Love Get Chu

March 24, 2013

Now that I have a peek into the hectic life of a mangaka in Bakuman, it’s time for me to do the same for those being a seiyuu (voice actor). As we know a job of a seiyuu is to bring life to animated characters and for an anime buff like me, I have heard countless of voice roles with some really good ones and well, I won’t say mediocre to others because they wouldn’t really have made it if they weren’t up to mark. Love Get Chu is about 5 different girls with different ambitions trying to aim and become a seiyuu themselves. But just like any other jobs in the world, it isn’t a smooth ride because there will be obstacles to overcome if you are going to stay or even be the best in the industry. They learn a thing or two that being a seiyuu isn’t just about the voice and of course other life lessons that will have them realize what they truly love doing. Of course, the inevitable girl-meets-boy and fall in love although they start out on a bad note and quarrel most of the time.

Episode 1
Momoko Ichihara watches with awe the anime Skater Legend Lover (Sukerabu). Five years later, she takes a train down to Tokyo in her quest to become a seiyuu. She gets firsthand experience the crowded Tokyo trains and thinks somebody’s hand is touching her butt. Actually it is some stuffs belong to Atari Maeda sticking out and his happy face mistaken for being a pervert was because he is sleepy. Momoko screams at the top of the voice enough to crack the windows! She accuses the pervert when she realizes her mistake. She apologizes when they get off the next station but goes off since she is in a hurry. She is outside the audition building of Lambda Eight when a limo pulls up before her. As pointed out by Yurika Sasaki, she is a popular gravure idol, Amane Oohara. Yeah, she came complete with a red carpet and a personal maid, Kiyoka Houjou. Yurika thinks Momoko shouldn’t praise her rivals too much since they are all here for the audition. While waiting for their turn, Momoko learns Yurika is a veteran. Well, this is her fifth time and I’m sure she had no ill intentions to mean that the first four were failures, right? Momoko is eager to join Lambda Eight because of Minato Ichinose. Who? Her future husband. Oh. Keep dreaming… Yurika tries to tell her about the harsh and strict audition procedures but her friend, Tsubasa Onodera doesn’t want her to scare the newbie because she believes ability is all that is needed and not motives. Rinka Suzuki asks the gang about the swimsuits lying around. They find a box containing swimsuits and think part of the audition must have them take a swimsuit test. Keep imagining those hot stuffs… Till a staff finds the box and takes them away after realizing it got put in the wrong audition room. It’s not for them obviously. Then Eri Daimon passes by and since Momoko wonders what the director of the series Sukerabu Amamiya is doing here, Yurika points out she also director of Lambda Eight.

The audition process begins but it seems Eri is pouring cold water on the auditioners. Like Tsubasa, she only wants to play boy roles so Eri keep insisting what happens if she can only play girls roles. Yurika is talkative and positive about her dreams in this industry but Eri doesn’t feel her baseless confidence is right and might as well give up. Amane is given a tongue twister to read and slips up so she argues her voice shouldn’t just be judged but her pretty face and body as well. Rinka is nervous and stammers so Eri reminds her she expects people who come in here to be ready and comfortable with what they’re going to do. Momoko is giving mommy back hope an update status report (I guess her daddy didn’t approve of this). Rinka goes to tell Momoko she is up next. However Rinka was too shy to speak up as Momoko heads the wrong direction for the audition. Instead of going downstairs, she went up. And up and up and up till she hits the rooftop. Oh dear. Her first audition and she’s going to be late. What will she do? She screams at the top of the voice that she is lost! Wow! Enough to crack windows and send cars off the road! Despite in a sound proof room, Eri thought she heard something and requests to turn the speaker volume louder. Then she makes her way up to the rooftop. Guess what’s the first thing she did? She punches Momoko in the gut! What was that for? She commends her strong stomach muscles and tells her she doesn’t have to come for the audition. Oh, she’s so screwed. While everyone is nervously waiting for the results, Eri and the other judges argue who to take in. A guy wants to bring in new seiyuus for the industry but Eri is not in favour of lowering their standards. Hisatoki Edogawa points out to some of the ‘weird’ traits the main characters have and thinks Eri is interested in them too. In the end, our main quintet pass the audition. Momoko is so surprised that she lets loose a deafening scream. Then she realizes she has no place to stay. Yurika suggests an old mansion on the hilltop she can stay for a few days and the rent is cheap. Upon entering, she sees Atari and remembers the ‘pervert’. Maybe this time it’s for real because his towel comes undone. Another high pitched scream, I guess. Hope this doesn’t bring down the old mansion.

Episode 2
Momoko dreams of making it big as a seiyuu and dating Minato. Shucks, it’s all just a dream. Till Atari pops up. Phew. Thank goodness it was all a dream. Momoko meets the dorm manager, Runa Narita as she learns last night ‘perverted’ incident was because Atari was fixing the shower. Had she not knocked him out cold with her bag then. Runa knows Momoko because Yurika called her. Momoko also finds out Atari is an animator and his tough job line means he is sleeping whenever he can. So when his handphone starts ringing and he’s not waking up, Momoko picks it up on his behalf and tells the other line not to bug him since he’s tired. She shuts his handphone off. Since breakfast is soon, Runa hopes Momoko could wake him up. How? Use her loud voice! What a rude awakening. Yeah, everyone is wakened up too. Maybe she should be their alarm clock. Runa introduces Momoko to the other residents. Mayu Kawamura the poor college student, Aoki Yukia the passionate sports instructor, snack bar hostess Junko Wakatsuki, studious lawyer wannabe Sendai (wondered how many times he has failed…). Momoko introduces herself and her goal to be a seiyuu. I’m sure they’re getting ahead of themselves that she’ll become famous. Momoko also explains what a seiyuu is and is glad to demonstrate. She goes back to her room to pick up her precious script book but to her horror, it’s missing. Since Runa is busy, she has Atari help her look for it. I guess he has a crush on her, the only reason why he would help out.

The script book is a precious present she received from the programme and it had Minato’s signature on it. Let’s say that’s where her dream took off. However Atari warns her the harsh realities of becoming a seiyuu as not many can become pros (hinting his own dream failure). She didn’t like his pessimism and vows that nothing is impossible because it’s like he has given up before he started. The search is called off when Atari realizes his handphone is off and is late for work. In his workplace, his colleagues are rife with rumours that he may have got a girlfriend. Momoko attends the voice training institute and the strict teacher, Mizuko Takemiya has the students introduce themselves. If you’re nervous, you’re out. Momoko is nervous but feels the need to make herself stand out so she volunteers to introduce herself. Takemiya doesn’t seem impress and has the girls know that they’re not going to be just reading lines behind a mic. She is going to grind the basics of everything into them and that includes physical stamina and body training. And they think being a seiyuu is just about the voice, eh? Takemiya warns them impatient ones usually drop out and only 10% will be accepted after all the training. Out of that, only a few can become pros. Atari’s words start ringing in Momoko’s head. Atari comes home tired but sees Momoko depressed. Runa hopes Atari could talk to her and cheer her up but I guess there is no need for it because Momoko has found her script book. It was in the wrong luggage and that baggage just arrived today from Kyoto. Runa requests her to demonstrate but Momoko apologizes that she can’t. She will only do so when she becomes a real seiyuu.

Episode 3
It’s that usual good morning awakening courtesy from Momoko again. Effective because everyone’s up. Sendai is looking up on a law on noise disturbance! Momoko notices Atari not at the breakfast table and the others point out it’s no surprise due to his work nature, he will be ‘missing’ for several days straight. Momoko thinks of being in Takemiya’s good books by coming early (keep dreaming) but she faces the same intense rivalry from her seiyuu rivals. So intense that when they try entering the door together, the knob broke! Look what you’ve done now. Takemiya has the girls do kanji dictation (write on the board what she says). Momoko and Amane suck in this but Takemiya points out it is not something bad. Because they know their weaknesses and abilities, they can do their best and improve. Momoko realizes how poor she is when she doesn’t even have money to buy a cheap book and can only afford plain water! Her bank account is close to nil! Her friends suggest taking up a part time job like some of them. Momoko speaks to Runa about her problem when Atari just came back in time. She tells him Momoko’s issue (Atari’s company is hiring part timers) but after seeing how clumsy she is, he knows he’ll be in for trouble and will only have his workload increase. So he lies his company already has enough people. But still, Runa’s worried about newbie Momoko and perhaps this kindness has Atari fooled into taking responsibility to help her secure a part time job. Atari learns Momoko did part times job in Kyoto before. Guess what? She got fired in a day. At a bookstore, she got infatuated reading Sukerabu books and at a ramen shop, she got distracted watching the Sukerabu on TV instead of serving. Momoko spots a job she likes. She’s gone before Atari knew what’s going on. He tails her and finds her working at a maid cafe. She seems pretty natural but didn’t expect her to serve him (he is in a disguise). As part of the job, she tries feeding him while he resists. The struggle has her spill fried rice over his pants. She wants to clean it and their hands accidentally met. She thinks he was on purpose trying to make her hand touch ‘that part’ and beats him up. His disguise falls off. Guess what? She got fired.

Walking back, Momoko reveals she took up that job thinking it was a good experience to act out as a maid serving her master. They pass by a figurine store and Atari passionately narrates the quality animation of an anime director, Ken Kagimoto (who is also his boss). He stops short of finishing his story because he works under his company and doesn’t want Momoko to find out for fear she might come to visit him at work. Atari’s colleague, Kumano happens to walk out of the store. He thinks she is his girlfriend. Since she continues to bug Atari about his company, Kumano tells everything. So surprised that Momoko lets loose her loud shockwave. I think a major traffic accident just happened. The trio chill out at a diner as Kumano explains Atari joined the company because of his love for Sukerabu that produces that anime (though the company is an associated company formed by Kagimoto). Atari has dreams of making something big that would move audiences like that. Atari dozes off and doesn’t wake up as his handphone rings. Momoko picks it up and the other person is anxious for him to get some job done. Atari wakes up in his workplace (Kumano carried him back) and is being told that a part timer has been hired to complete his job. In view of this, Kagimoto gives him more work and to be completed next morning. Guess who the part timer is? Yeah. Momoko. Right off the bat, she already did some mistakes bringing in the wrong stuffs. Though one of the staff, Shinsuke Yamashita is forgiving and nice, he acts cold towards Atari and wants him to get it right. What’s with the double standards? As feared, his workload goes up correcting her mistakes. Though Momoko feels bad, she will do her best with her kanji dictation practice. Till Runa points out all the wrong answers she wrote…

Episode 4
Despite the alarm clock having Momoko’s voice and not even in loud mode, it is still enough to wake Atari up and in a frantic. I guess the conditioning is already there. In class, Momoko is made to recite a hellish takegaki tongue twister. Her nervousness stems from the part when she discovered from her friends that Takemiya was a seiyuu in many famous old animes. The quintet girls are assigned to help out in an event at Ikebukuro for fans that will feature Yuumi Nakamura the singer. They are to take this chance to observe and learn from their seniors on how stars interact with their fans. Momoko is disappointed that it’s not their stage debut till she hears Minato is going to be the emcee. Though Eri warns of not being late and one screw up means you are dismissed. But Momoko is totally over the moon. In cloud nine. She’ll do whatever it takes. So happy that she waltzes into Atari’s workplace despite today being her day off (this means Atari has to do her share of donkey work, eh?). She gets delighted when Kumano gives her a box filled with Sukerabu videos. So happy with the gifts that she starts watching them till the wee hours of the morning. Naturally, this means she gets up late on the all-important day, right? Don’t stand there and get appalled. Start running! Well, can she make it? Thankfully Yamashita and Atari spot her along the way and have her get into the car. Can they make it? Well, Yamashita’s car is fitted with some rocket turbo! Oh sh*t! Hold on tight! So fast that it can drive up the walls!!! And he’s such a pro diver too! Freaking awesome!!!  But there is a traffic jam so it’s up to Atari and Momoko to borrow his double seater bicycle and peddle as hard as they can. Meanwhile the girls are worried about Momoko’s no-show and Eri doesn’t give a damn and wants them to forget about that irresponsible person because they have lots of preparation to do.

When Momoko arrives, no amount of apology would do as Eri tells her to go home (lots of ticking off included). Even when Minato and Yuumi comes in, Momoko isn’t in the mood to get all hysteric when she sees her idol in the flesh. She feels awkward when Eri introduces them to her other friends and leaves her out in one corner. Suddenly the power goes out just before the event starts. Somewhere away from the event, a crane fell and damaged the power cables. Fixing things will take too long and they can’t cancel the event as the fans are waiting. Momoko decides to go on stage and do something about it. Eri wanted to stop her but Minato wants to see what she can do. Despite not having a plan, she manages to catch the crowd’s attention. Then she flawlessly recites the takegaki tongue twister 3 times!!! Can you say all that???!!! Hats off to her for such impeccable tongue twisting! It’s no wonder the crowd loves her. Hear them give their rousing applause. So, does she work well under pressure? The backup generator starts working so the event resumes. While Momoko takes a breather at the backstage, she gets the best present when Minato pats her head. Though Eri continues to admonish her for doing what she wants, at least it’s a sign that she appreciates it since she wants her to correct that tongue twister with Takemiya’s help.

Episode 5
Rinka thinks of quitting the seiyuu business. We see Momoko up early doing morning exercise because Lambda Eight will be holding their annual relay race for trainees. Rumours have it that the winner will get her seiyuu debut because Yuumi was on the winning team a few years ago. So as Momoko and her friends train, she notices diligent Rinka not showing up. Yurika thinks she knows where Rinka is. Momoko visits the doujin convention in Tokyo and is surprised to see Rinka cosplaying in front of her diehard fans. Rinka in turn is surprised to see her. During the break, Momoko learns Rinka is a seiyuu for doujin games. However Rinka says she is doing it as a hobby and plans to quit. She got into the world of seiyuu when her friend invited her to try out voicing a doujin game. Though she got hooked and became famous among her fans, the transition into a real seiyuu is tough and not what she had expected. The last straw came when the relay race was announced. She doesn’t have the stamina and doing such physical stuff will only tire her out and be a burden to the rest. Suddenly Momoko says out a line from Sukerabu and she’s very convincing in it. But I guess she got carried away in praising that motivating scene. Since Momoko needs to leave for a job, she hopes Rinka will run together in the race. Rinka isn’t given time to reply her own feelings that she doesn’t want to join. While the friends think less rivals would be better for them, Momoko is confident that Rinka will turn up for the race.

Unfortunately come race day, Rinka’s nose is nowhere to be seen and as usual, Momoko has to plead to Eri not to disqualify them due to lack of members. She has them make Rinka as the anchor and if that point she still doesn’t turn up, they’ll be disqualified for good. The race starts with Momoko making a good start and building up a gap between the rest. Then she passes the baton to Yurika followed by Tsubasa. Their lead may just be eaten away because Amane is damn slow! Even the kids are running faster than her! If anybody is slower than her, it’s because they slow down to admire those ‘bouncy jugs’. It’s mind boggling that running that slow makes her the one catching her breath the most in the end. However Rinka still hasn’t turned up and Momoko is a second away from admitting to be disqualified. Suddenly the devil turns up. Rinka takes over the race for the final stretch but her pessimism is still there. She is about to give up when Momoko runs up besides her. She is going to run along with her to the finish line. Rinka gets the extra power to push herself and as noted by Takemiya, despite not turning up for the daily race practice, she did practice her daily seiyuu exercises so that in turn helped her built her stamina. Rinka and Momoko cross the finish line together. Later it is revealed that Rinka, who never watched Sukerabu before, went and bought the entire collection and watched it straight and thus overslept. Guess what? She is totally addicted to the show now as we see the Sukerabu enthusiasts discuss their favourite and important scenes.

Episode 6
Tsubasa rushes to class and tumbles down the stairs but is helped up by a guy. Today, Takemiya will have the girls practice a scene behind a mic with another seiyuu. The point of this exercise is to make them be aware of their weak points. Because the scene is about a girl going out on a date, Tsubasa hopes that she could take on a male role. Unfortunately, that role is already given out to Akira Shinjou, the guy who helped Tsubasa earlier on and their senior who graduated from this institute a year ago. Tsubasa starts the practice off but she doesn’t seem to be able to put the right emotions into her dialogue so Takemiya wants her to brush up before next week’s practice. Later as the girls rest, Tsubasa laments she hasn’t been on dates before, that’s why she doesn’t know how a girl is supposed to feel. I guess the other girls also claim they haven’t been on a date before. Tsubasa goes to thank Akira and Rinka hatches a plan when she observes them interact naturally. They plan to have Tsubasa go out on a date with Akira tomorrow at the park and use this experience to improve her acting. Don’t worry. Rinka has mini microphones and ear piece to guide her. Tsubasa meets Akira at the park and the plan seems to be going well be it riding the roller coaster or tea cup ride. Why does Rinka sound like she’s a pro in this area? For the setup in the haunted house, I guess the house was scary enough for the girls so why bother trying to setup something even scarier? I don’t know what Amane brought in her box but it scared the hell out of everybody and Amane herself knocked out cold. So as Rinka prepares herself as a ghost, Yurika and Momoko fool around and cause them all to fall inside the mini lake. Well, at least their scream is real. Tsubasa sees the trio in the lake and realizes she is on her own. But when she tries to fake being scared, they’re already near the exit.

Later when they pass a hero show billboard, Tsubasa reveals she always liked such animes targeted for boys and after watching so many of them, it became a reason why she wanted to voice boys’ roles only. That’s why she can’t do girls’ role. Akira says she should act like herself. There must be a girl on a date that only she can portray and the most important thing to do on a date is to have fun. So here is round 2 of their date. Come next week’s practice, Tsubasa is so convincing with her lines that it is as though she wasn’t acting! She’s like the real deal. Even Takemiya praises her vast improvement. Later her friends spy them on the rooftop. What’s this? Tsubasa going to confess to Akira? This is not an act I believe. The moment we’ve all been waiting for is interrupted when Edogawa goes to congratulate Akira for passing an audition. Seems he has landed a role of a girl’s role like he always wanted. Eh? What does this mean? Akira is a girl!!! Oh sh*t! Poor Tsubasa. Such heartbreak. Because Akira has this voice and looks, it’s hard for her to get girls’ role. Sometimes she gets mistaken as a male on the street. Akira admits she is the opposite from Tsubasa and always had an interest in voicing female roles and that’s how she got into this seiyuu business. Tsubasa’s friends try to cheer her up by throwing a party but Tsubasa has now got a new goal. Since Akira is a pro who can voice both male and female roles, Tsubasa is going to be a great seiyuu like her.

Episode 7
Yurika wakes up from a dream whereby she was bullied by other kids. Atari stood up for her so she naturally takes a liking for him. In class, Yurika flawlessly masters another tongue twisting line. While the rest has their lines memorized, only Momoko is unable to do so. Yurika agrees to help her practice but I guess this is part of her intention to visit Atari. They thought he is watching a perverted video but it turns out to be his debut as an animator for the series Magical Girl Moe Moe Moa-chan. See his name in the credits? But the girls tease him he is still an underling in the company. As Yurika leaves, she hears Momoko making a statement to Atari that if she debuts as a seiyuu, she’ll lend her voice to his animations. He teases her back that her poor voice would be a poor match to his animations. Yurika remembers Atari was good at drawing and his dream to become an animator. This made her wonder if she should become a seiyuu. He is confident she could do it and if she does, he’ll animate them. They made a promise on that. Yurika wonders if he has forgotten about it. Despite Momoko doing well in some speed speech practice, her friends had to rain on her parade that this isn’t going to be enough to pass the promotion exam and that it’s a long way to go before they can debut. Yurika hears more disheartening news how a senior’s debut fell through. Despite doing well in training, it proves that success isn’t guaranteed. A man named Kuroiwa mistakes Yurika sitting alone on the bench for someone waiting for him. She thought he’s some pervert and slaps him. Later at the cafe she apologizes for that and realizes he is from a voice acting agency. The seiyuu he was supposed to meet stood up on him so that’s why he had mistaken her. Since his agency has hardly any seiyuus and he is trying to promote new ones to the industry, he offers Yurika to debut in his agency. Of course she’s going to take this chance.

Yurika talks to Eri that she is quitting. Though she can’t give her reasons, she is confident she will not regret this one. Momoko seems to be the most devastated one hearing this news. So when the duo talk, Yurika reveals she has someone she loves. That person supported her, the reason she could come this far and thus she wants to debut as soon as possible. Later Eri summons Momoko about Yurika’s decision and I suppose Momoko is such a poor liar that she accidentally reveals the agency name. Eri tells her that Kuroiwa is one of the most corrupted men in the industry. He would con students out of their registration money with promise of debuting and make them do shady jobs that many are embarrassed to talk about. Atari sees Yurika heading into a building and is puzzled because he remembers she had lessons with Momoko. He calls Momoko to confirm it so Eri and Momoko rush to where he is right now. Yurika is in a midst of a photo shoot when Kuroiwa wants her to be more daring and strip. She refuses so he gets rough and threatening. Besides, she already signed a contract so she is his merchandise. She feels helpless when suddenly the building starts shaking. Earthquake? Nope. It’s Momoko shouting at the top off her voice! The distraction has Yurika yelling out her whereabouts. Eri’s sharp hearing has her determined the exact room Yurika is in! Atari rushes in to protect her. Kuroiwa panics when he sees Eri. He tries to worm his way out with excuses that he is giving talented seiyuus a debuting chance when Lambda Eight is so busy. Guess what? She gives him a judo throw and rips the contract. A contract made by a conman is not binding. She warns him never to lay his finger on her students. NEVER… Even the cameraman knows what’s good for him and obediently gives his camera, in which Eri breaks the memory card with the snap of her fingers! Holy cow! Yurika cries in the arms of Atari. In the aftermath, Yurika although got scolded by Eri, was also forgiven. She says she wanted to be a seiyuu so badly that’s why she rushed into being one. When they came to her rescue, she felt very happy. She makes a new promise with Atari that when she debuts, he’ll animate that anime. He agrees to her relief. Momoko guesses that Atari is the one Yurika loves.

Episode 8
Amane’s father, Heizou makes his entry into Lambda Eight. I understand he is a big star from the famous historical period series, Grand General Oedo but employing ninjas as his workers? WTF?! Anyway as Heizou talks to Eri, he wants Amane to quit voice acting. That’s because he wants her to be an actress and has already decided her debut in the upcoming Grand General Oedo The Movie. She will be featured in its series subsequently. Amane refuses to do that but Heizou doesn’t view highly of voice acting because he doesn’t consider that as true acting. Momoko has been eavesdropping and didn’t like the way he insulted the industry and crashes in to give her piece of mind. If the other girls didn’t restrain her, she would’ve him beaten up. Well, at least she gets to say and do what she wants without thinking about the repercussions. Heizou has his ninjas take Amane away. Don’t mess with them. Their swords are for real and they even used a real smoke screen to escape! Despite being told by Eri not to meddle in such private affairs, Momoko isn’t going to wait around for a miracle turnaround since their friend who shares the same dream is in trouble. So much to Kiyoka’s happiness that the quartet decide to help Amane out. Kiyoka explains Amane has been strictly raised and groomed for acting. She wanted to go into voice acting to step out of her father’s shadow that’s why she secretly joined Lambda without her father’s approval. The gang arrive in Amane’s traditional Japanese mansion. Looks like a castle… To avoid suspicions from the ninja guards, Kiyoka has them dressed as maids. Though the ninjas are sharp, they’re still dumb because they’re being fooled by Kiyoka as new employees and hope to organize a mixer. Kiyoka knows Amane is confined in one of the confinement cells but doesn’t know it in much detail. Momoko accidentally steps on a trapdoor and falls through. The alarm is set. Now what? Run! Momoko also has to do lots of running or else be done in by the ridiculous traps.  Despite Kiyoka and the rest being cornered by the ninjas, Kiyoka manages to give them the slip by bluffing about some mixer. I guess ninjas like them are so busy that they take out their schedules to compare the free days they have. The girls use this distraction to escape.

Momoko somehow wandered to where Amane is being held (she only has the script for the movie as company). The latter seems to have accepted her fate but Momoko tells her off to stand up and make him understand via her actions. If you are wondering why Momoko sounds so confident and convincing saying that, note that it’s a line from her Sukerabu series. Momoko goes off to find help from the rest but ends up in Heizou’s room. She has a showdown with him, telling him about their voice acting can also move people’s hearts. He is not impressed and sends her falling through another trapdoor. Not again. Heizou goes see Amane for her decision when Momoko crashes in from the ceiling. Where the hell does the trapdoor lead, I don’t know. Though Momoko continues to say what she wants, Heizou isn’t going to listen. Elsewhere Kiyoka and the girls are being cornered by the ninjas. This time they are hard up for the mixer! So happen they are in the electrical room. To distract, they pull the breaker switch! Total blackout! In this moment of darkness, Amane uses her acting skills and recites a line from the movie. Heizou plays along with her. Suddenly, he is transported into the movie. How can this be? Is her performance so good that he is seeing such visions with her voice? I don’t think he’s hallucinating either. Although this proves Amane can act well, her dad says she needs more improvement. But the breakthrough is that he acknowledges acting with one’s voice can indeed move people’s heart. He frees Amane and lets her do what she wants. Though Momoko doesn’t understand what has happened, she’s glad everything is resolved. Well, not everything. Because Kiyoka and the rest are hiding in the locker of the ninjas’ changing room! Of all places, why did they choose to cram themselves in such a small space?

Episode 9
Momoko thought he could go wake sleepyhead Atari up but it seems Yurika beat her to it. Yeah, 3 alarm clocks aren’t enough to wake that kid up. But why does Momoko feel so irritated? As hinted by Runa, when the rival appears, it’s survival! Momoko’s spacing out is so obvious that she misses her next stop on the train. In class, Takemiya tells her students that there will be a special promotion that will give them an opportunity to work as a seiyuu apprentice but it’s not going to be easy. Momoko may be over the moon but it’s going to take more than her cheery disposition to pass because as stated, it’s not unusual to go 3 years without anyone passing. At the park, Momoko and Yurika renew their friendly rivalry towards their seiyuu dream when Momoko suddenly remembers she forgot to take her enunciation book left behind at Lambda Eight’s rooftop. She rushes back and didn’t even notice taking the same lift with Minato till he had to point out to her that she’s that takegaki girl. Learning that she is undergoing a special promotion, he invites her for a private lesson tomorrow. You think she would miss this chance? So happy this girl that she goes to bug Atari at work and tell him what happened (including her fantasy crap about getting married to her idol). However all that happiness suddenly just disappears when Atari gets a call from Yurika to meet tomorrow. She teases him it’s like they’re going on a date but it only serves to irritate her even further. Next morning, Runa thought Momoko was going on a date with Atari but she tells him the truth. Look how disappointed Runa’s face is. At the studio, Minato starts practice off by giving her read a script from his weekly TV series he is voicing. However since one of the characters she is playing sounds close to Yurika’s name, she can’t concentrate. So much so her mind kept wandering off and worried about the date Atari and Yurika are having now. Minato tells her off that she’s not putting her emotions in and stops the lesson. He won’t waste time with a novice who doesn’t even try. Momoko heads back depressed and bumps into Atari on the way in. Obviously he could tell she is lying that her outing was fun. It descended into an argument with both of them challenging each other that the loser must do what the winner says for a day. And Runa can only sigh while watching the lover’s quarrel…

Later Momoko finds out from Yurika that she was just trying to find an old anime with a seiyuu who passed the special promotion and had Atari guide her. In the bath, Runa tells it straight to Momoko that she is in love with Atari. Just that she can’t admit it herself but if she battles it out with Yurika, it may become clear. Momoko takes up the challenge since there’s no point moping. During the special promotion test, the usual quintet are to perform via reading a script from the characters they choose. Momoko and Yurika pick characters that are main rivals to each other and it seems their outburst is very convincing. Are they really just acting? Plus, the script seems to suspiciously mirror about their feelings for a certain guy. I guess it must be very tiring ticking off the other but I guess it’s all just acting because the duo shake hands in the end. The results are out and there is one qualifier: Amane. Although she made mistakes and some slips, she had important and proper skills while standing in front of a mic and keeping her eyes on the script. She also kept in mind the balance between the other cast members. As for Momoko and Yurika, they were trying to ‘defeat the enemy’ and forgot that this is a team effort. Back to square one. Meanwhile we see how bored Runa is because she’s playing paper sumo with Momoko and Yurika. The score she kept has them at a tie. She really likes to see where the romance drama is going between them, eh? So this is perhaps why she is always so ‘busy’.

Episode 10
Obviously Momoko is depressed that she didn’t pass so the dorm residents try to cheer her up. I guess it didn’t work because she just hit rock bottom when she accidentally hit her foot on the table leg. Amane is in an audition for a major role for some anime but it seems the producers are not keen on her despite doing well. In the end, she wasn’t given the role or any minor role at all. Edogawa wanted to fight on for her but Eri feels this will be good experience for her since it was too early to cast her into audition right after passing the test. Naturally, Amane too gets depressed as she starts questioning what she lacks. Edogawa sees Momoko and co to ask if they are free to help out with a Child Girls event at West Ikebukuro. Yuumi is the main seiyuu for this show and the last minute planning has messed things quite a bit. Since Amane is there to help out with the promotion, Edogawa hopes that they can be there to support her thinking she’ll feel better if her friends are around. Plus, this will also be a great chance for them to learn too. Because Momoko doesn’t know what Child Girls is, she enlists Atari’s help to explain. Let’s say it is some magical girl anime popular with girls. At the event, Amane is surprised to see her friends. But it feels good to be back with them again. I don’t know how Momoko can move in that bulky monkey mascot outfit. The event begins with Yuumi going on stage followed by the rest. Ironically if this show is popular with girls, how come there are so many male otaku fans in the crowd?

The Q&A session, the show is suddenly hijacked by the Space Boss from the evil Galactic Alliance. Are they trying to pull off a hero-like programme? It seems these characters are from the anime Space Boss Red Ten that is popular with boys. The crowd loves this cross-over promo but then the organizers and the staffs on stage realize this is a mix up. Well, Space Boss and her underlings got on the wrong stage. Whoops. Because this isn’t in the script, Yuumi isn’t going to do this and hands the mic to Amane and walks off. Amane freezes as she doesn’t know what to do. Eri notes that despite Amane being able to read well from scripts, she is bad at adlibbing and this doesn’t make her a versatile actress. The crowd is getting uneasy over the silence too so Momoko sees Atari in the midst and starts getting into her usual adlib act. She starts off by telling the baddies this is their stage and will challenge them. Her friends follow suit. Of course being the baddies mean you can’t easily leave so they put up a defiant act. The big ‘brawl’ begins with athletic Tsubasa and Rinka pulling off some moves to amaze the crowd. Best promo event ever? The crowd totally love the girls. Space Boss and her goons ‘lost’ and leave the stage. So Yuumi, regretting you left the stage? Who’s stealing the spotlight now? Thanks to their brave efforts and the event’s success, the quartet have been promoted from trainees to apprentice seiyuus. Though Eri is still reserved that they should take their time to be moulded, Edogawa believes in them and can’t let their talent go to waste. So now that their dream has come true, they can look forward to work with Amane together again. And yeah, they’re not dreaming.

Episode 11
Momoko and her friends learn that they will be auditioning for a role as a heroine in an anime that Minato is working with as part of some plan to free up his schedule. The heroine is Misumaru and was from a popular story, Devil Sherlock. However there aren’t many lines on her. Rinka leaves. Why? She knows the role will go to Yuumi since the character fits her well. Though the girls agree but Takemiya wonders if they’re going to give up before it even starts. They should think positive or else they’ll forever be stuck like this. She hints that this may be their chance to beat Yuumi. Momoko tries to get into this Misumaru character by talking like her (she sucks), staring at her picture (she lost obviously) and doing research on the internet. Behold! The infinite amount of information on the web! Scary, huh? So surprised that Misumaru is such a popular character, she is curious enough to check out a forum with a poll to see which seiyuu is fitted to play the character. Guess who? Yup. Yuumi. Momoko regrets doing this much research because now it seems she’s like an obsessed Yuumi fan! As the other girls prepare to take on the character their own way, Momoko rents all the DVDs that features Yuumi. I guess she needs a week so she can’t return them in an hour for free. Skip lunches! She then bumps into Minato who happens to be free and requests his help to assess her lines practice. At the end of it, Minato is frank with her as she requested. He fails her! He can’t work with her! She was trying to imitate Yuumi. Worse, she’s an inferior copy! Because in the world of seiyuu, there is no need for another Yuumi! Another round of depression for Momoko so she seeks solace in Atari. He tells as a fan of Sukerabu, he submitted a picture for the entrance exam which was later used as a new character in Sukerabu. But he was told by Kagimoto not to imitate others. He shows her a magazine that has his name in the credits. Then Momoko goes to watch an episode of Sukerabu whereby the main character is in a slump and tries watching a video of somebody’s awesome move, only to be told to stop. Then she meets a clown skating and is amazed he could skate despite not being a figure skater. It’s because he believed in himself and will always skate in his own way.

