Koi To Senkyo To Chocolate

February 24, 2013

Last November we had two of the world’s greatest super powers having their election. A few weeks before that it was the Halloween season and we had lots of chocolates, sweets and candies to go about. So where’s the love? Haha! Maybe Valentine’s Day last week was it. I know I love chocolates and those sugary sweet stuffs so it was one of the main reasons why I wanted to take a look at Koi To Senkyo To Chocolate (Love, Election and Chocolate) and see how chocolates are related to elections. I assume that they’re both sweet because in elections you need to use sweet votes to convince and swing voters to your side, eh? Yeah, I know. Politics and election are like a dirty word and game that people like me don’t really obsess over with. Well, let’s just say that the politics in my country isn’t really that ‘appealing’ (from my personal point of view of course). I’m proud to say that I know nothing much happening in the local scene! Should I?

Anyway back to this anime. This series is based on the adult visual novel game of the same name. Takafuji High School is such a large institution that you can say that it can be a small governing nation of its own. With so many students, there are also bound to be many clubs. Big and small. Normal and for the weirdest interests. One of the many clubs is the Food Research Club and we have its members seemingly bumming around in the club room doing nothing but eating snacks. Yum! If only life was this sweet. Where else can you find a place to find a good snack to munch and at the same time enjoy the company of your friends who share the same interest? So what happens when there is a manifesto for the next election from a potential future student council president to scrap such useless clubs to cut budgets? You’re going to do everything you can to protect your safe haven, right? But what happens if there are no suitable candidates around? Why, go in and run in for president yourself! But for a newcomer and relative unknown, can you get all the support needed and overcome all odds to win? Of course this series isn’t just about election and its process but we see some drama and interaction between the characters as they go along. Whether it is country or just a school, the election process is never really clear cut and there are always backstage dealings and underhanded tactics. All just to assure victory.

Episode 1
Kana Ougibashi is taking photos of an illegal transaction and notices one of the involved is from the General Affairs department. Wondering if the Public Safety and General Affairs are in cahoots with such a large amount involved, unknown to her, somebody is also watching her. Maybe she wasn’t concentrating that she couldn’t hear the car coming from behind and ramming into her! The memory disc from her camera is then destroyed by the culprit. In the early morning, Chisato Sumiyoshi wakes up her lazy bum childhood friend Yuuki Oojima (for the umpteenth time, it’s Oojima, NOT Ooshima) from his bed. Maybe there’s a reason why he doesn’t want to get out. Let’s say she saw something horrible and he got slapped. They meet Mifuyu Kiba along the way and Yuuki prefers her kindness over Chisato’s violence. He confesses he likes her and wants to go out with her but she rejects him seeing that she already has someone else in her heart. What’s with this teenage love drama right in the middle of the street? The trio are part of Takafuji’s Food Club that includes Michiru Morishita, Kii Monzennaka, Ai Sarue, Nozomi “Non-chan” Edagawa and Oboro “Yume” Yumeshima. The club is filled with snacks! Yummy! Since Yume’s family works in a snack factory, it is a blessing for them to taste new products. All-you-can-eat snack haven if I should say. They’re here to test the new Yaoi Stick snack. It’s a snack, mind you. Yume is making it sound so pervy if Yuuki wants to eat his “Yaoi Stick”. Yuuki stops Chisato from eating because he notices the snack is laced with chocolates that she doesn’t like. Suddenly Hazuki barges in with shocking news. After calming down with a big glass of beer, the big news is that this club is going to be disbanded. Say what? We see Moheiji Tatsumi from the General Affairs is in a trial questioning the student council president, Yakumo Mouri about some Oosawa incident about some info leak that caused the upsurge of harassment towards financial aid students. Due to his failure to solve this case, he wants him to resign immediately. But Satsuki Shinonome as the finance commissioner comes in with objection and argues her case. She asks Moheiji who would be the next president should he resign. The vice president of course till the next election. She points out the difficulty for an inexperienced vice president to transfer duties to the next administration and the president’s resignation will be a loss for the school. She shows financial records from the General Affairs which are unaccounted so Moheiji panics and changes his stance.

Yuuki and Chisato hear from their friends from other clubs about the disbanding of the many ‘needless’ clubs if Satsuki is elected in the next election as part of her restructuring to reduce overall school expenditure . You could say the Food Club is part of the list since it uses lots of the budget to buy snacks without really achieving anything. So of course the members are against it and are worried if she wins. They get a surprise to learn Satsuki is Hazuki’s little sister. With their different personalities, I’m sure they couldn’t tell. Oh, the boobs. And their stubbornness. Since Oosawa from Public Safety lost her position from the scandal, their only other candidate to support is Moheiji. I don’t know why this guys is wearing a weird mask (or as Yuuki puts it, he might be the only one who is seeing things) but he is trying to win popularity and votes by giving everyone prepaid cards for the school store. Though sleazy, it’s not illegal nor amounting to bribery since the election isn’t called yet. A girl from the financial aid department, Isara Aomi accidentally bumps into Yuuki. She apologizes before rushing off to catch her bus. He picks up the key she dropped. Back at the club room, they further discuss they can’t vote this Moheiji guy since he uses underhanded tactics. Hazuki suggests if there are no candidates, why not run as one themselves. They don’t think they can win but she points out it’s either wait for the inevitable of the club’s closure or put their hopes on a slim chance. If you think about it, what have they got to lose? Besides Hazuki losing this favourite place of hers to drink. So everybody agrees to run for the election and gets excited. For their club’s future! Now the first task is to pick a candidate. I don’t think they even hesitate. Everybody is pointing at Yuuki. He’s the popular guy, right? Mouri sees Kana in coma at the hospital, wondering what to do since the election will soon begin.

Episode 2
I’m sure Yuuki has lots to disagree and that he is not cut out to run for president. Yeah. Why me? I guess it’s a way for the rest to dump workload on him. Besides, Chisato the Food Club president orders him to run. We see Yuuki dreaming that he attended somebody’s wedding with Chisato when he was young. They promise to invite her to their wedding when they grow up despite not knowing what love means. And so Yuuki wakes up having his hands over Chisato’s boobs. She’s not panicking. Is she expecting this? She was amused about him talking in his sleep so he’s going back to dream land. Why? Reality is too tough so he’ll settle to find nice girls in the dream world. Haha! Dream on! Like Chisato will allow that. But Yuuki drops the bombshell because he quits the Food Club! The Food Club members see Satsuki’s manifesto online and are disheartened their club is on the top list to be disbanded! It doesn’t get any worse when Chisato relays the bad news. Yume thought he could convince him to come back but his conversation sounded so gay. His body isn’t enough? Flirting was just for fun? The baby is inside his belly?! Click. Even Non-chan is dismayed that she’ll die without him around. That bad? Without Yuuki, she won’t get her favourite roll cake called Oojima Roll anymore! So that’s all that guy is worth to her. Yuuki is on his way to school when Matsuri Nanase bumps into him. She apologizes before rushing off in a hurry. This is followed by Ayumu Mitani then Mao Shigemori. His streak of bumping into pretty girls ends with Satsuki crashing her bicycle into him. They both politely apologize to each other, make friends and finally he makes it a point to pronounce his name correctly. Yuuki goes to hand over the dropped keys to the Lost and Found department but Isara just came out looking for it. She is grateful he found her house keys and needs to rush to her factory work. Yuuki remembers financial aid students are prohibited from joining clubs according to the school rules. Yuuki thought his destiny of bumping into more pretty girls is a sign his luck is changing for the better. Here comes another bump! Oh. It’s not a girl. It’s a couple of guys from the student council as they pin him down on the floor! They think he’s out to get Mouri. However Mouri tells them to free him since he doubts anyone will want to get him when his term in office is limited. From Satsuki’s manifesto, he can tell Yuuki is running for president to save his Food Club. Yuuki is still unsure to run and he thought Mouri was being unsympathetic towards his club’s disbandment. Actually he was referring to Yuuki’s participation in the election. If there are no suitable candidates, he should become one himself. Due to the scandal, the Public Safety (which Mouri is from) will refrain from entering a candidate this year, leaving only 2 candidates. So this is a good chance for him and will have his support. Is that an endorsement?

Non-chan comes up with some snack machine that will convince her to reconsider her decision to disband their club. Well, you get this feeling that things are about to go wrong. That emitting pink aura doesn’t look good. Later Yuuki chances upon Satsuki fixing her bicycle chain and helps her to fix it. She starts calling him Bowjima because of his tendency to bow. At least she got the ‘jima’ part correct, right? Yeah well, tell her his entire name is important too. He then asks why she wants to disband his club. She views that their activity is similar as of friends gathering and eating in a cafeteria. She doesn’t view that as a club activity much more as it qualifies as a club. Yuuki disagrees and mentions about thinking to join the election to fight that disbandment even though he knows they’re desperate. Satsuki throws him a question what does he call horses who win in a derby. No doubt the strongest horse would be a correct answer but she is looking at a more general answer: The horse that enters the derby. Why? Because horses who don’t definitely have no chance of winning. Same with the election and presidency. The probability of someone who doesn’t enter the race and not winning is 100%. She also likes people who put up a fight knowing well they can’t win. Yuuki now inspired returns to his Food Club and the rest are glad (with their twisted reasons) that he is back. Oh, they’re in the midst of cleaning the gooey mess caused by Non-chan’s machine explosion. He has decided to come back and enter the presidency race and fight for the Food Club’s survival. Now he is giving a speech worthy of a politician! But first he wants them to vote in an intra-club election for a person who has the highest chance of winning the presidential election. Yuuki continues his moving speech about how this club may seem useless, unproductive and laid back in the eyes of others but without this club, he won’t be able to meet them all. It is a fun and important place to him. Then he rants about support, leadership quality and courage. Guess everyone’s mind has made up, right? The results? Yuuki receives a landslide victory! Everybody voted for him except himself who voted for Chisato. He is shocked that everybody was supposed to vote for Chisato! How was I supposed to know too?! I mean, the way he was talking it was clearly showing that he wanted to run for president. Then near the end of the speech, he made indications hinting to Chisato but I guess that was too late. Yeah, everyone is convinced. So confident, he dug his own grave. Please humbly accept the results of the fair election! Well, back to square one, no? Yuuki and Chisato walk home and she buys a chocolate bar. They both take a bite.

Episode 3
Their club room becomes their campaign headquarters while Chisato will be the campaign president. I know they’re fired up for the campaign, but do they have a clue what to do next? So the amateurs brainstorming into getting past the primaries first with a good manifesto. This means they need 10% of the school’s vote which translates to about 600 votes. How are they going to do that? Don’t worry. Here comes Mouri to offer himself to help out. He is also Non-chan’s good friend and hopes they will allow the Public Safety to assist Yuuki in his campaign. The rest are wary because he can’t be doing it out of kindness (especially Yume who feels every inch of Yuuki’s body belongs to him!). Seems they don’t want to relinquish their position to either Finance or General Affairs. Despite they can run next year, he says an election is typically won by the party in power. Once a regime is handed over, it’s difficult to get it back. Thus if an independent like Yuuki is elected, everyone will be on the same level for next year. Buy why him instead of the other candidates? He sees a potential in him to pass the primary election. Mouri has researched that Satsuki’s popularity has dropped by 10% ever since her manifesto announced and this is from the clubs affected by them are now against her. So with the Food Club which would be disbanded instead of receiving budget cuts, they would appear as a reactionary candidate and quickly gain support. Mouri claims with this, they can bring in around 400 votes. Though the balance 200 votes are up to them to gather, Mouri reminds these 400 odd votes will be only possible if they cooperate together. Because of the scandal, Public Safety can’t lend any members but they can share the know-how regarding the election. You can say Mouri is a pro since he was a winner. The best person to ask. Yuuki may not be as demanding and defensive as Chisato because the latter notes that they are in the driving seat position and knows Mouri isn’t doing this out of the goodness from his heart and suspects he may be using Yuuki as a shadow puppet to govern. That’s why Mouri is also here to strike a limited contract till the primaries end. Chisato agrees so Mouri shakes hands with everyone in the Food Club as agreement that they’ll work together. Hazuki remains suspicious because she notes getting 400 votes is a piece of cake to the Public Safety and hopes he won’t use her students in his skirmishes.

Mouri starts his strategy by telling them to ditch their manifesto for the primaries because no one would look at them if the candidate is bubbly. They need to appeal the most significant policy in their campaign, which is to protect clubs. He wants Yuuki to visit clubs facing budget cuts and ask for their support and also bring a female along because this will soften the impact as most clubs are male majority. So the tsundere Chisato takes on the role to be with Yuuki since Ai and Kii feel it’s too troublesome to be with him all day. Mouri also needs someone to take signatures because those who take time to sign are less likely to betray them. Again Ai and Kii feel it’s too troublesome (are they really interested in helping?) but Mouri notes this is a job most effectively done by pretty girls. Right away Ai and Kii get up and volunteer to do the job. Wow. That’s a pro for you. He’s good in using people and making them move. Yuuki and Chisato go see presidents of other clubs, namely Mieru Ariake (BL club) and Reiji “Garage” Saga (figurines club) to form a committee that supports Yuuki from behind and it will consists of clubs targeted by Finance and they’ll be fighting against people that have the support of Finance and General Affairs. They are also required to form a committee with other clubs and though they can’t vote, they agree to do this under one condition. Later Hazuki meets up with Satsuki to ask if she is disbanding the Food Club to annoy her. Satsuki dismisses it and says she won’t allow her private life influence her public duty. We also learn they are half sisters since they are from different mothers. Satsuki vows to become student council president to surpass Hazuki as it’s a position that Hazuki couldn’t become. Hazuki thought she should just fire her since the teachers are hired by students. Though she gives that private and public excuse thingy, Hazuki gets on her nerve when she says she could do it privately. Later as Yuuki goes to buy a drink for Chisato, he happens to meet Satsuki. She has learnt of his candidacy and though it makes them rivals, they hope to have a good and fair fight. After she leaves, Chisato becomes jealous upon knowing that he is on friendly terms with Satsuki. Spill everything he knows about her right now! Explain yourself! That night Yuuki visits Hazuki’s home to cook for her (I guess this must be a frequent occurrence). She teases about him dating Chisato and if not herself. It is hinted that she has felt the softness of Yuuki’s lips and since she still wants him to come over and cook, she decides not to get into his bad books. Before he leaves, Hazuki hugs him in her bosoms.

Episode 4
Yuuki’s mug is now lined up with the rest of the candidates. Wow. So many of them. Does he really have a chance? Believe! Yes we can! He helps out Isara nearby who ran into a little trouble fixing the lights. Since it’s her day off from factory work, she is helping the school with maintenance. She is grateful for the financial aid system as it enables her to study here. Otherwise she would have to work and support her 2 little brothers. A couple of boys make a nasty comment on Isara. Yuuki wanted to go tell them off but she’s fine with it. Then she has Yuuki smell her to confirm whether she stinks or not. I guess he likes that whatever fragrant smell. Back at the campaign headquarters, the gang are now discussing about funds for the campaign. They don’t have money. It costs even to hand out a flyer. So with a low unit cost, they still need a large sum of money when appealing to the masses and may run up to ten of thousands of yen. They can’t use club funds as it’s strictly for club activities and if it is ever found out about its misuse, their victory can be null and void. And Satsuki is on the Finance so you better not fool around. As Mouri points out, they have 2 options. Either they go for self funding in which everyone needs to personally cough up 5000 yen each (everyone is so poor right now) or they can do a bazaar and raise funds for the campaign. Going for the latter, they need something appealing to sell. Non-chan suggests Oojima Roll and starts describing its tasty traits. I need to have one right now! But doing the calculation to get the funds needed, it seems Yuuki needs to make 50 of them, which is impossible because the best he could do in a day is 20 and that is even if he skips classes. Raising the price per roll slice would make it too expensive so how about freebies? It must not cost them or else it defeats the purpose. Mouri shows him his campaign goods that contain his face and name that leave an impression to help people remember his name. As long as they’re considered as campaign goods, they won’t amount to bribery. Even so, they need goods to be worth something or else people won’t even take them if they’re free. Michiru then suggests using Yaoi Stick. Great idea! Those snacks don’t cost them and Yume requests his dad to send in 3000 of them! Chisato sticks a plain label of Yuuki’s name and his cause on the snack but Mouri points out it is a good pamphlet as long it has the candidate’s name and key issues. Just to play it safe, Ai and Kii are tasked to show this to the election administration committee for approval. Chisato also asks Hazuki to lend them some money to start their campaign. Though teachers are forbidden to lend financial assistance, they’re not doing that and will pay her back after the primaries are over. So is 30,000 yen good enough?

So with some of the members with their own duties, I guess the balance have to put labels on the Yaoi Stick. 3000 Yaoi Sticks! I’m sure they don’t want to see a Yaoi Stick in their life after that. Don’t worry. Non-chan has a machine to help massage their aching shoulders. I don’t think that’s the problem. Yuuki returns from his errand from buying Oojima Roll ingredients when he sees Satsuki being confronted by a rowdy pair from the Air Sumo Club. What club again? They are not happy with their budget cut but she points out to them about their suspicious expenditures. For doing air sumo, do you think it’s suspicious that there are too many stews bought? Shouldn’t they try and perfect the art of having air stew instead? Can’t fight back, can’t they? Satsuki sees Yuuki and they walk back together. She reveals the more she investigates, the more irregularities in the club’s expenditure are discovered. He thought she is pretty strict on herself so she mentions about the school’s respect on students’ independence. Because of so, most of the administrative authorities rest upon the student body and the student council is practically in charge of governing a small nation called Takafuji. If they govern too leniently, the school will quickly collapse. Yuuki doesn’t think the school’s financial standing is severe that it requires such budget cuts but she tells him to properly read her manifesto since he may have focused too much on club disbanding and overlooked the rest. Yuuki returns to the club and browses through Satsuki’s manifesto online. He sees one of them including the abolishment of financial aid system and replacing it with scholarship. What does this mean? Well, we know Isara is getting into trouble with a group of bullies. She is too weak to fight back so she follows them to a secluded spot where she gets harassed and the likes. Yuuki leaves school with Chisato and Mifuyu when they see Isara rummaging through the garbage. They want to help her find whatever she’s looking for but she raises her voice and insists she’ll be fine alone. Something is clearly not right. Isara later gets back to her maintenance work at school late into the night as she thinks back the horrible thing the bullies did to her. Because they think she was trying to show off to some senior, they stripped her panties and threw it into the trash. B*tches.

Episode 5
Mifuyu writes Yuuki’s campaign speech. He is so grateful that he once again declares his love for her and to go out with him. Once again she rejects and says that she is in love with someone else. She even mentions Chisato really loves him but the tsundere denies and Yuuki agrees she is more of a slave driver working him to the bone. Hope he is prepared for what’s coming. Yuuki starts making his famous roll cake while Mifuyu continues to type the speech. Seems she is also typing a romance novel-like story of her and Yuuki. Mifuyu is grateful for Chisato and will do anything to help her. When she had to hold back a year and subsequently transferred to Takafuji due to a surgery, she felt out of place. Thanks to Chisato who talked to her, she finally fit in. Hidaka Shiohama, a reporter from the ASP comes in to interview Yuuki as she is compiling a directory list of candidates. First, she gets his name wrong and because Yuuki is adamant in correcting it, she thinks this is his election manifesto. Then she skips lots of other important stuffs so much so she writes down “skip the rest” as Yuuki’s message for the voters. Oh God. Words are pretty crucial in elections, right? So as Mifuyu and Yuuki get down to work, we see some of the other members coming in to check on things. Like Yume with his usual gay sexual harassment, Non-chan wanting a piece of Oojima Roll (maybe putting up an angelic face will get her one), Hazuki coming in to flirt with the guy by sitting on his lap but leaves when Mifuyu comes back. Mifuyu doesn’t want him to be distracted and to pay more attention to Chisato. He assures he is looking out for her his way. Then Isara comes in to relay the message that she will be helping out Yuuki’s team for the election as the election administration committee has assigned every financial aid student to a candidate for errands. Fate? Maybe Yuuki could’ve got friendlier with her if not for Mifuyu giving off that deadly aura that probably says “don’t-you-dare-f*ck-around”.

The bazaar begins as Yuuki’s team are glad that they got their booth near the main stage (thanks to Mouri). Seems Satsuki is popular with many students as they queue to get her campaign goods. Mieru and Garage are selling their products next to their booth as part of the deal to support Yuuki. It proved to be a good move as many of their fans line up to buy their goods as they also relay the message to vote for Yuuki. The other girls hand out Yaoi Stick to further remind voters to vote for Yuuki. It will soon be time for the speech so Yuuki remembers he left it back home and hasn’t memorized them. Mifuyu rushes back to print out but I wonder why she also printed her romance novel. Too eager? Now the star of the show, Oojima Roll makes its debut and is sold higher than the price discussed. How, why, what? Seems it was Chisato’s idea. With Kii and Ai up on stage with her doing cosplay (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica reference), this is to get the otaku fans to buy them. The Oojima Roll is bundled with a ticket that allows them to take a photo with them. See the mad rush! Hey! Yume is cosplaying too! As a girl! I guess he looks girly enough. Then Mieru pulls Yuuki and Yume over for the much awaited event. Yeah, there are lots of pictures of them in yaoi poses! The fan girls love them! Going even wilder when they feed each other Yaoi Sticks! SCREAM!!!! Now they got to do it topless?! EVEN WILDER!!! Yume is so into it. Yuuki is definitely not happy but the girls think he is the tsundere kind. Screw this! Mifuyu returns in time to hand over the script. At the backstage, Yuuki bumps into Moheiji who thinks their goal and platform are in perfect alignment. Since they are against Satsuki, they should form an alliance for the primary. But Yuuki declines because he plans to go all the way and win. However Moheiji remains confident and cocky that Yuuki will hit a dead end. Should that happen, he will still be there to guide him. Mifuyu realizes Yuuki’s speech script is still with her. Guess which script he has in hand then?

Episode 6
It’s Yuuki’s turn to give his speech so Mifuyu collapses that she can’t make it in time. Turns out to be an error because it is Moheiji’s turn first. Moheiji seems to be attacking Satsuki in his speech and even planted sympathizers in the crowd. Next up is Satsuki and she too has her own supporters as she eloquently addresses her manifesto. Yuuki realizes he has no time in listening to speeches of others and takes a look at the script. He realizes it is Mifuyu’s love letter whereby in the end she confesses his love to him. Great. Now he is under more stress. Now it’s his turn to go up and Mifuyu is a moment too late. First thing, Yuuki trips! It’s not funny because he is bleeding. Then he starts panicking but when he sees Chisato watching, that’s when he starts devising his own script. He gets boisterous, telling the crowd to laugh. Despite sounding like a gung-ho, at least he honest about his own club facing disbandment and to vote for him. Then he went on ranting about the club vows to the origins of the universe and the history of ghosts. WTF? Anyhow, the crowd just love it! Despite in the aftermath Yuuki is totally mourning over what he did (he couldn’t even remember the nonsense he said), Isara assures that those who hear it will never forget it. Yeah, even if it doesn’t make sense. Hey, the reaction was positive, right? As the votes are being counted, Hidaka comes into the club (dressed as a boy now? Or is this a different person?) to take live footage for the primary election results. As reported, voter turnout is 98.4% with 604 votes needed to qualify for the next round. As of now, Satsuki and Moheiji are projected to pass and are opening up a big gap from other candidates. Yuuki is currently in distant third place and they feel at this rate, Yuuki won’t pass. Hazuki assures that a chunk of the seniors’ votes aren’t in yet. Since they’ll be graduating, they vote just for kicks. For every 100 votes counted, the total poll will be updated so there are going to be about 60 more updates.

As Satsuki and Moheiji are increasing their lead, a fourth serious competitor shows up. She is Ayame Shirakawa and is closing the gap quickly. She has now 8.8% of the counted votes with Yuuki still at 9.2%. Yuuki would be happy if he just gets the minimum votes but as Chisato points out it will be impossible to win if a fourth candidate passes the primaries because the votes will be split for those who aren’t supporting Finance or General Affairs. Thus he will have no chance against the big duo that already have a secured group of voters in the actual vote. As more votes are counted, percentage wise, Yuuki has hit the 10% mark and only needs a few more votes to qualify. Don’t forget, Ayame is also hot on his tail and catching up. Yuuki is projected to pass and if he does, it will be the first time in 7 years that a candidate not affiliated with the big three to contest in the finals. Yuuki and co can’t celebrate despite being projected to win because they are more nervous if this Ayame candidate passes. With around 140 votes left to be counted, she only needs 20 more votes to qualify. Seems scary that she can actually hit the mark, huh? The votes dwindle down and she needs only 8 more. It’s getting even tense even if Yuuki has already qualified with 608 votes. The final update is here. With 100% of the votes counted, Ayame achieves 9.9% and only 602 votes. Phew! Major relief. Now they can celebrate this miracle. To top it off, Mieru and Garage donate some of their proceeds of the bazaar sale to Yuuki as campaign funds. It may not be much compared to the big wigs but I guess every yen counts. And they’re going to make it count. So remember to work hard because their future depends on his victory. Lastly, Mouri’s aides have identified Ayame’s identity. Seems she has received some votes from the Public Safety and it was a sabotage attempt by the Katahira faction. Mouri notes they won’t let things go his way and just to be safe, to keep an eye on Yuuki.

Episode 7
Chisato and Yuuki stop by a convenience store to buy a chocolate bar. Seems this chocolate thingy had something to do with Chisato’s little brother, Daiki. The Food Club are having their camp. At school. Were you expecting the beach? Mouri congratulates Yuuki on his victory but the real battle is about to begin. As we know Yuuki got over 600 votes. Mouri writes down the total votes Satsuki and Moheiji got: 2700 and 1500 votes respectively. Now you realize what he is up against? Even so, they shouldn’t give up just because the odds are stacked against them. However these aren’t the real numbers and the iron votes for the candidate is 1000 (Satsuki), 1400 (Moheiji) and Yuuki (600). These votes are what you called ‘fixed deposits’ and locked in as they are likely to vote for their respective candidate in the final round. Yuuki has the same number because those who voted for him at first would want to continue supporting him seeing he amazing passed the primaries. Since there are 6000 students at Takafuji and half being iron votes, this means the remaining 3000 are swing votes. Now what Yuuki and co must do is to sway these voters. Because Yuuki is an independent, he can make it look like Finance and General Affairs are having an in-fighting and as an outsider, he can ride on the wave of trying to overturn an old order. Which will leave a more significant impact? A revolutionary of an old order or a revolutionary by a fresh new outsider. So the 1700 swing votes that Satsuki managed to swing in the primaries, where will they go from today? Yuuki and Isara cook together and he accidentally cut his finger. Without hesitation, Isara sucks his finger to stop the bleeding. I guess the only one who is panicking is Chisato. Though this is a method Isara used for his little brothers, Chisato points out Yuuki is not her little brother. But it brought back memories of Daiki so she cans it. After meal, Yuuki soaks in the hotspring alone and is surprised Chisato visits him. The door wasn’t lock. That’s how she got in. She sits next to him and he is obviously not sitting well with this. Then she asks him. Would he love to touch her, see her naked. Can you see where this is going? Yuuki is spared from answering that question when Yume prepares to come in.

After Yuuki leaves his bath, he accidentally sees Satsuki arguing with Hazuki outside. Something about disagreeing to visit their mother’s grave. He apologizes for eavesdropping but Hazuki cheekily tells him not to flirt with other girls because he already kissed her. Satsuki is surprised to hear that. Bed time, Yume has 10 alarm clocks set! This is much less than the ones he used at home. In the event if he doesn’t wake up, he hopes Yuuki could give him that. What? An elbow to the chest? Yume can’t sleep so he hugs Yuuki as his hugging pillow. Now he can’t get out. Maybe he wasn’t kidding that he’s a heavy sleeper. Yuuki needs to go to the toilet and can’t hold it so he imitates Moheiji’s voice and instantly Yume lets go. Maybe that guy just gives him the creeps. After answering nature’s call, Yuuki sees Hazuki sitting outside alone. Worse, she’s drunk. Good ol’ Yuuki decides to bring her back to the female dorm. Though he leaves her outside, she bugs him to bring her to her room. Good guys like him must oblige, right? So it’s no surprise when he is about to leave, a girl spots him and sounds the pervert alert. Yuuki runs but the exit door is locked. So happens the room next to it belongs to Satsuki so she lets him in to hide as she lies to the other girls when they come asking if they have seen a pervert coming this way. Knowing he has his reasons, she gives him a chance to explain himself. It bugs her that he is close to his sister because a student wouldn’t normally carry a drunk teacher all the way to her room. He could’ve just called a female friend to bring her in and avoided this mess. Didn’t think about that? So can you blame her for starting to think they have a special relationship? She will let this incident slide if he tells the truth. Did he really kiss her? Yes. But that was an accident because she was drunk and she caught him off guard. Satsuki has a gist of what is going on. Hazuki forces him to do things from time to time and he isn’t against it. So he tells himself he doesn’t have a choice and puts up with it. He’s worried what she might do and in the end cares about her. Though he doesn’t hate her, it’s not like he is in love with her. Satsuki agrees to let this incident slide but wants him to wait for an hour till things cool down. What is he going to do then? What is he going to do to return Satsuki’s favour so that he won’t regret he stayed here? She takes off her top shirt, sits on the bed looking as though she is gesturing him to…

Episode 8
Our minds must be going wild hearing Satsuki saying those ambiguous words. Turns out that they are playing shogi. Disappointed? Since the other girls aren’t letting up on the incident, I guess he has to wait a little longer. Or the option of staying with Satsuki forever is still open. Is that a joke? Since the kiss still bugs Satsuki, she wonders if she forces a kiss on him, will it be considered an accident. She asks if he had heard reasons why Hazuki left the family and stopped interacting with them but this is the first time he is hearing this. When things quite down, Satsuki guides Yuuki out. Downstairs, Satsuki still ponders about forcing herself to kiss her but you know things won’t go so smoothly. They’re interrupted when Hazuki comes to buy a drink at the vending machine. She then coolly walks over to Yuuki and prepares to kiss him before spitting the water in his face! That cooled things off between them, eh? Unknown to them all, Michiru was watching. In Food Club, the girls are talking about the pervert that crept into the dorm. I guess most of them were sound asleep not to notice anything. Even those who know feigned ignorance. Don’t feel just relieved yet, Yuuki.

As part of the camp, a test of courage is a must, right? And why does Non-chan have this ghost invention to help out? I have a feeling how this will turn out. As the gang take turns walking in pairs in the dark school corridors, Yuuki hears Hazuki and Isara’s scream and gets worried, causing Chisato to feel jealous. Non-chan’s ghost invention walks pass them and turns into a Japanese toilet bowl with legs! WTF?! Chisato tries to make Yuuki worry about her by being captured by this toilet bowl. If she didn’t sound so fake and lame. She wants to know where he was last night so he had to partly lie that he was playing shogi with Hazuki before she got drunk. Then about that incident at the hotspring, he gets it straight with her. He won’t leave her and will be with her whenever she needs him but it’s not that kind of love. Heartbreaking, isn’t it? After bath, Yuuki sees Hazuki drinking by herself again. He asks if he hates Satsuki and her family and she thought Satsuki asked him to prod her, which of course he denies. Yuuki wants her to be serious so she gets serious. She confesses she loves him. Yes, the romantic kind. She was holding back since she’s an adult and knows better. Plus, he has Chisato by his side. But if it’s Satsuki, that’s a different story. So about his answer on her feelings? Can he reply later? Not amused, Hazuki whips out her handphone and calls Satsuki. She challenges her to a match to see who gets Yuuki. Wow. So direct. Plus, if Satsuki wins, she’ll tell her what she wants as bonus. With Yuuki being made as the prize, the girls play a game of shogi. Despite Satsuki saying this is her chance to find out what happened, Hazuki teases her that she is after a certain prize. Satsuki gets riled up with Hazuki’s teasing about the kiss. Against Satsuki’s wishes, Hazuki starts telling the truth. Satsuki’s mother is the second one and became their father’s wife after Hazuki’s mom passed away. Hazuki may have gone too far to say that it’s a good thing they were legally married or else she’d be a child born out of wedlock and considered a mistress’ child. This earns her a slap and Hazuki thinks she has forfeited the prize and goes over to cuddle her prize. But it’s not over yet, because they’re playing shogi with their minds. They are moving the pieces by just saying where they are moving their piece! Awesome! I’m lost. I can’t see anything. Satsuki adds if she wins, Hazuki must apologize to their mother and go home but Hazuki remains cocky confident.

Since Yuuki is at a lost on what’s going on, Hazuki tells the entire true story. Showing him a big scar on her head when she young, the bleeding caused many to panic. That’s because Hazuki has a rare blood type and people were worried there might not be enough blood for transfusion. Till someone close with the same blood type stepped forward. That is Satsuki’s mother. Which means, both sisters had the same mother all along? Hazuki reveals that long before she was born, her supposed late mother had her uterus removed due to an illness. As she was unable to bear children, their father already had an affair with Satsuki’s mother who was a mistress then. Many of the relatives pressured him to abandon his wife but he couldn’t so he settled for having a baby with his second woman. To fool the relatives, he took Hazuki in and raised her like a legitimate child. She thought she hated her but only remembers being showered with love. Her illness caught up and she succumbed to it. Before she could even mourn her death, the second wife came in and Satsuki was soon born. So you could say that Hazuki is the one who is born out of wedlock. Hazuki got along well with everyone till she learned about a truth when a drunk relative slipped his tongue. Her confusion turned into anger and she couldn’t forgive anyone in the family and left. Because if she let it go and accepted the second woman as her mother, it would mean as though her late mother never existed in the first place. If she accepted everything, it’s like she never mattered. That’s why she won’t forgive the family. That first mother who passed away she considers her only mother. Satsuki breaks into tears and apologizes for not knowing the truth. Both sisters reconcile. Meanwhile Mouri learns from his aides of Yuuki secretly meeting with Satsuki late at night. He knows Satsuki won’t use this to blackmail him because she would have used the perverted incident instead. He shreds the documents and hopes no one learns of this especially the enemies that are closest to them. He notes the Public Safety commissioner will return next week once his suspension ends and to also keep an eye on the Katahira faction.

Episode 9
Chisato dreams of giving her share of chocolate bar to Daiki if he wakes up. But he is not… Today is the day their main election campaign starts so as Chisato goes to wake up Yuuki, she thought she saw shades of Daiki in him. Mouri addresses his aides that since their party can’t maintain their rule, they are to support Yuuki the independent candidate with no ulterior motives and make plans for next year’s election. He wants everyone to take extra care in not letting anyone learn of this, especially the Katahira faction. Yuuki bumps into a bespectacled girl on his way to his campaign area. She doesn’t know him well. Is it Yuuki not working hard enough? Rather, she’s been out of school for quite some time and has just returned. He hands her his flyer and hopes she would vote for him. Chisato didn’t like it that he was getting to friendly with her. Trying to get along with the voter, says he? They see Hazuki and Satsuki arguing and the latter accusing the former for using a dirty trick. Don’t worry. If you think Hazuki told that story was a lie, it was the truth. What Satsuki meant was the shogi game. She thought Hazuki distracted her with her past to win it. So that was what matter? Not finding out the truth? Well, Yuuki was the prize… See where she’s getting at? Chisato also doesn’t find their friendliness amusing so Satsuki assures her they are not making secret arrangements for the election and just discussing their private affairs. Private what?! That just made it worse. Hmm… So is Chisato angry or not? No? Maybe.

Non-chan uses her invention to setup the election stage. Chisato is so spaced out about Daiki that she couldn’t even rebuke the usual fooling around of Yuuki confessing to Mifuyu and she rejecting him because she had someone else. As Yuuki makes his speech, the others hand out flyers to the rest. The bullies confront Isara once more and get nasty. Yuuki sees this and stops his speech to go to her rescue. The bullies see they are not at fault and accuse Yuuki of siding with a financial aid student. He would’ve let them had his piece of mind if not for Chisato holding him back because this may hurt his chances as he is in the midst of campaigning. A couple of Public Safety guys come in and want the bullies to show their IDs. They have seen everything and remark they have violated certain rules with their verbal abuse. They want them to report to the Public Safety commission when summoned. Though Isara is fine, she says that she is used to this and that the Public Commission members are scarier. She notes one of her classmates who is a financial aid student was taken away by them and left traumatized. It got so bad that she stopped coming to school. Hazuki thinks it’s that girl who was involved in the Oosawa incident.

Hidaka discloses about the anonymous tipped off the Public Safety that a financial aid student had shoplifted. Commissioner Oosawa overstepped her investigation boundaries and named the suspects despite lack of evidence. Harassment against the suspect escalated till a point she stopped going to school. Subsequently it was discovered the tip off was fake and Oosawa was put under probation for unjust investigation. Though Mouri took over duties as student council president and things calmed down, the Public Safety has never really cracked down on financial aid student harassment and what they saw just now was a rarity. Isara continues to thank Yuuki as we learn the financial aid system is to assist students who excel academically but have financial troubles. They are made to work in companies whereby their earnings are used to cover their tuition expense. This police was adopted to increase student population. That’s why they are prohibited from working part time and joining clubs so they can focus on their work. Yuuki needs a favour from Mifuyu and hopes he can add an item to his manifesto. He wants to end discrimination towards financial aid students. Later Chisato wants him to rethink about that additional manifesto. She reminds him their mission is to win the election and save the Food Club. They need a manifesto that gets as many student votes to their side and win. If he adds such a manifesto, it may backfire because many of the students do look down on the financial aid students and that they are a minority. Can he win if he adds a manifesto aimed only for the minority? Yuuki feels he can’t neglect the issue but she says only to think about changing his policy after they have won the election. Still need to bring attention to this issue? Is he doing this to impress Hazuki? Or is it because Isara is a financial aid student? Does he want to be praised by Hidaka? Does he want to compete with Satsuki? What’s wrong, Chisato? Why is she worked up over this? Maybe the people he is helping out may seem to be girls but she is concerned that she is being left behind. Despite being so close, she feels they are drifting apart. She breaks down but he assures her he won’t be going anywhere.

Mouri and the Public Safety members await Oosawa’s return. It’s that bespectacled girl Yuuki met earlier during the day, Yuina. She hints that he should have had an easier time dealing with the 2 posts he have right now than her because she sympathizes with the Katahira faction. Oh… Showing the flyer she got from Yuuki, she wants him to explain what happened while she was away. Yuina acknowledges Yuuki has potential to win and his approval rating his high but she wants to know if he will be their puppet president and do what she says. Since Mouri mentions they are only cooperating to get him win the election, she takes this as a sign he’s not on their side. She warns him he may institute policies that leave them in disadvantage and for such shady people, he might slit his throat while he is asleep. Or maybe she should slit his throat… Scary woman. Elsewhere, Hidaka announces that Yuuki has the highest approval rating among the candidates. As Yuuki walks home, he spots Michiru trying to play her harmonica but it’s broken. He tries to see what the problem is and blows it but this alerts Chisato and Mifuyu because they see it as an indirect kiss! Michiru is fine. The duo aren’t. Yuuki? Run! Maybe he was too hasty that he didn’t see the truck coming. OH SH*T!!! This horrifying scene brings back traumatic memories that happened to Daiki.

Episode 10
We have this flashback that sees young Chisato always sharing her chocolate bar with Yuuki. One day he doesn’t want to eat the bar anymore and this caused Chisato to go into a crying fit. That’s because she remembers she didn’t want to share a chocolate bar with Daiki when he wanted to. Then tragedy strikes. Chisato apologized profusely that she’ll share her chocolate in hopes that he won’t disappear. Yuuki took that bar, ate it and promised he’ll always be by her side. In present time, Chisato is inconsolable at the hospital. However Yuuki comes out walking and talking normally. Like nothing happened! Miracle! But for Chisato, she’s clinging on to his arm and not letting go! The shock must’ve been that bad, huh? Even Satsuki was worried but is relieved when she finds out his injuries were nothing. But Chisato is still clinging on. Not funny. Like as though he is part of his arm. How is he going to open the door? How is he going to eat? How about taking off his shirt? When doing so, Michiru’s harmonica drops out but he notices the name ‘Kana’ inscribed on it. How is he going to use the toilet? So he starts apologizing but still no response. I suppose there must be a limit so raises his voice. Chisato calls him a liar. Enough for him to slap her. She comes back with a chocolate bar and wants him to eat it and forgive her. But Yuuki wants to know who he is to her. Is he Daiki’s replacement? She doesn’t see him as Yuuki that’s why this isn’t love. She mentioned she felt far away. So is he. That’s why he won’t eat it anymore. He can’t be Daiki’s replacement anymore. Eat it yourself. She does but starts vomiting and then cries.

So as the election campaign gets underway, only Chisato holes herself up in her room. Yuuki sees Michiru alone in the club room and the latter can see Yuuki’s ‘unhappy colour’ aura. He admits Chisato is part of the reason and the other half is his personal problem. He returns her fixed harmonica (anyone can learn how to fix anything as long as you Google it) so happy Michiru plays a song. She doesn’t know its name accept that her best friend Kana taught her and gave the harmonica to her. However she has been missing and the reason why she came to Takafuji to find her. Mouri rushes in upon hearing the song and calls Kana’s name but maintains his composure when he sees Yuuki. He discusses with Yuuki about his additional manifesto and orders him to drop it. He reminds him that they are only cooperating to get him elected and not supporting him so he can push for acceptance of his personal opinion. He can solve the issue when he gets elected as admirable calls for change will achieve nothing unless he has the means. Meanwhile Yuina is seen speaking to Katahira on the phone about Mouri still supporting Yuuki. She assures that arrangements has been made and also makes a request. Yuuki is at the hospital for his usual check up and bumps into Kimika Haida who is looking for her contact lenses. He sees Mouri and tails him outside. He spots him talking on the phone and he is not happy that some deal was made that wasn’t to what they agreed. Anyway he will think about it and hopes Kana will not be abandoned. Yuuki then follows him into Kana’s room and sees the girl in vegetative state before being knocked out. When he wakes up, he finds himself in an interrogation room and Mouri agrees to remove his handcuffs and not be hostile provided he is on his best behaviour. He wants to know how much he knows so Yuuki only knows that Kana is the owner of the harmonica Michiru carries, Mouri made some deal to recover Kana’s consciousness and that Oosawa is involved. Seeing that he has come this far, he will tell him the truth but he warns there is no going back once he hears it. Okay, hit it. As the Public Safety maintains security at Takafuji, it is impossible to keep every part of this large school under control so less than admirable methods are employed called S-agents. Think of them as spies. They attend school like any other normal students and secretly keep an eye on other students and provide Public Safety with intelligence. This system allows them to deal with issues before they turn serious. Once an S-agent completes their training and orientation, they are assigned to an officer. Kana is an agent assigned to Mouri. His other agent is Michiru. Holy sh*t! So all those ass showing fanservice scenes is actually Michiru using a secret communication hidden underneath the floor?

Episode 11
As further stated, while student autonomy holds the foreground in their talks, the old boys are holding power struggles of their own in the background because the amount of money that passes through the school each year can reach tens of billions. He tells of Kana’s hit and run accident last December and was in a coma since. The all important evidence in her memory card was missing. In order to keep existence of S-agents confidential, her accident wasn’t reported and was being treated at a hospital run by a former Public Safety member. However, another problem has crept up: Yuina. This hospital is aligned with Katahira faction and one of the conditions for admitting her here was to appoint Yuina as the commissioner of Public Safety. It might seem underhanded but Mouri can’t watch and see Kana die. Mouri also knows about Yuuki and Chisato’s past. He knows he can stand up against Yuina, the same way he refused to eat those chocolates. After Chisato lost her brother, she has been depending on him for support all her life but he threw her aside. Didn’t he promise to be Daiki’s replacement forever? Well, if one day she comes to terms with Daiki’s death, he’ll be tossed aside and no longer of any use because he used Daiki as an excuse to hide his own feelings. But when he even tried to fall in love with another girl, he couldn’t. Yuuki starts becoming enraged but Mouri wishes it was this simple for him because he might lose someone important. When a new party comes into power, they will conduct an audit and this will expose Public Safety’s expenses that were used to treat Kana. Once this happens, the treatment will be discontinued. Till he met Yuuki. Now he has exceeded his expectations and in first place running for president. But now that has further change and complicates things. Mouri just received word to cease all support for Yuuki or else Kana’s treatment will be discontinued.

Mifuyu goes to see Chisato and is shocked that she doesn’t care about the election or Food Club anymore. She knows Chisato and Yuuki got into a fight and wants to them patch things up before it gets worse. She then opens her closet and lots of half eaten chocolate bars fell out. She realizes she has been Yuuki as Daiki’s replacement and knows she’s in love with him. But Chisato wants her to worry more about herself and knows she too likes Yuuki. She doesn’t want her to hold back for her sake and to just ask him out because he’ll say yes. Then she mentions about her surgery scar. Now it’s Mifuyu’s turn to feel uneasy. She hugs Chisato and hopes she doesn’t say any more. Chisato reveals she wanted someone to forgive her because Daiki died on the day she was mean to him and couldn’t eat his favourite chocolate. Since he isn’t around to forgive her, Yuuki ate and forgave her in his place. Just watching him do so saved her soul. Despite so, she can’t feel happy. Daiki can never be happy again. Mifuyu then starts changing her clothes. The kind that anyone could clearly see her scar on her tummy. She thanks Chisato for being there when she needed it and won’t let her bear this pain alone. Chisato’s pain is her pain. Then she goes off but I guess Chisato was faster rushing down the stairs than Mifuyu taking the elevators. So when she reaches the ground floor, Chisato already caught up and starts hugging her. She just wants Mifuyu to stop this. Mifuyu knows she loves Daiki so much and because of this, there is no way he could not be happy.

Yuuki is disheartened Kana is not told about this since only a handful of Public Safety members know about this. Mouri will hold Yuuki to this confidentiality too. If he tells anybody, he will use the Public Safety to bring him down. He ends their partnership and laments he exerted so much fruitless time and effort. To show their partnership wasn’t for naught, he will make arrangements for Food Club not to be disbanded. Yuuki is freed but he points out his few errors. Firstly, it’s not fruitless and secondly, he doesn’t need his partnership because he intends to be president. He then picks up his handphone and immediately calls Michiru to tell her where Kana is. It was too late by the time Mouri’s aides apprehended him. Yuuki is doing this not because of the election but for Michiru. Does he intend for her to keep searching for Kana forever? Depending on the outcome, Mouri will see the need to really dispose him. Michiru has infiltrated the hospital as a nurse and knocks out those who are suspicious with her needle injection. By the time Mouri and the rest arrive, Kana is no longer in her bed. He orders a wide search for Michiru. He promises that if anything happens to Kana, Yuuki will pay. You can tell he is dead serious and scary because he opened his eyes! Michiru brings vegetable Kana to the river though she is not responding. Wanting to meet her so much, she starts blowing the harmonica. Miraculously it brought back life to Kana! I guess in the dead heat of the night, you can pinpoint where the sound of the harmonica is coming from. Mouri is relieved to see Kana moving and he himself is moved by emotions. I suppose he owes one to Yuuki now, eh? When Yuuki returns home, he sees Chisato and Mifuyu together. Even better, Chisato can now eat the chocolates by herself.

The election debate rages on as Kana continues to seek treatment in the hospital. Yuina is surprised that Yuuki’s rating is still high and thought Mouri had stopped supporting him. Indeed, sources confirm Yuuki is popular by his own merit (approval rate of 39.1%). Of course Yuina isn’t going to sit back and is planning on doing something. The Food Club celebrates Yuuki’s astounding success though tomorrow is the big day. Tomorrow is when everyone will vote for the new student council president. Nervous, isn’t he? At the end of the day, Mifuyu puts up Chisato and Yuuki to go out together. They overhear a guy in a pinch. He rushes over to them thinking they are a couple. Chisato doesn’t deny that they are one so he ropes them in. The duo are pretending in a demonstration of a mock wedding ceremony at a bridal fair. I think they can pretend about the kissing part too. Seeing a bunch of kids thanking them, it reminds them of themselves when they were young then. Yuuki notes that he was already in love with Chisato then. It wasn’t that he didn’t know what love was. Rather, he didn’t realize it was love. On the way back as they pass the park, Chisato suggests they can continue their kiss now that no one is watching them. It could’ve been the first kiss we see but it had to be interrupted when several guys stun them out with a taser. Can you at least let them kiss first, damn it!

Episode 12
Yuuki wakes up by his phone call and a mysterious voice tells him to get his ass over to a certain place. Otherwise Chisato’s safety can’t be guaranteed. I see she was only taken and he was left all alone to ‘nap’ at the bridge. By the time he reaches the location, he picks up the ringing public phone and the voice tells him to go to another location. Also, never speak what happened today or else. Kana is doing fine in hospital and is about to reveal what happened with her investigation when Yuina waltzes in. She tells Mouri that today is Election Day and shouldn’t be slacking off so off he goes. Yuina then coolly assures how that they are all from the same Public Safety and won’t hurt each other. It seems she’s trying to get what Kana knows and unsuspecting Kana is about to tell her about the photos she took when Michiru sees Yuina’s aura as dark and evil. Kana realizes the hint Michiru is giving her and quickly changes her story that the photos she took was saved in the memory card. Yuina leaves knowing that there wasn’t any evidence. The Food Club members see a shocking scandalous report online that Yuuki is suspected of election rule violation. They thought Hidaka did this but she isn’t sure so she rushes back to her club to confirm. Mifuyu calls Yuuki to tell what is happening but he can’t say anything on his end and hangs up. When he reaches the next spot, he realizes their conversation was tapped and to head to another location. Chisato’s torn shirt is also there as a reminder to not do anything stupid. Isara manages to arrange Yuuki to go last on his final speech. However poll ratings show that Yuuki is losing support very fast and they are all turning to Moheiji. Hidaka rushes back in and starts apologizing. In girl’s uniform now, she explains how she was made to wear both genders’ uniforms on different occasions to collect data and made it look like as though they are 2 people. Making the club look like having more members was the only way for the club to request more funds. It turns out her club’s head had ties with General Affairs and the report was posted by the latter. They realize if Yuuki doesn’t show up, the students will see it as him running away for fear of being questioned. Yuuki continues to run and even bumps into Ayumu and co but has no time to talk to them. Matsuri is Satsuki’s friend and texts to her about Yuuki so she in return texts to Hazuki. Noting that he is near some school and his clothes torn up, Mouri deduces Yuuki and Chisato aren’t together and he has run into trouble. He orders his aides to look for them. But they’ve turned off their handphones and can’t track them via GPS. How? Don’t worry. Mouri has installed transmitters on all Food Club members in cases like these. Say what?! He gets a call from Kana about a photo she saved in her Smartphone.

Yuuki reaches the penultimate location and was told to say he missed today’s speech because he was afraid and ran away. He realizes this is a ploy so that the election won’t be declared null and void due to the incident. The voice also tells him the next location is his last and he will find Chisato there. He is to have her silent too. Defy the orders and more people will get hurt. Suddenly the call is intercepted and Mouri tells him Chisato’s location. That mysterious voice is no other than Yuina as Mouri confronts her and tells her he has jacked her line. He shows her Kana’s Smartphone whereby images taken by her camera were set to transfer here. The found pictures of Katahira faction members of the Public Safety engaging in a backroom deal with General Affairs. Also is a picture to show the culprit who hit Kana: Yuina. Her mug is reflected in the car’s side mirror. Nice and clear. Mouri arrests Yuina but the latter remains cool and says it’s his fault for not listening to Katahira. She reveals she was dealing with them all along. As long as they’re obedient, it doesn’t have to be someone from the Public Safety. The campus was kept safe at all times, right? Only the minorities were facing discrimination and no conflict among other students. Even countries do that. She is confident Yuuki will not get elected and if General Affairs wins the election, Katahira faction will stay in power. Everything will remain the same. Yuuki barges into a store room to see Chisato lying in a box full of papers (like a coffin?). She wakes up and wonders about the election. Yuuki couldn’t care about that because she is more important to him than anything. However that is not okay with Chisato because this isn’t just about him. He belongs to more than just himself and shouldering everyone’s hope. Otherwise he’ll be throwing all their hard work and plan away. But it’s too late now. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch because here comes Ai and Kii to peddle them back to school. I guess that energy peddling machine during the campaign did give them extra strength, eh?

Yuuki makes it back in time but he is out of time and is cut off before he could say a word. He tells everyone to hold their horses because he wants to talk to himself. The committee stops him and warns him about being disqualified. Satsuki then speaks out that the election and future of Takafuji is important so it is regrettable that a potential topic for debate is left out due to time constraint. Moheiji also agrees with her (hoping this will get him votes for being open minded). Mouri also gives his permission for Yuuki to talk. So here goes… Right off the bat, Yuuki apologizes that he was in a partnership with Mouri! Will this scupper his chances? Listen further. He admits he knew nothing about the election till he entered the race and thanks to his expertise, he garnered support. From raising campaign funds to political strategies and making connections, he realized he never heard the word justice once. He tried to add a manifesto to help financial aid students but was told to prey upon his enemies’ weaknesses than develop his own policies because winning the election is most important. Even so, he feels something is wrong and knows ideals aren’t always the same with reality. But he knows he won’t feel good for being elected with votes won through lies. He further admits running for presidency initially to prevent his Food Club from being disbanded. Along the way, he came to realize something important. The fact that he loves each one of them. He loves his Food Club members, those who supported him and even those against him. He loves this school and students. He loves them all so much that he hates seeing them fighting among themselves!!! So to stop the conflict and see everyone join hands, he decided to hang in and win. And he believes they can make it happen. Even if he doesn’t win, he is glad to get his message through them all. Soon the crowd gives him a rousing applause. A very well speech from the heart! In the aftermath, we see the Food Club members tasting a new flavour of Yaoi Stick. From their speech, we know Yuuki has won and is the president with Satsuki not only his vice but also a new member of the Food Club. Well, seeing Food Club still around is already a hint that it wasn’t disbanded, right? Mouri talks to Kana and was surprised by Yuuki’s unusual election campaign approach. For he didn’t make appealing campaign promises nor did he attack other candidates. That’s how he earned the voters’ trust that he would do his job. I guess the hard part comes now. Speaking of Yuuki, he isn’t around with Chisato because today is the anniversary of Daiki’s death and they’re visiting his grave. Chisato no longer has fears eating chocolate and with a chocolate in their mouth, they kiss. That has got to be double sweet, right? Though, I thought it would be disrespectful kissing at a grave. Should’ve done it somewhere else? Heck, who cares. I’m not the public morals president.

On to the next term…
Surprise, surprise. At first before I started watching, I wasn’t really confident that this anime would be interesting but I was proven wrong right from the start till finish. The flow of the story makes the entire series interesting as we start out from the Food Club’s introduction and their bid to run a member for presidency to prevent their closure. Then we have the primaries before the usual tip-of-the-iceberg more-than-meets-the-eye conspiracy creeping up as well as the scarred past of some of the characters thrown into the mix before ending it on a sweet note. Though I won’t say that the terms and strategies explained are advanced, at least the tactics brought up by Mouri are understandable by my standards and I think such strategies would be like a piece of cake to seasoned campaigners. Not that I would be interested in volunteering myself in future election or the likes, but the way this series paints the election process seems to be like something fun. I’m not saying that everyone was fooling around and not taking things serious but I didn’t come to hate election campaigns or feel disgust at it while watching this show (as far as this anime is concerned). Okay, maybe a school election is on a very different scale compared to an election that involves the entire country. Still, an election is still an election and you can still see the same evils rearing their heads like fishing for votes, trying to make yourself more appealing than your opponents and mudslinging.

What can I say about Yuuki. His final speech was truly motivating and definitely I would recommend all politicians of the world to hear this speech. It wasn’t what he said that attracted the hearts of others but the honesty and sincerity he puts in his words. Even if fiery opponents would classify this act as fishing for sympathy votes, you can feel the genuineness of his words. That all he said was true. He is not perfect and he even admits it. We know we want a role model politician to govern but nothing beats plain honesty and being true to yourself. After all, nobody is perfect. Who among us has not done wrong? Let that person who had done no wrong cast the first stone. I’m sure there are a handful of true politicians in real life around but sadly as in reality, honesty can only get you so far. So maybe that’s the reason why so few had their names etched in history like Abraham Lincoln. That’s the irony of politics, I guess. Like Yuuki, he wants to fight for justice and those oppressed but the majority just wouldn’t allow it. You know what they say about winners only write history, right? Had Yuuki lost the election, he might not be able to carry out reforms but had he won, his conscious and heart will not let him have a good night sleep seeing that he had to lie just to win. So it’s a catch-22 situation. And it’s hard to please everybody. I’m sure when Yuuki won, it’s not 100%. Even the student council president, Medaka Kurokami of Medaka Box didn’t obtain such perfection despite her overwhelming popularity. Man, politics is tough and hard to please all sides. So it’s best to go with what you believe in and it’s better than to have regrets later on.

It was a good thing that Yuuki turns out into one of those good people that doesn’t lose himself to the corrupted powers and greed of politics. Initially he wasn’t too interested in running for presidency and was doing it because he had no choice. But as he delves deeper into the election process, he begins to realize that it is more than just saving his own club that is important. Now he has to make sure that he has to live up to his promises he made or else by the next election he may find his supporters voting against him. I’m sure Yuuki isn’t that kind of guy. Maybe he slacks sometimes (even he needs help from his childhood friend in getting out of bed) and in the final bits we hear Satsuki having a headache trying to amend all the loopholes in his manifesto but with the support of his team, he’ll get by. His mispronunciation of his surname seems to be a running gag in the anime but I noticed that as time passes, this wasn’t really so obvious. Has everyone finally able to correctly pronounce his name? It would have been a grave error if there was some other candidate with his misspelled name. Yeah, they might mistakenly vote for the other guy instead! So how is it they can pronounce the Oojima Roll name correctly and still get his real name wrong? Either they are pulling his leg (and loving it) or they’re just too stupid to realize. His name can’t be that hard to pronounce, right? It’s not like he is from some native tribe with a tongue twisting name. In addition to his name’s mispronunciation, we see it being added nicknames especially by Satsuki. For example, Stupidjima or Sneakyjima. Hey, at least she got the ‘jima’ part correct.

Romance wise, this is definitely Chisato’s arc because you saw what happened in the end, right? Even for those who have not played the game, you could have guessed the love interest and main heroines for Yuuki based on the opening and ending credits animation. Each of them has their own personal tragic issues to deal with and it is fortunate that we see them overcoming them. Of course, with tsundere Chisato being the main focus, we see her issues being dealt more prominently. Chisato who felt guilty that her refusal to share chocolates with her brother led to his death is now no longer in fear of them. Yuuki could’ve been her Daiki forever if no drastic actions were taken. Mifuyu had a surgical scar on her stomach but I’m not sure how this is connected to her feelings for Yuuki. Maybe not. But it is true that she does harbour feelings for Yuuki. Satsuki had trouble dealing with Hazuki because she didn’t know the real truth. Once the cat is out of the bag, there is no reason why she should continue despising her. Michiru’s lack of emotions and monotonous speech makes her the most mysterious character around. To her, everything to her is normal and if she says something beyond normal, it’s a sight to behold! I wonder about her ability to see different aura colours. Is it her natural gift or some skill she developed when she undergo training as an S-agent? I would say that because Yuuki has played a vital role in helping in discovering Kana’s whereabouts, this is a reason why Michiru likes him. Though in the anime this isn’t stated. Finally for Isara, I would have guessed that Yuuki’s courage to stand up for her earned her love for him. But her isn’t so obvious and despite the bullies being taken to task, it still remains to see whether the discrimination towards financial aid students have ended for good. I doubt it will. But I am confident Yuuki can make that happen. After all, he defied and overcome all odds to become the student council president on his own merits.

