Inu x Boku SS

October 28, 2012

The rich, famous, powerful and influential only need to have bodyguards, right? Well, in today’s very dangerous world, I guess everybody needs a bodyguard. But it’s not just ordinary people in Inu x Boku SS that need bodyguards or also known as secret service agents. Maison De Ayakashi or better known as Ayakashi Hall may look like a posh mansion for the extremely wealthy and each resident is provided with a secret service of their own. However the residents aren’t really humans. They are Atavists. As far as I understand, it is a term used to refer to the appearance of some special traits down the line of one’s generation. For example, your ancestor may have some supernatural power but it lays dormant and hidden through the next few generations till some combination of genes whatsoever makes it reappear again.

Ririchiyo Shirakiin from a wealthy family is such resident of Ayakashi Hall and an Atavist. She has trouble communicating with people and thus her move to this place to be independent. I guess some habits need some time to get use or to overcome as Ririchiyo’s past makes her putting an obnoxious and prideful front. But deep down inside, she just wants to make friends and have a normal life. Till she is assigned her own secret service, Soushi Miketsukami who is totally devoted and loyal to her. So faithful is he to her that it would seem annoying. Yes, a pest. I mean, he would really want to do everything for her. And I mean everything. It’s like he is a self proclaimed dog to her. Well actually, he’s a nine tail fox spirit. And with the other wacky residents and staffs of Ayakashi Hall, Ririchiyo seeks to understand, improve her relationship with Miketsukami and ultimately herself.

Episode 1
We see Ririchiyo move into Ayakashi Hall and meet a former neighbour who is also residing here, Renshou Sorinozuka. Room 4 is where she’ll be staying but outside her door, she comes into Miketsukami who gladly would like to be in her service. He only exists for her and if she doesn’t need him, he’ll take his own life! Extreme! I guess with his good looks and sympathetic puppy dog eyes, Ririchiyo gives him a chance. However she is sceptical that just serving her would make him happy. After all, he claims he knows her for a while. Was there somebody like him in her life before? Ririchiyo thought this loyal act wouldn’t last long but Miketsukami continues to provide his best service with a smile. She meets the other secret service personnel that include Karuta Roromiya (glutton) and Nobara Yukinojo (has fetish for cute girls. “Maniac!”). Nobara is Sorinozuka’s secret service. Miketsukami knows all about Ririchiyo that he even knows when she’s feeling down and makes her a lavender tea to calm her down. Ririchiyo remembers she was born into a rich family and a target of bullies. However due to her family’s wealth, some people suck up to her. She felt lonely because the world didn’t see her as a person, but her lineage. This has caused her bad habit to develop and thus constructed this facade. She knows she needs to change but right now will only cause unhappiness. She doesn’t want Miketsukami to get too close to her or he’ll fall victim too. But he is so touched by her story that he cried and wants to put that theory of hers to test. That night, a robber sneaks in and takes Ririchiyo hostage. He mocks that this place’s security claiming it to be the best but he easily got in. Ririchiyo’s eyes start glowing to freak the daylights out of the robber. She mentions this place isn’t meant to protect them from normal humans as they are no threat to their kind. The robber becomes scared and fires a shot. Miketsukami takes the bullet and apologizes for his lateness. He transforms into his original nine tail fox form. Now the robber is scared in his pants. He runs but bumps into another ‘monster’. Nobara the snow woman explains the residents here are all humans too but inherited supernatural traits of their ancestors. Because pure blooded demons usually attack their kind, it is best for them to stay here as a group. She doesn’t want him to call them monsters. He takes Karuta as hostage but it proves to be a big mistake as Karuta transforms into her true form, a giant skeleton. Yeah, this is one big haunted house he stepped into. Miketsukami is truly worried about Ririchiyo but she has her doubts that he is putting up this nice act just to get rewarded. He dismisses her fact and reiterates he only exists for her. Her status and origins are of no concern to him and that he owes all his love and respect to his saviour. He pledges his loyalty and wants her to accept him. I guess he won’t listen even if she declines so she tells him to do what he wants. Is that a yes? I suppose she can’t go back on her words now.

Episode 2
Miketsukami continues to suck up to Ririchiyo with nice flattery words that would melt every ordinary girl’s heart. She starts noticing an uncanny resemblance that he might really be a loyal dog. He’s a fox, remember. Sorinozuka’s true form is an ittan-momen (a scroll). He teases her about the letters she wrote when she was young but she insists that she was just practising her handwriting. Really? Ririchiyo, Miketsukami and Sorinozuka go out shopping together. Ririchiyo can’t help think about Miketsukami’s words and how much they mean to her. She wants to live up to his words but it’ll probably take time. Ririchiyo buts a handphone since she will be living on her own. Miketsukami notices how close she is with Sorinozuka so he says they’re just former neighbours and he played her big brother since she tends to make enemies. He thinks Miketsukami should call him onii-san too. Even if he was just joking, he really starts calling him that! When they get back to Ayakashi Hall, Nobara mentions Karuta is missing. The trio go out to search but need to find her before sun down since this is their most vulnerable time outside when pure blooded demons attack them. At a park, Ririchiyo is suddenly engulfed by a thick wall. Miketsukami transforms into his true form and prepare to cut it. Sorinozuka got to Ririchiyo by flying in from the top. It’s explained this youkai is called Nurikabe. One that forms a wall and blocks path of travellers at night. Well, they can’t wait till dawn. Karuta isn’t found yet and Ririchiyo begins to worry about Miketsukami. I mean, he can’t live a single second being separated from her, right? So she transforms into her true form, an oni and cuts down the wall. Coincidentally, Miketsukami also cuts the wall down at the same time, reuniting them. He was so worried that he hugged her in tears! Sorinozuka gets call that Karuta is back. Once they return to Ayakashi Hall, seems all this was a setup to throw a surprise welcome party. That night in her room, Ririchiyo adds Miketsukami’s name to her phone list and sends him an SMS. She gets worried if he receives it or not. Will he get the message? Was that good enough? Did the words she used sound strange? It’s only an SMS… And Miketsukami is so over the moon to be receiving it.

Episode 3
Ririchiyo remembers her life raised as though she was a coveted prize. Her father slapped her when she told him she was jealous of her normal younger sister. In tears, he jumped to her sister’s defence that her life will always be a pale shadow to hers. In present time, more of Miketsukami’s flattery. About the SMS, Ririchiyo claims she was just practising to send them. To her dismay, Miketsukami vows to read it every night and has done lots of backup and subscribed to a data recovery plan! For a single SMS?! Extreme! This is Ririchiyo’s first day at school at Seijou Academy and as the top of her grade, she gets to represent the students with her speech later at the reception party. Careful she is not to cause unhappiness among her peers, seems a couple of boys are badmouthing her that her relatives may have pulled some strings but she is not fazed and tells them off in her usual style. Ririchiyo finds Karuta is also in the same class with her. Then she sees Sorinozuka and Nobara peeking from the gates. To her horror, they see Miketsukami kissing a woman! Their eyes met. Uh oh. He explains she is not his girlfriend and had turned down her affections before. In order for that to end, he gave her a kiss as closure. Ririchiyo chides him of his insincerity and a despicable person. I guess flattery couldn’t save him this time. So is their contract void? Of course Ririchiyo reflects that she may be harsh and was simply taking out her frustrations on him. After all, he was the only one who saw her as who she was. Nobara helps Ririchiyo get ready for the party. Though Nobara isn’t into guys, she hopes Ririchiyo will mend her relationship with Miketsukami. I guess if she’s down, Nobara can’t have her fantasies. At the party, Ririchiyo starts regretting about the way she treated Miketsukami. The bullies misinterpret she’s having stage fright and tease her. Miketsukami couldn’t tolerate it and splash a glass of water on them. He explains about Ririchiyo’s difficulty in expression herself and will go down on his knees to apologize if they retract their statement. They do and want him to get down on his knees but Ririchiyo says no need for that and splashes a glass of water on herself. There, satisfied? Ririchiyo goes up on stage to give her speech. Miketsukami feels guilty that it’s his fault this happened. She tells him he is too naive to act for the sake of appearance and smiles back. She notes that nobody would have stood up for her like that except for him. She has found someone who tries to understand her. After her speech, Miketsukami pours a glass of water on himself in front of Ririchiyo as apology. Otherwise he couldn’t live with himself. Ririchiyo wants to make a contract for him to continue to be her secret service. Make sure you don’t go back on your word this time.

Episode 4
Ayakashi Hall gets a new tenant. He is the self proclaimed delinquent, Banri Watanuki and his overly cheerful secret service, Zange Natsume. Ririchiyo is thinking about Miketsukami once more when she bumps into Watanuki. They had a staring showdown. Huh? Watanuki introduces himself as a delinquent. Whoever in their right mind would advertise their own delinquency? But I guess nobody can take him seriously when he transforms into his true form: A cute raccoon! Natsume introduces himself by explaining his life from birth till now (cute rabbit sketches?). One of them including his sad fate as an Atavist who is able to see things and often saw more than he wanted. So he knows all about Ririchiyo. Her past, present and future. But if she wins tomorrow match, he may tell her anything. What match? Seems Watanuki has something to settle with Miketsukami. And yes, the fox and rabbit know each other since Natsume was a friend of his former master. From what I can see, Watanuki always got bullied. So is this why he wants to be a delinquent? Anyway Miketsukami’s politeness continues to piss him off. The challenge is Ayakashi Hall Walk. The team wins when they get all the signatures of the residents and employees of this building. Ririchiyo easily got Sorinozuka and Nobara’s signature (the latter probably enjoyed Ririchiyo’s attempt to pull up her skirt as instructed). Watanuki had to do some charade to earn their signatures. He did it all for nothing because they signed before he started his act. They never said they wouldn’t, right? Ririchiyo and Miketsukami go to get other signatures of the staffs: Joutarou Kawasumi (the charisma-exuding cook who claims to be a bartender and is always mixing his drink), his son Kotarou (more mature and down-to-earth than his dad), the maids that consists of Chino Motomura (a real cutie), Ayumu Warashibe (transvestite) and Yuujirou Kouda (his face is always a ‘fixed’ expression – yes, he is a guy too) and the concierge Homare Nekozuki (he may look tough but is a shy person). They’re looking for Karuta but it seems Natsume wants them to be quiet. Oh, they’re peeping on them? As you’ve guessed, Watanuki harbours feelings for her and as explained, this challenge is just an excuse for him to meet her since he was away for too long (he was away training to protect the girl he loves, claims Natsume). Of course this challenge too was to help Ririchiyo in making friends with everyone. And she learns that by living with others, hurting and being hurt along the way. What does he mean by that? Well, he just wants to be friends with everybody. Ririchiyo ponders though she has technically won the challenge, Natsume hasn’t told her the cause of her arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat cycle. Miketsukami wants to know what Natsume had said to her but she’s not telling. He’ll make sure that rabbit won’t say anything unnecessary.

Episode 5
Ririchiyo continues to think more about Miketsukami. At the same time, she’s being getting stalker-like messages but it doesn’t bother her since she’s used to it. Sure it’s not her own secret service guy? Look at the way he fawns over her. Ririchiyo spends the day trying to figure out which letter to use and went out shopping for it. Then she gets another stalker message that she won’t be safe alone because the night is dangerous for them. Could it be this stalker is an Atavist like her? Somebody nearly grabs Ririchiyo from behind but only to be stopped by Miketsukami. Turns out to be a drunkard who quietly goes away. Miketsukami knew about this after hearing from Sorinozuka. Once again, here he goes about fulfilling his duty to protect her. Once more, here she goes thinking about the deeds he did for her and wants to understand him better. Then the real stalker appears. This narcissist clashes swords with Miketsukami. Since it looks like he has forgotten, he introduces himself as Kagerou Shoukiin, Miketsukami’s former master and Ririchiyo’s fiancee whom they used to exchange letters frequently. This eccentric guy is Karuta’s master and also the other party responsible in bullying Watanuki with Natsume. Brings back a lot of traumatic memories, eh? Since he is back from his long trip, he has souvenirs for everyone. He gives them each S&M items! So when the Ayakashi Hall people learn about this, Ririchiyo dismisses it as a pact that their families made and holds no legal weight. Sorinozuka notes she looked disappointed when the letters she wrote to him stopped coming but she merely says it’s because she couldn’t practice her handwriting. Now, this is the amusing thing about Kagerou. He is the kind of guy who views the world into 2 categories: Sadist or masochist! He proceeds to categorize everyone! Not even inanimate objects are spared! The elevator, the water and even the light bulbs got ‘classified’! Man! He’s good!!! And funny! However he has to leave for his next flight. He only came back since he heard his fiancee had moved to Ayakashi Hall and stopped by in the midst of his travel. There is something important he wants to discuss but he thinks that can wait. “So long you sex toys!” WTF?! Ririchiyo remembers she used to wait for his letter, rain or shine. Or snowing. And when it comes, you can see her face brimming with happiness. But now knowing Miketsukami once served him, does this mean he also knew she was his fiancee?

Episode 6
Besides Miketsukami, Ririchiyo has to worry about Karuta too. Eating in class like nobody’s business, staring into space and even bringing a dog to school! Worrying indeed. Ririchiyo offers her some food since she ate too early and spent all her money. Karuta hugs her and says she knew she’s a good person ever since they met. What more, Karuta says she likes her. Ririchiyo sees Natsume in school. Seems Watanuki has gotten into a fight and is at the infirmary. The reason was people started calling Karuta weird and he didn’t like that. It’s cue for them to leave when Karuta comes in. Natsume explains about them being born Atavist. Lonely creatures with a fragile grasp on the concept of family. That’s why Watanuki and Karuta share a close bond. So in addition to Miketsukami and Kagerou, Karuta is added to her list of worries. Karuta may look like a slacker but during home economics, she becomes like a guru and knows how much ingredients to put in making curry. I guess it matters when food is involved. Ririchiyo notices the band aids on her hand. She says she got it when she tried to rescue a kitten but got scratched. To her, every little animal she sees reminds her of Watanuki. Then Karuta asks if she is interested in Miketsukami. It’s that Big Bang thought again that she may have realized too late she’s in love with him. Her gratitude for him has awakened her mating instincts? WTF?! The weather turns stormy after class. Ririchiyo walking alone in the corridor is being attack by a Wet Woman (nothing sexual but spooky!). Watanuki wanted to show he is a man but his weak appearance causes him to be beaten up. It doesn’t matter if he cloned himself to hundreds. He’s still weak. Ririchiyo transforms into her true form and fights it but is hit out of the window. Some of her classmates see what’s happening. They couldn’t believe their eyes that they see Karuta jumping out and transforming into a large skeleton to save Watanuki and Ririchiyo’s fall. Though the rumours about Karuta spread that she became a skeleton or got eaten by it, it’s a good thing that nobody got it on camera. Otherwise as Miketsukami puts it, he’ll have to take them out. Ririchiyo hears the girls talking about Karuta’s huge appetite. Watanuki says not to tire herself by bothering with them. But if she needs to clobber anybody, he’ll do the job. Yeah, Ririchiyo points out she’ll need to make sure nobody clobbers him back. Karuta just takes their hands and walk home together. Having more friends is good.

Episode 7
Some demon attacks Ayakashi Hall and this activates the security that locks the gang in separate barriers. They have to wait till morning comes when the youkais disappear and the security system will shut off. Watanuki wants to rush to Karuta’s side to protect her but gets ‘persuaded’ by Natsume to do some personal training in this barrier of his to impress her. Don’t worry about Karuta. She’s got the entire refrigerator to accompany her. Sorinozuka, Nobara and Chino are together. Obviously Nobara isn’t so interested in her master and would love to spend this exclusive time with this cute maid. And of course Ririchiyo and Miketsukami get to spend quality time together. Okay, I might have exaggerated about the quality part. So what happens when you’re stuck with a guy who never tires of fawning over you? Well, he even took a picture of her and sets it as his handphone’s wallpaper. He lets her take a bath and then prepares her bed. She gets worried that he gives every priority to her and not himself. She tries to strike up a conversation but she can’t say the right words. She needs to find a way to repay his kindness. As usual, Miketsukami reiterates he only exists for her. He is her dog. What else is new? Watanuki has been training hard but realizes Natsume had tricked him. He only did that to get his mind off Karuta. Watanuki crashes down onto the floor and breaks the barrier. This weakens the security system as the youkais start breaking in. Everyone is alerted and prepares for the invasion. The best part is when Karuta is preparing to have her lobster meal, she senses Watanuki in danger, grabs a lobster and jumps to his side. With the lobster in mouth, she kicks the youkais’ ass! Woah! He didn’t even get a chance to do anything. I guess it’s not her who needs his protection but the other way round, eh? Everyone reunites as Ririchiyo notes how weak the demons are. As explained, they are Obariyon and hitch a ride on traveller’s back. Though it clings to them, they cause no physical harm. That explains why they look so cute than scary. Miketsukami dispatches the last remaining ones that cling on to Ririchiyo. That easy? So why did they want to break into Ayakashi Hall in the first place? Ah, never mind. It’s already morning.

Episode 8
Isn’t it getting annoying already? Miketsukami’s flattery and apology for just about everything? At least he’s good to have around when nobody is fast enough to stop a stray speeding baseball. Ririchiyo observes how close the others are with their secret service but not them. Even she spends more time with Karuta and Watanuki. Thinking she needs to repay him and do more to understand him, it suddenly hit her that she has never seen him eat ever since she moved to Ayakashi Hall. Seeing that he always served her tea, she will brew coffee for him and they’ll have their personal tea time together. Her coffee is perfect but now comes the hard part. How will she invite him? She spends all night coming up with plans. Whether it is made up, being straightforward or a perfect invitation (Miketsukami isn’t that kind of character so she knows well this plan will never work out), it just doesn’t feel right. Yeah, she’s losing sleep over it. Hope it doesn’t drive her crazy. At the dining hall, she tries to summon her courage but because the others are too noisy, she needs some place quiet to pull this off. She might just pull it off outside school but Karuta drags her away seeing they’ll be late for home economics. I guess that’s her favourite subject. So is inviting someone to tea beyond her communication skill? She continues to observe how close the others are. Then she calls Miketsukami to see her under the sakura tree where he wanted to test that theory of hers. He thought she was dissatisfied with his service as he notices her gloominess all day. I mean, he could tell the slightest detail of how much gram of pepper she added to her meal today which is not her usual! How she poured her sauce on eggs! How she cleaned her glasses first! That’s scary! Stalker material! Regret asking? On the contrary, she is not dissatisfied at all but doesn’t like being pampered too much and that he doesn’t play fair. He knows all about her but she has nothing on him. Oh, there he goes apologizing and that’s the kind of attitude she’s talking about. He says this is his only way to interact through others. Via servility. Though she is in no position to lecture others on communication skills, she tells him that she feels their relationship is the most distant among the rest. That’s why he’ll be joining her for tea time tomorrow with her homemade coffee. During that time, they’ll be equals. Miketsukami is so taken in by her kindness that he almost couldn’t breathe. There he goes again. Ririchiyo notes she may still be awkward with others but today she has understood him a little better.

Episode 9
There’s a note on the door that tells everyone to pick a fight. But Karuta sounds more cute than insulting! Ririchiyo is nervous waiting for today’s tea time. She gets more anxiety when she couldn’t comprehend why she picked 8pm. The waiting is just killing her. Can she survive it? While Ririchiyo accompanies Karuta to taste sampling of foods at supermarkets (it’s her way to get free lunch), the other people of Ayakashi Hall continue to ‘abide’ by that note. Oh, there’s another note saying not to talk. Lots of misunderstanding using hand signals… Is this a prank by Natsume? Doesn’t seem like it. Ririchiyo makes the necessary preparations for the tea time. She is amazed at herself for giving herself time to do the preparations. Unfortunately she finished early and there are 4 hours more to go. The anxiety continues… She gets a call from Karuta to study together with Watanuki. Karuta is so funny that she uses her pencil to decide which answer to write even if it’s the wrong subject. Miketsukami helps Ririchiyo with a maths problem. She is impressed but Watanuki notes it isn’t over with him yet even though he lost the Ayakashi Hall Walk. Natsume has this idea to settle this now. The master and secret service will form a team and go head to head in a quiz battle. The one who gets the most answer correct wins. Since Natsume is the emcee, Watanuki pairs up with Karuta. Can’t refuse that, can’t he? First round is a box quiz in which the contestants need to feel what’s inside and guess what it is. No, nothing funny or disgusting. Everyone passes and the second round is a quiz on how well you know your partner. Nobara’s one felt like just expressing about her extreme fantasies. Maniac! Oh, Miketsukami went on ranting about Ririchiyo’s habits and character down to the very last detail! Just stop! However the quiz ended since they’re out of time and you can say Ririchiyo is spared from being asked. There seems to be another note in the dining hall for them to draw Tokyo prefecture. The winner gets a Blu-Ray recorder. Start drawing! Anyway everyone went off topic with their drawing. Then there’s another (stupid) question (that nobody else wants to participate) and the prize is a seven-day vacation to Hawaii with Kagerou. Oh wait. So he’s the one behind all this notes?! Oh man! That dude is back! Welcome him back, you human chamber pots!

Episode 10
Kagerou has bought more S&M presents for them! He revs up the party with some firecrackers. Wow. It lasted for 5 hours… On to serious stuff, Kagerou won’t be long here and wants to know if Ririchiyo would like to join him on his travels. Since she can’t answer now, he allows her to take her time and when he gets back, they can have a long important chat. Thanks to Kagerou, it has gotten late so Ririchiyo postpones their tea time tomorrow after school. So it’s back to more wondering for Ririchiyo. If Miketsukami once served him and assuming he knew she’s his fiancee, is he not interested to know that aspect of her life? Even though she once wrote letters every day to him because every word written was meant for her alone, it’s not like she had something she wanted to tell him. After school the next day, Kagerou ‘kidnaps’ Ririchiyo and with Watanuki and Karuta, he forces her to spend the day with him. Yeah, more labelling of everyone and everything as either sadist or masochist! I see he hasn’t lost his touch. The dog, the tree, the table… Man, he’s really good. Ririchiyo is being dragged around town the entire day and I guess she has no say no matter how much she wants to go back. She comes back to her room late and hopes Miketsukami isn’t mad for missing the appointment. She SMS to him but he’s not replying. Could he really be mad? She goes to see him in his room and seems he just came out of the bath. However the tone Miketsukami says things indicates he is jealous she has spent and enjoyed her time with Kagerou. He reminds her of their contract they made today and Ririchiyo is not amused. Seeing he is not in his right mind today and that he is trying to suggest something, she leaves. She didn’t like it how he phrased she enjoyed herself because all this time, she wanted to go home. She starts crying just thinking about Miketsukami. Next day Miketsukami confronts Kagerou and it seems he hasn’t discussed with her about the important thing yet. Miketsukami begs him not to tell her so Kagerou asks is it to protect her or himself. He feels that his act is like looking down on him. Anyhow, he refuses! Miketsukami remains cool but seeing there is no choice, they both transform into their true forms and clash. Ririchiyo happen to pass by and see Miketsukami on top of Kagerou and the latter is stopping his sword with his bare hands. He’s still acting arrogant, though. Kagerou is impressed that Ririchiyo could order Miketsukami to back down. Noting she has put a lot of trust in him, he tells her they are partners in crime because that fox is skilled in deceiving people. He doubts he could lie to her. Miketsukami apologizes and mentions he had hoped to keep it hidden forever. But if someone is to reveal it, he would rather say it himself.

Episode 11
This flashback episode sees how Miketsukami came to where he is now. Some clans with Atavists believe their only way to achieve supremacy was to subjugate the Atavists’ power. Miketsukami was in such clan and was locked away in a room alone. The room was his world. Then he got crafty and had his first time with the maid who brought him his meals. Who could resist such a good looking person? All Miketsukami needed was to wiggle into the hearts of the woman and use this as his tool to work his way up to the clan’s powerful woman. She might be at the top but as a woman, she is lonely and Miketsukami exploits this as her pet in his quest to attain true freedom. He was rewarded with luxuries but what he wanted was freedom. At a party, he met a family more powerful than his. This woman, Ayame had strong morals and penchant for meddling so he told her his sad story about being locked up and she vows to do something about it. Though his charms didn’t work on her, she brings him in to the family and makes him the servant of her son, who is no other than Kagerou. As you can see, Kagerou is still the same guy we know in the future but because Miketsukami is so subservient to every whim of his, it makes no fun. Miketsukami is told to stay in this house till he reaches 20 years old. Only then he’ll be truly free. In the mean time, he would do what he does best to get by. Pretending, deceiving and flattering. One day Kagerou wants Miketsukami to reply a letter to his fiancee for his amusement. He read the letter and from her nice and polite words, found Ririchiyo to be a courteous, delicate young lady. He needs to portray himself as an ideal Kagerou without resorting to lies and thus create and imaginary ‘Kagerou’ that will appeal to her. Someone with lots of good values. He thought it was easy since he’s been deceiving people his life. However it’s tough since he doesn’t know what to write. So he writes as ‘Kagerou’ and their correspondence continues. He absorbed everything he could write about as they talked on a diverse range of topics from literature to music. As time passes, he noticed the peculiarities of her character and understood the kind of person she is. She noticed details that others would have ignored and saw the world in a different perspective. Miketsukami soon grew used becoming ‘Kagerou’ but realized the feelings were not his own but of this ‘Kagerou’. Because of her, he also noticed he had started to change.

One day Ririchiyo decided to come for a visit and he was curious to see what kind of girl she is. He couldn’t believe the little girl she is. The kind of words she wrote couldn’t have reflected the girl her age. Perhaps she could’ve hired a ghost writer just like Kagerou did. But the biggest surprise was how disappointed he felt. Then he found out that Ririchiyo actually wrote those letters herself. Kagerou notes how they both are the same. But Miketsukami begged to differ. She wasn’t an emotionless soul like him. It made him realized who else understood this girl. Seeing her dejected just broke his heart. Kagerou soon left for his travels and wanted him to find a good ending to the corresponding. However he continued to write (because Kagerou loved the thought on infidelity) as she became more candid with herself. He felt he wanted to be there for her but each time he is happy that she opened up to him, his heart sank because she was writing to ‘Kagerou’ and not him. For the first time, he wrote about his true self but to protect her innocence, he skipped the details. Then he got permission to live alone at Ayakashi Hall since he is going to be working as a secret service there. It is because he merely wants to be by her side. So now with the truth revealed, Miketsukami admits he had been deceiving her. He notes he wrote the letters because he wanted her to know who he was but is now afraid to face the consequences. Kagerou tells Ririchiyo that he wasn’t the one who wrote those letters but it seems she had knew it a long time already it wasn’t him! She knew Kagerou wasn’t that kind of man. Noting how boring the outcome has become, he pushes her into the elevator for a private talk. He talks out a letter with his bad writing that states “Sorry”. He admits he never expected them to grow so close and always had inferiority complex for him. That’s why he tried to drag him into his apology but it was unsuccessful. But he surprises her with the revelation that Miketsukami was the one who wrote the letters on his behalf. Then all the words the foxy guy said fell into place. She realizes what he had meant. That’s why he always understood. She goes back up and when the elevator door opens, Miketsukami immediately hugs her. He notes it wasn’t him who understood, but her.

Episode 12
Miketsukami shows all the letters he received and well kept. He wanted to return it to her but she says he could keep them. For she too had kept well all his letters. So happy he was that he made another tearful smile. Kotarou doesn’t want to bump into his dad so he rides on Sorinozuka to the rooftop. Isn’t he afraid somebody might see them? He believes people’s brains will filter them out. Caught on camera? They’ll become urban legends. Some confidence he got there. Seems Kotarou is troubled about reincarnations as Atavists and seeks his opinion. That’s pretty tough questions for a kid his age to ask. Eavesdropping Natsume had this suggestion to leave a time capsule. And since the more the merrier, he’ll get everyone in Ayakashi Hall to participate. Watanuki didn’t want to do it but after Karuta mentions about writing to his next reincarnation or that if they even still like each other then, he’s going to focus his mind on it. Speaking of the next life, Karuta says she wants to be stuffed buns filled with different fillings! Sorinozuka finishes digging a hole near a tree. Wait a minute. Isn’t this illegal digging on public land? Too late. Sorinozuka tells about the time capsule thingy to Ririchiyo and she didn’t want to participate. Okay, he’s not forcing her. Okay, she changes her mind with an excuse she coincidentally have a letter set open on her table that she wrote for sweets delivery. How convenient. But he notes how she has changed. Ririchiyo heads to Miketsukami to give him a replacement gift and to inform him about the time capsule. Ririchiyo notices the irony she came here to be alone. But now she seeks interaction and after meeting Miketsukami, she wants to change. Whether she hurts them or they hurt her, she doesn’t want to isolate herself like a coward before. Kotarou is having a hard time on what to write in his letter so Joutarou mentions if he would still be himself the next reincarnation. People are shaped by the things and emotions they encounter in life so if he has never met his mom or him, he wouldn’t have been himself. Kotarou understood that Joutarou will always be his father. After everyone has put in their letters, Sorinozuka notices the letter from Ririchiyo which is intended for Miketsukami. Did she mistakenly switch her time capsule letter with this one? Then it hit her. She let loose an embarrassing scream! I believe I never see her freak out like this! In an instant, she calls Miketsukami (wow, that’s very fast finger work) to not read it. Too late. He already it. Here comes another scream. Suddenly the world is just crashing down on her.

Because she can’t face him, she ran and hid herself at the park. She is very embarrassed with the contents of the letter since she poured out her emotions. Something one would never expect from a sharp tongue girl. She tries to reason it’s not that she wants a fantasy relationship but rather wants to repay him and be a better person. Ririchiyo realizes her handphone is off and when she on it, she instantly got a call from Miketsukami! Super fast. She panics as she hasn’t come up with a plan. Quickly coming up with all sorts of weird plans on what to say, she finally tells him the letter has no deep meaning to it and she just hoped for them to have a fruitful professional relationship. But Miketsukami remains cool and calm. From the way he said things, Ririchiyo realizes he hates himself. In return, she too realizes she hates herself. Once he arrives at the park, Ririchiyo sums up her courage to confess she loves him many times. She doesn’t care if he hates himself, at least she wants to love him. Miketsukami is so happy that he hugs her and returns the favour. I love you x 10. Or maybe more. Their happiness is cut short when a group of kids point out the duo are committing horny acts in public. Ririchiyo is embarrassed and wants him to put her down for she fears this isn’t good for the children’s emotional education. Haha. Very funny. I bet they’re learning something from this. Miketsukami isn’t listening and continues to let out his feelings. When he read her letter, he told himself not to jump to conclusions or else he would lose control. But he felt so happy that he could die. It’s a good thing that didn’t happen, eh? In the aftermath we see the Ayakashi Hall gang spending time together at the beach or having a party. Even Kagerou is back to join them. But for how long? More importantly, Ririchiyo and Miketsukami spend more time together and grow closer. Then she discovers this freaking scary thing in his secret room: A wall filled with her pictures and a big picture of her mug right smack in the middle! SCARY! What did she say about loving and accepting the way he is? Oh shi… No turning back! While the duo are lying together, Miketsukami says his dream is to start a family and have children with her. She doesn’t want to make a hasty decision so he is okay with that. I guess they’ll have many days and nights to think about that together.

OVA
Nothing new that advances the plot. Just split into 3 little stories for our little extra amusement. That’s all.

Part 1: Miketsukami’s Transformation
Taking place a while after Ririchiyo and Miketsukami are dating. Alone together in the dining hall, Miketsukami notices a very nervous Ririchiyo and this activates his mischief side to tease her. She’s cute when she flusters, right? In order for her to feel at ease, he transforms not only into his nine tail fox form but also a child version. Cute, no? Miketsukami is too cute to resist for her to say she loves him, hug him and pet him. Till she realize she fell for his opportunist trick. Since that isn’t going to work anymore, Miketsukami transforms into a full-fledged woman. Wow. He’s got a nicer body than Ririchiyo. Haha! Really, he is both female inside and outside! Care to inspect? No way! In order to help Ririchiyo be intimate, Miketsukami suggests practising being close to each other. I thought it just looked like a yuri scene. Miketsukami the seme type going all over Ririchiyo. Yeah, he’s taking advantage of her. Nobody’s looking you say? Well, here comes in Nobara. Sight of female over another female? MANIAC!!!

Part 2: Switch
So bored that Natsume presses Sorinozuka’s arm. That’s his switch of turning into Nobara? He’s shouting “Maniac!”. Natsume is having fun pressing it lots of times. Ding dong! Karuta observes this and presses Watanuki’s chest. He thought he’s supposed to imitate somebody but she says it’s a switch to make her like him more. Got to love it, right? Karuta starts pressing it furiously like as though she’s some tai chi master. So painful yet so joyful for that delinquent. Kagerou returns and Karuta presses his button on his chest. It made him say “Human chamber pot” in a robotic manner! WTF?! Nobara is disgusted that Natsume and Sorinozuka continue to play that silly ding dong game. So Sorinozuka goes up to her and presses her forehead. Reaction? She bends his finger the wrong way! Don’t ever try that again buster! Kagerou tries to press Ririchiyo’s chest but Miketsukami swiftly punches him out in the gut! As Ririchiyo ponders who started this ding dong game, she gets curious enough to press Miketsukami’s hand. His face then slowly turns to her and warns her about the delayed reaction she will get and prepare herself. She gets away as far as him as possible! Who knows he may do something perverted.

Part 3: Playing House
Koutarou is babysitting his little sister Hana so the rest wonder what she wants to do. Play house. I’m not sure if Ririchiyo is being too serious in writing down all the details for the scenario. Hana assigns Koutarou to be the father and herself as his sister. Erm? Isn’t she his sister in real life? Sorinozuka will be the grandpa, Karuta the grandma, Ririchiyo the mother while Miketsukami… The delivery guy. WTF. After ‘daddy’ leaves for work, some protest by the ‘grandparents’ about food when the doorbell rings. It is the delivery guy. Miketsukami starts flirting and seducing Ririchiyo and pushes her down onto the floor! This play house has reached adult level?! Too bad it had to be stopped since Koutarou wishes it to be kid friendly. Nobara heard there’s this cute girl over and really wants in. Oh no. So in the second round of play house, Karuta is the grandma, Sorinozuka the father, Nobara the mother, Ririchiyo, Koutarou and Hana the children and Miketsukami… The dog. WTF. As usual, Nobara hates her ‘husband’ but goes on to dote on ‘grandma’. Ririchiyo notes her ‘family tension’ and promises her siblings that she’ll work hard to get out of this house and support their education. When Miketsukami gives his 2 cents worth of opinion, hey wait. Can dogs talk? Suddenly coming into the picture is Kagerou! He claims he is the real father! Not if Nobara would allow it. With Natsume butting in as the referee, he initiates a battle between Kagerou and Nobara. But it ends as soon as it starts when Nobara drops her big ice over him. ‘Mommy’ wins. ‘Daddy’ returns only to find real ‘daddy’s’ is dead on his floor. Watanuki just ended his training when Karuta goes up to him if dinner is ready. Still think she’s playing house? Oh wait. She’s always like that.

Hmph! This Show Is An S! Make That Double SS!
That’s right! This show is an S! An S for trying to torture me with Miketsukami’s sucking up to Ririchiyo. Uhm… Make that double S. An S for trying to torture me with Ririchiyo’s constant worrying for what she can do for her secret servant. An S for ignoring Watanuki and not giving Karuta enough screen time. Oh wait. I don’t really care about Watanuki’s role :).  An S for making me find that Kagerou dude funnily irresistible. An S for trying to make me put up with 12 episodes of drama, romance and inserting some comedic bits here and there. An S for putting in some supernatural spirits even though they are considered mild and won’t scare the pants out of horror adverse amateurs like me. But overall, I guess this show is quite decent.

As realized by the socially challenged Ririchiyo herself, she changed from someone distant into someone who seeks to interact with others. If she truly wanted to be alone, she would have moved to a deserted island herself. Where would she enjoy all the modern conveniences then? She may still be a long way from ditching her sharp tongue habit but I guess her progress is considered good enough. It’s funny to see her when she flusters or panics. And for a person who always acts tough, she definitely looks funny (in a cute sense). I have to hand it to Miketsukami for being a loyal secret service and the way he uses his flowery words to praise his master. But I have to admit that it was amusing at first but the more I watch, it gets pretty annoying that I’d roll my eyes and say “Oh boy, here he goes again”. Even if Miketsukami is devoted and faithful, however I noticed that at times he doesn’t really obey Ririchiyo’s commands. This is especially if it puts him away from her. So he words it in a way, or rather persuade to make it in a way she will accept his wish. He may be a loyal dog but he’s still a sly fox. Just like everybody else in Ayakashi Hall, each of them have their own past so when the cat (or fox in his case) is out of the bag, it would have been natural for others to get mad because who would like to be deceived? Ririchiyo has been displaying a maturity level higher than her age and would put others to shame. So it’s no surprise that despite Miketsukami could really get on her nerves with his extreme admiration, because of him, she got to see things in a different light and changed herself. Likewise, if Miketsukami had not met Ayame and be made to live with Kagerou, he would have gone on deceiving others. Would he really call that kind of freedom to be true? So it’s like they both play important roles in each other life to turn over a new leaf.

The other characters are pretty amusing and memorable themselves either. At certain points I got tired of Miketsukami’s glorification and worshipping of Ririchiyo and I also got weary of Ririchiyo’s anxieties over her secret service. I know this series is focused on them but I just thought this show lacks Karuta and Kagerou, the most amusing pair that I find. Karuta is amusing because food is only on her mind. She’s cute when she’s munching. She’s cute when she’s slacking. She’s cute when she’s spacing out. She’s cute when she’s clumsy. She’s cute when she’s eating. Oh, did I say that? Isn’t it a wonder why Watanuki finds her irresistible? Seeing her just cracks a smile after the repetitious you-know-what in every episode. Anyhow, food defines Karuta and my guess is that she’ll be at a loss if she doesn’t have anything to eat. Maybe her past life was a hungry person. Does that explain why her true form is a skeleton? This show needs to have more Kagerou and it’s a shame that he only appears for a short while in a handful of episodes. I love how eccentric he is, categorizing everything into either sadistic or masochistic. He’s damn good at it. He makes me laugh. He has got a way with words too and if Miketsukami’s is polite, his is right in your face. Oh, does that make me an M?

Natsume is the other prankster and I can’t help think that he may be hiding something deeper. Maybe he just really wants to get along with the rest. Being able to see more than you want can be scary sometimes. So what better way than to liven things up by coming up with games or events that has everyone interact with each other. I wonder if the permanent big smile on his face is just how he looks like or he just loves smiling every time. Don’t remember if I had ever seen him frown. I don’t understand Watanuki’s idea of wanting to be a delinquent. Is it to attract attention? Well, it’s not really working since he is usually ignored and cut off, especially by Natsume. Perhaps he wants to show how manly he is to Karuta? From the way I see it, it looks like he needs the protection from Karuta instead. Sorinozuka looks like an eternal slacker. He doesn’t show much enthusiasm in doing lots of things and even if he does, he doesn’t show as much passion as compared to his secret service. Speaking of which, I wonder how he ended up with that snow woman maniac. I mean, she treats him coldly (literally too – freezing his warm meal on several occasions) and doesn’t hesitate to beat him up if he teases her (like how she buried him in the hole when he teased they looked like a family). Otherwise, any other girls would just turn her on and into a passionate frenzy. Nose bleeding included. Therefore it’s sometimes odd to see Sorinozuka and Nobara to enjoy reading porn together. Not exactly side by side but in the sense have the same views when viewing those Playboy magazines. The other staffs in Ayakashi Hall may make lesser appearance but they too have their quirky personalities.

Having said all these, despite being Atavists with supernatural powers, this shows that they have also a human’s side. They are not perfect and seek integration and acceptance just like normal people. They can be more humane than humans when you think about it. So I thought there would be a final arc in which some fearsome full blooded youkai will break in and attack them. Some supernatural clash and I was even prepared for a cliff-hanger ending that would suggest another season but I guess it was all the way Ririchiyo-Miketsukami bonding. And when Ririchiyo and Miketsukami became one in the end, I suppose that’s just about the end of it. My curiosity piqued a little at the end so I went to do a little research (read: go browse Wikipedia). Seems that there are 2 parts of the story (the manga is still ongoing) and that the first part as we have seen in the anime is just actually a prologue. What ends the first part is an attack by a youkai that possesses Karuta and kills almost everyone of Ayakashi Hall! Oh my. Thus the second part begins 23 years later with those killed being reincarnated. Seems pretty interesting and if a production for a second season is given the green light, I would really definitely like to know how things are played out. Will everyone still be the same as before? Did the time capsule and talk on the next life have something to do with this?

The drawing and art of the characters caters to bishie and bishuojo fans. Everybody here looks beautiful and handsome. I guess it’s like icing on your cake when you not only have a very loyal secret service guy, but when he is looking so cool and handsome like your K-Pop idol or super model. Well, if everybody in the world looks this beautiful, that word itself won’t exist since there won’t be ugly people to compare with, right? But our characters here are more than just looking good for visual aesthetics since we see them capable of certain abilities. Heck, they’re Atavists. They just aren’t part of the norm of society, that’s all. Because there are some funny moments, when this happens, the characters will turn into their chibi form. Especially when Ririchiyo flusters and panics. Sometimes when she lets loose her haughty attitude too. And Natsume’s story using his sketchbook with rabbits as his characters, that’s funny too. Initially I thought with some supernatural elements, I was prepared to be spooked but the other Japanese ghosts here won’t even scare elementary kids as they’re considered mild. At least in the way they are portrayed and explained. Plus, they don’t really seem threatening to our main casts and are easily dealt with.

Rina Hidaka as Ririchiyo did a good job in portraying her character as both a sombre but yet indecisive and vulnerable girl. She played diverse roles of characters from the simpleton Hideyoshi in Sengoku Otome Momoiro Paradox to the shy and tall Airi in Ro-Kyu-Bu and the playful and childish Last Order of To Aru Majutsu No Index. Yuuichi Nakamura as Miketsukami sounds okay. Polite, refined, gracious and soft spoken, I guess it’s a different change for a guy who voiced characters like Gray in Fairy Tail, Tomoya in Clannad and Gekkou in Itsuka Tenma No Kurousagi. Kana Hanazawa as Karuta is still recognizable even though her character lacks lots of dialogue. How can she when her character is stuffing her mouth with food half the time! Can’t talk with your mouth open, eh? Anyway this isn’t her first time voicing emotionless characters as she did so before with Tenshi/Kanade in Angel Beats and Kuroneko in OreImo. Youko Hikasa voicing another perverted character? As Nobara this time, this brings back memories of her stint as Hana in Seikon No Qwaser and Aya in Gokujo. Mamoru Miyano’s playful boyish voice suits well for this Natsume character. He has voiced funny characters like Death The Kid in Soul Eater as well as serious ones like Light in Death Note and Zero in Vampire Knight. Tomokazu Sugita as Kagerou feels like a perverted version of Gintama’s Gintoki. Other casts include Takuya Eguchi as Watanuki (Kazuya Kujou in Gosick), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Sorinozuka (Shichika in Katanagatari), Katasuki Murase as Joutarou (Koushirou of Kamisama Dolls), Minami Tsuda as Kotarou (Yui in YuruYuri), Takahiro Mizushima as Ayumu (Nagasumi of Seto No Hanayome) and Yasunori Masutani as Yuujirou (Gazelleman in Kinnikuman Nisei). At first when I thought how Chino closely resembles Yui from K-ON! and that how much she also sounded like her, true enough it was Aki Toyosaki behind the character.

The opening theme is called Nirvana by MUCC. At first I thought it was Miketsukami’s seiyuu but I guess I was wrong since it sounded so close. Thus I thought Miketsukami wasn’t really quite cut out to sing and shouldn’t be singing :p. Even so, I thought the male vocals really didn’t fit the piece very well. There are several ending themes, each sung by the seiyuu of that character and tailored to suit the personalities of the characters in the series. Miketsukami’s Rakuen No Photograph starts off with this playful beat and later has more of a pop feel in it. Of course it’s about praising his master and to be by her side. The most disturbing (and scary) thing about this ending credits animation is his wall filled with pictures of Ririchiyo! Yeah, that pretty big one too! STALKER!!! Ririchiyo’s Kimi Wa is a slow ballad despite the electric guitar in the background making it a little ‘noisier’. The duet of Watanuki and Natsume singing One Way feels like dramatic pop. The irritating thing about this piece is that while Natsume is only doing the singing, Watanuki’s ‘role’ in the song seems to be interjecting from time to time with his angst like he’s being ignored. Oh wait, he is. Because of that I thought it disrupts the flow of the music and somewhat annoying. Sweets Parade by Karuta must be the happiest one and though it’s light and fun-filled, it’s about well, Karuta and her sweets and desserts. Yum! But it doesn’t feel like she is singing her verses except the chorus and just talking (due to her monotonous expression). Another duet piece this time from Sorinozuka and Nobara entitled Taiyou To Tsuki. Not too bad a pop piece and makes you feel like wanting to get up and do a little dance. The ‘best’ song of the series of course goes to Kagerou’s SM Hantei Forum. This song is so funny! Starting off like a slow death march, it then proceeds to be full blown hard rock! The lyrics are totally hilarious with Kagerou singing about his S&M specialty. Some words are even purposely censored out! Making it more amusing is that in the credits, the staffs and characters have S or M labelled after their names! Some even have “Super” to indicate the intensity of their level! Even the production and studio house have being labelled! Most of them M, though… Super funny! So which are you? S or M? Or both?

It goes to show that even as master and servant, a fruitful relationship can blossom if they both look out and care for each other. It isn’t always a one-sided relationship in which the servant just does everything the master ones. To earn that respect and trust a two-way relationship is very well needed and if it’s a servant’s job to serve his/her master, then it’s a master’s job to protect his/her servant. It takes two to tango. Sometimes when too much love gets in the way, the question is whether they can perform their duties as professional arises. But for Ririchiyo and Miketsukami, I’m sure they can get by just about anything together. In that case, I’m just wondering who will be S and who will be M? I think I should know the answer. Too much of Kagerou’s influence has made me ending it that this blog is an S because it bores you from start to finish about this series, right? And if you actually read from start to finish, then you are M!

Amagami SS Plus

October 27, 2012

Once you have gotten the girl, it isn’t really the end of it yet. Now this is where the hard part comes in. The next task is to of course maintain that love and relationship so it will last till the end of time. I don’t want to say ‘last as long as possible’ because it is a bad indicator that the relationship will end. And even if forever does seem impossible but heck, that seems to sound way better. Thus when Amagami SS Plus sequel came into the scene in early 2012, it is interesting to see how our main protagonist guy will preserve his relationship. Will he get a fairytale ending (at least for this season) or will it suddenly turn into a bad end? Let’s hope it is the former.

For this season, looks like the number of episodes have been halved. So from 24 + 2 episodes in the first season, now we have 12 + 1 episodes. I guess it’s a sign to say that there isn’t really much to tell as 2 episodes are only dedicated to a girl. I mean, if it was 4 episodes per girl like the prequel, I think it might bore the hell out of viewers because it follows mostly the same concept. Instead of Junichi trying to woo the girl of give love a second chance, he is trying to enhance their relationship and make memorable memories. So yeah, nothing is really new here and preferably you should watch this after watching the first season because it makes more sense. To spice things up, they are starting the order of the girls’ appearance from reverse now.

Tsukasa Ayatsuji’s Arc
Episode 1
What’s this?! They’re starting off with Tsukasa giving Junichi a back scrub in the toilet?! How hot can this get?! Turns out to be Junichi’s dream after all. No harm dreaming, right? If only Miya didn’t wake him up… F*ck!!! So in school, the elections for the student council president draws nearer and Tsukasa is one of the candidates for that post. She is going to be president so it will look good on her resume when she enters university. Yeah, that dream of hers never changed. The other candidates in the fray being Sae, Noriko Kurosawa and Seiji Hanazono. However their school rules have it that the elected president gets to choose his/her vice and guess what? It’s okay that Tsukasa has Junichi as her vice president but what’s this? Kurosawa also listed Junichi as hers?! I remember Tsukasa has a darker personality… Oh Junichi, how can you explain it all when you yourself don’t know what’s going on. As Kaoru puts it, Kurosawa is trying to do a public confession. So obviously Junichi has got lots of his mind trying to figure out why Kurosawa did so and Tsukasa may know the reason why. She’s out to get her. By putting down his name, she is trying to provoke and put her down. Tsukasa is confident that all she has to do is win and that once tomorrow’s survey comes out, Kurosawa will know her place, just how far she lags behind her. Life has a strange way of springing surprises because when the polls are out, Kurosawa is leading by a mile! Worse, Tsukasa is in a lowly third place! (Hanazono raked in second place). How could this be?! Isn’t Tsukasa more popular for doing many things during the Founder’s Festival? Well, that scheming look in Kurosawa’s eyes sure indicate this is going to be one hell of a fight. It’s not over yet. Tsukasa isn’t going to be put down by this although Junichi is naturally worried. She thinks she persuaded her dad who is a city council member to convince people to vote for her. So the election campaign is in full swing as all candidates go all out to woo voters (does Sae think she can garner more votes in a swimsuit? It’s Miya’s idea by the way). Junichi suddenly gets an idea after the wind almost lifts up Tsukasa’s skirt. Huh? Anyway he thinks she should have an election poster to make more impact. So Junichi starts taking photos of Tsukasa and even persuading her to get into all sorts of poses. Naughty, naughty… Till he saw her ferocious face, he tripped on all the camera equipment… The second survey results come out and though Kurosawa continues to lead, Tsukasa has made headway and closes the gap. Though the posters worked, partly it’s because Hanazono’s exposure of his porn mags has his female voters turned against him. Now he is dead in last place. Good looks can only get you so far. It’s safe to say he is out of the running. Unless a miracle happens. Not likely for a side character! Kurosawa and her friends discuss the need to turn things around. And quick. Seems like she is going to resort to that. Her friends see Junichi and convince him to meet Kurosawa behind the school because she wants to talk to him. Then they purposely spread rumours so it will reach Tsukasa’s ear that Kurosawa will be finally confessing to Junichi. Junichi sees Kurosawa and the latter puts up an award-winning confession act in front of him. Her friends signal Tsukasa’s arrival and like they say, curiosity kills the cat. This is cue for Kurosawa to suddenly jump into his arms and her hands holding his cheek. Want to bet Tsukasa saw all that?

Episode 2
The demons are coming out from Tsukasa! Not. All she did was pull Junichi away. They need to talk. Oh sh*t. Inside the shed, Junichi tries to explain but Tsukasa shuts him up with a kiss! Woah! Didn’t see this coming! She’s not made because he almost kissed Kurosawa but rather he fell for that simple trick. It’s obviously a trap to shake them up. So in order for him not to fall for such trap again, she makes him swear an oath that will have him kiss no other than Tsukasa. Maybe he should just ask for more kisses… Tsukasa’s friends give her a sash with written support from everyone from her class. During the speech, Sae must be making the crowd laugh with her shy speech. Tsukasa is next and to calm her nerves down, she hugs Junichi from the back. On the rostrum, she lets her flare flow and everyone is captivated by her speech. On the day the results are out, the winner is… Drum rolls please… Heartbeat, heartbeat… The winner is… TSUKASA!!! The class celebrates her victory but she attributes her win to them because without their support, she wouldn’t have made it this far. Miya also celebrates Sae’s result. It might be dismal but the reason why she was running for presidency was to cure her shyness. Well, not that I could see any improvements anyway. Kurosawa sits dejectedly in class after her loss. Then she admits she’ll use any underhanded tactics next time to steal Junichi away from Tsukasa! OMG! So was Junichi her target in the first place? Junichi walks home with Tsukasa and a stray dog is coming their way. Junichi feels he needs to be a hero and protect her and becomes the decoy to get the dog away. Too bad he didn’t see where he is heading and falls into the river. Probably this is a blessing in disguise because Tsukasa invites him to her house to clean himself up. And her parents are not home… Is his dream coming true? Well, she might not be naked only with a towel like he dreamt but the swimsuit is good enough. She scrubs his back and even giving him a few ‘service’. She hopes he can keep his other promise of not kissing other girls. Sure, if you give him lots of good kiss, I see no reason why he would. Here’s one for a start… So graduation looms for the third years and Tsukasa becomes the next student council president. It’s going to get busy but with Junichi by her side, she’ll definitely get by.

Rihoko Sakurai’s Arc
Episode 3
Sleepy head Rihoko could’ve slept much longer if not for her friend Kanae coming to wake her up. It’s been several months since Junichi has become part of the Tea Club. She won’t be lonely as her seniors have already graduated. Even Kanae can’t stand how slow Rihoko is in advancing her relationship with Junichi. It might seem that they’re a couple but they aren’t actually going anywhere. Better do something fast because the semesters will come and go in the blink of an eye. Because Junichi thinks she has gained some weight, she weighs herself and Junichi pulls a little prank by stepping on the scale to make her heavier. Of course he can’t look at her weight too. She remembers when they were in elementary school, they challenged each other’s height. That was the only time Rihoko was taller than him and won. I don’t know why, he thought of measuring their chest size to see who is bigger?! WTF?! Of course Rihoko will win even if they’re not the melons they are right now. Yeah, Junichi takes one right now and from his expression, it must have exceeded his expectations. Later Junichi seems to be feeling the heat wave. Since his uncle strained his back, his parents are away and he dreads eating Miya’s horrible cooking. Rihoko suggests she could come over and cook for him. Oh, please do! So happy Rihoko dresses herself up to go shopping for ingredients that evening and bumps into her seniors, Ruriko and Manaka manning a fish stall. It’s part of their university assignment for some ecological research. After learning there is no progress whatsoever with Junichi, they give her an eel which supposedly cures his heat fatigue. On the house. They also advise her to make some lotus roots but Rihoko remembers being tricked by the same choux creme incident (from last season) and doesn’t buy their story. But they use ‘trust’ and ‘friendship’ to make her believe them again. Easy meat. And the eel doesn’t really cure one’s heat fatigue. It’s for virility and they hope Junichi will get ‘it’ up! Rihoko is on her way home when she bumps into a classmate, Makabe. He was the guy seen earlier trying to get a girlfriend before his summer ends. He suddenly realizes how pretty Rihoko is. Junichi at the store thought he saw them both. At the alley, Makabe confesses he likes her and wants to go out with her. However Rihoko is reluctant as she says there is someone she likes. Even if the train noise drowns out what she says, I’m pretty sure we know who that guy is, right?

Episode 4
Makabe shows he is not a jerk so he lets her go but cautions her not to regret rejecting him. Don’t worry, she won’t. But did Junichi witness all that? Makabe resumes his hitting spree but when he realizes the next girl is Haruka, he decides not to play play and runs away. Hey! What’s so bad about her?! Rihoko arrives at Junichi’s place and cooks a decent meal. Junichi wanted to ask her about that incident so he indirectly asks about seeing many couples during summer. She’s too slow to understand, he’s too shy to ask directly. So nothing that we want to hear gets answered. After that wonderful dinner, Junichi offers to help clean up. Probably Rihoko wanted to confess something important but noisy Miya came in with news that she’s going out with Sae and Ai tomorrow to the amusement park. After having shaved ice for dessert, it suddenly starts raining heavily so Miya suggests Rihoko stay for tonight. While she takes a bath, Junichi goes over a photo album and remembers all the nice childhood memories he had with her. Rihoko wears Junichi’s clothes because I guess it’s probably ‘big’ enough to fit her. In the dead of the night, Miya sleep walks to the toilet but she didn’t really go to the toilet and almost pulled down her pants in Junichi’s room! I’m speculating, in her dream, the toilet is his room? After that commotion, Rihoko can’t sleep and wanted to knock on Junichi’s door but finds him sitting at the veranda. They talk about the good ol’ times and play some sparklers. Rihoko probably wanted to take this chance to say something important but she accidentally got her sparklers on his feet. One tumble leads to another and he ends up on top of her. Their face is so close that they could’ve, you know, that. Once they’ve composed themselves, Junichi beats Rihoko into admitting that he likes her. He never notices it because they have always been so close. Yeah, like just now. He realizes he has always been in love with her and wants to be with her from now on. Forever. And finally the moment we have all been waiting for. After 2 seasons, they kissed! Wohoo!!! Finally they’ve become a couple! Morning comes and Miya wonders why their faces are so red. Maybe the tea is hot…

Ai Nanasaki’s Arc
Episode 5
Junichi and Ai lovey-dovey by the beach? Well, I guess they need it since Junichi has been attending cram schools and Ai is busy as the captain of her swimming club. They hope they can spend time together on Christmas Eve. Ai visits Junichi who has been studying up late for his exams. So naturally he is still in bed. Guess what? He pulls her in! What are they doing underneath the sheets?! Naughty, naughty! In class, Umehara is so desperate that he needs a girlfriend that he seeks Junichi’s help. Too desperate that he fell onto him. Gay scene? Junichi goes to see Ai at her swimming club but he gets caught since there is this rule that boys aren’t allowed when the girls are using. Her friends hope she could cut him some slack since at this time, they notice she has been anxiously looking at the entrance like as though she’s hoping for someone to turn up. They let him off with a warning. However Junichi is surprised that Miya has joined the club. Miya doesn’t want Ai to let her brother go easily and accuses him of peeping at their swimsuits. He wasn’t convincing enough to make them believe in him (his nose bleed was a dead giveaway). We’ll leave you to your imagination on the punishment he got. So on the way home, Ai forgives him after he explains himself but has him accompany her to go shopping. Junichi is resting at the infirmary as Ai comes to see him. He thought he could sleep better if he slept on her belly while she sings a lullaby. Is he serious? No wait. Is she serious to agree? What if people come in and see them in such an embarrassing manner? Just draw the curtains! And so, Ai puts Junichi’s head on her belly but her hands over his eyes since this is really an embarrassing scene. It might look like porn… Ai’s lullaby works like a charm and Junichi is sleeping like a baby. Ai is looking forward to Christmas Eve when Junichi starts apologizing. Seems the results of his mock exam are bad. And all those who don’t do well will be sent to some rigorous boot camp. More like hell camp the way he puts it. This means they can’t be together on Christmas Eve. So the duo work hard in their respective areas that they have no time to see each other. It’s taking a toll on Ai as she starts missing him. Then she gets bad news from Miya. Last night the camp people showed up at their doorstep and whisked Junichi away to camp. His camp starts early because those who do badly will have to well, start early.

Episode 6
While Founder’s Festival is underway, Ai can’t help think back the good times they’ve spent together (scenes from last season to refresh your memory). As for Junichi, he really is in hell camp because he’s taking mock exams right at night! After the festival, Ai turns down to sleepover with Miya and Sae since she remembers she needs to buy a present for her brother, Ikuo. She sees the Grasshopper Mask toy, the exact one from last year and is forced to remember how lonely she is without him. But her eyes are not deceiving her when Junichi pops up from behind. Seems he has escaped from camp because he wanted so bad to see her. Of course he finished all that he needs to do for the day. So all is not lost for Christmas Eve as they get to spend some time together. Umehara is still without a girlfriend. So desperate that he yells his frustrations out in the middle of the streets. He is surprised to see Junichi and Ai together. Then a couple of guys from the camp bump into him and ask him if they have seen this kid in the picture (Junichi). Umehara points the other direction to send the guys away. This is his Christmas present to him. I guess he’s a good friend after all. Just that he doesn’t seem to be a hit with the girls. Junichi and Ai have their fun outing and they didn’t realize they have walked into the love hotel area. An awkward silence between them before their homeroom teacher Maya pops up. She just came out from the spa saloon ahead. They make a run but before she could catch them, she heard Umehara calling her. He thought she was some cute babe till he realizes she is his teacher… At the hilltop catching their breath, snow starts falling. Ai spills out how lonely she was when he wasn’t around and has become weak. He assures nothing will change and that they’ll always be together. Okay, maybe he needs to get back to boot camp before they realize he is missing. Well, I thought they knew he’s already gone. Heck, think about that later. To cap it all, they share a wonderful kiss. Finally they watch the fireworks from his room and hope they can do this every year. Watching the fireworks, that is.

Kaoru Tanamachi’s Arc
Episode 7
Eh? Shouldn’t it be Sae’s turn? Anyway we see Kaoru and Junichi working part time at a live hero play of Grasshopper Mask. Because Junichi is acting as the bad monsters, he didn’t like how Kaoru is enjoying all this as he gets beaten up by the hero. He devises his own plan to mess with Kaoru and turn the tables on her. Wow. Fanservice for the grown ups… Hey! This is supposed to be a kid’s show! This was what happened. In class, Junichi is sketching a scenery from his window. Kaoru offers to complete it, sits between his legs and starts drawing! The way she is moving her body is just stimulating Junichi! I thought she was very close in impersonating Death Note’s Kira… Oh, everybody saw that too. Later when Kaoru talks to Keiko, seems that even though they’ve become a couple, they’ve been doing the same things as they did as before. In short, nothing that progresses their relationship to the next level. Keiko suggests they take a trip and what wonderful way to make some memories in their final year of high school. Sure, Junichi’s mind is filled with lewd scenes of the kind of outfits Kaoru will be wearing but really, he has no money. So how? Get a part time job. So this is where they got the Grasshopper Mask job thingy and since they blundered everything, they only got half the pay. So it’s either they get another job or they don’t go on a trip. But wait! There is still hope because Kaoru spots a flyer of a really cheap bus tour holiday plan. So cheap that they can even get on it tomorrow. Junichi and Umehara hang out together and since the latter will be on sushi training, he thinks Junichi will be on man training. For that, Junichi gives him a stash of porn to keep him company. Hey, that’s what friends are for. The bus tour leaves at midnight and Kaoru has got all the snacks she want for the trip. Because Kaoru lost to Junichi in a race to see who could reach the bus first, he metes out her punishment. She needs to eat the chocolate part of the cookie without touching his lips. What’s with this lame idea? Kaoru tries her best to bite off the chocolate bit but their ambiguous moaning, groaning and steamy vague position has awakened the other passengers from their slumber. Wow! They must be curious to see something hot and passionate going on! Kaoru manages to bite the chocolate part off and the watching crowd is relieved. Oops! Get back to your seats quickly! The bus makes a stop so Kaoru quickly goes down to get all the limited-time snacks she can get. She just bought too many… To avoid being a laughing stock by others, she covers it all on their seats with a blanket.  Seeing they have time, she wants to try some eel dish. Perhaps they lost track of time and when it’s time to go, the bus conductor thinks Junichi and Kaoru are sleeping since they’ve got the blankets entirely pulled over. Since all is aboard, it’s time to move on. So when Junichi and Kaoru return, they are of course shocked that the bus is gone. They’ve been left behind! Junichi calls the tour company but nobody works at this dead of the night. Then he tries Miya. But that sleepy head is in dream land and returns to her dream without even answering the phone. There goes their only hope. Heck, was she ever one? Sure, they are both alone now. Yes, only them together. But what are they going to do!?

Episode 8
Thankfully a kind trucker hitches them a ride to the nearest train station. The duo continue to argue and blame the other so the trucker notes how they are like a couple. Well, couples quarrel a lot naturally, right? He gives them advice of having the compassion to support each other in life’s journey. He drops them off at a hotspring inn for them to stay for the night. Hmm… Looks creepy. If Kaoru’s not afraid of ghosts, why is she clinging behind Junichi’s back? The inn hostess is kind enough to let them stay. In fact, they’re the only ones. Then they heard strange noises and investigate. They see silhouette of the hostess chopping things up!!! She’s just preparing their meal. Phew. While they take a bath separately, Junichi heard Kaoru’s scream and rushes in. She saw ‘everything’ and tells him to leave. On second thought, maybe he should stay. Then she saw the monkey stealing her bra and stands up. Now he sees ‘everything’. Well, that’s his scream of pain. When it’s bed time, the duo are embarrassed since the hostess has set their bed next to each other. After leaving a gap in between, Kaoru talks about their blurring line between being friends or lovers, that’s why she wanted to find out on this trip. Oh. Junichi fell asleep. Next morning as they leave, Junichi realizes he forgot his wallet. He left it at the phone booth after calling Miya. To save the embarrassment, Kaoru pays but they barely have any money left. Then they start arguing (again) and blame each other (again). They just walk along as their relationship gets strained. Then it starts raining and Junichi trips. Kaoru shows concern. Thankfully he is fine. Taking the nearest shelter at rundown bus stop, I guess it’s Junichi’s fault for ogling at her chest (because she’s not wearing a bra) and got slapped. Kaoru starts laughing because it left a hand mark on his face! This loosens her up and she apologizes for all the mistakes she made and even putting the blame on him. She wants to start anew and have fun from now on. Then the rain suddenly stops and an old guy on a bicycle thankfully passes by. He says the bus will never come as this is an abandoned stop. Yeah, they would’ve been waiting here for the rest of their lives. So when Junichi manages to find a decent phone booth and calls Miya again, that noisy girl didn’t give him a chance to talk because she is so panicky that the tour company called her this morning and that they’re holding their luggage and… Oops. Time has run out. So has their money. Since they’re at the beach, they might have some fun here. Kaoru realizes she has a lot of fun when she’s with him. Then she kisses him and could’ve lasted longer if Umehara didn’t call out to them. Hey, if he’s on a boat at sea, how can he spot them on the beach? Junichi is happy because they are saved. Thanks to Umehara’s sushi training, they now have a ride back home. In class, Kaoru thanks Keiko for her suggestion. Then she hands over the sketch she finished for Junichi. It’s a picture of a silhouette couple on a beach together against the sunset backdrop. She feels she needs to fix something and sits on between his legs again. Deja vu? Isn’t she embarrassed? Not really. Because that’s how they are like.

Sae Nakata’s Arc
Episode 9
What the heck is this filming? Junichi recording Sae in a bear outfit? Anyway it’s good to have that narrator back too. So after 10 months together, Sae is able to converse normally with others (she no longer sees the cafeteria ladies as vending machines!) and isn’t afraid of small dogs (albeit she still have issues with bigger ones, she now has a little doggie of her own). Because of last year Best Couple Contest, Sae’s popularity has sky-rocketed. Lots of guys really find her cute but what bugs Junichi more is that they don’t think this plain guy could be her girlfriend. So desperate to prove them wrong, he even comes up with a plan to choose exactly what Sae wants to eat and escort her flawlessly. Seems like a nice plan. In theory. But does she even know what she likes? Hmm… Tough choice. Gather all the memories you can about her. But one choice leads to a tougher one. What sauce does she like? What dressing does she like? Hurry up because the queue is getting longer and the people are getting impatient. So it’s either he gets them all (to play safe) or he finds out from the cafeteria lady. Which is not a good thing because somebody else other than him knows what your girlfriend likes. Worse, Sae even knows what he likes to drink. So much for not knowing likes and dislikes of your girl, eh? Sae and Junichi visit the shrine. She makes a wish but refuses to tell him what it is. This bothers him very much. Then at home, Miya has breaking news. Seems Sae will be having a marriage meeting today! Junichi fears her wish was probably for them to break up. Junichi is going to stop that meeting and save her from the hands of evil. Eh? What? That is, if he could find her in this freaking huge hotel. So paranoid that he interrupts a cake cutting ceremony of a wedding couple. He thought he saw shades of Sae in her. Boo! Then he finds her with a guy at the lakes. You thought he is going to make a heroic entrance but he tripped. Ouch. Then talking out, he learns it is a marriage meeting between their dogs. Since Sae remembered she told Miya about it, Junichi could imagine how his sister screwed up. Yeah, probably she wasn’t paying attention and when she thought about it, she got it all mixed up and panicked. So while the duo sit together, obviously they’re too embarrassed to say what they want in their hearts. Frustrating, isn’t it? Finally Junichi admits that he got scared if she actually married someone else. However Sae says she wouldn’t do so with someone else because she made a wish. A wish to be with him forever. When she made it at the shrine, she couldn’t tell him as she believes wishes won’t come true if you say it out. But trouble is not over yet. Seems at school Sae is in a pinch. Due to her popularity, she has been chosen as the committee president for Founder’s Festival. Junichi thinks he is the only one who could help her and that she should go for it. Since she has his support, she’ll gladly go with it and starts calling him ‘instructor’. Ah, that title. Brings back good memories, eh?

Episode 10
That wish of being called ‘instructor’ isn’t materializing and he’s not much help either since Tsukasa has been helping Sae quite a lot. He sinks into depression and watching videos he filmed of Sae (animal outfits video lah!), he suddenly gets an idea. He wants to follow her closely and record all her work in his camera. So the filming gets underway and Sae has much on her hands. So much so Junichi hears from Miya that Sae has collapsed! He rushes to see her sleeping at the infirmary. She’s sleep talking and screamed. Bad timing because Miya thought he did something bad on her. Once Sae is up, she reveals she was working up late last night and decided to rest here. And as for her dream, she couldn’t really say. Why is she blushing? Sae continues to work hard and Junichi to film hard as the festival closes in. Then Sae experiences her first crisis. The drama club wants an increase in budget since they need to get new costumes for the festival. Then there are other clubs too that also request for additional budget as their equipment is getting old. Sae starts to feel the pressure that she is not cut out for this job and of course Junichi is worried because he can do nothing to help her. Then talking with Tsukasa, she advises that he should talk it out with Sae instead of wanting to solve everything or keeping to himself. He gets the motivation needed to not just be by her side but to also support her. Junichi shows Sae the footage he has. He’s covered almost everything she did. Like as though he’s a stalker… He says she could talk to him if she needs any help. She wants him to continue following and filming her closely. Sae solves the drama club’s problem by renting costumes from the shopping district and if that is not enough, she can help sew some for them. Sae initiates Founder’s Festival and at the backstage before the Best Couple Contest is about to start, she sees Ai and Miya going up as a pair. In cat outfits? Will that even work? Oh well, Umehara still hasn’t give up with Toroko fish partner. I guess everything goes, huh? More surprisingly, Sae molests Miya who finds it ticklish! Role reversal! Once everyone is on stage, Junichi comes to see Sae. He gives her a present and asks what she would like. Well, she says they haven’t kissed for a long time. Did he hear that right? And without further delay, here is to the long awaited kiss they’ve been waiting for. Have another go while you’re at it. And what’s this? I didn’t think they would put an 8-years-down-the-road epilogue. Junichi and Sae are married. They’ve got a daughter that pretty looks like a mini version of Sae! Kawaii!!! They have got another kid coming soon! Sae notes this is another wish she had made the other day at the shrine. For them to be together forever as a family watching the hero play. Well, some parts don’t really grow up.

Haruka Morishima’s Arc
Episode 11
I guess they saved the best for last, eh? Yeah, my favourite girl’s turn is up! Instead of starting from the 10-years-later when her arc last ended, Junichi is happy for Haruka being her girlfriend after they have officially become a couple a few months ago. Haruka happens to see the wedding gown being displayed at the store and asks Junichi when he will come to meet her parents. Oh… Of course he couldn’t answer and perhaps it was his cute reaction she wanted to see. Haruka talks to Hibiki and a magazine article features a chapel in England where her grandparents got married. It was a whirlwind romance for them as he suddenly proposed to her after graduation and they got married. Haruka always wanted to tell her British relative, Jessica how she yearned for this kind of wedding. Speaking of which, her boyfriend also did something similar to her in very similar circumstances. So was this the reason why Haruka made Junichi look at the wedding dress and meet her parents? Well, she only remembered this proposal thingy just now but it would be even better if Junichi did the same. She doesn’t want Hibiki to tell Junichi since it will make her look like begging. Speaking of the devil, here he comes. So what did Hibiki tell him? About Jessica. How does she look like? Just imagine Haruka, only with blonde hair and green eyes. It’s like a clone… The next thing Junichi knows, he is playing mock wedding with Haruka and Hibiki as the priest. Well, I guess to calm those jittery nerves, what better way to practice, eh? Everything goes according to what should happen in wedding procession. Till the kissing part. The duo were about to go ahead with it for real but Hibiki couldn’t stand watching them and breaks them up! But what Junichi is thinking is the wedding night! Oh yeah. The wedding night alright! Before he knows it, they are in a mock play of Haruka expecting her first child with Hibiki as the doctor. Eh? What happened to the part in between? The ‘process’ in making the child? Damn. Junichi was looking forward to that, eh? Then they’re playing mock family and Hibiki is now their ‘daughter’. Wow. She really took on so many roles. Hibiki is embarrassed that they actually played this right in the middle of the school cafeteria. Hibiki as the ‘daughter’ asks her ‘father’ how she met ‘mother’. Junichi is embarrassed so he replies that’s a secret. Disappointed?

Well, Haruka seems disappointed so on their way home, she isn’t in the mood to talk to Junichi. Then they meet Jessica and she knows about Junichi since Haruka frequently talks about him. She even pecks him on his cheek without hesitation! Even if it’s a greeting, make sure you mind your manners in Japan, okay? Jessica is here to attend her graduation ceremony. She’s about to spill how she might end up like grandma but she got the hint not to. Back home, Haruka explains why she wants to keep it a secret from him. Jessica supports her but cautions she is running out of time. Junichi is so deep in his thoughts that he isn’t paying attention to what Miya is saying to him. Why is he imagining a blonde version of Miya?! He worries after she graduates, he won’t get much chance to see her. Haruka seems down too. Junichi thinks it’s his fault for stopping that ‘game’ halfway. He suggests continuing but she’ll think about it. I guess some of his friends want to cheer Junichi up but it feels like they’re taking advantage of him. Kaoru inviting him to work part time at her cafe. Rihoko hoping he would join the tea club. Junichi gets a call from Jessica. She is going to Kyoto for some sightseeing. But that’s not the reason she called. She tells him Haruka is lonely and if he is too slow, there are plenty of guys back in England who might take her away. I guess this guy really get the idea he needs to act fast. He takes Haruka to the shed and reiterates he loves her and is not going to lose to those English guys. Was it necessary to repeat all their names? Haruka assures him those guys were from a long time ago and that she belongs to only him. Haruka is happy he brought her back to this place where they did that kissing on a certain odd place (who couldn’t remember that scene from last season?). But she’s not going to let him do it again. Haha. Haruka mentions about wanting to make memories by seeing this place one last time before she graduates. She didn’t expect this wish to come true. Since Haruka is back to her happy self, Junichi summons his courage to invite her to his house.

Episode 12
Since Junichi’s parents are away on an overseas trip and Miya is staying at her friends place, I guess this leaves them home alone, eh? And what better way to practice living as a newly married couple. Well, Junichi’s nervous but Haruka’s just cool and having fun. Then when he learns she is staying over, Junichi is starting to fantasize all the things they would do. Yeah, even that steamy one. Can’t wait to get to that part, eh? But wait. Can he really handle it all? After that toes-tickling-under-the-kotatsu fun, Haruka takes a bath. I guess Junichi clearly remembers his lesson about last Christmas whereby he lost the chance to peep at Haruka. Yeah, he’s got another one now. To peep or not to peep. It’s decided. He’s going to do it. Unfortunately he chickened out and out Haruka comes in a… See-through negligee! WOW! For the sake of his mental stability, he hopes she could change into something less ‘provoking’ but she says she is dressed this way because she wants him to see it! Oh my. Here’s another dilemma for Junichi. To see or not to see. Oh man. This is tough. Okay. He’s going to see! By the time he turns around, Haruka has changed into her normal pyjamas. Disappointed or relief? Later that night when they can’t sleep, Haruka tells Junichi something she forgot to say. After her graduation, she’ll be returning to England since her grandparents are asking. Junichi is worried but she pats his head. Junichi sinks into depression and realizes the words Haruka said did point to this. He sees Hibiki and asks if she knows of Haruka’s departure. Since she does, he wants to know why she kept it a secret from him. Hibiki doesn’t know the answer and instead asks him back what he is going to do. Is he going to let her return to England without asking her what’s going on? Can he still call her his boyfriend that way?

Junichi calls Haruka to talk to her but Jessica pick up. Kyoto trip was fun, right? Anyway she can’t let him talk to Haruka. She explains Haruka was reluctant to return to England and he was the reason why she did not want to. That’s why Jessica is here to take her back. So if he allows him to talk to Haruka, it may make her long for Japan and it’ll be bad if she ends up running away. Haruka may not return for a while if she gets back to England. Or she may never come back at all. Jessica doesn’t want him to misinterpret that he is against their relationship and is actually rooting for them. She wants him to think what he should do to stop her from leaving. And obviously I guess Jessica was lying to her teeth because she tells Haruka to expect something interesting. Besides, Haruka will only return to England for a week. Yeah, it may seem like an eternity if lovers don’t see each other that long. Then graduation day looms and the shocking part is that Junichi has been invited up to the stage as the student representative to give his speech. Wasn’t it supposed to be Tsukasa? Well, he begged so much that she relented. First, Junichi starts off generally but I guess he is implying the wonderful days he spent with Haruka. Then he mentions with enough details the things they did together! Wow. Won’t that be embarrassing telling it to everybody despite everyone knowing they’re dating? The first rejection, the second rejection, the leapfrog, the search for dog photos in the library, the swimsuit incident, etc. Hell! If it was me, I would be so embarrassed that I would die on the spot! Thank goodness he didn’t mention about that kissing scene. Suddenly Junichi screams at the top of his voice that he loves Haruka and wants to marry her! OMG! The crowd goes wild! Even Miya is cheering how cool her nii-nii is! This graduation ceremony has become an elaborated proposal scene! Haruka is so happy that she runs up on stage to kiss him. Wohoo!!! This beats the boring old graduation ceremony anytime! Maya hopes they will stop because it’s making her jealous. Oops. Don’t mind her. Keep going. Have another one for the road. And it’s a fairytale ending for them as Junichi and Haruka are soon married at the chapel. Wow man. Haruka looks lovely in her white wedding dress!

Miya Tachibana’s Arc
Episode 13
Despite being Miya’s arc, it feels like a short reunion of all the other Amagami SS girls. Miya is going to a newly opened hotspring facility and females get to use it free of charge as commemoration for their opening. See Junichi’s face contorted to the perverted side after fantasizing about Sae’s bust and Ai’s slender curves? Miya? She has nothing. “Stupid nii-nii!”. You can guess this is a fanservice episode of the girls visiting the hotspring. So the first thing Miya tells her friends when she meets up at them outside the hotspring is how perverted Junichi is. Do they want to hear that? What about breasts size? Well, Miya just couldn’t resist in molesting Sae, couldn’t she? Then they hear Rihoko scream. I guess she saw something horrifying: Her weight. She tries to hide it from Miya. That bad, huh? Jessica is also with Haruka and Hibiki at the hotsprings since Haruka needs to take a breather from studying for the exams. After this, it will be hell… Kaoru takes a dip in a hotspring supposed to improve the size of one’s breasts. Tsukasa is also there and she has second thoughts about coming in but Kaoru persuades her not to pretend. After all, they’re ‘comrades’, right? The duo have soaked for too long but can’t find the ‘guts’ to admit and get out. It’s getting pretty hot, you know? And they’d die of embarrassment if any big breasts ladies come in. Speaking of which, here comes Haruka and co. Kaoru and Tsukasa feel relief when Miya and Ai follow next but when they see Sae, that must’ve been the last straw. Kaoru ‘stops’ Sae from getting it since it’s already ‘big enough’ while Tsukasa convinces Haruka and co to try the other cute baths. Hibiki can tell their motive and brings the big boobs to another place. So the ‘smaller’ ones make an alliance as Miya describes the fluffy marshmallow feel of Sae’s boobs.

Rihoko and Kanae are letting the Doctor Fish nibble at their feet but Rihoko feels ticklish. Ai and Miya have left so Kaoru and Tsukasa continue to be stubborn in not moving out and start laughing like maniacs. I think the heat has really gotten into their head. Elsewhere, Risa and Keiko talk about their rejected loves. And from the way Risa says things, she still harbours some feelings for Junichi. Speaking of that guy, Umehara visits him knowing that Miya is away with her friends so they’re going to have a viewing party of porn mags and videos! Miya enters a rejuvenating sauna and sees Maya sweating it out. Since she can’t take the heat, she leaves. Maya continues to persevere in hopes the effect will make her younger again and then… You can guess what she wants for this single woman, right? I hope the heat won’t get to her head. So Kaoru and Tsukasa almost got heatstroke as they have their feet massage along with Ai and Rihoko. Rihoko knows about Junichi’s bathing habits and this causes the girls to be alert that she bathed with him. Well, that was when they were younger as childhood friends. But of course. As Miya freshens herself up with milk, she is surprised to see Maya turned into a kid! For real?! Did the sauna really work? Coincidentally, that was just another kid named Maya. Our real Maya is still the same single woman. I don’t think she looks any younger. Since Miya believes the effect was real, she thinks the bath salt she got for Junichi will work too. Back home she gives it to her brother to soak in his own mini hotspring (in the bathtub lah). When Junichi comes out, he is enlightened! So pure! Free of the world’s desires! He is going to turn over a new leaf by burning all his porn collection and this includes those he borrowed from Umehara! Seems the bath salt has abstinence formula in it. OMG! It worked?! However Miya panics and doesn’t want this reborn Junichi to rush things! She wants her old perverted brother back!!! I know. Where’s the fun if he’s all clean and good, right?

Specials
Short 3 minute specials that come with the DVD. Little extra scenes to see Junichi with his girl. Little extra scenes to warm our hearts or make us grin with what they do. Do I need to say more? Just watch it.

Special 1: Tsukasa – I guess Junichi needs to take more pictures of her for the election poster and convinces her with that convincing and passionate speech to get dressed in different outfits and do different poses. Tsukasa is embarrassed but she goes with the flow while Junichi is just snapping away like as though he is a professional shutterbug for a porn magazine. Tsukasa is tired (who wouldn’t after making all those hot poses?), Junichi has her do a final pose and wants to close her eyes. He sees how sweet her lips are and can’t resist the temptation to kiss! I’m sure that took her by surprise. In the end, Junichi uses Tsukasa in her ordinary school uniform in the poster because going standard was the best idea. It’s actually his secret ploy to have those photos for his secret stash. But easy come, easy go because Tsukasa confiscates them.

