tells them to take any half price bento they want and scram. So once they took what they want, the rest happily start the brawl. The twins are shocked and saddened as Heracles added more insult to their wounded pride as everything is the same as usual. The difference is that they don’t pummel them first. And thus this led to their ‘downfall’.

The final batch of fresh eel bentos comes out and they have only 1 hour to get the 6 bento boxes. Heracles flexes his muscle as he tells them to hurry and take what they need while the other Wolves could only stand around and look on. The twins prepare for their sealed fate when Satou comes running back, seemingly out of breath. The labelling is done and Shaga wanted to move in but Satou tells her not to be hasty since words are meaningless between Wolves. At times like this, they should let their gut do the talking. Suddenly there is a huge rumbling in the supermarket. OMG! Is it an earthquake?! No! It’s the growling stomachs of the hungry Wolves!!! Shaga understood why Satou ran away as it was his plan to wear himself out hungry. With them hungry, all they have to do know is obey their instincts. In that instant all the Wolves start fighting each other. Some Wolves realize that if they grab a half price bento after letting the strongest Wolves go, it wouldn’t taste good either. They regret listening to Heracles. Heracles isn’t happy his plan is ruined and joins in the fray to show his true strength. I guess he isn’t called Heracles for nothing. He really is strong but with cooperation from other Wolves, they still can beat this guy. Satou couldn’t give a sh*t about Heracles’ balance preserving ideal because to him if the nail is sticking out too much, he needs to pummel it down with force! Satou tells the twins to come fight them if they want the bento and this brought them to tears. With them back in the action, they let loose their usual stuff. Oshiroi who has been lacking inspiration on her works waltzes in to the mart to see everyone fighting. I guess all that thinking made her hungry, eh? In the end, I don’t even know how Oshiroi got the half price bento and the twins didn’t. But still, bento or not, food tastes good when you’re hungry, right? The usual gang minus Satou sit down and eat together. That guy rushes back to Yarizui and presents her with the laurel wreath eel bento he got for her. On his knees. He’s got all this figured out, eh? Yarizui shares it with him and lets him taste first since he earned it. So good that he doesn’t even want to talk. Yarizui is amazed at how he got this laurel wreath bento. Since so many amazing things happened, he himself isn’t sure. But one thing he does know for sure, that a supermart is not a place for tears of sadness or tragedies. Yarizui agrees that smiles suit the place best. Well, if you’re winning maybe. Things return to normal as the Wolves continue their half price bento brawl. This time the twins come to Hoki Mart.

Food Fight!
Okay, it was fun while it lasted. On par with other food themed animes like the Chinese cuisine of Chuuka Ichiban, the pastries in Yumeiro Patissiere and the breads in Yakitate! Japan, I enjoyed this one too. Wished they had more servings, if not desserts to go by. They make it look like as though buying a bento isn’t as easy as it seems. It’s not like you can just waltz into the store, slowly take your pick and decide which bento you would like to have for dinner and in the midst probably do a little analysis what your palate and stomach would like to have tonight, take the nicely wrapped bento to the counter and pay for it. There, simple? But nooooo… Now you’ve got to fight, punch, kick and do whatever it takes just to fill your stomach for the night at half the price. Yeah, half the monetary price but at the same time you get bruises all over. Is that all worth it? It won’t be if you’re the one at the losing end and go home without food. Probably that’s why the half price bento brawl is only placed at night. A time when innocent children and family people are back safely in the sanctuary of their homes. This is a time where hungry Wolves prowl. Eat or be eaten. It’s the basic rule of survival. So if you’re thinking that a bunch of teenagers are stupid to fight each other over food, you must be one person who always had dinner served on a silver platter at the time you want, when you want. Like they say, a hungry man is an angry man. Ironically with them so hungry, their punches and kicks pack lots of power as compared when they are full. It’s odd, right? Probably that’s what you call desperation and iron will. That’s what separated the winners from the losers.

For a short series, I guess the flow of the story was pretty okay. We see Satou getting introduced to this world of bento brawl and as he gets used to its customs and traditions, he gets involved in other plots. From Endou’s scheme to seek revenge and gain the ultimate title he wanted to the salvation of the Orthrus pair. It’s great that he has his own principles that he sticks to and in no time, he’ll become a respected Wolf if he keeps this up and proper grooming from Yarizui. Just that his nickname may be a little bit of a problem. His would probably be the first that doesn’t sound so glamour. The way he ‘earned’ that title was already a big misunderstanding, now that name sticks to him. This will be messy… Another messy affair would be that he is modelled after in Oshiroi’s works. I’m sure he will know what it means to be gay seeing that security officer would love to stick batteries up his ass! Traumatic! Another ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feature of Satou is his ability to take in lots of beating. This is good because he needs all the endurance he needs to withstand the punches and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It is bad because after taking so many knocks to his head, he’ll have some health problem when he grows old. Because he constantly gets beaten up in every episode, to me it sometimes yo-yos between amusing and annoying. Of course I feel pitiful for him initially for getting trashed as a rookie and those that come from misunderstandings especially Shiraume. But he gets whacked so often that the ‘joke’ has become stale. Of course it’s different if he is in the brawl. You can’t always be having a perfect victory like in video games. You take some, you give some.

Despite Yarizui’s lack of emotion which probably helps explain the other half of her Wolf title, she is quite a considerate and kind senior. It’s not that she never smiles. She does. I was hoping there would be a final showdown in the final episode between Yarizui and the twins. Unfortunately she went ‘out’ with a whimper. Maybe it’s time somebody else hogs the spotlight instead of the strongest Wolf of the west. Speaking of Orthrus case and hers, if Orthrus were ousted because they were too strong, then shouldn’t people like Yarizui become targets too? I mean, as far as I can see in this anime, Yarizui has always been winning her brawls. If she can accumulate so much of those half price stickers in her room and even have a scrapbook containing lots of laurel wreaths, this shows she must have been winning every, if not most of the fights, right? Wouldn’t then there be other Wolves like Heracles who will feel it’s always the same ol’ winner and do the same thing? Maybe for a different town, yes. Shaga feels like a secondary character and someone who is just there to support Satou albeit she teases him a lot and steals a big chunk of his hard earned bento. Just like Yarizui, Shaga’s fighting skills are no laughing matter so think twice if you feel like going easy on them just because they are girls. As for Nikaidou, he is someone who has fallen and tries to redeem himself after Endou’s failure.

Both the twins are an amusing pair. Despite being twins, their personality is like day and night. Older Kyou is the most amusing one because she displays a range of emotions depending on the situation. When it is in her favour or trying to stamp an impression or authority, she acts very cocky, proud, arrogant and haughty. The kind of words that would make your heart feel small. Then when she’s nervous or ‘lost’, she’s like getting panicky and frantic. Of course she also bears the scar of the traumatic past when the twins were forced to retire from becoming Wolves. Younger Kyou on the other hand is calmer and displays lack of emotion which could surpass Yarizui. She is more level-headed and the one who always supports her older sister whenever she’s at a loss of words or ideas. I just wonder why when they attack as Orthrus, nobody initially remembers their face. It’s not like they’re wearing a mask and just use baskets to cover your head. Their beat down techniques that will render you to have amnesia? So why subsequently when everybody knows them, nobody gets this amnesia service anymore? Maybe they lost their ‘fang’? As for Heracles, I think he has some grudge over Orthrus and is using this scheme of his not to fight them as a cover up. For something bigger I don’t know. I mean, he came all the way to a different town just to stop them. Maybe the fact that they always win has diminished some of the Wolves’ morale but not fighting the strongest means that you are taking the easy way out and not proving your worth to earn that bento. The twins are not that bad as portrayed. Maybe because of Older Kyou’s tendency to get a little excited but all they wanted was a chance to live and experience the brawl like any other Wolves. On to the other minor characters, the other Wolves like Bouzu, Chappatsu and Agohige even though they are regular Wolves, feels like they are just there to make up some numbers for the Wolves that support Satou. As far as this anime is concerned, I don’t think I’ve seen them win a bento brawl except the final episode when they fought with the revived Orthrus. Finally they manage to get some hot and good food in their bellies, eh? Say, now that I have noticed it, I have never seen Chappatsu’s face before… Don’t you agree?

Asebi’s role may be comical and so minor that I feel without her, the series can still move on. She may be cute with bad luck following her everywhere but her presence lacks any impact that it made her character forgettable. Hey, even her bad luck has reached this level, huh? Oshiroi the yaoi lover can never get enough of her fantasies involving her Saitou. I suppose that this is her ‘fuel’ instead of the bento. I think the reason she follows Satou to the brawls is just to draw inspiration on her twisted novel. Currently she’s in a slump so maybe she needs to eat more brain food. But when she’s on a roll, see her typing down in her laptop like as though the words are naturally flowing through her, her actions make it feel like this is like sex to her. Get what I mean? If Asebi is what this show calls bad luck, then I suppose Oshiroi must be the opposite with lots of good luck. That’s because she has never gotten a single scratch during the brawls. Amazing, isn’t it? I don’t think the hungry Wolves would differentiate and treat differently cute innocent girls. As long as they step into the fray, everybody is their enemy. Thus it is mind blowing to see her ending up with a piece of half price bento at the end. Sure, she sneaks up to the bento when everybody else is pretty much busy stuffing each other’s face with each other’s fist. But hey, she did follow the rules too, right? No foul play. I wonder what happened to Wizard. I know he left for overseas and in the final episode’s ending credits, he makes a short cameo appearance just to assure us that he is still alive and kicking (and I don’t mean literally brawling for bentos in a foreign land). So how significance was his role in the first half, I don’t know. Maybe it’s to assure that Yarizui has a worthy successor before he leaves? Then what about those Gundogs? Are they still around? Finally, not to say saving the best for last, the character that everyone would love to hate goes to… Shiraume. I really don’t like her hitting Satou and blaming him for being a bad influence to Oshiroi. It’s like almost every time she sees him, she wants to whack and abuse him. And she does it before asking him. It’s as good as not asking in the first place, right? If she really wants Oshiroi for herself, lock her up like a doll in your room forever. Her yuri fetish on Oshiroi is equally bad as Oshiroi’s obsession for yaoi. Weird girls and they’re not even straight. But one thing bugs me about Shiraume’s knowledge on Oshiroi’s works. If she has claimed she has read them and not the yaoi kind of works that she recently came to know, what kind of novels did Oshiroi write anyway? Does she even know Oshiroi likes macho men x macho men? Maybe Oshiroi does a fine job in hiding it away from her. Very tightly concealed till it’s “Let’s get it! Let’s get, let’s get it, let’s go!”. Haha! Still love that part.