As for the other characters in the Food Club, I suppose they like Yuuki too but in a way that won’t amount to any serious romance like the 5 heroines mentioned above. Non-chan is just around for his Oojima Roll. Probably that’s her only first true love. Kii and Ai feel like a pair of monkeys and they love teasing Yuuki. They are like the comic relief of the series and at certain moments you can catch them in silly acts. For example about the transmitters installed on the Food Club members, the monkey duo started searching each other including looking into each other’s butt! Despite with enough energy to monkeying around, they do prove to be useful when times call for it. I guess the other serious love contender for Yuuki is Hazuki but she acts drunk and so un-teacher-like that you think she’s just an airhead who loves drinking and getting drunk. Despite her appearance and character, Hazuki is like a big sister to the gang and when she needs to be serious, she can. You can call it her maturity of holding back her love for Yuuki. It is amusing to see Yume’s gay sexual harassments towards Yuuki. I wonder if he really is serious or is just fooling around. Funny nevertheless. Thank goodness Yuuki is straight because if was gay, he wouldn’t be putting on that I-love-you-Mifuyu act only to be rejected. Otherwise his election rivals would’ve even highlighted his sexual preference. Would you want to vote in a gay president? Speaking of that Mifuyu-love-drama, it wonders me if they are really just fooling around. I mean, they are of course just joking since the trio will act out their designated roles like as though it is one big drama. They know who loves who but then act out like as though it is one big play.

We can see that Mouri is a professional and expert when it comes to elections and campaigns, the way he imparts his knowledge and expertise in the area shows you that he is a seasoned campaigner. Mouri is not a bad person because he is caught between a rock and a hard place. All he wants is Kana’s life to be saved and he has his hands tied while trying to do so. The culprit of it all is Yuina and even if that woman doesn’t raise her voice, don’t be fooled by her tone and looks because deep down inside her heart, it is rotten to the core. If she is already this bad at high school level, imagine what would happen if this was a national level? Total disaster, right? We don’t know who this Katahira guy is nor seen him. But this group is perhaps the reason why you see all the tactics and schemes in politics going about. All just to retain power. All just for money. Remember, this is just high school level. And for that Moheiji guy, he looks like your typical politician. Makes it sound all sweet and sugary but if you know him better, you should stay clear of him. We’re not sure if he has any hidden intentions or ulterior motives but you can tell a lot from his campaign speech what this guy is made out. I noticed that in certain episodes, cameo appearances of minor characters like Ayumu, Matsuri, Mao and Kimika, they are actually from another adult visual novel game created by the same creators of this series, Ima Sugu Onii-chan Ni Imouto Da Tte Iitai! I suppose their guest appearance in this series is to promote the game, which serves as a prequel to this series (prior to the elections) and features Chisato and Satsuki as the main heroines, that was released back in December 2012.

The series does have its moment of comical and funny moments but it tries not to overdo it so it isn’t that all bad. Whether it is Non-chan’s absurd and failed inventions, Yume’s mild sexual harassments on Yuuki or the monkey combo of Kii and Ai, they do provide some amusing moments. Some of the lines are witty enough to make you laugh and of course those speeches especially the final lines from Yuuki are really inspiring. So much so it would even make non-believers in politics like me to begin having hope to vote for such person. Really. Being adapted from an adult visual novel, it is expected to have some fanservice elements but this is kept to a very minimal. Perhaps Michiru has the ‘most’ fanservice shots because we see her ‘showing her ass’ each time Yuuki enters the club room. Even so, they are censored out by that streak of blinding lights. Ah yes. Politics is already so dirty, you can’t sully it with fanservice. Somehow I prefer it the other way round ;p.

If you want main male characters with lots of angst or rebuffing, I guess Yuuichi Nakamura does a decent job here as Yuuki like how he did with Tomoya in Clannad, Gray in Fairy Tail and Minamoto in Zettai Karen Children. Surprisingly, Rie Kugimya as the voice of Yuina, although she didn’t put up her typical shrieky tsundere voice, she is still recognizable in that cool soft spoken tone. It’s like you take away the vigour and liveliness in Zero No Tsukaima’s Louise, Toradora’s Taiga and Shakugan No Shana’s Shana and you have this as a result. Other casts include Eriko Nakamura as Chisato (Ui in Hoshizora E Kakaru Hashi), Asami Imai as Michiru (Chelsea in Shukufuku No Campanella), Kaori Mizuhashi as Mifuyu (Mami in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Miyako in Hidamari Sketch), Yuu Asakawa as Satsuki (Motoko in Love Hina, Misuzu in 11eyes), Mai Kadowaki as Isara (Ilya in Fate/Stay Night), Chiemi Ishimatsu as Hazuki (Seri in Izumo: Takeki Tsurugi No Senki), Megumi Ogata as Yume (Shinji in Neon Genesis Evangelion), Kenichi Suzumura as Mouri (Shiki in Tsukihime), Yuko Gibu as Non-chan (Maon in Tamayura), Ayumi Fujimura as Kii (Misaki in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama), Yuka Inokuchi (Rin in Maburaho), Yuka Iguchi as Kana (Index in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Asami Sanada as Hidaka (Kanako in Maria+Holic), Yui Sakakibara as Mieru (Hamaji in H2O ~Footprints In The Sand~) and Koji Yusa as Garage (Ichimaru Gin in Bleach). The opening theme is Signal Graph by Annabel sounds like your typical anime pop. The ending theme by Ceui is Kaze No Naka No Primrose and it somehow reminds me of CooRie’s Hoshikuzu No Surround, the ending theme for Sora No Manimani instead of Sola’s Mellow Melody that I had in mind.

I can’t help take a dig at politics. Because I want to say why politics is such a dirty game is because of where the word comes from. The origin of the word politics stem from 2 words. First, ‘poli’. Which means many and multiple. As in polygamy, polygon and polytechnic. Second, ‘tic’. Which means to tick off as in to piss off or to make angry. So the art of pissing off many is called politics and the person who practises this is called a politician. HAHAHA!!! Do you not see how true this is? Well then, listen to this too. Somebody once said there is a difference between a politician and a statesman. A politician only thinks about the next election whereas a statesman thinks about the next generation. I’m sure you can find lots of other quotable quotes about politics and election on the internet if you just Google them.

Too bad chocolates didn’t really make much of an appearance. Even if they did, they were just the Meiji Chocolate (but without the obvious brand name of course). Too bad it is such a waste that Chisato only eats half of them and not finish the other half. Too bad there weren’t much snacks featured as well other than the Yaoi Stick because I feel that it would have provided pleasing eye candy visuals even though I can’t taste them. If you ask me if I should stand in as a candidate if ever such circumstances happen, I wouldn’t probably want to. Because it’s always easier to criticise and censure the person you vote for ;p. But if they could adopt chocolate as the national food or free chocolates for everybody, they definitely have my vote. Don’t get the wrong idea. I voted for the chocolates, not the candidate.

Yum! The last time I watched an anime series that has bread as its main theme was Yakitate! Japan. Yumeiro Patissiere didn’t really count because it was focused on pastries and other confectionery so when I heard there is another bread themed anime but not a sequel of Yakitate! Japan, my thoughts quickly jumped to how many delicious baked dough filled with butter, milk, cream and other fillings. Oh great. Now I’m starting to salivate as I am typing this. I’m not bread fanatic but I still enjoy those tasty bread varieties. Thus it didn’t stop me from watching Shining Hearts: Shiawase No Pan and the main motivation was to see what kind of visually delicious treats they can whip up.

Though a little part of me remained sceptical about the plot and characters because of my earlier stint with the previous Shining game series that was adapted into anime, Shining Tears X Wind. But that anime production was many years ago and for the sake of the trio beauties I saw on the poster (I guess bread wasn’t just the motivation after all), I thought I should give it all a new chance. After all, despite from the same Shining game series, both animes aren’t really related to each other. You may see some very familiar characters but they’re not the same. It’s a totally different world. So the basic storyline for this show is that we have this guy, Rick who is washed up upon the shore of the kingdom of Wyndaria. He is amnesiac but rescued by 3 ladies, Amil, Neris and Airy and taken to work as a baker in their bakery called Le Coeur. As you know, while Rick makes new memories with his new found life, his past starts creeping up on him and he begins to question what he really was before.

Episode 1
Our ladies wake up Rick in the wee hours of the morning so that he could go make preparations for the morning bread. So while he is slaving away, oops, I mean working alone in the kitchen, they go to sleep. No, they’re not slave drivers. That’s because you can’t have a fresh smile and face in the morning if you don’t get your beauty sleep, right? And here comes to fresh bread right off from the oven. Yummy! Rick must be one talented baker because it’s so delicious that nobody can resist it! Me too! I want to try some! So good that it’s a sell-out! Business has been brisk since Rick became their baker. Since it’s a nice weather, they decide to go out and get more ingredients. They head to Madera’s Bakery to borrow her wagon. They get the natural ingredients needed and on their way back, they feel they don’t have enough dew grass that Madera requested for. They decided to head to the outskirts of the elven territory to get them. While picking the dew grass, they spot an injured cute little selph creature. Amil feeds it with her bread and the creature takes a liking for it. Yeah, even non-humans love this bread. Knowing they can’t get near the elven border, they decide to leave their bread at the border. However they are confronted by elven named Alvin who wants them to hand over the selph. Rick leaves the bread too but the unfriendly Alvin just took the selph. This didn’t sit well with Amil and chides Alvin for being rude. He replies it is his decision whether to take the bread or not and shoots back at her that humans as uncivilized and vulgar. Rick didn’t mind since they manage to bring the selph back safely. Besides, they shouldn’t get emotional. Amil is upset because Alvin looked down on his bread.

Then pops up another elf. She is Lana and she thanks them for saving the selph. Alvin is her brother and has great pride so when humans venture too close to the elven territory, he gets upset. Ever since they entered the forest, Lana has been watching them. Or rather, she got attracted by the smell of Rick’s bread. Yeah, she can’t resist it and wants to try. Doesn’t disappoint, eh? She hopes they can bring freshly baked bread next time and leave it under this big tree. The selph is looking forward to it too? More like she’s looking forward to it the most. So they part promising to bring more bread next time as Lana hopes they don’t harbour any ill feelings for her brother because as the chief protector of the elven forest, he has to put on a cold exterior so it’s sometimes hard to support him. His words may be hurtful but he means no harm. When the gang return to Madera, they tell her about their encounter with Alvin. She thought it was rare of him to speak but Rick notes how he wasn’t making eye contact with them. As though he is looking at the sky. Madera thinks Alvin too has also noticed. True enough, he is still looking at the sky back home. The moon is bright red and he feels a great storm is coming. Worried Lana goes to talk to Madera that night and she confirms that the moon doesn’t lie.

Episode 2
Madera is working together with Le Coeur today. She tells them about Lana’s warning about the impeding storm. This means everybody will be stuck and home and what are they going to do for food? Aha. See the connection? That’s why they’re working hard to bake those breads. Old hand Madera gives Rick some tips to bake better bread. Airy goes out to deliver bread especially to the children at the church. As the storm looms, the castle guards signal the warning for everyone to stay indoors. As Rick also goes out to deliver bread, he spots Airy accompanying a girl who is waiting for her mom as she’s late. Seems she is trying to make preparations for the apple orchard by putting up a giant mast before the storm or else it’ll be a shame for it all to go to waste. Her mother makes it back in time to pick her up so Rick and Airy head back before the storm picks up. However they see that girl’s mother running past their store and it hit them she must be alone at home. Since they know she lives nearby, Airy goes to deliver warm bread to her and comes home all soaked. The storm passes that night and when morning comes, it is bright and clear sky. The little girl and her mother pay a visit to Le Coeur to thank them for last night. She also gives them farm produce as her token of gratitude. With their bread once again a major hit among the people, Madera says it’s time to share their seeds of gratitude. They head to the elven border to give their bread to Lana and Alvin. Because of their warning, the people had time to prepare for the storm. Alvin takes a bite from the bread and finds it not bad. See? You won’t know if you don’t try, right? That night, seems a woman is washed up on shore and she is unconscious.

Episode 3
Rick and the girls find this woman with a beautiful pendant around her neck to Doctor Ron. Though her life isn’t at risk, she is still unconscious. They walk back to Le Coeur and the ladies remember how they first found Rick in that same circumstances. He was wearing an armour then and they note he is much better suited in an apron than an armour. But as they get back to baking, something is wrong with the oven. Because of the storm, there is a branch stuck in the chimney. Before they can remove it, the chimney explodes! There goes the oven. Oh, how will the people go on without their daily bread now? Madera advises them that a dwarf named Hank residing in the mountains may be the right person to fix their chimney. But beware of his odd personality. They go see him and he tells them his price. Let’s say it’s very pricey. He can tell from experience they are first timers and since they are young people, he can’t really trust them. I guess that’s a no. The gang return empty handed but Rick notes that more importantly today’s yeast will go to waste if they don’t do something. How can they bake bread without their oven? Heading back to Madera, they see her talking to the castle guards. She is being told that unidentified ships are approaching the island. They thought it would be damaged from the storm but so far have not received any distress calls. They could be pirates. Though there are a few who call themselves pirates down at the bar, they live to hunt treasures. But a handful of them pillage and hurt people. Therefore tonight they’re going to have a blackout. That’s right. No lights. No sound. No nothing. It’s going to be eerily quiet. You know what that means for people being stuck at their home, right? So the gang borrow Madera’s kitchen to bake bread and deliver them to people on the island.

The mysterious woman at Ron has finally woke up that night. Must be the smell of the bread. Yum. She is Kaguya and that’s the only thing she said before falling back to sleep. Suddenly her pendant starts to emit a bright light. Similarly, there is a mechanical doll hanging inside Hank’s workshop. It is emitting a bright light too. But her lights are seemingly searching for something and it finally pinpoints an area in the ocean. The guards at the coast spot the ships and release the doves to signify the people that they are here. Since there are not lights on the island, one of the ships fire randomly and the powerful shot barely missed the town, hitting the mountains! Oh sh*t! The guards rush into Ron’s room and think they are ignoring the blackout order. One of the guards tries to put it out but was thrust back. The other guard draws his sword but Rick instinctively picks up his sword and defends Kaguya. He tells the guard to scram and thinks he has met Kaguya somewhere before. The guard gives him the slip and is about to strike the pendant when a bright light flashes. That light is coming from the mechanical doll who is unleashing a powerful blast that destroys all the ships! Morning comes and Amil seems disturbed by the fact she saw Rick picked up the sword. Thinking back when they found him unconscious on the shore, there was a sword beside him. He remembered nothing except his name.

Episode 4
Thanks to Rick’s delicious bread, Kaguya is on the recovery path. Who needs medicine when you can have those breads. The mechanical doll works up again but it seems Hank notices it is trying to load some resurrection programme but an error occurred. Amil is still bothered about last night and talks to Madera and especially the kind of face she saw Rick put up. She fears if he gets his memories back, he won’t be the same. Madera tells her all they can do know is believe in him. Rick and Neris visit the antique shop run by Xiao Mei and show her the pendant from Kaguya. Though she didn’t put a high price on it, she thinks there is treasure at the bottom of the sea (after hearing local fishermen talking about something shiny near the rocks). Dismissing as just reflection, she researched on an old book and found out wrecked pirate ships often threw a portion of their treasure there. She convinces them to help her out by agreeing to give them a portion of the treasure to fix their furnace. So they borrow a boat and head to the location. Schemer Xiao Mei makes Neris do the diving and hooking the heavy box on the seabed. She almost loses her life when she got her hand stuck underneath the sand and the crate. Maybe Xiao Mei should’ve just done it herself? The crate is so heavy that the rope broke. And they’re all exhausted. Rick then sees Hank’s workshop and gets an idea. They request his help and Xiao Mei’s smooth talking had him agree (because it’s at the place where the mechanical doll’s light was pointing). Hank remembers how he found this doll washed up ashore on one stormy night. Hank’s mechanics is able to bring the crate up but it is wrecking the ship Xiao Mei borrowed! Using a series of explosion for pulling power, they manage to pull up the crate. They wreck the mast, sacrifice Hank’s machine just to save the crate. Now the ship is all wreck. I wonder how they sailed back to shore but Xiao Mei is ecstatic to find anything valuable. Hank sees a shiny box and thinks this is what the doll is looking for. Suddenly the castle guards pop up and tell them to hand over the treasure. Because everything from the sea belongs to the kingdom and that’s the law. Oh. Just great. Let them do all the heavy work and they so easy come and take everything just like that. WTF. Xiao Mei can’t even get compensation on the wrecked ship. WTF. I can understand why they feel bitter about this.

Episode 5
There is a cute little demon familiar called Sorbet coming to the bakery and seemingly has a hard time choosing the bread he wants. Even if they offered to deliver it, Sorbet refused their kindness. So what better way than to find out where it lives by following it back to a mansion passed the graveyard. The ladies witness Sorbet getting kicked out by his master, Melty who doesn’t want the bread he bought. Sorbet sees the ladies and brings them in to meet Melty. They realize the sweet smell coming from her kitchen as she is trying to create the ultimate ice cream dessert. Sorbet bought the breads in hope she could use it as reference. Melty is just stumped that if she adds another flavour, it clashes with others and the texture changes. Plus, she’s making cold ice cream so warm bread isn’t going to be a good reference. But won’t she try some? I know it’s delicious but her tsundere attitude means she wants them to leave. The ladies thought Melty should come to the bakery and choose the bread herself but Sorbet points out she rarely leaves the mansion. Melty is in her room pondering if she could turn this delicious bread into ice cream so Sorbet suggests to figure out the ingredients themselves. That means, spying on the ladies selling and delivering those breads. The ladies tell Rick about Melty so he thinks of baking bread so good that even she would want to come out to buy it. That night the ladies visit Melty’s mansion again and she invites them in for a dessert party. Each of them made delicious variety of bread for her to try. After that, Melty goes back into her kitchen to make ice cream for them. They find the sweetness perfected and Melty notes it was made using the same techniques as they did. The secret in making the ultimate ice cream is to imagine the people’s face when they eat it. Because when they make bread, they think about the people who eat them. That’s why they’re more delicious than any of the bread tasted before. Prior to this, she only made ice cream for herself and notes it wasn’t the right way. She gives Sorbet taste some and it brings tears of happiness to his eyes. So happy, so full that he can’t take another bite. Melty follows the ladies back to Rick and she hopes he could make more bread of happiness for them. But of course.

Episode 6
Xiao Mei loves eating their fish shaped bread. What if it’s cat shaped? Scared the hell out of her! Later, Rouna a maid from the castle is here on behalf of Prince Ragnas and Princess Rufina to place an order. Though they can make muffins, country bread is impossible. But Rouna notes that they want it and by tonight. Neris feels the royals only think about themselves so Madera advises to deliver the bread themselves to see how the royals are. Rouna will help out since she knows the royals’ taste and is also the castle’s cook. But beware. She’s a little clumsy. The gang arrive outside the castle but the guards stop them till Rouna brings them in. They are brought to Ragnas and Rufina and enjoy tea with them. Neris brings about the crate that was confiscated. Same answer. Anything buried property found belongs under the jurisdiction of the kingdom. This is to ascertain if they are lost items or not. But it will take time to sort things out. When a guard reports that nothing suspicious within the castle grounds is found, this prompts Rick to ask about the many guards on patrol when they arrived. Ragnas mentions a thief by the name of Blacktail has infiltrated the castle. He offers Rick to help out in apprehending the thief since the guards can’t compromise on the outer perimeter, he suggests Rouna to accompany Rick. I guess Rouna was so surprised by this decision that she became clumsy and pulled the table cloth. There goes the tea… Neris wants to help after hearing there’ll be a reward. As Rouna guides the duo around the castle, Rufina notes Ragnas is only returning Rick’s clothes. He says it’s too early to return everything. Especially his sword that is sitting nicely in a box somewhere inside a chamber. Rick and Neris encounter Blacktail and they put up a good fight. Rouna is no pushover too. Be careful of her knives she keeps underneath her skirt! Rick corners Blacktail in the library. The morning sun blinds Rick for a moment but he saw a familiar face in Blacktail’s silhouette. Though Blacktail got away and the ladies still get their reward for the hard work. Ragnas praises for Rouna had her into clumsy mode once more. But for Rick, he is bothered by the fact that Blacktail is indeed Xiao Mei.

Episode 7
Le Coeur’s furnace is nicely making some progress thanks to Hank’s help. He even lowered the cost. How did he agree to fix it? Well, they know Madera. If they had only said so in the first place. Madera requests Rick to deliver bread to Xiao Mei. At her antique shop, he asks her straight what she intended to steal because since she runs an antique shop. She notes this is the first time she escaped empty handed. She asks him about wielding a sword and was pretty good at it. He doesn’t remember but realized he could wield one when he picked it up. Xiao Mei figures Ragnas was giving him a test. Why else would a prince ask a baker to guard the castle? She thinks he is unsure which path to take. A baker or a swordsman. Rick hits a nerve in her when he mentions despite how chivalrous she claims, she is still a thief that steals from others. Rick returns to see Hank making the final touches on the furnace. Rick asks Hank why he chose this line of job but he asks back it is even weirder for him why he chose to be a baker. He should be more concern about the furnace than his line of job. Later Xiao Mei meets Rick at the coast and she answers his question why she became a thief. If there’s a lock, she wants to unlock it. Also, something about dealing with unfinished work like how Rick delivers bread to are troubled. Xiao Mei invites Rick to follow her around. He observes her returning fixed items to children. Then she invites him to join her since there are lots of treasures out there. Of course there is one particular lock she would like to unlock. The lock that Rick has hid with all his strength. He can join her if he changes his mind. Rick returns to tell the ladies about what happened when he first picked up a sword to defend Kaguya. No need for that because Amil already told them. Rick didn’t question his past until recently. Would it be okay to continue being a baker without knowing his memories? Madera says that in the past, she never meddled in the affairs of others. But in the midst of helping vagabonds, she realizes her true calling to help others. So what is Rick’s decision? He says his job now isn’t to point sword at people but to bake bread and deliver them. Amil is especially relieved because she was worried if he would be continuing to be a baker and leave the shop once his memories return but looks like he has decided. Le Coeur reopens and this time they also have a cafe for those who want to eat in. Kaguya is also recovering well with all the delicious bread she’s been eating. Meanwhile a pirate ship sees a giant floating fortress fitted with heavy guns. Surrounding it are wrecked ships on fire. The captain knows the danger they are up to and orders his crew to get away.

Episode 8
Rick goes to deliver bread to Flora who operates a bar. I guess she is sleepy so she has him make coffee. He really did. He notices onion garlic toast on her menu and she notes the recipe is from Madera who helped her out when she first arrived here. You could say she also washed ashore like Rick but unlike him, she has no interest in finding her past memories because she realized there is something she needs to do. Back at Le Coeur, the ladies are discussing on how to improve their service but Rick’s mind is filled with Flora’s words. So he pays her bar a visit that night to talk. Till the pirate captain, Dylan tells him he is sitting in his seat. Flora hopes Dylan would stop teasing this troubled youngster. Next night, Rick visits the bar again. Dylan has a taste of Rick’s onion garlic toast. Despite still delicious, Flora thought the taste has changed a little recently. Rick still asks her if she is not troubled at her if she doesn’t mind knowing her past. Although Rick is happy that his bread brings happiness to others and blessed to have others to support him, he fears that one day his memories of his past he left behind will catch up to him. Dylan tells him from his experience how it was common for pirates to be stabbed in the back. Since no one can predict the future and that the currents will change. He tells him about the floating fortress he encountered. He doesn’t know where it’s going or what it’ll do. There’s no point in thinking about it even if it makes him uneasy because it lies in the future or has already happened. There’s time for everything and believes a lot waiting for him in the future. Rick on his way back sees Kaguya who wants to take a look at the moon. She too doesn’t remember her past but she’s not bothered at all. Well, Rick is still bothered. Bothered that he has to continue living with this a void in his heart. But to Kaguya when she woke up, everybody was there. He was there. She is happy he always brings her delicious bread. Meanwhile Dylan feels danger may be upon this island and allows her to board his ship if she wants. He’ll save her from danger again as many times it takes. However she can’t because she has her own reasons for being unable to leave this island. Next morning Rick delivers bread to Flora as thanks. Because of her words and Dylan’s, he was able to pull himself together. She says Dylan is not on this island anymore and doesn’t know when she’ll meet him again. Meanwhile Hank sees Xiao Mei.

Episode 9
Hank and Xiao Mei are teaming up to infiltrate the castle once more. They accidentally trigger an alarm so all the guards are put on alert that Blacktail has returned. The duo give the guards the slip as they crawl through the air ventilation instead of fighting head on and into the treasure room. They get what they want and make their escape on Hank’s multi-purpose tool (which is in scooter format now). Rouna and the guards think they have cornered them underground but Hank breaks a wall with an insignia on it and free a golem. The golem attacks Rouna and the guards. During this distraction, the duo make their escape. Hank drops Xiao Mei off halfway since their alliance has ended as they got what each wanted. She offers to team up next time but he’s not interested. Meanwhile the Le Coeur gang take Kaguya out on a picnic and a fun outing it was. That night Amil can’t sleep and goes to talk to Rick. She is worried that he has been acting troubled recently and if there is anything he wants to talk, he can talk with her because it’s confusing her again. He explains that his void memories are what is bugging him still despite he has decided to be a baker and not a swordsman. However he assures her he is not lost about it anymore. Although he has no past, he gets to spend time with everyone and create new memories. No matter what past he has, he won’t lose to it. He’ll be fine as long everyone is with him. Amil is so relieved that she cried. He thanks them for being with them. Xiao Mei wakes up in the dead of the night to see castle guards surrounding her place. Hank is about to insert the shiny box into the mechanical doll when the guards storm the place to arrest him on suspicions for infiltrating the palace. Some magnetic force from the doll takes the shiny box from Hank’s hand and into her system. She reactivates as her repair system completes.

Episode 10
Xiao Mei and Hank are thrown into prison. I don’t blame Xiao Mei for feeling upset but can she do it less noisy? Hank remembers when the mechanical doll reactivated, it instantly blasts off into the sky. Kaguya is alone at the beach when suddenly she is taken away. Guess who? Next morning, Rouna eats bread made from Rick at Le Coeur but something is amiss. Amil takes a bite and did he lose his touch? They wonder where he is since they don’t remember sending him out for deliveries. Ron comes in to ask if Kaguya had come by since she’s missing. They wanted to help look but his nurse is already doing that so it’s more than enough help. Kaguya wakes up in a cave and her abductor is the mechanical doll named Queen. Rick seems to be bumming in his boat home when he sees Dylan’s ship close to wreckage. He wants medical attention to some of his men who are badly injured since they came into combat with the heavily armed floating fortress. Seems they are on their way to Wyndaria. News of this reaches the castle so I guess it’s another blackout order. Suddenly Queen with Kaguya in her arms crashes into the dungeons where Xiao Mei and Hank are. Queen warns a fleet of enemies are heading for this island. She explains about some infinite layers of world that don’t really mix but she sensed one from another world coming in sync with this one. Queen doesn’t deny she is from another world and is here to protect her master Kaguya from being taken by the enemies. Because the castle is isolated from the sea and protected by the town, this is the safest place for her to hide here. However Kaguya didn’t like the idea that this means the town will be used as a shield and get destroyed. She doesn’t want harm to come on this island and its people and is willing to go to them. Queen takes Kaguya’s pendant and hands it to Xiao Mei. She wants her to give it to the person Kaguya trusts most. Queen cuts the bars to free them but they’re on their own making a dash out. Queen takes Kaguya in her arms and blasts off into the sky. Dylan is seeking treatment at Ron’s clinic with Flora and Rick by his side. The Le Coeur girls bust in to scold Rick for making them worried. Dylan relates his encounter with the enemy fleet. Snake-like people from another world forced them into a fight and started attacking. Ragnas plays his harp as he narrates how worlds are connected at times. An indication is when the moon turns red. A sign that the night sky is being torn apart. The Le Coeur gang go out in search of Kaguya but come back empty handed. Xiao Mei and Hank thought they’re home free after climbing over the castle walls but they’re sadly mistaken. Ragnas and his guards are waiting for them. He wants to know why Xiao Mei has the fairy stone (the pendant). As the fleet inches closer to the island, Queen zooms towards them and the islanders can see a battle lighted up across the horizon.

Episode 11
Queen and Kaguya land on one of the fleet ships. A voice calls her Sakuya however he gets upset when he realizes she doesn’t have the pendant with her. Noting that she is useless without it, the snake people start acting aggressive. Queen knows negotiations have failed and tries to flee with her but Kaguya is captured. Queen begins attacking to save her master. Meanwhile Rick asks Madera the meaning of vagabonds since there are lots of them in Wyndaria. In short, they are beings from another world. Kaguya came to Wyndaria from an alternate world and those pirates have come after her. She is probably someone important because she has the strength to fight. The pirates need that, which is in the form of the pendant. You saw its devastating power when it was first activated, right? This made Rick question his own past since he was found in a swordsman outfit. Madera doesn’t deny the possibility he came from another world and experienced war just like the other girls. Perhaps the fighting has pained and scarred their souls, making them grow weary and came here. A guard comes in to tell Rick that Ragnas requests his presence. Ragnas tells Rick and the girls that Kaguya and Queen head towards the fleet on their own will. This statement is taken from witnesses Xiao Mei and Hank. Ragnas returns Rick’s original sword and wants him to go bring Kaguya back. He notes how noble she is as she could have just stayed hidden on the island but chose to save lives. However Rick declines he can do it because he is a baker. What about his bout on par with Blacktail? That was for the reward to fix the furnace. But his bread isn’t up to standard the way he is now. Even if Ragnas is willing to lend Rufina for help and tells him his past is already determined when he was found in swordsman clothes, Rick still doesn’t want to do it.

So amidst the crisis he goes back to bake bread?! WTF?! Still not good, huh? When he goes out, he sees Amil and co. They apologize that they didn’t realize he was troubled by his past and lost memories. No matter what he did before, they will still believe in him because Rick is Rick and know what he is like now. He doesn’t have to hide his true feelings. And while he’s thinking about it, they’ll be back at Le Coeur to bake bread. I guess this is what they can do. I suppose this changes his mind but Rick doesn’t need to rush back all the way to the castle because Rufina is waiting for him halfway. As they make haste, Rufina mentions Ragnas was always worried he couldn’t protected the people stranded on this island. So when Rick arrived, he was please that the swordsman he was looking for had come. He has been waiting for a stranger with the powers to protect this island. Dylan and his men also set sail towards the fleet as Ragnas was generous enough to hand them a new ship. Before Rick leaves, Flora and her son give Rick bread made by the ladies from Le Coeur. This bread will bring everyone on this island happiness. Rufina gives Rick the pendant from Kaguya and believes its true power will reveal. Queen left it behind foreseeing the worst circumstances and perhaps the main reason why the pirates come to Wyndaria for this great power. Rufina chants a spell as Rick sprouts angel wings and flies towards the fleet. Together with Queen, they start slashing and cutting down the heavy weaponry. I don’t Dylan’s little ship can make any impact but it’s better than nothing. Hank brings Xiao Mei to his workshop and we see him unveiling a giant cannon from beneath the floors. Queen protects Rick from a direct shot but she wants him to go save Kaguya.

Episode 12
Rick dives into the ship and sees Kaguya tied up. But he has to deal with the giant reptilian foe first. Rick seemingly lost at first when the pendant starts glowing. The reptile is surprised he has it. Xiao Mei wonders how they are going to bring up this cannon. They can’t. Hank lights the fuse and makes a run! The cannon is so powerful that it blasts a hole in the mountain and right into the floating fortress. There goes his workshop. In addition, Queen revives and finishes it off with another devastating blast while the distraction means Rick thrusts his sword into the reptile’s gut (can a small sword do any damage to such a big creature?). We know the good guys have victory when the floating fortress sinks. Rick finds himself lying on Kaguya’s lap on the shore. He gives her eat bread from Le Coeur. I wonder if it still tastes good after all that war dust. Yup, it is. That’s Le Coeur for you. Rick says that is the bread of happiness. A bread that can make anyone on this island happy. Hmm… Shouldn’t he have given it to the scaly enemies first? Oh, I forgot. They’re probably carnivores. She wonders if he’ll continue to make them but he’s tired. She doesn’t want to be hurt and keep smiling. That would’ve been enough for her. I guess she’s tired too. Rick closes his eyes and rest. In the aftermath, Kaguya continues to stay on this island as Queen part ways with her, hoping they’ll meet again. Ragnas is to bestow Rick, Hank, Xiao Mei and Dylan and his crew reward but it seems Madera is only here on their behalf. We see the Le Coeur girls continue to deliver their bread, Xiao Mei returning a fixed toy to an orphan, Hank probably now enjoying an open air campfire now that his workshop is totally ‘remodelled’. Rick is training at Madera’s place and he learns a few more tricks regarding controlling temperature via good fire to make good quality bread. She also explains about tricks, which are methods used by people long ago who kept trying after failing. What she is trying to say is if he is going to follow some path or make his own. Of course Rick wants to continue this. Though his bread is still inconsistent, Madera notes he has something important now. Later that night, Amil, Airy and Neris sneak in to wake Rick up but he surprises them first. Off they go to make more delicious bread at Le Coeur.

So Good You Can Even Eat It On Its Own
Despite the happy ending, I can’t say that I am really satisfied with how it all ended. At least it is still much better than the Shining Tears X Wind series. I just felt that the final battle with those reptiles from another world was kinda rushed. It took some time to build up their mysterious presence to arrive closer to the island (which they never even got close) and then with a few blasts and shots here and there, they’re destroyed. Doesn’t it feel cheap? I guess they’re not so tough without the pendant after all, huh? So what does this mean? Will it mean that more of their kind from another world will come back in the future when the moon turns red again since Kaguya is still holding on to the pendant? Can she just destroy it if it just brings bad news? Well, it did play a pivotal role in helping Rick and the others defeat the reptilian foes so I suppose it is whose hands the pendant falls with.

I guess the characters are pretty average and from what I understand, most of them come adrift from the other world. So to say that a big majority of the people in Wyndaria are from other worlds? Not too sure if they are from the same different world but I thought it was really kind of a weird custom for those vagabonds to show up in Wyndaria via being washed up ashore. It’s like they’re saying all strangers come from the sea. Besides, wasn’t there a theory that states that living things originate from the sea? And for those people washed up on the shores of Wyndaria, the other trait that they all have is that they don’t really remember their past. It’s like as though they have been given a second chance and a new lease of life to start things all over again from scratch in a new place. So how and why did they drift from another world is perhaps a mystery and another story. But as Madera puts it, to escape war and pain. I won’t discount the fact that she too might be a vagabond and having lived so long, she might have seen lots of things.

So Rick might be more than your average baker that keeps the customers coming to Le Coeur. Despite his happy new life, his mysterious past continues to bug him and he can’t leave it alone either. Perhaps that anxiety of worrying has caused him to lose touch in his bread quality. Will he be better off once he knows his past? There will be no turning back once he learns it and if so, can he live with it? True, he might be a swordsman in his previous life but was he a chivalrous swordsman? Or was he some sort of mercenary and killed many? It’s not like Rick has fully regained all his memories but I guess for now he has come to terms with his past and the most important thing is to chart his future. You can’t move forward if you keep getting trapped in your past. If Rick ever feels a dilemma to choose which path he has to take, let me propose it this way. While he continues to bake fresh bread every day, when the time calls for it to fight enemies that threaten Wyndaria, he can pick up his sword and play the hero. Not too bad, right? We have seen him done it so I don’t see any problems in the future.

I feel Neris, Amil and Airy make any significant impact in the series maybe except provide us with cute pretty faces while serving the bread. Okay, maybe that is just me. Seriously, I couldn’t see how they played any pivotal role in the series besides giving Rick their support. Amil seems like a worrywart when she first saw Rick picked up the sword but just like the other girls, they come to realize that it is not Rick’s past that they should be concerned about. Rick is Rick for who he is now regardless of who he was. It’s not like anything is going to change. Other characters seem pretty okay though they don’t really change much throughout the series. Madera the old woman gives advice when needed, Hank may be a grumpy dwarf but despite his cold exterior of steel he still has a warm heart and helps out in his own way. Hank did mention he knows Madera for a long time but I wonder what their relationship is. Maybe Hank will just tell me to mind my business and go watch more anime rather than cracking my head over something that I will eventually care less about. True. Xiao Mei is a crafty cat girl. By day she is an antique dealer and by night a thief (whenever necessary) but that doesn’t mean she is a bad person or have ulterior motives (unless when it comes to something that can fetch a high price). I don’t know how Xiao Mei’s role in the final episode would amount to anything. How can a thin cat girl help Hank pull a lever for the giant cannon? I thought it would’ve been plausible if Hank could’ve done it himself. Maybe he needs that extra push. Maybe Xiao Mei needs that extra little appearance otherwise we don’t really see her in action, right? Well, that’s the most you’ll see her in action anyway.

Ragnas may initially sound like a prince who has some ulterior motive but it turns out that he genuinely cares for his people and all those in Wyndaria regardless where they come from just like Rufina. I guess you don’t really rush into things so he takes his time observing Rick to see whether he is fit to do a job or not. Rouna, she is still clumsy (who doesn’t love clumsy maids, what more with animal ears) but she is still lethal when it comes to taking down enemies. For some of the other minor characters, I begin to wonder what actually happened to them. Take for instance Alvin and Lana. So after Le Coeur people leave the bread as thanks, that’s all you’ll ever see them. Then in the final scenes, you see them munching on the bread so as not to forget that they really existed. I don’t know if elves and humans really do not really mix well because in Shining Tears X Wind too, elves don’t think highly of humans. But in this series, we hardly see any of their race due to the secrecy and privacy their race wants. So we don’t really see much about them. Melty and Sorbet? Well, she’s still trying to perfect her ultimate ice cream. So that’s about it about her, huh? Just one stinking episode on her that really bears no impact to the overall story. Now that Kaguya is planning to stay here, I wonder what she’ll do. More importantly, where did Queen go? I don’t know if she really went back to her other world or went travelling around the globe. Shouldn’t she stay with her master? You don’t know when the next danger might come.

I would like to say that the true ‘star’ of this show are the breads and pastries. YUM! Too bad I can’t only feed my eyes on them. How much would it cost to taste Rick’s bread? I hope I don’t have to take drastic actions and wash myself up on some shore (hoping it is Wyndaria) just to get a taste of them. As delicious the breads may look, however as the story picks up pace, they get featured less and less. So it was nice that the series started out with seemingly filler episodes (which I approve since I was more into the delicious bread) about Le Coeur baking bread and delivering them around town. Then when a strange fortress is seen approaching the island and Rick having trouble coming to terms with his missing memories, the bread gets lesser appearance to the extent that they become cameo appearances. It’s like the series is losing sight of what it was originally made for (at least that is what I feel). Can we at least end the series and leave some of those delicious breads in my memory? Yeah, the Le Coeur girls may be welcoming us at the end but I don’t see the bread… Oops, my mistake. Rick is holding up some croissants. But need more bread variety…

The drawing and art is of course more polished compared to the other Shining series so lots of the characters have this beautiful people look. I guess the bread will ‘taste’ better to us if there are pretty people making and eating them. If ugly people were seen eating them, I think you would lose your appetite too. For this series and your subsequent meal. When I noticed Amil, Neris and Madera’s hairstyle braids, I thought that I’m going to see a majority of females’ hair having this hairstyle. Why did I think of this? Well, you see, braids sound close to bread so I thought they were going to play around with this theme… Hah. How embarrassing. There is also no fanservice in this series. You thought Rouna’s clumsiness would allow us to peek underneath her skirt or when she lifts them up to reveal the hidden knives underneath it. Alas, you’d be disappointed because they don’t really show them. I don’t think there was any intention of making such scenes either since they are not even purposely censored out.  The most I suppose is Xiao Mei’s sexy short qipao dress. Mmm… Nice legs… Because if this series really had fanservice in it, it would have probably overwhelm the bread parts. And I would have the cheek to call this series, Shining Hearts: Shiawase No Pan-tsu. Haha! Geddit? Oh yeah, that will be a different kind of happiness and bliss.

Romance wise, I don’t think there is any here. Though it is hinted that the girls of Le Coeur have feelings for Rick, but it is not very obvious. I know a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but how can any girls resist him if he is such a good baker? He can easily steal the hearts of others with these babies. I’m sure I would have fallen in love with those breads by now if only I had a taste of them :'(. Come back my darlings! I’m not sure if Xiao Mei does have any feelings for Rick and even if she did display them (not that I see any of this in here), it would probably be using him so that she can make some profit somehow. Kaguya doesn’t seem like she has shown any because she just totally loves his bread as it makes her smile and happy. Well, maybe that’s another kind of love. The only chemistry which I can see (assume rather) is Flora for Dylan. Too bad as a pirate he gets land sickness and can’t stay for too long since the sea is calling for him.

As I found out, just like the Shining Tears X Wind series, this one also had the same seiyuus from the game reprising their roles for the TV anime as well. With the exception of Kanae Itou (Nobuna in Oda Nobuna No Yabou). In the game she voices Amil, Neris and Airy but in the TV anime she is just only the voice of Amil. The other roles are given to Mai Aizawa as Neris (Mio in Nichijou) and Shiori Mikami as Airy (Akari in YuruYuri). I guess it would be a pain to differentiate who is speaking if they all sounded the same, right? I guess in the game the girls are all sisters but this isn’t so in the TV anime. Hiroshi Kamiya is the voice of Rick (Nozomu in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei) and though he is also the voice of Alvin, there wasn’t any much differentiation between them so I thought it sounded funny when both guys were talking and they sounded the same. It’s like, hey, isn’t he like talking to himself? Hmm… Chiwa Saito as Xiao Mei seems like she is reprising her role as Mao from Shining Tears X Wind. Well, both are scheming sexy cat girls, right? Rie Kugimiya makes her cameo as Melty though she won’t be pulling off much of her typical tsundere voice like Louise from Zero No Tsukaima. Other casts include Ryou Hirohashi as Lana and Rouna (Alice in Aria The Animation), Masaharu Satou as Hank (Pagos in Dr Slump), Houko Kuwashima as Kaguya (Nakahito in Steel Angel Kurumi), Izumi Kitta as Queen (Cordelia in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Hiroko Emori as Madera (Chaozu in Dragonball Z), Hikaru Midorikawa as Ragnus (Rukawa in Slam Dunk), Yui Horie as Rufina (Kotori in Da Capo), Kazuya Nakai as Dylan (Hijikata in Gintama) and Tomoko Kaneda as Sorbet (Chiyo in Azumanga Daioh).

The opening theme, Toki Sekai by the trio ladies of Le Coeur, I thought it starts off with an ominous-like tone. Then it turns into what I feel like is a little Christmas song! Though it plays to a slow and calming beat, it isn’t that appealing to me. That’s because I prefer very much the cute ending theme, Fuwaffuwa No Mahou, also sung by the same trio. In this sparkling and cheeky tune, we have the girls singing about, you guessed it, bread. Especially the lyrics are about how to make happy bread for you. In addition to sugar, butter and flour, you got to put your feelings into it for some fluffy magic. Yes. Put in lots of love in it while kneading the dough. Don’t be sad or else the bread will be salty. Then add more love and bake it till its brown and continue sprinkling it with powdered sugar of love on top. Now you’re ready to eat! Yum! I’m sure it’s going to taste sweet. And while the girls are singing, you can see them doing a little cute dance of their own. May not catch on to be the next big craze like Psy’s Gangnam Style but at least for me, I did try to imitate a little of their moves. I’m not sure if my bread tastes more delicious after this little dance but I had a good time having fun and laughing while doing some of the hand movements myself. Yeah, this should be the official song for any happy bread in the world. A song from the game’s soundtrack is also featured as an insert song for the TV series. White And Shadow ~Mugen No Rinbu~ by Lia (Veil) sounds like it has a hint of sadness though its lyrics are mostly abstract about time, light, darkness, forest and storm. Well, I suppose it really fits the overall mood if the series is of fantasy genre.

Watching each episode definitely made me crave to eat bread each time I finish the episode. Oh well, breads to cost a lot if I buy them at the nearest bakery so I’ll have to make do with my plain bread and put lots of peanut butter, strawberry jam, butter, margarine and kaya topping it off with Kraft cheese singles. Mmmm. Yum! This whooper still tastes good. I know chocolate and sweet stuffs are still my favourite by bread and its equivalent pastries can be a wonderful substitute if the former isn’t around. Who cares about the calories as long as I feel happy. Yes, it is good for you. Good for your soul, I mean. I’m sure breads of happiness do exist as well as chocolates of happiness, ice cream of happiness, cake of happiness, candies of happiness, sweets of happiness… Oops. Before I lose myself, let me just say that despite bread being able to bring wholesome goodness and happiness to the family, I guess it won’t make a good tool for world peace. Otherwise you would have been seeing all world leaders chomping breads in their mouth as gesture of peace and there will be no more civil and international wars. I guess it takes more than a loaf for peace. Especially in times of war when price of a loaf just shoots up… Will ice cream do a better job then?

Suki Desu Suzuki-kun

February 22, 2013

You know the key ingredients of a shoujo manga. Romance. Love triangles or in this case love quadruple. In Suki Desu Suzuki-kun, it is one of those love stories between 4 classmates of a junior high school, Hikaru Suzuki, Shinobu Suzuki, Chihiro Itou, and Sayaka Hoshino. If you notice a couple of characters having the surname Suzuki, they are not related in blood whatsoever and their character and physiques differ very much. One is a midget and the other a wealthy kid. You get the idea. Watch their love development and the pangs of love in the 2 episode OVAs are based on the manga of the same name. Not very much, huh?

Episode 1
Hikaru & Chihiro’s Opening Scene
As Hikaru walks along, he sees Chihiro being hit on by several guys. They’re so annoying that she even wonders if she should just kick them in the crotch. Hikaru butts in to warn the guys that this girl eats a lot and likes to fight but Chihiro protests and they start arguing. The bullies didn’t like being ignored especially from midget Hikaru and are going to beat him up. Hikaru gives them the slip with his cool basketball dodging manoeuvres and dunks on their head. Chihiro narrates that she was the one who taught him those moves when Hikaru starts acting cocky.

Shinobu’s Opening Scene
Hikaru’s buddies greet him and they’re lucky they’re in the same class with cutie Chihiro. Suddenly a limo pulls out and out comes the filthy rich kid Shinobu whose parents somewhat are also bosses of this town. Lots of girls are clamouring over him and he’s got the arrogant and horrible attitude to match it. Hikaru is upset that there is somebody who shares the same surname with him and yet things are pretty much different between them.

Sayaka’s Opening Scene
Sayaka is a shy and timid girl with low self confidence. She accidentally bumps into Shinobu and his girls. The cocky bastard tells her to watch where she is going and this causes Sayaka to feel even humiliated. Hikaru then smacks Shinobu’s head with his slipper! He wants him to apologize to her as he has witnessed everything. Both guys trade insults with Hikaru calling Shinobu a daddy’s boy (because he threatens to tell papa) and Shinobu calling Hikaru a grandma’s boy (because late granny told him to always treat girls right). They start fighting and not even the teacher can stop them. It took Chihiro to smack them into order and make them apologize on their knees. Shinobu doesn’t take this embarrassment well. As Chihiro helps Sayaka up, Hikaru notices the books Sayaka is reading and realizes she is from the drama club. He recognizes one of the dramas but Sayaka snatches it and runs away in embarrassment.

Chihiro’s Emotional Scene
Because Hikaru and Chihiro are running late, Hikaru gives Chihiro a piggy back ride and makes a dash. It made Chihiro remember how things were reversed back then, she used to take care of him like a little brother. She enjoys the moment riding on his back.

Hikaru’s Emotional Scene
Sayaka laments she ran off just like that without thanking them and starts beating herself up that she’s such a slow person. She remembers a heroine in the drama she read who clearly conveyed her feelings and hoped to be like her. Hikaru comes to the rooftop to relax when he spots Sayaka reciting love lines from the drama. She is such a natural that she’s sparkling! Such beauty! Of course she gets embarrassed when she realizes he is watching. However he is impressed with her instead because she turned into a new person while acting out. He lifted her too high in the air that the wind blew up her skirt! Mmm… Nice pink ribbon pantsu… Oops. Chihiro is looking for Hikaru when she spots him and Sayaka very friendly on the rooftop. Shock? Shinobu is still upset that he was hit when he chances upon Chihiro. Her side expression made his heart skipped. Ah, here’s another crush in the making. Chihiro narrates and thus beings 2 small crushes. It is the beginning of a fated love of several years between Hikaru and Sayaka who eventually captivated the entire country.

Episode 2
Hikaru wakes up from a sexy dream of Sayaka. Was he glad or disappointed it turned out that way? He meets up with Sayaka before departing for the class trip and because he is somewhat ignoring her (due to that dream), she thinks he hates her and became distant ever since their first kiss. Maybe it’s because of the drool? Think not. Sayaka explains to Chihiro at a souvenir shop that sells souvenirs on shinsengumi items. Thanks to her recent drama on shinsengumi, Sayaka has taken an interest in one of the characters, the swordsman Souji Okita. She spots a group of guys trying to shoplift but Chihiro was quick to warn them to put it back or else she’ll report it to the police. The shoplifters then leave without causing a scene. Hikaru was worried Chihiro acted rashly and should have called him at times like this. However she brushes him off that she is a better fighter than him. Later as Sayaka sits alone, she reflects how Hikaru and Chihiro interact well together. Maybe he does hate her. To get her mind of it, she starts getting into the role of Souji Okita. Hikaru sees her serious expression and steely gaze. Like falling in love once more, eh? When he realizes she noticed him, he became a bit clumsy and knocked over a statue. Sayaka wanted to touch his head to see if he is injured but he avoids her. This causes Sayaka to think he really hates her so much that he doesn’t want her to touch him. She runs away in tears. Sayaka seeks solace in Chihiro as the latter explains it is Hikaru being a moron, trying to make it hard for others to understand him. But Sayaka still envies her because she has a more trusting relationship with him than she does. That’s because they’re not in love, right? Or so Chihiro laments. Sayaka notices the bruise on Chihiro’s wrist caused by that incident with the shoplifter and bandages it. Chihiro gets a call from Hikaru looking for Sayaka. She passes the line to Sayaka so they can speak and clear things up. However Hikaru hears the girls’ scream before being cut off. Shinobu sees Hikaru’s stiff face and gets one himself after learning Hikaru lost contact with Chihiro. Have a bad feeling about this.

The shoplifters have kidnapped the girls and plan to humiliate them by taking photos of them in the nude as blackmail. Chihiro wants them to leave Sayaka alone and will do her share of the ‘punishment’. Sayaka become so afraid of what is about to happen to Chihiro that she picks up a wooden stick and turns into that Souji Okita character. Wow. She’s really good. Like as though she isn’t acting. But the real person himself! The bullies thought she’s just playing around but the swing of the stick proves she is no pushover. Chihiro notes how cool she is and realizes the reason why Hikaru fell in love with her. Chihiro joins her as they are surrounded by the bullies. Sayaka notes how they should adapt to the situation and not stick to just one technique. Meaning? Chihiro lifts up her skirt to reveal her polka dots pantsu to distract the guys before smacking them with the stick! Hey, it works. She notices Sayaka’s movements are more refined and gorgeous. Since she’s a beauty too, it’s like she’s a beautiful Bakumatsu swordsman standing before her. In the end, the bullies get beaten up by the girls. How shameful. Sayaka trembles in fear upon realizing how scared she was now that everything has calmed down. Well, better than being scared and paralyzed during the important fight. The girls praise each other but I think they were doing it for too long for the bullies to call reinforcements. So they can’t beat a pair of girls and they stoop this low and dirty for revenge. But this time the girls don’t have to lift a finger because here comes the calvary! ‘Monsters’ in the name of Hikaru and Shinobu! See how pissed they are! It’s time to show them how cool they are. Shinobu is mad because they got to see Chihiro’s panties before he does! Hikaru realizes he likes Shinobu but won’t give her to him because she’s like his sister. They start arguing among each other, ignoring the bullies. Even so, they’re in sync while beating them up while arguing! Just like two sides of a coin, eh? One of the bullies tries to take the girls as hostage and get rough with them. Shinobu and Hikaru block his strike with their body. Gosh. They’re bleeding. They decide to put aside their difference in this temporary truce and beat up this trash. See, when they cooperate, they’re invincible. They’re looking cool even spouting cool lines (“I’ll sacrifice my body several times for the woman I love”) and perhaps score some points in the books of the ladies until they suddenly drop unconscious. Too cool, eh? If their head bleeding is not enough, now they have nose bleeding to deal with since they now get a very close glimpse of the girls in their bras.

Love To The Rescue?
How can a couple of episodes do justice to this? As I read, many fans that have read the manga and watched this were disappointed over this pathetic OVA that simply wasn’t much ado about anything. How would you like it if you were introduced to the characters falling in love with each other in the first episode and then fast forward a little bit in the next episode (aren’t we disappointed that we couldn’t see Hikaru and Sayaka’s first kiss?) and then it suddenly ends. Aren’t you just mad and frustrated? Despite being released in 2010, so far there is no word that there will be any more episodes whatsoever. It would have been great if this was made into a TV series instead of a couple of episodes that were simply based off from a few chapters in the manga (the first episode was of course the first few chapters while the second episode was the 15th and 16th chapters – besides, the animated scenes are taken directly from the pages of the manga). I mean, despite the storyline may be cliché and quite some predictable elements, it still provides a good watch if you like shoujo and romance stuffs.

As seen from the OVAs, there is the love and one-sided crushes between the characters, some comedic bits, a little action and well yeah, a little fanservice. So what’s not to not like?  Even the art and drawing of the characters borders between good looking at cute. There are times the characters are in their chibi mode in certain scenes, otherwise they are those typical gorgeous sparkling wide eyed characters that make shoujo genres oh so cute and pretty. Therefore, I thought that the OVA served as somewhat a promotional material to introduce the series and perhaps get those who are not familiar with the manga title to take a look at it. Besides, as I have found out, the manga recently concluded in September 2012. And no, I didn’t read the manga. But I did read briefly the synopsis of the second half that focuses on these characters when they’re in high school. They supposedly have broken off all relationships but reunited in high school and find it tough to go back to way things were since everything has changed. Another set of challenges to overcome, no?

So bottom line of this story, just like in another other love genres, love may be a wonderful thing but most of the time it doesn’t quite work out the way we want. You love somebody but that somebody has his/her heart on somebody else. Somebody else likes you but you don’t really have feelings for him/her. You want to confess but can’t help feel the fear of being rejected because your world will suddenly come crashing down to a rude halt. Somebody else confesses first and your world suddenly comes crashing down too. Sometimes when you’re honest with your feelings, it doesn’t pay you back. You know, this kind of things. Hah. I’m talking like I’m a love expert despite not having falling in love or having a girlfriend of my own. Maybe it’s thanks to all the shoujo genres that I’ve been watching and learning from. Certainly not!

Arcana Famiglia

February 17, 2013

The last time an anime about a group of Italian mafiaso was Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn. I thought it would be more or less the same with Arcana Famiglia but the only thing they have in common is that the family is Italian, though it is odd that they’re speaking Japanese (for convenience of course) and they look like your typical Japanese anime characters. Well, that’s anime for you. Also, this anime isn’t based on a manga but a game of the same name. Calling this Arcana family a mafia group isn’t exactly right as they are more of a vigilante group that protects the fictitious island of Regalo and its inhabitants. But the storyline as I read is something like this. The head of the family is about to retire and is to marry his only daughter off to the guy who wins in the upcoming battle to determine who will be the strongest family member. Of course as the daughter of the boss, she is not one who would like her father to decide the path she walks especially about her love life. And so it begins her journey to be stronger so that she can defend herself and null the marriage proposal in a family that consists of mostly half-siblings and cousins. It must be tough to be the only girl in a family dominated by men, eh?

Episode 1
Nova is apprehending crooks for trading contraband goods but they resist. Liberta comes to his aid though they don’t really appreciate each other’s help. The baddies run away via car so the duo use a shortcut to catch up by foot. Felicita is annoyed by Luca’s pestering about tonight’s birthday party when the car dangerously closes in. Liberta does a dangerous stunt by leaping off a rooftop onto the car. Debito fires his gun to throw some of the goons off and it ends with Dante firing his bazooka into the vehicle! Thankfully everybody jumped off by then. Liberta into the arms of Pace. The crook thought he could fight back till Nova slashes his clothes till bits and he instantly gives up. A couple of new traders wonder what that ruckus was all about so the local lady tells them they are the vigilante group that protects Regalo Island, Arcana Famiglia. Back home, Luca is disheartened that Felicita decides to wear her suit instead of her dress for the birthday part of Papa Mondo. Even her maids blame Luca for not raise her properly seeing he was her attendant since young. So I guess every other guy too had hopes seeing her wearing a dress. Till Liberta came along and Felicita gave him a good kick. What gives? As Jolly explains, it was because he was thinking bad thoughts. All of them received Arcana powers when the made a deal with Tarocco (tarot cards). Each of them has powers corresponding to a card. Like Liberta holds the starting card, The Fool. Nova holds the thirteenth card, Death while Felicita the sixth card, Lovers. This allows her to peek into the heart of others and so she accidentally saw his unholy thoughts. Since Arcana powers use emotions as their foundation, this means Felicita doesn’t have control over powers yet. Mondo makes his appearance to the rousing welcome of his men. In his speech, he surprises everyone that he is going to retire. Therefore he seeks a successor. In 2 months time, there will be an Arcana Duello and all those with Arcana powers will participate to determine the strongest Arcana. He assures on his 21st card, the World that he will grant the victor the title Papa to lead this family and any wish he desires. Also, the winner gets to marry his daughter Felicita. Surprise?

Felicita can’t accept that but Mondo reminds her she when she joined the family, she must follow his rule. Felicita is bent on walking her own path so Mondo challenges her to fight and beat him here. Felicita only had her kicks so Mondo easily overpowers her. The ‘deathblow’ is when he tells her choosing her own path is a right she has not earned. He even mocks her like a child and to cry to gain pity from the men. Liberta didn’t like it and tells Mondo off he is robbing Felicita’s freedom and should be ashamed he calls himself her father. So if he doesn’t like it too and can’t follow orders, feel free to fight and beat him here. He is going to do that but Nova stands in the way. He reminds them Mondo is still their Papa. As they are about to clash, they are broken up. Nova is tripped by invisible Debito because he holds the ninth card, Hermit while Pace who holds the eleventh card, Strength holds Liberta down. Mondo tells Liberta if he wants to free Felicita, then participate in Arcana Duello. Because he will grant any wish to the winner. Mama Sumire hints to Felicita since she wants to walk her own path, there is also a way for her to win. While we see some of the guys dreaming of becoming Felicita’s bride, Liberta talks to Felicita outside and assures her he will win and gain her freedom. Nova doesn’t believe he can do that because he could hardly control his power. Liberta thought Nova can’t use his Arcana powers because he has never seen him done so. Nova tells him off not to put him in the same group as him. The guys calm down as Nova also assures Felicita he will prevent her forced marriage should he win. That makes 2 of them, right? Yeah well, if Nova only had confidence in Liberta. Which he doesn’t of course.