On the day of the audition, Misumaru’s lines will be only “I’m sorry. Goodbye”. That is enough to determine who will take on the role. As each of the girls step up and say those short lines, when it came to Momoko’s turn (after doing lots of thinking about the character), she says that line with a happy tone! Of course it left everyone in shock and she regrets doing another blooper. The one who will be playing Misumaru is… Momoko! Though everyone is caught off guard by her unique answer, Minato for that moment saw Misumaru’s expression merged with hers. As for why she said it in that manner, she thought as the characters were parting, she didn’t want it to be on a sad note. The girls are holding a congratulations party for Momoko. Runa reads a message left by Atari to congratulate her and his confession he loves her. FOR REAL?! Oh, Runa just added that last bit. Unfortunately Eri soon calls Momoko to announce the bad news she won’t be taking on that role because despite the producers were okay with it, the author was against it and insists they use Yuumi. Because he is a big fan of hers. Otherwise he won’t give permission to use his work. All for naught? Well, it provided a good experience, no? But I guess the party will have to be put off to another time. And we see a cheeky end note, Yuumi voicing Misumaru on how she apologizes to Momoko and bid her farewell over the disappointing outcome. In a happy tone. I suppose that’s how you’re supposed to say that line…

Episode 12
Momoko’s friends are each doing their seiyuu job well. Feeling left out? Not for long. Momoko will soon make her debut in Child Girls although it’s just a minor side character. Still, she is happy to get a role. So the eager beaver arrives at the studio on her first day and is happy to see many famous seiyuus in the same room. However they seem to be ignoring her or just not too enthusiastic in becoming her friend. Don’t mind because Minato’s presence cheers her up. As a rookie, Momoko gets bossed around. First by Yuumi who wants her to bring coffee for her seniors. I guess Momoko is happy to do it. If she wasn’t this clumsy. And the producer boss doesn’t like clumsy newbies… Momoko gets another first day shock since she’ll be reading her lines based on a storyboard since the animators couldn’t finish it in time. Didn’t learn this in school, eh? How will she go about this? The recording session begins as Momoko observes the veterans in sync fleshing out their character roles (the old guy doing a falsetto voice was bloody hilarious!). Momoko’s confidence level dips when she speaks in the wrong mic and accidentally steps on somebody’s toes. Literally. Then when everybody gets ‘noisy’ (as part of the scene), Momoko feels difficult to combine their voices like that. For a simple line, the producer stops Momoko and wants her to redo it again since she’s not into her character. But the more she repeats, the more she is moving closer to breaking point. Welcome to the harsh realities, girl. Finally the producer just settled for some mediocre line since they’re running short on time and will have someone better to dub over. During the break, Momoko is in no mood to go into happy-happy mode despite Minato come sitting next to her. He reveals a deep secret that he has never told anyone: Everyone in this room started out as rookies.

The session continues and this time Momoko puts more life into her character as well as her own. Despite being told to repeat some lines, she gladly redoes them. After the session ends, the producer talks to Momoko and hoped she had put in such a performance in the first half. So is she up to redo them again? You bet. I don’t know if it’s just saying the same lines, but it took her 35 takes to get it right!!! Thank God it’s over! Well, at least they won’t settle for mediocrity. Meanwhile, Kagimoto sees his wonderful animation work and wants him to start work as a real animator. It’s not over for Momoko yet because there’s something left to be done. What’s that? To party! They do this every week, huh? But so… Why is Momoko serving them?! I guess newbies get the honour to do all the labour and serve their seniors. Then they want her to do her specialty. I guess this means her tongue twisters. Though she is flawless, many of them are drunk and challenge her back. Now you have a bunch of old people spewing nonsense! It’s verbal chaos! Lesson learnt: Don’t provoke veterans. She is thankful for tongue twisters as it was what made her become a real seiyuu. Here is another harsh lesson for her: The dismal pay cheque. A lowly figure to match her lowly status as rookie. So where has all that sunny enthusiasm gone to now?

Episode 13
There’s an advertisement on TV introducing a new idol group called Sister x Sisters from Lambda Eight. Don’t blame Momoko a blur airhead and doesn’t know who they are. The other girls don’t know what’s going on too. Even Eri is not happy about this but Edogawa mentions they have already invested a lot in it thought Yamawaki Denki is the one sponsoring them. Momoko and co are called in and they are surprised that they will become Sister x Sisters. Eri objects and wants to send out a correction notice to all media but Edogawa shows her the financial situation of Lambda Eight. It takes a lot of money to keep this training institute running and they’re far in debt. So to recoup the losses, he organized this project and it will be troublesome if Eri cancels it and ignores this opportunity. He gives her 2 choices: Shut down the training institution or promote them as idols. Momoko and the girls want to help out because they’ve taught them so much. I guess Eri okays it even if she doesn’t seem happy. Edogawa has a drink with the president of Yamawaki Denki. The latter is confident this project will succeed as he has exclusive licence for Sister x Sisters. Plus, he is confident the new age is no longer maids but sisters. Runa is happy that Momoko is part of this idol group and shows it to Atari. However he just got back late. He’s tired and thinks it’s a joke. Goodnight. Meanwhile Takemiya talks to Eri who is still opposing to this idol project. So much so she would rather go out of business than sacrifice those girls to stay in business and feels responsible for them. But Takemiya points out the girls may be willing to sacrifice themselves and should have more faith in them. Momoko works hard as an idol and has been coming home late and tired. Just like Atari, eh? So when the duo talk, I guess this time he believes. She congratulates him for becoming a real animator but it’s no walk in the park either since it’s tough. Momoko gives him and his colleagues tickets to her idol debut.

The event is a sell-out with fans waiting in line and being given prominent coverage by the media. This is going to be big. Everyone eagerly awaits the new idol group as Yamawaki Denki President introduces them on stage. Wait a minute. The girls in nun outfits? Is this what he meant by being sisters? The crowd is not pleased. Deafening silence… Apparently this is Edogawa’s mistake because he thought this is what sister’s meant! The crowd becomes restless and the girls are taken off stage. Because the President’s mic is still on, the crowd could hear him blow his top to Edogawa that he is through with this project and won’t invest a single penny anymore. He blames Lambda Eight for this failure and to take full responsibility for his loss. Momoko pleads to go out on stage and will do something about it. The crowd starts cheering for the girls. Rinka gets an idea to modify their outfit. When they go back on stage, they start off with a line worthy of Sunday Service preaching. They come out with an idea that sisters = nuns because in addition to wanting to be their cute little sisters, they will also do their best to honour God. Everyone revels in this new concept as the girls start singing. Some of lyrics are quite amusing. God = big brother? Well… The crowd totally loves them while Yamawaki Denki President thinks all this is his idea and takes the credit. Well, as long as he is happy and keep pouring in the funds.

Episode 14
Sister x Sisters are fast becoming the new popular idols. Momoko is in some talk show whereby an admired person behind a person gets to kiss her. Guess who? Well, it’s Atari! Turns out to be a dream. Should’ve seen this coming. So Momoko reminisces about the times with Atari (mostly the arguing part) when Runa comes in to inform her she got a call from her office. Damn right. She remembers she has a calendar photo shoot session today. She forgot to recharge her handphone. She’s almost an hour late already! Get your ass moving! She manages to arrive and the session begins. Though the cameraman feel Momoko isn’t the prettiest among the lot, she is the best and most natural. The girls quickly move from one schedule to another. Yeah, no breathing space but Momoko looks forward to it all. Meanwhile Atari is having it tough with his job. He has been doing retakes and the work is piling up since he can’t draw what he wants. See his dustbin filled with crumpled paper? He isn’t amused when his colleagues start playing aloud Sister x Sisters radio talk show. Everyone except him wants to hear. Yeah, maybe that’ll be a distraction. Atari comes home late that night at the same with Momoko. She’s noisy and energetic. Is she drunk?! I hope not. She wants to treat him but he’s not in the mood, especially when she’s teasing him like a kid. Suddenly she collapses and he realizes she has fever. Next morning, Momoko wakes up in her bed and feeling better but doesn’t remember what happened last night. During a recording session with Minato and Yuumi, Momoko’s manager comes pick her up because of her schedule. Yuumi is a b*tch because she tells Momoko off now that she’s famous, she can do whatever she likes and not respect her seniors. I think it is her who doesn’t respect anybody.

Atari is more stressed at work when he gets a call from Yurika. As they talk, she wants to know what he thinks of Momoko. Does she like her? Get where she is getting? Well, he shrugs off he likes her and she is just some strange noisy neighbour. That’s why Yurika doesn’t want him to hold back. When Momoko learns what happened the night she got a fever from Runa (Atari dragged her to bed and she seemed heavy. Of course. After all that partying). She feels guilty upon remembering saying some bad things so Runa tells her to rush down to the bank and to organize a party with good food. Well, the way to a man’s heart is to his stomach. At least she could him to forgive her, right? So she makes haste and is shocked to see her bank account… She never knew her pay was this high!!! No more a poor struggling girl, eh? She later invites to treat him but Atari refuses and as expected, it descends into a lover’s spat. Now they hate each other without even understanding what the other meant. Busybodies Kumano and Yamashita could only watch and sigh. Atari resumes his work when he gets an important call from Yurika. What is it that is so important that he is willing to rush out from his office to meet her at the park? She shows him a Dragon Cola bottle. Erm… Well, I guess it must be one of his favourite things in life. It seems the duo love drinking this when they’re young but it suddenly stopped production and ‘disappeared’. Atari is just happy to see such a bottle since it brings back nostalgic memories. They both have a taste of nostalgia and I think the bottle won’t be enough to satiate everything. So as they tussle to have a bigger share, Atari falls on top of her. Don’t just stare at each other. The precious drink is spilling!!!

Episode 15
Are all the otaku fan boys willing to reform and confess to their Sister x Sisters? You bet! During the break, Rinka wonders how long this idol unit will last. It made Momoko remember Atari’s words that he has no interest in idols like her. It made her pissed and fired up to do her best. As for Yurika, she remembers the night in the park. It almost led to a kiss if not for a bunch of wise cracking kids commenting on their actions. Darn. Ruined everything. He rushes back to work. Disappointed, Yurika? Yeah. She was this close to chu~. Edogawa shows Eri their schedule that will follow Sister x Sisters’ route. Or else it’s closure for the company. Since Momoko and Atari still aren’t on good terms, it’s natural they fight and ignore each other. I guess Runa doesn’t want the drama to head into this direction so she tries to mediate but becomes their messenger. I guess it must be tiring to bring insulting messages back and forth so she’ll take a last message from Atari. It leaves Momoko baffled because she doesn’t understand, “Only your voice is being heard lately”. The staffs behind the recording lines seem to be easier on Momoko now that she’s an idol. She also gets to know her other friends are each with their own busy schedule so they can’t always be an idol unit together. As a special guest on a radio programme, Momoko is a natural klutz but that is what everybody loves about her. I guess he picked up a reputation as such. Momoko is quite famous that you can say people recognize her in the streets and school girls are eager to shake her hand.

After a hard day’s work, Runa greets her and shows her a package her mom sent her. Inside, lots of nostalgic items from her childhood years. It seems Edogawa called mommy to bring such albums to the office. Apparently it’s going to be used in the next event and you know, childhood items of idols can really fetch a high price. There is also a CD in which personally Momoko dubbed herself a Sukerabu scene in which she voiced all the characters! She is embarrassed to listen to it but Runa is eager to hear it. As Momoko cowers in embarrassment about her voice that sucked at that time, Runa points out she used different voices for various people and roles. It looked like she was having fun. But recently the work she is doing as an idol, she is only using one voice and it is the only one being heard. That was the meaning of message of what Atari was trying to tell her. Momoko realizes Atari has always been listening to her. She sees a message in her old sketchbook that she aspires to have a good voice. Momoko goes to see Eri and wants to do work that involves her voice. Although it will be tough to make arrangements for her tight schedule, she already has made Takemiya as her manager. She looks forward to work with her again. Momoko is thinking of a way to apologize to Atari and spots him across the road. Then she sees Yurika passing by. They chat friendly and to Momoko’s shock, she sees Yurika hugging Atari. They leave to get food and Momoko is left to ponder this prickly feeling in her heart. We all know what it is, right?

Episode 16
I’m sure you can tell something is wrong when Momoko doesn’t have her usual appetite (she eats 3 bowls of rice as her usual serving!) and she’s being a little forgetful. Her cheery expression seems fake and forced. It doesn’t get better seeing that Yurika has been happy-happy recently. Yamashita has Kumano take over some of Atari’s retakes because at this rate, he’ll never get things done. Yurika calls Atari to meet. Knowing he is busy, she bought him some food. He has got to eat properly otherwise he can’t work. She also hints that if he has any problems, he can talk with her since they are like cousins so there’s no need to hold back. Momoko can’t focus on her voice acting and it gets worse when the role she is playing involves a childhood friend. Yeah, it’s odd that she needs to do a couple of retakes when it should be easy pie. During a variety show featuring Sister x Sisters, Rinka cheekily hints Yurika has a boyfriend. She is happy to talk about it but Momoko cuts her off and wants to tell hers instead. Then she got her tongue tied so Amane had to improvise that the person she loves or rather admires is Heizou to avoid Momoko getting further red faced. Momoko wakes up from another dream whereby Yurika snatches Atari away from her just as she was about to confess. Man, she has got to stop this kind of dreams because it makes her late for work! Worse, she forgot her script for the recording session. It’s like every seiyuu’s bible.

After the session, Eri wants Momoko to follow her. At a bar, she gives her drink a non-alcoholic sweet honey drink which is good for the throat. She asks if she is in love. She can’t answer. Bull’s eye. Her only advice is she should be her usual self. Momoko gets the hint and rushes off. She calls Yurika to tell her that she likes Atari. She doesn’t want to run away anymore and will face it head on. Despite knowing they are going out, she wants to go all-out on him too and she can’t stop these feelings. Yurika may not look happy but she won’t lose either. She manages to maintain her composure. It’s good because how would you like it if friends suddenly scream b*tch at each other? Momoko goes to see Atari but her first greeting has him completely ignore her. To get his attention, she starts saying lines from a scene from Sukerabu. Just when the atmosphere is getting good, her growling stomach had to ruin it. But at least it breaks the ice. Atari admits her heard her other voice. They both apologize and make up as Atari agrees to treat her to lunch. With that, Atari is more fired up to complete his work. Even Runa notices Momoko extra happy today. Atari is supposed to meet her for lunch when suddenly he collapses. Kumano and Yamashita become alarmed at his unconscious body and call the ambulance. Meanwhile Momoko is waiting for Atari to show up. She calls him but he doesn’t pick up.

Episode 17
Momoko gets a call from Atari’s colleague that he is unconscious in hospital. She rushes to the train station but Takemiya calls her to get her ass to the office now because they’re supposed to be getting ready for a trip to Nagoya for a radio programme. Will she choose her career or love? She didn’t board the train… Momoko tells Takemiya she can’t go because an important friend has collapsed. Takemiya advises her not to let personal feelings affect her job. If it’s family or relative she would understand but a boyfriend… So off they go to Nagoya and Yurika heard all that. Momoko couldn’t stop thinking about it so she calls Rinka to visit him on her behalf. Unfortunately she missed the visiting hours and Momoko panicked thinking the visiting was declined. When they reach the radio station, Yuumi goes into b*tch mode once more, chiding Momoko for being rude to her senior (she greet her without her usual enthusiasm). This works her up and she redoes the take all over again with sarcasm. Hey, at least it brings her back. Atari wakes up in hospital, frantic about the lost time and his missing handphone. Seems he had anaemia due to lack of sleep and overwork. To celebrate his recovery, his colleagues take him out to drink. Well, they might regret that since Atari got drunk and is blabbing his mouth off. After the radio programme, Momoko thanks Yurika for helping her regain her composure today. She goes back to the hotel and was being told by Rinka about what actually happened to Atari till his discharge. She feels relieved. She calls him but of course his handphone is dropped at his workplace. She hangs up thinking she shouldn’t be bothering him and lets him rest.

Atari is being brought back to the dorm via taxi where Yurika is waiting (I guess she didn’t know which hospital to look for). Still drunk, he hugs her but sees Momoko in her. She helps him to bed. Meanwhile Momoko is having a nice romantic dream with Atari. See the smirk on her face? Makes her look like a pervert… Elsewhere Amane picks up Rinka and Tsubasa, wondering if they have heard something from Edogawa. She is suspicious he may be doing something behind Eri’s back and has her doubts over this idol thingy as it seems a lot more complicated than before when it was first formed to save the institution. Next morning, Atari wakes up and to his horror, Yurika is sleeping right beside him! He doesn’t remember much but Yurika’s ambiguous words seem to hint that something big happened last night. “To spend my first night with you…”. Oh sh*t! How can he not remember the most wonderful time last night?! On second thought, he should be worried alright. Make that very worried. Yurika dresses up and leaves for work as she mentions she is glad to fall in love with him. Soon Momoko returns and is happy to see him back to normal. She wants to treat him to something delicious to get his energy back but he apologizes he can’t do lunch with her anymore. Why? Because he has decided to go out with Yurika…

Episode 18
Edogawa seems to be making some backdoor suspicious dealings with the person on the other end of the phone. Sister x Sisters and Yuumi are onboard a train to a fan appreciation event at the beach. Momoko is her usual lively self, checking out the swimsuits of the girls. Till she spots Yurika in a corner talking on her handphone to Atari. Tsubasa also spots her and teases her about her boyfriend in which she admits. Then Momoko lets everyone know his name and gives the thumbs up to Yurika. The appreciation event includes BBQ food for fans, photo session and a volleyball match. Even after the event, each time we see Momoko in her lively self, but something as though is not right. Like as though she is forcing herself to be happy. Back at Tokyo after another recording session, Amane talks to Momoko that she has thought about quitting Sister x Sisters because she prefers plays after all. She thought she wanted to let her know her feelings. She also points out that Momoko seems to be putting up an act hiding something from her but I guess Momoko must be a ‘veteran’ doing so and brushes it off. Atari hears rumours from Kumano that Sukerabu is going to get a sequel and becomes excited. Yurika visits the dorm and since Atari isn’t back yet, takes the initiative to clean his room. I wonder if that means drawing a love umbrella is his book. But a photo of Momoko drops out from it. Oh gosh. It’s that feeling once more. She keeps the photo when Atari returns and starts ranting the good news of Sukerabu’s sequel, which of course doesn’t sit well with Yurika. Sukerabu = Momoko, right? She wants him to kiss her. Momoko also returns and learns from Runa that Atari is back (but she was too slow to say Yurika is with him – hoping something, eh?). Can we see where this is going? I guess if you’re a guy and being ‘invited’ by a girl to kiss, you won’t let go this chance, right? He was about to kiss her but Yurika teases him she’s just joking and shouldn’t fall for it so easily because guys are the ones who are supposed to take the lead. Suddenly Atari trips and falls over Yurika! Jenjenjeng! Momoko has second thoughts about visiting Atari but she heard some ‘sound’ coming from his room. Peeking from the door, it looks as though they are kissing! Oh. Then they notice Momoko looking. Guess what? She leaves with a smile. You think that’s alright? Her heart must be breaking into a million pieces by now. Meanwhile Edogawa hands his resignation letter to Eri.

Episode 19
Momoko learns from Amane and Rinka that Edogawa is resigning. What will become of Sister x Sisters now? She is confident with Rinka around, they’ll be alright because she always helps out with the events. They observe Momoko interact with a staff and Amane can tell she’s forcing herself with her happy act. During the recording session, Momoko suddenly loses her voice! Oh no! Worst nightmare for a seiyuu! The rest thinks it is fatigue or over use of her voice but we know it’s the problem of love, right? Atari seems depressed about that misunderstood situation too so his colleagues think he has girlfriend problems and make him call Yurika to invite her out. Momoko is over the moon when Atari tells her about Sukerabu’s sequel. Yurika sees them so in sync about Sukerabu and you can tell she doesn’t like it one bit. So when she comes in, Momoko lets her hog Atari. Now it’s Momoko’s turn to sulk somewhere. And Runa has this tendency to even quip Sukerabu vs nikujaga (Atari’s favourite meal that Yurika brought over). Yurika invites Atari to go to the hotspring with her this Saturday. Runa seems disappointed when Momoko says she has a new love: Her work. Yeah, she has no time to fall in love. That smiley face isn’t just convincing. Eri gathers the girls to say that Sister x Sisters will be disbanded effective today. Also, Rinka announces that she will be leaving Lambda Eight along with Yuumi to join Edogawa’s agency. She thanks Momoko for everything because of her straightforwardness, it made her want to be like that too. Momoko still faces the same problem of her voice loss during recordings so she is advised to take some rest. Atari is called by Kagimoto and he will have a part in the production of Sukerabu’s sequel. He is happy to take the job and knows with this busy schedule he can’t meet up with Yurika. He calls her about it and though she agreed, she changes her mind when she learns he is supposed to do character design for Sukerabu. She wants him to come to the hotspring. No buts about it. She’ll be waiting.

Amane confronts Momoko to tell her that she is confused and has forgotten. The reason she lost her voice is because she is in love with Atari. From the moment Yurika dated him, she has been hiding her own feelings and putting up an act in front of everybody. If she doesn’t clear her feelings soon, she’ll remain like this forever. If she wants to continue her path as a seiyuu, she must forget about him. I guess it’s time for some reflection. Yeah, moments she spent with Atari. So I guess this means she can’t go through with it, no? Because it looks like she has talked to Eri about quitting and she’s okay with it. After all, she believes Momoko’s path is to be a seiyuu and will return one day. Atari meets Yurika at the train station and wants to clear things up. I think she knows what she’ll be hearing so she refuses to listen and goes home. But she ends up calling Tsubasa and confides in her. Tsubasa thought he is a jerk to make her cry and was going to punch him but Yurika holds her back admitting this is her own fault. So Yurika calls to meet Atari once more. He confesses he can’t go out with her. She knew it from the start because she had known him for a long time. She calls him the worse but also admits she is even worse. In addition, she reveals nothing happened between them that night. She lied because she always loved him and didn’t want anybody to take him away but made him suffer instead. He also apologizes that he wanted to properly cherish her feelings when they first dated but couldn’t answer her feelings nor make her smile. Yurika is glad that he let her know his feelings. All this ranting made them hungry so they go get something to eat. Meanwhile Momoko waits for the train that will take her back to Kyoto.

Episode 20
Atari finishes his character design and wants to show it to Momoko first. But when he returns, Momoko’s room is all emptied. Runa says she has already returned to Kyoto. He wanted to call her but Runa says it’s useless and won’t connect because she tried 2,576 times last night!!! Unbelievable!!! This manager has nothing else better to do? I know she’s worried but 2,000 over times?! Anyway, what is more worrying is that when she called her hometown, she isn’t back yet when she is supposed to. So, she’s gone missing? Eri tells her friends about this too but doesn’t want them to go looking for her because it will be useless if she doesn’t come back on her own will. They feel they’ve said too much to her but won’t wait for a miracle to happen. They go see Rinka and tell her what has happened. Rinka tells what happened during the time Atari got hospitalized, the emotions she went through and it made him realize how much she cared for him. Right now all they can do is look for her. Atari thinks to look at the ice skating rink that inspired Sukerabu. True enough, she is there but they missed her because she just left. Takemiya catches Eri reading the Sukerabu script and voice acting alone. It brings back nostalgic memories. She notes if Eri hadn’t pursued her dream of becoming an idol, she wouldn’t have damaged her voice. Eri thinks she might have been envious of Momoko from the start (because they are somewhat similar except for the clumsiness part) and hopes she will come back. The gang are searching every place that has got to do with Sukerabu but to no avail. Kiyoka thinks she might be taking a chartered bus since a person leaving town would normally do so as final commemoration. Amane dismisses it for a carefree person like Momoko. Don’t say, because there she is taking one! And the bus just passed them! Rinka feels that if she was Momoko, she would be visiting places she had memories with Atari. He doesn’t think so and there aren’t many places. It may be trivial to him but important to Momoko. Just then, Edogawa calls Rinka and he’s in a pinch. The emcee for Child Girls’ event became ill and he needs one now. Rinka will do her best to come. Where is it? West Ikebukuro. Atari realizes Momoko may be here.

True enough, there she is and the Child Girls event is bringing back memories. Edogawa spots her and begs her to help him out. I guess she has no choice. She is flipping through the script quickly and needs to memorize her lines. Yuumi just finished the first half and warns there is a little acting in the second half. Momoko feels she can’t do it. Edogawa pleads to her to be herself but she says she loses her voice when she acts and has already given up being a seiyuu. But Yuumi wants her to do it anyway and not screw up or disappoint the guests since she’s here. Rinka just arrives but before Momoko could switch with her, it’s their cue to go up on stage. Though Momoko still has stage fright, Yuumi’s prodding manages to give her the little push and carry on. All seems to be going well till the baddies take the kids from the audience as hostage. This is where she needs to act. Stage fright once more. How does Momoko overcome this? She starts narrating lines from Sukerabu! It might not be related and it seems to fit more towards herself of not giving up her own dreams and such, it was touching enough for the rest to make little improvisations and end the play with the usual bang. At the end of the event, Edogawa is grateful to her though she has made up her mind of quitting the seiyuu business. Atari gets mad and slaps her! Is this how much her feelings to be a seiyuu are? He scolds her for easily giving up after losing her voice. She slaps him and blames him as the cause. He reminds her about their promise bet. Since he has ‘won’, she must fulfil her promise. As he will be designing the character for Sukerabu II, she must audition for the heroine’s role. She accepts it and their argument-cum-face-off continues. The rest didn’t expect this because they thought they would be hugging and encouraging each other. Maybe they watched too much shoujo manga. Yurika thinks Momoko doesn’t know she and Atari had broken up. So is it okay to leave them like this? Maybe. Maybe not.

Episode 21
Despite being pissed off (see the way she cuts the radish!), Momoko rejoices when Takemiya calls to inform her she has made it past the first round of auditions to voice the heroine of Sukerabu II, Ai Amamiya. She will have to come down to the agency tomorrow and discuss further. Now Momoko is on fire (figuratively speaking. Maybe literally too) to prove she’ll be the heroine of the series. Yamawaki Denki President hosts a press conference to introduce the crew for Sukerabu II that includes Atari as the character design and Kagimoto as the director. However the seiyuu role for Ai is still unknown. This means the story has not been decided yet and the entire production will depend on the new seiyuu voicing her. So did they just waste big money for this press conference at the skating rink? Because Yamawaki Denki President just wants to show off his skating skills. WTF. Atari asks Kagimoto why he hasn’t think up of a storyline yet and wonders where his character designs went to. Though they aren’t bad, it doesn’t mean they are acceptable because it has the feel that it is restrained to the previous Ai. He wants Atari to give consideration to the new Ai and knows his Ai won’t just end there. Momoko and her friends discuss on the second audition for Sukerabu II. It might be tough seeing that nothing is decided yet as they are to freely act and create the new Ai using their skills. Eri nominates herself to be part of the panel of judges since she’s the previous seiyuu for Ai. I guess the promotion for the audition was so wide and the response bloody good that you need to have a stadium to host the hopefuls. Hundreds or maybe thousands are packed inside it that will be broadcast live. Young and old (52 year old hag wants to be a heroine?!), unknown and famous seiyuus are vying for that coveted role. Yamawaki Denki President hosts the event as he introduces some of the judges that includes Eri, Kagimoto and Atari (he isn’t pleased to have such role but his boss points out this is one way to learn).

So how do you reduce the massive amount of hopefuls? Do a true or false quiz! What the?! Is this really a voice acting audition? Unless you’re an obsessed freak about the show, you won’t really know the details of what happened in episode so and so. Thanks to Momoko and Rinka, the group of friends manage to get pass to the final round in which Yuumi is in. The final tricky question has Momoko and her friends at different ends with Yuumi. Till she realizes something amiss and they quickly change their answer. Thank goodness or else they would have failed. Unless you bought a limited edition of this series, you won’t know the true answer to this question. It might be unfair but I guess if you really want to know about the character, you really need to have all the goods, right? The next round has the final 15 girls write an essay on their personal thoughts on the Ai’s role. At the backstage, Kagimoto just takes a quick swipe and knows who to fail! Those that wrote “I’ll do my best” are instant failures because this is expected when they take on the role and should’ve written something more interesting. Of course there are a few that caught his attention. In the end, it isn’t a surprised when the usual suspects pass. Yup, Momoko and her friends plus Yuumi. Suddenly they are dropped in a middle of the sea in a small raft together. WTF?! And to think that this is an audition to voice the heroine…

Episode 22
So has the third audition stage turned into a reality series? Because their interactions and stay on the island will be broadcasted live for 3 days and will be voted by the judges and the selected 20 from the audience. The girls were briefed on their way that the island will be fitted with cameras to watch their every move. They will be judged at the end of 3 days on how they perceive and act out Ai’s personality. There is also an emergency button for them should they require urgent assistance but doing so will mean forfeiting their chance in the audition. Momoko and friends start helping out to make tent, gather water and other necessities. Yuumi just went on by herself. Shows you her character, eh? You know what they say that no man is an island. Oh, she’s a woman ;p. Momoko notices Rinka’s depression when they are collecting water. So she shoves her into a cart and they slide into the lake! Despite being a WTF scene, at least it cheered Rinka up. But the problem is, she accidentally stepped on her emergency button! She is taken off the island but has no regrets as she tells her friends she prefers being an idol singer. She was confused when she got here but thanks to Momoko, she remembers she wants to be like her and do what she likes. Yuumi wastes no time in listing down Ai’s characteristics while Yurika talks to Momoko that she has broken up with Atari. Next day, the girls see Yuumi in an impeccable acting of Ai near the waterfall. She’s really into the role. Everyone goes off their own way, trying to interpret Ai. Well, I’m not sure about Momoko. She seems like having fun. Catching fish? Night falls and Momoko hasn’t returned so the friends go look for her but bump into Yuumi. Doesn’t she get tired of acting like a b*tch 24/7? She tells them they should be concerned about themselves and who knows, Momoko may have forfeited and left the island.

On the final day, Momoko is still missing but the judges will carry out their test. They want the girls to act out different ages of Ai. Yuumi goes first and is very impressive. Soon the rest have their go and each give a different perspective of Ai (Tsubasa turned the character into a boy!). Finally Momoko is spotted on one of the cameras. Everybody rushes there to see her talking to animals!!! WTF???!!! They’re listening to her too!!! She has become one with the animals! She has become one with the island! Amazing! When she is snapped out of it, she panics upon realizing she has missed the audition. Soon the result for the final audition stage is announced. Yuumi and Momoko are the finalists. Though in normal circumstances she would’ve been disqualified, Kagimoto states that as long as one is interesting, one can never be disqualified. Atari wonders if there is a theme or criteria in selecting the heroine. Kagimoto whispers ‘Goddess of Skating’. Momoko goes to thank Yuumi for inspiring her after watching her act at the waterfall. Yuumi isn’t pleased because she painstakingly crafted all that out and she copied her so easily. She refuses to shake her hands and throws down the challenge that the real battle starts now. Indeed.

Episode 23
The one who wins the heroine’s role will be billed as the number one seiyuu. I guess Momoko is nervous but she’s putting up different faces. In front of her friends, she’s like a happy idiot who knows not the meaning of nervousness that it’s annoying. Alone in her room, she’s a worrywart. The final audition is about to start and it will be free acting. Each will perform a skit in a limited time to enact their own version of Ai. No title, no backdrop, no setting. They’ll get a little help with Minato to co-act and some background music to suit the atmosphere. Yuumi goes first and she starts right off the bat in a heated argument with her foster father who is against her into figure skating. She even slaps him! I guess she is so good in the role and into her character that we start to see the backdrops and everything. Even the icy aura emanating from her!!! Not special effects! Yuumi’s top notch acting earns the applause of the crowd. As usual, Momoko becomes discouraged that she can’t beat her so her friends go backstage to give her their support. If rooting for her isn’t enough, Yurika relays a message from Atari. He had nothing to say to her. Eh? When Yurika spoke to him last night, he can’t give any advice to her since he has to be impartial as he is one of the judges. Plus, she is already a professional seiyuu so there is nothing more he could tell her. That’s why he should just focus on what he is doing now. That’s the best reply he can give her for the audition.