I won’t say the fight scenes are totally mind blowing awesome but you get to have your fix of some action. Not to say that each of the Wolves have their own special exaggerated moves but it’s fun to see Wolves like Yarizui twisting, tossing, turning and somersaulting through the air and landing her kicks in her opponents face like as though she is defying gravity. If she was real, she could be the female version of Jackie Chan. But something about the brawls do bother me. You know how messy a fight is, right? How come at the end of it all, the aisles of the store are still clean and tidy?! It’s like either everybody was kind enough not to fight ‘outside’ the designated ‘ring’ or the fighting place is hell of a big. Very big. Enough space for you to punch a big fat guy and send him flying a few metres across the room. Still, notice no foodstuff fell off the shelves? Amazing. I don’t know, the supermarkets in my country especially the locations that sell this kind of fresh food which are right at the back of the store, the place is pretty small and sometimes tight. So much so you have to manoeuvre and make way for others. So when a big brawl that involves many people commences, are they fighting in a time-space dimension? I’m not too sure about the rules of the brawl but if Shaga can use chopsticks and the twins’ baskets to aid in their fight, wouldn’t other Wolves also at least take something in hand as ‘weapon’? Certainly if Orthrus does it, it must mean it is legal, right? So you wouldn’t mind if I use the trolley or the salmon? Don’t play with food!

As food is one of the main attractions of this show, I must say that watching some of the half price bentos on offer made me want to taste them too! Hell, I’m not a martial artist so I won’t break a limb to savour such taste. Boo hoo! No pain, no gain for me. Really, I really would like to have a taste of those mouth watering bentos. Oddly in a way some may not be popular since if they were, they would have been sold out instead of being left as leftovers for the night brawl. So as to know which bento will be the ‘main star’ of that particular episode, you can see that bento’s name being featured after several minutes into the opening credits animation. Yeah, each bento comes with calories too. Hmm… I’m not a foodie or nutritionist expert so does a sticky natto okara rice bowl bento with juicy cheese topping that is worth 440kca a bad thing? What about mackerel boiled in miso bento which is worth 674kcal? Would Ginger Fried Pork Bento 852 kcal be considered as guilty pleasure? Oh, and the highest calorie of them all has got to be the western and Japanese food mix amounts to 2,910kcal! Better do a good workout after chowing all that. Yeah, maybe that’s why we all fight to work up a good appetite, eh? Even with episodes that don’t feature a bento, at least they feature some of the other food like the bottle drink Yarizui loves drinking from and the porridge Shiraume made for Oshiroi when she’s sick. Then there’s one episode whose title is so damn long that it’s like Yarizui being nostalgic about the taste of her grandma’s dish. Oh wait. It is that. It’s worth 480kcal if you want to know.

On a trivial note, the next episode preview feels like a movie take. A character is supposed to narrate the next episode preview but I guess some went off tangent like Shiraume doing what she loves best to Oshiroi, sleepy Shaga not interested in doing so but would rather continue her video game with Satou, Yarizui reading from the wrong script (she read Oshiroi’s sick novel instead), Oshiroi giving her own episode preview of her Muscle Detective work in place of the preview and Older Kyou bragging too much on how she memorized the script but ended up with no more time for the preview. The mid-intermission shows the characters fitting in the bento box while we hear somebody screaming or sexily moaning the word “Bento”. There are also a handful of trivia to spot albeit not much and that is just Satou’s video game posters like Sonic the Hedgehog and the Virtua Fighter game that he loves playing. He is still having a Nintendo NES system which means he is an old fashioned kid when it comes to video games. Or either that, he must be one poor kid that he can’t afford to upgrade his console. Heck, he can’t even afford proper dinner. I have watched a couple of specials called Picture Dramas but they weren’t interesting. If they are the so called ‘desserts’ as to the anime as the ‘main course’, this ‘dessert’ isn’t as sweet as I hoped to be. As its name suggest, they are still pictures while we hear the characters blab away. The first one is about Oshiroi as she rants about her yaoi fantasy involving Saitou and others for over 8 minutes! Eight freaking long minutes! I don’t know. I didn’t want to stick around to hear her twisted story because I feel if I do, she’ll add me into her story and make some fictitious modelled character ‘stick it in’ to me too. Then there’s this part where she starts moaning like a crazy sex maniac like as though she’s totally turned on as she writes her novel (which was what happened). Maybe she climaxed herself. Till Oshiroi interrupts her with a call then she stops her deep breathing and puts away her work since she’s coming. Good riddance. For the second Picture Drama, it’s that loathsome Oshiroi beating us viewers for trying to take unauthorized pictures of her and Oshiroi. She can be a good interrogator, you know. And the way it is shown, we are supposed to like her beating?! NO WAY!!! If this girl is your wife, you die straight away, I tell you! Thank goodness she’s a yuri… Seme type most probably.

The best voice acting has got to go to Yukari Tamura who does Older Kyou. I love the way she uses her voice to portray all sorts of emotion from her character. Her trademark squeaky high pitch voice doesn’t disappoint and she’s like the food version of Katanagatari’s Togame. And since Yui Horie (Kotori in Da Capo) is deadpan as the Younger Kyou, this is the other major difference (apart from Older Kyou’s longer hair to Younger Kyou’s short hairstyle) why I could tell the twins apart without breaking a sweat. In many animes that involves twins (like the one in Ouran High School Host Club and Kimi To Boku), I can never seem to tell the other apart. Other casts include Hiro Shimono as Satou (Akihisa in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu), Mariya Ise as Yarizui (Riko in Hidan No Aria, Aruka in Needless), Emiri Katou as Shaga (Kagami in Lucky Star), Ao Yuuki as Oshiroi (Tooru in A Channel), Ai Kayano as Shiraume (Ayaka in Kamisama No Memo-chou), Ayana Taketatsu as Asebi (Azusa in K-ON!), Kazuyuki Okitsu as Nikaidou (Tasuku in Seikon No Qwaser), Sayaka Ohara as Macchan (Alicia in Aria The Animation), Hiroki Yasumoto as Endou (Sado in Bleach), Akira Ishida as Heracles (Zeref in Fairy Tail) and Mamoru Miyano as Wizard (Death The Kid in Soul Eater). The opening theme by Aimi, LIVE for LIFE ~Ookamitachi no Yoru~ is a rock outfit that perfectly suits the action and brawl nature of this series. Even the lyrics are about being a Wolf and fighting as one. The ending theme, Egao No Housoku by Mariya Ise sounds a bit Chinese and despite being a moderate slow pop ballad, it doesn’t sound as bad. Why is the animation solely on Yarizui? There is a special one-episode-only opening theme for Shaga. The lively rock beat of Treasure by Emiri Katou describes best the kind of character Shaga is.

Despite the violent nature we see from the Wolves, the deeper meaning is that we should be grateful for the food, the ingredients and the people who made it. We should give thanks to everyone involved down the line in making such a delicious meal. There are many more subtle lessons we can learn from the Wolves. Don’t waste food. Don’t take more than you can chew. Food tastes better when you’re eating with your family and friends. You appreciate food better when you earn them the hard way. Shows that money can’t buy you everything, eh? Even so at half price lah :). And even if you have won the right to your food, that doesn’t mean you cannot share it with others. You can be stingy on money but not on food. If there is going to be a sequel, I’ll definitely want to watch it to see the development in the characters, plot and of course the food. Yummy, yummy bento. If so, I hope to catch it while it is fresh and hot and not near its expiry date. Oh dear. Typing this long has made me hungry. Now I just need to get some chocolates for my sweet sugar rush and watch more animes to feed my need. Hmm… Food for thought: Would I actually fight all out if I am ever that hungry? Let’s just say it’ll be safer for me to get a boring cup noodle than getting waste on the battlefield. Well, food no matter how plain or extravagant is all the same when it goes down into your stomach, right?

Seriously. What is it with certain schools these days that they allow big battles among classes. We have Maken-Ki whereby the school allows combat in the form of magic and magical tools in addition to martial arts. Then there is Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu whereby students can summon avatars to fight for better classroom amenities. Now we have Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai (Majikoi) in which a healthy fighting spirit is always valued and an important success factor in school. Of course, the kind of all-out war that still follows rules and procedures and do not end up having kids dying in the process. Damage buildings, yes. Taken lives, no. I guess it’s better to destroy things that are replaceable with money.

Getting to know that this anime is based on the adult visual novel of the same name, my thoughts is that there is going to be some ecchi fanservice and harem romance potential judging from the promotional poster. But the storyline… I couldn’t say that it really matches from what I read and watched. The synopsis went something like this: “Yamato, a second year student from Kawakami High School is always with his close friends (four boys and three girls). They have all known each other since they were young and have done many things together. While they have many other friends, this group of seven is a close-knit, inseparable group. They even have a secret base where they meet. With the new semester, they welcome two girls into their group and shortly after things begin to change”. Actually I don’t see this happening during the series. Felt like it already has happened. And if you don’t read the plot or know it, it doesn’t really matter too. What we’re here for are the ecchi fanservice and harem romance, right? After all, why would this anime be named “Seriously Fall In Love With me”, right?

Episode 1
Class 2F is engaging in a heated battle against Class 2S at Tanzawa, northern Kanagawa. As narrated, Kawakami Academy has adopted martial arts into its curriculum and its school policy dictates that any disputes are to be resolved using martial arts in events called Fightouts. Class 2S led by Hideo Kuki leads his troops but is ambushed by the powerful ladies of Class 2F, Kazuko Kawakami, Christiane Friedrich, Miyako Shiina and Yukie Mayuzumi (and her little horse helper Matsukaze). Yamato Naoe is Class 2F’s great tactician and his buddies, Gakuto Shimazu, Shouichi Kazama, Takuya Morooka and egg-shaped robot Cookie praise him that the enemy is playing into their hands. Class 2S may have all the aristocrats and kids from prominent families and conglomerates. But many were reluctant to join Class 2S unlike their class that is flowing with team spirit. Yamato remembers he confessed to one of the Four Devas, Momoyo Kawakami. However she could only love him as an underling and doesn’t see him as a man. He wonders if she remembers what she said when they were kids. Back at the war, things are heating up on both sides. The principal of the academy Tesshin Kawakami (I thought this was Bleach’s Genryuusai!!!) mentions the 3 basic rules for the war: 1) The side that capture the enemy’s commander wins; 2) Only weapons provided by the academy may be used in the war. They may be replicas that inflict immense pain but they cannot cause death; 3) Teams may recruit any number of people from the academy and up to 50 unaffiliated people with the academy may participate. Hideo is going to advance into the battle despite being warned that they may be falling into traps. True enough, Class 2F ambushes them from all sides. I don’t know how many mini ambushes they made but it is good enough to lower Class 2S’s unit morale. Yamato further remembers when he was younger, Momoyo did say she like him and wants him to follow her wherever she goes. However he doesn’t want to do just that and prefers to walk along her side. He vows to reach her level not with military talent but via intellect. He wants to grow up to be a Prime Minister who can run the entire country but she thought that sounded very much like a kid’s dream.