Episode 2
Luca drives Felicita to her new home where she’ll be staying. I guess she ignored him when he started talking about his fourteenth card, Temperance. She is greeted and introduced once more to the familiar guys who are heads of their respective division such as division leader (Dante – he holds the fourth card, Emperor), intelligence/diplomacy (Liberta), coin (Debito), audit (Pace) and defence AKA Holy Grail (Nova). Felicita is made in charge of the sword division. No prizes in guessing what this division does. Next morning, Felicita and Liberta spot Nova looking around searching for something. He didn’t want the duo to get involved so Felicita accidentally peeks into his heart, much to his dismay. Seems he saved a white kitten from being run over by a carriage. Felicita and Liberta want to help him find it. Liberta finds it first but it runs around causing him to break an expensive vase. The kitten made a fool out of the guys. Getting Luca stuck in a tree and having Nova and Liberta banging each other’s heads when they try to corner it. I know they’re loggerheads but… The kitten seeks solace in Felicita who chide the guys for trying to be too rough. Nova suggests returning it to the street where he found it but there is a chance it might get run over again. Felicita suggests returning it to its owner so they try to look for hints on its expensive material collar. Felicita couldn’t make out of the flower perfume the kitten has so Jolly pops up to advise her the perfume mix it has on. The guys are surprised this alchemist left his lab so he mentions even though he holds the eighteenth card, Moon, he isn’t confined to just coming out at night. As the family’s advisor, his job is to advise those who are in trouble. The trio try to find the owner but end up disappointed. Pace thinks he knows of a person who can help: Debito. At his casino, he can think of 15 women who have that smell of perfume but knows none who owns a cat. Felicita accidentally peeks into the kitten’s heart and sees a blonde. Well, that narrows it down to 8. Debito notices the expensive material collar and knows who the owner might be. They return it to Federica and as reward, she gives her a dress. On the way back, Nova reminds her it is bad for her to peek into hearts of others without permission. Due to the upcoming Arcana Duello, it is all the reason why they must strengthen their Arcana powers and control them at their own will. He believes she can do it. Meanwhile… Luca is still stuck on the tree! I’m not sure what the end part is all about because Dante and Liberta by majority find Nova guilty about the thought of returning the kitten to its original spot. As repentance, he is made to sing some song.

Episode 3
Felicita reports that one of the maids, Isabella had sighted a ghost in the kitchen. So of course they go check it out just in case. Liberta has some accidentally perverted mishaps with Felicita. She tries to kick him and he falls through the kitchen door. And what did they see? IT’S A GHOST!!! Soon they realize it is just a white cloth and a hat and put up by Luca as a Pace repellent. A repellent? You see, there was this sleepwalking incident whereby Pace ate all the cakes he baked. Yeah, Pace looked a lot spookier and freaked the hell out of Luca. Luca is making them for the piccolino, an event they hold at the church to entertain the island’s children. At the church, the children weren’t impressed with Luca’s dove magic (only Liberta was) while Debito scares the children with his made-up tale of a child ghost in this church. Felicita notices despite Debito’s scary looks, he is good with children. Pace and Luca are his childhood friends and can attest to that. After lunch, they play football with the kids and Pace I’m not sure accident or not, his super kick sent the ball right into Luca’s face. Nova as the only one sitting out is visited by Sumire. She is here to give him a ‘scolding’ for sitting out this event again. Though he says he is busy with work, he notes that he doesn’t know how to interact with children. The storm is picking up as the Arcana guys suit up the children and escort them home. Sumire knows Nova is worried about them but he shrugs it off. She notes he is kind and should go to them but he thinks kindness is a weakness. She disagrees because there is nothing to be ashamed of. To be kind and weak, both hold great powers. He has imprisoned himself within an amour though she and Mondo felt heavily responsible for taking away his childhood. He is afraid of hurting others or being hurt himself. All she wants is for him to enjoy life the way he desires. So out Nova goes to the church. Liberta is trying to keep a couple of kids at the church company before Debito comes back with his last round. He remembers in the stormy seas sailing with Dante. The crates fell off and he his powers were activated. After Debito returns to take the last of the children home, they check the place and are ready to leave when Nova busts in. He learns all the children have been sent home. If so, what is this last one doing here? Didn’t notice this Elmo kid sitting on the chair? Elmo wants asks Felicita a question. He doesn’t know this feeling, the kind of thumping pain in his heart all of a sudden. And he’s not sick. Can you guess what it is? The next lightning flash, Elmo disappears from his spot and is seen close to the door. He thanks them and will go home by himself. Nova goes after her but to his surprise and the rest, he’s missing. Don’t tell me Elmo’s a ghost! The repentance corner has Pace and Luca finding Debito guilty about his talking manners at the church. They make him drink some ‘magic tea’ that will refine him. Sure, he becomes polite to the point it is so creepy that they want the original foul mouth Debito back!

Episode 4
A short flashback sees how Dante brought young Liberta into the Arcana family as they sail into Regalo. Liberta and Felicita are tasked by Sumire to give a scarf to Giovanna but since the map Nova drew had too many detours, Liberta takes the shortest cut which is via roof to roof. They stop to admire the ocean view as Felicita notes how close Liberta is to Dante. They’re like father and son but something bugs Liberta. He can’t seem to remember his past nor how long has he known Dante. As they make a move, this thought continues to bug him so he became careless and falls off the roof, dragging Felicita along. Thank goodness the tents broke their fall and though they are all right, it’s not all right for the shop owner. As compensation, they are made to help sell his stuff for the day and coincidentally Giovanna was there so they gave the scarf. The shop owner is grateful that his sales doubled today so he has them take anything he wants. Liberta is looking at the masks and has interests in them because when he was at an orphanage, a mask man busted him out. He picks up a rare mask in which the shop owner mentions this mask is from Nord Country and legend has it a masked hero saved an orphanage that was doing bad things to orphans. Liberta goes back and happily shows the mask to Dante but he is not pleased reading Nova’s report that he endangered Felicita’s safety earlier in the day. He chides him to put more effort in becoming stronger. I guess he didn’t take that well and runs out. Felicita accidentally reads Dante’s heart and saw a horrifying past. Later she goes to talk to Liberta but he assures her it’s not Dante’s words that put him down. He made a vow to live by the sword and needs to be stronger. When he becomes strong, he might be able to remember his past and the guy in the mask. Felicita still worried goes to ask Nova but unfortunately he doesn’t know. Even if he does it is a problem between them and if she is still really concern, she should go ask the person herself.

That night Felicita calls Dante to talk so he knows she already saw his heart. Dante relates he was in Nord Country and there was an orphanage that looked like normal from the outside but on the inside they are doing horrible experiments to children. Because Liberta had special powers, he was treated even more inhumane. That’s when Dante, who was the masked hero broke in to beat up the bad guys and save him. However one of the villains held Liberta as hostage. Liberta just said “Burn” and everything in the orphanage exploded into flames. Dante says Liberta has the power of words. Whatever he says becomes true if he wishes so. When Dante brought him back along with him, though Liberta was able to get along well with others, there are times the wound of his heart would cause him to lose control of his powers and go berserk. Dante used his power to seal his memories while Mondo used his to seal his power. If he doesn’t grow up and become stronger, he will not undo the seal. He hopes she will keep this a secret from him. Meanwhile Liberta is being picked up by Pace and co for dinner. They suddenly hear a fire nearby. Though everybody tries their best to evacuate the building and put the fire out, Liberta is just stunned and paralyzed in fear by just looking at the flames. Then he walks home and remembers his lost memories. How could he have forgotten such important memories? He goes to see Felicita and tells her he remembers bits of his memories but some parts are still blur. He hopes she could read his heart to see those parts. She apologizes she can’t. Next he goes to confront Dante and knows he is the masked hero. Dante wonders if Felicita had told him but from the way he said it, Liberta knew even Felicita knows. He was the only one who didn’t. He wants to know why his memories were sealed. Was it because it might go berserk again? Dante feels he hasn’t become strong enough to accept his past. Not the answer he’s seeking for. So as Liberta is moping outside, Nova ‘kicks’ him and reminds him how worried Felicita was and his promise to become stronger so that others won’t have anything to complain. The repentance corner sees Sumire and Jolly finding Dante guilty for having Felicita being able to read his heart. As punishment, they have Felicita read it again. He takes up the challenge and what she sees is the sun rising… And it turns into Dante’s shiny bald head! WTF?!

Episode 5
The much awaited and delicious Limone Pie made by Felicita and Luca is here. Though it tastes good as usual, they complain the portion is small. Liberta is still feeling awkward with Felicita so he takes his early leave and once again Nova had to ‘talk’ to him. Felicita and Nova deliver Limone Pie to others and while eating with Sumire, they remember how Nova first joined the family. He was to be Felicita’s future husband and even get to eat Felicita’s first attempt at making Limone Pie (poor Papa lost out). Felicita agrees to follow Nova on his patrol shift (as part of their plan to get fertilizers for the flowers). She praises him doing a good job in his department and the need for herself to work harder and stabilize hers. She accidentally bumps into a suspicious guy who is acting nervous. She peeks into his heart and realizes he is a thief who had just stolen a lady’s wallet at Debito’s casino. They corner him at an alley and the thief thought he had the upper hand surrounding them with his friends. They see Nova’s Japanese sword and start mocking the family (since Sumire is Japanese) that they are doomed to fall with a woman like that as the head. The duo don’t let their emotions get to their head and easily take them out. In the aftermath, the wallet is returned to the lady and Debito hopes Nova should properly praise Felicita because of her powers that this case is solved. A woman blooms when she’s given praise. On the way home, Nova passes her a bag of fertilizers he had his subordinates go buy while they’re dealing with the thieves. Felicita mentions she gets along well with Mama although she treats everyone nice in the family. However Nova says she doesn’t understand. Great things are expected from her, the reason why Mondo brought up Arcana Duello is to make her, the family heir stronger. Nova wakes up from a dream whereby his original parents try brainwashing him to get into the good books of Arcana family so that they can replace Mondo and take control of Regalo.

Luca has been Felicita’s attendant for so long that he knows something is bugging her. So he goes to confront Nova to have a word that he was too hard on her. She wanted to get closer to him but he pushed her away. Nova feels it’s unacceptable for her to be content in her present state. Luca understands his past and his engagement to her voided but this doesn’t justify him being cold on her. He wants him to be friendlier. Luca calls Felicita in and has him taste a pot of soup she made. Taste good? Now make sure you finish everything. Everything! Nova has a favour to ask of her. Because there are reports of high research funds, he suspects Jolly may be misusing them. She is to enter Jolly’s lab and gather information and see if he’s doing anything suspicious. Even if she’s caught, she’ll get some information without bringing too much suspicion to herself. Felicita can’t seem to enter Jolly’s lab and is caught red handed by Jolly. He changes the locks every now and then and even knows Nova sent her to find out about his improper fund usage. He gives her a stack of documents as proof. Of course that’s just a distraction because he notes he can’t let them know of the real experiment he is doing behind those curtains. While Nova goes through the documents, he is surprised to see clinic charts of his parents. Why does Jolly have them? Felicita thought he is researching a way to cure their illness. But Nova says their illness is a cover up. They have been ‘asleep’ for 7 years and he made them so with his powers. He doubts Felicita would understand because she grew up with Papa and Mama’s love whereas his own parents used him as a tool to try and take over the family. He couldn’t forgive his parents and his powers went berserk. Felicita feels so sad that she cried for him. Nova talks to Sumire about this and she asks if he remembers what he gave her and Mondo when he voided his engagement with Felicita. He can come for it whenever he wants and believes Felicita will be there for him. He doubts she will understand. Rather, he doesn’t want her to. The repentance corner has Luca being the sinner. Why? Because he made Limone Pies too small! His punishment is to make 20 more of them!

Episode 6
Jolly summons the other heads for a meeting except for Dante who is out at sea for ‘negotiation’. Seems pirates have landed on Regalo. They have kidnapped Moreno, Mondo’s older brother and Nova’s father. However their motives are not clear and will wait for their next move. Till then, nobody is to make any move till instructed. Liberta becomes upset that Nova is calm about the whole thing and thinks he should go save his father. If it was him, he will regret it if he doesn’t. Felicita suggests the three of them should go rescue Moreno so I suppose Nova can’t say no. Well, I guess it’s easy spotting the pirate ship off the coast. Because it’s the only ship there! The trio sneak onto it and find it suspiciously void of people on the deck. As they tread deeper, they try to hide from the pirates but because Felicita’s boobs are pressing onto Liberta’s back, safe to say their cover is blown when they take a tumble. And here comes the pirates. Erm… Masked and caped pirates? They fight them off but their numbers are overwhelming and no end. Nova decides to use his Death power and tells the duo to go look for Moreno. They see Nova recite a spell that puts them all instantly to sleep. He is weakened though he tries to fight to stay conscious because if he falls unconscious, the effect goes off. His parents are still in coma because his powers went berserk. The duo find Moreno and reunite with Nova. Before they could get off, they are confronted with a familiar masked hero. Liberta fights him alone but he is too skilful. Nova goes unconscious so Felicita joins in the fight. Even so, they still can’t beat him. A few ‘accidents’ involving one Liberta’s face was shoved into Felicita’s boobs has her beating him up instead.

Liberta comes up with a plan to hold him off till there is an opening for Felicita to take advantage of. That opportunity comes as Felicity tosses her knife right into his mask and Liberta sending him back with a kick. Amazingly his kick must be so powerful that it cracks the mast! OMG. The mast is falling! And it’s going to fall on Felicita! Liberta gains confidence to use his power and wishes the mast to shatter to bits. He loses consciousness after that. Felicita is knocked out by the masked hero. Of course as we all should already know, the mask breaks to reveal Dante behind it. Also, the ‘pirates’ are his men and they were putting up an act to help them realize how weak they are in controlling their powers. When they awake, they find themselves locked in the underground cellar. Jolly reports Moreno has been secured but no reports of any masked man. Besides, the pirate ship had already left when they arrived. Because for going against orders, they should’ve been severely punished but their job well done means they just get to stay a night in this cellar. He hints that the entire incident is a test for them to use their Arcana powers. Felicita is glad because they’re able to save Moreno and return safely. But they realize something off. How did Jolly know what happened on board the ship? For the repentance corner, Liberta is the sinner because the idea of rescuing Moreno came from him. He is made to drink some weird potion made by Jolly. Don’t worry. He won’t die. Maybe that’s what’s worrying. It turns out to be a confession drug that reveals everything what happened back at the cellar in an erotic way fuelled by his carnal desire. Sounds like he is narrating like an erotic book on his views of Felicita! Nova can’t take anymore of this and knocks him out. I guess he is going to get punished too.

Episode 7
Liberta and Nova are being tasked by Sumire to hand a letter to Felicita personally. Most of the family members don’t know where she is and even Dante only knows she went somewhere with Dante. They try going to the restaurant to ask Pace but he’s not there and was made to pay for his tabs. They try going to the casino to ask Debito but ended up chasing a swindler girl. Worse, she somehow escaped from her cuffs and put it on the duo! Now they’re stuck together and Debito’s key is the only thing that can free them. By the way, he’s not in too. Jolly spots them ‘holding hands’ and he notes that somebody has used up caraway herbs he uses to make medicine. Love potion? The only other person who can make this is Luca so he suspects him why all the caraway is gone. Liberta rushes to go find her but Nova wants to calm down and look for clues instead of looking blindly. So happen they are in front of a fortune teller’s tent and she offers to help them out. Nova deduces her riddles and this leads them to seek Federica’s help. Sumire tells Mondo about her scheme that she made for Liberta and Nova because she wants them to get along. By spending time together, they will understand each other better and respect each other while improving their Arcana powers. Meanwhile Felicita tags along with Luca, Pace and Debito to Luca’s secret garden. Seems a bit far, don’t you think? Because Luca grows herb in his yard for alchemy, Jolly often takes and uses them without his permission. So he made a secret garden out here where he can’t find and this is like his secret base. Every year, Luca drags his best friends to help harvest the herbs. Inside a cave, Pace nearly became a victim to the traps Luca set for Jolly as emergency measure. He didn’t learn from last year and made the same mistakes again. Felicita thought Luca went too far but he mentions despite Jolly being his alchemy teacher, he cannot admire him and advises her not to get too close to him. They arrive at the secret garden which looks like a giant green house. I wonder who maintains it if they only come here once a year. Everything looks beautiful and kempt.

Nova and Liberta follow Federica’s cat and this leads them outside the cave. They almost got done in by the traps set off by the cat and borrowed each other’s sword to fend off threatening traps. They think Luca is serious in setting traps of this calibre when they hear Felicita’s scream. They make haste and the guys welcome them for making it. There’s a bug on her apple… Luca reveals Sumire asked him to make a potion that is only effective on cats. He left a trail that’s why the cat led the duo to them. The guys also reveal that they are accomplices with Sumire in setting all this up. So did they have fun? Nova doesn’t think it’s that bad. Finally free, they hand over the letter to Felicita who suddenly flusters upon reading it. It ends with them having taking a group photo. Pace puts that photo on his mother’s grave and assures her they’re all happy. The fortune teller turns out to be Giovanna and also Sumire’s accomplice. And the contents of the letter reveal to be Felicita having to kiss the brave men as their reward. Pace is the sinner this time because Luca didn’t get to take a picture with Felicita only. If only Pace’s plates didn’t break. WTF. As punishment, Pace is tied up while they torture him making him see them eat his favourite lasagna. You think ropes can hold him down? The monster breaks out and…

Episode 8
Jolly checks up on Elmo and records his terrific growth. Elmo has a request and wants to go out to town with Jolly. Felicita thought she saw Jolly with a child and tells Luca but he rebuffs it because he is a person who cannot be affectionate with a child. Though he admires Jolly for his techniques and research, his character is a different story. One day, he’ll be able to tell her the true story. Oh great. She is now even more worried. Debito notes the pain in his right eye too pain for him to sleep. Even if he does sleep, he only gets unwanted nightmares. Felicita is surprised to see Elmo playing with Liberta and they chat. Soon Jolly picks him up and assures them he is not his illegitimate child. Jolly requests Felicita to send a letter to Debito and to come see him in his lab since that guy refused to listen to what he says. Pace talks about his worries about Debito to Luca and the latter will make a medicine to sooth his pain though Pace thought it would be better if they ask Jolly himself. Luca doubts that since lots have happened and their hatred for that guy runs deep. Debito’s scary story during piccolino had some truth in it. Looks like he was that child. He wakes up from that dream only to see Felicita next to him. She heard his voice and was worried. I’m sure he had other ideas but upon reading the letter, he becomes upset. It is only because Felicita is a signorina (Italian for woman) that he didn’t kill her. He wants her to relay a message back to Jolly that his right eye is fine. So fine that he wants to kill him. Pace goes to see Jolly and wants him to stop torturing Debito. He understands that his research is for the family but stop making people suffer. But Jolly points out he understood that fact too. For the family. So suck it up and deal with it. Pace leaves and comes into Felicita. She wants to know if something happened between them with Jolly. Since he can’t tell her, she gets even more worried and talks to Nova. He points out her bad habit of wanting to know everything and sticking her nose in other people’s business despite being the heir of the family she needs to know her family members well. He states they can’t use normal methods to deal with Jolly so Felicita suggests something that they all can do when Liberta comes in requesting help from family members to clean the church.

The Arcana family helps the priest to clean the church as Felicita wonders if Jolly will come since she invited him too. Luca, Pace and Debito see their initials inscribed on a chair when they were young. Brings back nostalgic memories when they were living in this church with Pace’s mom. Luca notes they hardly get any cleaning done because the duo always played around. Then here comes Jolly. Though he can’t refuse Felicita’s invitation, it’s a good chance to check up on Debito since he didn’t come. Debito notes his face makes him sick so Jolly dares him to strengthen his heart if he wants to kill him. He provokes him that if he makes Felicita read his heart and point out all his darkness and weakness, it may make his Arcana powers stronger. Then he wouldn’t have to rely on the amethyst he planted in his right eye to control them. Jolly lets Felicita in on a little secret seeing she wants to get along with everyone in the family. Luca, Debito and Pace’s stigmata are the result of his experiments. He experimented on many subjects on how Tarocco chooses its host and only the trio were successful in establishing a contract. It also was the reason why they as complete strangers were able to stay in the family. They should be thanking him instead. Debito goes crazy and points his gun at Jolly’s face, threatening to kill him. Jolly dares him but questions if he can defy him. He then subdues Debito and notes there is no way he could kill him. Pace couldn’t take any more of this and punches Jolly, only to be blocked by his barrier. He wants to settle their fight now and uses his strength to break the barrier and send Jolly crashing into the window. But Jolly remains cool. He says doing this has changed nothing. They only have more cleaning up to do. I guess Felicita is indeed worried now. So Nova and Liberta had to talk to her that the trio would have eventually fought Jolly. But she wonders why he conducted Tarocco experiments on them. No use moping around so they go talk to him in his lab. Since he is not in, they let themselves in and to their shock, see Elmo floating in a giant tube behind the curtain. You could say curiosity killed the cat, eh? Then Jolly pops up and explain Elmo is a homunculus, an artificial human he created.

Episode 9
If it’s not bad enough Felicita is worrying about the homunculus, here comes Liberta and Nova with emergency news. Mondo is unconscious in bed and… So he’s just exhausted from excess work? Sumire assures them things will be alright and to continue their duties as usual. After the young ones leave, Jolly notes Mondo’s knack in pretending to be asleep. But this is something he wants to do. Because Felicita is still hanging around and wanting her curiosity satisfied, Jolly is going to do just that even if Dante protests. Bringing her to his lab once more, he explains Elmo holds the sixteenth card, Tower. Elmo’s birth is due to the fact he created a homunculus to contract with Tarocco. Why? Long ago Mondo undid the seal of Tarocco and contracted with the World card. But there is a major consequence. All the cards of the Major Arcana exist by consuming emotional strength of its host. There are cards that are not contracted and without a host and they survive by receiving power from the host of the World card since that card has the power to unite the other cards. This is the ‘excess work’ Mondo had to do and if this goes on, he’ll eventually fall into a coma. One way to prevent that from happening is to ensure each card has a host. The reason why Jolly conducted experiments on Pace, Debito and Luca and they were the only ones successful. Felicita thought it was the reason why Jolly created the homunculus but he notes that kid is just trash. However there is another way to save Mondo and that is, Felicita has to use her other Tarocco power, the tenth card called Wheel of Fortune. This card’s power is to change the relationship of the host and the Tarocco. She did use this power once to save Sumire 13 years ago. Back then Sumire used her Judgment power to heal Mondo but that power backfired on her. Felicita waltzed in and unknowingly used her power to heal Sumire and saved her. Felicita of course couldn’t remember. Well, she was too young and passed out soon after that, right? Jolly then reminds Felicita about Mondo’s intention of sending her away from this mansion and only allowed her to interact with a small group of people. It’s because so she won’t unconsciously use that power again. Also, Mondo knows he doesn’t have much longer to live and summoned her back to spend his remaining time with her and decided to hold the ridiculous Arcana Duello to find an heir. That way she’ll have someone to support her after she loses her Papa.

Felicita has heard everything and goes to talk to Sumire by Mondo’s side. Upon touching her hand, Felicita is given a glimpse on how Mondo contracted with the Tarocco. When the island was ravaged by soldiers trying to eliminate every Arcana family member, Mondo established a contract with the World card so that he could protect the ones he loves, not caring what happens to himself. Felicita wants to save Papa and use her Wheel of Fortune so Sumire asks her if she has been able to control her Lovers power with her own free will. Since she doesn’t, it means her heart isn’t strong enough to use the Wheel of Fortune either. She promises to find a way to save Mondo so she hopes Felicita won’t ever mention that power again. Felicita sees Nova and Liberta sparring together. She uses her power to peek into their hearts and sees how determined they are in achieving their goal. I guess she’s going to do something about it. Sumire notes how Felicita is truly Mondo’s daughter because she doesn’t care what happens to herself to help others. Dante wonders why Jolly didn’t tell Felicita about the consequence of using the Wheel of Fortune. Simple. If she had known its consequences that it will cause her to lose her memories again, she won’t be willing to use the power.

Episode 10
Disaster strikes. Felicita has used that power and is unconscious. You can understand why Mondo is frantic calling out to her daughter. Alas, thank heavens she comes back to life. But wait! She doesn’t remember everybody! No! And Mondo continues to feel the pain. Physically and his heart. Nova wants to help out but Sumire says that this is best left to matters of the family. Isn’t he part of the family? Liberta talks to Nova and finds out about her second Tarocco power. They discuss how they were born with the powers because they never made contract with Tarocco directly. Nova thinks they are all related because one has a higher possibility of contracting with a Tarocco if you are related to an existing contractor. Liberta thinks it’s just coincidence. Could it? But what Liberta understands is that he doesn’t want to lose another family member so for a rare moment, they both agree on wanting to retrieve Felicita’s memories. First they bring her back to her old place in hopes the nostalgia will trigger her memory. Not working. Liberta finds an engagement ring in the drawer and is surprised to learn it belongs to Nova. But he says he was just merely holding on to it and had it returned. Because he used his Death powers on Moreno, he has no right to be called their son despite Mondo giving it to him in hopes he will give it to Felicita and be her husband and his son. Meanwhile Elmo wonders where Felicita’s memories went and his statement hit Jolly. He never thought of it that way. Perhaps the memories aren’t destroyed and just sealed in her heart. With the other family members hounding Dante for answers, Jolly tells them the truth about Felicita using her Wheel of Fortune power to save Mondo and losing her memory as its consequence. They get upset that Felicita was used as a tool and Debito is really going to blow his brains this time. But Jolly remains cool because if he kills him, their chance of regaining Felicita’s memories will be zero. That’s because his Moon card forcefully retrieves memories. Mondo won’t rely on him too but still he can’t forgive he used Felicita. Liberta begs to Papa to seek Jolly’s help to save her and that it’s their duty as family to bring her back. Though Luca doesn’t approve of this dangerous procedure, there is no guarantee that even if there are other ways to save her, that method would endanger her life. They’re merely taking a calculated risk with Jolly.

Jolly uses his power to enter Felicita’s heart. It’s dark, gloomy and taking too long. He’s about to give up and lose it all when Mondo intervenes. He will help out by amplifying his power. They see her being attached to a large thorny vine. I know they have to pull her out before she is forever sealed away but tearing the vines with their bare hands? Furthermore, once they’ve pulled out, it regenerates. It never ends. They’re not making any progress. Mondo is bleeding and couldn’t care less about his life because he’s here to retrieve something important. Then here comes Nova and Liberta joining in, slashing their way through the vines. I guess this beats pulling out the vines with your hands. And much faster. Duh. In the end, Felicita regains her memories and returns back to normal. Yeah, it was that easy. Mondo is grateful to Jolly but he says he should be thanking Nova and Liberta instead. He thanks the kids and is grateful for having the best family. Sumire apologizes to Nova she said those words but it was precisely that why Nova realized something important. The reason they have Arcana powers is to protect those dear to them. Luca and the rest also have their thanks to Jolly but he notes he’s just cleaning up his own mess. Felicita thought it’s over but then… Yeah, she had to overhear this important dialogue between Jolly and Dante. The relationship between Mondo and World card hasn’t changed. So what Felicita did was futile. It means that she was not able to fully utilize its power in her current emotional state. Now she’s worried she didn’t get to save Papa. Suddenly she hears the voice of her Lovers card. It tells her it can provide emotional power needed and negate the effects of the Wheel of Fortune. However to establish this, she must have someone else as love cannot be completed with herself alone.

Episode 11
The card also tells her she needs to have sufficient strong desires to share with it and that other someone to share those desires too. As because true love cannot be found alone. Felicita asks Luca’s opinion about love but he’s going crazy. Yeah, she might have asked the wrong person. Felicita goes to see Jolly and he knows what he is going to tell her that her Wheel of Fortune had no effect on Mondo. This means if this goes on, he’ll fall into coma again. She also tells him how Lovers talked to her and he finds it an amusing research subject. He suggests choosing either Liberta or Nova to be her lover since they are the reason why she is sitting here today. He doesn’t care what decision she reaches since she is the only one who can save Mondo. Liberta and Nova feel ashamed that they weren’t brave enough as Felicita to risk their life to save someone dear. They want to do something for her and invite her out to sea. They also give her a butterfly hairpin as a gift they got from Federica. While they have fun throughout the day, she tires out and falls asleep. Liberta takes this chance to explain his past to Nova and that the masked men they encountered on the pirate ship was Dante. He is always chasing his back and wants to surpass him. Nova believes he can do it. Because if he doesn’t believe in himself, who will? A storm picks up and as Felicita helps to pack up, the wave rocks the boat and throws her off balance. She loses the hairpin and tries to save it. Though successful, the result is that she falls over. The guys rush and dive to save her. They got the girl but the boat drifts away. Thankfully they’re near the island and the waves aren’t that violent enough so they made it onto shore. Inside the cave, they see her holding onto the hairpin. I wonder how she could hold on so tightly for so long when she’s unconscious. Her body is getting colder and they need to warm her up. If you’re hoping to see naked body warmth, forget it. There is a nearby wood and Liberta uses his Arcana power to burn it. He can do it now because they believe in him. So now he believes in himself. Felicita dreams of talking to the Lovers card. It is telling her if she chooses one to get close to, it would be easier to determine the nature of the relationship’s feelings. She still doesn’t understand what love is but the card points out she must hurry as they’re running out of time. It tells her they have found their answer while she still hesitates. Felicita wakes up and Nova explains Liberta uses his power to burn the wood to make fire.

Dante reprimands the duo for putting Felicita’s life in danger but Nova defends Liberta’s back and that he was the one who saved Felicita. Dante notes he has matured and he may be the one Liberta needs to surpass. Because of this, Nova now has the resolve to go try and wake up his parents even it is regretted that they plotted to kill Papa and Mama. However he doesn’t regret doing so because it was the only way to stop them. Liberta didn’t like the way he is lying and punches him. He wants him to be more honest himself and wants to help out too because he is family. Oh, Felicita too. The trio do research in the library but they’re not making any headway. Especially Liberta whose mind isn’t made for books. Feeling sleepy? But he wonders why those pirates on the ship woke up only after Nova had woken up then. It means they weren’t asleep forever. Then here comes Jolly. He doesn’t mind telling them if they tell him the results of this experiment (Nova’s parents are part of his ‘research’ too). Nova is told there is no way one couldn’t break the effects of his own Arcana powers. Because his parents are asleep due to his berserk power, then he needs to exert that same amount of power as before. Use them with more desire. The consequence is that he may fall into a coma. The trio make their way to Nova’s parents where they are sleeping. Nova mentions he always thought he envied Felicita for her parents’ for unconditionally loving her. But it is rather she has genuinely loved her family is what he envies. Nova starts using his power but lose consciousness. At least there are some fond memories of the good times they had together. When he wakes up, his parents are still asleep. I guess they’re going to try again tomorrow. The guys give their thanks because without them, they wouldn’t be here together or come to terms with their power. But Felicita is still pondering the meaning of love. Jolly and Dante report to Mondo that although Nova’s parents have not fully recovered, their condition is improving thanks to Nova’s strong feelings that reached them. And finally, tomorrow is the much awaited Arcana Duello.

Episode 12
The battle starts and in this knockout tournament, only the winner of it all will have the right to face Mondo. We start off with our usual protagonists raking easy wins against lowly unknowns in the preliminaries. The round proper begins with Felicita taking on Debito. He’s crazy not going to hold back and suddenly! He lost! What just happened? Next, Felicita fights Pace. He has some words for her and before you know it. He lost too! Then Felicita faces Luca. You know what her attendant is going to say about this and that. And yeah. He also lost. How the heck did it happen? Jolly who has withdrawn himself from the tournament thought the trio were having a loser’s party. The fact that they feel Felicita has grown is what constitute to their loss. Jolly says the correct answer is that she used the Wheel of Fortune. The trio realized that Mondo isn’t out of danger yet and Felicita’s previous state means she wasn’t able to change Mondo’s relationship with the World. However now she has found a way to save that with Lovers that will nullify the Wheel of Fortune’s effects. The trio understand why they lost. Because her fate is far crueller than anyone could’ve imagined. In the semi-finals, Liberta fights Dante while Nova takes on Sumire. Though the kids are seemingly overwhelmed and hesitating at first, after reflecting on their past, etc, they use their Arcana power to turn the tables and win their respective match. During the break, Nova shows Sumire the engagement ring they found by chance. But Sumire believes it is fate and it was destined to be back in his hands. Nova vows to win at all cost so he can give it to Felicita. And so the inevitable match between Nova and Liberta has come. They both fight with all their might as Felicita still undecided who to love takes a peek into their hearts. Same ol’ determination why they want to win. Enough said. I guess they’re so equally matched that the day is turning into sunset! What a long match. Isn’t anybody tired? Where’s the suspense anymore? They both are going to bet on their final swing and use their Arcana power.

The next thing they know, they are in bed. So what happened to the match? It ended in a draw. After all that fighting, the match was drawn? Well, that last blow knocked them both out. This meant Felicita advanced by default to face Mondo. Who won? Felicita! Her victory also assured Mondo’s prolonged life as the Wheel of Fortune changed its relationship with the World without any negative consequences. So flashback during Felicita’s match against Papa, she was kicking hard but has grown a lot. She reads his heart that he needed to show her his strength as she will one day succeed him. She cannot be stronger if she isn’t kind. If she isn’t kind, she can’t give each member an equal amount of love. She always had sufficient kindness but needed to become stronger so she’ll be able to become someone kind enough to love someone. Then Felicita realized. She was putting that feelings Nova and Liberta they had for her on a scale. Papa didn’t want her who picked someone she loves because of calculations. As the Lovers tell her, that which the Wheel of Fortune desires is the strong, kind heart that is able to truthfully reply the feelings of a loved one. Felicita rushes into the room to hug Nova and Liberta, relieved that they are okay. In the aftermath, Mondo and his family celebrate Felicita’s 17th birthday as well as her victory in Arcana Duello. Though the promise of marrying her off is voided, he will still grant her wish. And her wish is for Papa to remain as Papa for as long as he lives because she can’t accept that title yet. I know. It’s odd if a girl is being called Papa. Mondo accepts and grants her wish. Noting she has grown during the fight, there is no need to marry her off easily. This means anyone who wants to marry her has to step forward because Papa will take you on and see if you’re worthy! WTF?! He’s not going to give her away as long as he lives! My, how things have reversed. Looks like he is the one who has least grown from it. She’ll forever be Papa’s girl, I guess. Felicita and the guys jump straight into duty when they hear reports of some suspicious activity at the harbour.

We Are Family
I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am disappointed with this anime but it somewhat fall below my expectations. You could also say that it somewhat failed to live up to its promising potential. Maybe it was partly my fault as I was hoping from reading the synopsis that it would turn into something like a fight to gain Felicita’s attention or woo her in their whatever ridiculous or underhanded ways. Didn’t turn out like that or even close to it. That would have been a comical farce and probably made everything even worse. What we see here is lots of drama and the bonding Felicita makes with the rest of her family members especially Nova and Liberta. We get a short glimpse about their sad past and come to understand how they grow up to be and would’ve walked on the wrong path had not for the Arcana family been there for them and save them from their fate being sealed.

I had mixed feelings whether this anime should have lasted more than a dozen episodes but from what I feel, perhaps everything there is to tell has been told. Sure, you can expand some of the flashbacks and past stories but how far can you stretch it? Like how Sumire did note she and Mondo took away Nova’s childhood. How did that happen? What did they do? Thus maybe it is best that they just end everything as it is for now. That’s why viewers won’t really know if Felicita had to ultimately choose between Nova or Liberta and even their fight ended in a draw. I guess this is to satisfy fans of both sides. Just like that Twilight triangle, huh? So we won’t have the pain to see which of the guys get to fight Felicita in the end (I suppose it would only show that the winner would mean being superior to the loser) and perhaps ending up losing against her because eventually the person that is best to take on Mondo is his own daughter.

Felicita may not be your typical damsel in distress but she is not perfect either. For most of the time, I observed that she worries too much because she truly wants to help out her family members and their problems. While this is a good thing, from my perspective it can be a little annoying since I am seeing Felicita’s worried face instead of her smile. Because she looks cuter when she puts that smiley and happy expression :). It also makes me wonder if she truly understands the meaning of love in the romantic sense. We see her pondering the meaning of it which is the source of her dilemma to choose between Nova and Liberta. Can’t she have both of them? She’s the future head, right? Unless you know guys, they really want to monopolize their woman. But that’s a different story. I won’t say Mondo and Sumire are the perfect parents but at least they give their family the most important thing: Love. Sumire departs lots of advices especially to Nova and Felicita whenever they are in doubt. That is why the family stays loyal and faithful to them.

Liberta and Nova are poles apart. One is the brash and solves things by doing them while the other is more reserved and would rather come up with a plan before jumping straight into action. Despite their different personalities, their goal remains the same. To bring happiness to Felicita and of course the family. Of course both didn’t start out perfect and can be considered ‘weak’ due being stuck with their past. Because of each other, Liberta now doesn’t fear to use his Arcana power while Nova has opened up himself more and would gladly receive or offer help instead of trying to do things alone. Although Liberta holds the Fool card, I feel that Luca is the one that is being made the comic relief among the characters. I won’t say he is overprotective over Felicita since he has been her attendant since young but sometimes he cares too much for her that his plan to do things for her backfires and it makes him look like a fool. I guess Pace just doesn’t have physical strength because he has quite a strong appetite too. If he is not serious, you would see him eating food. I wonder if he has a bottomless stomach. Debito may look like the craziest and mafia-looking guy among all the characters but he has a heart of gold especially towards children. His animosity is only towards Jolly but that is perhaps he doesn’t understand the implications of his experiments. The only thing that I thought Dante lacked was (no, not his hair, mind you) is his cool bazooka. He should have more screen time in using that piece of weapon instead for just a short time in the first and final episode.

Jolly seems to be playing the role of the villain because of his mysterious exterior. He is cool not to let his guard down. He is cool and never gets himself cornered. Even when his schemes are exposed, he coolly tells everything. After all, what is there left to hide? I guess sometimes playing the role of the baddie is also good because if there is none, the rest would become too lax and not being able to perform their duties to the best of their abilities. Because of the cool and monotonous way he speaks, he gives off this air of mystery around him so it is hard to tell what he is thinking. Sometimes his actions are questionable but his ultimate goal has always been for the family and to save Mondo. It could have solved lots of problems if he just told it straight but like I said, if the rest found out about the truth so easily, they may not have that extra spark of determination to go the extra mile. So how does he have lots of information like Nova’s parents’ clinic charts is still a mystery. Maybe being the advisor to the head of the family, which is the second highest command position means he needs to know lots of things. Say what happened to Elmo? So he is just a homunculus not a ghost or an illegitimate child. A trash as Jolly considered. So? What was his role in here for anyway? Since he had the Tower card, shouldn’t he be in Arcana Duello too? Didn’t hear children below a certain age or those who are non-human aren’t allowed to participate. And now that Felicita has managed to change Mondo’s relationship with the World, does this mean Jolly doesn’t have to do any more experiments to see who can host the other Tarocco cards?

The fight scenes I won’t say are impressive but they are nothing to shout about. On and off in certain episodes we see the characters clash swords and the way the series was heading, I thought we would never see Arcana Duello at all. So when they reserved the final episode for this special event, I don’t know, I felt it was cheap and like as though they were cutting some corners. Not the animation. The fight scenes. It’s good that fights don’t last an entire episode because that will be tad too boring but seeing them in just a few seconds and just unleashing their powers for an even shorter period, that just feels like as though the fighting part was just to pass the time. Since each of the main characters had a particular Arcana power, we also don’t see them use it often and I feel there isn’t a variety if they are shown using it too much. Too repetitive and the feel of its specialness fades. So for example in the case of Nova and Liberta, they are shown more often clashing their swords but even so, they don’t really pull off any special sword techniques. Who am I kidding? Am I expecting some Bankai move here? What happened to that repentance corner at the end? It seems that almost every main character with Tarocco had their turn in becoming a sinner once (except Mondo, Sumire and Jolly).

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that my main reason for watching this series was because Mamiko Noto was having a main part in this series as Felicita. After coming from a long way since one of my early animes featuring her like Enma Ai in Jigoku Shoujo, she’s still going strong and hasn’t lost that distinctive voice that I love so much. Jun Fukuyama as Liberta is suitable as the character since he did play feisty guy roles before like Kazuki in Busou Renkin. On the other hand, Tsubasa Yonaga’s boyish voice also fits Nova’s personality. He was the voice of Teiichi in Tasogare Otome x Amnesia and Jun in Special A. Hiroyuki Yoshino did an excellent job as Debito because the character really has that slang accent to go with. He was the voice of Firo on Baccano and Hibiki in Vandread. Other casts include Tomokazu Sugita as Pace (Gintoki in Gintama – since he was sounding serious instead of goofy characters, I couldn’t recognize this voice), Yuuichi Nakamura as Luca (Tomoya in Clannad), Juurouta Kosugi as Dante (Alan in MAR), Koji Yusa as Jolly (Gin in Bleach – since he wasn’t speaking in his usual kansai-ben characters, I couldn’t recognize his voice), Fumihiko Tachiki as Mondo (Gendou in Neon Genesis Evangelion), Kikuko Inoue as Sumire (Belldandy in Aa! Megami-sama) and Misato Fukuen as Elmo (Yami in To Love-Ru). Magenta Another Sky is the opening theme and rock outfit sung by Hitomi Harada (if the series only had more intense fighting scenes, I thought this song would’ve fit the overall series as a whole) while Pieces Of Treasure as the pop ending theme sung by the duet of Jun Fukuyama and Tsubasa Yonaga. I personally thought they shouldn’t be singing together. Or singing at all…

The main emphasis of this series is the importance of being family (even Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn emphasized on this). Despite many of the characters coming from different backgrounds, they all blossomed thanks to the love shown by Mondo and Sumire. They could have grown up into adults with a traumatic childhood past but thanks to their undivided love, they are able to realize what is important and reciprocate it to others. So it doesn’t necessarily mean that blood is thicker than water. Anybody even strangers can be part of the family as long as they love and protect each other. Acceptance of your past and whoever you are, forgiveness and moving forward by becoming stronger as a whole. That is why the origins of the word ‘”FAMILY” is an apt abbreviation of Father And Mother I Love You. See how parents play an important role in shaping a child’s future?

Whether your family unit is big or small, dysfunctional or normal, nuclear or extended, you know what they say about the families that play/pray together, stays together. Yeah, so it’s that time again for me to reflect and be grateful for having such a wonderful family despite having certain flaws here and there but hey, no family is that perfect. We’re just happy and happy to stay that way. Just glad that we don’t have in-house fighting for power struggle and odd tournaments to see who gets the bride. I believe I can walk down my own path to find my own. Can I? Otherwise the dreaded arranged marriage…

YuruYuri S2

February 16, 2013

Hooray! It’s back! Kyouko is back as the star for the sequel YuruYuri S2! I can’t wait to see what more antics she and her friends will bring to entertain us. Eh… I’m forgetting somebody, you say? What do you mean the main protagonist is somebody else and not Kyouko? There is somebody else besides her? Really? How come I don’t remember? Gotcha! Just pulling your leg! Haha! Yeah, I still remember the main protagonist that lacks noticeability. Can’t help pull that one since that’s the main running gag of the series. Don’t worry Akari, I still remember you. How can the show be without you and your invisibility? Ironic isn’t it? Even if she is unnoticeable, hey at least she isn’t unforgettable. There is a big difference between that. So what’s new in this sequel? I won’t really put my hopes up for any major changes as from what I can see it is more or less the same thing from the usual main suspects. But we can expect more laughs from the middle school girls as they do just about anything but with nothing much ado.

Episode 1
Wow. I might be mistaken. Since when did Akari become a popular girl among her friends? So much so that Chinatsu, Kyouko and Yui are all fighting over for her attention! Whether it’s wanting to touch her hair, sleeping over or holding her hand, man, the trio are in awe fawning over her! Akari is even considered a genius for answering their many questions despite how silly her answers are. Her love is not only confined to them. In school, Akari gets pickles left by Chitose as a product of her love. Let the nose bleeding fountain flow! In class, Sakurako and Himawari also fight over her morning kiss. Akari kisses her own finger and puts in on their lips. Enough ecstasy for today? Yeah, can’t get enough of her, no? Even at the Amusement Club, her friends make a cake for her with all their love in which she gulps it all down in a single bite. Chinatsu makes a naughty move by licking clean the cake over her face so Kyouko is not to be outdone and confesses she loves her. Soon, her other pals start confessing. If that’s not enough, all the other characters start popping out from their hiding and confess their love for Akari! Chizuru too. Nishigaki too. Can Akari hear Matsumoto’s soft whisper? Everybody just love this angel! Now to drag everything back to reality. Turns out to be a dream Akari is dreaming while riding a train with her friends to a hotspring inn. Since she’s got that happy look on her face, they just let her be. It never hurts to dream… How long will that last? So anyway at the hotspring, here’s reality for Akari. They’re ignoring her. Chinatsu is all over Yui while Kyouko wants to do something people do at hotspring. So they play ping pong and the antics include Kyouko taking too long to serve (she says she’s focusing), the ping pong balls getting ‘eaten’ by Chinatsu’s hair (OMG!), Chinatsu slamming a powerful serve right into Akari’s face that her twin hairballs pop out (!) and Kyouko using 2 bats.

They take a break and Kyouko messes with Akari by using luck, pressing simultaneously 2 buttons at the vending machine. She got the drink she didn’t want instead. Chinatsu nearly loses it when she tries to get close to Yui but manages to back off with some silly looking exercise excuse. The ping pong folly continues with Akari missing her serve and slamming her bat into Kyouko’s face, Kyouko serving 2 balls at once and both got ‘eaten’ by Chinatsu’s hair! Is it alive? As they clean themselves in the bath, Yui scrubs Kyouko’s back very hard (because she asked for it) while Chinatsu could only look on and fantasize. Nobody gives a damn to Akari who got sprinkled by cold water. Soaking in the hotspring, Yui tries to hold back her laughter when Kyouko mentions Ayano’s puns but stopped laughing when Kyouko says hers. Suddenly all the ping pong balls drop out from Chinatsu’s hair! How many has it ‘eaten’?! It’s 9pm and Akari is already fast asleep. Kyouko remembers she has to watch this Mirakurun show of hers and gets emotional at the end of that bone-breaking bloody confrontation on the baddie’s familiar (I wonder if such violence is okay for a magical witch show). Kyouko and Chinatsu dip into the hotspring later that night and Kyouko starts hugging Chinatsu only to be hit by the bucket (did Chinatsu try to retaliate that action in Mirakurun? Her skull almost broke, you know). Soon Yui joins them and Kyouko teases her she got lonely since Akari is asleep. Kyouko wishes this fun would last forever. Well, I guess the fun means counting out Akari because she wakes up wondering where the heck everybody is.

Episode 2
Kyouko can’t concentrate in doing her maths homework. Her short attention span means she deviates from her focus and talk about what she’d do if she had money (underground arcade?) and asking if Yui loves her. Does she love her enough to let her copy her homework? Well, Yui loves her not to interfere with her education. Then Kyouko suggests playing rock-scissors-paper but always end up losing. She tries that friendship thingy again but time has run out. Desperate now, isn’t she? Later the girls are playing Old Maid and Akari always loses because her face is pretty easy to read. Yui always wins because of her poker face. Cheeky Kyouko calls her Old Face (Old Maid + Poker Face). Then Akari suggests giving each other nicknames. Guess who is Kyoppi? How about Yuppi? It sounded like a comedy team so Kyouko starts fooling around with mandarin oranges. Akari thinks Chinatsu’s nickname would be China (no, not the country). She feels excited because it sounded like an idol. As for Akari, since Kyouko can’t come up with a nickname, she gives everyone one according to their hair colour. Sounds like Power Rangers. Then they try giving fruit nicknames based on their hair colour. Can anybody think of a black fruit? Rotten banana…

Ayano and Chitose heard something ambiguous coming from the student council room. What are Sakurako and Himawari doing? Something about going in too deep? Something coming out? Turns out they’re trying to catch a little snake. Oh, look it is now at Ayano’s feet. EEEEEKKKKK!!!! Sakurako and Himawari end up in some argument comparing snakes and cockroaches (I personally find both icky). Chitose suggests calling Kyouko over but Ayano dismisses it for fear Kyouko may find out about her fear of snakes. So can Chitose do the job? Well, she’s busy fantasizing and nose bleeding about Ayano and Kyouko. Sakurako is the only one who doesn’t fear snakes as she tries to violently shake the snake out from hiding underneath the fridge. Finally when she does, she rushes over to Amusement Club to show Akari. Well, they’re in the midst of trying to get rid a flying cockroach!!! EEEEEKKKKK!!!! The cockroach lands on Sakurako’s head. EEEEEKKKKK!!!! She loses the snake… Later as the Amusement Club members see a TV reminder about taking extra care to prevent influenza, their talk deviates to having a balanced diet, getting enough sleep (Kyouko seems to stay up all night reading mangas while sleeping throughout classes), Yui waking up early to play games, Kyouko’s suggestion of hand-gargling and Kyouko doing air hula hoop to not only prevent colds via exercise but shape her hips as well. Next morning, Kyouko really got sick and is absent. Her friends visit her and see how awful she is. Seems she was rubbing herself with a towel outside in the cold for an hour to prevent colds. I think we all agree that she needs to cure her stupidity.

Episode 3
Sakurako bugs Himawari to let her copy her notes (no way Jose). She even has Himawari take her food tray on her behalf but takes all the isobe fries for herself. When she’s in a pinch without chopsticks and Akari comes to her aid, she blames Himawari for being selfish! Along with Akari and Chinatsu, they try to play some game during lunch time. Sakurako suggests speaking only English words but I guess all they could say is “Delicious!”. Then she made a dice to suggest what they should play. Chinatsu rolls it and has to tell an embarrassing story. Well, an embarrassing story about Akari talking in her sleep wanting to get noticed. Akari is supposed to tell a joke but ends up embarrassing herself. There’s another embarrassing story for her. Himawari gets a prize. What prize? Sakurako gives her a chocolate sweet. Finally Sakurako is to talk about holidays and she brings up the topic of upcoming Valentine’s Day and whom they’re going to give their chocolates to. Everybody has finished their lunch and leaves Sakurako behind. Better stop talking and start eating. Later Sakurako seeks Himawari’s tutoring help but the latter has already promised to help Chinatsu to knit a scarf. So Akari becomes her replacement but it’s not the same. No boobs to fondle… She’s reminiscing how Himawari has always been tutoring her that she’s not paying attention to Akari. When Sakurako learns Himawari is going to be spending more time with Chinatsu even after school, she starts sulking. Meanwhile Kyouko and Yui think of buying Valentine chocolates but Kyouko has a load of rum raisin ice cream buckets in her hand. That doesn’t have to anything to do with Valentine, right? Elsewhere, Ayano is in a dilemma picking a chocolate while Akari is too slow to pick one because when she finally does, that last chocolate is out of stock! Sakurako back home throws a tantrum and feels upset that Himawari is having fun by herself.

In class, Ayano hesitates to give her chocolates to Kyouko. Yui gives hers to Kyouko and in return got a cheap chocolate bar. Kyouko spots Ayano’s and teases it may be for her. Chitose tells her she may have bought too much and is for her. Tsundere Ayano gives it to her since she ‘wants it so badly’. In return, Kyouko has Yui break half her chocolate so she can give that half to Ayano. Buruk siku. Anyway she saw that coming. Ayano also gives chocolates to Chitose as thanks for everything but warns her to eat alone at home. Chinatsu gives the scarf and chocolates to Yui. So terrifying that you need to mosaic it out! She also has some for Kyouko (practice ones, though) but it turns out okay and tastes good! Yui fears the more effort she puts in, the worse it’ll turn out. Finally Sakurako has had it with Himawari and blows her top at her for spending more time with Chinatsu. She feels upset when she sees them together to a point she wants to hit them. It dawned to Himawari that she’s jealous so she gives her a scarf she made (as guidance to help Chinatsu) and some chocolates. With their relationship back to normal, so is Sakurako’s attitude. Yeah, now she wants her servant to work harder. On the way back, Sakurako hopes she can continue with her tutoring since the work has piled up. She realizes she didn’t buy any chocolates for her but Himawari realizes she already gave it to her. That chocolate sweet she won as ‘prize’. Chitose eats Ayano’s chocolate back home and she becomes crazy and starts kissing Chizuru! Ah, I remember she has this demon thingy awakened whenever she eats chocolates. At least there were no other ‘victims’ like in last season whereby she went on a kissing frenzy spree.

Episode 4
It’s allergy season so Ayano is sneezing. During class she ran out of tissues but Kyouko becomes her saviour. If only her drawing on the tissue pack wasn’t so teasing. But looks like there’s another girl who may need more than just tissues. Yeah, Chitose is fantasizing about them. They go see Nishigaki to see if she has a special medicine but she’s wearing a gas mask! Got the allergy too, huh? I don’t know how they manage to convince Ayano but she eventually wore a gas mask too. So when Akari walks into the toilet, she gets the scare of her life. Later, the student council is cleaning up their room but Sakurako starts fooling around like shooting window cleaner spray at Himawari (in which she swiftly turn the tables on her) and putting on a maid outfit that they used during the last cultural festival. Sakurako is losing motivation but Himawari’s slave driving reminds her of Cinderella and her evil stepmother. Even Ayano and Chitose try to motivate her that she’ll feel better after cleaning. She takes it as she’ll be treated to a pudding reward. Ayano is reluctant to give it to her since today’s pudding she bought is mixed fruits and is expensive. She tries to sooth her with a candy (not enough) and playing shiritori to make her forget about the pudding but it backfires because Ayano mentions that ‘P’ word. Now she’s all excited to get them. Chitose steps in to save the day that Ayano is saving that pudding as a heartfelt gift to Kyouko. Maybe she added to much unnecessary things. At least it got Sakurako to give up. Then the tsundere goes over to the Amusement Club to give the pudding to Kyouko and in return gets her ice cream. But she’s not eating it but staring it in her fridge every day! She’s not going to let anybody eat it!

Nishigaki is called to fix the clock in the student council’s room. After fooling around with weird clock devices like a flying clock that flies to you when you ask for the time (why does it even need a remote?) and a puppy clock that barks at you (annoying!), she finally fixes the simple clock and tells her heartfelt story how she got interested into all this. Her parents were always away so her only companion was a robo dog named Choco. It was her best friend till one day it ceased to move. Sob, sob. Only thing is, that entire story was a lie! Give back those tears! The actual story: A class experiment that has everyone lighting a bulb with a battery had Nishigaki thinking that it would shine brighter if plugged into the wall socket. That mini explosion was what got her interested since. Oh, during the distraction, Sakurako has eaten Kyouko’s precious ice cream… Later as it is raining, Akari and co forgot their umbrellas so Kyouko blames it on Akari’s teruterubouzu not working. Did she make one? Her hairballs! Since they can’t go home, they play a board game in the classroom that Kyouko made during class (shows you how free she was and not paying attention). There is a spot they land that has them needing to confess they love Kyouko. What about when she herself lands on it? Sounds weird, right? When Chinatsu leaves for the faculty office, Yui takes this opportunity to ask the rest the kind of present for Chinatsu as gratitude for the scarf and Valentine chocolates. I’m sure Akari can’t say that a picture of Yui or her life because that is definitely what Chinatsu would want. She goes on a broader term, telling her anything she gives will make her happy. However past experience shows that it didn’t went well. A certain friend starting with ‘K’ gave her boxing gloves as birthday present last year. Those gloves are now used as pot holders. Chinatsu comes back with 2 umbrellas from the faculty so Yui suggests sharing the umbrella. You can see how happy Chinatsu is and praising the rain. On the way back, Chinatsu is clinging lovey-dovey to Yui while Akari’s shoulder is left out in the rain. Suggesting Kyouko move in a bit, she instead thinks of walking in a line. Though it works, a car splashes a puddle of water on them. However only Akari is not wet! Why? Something about her ability to be off screen and invisible to others! Scary!

Episode 5
The hot summer. Kyouko can’t concentrate on her homework anymore and thinks of lazing around in her air-cond room after shower. However! It’s not working! No batteries! She uses the fridge as her air-cond when her mom reminded her she took out the batteries to replace it with the dead clock. Looks like she has to run down to the convenience store. But why is she in Yui’s place enjoying her air-cond?! I’m sure she had her fill eating with her before heading to Chinatsu’s house to enjoy her stand fan. Chinatsu becomes depressed upon learning she stopped by Yui’s house and should’ve called to invite her. Then it hit her. Kyouko must pass the convenience store before reaching Yui’s house. So why the hell is she here?! After fooling around, she gets kicked out. Now she visits Akari’s room. Yeah, Akari gives her the warm welcome with snacks in her air-cond room. I’m sure Kyouko is going to ask her to let her copy her homework when Akari decides to open the window and let some fresh air in. Suddenly the cicada flies in! Panic time! Do something Kyouko! Erm, maybe it’s not a good idea after all. The cicada crashes into Akari’s hairball before flying out. I think she almost died there. Kyouko buys the battery needed and when it’s time to enjoy the coolness of her air-cond, she realizes she bought the wrong battery size! That’s an AA battery not AAA! I guess this means she invites everyone to the pool tomorrow. But Akari is waiting by herself at the train station. Seems she was running late chasing after her pool coupon. Because of that she missed the train. Well, she doesn’t have the ability to run faster than the train so I guess she has to wait several more hours before the next train while her friends patiently wait her arrival. To pass the time, she replies their messages from time to time, goes to buy drink at the vending machine (it gave her the wrong drink: The bitter black coffee instead) and when she buys the right one, a mosquito enters and starts harassing her. Panic mode again. Lucky it leaves but when she is texting Kyouko and sending her funny faces, the mosquito returns. Round 2 of panic. She remembers she has bug repellent and sprays over her body. Feeling hungry, she decides to eat her chocolate bar but it has melted. Oh well. Settle for the potato chips. Now that Himawari and co are at the pool, Akari is devastated to see pictures of Chitose nose bleeding and passing out. In that little distraction, she didn’t realize the train just came… And gone…

Yui falls sick so she dreams of this weird RPG game whereby she is the gunner, Kyouko the swordsman, Akari the white mage and Chinatsu the black mage. They try destroying a cute little blob. With Kyouko’s non-lethal strike and Akari panicking, Chinatsu finishes it off but since Akari felt pity for the cute creature, she resurrects it! WTF?! Yui is soon visited by a person wearing a dog mask. She knows it’s Kyouko. She learnt of Yui’s condition from her mom talking to hers on the phone. Kyouko is here to keep her company from being lonely. How considerate. As gratitude, Yui allows her to eat her rum raisin favourite. Kyouko stays for the night and plays video game. Since she sucks, Yui takes over. She’s pretty energetic for a sick person… Meanwhile Sakurako visits Himawari’s place and starts insulting her boobs to draw her out. I guess she really isn’t home. But her little sister Kaede is. She sympathizes with her so much so she pledges that when she grows up, she’ll share her boobs with her! Feels like an insult? Himawari returns from an errand and Sakurako immediately wants her to cut off those boobs that slowed her down. Huh? Himawari follows Sakurako out even though the latter hasn’t think of what to do. Yeah, maybe they’ll follow Akari. They see her buy bitter black coffee from the vending machine and drinking it! Then she sits at the bench and wanted to eat her chocolate bar but that melted. So it’s biscuits this time. Because a flock of pigeons land next to her, she starts feeding it. But cheeky Sakurako gives out a loud scream to scare them away. I think Akari also got scared and didn’t even know what happened. When she falls asleep, Sakurako fears somebody may come and molest her so the considerate idiot puts a biscuit in her hairballs each. Yeah, a rude awakening when a pigeon attacks her. Back home, Sakurako wants to stay over despite she just lives opposite. She is amazed with Kaede as a good, polite and considerate girl. So considerate that she serves her a glass of milk to increase her boobs size. Don’t hate the innocent child. And Akari is now being chased by a flock of pigeons. She didn’t even know what gives. Poor girl. She thought they were going to eat her!