Special 2: Rihoko – The sudden rain has Junichi and Rihoko seek shelter in a phone booth. You know how such booths are only made to have one person, right? Yeah, they’re so close to each other in that cramp space that the only thing that came between them is Rihoko’s boobs. Haha! Their face got too close so embarrassed Rihoko takes a step back only to fall out of the booth. Junichi quickly pulls her in and they end up in a hugging position. Imagine if someone they know sees this. Don’t worry, the glass is all fogged up so feel free to hug as long as you want. And while you’re at it, you can kiss too! And make it longer! Rihoko feels ironic that they’ve been together for so long and have never made such memories like this. Well, it’s going to be memorable from now on. The rain stops and snow soon starts falling. I guess they’re all warmed up to walk home hand in hand.

Special 3: Ai Junichi falls sick so Ai is at his place to nurse him. She is worried since he has been studying hard for his exams and will do her best to nurse him back to health. I guess being sick too has its benefits, eh? Junichi tastes her delicious porridge but has to put up with the awful ginger tea. Medicine isn’t supposed to taste good, right? Now all he needs is a good rest. Junichi says when he was sick as a kid, his parents used to sleep with him to make him sweat out and speed up his recovery. So? He pulls Ai underneath the blankets with him! OMG! My mind is going wild thinking just what he is doing to her underneath those sheets! I want to see! Good news: Junichi recovered. Bad news: Ai caught his cold. Feel guilty passing the flu to her? Well, he doesn’t mind getting it from her again since he wants to do that pulling in and give it back to her. Hehe… Hey, it’s not good passing around or recycling the cold!

Special 4: Kaoru – Taking place during their stay at the hotspring inn, Junichi wakes up that night to go to the toilet only to see Kaoru sleeping in a tempting position. Plus, she’s a little ‘revealing’. His heart is racing if he should take this chance. After all, they’re already a couple and took this trip to have some time together. So what’s it going to be? Here comes Junichi! Kaoru happened to opened her eyes small enough to see what’s going on. She may look like she’s sleeping but her heart is panicking what the hell is this guy doing. Feeling a little breezy and her blanket not over her, it hit her she must be in quite an embarrassing position. Maybe she’ll just go with the flow and make some memories. Not this kind of memories! His hands are inching closer… Closer… Closer… And… He covers the blanket over her. Disappointed? Then he pecks her forehead and leaves. Kaoru woke up and thought felt a little bit scary, she thanks Junichi for these kinds of memories don’t come too often.

Special 5: Sae – This is a Little Red Riding Hood movie which stars Sae in all the roles. Yes, she is everybody. We see Red Riding Hood (in a swimsuit?) on her way to grandma’s place when she meets a hungry bear who wants to eat her. Despite being a big bear, it was polite enough to apologize that she wants to eat her. Then all the other animals came to offer themselves to be the bear’s food. I’m not sure what the last animal was because it was Sae on a bed and in her lingerie undressing! I think somebody else wants to ‘eat’ her. The bear felt guilty and bad by her actions but Red Riding Hood considers her with a heart of gold and invites her to grandma’s house. So along with all the other animals, they skip along over there. Happy ending. Junichi is very satisfied with the outcome and wants to do more tales featuring her! I hope he doesn’t get any weird ideas.

Special 6: Haruka – The best girl with the best scene! Woot! Haruka bathing! Yeah! She’s staying at Junichi’s place and her heart is beating with excitement. Mine too. She hopes Junichi will come to peep on her (I want to!) and imagines several scenarios to surprise him that includes spraying him with hot water, throwing a tub or pretend she is not him and then surprise him from the back to make him slip on the soap and fall into the bath. Yeah, she’ll go with the last one. Wait and wait… But he’s not turning up. What a disappointment. By the time Junichi decides to head in, Haruka already comes out. However her see-through negligee is too much for him to look as he blushes. I guess that’s the kind of cute reaction she wants to see. After all, she can’t bring herself to hate him if he comes to peek or not. So about changing her negligee? She brought it along so she can show it to him… I love this girl.

Sweet Dessert Bites…
I guess this sequel was fun in its own ways as they try to give a setting variety to the different girls so it won’t be boring and monotonous in seeing how Junichi would maintain the relationship. It’s like having your sweet dessert after the main course. We had a new character introduced and love rival in Tsukasa’s arc, a conclusion to Rihoko’s arc to make her finally a couple with Junichi, Ai’s arc focuses on the loneliness when the duo had to be away from each other due to circumstances, a change of scenery for Kaoru’s arc as I believe many of the settings are around their neighbourhood so it was refreshing that the setting this time was somewhere else further, Sae’s arc mostly centres on Junichi and his insecurities wondering if he has what he takes to be his girl, Haruka’s arc felt like a big practice act for the big day. And no Risa arc? What happened to that stalker girl? I thought in her arc, Junichi became a couple with her? It would have been interesting to see how her arc plays out too. Seeing that the number of episodes is halved for each girl in this season, since Risa only had 1 episode, maybe she’ll get half an episode? So I suppose that won’t be enough and thus no reason why she needs a sequel for herself. But it won’t hurt if I conjure up what her arc would possibly be, right? Maybe she’ll become an over-protective girl and ‘gets rid’ of any girls who come close to him. Even his friends. And sister. On second thought, I don’t want this to turn into a murder-cum-horror-cum-yandere series. So yeah. Maybe it’s okay to leave her out of this season.

Well, there’s nothing much I could say for the characters since most of them are still the same people we know from last time. Just with some minor changes, that’s all. But the only interesting new character that intrigues me is Kurosawa. I really wanted to know if she really likes Junichi and the reason why she wanted to steal him away from Tsukasa. Or does she really have a grudge towards her and will try to take her down and that means taking away her boyfriend. I definitely remember she wasn’t in the first season so by introducing a new character that rivals Tsukasa was a surprise. Also in this season, Tsukasa doesn’t really show her other dark personality too often. I guess the fun is gone once Junichi and us know about it. Rihoko still has her weight problems but I don’t see her munch snacks as much as she used to before. Maybe the focus was on her trying to sort out her feelings for Junichi. Of course for Sae (specifically her arc, that is), she has opened up with more confidence and not the shy and timid girl we once knew. Because Kaoru’s arc was a trip, we don’t really get to see her doing her part time job. Ai is still the cool and calm swimming club member but we see her displaying a lot of worrying and anxiety in her arc. And Haruka is still spunky, lively and of course lovely (which coincidentally is her middle and mother’s maiden name). If Hibiki had trouble dealing with 1 Haruka, now with Jessica in the picture, she’s got her trouble doubled. Even if they are half the world apart, I guess their genes are strong enough to display to same spunky nature. Maya and Umehara are still trying hard to score with the opposite gender and my guess is that they’ll need a little spin-off of their own if they are ever to achieve that. If viewers care enough to make producers notice and produce them of course.

Because Junichi is already going out with the girls, we don’t see him having this fear when Christmas approaches. It was a traumatic experience for him to be dumped and girlfriendless on that day Jesus Christ was born. It’s as though if I didn’t read back my previous blog, it wouldn’t even have crossed my mind that Junichi had this phobia on this day. I guess you can say that love made him overcome that. So for this sequel, the romance factor is up as we see some really close moments with Junichi and the girl of the arc. Like bathing together with Tsukasa, Ai allowing Junichi to use her belly as his pillow, that passionate ambiguous ‘kissing’ scene in the bus with Kaoru, every second of filming he recorded on Sae’s committee work for the festival and the ultimate public proposal he did for Haruka. It gives the feel that they are taking another step closer to each other than before. Of course for Miya’s arc, he wasn’t a siscon in the prequel so I guess it’s only right (of course it should) that he shouldn’t break some taboo and fall for his own sister. That will be just too awkward for this series.

The next episode preview segment is still amusing like its prequel. Well, at least some of them. For instance my favourite one was right at the end of the first episode whereby Tsukasa explains the use of a boxing mouthpiece, which she so happen to carry in her pocket. Get where she is going at? Junichi, you better put it in your mouth and grit your teeth hard with it! Brace yourself for impact for fooling around with another girl! I’m sure he knows the outcome considering the scary face he mentions Tsukasa was putting on. Other ‘previews’ include teasing Junichi of changing to another girl (that’s how this show plays about when an arc ends, right?), assuming Junichi has already died and ascended to heaven (too much cram school can be detrimental to your health), Sae calling Junichi all the great titles and he is really loving it (“Champion Junichi!!!”) and worrying if the episode title “Sexy” is really appropriate (how else would you describe Haruka’s epic first half?). Anyway it’s either the characters are having fun themselves or love messing about with Junichi. The lead guy always has it tough. For the fanservice part, it depends on how you view it. The game itself doesn’t have explicit adult contents so I guess as far as the anime goes, the furthest it would go would be to show the girls clad in towel. That’s really nothing. Really.

Azusa, who did the opening themes for the first season, returns to do this season’s opening theme. Entitled Check My Soul, though this is a nice pop piece, I feel that it lacks the oomph that the first season’s first opening piece had. Nevertheless it is still has a memorable tune even though it didn’t make me want to shuffle my feet or sing along like I Love did. As for the ending theme, there are no character songs. Meaning, there are no songs sung by the seiyuu of the particular heroine in focus of her arc. I guess this is only economical because you won’t want to burst your budget by having them sing a song that would probably last for a couple of episodes. Of course, I’m speculating that. Unless you are the crazy kind of anime which changes every ending theme for every episode, so I suppose it’s enough that we have experienced them for the first season. So for this sequel, we have a fixed ending theme from of course, Azusa. The slow and calming pop balled of Kokuhaku sounds rather okay for a love-romance genre. Also, this season doesn’t feature any insert songs.

I’m not sure if they’ll produce a third season. Chances are they might not since this show has reached its peak. Unless they want to focus on the other supporting characters but I suppose that is also unlikely. What more is there to tell? I certainly don’t want to see troubles that would rock their relationship which will ultimately lead to break up. If I wanted to see that, real life offers a much realistic ‘show’. I’m watching this to feel good for a happy fairytale ending. If only real life was just as bliss as this, how happy the entire world would be. Of course love isn’t as straightforward and predictable as everyone think it should be. I might still be single and girlfriendless now but perhaps in some other alternate universe(s) I would have racked up a cutie for myself and possible a gorgeous harem. Beautiful ladies aplenty. Dream on. Yeah. How I wish I was that other me…

Cinderella Boy

October 26, 2012

When you mention about a boy who is able to transform into a girl and vice versa, the first anime you will think of about this is Ranma ½, right? Well, if you’re old enough to have watched that anime anyway. Despite having the lead character named Ranma, Cinderella Boy isn’t actually a sequel or spin-off from that said series. Though the theme of a guy and a girl swapping each other’s body is one of the main highlights of this series. But the body swapping ability similarity with Ranma ½ stops here. In this series, we have both protagonists fused into one body instead of the same person. Plus, they don’t conveniently ‘transform’ when being splashed water. It’s a time factor instead. You’ll understand once you see this show. And when they’re in one form, the other has no recollection of what happened while being ‘dormant’.

Ranma Hinamatsuri and Rella Shirayuki run a detective agency together called R&R Detective Agency in this very dangerous city called Kirin Town. Yeah, high city status must have the high crime rates to go along with it too, right? So bad that you can even be robbed by a kid. Ranma is an impoverished detective who has his own sense of justice but beautiful Rella is just a rich lady thrill seeker. How can they both work together when they are so different like night and day? Well, they say opposite do attracts. In a city so bad and dangerous and the police on the take, you’d wonder why everyday people come knocking on their doors to seek a job request (no matter how bizarre or boring it is). Well, if the authorities are corrupted, who else would they turn to? As long as there is this little hope and gives them a piece of mind. As they go along solving cases from, they stumble upon something big, almost got killed and though miraculously alive, find themselves in a troublesome pinch of sharing the same body. Talk about being one mind, one heat, one soul and one body with your partner. The ultimate team combo?

Episode 1
While Ranma is playing Blackjack, Rella is being tackled by a guy who wants to invite her to a super VIP gambling room at the top, where she can experience real thrill and excitement. A place where the amount of money gambled is insane. Rella orders rose champagne and if he can out-drink her, she’ll follow him for the night. Ranma loses big time and suspects the dealer has cheated (which was what happened). The casino manager and his bouncer tell Ranma to leave so he obediently goes but not without stealing the manager’s super VIP card in his pocket. Rella out-drinks the guy as he is too drunk to even stay conscious and she takes this chance to steal his super VIP car. Both Ranma and Rella are a pair of private investigators as they head up to the casino floor. The stakes are high. You win big or you lose it all (and end your life on the spot too). With a properly timed diversion that bursts the water pipe to flood the first floor, the goons guarding the main room leave their post to go mop up the mess. Inside the room, Ranma starts searching but Rella isn’t interested in helping him out since it was him who wanted to take this case. Switching on the computer, Ranma is glad to have found data on some loans of a client and relishes the big investigation pay off fee he’ll get. But Rella stumbles upon something even bigger. This is no ordinary casino and there are records of illegal arms trade transactions and in huge amounts. The casino manager has released his card has been stolen so he and his goons head back to the room to catch the duo in the act. They start firing but the unbelievable thing is, they are such bad shooters that even if they have unlimited ammo, they can’t even hit Ranma and Rella! Unbelievable! And they made the skeleton ‘dance’. But no… They can’t even hit the detectives. The duo reach a dead end and the only way out is to jump. Jump? Is she crazy? Rella dives down with Ranma but they don’t go splat because she has this string accessory that slides them down safely (the baddies are still such bad shots). So now it’s the car chase and the villains even have a helicopter to go after them. In the end, their car drives off the incomplete bridge. Crash and burn! Ranma isn’t really conscious when he thought he saw himself going under the surgeon’s knife.

When he wakes up, he is surprised to find his body in one piece with no scratches whatsoever. Asking a local person about the car, he realizes that it has already been a week! That dude even says nobody would have survived that crash since the burning was horrendous. Rella’s dead? Ranma bums around all day remembering his partner. She’s the kind of lady that teases him of his acrophobia and straight to tell him that she doesn’t want to investigate love affairs but thrilling and exciting cases. Ranma buys a bouquet of flowers and puts it on the site supposedly where Rella perished but is met by the casino manager. Surprising to see the detective alive, he forces him to come with them. Inside Kirin Tower Hotel, Ranma meets Son Tai Jin, a guy who is a charity worker by day but the boss of the bandits and mafia of this town by night. Though Son has gone through the trouble to change the locations of the trade, Ranma asserts he was only there to investigate on loan matters. Anyway Son is going to kill him via hotel fire accident. His men pour gasoline around the room and lights up a smoke in his mouth. Why go through all this hassle when they can just kill him in the alley and dump his body in the river where no one will know? Ranma uses his hidden file to cut his ropes. He manages to do it before the ashes fall. However the room is on fire so Ranma makes a mad dash out, stripping down to his underwear. So when the baddies see him, the goons go after him and it’s like déjà vu all over again since Ranma is hit with a dead end. The only way is to jump out the window and many storeys below. Can he? Well, he creeps his way outside the edge of the building. And what did I tell you about the goons’ bad shot? He’s such a slow turtle moving along and they can’t even shoot straight at him! Wasting all those bullets! Just when he thought he is going to slip into an open window, the clock strikes midnight and his body starts feeling different. He falls off and his body changes into Rella! Oh, the underwear came off too. Naked woman falling down!!! How often do you get to see this?

Episode 2
Rella falls into the pool below. The last thing she remembers was the high speed chase and the car crash. She wonders why people are staring at her. Is there something on her? Actually, she’s got NOTHING on her! The guy gives her a towel to wrap herself. Son and his men start searching the pool but don’t find Ranma. To avoid being seen, Rella kisses a guy, Alamis and sends his girlfriend into jealous. I guess that poor chap got dumped. The fire is causing a commotion so Son decides to search another day. Rella returns to the crash site and asks a local about the crash. He thinks it’s a joke because some guy asked that exact same question hours ago. Realizing it’s a week and seeing a flower bouquet at the crash site, she thinks Ranma is dead. Returning back to her mansion, her old maid, Dorothy is glad to see her alive though Rella herself doesn’t know what happened to her for the past week. When Dorothy hears Ranma is dead, she sounds rather happy. She thinks she shouldn’t befriend such scum. As Rella sleeps, she thinks how Ranma first hired her and they formed the R&R Detective Agency. Of course Ranma is the kind of detective who thinks justice must prevail and that to help those in need. Well, Since Ranma is dead, no use brooding over it so Rella remodels his office and moves out all his antique car toys and makes it her style. She receives a call from a father worried about her runaway daughter but Rella refuses to take up his case since it’s boring and only wants exciting and thrilling cases. The next call she got is from the president of a talent scouting agency, Miracle Production. He wants Rella to retrieve a model of his, Maya who has run away with their money and wants her back before any scandal could happen. Rella agrees to pick up this case. Rella sees the president to get more information and even logs on to her Fairy Chat website to see Tinker Bell and obtain whereabouts of Maya, who is working in a host club. Dorothy feels Rella shouldn’t be doing this detective thingy but since she insists, she gives her a wrist band that enables her to attack the enemy with just a flick of the wrist.

Rella is outside the strip club and gets entry under the pretence she wants to work here. She sees Maya and approaches her. Well, if you introduce yourself as a detective and with your aim of returning her, don’t you think Maya is going to run? Rella corners her but it seems Maya doesn’t know anything about the money. Suddenly a couple of goons try to kill them (again, they are such bad shots). They manage to give them the slip by hiding in a room filled with changing women. Maya thinks those guys are hired by the scary president and has hired them to kill him and pleads to Rella to protect her. As Rella goes to check outside, she feels something weird with her body. The clock strikes midnight and she transforms into Ranma. The ladies are appalled to see a guy and since Ranma only remembers falling from the hotel ledge, he thinks he is in heaven! Not! He gets thrown out and the baddies don’t recognize him. Only see him as a pervert. Realizing he is in woman’s clothing, he changes them and bumps into Maya who thinks he’s a killer. However he introduces himself and Maya is relieved. Ranma learns Maya wants to be a model so she lied to her parents and ran away from home. But the talent agency that recruited her was a scam and they’re selling girls in a black market auction. So she got scared and ran away. Thus the president is out to kill her. Ranma assures he’ll send her home but the maze-like alleyways got them lost and bump into those baddies again. They fire and being the bad shots they are, it ricochets off Ranma’s wrist band. Enough time for him to pick up their gun, fire back and run. A strange lady points the way out for them. So on the main road, Ranma hijacks a guys’ motorbike for their getaway! Do good detectives do this?! The president is appalled by his goons’ failure but the police detective marches in to arrest him as they have received reports from a private detective about his shady business. Ranma returns Maya to her home and she is grateful. Returning to his office, he is shocked to see his place remodelled. Father’s Maya comes by to show his gratitude of returning his runaway daughter. He is surprised because when he first called, the person who picked up didn’t want to accept his case. I guess Ranma doesn’t understand what he is talking but his monetary reward was enough to make him happy. So remodelling his office back to how it was, Ranma sees a note on the board and the writing belongs to Rella.

Episode 3
Some shady guy with a threatening message to pay up for his services or else he’ll clean out everything in his bank. Dorothy thought Ranma has returned as a ghost! If he’s a ghost, why can she still hit him? Ranma is relieved to hear that Rella is alright and has been doing investigations on her own. Dorothy would be happy if he doesn’t associate himself with Rella anymore as he’s been fooling around but Ranma can’t exactly remember where he was the day before and thinks he has some serious memory lapse. She thinks he is sick. He goes to see a doctor but he thinks he’s tired and needs a rest. So much for that diagnosis. As he leaves, an injured guy called Lou Cheng stumbles into him and passes him a bag and a bloodied paper. He wants him to take it to the police. Just then, the assassin shoots him. Ranma pulls out his gun his shot scrapes the shoulder of the assassin (he didn’t look like he was hurt) as he runs. Lou Cheng’s final word is “Joker”. Ranma picks up his ID to see he works at Electro Planets Incorporation. The nurse who came walking out mistakes Ranma as a killer (he’s still got his gun in his hand). I guess this is no time to explain. Maybe nobody will believe him either. So he makes a run for it and at the alley, he investigate the bag’s content in which they are just ordinary items. Ranma has become a prime suspect in this murder case and the police are on a lookout for him. Ranma gives the bag to Dorothy for her safekeeping before rushing off. With a cheesy disguise, he infiltrates Electro Planets as a business consultant to do some snooping. This company is doing internet business and Ranma is taken to Lou Cheng’s workplace to fix a PC problem. Yeah, he’s just hitting it. Then he hears Lou Cheng hasn’t been to work for 4 days. Suddenly the police come in asking the boss if he knows this person. Hmm…  Looks familiar. Ranma tries to sneak out but his cheap disguise fell off at the right moment, giving him away. He makes a run and loses those guys.

Ranma goes to see his informant friend who is washing windows. The height… With not much cash, Pinocchio only gives him the information of Club Papillion. It’s a gay club… But Ranma is trying to get information out of this Wendy girl but she doesn’t know much. Realizing a liquor bottle named Joker on the shelf, he enquires her and she mentions an ordinary salaryman has been recently coming here. But she can tell he’s no ordinary salaryman as one couldn’t afford such drink. She points Rose may know because he always requests her. Ranma wants to talk to Rose but Wendy forces him to drink. She’s using her mouth to transfer to liquid! So while Ranma pukes outside, guess who he bumps into? Son. Wendy quickly shifts side and blames Ranma he forced her into this and that. Son orders his goons to take care of him. Guess what? Even if they had machine guns, they’re still lousy shooters! Running here, running there, Ranma bumps into that mysterious lady once more. Introducing herself as Alice, she points him the way out. But it seems she also lets the goons know where Ranma headed because that place is a dead end. Ranma realizes he has been sold out when the goons corner him. Before they can do anything, Rose points her gun at them. She wants Ranma to handover the bag. Throwing off her wig, Ranma recognizes her as the hospital’s nurse. A gunfight ensues and Ranma uses this confusion to escape. Machine gun versus handgun? And nothing got hit? You got to be kidding me. Then the clock strikes midnight. Ranma turns into Rella and got almost hit by a car. She is shocked to find herself in the middle of the road (she was last in a strip club) and wearing Ranma’s clothes. The owner of the car turns out to be Alamis. He has finally found his angel and wants to date her. Rella gets into his car and changes into a more fashionable and sexy outfit. Then she leaves. What about dinner? She didn’t agree, did she? She returns to office and is shocked to find everything remodelled back to where it was before. More perplexing, a thank you video from Maya for helping her out. She thinks she has super powers for solving cases without realizing them! Heading back to Dorothy, she learns of Ranma’s predicament. Yeah, he’s very much alive. Taking a look inside the bag, she finds a CD. Checking it out, she discovers it’s a sophisticated hacking programme to steal any data and the programmer’s name is Joker. Realizing one can blackmail or fetch a high price for any data, she notes Ranma has gotten into trouble because of this programme. She is going to clear this false murder charge but needs to lure Joker out first.

Meeting Joker at a construction site, he turns out to be a worker at Electro Planets and that assassin (and of course that shady guy in the beginning). He is willing to pay any price to get the CD back but she isn’t in for the money. She wants him to give this up and surrender to the police. He further reveals his colleague discovered his identity and tried to deal with me by stealing his programme and killed him to seal his mouth. The same fate is about to befall on Rella as Rose points a gun at her head. Joker takes the CD back and says when he discovered his hacking abilities, he did it not for money but for the thrill of sneaking into stuff people try to protect. After he leaves, Rose tries to get rid of her but Rella knocks her out with the sleeping gas hidden in her high heels. Joker goes back to his hacking but realizes someone is gaining access and has rewritten the programme. How? It makes Joker in the video confess his identity and his role as the killer! The police sees this as this video is being broadcast everywhere. I guess this Joker guy is dumb enough to run out to the streets so it’s naturally everybody would start pointing “Hey! Isn’t that the killer?!”. Serves him right if he breaks down like a cornered rat. Rella is floating in her pool noting Ranma is still alive.

Episode 4
One of Son’s goons approach a group of gangsters called Bloody Sharks. He confronts the leader Billy and wants him to stay away from this warehouse area for the next 3 days. Or else, they will kill his brother Rex who is in their hands. Billy didn’t like it and sends his man, Charlie to tail him without being noticed. Along the way, they bump into Ranma who is trying to find a pet named Lily of a rich lady in the sewers. They think he is one of them who kidnapped Rex and threaten him. He falls back down the sewers and I guess it’s midnight so you know who comes out. Morning comes and Rella is attracting attention. The kind of attention she doesn’t want because she stinks! Cleaning herself up at her home, she is furious Ranma is never around when she’s back. Then at the office, the rich lady bugs her wondering if she has found her pet and Rella is again appalled Ranma took up another useless case. Soon a man from Handel Company who has been looking for her all morning comes knocking on her door. His company deals with jewels and precious metal and shows an Angelic Vale necklace to her as proof. However she can tell it’s a fake. He is astonished and shows her the real one. He says they have sold it to Queen Natasha of Anderson Kingdom and only realized later that it is an imitation. Though they’ve got the real one, there’s no way they can reveal the truth about the fake as they will have their heads roll. They believe she doesn’t know it’s fake yet. However the queen will be onboard a ship in town for a party tomorrow and if this is broadcasted to the world, they’ll be done for. He wants her to do this job of sneaking the real necklace in. Rella isn’t sure since it’ll be tough as she’ll have bodyguards and all. But he knows she’s the only one can pull this off. Showing her a picture of Natasha, well, Rella looks very much like her! I guess this is exciting enough for her to take this case up. I think she wants to wear the necklace too.

Rella is waiting outside the ship when she bumps into Alamis (his father had some business onboard). She uses him to get onboard and then dumps that loser. While Natasha is watching the fireworks, Rella dresses up like the real queen and sneaks into her room to switch the necklace. However she got knocked out by Charlie. I can’t believe a ruffian like him sneaked onboard. Charlie brings her back to Billy and once they dock, the necklace falls off and into the mouth of a crocodile. Rella wakes up tied up and gets to know Billy is going to use her as their trump card to exchange Rex. He thinks she is behind it all and even tried to get rid of them for her crooked exchange. Son meets Romel, a minister from the royal palace as the latter exchanges a genuine painting as agreed. He is a big crook himself and has been doing these underhanded dealings since it’ll be hard to suspect him and the royal room is well suited to cover up crimes. However the circulation of stolen artefacts is a different case as it’s hard to move so this is where Son’s organization comes in. Suddenly a dagger comes flying into the painting. Bloody Sharks come into the scene and they show their trump card. Son and Romel start laughing since they have made their job easier. Natasha is supposed to be assassinated in exchange for all the art works. Romel will then be promoted to Prime Minister. Rella tells them they’ve got the wrong person and shakes off her wig. Surprise? Son says it doesn’t matter since she knows everything and wants them all dead. Oh dear. The goons and their machine guns again. When will they ever learn? Still missing everything… Everyone runs but Rella’s dress got caught in the plank and trips.  She could’ve been done for if not for a crocodile popping up. Good thing the goons are scared of it and run off. As for Rella, she is cornered, her dress ripped and she fell into the water. Then it turns midnight.  With Ranma resurfacing, he is glad to find Lily. The crocodile. Bloody Sharks think he is Son’s men and don’t believe he is just a detective searching for a pet. But to proof he’s telling the truth, they’ll keep the crocodile and want him to return Rex who is being held by Son. So Ranma goes all his way out to get information where Rex is (there goes his cash to Pinocchio) and manages to retrieve Rex locked in a warehouse on the outskirts. Lily is pretty tame the reason why everyone haven’t been eaten yet. Billy trusts Ranma and lets him know about the queen’s assassination. Rama is going to solve this case but Bloody Sharks will help him out.

Ranma and Bloody Sharks sneak onboard the ship as logistic workers. Son and his men are waiting to assassinate the queen from his speedboat. The Handel guy is appalled to see the imitation on the queen. He’s dead meat. Ranma lets loose Lily in a container so panic ensues. The bodyguard start huddling around the queen and it disrupts the assassination attempt. Son sees Ranma foiling their attempts again and even if the assassination on the queen failed, he wants Ranma taken out. But someone is sniping at them. Son decides to retreat this time. The mysterious sniper turns out to be Alice sniping from the port. Ranma and Bloody Sharks discover a crate filled with treasures. They know Romel is the culprit because who else would be pointing a gun at them? Like typical bad guys, he rants about his plot that includes the queen’s assassination. Of course Natasha heard that too. He is going to shoot her but didn’t anybody realize Lily sneaking in and then BITE! It bit Romel’s leg. Odd, it didn’t snap off. Romel is arrested as Ranma retrieves the real necklace which has been inside Lily’s mouth. For his brave efforts, she has him request anything. Well, one sturdy cage for a crocodile. And that Handel guy, he drowns himself in liquor but sees the real necklace back on. Phew. Ranma is dismayed that for a rich lady, the reward he got was so little. He returns to his office only to find Dorothy waiting. She wants to know what happened to Rella because she saw the incident on TV. He assures her that the queen looks very close like Rella but Dorothy knows Rella has gone on a mission disguised as the queen. Ranma brushes her off, will talk to her about it in the morning and goes straight to bed. Then it strikes midnight as Ranma transforms into Rella right before Dorothy’s eyes.

Episode 5
Dorothy wakes Rella up to tell her Ranma disappeared before her eyes and turned into Rella. At first she didn’t believe but after thinking about her memory lapse, the fatal accident, the stroke of midnight and why she keeps missing Ranma, if she is him then everything makes sense. She realizes they are taking turns as each other every alternate day. Next day, no use thinking too much about it so she goes for some food. At a distance, Alice observes her. Rella makes her way to a Chinese restaurant and soon Son also comes in and sits right behind her. The duo start ordering almost everything so it confuses the waiter so much so he screws up the Mapo Tofu dish meant for Son but it went to Rella. Yeah, she can’t remember if she had ordered it and just ate it anyway. Son is feasting since he’ll be leaving for Italy soon and won’t be having Chinese food for a while. He hates pasta. After Son leaves to catch his flight, the waiter sees a note has instructions to be passed to the person who ate the Mapo Tofu. Rella reads the note and it says she has just eaten the tofu dish laced with poison and die within 24 hours. It is no use purging it as the poison has already spread throughout the body and the effects will be felt gradual. So if she doesn’t want to die, don’t go to Italy and wait a home for the antidote to come. So this note was meant for Son? And Rella got mistakenly poisoned. She rushes to the airport but the plane has left. That’s an hour wasted. Back to the restaurant, she tries to ask who put this note but nobody knew who it was since they were busy the note was already there when they noticed it. Rella contacts Tinker Bell to find out more about Son’s intention at Italy while she narrows down the suspect. Thinking only a specialist could make such a poison and the only one from Italy turns out to be Gulliver Medicine Company who is a major player in the industry and its president is Roberto De Panini. Alamis happened to pass by her and once more he tries to charm his angel to having dinner with her. She wasn’t so interested till she heard his family name. Yup, his father is Roberto and she wants to meet him. He thought she wants to be part of the family.

Upon meeting Roberto, she finds how similar they both are. Like father, like son. The passion, the idiocy. Asking if his company deals with poisons, he laughs it off since he only does honest business and probably Gold Medicine Manufacturing by Daibal Company are believed to deal in such things. About his connection with Son, they occasionally met at political parties and their relationship is cordial. Rella temporarily excuses herself since she has a reply from Tinker Bell. Seems Son is in Italy to see the Sicilian mafia boss, Don Margarita for a systematic agreement. Resuming her talk with Roberto, seems he also knows Don Margarita as they are childhood friends. Rella realizes the link. If Son and Don Margarita form an alliance, Gulliver will become Kirin Town’s largest pharmaceutical firm under Son’s control. With enough information, she leaves. My angel, come back! It was hard finding Gold Medicine’s location so Rella has only 30 minutes to the switch. She sneaks in but gets spotted by the guards who think she’s an industrial spy. Again, such lousy shots! Machine gun with unlimited ammo also no use. Rella hides and realizing her time is almost up, she records a video for Ranma to watch. So when it’s his turn, he watches to video but finds it hard to believe about the alternate day switch between themselves as they share the same body. She also lets him know about being poisoned and the need to find an antidote. Otherwise, he will kick the bucket this coming noon and this will be the last message he’ll here from her. So how? He might be dropped in the middle of the mess but no choice, he’s got to solve it. Entering a lab and hijacking a scientist to spill the details, he learns this is a rat poison lab and that they’re secretly conducting a new drug to gain market share against Gulliver since Kirin Town has the world’s worst rat problem. I think that statistics include scums and gangsters too. Haha! Then the guards enter and think Ranma is that lady spy’s partner. Those dumbasses start firing right in the middle of the lab!!! Fortunately their shots were so bad that all Ranma experienced was some tap dance. He even manages to escape the facility and Alice snipes from afar to let him get away. She is baffled and thought Rella came here by herself.

Realizing Rella’s info is way off, he decides to investigate more on Son. He meets up with Wendy who is just happy to see him. Wants to kiss her darling, eh? Wanting to know where Son lives, currently he is staying at his 4th lover’s place and has a cute young son there named Marco. Despite his lover’s house, he has got guards all over the place. But what’s the use when they’re so dumb that even Ranma can sneak into the study to do his search. However he has to hide since he hears Marco coming in. He thought it was his father had come home. Well, Son is actually home. Turns out his plane got engine problem and made a u-turn. Marco is happy that Son remembered his birthday. Erm… Yeah, sure. Whatever. He apologizes for the prank he played earlier on. What prank? The poison one. There was no poison as he only put sugar into his Mapo Tofu. He wanted to spend with birthday with him no matter what and didn’t want him to go abroad. Son doesn’t understand what’s going on but I guess he’s okay. Marco then points out a strange voice coming from his study so when Son sees Ranma, he blows his top and lets his bullets fly. Better  run! Heck no need to rush since he’s such a bad shot too. Next day, we see Alice informing to the person at the end of the other line that their targets are not displaying any special abilities. Dr Grimm has no contact with them either. She wonders what is going on with those two. Ranma leaves a video for Rella about how everything was a prank. He chastises her for just eating anything and everything. She doesn’t see what he’s so upset about. Well, making him run around like a wild goose chase and with his life on the line and time running out, I can see why.

Episode 6
Alice is let known by his boss that a wealthy family is murdered. Nobody is spared. Not even the staffs and bodyguards. Since the way they were slaughtered was with sharp objects and no guns were used, it could be done by the Mad Pig Brothers (comprised of Saute, Fry and Boil). They seem to be after the simulation data of their plan and must have copied it onto something and carried it away. The ones who hired them is probably a director of a European terrorist group who have acquired info on them and the deal is supposedly going to take place in a used house that was sold 10 days ago. The brothers were seen to board a plane to Kirin Town and arrive in 2 hours time. Alice is tasked to obtain and handle the data. Then asking about the target’s abilities, Alice thinks this is a good time to find out. Meanwhile Ranma tries to ask Pinocchio for more information about his body transformation but he can’t sell if he doesn’t have any info. Ranma takes a break at the café when Alice pops up. She has a job request for him. She tells him about the Mad Pig Brothers and wants him to retrieve a micro disc from them. Ranma is not sure if he could trust her because at times she helps him out and other times she tricks him. She explains the disc contains an article on environmental issues from her sister’s job as a geologist. Many companies will be in trouble if her article goes public and one company hired hit men to take the article from her. She wants to fulfil her sister’s request and have it academically published. In order to do that she needed to find a talented detective agency and thus the tests she put him up to. Ranma is convinced and takes up the job. Of course Alice was just putting up a very good act and crocodile tears. So good that it may have won her the Oscars. Ranma asks Pinocchio for more information on the Mad Pig Brothers but the latter advises him to reject the case as they’re the top 5 hit men in Europe and prefer killing over dinner. Ranma isn’t going to back out and asks for their location with the little cash his has.

When Boil returns from an errand, he hears the voice of Alice behind him. He attacks her with his mechanical arm but it’s just a decoy. The real Alice pops up from opposite pointing a gun at him. However she sells Ranma out by telling him about a certain detective will come here tonight to take the micro disc and he won’t know they’ll be waiting for him so it should be easy to kill him. Ranma begs Dorothy to give him a secret weapon. She agrees only because she doesn’t want harm to befall on Rella’s body. Ranma sneaks into the house that night with Alice closely observing. Ranma easily takes the micro disc but didn’t expect the brothers to be waiting for him. Ranma slips out and makes a run as the brothers chase him. From the highways to the subways, Ranma narrowly dodges his relentless pursuers’ attacks, especially that kill-crazy Fry whose Freddy Krueger claws can just slice about anything and Saute’s boomerang ball with sharp blades. I don’t know why windows of the train can be opened so easily because Ranma decides to escape to the top. Ranma uses the belt with gas to knock Fry off (amazing he didn’t die at the speed he fell off) while Saute had to dodge an incoming train. Boil kills the railway operator to shut down the train system (won’t the passengers panic or the people in power notice something since the rail network system went down? How the heck did Boil enter the control room so easily anyway?!). Ranma again narrowly avoids the trio once he gets out of the tunnel and goes into hiding in a building. His time is almost up so he starts recording a video of himself. Alice is baffled why he is doing something like this and when midnight strikes, she saw before her eyes Ranma’s transformation into Rella and realizes that they both share the same body.

Rella is confused in the new situation she has gotten into. She couldn’t finish viewing Ranma’s video because the brothers have arrived and destroyed it. Alice confronts Boil waiting downstairs. He is confident the job will be over but she fires a shot into his body. I guess it’s her nature to just backstab everybody. Since Fry has torn most of Rella’s clothes, she feigns to give her a good time and let his guard down. She uses this opportunity to kick his crotch and make a run for it but bumps into Saute. I guess her kick wasn’t that powerful because Fry is still able to get up and walk albeit his ego has been crushed. Rella is cornered but Alice rolls into the scene to pump bullets into Fry and Saute. Since Rella is still confused what is going on, Alice notes that their minds are separate despite sharing the same body. The ladies are being attacked by Boil. He is still alive because part of his body is robotic. He has Alice in her grasp so quick-thinking Rella remembers how Saute’s weapon works as she presses the ring on this dead man’s fingers to send the ball coming back. Since Boil is in the way, it stabs his neck and Alice is free to finish him off with a few more bullets into his body. Rella realizes this is the Alice that Ranma mentioned and wonders what she has requested him for. Alice replies that the job is already done and got more than she had asked for. As for the micro disc, she can keep it since it is empty. Alice reports to her boss that she has retrieved the copy of the data (recorded in her sunglasses) and that she didn’t find any special abilities in the target. She also refrains on reporting about the transformation of Ranma and Rella and will continue her investigation.

Episode 7
Ranma pays a visit to a grave of his old friend, Akira Dobashi. It has been 3 years since his death. In this flashback episode, we see Ranma just starting his detective agency. He was an ex-gangster and his ‘friend’ Rao seems to be extorting him for protection money in exchange for letting him snoop around his territory without raising his boss’ suspicions. A man named Lee pulls up before them and tells Rao of their usual meeting tomorrow night. Ranma plays pool with Akira and he narrates about Kirin Town’s soaring crime rate that it is also known as Killing Town. People die every day. Literally. A detective job is no different. It’s just to uncover the dirt hidden under the clean surface. Even if you get clean, you’d be smeared by other dirt. Ranma and Akira are no angels themselves as they even robbed from others when they’re just kids. Akira has a job for him. Ranma is suspicious since it has ties with Rao but Akira dismisses it’ll be completely safe and they’re not breaking any law. Seems there’s this guy with sunglasses who enter his bar and passes memo to his customers. Akira wants Ranma to watch him for 2 weeks and find out where these memo recipients stay. Akira found out the recipients are made up of 3 guys and a woman. He knows where the guys are staying but he lost the lady. This is where Ranma comes in. He shows him the photo of the woman, which turns out to be Rella. Akira mentions his wife is expecting and plans to expand his bar. Once Rao gets this information, he’ll be paid 5 million bucks. Ranma will get a cut of 1.5 million. So Ranma snoops around and his lead tells him she frequents the Casablanca Bar. It might just be his luck (or not) when Rella comes collapsing into his arms right outside the bar. She thinks he is here to challenge her to a drinking competition. Well, all the men who challenged her are out cold. Besides, Rella is drunk. Ranma takes her back to her mansion and meets Dorothy for the first time.

Akira goes to relay the information to Rao. Soon, they hear news on TV that the 3 memo recipient men have been killed. Apparently they are drug dealers and the police have their eye on them for quite some time. Akira wants to go talk to Rao but Ranma cautions he might be deceived and will do the snooping. Ranma thinks hard why Rao used Akira to do this job and not himself. Then he realizes if those 3 men were killed, that means Rella will be next. But he doesn’t need to find her because she just waltzes in. She is here to return his coat that he left when he brought her back to her mansion. Thinking she is a drug dealer, he asks if she frequents Akira’s bar. She admits she did once but it sucked. And the memo she got was just some guy who wanted to hit on her. He thinks of using her to lure that man out and offers Rella to help him out with his detective work. Rella declines seeing it’s a boring job. After all, all detectives do is just snoop around other people’s secrets. Suddenly Rao’s men barge and start firing at them. Guess did they hit or miss? They tore up the bar except their targets. Duh! Ranma and Rella make their escape and even hijack a taxi. During the car chase, the baddies continue to be lousy shots. Rella feels excited and borrows Ranma’s gun to fire a single shot. It flips up the bonnet and puts them out of commission. She agrees to help him out. In order to get more information, seems there are only 2 top informants in town. One is Tinker Bell whose identity is unknown and is only via internet. Since that is no go for Ranma, I guess he’ll have to go with the other one: Pinocchio. Rella laughs at his fear of heights while Ranma learns the quality of the information he can obtain depending on how much cash you can give. Let’s just say he only got the information that he has already met him. Ranma asks Rella for further traits of this sunglasses guy and she mentions about a scar. Ranma remembers Lee having one. He realizes in order for Rao to look good in front of his boss, he killed off his rivals in the organization. He can’t do the job himself since it’s against his own men. Ranma rushes back to tell Cathy to pack and wait at the airport and promises to get Akira back.

Akira is being tied up by Rao and his men. They have double crossed him and are planning to kill him. Rao goes off to his usual meeting as he and Lee meets Son. Son is not pleased that Lee still hasn’t found out the drug dealers’ killers but he praises Rao for expanding his territory. Ranma and Rella invade the place to free Akira. Stupid bad guys can’t even shoot straight. With the police siren in the background, Son notes how Rao has screwed up and kills him. Lee makes his escape and glimpses Akira in the opposite taxi and thinks he is the one who set up everything. Ranma brings Akira to meet up with Cathy at the airport. Before he reunites with her, he is shot in the back by Lee. Back in present time, Ranma isn’t shedding tears because it seems Akira’s graveyard is fake. He is still very much alive and has a son. Cathy is expecting another child. When Akira was shot back then, he was wearing a bulletproof vest. This way, the mafia won’t come after him anymore as they think he’s dead. And when Ranma thought he wanted to give up his detective job, Rella disallows him since he has got her involved and wants him to take responsibility.

Episode 8
A hitman named Angel kills some mafia guy. He finds a little girl named Maria sleeping on the bed. Ranma must be having a hard time trying to get away from Wendy’s kiss. He trips on an antique car toy model. Wendy got it from some mafia boss and is about to throw it away. Since he wants it so badly, I guess he can keep it. Ranma goes to bed without any food. How can he sleep on an empty stomach? I guess if he’s got the car, everything’s alright, eh? So when morning comes, Rella isn’t amused about Ranma not having anything to eat last night because now she’s famished. Worse, she thought he wasted money buying this antique car. She goes back to Dorothy for food but it seems she has news that her father is ill and wants her to return and see him. Rella refuses since she knows it’s a ploy to make her go back. Even if he is ill for real, she won’t go back either. Rella can’t get any decent food since her platinum credit card has been blocked courtesy of Dorothy. So she goes to sleep hungry. Yeah, leave it to the next guy to solve your hunger woes, eh? An old lady named Emily seeks Ranma’s help. She suspects her husband has been doing shady things with the yakuza and wants him to check it out. Good news: She’ll pay upfront. Bad news: He has to take a flight to Japan and she already has booked his ticket. Wow. How high can planes fly? Better summon up your courage because you’re in for a ride! Meanwhile the Coroccione mafia threatens Wendy about the toy car. Unless she wants a hole in a head, she better tell them. Arriving in Japan, Ranma gets his luggage stolen. Hungry and broke, he came hits an idea. Hey, how can you think on an empty stomach? He is going to sell his car to buy a kimono for Rella so that she can sneak into a restaurant where Emily’s husband is meeting, to pose as a geisha and investigate. However the antique dealer only valued it at 1,000 Yen since it has scribbles underneath it. Till an antique car enthusiast, Kantarou walks in and offers a million Yen! He also translates the Italian writing which says “Help each other as brothers”. He’s feeling good so he has the cash to splash as his daughter will be in for a marriage meeting. And guess what? The sneaky antique dealer sells Ranma the kimono for a million Yen. After discount from 3 million. WTF?! Total ripped off! This is not Japan!

At the alley, Ranma is ambushed by the Coroccione guys. They think Ranma is lying when he told them he had sold the car. Of course the goons are useless in the sense that Ranma could do a little kick and get away. He runs and hides in the restaurant’s toilet. Knowing his time is near, he records a video for Rella. She isn’t too happy to be taking on this case. Especially she has to pose as a geisha. But look at the bright side, she may get to eat all the Japanese food and sake she wants. Rella puts on the kimono and enters her room. She is surprised to see her father: Kantarou. Daddy is totally happy to see her and thinks Dorothy has finally succeeded in her persuasion. Rella realizes Ranma has been tricked since Dorothy was disguised as Emily. Kantarou has already arranged a marriage meeting for her but Rella shows her rebellious side. She makes up the biggest lie that she has a daughter who is now 3 years old with Ranma. That nearly killed daddy… The Coroccione boss, Carlo isn’t please his men let Ranma get away and wants them to get that car back at all cost. Receiving word about the traitor Angel, since he has arrived in Japan, he orders them to check on the Japanese yakuza group called Shirayuki since he was once from them. Rella returns to her Japan home but sees blood on the doorbell. Something is not right. The security has been disarmed too. Following the bloodied footsteps into a room, she is surprised to see wounded Angel, whom she knows as Amano, and Maria in his arms. He recognizes her too. The Coroccione guys are outside the house that belongs to Shirayuki’s boss. Do they need to fire a bazooka just to bring down the wooden door? Great. Just let them know you’re here, would you? Rella takes Amano and return, driving in one of Kantarou’s antique cars. Amano notes how Rella has changed. She says her old self died then when he betrayed her. Rella sees Maria afraid and tries to talk to her but Amano says she is deaf and came back here hoping Kantarou would look after her.

With the car chase on, it’s the usual: Bad guys never took their finger off the machine gun trigger and still couldn’t hit what is important. I clapped my hands when they hit the car’s body and the lamp post. But that’s so much about it. Amano, he just fired a couple of shots enough to send some of the baddies’ car crashing. I don’t know how but suddenly the steering wheel came off! Really! How the hell can Rella steer without it?! Brake or accelerate?! Before they could crash head on with the incoming truck, Amano shoots the wheel to send the car swerving off the bridge and into the water. The bad guys continue the search as Amano leaves the ladies in a safe place before making a run and let the baddies go after him. Rella dreams how she was happy being admitted to college. Her father, mother and Amano congratulate her. When she wakes up, she finds herself in her own room and Kantarou by her side. Then a different ‘angel’ walks into her room. Oh God. Not that annoying Alamis! “My angel!”. Carlo has arrived in Japan and won’t tolerate any more failures. He notes 2 artefacts are in this country right now and that the gold is within sight.

Episode 9
Rella gets another surprise. Alamis is supposed to be her arranged date. Why is he here? Kantarou views him as a hero who saved his life when in actual fact he was dejected after being rejected by a Japanese beauty. He kicked a stone in his frustration and his shoe flew off and hit the head of an assassin gunning for Kantarou’s life. WTF? She has had it off her father imposing his version of happiness over her and leaves. However she and Alamis get electric shock! Seems they both have this hand bracelet (made by Dorothy of course) and if they are 3 metres apart from each other, they will get shock. Rella has no choice but to live with it and takes Maria and Alamis with her. To calm herself down, she goes on an eating spree. How many sets did she wallop there?! From Alamis, seems he knows Amano because he is a famous hitman in the underworld. He is dubbed Angel because he never misses his target (with lousy shot bad guys, I can see why he is number one). But he is the Angel of Death rather than one who brings happiness. After paying a visit to her mother’s grave, Rella drinks all night with Alamis. I guess that guy couldn’t hold his glass. Rella remembers she first met Amano around Maria’s age and considered him her first love. Her world came crashing down when she was 15 years ago. Her mother was gunned down in front of her due to some gang related matters and would’ve been a victim herself if Amano hadn’t killed the assassin. That was when she found out Amano was secretly her father’s bodyguard instead of a live-in secretary. She became upset with all the lies and deceit her family put up with. Rella takes a shower and Alamis thought he could get naughty with her. However he hugged Ranma! Oh sh*t! Shock! Another electric shock for running away! Oh, it just turned midnight. Ranma sees the video of Rella telling him about Dorothy’s trick and this bracelet thingy. Because Alamis won’t shut up, Ranma just knocks him out with a bottle. Then Kantarou enters the room since he has word from his men Rella is staying at this hotel. He is delighted to see Ranma till he learns his name. Not that detective bug that Rella works with! I don’t think explaining about killing him will kill Rella will make him sheath his sword back. It’s amazing that Ranma can run faster than Kantarou while carrying Alamis and Maria. Corrocione’s men happen to see them and go after them. Ranma is cornered by the Shirayuki group but the Coroccione guys have business with Ranma. Since both groups can’t agree, they fight. During the brawl, Ranma dresses Alamis back, paints his hair black and shoves him into the fight. I can’t believe everyone fell for the trick thinking Alamis is Ranma and chase after him! Blind cows! Were they so intense in fighting among each other that they didn’t see Ranma slowly dressing him up? Definitely dumb. Amano then passes by and wants Ranma to hand over Maria. However due to his injury, he collapses.

Ranma treats Amano back at Rella’s house. Ranma is surprised to see Amano possessing the toy car he sold to Kantarou. How did it end up in his possession? Well actually not. The one he sold is still with Kantarou. This is the other pair of the twin car models. Noting Ranma is a good man for taking care of Rella, he needs to meet her. Yeah, it’s close to midnight. Rella drives Amano and Maria to Kantarou’s house. Since she is already involved, she wants Amano to explain everything. It began when the former boss of Coroccione got killed. Then his hidden stash came to light and both his sons, Tony and Carlo started searching for it. They realize from their father’s will that the only clue was in the twin car models that were given to them in their childhood. The engraving means nothing by itself and both cars must be together for the gold to be revealed. Tony and Carlo hated each other and the truce their father made between them backfired as they started to steal each other’s car. Eventually Carlo killed Tony but before he died, he hid his car somewhere. Amano has one of the cars because he killed Maria’s father. He was one of Carlo’s men who betrayed him as he wanted to get rich himself. Amano was sent to kill him. That’s when he saw Maria sleeping with the car. He wants to cure Maria’s deafness and take care of her. Since that surgery will take an insane amount of money, that’s why he betrayed the Coroccione family and went to see Kantarou. Outside the house, it seems Kantarou’s men are beaten and their boss being held inside. No problem. Let Amano do the job. See how those Coroccione goons standing around fall like flies? Man! He’s effective! Why need a group when you can have this single man? Carlo is threatening Kantarou to reveal the other car. Whether he knows it or not, he’ll never tell it to him. The tables are turned when Amano shoots the gun off his hand. Kantarou slaps Rella for being reckless because he couldn’t live with himself if she had died. Maria wanders into the room do Amano uses his body to shield her from Carlo’s bullet. Shouldn’t he have dived or kicked away the gun instead? Amano was quick enough to return the favour to Carlo. In his dying breath, he asks Kantarou to take care of Maria. He explains he left his group because he couldn’t save his wife. But Kantarou rubbishes it because Rella survived. So the reason why Amano picked Maria up was because she reminded him of Rella when she lost her mother. Rella flies back to Kirin Town and Dorothy is going to get what’s coming. However she relays a message from Kantarou about Maria’s surgery date so this cools her down. Rella solves the clue of the gold using the tires of both cars. Then she calls up a charity organization, reveals the location of the hidden stash and it donates all to them. Won’t they suspect a prank call? Who is this calling? Who would be so good to donate all the gold in the safe? Consider this a gift from an angel.

Episode 10
Rella is disheartened she forgot to pick up a dress for a party in 2 days’ time. She insists on that dress since it’s a party that gathers 10 famous chefs in a competition which will be an all-you-can-eat gourmet party. Yeah, Rella has her dress design with a looser waistline so as not to miss out any dish. So why not pick it up tomorrow? She’ll be Ranma. And so she explains to Ranma to remember to pick up her dress on her behalf tomorrow or else his precious car collection will be dismantled. Better get your ass moving. Ranma picks up the dress but a girl, I Lyan Rain quickly wants him to pretend to be her boyfriend to escape a land shark who is after her. They lose the guy as she learns Ranma is a detective and wants him to be his bodyguard for the rest of the day, claiming the bad guys want to kidnap her and use her as a tool to threaten her father who is a kung fu master to give up his property. Why not call the police? No use. They’re on the take. I guess she’s good enough to play on his conscious she may turn up dead and at least accompany her till she meets her dad later today. A pair of baddies from a secret organization, Kei (gypsy woman?) and her big baldy partner Bob are supposed to deliver a teddy bear to a girl and prove to Son that they are the best in their business. At the supposed café, they see I Lyan and think she’s the girl and give her the teddy. Of course she doesn’t know what’s going on. Kei and Bob are about to leave when they bump into Wendy. She’s supposed to be the one to collect the teddy bear as Son sent her on his behalf. Realizing the mistake they made, they try to get back the teddy but I Lyan and Ranma (who just came out of the toilet) are already gone. Find them and get the teddy back!

Doesn’t it look like a date? I mean, I Lyan dragging Ranma around going shopping. She looks happy. He isn’t. Each time the baddies get close enough to snatch the teddy, something else interferes. Then at the amusement park, I Lyan feigns land shark each time she wants to sit ride. I guess this way Ranma has no choice but to run with her, eh? Oh hell! He didn’t realize he is in the Ferris wheel or the roller coaster!!! What a scary day for him. As I Lyan goes to get drinks, Ranma sees a movie trailer of Lady Fighter 4. It’s about aliens called land sharks targeting a kung fu master’s dojo and it stars the action idol, I Lyan. Hey… When she comes back, Ranma strips her wig and glasses and realizes she is that actress in person. I Lyan comes clean. Everything was made up. She snuck out from her movie set and the guy who was after her is her manager. Ranma is not amused he was dragged around for her amusement and could’ve been arrested for kidnapping an idol. She doesn’t want to return to her workplace but he doesn’t care anymore. He thought she’s crying wolf again but this time it’s for real. Kei and Bob force I Lyan into their car. Bob is so stupid to tell I Lyan the reason why they want the teddy back is because it contains mould to forge money. Just great. Either way, I Lyan will have to die. Ranma drives a speedboat alongside the car and tells I Lyan to jump. She’s an action star, remember? The chase continues till Ranma grounds the boat and bad luck has it they end up in a dead end and cornered. Fortunately, Kei’s gun has run out of bullets so Bob is going to take care of this. At this instant, I Lyan starts posing some of her kung fu moves. The baddies were convinced she really kicks ass and ran for their lives!!! Man, she’s a really good actor. I Lyan laments her life as an action idol which is somewhat the opposite. She has stunt doubles doing the action and she is just good in doing those poses. Hey wait a minute. Then how did she jump from the car to the boat?! As an actress she feels like a caged bird day in day out but after seeing too much girls with their boyfriends, she got jealous and felt she too wanted to be an ordinary girl.

Ranma drives her back to her workplace and wants her to call her office and call it quits if she wants to stop acting and be an ordinary girl. It’s her life so she decides. The baddies haven’t given up yet and toss a dynamite to send the car turtle. Ranma has broken an arm and can’t do much except tell I Lyan to run. She runs inside the cinema but Kei starts shooting indiscriminately! Just when she thought she hit her, she actually hit the teddy and destroyed to mould. Then this unbelievable part, Ranma drops a sofa from the top level to nail those goons down. How the f*ck did he carry and push it over if he has one arm broken?! Unbelievable!!! When the lights focus on I Lyan everyone recognize her as the action star and thinks this elaborated setup was just a stunt to promote her new movie and applause her with cheers. In the end, the baddies are arrested and I Lyan thinks she wants to continue acting. Ranma is relief as I Lyan realizes he knew this from the start. Well, he says he is a fan of the Lady Fighter series and if she started to hate acting, she won’t look so lively on screen. Rella is grateful Ranma got the dress for her. However she’s got a surprise for him. Because she got a broken arm, she couldn’t attend the party. As a result his car collection was dismantled! Curse this body!

Episode 11
Alice gets word from her boss that there is a scandal involving the Secretary of Defence. This will mean their organization will lose their access to the military and needs to accomplish their mission fast. This means they need Dr Grimm. Ranma returns to office only to meet Dorothy. She is here to give Rella her laser beam ring but he’s not too interested. She demonstrates by shooting at his butt! See, useful, eh? Dorothy goes shopping and Alice picks her up on pretence to help her carry her goods. However she becomes her hostage as Alice calls Ranma to make him find Dr Grimm in 24 hours or else Dorothy’s safety cannot be assured. Of course the first person to get more information is Pinocchio as Ranma learns Dr Grimm is a very famous biologist. He retired and lived in a countryside house though he continued his research. However 2 years ago he disappeared and nobody knows his whereabouts. Not even this information master. But Ranma learns a surprising info that he might be the person who is able to pull off hosting 2 people in the same body. Ranma hopes he could help further in his case and he will contact him once he has more information. Dorothy seems to know who Dr Grimm is. At least they went to the same university though she majored in engineering. She is made to shut up when she realizes Alice might have something to do with putting Ranma and Rella in the same body. Ranma researches in the library and asks passers-by but doesn’t get much information. Then he gets a call from Pinocchio to meet up. At an abandoned bowling alley, Pinocchio mentions he has gone through lots of trouble to get this. A delivery boy has always been delivering medicinal stuff to a bunch of guys in lab coats from an old house in the outskirts. Probably it’s Dr Grimm and his assistants but that old house is now abandoned. That house is near the place his car crashed. The only remaining lead is a guy in this picture, Nero. One of the assistants who hopes from job to job. Meeting him won’t be easy as he is in prison now. Suddenly a group of armed men storm into the building and start firing away. Oh God. Not bad shooters. Wasting bullets! Pinocchio just threw a bowling bowl and fired a couple of shots to make their escape. Useless people. So what if they’re from the organization? Meanwhile some dude from the organization, Jackal meets Alice. Seems he has now been put in charge of searching for Dr Grimm instead of her since the scandal is making the headquarters restless.

Ranma is at his wits trying to solve this case. Then he gets an idea. He robs someone, makes him call the police to arrest him on the spot. I can’t believe he is thrown into jail that easily! Ranma kicks up a big fuss he doesn’t want to be put with Nero. So noisy the other prisoners are getting annoyed. This is a ploy to let the officers to assure him Nero isn’t in the same building, thus revealing where he is located. Once in his cell, Ranma regurgitates the laser ring (he had it in his throat?! Revolting!) and cuts the iron bars. I wonder why the other prisoners didn’t even notice this. Not even Nero himself till Ranma fully cuts and enters his cell. Nero knows him since he was there with Dr Grimm during the experiment. He will tell him everything if he busts him out. Then it turns midnight and everyone hears Rella’s scream. The officers run to Nero’s cell and she accuses him of kidnapping her. I don’t even know how that is possible but the officers believed it and gets rough on Nero. Maybe her pretty face and convincing acting did the trick rather than logic. In that distraction, Rella knocks them out and they make their escape. That’s it. So easy. Only 2 guards? How the hell they escaped the facility is a mystery to me. Nero brings her to the abandoned house which was the lab they used to conduct the experiment. Rella had this feeling she has been here and she isn’t entirely wrong because Nero says he’s the one who brought them in. That night when Dr Grimm has a mental block, he usually goes to the park to sort out his mind. Nero accompanied him and it seemed he found a solution to something. Driving back, that’s when the crash happened so Dr Grimm ordered to retrieve both their bodies. They’re barely alive and their injuries were serious. For that entire week, Dr Grimm locked himself up in the room and in the end managed to fuse both of them in a body. Then he released Ranma’s body at the crash site, curious to see his reaction when he awakes. Then he told Nero he is going to disappear. Since Nero liked that guy, he is not going to tell on him. Soon Alice and the organization storm the lab but found nothing and Nero claimed he doesn’t know anything. The organization gave this lab to Dr Grimm and fully funded him. He disappeared before completing his research that’s why they’re desperately looking for him. For what purpose he isn’t sure. So if she wants to know why he made them like this, she has to ask the doctor himself. Also, he saw a strange photo. It wasn’t human either. Something like a muscular monster. He has a feeling the organization’s leaders must have connections with the military and isn’t doing this out of goodwill.

Alice and Jackal get news about Nero’s prison break and more interestingly the new inmate of the day too: Ranma. Jackal curses she should’ve just killed him when she got the chance but she reminds him he is worth keeping alive. About finding Dr Grimm, Alice never put her hopes on Ranma to find him. She was merely using him as bait for Dr Grimm to contact him. She knows he will be near him as he can’t leave his own precious research behind. Jackal is going to kill Ranma but Alice says he won’t find him anywhere in this world. Not at least today. Call it a woman’s intuition. Dorothy wakes up and since she is alone, uses her gadget, mobile hands hidden in her spectacles to send a message to Rella! Amazing! How can she control those hands so efficiently and type a decent message without making mistakes? Hey, she took an engineering degree. Don’t play play. Rella returns to her mansion and is surprised to find a mail from Dorothy. She gives details of her surroundings’ sights and sounds so Rella could trace where she is being held: A water filtration plant. Rella is about to head in but she is being stopped by a painter who doesn’t want her to die yet. You know that painter we’ve seen making short unimportant cameo appearances throughout the series? Guess who he is? Yes, he is Dr Grimm!

Episode 12
Since Rella claims she has Dr Grimm, she is taken into the hidden base beneath the plant. However she is not going to hand over Dr Grimm easily and wants to make a deal in exchange for Dorothy. She knows they are desperate in looking for him since they deployed excessive armed force and if harm ever comes to Dorothy, they can bet their ass they won’t see the doctor again. Rella sets the exchange place and time. Both sides meet at the petroleum plant. Jackal thought Rella would be sneaky and has his men well placed in several buildings just in case. Who’s the sneaky one? The exchange begins with Dorothy and Dr Grimm walking opposite. Jackal gives orders once they’ve passed each other, to fire at will. But when they do, Dr Grimm tells Dorothy to make a run. That’s what they did and Rella runs with them. Jackal orders his men to get them but it seems Son, on an anonymous tip and his men surround the area. He doesn’t like Jackal stirring up his town with military presence. Jackal can’t fire because the area is filled with inflammable plants and they’ll all go to hell. So both sides fight using knives. Guess what? The specially trained operatives lost to a bunch of mafia! I guess they don’t have enough survival experience in Kirin Town. Alice from a distance fires a tracer onto Dr Grimm’s back. Rella and the senior citizens are at the office and Doris has already packed up the necessary equipment. But they’re not going to run. If they hand over Dr Grimm then they don’t have to. Unless he returns their body back to original. So he explains, this is mankind’s dream. He has Rella tell him what she ate the day before. Man, she describes all the food she ate! Amazing glutton! How the hell does she keep a perfect waistline?! Hearing all that food made his stomach hurt. Yeah, not even hungry. But hurting his stomach. What’s his point? He thought mankind had no hope. When mankind multiplied rapidly, the world’s food supply decreases steadily. So he came up with this idea called Personality Fusion Theory. If 2 people share the same body, this means the food intake is halved. Or in another perspective doubled because you only eat one serving instead of two. He doesn’t stop there. What if 3 people share the same body? How about 4? The whole town? The entire world? In the end there will only be 1 human! So wait. Is this organization out to solve world hunger? No. This organization, Neverland Group kidnapped him to oversee some evil research to fortify humans. Though they already have a prototype (called Peter), Dr Grimm refused to bow to them and used their funds to promote mankind’s future instead. So fusing Ranma and Rella is beneficial to mankind? Isn’t this the same? Rella complains about the frequent blackout every 24 hours and wants him to revert them back now or else she’ll surrender him to them.

Suddenly the office rocks. Jackal has towed the office away in his helicopter. This is the only way to escape. While Rella and Dr Grimm break and gather parts of the office, Dorothy melds them together and turns it into… A manpowered flying bicycle for 3! It’s amazing how she can put them all together in such a short time. More amazingly, it worked! Can such a makeshift junk outrun a high-tech helicopter? We won’t find out because they crashed onto the highway. Just when they’re caught between the helicopter’s gunfire, then comes Alamis’ limo. My Angel! Didn’t he see what’s going on? So what devil luck Rella has as she takes over the wheels and run rampage throughout town. Yeah, he lost half his car throughout the chase. Because of Dr Grimm’s tracer, I guess Alice knows where they are and even sends ground reinforcements. But you know, they are such bad shots that they fire and destroyed everything but their target. The town’s on fire! Not even the police can stop them! Rella gets this sneaky idea. All she needs to do is the use her womanly charms to persuade Alamis. Once the car is out of a corner, the organization people got it right and the bazooka hits and overturns the car. Only Alamis is caught. Seems the rest have dropped off before the corner and escaped into the sewer. When they emerge, they find themselves on Bloody Sharks’ turf. Since they are in debt to Ranma, they help her out by sheltering them in a shack near the port. Too bad because of Dr Grimm’s tracer (nobody noticed it still?), Alice is waiting outside. To her dismay, seems Jackal and the organization are also outside. Rella feels she wants to go back to Japan. She believes her father can protect Dr Grimm. I think she should have known better not to take a walk by herself (she needs to sort out her feelings since she swore never to return there). That’s because those organization dudes start attacking her. Don’t worry, with such bad shots they are, Rella can be as slow as snail and not get hit. However she realizes it’s midnight and needs to tell Ranma. Oops. Too late. Ranma is caught in the midst of the fire and despite confused, makes a run for it. He bumps into Jackal whom he doesn’t recognize. But Jackal thinks he’s playing dumb since his partner has caused them lots of trouble. Since he’s got Dr Grimm, he doesn’t need him anymore and shoots him. Wait? Just a shot in his shoulder? Though Ranma falls into the water, what are the chances he’ll survive that?

Episode 13
Dr Grimm is taken back to Neverland Group’s headquarters where he meets the boss and founder, Mr Hook. Now that he has the professor, he’s going to make him work his research. As expected, Ranma couldn’t be a goner because Alice dives in to save him. But why the heck is she naked?! And can a mere mouth ‘kiss’ give him enough oxygen? By the time Ranma wakes up, he is back in Rella’s mansion (because Dorothy’s around) and Alice by his side. Alice doesn’t reveal why she rescued him but now that Dr Grimm is kidnapped, Ranma won’t have it their way because he has just found a way to revert his body back to normal. Alice explains Neverland Group’s headquarters disguised as a floating island. Something mind boggling here. If the base is further hidden as a dense jungle, wouldn’t it be a dead giveaway since the island is well, floating? Duh! Anyway the place is a high-tech research and facilities centre and with an extremely tight security, not even the bug can escape its security robots. Yes, no flies. Because they’re all zapped dead as unrecognizable personnel. Wow. General sees Hook about the uproar in Parliament but Hook isn’t pushing the panic button yet. He takes General to see Dr Grimm forced to do his research because if he doesn’t he will start killing his former research team members. Man, he has the entire list!

Alice returns to the base and the only way for Rella to sneak in is via underwater. Didn’t they put any security there? I mean, there are lots of sharks but the funny part is the sharks couldn’t best Rella! Look, Rella may have Dorothy’s gadgets but the water is supposed to be their domain, right? It’s like as though they were drugged… Anyhow Rella sneaks in, plants some bombs and soon she is spotted and the security goes on alert to find her. Suddenly 5 simultaneous explosions rock the place. This draws Hook out of his room to go investigate while Rella sneaks in and did something with his computer. Rella leaves but is confronted with a security robot. It was going to shoot her but it strikes midnight and she changes into Ranma. Because of the gender switch, the robot gets confused and gets an error! WTF?! Because of this, Ranma lives. What kind of high-tech robot is this to get a simple error just because somebody changed its body?! Hook realizes the miniscule damages are just a distraction. Rushing back to his room, he is surprised to see Ranma on video sneaking around (since Jackal told him he was killed). No worries. Hook sends Peter to greet him. I thought Peter looked like a cross between a Mexican luchadores and Batman’s Bane… Normal bullets won’t hurt this big guy so how? Run! But Ranma manages to knock that monster out temporarily. He shoots the pipe and whatever gas knocks him out. That easy? Hook gets a call from General saying that he uploaded his organization’s video about bringing chaos to the world (clips of that rampage throughout Kirin Town). Of course Hook doesn’t know what he’s talking about but General says the video that was sent to world leaders was uploaded from his computer (Rella’s doing). Now that the world views Neverland Group as terrorists, nations are going to attack it tomorrow morning so General giving his last advice as friend tells him to run because he too will be participating in the attack. Some friend. Hook isn’t going to lose yet. He sets the island on self-destruction mode and vows to rebuild everything from scratch. Really? He has got that much time and money? Ranma manages to find Dr Grimm and takes him along but bumps into Peter along the way.

Soon the island starts collapsing (killing Jackal in the process) and as Hook makes his escape to the rooftop, Alice points a gun at him. She won’t have him exploit Dr Grimm for himself. Hook couldn’t care less about that professor now when Peter shows up. Hook orders him to kill Alice but she’s looking pretty confident. To Hook’s surprise, Peter bashes him. Peter then rips himself apart and we see Ranma and Dr Grimm inside the body! So that replica is just a special rubber foam? Where the heck did they get that to look like the real deal? What happened to the real Peter anyway? He was killed by the security robots since it didn’t recognize that secret creation. So lasers can do the work but not bullets? But scheming Alice isn’t ending this yet. She points the gun at Dr Grimm and threatens to kill him now if he doesn’t hand over his research. She has been waiting for a chance like this to outdo the organization. After proving that the gender switch can cause confusion in an enemy’s security system, she will fuse it with any country’s top post personnel and bring a nation under her control. Dr Grimm agrees to go with her but she is not that trusting. No choice, he hands over the mini disc so she lets them live while she flies away in the helicopter. Dr Grimm is not fazed on what he lost since that disc only contains photo of Toto (whoever that is). Since leaving his research would bring conflict, all his findings are in his head! The building is really collapsing and the guys hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Thankfully Dorothy arrives in time with her mini helicopter (at least it looks reasonable than the first one) to take them away from the sinking island. Back at Kirin Town, Ranma gets double crossed again since Dr Grimm steals the helicopter and escapes. He is going back on his promise to return them to their normal bodies. As his precious masterpiece, he won’t undo his work. Next day back at his office (open air concept in the alley?), Ranma gets an earful by Rella. Good thing about this is that he doesn’t have to listen to her video rant, right? Yeah, he goes take off for another job: To find somebody’s lost pet. But I guess he didn’t hear the part whereby Rella wants him to find Dr Grimm quickly so that once their bodies return to normal, she’ll go out on a date with him. Serious? Not pulling a fast one, isn’t she?

And They Lived Happily Ever After Together… In The Same Body!
Except for the happy part of course! So what the heck is this ending? Feels so unsatisfying. And I thought in the end there would be a way for them to get separated in the end but they remained in the same body. Whose body was it in the first place? Did the professor use Ranma or Rella’s body? Or did he use someone else since after the horrifying crash, their bodies should have been badly burnt, right? Thus the inconvenience for the detective partners continues. Making their appearance only every alternate day and ironically getting a rude wake-up call at the stroke of midnight. That isn’t the only thing left resolved in the end. What happens to Alice after that? Now that her true colours have been finally revealed in the end, she took the fake data and flew off to wherever she may go. I could imagine the face she’ll put up once she realizes she’s been hoodwinked by the old scientist. Beaten at her own game, eh? Now that Dr Grimm has pulled the carpet off everyone’s feet once more, it’ll be tough to find him again. I mean, he was masquerading as a wandering artist and nobody in town recognized him. Or maybe people just don’t care. Besides, what’s the use of an organization boasting high technology facilities when you can’t even find an old geezer? What happened to Son? So I suppose he’s just the big bad boss of the underground world. I thought we would see Ranma facing him off in the end but his nose wasn’t seen anywhere near the end. No connection with Dr Grimm and the final arc so no presence, eh?

Besides Alice whom you’ll never know what she is thinking due to her mystifying ways of doing things, the other characters are one dimensional and are basically predictable. Ranma, the poor good detective trying to make a decent living as a detective. No job is too small as long as you pay. But he isn’t totally an angel since he’s got himself dirty a few times over. Partly due to his job and that’s what you necessary need if you’re going to survive Kirin Town. For a detective to be afraid of heights, I guess it’s good in a way since he won’t be able to ride his high horse and his feet will be more firmly to the ground. Hehe… Rella, the rich, beautiful woman who seeks thrill in her life. Maybe it is something that money cannot buy. Not to be mistaken as a dumb blonde because she’s quite smart and resourceful if she gets down to it. However her huge appetite is quite worrying (and amusing). The way she devours food like there is no tomorrow is definitely contributing to world hunger and food shortage, don’t you think? She could be on par with One Piece’s Luffy. Dorothy isn’t to be taken lightly and despite an old lady, her brains are still functioning perfectly with all those crazy gadget inventions and her body is fit like a young adult. Don’t let that thick nerdy glasses fool you. Alamis? Ever since that decoy escape, that’s the last we ever heard from that “My Angel” doofus. It’s unlikely he’ll give up chasing after Rella. Unless some other pretty angel walks into his life. Looks like Wendy got to try harder if she wants to win the heart of her darling. It’s going to be tough since Ranma will always have the other woman (Rella) in between. Haha! Kantarou? Well, that guy’s in Japan so I don’t think he’d have some bearings in Kirin Town. Ever wondered Pinocchio and Tinker Bell’s true identity? Not even all the money in the world would buy you that information.

The biggest gripe that I have about this show is the action sequences. If I had to put it in a word, it would be ‘silly’. As you would have known if you have been diligently reading my blog on this series, episode after episode the bad guys can never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever and forever shoot straight or hit their target! At first it was funny but it became such as running gag that it got annoying. And when they are firing the machine gun, there is no recoil whatsoever to show the impact. So much so it’s like they’re just firing a paper gun, posing just for show! Even if you let them practice third person shooter games, I bet they’ll never shoot down their first enemy in a hundred years. Cheat code of unlimited ammunition and all-weapons-available activated too. Give them a bazooka or heck, a missile warhead and they can just miraculously miss the heroes. Or are they just lucky? So lucky that all the good guys need is just to fire one shot at them and the clone goons will go down. I know they’re trying to tell us quality is better than quantity but this is too much. If there is another word to describe the action, then it would be ‘unrealistic’. Crocodile bites leg of a guy and no serious injury befall on him? His leg didn’t even get bitten off! Girl swims among the dangerous shark infested waters and comes out tops. Injured man drops heavy object to pin bad guys down and save the day. Fight on speeding train’s rooftop did not cause any commuters to panic despite assassins out for a certain detective’s ass. Creating a workable flying contraption in just minutes. Security robots are stupid enough to get an error when people transform. I mean they scan the bones and eye retina so if it’s not in your database, then that person is an intruder lah! So why get an error? Does this mean if I am a clothes changing artist, I can escape this trick too? You get the idea. The other odd thing is that though they try to project Kirin Town as a slightly futuristic city, I thought it looked a little odd when the cars don’t have wheels and are floating. It feels like the wheels are invisible.

Another mind boggling thing is Dr Grimm’s Personality Fusion Theory. While it seems like a noble and great idea to reduce the issue of starvation, but think about this if he ever decides to put all the humans into just one body. I know, first you may think the body will explode since it can’t possibly fit everybody physically. But here’s the real issue. Seeing that humans have already reached 7 billion to date, even if this theory works and everybody is being put into a single body, how the heck are jobs and works are going to be done? I mean, that guy may be a farmer so if it is not his turn, who else is going to plant the food? Then this guy may be a construction worker so if he is not out, who else is going to construct the buildings? I know too many cooks spoil the broth but like they say, many hands make light work. So having one human means it will take forever just to complete a job. And you only have 24 hours to do so. Then there’s the case of sharing the same body between good citizens and criminals. You wouldn’t want that, do you? But the biggest issue if this theory came true is how long will you wait before it is your turn for just a meagre 24 hours? So this means you have to wait 7 billion times or 7 billion days just to come full circle! How old will you be then? Wow. That will be like 20 million years old! Will you still be alive? Yeah, feels like the dinosaur age just came and went in a blink of an eye. Considering that Ranma and Rella have no memories when they are in hibernation, does this mean time for them has stopped too? In the sense they don’t age when they are in sleeping mode? But if their stomach remains the same that means their body will still age, right? Too many loopholes and issues in this theory that’s why I say it won’t work. Besides, how do you undo the fusion? Do you need the original body or can you use another body? So does this mean this is like transfer of souls into different bodies is possible? Argh! Thinking too much is making me have a split headache. At least I don’t split my personality ;p.

Now here is another point to think about. If Ranma and Rella switch bodies at midnight, what defines and constitute midnight? What happens when the clock is a minute slow or fast? Will that affect their transformation? Although it should be implied that the internal biological clock will make the automatic switch by the next 24 hours, the reason why I’m bringing this up is because of Ranma and Rella’s travel to Japan. That means a different country a different time zone, right? And I am assuming that Kirin Town isn’t exactly in Japan because of the American-like city theme (with some typical China Towns in it). When they were in Japan, their transformation again happened at midnight. Shouldn’t they be switching bodies several hours later? Of course unless you assume that Japan and Kirin Town are in the same longitude. I doubt it since how many countries share the GMT +9 time zone with Japan. Korea? Indonesia? Some Pacific islands? I didn’t mention Kirin Town’s GMT time zone since we don’t really know where this fictional city is. Of course like I said, one would very much assume it is located in USA. So yeah, my theory is because we always see Kirin Tower clock as the reference each time it strikes midnight for their transformation, I bet if somebody stops time, the transformation will stop or if you delay the time, either Ranma or Rella will stay longer in their current state. Don’t you think it’s a good theory to test?

Though this show being a year 2003 production and thus the art and drawing are of that era, I can’t help notice how the characters have this close resemblance to the anime series Lupin III. Especially Ranma. This detective looks like that gentleman thief, Arsene Lupin III. I haven’t seen this old series but that world’s most wanted thief is famous enough for a person like me to at least heard of and know how he looks like. Then Rella also has this uncanny looks to Lupin III’s Fujiko Mine. Just dye the latter’s hair brunette. Then as I found out, both series were created from the same manga author, Monkey Punch. I guess that answers a lot of curious questions. Oh, I thought I should mention this trivial thingy too. The style of the drawing makes baddies look like typical villains. You can tell this guy is a mafia or some big bad boss just by looking at his weasel or vile face. Heck, everybody in town is so bad that everybody qualifies to be a criminal. The opening theme is the same title as this series and is sung by DOMINO88. Sounds like old school pop and it’s about the adventures of Cinderella Boy in Kirin Town. Well, not really fairytale material if I should say. The ending piece by TAKAKO is entitled Out Of Eden and sounds like a sultry R&B.

The next time anybody has got any brilliant ideas about sharing bodies to reduce world population, I think I would tell them straight that it is the same as putting you in a prison without walls. True that the increasing population is causing a heavy strain on the world’s food resources but this theory will only prove to be more troublesome than effective as I have already argued. Sure, it’s fun at first to confuse your enemies but once they know the trick, you can’t use it anymore and it will become a liability. How would you like it to be sharing the same body with your eternal enemy? Yeah, you can’t even pick a fight! Would you love the idea of sharing the same body with your lover? Hell, you can’t even have sex! Oops! And if there are still believers of this theory, I don’t want to volunteer or participate in it because I’ll be losing precious time missing my favourite animes. And you know what kind of animes they only show at midnight, right? Before it gets to the good part, I’d lose consciousness and the other person isn’t really going to be amused with my midnight tryst… Not so happy ever after, eh?

Working!!

October 21, 2012

Part time jobs as far as I know is quite a fad in Japan for teenagers who are still schooling. Especially those who plan to save up to buy something be it a gift to someone or something they desire very much, getting paid via part time job(s) is the way to go to earn extra cash. One of the popular part time jobs would be working in a cafe or family restaurants as waiter or waitress. So I thought I could glimpse the behind-the-scenes life of part timers holding such jobs behind a family restaurant in Working!! How wrong I was.

Sure the setting is in a family restaurant named Wagnaria but what drives this comedy series that is based on the yonkoma of the same name, is the many wacky oddball staffs and the unusual activities they do that sometimes have nothing to do with their job. We have the very lazy store manager who never lifts a finger to do any work except eating her parfait, a newbie waiter who is obsessed with cute, small and weak things, a petite waitress who is very sensitive about her short stature, a waitress with androphobia who will punch the other gender without hesitation will punch, another waitress always carrying a samurai sword, a moody cook and his carefree assistant who blackmails people with his information, the store manager who is always away searching for his missing wife and later on a mysterious new girl who is more of a troublemaker than a helpful waitress. So it bugs me with such eccentric personalities, why do people keep coming back and how can work be done. Who cares as long as the food tastes good and the service friendly.