Yamato’s second unit is taken out in a surprise attack so lieutenant Margit Eberbach of Class 2S takes the opportunity to charge in. What’s more, Class 2F’s main headquarters is under ambushed and their commander, Mayo Makatsu is in danger. Thankfully Mayuzumi anticipated this and defends the area. Though the surprise attack failed, Kokoro Fushikawa is going to mobilize the rear guard to defend against them. This is risky as it will make her resources stretch thin and isolate herself. True enough this is what happened. Shouichi’s unit attacks her group and though Kokoro made a run for it, she ran exactly into their trap. While Margit’s archers have to deal with the sole archer who is no other than Miyako, suddenly a great deal of Class 2S defects to Class 2F. Yamato has uploaded a video on to the internet that sees Kokoro gets spanked by him in addition to admitting her defeat! Trying to turn the tide, Class 2F didn’t expect Momoyo to turn against them. She’s doing so because she finds it interesting. Yamato is confident it will be her who will be losing this battle. Mayuzumi offers to fight her when another of the Four Devas drops in. She is Ageha Kuki and she is going to have a swell time fighting Momoyo. Even if it’s 2 against 1, Momoyo still has the edge with super powerful moves like Roast Flesh, Snowman, Killer Fireflies and Star Obliterator. Tsubame Matsunaga who is also one of the Four Devas makes her debut to make it 3 against 1. In this distraction, Yamato orders them to charge in. Unfortunately they are short of 1 unit got surrounded. Yamato, Cookie and a few other guys become the suicide unit to pry a path open for Shouichi to take Hideo head on in a man to man fight. Momoyo takes out Mayuzumi followed by Ageha. Before she can land her blow on Tsubame, Tesshin declares the end of the war because Shouichi has already knocked out Hideo. It’s Momoyo’s lost as Ageha and Tsubame note that she may be strong but was overconfident and brittle. Yamato and his class celebrate their grand victory. In the aftermath, Yamato meets Momoyo and gives her a ring as her birthday present in addition to that great fight. He still has strong feelings for her and confesses once more. Though she now sees him as a man, she thinks she would rather stay as his underling. In short, she wants to remain friends. In other words, he got rejected. Again. While his male friends tease him, the girls see this as an opportunity to steal his heart. Strike while the iron is hot!

Episode 2
After action, now it’s fanservice! Sort of. Miyako strips naked and prepares to get into some futon action with Yamato. To her dismay, he got ‘switched’. I’m pretty sure it’s her delusion that she was frolicking around with Yamato’s ‘body’. Meanwhile their teacher, Maro Ayanokouji is offering 50 meal tickets as commission for an urgent request. Yamato wants 144 meal tickets and no less. Seems Yamato and pals got the deal as he felt it was no harm to jack up the price as he was seeking something urgent in a short notice. Plus, after their victory over Class 2S, they won’t be so cocky now and there won’t be any competition. The talk about fair fight and Matsukaze, the artefact spirit possessing Mayuzumi’s handphone strap that she always talks to. Momoyo strangles Yamato because just when they exchanged vows to become siblings, he didn’t take up her invitation to visit her so that she could tease him in her boredom. Eager to know what the job he has taken up, she is disheartened to find it’s to find a lost dog. Where can she release her wild power if it’s just looking for a wild dog? Speaking of which, there it is right in front of them. You know what they say how the pets resemble the owner? Yeah. That. But this is no ordinary dog because as a noble dog trained by an exclusive breeder, it evades all their attempts to capture it. The dog is making them look bad, eh? Running rampage throughout the shopping district, whether it’s running through the women’s dressing room or destroying their parfait, somehow Yamato always ends up in the receiving end. He might be a good strategist but that doesn’t mean luck is always with him, right? Meanwhile as a shady guy wrapped with bandage waits at the river bank, Ageha is wary that ‘they’ have made their move while they were busy with the Fightout.

Momoyo and the other girls take time out soaking in the public bath. She can’t help notice that the girls’ speeches always have something to do with Yamato. Oh look, out the doggie comes out from the tub… Get it! Running through the hallways naked, guess who saw them when they finally lay their hands on the canine? Poor Yamato. Another round of pummelling. It’s odd that they can beat up a guy and still lose the dog. It leads them to a warehouse. Though they manage to pin it down, they see illegal foreign military ammunition and firepower lying around. Then they are surrounded by MIBs. Momoyo is happy she can go wild here and uses the machine gun as a stick to whack those useless men out of commission. That’s not how you use the gun but hey, it works this way too! It must be a shame for those guys even though wielding guns to lose to these girls only armed with swords (except for Miyako who is armed with a bow and arrows). Soon, they are ambushed by female ninjas. More skilled and sexier. However they notice that their skills are based from Kawakami techniques and such skills are never leaked to outsiders. The ninjas hear the call to retreat so they toss a grenade inside the warehouse. Momoyo flips over the ground to soften the impact of the explosion, though the warehouse still got ripped by the shockwave. As for Yamato, don’t worry about him, all the other girls are ‘cushioning’ around him. Feels like heaven? Well, now it’s time for hell because Momoyo is going to beat the sh*t out of him. They leave and discuss about what happened. Has Japan become such a dangerous place? Well, is it a wonder if you have schools fighting on a big war scale? Then they realize they forgot something really important: The dog! Thankfully, it is being tamed by Shouichi’s food. Who knew it would be that easy… So it’s no surprise that it was a shock to them seeing the hell that they went through today. The supplier of the illegal arms is relieved that his stock is retrieved but is still not enough for the order and wonders if he should replenish them.

Episode 3
Here we go again with Miyako’s sexed up fantasies with Yamato. She allows Yamato to ‘conquer’ her and do as he wishes. Turns out to be a hentai video game specially designed by Morooka. She’s the only protagonist he can choose in the game. It has 48 hentai scenes and many secret shots. Wow! He’s supposed to play it and gradually fall for her to a point he can’t differentiate reality and fantasy and do perverted things to the real her. However Yamato is not interested in this awesome game and walks out. I think he’s gay ;p. To pass this chance up… Miyako hasn’t given up yet and tries to seduce Yamato by giving him a wake up kiss. Fortunately he could sense her ‘killing’ aura and avoids it. Cookie wonders why she is trying so hard. She mentions he has been rejected twice by Momoyo and will fill that void in his heart. In other words, fall for her. But Miyako may be facing some stiff competition because during breakfast, Yamato compliments Mayuzumi’s cooking and that she can be a good wife. Not wanting to lose out, Miyako wants him to try out her Destroid Sauce. That skull face says it all, eh? See the warning on the side? “In case of contact with skin, immediately rinse with water and see a doctor”. Destroy… Destroid… Destroyed… Then on the way to school, Momoyo messes with Yamato since nobody has fought her ever since their victory. Yeah, she needs somebody to take out her wild side. Oh Yamato, you’re so useful. Later Cookie talks to frustrated Miyako. She tells her story of how she was always bullied and Yamato came to rescue her. She wouldn’t have gotten here without his help. Cookie felt so pitiful that she loves him so much, that he wants to help out (putting up a gangster act so she could rescue him and make him fall for her?). But Miyako is going to use her last resort to convey her feelings: Use force. Oh God. Miyako sneaks up on Yamato feeding his favourite hermit crabs. Then as she strips, Cookie barges in to rescue Yamato. Now Yamato loves Cookie! Till he realizes this is all part of their plan to make Miyako look good in his books and fall for her. That night, Cookie asks Yamato why he doesn’t respond to Miyako’s feelings. He replies he has no right to love her. Miyako used to get bullied when small and he knew it all along. He was too afraid to do anything for fear of repercussions of getting bullied too. He eventually saved her because he hated himself for being a coward and would’ve been guilt-ridden now if he kept pretending not to notice. When he saved Miyako, he was actually saving himself. His kindness to her is his way of atoning. Though he didn’t expect her to fall in love with him. Miyako has heard everything and loves him even more. She will love him with her own free will. But why does she still want to use Cookie to electrify him into submission?!

Mayuzumi takes a bath and talks to Matsukaze, who thinks today’s topic is Yamato. The horse is going to probe her feelings for Yamato (“Nothing is perverted in the matters of love”). She has lots of good things to say about Yamato and remembers the time she first met him. Well literally, she bumped into him and got taken in by his kindness. But he saw her pantsu… In view of this, Matsukaze wants them to get married and if she mentions it, he’s the kind of guy who will take responsibility on it. But Mayuzumi still thinks there are other better women and that it is difficult for him to choose her. Matsukaze warns that if she doesn’t do anything, some other girl will take him away, get married and bear a baby. All she will get is to be invited to their wedding and receive a plate with the couple’s photo as a gift that she can never throw away for life. So is she still okay of being friends with him? Will she be able to endure that for the rest of her life? But one thing still bothers her. Yamato may have been rejected by Momoyo twice and though he may be acting fine, maybe he is just hiding his pain. Matsukaze suggests cheering him up with her home cook food. Cook the dish he loves. Hermit crabs? Won’t that be murdering his pet? Mayuzumi thinks it’s important to be someone he likes. She wonders what kind of woman he likes. If it’s somebody like Momoyo, then she’s got to be wild, brute, violent, eat a lot, popular and easily makes friends. I’m sure shy Mayuzumi will have a hard time doing all that. As she gets out of the bath, she gets nervous when Yamato passes her. Her tongue is tied but she returns calm when he exchanges pleasantries with her. She hopes tomorrow will be a good day. Congratulations on her first tiny step.

Episode 4
Yamato catches Miyako sniffing his shirt in the laundry. The pervert teases him and tries to turn him on. Yamato is not amused and tells her to leave but not without asking her to give back his boxers. Actually, she’s wearing them! In exchange he can wear her panties. On his head preferably. If he still insists, he can try to force the boxers off her! Yamato still isn’t lured by her seduction so she runs off to plan another scheme with Cookies. Oh, she’s still wearing his boxers. Christiane loves the Japanese value on righteousness and is grateful her inspired dad sent her to Japan to study here. She thought of asking Yamato, thinking he knows more. As she prepares to head in the bath, Yamato comes out. Yamato was the one screaming and accusing her the pervert! Then as she pins him down with her feet, Yamato tries to convince her that being seen naked in Japan is nothing shameful. The reason why Japan doesn’t do so now is because they’ve been corrupted by western ideals. Back in the olden days, everybody was like family. There was no need to lock doors, they shared everything and looking at each other naked was nothing simply because they’re family! Besides, all humans are born naked naturally, right? He adds that the western idea that this is immoral suggests all humans are inherently evil. Thus it contradicts the belief that all humans are inherently good with a sense of righteousness. So, is everyone born with a sense of righteousness? Is human existence evil? Must such immoral existence need to be hidden? Christiane’s worries about seeing naked is more about being embarrassed so Yamato admits he loves looking at naked girls!!! I didn’t know he was this big a pervert!!! He further questions her about saying this kind of love is an inferior feeling. Is it vulgar to feel love? To her, love is something noble and pure but he points out even so, she calls that lust. Then she brings up a hypothetical subject about liking someone but that someone likes somebody else, would it be righteous to fall in love with him? What about if he gets rejected? Yamato replies it may be the same feelings but she shouldn’t judge something good or bad based on the situation. No matter the reason, no one should disapprove of her precious feelings. That feeling won’t change and he still loves seeing girls naked! It’s not right to deny him his love! Christiane repeatedly steps on him because she’s not about to fall into his trick. Yamato thought he could break the ice by showing his butt that resembles like the fried tofu she loves! She warns him not to mock Japan and asks if the Japan he once loves is no more. Is that righteousness gone? Yamato says his father abandoned Japan. Seeing where the country is heading, he gave up on the country and is currently living overseas. Christiane realizes that he treats his father’s words as absolute just like her. Since seeing her naked is inevitable, she asks him one final question: Does he loves seeing girls naked or seeing her naked? Oh sh*t. Tough question! Fortunately he doesn’t have to answer that since Miyako comes in and thought Yamato is doing some S&M play. Not wanting to lose out, she sits over his head. Later Christiane criticizes Yamato’s attitude. She is about to forgive him when he placed a fried tofu outside her room. But seeing them reminded her of his butt! Damn you Yamato!!!