Episode 6
Don’t be startled if you think you’re watching the wrong anime. Mirakurun hijacks the first third of this show with her own typical brand of episode. As we see Kurumi and her friend Raika play ball, suddenly their ball disappears. Not only theirs, the entire world’s balls go missing. I don’t know how Kurumi found out Team Giga Giga’s hideout so easily but she overheard it is part of their plan to make balls go on a rebellion since they’ve been kicked around by humans. They will use this confusion to take over the world. Kurumi can’t have that and transforms into Mirakurun but the baddies command all the balls of the world to pound on her. Yeah, they felt bad that they might have overdone it and stop the pounding. Till they realized they’ve been bamboozled because that was just a doll. The real Mirakurun uses her 10 ton hammer and whack everything! Destroying all the balls! She gets emotional that they’re all popped and uses her magic to restore them and send them back to their owners. But Ganbo thinks humans will suffer since the balls are resting. How to solve this problem? Hold a bowling game with Ganbo as the ball! Yeah, Mirakurun and Rivalrun are taking turns throwing Ganbo into the alley! Their way of taking their frustration out? So back to our Amusement Club girls, they’re watching this anime at this year’s Comuket. This time Kyouko brings Akari along as last year was quite ‘traumatic’ when they suddenly brought Ayano and Chitose. Yui thought they don’t want to bother them since it didn’t go well. On the contrary, Ayano is well prepared and ready for the call to go to Comuket. The eager beaver is still waiting for the elusive call… We learn Kyouko did everything in this Mirakurun anime but Yui is upset that she is fed up having to fill in so many animation frames. Kyouko meets her fans and other doujin authors as the rest are surprised to see Chitose here. Looks like she is hooked since last year and took the initiative to come herself this year. What more fantasies await her…

The gang soon cosplay into their Mirakurun characters. Yui and Chinatsu lost motivation because they’re wearing the same outfits like last year (why are Akari’s hairballs sticking out from her Ganbo costume?). When a young girl is infatuated with Chinatsu (because of her uncanny resemblance to Mirakurun), Chinatsu thinks of using this chance to get into Yui’s good books. However she screws up her line and makes it look like some perverted post! I think the little girl got traumatized… After exploring the other booths and having their photos taken, Chinatsu sits back and relax while using the wand to scratch her back. So un-Mirakurun. And the little girl saw it… More trauma… Ayano finally gets the call from Kyouko but she’s on her way back from Comuket having bought lots of books and need her help to carry them. I think she got so shocked that she turned colourless… Later the Amusement Club members hang out in Yui’s place. And it’s the return of that suggestion box again as Kyouko suggests each randomly pick up a topic to talk about from it. The ‘topics’ include talking about other club activities, good luck (huh?), act like a dog (it’s not even a topic), sexy talk (I guess Kyouko wanted Chinatsu to say squeeze her boobs) and blood type. Even if the topics were dumb at least they had fun talking lots about it. After Akari and Chinatsu leave, why is Kyouko still hanging around? Due to Comuket, she forgot to do her homework and wonders if Yui could help out. Just go home.

Episode 7
Sakurako’s elder sister, Nadeshiko and Hanako the younger sister tell her it’s her turn to go shopping and make dinner since it’s her turn. They clearly state to take her time because they’re going to study and they know they can’t concentrate if she’s around. Tells a lot about her, huh? Sakurako isn’t really interested to Nadeshiko even sarcastically goes down on her knees to beg her to leave! Meanwhile Kaede loves her sister so much and she thinks of buying a new bra for her. Why? She noticed her bra has grown bigger as last night she observed she has trouble hooking them! Plus, Sakurako told her to keep tabs on her growth every night. That’s it. Himawari rushes opposite to take out her cheek squeezing frustration on Sakurako! Chitose leaves for Ayano’s house so Chizuru takes this opportunity to frolic on her sister’s bed and flip through her notes (filled with blood drops). She starts fantasizing about Chitose and Ayano getting along. Cue for her drool fantasies… However if not for that b*tch Kyouko, the duo could’ve really gotten along. Chizuru helps cleans Chitose’s room but each time she leaves drool marks everywhere. To get over this problem, she prints pictures of Kyouko and glues them all over the wall. Yeah, she gets pissed each time she sees her face. Chitose has finished her homework with Ayano and hints she should call Kyouko next time (cue for erotic maths version fantasy). When she comes home, she sees her room spick and span clean, Chizuru asleep on her bed but couldn’t fathom why Kyouko pictures are up on her wall. Elsewhere Yui is playing an RPG video game with her little sister, Mari. The latter isn’t pleased playing such a game since she wants to grow up and be reliable like her.

Himawari thinks she has gained weight and goes on a diet. She knows Sakurako is going to tease her being fatty so why go over and tell her problem? Ah, she wants to help her do sit-ups. Too slow. Sakurako suggests using a ball Nadeshiko used but she doesn’t know how to use it. Then she suggests walking outside but it’s too hot. Himawari gets an idea and turns on the heater in the room! They’re going to get roasted! Sakurako throws a tantrum that she doesn’t care if Himawari is fat and to be one somewhere else. But Himawari is serious. She wants to know where else besides her boobs she has gained weight. She doesn’t believe even if Sakurako mentions she’s still the same. I guess begging also doesn’t help, eh? Himawari’s dieting goes extreme. She doesn’t eat at all and after 3 days, Kaede begins to worry. So much so Sakurako had to force down an onigiri down her throat and make her realize that she made Kaede worried about her stupid diet. Still worried about her weight, they assure they’re skinny as Kaede notes her boobs grew. Himawari takes a measurement and finds her waist is still the same but her boobs gotten bigger. Don’t you feel the resentment coming from Sakurako? Chinatsu’s older sister, Tomoko talks about her friend Akari, who in turn has a nice big sister. A wonderful sister to do this and that. Hmm… Is she trying to say something? Then Chinatsu realized… Does she want her to be her little sister instead? Phew… I remember Akari has an elder sister, Akane who is totally obsessed with Akari. Just look in her room filled with her pictures everywhere! Creepy! After Akari leaves, Akane takes a life-size pillow with Akari’s mug on it, dresses it in Akari’s real school uniform while she enjoys music and her reading in the hall! CREEPY!!! Akari suddenly returns since she forgot something so Akane was quick to hide everything and act cool that nothing suspicious happened. So cool that it’s just creepy to us…

Episode 8
The deadline for Winter Comuket is tomorrow and Kyouko is having a hard time finishing her manuscript. Though Yui and Akari agree to help out, I’m sure we remember why Kyouko won’t allow Chinatsu, right? Yeah, we still remember the horror drawings. While the trio work on the manuscript, Kyouko manages to make Chinatsu do other stuffs like make tea or fool around. It can only last so long so when Chinatsu really wants to pitch in, Yui drinks her tea up and has her make some more. Gladly. This went on for 10 rounds so I guess Yui must be filled with water now. The trio take a bathroom rest but when they return, to Kyouko’s horror, a page has been ‘defiled’ by Chinatsu’s ink smear! Later Kyouko invites the student council members to a Christmas party. After food, they go karaoke. The antics include Kyouko singing a song from a very well love-comedy anime (despite the protagonist sounding more like a stalker); Akari sings a Christmas song nobody knows; Chinatsu wanting to sing a duet with Yui but since the latter doesn’t know the song, Kyouko sings with her instead and to her dismay; Sakurako making Himawari sing parts of a song she doesn’t know; Yui knows Kyouko mixed her drink when she did the refills; Kyouko interjecting at certain points in Yui’s ballad; Chinatsu trying her duet luck with Yui again but is hijacked by Sakurako who sings it by herself; Kyouko eating and singing at the same time (people, remember never to do this or you’ll choke like how she deserves it); Chinatsu again trying to pick a song she can sing with Yui but the latter follows Akari out to get their drink refills. Take out your sadness by belting a song! The waitress comes in with a specially ordered Russian Roulette takoyaki by Kyouko. One of them is laced with hot mustard and the first one to eat it must do something funny. Kyouko goes first and gets it! I guess this saves the rest the trouble.

On another day, Chinatsu wonders why Yui called her out shopping. This is for thanks for her scarf and apology for not being able to do a duet with her. Chinatsu must be so glad she’s alive, eh? She’s going to really make this date count. Trying to figure out which movie to watch, Chinatsu eventually decides on a horror movie despite being weak at it (she lies that she has overcome them). It’s part of her plan to huddle close to Yui. However while watching to movie, she got so scared that she’s gripping so hard to Yui’s arm! It’s going to break! So scared that she doesn’t even remember clinging on to it. What’s more, there are hand marks on Yui’s arm!!!! REAL HORROR! At the bookstore, Chinatsu gets an idea of wanting to hold her hand but wonders if it’s weird for 2 girls to be a couple. So when it’s time to leave, Yui hurries Chinatsu along by tugging her hand. It made Chinatsu realize that she has been holding back all the time. So I guess this means she lets go her reservation and starts clinging on to Yui like a leech while confessing she loves her. Many times. Yeah, even in the train, she’s so inseparable. So annoying.

Episode 9
Himawari, Sakurako and Chinatsu are at Akari’s place for a group study. Of course Sakurako isn’t good at concentrating so she fools around by sticking pens into Akari’s hairballs and tying them up with ribbons! Too slow to realize! Chinatsu notes Sakurako is like Kyouko so Akari gets an idea to call Kyouko for memorization tips (if you remember, despite her foolish outlooks, Kyouko does score well in exams even with last minute studies). So put the open book on the floor, put your head on it and do a headstand while chanting. Lie obviously! Yui has baked some bread for them so she has Kyouko deliver it to Akari and co. I guess it was so good that by the time she arrives, she has eaten them all! Only the paper bag is left. Feel Chinatsu’s wrath! GAWR!!! Later, Chinatsu arrives early at the Amusement Club and has brought a pound cake made by her sister for everyone to share. For some unknown reason, she starts hiding in the closet with the cake when the rest arrive. As they wait for Chinatsu to arrive and do their own stuff, Chinatsu fantasizes the numerous ways she should come out from her hiding. Whether it is jumping out in surprise fashion, coming out naturally, acting like there is something going on, even thinking about having Akari’s unnoticeability skill and jumping out with an intense emergency look so the impact has them no time to wonder why she’s in the closet, all doesn’t seem too feasible. Then Chinatsu overhears Yui also has brought a pound cake and they start eating it. So I guess Chinatsu eats hers by herself. When the trio leave, Chinatsu comes out of the closet with her tummy filled. Burp.

Chinatsu stays over at Akari’s place and since it would be a waste for Akari to sleep early (since she’s on the verge of nodding off), she borrows a horror DVD from Akane to watch. Big mistake? Though Akari doesn’t feel sleepy after that, she dozes off in the midst of playing trump. So it’s early lights out for Chinatsu as well. However she can’t sleep due to the DVD. Akari is sleeping with half her eyes open! FREAKING SCARY! She’s even giving off a creepy laughter! To take her mind of the possible ‘ghosts’ hiding in the room, Chinatsu dreams about her ‘prince’ Yui. Though it worked, she suddenly sees Akane over her! SCREAM! Oh, she got her hand over her mouth. She’s here to retrieve her DVD and coolly apologizes if she had scared her. When Akari wakes up to go to toilet, she gets freaked out seeing passed out Chinatsu huddling in a corner with a blanket over her. Scary looks! Now she can’t sleep too! Morning comes as Akari sees Chitose doing some volunteer work and offers her ice cream. However Akari’s ice cream got stuck in the cover, much to her dismay. While Ayano is out shopping with Chinatsu, Himawari happens to meet Kyouko at the book store. She can’t help stare at her strange headband and can’t make out if it is cat ears. Moreover, there’s a strange mouse face in the centre! Then she takes it off and underneath is her real headband. Sakurako checks out the food ingredients Yui had bought. Yui don’t know whether she’s dumb or just joking since she doesn’t know what they are. Sakurako wonders if she could suggest a simple dish she can make. Udon shouldn’t be too hard. Yeah, just add water thinks Sakurako. That’s just plain lazy! And she even thinks those black fungus are some animal ears! Chitose tells Akari how to save her ice cream and when she does, a couple of kids bump into her and has her drop it. Poor Akari hopes the ants will enjoy her ice cream so Chitose shares her portion.

Episode 10
Kyouko’s grade is having a field trip to Kyoto. Because of that, Sakurako throws a tantrum and drags Himawari into one of her walks to nowhere. Their antics include a very salty onigiri and the thought of whistling to keep bears away (Sakurako sucks by the way). Then it hit Sakurako: They’re lost in this forest! And she’s proud of it! Shut up and let Himawari do the thinking. She sees Sakurako thinking so intensely but it turns out she is intensely looking at the caterpillar crawling up her shoe! They notice a nearby park and rest. Himawari sees a pay phone and gets an idea to call home but Sakurako has already fallen asleep. Brings back such fond memories, eh? Himawari thought she saw a bear in the bushes but that turned out to be Akari taking her usual walk. Where are they? The forest behind their school. Time to slap Sakurako out of dream land. Since Yui is gone for the field trip for a few days, Chinatsu is having withdrawal symptoms. I’m sure Akari would love to help sooth her but she gets to know more than she bargained for because she has a bag full of Yui pictures! And they aren’t enough! She also wrote a love letter and could’ve been a romantic one if not for those horror drawings. Akari commends her nice hair smell so Chinatsu notes she becomes worried whenever she thinks of Yui and hopes she could be her friend forever. Yeah, they can be special friends. I think she’s going to regret that because Chinatsu wants to do special things for her. Oh no. Like what? Sleeping on her lap. Akari is so worried I don’t think she’s getting any decent satisfaction. Then when Chinatsu suggests massaging, she starts tickling her soft spots before the bone breaking experience. Look at her face. It’s so dead. Just like the time how she got her first kiss, eh? It’s not over yet. She wants to clean her ears. Oh Akari. You’re so screwed… Yui, hurry and come back!

Himawari is at Sakurako’s doorstep though the latter is not in. Nadeshiko welcomes her and treats her to orange juice since there is no tea. As she waits, Himawari hears Nadeshiko talking to what she believes is her friend on the phone. Hmm… Sounds erotic. What kind of relationship do they have? They slept together?! Almost choke on the juice. Sakurako comes back and is more upset that Himawari drank her orange juice rather than answering her question about her sister’s relationship. Nadeshiko observes the duo studying and the usual argument. Yeah, they can even argue their sitting position and which direction the textbook is supposed to face. Nadeshiko remembers when they’re young, she guided those curious ones in filling a marriage registration form. Himawari wanted to be the wife but lost in the rock-scissors-paper so to sooth her, they both become wives instead. Himawari wants to be a candy maker when she grows up and Sakurako agrees to eat them (because she wanted to be a lord). Ah, those innocent days when they truly love each other. Now see them pull each other’s hair and cheek. And they’re accusing each other of this and that. Since Sakurako lost interest in studying, Himawari ‘threatens’ they can have her homemade sweets once she’s done studying. But she wants them now! Nadeshiko notes they haven’t changed at all. After all, they filled in the marriage registration form but they don’t remember. Ayano and Chitose return from their trip and to their relief, nothing in the student council room changed. Yeah, Himawari and Sakurako still fighting. Ayano bought a wooden sword souvenir but did she bought one last year? Akari seems to have ‘lost weight’ due to Chinatsu’s massaging and thank God Yui is back. Now she can cling all over her. Kyouko has bought a wooden sword but there’s one sitting in their room. Another mistake?

Episode 11
Woah! Akari finally gets to hog the limelight? Did the producers finally realize who the main star is after 20 over episodes? My guess is that something more than meets the eye… While the girls are cleaning their club room, they find a time machine in a closet. Don’t ask how it got there. Kyouko and Chinatsu fight over to go to the future and accidentally start it up. Thinking this machine is made by Nishigaki with explosive effect, they panic and bump Akari into the time machine. Suddenly she disappears! Now she’s worst than having no noticeability! We’re going back in time! Back to season one! When Akari finds out she has returned back in time to a year ago, the day before she starts her first day at middle school, she panics and decides to back but the time machine stops working. How convenient. Lamenting her fate, then it hit her this may be her chance to fix her past and get herself noticed better. It got off on the wrong start because she overslept and missed her first chance. When her past self leaves with Kyouko and Yui, Akane spots her and gets shocked to see 2 Akaris! Future Akari takes her in and tells her everything. Will she believe her? Of course! She’ll believe whatever Akari says! And you can tell how obsessed Akane is with her little sister because she can tell she has only grown 2mm over a year! Continuing her task to fix her mistakes, Akari leaves a message on her school desk but has to hide in the closet when the rest come back. Himawari spots the doodle on the desk and erases it. It doesn’t help when the past Akari helps her. Needing to fix her introduction faux pas, Akari tries to throw several notes to herself and can you believe she missed them all? One even got eaten up by Chinatsu hair! In the end, Akari still bloopers and Sakurako thought she received a message from God and did a proper one instead. Next chance is to prevent Chinatsu from becoming a club member. However she waited in the wrong path and is taken by Ayano and Chitose as they show the new student around school. Akari goes to see Nishigaki (in the midst of her explosion experiment) and together with Matsumoto, tells her circumstances. She denies creating such a machine but will do whatever she can but will take some time.

Back home, Akari hopes she could sleep with Akane. She’s more than happy to. If you notice why her room is so clean, that’s because she kept all her Akari memorabilia in the closet. Oh, it’s threatening to fall out! Quick! Distract her to go and bath! Phew. Safe in the nick of time. Better chain it up properly.  As they sleep, Akane wonders if it’s a good idea to change her past since she was desperate. She notes that her memories with her friends may disappear. Akari is bent on getting her noticeability back so Akane replies whatever happens, she’ll always love her. And so Akari dreams about her past memories with her friends. A week later, Matsumoto relays the bad news. This machine is beyond her comprehension. NO!!! Good news? She managed to get it fix by changing the batteries. Duh moment… Akari’s final chance to fix her past is to prevent Ayano barging in when Akari is having the spotlight. Before she could do so, tears start streaming down her cheeks as she remembers Akane’s words and can’t let those memories go. She’ll try to get her noticeability back in the future. Before Akari leaves for the future, Nishigaki, Matsumoto and Akane promise to keep this a secret. Akane was so happy to have shared a bed with her that she couldn’t sleep. She needs one now. Akari leaps into the future thinking of the worst possibility awaiting her: Her friends didn’t show they cared about her since she is hardly noticeable so they forgot all about her. But when she arrives, she sees a bunch of posters of her as a missing person. Everyone is lending their hand to make the poster. You could see the tears streaming down Kyouko’s eyes (as well as everybody) when Akari returns. So worried and relieved that she’s back. They do care after all! And when Akari realizes this machine was fixed by Nishigaki, oh no… It exploded! BOOM!!! There goes the club room. And all this turn out to be a story by Kyouko. Oh Akari, you don’t even get to end this episode as your own dream. All’s well, ends well ;p.

Episode 12
Kyouko tries to scare Yui coming into the club room with a toy snake. It wasn’t the reaction she hoped for but she’s still surprised. Kyouko continues to guess the reaction of others. So when Chinatsu comes in, she had no reaction. Clearly when she rushed over to hug Yui all scared, she was just acting, right? As for Akari, she’s on the verge of crying when she stepped on it! Hurry! Calm her down. After getting to know it’s just a toy snake, she is relieved that she thought she hurt the real one. Wow. So angelic! What’s this bright light emitting from her? Next, they play some little bouncy balls and the antics include Kyouko throwing them into Chinatsu’s hair for devouring effect, Akari had a mark on her forehead since one was stuck too hard but is assured she won’t be laughed at since nobody would notice her (that just sucks!). Kyouko takes out her other toys (why did she come to school for?) and gets scared by her own toy snake. The biggest reaction of them all. Next, we have the main characters in a Snow White play during the cultural festival with their other sisters watching in the front row. So Kyouko as Snow White is seen munching flowers in the forest. She’s really eating the cardboards! How does it taste like? Nishigaki as the Evil Queen resorts to her magic mirror (played by Matsumoto) on who is the fairest. Since she is too soft, she adlibs that she is the fairest! Of course with Snow White being the fairest, she sends the hunter (Chizuru) to hunt and kill her. I’m sure Chizuru is going to kill that b*tch with her automatic rifles! Fire away! Yeah, look how disappointed she is when she couldn’t kill her because as narrated the hunter was too kind hearted to do so. Next enter the 7 elves. We have them aptly named after their personality. Guess who is the tsundere elf (Ayano)? Glass elf (Chitose – I thought Nose Bleed elf would suit her)? Tsukkomi elf (Yui)? Evil doing elf (Chinatsu)? Boobie elf (Himawari)? Stupid elf (Sakurako)? And the longest name of them all: Very unnoticeable elf (who again?). They see Kyouko rummaging through the fridge at home so she gives Ayano the last bite of the pudding. Can’t resist this indirect kiss? Too bad Sakurako steals and eats it. And Chitose is already dying of her nose bleeds courtesy of unlimited fantasizing.

Snow White continues to live with the elves for safety though she becomes a lazy bum-cum-freeloader. The Evil Queen learns of her existence and hatches another plan. She gives Snow White eat a poison tomato as she falls into a coma. Sleeping on a stone at the church (I forgive you if you think that horrible backdrop art from Chinatsu is the graveyard), Ayano is overcome with emotion over Kyouko’s ‘death’. What superb acting. I don’t think she’s acting. If you notice one of the elves missing (no, it’s not Akari), I guess it’s because they’re short on men so Yui has to change and play the prince who will wake up Snow White. Can Ayano and Chinatsu hold their sanity? Yui is fine faking the kiss but Kyouko obviously is trying to kiss her. Chinatsu can’t take it anymore and throws Akari as a projectile! Yui ducks but this means their lips met! Chuu~! Instant revival! The Evil Queen appears and is going to end it all. She transforms the backdrop into a giant robot (why does it have Chinatsu’s ugly drawing face on it?) to attack. Since it was made in a hurry, it couldn’t differentiate friend and foe so Nishigaki and Matsumoto also run away along with the rest. Akari thought her words would reach the robot’s heart and suddenly it stopped. Did it work? Well, it ran out of batteries. That giant thing ran on batteries? Then the robot crashes down onto Akari. If last season Akari got her lips kissed by Chinatsu, this season she got one from that horrible painting. Akari’s sacrifice means Snow White and the Evil Queen put aside their difference and become friends. Yeah, it solved nothing. And they lived happily ever after. Nobody cares if Akari is dead or not. End of play. Surprisingly the crowd loves the play and wants an encore! As the girls take their bow, the robot is on the verge of exploding. Well, you know what they say about going out with a bang.

Unforgiveable! Need more episodes… Must have more episodes…  Please don’t count in reruns. So okay, I guess this season was pretty much funny as before and there were some moments that I was really laughing my head off. Don’t worry. I didn’t lose my head. Or my existence. Having said that the sequel is quite enjoyable, some may find the jokes and gags to be a little old since there isn’t anything much different from the first season. But for me, this formula works (which includes dividing the entire episode into several mini skits) so I don’t mind if they’re still using the same ol’ Akari’s unnoticeability joke or Chinatsu’s horrible drawing or even the ever flowing nose bleeding of Chitose’s unhealthy fantasies. Heck, the over-used suggestion box even did make a cameo return. See all the crossed out lines on it? That’s how over-used it is. Even the final episode seems to be a reminiscence of the last episode of the first season. Akari ‘dies’ and the others will always remember her sacrifice. And then there’s the explosion. Though for this season the explosion comes after Akari’s ‘death’ (it was the other way round in the first season).

I don’t really remember much of last season and the intensity of Akari’s unnoticeability as a running gag of the series but I do feel that in this season it is slightly lesser. From what I observed, she doesn’t get ignored very much often and if it does, it is just pointing out her unnoticeability. In last season, I remember the girls were having fun by themselves while Akari was totally forgotten, lost in a barrel in some woods. Poor girl. We don’t see that sort of extreme thing in this season. But the thing that stands out even more about her is her hairballs. You would wonder if those double buns really can detach themselves since from time to time you can see it ‘disengage’ from her head. Not only that, her hair has ‘other uses’, whether is being mistaken as a teruterubouzu or an outline of a bear. Speaking of hair, this season we see something new and that is Chinatsu’s hair that has this strange phenomenon to devour anything that sticks into it. It’s like there is some space-time dimension in it. I’m sure we can do lots of experiments to find out but do you dare to do so after seeing things getting ‘swallowed up’? The other characters didn’t change much themselves so we can tell that Kyouko is still the same lively idiotic troublemaker while Yui the calmer one retorts them when needed. Ayano is still the perennial tsundere not being able to honestly tell her feelings for Kyouko though it is bloody obvious that she likes her. Chitose is just happy the way things are just as long as she gets to fantasize. Just keep lots of tissues prepared. I thought Akari’s scary half-eyes-open sleeping style would be one way to get her noticed. But I realized that would just scare everyone away and make you want to forget what you saw. So this is what I can sum up of Akari’s ‘role of existence’. 1/3 she is unnoticeable, 1/3 she is having fun and happy with her friends, and 1/3 she gets into trouble, panic and insert her trademark cute panic scream here.

I feel Sakurako and Himawari got more screen time this season and as we observe their love-hate friendship, their interaction reminds me of Kyouko and Yui. Only thing is, Sakurako is more idiotic and this lazy bum easily flares up. It must be tough for Himawari to keep up with her all these years. She really has lots of patience, I guess. Maybe this is what you can also call ‘frenemies’. The other main supporting cast like Chizuru, Nishigaki and Matsumoto still make their fair share of screen time but the way they have them I feel that it’s just so that you don’t really forget who they are. Chizuru still drools, Nishigaki still exploding stuff and Matsumoto still speaks so soft that you may think she’s a mute. And oddly everybody else can actually hear what she says. This season introduces a few other characters and notice they are all sisters to the main supporting characters? I guess this is why you have yuri in the name of this show. We see total sisterly love for Kaede x Himawari, Akane x Akari and also hinted for Tomoko x Chinatsu. But Tomoko seems to have feelings for Akane instead and nobody is creepily obsessed with her little sister than Akane. Chizuru also loves Chitose but she would’ve preferred to see her twin getting along with Ayano instead. It is better Akari doesn’t know about this. Well, even with love in some of the sisters, not all can be said is true for some. As we can see, Nadeshiko and Hanako don’t really like their dumb Sakurako and even mentioned once they would really trade her for Kaede! I’m not sure about Mari because she’s like in between admiring and frowning upon Yui. After that Mirakurun ‘scarred’ incident back in the previous season (thanks to Chinatsu’s unconvincing cosplay of the magical witch behind the scene), it’s like she’s already accepting the harsh realities of life. So young. Already so like that.

In keeping with the tradition like last season, Akari’s opening title call starts off every episode but you can tell that nothing goes according to her way. Whether it is that returning UFO blasting Akari away and crashing into her, a futuristic and robotic version of her, Yui wearing an Akari mask and doing the roll call on her behalf, Mirakurun shutting Akari up and doing the honours, Akari being distracted by a paparazzi hiding in the bushes, a snowy version as Akari tries to calm the reindeer from messing with the presents for fans, in all of them Akari usually can’t complete her sentence and is abruptly cut off before she finishes properly. Yeah, even in the final episode not only her title call is cut off, her name is even cut out! It’s curtains for her! Nobody respects her as a protagonist, eh? Maybe in only the first episode whereby a sell-out crowd in the theatre cheers on the series’ return and thus the appearance of a giant robot Akari and Akari herself in some deity princess outfit. Then there is one episode whereby Chinatsu’s horror drawing takes over! So that is a picture of Yui doing a great club opening? Can you blame Akari for passing out while standing?

Also similar as in the previous season, the mid-intermission sometimes may raise eyebrows. While we have the heavy and fast techno music and each music is tailored to the main girls (even Mirakurun has one), we also have the girls running along, doing some poses and perhaps certain prominent trademarks of theirs will be featured. Like Himawari and Sakurako’s mid-intermission are filled with lots of boobs comparison but Sakurako’s one had them forbidden, Chinatsu’s horrible drawing is also being featured, Chitose’s nose bleed becomes some sort of swirling ecstasy and the shadowy figure that Ayano is being tsundere too seems very familiar. Like a certain ‘K’ person. There are of course some which are very odd. Like Yui’s. We see her being a gunner shooting up her targets and levelling up equally as fast. Huh? But the weirdest one has got to be Kyouko’s mid-intermission because we see her running in a tomato suit and then being stepped on! Is she enjoying it! Is she an M? WTF?! I don’t remember much about last seasons’ next episode preview but it seems this time that each one of the main characters (as I have observed) have their go at narrating the next episode preview. Even Matsumoto. I guess this is the only place where you actually hear her speak! Albeit she is still whispering but softly. Of course there is no background music unlike the rest so it gives a little creepy feeling to hear her narrate. So is it right that she continues to be soft-spoken? Literally?

The opening theme for this season, Yes! Yuyuyu Yuruyuri by the seiyuus of the Amusement Club quartet tries to maintain and match that energetic, lively and cheeky tune of that in the first season. All-girl idol group, fast pace pop music, fast lyrics, you get the idea. The ending theme also by the same quartet, 100% Chu~Gakusei also follows this pace and feel. Sometimes the lyrics may raise an eyebrow or two (does it sound grammatically correct, “Do you happy?”). Having so much fun that they want to climb Mount Everest too, huh? There is a special opening theme for that special Mirakurun episode too. Yonde Mirakurun sung by Majokko Mirakurun (which is voiced by Ayana Taketatsu) sounds like your typical magical girl song with lots of transforming, magic blasting and rivalry with her, erm, rival called, erm well, Rivalrun. Also a special ending theme for Chinatsu in episode 8 called Girls Power De sung by the duet of Yui and Chinatsu’s seiyuu. Though this anime pop music isn’t anything to shout about, the most amusing thing about this part is the ending credits animation. Because for the entire duration of the song Chinatsu’s horrible drawing is featured, 4/5 of the screen is blanked out! Oh sh*t! Must be really horrible, isn’t it? So you’ll just be seeing a white screen in the middle as the credits roll by (heck, there are no credits too since it’s all white out!) and perhaps the little top and the bottom edge of the screen may just give you an idea what’s going on. But that is mostly left to your imagination. I doubt that even if you buy the DVD, this ‘censor’ will be removed.

Though this season doesn’t break any new ground or introduce anything new besides the new minor sister characters, I still hope that there will be a third season so that I can enjoy more of the Amusement Club’s antics as well as their friends. As long as Kyouko and dumbass Sakurako are always around, I’m sure things will never get boring if they all seem like the same ol’, same ol’ stuff. Will things change in the future? Well, after 2 seasons you don’t pretty see any much difference, right? The tsundere is still there, the fantasizing nose bleeding daydreamer is still around and the teacher that loves to blow up things but never kills anybody with it is still hanging around with a blast. If this bunch of girls aren’t amusing, then I don’t know what is. Though the yuri elements are still around, they are so mild that it never crossed my mind. With that, let’s hope Kyouko, Yui, Chinatsu, Ayano, Chitose, Himawari, Sakurako, Chizuru as well with Nishigaki, Matsumoto and the other sisterly sisters will be a big hit among us viewers that it will pave way for a third season to come. I hope I’m not missing anybody out or leaving anybody behind. Am I? Don’t thinks so… ;p


February 15, 2013

WTF?! How can they do an anime on cockroaches?! Those disgusting little filthy insects that many humans despise. Forgive me cockroach lovers, but like the majority of humans on this planet, I am not really fond of cockroaches so my first instinct upon seeing them is to whack and kill them with a newspaper!!! Anyway, so it is really an eyebrow raiser that the producers really could make an ONA based on a little cockroach called Gokicha. Well, if you personify it into a cute little girl, then I guess that’s where all the disgusting part melts away. But still, she’s a cockroach nevertheless. I don’t really know what goes on in the mind of cockroaches (besides survival, I guess), for this particular Gokicha roach, she wants to make friends with humans! Good luck to that. If she can survive all the swatting and not get her guts splattered. Yeah, that is what the synopsis even says. A heart warming story of a cockroach girl who wants to be liked by humans while dodging insecticides. Heart warming?! My foot! Even if the storyline is, I still can’t see how cockroaches and heart warming can be put into the same sentence. Call me bias, prejudice and barbaric but the truth is, if I want to have peaceful sleeping nights, I better not see one of those things crawling anywhere near me. We can never click. We are worse than cats and dogs, oil and fire. Get the picture?

However if you are asking the main reason why I am watching this show then, there is one good reason and perhaps the only reason why one should watch this show. As even agreed by many viewers, the only reason why one should watch this show is because of Mamiko Noto. Yes, she is the sole reason. Her voice is the sole motivation (and salvation) why you should put up with the cockroach thingy and watch this series. Glad to know that she is still darn cute putting up with that trademark voice of hers. Yeah, it’s like falling in love with her all over again. And she really makes disgusting creatures cute (I remember she had a very short cameo role in Gintama as a disgusting and ugly looking creature made to be eaten. Pandemonium was its name again?). Oh, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m in love with Mamiko Noto and her voice, not the cockroach role she plays. And never ever in my entire life will I love cockroaches!

Episode 1
Gokicha introduces herself and how she moved to Hokkaido from Kanto region because everyone hates her there. Who wouldn’t want to smack a cockroach with a newspaper upon sight? Doesn’t the world hate cockroaches? She thought moving to this place with fewer cockroaches would mean she could make friends with humans. How wrong she is. Does this newspaper smack bring back memories? Later as she warms herself behind an air-cond unit, she spots several bad roaches hanging out on a garbage bag and tries to stop them from whatever they are doing. Otherwise it will be like Kanto all over again and the humans will hate them. They don’t give a sh*t and kick her away before moving on to a new place as she goes back sitting at the warm spot. Then as she tries cleaning up glass shards to avoid humans or cats getting hurt by stepping on it, she remembers a person who was the only one kind to her. Back in Kanto, Gokicha almost got stepped by another human. Bruised and hungry, she stumbles upon a guy cooking and gazes through his window. He tried to close the window and from Gokicha’s point of view, he is like extending his hand to welcome her! Before he knows it, she crawls up his arm!!!! FREAKY!!!! He tried to spray on her and the reason he hesitated wasn’t because he pitied her. She was standing next to his bowl of vegetables. After he takes the bowl away, he lets loose the spray. Didn’t work? Gokicha runs away crying but soon runs back in. The cat is chasing her! She could have been its dinner if not for the boy taking it away. Safe… As Gokicha bums outside his window, the boy leaves a small bowl of seeds for her to it, much to her delight. And who would have thought that she likes him ever since. Eww… However when spring arrives, he moved out to a different place. Though she doesn’t know where he is now, she hopes he is doing well.

Episode 2
We are introduced to another cockroach living in Hokkaido, Chaba. She narrates how humans truly fear them (note evil grin on her face). However she also notes that sometimes they too scare her. Later Gokicha meets up with Chaba and the former is all bruised up due to an ‘assault’ by the ramen shop owner. Chaba wants her to bring her to that shop that instant. Why? She wants to see the human fear them! OMG! See Chaba running around letting the ramen stall owner chase her and poor panicky Gokicha! Chaba is revelling in it! Eventually the roaches knock into each other, got swatted and dumped into the trash. If that isn’t enough, Chaba had the guts to tell him to finish them off in one death blow shot and not leave them alive! Well, cockroaches are tough, right? She’s going to crawl over his face one day for this! Then, Gokicha reminisces the time they first met. Chaba was at a train station and attracted to a guy’s onion bento. However the gap between the platform and train is too great for a roach so she fell short during her leap. Fortunately, she is pulled in by Gokicha. As they lay hungry, Chaba gets an idea. She is going to steal that man’s onion bento. Gokicha tries to stop her for fear her act will only make humans hate them even more but Chaba doesn’t give a damn. At this point, the ticket conductor spots both the roaches and tries to step on them. Chaba has already given Gokicha the slip so the poor latter once more got squashed. Don’t worry. She is still alive though she is thrown into the dustbin. The conductor goes off to ‘hunt’ the other roach.

Moe Roach…
Well, I don’t know how many more episodes there will be for this series because so far this is how much we viewers will get to see. I’m sure the story did not end just there yet. I get a feeling that this will be somewhat similar to Kyou No Asuka Show whereby only subscribed phone users in Japan can get to watch the remaining episodes. Also, this series reminds me of Ichigeki Sacchu Hoi-Hoi-san. But we don’t have little cockroach exterminators here. Just normal ordinary humans with their instincts to whack cockroaches upon sight. Rie Kugimiya is the voice of Chaba and despite pulling off her trademark tsundere voice, don’t expect her to be a tsundere roach here. She’s like a troublemaker and has a totally different personality than Gokicha. Yeah, I think all the cockroaches in real life are like Chaba. They’re out to get us and freak us out to the max!

If this series is trying to make us be to treat cockroaches better and to be on friendly terms with them, they can forget about it and they sure can forget about my support. It’s hard for me to change my stand on those pesky little bugs and I have a few close encounters and ‘brush with death’ with those damn roaches. Yeah, my heart nearly stopped each time I see them so that’s why I ‘nearly died’ before and after smacking them. Don’t worry. I kill them outright and don’t give any second chances. But the sad part is, for every one you kill there are thousands and millions more. Yuck. I shudder to think of such thought. I could even feel the chill down my spine as I write this.

Both the short opening and ending themes (Gokkyun! Days and Beginning respectively) are sung by Mamiko Noto. Though sometimes I have this dilemma if her heavenly voice is suitable for singing. Don’t worry, she still sounds cute. This would be the least of my problems because I still have phobia and to an extreme a very strong dislike for roaches. I hope my case won’t turn into like that unfortunate cartoon character, Oggy and the Cockroaches. I once said in my Hoi-Hoi-san blog that if God made cockroaches cuter, we would probably get along well with them. Since they’re not, I probably never will. Not even if they look moe or sound like Mamiko Noto. And no, Mamiko Noto is not a roach!!!

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san

February 10, 2013

Finally after its debut as an ONA back in 2011, it is only a matter of time before this “anime that always creeps up beside you with a smile” will be given its rightful and proper TV series adaptation. Okay, maybe nobody was hoping and I certainly didn’t see it coming either when Haiyore! Nyaruko-san went on air back in early 2012. One of the biggest differences between the ONA and the TV series is that the art and drawing especially the characters have been given the typical anime uplift treatment. I won’t say the Flash-based quality of the ONA was horrible but at least all the characters here look prettier and cuter. Who wouldn’t like their anime girls cute with big wide sparkly eyes? Erm, maybe not so sparkly here.

This series of course is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. Since I haven’t read his weird science fiction works, I don’t really know about all the alien races and whatsoever that this anime series take after or make references to. I’m not sure if the story follows the original or just borrows characters from those works. Maybe it’s just the latter. All I know is that I’m here to see all the so called comical chaos that our main crazy Nyarlathotep AKA Nyaruko would bring. She might be from some Planetary Defence Organization sent to Earth to protect Mahiro Yasaka from whatever dangers but I guess that’s just a side excuse for her to pursue her perverted love for poor Mahiro. Yeah, bombarding him with constant harassment, nuisance and annoyance that would easily make anyone boil. Now, with a couple of more Cthulhu deities crashing in and freeloading at Mahiro’s home just like Nyaruko, that certainly spells chaos, doesn’t it? Where’s the fork when you need one?!

Episode 1
Mahiro is going to be one dead kid. For some reason, a monster called Nightgaunt is hunting him down and he is running for his life. What the hell is going on? Suddenly a silver haired girl, Nyaruko appears before him and destroys the creature. Violently. Bloodily. Yup. Here’s the chaos that creeps up beside you with a smile. Before Mahiro knows it, she’s freeloading at his home asking for seconds. I know he should be grateful for saving his ass but this is too much. Here comes the fork! So Nyaruko explains about the Cthulhu thingy (fast forward this boring bit please) and that she’s an employee of the Organization sent to defend Earth from conducting illegal transactions on this planet. That includes human trafficking and the reason why Mahiro was previously hunted. So she vows to stay by his side to protect him. That’s just an excuse for her to be by his side because you can tell this Nyarlathotepian has fallen in love with this kid and is not shy in proclaiming her twisted love. So in her first step to ‘protect’ Mahiro, she takes him out to town but why is she amazed at all the comics at the bookstore? She even went on a shopping spree! How is this protecting him? You see, Earth’s entertainment like animes and mangas are the best in the entire universe. Even the gods want to come to Earth for them. That’s why there are regulations on how many can be imported and thus this leads to illegal smuggling of goods. So can Nyaruko take back all the stuff she just bought? As long as no one finds out! Double standards! Oh, Mahiro has recorded all that! Blackmail material! Still, she’s going to buy them. Once she’s done with her shopping, she didn’t hesitate to reveal her love at first sight for him. But it’s time to get down to business because a Nightgaunt appears. Nyaruko activates a barrier to a different dimension so they can fight. I don’t know what this Space CQC is but we see Nyaruko beat the crap out of the Nightgaunt!!! Don’t look, kids! Thanks to Nyaruko, Mahiro is once more safe. But she wants her kissy reward. Maybe the fork should be more appropriate.

Mahiro thought his days at home are going to be tough. Even his friend, Takehiko Yoichi can see he’s tired. Well, guess what? His school days are going to be equally crazy. That’s because Nyaruko has transferred to his class under the guise of Mahiro’s overseas relative. Look how she’s at the centre of attraction. His classmate, Tamao Kurei, the so called gossiper and “Walking Speaker” takes this chance to ‘interview’ them on their relationship. Leave it to Nyaruko to exaggerate things. Maybe lying is the right word. I guess Mahiro’s testament isn’t so interesting, eh? Nyaruko even put up crocodile tears that she made bento especially for him. Forget about going to buy bread. Though the meat tastes delicious, Nyaruko can’t reveal what sort of meat she used. Suspicious. Want to bet it’s some alien meat? Mahiro’s woes continue when bold Nyaruko sleeps in the middle class. If that’s not all, she starts dreaming and sleep talking about Mahiro doing something perverted on her. She excuses herself to the infirmary but brings Mahiro along. Actually she senses a Nightgaunt on the rooftop and goes into battle mode. She unleashes her capsule and lets her pet Shantakkun do the job. Unfortunately all that fierce show off was just for show as Nightgaunt easily beats Shantakkun. So if Nyaruko knows Shantakkun’s records against the monster are horrible (one draw and 99 losses), so why use him? The worse they are, the cuter they are? WTF?! But better do something before the Nightgaunt gets serious. It’s time for her Space CQC. Nyaruko takes out her crowbar and whacks it like a pro! OMG! Killer! See the calmness on her face when she violently strikes the Nightgaunt without mercy?! Can you blame Mahiro for losing his sanity points? Can you blame him for trying to be in denial? Back home, Mahiro finally gets his rest in the bath. What a horrible day. It’s not over yet because naked Nyaruko comes in wanting to turn their home into Adam and Eve paradise before his parents come home. See how handy a fork can be against this pervert?

Episode 2
Nyaruko yet again kills another Nightgaunt in her crazy fashion. Grenade? Makes you wonder who is more dangerous. Mahiro thought she should just head to their base and crush them and since now is the right time (stars aligning crap says she) the duo teleport to another dimension and ride some weird creature to R’lyeh. Meanwhile, the Neptune-like Nodens conspires with the flaming Cthuga AKA Kuuko on Nyaruko. So it turns out R’lyeh is a giant and greatest space amusement park on Earth operated by Cthulhu Corporation. Can’t resist having fun? Getting down to work, Nyaruko gives Mahiro a little box. That’s their engagement ring. Just kidding! It’s a protective charm. Inside the main building, Nodens ‘welcomes’ them as they realize they’re in the middle of an illegal auction. Knowing that Nyaruko has come to interfere, he sends Kuuko to deal with her. Nodens teleport the arch-enemies to a different dimension for them to fight. So both girls use their Space CQC against each other but Kuuko has mobile lasers with unlimited ammo to give Nyaruko a run for her money. Then Kuuko ties Nyaruko to the bed and starts stripping! She confesses she loves her and wants to make babies! What the hell?! I’m not sure about Kuuko’s twisted reasoning on her love for Nyaruko (not that I care) but since Nyaruko insists Mahiro is the only person for her (and the only one who can take her virginity), Kuuko is going to vaporize Mahiro right down to his soul. This makes Nyaruko to become serious as she unleashes her Space CQC Enhancer that turns her into a tokusatsu-like enforcer. With all the ‘anger’, Nyaruko defeats Kuuko in a single blow.

Mahiro is in danger and has no choice but to use the protective charm. This better work and not be a joke. When he opens the box, Nyaruko appears right out from it. The aliens realize she is from the Organization and flee in fear of being arrested. Nodens realizes Kuuko has been defeated and laments his plan to make money ruined. He’s not getting away till he spills the beans. The reason why he wants to auction Mahiro was because he was chosen as a protagonist of a new TV drama series. In short, it is a BL show. Nodens thought he could make some money if he auctioned the role of the protagonist. Mahiro orders Nyaruko to destroying him. Happy to oblige. Exterminating Last Bullet! BOOM!!! Back on Earth, Nyaruko says her goodbye since her assignment is over. She can’t stay on Earth anymore. I’m sure he is relieved but I guess he needs to be polite and grateful. Goodbye. When Mahiro returns home, he is dismayed to see Nyaruko acting like his wife. What gives? In view that more enemies may crop up, the battle isn’t over and thus has been given permission to make sure no further harm comes to him. Sounds like an excuse? Now on to the perverted part in making babies enough to fill a football team. How does a fork for a start sound?

Episode 3
The annoyance continues. Does Mahiro want to be called her big brother? What about being S or M? Here’s the fork to make your decision! Still, Nyaruko doesn’t learn her lesson and believes this is tsundere play. I guess Shantakkun receives more attention from him than a desperate Nyarlathotepian. Not willing to give up yet, Nyaruko continues to bug Mahiro at school. Suddenly they have a bad feeling. They’re right. Here comes a new transfer student: Kuuko! Just like Nyaruko, Kuuko is also a twisted person though her love is for Nyaruko. How does it feel to have a taste of your own medicine? Though she has cut ties with Nodens’ organization, she mentions that the Dreamlands are in danger because someone murdered the gods and if they don’t protect the remaining gods, Earth will be in trouble. Mahiro didn’t like his home turning into their base of operations but he agrees with Kuuko that once this mission is over, she’ll take Nyaruko back to the Organization. Kuuko continues to harass Nyaruko in making babies (she proclaims to the school she is Nyaruko’s wife). She’s so persistent. Just like someone we know, eh? If you’ve been wondering some Egyptian outfit idiotic guy, Nyaruo making cameo throughout the episode and bragging about his plan to defeat his sister Nyaruko, well, let’s say he seems like all talk only. Getting into trouble with the law and an accident during the pool incident whereby Nyaruko tries to keep Kuuko at bay. This guy is bad luck himself. Kuuko tries to tempt Nyaruko with some super rare cake so Nyaruko has no choice but to feed Kuuko her lunch she made for Mahiro. While discussing about the Dreamlands incident, suddenly several Nightgaunts and ghouls appear. Because darling Mahiro and Shantakkun got taken out, Nyaruko gets furious and unleashes her Space CQC chainsaw to beat them all up. And Kuuko’s mobile lasers got Nyaruo.

Mahiro is resting in the infirmary and Nyaruko feels guilty that she needs to take responsibility. More like she is giving into her desires. Yeah, she’s going to get naughty with him when suddenly she sees Kuuko in place of Mahiro. Good thing Mahiro left and went back to class. Nyaruo couldn’t bear the embarrassing defeat but hasn’t given up yet. Flashback reveals Nyaruko always outshines him in everything and it made his life miserable. That’s why today is the day he will kill her. Instead on investigating on the Dreamlands incident, Nyaruko wants to hurry home to watch some new series and has Shantakkun transform into a motorcycle. She only has a seat for Mahiro and leaves Kuuko eating her dust trails. Nyaruo thought he could get in Nyaruko’s way but was sent flying into the sky when her motorbike hits him. Did they hit something? Back home, Nyaruko gets a call from her chief that the Dreamlands case is solved. Wait. They didn’t do anything. It seems the target’s signal disappeared (I later found out Nyaruo was the one responsible for killing the gods in order to get revenge on Nyaruko). Nyaruko and Kuuko’s chief assign them to the team assisting the gods of Dreamlands. This means they will get to stay on Earth. Oh no. Bad news for Mahiro. There’s more on the way. Mahiro gets a call from his mother, Yoriko that she will be coming home in a few seconds. What will she think when she sees 2 girls in the house? Furthermore, Nyaruko is making naughty sounds in the background. Show the fork as the warning! Yoriko has cut short her honeymoon because she’s worried about her son and will be back in 40 seconds! Tick tock, tick tock.

Episode 4
Each time Mahiro kicks them out, somehow they find their way back in. The ensuing struggle to kick them out has them fall into a very ambiguous position. Just the right time for Yoriko to return home and see everything. Aha. I’m sure it’s confusing to hear Nyaruko and Kuuko’s side of the story. Whose wife is whose? Yoriko takes out her forks as warning and is suspicious about Nyaruko’s intentions to protect her son. Till she sees Shantakkun. Yoriko seems to know about those alien and entertainment thingy because she herself is a deity hunter albeit it’s a part time job. That’s news to everyone. On occasions she would help out her college professor in hunting them down. Dad also knows about this but I guess he is rather busy, that’s why he didn’t return home. Yoriko hugs her son to replenish her sononium (whatever this is – I guess it’s the only thing sons can give her mother). It gets worse for Mahiro because Yoriko has no objections for the girls living under their roof. But… Despite knowing Nyaruko loves Mahiro, she wants her son to live a more normal life and wants them to seriously consider their relationship before committing. So Nyaruko can’t call Yoriko her mother just yet, eh? Kuuko and Yoriko find they share the same interest in video game consoles while Mahiro and Nyaruko try to cook dinner. Next morning, Nyaruko and Kuuko continue to tussle over a pillow case with Nyaruko’s mug on it (you know why lah) so here’s another fork warning from Yoriko to stop or else. Mahiro heads off to school first and bumps into a kid in yellow, Hastur AKA Hasuta. The kid finds Mahiro a nice guy. While Nyaruko and Kuuko continue to act like idiots in public (they should be embarrassed about themselves), Yoichi wonders if Mahiro has anymore unknown relatives. He hopes not. But why do we have a feeling that it’s not true? After school, Mahiro bumps into Hasuta again. He learns Hasuta is looking for somebody but failed so far. Nyaruko and Kuuko come into the picture and they know who Hasuta is. He is their childhood friend. Wait a minute. HE?! Hasuta is a boy?! I wouldn’t have guessed! So girly… So back to his mission, he was supposed to help his father out (whose job he is unsure of too) to look for someone. He doesn’t know the address and only has a name: Yoriko.

Episode 5
While wondering what Hasuta’s dad wants with Yoriko, Kuuko tries to make Hasuta get closer to Mahiro and set them up. Mahiro didn’t think a boy could for another boy. Can’t it? Oh no. OH NO! It just got messier. So outside their house, Hasuta meets Yoriko for the first time. A nice boy, isn’t he? Nyaruko warns not to be deceived… Let the argument over Mahiro’s love begin! Suddenly a robed woman, Luhy Distone appears and kidnaps Yoriko. She knows about Hasuta but the latter doesn’t. Luhy thinks everyone is playing dumb because she mentions any organization that takes Yoriko in will have the potential to rule space. She whispers something into Yoriko’s ear and she agrees to come with her. Mahiro orders the girls to rescue mommy but Luhy whispers in Kuuko’s ear and in an instant, Kuuko becomes Luhy’s ally and will stop Nyaruko at all cost. Luhy makes her fiery escape and Hasuta the deity of the wind puts the flames out. I’m sure Mahiro wants to come up with a plan fast but Nyaruko and Hasuta are more interested in fooling around or touring the house. So when they sit down and discuss the motive behind Yoriko’s kidnap, it may be because of the mysterious nutrient called sononium. Nyaruko gets a call from her chief and she will take responsibility on Kuuko’s defection. She’ll kill her. She’s not serious, isn’t she? Nyaruko tracks their coordinates and it seems they are at R’lyeh. She notes the evil organization can’t be behind this since only Cthulhu Corporation employees can access the undersea land and that they can’t treat this as a kidnapping case as Yoriko volunteered to go. Kidnap or not, Mahiro wants to save his mom.

However this time they’re not going to ride some creature but Nyaruko’s cool amphibious vehicle! Why didn’t she use it the last time? Don’t ask. She’ll just give you a stupid story. Driving underwater, Hasuta starts getting seasick and there are a bunch of monsters trying to prevent them from reaching R’lyeh. I’m sure the unlimited torpedoes did the trick but now they’re being chased by a huge monster. Though they ride past it, Nyaruko forgot about the monster’s girlfriend. Oops. Right into her mouth! When Mahiro wakes up, he finds himself on shore of R’lyeh and Hasuta has done CPR to revive him. Note, it was his first time. Oh God. It doesn’t count, it doesn’t count, it doesn’t count… Hasuta must be desperate enough to confess he loves Mahiro and wants to be one with him. It doesn’t matter if they’re both guys because the person he loves just happened to be a guy. Spewing all that crap about his kindness and warmth, I guess Mahiro tries not to hurt his feelings by mentioning something about a 25 million year cycle. If his feelings don’t change by then, he will consider. Huh? Promise? Uh. Yeah. They head into the main building to see Nyaruko facing off with Kuuko.

Episode 6
Nyaruko stalls Kuuko so the duo can surge ahead. With their fight going nowhere, Nyaruko plays dirty by throwing pictures of herself at Kuuko to knock her out in ecstasy. Only thing is, those are Mahiro pictures! Stalker!!! As the loser, Kuuko is going to abide by whatever she says. But why is she stripping?! What is she expecting?! Nyaruko has her spill the beans. Mahiro and Hasuta find Luhy and Yoriko working on a large computer. Luhy accuses them that they are here to steal information on their company’s next generation hardware. Say what? It is revealed this computer is the next generation game console, Xoth 731 and Luhy needed Yoriko’s expertise so they can have the advantage in the game console war. That is what this is all about? This was why Kuuko also defected? A fanatical user who loves the company’s hardware? Hasuta’s father is a board member of their rival company, CCE producing HS3. Luhy rants about Xoth’s advantage in cost, graphics, etc (not that I’m interested) but Yoriko points out this will fail because the console with better specs will always lose out because of high R&D cost. This makes the company harder to produce games. How is a console without games attractive? Plus, stores make their money from games, not consoles. Will they sell the console if there are no games? Nyaruko transforms into her enforcer armour to destroy the machine but Luhy gets a call from her boss that the project is terminated. She can’t accept the decision and goes crazy. She turns on Xoth to show the boss what it’s capable off. Due to some explanation that the console is transmitting data to brains of the monsters, all I understand is that the monsters become violent and see out protagonists as villains. They think they are playing some zombie game. Yoriko shows how adept she is using her forks. Don’t worry. They’re just paralyzing forks and won’t die. Well Nyaruko, you didn’t even get a chance to strut your stuff. She thought she could finish things off by destroying Xoth but Kuuko wants to do the honours. Such heartbreak. In the end, with Hasuta’s mission over, it’s goodbye for him. Goodbye everyone. But why do they have this deja vu feeling it’s not over yet? Can you see it coming? Oh yes. I mean, oh no! Hasuta becomes yet another new transfer student in Mahiro’s class. Another unknown relative from overseas? When will this insanity end? Kuuko is the only one approving all it all…

With Hasuta now bumming in their house, Yoriko suggests a trip to the hotsprings to rejuvenate and they can bring along 8 people. Since Shantakkun counts, I guess this means bringing Tamao and Yoichi to fill the quota. Mahiro wanted to sit this out but was forcefully brought along. I bet he won’t get to rejuvenate. Tamao of course is here to find out who Mahiro is interested in. It only makes sense because for Nyaruko, Kuuko and Hasuta, we clearly know their sick intentions. Yeah, they’ll use this trip to get closer to you-know-who. But then again, maybe Mahiro really isn’t interested in them all. Oh where art thou, peaceful life? Nyaruko hell isn’t going to let Hasuta bath with Mahiro in the bath and makes the kid sit in the bathtub. Don’t fret. He has Shantakkun as company. That night, Nyaruko as expected creeps into Mahiro’s bed and is going to get naughty. Kuuko has been deceived and told to wait so she won’t be bothering them. Keep waiting… Hasuta is deep in his sleep. Can it be happening? Mahiro is going to lose his first time to Nyaruko now?

Episode 7
We don’t know what happened last night but it seems Mahiro is pretty calm the next morning. Rest assured the sicko Nyarlathotepian is tied to the table underneath the sheet pinned down by forks. What a peaceful night it must be. During breakfast, Nyaruko continues to fool around that she may be carrying his baby. Yoriko doesn’t seem to be opposing anymore. Yeah, she really wants grand children. Nyaruko doesn’t seem like a bad girl after all and may consider her to approach him. Somebody better stop this perverted deity before her sick delusions get out of control. Where’s the fork. Bring the fork! Wondering where Kuuko is? She’s still waiting… Did she satisfy herself? Before Hasuta could make his weird confession, Nyaruko butts in to take Mahiro away. Can you blame him if he wants to hide away from that pest? Mahiro sees Kuuko playing an old video game console at a beach house. She still feels saddened by Xoth’s loss so Mahiro pats her head to cheer her up. They also see Luhy who is now freed from the corporation and running her own takoyaki stall (don’t ask what ingredients she used). That’s why she doesn’t bear any grudge against Hasuta’s father anymore. Nyaruko bugs Mahiro to have a fun time together so he just ignores her. Finally Mahiro tells her off he hates her. It left her in great shock. I think this is serious. She really is shock and depressed. So much so Kuuko is trying to take advantage by stripping her in public! Though Mahiro manages to control her, she says that their alien standards do not apply. Yoriko notes to her son that Nyaruko did save them so Mahiro goes over to apologize and invites her out to the festival. Instant revival! Kuuko and Hasuta have to sit this one out since Yoriko said so. I guess Nyaruko can have her way with Mahiro now seeing she can easily sink into depression if he disagrees. Okay, this may have some limits too. He’s definitely not going to the sex museum with her. They pray at the shrine (a malign deity praying?) and have fun at the festival stalls. At the beach, Mahiro wonders what she wished for and she says for them to always be together. Walking along, she adds she loves him but he can’t believe her because she has always been loud and noisy so he can’t take her seriously when she says that all so calmly. That’s because if she’s not acting silly, it would be hard to tell him she loves him. To be with the person she loves is her dream. This is how she really feels and will say it again and again. I think she’s really serious when she says I love you. On a side note, who the heck is this funny stingray that Shantakkun finds company with?