Episode1
* Store manager, Kyouko Shirafuji mentions the need to find a for a new co-worker so Poplar Taneshima desperately asks her classmates (not interested) and her quest takes her to out to the cold winter streets till she bumps into a guy, Souta Takanashi. First he couldn’t believe this cute little thing is 17 years old (she has her school ID to prove it) and decides to give the part time job a go simple because she’s cute… So on his first day, he gets to know the sort of ‘trouble’ he would be getting into. The petite girl who despite being named after a tall tree is still stuck at the ‘infant’ stages who couldn’t even pronounce his name properly (Katanashi?) and the manager who even admits through her own mouth that she doesn’t work. Then he meets Jun Satou who often bullies and teases Taneshima about her height and the very well-informed Hiroomi Souma. Soon Takanashi can’t take his eyes off the floor chief, Yachiyo Todoroki. Doesn’t the sword by her waist will scare off customers? Well, from first look they seem like nice people, right? Stay on a little longer and you’ll find out…
* Taneshima complains to Takanashi that a customer thought she is a middle school student. He thinks she’s supposed to be in elementary school. She got this answer from her only salvation? Kyouko forbids any employee relationship and would prefer they stay just as friends. But you know what? Takanashi feels he wants to be her father! Pedo? Takanashi goes on ranting about his love for cute and small things. Even water fleas…
* Takanashi makes the biggest mistake that men should not ask a woman: Their age. Even if Kyouko had no qualms to say it (28 years old), he should not have commented how old she is. Because of that, he gets all sevens shifts this week. Deserved it. So he must be real tired out doing all those shift work and still couldn’t figure out what caused Kyouko’s ire. Menopause says he? Taneshima has to advice him about being careful when commenting on people’s age but to him, Taneshima will always be 12 years old.
* Kyouko is rude and unaccommodating to a customer so Takanashi had to go apologize and give her a free drink. Then they see a couple of customers harassing Taneshima so Kyouko kicks them. They threaten the old hag and vow never to come back here and since they haven’t paid, Kyouko calls her ‘guys’ to beat them up and get all their cash! Oh sh*t! And you thought she would be calling the police! Takanashi thought even her rash action was to protect her employees but actually she is pissed that they called her an old hag. So when Takanashi comments that she is still young, he gets only a day off his shift. Well, a slight improvement.
* Takanashi notices a name of an employee he has never met due to their different shifts: Mahiru Inami. Today is the day he will first meet her. Guess what? She got so spooked out seeing a man this close to him and punches Takanashi in the face! So while she cowers behind Yachiyo, Takanashi learns about Inami’s fear of men and is advised not to get killed. You know what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Welcome to Wagnaria!

Episode 2
* So Takanashi is bloody puzzled how can a girl who is so afraid of men work in a family restaurant that is open to both genders. She handles female customers perfectly but has problems with male customers. Kyouko wants to resolve her phobia with Takanashi because she needs them to get along. But this is going to take a while because even if Inami said she doesn’t hate men and is just afraid of them till the point she hits them in her reflex, Takanashi should’ve kept his mouth shut about her being scarier. Do you think he deserves that punch? Yeah, Inami hates men, Takanashi hates those above 12 years old (Taneshima is always an exception).
* Takanashi is Inami’s new punching bag, hitting him each time he gets close enough (by accident or not). Inami and Taneshima talk about the new guy. Taneshima thinks her incessant hitting is the reason why Takanashi is cold towards her. Inami thinks she needs to be small like her to get him to like her (something Taneshima disapproves).
* Kyouko has Yachiyo set new objectives for the employees to act appropriately in the eyes of others. Takanashi sees a good example how Yachiyo is already flouting the rule. Taneshima and Inami also feel they can meet the objective besides their short comings (no pun intended for Taneshima). So Yachiyo goes back to consult with Kyouko and soon the objective is changed to act appropriately in the eyes of the manager.
* A little girl customer talks to Takanashi and wonders why a small kid like Taneshima can work here. Though depressed, she observes how well he gets along with kids.
* Inami is forced to serve a table of a male customer since Yachiyo has her hands busy. Do you know what’s the first thing she said? “Would you like your beating now?”. Uhn… Thankfully Takanashi pulls her away and Yachiyo later covers for her. Takanashi complains to Kyouko that this should be a manager’s job but she doesn’t bat an eyelid and is prepared to punch a guy who pisses her off regardless the situation. About losing customers? Don’t worry, she’ll call her subordinates to get cash out of him. Don’t ask more, okay.
* Taneshima wants Takanashi to get on good terms with Inami so she has him get friendly with her and not to act so cold. Though he likes seeing the cute little Taneshima and would continue to work here, he didn’t like the fact he need to go compliment Inami. It’s making his stomach sick. So when he does, he compliments how cute she looks. Her hairpin, that is. So was it a surprise he got punched? I suppose the same wall Inami has been hitting to take out her frustration is going to break if she keeps up her punching. Taneshima goes talk to her as she finds out she hit him because she was surprised Takanashi complimented her.

Episode 3
* Takanashi couldn’t recognize who Inami is since she’s so nice serving females. So he barrages her with question about treating boys and what about those who cross-dress. She says her phobia has been ingrained in her since young that boys are scary that it becomes a reflex. So what about her father? He hasn’t come back for a long time. Inami mentions how different Takanashi is from other guys because he is easy to hit!
* Takanashi can’t help wonder about Yachiyo’s sword. He asks Kyouko but she tells him to do his job. Well, she’s the manager, right? Even if she doesn’t work and eats her parfait specially made from Yachiyo every day. I guess Takanashi goes to talk with Satou whom he thinks is the most normal guy around about Yachiyo’s sword scaring customers and the rate she makes parfait for Kyouko they’ll use up all the ingredients meant for customers. Satou tells how Yachiyo had been carrying the sword around since young. She always got bullied till the ‘saviour’ (more like delinquent) in the name of Kyouko did something to save her (scene was omitted. Makes you think something scary happened, eh?). Ever since Yachiyo felt indebted and became her errand girl in buying her stuff. Both of them have been together ever since. Takanashi asks Yachiyo herself and it seems she comes from a family making blades. So carrying a sword around is nothing to her. Yeah, but a bother to everyone else. When Kyouko calls Yachiyo to make her parfait, Satou messes with Taneshima’s hair and makes it as though she’s grown taller.
* Hyougo Otoo, the store manager returns from his wife-searching trip. Not to find exotic ingredients as Takanashi thought. All Kyouko is interested are the food souvenirs he brought back. She starts munching them without shame. Otoo mentions when he sees something that resembles his wife, he will buy it immediately. That explains the scary mask. Does his wife look this scary? How did she go missing in the first place? With her bad sense of direction, she never came back from shopping one day.
* There is a deadly aura from Yachiyo because there is somebody she really wants to cut down: Otoo! Did he do anything wrong? Ever since his return, Kyouko got distracted by his food rather than asking her to make parfaits. She’ll never forgive him if he gets hook on it! Till Kyouko wants Yachiyo to make her a parfait did she calm down and gladly makes one.
* Yachiyo becomes sick and is resting in the room so I guess Kyouko has to cover for her. Seriously? Taneshima teaches her how to do simple stuffs like washing plate but she just sucks. Maybe that’s why it’s best she doesn’t work. Satou makes porridge for Yachiyo and wants Kyouko to take it to her. Kyouko wants to share her porridge not because she’s a glutton but rather she wants to catch her cold and let her get better quick. After working today (sort of), she feels without her around she is useless.
* Now Yachiyo is better, Kyouko wants to eat but Satou isn’t happy that if this keeps up, he’ll have no more ingredients to make for the customers. Yachiyo thinks of helping him out in the kitchen because she is worried Kyouko will die if her stomach gets empty. I’m sure she won’t die of starvation at the rate she’s eating. I guess Yachiyo’s cute pleading made Satou agree. Takanashi observes something bad. Satou likes Yachiyo but it’s just a one-sided love. Each time he gets frustrated on that, he takes out on Taneshima. See the pattern?
* Inami can’t believe Otoo is a man and wants to hit him! Nice Takanashi probably is thinking he isn’t as durable as him so he gets all the whacking Inami lets out. Takanashi points out Otoo is air so it’s no use hitting him. And when Inami realizes she is this close to Takanashi, he gets punched.

Episode 4
* A woman collapsed in front of Wagnaria. To Takanashi’s horror, it is her drunk sister Kozue. Probably this is why he never recommended his family to come to the place he is working at. Complaining she got dumped by her latest boyfriend, Kozue proceeds to pin her brother down for being cold to her. Takanashi wouldn’t have wished for more trouble because Inami happened to come in and sees a photo of a cute girl. Actually that is Takanashi! He is the only boy among 4 sisters so it is natural that all the clothes he got were hand-me-downs! Takanashi wants her to keep this a secret but since he is touching her shoulders, you can guess what follows next.
* Takanashi notices he hasn’t talk much to Souma yet and as he observes, the frightening amount of information he knows about others can serve as blackmail! Does he know about his cross-dressing too? You bet! Even all his sisters! Souma thinks it’s a way to make friends but I guess there is a fine line of knowing something and privacy. Though Souma won’t tell anyone, just to be safe Takanashi goes to wash dishes on his behalf.
* Souma and Takanashi observe how Satou puts up with Yachiyo’s admiration of Kyouko. Souma thought of making things interesting by hinting to Yachiyo that someone likes her. However Yachiyo got the wrong idea and thinks Satou likes Kyouko! She’s unsheathing her sword! Souma calls her an idiot and goes to rest. I guess Souma tries to clean up the mess by saying how a good guy Satou is. Later Yachiyo thinks Satou is still mad and was told she should try to notice him more. Satou pulls his assistant in and clobbers him with a pan.
* Takanashi notices Taneshima and Inami doing their homework. Inami’s poor results in maths and literature are the result of her teacher being men despite being in an all-girls’ school. Takanashi decides to coach Inami on literature but this is because so she would keep her mouth shut on his cross-dressing.
* We are introduced to Takanashi’s other sisters at home. Besides Kozue the third sister, there is Izumi the second child who is a writer always experiencing writer’s block (her room is nothing but messy paper) and the eldest sister Kazue who is a lawyer and ever ready to throw the law book at you. Yes, she throws the book at your face! Be careful what you say because everything sounds like slander to her. I guess of all the sisters, the kindest one has to be the youngest, Nazuna. You can say she is Takanashi’s ally around the house.
* Takanashi learns Souma isn’t good with Inami too. The only men who can deal with her are Satou and Takanashi. Ever since Takanashi worked here, he has taken Souma’s place of getting beaten up. Plus, Souma does not have enough information on her to ‘threaten’ her since they rarely talk. However he got a new info on how ever since Takanashi complimented on her hairpin, she’s been wearing a new one every day. Not that I notice. Inami got so embarrassed that Souma gets beaten up. Feeling nostalgic, eh?
* It’s Valentine’s Day and Kyouko wants chocolate from Takanashi as food. She’s following American customs by the way… Yachiyo gives chocolates to Satou and Souma. Souma gives his to Satou in hopes he can return the favour one day. Does he want to get hit with the frying pan again? Taneshima and Inami bought chocolates for Takanashi but Inami is flushed with embarrassment, the heat may melt the chocolates. But instead of giving the chocolate, Inami gives her punch. I’m sure he received that well. And that punch was not because she hate men but out of delicacy?

Episode 5
* Inami can’t seem to get over her phobia still. Guess who bears the brunt? Each time male customers come in, her colleagues had to cover for her. Takanashi thought the height, age and craziness of the female staffs are directly proportional to each other. From small to big, nice to extreme: Taneshima -> Inami -> Yachiyo -> Kyouko. Takanashi notices a cute little toy that comes with the kid’s meal. He wants it! Get back to work!
* Takanashi observes Satou teasing Taneshima again and he finds her being bullied cute. Yachiyo warns Satou not to pick on the weak but his scary expression even has Yachiyo thinking twice and apologizing. Yachiyo seeks Souma’s advice on Satou’s grumpiness. Souma wanted to tell it straight to her but looks like Satou has shut his mouth. He tries to hint the long way round and his gut tells him something dreadful is going to happen. Yachiyo meets Satou again and apologizes about her comments that he likes Kyouko. Now she thinks he likes Taneshima! Satou just tells her to stop talking. Confused Yachiyo sinks into depression while Taneshima gets bullied even more.
* Takanashi and Inami are still at war. The former thinks she has not improved but Inami disagrees otherwise. She is bent on getting used to men even if it means Takanashi dies! Kyouko couldn’t care less about that guy’s life. Just don’t break the wall.
* Nazuna is sick so Takanashi takes the day off to nurse her. Taneshima is worried Inami will be lonely. Well, you can tell it as she is pulling air punches. I guess with his absence, guess who’ll take her hits? Maybe she really just wants to hit something. Oh Souma, it’s such bad timing to meet her. Satou has never got hit before because he always plans his routes. Souma discovers an ingenious way to talk to Inami without meeting: Via handphone. But even through the handphone Souma can feel how scary she is because she’s beating up the wall. Souma thought this method will allow him to get closer to her but as Satou points out it’s the opposite instead. At least in presence.
* Inami thought she can handle greeting male customers but she didn’t think the entire football team would waltz in. Since Yachiyo is also on leave, Inami pleads to the guys to help her out since Taneshima is having her hands full. To make up for it, Inami will be working in the kitchen. They manage to get by the busy day as Takanashi pays them a visit since Nazuna is feeling much better. He brought refreshments for everyone but Kyouko hijacks them.

Episode 6
* Takanashi didn’t like his sisters watching a retro video of him dressed as a cute little girl playing around the house. Despite the video filmed by their late father, there is no video of him and Takanashi wished how he could’ve raised him as a son instead of a daughter.
* Satou returns the favour of Valentine’s Day to Yachiyo while Takanashi does the same for Taneshima and Inami. You can understand why is he standing so far from Inami, right? How can he reach her? A mail ordered mechanical hand! Let’s call it Magic Hand. The present Inami got from him are lots of hairpins.
* Takanashi dreads this moment. Drunk Kozue is clinging onto him as company, Izumi wants him to help her out with her novel and Kazue is just reprimanding Izumi for being weak. She tries advising her about taking care of her own responsibilities but it had the adverse effect instead. She locks herself in her room. When she opens the door, it floods the hall with paper. Big sister gives her words of encouragement this time and to take a break to find new source of material but when Izumi mentions of using Kazue’s divorce as her source, it’s back to square one.
* Takanashi is worried about the family’s budget this month. Thanks to Kozue’s spending on booze. Nazuna gives some money she asked from Kazue and advises Takanashi on the cheaper beer he can buy for Kozue. Kozue throws a fuss when she claims Takanashi is nicer to Izumi than her so she goes trash his room but finds it plain. She sees the cute bunny she gave him a long time ago. He has been keeping it all the while and notes he still loves her very much.
* Takanashi returns from an errand only to see Inami crushing a pole! Her mom made her go buy some ingredients for dinner and she is afraid she’ll hit everyone in the supermarket. Takanashi buys the stuffs for her and finds out the unusual way she commutes to school. Yeah, the path no one takes. Using Magic Hand to tag her home, they meet Kazue. Inami’s choice of words has Kazue misinterpret of them having a weird relationship. Guess what comes to mind with the word ‘attack’. She is ready to beat her brother up when she learns about Inami’s condition. She is relieved and tells Inami to feel free to beat him up instead. Inami notes how he’s got it tough at home. She doesn’t know how true that is.
* Nazuna notes how her brother doesn’t keep many cute things despite his obsession for it. He says he used to take the bunny wherever he goes and it got dirty so he keeps them all in a safe place now.

Episode 7
* Otoo returns once more but this time he brought back a girl! While looking for his wife, he met Aoi Yamada standing alone at the train station and was instantly taken in by her sob story of running away from home despite being totally fishy. Why did she run away if she wanted a family so much? Heck, we don’t even know if that’s even her real name. Kyouko didn’t like her but since she has food souvenirs, I guess she’s okay with it. And yes, Yamada will be living at Wagnaria. Right in here. So as Yamada works, Takanashi finds her a noob in everything. She doesn’t even know how to open a can. Because Yamada is treating the place like her home, Satou isn’t happy she is hijacking the fridge to put her stuffs. Yamada is recruiting ‘family members’ so she makes Otoo the father and Yachiyo the mother and wants both of them to marry! Yachiyo is ready to cut Otoo down even though it’s not his fault! Kyouko doesn’t know what’s going on but says Yachiyo belongs to her. That was enough to calm her down. While Yamada is terrified of Yachiyo being mad, she is starting to like this kind of family. What kind of family does she have in mind?
* Satou reprimands Yamada for stealing stuffs from the restaurant. You can thank Souma’s ratting for that. Yamada is upset and wants to get back at him by finding out what kind of person he is but nobody knows much. She summarizes that he is a bad person and one with no friends. And she pities him!
* Yamada notices Yachiyo talking to Satou. When she confronts Yachiyo, she tells it right in her face that Satou likes her since he is only kind to her. So Yachiyo meets Satou to confirm about it and he points to her since she wants to know so badly. There is no one else behind her… Now Satou is in a bad mood and goes home. This means Souma has to do all the cooking.
* The atmosphere between Yachiyo and Satou is getting so odd that Yachiyo feels like committing seppuku while Taneshima gets a taste of Satou’s extreme teasing. So the duo are made to sit down and talk things out. The rest observe Satou may be trying to confuse her before he gets rejected. Yachiyo apologizes for the misunderstanding she created and the insensitivity. Of all the guys, she likes him the best. Satou almost choked on his smoke. He heads home and this mean more workload for Souma. Yamada returns and feels she has missed all the fun drama so she accidentally breaks all the plates in the box. Was she stealing that?

Episode 8
* Due to a burst water pipe, Wagnaria will be off tomorrow so Taneshima suggests for everyone to go out together to the hotsprings since this is a rare occasion. I’m sure Yamada would love it since she’s always home alone at work. Get it? Inami is worried she’ll hit the guys and though she hits him lesser now, Takanashi gets hit 3 times daily. Takanashi isn’t confident about this and this upsets Inami. Maybe he crossed the line this time. Initially Takanashi couldn’t come since he had some house chores to do but Nazuna is okay to cover for him.
* Takanashi and Souma take a bus (the latter wants to come to see the interesting developments) while the girls are waiting for Kyouko to come pick them up. As feared, she is still asleep when Satou happened to pass by in his car. Yamada jumps onto his windscreen! He is okay to take them there. Only problem is Inami is trying hard not to hit him. Then halfway his car ran out of petrol but in nice timing Kyouko came by. She remembered about the steam buns she wanted to eat and drove as fast as she can to the hotsprings. So they switch cars and meet up with the rest there.
* Inami couldn’t hold it in and wants to punch any guy she sees! The first one went to Takanashi. Felt good? Takanashi cannot risk anymore casualties and with his Magic Hand, takes Inami to a place with lesser crowd while the rest head off elsewhere. At the bridge, Takanashi and Inami talk about the latter’s androphobia. He really wants to help her to cure it and accidentally put his hand on her shoulders. We already see this coming.
* They meet up at a kappa statue believed to make your wish come true if water flows out of its mouth. Everyone has their turn and when Inami wishes for a cure for her phobia, no water is coming out! Does this mean even the gods can’t cure her?! Oh, there’s a leaf stuck inside.
* At the end of the day, the girls leave in Kyouko’s car. For the guys, they are lucky Satou just filled up and came by. Souma almost got left behind when he commented he just missed Yachiyo back there. Inami wonders if she can come out like this again with everyone and have to thank Takanashi for it. But since he treated her like a mad dog, she can’t really thank him honestly.

Episode 9
* Though it is Inami’s day off, she visits Wagnaria to ask Takanashi if he minds to cross-dress. “Go home!”. There is a reason to this. Her dad is coming home and if she finds out that a boy gave her those hairpins (mommy knows about it and might tell him), he won’t allow her to work here anymore. Seems daddy is the real culprit in implanting fear into her that boys are scary because he doesn’t want her to be near men. Thus the first person she punched was her dad. Inami lied to her mom that Takanashi is a girl and despite her pitiful story, hell Takanashi isn’t going to cross-dress. He has his own trauma too, you know. The rest especially Souma and Yamada want to see interesting developments and play mind games with Takanashi to do it. Don’t worry, they have the dress and make-up kit for him to look like a girl. And so Takanashi gives in and cross-dresses. He turns out to be a pretty girl!!! WOAH!!! Kotori-chan!!! Why is Inami upset ‘she’ got bigger boobs than hers?!
* Kotori must be feeling dismayed because now it’s Taneshima’s turn to feel awe about ‘her’ cuteness. Roles reversed. Yachiyo learns about the situation and wonders wouldn’t it be easier to have someone else pretend to be Takanashi instead? Oh, somebody wanted to see interesting developments remember? Takanashi laments he hates cross-dressing and ironically he is doing it now.
* Inami’s father comes in and is looking for a person named Takanashi. Kotori comes out and he is relieved ‘she’ is a girl. Then he pulls out a rifle from his bag! Oh sh*t! Though it is fake but it can still hurt. Then he senses something amiss on Kotori. ‘She’ is too tall for a girl and wonders if ‘she’ is a guy cross-dressing (pointing rifle at the dude!). Inami comes out in nice timing to tell her dad off not to be rude. Inami is trying to hold it in not to scream or punch Kotori or else this will reveal Takanashi. Daddy is relieved Kotori is a girl because he knows his daughter can never get close to a guy. Then he almost demonstrates onto another customer what he’ll do if Kotori really is a guy! Inami reprimands daddy for doing something like that and hates him.
* As Kotori serves him, ‘she’ confirms with daddy about Inami’s androphobia. Not only he admits it, he is bragging how he developed her phobia for 10 years by making her watch videos and read storybooks that involve men as the bad guys. If the character was a female, he changed it to male! Plus, to increase her arm strength, he hid weights in her belongings! Asserting he will never let a guy get near Inami, Kotori starts to boil inside and thinks back of all the times ‘she’ got hit by her. Then ‘she’ snaps. Scolding idiot dad of the sufferings she was made to go through, caring for his child is fine but not something he can just toy with. Kotori wants him to apologize to his daughter and if he is scared of getting punched, do it by other means like through a letter or phone. Hope he learns his lesson. So after guilty dad leaves, the girls watch Inami’s face flushed with embarrassment and realize she has fallen for Takanashi. Later Takanashi apologizes to Inami that he said those stuffs at the spur of the moment but she doesn’t care about her father anymore.

Episode 10
* Souma and Yamada recap that explosive affair Kotori gave to Inami’s dad. They really enjoy this, don’t they? Inami gets an apology letter from her dad and is allowed to continue working here. Taneshima tries to hint to Takanashi that Inami doesn’t see him as just a mere guy anymore. He takes it now she thinks he’s a transvestite! But Takanashi is relieved she still punches him so she must be treating him like a normal guy, right? Don’t tell me his other side has awakened.
* Inami is in a dilemma that she still has the urge to punch guys. It’s confusing enough that she punches him because she likes him or not so Taneshima says nothing has changed. Just keep punching him as usual. Even Takanashi himself gives her permission to do so as long she doesn’t kill him. But this causes her to fluster.
* Yamada wants to play the customer, much to Takanashi’s ire but he gets even more irritated since Souma has pictures of him as Kotori. Taneshima would gladly love to have that. Looks like she totally digs his cross-dressing. Blaming Inami as the source, he wants to quickly cure her phobia and to start off by holding hands. Well, she already connected her fist to his face.
* Yachiyo is down since Kyouko has gone out for a business trip. Yamada disguises as Kyouko but it’s not working. Souma suggests to divert her attention to serve Satou and the days will pass in a blink of an eye. Kyouko talks to Satou that they should call each other by their first names because she thought calling her surname sounded manly. He almost choked on his smoking. So when Kyouko returns, I guess this kills the mood for Satou. Yachiyo talks to Kyouko about how good a person Satou is like as though he is like a good friend. All Kyouko can feel is a killing intent aura from him.
* Takanashi walks Inami home and thanks to the Magic Hand, at least they can ‘hold hands’ without fear of getting punched. Nazuna spots them and thinks she is her brother’s girlfriend. She’s finding it interesting…
* Kyouko introduces a new temporary part timer: Nazuna. How did this happen? Kyouko got bribed with snacks… Nazuna gets a chance to talk to Inami but the latter is acting all guilty thinking she knows her habit of hitting Takanashi. Then she sees him getting punched and wonders why he isn’t mad after getting hit. Having another round of talk with Inami, she asks if her brother likes getting hit but what panicky Inami heard was if she likes him. Inami answers yes so Nazuna thinks big brother is a masochist.
* Inami once again is in a dilemma. She thinks once her phobia is cured, Takanashi will have no reason to be with her. So does she want it cured or not? Anyway just hit him first, think later. Takanashi knows this problem is going to take time to solve and take things slowly. Inami feels better when he says she is fine the way she is now. I hope that doesn’t mean he likes her punches.

Episode 11
* Yamada must be fitting comfortably living in the attic of Wagnaria. She observes how much Taneshima wants Takanashi to come (so he could praise her) but also the potential love triangle brewing since Inami is now in the picture. Taneshima gives a female wig to Takanashi because she totally admires the cross-dressing part of him. She even wants him to cross-dress one more time so she can try harder to be her ideal self. No way! Putting up that cute face isn’t going to work either.
* Souma comes in with photos of Kyouko during her younger days as manager at Wagnaria. Satou and Yachiyo are also in it and they reminisce the old times. Because Satou looked like a delinquent then, Yachiyo was always afraid of him till she was told by Kyouko to make friends with him. Her shyness in approaching him has Satou accidentally fall for her. Noting that many staffs come and go, she hopes to stay like this forever but this doesn’t sit well with Satou because that means he and her will always be friends only, right? He thinks of quitting sooner or later and this made Yachiyo feel somewhat lonely.
* Kozue patrons Wagnaria again. Takanashi can’t make her leave since she threatens to reveal stories of him when he’s young. I guess the reason why she is drinking here (they serve beer at this family restaurant too?) is because she got dumped again. But that’s the least of his problems since Kozue becomes a returning customer.
* Yamada reads ghost stories to Inami and Taneshima. Satou tells a frightening one to the shorty: She’ll shrink each time she sleeps! Because of that, the girls got so scared to walk home. Satou offers to drive Taneshima back while Takanashi walks Inami home (with the trusty Magic Hand of course). On the way back, Inami realizes her mom won’t be home and gets scared of the idea she’ll be home alone. I don’t know if he’s joking when he suggests she come to stay at his place. Inami thought he is joking once more when he thought he heard footsteps. Oh shoot! She broke the Magic Hand. So scared that she is clinging to him without punching him! Then the culprit turns out to be Yamada. She is scared to sleep all by herself in the attic and tailed them. They thought it’d be okay since there are 2 girls now but easily got spooked when Takanashi fakes a boo. So he really brings them back to his place but there is a reason why he did so. Because the girls will provide company to his annoying sisters and he will use this chance to finish the house chores in peace.
* Kozue thinks she has never seen Takanashi so friendly with girls around his age. Yamada reflects on Souma’s advice to think before speaking. I guess she give too much thought on that and blurts out Inami likes Takanashi. Kozue will gladly help out in their romance and dumps Inami into his room. Inami wonders if he will still talk to her if her phobia is cured. Well, if she stops punching him, they’ll definitely be on better terms. Since she isn’t afraid of ghost anymore and can’t sleep, he suggests of doing this. Kozue and Yamada eavesdrop and excited over the prospects of what is going to happen. To their dismay, they’re just playing cards.

Episode 12
* Due to the mail order promotion, Takanashi now has got 2 Magic Hands! But he still doesn’t want his past revealed to Taneshima. She on the other still admires everything Kotori has so Satou hopes she is not into girls. She thought how everyone will be happy if Takanashi cross-dresses again. Except him. Taneshima notices Takanashi dropped his student pass and inside is his commuter pass. Since he lives nearby she decides to go return it. Outside his doorstep she sees all the sisters and for that guy, his nightmare is coming true. Taneshima wants to revere his sisters so she can grow to be like them. I don’t think that’ll work.
* Taneshima sinks into depression because Takanashi tried to keep this a secret from her. It’s like he doesn’t trust her. Inami tries to cheer her up to forgive him but it somewhat backfires because now she thinks Takanashi never realizes such a nice girl beside him.
* Taneshima confronts Takanashi about the subtle feelings of a girl. No, it’s not about children but a maiden’s heart. As a token of apology, he’ll do anything she says. Oops. He may regret saying that. Praying hard she will not ask him to cross-dress to his surprise, she wants him to go out on a date with Inami. She wants him to learn more about a maiden’s heart and also a reward for taking care of Inami all this time. Besides, it’s good chance to cure her phobia. Souma has an even better idea. Cross-dress and date her. He reasons though Inami would like to date the first guy she loves, so if Takanashi cross-dresses, that won’t count. He’s enjoying this, isn’t he? Inami doesn’t know what to do and does what she does best: Punch him.
* Taneshima and Yamada try to convince Inami to go out on a date since it’s not like she wants to keep hitting Takanashi for the rest of her life. Or maybe, does she?! Calling for some drastic measures not to punch him, the girls tie her arms behind and bring her to Takanashi. If she can’t punch him, she’ll kick him! So we can conclude if you tie up one place, she’ll attack you with another. So the date’s off? Inami is worried if they continue with it, she’ll beat the crap out of him. Despite knowing that, Takanashi agreed to go out with her. That’s why she need not worry.
* Back home, Takanashi mentions of wanting to see Inami’s progress but Nazuna takes it the wrong way and thinks he really likes to get hit. He is cool when tomorrow comes but as for Inami, she is panicking on what to wear. She even reads a romance novel to have an idea. Mommy calms her to sleep but in the end, she can’t help worry about everything. So if you’re wondering why Takanashi is so calm? Perhaps he has already prepared himself to die? No negative thoughts please.

Episode 13
* So the duo meet up on their date but… Did Takanashi give in to cross-dress as Kotori?! And why are the rest of Wagnaria here? Actually this was what happened. Souma and Yamada accidentally splashed water on Takanashi and conveniently only had female clothes for him to wear. They wanted to follow them but that’s why Satou is around. To prevent them for doing so. Yamada and Taneshima are happily convinced with Satou treating them but Souma has got to pay for his share. And then when they go to the department store, Souma is forced to treat the girls to buy girls. 50,000 Yen!!! Better work your ass off this month.
* Inami still has the urge to hit Kotori but is trying hard to keep it in. Inami is taken to the park whereby the crowd is lesser so that she won’t randomly hit guys. Reflecting on the times they’ve been through (inclusive of getting hit), Inami is able to get closer to guys now despite still hitting Takanashi thrice a day. She thought she would at least be able to hold his hand but why is she clenching her fist?! Kotori then runs off to play with several cute puppies. Later Kotori extends her hand for her to try again when a frisbee comes hitting ‘her’ head. Seeing it came from a little girl, ‘she’ forgives her and they end up playing frisbee together.
* Finally we get to know the other waitress in Wagnaria who has been making little cameo appearances here and there. She is Maya Matsumoto and is obsessed with being normal. Oh no. Another weirdo. She feels she is not corrupted by the rest and even if she does something wrong, she hopes it would be something normal and not abnormal. So when the rest come back, she has somewhat an argument with Yamada. Normal life versus dramatic life.
* Kotori gives Inami another chance to touch ‘her’ hand. It might be going well since ‘she’ didn’t get hit today. Yet. She is at her limit and wants to punch when it starts raining. Taking shelter at an open hut, the rain stops so Inami goes to buy drinks. Takanashi reflects despite being a violent girl, she is nice and considerate. Then it hit him that he as a lover of small and cute things think that a girl like her he despises is nice. He tries to reason that he is only assessing her progress today and that she is just a dog. Oh dear. Inami heard that. Perhaps he is trying too hard because after saying the certain good points of certain dogs, he akin Inami to a cute savage hound. So in the end, she’s still a savage hound, eh? See her crush the cans with just her fist? You’re in deep sh*t. But Inami calms down when he commends the cute clothes she is wearing.
* Taneshima asks how the date went and apparently Inami notes she became a dog. To her dismay she hears it from Takanashi’s mouth that they played frisbee (with the little girl lah). Yamada feels great with the new set of clothes she got and feels superior. I guess she crossed the line by asking Satou to cook for her and gets a noogie. New bully victim?

Working!! S2

Over a year later, the sequel Working!! S2 came out and I suppose you can expect more or less the same thing from the usual crew of Wagnaria. Will there be any developments in the romance section? Will Inami get over her phobia and become a couple with Takanashi? Will Yachiyo and Satou also become a couple? Will Yamada get the ideal family she’s always wanted? Will Otoo find his beloved wife? Will Kyouko stop eating and start working? Will there be more screen time for Takanashi’s sister? Will Taneshima start growing? Well, you’ll have to tune in to find out. But I’ve just got this feeling that the final question won’t come true… :)

Episode 1
* By the time Inami prepares herself for work, seems Takanashi has already taken care most of her bits. Taneshima still worries about her height when Takanashi pets her. Thinking that this is his way of calling her short, she says it’s rude to do so especially to a senior. She leaves angrily and while Takanashi ponders about it, he crosses Inami’s path and gets punched. What a way to start the season. Into the fourth minute and he already got a fist in his face. Taneshima complains to Yachiyo but the latter feels that girls should like being called so. Inami also goes talk to Takanashi so that he could stop bothering Taneshima by calling her small. He should go apologize to her. Even if she’s considerate, he notes back that she should stop punching him. By the way, her androphobia has made no progress. Trying to restrain it seems like she’s preparing for another punch! Though she may have been hitting him less since he first started working, but it seems Takanashi himself has gotten worse. Especially when it comes to cute little things. At least this is what Kyouko observes.
* Yamada is acting guilty and even saying she didn’t do it despite nobody asked her what. Takanashi tricks her into revealing that she broke yet another plate. He makes her write her name on the list high up on the wall. Meanwhile Taneshima takes out her complaint to Satou and Souma and surprisingly the latter advises her with mature and nice advice. Is he in a good mood? Actually, if Taneshima gets bullied and quit, Takanashi may follow suit. So who will bear the brunt of Inami’s punches. That’s right. Always think about the future. Yeah, Souma nearly saw death again when he crossed paths with Inami.
* Yachiyo is afraid there is a bug in the kitchen. She seeks Satou’s ‘protection’. But Kyouko was the one that crushes the little bug climbing up the wall. After she has Yachiyo switch her break time with Inami, Takanashi is horrified to see Kyouko the killer! She killed the bug!!! OMG! He finds little insects cute too?! He is in such trauma that he makes a comparison that killing that bug is like killing Taneshima. So… Taneshima = bug? Insulting, eh? While Takanashi is sobbing, Inami tries to put down her foot that enough is enough since he’s like insulting Taneshima. He tells her to shut up because she’s worse than the bug. All that hard work of restraining herself, she just let loose on him. I guess he deserves it. Yeah, the place got trashed too. To cushion things, Kyouko gives him a small plushie that he wanted to cool things down. And even if Takanashi says Taneshima is cuter than bugs, he’s still comparing her to bugs, right?
* Yamada once again had to write her name on the sheet for breaking stuff. She even thought of making Taneshima do her bit but Takanashi puts his foot down. Why was the sheet so high in the first place? Seems Taneshima wanted it that way so when she stretches to write, she hoped it would make her taller. Well… Yamada thinks of putting the sheet even higher so that Taneshima would look cuter and to follow her lead. All she got was a big ‘X’ drawn on her forehead.
* Inami is still gloomy because she hasn’t gotten over that bug comment yet. While Taneshima comforts her, she accidentally breaks a glass. So a rare opportunity to write her name down. She’s stretching but not reaching… Satou thought he could help out and bringing it closer to her but we know that guy doesn’t have such good intentions. Each time Taneshima tries to grab the sheet, he puts it away from her reach. So the rest tell her not to get so worked up over her height. But Souma imparts his advice on how to grow tall. Besides drinking milk, eat dried lizards! No way! But Taneshima believes him!!! Oh dear… So when Takanashi discusses with the guys about tricking her again, they ask him back what happens if she really grows. NOT HAPPENNING! Haha! They don’t even believe in her! So once everybody leaves, Taneshima has her spirits so high up about eating dried lizards that Satou eventually had to tell her it’s a lie. Bummer. Takanashi wondered where Inami went since she’s not around to walk home together with his Magic Hand. Seems she’s still in the changing room depressed that she’s worse than a bug…

Episode 2
* Inami notices Takanashi still pampering cute little Taneshima. Yamada also wants that and when she goes up to him for it, he snickers at her. Hey, isn’t she small size too? Yamada bugs Souma to be her ideal brother but he’s not giving an inch to her. She got so pissed off on how secretive he is that she forms an alliance with Taneshima to seek out his secrets. However their stalking is so obvious for even Souma to see. So much so he even fakes calling some mobster just to scare the girls (they’re hiding in the men’s locker). The girls are so ‘dumb’ that they believe he’s such a pitiful person! It’s like making a joke out of his name: Kawaii-Souma.
* Perhaps Inami has gotten over that bug issue. Now what’s bugging her is that she’s thinking if she gets over her phobia, there won’t be any more reason for Takanashi to be with her. So should she just stay this way? Taneshima talks to Satou and Yachiyo how dense Takanashi is to Inami’s feelings but I guess Yachiyo is the one to talk as Satou messes up her hair. He tells Taneshima that getting third parties involve won’t do any good. She still wants to support them and tries to hint about Inami. However each time, Takanashi says better things for Taneshima in comparison to Inami. Finally she had to tell him to tell Inami she’s cute and stuff. He’s not happy despite her making such request. As practice, she has him practice on a little doll named Inami. Well, he’s doing it fine because it’s a cute little doll. I hope the real Inami doesn’t interpret this… Oops, too late. Inami feels sorry that Taneshima had to help her out this way and notes how cute she is. Oh, looks like she too got infected by Takanashi’s disease.
* Yamada yearns for Otoo to come back because he’s such a nice person and easily fooled. Well, he did return but after hearing that, I’m not sure if he wants to say hi to her. But he can’t stay hidden forever. And once he comes back, Yamada clings to him like a leech! And it’s deja vu again since Yachiyo draws her sword thinking he’ll steal her Kyouko away. But she’s in a dilemma because his sweets keep her happy. Satou once again has to reason with her that if Otoo is gone, Kyouko will have to do his share of work and no time to ask Yachiyo to make parfaits for her. Instantly she’s back to normal. Don’t want any bloodshed, do we?
* And because Yachiyo is fawning over Kyouko, once more Satou takes it out on Taneshima by messing up her hair. If she’s hoping for comfort from Takanashi, then be disappointed. He thinks Satou is a bad hairstylist! Taneshima wants to take revenge on Satou but doesn’t even know how. So much so Takanashi had to suggest a few pranks and this made Taneshima think he’s evil! So Taneshima gives Satou the silent treatment. But Satou’s cool and even counterattacks her with his typical insults and harassment. But even if he advises her to grow up and be mature in this sense, he’s still not going to stop picking on her. Will their relationship get worse? Well, Taneshima suddenly forgets all that vendetta because Satou gave her a bag of chips. So easily bought over…
* Yamada continues to cling onto Otoo like a baby koala. How can he move around and do things? Worse, Souma snaps a shot of them and it’s safe to say this could be future blackmail material. Yamada insists Otoo adopts her and that she’ll never get married and leech off his pension! Taneshima notes how happy Yamada is with Otoo so she remarks Inami will make an ideal mom one day too. Seems pretty fine until she had to bump into Takanashi. Inami punch!
* Otoo will be leaving in a few days and this brings total sadness for Yamada. To make it up to her, he’ll bring back presents. What does she want? An adoption form! Yeah, he says he will. If he can remember. And since his memory isn’t so good these days… Oh, he’s gone. I don’t think he’ll come back for a while. So the only thing that can console her now are boobs! Yeah, she’s smothering her face in them. Kyouko, Yachiyo, Taneshima and… Oh… She got turned off when it’s Inami’s turn.

Episode 3
* Nazuna is working for free at Wagnaria as part of her career experience day. Yeah, she even did all of Yamada’s chores despite the latter getting paid. Nazuna witnesses her brother getting punched again. She thinks Inami likes punching people and Takanashi loves getting punched and wishes him good luck with Inami. Hope it’s not the punch. Takanashi sees drunk Kozue wanting Inami to comfort her because she got dumped yet again. But Takanashi says it’s okay not to treat her as a customer since he doesn’t think of her as his sister.
* Izumi finds out from Nazuna that Takanashi is making some female friends at Wagnaria. She shows her a picture but Izumi mistakes Taneshima to be that girl instead of Inami (partially hidden). She further misinterprets Takanashi is dating this little thing and sinks into depression. So much so she has writer’s block. So worried that if Takanashi spends more time on his girlfriend, she’ll be ignored, abandoned and forgotten! Well, if you come out of your room more often.
* Takanashi is about to clean Izumi’s room but finds a note that she went on a trip. Kazue thinks she’s just a drama queen and will come back. However she can’t help worry herself and panics to call 911. Or is it 119? Inami spots Izumi playing with kittens outside the convenience store. But the kitties are all over her and she feels heavy. WTF… After helping her out, Inami learns she is a novelist and is having a slump. Izumi thought a high school girl like her provide some interesting love stories. Inami hears her problem that she is worried since her brother got a girlfriend, she fears she will be tossed aside. Inami assures her even so, he will still take care of her. Even his girlfriend? Uhm… Well, yeah. After Inami calls a taxi for her to go home, Takanashi who is out searching for Izumi runs into Inami and he knows they’ve met since Inami is eager to tell about her meeting with a certain novelist.
* Because Izumi is suffering from muscle aches the next morning (that shows how unfit she is, staying cooked in her room all day), Takanashi has to take emergency leave from work. This means Kyouko is entrusting Inami to handle things since Yachiyo is on leave and Taneshima hasn’t arrived yet. Too bad she ignored eager beaver Yamada. Don’t trust her, eh? But they get an unexpected volunteer: Nazuna. Yamada is so jealous of Nazuna stealing her limelight to show off, that she plans to drive her out! First, she orders her to do her chores, in which Nazuna gladly does them all without complaining. Till Satou puts his foot down. Then Nazuna learns from Taneshima that Yamada may be upset because she’s such a good worker. So she fakes breaking a plate (the plate was already slightly chipped and thrown away) so that she could have Yamada clean it up and thus praise her for being a reliable senior. Yamada got so taken in by that and continues to show her how to do stuff around. At least this got Yamada to do her job, right?
* Nazuna returns home and Izumi asks for more details about Takanashi’s girlfriend. While she describes Inami, it is Taneshima that Izumi is imagining. She thought their age difference would cause a problem (Taneshima looks like an underage kid, right?) but Nazuna thinking a year difference between Inami and her brother isn’t any big deal. Izumi got a shock upon hearing that. Then Izumi hears from Kozue. Though they are not dating yet, she plans to make them a couple. Izumi thought she’s too small (referring to Taneshima’s stature) but Kozue feels that there is room for growth for Inami’s flat chest. Izumi tries to advice that he can’t use his love for small and cute things as an excuse for everything but he scolds her not to insult little things! Probably that shock caused her to run out of energy so Takanashi drags her to the dinner table for food. Noting his kindness, Izumi wants him to take care of her for the rest of her life (selfish!) and needs to do something before he becomes a lolicon sex offender. After she gets her strength back.
* We see Takanashi and his sisters doing things, going out and coming back from home and all this time Izumi has just been sitting there at the same spot from morning to night without budging! Like a rock! She could be part of the furniture. Finally when she says (her first speech for the day) that she wants to train and become stronger, the rest express shock that this is all what she did the entire today.

Episode 4
* Satou reprimands Kyouko for eating whipped cream ingredients for the customers. Sorry is not going to cut it. Yachiyo takes Kyouko out to buy replacements and in view of this, Satou takes out his frustration on poor Taneshima again. Yeah, that’s a ‘beautiful’ coconut tree he made. Satou further messes with her head that inside Kyouko’s stomach, there are more mini Kyoukos because no matter how much she eats, the little ones inside devour it all!
* As Yachiyo and Kyouko walk along, they meet a woman coming out from a manhole! Haruna wants to know if they know her home. The house near the park, that is. WTF?! Asking strangers about where she lives? Yachiyo thinks this is Otoo’s missing wife but is too panicky that words couldn’t come out of her mouth. Kyouko smothers her in her boobs to calm her down. Haruna also takes out a milk carton underneath her shirt for Yachiyo. Seems she went out to buy milk but hasn’t been able to get home since. Yachiyo is in a dilemma whether to bring Haruna back because this might leave Kyouko sad for Otoo won’t travel anymore to buy souvenirs for her. Seeing the good person Haruna is, she decides to bring Haruna back but she already went missing. Down the manhole again, I guess.
* When Yachiyo returns, she’s acting so strange that Yamada thought Otoo died because Yachiyo murdered him! Yeah, she’s praying at his funeral picture! Satou confronts Yachiyo so the latter asks if he likes her. His answer? “Sort of”. Yachiyo took it the wrong way and thinks this is just how little she is worth and blames herself as a terrible person. Inami has been observing them suddenly realized a love triangle happening between Satou, Yachiyo and Kyouko. Took her this long, eh?
* Inami is so shocked that Taneshima thought Satou made her cry and wants him to apologize to her via paper telephone she made. Huh? Anyway Satou borrows Souma’s handphone to tell Inami he doesn’t need her sympathy. She should drop this or else he’ll tell Takanashi that she likes him.
* Inami continues to intensively stare at Satou so much it irritates Takanashi. I mean, it’s a good thing that he thinks she may be cured of her phobia but after all the punching she did towards him and now she likes another guy? Oh, remember Inami is a ‘dog’ to Takanashi… Look at this from another point of view. You train your dog so hard not to bite people and then it starts being nice to others. Annoying, isn’t it? Talking it out with Souma, he feels Takanashi should talk to her about it before she gets turned down and starts liking guys even less.
* That night after work, Takanashi confronts Inami if she loves somebody. Of course she thought he found out her feelings for her when actually he’s referring to Satou. Takanashi then finds out her odd behaviour stems from her worry over Satou’s unrequited love for Yachiyo. Though Inami notes that there is someone else she likes.
* Otoo returns and Yachiyo is so depressed that she didn’t cut him down at first sight. But that’s the least of his problems because happy Yamada is glad he is alive and bugs him for the adoption papers she requested. Oh. He conveniently forgot.
* Satou confronts Yachiyo because he feels she has something to tell Otoo. She fears by doing so, everyone won’t like her anymore. Satou assures he won’t hate her no matter what. That goes for everybody else. Yachiyo then tells about Haruna and the weird circumstances how she ‘lost’ her. Yeah, Satou was pretty sure he thought she killed somebody with her sword. By the way, she only uses the dull side of the sword if ever that happens. Hey wait. She still would use her sword, right?
* Yachiyo finally tells Otoo about Haruna. He thinks searching around that area would be futile as she would have already moved on. But he needs to get out soon because this adoption business goes any further. Otoo leaves fast enough before Yamada could give him her handmade Yamada doll so that he’ll remember to get the adoption papers next time. Phew. Looks like she’s got to wait a little longer. Yachiyo returns to her normal self while Satou tries to beat up Souma with a frying pan for making a wise crack about his chances.

Episode 5
* Kyouko as usual bums around Wagnaria not lifting a finger and even has the guts to drop crumbs of the chips on the floor. She’s even in the way of Takanashi’s cleaning and he wants her to move. But she wants him to pay her to move. Oh, the chips ran out and she wants him to trash the bag for her. Is it no wonder he gets pissed off and wants to clobber her?
* Luckily Taneshima stops him and talks to him about respect for older people. I don’t think he’s listening… Takanashi doesn’t get along with older women (remember, Taneshima is an exception) because he has to put up with the shenanigans of his elder sisters at home. Souma suggests they may get along if he got to know her. Like her vital statistics. This almost has Yachiyo slitting his throat thinking he was going to use that to sexually harass her Kyouko. So by asking others about Kyouko’s good points, it seems they are just normal points. Healthy? Strong? Is that even a point? Satou reprimands Kyouko for eating supplies for the customers but as usual Yachiyo covers for her. Kyouko thinks Satou hates her. Now only she noticed?
* Yamada observes how Kyouko gets away with no work and gets to eat all she wants. She wants to be spoilt too! So she goes up to Satou to tell him to spoil her but he’s not interested. Then she mocks his name despite sounding close to sugar, he isn’t sweet. Noogie time! Next she bugs Yachiyo but she’s got her hands full making Kyouko’s parfait. Then it’s Taneshima’s turn but no matter how she looks at it, she can’t help see Taneshima as a younger person.
* Taneshima teaches Yamada how to make a parfait that will earn her praises but it seems she is blowing away all the ingredients to make sloppy parfaits. However Kyouko eats them since they’re edible and is going to eat all her failures. So carry on! Yamada is on cloud nine after hearing that praise… Satou then realizes the supplies are gone and confronts the culprit for another noogie.
* The guys discuss the need to fix Kyouko’s attitude. Doesn’t work, eats everything and she’s got Yachiyo to cover for her. Satou wants Souma to do something about it and he’s okay with it since he loves seeing women in distress. A sadist, isn’t he? Souma goes up to Kyouko and tells her she needs to cut down her food intake this month since he wrongly ordered the supplies. Or else they’ll all be fired and Wagnaria closed down. Well, even though it was a lie, it really hit Kyouko. Now she’s in shock.
* As Takanashi takes out the trash, he sees a little girl outside. Then he brings her back in and shows everyone how much he loves small and cute creatures like her! F*CK!!! Did he kidnap her?! Actually this little girl’s lost and since it’s raining and her parents are nowhere in sight, he brought her in. Well, his heavy breathing isn’t quite convincing. Heck, he has even got it all planned out on how he’ll spend time with her!
* Kyouko continues to be down in the dumps and since she isn’t doing anything, she is made to watch over the lost girl. Well, that growling thunder wasn’t from the rain. It’s from Kyouko’s stomach! OMG! Kyouko pokes her cheeks and Taneshima thought she was going to eat her! Anyway Taneshima brought in a cake for her on the house.
* Yamada complains to Inami that everyone is spoiling the lost girl. She replies the kid can’t do anything by herself so Yamada says she is somewhat similar too. That’s not something to be proud off. Yamada thinks of bugging Takanashi till he spoils her. Of course it didn’t work out as he chops her head.
* Though the rest tried asking the customers about the child, none claimed she is theirs. Perhaps they should call the police but Takanashi has a better idea. He’ll keep her and raise her!!! WTF?! I wonder if he’ll abandon her if she grows big… And they don’t want Souma to get near her as well because they well know he might corrupt her.
* Surprisingly, Kyouko didn’t steal the girl’s cake and just lie on the table like a dead corpse. So much so the nice girl offers her the cake. But guess what? Surprise, Kyouko didn’t take it but feeds her instead. Then she plays with her (albeit Kyouko is like so ‘dead’) as the rest observe how well they get along. Souma and Satou feel somewhat bad for her while Yachiyo notes Kyouko needs food from this restaurant since she can’t afford enough herself.
* I guess Souma knew this all along so he settles things by borrowing the girl’s bag because kids usually carry a number of the person to contact in case they’re lost. Takanashi not happy he’ll have to part… So the girl is reunited with her mother who thanks them for taking care of her. It’s a tearful goodbye for Takanashi. Believe me, it’s best for her if he didn’t raise her.
* Satou cooks a dish for Kyouko. So she has his permission to eat now? Well, he says the ingredients are near its expiration date and if he uses it to feed her, it’s better than wasting it and she can eat as much without affecting their supplies. Besides, he finds her lying around like a corpse to be painful. Kyouko says that though he may hate her, she loves anyone who can feed her. That’s why she likes Satou. After Yachiyo, that is. The guys thought this episode is over when Kyouko comes up to Satou asking for second helpings. Back to square one.

Episode 6
* Satou and Taneshima got a cold. Actually, clumsy Yamada spilled a bucket on water while Satou’s messing with Taneshima’s hair. And even when they’re sick Satou can still bully her! Yamada thought of giving them medicine to feel better but she trips and spills the glass of water over them. Just making things worse… Yamada is so guilty that she wants to catch Satou’s cold but he mentions she’s an idiot and idiots don’t catch a cold. Yes, Yamada. You’re that useless.
* Souma thinks Yachiyo should nurse Satou back to health so he is done resting and goes back to work. Yachiyo couldn’t resist writing on his face mask since it reminded her of delinquent Kyouko. This gives Kyouko an idea as she calls her underling. Good news: Youhei Mashiba got here as soon as he got the call. Bad news: He wrecked the door. What a way for his noisy flashy appearance.  Youhei’s eagerness is worrying Takanashi. Does he know how to wait? Well, he can’t even handle the ‘complicated’ names on the menu. Takanashi isn’t sure he’s useful but at least he is better than Yamada. Haha! Insult!
* Inami comes to work and accidentally bumps into Youhei. He gets firsthand experience of her super power that sent him flying a few metres away.
* Since Satou and Taneshima have left for home, they need a replacement cook. Don’t worry. Kyouko has also made the call for another underling. She is Mitsuki Mashiba and Youhei’s twin sister. She how she wreck the door just like her brother? See those metal rings on her fingers? Those are for ‘special service’ where she hurt you so you can collect the insurance money (by the way, she’s an insurance agent). But the twins don’t get along well, arguing among each other at first sight. Yeah, they’re cursing each other’s momma! Don’t they have the same mother?
* Takanashi learns the twins knew Kyouko since school days. It was when Kyouko kicked Youhei’s butt. For the part he mistakenly thought Kyouko had a daughter (Yachiyo), I’m sure he doesn’t want to remember the traumatizing part that comes after. As for Mitsuki, she fell in love with Kyouko after seeing how she beat up Youhei.
* Souma has an embarrassing photo of Mitsuki when she was a delinquent. She tries to get it back but when Kyouko orders her to get back to work, she immediately listens to her.
* Mitsuki is just like a klutz like Youhei. So much so Yamada thought Souma was bleeding all over (it’s ketchup) when she thought of joining in the fun. The twins get into another heated argument and would’ve escalated if Kyouko hadn’t order them to get their ass back to work. Their shift ends at the end of the day and Takanashi wonders if they should come back to work here again. Kyouko doesn’t mind since they work for free. Then she gets an idea if she could replace all her staffs with her underlings so as not to pay wages. Not a good idea!
* After getting another punch from Inami, Takanashi goes to complain to Kyouko that she’s not good of showing appreciation to people. Kyouko disagrees and shows Yachiyo as proof. Well, anything about her works on her. To prove that she can also appreciate others, Kyouko relieves Takanashi to take care of Inami and will let Youhei take on the responsibility. Though Takanashi thinks this will be easier on him physically and mentally, he felt something wasn’t right and asks Inami’s opinion. Of course Inami has mixed feelings. She would prefer to punch Takanashi but if it saves him from being hurt, she doesn’t mind either one. However this only upsets Takanashi that he took the trouble to look after her till she gets better and she doesn’t mind about it? He scolds her for seeing all guys as sandbags. Isn’t he the same seeing the same in all older women? Yup, he admits it. They’re all selfish and self centred. He has had enough and will never go near her again.
* Takanashi continues to ignore Inami for a week. Like as though she doesn’t exist. The rest need them to make up. Souma talks to Takanashi as it’s rare for him to be this emotional. He ‘understands’ when Takanashi got irritated about Inami’s comments of either is fine. It’s like he trained his dog hard but somebody else takes it. So Inami is still a dog? To see how serious Takanashi is, he pushes Souma right towards Inami! Oh sh*t!!! Fist inching closer to face…
* And so, Souma really agrees with the rest that they need to make the duo reconcile. And Yamada cannot help as she’ll only complicate things. So if Takanashi continues to ignore her, how to get his attention? Well, Inami starts crying. Bad boy! You made a girl cry! She explains if somebody was in charge of her, he might not get hit. But at the same time she really wanted him to look after her. That’s why she was in a dilemma. Takanashi realizes she was trying to be nice and assures her that he’ll take care of her since he is a responsible dog owner. Inami’s a dog… For that moment, Takanashi thought she was different than other older women because she was worried about him. Then he dismisses that she’s just a dog… And as celebration that they’re back on good terms, Inami doesn’t hold back her punch to his face. Uhn… WTF?! After not punching him for so long (must be a record), feels good to releasing all that pent up, eh? So is he regretting it was a bad idea to take care of her till the end? Well, grit your teeth and bite the bullet!

Episode 7
* Inami’s friends tell her about a molester that is rumoured to be hanging around the path she takes to Wagnaria. Actually, they want her to put her androphobia to good use and punch the molester out! Of course Inami says she’s afraid of molesters and might be too scared to even punch him. Her friends try to play psychology with her saying that the molester probably won’t be interested in her flat chests.
* On her usual way to work, she thought the molester was gunning for her. Instinctively she lets loose a punch but that guy grabs it with his fist! First guy ever to stop her punch! Thinking if she starts punching him, the molester would also think she’s weird, she tries to act all girly and afraid. But what do you know? He suddenly takes a liking for her and finds her cute. Though he says he is not the molester, that heavy breathing upon seeing how cute Inami is might not be convincing. Anyway, he is here looking for his lost sister. There’s a possibility she might have disguised herself, that’s why he grabbed every girl for a thorough examination. Uh, isn’t that what molesters would do? Inami takes a closer look at his face and feels she has seen him somewhere. Not him in particular, his face resembles closely to Yamada. Could it be? Asking for his name, he reveals it to be Kirio Yamada so Inami introduces herself and hopes to meet him again before going off. I’m sure Kirio got the wrong idea of what she said.
* When Inami reaches Wagnaria, she sees Yamada clinging on to Souma. She wants him to be her older brother. She wants to depend on somebody. Thinking it’s not a good idea to tell her directly, she seeks Takanashi’s advice. However he dismisses that guy to be Yamada’s sister since Yamada’s name is an alias.
* In class, Inami’s friends ask about her encounter and to their surprise, they didn’t expect her to get so friendly with a guy, what more a ‘molester’. Then they ask her the kind of guys she works with at her part time job. The way she describes them, let’s just say it made her friends think they’re all weirdoes. Especially Takanashi. “One who doesn’t regard anyone over the age of 12 as a person”. They really start thinking she does have bad luck with guys.
* Inami encounters Kirio in the streets again and he is able to block her punch. Second time! He claims he is from the karate club so he’s able to thwart them. He finds her even cuter and probably he couldn’t care about finding his sister anymore so much so he wants to go out with her!
* Meanwhile Taneshima is worried about the molester and hopes Takanashi would go fetch her but he’s not interested. If that’s the case, Taneshima will do it herself. Unable to let the molester do something horrible to his cute senpai, he decides to go. The rest thinks Takanashi and Inami may have gotten closer to each other.
* Well, Kirio would love to kill 2 birds with 1 stone by going out with her and looking for his sister at the same time so Inami draws a map to her work place. However Takanashi sees how friendly they are and leaves without saying a word.
* Ever since, Takanashi is acting strange. Real strange. He’s spacing out, hitting the wall with the tray, at times moaning like a ghost and the way he pats Taneshima’s head is rough. Takanashi thinks hard. Using that dog example again and stayed up all night reading books on dogs. He suddenly shouts out no matter how hard he thinks about it, Inami isn’t a dog! He shouldn’t have to think about that at all!
* Yachiyo thought of cheering him up but a photo album filled with Kyouko pictures and a Kyouko doll isn’t going to cut it. Kyouko had no choice but to give a little plushie to get him back to work. Hey. He’s not reacting. She piles more and more on him. He’s still not moving. Surprised and irritated, she uses her last resort and is going to put Taneshima over him! Kidnap!
* Takanashi realizes thinking about that scene whereby Inami is being friendly with Kirio just pisses him off. He feels as though Inami has been taken away from him. Then he realized something and starts banging his head on the wall till it bleeds! OMG! Takanashi requests to take an early leave. The rest concludes that he was punched too much and is now broken. Yeah, gone crazy.
* Back home, Nazuna got a call from Taneshima about her brother’s early leave. She talks to him so he asks if he is a masochist. Nazuna had thought he was always one… Next day at Wagnaria, Takanashi asserts to Inami that he is NOT a masochist. He repeats, he is NOT a masochist. The rest are glad he is somewhat back to normal. Hey, he doesn’t have to repeat that again.
* Yachiyo notices Kozue hogging Yamada and Taneshima serving her although Wagnaria doesn’t have many customers now. She tries to give her a warning but it seems Kozue has put some animal cosplay costumes on them. Can she do that and remodel the waitresses? Well, she thinks as a service industry, they need to improve constantly and wearing the same uniform is boring. So yeah, she convinces Yachiyo to wear one too. Satou nearly choke on his smoking. Then Takanashi sees Inami in the outfit and exclaims how cute she is. Could it be? Well, only if she was 10 years younger. Oh, nothing’s changed.

Episode 8
* Takanashi just realized Nazuna is the same height as him! What does this mean? No more little sister! Yeah, sinking into depression… Taneshima notices his troubled face and would do anything to hear him out. Does this mean she’ll become his little sister? No way! But Takanashi is so desperate that he pleads for her to be his little sister for just a day. After that she can go back to being his daughter. WTF?! So what do you expect when Inami starts freaking out when Taneshima starts calling Takanashi her onii-chan? And the rest of the other staffs think he’s been working too hard to be this broken… So to that pervert’s surprise, they treat him very nice and even help him out. But when Yamada bugs him to make her his little sister, she got a bump on her forehead instead.
* Souma calls Inami and knows she wants Takanashi to call her cute. Yeah, all part of his sadistic scheme… I suppose she was desperate enough to listen to him. First, she tries smiling and not punching him but it was too much for her to resist. Her smile is still there, though. Working hard might do the trick but Takanashi catches her talking on her handphone (to Souma) during work and advises her not to do it on her shift. Souma has an ace up his sleeve in which will guarantee Takanashi to say she’s cute. It’s a picture of Inami when she’s a little kid! He’s saying how cute she is! Guess what? Inami recorded his words in her handphone! And she is playing it again and again. Those magic words… See how happy she is?
* Taneshima tells Kyouko and Yachiyo about Takanashi’s problem and the reason why she’s acting like his little sister till he gets over it (which is plain wrong if you ask Kyouko). Takanashi overheard that and starts apologizing to Nazuna, which is Taneshima by the way. He thought he is okay when he goes home. But I guess he still can’t face reality as he can’t look in Nazuna’s eyes while talking to her.
* Kirio comes to Wagnaria to look for his sister but forgets this mission once he sees Inami. He manages to stop her punch again. Takanashi sees them together and feels irritated (messing up Taneshima’s hair in the process). Takanashi tells Inami not to get close to guys but Kirio thinks he’s being rude to a girl. Kirio gets pissed off by Takanashi’s words and gets rough with him. But surprisingly Takanashi did an easy submission move on him! So why didn’t he use it on Inami all this time? Because it hurts and he doesn’t want her to feel pain. So he was being considerate of her all this time? Man, Inami is more in love with him now. Kirio felt he lost and leaves. But soon returns after remembering he needs to find his sister. He thinks Taneshima can’t be her since he believes she couldn’t pretend to be a kid. How hurtful. Now he made her cry. Just to make sure, as he is going to touch her, Takanashi pushes him away.
* Kirio goes around looking for his sister but he seems like a molester looking up close at the girls. Since Yachiyo and Kyouko isn’t what he is looking for, Souma deduces Yamada is the only one left. He makes Yamada do an errand (what the heck is Shanablileh?!) so when Kirio comes asking for Yamada, he conveniently gives him a picture of her. Hey, isn’t that Kotori?! Though he finds it cute, Kirio suspects he may be lying and is a picture of a different person. Kirio leaves and will settle things with Takanashi later. He gives back the photo and Takanashi is not thrilled to see that Kotori pic. Now Souma is going to get it…
* Kirio still doesn’t give up looking for Yamada and barely misses her due to Souma’s scheme. He decides to accompany Yamada on an errand Kyouko sent her to do. She thought he finally wanted to be his sister. Of course not. Along the way, when Souma mentions half of Kirio’s name, Yamada instantly starts to get all shivery. Then he changes the topic so Yamada returns to normal.
* Seems Kirio is also at the mall and Souma is having a hard time trying to not let him meet Yamada. Everywhere they go, Kirio is also there and has to be diverted. Isn’t this coincidence too annoying? Finally Yamada wanted to buy a teddy bear and thinks it’s okay for her to come next time since Souma doesn’t have that much money. However he’ll just buy it for her so that she don’t have to come outside for a while the next time! While Yamada had lots of fun, it’s just one tiring affair for Souma. Was it really worth the fun to keep them apart?

Episode 9
* Yachiyo doesn’t have a handphone since she’s no good with technology. Even learning to man the register was a feat. Yeah, she thought handphones could kill. Souma suggests Satou take her out to buy one and maybe he could spend all day with her (cue to throw his cup at him).
* On their next break, Satou brings Yachiyo to buy a handphone. Seems she is not good in facing store clerks so she huddles close to him. The store clerk mistakes them for being a couple as Satou buys her an easy handphone with the cheapest service. Yachiyo couldn’t understand why the store clerk had been looking at her all the time. It’s her sword, remember? Once they leave, the store clerk hopes this couple would just ‘vanish’. Satou enters some numbers into her handphone and realizes she memorized Kyouko’s number. Damn. About texting, he realizes he might get spammed by her telling him all about Kyouko.
* Kozue is once again drunk and pouring out her troubles at Wagnaria. Youhei comes in and sees this pretty lady and he got slammed into by Kozue! She thought somebody was calling her! Then she starts undressing him and herself before asking him to marry her! Did she skip lots of steps? Youhei says he can’t marry her since he is unemployed and want to protect the girl he loves. Takanashi tells him to run away because Kozue will give a supplex to guys who reject her. However Kozue’s twisted thinking was that he thought what’s best about her that he rejected her. Looks like she isn’t giving up.
* Mitsuki is also at Wagnaria wondering why Yachiyo doesn’t have friends her own age despite being nice to them delinquents. Remember the sword? Mitsuki thinks Yachiyo shouldn’t be mixing with normal people after all but when she Satou being casual with her, she tells her not to get so friendly with this delinquent (even though she herself was one). Yachiyo doesn’t understand what she’s talking and says Satou and her are friends (that must hurt very much for him). Mitsuki warns her when a guy and a girl get together, the guy will ‘eat’ the girl. I guess Yachiyo took it too literally that Satou may actually eat her. So when Yachiyo asks Kyouko about the meaning of ‘eat’, she too got the same idea that Satou may really eat her. All she thinks about is food, huh?
* Takanashi can’t keep his cool when Yamada is once more slacking in her job. He can’t believe they’re paid the same wages. Actually, he earns only 30 Yen more than her. Yamada also complains to Taneshima about Takanashi’s habits. How come they’re all good points? Why does she want to marry him? Is she complaining or praising him? Takanashi must be tired of reprimanding Yamada so he relaxes by reading a magazine of cute little puppies. Sicko…
* Youhei, Mitsuki and Kozue are outside peeping since Mitsuki wants to make sure this place is safe of weirdoes for Yachiyo to work (or maybe she just had this fetish for her). But why is Kozue here? Seems she is tagging along wherever her darling (Youhei) goes. Kozue assures her brother won’t do anything weird to Yachiyo because he’s a pervert whose only interests are cute little things and girls under 12 years old. Actually, that’s kinda worrying… Mitsuki starts believing the true but exaggerated description of the other guys that Kozue mentions but Youhei well knows she is just teasing her.
* They see nervous Yachiyo and Souma alone together in the room. Seems she has been waiting all day for him to… Have a picture of Kyouko as promised. How disappointing! Souma then gets her permission to take pictures of her.
* The trio see Yachiyo sleeping when Satou comes in. He puts a blanket over her and his cigarette pack on her head. Wow. It’s steady! Then she sleep talks about Satou first. Followed by Kyouko this and Kyouko that… Kyouko discovers the trio and reprimands them. Souma had known them spying all the while but Satou, he’s embarrassed he was being watched.
* Takanashi noogies Yamada when she is slacking in her job and scribbling notes instead. She got upset and decides to run away. Running away from running away? It’s been an hour since Yamada ran away so Inami and Taneshima are worried. Takanashi picks up Yamada’s notebook and sees her scribbles were actually notes taken down by her of him telling her what to do. Wasn’t this what he told her to do earlier on? He realizes his mistake and goes out looking for her. He doesn’t need to go far because she’s just at the back doorstep. Yeah, she’s been waiting for him to come after her. I guess Takanashi allows her to cry on his chest as she starts calling him all his weird nicknames. Dummy. Pervert. Lolicon. Kotori. She might have just crossed the line… Yamada is glad to be back with the rest and promises to do her best. Just when Takanashi feels he has gone overboard getting too mad at Yamada and probably give her a second chance, he sees a scribble in her notebook calling him a stupid four-eyes little bird. Forget about the second chance. Yamada, better start running.

Episode 10
* Inami realizes her break time is the same with Satou’s and fears the worse. Yup, he too fears the worse. He may be acting cool but his head is thinking today will be his last. So even if Inami sits far away from him, she’s like blocking the only exit. It’s like she really wants to punch him. Inami tries to strike up a conversation to break the tension but Satou’s not responding. Then he tells her to take a deep breath and make space for him to pass. Well, what do you know? He manages to get by without getting punched! Is this a big step in progress? So when Inami tells Takanashi this, he is somewhat amazed. For Satou. God damn it. And Satou… His face is like someone who has seen death. Scary, huh?
* Takanashi feels Inami’s punches are getting more powerful and accurate. Is it odd that he’s the only guy who doesn’t know how to evade her punches? I mean, Satou knows how not to meet her, Souma via handphone and Kirio can block. I guess that Kirio name made him annoyed. Suddenly Takanashi corners Inami. Is he attacking her? Actually he’s trying to hold the boxes that Kyouko irresponsibly stacked up. Inami has to hold it in since if Takanashi moves, the box will fall and they’ll end up in an ambiguous position. Eventually they took too long and the boxes fall. Takanashi on top of knocked out Inami. And Yamada saw it too and is going to tell everyone.
* Each time Inami sees Takanashi, she gets alerted. And Souma just loves teasing Takanashi how he ‘forced’ himself on her. I guess this is wearing her out so as she sleeps in the break room and Takanashi got this idea if he touches her when she’s sleeping, she won’t punch him. He looks like a pervert… He manages to touch her head and revels that she isn’t punching him. Then she wakes up. What would a girl think when she sees a guy patting her head? Good news: Inami didn’t punch him. Bad news: She got traumatized and ran away. Hey, at least he didn’t get punched. Was it better that way?
* Due to the trauma, Inami will be taking an indefinite break from work. The girls thought Takanashi should contact her but he doesn’t have her number. This prompts Yamada to note how pitiful herself is. Because she’s the only one without a handphone! So in addition to a family, she wants a handphone too? I don’t how Yachiyo came up with this idea to write an SMS text to Yamada on the board. But Yamada didn’t like Satou’s reprimanding and goes complain to him. Only to get a noogie in return.
* Taneshima was accidentally locked in the freezer but before she could freeze to death, Satou opens the door. How did he warm her up? He asks did she freeze and shrink. Man, she’s upset! There, all warmed up now, eh? Taneshima complains to Takanashi on yet another meanie from Satou. But that guy thought he wanted to freeze and preserve her cuteness. Oh God. I hope he doesn’t get any weird ideas to freeze her forever.
* Yamada shows the new handphone she got, which is actually the phone of the store. She brags it makes her feel like a woman and that she became more responsible and shut the freezer door when she saw it was open. Oh. So she’s the culprit. Taneshima goes to apologize to Satou and just when she thought he’d understand, he sticks a big board on her head about her own stupidity and paying homage to Satou.
* The gang thinks Takanashi should go visit Inami but Taneshima cautions him of going as a guy since her family thinks he is a girl. So how? Why is Yamada giving him the wig of Kotori? Is this the only answer?
* Inami’s mom is worried about her daughter and thinks she’s sick since she’s been coming back straight from school. She touches her head but this reminds Inami of Takanashi’s patting and her temperature goes up. Mommy thinks she’s got fever.
* Takanashi soon visits but the shocking part is that he’s cross-dressing as Kotori! Inami could’ve died of heart attack. So Kotori starts apologizing and they both promise not to startle each other. But that won’t last because Inami got startled when Kotori asks for her handphone number. Inami was nervous at first but after getting to know his number, she fainted. Exerted too much energy? So I guess this means it’s time for Kotori to leave. Mommy thought she should stay longer next time and notes how handsome she is! Woah! Does she know? Mommy goes to check on Inami and it seems she’s looking fine. Till she touches her forehead and it leaves burning mark on her hand! Looks like the temperature has gone up.

Episode 11
* Yamada is frantically searching for her Daisy. Who’s that? It’s the product of Yamada and Souma’s love! WHAT?! Actually it’s a teddy bear that Souma bought for her. She should’ve took good care of it and not lose her if she considers it her best companion, right? This was what happened. After Yamada got ribbons from Yachiyo for Daisy, she went to put it on the teddy bear that was on a chair in the room. Kyouko caught her skipping work so Yamada is made to go back to work. When she returned, Daisy is gone. Well, everyone suspects Takanashi. You know why. But he asserts he didn’t take Daisy. So they agree to help look for it and Takanashi in return wants to touch it. Sure he wasn’t the one who took it?
* Using Taneshima’s twisted logic of finding it at high places, searching high and low didn’t yield positive results. She could’ve saved up and buy another one but Yamada asserts there is only 1 Daisy in this world and no other teddy bear would do. Once Satou finds out what happened, he reveals he saw that Daisy lying around. He tossed it back up in Yamada’s attic room she could easily find it. So they searched everywhere but there? Yamada is relieved to have Daisy back but now she realizes the ribbons are gone. Nobody’s going to help her look.
* While Yachiyo tells her usual tale of Kyouko to patiently-listening Satou, Mitsuki brings her away so as not to mix with that delinquent. Souma notes how his life sucks. He’s caught between a rock and a hard place. He has to make food for Kyouko and if not has to hear Yachiyo’s praising. Obviously irritated Satou takes it out on that blabbermouth. Too bad Taneshima is not spared. She thought he hasn’t have enough calcium, the reason he is annoyed but he notes the only thing he is short of is bullying her. Man, her hairstyle is now a Christmas tree!
* Yachiyo returns to Satou to continue where she left off. After learning how Yachiyo has been friends with Mitsuki for a long time, Satou pats her head and you can tell he is still annoyed because her hair is all messed up.
* Satou confronts Mitsuki and wants her to stop bothering Yachiyo since with people like them around her, she’ll never stand with her own feet. Heck, panicky Mitsuki even admits that! Not wanting to lose, she tries to break this guy down by saying he’s afraid of them or her sword or would only say that if he had feelings for her. Satou points out he isn’t scared of it all because Yachiyo herself is already scary. Satou even admits that he somewhat likes Yachiyo so Mitsuki felt she has lost and runs away. Yachiyo has heard bits of the conversation and feels confused. It looked like Satou was trying to ask Mitsuki out but she thought he liked another person. She is so worried that her parfait for Kyouko tastes different.
* Nazuna decides to learn from her sisters today in hopes she can help her brother. Growing big would have the reverse effect. First she learns self-defence from Kozue. But when the drunkard moves on to sex education, Nazuna knows it’s time to move on. Then she reads at Izumi’s room while the novelist continues to pen her work. Nazuna thought Izumi is somewhat slow as compared to Kozue. Suddenly the phone rings and Izumi quickly unplugs it! Woah! That was fast! Of course Izumi was made to realize unplugging it doesn’t constitute that one will be out and thus gets a shelling from her editor. Next, Nazuna sees Kazue in her room with some heavy law books. They’re used for throwing at people? That’s how you use those thick books? Her handphone rings and Kazue instantly slams it down! It’s cue for Nazuna to leave because shortly Kazue is using some pretty heavy words that she can’t seem to understand. Curse and swear! Takanashi is wary that Nazuna is growing up not just because she drinks milk but by sleeping early.
* Yachiyo continues to be bugged by thought and it is making her depressed. Satou is going to put a stop to this but just by talking to her, she acts very jumpy. Satou concludes either Mitsuki have ratted on him or she overheard them. So deep in this thought that instead of messing with Taneshima’s hair, he turned it into a cute hairstyle! Fabulous! Taneshima feels good to offer her suggestion of self pressure. Like how she will have to eat green peppers if she doesn’t grown an inch. In which, she has to take some now…
* Finally Satou and Yachiyo get to talk and he learns that she has overheard them. He apologizes but she mentions she just wanted him to be happy. Satou is going to try his best and end this and will quit if this doesn’t work out. His job may not have anything to do with it but it’s his way to stay resolved and focused if he is going continue working here. Yachiyo wonders if there is anything she can do so he tells her to be herself. Be like her usual and talk about Kyouko like she always does. This made her feel better and in no time, gloom is lifted upon her and the parfaits taste better now.
* Satou thanks Taneshima since he took up her advice and things are working out well. It’s a good sign he’s back too because Taneshima’s plate is full of green peppers. Gulp. At least her hair is spared, right? Souma is so excited to hear this development that he is willing to help him out. So excited that he can’t even fake it. But Satou is trying to escape reality by taking medicine by boiling then chilling the water.

Episode 12
* Inami talks to Taneshima and Yamada about her milestone: It has been several days she hasn’t hit Takanashi! Instead of jumping with joy, the duo are panicking that she may be sick! But Inami wants to do further training so as not to bother Takanashi. Since that guy isn’t here yet, Souma nearly became the ‘victim’ but Inami points out this would probably only work on Takanashi. They can’t use a girl or a boy cross-dressing as a girl (because Inami is trying hard to keep this as a secret), maybe they need a girl who cross-dresses as a boy. They use Kyouko but she refuses. However she agrees after getting bribed with cookies. In the end she couldn’t do it since her boobs are too big. Oh Inami… She thinks a girl with flat chest should best play this role and the only one with small boobs is… Inami!
* So Inami dresses up as a boy but it just looks like her with pants on. She feels depressed so Taneshima thinks she should just think of Takanashi’s face. She does so and the real guy pops up. He isn’t in his uniform yet because as Kyouko points out, Takanashi is the only male waiter here. Yamada adds she was the one who found that uniform for Inami to wear. Then it hit Inami. She’s practically ‘inside’ of Takanashi and goes berserk. Yamada is going to get it too. Thankfully Takanashi didn’t get punch.
* Takanashi suggests that they start texting each other to help her get over her phobia. It could’ve been over before it started because the heat from Inami’s hands broke her handphone!
* Back home, Takanashi waits for her SMS but after 2 hours, there is none! Isn’t it stressful waiting for just a reply? Izumi spots her brother making funny faces at his handphone. To her, it looks like he’s expecting a reply from his girlfriend. Then he got mail. But it turns out to be Kozue so he couldn’t care less about her all-night drinking. Izumi thinks if that SMS never comes, they’ll break up and he can take care of her forever! She hopes his girlfriend will never send him that SMS. But seeing him wait so anxiously, she wishes for the girlfriend to quickly send the SMS.
* Takanashi’s face brightens up when Inami’s SMS finally arrives. Izumi is shocked that a simple message could cheer him up. Turns out to be a picture of a kitten Inami sent him. She thinks he’s been waiting for the kitten picture and not his girlfriend. Takanashi is glad for the SMS, Nazuna the kitten picture and Izumi her perverted brother.
* While walking along, Kirio drops down from the sky (literally) right before Takanashi! Since he couldn’t find his sister on ground, he started searching in the sky. So what? He can fly? He thinks of starting over again and asks Inami but Takanashi wants him to stay away from her due to her androphobia and that she has someone she likes. Kirio thinks it’s himself! Perasan! Takanashi then tells the entire story from A to Z on the things he did for her so Kirio could guess that the person Inami really likes is him but that Takanashi dude is so clueless about it. Kirio thinks Inami is cute when she’s in love and calls Takanashi and idiot. Not that he understands anyway.
* Satou looks at the schedule and seems to be looking forward to payday. As he talks to Takanashi about it, they ignore irritating Yamada who tries to butt in about her maturity as an adult. Liar. It’s natural that they bully her so Satou terms her not as someone who lives alone but a freeloader.
* Yamada complains to Taneshima about this but brags that she’s a self-sufficient girl who can live alone. That night, Yamada who was out reading at the store returns to Wagnaria only to find the place closed and locked up. She’s locked out of her own home. Then she starts crying and calling for mommy. Satou has anticipated something like this would happen and luckily returned. She tries to act tough that she’s more grown up than him so he retracts his offer and leaves. Yamada changes her mind since why put it all to waste when he’s here now. Satou calls Taneshima if she could let Yamada stay over at her place and almost revealed Yamada crying out for mommy. Next day to show her appreciation, she gives him a fermented bean. Just kidding! He got a real present for him lah.
* It’s been 24 days since Inami has hit a guy. It might be a good accomplishment but Yamada won’t acknowledge it. That’s because her record is so as she has been avoiding guys. It’s not like she’s fixing her problem as she’s running away. She wants her to actively seek out men and even if there is the risk of punching them, so Yamada tells her sacrifices are part of setting a record. They’re going on a man tour in Wagnaria.
* They start with Takanashi but since he isn’t here yet, Yamada shows a picture of him. Inami flusters so great that she takes the picture and keeps it. Next is Satou as he learns what they’re doing. He says he isn’t afraid of getting punched by her but is worried he might scare her due to his size and blonde hair. But why is he getting further and further away? He suggests to go see Souma. Looks he sold out that dude. Souma panics as Yamada pushes him closer to Inami. He trips and Inami’s reflex has her throw a punch. Goodbye Inami’s record. Goodbye Souma’s life. Before her fist could connect with his face, Satou throws Daisy in the path so Inami punches the teddy bear instead. Woah. Imagine if that was Souma’s face, it could’ve been real ugly. Yeah, they’re acting Daisy sacrificed itself to save Inami’s record and Souma’s life.
* So technically that didn’t count as hitting a man and thus Inami continues to record her streak. Yamada is so sad that Daisy had been sacrificed (although it’s just the stuffing that needs replacement) that she wants to pick a bone with the person who said sacrifices are needed to set a record. Wasn’t it herself?
* Takanashi finds out from Inami about that incident. Since she feels guilty for causing trouble to everyone, Takanashi calms her down that her effort is paying off a little since she’s able to send SMS. She feels better and will keep trying. And to both their surprise, Taneshima and Yamada have overheard their conversation. Hehehe…
* In a rare occurrence, Taneshima breaks a plate so she decides to write her name on the sheet herself. Takanashi knows how depressed she’ll be when she can’t reach it but can’t help himself to think how cute she is when she’s trying so hard. So as Taneshima really stretch herself, she finally reaches it. Albeit it’s just the last box at the end of the paper.