As Kazuko gears up for training, she sees a crowd gathering by the riverbank. Seems Momoyo has taken up a fight challenge by some weird floating Pharaoh, Mem XXIII. I guess she is so pent up that she agrees to fight anyone. Unfortunately, Mem XXIII got owned so easily after all that flashy moves. Momoyo realizes she should have hold back her powers instead of going all out. Now that the fight ended prematurely and she hadn’t had her fun, she takes out on Yamato who will be her libido outlet!!! She catches him off-guard by using the wind to flip up her skirt but short of letting him see her pantsu. That distraction was enough for her to submit him. However Kazuko points out to a cute girl so she abandons the fight and ‘dates’ the girl. Yamato notes Momoyo’s love for girls may be a pity but it saved him. Kazuko notes Momoyo is not chasing girls not because she’s a lesbian. It’s because there are no good guys around. I guess she has very high standards for guys, eh? You got to be one heck of an amazing guy to match her. Yamato should know better… He accompanies Kazuko in her training. She is confident her boobs will grow big like Momoyo’s if she keeps training hard. But he teases the difference in their sizes. Muskmelons and cherry tomatoes… Of course Yamato says that the size isn’t important. It’s the sensitivity! Real pervert! But he gets thrown off his pace when she asks about his feelings for Momoyo. Kazuko thinks it would be great if Yamato and Momoyo got married because she likes big families. Shock for the guy! Her original family abandoned her so she doesn’t care about them anymore but she just wished her adopted family would come home sometimes instead of going out for training. At this rate, they’ll never be able to see each other. Yamato suggests that if she really wants more family members, he could marry her instead. Shock for the girl! She flusters and doesn’t think she is half as good as Momoyo or even his type. Continuing her training, she notes she might be a long way off but perhaps she and Yamato may make a good pair. That won’t be such a bad idea because they’ll have fun growing up together, meet Momoyo’s standards and all live together. Just thinking about it gives her to motivation to push forward.

Episode 5
Yamato is going to run wild with his secret stash of rare porn masterpiece! To his horror, he finds that not only this copy, but all the other hidden copies, Miyako had glued her face in every picture! Furious Yamato confronts Miyako, who is not afraid to admit that she is making a love montage as his fapping material! She used a super glue that it won’t come off but prefers his real ‘glue’ all over her! Yamato’s answer? Use to super glue and glue her hand onto Cookie! As Yamato and his friends are on his way to school, Mayuzumi gives him her specially made bento. The other girls didn’t think too much about it till he comments about Mayuzumi doing things as a girl. The rest try to give Yamato their food. Even the guys. When Momoyo gives her half-eaten yakisoba and can consider it her indirect kiss, the girls start biting off their food and giving it to Yamato. Can this guy finish everything? Even Cookie dumps a load of popcorn for him! Meanwhile Kokoro is getting this feeling that her classmates are ridiculing her. And it’s not baldy Jun Inoue’s comment that he’s looking for women with no hair and Kokoro only has got no breasts. As Touma Aoi points out, it’s that humiliating video that she got spanked uploaded onto the internet that contributed to Class 2S’s loss. Unhappy she has been made fun of, Kokoro is going to teach that monkey a lesson. She requests Hideo for a rematch but it seems he has already accepted his defeat graciously. There is no need to fight them again for they have vowed to enjoy school life together. Kokoro isn’t happy with his answer so the head maid, Azumi Oshitari ticks her off that she’s on her own. Kokoro is thinking hard on how to get her revenge when she spots Yamato confiding with a couple of otaku perverts over a porn magazine. She challenges him to a duel but clearly he ignores her and fools around. Kokoro vows to do everything to make him accept her challenge.

Doing a few background checks on him, she concludes she will have to make him angry and that is to attack the woman he loves: Momoyo. However it’s not a good idea because Momoyo is hungry for anybody to challenge her! She thought of eating king crabs in front of Yamato as it’s like eating hermit crabs but Yamato don’t quite see the connection. She uses her last resort by showing him her womanly charms but clearly he’s not moved. She wants him to prove to her that he’s a man. She got more than she bargained for because he unzipped his pants and show it to her!!! In a desperate attempt to get him, she trips and starts crying. Yamato helps her up and says she was cuter the way she was before. Then the cupid’s arrow strikes her heart. Could it be? Well, she thinks he’s in love with her. Kokoro approaches Yamato who is trying to finish the food his friends give him and offers him to be her servant. Not interested. She makes it an exception to be his friend first. But when he continues to ignore her, she blows her top, accidentally causing the food to spill. Kokoro offers to make it up with superior meal but Yamato isn’t convinced. The food is more important than her? It’s something his friends gave him. It is then Yamato challenges her to a duel she wanted so much. And so Yamato and Kokoro face off in a no-holds-barred match officiated by Tesshin. Yamato charges but is easily thrown by merciless Kokoro. However, each time he gets back up and this causes Kokoro to panic. Since the match will only end with either one knocked out or giving up, Kokoro continues to throw him in hopes of making him stop. She couldn’t take it anymore and apologizes on her knees in tears about his lunch. Yamato then collapses and Tesshin declares Kokoro the winner. Kokoro feels guilty for making him put up with so much of this nonsense but realizes she has been tricked when he’s wearing an armour underneath. Hey, it still hurts, right? Momoyo, who has been watching the match, carries Yamato back. Next day, Kokoro returns to her class and she thinks her friends are ignoring her. Touma notes that the humiliating video of Kokoro has been deleted and a message for those who have downloaded it to erase their copy. Touma thinks of being considerate and just deletes his too. Though Kokoro still calls Yamato a monkey, at least she has a more favourable view of him now.

Episode 6
Yamato prepares thoroughly to enjoy his porn video. As he starts the video, he sees Miyako in it and the follows the cable plugged to the TV. This leads him directly to her room whereby she is making a fresh homemade adult video just for him. Yeah, she wants him to get into the action now! Well, they didn’t get any filming done because Yamato tied her up pretty good in S&M style. Miyako is thrilled to make a new discovery. For the festival, Shouichi thinks of erecting a palanquin. Everyone is excited to make it except for Kazuko. But when they make their biggest palanquin yet, Mayuzumi and Christiane are also shock to see the kind of shape it is erected. A big penis… So some short narration how this tradition came about and it turns out this festival is known for STD recovery and protection against AIDS. But why the big dick still? Well, Miyako totally loves it seeing it is modelled after Yamato’s. Preferably, she wants the real thing too! Maybe it’s modelled after Morooka’s and the girls hear unwanted talk about foreskin and all. At the festival, I guess the penis shaped candies and mushroom provide the obligated fanservice for girls to suck and lick them. See Touma and Koyuki Sakakibara turn the male and female crowd on with their sucking and licking. I don’t know how Yamato convinced them that eating phallic shape foods made a woman more attractive and even Momoyo teaches them on how to do it! Oh sh*t! So f*cking turn on!!! Any homos seeing this will even turn straight! Our girls obediently do as they are told and naturally send the watching crowd of guys into ecstasy. Till the final part of biting and snapping it off!!! OUCH!!! Psychological damage! Unfortunately the guy the girls wanted most to see their hand job isn’t around. Yeah, Yamato has rushed home seeing he had received word from Cookie that his hermit crabs escaped… Mayo’s handmade candies are so small and although there are some buyers, Kokoro teases its inferior quality as opposed to her high-class ingredients. She even seduces the guys by sucking and licking the candy and cause psychological damage by snapping it at the end! But Mayo’s friends didn’t take her comments lightly and summon her to a challenge. Tesshin approves this challenge and it will be a battle of palanquins. Shouichi is confident theirs is big enough to win but it seems Hideo’s is even bigger! On a side note, it is modelled after his.

Yamato is on his way there as the battle has begun. However, the man in bandage (let’s call him Motosouri) punches him in the gut because he mistook him for a hitman. Noticing he can withstand the punch, Yamato says he fights with his brain and not his body. Motosouri thinks he is the son of that person and it seems he is an old friend of Yamato’s dad. Wondering about that dude, Yamato mentions he is living overseas and has abandoned Japan because he couldn’t tolerate the corrupt nation exploited by corrupted politicians while sidelining the innocent majority. Motosouri sees him as a loser because he chose to pathetically run away. This upsets Yamato and wants him to apologize for badmouthing. However he can’t touch Motosouri as he avoids his punches and fights back. Noting that Yamato is the one being mocked, he mentions about precious people form a family which form a town which form a nation. His father abandoned those precious ones. Yamato insists that the people elected those corrupted bastards and despite still given a choice to choose, it’s like choosing between curry that tastes like sh*t or sh*t that tastes like curry. Well, some countries only have pure sh*t to choose from as Motosouri puts it. And you’re forced to eat it as long as you’re alive. Yamato vows to change the country but he signs off with a piece of advice. People want their nation to change for the better and they don’t care who does it. Yamato arrives late and the battle is at its climax. He gets motivated as his friends call for him to join them. In the end, both palanquins break so Shouichi and Hideo strip naked to replace the ‘divine object’! Woah! What they didn’t expect is Hideo’s ‘towering monstrosity’! With that, Shouichi’s team admits defeat! Motosouri sees Tesshin to report on a certain problem. He has already sent out a search party to track ‘them’ down.

Episode 7
Hey! I want my Miyako fanservice appetiser! In replacement of this, we see a hot babe taking out military prototype tanks with just her fist in her own assessment test! Woah! She can dodge bullets without Bullet Time cheat codes! I guess that’s why Japan lost the way, huh? Momoyo is so bored when Tesshin barges into her room to tell her something important. However she wants to fight him but he notes the town will be on fire if they do that. So as they argue on how long they should fight, they settle it at 3 seconds and if Momoyo loses, she will wear a school swimsuit for the entire day. And if she wins, Tesshin will do the same. But what bugs her is that Tesshin seems happy about that too. Momoyo backs off since 3 seconds won’t be enough to satisfy her fighting desire and leaves. Tesshin realizes he forgot to tell her the all important thing. Meanwhile a group of ladies and a couple of guys aren’t just fishing in the deep sea. They’re fishing out illegal crates of weapons. Yamato lies at the river bank thinking back Motosouri’s words. Momoyo sees Yamato and plans to mess with him to ease her boredom but Kazuko ‘hijacks’ him first for training. Back at the dorm, she thought she could mess him up now but it’s Christiane’s turn to ‘hijack’ Yamato to go watch a movie. This is followed by Miyako and her unshameful and bold sexual harassments to get him to go out with her. Just when Momoyo thought Yamato is all hers, then Mayuzumi pops up and summons her courage to invite Yamato to have lunch with her. Momoyo laments that Yamato should be by her side since he said he’d always be with her. Hey, didn’t she reject him twice? So when Yamato comes sit next to her for real without the other distractions, he can tell something is bugging her. Of course she is not happy that he wasn’t here by her side.