Episode 8
While shopping for souvenirs, Mahiro picks up an old game console. When he turns it on, the next thing he knows he is back in bed and his mother is like a lovey-dovey mom. WTF?! Then on his way to school he bumps into Nyaruko on her way with a bread in mouth. Typical cliche for a dating simulation? You’ll soon find that this is one dating simulation spoof as Mahiro encounters a very polite Kuuko, basketball player Hasuta and Yoichi like a dating simulation’s protagonist’s best friend. Luhy pulls Mahiro away and tells him he and everyone else is inside a cursed game. She is accessing the game from outside and notes that everyone has been assigned roles. Until he reaches a good ending with someone, they cannot leave. This means, he has to end up with one of the 4 girls: Nyaruko, Kuuko, Hasuta or Tamao. Wait a minute. Hasuta? Luhy disappears as she could no longer stay in the game. As we know, Nyaruko, Kuuko and Hasuta are bent on setting their flags to get what they want. Oh God. So poor Mahiro has to put up with the tussle as the trio try to outdo each other into getting him. I mean, each scene is so weird. Including the one where by Kuuko pulled out a sword from underneath her skirt to kill him, Hasuta trying to ‘fuse’ with him at the infirmary and make babies (how the hell is this possible?) and some Haruhi rock band spoof with Nyaruko that couldn’t even start.

After that cafe parody scene, Mahiro returns home and knows Yoriko is also putting up an act. She wants to know if he has made up his mind on someone. If not, maybe Yoichi will confess first! Yikes! No way! That will definitely be bad end. Of course Mahiro can’t rush into just pick another one of them because they’re going to confess and he can’t take this lightly. Considerate? So the dating goes on and the Christmas scene has them giving their presents to Mahiro. Hasuta all doll of himself? Kuuko a see through lingerie? For Nyaruko by the way. And Nyaruko a marriage registration form? Tear it up! She has a scarf made for him. Since Mahiro can’t choose anyone at this rate, Nyaruko decides for the final hand to hand combat. While the trio slug it out, the quietest of them all, Tamao is seducing Mahiro alone in the locked gym storeroom! Mahiro can of course see through her acting, including her confession. Don’t worry, this won’t turn into an eroge. The mortal combat leaves Nyaruko the victor as she goes to see Mahiro waiting at the legendary tree (Tokimeki Memorial parody? Thank goodness it wasn’t Yoichi who came). The only way left to end this way is to seal it with a kiss. Mahiro is reluctant to do so but Nyaruko tries to convince him that this is how she feels. She’s always working towards this moment. Mahiro psycho himself that this is just to escape the game. Just to escape the game, just to escape the game, just to escape the game… Their lips met and whoosh! Back to reality. However it seems nobody has recollection of what happened except for Mahiro. His face is still blushing. But it seems Nyaruko may remember what happened after all because she’s giving Mahiro a big happy smile.

Episode 9
That kissing scene must be a nightmare for Mahiro. He got up on the wrong side of bed because of it. He realizes a hug pillow with Nyaruko’s mug on it. Till he hears a familiar sound coming out from it. Throw it out the window! It’s going to be a beautiful day. Because Yoriko will be out for a while, Mahiro and the rest go shopping for necessities for Hasuta. We see Nyaruko displaying her double standards, fooling around with glasses and pyjamas with Mahiro but chides Kuuko when she does the same for her. While resting, Nyaruko gets a call from her chief asking about the status of Dreamlands. Because of that murder, the Organization won’t take this lightly since Dreamlands is a fortress protecting the spirits of mankind. Currently that place is empty and even if they guard it from the front, it is still vulnerable to attacks from enemies via the rear of the spirit world. Suddenly on stage are Nodens and Luhy putting up a magical girl-cum-hero show. Once she realizes Mahiro and co are watching, she runs away in embarrassment. At the end of the day, Tamao suddenly points a gun at them. Proclaiming she is the Yith race and Earth is in danger, she fires her gun. Next thing Mahiro knows, he is seeing himself! Oh sh*t! He and Nyaruko swap bodies! As explained, Isuka is borrowing Tamao’s body and wanted to save Earth but accidentally swap their bodies. She can put them back but it seems her gun ran out of batteries. FFUUU!!! Isuka adds that there are extremists planning to transplant their consciousness into all mankind to fully understand entertainment. Since Dreamlands is empty, this is their perfect chance to strike. She needs their help. Well, if that’s the case, wouldn’t it be easier to just request Nyaruko’s help instead of swapping their bodies? She didn’t think about that… She ‘escapes’ via excuse it’s not good hogging this body too long and that she’ll be back tomorrow with the gun recharged.

As Nyaruko excuses herself to the bathroom, Kuuko can’t control herself and pounds on Mahiro (after tying up Hasuta). He tries to convince her that he is Mahiro inside despite outside looking like Nyaruko. Well, Kuuko doesn’t think it’s that half bad. Her body will just do. It was a close shave for Mahiro as he manages to tie her up. When Nyaruko returns from the toilet, she has this satisfied look on her face. She felt the greatest feeling that girls wouldn’t understand and only boys would feel. WHAT THE HELL DID SHE JUST DO???!!! Mahiro tries not to take a look at his own body in the bath but couldn’t help notice how thin Nyaruko is. Then of course Nyaruko ruins everything by coming in. She knows everything there is to know about their bodies. Mahiro couldn’t care about his own body and beats her up. So pissed, huh? Bed time. Mahiro wants to hear the reasons why they want to sleep with him. To protect him. The REAL reason? To fool around and be attacked. Instead of getting mad, Mahiro comes up with an idea. He writes a letter and puts his thumbprint (which is Nyaruko’s) stating that Nyaruko will promise to give herself to Kuuko once she returns to his body. Now, if Kuuko wants this valid document, she has to make sure that Nyaruko and Hasuta has to sleep in the living room. It’s a deal. All that’s left is to believe in Isuka. However the next day in class, Tamao is absent (so is Yoichi). He feels a fool to trust her. Mahiro can tell Nyaruko is cooking up something evil but couldn’t tell what it is. When the teacher comes in, Nyaruko takes Mahiro by his hand right up to the front of the class. Then she declares out loud that she loves ‘Nyaruko’ and to marry right now. Didn’t see this coming, eh?

Episode 10
So after all the I-love-every-part-of-you, what is Mahiro’s answer? A drop kick rejection! Isuka (still in Tamao’s body) hobbles into class in a bad state. They think the terrorists got her but rather she stayed up all night to play some new RPG game. WTF. So what about switching back their bodies? It is still charging and will be usable tonight. Looks like they’ll have to stay this way a little longer. Isuka totally digs Earth’s food and mentions it’s a shame Earth is going to be erased. Say what? Isuka comes from the future and says that the Space Confederation considered Earth dangerous and wiped it out. She couldn’t find records for the reason. Nyaruko assures that will not happen when she’s around. Now we’re more worried… Since Yoichi hasn’t been to class lately, they decide to visit him. So why is Isuka tagging along? She’s interested in the RPG strategies from Kuuko. They have this talk that Yoichi’s body may be swapped with another but laughs it off. At his doorstep, nobody answers the doorbell when suddenly Yoichi jumps out of his window and to a nearby park. This guy introduces himself as Isurugi and threatens to do harm to Yoichi’s body. Isurugi as a solider of Yith unleashes a giant mind swapping device that will make their wish come true. All Earth’s entertainment will belong to them! Since Mahiro doesn’t want Nyaruko to stain his body, looks like Hasuta and Kuuko have to do the job. However Isurugi cancels their power with his Space CQC Jammer. Isuka counters that with her Space CQC Jammer Canceller. Isurugi saw that coming and voids that with his Space CQC Jammer Canceller Breaker. Guess what? Isuka has Space CQC Jammer Canceller Breaker Eraser! This ridiculous childish moment goes on till Isuka runs out of cartridges.

Isurugi is going to execute his destiny when the president of the terrorist organization makes his appearance. Isurugi complains that the device is in place but the mind swap is not working. He assures everything is going according to plan they’re all supposed to die! He reveals this device is actually an Earth annihilation device. Being the president of the terrorist organization is just a guise and his real identity is an agent of the Space Confederation, Space Child Guardian. He is destroying Earth because of some space wholesomeness law. It views Earth’s entertainment with a hidden agenda in promoting sex crimes throughout space. So this Child Guardian exists to protect the children’s future and ensure his high profile position when he retires. I think he just revealed his true goal. Whether got Space CQC Jammer or not, Kuuko and Hasuta fight the menacing machine. Mahiro realizes Nyaruko’s body is swifter and agile. After getting used to it, he joins in the attack. A hidden laser is about to shoot him when Nyaruko uses her body (Mahiro’s actually) to protect him. Everyone is in shock. Mahiro can’t believe she’s lying there motionless. He starts crying and reminds her about her promise to protect him. He realizes how harsh he had been towards her and apologizes with tears. Suddenly Nyaruko smirks and steals Mahiro’s lips! That’s a long kiss!!! Complete revival! So why isn’t she dead? The protective charm box was in the pocket. Hasuta and Kuuko just ‘turned into stone’. The baddie is going to finish them off in the middle of their lover’s quarrel but Isuka’s blaster has charged up and switches their bodies back in time. Nyaruko transforms into her enforcer suit and is going to teach this guy a lesson. He thought he is being protected by the law but as Nyaruko notes, laws are meant to be broken! Get ready to get your ass kicked!

In the aftermath after the machine is destroyed, Isuka and Isurugi are going to return to the future and leave it to the higher ups to decide. They need to erase memories of their hosts first. Oh, Hasuta and Kuuko still remain stoned. And Nyaruko wants to continue where their kissing left off since nobody will be interrupting them. When was the last time she felt the pain of the fork? Now is a good time for another reminder. Tamao wakes up in bed to see Isuka (her true form looks like some sort of vegetable) playing an RPG video game in her room. She still remembers her due to some clumsy slip up. Isuka thanks her that because of her, the case was solved. Tamao isn’t mad she borrowed her body and thought it was a valuable experience. Isuka still needs to erase her memories however. She has learnt a lot while borrowing her body. Her worries and the person whom she loves that she can’t admit (guess who?). Tamao flusters and ‘beats up’ the vegetable to make her promise she won’t tell anybody. She’ll carry that secret with her to her grave. Oops, I mean future. Mahiro is glad that his friends are back to normal. This means his normal life is back, right? Not quite. The classmates are beginning to rumour that if Mahiro got rejected by Nyaruko, why are they still walking to school together like as though nothing happened? It gets worse when the teacher pulls Mahiro away to his office to explain yesterday’s bold confession. He must be under a lot of stress, don’t you think? I know he is from a certain crazy silver haired girl but the order was all wrong.

Episode 11
Mahiro thought that he can have his peace and quiet on Sunday. But what the heck are Nyaruko, Kuuko and Hasuta doing playing video games in his room?! Can’t they do it downstairs? Nyaruko fools around and her face got close enough that it brought back memories of that kissing incident when he looks at her lips. Suddenly a little blue haired girl rings the door. She is Ghutatan, the daughter of the Ghatanothoa Conglomerate and that green little flying bat thingy is her butler, Roy Fogger the Lloigor AKA Major. They are sent here by Yoriko. She confirms it in her video message she found this lost girl and hopes they could look after them till somebody comes to pick them up. Nyaruko sends this message to the Planetary Defence Organization and Space Police (unknown to her, the message failed to deliver) and after that has this idea to ‘educate’ Ghutatan with some naughty materials. I’m sure Mahiro doesn’t want an innocent girl playing an eroge and snatches it away. Ghutatan is okay with it since onii-tan says so. Onii-tan? Because they start arguing about breakfast, Nyaruko kept some giant insects in the refrigerator and unleashes the fresh ingredients. It’s still alive! Mahiro doesn’t want the house destroyed or the public to be endangered so Nyaruko uses her special mirror to absorb them. Because a mess is made, Mahiro is going to clean up but the others relent they want to help. Knowing they’ll make a mess, he throws them out so they have no choice but to wait till he calms down.

Ghutatan makes a mess out of herself so Mahiro sends her to the bathroom. Because she always had maids doing stuffs for her, Lloigor hopes he can bath with her. Oh dear. So Mahiro helps wash her, make breakfast and feed her before letting her sleep on his lap. So what happens when Nyaruko and the rest see this horrifying scene? What more, they learn they come out of the bath together (Kuuko is visibly upset because for the entire of this episode, she was bugging Mahiro to make her breakfast and now Ghutatan easily got it). Yeah, they want a piece of it too and start chasing him all over town. Mahiro thought he could hide in Yoichi’s house but they caught up. He passes by Tamao but they’re hot on his tail so he has to go. He even comes to Luhy’s takoyaki stall and hopes she won’t tell the rest where he went. Unfortunately Luhy ‘betrays’ him because Ghutatan called her a grandma. Mahiro comes across a couple of lost blob monsters called Shoggoth. Nyaruko and the rest think this is a good chance to increase their value and go into action to dispose the Shoggoths. Nyaruko unleashes a powerful blast that sends Mahiro and Ghutatan off their balance. She thought she could get a kiss reward but Mahiro is worried that Ghutatan is injured though it’s only a scratch. He becomes very upset and I think he’ serious. No joke. He tells off Nyaruko for being reckless and though she is deeply sorry, he says if there is anybody she should be apologizing, it should be to Ghutatan. Mahiro takes Ghutatan home and reprimands Nyaruko she should do her job properly as a Planetary Defence Organization agent. Mahiro treats Ghutatan and makes dinner. But it seems Nyaruko and co are late. Rather, they’re not turning up. He thought he was harsh with them but remains steadfast he didn’t do anything wrong and their fault. Ghutatan wonders if he is lonely but he dismisses he likes this quiet life. Next morning Mahiro wakes up but is surprised to find it is Sunday morning. Maybe the alarm broke. Furthermore, Ghutatan is not in her bed. Nyaruko and the rest are not in too. The place is eerily quiet. That’s what he wished for, right?

Episode 12
Dismissing it as their usual prank, Mahiro continues to bum around, watching reruns. Those are the only shows on? Well, it’s still Sunday. Then he goes out and finds something disturbing. Nobody is around! The streets are empty! Is he the only person around? When he is at school, he starts thinking back all the fun and mostly annoying times he had with Nyaruko and co. Can’t live without them now, eh? Suddenly it’s deja vu all over again because a Nightgaunt suddenly attacks him. Cornered and just several seconds before his doom, he calls out Nyaruko’s name. She’s supposed to appear, right? Nope. Luckily he dodges its attacks and comes to realize that he always relies on her in times like these. He takes out the special mirror to absorb the Nightgaunt. Then Ghutatan comes running, crying and apologizing into his arms. Seems she is the one who turned the world this way. Can she undo it and send him back? Well, not if Lloigor had a thing or two to say about that. He is upset he has misjudged him and not the man he hoped he was and just bad influence on Ghutatan. He is about to eliminate Mahiro and changes into his true hideous form but Nyaruko’s crowbar comes flying into his tentacles. She manages to trace him and get here because he used the mirror. Having him look into the mirror, he sees himself frozen in ice. She uses some light thingy to break him free and return to the world where he reunites with the rest. Yeah, they tried all sorts of stuffs on him to free him from his petrified state. I think kissing was considered… Anyway Lloigor explains Mahiro said something he shouldn’t. He didn’t allow Ghutatan to play that eroge. WTF? He reveals his love for all kinds of eroge! All of Earth’s eroge will be his! He thought Mahiro would’ve head to some famous eroge store first after he alone. He needed Mahiro for the job since he must be an ultra maniac as he had associated himself with the universally famous Nyaruko. WTF. That’s what you get for assuming. ASS-U-ME.

Since it has come to this point, they’re going to fight as he summons his monsters. He also reveals that he was the one who summoned the Shoggoths, injured Ghutatan when she was injured and let Mahiro blame Nyaruko, blocked Nyaruko’s message to the authorities and made Ghutatan grant his wish to be alone. Now nothing shall stand between him and his eroges! Die everyone for the sake of his eroges! Nyaruko and co fight off the monsters. Even Yoriko, Shantakkun and Luhy join in the battle. Nyaruko is going to finish him off but he grasps her in his tentacles. He is going to get his revenge against the Planetary Defence Organization agents from preventing him from sending his eroge back to space and punish her himself. Before she gets tentacle rape, Mahiro throws Nyaruko a crowbar as she breaks free. She cuts him into half as he laments he has yet to finish his mountain of eroges. Don’t worry. Nyaruko will finish it for him. Now die! In the aftermath, Nyaruko’s message went through and Ghutatan’s parents are on her way to pick her up. Ghutatan felt guilty for what she did but Mahiro doesn’t blame her. Now everyone else wants a praise from him since Mahiro starts thanking them for their help. And it’s back to the silly usual because Nyaruko won’t mind if he insists on a kiss or marriage (what? No fork punishment?). I guess it got so twisted that Kuuko wants to marry him so that Nyaruko will be hers as well and Hasuta wants his babies too. Ghutatan too? Shantakkun too?! Oh, Mahiro is really getting popular. As usual, his ‘lively’ daily life returns with the bunch still hanging around. And did you see this coming? Ghutatan becomes a new transfer student in his class! Albeit it is just temporary and she promises to come back next time. But Mahiro seems happy and doesn’t easily get upset with their antics. Nyaruko confesses she loves him. What brought this up? Well, she did say she’ll say this again and again, right? Here’s another one and a kiss to go with it. Maybe the rest should do something before the development gets out of hand. Here we go again…

What the fork?
With this series a surprise hit, it is no surprise that a second season has been given the green light. I’m sure we all would love to see this creeping chaos with a smile again, don’t we? It was fun all the way for me having laugh most of the time especially Nyaruko’s antics. You can call it persisting annoyance (in Mahiro’s eyes anyway) that it makes you think that she’s too dumb to get the idea that Mahiro doesn’t want her to be too close to him. After all that racket, Mahiro finally realizes that being with Nyaruko and the rest isn’t so bad after all even though he will have to put up with more of the same usual chaotic annoyance. I mean, you can’t be really happy being alone, right? Happiness is meant for sharing and who are you going to share those good moments if there is nobody around? Mahiro is made to realize that at the end because you won’t know the true value of something when that something isn’t there for you anymore. You can say Mahiro took for granted the ‘good life’ with Nyaruko till she ‘vanishes’. Say some mean things to her once in a while, poke her with a fork when she crosses the line. Then you think about it those were ‘happy’ times indeed despite the annoyance. Nyaruko and the rest might be noisy and irritating but hey, that’s them. That’s how they are. He just needs to redefine the meaning of his definition of ‘peace’, that’s all.

So Nyaruko really lives up to her hype as the creeping chaos that crawls up to you with a smile. Her liveliness and silliness gives you this mixed feelings of loving and annoying character. Her stubborn and unashamed advances are hilarious but of course the bottom line is that we love her despite of all that. She makes us laugh, doesn’t she? She’s cute too, isn’t she? Even if she has this annoying side, you still don’t want to mess with this Planetary Defence Organization agent because she really is intelligent and kicks ass (despite how comical and un-serious she sounds while delivering her lines). You can say she is the best in her field when it comes to close quarters combat (shiver in fear when she’s holding a crowbar in hand) but somehow she just isn’t able to beat Mahiro and his fork. Maybe that is what you call the restrictions of love? It is true that she truly loves him but maybe she could’ve had a better chance if she wasn’t acting so idiotic and perverted. But then again, if she wasn’t, would Mahiro actually take her seriously as she had noted?

The rest of the characters are pretty likeable themselves even if they seem like a pest (in Mahiro’s eyes anyway). Kuuko is forever trying to get into the good books of Nyaruko but ends up getting the short stick. I’m not sure if she is an M because sometimes she takes well all those beatings from Nyaruko and enjoys them. And please, Nyaruko’s double standard treatment between Mahiro and Kuuko isn’t something we all should emulate. Maybe she doesn’t get it that feeling of what Kuuko is doing to her is exactly what she is doing to Mahiro. Hasuta may seem like the weakest one in terms of aggressiveness of getting Mahiro’s attention as compared to the others but since he is not that aggressive, I guess he doesn’t get that much punishment Nyaruko always gets. His soft demeanour gets Mahiro at least to listen to him but I doubt Nyaruko would allow that. Yoriko as Mahiro’s kind mother, I wonder if she really has abandoned her normal relationship thingy for her son and would love to see whom he ends up with. Can’t wait for grandchildren, can’t she? Hey. I don’t see her needing to replenish her sononium lately. Luhy seems pretty docile after she got fired from her video game company. I guess selling takoyaki is a much better career line than the stressful video game console project. Shantakkun provides the pet mascot for the series (I’m still not sure about that stingray as its company) while Ghutatan provides the moe loli factor. What happened to Nyaruo and Nodens? Well, while Nodens was last seen working as a part timer at a hero show, Nyaruo’s nose isn’t even seen after his embarrassing and easy defeat to Nyaruko. However, there is something I remember from the first season. There are a couple of characters that appeared in the Flash-based animation but not in this TV series. What happened to that perverted Atoko? Not to mention Nyarue too? Maybe we’ll see them in the sequel?

Now that Mahiro has got his ‘peaceful’ life with the rest back on track, I guess the other problem now he has to face is the love polygon among them. It’s going to be even more chaotic that everyone wants a piece of his attention. Now he’s got his harem, no? And all alien girls. Really out of this world. Even Kuuko now sounded like she actually took a liking for him instead of putting up a facade to get Nyaruko indirectly. That may still be the case but you won’t know… If Yoriko can allow Nyaruko to get closer to Mahiro, I’m sure she wouldn’t have any qualms for Hasuta to do the same. Can romance between boys blossom? Bromance? Yaoi maybe. Let’s hope not that Yoriko turns into a fujoshi. But the one thing that still had me wondering me is Tamao’s feelings. She did indicate there is someone she likes (or at least pointed out by Isuka) but I am not sure if it’s Mahiro or Yoichi. While hints indicate that it is Mahiro, I won’t discount that it may be Yoichi too. Hey, even secondary characters deserve a chance at love. But let’s say if it was Mahiro, why wasn’t she trying to woo him like the rest? Maybe aliens know no shame? Humans are more reserved when it comes to love? Think not. Maybe she knows her place that she can never beat Nyaruko so that’s why instead of fighting a losing battle, it is best not to start at all.

The other mind boggling thing is the so called entertainment on Earth which is said to be the best in the universe. I know it is one of the settings of this anime but if you think about it, higher life forms preferring our kind of questionable entertainment? Especially perverted ones? Are all aliens pervert? Well, Nyaruko just showed us a good example because of her huge obsession in such entertainment. Then we have Lloigor who just seals it. Higher intelligent life forms love our lower life form’s erotic materials? Well, maybe it goes to show that no matter how much your species evolve or power up, you still can’t give in to the lust of your basic bestiality. I suppose that never changes throughout evolution whether you are humans or aliens. And Earthlings’ entertainment is so good that it becomes an intergalactic crime and underground big business to smuggle them out? Why the heck can’t they just reproduce the same thing assuming they have better technology? Original works are the best? Yeah, support original, don’t go pirate. But still, smuggling is not good. Earth is just a small little place in this wide universe but their creativity in attracting aliens from across the universe must be damn good. Goes to show how boring aliens are that they need to resort to entertainment from primitive life forms… That’s how corrupted our entertainment are. See how perverted Nyaruko is when she is trying to woo Mahiro? That thing when Isuka mentioned about Earth being destroyed in the future? What ever happened to that? I guess in the future, aliens do realize how dangerous our entertainment is and wiped out the entire species, eh? Unless of course, those were all just lies. Heck, how can you wipe out something this good? Too good to be erased! Our entertainment is like drugs to those aliens.

Being a crazy show this is, one can also expect and look forward to lots of parodies peppered throughout the series, whether it is a part of a speech in their dialogue or the actions they undertake. While my knowledge in anime and manga isn’t wide enough nor does it go back that far, I have spotted some to my delight. For example, that all-too-familiar invasion line said in Shinryaku! Ika Musume by Isurugi when he is getting ready to take over Earth’s entertainment. When Nyaruko threw Shantakkun into battle, that familiar capsule is definitely a reference to Pokemon. There was a part whereby Kuuko came crashing down wrapped in a futon. Doesn’t that remind you of Erio’s trademark in Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko? Episode 8 is definitely a parody of that Tokimeki Memorial game while the face-off between Nyaruko, Kuuko and Hasuta in the same episode has them wearing outfits famous fighting games, Virtua Fighter’s Pai, King of Fighter’s Mai Shiranui and Guilty Gear’s Bridget respectively. Others that you can spot if you keep your eyes and ears peeled include School Days, Code Geass, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream, Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu, Hand Maid May, The World God Only Knows, Working! and a bunch of Kamen Rider series that I have never watched. For those who are into games, I’m sure you could have spot the Monster Hunter parodies as well as the Mario Kart games. Of course I don’t play them so I won’t know. So have fun spotting them all and enjoy laughing when they make those references.

Kana Asumi is perfect as Nyaruko and she really turns the character into a real zany screwball. Think of her as Amagami SS’ Miya, Hidamari Sketch’s Yuno and Working!’s Taneshima gone wild. Her craziness reminds me of another character in an anime I recently watched, Todayama of Ebiten. So it’s hats off to her for doing a good job in voicing Nyaruko. Rie Kugimiya as Hasuta may not be pulling off her trademark squeaky tsundere loli voices like Louise in Zero No Tsukaima, Aria in Hidan No Aria and Shana of Shakugan No Shana but she is nevertheless recognizable. At first I couldn’t recognize Eri Kitamura as the voice behind Mahiro because she wasn’t in her bratty roles like Rin in Kodomo No Jikan and Kotone of Softenni but in the episode when Mahiro switched bodies with Nyaruko, then it became apparent who this girl is. Miyu Matsuki’s character as the sicko Kuuko may not be like her other sicko character roles like Yoshinoya in Hidamari Sketch and Kumi in Yurumates but that soft spoken voice has a creepy tone to it. Other casts include Wataru Hatano as Yoichi (Yuuto in Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu), Yuka Ootsubo as Tamao (Kyouko in YuruYuri), Mariko Kouda as Luhy (Nayuki in Kanon), Aya Hisakawa as Yoriko (Maya in Tenjou Tenge), Shiori Mikami as Ghutatan (Akari in YuruYuri), Jouji Nakata as Lloigor (Kirei in Fate/Zero) and Satomi Arai as Shantakkun and Isuka (Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun). The opening theme, Taiyou Iwaku Moe Yo Chaos by Ushiro Kara Hai Yori Tai G (that’s the troupe name for the main casts for the characters in the series) is a crazy song that gets you into the pace of the anime. It has this annoying but infectious line at the beginning that makes you want to go like a caveman. Uh! Yah! Uh! Yah! And to end it, the gang even did some crazy pose after the song ends. The main ending song is Zutto Be With You and though it is credited to the name RAMM, it is definitely Kana Asumi’s voice singing this moderate anime pop piece.

Sometimes having a crawling chaos like Nyaruko living with you isn’t entirely a bad thing. After that all that chaos in altering your peaceful life, will that be worth it? Maybe it’s like a blessing in disguise. Wouldn’t you want a cute silver haired alien girl to come and live with you instead of some ugly tentacle blob horror? I’ll take the former any time. Because she’s cute, kick ass and annoying. Annoying? Well, nobody is perfect and two out of three isn’t that bad. Really. Just be careful and remember to have a fork in hand. Just in case.

Hagure Yuusha No Estetica

February 9, 2013

I actually didn’t know what the heck the storyline is before I decided to jump in and watch Hagure Yuusha No Estetica. All I know is that the hero is perverted in some ways and has some perverted moves which I must see to know. I guess today your typical chivalrous perfect hero isn’t quite a hit anymore with the audience. That’s why you have imperfect heroes with their own dark past, anti-heroes who lacks the attributes of a typical hero, the twisted hero that solves problems in ways similar to villains and are just heroes in name. So is there any different for a Rogue Hero here? Sounds like an oxymoron here, right? Akatsuki Ousawa is one. Not your typical hero. And from the plot of this story, he has just returned from the other world after successfully killing a Demon King. And people who return from the other world are put into BABEL, an organization that houses such people to hone their skills learnt from the other world. Such convenience. I smell some conspiracy. What more can I say? If you like some fantasy, action and fanservice, well, you know the drill.

Episode 1
Akatsuki is running away from a couple of maid guards. He easily ‘disarms’ them by biting one’s earlobes and taking off the bra of another. WTF?! How the heck does he do it without removing her clothes?! Soon he is surrounded by Valkyria and her maid troops. Even if they attack together, this guy immobilizes them all by taking off their bra and panties! Without removing their clothes! WOAH! HOW DOES HE DO IT?! I want to have this skill to! Oops. Anyway Valkyria reminds him of Princess Listy’s order she must not pass through the Transport Gate. You think he’s going to listen? In the end, not even Valkyria could beat him. So Akatsuki makes his way to the Transport Gate and meets Listy waiting for him. She doesn’t want him to leave. But he notes after he has defeated the Demon King, Garius, there is no reason for him to be here because it’ll only serve as a gateway to more difficult battles. Especially if it is a Rogue Hero from another world. Besides, there is something he needs to do back in his world. I guess those princess tears won’t convince him either. But how does he turn things around? He kisses her! That’s greeted with a slap for kissing a royalty. Now she doesn’t want to remember him at all and get the hell out of her sight. Wow. Instant change. But what the hell? He reminds her if she is in any trouble, all she needs to do is call and he’ll be right by her side no matter how far he is. Back at his home, he unzips his bag revealing to us a naked girl (something about transporting would be easier without clothes)! Such big boobs… She seems pretty anxious about her new surrounding so he introduces himself and we learn her name is Myuu. On the way to the institution, Akatsuki reminds her to play along like what they have rehearsed. She is to be his long lost little sister reunited in Arezard (the other world) and came back through this world via Transport Gate. Anything more, just say “I don’t remember”.

As narrated, Samon Syndrome is a paranormal phenomenon discovered 30 years ago whereby thousands of children were summoned to other dimensions. Only half of them made it back through the Gate and those who return retain their fighting skills picked up in the other dimension. This includes magic. This is where the BABEL institution comes in as they will guide and develop children with such powers on the correct path. Do you believe it’s all that glossy? Besides, I thought it was a slight alteration from Zettai Karen Children’s BABEL. Myuu has just come out from the physical examination and is worried that they may discover she is not of this world. Guess he said? Even if her tits are unnaturally big, they won’t give her away. I think that’s not the point. Good news is that they both pass. The next test is in a simulation room whereby the instructor tells them to pick a weapon to gauge their fighting powers. Myuu opts for a sword but Akatsuki will do it with his bare hands. He will take on Myuu first and though he analyzes Myuu has the magic type, he is taken by surprise by her sudden magic power. Also, she was able to keep up her defence while attacking. The instructor is pinned to the wall and a bolt knocks him out. Myuu is worried she cheated to let his guard down (as suggested by Akatsuki). Since the guy’s out, here comes Kyouya Hikami, JPN BABEL’s High School Sector Student Council President to take him on. First he attacks Myuu just to test Akatsuki’s reaction and reflex in saving her. It’s a good thing he’s fast. Next, he wants Akatsuki to break the large ice pillar infused with extraordinary magic with his bare fist. Akatsuki takes up the challenge, powers up and cracks it. Kyouya finds it magnificent and ends today’s test. Kyouya notes about the True Hero and this is the power he wants. Back home, Akatsuki remembers the moment before Garius’ defeat. He was told Myuu is his daughter though she may not look like it. Even f she falls into human hands or worshipped as the new devil, her path will only lead to destruction. That’s why he entrusted her to Akatsuki. Oh sure, that’s a big responsibility he’s shouldering. Yeah, big tits… Oops.

Episode 2
Even demon girls have emotions when they cry and think about their father. She thinks of killing Akatsuki because her father did mention if the one who defeated him is unsuitable, she may do so. But she decides not to and will watch over him and judge him later. She may regret that because this pervert Akatsuki is sleep walking and tries to rape her! She tries using the little sister excuse and got caught off guard when he mentions his sister died years ago. It’s back to the raping! She puts a stop to his atrocious act by hitting his head with the alarm clock. Gee, his head must be so hard that the clock even broke! And he’s wondering why he’s got an awful headache… At school, everyone is staring at the new transfer students of Class B. Classmate Chikage Izumi knows a lot about them and becomes friends. Suddenly Kenya Onizuka from next door’s class barges in and wants to make life a living hell for Akatsuki. Well, he got taste of his own medicine when he blasts him out and crushes his face with his palm! Yeah, coincidentally he likes bullying too. Especially bastards that look down on others. On his first day of school and this is what happens. Thankfully he didn’t kill him otherwise it might have been worse when the special division to deal with student squabbles called Fuukiin arrives. Akatsuki is taken to the student council room and to the other member’s dismay (especially vice president Haruka Nanase), they see him sitting on Kyouya’s seat like nobody’s business. No respect. When Kyouya comes in, Akatsuki immediately attack him! It took all the other members’ power to stop him dead in his tracks. Akatsuki thought Kyouya called him for a grudge match. No siree. He too doesn’t understand what’s going on. Haruka called him to thank him for using restraint but warns him his first day disturbance has put a black mark on him on Fuukiin’s books. If such similar problem arises in the future, they will not hesitate to use full force to restrain him. On the way out, petite class rep, Kuzuha Doumoto walks him back. I guess she must be a genius to be skipping a few grades, huh? She is impressed that he picked a fight with student council members. Kuzuha may get to see more ‘sparks’ because Haruka comes looking for him and wants his head! How the hell did Akatsuki stole her panties without so coolly? She’s not going to forgive him and is going to cut him with her blades. She thought she made a clean cut but instead Akatsuki now stole her bra and cut open her shirt! Major embarrassment! She shall be back and he shall not be forgiven! He just aggravated the situation by pouring oil on the fire, no?

After PE classes, Kuzuha, Akatsuki and Myuu are putting away the equipment in the storeroom when they hear ambiguous sounds coming from the back. Oh. A couple of lesbians making out. Isn’t that Chikage? She’s cool about it but her companion got embarrassed and ran away, accidentally locking them from the inside. Though Akatsuki wants to bust them out, Kuzuha advises that all they need to do is wait since another class rep will come to unlock this room with the master key after class. Chikage blames Kuzuha all this wouldn’t happen if she didn’t interrupt them. Kuzuha didn’t like the way it sounded like it was her fault. Myuu thought they’re getting along well but they vehemently disagree. They wait and wait… Kuzuha is feeling uneasy. I think she needs to go to the toilet. How long can she hold? The only way is to use earth magic and create a toilet but Kuzuha is the only one who can use that magic and she can’t even stand at this point. Besides, she can’t trust the girls and thinks they’ll be sneaky and peek on her. Akatsuki can’t let this go since now a maiden is in distress, he has to help (says who?). He makes Myuu and Chikage stand by her side. Then he pinpoints their pressure points on their tummy and suddenly they have this urge to pee too! WTF?! How is this going to help Kuzuha out? If they all pee together, it won’t be so embarrassing. WTF???!!! They try not to succumb to this pervert’s idea but too late. Akatsuki bites Kuzuha’s ear and they just let everything flow. I think the mattress is going to need triple washing. After that embarrassing incident, the girls beat him up and as soon as the door is opened by Haruka, the girls rush out. The trio are taking a shower as Chikage suggests forming an alliance against Akatsuki. Myuu realizes Akatsuki purposely played the bad guy so that they could become friends.

Episode 3
Myuu is giving Akatsuki the cold treatment. How about having a box for breakfast? Can’t blame her since that embarrassing peeing incident. Onizuka cuts the queue in front of Tanaka but gets a taste of his own medicine when Akatsuki does the same to him. Don’t want to mess with this guy. The others are impressed that somebody is able to stand up to Onizuka and that his reign is over. Myuu is worried that Kuzuha is being called by the student council to report on Akatsuki’s actions. When she returns, she refuses to let them know anything since it doesn’t concern them. Now it’s Akatsuki’s cue to weave his magic. He goes talk to her and allows her to ask him any question. From the kind of girl he likes right down to their ideal 3 sizes. WTF. Knowing that the student council members gave her some lackey mission, she reveals she has to give timely reports on him every morning or else they will revoke her status and send her back to elementary school sector. She laments no matter how much she studies, she is viewed as a child, not an adult. Akatsuki is going to help her out writing those reports. Myuu and Chikage are on their way back when they spot Akatsuki and Kuzuha entering a manga cafe together. Why lose this chance to go spy on them? Since Kuzuha is reluctant, Akatsuki presses her pressure point on her wrist to render her temporarily paralyze. What is he going to do? He’s going to turn her into an adult. Myuu and Chikage are eavesdropping next door but sneaky Chikage decides to take advantage of the situation by getting horny with Myuu. Kuzuha tries to explain this is not what she meant when she wants to become an adult. It is more of reading other people’s mood. Akatsuki says he is a kid too. He then hugs her and wants her to cry and smile more as and when she feels like it. As for the reports she can write as much crap and bad stuff about him. He doesn’t mind. When they leave, they almost caught Myuu and Chikage in a yuri position. But the girls are worried if the pervert did something to Kuzuha. What is your impression when she said he ‘used his magic want to set her body free’? That just seals his perverted status. Haruka is getting worked up and wants to deal with Akatsuki right now but Kyouya with those scary eyes tells her he will personally handle anything to do with him. No objections, anybody?

The class is being trained to use a band wristband called Arms Device or AD for short. It supposed to materialize weapons most suitable to the person. While Myuu is able to materialize hers, Akatsuki can’t. The class is to divide themselves into pairs to spar. Since the girls don’t want Akatsuki, that guy has no choice but to bug Onizuka. Can’t refuse, no? But when Akatsuki mentions he can’t use magic, he got his hopes up. The first thing he did when the fight begins, he uses a magic barrier to seal him. He got cocky and bragging about his win. Don’t count your chickens because Akatsuki breaks out easily. Now he panics and throws his weapon. Deflected easily. Even got a sword pointed at his throat. So scared sh*t that this guy fainted!!! WUSS!!! Akatsuki borrows Onizuka’s AD and notices his weapon almost materialized. But trouble is looming at the other side of the class because the Cockatrice monster summoned for the simulation battle went berserk and out of control that it is turning students into stone. Kuzuha stalls it with her earth magic and thought she’s a goner when Myuu and Chikage help protect her. It made her realize the more reason why she wants to be with them and for the first time she smiles. But they soon realize that the monster is absorbing their magic attacks and growing stronger. Chikage and Kuzuha protect Myuu from its attack and got turned into stone. I’m sure Myuu is furious and wants to protect her friends but how long can she hold on? Don’t worry. Here comes Akatsuki to the rescue. Took him long enough. Where was he? He got lots of AD wristbands now as he summons a huge badass sword. He’s going to end it in one shot since direct and magic attacks won’t work.

Episode 4
Okay, so he didn’t finish it in one shot. It took him on the eighth hit to destroy the monster since he needs to channel every power from the band into the sword. With Cockatrice gone, the stone people return to their original selves. Akatsuki credits everything to Myuu because if she had not stalled it before he got here, everyone would have been doomed. Akatsuki goes to confront the culprit: Tanaka. Though he feigns ignorance, Akatsuki knows his plan to plant something in Onizuka’s pocket during that chaos. Too bad that dude went to the infirmary straight. Akatsuki knows Tanaka is stronger than Onizuka and is interested in him since he takes in the bullying without fighting back. As punishment during the classroom ruckus, Onizuka was made to clean the gym. He used the master key to break into the programme room an altered Cockatrice data. So the programme Onizuka was ordered to change was actually made to go even more berserk by Tanaka. Since it’s futile hiding it now, Tanaka attacks Akatsuki. Though Akatsuki takes a lot of beating, he pretends to be down to trick Tanaka. But how can he still stand after all that beating? His special power can only be used as defence and not a weapon. Tanaka plans to use his magic to attack the entire BABEL building. He reveals his plan to take down this organization because it sends trained students to battlefields in other parts of the world. In short, BABEL is like a death sentence. So he’s going to kill a few students for this revolution of his? Sacrifice? Screw it. Before they could see who is faster, Kyouya was faster and freezes Tanaka in his ice pillar. I guess that is enough incidents for today so they agree to settle their differences another time. When Akatsuki returns to Myuu, she is so worried about him that she collapses. She wakes up in the infirmary still with pain over her body but Akatsuki puts his palm on her shoulder and she starts feeling better. He claims what he did wasn’t magic and just manipulated the energy in her body to heal faster. Sounds like magic to me. He teases her, she gets annoyed. Then suddenly she goes silent. He tells her to cry her heart out. Ever since Garius died, she hasn’t cried. He is willing to take whatever anger or sadness without her holding back because the fact still stands he killed her father. He understands is he wants revenge. So if she can’t cry, he’ll make her cry. Huh? After that lecture, you think the girl won’t start crying? Man, this guy is good.

Back home as Myuu takes a bath, she talks to Akatsuki that she plans to go out shopping with her friends. What irks her is that he is standing on the wall talking to her! He is practising gathering all the energy at his sole? Lame excuse! Even if it was true, couldn’t he do it somewhere else? And so… It’s that box for breakfast he’ll be getting. During the news, when the name COCOON is mentioned, Akatsuki’s face turned serious. Myuu asks her friends what the heck is COCOON. An abbreviation for Children Of Cross Over Other Nation, they are simply caretakers of this world. Each one commands equal military power from every country and fight what their ideal world should be (sounds bad). They oversee and educate children who return victorious from other worlds so they won’t use their powers for evil. In the event if wars do erupt, BABEL itself intervenes. Speaking of those shady people, those shadowy figures are discussing about keeping an eye of a certain kid in a certain class so that they can determine if he’s powerful enough to join their group. Chikage and Kuzuha notice Akatsuki acting differently ever since, not his speaking his mind as usual. Maybe he’s got something to do with COCOON? They understand why Myuu is worried since she lost her memories and that he is her brother. Myuu blushes and tries to deny all that, saying he has no feelings for her and the likes. But why is her heart hurting when she thinks about this? Akatsuki is at the rooftop thinking about things. He knows that guy is here when Motoharu Kaidou appears before him. Maybe Akatsuki’s reputation has got him so famous that he wants a handshake. Of course unless you count the fact pulling a punch is a handshake. Don’t worry. Akatsuki saw it coming from a mile.

Episode 5
Then it turns into a series of kicks before Akatsuki trips his feet. I guess Kaidou gives up seeing he doesn’t want to be pummelled. So after shaking hands for real, he wants him to follow him next week since there’s this guy he wants him to meet. Because Akatsuki heard something about Myuu’s underwear size not fitting, he is going to follow her shopping with her friends. Oh God… But Myuu is really surprised at the stores in the mall. Never seen them before, eh? Like as though she’s a country bumpkin. Myuu starts feeling guilty over Akatsuki’s kindness to cover up her real identity. But does Akatsuki really need to follow the girls into the lingerie store too? Well, if Myuu wants him to wait outside, he will. But you know, she allows him to stay. Then he starts bragging he was a guard in the courtesan’s guild at Arezard and is damn good in picking out girls’ underwear. Regret hearing that trivia? The assistant helps Myuu measure her size and teaches her how to put on a bra. So as Myuu checks them out herself, she is once again irk Akatsuki is standing on the wall and has observed her! WTF?! How did he?! Well, she said to be close to her, right? Too close! Oh, I guess her boobs were too big that the bra ripped! Myuu panics when the assistant comes knocking at the door. She thought it’s the end of the world. Literally. Really. But Akatsuki can’t use his wall standing trick since he got caught the second time and gets reprimanded by the assistant. Haruka in the next room comes to see what the fuss is about. Oh. It’s this bugger again. By the way, she’s trying out a bra that won’t be easily removed by any sleezeball. Want to bet that theory will be proven so wrong later? Anyway Akatsuki the pro even tells the assistant to come back with a bra 3 times the measured size. She thought an amateur like him doesn’t understand but leaves to get them anyway. Akatsuki then has Myuu show her back. Don’t worry. He won’t do anything funny. Hopefully. After pressing a pressure point on the back of her neck, I’m not sure what he is doing with her body because those bone breaking sounds really sound awful. Especially if you look on the faces of Kuzuha and Chikage.

The assistant comes back with the bra and it fits! Yeah, this guy is boasting about that courtesan guild thingy again on how boobs are their livelihood (“Bras are gift wraps for boobs!”). No wonder he could fit the bra on so perfectly on Myuu like a pro! The reason for her size was because of her anxiety. This causes her boobs to get smaller so he released her tension and ups a size. Because of her posture, he fixed that and her breasts up another size. As for the third size up, that’s a trade secret ;). The assistant is amazed and admires his knowledge on it! She blames her own lack of knowledge that they don’t have to pay for the ripped bra. But Akatsuki doesn’t want her to blame herself for it and will pay for the broken bra and hopefully Myuu will come to patron this store in the future with more confidence. Myuu couldn’t take his kindness anymore and starts crying that he doesn’t have to lie to protect her. She reveals she was the one who got the bra ripped and she initially didn’t apologize because she didn’t want him to get into trouble. He is cool enough to say that no matter her feelings for him, in this world they’re family so they stick up for each other. Even Chikage and Kuzuha agree with this surreal erotic love story. Now it’s Haruka’s turn to reprimand him for being shameless but it seems Akatsuki has stolen the underwear of Chikage, Kuzuha and Haruka without them suspecting a bit! It’s now their turn to be sized up by him because he’s giving an excuse if this keeps up, Myuu will start avoiding them for being too ashamed. He is going to make them boob sisters from today! Myuu, stop this guy before his perverted skills take off! Yeah, she should be feeling ashamed for having such a perverted ‘brother’. Later they discuss about next week’s ranking test which is basically a practical battle aptitude test. Next year’s assignments are decided from this. So they are trying to form teams and Myuu putting on her tsundere mode is ‘inviting’ Akatsuki to their team. If he’s desperate and no other group takes him in, they’ll consider letting him join. He’s in. See how happy Myuu is?

Episode 6
Kyouya is away at some summit with high security. Maybe they should up the security since Kyouya has put out of commission several terrorists. BABEL students are taking the exam but Akatsuki seems like a smart ass because he is soundly asleep (with a smirk on his face) way before exam time is over. If you want to know, the teacher checked his answers and they’re all correct!!! Couldn’t say the same for Myuu because she’s just down after that. Her friends thought of a change of pace and go somewhere but Kaidou stops them and reminds Akatsuki has a ‘date’ with him. He doesn’t even remember this guy. Or the promise at the rooftop. Anyway he follows Kaidou to a race track. It’s not for racing but a test circuit. Kaidou talks to his boss, Kaitou Kubota that he wants Akatsuki to ride it but he doesn’t think he can and will end up hurt like him. Akatsuki tries touching some cool cyber bike but was electrocuted off his feet. This supersonic bike is Sleipnir and with all the cool specs, it is a bike that breaks the sound barrier. However it has a ‘flaw’. It chooses its master so if anyone unworthy tries to ride it, they get electric shock. That one for Akatsuki was just a warning and the next time he’ll be dead for sure. Akatsuki isn’t sure he wants to ride this thing when Kubota says the only person who ever rode it was his father, Gouki. He knows his father long ago but not that well. Suddenly Akatsuki gets mad. Now he is fired up to take the challenge. Haruka tries to check out the disturbance at the race track and sees Akatsuki riding Sleipnir. She is amazed that even wind users have difficulty standing up faster than the sound barrier. Of course she goes down to reprimand him about unauthorized permission, breaking the school rules, blah, blah, blah. Shut the f*ck up, you might want to tell her. Kubota says it is his him who is breaking the rules and hopes she would let this go. He tells Akatsuki that Sleipnir now belongs to him as it has acknowledged him as its master. Haruka wants to confiscate the bike but the electric shock rips her clothes! Changed her mind in confiscating it? Don’t want a bike as perverted as its master, eh? Yeah I agree because it only ripped her clothes. Otherwise, how can her handphone still be in good working condition? That call she receives is about some trouble brewing somewhere. Even when she’s going to leave, she can yap about getting him the next time, he’ll regret his actions, blah, blah, blah. Akatsuki just shuts her up by throwing his jacket to cover up. Now off you go and don’t forget to dry clean it too.

A terrorist group known as Ake No Tasogare (Dawn’s Twilight) are holding hostages in a building floor. They are demanding the release of their captured comrades at the summit and will not negotiate. Failure to do so will result in the deaths of the hostages. Though it is noted that such hostage taking is not their style. Haruka and her other student council members, Minami Aihara and Ryouhei Uesaki enter into the fray and take out the terrorists one by one as they make their way into the main room (don’t expect any Die Hard material here). It’s not over yet as one of the terrorists takes a little girl as his hostage and demands a helicopter for his escape. Haruka has no choice but to oblige. Suddenly out of nowhere, from the wind, comes Akatsuki to knock that guy out and save the girl. Young or old, he won’t take lightly on anybody who makes girls cry. After taking care of the rest and the day is saved, Haruka still wants to reprimand Akatsuki over his recklessness. Could have gone wrong this, could have gone wrong that. Who cares? It ended happily, right? See how grateful the little girl’s mother is? One of the terrorists masquerading as the hostages thought of blowing up the building but was confronted by Kaidou. He chides him for misusing the group’s name and is going to teach him a lesson. We don’t know what he did but those screams sure sound painful. Myuu is surprised to see Haruka at the door. Did Akatsuki get into trouble again? It’s natural to worry like this, right? Surprisingly, she’s here to return his jacket. She got it cleaned. Twice. So what’s gotten into her lately? I call it tsundere…

Episode 7
At Aleclaster Imperial Granada Palace, the bigwigs that include Listy, Volk Rem Aleclaster IV the Imperial Benedict of the Rishal Faith, Miranda Quenti the Archbishop of the Rishal Faith, Zechs Doltrake the Minister of War, Loutier Trum the Spiritual Advisor and Baram Dai Aron Disdia the Emperor of Disdia are discussing about the missing Demon King’s daughter. Baram proposes to send someone immediately after her. Listy mentions ever since Garius’ death, the demons have been keeping to themselves in the Gale Pane woods. If they take any action, they may grow hostile. But if Myuu shows up, they can bare their fangs at them again and even though she has not committed any sin but they need to be careful since her existence throws their peaceful future into question. Meanwhile Myuu has trouble choosing a swimsuit so she closes her eyes and randomly picks. This is what you get when you leave it to luck. So the gang are at the beach courtesy of the little girl’s mom gratitude. And Haruka still can’t stop b*tching about everything. Even she said it was rude to refuse. Akatsuki has a glimpse of Myuu’s swimsuit but wonders why she chose it if she’s so embarrassed. But he points out there are other girls with even flashier swimsuits. Take a look around. He even quips if there are perverts staring at her… Oh, is he talking about himself? Myuu invites Haruka to play with them but she has her reservations. Till Minami and Uesaki tell her she’s just thinking too much about them. Avoid them too much and she’ll end up looking like an ungrateful b*tch. So I guess she has no choice but to go. By herself since her pals have some excuse to stay out.

The gang see Kaidou who is part of the committee organizing the annual Swimsuit Beach Tag event. Since Myuu wants to participate (to win prizes as she’s tired of being a freeloader), the rest participates. Even Haruka. Since she got ‘no choice’. Out of the large pool of participants, only one will be chosen as the runner and the rest will have to grab the runner’s swimsuit. Don’t worry, the runner will be chosen from a random male. Guess who? Yup. Akatsuki. See all the faces of the women turning into demons? They’re out for his pants! So better start running! Whoever holds his pants after one hour is the winner and he can run wherever he likes within the sands of the beach which serves as boundary. So we see lots of girls starting off eagerly but it’s two way too because if they can try to take off his trunks, he can take their swimsuits off too! And you know how bloody good he is. Yeah, now the game is turned the other way round with the runner turning the tables on his pursuers. I guess the men are spared but it’s surprising that just the top bra off and the girls can’t ‘move’ anymore. The only ones left are Myuu, Chikage, Kuzuha and Haruka. They plan on taking him down before they get completely stripped. Too bad he found them. But Chikage and Kuzuha work together to trap him in a sand pit. If this guy can walk on water and jump onto high cliffs, you think this pit hole is going to keep him down? So out Chikage goes and before he could fully remove Kuzuha’s one piece, he is stopped by Kaidou that since this event is broadcasted live onto TV, it may be cancelled if underage kids are participating. So with 20 minutes left, I guess he goes after Haruka who holes herself up in the women’s shower room. She thinks she’s safe. Think again because here comes Akatsuki barging in with no shame! Hey, it’s still within the boundary, right? If he can put up with all the women throwing things at him. So it’s a showdown with Haruka. Can she learn from past mistakes not to get her swimsuit stolen again? Akatsuki gets distracted by Minami in the shower so Haruka uses this chance to grab his pants. However she slips on a soap but Akatsuki catches her. No need to thank him. He got her swimsuit as a reward. And she is the only one he completely stripped naked! Myuu thought she’s fine hiding in the ocean but you can’t keep hiding from Akatsuki, can’t you? She tries diving to hide but is in risk of drowning. So how? Akatsuki grabs her boobs with an excuse that if she tries to cover herself, she’ll drown. Haha! His hands may slip if she touches other places. The event is over and since the duo are outside the boundary, they’re disqualified. Akatsuki carries Myuu and leaps back to shore. Myuu thinks about her father’s words and won’t kill him.

Baram theorizes that Myuu was brought to the other world by no other than that hero because people from the other world are the only ones who can go through the Transport Gate. Listy views Akatsuki as a hero who singlehandedly defeated Garius and now they’re treating him as a traitor. Baram is going to send Phil Barnet to the other side seeing he too came from the other world and leaves him in charge of finding Myuu and bringing her back. He even gives permission to kill Akatsuki if he gets in the way. Listy objects but was told if she protects Akatsuki, she is siding with the enemy as the Demon King’s daughter only brings misfortune. Still thinking Akatsuki is their hero, Baram says the real hero is Leon Esperio who died while protecting Akatsuki from the Demon King. Akatsuki is just a Rouge Hero. On top of that, she and her subordinates who survived the ordeal ran away and hid themselves. He calls them cowards. Listy adds Akatsuki rushed to aid him and because of this, many of her people survived and this even led to the formation of her own kingdom, Sheffield. Akatsuki submitted to that title because he felt guilty over Leon’s death. She wants him to stop insulting her kingdom’s hero. Baram has no qualms about her faith in whoever she chooses to believe in but the same can’t be said for him. He will only take back his words if she proves his theory wrong. Before Phil departs, Zechs wants to test his skill level and draws his sword.

Episode 8
I don’t know what Phil did but it left Zechs and the rest pretty stunned. Some guards down too… Baram tells him the real enemy is elsewhere so off he goes into the Transport Gate. The ranking test is about to begin and what Akatsuki understands from Kaidou is that everyone is out for his head. But if he beats the crap out of all of them, he gets to be promoted to Class A. Myuu continues to be the centre of lots of stares. You know why. But despite her popularity, why aren’t boys trying to even talk to her? Ah… There’s her scary devil brother to deal with. Feeling like a bug repellent, eh? Since the student council are part organizers of this test, they will only participate on the second day. Speaking of them, here they come. Akatsuki really wants to get down and dirty with Kyouya but sorry to disappoint. He can’t participate in this test because he has to attend the all-important COCOON summit in which Japan is hosting. But he’s not going to be there 24/7, right? If the summit finishes on time, he may come back to face other finalists on the last day. Seems fine for Akatsuki. Haruka is being cocky that even without Kyouya around, Akatsuki is going to have a hard time with them, if not fail. I guess she really doesn’t know or she just doesn’t want to admit. So everyone is briefed on the rules of the test. It will last 48 hours straight to test how long they can fight and under what circumstances. You can sleep and rest during that time but be warned that the risk of being attacked is allowed. Lower rank participants who beat higher ranked ones will automatically advance and those who do anything inappropriate or be deemed unable to continue will be disqualified or retired respectively. So if you’re wondering why the students are wearing such an odd uniform, it’s because it’s infused with AD material as well. What I understand that a suitable battle gear will materialize. Hmm… Everyone seems like cosplaying for an RPG party. Of course the most eye catching one would be Myuu. More exposed! Worst than before. Akatsuki had to tell off the guys that his sister loves watching late night hentai anime, wear sexy swimsuits and is very sensitive about sex! FIEND!!!

The test begins and Team Kuzuha makes a brutal start taking out the first team. It even gets more brutal when Akatsuki is involved. No matter how many teams against them, they just can’t beat them. So even before the one-hour mark, the organizers are surprised that already 14 teams have been retired! All by you-know-who. Of course leave it to Haruka to remain cocky. Even her comrades don’t want to underestimate Akatsuki and he is more powerful than meets the eye despite his slacking attitude. This doesn’t sit well with Haruka as she wants to settle the score with him. Team Kuzuha must be earning a scary reputation for them to even afford a campfire dinner that would make others vulnerable to attacks. Akatsuki even suggests making their own hotspring to soak in and promises not to peep. That’s because he’s joining in with them! And to heal those tired muscles, he’s going to give them a massage. Thankfully that was just Myuu thinking too much ahead. Better refuse this offer while their virginity is still intact. They can’t rest yet as Haruka and co come seeking for a challenge. Her friends put it, ‘she can’t wait till tomorrow’. Since a pretty babe invited him, Akatsuki can’t turn her down and doesn’t want his teammates to interfere. Myuu’s heart feels strange when she chides Haruka for trying to pick on Akatsuki. But when she realizes that folly during the beach, she got pissed off and tells Akatsuki to hurry his ass into the battle and get his ass kicked. Before Akatsuki begins his bout with them, he is told Haruka put some barrier that will be off the organizer’s screen. This mean they can be brutal as they want without suffering any consequences. Also whether he wins or loses, because of his ‘outstanding’ performance today, he is guaranteed promotion to Class A. Haruka remains cocky. Akatsuki his usual cockiness. Haruka gets mad for the insult. Starts fighting. He’s too fast but she manages to hold her ground. Could’ve been done for if her teammates didn’t intervene. They remind her not to get her emotions involved because if she falls, everything they’ve worked for in JPN BABEL will be for nothing. Akatsuki breaks out from their barrier easily so the only way left is to fight him via hand to hand weapons. Before Akatsuki could unleash his worst, Kaidou interferes. Something emergency has happened. Noting Akatsuki has received real damage when the barrier set up is to only ensure the bodily damage happens in their minds, this means the barrier has gone off and the alarm hasn’t even been sounded. Something pretty bad has happened. An explosion occurs where Myuu and the girls are.