Episode 13
* Taneshima is so happy that she could reach the sheet that she reports her slight growth to Takanashi and Satou. Obviously that pervert isn’t happy. His dream comes crashing down as he goes crazy refusing to believe reality! Yeah, even Satou notes how all his bullying to keep her from growing didn’t work. Worse, Takanashi’s nightly prayers for her never to grow didn’t come true! Takanashi thinks Kyouko must have moved the sheet and scolds her. After teaching him a lesson, she says she hasn’t moved it an inch so the best person to ask is Yamada since she is a habitual crockery breaker. And she’s proud of it.
* Finally the normal girl Maya makes her actual appearance as she narrates the best of being normal. She sees Takanashi upset and thought he is not feeling well. He’s not in a good mood and calls her an old hag!
* Even Inami can tell something is wrong as he notes there’s a problem between him and Taneshima. Yamada notices Inami sighing and persuades her to let out her troubles and talk to her. I doubt it would do any good but what the heck if you don’t try. Yamada jumps to a conclusion that a heart pounding thrilling pandemonium has happened between the duo and rushes off to ask Taneshima herself. Maya comes in for a break and Inami talks to her about the problem. Maya can tell Inami is pretty much in love with Takanashi due to her speech and body language. She thinks it’s normal for boys and girls to fall in love but when she remembers what Takanashi said to her, she thinks Inami should reconsider.
* Yamada talks to Taneshima about her worries. Aside her height, she did mention about her friends who are preparing for entrance exam. Note: Yamada indicates she failed hers. Taneshima then mentions about her mom who told her think about her future and quitting this job. Yamada is shocked to hear that so much so she rushed off to tell others without listening properly to Taneshima’s final lines that she isn’t quitting now. Too late. Here is the start of pandemonium…
* Takanashi is still depressed Taneshima has grown taller so Souma cheers him up with a picture of Taneshima tiptoe-ing trying to reach the sheet. I guess that does the trick. So does he want to blow it up and plaster it over his wall? Bet you didn’t see this coming. He wants to make it smaller to make her look cuter!
* Eventually the guys learn about Taneshima quitting and this brings back nostalgic memories for Satou. Yeah, where would he take out all those frustrations? Where would he try out all those outrageous hairstyles? Yachiyo is equally worried and wonders if Satou will quit too since he did talk about that the last time. Souma butts in to say as long as she is here, he won’t quit. This time Satou is serious in putting serious pain into Souma. It’s going to last longer than usual. Satou assures Yachiyo he is not quitting now.
* Kyouko tries to think about Taneshima quitting but her stomach’s growl got in the way. A full good 7 seconds of growling there! It made her hungry so she has Yachiyo make her a parfait.
* Inami talks to Takanashi. Since this is a part time job, everyone will eventually quit one day. Just like how she’ll stop punching him one day. You mean she was going to punch him forever? Inami is worried if Taneshima quits, he too will quit since she is the reason why he is working here. But he won’t because he promised he will take care of her till the end. Feel better?
* Kirio is here to look for his sister but gets thrown out the back. He meets Taneshima and still thinks she’s a kid. He can’t believe she’s a high school student. So they talk about the importance of studying for the future. He thinks she should talk with everyone else about her entrance exam. Not elementary entrance exam mind you. He then continues to search for his sister and thinks normal Maya is her. Unfortunately Maya is in no mood and tells that weirdo off.
* Taneshima decides to seek everyone’s advice since it’s no use worrying about it herself. First she tries Souma and he would gladly tell her anything she wants. However all his replies are “Secret”. Then he vaguely tells her about the good, bad and ugly approach of getting into college. Using the back door? Does she understand what that means?
* Satou ties a cucumber to Maya’s hair and that girl throws it back to him. He realizes it’s not the same without Taneshima to take out his frustrations because there’s always that reaction. Taneshima is the only girl for him. Why does it feel like she has been dumped? Satou and Souma then add lots of that ‘normal’ word into their talk about it would be normal for a normal girl to normally stop a normal friend. She goes crazy hearing too much of it. I hope she won’t get a phobia of that word now.
* Taneshima talks to Takanashi and the latter is obviously too emotional. As for Satou, he keeps piling apples on her head. WTF?! Last bullying? Yachiyo is equally dramatic to share her experience (heck, she didn’t even go to high school), Kyouko giving her a cherry, Inami too emotional for words, Yamada hiding behind the wall and even Otoo advises her about her priority as a student should not be worrying about her job.
* Taneshima is overwhelmed with everyone’s advice for her to do her best even though her exams are a long way to go. She can’t handle the pressure and breaks down in Maya’s arms. She loves this place and everyone here too much and doesn’t want to quit. But she doesn’t want her grades to drop too. Maya then asks her shouldn’t she be worried about that only if her grades drop?
* Everyone is trying to come to terms that Taneshima is quitting. When Taneshima comes in, Takanashi couldn’t hold back his emotions and plead for her not to quit. Of course she’s not. She’ll try her best at both her job and school and if her grades go down, she’ll just take lesser shifts. So I guess everything is back to normal, everyone is so relieved and the worry that never was is now gone. So back to work. Except for Yamada whom Takanashi wants to have a serious talk with. Nobody is going to save her this time…
* Taneshima accidentally drops another plate. Takanashi notices how cute she is but remembers he needs to check whether she has grown or not. Observing her struggling to write her name on the sheet, the actual fact is that she just got better at stretching. So it’s safe to say Takanashi can continue having his perverted dreams. Yeah, he won’t tell her the cruel truth and let her realize it herself. That’s cruel too right? Takanashi pats her head and hopes she’ll stay this way forever but she is going to surprise him when she grows taller. See the smile on his face? Something is already certain.
* Taneshima gleefully measures her growth record but to her horror finds the old marks the same level as today’s. Oh…

Work In Progress…
Well, I guess everything was pretty much an okay affair. There were funny moments, there were dramatic moments, there were annoying moments and there were painful moments (seeing Takanashi get punched too often kinda makes you feel his pain too). It is somewhat mixed feelings that I have after watching both seasons back to back. Basically the way it ends doesn’t constitute to anything much simply because life and their part time job go on as usual. Day after day the same kind of service that they always do to customers and the same kind of odd antics that they put up with each other. So when it ends just like that, I’m not sure if I felt good or unsatisfied. Don’t get me wrong. The anime overall isn’t bad and has its moments in making you laugh but I just thought the ending should be epic. The kind that makes viewers with a warm fuzzy feeling inside your heart. Heck, this isn’t that kind of genre.

So simply the characters are the main focus and driving force of this series and it’s nice that most get their sufficient screen time and some a little focus. However with their personalities being ‘stagnant’ ever since the first episode we see them, it feels like there is no growth at all. Just like Taneshima’s height. Haha. Can’t resist saying that one. Everyone is the same weirdo you see and get to know and by the time the anime ends, they are still the same person. They just don’t change. Like Taneshima’s stature. Oops. I did it again. Like they say, a leopard doesn’t change its spots. Because of this, some may find it repetitive and boring as the characters become predictable and thus the jokes may feel somewhat stale. I’m not saying that they repeat the same jokes but take a look at this for instance. Yamada has this tendency to get herself into trouble and drag others into it. She makes a big deal out of something, gets some of the staffs involved into the mess and in the end it’s just some misunderstanding or screw up on her part and she gets her deserved punishment. So if you know the pattern of how things work, you could have predicted and seen the general outcome from miles away. For me, I’m not complaining about this since the characters are funny enough to make me laugh and have a good time. So in this aspect I guess that’s good enough for me. Okay, maybe there are some becoming worse off than before. Like Takanashi’s fetish. In no time, that guy will like virus and let humanity die out just because they are tiny and cute (the latter based on Takanashi’s point of view of course).

Takanashi is still the perverted cute-and-small-things lover and it is worrying that if he ever gets children of his own, you’ll wonder if he’ll do anything funny on them. Heck, will he even get married?! At this rate I’ll foresee he’ll become a psycho since everybody will eventually grow up and lose their tiny status. Except for a certain girl named after a type of wood. Taneshima the ever cheerful petite who easily gets bullied but never stays gloom for too long. Hmm.. Maybe some things are never meant to grow taller than they are. Inami is still afraid of guys but she’s making inching progress albeit I feel that she would need another century just to tone down her punches. It makes me wonder if her phobia is just an elaborate excuse for her sadism. Maybe she’s just unconsciously a sadist to Takanashi. Yachiyo the nice floor captain still considers Kyouko her priority and doesn’t anybody get bothered about her carrying her sword around the place? Ah well. They got used to it in time like as though it’s part of her limb. Kyouko never works and is always seen eating snacks. It’s amazing she never gains weight and her appetite is the kind that will put all-you-can-eat buffets out of business. Despite her lazy nature, she isn’t totally useless because she has ways to show you that she’s still the boss around. And if she needs extra hand around, Youhei and Mitsuki are handy to have around, albeit I don’t really see them being useful either and just adds to the chaos. One thing about his fetish that bugs me, though. If he likes small and cute things, then why doesn’t he like Yamada like he does for Taneshima seeing that they are comparably of the same size. Maybe Yamada’s troubles make her ‘big’, huh? Or maybe he likes things better if they are smaller than they should be so that’s why instead of liking Yamada, there is no feelings of that kind of love towards her. Good and bad thing. What about Inami’s non-existence boobs? They’re small and cute too right? Hah! It’s a good thing he doesn’t or else sexual harassment lawsuits won’t be enough. Not even a million consecutive punches will ease that insult. So what constitutes to be small and cute? He should’ve become obsessed with his bowtie, his shoes, his wristwatch, his underwear… Oops. You get the point.

Souma probably the most dangerous guy in the team because of his tendency to blackmail you with your deepest and darkest secret. Where he gets his source is definitely a mystery. Making him more dangerous is his ever eternal smile and viewers would know by know that isn’t necessarily a good thing because his smile hides his sadistic nature. But Satou if I should consider to be the most untouchable one (except when it comes to Yachiyo) because I don’t think anybody could best him. Even if Souma does tease him, he gets back what he deserves. Looking moody seems to be the only emotion Satou displays and it makes you wonder if this guy has his smiling muscles broken. It doesn’t help he has blonde hair and smokes a cigarette and it makes him look like a delinquent. Like he cares. Yamada the eternal troublemaker and attention seeker who never fails to bring liveliness in Wagnaria. She literally brings the house down. Being totally honest is a good and bad thing for her because while it is good she dares speak out what she wants, the bad thing is that those things aren’t necessary virtuous or with good intentions. If you think Maya is the most normal of the normalest character, but if you think about it, she’s so obsessed about normalcy that she isn’t normal to begin with. Geddit? And for a normal character to be just appearing as cameos throughout the series and only a proper albeit brief appearances in the final episode isn’t normal, right? I wonder if she is freaking out over that word right now. Oh, she may not be normal already. Stop saying normal! Takanashi’s sisters are a good side distraction to what is happening at Wagnaria. So it’s an entire family of odd children. So it’s not just Takanashi who has his own weirdness. Kazue will never stop throwing her law book (literally), Izumi will never finish whatever she’s writing, Kozue will never stop getting drunk or get herself a proper boyfriend and settle down and Nazuna, well, she’ll never stop being Takanashi’s sister. Better pray harder she doesn’t grow up anymore. Maybe instead of looking at things from one perspective that every cute little thing is growing, Takanashi should perhaps think that he may be the one who is shrinking. Hell that will work.

I know I may seem repetitive about nothing changed, there were many things that wasn’t really, how should I put it, resolved. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Yet. For instance after that first and only appearance of Haruna, we never see her again. I thought somewhere down the road we would really get to see Otoo and his wife reunite but I guess that will always remain a mystery. Who knows what will happen if Otoo actually manages to find Haruna again. Will things at Wagnaria remain the same? At least this would be a big concern for Kyouko and Yachiyo. Kirio has never found his sister. He keeps missing her. This is provided if Yamada is actually his sister. So perhaps just like Otoo’s case if he finds her, Wagnaria will change because Yamada will have to go home. As we all know everyone would love things to stay as they are. Even if Yamada is a real troublemaker and idiot but hey, she is their idiot! Haha. As for Yamada’s real background, I guess that is a big mystery too. I suppose Yamada wanting her own ideal family too never materialized, eh? Otoo just wouldn’t get adoption papers to be her father and Souma definitely don’t really want to be her brother. You can’t say her family is breaking up when she doesn’t even have one to begin with, right? Though it is said that Inami’s phobia has made some progression, the way I see it, she’s still at the same spot where she was in the first place. She’s just hitting Takanashi more and other guys less so this balances up her quota, right? If this gets real bad and out of hand, I think Wagnaria will impose a cross-dressing rule for male customers…

In the love department, well, nothing is, you guessed it, resolved. Takanashi continues to be oblivious to Inami’s feelings simply he is blinded for all things small and cute. So even if he does declare his love for Taneshima (just saying) it won’t be the more-than-just-friends kind of love. Get what I’m saying? So poor Inami has to keep all her feelings bottled up inside her heart and sometimes you can’t blame her for wanting to take out her frustrations by punching him. It should have been easier now that her father is no longer in her way. But even so, there seems to be no progress. Speaking of abuse, it’s funny that Takanashi has never learnt to dodge Inami’s punches. I always wonder if it is true that perhaps deep down inside his heart, his masochist side has awakened. It’s understandable he won’t stop her punches like Kirio did as it might hurt her. But can he just do some kung fu footwork and avoid the incoming fist? With each hit, it seems Inami’s punches get stronger and what does this tell you? It means the punch is getting more and more painful. So he should have developed some immunity from all the punches he received, right? So really, he may be a masochist after all. Keep it up a couple of more times and he’ll turn into that masochist lover, Tarou from MM! Besides, don’t they both share the same seiyuu too? I can see a connection here… There were moments Takanashi was close to perhaps realize Inami isn’t just a dog. He notices that kind of annoying feeling in his heart but can’t seem to realize it. But it’s frustrating each time he doesn’t get it. So has Kirio given up on Inami and lose out to Takanashi? Though Kirio likes Inami but the way he shows it as though he’s not serious. If he was, he would’ve tried hard to make her his. Well, her androphobia is a different story. It’s a one-sided love affair for Satou since Yachiyo is still to blur that this guy likes her. Even with all the hints I don’t think she’ll be seeing all this soon (partly because Yachiyo’s eyes are closed most of the time. Haha). So what happened to Kozue and her marriage proposal to Youhei? As long as that guy doesn’t accept, you can count on her to keep bugging him. Yachiyo’s love for Kyouko feels more like obsession, the same case for Mitsuki.

The voice acting seems pretty well suited to each character and it brings out the quirkiness of each character. Jun Fukuyama as Takanashi wasn’t his usual main heroic characters like Lelouch in Code Geass, Lawrence in Spice And Wolf or Yukio in Ao No Exorcist. Instead he also does best in comical perverted roles like Keita in Inukami and Taro in MM! So making Takanashi sounding like a lolicon pervert (at least most of his fawning over cute things are directed towards Taneshima so it’s natural he may look like a lolicon) is definitely convincing. Kana Asumi as Taneshima sounds as cute as ever like other cute girl roles she voiced like Miya from Amagami SS and Yuno from Hidamari Sketch. Is it not obvious that in addition to her small size, her voice would also be an easy temptation to ‘mess’ with her. Saki Fujita as Inami (Ayano in YuruYuri, Ao in Yozakura Quartet) sure does make her sound like an insecure girl. She’s always sounds worried if there would be a guy turning up the next corner and then punching the daylights out of him. Daisuke Ono as Satou wasn’t in his usual gentleman mode like Sebastian of Kuroshitsuji. So it was a little hard for me identify him at first because Satou has always been the grumpy and moody cook we have all know from start to finish. Hiroshi Kamiya flexes his comical side as Souma. And though many of the other characters he voiced like Nozomu from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Mephisto from Ao No Exorcist and Kou/Riku from Arakawa Under The Bridge have their funny sides, here the character is carefree and scheming all the way. Eri Kitamura as Yachiyo sounds so soft spoken and shy that it is different from her other livelier (and perhaps ‘naughtier’) roles like Ami in Toradora, Eve from Needless, Nao of Onii-chan No Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara Ne and Rin of Kodomo No Jikan. Ryou Hirohashi voices Yamada and really makes her character who is a desperate attention seeker but ends up getting into lots of unnecessary trouble. She’s like Aria The Animation’s Alice but only more mischievous. Kumiko Watanabe makes Kyouko sound lazy and lethargic. Very different from her other roles like Shippo in Inu Yasha and Keroro in Keroro Gunsou. Youko Hikasa as Izumi is so soft spoken it’s like as though she speaks via whispering. I wouldn’t have guessed she was K-ON!’s Mio or Seikon No Qwaser’s Hana. Other casts include Ryoko Shiraishi as Kazue (Hayate in Hayate No Gotoku), Shizuka Itou as Kozue (Wilhelmina in Shakugan No Shana), Momoko Saito as Nazuna (Miho in A Channel), Jouji Nakata as Otoo (Hordy Jones in One Piece), Yuuichi Nakamura as Youhei (Tomoya in Clannad), Haruka Tomatsu as Mitsuki (Lala in To Love-Ru), Satoshi Hino as Kirio (Takagi in Bakugan), Junko Iwao as Haruna (Akane in Mai-HiME) and Akiko Kawase as Maya (Miyabi in Koi Koi Seven).

The opening theme of the first season is Someone Else by the seiyuus of Taneshima, Yachiyo and Inami (I feel Kana Asumi stood out more). The liveliness of this fanfare makes you want to go “Someone, one, one. Someone one, one else. One, one, one, one..”. You get the picture. If that was the first season, then I’m sure the second season’s opening theme by the same trio will make you want to go “Pan, pan, pan. Pan, pan, pan” (and shake your butt) as well. It feels like Coolish Walk is a continuation of Someone Else because of the same style and beat. If the girls hog the opening themes, then I guess it’s the guys turn to take centre stage for the ending themes. With the trio seiyuus of Takanashi, Souma and Satou (I feel Hiroshi Kamiya stood out more), the first season’s opening theme is Heart No Edge Ni Idomu Mou. Sounds very much like rock ‘n’ roll. But for the second season’s ending theme, Itsumo You Ni Love & Peace, it feels very much like a piece for disco. In all of the credits animation, you can see lots of crazy stuff from the crew of Wagnaria. At times as though they’re putting up some sort of little dance for us. There are lots of variety of background music. Ranging from lively jazz to slow piano pieces and hard rock ensembles and some even bringing back memories of those in Lucky Star or A Channel.

Speaking of part time jobs, this is what I’ve been thinking the kind of jobs that the staffs of Wagnaria would do if they were not working at Wagnaria. Taneshima would fit to be a model for children’s clothing and apparels while Inami could represent her country as a female boxing contender at the Olympics. If Satou is not a cook, my next best guess is that he’ll be a hair stylist because he makes ‘beautiful designs’ with Taneshima’s hair. Practice makes perfect. Souma could be a double agent or informant and if you want to easily mess up the operations of the enemy, it is best to send Yamada in because she works best as a natural jinx or sabotage. Kyouko would make a great ice cream taster while Yachiyo would probably carry on her family tradition of making swords, if not be a maid because she serves her master well. Too bad that her master will always be Kyouko. Otoo could be on Travel Discovery channel because of his search which takes him around Japan and the world. He may end up in exotic places and what better way to convey the beauty of the location and his goal by killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Haruna can be a magician’s assistant because, now you see her, now you don’t. And you’ll never find her again. Maya? She could be a normal girl… If you felt that I left out Takanashi, then you’re right because no matter how much I think, I can’t seem to find a proper job for him taking into consideration his sick fetish. Being a pedo is not a job. It’s a crime!

After seeing so many of their antics, it makes you wonder why the business can still stay afloat. Well, it is a good sign to tell us that they keep their antics behind the backstage so the customers won’t really freak out seeing their weird behaviours and all. Or maybe they’re just here for the good food. Say, how come they have enough food ingredients when Kyouko spends most of her time devouring them? Maybe she’s got some underhanded tactic which keeps the business running? Don’t be fooled by her looks. She’s an ex-delinquent boss and with a call, she gets things done. By hook or crook. I know working part time in a service industry you’ll get to meet and experience all sorts of characters but they are referring to the customers, right? I guess nobody is perfect and we all are weird in our own ways. So if you want a unique dining experience, come on down to Wagnaria where the ladies are armed with a sword, a pedo waiter and elementary school girl wait on you while the manager literally eats away the profits. Male patrons may be lucky enough to get more than a cocktail punch if you get too close but only provided if you can stomach it. Do you still have room for desserts? I’ll make room for them if they’re going to make another season of this series. Their wackiness is the main course and reason for my repeat return as a satisfied customer. Who says I can’t have my cake and not eat it? Hope I won’t bite off more than I can chew.

Mezzo

October 20, 2012

If you have some dangerous job that needs to be done, don’t worry. There is an agency that deals with hazardous tasks. People, meet the Danger Service Agency or DSA for short. Or if you haven’t, at least watch the anime Mezzo. Hehe… The tiny group of trio that consists of the combat specialist lady that shoots first and asks questions later, Mikura Suzuki, the semi-bald ex-cop and ramen lover, Kenichi Kurokawa and the point-hair android and technical Tomohisa Harada, will just do about anything if you pay the right price. No job is too big or too small as long as you pay up because after all, the higher the danger, the more money in it, right? Plus, where do you find people who loves taking on dangerous jobs and enjoy doing it? If you like your anime with violence and action, then you should check this one out. Period. Mikura is the main reason why you adrenaline junkies should see this show and easily earn a spot in the top 10 kickass girls in your list. Simply because, this hot chick kicks ass! Enough said.

Episode 1
A guy named Asano is making a deal with a group of mercenaries known as Black Scissors. Nearby, Asami Igarashi is being bullied and harassed by her friends who are extorting money from her. She resists when the wall comes collapsing and a human is sent flying through. The bullies get scared and run away. Mikura is seen busting the butts of Black Scissors. She’s firing her gun away, she’s kicking their ass away (to the point it breaks their balls! OMG! OUCH!). Man, they’re flying through the walls! Her colleague Harada is trying to get the drug in the barber pole cylinder from them when Kurokawa calls them to finish the job quick since the police are coming. So the duo not only bust their way out and down from the building, they also save Asami and leave a goodbye present for Black Scissors. An angel bomb that goes BOOM! Wow. This chick kicks butt. Awesome! Cool! Kurokawa is having a haircut at Chiyoki Mugiyama’s barber (why does a baldy need a haircut?). He realizes those Black Scissors dudes were his men and messed a transaction of some unapproved drug. Oh sh*t. Better pay for the cost of their funeral. Good for him, Mugiyama decides to let it slide. Well, perhaps Mikura asking for leniency did the trick. The trio go see their employer Kisami who tells them the drug is fake. Mikura isn’t happy she called them useless but Kisami says they need to hurry with the real drug because Asano intends to kill somebody. Flashback time. Fifteen years ago, Asano was a pathology intern along with the girl he secretly loved, Misaki. The sad part is, Misaki seems to have chosen his friend, Takizawa who already is dating another girl. Asano could put up with that and even lent him money to go on dates. But the last straw came when Misaki was murdered and all evidence points to Takizawa. However that dude went missing. The cops couldn’t find him and the statute limitation that this case will expire is closing in. So why Asano is acting now is probably he has found Takizawa who has lost memories of his past due to early age Alzheimer. Asano wants to use the drug to regain Takizawa’s memories and confess his motive before the statue expires. Kisami doesn’t want Asano to be a killer no matter his reasons. Mikura thought everything would be solved if she just kill the guy but remember, they’re no assassins. Kisami will pay double the bounty and see how the guys’ face lit up? Yeah, money makes the world go round. Now see how they rush and get the job done. Money, money, money! Time is money!

Outside Asano’s apartment, seems no one is answering. No problem. Misaki pumps a couple of shells into the door! WTF?! He isn’t in but they notice the place still warm so he must have just left. Kurokawa sees a shocking picture on the PC. Mikura and Harada see Asano leaving but he exchange gunshots instead. Enough to blow this place apart! Eventually he manages to get away. Asano sees Takizawa who is now a homeless hermit in an abandoned building. He wants him to drink the drug when Mikura shoots and destroys the tube. How did they find this place? Well, before they went up his apartment, they placed a tracker on his car. Harada tries to convince him not to be hasty but Asano says he knows Takizawa’s intentions all along and wants him to regain his memories and make him atone his sins. It will be useless if he kills him without remembering his past. He wasn’t just two-timing Misaki but embezzled research funds too. Not only that, he made Misaki an accomplice to sneak out specimens of a famous musician Paul Lennon (as in that John and Paul?!) to sell at an auction. Despite reluctant, Misaki agreed to help out seeing she loved him. At this point, Mikura just wants to kill that bastard for being the enemy of women. Unfortunately she accidentally kicks Kurokawa’s balls! I hope it’s not broken. Hopefully nothing affected too. Back to the story, Takizawa was soon discovered by his head because somebody ratted him out. He thought it was Misaki who vehemently denied it was her. He didn’t believe her and thought she wanted to protect herself and in that instant, killed her. Asano switched the specimens with someone else so all Takizawa sold was just of those of an ordinary person. Harada quips he should’ve stolen Misaki instead. Well if he did, she wouldn’t have died.

Kurosawa calls out to Misaki saying that she is the only one who can stop this now. Mikura is worried she may have kicked his balls too hard. Then Misaki pops up. She is Kisami. I should’ve guessed the reverse in their names. Kurokawa knew because of the photo he saw back on the PC. The trio couldn’t believe their eyes. Are they seeing things? Is this hypnotism? Is there an explanation? Asano is reduced to tears upon seeing her and she notes he wasted 15 years of his life just for her. They both reconcile as Misaki tells him to forget about her and love somebody else. Of course he doesn’t need to fall in love again. Now this is the unbelievable part. When the first morning rays shine in, Misaki becomes transparent and disappears. Oh sh*t! She’s really a ghost?! Well, this place is the pathology lab after all. Suddenly Asano gets shot. Takizawa is not happy everyone is trying to make a fool out of him. His memories returned or he has been playing dumb all along? The delicate structures collapse and everyone starts falling. Takizawa falls to his death while Kurokawa and Harada hang on albeit in an embarrassing position. Mikura has got Asano but she can’t hold on any longer. Asano wants her to release him so that he can go to where Misaki is. However she refuses because she doesn’t want him to make Misaki any sadder. In a big gamble, Mikura drops down and in precise accuracy, fires her gun into the gas pipe. The great impact of the explosion pushes them into the room in the opposite building. Phew. Cool! Back in their base, a sniper named Kazuto targets the trio.

Episode 2
We see Mikura facing off with Kazuto. Due to her little mistake, Kazuto gets away. Back at DSA, they’re contemplating why is he targeting Kurokawa but the baldy doesn’t want to think so much and watch his favourite idol, the weather forecast girl, Aiko Hasegawa (OMG! It’s the voice of Mamiko Noto!). Aiko is having a rough time too because her boss is telling her off to do a better job. Well, she predicted wrongly. It’s raining instead of clear skies. So much so some guy named Leon the Rain Main even notes her forecasting going off. Then he collapses and wants her to shelter him at her place. That was so uncool. And when he is recuperating in her place, he got this cheek that she got the guts to let a stranger in. Well, you didn’t want her leaving you out in the rain, right? Is the frying pan enough to defend yourself, Aiko? However he mentions he understood something when he walked into this room despite her lack of skills. Tokyo has been raining for 4 days as Kurokawa watches his idol. Mikura suddenly splashes a pail of water on him as a reminder to fix the damn leaks! He notices Mikura having a lipstick. So does she like some guy?! This dangerous woman?! Or maybe she just wants to put some on make-up. Harada then informs them Aiko is here. For real?! She is here to seek their help to find Leon. She shows him a picture and from the way things are said, he is not human. The photo is undoctored. Aiko understands why he loves the rain, dark places and always gazing at the sky. Well, Mikura thought she has one heck of an imagination. Does it come with the job? Aiko fears Leon is being chased and may have been abducted. Kurokawa gladly accepts the case. You know why lah. So why is Mikura having a haircut at Mugiyama? Well, at the edge of the photo there is a profile of Black Scissors so where else to start looking? Seems Mugiyama and his men are taking Leon under their protection (because Leon requested it) but Mugiyama isn’t going to reveal it to them. Mugiyama gets a call from one of his subordinates. Looks like they got done in by someone stronger. And in that short distraction, Mugiyama and his men got tied up by the trio who are now on their way there. Leon is being confronted by his pursuer whom we shall call Mr Magician as he wants Leon to hand that thing over. Mikura gives him a good kick that sends him clinging on to the edge of the window. As they’re about to pick up Leon and escape, Mr Magician fights back. Now Mikura has got a taste of her own medicine. How does it feel? What’s it like to get strongly kick and flying a few blocks away? Damn right he isn’t human. Plus, when she fires at him, he stops the bullets with his water. Mikura believes Kurokawa will do something and before Mr Magician could make his next move, a large refrigerator lands on his head courtesy from Kurokawa. Wow. Alien or no alien, nobody can withstand that kind of drop.

The trio bring Leon away and has him explain. He thought they wouldn’t believe him but seriously, he should try them. He explains the rain in Tokyo is being controlled by this little rock he has, which is also what Mr Magician is targeting. If they to activate this before the shooting stars come, not only Tokyo but the entire planet will be flooded. So this is a world domination tool? How do you dominate when all humans are drowned? Wait a minute. Leon was thinking of world domination? So what made him hesitate? Love? Haha. Oh. Maybe. Except Kurokawa, the rest still don’t believe this alien and thinks he’s a psycho. Leon will gladly show them their true form. Look how Mikura is looking forward to it. But we’ll never know how he looks like but we can just imagine since we hear the blokes scream in horror. That scary, huh? Aiko who is waiting for Leon, seems to have been kidnapped by Mr Magician who then busts into their car. He materializes a drop of blood and warns Leon if he doesn’t stop the bleeding, Aiko will die. So about that rock thing he wants, Mikura has it as she snatched it from Leon and dares him to get it. She leaves it to the rest to look for Aiko. They think she is nearby since she was just kidnapped and can’t be hid faraway. They find her bleeding in the warehouse and looks like only her wrist is bleeding. One handkerchief will do the job just fine. Seems she knows who Leon is because Mr Magician told her. She wants to believe the person she loves no matter what he looks like. They need to stop this rain now as the shooting star is approaching. But Leon says Mikura has it. Kurokawa notes she was just bluffing and the real one is with him. Speaking of them, though Mr Magician pins Mikura down, this was close enough for Mikura to stab her lipstick into his eye and fire a couple of point blank shots into that dude. She’s proud that Earth’s women are stronger? She maybe lah.

Leon uses the rock to stop the rain and they say their goodbyes. Leon has to go and though he doesn’t know when he’ll return, he’ll definitely return to see her. Hope it’s not a million light years later. Aiko doesn’t want to be alone so he gives her a rock that doesn’t exist on this planet. This way he’ll always be with her. Screw that. Why give a rock when he should give himself to her? Oh well, even aliens have their own reasons. I’m sure Kurokawa finds it all an emotional drama. As they look up at the shooting star, they look back to find Leon had already vanished. Well, better not tell this to anyone. Heck nobody will believe it too. Meanwhile Kazuto notes how he will kill Kurokawa next time. He remembers as he pulled the trigger, Mikura was sharp enough to kick the baldy away. Then she chased him but ran out of bullets. Aiko reports snow falling on Tokyo. No wonder it’s getting cold. Mikura brings Asami back to DSA since she was waiting for her while Mikura was doing her errands. Looks like she wants to be their disciple. Serious? And bringing to them live on their TV screen, Aiko thanks DSA for everything and that she is doing fine.

Episode 3
Asami sees a guy, Hosokawa asking his men, Hanishi to do something with this suitcase right in the middle of broad daylight in the streets.  Later Hosokawa is at DSA and wants the guys to do a simple delivery of this suitcase. Since he pays upfront 50%, they’ll accept it right away, not even asking the contents. While Mikura and Harada are delivering it (Mikura is having a blast with her karaoke microphone), Asami visits DSA looking for Mikura but only sees Kurokawa (I guess he turned her down of joining the agency last time). She decides to wait till they return (Kurokawa even quipping it might take them years to come back!). Because he looks silly talking to himself while taciturn Asami just sat and ate her ramen, he turns on the TV to see the news that someone has stolen a suitcase containing dangerous bacteria in it. Guess which suitcase is that? Asami instantly recognizes it. Kurokawa deduces the suitcase Hosokawa brought in was plastered with stickers so as not to make it recognizable. Furthermore, the scientist warns it should be kept in refrigerated places because if the bacteria spread, it will be deadly. You know that the Black Plague is, right? He is about to call Mikura when Kazuto gets ready to pull another attempt. However he backs off when Asami thought she saw something shiny opposite. Harada is driving along when a truck seemingly tries to slam them. He thought he was just changing lanes without signalling. But when the truck pulls ahead, Hanishi pops out from the back door and starts shooting at them. Now do you believe? Harada steps on the pedal to get ahead of it so Mikura could fire several shots and let the truck crash. Kurokawa finally connects with them and tells them about the bacteria they’re carrying. It isn’t long before they have to be on the run again since the truck is hot on their tail again. This time when their car comes out of the tunnel, Mikura takes advantage of the light at the end of the tunnel to blind their vision and put them out of commission. But they’re not out yet because Hosokawa comes by, disappointed at Hanishi’s failure and will come along with him this time.

At a distance, their car breaks down as Mikura shows them the news update. Seems they have been suspected of stealing the bacteria. I guess they got scared of who should carry the suitcase and before they know it, I can’t believe they didn’t even sense Hanishi sneaking up and stealing the suitcase. Mikura goes after him but to her surprise sees Hosokawa as the culprit. Hanishi grabs her as Mikura asks for the balance payment. Her life is at stake and she’s asking for money? Just like any bad guy (and as Mikura also quipped), Hosokawa reveals his plans that there is a country who wants to buy the bacteria. So making them do the delivery is just a decoy for the cops. After making them criminals, all they need to do is to ‘steal’ it back. With Harada driving his car into the picture, Mikura swiftly kicks her way out faster than the guys could pull their gun trigger! Hosokawa gets into the truck and another chase ensues. His business dealings with some foreigner on the phone have to be cut short since he needs to deal with the pesky duo. I wonder how many more shots Harada’s car can take. It’s a miracle it’s still running. The bonnet is blown up and though Harada can’t see a damn thing, Hosokawa was probably too distracted with it to notice Mikura jumping in from the top. Then she lets loose her microphone at maximum volume. Thank goodness there were no avalanches caused. Once they stop the truck driver, Hanishi shots the suitcase off Mikura’s hands. Oh no. Is the suitcase malfunctioning? Is this the end for human kind? Hanishi tries to escape himself but his truck soon crashes into the river. It’s Kurokawa in a refrigerated truck firing back at the coward and he has brought along Asami. On the way home, Kurokawa explains how he thought of it all after watching the news. Kurokawa also credits Asami for helping and that it is okay for her to come to DSA once in a while. The baddies are tied up in the truck and the malfunctioning suitcase next to them. At least this will keep them quiet and shiver in fear. Asami fawns over Mikura for being a cool heroine. She starts calling her master and thought of singing together on her microphone. She forgot to reduce the volume, didn’t she?

Episode 4
Mikura out on a date?! SERIOUS?! So the guys head over to Mugiyama to do a job (not because baldy wants a haircut). Seems there’s this guy, Taneri who is crying over his wife whom he thinks is having an affair. Yeah, she hasn’t talk to him for the last 3 days. And since Taneri has once taken good care of Mugiyama, I guess Kurokawa and Harada have to accept this case. So they are staking outside the mansion in this affair investigation and Harada is not too pleased. I guess he has to follow since he trashed the car. So Taneri’s wife comes out. Man, she’s a blonde bombshell! Totally wasted on that old geezer. They tail her to the subway but lose her since Kurokawa is an old guy who has a hard time even catching his breath and Harada getting punched by a feisty female who mistakes him as a pervert (he accidentally touched her boobs in this crowded station). The guys take a break at a pasta restaurant and it seems Kazuto is in the next table ready to poison their food. However they see the blonde and resume their tailing. Saved from another death, eh? This time they follow her to a nightclub called Stray Cat. They bump into Asami who wants to follow them since she is bored (and wants to be a heroine like Mikura). The bouncer stops Harada from entering because a minor is following him. Harada tells Asami that she can’t follow him in and explains if she dies, it’ll make Mikura sad. Inside Stray Cat, Harada sees the blonde talking to a man. Is this the guy she is supposed to be having an affair with? He snaps a shot but can’t have this feeling he has seen him somewhere. Then he got distracted when he bumps into the girl who punched him at the subway. It’s a small world, eh? The blonde and the guy leave so Harada tries to follow them but starts firing random shots! The patrons panic as they leave. Reuniting with Kurokawa and Asami, they see the duo getting into the taxi. Before it speeds off, Harada plants a tracer on it. With the police coming in, they better make a run and say their goodbye to Asami. She sees Kazuto following them as he breaks off a tree branch. He is sharpening it into a spike and gets ready to go into action when Mikura stumbles in front of him (she dropped her coin). I guess he has to abandon his plan once more. What a waste after sharpening that branch so fine.

Kurokawa and Harada disguise themselves. They already look so odd but wearing these funny clothes make them even stand out more! They follow the tracer to an abandoned factory. Oh. The taxi driver’s shot dead. Then they realized they have fallen into that guy’s trap since he knew they were following them and baited them here. Holding them up inside the building, he finds out Taneri hired them but thinks of them as mere private investigators. He is going to kill them so Harada notes how he switched it in 3 days because Taneri did mention his wife didn’t listen to what he said for 3 days. To prevent any slip ups, she didn’t talk on purpose. Then he points out the blonde is actually an android. Harada now recognizes this guy as Roid Andou. He sells robots to wealth women and makes a fortune out of it. Andou isn’t happy they know his identity is busted when Kurokawa throws his fake afro at him. The distraction allows Harada to throw a knife into his hand. Andou orders the android to kill them. Harada realizes the robot is going to self destruct (steam coming out from any hole of her head?). So the duo cooperate and pull off mind blowing stunts that only Mikura could’ve done it herself to throw the android out of the window in time before it goes boom. Harada wonders what Andou’s objective was but Kurokawa is more concerned if they made any money out of this. To their surprise, they see Andou knocked out outside and the culprit is Mikura! Well, that dude did a mistake by attacking her and got what he deserved in her reflex. She thinks he might have mistaken her for this thing. This thing? Looks like the Taneri’s real wife! And dead too. Mikura thought Andou is a baddie and asks for permission to beat him up. Funny girl. They make him spill details that Taneri’s wife was his customer and wanted her own copy so she can have all the affairs she wanted. Then he got this idea to kill her and use her android to steal secrets Taneri’s industry. The kind of information that could be sold to the highest bidder. Andou curses he was this close in pulling it off so Kurokawa tells them to blame Taneri for sending them since they are here to investigate. As for Mikura, why is she here? Seems she got into some complications (to put it in another way: A fight) with the person she’s supposed to meet and wandered here. But she couldn’t care anymore so Kurokawa suggests getting some ramen. Again?

Episode 5
This is Mikura’s story when the guys were playing private investigators. Seems she dolled herself up to meet a friend she hasn’t seen in a long time, Sakura Sakurada. Hey! Isn’t that the woman who punched Harada? So it wasn’t a date with a guy, huh? Excited at seeing each other when they meet, Sakura suggests going to Stray Cat. They’re taking the subway and when the train is about to arrive, Sakura gets prepared to push her into the rail when Harada bumps into her and she punches him. Mikura thought that ‘pervert’ looked a lot like Harada. At Stray Cat, they talk about the last time they saw each other. They were street kids running from the cops because they’ve just hurt one. Kurokawa who was a cop them confronted them so Mikura held him down for Sakura to escape. Sakura wants to go make a call and leaves her lighter which is actually a bomb on the chair. Of course this is where she bumps into Harada again but when she sees Mikura not at her place and some guy shooting randomly, she panics and tries to diffuse the lighter. Mikura seems to have gone to the toilet so Sakura takes her and escape this mayhem. At the park, Sakura continues her story how after they got separated, she still couldn’t do anything on her own. She was almost gang raped when a lady and her MIBs killed her rapists, saved her and took her under her care. Taking a break, Mikura decides to buy some corn but a coin slipped out of her hands, bringing her to a close encounter with Kazuto who eventually abandoned his plans. After having their fill of the corn, Mikura asks about Sakura’s caretaker. She replies they were murdered. Mikura then heads to the public toilet and Sakura following closely behind. She thought she saw Harada (in those odd outfits) but that dude flees with Kurokawa upon seeing that violent b*tch. Inside the toilet, Sakura had some intentions with her knife and Mikura but decides not to go ahead.

At the end of the day, Sakura wants Mikura to accompany her to a place: The abandoned factory. As Mikura looks around, she knows Sakura has thrown her lighter at her and kicks it away. Mikura has known she wanted to kill her ever since at Stray Cat. During the shooting incident, she saw Harada sprinting out and when she returned to Sakura, she saw her trying to diffuse her lighter. Plus, after not seeing each other for 3 odd years, Sakura has never asked anything about her which means she already knew about her when they met and pretended that everything was coincidence. She shows a picture of her caretaker, Momomi Momoi, daughter of Momokichi Momoi, the owner of Peach Twisters which has gone bankrupt. Mikura recognizes her as a psycho woman. Sakura says Mikura was the one that killed her. Flashback reveals a violent and action packed duel between both women at a bowling alley. Momomi was equally crazy as Mikura. Shots fired, blood flying, bodies everywhere. In the end Mikura bested and killed her. Sakura blames Mikura for abandoning her because she was waiting for her to show up all the time. By the time she had forgotten about her, she suddenly took away her most important person. Oh. Those 2 were dating? Sakura is going to finish her off with her knives but she is no match for Mikura’s super human strength. So much so a knife is accidentally stabbed through her chest. Mikura wants to save her but Sakura thought she wanted them both to die together. Since it has come to this, Sakura reveals something interesting. Mikura is the daughter of Momokichi and that Momomi is her sister. She did a lot of digging to find that and not even Momokichi himself knew. She thinks they both have the same eyes, probably why she was attracted to Momomi. Then she runs off to kill herself. Though Mikura chased after her, she bumped into Andou who thought she’s a detective. He attacks but she kicks him unconscious. So when the robot explosion occurred, it fell right onto where Sakura is. She thought the robot looked like Momomi and that she came for her. Then BOOM! The fragments of the explosion also bust open an oil drum that Taneri’s real wife was dumped into. Mikura is saddened at the events that has happened and that’s when she comes into Kurokawa and Harada and it ends with that ramen suggestion.

Episode 6
Harada and Mikura are browsing some shops with androids when Manon Asakura recognizes Harada. He isn’t happy to this old classmate of his (she claims she is his old girlfriend) as she learns Harada is into hardware rather than software of androids. She thought she would like to see love develop AI software but he claims he has not talent in that area and leaves with Mikura. Besides Mikura teasing him about his girlfriend, she wonders why he isn’t into software. Well, developing AI software according to him doesn’t make money. Back at DSA, Mikura sees a TV report that Manon who was inaugurated into Asakura Technics Corporation went missing the other day. She goes to see Harada to get more juicy details about his ‘girlfriend’. Then she sees a memory chip labelled with her name. Maybe there are ‘memorable pictures’ in it. However he asserts it is M-Anon and not Manon. Suspicious… Harada then goes out to buy some parts. Flashback time. He remembers Manon being an intelligent girl in school. Wait. That would even be an understatement. In short, he was secretly in love with this cool beauty but knows he is out of her league. But his friends put him up to ask her out for a date because they want to see him get rejected. Surprisingly, Manon agrees to go out with him! That easy? Yeah, his pals can’t even believe it. If it was that easy to ask her out, they should have done it themselves. Too bad losers. So Harada and Manon start their first date and it is puzzling that she only rides his bike even though she only has 4 hours to herself. The next day in school, Manon coldly ignores Harada. His buddies tease him his dream didn’t last. But later it is revealed that she wants to keep both school and private lives separated. Since she is a model student, she has a reputation to maintain. Harada understands so while the duo maintain their distance at school, they have fun together just about every day. He asks why she chose him but she too doesn’t know the answer. Do you need an answer when you’re in love? Back in reality, Mikura spots the dropped memory chip and gets this sneaky idea to view what is inside it.

Harada is outside when he sees Asami. Surprisingly she accompanies him instead of wanting to be with her heroine. Harada learns her parents are always busy and that she is always alone. He offers to record her fingerprint for some entry thingy so when she presses his cheek with her index finger, it reminded him how he and Manon often did that to each other. More nostalgic memories. So their date went a step further as they rode the Ferris wheel and they even kissed. Harada thought he saw Manon’s eyes flashing. As he sends her back, Manon becomes unresponsive. Stopping at the roadside to see what is wrong with her, suddenly he realizes Manon is an android. She is identifying herself as M-Anon 9993 from Asakura Technics Research Facility and to be returned to the nearest branch immediately. Harada did so and inside the lab he meets Manon’s father. He brings him to see the real Manon who reveals that today they’re supposed to break up and end the experiment. Still confused, they show him M-Anon’s body inside a capsule. This is the ‘Manon’ that he is seeing. Since she didn’t return within the curfew time of 4 hours, her battery ran out. Manon never expected that she would go beyond her calculations. The father and daughter are glad that their AI experiment has reached this stage whereby they could interact on an emotional level with humans. Manon’s father proceeds to boot up Manon’s personality on a monitor so she interacts with Harada like usual. It’s odd that the android has more emotions and memories than her real counterpart. She is happy of the times spent with Harada. Harada wonders if she is the real Manon but even so he has always thought her as a human. Harada gets pissed off when the father and daughter continue to talk about making androids that are just like humans. He didn’t like how his emotions were being toyed. In his rampage he starts destroying the place! I don’t know a kid like him could cause the entire place to catch fire. M-Anon couldn’t understand why he was destroying her. He too doesn’t know why as he sits alone and confused in the midst of the burning lab. He tried to save her but too late. The only thing salvaged was her memory chip. Police surround the place and Kurokawa arrested him. In present time, Mikura is disappointed that this memory chip cannot be loaded and needs to be used on a special computer. She was expecting some dirty pictures?! Kurokawa notes it’s data that gives an android its character, personality and memories. Asami catches Harada off guard when he asks if he and Mikura are dating. He denies. Of course not. She thinks they don’t look compatible. Haha. Then she asks about him building androids. It’s not that she’s interested but she says she’s somewhat scared of them. Yeah, Harada had one experience with it and knows how ‘scary’ it is.

Episode 7
Asami’s bullies force her to enter an old rundown mansion to take a photo of a ghost. Wait a minute. Take a picture of a ghost? Why don’t they get it themselves then? Poor Asami makes her way in only to see a big pro wrestler-like gangster guy beating up the elder owner, Ouya. Before Ouya collapses, he calls his wife over the failed ‘negotiations’. Asami picks up the phone and tells the wife what is happening. She thought she saw a girl in white. Creepy! Thankfully Ouya is rushed to hospital and his wife is grateful to her. She reveals her friends made her take a picture of a ghost so they mention this place is to be torn down and it’s not strange to have such rumours going around. The other residents have already relocated but a group of thugs are being stubborn and have turned this to their advantage. Asami knows a group of people who do dangerous things and can handle things in their place. Guess who? And so Kurokawa accepts this easy job to oust gangsters from an old building and heads to the hospital to talk to the pair for more details. And to of course negotiate the price. It’s all about the money. The rest survey the old mansion and Asami wonders about that girl in white. Harada starting to freak out. Even more, Mikura says she see a girl in the window. CREEPY!!!

Back at DSA, they have gathered some information about the thugs that are made up of Baba (the boss), Kira (the big pro-wrestler guy) and other members that include Sakaguchi and Ouki. Harada needs to plant a tapping bug in their place so Mikura comes up with a crazy idea. She infiltrates the place (getting gross at how messy the place it – like the inside of Kurokawa’s head. Haha!) and poses as a massage girl promoting the opening of her new store. So I guess when Baba couldn’t feel her massage, he starts feeling her butt. That’s when he got kicked. Better be careful. The wall could crumble any minute. His goons come in but they’re no match for her except for Kira. Too big and strong for her kicks to have any effect. She is swung around the place. She manages to place the bug and make her exit by jumping out from the window. While she’s falling, she thought she saw the girl in white. Then using a grappling hook to slide down to her comrades waiting below and speed away. Well, it’s amazing the building is still standing seeing Baba just went trigger happy with his machine gun. And now that this has happened, DSA can’t get close to them since they’re on high alert. But it’s Kurokawa’s turn to hatch a plan. Mikura waits outside the place as the massage girl so mad Baba sends Kira and Sakaguchi to get her. She leads them to a dead end whereby it’s a trap for the cops to corner and arrest them for whatever criminal charges. Seems Kurokawa called his ‘old buddy’ the district police chief, Senzou Omabari. Ouya thanks them for a good job. He thinks with the muscle men out of the way, they can negotiate with the rest. Him? Negotiate with gangsters? He will pay their money and complete the contract. They see Asami staring at the building. She wonders about the girl.

Despite their involvement is over, Harada continues to tap the place since he feels something is wrong. Baba is upset his men got arrested so he accidentally breaks the wall and discovers something horrifying. Somebody (looks like Ouya) destroys the tap and Harada thought his machine was spoiled. Asami is by herself at the place when she picks up the girl’s stuffed bunny and follows her. Mikura wonders when will that girl’s family move so Kurokawa mentions the building is deserted and the thugs are only occupying it. Then it hit Mikura. There’s something wrong about that girl. She didn’t look alive. Yeah, took you long enough. She’s got a bad feeling about this and rushes there. Asami bumps into Ouya and his wife. When she says she wants to return this bunny to the girl, the couple turn into their true colours. They are going to kill her for knowing. Know what? They think she’s threatening them. Threat what? Asami runs and hides inside the gangsters’ room. She is shocked to see their dead body. Ouya reveals his plan to kill the thugs and tried to find a way since that big guy posed a big problem. Mikura arrives just in time to kick that old guy off his balance. Then everybody saw another horrifying thing. The decomposed body of that girl in white behind the broken wall. The couple went crazy, accusing her for coming out and that she’s a bad child. In the aftermath as they pay their respects to the dead girl on the site, Kurokawa explains that the room the thugs were residing used to be Ouya and his wife’s room. Before tearing it down, they wanted to dispose the body but the gangsters settled in. So when the wall crumbled, she was discovered. Asami feels sad for the girl and thought she could do something for her like being her friend. Wondering why she was killed, Kurokawa mentions the couple was very strict and tend to apply harsh punishments. Then it went awry and by accident they killed her. Harada is relieved that he can’t see the girl though he still can’t believe everything. And Kurokawa notes that humans are still scarier than ghosts. So true.

Episode 8
At Makura Research Laboratories, scientist Makura is being persuaded to do some research on antibody reaction to a new type of deadly virus. How? He’ll get paid more. Yeah, find a suitable person and he’ll start the experiments immediately. Asami’s bullies mock and push her down for her failure to get the picture. Mikura saw everything and Asami is happy upon seeing her. However Mikura tells her what is the point if she doesn’t get up on her own. She leaves without lending a hand. On her way back, she gets a ticket for some virtual experience. She tells it to the DSA guys about wanting to be a volunteer but I guess Kurokawa was just mouthing his mouth off before he realizes he has hurt Asami’s feelings. Mikura on her way home from an errand sees the guys consoling Asami at a park. Then back at DSA, she sees the ticket and decides to take up the volunteer job. Makura is more than happy to have her as a volunteer as she is put to sleep in some machine. The other scientists start the dream experiment. Because Makura saw some awesome data, he thought of doing some alterations giving excuses that they need some data to counter if dreams become nightmares. So Mikura is having a weird dream. Harada in a suit late for work and Kurokawa obsessed about bread instead of ramen. Definitely strange. Then she finds herself running away from ninjas, wolves that turn into ninjas. This is not the elegant castle life she wanted. Then Kazuto (now a samurai) tries to slash her with his sword. She got scratched and in real life, she also bleeds. That’s when the system goes out of control and becomes unresponsive. Now the scientists are panicking. Harada, Kurokawa and Asami are at the gates of the lab when Harada mentions he forgot to bring the ticket along. So how? Sneak in! They are baffled to see the ticket on the table. Did it teleport itself here? Haha. Nice one. Then they see the commotion in the next room and Mikura being plugged to a machine. Makura explains about his experiment system thingy. Well, there was nothing wrong when they advertised for volunteers. Note: Was. Though she isn’t in any form of danger, it seems she can’t come back to reality. Asami decides to bring her back by diving into her dream. I don’t understand the explanation about switching this and that and must adhere to some settings or else Mikura will be exposed to additional danger, thus why Asami is the only one who could go in.

Mikura finds herself tied up S&M style while the police chief turns into a tentacle monster to tentacle rape her! Then comes her saviour… Warrior Princess Asami! Huh? She thought she saw Harada the knight in shining armour but it’s just a decoy to tentacle rape her too! Seems Harada is trying to hijack the system. The guys aren’t happy when they learn Makura has turned a deadly virus into an enemy and made defenceless Mikura fight it as a guinea pig. She volunteered? They’re not going to buy that crap. And since Asami’s consciousness is tied with Mikura, they can’t bring her back now. Yeah, all you can do is watch. Kurokawa remembers consoling Asami since she wanted to be strong like Mikura. He suggested holding a good luck charm. A gun?! Asami and Mikura are running towards the exit but stumble upon Mugiyama and his Black Scissors underlings. Mikura couldn’t kick her way out and Mugiyama is going to give her a barber haircut. Sorry man, she prefers the beauty salon. Haha! Asami couldn’t believe she got separated from Mikura and is hiding in fear. Then she sees Kurokawa and Harada opposite and sees his hand gesture. Then a real gun is in her hands as she sums up her courage to fire a couple of shots before Mugiyama could seal Mikura’s fate. In the aftermath, Kurokawa and co are seen walking out of the ruined lab. He mentions giving Asami a loaded gun and when she started firing, it destroyed the system. Well, I guess it’s okay since Mikura and Asami came back alive. That Makura guy may have a hard time losing his livelihood but he deserves it for trying to make a profit by running experiments with live subjects. Mikura and Asami could not remember a single thing from the dream so Mikura notes this virtual experience is meaningless if she can’t remember a thing. She doesn’t even remember the panic the lab was in since she was too dazed. But she did note she wants to take a peek into Kurokawa’s dream. Asami cautions her she better not because she’ll regret it. I have a feeling she’s right!

Episode 9
A serial murderer in a clown suit just killed his victim as he watches Mikura takes down a target. Kurokawa sees Omabari to get some bullets and the chief doesn’t seem to like him but has to oblige because I guess Kurokawa may have saved his ass once too often. News are rife that this serial killer named Mahito is going around killing his victim and leaving a message of what number they are. The police are getting hammered due to their inefficiency and Omabari is having a hard time handling the press. Asami learns that Kurokawa and Omabari are ex-colleagues and the helped them out in all sorts of areas. Seems Kurokawa isn’t part of the force as he was fired due to some misconduct. At least that’s how Mikura puts it. Then they receive a client. He is Hiroshi Otokawa and shows a message he got. He is going to be another one of Mahito’s victims. Though he thinks it’s just a bad joke, he wants to play safe and hires them to be his bodyguard for a week. So as Mikura accompanies him, she is appalled he has no plans whatsoever and wherever they go it seems like a date. So when her time is up, she just goes. Meanwhile Harada gets a call from Asami. She wants him to come to her place. Seems Asami has got a message from Mahito too and is quite scared. However Harada laughs it off as a prank. I don’t think she’s joking. She wants to hire him as her bodyguard! Just to sooth her anxiety, he hacks the phone to discover where the message was sent. Though, Asami would’ve preferred him to be her bodyguard. It’s much easier that way, right? They trace it to an abandoned building and as Harada notes if the police can’t catch him and he can, it means this is just an imposter, right? However they see a dead body inside the room. Asami sees Mahito’s message on the door and this really isn’t a prank. Harada wants her to get home because if the police get here, it’ll be messy. Harada somehow got caught and was released by Omabari since he knows Kurokawa. However the chief relays a message through him to warn Kurokawa not to be sneaky behind his back. So the trio sit down and talk about what just happened. They notice something strange about that message. Instead of the usual “You are victim number five”, it was written “He was number five”. It’s like as though they are leaving a message to others. It can’t be Asami since she is unable to do hacking. So this could mean the message was intended for DSA? But since they’re not defenders of justice nor is there any money in it, Kurokawa has no reason to oblige. But for Mikura, she just wants to kick somebody’s ass.

Mikura goes do her bodyguard job and tells Otokawa she wants to end this job right now. He is shocked because he thought the deal was for a week as he planned to seduce her for that period. Oops. Harada and Kurokawa continue to discuss about the recent murder. They note all the victims were scumbags. Maybe this Mahito guy is some dark crusader of justice? Then Kurokawa realizes something odd. If that guy who just got killed is number five and Otokawa is number six, shouldn’t Otokawa get killed first since he got the message earlier than the fifth guy? Plus, the handphone that was sent to Asami, it was never on scene of the dead guy. Mikura calls the guys to tell them she has turned down the bodyguard job. When she returns to Otokawa, he drops dead! How can somebody just got killed in the middle of the crowd just like that?! Mikura sees a shady character and goes after him. Harada and Kurokawa rush on site and from witnesses’ information, they have an idea where Mikura went. The clown figure leads Mikura into the building and she almost got sliced by a giant axe. Inside a room, pictures of the victims distracted her and the clown tied a noose around her neck. She takes out her gun and he dares her to shoot. Unfortunately, it’s a dud. However he is upset she can’t execute him and will have to kill her and find some other who can kill him. Meanwhile Harada notes that the dead Otokawa is actually a robot and that the real one is… Yup, you guessed it. That clown = Otokawa = Mahito. Seems Otokawa is playing a game to see who can execute who first. He got bored with this world but suicide seemed boring and would like to die by somebody’s hands. He laments that death penalty in this country has become illegal and all those he executed were just scums. He wanted to be executed by a cute girl like her and saw her the other night. He’s talking about wanting to get killed by others. I’m sure if he lets Mikura down, she’ll kill him. So what’s he talking about? Kurokawa fires a shot to snap the noose while Harada pins that psycho down. Otokawa dares her to kill him but all she did was punched him in the face (and lost a few teeth). Even if it kills her, she won’t kill him and wants him to rot in prison for the rest of his life. Is she sure about that? Later Kurokawa confronts Omabari about the duds and the latter is quite apologetic. To make things up, he gives him more bullets so I guess Kurokawa lets him off the hook. Pleasure doing business with ‘ya.

Episode 10
The famous Diamond Eyes mummy is being exhibit in Japan. With jewels eyes and teeth, you know it’s going to be a target of thieves, right? However there is this curse going around that all those involved with the mummy died in mysterious ways. Harada and Mikura don’t really believe about the curse but it seems Kurokawa has taken up the job to transfer the mummy. Have they learnt anything from that escort job with the virus last time? Seems the sheikh, Furahre Nabacola hired Kurokawa for the job. He doesn’t deny about the rumours of the curse that people had died mysteriously. But all transports in Japan have rejected them and DSA is his only hope left. So to say, they are going to shoulder the curse too? Furahre mentions their country is poor and makes their income via exhibits around the world. Japan is the first of many stops and if this fails, you can see where this is going. Since other treasures are being transported through normal channels, DSA will take a different route so if anything happens to them, the media won’t get a lead on them and that anything could be erased. Blunt, but that’s the truth. Kurokawa is going to reject the job, mentioning the things he is not good dealing with (including blonde, tight bodied pheromone wives!). However Furahre gives him a cheque. Wow! How many zeroes are there?! I guess even Mikura is hyped up to challenge the mummy’s curse. Meanwhile Kazuto gets a haircut at Mugiyama. Seems the barber wants him to finish the job within this week as there’s no turning back now. As DSA discuss the routes to take, suddenly Kurokawa gets intense stomach pain. Must be the ramen. Wait! Is this the mummy’s curse? Don’t say it is! After being wheeled off into the ambulance, Harada drives there to visit him but a black cat crosses his path. He swerves to avoid and the brakes are not working. Into the river! See, that’s what you get for rubbishing curses. Mikura and Asami are walking along when the metal signboard almost fell on them! What was it again about transporting that dried potato, girl? Once the gang are back together, Kurokawa mentions something strange about the ramen he ate that gave him the crams. It seems it was from the store that was promoting its ramen and when he went back to file a complaint, the store never existed. Is this the curse working? This only pumps up Mikura to challenge that mummy.

On the day they are transporting the mummy, because the crate is heavy (the mummy is loaded with jewels. What do you expect?) Kurokawa and Harada lost balance. Thank goodness the mummy is alright. Could’ve been cursed by the Pharaoh, eh? But Mikura is showing no respect and kicks the coffin! Moments later, the truck they’re supposed to transport the mummy blows up! OMG! If they were slightly faster or that incident didn’t happen, they could’ve been roasted. The curse is heating up. But it seems a few baddies aren’t happy things didn’t go their way. Transporting it in another truck, Kurokawa seems to be praying real hard to God. Was he a believer? His fear gets even worse upon thinking Mikura who is at the back with the mummy, giving that dried potato a lecture! Dead people don’t talk back, right? Suddenly several cars pull up alongside and they fire at them. The chase is so intense that the coffin broke from its strap. Though Mikura is not amused, she says she’ll still protect it since it’s her job. Harada tries to out manoeuvre the cars but eventually the truck crashes on his side. The guys are being held up as the baddies transport the mummy to their own truck. They are glad Mikura is hiding pretty well but are baffled because usually at this point, she’ll just kick ass. The baddie reveals that the curse was fake and they used it to their advantage to warn people to lay off the mummy as they plan to steal it. So every ‘curse’ that has happened to far was done by them but they were so lucky that it had to come down to this. Oh sh*t! Come to think of it, they weren’t bad luck, they were lucky to escape by the skin of their teeth! Now he’s going to kill them. Before anything else could happen, Mikura busts out of the coffin and does some serious kick ass! She’s wearing the Pharaoh’s garb! OMG! Your saviour Goddess has arrived! Mikura mentions the mummy ‘told’ her that someone was targeting them. The mummy what? That’s why they trade places and she wore his garb. The baddie still hasn’t given up yet and is about to pull the trigger on them. However the gun backfired and exploded in his hands! It’s curse for him but luck for our trio. The mummy is safely transported and Omabari (whose force was in charge of transporting the other treasures) isn’t pleased Furahre had hired DSA secretly to transport that mummy. But Kurokawa puts it, all is well and ends well since they both completed their job. Before DSA parts with the mummy, Mikura mentions how it was the mummy who saved them. If Harada and Kurokawa had not dropped the mummy then, Mikura could’ve been blown up as she was in the truck. And then when the gun backfired on the baddie, can’t say it’s all coincidence, no? She apologizes for calling it a dried potato. Well, at least she’s showing some respect. As DSA head back, Kazuto prepares to make his move on them.

Episode 11
Kazuto charges towards Kurokawa but Harada pushes the old guy out of the way because he saw a body falling off a building. Woah! Somebody just committed suicide and almost took Kurokawa with him. Kazuto withdraws but Mikura spots him and goes after him. She wants to know why Kurokawa is being targeted but he ignores her. She got distracted by the phone ring and the next thing she knows, he is gone. Next day, Asami sends a video because she was worried about them. Mikura teases Harada that Asami likes him. Meanwhile Kurokawa sees the young boss of a yakuza clan. Seems there is this serial killer called Phantom who has been going around those who received his mail. Doesn’t this sound familiar? Four of the five have already been killed and the last one is the young’s boss father. And all those killed seems to be quite important people. It is mentioned that the killer is so skilled no one has ever seen his face with the exception of some girlfriend of one of the victims. She was with him when he was killed by couldn’t take the trauma and killed herself. So what the young boss wants isn’t a bodyguard. Heck, yakuzas needing bodyguard? They want him to die in their boss’ place. Oh sh*t! Or at least be a decoy so that he can catch this Phantom killer. What about using a robot as a dummy. No good. Tried before but the real one got killed instead. Mikura happily wants to go with this case because if they fail, their reputation will be tarnished. So… Who is the one who is going to be ‘killed’? Looks like Kurokawa got the honour. So screwed. Kurokawa disguises as the yakuza boss while the hospital is heavily guarded with his men. Mikura is the nurse while Harada sets up cameras everywhere. The real boss is at the top floor but it seems the killer knows about it and makes his move. An unregistered presence is detected so everyone goes on alert. However a gunshot is heard and it seems the real one got killed. Harada suspects something amiss. If the killer is on the roof, then who is this one right on this floor? Turns out to be Kazuto as he strangles Kurokawa with a wire. Harada saves him in time while Mikura goes after him. They fight but he clearly overwhelms her. However he doesn’t kill her and leaves. Mikura has most of her energy drained and collapses. The guys run up to the rooftop to see the yakuza cornering another one of their men (he was the one by the boss’ side). Is he the culprit? However he goes crazy and blows himself up with the grenade.

The young boss holds a funeral but it is a mock one because the real one is somewhere else. The one who died was just a body double. So a decoy to fool a decoy? Well, DSA got compensated anyway. Harada and Kurokawa talk about the victims of Phantom. Kurokawa mentions about the development of LCD screens and those who were killed were involved in its making. The person whom this was stolen from is Yuuichirou Ozuma. Harada thinks he has heard his name before and does a search. It turns out to be the guy who jumped down the building. He was a famous programmer and was also the client. Harada is baffled why Phantom wasn’t detected on the cameras. Then he realized something. Learning the circumstances the victims were killed, the victims didn’t take precautions and the location of someone close is unknown, Harada goes on a massive internet search and finds Phantom. It is some sort of virus that applies hypnotism to whoever looks at the screen of the handphone. Ozuma was the one who made the vaccine which destroyed it but with his level of skills, making a stronger version for handphone video isn’t a problem. Even if the person is dead, the order execution programme is still activated. Since mail is sent indiscriminately to anyone close to the target and a personal judgement is made, if the person is dead, the order is forgotten. But if the person is alive, then the order is to kill. Thus there is no person named Phantom. The murderers are those who saw the mail and got controlled. This makes the controlled person believe he is Phantom and after mission accomplish, he will kill himself to leave no traces of evidence. So that’s why when the bodyguard killed the fake yakuza boss, he killed himself as he didn’t know it was just a body double and thought he had accomplished his mission. Kurokawa calls the young boss to inform him not to let anyone close to the real boss answer his handphone. However it fell on deaf ears as he doesn’t give a damn. Soon, the yakuza who was guarding the real boss fell victim to this Phantom programme and kills him before jumping out of the window to commit suicide. And the young boss couldn’t believe it. For DSA, they’ve got no obligations to continue since the yakuza got what they deserved. Mugiyama and his men surround Kazuto over his failure. However he beats the goons up and gets close enough to threaten him. He assures he will settle this.

Episode 12
A short flashback sees Kazuto killing his father for killing his mother. With nowhere to go and out in the streets, he is picked up by Mugiyama who likes his cold emotionless eyes. Mikura gives Asami some basic martial arts lessons. She seems fine doing the basic punches. Mikura accompanies Kurokawa to the ramen shop since she is worried about him as the events have become more dangerous. True enough, her sixth sense kicks in and she pushes Kurokawa down as Kazuto fires randomly into the shop. The duo run out the back and they thought they got the better of Kazuto but it’s the opposite. Kazuto seems to have the advantage but something is making him hesitate. This allows Kurokawa to fire a shot to wound his arm and make their escape. Mugiyama’s henchman has observed everything and reports back that Kazuto was hesitant in firing not only to Kurokawa but Mikura as well. Since it is obvious Kurokawa is being targeted, Mikura goes out to do errands for him (what else? Ramen). However several tough guys approach her and want her to come along. Like hell she’s going to listen. Don’t think their big and tough looks are enough to intimidate her. She knocks them out instead! It took Mugiyama’s henchman to stun her out with a taser. The others realize Mikura is late and feel something is wrong. She is in fact being tied up in a strait jacket at Mugiyama’s place. He’s going to give her a nice shave and he’s just letting her sit here till somebody gets the job done. Mugiyama’s henchman calls Kazuto to say he has made his job easier and to finish it. Kazuto makes a move and he doesn’t like his work to be interfered. That guy is suspicious that for a skilled assassin to drag a job this long, has he fallen for that DSA girl? Kazuto shoots and kills him! Omabari seems to be having an affair with his daughter’s friend, Aya. Suddenly Kurokawa barges his way through all those policemen stopping him. It’s no use trying to hide Aya since Kurokawa’s a sharp old dude. So that chief has to order his men to stand back. Kurokawa is here to collect some cool ammo from him. After concluding their business, it seems Omabari’s business with Aya has also concluded because the girl has lost her mood. He is furious and can’t leave it to that barber anymore. Kurokawa and Harada are driving along. The old guy has a feeling Mikura was target so it would be easier to kill him. It’s obvious when the bodyguard is out of the way, right? In that case, they will have to strike first.

Asami didn’t like sitting and waiting around the office and do nothing despite being assured by Harada. Thinking she needs to help out, she rushes out. She sees Mikura’s handphone lying outside Mugiyama’s barber. Wait a minute. It was lying there all day right under their noses and nobody notices it or picks it up?! Asami peeks through the door gaps and to her horror sees Mikura tied up in the seat. Mikura is asking if Mugiyama has a grudge against Kurokawa. I’m sure he does but he just says it’s his job. Asami needs to save her now and barges in with a beautiful flying kick. Mugiyama thought this cute little girl is harmless and I suppose let his guard down but she lands him a kick in his crotch! Ouch! She remembered those kicking lessons well, eh? So the tables are turned and Mugiyama now gets tied up while the girls rush off. At an abandoned building, Kurokawa and Kazuto play cat and mouse. Kazuto thought he had fired his bullets into him when it turns out to be an inflatable decoy. The guys corner him and want him to spill the details but his mouth his zipped. Kazuto drops his submachine gun but wounds Harada with his hidden knife. Then he chases Kurokawa to the rooftop. He thought he got shot but it seems it is Mikura who shot Kazuto’s shoulder. Since he couldn’t sit quietly, a struggle ensues as both Mikura and Kazuto fall off the ledge. If not for the grappling hook, they could have plunged to their deaths. However the hook isn’t going to hold on so Kazuto kicks Mikura into a storey floor before he plummets down. Kurokawa gets a call from Asami. I’m sure she’s not just calling to see if he is alright. Well, there’s something big happening on the news. Seems the police have moved in on a country-wide arrest on Black Scissors and DSA which is a part of its group that has been responsible for contract assassinations. Hey, those are the mugs of the DSA trio. Why is only Mikura has her eyes blacked out? The police have raided Mugiyama’s place and detain that barber. So the real crook behind it all is of course Omabari, who relishes at this great opportunity.

Episode 13
Thanks to the tarpaulin, Kazuto got some soft landing. Since the police has surrounded DSA, Kurokawa needs to head back to check on things while Harada stays back to find Mikura. Well, Harada says he’ll be fine and this little injury is nothing. Yeah, he just doesn’t want to worry others and once he enters the lift, he collapses due to loss of blood. Asami is hiding in Harada’s robot workshop when he police and Omabari comes in to search. The chief gets a call that Mugiyama has escaped from transit and orders a hunt for that barber while leaving minimal men to guard the place. Omabari has also hired a pair of dirty and crooked cops who would do anything (even if it’s illegal) as long as there is money. They are Akudou and Kose and Omabari wants Kurokawa dead before he spreads any scandals about him. Kurokawa is a few blocks away from DSA but Akudou confronts him. Prior to that, he told Asami to find some button and press it. The entire office exploded! Boom! The explosion distracts Akudou and gives Kurokawa enough time to speed off to fetch Asami sliding down the garbage chute. So why was there a bomb in the place? Well, they fixed it as part of a joke if the building was ever surrounded and never thought of using it this way. Besides, the office is supposed to be rocked a little and not come collapsing down! Tells you about the materials of the structure, eh? Old… Mikura sees Kazuto lying unconscious and notes how lucky he is. Maybe she shouldn’t have said that because the metal pipes start falling. Mikura uses her own body to shield Kazuto. Once Kazuto is awake, she borrows his handphone to call an ambulance. Though she can’t forgive him for targeting Kurokawa, he did save her and needs to repay that. Kazuto suddenly throws his knife. But this is to lure out Kose who is here not to arrest them. Kose fires his gun at Mikura but this time Kazuto uses his body to shield her. Mikura pump some bullets into Kose’s guts. The last word Kazuto said to Mikura was his name. Kose still had enough strength to pick up his gun and target Mikura but is shot dead by Kurokawa who came back in time. Then they hear Asami’s scream. She has found Harada’s body in the elevator. Thankfully, he’s not dead. Since Asami’s parents are away overseas for the month, she allows them to take refuge at her home since she considers them her friends. As for their arrest warrants, Kurokawa says they’ll have to get to the root of this and show who among them is the true crook.

Omabari isn’t thrilled that Kose is dead after paying so much and wants Akudou to kill that baldy. No need to repeat because Akudou will do it for revenge. Omabari gets a call from Aya. Seems she is an idol and in a meet-the-fans session. She received a bomb threat on this place so Omabari decides to show off his power by putting his entire force on standby at her session (among them is Mugiyama in disguise). Halfway through suddenly the big screens display Aya and Omabari’s steamy private affair. All the fan boys must be shocked! Aya slaps Omabari because she’s screwed. Omabari isn’t pleased to learn Kurokawa and Mikura are the ones who put up that video and orders his men to arrest them. However the otakus are not going to let the chief get away since he sullied their Aya. Police chief or not, they beat him up! Feel the power of the otakus! Kurokawa and Mikura run into Akudou. The duo put their hands up despite knowing he is not here to arrest them. In a blink of an eye, Mikura swiftly pushes Kurokawa away (Akudou’s shot barely just scraped past him), picks up her gun and fire back to disarm Akudou and do some cool kung fu kicks before getting thrown into the lamp post. Kurokawa has got his gun so Akudou can do nothing but let them escape. However the police have cordoned the area off to isolate them and Akudou relishes hunting them down. The duo tease Akudou by hiding in the Ferris wheel carriage. Akudou fires away when the carriage comes down. It’s amazing Kurokawa didn’t hit when he busts out of the carriage just like that (the carriage was made of steel, I guess). The distraction was supposed to trap him inside but Akudou pulled Mikura with her and she’s hanging on the ledge of the carriage as it continues to rise. Kurokawa races to the control room to reverse the Ferris wheel’s direction. The jerk has Mikura fall off. At this point both sides pull the trigger but Mikura is faster and more accurate and nails it right in his forehead. She is hanging by a wire. Omabari wakes up after all that beating and wonders why all his men are out cold. Then he realizes Mugiyama behind and the barber is going to make this seal face return to the cold freezing ocean. Safe to say, he got what’s coming.

In the aftermath, Asami’s bullies continue to extort her for money. However this time she isn’t going to quietly give in. This time she could say no and fight back! Oh yeah! Show those bullies where they stand! Maybe she’s the new Mikura in the making because she’s saying her trademark lines of not living long enough to eat dinner if you’re like this or like that. Mugiyama’s business is back but the customers will have to make do with the decimated building. Fancy an open air haircut? As for DSA, their new ‘office’ is temporarily based at the park. It’s getting cold… I wonder how they salvaged the large “DSA” neon lights signboard. Then Mikura has a vision that they’ll be having a dangerous job soon. That’s what they do, right?

Mezzo Forte

Prior to the TV series, a double episode OVA called Mezzo Forte was released back in 2001 and is actually a prequel. Maybe I should have seen this first but heck, it never hurts to see the TV series sequel and then go back for a little retro. This OVA tells the story of DSA and their run in with the mob boss of Momokichi who owns a professional baseball team and her psycho daughter, Momomi. No wonder there were some clips in that episode with Sakura that looked like as though there was another episode made (and the drawing seemed slightly different too). And here it was. So what happens when you’re a danger service agent and get yourself into even more danger with the mob? Furthermore, things go very much awry. Hell yeah, not even God can help you. That’s why you’ve got to rely on yourself.

Episode 1
Momokichi and Momomi watch a game of baseball since he is the owner of the Peach Twisters baseball team. Later at the car park, Momokichi beats up the ineffective pitcher till the bat breaks while his daughter finishes him off with several gun shots. Game over. The DSA trio are delivering a life-like female robot to some shady guys (they’re going to use ‘her’ for prostitution of course). While checking the goods, Harada and Mikura get body searched and one of the guys searches Mikura too far by having his hands all over her body and gets a super slap. Meanwhile Kurokawa who has his car parked outside meets an ex-colleague. Seems he is not happy about his book that has revealed about the corruption in the force. Although the police and Kurokawa are no saint, he did this since he got fired and well, it’s making lots of money. Be prepared for volume 2! The shady guys are not going to live up to the deal to pay up so they’re going to kill the duo. Good thing they never trusted them so they started backtracking and countdown. Eh? Nothing happens? Actually it’s supposed to be Kurokawa’s cue but he’s currently being harassed by the officer. Eventually he manages to push the button and this sends the robot bloating before exploding the entire room. Harada and Mikura jump out the window and into Kurokawa’s car. The baddies also jump down and are going to give their piece of sh*t to them. There are holes in the car now. Mikura takes out her gun and starts firing. Now there are even more holes in the car. Kurokawa steps on the pedal to make their escape.

Back at DSA, the trio are having a nice nabe courtesy of Kurokawa’s royalties. They are being visited by a client Emoto who called yesterday. Momokichi’s bodyguard, Hirooka tells Momomi that her herbal doctor is here. However he wants to know why the dead bodies of the team’s baseball coaches are floating in her pool. Seems they tried to sell her to a gossip magazine and she killed them. Like father, like daughter. She’s not even fazed! She thinks it’s hell of a normal since papa does this all the time. Heck, he’s got about 17 women and he’s interested with someone else’s wife. Humans… Soon Momomi and her dad are having a bowling game of their own at their own alley. Harada and Mikura are close by as their target is Momokichi. They try to drug his drink via mechanical ladybug with laxative but it’s not going too well. Hirooka spots the ‘bug’ and swats it away. Though it is destroyed, the laxative fortunately fell into Momokichi’s drink. Soon that guy is running to the toilets to take a dump. This is where Mikura and Harada jump in from the ceiling to put that guy to sleep and drag him out through the ceiling. Man, how heavy is this dude? So as they drag him, his ring fell off and well, down the air wells and all, it had to land directly to where his bodyguards are standing guard outside the toilet. They know something is wrong. One of them confronts the duo (still dragging the fat guy) and wants him back. Okay. Okay? Yeah, throw it back to him. Hah! He can’t even carry! So blam! Mikura fights him and in the struggle to put him to sleep, Harada accidentally injects himself. Goodnight. This is no time to catch 40 winks! The bodyguard dares Mikura to steal the boss away and guess what? She just shoots through him! Shoot first, don’t talk. But when he falls, he crashes down through the ceiling, right in the middle of Momomi’s game. It’s either he is heavy or the ceiling’s structure is too weak. Oh, the fat daddy comes following too.

Momomi and Mikura’s eyes met and it’s as though they’ve got a feeling they’ve seen each other before through their visions. Then the cool action starts with Mikura fighting and pounding all the bodyguards, breaking their necks, limbs and balls with her twists, turns and kicks. Momomi uses her shotgun to fire away and doesn’t care if she hits her own men. Hirooka stops her since he doesn’t want her to kill the boss. Since Mikura is out of bullets and options, she starts getting panicky and wonders where the hell that old baldy is. Oh look. Here he comes. Crashing his car into the alley! They got enough time to put Momokichi’s body in the boot and Mikura time to do bowling with the bomb bowling ball. Strike! But she’s not doing it for fun. Remember when the ball goes to the end and back of the lane, where would it resurface? That’s right. Since the bodyguards are too busy firing away at the car, they didn’t see it come back up. Then BOOM! Our DSA trio must have one hell of a ride. From inside the alley to outside the sewers. Hey, the car is still running! Mikura wakes up in a hotel and it seems she likes Kurokawa?! Then they proceed to make love and once he is done, it’s Harada’s turn but she’s not too happy doing it with this guy. Turns out it is just a ‘nightmare’. Kurokawa and Harada are confronting Emoto about the lack of information that put them in danger. Well, they specialize in dangerous jobs, right? Well yeah, they’d prefer to stay out of danger too. Emoto wants to see Momokichi and imagine Kurokawa and Harada’s surprise when they learn who their target is. I see they know him by name and not by looks, eh? But Emoto can’t pay the other half of the deal. Because Momokichi’s dead. Crap.

Episode 2
Momomi isn’t happy the bodyguards were useless and failed to stop the kidnapping. She borrows a gun and shoots them all! And if any of them is still breathing, the other men will shoot him dead! Harada and Kurokawa know they are in big sh*t as they bury Momokichi’s body. They know about Momomi’s reputation as a psycho b*tch and have to do something about it quick since she uses her crimes to cover up her big businesses. Mikura has an idea since they don’t know Momokichi is dead and can use that to their advantage. However the guys aren’t too fond about it even if Mikura ‘threatens’ she’ll quit. Though Emoto was tied up, he manages to free himself and hold up the trio with a gun. He says he is a hit man hired by Momokichi a while ago. After burying in a sure place nobody will ever find Momokichi’s body, they talk it out at a diner. Emoto mentions about the cases whereby baseball players were murdered. Kurokawa remembers that unsolved case when he was still in the police force (and have long flowing hair!) and pursued it with a passion. Emoto admits he was the one who killed them all. About a year ago he retired as a hit man and Momokichi gave him lots of parting gifts as appreciation. The problem is Momomi. Due to her suspicious nature, she thought he would betray the organization and wanted to kill him. That’s why he asked their help to kidnap her father. At least as insurance till he escapes overseas. But that doesn’t seem to be happening now. He wants them to go along with Mikura’s plan. Otherwise he’ll kill them and only leave Mikura alive (because she shares his same view). Got your backs against the wall, eh? Suddenly the shady perverted duo show up. Fate to meet them here? They throw Emoto out of the place. First thing Mikura asks is about the payment. Maybe they’ll pay for their funeral. But being perverts they are, Mikura distracts them with a naked woman call. The oldest trick in the book and they fell for it. They stick the knives into their hands! OMG! Bloody! When the trio get out, they Emoto’s is nowhere to be found.