Shouichi tells Yamato and the girls about Maro’s crackdown on porn. Gakuto and Morooka are at a rally against it. Kazuko is eager to obliterate every single porn on the face of this planet because ever since the festival, photos of her made it into international news and she is somewhat ‘famous’. Kazuko blames Yamato that since the ‘divine’ object was modelled after his, she wants him to take responsibility by marrying her! The other girls wonder if they have photos of them uploaded too but it’s just them eating the phallic shape mushroom. Porn stars in the making? But the most shocking one has got to be from Momoyo. No, there are no porn images of her. Actually she is not interested to help out with the gang in a mission where she can go wild. The kind of mission that she really looks forward to because she can fight. Yamato searches for Momoyo and can’t help wonder what has gotten into her. He meets the otaku pervert who shows him an awesome collection of porn magazines. He is made to spill his source as he points to a girl playing in the arcade. Yamato tails her to a ship at the dock but he got nipped in the butt. More precisely, some guy touched his fine ass and he got captured before he could call for backup. Yamato realizes they’re the illegal smugglers they fought back in the warehouse. Actually they prefer to be called jack-of-all-trades and would take on any job. Since Yamato doesn’t want to hire them, the leader asks if he likes tits or asses. Yamato loves the latter and so he is going to give him a present by firing some big holes with his machine gun in his ass!!! Before he gets extra ass holes (pun not intended), Yamato’s harem girls pop up to save him. Seems they were also investigating on the case and so happen meet each other by chance. The baddies bomb the ship but everyone manages to get out safely. As for the cargo, those were spares so they aren’t worried. Kazuko recognizes the leader, Gyoubu Shakadou. Seems he is the former instructor of Kawakami Temple and was expelled for using distorted martial arts. He thought that style to the rest. Speaking of which, the ninja babes, the Itagaki siblings introduce themselves. Sisters Ami, Tatsuko and Angel and brother Ryuuhei. So this sets a showdown between both sides. Can you believe Miyako is still able to spout naughty lines on Yamato in her fight? But the girls get totally distracted when carefree Tatsuko kisses Yamato! I guess there goes the competition of which of the girls he would land his lips on. Shakadou fires a shot aimed for Miyako. Though she dodges it, the bullet may hit Yamato. In that split second, Momoyo was quick enough to deflect it with her finger!!! WTF?! She is pissed with Shakadou because Yamato is the only one she can use as a toy. Before she could land a punch in his face, there is somebody fast enough to stop her dead in her tracks. She is Takae Tachibana and a former member of the Four Devas. Both girls start their power fight so much so it shatters glass and destroys the surrounding buildings!!! WOAH!!! But Momoyo is more shock to see Takae’s cyborg limbs.

Episode 8
While Shakadou and co flee, the power battle continues and it seems Momoyo can use her life energy and use her metabolism to heal her injuries! Woah! She’s not human! Momoyo wants to know why she is siding with the villains. She admits she is a villain herself and ordered those weapons from them. Yamato comes up with a plan for all of the girls to attack Takae at one go. No matter how fast she is, she still will face a problem of taking all 5 of them simultaneously. Even in this heated moment, Yamato can still be a pervert. He noticed Tachibana’s boobs jiggling and knew that part wasn’t armoured and thus had Miyako’s arrow aimed at that spot to throw her off. Momoyo remembers when Ageha visited her to inform her about Takae. She was in the JSDF and killed by a surprised attack in a classified operation. Ageha’s family has been in the military business for a very long time. Noting the odd oligopoly of the weapon arms business, without any real business rivalries, the weapons become faulty, malfunction and sold to retired politicians at a high price. But the ultimate losers are the soldiers. Each time the government wastes more money, the less their troops get equipped. And with high level corruption, they are made to dispatch in real warfare with poorly made weapons. Ageha believes the soldiers are the nation’s people and decided to develop a globally competitive and world’s mightiest weapon. The kind of weapon soldiers can carry out their duties with pride. With that, one of the projects had already undergone some research: Cybernetic prosthetics with combat enhancement armour. Back to the current fight, Takae communicates with her subordinate, Saki Mimori as she scans Yamato and co. She suggests retreating since they have a crucial operation ahead but Takae wants to test them out. Takae powers up and reads all their movements. She thought they tried the same simultaneous attack. But it’s a distraction to attach high-powered explosives that Yamato smuggled out, all over her prosthetics. BOOM!

Returning to the flashback, Ageha further explains the most expensive component of a weapon is the human factor. Lots of time, energy and money go into training a full-fledged soldier so retired and injured ones are deemed inefficient in terms of finance and human resources. But if they can supplement injured bodies with machinery to fight, they can put experienced and elite soldiers back in the battlefield. Since Takae’s body was heavily injured and she struggling between life and death, Takae was falsely reported as killed in a training accident to maintain secrecy since her military talent was quite valuable. Also, her amazing physical strength as a former Four Devas and compatibility with the prosthetics, she exceeded expectations and went far beyond the engineered specs. Unfathomable power you could say. So on the day Ageha was engaged in the Fightout, Takae and Saki escaped after gaining that unworldly power. Momoyo thought Ageha wanted her to help defeat Takae but she wants her to stay out of this highly political matter and not get her personal grudges involved. However she is stubborn and couldn’t care less about all that because as long as somebody picks a fight with her, she fights back. Period. Now back to the battle. Despite the powerful explosion that would decimate everything within 2 metre radius, Takae still stands. Not even a scratch! Takae electric shocks Yamato and the girls so Momoyo revels in having fun with her because she can go all out without holding back. You mean she was all this while? Takae fires her bullets, missiles and even has jet booster to make her fly while Momoyo uses her instant recovery technique to get back on her feet and return twice the favour to that semi-cyborg. However Momoyo is only human and has her limits too. Once her instant recovery ceases to function, Takae rains a hail of missiles at her. One of them went stray and hit Yamato. The next thing we know, Yamato is lying in coma in hospital. His friends can do nothing but to wait outside and it’s not use if Momoyo feels guilty or frustrated now. Had her fun, did she? Now pay the price!

Episode 9
The guys are desperately pleading so loud for Yamato to come back. Hey! Isn’t this a hospital? Would shouting out help bring him back? It’s much worse for the girls. It all started with Kazuko. Because right after she confesses she loves him, all the other girls too blurt out their feelings for Yamato. Even tough cookie Momoyo needs him to come back alive because she can’t beat him to death if he dies for breaking the promise of not being by her side. WTF?! Then his heart beat stops. Gasp! NOOOO!!! YAMATO!!! COME BACK!!! Did it work? His heart beat resumes but his lower anatomy starts erecting! And with that silly perverted grin on his face… I’m not sure if he felt pain while the girls beat him up in his sleep. Back at their base, it’s a greater tension among the girls because in that spur of the moment, they realized they’ve exposed their true feelings. Now everyone is a love rival. So much so they can’t leave their very seat because the slightest excuse to do so will be given deadly stares by the rest to go see Yamato. Not even the toilet. Just when Mayuzumi thought she had the confidence to break through, the other girls pin her down! NOT SO FAST, B*TCH!!! Scary!!! Cookie stays by Yamato’s side. The latter laments his tactics didn’t work since Takae predicted their moves. But Cookie says that it is because of Saki’s computerized eye that allows her to analyze their movements and send data to Takae.

Meanwhile Ageha confronts Momoyo and wants her to stop pursuing Takae. Momoyo still thinks her revenge is not over but Ageha tells her off it is due to her that Yamato got injured. She sacrificed him in the process while she revels in the thrill of the fight. She may be physically strong but Takae not only has machine but strong tenacious will. And Momoyo’s will to avenge Yamato doesn’t count as her tenacious will because she rejected that guy’s feelings twice, right? Why did she do that? Was she afraid things will change? Ageha says that if she wants her precious things to remain constant in the changing world, she must abandon her fear and fight. She gives her final warning not to pursue this case and her family will take full responsibility to track down Takae. Takae is having her prosthetics recharged. But she also has another kind of recharge. The kind in which she and Saki being naked in bed. Ooohhh… I wonder if that part down there is mechanical too… Elsewhere Shakadou and the rest are having a sukiyaki celebration. He mentions that they’ll be earning real money soon and the hefty deposit he got from Takae, he didn’t use a single cent yet. Shakadou mentions about the Swiss Army as one of the world’s mightiest since every citizen is trained and each household has assault rifles and ammunition. Erm… Did he learn this from a certain manga? But the best part of Switzerland is the Swiss Bank. Secret accounts to hide dirty money from all over the world. Sure, he didn’t pick that one up from the manga too? To prove his point, he shows them the PIN number for the account. It just amazes the siblings that they start dreaming of the billions they could spend on such as meat and men (for Ryuuhei, that is. It’s confirmed that guy is gay!) till they grow old. Heck do they even know how big that number is! How many zeros are there?! However Shakadou burns the paper away. He assures them he has remembered it in his head but Ryuuhei doesn’t like the way he is handling this since he is not telling anyone the PIN number. Not even to them. Call it insurance in the event if something goes wrong, eh? But his cigarette ash accidentally falls into the gas canister. Boom! I hope they have the funds to cover for this too.

Yamato searches the news for last night power fight and as expected there were no reports though only some amateur videos uploaded. Suddenly the nurse comes in to take his temperature. Oh wait. It’s Saki! He likes asses, right? How about sticking a thermometer right up his ass now?! What about urine test? But it’s double trouble since Christiane is here for the same. Make that triple trouble with Mayuzumi in the picture. Oh, turn the notch up by one because here comes Kazuko too. All the girls start fighting over to feed Yamato the so called ‘nutrition’ they made him. Then they get even desperate. Before Christiane could reveal her true relationship, Kazuko jumps the gun first that she is dating Yamato! Though it’s for her daily training. Now every sh*t is coming out because the girls try to outdo the other by revealing the ‘intimate’ stuff they privately do with him like being in the room together (to watch DVD) and seeing them naked (by accident). Miyako is going to strip naked as Yamato ignores the cat fight and enjoys the meal. Cookie alerts him that the city is under siege. Takae is on a rampage and she’s destroying everything. Not even the police can do anything about it. Speaking of them, seems the Prime Minister is reluctant to use JSDF, though he allows the police to use any weapon they can to stop her. Guess what? Didn’t work. The girls rush out to face Takae without thinking because they want to avenge Yamato. Takae faces Momoyo once more. She wants to know her goal. Takae feels that power is justice and that she is declaring war on this country. Tesshin sees Yamato and uses his life energy to heal Yamato. Hey, the pain’s gone! He’s here because Momoyo refused to listen to him and has no choice but to request Yamato’s aid to help her out.