Episode 9
Myuu is worried about Akatsuki and wants to go to him. Kuzuha and Chikage want to come along not because they’re a team, but because they’re friends. They say how lucky Akatsuki is to have girls worry over him and to Myuu’s surprise, he is quite a hit with the girls like how the guys are with him. Sure, he may be a pervert but after that Cockatrice incident and standing up against the student council, is it a wonder why the girls take a liking for him? Suddenly Phil appears before them and Myuu recognizes his crest as the Sacred Knight of Disdia. The main programme has crashed and is acting weird. Kubota takes control and gives directives to control the situation and minimise damage. By the time Akatsuki arrives, the place is devastated. He finds Chikage and Kuzuha wounded close by. Kuzuha tells him Myuu ran off by herself to lead Phil away from them. Akatsuki orders the student council team to evacuate students in the battlefield while he goes after the perpetrator alone. He’s got to do what he has to do since his sister is in danger. Haruka feels she shouldn’t be doing this by himself, facing danger alone but as he points out, they can’t stop him. And they already know that. She promises they’ll catch up with him once they’re done with the evacuation. Phil is stopped by Onizuka. The delinquent attacks him with his fire and tries to use his cloning illusions but it has no effect whatsoever on him. It’s not like Onizuka is interested in Myuu. This is a matter of pride. He has always been unable to accept his own weakness and takes it out on others via bullying. He even plotted revenge by those who are ranked higher than him till he realized his pitiful attempts at glory were manipulated by a terrorist. In the end, he still got blamed for everything. Thanks to Akatsuki, casualty was kept to a minimum but his lust for revenge was guided by terrorists. He won’t run away from his own weakness anymore. I’m sure Phil is not interested in all that and attacks back till he is knocked out. Since he is not really helping the Demon King’s daughter, he lets him live and has no reason to kill him. When Onizuka wakes up, he sees Akatsuki healing him. He tells him that saving his sister is more important. I guess he is right. So Akatsuki calls Kaidou out (he knows he is been followed ever since the test started) and wants him to take Onizuka back for treatment. I suppose Kaidou has to since if Onizuka dies, his life will become ‘difficult’. Uesaki manages to broadcast that the test is cancelled under the emergency and warns Akatsuki not to take things into his own hands. You think he will listen?

Myuu remembers Haruka told her about some prophecy she saw in her. Some crap about her choice embracing solitude and rejecting fate. She was warned about the dangers that will surround her. Phil catches up to her and once again introduces himself and his mission as the new hero assigned to bring her back. But Myuu notes that those who have returned from Arezard never return there again. It is true that citizens of Arezard can’t pass through the gate and it’s something they have accepted as absolute truth. But Akatsuki did bring Myuu over, right? So there’s a possibility that they can return. Phil pins Myuu down and tells her when they return to Arezard, she’ll be executed. After Garius’ death, there is a faction of demons that have not stopped rebelling. But if Garius’ bloodline is completely destroyed, they will cease rebelling and she should die for the peace of Arezard. Myuu sees through his lies because it would be easier to kill everybody instead of just her. She knows he has to take her back alive as bait to lure out the demons and then kill them all. So if she knows the truth, what can she do to stop it? Phil plays further guilty mind games on her that if she commits suicide, he’ll kill her friends. She calls him a hypocrite unworthy of the hero title. But he points out the hypocrisy in her who ran off with the Rouge Hero who killed her father to preserve her own life. He adds as long as the Demon King’s daughter is alive, a new bounty hunter will take his place and she risks getting her friends involve. As long as she exits, people of both worlds will continue dying. Is she okay with that? I guess Phil was talking too long that it’s time for Akatsuki to make his appearance. Yeah, he won’t forgive the bastard for making Myuu cry.

Episode 10
As the guys clash swords, Akatsuki learns he was the one responsible for causing the havoc and the system to go down. Well, he needed to ask for information and they refused at first so he showed some power to beat them up and the rest complied. Phil notes the irony he is from this world while protecting that is considered an abomination from Arezard. You think he cares? Phil also learns about his chi manipulating thingy which isn’t magic. Not really believing it, he puts up a barrier for magic and the air pressure chi Akatsuki materialize just went straight through him. Phil then says Listy has been in sorrow ever since. Though he didn’t do anything to her, he desecrated Leon’s grave because he couldn’t accept him being a hero. Since the glory of the dead is eternal, it symbolizes its pointless existence. Sounds like he’s jealous just because he couldn’t be named the hero. He is going to bring Myuu back and become a hero. After getting punched by Akatsuki, Phil swiftly takes Myuu hostage and makes Akatsuki drop his weapon. He reveals his goal is to become the new hero and is willing to abandon this world and live in Arezard. After all, this world is as messed up as over there. Akatsuki can understand that but wants to know his reason to kill Myuu. In order to surpass Akatsuki, he needs to kill the Demon King. But since there is none, that onus now falls on Myuu. Akatsuki gives out a laugh at his pathetic conceited reason which is just plain stupid insecure macho jealousy. This works Phil up as he attacks him but his chi barrier protects him and after that pummels Phil into the ground! That was one heck of a beating. It’s not over yet because Myuu runs away. She feels guilty she will cause more people to die and have no place that she belongs to. She is going to kill herself and end everything. Wait. She’s going to jump off a cliff? But there’s a river below. Drown? Maybe her boobs are that heavy. Haha! Oops. But hell, Akatsuki is not going to easily let her die and saves her.

He reprimands her for listening to that bullshit but she still feels bad as long as she’s alive, people will suffer and die. He points out that would just be running away. Her father fought to the very end to ensure his daughter could live in a happy and peaceful world. Despite Akatsuki was the enemy, he still entrusted him with his dream. Her being alive is proof that Garius’ struggle had meaning. Dying would just mean betraying all that. She doesn’t know what to do unlike him. In that case, don’t die and save those she wants to save. If she can’t do that, don’t worry. He’ll do it for her. He has chosen this path and they’re not in this mess because she is the Demon King’s daughter and came to this world. It is because he killed Garius and brought her here. Have faith in him. Myuu still has her reservations because his kindness confuses him. Mentioning about losing her home, home is not a place. It’s in your heart. Also, it’s not possible for her to lose her home and that her home is with him! So if his kindness makes her uneasy, he’ll be rough with her. To punish those naughty ears for listening to that bullshit, he gently bites them! And for that insolent mouth for talking back, the punishment is a kiss! Enjoy the sensation. You just got to love this guy! Myuu thought she will be a bigger burden from now on but he reminds her Garius didn’t entrust him a burden but hope. After all that heroic talk, he suddenly collapses due to a poison wound on his neck. Now it’s Myuu’s turn to save him, she sucks the poison out and realizes his body temperature dropping. Only one way left. Get naked and use body warmth! Remember his sleepwalking? I think he’s going to rape her starting by groping her boobs! Then he wakes up and assures her everything is okay now. He was just using his chi to heal the poison. He cheekily points out all their ‘poison’ is gone and causes her to fluster for taking advantage of this situation. Well, she trying to help him made her irresistibly cute. I guess this time they took too long talking so Phil is back. He is amazed he survived the poison. Akatsuki is amazed he is still talking and standing because that pummelling should’ve messed up his body’s chi. He’s going to show why it didn’t work and transforms.

Episode 11
Chikage wakes up in the infirmary with Kuzuha by her side. The latter leaves her to rest as she’s going to settle some unfinished business. Phil seems to have formed a contract with an ancient spiritual life form back at Arezard and transforms into a huge white dragon known as Zahaag. Since Akatsuki hasn’t fully recovered from the poison, Myuu will be the decoy till he recovers. Better go fast before he says no. Kuzuha meets Akatsuki and learns what is happening. She plans to become a decoy too because 2 decoys are better than 1. Make that 3 because Chikage is joining in. When Kuzuha left, she had the same look on Myuu when she ran away from them. I guess Akatsuki can’t say no. He’s always having it his way so it’s right they can have theirs sometimes too. But they better not be pulling any reckless stunts. Myuu lures Zahaag away but is saved by Haruka before she is flattened. She and her student council members go on the offensive and soon Chikage and Kuzuha join the fray. Since magic doesn’t work, they use their weapons and Chikage uses a little science to explode hydrogen in the air to hurt the creature. They need to stall for 30 minutes before Akatsuki is fully recovered. Myuu uses a technique from her father on Zahaag but it backfires, causing her friends to get knocked out. Now in the tentacles of Zahaag, Phil reminds her about her sin to exist and to come back to Arezard with him. Myuu has learnt a lot from Akatsuki not to listen to this jerk’s words so she’s not easily swayed this time. She tells him Akatsuki is not a fake, not a Rouge Hero but a real one. For Phil, he will never become one because only a Demon King can acknowledge one as a hero when he fights his life on the line and judging his honour in battle. So even if she is killed, he won’t be acknowledged as a hero. Of course there is only one hero she acknowledges. No prize for guessing who. As for her hatred in her father getting killed, Garius is probably the last Demon King. She threw away her position as the Demon King’s daughter and now is just a girl named Myuu living with her friends. In that case, Akatsuki can’t be called a hero if she isn’t a Demon King. He’ll always be one in her heart. Phil doesn’t care anymore and is going to transport back to Arezard via this ancient life form. I guess all that talking was long enough for Akatsuki to ride in with Sleipnir and save Myuu from those vile tentacles. Now it’s his turn to do the piece of his action as he wants Myuu to bring the others far away and just sit back watch. Akatsuki incessantly strikes the beast with his sword and Zahaag returns that with incessant magic blasts. Zahaag starts to feel something strange and as pointed out, the chi attack on his sword left its mark though the effects were slow. Both sides power up for the final attack but to Akatsuki’s horror, Zahaag aims it at Myuu.

Episode 12
Thankfully Akatsuki was fast enough to protect Myuu. But of course. The cost is that his sword broke and he is an AD short to summon it. Myuu is worried so Akatsuki tells her to believe in him crap. She gives him her AD. Not only her. Haruka too. For insurance. So man and dragon once more face off to settle their unfinished business. When Akatsuki is seemingly losing and a moment before getting toast, Myuu screams out the reminder about his promise about her place of belonging. Akatsuki recovers and summons his badass sword and cuts Zahaag into half! Myuu is so happy that she comes crying into his arms. Meanwhile those shadowy figures are discussing about Akatsuki’s performance against the spiritual life form and defeating it all by himself. Also on the agenda include the stabilization of BABEL’s controls still in progress, the last stages of Plan Y and something about the Ake No Tasogare group. So we are let known that Kyouya is part of this group despite his face not shown but being called his name. He is talking to some higher up why he didn’t finish Zahaag himself. He notes this spiritual life form isn’t weak and if its breath had directly hit the Tower of BABEL, it would’ve crumbled to the ground. Even using Light of BABEL could’ve easily solved the problem but it would cause damage the size of 3km radius. He has a responsibility to look after over his students. His superior doesn’t care because the priority is Plan Y. At school, Kaidou sees Akatsuki hanging out at the rooftop. The latter disappointed he didn’t get to settle things with Kyouya. Akatsuki points out Akatsuki and his group have been promoted to Class A but Akatsuki knows it was sneaky Kaidou who magically chained Zahaag in its final moments before Akatsuki destroyed it. Either way, he is confident the results would’ve still been the same. After Kaidou leaves, we see him talking to his boss. Something about Akatsuki being a good match against Kyouya from COCOON. Though he doubts Akatsuki would join their group. He is told to continue keeping watch on him.

Listy chides Baram for using an underhanded tactic to contract Phil with Zahaag and did it secretly. Baram says they need to do anything they can to get her back and sees no wrong in using Zahaag’s powers if it’s used properly. He also mentions that the results will prove everything. If Phil returns home successful, he’ll be a hero. Otherwise he will take responsibility for his words and bow to Listy for his insolence. Suddenly Zechs and Loutier barge in to relay an important message. Monsters in the black mountain have begun fighting each other. Possibly it’s because they’re release from their control upon the death of their master: Zahaag. Now are you going to eat your words, Baram? Also another important news is that the combined forces stationed at the national border are eliminated as they were attacked by demons in the middle of the night. As Listy’s army begin to move out, she starts thinking about Akatsuki’s last words to her. Probably she really wanted him to come back so much so it reached Akatsuki. Yeah. He thinks it’s time to go. Before that, Myuu wants to tell the truth about herself to Chikage and Kuzuha but is nervous. Suddenly Akatsuki fondles her boobs and earns her wrath! I guess this was all part of his plan to ease her nervousness. But still… WTF. So once they listen to her story, Akatsuki announces he is going back to Arezard to check things out. Because they found out about Myuu’s location very fast, he has a hunch that someone from this world tipped them off that he brought her here. Guess what? Myuu wants to follow. Not only her. Chikage and Kuzuha too. Shouganai naaa… Haruka is outside Akatsuki’s house. What the heck is she standing there for 30 minutes?! Is it too complicated just to go in and give him some bracelet by Kubota? Even Kaidou had observed for that time span because it was quite amusing to see her as a ‘suspicious person’. Then they realize something is happening inside the house and rush in. Akatsuki and co are preparing to return to Arezard. I guess they can’t let them have all the fun or leave them alone so they join in too.

Ero Hero…
Oh my. So it ends halfway, eh? Why do they always do this? Because in case if there is a need for a sequel, you know the rest. There are so many things going on and probably lots of potential if you want to talk about the storyline and characters such as COCOON, BABEL, Arezard and whatever groups there are out there that this season just seems like an introduction to it all. Everything was just a setting or a beginning for things to come. If they make a sequel. Akatsuki didn’t get his fight with Kyouya so this is certainly on the cards. What about this secret COCOON organization with shadowy people and their Plan Y thingy? There are movements back at Arezard too and I’m sure that the demons aren’t just going to sit back and let the humans annihilate everyone of them, right? What is it that Akatsuki has against his father? At least the expression he puts up indicates he doesn’t like his old man too much. What about his relationship with the late Leon? What’s this secret organization that Kaidou is in? Don’t tell me he is with that Ake No Tasogare group. Even the simple part of how Akatsuki tamed Sleipnir seems to be elusive. The bike was so ferocious in not letting anybody touch it and then suddenly when Akatsuki puts up an I’m-not-going-to-lose-to-this-piece-of-sh*t-machine, suddenly he rides him like the wind. WTF. What happened in between? So many potentials, so many questions and yet to hear any sequel whatsoever. Do I care about all that? Looks like I stopped caring. But if you don’t expect too much, I suppose this action ecchi series may just pass.

Akatsuki as the main character is sure an amusing guy. If there is one word I should describe him, it should be cool. No doubt his perverted ways are questionable but for most of the time he is just a cool guy who doesn’t let others get above him. He has a way with words and doesn’t show hesitation in what he says or does. If you won’t do it, he’ll do it for you. If you can’t accept it, he’ll talk and persuade till you give in. He is the kind of guy you would love and hate at the same time. Of course his most questionable skill is still his stealth underwear stealing skill that every girl will never notice they’ve got their undies taken away. He’s better than the best magician on Earth. How on Earth does he do that?! I’m still pondering and laughing each time I think about it. And he’s just cool in doing it. If it’s not magic I don’t know what it is. Maybe just plain ol’ panty stealing skill. Perhaps the girls are too distracted with him to notice he got his hands on their undies. Best of all, he is not afraid to be a pervert too. Of course he has considerable strength so anybody who wants to mess with him better think twice. If he wants to be serious, he can be and you’re in real trouble when he is in this mode. Not that you have a better chance of beating him when he is fooling around either. He may not look like it either but he is not only a smart ass, but a smart guy too. You know the saying about clever people hiding their cleverness? Deep down despite it all, he cares and is a kind person. So Akatsuki is a good example of how not to judge a book by its cover. Except for his perverted ways of course. Not to be emulated in any way, please. In a nutshell, he’s got almost every quality that everyone would love to have in a hero except his perverted ways which makes it like a drop of ink in white milk.

I’m not sure about the demon race in Arezard because Myuu doesn’t look and act close one bit to a demon. For Akatsuki to slay the Demon King, it must be one big bad mother of all bosses, right? Then he has a daughter who is as sweet and naive as a high school student. Feels like it is out of place. So basically in this season, Myuu is trying to find a reason why she can’t kill her father’s murderer. With a good and suave guy like Akatsuki, is it no wonder that she is more and more attracted to him? I bet those are what her feelings are. Not brother-sister love kind of feelings. Then she begins questioning her own identity and existence and isn’t it ironic for a demon girl to feel guilty that she is causing trouble for others, especially her friends? How nice and considerate. If not for Akatsuki showing her the right path, maybe she would’ve turned into a badass queen back in her own world. So all Myuu wanted was acceptance and a place to call her own. Thank heavens that she also found that in Chikage and Kuzuha and most importantly, Akatsuki. Yeah, if that guy can take down a Demon King, he can make his daughter fall for him too. Some human he is. Maybe in no time, he’ll amass his own harem. As it is now, he’s got his own unofficial ones if you notice. That’s not even counting all the other unknown girls he is popular with.

Haruka feels like a b*tch of this series because she’s trying to find fault with Akatsuki, if not get her revenge ever since her first humiliating panty stealing incident. She acts tough like as though she is in authority in Kyouya’s absence but when confronted with Akatsuki, she is definitely shown her place and made to shut up. It felt so deserving when she gets that kind of backfire. You can’t beat this guy. That’s why she also feels like a tsundere when it comes to Akatsuki. Is it not hard to see that she really has feelings for him but her pride wouldn’t allow herself to admit it? Even I think Uesaki and Minami can see it and are more rational when it comes to dealings with that Rogue Hero. The other characters just feel well, they’re just there. Chikage and Kuzuha are just there to prop up a little moral support for Myuu. Of course the disturbing thing about Chikage is about her lesbianism but this isn’t so obvious throughout the series. Kyouya is just avoiding an early big showdown with Akatsuki and trying to gather a presence as a main antagonist if there is a sequel. Kaidou may be acting like Akatsuki’s self proclaimed best friend but we know he harbours many secrets and skills. Maybe Akatsuki noticed it all like how he noticed all his behind-the-scene moves. Just that he chose not to give a damn. What happened to Onizuka and that traitor spy Tanaka anyway? Then we have the characters from the Arezard. So the first and last time Akatsuki and Listy met was at the beginning of the first episode. She hates him for kissing her but still needs him. See how great this guy is? And now that she really needs him, we are given a cliff-hanger that they are going back to Arezard as this season’s end.

One reason why you watch this series is the fanservice (despite it itself isn’t that appealing). Akatsuki’s mind blowing skill is perhaps the main reason for this. How can you not take advantage of it when you’re so good at it? And poor Myuu has to bear the brunt for most of the time. I’m not saying that this show is filled with them to the brim but there are some to keep you ecchi fans occupied. I’m not sure if there are several versions but the one I watched was uncensored. Yeah. Panty shots and bare tits. No stinking blinding lights or darkness to cover those ‘delicious’ parts. There are several specials too that come with the DVD. But I wasn’t really turned on with the excessive harassments so I passed them. Just like the specials’ title suggests, there are going to be lots of embarrassing moments. Guess from who? I can already make a guess who is going to end up as the ‘predator’ and the ‘prey’.

As for the action, at first it started out lame especially during the Cockatrice fight. I had a feeling that it would end up pathetic all the way but as it goes by, I felt the action at least became decent. No doubt Akatsuki’s strength may make it seem he can pull off power punches. As for the drawing and art, it seems like it is of lower quality though I won’t go so far as to say it is bad quality. Sometimes the characters lack details. Is it just me or that the female characters especially look chubby? I thought it is this series’ style but somehow the Myuu in the ending credits animation seems slightly differently. A little bit slimmer. Hmm… Maybe it’s the angle? And I thought the white training outfit that the BABEL students where resembled a lot like Bleach’s Arrancar. Of course I’ve already said that their materialized battle gear during the ranking test makes them look like RPG cosplayers. Felt like more visual style and aesthetics over substance. Shouldn’t the AD material give them more armour? Reflects the heart, you say? Well, then I think it isn’t quite doing its job.

Nobuhiko Okamata is cool as the voice of Akatsuki, something similar like his other role as Usui in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama. Youko Hikasa has voiced a myriad of anime roles that I ironically can’t identify her anymore when I’m supposed to grow more familiar with her voice. Playing as the sweet Myuu, she doesn’t sound anything like Mio from K-ON!, Rias from High School DxD or Seraphim from Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka? Still recognizable are Kana Hanazawa as Kuzuha (Tenshi/Kanade in Angel Beats) and Kana Ueda as Chikage (Rin in Fate/Stay Night). Likewise as Marina Inoue as Haruka just like her other haughty characters Yozora from Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai, Kyoko in Skip Beat and Tsukiumi in Sekirei. Other casts include Atsushi Abe as Kaidou (Touma in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Takahiro Sakurai as Kyouya (Suzaku in Code Geass), Noriaki Sugiyama as Phil/Zahaag (Sasuke in Naruto), Rina Satou as Listy (Kaoru in Amagami SS), Satoshi Hino as Uesaki (Saito in Zero No Tsukaima), Ayana Taketatsu as Minami (Azusa in K-ON!), Takayuki Sugo as Baram (Leo in Bakuretsu Tenshi) and Hideo Ishikawa as Onizuka (Ukitake in Bleach). The opening theme, Realization by Faylan is a rock piece that somewhat reminds me of her other anime song, Last Vision For Last of Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls. The ending theme is Ai No Sei De Nemurenai by Aki Misato and is a rock pop outfit.

What’s in a name of a hero? Is it his accomplishments and achievements seen in the eyes of others or is it his character? Each people have their own brand and definition to what they constitute a hero so some may be considered a hero but a villain in the eyes of others. I’m sure when we were young, we dream of becoming some sort of hero of justice. Whatever happened to that when we grew up along the way? We got disillusioned and perhaps abandoned our beliefs so we put all our hopes onto others who can do it instead. Being a hero is also tough because you have to live up to expectations of everyone else. And when you don’t, you’ll get lots of brickbats and scorn. It’s fine if you want to still play the hero. Just don’t stealthily remove girls’ panties. You definitely won’t get away with it. Maybe that’s what you call a He-Rogue…


February 8, 2013

It’s always good to have lively and healthy discussions among your friends. Whether they are informative or just plain absurd, I’m sure a lively debate helps our creative minds to flow as we exchange different ideas and opinions. It’s something like that for Gakkatsu. In this short ONA that lasts five minutes per episode, we have a special period called Gakkyuu Katsudou (Classroom Activities) or Gakkatsu for short whereby students can participate in debates on just about anything. Well, if intelligent ones inspire you, then I guess silly ones would make you laugh. This series seems to be of the latter. And they get to do it all packed under five minutes.

Episode 1
Class rep, Chiho Takachiho has the class discuss on the topic of bumps. What bump? Not the kind of baby bump. The kind of bump you see when you turn your wrist and see that bone sticking out. Since nobody know what it is called, thus calling forth for today’s discussion. So we have Chiho giving different types of bumps in existence from a camel’s hump to a middle aged guy’s guts. Till Kuroda stands up and calls it ulnar styloid process since it’s common knowledge for those studying at medical school. However Chiho will not accept that name because it’s not cute and the word ‘process’ conjures up a different image (pointy?). She will not listen to Kuroda and has the class come up with their own name for it. In the end and after a poll, it Pimpie-chan gets 30 votes to Pimpion’s 9. Yeah, they should be proud that not only they have come up with a new word but went about it democratically as well.

Episode 2
Chiho wants to know why boys won’t do their business in the school’s toilet stalls. Based on her interview with other boys, it seems the main reason is embarrassment and some would even hold it till they get home. So what on Earth are they afraid of? Well, the boys give their roundabout answer but eventually note they still won’t use it. Chiho realizes the problem runs deep as the guys fear of bearing the shame for their entire lives so Kimoto suggests turning everything in the toilet into stalls since people will still tease and once you get embarrassed it takes a long time to change the hearts of people. The guys thought this is a good idea but Chiho notes there is a flaw. She shows them the cubicle is exposed on the top and bottom and people can still peek through there. They never saw that blind spot? Chiho thinks what they need aren’t stalls but secret rooms! So now the boys’ toilet has barb wire, barricades and Doberman dogs? What security to increase?! And Sakurada is still holding it till he goes home…

Episode 3
Chiho sees a UFO outside her window and thus becomes the agenda for today’s discussion. She is pretty sure we are not alone. Hiroshi seems to be harassing the new transfer student, Gurei but nobody knows he is an alien! An outer space alien! Are they blind?! Well, with so many weird looking characters in this class… After discussing the existence of aliens, they vote of their purpose to come to Earth. All vote that they are here to destroy mankind. Except one against: Gurei. Hey. He has very long arms… They thought he was too optimistic and tell about the hideous experiments and abductions they do (oh, really?). Chiho then has them vote if mankind has met its end. Once again all vote yes except one: Gurei. Chiho tells him to lay off Gurei because they also need to hear the voice of the minority. She can tell transfer students are anxious people as they wonder if they’ll be despised in their new home. They wonder if they can be friends or outcasts so how can they be on good terms if they act nasty? Despite different language, culture and environments, she is sure they’ll understand each other’s heart (aliens have heart?). Seeing that Chiho is applying Gurei’s transfer student status to aliens, everyone supports her notion that aliens are here to make friends. Hiroshi thinks Gurei just wants to be closer. Gurei might regret it since he is getting too friendly. To think that this traumatizes the alien…

Episode 4
Somebody defaced the school statue and gate. But this isn’t going to be today’s topic because it will be what they call their mother!!! Chiho overheard Kuroda mistakenly calling Sensei as his mama so I guess he is so shocked at it that he passed out. Though the girls earnestly give their answers but what Chiho wants is to hear the guys’ answer. Starting with Hiroshi, he calls his mom a God Damned Hag (kusobaba). Chiho claps her hand instead because she takes this as he is in a rebellious state and is embarrassed to call mama. So the boys agree that they find it hard to call their mothers that so Chiho has the class take a vote on what Hiroshi should call his mother. Till Inaba points out Mother God Damned Dearest (kuso okaasama). Chiho likes that term as it reflects growing pains and great respect while maintaining his bad boy image. He won’t call her that anyone. Chiho calls Hiroshi’s mom as a special guest. She wonders what Hiroshi has done wrong since the school called her. Hiroshi is so shocked to see her that he spewed “Mama!”. I guess everybody is giving him that stare. But Chiho claps away. Though the vandalism culprit is caught, they could’ve prevented 2 ‘victims’ in the first place.

Episode 5
Chiho has a sad announcement that N’vangida is leaving for his home country of N’fn’’ (however you pronounce this and wherever this is). His country is famous for producing pink diamonds so I guess he has to head back to head the throne due to some promise with his father. Yes, he is a filthy rich prince. N’vangida gives his goodbye speech about how small Japan is but their hearts are big. Sounds like he is trying to pick a fight? But Hiroshi isn’t amused about this teenage drama and that they’ll forget him in 3 days. Chiho knows he is sad inside too and N’vangida points out he is the kindest of them all (because he saw him cried while watching some anime!). Everyone sees N’vangida off at the airport and Hiroshi is the most emotional one. Suddenly the TV news report that mines of the pink diamonds in N’fn’’ have been exhausted and the royal family have skip town and whereabouts unknown. The palace is empty and up for sale?! I guess N’vangida is going to stay here longer. Yahoo!

Episode 6
Inaba seems to be having trouble what to write for his future. Football player? Government worker? But for Chiho, she wants to be the president of Japan! You mean Prime Minister? No. President! Because the class doesn’t seem motivated in achieving their dreams, Chiho is going to talk about sunfish. Eh? So she describes the sunfish, its size and could even lay 300 million eggs at one go! That’s the size of America’s population! Yup, it’s like a swimming America. Everybody starts having positive thoughts on the sunfish as Chiho vows to live as large as the sunfish. However Kuroda spoils the excitement by mentioning the downside. Parasites. Sunfish has 40 different types of them and it is what kills it. Chiho counters that it is able to leap 3 metres into the sky. They jump to get rid of those parasites. This shows they soar from darkness into light to overcome difficulties that the heavy chains bind them. They can fly high into the sky and so can they! Hooray! Three cheers for sunfish! Let’s live like the sunfish! WTF is this fairytale?! And Inaba finally decides he wants to be Japan’s top footballer.

Episode 7
The class notices something strange with Chiho. She’s sparkling and her mouth is different. It’s like she is pursing her lips and making her face smaller. They realize she’s making a duck face and how cute she looks. All the boys start falling for her while Hiroshi tries to resist. Eventually he can’t. It is revealed that Chiho’s hypothesis has worked. No guys can hate a duck face! She plans to run as president for the student council and since there is a female candidate getting all the male votes, she will get her duck face to appeal to them. What about manifesto and policies? It doesn’t matter because she is going for mass appeal! The girls chide the boys for falling for the duck face but Chiho maintains her stand, causing the girls to be more upset. Then Kimoto points out she will lose her appeal among girls that way. Realize too late, huh? Yeah, she already printed 3,000 embossed posters of her duck face…

Episode 8
Because Chiho notices the different train fares for adults and children, this prompts her to discuss what makes a person an adult. Everyone has their own suggestion and when Kuriyama suggests says when one stops licking ice cream containers, he gets teased by Hiroshi for being a kid and to go home and drink his milk. So what makes Hiroshi an adult? He buys the smallest coffee 190ml without hesitation. While the guys are in awe, Chiho points out it is still sweet. Just like a bicycle with training wheels, coffee with sweetness is just like that. So if Hiroshi is an adult, he would like his coffee black with no sugar, right? Yeah, have one now. Hiroshi acts tough, drinks it and endures the bitterness. He can have refills as many times he wants. Hiroshi is force to eat (drink rather) his words as he gulps down another cup but is knocked out. Quick, somebody get milk and sugar! Suddenly they see Kuriyama drinking black coffee with elegance! The one who laughs last laughs best as he tells Hiroshi to go home and drink his milk. Chiho states they clearly learnt something. Those who act like an adult is still a kid. That’s the biggest embarrassment for Hiroshi to swallow.

Episode 9
Chiho has another sad announcement. Their pet turtle Johnny died this morning and Inaba who is the one who takes care of it is deeply devastated. Yeah, remember the times they found out it was a female and tried to change its name? After having a minute of silence, they discuss on the next class pet. Everyone as usual has such strange taste. Till this alpaca-like girl, Alpako suggests getting an alpaca. Everyone digs the good points that an alpaca has but like its warm fur and carrying heavy load. But Tanaka disagrees. Because he is more into llama. Alpako and Tanaka get into a heated argument why theirs is better and put each other down (I guess both animals suck if you look closer). Then Kimoto puts her foot down. She tells them they are not sensitive over Inaba’s feelings. They apologize and Chiho shelves this discussion for another day. Suddenly Inaba runs up to the board and writes rabbit. A rabbit wants a rabbit as a pet? So he’s gotten over Johnny? Seeing Inaba is very enthusiastic over it, everybody rejoices and decides they’ll get a rabbit.

Episode 10
Because Chiho forgot her umbrella and got splashed by a puddle, today’s discussion is whether one brings an umbrella when it is forecasted to rain at only 20%. I guess Chiho is pissed for having to wear this stupid jersey. Kuroda explains about the percentage thingy so Chiho counters that by saying it’s not manly. The rest give examples of things in life using percentage like chance of passing an exam. Kuroda further explains about percentage being just a guide so it is ultimately themselves who must make the final decision. So obsessing with the final result could mean one is just lazy. This doesn’t sit well with Chiho so she gives another example that the girls have their own boyfriends. Imagine him saying he will only protect you 20% of the time! Can you trust this guy? NO! She also adds the shape of the percentage makes it look like a lazy person. The class starts agreeing with her as Kuroda tries to bring order back by saying that the slanting shape makes it look like it’s apologizing instead. Everybody including Shiho is convinced.

Episode 11
Tsukahara takes a break by playing her console game after studying. However her mother checks on her and isn’t pleased. This becomes today’s agenda as to why mothers come into their rooms at the worst times. With each of them having experience such case, Chiho points out this is the Mama Coming Phenomenon. The kind of phenomenon whereby it always rains when you forget your umbrella. They further discuss about mothers equipped with some device that can sense their kids having fun. Chiho then ends the debate by showing a video. Hey. Isn’t that Tsukahara’s room? How the hell did Inaba videotaped it secretly?! The video shows her studying for about 10 minutes before she goes off playing video games for over an hour! After that she resumes her studies but shortly doing her eyelashes! Not studying at all! Is it a wonder why her mom catches during her break? Chiho scoffs off there is no such thing as Mama Coming Phenomenon but Quick To Slack Off Phenomenon. Time flies when you’re having fun but crawls slowly when it’s boring. People don’t really work as hard as they think they do. Such harsh reality.

Episode 12
Saionji will be the trainee teacher for a short period. Sakurada has fallen for her and has the class help out on what to do next. Well, that letter to meet he put in her shoe locker looked more like a challenge letter. Judging from her pretty looks and manners, they think she is a prim kind of person. Kimoto suggests he should be himself. I think he took it too literally because his idea of being manly is being naked in a loincloth! Tsukahara notes that she is into pretty boys. You know, those idols. So can Sakurada stand a chance? Chiho doesn’t see a problem and orders a complete makeover! The clothes and hairstyle make him look like Saturday Night Fever and since no makeup is going to do it, a total makeover over his face includes a buzz saw and chisel! What the heck did he do to his face?! I don’t know but he looks more handsome now!  A totally different person! So Sakurada meets Saionji at the rooftop and confesses his feelings. As he stammers, Saionji punches his face to crack his hard mask. She reveals she isn’t a prim and proper rich girl he thinks and has a black belt in judo. However this only made Sakurada love her even more. She tells him to come back when he grows up and can face her as his real self. Chiho concludes a mask hardened by lies will eventually shatter. Though, she was the culprit behind the extreme makeover.

Episode 13
Who loves T-Rex? The dinosaur, that is. The guys and especially Chiho! She’s pretty excited talking about it when suddenly she sounds gloomy. Based on new scientific evidence, it shatters her perception of the terrible lizard because now it has feathers! Kimoto quips she has an aunt that looks like that! Not funny! At least to Chiho. She won’t accept such lame T-Rex. Kuroda argues that nobody has seen them since their extinction 65 million years ago and scientific theories change in time so it’s their duty to accept them. So as long as there is scientific evidence, it’s okay? Chiho certainly isn’t. So what if T-Rex has a long nose? Her basis? Mammoths have trunks but you don’t see the long nose bone, right? Since she has a point, Kuroda accepts it but this causes to further infuriate Chiho because now it looks even lamer. She further adds more lameness to shock Kuroda like how it carries a handbag, sounds like a goat and has carp colours. Again, she becomes pissed with that lame T-Rex she just imagined. She wants to know if Kuroda also likes such lame T-Rex and during the struggle, a T-Rex keychain falls out from his pocket. It is the same keychain Chiho has. Kuroda reveals he too likes T-Rex the way he first saw it. Just as you think they both have reconciled, Chiho screams that she has won this match! No one will rob her of what she believes in! Not even scientific theories! Victory!

Episode 14
Because Tanaka is having a hard time remembering where he put his train ticket, it made Miyamoto miss out on buying a top mp3 player as it just got sold out. Chiho asks Tanaka where he keeps his wallet and it seems he starts getting frantic searching it. Three minutes later he finds it in his bag and unknowingly puts it in his back pants. When asked where is his wallet, he frantically searches in his bag. This is bad. With suggestions of how to overcome this (write a memo, have someone do it for you), Tanaka and Miyamoto end up blaming each other. Chiho puts her foot down and suggests that he should buy 10 tickets from now on! When such case happens, wherever he searches he will bound to find one. He’ll run out of money, right? Even better. Because he doesn’t need to keep his wallet. About his lifestyle? Ditch his modern lifestyle for a more simple and natural one! Looks like a homeless person! On another day, Tanaka’s ticket stalling act once more causes Miyamoto to be late for another sale. When they arrive, the store employees congratulate them for being the 100,000th customer and their prize is a home theatre set! Sometimes there is a blessing in being late too.

Episode 15
Chiho suggests calling each other nicknames to deepen their bond. Hiro-kyun? Kuro-pyon? Miyamoto thought it’s embarrassing but Chiho says they won’t make progress if they don’t and calls him Ordinary. Yeah. Normal. Not amused. So while Chiho goes into ecstasy with all the cute nicknames her classmates throw at her, she pesters Ordinary to give her one. Really? Okay. Nitpicker Girl. That must be a shock to her, eh? She tries to act okay and theorizes that if the ones before were like sweet juice, this sharp one feels like seltzer spray! Soon the rest starts calling her names like Pretend Leader, Tyrant and the ultimate one from Inaba, Bossy Girl. Looks like she dug her own grave. Depressed now, isn’t she? Ironically nicknames are supposed to deepen bonds but it looks like they have deepened the ditch. To cheer her up and figure out a suitable nickname for her, N’vangida suggests shortening names like celebrities do. Like Kenji Matsukawa = Matsuken and Kumi Morinaga = Morikumi, So Chiho Takachiho becomes… Takachiho! Isn’t that the same?!

Episode 16
Kuroda prays at his grandpa’s grave. In class, Chiho suddenly asks if they believe in ghosts (with flashlight effect). That’s because she feels something heavy on her shoulder! THERE’S SOMETHING ON HER SHOULDER! The class panics but Abe exorcises it with her bell. Though everyone is relieved, Kuroda brushes their silly farce. With his usual scientific explanations, he says ghosts are products of self suggestions and Chiho’s heavy shoulder is because she just has a stiff shoulder. The light start flickering and it’s getting cold. Are the ghosts out for vengeance for their lack of respect? Kuroda: The temperature is just changing and it’s time to change the fluorescent light. Chiho wants Abe to give Kuroda a piece of her mind but her story of ghosts that include having one as a pet and first love (yikes!) didn’t convince him. She gets his attention when she knows his grandpa is dead and he reveres him. How does she know? She can hear his voice! Chiho then borrows Abe’s bell and starts ringing to call for Kuroda’s grandpa! Disrespectful! Surprisingly his spirit comes! Kuroda scoffs it off till he takes a closer look. Oh God! It is grandpa! So now does Kuroda believe in ghosts? But what did grandpa tell him? There is no such thing as ghosts and to hell with occultism! Even though he is one right now…

Episode 17
Before Chiho can begin today’s agenda, a dog bark distracts them. She thought it was Inuyama but it’s a real dog! Everybody wants to play with it and pays no heed to Chiho. She tells them off about dogs lacking independence and submissive to humans. But that’s what makes them cute, right? Chiho won’t take anymore of this and takes the dog outside. Five minutes later, she returns all messed up. Before she can begin, the dog returns. Everybody isn’t paying attention to her now. Pissed, Chiho takes the dog out once more. Once outside and nobody is seeing, she starts playing with the dog! She loves it! So that’s how she got all messed up. Isn’t this what you call a hypocrite? Well, her words may sound tough but they do sound ambiguous too so it’s not like she’s totally wrong. And so once more before the agenda can begin, the dog returns. I guess when you can’t beat them, join them. So here comes happy Chiho running towards the dog and ending today’s class! EEEEEEEHHHH???!!! Can’t resist the temptation, no?

Episode 18
Why is summer so God damn hot? It’s getting hotter only because Chiho is screaming her head off! Why even bother chasing the cicada? Sakurada suggests about strengthening their wills so that they will be cooled by the flames. Well, I guess it only made Chiho more pissed since she didn’t understand his poem. Kuroda explains it to be some sort of death poem since a monk didn’t move an inch and was burnt to death when a man set fire to his temple. So, did Sakurada suggest they all should die? Unless you want to wear loincloth like he does! It’s even getting hotter! Then the cicada turns on the heater! I guess their brains are fried by now if they think it’s getting cooler. They run down to the teacher’s room but find the air-cond is out of order. Even Sensei is losing her mind. Chiho leads everyone to the pool and emergency measures mean they all jump in! Ahhh… How refreshing.

Episode 19
There’s only 1 manjuu left so who is going to take it? Call it holding back and compromise for peace and safety but Chiho points if everybody gave way, nobody will get anything (baseball example). Is there a non-creepy way to get the last piece? Till one of them suggests to announce oneself when taking it. The class marvels at the bold move but Kimoto finds it creepy because what if both announce at the same time? They’ll become embarrassed and reserved. Back to square one. Blonde Dude suggests playing a game to see who gets it. Everyone would’ve agreed with him if not for Kimoto worried that nobody wants to play and it would make her look like a greedy girl. Thus being teased and all. Chiho stomps her foot down they shouldn’t get scared by the little things and sometimes holding back isn’t good manners. She suggests a stare down in which sides are prepared to fight for the last piece. Since amateurs can’t do anything, she’ll have professionals doing it in her stead. Then she uses her force by crushing the manjuu with her fist. She considers herself the staff and eats it. Taking responsibility? More like she wants to eat it. I guess that’s what you call ‘others fight, I profit’.

Episode 20
Chiho is in a pinch. She doesn’t like sweet and sour pineapples in her lunch! What’s the big deal? So don’t eat it. But noooo… She had to rant about setting a good example as a class rep. Hah. Why even threaten Tsukahara with serving her with red beans that she dislikes (since she was the one that loaded the pineapples into her lunch). So with N’vangida chanting out loud about the international phrase for not wasting, maybe she’s just stalling for time. But she can’t do it still. She fools around and stacks them up! Please be serious. Chiho thought she saw the pineapple cry. She starts feeling sorry for it because it was made to become this school’s lunch. Do pineapples have class reunions? Just eat it! She can’t. She is too emphasized with it. Tsukahara notes that she doesn’t hate pineapples but only sweet and sour ones. She returns with the pineapples in a bowl of whip cream. Chiho gladly eats it and finds it good. I think the rest couldn’t stomach the sweetness. Yuck.

Episode 21
Ushiyama is always late to class. Even his response is late! Sometimes he comes to school when it’s already over. So Chiho tries to find out if he has a problem getting up in the morning but he says he woke up at 5am. Because he is too slow explaining, everyone starts complaining about his slowness. So slow that Alpako had limited time when he is passing the sheets (she sits behind him). Slower than a fax machine! I’m sure everyone had something to say but Ushiyama thinks they’re talking too fast! They become pissed off when he starts repeating his story (by the way, he never completed his first sentence). Chiho tells everyone off that they’re always in a rush and hurrying to somewhere. Even technology like bullet train, handphone and internet. What do they gain by having things faster? Explaining about the Sagrada landmark building in Spain that takes hundreds of years to complete and it is still not completed. Where would be the charm if it was built in a week? Everybody feels sorry for rushing Ushiyama as he continues his story. At least everyone is being patient now. Well, we won’t get to hear his slow story (that mostly involves waking up and falling asleep halfway). By the time he ends his story, nobody is around! Has everybody gone back? Heck! It’s the next day and everybody thought Ushiyama was early for once! He never left in the first place!

Episode 22
Why can’t Miyamoto give up his seat to an old man in the train? He somewhat felt weird, lost the initiative and pretended to fall asleep. The worst. Should’ve just given it up, huh? But Miyamoto feels it’s odd talking to old people so Hiroshi says he doesn’t do that. At least not telling he is giving up his seat. He just stands up and walks away. But there’s this danger that the seat may be taken by others if not properly announced. So Kuroda gives an example on how to clearly and officially announce he is going to pass on his seat to the old guy. Too troublesome! N’vangida just tossed the old dude but he put him in the wrong place! The bag compartment?! Kuriyama would give the old man his seat, then sit on his lap like a little grandchild! Miyamoto wonders if he can do it so Chiho teaches him the hand signal to give way and to speak out loud. He has his chance to show what he learnt. But it isn’t just the old man who steps in. A bunch of elderly people too! Who is he supposed to give his seat to? Can’t decide? He goes back pretending to sleep. Maybe next time, huh?

Episode 23
Chiho hopes everyone can help Hokura with his problem. He wants to get rid of his hokuro (mole). Why? Because everyone keeps mispronouncing his name. Everyone looks at Chiho. Yeah. Repeat offender. Though Chiho thinks his mole has charm points, Hokura laments that even if people do remember him, it will usually be ‘the guy with the mole’. Worse, he wonders if people are seeing him as the mole instead of himself. He starts going crazy about the what ifs but Hiroshi tells him not to be paranoid because it’s not like everybody is out to get him. But even so, he gets disturbed when people call his name. What if he is just something attached to this mole? He wants to part ways and make a fresh start. Since N’vangida wants it (it’ll be a waste to throw it away), he has no qualms. Everyone is okay with that but Chiho objects. Sure, he can take away the mole but just as he said about something being attached to it. What if the mole is the real him? So it might be the case of removing Hokura from the mole instead! What if the mole contains his soul? That would mean trapping himself in his mole prison. And since Chiho messed up his name again, Hokura blows his top but Chiho refutes she pronounced it wrongly. He insists. She denies. He’s becoming mad. She’s feigning ignorance. Here we go again…

Episode 24
Chiho is fat! OMG! However she is in denial giving excuses her uniform shrunk and all. So once she realizes her expanded size, she rants about the willpower to change her body back. So is she going to stop her cravings in between meals? Of course. She’ll start tomorrow. Weak willpower! Procrastinator! They want her to do it now and till Kimoto mentions she is their leader, she got the strength to put down the doughnut. But that’s just about it. She is reluctant to exercise and even so, wants everyone to do it with her. Serious lacking of willpower. She persuades everyone to join in by claiming they should support their leader and that they are just scared to realize their own lack of willpower because they expect their leader to do things they can’t. With everyone wanting to show they’ve got the willpower to do so, Chiho unveils her exercise programme that includes air sitting, bunny hops and marathon. 42 kilos isn’t their target weight but the marathon length! Oh sh*t. Let’s see how much willpower they’ve got. After a month, Chiho is back to her slim self but the rest have lost so much weight that they are looking like skeletons!

Episode 25
The class is doing self study instead. Because when Chiho submitted the agenda minutes, Sensei realized there are too many stupid agendas! True! From now on she’ll be approving her agendas that are deemed meaningful. I guess the class agrees that if they’re going to discuss stupid topics, they might as well do self study and be more productive. Chiho wanted to give her piece of mind but can’t raise her voice since Sensei is patrolling outside the corridors. Chiho notices the sun and it reminded her of a youth drama called Race Towards That Sunset. It prompts her to ask how far they should run. Despite another stupid question, some gave their suggestions. Till Inaba suggests they should run themselves to find out. Great idea. But they’ll do it after school. Later as they gather at the riverbank, they start running towards the sunset. Wondering why Japanese always run towards the setting sun, Chiho concludes that they don’t want the sun to set. If they run in pace with the Earth’s rotation, the sun will never set! We run because we want this moment to last forever! But the Earth rotation is faster than the speed of sound. Then just run faster than the speed of sound! Holy cow! Run with all you’ve got!

Well, it was pretty much okay and entertaining seeing Chiho coming up with absurd topics and having he own absurd theories as well. It is a good thing that this series is only several minutes long so the impact of the comedy and funny moments are there instead of being prolonged. It makes the discussion lively and moving at a fast pace (despite one episode being Ushiayama’s slowness) so everything is like hitting you simultaneously and instantly. Plain and simple. I’m sure there are even sillier topics that Chiho can come up to discuss with but all good things must come to an end despite she wanting to run this period as long as possible. It’s not that I really wished that there were more episodes but I guess quarter of a century is good enough so it doesn’t feel bored. Unlike some daily joke show that seemed to go on forever (which I didn’t see).

The characters don’t really amount to much although some episodes feature them more prominently and some only had like one or two appearance. I mean, what do you expect when you have a class with a bunch of students looking like weirdoes? If a delinquent, bespectacled genius, afro boy, blonde guy and some tall African transfer student isn’t weird enough, how about a bunny, a matured looking one and an elementary schooler in the midst sound? Yeah, there is even a student wearing a full face helmet! Who is he? I don’t know. But just don’t say normal, okay? Though many of the agenda and topic of discussion are really dumb, but not only they give you a good laugh but it makes you think too because most of the topics do occur in our everyday life but we are just too preoccupied with something else just to notice them. You could say that some are quite informative. Well, I certainly know a little more about the sunfish now. I think this series is trying to tell us to be inquisitive and question everything and not just accept everything blindly. Okay, there is still a line between smart questions and stupid questions. Ask wisely. As for Chiho, I have a feeling that she engages in lively debates and comes out with her own theories of stuffs is because she hates to lose and wants everyone to know that her way is always the right way. Especially her being loggerheads with Kuroda so you can see the clash of ideals of scientific backup or just plain nonsense. Either way it’s funny.

The drawing and art of the series makes it very cartoonish but this is okay seeing that it adds humour to the overall. Plus, with the characters looking chibi, I guess some of them do look cute. Some of course, weird. I guess you need the characters to match with the topics they discuss. So it just hovers somewhere in between cute and not horrible. Maybe with a pinch of weird. When characters become angry or pissed off, you see their face turning red like as though their head is going to explode. Plus, when they are mad or panicking, you see their heads bobbing. Sakurada seems to be a habitual offender of this since I notice he can’t stop his head from quivering. Somehow I find the rock background music quite complementing to the flow of the series and especially the short opening guitar riff which is quite catchy as it wants to make your head go bobbing too.

This anime series may not be a masterpiece or become something mainstream and won’t be as popular as more current ones. But at least I’m glad to have watched it as it provides humour and enlightening facts that I may or may not apply or remember in my life. Anything and almost everything can be made as a topic of discussion. You can learn a thing or two if you participate in such debates and even have your entire perception of things changed if the facts from the other party are too good to be true. So shall we pick the next topic on the agenda? How can we turn animes into the world’s favourite past time? Hmm… One suggestion. Turn every country into Japan. The world = Japan. I think pigs flying will have a higher chance of happening.

Oda Nobuna No Yabou

February 3, 2013

Oh no. Oh God. Here we go again. Not another one of those anime series where they turn the great unifier of Japan into a girl! How many times must they do this distasteful thing to attract viewers? How many more blasphemy must be endured till they understand that despite this is escapism, you can’t change history or attract viewers and get higher ratings just by changing a gender of somebody in this history books? Why do they love turning Nobunaga Oda into a girl, a woman? Why do they… Oh wait. It’s not Nobunaga Oda. It’s Nobuna Oda… Oops. My mistake Hehehe… Similar and close enough but still… After my stints with Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Sengoku Otome Momoiro Paradox and the recent one, Sengoku Collection, I thought I have seen my fair share of this gender bender thingy with history personalities. The titular character may be a word character off the real conqueror of Japan but still there are lots of other stuffs based on the real man himself, right?

Instead of letting my stereotypes get to my head and needing to give Oda Nobuna No Yabou a chance first, I will soon be proven wrong of trying to pass this series off as another one of those cheap gender bender thingy. Hey, not all characters are turned into a woman here. Albeit just a handful. But the rest are turned into pretty girls enough to be passed off a bishoujo anime ;p. During Japan’s warring era better known as the Sengoku period, there are lots of colourful characters, important places and events of turning points. Unless you’re a history buff and enthusiast like our main protagonist boy here, you’re going to find yourself killed if you don’t know your history facts right. You see, Yoshiharu Sagara loves playing games with Sengoku themes and this one in particular, Oda Nobunaga No Yabou and one day finds himself in the midst of the Sengoku battlefield. Did he get sucked into the game or is he dreaming? Either way, he finds out that it is not the man Nobunaga but Nobuna, a girl who will be the person responsible in uniting Japan. With him knowing the future of the events, he becomes lends his knowledge of the future in her quest to unite her country. But will his actions change history as we know it? Will Japan be really united by a girl?

Episode 1
Yoshiharu finds himself in the middle of the battlefield of Sengoku era. A soldier with him gets hit by a stray bullet and before his death, wants him to continue his dream to have a country with a castle and all the girls. Great. Shove your dreams to a young kid when you’re about to kick the bucket. Upon learning this guy is Toukichiro Kinoshita, Yoshiharu is devastated. He is supposed to be Hideyoshi Toyotomi and if he dies, history will get messed up. At least he knows his stuff. Too bad. He’s dead. And he thinks this must be a dream. If not an online game he’s playing. Think again. Suddenly a girl, Nobuna Oda rides into battle against the enemy forces and Yoshiharu gets caught in between. He tries to save her by scaring the enemies with his iPad ringtone of the sound of charging soldiers. Too bad it ran out of battery. Needing to protect this girl, he shoves her down as the enemies charge but Nobuna’s calvary arrives and sends the enemy retreating. There is this narration that during a time of civil wars and land divided into powerful warlords, any internal struggles is equivalent to inviting your neighbours to attack and conquer you. Thus the rule that any firstborn child will be the head of the family regardless of gender. This has given rise to Princess Generals such as Nobuna. Yoshiharu walks back with Nobuna’s troops and couldn’t help stare at the breasts Katsuie Shibata. This character was a beardy man as far as Yoshiharu is concern. Now he’s a woman. He would’ve been killed if Nobuna hadn’t ordered Katsuie to back down since Yoshiharu played a role in saving her life. Back at her castle, Nobuna offers him to serve under her. He’ll gladly do it. However he got stepped on the face since he still continues to confuse her name with Nobunaga. Learning he is from the future, she calls him Saru (monkey). Her tactician, Nagahide Niwa agrees. Though Yoshiharu is disheartened to be her slippers retainer, he thinks this will lead to greater things. Meanwhile the ruler of the eastern coastal province, Yoshimoto Imagawa learns of her troops’ failure to kill Nobuna and takes out her punishment on Motoyasu Matsudaira. By playing penalty shootout football?! However she laughs out loud upon learning Nobuna hired a monkey to be her retainer. Nobuna’s greatest spear wielder, Toshiie Maeda AKA Inuchiyo has Yoshiharu look around for a place to stay. Old uncle Asano takes a liking for Yoshiharu and would love to marry him off to his daughter Nene and take over his inn. I’m sure Yoshiharu would love to. Only thing is, Nene is still a little girl! He’s no lolicon! Suddenly the place is ambushed and a loli ninja, Goemon Hachisuka whisks Yoshiharu away. Toukichiro is her master and she has come here to serve Yoshiharu in place of him. Though Yoshiharu has no idea how he got here or how to go back, he needs to survive. Conquering Japan with a cute girl doesn’t seem so bad now, eh?

The ruler of Mino province, Dousan Saitou learns about Nobuna’s rise. His subjects wish to destroy her but he would rather have her as an ally. He wants to do something others would never consider. Meanwhile Nobuna also had this same idea to form an alliance with Dousan. Yoshiharu is going to prove he is from the future and tells them the location of their meeting at Shoutokuji Temple. She doesn’t believe him at first till a messenger informs of this exact location of their meeting. Yoshiharu proudly boasts he spent hours playing this famous game. As Nobuna and her army trek their way, Dousan and his little talented military strategist, Mitsuhide Juubei Akechi lie watching, waiting to ambush. Yoshiharu knows what’s coming and wants Nobuna to order her men to light her rifles. Because of that, Dousan backs down since any wrong move will blow everyone to smithereens. At the temple, Nobuna stuns everything when she comes in wearing a kimono. Dousan wants to know which province she will attack after she allies with him. She will attack Mino. Mino is the centre of Japan and gateway between east and west. She knows his past as a merchant and his ambition to make Japan a wealthy country where merchants move freely. Dousan isn’t going to just give it to her so Nobuna asserts she will destroy all old systems that wreaked havoc in Japan and turn it into a country that can compete with other countries. Dousan believes no one can follow her there but she’ll destroy anything that stands in her way. Yoshiharu butts in because he knows what’s going to happen. Since he knows what Dousan is thinking, he lets him speak freely. But one wrong word, he’ll find his head on the floor. Yoshiharu says once this meeting is over, he’ll tell his men to align with Owari because he knows his son can’t defeat Nobuna. So just how can he read his mind? Simple. He’s from the future. If he doesn’t, his entire life will have been a waste. Also, Nobuna is the only one who can continue his dream. With that Dousan will prepare a treaty to hand Mino over to her. Though Mino and Owari formed an alliance, Dousan’s son, Yoshitatsu refuses to accept it. Yoshiharu teases Nobuna when she can’t look him in the eye to thank him. When she learns he is keeping her slippers in his jacket near his chest, she thinks he’s some sort of pervert and is going to slice him apart. Don’t kill the hen that lays the golden egg.

Episode 2
Yoshiharu must be so level that he is eating cooked grass for breakfast. If only he is promoted, he gets better food. He even teases the lolis of eating better to grow their boobs as big Katsuie. Big boobs are only for decoration! Speaking of Katsuie, here she comes wanting Yoshiharu to follow her to town. There, they meet Nobukatsu Oda, Nobuna’s younger brother and would’ve been ruler had not she been born. Nobukatsu mocks her sister, something Yoshiharu doesn’t take lightly. He asks what he would do in her place. Advertise jelly?! Fail! Try again. Conquer some provinces and bring cute girls here? WTF?! Nobukatsu calls his sister a fool and mentions how their mom never liked her and said he was more inclined to be ruler of the land. Yoshiharu knocks his head and warns him never to badmouth Nobuna again. Katsuie restrains him and even though she is Nobuna’s aid, her position as prime minister means her loyalty is with Nobukatsu. Nobukatsu didn’t like the way things turn out and orders off with his head. Back at the castle, Yoshiharu gets chided by Nobuna. It’ll be troublesome if Nobukatsu starts a rebellion. Katsuie is in a dilemma as she doesn’t want to fight Nobuna and is going to cut off the monkey’s head! Not so fast. Nagahide says if Yoshiharu was higher ranked like a general, they could work something out since a soldier hitting Nobukatsu is clearly unacceptable. So for him to rise up the ranks so fast, Nobuna sets him a task to get him thousands of sacks of rice that will last a year for several men in a week with limited money. Otherwise, he’ll lose his head. Yoshiharu is all game for it and ropes in Inuchiyo and Goemon to help out. He knows how to increase his money. No, he isn’t using cheat codes but some buy and sell trick in different provinces. In the end, he’s got so much gold, he could swim in it! Only one problem. He forgot his original mission to buy rice! Oh sh*t! The deadline is this evening.