Momomi dreams about her father telling her to be nice to Mikura because they’re both ‘the same’. They get a ransom letter that wants Momomi to do the exchange herself in 3 days. Millions of dollars in exchange for her father’s life. Looking at the disc that comes with the letter, it shows Momokichi telling them to do what they are being told. A tough guy like him getting subordinated? DSA must be truly fearsome or his age is showing. However Momomi isn’t going to give in yet and will use this time to stall and run background checks on the kidnapper. Mikura goes out of the office in pretence to buy food (she’s sick of ramen and they have orders to stay in since they might be targeted). But this is a ploy to meet Emoto at his place. Meanwhile Kurokawa and that ex-colleague are watching a movie together. Heck, Kurokawa is blackmailing him for some information in exchange he won’t put into his next book about his gay relationship with the chief! Outside, Kurokawa is being attacked by a couple of Momomi’s men. They pry his fingernails to make him talk! Ouch! They let down their guard since they think he is injured and willing to talk but Kurokawa shows why he is a hard-bitten cop and puts the bullets back in them. No mercy! Kurokawa rushes back and calls Harada what happened and thinks if Momomi plans to double cross them, she’ll have to think again. Emoto gives the other half of the money to Mikura. He thought holding it back after Momokichi’s death was childish but if he gave them then, he is afraid the guys will take and run. Mikura says she believes they will not betray her. But nevertheless she’ll put it in her personal account. Sneaky, sneaky. As she leaves, Momomi and her men just came up the elevator. It’s time for some super human action with Mikura’s punch sending a guy blasting through the wall!!! Momomi however shocks her out with a taser. Kurokawa returns to see his office bombed. Luckily Harada was hiding in his workshop which the baddies didn’t find and is safe.

Momomi beats up Mikura but she’s not getting an answer. Mikura can’t fight back due to still being groggy after the taser attack. Momomi is about to carve her face when she gets a call from Kurokawa. He wants an exchange for Mikura with Momokichi. Of course. And they’ll meet at the baseball stadium. The reason why Momomi was able to find details about them was thanks to the perverted duo. They reported them to her after their meeting at the diner. Since they have 8 hours to go, Momomi allows them to use the balance of their time to ‘efficiently’ do whatever they want with Mikura. Oh sh*t! It can’t be! They rape her! At the stadium, both sides meet and race opposite to retrieve what they want. Momomi of course has dirty tricks up their sleeve as she has Hirooka arrange some hit men to take them out. However Hirooka kills the hit men! When Momomi is reunited with her dad, he is acting strange. I mean, he says he doesn’t like violence. Of course he is actually a robot and Momomi is still unaware. Harada is supposed to push to button to detonate but I guess some programming somewhere was off so Momokichi starts running instead. The DSA trio bump into the perverted duo with Momomi and her dad. Momomi wastes no time in letting a few bullets fly into Mikura. Wait a minute. She went down that easily and the guys aren’t worried? Suddenly the car comes barging onto the scene and out comes Mikura! The one who was shot was just an android. Kurokawa mentions due to an ex-member of theirs helping them to get in, they substituted Mikura with a double before her interrogation. This means the perverted duo raped the android! Felt so real, eh? So the final showdown as both ladies fire at each other. The shots accidentally hit Momokichi and in the end Momomi got shot. Momomi realizes her dad is an android and that she lost to this trash girl. She swears she will kill her in the next world. For now, sleep tight. Good riddance for that psycho woman.

Emoto appears and shows his true identity: Hirooka. The gang know it was him since when he entered their office, they did a body scan and the result was his bones didn’t match of those of an old man. Hirooka is going to kill them but Mikura expected this. Seems he needed to use them as a third party to kill them and after that he’ll take over the business with his own strategies. Momokichi doesn’t know how to run a baseball business and those DSA guys don’t know about him. Easy, right? Well, Harada says he doesn’t know about them too. Momokichi’s malfunction indicates his self-destruction mode is activating. The body explodes and sends Hirooka flying up into the air. Man on fire! Then he lands right in the middle of the baseball field and probably his own grave. Is that where they buried Momokichi’s real body?! Damn! The trio are still alive. Lamenting they didn’t get the ransom. Lamenting the car will be scraped. Lamenting if the authorities will find Momokichi’s body. Well, even if they do, they were careful not to leave behind any clues. The perverted duo are fed up they’ve always get the short end of the stick. They are going to put the trio out of commission and are confident since they don’t have guns or weapons. Suddenly the car comes crashing down on them. Splat and flat! In the aftermath, looks like their office will cost a lot to be repaired. They might be out of business for a while when Mikura sees another vision that will have them rake in big bucks. Well guys. Should you take up the offer?

If You Aren’t Kickass Enough, You Won’t Be Alive To Eat Dinner…
Okay… So it was pretty much an enjoyable affair. Firstly, the action did not disappoint. I would rate them four stars out of five. However I wish I could say this for all the action and choreographed bits but some action sequences felt like they were poorly done. When I saw the first cool action scene in which Mikura was busting the balls of those Black Scissors guys, I knew I was going to love the intense action that the series has to offer. However in some subsequent episodes like the one that involves the alien and the car chase for the escort mission (for both escorts), it feels ‘weak’ and not convincing to make me feel the excitement that Mikura gives whenever she goes into fighting mode. Yeah, in terms of addiction, action here is like sex. Oops. More on this dirty topic later. The OVA it seems as compared to the TV series is grittier, violent, bloodier and much gorier. It’s what you expect from an OVA production that can’t be shown on normal television. Heck, this show isn’t for kids in the first place. So be warned. Get ready to see holes through body parts and blood flying all over the place. It’s a dog eat dog world and a dangerous place so the violence here reflects the kind of hostility that the characters will have to go through in their jobs and daily lives. Negotiation isn’t part of this world’s vocabulary. If you want to get something done, you have got to get down and dirty. I guess with this show having lots of violence, there are lots of deaths too but they are mostly on other minor characters for that episode and it’s a good thing that our DSA ‘heroes’ time isn’t up yet although they have stared many times at the face of death (and got out of it). That’s what you call survival if you have got what it takes to continue breathing in this dangerous place.

The DSA trio could take on any kind of jobs no matter how absurd it is so much so I thought they were really pushing it when they put in the first few couple of episodes a job that involves a ghost and an alien! Unbelievable! I mean, I thought it would be just the most dangerous and precarious tasks that no other humans would even want to take on (not even Gintama’s Yorozuya would) but putting in ghosts, an alien and eventually androids into the case? Really out of this world. And with DSA coming out tops in the end (or at least they succeeded in their mission one way or another – but whether getting paid or not is a different story), I thought, man, what is next for these guys to conquer? How about monsters like vampires or werewolves? Then they can even move on to God! Yeah, at this rate, I still think Mikura can face up to God or any kind of demigods and kick their ass without feeling repentant. Well, that Pharaoh’s case was the closest one to a God but it didn’t count since they weren’t fighting against it. Yeah, nothing can stop them if they put their mind and skills to it. Of course with lots of luck. But the worst kind of creatures that DSA has to put up with is of course humans. They come in all sorts of bad, psychotic attitude and crazy personality so that’s why when the baddies bite the dust, you don’t feel for them and in fact, root for DSA to beat the crap out of them.

The second amusing thing is the interaction between the DSA trio. You should also pay attention to the lines they say as some of them are witty. They might seem like a bunch of ragtags put together but they have this deep trust and bond, the reason why they work well together and get to pull off their dangerous jobs. Mikura the action woman is the kind of strong and tough girl you don’t want to mess with because she rather beat you up rather than listen to reasoning. Though she may seem more brawn than brains, she isn’t exactly stupid and as I put it, rather naive from the workings of society and the world. But I guess that is okay since nobody can best her when she is in top form as she does it her way. Just give her a gun and she’ll be a mean lean machine. If not gun, then her kicks will do. But better to have a gun lah. Something about the team leader Kurokawa that I find amusing. It’s the way he talks. How should I put it, it’s like in his speech he likes to make puns of certain words and some words he says it too fast like as though there is no full stop in between. If he wasn’t a policeman, I bet he could make a good comedian. If not, a good ramen tester. He knows the best ramen in the world. Wait, no. Hell, every ramen is good to him! I don’t know how this guy gets his information but once he has some dirt on you, you’re going to be at his mercy for the rest of your life. For Harada, he’s got his good points and funny parts too. To me, he may the least interesting out of the DSA trio, but without this blonde, the team won’t feel complete. Asami may not be part of DSA but her motivation to be as strong as Mikura and her little help outs do save the skin of the DSA trio at crucial times. Whether it is official or not, Asami is a valuable asset to DSA. Maybe she’ll have a chance of joining after she graduates from school? I mean, DSA is already made up of weirdoes, what is an elementary school girl into the mix? Right, don’t want to make it weirder, eh? Besides, it’s not like Asami doesn’t know the danger she is getting into when she gets involves with DSA, right? So it’s a good thing she learns a few life lessons or two and in the end, doesn’t let her bullies walk all over her. This Mugiyama is a strange guy too. The way he acts makes you wonder if he is an ally or enemy. Maybe it’s just his obsession that he likes to ‘trim’ people especially if they fail or upset him. Omabari when he first appeared, I knew there was more to him than meets the eye and that he would be hiding something. I was right when he turned out to be the biggest crook. Heck, a lot of people here are villains. Even the DSA trio aren’t angels either, you know? With a face that looks like a bad guy and strands of moustache that resembles whiskers, don’t you think that’s enough a giveaway to consider this guy as the villain?

There were a few things from this series that I didn’t comprehend. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention (because all I am interested in was Mikura busting people’s ass). For instance, about Kazuto. So we’ve got this mysterious killer who is targeting Kurokawa. His presence is like a teaser to us, making us wonder why he is out for that baldy. I’m sure Kurokawa has stepped on a lot of feet during his time at DSA and in the police force but that’s another story. The odd thing is that Kazuto hesitates in killing his target. It’s like everything must go well if he is to execute his target. And if there is a slight interruption to his plan, he abandons it. In this case, how can he ever get the job done? That’s why he’s stalling to kill Kurokawa right till the very end. So what is the cause of his hesitation? Does he really have a heart for Mikura? It may not be obvious but it’s the only possible reason why he couldn’t get his job done after so long. No wonder Mugiyama ran out of patience since I guess the big time crook police chief hired him to get rid of Kurokawa and he contracted his prized hunter to do the job. Well, don’t take it so personal. After all, it’s only business. So when Kazuto kicked the bucket, it was like nothing. He’s just gone. Don’t feel any major impact whatsoever. Like as though if they had put in an unnamed and unimportant assassin character, the flow of the story will still progress. Another thing that remained unsolved is Mikura’s link with Momomi as sisters. Is it true what Sakura said? Even in the OVA there is this small but not obvious hint why they are both ‘the same’. I thought it was worth exploring like how they dedicated an episode to Harada’s past but I guess we won’t see any focused episodes of how Mikura really ended up in DSA or Kurokawa’s time at the force. So what happened to Manon’s case? I thought that girl popped back up in Harada’s life? Unless it was just a cue for his flashback story. I also thought there would be some explanation about Mikura’s odd ability to see short visions of the future. Perhaps this little sixth sense is working like a double edged sword. It gets her out of trouble and it drags her into it too (because we all know Mikura’s kickass character).

I think they try to put in a little romance factor but it’s not something overwhelming. Heck, who has time for romance in this action flick? Anyway we’re not too sure if Mikura likes Kurokawa. Because it is hinted vaguely in the OVA but it might just be a dream of hers. Though she doesn’t display any affection that a young teenage girl would when she is in love with a guy, perhaps the reason if she ever shows them (which she did not) is probably she looks up to him as a father figure. But I too can be mistaken about that since Mikura calls Kurokawa, “Ossan” which loosely translate as “Pops”. But you call most old guys by this name too, right? It is more obviously hinted that Harada has a crush on Mikura but it was never really pursued. During the time when he played private investigator with Kurokawa, Harada just got depressed whenever Mikura’s name is brought up or thoughts that connected to her. As for Asami, maybe Mikura is right that the little girl does like Harada since there are a couple of hints to indicate this. Unless she just looks up to him just like how she looks up to Mikura as her model to be stronger. Hope she doesn’t take after her attitude too.

Now on to the fanservice part. Since the TV series was produced in 2003, I wouldn’t really say that fanservice would be a very questionable subject. Unless you get real turned on with a dangerous girl in tight orange body hugging outfit with a gun in hand. I don’t even actually notice if there is any except for the scene between Omabari and Aya. Even so, it is nothing I would consider explicit. That short tentacle rape scene actually didn’t go anywhere so you can’t really consider it as one. The opening credits animation with certain scenes of Mikura and Asami in different outfits has more fanservice elements but like I said, it’s nothing explicit. However as for the OVA, now I understand why it was classified as hentai. For the version that I watched, in addition to frontal nudity, there are actually hentai and sex scenes towards the end of the episode! Unfortunately I regret to say that now those explicit scenes have been burnt into my cranium and it would take years before forget about it. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise because it reinforces my preferences that I still do not like hentai animes. Ecchi fanservice in the name of comedy, okay. But hardcore hentai? That’s a big no.

As for the drawing and art, no doubt it is in the fashion of the early year 2000’s, being the cyberpunk theme, I acknowledge that some of the characters do look weird. I mean, Harada himself is already looking weird due to his ‘armadillo hairstyle’, but some of the other characters I think they just look non-human. For example, Momokichi I thought he looked like a big fat Chinese vampire! Heck, his skin tone is grey so I thought he must be made of metal! Then there’s the father of that young yakuza boss, I thought he was a green toad! Well, his face definitely looked like one. As for Mugiyama, I thought he looked like a cross between a zombie, vampire and Captain Jack Sparrow! Serious! Then for the ladies, there is something odd about their looks. Maybe it’s just me or do they have a broad jawbone? Because of that whenever the ladies, even Mikura and Asami look at a certain angle, it makes them look weird. Oh, and with their big anime eyes, it makes them look odder. The TV series’ art is more polished compared to the OVA and in the former, Mikura has tied up her hair into twintails which in a way makes her look less ‘green’ despite she’s still the tough kickass chick in both. Her twintails may make her look more kiddie-like but I feel her short hair length in the OVA makes her look like a rookie. Both the opening and ending themes (Suki Mami Mai Tai and Mitsu respectively) are sung by Barnabys and they are hard rock. Very much suiting the pace of this action genre.

So my overall verdict for this show is that you just watch it for the pure fast paced and physics defying action. Not for the storyline, plot or character development. Since the episodes’ story serve as standalone, I don’t think you’d be missing important anything if you don’t watch it in chronological order. Safe to say (oh, the irony), as long as danger keeps knocking on the door, DSA will do what is necessary to see their way out. If danger was a beautiful woman, would you marry her? Well, if you dare take the risk to dice with death, maybe you’ll be able to stick around long enough to eat dinner. By the way, I’ve got this feeling that I’m going to hurl if I see somebody eating ramen…

Well, sooner or later this would happen. A versus between two reverse harem animes that have music as its central theme. They are La Corda D’Oro (La Corda) and Uta No Prince-sama Maji Love 1000% (Utapuri). Both are based on a video game targeted at female audiences but there’s no harm for a guy like me to take a look, right?

The music academy
La Corda: Seisou Academy – The school is split into General Education and Music Department.
Utapuri: Saotome Academy – Graduates will have the opportunity to join the Shining Agency after graduation.

Current principal
La Corda: Akihiko Kira – Son of the family founder of the school.
Utapuri: Shining Saotome – Former super idol.

The main heroine
La Corda: Kahoko Hino.
Utapuri: Haruka Nanami.

Her best friend
La Corda: Nao Kobayashi and Mio Takato.
Utapuri: Tomochika Shibuya.

The handsome ‘harem’ guys
La Corda: Len Tsukimori, Kazuki Hihara, Azuma Yunoki, Keiichi Shimizu and Ryoutarou Tsuchiura.
Utapuri: Otoya Ittoki, Ren Jinguuji, Masato Hijirikawa, Natsuki Shinomiya, Sho Kurusu and Tokiya Ichinose.

The supernatural factor
La Corda: Fairy – Lili. She gave Hino a magic violin.
Utapuri: Spirit – Cecil Aijima. He gave Haruka the confidence in her abilities.

Heroine’s musical talent
At first they were noobs. Through magic or hard work, they get to be musically accomplished.
La Corda: Kaho plays the violin.
Utapuri: Haruka pens and writes songs.

Teacher in charge
La Corda: Hiroto Kanazawa and Shinobu Ousaki.
Utapuri: Ringo Tsukimiya and Ryuuga Hyuuga.

The competition
La Corda: Over course, there will be 4 selection processes of concour in which the selected participants will play a piece and get ranked.
Utapuri: Working towards their graduation, an idol and songwriter must pair up for their graduation performance and the winning pair will get a chance to debut with the agency.

Music type
La Corda: Classical pieces.
Utapuri: Idol songs.

Ladies’ men
La Corda: Yunoki.
Utapuri: Ren.

Lively guy
La Corda: Kazuki.
Utapuri: Otoya.

Cold, unfriendly guy
Acting aloof and distant to the heroine at first but eventually warms up and have feelings for her.
La Corda: Tsukimori.
Utapuri: Tokiya.

Split personality
These guys have a dark ominous side you don’t want to mess with or meet…
La Corda: Yunoki.
Utapuri: Natsuki.

Double life
La Corda: Yunoki – Got Hino to pose as his fiancee to put off his many marriage interviews, including the persistent Ayano Takashina.
Utapuri: Tokiya – His alter ego on stage is Hayato whom everyone is made to believe is his twin brother.

Strict upbringing
Their family doesn’t have favourable views of the music industry and their son is just in due to some agreement thingy.
La Corda: Yunoki.
Utapuri: Masato.
N/B: Oh God… Yunoki’s name 3 times in a row…

Petite guy
La Corda: Shimizu.
Utapuri: Sho.

Cooking guys
La Corda: Tsuchiura and Kanazawa are good at cooking.
Utapuri: Natsuki may love cooking but they turn out to be disastrous!

Not singing from the heart?
La Corda: Tsukimori – He doesn’t believe in it. At first…
Utapuri: Tokiya – Ryuuga points out the songs his sing have no heart in them. At first…

Non-musical instrument guy
Refers to the guy who doesn’t specializes in playing music instruments. His voice is his major music instrument.
La Corda: Kanazawa.
Utapuri: Tokiya.

Scorned
La Corda: Megumi Shouji stood up as Hino’s pianist accompaniment because of her jealousy that she was chosen for the competition.
Utapuri: Other students in Haruka’s class badmouth her for not having the necessary talent to read music notes or play the piano.

Phobia
La Corda: Tsuchiura once had a fear of playing in public.
Utapuri: Sho has fear of heights.

Camp
La Corda: Episode 6 – After the first selection, the concour participants attend a 4-days-3-nights training camp at Fuyuumi’s villa; Episode 26 – A special 3-days-2-nights summer camp for the concour participants to come up with a ‘unique tune’ theme.
Utapuri: Episode 8 – The students of the academy head to Saotome’s private island for their training camp. This is for students to pick their partners for the final assessment.

Quitting school?
La Corda: Yunoki may be quitting music to study in London as what his grandma wants since she only views his passion as just a hobby. Of course that didn’t happen because he went to London just to cancel his transfer.
Utapuri: Ren is on the verge of being expelled by Ryuuga if he doesn’t hand in his work in time. Ren would’ve gladly get ousted if not for the actions of a certain lady who ignited his passion for music and to stay on.

Crisis
La Corda: Hino’s violin strings broke and render her unable to play for the concour.
Utapuri: Saotome bars Haruka from taking part in his Starish project.

One big song for the lady
La Corda: After the final selection, all the concour members sing a song for Hino.
Utapuri: The guys of Starish sing together to bring Haruka back and also making their debut with the first song she wrote for them as a group.

Song of the series
La Corda: Ave Maria.
Utapuri: Maji 1000% Love.

Opening and ending themes
La Corda: Opening theme is Brand New Breeze by Kanon; Ending theme is Crescendo by Stella Quintet.
Utapuri: Opening theme is Orpheus by Mamoru Miyano; Ending theme is Maji 1000% Love by Starish.

End segment
Right after the ending credits.
La Corda: Lili’s One Point Classic segment which enlightens us on information on musical terms, composers and instruments.
Utapuri: Just an end card illustration of the characters asking us to tune in to next week.

Number of episodes
La Corda: The first season, Prima Passo had 26 episodes and the sequel, Secondo Passo had only 2 episodes.
Utapuri: The first season had 13 episodes. A second season is slated for production in 2013.

Studio production
La Corda: Yumeta Company.
Utapuri: A-1 Pictures.

Production year
La Corda: 2006.
Utapuri: 2011.

Conclusion
Since I have seen Utapuri more recently than La Corda, my memories of the former are still ‘fresher’ as compared to the latter. It’s hard to choose which one is better because each is almost similar but have their little differences either. Both have its fair share of drama, romance and comical bits. Plus, I’m not really into this kind of music genre especially if it revolves reverse harem. But I feel La Corda have more character development and focus as compared to Utapuri seeing it had more episodes to spread out. So if music is really part of your life, you can use these shows as motivation to help you get one step closer to your dream. Be it a famous idol or an instrument specialist. Of course, don’t forget to put in hard work and practice.

Oh Edo Rocket

October 14, 2012

Fireworks and aliens. What kind of anime can bring you that? Heck, not only those two, but loads of other mix and mash of just about every other thing. Oh Edo Rocket may sound like just another one of those animes whereby a group of people are trying to build a rocket and reach the moon but I assure you, it just more than that. While that may be the basic premise of this show, you can expect a lot of crazy things to happen here. I mean if you are going for a comedy in a period drama that even has inventions and devices that never existed during the turn of the 20th century, you know you are going to be in for a crazy ride. So it brings back little memories about Gintama because of the fusion between modern and traditional contraptions and with aliens in the fray. Just that we don’t have any samurai but a bunch of poor people. Oh, did I mention poverty?

The year is 1842 and in a place called Edo, the former capital of Japan. Even if back in those days we don’t have iPods, iPads and Tablets to go about, I’m sure life was pretty simple then. If not, poor. Very poor indeed. It doesn’t help that in this period, the government, or in this anime, the senior councillor of the Shogun, Tadakuni Mizuno has banned all forms of luxuries and entertainment to maintain discipline, frugality and whatever reasons that youth these days will not hesitate to take it to the streets (this ban actually happened in history too). And thus, you see people who are in poverty living a life that is even poorer. Even though the reforms are not popular with the citizens, but back then I guess people don’t have the power to stand up against the head of the state. I wonder if these bastards high up in their seats are enjoying the good life at the expense of their people. However a kid, Seikichi Tamaya who is a fireworks artisan dreams of making the biggest and best fireworks that nobody has seen before. It is going to be quite a challenge since fireworks are considered as luxuries and the police keeping a constant surveillance. But Seikichi may get the chance of a lifetime when a beautiful but mysterious lady pops up and requests him to make her a rocket that will reach the moon. With all the conspiracies, challenges and obstacles going on, can Seikichi and his ragtag gang of Furai Row House Block kill 2 birds with 1 stone by fulfilling the request and making the biggest fireworks Edo has ever seen?

Episode 1
Fireworks artisan Seikichi and his brother Shunpei are trying to launch a firework but Seikichi blows his top when the display turns out to be the wrong colours. Elsewhere, a pair of drunk old men talk, a cross-dresser is feeling dejected for not being noticed (except for his mom and the town belle), and a pair of aliens known as Sky Beasts duking it out. A Mechanical creator Shinza has completed his movie projected when his home is being invaded by the police led by Sergeant Nishinosuke Akai. Shinza cleverly hides inside his projector box to keep the police on a wild goose chase over his shadow but Akai eventually cuts the projector into half. Back to the Sky Beasts, their personal battle is being interrupted by a group of armoured government enforcers known as Men In Black (MIB). It is a 3 way tussle but the MIB manages to kill the blue Sky Beast when they are distracted fighting each other. The white Sky Beast runs away but was sniped and injured by a South Edo magistrate head, Youzou Torii. They were going to take him in but the fireworks distracted them and it escaped. Since they can’t catch up to its speed, they are contented with the dead one only to find its body has melted.

Next day, Akai arrests Shinza and is going to bring him in but is stopped by Santa the carpenter and the circus acrobat siblings, Tenhou and Tenten. Shinza’s name was on the projector so all the more proof that he violated the law. With Seikichi just passing by, Akai starts ranting about his hatred for garbage, especially poor people like them (not sure if he’s a clean freak). He mocks them that even though they are poor, they have so much garbage lying around. He questions Seikichi’s whereabouts last night since he noticed the fireworks. Seikichi is lost for words and has a hard time proving his alibi. Look at the sling he is carrying. Could that be a fireworks launcher? Till locksmith Ginjirou AKA Gin cooks up a story to cover him that Seikichi was accompanying him to unlock a woman who accidentally locked herself. Akai finds the alibi credible. But there is just 1 problem. The bag of gunpowder he snatched from Seikichi’s clothes when he was body checking him. And that sling over his shoulder? Definitely that shape and feel has to be a fireworks launcher. He is forced to show it to him and to everyone’s surprise, it is just a roll up box of carpentry tools. Akai lets them go but still takes Shinza in. Seems Tenten and Tenhou had switched Seikichi’s bag. They hid it in a nearby toilet… Gin thinks he should have tested his fireworks at the foothills of Fuji where there is nobody but Seikichi insists all fireworks made in Edo must be tested here since different soil, wind and air will completely change its colours. He is willing to risk it despite the penalty of being exiled. He thinks this awful ban will not last forever and once it is lifted, he won’t lose out to other fireworks artisans. Their talk is interrupted by grumpy tile maker, Rokubei for being noisy in the morning. However he is kept quiet when his wife reels him in. Seikichi returns to his home to find a girl, Sora (looks so much like that girl in Eureka 7) playing fireworks inside his house! She got startled and dropped it! Could almost start a fire! Since Seikichi denies he is a fireworks artisan, Sora tells him her idea of making the biggest firework by using a number of small shells of gunpowder inside a large shell. Seikichi corrects her and this proves he is indeed an expert in this area. Sora has a professional favour to request of him. She asks how high his fireworks can go. He is confident no one can beat him in terms of height. So, does this mean his fireworks can reach the moon? Yes. That big bright natural satellite in the sky. Holy cow!

Episode 2
Oh course Seikichi finds that impossible. There are limits as to how far one can dream. He tells her to scram seeing he needs his sleep but Sora sets up a bed and wants him to sleep with her! Yikes! She thinks that once he gets his deserved rest, he will be able to consider her proposal in a calm manner. Gin the neighbour may have heard something next door and tries to make a hole in the wall to peep with his finger. Well, his finger got through but now it’s stuck. Trying to pull it out, this causes a big hole in the wall. Gin tries to be a playboy with Sora, using cheesy pick-up lines (“I can pick any lock with his finger, even if it’s the tightest lock of your heart”). Seikichi throws him out of the house so Gin talks to him about his fireworks reaching the moon. Though Sora has the figures of how far the moon is (1,254 million feet), Seikichi starts to bore them with his pessimism of how far his fireworks can reach. In short, he can’t. But Sora and Gin still get excited in thinking of conquering the world with fireworks and Seikichi didn’t like the idea of just launching it for fun and must have a purpose. Gin asks him can he just make fireworks for fun. Ever since Mizuno’s reforms, anything flashy is banned and modesty, frugality and self-restraint have been in full force. Seikichi remains stubborn when Shunpei returns. He is excited about a plaque he got from a temple that has the trajectory of a shooting star. Then when he realizes Sora, his face gets all red. He tries to use his maths to explain this irrational human behaviour. The town belle, Onui who is also Furai Row’s public moral watchdog comes in to check on the commotion. With everyone somewhat arguing, they realize Sora is already gone. Elsewhere the blue Sky Beast kills a defenceless woman. When the white one comes by, the MIBs surround it and think this Sky Beast has claimed another victim.

Gin visits Ise, the woman whom he mentioned in his alibi to Akai to save Seikichi’s ass. Ise isn’t pleased because she shows him a video Akai was indeed here to check on his alibi. She tries covering up from him but there were just too many holes. So that’s how she came up with the embarrassing Abacus Dance… Once Gin leaves, he bumps into Akai. He thinks Gin is here to ‘fix’ his alibi. Akai continues to watch and follow Gin but the latter manages to give him the slip. At an alley, Gin runs into the white Sky Beast being chased by the MIBs. They want him to stay away from this blood sucking creature. The Sky Beast escapes and one of the MIBs, Eyes touches Gin’s stomach and understood. By the time Akai arrives, he only sees Eyes as he wants him to tell everything he knows about Gin. Seikichi takes a walk to the bridge to see a bunch of kids playing sparklers. Onui and Shinza are also there. That guy has been released but is covered in bandages. Something about he didn’t tell the interrogators about the fireworks. Onui laments there used to be fireworks every day when it was leading up to the festival. Seikichi reasons it with economic cutbacks as fireworks are just luxuries. But seeing how down they are, he says there are better things for people to look up to. Wondering if there really are fireworks that can reach the moon, Onui and Shinza get excited over that idea. They really want to see his fireworks and even the kids support him. Returning home, they see a large crowd around Sora. They are amazed by the change in the flame colours she is demonstrating. Even Seikichi is taken in by them. Sora shows him a bag of magical powder in which it can change the colour when mixed with gunpowder. It has a substance called Strontium Carbonate, a white powder that allows the colour to be changed. Everyone believes Seikichi is the only one in Edo who can make the fireworks reach the moon. Seikichi gets fired up to do this and not only for fun, but so that everyone can look up to it. With his skills and her intelligence, they can pull this big thing off. With that, Sora declares she is staying with him. Is this allowed? Suddenly an old man, the retired resident and mysterious landlord of this place who rarely makes his public appearance, Goinkyo emerges with his bevy of beauties. He gives Sora the green light to stay here.

Episode 3
Tenten and Tenhou couldn’t find any records on Sora. Realizing that launching the biggest fireworks to the moon will even attract Mizuno and Torii, they vow to protect Seikichi’s cause. Torii talks to North Edo magistrate head, Kinshirou Tooyama about Mizuno’s imposing more ban on luxuries. Yeah, even tofu mustn’t be this big. WTF?! Even funerals must be frugal? Totally a boring era to live in. Tooyama wonders about those Sky Beasts but Torii feigns he doesn’t know about them. If they do exist, they must not be allowed to loiter around Edo. Torii goes to see Akai in a torture chamber. The MIBs didn’t get much info out of him. I’m not sure if Akai is a masochist because he wants to get tortured more by Torii. Plus, seeing that they are no ordinary people, Akai wants to join them. Shunpei is flustered and having second thoughts about entering Sora’s room. I guess feelings of the heart are more complicated than maths. Eventually the other guys barge in without permission but Sora is not around. They notice her futon in the ceiling. Gin is surprised when he finds Sora in his house. She asks if he is alright. Thinking it was that encounter with the Sky Beast, he says he is alright and that some weird fellow just rubbed his stomach. Then the rest finds them and since Seikichi teases Gin likes Sora, Gin fools around that she is too good for him. This causes Seikichi to leave with Sora and the rest close behind.

As Gin leaves, he comes into Akai who wants him to follow him to the woods. Gin is assaulted by the MIBs but he fights back and manages to ‘unlock’ and break the armour of a couple of MIBs. He also notices Torii aiming at him and warns him he can still take him out. Torii puts his gun down and reveals his face so Gin goes on his knees. Torii praises his skills and asks if he has a little pouch with the word ‘Sky’ on it. He does but he can’t seem to open it. However Torii easily unfurls this Tenkai Knot and inside the pouch, a letter that states “Chief of the Men In Black”. Akai explains the MIB are a secret group of agents set up by Lord Ieyasu. Though they disguise as ordinary townsfolk, they serve the Tokugawa government in secrecy in times of unrest. However peace lasted for over 240 years and these MIBs have forgotten about their duty. Torii learnt of it and tracked down each of the MIB descendants. Taking Gin to a meteor crash site, the first one happened 2 weeks ago and just 3 days ago, another meteor appeared as if it was chasing the first one and exploded in mid-air. The ‘meteor’ turns out to be an alien spaceship or as they put it, a mechanical shooting star. Showing him the melted Sky Beast body and the rumours of people being drained of their blood, these are indeed the deeds of the Sky Beast. If they kill one, they don’t know how many more will appear. Torii can’t let the public know about this unbelievable story and you have to be powerful enough to engage them. Thus this is where the MIBs, bequeath with special powers since birth come in. He wants Gin to take his place as the chief of MIB but he doesn’t want to have anything to do with this and runs away. He runs to Ise’s place and needs to borrow some money as the magistrate has found him and will be hunting him down. However he wants to help Seikichi launch his fireworks first. Ise slaps him and tells him about the things he wants to do. Though she may be running a pawn shop, there are some stuffs that people don’t want. She throws down his weapon Truncheon Keys and wants him to take them away.

After she leaves, one of the MIBs, Ears (seen crawling on the ceiling like a bug) mentions about a famous pair of thieves from Osaka: Night Cherry and Silver Fox (Ise and Gin respectively). They were caught by the ex-police intendant of East Osaka, Heihachiro Oshio. Ise didn’t like how the Osaka magistrate is stocking up grain to deliver to Edo to suck up on them and the common people suffering. Oshio admits it but wants to do something for the common good. He needs somebody to snoop around so Gin agrees to help his cause for the greater good. Soon, Oshio led a rebellion but his plan ended in shambles because there was a traitor among his men who leaked information to the other side. Oshio and Gin run to a secluded place but are eventually surrounded. Oshio wants Gin to make a run as he has already given up and lost. Of course Gin didn’t like that but Oshio blows himself up in a hut. Ise pulled Gin away before he met the same fate. That’s when Gin thought he will only live the rest of his life for himself and will never work for the cause of others. Sure brings back memories, eh? Ears mentions Torii also knows about his past and if he refuses to take up this duty, not only they will pursue till the ends of the Earth, all those related to him especially from Furai Row will be thrown into prison. Gin has lots on his mind as he bumps into Seikichi and Sora who are still bent on making the fireworks to the moon. Seikichi feels everyone will change after seeing it and that fireworks aren’t just for fun. This has Gin rushing off to the meteor crash site. Speaking of which, Akai encounters a Sky Beast. Gin faces off with it as he takes up his post as the chief of MIB because he believes he has his own path to walk.

Episode 4
Shunpei finds Seikichi tying Sora to a tree! He wants Shunpei to help out too! Rape play?! Trying to find a mathematical equation to this threesome? Actually Seikichi is mixing some fireworks powder and each time he does it, Sora tried to stop him so he tied her up. He wants Shunpei to watch her but she scoots off. Shunpei goes after her but loses sight. He thought she was hiding behind a mini shrine but it turns out to be Genzo. Who? The cross-dresser whom nobody remembers. Who again? Meanwhile Gin manages to wound the blue Sky Beast when the white one comes into the fray. It passes them and heads into the pod. Noticing it won’t fly and it is set on self-destruct mode, the white Sky Beast jumps out before it explodes and protects Gin from the debris. Gin and the MIBs recover from the shock but find all the Sky Beasts missing, including the melted body. Seems the living blue Sky Beast has merged with its dead counterpart. Bad luck for Shunpei and Genzo because they come across this Sky Beast. Thankfully they pass out from the fright. Gin thrusts his Truncheon Key into the Sky Beast and though it wasn’t killed, it escaped. The white one watches in astonishment from a distance. Later, Torii appoints Gin as the Edo magistrate’s secret agent head. Explaining that each of the MIBs are named after a body part because of their specialty in using that area, as the chief of the MIBs, Gin’s nickname will be… Belly Button. Not a laughing matter! I guess that’s why his stomach was rubbed then, eh? But seriously, have we see Gin using his belly button? Akai thought he had the last laugh till Torii has him to take orders from Gin. Haha. Now Gin is his superior. Sora is also eavesdropping the conversation from behind a tree.

While Seikichi is sleeping Sora mixes her combustion booster into his fireworks powder. Later excited Seikichi finds Shunpei to demonstrate the power of the powder he has mixed. After lighting the fuse, the bowl blasts right through the roof and into the sky. Maybe he can reach the moon after all. The bowl crashes into Goinkyo’s home and inches away from the old dude. Having an audience with everyone, Seikichi plans to launch his fireworks on 28th of August on the closing day of the Sumida River Festival. Even if there will be lesser fireworks on the reforms, the Kagiya counterpart will put a huge display on the last day and if they launch right in the middle of it, they can hide the noise and the smoke. The problem is where to launch it. Goinkyo suggests launching it right here as long as everyone keeps it a secret and they remain careful not to cause a fire. As for Akai who still has his eyes on Seikichi, Gin further suggests to put on a festival dance rehearsal as a distraction. With that, everybody gets excited to make preparations. Yeah, they’re borrowing stuffs from Ise’s pawn shop. On the final night of the festival, Akai is whisked away by the Furai Row gang for a dance rehearsal. Seikichi makes his final preparations to launch his fireworks from a distance when Sora comes by to apologize before going off. After he lights the fuse, Gin comes asking Seikichi if he had seen Sora. They see her getting into a portable shrine she loaned from Ise that is stuck on top of the fireworks. In the commotion, the duo get into the cramp space and are locked in. Sora reveals her intention was to fly to the moon and the door is tightly locked since they’re going to space. However Seikichi tells her it won’t fly this high with this weight and that the fireworks will be blown to bits. They have to get out now. When Sora mentions if she had told them this, they wouldn’t have taken her seriously but Seikichi is more upset that she planned to leave without saying goodbye. That ‘sorry’ isn’t going to cut it. I guess he was so angry that Seikichi manages to break down the door. They all escape before the fireworks launch but halfway in mid-air, it explodes. A big disappointment to the gang who now feels it is really impossible to reach the moon. And Seikichi is still hurt that Sora should’ve told them the truth from the start. He is sad that she plans to disappear suddenly just like how she appeared. Sora apologizes but Seikichi corrects her that people say goodbye when they leave, not sorry. Sora couldn’t understand why Seikichi is crying.

Episode 5
Gin sends Seikichi and Sora to the hotsprings so he can launch his fireworks without anyone seeing and also for him to make up with Sora. Seikichi is troubled that he needs a much more powerful rocket if he is going to reach the moon but the problem is the more powerful it is, the higher its chance it will explode. But more absurd, Sora wants to go there. When Sora brings up the topic of Princess Kaguya, she reveals that she too fell from the moon and is the Princess Kaguya of Edo. Of course Seikichi doesn’t believe her. More unbelievable, a tanned guy, Tetsuju shows up and does some weird language talk and pose with Sora! Is it some greeting? Nope. Noble Lunar tongue. WTF?! Oh, Tetsuju speaks their language too so we don’t have to go bananas to figure what he’s trying to say. He is going to bring his princess back but Seikichi isn’t so keen. I mean, Tetsuju is holding a welcoming party for Sora in the woods. A bar in the woods with his racoon buddies? Does this guy have any other friends? Seikichi and Tetsuju get into a tussle over Sora but since that girl is drunk and wants to stay (even wanting to follow Tetsuju home), Seikichi reluctantly leaves. On his way, he bumps into a bear and got the fright of his life. He turns around and runs back to the duo to seek for help. Turns out this bear, Yoshikawa is another one of Tetsuju’s buddy. Haha. Now they think Seikichi wants to come along with them. Inside Tetsuju’s hut, he shows them a shiny metal piece called Beetle Stone, supposedly their clan’s heirloom and a fragment of Princess Kaguya’s pod whom she granted his ancestors with. Seikichi still doesn’t believe that legend crap but Sora is still drunk to request Tetsuju to tell it. 100 years ago, a pod carrying Princess Kaguya crashed by the mountains and became involved with the villagers (the ancestors) who witnessed the crash. Her servants in the form of pink will-o-wisp continued to protect this sacred ground. Sora wants to know the all important part of how Princess Kaguya returned to the moon. I guess this is a cue for Seikichi to say she’ll go home via his fireworks.

When Sora finally takes a puke, Tetsuju tells Seikichi that he will take over Sora’s request of sending her back to the moon. He further mocks him that even though he has worked hard on his fireworks launcher his entire life, it will never be enough to reach the moon. He feels his rockets are superior and that task is not impossible and wants Seikichi to admit his shortcomings. However Seikichi is upset not because of whether it can reach the moon or not. He is worried about Sora’s safety if the fireworks reach that high. Guess what? Sora heard all that. Sure she isn’t drunk? Seikichi is so embarrassed that he runs all the way to Tetsuju’s rocket hut. Inside, he finds large rocket tubes made of iron filled with gunpowder fuses attached. It also has grease all over so it can be easily ignited when there is wind or rain. With Tetsuju mentioning this Ryusei Rocket as his life and soul, Seikichi remembers hearing rumours of such rockets that shakes the ground, defies the sky and flies up in a straight line. Seikichi realizes Tetsuju isn’t all just talk and that his hands are dirty and greasy as proof he is a skilled fireworks artisan. Sora also notices the same on Seikichi’s hands and starts rubbing it enough to set fire! Then she does the same on Tetsuju’s hands and this leads to him igniting his Ryusei Rocket. So it’s blast-off for that guy into the sky. Seikichi gets motivation and idea to fulfil Sora’s request. He’s going to see his job till the end even if it is absurd. As Seikichi relaxes in the hotspring, Sora thanks him for worrying for her. I guess she wasn’t drunk enough to forget that, eh? And Tetsuju comes parachuting down into the hotspring… So that’s what the racoon buddy he grabbed before blast-off was for.

Episode 6
Tetsuju is rudely awakened when a woman from Kagiya, Riku descends from a helicopter. Wait a minute! A helicopter in this era?! And why the heck is Tetsuju sleeping naked?! Don’t worry, the racoon is covering the necessary parts. Riku wants to know where Seikichi is but as being told, he already went down the mountain with Sora. Oh, looks like she has that jealous looks upon knowing about the other woman. After that, she lights the fuse and sends Tetsuju blasting into the sky strapped to a rocket. Meanwhile Seikichi is testing his fireworks and with Shunpei’s calculations, there are vast improvements. Now all he needs is for it to make the distance to the moon. And if there are any maths problems, Shunpei can always post them at the shrine and this Genzo dude can help solve it. I guess this is his only way of getting noticed. Only his solutions, not him. Gin and the MIBs yet again find another dead young woman as a victim of the Sky Beast. Akai comes face to face with one and he is so scared that he peed in his pants! It escapes when the MIBs come round the corner. Elsewhere, the reckless pyromaniac Riku threatens to blow up Furai Row’s residence if they don’t tell her where Seikichi is. Oops. Too late. Boom! But everything returns back to normal when she breaks the fourth wall about the backdrops being cell drawings. Like that helicopter. Goinkyo recognizes Riku as Seikichi’s childhood friend so she reveals her intention to take Seikichi back to Kagiya. The rest misinterprets they are to be engaged. So when Seikichi shows up, first thing Riku did was to size up Sora. She thinks he has been deceived by Sora. Since fireworks are nothing more than superfluous distractions and with Mizuno’s reforms, making such fireworks that can reach the moon will mean that he will be arrested right away from infringing the frugal decree. She adds he is only making fireworks because he likes her and that she may be a secret spy from the magistrate waiting to catch him in the act. Seikichi rubbishes her claims and asserts he just wants everyone from the Shogun down to the normal folks to look up to his fireworks. Riku got upset and runs away. Akai spots her and thinks she is conspiring with Seikichi but easily believed her words that he should keep an eye on Seikichi for flouting the law.

While Shunpei cannot understand the irrationality why girls keep flocking to Seikichi, big brother explains to Sora that Kagiya once took him under their wing. Since they make custom fireworks for the wealthy, he hated that and ran away. Riku returns to her house and her father still thinks Seikichi is better when it comes to making fireworks. Later Sora comes by to clear up the misunderstanding to Riku that Seikichi isn’t making fireworks because he likes her. It is because she needs his fireworks to return to the moon. So once his fireworks are ready, it’ll be goodbye. If Seikichi liked her, he wouldn’t build the fireworks and let her leave. The ladies talk about Seikichi’s character and even know his phrase in using fireworks to conquer the world. Suddenly the Sky Beast attacks them. Riku fires at it with her own handmade fireworks launcher even if it will attract Akai’s attention. All the better. She wants him to notice it too. Akai quickly brings Torii to Furai Row to arrest Seikichi for committing a crime. But they see the fireworks in the distance so Torii recognizes it from Kagiya’s side and takes his leave. I guess Akai must be red faced over his blooper and blames it on Riku deceiving him. Though the Sky Beast is gone, I’m sure that is a good thing compared to a few demolished blocks and afro hairstyles. Riku will just tell the authorities she messed up the fireworks due to her inexperience. She wished Seikichi would make fireworks for her but he’s always talking about ‘everyone’. Akai returns home to see the wounded Sky Beast lying on his floor. It transforms into a beautiful babe seeking for his help.

Episode 7
Shunpei advises Seikichi and Sora that they shouldn’t do everything by themselves and if they ask, the others will gladly help. But Seikichi isn’t being selfish or what. He wants to do it alone because he doesn’t want to get others into trouble. Santa and Rokubei are hanging around outside while the rest ponder what happened to Shinza. They think he must’ve learnt his lesson after getting caught. Actually he is taking all precautions to avoid being followed. He meets a master in a secret shrine as they are engineering some big mechanical robot in secret. When Shinza leaves, an assassin attacks and chases after him. The next morning, Gin is in a frenzy as he comes running down to Furai Row because he heard rumours someone resembling Shinza has been killed at the temple and wants to ascertain it. Everyone starts to jump the gun Shinza is really dead. A WTF moment when they bring the real Shinza out and start telling him he got killed! Gin has had enough of their stupidity so he tells them off who is this dude if Shinza was killed at the temple? Onui’s answer: A ghost! WTF?! Stupid girl! Must be getting very pissed and tired to correct those stupid people that Shinza IS NOT DEAD, eh? So rumours said it was Shinza because of the umbrella the victim (that mechanical master) had bore his name. The rest fears now the Sky Beast isn’t targeting young women but men as well. Shinza returns to the crime scene and thinks the authorities have found out about their mechanical robot. He needs to do something about it and sneaks into the hideout. In his panic, he activates the giant mechanical female peasant robot. Worse, it is out of control and goes on a rampage. Furai Row people can tell it is Shinza’s property because of his name engraved on the robot. They try all sorts of tricks to stop it but to no avail. Besides, it’s heading towards their block. Goinkyo has an idea: Run away! What?! That’s because if it gets too close, they’ll have no time to run. What about their homes? He’s confident they’ll think of something. WTF?!

Since Genzo and his mom are in harm’s way, Sora leaps into action and jumps to the back of the robot. Conveniently there is a screw and a sign that warns ‘do not turn’. What happens if you do? The entire robot just breaks apart! Just like that! As Sora flies down with Shinza safely in her arms, everyone is in shocked to see what Sora did but she just plays cool and walks away. Shinza’s ass is ‘saved’ when the people think the robot is a café owner’s publicity stunt. Seikichi catches up with Sora and wants to know why she left. She didn’t want to land everyone in trouble. Seikichi asks her again if she is from the moon and really wants to return there. In addition to confirming his questions, she adds she is an interplanetary traveller but had an accident on this planet. If she gets to the moon, she can contact her friends but her ship was destroyed, thus the reason she asked their help. She thought after seeing their shocked faces, like as thought they saw a monster, that task seems impossible. Seikichi chides her for thinking they are narrow-minded people and that she is underestimating them because like hell they’ll treat her like a monster. He drags her back and to her surprise, everyone warmly welcomes the heroine and treats her nicely like they have always been. With this case settled, Goinkyo resolves their destroyed homes problem. How? With a push of a button, a new sparkling home is replaced! WTF?! I won’t say it looks new but rundown and dilapidated. But it indeed is sparkling. Seeing that everyone is going to help Sora go back to the moon, Goinkyo calls the thing that ‘the woman will fly towards the moon’ as Rocket. Everyone gets excited to do this and Seikichi is going to make this their gigantic dragon that will soar above the skylines of Edo. Meanwhile the assassin has claimed another victim and he turns out to be… Akai!

Episode 8
Gin and Seikichi talk about what Sora did, make a rhyming pun with her name and it would be troublesome if anyone else sees her flying. Especially Akai. Oh wait. There she is nonchalantly floating in the sky! In a different region, a mother is trying to pacifying her crying baby when Akai kills her! OMG! He drains her blood into a vase and lets the baby cry. He returns home to give Blue Woman the blood to drink but she is not happy since she wanted blood of young woman. He complains he has to go to another region to get them but she says if he doesn’t like it, she can drink his blood. Then she seduces him into working for her. I guess any cries from babies would start to give Akai the shivers. Rokubei shows Sora a tube he has made for the Rocket but Sora notes that won’t do and they need a nozzle instead. Seikichi thinks she’s been rude because Rokubei worked so hard on it. She gets up and leaves. Then she gets an idea to gather the fragments from the pod. Akai heads to the magistrate office and he is starting to get cautious since Torii has also note the murders are occurring in another region. He decides not to tell him the truth and as he leaves for lunch, he is surprised to see Blue Woman right at the doorstep. Is she trying to get him into trouble? Noting that the MIBs are away and that she is here to collect fragments of the pod to leave this planet, she has Akai pretend to take her in as a criminal so they can enter the storehouse. However Blue Woman gets vexed when she sees the white Sky Beast rummaging for parts. If you haven’t guessed it by now, the white Sky Beast is Sora’s true form. Sora escapes and Blue Woman wanted to give chase but since she didn’t drink enough blood to transform to her true form, she discharges a blue Sky Beast clone from her back to chase her. Later Akai bumps into Seikichi. He is suspicious of Sora so Seikichi wants him to leave Sora who has nothing to do with it all out of it. Akai gets upset and beats him up in public for trying to order him around. Seikichi keeps his cool and apologizes, mentioning that the Goinkyo had requested him to take care of Sora who is his friend. Akai badmouths the Furai Row people as useless trash but they seemed so happy. In contrast, though he is just a poor sergeant, he isn’t happy. He corrects himself that he is having fun ever since meeting her, he has been murdering people secretly and that the magistrate doesn’t even notice.

The MIBs attack the white Sky Beast thinking she is the culprit. Sora didn’t want to face off with Gin and runs into the town to change back to her human form. Gin passes by Sora as she points the way of the Sky Beast. However Gin knows this is a dead giveaway that she is the Sky Beast because it is as though she knows he is chasing one. Gin says she has deceived him and the rest and that the reason why the Sky Beast isn’t caught is because it can blend itself with the crowd. Looking at Sora’s arm, there is the wound Gin just inflicted her with his Truncheon Key. He couldn’t believe she is the culprit but Sora explains she isn’t the one. She is chasing after a criminal from her home planet and came here to arrest her. Gin still doesn’t believe her when the blue Sky Beast drops in. Sora wants him to believe in her and let her do her duty. Transforming into a Sky Beast before his eyes, Sora fights her blue counterpart. With the MIBs coming into the picture, Gin observes the fight and orders his men to attack the blue beast simultaneously. In the end, they manage to kill it but Gin allows Sora to escape giving an excuse that they need to get incinerate the dead one before it revives again. Later Gin and Sora talk. Gin thinks his mission is accomplished after killing it but Sora notes it’s not over yet. The one he killed was just a clone. The blue Sky Beast cloned itself to many different bodies to minimise the effects of the crash landing. Gin agrees to help her out and hopes they can both keep each other’s secret a secret from everyone else. But Sora has no qualms in telling it to everyone! Akai thinks if they helped the blue Sky Beast back then, he would’ve been suspected. Blue Woman notes she’ll be able to leave this planet once she returns to her true form. But for the time being, Akai allows her to stay here. Feeling good about it, he goes out to get fresh blood for her. Sora returns and shows them a fragment in the shape of a nozzle. Rokubei gets motivation to make the Rocket part in this shape.

Episode 9
The gang tests launch using a launch tower and with the great hurling power, the wooden bucket is hurled high up into the sky. A big success if you could call it. But Sora is worried about the escape velocity. Ise picks up Seikichi and treats him for lunch to find out his progress on his Rocket. Elsewhere Gin meets with Sora to talk about her duty as an interplanetary police escorting a criminal. Ise and Seikichi spot Gin and Sora together and think they are having a secret love affair. Seikichi is so bothered at this that he can’t sleep well and kept dreaming about the duo repetitively calling each other’s name! When Seikichi and Sora are fixing another prototype Rocket, he wanted to ask Sora and her relationship with Gin but was nervous and eventually cut out with Ise’s appearance. Launching the prototype, it explodes in mid-air so Sora summarizes the constriction at the front end of the nozzle. Even though they have boosted propulsion, the increased internal pressure exceeded to strength of the tube. Seikichi stays positive and vows to make a sturdy tube to channel that explosion into propulsion. Ise cheers for him and kisses him on the cheek! Sora may not understand what’s going on even if flustering Seikichi tries to explain there is nothing going on between him and Ise. Meanwhile Akai sees a lottery poster that will commemorate the launch of the flying dragon. His informant confirms about this as both events are illegal under Mizuno’s reform and will get to the bottom of this. Seikichi is still anxious about Sora’s relationship with Gin and when he finally asks her, I guess he must have mistaken her words of huge, hard and heavy to be his dick! Actually she was referring to the giant bell she ordered that has just arrived. Shunpei calculates and finds it would be too heavy to fly even if it’s stuffed with gunpowder. Till Genzo suggests to hurl it with Shinza’s launch tower before ignition to give an initial push. But trouble comes knocking because Santa and co show Seikichi and the rest about the lottery. They are not happy somebody is trying to make money out of this and if Akai finds out about this, they’ll be arrested. Goinkyo thought they should use their money to buy all the tickets but since they are this poor, he can’t help them. They’re on their own. They think of doing one final launch before dismantling the tower.

Gin goes to see Ise as he suspects she is the one who sets this up. She admits it so Gin chides her this isn’t entertainment and to them this is the job of a lifetime. They won’t give up even if they’re hunted down by the government. Ise gives the name of the bookmaker, Masakichi. Outside, Gin sees Ise’s man helping out with gunpowder so he thinks she too gets embarrassed if people notice her helping Seikichi. She makes it clear that they pay with labour while she pays with money and isn’t going to let them get all the credit. Gin laughs out loud when Ise thinks he and Sora has something going on. Of course there isn’t. Akai has already got hold of the bookmaker’s name and is on his way to make his arrest when he bumps into Gin. A cat with the lottery in its mouth passes by and Gin thinks it will be bad if Akai knows this and trips him. Gin follows the cat and sees hundreds of cats with the lottery heading towards Goinkyo. Seems this is part of his scheme to retrieve and burn them all. By the time Akai arrives, all the proof are up in smoke. Akai thought he has the last laugh and shows them a lottery he possessed. But Goinkyo just blows it away into the fire. Haha. Now there is really no proof. Elsewhere Seikichi and co successfully launch the bell prototype but the explosion inside the bell is making the bell ring. The noise will attract the authorities and they will get arrested. As the bell floats down slowly with a parachute, the gang are anxious for it to drop faster as they need to hide it since the authorities may be here any minute. Sora is relieved that they can’t use the bell to launch and this means she can stay longer with Seikichi. Shinza shoots a bazooka at the bell but it ricochets off. Sora seems to be having fun and Seikichi can’t understand what’s going on.

Episode 10
Tenten and Tenhou show a video replay to Tooyama how Goinkyo destroyed the last piece of that lottery evidence. Noting that that they know nothing about him and that he has pulled off some miraculous yet mysterious occurrences, Tooyama offers the duo to investigate. Plus, Seikichi and Sora has been missing for these few days. They tail Goinkyo going about town but don’t find anything suspicious. So they turn their attention to search his house. They feel Goinkyo has something to do with Seikichi and Sora’s disappearance and has an ulterior to use Seikichi’s Rocket for his own purpose, thus silencing them. Meanwhile Mizuno himself sees Torii and Tooyama. He tells them not to get involved with Goinkyo and pretend he doesn’t exist. He seems pretty panicky when he said that (not sure about the love making act he put up). Tooyama smells something fishy so Mizuno whispers something unbelievable in his ear. Tooyama comes running down to Furai Row but the residents are suspicious of this suspicious person and start beating him up. They finally stop when Tooyama reveals himself as Kin-san the Playboy. Everybody starts hailing him! There is this popular rumour going around that the north magistrate disguises himself as a playboy each time he comes down to town. Tooyama is so confident of his disguise that he gets pissed off if anyone calls him the magistrate. Anyway he is here to ask for directions to Goinkyo’s house. Tenten and Tenhou find lots of weird contraptions, devices and jar specimens inside the house. There are also a pair of familiar cats (you should be able to tell by their traits that they are Seikichi and Sora). Akai and the MIBs are searching Goinkyo’s house when Gin arrives to tell him to stop the search since Torii himself has rescinded that order. Akai is not happy since this ruins his chance to rid the Furai Row residence. After they leave, Gin knows Tenten and Tenhou are hiding nearby. They show themselves and reveal their purpose of looking for their friends. Gin doubts that and wonders their real objective. Tenhou says they just want to see Seikichi’s Rocket and fireworks that everyone is working on. Both seem to have an idea who the other is and since they can’t trust each other, they start throwing weapons.

Tenhou and Tenten hide till Gin leaves. But they chose the wrong place because after coming out from that compressed coffin, the duo find themselves as cats! So the cats start singing Broadway style despite not understanding what they’re saying. At the end of it, Goinkyo appears but Tenten and Tenhou bare their fangs. Goinkyo fires a ray gun at them and returns them to their normal selves. Quickly Tenten and Tenhou threaten Goinkyo to spill the truth but Seikichi and Sora explain the misunderstanding. They were here to deliver some sweets but got lost and ended up in this room accidentally transformed into cats. By the time frantic Tooyama comes by, it is all over. Once he learns what happened, he apologizes to Seikichi for the trouble and not to hold it against the duo since they were acting under his orders. Plus, they acted for his safety. Tenten and Tenhou also apologize to Goinkyo. Revealing they were once popular entertainers till the reforms set in, when they were in dire straits, Tooyama took them in as spies for the magistrate. That’s when they decided to live for survival instead of ideals. But looking at Seikichi, he is different as he is pure and straightforward. That’s why he should stay this way forever. They really wanted to see his Rocket that reaches the moon but since they have been exposed, they can’t stay here anymore. As Tooyama comes to pick them up, Seikichi and the rest invite them to come have some warm nabe with them. I guess this means they would rather stay with the pack rather than go back with Tooyama. Tenhou and Gin make peace and as for Tooyama, he knows Goinkyo’s real identity is Gennai Hiraga but couldn’t care less about other details like his age. And nobody realized Genzo is still a bird… Was he? Hah! Didn’t even realize that.

Episode 11
Seikichi and co test run another Rocket launch but it still ends in failure. Even though the construction is much better this time (the nozzle only cracked when it crashed), the gang can’t help feel depressed since they put in lots of hard work to construct the high end material only to have it destroyed in the failure. Elsewhere Akai and Blue Woman are on another killing spree. This time a greasy elderly man is the victim. She mentions she is not here to take blood for fun. What she needs is life as she evolves by absorbing life force of intelligent beings. Soon Akai calls the MIBs for yet another murder victim as they go in search. Sora in Sky Beast form pursues Blue Woman and vows to bring her back with her. Since they have no ship, Blue Woman realizes she is making Seikichi create one and will have that. Sora attacks but Blue Woman screams that she is under the attack of a Sky Beast. While she escapes, thankfully it is only Gin who comes into the picture. As she transforms back to her human form, Gin fakes a story she fainted after seeing a Sky Beast but Akai is not convinced since the scream sounded like a more sexy and mature woman. However the MIBs note that there is no one else so she’s safe for now. Meanwhile Genzo laments how he accidentally fell into Goinkyo’s contraption and turned into a pigeon. He flies to the mountains and starts writing his maths equation. Tetsuju is amazed by it and wants Genzo to be his friend Suneo. Suneo who? Genzo gets an idea that he will let Tetsuju chase him back to Furai Row and pinpoint this is no ordinary pigeon and let everyone realize he is Genzo. Seikichi is not too happy to see Sora and Gin together. Gin just says they met by coincidence. However Seikichi’s words that she is not normal hurt her feelings despite he meant he is worried of her safety if everyone else catches her flying.

Tetsuju chases Genzo with his rocket booster boat! He crashes into Furai Row and once Sora and Tetsuju greet each other, the Furai Row residence think nothing more and return to their homes. So much for Genzo’s return. Seikichi gets an idea after looking at Tetsuju’s booster. Tenhou and Tenten bring Gin to see Tooyama while Akai complains to Torii that Gin joined the MIB for some ulterior motive and isn’t serious in capturing the Sky Beast. But Torii dismisses his claims and even though Gin was once a thief, he used his powers for the common good. Akai still not happy follows Gin to a shop and eavesdrop his conversation with Tooyama. Tooyama knows there is more to Torii’s motive in capturing the Sky Beast. Once he finds out the truth, Torii and Mizuno will have to step down. He has already discussed this with senior councillor Toishitsura Doi and Mashiro Abe, the magistrate of temples and shrines. He also wants Gin to be his spy seeing Torii is using his past to blackmail him and will threaten to expose his secrets should he turn against him. Tooyama promises he will not do that. Gin rejects his claims and says he did it on his own decision and wanted to use his strange abilities for good. In actual fact if he tells everything about the Sky Beast, he can’t protect Sora anymore. His true goal is to kill Blue Woman and send Sora back unharmed. Tooyama feels he is protecting something important but Gin wonders what could that be when Ise comes by to tell him Seikichi is causing his usual ruckus.

Seikichi and Shunpei tie the rocket booster to their boat loaded with poo and faeces (under this disguise that they need to send fertilizer to their buyer, at least they can save cost and avoid any suspicions). The blast off works but notes they need to do something about the stability. Tetsuju sees this as a challenge to him and joins in. His ruckus causes Seikichi’s boat to break loose of its rope and dash forward like a wild horse. Seikichi pushes Shunpei off seeing he needs to salvage the nozzle. Initially he didn’t want to race with Tetsuju but since that idiot challenged him over the rights to send Sora to the moon, he got dragged into his pace. Sora wanted to fly and save them but was stopped by Onui that she will attract attention especially Akai’s. If they do that they won’t be able to stay together as they are not normal. They? Riku overhears the watching villagers commenting how a couple of guys are in a race over a woman. Not thrilled seeing Seikichi in it (acting like a jealous girl too), she joins in the race. I wonder how she got time to load her boat powered by her fireworks explosive. She even makes a condition that if she wins, Seikichi has to follow her back. Tetsuju’s constant mocking over her fireworks has her throw one of her bombs into his hands. BOOM! Seikichi is thrown off his boat and is drowning. Sora dives in to save him. In the end, Seikichi’s boat and all the faeces are still intact. Sora rubs Seikichi’s hands to create fire and I guess the mixture with the smell of the poo causes an explosive reaction. Now it’s raining sh*t all over town! IT STINKS!!! Why is Sora laughing? Gin realizes the thing he wants to protect is Sora’s smile.

Episode 12
Shunpei and Onui step out of a modern train and into modern Tokyo city?! Then they turn back and the setting reverts back to their own era. WTH?! What’s Najenaje?! As Seikichi and co test launch another Rocket, another failure because it goes astray, chases after them and ends up destroying a hut. They can even tell jokes that break the fourth wall that all they need to do is to redraw the Rocket for the next episode. Shunpei is distraught that the launch went astray despite his perfect calculations. He gets stressed out thinking irrational things in this world (which includes Seikichi and Sora together). Goinkyo interrupts them to tell a good story on Shunpei. Long time ago in the land called Java, there was a boy named Najenaje. It actually stands for Nazenaze which means “Why, why”. This kid was always asking questions to things he doesn’t know. Not only people got fed up, he too ran out of things to ask. One day he had this ultimate mind boggling question: Why does he worry so much. To answer it, he left on a journey that turns out to be like an RPG adventure. Too bad the story is to be continued despite Shunpei himself wanting to hear more. He isn’t going to tell them since it’s more fun that way. What a damper. What Onui understood was Shunpei should go on a quest to look for his own Najenaje. Thus Onui becomes his guide and drags him around town. Since running around in circles didn’t work, they decide to ask people on the streets. However they are preoccupied or too busy to even stay focus on their question. I guess that’s how the journey took them to modern day Shunjuku train station, eh? Since the day is ending, Onui suggests continuing tomorrow. It’s continuing? Meanwhile Akai in disguise targets a lone woman. Before he could kill her and take her blood, seems it is a bait to draw the murderer out. Gin is cross-dressed as a woman and they both clash swords. Gin doesn’t realize he is Akai but gets the goosebumps when Akai licks him! Probably he couldn’t focus much and got the chance to escape. Yeah, Gin hopes never to see that pervert again. Akai returns home and tells Blue Woman he couldn’t get any blood tonight but he is impressed that he is able to hold his ground against Gin. All those killings may have improved his skill.

Next morning, Onui happily continues their search but Shunpei suggests they should ask someone they know instead of searching blindly. They bump into Tenten and Tenhou who points out to Tooyama. However they didn’t get much since they accidentally called him the magistrate instead of his playboy fame so he got mad. Then they try Ise but it’s either she thinks money or her porn book will solve their woes. Porn book? Who says women can’t be perverts? As for Riku, she’s drunk and ranting about her love story and wants them to stay and listen. They threaten to leave so she agrees to hear them out. Guess what? She doesn’t know the answer.  Oh well… But she points to the fortune teller down the street. After fooling around, he gets real and notes Shunpei’s worry may stem from a nearby beast. Onui panics and takes Shunpei away. In the end, Shunpei thinks nobody cares about him since nobody can solve his problem. Onui notes he may just be worried about Seikichi and Sora when Shunpei remembers something from his past. There’s a dog he used to talk and play with when he was 8 years old. He couldn’t stand his parents fighting so he ran away with the dog. It’s like he heard the voice of the dog telling him they should go away. Onui guesses the dog must be female (big probability it’s her). However Shunpei couldn’t go though he doesn’t know why. Then looking at his abacus, he might have found the answer. Whenever there were problems he couldn’t understand, the teacher said he would always explain to him one day but if he went away, he’ll never find out the answer for the rest of his life. He didn’t want that and never left. Thus he let the dog go alone. He finally understands that the reason he worries is because it is him. If he stops worrying, he won’t be himself and that it is fine this way. He thanks her as they walk home hand in hand. Onui says the dog never forgot about him and was happy that he let it go then. Shunpei is about to tell his brother his discovery when Goinkyo interrupts them because he has just finished editing his continuation of his story. However Shunpei turns the eager old man down because he already understood and doesn’t need to watch the next episode. All the hard work he put in… Santa and Rokubei tease Onui for flirting with Shunpei but she’s not telling them anything.

Episode 13
Blue Woman impersonates as a victim of the blood sucking monster so that she could kill and suck the blood out of an unsuspecting young woman. Gruesome and bloody death. Gin and the MIBs pick up the body later but Gin corrects his men that this is the doing of the blue Sky Beast instead of the white one. Despite them incinerating the blue Sky Beast’s earlier body, Akai tries to make a point that Gin hates the blue one for some reason. Later Gin talks to Sora that she should stay low for now since people can’t tell apart the white and blue Sky Beasts as they resemble closely similar (they must be colour blind). Eyes talks to Ears and Arms about the Sky Beast always staying a step ahead of them. He thinks their chief might have something to do with this but the rest feel he can’t be a traitor. Why would he go after the blue Sky Beast and the way he acts could be interpreted as trying to protect the white one and let it go? Plus, why is Akai giving them orders to stay out of Furai Row?  Blue Woman just finished her feasting and probably wanted to give Akai a seductive reward. However he’ll have to wait for another time since she smelt something not of this world and heads off. Nearby, Seikichi and Shunpei test another Rocket but again it ends in failure since it lacks stability.

Next day, Eyes tries to sow more doubt into the rest of his comrades about Gin. Knees, Ankle and Heel fake stomach spasms to take advantage of the simpleminded residents and gain easy entry into Furai Row while Arms try to hit on Tenhou. Gin is shocked to see his comrades hanging around. He hints to the residents not to mention a word about the Rocket and not be over cautious but I guess they’re over doing it. Sora thought of leaving but he notes they’re here to keep watch on him. To be safe, he wants her to stay indoors. The friendly neighbourhood tries to strike a conversation with the MIB guys but Gin swiftly changes the subject and brings those dumb residents away. Meanwhile Shunpei watches one of the MIBs do some spinning and balancing trick and with Genzo (still a pigeon) writing the pi formula on the ground, Shunpei gets an idea. He runs back to Seikichi to explain his theory for the Rocket’s stability but that kid is so deep in his thoughts thinking who knows what that Shunpei is ignored. So this is how Genzo always felt, eh? The residents feel Gin is acting odd today and confront him but soon get cause in a big messy brawl that involves everyone (it all started when Rokubei’s wife was going to teach her husband some manners). So noisy that Seikichi slams the door that Shunpei unintentionally threw it to his face to distract him, on the scuffle. Then he gets an idea upon seeing this scene. The door stuck onto the head of the 4 MIB guys. He rushes off while Eyes tail him. When the 4 MIB guys regain consciousness, they are in Gin’s house and they plead for him to tell what is happening, especially what the heck is Rocket (during the brawl, somebody said that word). He has them follow him.

Blue Woman sniffs aluminium powder in a hut but she goes into hiding when Seikichi rushes in. Seems he is going to make the Rocket’s stability using 4 nozzles because all the while has only been using one. Suddenly the blue Sky Beast steals the Rocket from him. Gin and the MIBs have arrived and transform to fight off the menace. Seikichi isn’t going to let his Rocket get taken and if it’s going to be like that, might as well light the fuse. The Rocket blasts off in the sky and in this distraction, the MIBs injure the Sky Beast before it escapes. Gin tells Seikichi about the blood sucking monster to cover up but as for themselves, they pose as ally of justice before disappearing. Did Seikichi buy that? The sight of Sora distracts him as he tells her not to hang around because of the blood sucking creature. Gin tells his men about the Rocket which isn’t just any firework. A big firework no one has seen before that everyone at Furai Row considers as a job of a lifetime. Wondering if they’ll report this to Torii, they say their job is to capture the Sky Beast and that they’re not inconsiderate to take away something one would call their life job. Eyes agrees to pretend not seeing all of this since their reputation will drop if they interfere with trivial matters like fireworks. However he still finds something strange. Why would the Sky Beast attack the fireworks maker again? Akai is shocked to see the wound on Blue Woman’s shoulder. But she is more concerned about the aluminium used as a combustion booster and knows without a doubt that Seikichi is involved. That name just pisses Akai off.

Episode 14
Seikichi is staring at Sora at work. Sora smiles back. Seikichi blushes. Shunpei gets irked and heads off to the temple. Onui spots Ise and she’s not in a very good mood. She starts howling like a dog, which turns out to be a warning signal to Furai Row residents that Ise is on her way here. Seems Ise is here to collect the debts the residents have been accumulating and delaying for years. What to do? Hide! She tries to make Gin lead her to where they keep the money but since he is reluctant she steps on his feet and promises to be back before the New Year bell rings. Akai just release Riku’s father for a minor crime for making a slightly making a bigger firework than allowed. Noticing that Riku too was making one, he wants her to follow him to meet Torii. In a hut filled with scattered parts of a space ship, Torii wants to know if she can fix it back. It doesn’t necessary be the original shape as long as it can fly. She agrees to do it. As Riku brings the parts back, Akai and Ears tail her because she suspects she will bring it to Seikichi to help fix it. His is suspicious that Seikichi is working with the Sky Beast and will use this chance to nab them all. However to his dismay she brings it back to her own home and is going to assemble it alone and make better fireworks than Seikichi. At the temple as Onui talks to depressed Shunpei (he isn’t sure about his Nujenuje anymore), Blue Woman goes through the board filled with wooden wishes. Several wishes in the form of the Earth and Moon’s trajectory, the velocity to escape the trajectory, caught her attention and she notices it’s from a guy called Genzo. Though that bugger is still a pigeon, Blue Woman sees his mom instead. Mommy wonders if this woman knows where her son is seeing Genzo hasn’t been home for 3 months. Then she uses up what’s left of her little money to make a prayer. Well, instead of wishing her son back, she ‘complains’ about him spending his time on math problems that is of no use to anyone that they’re so poor. Whatever he’s doing, he hopes to bring back some money. I’m sure that’s heartbreaking for the pigeon to hear. Blue Woman hears Genzo’s mom’s prayers and wonder if money is that important.

Tenhou and Tenten try to sell some plants to earn money to help Seikichi but there are no customers. But one: Arms! He’s going to buy everything and looks like his feeling is genuine for Tenhou. Even Tenten doesn’t see a problem with that. But the duo wrap things up and make a run (noting that he is from the MIB and that his job is to spy on them) while Arms chase them but trips and injures himself. So when they tend to him, they find out he’s not such a bad guy after all. An ex-sumo wrestler who is out of his profession due to the reforms. When Eyes sees him with the duo, Arms has to cut short his conversation and leave. They note he is like them. Unable to do what he wants to do and his spirit is broken. Meanwhile Ise is upset that the money they’re supposed to repay has gone missing. She already made a promise to repay that debt or else she’ll have to sell her entire business to him. Seems Blue Woman has stolen that money and makes her way to see Genzo’s mom at Furai Row. She gives her the money in hopes she could tell more about Genzo and who asked him to make those calculations. Was it a strange person who wanted to go to the moon? Genzo’s mom hesitates so Blue Woman piles more money to tempt her. However she refuses the money because she doesn’t anything. Though she knows her son spends on useless pursuits, it’s still amazing to see him bring happiness to someone else. As for the money, it’s no big deal. She will mention her when he returns and asks for her name. Blue Woman leaves and wonders her name and throws away the money. Gin spots it and returns the whole stack to Ise, bringing much joy to that money face woman. Back home, Akai laments he is still unable to unfurl Seikichi’s true colours and that the white Sky Beast must be hiding somewhere near him. He is surprised to hear Blue Woman visited Furai Row. When she asks him what her name is, he mentions Blue Beast so she throws her bowl at him and leaves. It started snowing that night as everyone goes out to enjoy some New Year noodles. I’m not sure if debts can only be collected on New Year because Shinza and the gang who had borrowed money from Ise rejoice since they have delayed returning the money to her till next year.

Episode 15
Since it’s New Year, Gin and Ears make a special introduction of the gang via some radio-like programme followed by Sora narrating some chronology of future events based on historical records. Back to the real storyline, Gin and his MIBs have a meeting with Torii. They talk about the Sky Beasts. Now that it is confirmed the blue one is still alive, they need to make certain which is the blood sucker and which is the friendly one as they’re both fighting each other. Once it’s over, Gin has his men rest for New Year since it’s a holiday. But Eyes mentions that they may need to stay close to Seikichi since the Sky Beast may show itself again. Gin assures he’ll take care of that himself but mentions about rumours of a strange woman appearing near sites of the murders. Akai panics and sneaks away. Returning home, he complains about Furai Row being totally suspicious. However Blue Woman doesn’t feel like going out so Akai decides to head there himself. Blue Woman is still troubled what happened with Genzo’s mom and in her frustration rips up the pillow. Shinza, Rokubei and Santa show the gang a new propeller device they have created based on the concept of a bamboo copter. As they use their manpower to fly it, unfortunately they got tired and it never got off the ground. Shunpei explains with his maths that due to the weight, it needs a bigger propeller or manpower but as it increases, the weight problem also increases and thus unable to fly. Though the trio are sad that their hard work is for nothing, Sora says it can still fly but won’t make it to the moon since there is no air in space.

Later Seikichi and Shunpei ride a big kite sponsored by Ise. As Sora puts it, when you launch from a high place, fireworks will go even higher. Shunpei is worried about Sora’s words that there is no air in space so Seikichi calms him down that he can’t expect to know everything. So back to their test Rocket, Shunpei introduces his mini Gyro Rocket. Based on the theory of a spinning top, the nozzles will always point to the ground and thus the fireworks will always fly straight up. As they’re about to test launch, Akai who has been hiding on the kite reveals himself and interrogates them who ordered them to make fireworks to reach the moon but Seikichi says he knows nothing except this work is all his. Akai doesn’t buy his story and struggles with him. In that moment, they accidentally light the mini rocket. It blasts off and cuts off the rope securing the kite. Sora heads off to a higher point but she is stopped by Tooyama. He wants her to forget about flying to save them since Akai is onboard, once he sees her flying, she’ll be captured. Tenten and Tenhou do some acrobatic stuff to launch and reach the kite but it seems they fall short. Then after persuading to ask Gin and his men to help launch them, Tenhou manages to leap higher and further but still falls short because well, the kite has already blown further away. The other ladies want Shinza and co to use their propeller machine to save them. Shinza gets an idea and the trio go seek Goinkyo’s help. Seems he has created something from a long time ago and agrees to let them use his steam engine. So, this old bugger created the steam engine? Seikichi starts tying all the other mini Gyro Rockets on the side of the kite. Believing in Shunpei’s calculations that the nozzles will point towards the ground, this will soften their landing when lighted all at once. However Shunpei is in despair. He isn’t confident that his calculations are correct and if it’s so, the kite will go out of control. He laments his calculations are only theories unlike Shinza and co who actually make things, his maths are only number crunching. Seikichi asks him why he is doing maths. Is it different than what he does on the desk and what they have here? It’s not and they’re related. In short, he believes in him. Shunpei starts to envision all the calculations and gets his confidence back. Suddenly a change in the wind pattern and the kite starts falling like a rock. They start lighting the fuse and the soft landing plan works. However, probably they didn’t tie the little Rockets tight enough so they break out of their ropes and it’s free fall once more. Thankfully, Shinza’s steam powered propeller arrives in time to hook the kite and prevent them from getting squished. Happy that Shinza’s invention can already fly, he says to Shunpei it could fly because Shinza believes in it.

Episode 16
Akai shows those magistrate clones a video proof that Seikichi is trying to launch his fireworks to the moon under the guise of a kite. But the rest notes there is no law about launching fireworks to the moon though there is one regulating kite size. In short, they can’t persecute him. However Akai remains stubborn and orders his policemen to arrest Seikichi so that he will reveal the one who requested him to make fireworks to the moon. As he suspects, it should be the white Sky Beast. Akai rounds up the residents of Furai Row and he thought one of them is Seikichi. Actually it’s Tooyama! As proof, he shows them his sakura tattoo on his body. Now do you believe? However he asserts he is just Kin-san the playboy. Akai mentions his intention to arrest Seikichi for planning to bomb Edo with his giant kite. But Tooyama shows his video proof in his mini camera (complete with audio) how the kite fell off the sky. He even plans to upload it to his blog! What he’s trying to say is, if Seikichi is found guilty, Akai will be treated as an accomplice too. Noting that there are good and bad Sky Beasts, this irritates Akai and he tries to be tough that he won’t be intimidated by his threats just because he has a tattoo. Guess what? Tooyama takes off his sticker tattoo and shows another sticker tattoo of a woman’s face on the other arm! This sends Akai running away in tears like a little girl. The residents are grateful but as Tooyama notes, he too wants to see Seikichi’s fireworks. Meanwhile Blue Woman visits Seikichi who is making his mini Rocket. She observes how happy he is and notes this kind of simplistic thinking is frowned upon on her planet. Then Sora and Gin come by. She confronts Blue Woman to stay away from Seikichi. Noting her worked up, she uses it to her advantage by mocking her she ditched her duty to make friends with the locals. Sora slaps her and all Seikichi sees is Sora being violent with his guest. Blue Woman acts like a victim of violence and runs away in ‘fear’. At a distance away, Blue Woman has stolen the mini rocket but notes she can’t go back to her planet in this. Or does she really want to go back? She crushes it. Suddenly she felt an immense pain and a Sky Beast clone replicates out from her body. The Sky Beast escapes but the MIBs are hot on its tail. Even with the 6 of them combining their strength, it is not enough to stop it. What more Gin himself alone. If he thinks as the leader he should be sufficient, then think again.

Sora spots Blue Woman and realizing she has cloned herself, transforms into the white Sky Beast to get rid of her. Blue Woman mocks her if she shows that form to Seikichi, he won’t make any more Rockets for her. Sora’s worst fear comes true when Seikichi protects Blue Woman and thinks Sora is the blood sucking beast. He even threw an explosive at her. Sora has no choice but to run. As Seikichi chases after her, he bumps into Shunpei and the rest who came to warn him about Akai. But no time for that because Seikichi wants them to beat down the blood sucking creature. Everyone starts whacking the beast, unknown to them that this is the Sora they knew. Sora just stood there and got wallop. Blue Woman telepathically tells Sora to give her the Rocket and she’ll leave this planet immediately. Since Sora still wants to kill her, Blue Woman asks her if she’s going to reveal her true self to Seikichi. Out of options, Sora runs away. Meanwhile Tooyama gets a message to see Mizuno. When Blue Woman returns home, he tells Akai that Sora is the white Sky Beast and is certain about it. She has a plan to expose her. Sora is seeking refuge at Goinkyo’s but that old bugger couldn’t cheer her up because he applied the wrong idioms. Torii sees Akai and he knows that someone from the North Edo magistrate was asking about him. About Akai been seen around the blood sucking murder scenes. Torii knows he is just searching for the Sky Beast and that Tooyama is a nuisance. That’s why he had a discussion with Mizuno and it has been decided Tooyama will be transferred to the post of Chief Censor and not interfere in their plans. Akai takes this opportunity to tell the white Sky Beast is hiding at Furai Row. As Blue Woman draws Gin out as distraction, Akai leads the MIBs to storm into Furai Row. They round up Seikichi and the gang and Akai accuses Seikichi of working with the blood sucking monster. Goinkyo and Sora show up and the old man didn’t like how Akai is handling this in a rude manner. Akai doesn’t fear him since he is under direct orders from Torii. No choice, Goinkyo shows his Mito Komon’s Seal Case. Everyone including the MIBs are shocked and instantly kneel before Goinkyo. However Akai cuts that fake seal with his sword. So much for Shinza’s effort put in trying to make it look like the real deal. He is then going to show them proof Seikichi is harbouring the Sky Beast and stabs his hand. Sora rushes to his side but gets surrounded by the MIBs. In Akai’s final attempt, he is going to cut off Seikichi’s head! That’s when Sora got worked up and transforms into her true self to protect Seikichi. Now the cat’s out of the bag.