Episode 10
The girls are riding a train to the attacked area when it stops dead in its tracks. In times like this, the service would be suspended, right? Watching the video, they see Momoyo taking on Takae and in the background, Cookie is flying Yamato on to the scene. Momoyo pulls off a secret move that sends Takae crashing several floors underground. The move is not in Saki’s database so she is ordered to observe Momoyo. However Takae ‘weakens’ and Momoyo turning the fight to her advantage when Yamato and Cookie intercept Saki. They tie her up and warn her not to do anything funny or else Yamato will strip off the underwear. His. WTF?! Saki says the country isn’t worth living or protecting. More precisely, they aren’t worth it because Japan abandoned them. It’s a country that doesn’t love its people. Meanwhile the Prime Minister gets a call about the sea route or something but he doesn’t give a damn because he’s got his hands full focused on the city in flames. Seems the guy on the other line has been tied up and their conversation recorded by Shakadou and his gang. Saki knows Yamato’s dad abandoned Japan. She then kisses Cookie to hack his arm control programme to make the robot go out of control before making it jump down the building. Ironically for a tough built robot like that, it smashed like a broken egg. Saki is going to show Yamato the bayonet technique that Takae specializes in. Thankfully the girls drop in to protect Yamato. Even as they attack together, Saki can predict all their moves and break their weapons with ease. Perhaps she was so fast that we had to see Saki pull off her cool moves in slo-mo. Yeah, even pulling out weapons from underneath her skirt. Of course part of the girls’ failure is that their hearts are in disarray over Yamato and lack teamwork. Perhaps Saki didn’t predict Yamato would charge towards her. Then he is going to strip his underwear! Out it comes his ‘magnum’. Actually it’s a stun weapon. The shock has Saki remember memories when she was fighting alongside Takae. Their side were surrounded by enemies but the high commander only gave them orders to not fight back and withdraw. Worse, he wants them to let the criminals go. Then a grenade came flying into their direction.

Saki recovers herself, knocks Yamato out and threatens the girls to drop their weapon or her knife will stab through his skull. They obediently do so as Saki establishes communication back with Takae. Takae heads over to her and Momoyo is surprised to see Yamato in this mess. Momoyo still wants to fight to avenge Yamato but the other girls draw their weapons against her. Takae notes how this boy is much more important than the fight. With such a weak will, they can’t defeat her. She is going to make Momoyo suffer once more. Before she could fire at her, Ageha drops out from the sky to snatch Yamato away and in that distraction, Momoyo to punch Saki in the gut and take her hostage. They thought the tables are turned but Takae orders Saki to die and fires at her. Momoyo throws her away and takes the bullets. Then Takae takes Saki away and escape. Momoyo uses her instant recovery to heal but when she sees the other girls worried and close to Yamato, she pushes them all away and asserts he is hers and only hers. That’s when Matsukaze doesn’t hold back and tells her straight she only sees him as an underling. Heck, they’re not even engaged or lovers. Even Mayuzumi acts like a girl when she treats him. Despite Momoyo mentioning Yamato loves her as a woman and big sister, Matsukaze adds that she turned him down twice. She’s selfish and should put herself in Yamato’s shoes. Men have their own needs and feelings too. It’s sad he doesn’t get the love he needs but if she puts it off too long, it’ll turn bad. Just like putting a melon too long in the fridge. Since she doesn’t respond to his love, it’s as though she’s keeping him as a pet. With that, Momoyo doesn’t want them to treat her as a friend but as another woman. That goes for Kazuko too. No more her sister. Just another woman.

Episode 11
Things get even uglier because the girls start fighting over each other to take care of Yamato. Hey, the city is burning in the background, you know? Are there more important things than fighting over a man? Of course. And hey, they drop him so many times in their tussle. Try to be considerate, okay? Well, nothing’s change because there is high tension among the girls even as they sit together and eat breakfast. I’m not sure what is the point of trying to give all their pork cutlets to Yamato’s dish when he isn’t even at the table. Then they all go rush to wake him up. What happens when you have stubborn people not willing to lose and give way? Momoyo fires her wave into them all but they find out the real Yamato has substituted himself and left a decoy. Yamato is at the riverbed when Motosouri comes up to him. He can tell the kid is troubled. Yamato wonders what they are fighting for and no matter how hard he thinks, he can’t find the answer. Well, he has to. So Motosouri talks to him about getting into sh*t, degrading into a piece of sh*t that doesn’t care and self satisfaction. Yamato mentions the girl he protected from bullies when he was a kid. If he did not, he might’ve been guilt-ridden later. Since she has been following him and he also felt happy, Motosouri says there is another word to describe that self satisfaction: Justice. Meanwhile the girls clean Yamato’s room and find porn all over the place. I guess to get to know him better, they summon the courage to see what kind of porn he likes. Oh yeah. Watch the porn video! How is even that position possible?! Momoyo gets pissed off that all they ever think is Yamato and punches the TV screen (heck, can we stay and see more?). They shoot back that Yamato is everything to them and who they love is no one’s business. Now that it’s come to this, they challenge her to a Fightout.

Japan’s airwaves get a transmission from Takae. She is telling the people of Japan that she will destroy this country and kill the Prime Minister. So remember this face and voice because the next time you see her, you’ll be dead! So now the panicky Prime Minister is engaging the JSDF. Yeah, he is barricading himself with all the defences at his residence. Takae and Saki hug each other as they prepare for their final mission. Naked. Ryuuhei leads a group of delinquents and attack the troops guarding the Prime Minister’s residence! How can mere amateur civilians beat up the army?! Well as Shakadou puts it, the delinquents were paid and the army know they are carrying live ammunition and can’t fire back at civilians. He has also cut off communications from higher command to freeze their chain of command. While the city is in chaos, Momoyo and the girls are battling each other. Is a single guy more important than the impending doom of a nation? If you’re a girl madly in love with him, you’ll say yes. Hell to the world as long as I can have him! The girls gang up against Momoyo and Kazuko got nailed by a powerful one. However she still stands up because she loves Yamato and will never give up. The other girls also let out why the love that guy so much. It is because of him that they are who they are now. Now it’s Momoyo’s turn. She has always depended on his kindness and always followed her. She wished this would last forever and though she was happy when he confessed, she was afraid that would change their current relationship. When they got close to him while she was distanced, that’s when she realized her feelings for him. Yamato has heard everything. No, he’s not going to choose one of them. He says he is going to protect this country despite having lots of ugly side and it’s not that he loves it so much. It’s because he has friends who lives here. And the friends of their friends of their friends of their friends. The people he loves all live here. Momoyo agrees to join his course since she remembers his dream of becoming Prime Minister and if this country collapses, that won’t come true. The other girls also put aside their difference to join his cause. And their other guy buddies as well. Oh well, friends and teamwork over harem…

Episode 12
So with Shouichi and the gang arriving, we have match-ups of Gakuto vs Ryuuhei, Christiane vs Ami, Miyako vs Tatsuko, Kazuko vs Angel and Mayuzumi vs Shakadou. Of course the big battle is the rematch, Momoyo vs Takae. Yamato fights Saki but it isn’t long she knocks him out. Yamato remembers how his father told him he has no more faith in Japan. Defining what a country is, he is appalled that his country is where one is unable to tell others what you consider precious. When you say you love daddy, you have father complex. I love mommy means mother complex. And if you love your nation, people will look at you with disdain. A country like that has no future. Don’t forget about lolicons and shotacons too ;p. Motosouri meets the Prime Minister in his office. Seems Motosouri is the former Prime Minister (heck, that is what his nickname Motosouri means). From the things they said, the current Prime Minister has done lots of evil deeds to reach his position like dragging others down, vote rigging and helping illegal people enter the country illegally so he could reach the top. So the part that Takae’s unit got ambushed may be a misunderstanding but nevertheless it’s still his fault. Motosouri feels what he is doing he is somewhat similar to Hitler. Momoyo uses her secret move on Takae but she won’t fall for the same trick twice and counters it. With Ageha now in the picture, she wants to know Takae’s true goal because if she’s dead serious in destroying the nation, ironically there was not a single casualty in her previous destruction. She deduces her role is to simply play the role of the villain and to be a terrifying one in the eyes of the nation. Since Japan has no enemies nowadays, people don’t respect soldiers even if they work hard for the nation. Takae asserts that she has resolved to devote and even sacrifice her life for the nation even if the people don’t remember her. But then she learnt it was one man’s ambition and not the nation. She might not care about her death but she tells them it is painful to see her subordinates in danger just for the ambitions of a worthless man. Her subordinates have devoted themselves to the country and ordering them to die is just painful. Meanwhile Yamato continues his flashback with his dad. He told his dad he loved him and daddy proudly did the same. Dad asked would he live in this place even if he wasn’t here. Yamato would because of his friends. Dad leaves the recreation of the country in the hands of the young ones. Yamato than asks if he becomes Prime Minister and makes this country to one whereby you can tell people who you love without restrictions, will he come back? Of course. That’s the promise he made with his father. So when Yamato snaps back into reality, he is surprised to see Hideo and his buddies (including Maro’s dog) throwing in their support behind him and joining the fight. He even has a present for Yamato: An upgraded Cookie! Reunited and it feels so good. What kind of upgrade? It doesn’t fall to evil. Seriously? Even tsundere is here to help Yamato out and the more she denies it, the more tsundere she becomes.

With the big messy brawl raging on, Yamato rejoins the girls and announces he is going to fight for his loved ones from now on. He doesn’t want them to die but on the contrary the girls say it should be the opposite. He should order them to die if he is that determined. Wouldn’t that make them no different than the villains? Well, they’re all martial artists and in every fight, they are always prepared to die. So Yamato rewords his orders and has everyone die for him. That just sounds really odd… But it has a good effect on the girls because now they are able to focus and do their best and surmount their opponents. Mayuzumi is joined by Tsubame and Ageha in her fight against Shakadou but he realizes it’s time to make a tactical retreat and orders the siblings to pull out. Meanwhile Motosouri continues to confront the Prime Minister that he sold out his country to reach the top. He even has recorded footage on his conversation guiding the illegal entry. As they speak, this conversation is being played live over the news and leaked all over the internet. Prime Minister thought he could pull out a gun faster and silence Motosouri but he is faster and knocks him out. Yamato has located Saki and sits inside Cookie like as though he is piloting a mecha towards her. Cookie doesn’t go down easily with the rain of missiles she fires and once Cookie is close enough, Yamato ejects from his seat to knock her out. Finally, Momoyo does her secret move on Takae in which she counters it. But Momoyo too learns from her mistakes and doesn’t fall for the same trick twice. She improvises a new move that is not available in Takae’s data and sends the former Four Devas to a painful crash below. When Yamato and his friends reunite with Momoyo, she is already at her limit and her instant recovery isn’t working. In her final words, she admits she wanted to accept his confession and was happy that he gave her the ring. Before she ‘sleeps’, she confesses she loves him. Yamato thanks her for conveying her feelings well and kisses her on the lips. Suddenly she revives! WTF?!  She says she woke up from a prince’s kiss? So she was just faking it? Other girls not happy… They try to remind Yamato about his statement that he’d fight for his loved ones so he comes clean with them. What he actually meant was his love for his hermit crabs!!! Oh God!!! So at least he is not gay but seriously, the girls lost to crustaceans?! But they aren’t going to give up that easily yet because she wants him to seriously fall in love with them. Or at least one of them. Who? Don’t know. In the epilogue, Ageha takes Takae and Saki under her wing. Since the duo are technically dead, they can’t accuse the dead of a crime. So Ageha’s current research project is… Human cloning. Oh no. I hope history won’t repeat itself. Meanwhile Shakadou watches in glee as he hacked the Prime Minister’s secret account and password (with courtesy of Saki of course) and transfer all the money into his account. Yeah, it’s filling them up real good. However Ryuuhei didn’t like it that he is going to treat them to a simple sukiyaki and wants something expensive. Shakadou tells him to shut up when his cigarette accidentally drops into the crates filled with dynamites. Oh… Boom!!!