Now it’s Momoko’s turn to take the spotlight. Hers is a total opposite of Yuumi’s because she portrays Ai as a lively and newly transferred student in class. A ditz and klutz who loves figure skating but knows nuts about it! Suddenly the scene changes to her skating in the ring but flops. Even her handphone bunny, Usamaru makes its appearance as a magical bunny to grant her skating powers! Then it becomes mahou shoujo-like when Minato as the baddie tries to steal the bunny so Momoko transforms into some skater girl fighter to fight him with moves that beat him up resembling very much like figure skating manoeuvres. In the end, was it all just a dream because she finds herself back in the classroom. Maybe not. Because Usamaru just gave her a cheeky wink. Maybe she was a second too long so her time ended before she could finish her final sentence. The crowd goes silent. Momoko finishes her line and the crowd applauses with overwhelming approval. I guess she is good in her own way that Minato compliments that she made him forget that he was acting. Eri knows this will be a close call. The judges won’t be able to determine this and the only person who will decide it all is Kagimoto.

Episode 24
Six months have passed and Runa and some of the dorm residents are more worried that nothing has progressed between Momoko and Atari. Momoko comes in wearing a formal black suit but the rest disapprove of it and have their own ideas (and fantasies) what she should wear for this important reunion. Six months is a long time so things have changed. Junko is going to become a mother, Yukia has passed his audition to be a sports coach and Sendai passed his law exam and is now at a boarding school to be a lawyer. Runa remembers Atari putting up a depressed expression when she asked him about Momoko. He said she had forgotten something important. Runa hopes she can remember what it was before they meet up. Atari meets up with Yukari and it seems the former is trying to get some jewellery. However Yurika is not pleased that since he has the sketchbook, this should suffice instead of the jewellery and should take this and get going. Momoko goes to see Amane during the latter’s break during a shooting of a film to ask what was that she had forgotten. Though Amane didn’t know what it was, the talk deviated as she learnt from Momoko not to be fussy and enjoy things to the fullest. Kumano is going crazy when Kagimoto tells him Atari was serious about doing something major. It leaves the poor guy laments being abandoned and all the work he has to do while that kid goes on taking the next step to ‘paradise’. Maybe he needs a little break… Momoko sees Tsubasa and is surprised to learn she is the voice of a hand puppet and mascot for Miracle Fund. The puppet is female. Looks like Tsubasa stick with her guts to follow her instincts and try something out and found out her potential. Oh. She forgot to ask that important thing. Meanwhile Minato finally confesses to Eri. He had loved her since they first met. Takemiya always knew they loved each other since it’s her job to observe others. But why take so long? He had been thinking and thanks to a certain girl’s impulse to go forward and not leave any regrets. He hasn’t felt this feeling for many years. Seriously. Six whole months to think about it? Must be serious.

Momoko now sees Rinka who is a rising idol star. As she thinks back, she remembers talking to Atari about him landing his dream job. Atari is glad to have fallen in love with her and confessed. The fireworks interrupted their kiss. Momoko feels she did forget something but realizes she is late and rushes off to meet Atari at the park. Atari arrives late and I’m not sure what he saw Momoko was doing (she was just going back and forth waiting for him) so he dives towards her like as though he saved her from something. Huh? Despite she said he could meet her tomorrow on his day off, he needs to show this to her now and at this time. He gives her his sketchbook which contains his Sukerabu II’s drawing and this is the place of its origin. The design of the character was based on Momoko back then. He has said it before and she might have forgotten but he really wanted to prove it to her, which makes it today as most suitable. He reiterates he loves her. It brings her to tears. Yet another kiss interrupted when Momoko realizes she needs to go. She has something to say but couldn’t put it clearly in words. What’s the problem? Just say it straightforward like she always has. In a loud voice, she lets him know she loves him. I guess everyone in the park heard that. That’s Momoko for you. In the aftermath, we see Yuumi and Momoko landing both the roles in Sukerabu II. Kagimoto has surprised everyone with his double heroine role. Both characters are named Ai. Kagimoto is impressed with Atari’s design that matches with the voice and bringing it alive. Yuumi and Momoko begin their voice testing at the studio.

Episode 25
In this filler episode that has nothing to do with the girls’ dreams, Heizou is in deep cohorts with Kiyoka… Momoko and friends are in Amane’s town to celebrate her birthday but they spot Kiyoka. A couple of them in fact. One carrying a sack of food and another riding a badass bike! Talking to Amane, she had seen one who was acting suspicious when confronted. They think they must be different persons and go knock on her room to ask her directly. No answer. They see her trying to sleep away and catch her. Amane says a secret word and knows this is a fake since she said the wrong answer. While gloating over it, she escaped. The girls split up to search for her. Momoko and Rinka think the one in the kitchen is trying to make poison! Tsubasa and Kiyoko stumble upon one doing odd exercises in the cave. Yurika thinks she is an alien and wants to be famous and tries to catch her! The real Kiyoka (obviously you could’ve tell by her voice and different hair colour – if you were paying attention, that is) calls Heizou that they have been discovered so she orders her to stall till he returns. Amane confronts the real Kiyoko when all the fakes stumble in to report they’ve been discovered. Oops. Busted for real. Momoko and Rinka see one in the electrical room (what was she trying to do with the power?) but are called by Tsubasa to return since the real one will explain everything. By that time, Heizou returns and says this is Amane’s birthday gift. Because Kiyoka had always wanted to serve Amane better, she hoped to have more of herself around. And thus Kiyoka Corps was created and they’re supposed to debut tonight but apparently they couldn’t sit still and went out on their own. So the one making the ‘poison’ was just trying to make her traditional natto. That was natto? The one doing funny exercises wasn’t an alien but doing yoga. So why get those who look the same? As Heizou states, if you want to do something, do it in style! Something like imitating the best. Momoko does a head count and notices one is missing but Kiyoka says there are only 4 of them. The joke that the other one they saw in the electric room is an alien. True enough, that one returned to its mother ship!!! WTF?!

While Momoko is cleaning the storeroom, she stumbles upon an old photo album of the dorm. She notices pictures of Runa even way back during post-war era. She looks the same! Could it be?! Runa explains that is her grandma and mother. They sure do look alike. Even so, did you notice their pose is the same? The way they stand and hold the broomstick! Momoko tells this to her friends and it makes Runa seem like she has lived very long. Coincidentally, they will be voicing in a series called Yao Bikuni. The story is about a mermaid washed up ashore a long time ago and was made as an offering to the shrine. A young maiden ate her flesh and lived for 800 years while maintaining her youth. But when people she knew start dying, she became lonely and went on a pilgrimage and ended up in a cave and never came out. Momoko learns from the dorm residents that Runa is out, usually alone at this time of year and they heard her say something about ‘ending it’. Momoko and her friends make their way to the shrine and though they didn’t see Runa, they see the cave about the legend of Yao Bikuni. Momoko jumps to a conclusion that Runa is Yao Bikuni. I guess she was desperate that she entered Runa’s room without permission and read her diary! Hmm… Seems simple and brief. Her sentences. Then they read one that catches their attention. “I want to eat more mermaids. I love them”. Oh dear… There’s a recent entry for yesterday and it states that it all ends tomorrow (which is today). The girls are convinced when a pilgrimage set for Runa arrives. They rush to the temple and see Runa. Momoko makes an emotional and touching plea not to leave. If she dies first, she’ll be a ghost and follow her! Isn’t that haunting her?! Doesn’t she want to go to the next world? She wants to be her friends forever. Then Momoko realizes she is in a temple and not the shrine (both are situated close to each other). It is revealed that Runa runs a memorial service for her late boyfriend at this time of year. He died 5 years ago and before his death, he promised they would see the sasanqua flowers together. That’s why she comes here around this time of year to watch them bloom. She thought she would show him the first one to appear but feels it is time to end all that. Runa is glad that Momoko cares for her. About the pilgrimage set? It’s some trendy costume! About eating mermaids? They’re small little biscuits in the shape of mermaids. Tastes delicious, no? The girls are relieved that they really thought she really ate a real one and find it delicious. Runa leaves them in horror when she admits a real one tastes good too! She doesn’t look like she’s joking…

Say It Loud And Clear!
Okay, so the ending was pretty decent. Somewhat a happy ending that meets almost what viewers would expect. They keep us guessing which of the finalist was chosen as the main heroine’s role and perhaps it was a surprise (to me) that both of them got the part. Well, I guess this should satiate fans from both sides. Imagine if both girls having a good number of fans each and only one of them got the part, wouldn’t that leave those obsessed diehard fans frustrated? Even it’s not like they who are getting the part? But what was the final audition for then? Ah, great publicity and promotion. I suppose everybody loves to see their idols on stage. And so Momoko continues her love and passion for voice acting instead of giving up and quitting. So I guess love really messes with your head and your goals because from the way I see it here (at least from a girl like Momoko), she easily gets distracted and thrown off course when she is down. Luckily she has her friends to support her and keep her going strong as she has done the same for them. That is what friends are for, right? Overall, this series has a decent mix of cliche comedy, cliche girl-meets-boy romance, cliche drama (including cliche lover’s quarrel when they’re not a couple) and some cliche insights for those who want to make seiyuu as part of their career choice. Though, you better do lots of research before jumping into this bandwagon.

As we slowly progress, Momoko doesn’t really seem to care about her ultimate dream of marrying Minato anymore. Though I felt this goal of hers is gradually forgotten, I somehow kept it at the back of my mind wondering how she will deal with this when she finally realizes her love for Atari. But right till the end, there is no mention of this so I presume that Momoko must have really gotten over her crush somewhere along the way to finally not hesitate in confessing her love to Atari. But wouldn’t others remember it since it was somewhat ‘odd’? Well yeah, I guess lots of fans around the world dream to marry their favourite idol or celebrity. Who wouldn’t? Maybe they didn’t take Momoko seriously about her dream and even so I thought Atari was going to tease Momoko about what happened to her dream of marrying Minato in the end. That didn’t happen. Perhaps he didn’t want to jinx it, wouldn’t he? What about Atari and his crush for Runa? It wasn’t obvious but you can see his body reactions in the initial episodes he likes the dorm manager. Maybe he got too busy about his work and eventually his mind filled with Momoko that he had gotten over her? Maybe. And when Minato confessed to Eri, I thought it was a little cheap. They may be voice actors and in turn veterans, which make them as good as being actors, but that scene didn’t feel convincing. Real life jitters? I understand you don’t want to screw in real life for real. Besides, the duo don’t really give us hints that they are in love with each other. Maybe that is what you call separating business and personal life on a professional level. But for Momoko and Atari’s case, it proves that couples who argue a lot at the start eventually will end up together. How long they will stay this way is another story.

Momoko is a person who would do what comes to mind first and think about later. You can say she speaks her mind. Of course except about that love part that she is ‘inexperienced’ in. So when she’s not her lively, energetic, clumsy and idiotic self, you can tell that something is definitely wrong with her. She might be a ditz and know nothing much about the industry but she makes some mistakes here and there and learns from it. Hands-on approach is one way to learn valuable experience that won’t be taught in class. Now much wiser and with some experience, she’s practically still the same Momoko that we all know and love from the beginning. She does things best at her own pace. She’d be more natural that way and entertaining. Erm, I mean lovelier. Perhaps. The best part I’ll remember Momoko for is her flawless takegaki tongue twister! I can’t beat that! Care to say it again. That was just amazing feat and for anybody who can say tongue twisters in such speed and without errors or slip ups. Coming to where she is now, throughout the series you could see Momoko experiencing a roller coaster ride of emotions. One moment she is happy, the next she can be down and gloomy. Especially the most disheartening one is when she gets chided by her ex-heartthrob Minato. Not once but twice! But when he compliments her, all that just vanishes. Because of that, you can say her mood is as unpredictable as the weather. Sometimes she gets lost and the lack of confidence makes her want to give up and quit but thankfully she’s got her friends to encourage her and keep her going.

I guess Momoko being the main focus here, sometimes the rest felt a little like excess baggage despite in the earlier episodes we see an episode focusing on them and their issues. Although we start off with the girls vying to get into the industry followed by training, the series takes a little detour with them forming the idol unit Sister x Sisters, the ‘battle for Atari’ before the final audition for Sukerabu II and of course. Especially after Sister x Sisters got disbanded, these girls I feel aren’t featured as prominently as before except Yurika who becomes Momoko’s rival for Atari’s love. Speaking of Sister x Sisters, I said it felt like a detour or distraction because even if they started out on a high note, when they got disbanded, it’s like there is no reaction in the fan world to lament over their ‘demise’. Unless you’re telling me Sister x Sisters fall from grace as fast as they rise to the top. Are you saying that people accepted their disbandment? I mean, they have too but what about diehard fans? I’m sure there will be lots of siscon and nun fetish geeks. Hah! Everybody is a sinner for being a siscon! Make a confession now! Just like Momoko and Atari, the other girls also find their niche and love in what they want to do most. Amane is slowly stepping out from her father’s shadow and making her own name in acting, Tsubasa discarded her goal of voicing only male’s roles and Rinka discovers her love for singing. Also like Momoko, Atari learns and gains experience through lots of hardship. Can you say Momoko is the cause of that? I wonder how many papers he has wasted in all those unacceptable drawings. Now he is a pro and I hope he gets proper sleep rather than falling sleeping at odd places and at odd times.

I was wondering what the big deal was when Edogawa resigned and formed his own agency. The way they showed it was as though there was something fishy and perhaps a big conspiracy was going on behind the scenes. Especially when Amane and the girls suspect it. Then nothing ‘evil’ happens. Even after he resigned and brought Yuumi and Rinka along, it felt like they never left. Because they’re usually seen at events together with Lambda Eight so it couldn’t occur to me that he’s gone from the company he worked so long with. So what he formed his own agency? How does this affect anything? There’s no real villain in this show, right? The ones in the stage events don’t count, mind you. Oh, I forgot. That Kuroiwa jerk who tried to use Yurika’s body in a con job. That’s why in the end, even if Edogawa didn’t really resign, it changes nothing. At least that is how I feel. For Eri, I wonder if she was born this way or it’s just her personality because she always seems to be negative when the girls are to do something. Maybe she really does want to look out for them and don’t want them to rush things so as not to make the mistake she made. But shouldn’t she have more trust and faith in them? I’m glad she does in the end. Takemiya is a great teacher and asset to the seiyuu industry because she’s been in this line for donkey years so her advices are valuable. It is great Momoko got her guidance from her. Kagimoto is an eccentric person who thinks outside the box Yamawaki Denki President is also another eccentric person because of the way he speaks in a lively manner and the way he adds English words in his sentence.

For Yuumi, many would view her as a cold hearted b*tch. Sometimes I feel like strangling her for putting up that snobbish act but when I think about it, maybe she’s trying to play the villain part for Momoko’s sake. I mean, how can she improve herself if she doesn’t have such a rival? Also, you would notice Yuumi being an expert and pro in this industry, she knows what to do and expect so her words may seem harsh on an amateur like Momoko who is panicking for the first time in a major event. But in the end, Yuumi too displays her softer side. Hope that is not just her acting. Runa sometimes I feel she has this mysterious aura around her or maybe it could just be me. She always claims to be busy doing something but I guess that something turns out to be something ‘not useful’ according to our standards. If she is not eternally sweeping the dorm grounds, she is seen pondering about the love drama between you-know-who. Because of her ‘love’ for that ‘drama’, her quips on that are somewhat amusing. Is life really that boring for a dorm manager? As for the dorm residents, they are somewhat forgettable and could’ve been done without. But if the dorm is void of other residents, won’t it feel like a haunted place?

Though this is a year 2006 production, the drawing and art feels okay, I thought that some of the characters especially the main girls have a little squarrish jaws, making them look a little chubby. Maybe it’s my hardware but I’m sure I’m viewing the screen as 4:3 in which the anime was produced and not in 16:9 ratio as we see recently in the past few years. Because the series is produced by Radix studio house, the art and drawing sometimes feels familiar because they have also produced animes like Lamune, Akahori Gedou Hour Rabuge and Comic Party Revolution. They also produced another idol genre anime, Lemon Angel Project also back in 2006. As an anime that deals with the anime industry, I thought I would see lots of parodies. Perhaps it is my limited knowledge that restricted me in spotting the trivia because the only one that I spotted was that Lunar Angels’ poster in which the main quintet voiced the characters which are a parody to that slapstick comedy anime, Galaxy Angel. Do Misumaru, Child Girls and Space Boss Red Ten parody any anime? Maybe. There are tons of magical girls and tokusatsu series out there or they can just easily make up one just for this anime. As for Sukerabu, I felt like it was a mix between Ginban Kaleidoscope (another figure skating themed anime only with a ghost possessing the protagonist) and Suzuka (a love-drama sports themed anime) but it seems this anime didn’t make any parodies out of those animes. Not that I can see anyway.

For the voice acting department, Megumi Takamoto (Himea in Itsuka Tenma No Kurousagi, Ushio Kazama in Sasameki Koto) did a splendid job voicing Momoko. She manages to portray the different moods of the character and bring liveliness into the, well, liveliness of Momoko especially her booming voice. You’ll be blown away to bits if you’re too close to her ;p. Once more, hats off to her for that flawless takegaki tongue twister. Other casts include Yurika Ochiai as Yurika (Suzume in Hyakko, Konomi in Toheart2), Maria Yamamoto as Amane (Yucie in Petite Princess Yucie), Azuma Sakamoto as Tsubasa (Gilbert in Pandora Hearts), Ryoko Shintani as Rinka (Rihoko in Amagami SS), Kotono Mitsuishi as Eri (Boa Hancock in One Piece), Naozumi Takahashi as Atari (Ryouta Misumi in Futaru Wa Pretty Cure), Atsuko Enomoto as Yuumi (Misaki in Angelic Layer), Hikaru Midorikawa as Minato (Lancer in Fate/Zero), Masako Nozawa as Takemiya (Son Goku in Dragonball series), Kimiko Koyama as Kiyoka (Komoe in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Yasunori Matsumoto as Edogawa (Seta in Love Hina), Yuka Imai as Runa (Tomochika in Uta No Prince-sama Maji Love 1000%) and Norio Wakamoto as Heizou (Onsokumaru in 2×2=Shinobuden). As for Mamiko Noto… Actually she doesn’t have any roles here. Hehe… Just want to mention her name since she is my numero uno seiyuu. Hehehe… The opening theme, Nanairo Nadeshiko by Megumi Takamoto (subsequently sung as a group with Sister x Sisters) is quite a lively and catchy piece that at least wants to make you tap your feet. It also showcases Megumi Takamoto in addition to be a versatile seiyuu, she also sings well. The ending theme is Cry A Little by May Nakabayashi (now more popularly known as May’N) and feels like R&B.

As seen in the anime, being a seiyuu isn’t just about lending your voice in animation. It is often more than that and voicing a character is just the tip of the iceberg on what they do. Because most seiyuus have a favourable voice, many tend to end up singing. Of course there are many other side events that seiyuus have to attend and participate so it’s not really a rosy life that one can imagine. Just like any other professions, you need the passion and the love that drives you to go all the way. Otherwise, it would just be another job. Of course some talent and luck are still necessary to make it in this tough industry. Personal egos, jealousy, intense rivalry and competition are the all too familiar issues we hear about almost everywhere. Not to mention the perseverance and determination to learn and improve because if you get a little failure or disheartening incident stop you, you’re not going to make it anywhere either. True as what Minato said, everybody once started out as a rookie at one point in their lives. That’s how people become good at what they do. You won’t reach your destination if you don’t take the first step. While this anime inspires us to go and achieve our dream, we must also be realistic in achieving it. Otherwise you’ll come crashing down real hard. While the good aspect of being a seiyuu is that it improves your speeches and the way you publicly speak, it’s still tough for an introvert like me to speak out. Still having phobias of speaking in public all these years. Maybe I should take up a course in public speaking. Who knows? I may end up becoming a seiyuu along the way. Big dreams I sure have… Now, if I can only get over that ‘she sells seashells on the seashore~‘ without biting my tongue…

Sankarea OVA

March 23, 2013

Those who can’t get enough of zombies can of course watch more zombie movies. But those who can’t really get enough of the pretty zombie girl in the name of Rea, be glad that there is not only one but two, yes, you read that right, two OVA episodes. Sankarea OVA like many animes after the TV series are bundled with DVDs to give fans and viewers that extra 2 cents worth of their money with never-seen-before episodes. Despite not having any continuation from the TV series, the OVA episodes are still enjoyable for those who are fans or want to ‘close the chapter’ on this series.

Episode 13
Finally! We have Babu speaking! At least only in narrations or self comments. So we hear this little black cat narrate how there are 2 zombies in this town now thanks to Chihiro and his elixir. He also views how Chihiro has become more reliable ever since taking in Rea. I’m sure he doesn’t want to see her decaying, right? Better put in lots of effort to preserve her. Chihiro walks Rea to school and after that got ‘ambushed’ and beaten up Ranko for an unnecessary comment. Rea is glad to meet all her friends at school and during gym class, due to her mental limiters off, she aces in basketball. Without breaking a sweat! The girls are in awe they have never known she was such a good jumper. Yeah. They never knew… Meanwhile Chihiro is pondering where to take a girl out on a date. I guess that’s pressing the death button because Yasutaka goes crazy taking it out on him if he is going out on a date with Rea or Ranko or even following the sister-incest route of Mero! Elsewhere Babu is walking around and almost got run over by a car. The driver is glad Babu is not hurt and the cat notices a brown kitty feline inside the pet cage. I guess love sparks even for dead cats. Later, Babu meets up with kitty and they go on a date of their own. Babu shows off his zombie skills by jumping from one building to another distant one. Then he lets kitty have a ride on his back. It’s like almost they’re flying… Enjoying it, Babu? Even cats can have their own romance. After school, Chihiro accompanies Rea wherever she wants to go. He can’t help being a worrywart since Rea is getting too bold with her actions that might break her fragile limbs. Whether it is hopping through the rain, touching a snail and standing too close to the edge of the observation cliff for a beautiful night view of the city. He reminds her about her body being fatally wounded once and won’t recover. That is the more reason why she wants to treasure it and fill it with experiences she never had. Babu narrates about the difference between the living and dead on the topic of regenerating new cells. Of course the cycle continues for the living but for the dead, even though they are numb to pain while still conscious, eventually they will still rot away as that cycle has stopped. Babu is sleeping next to kitty when suddenly he enters into a trance and almost bites her neck. He manages to snap out of it and leaves. I guess romance isn’t what it’s quite what it used to when you’re dead, huh? Babu plans to enjoy his time to the fullest till his body decays when an owl almost swoops on him! Be careful… That owl seems to belong to some zombie freak who has just arrived in Japan. From her narration, seems she views zombies who are in a confused period to lose all rationality and devour their loved ones. She is sent by Professor Boyle to find samples in Japan. Doesn’t sound good…

Episode 14
Aria is one bored woman. Also a despicable one. Learning that Rea is entering a debate competition, she isn’t happy that none could find fault in her. But noticing Chihiro always accompanying her at the gates to school, she feels the need to punish her or else she will set a bad example. Her butler reminds her about Danichirou’s orders not to interfere in her life but she points out he never gave orders to let her get special treatment. Reluctantly, the butler will come up with a strict reprimand and as she wishes, with some substantial penalty. Moody Aria continues to take out her frustrations on her maids and then goes to drown her woes while soaking in a bath. Meanwhile Mero finds a young girl unconscious underneath the temple. Fearing she may have been abandoned by her parents, they bring her in and it seems she is not responsive. She doesn’t talk to Doon or the police and even screams when they want to bring her to the hospital. I think her piercing scream can break windows if it’s a decibel higher. No choice, the officer leaves and will bring the doctor here instead. Chihiro, Rea and Mero are advised to talk to her since they are around her age. She isn’t responsive to them either till Chihiro makes funny faces that she starts laughing. However, we can feel that the girl is targeting Rea.

One night when Rea walks down the stairs, she felt as if somebody pushed her down. Luckily she didn’t break anything. Next morning, her hydrangea leaves in the fridge are missing. She thought of getting some in the backyard but they were completely ravaged. On a side note, before grandpa gets hallucinations in seeing Sayo in the girl, somebody please wake him up! Even Chihiro thinks if they beat up grandpa, she’ll open up to them! WTF?! Grandpa doesn’t even mind! WTF???!!! More importantly… Who the hell is Sayo? Wasn’t it Sada or Kiyo?! Man, this old fart might be a player in his younger days. Rea talks to Ranko about the recent events and the latter feels that she isn’t out to get her. Maybe just try to talk a little to her and perhaps she’ll change. Rea then goes to nicely talk to the girl but she doesn’t respond in any way. Later she goes talk to Chihiro but she gets more and more confused if she is being hated or not. That night, she thought she saw the girl trying to kiss Chihiro while he is asleep. Rea confronts her and politely tells her not to do anything to Chihiro and knows she was the one behind pushing her down the stairs and ravaging of hydrangea leaves. Even if she hates her, she will keep quiet and won’t say a word on what she has done. But the girl isn’t going to let this die. In the bathroom, she punches herself. When Rea gets home from school, Doon sees her and though the girl can’t speak, she can still make nods to questions. The girl accuses Rea of beating her up. Of course Doon can’t believe her straightaway nor can he turn suspicious on Rea.

That night, Rea catches the girl trying to kiss Chihiro again and warns her to stop. The girl gives off her shriek scream and seeks solace in Doon. Rea tries to tell what happened but Doon and Mero feel the girl is just frightened. Chihiro backs up Rea and confirms what the girl has done. He was pretending to be asleep. Now cornered, the girl runs off while Chihiro and Rea give chase. They catch up when she trips at the graveyard. Since they haven’t figured it out yet, the girl makes a hint and Rea realizes she is her mother. What the?! She’s Aria?! Well the mole below her left eye maybe but everything about her is so different. Oh, maybe her stinking attitude too. She thought she wants to take everything dear away from Rea but looks like there are too many ‘fools’ around her. She is upset everybody pays attention to Rea and none for her. Especially for a certain zombie freak who has never loved a human. Chihiro gives his piece of mind that she needs to grow up or else people will hate her if she keeps doing nasty things. That’s why she’s always alone. He even teases her if she’s so desperate, she can get intimate with him. Just kidding. This upsets Aria as she starts summoning some super power. What the hell? Is she raining hail storm? Suddenly Aria emerges from her bathtub and realizes it was all a dream. WHAT THE???!!! JUST A FREAKING DREAM???!!! Rea also thought it was some sort of hallucination. Next day, the butler reluctantly tells Aria of the punishment that doesn’t sit well with teachers and friends. Aria decides to drop it since she no longer sees the necessity in punishing Rea against her Danichirou’s intentions. Chihiro accompanies Rea as she tells her about the strange dream whereby her mother was harassing her and such. She thanks him.

Dead… And Loving It!
Well, it left me with mixed feelings. The first OVA felt like a little recap because recycled scenes are being used in certain scenes that make it feel like a fast forward recap of the important events that took place during the TV series. But the ending has left me desiring a little more because they introduced some seemingly crazy chick and then you don’t see her in the next episode. So if they decided to make a sequel out of this, I’m sure this character may play the main part. And then maybe they can add crazier things like obsessed cult zombie hunters. Yeah. Like a zombie movie with roles reversal. But that’s another story. For the second OVA, the mystery of the little girl was enough to keep me on my toes because we would always be wondering who this girl is and what her goals are in picking Rea. Then when it turned out to be a dream sequence, I felt that it somewhat ruined it all. The magic is gone. So it was just a surreal crazy dream… What a let-down. In short, the OVAs were like fillers and nothing more. Despite the disappointment, I still enjoyed the double OVA episodes. Well because, Rea is still pretty when she’s dead ;p. Could’ve been prettier if she was alive XO.

In both episodes, I can sense that Chihiro and Rea are getting closer to each other but I just don’t feel the impact. Am I saying that my senses are as dead as a zombie? Rea seems to be fitting into her new home just fine and getting along pretty well with her life as well as her school life. It’s perfect. She’s almost perfect. Nobody suspects her to be an undead. Chihiro continues to look out for her but I was hoping that the OVAs would at least address the mystery that grandpa said about some resurrection medicine he created. Even if it was a slight hint. Didn’t. Not a word. Or even the mystery surrounding Chihiro and Mero’s mom (my question was whether she was a zombie or not?). Babu at least gets more spotlight in one of the episodes here and sometimes it’s refreshing to see what this undead cat is up to now he has found a new lease of life. Oh wait. Don’t cats have nine lives? I guess even Babu can tell his limitations so it’s a little tad sad that he can’t continue to pursue his love. Ranko has been reduced to a background character so much so I thought she could have been done without. If she didn’t make her appearance (like Danichirou – the photos don’t count, okay), I thought the show would still go on. I suppose the only reason why I want to see her is because if there would be a potential love triangle. Don’t see any hint of romance at all. Except for Chihiro’s love for zombies. He’s still hardcore on that. And grandpa… The senile jokes where he always forgets the food he dislikes and the soonest after Mero explains otherwise, I figure it got too repetitive and stale in the TV series so they left it out here.

That’s the end of the road for me for this series. Unless they make another season, that is. Zombies and horror flicks aren’t my cup of tea. Sankarea wasn’t really a hardcore of that genre since it’s about a dead girl trying to be alive while she was dead when she was alive. Get it? Safe to say that I haven’t been converted into a zombie lover since I will still freak out if I see corpse moving. The more reason why I should run away if the corpse is a pretty young girl. I might consider if she is a dead anime maid girl… However I still don’t think zombies are ‘vegetarians’.

After all the rumours I heard about the series having a second sequel and all the fake alerts that I have never bothered with, they finally came up with a 3 episode OVA called Otome Wa Boku Ni Koishiteru: Futari No Elder back in mid 2012. However this is not a direct continuation from the original TV series that aired in 2006 and in fact I would classify it as a spin-off sequel since all the characters are different but the setting and the main issue of cross-dressing are still present.

So instead of seeing Mizuho, we have Chihaya Mikado. As stated in the synopsis, this OVA takes place 2 years after Mizuho’s graduation. Because Chihaya has been bullied and harassed in school by bullies, he has been skipping school and thus his distrust for men. His mom can’t bear to see him go on like this and thus transfers him to her old school. The catch? Seiou is a school for girls! Yup. Cross-dressing time. It just makes me wonder how he accepted that. Maybe after all that protesting and fallen on deaf ears, might as well suck it up and take the bull by the horns. Hey, it’s better than skipping school, right? So at Seiou, Chihaya undertakes the surname of Kisakinomiya which is his mother’s maiden name and becomes the focus of public attention since he has an attractive face, figure and does well in his studies. He’s like the perfect lady. Throughout the rest of the blog, I’ll refer to Chihaya as a female because, if it looks like a girl, talks like a girl, walks like a girl and acts like a girl, then it must be a girl, right? I don’t want to screw up my own brain having confusing thoughts about a boy cross-dressing as a girl. Yeah. Very confusing indeed.

Episode 1
It is Chihaya Kisakinomiya’s first day at Seiou All-Girls High School. The girls love her elegant and mature posture. Kaoruko Nanahara whom everyone knows as the Knight Princess, greets her and guides her around school as requested by teacher Hisako Kajiura. They also live in the same dorm. Before class begins, Kajiura wonders if Chihaya could get use to life here since her mom entrusted Chihaya into her care. The classmates are amazed over Chihaya’s English abilities and as explained to Kaoruko on their way back, only her mother’s grandma is a westerner and she spent most of her time studying. That’s got to be so boring, right? Chihaya offers to tutor her and Kaoruko happily accepts it only to be teased by Kaori Kamichika not to ‘cheat’. Kaori loves teasing Kaoruko by the way. As it starts raining, they see Yuu Kashiwagi sitting on the bench getting drench in the rain. She wants to stay like this because she likes it. Chihaya easily lifts her and brings her back to the dorm. Kaori notes who she lifted Yuu so easily so Chihaya replies she is very light. Yuu is brought back to the dorm whereby Hatsune Minase brings Yuu back to bed and nurses her fever. The other girls also meet Hinata Kudou. Chihaya makes English dessert for everyone and bring in some smiles. Kaoruko is impressed and praises Chihaya for having such refined skills only to be teased by Kaori. Later as Chihaya takes a bath alone, she remembers how her mom decided to make arrangements to have her enrol in Seiou and will have Kajiura push everything through since she’s also the acting principal. Chihaya pleaded that wasn’t the problem but it fell on deaf ears instead. Chihaya’s personal maid, Fumi Watarai comes in to wash her back. Part of the ‘training’ for her to get used to a girl’s body? I guess Chihaya would fail if she gets ‘excited’ seeing her loli body.