Episode 17
Sora snatches Seikichi away. But the rest are still in shock as they continue throwing stuffs at her. Eventually when she puts Seikichi down, they still wonder why she kills people. Sora only replied with tears in her eyes. Then she flees. Gin confronts Blue Woman and wants her to show her true form. She changes into Sora and mocks him that his uncanny ability is heresy in this planet. Then transforming to her beast form, she wonders if he sympathizes with Sora. He denies and says he will use his gift to open the gate and for her sake too. He sticks his Truncheon Key into her neck. Though her head came off, he leaves the body alone. Blue Woman regenerates and her wound heals. Gin bumps into Sora who is being chased by the MIBs. Gin learns that her secret has been exposed. He wants them to keep her alive for the trial. Then when Seikichi and co arrive, they thought Gin is in trouble but they too learn that Gin is a secret agent from the government under Torii. Gin doesn’t deny it. Seikichi feels disappointed that he lied to them, interfering with their fireworks and now he’s going to capture Sora. But Sora denies and reveals he knew her secret all along and was protecting her. Gin tells Sora he will protect her and they should go somewhere else but Sora doesn’t want to run because it will cause Seikichi and the others to suffer. Now that all the truths are out, suddenly Sora gets shot in the chest by several needles. In that distraction, Torii took the chance to snipe at her. Gin begs Torii to take Sora in alive for questioning. Seikichi asks Sora about her attacking other people. But she says it wasn’t her but a fellow escapee from her planet she is pursuing. She wants Seikichi to run. The other Furai Row residents hold back the MIBs with their tricks for Seikichi to escape. Tenten and Tenhou are at a lost on what to do and seek Gin’s advice. Now that Tooyama has been transferred, their movements are restricted. He tells them off not to rely on him. Torii and Akai take Mizuno to see Sora locked behind bars. However Mizuno is interested in asking about her home planet. Does she eat dried starfish? WTF?! She prefers sashimi. WTF?!

Blue Woman visits Seikichi in his fireworks hut. Seems he is thinking of quitting fireworks because everyone had been lying. Suddenly a blue Sky Beast punches her away and starts messing Seikichi’s hut like as though it’s searching for something. Seikichi fights back but gets punched. Then he realized when it starts licking his blood on its hand. Sora was telling the truth. He gets frustrated, lights up the fuse to blow up everything in the hut. Now all his fireworks tools are destroyed. Blue Woman watches at a distance and wonders what her other self will do. Meanwhile the Furai Row guys barely got released from the police station. They are still shocked at the development of events and couldn’t trust Gin. It doesn’t help when Akai is starting to accuse them for harbouring a criminal although they claimed they were fooled by the Sky Beast and yet Seikichi was making fireworks to reach the moon. Don’t tell me he doesn’t know anything. Gin tells the residents to leave and then threatens Akai to leave them alone or he’ll get serious to kick his butt. Akai isn’t afraid of his threats anymore but will overlook his misdeeds since Torii is looking at him favourably. Seikichi uses his money to buy lots of clay discs. His trying to throw them at the moon to vent his frustration. Gin is also there doing the same but he is throwing it at Seikichi’s. The way Gin said things, he is making Sora sound like the villain. She will be secretly executed tomorrow. Seikichi believes in Sora and that she’s not the kind of person who is capable of killing. He is going to make a rocket for her to the moon but Gin insists Sora is hers and will enjoy killing her since they have captured the killer monster. Seikichi gets upset and fights back but he is no match for Gin. He tells him to just make his fireworks. When Shunpei and the rest come by (thanks to Onui’s scent tracing), Seikichi tells them they’re going to continue making the Rocket. What about Sora? They’re going to break her out of prison. But first they have to get away from here since Akai and his policemen are coming to arrest him. Seikichi has them gather all the sakura they could find. Then he launches his mini Rocket, it explodes in mid-air and the floating sakura petals distract them that they sit down to admire the hanami.

Episode 18
Akai has a wanted poster on Seikichi and is telling the townsfolk how Seikichi has been corrupted by Sora, hiding those blood sucking creatures while using prohibited fireworks to help the criminal escape. The news reach as far as Tetsuju’s remote home and that bugger isn’t happy his princess has been accused of murder. He’s going to rescue her. While Tooyama is being escorted away, he relays a secret message to Tenten and Tenhou to read his blog. After going through all the anime sites, they realize a secret word in hidden his blog: Passageway. While Torii tries to probe Sora for more information about her kind, the entertainers relay this information to Seikichi and the rest. Seems Sora is being held in a secret passageway and based on the blueprint, they think it’s the dried unused well since the castle has been fitted with water pipes. Since they need a place to prepare for their infiltration, Riku offers her place. Ise pays Furai Row a visit but only sees the ladies talking about Gin. She comes into Tenten and Tenhou and the duo know about her past with Gin. They request her help since it won’t be right if that man takes all the credit. Meanwhile Gin confronts Torii and wants him to reveal Sora’s location. It’s a trap setup to confirm that Gin is trying to set the white Sky Beast free. Gin has had it being the leader of the MIBs so he fights them all as himself. Torii orders them to kill Gin seeing he knows Torii will have the full backing of the MIBs and yet went against him He concludes he has betrayed them, allied himself with the white Sky Beast and wants to die. However Tenten, Tenhou and Ise drop in to take Gin and escape. Akai is late on the scene and he is worried because Blue Woman has gone missing. Actually, she’s chasing after her clone and wants it to return to her. The blue Sky Beast isn’t going to oblige her easily. Genzo’s mom and Rokubei’s wife encounter the blue Sky Beast and could’ve been dead meat if Tetsuju didn’t come by. He is taken in by the creature and the best also likes him because of his gunpowder smell. They become best friends and Tetsuju instantly forgot why he came here in the first place. Gin wakes up in Goinkyo’s place and the old man wants Gin to follow him to see Mizuno. Gin is surprised to see the old fart get up and walk! To prove he is fine, Goinkyo even does break dance! Gin feels he is a coward who betrayed his friends. Anything he does now cannot make him redeem. Goinkyo notes that he doesn’t like being different from others but everyone is different from each other. Gin must realize that he is exploiting himself.

Mizuno is sleeping and gets a rude wakeup call because Gin cuts open the floor he is sleeping on. Mizuno is further horrified to see Goinkyo. Looks like they know each other. Tenten, Tenhou and Ise sneak into Akai’s home to find evidence. Yeah, lots of porn magazines under his futon. But wait! There’s something underneath those magazines. It’s a claw. Suddenly Blue Woman attacks them and they realize she is the blue Sky Beast. Ise tells the duo to leave with the evidence while she takes care of things here. Torii and Akai see fireworks coming from the south, which is far away from where Sora is being held. They know Seikichi is planning something but do not know what it is. Actually the fireworks are distraction as for Seikichi and co have completed a makeshift catapult and the plan is to swing Seikichi into the castle grounds. Seikichi successfully infiltrates the castle and makes his way down the well. He sees Sora behind bars and wants to get out together. Sora is reluctant since she offered to get captured so that he could get away. Plus, now that he has seen her true form, she can’t be with him. Seikichi admits he was shocked but even shocker was she didn’t tell him the truth. He adds that she is different from the blood sucking monster and everyone else believes in her. He remembers his late dad’s words never to judge a book by the cover and you can only do that to fireworks. He asks her if she finds them repulsive and hates staying with them since they’re different. All Seikichi understands from her mumbo-jumbo training to adapt in planets is that she doesn’t find them revolting lah. Still, Sora can’t go with Seikichi because by doing so, she’ll put Furai Row residents in jeopardy. Especially Gin. I don’t know where Seikichi got his baseless confidence that they’ll get by. Like how about now because Akai has been observing them all the while and pops up. But surprise! He lets them go! He apologizes for getting rough on them or else he might get suspected. Gosh! Am I dreaming? Was he just putting up a villain’s face? He also has the same dream as them? And… If it looks too good to be true then it is because while they’re climbing out of the well, that weasel Akai pulls out his gun and fires at them! I knew it!

Episode 19
Sora is shocked to see Akai climbing out of the well instead. He is happy that Seikichi is dead albeit he would have preferred to let him suffer more. Furious Sora transforms into her beast form but the other MIBs use ropes to tie her down. Before Akai can shoot her, Seikichi grabs him. Wait. Wasn’t he dead? Well, Genzo’s mom and Rokubei’s wife made him a bullet proof vest. Akai proceeds to vent out his frustrations how he has been suffering under Mizuno’s reforms but they are having fun illegally. He is about to cut Seikichi when Sora pleads to let him go and will not resist capture anymore. But he asserts that they must die so he can live in peace. Suddenly a television drops in. Its video replays scenes of the Blue Woman. Tenten and Tenhou are the ones responsible for dropping this evidence and accuse Akai for harbouring the blue Sky Beast in secret. Akai denies it so they show additional proof: The claw he used to kill innocent people. Just when Akai thought he is busted for good, everyone came to a conclusion that he is cosplaying with Blue Woman! So he’s an otaku? Akai is so furious that he is being labelled an otaku that he yells he used it to kill people. Oops! Haha. Nice psychological move there. Now the cat’s out of the bag. Even if he denies that, nobody is going to believe him. Sora realizes Akai is collecting bodily fluids of higher life forms for Blue Woman’s regeneration. The MIBs surround him. Akai thought he could seek solace in Torii but he is placing him under arrest for harbouring the Sky Beast and posed as the beast to commit serial murder. Akai is desperate and can’t go down quietly so he tries to claw Torii. Unfortunately Torii uses the back of his sword to knock him out. Ordering the MIBs to arrest him for interrogation, he now turns his attention to Seikichi and Sora. Even though Akai is the culprit, this doesn’t mean they will be clear of their previous crimes like trespassing the castle and the jailbreak. Suddenly a cool handsome samurai arrives on scene. Who the hell is he?! He and Torii are going to have a showdown when Tooyama stops them. He gives a letter from Mizuno. The samurai then reverts to his original form: Goinkyo! Oh sh*t!!! Was that really him?! Actually, the rejuvenate potion affect wore off… Goinkyo wants Torii to return his people as stated in the letter and Torii is not pleased and knows he bribed Mizuno. This is not over by a long shot. But there is nothing he can do though for now he has Akai. But he’s about to lose him too because Blue Woman makes her entrance (by ripping an eyeball of Eyes!!! Oh sh*t!!!). She then kisses Akai and escapes with him. She says she needs to merge with her other self and Akai wants to come with her. Meanwhile Gin learns from Ise that Akai is the traitor. Gin is going after them and hopes she’ll take care of Seikichi and Sora.

The Furai Row residents are having a feast with Goinkyo and they talk about his real identity as Gennai Hiraga. He notes he was used to be called that when he was young. But they do some calculations that since that famous eminent Edo scholar’s arrest happened about 70 or 80 years ago, he must be 130 years old today! What more, he supposed to have died in prison. Goinkyo says he discovered the rejuvenation herbs by chance, was granted privileges to deliver the medicine to the senior council. But one thing led to another as things become a hassle and he faked his death and disappeared. Then talking about Gin who probably won’t be returning here, Seikichi is upset that he works for the government and came here to spy on them. Meanwhile the blue Sky Beast is running riot in Tetsuju’s house! What does it want? Don’t know. Then some forest spirits got absorbed into it and Tetsuju thought he saw his princess within it. Then they like become best friends and go out digging. Huh? Sora knows Blue Woman and Akai are chasing after the clone. Seikichi wants to come too since if they don’t deal with him, he won’t be able to complete his Rocket. Sora disagrees but he is still adamant to tag along. Then the MIBs voice their intention to come along since they are ashamed of losing sight of them. Gin is also on the hunt when he sees a transport guy panicking. He claims a strange customer (Blue Women) killed his partner. Seikichi, Sora and the MIBs arrive at Tetsuju’s house but see him digging holes. Tetsuju seems like he is being hypnotized and wonders why there are 2 princesses. Nevertheless he calls out to the other princess which turns out to be the blue Sky Beast. Once Akai and Blue Woman reach their destination, he is going to send the other transport guys to the other world. Luckily Gin arrives in time to stop him. Akai tells Blue Woman to go ahead while he handles things here. Gin realizes Akai is that masked sicko that licked him. He wants to know why he aligned himself with the blue Sky Beast. He replies he learnt from him and Seikichi and wants to enjoy his life. Tetsuju easily defeats the MIBs though he is still confused there are 2 princesses. They see the blue Sky Beast digging as it finally hits a pod buried underneath. The pod then activates and starts flying in the sky.

Episode 20
Well, the pod looks like a giant peanut… Sora notes that this pod is much bigger than the one the fugitive was in. Gin fights Akai and is shocked to hear Akai wants to go with Blue Woman since he has nowhere else to go in Edo. He doesn’t regret it and finds it exciting. He notes Gin’s ability to open everything and that he has opened his heart to the truth. Up to now, everything Akai had was a lie. His job, his superiors, the government. All lies. But now he knows what he wants to do and that is to take care of the woman he loves. Akai is so determined that he breaks Gin’s Truncheon Keys. Then he tells him back if he can open his own heart to the truth since he too is living a lie. That’s because he loves Sora. Though Gin says it is Seikichi that Sora gets along well, Akai knows it is a lie and thus the reason he can’t defeat him. Akai slices him unconscious. Sora flies up to the pod and confronts Blue Woman. Both decide on a truce and temporarily work together to stop the blue Sky Beast who is trying to find a way into the pod. They beat it down but hear it says how much it wanted to return to the sky. Gin wakes up in Tetsuju’s house courtesy of the MIBs. Seikichi makes him medicine and hopes he would stop telling lies and keeping secrets. Now drink the awful medicine! No time for this because Gin says Akai is already here. As Sora learns Blue Woman split herself on its own, Akai throws his sword at Sora’s back. It’s going to take a lot more than that to keep her down. Though Akai volunteers to take care of Sora, when she takes out the sword from her back and punches him, he becomes all scared. Sora understands why Blue Woman is here and the latter is in a dilemma on what to do. With Seikichi and Gin coming onboard, Akai takes Blue Woman and the clone into the pod. Blue Woman heads for the bridge as she ponders since her ancestors came to this planet on this ship, why didn’t they return them. Then hearing from those little spirits, she understood. Sora tells Seikichi and Gin about Blue Woman’s crime. Blood sucking and killing doesn’t constitute to life imprisonment on her planet and her heinous crime is mind cloning. Using Seikichi as an example, let’s say he likes Gin but also at the same time hates him. When those feelings intensify, the physical body splits into two. One who likes him and the other who hates.

Akai faces them to stall for time as Blue Woman tries to launch the pod. He is not going to listen to reason because he’s doing it for the woman he loves. Seikichi is ready to use the Rockets he found in Tetsuju’s house when Eyes drops in to defend Akai. Is he defecting? I thought he hated Blue Woman for scarring his eye? Well, he thought about it and if they do capture the Sky Beast, what will happen to the MIBs? They’ll be disbanded and return to their worthless life. Eyes is not going to let that happen and wants to fight. That’s why he will help let them escape. Sora easily knocks him out and they resume their chase. Now everyone is in the bridge, including the blue Sky Beast. It swallows Tetsuju’s rocket and fires it from its arm like as though it became part of its body. Blue Woman protects Akai from the blast. Gin opens the beast’s stomach followed by Seikichi shooting a Rocket into it. Akai takes Blue Woman and escape. Not before he jams the controls with his sword. Suddenly the pod goes on red alert and Sora tells the guys to quickly get out. Akai is trying to launch the pod but Blue Woman says it can’t fly anymore because she set it to self destruct mode. This way, Sora can’t return home too. Akai is devastated. Doesn’t she want to return home too? Ironically, living with a primitive life form has made her wanted to stay. Because of that, her mind cloned and the blue Sky Beast was herself wanting to go home. Akai decides to stay with her instead of escaping because this is his devotion to her. Then he wonders if he should call her “Yuu” which comes from the word “Yuuhi” that means sunset. Also, since the sunset is red, this also what Akai’s name means. Yuu is happy but forces him into an escape pod. Akai can only look back horrified and do nothing. The pod explodes as Sora catches Seikichi. Gin thought he had accepted falling to his death but fell into a body of water courtesy of the MIBs. As for Eyes, I think he got owned by the blue Sky Beast while he was crawling his way out. Torii despite getting permission from Mizuno, feels he can’t pretend the Sky Beasts incident never happened. So Tooyama wonders how he is going to punish the residents of Furai Row, the MIBs and especially Akai. Torii says that at least some punishment must be imposed on Seikichi. Seikichi is expelled from Edo due to carelessly causing a fire. Shunpei is fine with it as long they live somewhere outside town. They’ll move just across the river. As for their Rocket project, Goinkyo assures them the government has decided to set up base of operations at Ishikawajima Island. Plus, they have Mizuno’s written approval to continue with the project. The MIBs are looking for Gin and are worried that he may leave for good and never return this time. As Sora follows Seikichi, he wants her to show him her true form. He is not afraid of her anymore and in fact notes how cool she looks.

Episode 21
Onui narrates the blood sucking creature case has been solved for the time being, Gin is missing, Seikichi and Shunpei expelled to a neighbouring area and best of all, the approval of the Rocket project. And on this island the gang has created several buildings to aid in the launch of the project, including Ise’s theatre. Theatre? Genzo the pigeon could’ve been an eagle’s meal had he not turned back into a human and crashed down onto the island. Naked! Woah! After almost 10 episodes, Genzo is finally back as a human being!!! As explained by Goinkyo, some of his contraptions take time for the effects to revert back. That’s one heck of a long time. Since his mom has sold his stuff, she only has small clothes for him. Can he fit into that? She’s not worried because since this is an anime, he’ll manage. WTF?! Genzo puts on the kimono and he looks so girly! Then Ise comes in and is surprise at how feminine he is and wonders if he’s interested in acting. Tenten and Tenhou are putting up posters for the play of Princess Kaguya and Tamakichi. Arms still hasn’t given up on Tenhou and she hasn’t changed her mind about being annoying. The performers and the MIBs talk that this play by Ise isn’t just about making profit, but in hopes that Gin will take notice and return. Seikichi complains to the playwright Kazukichi Nkanoshima about the script because the characters are supposed to confess their love in a scene. Seikichi can’t do that. The character is nothing like him. Really? Then Ise the director calls everyone for casting. She makes Sora the voice of Princess Kaguya. Only the voice? So who is going to play the physical part? Ise! Oh, she herself couldn’t believe it and starts over reacting like this is too good to be true. But the rest reject and taunt her and this made her blow her top! So really. Who is going to play the physical Princess Kaguya? This is where Genzo comes in. Everyone is awed at Genzo and this chance of everyone finally noticing him has come true. Even if they do, they still don’t remember he is the Genzo who had been living with them all these years. Well, you win some, you lose some. As everyone rehearse their parts, Riku and Tetsuju see the poster and aren’t happy. They’re going to do something about it.

As the play begins, Tetsuju gatecrashes into the opening scene and tries to hijack the show. Ise orders the MIBs to eject him from the building. The story continues but yet another troublemaker comes in. This time Riku is charging towards the stage, ranting about that fiancée thingy so Genzo trips her and makes her fall into a trapdoor. Good riddance. As the play goes on, Seikichi can’t help feel uneasy because though Tamakichi is played by Tenhou, the lines Sora narrates and Princess Kaguya acting out probably reflected his feelings for her. In the final scene whereby Princess Kaguya is supposed to leave for the moon, Genzo suddenly adlibs and says he doesn’t want to leave. Realizing his folly, they try to regain control of the show so Ise tells Sora to do what it takes. She is unsure of what to say so Seikichi tells her to say it in her own words. With that, Sora speaks from her heart that it’s not bad either to stay on this planet and perhaps to be by Seikichi’s side. Hey, that’s not in the script but didn’t he tell her to just say it? He is surprised by her words and accidentally hit the buttons for the explosives. Boom! I guess the play was a hit because we see everyone toasting and celebrating in the aftermath despite the theatre burnt down to smithereens. Ise may be pushed deeper into debt but she isn’t panicking and will think of something eventually. Yeah well, no point stressing it out now. Though the rest don’t remember who Genzo is, he is okay with it. Mommy asks why he went off track then. He isn’t sure why and perhaps he was just trying to interpret Seikichi and Sora’s relationship and it just came out. Sora talks to Seikichi and says when the Rocket is complete, she’ll say “Boom!”. Were you expecting “Goodbye” or “I love you”?

Episode 22
Genzo’s mom’s makeup table doubles as a computer and its mirrors as the monitor! Cool! She’s watching YouTube and watching last week’s Princess Kaguya play (probably uploading more clips of it). She hopes the world will take not on her son’s acting. But Genzo isn’t happy. In fact, he is crying that they stole his movie, his emotions and won’t watch or buy it. Then he goes off to do calculations on the construction of the Rocket but comes to a shocking conclusion that at this rate Sora won’t be able to return to the moon. The problem is actually lack of manpower to complete the Rocket. At this rate they’ll take 82 years and 3 months. This translates to 30,023 days and yeah, 720,522 hours! Seikichi and Sora will be old blokes ready to kick the bucket by the time it completes. So why are they telling Ise? Well, they want to borrow some money to cover manpower costs. All Ise sees is how well they get along so much so they’re like a real husband and wife pair. It’s the blushes for Seikichi and Sora but not so for Shunpei. However Onui says Goinkyo has came out with a solution. We see Tenten, Tenhou and the MIBs secretly collecting stray cats. Remember Goinkyo’s weird contraption? Yeah, they’re turned into humans and I suppose this solves the manpower woes. However Shunpei remembers the machine and realizes they are cats turned into humans. Tenten and Tenhou panic and scoot off in their car. Shunpei feels it’s irrational for animals to be turned into humans and his words made Onui concerned.

Shunpei goes to see Goinkyo at his home but he is not home. He accidentally spills a small bottle containing a weird liquid. He cleans it up and smells what’s left inside the bottle. As he leaves, he doesn’t know that all the women he passed starts to get attracted to him. When he returns to his place, the ladies suddenly tries to flirt with him so much so it freaked him out. Ise wants to call him her little brother, Tenhou wants to put glasses on him while Riku wants him to wear boxers. WTF?! Onui isn’t affected and sweeps them away with her broom. Then she smells Shunpei and finds a funny odour coming from him. Sniffing the source of the smell, this leads her to Goinkyo’s place and the bottle. The old man may not be there but Sora is. Then they see outside, a horde of ladies like zombies crying out for Shunpei. Man, he’s gotten this popular with the ladies. Onui realizes the strange love potion created by Goinkyo is the cause of this mess and the reason Sora is not affected is because she’s not from this planet. Sora deduces that Onui is a dog the reason she too is unaffected. Sora says she knew Onui’s identity all along and realizes she likes Shunpei. But Onui fears if Shunpei knows the truth, he might get upset. Sora mentions she shouldn’t be mumbling nonsense and should find Goinkyo. Instead of worrying, she should help Shunpei. Onui gets into Goinkyo’s machine and transforms herself into a dog to find the old guy. Since she hasn’t been walking on all fours for a long time, she’s having it hard. I’m not sure about why Tetsuju suddenly barge into the scene like as though he is emotionally reuniting with a dog named IC. IC who? Run away! Eventually Onui finds Goinkyo but he’s a handsome young man?! Actually he used the rejuvenation potion and went for a night out.

Back at the lab, he is making an antidote for the love potion. He admits making the potion in which a single drop would’ve been suffice and using the entire bottle will turn out bad. Once he is done, Onui takes the antidote and heads straight back. Better hurry because Shunpei’s situation is getting even dire. He’s up the tower and is thinking of flying to the moon where there won’t be any women. The situation gets out of hand as the women start fighting among themselves as it turns into a massive free-for-all brawl. Sora feels she is succumbing to the potion’s effects but instead of being lovey-dovey with Shunpei, she’s starting to spew out dense crap that doesn’t make sense. Dry brushing? Filters and paint chipping? Epoxy putty and rollers? Zimmerit coating? Say what again?! Onui arrives but can’t barge her way through the crowd. But after thinking back the happy times she spent with Shunpei, she gets the determination to run through the crowd and up the tower. Seikichi and Shunpei thought they see a familiar dog but the brawl is causing the tower to crumble. The tower did collapse and at this point Shunpei is out cold and Onui has returned to her human form (albeit naked) and those crazy crawling Shunpei-obsessed women are at a dangerous level. Their eyes are totally red like Terminator! I don’t know why Onui didn’t just pour the antidote into Shunpei’s mouth but put it in her own so that she could transfer the liquid via her mouth. Maybe it’s a kissing scene some viewers hoped to see between the secondary characters. A bright light emits and blows away the effects of the potion. Next day, everything returns to normal as mess is being cleaned up. Santa, Rokubei and Shinza are so dead because their hard work in creating the tower now becomes a pile of rubble. Seikichi mentions to Shunpei about seeing the dog they had last time coming to rescue him. Shunpei then turns to Onui and thanks her. He finally understands it makes sense now. But for Seikichi, he’s still scratching his head because everything makes no sense.

Episode 23
A little flashback on Gin and Ise’s escape to Edo after the failed rebellion. Gin couldn’t the failure and his feelings are in disarray so much so he nearly attacked a kid playing nearby. He is in a dilemma on what to do till he sees fireworks being lit nearby. They are from Seikichi and Shunpei who has just left the Kagiya household and believe their era of fireworks starts now. Gin becomes amazed at the sight. In reality, Gin sees a group of children engaging in a little play on their own in which Silver Fox and Night Cherry are the heroes of justice! Tooyama pays a visit to Ise and Tenhou watching the reconstruction of the Rocket. Seems he used Tenten as his doppelganger. I guess people are that stupid not to see the difference. Anyway he has business in seeing the duo. There are incidents going on in the Kansai region. Ever since Mizuno accepted the Rocket project and has ordered the collection of gunpowder from all over the country, however they haven’t been receiving the supplies lately and it’s due to a group of thieves who call themselves Night Fox Gang. I guess this means the past has catch up with her. Ise agrees to help him out so that her reputation won’t get tarnished. Besides, it takes a thief to catch a thief. Meanwhile Sora seems to be panicking. She tells Seikichi and the guys that their screen time ends now! Holy crap! They’re going to be like Genzo! Hey, at least they mentioned his name. Just when that guy thought his name is finally mentioned and makes a flashy entrance, they don’t remember who he is.  Cry all you want because your screen time ends here.

Ise and Tenhou wonder why Tooyama has that idiot Tetsuju tag along. Well, he thought it’s best they needed somebody who is an expert with gunpowder. If only he could just shut up and not be so idiotic flashy. Elsewhere Gin is doing his Silver Fox play to the kids but since it sucks so much, the kids refuse to tell him how they heard about the story. An old acquaintance of Gin happened to pass by. He is Tenbei Mimasaka and a survivor of Oshio’s uprising. However during the failed rebellion, the canon exploded and was blinded. They chat and Gin learns he was the one who spread the story to the kids. Tenbei still holds very high regards for Oshio and believes about saving the people. When an old man comes to give Gin his potatoes, Gin leaves so as not to be a burden on them. He can tell Tenbei’s cane hides a sword and that old guy isn’t just an ordinary person. However he dismisses he has nothing to do with it all. Ise and co are travelling through the woods when they are ambushed by Night Fox Gang. Tetsuju gets flashy and summons his raccoon friends and do a gatai scene with them (it’s just his furry fellows sticking over his body). He sounds like he is capable and uses the raccoons to tear up the place. Isn’t this animal abuse? Don’t worry, there’s a disclaimer to say no animals were used in making of this scene! Just when the boss sheaths his sword, the raccoons cower and scram! Ise quickly knocks Tetsuju out and reveals her true self. She doesn’t want to fight them and instead is here to give the gunpowder as gifts to them. The boss also reveals himself. He is Tenbei and they’re both surprised to see each other alive.

Tenbei takes them to his base and mentions Gin did come by but left. Ise sees a fleet of ships supposedly his mobile base. Seems Tenbei’s plan is to do another uprising. This time in Edo. Knowing that Mizuno has approved the Rocket project, they will use this confusion to strike and burn the government down. Ise agrees to help out but Tenbei doesn’t trust her words and points his sword at her. Ever since he got blinded, he has this ability to read people’s heart and Ise has been lying all the way. He knows if she helps out, she’ll let the magistrate’s people come right marching in. A little commotion distracts them. It’s Gin and he’s back. Ise tells him of Tenbei’s plan and leaves him to handle the blind guy while she stops the burning down of Edo plan. Gin faces off with Tenbei and put up a poker face in pretending not knowing what he is up to so that he could investigate the truth. Tenbei replies he’ll never understand Oshio’s aspiration so Gin says he’s blinded not because he can’t see but rather he can’t let go of the past he can’t forget. Since the place is shrouded with thick black smoke, Tenbei cuts off the only source of light and has Gin taste the world of darkness he has been living since. Tenbei mocks Gin and tries to implant fear in his mind. He also reveals his true goal of revenge to let those Edo people experience this same fear. Tetsuju was making fireworks lit up the sky for that moment and this allows Gin to see and strike down Tenbei. Ise and Tenhou also start their counterattack on Tenbei’s men. Let’s just say quality wins over quantity. Tenbei couldn’t believe he heard fireworks so Gin tells him gunpowder isn’t just fireworks. It is what gives them hope to achieve their dreams no matter how oppressed and persecuted they are. Those are the people he is trying to burn down. Tenbei in his dying breath asks him if that is his dream as well. Gin watches the fireworks and hopes Seikichi will show them even more amazing fireworks.

Episode 24
Akai is living like a bum alone in his tent in the forest. He’s sporting unkempt facial hair as he watches the ‘story so far’ and the other ‘plots’ that have happened since the demise of Blue Woman. Noting that Gin is back, he feels it’s time he returns too. He also thinks it’ll be unprecedented to have an action-packed anime after what has happened so far. Seikichi and the gang are putting the finishing touches on the 3-stage design of the giant Rocket called Shoryuu that will send Sora back to the moon. Notice Seikichi’s sad face when he mentioned about Sora returning there? Ise returns to her pawn shop but sees Riku making a request that she doesn’t want Seikichi and the rest to know. See her sad face too? Shoryuu is completed and that night everyone parties hard for tomorrow’s launch. A couple of guys are taking a leak by the cliff when the blue Sky Beast pops out and devours them! OMG! It still lives! Shunpei is drunk and is pestering Seikichi to ‘say it’ to Sora. Seikichi thought it was the matters of love but it turns out that if he tells Sora not to go, she’ll stay. He brushes him off and says the Rocket isn’t just for Sora but for the people of Edo to look upwards once more. Tetsuju spots the blue Sky Beast climbing onto Shoryuu. He tries to get it to come back to him. They’ve been friends before, remember? Seems this Sky Beast must have merged with Eyes because it has got an eye of Eyes. Then it ignites Shoryuu with its electricity. Seikichi and Sora have a little chat and to their surprise, everyone else was hiding behind the bush, irritated that they should just say it already. Woah! Busybodies! But that’s not the actual reason they’re here. They point out Shoryuu just got ignited. While everyone makes a run for it, Seikichi tells Sora to fly onboard. However she says she won’t because it’s bound to fail. True enough, Shoryuu comes crashing down even before getting a proper lift off since it’s too heavy. It exploded into flames as Riku watches from afar. She thought this was Torii’s doing but he says he didn’t even have to lift a finger. Riku vows to make a better Rocket than Seikichi and won’t make the same blunder.

While the gang are demoralized at the wreckage, Tetsuju is caught and is being suspected as the blue Sky Beast and the one who ignited Shoryuu. But Sora can tell he’s the real deal (because of some dubbing joke). Sora admits that there were a couple of bodies found like they’ve been eaten by the beast. Was it supposed to be dead? Maybe it was just playing dead so it could hitch a ride with Sora. Realizing that the blue Sky Beast is still alive, Tooyama says it’s more the reason they should finish the Rocket. Since his superiors have heard about the incident and really want to see it, they are willing to send more labourers to complete the job. Looks like the project is back on track. Again. Seikichi hopes Sora can wait a little longer and will launch a better Rocket this time. Ise is surprised to see Gin at her pawn shop as he notes it was her who sent supplied labours to Kagiya. And what he saw on his way back wasn’t something good. When Seikichi and Shunpei go to see Riku for help on gunpowder, her shop is temporarily closed. Ise points out she is at Shimoda and should go there. Whether or not his schedule is tight, she insists he must go! Upon arrival, they are shocked to see a large roller coaster-like structure. Shunpei concludes Riku was building a Rocket secretly since she hates to lose. However Shunpei blows his top and confronts Riku. She tells him he is forbidden to step into Kagiya’s fireworks testing grounds but he laughs it off that she’s launching fireworks. Because that thing isn’t for launching upwards. It’s something to fly over a great distance across the ocean. A cannon. Seikichi further adds that Kagiya couldn’t have possibly made this on their own as there is ice on its rail. Ice you see, is a controlled item during this period that the government only has access to and stored at the top of Mt Fuji. Torii completes his sentence saying this is government property. With Shimoda locating at the bay of Edo and acting as a lookout fortress, they can dispel any foreign fleet from here with this Rocket. Seikichi is still upset that Riku built such a thing but is held back by the guards.

Episode 25
Seikichi and co are imprisoned nearby. He wonders why Riku would build such a thing. Shunpei deduces that she’s jealous of Sora. What happens if Sora is sent back to the moon? Yeah, you do the maths. Of course Riku denies it all. Even Seikichi points out that Shunpei recently got a girlfriend and is getting cocky. Oddly, Shunpei didn’t even fluster or say his usual “irrational” line. But if that thing isn’t fireworks or Rocket to the moon, why did she suddenly make such a thing? Was she coerced? Her body language may indicate so but she’s quick to cover it by saying to prove Kagiya is the best fireworks maker in Edo. Elsewhere, Gin and Akai are impersonation as labourers. On the day of the launch, a group of spectators gather thinking they’re going to watch the fireworks but Mizuno allows them to stay since he wants to show his capability as lately there are many there are those who criticized his reforms and refuse to follow his leadership. Torii spots Gin on top and climbs up to confront him. Gin wants him to stop the launch despite Torii mentioning this is Mizuno’s project. This will enhance the Shogunate’s reputation by driving away foreign fleets. Gin replies that Mizuno’s reforms are falling apart and the Shogun is keeping close watch on him. Still he wants to hang on to his post. Gin feels that if they fire this onto the foreign ships, they are going to close the door of this country again. Torii didn’t like how Gin considers himself as a key to Japan because all he did was staying outside the mainstream and gloat by himself. Since both are stubborn to back off, they both fight. But they’ll have to make a run since the Rocket launches. Sliding down the ice rails, Gin and Torii hide in the ice cracks. Looks like the ice can’t handle the weight of the Rocket and is going out of control. The Rocket lifts off but falls short and crashes into the watching spectators in their boats, killing and drowning some of them. After that, the structure collapses. Mizuno is upset Torii failed and that he has wasted too much money.  He fears people will start talking bad about him. He leaves it to Tooyama to handle it. He frees Seikichi and the rest and will be taking responsibility for these people. Riku apologizes to them and only wanted them to think about fireworks. Ears who had been suspecting something confronts and fight Eyes in the woods. He is surprised he is still alive and working under Mizuno. The other MIBs arrive and they learn another surprise that Akai is also breathing. Akai saves Eyes and they escape. Though it might be Akai’s way of repaying his debt but with his status now, he can’t enter Edo and needs Eyes’ help.

Seikichi returns and sees Shoryuu completed and ready for launch any time. However he notes the people wearing poorer clothes because of the Mizuno’s harsh budget cuts. Seikichi is not too pleased and he sees Santa carving elaborated Sora sculptures on the launch tube. Seikichi thought once the Rocket launches, all his hard work will be burnt up and yet why is he doing this futile work. Genzo replies that it’s alright since it’s just an excuse to say that what you do is useful to others as everyone wants to do things they want to do. Just like his maths, he doesn’t do it for everyone but enjoys doing it for himself. Even if that is just a hobby, he points out isn’t Seikichi an Edo partisan too? However Seikichi gets called by Goinkyo and objects the cancellation of the launch since they’ve already come this far. The old guy understands but there is an order from Tooyama. If he can return Sora to the moon, he wants him to make this Rocket instead. Man, the blueprints seem so complicated. They call it Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and it’s filled with gunpowder up to the stratosphere to bomb America and Russia. Even if Sora knows Seikichi can still do this, he wants to really know what’s going on because what Torii ordered Riku to make was a different project. Tenten mentions Torii and Tooyama are pushing their own strategies in front of Mizuno. Tooyama and Torii and talking to each other and Gin joins them. Gin didn’t like Tooyama’s plan and thought he was for peaceful exchange with foreign nations. Tooyama thinks this will be good for the world so they can watch Star Trek and Prison Break. Jokes aside, by sponsoring Kagiya and Tamaya to do so, having fireworks that reach foreign lands will make the foreign powers think twice about exercising their aggression. And with Seikichi being able to do it because he wants his fireworks to be something greater and useful to others, he might pull it off. Gin notes Seikichi is not that stupid but Tooyama says Gin never made good use of his power apart from wagging his tail in front of Torii. After Gin leaves, Tooyama pours his tea over Torii’s head and thinks it’s time for him to retire.

Seikichi is mad as he asserts he is a fireworks artisan and can’t make something this terrible. But if his launch is successful, he’ll have to create the same things and in the worst case scenario they’ll have somebody else to make it. Goinkyo wants him to run away since he agrees he is a fireworks maker. As long as there is a sky, he can launch his fireworks and there is nothing in this country to keep him here. As for Shoryuu, it’s suspended. Seikichi is not happy and screams out his frustrations. Sora thinks it is fine this way as she’ll get to stay with him but he points out these fireworks isn’t just for her. It’s for the people to look up no matter what. They’re not play things, they’re something great to benefit others. Then watching Santa continue to carve the sculpture and Genzo’s words (I’m surprised he remembers him – okay, his words at least), he gets his confidence to launch his Rocket tomorrow and wants everyone to lend a hand. Eyes talks to Mizuno who is happy that with tomorrow’s successful launch, the Shogunate will no choice but to obey him since he has the power to attack foreign powers with fireworks. And if they don’t, he’ll launch it against Edo Castle instead. Eyes then knocks him out and thanks him for the hard work. Akai makes his appearance and says he has been waiting for him to make his move. Eyes thought he was lying when he said he wanted to serve Mizuno. That was true about a month ago. Akai was at the first launch of Shoryuu and saw him. Seems the blue Sky Beast survived the blast and took over Eyes’ body and posed as him, staying alive all this time. Akai draws his sword to arrest it as it transforms to its beast form.

Episode 26
Akai isn’t doing this to claim credit but as revenge for Yuu’s death. Despite the creature telling him they’re both from the same essence, Akai doesn’t care as he wants to do what he wants to do and starts slashing away. He manages to slice off a hand and stabs his broken sword into its head. But the monster retreats into the pool and Akai remembers Mizuno pouring Goinkyo’s weird potion into it. The Sky Beast starts cloning itself and with the increased quantity, they attack Akai. Seikichi rallies his gang to make the final alterations on Shoryuu. Hey, at least Shunpei remembers who Genzo is now! Brings tears to his eyes, eh? Ise gives a charm to Sora for her safe journey. Later Ise meets Gin and mentions about the alterations that Seikichi will launch the Rocket from inside and not via electricity outside. After that, he’ll get out via escape pod wearing the fire-rat coat. Gin understood the implications of what Seikichi is doing. Akai gets beaten to death and in his final breath, sees a vision of Yuu. His body is surrounded by the MIBs who are wondering why he has such a calm smile on his face. Next day, a huge crowd gathers to watch the launch but they are not anticipating anything fun as they think it’s the government’s show of force after that Shimoda incident. Seikichi and Sora prepares to head inside Shoryuu when Tooyama suddenly stops them. He knows the Rocket has been altered to be ignited from within. Doing so means Seikichi is planning to get away from Edo or even Japan and knows he won’t be jumping out after its launch. Without Seikichi around, Tooyama can still make his cannon but there will be delays and this is not what he wants. Suddenly Torii interrupts them and points out to the horde of blue Sky Beasts approaching. They must deal with this first. Gin charges straight to prevent them from riding the Rocket. Torii helps out since he wants Sora to get off this planet and Tooyama also joins in since he doesn’t want to lose out.

Shoryuu beautifully lifts off into the sky but when reaching orbit, it starts exploding. Even the escape pod! Oh no! However the results of the explosion are beautiful fireworks. To prevent the people from thinking it’s a disaster, Tetsuju shouts “Tamaya!” and has everyone thinking this is in fact a fireworks show. Everybody starts shouting and enjoy the spectacle. After despatching the last of the blue Sky Beasts, Torii relieves Gin from his duty as an MIB and that the Shogunate and magistrate no longer have anything to do with him. Gin dejectedly trudges to his other friends. He sees them whisper secretly before Tenten and Tenhou put up a magic performance to spring Seikichi and Sora up from the ground! OMG! They’re still alive? How can this be? It was planned from the start that the Rocket was to fail. This way, Tooyama and Torii won’t ever think of using their Rocket as a cannon since they’re ‘dead’. But will he be alright since the Rocket is everyone’s dream and not just for fun. But Seikichi says fireworks are exactly for fun and serve no purpose. He is fine with that since he is a fireworks artisan and has made a gigantic firework to light up the skyline of Edo with his soul. But Sora can no longer return to the moon. Well, she doesn’t mind staying with them. Suddenly a light beams onto Sora. She says it is her comrades picking her up. They think the large fireworks were her signal as they think this planet’s technology level couldn’t have caused such an explosion. Seikichi puts up a brave front and is alright that she goes back. But Gin punches him in the gut and tells him to go with Sora. The others also support Seikichi to follow Sora. With Sora agreeing, Seikichi and Sora instantly disappear into the sky. Seikichi is going to be the best fireworks maker in the universe and will only make fireworks for her. Fireworks of universal scale as in the Big Bang?

That night, a group of people riot in front of Mizuno’s residence by throwing just about anything. They know he has been dismissed by the Shogun. Torii tries to defend but his MIBs want him to back off and that he is well aware of the reason. Gin unlocks a locked box of Ise and mentions about his job to open doors and have no place to go. She gives him a pep talk that he might be a key but he can still go anywhere. Just that he hasn’t opened his heart yet. Seikichi’s fireworks have shown them the way that they can do anything. He wants to travel around Japan and even the moon but what should he do? He should think about that himself, right? Seikichi and Sora reach the moon base and Sora is going to introduce him to the others. But what Seikichi sees next shocks him because he didn’t expect his Furai Row friends to be partying in a banquet! Why are they here? Goinkyo thought they should go to the moon too and they ride on his UFO that he once came to the planet with. So, that old geezer’s an alien to begin with?! The UFO’s right under his house! How they reach here faster than Seikichi, don’t ask. The end narration tells us about NASA’s records when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon with his Apollo 11. It was never recorded in real history because what they saw was unbelievable. I mean, how can there be fireworks on the moon as there is no air? Well, call me a monkey’s uncle, the Furai Row House Block is like a little colony on the moon shooting its fireworks. So would you believe it? That the people from Edo were the first ones that came to the moon? After seeing so many unbelievable stuffs, I think it’s not possible that Edo people were the ones that reached the shores of America instead of Christopher Columbus.

“Rocketman, Fly Me To The Moon”
Despite the crazy and no-holds-barred antics, it was quite an enjoyable ride. In short, I love it! Firstly the kind of humour that breaks through just about anything will have you stop thinking logically. It’s the kind of show whereby you get to enjoy best by not thinking too much and just accept the jokes that come by. I mean, if you are going to see television, internet access, sunglasses, helicopters and even maid cafes in old Edo, it is ironic you are going to see the dull, boring, plain and simple life many would expect with the lack of advanced technology. Ironically if everyone is so poor, how in the world can they have such modern contraptions in the first place? I’m sure those monitors don’t come cheap even if inflation is unheard of in those days. Maybe it’s just Mizuno’s reforms. I’m not exactly sure but they didn’t say everyone was indeed poor before the reforms were put up, right? Thus that’s why despite everyone putting a frugal and poor front, previously they were decent and some even well off to have those contraptions (as far as this wild anime is concerned).

The other aspect of the jokes is largely about breaking the fourth wall and exaggerating it. Often from time to time you would see the characters making jokes like as though they are aware that they are in an anime and that the viewers are watching them. Without batting an eyelid or holding back, the characters would comment on the roles, stuffs and even the language that they use. It’s spontaneous so in a way it makes the joke on-the-spot funny. Sometimes they all even laugh it off at the end. So everybody has got a chance to look like a comical idiot, no matter how serious their character role is. Genius and aliens are not exception either. Everyone is equal when it comes to comedy. I know that life is a big stage and a play. So it’s like a play in a play, huh? Yeah, even complaining about screen time and all. So it makes you think that maybe this entire Edo setup is just stage props because well, it was once demonstrated that it can be replaced and repaired quickly and what more cell backdrop drawings. Then there are those that parodies anime and pop culture and with little trivia hidden throughout the series, it’ll be like Easter eggs spotting them. Provided if you know your anime pop culture well.

Though there are quite a few characters, many of them are lovable and memorable in their own ways. Maybe except for one. I just can’t remember who that was ;p. Haha! Just pulling your leg (referring to you, Genzo). Seikichi is a kid who just wants to live his dream of being the best fireworks in Edo. Then perhaps the country and now that he has ventured into space, the best in the universe. Mizuno’s reforms doesn’t put him down and with the support of the gang, he could have probably achieved his dream a little faster if his heart wasn’t swaying and concerned about some of his friends were lying and hiding the truth and also the Sky Beasts serving as a distraction. Because he’s a simple and straightforward kid, the reason why everybody else believes in him and gives him their support to help make his Rocket. Shunpei may not be hands on like his brother but his genius in maths helps make Seikichi’s fireworks a success. If he could only see past things beyond mathematical numbers and not everything can be rationally solved with numbers. Initially Sora was afraid to reveal her true form as she would fear she would be persecuted. After living with the Furai Row people, she would have known they aren’t such shallow minded people. Sometimes the truth may hurt but given time to understand, I’m pretty sure (and that’s what happened) those guys will accept Sora for who she is. I’m not sure if she was really torn to stay or leave because if she was, she would’ve split into clones like Blue Woman. I’m not sure about the details but perhaps it’s only something Blue Woman could do? After staying on this planet for a while, the aliens understood why their ancestors never wanted to go home. Too much fun on this planet perhaps. Sora wouldn’t really mind if Seikichi just told her to stay. So for now maybe they compromise a little as they’re all living on the moon together. Gin was torn between helping Seikichi out and using his powers for the common good. Because he failed to see his own dream come true, the reason he is betting it all on Seikichi. Thus putting aside his feelings of what he really wants to do.

Santa, Rokubei and Shinza obviously are small (no pun intended) minor characters that only serve as comic relief but they have their little screen time to show that they are not just background extra characters. I mean, Shinza’s face is so stiff and comical that I thought he was ripped out from Peanuts’ comic strip. Rokubei’s traits are his big teeth and I believe I have never seen him close his mouth. Can’t imagine that ‘space’ when he does so. Then Santa, I thought he was the Mario of this anime. Only that he is a carpenter and not a plumber. The ladies of Furai Row, Onui, Rokubei’s wife and Genzo’s mom also provide comic relief albeit lesser than the guys. And I don’t think no matter how much Genzo’s mom put her son on Youtube, Facebook or some other social media, I have this feeling he’ll never be noticed. Tenten and Tenhou just like Gin have their own colourful but tragic past. Despite working under Tooyama and as spies, I don’t think the other Furai Row residents would treat them indifferently. Unless they have a bad heart which fortunately they don’t. Ise may not come from Furai Row but she provides valuable resources in terms of labour and money to them. Just hope that she doesn’t fold up going deeper into debt and with poor people like Furai Row delaying their repayments year after year, it’s amazing she is still able to keep afloat in this pawn business. So was the gigantic final Rocket launch worth it? I’m sure it does. But if you’re going to talk about costs and monetary affairs, that’s a different story altogether.

Goinkyo is the most mysterious person in the block. There is an air of mystery shrouding this old bugger and each time you see him, you wonder who the heck he really is. It is highly indicated that he is an alien from another world. How else would you explain the weird contraptions and inventions in his home? So mysterious that he seems to be able to pull strings from behind and even make Mizuno fear for him. Popping up anywhere, knows just about anything and there’s more to him than just meets the eye. Yeah, he can walk and dance too. So that’s about it for the Furai Row people. Did I miss anybody out? Don’t think so. Oh yes. It’s… I forgot. Haha! Genzo shouldn’t feel bad that nobody remembers him. It’s what makes him unique. Okay, so what’s the point of that when nobody notices you. But not everybody. At least his mom and Onui do recognize his presence so all is not lost. Maybe he has come up with lots of genius maths calculations and theories but just that nobody noticed him so his works never really got published or known in future generations ;p. Just saying… Hope he isn’t just an imaginary character.

Akai started out as a despicable villain viewing the Furai Row people as pests whom he wanted to get rid off so badly. It is clear that he holds a grudge for them because of his jealousy that despite being poor they are happy living their poor life unlike him who may be a low ranking police officer but isn’t content with life. What is the meaning of life when all you are is a dog to the magistrate? Till he finally realizes his true love, what he wants to do with her that he is set free. So he isn’t such a bad guy after all because in the end despite his unfortunate demise, he stayed true to what he believed in. I don’t remember him having forgiven Furai Row residents but after Yuu’s death, I don’t feel he despises Seikichi and the gang as much as he did before. Tooyama is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is being displayed that he is on Seikichi’s side but that is just a facade to push his hidden agendas like Torii. So it’s a good thing that Seikichi and Sora faked their deaths in the end and put an end to this tussle and idea of making a cannon that will show the world how powerful Japan is. You don’t need weapons like this to show how strong you are. If you have the backing and support of the people, that is already the true strength of the nation. If there was to be the funniest and most amusing character in the series, then I would have given that title to Tetsuju. Despite being a good rocketeer (and racketeer), he is essentially a crazy loudmouth with wisecracks. His dangerous and wild antics go beyond the trio of Santa, Rokubei and Shinza. I’m not really sure if he really knows Sora as his princess (and vice versa) because he’s such a mad fellow that anything is possible. What do you make of him when you see him as a guy who wants to take in animals as his pet with names right after catching glimpse of them? One crazy dude indeed.

For the romance and chemistry section, many would have put their money on Seikichi x Sora. It isn’t obvious in the end despite Seikichi wanting to come along with Sora shows that he really likes her. So unless the main characters kiss, it isn’t really a strong indication that they will be a couple, right? So did we see Seikichi and Sora kiss? Gin also likes Sora but he is using Seikichi as an excuse why he shouldn’t just be clear about his feelings for her and ruin it all. In this sense, his heart is clogged, leaving him indecisive and feeling left out. Despite being the key and being able to open any kind of locks, he can’t open the locks of his own heart. It’s not that he can’t, maybe he doesn’t want to. Perhaps it’s easier to solve other people’s problems than your own. Riku also harbours some feelings for Seikichi but that becomes less obvious as the plot progresses. Maybe she realizes she has lost out to Sora and it’s best to just remain as friends, if not fireworks rivals. I’m not sure if Shunpei and Onui are an official couple because they don’t seem to be acting like one although it is hinted that ‘Shunpei got a girlfriend’ and he doesn’t dismiss that. So what is it like to have a dog as your girlfriend? Just kidding. But at least Shunpei isn’t jealous or go into his usual ‘irrational’ fit each time he sees Sora with Seikichi. I didn’t feel any sparks between Gin and Ise. It just feels that they were old partners, that’s all. True love maybe ringing for Arms but that is just one-sided since Tenhou isn’t going to reciprocate. So probably the true couple that materialized but didn’t last long would be Akai and Yuu. Till death do us part? See how love changes a man? Now they can peacefully be together in another world. Besides, that’s the only real kiss you’d see. I wouldn’t count Onui’s one with Shunpei because the latter was unconscious and the one Ise gave to Seikichi was just a naughty peck on the cheek. It means nothing.

The plot of the story progresses nicely despite having a few side distractions. While Seikichi is finding ways to build his Rocket, we have these gruesome murders and Sky Beasts to come between. Also we have a few filler episodes (New Year’s Day) and some that gives us a glimpse on some characters (Onui’s past) that fits in nicely in between. When the plot for the Sky Beasts comes to a close, we have a few more fillers before the big bang finale to wrap up everything. Speaking of Seikichi’s Rocket construction, it’s nice to see him steadily progressing in making a Rocket-cum-fireworks via his trial and error. You won’t know something till you’ve tried it, right? It started off with something small and simple, then by adding other complicated materials into the mix, it ends up with something huge and colossal like a space shuttle that one can only see in modern times. Of course with a little future technology help, Seikichi learns firsthand that making the ultimate fireworks isn’t as easy as it seems. There are so many things to take into consideration. The gravity, the weight, the stability, the lift off power, the trajectory, the altitude, etc. That’s why making fireworks isn’t just a one-man show and that’s where all the specialties of the individual characters come in. So not only we learn the valuable lesson that many hands make light work but perseverance and steadfast pays. One shouldn’t be disheartened after the first few failures. It might be natural after putting all your hard work in and in the end it doesn’t go the way you want but if everybody were to give up easily, any form of advancement would never been made or achieved.

The action bits are considerably okay but I won’t bet it would satisfy hardcore adrenaline junkies. I mean, most of the fights you would see here is against the Sky Beasts or between them aliens. You rarely see any those between humans unless it’s that uprising scene or the most with Akai. There may be blood spilled but that is mostly from the Sky Beast and it may be a little gory too. Surprisingly for an anime genre like this, there are a few deaths involved although all of them happened to minor background characters. Well, at least it’s being realistic a little. I mean, it would be unbelievable if nobody dies and everybody gets to live happily ever after. Seeing the different prototypes of Rockets that blast off (and fail) is also another form of action because things go wrong in the midst and Seikichi and co need to do something to fix things right and using their creativity or whatever they have at hand. Some may be exaggerated but at least they don’t disappoint. So in the end after all the Rocket evolutions, they didn’t really send Sora back in one. Instead she was beamed back up. Was it a waste? But it was definitely good experience, right? The drawing and art is a combination of styles, if I should put it that way. Of course we have the main characters looking like your typical conventional anime characters and some of the minor ones looking chibi and comical (with lack of details) and others to be just stereotypical ‘clones’ that you can’t tell apart (especially background extra characters that you won’t care to notice). If you ask me, I prefer Torii to keep his mask on because he looks more fearsome with that. His real face just looks comical. If not, ugly. Oops. Then some of the background and scenery are drawn in a way that as though somebody just painted them with water colour.

I don’t have any problems with the voice casting as they all fit their roles perfectly. Just that when I heard Rie Kugimiya as Shunpei, I thought hey, she’s not going to sound like her tsundere loli roles but male characters like Al in Fullmetal Alchemist or Miharu in Nabari No Ou. Well, at least she doesn’t sound so bad (if you’re wondering, I prefer Rie Kugimiya voicing tsundere loli characters) but her voice is still recognizable as she still pulls off her trademark voice (albeit not that squeaky) whenever Shunpei is in distress. The other recognizable voice to me is Norio Wakamoto who struts his typical low sexy voice as Torii. Other casts include Yoko Soumi as Seikichi (BC in Vandread), Chika Fujimura as Sora (Haruka in Guilty Crown), Kouichi Yamadera (Spike in Cowboy Bebop), Romi Paku as Ise (Edward in Fullmetal Alchemist), Arisa Ogasawara as Riku (Panty in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt), Tokuyoshi Kawashima as Akai (William Jones in Emma: A Victorian Romance), Tomo Sakurai as Blue Woman/Yuu (Misao in Rurouni Kenshin), Kei Shindou as Onui (Kuro in Kodomo No Jikan), Katsuyuki Konishi as Genzo (Amidamaru in Shaman King), Risa Hayamizu as Tenhou (Kumiko in Gokusen), Masaki Yamada as Tenten (Kanbei in Samurai 7), Kinoko Yamada as Shinza (Jinko Komori in Itazura Na Kiss), Kiyonobu Suzuki as Santa (Hayato Kobayashi in Mobile Suit Gundam), Shinya Fukumatsu as Rokubei (Jun Sonoda in Wangan Midnight), Rokuro Naya as Goinkyo (Matsumoto in Umi Monogatari ~Anata Ga Ite Kureta Koto~) and Toru Ookawa as Tooyama (Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist).

The opening theme is Oh Edo Nagareboshi IV by the pair of Puffy AmiYumi. Sounds like a great pop song and if you don’t mind, you can sing along with them. Then you can go mindlessly “Bababa bababa baba” right at the end. What’s the deal with Sora and the gang doing a little rock group performance in the beginning? The first ending theme is 100 miles ~Niji Wo Oikakete by Santara and it sounds like funky R&B outfit. The second ending theme is I Got Rhythm by Natural High and has this feel of a jazzy soul piece. One of the biggest plus points of this series is the background music which boasts a wide range and variety of tunes. From the Flamenco guitar style to the swing trumpet fanfare to Broadway music and jazzy blues, the music adds to the weirdness to the already weird show. So instead of hearing traditional Japanese music instruments, you hear all these. Which I think you’ll get used to after a while after all the weirdness sinks in. Then it pretty much fits int. Hey, I already did mention about modern contraptions making its appearance all over the series. So why shouldn’t music be any different? My favourite background music includes the exciting Spanish guitar of Passion, the lively swing-like, erm, Swing and also another swing and jive piece called Matsuri.

There must be an easier way to get to the moon than making a bunch of Rockets through trial and error, no? But if they had the solution in the first place, I guess that defeats the purpose of bonding and creating the relationship between the characters. Like they say, it’s not the destination but the journey that counts. So even from a nonsensical anime like this, we get to learn lots of moral values like hard work, teamwork, perseverance, persistence, determination, simplicity, graciousness, loyalty and even money isn’t really everything (thanks Genzo mommy). And it is also true that you don’t judge a book by its cover except when it comes to fireworks. So if a beautiful lady drops out from the sky and starts asking me to help her get back to Mars or Andromeda, I’ll just tell her to Google it. It’s much easier that way. Since my brain is a little messed up, I won’t be surprised if Edo people were the ones who invented Google. Or maybe Edo people came from the moon… I hope I won’t start a different kind of ‘fireworks’ with such statement.

Anime Idiotic Trio

October 13, 2012

They say two is a company and three is a crowd. Oh wait. That’s not right. Okay, they say that bad things come in threes. See what happened to the three blind mice? Or the three little pigs? Anyway in the world of anime, there are various types of roles that characters can take on. Some the main hero, others the supporting characters and in some genres the main villain. Then there are those who provide comic relief to give viewers that much needed tension relief or simply just because they are idiots. If having one is already a handful, what more not two but three of them? Triple the trouble but also triple the fun. They are like the 3 Stooges of anime. So listed below are the group of idiotic trio of anime:

Anime: Green Green
The Idiotic Trio: Popularly known as The Baka Trio consists of Tadamoto Ijuuin AKA Bacchi-Guu, Hikaru Ichibanboshi and Taizou Tenjin.
What makes them idiots: The first idiotic trio that I have ever known in anime, when Kanenone Academy is open to co-ed for a trial period, these extremely excited and perverted guys will do anything just to ascend to manhood. Good thing is that they always fail.
Fourth member?: Yuusuke Takasaki – Always get dragged into their pervert and unholy schemes.

Anime: Kaichou Wa Maid-sama
The Idiotic Trio: Known as Sanbaka, they consist of Naoya Shirokawa AKA Shiroyan, Ikuto Sarashina AKA Ikkun and Ryuunosuke Kurosaki AKA Kurotatsu.
What makes them idiots: Probably the most famous group of idiotic trio, previously delinquents, they became idiots after being ‘tamed’ by Misaki. Now they become her biggest fans (and losers) after they find out her secret part time job as a maid at Cafe Maid Latte. Challenges to get a single photo of her, they fail miserably. No skill, no luck, no use!
Fourth member?: Takumi Usui – At least that’s what they consider but Usui has always been a league on his own besting the idiotic trio anytime, anywhere and anything.

Anime: Shinryaku! Ika Musume
The Idiotic Trio: The MIT scientists of Harris, Martin and Clark.
What makes them idiots: Being geniuses in inventing stuff doesn’t necessarily translate into inventing contraptions that are useful, right? They have made so many inventions that could have benefited mankind but yet it has never benefited their single goal of communicating with aliens. Hmm… Maybe they took the wrong course at the university. Plus, their inventions have this habit of going awry for the main casts of Lemon.
Fourth member?: Cindy Campbell – Well if you have 3 idiots as your fellow researcher colleagues…

Anime: Jubei-chan 2
The Idiotic Trio: Bantarou Sabonmatsu, Kozaru and Oozaru.
What makes them idiots: It’s understandable that even delinquents like Bantarou can fall in love at first sight for a girl like Jubei. Even vowing to protect her from time to time, it won’t help much if your screen time gets lesser and lesser, right? What about to the point of breaking the fourth wall to protest your role’s infrequency with each passing episode? And when you have your underlings criticize you very often…
Fourth member?: Shirou Ryuujoji – They are known as Three Idiots + Shirou and form a pact to protect the girl they love.

Anime: Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu
The Idiotic Trio: Nagai, Takenami and Ogawa.
What makes them idiots: What do you expect when minor characters like them enjoy discussing about idiotic things and even get the same results for just about anything they do together. Heck, even their wishes are the same. It’s just an idiot split into 3 different beings but the effects are multiplied 3 times over.
Fourth member?: Yuuto Ayase – He may be just their classmate and sometimes keep bugging him. If not perhaps Nobunaga Asakura could be the fourth member because he is a hardcore otaku. However he is rarely seen with this idiotic trio.

Anime: Rave and Fairy Tail
The Idiotic Trio: The bunch of hopeless robbers called Jiggle Butt Gang that consists of Wonderful Gocche AKA Boss, Kalen Berg AKA Lackey A and Marco Belunjay AKA Lackey B.
What makes them idiots: Everything that you see about them! Don’t even mention the silly faces they have, if wearing that black tight suit is bad enough, wait till you see their oversized butts and how they jiggle it when they’re excited (hence the ludicrous name of their group). Don’t they even know the meaning of true evil? True idiots maybe. Beware of their group fart, though. It really stinks! Just like their comical attitudes. That’s why they’re failures as thieves…
Fourth member?: Well in Fairy Tail, they worship Wendy Marvell as their absolute master…

Anime: Mitsudomoe
The Idiotic Trio: The Marui triplets of Mitsuba, Futaba and Hitoha.
What makes them idiots: Being mischievous is one thing, but when being too naughty to the point that your pranks backfire makes you look like an idiot, right? So we’ve got the eldest daughter as the glutton sadist, the middle daughter who is a muscle brain woman and the quiet youngest daughter who would be more appropriately described as ‘still water runs deep’. Scary when provoked but have her own peculiar weaknesses once you get to know her.
Fourth member?: Soujirou – Their father. Big fat guy who always gets mistaken as a child kidnapper? Fatherly love is one thing but…

Anime: Hayate No Gotoku
The Idiotic Trio: The student council members of Hakuou Academy that consist of Miki Hanabishi, Izumi Segawa and Risa Asakaze.
What makes them idiots: It was hard for me to decide and classify them under here but what the heck. Seeing that they have this mischievous nature when it involves Hayate and Hinagiku, I guess it’s enough for me the dump them in this category.
Fourth Member?: Hinagiku Katsura – Well, they’re all in the same student council and have her own quirks too.

Anime: Prism Ark
The Idiotic Trio: Aira, Massie and Orthy.
What makes them idiots: I don’t remember much about them but they are a bunch of fan girls that pledge their loyalty to Priecia because they suck up to her. And what does that say when they are the only ones who failed the Puriken exam?
Fourth Member?: Priecia – At least from my point of view because even though she is less goofy than the trio but she is more annoying and irritating then all 3 combined.

Anime: Kampfer
The Idiotic Trio: From the school’s committee, they are only known as President, Vice President and Treasurer.
What makes them idiots: A President who is very pushy? The Vice President who loves smelling and sniffing things? And the very calculative and pricey Treasurer? What can you expect from them when their sole role in the anime is to make a profit and fun by exploiting Natsuru’s popularity? And Natsuru doesn’t even have a say in this…
Fourth Member?: Natsuru – He/she is like an idiot falling into their schemes…

Anime: Pokemon
The Idiotic Trio: Team Rocket’s Jesse, James and Meowth.
What makes them idiots: I don’t really see this show but I have an idea the kind of idiots they are despite only watching bits and pieces of it. Being the show’s main antagonist may be tough enough but somebody has to be the bad guy, right? What’s more, they are bumbling in their missions and they fail to accomplish their basic goal of capturing Ash’s Pokemons. Poetic speeches, failed traps and cheap disguises, is it no wonder they always fail in the end? That’s Team Rocket for you blasting off at the speed of light…
Fourth member?: Pierce – Their contact in Unova region.

Anime: Infinite Stratos
The Idiotic Trio: 1st year students of IS Academy, Sayuka Yorutake, Honne Nohotoke and Yuzu Tanimoto.
What makes them idiots: They don’t appear much in the series and their silliness may not have very much of an impact overall. But I guess I can classify them here because they love jumping to conclusions when it involves anything with Ichika to the point that they spread the ‘news’ throughout the entire academy.
Fourth member?: None.

Anime: Prince Of Tennis
The Idiotic Trio: Seigaku tennis club juniors, Satoshi Horio, Kachirou Katou and Katsuo Mizuno.
What makes them idiots: Horio may be the biggest idiot of them all because he thinks his 2 years’ worth of tennis experience is hell of a big thing. So why isn’t he in the regular team? Maybe it’s not fair to group them all together since the latter duo are more reasonable and down to Earth. The thing that made me consider them as a group of idiotic trio is that they tend to watch the Seigaku regulars play in matches and they act like ‘commentators’. Watching in awe, astonishment, excitement, all that drama and tension makes you think that watching and commenting on the game is more stressful than playing it.
Fourth member?: None, though sometimes I feel it’s Tomoko Osakada who often gets into an argument with Horio.

Idiots Unite!
The list isn’t really meant to be exhaustive as there are many other groups of idiots that have yet to be discovered by me (maybe I’m such an idiot after all). There are some which I contemplate not putting into the list for various reasons. For example, Gintama‘s Yorozuya trio of Gintoki, Shinpachi and Kagura along with their pet mascot Sadaharu. Though the trio are a bunch of idiots when their antics come a calling, it doesn’t feel that they belong as in an exclusive group of three. This was the same case for Daily Lives Of High School Boys‘ Tadakuni, Hidenori and Yoshitake because though the trio may be the main characters but it doesn’t feel they are a group by themselves. Then the Triomatic of Mahoromatic that consists of Miyuki, Rin and Chizuko, they don’t act idiotic enough to be labelled them as so, though each of them have their own weird personalities to begin with. Then in Naruto we have many of the Genin teams that are formed in threes but I didn’t see this show so I’m not really sure if I should list them here. Besides, an action adventure with ninjas won’t amount anything much to idiocies, right? Samurai Champloo‘s Fuu, Mugen and Jin only felt like strangers travelling together. Ai, Sae and Miya from Amagami SS lean more towards cute friendship rather than anything silly. In addition, idiots don’t come only in groups of threes but other numbers as well. Like the entire gang in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu, they’re all idiots! Well, at least from an academic perspective. Then again, their characteristics are partly why they are big idiots too. Please note that this blog isn’t meant to belittle these idiots or honour them for their silliness. Everybody has a little fool inside. Even geniuses can sometimes be dumb, right? Because you’re too smart that the common others can’t understand you. Well, nobody’s perfect. But really, please don’t take me for an idiot.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear

October 12, 2012

Wait a minute. Music saves the world? The last time they used this theme for an anime was Kachou Ouji and that was way back in 1999. Even so, I don’t remember much about it because I didn’t really see every episode. So when I heard that Senki Zesshou Symphogear is about girls in futuristic outfits battling menacing aliens, I thought it was just another run-of-the-mill, girls-versus-aliens-and-save-the-world theme. Till I also learnt that they do so by singing. So in addition to swinging their cool weapons to slice up the enemy, they also sing their way while battling it out? Wow. You’ve already got a handful to deal with, now you’ve got a mouthful too. Fighting and singing… What a weird combination.

The basic premise is about this girl, Hibiki Tachibana who has been dragged into this alien fighting world because on the day she is attending the concert of the famous idol duo of Zwei Wing (made up of Kanade Amou and Tsubasa Kazanari), the menacing aliens known as Noise attack the concert and left behind lots of casualties. Hibiki should have been one of them if not for Kanade sacrificing herself to save her life. Due to that, Hibiki finds herself inheriting Kanade’s power and fighting aside Tsubasa against the menace. But Tsubasa who has lost her partner is bitter and won’t accept Hibiki immediately as her new partner. So with lots of drama, sci-fi action, friendship lessons and music to go with, can the girls get along to fight the common enemy? I bet you know the answer in the end.

Now the funny thing that hit me when I first saw the aliens known as Noise, was that they were looking quite cute and comical. I mean, it’s the kind of shapes that you would probably see in children’s TV programme. Harmless, cute and colourful beings that comes in all shapes and sizes. Yes, the kind that you would love to cuddle and go “So cuuuuuuuuuute”. However as far as this anime is concerned, don’t ever come into contact with any of them because they’ll instantly turn you into black carbon dust! What a sad way to die! How eerie. I guess that is what makes those cute creatures deadly. Thankfully, there aren’t any that looked like Barney…

Episode 1
What a way to start the series when the main heroine is already dead. And her best friend, Miku Kohinata is paying a visit to her grave, inconsolable that she had to die. It gives you an idea what is going to happen, eh? So this was what happened 2 years ago. Hibiki is waiting to enter the concert of Zwei Wing. The idol duo have personalities that are stark contrast. Kanade is dying to go wild on stage but Tsubasa is just shy and lacking confidence. Their commander, Genjurou Kazanari reminds them that tonight’s concert will decide the future of mankind. Kanade clams Tsubasa’s nerves before going on stage to strut their stuff much to the delight of their screaming fans. However something goes wrong doing the concert. Something about some helmet called Nehushtan. The suppression can’t handle the rising internal pressure and it is in risk of awakening the creature and go berserk. Noise appears and kills any concert attendees they can get their hands on. Zwei Wing summon their battle gear called Symphogear and go into action. Kanade’s suit is running out of power but she sees Hibiki injured and unable to run. Hibiki got slashed while Kanade desperately tries protecting her. She tells the kid not to accept death so in her final attempt, she unleashes her Swan Song. This is bad because it uses the full power of Symphogear to unleash a massive attack but at the cost of the owner’s life. Call it kamikaze on a big scale. Noise gone, Kanade also gone. Tsubasa could do nothing as Kanade fades into carbon dust in her arms. Hibiki is hanging in the balance of life but the surgery in the aftermath saved her. Back in present time, Hibiki is a student of Lydian Private Music School and has this habit of not paying attention in class (not because she’s a delinquent mind you) so much so she’s the girl that every teacher should watch out for. Miku is her classmate-cum-roommate and notes Hibiki’s fascination for her idol Tsubasa, the reason she enrolled here to follow in her footsteps. Hibiki is still grateful for Zwei Wing on that day and without them, she wouldn’t have been here today. She thought if she had met Tsubasa then, she might understand what happened but ever since that incident that took Kanade’s life, Tsubasa became withdrawn from public eye.

Elsewhere Noise continues to bring chaos and it’s about time the army realize that their normal artillery won’t do them any harm. So stop wasting those firepower! So Tsubasa still with all that rage singlehandedly slashes them all with her sword. Cool! Next day, Hibiki thought she got her dream come true because Tsubasa is seen walking pass her in school. Hibiki fumbles and is loss for words. Tsubasa just points to the rice stuck on her face. How embarrassing. Today is the day Tsubasa is to release her single after a long time so Hibiki rushes to go buy them. However the street is too quiet. Eerie quiet. What do you expect when you see carbon dusk everywhere! Oh no. With Noise surrounding her, Hibiki would have run for her life but she didn’t. Instead she sees a little girl about to be Noise victim and takes her and run. It feels like the group of Noise is teasing them. I mean, Hibiki and the girl run and run and run and run, even falling into the drain water. No matter how far, each time she looks back, the Noise is still on her tail. Hibiki climbs up a building while thinking back how Kanade saved her with her powerful yet gentle song. Remembering her words not to accept death, Hibiki starts singing and something inside her body starts activating and transforming. Genjurou and his staff detect a powerful signal coming from Hibiki which turns out to be Gungnir, the Symphogear outfit that Hibiki is now donning.

Episode 2
Tsubasa is in total shock because Gungnir is supposed to be Kanade’s Symphogear. Hibiki may look like a cool superhero now and not sure what’s going on but her priority is to get this girl to safety. She runs along and activates powers that she herself didn’t know how she pulled it off. Tsubasa arrives as backup and demonstrates how the veteran cleans things up. In the aftermath as the army is cleaning up, the little girl is reunited with her mommy but she is made to sign an agreement that limits her freedom of speech and expression on what just happened since this is highly classified. Or else she will be found guilty and persecuted. Man, being a survivor is also tough. As for Hibiki, she is being taken into custody by Tsubasa and the other MIBs to the 2nd branch of Disaster Relief Squad. Is she being arrested? Eh?! Hibiki is surprised the base is right beneath her school albeit it is located deep down underground (what colourful patterns the walls of this elevator shaft has). Once she enters the room, everyone surprises her with a welcome surprise. So this is their way of welcoming her? Ryouko Sakurai totally digs Hibiki and takes a photo of them to commemorate their first day of friendship. So with her cuffs off, Hibiki is introduced to the staffs like Genjurou the boss, etc. They have invited her here because they want her to work with them. Confused Hibiki wants to know what just happened today so Ryouko needs 2 favours from her: 1) Don’t tell anybody what happened today; 2) Start stripping. Eh… What? Hibiki returns to her room and Miku is obviously worried because the recent Noise attacks happened close to their area. Also on the news, Tsubasa has a shocking announcement that she plans to go to foreign markets for her single. Hibiki knows she cannot tell Miku what happened but Miku understands and doesn’t press further. Meanwhile Tsubasa is somewhat upset that Hibiki is wearing Gungnir.

Hibiki had to decline offers from her friends to go out with them citing she is busy. Tsubasa picks her up down to the base for the results of Ryouko’s medical examination (that stripping part I guess). Okay. Now this is where they get heavy on the explanation. Relics = Crystals documented in legends all over the world created in ancient times that are impossible to replicate in modern times (despite having such high end technology). Tsubasa holds Relic #1: Ame No Habakiri, which is the fragment of a blade, merely a fifth of the whole. Certain waves and specific amplitude can amplify the powers in these fragments. So basically they are songs. Therefore Relics are activated by songs. Breaking down of that power into raw energy and reconstruct it to become Symphogear. But since Relics don’t just activate with a mere humming from an ordinary human (which was what Hibiki did at first), there are a few people who can activate them and sing the songs to construct Symphogear Matches. So far are you getting all this? Don’t worry Hibiki, I’m as lost as you are. So the reason why Hibiki could activate Symphogear is because she has Relic #3 Gungnir embedded inside her heart. When Kanade sacrificed her life, the surgery was unable to remove other fragments close to her heart and thus Kanade’s farewell present to her to save her life. Tsubasa feels sick after hearing this. She can’t accept her best friend is inside this kid. Hibiki cannot reveal any of this to others as it will put them in danger because it’s lives that they’re trying to protect, not secrets. Oh, and here comes that line: “With great power comes great responsibilities”. Hibiki would gladly use her power to save people. She tries to make friends with Tsubasa but she’s not amused. Noise is detected around the school’s perimeter. Tsubasa rushes into action but they won’t let Hibiki who has no combat training go in yet. However she is adamant as she wants to use her power to help people. Tsubasa fights off Noise and Hibiki soon comes helping. Hibiki is confident she can handle her powers better and hopes she could fight with her. However Tsubasa says that they should fight each other. Eh?

Episode 3
After a month, Genjurou notes how they both can’t work together. It feels Hibiki is like a clown… Even in real life, Hibiki is so tired that she dozes off unable to complete her school assignments. She dreams back to that challenge Tsubasa threw at her. She wanted to see if she had the right to claim Gungnir as her own. Hibiki is reluctant as she doesn’t understand what’s going on. Tsubasa strikes first but is stopped dead in her tracks by Genjurou’s fist! So great the impact that the road all around became a large crater! And the only other thing destroyed is his shoes? Tsubasa is still bitter as she considers herself a weapon. She slaps Hibiki when she says she’ll work hard to be Kanade’s replacement. Maybe she didn’t realize that was uncalled for. She notes Tsubasa has been crying. Tsubasa remembers Kanade’s last words and blames her weakness for letting that happen. Hibiki is summoned to the branch so she has to make up an excuse to ditch Miku. She understands and will cover up for her but in exchange she will have to go watch the meteor shower with her. Hibiki and the other staff discuss about Noise. Their appearance 13 years ago and UN has been unable to do anything. They think they are demons that appear in ancient legend and fables. They also note how the school has been lying between all the recent outbreaks and perhaps something or someone is targeting an almost completed collection of Relics named Durandal that is kept a level below them called Abyss. Durandal has been given by the Japanese government to them for research. It is indicated that undamaged Relics once materialized can maintain 100% effectiveness and make others wield them and not just the singer. But using Durandal has becoming more political since it is grounded by some treaty and that USA is demanding Durandal to be handed to them. They also fear that someone is intentionally stirring up Noise to attack them. Ryouko assures Hibiki this place quite a stronghold so any invasion won’t be that easy (because the genius herself claims she designed it).

Shinji Ogawa who is also a staff of the Disaster Relief Squad doubles as Tsubasa’s manager in her singing career. He reads her next schedule about an offer from an English recording company but she reminds him she only sings to fight as she is a weapon. And weapons have no emotions. Erm, so does being angry and upset constitute to emotions too? And how can you sing without emotions? Hibiki wonders why everyone can’t just stop fighting. Not that they have Noise to fend off but themselves too. Ryouko makes a sexual pass at her and says it’s like virginity. She wants to take it away from her before somebody else does. Hibiki continues to be seriously lagging at school and Miku is very worried. She has this essay to hand up before the deadline or else. Eventually with Miku’s support, she barely gets by. Then on the night they’re supposed to go watch the meteor showers, once again Hibiki has to pull a Houdini. Poor Miku has to watch by herself. Only if she had known Hibiki is busy fighting those Noise aliens. She is taking out her frustrations on them because of them, she had to break her promise with Miku. Erm, she’s turning more violent and her face is absolutely black! No mercy! She then chases a Noise out to the park and glimpses a shooting star. That Noise is destroyed by Tsubasa who had just arrived on scene. Still putting up a pensive mood, Hibiki says she too has something to protect. Tsubasa is taken aback when she sees a girl in the Nehushtan armour approaching.

Episode 4
Flashback 5 years ago. When Kanade was roped in, she was a wild crazy girl who wants to kill because her family had been slaughtered by Noise and she’s the only survivor. Even if it plunges her to the depths of hell, she was willing to undergo endless training and medication to see if Gungnir was compatible with her. Though initial results showed no match, Kanade upped the dosage and enabled her Symphogear but at the cost of coughing out lots of blood. She and Tsubasa went on a Noise killing spree but one day she changed. A couple of survivors heard her singing and got the will never to give up. She then thought of wanting to sing for others and thus the pair formed Zwei Wing. In reality, Tsubasa prepares to face off with this mysterious girl, Chris Yukine. However Hibiki doesn’t want her to fight because that girl is also human. They don’t listen and clash. To keep Hibiki busy, Chris summons several Noise. Chris has the upper hand against Tsubasa and mocks her about her determination. Tsubasa is beaten up but she gets back on her feet and is going to show her true determination. Is she going to sing her Swan Song? She is. Chris didn’t expect she would put her life on the line and gets heavy damage before fleeing. Tsubasa is massively bleeding and close to death. She feels she has failed to protect mankind as a weapon. Tsubasa is rushed to the emergency room where her condition is soon stabilized albeit not out of danger yet. Genjurou orders his men to search for the armour. Ogawa talks to Hibiki to calm her down while explaining about Swan Song, its effect and how Zwei Wing broke up after Kanade’s death and Tsubasa was left alone. She has since became a mindless sword just to sweep away to gloom in her heart. Hibiki realizes it must have hurt her when she said she wanted to fight alongside her. Ogawa hopes she won’t hate Tsubasa and let her feel that there are others in this world. Tsubasa dreams of Kanade and she’s desperate to fly with her and smile but couldn’t catch up. Genjurou discusses with his men that Chris seems to be targeting Hibiki. If so, then she must also know about this base. It’s not Hibiki’s turn to sink into depression because she blames her own weakness that Tsubasa is now in ICU. Miku can guess something is bothering her best friend. Even she wants time to be alone, she hopes Hibiki can stay true to herself whatever she decides to do next. All she needs to do is be herself because there is only one Hibiki in this world. Hibiki is cheered up and sees the meteor shower Miku recorded. Well, it’s all pitch black. They promise to see the next one together. Hibiki gets her determination to protect those she loves and stay true to herself. She goes seek Genjurou to be stronger so he trains her martial arts. Watching Bruce Lee shows? Well, what better way to get some motivation. So day and night, Hibiki trains hard, fights hard, eats hard, sings hard, more hard training. You get the point. Miku mentions that she doesn’t want to hide anything from her but it is obvious that Hibiki had to lie through her teeth putting up a big smile that she too wouldn’t hide anything from her.