Seriously, Give Me More Harem And Ecchi Fanservice!
Oh… I see it already ended and like that. Not one of the best endings that I have seen because I felt that it could have ended better. Lots of things I feel weren’t properly tied up because it felt like they were just a prelude of bigger things to come if the producers ever decided to make a sequel. For instance, who will Yamato choose among the 5 girls? Will he still stay neutral and love his hermit crab pets more? What about Shakadou and his gang? It’s not like they’re easily killed by their own accidental explosion. Even if they escaped, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of them. Now that the current Prime Minister is put out of commission, who is going to be Japan’s next head? What about exiled Shakadou from Kawakami Temple? Are Kazuko and her family going to do something about it to stop them since their techniques have already been leaked? Then about Ageha’s human cloning research and her obligation to take fallen soldiers Takae and Saki under her responsibility. This possibly would set the next ‘challenge’ if ever a second season is produced. For this season, I guess what has happened is sufficed. We nearly got almost of everything. Comedy, romance, harem, fanservice, action, drama, friendship and even politics. Ah yes. Dirty politics. Seriously, I didn’t really get all those political stuff and would have preferred it to be a cliche harem romance comedy. Feels like the politics were a side distraction even if they were something that made up the bigger picture. The series started off first with a cool big Fightout with both sides throwing all sorts of strategies to come out tops. This is the only Fightout among the class you’ll ever get to see. Then it descended into a little comedy romance with a few episodes focusing on some of the harem girls, including Kokoro. When will she be part of the harem I wonder. Finally it moves on to the dark political side that stakes the future of a nation. So if you’re hoping that this entire series will only be on Fightouts, good and bad thing that this is only limited to the first episode.

For Yamato as a brilliant strategist, if this was Code Geass, he could be the harem version of Lelouch if I should compare. Strong in mind, weak in body. It’s odd that even though he is a pervert (his porn video and magazine collection can be considered hardcore), he isn’t interested in Miyako’s steamy seduction. He’s sending mixed signals to whether he is straight or gay. Or crustacean lover. Does he like playing hard to get? I mean if you seriously want to love a girl, you can’t have them all, right? After getting rejected twice, it’s like twice bitten 1000 times shy. So maybe that is why he is reluctant to accept any other girls’ feelings for fear it may change the way their friendship is now. Friends and lovers are not always on the same level so if you upgrade one from friend to lover, others may become your enemy. After all, caring for his friends and his nation comes first. Vote Yamato for Prime Minister! And when that happens, maybe he’ll make a law that okays you to be a pervert because love and weird are nearly similar in Japanese kanji, right? Any love will be okay! Just don’t ban love!

Miyako’s bold perversion is quite amusing to watch. Unless you’re not into this sort of gag, you’ll definitely chuckle at the way she tries to seduce Yamato. Heck, even the words she chooses are amusing. Note all the sexual innuendoes in it too. “Shoot me with your lance tonight as a reward”. Perhaps because of her perverted ways, the other girls really never see her as a threat in snatching Yamato away. Simply because Yamato always denies her. Because he loves his hermit crabs more… The other amusing character is Matsukaze. This tiny horsey dude never holds back on his sarcasm and support for shy Mayuzumi to take the dive for Yamato. It feels like as though Mayuzumi is taking out her true feelings via her handphone strap and not some ancestral spirit possessing it. Oh wait. Could it really be the case? Because in the final episode, the confusion Yamato threw to the girls had her mixed up their ‘roles’ and made it obvious that it is perhaps Mayuzumi all along who was giving Matsukaze a voice. In addition to being a bloody good swords(wo)man, she’s one hell of a ventriloquist to, eh? As for Christiane and Kazuko, I just feel they were there to provide the numbers to the harem because their impact seems lacking. All I know Christiane is a foreigner who has taken interest in Japanese righteousness while Kazuko who hates perverted stuff (though she might change for Yamato’s love) is someone who just loves doing her daily training. Yamato’s future wife has got to be a strong woman, you know. Seriously I have to admit, the only reason why I enjoyed watching this series was because of the girls fighting each other over Yamato. Call me a sadist but if you’re in a harem anime, it’s a waste if you don’t push and fight over the guy you love, right? Once the cat is out of the bag that each one of them loves him as much as the other, that’s when the rivalry begins. They should have put in more of such scenes because it’s amusing and less of that hidden political agenda whatsoever that I’m not interested in. But it is also good to note that the girls can put aside their differences to work together as a team and bring down the baddies. I mean seriously, if the country is destroyed and everyone killed, where is the fun and point in trying to fight over the guy you love anymore?

Clearly Momoyo has been hiding her true feelings for Yamato ever since (I thought she’s into girls only?). I suspected she was afraid to change and true enough she admitted that. For a person like her who only finds happiness in brawls, perhaps she doesn’t know how a guy feels when he sums up his courage to confess to the girl he loves. And she rejected him twice. Once is already bad enough and very de-motivating for any guys but this guy got rejected twice! I’m not sure if he has given up because even when Momoyo finally accepted his love, he wasn’t really jumping around like a happy monkey that his dream has come true. So really, maybe he just likes to play hard to get. As for Ageha, in addition to being a no nonsense woman, she takes her responsibilities strictly and seriously and that makes her a respectable person and worthy of her title as one of the Four Devas. She may not be as powerful as Momoyo but she is calmer and thinks rationally instead of just jumping into the fray seeing that she comes from a military background.

It’s hard to pin Takae and Saki as the real villain because from what I noticed, their actions stem from their tragic past and trying to correct the country by playing the role of the villain. It is true that when complacency sets in, people tend to get lazy and inefficient. Thus when a real threat comes striking close to your home, I’ll bet as human instincts, you’re going to do everything it takes to survive. So perhaps the real villain is the one sitting high up in his comfortable leather chair, the current (and would-be former by the time the series ends) Prime Minister. This is what happens when you have bad people making bad decisions at the top. As a result, the nation suffers. It’s a good thing Motosouri took care of things on his part. And if you wonder why he didn’t do it sooner, maybe it’s because he was waiting for the right time, the right person and gathering sufficient evidence to bring that corrupted bastard down. As for Shakadou and the Itagaki siblings, they feel more comical rather than bad. True that they are mercenaries and doing it for the money, but their quirky traits make them as funny guys. Like Ryuuhei’s penchant for male butts, solid meat for Ami and Tatsuko being a laidback airhead. Shakadou may look like a rundown unkempt person but he’s no pushover seeing he has mastered some unusual Kawakami techniques.

For a short series like this, there are quite a number of minor characters. Their role I feel is only limited to the Fightout episode because when it turns political, their presence is not really needed. That final episode whereby everybody gathered felt like so it was not to forget them. Hideo may be an obnoxious loudmouth but he still holds respectable values that make him revered and admired by his fellow Class F buddies. Seeing Margit and Azumi have high martial art skills, I thought I would see them in action throughout the series even though not as supporting characters. They are characters whom you will easily forget if you don’t see them again since you’ll be ‘lost’ in the other plot and harem fanservice. Serious. Just like Jun, Touma and Koyuki. They are there because they are there. They don’t do anything that impacts on the flow of the story and serve as minor distractions and little comic relief. Same case for Class F’s loli president Mayo and her best friend Chika Ogasawara. Remember them? Also, a couple of perverts making their scattered appearance throughout the series, the 2D-lover Suguro Oogushi and the 3D-lover Ikuro Fukumoto AKA Yonpachi. Each time Yonpachi tries to do his lame ‘technique’ to see girls’ pantsu or make his elbow like a butt and super-impose that view over the girls, in the end he usually sees the hideous girl in class and gets freaked out. She is the tanned ganguro girl, Kuroko Haguro. Heck, she is so dark that you may think she came from Africa! And the other Four Devas, Tsubame, we don’t get to see her much since she just drops in at the final minute. Speaking of Four Devas, I wonder who the fourth Deva is. Is it Mayuzumi as I suspected? Or can Takae as the former Four Devas is still considered as one?

At first I was thinking how similar this series is to another anime series, Kimi Ga Aruji De Shitsuji Ga Ore De (Kimiaru). Firstly because the same character Ageha appears in both animes. Then I found out that both series are made by the same game company, Minato Soft. There are shades of Kimiaru’s Shinra in Momoyo in the sense that they are dominant and are bisexual. Then we have eye-patch characters in both series like Majikoi’s Saki and Natose (Kimiaru) and an egg shape robot with Cookie in Majikoi and De Niro for Kimiaru. I thought Majikoi’s Margit looked somewhat close to Kimiaru’s Benisu too. I’m still not into eroges like this but my curiosity had me briefly check out Majikoi’s game sequel released back in January 2012 called Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai S. All I can say is that, there are additional huge number of characters both male and females. To me, it seems a hell lot messy. Seriously. So maybe I’ll just stick to the anime. If that ever happens. Seriously.

Now let’s move over to the fanservice. Yes, there are some but not every scene is peppered with them so much so it makes the entire series distasteful. However if you’re watching the normal TV version, be warned that there are censors. Ah darn it. Those damn censors covering the girls’ boobs and butts in those tantalizing fanservice scenes. It’s either a little picture of Matsukaze or Cookie that pops up covering those parts and if you don’t want to see the little horsey or the robot, have the motivation to go buy the DVDs when they’re out. If you’re serious in watching tits and all. Some of the fanservice are funny like the mushroom licking scenes. Definitely a turn on if you’re really focusing into it and then SNAP! Ouch! So real. So stimulating. So painful. I notice the ending credits animation feature the harem girls in bikinis but slowly as the series reaches its end, it comes off and what you’re actually seeing are the ladies semi-naked. Now if only those round little lights didn’t get in the way of the tits… Oh yeah, the DVDs may be able to address this issue…

The action and fighting are pretty decent but it’s not the kind that will stick in your head once the series ends. Of course with Takae using her prosthetics and combined with the ridiculous Kawakami techniques, everything seems so exaggerated and not possible. Heck, it isn’t in the first place. It’s like giving Naruto military advanced equipment and letting him lose in those and his ninja techniques. Power fights are great to see. Only if you leave your brain somewhere else and enjoy the mindless fun without having the danger of thinking too much how this is so impractical in real life. Wait. Lots of other fighting animes also have exaggerated moves so I don’t see why I should single out this anime and complain. I would prefer the cat fight, though. Yes, seriously. On a trivial note, the next episode preview segment is one of the amusing sections because we see Matsukaze as the host of this part trying to entice, persuade, convince and coax viewers into trying to make friends with Mayuzumi in a project this little horsey calls Mayuzumi’s Make-A-Hundred-Friends Project. Whether it is giving you the right to be her friend (be careful of high cancellation fees), giving a special offer to be a friend by becoming a member and only paying 10,000 Yen (you get 20,000 Yen back if you introduce 3 more friends! Way to go, pyramid scheme), saving horsey’s ass from stomach pains automatically makes you Mayuzumi’s friend (you won’t be let go of!), the tradition old hypnotizing, gathering elements such as sulphur, iron, silicon, fluorine, carbon, ammonia, water (are friends made up of these?), become the enemies then fight and become friends or buy a 100 straps like it. If all that doesn’t work, maybe we’ll just stop becoming friends because well, it’ll be a problem if they always borrow money and get into fights. You need this kind of friend? I’m sure Mayuzumi have gained lots of friends, or should I say us viewers becoming her fans once the series ends.