One evening in the library, Chihaya spots Kaori kissing a junior. Kaori knows Chihaya has seen her and prepares to live with the rumours Chihaya will spread. But Chihaya promises she will keep this a secret and this has Kaori note she is just like her. Different from the rest. For Kaori, she is different because she will live true to herself. Later Chihaya asks Kaoruko about Kaori. She admires her and feels is a good person. She also mentions Chihaya is beautiful, good at everything and care for others but she disagrees she is perfect. That night as Chihaya looks out her window, Kaori hugs her from behind and ascertains that Chihaya is a boy. Did the fake boobs give her away? Oh, Kaoruko was eavesdropping too. See her horrified expression? Now it is Chihaya’s turn to be prepared to be expelled since her identity is known. However Kaori wants to hear her story first. She is surprised to hear Chihaya followed such ridiculous order from her parents. Kaori explains the dead giveaways that made her suspect Chihaya is a boy. She was cautious of being touched when they first met. No matter how light Yuu is, it will still be a problem for girls to lift Yuu and Chihaya demonstrated to lift her easily. Through the eyes of a girl, she is too perfect only because it’s the role she was playing. Because Chihaya promised to keep Kaori’s secret, she will do the same for her and thinks it’s okay for her to stay here.

Over the next few scenes, Kaoruko gives Chihaya the cold shoulder. When Chihaya wanted to have a moment with her, she bumps into her friend, Kayleigh Grandselius who is talking about the stars and such. She points out Chihaya pointing under and unfortunate star. Kaoruko suddenly takes Kayleigh and leaves. Chihaya talks to Kaori and wonders if Kaoruko knows her secret. As far as she knows, she is the only one in this school who knows about it. However she cautions Chihaya may be so worried then her less than perfect acting may have given her away. As Chihaya ponders she doesn’t fit here, Kaoruko comes in to challenge her to a kendo duel. The first one to land a clean hit wins. If Kaoruko wins, Chihaya will tell her the whole truth. If Chihaya wins, she can do anything she wants. But I guess even before the match starts, the truth already came out. Kaoruko wants to ascertain she is a boy. Chihaya doesn’t deny that. Chihaya might leave Seiou since her identity is exposed but Kaoruko gets upset at her ‘perfect lying’ and if this is her way of doing things half-heartedly. She isn’t happy Kaori is also involved and wants to know her intentions. The bout ends in Chihaya’s favour as Kaori and Fumi step in. Kaoruko has calmed down and questions Kaori’s act. Something about camouflaging and imaging tactics. Chihaya will be her ally and in return she’ll protect her secrets. Chihaya wonders why Kaoruko won’t accept her. Well, there’s a host of reasons she gave. Yuu might be sad if she leaves. She kinda admires her. She looks like her older sister. Anyhow, it isn’t a bad thing if she stays. Chihaya is so happy that she cried. I guess she’s really gotten good in playing a girl’s role. While Fumi is surprised that her identity is found out by 2 girls in the first few days and everyone can keep going like it’s nothing (which is truly a miracle), Kaoruko gets flustered when Kaori mentions about girls undressing and changing. This means Chihaya has already seen Kaoruko in her pantsu, right? RIGHT?!

Episode 2
Chihaya is equally as popular and because of her unique hair colour, she has been nicknamed Silver Haired Princess. For the upcoming annual concert, Utano Sasou and Eri Nishina hope to join Kaoruko’s ensemble. Looks like Chihaya is in too. I’m not sure why Utano brought them to Awayuki Reizei just to explain about the concert. Anyway the founders believed all students should be able to play a music instrument. They also must join an ensemble to perform in a yearly concert. Kaoruko plays the cello but it seems the concert is stressing her out. Hatsune teases her about her ‘outstanding’ performance last year as Kaoruko feels she is bad in front of crowds. Chihaya plays the piano and demonstrates her elegance and class. When Kaoruko leaves the music room, Kayleigh introduces her to Harumi Kimihara, the violinist who will be part of her ensemble this year. Kaoruko practices with her group and she feels better that she can perform well now. Later there seems to be a dispute in regards to which ensemble shall use the music room for practice. There has been double booking and Kayleigh allows Kaoruko’s group to use the room first since they have a pianist while theirs only consists only of strings. However Harumi doesn’t believe instruments should be a factor to this. Since Chihaya has a personal piano in her dorm, she can use it for her personal practice. Since everybody agrees, the issue is settled. But why does Harumi doesn’t look happy? Later Kaoruko is seen talking off the phone. Something bad must have happened to make her sink into depression.

As Kaoruko practices with her group, Eri points out that she heard Harumi is transferring to another school after the concert. They think her family has issues to move in this time of year. Kaoruko hears rumours about others whispering that lenders aren’t afraid to rough you up. Maybe they should just stop whispering if they’re so afraid that she might hear. Kaoruko goes to see Harumi and the latter confirms her father’s company has gone bankrupt thanks to Kaoruko’s father. Kaoruko hopes she can do something for her. Really? Anything? Harumi chides her if she’s serious about that, then swap places with her. Give her everything you have! Your friends! Your popularity! Your future! Chihaya who was looking for Kaoruko steps in. Harumi runs away in tears. Chihaya wants to know what happened but Kaoruko won’t tell. Back at the dorm, Chihaya learns from Fumi that Kaoruko went out. In this stormy weather? Kaoruko practices her cello as she remembers about others whispering about those rumours. She is so sad and disturbed that she didn’t realize her fingers are bleeding after playing the cello so rough!!! Yikes! It took Chihaya to bring her to her senses. Once more, Kaoruko doesn’t want to say what’s wrong. Is it because Chihaya lied before? Is it because she’s a boy and unable to solve her problem? Kaoruko fears she will hate her as she doesn’t know who to answer the girl who is crying for help. As always, she only sits back and watches. She is mad at herself for being like this. After all that crying, emotional drama and hugging, Kaoruko lets known the truth. Her father is a loan shark and she’s always hate being a daughter of one. Chihaya points out Harumi knows she wasn’t at fault. While that was her form of kindness, it may be that there is no correct answer. They can only pray she tries her best to stand on her own feet again.

As the concert begins, it is Kaoruko’s group’s turn to take the stage. As they play, Kaoruko remembers her meeting with Harumi soon after. She told her she used to think switching places would solve everything but not anymore. Kaoruko will always be Kaoruko and Harumi will always be Harumi. She must accept that. Harumi knows that and despite wanting to hate her, she can’t help end up admiring her. Kaoruko says she can both hate and admire her but will always remember her. In the aftermath, Hatsune tells everyone the news that after Harumi transfers out, she went to a music school and immediately won a national competition. Kaoruko treasures a present from Harumi which is a handkerchief with a picture of a violin next to a cello.

Episode 3
It’s that time of year again for the school’s annual Elder Sister election. Students pick a senior to serve as a role model for the entire student body and she commands more respect and influence than the student council president although she doesn’t bear any official authority. However she must obtain 75% of the votes. If that is not reached, other candidates may give their votes to her. Chihaya tutors Kaoruko in the library. Did they get distracted admiring the length of each other’s fingers? That is interrupted when Chihaya is called since she has a visitor. Turns out to be her mom and is here to check on how she is doing. The interaction between mother and child seems awkward because mommy addresses her as Chitose. Plus, she is happy to know that her ‘daughter’ has enough stamina to tutor others and now that she’s transformed into a fine lady, she could hardly recognize her. That night, Kaoruko and Kaori discuss what happened today. Kaoruko is suspicious because Chihaya didn’t correct her mother when she called her ‘Chitose’. Also, Chihaya even addressed her as ‘mama’ instead of ‘okaa-san’ like she always used to. When Chihaya is in the flower arrangement club, she remembers presenting to her ill twin sister in hospital, Chitose some flowers. However she started coughing incessantly and that was the last she saw of her. Since Chihaya wasn’t paying attention, she accidentally cuts herself and bleeds. She recuperates in the hospital though her injuries aren’t life threatening. Kaoruko confronts Fumi to ask who Chitose is. She reveals she is Chihaya’s twin sister who died at the age of 10 due to an illness. Kaoruko realizes this must be the reason why Chihaya is protective of Yuu. Chihaya dreams that after Chitose died, her mom was devastated. She had to be strong for her otherwise nobody will. Even though she knows what she’s doing is wrong, she has to endure it. She is her mother after all. Soon Chihaya wakes up and is back on her own feet. Kaoruko talks to Fumi again wondering if she is okay with such decision. Fumi says her duty is to serve Chihaya and if she chooses to live as Chitose, she will abide by that.

Then Kaoruko confronts Chihaya if she really is going to aim for the Elder Sister position. Chihaya doesn’t understand what she meant since the post is decided by votes. What Kaoruko wants to know is what Chihaya truly wants. Does she want to live as Chitose? Although Chihaya says yes, the way she said it doesn’t seem convincing. Kaoruko then starts telling her all the things Chihaya are good at, even better than her. That is the real Chihaya she knows and wants her to be herself because she wants to be with her. Chihaya’s heart is still confused so she runs away. Kaoruko chases her. She catches up. They trip. She falls over her. Since the mood is right, they let their body take over. At least their lips. Kaoruko confesses she likes her and wants her to stay by her side. Chihaya in tears wonders if she can be herself. Of course she can. Then she realizes they are in the flower bed (the flowers she gave the Chitose) and it made her even emotional. On the day of the Elder Sister election, Kajiura announces the election results. The top 4 are Chihaya, Kaoruko, Hatsune and Makio Shingyouji. She offers a chance to those who wants to give their votes. Makio gives hers to Kaoruko since they’ve been through the same thing. Likewise, Hatsune gives hers to Chihaya as gratitude for mending her relationship with Yuu. Since both their total votes are still at a tie, Hatsune steps forward and suggests that they both be given the title as Elder Sister. I guess they are popular enough that everyone in the hall approves of it. So for the first time in history, we have 2 seniors holding the post of Elder Sister. This means Chihaya and Kaoruko get to be together from now and always.

The Thing About Cross-dressing…
Uhm… Well, if you ask me, this OVA isn’t really much. I suppose for those who truly wish to enjoy this drama, the best is that you read the original works (actually it is a visual novel game that this series is based on) or you are a big fan of the series. Otherwise, 3 episodes are not enough to do justice to a random and casual viewer like me who wouldn’t know how to appreciate or understand what is really going on. It felt like it skipped a lot of things and introduces a few characters and some that don’t play any significant role in the OVAs. The first episode was about Chihaya and Kaoruko and about the latter trying to come to terms with the former’s real gender and identity when it is found out. The second episode focuses more on Kaoruko and her issue of dealing with a fellow student whose family got affected because of Kaoruko’s father. Finally the third season sees how Chihaya deal with the ‘presence’ of her late twin sister, an emotional scar that has deeply affected her mom and whether or not she chooses to live in her shadow or as her own.

The cross-dressing part really did not hit me while watching this show because Chihaya is so elegant as a lady, it’s either like she is a natural or has gotten so used to the role. That’s why throughout the duration of watching this series, the thought that Chihaya is a boy never really bugged me even when his identity is on the verge of being exposed and got exposed to a hand few. It also felt that Chihaya’s identity was never in danger of being exposed. Even if it was like to some of her friends, she would just coolly accept fate. Where’s the fun in that when you don’t panic of your real identity being busted? It’s like as though she has no qualms if she gets expelled. Or maybe Chihaya was just putting up a poker face. We can’t tell since she really did a good job acting like a fine lady.

Also, the way Chihaya acts, it never occurred to me that he is a victim bully. Maybe everyone at Seiou are girls so her trauma is stemmed. Because there are a handful of minor characters, their little presence in the OVAs didn’t really do their roles any justice. Yuu was just someone Chihaya saved at first and later and subtly her relationship with others got mended. Kaori is amusing since she likes teasing Kaoruko but that only happens in the first episode. After that you don’t see her do this stuff anymore. And Kayleigh? If you ask me, if she hadn’t appeared at all, the series can go on. Then in the final episode they introduced Makio and her few seconds of overall screen time isn’t really appreciated too. Just somebody there, you know. Even Chihaya’s skyrocketing popularity with the girls felt implied. It’s like you have to accept the fact that Chihaya is already famous. Where are the hard work and the things she do to get her this popular? Like I said, if you really want to know everything and all the characters, it is best to play the game. The OVAs were just ‘desserts’.

Maybe the other reason why Chihaya accepted her mom’s absurd request of enrolling at Seiou is because of Chitose. Like she said, she needed to be strong for her and from the way things were shown, it seems mom hasn’t really gotten over Chitose yet. As for that ultimate scene whereby Kaoruko and Chihaya kissed each other in the flowerbed, it makes me wonder if Kaoruko likes Chihaya as a boy or a girl. I mean, Chihaya has been given the ‘approval’ to be the way she wants, right? So is that a boy or a girl? Of course this means Chihaya still will have to cross-dress till she graduates. Likewise the same can be asked for Chihaya. Does she love Kaoruko as a boy or a girl (for Chihaya lah)? ‘Experience’ tells me that girls who study in all-girls school have this tendency to go yuri so it is not surprising if they fall in love each other as females. Chihaya really looks and acts like a fine lady, right? And in the event if they fall for each other with Chihaya as a boy, then it would be straight but they’ll have to keep his identity a secret or else a scandal so huge that it overshadows the world’s biggest political and sex scandals.

Eri Kitamura as Kaoruko is still identifiable although she doesn’t pull off her trademark bratty voice like Rin in Kodomo No Jikan or Kotone in Softenni. Surprisingly I could recognize Ayana Taketatsu as Kaori. No reprimanding voices here like Azusa from K-ON! Or Eclair from Dog Days. Just like that calm and cool voice of Fuu from Tamayura. Other casts include Yu Shimamura as Chihaya (Hare in Guilty Crown), Sayuri Hara as Fumi (Bokuden in Sengoku Collection), Yuiko Tatsumi as Utano (Riko in KissxSis), Mana Hirata as Yuu (Hazuki in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu), Yui Sakakibara as Kajiura (Priecia in Prism Ark), Megumi Takamoto as Kayleigh (Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Risa Kayama as Hatsune (Kouta in Sakamichi No Apollon) and Yoriko Nagata as Harumi (Jun in K-ON!). The opening theme is a lively pop, Cross X Over Sensation by Natsuko Ako while the ending theme is a slow-moderate ballad, Himitsu and sung by the typical style of CooRie. When I heard the ending piece, I thought it reminded me a little of Da Capo Second Season’s ending theme, Akatsuki Ni Saku Uta, a song that CooRie also sung.

Overall, the OVA didn’t feel it was up to mark though the art and drawing were okay (at least in my opinion it was better than the TV prequel) and the ending could be deemed as happily ever after (because the main protagonist duo got to be together. Holding hands). There were relationships between characters and pasts that weren’t fleshed out properly. I’m sure that even the most minor of the side characters have their own story to tell whether it is tragic or complicated, right? Although I don’t remember about the prequel much, the OVA lacks the comedy parts so it is drama all the way. Bottom line is, cross-dressing and enrolling into a school for one gender only doesn’t really solve the main problem, though it may solve other problems (‘side quests’) along the way. Because if it does, you would have seen a host of guys cross-dressing as girls Yup. That would be ugly. That would be disaster. That would make maidens fall into trauma instead.

Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka

March 17, 2013

Tired with all that glitter and glamour that has to do with vampires? Tired with that never ending feud between vampires and the furry werewolves as well? I guess now the new fad is zombies. Those undead people. Throughout the years of anime, there has been several zombie themed animes like Zombie Loan, Shikabane Hime, Gungrave, Highschool Of The Dead and the recent one Sankarea. But all these are more serious and dark if you want to compare with Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka? (Is This A Zombie?). Yes, this one even though has its dark elements, is more of an ecchi fanservice comedy. Say what? You’ll know what I mean when you watch it. If you want to watch it, that is.

Our main protagonist, Ayumu Aikawa may look like your typical ordinary high school student. But he harbours a secret that nobody else knows. He is a zombie. That’s right. A zombie. Wait a minute. Aren’t zombies supposed to be looking dead with rotting flesh who want to eat your brains and guts? Well, watching Sankarea dispelled my stereotype perception of it and now we have this Ayumu kid who is one. How did he turn into a zombie in the first place, you ask? He was killed by a serial killer. Period. His second chance at life is made possible courtesy by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe or Yuu for short. One funny thing about Yuu is that she isn’t a mute despite preferring to write her speeches on paper. You’ll find out why as you go along. With such a cute necromancer girl in his house that can’t speak a word, I guess Ayumu must have his limits so sometimes to serve as his own amusement, he would fantasize Yuu speaking in a very cute manner like how otakus like their little sisters to talk to them. He may be a zombie, but he is still a guy deep down in his heart, right? If that heart is still beating.

Being a zombie has its good points too. One of them is that he can’t really die. Be warned that you may see bloody limbs of his flying and thrown apart but he is still alive after all that bloody violence. All you need to do is find those parts and put it back together again. Like Humpty Dumpty. Easy. The bad point? The pain is real. So maybe dying a hundred times means you’ll be feeling pain a hundred times. Ugh. However Ayumu isn’t just a zombie. He has another special ability. After chancing upon a Masou Shoujo (yes, Masou Shoujo which literally means Garment/Equipment Girl), he turns into a cross-dressing freak to power up and fight supernatural creatures called Megalo. Life gets even complicated when you have a house full of girls staying with you. A necromancer, a Masou Shoujo and a vampire ninja. Oh, there’s the vampire. Vampire ninja? Don’t ask. What are the chances his life will take a further tumble spiralling downwards? Only thing is, he’s dead. Haha! All this as Ayumu try to unravel the mystery behind his own death.

Episode 1
Right off the bat we are shown that this is going to be a comedy-cum-fanservice show. Ayumu tries to save a cat from being run over by a truck. In the process gets hit and flies through the air (there’s your comedy bit) losing all his clothes. Stark naked. There’s your fanservice. Eww!!! It’s freaking out the girls and the cat. He manages to make it home and make dinner for Yuu. So as we hear Ayumu narrate how his lucky life has been resurrected by this mysterious necromancer and living at his place for a month, Ayumu’s nightly mission has him roaming around town to find his killer. But it’s like finding a needle in the haystack because he has no leads despite the serial killer is still making headlines with his killings. Ayumu somehow feels at ease stopping by a graveyard (he’s a zombie, duh). To his shock, suddenly a Masou Shoujo, Haruna wants to kill him. Nice chainsaw she’s got there. What’s its name again? Mystletainn? Actually she’s fighting a bear Megalo who kills Ayumu from behind. Haruna avenges Ayumu’s death with her Mystletainn Kick by cutting through the Megalo via Ayumu’s body! That’s not a kick! The self proclaimed genius Haruna needs to erase Ayumu’s memories but unfortunately her clothes disappear. Some genius. Did she screw up? She blames him for stealing her mana. So now that Haruna has lost her magic powers, she has to bum at Ayumu’s home. I guess he has to take responsibility, huh? Haruna proceeds to borrow Ayumu’s handphone to call her teacher, Dai-sensei and report on the situation. I wonder how his phone bill is going to look like since she is calling to the magic world of Virie.

As a zombie, a minus point is that he can’t walk in the sunlight so he has to refuse the offer of his best friend, Orito to walk home. Besides, he gives an excuse he has a ‘complicated household’. Hey. Doesn’t he live by himself as far as Orito is concerned? As Ayumu waits in the classroom, some pervy guy in a trench coat wants Ayumu to be his. He turns out to be a crayfish Megalo. Haruna pops in just in time for her to transform into her Masou Shoujo outfit to fight the creature. But her clothes didn’t last long and before you know it, she’s stark naked again. Haruna becomes scared though the Megalo isn’t interested in Masou Shoujo who lost their powers. Ayumu protects Haruna from this Megalo’s bashing and offers to fight him on her behalf. Here’s another good point as a zombie. You don’t have that mental limiters that we living humans have so he is able to go all out with full strength against the crayfish. Just be careful not to twist your limbs the wrong way. Oops. Too late. Knowing he might be invincible but his body is still human and won’t last, Haruna deduces since he stole her mana, he can be a Masou Shoujo too. Say what? Oh what the heck. After reciting those lines, Ayumu becomes… A Masou Shoujo! Pervert… He’s even wearing panties… Pervert! Ayumu finishes the Megalo with Mystletainn Kick. That’s not a kick! He crashes outside and to his horror everyone in the field sees his pervy outfit. Take out those handphones and snap them away! He’s a goner. It gets worst when Haruna appoints him as Masou Shoujo in front of everyone. There goes his reputation. There goes his life.

Episode 2
Thankfully for Ayumu, everyone had their memories erased since he holds that power now that he is a Masou Shoujo. Still it sucks to be a Masou Shoujo, right? Haruna may be starting to act like a tsundere by making bento for him but at least she’s not freeloading. Only if her repertoire consists of anything else but just tamagoyaki. Guess what? IT TASTES GOOD! Super good that all the other classmates are willing to exchange their bread just for this super meal. I’m sure everything is ‘normal’ the way it is back home for dinner. Only thing is, they have an additional member sitting at the table. Who is this busty chick anyway? Seraphim or Sera for short. She is a vampire ninja and her sword specialty technique is Tsubamegaeshi. Well, everything she pulls off is Tsubamegaeshi. Anyway she is here to seek Yuu’s help to escort her back to her village. Yuu doesn’t care and wants Ayumu to shoo her away. Learning that this dumb zombie is Yuu’s servant, Sera is willing to become her servant in his place but Yuu is happy with just one. I guess there is one way to settle this. At the graveyard, the duo face off to see who is more appropriate to be Yuu’s servant. Sera materializes the leaves into a sword and starts cutting him down with her… You guessed it, Tsubamegaeshi. Though Ayumu has his left hand cut off, he throws it at her and she admits defeat. Ayumu thought she will be heading home due to her pride thingy but to his surprise she is back at his house serving tea to Yuu. Is this the pride thing she calls? Well, finishing her mission is part of her pride. She is willing to become Ayumu’s servant and he thought he could get pervy with her with all his fantasies. Till he realizes how piercing her piece-of-sh*t reprimanding can be. You think a strict person like her is going to let him step all over her? I guess she’ll be staying here.

Ayumu thinks about the time when he found Yuu sitting alone outside the convenience store. Who wouldn’t get his attention caught seeing a silver haired girl in armour? He tries to talk to her but starts off with a stupid topic. To break the ice, he starts dancing a stupid dance and ends up twisting his hand like a fool. Yuu wrote to him that he was interesting. However she warns never to do that again. So they started ‘talking’ and he soon finds himself quite amused with her despite not saying a word. I know, there’s this attraction about women not opening their mouths ;p. Ayumu then left and on his way home heard screams from a nearby house. It could be the serial killer. He could’ve called the police and waited for help or in worst case, just walked away. But no… He had to be the hero and go in and save the day despite knowing well he doesn’t know what to do. He gets paralyzed at the blood on the wall and suddenly felt a sharp stab from behind. He’s dead. But next thing he knows, he is resurrected by Yuu as she introduces herself and assures him that she’ll stay by his side. So that’s how things turn out to be. During dinner, we learn about Sera’s village having some war that will last 100 years, Sera continuing to rebuke the zombie piece-of-sh*t and Haruna making more bento for him. Haruna thought he was teasing about her bento since he wanted some rice instead of just eggs so she tells him to put it himself and go die. This riles Yuu up as she writes not to say those words casually. Ayumu knows she’s just horsing around but Haruna being the tsundere continues to tell Ayumu to go die. This earns her a slap from Yuu as she writes dying is painful. Haruna gives Yuu her eggs to eat while she runs off to her room. Ayumu thought he could be poetic like how the sky is crying in Yuu’s place but it was ruined when Sera starts calling him the usual.

Episode 3
Haruna wakes up from a weird dream. Fighting an invincible pudding Megalo? It’s the hot summer and there is one pudding left in the refrigerator. I guess this means the girls will be holding a match to see who gets it. What funny shapes are they making with Jenga? Since the match is going nowhere, they try other games that include mahjong and twister. Time to break for lunch. Meanwhile Orito is trying to ask girls out with to the bowling alley with tickets he won from the lottery. Since nobody is interested in this loser, he has to invite Ayumu instead. The guys are taking a break at a fast food chain known as Mask Donald. Masked macho men serving fast food? The kids love them when I thought it should be scaring them! Then they go bowling and to Ayumu’s dismay, he sees Yuu, Haruna and Sera bowling in the next lane! Orito spots them and even has his near accurate analysis on what kind of girls they are and the underwear they are wearing. Ayumu knows he can’t let him find out they’re living in his house. Otherwise imagine the scandal it will bring. The girls wave at him as he pretends not to hear. Because Haruna is coming towards him, he quickly puts on the mask and calls himself Masked Ayumu! Duh… He can’t hide it anymore but it’s the girls who coolly reveal that they’re living in his house. Orito of course can’t believe it though Ayumu explains he doesn’t want to get him involved. He accepts the truth and wants to know how far he has gone with them. Please note those are his delusions and he is going crazy and jealous over it. So jealous that his forehead is bleeding after knocking them on the bowling ball!

Orito challenges his best buddy and if he wins, he gets to stay in his house. Of course Orito lost the bowling match because Ayumu used his strength as a zombie to his advantage. Then he gets a message to come over and everybody thought it is his girlfriend. Not exactly. At Furumachi Hospital, that girl turns out to be Kyouko. She is a survivor of the serial killer and because she always wanted to meet Ayumu, Orito brings him along. Kyouko is like a little sister to Orito. So as they talk, Ayumu hate to bring this up but he needs to know if she had seen the face of the killer. She describes the person is of the same age as her, has straight silver hair and wear gauntlets. Oh no. Does somebody familiar fit that description? Ayumu thought she got the wrong person because that person he knows is silent and expressionless. Kyouko touches Ayumu’s head thinking he has fever but it’s not (maybe it’s her boobs getting too closer to his view). Ayumu realizes a wooden sword underneath her bed and she explains since she saw the killer’s face, she is worried the killer might come back for her. Kyouko collapses into Ayumu’s arms almost breaking down that the killer killed people like it was nothing. She feels afraid. Meanwhile Sera and Haruna continue their challenge over the pudding back home but Yuu is watching. And eating the pudding…

Episode 4
Sera’s cooking sucks. Enough to make a hole through the pot. Enough to kill people. I know Ayumu is a zombie and can’t die but that’s not the point… Haruna calls Dai-sensei to tell her she hasn’t found this artefact called Kyo-to yet. Ayumu answers the doorbell and to his surprised finds a talking Doberman! He claims he is from the underworld and won’t let things escape there. Ayumu died and went there once. You get the point. Ayumu isn’t going to let him drag him back to hell and gets injured in the fight. He is healed quickly by Yuu but Doberman backs down once he sees Yuu. He finds out what’s happening and apologizes he wouldn’t have attacked Ayumu had he know the circumstances. Doberman mentions that someone is going to be killed and it is his job to take that person’s soul back to the underworld. This strikes Ayumu because this means the serial killer is on the move again. As he follows Doberman, he learns that each time Yuu uses her healing power, she takes that person’s pain. She never mentions it because that’s her kindness. Yuu is the centre of everything and making the choice to heal him means she thinks he’s somebody special. They enter the crime scene. The murder is committed and there is no soul to take. Doberman thinks those souls are being taken and offered for sacrifice as it would grant someone incredible magic powers. The only person he can think of doing this is Yoru No Ou (King of The Night). Suddenly the duo are stabbed by a sword like shishkebab! Too bad they didn’t even see the killer’s face. Before Doberman dies, he tells Ayumu to take care of Yuu and not make her sad.

Ayumu returns all blooded and Yuu heals him. He talks to her about absorbing his pain especially why she suppresses her emotions. Her magic is volatile. She can’t speak because her words carry magic and they do not obey her. She doesn’t know when those words will turn into magic and even simple grunts can turn into magic that will have a sharp pain running through her head. The armour help seals her magic and even after she dies, the magic will continue working. Yuu starts weeping wondering if she hates him now. If her emotions fluctuate, Ayumu, the person closest to her will have his fate changed. That’s why if he found out the monster she is, he will hate her. Ayumu rubbishes all that and only sees a kind hearted girl. He wants her to stay by his side and laugh when she feels like it. He’ll take care of this fate thingy and take on them all if that is what it takes for him to be with her. A giant whale Megalo appears in the sky. This time Ayumu has no qualms in transforming into a Masou Shoujo and cooperates with Sera to increase his power to 1000% and cut off its head. The Megalo’s dust falls onto Earth like snow so for the first time we see Yuu giving off a little smile. Meanwhile Kyouko is found murdered in her hospital room.

Episode 5
Oh sh*t! Sera is kissing Haruna! Yuri moment! Did Ayumu just see what he just see?! So as explained, the kiss was just giving Haruna anaesthetic to suck her blood. Why not suck Ayumu’s? Is she into girls? Well, she wouldn’t take anything from that piece-of*sh*t. Oh… Haruna is trying to transform into her Masou Shoujo but her powers are still lacking and ends up naked. She kicks Ayumu out for trying to peep. Ayumu gets a call from Dai-sensei who is looking for Haruna. She thought Haruna couldn’t find Kyo-to so to call off the search. Turns out the artefact is some tofu from Kyoto. I don’t know, she makes it sound complicated why they just can’t get it from elsewhere. Dai-sensei notes that though Haruna is a genius, that is the problem. She doesn’t take the effort to remember things although she could if she wanted to. However recently something happened and she remembered somebody’s name: Ayumu. She wonders what kind of magic he used on her. Ayumu then gets a call from Kyouko saying that she is going to be discharged soon and to meet. Eh? Wasn’t she dead? Something smells fishy..

On a pretence to go buy Kyo-to for Dai-sensei, he goes to meet Kyouko at the graveyard. She gives him the Kyo-to he is searching and learning that he doesn’t have a girlfriend, she suggests nominating herself as one. Is he hearing things right? Also, there is something else she wants. What is it? His life. What? Suddenly. STAB right through his heart! Oh sh*t! So Kyouko is the serial killer! Everything she said about being a survivor and her family being killed was a lie. She is puzzled at the number of times he has to kill him for him to die. As for being Orito’s childhood friend, she altered his memories. However she can’t seem to alter his memories (those moments she tried touching him). Kyouko transforms into a Masou Shoujo and tries to kill him. She freezes him when Haruna and Sera appear. They thought he’s trying to take advantage of a little girl! Haruna undoes the barrier to free him and Kyouko understands that he is also a Masou Shoujo, the reason she can’t manipulate his memories. Sera attacks her but her Tsubamegaeshi had no effect. Kyouko unleashes some Megalo power that renders Haruna paralyze. Ayumu reluctantly transforms into a Masou Shoujo to kick Kyouko’s ass with Sera. Kyouko reveals her intention of killing people to gain immortality. Ayumu holds her tight and won’t let her go. Sera stabs them both with her sword. They thought it was over when Sera gets stabbed. It’s Kyouko standing back up. Is she a zombie? Not precisely but she has about 10 more lives to use. She is about to burn them when Yuu makes her appearance.

Episode 6
Yuu grabs Mystletainn and transforms into a Masou Shoujo! Because magic is absorbed by stronger magic, Yuu is considered the strongest Masou Shoujo ever. Yuu doesn’t want her friends involve so they face off at a tree on the hilltop. Kyouko mocks her she cares about those dumb people that she binds herself to this city and it’s like inviting her to steal her magic. Kyouko uses her lives and at an increasing percentage fires her magic towards Yuu not giving a damn her body is breaking apart. Ayumu realizes it’s not the magic of her armour but her words and with just a word, “Die”, Kyouko collapses to the ground. That’s why she suppresses her emotions and stays silent (that note she wrote to Ayumu to cut out his funny stupid dance). That’s why she is closer to death and sadder than anyone else. Each time Kyouko gets up, Yuu says that single word again and again. Kyouko destroys her eardrums so her words couldn’t reach her and unleashes a powerful blast to knock Yuu out. Ayumu and the rest are going in because they care about Yuu. They don’t seem matched to her so much so Kyouko can afford to kill herself to restore her eardrums. Ayumu transforms and lectures her about killing but she doesn’t care and strikes him. Of course he can’t die. He breaks her sword and ‘thanks’ her that ever since she killed him, his life changed. He might have his peace and solitude but you can’t share happiness with anyone that way.