Episode 5
Hibiki may not understand a word Genjurou is trying to say but she’s making great progress with her punches. Elsewhere, some lady named Phine is talking in an awkward accent to some foreigner about some deal. Doesn’t seem to be working out. She is also punishing Chris for her hesitation which led to her failure of baiting Hibiki here. She assures Chris if she obeys her, her wish will be granted. But for now it’s more electric shock punishment. I wonder how long Miku can come up with excuses to cover for Hibiki’s absenteeism. Hibiki wonders if there is any other way to fight Noise but since anything to do with Symphogear is classified, there isn’t. So it’s ironic the government dislike them even though they were made to swore to secrecy because they wanted to use Symphogear as a diplomatic ace up their sleeves. Ryouko is away summoned by them since it’s her duty to report to the minister in charge. Hibiki couldn’t comprehend all this complicity so Genjurou says that the people who never want to take responsibility are the ones who make the rules complicated. Tsubasa dreams of Kanade who tells the former there is more to life than fighting. She needs to find that out herself and that it’s up to her to decide if she wants to be close to her or not. She wakes up from her coma. Defence Minister Hiroki who is probably the only one who truly believes in the Disaster Relief Squad, his entourage gets ambushed and he himself got assassinated. Genjurou and Hibiki are worried Ryouko was dead because they couldn’t contact her. It seems her handphone was just out. She has returned with classified orders from the government. Having a meeting with the staffs, Ryouko explains that the government has concluded that Durandal has been targeted. It was given by EU to Japan as safekeeping on a condition Japan wrote of their debts should their economy collapse. Thus they are to transport Durandal to a special Relics vault deep underneath the Parliament called Memory of Ruins. With a name like that, I can see something is to go wrong.

Miku is fed up with Hibiki’s vanishing act as she too has run out of decent excuses. But looks like she has to run again. Hibiki is having her worries again so Ogawa comes to calm her down and let her get some good rest. He hopes if only Tsubasa can be as honest as her. Next day, Hibiki accompanies Ryouko to deliver Durandal. However their entourage is being attacked by Noise and clearly under sentient control since Ryouko’s car is not being targeted. Ryouko is a ‘good’ driver so don’t worry. Can she? Genjurou thinks if their target is Durandal, it’s best they get to some dangerous place and settle it. Speaking of which, a chemical factory is up ahead. At the factory, Hibiki notes how heavy Durandal is but is blown away by the impact of the blast from Noise. She sees Ryouko unleashing her power to create a barrier and protect her. Hibiki transforms into her Symphogear and fights the Noise. Chris is watching her and is surprised her moves are well polished. Durandal reacts to Hibiki but as Chris tries to grab it, Hibiki beats her to it. She suddenly powers up and Chris thought she is showing off her power. In a single swing, Hibiki creates a devastating chain of effects. Is that the power of Durandal? Chris gets blown away by the blast while Ryouko shelters unconscious Hibiki with her barrier. Hibiki wakes up to see the place totally annihilated. Ryouko doesn’t find it bothersome since they’re both alright. She calls off the transport operations, prepares to return to base and that Durandal is undamaged.

Episode 6
Chris is unhappy that Hibiki easily handled that amount of power instantly when she spent half a year for hers. She promises to Phine that she’ll get better and crush everyone with her hands. Hibiki is worried about Durandal. It’s not the fact she can’t control its wild power, but she swung it without hesitation. Genjurou returns from Hiroki’s funeral and looks like his successor is pro-American and an advocate of international cooperation. So whether if the Americans had a hand in Hiroki’s assassination or if they have bigger plans for Japan are still speculation. Hibiki once more and her lies. Ditching Miku for her secret job. Because Ogawa is in a mission right now, looks like Hibiki can go look after Tsubasa. Well, her room is in a mess. It’s like as though she got kidnapped. Hibiki cleans up her room and the girls talk. Miku is in the library when she spots something shocking opposite the window. She sees Hibiki talking happily with Tsubasa! Tsubasa wants to know her reason to fight. She isn’t sure but did say helping others is her hobby. Plus, it’s not like it’s a competition when it comes to helping people and that she doesn’t have other talents that stand out. She is grateful for what happened 2 years ago but Tsubasa thinks her optimism might become suicide because she’ll sacrifice herself for someone else to be free from the pain of this world. About controlling her powers better, is she determined to distance herself from life? For Hibiki, she just wants to help out if Noise attacks. And if it’s a human, she wants to make them understand the doubt in her heart whether they have to fight or not. Miku is alone at Flowers, the pancake shop she’s supposed to meet up with Hibiki. Hibiki also had the idea of heading there to get some pancakes for Tsubasa and perhaps she could think better if her stomach is filled. Miku and Hibiki stumble each other halfway and who would’ve thought Chris would come into the picture too. Chris’ attack slightly injures Miku so this is no time to hide any secrets anymore. Hibiki transforms into her Symphogear to lure Chris away. Chris wants to beat up this dumb b*tch so Hibiki asserts she has a name. She even spills out all her details from height to blood type. Her weight only if they become best friends. She can even quip in tensed times like these? Hibiki tells her that they are humans so they can talk and wants to avoid fighting. Chris won’t listen since she is here to kidnap her. But before that she’ll beat the sh*t out of her. Hibiki still stands after that attack and realizing she can’t materialize energy like Tsubasa, she’s going to put all her energy into that single punch of hers. Hope Chris has heard her feelings and scream of her heart. That punch was powerful enough to crack Nehushtan.

Episode 7
Unfortunately Chris continues to get pissed by Hibiki, calling her a naive person. She’s still not up for talks so she unleashes Ichii-Bal, Relic #2. She is upset Hibiki made her sing because she hates singing. Ichii-Ball is so cool because Chris is unleashing all the firepower and missiles only to be stopped by Tsubasa’s sword. Tsubasa is back and has recovered (albeit not fully). She vows never to lose anything again. Tsubasa and Hibiki team up to take Chris down. Chris continues to feel upset that she’s being treated like a human failure. Then she hears the voice of Phine. Since Chris has failed to live up to her expectations, she wants to have nothing more to do with her. Chris goes after her and thus the fight ends. Genjurou has some data on Chris now and she was a prospective Symphogear user who went missing 2 years ago. Back at the base, Genjurou thought Tsubasa pulled off a crazy move but she couldn’t just sit around seeing her comrade in danger. So she has accepted Hibiki? Tsubasa she has what it takes to be one but her approach doesn’t realize it so she can be of use by supporting her. When Hibiki returns to her room, Miku is obviously not in a good mood. She calls her friend a liar seeing that had promised not to keep secrets from each other. Elsewhere Chris is bumming around alone and laments her goal to crush every human with her power. She bumps into a couple of lost kids. She is confused they still protect each other despite one seemingly ‘bullying’ the other. To show that she’s not a cold hearted b*tch, she agrees to help find their parents. Eventually they’re reunited with their dad so Chris wants to know the secret how they get along so well. They fight a lot and then make up. Don’t hurt yourself by thinking too much…

Hibiki tries to explain but Miku doesn’t want to listen to anything she has to say. It would probably be lies. She ignores her like as though she never exists. Meanwhile Ryouko narrates about the Symphogear. While its properties enhance the abilities of the user and its coating that prevents disintegration when touched by Noise, it affects the user’s health. As long as there is any dissonance between human and the Relic generating the Symphogear, the burden on the user will not diminish. However the only one capable of overcoming that is Hibiki. That is because she is the first human who has fusion with a Relic. Man, she has lots of photos of her in her room! Stalker! Other than that, I don’t understand what Ryouko is trying to say about humans unleashing their full potential by singing without the negative Swan Song effects, some curse and be masters of their own fate. While Hibiki’s attention in class has been deteriorating, she is more worried that Miku continues to ignore her. She’s not even talking. That bad, huh? Sorry isn’t even going to cut it. Was this saving mankind from Noise all worth it? Phine is once again in some argument with the foreigner over the phone. She hangs up the phone when Chris comes barging in, complaining she’s using her like a tool. I guess Phine has had it too since nobody is doing what she tells them to. She summons several Noise and is going to end this right now. Phine materializes her Symphogear, Kadingir.

Episode 8
Chris barely escaped from Phine. Genjurou and his men are investigating an area whereby they detected presence of Ichii-Bal but there were no human casualties. It’s like as though she was fighting Noise and had no home to return to. Miku is absent from school today because she is seen nursing Chris (she saw her collapsed in the alley) at Flowers. Hibiki talks to Tsubasa about her dilemma. She advises that she should use that flaw of hers and turn it into her strength. She doesn’t need to become somebody else to protect things. She cautions her about the destructive effects of Swan Songs but Hibiki disagrees that her songs are not for destruction. They lift and cheer people up and hope she could continue singing. Miku listens to Chris on how she has been a lonely person. She was taken away from her parents when young and the only person she trusted used her. That’s why she hates adults. Even if Miku would very much like to be her friend, Chris has her doubts. Noise start appearing all over the city. People are being evacuated. Chris continues to be in a dilemma so Genjurou uses her strength to protect Chris from the Noise. Chris transforms into her Symphogear to show Genjurou that he can take care of herself. He notes he has failed to save her this time. Hibiki goes look for Miku and finds her in a demolished building. Miku can’t make a sound since a Noise seems to be reacting to sound. They communicate via handphone text and to make matters worse, the owner of Flowers is unconscious. Miku felt bad for doing something horrible to Hibiki so she wants to be the decoy while she uses transforms into her Symphogear. The Noise did a good job in chasing Miku but that’s about it. Miku isn’t even an athletic person. Hibiki jumps and dashes to save Miku. She finally realizes Kanade’s words to her that day. It’s not because she was saved that she wants to save others. It’s because she’s been carrying on in her place ever since. Hibiki destroys the Noise and saves Miku from falling into the river. Then both friends reconcile and take a picture of themselves messed up. Hibiki explains to Genjurou that Miku has saw quite a bit but he calls it unexpected help and can’t blame her for helping to save lives. Miku says she was separated from her friend Chris during the commotion. Genjurou is certain that they will meet again.

Episode 9
Hibiki brings Miku down to the base since Genjurou has pulled some strings and now she is registered as an external collaborator with the second branch. At least they don’t have to keep secrets anymore. So she meets some of the staff like Ogawa, Tsubasa and even Ryouko who thinks of telling them her epic love story. The kind that will have you sleepless nights. Sounds like a horror story. But she excuses herself and returns to work without revealing anything. Genjurou finds Chris all by herself in an abandoned building. He has brought her food but she still remains wary. He recounts her father a famous violinist and mother a singer were helping refugees when they were caught in a battle and died 8 years ago. Their only daughter went missing and UN saved her from the claws of a local group. She was transported to Japan and that time they were looking for Matches so Genjurou volunteered to take care of her. However she went missing the moment she arrived in Japan and though a search was initiated, too many people involved died and the case was closed. Genjurou wants to help her since it’s his duty to finish what he started. She doesn’t buy his crap and escapes. Hibiki and Miku meet up with Tsubasa on an outing. So for the first time after a long time they’re going out and doing things what normal girls would be doing. Shopping, watching a movie, avoiding ardent Tsubasa fans, going karaoke (Tsubasa doing her rendition of enka) and even playing the crane game (Hibiki thinks it’s rigged and wants to use her Symphogear to bust it!). It’s like a whole new world they never knew, eh? At the end of the day, Tsubasa gives them free tickets to her live concert. It’s the concert where Zwei Wing once performed. It brings back horrible memories but she wants to overcome the past. During rehearsal, Tony Glazer, the producer of Metro Music, who offered Tsubasa to go onto the international stage, approaches her. Since her higher ups have turned him down, he had come to negotiate with her directly. She is willing to consider so he hopes to hear a favourable answer. Hibiki has this habit of running late so of course she’s trying to rush to Tsubasa’s concert. However Noise shows up and not wanting to ruin her concert and let her sing till the end, Hibiki assures Genjurou she can handle this on her own. Chris is also there handling some of the Noise. They both help each other out and even the score. At the end of Tsubasa’s concert, she thanks everyone for their support and remembers how much she loved to sing. She announces she wants to go overseas so that her songs could reach as many people as possible and wants to sing for the world. She hopes her fans will allow her when she hears Kanade voice saying they will let her. Soon the crowd cheers her on and supports her decision. Tsubasa is moved to tears by their support. At the backstage, Ogawa leaves Tsubasa’s care in the hands of Glazer. Chris on the other hand is not too happy that she helped Hibiki out because she still thinks she is the enemy.

Episode 10
A group of military men (is that Arnold?!) ambush a mansion and attack Ryouko. With her bad accent of English, she knows they are out to silence her and leave no trace of evidence behind. When Chris returns, she is shocked to find bodies of the military lying around. Then Genjurou and his men enter. He assures her that they didn’t suspect her for the killings because he knows it was done by someone who was with her and them from the beginning. There is a note on a body and one of the guys carelessly picks it up and sets off a bomb. Boom! Luckily nobody died thanks to Genjurou’s strength of using a slab to shield them. Chris continues to be the ungrateful b*tch who scorns all adults and their ideals so Genjurou had to tell her that it’s the contrary. It’s because they are adults that they get the chance to make their ideals come true. Her parents didn’t go to war out of wishful thinking nor threw themselves into hell to realize their dream of changing the world. They wanted to show her the unyielding truth that dreams can be fulfilled. She may hate them but they love her more than anything in the world. Genjurou hugs her but she still refuses to come with them seeing she just can’t easily trust them like that. He gives her a communicator that allows her to buy things and get rides up to a certain limit. Before he goes, Chris tells him about Kadingir. She doesn’t know what it is but Phine mentions it’s completed. Genjurou contacts Tsubasa and Hibiki but Ryouko hasn’t reported in yet. Hibiki is confident if anything happens, Ryouko can pull off her cool moves just like then but Tsubasa notes that Ryouko has no combat training. They receive sound communication from Ryouko (she is seeking shelter somewhere and partly injured). Genjurou asks her about Kadingir so she explains it’s an ancient Sumerian word that refers to divine existence. In short, it’s a tower that reaches the heavens. Genjurou is puzzled because they should have notice something like that if the enemy is building one. As everyone starts searching for any clue on Kadingir, several aerial Noise appears. But they don’t seem to be attacking people and are hovering over Tokyo Sky Tower. Maybe this is the tower.

Hibiki gets orders to scramble there so this time she is glad she doesn’t have to lie to Miku anymore for her job. Hibiki drops in via helicopter and destroys one. But that helicopter is soon destroyed and they can’t destroy those aerial Noise aliens this way anymore. They have to hurry because they are dropping other Noise aliens onto the city. Tsubasa and Hibiki have their handful with the ground ones when Chris shows up. It’s not that she wanted to help. That communicator was bugging her so she thought it might shut it if she turns up. Hibiki couldn’t care less about her reason because all she understands is that she’s on their side. Chris’ weapon is suitable for taking out long range and aerial Noise. Since she still wishes to fight alone, it’s time for the duo to inculcate some friendship between them. Since when did they become best friends? Maybe Chris should just give up and go with the flow no matter how silly Hibiki’s positivism is. They need to take the big aerial ones out or else this will never end. Chris has an idea to blow them all apart and she’s not resorting to her Swan Song. As far as I understand, she’s going to overload her energy and release it all at once. But this will leave her completely defenceless. Ah, this is where Tsubasa and Hibiki come in to protect her. The beauty of friendship, right? Chris powers up and unleashes the most powerful power of power in her arsenal. Missiles in missiles? One heck of firepower!!! Awesome! It destroys the remaining aerial Noise and its small fries. Hibiki is happy that they did it together but not so fast. Chris doesn’t acknowledge they are comrades yet since she’s just wants to fulfil her dream. Something she realized after parting ways with Phine. But Hibiki’s happiness is cut short when she gets a call from Miku. The school is under attack by Noise.

Episode 11
Going back a little while in time, why is the army still using normal weapons against Noise despite knowing it will not work? I guess it’s better than standing around doing nothing. Miku is leading the students to safety. One of her friends, Yumi Itaba sees a soldier turn into carbon before her eyes and she’s freaking out like never before. Miku could’ve bite the dust too if not for Ogawa’s swift action. They head down the elevator shaft. He calls Genjurou and seems he has identified what Kadingir is. However he is cut off when Phine (now donning the Nehushtan armour) attacks him. Seems Ogawa has realized in order for one to build a tower without orders realizing, the only way to build it underground and this giant elevator shaft is the tower. Ogawa fires some shots into her but it has no effect. I’m not going so far to say her boobs are made of steel because it didn’t penetrate them. Phine takes care of him and tries to sow doubts in Miku’s mind that the people who are trying to protect her are just using her. Ever wondered why the facility is under Lydian? It’s so they could gather information on the Relics and songs from them all. Miku still has her faith in her friends and this upsets Phine. But she has no time to play with her and is going to get Durandal. Then bursting into the scene is mighty Genjurou. As he faces off with Phine, he reveals he has known about her secret operation for a long time thanks to the Americans’ assistance but to bring the last few details out into the open, he decided to play along with her plan to gather all Symphogear users. So it’s a plan to counter a plan? Even without any power from Relics, Genjurou is super strong and doesn’t hold back in beating Phine up but the scheming women put on a distress Ryouko expression to make his guard down. This is when Phine strikes through his body. She won’t kill him yet and will let him live to see the despair. Ogawa and Miku bring Genjurou down to the base and he is in need of medical attention. Phine hacks the system and everything goes offline. That means when Miku called Hibiki, that’s when they got cut off.

Hibiki, Tsubasa and Chris see Ryouko on top the building. Why did she change back to her nerdy scientist look? I guess it’s to show the girls her awesome transformation to Phine with Nehushtan. So this also officially confirms Ryouko-cum-Phine was the one who pulled all the strings behind the scenes from Hiroki’s assassination to the building of the tower. Hibiki couldn’t believe it since Ryouko did protect her at that time. She makes it clear she wasn’t protecting her. It was Durandal. So if she’s Phine, what happened to Ryouko? More precisely, her body was consumed 12 years ago and Phine is a priestess from ancient times. From what I understand, this personality of hers lay dormant throughout the generations till some trigger happens and this will resurface all her memories and abilities in that body. So when Tsubasa first awakened Ame No Habakiri, that was when Phine’s consciousness took over Ryouko. Phine is going to bring a new age to mankind and that the Symphogear system is just an imperfect system to secure funding from authorities. This means she was the one behind the charade that caused Kanade’s death, the one who found Chris and used her to work with the Americans. Kadingir surfaces from beneath and it is some ion cannon that can reach beyond the sky by piercing the moon. From what I understand in Phine’s next explanation, seems she was in love with God and built a tower that stretches to the Heavens. But God wasn’t amused and if you know your Towel of Babel story, God struck down the tower and made humans speak different tongues. Phine thinks it’s punishment without measure and the curse of Balal. Since the moon has been a symbol of fear during ancient times, destroying it would mean freeing her from this curse and in return free mankind. Oh God, sounds like a twisted story to me. Yeah, it sounds like she wants to rule the world. Since it’s no use talking, the heroines transform into their Symphogear to kick some serious ass and prevent Kadingir from firing. Ogawa and the rest of the team manage to find a little operating terminal that allows them to view Hibiki and co fighting outside. Miku’s friends are surprised to see Hibiki fighting and realize the reason why the duo were fighting earlier on. Chris distracts Phine with a freaking huge heat seeking missile. But it seems she is riding on the other one. Wait. Why is she riding up into the sky? Can something so little block Kadingir’s shot to the moon? Holy sh*t! She starts singing her Swan Song!!! Kadingir fires and just when it seems Chris has the power to push the blast back, she ran out of juice. Chris realizes she loves her parents after all and the reason why she wanted to continue their dream of bringing peace to the world with her song. Eventually she got zapped and though 1/4 of the moon broke apart (I’ll be damned!), she prevented to moon from being totally annihilated by deflecting the blast. Her friends could only watch in horror as Chris crashes down.

Episode 12
Hibiki has become so enraged that she turned into a black killing machine! Totally black! It’s like she became a shadow with red eyes and… Erm, white teeth? Because Phine continues to mock Chris’ futile sacrifice, Hibiki attacks her. She has lost control of herself to the power she can’t control. Now she is rage incarnated and though packed with more punch, Phine isn’t going to sweat in her pants yet. Phine is like Hibiki now. They’re both not human. Hibiki unleashes a devastating blow that would’ve ripped Phine in half but she just regenerates. Hibiki’s rage seems to be accelerating her fusion so much so she’s just attacking anybody. This includes Tsubasa. Yumi breaks down and thinks everyone is done for since Hibiki has turned into a berserk monster. Miku continues to believe in her friend. Yumi isn’t convinced and breaks down further. She’s so scared doesn’t want to die. Tsubasa realizes Kadingir is going to fire again and Phine explains it is an ultimate weapon so it can’t merely exhaust itself after 1 shot. Besides she can fire as many times she wants because Durandal is providing it with unlimited energy source. Tsubasa thinks if she strikes her down, then Kadingir will not be functional anymore. Hibiki attacks Tsubasa again but this time she doesn’t resist. She lets her strike through her body and in a surprise move, Tsubasa hugs her. She uses her blade to pin down her shadow and prevent her from moving. Then she whispers into her ear that her power is meant to bring people together. I guess it reached the depths of her heart. Otherwise why would this black shadow start crying? Tsubasa is going to show that she can sing anywhere other than the battlefield. She starts her attack on Phine but it’s just a distraction to target Kadingir. However she couldn’t reach it in time as Phine pierces through her. Tsubasa sees a vision of Kanade who encourages her that they can fly together to the ends of the Earth because they are Zwei Wing. Tsubasa sacrifices herself to destroy Kadingir. Hibiki is released from her spell and beast mode but sinks into depression so much so she becomes a zombie. Yumi continues to throw her tantrum. She couldn’t understand why everybody is fighting. Do they want to die?

Phine is upset she has been denied her goal again. If it had been a success, people from all over the world would panic, come to her for protection since she possesses an unrivalled Relic power and that pain is the only bond that can connect people. She takes out her frustrations on Hibiki but I guess that girl is so dead that she couldn’t feel the physical pain. The pain in the heart is worse. Phine notes Hibiki as the first organism to be fused with a Relic and that’s why she got the idea of fusing with Nehushtan. She goes on lamenting about her love for Him whom she has served since ancient times. Her feelings couldn’t reach him and it got worse with the curse as it stole away the very words she wished to speak with. The common tongue that allows humankind to communicate with Him. She worked hard for millennia to release that curse so that she could one day tell her feelings with that common tongue to Him. The girl whom Hibiki saved in the first episode sees the video and recognizes Hibiki. She thinks they need to do something to help her and suggests that they could talk to her and cheer for her. The rest think it is possible to send their voice all over the network but they need to get the school’s computer system working again. Ogawa is too small to squeeze through the tiny gap to reach a switchboard that will reboot the school’s network. Yumi has dropped her useless b*tch attitude and decides to help her other friends otherwise she would be ashamed to call herself Hibiki’s friend. Phine continues about the damage of Swan Song on the users and was interested to find out how much a fused person could take the damage. Now that she is also one, she intends to get rid of Hibiki as the world doesn’t need another demigod ruler. Suddenly sounds of Lydian’s school anthem permeate the air. I know it sounds horrible (partly blame the damaged sound system too), but it’s still a song. Miku and her friends are singing with hope and believe it will reach Hibiki. True enough, Hibiki revives and realizes her friends have always been by her side, singing for her.  The much needed revival not only sees Hibiki in a new armour (I thought it looked cheap) but it also revives Chris and Tsubasa back from the dead! All hail the Symphogear!

Episode 13
Well, Hibiki explains about the songs giving them the strength to stand. Yeah, their abilities just went up a notch. Now they have telepathy! Phine lets loose more Noise and reveals she was the one who released them. She says Noise are independent weapons created so mankind who had lost their common tongue would kill each other. It is also her source of energy. Phine summons all the Noise she can. Well, it’s a very crowded Noise street. No big deal. Our heroines just bust their ass like how they always do. Only difference is it’s now on a bigger scale on more explosive. Phine then stabs herself and absorbs all the Noise and Durandal. She transforms into a huge never-seen-before Noise. Phine + Noise + Durandal = One freaking awesome power! She is confident they will never beat her as their Relics are mere fragments as compared to hers which is complete. The ladies have a hard time dealing with Phine because every damage she takes, she heals back. Plus, she is hiding inside the Noise so their weapons can’t reach her. Tsubasa and Chris hatch a plan. Tsubasa swings her mighty sword to cut open a hole. Before it closes, Chris dives inside to blast all her missiles. This means Phine has to ‘open up’ if she doesn’t want to get fried. In that instant, Durandal is taken from her and thrown to Hibiki. She grabs the sword but is on the verge of turning into her dark self. Miku and the rest rise up to the surface to encourage Hibiki with their words. Hibiki controls her darkness and with the combined strength of everyone, they fire the ultimate power of the Symphogear called Synchrogazer towards Phine. Awesome firepower! Phine is going to do an Arnold and promises she will be back next time since she is eternal and that this body is of no importance. Bye bye. But in the aftermath, we see Hibiki picking Phine up. Did she miss? On purpose? Hibiki hopes they can end here as Phine further explains about Noise being created by mankind in ancient times. When they lost their common tongue, rather than uniting, they were raised for war. She doesn’t know how to make mankind understand. Hibiki remains positive and believes that man can unite with more than just words.

Phine isn’t accepting defeat yet so she attacks Hibiki. Actually, she’s aiming for the moon. Wow! Her chain stretched 384,000 kilometres?! And her chains must be going at the speed of light. Phine intends to use the broken part of the moon and slam it onto Earth. I can’t believe she could actually drag it! What superhuman strength?! In that case, shouldn’t she use it to just smash the core of the Earth? Yeah, it’s making her crack up. Literally. Phine still brags about being eternal and will be here again in the future to continue her quest. Hibiki agrees because wherever she is in her next life, she hopes to pass this message on for her. You don’t need strength to unite the world. We can become one beyond words. We can unite and join hands in the future. Hibiki won’t be around to say it that’s why she’s counting on her and entrusts the future to her. But to do that, she’ll have to take care of the present. Oh my. Is she going to do what I think she’s going to do? Before Phine crumbles into dust, she gives her Ryouko smile and wants Hibiki to believe in the song of her heart. Now they’ve got to do something about the moon piece. Well, you could see this coming. Hibiki flies off. Miku starts crying. Hibiki sings her Swan Song. Not wanting Hibiki to become a hero herself, Tsubasa and Chris also join her. I guess when you’re close to death, you get to spew out philosophical words. In their case about dreams, future and the voice of the heart. Tsubasa now has one helluva big sword. Chris has rows of freaking awesome missile lined up. And Hibiki… Maybe it’s a way of showing her punch is powering up. Then together they destroy the piece with their Swan Song and what do you know? We have a meteor shower… So back where we started. Three weeks later, the search for the trio’s body has been called off. Miku visits Hibiki’s grave but the odd thing is there is no body in it since she was never found. Everything about her is classified. Even so, she wants to see her friend so bad. She hears a nearby woman scream as she is being attacked by Noise. Miku helps her to run but gets cornered. Miku prepares to protect her with her life when the Noise got decimated. Hey! It’s Hibiki and her friends! They’re back?! So she wasn’t dead and was made to believe so since well, everything had to be classified and be kept under wraps. What a major relief! Feels so good to be back, eh? As Hibiki narrates, Noise continue to appear and attack, people continue to fight them, the threat is still there, people continue to suffer. But they won’t give up because this world has songs. And finally Hibiki and Miku get to watch the meteor shower together.

It’s Not Over Till The Symphogear Lady Sings!
Oh well, I was bracing myself for a tragic end despite Hibiki’s positivism and cheerfulness throughout the series which made me forget that she would ended up six feet under like at the beginning of the series. If that really happened, I guess I’ll fall into depression just like her friends and the world. And now that she’s back, look how happy everyone is. Okay, at least those who know her. But more importantly, look how happy I am. It just proves that Hibiki’s presence is indeed important to make us all happy, eh? Heroines playing hero to sacrifice themselves isn’t my kind of ideal anime ending so might as well have my escapism and watch my animes with a happy ending. Of course, the ending mustn’t be too abrupt, mustn’t raise more questions than answers, mustn’t leave me hanging on my seat, mustn’t be too cheesy. Oh, almost lost myself there about anime endings. So as far as this anime is concerned, it may not be the best ending but at least it is satisfying. Satisfying enough for me not to complain and have a good night’s sleep :).

So yeah, I guess the characters were pretty okay and they mostly revolve around Hibiki. I mean, if Hibiki had not come into the picture that fateful day, many of them would never have changed. The biggest change would be Tsubasa. She has turned from a cold loner and withdrawn into someone who willingly opens up her heart. Chris may have learnt the hard way about life and could’ve continued to be bitter and untrusting towards adults (point to ponder: If she grows up into one, will she hate and distrust herself?), and after putting up with Hibiki’s ‘patience’, I guess she’s not a bad girl after all. Kanade’s death could have been fate and harbinger that would take Hibiki to face her destiny. Hibiki is a nice girl. Her optimism is something we all should learn from. She wants to help out whenever she can. However due to the rules of society, take for this case the secrecy of the Symphogear that she needs to keep, she is caught between a rock and a hard place. I’m sure she knows Miku will understand her even if she confides in her but you know, I don’t think Hibiki wants to break any promise. Besides, weighing in the pros and cons, it might have been better to keep Miku and her other friends out of danger had they not know anything. Like they say, ignorance is bliss. There’s always this danger that your character may change once you find out the truth. I know Hibiki trusts Miku and she won’t turn out like that. But there’s always a chance. Get what I’m saying? And now that Miku and more of her friends know the line that she is working in, it doesn’t change anything, right? In fact, they support her even more. So my guess is that if the people of the world want to unite and fight Noise, these kind of stuffs you shouldn’t be keeping a secret because it’s your only line of defence that separates the very thing line between life and death. Politics? Diplomacy? Screw that! People’s lives are at stake here!

Genjurou is an admirable and responsible man but his super strength does bug me from time to time. You see, he has no weapons or possess any shred of the Relics, so how can he be this strong? He should be fighting with the ladies outside! Well, as Genjurou quipped on his amazing strength, he eats, sleeps and watches action movies. That’s what a real man only needs to do! Haha! Whether he is kidding or not, I guess it’s his way of saying he lives his life to the fullest and enjoys what he loves best. When he is not fighting Noise, of course. I knew there was something odd about Ryouko. I know mad scientists are quirky in their own ways but she’s just different. The dead giveaway was when Phine made her first appearance. It might not be obvious to others but I realize they were voiced by the same seiyuu. Unless it’s just coincidence, I thought what are the chances that Ryouko is Phine? Then when she used her super powers to protect Hibiki and Durandal, that just seals it. She has got to be that shady person speaking with some terrible accent in English to some American over the phone. Phine is so obsessed about telling God her feelings to the point she wants to destroy mankind, perhaps she didn’t realize it wasn’t words that she needs to tell God about her feelings. She should have used her heart. Maybe it got lost in translation somewhere along the way, eh? The other amusing character is Yumi. This girl, she likes to compare things in life to anime. If things happen like that, then she thinks it’s just like in anime or an anime character. It’s like they’re trying to break the fourth wall here. So when Noise really came crashing and causing chaos, did it really seem like anime? Heck, yeah. From my point of view it does seemed very much like a typical anime. Haha! Too much anime that she couldn’t cope with reality and turned into paranoid b*tch. That point I just wanted her to shut the f*ck up but I had to remind myself the things Hibiki had thought me. Calm down, be patient. No use getting mad over something petty like that, right?

The action seems pretty okay but it was somewhat getting boring to see the Symphogear ladies just slicing and hacking their way through the bunch of Noise. It becomes mundane and repetitive. Noise appears. Symphogear girls move in. Use their weapons to turn them into carbon dust. Day is saved for now. See the pattern? Many of the low level Noise don’t put up much resistance and felt as though their numbers are there so as just to get destroyed by the heroines’ awesome power. So when the final fight against Phine began, I guess that was a little different and it was interesting and exciting. The designs of the weapons are pretty cool but as for the outfits the Symphogear ladies don, well, seems futuristic but nothing unique. Of all the weapons of the Relics that we have seen, my favourite one is still Chris’ Ichii-Bal. I love the way she can pull off all the cool arsenal of missiles. It may seem impossible but it’s fun to see her fire all her bullets, projectiles and rockets into a trail of explosive destruction. Every shoot ’em up game should have this cool weaponry. It clears the entire room in no time. At first it bugged me when Tsubasa’s final transformation of her sword into a humongous blade, it made me thought how the hell is she going to swing it. Does she have the strength to do so? Then it occurred to me that she is in space! There is no gravity! I guess that answers everything. Another interesting aspect when the Symphogear ladies pull off their trademark moves, a scroll bearing the name of the move will be shown each time they unleash it. I didn’t keep count but I know Tsubasa loves using her Blue Flash slash.

The many terminologies of this series are my major grouse. I’m not the kind of guy who really remembers complicated names. So for a series like this to have lots of it, you could say it was something challenging. Plus, the explanation about how Symphogear works especially the way Ryouko puts it in her scientist tongue instead of lay man terms, no wonder ordinary girl Hibiki don’t understand a word she says? What more an idiot like me? But I guess Hibiki doesn’t need to understand the theories. She just uses her guts and goes with the flow. In addition to being a rocket scientist, I guess the other ‘ugly’ part is the politics. Not that I really care about what’s going on with the world (in this anime, of course) but as Phine puts it, she may be right about humans not wanting to reunite since the world is filled with so much strife and conflict. I mean, can’t they put aside their differences and work for the better good? If they can’t even handle Noise, what more if some sophisticated alien race decides to put humans on the list of extinct species. But let’s not get that far ahead. But then they put in ancient faith and curse and I thought, this may be going too far. Mixing sci-fi with old mythology? Man, this must be getting complicating. Speaking of Noise, I still find them funny. They don’t look threatening at all till they start turning you into carbon dust. Subsequently as the episode progresses, I think the designs of Noise gets more and more ridiculous. I think there was one big Noise that looked like a water tank. Was it? But it’s still a mystery where and how Noise came about. If they’re created by humans, then who actually unleashes them here? And if Phine said they were used for war instead of reuniting, couldn’t humans reverse that order? Stop all the fighting and use them for peace? Well, you know humans… And now that the moon is only 3/4 of its original self, how will that affect the tides and everything else?! Don’t tell me they find rocks from other moons to fix it.

Aoi Yuuki as Hibiki has definitely matured from her early days as a young seiyuu voicing authentic little girls’ role like Murasaki from Kurenai and Budoko in Akikan. She voices a variety of other characters along the way. Lively ones (Ichigo of Yumeiro Patissiere) to monotonous ones (Shiraume of Ben-To, Tooru in A Channel) and arrogant/tsundere ones (Mio of The World God Only Knows). As Hibiki here, one more she displays a myriad of emotions as a happy friend to one that has been dragged into the battlefield and seen too many bloodshed. Ayahi Takagaki as Chris also has come a long way and has voiced a variety of characters that include Noe from True Tears, Mitsuba of Mitsudomoe, Mikako of Sora No Otoshimono and Lucia from Venus Versus Virus. Nana Mizuki as Tsubasa is still recognizable and she hasn’t lost her touch though this is one of the few series whereby she does a lower and serious voice in contrast to her sweet-and-cute-girl voice like Hinata in Naruto, Kotoko in Itazura Na Kiss and Tsugumi in Jigoku Shoujo. By now I also would have recognized Yuka Iguchi’s voice as Miku even if she doesn’t pull off her trademark ticked off and squealing voice. So no To Aru Majutsu No Index’s Index here or Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai’s Maria or Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko’s Yashiro. And obviously the voice Miyuki Sawashiro was the main reason why I could guessed Ryouko and Phine were the same person. If you know how she sounded like as Ultear in Fairy Tail, Kanbaru in Bakemonogatari or Celty in Durarara!!, then you’ll have an idea how she sounds here in her role. If Genjurou’s voice sounds somewhat familiar, then it’s because he was the voice of Ukitake in Bleach. Minami Takayama is the voice behind Kanade (Conan from Detective Conan, Nabiki in Ranma 1/2) while Souichirou Hoshi voices Ogawa (Tomoki in Sora No Otoshimono).

As we know Nana Mizuki as a veteran seiyuu and a popular singer with her own huge following of her, I can’t help but to always feel that the music of this series was just for her to strut her powerful vocals. Reminds me of something like White Album but this time she isn’t really ‘facing off’ with another singing rival (as far as I remember, I think that statement was rather inaccurate too). It’s not that she sings every song that you hear but she has her fair share as part of the main character of this series. I find that many of the songs are to the techno beat so if you like those fast paced songs with all those synthesizers, then you’ll be in for a treat while watching this series. In every episode, there will be songs sung simply because, well, you have to sing while you are fighting, right? I don’t want to stretch it to say that it is cacophony but those adrenaline pumped techno music isn’t my cup of tea. I couldn’t say it was really music to my ears. Besides, how can you sing and talk at the same time? Maybe it’s just thoughts in their mind or they have some tape recorder playing it out while they’re fighting. Haha! I think I’ll stick with the former reason. Nana Mizuki won’t be just dominating the episodes with her insert songs as Aoi Yuuki and Ayahi Takagaki will have their moments too belting out those pieces that would also be suitable to be played at clubs and discotheque. So I suppose to get a taste of the kind of music you’ll often hear, the main opening theme song, the fast paced Synchrogazer by Nana Mizuki should give you a good idea. The ending theme also follows this pattern and it is Meteor Light by Ayahi Takagaki. But the ending credits animation feels somewhat creepy. We see ruined mannequins and it is as though their disfigured body parts are being put on display like a museum gallery. It’s like a horror fest with innards dangling, cut up body parts and even naked tops being shown. Not for the faint-hearted. Perhaps this ending animation is to reflect Chris’ heart since that’s what the song feels like.

I suppose this show is trying to tell us that music is the universal language. Whether it is love or uniting people, songs and music give out those emotions that move us physically or emotionally. When you hear a good tune, you feel like you want to hum it, dance to its beat and move to its rhythm, right? Even if you don’t know the words or its meaning, when you hear a tune you like, you definitely want to hear more of it. I know because I had my experience with anime songs. My Japanese vocabulary is still limited and even though many words can’t seem to stick in my head, I still continue to enjoy singing them. Or maybe it’s just anime songs. I never gave Latin songs a try… So if you’re ever feeling hot headed or upset with someone, maybe we should all sit down and listen to some calming music. Then we can talk or sing out our problems. Be careful though. It also depends on what kind of music you are playing. Some may have detrimental effects like a death march or the kind you play at the funeral. Whatever your taste in music, I’m sure you do enjoy them.

Human unity is so fragile but do not lose hope because there is more than one ways to help come together. Music is just one of them and as Hibiki did echo, words alone aren’t the only tool needed to bond and be as one. Football perhaps? But really, if aliens do attack us, can mere music do the trick? You don’t need big sophisticated spaceships or high-tech laser beams to drive them away. Just open your mouth and sing! Maybe the cacophony will scare them away. Haha! Behold the power of music! So it’s just More Than Words. But for a person like me who isn’t so good in communication, Every Time I Try To Tell Something The Words Just Came Out Wrong. So Can I Say It In A Song?

Kill Me Baby

October 7, 2012

Imagine if you had a friend your age who works as an assassin. Wouldn’t that be cool? Well, as long as you don’t be his/her next target then I guess it is fine. Hey wait a minute. There’s something wrong with that sentence. A professional assassin having a friend? A friend?! What more, the assassin in Kill Me Baby is a high school girl and attends it like any other normal girl. I know. It’s a WTF scenario but that’s not the point.

Looking at the title, it’s either going to be a gory and violent series or a comedy. I mean, what do you think of its second title, Baby, Please Kill Me? If that doesn’t help, try looking at the poster. Aha. Two cute high school girls. That says it. This is going to be a wacky comedy. Yes, wacky. And I mean somebody is going to get whacked a lot. Our assassin protagonist is Sonya, a foreigner who is highly and specially trained in her field. However, you won’t see her carrying out missions like Metal Gear Solid’s Snake as most of the ‘threats’ come from her close friend, Yasuna Oribe. To sum this girl up in a word: She’s an idiot. Dimwit. Foolish. Dumb. Troublemaker. Okay, maybe one word isn’t enough to describe her but you get the idea. Despite knowing Sonya is an assassin, she always wants to play pranks on Sonya but ends up getting backfired and bearing the brunt of her actions. You reap what you sew. Some friend she is. And yes. This is where all the laughing moments come in. So when a dimwit like her tries to play a prank on an assassin, it’s like asking for a death wish, right? Hence the name of this series. You’ll ‘enjoy’ the stupidity that moron can actually come up with just to tease Sonya. They say keep your enemies close, but your friends closer…

Episode 1
* Right off the bat, Yasuna gets her first bone breaking moment when she greets Sonya by touching her shoulder from the back. Never approach an assassin from the back. But will she learn? Yeah, she got it a second time when she thought she spotted something on her shoulder.
* Despite being an assassin, Sonya has some phobias of her own: Bugs. In this case, cockroaches. Being cautious of its hygienic threat seems like a nice way to put it. Or an excuse not to admit.
* Yasuna wants Sonya to teach her some self-defence moves. I suppose the eye poking move is out of the question. As with the swift uppercut punch that Yasuna barely sees.
* Yasuna didn’t bring a bottle opener and thought Sonya could just cut off the bottle cap. Initially she didn’t want to do it but Yasuna convinces her by trying to tap on her shoulder. Soon she has her chop another one but Sonya drinks it all. Not happy, she pulls out a water gun but gets submitted. Painfully.
* While eating lunch, a stray dog comes in and looks like this is another thing that Sonya fears. Sonya throws her lunch at it in which the doggie eats it. Yasuna thought of putting a trail of food but ran out of supplies before reaching the door. Then trying the carrot-on-a-stick trick, Yasuna herself became a victim of her own trick. Yasuna buys lots of food for it to eat and the doggie becomes tamed. On the way home, Sonya curses her bad day so Yasuna assures she’ll always be here as her friend and pats her shoulder. Well, here comes the pain.
* Yasuna hears rumours of a ghost in school and excitedly goes to hunt it. She has Sonya tag along or else she’ll put a scary photo album in her desk. Oh, looks like she doesn’t handle ghost stories well too. Outside the rumoured room, Sonya rolls in like a SWAT guy. Is she facing a human or ghost? Noticing a shuriken on the floor, Sonya remembers there’s a ninja in her organization. By the way, there’s one hiding lamely behind the wall. Slashing the fake wall away, it turns out to be a decoy. As Agiri Goshiki puts it, it’s her body substitution technique. So what is she doing in this school? She had to change school due to work and heard there’s a ninja club in this school but it died out 40 years ago! And that shuriken is her name card…
* Yasuna wants Agiri to demonstrate some ninja techniques but I think hypnotism doesn’t quite cut it. Then she shows another one whereby she stands upside down on the ceiling without her hair falling down. So, is this the rumoured ghost? Then shaking hands with Yasuna, the fake hands reveal to be a bomb. Boom! That was more of a prank than a ninja technique, right? Minding the afro the girls got, they look at the pictures they took and find that a ghost in the picture!
* Yasuna wanted to find Agiri but mistakes somebody else that looks like her. After finding the real one, she wants her to teach some ninja techniques. But what does buying bread for her have to do with it? Isn’t she being used as her lackey? Her first real lesson is body substitution but Yasuna hasn’t learnt anything yet. Agiri throws her shuriken and Yasuna barely evades it. See, it works, right? Next is body cloning. Agiri shoots her blowpipe at her and Yasuna’s vision starts multiplying! Woah! There are 4 Agiris now! Then Agiri tries to sell scrolls that will teach her how to control some elements. 800 Yen a piece. Sounds like a deal?
* Yasuna gets cocky and decides to show off to Sonya and use the fire technique she learnt. Turns out to be a fire lighter. She gets whacked by Sonya because she may be lighting a bomb fuse and cause them afros again. Looking at all the other scrolls she bought, the water scroll turns out to be a water container, the ant scroll is just a mini ant farm and the eye scroll is just a telescope. Scammed! Using the telescope, they thought they saw Agiri on a kite when it turned out to be just her picture. Agiri flying the kite waves at them and Yasuna wonders how she knows she’s looking at her. Clairvoyance technique? Well, Agiri won’t say.

Episode 2
* I guess Yasuna never really learns from her mistakes. Again, she tries to greet Sonya from the back. Not only once, but twice! In class, Yasuna bugs Sonya to teach her some moves. The truth is she wants to use them and counter her moves next time. What will she get in return? All her sins will be forgiven… Not even worth it! I guess the only way to stop that idiot from bugging her is to teach her a move. Yasuna thought she could learn the Super Rolling Crush but Sonya isn’t stupid enough to do that embarrassing move. How about playing dead? She’s not a bear… At least how about how to get out of a headlock? Biting? Well, Sonya’s submission move on her sure didn’t give her chance to bite anywhere. Tickling? Can’t reach…
* Yasuna buys nunchuckus after seeing a movie. Letting Sonya try it out, she gets whacked on the head by it. Was it accident or on purpose? When Yasuna uses it herself, she hits herself many times over. That’s not how you use it… Yasuna made her lunch like nunchuckus and tricks Sonya into eating them but it seems Yasuna swapped wrongly and ends up with the real one instead. Start apologizing… When a crow steals Sonya’s meal, Yasuna teases her for letting that happen. Sonya throws a ball and though misses Yasuna, the idiot tripped on the nunchuckus.
* Yasuna ‘forces’ Sonya to come with her after school to a crepe shop but it seems they got lost. After finding their way out and buying their crepe, Yasuna sees a notice of a lost bear. She thought of surprising Sonya with this news but it seems the bear is standing right behind her! Yasuna is so scared that she plays dead standing up! The bear is attracted to her crepe but Yasuna doesn’t want to lose and swallows it down! She’s supposed to throw it and run away, right? Well, idiots…
* Sonya does a pole vault jump and she’s not going to pull off some flashy move because it’s for her to escape by hiding up the post! Yasuna thought Agiri is here to help but she starts selling her ninja products. I think Yasuna knows by now it’s all just scams. Yasuna promises to buy her a crepe to help her but she’s just doing magic tricks that eventually fails. Agiri then says she’ll buy the crepe herself since it’s too much trouble and disappears. Haha! Yasuna, you’re on your own.
* Yasuna panics and since she’s not going down alone, she tries to make Sonya fall off the post! She climbs up but the bear starts shaking it. Yasuna falls off and crashes onto the bear’s head, knocking it out. Now she gets cocky and takes a commemorative photo with it.
* Yasuna gets beaten up after giving Sonya a paper fan and teasing her about it. She tries to yap like a dog since Sonya fears canines but gets owned instead.
* Yasuna has hiccups so Sonya suggests if she holds her breath, it’ll go away. But she gave up too easily.
* Yasuna catches a bee in a cup and has trouble disposing it. Agiri offers to make it disappear and messes with Yasuna’s mind that the bee is now in her clothes when it’s actually still in the cup. Oh, will Yasuna take an interest in buying more ninja stuffs from her? Colour coded rice? Uhm… I think she’ll pass. And this get rich scheme? It’s just a lottery but Yasuna will take it! Anyway she lost.
* Yasuna teases Sonya for not being able to dodge a ball but she herself gets hit in the head while laughing too hard and not paying attention.
* A girl’s balloon is stuck in the tree so Yasuna offers to help but sends Sonya to fetch it. Go do it yourself! After all the useless attempts, the balloon got loose and flies away. Yasuna feels guilty and will buy her a new one but the girl says it’s not her balloon to begin with.
* Yasuna thought of playing hide and seek but Sonya warns if she finds her, she’ll be dead meat. So still want to play? Yasuna says she’s good at hiding that no one was able to find her. That’s because she was always left behind… Sonya becomes ‘it’ and knows Yasuna is going to pull a fast one not counting properly. Knife at throat… So as she counts properly, Sonya goes off but the little girl returns her knife thinking she’s playing a tossing game. She forces Sonya to play with her and screams like as though she’s being threatened if she doesn’t. The police just walked pass by… Thankfully nothing happened. So when Yasuna is ready to find Sonya, she is disheartened to see Sonya targeting the girl! Of course learning that she’s playing with her, she gets jealous that she was here first to play with Sonya. Then they do rock-scissors-paper and Sonya becomes ‘it’. It’s already evening as Sonya wonders why the little girl didn’t hide. It’s already late and it’s time for her to go home. Okay. And Yasuna is hiding in a spot she is confident no one will find her. Eh? Doesn’t this feel familiar?

Episode 3
* And you think by now Yasuna would learn her lesson from greeting Sonya from the back. After being amazed by watching an esper on TV, Yasuna brings a couple of spoons and thinks she’s one too. She starts bending the spoon but gives up easily and plays a fool, earning Sonya’s wrath. Yeah, her whack just bended the spoons.
* Now Yasuna tries magic cards. Of course Yasuna misses by a mile the correct card Sonya picks. Then trying to make a pyramid card, Sonya gets pissed off that this is even an esper trick to begin with and ruins her hard work. I wonder how many hours she has put in to just put that few stacks.
* Sonya uses the cards to cut things but Yasuna is disappointed that isn’t esper trick. How about spontaneous combustion? Using the reflection of the sun, she burns a spot on Yasuna’s body! Don’t try this anywhere!
* Next, Yasuna thinks her esper power is telling the future. Isn’t she just saying what comes to mind? And besides, doesn’t it feel like she’s badmouthing Sonya? Yeah, she can foretell she’ll get hit in the future. Very near future. It came true. Agiri finds out what they’re doing and demonstrates bending a fork. It works! She claims it’s a ninja technique but I bet that fork isn’t made out of metal.
* Yasuna is into lucky charms now but why is she having a voodoo doll?! She’ll be happy if all her troubles go away? What are her troubles… Yasuna wants Sonya to put her strand of hair on it and she’ll be bended the way the doll is bend. However Yasuna got bended instead. Eh? How did her hair end up on the doll? Yasuna even brought an extra doll but it’s not working on Sonya. In fact, she’s making a fool out of herself with her silly poses.
* Sonya doesn’t believe in curses to get rid of someone. Hey, she’s an assassin, right? She breaks the doll so Yasuna says something bad will happen to her hips. True enough, Sonya can spot by a mile she’s going to kick her hips and grabs her feet. Trying to change the topic to fortune telling, Sonya says long ago, people used broken bones to tell the future. Oh Yasuna… Bones of animals lah.
* Yasuna has Sonya draw her fortune and it says she’ll have misfortune on her legs. Sonya knows she’s up to know good and true enough, Yasuna was going to put something in her shoes.
* Moving on to palm reading, Sonya gets mad when she pinches her pressure points instead. Then realizing Yasuna’s voodoo doll is still around, she throws it away but realizes the effects really worked as Yasuna tumbles down the stairs.
* On a rainy day in class, Yasuna doesn’t want to self-study (because it’s only for idiots – she’s the one to say), she has Sonya do puzzle rings only to tease her. So when Sonya throws it at her face, the rings are separated. That’s not using your head! Yasuna tries her hand at it and sneakily throws it at Sonya but her quick reflexes chopped it. Now it’s separated! Can she consider that as using her head?
* Yasuna makes a teruterubouzu to make the rain go away. But when she makes it to resemble Sonya, the assassin is going to make a life size one out of Yasuna. Yasuna decide to use her imagination to bring the sun in. But she imagined too much and the scene turns into a desert. Now she’s dehydrating. Eventually Yasuna couldn’t resist playing in the rain and gets all soaked. The rain stops and she views the beautiful rainbow.
* A girl whom we shall call as Unused Character (Botsu Kyara), makes her debut in front of Yasuna and Sonya’s school. She wants to have revenge on them for stealing her spotlight. WTF. However she won’t be advancing further as the guard at the gate stops her and thinks she’s late for school and reprimands her.
* Noticing a lot of crows are gathering, Yasuna thinks they’re attracted to Sonya’s blood thirst and suggests wearing a hideous mask. Uhm, doesn’t that look like a bull’s eye? She puts it on and if you have a wild imagination, you can see her as a scary one eye monster!
* Unused Character sneaks into school and tries to find the duo. Yasuna gives Sonya her pink bunny named Pyonsuke for her to cuddle and make friends with so she won’t be so cold. However Sonya ties it up into a garbage! Yasuna is horrified and is going to avenge Pyonsuke. Is she sure she wants to take on her? When Unused Character enters class, nobody is around. Seems Yasuna and Sonya are having a sumo bout outside. The rational is, in sumo wrestling you can’t punch or kick so Yasuna thinks she’s safe in this sense. Plus, thinking she’s Japanese, she’ll definitely win. No basis for that! It starts but Sonya uses a submission move on her. Is that legal? Having it another go, luckily Yasuna warns her that poking eyes is not allowed too! She should’ve said something about slapping too. By the time Unused Character arrives, the duo are gone. Just when she spots them, she sees the hideous bull’s eye mask Yasuna is wearing and freaks out. Unused Character laments her tough opponents but won’t give up and show she won’t stay as an unused character forever. However God even says that’s impossible.
* Sonya spots a caterpillar on Yasuna’s shoulder and gets scared. Yasuna thinks she is finally scared of her and chases her down.

Episode 4
* Yasuna buys an ice cream for herself and Sonya. However Sonya got the winning stick and she the loser. Not wanting to lose, she goes to buy more ice cream and a different bunch to increase her winning chances. Realizing the one she touches are losers, she bites Sonya’s stick and since it reveals to be a losing stick, teases Sonya that she’s a loser! Sonya sticks it down the loser’s throat.
* Sonya’s touch is like Midas’ touch. The ice cream she picks turns out to be winners. But at this point she is full but the fool still wants to go on till she wins. Agiri comes by and learns what they’re doing. Seems she can tell which ice cream is the winner. Or is it? Does she have a technique like that? Well, she eats the ice cream to find out. How about telling one without eating? She pulls out the stick. I guess Yasuna just gives her the entire bag. Agiri points out the one in her hand is the winner and true enough it’s a winning stick. What did she win? Another ice cream. Won’t her stomach get upset eating too much ice cream? Well, let’s say her stomach is an idiot too.
* To beat the heat of summer, Yasuna thought of playing with fans but her tricks end up wetting the floor and has to clean it. Then thinking of looking at wind chimes would be refreshing but there is no wind. Suggesting to plant greens to make a natural curtain, however by the time it grows, summer will be over.
* The duo are at the beach and Yasuna is going to split the watermelon. But why is she facing Sonya’s way? Yeah, an excuse to whack her. Sonya does the job and knows she can’t trust Yasuna. Just as she’s about to slice it, she realizes Yasuna also wants to split it. So they both have a competition to see who can split the watermelon first blindfolded. Sonya takes it off and splits it to leave that idiot wandering around. So when Yasuna sees her eating, she just says she split it before her. She’s not technically lying, right? At night, Yasuna thought of doing kimodameshi (test of courage) and scares the daylights of Sonya, earning her a punch. Now she sees some stars…
* In class, Sonya feels someone from a different organization is after her. Yasuna thought an innocent bystander will be safe but Sonya notes she can use her as a shield! Yasuna thinks she’ll double cross her and bargain her life by selling her out. Maybe Sonya should get rid of her first. Suddenly a knife is thrown her way. It’s real! Somebody is after her! Yasuna panics as they make a run to the unused classroom. Agiri learns of it and offers to help out. Thinking the assassin is hiding inside the locker, Agiri throws her shurikens (including her new handphone). The ninja assassin comes out of hiding and it seems he’s in the next locker instead. He is about to get serious when Agiri knocks him out with a boomerang. So much about that.
* Yasuna wants to give Sonya a head massage to make her smarter. Like she needs it. But she’s commenting on the silly face she’s making so Sonya threatens to rearrange her face. Now it’s Sonya’s turn and the force she’s applying may make her dumber instead.
* Yasuna thinks doing some yoga move will improve their intelligence. But when Sonya does it, she teases her for looking like an idiot. Just joking! Then doing another move that will make her punch stronger, when Sonya learns she just came up with it on the spot, she gets punched. See, it’s stronger now. Yasuna prostrates on her knees and this pose is to calm down anger… Thinking having fish for lunch will improve her brain, turns out it’s just a seaweed with a fish shape. So she goes to buy some fish but it’s just taiyaki.
* Sonya gets a letter to meet in the empty classroom. She ignores it knowing it’s one of those schemes from Yasuna. Next day, the same letter begs her to come. That confirms it. She confronts Yasuna but it seems she doesn’t know a thing. Then reading a letter in her desk that wants her to do a weird dance or else she’ll be shot, she pinches Yasuna’s cheek but the idiot says she really doesn’t know anything.
* Sonya enters the empty room and meets a fake Yasuna! She claims in order to get rid of her, she disguises as herself. Huh? Sonya is going to leave so Yasuna changes her mind that she is the real one. Can she prove it? Anyway she gets beaten up when Yasuna comes in. Another Yasuna? So the first fake is actually an assassin? But why disguise as Yasuna if she was going to announce she’s one? Yeah, her stupidity is like her. The second fake Yasuna fires her blowpipe in which Sonya barely evades. She’s here to eliminate Sonya but didn’t realize another assassin had the same disguise idea. Oh no. Another stupid one. The fakes decide to team up and finish Sonya off but it seem they’re fighting among themselves to see who does the job. So when the real Yasuna comes in, she plays along and tries to confuse Sonya which is the real one! Asking questions the real one would only know, however the real one doesn’t even know what she had for lunch! The trio’s unison attack failed miserably and Sonya realizes that attacking the real one won’t be so bad after all. The trio got worried and Sonya beats them all up. Saves the trouble. So when the real one says how mean she is, Sonya notes that she is the real one because she could take her hits. On the way home, Yasuna thought Sonya knew who the real one is halfway through but she didn’t. Heck she didn’t care. And the ninja assassin tied up in the locker came falling out… Do the fake Yasunas know him?

Episode 5
* Yasuna wants Sonya to go bug catching with her and makes several bad bug puns that has the net over her head instead. Wanting her to put sugar coating to attract bugs, Sonya paints it over her face instead! Well, she did say to put it anywhere she likes. Bugs are being attracted to the sugar coat on the tree and Yasuna wants Sonya to get them. Go get it yourself! She gives Sonya a bug spray but she sprays it over a certain big annoying ‘bug’.
* A bug chases after Yasuna when a bird eats it. It starts speaking and could this bird be Agiri? Actually there’ a transmitter over the bird thus they can hear her voice. She tells them she was practising this morning and got stuck on this tree since the bugs got attracted to it. Yasuna throws a stone at the sugar coat but it seems Agiri was hiding behind it and it hit her face! Actually that was just a body substitution. The real one? In the body substitution! So it didn’t hurt because she hit her substitution? How did that even happen?
* Sonya and Yasuna are at the festival and the latter thinks of buying all the food to show off. Does she even have enough money? Playing the goldfish scooping, Yasuna sucks but Sonya is a pro. The sore loser accuses Sonya of being a demon. The shopkeeper gives them a free goldfish to stop them from fighting but they felt so bad that they didn’t take it.
* At the ring toss stall, Yasuna just sucks in trying to get that single prize she wants. Begging Sonya to help her, the shopkeeper even says if she manages to hit it, he’ll give her the prize. I guess Sonya was too powerful and chops off the head of the prize. And they just got that. Sonya thought she saw a sniper at the festival but that’s just the shooting gallery stall.
* Sonya waits for Yasuna to buy takoyaki but she wasted her money five times to win a mask just to scare her. Got beaten up of course. Yasuna wanted to trade her mask with the candy apple Sonya bought. No way. Instead, a couple of kids got attracted and managed to convince the fool to part with it. With 500 Yen left, Sonya knows too well Yasuna is going to blow it on something useless. True enough, she buys a toy gun. But when the fireworks start, Sonya gets startled thinking she fired a real gun and Yasuna gets beaten up as usual.
* Sonya gets pissed off upon realizing Yasuna invited her fishing so she could catch fish for her. Walking along the beach, a stray dog chases them as they are trapped on a rock. Yasuna throws a sausage as distraction but the dog didn’t budge since she threw it too far. The one who found the sausage is Agiri and she’s happily eating it. Realizing the predicament they’re in, she calls the dog owner to pick up his pet. He gives her a reward and since she doesn’t need it, he is about to keep it when Agiri changes her mind and accepts it. Agiri thinks of digging for some Shijimi clams. Yasuna gets excited seeing Agiri has a bunch of them and starts digging. But who knows, she actually bought them from the store. Sonya wonders if she can find any at the beach because Shijimi clams live only in fresh water rivers or lakes on not the sea.
* Even if Yasuna didn’t find any, the gang make a nice meal of the ones Agiri had. Then they realize the tide has risen and they’re stuck on this mini island. Since Yasuna is the only one wearing a swimsuit, they make her paddle while pulling the tub the duo is riding in. I guess the motivation to swim around the world like this would do, eh?
* Yasuna shows hand puppets of themselves she made. It’s for the kindergarten community service she’ll be doing. Sonya is not amused with Yasuna enacting her killer personality. Sonya strangles Yasuna’s hand puppet and subsequently throws them away. But Yasuna has more. This time she made an alligator Sonya and a cute kitty of herself. Even after getting hit, Yasuna continues to put up a lame play about them. Yasuna makes Sonya practice with her and gives the kitty hand puppet to her but Sonya turns it into an assassination tool. Then swapping the puppets, Yasuna wants to ‘fight’ and it ends with the crocodile ripping the cat’s head. Not out yet, Yasuna draws a single eye over her palm as its true form so Sonya transforms hers with a knife protruding out of its head. Better admit you lost. On the way back, Yasuna dreams big that her puppet show will be a big hit and that people will swamp her for autographs, get her own CDs, movies, dramas and even win the Nobel Prize. Sonya didn’t want to hear all that bragging and ‘disappears’.

Episode 6
* Even though Yasuna still didn’t learn about approaching Sonya from the back, she teases her that her punch is getting weaker. Want to try that out again to make sure? In class, Yasuna realizes she hasn’t eaten shaved ice for summer and has bought an old ice shaving machine (waste money again). Despite bringing different flavours, it’s useless without ice, right? There’s this green suspicious one which Yasuna is supposed to trick Sonya into eating so she pours it down Yasuna’s throat instead.
* Thinking Agiri may have something up her sleeve, Yasuna wants Sonya to call her. But was she hiding in the locker all along? Nope. Body substitution… Yasuna wants to know if she has any technique to make ice. Dry ice she’s got… Yasuna makes shaved ice out of it as she doesn’t want it to go to waste but when she wants Sonya to eat it, Sonya ties her down and is going to force the carbon dioxide down her.
* Agiri has a technique that will make snow. On the rooftop, she shoots one from her cannon. That’s it. Just one snowball. Actually she can make more with the ice packet she bought from the store. Yasuna has eaten too many shaved ice that she’s chilled to the bones. Sonya suggests something spicy and all that hot stuff just burnt her mouth.
* Yasuna realizes she hasn’t been to the pool for summer but it seems it is unkempt and growing with moss. Sonya kicks her in.
* Yasuna wants to follow Sonya back to her house. Of course she can’t but that idiot throws a tantrum. She knows better not to trust this idiot despite her promise not to tell anybody. We know it’s the same story. She is made to wear a blindfold and ear plugs. It’s really scary that she can’t see or hear anything as Sonya tugs her along the street. Looks like a slave, doesn’t she? Anyway she bumps into something and got knocked out.
* Yasuna wakes up and to her surprise Sonya’s room is pretty Japanese-like. Actually it’s Agiri’s home. Since Yasuna fainted halfway, Sonya brought her to the nearest house. Maybe she should have left her there… Yasuna is excited she is in a ninja house as Agiri shows her the secret compartments whereby she stores food and the secret doorway which leads to the toilet. What about that tricky gadget? It’s the remote for the air-cond.
* Yasuna moves a funny doll on the TV and it activates a trapdoor which Sonya fell in. She’s going to kill her. Suddenly the room is filled with gas as Sonya makes her escape via secret passageway. Agiri assures Yasuna the gas is harmless but why is she wearing a gas mask?! It’s sleeping gas! Since Sonya doesn’t want to carry her back, what is the best solution? She leaves her sleeping at the park bench.
* The typhoon is approaching and Yasuna thought she could use the forces of nature against Sonya. How wrong. Trying to use her stupid brain, she thought if she throws her bag, Sonya will catch it with both her hands and this will leave her open. Guess what? Sonya didn’t catch it. It’s not her bag. Yasuna thought of doing her Whirlwind Punch but gets threatened with the knife. But she manages to trick Sonya that her knife is a toothbrush. The wind got stronger and something blew into Sonya’s eyes. As she tries to rub it off, she accidentally walks into a store. The knife is still in her hands…
* Yasuna has made a string of teruterubouzu and thought the weather should clear up. The strong wind blows it away and an old guy thought he saw a flying dragon! During class, a blackout occurs and Yasuna takes this chance to do something that she wouldn’t normally do in class: A stupid pose. The lights come back on and everybody sees her in an embarrassing position. When Sonya’s in the toilet, another temporary blackout occurs. When the lights are back, she got spooked seeing Yasuna behind her in the mirror. Poor girl got punched despite her genuine intention to use the bathroom.
* Since Yasuna forgot her umbrella, Sonya shares it with her. Along the way, Yasuna thought she saw something in the bushes when a frog jumps on her head. Sonya rather gets wet than be near her. Hell she’s going to get it off for her. Once the frog is gone, they continue walking but the strong wind distorts the umbrella. Yasuna bloopers in fixing it and gets whacked. Now they’re all wet. She thought she saw an abandoned umbrella but it turns out to be sheltering an abandoned kitten. So I guess they didn’t take the umbrella because the duo are absent from class the next day. I’m not sure if they took the kitten back too.

Episode 7
* Yasuna tries to trick Sonya into wearing a silly mask and doing a silly pose as explanation for the cultural festival. Not falling for that crap. Yasuna wants Sonya to help time how long she can hold her breath. Eight seconds… Felt like eternity, eh? Since Yasuna accuses her of not knowing how to use a stopwatch, she stabs her knife through it. Now it’s stopped. Yasuna challenges Sonya to hold her breath since that assassin doesn’t like to lose out to that idiot no matter how silly it is.
* She gets Agiri to try and read what’s on Sonya’s mind since she can’t speak while holding her breath. Let’s say she’s just making wild guesses. Sonya has passed the 3-minute mark so Agiri suggests teasing her. Sonya didn’t lose her breath and Yasuna got whacked. To check if she’s really holding her breath, she puts a talisman over her forehead. Sonya does a submission move on her. And she’s still holding her breath. Sonya is 2 seconds away from breaking the world record when Yasuna scares her with a mask. She’s not going to hold her breath anymore. She’s going to end her life!
* In order to check which spot in school has the best drinking water, Yasuna drinks from every tap but eventually couldn’t tell. She even forgot her original goal.
* Yasuna thinks their class should hold a maid cafe for the festival and wants to see Sonya as a clumsy maid. Sonya thought they should hold a rifle range instead. Isn’t that dangerous? How about knife tossing? Putting pins on tofu is much safer? Then about putting up a haunted house, Yasuna puts on that bull’s eye mask on her and realizes how scary she is.
* Sonya came in second place for the 100m race since she doesn’t want to use up her energy so Yasuna teases her it’s just an excuse. Pain time. Sonya, Yasuna and Agiri are having lunch and are discussing about having a fourth member for the kibasen event. Unused Character thought they will gladly make her it and rushes to the scene. To her horror, they roped in an old man. Now the question is, who will ride the top. Sonya and Yasuna don’t want the other so they challenge each other to snatch each other’s hats. Yasuna tries the UFO trick but Sonya doesn’t fall for it. There really was a UFO but it’s a remote control UFO by Agiri. Speaking of which, Agiri wins. So in the end, the old man gets to ride them but they got disqualified before it even starts.
* Yasuna is having fun with beanbags and throws it at Sonya’s face. She caught it and a certain someone got beaten up. Yasuna flops at juggling them at first but once she finds out how good she’s getting, she starts bragging. Sonya juggles her knives as Yasuna tries to interrupt by throwing the beanbags. Sonya catches them and adds them to her juggle. She starts throwing other things but Sonya juggles them all. Till she starts throwing a chair, Yasuna gets whacked.
* Then trying pantomime, she teases this is much more interesting than her knife trick and challenges her to make her smile with that. Sonya threatens the knife at her neck and orders her to smile.
* Yasuna wanted to spin the pot with the umbrella. She flops but when Sonya does it and loses balance, she starts laughing. Knowing she’ll get whacked, she quickly puts the pot on her head as protection but the umbrella was used to grab her neck.
* Yasuna wonders how fire breathers breathe fire so Sonya bluffs her that they eat spicy thing. Though she didn’t buy that crap, the next day she is absent from school. We all know too well she tried that out.
* Yasuna tries to crush a mosquito but accidentally slaps Sonya. Punishment time. I guess Sonya is dead serious in wanting to kill that mosquito. Yasuna gets a taste of her own slap when Sonya spots it landing on her cheek. Sure it wasn’t an excuse to hit her? Eventually Sonya takes it out with her knife. Or not. Yasuna kills it with her bare hands. Noting how dangerous the knife is, Yasuna suggests using a swatter. However she bloopers and ends up swatting herself since the mosquito is flying around her. Yasuna doubles the swatter as bubble maker while Sonya’s pride won’t allow her to miss again. Just as she throws the knife, the nice timing of Yasuna’s swatter deflects it back at her. Phew! Close shave! Sonya takes the swatter and tries to swat it so Yasuna teases her that she’s playing with bubbles. Now there’s a big bug with a big mouth she wants to swat. Yasuna finds a bug spray but Sonya wants to use on a certain pest…
* Yasuna gets this idea of letting the mosquito bite their arm so they can hit it. But when it lands nicely on the table, they just stared at it. Forgetting their goal? The mosquito then lands on Sonya’s head but when she uses her face muscles, Yasuna starts laughing at her horrible expression. Now she really wants to kill that bug. Though Sonya has got a big lump on her forehead, she notes that there is one bug that will always be annoying throughout the year. Does Yasuna even have to ask? Oh, she’s stupid I guess.

Episode 8
* Yasuna seems to be dreading autumn. But she’s just acting that melodrama out and returns to her idiotic self. She has prepared a list of autumn activities to do so Sonya knocks her out and enjoys the ‘autumn silence’.
* Yasuna finds an empty tin and puts it on her head. She thinks it’ll be protection from Sonya’s attacks but she can’t see so she’s scaring innocent bystanders. Yasuna starts screaming Sonya’s name and that’s a no-no when you’re an assassin. If Yasuna is the real enemy, then Sonya has got to take her out first, right? Yeah, this is the real Yasuna as she begs for her life.
* The tin is stuck and she can’t take it off. Tin head. Sonya tries spinning her head but I’m not sure if Yasuna got her head facing in the right direction after that. After bumping into the post, Agiri offers to help out. Uhm, she just put a picture of Yasuna’s face on the tin. Then she leaves without resolving the problem.
* Instead of going to the hospital, she goes to school and tries to figure out a way to remove the tin. How about heating the metal so it expands? Well, it looks like Yasuna is going to get cooked… Putting salad oil for slipperiness didn’t help either. Agiri again helps out but she just puts on a magic show and left without fixing anything. Sonya thought she should use fire again but with salad oil now inside, I think this will get worse.
* Yasuna wants Sonya to hit her but it seems she punched her body instead. She got so mad that the tin came off. Sonya thinks maybe the tin got adjusted to her face that’s why it slid off. Yasuna is happy and puts it back on. And it couldn’t come off. Or maybe it just happened to come off.
* I don’t know how but it eventually got off as Yasuna tries to sneak up on Sonya’s table but was found out. She wanted to place a rock magazine in her desk but Sonya rips it! Also finding a tambourine in it, Yasuna thinks it’s cool if she plays one but she’s not interested. Yasuna is disheartened the band is breaking up. What band? Sonya thinks an idiot like her can’t play a music instrument so Yasuna challenges her to play. Sonya starts with the tambourine and makes a hole in it! On purpose! Yasuna says she can play the flute but it turns out to be a party whistle. Maracas? That’s a baby’s rattle. Noting that Sonya is the violent type that loves to hit, she gives her play a drum. But looks like Yasuna will be her drum.
* Yasuna thought Sonya sucks in playing the real flute. But it’s not a flute. It’s a hidden sword. Then Yasuna scares her by clashing the big cymbals so Sonya reprimands her at the top of the voice. This attracted the other classmates so Yasuna advises her not to shout like an idiot. Better start apologizing or she’ll find herself hanging on the tree all day.
* Yasuna gives her a special flute but it turns out to be a dog whistle. She thought she had tricked Sonya but she jumps away, leaving the pack of dogs turning their attention to that idiot.
* Yasuna draws a bull’s eye and wants Sonya to hold it. She’s using her as target practice, no? She thinks she has special talent for darts after noting the fruit balancing over her dog’s head. What? Then when she threw the paper exactly into the bin, that’s when she thought she had this talent. That’s got nothing to do with darts. She demonstrates her skills but misses the bin and quickly shifts the goal post that this had nothing to do with darts.
* Yasuna tricks Sonya to play darts with her (that her throw is weak). She barely misses her knife. Sonya says it’s game over if she hits bull’s eye and if not, she’ll keep trying till she gets it. Using Yasuna of course. Sonya perfectly strikes the centre but upon closer inspection, it is actually labelled as ‘lose’. As punishment, Yasuna writes 100 points on her forehead and 50 points on her body. I guess this is her plan to make her play. Yasuna is going to use her toy gun as her weapon (I guess she spent her money on this instead of buying a real dart board) so Sonya wants to have a competition. Yasuna’s forehead is labelled as 0 points so that upset idiot fires her gun but Sonya catches it. Sonya didn’t realize her hand was written as 20 points. So Yasuna brags no matter how many times she hits her head, she’ll never earn any points. Exactly what Sonya wanted because she can fire all she wants. Then she fires into her mouth since she’s talking big. Yasuna thought she’s safe if she doesn’t turn around but she didn’t realize her back has been labelled 1000 points. Sonya thought it’s game over and is going to wash the marker of her forehead when Yasuna reveals it’s a permanent marker. Realizing her 0 points is embarrassing, she scribbles to make it 100 points. Duh… So to cover it up, Sonya wears a headband but Yasuna wears a wrestling mask. Laughing stock of the class…

Episode 9
* Yasuna doesn’t remember what she’s looking for. Or even that she’s looking for something. Maybe Sonya hit her too much on the head. I guess it can’t be that important if an idiot like her loses it. Since she keeps whining, Sonya is going to test her new weapon on her. But wait. Did she misplace it? She takes out her knife that can shoot beams. She’s just making that up to cover what she lost. Sonya’s as bad as Yasuna in the sense she won’t admit she lost it. “I haven’t lost it. I just put it somewhere I don’t know”. Yeah… Yasuna suggests looking for each other’s thing and since Yasuna don’t even remember what hers is, maybe another good whack will do the trick. That’ll make her forget more and even dumber! So off Yasuna goes and she didn’t even ask what Sonya’s missing item was. She brought back a stick and obviously that’s not it, dimwit.
* Sonya picked up a 1000 Yen bill and Yasuna thought she could fool her to say it belongs to her. Her purse is always empty to begin with! The real person comes to claim her lost money as Yasuna tries to lie that if she hadn’t come, that evil Sonya would have taken her money.
* Sonya finds her missing item which is a taser. Yasuna is unhappy hers isn’t found yet but gets zapped. That shock must have jolted her memory as she remembers the lost item that is a points card in which you earn enough points to get a free Triple A beef. What was she walking around with that for? To show off of course! The points card drops out from her clothes and she becomes ecstatic that she has found it. She doesn’t have to rub it in to Sonya’s face, you know. But she gets what is coming because the card has already expired.
* Yasuna wants Sonya to come along with her to catch the mythical snake called Tsuchinoko but Sonya doesn’t believe it exists. What if it does? Then she’ll dance with it. Yasuna thought Sonya left early to get a head start to catch it but she wasn’t. Yasuna gets lost in the forest and is afraid to be alone.
* Sonya receives an SMS from Yasuna saying she has caught it. She knows it’s a lie but goes to check it out. True enough, what Yasuna caught was a butterfly. Upset with the misleading message, Sonya falls into a pit trap Yasuna made. Then they thought they see Tsuchinoko but it turns out to be a pit viper. Run!
* Sonya has had it and wants to go home. Yasuna trips and falls on a guy in fatigues. He claims he is Tsuchinoko. Uhm, his name that is. But stupid Yasuna thinks he is the real mythical snake! Even in denial that it can speak Japanese and act like a human! Anyway he is an assassin out to kill Sonya. Both assassins face off but the pit viper has Sonya retreating. The assassin turns his attention to Yasuna as she makes a run. However his feet fell into the pit and Sonya takes him out. Now Yasuna’s bragging…
* Yasuna wants Sonya to fish with her and I guess she knows how to push the right buttons to make her take up the challenge. Of course Yasuna is an amateur, fishing out everything else but a fish. Sonya starts getting scared when Yasuna puts a worm as her bait. But in order not to lose out, she takes over Yasuna’s rod and thus they both start fishing. Well, Sonya fished out junk and even a turtle.
* They challenge to see who can catch the first fish. Yasuna thought if she does a weird pose, the fish will come. She ends up getting muscle cramp. Then she fishes close to Sonya and reels in her rod, pulling Sonya into the water. Yasuna picks her up but seeing her angry face, she drops her back in. Catch and release! Sonya punishes Yasuna with the pole.
* Sonya realizes she lost her paper with orders in it when she fell into the water and orders Yasuna to find it. She’s not going home till she does. Well, this time they caught lots of fish. But no orders. It ends up in the turtle’s mouth in which it’s being picked up by Agiri. She returns it to them in class the next day, much to their surprise.
* Yasuna spots a coin on the road and picks it up. Because of that, a flower pot barely misses smashing onto her head. She thinks she’s damn lucky so to prove her luck, she wants to play a game with Sonya. How about Russian roulette? Not with a real gun! It’s made with chopsticks and it only has one shot. Sonya fires it at Yasuna. Then she made 3 onigiris and one of them is real good. She thought it would be more interesting to have 3 people. But Yasuna unmasks herself to become Agiri! Body substitution? Yasuna didn’t even know how she got substituted into the locker. So the trio eat an onigiri each but in the end they couldn’t tell which is the best since different people have different taste.
* To further test her luck, Agiri suggests playing that pirate barrel but she slices it into half with the sword! I guess the toy wasn’t that lucky. Then with the hand biter, Yasuna puts her hand in and it instantly bites it at first try. Yasuna laments she doesn’t have good luck and goes to buy drinks at the vending machine. The good news is that she won an extra can but the bad news is both aren’t the drinks she wanted. Yasuna is really feeling down so Sonya says it’s because of her stupidity and has nothing to do with luck. Yasuna feels better knowing Sonya was trying to comfort her. Ah well, simple minded people. But as she throws her can into the bin, it ricochets off several objects and hit a dog. Run for your lives! Maybe she really is stupid and unlucky after all.

Episode 10
* Yasuna loves playing in the snow. She takes a dive but her life flashes before her. Notice the monkey and flea in it? She should dive in a place with more snow. Yasuna makes a snowman put finds she doesn’t have enough to complete its head and uses her own. Is she going to stay there all day? Turning it into Daruma, Sonya chops it! Yasuna wants to get the icicles on the roof and throws the snowball but all of them drops and nearly hit Sonya. Now she’s going to stab her with it. I can’t believe Sonya missed Yasuna hiding as the snowman.
* Yasuna gathers some snow and eats them! Then she tries to convince Sonya to participate in a snowball fight but she starts throwing knives. Unfair! Illegal. That includes hidden rocks in the snowball or making a knife shape snow. Sonya crushes the snow in her palms to create a deadly projectile. Yasuna thought of creating a diversion to distract her but it backfires. And what’s with that lame pun? A duck to duck? Yasuna kicks the tree but all the snow fell on her. Yasuna thought she manages to kick the hard snowball off Sonya’s hands and as she runs away happily, that hard snowball came falling on her head.
* The duo make quite a number of snowman when Sonya realizes she dropped her wallet inside one of them and is going to smash them all to retrieve it! Genocide! Well, Agiri found it and returned it to the teacher.
* Yasuna catches a cold but is happy she’s not an idiot! Then she tries to pass it on to Sonya but fails miserably. A spray falls out of Sonya and she thinks it’s a sinus spray. Wrong. That’s a pepper spray. Argh!
* Yasuna thinks being sick has lots of benefits. Everyone is being nice to you, you don’t have to go to school and you can eat peaches. So what the hell is she doing in school? Yasuna sleeps on the water pillow and assures Sonya it’s pretty tough and not to hold back while punching it. Well, the water burst out all over her face. Now she’s sicker. She’s confident she’ll get better tomorrow and Sonya will be sick in her place. But the next day, Sonya is well and Yasuna thought she’s an idiot! But she starts coughing. Could it be she has caught her cold? She’s not going to admit it but Yasuna wants to check her temperature using her forehead. She got head-butt instead. Yasuna decides to go home but Sonya sees her playing in the snow outside. On her way home, she sees Yasuna half dead while trying to make a snowman. Idiot.
* Because Yasuna saw kids playing with a remote controller, she brings one to school. Since Sonya won’t be her robot, Yasuna plays with herself (not in the hentai sense lah). She fools around that earns Sonya’s wrath like trying to shoot beams from her eyes and make the baseball float around (it’s tied to a string). Then she pretends controlling a pigeon and coincidentally bombs away its poo nearly hitting Sonya. Pissed off with her, Sonya snatches the controller. Yasuna thought she wants to play too and will gladly be her robot. But when Sonya breaks the controller, it means the robot can’t move, right? Forever…
* Yasuna wants to make origami with Sonya and once again persuades her to join in. She should fold the paper not Yasuna’s palm. Then as they make paper airplane, Sonya’s may look cheap but it’s deadly because it can stab through Yasuna’s! Yasuna used a gold paper and thinks her plane can fly far but it ends up in the bin. Having a contest to see whose plane can fly further, Yasuna thought her silver paper will do the trick but it ends up in the bin while Sonya’s flew out the window. Yasuna shifts the goal post saying she was aiming for the bin and thus her victory. Later as they go home, they see Sonya’s plane still flying about! So it’s about time Yasuna admits she lost. Unknown to them, a bunch of kids are playing paper airplanes nearby.
* Sonya finds a message in her locker to come to the empty classroom. Thinking it’s another assassin trap, she rolls in only to be surprised by Yasuna’s Christmas party surprise. She’s not happy with this annoying prank. Anyway Yasuna wants to have a Christmas party and has brought the necessary stuffs. Agiri also joins them but she’s dressed in a Halloween costume. She wants them to hand over the presents and twists things around that she can’t give things away for free since Christmas is a week away. Since they have to go with the flow, Yasuna reluctantly gives the cake. Agiri returns the cake as her present and Yasuna was easily fooled it was a present from her. After Agiri leaves, it seems the real Agiri pops up from behind wondering who that was. Eh? Another body substitution? Or was she quick enough to run back behind since we see her costume dumped right behind her.
* Though they each have their share of the cake, there is one left. Agiri and Sonya didn’t want it so Yasuna could have it but she’s upset that they should at least pretend that they want it. Then she prepares a bingo game in which the loser must do something embarrassing. Safe to say, Yasuna lost and is prepared to do an embarrassing kneeling that makes her look like a drill tank (she’s wearing a pointy party hat). Too her dismay, they’re not even looking. So much about summoning her courage.
* Yasuna thought Sonya is going to dress as Santa to trick her enemies with the bomb wrapped as a gift. But since nobody would want to accept it, she would cry and the bomb exploded in her face. WTF?! Reimagining it, Sonya as Santa slides down the chimney to deliver presents but gets shot by the father of the house thinking there a burglar has sneaked in.
* Yasuna gives Sonya a doll as her Christmas present so she won’t be lonely for winter break. Unfortunately Sonya disfigures it so Yasuna asks for her Christmas present. She gives back the disfigured doll, enough to make that idiot happy. Till she realizes that’s not it.