Yoshiharu sees Nobuna to assure his lolis are buying the rice as they speak. Better not make her wait too long. Because once she gets bored, she likes killing monkeys. Yikes! To kill time (at least not monkeys), Nobuna tests his knowledge on the world. He surprises her with common sense of our time. From where Japan is to the Europeans whom she terms as barbarians. Nobuna is stunned with his answer because to those she explained to, nobody believed her. She believes the barbarians will invade Japan someday and thus need a strong Japan to stand up against them. Yoshiharu softens her heart when he says those who laugh at her don’t understand her and that she is special. She notes he says the same thing as that person she deeply cared but refuses to divulge any further to leave him jealous. When it seems like they’re getting intimate, suddenly Nobuna draws her sword. Time’s up. He’s head is going to roll. However Yoshiharu has no qualms and is ready to accept death. No last words, no begging for mercy, no nothing. This has Nobuna feeling uneasy. Yoshiharu says if he begs for his life, it’ll make her suffer since she doesn’t like this kind of things. Just as Nobuna got the strength to cut off his head, the lolis come in to stop her and show her the sacks of rice they brought. To her surprise, he brought four times more than he was told to. See the relief on her face? However that’s not the end yet as they hear that Nobukatsu has started a rebellion and has raised an army at Suemori castle while barricading himself inside with Katsuie. Nobuna orders they’ll attack the castle because if Imagawa learns about the power struggle, they’ll be attacked. However Yoshiharu knows at this rate this is how the game went. She storms into the castle and kills her brother. So he makes a deal that all they need to do is make him surrender. Nobuna’s troops arrive outside Suemori and Yoshiharu leads the troops in a cheerleading fashion to chant Nobuna’s name. Because Nobukatsu is weak willed, they just need him to give up and surrender. With the chanting getting louder and louder, even Katsuie and Nobukatsu’s soldiers who doesn’t want to fight their princess start chanting Nobuna’s name. In the end, Nobukatsu couldn’t stand it and surrenders.

In the aftermath, Katsuie seeks forgiveness and to spare Nobukatsu and will die on his behalf. She refuses since she is her trump card for Imagawa. She wants Nobukatsu to commit seppuku. Nobukatsu is afraid of pain and death and doesn’t want to. In that case, Nobuna will kill him herself. Yoshiharu tells her to stop but she needs to make an example out of this. As a ruler, she can’t show mercy to relatives for the sake of their conquest. She’ll kill anyone who goes against her. Yoshiharu is going to do just that. He believes at this rate, she’ll go on killing everyone she cares about. He knows this Nobunaga guy who killed his brother. It destroyed part of his heart and lost control. He doesn’t want her to end up like that and prefers her to stay as a girl who spins a globe talking about her dreams. He wants her to be honest. Does she really want to kill him? Of course not. So Nobuna forgives her brother and he promises to turn over a new leaf and never start a rebellion again. He also vows to work hard for her and casts away his Oda name and take on the name of his relative. He will be now known as Nobusumi Tsuda. Soon all rebels were forgiven and Owari is united under the one and only Nobuna. That night when Nobuna talks to Yoshiharu, she doesn’t want to think she is being controlled by him. But if he sees she’s losing sight of her own path, he’ll do something about it. She makes him swear loyalty to her (by kissing her hand?). At least till he finds a way home. And if her dream doesn’t come true, does that mean he won’t go back?

Episode 3
Yoshitatsu leads a large rebellion against Dousan. Even his main generals and other nobles have defect to him. Nobuna learns of this and knows Dousan intends to die on the battlefield. They can’t send reinforcements because this will leave Owari open to Imagawa’s invasion. So Nobuna isn’t going to send any reinforcements. Yoshiharu couldn’t believe it but sees the same kind of sad expression she had when she did for Nobukatsu. Later he goes to apologize for his outburst. She tells him all these odd items in her room, the globe to the piano and rifles and telescope were given to her by a barbarian. It was the beginning of her dream to travel the world. Unfortunately he’s dead. The same case with her father. And soon Dousan. All the people she loves die. Maybe she can’t love anybody. That’s why she won’t fall for him. Is that a confession? Soon, Nagamasa Asai, the young ruler of northern Oumi pays Nobuna a visit. He is here to remove her cause of suffering: Dousan. Knowing he will die in the next few days, he offers his force and hers to attack simultaneously. He is proposing an alliance between Owari, Mino and Oumi and such alliance means not even Imagawa can stand up to them. Nobuna feels this deal is too good to be true and wants to know his intentions. He gets straight to the point: He wants her to become his wife and conquer Japan together. Not sitting well with Yoshiharu. Well, you got to admit Nagamasa is better looking than that monkey. However Nagamasa says he doesn’t love her and that this is just a political marriage which is the way of the world. Nobuna refuses because she will choose her husband and will marry the one she loves. Nagamasa can guess it’s that monkey. But why did Nobuna had to get so worked up and beat the crap out of Yoshiharu while flatly denying it all? It turns into a lover’s spat so Nagahide had to put her foot down. Nagamasa ‘threatens’ her to think about it if she wants to save Dousan. Also, if she makes an enemy out of his clan, she will fall. Nobuna’s subjects discuss about the political marriage. Though Nagahide agrees to the marriage if the clan’s only interest is conquering Japan, but in terms of her as a princess she is definitely against it because women are not tools of conquest. Yoshiharu goes off to confront Nagamasa. He says if he is going to enter into a political marriage, at least tell her he loves her. However he notes that lying will only be worse because for a female ruler, you can’t stay as a woman if you are to survive civil wars. Yoshiharu has promised Nobuna he’ll help her achieve her dream of conquest and love so at least he could fulfil this one. However Nagamasa tells him straight he does not love Nobuna and never will. Yoshiharu is going to punch him but is held back by Inuchiyo. If he lets his emotions get the better and hit him, there’ll be a war.

Nagamasa returns for an answer and Nobuna is stammering to give one. Yoshiharu cuts in between them and isn’t going to hand Nobuna over to him. What he meant was he’s not going to make her his slave. Her other subjects stand up to protect Nobuna. I guess the marriage is off. Nagamasa hopes they won’t regret it. After he leaves, Mitsuhide arrives. Nobuna is worried about Dousan but in the carriage is only his daughter, Kichou. Mitsuhide hands her a farewell letter from Dousan. He is being realistic about life. Every man will die someday and he is happy Nobuna will carry on his dream. Nobuna is on the verge of breaking down but before she is about to order reinforcements, Katsuie knocks her out. Yoshiharu still wants reinforcements to be sent but Katsuie knows the risk of Imagawa attacking. Yoshiharu will be the reinforcement. Along with Goemon and a few men, they sail to where Goemon is. He catches Dousan before he leads his last charge. He tries to tell him the sadness Nobuna will be if he dies. He throws it back to him, Nobuna will be even sadder if Yoshiharu dies. Because he is from the future, he understands her dream and is her only hope. A dream of only one person is nothing but ambition. A dream is a dream because you share it with someone. Just like déjà vu, he’s pushing that fate thingy back onto Yoshiharu’s shoulders to lead Nobuna for him. He’s fine with that. Only thing is he is going to bring him back too. So I guess Dousan has no choice but to set sail with him. But they’re like sitting ducks sailing through the canyon because Yoshitatsu’s army is firing at them from above. So what now? Don’t ask Yoshiharu. The game didn’t turn out like this. Relying on heaven’s luck, no? I guess it was really lucky that some of them got out. When they reach land, Yoshitatsu’s army arrive on horse. Just when they thought they are done for, here comes Nobuna and her entire Owari army. They drive Yoshitatsu’s army back. Yoshiharu is appalled that the rest didn’t stop her and leave Owari unguarded. Well, they did but she insisted. Yoshiharu gets a slap for worrying her and leaving her all alone. That’s the thanks he gets for saving an old man. Just like one nightmare after next, it is reported that the Imagawa army has invaded Owari.

Episode 4
Nobuna could even joke it’s the end for her since Owari does mean ‘end’. Before Yoshiharu could give his plan (and confident she can win it since it’s written in history), Nobuna fires him. That’s for being selfish and leaving her. She slaps him and calls him a liar and all talk only since he promised to make her dream come trueYasutomo Asahina and Motoyasu are leading Imagawa’s attack and are attacking on all fronts. Slowly all castles under Owari are falling. Nobuna has since locked herself in her room while Yoshiharu feels guilty that he is indeed all talk only. But Dousan also tells him he saved others. Asking Yoshiharu about Nobuna’s chances of defeating Imagawa, in history it is only after winning this battle that she’ll truly become a conqueror. But that future is only true when Dousan is dead, right? He changed the future to save Nobuna from suffering so how certain is he that she will still win? Noting Nobuna is a genius and has perhaps realized this and decided not to take him into battle she has no hope of winning. Remember what she said about the people she loves dies? The only way she could show him how she felt was by firing him. Yoshiharu explains his love for period games. He is so happy to learn history and could help everyone. Maybe that changed the future but because he knew that history, he was able to save Dousan. So there is only one thing left he could do. Along with Inuchiyo, Goemon and a bunch of loyal men, Yoshiharu heads off to Okehazama to find Yoshimoto’s location and report it back to Nobuna. However he is dismayed to see Okehazama a mountain and not a flat plain. They can’t launch a sneak attack if it’s a mountain. Did the future change? If so, he might have followed the wrong route and will lead to a bad end! Suddenly before him are Nobusumi and his harem. No time to be jealous. He wants to help out and points out there is a part of Okehazama which is flat. True enough, Yoshimoto is resting in her camp while giving orders for her troops to soldier on despite being advised their force has suffered heavy casualties.

Yoshiharu wants Nobusumi and his girls to buy time by serving the Imagawa forces drinks so they could return and report to Nobuna. However they are being ambushed by Imagawa’s ninja force. Yoshiharu is reluctant to leave his followers behind but somebody needs to tell Nobuna. Don’t worry, they’ll stay alive. One of the ninjas, Hanzou Hattori tails Yoshiharu and surprisingly the kid is able to dodge his shurikens. Of course he can’t dodge them all and got hit by one. Bleeding and wounded, he can’t give up now that he has dragged everyone into this fight. So he does what he does best: Tell history. He tells Hanzou, Yoshimoto will never let Motoyasu have Mikawa (Hanzou is Motoyasu’s ninja). If Motoyasu wants to split, this is her chance because Nobuna will defeat Imagawa and the battle of Okehazama will end in her victory. Hanzou doesn’t believe him and holds his sickle to his neck. Yoshiharu further says Nobuna will form an alliance with Motoyasu. Hanzou decides to take this gamble and lets him live. Otherwise he will return someday to kill him. Imagawa forces are making headway in their invasion and Nobuna is still cooked up in her room while her retainers are divided. Suddenly Yoshiharu limps in and Nobuna is shocked to see the monkey covered in blood. He tells her he has found Yoshimoto’s camp with approximately 5,000 guards. They are resting and completely cut off from the rest of their forces and that Nobusumi and his girls are stalling them. The rest is up to her to decide. He’ll shut up and follow. Nobuna rallies her army and orders a full force invasion at Okehazama. She makes a stop at a shrine to pray for victory and she seems confident that this rainstorm will be the perfect cover for their ambush. Aren’t the Gods mad? Not if you’re Nobuna. Yoshimoto’s soldiers are drunk and she realizes Nobusumi and co are nowhere to be seen. Suddenly Nobuna and her troops appear from the mountain top and charge straight into the camp. Yoshimoto’s forces are taken by surprise as most of them are drunk. Katsuie reaches Yoshimoto first and is going to kill her despite Yoshimoto pleading for her life. Katsuie is stopped by Yoshiharu who is fondling her breasts. WTF?! He can’t let a cute girl like that die. She agrees to let Yoshimoto live as long as he stops fondling her. Now she’s tainted… Yoshiharu uses his charms to persuade Yoshimoto to surrender. I guess she got taken in by her cute girl statement and decides to abide by him to make him look good. With Yoshimoto’s forces scattered, the once strongest forces in the east fell from power. Nobuna thanks Yoshiharu and he wants his reward. Yeah, here it comes. A kick and step to his face! That’s for fondling Katsuie’s boobs. And another for letting Yoshimoto off because she’s cute. Sometimes being too kind doesn’t pay.

Episode 5
Motoyasu now aligns herself with Nobuna. But as Yoshiharu notes, destroying Imagawa barely got her any territory and she’s trying to bribe them with food. Even so, Yoshiharu wants his reward. He wants the prettiest girl in Japan! At least he’s not afraid to say it. Nobuna and her army get lost in the mist and see stacks of stone. Yoshiharu remembers something like this from Romance of the Three Kingdoms and realize this is a trap set by the brilliant strategist Koumei Shokatsu. The trap is to lure them into the swamp and flood it with river water. Yoshiharu orders Goemon to destroy all the stones. Hanbei Takenaka decides not to flood the area nothing that his master prefers to avoid bloodshed. As narrated, no matter how much Nobuna advances into Mino and fights, she has lost every battle. Dousan mentions of a secret genius strategist in Mino. Before he could say his name, Yoshiharu upstages him and mentions Hanbei’s name. His reward for this late mention lands him a kick by Nobuna. Should’ve said this a long time ago. So the task now is to get Hanbei on their side. Yoshiharu once more volunteers himself to go get Hanbei (so he can get his prettiest girl reward). Mitsuhide seems pessimistic about his chances but Dousan believes in him and sends Mitsuhide to guide Yoshiharu there. However the thing that surprises Yoshiharu about Hanbei is that he’s an onmyouji. Outside his house, they are greeted by Morinari Andou, one of Yoshitatsu’s retainers and Hanbei’s uncle. Though he regrets he should’ve gone with Dousan since now Yoshitatsu is hard to get along, he warns they’re going to need more than words to convince Hanbei. But look who is here too. It’s Nagamasa and his intention is the same. He is also confident with Hanbei on his side, he will get Nobuna to marry him and has already sent wedding invitations to all the rulers. That’s light counting your chickens before they hatch, right? Of course Yoshiharu won’t give her to him so it’ll be a showdown who gets Hanbei.

Hanbei appears before them and he knows their background and intention very well. He shows them 4 buns. One of them is correct and the first one to eat him wins. But beware. One is poison. Unfair? They should be brave enough to stake their lives for the winner gets him. Yoshiharu grabs one first but turns out to be extremely spicy. Not wanting to lose, Nagamasa grabs one but it’s filled with wasabi. Down to two, they each grab one but it turns out to be rock. Hanbei transforms into a fox and clearly notes they have been deceived. Suddenly Inuchiyo kills him! Oh sh*t! I know monsters are supposed to be exterminated but she just killed the genius strategist! She snoops around and in a hidden compartment sees a little girl cowering in fear. Guess who? She is the real Hanbei! OMG! This shy, cry-baby and weak loli is the strategist?! The guy they just interacted is Zenki, her double. Because Hanbei is talented, she is often bullied so he took her place. She has this habit of angering people to see if they are mean to her. Yoshitatsu is fed up of waiting for Hanbei because as a retainer Hanbei should face his ruler and not go into hiding. He sends Andou to prison. So Zenki mentions Yoshitatsu’s plan to make Hanbei appear otherwise one by one his retainers will be executed. Nagamasa suggests letting Andou die and make Hanbei hate Yoshitatsu. This will make her attack Inabayama castle to avenge her uncle’s death and at the same time Mino will fall to him as well as Nobuna. However Yoshiharu refuses to accept that because he won’t do anything to make a girl sad. Goemon’s reconnaissance indicates Andou is fine in prison so Yoshiharu wants Mitsuhide and Inuchiyo to go rescue him while they buy time with Hanbei. But Hanbei feels dishonourable to deceive Yoshitatsu and feels he will understand if she tells the truth.

Everybody is shock to see Hanbei a little girl. What’s more, she is apologizing profusely each time she things she said something wrong. Yoshitatsu will only return Andou once he no longer suspects her of treason. She assures she won’t betray him but he doesn’t believe her words. Because she had multiple chances to defeat the Oda clan but let them escape. It’s a job of a strategist to slay the enemy! Now it’s Yoshiharu’s turn to tell him off. Enemies can return and attack but do they not realize the fear of soldiers who run? Thus attacking is useless. That’s why she allowed the enemy to live and one. However Yoshitatsu points that this makes her a far dangerous person. She may not have any intention to rebel but she still has the capability. Yoshiharu reminds him that a true lord uses the best men he can find to rule his country. He irks Yoshitatsu when he mentions Dousan’s name so Yoshitatsu orders to kill them. He sees the family crest Nagamasa bears and realizes who he is. Nagamasa defects to Yoshitatsu side saying Yoshiharu’s plan was to use Hanbei to assassinate him. He blames Yoshiharu for making this worse himself so now he’ll just join with Mino and take Nobuna himself. Unfortunately Yoshitatsu has no interest in that. He wants Nagamasa captured alive and doesn’t care what happens to the monkey. A smoke screen fills the place and Goemon reports they have rescued Andou. Yoshitatsu has Hanbei in his hands and plans to make her his concubine. He needs her power to surpass his father and conquer Japan. Hanbei got so scared that she releases several familiars and attack the place. Just like that, they captured Inabayama castle, no? Because she used too many spells, she falls into a fever. Yoshiharu is willing to abandon the castle just to get her treated. Later Hanbei is cured and she thought he should’ve ignored her. But Yoshiharu notes Nobuna wouldn’t want to get the castle that way. She is an important person to him and wants to let her shine while protecting her. Hanbei is taken in by his earnest words and because she can leave this idiot all alone, she serves not the Oda clan but Yoshiharu as her master.

Episode 6
As narrated, Sunomata is a strategic place and building a castle here means Mino will be as good as yours. However it is situated too close to Inabayama castle and any attempt to build anything there will be quickly met with overwhelming force. Still, Nobuna wants to build a castle there despite Dousan’s advice that she’ll be greeted with pile of bodies. Seeking Hanbei’s advice, she also believes one who controls Sunomata controls Mino and by doing the impossible can she prove herself worthy to rule. Nobuna is impressed that they think alike and wants her to drop that monkey and serve her. But she has made a vow to serve Yoshiharu so she is okay with it since Hanbei will help Yoshiharu and in turn that monkey will help her. To Yoshiharu’s dismay, she leaves the building of the castle to Katsuie. She doesn’t want anybody to think the monkey is being given special treatment. I mean, after Okehazama’s victory and Hanbei’s defection, some people may be jealous of him getting all the glory. Yoshitatsu tries to rally his soldiers who are having low morale after Hanbei’s defect. He even forbids his retainers, Inaba and Ujiie to say Dousan’s name because they suggest it would be best for them to ally with Nobuna. Yoshitatsu won’t forgive the humiliation that Dousan chose Nobuna and not him. Yoshitatsu receives report that a castle is being built at Sunomata so he sends his force to wipe them out. Katsuie has no choice but to abandon her mission. I guess now it’s up to Yoshiharu, eh? Still don’t want him to go? Worried? Yeah, he always does something crazy. But it’s just not reckless crazy. He has a plan. There won’t be a problem if they build a castle overnight. In a single night? Even Rome was impossible. I guess there’s no other way so Nobuna hands him her gourd, a symbol he is the general to lead her army for the construction. Yoshiharu realizes Hideyoshi conquered Japan under the symbol of the gourd as in history. He vows not to let that happen. Nobuna has an additional order for him: Come back alive. Yoshitatsu is being told Nobuna has taken almost her entire army to Kisogawa and thought she has abandoned Sunomata. He gives Inaba and Ujiie 2,000 men to go fight her as part of his plan. But it is also part of Nobuna’s plan to act as a decoy because with Yoshitatsu’s forces leaving Inabayama castle, this will give Yoshitatsu enough time to construct the castle under their noses. Besides, Yoshitatsu used modern construction tactics by building materials elsewhere and then carrying it to the place. Saves time and energy. All you need to do is to just put it up.

Nobuna receives report that Yoshitatsu’s men are moving strangely. Realizing they are holing up at an abandoned gold mine, she knows it is a plan to lure them in. The most important thing is to act as a decoy and the castle’s construction. So they take the bait and it will be bad if they’re surrounded now. Suddenly Inaba and Ujiie lead the attack head on as both sides clash. The duo think this is part of Yoshitatsu’s plan to act as a decoy as Yoshitatsu will attack from behind with the main force. Unknown to them, that reinforcement will not come because Yoshitatsu plans to sacrifice them. As the fighting rages on, both sides realize something is wrong. Yoshitatsu’s force isn’t coming and that only Inaba and Ujiie’s men are fighting. Nobuna realizes too late when the entire gold mine bursts into flames. Nowhere to run. Dawn arrives and Yoshitatsu revels in his victory that Nobuna is dead. Counting his chickens, isn’t he? Suddenly a surprising report that a castle has been constructed at Sunomata. Can’t believe it? See for yourself. It’s standing right there! He sends his troops to take it down but with Hanbei’s strategy, they manage to keep them at bay and hope to hold out till Nobuna will return. Inaba and Ujiie face off with Nobuna and though realized they’ve been abandoned, they are going to die with honour and take her along. However Nobuna chides them for thinking about death and should think about living. She then orders her men to gather all the gunpowder they can fight. She fights fire with fire, blasting away the fire to make a hole enough for them to get out and gallop back to Sunomata. Inaba and Ujiie are impressed with her and can see why Andou and Hanbei joined her. The battle at Sunomata is taking its toll. Yoshiharu’s side can’t hold on any longer but he is confident she’ll come back. Suddenly the enemy fires at him but Goemon uses her body to protect him. Too late to regret now. Nobuna arrives but is devastated to see her castle up in flames. A moment too late? Where is her monkey? She’s so concerned about him. Is he done for? Not yet. She sees him waving the gourd and gets her confidence back and orders her troops to charge on. Yoshitatsu can’t believe Nobuna is still alive and what’s more, Inaba and Ujiie have defected with some of his troops. They are being routed as they speak. Nagamasa thought he could take advantage in this confusion by leading his army to attack but was stopped dead in his tracks by Nagahide. She has orders to even kill him if he tries to interfere.

Though the battle is won, Yoshiharu laments Goemon’s death when she suddenly springs back up to life. A ninja wears chainmail armour, right? She’s just knocked out for the moment and it was good to make Yoshiharu experience losing something precious. He couldn’t care about that and hugs her in his relief, bringing ire to those lolicons, I mean, Goemon loyalists. With Yoshitatsu captured, Mino is now under Nobuna’s territory and Inabayama has been renamed to Gifu castle. Yoshitatsu wants Nobuna to kill him because as long as he lives, he will fight her. Dousan even agrees but Nobuna won’t do that and wants them to enjoy their retired lives together. Father and son won’t even look into each other’s eye. Dousan calls her a fool because this naivety will cause her life one day. It’s her decision anyway so she frees Yoshitatsu and lets him walk. Later Yoshiharu talks to Dousan. He is moping that because of him, she left herself an enemy. Yoshiharu points out she doesn’t want him to carry the sin of killing his son. Dousan notes he should’ve been dead and not worthy to be her father. Yoshiharu wants him to look outside and says he is the only father she has got left. Dousan looks out at the Gifu town and sees it light up to resemble a snake. He realizes the name of Gifu bears the meaning of stepfather.

Episode 7
The capital Kyoto has fallen. Even the Ashikaga shogun and Muromachi shogunate which has ruled the area for 240 years has been destroyed by the Miyoshi Three who have been expanding their powers lately. There Nobuna goes complaining about her plans to march into Kyoto up in smokes. Yoshiharu thought he could use his future prediction again even if the shoguns are assassinated, the brother Yoshiaki is still alive and she can make him the shogun and march into the capital for any reason she wants. However the ladies point out the shogun Yoshiteru Ashikaga isn’t assassinated and that they have a little sister and not a brother. This makes Yoshiharu realize the change in history. If so, he is deemed useless if he can’t predict! Now it’s Mitsuhide’s turn to shine. Quipping that even ‘monkeys fall from trees’, she suggests to make captured Yoshimoto as the next shogun as she carries the blood of Ashikaga. They can use her and march into the capital. Before they could start, once more that pest Nagamasa seeks an audience with Nobuna. He thinks they should form an alliance but Nobuna is not cowed. She isn’t even bothered with him. Since he has told everybody they’re going to wed, if that plan falls apart, he’ll be a laughing stock. Not that she cares either. Like a sudden fall from grace, Nagamasa starts begging! He can’t return home if they don’t get married. Well, she can give him her sister. She has a sister? I guess he is desperate enough to accept. Yoshiharu thought it was the beautiful Oichi but it turns out to be Nobusumi in disguise! WTF?! This is fraud! All is fine as long he’s not found out. FRAUD!!! And he didn’t even know what hit him. Yoshiharu won’t be fooled with suck trickery and pesters Nobuna about his pretty girl reward. She tells him to wash up and get ready for tonight. Yeah, tonight is the big night. He is anxiously waiting which pretty girl will show up. Could it be busty Katsuie? The seductive Nagahide? Mitsuhide isn’t bad either. Though someone as elegant as Yoshimoto would be better, he didn’t discount Nobuna too. Wow. He can’t wait. And wait no more because here comes his pretty girl… Drum roll please… HERE SHE IS… NENE!!! This is his pretty girl reward? Nene wants him to be her onii-chan? He’s been bamboozled. FRAUD!!!

As Nobuna’s forces march her way to the capital, Yoshiharu and the lolis went ahead first to see Kyoto decimated. Ever since the shogun’s downfall, the place has become lawless with bodies everywhere and the living in misery. Hanbei suggests Yoshimoto should head to Yamato Palace where Himeko is waiting as she is the head of Yamato court while she and Goemon gather information. Unknown to Yoshiharu and Inuchiyo, they save a miko priestess who is Himeko from bandits. Meanwhile the antagonists behind the downfall of the shogunate, Sakihisa Konoe (the imperial advisor who controls nobility and politics behind the scenes), Soukyuu Tsuda (a merchant of Sakai who would do anything for money) and Gousei Shoukakuin (a master priest who hates foreigners) discuss about Himeko’s disappearance and their efforts will be in vain if Himeko is missing. They send Hisahide Danjo Matsunaga, the witch who will not bat an eyelid to rebel, to find and retrieve Himeko. Yoshiharu follows Himeko around as she is dismayed at the devastation of the place. They see a foreign nun, Louise Frois (her big boobs must be the main attraction for Yoshiharu) and her little sidekick, Bontenmaru (I though it’s mini Nobuna with an eye-patch) being surrounded by ruffians. Since preaching for peace won’t work, there’s only the hard way. Frois says she is a missionary from Portugal doing missionary work in Japan. She thought of seeing the court to get permission to take her mission throughout Japan but was turned away since Europeans are not allowed near the court. She thought of meeting Himeko because since they both are servants of God, she thought she would understand. Her wish (as with God’s) is to end wars and make nations live in peace. I’m sure as long as she doesn’t give up, it’ll come true. So says Yoshiharu. Nobuna and her subjects discuss their plan to invade castles after castles. However she prefers to send them a surrender notice and even offers them to escape if they won’t. She won’t have unnecessary bloodshed.

Konoe is upset that there are those who ran away and won’t fight to their very last lives to delay Nobuna’s march towards Kyoto. Together with the ruler of Echizen, Yoshikage Asakura they discuss their next move. Yoshikage takes an interest in Yoshimoto and would like to make her his. Konoe isn’t pleased because if she becomes the shogun, everything they’ve done will be for naught. If only they have Takeda and Uesugi on their side, they have a chance against Nobuna but it’ll take time as she’ll reach the capital first. Yoshikage will withdraw his men for now and set fire to Kyo. If it delays her, Takeda and Uesugi may get there. He also has reinforcements in a guy who hates Nobuna more than anything. Even underneath that mask, I’m sure that bushy moustache gave him away. It’s you right, Yoshitatsu? Himeko is appalled at the nation’s suffering and knowing Yoshiharu is from the future, asks him if this is what the future is like. Will there be a world with happy people? Yoshiharu is confident that Nobuna can do it. If she unites Japan, she’ll make a new world. Suddenly Yoshiharu and Inuchiyo feel sleepy and are knocked out. It is Danjo and she is here to bring Himeko back. She is going to kill the duo and give an excuse she’s been abducted by bandits. But Himeko doesn’t want her to lay her hands on them and will return. Once Yoshiharu wakes up and reunite with Hanbei and Goemon, they can tell he has been attacked by something supernatural though he can’t really remember. Once Yoshiharu escorts Himeko back to her palace, he realizes who she is. Finally Nobuna marches into the capital, regains its control and restores security to the land.

Episode 8
Konoe has ordered the impossible task of 120,000 kan (copper coins) delivered or else he won’t accept Yoshimoto as shogun. So what the hell are Nobuna and Yoshiharu doing in Sakai while the rest of her forces are battling Miyoshi? Even Katsuie is beginning to have her bout with Yoshitatsu and the Oda forces are having a hard time since the enemy is using elephants to trample over them! As narrated, Sakai is a very rare place in Japan not affected by the civil war and neutral. Trade between east and west are flourishing and the place is ruled by 36 merchants known as Egoushuu. The one leading them is Soukyuu Imai (no relation to Tsuda) and he is the man Nobuna and Yoshiharu seek to negotiate about the kan in her quest to unite Japan. Despite the Oda clan being splendid customers, he can’t accommodate them because 120,000 kan would bankrupt him. However if they split it among the Egoushuu it would be possible. Unfortunately that would also be tough seeing some of them don’t like him (especially Tsuda) as he is monopolizing the takoyaki stands. Mitsuhide reports the bad news that Konoe will not give further time for his demand. Nobuna is okay with that seeing she saw this coming. Mitsuhide wants to help to make amends for her failure so Nobuna asks for any suggestions to get the money. Burn down Sakai and chase away all the merchants! However she gets chided for that. This is a place where east and west meet. Everyone here is filled with life. Someday she’ll turn Japan into this because Sakai has true freedom this country never had. She will protect this place and destroying is out of the question. Mitsuhide reflects on herself and notes how her mother was the only one who praised her talents till Nobuna came along. She can’t fail again and will unite Japan with Nobuna.

Nobuna has an audience with all the Egoushuu. Tsuda notes the many enemies Oda has left and even knows this impossible task is Konoe’s way of refusing to accept her. Though Imai values her for caring about Sakai, Tsuda tells him to sell his takoyaki stand if that’s the case. He’ll buy it for 120,000 kan. Nobuna agrees and will sell something suitable to the palates of the Sakai people. She leaves this task to Yoshiharu. This doesn’t sit well with Mitsuhide as she pleads to Nobuna to give her a chance. Tsuda also will have Mitsuhide make something so this turns out into a competition. Tsuda will bet on Mitsuhide while Imai will bet on Yoshiharu. The winner gets the top position in Egoushuu. If Tsuda wins, he’ll buy Mitsuhide’s dish for 120,000 kan which isn’t a bad deal. Yoshiharu also thinks this isn’t a bad deal because whoever wins, they’ll still get 120,000 kan. However Mitsuhide is serious and vows not to lose to that monkey. She goes on ranting about her gratefulness to her mother (who is in hospital right now) and slashing everyone who stands in her way. Yoshiharu discuss the dish he is supposed to make and Imai could guess it is takoyaki because it is something that Tsuda too would make Mitsuhide make. He knows his goal has always been to join Egoushuu and get monopoly on takoyaki and the plan of using Oda was to ensure he benefits big from them all. For Imai, his instinct has him trust Nobuna that she will unite Japan. Konoe is horrified Tsuda made this decision because it would mean he will have to accept the new shogun. The rest remind him they are his allies and not servants. Tsuda chose the one who would make him more money. Likewise Shoukakuin will be just happy to drive out all the foreigners. Yoshiharu sees Frois to get some ideas. She has a feeling he is from the future and they talk about the peace they have in that era. Yoshiharu thinks it was human power like Nobuna who made that future possible. While looking for mayonnaise for his salad, suddenly the idea hits him. Meanwhile the Oda forces are losing ground and if not for Hanbei’s intervention to set fire to scare the elephants, they would not have sent the enemy retreating. The Miyoshi forces fled to Shikoku and Danjo goes missing.

Takoyaki battle day has Nobuna the cute lively host as we see Yoshiharu-Goemon against Mitsuhide-Inuchiyo team. The winner gets 120,000 kan while the loser goes to prison at Gifu. Yikes! Never heard that last bit! Mitsuhide makes a great start with all the best ingredients while Yoshiharu seems to be flopping. I don’t even know what he is making. Goemon made the fire a little too strong and nearly burnt everything. Yoshiharu hits upon another idea as he uses oil to make fried takoyaki. In the end, it doesn’t turn out appetizing. Even Nobuna made a statement that sounds so perverted. “It’s dark, hard and got this white gooey stuff splashed on it”. That white stuff is mayonnaise, missus. But when they pop it into their mouths, they start crying and the exquisite taste! Not wanting to lose, Mitsuhide pours miso sauce over hers. Doesn’t look as appetizing either. Just as it looks, it tastes awful. Those aren’t tears of joy. What the heck are they eating exactly? They note all the ingredients were perfect but she rushed in and ruined it. At the end, the Egoushuu votes Mitsuhide as the winner. As everyone knows, Tsuda has used lots of money to get the votes and leave the miso off when served to the customers. Imai agrees to the deal but wants the fried takoyaki. He is confident once Nobuna reunites Japan, Sakai will be his again. Mitsuhide is ecstatic with the win and doesn’t care how one-sided it was as long she has won. Then she wants Nobuna to give the orders to send Yoshiharu to dungeons but instead, Nobuna had this disappointed look on her face and just tells her to take the 120,000 kan to Konoe. She is left stunned that her comrades call her the worse. Konoe can’t believe he has to accept the new shogun but Yoshikage hints if there is ONLY a new shogun to accept. You know where this is leading to, right? So Konoe sends assassin Zenjuubou Sugitani for a job.

Episode 9
Yoshimoto revels in her new position as shogun. Nobuna and the rest discuss the outcome of the battle and especially Mitsuhide’s attitude at the end of the competition. Yoshiharu doesn’t mind about it since she was just too serious but the rest don’t view her cheating too lightly. Yoshiharu fears this would isolate Mitsuhide further and more likely push her to a snapping point. He vows to stop the Honnouji event from occurring. Mitsuhide apologizes to Imai but he is okay with it since it’s a game and she should be apologizing to Yoshiharu. Because she believes in a battle for promotion, there is no point if one doesn’t win, Imai points out that’s where she is wrong. To Nobuna, her retainers are like family and she doesn’t want to see them putting each other down. When Mitsuhide mentions that there’s a difference between family and retainer, he says she was just lucky. Unlike her who was loved by her mother, Nobuna was hated by hers. She put on a cheery face so as not to worry those around her. News reach Nobuna that Takeda and Uesugi have stopped fighting and make peace. With 50,000 strong army with them, it will be a threat to Nobuna. However Yoshiharu starts panicking because in history those 2 aren’t supposed to be allies. Is history starting to turn in a direction he doesn’t know? Was he responsible for the chance? How will he help Nobuna in her conquest now? The only way left is to trust himself. He tries to persuade that Takeda-Uesugi alliance is impossible and that a new era of shogunate is about to begin. However she is still bent on withdrawing forces so Yoshiharu said too much that they need to hold strong. Nobuna gets emotional and never thought he would say that. She can’t rule Japan if she abandons the people she cares since Dousan is in Mino and her mother in Owari. She dismisses Yoshiharu and doesn’t want to see his face again. Nobuna’s main forces led by Katsuie and Nagahide leave the capital leaving only a small guard in Kyo guarding Yoshimoto. Of course this is a trap set by Konoe as now he will have Danjo and her forces to deliver Yoshimoto alive. They also talk about Mitsuhide and the ‘interesting’ girl she is.

Yoshiharu feels guilty having said too much. He realized Nobuna is just a girl and all he thought was what she should do as a general. He needs to do more than just let her rule Japan and being a demon doesn’t suit her. Suddenly he is knocked out by Zenjuubou. Mitsuhide thought Nobuna hates her since she assigns her to protect Yoshimoto, leaving her all alone in the capital. She explains they can’t abandon Kyo but can’t take her back with them too. Nobuna is looking for Yoshiharu when she learns from Inuchiyo that she heard he has been kidnapped. Yoshiharu finds himself tied to a tree as Zenjuubou explains he is bait to bring down Nobuna. He’ll kill them both in the end and won’t be bought over money because he prefers fame. His name will live on as the person who killed Nobuna who is on the verge of uniting Japan. He doesn’t care if it takes another 100 years to unite Japan because with peace abound, people like him will be out of a job. Hanzou reports to Katsuie and Nagahide that Takeda and Uesugi forces are not moving. Though it is true they made peace but everything else were lies. They realize they have been set up to draw the main forces away from the capital. Soon Danjo’s forces invade Kyo as Mitsuhide faces off with Danjo. Danjo finds out about her dreams to see Nobuna rule Japan. She got so ecstatic that she masturbated?! She would love to see the despair on her face when her dreams fall apart. She sets the temple on fire and hopes they will kill each other. Nobuna rides fast to Yoshiharu’s rescue not knowing that Zenjuubou is lying in wait to snipe her. Yoshiharu thinks hard and he remembers his iPad. Danjo uses her spell to make Mitsuhide sleepy so she stabs herself in the thigh to avoid falling for her illusions. However Danjo strikes the deathblow when she says an assassin is hired to kill Nobuna and that she is dead now. Mitsuhide falls for this and her heart sinks into despair.

However she hears Nobuna’s voice telling her to snap out of it. How did she? When Yoshiharu played the charging soldiers ringtone on his iPad (I wonder how he charged it), it distracted Zenjuubou and his shot missed. This saved Nobuna by a whisker. The assassin fled and they rescue Yoshiharu and rush back here. Despite being told that Mitsuhide is part of her family and shares her dream, Danjo tries to persuade this is just a dream. And she was actually going to believe it till Yoshiharu dives and saves her from her death strike and Nobuna fires a warning shot to Danjo not to interfere. Still not convinced? Yoshiharu pummels into her head to believe in Nobuna. She needs her. And if she ever finds herself uncertain again, just remember the burning flames of Kiyomizu temple and how Nobuna appeared. The tables have turned for Danjo. So they think. She claims her wish is to see this country burn to the ground as her forces storm in to surround them. Can the little group win against her now? Yoshiharu thinks they can? They’re not alone because they’ve got Bontenmaru, the armies Frois, Justo Dom Takayama and Joachin Konishi coming to their aid. Danjo realizes these people are like her. Hated and with no place in this country. Seeing that Nobuna is different and that she can actually unite Japan, Danjo immediately surrenders. A few days later, Yoshimoto is officially declared as shogun as Nobuna speaks with Himeko (Konoe perhaps now reduced to a disgruntled minister by her side). Konoe tries to sow distrust in Himeko towards Nobuna and though it’s true she doesn’t know what’s in her heart, she knows Yoshiharu is a good man. You see, she has this ability to see and read the hearts of those she touches. If his feelings for her burn so brightly, she is confident Nobuna is a good person as well. Perhaps Himeko gave extra information for Nobuna to be careful because she warns Yoshiharu likes only girls and his head is filled with them. Finally she asks why she didn’t become shogun herself. She wants freedom. To remove the idea of ‘position’ from this country and show that she can choose her own future and life. But why does she feel like that? Looking back at Yoshiharu, she says it is for her dream. Himeko hopes her dream will come true.

Episode 10
The only provinces that haven’t send a messenger to the shogunate are Echizen and Wakasa. With Danjo on their side, the rest get to know about the conspirators. Also noted is Asakura is allied with Asai clan as Nobuna Kanjuurou is in Asai. Yoshiharu remembers in history about Nobunaga attacking Asakura in Echizen. But Nobuna surprises him that she’ll attack Wakasa. She has Mitsuhide take the lead while it’s Yoshiharu’s turn to stay watch at Kyo. Before Mitsuhide leaves, she gives Yoshiharu a charm and reminds their mission to help Nobuna conquer Japan. Meanwhile Nobusumi can’t believe he has to sneak into bath in the women’s bath. He sees Nagamasa bathing and I guess it’s out that the wife is actually a guy. Nobusumi is cool in revealing he is a guy but he gets shock of his life to see Nagamasa having boobs! OMG! Nagamasa is a woman?! Nagamasa thought Nobuna knew she was a woman and sent a man to marry her. Nobusumi doubts it. On why Nagamasa acts like a man, she says her father will never allow a female ruler. Thus she was stopped being a woman and became a man. Otherwise she will have to go to Rokkaku as hostage. That’s why Nagamasa became bitter when she abandoned being a woman. She would seduce and use them but Nobusumi says that’s not necessary. Since they’re married, they’ll keep this a secret between them and wants her to act as a woman in front of him. Nene pays a visit to Yoshiharu and the other lolis who are treating Hanbei. She got sick after using too much of her powers to douse the flames at Kiyomizu. Also, Nobuna sent her so he won’t go flirting. Damn. As they talk, Yoshiharu says he was confident Nobuna would have attacked Echizen. Because in the game when she does, this would cause problems for Asai so they betrayed her behind her back and her forces cut off from Kyo. Hanbei is shocked and tells Yoshiharu that Nobuna’s real intention was to surprise attack Echizen as soon as she enters Wakasa. So if Asai cuts off her line of retreat, she’ll be caught in between and be annihilated. They need to tell Nobuna about this and find out what Nagamasa is doing. Since Hanbei is too weak, she sends Zenki in her place. Meanwhile Nagamasa’s father regains control of his clan by imprisoning his daughter (or his son) until he slays Nobuna. He doesn’t want Nobuna to rule Japan but Nagamasa.

Yoshiharu chances upon Nobusumi running away. He throws him a pouch he wants Yoshiharu to bring to Nobuna. Nagamasa is thrown into prison and Nobusumi can’t abandon him so he’s going back. Yoshiharu reaches Nobuna’s camp and tells her Asai has betrayed her and to retreat. She finds it hard to believe because Kanjuurou is married there. Giving her the pouch, he felt he was careless because he let his guard down when she decided to attack Wakasa. A report comes in that the Asakura forces are making their way here and their famous sister warriors, Naoki and Naozumi Magara are part of the pack. Nobuna wants her army to retreat while she stays behind to delay the forces. However they know death is only waiting for her if she does that. What will she do? Surrender? She is willing to give up her conquest as it’s not worth everyone’s life. But a betrayal of this size means they’re out for her head. Nagahide tells her she has no choice but to order a retainer to guard the rear. Order them to die. She can’t do that. Who else is up to the task? Yoshiharu will do it. I guess he needs to do a little storytelling to convince her. If he hadn’t met her, he would’ve died somewhere alone. Now that he helped her to conquer Japan, he is able to look forward in life and not backwards. If she’s dead, his life in this world is over. He gives her his iPad and wants her to do her best so that his future will not disappear. She is the only one who can destroy the old world and bring about the world he lives in. Nobuna gets emotional and calls him a liar since he promised to stay with her till her dream comes true. As pointed out, if she let others do it, they will die. But if he was called here as Hideyoshi’s replacement then it makes sense. Nobuna reminds us about everyone she loves dies so he promises not to do anything that will make her sad. He came to this time for her. If they both make it out alive, he’ll be taking the best prize in Japan. He wants a kiss from her. On the lips. That’s a promise.

Motoyasu and Mitsuhide stay back for a while to give their thanks to him. He needs them to live because they won’t have anybody left to rule the country after Japan is united. He goes on that Motoyasu will be the ruler once Japan is at peace and Mitsuhide will sail the seas with Nobuna. Hanzou stays behind on his own accord. The greatest retreat begins as Yoshiharu is given 500 men to delay the enemy the best he can. Yoshiharu deploys a firing tactic that scares the Asakura forces but they will return. Then he sends Goemon to run to Mino and get Dousan. If they scare Asai, their survival chances will increase. The soldiers and Goemon loyalists pledge their life to Yoshiharu. If they were only women I’m sure he would’ve preferred to get along with them. So now it’s on to their next phase as Yoshiharu orders his men to retreat. Nobuna and her army arrive at the treacherous Kutsuki Valley. If they pass here, it’s the home stretch. Nobuna feels guilty for ordering her monkey to his death and wants to go back. It took Inuchiyo a lot of courage to slap some senses into her because if she returns, there was no point of him staying. The army in Kutsuki Valley is seen charging in so Katsuie leads the forces to hold them off. Danjo points out another force in Odani castle, Mototsuna Kutsuki, the lord of this valley is an indecisive man. She will go try to persuade and bring him to their side. Nagahide tells Nobuna to drop everything she has and run. Just make sure she survives. Konoe and the conspirators are confident Nobuna won’t get out of this one alive. Nobuna gallops along and as she’s about to get back her confidence everything will turn out fine (because Yoshiharu has a clean record of never breaking his promise), suddenly she is shot off her horse.

Episode 11
Yoshiharu employs a fire-and-run tactic. He motivates the guys that they’ll be able to see Japan’s prettiest girls once they get home. Now do you have doubts making him the captain? As they retreat in the pitch black forest, Yoshitatsu attacks Yoshiharu but a man takes the spear in his place. Though reluctant, Yoshiharu has no choice but to run. Inuchiyo, Mitsuhide and Motoyasu turn back to go save Yoshiharu. Soon it becomes a competition between Asai and Asakura clan to see who can kill Yoshiharu first. More men die protecting Yoshiharu from enemies’ fire. Zenki and Hanzou note that because Yoshiharu is the hero of Sunomata, he is considered a general and have a high bounty on his head. They think they should kill Yoshiharu themselves. Yoshiharu wants to stay and fight to the death with his comrades but they remind him how Nobuna almost said the same thing but she chose to live. The men died protecting him but he wants to choose to die like a dog. Yoshiharu changes his mind that he wants to live but since he’s a greedy man, he wants everything else too. Yoshitatsu finds Yoshiharu so the latter pleads to let his men escape since he is the one he is looking for. Though he agrees, before Yoshitatsu could do anything, Hanzou drops a bomb right at Yoshiharu and blows him to bits! NOOOOOOO!!! Inuchiyo and the rest just return and saw this horrifying betrayal. Mitsuhide is engulfed in rage and charges at Yoshitatsu but was blown away by his cannon. Nene is taken to Nobuna’s room by Nagahide and Katsuie. Nobuna is still alive though she is in coma. Thanks to the iPad, it prevented the bullet from reaching her heart. The sniper Zenjuubou is baffled that Nobuna should have died instantly. He cowers in fear thinking that Heaven is protecting Nobuna. But Konoe doesn’t give a damn since Zenjuubou has done his role and it’s only a matter of time before Nobuna dies. The Asai-Asakura forces advance towards Kyo so Katsuie leads the Oda forces to defend from their enemies. If the enemy breaks through, it’s game over. Yoshiharu’s death finally reaches Nagahide’s ears but as Danjo points out, the problem is now Nobuna. There is no medicine that could cure the illness of the heart. But there is one way and that is to make her accept Yoshiharu’s death via some drug. The risk is that she may never awaken again so it’s a gamble.

Nobuna dreams she is in a western style marriage to Yoshiharu. Happiest day ever since all her friends and even her mom attended the wedding. Before they could kiss, suddenly everything changes. Her white bridal gown becomes a black mourning clothes and a coffin of Yoshiharu in front of her. She realizes Yoshiharu is dead and wakes up. She is told the truth about Yoshiharu being blown to bits so much so they couldn’t find his body parts. Another blow for Nobuna is that Mitsuhide has also died. Danjo smoothly tells her that the next course is to unite Japan by avenging those who have been taken from her. Nagahide didn’t like Danjo’s plan but she mentions she needs something other than Yoshiharu to keep her going. And that something is rage. Soon Nobuna even orders her army to attack peaceful Sakai. When the Asai forces see Nobuna leading her army, they realize they can’t win and retreat but Nobuna isn’t going to let them all live. With the Asakura forces along with Konoe and the conspirators fleeing to Hiei Mountain, Nobuna orders an immediate attack but was stopped by Katsuie and Nagahide to rethink her decision. That place is the centre of people’s faith and if they attack, the people will turn against them. Their quest to reunite Japan will be for nothing. Konoe knows they’ll stay safe in Hiei Mountain but it won’t be long before Oda forces surround them. Konoe sends Tsuda as the peace envoy to Nobuna. He also sends a gift and to everyone’s dismay, a head from a monkey’s statue is inside the box. The leader is a threat for Nobuna to go home or else she’ll have the heads of her previous retainers and family taken (Tsuda is unaware of this setting). Nobuna becomes angry and charges to Hiei Mountain for revenge, not heeding to Katsuie and Nagahide’s plea. Nagahide has no choice but to order her troops to standby to attack in groups and not alone.

Episode 12
Little does Nobuna know that she’s walking right into a trap set by Yoshikage. Nagahide and Danjo are fighting the enemy soldiers when Danjo comes up with a plan to burn the mountain down. Even if this means turning everyone in Japan against her, burn it. Even if only a demon could do such a heinous act, burn it because only a demon could end these wars. The fighting rages on and several explosion rocks the place throwing Nobuna off her horse. Hanbei recovers from her fever and learns about the situation. She knows Yoshiharu is not dead yet. Speaking of which, so is Mitsuhide! Hanbei explains a ninja technique whereby a real bomb is replaced with a smoke bomb and during the smoke, Yoshiharu hid in a hole dug earlier on. Thus Hanzou actually saved Yoshiharu. About him being blown to bits, that was Zenki taking his place. Hanzou could’ve dug Yoshiharu out faster had Motoyasu not return. Because Yoshitatsu attacked them, his priority is of course to protect his master. He must’ve dug himself out and headed for Kyo by now. Mitsuhide is searching for Yoshiharu and she made this retard sentence, “If you die first without my permission, I’ll kill you”. WTF. She finds the charm lying around and not too far, his body! Thank goodness he is still alive but barely breathing. Mitsuhide is jealous because he is speaking Nobuna’s name instead of hers in his dream. But he is getting colder by the second and the small fire won’t be enough to warm him up. How? HOW?! Well, there’s only one way. Take off your clothes for some body heat! Now they’re even.

Soon Hiei Mountain is set on fire and Shoukakuin is appalled to find out that crazy Konoe was the one who set it on fire to pin the blame on Nobuna. Yoshikage orders his troops to withdraw and hopes to meet Nobuna some other time. Nobuna reflects on Yoshiharu’s words that it’s wrong to fight out of revenge. In order to make a world where this won’t happen again, she must defeat Konoe. While the troops are running down the mountain, Nagahide decides to go where her princess is and Danjo, she’s simply interested where Nobuna will end up. Katsuie faces off with the Magara sisters and beats them before advancing to the top of Hiei Mountain. Tsuda and Shoukakuin are captured and brought to Hanbei down at Oda forces’ base. But she unties them because priority now is to put out the fire. Dousan is also back with the rest (including Nene). He sees Yoshiharu more important than his Mino territory because someday this boy will marry his daughter. Nobuna enters the temple but faces off with Yoshitatsu who is still seeking answers on why Dousan chose her. He mocks Yoshiharu and Mitsuhide dying for her for nothing but she disagrees. They are very much alive within her (the iPad) and that it is her duty as unifier to create a world where dreams are passed on. Yoshitatsu finally understands why she was chosen. But before they can continue their fight, Danjo, Nagahide and Katsuie are willing to take him on. Yoshitatsu tells Nobuna that Konoe is waiting up ahead. He wonders if he can kill him but the ladies aren’t worried a bit and have confidence in her. Nobuna meets Konoe at the main temple. We know their different ideals so get on with the fight. Konoe is going crazier by the second and though Nobuna is clearly more skilful with her sword and break his, Konoe stabs her with it. But she is still standing. Is she really chosen by the Heavens? Though with a couple of slashes, Nobuna doesn’t need to get her hand dirty and kill the bastard because the flaming temple pillar comes crashing down on him. Good riddance. So this is the reason why Nobuna was unscathed by Konoe’s stab: The iPad was there. Oh man! This is really one useful item!

Nobuna sits around thinking about things when she sees Yoshiharu running through the flames to reach her. Is this a dream? Hell if it was, just go and hug him first. So after all that why-did-you-leave-me-stupid worrisome-but-relieved act, she’s glad he’s back. Now for the kiss reward. I hope this isn’t why he rushed back here so energetically to remind her about this. Their lips were this close, THIS CLOSE to meeting when they realize their comrades are staring with glee (or disgust/jealousy if you’re Mitsuhide). She realizes this isn’t really a dream and turns on her full tsundere mode. Poor Yoshiharu gets kicked and kicked and kicked besides being called a perverted monkey among others. But it’s sure good to have him back. Meanwhile Hanbei has just finished setting up for a ritual. Thanks to Tsuda’s wealth that all his money can buy for the equipment. Hanbei prays to call for the rain as it washes away the fire. See, this is the quality you get for the amount of money you put in. Shoukakuin doesn’t despise Frois praying next to him and thanks her instead. Nobusumi and Nagamasa watch the fire being put out from their prison while Yoshitatsu leaves the battlefield. Nobuna and her forces return to a rousing welcome. But as narrated, though Nobuna’s greatest danger is gone, she still faces an uphill task to unite Japan and many enemies in her way. The civil war will continue. Dousan hopes Danjo had learnt her lesson not to play such tricks again so she notes how much he had changed too. Finally Nobuna and Yoshiharu renew their vow they’ll be together till her dream comes true.

History, Her Story…
Wow. Amazing. Awesome. I didn’t really expect to enjoy this series very much. I find it very engaging and drawn into it as each episode passes and each one of them stir in me a variety of emotions. Whether it is the support for Nobuna against her adversaries or some heart wrenching or nerve wrecking dramatic moments. You could say this is one of the very few Sengoku themes that I really enjoyed and certainly the best one in terms of Nobunaga being turned into a woman. The ending leaves us with a cliff-hanger and another potential dangerous Princess General that Nobuna will inevitably have to cross path and swords. So it is my hope that Nobuna’s ambition will be continued with another season. As said, the road to conquest is long and tough and it is not over by a long shot. Even some of the characters seem to have unfinished business like Yoshikage (whom I think will be the next villain if a sequel ever arises) and Yoshitatsu (that’s not the end of it since he is let off the hook for yet another time).

Nobuna may seem like a Princess General in general but deep down as we have seen, she is just a girl. During such times of war, it is hard for girls to just be themselves and they are thrust into the battlefield. I guess you could say that tsundere goes back a long way and Nobuna is one classic example when it comes to her Yoshiharu. She might be using excuses that he is her monkey or retainer but you can tell from her reaction that she likes him more than a monkey or retainer. That’s what makes her cute, don’t you think? Is it a wonder why Yoshiharu sticks with her? Okay, that and her personality the reason why her retainers continue to be loyal to her and other people flock to join her. She has this certain charm and attracting power that everyone sees her with the power to change the old Japan. So for a good part of this season we see how Nobuna gathers more and more allies and retainers into her clan. The best part is that she has never forced them (maybe with the exception of  Yoshiharu when they first met and making him her slipper retainer) and they join or defect at their own free will. They know, they see and they can feel that she is a winning bet. Only a handful of those who don’t agree with her views will turn out to be her enemies. Because she is a girl, we see Nobuna going through a roller coaster ride of emotions. At times she needs to be tough to set an example and sometimes she loses it. Sometimes she is kind but too kind that her enemies take advantage of it and she would risk losing the ones she loves. Sometimes she has to play the devil’s role and like they say, you have to be cruel to be kind. But thankfully Yoshiharu was always there to bring her back to the right path. I hope when she grows up, she doesn’t have a nervous breakdown after all the fighting and killing. Especially those ‘other emotions’ with Yoshiharu. Wink, wink.

Yoshiharu is an amazing boy himself. If I should say, I might say he is comparable to High School DxD’s Issei. They both have their lives turned upside down for the better once they enter a different world. They both have their high principals and ideals of justice that they stick to and in turn earn the respect of others. They both are loyal to their master and will go through thick and thin with them. And also, they’re both perverts. If this series was going to be ecchi themed and filled with fanservice, I think you’ll see more tits but I guess it is a good thing it wasn’t because it might be distasteful and I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I mentioned. So back to Yoshiharu, despite being honest he wants his harem, he doesn’t get that to his head and when he needs to get a job done, he does it his way, surprising everyone with his unconventional methods. After all, he is from the future so he makes use of his knowledge from his era and applies them here. As history gradually changes, he doesn’t rely too much on the outcome anymore. He realizes that with the power to change the future, he is going to ensure that the future is as peaceful and happy as he knows it. Like in many games these days, you don’t necessarily have to follow a strict linear route to reach the end. There are many other routes to take to arrive at the similar ending, if not, an ending that’s close enough. So I guess certain important people don’t have die or certain tragic events to happen for Japan to unite. He lays down his life for the one he cares without a second thought and despite admitting he is greedy that he wants things to work out his way with everyone coming back alive, it’s hard to save everyone. Especially when minor characters die for him. But don’t fret, they did it on their own free will and their deaths are not in vain. They wouldn’t have it any other way if it comes down to this. Yoshiharu’s actions also sometimes surprise us because for instance he was willing to die at the hands of Nobuna if he fails to live up to his end of the deal. He has no qualms or regret in accepting such death. Many of us even heroes would’ve think twice about doing such a crazy thing. Sometimes it makes Yoshiharu seems like a person who doesn’t value his own life. This is a little controversial and depends on your standing. Because you have nothing to lose, you are able to go all out and do your best. But sometimes having something to protect and lose makes you stronger. Get what I mean? Romance wise, I guess everything points to a potential for Yoshiharu x Nobuna though we can see that the other girls love him in their own ways. He’s already got an unofficial harem of his own if I should say. I’d say he’d get the raw end of the deal if he actually ends up with Nene! Touch wood!

Because there are too many characters in this short series, most of them aren’t able to be fleshed out properly. For example Motoyasu and Hanzou. They’re just there because they are part of the ally. With the exception of Hanzou’s bomb deception in the end, they don’t actually do much. Yoshimoto also felt like she became a puppet figurehead after her surrender to the Oda clan and officially installed as the shogunate. After that, you won’t see her anymore. Himeko, Frois and Bontenmaru? It feels a little redundant for them that the series could’ve moved on if they do not appear. I at least thought Bontenmaru would have a surprise in store for us as Nobuna’s long lost relative! Because I find his uncanny looks to Nobuna, that’s why. Later I found out that Bontenmaru was supposed to be the nickname for another historical figure, Masamune Date. For the rest of the supporting casts especially Nobuna’s retainers, each have a unique personality. For example, Nagahide when she talks, she always gives points to whatever is said or decision made. Like does it really matter? Perhaps why Goemon could garner so many grown men as her loyalists-cum-lolicons is because she tends to stutter and stammer if her sentences are too long. Cute, no? Me? I just find it funny. Thank goodness I didn’t convert into a lolicon. Hanbei is a brilliant strategist who is ironically shy of people (people are part of a strategist’s ‘tool’, right?), Katsuie prefers solving things face on with her fist while Danjo is one tricky woman that you never know what’s going on in her mind. Nagamasa was just bitter because she was forced to abandon her womanhood while Nobusumi was just initially jealous of his sister. Eventually both learn to accept and turn over a new leaf. There were lots of unstable emotions growing in Mitsuhide. She really wants to stand out and be better than that monkey so much so she would do just anything for that. She was in danger of being Nobuna’s first retainer to snap and betray her (despite her strong beliefs for her) because as real history has it, Mitsuhide’s infamous betrayal was the one that led to Nobunaga’s death at Honnouji temple. Of course, once more it is thanks to a certain monkey from the future to make her open her eyes. She can be tsundere number 2 after Nobuna when it comes to Yoshiharu.

The action is rather okay and I won’t say that it is that pulsating that it keeps me on the edge of the seat. But you get that feeling when you see a large calvary on both sides charging towards each other and the outcome is going to be bloody. Still it manages to bring some intense feeling in the battlefield because it gets messy and you won’t really know which side lady luck will shine. Of course we’ll know Nobuna will usually come out tops but as we keep in mind that certain parts of history are changed, there may be a possibility that it might not end in our heroine’s favour. The strategy and tactics displayed are rather good. At least for a dumb person like me to be left in awe. Especially we see the different thinking Yoshiharu brings because he is from the future and some of the methods that Hanbei deploys which makes her live up to her reputation as a brilliant strategist. Some funny and comical moments here and there especially when Yoshiharu starts going about on his harem and girls or when Nobuna takes out her tsundere attitude on him. Not every line is witty but there are some that raises an eyebrow or two while others are inspiring thoughts to think about.