Kyouko is confident she has a life artefact but Ayumu will kill her until she runs out of it. Yeah, it’s getting gruesome. Kill. Scream. Die. Resurrect. Repeat process. Kyouko starts panicking for her life and Ayumu knows this is her last life. Here he comes for the final kill. He didn’t strike her but the ground next to her. But Kyouko was so terrified that she passed out. Dai-sensei then appears and is amazed at Ayumu. Had he killed her, she would have to kill him herself because even if Kyouko is bad, she is still her student. Ayumu thought she should’ve guided her students better but if you have millions of student, your teachings can’t really reach them all. Dai-sensei is about to take Kyouko home and re-educate her but Yoru No Ou possesses her and disappears with her body. Dai-sensei goes after him as Ayumu reads Yuu’s writing about that black mist. It’s a zombie power that should’ve been destroyed. Life seemingly returns to normal. Well, if you consider living with those 3 girls and being a zombie-cum-Masou-Shoujo anything but normal. Ayumu wonders if there are other zombies other than him. Yuu writes she did turn someone into one and destroyed him. She brushes it off he is her lover. He assures that because of her, he is invincible and they have Haruna and Sera too. He wonders how she finds this life and she notes it’s not bad.

Episode 7
I know Ayumu needs help for his test but I think he is regretting asking Haruna because she’s explaining about the universe and all with her incomprehensible theory. WTF is that chart with weird drawings?! Is this how a genius explains? And you thought maths was easy. So Ayumu takes his test and is surprised to find Haruna sticking outside his classroom window! Is this her way of telling him about some Megalo? Later he gets a call from Dai-sensei to pick up and hold on to something she ordered. It doesn’t matter the name because he won’t understand it. Huh? It’s fragile so take care of it. Ayumu goes to help Haruna facing off with a horse Megalo. It gets worse when a group of jellyfish Megalo enters the scene. The duo are in a bind but are saved when a tonkatsu ramen delivery girl destroys them with her tonkatsu ramen. Megalos are weak with this? This girl seems to know Sera but Sera doesn’t like her very much. She is Maelstrom and also a vampire ninja but a different faction from Sera. Because Mael continues to ignore Haruna and is giving her attention to Ayumu, Haruna gets upset and pushes them away. This has Ayumu fall over Mael and their lips met. And her hands over her boobs. If that’s not problematic enough, he gets beaten up by Haruna and Sera. Mael then brings them to her secret base where they make tonkatsu ramen. I’m sure she could explain how they work so hard to make the best tonkatsu ramen and go to every shop and rank them but that’s not what Ayumu wanted to hear about defeating Megalos with them. She then shows them a giant machine that will rain tonkatsu ramen over the city. Ridiculous. Mael points out someone wants to destroy this machine and hopes Sera could join them but she refuses.

On the way back, Ayumu learns from Sera a problem concerning Mael. To a vampire ninja, a kiss only occurs during a marriage ceremony. In other words, Ayumu and Mael are married! Well, whether he knew it or not, he should’ve avoided it at all costs, says Sera. Since a vampire ninja respects the law more than their emotions, does this mean if he kisses Sera, she’ll be his wife? Sure. If he can. Back home they see Haruna hanging wish cards for Tanabata. I don’t know where she heard this twisted version of horror Santa invading people’s house to grant anybody’s wish if they wear a ponytail. Sounds funny the way she put it. So the gang start writing their wishes. Some just twisted. Guess whose is to wish all disgusting things like zombies to vanish from the face of this Earth? Guess whose is to turn Earth into a boiled egg? They hang their wish cards and look up to the starry sky. Next day in school, Ayumu receives a box of spectacles from Kirara Hoshikawa. Is this the thing Dai-sensei ordered? Then, Mael blushingly gives Ayumu his bento she made. Everyone is surprised to learn they are husband and wife. Hey wait. Why is she in this school? Actually, she is the girl next door under the name Yuki Yoshida. Because of her name, it is sometimes wrongly pronounced as Tomonori. Something that Ayumu starts calling her. She thought he is blind and puts the glasses on him to see better. Well, let’s say the glasses see through clothes! Ero glasses!

Episode 8
Ayumu goes to great lengths protecting the glasses even if he gets messed up getting hit by a truck. Sera picks up the glasses since she says it was addressed to her. I guess now his reputation has taken a tumble even further. Haruna dreams of Ayumu kissing her. So embarrassed that she beats up Ayumu. Can he invade dreams? Not that I know. More reprimanding… Since Taeko Hiramatsu and Kanami Mihara are in the same class with Ayumu, Tomonori thought she could get some ideas on how to make Ayumu fall for her. Well, they can’t believe it’s Orito’s friend she’s talking about but since she really wants to fall in love with him I guess they have no choice. They suggest making him lunch but Haruna’s bento is going to be a tough one. They also suggest changing the way she talks. Tomonori tries her best and the lunch looks decent. Till she had to ruin it with lots of toppings. Lots of them. Sera gets a letter but it’s blank. Knowing it’s a secret message, she puts on the glasses to read it. Tomonori walks back with Ayumu. She loved to move in with him but Sera is already staying at his place. It would be inconvenient of different factions living together. As for their tonkatsu ramen machine, it got destroyed and the project to rain tonkatsu ramen is called off. Ayumu thought they should get along fine as friends first but Tomonori will do anything she can to like him. Haruna happens to pass by and she’s not happy Ayumu is walking home with Tomonori. To make it up to her, he suggests bringing her out. Till Tomonori thinks of coming along and inviting the others as well. Ayumu accompanies the girls out shopping and of course he becomes the mule in carrying all their bags. Having lunch, playing at the video arcade, Ferris Wheel ride, it seems Haruna is getting jealous that Ayumu is giving his attention to other girls rather than her. So desperate that Haruna wants him to kiss her! She starts beating him up with an excuse that she doesn’t want to lose to that girl. Plus, she didn’t like it that he asked her out and it turned into a group outing. It’s like making fun of her. Man abuse! But she’ll forgive him for today. With a punch. Ouch. When they return, they find Yuu missing. Because earlier on, she came into someone who she least wanted to meet.

Episode 9
Yuu is fighting off Yoru No Ou but he is unscathed. He mentions that she can’t forgive him for killing Seventh Abyss that’s why she told those horrible words for him to vanish. But he wasn’t completely annihilated. Sera reveals her mission her organization gave her was to eliminate Yuu. Because of Yuu’s power, more Megalo have begun to appear. Ayumu is sick and tired about hearing their absolute laws and wants to know from their heart if they really want to kill Yuu. Haruna breaks them and says it is more important to find Yuu. Yoru No Ou says that only Yuu can grant his wish. Until she does, he will put her friends in danger. He makes a tower fall on Ayumu. He’s okay but Yuu is trying hard to hold off her emotions. Then Yuu’s little penguin doll turns giant size and lands on Haruna. She’s stuck. Yuu is on the verge of losing it when Dai-sensei appears. She can’t keep quiet since something has befallen on one of her students. The rest try to pull Haruna out so Dai-sensei uses a bit of her magic to give it a little push. Though Haruna is out, the doll lands on Tomonori. Suddenly Tomonori turns into a different person. It’s like something in her inner self activates. She unleashes some death creature, Masticore to attack. If it goes out of control, it will self destruct. Dai-sensei has no choice but to leave it to Ayumu. He tries to talk to Tomonori despite risking getting cut. He assures he will save her and advances despite the barrier pushing him back. He hugs her and is willing to get blown up along with her. Till he calls her first name that she calms down and everything reverts to normal. And the thanks he gets for all that is a slap on his face because he started calling her Tomonori. Thanks. Yoru No Ou has had enough for tonight but he warns Yuu that till she grants her wish, he won’t give up. Yuu reunites with her friends and on the way home, she wishes to stop by the convenience store and waves goodbye. Ayumu back in his room finds a goodbye letter from Yuu in his pocket. He becomes distraught that he should’ve realized it and runs outside to the Tanabata tree lamenting that only his wish came true (he put ‘may all these wishes not come true’). Haruna kicks some sense to him that this goodbye isn’t permanent and to never give up.

Episode 10
It has been a few months since Yuu went missing. Searching for info on the necromancer didn’t yield any results. Sera was even attacked by her own faction because she abandoned her mission (she went back to them thinking they had info). Haruna thought she ordered some Antonio spaghetti but it turned out to be an Antonio Stradivarius violin. Sera was once an orchestra member in her village and plays a serenade. Later Ayumu is outside the convenience store and comes into Yoru No Ou. Since he didn’t see Yuu around, he thought they had a fight. Ayumu thought he could be a hero but he got his limbs cut. He is going to kill Sera and Haruna thinking their deaths will be as bait to draw Yuu back. With the other vampire ninjas appearing, Yoru No Ou can’t risk getting caught and disappears. While the pack goes after him, one of the vampire ninjas is Kirara, whose real name is Sarasvati or Saras for short. She is Sera’s superior and still considers her a traitor. Tomonori is with Saras since they can’t afford in-fighting now. Sera and Haruna pick up Ayumu’s pieces and drag him back home. Uh… I think Haruna just put his legs the wrong way.

Next day, Tomonori tells Ayumu info about Yoru No Ou’s place and he is living quite nearby. She wants him to get there first before her comrades do. Sera is surprised to see Yuu outside her house but was stabbed from behind by Yoru No Ou. Yuu uses her blood to heal her before going off with him. Ayumu and Haruna bring her in and when they learn Yuu was outside the house, they rush over. At Yoru No Ou’s apartment, they do see Yuu with him but he is making a meal enough for them all. Eh? Hell, Haruna just wants to eat and is asking for seconds. Yoru No Ou talks about immortality. It must be fun living forever but isn’t that boring? He wants Ayumu to reconsider his true feelings. Saras and Tomonori slash open the door. Yoru No Ou wanted to invite them to eat too but they’re not here to enjoy themselves. Besides, the place is surrounded. Since Haruna is the only one who ate his meal, a strange bomb pops up on her head. Yoru No Ou takes Yuu and leaps out the window. Ayumu tries to reach her hand to grab hers but to his shock she retracts them. As for the bomb, it is a parasite bomb that jumps onto the heads of others. It ends up on Tomonori’s head so they need to carefully cut the real wire. One is a dud. Haruna without thinking quickly cuts one with Mystletainn. Thought she stopped it? The timer is speeding up! Ayumu takes the bomb instead and jumps out the window. His mind is still heavy with thoughts why Yuu didn’t grab his hand and then… BOOM!

Episode 11
The gang go around picking up Ayumu’s pieces. Gross. It’s everywhere. Thank God they find it all and put him back together again. Gross. Now to revive him. A kiss? Haruna and Tomonori are fighting over it. Sera’s medicine? I think something in his gut just exploded. That’s poison! Ayumu is in coma and in a nightmare that his harem, oops I mean, friends leave him. Haruna gets desperate so she calls Dai-sensei for help. But she tells her it’s her turn to use her magic on him and has her enter his dream. Ayumu is being put down by all the Harunas when the real one busts in to beat some sense into him. If he wants to stay by Yuu, just say so. Viewing he is a weakling, she tells him he can stay here for all he wants. Haruna returns to reality and is saddened it didn’t work. On the contrary, Ayumu wakes up hoping she should’ve gone easy on him at least in his dreams. Meanwhile Saras gives Sera some equipment she’ll need. Elsewhere Yoru No Ou is blaming Yuu that because she won’t let him have his wish to die, he has no choice but to wreck this city. Ayumu and Haruna confront them at the tower. Ayumu wants them to go home but she notes that it has been peaceful with her absence. He rubbishes all that. Yoru No Ou warns to kill him quick or else the city will be destroyed. Here comes the mother of all Megalos. Some giant facemask appearing out from the sky. If that’s not bad enough, more whale Megalos to add to the woes. Don’t worry. This is where Sera comes in. She starts playing her violin to keep them at bay. She remembers Saras told her because she has Yuu’s blood in her, her melody will banish those beings. But the Megalos are increasing in numbers and she finds it hard to contain them. That’s when her full orchestra comrades led by Saras come in to help her out.

Yoru No Ou explains he once marvelled at being immortal but soon the world lost its colour and wishes to die. Though it’s painful to die, it’s better than living. Yuu doesn’t want to kill a friend but he enjoys seeing that worried expression she makes. He thinks of hurting Ayumu to make her grant his wish. Though Ayumu is no match for him, he can’t die either. Haruna gets this idea that they should power up together and beat the crap out of him. They give him a double Mystletainn Kick (which is not a kick still) but the impact was too great that it blasts Haruna away. You’re on your own. The guys power up their strength to beat each other up. In bloody fashion. Ayumu wants him to understand Yuu doesn’t want to kill a friend. He shrugs it off he hardly knows about her since he only met her. That’s the thing. He knows her for a long time and yet he failed to understand her. Does he know what her smile looks like? Her favourite food? How she feels every day? She has nothing else but lives as much as she can. He won’t hand her to him when she is trying to live to her fullest while he has given up on life. Yuu hugs Ayumu to make him stop. Yoru No Ou cautions him he will one day realize the pain of living and not to blame her when that time comes. Of course not. Yoru No Ou is at his limit and he hopes Yuu can grant him his wish. So with those words whispered in his hear, Yoru No Ou apologizes for everything and vanishes from sight. Sera and her orchestra successfully drive the Megalos back. Ayumu persuades Yuu to stay with him. He won’t let her go no matter how much she gets mad or cries. He has found someone he treasures. He admits he is selfish, her feelings don’t mean anything to him, a thousand things he wants from her and for the first time, Yuu spoke in her own voice! She agrees to be by his side. He expects all the bad luck and will do something about it. They hug each other as he welcomes her back. Haruna then comes crashing down on them. She’s back from Hawaii?! And she’s surprised the necromancer spoke. So cute! Should speak more!

Episode 12
In this filler episode, we see the gang heading to the pool. I guess after trying 999 times at the lottery and winning consolation tissues, they must certainly hit the winning prize, right? Yeah, that’s the pool. Tomonori and her friends are also here because they won the lottery too. At least they didn’t try 999 times. While everyone had their fun, Ayumu is surprised to find a mass group of otaku fans cheering on for Saras under her idol name of Kirara. Even Orito is a big fan. She’s the top idol now according to the points ranking. Second place is light years away… Sera couldn’t accept that Saras has broken some law thingy so Saras has her excuse about living an idol life. I guess every law has a loophole. Saras warns about not taking the idol industry lightly. Soon Sera challenges her and a new idol takes centre stage. Both the vampire ninjas vow the crowd with their singing when Haruna can’t take it anymore and upstages them! She’s debuting as an idol! Even though her punk rock song is horrible and silly, she’s still rising up the idol ranks and everybody loves her! Sera and Saras are reduced to her background dancers. Haruna is going wild that it’s blowing the crowd away! Save the children and innocent pool patrons! Ayumu notices Yuu wants to sing too so luckily Dai-sensei brought some magic siphoning machine. What I understand is, Yuu’s magic will temporarily be siphoned to Ayumu as she sings so he’ll take in all the pain. Yuu goes on stage and serenades the crowd with her slow and lovely ballad. Yeah, feels like being enlightened by Buddha? The machine loses its power but Haruna sings along with her to make it a duet. Ayumu is drooling at Sera and Saras’ sexy outfit and wishes all the girls would dress like this. He forgot he is temporarily having Yuu’s powers so suddenly all the girls are dressed in skimpy bikini. Sera beats the crap out of the pervert when she realizes this is his doing. Did I hear bones breaking? Ayumu narrates the ‘exciting’ events that have happened in the past few months. He might not be able to his normal life but he is glad the way things are now. Glad to be a zombie-cum-Masou-Shoujo? Glad to have that awful looking dinner the girls made? You bet.

Episode 13 (OVA)
Divided into 3 parts, the first part sees the gang visiting the festival. Because there was nobody around, Haruna decides to spice things up with a competition. Competitors are to overcome all obstacles to win the ultimate prize who are Yuu and Sera. I guess Tomonori and Ayumu are in it to ‘protect’ them. So with all the guys fighting with passion in whatever challenges, Orito and Tomonori got knocked out with some homemade topping made by Sera they put on the takoyaki. The final event has everyone climbing up a slippery slide. It doesn’t help when Sera starts dropping logs on them. Guess what she calls this move? Tsubamegaeshi… Orito quickly recovers to participate in this event and to remind Ayumu about his erotic power and passion. Even Ayumu has confrontation with her pervy self and gives in. The duo work together to beat Sera as Orito clinches the winner. In the end as narrated, because of Sera’s homemade topping that contains demonic powers, it altered Orito’s erotic spirit and brought an end to his summer vacation. Here’s the ambulance wheeling him in.

Part 2 sees Sera trying her hands at cooking. Still sucks. Because of that, Ayumu borrows from Saras some legendary scroll containing pictures drawn by some legendary artist on how to make nikujaga. Because Tomonori wants to learn how to cook, she borrows it. Ayumu gets reprimanded (and beaten up) by Sera for giving away such an important document. He calls Tomonori but Haruna picks it up. Seems she is at her place teaching her how to cook and since Haruna is impressed with the drawing, she plans to show it to Dai-sensei. Oh no. Sometimes the truth hurts. Ayumu knows this better than anyone so he had to lie to Sera that Haruna challenged her to come and snatch it from her. She takes up the challenge since she was labelled ‘odd breasts’. Along with Yuu, the trio in leotards infiltrate the place to get the scroll back. Of course Ayumu becomes the guinea pig that activates traps that has bamboo shoots fired into his ass. When they enter and see the duo sleeping, the scroll is kept between Haruna’s flat chests! Ayumu is pressured to take the scroll quickly without waking Haruna up. He manages to do so but his butt section rips and awakens Haruna. Everybody agrees to beat the pervert up as Tomonori shoves a bamboo shoot down his ass. Aaaahhhh~. Back home, Ayumu wants to know why she is going to great lengths to cook. She has been learning the ways of the sword her entire life. Is a sword used to protect people? Can it bring happiness? To her, a blade can bring people happiness when used for cooking. Even if it still tastes bad, they compliment her. And what’s this Missouri sword in Ayumu’s miso soup? That’s not how the name came about, right?

In part 3, the school is having some karuta competition (don’t expect real poems, but nonsensical ones) and the winner gets this fountain pen. Tomonori is excited and wants to win it. But why are Orito and Ayumu in it? Guess it’s something pervert. Yeah, they’re trying to peek between the girl’s skirt as they sit down on the tatami. The match rages on till the semi-final that includes Tomonori, Ayumu, Orito, Saras and Taeko. Saras uses her feet to grab the cards because she wants to look down on them. Because of her position, Orito is ‘paralyzed’ in seeing up her skirt and her panty hose and leaves it to Ayumu. However Saras seems to be awe struck by Ayumu’s butt! WTF?! The finals see Ayumu, Tomonori and Taeko facing off. But Ayumu is distracted by Taeko’s boobs (did she purposely unbutton her top?). Should he see, should he not? I guess he gave in to his instincts. Tomonori wins. After the match, Ayumu talks to Taeko and wants to know why she helped Tomonori to win. Because she wanted to win the pen so much. He thinks she is very kind but she says he is kinder. On a rainy day like this, Taeko spotted a homeless puppy. Her family doesn’t allow animals so she went to buy an extra umbrella to keep it dry. But she saw Ayumu did the same so she gave her extra umbrella to him. Ayumu doesn’t remember so Taeko reveals she has always looked at him since them. She admits she has always been attracted to him. Woah! WOAH! What’s this confession on the final episode?! And here’s another one, Saras notes she has fallen in love with Ayumu because of his hip line! OMG! What’s this development at the end!!! Don’t leave it hanging!

Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka? Of The Dead

Around a year later, the sequel came out, Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka? Of The Dead. I guess with Ayumu’s serial killer case solved, now the storyline shifts to who are the ones responsible for releasing Megalos in their town. I suppose this means Ayumu still has to fight in place of Haruna and cross-dress as a Masou Shoujo. Can things get any worse? With non-human freeloaders living in his house and already an appointed husband of a vampire ninja, can anything be worse off than being a zombie and a Masou Shoujo at a same time? Well, something tells me he hasn’t really fallen to the bottom yet so it’s still a long spiralling way down…

Episode 0
This OVA came out before the sequel proper airs and it feels more like an extension of the first season. In addition to the same opening and ending themes used, the first half of this OVA occurs when the gang is at the pool. Yeah. Bikinis, babes and boobs. I wonder if Haruna’s flat chest can be considered as boobs. Anyway Haruna believes she spotted Nessie in the pool. Serious? She thought of searching it together but Ayumu needs to teach Yuu to swim. Pissed Haruna goes off by herself and Yuu feels she hates her. She notes she wants to be friends with her and that Haruna is a lonely person. Ayumu then sees Haruna struggling with Nessie! Wait! That’s not Nessie! That’s Orito in a Nessie outfit! WTF?! Each time Ayumu tries to go stop her, the other girls interfere. Ayumu can’t give in to his inner perverted self. Whether it is having a splashing time with Tomonori, putting sun lotion on Taeko’s back (he even braved the sun burn!) or Sear sexily inviting him to play. Wait a minute. Sera not reprimanding him? Something is wrong… Having fun are you, Ayumu? Then he sees Sera’s bikini knot in danger of becoming lose and thought he should fix it without letting her know. It got worse. He untied everything. Yeah. All the usual insults back at him. So this is what her kick feels like. As punishment, Ayumu is made to wear a Nessie outfit. Haruna and Yuu are still struggling with Orito the Nessie. Haruna spots the new Nessie and goes struggle with it till she realizes it is Ayumu. He sees her unhappy face as she mentions she wanted to have more fun time with Yuu. Then he realized that the girls stopped him so that they could spend time together without him interfering. That was the reason why she invited them to find Nessie so she could have fun with Yuu. He thinks he should be honest with her and tells Yuu that Haruna just wants to be friends.

In the second part, Ayumu finds out from Sera that tomorrow is Yuu’s birthday so they plan to have a surprise party for her. He plans to invite Orito and Tomonori too. I guess Orito is so happy that he starts asking Tomonori about her cup size. Can’t blame him since his last birthday outing was during kindergarten. Poor guy. But did he have to go ask her bra size? Anyway Sera hands Ayumu a basket full of unsavoury ingredients for the birthday bash. Don’t worry. Ayumu won’t even want to steal those finest pickings from her village. While Sera prepares the occasion, Ayumu takes Yuu out to stall for time. Yuu knows it’s her birthday today but it’s that time of year she starts questioning herself if it’s okay to continue living. When they return home, Ayumu is horrified that Haruna has turned the house into some interplanetary space. One wrong move and they’ll be stuck here forever. Just great. So you should’ve guessed. Ayumu bears the brunt of all of Haruna’s stupid traps. Whether it is getting poked by spikes just to press a button to stop the squashing wall, pulling a rope to get to the next level (which results in a bamboo piercing up his ass. By the way, whatever rope he pulled, he’ll still end up having a bamboo up his ass) and even one button that Yuu pressed that has them free falling. Yuu feels guilty she has brought misery to Ayumu but he hugs her and wants her not to say such foolish things. Then splat! Ayumu cushions Yuu from the fall. They’re back in normal space and time. Haruna gets punished but explains her dangerous stunt was because as a Masou Shoujo, they’re always fighting with their lives on the line. If they survived a year, it means they had great luck. So to be unlucky as much as possible on your birthday is the way Masou Shoujo celebrates. Then Yuu receives her presents and earlier on Sera and Ayumu had a bet to see which of their presents Yuu would prefer. In the end, Yuu chooses Orito’s present: Bust up bra! As they eat cake, they wonder how old Yuu is. Then she puts them all to sleep with a single word. Inside Ayumu’s gift is also a card stating he is glad she is born otherwise he wouldn’t have met her. For the first time, Yuu realizes she is glad to be born.

Episode 1
Ayumu continues his days with those freeloader girls. Because the sun shining through his classroom window is killing him, he is taken to the infirmary. Upon waking up, he sees a girl in white gothic lolita fashion trying to take bottles from the closet. However she seems drunk and panics when she realizes Ayumu is watching and runs away. When he relates this to the ladies back home, Sera thinks he has turned from a lolicon into a complete pervert towards girls all ages. Yuu wonders if she’s a ghost and they all scoff off such unscientific stuffs. Do they realize what they are? Magic = science? Next day in class, Tomonori as usual brings her lunch for him (she could really do without the excessive seasonings) and Taeko noticing Ayumu staying back after school (he doesn’t want to get his ass burnt by the sun). So when the moon rises, he makes a move but realizes strange sounds coming from the lab. Thinking it’s a Megalo, Ayumu barges in but only sees that gothic lolita chic, Chris. She’s drunk. She’s enjoying her drinking. I guess Ayumu has no choice but to join in. Despite his cup is just water, I think he also went with the flow. Suddenly she disappears. Gasp! Could she be really a ghost? So back home, Ayumu gets chide for his pervertness that it has gone to a new level that he has to create an imaginary friend.

Next day in class, Orito and the rest are surprised as they see a magazine article about a cross-dressing pervert and chainsaw phantom running wild at a graveyard. Looks bloody similar, eh? Ayumu can’t say but they can’t help see the resemblance. Even Ayumu felt bad Taeko is standing up for him and denying all that on his behalf. So much so Ayumu rushes down to the lab to seek O Great Fairy’s comfort. Only thing is, it’s not Chris that is touching his ass but a guy in trench coat! He wants Ayumu. Deja vu? Didn’t we see this development before? The guy turns into a giant squid Megalo and is attracted by the presence of a Masou Shoujo. He is baffled that Ayumu is emitting such energy but is not a girl. Then comes in Haruna to correct it all as she transforms into one as proof that her powers are back. Not quite because her back is totally exposed. To save her, Ayumu pushes the Megalo out the window and onto the tracks where every damn kid in school is. The Megalo has Taeko in his grasp and there is little time left. Yup. Ayumu, transform. He can erase their memories later. So everybody, whip out your handphones and start snapping away! Look at the horrified faces of everybody seeing the perverted cross-dresser. Looking familiar this dude, no? They’re more concern and giving criticisms on Ayumu rather than care about the Megalo. The chat sites are heating up with this topic too! Ayumu powers up to 1000% (to a point where everybody thinks he just up his perverseness) and destroys the Megalo and rescues Taeko. He starts chanting to erase everyone’s memories but Mystletainn is on the verge of breaking. Then it breaks. Not only everybody’s memories are intact but Ayumu loses his Masou Shoujo outfit. Now he is totally naked! Ultimate pervert! Keep snapping those shots! And while everyone continues to gawk in shock over this ‘horror’, Saras now has a clear view of his butt and finally realizes she loves this guy! WTF?! Another sicko!

Episode 2
If Ayumu isn’t having a hard time explaining himself at the police station, here comes Sera with her scathing insults and Haruna blaming him for breaking Mystletainn because now she can’t transform. Tough luck. Worse, Saras still loves his ass. He embraces for the worst in class when suddenly… Everybody loves him! WTF?! His perverted cross-dressing has become a trend and is featured in magazines! WTF?! Everybody totally digs him! What a total change! Maybe except for Orito who seems disappointed of it all. Ayumu can’t take his newfound fame and runs to the lab to seek Chris’ comfort. How can a drunkard offer consolation? Be glad to know rumours will subside after 3.5 billion days. You mean 75 days, right? I guess he can’t go back to class because more people are looking for him. Tomonori suggests going to the mountains to see the stars to cheer him up. I suppose he needs time for himself but when the other girls learn that this is somewhat like a date with Tomonori, they tag along. Trouble begins when Haruna starts acting up. Yeah, she rushes off to find the toilet. Can you find one in the forest? Tomonori has a hard time trying to explain she is just bringing Ayumu here to show him the stars when they realize Haruna is taking too long. Ayumu and Tomonori go find her as the latter tries to call him by his first name. Still stammering. Maybe she can try next time because Haruna comes running back with bees chasing her. Ayumu thought Haruna wanted his help when she hugs him. He should’ve known better when she starts throwing him at the bees as shield. If that’s not bad enough, he comes into a bear. Run! He stumbles and accidentally pulls down Sera’s pants. Save your breathe. She doesn’t want an explanation and beats him up instantly.

I’m not sure how but Haruna is pretty docile with the bear so it becomes tame. Tomonori feels envy that everyone gets to have fun with Ayumu. The rest disagree since she’s putting it that way. Since they’re here to play with her, they’re going to do just that. So they climb to the top and see the beautiful stars with several shooting stars. On the way back, Ayumu notes how he has now got the strength to say goodbye to his old and weak self. Hello, new me. He might want to say goodbye to that too because in class, he is having a hard time signing all the autographs. There’s a pile more to finish. He thought Saras wants one too but she tells him to run water over it. And when he does, the secret message appears. A love confession she loves him! Oh sh*t! Then he sees Orito downtrodden in class. He feels sad they are in both different worlds now and that he is unreachable. Ayumu assures he is still the same person inside but Orito can’t accept that his best friend who is a pervert became famous as a result of his cross-dressing hobby. He needs time to heal his broken heart. Huh? Ayumu hopes they can still be friends but he gets no reply. No such thing as eternal friendship, eh? But there is for eternal love! Says who? Says Saras! Though she insults and calls him her trashy darling, she assures she will not harm him because he knows his charms well. Why don’t I feel assured about that? Back home, Ayumu is shocked to see Haruna browsing a popular website. His ass is becoming popular too! See the numerous photos of it! Thanks to Saras who is uploading all its pictures at lightning speed! She’ll let the world know about this charm of his! Oh sh*t! I guess he is really screwed this time. On a serious note, we see Dai-sensei emerging victorious in a bout with Kyouko. She assures her that she won’t get hurt if she just answers her questions.

Episode 3
Saras confronts Sera and she tells the latter she is in love with Ayumu’s ass! Find it hard to believe, eh? Yeah. Believe it! His ass! Meanwhile Mystletainn is on the long road to recovery. Will those drops suffice? More woes for Ayumu because even Yuu has been uploading stuffs about him online. Everybody needs to know him! There goes his privacy. So Ayumu calls Dai-sensei about the application of Mystletainn’s recovery. It’s at 1,241st management office. Yeah, that’s less than one third of the way. WTF. Haruna can’t wait that long either so the genius smart ass decides to take things into her own hands and fix Mystletainn herself! Yuu is her accomplice to hold the chainsaw down. I don’t know what they’re doing because after Ayumu leaves and returns from school, they’re still in the surgery! Man, this is serious. If Yuu only didn’t give the wrong tools. So after that complicating stuff (stupid people like us won’t comprehend), it seems Mystletainn is fixed so dead into the night Ayumu uses it to erase everyone’s memories with Saras watching (something is wrong. Where is her usual foul mouth?). He transforms into a Masou Shoujo and begins the erasing. Suddenly… The power runs out and Mystletainn crumbles! Worse, Ayumu becomes totally naked. Maybe he should have really left it to the professionals. Saras beats the insect up. Now, that’s more like it. Not. In class, Orito confronts Ayumu, asking him for more ‘time’ to accept him. Anderson explains Orito is fighting to accept the new Ayumu. I’m not sure about this, the duo start acting a little yaoi. Still disheartened over this, Ayumu seeks Chris’ advice as usual. Drunk as usual. So from all that chat, Ayumu thinks he lacks courage.

Haruna is on her way home when suddenly she feels it hard to breathe. It’s Tomonori doing some curse dancing?! We learn she is trying to practise as a backup dancer for Saras’ live concert. Well, I think she’d kill more people that way. Tomonori is in a dilemma whether to quit or continue so Haruna helps her to agree out. Who knows she is equally as bad because every living thing around them starts dying!!! Truly a cursed dance! Even Ayumu almost died. Good thing he is a zombie. So he learns about it and shows them his awesome break-dance move. That is how it’s done girls. Saras has overhead them (she was following Ayumu’s ass!) and reminds Tomonori that if she fails to become a backup dancer in a day, she will have to return to the village. Back home, the rest learn of Tomonori’s predicament and they call Ayumu a sexual harasser because he says how it will be lonely if Tomonori goes home. Haruna and Tomonori continue to practice dead into the night. No improvement. Things just keep dying… The concert is here and they are going to make use of the remaining time to practice. Hmm… Seems a lot better. Then Orito appears to inform Ayumu that he has reborn from hell. He doesn’t need Ayumu anymore. That’s because the new Orito now needs the new Ayumu. What the hell? So he accepts him now? Saras begins her concert much to the delight of her hardcore fans. But when the backup dancers go on stage, I guess everything they learnt went down the drain. It’s that cursed dance! It’s affecting everybody so much so they are doing it too! Oh sh*t! Everybody gets knocked out in the end. Saras manages to get a glimpse of her darling’s ass before passing out. Was it worth it? On a serious note, Dai-sensei is interrogating Kyouko about Yoru No Ou who used her but she doesn’t remember anything. Probably Kyouko is just pretending because her vengeance runs deep and wants to meet Ayumu again.