Episode 11
* We start off with this twisted version of the folklore of the Bamboo Cutter. Something was glowing in the bamboo which Yasuna the bamboo cutter only told her friend Agiri about a year later. Then it turns out to be a weird New Year’s dream Yasuna is having that Sonya isn’t interested in listening to. Because Yasuna continues to bug her, Sonya strangles her with her own scarf.
* Eating sticky mochi is a must for New Year, right? Sonya heard that though it has no poison, it still can kill. That’s because usually it gets stuck in your throat. But the girls can have a taste of mochi and making it since Agiri has the tools to make them in her club room. Those are ninja tools? I don’t believe it. In the room, they don’t see Agiri so Yasuna starts pounding away. But Agiri is inside the mortar! Body substitution again? Maybe. Because the real one just came in through the door. Because Yasuna teases Sonya about how to handle the mallet, Sonya is going to pound her first. The mallet is too heavy for Yasuna so Agiri has prepared a lighter one. Isn’t that a baby’s toy hammer? So when Yasuna uses it on Sonya instead of the mochi, Sonya uses the real one on her. Lucky her head didn’t get smashed. So it becomes a challenge to see who can make the mochi without the mallet. Of course it goes off track when Yasuna uses a spear and Sonya an axe to pound the former.
* While eating the mochi, Yasuna gets choked. But Sonya thinks she’s playing a fool and thinks she wants to be strangled and obliges. Agiri too may have fallen victim but it seems it’s another body substitution. Substitution of the substitution?
* Another twisted folklore with Sonya as Killtaro (parody of Momotaro). As an assassin, she took on a request to kill demons. Along the way, she meets a dog (Yasuna) who pesters her to be her comrade. Sonya gives her poisoned dumpling millet and good riddance. That mutt will never shut up. Next, Agiri the peasant wants to sell a demon exterminator gun but Sonya’s not interested. Unused Character is going to make her debut as the monkey but it seems Sonya had already left the scene. Sonya reaches the island and cuts a peach to eat. But the island residents (Yasuna clones?) call her a demon for eating the fruits of their labour. I think Sonya just killed them all and everyone lived happily ever after as the island is known as Demon Island. Wait a minute. That wasn’t a happy ending!
* Zombie Baby: Sonya and Yasuna are running away from zombies. Yasuna has some items to dispel the zombies: Cross, garlic and stake. Hey! Aren’t those for vampires?! Stupid Yasuna gets bitten and is now a vampire. Now she’s going to suck Sonya’s blood. Is she a zombie or vampire now? Then the sun rises and all the zombies disintegrate. Are they zombies or vampires?! As stupid as they are! They died stupidly too! Guess what? This was Yasuna’s New Year’s dream.
* Yasuna decides to play some traditional Japanese games. I don’t understand the board game but Yasuna got bored with it since she sucks and turns her attention to kite flying. Sonya knows her trick about asking her what is on the kite (tako), which is a squid (ika). If she says one, Yasuna will definitely say the other and tease her. Sonya has to company Yasuna flying her kite or else she’ll feel lonely and fly her backup kite that has a picture of Sonya instead.
* Yasuna wants Sonya to run for the kite and how did she make her do it? Step on her foot! Oh, now she’s running after her! Yasuna gets tied up by the kite strings as punishment. Sonya demonstrates how to fly a kite and trips. You know what Yasuna will be doing now. Yasuna follows Sonya’s every step, including the tripping.
* As Yasuna flies her kite, the crow attacks it thinking the squid picture is real. To counter that, Yasuna draws a single eye on the squid. Then she sees other kites and decides to go join them. However she got scolded for entangling their strings.
* Yasuna lets Sonya hold her kite while she goes buy warm drinks. The strong wind blows the kite stuck onto the tree. Trying to pull it out made it worse as the string snaps. Yasuna thinks she’s a meanie. Since they can’t get up the tree, Yasuna uses the backup kite but to not make the picture look like Sonya, she draws many eyes over it. Now it just looks creepy. While running along, she falls into the river. Sonya knows the river is shallow and that Yasuna just wanted to pull her in with her cry wolf that she’s drowning. Yasuna goes after the kite flowing down the river when Sonya takes up the string attached to the kite. At the same time, Yasuna pulls the kite and in turn pulls Sonya into the river too.
* To avoid getting pneumonia, they head for the public bath. Sonya is reluctant to strip since there are secrets she can’t reveal. Yasuna thinks there’s a zipper along her body and forces her to strip. The tussle causes Sonya to fall into the pond. In the end, at least they both have a nice warm bath.
* Milky Baby: Yasuna the magical girl always tries her best to help out but makes a mess out of things. Today, she’s supposed to fight Unused Character in a boxing ring (Ashita No Joe parody). She gets beaten up badly and in her final attempt, Yasuna uses her magic wand to summon… A towel? You know what they say about throwing in the towel, right? She lost and got punched by her coach (Sonya). Oh, this is another of her weird New Year dream. On their way home, Yasuna picks up an abandoned magic wand and plays with it. Suddenly Sonya is substituted with Agiri! Woah! Did it work?! And Sonya doesn’t know how she ended up in the locker!

Episode 12
* Sonya is seen sniping and assassinating Pyonsuke! Actually it’s Yasuna’s dream. She is going to have revenge on her for killing Pyonsuke #2 but do you think an idiot can best a pro?
* Yasuna sees a plaster over Sonya’s cheek so the latter warns her not to waste them when she puts one on her own face. Then Yasuna makes a startling discovery. If she puts the plaster on places which she thinks she’ll get hurt, she’ll feel invincible. How did she arrive at that stupid conclusion? She kicks the chair to try out but it hurts like hell. Yasuna listens to Sonya’s advice to put on poultice. Hey. Why does Sonya want to hit her? Sonya says her under-vest is bulletproof and lets Yasuna take a hit. Who knows, the idiot hits her head! She returns the favour instead of hitting the parts applied with poultice. Yasuna punches Sonya’s vest for real but it seems she’s holding in the pain. Did she forget to wear her vest? She wants to have another go but Sonya is grimacing and making faces in preparation of the punch. Sonya tries to bluff her with several theories, law and rule why the vest can only withstand a certain amount of impact but to Yasuna it means she’s not wearing any.
* Based on that, Yasuna deduces if she wears a cast, she’ll be safe. More accurately as Sonya puts it, if she uses her head, she’ll be a lot safer. You mean injury rate is based on IQ? Here comes her stupidity again. She teases Sonya for being dumb, the reason she got hurt and gets a chop on her head. Well, I guess this theory is proving to be right in a certain way. Yasuna tries to run away to avoid getting hurt but trips. If it’s not Sonya, then it’s herself. Next day, Yasuna puts on lots of poultice and feels invincible. A few hours later, she starts feeling itchy all over.
* Sonya’s mission has her been having lack of sleep. She feels so sleepy in class and Yasuna thought it’s her duty as her friend to cheer her up. I guess she was being stupid that’s why it didn’t work. Sonya is so sleepy that she accidentally took out her knife instead of her pen to stab herself! Class is over and she wants to go home but Yasuna stands in her way (she thought Sonya was going to do an assassination job after school). After getting a submission move, Yasuna tries to persuade Sonya that her assassin job is no good and chops her head. Well, Sonya has her eyes opened now. Did she finally realize? Actually she’s now awake to beat her up. But that’s just temporary as she is still sleepy.
* Walking along, Sonya spots Yasuna and makes a run. She uses up too much energy and falls asleep outside someone’s house. Yasuna tries to wake her up without touching her because her defence reflex is still working. Shouting causes the neighbourhood to tell her to STFU, barking like a dog causes her to have bad dreams and when she thought of drawing on her face, Sonya is already up. And mad. Sonya draws on her face as Yasuna tries to tell her the truth that she tried to wake her up. Unfortunately she got punched because she couldn’t believe someone with a stupid face telling her that. Didn’t she draw that herself?
* Yasuna gives Sonya chocolates on Valentine’s Day and tells her she has to give her back 3 times on White Day. Since Yasuna mentions once given, it cannot be returned, Sonya is going to give hers. She attaches chocolate yen on her forehead.
* Yasuna saw Sonya dropped a photo and thought it’s her boyfriend and teases her. However, that’s supposed to be her next hit target! Yasuna screws around by swapping that photo with her own till she eventually gets beaten up. Yasuna is sad that she shouldn’t kill him just because she doesn’t like his face. I don’t think that’s the problem. Yasuna once more tries to persuade to give up her line of work or else she won’t become a splendid person like her. Unless she means splendid is stupid. For starters, Yasuna taps her shoulder from the back and wants her to hold it in. Is it working? I think Tokyo shook just now.
* Noting Sonya gets upset too easily, Yasuna wants her to practice that she won’t get upset from whatever she does. Doesn’t that sound like a penalty game? Yasuna attacks but is instantly nailed. Sonya says she wasn’t attacking but rather defending herself. Haha. You screwed up somewhere Yasuna. The idiot pretends to be an animal, in this case a dog since people should be kinder to animals. But Sonya hates dogs remember? Now remember, little doggie must listen to her master and not eat her lunch when she is told too… So you want to be human again, eh?
* Yasuna launches Pyonsuke #3 for her to hold and have happy feelings. However Sonya hugs it too hard and all the cotton bursts out. I guess that’s the third bunny she killed. Murderer! Sonya wants to use the toilet but Yasuna thinks it’s an excuse to kill his target. She insists she wants to use the toilet for real. But she’ll have to get pass Yasuna. Okay, please go gentle on her.
* Yasuna thinks Sonya should quit being an assassin and be a chiropractor instead. Then she starts having her stupid daydream whereby Sonya attends a patient and accidentally breaks his neck bone. Maybe being a chiropractor isn’t a good idea after all.

Episode 13
* After seeing a TV police show last night, Yasuna wants to play police with Sonya. However she gets beaten up. Obstruction of justice! She thought of using a pair of toy handcuffs to play but Sonya isn’t going to fall for her trick to get cuffed. Since the idiot pesters her to play along, she agrees just to shut her up. Guess what? Yasuna gets cuffed instead. She thinks she can break out using brute strength! Not.
* After getting Sonya to unlock the cuffs with the key, Yasuna now wants her to put it on just for fun. True enough, Yasuna starts mocking Sonya she can’t use her hands. She didn’t see she could use her legs, eh? Kick as powerful as her punch. Sonya feigns extreme pain to strangle Yasuna with the cuffs and threaten her to release them.
* Release she did but she puts the other half of the cuffs on herself. Now they’re stuck together. This also means Sonya can easily beat her up. So as Yasuna tries to unlock it, the key breaks. Well, it’s a toy key so it’s not made of good quality. Sonya tries to chop it with her hands but it causes their heads to butt together. The metal is made of good quality but the key was not? If the metal won’t break, maybe the flesh will… Oh sh*t!
* Since class is starting, Sonya drags Yasuna down the stairs and dirt, right outside so she can break it with a rock. Yasuna moves her hand so Sonya slams the rock on her own hand. She starts chasing her but they’re running around in circles. They tire out and somehow Sonya’s cuff came off. Hooray! Sonya chains Yasuna to the tree and leaves for class. Eh? Yasuna missed class the entire day… Human abuse! Yeah, peace and quiet for the entire day.
* Yasuna asks about Sonya’s birthday and the assassin isn’t too happy to give away anything. Yasuna is appalled that Sonya doesn’t want presents since birthday is a day where you get free stuff legally. She thinks Sonya was picked up by the organization as an abandoned kid or simply forgotten her birthday.
* Yasuna decides to make today Sonya’s birthday, much to the latter’s chagrin. How did she persuade her to go to today’s birthday party? Yasuna has lots of crackers in her clothes and if it all goes off at once, everyone will start thinking Sonya is an idiot like her making a scene.
* In the empty classroom while waiting for Agiri to come, there are a few big boxes with instructions to unwrap and stack them as Sonya’s present. Once that is done, out comes Agiri. Magic show? Sonya doesn’t want to blow the birthday cake candles but upon realizing they’re dynamites, she quickly blows them out with all her might! Phew.
* Yasuna gives her present and Sonya is sceptical it is something dumb. She hears ticking inside and thinks it’s a bomb and throws it out the window. Turns out it was a clock. Anyway that was a dummy present since Yasuna found it in her closet as a broken junk. That’s even worse! Yasuna gives her next present and Sonya thinks it’s a dummy. Heck, there are more presents in the corner. Could it be dummies too?
* Agiri presents Sonya a ninja outfit and has her try it out. Yasuna laughs her ass off since it makes her look like a stereotypical ninja. But that doesn’t mean she can’t do a submission move on the idiot, right?
* The next present is a can of helium gas that makes your voice go high. Yasuna and Agiri demonstrate as they start saying tongue twisters in squeaky voices. Next, Yasuna gives her a piggy bank as a present. Her intention is for her to save up so she can buy her a birthday present. Which is tomorrow. Unused Character heard there was a party but by the time she arrives, it’s over. She sees the helium gas can on the floor and tries it out herself with high pitched tongue twisters.
* Next day, Yasuna is eager for Sonya’s present but it seems she didn’t get any. How much can she save in a day? She gives an excuse that her present is in the empty room so the happy idiot scoots there. Isn’t that the same huge boxes with instructions? Anyway Yasuna puts it in the wrong order and they saw something horrible! What was it? What was it?!
* Sonya can’t walk home with Yasuna since she has a job to do. Yasuna thinks she’s going to kill someone and goes all out to stop her. Idiot style. Even if this means buying and shaking a soda so she’ll get her clothes wet and go home (Sonya just put it in her bag to drink later), challenging her to defeat her (seriously, does she want to feel the pain again?) and throwing her shoes away (Sonya anticipated this and swapped their shoes so Yasuna threw away her own).
* While tailing Sonya, Yasuna sees her talking to a policeman. Is this her next target or is she turning herself in. Yasuna thinks if she does, she’ll be sentenced to 100 years in prison and she doesn’t want that. She confronts the policeman but actually Sonya reported to him about a stalker girl who is bothering her.
* Yasuna continues to follow Sonya and ends up in the woods. She sees an obvious trap with candy inside. Being the idiot she is, she decides to take it knowing well it’s a trap. But the ground caves in instead. So the real trap is a pit? However Yasuna didn’t drop in by herself. She pulls Sonya down with her. Trapped and with no one around to help them out, Yasuna thinks of doing a silly pose so that the future people who dig them up can discover their fossils. WTF?!
* A stray dog passes by and Yasuna tries to make it come back with help. But the dog is going to pee into the hole! They throw everything they got to chase it away. They can’t stand on each other’s shoulder since they know the one who gets out will leave the other behind. Sonya says if she begs and goes down on her knees, she’ll allow her to be on top. Yasuna gladly does so but it’s a trap for Sonya to use her as a springboard and jump herself to freedom.
* Sonya promises to come back with help but Yasuna desperately pleads not to go to her job. She can’t kill somebody since something bad will happen to her. If that happens, she won’t be able to play with her anymore. She can’t tease her, she can’t get hit by her. Er… Did she just admit she loves getting hit? But her tears were so genuine and heart felt that Sonya drops a rope for her to climb out. Unused Character sees a dropped soda and opens it. The water gushes out as she drops into the pit. Well, nobody is going to care about an unused character, right?
* Yasuna and Sonya walk home as she asks about her job. Sonya replies there has been a change of plans and this made Yasuna happy. Yasuna saw something on her shoulder and is about to pick it. Before she knows it, her hand got twisted in the other direction. Has she learnt anything so far?

Baby, I Died Laughing!
Actually, I’m barely alive… Man, I never expected to enjoy this show to the max. Every scene has its potential to make me go into some sort of laughter whether it’s just a tiny grin or a laugh out loud moment that will have me drop rolling on the floor. Except for that touching final scene in which Yasuna really considered Sonya to be her friend. See, friends stick with you thick and thin regardless of your profession. That’s what friends are for, right? Even if it means trying to stop her from doing a dangerous job and the risk of getting done in. I never thought Yasuna was this thoughtful about Sonya’s future but hey, that’s Yasuna for you. So a very big thanks to Yasuna because of her idiot personality and that she never learns from her mistakes, she is the main reason why the show is absolutely hilarious. She’s the kind of dumb blonde (except that she’s a brunette) that everyone will love. You’ll find it hard to hate her because she’s so adorable being dumb. Oh dear. Am I saying that it’s nice to be a dumb girl? Well, let’s just say that you’ll look at dumb girls who don’t learn in a whole new perspective from now on.

Seriously, the way Yasuna gets beaten up, the kind that would make one’s bone break, I thought that she was a masochist. It’s like in every episode, heck in almost every scene, pain is there waiting for her. It’s like Yasuna and the word pain go hand in hand together. Episode after episode, you expect this girl to get hit in some ways and though it may become repetitive, it is never tiresome because of the many ways her plans backfire as she reaps what she sows. Partly it’s because you and me are sadists too… So if Yasuna has not turned into a super masochist pervert, then at least it is good to know that after 13 episodes of near-death experiences and pain, it is safe to say that she can tolerate Sonya’s punishment. That’s both a good thing and bad, right? She might still feel pain but at least it tells us she is only human. Or maybe something is wrong with her brain. Being a simpleton has its benefits too. At times it might seem she wants to have and do sophisticated stuff but notice all she wanted was just to have fun with Sonya? Yeah, doing whatever is just an excuse to be her pal. I don’t even know understand how she and Sonya become friends in the first place. Heck, does Sonya even consider her as a friend? Maybe that last scene proves it. After all, the 2 of them are an extreme of what we call ‘frenemies’. For Sonya, it’s a love-hate relation with that dimwit. I guess with her and the kind of job she does, it’s not good to have friends but if you look at it from another perspective, Sonya should be grateful that Yasuna is her friend. Many would have shunned her and stay as far as possible. But that is considering if they know what Sonya does. But how can an idiot like Yasuna know her job and the rest wouldn’t? I’m sure they are not as dumb as her, right? And also considering that the few assassins that popped up to eliminate Sonya, since they are as incompetent as Yasuna, I guess you can say Sonya is pretty safe as long as she doesn’t slack. She just needs to keep a close watch on her friend, that’s all. For her own sake, that is. And it is also odd that an assassin like her is scared of dogs, bugs and ghost stories. So if you want to be safe from her, just remember to arm yourself with these. You’ll live a little longer…

Complementing the duo is the ever mysterious ninja Agiri. From the way she does things, it makes you wonder if she is a real ninja because she’s been pulling off tactics that would be fitting of a magician or swindler. Yes, she could be a very good and cool con woman if she decides to follow this path. I mean, she has this smooth persuasion to get you into buying so called ninja items, has this tendency to get out of sticky situations albeit just herself and her body substitution… Is that the only real ninja technique she has? Even if it was just an illusion, it’s a pretty damn convincing one and like I said, she should have been a magician or illusionist. So we have a trio in the form of an idiotic high school girl, a grouchy and moody assassin and a ninja scammer. You can’t have a better combination than them, right? Hmm… Did I miss somebody out? Oh! Unused Character. Who is she again? Well, besides being the comic relief and little side distraction that this show probably doesn’t need, I found out that the reason why she wants to seek revenge against Sonya and Yasuna is that she was supposed to be part of the main cast but ‘dropped’ since very much of her personality overlaps with Yasuna. Well, I guess even having two idiots would be a crowd. Yeah, this show is not big enough for two big idiots. Whatever happened to her in the end, we just don’t care. After all, she is an unused character, right? Not like we are bothered with a very minor side character :). Then there is this old guy character. I’m not sure if he is the same guy throughout the series but he seems to be wearing different hats in different scenes. He may be just a senior citizen bumming around in the park or the principal or some store owner. Maybe the producers were trying to save cost and recycle the same unimportant minor character?

Initially I thought Aki Toyosaki was the voice behind Yasuna. Then I later found out that it wasn’t her but somebody that really sounds close to her, Chinatsu Akasaki (Maki Harada in Mouretsu Pirates, Nanami in Sacred Seven). She really did a very good job in making Yasuna the idiot that never learns. Whether it is teasing, in pain or wailing, she sure does put lots of convincing different expressions into the character. Good job. Ai Takabe also did well in voicing Agiri making her sound like a dreamy character. Something I thought Kikuko Inoue could only do better. I believe you will never hear Agiri blowing her top because it’s that soothing and calming voice tone all the way. I guess when you’re a ninja, even you have to deceive your enemies with your voice. A relative unknown, Ai Takabe’s other voice roles include Maiko in Horou Musuko and Fumi Manjoumi in Sweet Blue Flowers. Mutsumi Tamura is the voice behind Sonya (Kio in Asobi Ni Iku Yo, Sayaka Dejima in Seitokai Yakuindomo). I’m not saying her voice is unique but I guess almost anybody can play a girl who is angry half the time. Otherwise, do you think it would really fit to have a high pitch squeaky voice as an assassin? So Sonya having a lower and hoarser voice fits her character description well. Rie Kugimiya also has a role here as Unused Character but due to the character’s limited screen time, I feel it’s a waste for her to use her squeaky bratty tsundere voice that we won’t hear often (unless you’re not a Rie Kugimiya fan of course). Nevertheless, it’s still fun to see her voice the character. Before watching this show, I read Satomi Arai was going to have a role in this anime and thought gee, I guess she’ll be Yasuna because knowing her roles as Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun, Naoko in Yuri Seijin Naoko-san and that emotionless but scheming reporter in Seitokai Yakuindomo, Ranka Hata, maybe she’ll get the lead role as an idiot. However she ended up as the female narrator or as the credits put her, Et Cetera Girl (any extra female characters in the show are voiced by her). So she didn’t get to flex her mischievous and perverted voice and reduced to short narrating roles. But she’s still identifiable nevertheless. For all other male narrations and extra characters, Et Cetera Boy role goes to Cho (Brook in One Piece).

The opening theme is the same name as this series, Kill Me Baby by the duet of Yasuna and Sonya’s seiyuu. To me, the song felt like it’s suitable for a chase scene through the Arabic streets. I don’t know, that’s what I feel this upbeat and wacky song is. Maybe crazy is the right word. The lyrics are really odd and even if they are about killing, dying and other nonsensical stuffs, the words “Kill Me Baby” that is being sung repetitively throughout the song somewhat made me have goosebumps. In short, I don’t really like this song. Maybe it’s the way the duo shout those 3 words. And if the song isn’t crazy enough for you, the animation is even crazy as we have Sonya fighting aliens, UFO crashing, Agiri clones and Yasuna doing her best as a useless idiot. Thus I prefer the ending theme more which sounds very much like a techno disco dance. Also sung by the same duo, what makes Futari No Kimochi No Honto No Himitsu amusing is the dance that we see Yasuna and Sonya tap to in the ending credits. Be warned that even if you are tempted to attempt some of the infectious moves to the infectious catchy beat, there are some moves that are impossible to do! You have been warned. Trying to imitate them may result in more than just broken bones, muscle aches, embarrassing failed poses and damaged egos. I know because I nearly fell in to that. Hmm… Maybe I should try again because somebody once said if you don’t first succeed, try, try and try again. Haha, I just realized I was being stupid here. Even the lyrics are plain weird. “I love you to a point that I want to kill you”. Is this what her hidden feelings are?

On a trivial note, the narration of the next episode preview feels like a haiku only with lots more syllables. And a lot longer. Since I’m not the kind of person who appreciates poems, what they are saying are like Greek to me. In the sense that I just do not understand what they are getting at. Although what I know it is being narrated are events that are supposed to happen or encounter in the next episode, I just can’t seem to put it all together. Maybe I’m that stupid, huh? It always ends with the narrator asking Yasuna what she will do next. Well, what do idiots always do? For her, she takes the bull by the horn, crosses the bridge only when she gets there and whatever happens, happens, she takes them all in good and bad (usually more of the latter). Another amusing narration part is when the narrators narrate the “Kill Me Baby” title. After that when they narrate “Baby, Please Kill Me”, they say it full of passion and accent that it sounds funny and odd. Weird indeed.

They better come up with another season because I really want to see more pranks Yasuna can pull off. In this sense I guess you can consider her a creative girl, right? Just that she uses her creativity for wrong purposes. But that’s not entirely a bad thing since she manages to bring in the laughter. Now, what more practical jokes can Yasuna come up just to test Sonya’s patience? An eating contest? Visit to the old folk’s home? A kidnap incident? An alien invasion? Even a normal school field trip would suffice. Seems for this season, everything that has happened takes place in their high school or the neighbourhood. So if they do another season, it would be nice to have a change of scenery as well. Another reason why you should respect Yasuna is because of her perseverance. No doubt that it is bad to want to tease and get the better of your friend despite knowing you will lose 99.99%. But it’s not always impossible, right? Even so, please do not imitate and try it out on your friends, okay? They may not be so highly skilled or ‘forgiving’ like Sonya. I don’t want to go so far as to say that after seeing this series, my intelligence level has dropped after too many dumb moments with Yasuna nor my defence for pranks has increased after observing Sonya’s counter attacks. After all, I’m not such an intelligent person in the first place. What do you expect from a typical mild otaku like me? If that is such a bad thing in other people’s view, then I don’t want to be smart ;p. But after watching this show, I have learnt something important: Never approach an assassin from the back, a ninja head on and an idiot from all directions!

Sakura Diaries

October 6, 2012

A note of caution to guys. If you want to impress a girl or make a good first impression for that lady you just fall in love at first sight, please do not, I repeat, do not ever, ever, ever start it off with a lie! I’m serious. If you don’t believe me, just watch Sakura Diaries to see what I mean. I know there is this fear that if the girl finds you inferior than her then your hopes of going out with her will go up in smokes. But can you handle it once the lie becomes bigger and bigger? What will you tell her? How can you even face her? So in a simple but yet slightly complicated love story, we see a kid from the countryside coming to the big city to study (like every other kid who wants to make his/her impact in modern society these days). He falls in love with a girl but feels the need to live up to her expectations and that’s where the lie comes in. On the other hand, he also has this cousin who has a crush on him ever since young. Love triangle, love drama, unrequited love, heartbreaks and pangs of love. Oh yeah, you’ll find them here in this anime. Don’t worry. You don’t need tissues as stand by. This isn’t so bad for me to classify it as a tear jerker.

Episode 1
18 year old Touma Inaba from Izu is residing in a hotel in Tokyo as he is here to take the university entrance exams. Hey, they have porn channels in hotel rooms? He didn’t expect room service knocking on his door. Wait. Did her order any call girl? Did she have the wrong room? Don’t think so. She is going to make sure he’ll have a good time. When a cute girl like her starts stripping and teasing you, it’s going to be hard to restrain yourself, right? Yeah, that porn channel isn’t helping either. But Touma is puzzled how she knows his name. Maybe it’s his ID tag for the exams? Thinking he doesn’t believe she is a high school girl, she shows her ID and proves she is really one. Actually she, Urara Kasuga is putting up an act in hopes he will remember. No such luck. Touma is deliberating (and fantasizing) whether he should lose his virginity to a cutie like her. Fortunately he uses the right head as he kicks her out of his room. Urara calls him an idiot but what baffles him more is that she starts calling him by his childhood nickname, Tonma-chan. Urara takes the train home and despite not having much luck with that, wishes Touma to do his best for his exams. A few days later, Touma calls his mom and she knows he has flopped the entrance exams he has taken. The only university left is Keiou University but this one has very high standards. Touma wanted to sit this just for souvenir. You know, he tried but failed. Well, he already had this fail mentality… He blames the cold he has got and would have done better if not for Urara passing on the cold to him and hopes he will never have to see her again. Mommy wants him to come home to take over the family inn but he is adamant he will be going to university in Tokyo. Urara talks to her friend Komi Natsuki about Touma. Seems Touma is her cousin and she only met him once and that was 6 years ago when their family went on vacation at Kamakura. How can you expect a guy to remember something 6 years ago and only seeing each other once? Komi thought they did something naughty but Urara says he gave her something special: Eternal memories. Komi thinks he is her first love but Urara notes it’s her precious love that destiny gave her.

Touma is contemplating not taking Keiou’s entrance exam since it’s way out of his league. Till the student pass of Mieko Yotsuba came flying into his face. He is smitten by her beauty and since she is also taking the exams and will be classmates, he vows to make it into Keiou and make this babe his wife. On exam day itself, Touma overslept. How typical. He runs with all his might and at the entrance he is appalled to see Urara waiting for him. Guess what? He still doesn’t remember who she is except for that call girl who gave him the cold. As he blows her top, Urara is just cool and even made bento for him on this important day. He is not amused at what she’s plotting and accidentally hits the bento away. Poor Urara runs away in tears and probably Touma realizes everybody has been staring at him like the villain. While doing stretching in her tennis club, Urara feels guilty that it’s her fault and her over-reaction may cause him to fail his exam. She thought so long that Komi had to point out she was stretching all day. Seriously, the other club-mates didn’t call her? In the exam hall, Mieko thought Touma’s girlfriend made him a nice bento so that panicky guy had to lie it was from his sister. Seeing her so sexy and once she mentions she was stressed out all night long, it’s a cue for Touma to start fantasizing and probably help ‘relieve her stress’. Pervy. He’s acting quite confident so the examiner hopes the exam will be easy on him. Touma is all fired up to pass the exam and go to Keiou with her.

Episode 2
During the break, Touma joins Mieko for lunch. She notices the very well made bento and feels envious he has someone looking after him. Then she talks about the exam and seem not to have much confidence herself but hopes she can make it through since she has worked hard. Touma tries to give her encouragement. But I guess he went too far with his own fantasies (they got married and all) so much so he took too long and the afternoon exam is about to start. Oh, I don’t think Mieko heard him when he started ranting. Just like talking to himself, eh? On the day the results are out, Mieko is so happy that she got accepted that she hugs Touma in public. Like a celebrity, the photographers take snapshots of them. Huh? Urara is also there but wonders who is this woman hugging him. Now it’s Touma’s turn. It’s time for the truth. The harsh truth. His number is not there. His eyes are not deceiving him. It’s really not there! Oh sh*t! Dream come crumbling down. Worse, he lied when he shows Mieko the thumbs up. And you know what they say when one lie leads to another… Everyone else tosses him up in the air to congratulate him. Touma is back working at his family’s inn. He remembers Mieko wiping his tears off (I’m sure he wasn’t crying tears of joy) so he managed to get her number (an excuse to wash and return her handkerchief) and she’ll be hoping to see her at orientation day. Don’t think that’s happening. Then Touma realizes. It isn’t over yet. If Mieko gave him her number it means she must have feelings for him. He is going to return to Tokyo, call her and tell her about the truth and begin their true love story. Keep dreaming…

Urara is at the train station supposed to pick Touma up. He doesn’t show up so she calls his mother. She learns Touma misread his timetable and missed his train. Not only that, mommy said he failed all his entrance exams. Komi beckons Urara to watch a couple across the platform doing a passionate French kiss. Hey! Isn’t that girl Mieko? Touma arrives at the apartment he’ll be living in Tokyo. Hearing the voice of a girl, he remembers his uncle has a daughter but doesn’t have much confidence in her and thinks she is ugly and full of pimples. Guess what? Surprise! It’s that call girl Urara! Finally remember her, eh? Here is a bigger surprise: She’s wearing naked apron! Yeow! She has made him dinner and explains that call girl thingy was just to cheer him up. She reveals she has learnt from his mom about what happened and even though he is going to cram school, that’ll just be for a year. She is happy that if he passes this time, they’ll go to university together. I think that’s the last thing he wants to do. He is about to blame her for giving him the cold but his eyes start wandering over Urara’s matured physique. I think he is going to get sick this time. Ironically, shouldn’t Urara catch a cold too for not wearing much clothes? Touma is going to call Mieko so Urara realizes it was her whom Touma was giving the thumbs up to. However the number he dials is not in service. Touma blames Urara for interrupting him and thus causing him to misdial. Can he say that after a few attempts with the same results? He even dismisses she was messing with him. After all, they’ve hugged in public, right? So I guess when it really hit him, Touma got so depressed that he just tears up the number. Urara feels pity and tries to comfort him by hugging his back. Touma narrates he didn’t realize this unseemly act of consolation took all the strength she had.

Episode 3
Touma is worried about them living under the same roof. You know. A young boy and girl. ‘That’ may happen. Maybe it’s just an excuse for him. In case. But Urara just plays it cool. Where can you find a nice girl who makes breakfast for you and even wants to help you get dressed? On second thought, maybe he should be worried. Urara accompanies Touma to his cram school thinking as a country bumpkin he needs some guide around Tokyo. Man, he looks so out of place with his suit. Urara has made a spare apartment key for him and naughtily flirts with him like as though they’re lovers. But they’re being interrupted by some guy, Kouji Akimoto who wants Touma to remember why he failed this year and stick to this for his lover. Is he doing signs of masturbation?! A fellow student warns not to stay close to him as he is already a third year ronin and it’s getting to him. This guy by the way is in his second year. Touma goes to Keiou in hopes of telling Mieko the truth but he sees a flock of guys around her. They are asking if she has a boyfriend. Though she hasn’t, she mentions an important requirement to be one. Her future boyfriend MUST be a Keiou student. I guess you don’t even qualify, Touma. Even that otaku nerd has a higher chance of scoring than you. Devastated as he may be, Mieko spots him and flocks to his side mentioning they have some date tonight. Obviously it’s a ploy to get away from those persistent buggers. At a safe distance while catching their breath, Touma sees how pretty Mieko is and his mind starts to wander again. She extends her hand to acknowledge her fellow classmate but Touma can’t do it. He must sum up the courage to tell her the truth.

Urara and Komi are at Keiou. Seems Komi has an ulterior motive to snag a boyfriend for herself. Well, which girl doesn’t want a rich handsome guy? The security stops them since today it’s not open to public. They try to make excuses that they are seeing a friend but he’s not letting them in. A handsome hunk, Mashu Tatsuhiko pretends to know them and lets them in. Komi is obviously smitten with him and gives him her card in hopes he’ll buzz her on her pager (she’s soooo glad she’s a virgin -_-). As they walk along, I suppose any guy is to Komi’s liking. So much to choose, eh? Spoilt for choice. Then they happen to see Touma and Mieko. Touma finally blurts the truth he failed but Mieko misinterprets that he got accepted into another department. Does he look like the guy to be in the economics department? He really wanted to tell her the truth but fears she may have caught on that he has failed to gain entry. She brushes it off as a joke since he’s wearing his suit. She admits she likes smart guys and funny guys like him too. Touma is happy and sad to hear that. Happy because he’s got a chance with her. Sad because he realizes she thinks she’s talking to a fellow Keiou student. He must put this to rest and tell her the truth now! Mieko continues that she has been thinking about the incident when she threw herself around him during the results announcement. She thinks it’s love and the beginning of something. I guess that’s it. Touma starts acting cool and makes a bigger lie. He’s supposed to be accepted into Kyoto University but decided it will be great walking under these trees with her and settled with Keiou. Man, how are you going to worm your way out of this big fat lie? Touma isn’t quite interested in his cram school class. Akimoto wants him to come with him after class as there will be a gathering. However he refuses since he has plans to meet Mieko in Shibuya. That night in Shibuya, Komi isn’t thrilled to have accompanied Urara on her grocery errand. How does that in Shibuya anyway? Well, the neighbourhood grocery was closed. Komi is worried that at this rate, no guys will hit on her! WTF?! Then she sees some Keiou guys and bugs Urara to follow with them. Komi hopes she could bump into that handsome hunk at the gates again. Then Urara sees Touma and her eyes are lit with happiness. But that soon turns into concern when she sees him meet up with Mieko.

Episode 4
Mieko introduces Touma to her friends at the gathering party. Among them is Mashu who says he is in the economics department. Sh*t has just begun. Touma tries to worm his way out giving excuses he is drunk and doesn’t remember his class, etc. Then he drinks up and can’t let everyone find out he’s a fake student. Touma and Mieko are alone together outside. He is making more lies that he got dumped by a girl during middle school. Mieko kisses him. I’m not sure if she’s drunk. But… Oh Urara saw that. She turns into despair and runs away. Now that scene is stuck in her head rerunning like a spoilt video tape. But she decides not to fret over it and be her lively self. While Touma walks back with Mieko, they accidentally walk into the love hotel area. Mieko feels tired and wants to rest. Oh… As she takes a shower, Touma starts panicking. He needs to calm down but is worried Mieko would find out and tease him as a virgin. That’s his concern? So he summons his courage to bust open the toilet door and with his cheesy line “I was drinking alone and listening to the shower, I thought I heard an angel singing”. Please… From then on it gets steamier… Fortunately it’s just his crazy fantasy. With Mieko finishing, it’s Touma’s turn to clean himself. Just when he is ready and has decided to lose his virginity to her, he is appalled that Mieko is sound asleep. The night may be young but it ends here for you young man. Meanwhile Urara has made Touma a warm dinner and is waiting for him to return. She knows better but she hopes he’ll come back. It’s getting late. Very late.

Next morning, Touma leaves the love hotel by himself since he can’t bring himself to wake Mieko after seeing how beautiful she is in her sleep. Don’t worry, he has done nothing and is still a virgin. Komi teases Urara that Touma might be spending a night with a girl, the reason he didn’t come back and this obviously disturbs Urara very much. Komi apologizes for crossing the line as Urara mentions all Touma thinks about is that woman. Maybe there’s no room in his heart for her. Soon she brushes her gloomy side and returns to her perky self because she’s not out of the race yet and won’t give up. Komi notes that Touma doesn’t know her feelings at all and suggests she sleep with him. Yeah, nothing solves everything with sex for a guy. In cram school, Touma isn’t paying attention. He’s thinking too hard he needs to study hard so he’ll get to do it for real with Mieko and take the lead next time. However he thinks of losing his virginity to another girl first. WTF?! If he has time to think about this, he should be using it to study hard, right? But I suppose he needs to study hard first after realizing he doesn’t want to end up like Akimoto. After class, he is surprised to see Urara in this place. Seems she has also enrolled for cram school to prepare for next year. She wants to celebrate by cooking dinner tonight and wants him to accompany her to buy ingredients. But Touma isn’t exactly thrilled so Urara mentions she was just worried about him since he didn’t come home last night. He tries to explain he was out with his friends but I guess he decides to go with Urara since he doesn’t really want to join Akimoto. She’ll be a safer bet. Then he realizes something. He realizes he’s a fool not to have touched her. Sizing her up as a full-fledged and mature woman who is no longer a child, she might be perfect to get past his first time. What’s with that condom box he got from the supermarket shelf? Is he planning a different kind of dinner tonight?

Episode 5
Touma wonders if Urara had spotted the box since she’s still acting all cheery. Upon learning that his uncle is on an overseas trip, he thought tonight is his chance to get lucky with her and suggests they play strip baseball. Urara notices his naughty intentions when she finally sees the box at the cash register. It’s all getting clearer now, isn’t it? There’s an awkward mood between them. Urara is seemingly spacing out because she remembers Komi told her a way to a dense guy’s heart like Touma is to have sex. Mieko visits the economics department wanting to tell Touma something but Mashu pops up instead. He says Touma didn’t turn up so he teases her that she and Touma ran off together during the party. She replies their relationship isn’t as what he thinks as they’re only friends. She says Mashu may be the dream guy of every girl but Touma is different. She thought she wouldn’t have to worry about such rumours with him. Mashu jokes that she’s pretty calculative. He admits he was just a little jealous of Touma and since Mieko didn’t dismiss that Mashu still had a chance to go out with her, he decides to start off with a group date and invite Touma too. Urara asks Touma’s opinion about exam students falling in love. He thought if it could encourage each other towards their goals, that would be ideal. Urara wants to believe her life isn’t a mistake even though there will be tough times ahead. She adds that when she thinks about him, she can hear the most beautiful love song in the world. She rushes back ahead of him to prepare.

Back home, Touma and Urara are playing strip rock-scissors-paper and though Urara is down to her undies, Touma is confident tonight is the night he’ll become a man. Ever since, he’s on a losing streak and one more loss he’ll be stark naked! Then he starts thinking back on what she said earlier and feels guilty for trying to take advantage of her kindness. He doesn’t want to play anymore despite Urara wanting to continue. The phone interrupted them and it’s Komi calling to ask if she has already done it with him. The sooner the better because once it’s done, he’ll be her love slave. So if she does it on indecisive guys like him, they’ll not look at any other women. At least that’s what her sister told her. Komi is telling her out of concern as her best friend since she knows Urara wants him to forget about that Keiou woman he’s with. Touma is in his room and further sinks into guiltiness of trying to take advantage of Urara no matter how a loose girl she is. She’s still his uncle’s daughter. But then he thought as long as he has Mieko, he’d be a jerk or scumbag. So where does that leave Urara? She has nothing to do with him? She is upset he plans to use the condoms with someone who has nothing to do with him. Even if that was just his daydreaming, it’s enough to hurt him. Seeing how depressed Touma is, Urara comes into his room and intentionally lose the game to strip off her bra. However this awakens the beast in Touma so he pins her down and tries to rape her! Once Urara realizes he is going to use her as a stepping stone and had no feelings for her at all, she struggles her way out and returns to her room. She feels sad that this is how things are while Touma could only reflect on his shameful actions.

Episode 6
Morning comes and Touma remembers what he had almost done to Urara last night. Yeah, blame it on the booze now, eh? Why now only remember what your mother said about steering clear of alcohol? He tries to act cool and friendly with Urara but clearly that girl is in no mood. To show that she’s still mad, there’s no breakfast for him. So what if he starves to death? Then he starves to death. Urara tells him off after what he did to her last night, he’s got the guts to tell her he’s hungry. Such an insensitive jerk! She throws his shirt at his face and runs off. But that shirt she ripped during the struggle, she sewed it back already. And maybe Urara’s just pretending to be mad just to make that jerk do some soul searching. Touma sees his counsellor who isn’t confident in him wanting to get into Keiou considering the grades he has now. Does he have anything in particular that he wants to choose this university? Well, we all know, don’t we? But Touma’s blaming his cold that he failed the exam. And the others too. It’s not that the counsellor has anything against him being ambitious but he has to be realistic too. He needs to be honest with himself from now on. Well, he’s been on a lying spree, hasn’t he? Komi confronts Urara and demands her to spill everything. She is upset that she is depressed and refuses to tell her anything, though she knows this has something to do with Touma. Komi wants to know what happened 6 years ago so Urara starts her flashback. Her dad was always on overseas business trips and thus she always looked up to her mother. One day she returned from school and mommy wasn’t home. Her aunty told her she got into a car accident and unfortunately didn’t survive. At that point, Urara couldn’t care less if she was dead or alive. Till she met Touma and he brought her back to life. After the funeral, dad soon went abroad and Urara is taken under the care of her grandma and transferred school. One day some of her relatives thought she stayed indoors too much and brought her to Kamakura. This is where she first met Touma who taught her how to eat piping hot takoyaki. Then giving her a white pen to write whatever she wants on the wall of a statue, she drew a crying bunny (as she always see herself as one) while Touma drew a racoon next to it. He said whenever she feels lonely, she can always come back here and that he’ll always be protecting her. From that moment, Urara started getting better bit by bit. I guess 6 years is too long for him to remember, eh? Besides, no wonder he can’t remember her since she had flowing long hair then. So touching a story that Komi even cried…

Akimoto gives Touma something strong to drink to ease his woes. Then calling him up to the roof, he mentions about the annual tradition of a baseball tournament next week for all cram students to bond and whatsoever. Akimoto continues that everyone has failed to enter university and think they have to waste a year in cram school. He believes Touma is one of those people who think they don’t ever want to make friends at cram school. He doesn’t blame Touma as he was once like this too. He thought it was just a temporary situation and screwed up somewhere. But then it’s where you begin to see who you really are and your real place in the world. This tournament event helps you do that. You play baseball and get friendly with a bunch of people. So it’s either you spend your days like that or never connecting with yourself and just cramming. He is telling him this since he has met the counsellor. He doesn’t want Touma to take that guy serious because all he cares about is the school’s acceptance rate. It’s like a form of advertising. That’s why Akimoto is somewhat a thorn in his side. He hopes Touma will loosen and up and will eventually see who he really is. But seriously, they’re short on members on their team and wants Touma to take part. So all that nice speech was just for this? Well, it was a good talk nevertheless. Touma on his way home is being confronted with Komi. She labels him an insensitive jerk and speaks her mind that though she doesn’t know what happened between them, at this rate it won’t be fair to Urara. Touma thought she had told her best friend about last night and wonders if Urara sent her to talk on his behalf. She rubbishes his claims and that’s the reason why he doesn’t understand the innocence of a girl in love. In tears, she reminds him that the night he was supposed to take the exams, Urara went to his room to calm him down as a call girl. Even if he failed, she met him at the door practically naked to cheer him up.  And she did all these things even though she’s still a virgin! Wow. It must really hit Touma. Good thing that his eyes are now open and though still confused, at least he is beginning to understand what Urara means to him.

Episode 7
Urara sniffs Touma and glad he isn’t covered with alcohol. Maybe she’ll be spared from his attack again. Oh. She’s still mad. Touma regrets attacking her as he realizes she isn’t some sleazy loose girl who sleeps around. He apologizes and admits he is at fault but Urara isn’t going to be bought over so easily. But I guess when he says he was thinking about her all day long (at least just to come up with what to say), she is happy with that and returns to her old self. Now to make things up, she suggests he bring her to an amusement park and ride the Ferris wheel. Oh, how romantic that’ll be. He has to set aside the entire day for her and warns him about thinking of that Keiou woman. If he does, there’s no telling what she’ll do. Scary. Somehow this reminds Touma that he needs to call her. Looks like he has got her real number. Mieko is glad to hear from him and has been searching for him since she is worried about that incident after the party. She thought he was skipping classes since she couldn’t find him. Oddly, she went to his economics department and still couldn’t find him. But she really wants to see him and talk to him face to face. Tomorrow after class it is. Touma is so happy that he’s back in the grove with her that he starts fantasizing about her. Note to himself: I bet he learnt a very important lesson not to fantasize in the middle of a public phone booth. What are the odds that somebody will see him in his embarrassing state? Touma compares his cram school schedule with Mieko’s but it seems Akimoto wants him to hang out with them for a karaoke party. He declines since he has other plans. Akimoto knows it’s a woman so he hints cram school students are better off sticking to this (insert masturbating hand gesture here).

Komi notices Urara her happy self again so she is glad that guy did listen to what she say. As Komi is still waiting patiently for that Keiou hunk to page her, Urara wants her to accompany her after school because she wants to introduce him to Touma. Komi is glad that Urara hasn’t suspect things yet and Touma will be surprised out of his pants to see her 2 days in a row. Touma rushes his way to Keiou and makes it in time to see Mieko. But Mashu’s there too. Long time no see. Heck, this is the first time they see each other in university. Mashu teases him that Mieko was worried that night that he may have scooted off with another girl. The point he wants to make is that Touma is hardly seen on campus. But now that their little group is reunited, he brings them out on a triangle date. So this is the group date he had in mind? Akimoto tells Urara and Komi that Touma had already left after afternoon classes. He gets this idea to invite them both to the karaoke party. I’m sure girls like them won’t want to miss this opportunity. The duo have their fun with the cram school guys at the karaoke joint. As Urara takes a break outside, she is surprised to see Touma in another room with Mieko and Mashu. Touma is singing with passion his enka rendition (to show off to you know who) when he gets the shock of his life. So shocked that he dropped his microphone. Yeah, he saw Urara staring outside the window. Oh sh*t! He is so screwed this time. Remember the warning? Yeah, that. Mashu thinks it’s his girlfriend but Touma is worried that Urara may bust in here to reveal in front of Mieko he’s not a student at Keiou. Oh Touma. You’re really screwed.

Episode 8
Komi wonders what Urara is doing, catches glimpse of that handsome hunk. Wow. She’s excited. They both go in. Situation getting worse for Touma. Komi gets friendly with Mashu who doesn’t remember her till she mentions about the card while Urara mentions aloud that word: Cram school. Urara sits next to Mieko. Things looking real bad. She thinks Mieko is Touma’s girlfriend but she dismisses it and that they met each other on exam day are students of Keiou. He’s a student of Keiou? Oh sh*t. He’s sweating in his pants. He’s even turning blue! There’re tears in Urara’s eyes. I guess Urara snapped because she’s saying out loud how she and Touma played that baseball game, slept together and know every curve and crevice of each other’s body. Nobody knows him better or will love him more than she does because she is… Gulp. She is… Oh sh*t is coming. She is… His sister. Urara says she is taking entrance exams next year the reason she is in cram school to repaper and was supposed to meet her ‘brother’ from Keiou. Urara leaves putting on a smile but the rest clearly know something is wrong. Komi is a good friend because no matter how guy hungry she is, she ditches this opportunity to be with Mashu to chase after her best friend. Touma also follows suit so Mieko calls it a day. I guess Mashu didn’t remember who Komi was at first because he received quite a number of cards from high school girls too. Komi goes after Urara but Touma wants to do the honours instead. When he catches up to her, he wonders about her sister act. She doesn’t know well herself. She wanted to tell them her real feelings but got panicked and confused. There were other things she wanted to say too but I guess she couldn’t. She collapses in his arms crying that it’s all right to be his sister anyway.

Next morning, Touma calls his mom about how he has never met uncle ever since he came to Tokyo. Urara snatches the phone away to assure her everything is fine. Later Urara mentions about their amusement park date and wants to ride the Ferris wheel at exactly 7pm. Touma isn’t sure he can make it seeing he has extra cram school classes. Is that the truth? Hope so. Urara teaches him how to use a pager and thought he wasn’t listening so she makes him repeat. Guess what? He remembers them all! You expect him to flop, don’t you? Well, not in this simple area. Then she continues explaining the plan. Once in the gondola, she wants him to forget everything except her. She must be the only thing reflected in them. Even if it’s a lie, she wants him to tell her that he loves her and then kiss. At cram school, Akimoto gives Touma a message from Mieko. Do they know each other? Well, Urara and Komi never returned so he went looking for them when he bumped into this vixen who asked if he knew Touma. Don’t worry, he didn’t reveal he is his cram school mate and just said he knew her. He also didn’t read the message but notes that he has got the guts to two-time in his first year of cram school. The message reads Mieko wanted to see him privately yesterday and since that didn’t turn out well, she hopes to meet him today at 5pm. Oh. It’s that perverted fantasizing face again. He thinks Mieko wants to continue where they left off at the love hotel. Dream on… Though he feels bad for Urara, Mieko takes priority as he sends a cancellation message to Urara’s pager. Then finally meeting Mieko, he puts on a cool act. But the dark stormy clouds would have given him a hint that something is about to go wrong. First, she asks if he has told anybody about the kiss and love hotel incident. He didn’t. Then she reveals she was in a bad mood and the alcohol at the party didn’t help and things got out of hand. Now she drops the bomb. She’s in a long distance relationship with a third year at Keiou. However he is studying abroad at Paris. She felt lonely and imposed herself on him. She apologizes and was worried that he may have misunderstood her. That’s why she wanted to talk to him as soon as possible. She hopes for him to forget that ever happened. Goodbye. This not happening, right? Well, it doesn’t look like a lie. And Urara is happily making her way to the Ferris wheel.

Episode 9
Urara is looking forward to the plan even though it is starting to rain. Touma is sitting dejectedly in the rain. I don’t think it will wash away his misery. He thinks back how he tried to take the shock cool and didn’t mind about it so Mieko said goodbye and left. Well, it still ended with a lie, eh? Urara is in the Ferris wheel but Touma never showed up on the promised time. Instead he is back home thinking Urara is mad at him. After looking at the time on the video recorder, he realizes he screwed up the dialling order to the pager. Urara must still be at the Ferris wheel so once more he runs all the way there. Well, it’s already past 10pm and she may have already gone home. However she’s still there but more surprisingly, she’s waving happily at him. So why did she wait? Her thoughts were filled with him so according to her, time stopped. Hah. But she notices something wrong with him. Like something happened. She thought they were both tired and partially breaks down. Though she thought of going back at one point, deep in her heart she believed he would come. And here he is. But the other half of her heart was worried that he wouldn’t turn up. Touma realizes the importance of Urara to him. He confesses he loves her and kisses her. Urara assures that whatever happens from now on, she’ll protect him. If you thought that was the end of Mieko, apparently it isn’t. She’s spacing out back in her mansion and Touma’s face only clouds her vision. Aha. She gets a call from her boyfriend in Paris, Tashirou Kiyomichi. They have a little chat but since as he praises her a studious and good person she is. But Mieko felt guilty and denies that she is one.

Touma’s number fails to appear on the entrance exam result again! Thank God that is just his dream. But does he have to yell and scream like that right in the middle of his cram class? Embarrassing indeed. Komi finds out about Urara’s first kiss with Touma and teases her about it. She really wants to know the details. But Urara is more concern about Touma’s depression which is still evident this morning. Touma tries to focus on studying hard when he realizes it may be meaningless since he was trying to get into Keiou just to go out with Mieko. Now that dream is dashed. He accepts he is one not for fairytale or dramatic moments and contemplates to live the boring loser life and accepts who he is. Urara comes in to give him tickets to the hotspring. However this won’t do any good since he grows up in a hotspring inn. Touma realizes Urara was trying to cheer him up and that he made her worry again. So without mentioning any names of any parties involved, he reveals he was rejected (exact time and number of past rejections included). He beats himself up that he’s just a plaything for that girl and a mere sewer rat. He intends to think of nothing but studying from now on. Urara is so touched by his story that she cried for that loser. He suggests giving her hotspring idea a chance. As Touma soaks in the bathtub, Urara comes in hoping she could scrub his back.

Episode 10
Touma is worried uncle may just come in anytime but Urara assures he is on another business trip. So he’s not going to see his face ever. Then he gets distracted seeing Urara’s prized assets. What a way to forget your troubles. Komi calls while the duo are in the bathroom and thinks Urara is out. She is glad Urara is with someone she loves unlike her. She hopes Mashu could quickly call her. Fat chance the way I see it. Since Urara mentions about how he fell in love with Mieko, he doesn’t feel embarrassed to reveal everything. Telling from the time he first met her at the entrance exam, I think he is praising her too much while condemning himself that he is living in his own fantasy. I guess that’s true too. Well it’s like country bumpkin boy meets uptown girl but didn’t happen the way he hoped to be. Urara tries cheering him up with several philosophies but it doesn’t help. When a guy has been rejected, a million words won’t heal his heart. He isn’t trying to blame Urara but words are just words. Then his perverted fantasies took over and boldly asks if she could use her breasts to scrub his back since she is seemingly ‘offering’ herself. To his surprise, she actually did that without hesitation! Feeling better? All hail the power of boobs! Touma wakes up from a dream that he finally passes Keiou’s entrance exam. Too bad it’s just a dream. How cruel can reality be? And it’s only May. I guess Touma is desperate enough to try some superstitious good luck charms like putting his finger in his forehead while chanting some cramming incantation to even pulling out a strand of his pubic hair! He thought of giving it to Urara but she freaks out at his perverted idea. He explains this superstition is somewhat popular among couples taking entrance exams. They will both exchange a strand of hair and carry it in their commuter pass. Urara thinks by doing this, Touma acknowledges her as his girlfriend. Since he denies, I guess she’s not interested in following through this. She retires to her room but Touma continues to bug her he needs all the luck he can get.

Mieko is on campus and thinking back on Kiyomichi’s words. Mashu finds her and can tell she’s in a terrible mood because she’s scoffing his cheesy lines how he followed the gazes of every guy just to find her. He can tell something happened between her and Touma but she asserts nothing is going on between them. Something is definitely wrong. Mashu’s friend Choro teases him that even a hot guy like him gets rejected so he punches him and warns never to piss him off on campus. Scary. Urara skips school today just so she can pull out her pubic hair! I know, it’s not an easy decision to make what more not easy to get it done with. Touma tries writing Mieko’s name on his mock exam paper as the superstition states they’re supposed to write the name of a smarter person, then rub it off and put your own name. He’s that desperate, huh? During break, Akimoto hands Touma a bento Urara made for him. He thought she should’ve handed it personally but she seemed restless. Akimoto notices the feast the bento she made for him. The kind of food that every examinee would eat for good luck. Akimoto has just got an everyday hamburger and could even quip he’s going to get all round and fat. Haha. He’s been a ronin for too long I guess. Touma notices a paper inside the bento and to his surprise opens it to see Urara’s strand of pubic hair! To prevent Akimoto from finding out, he feigns he is not well and it’s medication. But Akimoto hands him a bunch of pills since he is the son of a pharmacist. Oh sh*t! As Touma resumes his mock exam, he sees Urara outside the window with a place card to do his best. From then on, they both kept each other’s hair in their commuter passes. For good luck charm of course.

Episode 11
Could this finally be it? Touma’s number is actually up on the result board?! Yahoo! Wait a second… Urara points out that is HER number and Touma didn’t make it. It’s another year of cram school. ARGH! Thank goodness that’s just a dream but having such bad dream isn’t a good sign, right? Furthermore, his grades from the mock exams are the worst in his life. He is probably having a crisis of can’t focusing on his studies when Urara comes in wearing a sexy bikini to cheer the pervert up. Touma is in no mood and kicks her out and reminds her she too is taking the exams next year. Touma is further worried of his cram school status and may die along the way. I don’t know how he could even think up of a news report that a stupid cram school student got hit by a truck. Even the reporter is insulting him. That bad, huh? Mashu uses Choro to get the teacher’s attendance book and the latter reports that Touma’s name is never in it. The teacher doesn’t even know who that person is. Mashu’s suspicions are confirmed on why he never sees him around. Then Mieko pops up and he reveals about what he has found. She couldn’t believe it but he asks her have they had classes together? None right? Urara is out with Komi and the latter is still anxiously waiting for her Mashu guy to page her. Maybe she’s getting fed up of Urara spewing Touma-this Touma-that.

Touma and Akimoto leave cram school so the latter reminds him he is still in their baseball team. He scoots off to the office for a while when Touma meets Erika Inamura and her boyfriend Ken. She is supposed to be his first love but got rejected and his love letters were posted all over the board as a prank. They ask which university he is going to but he is hesitating to answer and asks them back. Though reluctant, they say they are attending the third rate Teito University but it’s better than cram school. Ken shoots his mouth off about cram school being pathetic depressing. Then they realize they’re in the middle of the cram school area and all those cram school students are staring at them. Oops. Going back to the first question of where Touma is studying now, they are confident he is in Tokyo University or Keiou since his grades were good. Inamura could even joke if he really goes to such good university, maybe she would really become his girlfriend! Hey, hey. Don’t say that when your boyfriend has always been a jealous jerk. It’s a good thing he didn’t lie as he points out he goes to this cram school. And with Akimoto rejoining him, it is all the more confirmed that he really goes to this school. Touma leaves with Akimoto leaving Inamura and Ken pretty much shocked. Urara has witnessed everything and felt so sad that she cried in silence. Inamura and Ken leave but the jerk ass continues to badmouth cram school. They see Urara before them. She warns him about badmouthing others since Tokyo is a small place. Then she punches him! You deserve that!

As punishment for ignoring her swimsuit this morning, Urara forces Touma to put his hands on her breast. Praising her sexy and cute won’t help now. On second thought, maybe the groping isn’t so bad. Then he feels a letter hidden underneath it. It’s a love letter from Urara confessing he has always been her first love. Because of this, his mind is now clouded with (perverted) thoughts of Urara that he can’t concentrate studying. He tries hard to control his wild lust just to focus on studying. Probably he tried too hard that it’s wearing him out. Yeah, not enough sleep. Urara gets close to him to check and see if there’s anything wrong but I guess she was too close so Touma has to control his pervertness again. Mieko thinks back on Mashu’s words of Touma’s non-existence in the attendance book. But she thinks it can’t be because she already said goodbye to him. Touma picks up a call of a stranger. Turns out to be Urara’s dad. He is glad he could finally talk to him. However uncle wants to know what he is doing in his home. Eh? He heard from Urara he was going to cram school and his own apartment already. I guess he never would have thought Urara would lie to him because he learns his uncle works in Italy and lives apart from Urara. Maybe his premonition for once may be coming true because he had this feeling that he won’t be staying here any longer.

Episode 12
Touma further learns his uncle has been living in Italy way before he came to Tokyo and won’t be coming home so soon. Uncle thinks Touma is here to check up on Urara from time to time as he is worried some worthless guy would try to mess with her. Well, Touma almost did. He realizes Urara lied despite knowing well they’ll be living together. For both their sakes, he can’t continue to live here. Komi listens yet to another Urara’s Touma-this Touma that. She’ll go whatever college Touma goes and thinks it’s a sign of God that He made Touma study another year so they can go to the same campus and receive the same education together. Touma is so down that he isn’t concentrating on his baseball match. He talks to Akimoto about moving out to a place of his own. Akimoto thinks if he’s living with a relative he shouldn’t as it will be harder living by himself. On the contrary, Touma thinks the reverse is better since he will concentrate better. Akimoto doesn’t understand till he reveals Urara as his cousin as has been staying with her together. He advises that he needs to establish who he is first before starting to think about loving someone else. He’s such a great guy not only giving advice but he hit a homerun too! Mashu’s friends are partying at his place. Mashu sees Mieko by her own and talks to her. She notices he didn’t ask about Touma this time and notes he is prideful just like her. They admit it’s all to them. Mashu then lets her see all his trivial prides. Looks amazing all his achievements and trophies as a child prodigy but Mashu he says that is only worth as much as his parents think he is. A child’s pride is formed by his parents’ pride in him. Though he has always been rebelling against it, in the end he can’t throw away the pride his parents gave him and still relied on them. Mashu then reveals Touma was never a student of Keiou and he did what he did just to get close to her. She thinks Mashu is a kind person since he that’s why he couldn’t talk about him till now. He notes that he could’ve easily expose his rival’s weakness and turn her attention to her but it won’t make him feel any better. Mieko adds Touma is a strange person. As everyone wants to hide his fears and failures but Touma showed them from the beginning (did he? It’s not like she never noticed, right?). She continues they are like birds of the same feathers probably why they’re attracted to Touma because he lives life to the fullest without worrying about pride.

Touma confronts Urara about her lie. So now everything is out, she says she didn’t mean to trick him but if she told him her dad wasn’t around, he would have tried to get a place of his own. Of course. He will exactly do just that. Because if he had done that, then he wouldn’t have had to face all these problems. He is going to move out and thanks her for taking care of him. Urara is shocked and doesn’t want him to leave. She promises she won’t get in the way of his studies and that things can be like before. Touma has made up his mind. At least this time he uses the right head to think as he has came to realize she means a lot to him as a woman and is way different from the day they first met. He apologizes it’s his fault for being immature in the first place. Oh, the heartbreak. Mieko leaves a message on Kiyomichi’s phone. After meeting a certain someone, it made her aware of how she has been following the path her parents laid out for her. She hopes he won’t misunderstand her that this person isn’t somewhat special to her, just an ordinary person you can find anywhere. But he lives life to the fullest and feeling his way around wondering if what he has done is right. He may have made mistakes, suffered setbacks or unable to find answers but he fights to follow his own path with his own hands. She could never compare to the way he gives it his all. She apologizes she cannot be his fiancée like this. Touma is now living with Akimoto and Komi realizes the dark circles under Urara’s eyes. Sure, she may be studying for her exams and it could be that she misses Touma. Yeah, he probably moved out since he couldn’t concentrate if there’s a cute girl like her around. Komi thinks she knows her friend well enough and will recover fast but this time it may not be the case. Urara still believes she and Touma are connected by an invisible thread. Oh well, she is still able to put up her usual smile. We see Touma concentrating on his studies, Akimoto may be a hopeless case and a repeat again next year, Mashu and Mieko living out the life they want and Urara visits Kamakura and the drawing of the bunny and racoon inside a heart shape is still on the wall. Well, Touma did tell her to come back here when she’s feeling lonely and will always be by her side protecting her, right? So Urara and Touma running along the beach is just her imagination?

Sakura Blues…
Wait a minute! Wait a second!!! WTF?! I can’t believe it ended just like that?! What the hell is this unsatisfying ending!!! No way man! I won’t accept this kind of ending. Oh well, what to do. What’s done is already done. I won’t say that this is a bad ending but I would term it as a weak one. So what exactly happened here in the end? Life pretty much goes on. So? SO?! Touma and Urara in the end couldn’t live together and while that may not be an entirely bad thing, it is not what we viewers have hoped to see. I know that most viewers would have preferred them to stay together (like yours truly) and it is only baffling that Touma had wanted to move out after discovering that they have been living together alone all the time. So what you may ask? I guess from my time and point in view it won’t amount to anything much but remember, this OVA was produced in 1997 so I suppose there are some taboo stuffs which a lot of older people would have made a big deal then. A young boy and girl living together and they are cousins. What are the chances of ‘that’ happening? What are the chances of that 6-letter word beginning with “I” happening? Maybe. So if you really ask me, a young male and female related by blood cohabitating with each other? Big deal. It’s not uncommon these days.

So for Touma I guess moving out was a good decision after all. He came to Tokyo to study and he got distracted by falling in love. Touma is a classic example of what we call a character failure. He isn’t perfect to begin with and just like other boys his age, is normal to react to pervy stuff. Eventually he realizes through his mistakes that he is not cut out to lead a double life juggling 2 women in his hands. Yeah. I guess all of us men would equally face the same issue too. Haha! At least he learns from them and makes a tough stand and decides what is best for himself and others. If women will be a big distraction for his studies, it’s better late than never that he moves out on his own. So people, remember the good old lesson of lying to others. As Touma found out the hard way, he has to stop living his in his fantasy, get down from his high horse and get real. Painful but facing reality is much better and he has a more realistic chance to achieve what he can. Urara may promise this and that and even allow some naughty bits through but as long as Touma is a guy, you can’t be too careful. It just might go out of control like that near-rape case. Urara on the other hand is a cheerful and lively girl and that gloom doesn’t stick around her too often. It’s nice to have this kind of cousin around, eh? But her love for Touma is so great to the point that she is willing to lie and prevent his secret from being exposed despite his heart was still with Mieko. It’s natural to like someone who has been good or done something good to you. So it might be a little problem if that person you love is somewhat related to you. Ever heard of father-daughter love cases? She may still hold that promise close and dear to her heart but I don’t think Touma is even close in remembering it. That’s the difference between guys and girls :). So now that they are apart and not even close to being a couple, do they still keep each other’s hair? Well, just for good luck charm for exam purposes and nothing more. As for Komi, as Urara’s best friend, she is always looking out for her. It’s just too bad she can’t get a boyfriend of her own. Still hoping for Mashu to call? Well, maybe she shouldn’t set her hopes too high up as there are ‘many other fish in the sea’.

After Mieko’s confession, I felt that her appearance as well as Mashu’s is somewhat redundant. I mean, after that turning point, Touma doesn’t actually see them anymore so I was thinking what is the point of it to show them if they’re not going to have anything more to do in Touma’s life? Maybe there will be some twist in the end I thought. Heck no. Nothing happens. Perhaps it is just something to show us that they have come to realize something ever since Touma briefly entered their lives. Which brings us to the other lesson of this series other than lying to impress others. It’s about staying true to your own self and charting your own path in life. Touma’s lies aside, Mieko and Mashu realized that what they have been doing all the while was not something they really enjoyed and went ahead with it simply because of their parents’ influence. Now I’m not saying that Touma’s lying was a good thing or something we should follow because he gave a false impression to others but if you look it from a different perspective, Touma didn’t care about university pride or whatsoever. All he wanted was to be with the woman he love and will do anything to be close to her. Even if it means lying to impress. Him lying may just be a wrong method and approach but can you see that he really wanted to be with Mieko? In this sense, he was ‘true’ to himself (oh, the irony). So that’s why Mieko and Mashu came to realize instead of setting out to do what has been laid out by others, it is important what they want to do themselves. Mieko and Mashu aren’t as perfect as what others view of them. They are good people (even if Mieko denies it) who have realized and learn their own valuable lessons as well. Even if Touma was never around and lied, notice they didn’t get mad or upset. Maybe Mieko felt guilty she had just told a bigger lie to Touma when she hid the fact she was already having long distance relationship. That’s why I thought it was fair game when most of the characters here had something to hide and lie about. Touma about his university status and Urara about her father living abroad.

It’s too bad and too late that Touma never could really tell Mieko the truth but even if he did so once, remember Mieko brushed it off aside? With the open ending, maybe it is not possible after all that Touma may get to be Mieko’s boyfriend seeing she has turned down her fiancée via telephone. I thought it should be better said face to face but how can you do that when your beau is half way around the world. But that’s another story. And I thought there would be a love triangle forming between Mashu and Touma over Mieko but it ended so soon that nothing began. Same thing when I thought there’d be one when Urara and Mieko met each other (which is the only time they did at the karaoke bar) but with the ending rapidly approaching, my fears that nothing of that would amount came true. So you could say that this series ends with unrequited love for everybody, eh? Touma didn’t get Mieko. Mashu didn’t get Mieko (as well as her fiancée and any other potential university guys). Urara didn’t get Touma. Komi didn’t get Mashu. Bummer. Nobody wins in the love department here. The coolest dude in this series has got to be Akimoto. You have to agree on me on this. It may not be his destiny to get past his cram school status but after 3 years, he is somewhat like a veteran and knows his way around. That’s why his advices to Touma are like gold. Sometimes the things he says and the things he does, it makes you want to LOL (laugh out loud). I agree eating too much hamburgers can make you round and fat. Haha! Just love that line. So theoretically if I eat too many vegetables, I’ll be green and go mooing like a cow? Cram school indeed has gotten to his head. Overall he is a nice guy and doesn’t want Touma to become like him. A serial failure. Ah well, that’s what friends are for. Maybe he’s staring down at another year, huh?

The drawing and art are old school anime but I guess it isn’t as bad as those old animes in the 80’s or 90’s like Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, Marmalade Boy, Kimagure Orange Road or Maison Ikkoku whereby there is this one typical look for handsome guys, ordinary guys, petty girls, normal guys and other unimportant extra characters. Perhaps it is that evolutionary point in time whereby the drawings of animes evolve as you see as it is now today. I just want to point out a trivial note on this. There is one scene whereby Komi was sketching a profile of Mashu in her notebook. At first it didn’t occur to me that this sketch was Mashu himself as I was thinking who or rather why is she sketching the mug of an elderly English woman!!! Oh sh*t! Is that what I saw? Well, I guess this says about the drawing and art of this OVA at that point in time. Or it could be just my eyes. For the fanservice part, there are a few scenes but I won’t go as far as to say that this show is filled with them. Okay I admit. I have watched too many current ecchi animes so much so that it would put a shame to this one for labelling itself as an ecchi genre. At that time, having a handful panty shot scenes and tantalizing ones are considered bold, what more there are some scenes that shows the top nudity of the females. Later by accident, I found out that the author of this series is supposedly a master in writing hentai mangas, U-Jin. I have not read or even seen his other works but if you want to compare hentai works, then this OVA is relatively toned down a lot. No sex scenes. Even if this series was released as an OVA, perhaps it doesn’t mean you can put lewd scenes into it. Besides, it’s not classified as hentai in the first place. Both the opening and ending theme are sung by Takako Kuwata and they both feel like country blues. The opening theme Kimi No Mado Kara sounds like a slow and calming piece but the ending song, Love Rides On The Wind is more buoyant and obviously resembles more to the country tune.

So always stay true to yourself no matter how bad a loser you are because you’ll stand to lose more once you lose control when the lies turn from a molehill into a mountain. You won’t be able to sweep it under the carpet anymore because there is no carpet! Maybe occasional white lies are acceptable however you can fool some people sometime but you can’t fool everybody every time. After all, everybody has got a little secret or two to hide that they don’t want others to know. Nobody’s perfect anyway. With that, I would like to proudly announce that I am an anime otaku but not a NEET (who doesn’t know it already?). May not have got into a prestigious university and holding a decent job. So any girls out there want to be my girlfriend? Or would it be another dry year better for me to be sticking to this (imagine hand movements at lower body anatomy).

Shinryaku!! Ika Musume OVA

October 5, 2012

All hail Ika-chan!!! Long live Ika-chan!!! Don’t get the wrong idea. It is not that our beloved squid girl has successfully invaded mankind. It is that we are more than happy to know that the series has come up with an OVA. Yes. More squid antics, more squid abuse, oops. If you can’t get enough of the second season (like yours truly), then you’ll be glad to know that Shinryaku!! Ika Musume OVA is just the right tonic for you to get over the second season that ended at the end of 2011. Wow Ika. We love you for bringing back the nostalgia. We love you for the failures of invading mankind but in exchange you never failed to make us laugh at your gullible and silliness. This OVA is like an extension of the TV series. Don’t expect any advance in the plot. Just watch it just like any other episodes in the TV series. Short and independent segments that are unrelated to each other. Get ready to invade Ika!

Part A: Won’t You Break It?
The scientist trio are playing video games to kill time. Is this what geniuses do when they are bored? Anyway the handheld game they played easily broke into pieces when it slipped off their hands. Being the genius they are, they are going to create a new version. But guess why they decide to let Eiko test their new game? You see, before they give it to her, they ‘demonstrate’ by whacking and pummelling the handheld. The handheld is still in one piece without a scratch. Why did that? As we know, Eiko’s brute strength is only second to Chizuru. Now do you get it? But Eiko won’t be playing alone as Ika is given another handheld so they can play co-op together. However the girls find it hard to even start the game because the buttons are, well, really hard to press! So much so their fingers are bleeding! Now that’s really hard stuff! So once the game starts (a parody of Mario Brothers), their characters get easily killed off! Too weak! Eiko is not amused and throws the handheld away. Guess what? The wall breaks but the handheld is still intact! OMG! With Chizuru warning her, I guess she better be careful next time, eh? Playing the next game which is an RPG, guess what class Ika chose her character. Yeah. So predictable. Invader. By the way, I saw other ‘classes’ such as space alien and NEET. WTF. In this RPG world, despite having lame moves, and the Punyo looking cute and weak, it really packs a powerful blast! Eiko just easily died. It is even crafty enough to ask for money if you want it to be on your side. So Eiko and Ika play the entire game fighting through hordes of creatures, cute and ferocious till they have sore thumbs. But when they reach the final boss, the game suddenly cuts them off and says this is only a trial version. Yeah. You have to buy the full game. Now totally pissed off, they throw the game away into the sea. Realizing the bruises all over their hands, they decide to ‘heal’ it with good ol’ home console game. Unfortunately with all that strong pounding and pressing, they exert too much strength and break the console and game pads! Too strong fingers they have now!

Part B: Isn’t It Normal?
Ayumi is working part time at Lemon again and Eiko notices her talking more. However Ayumi is somewhat nervous talking to Eiko. Is it the way she talks? Is it just her? Ayumi admits that she is able to deal with Chizuru and Ika fine because they are not human. This doesn’t sit well with Chizuru. This statement is bothering her so much to the point she even notices Cindy and the scientist trio continuing their observation over her. She can’t believe she is considered a super human. I guess one won’t realize it herself, eh? Then Chizuru cooks so fast and earns Ayumi’s praise. So fast as though she is super human. Oh. It’s that word again. She starts thinking what the normal cooking speed is for humans and has Ika cook fried rice as comparison. I don’t know but it seems slow and normal to me but Chizuru notes there is no different. Besides, Ika isn’t human in the first place. So Chizuru starts cooking slowly. Like normal people. Eiko realizes it isn’t like her. Like as though she’s a normal person. That’s it! Thus Chizuru continues to do things slowly like ordinary folks would. Everyone can tell she’s not herself today. Even the scientists are appalled at 67% decline in her performance. Chizuru is warned about the banana peel she is about to step. Though she can easily avoid it with her reflexes, in that split second she makes this calculations on what a normal person would do. She thinks up a scenario that if she evades it like a pro, the rest will be awed and call her a super human. Thus she must step on it. Conjuring another scenario if she steps on it but do a somersault to regain her footing, it would also result in the gang to compliment her super human awesomeness. Thus she must step and fall down. However in the process, she calculates the damages she will do when she takes the tumble. But for the sake of normalcy, she slips and falls over, crashing into just about everything. Though she is fine, Eiko notes that a normal person would’ve died from that kind of dangerous fall! Must she fall that hard to be normal?! So they confront her about her weird act today and she explains (in dramatic tears) that everyone has been treating her like a monster. She’s just a shy and naive normal girl who is just a little bit too powerful. Yeah, define a little bit. Ika will treat her like a little girl if she promises not to scold her anymore. She agrees. But Eiko cautions her this will make Ika do as she pleases and step all over her. That’s right. It’s just what Ika wants because she thinks this is her first big step towards invasion of mankind. Suddenly Sanae shows up wanting to take pictures of Ika. Ika tries to stop her with her tentacles but Sanae is just too good evading each strike and at the same time being able to snap shots with that delusional smile. Chizuru calms down and realizes she is pretty normal compared to Sanae. Ah well, everything is back to normal.

Part C: Won’t You Hide?
The siblings wonder where Ika is since she didn’t show up at the table for breakfast. Actually she is purposely hiding and plans to make them worry and watch them get anxious about her disappearance. She must be imagining how glad they will be to see her at the end of the day. But Ika’s growling stomach nearly gave her away. Even if she tried to make a sound of a dog, Eiko goes to investigate (a dog inside the house?) and manages to get away without being seen. After breakfast, Ika watches Chizuru clean up and notices her breakfast portion. Once she’s gone, she’ll go eat it. Chizuru is about to put it in the fridge when Ika witnesses something horrifying. Chizuru is steal-eating her sausage! She’s disheartened and makes a wish she’ll grow fat. She thought Chizuru sensed her so she rewords her wish as a joke. After Chizuru leaves, Ika goes to take her breakfast but is spotted by Takeru. She tells she is playing hide and seek and if she isn’t spotted today, she wins. Takeru is excited and wants to play too so they go hide at different places to reduce the chances of being spotted. Ika sees Eiko brushing her teeth. Though happy she hasn’t notice her yet, Ika is unhappy Eiko is only concerned for Takeru. Even if she mentioned Ika, it was just a hope she won’t skip work. So mean. The sisters go out as Ika waits the entire day. Then when they come back, they realize Ika and Takeru still aren’t back. Could this mean they’re worried? But Eiko says screw Ika because she is more worried about Takeru and they decide to go find him. However they see their shoes outside so Chizuru knows they’re hiding somewhere in the house. Ika felt a bit worried because they sounded serious. The sisters make dinner and are sure the missing people will turn up for dinner. Chizuru starts counting down. For what? Ika starts wondering the meaning of this and panics what would happen if it reaches zero. I guess the fear is unimaginable and by the time Chizuru reaches one, Ika and Takeru in a panic rush out from their hiding. Seems Chizuru was counting down for the roast chicken in the oven as it won’t be good if it becomes cold. Haha. You lost, Ika.

Mankind: 3, Ika: 0
One again mankind has been saved yet another day from the squid invasion. And we didn’t have to even lift a finger for anything. Heck, Ika didn’t even do anything! There is no mention of Ika’s invasion in the OVA (except for that little end in the Chizuru-wants-to-be-a-normal-girl arc), so it’s safe to say invasion is on the least priority on her mind. That’s good, right? Ah well, just like that, the OVA had come and go. Maybe there is hope for more OVAs or even a third season in the future. I bet that will be very worthwhile. Like I said, this OVA is pretty random like the series and since I loved the series, I find the usual same ol’ antics to be wonderful and funny. So my only comment is that Chizuru despite being not a normal human, still yearns to be one and this shows that she is after all human, right? Though it is not outright, we all know that Chizuru is the strongest, most mysterious and dangerous among the bunch of characters in this series. Is it the way she looks and sounds in times of ‘danger’? Maybe. And as for why nobody was bothered about ‘disappearance’, I guess everyone has been living long enough with Ika to know that she’ll probably turn up somewhere, somehow and at some time. Heh, nobody cares for you. Except when you’re needed to work your tentacles off. Poor Ika…

This time for the opening theme, it is Let’s Shinryaku Time by ULTRA-PRISM. It sounds like a mix of anime pop and the kind of music that rallies you to go invade. As for the ending theme, it is the slow-moderate anime pop entitled Puzzle by Kanae Itou (voice of Sanae in this series). Unlike in the TV series whereby we see Ika standing or walking across the screen with a funny object related in that episode passing by, we have none of that here but just some chibi colour pencil-like sketches of mainly Ika and Eiko do a background of shrimps. Oh yeah. Ika’s favourite food. And who could forget her favourite trademark line of “~de geso”. So Ika, if you really get serious and start thinking about plans of your invasion, feel free to drop by anytime because I think we know better how it all will turn out in the end. Don’t worry. Just remember this saying. Failure is the mother of success. Your failure to invade has made this series a success for us. Haha! So won’t you try again, de geso…?