While I don’t think that series has any major fanservice, do you think Nobuna’s style of dressing would constitute to any fanservice? Wearing her top robe halfway and purposely exposing her black bra, do you think that’s sexy? Don’t get distracted by it or be fooled by her cute looks. Heck, when you turn a bunch of historical warriors into girls, what’s the use of that if you don’t take advantage of a little fanservice. The closest fanservice moment you can get is when Mitsuhide undresses herself to share Yoshiharu her body warmth. Nothing really explicit. I guess in terms of sharing one’s body, you could say Mitsuhide beat Nobuna only in this department. I wonder what would happen if this is known to everyone. Another round of mayhem I suppose. You can call Yoshiharu’s action of grapping Katsuie’s boobs to stop her from killing Yoshimoto despicable. It’s like he took advantage of the moment just to grope her boobs while making her stop killing seems like an excuse. Yeah, an excuse for a little fanservice. Even a little yuri moment when Danjo groped Nagahide’s boobs and thighs in the midst of their enemy’s attack! I’ve got this feeling that in addition to matured ladies, there is a fair amount of lolis to satisfy lolicons out there. Inuchiyo, Goemon, Nene, Hanbei and Himeko. So is it really coincidence that a very big majority of first born are females? Shouldn’t women be more suited to broker peace? As the head of the family, girls should easily come together, put down their weapons and talk unlike men with their manly egos. Unless it’s a different story when you consider hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Kanae Itou as Nobuna certainly fits her character well. She doesn’t sound like a ruler-to-be of Japan but a girl who has to unite Japan. Her tsundere part reminds me of her role as Fumino in Mayoi Neko Overrun while her girly part in striving to do her best reminds me of Ohana from Hanasaku Iroha. Eternal favourite (for me, that is) Mamiko Noto does Yoshimoto. Other casts include Takuya Eguchi as Yoshiharu (Watanuki in Inu x Boku SS), Hitomi Nabatame as Katsuie (Margery Daw in Shakugan No Shana), Rei Matsuzaki as Nagahide (Sacchan in Kanamemo), Sayuri Yahagi as Mitsuhide (Haruna in To Love-Ru), Misato Fukuen as Inuchiyo (Eve in Black Cat), Tomoko Kaneda as Goemon (Chiyo in Azumanga Daioh), Yui Ogura as Hanbei (Mint in Yumeiro Pattisiere), Masumi Asano as Danjo (Manatsu in Uta-Kata), Suzuko Mimori as Motoyasu (Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Takahiro Sakurai as Hanzou (Guiche in Zero No Tsukaima), Mugihito as Dousan (Zenjurou in Kamen No Maid Guy), Mitsuki Saiga as Nagamasa (Phantom in MAR), Emiri Katou as Nobusumi/Nobukatsu (Kagami in Lucky Star), Kiyoyuki Yanada as Yoshitatsu (Akagi in Slam Dunk), Seirou Ogino as Konoe (Himekawa in Beelzebub), Ryohei Kimura as Yoshikage (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Kanehira Yamamoto as Tsuda, Tomoaki Maeno as Imai (Junichi in Amagami SS), Eiji Miyashita (Takahiro in Princess Princess), Rina Satou as Frois (Misaka in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun), Rumi Ookubo as Bontenmaru (Tsumiki in Acchi Kocchi), Sumire Morohoshi as Himeko (Clara in Kuragehime) and Natsuki Kitakata as Nene (Ariyoshi in Hyouka). The opening theme, Link by Aimi is a rock outfit while the ending theme, Hikari is a slow-moderate pop piece by Makino Mizuta. Something about the ending credits animation that reminds me of the one in Sengoku Otome Momoiro Paradox. Instead of ribbons we see the main girls of the series clad in towel. Mmm… More fanservice I guess.

While I have said that this series was interesting enough for me and one of the best among the Sengoku themed animes, it is not like I have totally become totally infatuated in learning more about this period in Japan. I guess cute girls won’t even do the trick, huh? Though I really did do a little research but to the eyes of historians, such effort can be scoffed off as lazy bones. So the other point to ponder is the change in history. It would have been plausible if this was a parallel world or another universe that freakily resembles very close to Japan’s past over 450 years ago. Or maybe it is just one big game and that Yoshiharu is just wearing some simulator goggles and headgear. Something went wrong with the machine so he is ‘stuck’ in the game like as though it is his real life. Well, I’ll let that be another story for discussion some other time. Assuming he really went back into the past and changed history knowingly or unknowingly, it of course gives rise to many questions like will the future be similar. As we know that many of those historical characters like Yoshimoto, Dousan and ultimately Nobunaga and Mitsuhide themselves got killed. Now that none of these characters are dead and continue to breathe, what are the implications? They’re not supposed to be around history longer than they should but now they are. What would these ‘extra’ characters in time have an effect on down the line? The past already considered ‘changed’ when Yoshiharu first returned to that era. He says he might be Hideyoshi’s replacement but in reality Yoshiharu is Yoshiharu. They’re both different persons at the end of the day. And if Yoshiharu brought back his iPad and inspired Nobuna to many victories and saved her on many dangerous occasions, can you say that this defining moment is what led Steve Jobs many centuries later to create the iPad? Won’t somebody else be named the inventor then?

Speaking of iPad, even though we can’t live in today’s world without our iPad, iPhone and Tablet gadgets, now we should be cautious to say that such inventions are useless in the past. Yeah, even without doing its usual functions, see how useful it is in saving lives! It saved the life of the princess not once but twice! So never leave home without an iPad and always put it close to your heart (in both sense)! Especially if you’re going back in time to the Sengoku period. If Nobuna had one of these babies in her hands and knows how to use it, imagine how easy Japan will be conquered and tremble at her feet. Is there a downloadable app to conquer? Even if you don’t arm yourself with an iPad and get thrown into the past, I suppose this series is trying to tell us to learn and appreciate our history. The world would not be as it is today if not for the past. For Yoshiharu, that knowledge is the ultimate weapon and survival gear that makes him survive and earn the respect and admiration of others. See, you can still score and be hot with the babes if you know your history stuff well. Who says history is a dry and boring subject? Well, provided if they turn them into females. Forgive me as I need to excuse myself to go buy an iPad. I’ll just download history and read up whenever I feel like it. So it was really a girl who united Japan, right? Zero points!

Kimi To Boku S2

February 2, 2013

The Ouran High School Host Club boys are back. Oops. I mean the boys of Homare High School are back with another season of Kimi To Boku S2. I did enjoy the first season so it is natural that I looked forward to the sequel whereby this series was termed as cute boys doing cute things in their cute way. Those who have watched the first season can expect more or less the same formula that made the lovable quintet so, erm, lovable. The sequel is a continuation from where it left off and you can expect more naughty misadventures as the guys take a step closer in become seniors in their high school. Who wouldn’t love the deadpan twins with their cheeky sarcasm, the petite blonde who acts like a monkey, the bespectacled dude who is the master of ‘getting angry’ and the guy who looks like a girl. Ah yes. High school is such a fun place for us boys.

Episode 1
There’s an excess of tangerines. So what better way than to ‘get rid’ of them by finishing them. Can they? The box still looks full. They’re going to get sick of eating too many tangerines. For a change, they want something warm. Perhaps udon or nabe. Sure, no problem. But why the heck are they eating at Kaname’s house?! Kaname wouldn’t let it end this way if not for his mom. Yeah, that eccentric woman who really wants her son’s attention. You just got to love her. Unless you’re grumpy Kaname. So after the nice meal, the rest feel lazy to go back and wants to sleep over at his place. Bummer. Mom says okay. Double bummer. They do rock-scissors-paper to decide who heads in first. Shun is lucky number one. While he is in, the rest discuss if Shun ever gets mad. They even try to imitate him and force reluctant Kaname to copy Shun’s expression. Too bad Shun happened to finish his bath and walked in. Next to go in the bath are the twins but they came out so fast since they hardly could relax together. Kaname is next and he knows well stupid Chizuru and Yuuki wants to peep and makes them stay out. Chizuru is the last person to go and he is reluctant for fear they may talk about him behind his back. So is he going or not? Once Chizuru finishes his bath, the rest are shocked. Hey! What is Naruto doing in this anime?! Is that Chizuru?! Oh sh*t! The uncanny resemblance! Kaname wants to prepare for bed but the rest won’t allow him. The night is still young! They decide to do some stargazing and as usual talk about the constellations in their usual idiotic way. Then the talk shifts to Kaname’s preference in older woman. Does he still have feelings for Kaori sensei? Kaname suddenly had this feeling and true enough, his mother has been eavesdropping outside his door! Go back to sleep! When it’s sleeping time, Chizuru starts laughing for no reason. They continue talking as Kaname tries to ignore them and get his good night sleep. They talk about the good ol’ times when they’re in kindergarten. All this talking has made them hungry so they head out dead in the night to the convenience store. Looks like they’re going to stay awake for the rest of the night.

Episode 2
Masaki shows Shun the little bear present he gave her. She made some clothes for it. Chizuru tries touching it but only earns her scorn. On a rainy day, somebody mistakenly took Masaki’s umbrella. Kaname sees her in distress and voluntarily shares an umbrella and walk her home. Along the way, a couple of her friends see them together and from their perspective, it’s like Kaname bent down and kiss her! Rumours quickly spread throughout school that they’re dating. And Masaki is trying to convince Shun that Kaname forced her to go home with him. I’m sure she’s just giving the wrong idea and more bullets for the twins to shoot sarcasm. In actual fact Masaki complained she had something in her eye so Kaname bent down to check. But it seems the most upset one is Chizuru. Yeah, what’s his problem? He’s not going to forgive Kaname for kissing his Mary. So twisted his outlook that he wants the kiss back and tries to kiss him! WTF?! Of course this misunderstanding is eventually cleared up. One day Chizuru is at the shops thinking a good present he’ll get for Masaki. He even bought it. Then he sees Masaki trying to choose a present to give to Shun. Masaki insists it is not a Christmas present to Shun but a thank you gift. Yeah, yeah. It started raining so the duo are trapped outside a bakery. Chizuru is still trying to sort out his feelings for her when the shop owner calls them a couple and lends them her umbrella to share. This statement doesn’t sit well with Masaki. She fears another rumour might spread so she leaves in the rain. In class, Kaname and some of the guys tease Masaki over her present for Shun so Chizuru comes to save the day. Realizing she hasn’t give Shun the present, Chizuru goes after her in the rain. She couldn’t recognize this Naruto dude. Her excuse of not giving to him was because the ribbon was messed up from the teasing. Chizuru fixes it back for her. She returns to give it to Shun but it pains Chizuru it turned out this way. Cold and miserable, no? In the end, at least Masaki thanks him and for once allows him to share her umbrella since he forgotten his. Yes! I guess this isn’t so bad after all.

Episode 3
Azuma attends a friend’s wedding while narrating he has never felt he truly became an adult. Meanwhile the quintet are watching a detective movie. I’m sure they would’ve understood it better if Chizuru hadn’t bugged Kaname what it all meant. Before he knows it, it’s all over. Whose stupid idea was this for them to watch a movie together on Christmas Eve? I guess that is what happens when you don’t have a girlfriend ;p. Chizuru gets this idea to rent more DVDs so they make a trip to town. Along the way, after taking some pictures from the photo booth, they chance upon Azuma and Akira. Chizuru still doesn’t like Akira because of the queue jumping incident back at the festival (see last season episode 10). Azuma introduces Akira as his friend and they went to Homare before. In other words, this petite Akira is their senior. Can’t believe it, no? They have a little chat when Akira notes he has to leave for his part time job. The guys see a little girl crying because her balloon got stuck in a Christmas tree, Smart ass Chizuru tries to take it down for her while sitting on Yuuki’s shoulders. Because Akira returns in a Santa outfit, shocked Chizuru lost his balance and sends the tree tumbling over. Oh sh*t. There goes their Christmas Eve plan to watch DVDs. Now everyone (including Kaname who wasn’t at fault) have to help out to make amends as they put on Santa outfits and cheer up to atmosphere. The twins are quite popular. Even little girls start falling in love with them! Chizuru is quite popular too. The boys are pulling his hair. There is a little boy who still believes in Santa and Akira was kind enough to play along. But the boy’s friends mock him for still believing in such fairytale. It doesn’t help when Akira’s beard falls off! Trauma! She calls Akira a liar and runs away. In the process, he drops his box of caramel.

The guys are relieved that they can go home at the end and as reward, they can help themselves to some free candy. Unfortunately the box is empty. They thought there were loads of them before. Chizuru suddenly plays detective. Want to bet he is no Sherlock? After his dramatic deduction of this perfect crime, Chizuru accuses Akira as the perpetrator because he was wearing gloves to leave no fingerprints. Aren’t they all wearing gloves too? But Chizuru is bent on accusing Akira. But the twins were calmer and know there is another person who was wearing gloves. That person was the one wearing the reindeer outfit. True enough when they confront him, boxes of candy start dropping out from his outfit. He runs away and is about to crash into that Santa believer kid searching for his caramel box. Suddenly Akira appears in front of reindeer guy and gives him a judo throw! Speechless. Akira returns his caramel box and the kid thanks Santa. The guys are back home. Tired. Do they have the strength to watch DVDs? Well, Chizuru is bent on having their DVD Christmas but wait. Where are the DVDs? They might still be at the mall. Whose fault? Yeah, so tired that Kaname can’t even yell back. Suddenly the doorbell rings. Shun couldn’t really believe it’s Santa, could he? It’s Azuma and Akira here to return the DVDs to them. Akira found them and how did Azuma know it was from them? The pictures that they took from the booth and gave to Azuma, he recognized the package in the picture. Wow. That’s very sharp of him! The boys thank Santa their saviour! Their Christmas Eve is saved! Akira and Azuma stay back while the guys return their gratitude with some hospitality. Azuma notes he feels ‘jealous’ that they are carefree, not even worrying about their entrance exams. Akira thinks they need to become high school students again. Azuma narrates that he thought growing up would turn him into an adult. Whether it is getting work or married, neither has happened. Though he never felt of becoming an adult, he knows he is no longer a child too.

Episode 4
An episode for the twins. On New Year’s Day, we see the different personalities the twins have. While Yuuta is responsible in helping to clean up, Yuuki just wants to laze around. Yuuki thought he could escape doing the chores but was told to buy light bulbs. Yuuki bums around aside, even meeting Matsushita at the park where a hero show for kids is going on. I guess Yuuki just left him in the middle when he got ‘abducted’ by the villains of the show on stage. At the furniture store, the double decker bed reminds Yuuki how they argued over to sleep on the top deck. Despite numerous (sly) attempts, Yuuta always wins. Not wanting to lose, Yuuki goes to sleep with Yuuta on top bunker. No space… Yuuki returns home to see Yuuta lying flat out on the futon. Feeling nostalgic? This must be what the smell of sunshine is. While Yuuta is cleaning the room, he finds a map that he believes Yuuki drew. But Yuuki is busy reading his magazines. He’s trying to decide if they should be thrown or not! Yuuta accidentally spills water on some of his manga and probably this is the fastest that Yuuki has moved since all day. He better pay back. What? This shouldn’t happen if he had done his part cleaning. Despite the twins having an argument, they’re doing it in their dead tone voice. Very odd. With their relationship strained, Yuuki leaves the house. Where did he end up? At Kaname’s place! Of all places. He needs somebody to pick on, does he? Kaname doesn’t want to get involve and tells him to go home. If only mom hadn’t intervened and wishes for somebody to take her away too. Since Yuuki isn’t budging, Kaname calls Yuuta to come bring him home. He says he doesn’t have to come home. Great. Yuuta takes out the trash and he remembers about the map. He follows it and it starts to bring back memories. It seems they hid a box underneath a tree. Kaname is trying to drag Yuuki out and convince him to return home and apologize. Yeah, Yuuki wants to become part of Kaname’s family. Suddenly a surprise doorbell ring. It’s Yuuta and he’s here to bring him home. On the way back, they remember the time when Yuuta accidentally broke his father’s favourite plate. Yuuki helped out to bury it and became his accomplice in crime. That will be their secret. Soon the twins made up and they show the broken plate to their father. He doesn’t even remember he had this plate.

Episode 5
The twins get New Year greeting cards from their friends. Yuuta thought they should send one too instead of always waiting for Shun’s. The gang pays a visit to the shrine and Chizuru thinks his 100 Yen is helluva big to get his wish come true. He also finds a dropped bicycle key on the ground and puts it in his pocket for safekeeping. Shun notices a guy, Akihiro looking for bicycle key and brings him to Chizuru. However that kid was praying so hard to God to increase his chances with Masaki that he accidentally threw the bicycle key into the donation box instead of the coin. Even if it’s Chizuru’s fault, his friends also must help out in carrying his bicycle to his destination. Looks like a long way. Yeah, being with Chizuru only decreases your luck. Be glad he isn’t asking them to pay for it. Shouldn’t they just ask the priest to take it out? Akihiro is studying for his exams so taboo words like ‘dropout’ are forbidden. Kaname gets a call from his mom to run some errands. Perfect escape? Yeah, the twins and Chizuru fight over to become his assistant. Guess whom Kaname chose? Yuuta. So the unlucky trio continues to be the victim to push the bike. Isn’t Akihiro the real victim? When they learn Akihiro has a girlfriend, Chizuru begins his stupidity mode and suggests writing greeting cards. Let’s say the trio wasted some of his precious time with those ‘encouragement’ words. Then they made Akihiro write his name and address on the card to send it to him. Why not just give it to him since he’s in front of them? That’s not how greeting cards work. WTF?!

Akihiro can’t stand them screwing around anymore and takes over pushing his own bike. He could’ve reached there faster himself, eh? Along the way, Akihiro is surprised to bump into his girlfriend Yuri. She gives him a charm to pass his exam but he seems pessimistic. He leaves with the trio continue to bug him about his girlfriend. Finding out he hasn’t send a greeting card to her, they make him write one. Getting the feeling they’re more trouble than they’re worth? Then they continue their journey and see the postman just finishing taking letters from the post box. The trio went after him because the card must be delivered today! Akihiro is left to reflect on his frustration and doesn’t know why he is angry. He knows he can’t run away from uncertainty. Nothing is resolved. He can’t see his future. Despite so, he needs to keep running. He also chases the trio and catches up to them. Did they miss the mailman? So Akihiro finally decides to push the bike himself? Took him long to realize that he’ll never get anywhere if they’re pushing it. He leaves while telling them to enjoy the time they have because once they’ve got entrance exams to deal with, they won’t have any more time to have fun. This statement made Shun realize there’s some truth in it. Akihiro receives an SMS from Yuri suggesting they should go out one his exams are over. Kaname and Yuuta return and they’ve bought greeting cards for Yuuki to write to them. Chizuru comes up with a suggestion to pray to the setting sun since they didn’t get their chance to pray properly at the shrine. Maybe they should wish for him to become smarter.

Episode 6
I guess Yuuki’s sticker collection is still not going anywhere. That sticker duty has been abolished due to complaints from a certain monkey. Kayo even mentions she has exchanged hers for a plate. Suddenly a guy, Yanagi comes up to Yuuki and gets friendly with him. He is from the basketball club and is trying to recruit him. Not interested. As the guys leave, Kayo calls Yuuki. She has started collecting stickers for a second plate but realizes she won’t make it in time and gives one sticker to him. That’s it? Just one lousy sticker? Be thankful, dude. Yanagi continues to bug Yuuki to join and even offers him to give him the much needed stickers if he does. That’s not going to work either. The funny part was when Yuuki is running away from Yanagi, Chizuru tackles him to make him stay away from his Yuuki! WTF?! Yuuki goes to see Kayo at the cafeteria to get more stickers. He is surprised to learn she is quitting this cafeteria job and returning to work at the salon. This is her last week. Yuuki seems troubled. He wonders why she is returning to a place she once quit. Chizuru is monkeying around about his poor test scores. He’s the only one who didn’t do well. He even blames Kaname for not being a good teacher. So when Chizuru threw his paper airplane made from his test paper to Kaname, obviously that guy is going to get back at him. He throws it back but it flies out the window. Unfortunately Kayo sees it and you could say her impression of Chizuru is ruined. Yuuki’s friends couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to eat with them at the cafeteria till they learn that Kayo is quitting. And this is her last day. Shun goes to eat with Yuuki to keep him company and notices he is almost finish with his sticker collection. There’s only one way left. He confronts Yanagi and agrees to his challenge. I guess nobody saw it coming how Yuuki threw a 3-pointer and nails it! Woah! Now can he have his stickers? Before Kayo leaves, Yuuki sees her for one last time. He gives her a gift. He got enough stickers to exchange the plate. They chat while walking home. Kayo felt she’s just selfish because she came back to mom when she had nowhere to go. Now that she is going off to chase her dream, she feels like leaving her all alone again. Yuuki pulls her scarf and hopes she would use it. Even if it’s just once in a while.

Episode 7
Chizuru has this perverted dream on Masaki. Wished he never woke up, eh? Kaname seems tired. Yeah, thanks to mom bugging him to eat her cake. It’s Valentine’s Day. Chizuru must feel left out because his other friends at least got chocolate! He wonders if Masaki would make some for him or give hers to Shun. Speaking of her, here she is. She seems to be having lack of sleep as she was staying up to make truffles. Then she pulls Yuuki aside to ask if Shun likes sweet things. The guys are walking back and as usual they tease Kaname. That guy is dreading how mommy is going to force him to eat the chocolate cake. Masaki prepares to give her chocolate to Shun when suddenly a girl from another school pops up to give Shun hers. Though he doesn’t know her, she notes that they crossed paths most mornings and one reason she liked him was because he helped picked up her commuter pass. She even asks if he is dating anyone. Because otherwise… This left Shun stunned. But not as stunned as Masaki. Chizuru spots her fleeing and goes after her. She got ‘taken out’ by a football so Chizuru brings her to the infirmary and stays by her side still she wakes up. When she does, she starts crying she couldn’t give her chocolates to Shun. Chizuru doesn’t know what to do so he hugs her. This leaves them both stunned and Chizuru the one running away. Obviously Shun is still in shock. But can the rest guess why is Chizuru so flustered? Yeah, Yuuki seems to have got the hint about him and his feelings for Masaki. Chizuru and Masaki tail Shun and see him waiting outside the school of that girl. He apologizes and turns her down. She’s okay with it but tears start welling in her eyes. Heartbroken? She says she’s happy he came all the way to her school to meet her. Chizuru and Masaki walk home. Masaki has always thought Shun’s kindness and believed he would happily accept her feelings. Now she has doubts if he would accept them. She couldn’t muster the courage to do so. Masaki starts crying so Chizuru does some stupid puppet shadow to cheer her up. She follows his lead and to her surprise, he confesses he likes her. Masaki flusters but Chizuru is able to keep his cool. Though embarrassed he said something like that, Chizuru is so happy that he could cry and smile. He’s just happy that he loves her.

Episode 8
Fuyuki is the happiest guy in the world now. Why? Because Mamiya kissed him. While the twins are discussing people with soft earlobes are perverts (doesn’t everybody have them?), they get a call from Shun. He is frantic that he found out about his brother’s kiss. So imagine the gang’s disappointment that they come all the way to his place just to see him worried about this? Yeah, it’s a pretty big deal for Shun. So the other guys try to give statistics that a kiss aren’t what lovers do. Anyway Shun isn’t going to let this go so as Fuyuki meets Mamiya out on a usual date, the usual gang tail them. Like stalkers. They seem to be having fun the normal way. The tailing has them ending up at a karaoke box. I don’t know if they’re all bad singers and Kaname wasn’t really interested. Meanwhile Fuyuki and Mamiya are in the next room and he gives her a birthday present. She is happy and would like to reciprocate. Asking what he wants, he shocks us all that he wants to touch her breasts!!! OMG!!! She agrees if it’s over her clothes. So now that he’s got his hands over it, now what? Didn’t think that far, did he? In an awkward moment, a tear starts streaming down Mamiya’s cheeks. This is getting bad. Mamiya excuses herself to the washroom. Meanwhile the boys realize their important mission and start eavesdropping next door. Yeah, the twins are worried that they found out Shun’s earlobes are soft! No sound next door means they could be doing that thing that has them ascending to adulthood. Shun is going crazy but the rest hold him down before he turns into Hulk. When Mamiya returns, she enters the wrong room and starts apologizing. Shun realizes she has been crying. That’s it. He busts in next door to give Fuyuki a good ticking off. He’s so mad that probably the entire building could hear his scolding. He wished Fuyuki had taken better care of Mamiya. He got so happy since his first kiss but he’s also always looking at porn magazines and videos. When he gets into trouble, he hides them under Shun’s bed! The secret’s out. Wow. Have you seen Shun getting this upset? At the end of the day, Fuyuki apologizes to Mamiya for hurting her. She pinches his earlobes and they walk hand in hand till a passing bicycle rings at them did Fuyuki instantly lets go. In the aftermath, Shun has calmed down and is glad his brother and Mamiya are taking their first step to work on their relationship. The rest are worried about Shun. That’s because they point out the possibility when a boy and girl studies together alone. Mamiya’s parents aren’t home. Her room has a bed. So where they’re getting at? Oh no. Shun is going crazy again… The guys just love to see his worried face, don’t they?

Episode 9
Yuuki is hinting he has no money to buy some video game he wants. He thought the rest would be so kind to lend him but Shun suggests working part time. Not what he expects, eh? They suggest the various jobs he could do but considering his character, I don’t think he’d be suitable. Not a bookstore because he’ll read all the books. Not a host club because it’s illegal. Not newspaper delivery because he can’t wake up early. So what job can he do? Somehow he ends up as a waiter in a family restaurant. Guess what? All the ladies just love his good looks. Thanks to that, Yuuki is going to be busy with more of them coming in. To his dismay, his friends pay him a visit. He was expecting to work in the background but his boss puts him to work on the floor. Then the boss comes to their table himself. They have this scary impression about him. As long as they’re customers, he’s fine. Chizuru thought the special mix juice was on Yuuki and drinks it all. He thought they ordered it. They haven’t order anything. They realize the old lady in the next table is furiously waiting for her juice. Shun is panicking… They can’t report to the boss for fear he’ll kill them! Plus, Yuuki doesn’t want his pay to be docked. Don’t Yuuki dare run away! So the plan is to make the juice again without the boss finding out. First he makes Yuuta wear his getup. He is a hit with the ladies, young and old. Yeah, Yuuki should learn a thing or two about his politeness. The rest try to mix and create the juice. Since Chizuru is the only one who drank it, he becomes the guinea pig taste tester. I don’t know how ridiculous it get because they’re putting in actual grass and flower in it to make it look like a tropical juice. But they’re running out of time and the old lady is calling the boss. They panic and rush to the kitchen to get all the ingredients and the blender. Just as the old lady is about to leave, comes Chizuru and co with the tools to make the juice fresh before their eyes. With Shun’s apology and the handsomeness of the guys, I guess the old lady decides to give them another chance. Too bad Yuuki blows it because after mixing all the ingredients into the blender, he forgot to cover it and everyone got splat with the mushy mix. So it’s judgment time. The boss deducts the costs from the customer’s dry cleaning and ingredients. He has nothing left Oh, he’s fired too. Yuuki wants to know he there isn’t any pay left. Affirmative. Even if there was, he would give it to Yuuta. Yuuki mouths off that his boss could find other suitable jobs than this restaurant. The boss almost gets rough on him, pulling his collar. He lets him off as an expensive learning experience. Going home, Shun tries to cheer him up that failure leads to success. A little girl whom Yuuta kindly serve mistakes Yuuki for him and repays his kindness with a kiss on his lips! Shock! Yuuki denies he had been kissed but everybody saw it. Yuuta even quips of buying lemon squash so it will taste like lemons.

Episode 10
Kaname is nervous as he is practising his lines for the graduation ceremony when Chizuru crashes into him. Chizuru is his usual monkey self till he bumps into Masaki and starts acting strange. Eating all the animal biscuits? The rest try to call Masaki over and Chizuru tries offering some of the biscuits. Their hand accidentally met and this causes him to spill the biscuits. Masaki runs away. They been awkward and not talking since his confession. A bunch of senior girls ask Chizuru to help snap a Polaroid photo of the twins for them. Of all the people. I guess he’s close enough to them. So Chizuru becomes a professional photographer for the day as he takes the rest of his pals in different poses and hairstyle. Masaki happens to pass by and is roped in by Yuuki to have her photo taken with Chizuru. Because Chizuru is noisy, she tells him to shut it. It led to an argument and before they knew it, they’re talking normally as before. Masaki realizes she closed her eyes in one of the shots and runs away with the photo. Chizuru catches up to her and lets her keep it, teasing her she shouldn’t show the embarrassing pic especially to Shun. Chizuru despite putting on a sunny disposition, he also gets down sometimes upon thinking Masaki’s head is always and only filled with Shun. During the graduation ceremony, Masaki realizes she got the wrong photo. After the ceremony, she thinks of putting it in Chizuru’s locker but the pushy crowd has her drop it. She tries to get it but is pulled away by Chizuru. In a classroom, he hands back the embarrassing photo to her. He breaks the ice by telling her to act like usual. He won’t press her for an answer and knows she likes Shun. The thing he hates most is for her to stop talking to him. But she doesn’t know what to do. No matter how hard she thinks, whether she’s sleeping, eating or bathing, she can’t stop thinking what she should do. Chizuru smiled because for that short while, she was thinking a lot about him. That’s more than enough.

Episode 11
The gang are now officially third years but nothing much has changed between them. Like how Chizuru is trying to aim and throw his juice into the dustbin while the twins ‘pressure’ him. He is using this excuse if he gets in, he can see Masaki. No need for that. Here is Masaki carrying some stuffs by herself since she is part of the sports festival committee (by the way, Chizuru missed). They thought she should ask for help but she can manage by herself. This prompts Kaname to wonder if she has any friends because they always see her alone (I remember in the first season she used to refuse help from others). Masaki returns to Matsushita who is also on the same committee as they draw out the tournament bracket. Masaki is really decorating Shun’s class number and hoping they’d win. So for the volleyball match, it’s Shun’s class (he’s got Chizuru and Yuuki with him) against Kaname’s class. Chizuru thinks it’s his chance to shine but Kaname is better. Yeah, he spikes a ‘yellow ball’ every day. Yuuki isn’t interested and just standing around till Yuuta gives a super spike and returns that look. It fires Yuuki up as the twins try to outdo each other. Yeah, Yuuki couldn’t care if he crashes into Chizuru. Surprisingly Shun’s class wins. Meanwhile Matsushita learns the referee for the soft tennis match is missing. He wonders if one of the girls from his class could be the referee but they’re giving reasons and excuse to push the job around. Then Masaki pops up and agrees to do it. During the break, Masaki and Matsushita express their wish to go watch Shun’s class in volleyball action and they get excited just talking about how high they can jump. Unfortunately they accidentally got the certificates wet. Their classmates offer to help dry them. They also agree to let them go watch the match since because of Masaki’s substitute help, they get to watch and cheer on the matches they want. Since they are too short to see through the crowd, they head to the higher ground and start cheering for them. That’s the much needed cheer they need since they’re running out of stamina. The duo get excited to see how high they jump and couldn’t help themselves to jump either. I guess you could say they won because in the aftermath Chizuru is confident he can land his juice in the dustbin. He’s using that Masaki excuse again. He is distracted when Masaki comes by. She is now the class officer and has heaps of books in her hands. Her classmates offer to take some. When they’re going to pick up where Chizuru left off, he feigns stomach ache and passes the task to Shun.

Episode 12
The gang are ‘worried’ since Kaname’s mother will be away. Will he be alright? Can he last 3 whole days apart? What will he do for dinner? He’ll just head next door. Well, I think he knows the drill. If he wants to eat, he has to work. Kaname teases Shizuna that she is expanding her repertoire cooking because she’s preparing to get married. Oh wait. Hasn’t Kaname heard from his mom? His face indicates he hasn’t. Shizuna is going to be married to a co-worker. I guess this is quite shocking, eh? So in class, his friends wonder if he is really reading because he hasn’t turned the pages for a long time. They think it’s the syndrome of missing his mom! Thus they invite themselves over to the sisters’ place to prepare and eat dinner together. Kaname goes back to his house to get some soy sauce. Shizuna’s words that she’s getting married still rings in his head. He’s not okay. Once the friends leave, Kaname tells Hisako he won’t be coming over tomorrow for dinner. Before she could let Shizuna know, she has already set out the errands for them both tomorrow. Hisako goes to Kaname’s room to talk about the ingredients they’re going to get tomorrow. Because he is giving answers in a tone like he doesn’t care, she throws a pillow in his face. She knows he likes Shizuna and wants him to confess. He doesn’t want to since he never thought of telling or dating her in the first place. Hisako starts crying and tells him off that even if he admires her, he still loves her. Kaname is wondering what’s her problem. Can you not see why? Next day, Hisako goes ‘missing’ so Shizuna has to do the errand with Kaname. On the way back, they stop by the riverbank and he reluctantly asks about her wedding and the kind of guy she is going to marry. He thought she was amazing expanding her repertoire and all he is good is washing rice. She points out he is also clumsy at everything. He’s not better than everyone and studies hard when no one is looking. Even if he asked for help, he always tried doing more than he is capable of. But he never showed that side to anyone. He tries hard without expecting a praise. Kaname says she just praised him and is happy she smiled for him. Kaname thinks to himself he has never thought of confessing or dating her. Because she was always so close and smiled, he would do anything to get her attention. Whether it’s scoring 100 marks in a test or became class president for the first time. Next day, Hisako is devastated to learn that he didn’t confess to Shizuna. Her setting up went to waste. He’s fine with it and thanks her for everything.

Episode 13
Shun suggests to Chizuru and Yuuki to sit in and try out his tea club with Yuuta. When he goes over to invite Kaname, he sees him with Yuuta looking through a thick guide of colleges. This makes Shun remember the time when he was in kindergarten and wondered if a kiss tasted like marshmallows. He tried it on a teddy bear and to his dismay his friends saw everything. Don’t want to mess up his first kiss? I’m sure the twins have something to say about it. Even suggestions. Hold your breath while kissing? Won’t you suffocate? You should be happy to die by your lover’s side? Shouldn’t love be about living? In reality, Yuuta lends the college guide to Shun seeing he looked interested in it. After class, Azuma feels Shun has something to ask him (it’s that bugged look on his face, I guess) so he asks when he decided to become a teacher. It was about their age. Masaki happens to see Shun outside his club room and wonders why he joined the tea club as most boys usually don’t join it. You could say he was taken in by the aroma. So Shun teaches the basic etiquette of serving tea but Chizuru is already complaining about the stiff sitting posture. Till he sees Yuuta cool and calm in it that he starts trying out. Maybe it’s because of the girls in the next room. But could he have done it quieter? The club advisor, Tsunashi comes in and the newbies can’t help stare at his bald head. They’re trying to hold their laughter. Not very good at it. They even had some comments and Tsunashi heard it. Seeing they’re interested in his head, he explains the calmness of the heart no matter the appearance before them. After tasting the delicious sweet, Chizuru is determined he wants to follow the path of the tea. He is going to write Ochanomizu as his first choice of school. Point he should know: They don’t study tea there and it’s a girl’s school. Tsunashi suggests that they learn more about the ceremony in detail since they’re here.

I guess watching the process was too long for Chizuru that his feet ‘fell asleep’. Then tasting the thick tea, it is so bitter that they think it’s some poison (Kaname quips Chizuru should just quit the path of the tea and follow the path of the comedy). Next, they’re supposed to look at the bowl after drinking the tea. Despite being told it is expensive, they feel it doesn’t look its worth. Do you know who Yukichi Fukuzawa is? That’s the face of Japan’s 10,000 Yen bill. The bowl is worth three times this dude. Surprise?! Oops! Nearly dropped and broke the bowl! Soon Chizuru gets disheartened and decides not to follow the path of the tea after all. Too troublesome, eh? Shun asks Tsunashi when he became a tea instructor. His family has been in this line for generations and he studied tea when he was young so he never thought of making this his future career. So why follow this path? Probably he was much better at it than other subjects. When he mentions only a few people can mention their future during third years, it strikes a chord within Shun. Yuuki quips Tsunashi is like Chizuru because they both started tea on a whim. I guess Chizuru has a change of heart again because he thinks he can grow up to be a proper adult and a tea instructor like him. Kaname doubts it. The bell rings so as Chizuru gets up, he couldn’t feel his feet and trips but Tsunashi catches him. He says the only thing that changed when he became an adult was that his feet don’t fall asleep anymore when he sits. After the friends leave, Yuuta makes tea for Shun. Shun figures Yuuta already has written his college choice unlike him who hasn’t done any research yet. Yuuta actually was just looking to see what’s out there and hasn’t decided on anything yet. Because Shun continues to feel down, Yuuta asks how his tea is and this cheers him up. Later they all meet up to go study at Kaname’s place. Shun narrates they all can’t see what lies ahead in their future. But they’re slowly changing in the same way that they’ve matured a little.

Still The Same Ol’ Boys
Well it is more or less similar than the previous season so nothing really drastic happened. The inseparable quintet are still together through thick and thin. Although we have more drama and certain episodes give more focus on some of the characters. For instance, Shun as we know has always been the calm and gentle one among the boys. Despite there are times when he panics we never actually see him blow his top. The only episode that features his little brother and his girlfriend really surprised us all that Shun was capable to get angry. I guess this proves that he is still human after all. It’s true that Shun may sound like a nagging mother when it comes to Fuyuki but he is only concerned for him. It may seem like being nosy getting involved with his brother’s relationship with his girlfriend but there is always the possibility that it may go bad if the wrong move or step is made. I believe Shun didn’t want Fuyuki to end up on that wrong path so that’s why he had to get tough to make him realize. I guess that’s what you call you have to be cruel to be kind.

Chizuru is still the noisy monkey (and the idiot that is responsible for many of Kaname’s ‘stress’) and there are handful of episodes that focus on him and his feelings for Masaki. I really didn’t get that scenario they played each time Chizuru narrates about his thoughts and feelings for her. They’re like on a sandy beach under the hot sun. He’s looking at her while she’s looking the other way, over the horizon. What does it mean? Does it indicate he can only watch over her? Though they didn’t end up as a couple, at least he got that confession thing off his chest. Sure, everybody hates rejection but Chizuru was able to come clean with his feelings and confess anyway. Even in the nearest foreseeable future they won’t be ending up as a couple, it is more than good enough for Chizuru that he is able to talk with Masaki on normal terms. That includes some bickering, right? So when is Masaki going to do hers for Shun? Despite Shun’s rejection of the other girl serving as a big discouragement, well, it’s not good to rush her either. She should take her time and only do so once she is ready. After all, there is the fear that things won’t stay the same if she confesses. Things did stay the same between Chizuru and her but it may be different if it’s Shun. Who knows? Shun did panic when the mysterious girl suddenly confessed to him, right? Masaki may have trouble confessing to Shun but at least she is better off than from last season in the sense that she accepts help from others instead of being a loner when we were first introduced to her.

The twins still haven’t lost their touch in their sarcasm. Most of the words they say are truly funny in a sarcastic way despite saying them with a deadpan voice. It really makes you want to snicker. Perhaps they are the real ‘stars’ of this series and without them, this show wouldn’t be as half as funny. Of course the other half annoyingly goes to Chizuru’s antics. Oh, and sometimes finishing that off with Kaname’s comebacks or violent reactions. But this season we clearly see the different personalities the twins posses. Yuuta is shown to be more mature, responsible and polite as compared to Yuuki who just wants to laze around, not lifting a finger when it comes to cleaning up or doing errands. Even as twins they do end up arguing with each other but thankfully no punches are thrown and no voices are raised. Besides, have you heard them with their voice raised? I don’t think so. As for grumpy Kaname, I agree that he is still the ‘master of getting angry’. Is it a wonder why the rest (with the exception of Shun) likes to pick on him? His reactions are the best and fun to watch. Unlike the previous season, Kaori’s was rarely mentioned if not, close to zero. From the first season, the guys love teasing him because of Kaname’s first love over his kindergarten teacher. It is confirmed indirectly that Kaname do have feelings for Shizuna. The way he reacted to her marriage is as though a guy had just lost hope to be with the girl he loves forever. But were those feelings for her just as a big sister? He said he never thought of dating her but that doesn’t discount the fact that he likes her.

Although the other minor characters do have an episode focus on them, I felt it wasn’t enough but I guess this is more than good enough. For example, Azuma and Akira’s episode may not amount to nothing much as it just makes us ponder the thought of when we transit from childhood to adulthood. Even if we don’t know much about them, we know that they are still good guys. Heck, there aren’t any bad guys in this series. Kayo even has an episode she gets her screen time (albeit this is the ONLY episode she appears in) and I thought from the way Yuuki is reacting to her departure made me think as though he had feelings for her. Did he? Her goodbye may seem sudden and with Yuuki seemed like trying to sort out his feelings before she goes. And a plate is all he got. And then she left. Goodbye. It was the same case for Hisako. Throughout the series I was starting to wonder when the sisters will make their appearance. And here they appear right at the penultimate episode. From the way Hisako is reacting, it’s like she has feelings for Kaname. I don’t know. Shouldn’t it be obvious? Why care so much for that bespectacled kid and go all the way to setup so that he can confess to her sister? But that last line of hers. Is it an indication that she will try to court him now? Matsushita didn’t really do much (the episode that focused on him being a sports festival committee felt like a side distraction to Masaki) while Takahashi, the girl that Yuuta dated shortly in the previous season due to peer pressure only made a short cameo. N/B: On the subject of date tailing, last season the friends followed Yuuta and Takahashi. This season they tailed Fuyuki and Mamiya. Don’t they have anything better to do? There are new characters too like Akihiro, Yanagi and Tsunashi but they are just one episode characters. Thus it makes me wonder what would happen to these old and new characters from now on but I suppose it’s okay since they aren’t the main focus of this series. Of course the best side character goes to Kaname’s mom. Such an amusing mother if I must say. Still trying to win over the heart of her son? Maybe she should try acting more like a normal mother and not over act if she wants her son to be less grumpy with her. If only she had more screen time for us to see her amusing excuses ‘to get her son back’.

Just like in the previous season, there are lots of cats peppered throughout the episode. And as usual some serve as ‘substitute’ to the scenes. Instead of seeing humans in whatever act, the felines are in place to give us an idea what is happening. However this season doesn’t show too many of those kindergarten flashbacks and it is only shown in the first and final episode. Maybe all that is left to tell has been told in the previous season? Hey, come to think of it, I don’t think Kaori did make any physical appearance in this season. Many of the background music are retained for this season. Especially the trademark Sora theme and some of the lovely acoustic guitar plucking songs such as Natsukashiku Nijimu Sora No Iro. If the female vocals were the ones featured in the first season, now it’s the male’s turn for the second one. The opening theme by Tomohisa Sakou entitled Zutto sounds pretty generic while the ending theme, Kimi To Boku No Banka by Yuu Sakai feels like it has some soul in it. I thought a few more drinks and the singer would sound more like Rod Steward! Geez… However I don’t find them as appealing as the first season’s songs and still preferred them over these ones.

As Shun pointed out, not only them but everyone are certainly changing. Who knows what the future holds. Who knows what everyone will be doing then. Will they still be together? Will they be apart? No use thinking too much about it because what is more important is the present. When the future comes, it comes. The memories that you make now so that in the future when you look back on them, you feel good and nostalgic remembering the good and bad times, the ups and downs with your friends and loved ones. So take it easy with life. Laugh hard. Cry hard. Have fun hard. Struggle hard. After all, you only have one high school period to go through and one childhood chance. As long it doesn’t break the law or cause harmful grievance, it’s okay for boys to play some harmless pranks. Because boys will always be boys even when they have grown up into an adults.

One Off

February 1, 2013

I thought that this show is trying to promote Honda motorcycles because we see the brand being featured prominent in the four episode OVA called One Off. Well, I guess they must be the sponsor for the series like how Pizza Hut did theirs with Code Geass. This is another one of those slow and calming slice of life anime series. So if you’re not into these kind of animes, you might be better off watching something else because the Honda bikes won’t be enough to keep you awake either. If you are into bikes, that is. The pace of this series reminds me a little bit like Tamayura because it is set in a small sleepy town away from the hustle and bustle of the city lights and deep in the mountainous regions. Instead of photography as the theme, as said, the motorbikes take centre stage. The story is about a girl who has been living in this little remote place for her entire life as she ponders about life elsewhere. Something more exciting perhaps. Well, the grass is always greener. Oh, did I mention that she has low self confidence too? I guess with no big thrills ever happening, it’s enough to zap all the enthusiasm out of a young girl’s life. Till a crazy biker girl that has travelled around the world stops by and enters her life and it makes her opens her eyes and perceptive of things.

Episode 1: The Windy Cafe Terrace
After 16 years living in the sleepy town of Hakuryuu, Haruno Shiozaki feels bored with the sleepy non-exciting pace. In school, she meets up with her friends Sayo Kaburagi and Anri Bessho. Also, Rie Maezono AKA Riecchi comes peddling and catching her breathe real hard. She can’t wait till she turns 16 so she can get her bike licence and escape from this hell with the Zoomer bike she is eyeing. During the break, Haruno tells her friends her parents have hired a new employee seeing the tourist season is here. She starts daydreaming of the ideal butler till she is brought back to reality. On the way back, a blonde riding a Honda CBR zooms pass them. She is an Australian, Cynthia B. Rogers and it turns out the new employee Haruno’s parents hired. She unzips her tracksuit to let her boobs breathe. Riecchi takes a picture as a memento for her brother! Seeing Cynthia has been around the world on her bike, she cooks a dish that incorporates taste from different parts of the world. So what does this fusion taste like? Indian? Italian? American? Vietnamese? All of the above? I don’t think their facial expression says they’re satisfied. Haruno cooks her a simple rice with egg dish. Guess what? Cynthia totally loves it! Nothing like a simple home cooked meal, eh? Later Haruno enjoys tea at her special spot with a great scenery, only to be ‘spoiled’ when Cynthia joins her. Thanks mom. For telling her secret sanctuary for respite. Cynthia is amazed with Haruno’s dish, tea and spot as she get to enjoy them all in a day but Haruno dismisses anything like that as she feels anybody who has travelled the world would be better. Later Cynthia joins Haruno and her friends as she talks about her adventures around the world especially in America. Playing tag with the wolves on her bike? Riecchi seems to be very astonished by her stories. Of course Haruno starts daydreaming of the ridiculous adventures. She gets embarrassed upon realizing she was shouting. Riecchi is fired up to tour the world with her trusty Zoomer. While everybody supports her, Haruno feels she can’t do such a thing no matter how much she wished it deep down. She thinks she is jealous and feels small.

Episode 2: Haruno Overture
Haruno narrates that she dreams of her friends accomplishing their respective achievements while she just serves them eggs. Huh? Thanks to Cynthia, her life has become rowdier and her workload increased. Thanks Cynthia. I’m not sure what Cynthia was trying to do tackling the chickens in the coop to get their eggs. She lost, by the way. Haruno narrates a local go-to place for motorcycle purchase and repairs. Motoya that they hang out since it’s not far from school and there is a cafe to pass the time. Anri shows them that she has written a new song featuring her dog, Maro. Cute? Weird? She was inspired by Cynthia’s stories, the reason she is able to do so. Sayo wants Haruno to sing it since she became the youngest winner on some summer vocal talent show. But Haruno isn’t too keen on it despite the rest note her dream was to be a singer. Here comes her pessimism again. Who would hear her voice in this place out of nowhere? Cynthia joins them and samples Anri’s new song. Not surprise that she loves it. Riecchi wants Cynthia to recommend a place for her to ride so she says to go where she wants to go. You’ll never know till you try. However Haruno becomes a wet blanket and doesn’t want Cynthia to give them false hope because of their different upbringing and culture. But surely it’s not wrong to let Riecchi dream, right? If she wants to discuss her dreams, they would gladly too. Who knows? It might even come true. Well, Haruno thinks you can’t get anywhere far in this town. As Haruno leaves, she talks to the old man who is servicing Cynthia’s bike. She bets the CBR can take one to places that her own Giorno bike can’t. The old dude replies it depends on who is riding it. Haruno knows she isn’t getting along well with Cynthia so he advises her to give some time as new parts always feel awkward at first. They’ll get used to each other soon.

Haruno relaxes at her favourite spot. Only for her peace to be interrupted again by Cynthia. She shows Haruno a photo of herself with Maro. I guess she got infatuated with its cuteness. Too bad Maro found her incessant kissing annoying and bit her! Cynthia says that the phrase of ‘you won’t know till you try’ stems from Haruno herself. She used to say that all the time. Can’t remember? Cynthia suggests they should head to the ocean. Just the two of them. Haruno thought her parents would be against it but surprisingly they allow her. So off they go riding in the wee hours of the morning. Though Haruno can’t see ahead in the darkness, it is not as scary as she thought. Is it because Cynthia is here? She had trouble keeping up cornering with a certain speed but Cynthia guides her. No need to rush. Then she remembers she used to say that phrase a lot when she wanted to encourage her friends to try out things. Finally they reach the end of the ridge and see the sea and the horizon. Haruno thanks Cynthia for being a great help. She reminded her that she can’t do anything alone and always relied on others. People like her who can do everything alone are amazing. However Cynthia says she’s not alone too. Lots of people played their role in getting them here. Those who made the bike and paved the roads included. So many people she has never met are lending their support. That’s why she can go wherever she wants. That’s why Haruno too should go wherever she wants and rely on whoever she wants. Haruno realizes she never thought of it this way before and felt those words settle deep in her heart.

Episode 3: Poco A Poco
Haruno’s friends have things they want to do with Cynthia. She’s okay granting their request but Haruno’s parents remind her that they are hosting a convention for stargazing enthusiasts. Daddy shows a beautiful picture of the nebula from last year’s convention given as a gift. It makes Haruno wonder where in the darkness of night do these colours hide. As the parents attend to the first arrival of guests, Haruno wants to further listen to the new parts of Anri’s song. Since Anri is having trouble with the lyrics, Riecchi suggests Sayo to write them. Then she notices that they’re like a band unit. A composer, lyricist and vocalist. As Cynthia helps out Haruno set up, she asks when her concert is going to be held (while doing her air guitar). She starts daydreaming of one but singing a lame song. About her farm chickens? She dismisses there would be one since they’re not at that level yet. Cynthia continues to bug her about the concert but Haruno continues to be pessimistic. Next day at the shrine with her friends, she asks if they should hold a concert since they’ve got a few songs. They didn’t answer and looked lost. This prompts Haruno to remember this happened a lot when they’re young. She would rush forward with her ideas but leaving everyone at a loss. That’s why she stopped pursuing the impossible. She shouldn’t have brought this topic up. That night as the stargazer enthusiasts converge outside, Haruno meets one of them, Kageyama. She lets her sample he Dob telescope as Haruno realizes the many stars blooming in the sky like flowers. Kageyama responds though they may be too far to be seen, but given time, they’ll be visible. Just like people’s hearts. Haruno feels she needs to spend more time looking carefully at others. Her friends then come and ask her when she wants to hold the concert. Of course Budoukan is out of the question. They can hold it at her place. Their group name is Poco A Poco which means little by little. Haruno narrates the mountain that seemed impossibly high wasn’t a big deal as she thought. Just a little by little, they can make it a bit farther.

Episode 4: And So The Memories Begin
Kageyama has made friends with Cynthia and stays back longer. Now they both go collect chicken eggs! Cynthia still lost, though. Riecchi learns that her friends haven’t been making progress in their respective department for the concert. Till she realizes she has no role to play! The rest comfort her that she can take on the manager role or the chorus and tambourine part. That’s an important role, you know. At Motoya, they’re supposed to discuss further about their concert but the rest are just lacking motivation. Plain lazy? Haruno thinks the concert should be held next spring. Then they heard the old guy servicing Kageyama’s bike and revving to test it. They notice the sound of all the parts working together so Riecchi quips that they’re a unit since it’s like many parts working together to produce a sound. I think her friends feel rather embarrassed about that. Haruno soon learns that Cynthia will be leaving soon but puts up that tsundere attitude that she won’t be bothered. Really? Not convincing. Cynthia meant to tell her but disappointment is clearly seen all over Haruno’s face. Her concert is next spring so can she hear her song? Haruno sits dejectedly at her favourite spot when Kageyama comes to talk to her. How did she find this place? Cynthia. Oh. She tells Haruno once she returns, she will be taking a break from travelling (due to some commitments despite her free spirited will) and it looks like Japan is her last stop. Haruno feels she should’ve picked a better place if that’s the case. Kageyama thinks she wanted to encourage her. Well, she did ask her to rely on others. But as said, people don’t give encouragements just because one asked. They do it when they notice your efforts and that unseen support is worth more than she thinks. Nobody’s dreams can come true without relying on others.

Riecchi is devastated when she finds out Cynthia is leaving. So the rest vow to hasten their concert and not rely on Cynthia. The friends work hard and because of Cynthia, their once hazy goal now becomes more visible. Haruno notes one day, all of them will go their separate ways. The song they created and the little town in the mountains, they are all part of who they are now. Their first concert will be tomorrow. Can they do it? You won’t know if you don’t try. With everyone gathered. Poco A Poco performs its first song dedicated to Cynthia. Haruno thanks her for everything and is given a hug. Before she leaves, Cynthia seems to have mastered the art of collecting chicken eggs! I don’t know if the chickens treat her as her master now. Cynthia prepares to head off with Kageyama. It’s such a tearful farewell for Riecchi. Since Cynthia’s bike’s name is Butterfly Shrimp, she suggests that Haruno should name hers as Eggs! Well, her egg was so good that you can’t forget about it. Instead of asking whether she’ll return, Haruno vows that she’ll come and visit her next time. Cynthia will definitely be waiting. Haruno narrates their time together may be short but it made her eager to rely on others and explore new worlds. After all, she has come to like herself a bit more. In the aftermath, we see Riecchi obtaining her licence and now riding her Zoomer. Now she can join her friends on any bike excursions. No more peddling like hell. Also, Cynthia and Haruno continue to write to each other.

Easy Rider
Despite nothing much happening, it is good that Haruno now has the confidence and at least she is more positive thinking than before. Instead of being pessimistic, she looks forward to things. She was always put off by things she was unable to do and slowly it becomes a big scary wall that she finds impossible to climb over. I suppose that most of us have experienced something similar like this. We start off really enthusiastic and fired up with a goal or dream but because of reality, circumstances and society, we start feeling getting put off and we conclude and even make that dream to look absurd. Then it takes somebody else to make us realize that we can do it if we just give it a try. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s why you need to try. Giving up before doing so is just like admitting defeat before the fight begins. Like the saying, failing to plan is a plan to fail. Something along that line. Thus this series is trying to tell us that if you have a dream or goal you want to achieve, you should take the effort and go grab it. Don’t sit around and wait for miracles to happen because if you do, it is certain that it won’t come true. Of course with support from your family, friends and others, you’d have a higher chance in achieving them.

Cynthia is one crazy woman if you compare her character to the sleepiness of this town. It’s like culture shock but you don’t really see the local folks getting too surprised. Instead, they welcome her and treat her like any of their other guests. Cynthia is definitely a catalyst for Haruno in opening her eyes to the world. Whether it is fate, coincidence or even a setup by Haruno’s parents that she came to this little place (Haruno’s mom was looking up the internet and that’s how she met her), at least this little change of scene proves good for Haruno. Now they’re clicking as compared when Haruno is just as cold as ice. I guess she realizes the value of their friendship when Cynthia had to cut short her stay. Haruno’s friends are okay too, though they somewhat remind me of Fuu’s friends in Tamayura. You’ve got the very lively and cheeky one in Riecchi (I suppose she was so hard up on a bike before she got her licence that she loved holding the girl’s hair/ponytail as her imaginary bike handle). Then you’ve also got the nice and quiet ones (almost) in Sayo and Anri. In addition to the pet mascot, if Tamayura’s Momoneko was the cute cotton candy feline, here we have Maro the cute puppy with goggles on his head. I’m not sure if Haruno dislikes her town like before and wants to move out (unlike Fuu who totally loves her hometown and moves back in) but I don’t see that desperation that she wants to leave real bad. Even if she did have the means, she was using the impossibility excuse as a reason for not moving. Maybe somewhere deep down in her heart she loves this place too. It’s not like that she really wants to get out of here, right?

When I first heard Yuu Kobayashi as the voice of Cynthia, it reminded me of the good ol’ days whereby I used to hear her voice lots of crazy woman roles like Kaede/Kaere in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Lala in School Rumble and Ayame in Gintama. Well, Cynthia is certainly a crazy woman but not in the sense that she loses her mind. Because of her eccentric and lively character, Yuu Kobayashi’s exuberant loud voice suits her very well whenever she gets excited. Eri Kitamua is recognizable as Riecchi as she sounds like one of her cheeky/haughty roles such as Rin from Kodomo No Jikan, Eve in Needless and Karen in Nisemonogatari. The rest of the other casts include Saori Goto as Haruno (Bara Suishou in Rozen Maiden Traumend), Saori Hayami as Sayo (Ikaros in Sora No Otoshimono), Sayuri Yahagi as Anri (Haruna in To Love-Ru) and Megumi Ogata as Kageyama (Yume in Koi To Senkyo To Chocolate, Izumi in Full Moon Wo Sagashite). Both the opening and ending themes are sung by Roundtable Featuring Nino. In line with their trademark music, the opening Yakusoku No Basho is a lively pop piece while the ending theme, Memories plays to a slower tune. Both pieces have that soothing and calming effect and very much brings back memories of Aria The Animation and its sequels. In fact, I thought some of the relaxing background music had this Aria The Animation feel to it. It really gives you the feel that you are immersed in this dreamy and sleepy town.

Well, I’m certainly not going to buy a Honda bike. I don’t even have a motorcycle licence! I’m not so sure but I’m wondering if Honda sales are dropping that they need to do such a thing. I mean, take a look at this little town and it’s like as though Honda sponsored everyone riding their bike because everybody owns a Honda brand! They should call this little town, Little Honda. This show is definitely paying homage to Honda. I’m not sure if this is going to be a trend because I realized that recently at the end of 2012, Mercedes Benz also released an anime to promote their new model or something. Since I’m not a bike enthusiast too, I probably couldn’t recognize some of the motorbike models appearing in this series. To me, they are just bikes or scooters. Just motor-powered two-wheeler that get you from one place to another.

So the world is a big place for you to explore but this is for those who love to travel and explore places. For a person like me who loves sitting in front of the idiot box for hours watching my animes, I travel to different regions, worlds and parallel universes in the fantasy of my own head! Haha. It’s much safer since I don’t have to worry about falling off balance and break some bone in my body (in regards to travelling around the world on a bike, that is). I know lots of people would love to tell me to get off my seat and really go see the world and how I would be amazed and a big eye opener for me. Sure, maybe. One day. If I can get over my sceptism and fear of travelling. After all, how would I know if I don’t try it myself.

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