My favourite voice acting goes to Yuko Goto as Mayuzumi and Matsukaze for being versatile between the shy girl and sarcastic handphone strap horse. Her trademark voice is still there like how I remembered her as Abiru in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Hikari in Special A so you can’t miss her even if you’re deaf ;p. That was sarcasm seriously. Since this anime has an extensive list of characters, there are lots of seiyuus landing their voice to the main and supporting characters. The rest of the main ones are Hiroshi Kamiya as Yamato (Itoshiki in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), Yuu Asakawa as Momoyo (Motoko in Love Hina), Hyousei as Miyako (Benisu in Kimiaru), Akane Tomonaga as Kazuko (Hikari in Lamune), Shizuka Itou as Christiane (Haruka in Amagami SS), Naoko Matsui as Ageha (Sonoko in Detective Conan), Shiho Kawaragi as Takae (Sekai in School Days), Yuuichi Nakamura as Hideo (Tomoya in Clannad), Juri Nagatsuma as Tsubame (Hazuki in Koe De Oshigoto), Kaori Mizuhashi as Kokoro (Miyako in Hidamari Sketch), Katsuyuki Konishi as Shouichi (Kamina in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Takeshi Kusao as Gakuto (Hanamichi in Slam Dunk), Kenichi Suzumura as Morooka (Sougou in Gintama), Norio Wakamoto as Motosouri (Onsokumaru in 2×2=Shinobuden), Shiori Izawa as Saki, Keiji Fujiwara as Shakadou (Sven in Black Cat), Megumi Ogata as Cookie Version 1 (Shinji in Evangelion) and Jun Fukuyama as Cookie Version 2 (Lelouch in Code Geass). Phew. I think I lost count who I left out. Seriously ;p. You might have noticed that I have used too many times the word ‘seriously’ because it’s somewhat a catchphrase for this series. Okay, maybe not in the speeches. Just the episode titles. Yes, seriously.

Basically what this anime is trying to convey to us is love and its many forms. From a country that brings us different types of loves that would be considered taboo, deviant and odd in many other countries, if you can’t say the basic love for your own parents (in which Yamato father believed and set the stage for his departure as far as this anime is concerned), then you are just like a heartless monster. We’ve heard and read about so many love advises from the internet, books, magazines and word of mouth. As humans, we need love, to love and to be loved. You can also tell how much a country prospers with the person holding the highest position in the country. It is a good reflection and indicator. If he is sh*t, then your nation will also be sh*t. If he’s full of love, then your nation will be lovely. Thus let us all make peace and love, not war and hate. To say, being a pervert is much better than being a racist? Well, at least I’m not into hermit crabs. Haha! So let me admit that I am proud to confess that I still love 2D girls! Yes, seriously.

Looks like it took another year for another OVA of Yondemasu Yo, Azazel-san to come out. Was it worth the wait? Well, if it was as silly as before, I don’t mind. This is the third instalment of the OVA series and it takes place after the events at the end of the TV series. Ever since an incompetent angel discovered their hideout, Akutabe thinks it’s the best for them to move and find another place. After all, you don’t want angels and God to come knocking on your door again, right? Ironically, Earth is such a small place and yet the angels can’t find him… But that’s not the point. However we won’t see much packing and moving of things in this OVA either. The usual antics of the usual gang and the arrival of a new badass character. Ooohhh…

Lucifer Chapter
Akutabe tells Sakuma to pack up their stuff and move since the angels know their hideout. Back in the demon world, rumours are rife that Beelzebub got his ass kicked in the human world. Beelzebub gets a message from Sakuma about their office moving and will summon him in 5 minutes. He isn’t happy that he treats an elite of the demon world like this and will make her eat sh*t one day. He gets a visit from Lucifer, that fallen angel filled with so much pride that it makes you sick. Because Beelzebub continues to ignore him, he mocks and calls him all sorts of name. Then they transform into their monster form and start fighting each other. Fly versus dragon. Man, everything is getting destroyed! The mountain got destroyed by Lucifer’s blast and every living thing rotted by Beelzebub’s stinky breath. The duo are summoned into a magic circle by Sakuma. Phew. The demon world just being saved from certain destruction. In Akutabe’s office, Lucifer’s animal form is a koala. But he is still the cocky demon he is. Azazel looks up to that dude and even wants his autograph! Lucifer thinks Sakuma wants to sleep with him and gets whacked. They make Sakuma get some grass for Lucifer (I guess he’s a koala after all – hey wait! Don’t koalas eat Eucalyptus leaves?) and since Lucifer and Azazel had some, this means in return for the price of the sacrifice, now they have to get going and do the packing. However Lucifer isn’t going to do the job and asserts he never ate the grass! While Sakuma beats him up, Azazel shows the bag still filled with grass! Could it be true? So how? Sakuma stuffs all the grass into his mouth and force feed him! Lucifer still isn’t going to listen to Sakuma so he and the self-appointed disciple Azazel make a run for it. Akutabe happen to open the door and it slammed Azazel. What a bloody death.

Beelzebub relishes Lucifer is going to experience sh*t with this guy and introduces him to Akutabe who wants to know his ability. He continues the cocky koala he is and decides to play some music with his electric guitar. Then he realizes his fingers can’t reach and looking in the mirror, he saw himself as a koala. Well, he thinks he looks cool and so adorable that he’s afraid of his own potential! Akutabe gets rough with him and wants him to know where his grimoire is. Despite being an idiot, he knows he has a useful ability. Meanwhile we see a high profile woman, Tomiko Senba who has this eternal youth looks being the president of some company and attending high profile meetings. She is in love with Lucifer because this dude changed her life. Safe to say this is the person whom Lucifer has contracted with. Akutabe forces Lucifer to spill out the name of his contractor and though he isn’t going to tell, but because Azazel has been so fawning over him, I guess it gives him away about this Tomiko person who will summon him whenever he asks her to. Akutabe snatches the handphone and tries to look for Tomiko’s name. Lucifer is enraged and destroys the handphone with his mouth fireball. Because Azazel continues to be an annoying blabber mouth, Akutabe tosses the destroyed handphone at his face! It almost killed him! If Lucifer continues to act cocky, he can guarantee he will end up as that idiot. Lucifer is not fazed. In fact he gets even cockier and wants him to apologize on his knees. Add licking his feet to that. Beelzebub is appalled with his arrogance while Azazel continues to support Lucifer. In an instant, Akutabe lets loose some chop wave and Azazel’s head split open! OMG! Bloody! Sprinkler of hell! Note how small his brain was? Don’t mess with this guy!

Lucifer is about to return home but Akutabe drops the bookshelf on the magic circle to make him stay. Lucifer makes it clear he won’t make a contract with him ever so Beelzebub tells him to do it for the sake of his own good. Suddenly Azazel revives and jumps ship. Yeah, now he is siding the other side and all that act to support him was just hoping he’ll give in and change. Bullsh*t! Tomiko is in some meeting with some president (they’re exchanging foul words) when she gets a call from Lucifer. She immediately leaves and wants her entire schedule for the day to be cleared. Finally her beloved has called. Because of him who granted her eternal youth, she will do anything for him. Akutabe spots something behind Lucifer and wants it confiscated. It’s his handphone! Wasn’t it destroyed? Since Lucifer isn’t going to spill sh*t, Azazel becomes an interrogator-cum-abuser whacking the sh*t out of him for answers. But Azazel is so dumb that he doesn’t even realize he’s been taken for a ride. Yeah, how can Lucifer sent it to the workshop to repair when he’s with them all the while? And what about his ability to change to a different handphone model? Fell for that one didn’t he? Akutabe has had enough of horsing around but suddenly Lucifer is being summoned away by another magic circle. Seems Azazel’s fooling around has bought him time for him to contact his contractor before the handphone was first destroyed. Thanks Azazel. Now you’re going to get it. Did his mouth come off from Akutabe’s punch?! OMG! Discussing about his ability, Beelzebub thinks his pride based ability is apparently so strong that he can twist time itself and thus rewind that the broken handphone to a point before it was destroyed. Since he should’ve told them earlier, Akutabe punches him and I think his beak fell off! OMFG! Akutabe curses his luck and vows to make him his one day.

Lucifer is summoned to Tomiko’s side and continues his smart ass talk. However Tomiko doesn’t know who this koala is and tells him to shut his pie hole! Despite several persuasions that he is the real deal, Tomiko refuses to believe this sh*t koala is her beloved Lucifer. To make things worse, Lucifer starts wetting his pants! Seems Akutabe has cast a spell on him and right at the end, he wet the entire floor around him! Well, he thinks it’s his withdrawal symptoms for not getting those high quality leaves and needs them now! Tomiko isn’t convinced and tells off this filthy animal not to get cocky. Since it has come down to this, Lucifer removes her eternal beauty spell and lets her grow into an old wrinkled hag to rot and die! Go to hell you ingrate! Suddenly she believes him. Oh it’s you Lucifer. The real you. Haha. Beg all you want for him to cast the eternal youth spell on you. And in the end, Tomiko regains her youth and sucks up to the koala. Lucifer notes how Akutabe has f*cked with him and vows to get revenge on that guy some day. Lastly, Sakuma can’t stop laughing her ass off because Beelzebub and Azazel got their mouth switched! F*cking cute and funny!!!

Pride Comes Before A Fall!
It was hilarious as before thanks to Azazel’s fast yapping mouth that shoots off faster than the speed of light. Faster than his brains can think. Wait, does he actually use them? But this OVA doesn’t really resolves anything since the way it ended, looks like Akutabe and Lucifer have a score to settle with each other. Seems that there is another person that could stand up and match Akutabe instead of cowering in fear whenever that demon guy makes his presence. I’m not sure if there are going to be anymore OVAs after this (hope we don’t have to wait until next year to find out) but even if it does, I’m hoping to catch more of the silliness.

The opening credits animation seems misleading because it puts up a lot of other demon characters in their cute animal forms. Some of them really looking odd. However they don’t make their single appearance here except for Lucifer’s koala. Not even the old characters like that psycho fish lady and samurai lizard make theirs so in a way this OVA doesn’t make me feel satisfied in that sense. Maybe it’s just a prelude and teaser for more things to come? Provided if they do make another OVA or a second season. Sakuma wasn’t even prominent here and it felt she was just like part of the background. Heck, isn’t this is why this OVA is called Lucifer’s chapter? The bloodied and violent effects that happen on Azazel may be gory but if you look at it at a funny perspective, I’m sure you will be laughing instead of wanting to vomit. Besides, you can’t really kill a demon that easily but that doesn’t mean you can’t hurt them over and over again, right? And yeah, you should be warned of the slight foul language used. Actually, crude is more of the right word but then again, if you take it with a pinch of salt, you’ll find it funny and tickling your funny bones. They’re demons after all. Not polite angels.

I guess when you are so full of yourself, you’re just so full of yourself. So prideful and cocky that you’d think the world revolves around you. You can only afford that when you have the power to prove why you are on top and not let make people step on you. I guess Azazel won’t be even coming close to that even if he has a million lives or stayed Lucifer’s disciple for thousands of years. He’s not cut out to be that. That’s why he keeps getting summoned back and does all the hard labour. Or else, bear the brunt of it all. Cocky and stupid are two different things. Don’t ever combine them together. Or else… You saw for yourself didn’t you?