Episode 4
Ayumu finishes his plastic model. He gets the usual insults from Saras for playing with such toys for his age. Till genius Haruna comes in to play too. She wasn’t careful enough and breaks it. Heartbreak… Orito convinces Ayumu to follow him after school to a cosplay cafe. I guess Ayumu can’t butt out now. But it looks like Orito the usual patron wants them to put on their special tsundere VIP service. Worse, Saras is working there too. While Orito totally digs Saras’ insults, Ayumu isn’t amused. So vampire ninjas still need to do this kind of job to raise money? Whatever. Better guard your ass, Ayumu. You don’t know when Saras might take it. Ayumu also sees Anderson as a usual patron. The guys order their stuff and also see Sera and Tomonori working here. Despite the odd place, Ayumu admits the food is good and is about to leave. However Orito mentions the battle has just begun. There is this challenge that if they can make 5 of the staffs here fall for you, everything is free. Otherwise you pay 100,000 Yen. No choice but to participate, right? Ayumu better win because if he fails, Saras is going to make him pay with his body! So the stage is set with Anderson as the judge, Tomonori is the first challenger. Because Tomonori is an amateur and she does harbour feelings for Ayumu, the guys win the first round. Next up is Haruna. Eh? So she’s working part time as well. Haruna is her usual tough girl mode. Ayumu wants his water refilled so Haruna orders Tomonori to do it. I don’t know if the jug is that heavy so she can’t control her hands well. Ayumu helps her out and this scene made Haruna jealous as she does the refill herself. That tsundere attitude causes her to lose.

It’s Sera’s turn to step into the ring. S&M outfit? Orito is knocked out when he couldn’t hold in his lust and starts rubbing on her thighs. Was that pain pleasure? Ayumu has Sera cook her poisonous meal and despite everything melting into smithereens, Ayumu continues to eat it and asks for seconds! This brave act causes Sera to blush and turn tsundere and Ayumu wins the match. Ayumu didn’t expect Yuu as the next challenger. This is going to be tough because he is thinking how he can make her embarrass as she doesn’t show any emotion. The silence is deafening when Yuu writes how embarrass she is in this outfit. Automatic win! Now it’s for the final battle but it’s not Saras he’ll be facing. It’s Kanami! Her high and mighty attitude that doesn’t give any breathing space to Ayumu seems to be making that guy heading for defeat. Suddenly Orito revives and gets back into the game. How is he going to break her down? He confesses he loves her! No reaction. You lost. It’s over. Wait… Perhaps it’s a delayed reaction because Kanami gets embarrassed and calls Orito an idiot for saying something so sudden! Game over! The guys win. Before the guys leave, Ayumu notices that Anderson seems to know Yuu. Of course he does. He is from the underworld too. Oh. Back home, Haruna has bought the plastic model as replacement for Ayumu. To his dismay it turns out to be not what he expected. I don’t know what that hideous plastic thing is. Macho guy with squid, octopus and fish?

Episode 5
Sera leaves for her vampire ninja village and leaves it to Haruna to take care of Yuu so that the perverted bug won’t do anything funny to her. She loves that big sister ring, eh? Ayumu may be appreciating Sera’s presence more. No, not that he loves her insults. When she’s around, she does the groceries since he can’t walk under the sun. Ayumu sees Yuu peeling the white piths off the mandarin orange when she suddenly collapses due to fever. Ayumu is in a dilemma whether to take off her armour. He might look like a pervert if he does so. So he blindfolds himself to do so and perhaps it may be more detrimental because since he is blind, he’s starting to grope everywhere! Thank goodness he was just groping the fan… So when he manages to massage her shoulders, Haruna returns with ice only to see this perverted scene and beats him up. Ayumu calls Anderson for help seeing that he too is from the underworld. After all, you can’t take her to a human doctor, right? Ayumu is so desperate that he will do anything. Yes. Anything. Including yodelling. You know he is taken for a ride when he has to dance in his underwear! I’m sure we viewers are going to get sick of this scene. Obviously it didn’t work so Anderson further suggests going down on his knees and start blowing at her. Till Haruna returns with porridge and it’s deja vu all over again. Of course Ayumu realizes too late when Anderson mentions he was just joking. However he did this to relieve his tension. Whether humans or underworld beings, when one is experiencing hard times, they want someone by their side. Ayumu is going to let her rest but she wants to sleep with him! This isn’t his fantasy. No, she has not lost her mind either. Ayumu can’t sleep a wink since Yuu is just a breath away. After living together for so long, they have never gotten this close before, eh? Haruna returns with some so called healing stuffs from Virie. She’s looking for Yuu and Ayumu knows what’s coming and hides her. When she sees Yuu lying by his side, she didn’t get mad and just for tonight, she allows it. But Ayumu wakes up in the middle of the night and he is lying on the cold floor. Oh. It seems Haruna is now sleeping next to Yuu.

Next morning, Ayumu is surprised to see Anderson in his home. Yuu isn’t healed yet so Anderson notes this is no ordinary illness. He notices there are orange flower petals on her neck and comes to know Yuu has been peeling white piths of the mandarin oranges, which are like poison to underworld beings. It’s not funny. No matter how careful she was, she can’t possibly get rid of everyone one of them. So now the hard part is trying to find a cure for her. Instead of trying to crack their brains to figure it out, they decide to go with trial and error. Oh boy. Yuu is okay with this since she doesn’t want to worry Ayumu anymore. Meanwhile Saras tells Sera about some super strong monster that she can’t make out its form nor tell its intentions. She wants Sera to not take her eyes off Ayumu. But Ayumu is having an appalling time since all the methods suggested were absurd. I don’t know which method they tried and worked but who cares as long as Yuu is back in good health. Just then, Haruna collapses. Did she get Yuu’s illness? Anderson dismisses it since only underworld beings can get it. So I guess she became ill after working hard to take care of Yuu. Now it’s Yuu’s turn to be her big sister but embarrassed Haruna won’t sit still nor admit. Ayumu realizes that Haruna wasn’t also well the night before since she was sick and wanted somebody by her side and thus slept with Yuu. Sera returns and instantly she becomes enraged upon seeing a struggling scene between Ayumu and Haruna (he was trying to change her clothes and she is resisting). Here comes the insults and beatings! It’s good to be back, no? She had brought back some ingredients to help cure her illness but why is she preparing to disinfect Ayumu? Don’t tell me he is the ingredient?!

Episode 6
Ayumu calls Dai-sensei about Mystletainn’s progress and the good news is that he’ll be back soon! He can’t wait for it since he wants to experience the upcoming cultural festival with a relieved mind. Somehow, Haruna seems to be taking the lead on what to do for the festival in Ayumu’s class. Something about Tomonori asked her opinion and Orito convinced the guys about her expertise in making this festival hotter. Well, everything on the menu is nothing but eggs. Ayumu suggested doing a monster cafe but since Haruna approves it, the class agrees with her. Ayumu meets a lab coat guy coughing blood (doctor says he can’t say cool lines?). He knows this dude is trouble so better not get too close. But he gives Ayumu a gold ring. He’ll figure out what to do with it. Thanks for the info. Preparations for the festival are going well so much so Ayumu talks to Chris about it! She’s not drunk. So she spoils his happiness by mentioning about being betrayed by friends and the horrible scar it will leave. Then she downs the entire bottle of sake! Now she’s drunk. Time to leave. Taeko helps Ayumu finish the props for the festival. No sudden development here. I guess we need some screen time for the lesser character who loves Ayumu too, huh? When he returns home, Haruna relays the good news that Mystletainn is back. And here he comes in some flashy WTF blinding light entry. “I’ll be back!”. Isn’t he already back? You can’t imagine the happiness on Ayumu’s face. Because now he gets to erase all those memories and return to his old life. For once, he is so happy to transform into a Masou Shoujo as he goes on a memory erasing spree. So happy this guy in the morning that it’s disgusting the girls out. But he’ll have to bid goodbye to this life too because in class he is made to where a bridal gown because he’s supposed to be the bride of Frankenstein! Yeah, they make him promote their cafe by walking around school. I guess there goes his peaceful life. Same pervert, new memories.

The gang see Tomonori manning a stall selling CDs of Haruna. Want to know why it didn’t sell a single CD? It’s that horrible song that takes lives! Everybody is dropping dead! Turn it off quick! Haruna ropes in Yuu and Sera’s help to sell while Tomonori brings Ayumu to the back of the school because she received a love letter asking her to wait there. She assures him she will always love him as his wife and her feelings won’t change if somebody else confesses to her. Tomonori flusters and panics when Ayumu tells her this is a popular confession spot and that one’s chances increases if they confess. Somehow there is a button on the tree and Tomonori accidentally presses it, causing a basin to fall on her head. It knocks her out and Masticore materializes and initiates a self destruct countdown. The lab coat guy returns to tell him to put the ring on her. Everything returns to normal and as explained, the ring is made to keep her dangerous powers in check and as long as she wears it, she won’t be dangerous. Tomonori comes to and sees the ring on her finger and misunderstood that it’s a wedding ring from Ayumu. Well, what would she think when he tells her to not even take it off? She jumps to a conclusion that he was the one who wrote that letter and setup all this (even his bridal gown too?). But Haruna comes looking for Ayumu because Megalos are reported in school. The gorilla and raccoon is harassing a couple of girls about the cup size. They didn’t give a sh*t to flat chest Haruna. Mystletainn’s return also means Haruna’s revival so along with Ayumu they transform into Masou Shoujo. Haruna could’ve been since the raccoon pointed his gun point blank at her. Too bad his finger is too short to pull the trigger. Ayumu and Haruna do a Double Mystletainn Kick (it’s still not a kick) and destroy both Megalos. They died happy seeing they get to see their pantsu. Saras and Sera observe what is happening and note that it is more than just their Masou Shoujo powers that attracted the Megalos. Ayumu and Haruna revel in their victory when Haruna suddenly feels pain in her head.

Episode 7
So we have another one of those out-of-this-world crazy-drawing explanations from Haruna why Yuu is able to speak now. Seems a gadget Haruna gave Yuu prior to the sales of her CD was some magical item that made Haruna absorbed her magic. In turn, Haruna now can’t talk otherwise it’s painsville. The festival continues and I guess we’re so used to Ayumu’s fantasy of Yuu that even if he doesn’t have one, Yuu reminds him to have one! Weak willed… Haruna doesn’t want to be left out and wants him to do the same but warns he’ll die if he fantasizes dirty thoughts. Haruna making money? Cutting down trees for money? Because the gadget is causing her headache, she throws it away. As they go look around the festival, the teachers notices Tomonori wearing the ring and confiscates it since it is against school rules for students to wear accessories. Ayumu goes to seek Chris’ company but finds she is no longer in the lab. Has she passed on? He thanks her and will live without doubting himself. During the bonfire dance, Ayumu is disheartened he ended up pairing with his teacher! How did this even happen? But the teacher says he is keeping the gender ratio balanced. He also knows Ayumu’s deepest secrets! Who is he? He starts citing Masou Shoujo transformation lines and he transforms into… CHRIS!!! Haruna seems to be able to speak now but she and Yuu collapses because they feel they are losing their power. Chris has the gadget in her hand and is surprised they would even collapse even with a little magic fluctuation. She used this to absorb their powers. Then Ayumu realizes that since everyone can see her, this means he wasn’t hallucinating! Haruna knows because she is Dai-sensei’s teacher. Chris explains herself. Long ago, she was cursed by the queen of Virie and turned into a boring middle aged man. She had to get drunk to loosen the curse but there was nothing else she could do but wait for a chance to return to her original form. So happen that what she needed all came together. She needed someone with unlimited powers (Yuu), a genius capable of absorbing and storing powers (Haruna) and a power stabilizing ring to enable her to absorb the amount of magic she wanted (Tomonori). She also admits the Megalo attacks yesterday was her fault. And it gets sillier because everything seems to be her fault! Why this morning the toilet paper ran out to the sad times they live in! Blame it all on Chris!

Chris is going to say farewell to this school and chants a different set of lines as the spell binds everyone to their table and chair. Outdoor class? Asking Ayumu if he was disappointed of holding hand with a middle aged man, Chris points out he judged a book by its cover. Because Anderson believes that the right way to judge a person is via their hearts, Chris ejects him to the sky! This is followed by Tomonori who answered her question wrongly (she thinks an old man wanted to be a girl?). Chris adds she hates this middle aged man look she sees every day in the mirror. But how would everyone react if they see and old guy act like a cute girl? Disgusting, right? But everyone will grow up into that one day! Kanami can’t accept this reality and is ejected. Soon everyone is ejected since their heart breaks and the only ones left are Ayumu and Orito. Orito thinks he can withstand all this put Chris made Sera do a moe cat pose. There he goes into the sky. Chris will not return Haruna’s power because it will turn her back into an old man. Haruna doesn’t want Ayumu to underestimate her for she is a genius and can still fight Megalos. Ayumu still wants Chris to return it so she challenges him to take it by force. Ayumu powers up but his punch is stopped by her sake bottle. She blows him away. See the difference in power? Chris laments he could’ve been her drinking partner and disappears while the other girls label him a sexual harasser. Sera realizes Chris is the strongest monster they were afraid of. Meanwhile Dai-sensei learns of Chris’ return but Kyouko hints that she knows Chris’ weakness.

Episode 8
Dai-sensei explains to Ayumu, Chris was the strongest Masou Shoujo ever and how the queen of Virie cursed Chris for starting a coup d’etat. She advises against facing her directly. Ayumu realizes too late that Dai-sensei had sent Kyouko to him seeing that she knows Chris’ weakness. The mad serial killer has returned! Though everyone remains suspicious, Kyouko asserts she has repented while in prison. She knows Chris’ weakness from Yoru No Ou as he often reminisced about his past. However she’s not going to easily tell him yet. If Ayumu manages to entertain her, then she will. Being in Virie’s prison must be really boring, eh? Ayumu agrees because it is all the more reason why he should settle things with this ex-serial killer. After that ‘failed’ midnight seduction, Ayumu takes her out for a night walk and she seems to be putting on a crazy face because she didn’t even get any coffee in prison and just had plain f*cking water!!! Doesn’t freedom taste this good? Anyway, Kyouko wants Ayumu to organize a mixer. He tries persuading Orito, Taeko and Kanami to join and because they think he is trying so hard that it’s shrivelling him up to his bones from the stress, they don’t want to waste his efforts. I think Kyouko is enjoying seeing Ayumu writhing in pain, which I feel it’s her true intention. Sera confronts her about her intention to get her revenge on Ayumu from last time and the mixer is just a cover up. Kyouko says she just wants to have fun and throws it back to her that her mission as a vampire ninja is also a cover up because it’s an excuse to attach herself to Ayumu. She can’t answer. Tomonori invites Saras to the mixer. Initially she wasn’t interested till she learns her darling’s ass will be there. However noting it’s not some dangerous situation, she’s not interested as she has to prepare for her concert.

So the usual gang are at the mixer at Mask Donald. Did Ayumu and Orito wear some fashion faux pas? See-through t-shirts that can see the nipples? Kyouko arrives and Orito is totally infatuated with this cutie. Remember this guy was the one who considered her as his sister… Since the mixer is imbalanced in the gender ratio, a couple of macho masked employees join in. I think it’s still not balanced but what the heck, let the fun begin. They play the King Game that has Ayumu hugging Taeko and again the lucky bastard Ayumu to kiss Kyouko. But the kiss did not happen because Dai-sensei drops in (another cute girl Orito can’t resist). Can’t resist joining a mixer Ayumu organized, eh? Ayumu covers her identity by calling her Rie-chan (Dai-sensei’s real name is Ariel). While the rest karaoke, Kyouko and Dai-sensei chat. The former is clearly not happy and wonders if she is her escort. Dai-sensei disagrees but before Kyouko could take out her anger, Ayumu brings her out to the graveyard to settle things. Dai-sensei stops Sera and Yuu from following and notes this is one of Ayumu’s trials. Ayumu will do whatever it takes to make her happy in exchange for details of Chris’ weakness. Anything? Oh sh*t. Kyouko can’t wait to stick her sword into his guts. Then she stabs him! However suddenly! She hugs him and confesses she loves him. WTF?! I hope it’s not crocodile tears. She claims he won’t be nice to her if she doesn’t do this. Up till a second ago, she wanted to tear him to shreds but doesn’t know it now. Though she had fun with everyone today, she laments their memories will soon be erased. Even sadder by the fact that she will be returning to prison and be locked up for hundreds of years and can’t remain in everyone’s memories. As she breaks down, Ayumu assures he’ll always remember her because he’s a zombie. I guess he lives forever in that sense since he can’t die. This brings some relief to Kyouko. She is glad to have met him because her life changed. Then she disappears. Back home, Ayumu is disheartened to find a fax message from Kyouko. Looks like no detail on Chris’ weakness. Just some tickling message… She sure got him fooled.

Episode 9
Ayumu calls Dai-sensei to complain about the raw deal. She remembers there are a few people who defeated Chris before. Among those include the queen of Virie, Yoru No Ou and the strongest resident of the Underworld that is currently living on Earth now. Asking the girls about this person, Yuu knows it is Naegleria or Nene for short (because her full name is a pain in the ass to pronounce) and is her close friend. It was a time Yuu had not abandoned her voice and emotions yet. Before Virie invaded the Underworld, voluntary warriors known as Seventh Abyss (which Yoru No Ou was part of) gathered to fend off the attack. Nene was one of them and if Chris is the strongest Masou Shoujo, Nene would be the strongest from the Underworld. Hey. So would it be alright for Yuu and Haruna to live under together under the same roof with their kind having such a history? Well, they aren’t sweating it. They’re cool. If Nene is living here, he can contact her via Anderson. Anderson seems pretty panic when Ayumu requests of that. He reluctantly tells him what he needs but will have no further hand in this. Must be some ferocious person, eh? Soon, Saras forces Ayumu to come to her upcoming concert. He promises to go but is surprised to see a smile he had never seen her put up before (for once she wasn’t concerned about his ass!). Ayumu is shocked that the place Nene is living now turns out to be a rundown apartment. His first greeting with her has her humongous boobs suffocating his face! Because she works as a mangaka, she has this habit of dozing off. Even in the middle of conversation! She seems ditzy too. Nene is reluctant to fight Chris here because it will turn this world into a war zone. In exchange for this ‘help out’, now it’s Ayumu’s turn. Yeah, help her finish her manuscript. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines… I don’t know if bad luck always follows Ayumu (I think it does) because Nene finishes bathing. Wrap in towel. Falls asleep on him. Somebody is at the door. Can he avoid being labelled a pervert in time? However nobody is at the door. Oh, Haruna is hiding behind it and is in tears! She thinks Ayumu has turned into a great monster of lewdness?!

Before he knows it, Haruna brings Yuu and Sera to get things straight and not beat around the bush. Well, Haruna saw the whole thing when she peeped through the mail hole when nobody answered. Yeah, she ran all the way home crying! Don’t deny it! So, everybody meets Nene. She doesn’t deny if Ayumu would turn into a pervert because he is a man after all. Time for Sera’s punishment… So Nene has everyone help out her manuscript. Yuu recognizes this story. It is a story of her with Seventh Abyss and what would have been if Yoru No Out hadn’t caused the disaster and Yuu regained her voice. It’s what you call a happy ending. Everyone agrees to finish the manuscript as they want to see this happy ending. After that folly with Sera’s murderous cooking (“It tastes so good that it’ll blow up hell itself” – yeah, there’s a hole it’s causing at the bottom of the pot), the manuscript accidentally become messed up. The gang is sorry but Nene doesn’t mind and can redo it again. However they want another chance to do it again. They burn the midnight oil to complete it and Ayumu is at risk of missing Saras’ concert. Nene knows he is eager to go somewhere and gives him permission to go because everyone is worried about him too. Ayumu rushes to the concert and his arrival boosted Saras’ morale as she revs up her final song. Although Ayumu apologizes for being late, she is more than happy he kept his promise and came. She admits she was being selfish and pushy and wants to change but Ayumu is fine with the way she is now. Because of that promise, he messed with her feelings. I’m not sure if she is gunning for his ass because she now steals an indirect kiss when she sips his straw. Meanwhile we see Nene and Chris drinking together at an oden stall! WTF?! They’re enjoying themselves. How can this be happening? Well, they know how to keep business and leisure separate. Oh ho. You said it. Let’s hope it’s leisure time forever. They talk how everyone has taken an interest in Ayumu. I’m sure they’re no exception either.

Episode 10
In replacement of Chris, Dai-sensei becomes Ayumu’s homeroom teacher. I guess as long there is a cute girl, Orito is fine. Ayumu later confronts her to ask what’s the big deal. She says the way Ayumu is right now, it’s too risky to confront Chris. She is after all her teacher. Since Ayumu is adamant to face her, Dai-sensei will have him turn into a full-fledged Masou Shoujo! Failure means his memories will be erased. So will he forget about Yuu and the rest? Haruna doesn’t seem happy. So to help stupid Ayumu in whatever test, Haruna also becomes a teacher in his class. WTF. So the only subject she can teach is eggs? At least she’s good in it. Then she mixes eggs with something else and the result is a monster slime that burns through clothes! Only leaving panties and stockings intact. What kind of a perverted slime is this?! Ayumu tries to save Taeko and Kanami but they look like a pervert in his eyes. Then he tries to rescue Haruna but almost drowns. Dai-sensei destroys the slime with her mind power but notes Ayumu has failed. As a result, Ayumu is baffled at the weird people in his house. Dai-sensei notes it is better this way as he will be safe from any further danger. Though she wants them all to go home, Ayumu notes they don’t have to leave. The rest doesn’t want it to end this way and at least not Ayumu to forget about them. Haruna seems to be the most emotional one pleading for this case. Dai-sensei gives them a second chance. They have to enter his subconscious mind and recover them. They meet a simple drawn Ayumu which is believed to be a small fragment of his lost memories. As they journey along, they arrive in some final boss-like room to confront badass Ayumus. Each bearing a name of a demon like Beelzebub, Behemoth and Satan. Tells you a lot about his personality, eh? It’s like his sins incarnate. Haruna beats them all up easily and in the process temporarily regains her Masou Shoujo powers.

In the next room, they see Ayumu lazily lying around. However he claims himself to be Belphegor and Ayumu’s true nature. That’s right, a sloth. He says all Ayumu wants is a peaceful life till they showed up. He is going to be the real Ayumu from now on. When Ayumu wakes up, he isn’t the Ayumu we know. He is Belphegor, or as he would like to be called, Another or Alternative. I think Dai-sensei would prefer Dark Ayumu. He ‘punishes’ her by flipping up her skirt. People’s true nature is revealed by the underwear they wear? I’m not sure if she’s joking that she’ll have to kill him since he saw her panties. So when Ayumu goes to school, everybody can tell he is just different. Creepily different. Something is wrong. Yuu and the rest confront him but he remains arrogant that Haruna can’t do anything without her magic. Yuu will be his opponent. He throws his classmates off by coolly confessing he likes Yuu but remains ambiguous on the meaning of love. Haruna kicks him outside to fight. Yuu transforms into a Masou Shoujo but he remains cocky in beating her down. This isn’t the Ayumu she likes. Not the Ayumu that everyone likes. Yuu thrusts Mystletainn into his body and shows him old notes when they first met. Ayumu starts getting confused about his identity. With Haruna thrusting Mystletainn together, Ayumu finally returns to his usual self. Uhm, Haruna. You can stop killing him now even though he’s a zombie. Dai-sensei marks this as barely passing. In the aftermath, we see Lilia Lilith the queen of Virie taking an interest in Ayumu, Chris and Nene continue to drink together at the oden stall and everyone in Ayumu’s house love the way this disgusted pervert is because this is what defines Ayumu, right? They’ll have it no other way. They’re fine with it. He’s fine with them.

Episode 11 (OVA)
Orito wants to sell unwanted stuffs in a flea market. But it’ll be boring if he does it alone and challenges Haruna to it. His real intention is so that Haruna who hates to lose will have to sell the ultimate trump card, which is Sera’s panties to win. So the day begins with Haruna not making any successful sales. Consider slashing some zeroes from those useless items? Upon Ayumu’s advice to do so, instantly a bargain woman buys it! Nobody is buying Orito’s too because he is selling his erotic comics! And he writes them!? This is a family flea market, mind you! Ayumu walks around to see Taeko, Tomonori and Saras also selling at the flea market (Saras sure got one hell of a marketing team to market her limited products that fans would die for). By evening, more men patron Orito’s store. He’s selling his porn at high price. Literally, daylight robbery. Suddenly Ayumu realizes the reason of the increase in male customers. Throughout the day, he notices males glancing at the boobs of the girls when they bend over! He thinks this is the secret to sales success and is about to tell Haruna but realizes her great flat plains. No chance… Haruna seems to be on the verge of giving up. Seriously? That genius Masou Shoujo losing faith? Then the girls all gather and decide to help Haruna sell. She is happy that she sells everything for 1 Yen. Finally when she sells Sera’s negligee, Orito wants to buy it but it will cost him today’s profits and his victory. He sucks up his pride and buys it. Ayumu takes a break from a hard day’s work and accidentally drinks Haruna’s juice. It turns him invisible. Oh. In addition to being a zombie and Masou Shoujo, he is now an invisible man.

But back home, the girls still treat him indifferently. Yeah, blaming him they could’ve sold it for 5 million Yen had he not drink it! More importantly, will he return to normal?! Unfortunately there is more important stuff than that because Haruna misplaced her Philosopher’s Stone during the flea market. If not put in a special container, it could make Megalos transmutate on its own like that slime. Haruna doesn’t remember who she sold it to during the flea market so they think that with its design, a young girl would have bought it. This is where Ayumu comes in. Tomorrow is the physical examinations. That’s right. His invisibility will be useful to check which girl has bought it. So here Ayumu goes to school. Butt naked. But(t) cannot be seen. He got himself distracted watching the girls stretch. Yeah, the best closest fanservice scene he’ll ever get. Not careful enough, and he’ll bump into girls and they’ll feel weird like something touched them. Especially Taeko who accidentally got her boobs over his face! At this rate, he’ll die of nose bleed if he’s going to check all the girls. Saras senses something nearby and apprehends this invisible man. But he doesn’t need to show his face for her to know who he is. She knows that butt! Ayumu explains his circumstances so she agrees to help and calls her team to find it. The invisible effect starts wearing off so Ayumu makes it in time to hide in the storeroom. However, Taeko comes in, thinking somewhere is there. Despite seeing Ayumu in his birthday suit, she didn’t panic but remained calm. Ayumu screws up himself trying to explain because things he says doesn’t make sense. Still, Taeko remains calm and takes off her jersey and track bottoms for him to wear. She’s wearing additional clothes underneath. Ayumu then realizes the Philosopher’s Stone is in her pocket and she bought it for 20 Yen from Haruna. She gives it to him. Back home, Ayumu is disheartened to learn this is a fake! Yeah, those words are written on the back of that stone. The real one turns out to be somewhere in his house and thanks to Saras’ team sniffing it out. Relieved and frustrated at what happened, Ayumu accidentally drinks another of Haruna’s juice. This time he can see through clothes! Sera realizes his lecherous face and beats him up followed by Haruna’s repetitive pounding. Don’t worry. He won’t die from all that ;).

Kore Wa Pantsu/Oshiri Desu Ka?
So it seems rather okay. I had my laughing moments here and there. Perhaps the second season didn’t go anywhere much and mostly it felt like a filler. It just showcases Chris as a possible strongest Masou Shoujo but the way I see it, she doesn’t look like a threat. As long as she happily keeps drunk I don’t see of any big scale war between the Underworld and Masou Shoujo. Speaking of which, I think it would have been interesting to see some history between them and how they ended up like that. Where does the vampire ninja fit in all this? Just like how Chris made a cameo at the end of the first season, Lilia did the same so it may be a foreboding of things to come. Perhaps a third season? I’m not too sure since the second season was abruptly and forcefully terminated as stated in the end of the penultimate episode. Were they making a joke out of it?

There were several things that I didn’t understand or maybe I wasn’t paying attention so I went to do some research (read: lazily and briefly reading through Wikipedia) about some of the stuffs and came to know about Megalos. They are recurring monsters created by the Underworld to fend off attacks from Masou Shoujo when both sides were at war. So I guess this is why Megalos seemingly target Masou Shoujo and Haruna in particular. Still, I am not sure if both sides are still at war that the Megalos continue to keep attacking or the system just broke itself somewhere along the line. Because we certainly see Yuu and Nene having no qualms having Haruna and Chris by their side. Maybe it’s just back in their worlds that they become hostile? Being on Earth is a neutral place? Also as I found out, that lab coat guy is a vampire ninja who was also cursed by the queen of Virie for taking part in the uprising along with Chris and Dai-sensei. That’s why I thought this ‘important’ past segment would’ve been much welcomed to explain how things turned out the way they are. It would have also explained what was the hideous crime that Yoru No Ou did before this once ally of Yuu became an antagonist. What about the different warring factions among the vampire ninjas? I suppose after that great Megalo attack at the end of the first season, they put aside their difference and combine their efforts for a greater good. I guess this means the target on Yuu’s life has also been revoked too.

There isn’t anything special about Ayumu. Except by the fact that he is a zombie-cum-masou-Shoujo-cum-whatever-else-he-turns-into-along-the-way guy. I’m sure he has known from the very beginning ever since he has become a zombie, he can kiss goodbye to his peaceful life. Now that he has gotten so used with the company of those girls living with him, I bet he doesn’t want them to leave either. As he now knows the meaning of loneliness, it is true what good would it be alive if you can’t share all that happiness. Might as well be dead. But maybe having a ragtag bunch of oddballs living with you isn’t what anybody would deem as a happy household or life. But then again, that’s them. Take that away and what else do you have left? He might not turn into an ‘M’ but he has sure gotten used to the beatings and insults that come with it. Learn to ‘accept’. Overall, Ayumu may not be the most caring guy in the world, but he still cares for those around him, enough to lend a hand when it is needed. Is it any wonder that all the girls start flocking around him and take a particular interest? If only the harem was more ‘intense’. Who am I kidding? Do I really want to see a cat fight or slug fest between the girls over this useless piece of undead?

So yeah, I guess the ‘interesting’ part is seeing how Ayumu gathers his unofficial harem. Despite being a zombie, he is still a healthy kid and sometimes a pervert only second to Orito. What is the attractiveness of this guy that almost every main and side character girls are taking an interest in him? I’m sure as the main character, he must have some hidden potential or secret power. Oh, I don’t know. Maybe the kind of erotic power that would seal the universe’s fate as well as the Underworld or Virie? Yuu would probably top the list of the one that everybody would speculate will end up with. As the most mysterious among the girls, it’s because she could hardly show any emotions due to the curse she is shouldering. I’m sure she’s staying by his side more than just wanting to keep an eye on him or considering him as her servant. It’s sad that she can’t undo the curse but I guess with Sera and Haruna around the house, I figure their mouths are enough to drive a man (or a zombie in Ayumu’s case) crazy. There’s this ‘beauty’ when a woman doesn’t open her mouth… Oops! Haruna a typical tsundere, you can tell her insults and beatings towards Ayumu are a form of her tough love even if she doesn’t want to admit it. Her body actions are gradually becoming clearer that she harbours feelings for him. So staying with him till her Masou Shoujo powers are replenished seems more and more like an unconvincing excuse. Sometimes I wonder if Haruna is really a genius because she really acts so rash that it makes her seem stupid. But I’m not the one to say since I’m not a smart guy myself -_-. Maybe she’s just hiding her genius away or maybe there is a different definition of what you call a genius in Virie. Things there are done differently, you know? Don’t say. You may be surprised. Sera too is another tsundere though I would consider her ways to be less brash and outspoken compared to Haruna as she is more on the insulting side. So why continue to stay with Ayumu? Well, after failing her mission to kill Yuu and even having her blood flowing through her body (she got killed by Yoru No Ou, remember?), where else has she got to go? And that confirmation from Kyouko means that Sera really likes Ayumu, doesn’t she? So that makes her a tsundere too, right? The only thing that never changes in her is her poisonous cooking that will even destroy hell itself! It burns through…

For the rest of the girls, Tomonori initially forced herself to love Ayumu but as you can see, she gradually falls in love with him for real and doesn’t keep reminding us about the tradition she has to stick to. It’s like we’ve almost forgotten about it. Likewise with Saras. She loves his ass. What an odd place to fall for a guy. I know guys would love a girl’s ass or breasts but this is the first time that I’m hearing this for a girl. In time, this girl also comes to love Ayumu for real as a whole and not only his ass. Just like how I notice Sera stopped using her habitual and similar Tsubamegaeshi move on just about everything. Thus if you want to truly love Ayumu, you need to love him for every part that makes him the guy he is now and not just a single organ. Yup. That includes loving his spilling guts as well. The most surprising love confession has got to be from Kyouko. First she killed him and then planned a revenge just to confess her feelings. I feel that Chris’ weakness plot was just a ploy to temporarily break out of prison to let out her feelings before she is imprisoned for a long time. If mad serial killers like Kyouko could even fall for this dude, what are the chances of other girls? Even Dai-sensei, Chris and Nene take an interest in him but what are the chances that their feelings will turn serious? Don’t even discount the possibility for Lilia too. Dai-sensei is like a cool cat. She doesn’t really get mad or upset and is just cool all the way. You don’t really know what to predict with her. Chris and Nene can be kept happy as long as you give them something to drink over. If Chris doesn’t seem like a threat (for now), I don’t see why Ayumu needs to go all the way out to find her weakness. Maybe just in case. But it led him to confront and conquer his own inner enemies, right? Sort of. So last and perhaps not least is Taeko. Clearly I suspected her for having feelings for Ayumu before her confession at the end of the first season’s OVA since she did appear in the credits… Taeko did have her moments with Ayumu but it feels it doesn’t go anywhere. Not that her shy nature helped anyway. Finally about Kanami, she is the only other girl I see who doesn’t have a shred of interest in Ayumu. Probably it’s because she is more towards Orito. Ah, I guess even secondary loser guys need to have a girl. So all is not lost ;p.

If the drawing and art feels somewhat similar, then it is because Studio Deen produces this anime so you might see shades of Seitokai No Ichizon and Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni. Some of the slapstick comedy is pretty humorous. Especially when it involves Ayumu bearing the brunt of misfortune. Whether it’s trying to avoid direct sunlight or the humiliation of becoming a cross-dressing pervert (it’s an either or situation since becoming a Masou Shoujo negates his sunlight weakness) or items being shoved up his ass that may ultimately contribute to his ‘awakening’, call me a sadist but such repetitive jokes seem funny only because it happens to Ayumu and not me -_-. It gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘pain in the ass’. Be warned, though. There is quite an amount of blood spilled here. Sometimes for funny scenes and sometimes during fight scenes. If you are weak against blood even if it’s just animation, then clearly stay away. But I won’t go so far as to say the gore will make you sick unless you are that kind of weak person. I mean, Ayumu as a zombie, you would see his limbs being amputated and flying all over the place, right? This anime isn’t without its fanservice bits because with Sera and Tomonori having the biggest racks among the girls, how could you not focus your eyes on them when you have the chance? Unless you’re gay… Will being called a kuso mushi be worth it? Then the big turn off… Seeing Ayumu in shima pantsu!!! ARGH! My eyes!!! But still funny…

One of the most amusing sections in the series is the next episode preview. It isn’t really so much about the narration about the next episode. Heck, I don’t think there is ever a proper one because they are just ranting away. In the first season, we had still pictures of the characters in the series but what it’s stated on screen is what makes it funny. Lasting for several episodes per picture, it starts off with Ayumu in Masou Shoujo outfit (trying to shield his eyes) with ‘bio data’ such as previous job (zombie), type (uke/sadistic), charm points (super regenerating ability) and even quotes to do his best and watch his true form. I think he is really getting into his Masou Shoujo role here. Even quips that F-cup size doesn’t match his figure or getting hooked if you let him torture your sensitive parts. Wow. There is even his 3 sizes! Do you really want to know about that?! I think Ayumu’s one has got to be the funniest of the lot. Others include Haruna’s tsundere cafe (“It’s, it’s not that I want to…”), Yuu’s try at sports (lacrosse? Tennis? Hunting with a mace?) and a comparison of boobs from the vampire ninjas (would you like regular, large or extra large service?). For the second season, we see 3 delusional Yuus at a time ranting about in this personal space of theirs. Is this inside of Ayumu’s mind? Well, it’s their chance to go wild. Plus, the background is a fanservice picture of Yuu. Whether it is talking about Ayumu, making plastic models, making porridge or playing King Game, the original Yuu sure isn’t amused. I guess the ultimate one came when original Yuu did some (censored) yaoi comic rendition of Ayumu that got the delusional Yuus to instantly ‘fall in love’ and get ‘turned on’. Maybe that’s why the series got forced termination ;p. The delusions shall not lead us astray! As for the mid-intermission, it is also funny but feels like a take-two comic with the characters usually in chibi drawing.

Although there are scenes where Yuu opens her mouth and speaks in her own voice, you might also notice that the delusional Yuus that Ayumu conjures have different seiyuus for each different episode. Well, their name did scroll across the screen. Midori Tsukimiya is the voice for the original Yuu and because of her soft-spoken voice, it is different from her livelier roles like Yuka Iseda from Ebiten and Tsukuru from R-15. As for the delusional Yuus, they comprise a good mix of popular and unknown seiyuus. Seiyuus like Kikuko Inoue, Yui Horie, Kimiko Koyama, Tomoko Kaneda and Aya Hisakawa all play their cameo part in this but it is tough (for me) to actually realize it is their voice despite the onscreen notice. That’s because they are putting up that cutesy and lovely voice that makes it oh so hard to discern. Except for Yuu Kobayashi whose natural voice isn’t all that shrieky cute. Oops. Sorry. I’m sure you’d be swept away by the cuteness of the delusions that would make you unable to differentiate between the different voices. Iori Nomizu as Haruna reminds me of her other loudmouth role as Mirai in Itsuka Tenma No Kurousagi and Deadman Wonderland’s Minatsuki when she’s in psycho mode. Sera is played by Youko Hikasa and she does give the character a commanding high and might air around her. A bit something like Rias in High School DxD. Ai Shimizu really makes Dai-sensei/Ariel sound like a cool and though her character doesn’t get emotional unlike her other character roles with her trademark shrieky voice (Mikoto in Mai-HiME, Koyori in Sola, Sherwood in Kaibutsu Oujo). Hisako Kanemoto as Tomonori certainly didn’t sound like a squid girl like she played in Shinryaku! Ika Musume like I hoped for. What was I thinking? De Geso… Not. Other casts include Junji Majima as Ayumu (Kinji in Hidan No Aria), Aya Gouda as Saras (Q-feuille in Kiddy Girl -and), Hitomi Nabatame as Chris (Margery Daw in Shakugan No Shana), Ami Koshimizu as Nene (Nodoka in Saki), Rie Yamaguchi as Taeko (Yurako in Kamisama Dolls), Mina as Kanami (Sohara in Sora No Otoshimono), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Orito (Briefs in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt), Noriko Shitaya as Kyouko (Sakura in Fate/Stay Night), Koji Yusa as Yoru No Ou (Kyousuke Hyoubu in Zettai Karen Children) and Itsuki Takizawa as Anderson (Sommer in Kiddy Girl -and).

The opening themes of both seasons are sung by the seiyuu of Haruna. Though the rock outfit may suit the pace of the series, somehow I just feel that Haruna shouldn’t be singing. You know what I’m saying? Maybe geniuses won’t want to hear it from a stupid person like me. The first season’s opening theme, Makasete Tonight is rather okay but I think the second season’s opening piece, ***Passionate feels a little unbearable. I don’t know. Maybe it’s something like Haruna’s death dance. Whenever I hear this song, my hair starts to stand on ends. For the first season’s ending theme, Kizuite Zombie-sama Watashi Wa Classmate Desu by Rie Yamaguchi with Manzo, it sounds like a weird mambo carnival song mixed with some video game sound effects in certain parts. The animation is equally weird. While Haruna dances like an energetic idiot, Yuu is just well, do you call that slow movements a dance? Swaying her hands and feet slowly, left to right, right to left… And Ayumu who has the worst part, apart from being dehydrated from the sun, thought he could revive by getting naughty by pressing some girl’s nipples. Turns out to be Orito!!!!! Instant death!!! For the second season, the ending theme is Koi No Beginner Nan Desu by Rie Yamaguchi too, which plays to a faster pop beat. Once more, the animation has Ayumu drawing the short end of the stick. Already dying like a zombie, we see him gradually reviving as he fantasizes his harem girls puckering their lips and preparing to kiss him. Till he gets a real kiss from Orito in the end. Instant death once more!!!! And yeah, if Haruna had stuck a flower in his ass in the first season, she sticks another one here. Look how beautiful it blooms into a bouquet? Oh wow. His ass is really something. Both ending themes I feel are a place for Taeko to sing her unrequited feelings for Ayumu as I noticed. Well, if you want to rank Ayumu’s harem girls, she is the one who would be at the bottom in terms of opportunity, closeness, aggressiveness and just about everything else. There are also a number of insert songs in both seasons with many of them coming from Saras as she doubles as an idol such as Kirakira Diamond, Ettou Santora Kaikyou, Machibito Love Song and Kyuuketsu Venus (duet with Sera). Sung by others include Sugao (Yuu), Sorya Masou Desho! Rock’n Roll (Haruna), Mata Ashita Ne (Taeko) and Minna Mo Ii Na (Tomonori).

I don’t think being a zombie is going to be a cool Hollywood trend though we have a rage of movies and series not only on this undead but vampires and werewolves as well. You can ask Ayumu all the trouble he went through of being one as well as a Masou Shoujo. Not pretty, I guarantee. Well, as long as he doesn’t turn into a mindless brain eating undead, I guess we can all get along fine since we can’t really tell if a zombie, Masou Shoujo, necromancer or vampire ninja are living among us. That’ll be just bad publicity if somebody gets to know if you’re one or more of the above. Worse than being alive. If I am ever going to turn into a Masou Shoujo under unusual circumstances, I’ll try not to expose the underwear that I am wearing. Who knows how many ‘casualties’ I would have racked up and worse, somebody would start loving my ass and upload them on Facebook! That will be a major dis-ass-ter I ass-sure you.

Dog Days S2

March 16, 2013

I remember the war that wasn’t really a war but some sort of game. A game on a huge scale involving nations. The winner getting the lion share of the reward but the loser doesn’t really lose because they too get some sort of prize for participating. Everybody is satisfied and happy at the end of this big game. No harsh feelings. The inhabitants are people with animal ears and tail. You know what I’m referring to, right? So I guess the ‘war’ between the nations continues with a second season of Dog Days S2. Well, if only ‘wars’ can maintain such healthy relationship between nations unlike ours which is so dirty and evil.

Basically in the first season, we had the desperate ruler of the Biscotti kingdom, Millhiore summoning an athletic kid from our world to help aid her people and boost their morale and break that losing streak. Shinku is tossed into battle and quickly turns the tide into their favour and earning respect and love from both sides. He also quickly got used to the quirky custom and culture of this new world, making new friends, powering up with some cool moves. We had a little drama about some inevitable prophecy and some possessed demon thingy to end it with the spoils going to the heroes of course before the hero returns to his own world but not before promising to return.

In this sequel, you can expect more or less the same thing because what would the war between nations be without their favourite hero and arch rival? Yes. Shinku returns. And he isn’t going to be returning alone because he brought a couple of his friends along too (as I partially predicted in my previous blog). Oh, and there is going to be another nation joining in the fray too so this is going to be a three-way fight. Bigger, more characters, more drama, more power, more action but will it be better?

Episode 1
We get started right off the bat as Shinku prepares to be transported to the world of Flonyard with his friend, Rebecca AKA Becky. Now that the myth of being able to summon a hero once is dispelled, looks like they can do it again as many times they want. So three months after the first season, here Shinku is eager to bring Becky to this new and fun world. Likewise, his cousin-cum-rival Nanami also makes the necessary preparations. And she’s all the way from London. Whoosh! Becky must be surprised to find first that they’re free falling down from the sky! Millhiore summons a safe landing for them but I guess Becky has passed out from the high speed free falling. And look how glad the princess is to have her beloved hero back again. Yeah, that patting on the head must feel good, eh? Elsewhere, Nanami drops into the sea of the kingdom of Galette and is picked up by Leo. Shinku receives a warm welcome by the familiar faces. Including Eclair who continues to be the typical tsundere. Becky is introduced the rest but they’ll have to hurry because they’re in the midst of a big battle! Galette forces are pushing ahead till Shinku makes his much awaited appearance in the battlefield. He’s back. Oh yeah. More familiar faces. Familiar foes. He shows us the results of his training and has powered up so much that he disables the armour (clothing too) of the Genoise trio, Noir, Jaune and Vert. There’s your first fanservice of the day. Leo gives Nanami a glimpse of the battle that they are having and she really finds it fun. Want to have a go? You bet. And so Leo presents Galette’s own hero as she makes her magnificent entry into the battlefield. While Millhiore is being interviewed, she introduces shy Becky to the camera. Elsewhere in Eschenbach Castle in the principality of Pastillage, squirrel Couvre E. Pastillage watches the battle between Biscotti and Galette, while lamenting her nation would like to participate too. Then she sees Becky and gets to know she hasn’t been claimed as a hero by any nation yet. That’s right. She takes a liking for her and is going to crash into Millhiore’s battle and get Becky.

Episode 2
A battle between the heroes is on the cards. Who wouldn’t love to see Shinku and Nanami slug it out. On the other hand, Eclair and Yukikaze take on Leo. The duo lost to Leo’s superior power. Nanami agrees with Shinku that this is so much fun as they trade fire power (actually Nanami’s power is water since Galette is a nation surrounded by water). It ends in a draw when both heroes lose their armour. During the break, I guess the rest try to persuade Becky to join their side but she’s just fine watching them. Then Couvre drops in and wants to participate too. And just like that, the Pastillage people take Becky and claim her as theirs! Falling in love with her at first sight doesn’t seem to be a strong persuasion but what the heck. She challenges them to take back Becky if they want her back so bad. Bring it on. And so the battle resumes into a three-way fight. Because Pastillage has better air troops, head knights Bernard and Roland put aside their differences and work together to counter the threat and shoot the air troops out of the sky. Biscotti and Galette also cooperate as they make their way to Pastillage. Shinku teaches Nanami how to unleash her Seal Spell and she materializes a pair of skates to skate through the water in high speed. Couvre realizes her troops are in danger and offers Becky to become a hero. Knowing Becky lacks the stamina and abilities like her counterparts, she gives her Pastillage’s treasures, Crystalline Magic in the form of the Holy Spear Kormal and Divine Sword Mercurius. Admitting she is still a ruler in training, she hopes to create a new beginning with her because she feels Becky is just like her. I guess Becky is pretty much convinced with her moving speech so she puts on the ring of Mercurius and experiences a magical girl-like transformation. Her weapon is a broom? Don’t look down on it yet. Couvre introduces Becky as Pastillage’s hero.

Episode 3
Becky soars through the sky in lightning speed as Couvre puts on her Kormal ring and… Is she sitting on a flying carpet with a joystick? The duo make a nice combo as they rain spells and lightning on their enemies below. Then they split. Becky faces off with Shinku and Nanami and easily breaks their armour. Then she heads straight to Millhiore’s base and charges straight at her. It ends in a draw when both their armour breaks. Becky retreats for now and Millhiore invites her to come back as many times she wants. True rivalry and friendship, no? Couvre fights Leo but is sent crashing down when the latter splits Couvre’s finishing move into two. At the end of the battle, Galette wins the overall war while Biscotti trails them closely in second place. While the city celebrates, the rulers of the 3 nations converge. Couvre doesn’t want to give Becky back. Millhiore and Leo have no say in this and ask their heroes. Since Becky wants to become Pastillage’s hero, her friends give their blessings. The heroes get to stay for a few days since the rulers will be having a meeting. Shinku plays frisbee with Millhiore, Ricotta takes Shinku and his friends to tour around the castle, Shinku demonstrates his sword skills with Eclair and finally they visit the home of Yukikaze and Brioche. Night fall, Nanami makes a call back to her home world (thanks to Ricotta’s improvisation) while Becky is amazed of today’s experience. Though she wonders how long they can do this. What does she mean? Would Shinku be able to do this frequently if he gets a girlfriend? Shinku ponders the same for Becky. They downplay their chance of getting one. Are they trying to hint us something? Well, they want to stay as friends forever and enjoy this as long as they can. Then Becky pesters Shinku which of the furry friends he prefers. The way she is bugging him makes her look like a pervert… She’s pulling down his pants???!!!

Episode 4
Everyone returns to their respective nation. Nanami and Becky are being given the hero’s welcome. Shinku, Eclair and Noir head to Yukikaze’s place for summer training. After the training by the riverbed, they deep into the cool river to relax (fanservice cue). Shinku hears Noir is here because she wants to learn about demons and cursed sword from Yukikaze and Brioche since Galette doesn’t have anti-demon divisions like Biscotti. For the life saving training, Eclair and Noir battle it out to see who will become the ‘victim’. The power battle ends with Eclair being knocked unconscious. Meanwhile Gaul seems to be keeping his distance from Nanami because he doesn’t want to be pet from her. That would be embarrassing, right? Leo then summons Nanami to her room for a favour. She loves her petting, doesn’t she? Couvre takes Becky to tour their giant library in the border city of Esnault where the centre of research is done on Crystalline Magic. That night Shinku can’t sleep because Yukikaze is using him as a bolster. It’s very choking… So he goes out to talk with Eclair who can’t sleep too. I guess with nobody else around, she gets to be more honest with her feelings because she feels glad she could see him again. Because he petted her, she feels the need to return the favour and pets him. I don’t know if they did it throughout the entire night because next morning Yukikaze and Noir find Shinku sleeping on Eclair’s lap. Oh boy. It’s back to tsundere mode again and so early in the morning he beats him up. Why is she trying so hard to convince them it’s not what they think? When they return to Brioche, they demonstrate what they have learnt and she commends them for improving a lot.

Episode 5
Rumours are spreading that bandits are having a field day in the eastern city of Galette, Ayase. Because they don’t want this to be a big issue if the royal family of Galette investigates, Violet offers to do the investigation with Nanami, Vert and Jaune. In the Japanese-like culture of Ayase, the gang ask around for clues and find out not only the bandits rob, but also assault women and children. Nanami wants to catch the bandits real bad so Violet gives her permission. Nanami walks around that night in disguise and she comes across a guy, Isuka Makishima complimenting her beautiful kimono and as though it’s like she’s asking herself to be assaulted. They think he is the culprit so the rest come out of their hiding to attack him but he gives them the slip. But things indicate that he isn’t the baddie because he figures out that the real culprit is on the move when a couple of guards have been taken out. Nanami and co go look for Isuka but Nanami realizes he isn’t the one when a bunny girl with cleavers starts to pound on her! Isuka’s quick move prevents her from becoming a victim as the bunny girl turns into its true demon bunny form (cute!). Isuka points out they are the real bandits and it looks like Jaune and Vert have fallen victim too. Yeah, they’re naked. Once they’re properly dressed, they want to help out Isuka. He lets them know about the demon rabbits that are targeting girls in kimonos this time. They are very protective of their allies and should be coming to their aid. As they take out the little bunnies, here comes the big bad bunny boss! He’s rampaging through the streets! It’s got briefs on its head?! Violet is chasing it and is about to corner it at the main gates when suddenly Leo and Millhiore appears in a flashy showdown to deliver their punishing blow. Yeah, they stole the show and even had special effects to go with it! Yukikaze is glad to see Isuka. So who is this guy? Brioche’s older brother. He is a famed demon slayer alongside her and also a travelling blacksmith. The demons have been released in the countryside (they’re just wild animals in reality for their size) and all the stolen kimonos retrieved. Couvre and Becky have finished their grand welcoming party plan. They’re so looking forward to it.

Episode 6
Pastillage welcomes Biscotti and Galette as they will be hosting a conference. The heroes catch up with each other and it seems Isuka is now staying with Brioche. After the conference, Couvre takes Shinku to a monument where it lies the King of Heroes and founding father of Pastillage and Couvre’s ancestor. When their land was ravaged by demons, their lord summoned a hero and brought peace. But the lord died and his last wish, the hero became the new lord. This place is also where the Demon Lord is sealed. There’s a legend that states if a descendent touches this obelisk, a miracle will occur. So far Couvre’s miracle lasted for a little while when she places her hands on it before disappearing. Perhaps a hero could amplify it? They give it a try and suddenly the obelisk starts shining. What’s this? The seal has been disabled? Out comes Valerio Calvados AKA Valery. Who? The Demon Lord. Oh sh*t. Because a certain somebody is not here, he is going to take his chance with this freedom. He fills himself up with Shinku and Couvre’s energy. Guess what next? He goes on a peeping spree! PERVERT! Pervert alert! He has no shame dropping in the women’s bathing area! Despite how tough and arrogant he sounds, he got owned by Becky and Nanami. Shinku and Couvre have recovered and rush to bring order back. The Demon Lord is cornered but plays psychological fear on them. Guess what? Shinku punches him in the face! Since he is not repenting yet, he is going to show them his true powers by absorbing their energy. He continues to talk tough when the 3 heroes beat him up. How can the seal away this persistent guy? I’m not sure what words Couvre said by accident, but it was the exact words to summon the King of Heroes, Adelaide Grand Marnier AKA Adele. Oh, she’s a girl. A cutie girl. That’s the King of Heroes? Adele shows no mercy in smashing Valery with her giant mace! Holy sh*t! If that doesn’t make him repent, I don’t know what will. Then she beats him up again when he refuses to apologize. Now he’s on his knees. Even promising not to do it ever again. Wow. She’s effective. So it’s time for the duo to return to slumber despite the rest want them to stay a little longer and show them around. After all, they see Valery as a decent person deep down. I hope they’re right. They could also guess that they’re both lovebirds from the way they react. However the slumber programme breaks down. I guess it has deteriorated over time. Looks like it’s the perfect excuse for them to stay a little longer while it is being repaired. Don’t worry, Adele can keep a good watch on pervy Valery (I think he was trying to touch her ass). Don’t want to mess with her gun, doesn’t he?

Episode 7
Isuka and Brioche is expecting a visit from old friends. Guess? Yeah. Adele and Valery. Hey! That’s one freaking huge badass dragon they’re riding! The quartet blast off to the southern desert to check on the demon seals inside a cave. Isuka swords are still holding the seals pretty well. As narrated, fairies and local deities become demonized when they become ill. Demons possessed by cursed swords can be cured by removing the source of evil and the sealing process will return them to their original form. Adele carelessly touches a fragile seal as it crumbles. An emergency lockdown mode is initiated and soon all the demon mice are released from their seal. How are they going to catch all of them? Big problem, eh? Here’s a bigger problem: They’re hungry. Since they feed on energy, this means everyone except Isuka has been turned into kids! While they take shelter in a gap, Adele contacts her allies about their problem so our heroes and co prepare all the necessary before Adele transports them inside the cave. Wait a minute. Shouldn’t she just transport them out of the cave first? I know they want to fix this mess but what can their kid forms do? Everyone splits up and makes progress in netting the little mice. Some were careless and got turned into kids. Adele gives Shinku and Gaul a Hero Stone each to protect them. Gee, why didn’t she use it herself or gave them earlier on? They are going to haul in the balance but the mice turns into a giant demon rat. The gems protect them but as a result, they are turned into their adult selves! Holy cow! Handsome hunks! This means they are more powerful and combine their powers to take down the demon. A seal appears on the gem to indicate it has accepted them as their master. So it’s time the kids turn back into adults. This means their tight little clothes will be ripped, right? So while the guys are taken away, Valery must be the one who draws the end of the short stick because Adele pokes his eyeballs! Hero Stingers! Becky and Shinku have their little moment together but it’s nothing much. In the end, she still prefers the Shinku she knows. I guess his adult version would make him look like a lolicon, no? A new seal is placed and the mission ends. Back home, Ricotta throws a tantrum after learning she was left out from the adventure so he pacifies her by petting her. Becky tells Millhiore all the coolness Shinku was in his adult version. I think Valery is going to need more than eye drops to heal his throbbing eyes…

Episode 8
Pastillage will be having their traditional annual event: The Esnault Music Festival. Millhiore will be performing as a special guest. Becky and Millhiore talk to each other and they feel the other is suited to be Shinku’s future husband. Of course they worry that may change their relationship now as they know Shinku wants to concentrate on his athletics and work as a hero right now. But Becky as his childhood friend thought she should keep her distance since he treats her well. She thinks Millhiore should step forward and take the lead. Well, Shinku is the one who should decide in the end. Valery and Isuka check on the bunny demons they released and they seem to be no harm. However their boss (still having those briefs on his head?) doesn’t seem to be well. However Adele noticed that one of its members was different. Like as though she’s a little girl and playing with the boss rabbit as if it was her parent. So the demon coming to Ayase was rumoured to be in search for her. Want to bet that this girl is a twin tail cat demon girl? Yeah, she’s stealing jewellery and has no qualms committing daylight robbery! Of course when she sees Millhiore’s accessories on screen, she gets greedy to sneak in and steal. She takes out a couple of guards and wears their uniform to make her way to the backstage where Millhiore and Becky are waiting. Cat girl seems to be able to control other people’s body at will too. After taking the accessories, she sees their ring and also takes it. But Becky’s willpower is greater so she transforms and fires at her. She flees empty handed but now the entire place is put on alert and on the hunt. Yukikaze and Eclair fall prey to her powers while Shinku and Eclair had their lips met! That’s a kiss, right?! Shinku transforms into his adult version to deflect her blast. Since she’s not giving up yet, they chase her to the city’s outskirts and successfully apprehend her. It is learnt she is a lost local deity and before she is sent back to her original place, Shinku bought a bracelet and gives it to her. It bit his hand! Maybe it thought the shiny stuff was food? They think they won’t make it back in time for Millhiore’s concert but never say never. Eclair, Ricotta and Yukikaze ride Shinku’s Tornader at lightning speed. Be careful to keep your eyes on the road. Eclair flusters when she thinks about the accidental kiss. They made it in time for Millhiore’s performance. The festival ends in its peak and tomorrow, the war between the 3 nations will start. The lost cat deity is returned to the rabbit boss and they’re comfortably sleeping together.

Episode 9
Eclair can’t get that kiss out of her head so she acts cold towards Shinku. So obvious that the rest even notices this. Before the war, Ricotta talks to Eclair and knows she loves Shinku and might be embarrassed in expressing herself when others are around. Ricotta has no qualms in confessing she loves Shinku and will do it again and again. She is mad at Eclair because she is not honest with her feelings with him and then she gets depressed. Eclair shrugs her off and wants to be left alone. This doesn’t sit well with Ricotta so she leaves with tears but bumps into Leo. Now she’s hated. Eclair may be feeling bad what happened to Ricotta as it’s Yukikaze’s turn to talk to her. As Leo has heard from Ricotta, she tells Eclair off she won’t win this battle since her spirit is weak. She challenges her to a match and gives her a handicap that she wins if she gets to destroy her armour. If Leo wins, she’ll have Eclair be captain of her battalion for the day. Eclair can’t refuse this or else it’s like she has grown weak. Scared to lose, no? So if Eclair wins, Leo will grant her any wish. The big battle begins and right from the start, Leo and Eclair face off. Clearly Leo is superior since Eclair still has doubts in her heart. She gets owned by her devastating shock blast. Eclair is in grave danger of losing when Ricotta tearful picks up the mic and apologizes for fighting with her. She only wanted to support her because she is down and lied about hating her. In fact she loves her. Eclair gets up and also admits she loves her and everybody else. She draws extra strength to summon her weapon and clash swords with Leo. See, you need a little motivation and push for victory. Eclair shatters Leo’s armour. She thanks Leo for helping to lift the burden off her shoulders and will stop keeping her troubles to herself from now on. Leo retreats for now and this earns Biscotti big points. Meanwhile Becky and Couvre prepare to take on Millhiore and Ricotta.

Episode 10
Godwin pairs up with Nanami to take on Brioche’s division. Nanami fights Brioche but ultimately Brioche summons her big freaking sword and slams it on Nanami! Though Nanami is out, her boomerang ripped through Brioche’s armour so their duel is considered a draw. Shinku and Gaul clash but their fighting in their adult forms. More power, more eye candy, huh? The air battle between Becky-Couvre and Millhiore-Ricotta intensifies. Becky reflects that was glad to have come to this place. At first she was worried how she would fit in but all that worries were for naught. Becky and Millhiore’s strongest moves collide head on and Becky proves out to be the winner in the end. Unfortunately it eats up too much energy so they’re both free falling. Couvre and Ricotta can’t reach them in time but Shinku did. I guess he won his battle with Gaul (he didn’t want to admit he had lost and instead let him win). Shinku is having his hands full because Becky and Millhiore’s clothes ripped! How does it feel carrying 2 naked ladies in the air? As the battle rages on, Pastillage is in dead last. Adele has been watching the footage and Valery knows how eager she is in wanting to join in the battle (her body actions can’t lie). So he gives her a disguise to go join the fight. Seriously, how can a pair of glasses hide her true identity? So Adele as the Masked Hero of justice and hope drops in to give her Pastillage troops a much needed boost. She’s really raring to go too. Shinku, Yukikaze and Eclair prepare to fight the King of Heroes. Oops, they mean the Masked Hero.

Episode 11
At the end of the first day, Pastillage makes a comeback and takes the lead in the overall standings. Shucks. We didn’t get to see the heroes fight with the Masked Hero. The second day continues but it seems more like a carnival because we have beach events (fanservice cue), arm wrestling and even quiz show! Wow. This is sure one big battle that covers almost everything. A toast is held by all 3 nations at the end of the competitive events though conferences and fine arts will still continue. I guess I understand now why they call this event the Union Fest. So it’s just not fighting in the battlefield. After Shinku and Millhiore finish their morning work, they visit Yukikaze’s place. Brioche and Isuka are out gathering ores so only Yukikaze and the housekeeper, Kanata are in. They talk about the old times when Millhiore spots a jewel on the floor. Shinku picks it up and it explodes into a smoke screen. What’s this cute little critter popping out from it?! However everyone except Kanata finds themselves swapped bodies! Shinku is in Yukikaze’s body, Yukikaze is in Millhiore’s body and the princess is in the critter’s body. This means, the critter is in Shinku’s body and it is running wild with its new body and ‘freedom’. Shinku decides to track it down but needs time to get use to Yukikaze’s body and movements (I think her boobs were in the way, hehe). Eventually they corner it on a treetop and at this time, they are able to use each other’s techniques. It’s odd that Shinku didn’t hold back against his own body but I guess it’s necessary since the critter is getting nastier ideas. Shinku defeats it and only Millhiore and the critter swap back their bodies. As the critter is being tamed with a talisman, they figure it swap bodies with those who are close to it. Calling Adele about it, she claims this is a fairy and not a demon and is sorry she forgot to release it into the wild as she was caught up in the battle’s excitement. They don’t have to do anything as in time things will fix itself and they will swap back. Couvre and Rebecca arrive to pick the critter up to Adele. Couvre must have thought about fun using this fairy ideas but Rebecca reminds her about their mission to return it to Adele. After they left, Shinku and Yukikaze swap back to their own bodies. I guess this is much more comfortable. Yukikaze is appreciative he took care of her body while they were swapped. She thinks of recreating this body swapping technique and Shinku could perhaps be her secret training partner. Sounds fun but I think he’ll pass.

Episode 12
Since the heroes will be returning to their world 2 days after Union Fest, for now the swap nations. Becky went to Galette, Shinku to Pastillage and Nanami to Biscotti. Anyhow, they receive a warm welcome from everybody. But do they have to swap uniforms too? This means… Shinku must be looking really dangerous and a pervert in Becky’s outfit, right?! Thankfully, there is a male outfit version. Look at Couvre and Ricotta’s disappointed face. They were really expecting to see something, huh? Couvre takes Ricotta and Noir down to Pastillage’s largest ruin, Eschenbach Basement Treasury of Legends. Couvre is supposed to pick up Becky’s parting gift but accidentally sets off a trap and the trio falls through a trapdoor. Despite the traps are old, some even deactivated, well… I guess that’s what they believe. Because we see the trio dodging and running away from a series of traps in this ridiculously huge labyrinth. It’s amazing they have such luck. And to get away by the skin/fur of their teeth. So when they seemingly reach a large dead end hall, they reminisce about the old times and Couvre especially feeling sad and lonely once Becky leaves. Goodbye seems to be the hardest word. She fears she will be forgotten. I don’t think Becky is that kind of person. They vow to find a way out but the good feeling is ruined when the final badass trap is released. The ceiling is going to crush them! Meanwhile Becky and Shinku realize Couvre and co are taking too long and know something is wrong. Consulting Valery and Adele, they arrive at the ruin. Valery gives Becky a Demon Stone which is equivalent to a Hero Stone. I don’t know why but wouldn’t it be easier for Adele to teleport the trio away rather than teleporting Shinku and Becky there? I mean, this would also save Valery the trouble of trying to hold back the crushing ceiling. I guess it’s necessary for Becky to show off her new power. With the Demon Stone, she powers up and blasts the trap high into the sky! I think it could even fly to the next galaxy! The trio emotionally reunite with the heroes and the most emotional one is Couvre. Sorry this, sorry that. But Becky is glad they’re just fine. And they make it out just in time to attend Millhiore’s concert. See? All’s well, ends well.

Episode 13
The end of the Union Fest means everyone will go back to their normal lives. Eclair gives Shinku a custom made outfit which resembles very close to his hero uniform. The heroes and the rulers have a fun outing together at the lake before returning to a surprised-cum-thank-you party hosted by Gaul. Isuka has made special knives for the heroes to commemoration their efforts. Don’t worry. They’re kitchen knives to cut food or camping knives. Bath time bonding sees Millhiore and Becky grow closer as friends despite being rivals for the games for different nations. Also, Couvre wants to take a bath with Shinku. I guess they are kids so it’s alright and nothing explicit. Couvre asks if he intends to become family with Becky, Millhiore or both since it’ll be troublesome for a marriage between a hero and ruler. He quickly changes the topic. Noting he hasn’t become a full-fledged hero yet, his goal is to beat Nanami in professional competitions and during the Union Fest, he still lost to her. That’s why he can’t think anything further till he achieves that. Shinku sleeps with Millhiore, Couvre and Nanami (again, nothing explicit here). Millhiore remembers she confessed she loved him when he parted the last time. It felt like a dream. And they’re going to do so once more. Shinku assures they’ll be back by fall after his exams. She cuddles close to him so that she could remember his warmth and smell. Next day, the heroes attend a farewell ceremony that has them surrendering their hero rings before returning. Couvre gives Becky a crystal pendant that her mother used to pass down when they parted. It’s also an artefact of the bond between heroes and summoners from 2 different worlds. Millhiore hands Shinku a clock made by Ricotta, Eclair and Yukikaze while Leo gives Nanami the MPV trophy from the Union Fest. The heroes return to their world and Nanami wakes up back in her home in London. It’s not a dream because the MVP trophy is by her side. Shinku and Becky wake up in the former’s house back in Japan. They get a call from Nanami and to assure they have arrived safely. Life goes on as we see Becky picking up Flonyard’s language and trying to write a letter. She meets Shinku and with her hair down, she looks more mature. Even Shinku notes how pretty she is! She wants him to call her by her full name but gets embarrassed since she is not used to it. I guess ‘Becky’ is fine for now. Though they both say they love each other, I feel it’s on just a friendship level, nothing more.

It’s Raining Cats And Dogs… And Now Squirrels…
It’s not really over yet because a third season has been announced! I guess people really do love those animal ears and tails for this series to even make a third season despite the second season was just okay (in my opinion of course). So nothing much really happens in this season except that everybody is having so much fun whether it is a friendly war game on a big scale or just some friendly outing among each other, there wasn’t anything deemed threatening that would have caused casualties like in the previous season. Remember the evil swords scattered throughout the world that could turn local deities or animals into really evil monsters? Remember how Leo tried to prevent Millhiore’s death she saw via some prophecy? In this season, I don’t think we have any dramas that come close to that. Well let’s see. Couvre and co getting trapped in an underground labyrinth filled with deadly traps? Mild. The lost cat deity and the rabbit boss with its little rabbit demons? Annoying pests, that’s all. Body swapping incident? Felt comical. Cave filled with demon mice? Cute! The Demon Lord? More like the Demon Pervert. Once you know him, he’s really such a friendly guy and nice guy. Just that he is perverted. Which makes me ponder this question. How did he get the name Demon Lord anyway? Unless you’re telling me his harassment and peeping tom is on a demonic scale then yeah, maybe. He looks like a ditz when fighting the heroes and doesn’t feel like he’s much of a threat. And for another ditz like Adele to be called the King of Heroes, I guess she must have an easy time taking down the Demon Lord knowing his character. If the great war between them in the past were just lover spats, then I’ll get a feeling the people of Pastillage would surely be embarrassed. So that’s why perhaps their titles and history were somewhat ‘hyped up’.

So with a bunch of new characters introduced, I guess that’s why the screen time among some of the characters were much lesser. I know characters like Bernard, Roland and Godwin were side characters with minimal appearances in the first season but in this season, they are sure lacking even more screen time. It’s like it could have been done without them. Probably if I were to count how many times they appeared, I would have more fingers on my hand anyway. So cameo appearances in the battles were probably just a ‘reminder’ to let us know that they are still around doing well, doing fine. Violet had her single episode of prominence during the investigation trip at Ayase but even so I feel she didn’t really stand out. Even Genoise was sidelined but among the trio, Noir seems to be making more appearance and impact compared to the duo since she is hanging around Yukikaze more often. Brioche feels like unless she is participating in wars, she is just hanging around. What happened to her busy-away schedule to seal evil swords? New characters like Couvre, Becky and Nanami take more of the spotlight in this season. How can the squirrel not get involved and be left out of the action after wanting to be in it so badly? So with the 3 nations each having their own heroes, it is fair game though with Nanami still having better experience and athletic abilities, she still bests Shinku as mentioned and thus earned Galette’s victory. Adele and Valery are sometimes a fun to watch since she is perhaps the only one who can keep that pervert in line. Not to mention some of her questionable tactics that makes that Demon Lord bear painful repercussions. I hope his eyes are still okay… And oh, I couldn’t help but still mention about the demon bunny boss. As seen in the end scenes, he still has the briefs over his head while some of his bunny minions are frolicking in the panties they have in hand! Are those stolen or donated? As long as he is not making big trouble, I guess it’s fine.

Everybody else is probably the same. Shinku may have powered up but I don’t really see any much difference. Maybe he has gotten too strong and agile that my eyes couldn’t catch up ;p. Anyhow he is still the hero that everybody loves and the nice guy that will help out whenever his friends are in need. Millhiore is still the singing princess, Leo is still the commanding princess warrior, Gaul her equally confident and powerful little brother, Ricotta the genius scientist with her annoyingly “~de arimasu” catchphrase and Eclair the moody tsundere. I wonder after that spat with Ricotta, has she become more honest with her feelings? Well, it doesn’t seem that she has been giving Shinku the cold shoulder after that. So I guess things are back to normal? So we’re still short of the romance, the kind that would send hearts aflutter and emotions to rise. What am I expecting? They’re just kids. Now that we’ve seen Shinku and Gaul in their grownup forms, maybe they’ll use be in this form more often in the next season? Will we see other characters transforming to that too?

Everybody in Flonyard is so unbelievably friendly and even take the war games as a just a big friendly battle scale that I think everybody should just unite and become one nation. Such an ideal world. Why even bother to go back to Earth? I did browse back my previous blog and remember the reason for conducting such wars is to protect themselves better from such evil sword incidents that happened in the previous season. But the way everybody was having a blast participating in the games (which now I have seen extends to all other areas instead of the battlefield – should have been the Olympics), that it never occurred to me and mostly I have forgotten that this was the reason why they hold such big scale event. Another thing continues to bug me, though. During the battles, we see multiple ‘clones’ which are supposed to be the foot soldiers of the respective nations. I can’t really tell where they are from nor differentiate them since they all look the same! What bugs me even more is that when they go out of the game, they turn into furballs after taking some friendly damage. However this is not the case for our main characters and the higher ranked ones because all they lose is their armour and the most their clothes! There’s your fanservice, I guess. Perhaps it would have been totally weird to see Millhiore, Leo, Couvre and the rest turn into cute furballs when they are done in, no? Absolutely weird. The action sequences during the battles are still okay though I somewhat feel that everyone utilizes less of their special skills (unless I have forgotten about them).

With all the returning characters’ original seiyuus being maintained, the new ones of course bring in new life for the new characters. Aoi Yuuki is still impressive as Couvre because of her shrieky bratty voice that suits the squirrel so well. Think of her as Senki Zesshou Symphogear’s Hibiki, Kurenai’s Murasaki and Akikan’s Budoko on a much shrieky and bratty scale. Added to the casts are Eri Kitamura as Adele (Cana in Fairy Tail), Kousuke Toriumi as Valery (Gennousuke in Basilisk) and Anri Katsu as Isuka (Tsuchimikado in To Aru Majutsu No Index). Since Nanami is making a regular presence in this season as compared to just a short cameo one in the previous, it’s sometimes amusing to spot her and Ricotta talk since they are voiced by the same seiyuu. Well, Nana Mizuki can really pull off a sweet cute voice (Tsugumi in Jigoku Shoujo, Hinata in Naruto) or mature sounding ones (Tsubasa in Senki Zesshou Symphogear, Rina in White Album). Just like in the previous season, Nana Mizuki once more takes on the opening theme with another powerful rendition of Scarlet Knight while Yui Horie (voice of Millhiore) does the pop idol-like ending theme, Natsu No Yakusoku. The mid-intermission and next episode segments still retain its amusing bits. As the mid-intermission shows a character in random poses (sometimes  for little fanservice), the next episode segment continues with a comical still picture like Ricotta imagining herself as a busty woman and Valery reeling from Adele’s Hero Stingers!

Who knows what the third season will bring. Maybe another nation getting involved? Darker events to surprise us with this cheerful season? Or even perhaps the Flonyard residents falling through the portal and into our world. I would like to see the culture shock on their faces about the kind of ‘wars’ and ‘games’ we people play. Anyway this series isn’t that bad so I still have intentions to watch the third season when it comes. No, I don’t have animal ear and fetish that made me want to watch the third sequel. For the record, I’m still going strong with my own Iron Athletics marathon of watching animes. Is it coming to nearly 7 or 8 years since my customary ritual weekend of watching animes? Wow. Feels like a personal record. Feels like an achieved feat. Feels so old. Feels like my back is killing me and my butt hurting like hell for sitting down for hours straight…

I know I am weak against ghost stories and yet, here I am having a go at Tasogare Otome x Amnesia OVA. Did I not learn about getting spooked the last time? Despite the series wasn’t really a full horror and supernatural ghostly series, I still got scared. Maybe it’s that inner pride of me to finish what I started. Yeah, right. As some dubbed this the thirteenth episode (the unaired episode that was bundled together with the DVD to get your money’s worth), we see the Paranormal Investigation Club investigate several mysteries around their school. Oh yes. Don’t forget that ghost girl Yuuko that tags along with them.

Demon Slaying Maiden
We see Kirie adamant to put a rest to this ‘ash throwing’ curse that has everyone in school worried. The culprit of course turns out to be Yuuko who is throwing fish feed in the fountain. To make matters worse, Teiichi is the one who is encouraging her! Kirie blows her top that she should stop otherwise people will come up with more ghost stories but Yuuko sees her as a bully. Having it until here, Kirie throws down a challenge that if she defeats her, she must behave. Kirie seems to have confidence in the race (Teiichi quips she’s fastest at running away) but to her surprise, Yuuko beats her flat!!! As for the other series of challenges that includes pop quiz, fashion, test of courage and cooking, Yuuko defeats Kirie in all of them!!! Wow!!! How can you beat a ghost anyway? What has Yuuko got to lose? Kirie uses her last resort. She performs some complicating looking exorcism and in the end… Nothing happens! She runs away in embarrassment while telling Yuuko to just go and die. She’s already dead…

Okonogi has brought a paper that contains hidden legends from a bygone era. Really? As there are ghost stories written on it, she thinks as a club, they should go and ascertain them since the mysteries were never heard before. First up, they enter an empty classroom supposedly to be the ghost legend of Youko. Not Yuuko? If a boy and a girl perform a certain ritual, a ghost called Youko will appear. If they are destined to be together, Youko will leave a message that will have them find happiness. Otherwise, the boy will be dragged with Youko to hell! Okonogi and Teiichi try it out but Yuuko thinks this is part of Okonogi’s plan to confess to him. Thus Yuuko cheekily writes “May you burn in hell!” and drags Teiichi away. Okonogi won’t let it happen and pulls his other hand. How long is this tug of war going to last? Teiichi may split into half, you know? So I guess it’s Kirie’s turn to intervene. Telling a Japanese version of King Solomon’s wisdom, the one who lets go of Teiichi’s hand is the one that truly loves him. But… The girls aren’t letting it go! Suck it up and be a man! Teiichi is in pain and the girls turn sadist because they love to see how cute he is squirming in pain! New awakening! Thank God that Teiichi is still in one piece and the girls almost ‘climaxed’. I hope they don’t get addicted to this new sick play. Next up is a monster that apparently eats you from head to toe. Kirie thinks it is her turn to shine and puts on some Index outfit, mix with eastern and western talisman. She’s bloody confident in slaying this demon and starts her chanting. Seems complicated. Seems convincing. Till nothing happens. Yuuko even felt bad and wears a demon mask out of pity just for her. She runs away in embarrassment and doesn’t need her pity!

Finally there is this story whereby 3 or more people shouldn’t get into this bathtub at the same time otherwise something terrible will happen. The bathtub looks wide and modern and nothing happens when the trio sits in. Noting that this bathtub is built after the new school building, it means there is an old bathtub that exists somewhere since the legend was written before that. True enough, they find a smaller wooden bathtub and it seems it can fit more than 3 people. They prepare the water and Kirie and Okonogi get in. Teiichi is embarrassed to get in with them despite Okonogi making a wooden barrier for the men’s section. That’s because they’re all naked! In the name of science they must! Since when was this a scientific experiment? If Okonogi’s ‘men need to have balls’ argument didn’t work out, Yuuko suggests she can cover his private parts while he makes his way over. Eventually Teiichi does but Kirie points out since Okonogi can’t see Yuuko, that means she saw every part of Teiichi naked, right? Oh dear. Okonogi looked so happy… So the trio sink in and nothing much happens despite Okonogi making some comments about their floating boobs. Then the water starts to rise… Actually it’s Yuuko getting into the tub, sitting next to Teiichi. She’s starting to get naughty with him so Kirie couldn’t stand it anymore and punches the wooden barrier. The entire tub breaks and everyone is left screaming the nakedness they are in.

In the aftermath, they deduce that the terrible thing that would happen is that the wood would break since it was already old. As Okonogi dries the paper, hidden words start to pop up. She remembers there was a group of students doing these kinds of activities before them and it’s a club that came before the third newspaper club that she now joins. That club made journals and picked up mystery and ghost stories. When the paranormal hype died down, the club president who took up journalism changed the purpose of the club and it became the current third newspaper club as known today. As they couldn’t find topics to put in the print they started creating ghost stories. So basically, they were lying and making them up, right? Thus the paper contains discarded ideas and the Youko ghost story seems to be created by a member who fell in love and the ritual was his idea to have a date with the girl he loves. So did they waste their time over nothing? Well, Yuuko thought she had fun. That night, the girls dress in their yukata and Kirie thought Teiichi was complimenting hers. Too bad it was Yuuko’s instead. So pissed. Just when Kirie thought Okonogi complimented hers, it felt like an insult because it’s like she’s trying to say she has no curves at all. Another running away in embarrassment for her. While Okonogi and Kirie go wild with the fireworks, Yuuko and Teiichi find precious time together. They are surprised there was a club before them that did paranormal investigations and Yuuko says there’s always something to keep it going. Not the ghost stories. But the search for love. Teiichi comments that although ghosts are scary, they have some romantic charm to them that attracts people. Take for example Yuuko’s case whereby her story has been told for decades. There’s some romantic charm in it, no? It’s also a reason why they are all here now.

I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghosts…
Thankfully… There were no scary parts! Not that I was scared by a single bit out of my pants anyway. Because of that, it doesn’t feel that the series had lived up to its scary hype but that’s only because the scary part which was Yuuko’s amnesia and split personality has already been solved in the TV series. Oh, watching this OVA may have made you forget that Yuuko did have amnesia too. However as a series overall, I think the OVA isn’t bad in complementing the TV series. So I guess like in many OVAs these days, the extra episode is to have fun and make it enjoyable, a way to end and wind down the series. Therefore I was laughing and having ‘fun’ most of the time instead of being spooked.

The funniest person for this OVA goes to Kirie. It felt like she has become a clown. We know her as the serious girl who rarely gets the comical part. But here, it’s as though it is her destiny to become one.  Whether it is her failed exorcisms, running away and get disheartened that nobody goes after her or her reaction to insults about her body, she’s really a funny girl to watch. She is what makes this OVA overall very funny. Okonogi too had her moments but it is because we know her as a quirky girl so the impact isn’t really there as compared to Kirie. Yuuko is still cheeky and bumming around, teasing anyone whenever she gets the chance. Okonogi still can’t see her so I think Kirie will have her fun for some time. And more importantly both Teiichi and Yuuko continue to love each other. But it still bugs me how long this will last since Teiichi won’t be around forever. I know. Grow old, die and become a ghost like her. But he’ll be an old man by that time. But really. How do you date a ghost anyway?

There are lots of legends, myths, mysteries, folklores and ghost stories around the world and lack of proper documentation and passing down via word of mouth from generation to generation only distorts and twists everything. Whether you want to believe them or not it is really up to you. I wouldn’t say I totally believe in ghost stories but I don’t read much of them because of ‘that’ weakness of mine. Mysteries as seen in this OVA can turn out to be pretty lame or ‘nothing much’ when the truth is exposed. Be it science, common sense or just coincidence. So that is why as said by Teiichi, there is a certain charm when it is left as a mysterious ghost story. We all love a got spook, don’t we? Not me. Tell me a happy fairytale story instead. Please?

Tari Tari

March 10, 2013

I couldn’t make out what Tari Tari is when I read the synopsis. All it states in a brief sentence are 5 high school students, describing their personality and their current likes or issues they are facing at the moment. One thing in common that they have is that music brings them together to form a little club of their own. This is one of those summer themed animes in a sleepy town. Something like Natsuiro Kiseki or Uta-Kata but this one lacks any miracle or magic. As you know a group consisting of people with different personalities and goals, it is always the question if they can work together towards their common love for singing and overcome the odds of bigger and more established clubs in the same line.

Episode 1
We begin with a glimpse of the lives of the main characters. Wakana Sakai makes breakfast for his widower dad, Keisuke before leaving for school. Sawa Okita rides her favourite horse, Sabure and has time to stop and smell the flowers. Atsuhiro “Wien” Maeda has just returned from Vienna and makes his first step into Shirahamazaka High School where he will be schooling from now on. Taichi Tanaka practises his badminton while Konatsu Miyamoto is rehearsing with her fellow members of the Vocal Club. In class, the students lavish their homeroom teacher, Tomoko Takahashi with gifts before she leaves for her maternity leave. Before she does, she introduces Wien as their new transfer student and I guess he must be away from Japan so long that he takes it very seriously in learning Japan’s culture. Maybe a little too serious. Does he really need to prostrate himself and speak in olden Japanese? He needs to get a better book to consult. Taichi is tasked to show Wien around school. I’m sure Taichi has a hard time correcting Wien about his misconceptions about Japanese culture. He should really get a new consulting book. At least he is taking down notes. Hope he takes them down right. While Wakana helps out Takahashi with the gifts, Konatsu wants to be part of the singing choir (her current role is to turn pages for the pianist) and goes to see the club’s advisor, Naoko Takakura who is also the school’s vice principal. However she is shot down because of last year’s blooper and being lectured about anybody can love music but it’s a different story whether music can love you. She wants Konatsu to abandon her aspirations to sing on stage. Not happy, Konatsu quits! Remember to submit a formal application then. Konatsu talks to her best friend Sawa about this problem at the latter’s Archery Club. Konatsu is still adamant to sing and wants to start a new club. Guess who has to join her? Despite Sawa thinking she has a terrible voice, Konatsu believes she has a powerful one. But she’s already in a club. Do both then!

Konatsu submits her application for a new club to Takahashi and thinks of inviting Wakana. Takahashi thinks that is a great idea and Konatsu might be a good catalyst for her. After Wakana finishes her supplementary class, Konatsu accompanies her home and talks to her. Wakana can tell she quit the Vocal Club so she can stop beating the around the bush. She tells of her intention to start a new club and if she talks to the principal directly, she might have a chance. Wakana turns her offer down to join since she has already stopped singing. Konatsu continues to persuade her but Wakana is sticking to her guns. She never enjoyed music and can’t condone to Konatsu’s idea to just pretend to sing for fun. Then she questions her back. What does she sing for? For fun? Not the answer she’s looking for. She’s serious. So is Wakana. Goodbye. I guess Konatsu was desperate enough that she goes to ask her little brother, Makoto who is in the midst of taking his bath. She’s not embarrassed. He is. Plus, she forces him to join and sign the application form or else she will tell mom about his secret porn stash. Oh sh*t. Elsewhere, we see Wien writing to his pen-pal friend, Jan and hopes he could show him Japan one day. Well, hope he keeps learning the right stuff. Next day, Konatsu talks to Sawa about her problems. The latter notes she really did screw up last year but Konatsu says it’s not funny and she’s a changed person as she has been training hard. Later Konatsu is listening music via her earphones and the song must be quite good for her to start singing in public. It attracts everyone’s attention. So happen, Sawa, Wakana, Taichi and Wien coincidentally meet at that same spot. Embarrassed?

Episode 2
Well, the girls ignore the guys. Sawa tells Taichi to show Wien around more. Sawa brings Konatsu and Wakana back to her house. She shows Wakana the video clip of the biggest blunder made in last year’s joint recital. Not only is she so nervous that she can’t sing, when she opened her mouth, it was a very odd sound. Nyah? I can see why the teacher doesn’t want any more blunders from her. Sawa still finds it funny all this time but because Konatsu has been training, she wants to support her. They need at least 5 people to form a club. Wakana doesn’t need to participate and just be a ghost member. Okay. Then it is suggested Konatsu gets Makoto and his friends to join and they can attract people to join because some famous dancing violinist Tetsuji Kumagai will be there. So there goes Konatsu blackmailing Makoto into making his friends join her new club (why does she always have to barge when he is bathing?) or else it’s mommy and his secret porn stash. Konatsu sees the principal, Tayoru Ikezaki (Colonel Sanders?) about her application of her new Choir Club. Though he has his reservations, once he sees Wakana’s name on the application list, he feels this may turn into something interesting and approves it. He also becomes their club’s advisor.

Konatsu and Wakana are in their club room and the former needs to choose a song to start practising. She realizes Wakana can play the piano and wants her to demonstrate. Konatsu shows her a piece with scribbles on it, Kokoro No Senritsu but it reminds Wakana about her late mother. But for Konatsu, it reminds her of the Condor Queens. So the Choir Club begins their rehearsal but Konatsu is summoned by Takakura. When she learns Konatsu is picking Kokoro No Senritsu, she wants her to pick another song and can’t sing this song just for fun. Konatsu argues her point of why she wants to sing it so she reluctantly gives her the green light. On a day when the Choir Club is supposed to do a joint recital, the principal is missing and school rules say a club can’t do any activities without their advisor. They also need to appoint somebody who will lead in the rehearsal. Konatsu goes to get Wakana. I suppose she owes a lot of cakes to her by now. Sawa goes to find Takahashi and finds her at the hospital at her usual check-up. Konatsu learns of the principal’s whereabouts and he too is hospitalized after getting into a bicycle accident. Wakana manages to get permission for their club to go last but it seems the rest of their group are stuck in a traffic jam (Takahashi drives Konatsu and Sawa to the auditorium). With time running out and their turn is up next, Konatsu loses hope and wants to go home but Sawa talks some sense into her. So it’s just Konatsu and Sawa going out on stage alone. Konatsu is feeling jittery so Sawa calms her down by telling her to imagine the audience as pumpkin patch. Never seen one? How about watermelon patch? Okay, that worked. With Wakana playing the piano as accompaniment, the duo sing their heart out. The principal will be hospitalized for a while so he leaves the club’s duties to Takakura.

Episode 3
Now it’s Makoto’s turn to barge in while Konatsu is bathing. He tells her he and his friends are quitting her club and he doesn’t care if she tells mom about his porn. Guess what? It was mom that told her about his porn. Oh sh*t. While Wakana’s bicycle breaks down in the middle of the street, an elderly Spanish guy and his pet pig fix it. I guess it must be freaking Wakana out that she couldn’t understand a thing this guy says. Yeah, she reminded him of somebody he knew and he is bloody passionate about it. Better peddle as fast as you can away from this psycho! Konatsu and Taichi are called by Takakura to her office. Both their clubs will be dissolved since it doesn’t meet the minimum requirement of 5 members (Taichi’s the only member of the Badminton Club). Taichi tries to go recruit Wien and brings him back to his place. Wien gets freaked out to see a woman in her underwear in Taichi’s room! Did he enter the wrong room? But why is he doing a bunny hop out of the room?! That woman is Taichi’s sister, Haruka. Elsewhere the committee for the Western Shopping District are in a meeting to brainstorm plans for the summer. Sawa’s mom, Shiho suggests doing a music performance. We see Taichi against Konatsu in a badminton game. Whoever wins gets the losers to join their club. That will be 5 members, right? So it’s guys versus girls. Two versus three. Don’t blame the girls if they don’t know the rules but they’re serving 3 shuttlecocks at the same time?! Taichi returns 2 of them and Wien is supposed to take the last one. He did a smashing return. If only it didn’t hit the net. A lost is a lost and it’s natural Taichi feels disappointed because there goes his dream of continuing badminton in college and turn pro. Konatsu isn’t that bad so she names her new club, Choir And Sometimes Badminton Club (CASBC). Like its name suggests, they’ll do singing most of the time and badminton on occasions. Yeah, she got it all planned this way. In the event if the girls lost, the club will just be renamed Badminton And Sometimes Choir Club.

So the quintet submit their new club application to the principal in his hospital room. Though he approves it, he hopes they don’t embarrass him. That’s because he notes their Choir Club was once famous for winning the national choir competition and Wakana’s mother was one of his students then and in this club. Wakana seems lost as the principal continues meeting her changed his view on music. Takakura enters to give paper work for the principal to review and she isn’t amused that Konatsu has once more come up with something like this. She will not tolerate this nonsense and crumples the paper. But the rest are stubborn and won’t let it go. Wakana hands the application back to the principal whereby he puts his official stamp to officially approve it. Later he asks why Takakura is so against it but she didn’t reply. Konatsu is at the beach house and learns about the World Music Festival whereby each business in the area will pick a country and set up a stage based on that theme next to their establishment. Each business is responsible in finding their own singers and customers will vote for their favourite and the winner will perform on the main stage at the end of the event. Konatsu is fired up and wants to represent the beach house. Since their location is prime, they need to undergo an audition first. Konatsu, Sawa and Taichi being their audition but a pair of old Spanish grandpas add guitar and percussion accompaniment to turn it into a lively piece. Meanwhile Wakana is being harassed by the Spanish dude again. He’s not letting her go. He wants to talk to her but I don’t think she understands Spanish. “I don’t money”. Yeah, bad English. Maybe she should take up supplementary English class too.

Episode 4
Konatsu hopes the Spanish grandpas could quit interfering with their audition but they note they should be thanking them instead because they too enjoyed it. Konatsu realizes they are the Condor Queens she once saw on TV when young (and the reason why she loved music) but it seems they’re missing a member. You can guess who that person is, right? Wien sees Wakana peddling her might away from that Spanish stalker (he too is peddling after her). Don’t try this stunt that Wien is going to pull. He hires a taxi then when he lines up with the dude, he jumps out and tackles him! If not for the sandy beach, the injury could’ve been worse. Wakana learns he knows her mother and could’ve just avoided everything if he told her. In Japanese of course. Konatsu is willing to forfeit her audition for them and even suggests Sawa’s place for them to dwell for the time being (she lives in a temple). The Condor Queens trio camp outside the temple boundary as they note how similar Wakana resembles her mother, Mahiru. They wrote a song together and it became their hit. They consider her their dear friend and benefactor and even joke they love her but quick to dismiss they’re not Wakana’s father! But all that merriment fizzles out when they note how Mahiru is no longer with them so they go pay respect at her grave.

Because Konatsu continues to admire the Condor Queens, Sawa blows her top that she’s not doing any practice for the CASBC. Konatsu thinks deep about this while she continues to hang out with Condor Queens. They wonder if she wants them to give up their slot. Of course not. They’re not going to give up on the things they love. She might have a long way in life and not even graduating yet, but they’re close to graduating from life! This wakes Konatsu up so she goes to see Shiho to see if there are any businesses that still haven’t found any singers. There’s one. Konatsu runs down to the flower shop to ask if they are still available but looks like her run ran out because they have just been taken. She just missed by a whisker. Oh, that taker turns out to be Wakana. She returns to her other members and she picks out a song they’ll sing on stage (sounds like a Hawaiian song). She is fired up to win the event. On the day of the event, Condor Queens is taking the stage by storm. The quintet go to see them at the backstage during their rest. As the leave, the Condor Queens note to Wakana that she has given up on music. They remember Mahiru said she wanted to write songs that always fit, regardless healthy or sick, happy or sad. They didn’t understand what it meant and laughed it off as a crazy dream. Maybe she was talking about her daughter. They don’t want Mahiru to give up music. It’s not something she does or not. Music is a constant companion. They return her a letter that Mahiru wrote to them when Wakana was born. The quintet begin their stage performance. Not much of a stage. Not much of a crowd (maybe just a bunch of eager kids). But they give it all they’ve got. In the end, the Condor Queens win, Konatsu gets their autograph and takes a group photo.

Episode 5
The gang are cheering on Taichi in his badminton preliminaries. If only Konatsu and Wien aren’t that noisy. I know they’re giving him their support but this? Wakana doesn’t feel good so she takes her leave. As Taichi continues his match, the girls even put up am odd but cute cheering dance! Unfortunately Taichi lost in the quarter-finals. He needs to be in the top 4 to advance. Sawa goes to talk to Taichi (he is giving an excuse he is doing visualization training). She asks why he didn’t enter a high school with badminton programme since he has been playing since young. Let’s say that there was somebody in the club he admired when it had more members in it then. Wakana accidentally meets Shiho in the streets and helps her home (since she got slightly injured from her surfing wipe-out). She shows her old pictures when she was a student of Shirahamazaka and the Choir Club. Mahiru is her senior and Takakura was also part of the club. This picture was taken after they won the national competition. Shiho will make a copy of it and wonders if Mahiru ever told her about this. Wakana remembers Mahiru’s illness was never told to her because she was in the midst of an exam. It came too late when she died. She further remembers visiting mom at hospital. She was cheery and wanted to write a song together but Wakana scoffed it off that she doesn’t have time for that due to her exams. Wakana showed her grumpy attitude each time Mahiru fooled around instead of teaching her seriously. What she was trying to say is that music will still be around after exams and will always be her companion. To Wakana, all that doesn’t really matter if she doesn’t ace her exams.

Wakana talks to Keisuke about getting rid of some of the extra stuffs in her room. Especially the piano. It’s not like she has been playing it and thinks it will be of better use in somebody else’s hands. Next morning as Wakana packs her unneeded stuffs, she remembers a little goldfish (or was it a whale) memento Mahiru gave to her. I guess she doesn’t need it too. A sign that she has moved on? Keisuke leaves for his business trip and Wakana continues her daily life. She turns down Wien’s suggestion for the club to celebrate Taichi’s success in the top eight. Not even the girls can convince her. I don’t think it’s the cake problem… Wakana returns home and finds the piano removed. Her room feels so spacious now, eh? But why does it feel so empty? Then she realizes her pet cat Dora is missing and the storm is coming. While searching for the feline, she remembers arguing with mommy from just about anything before her death. Mahiru continued to be understanding and patient. Then during a school interview, the bad news is suddenly delivered to her. Wakana couldn’t accept reality and broke into tears. She regretted that she never said goodbye earlier in the day when she left and that they couldn’t sing together anymore.

Episode 6
When Keisuke comes home, he panics to see Wakana on the floor unconscious. She got a cold while trying to find Dora in the rain. Well, I don’t know where the cat went but it’s back on its own. Though her cold subsides, she skips school to recuperate. Konatsu pays her a visit and she thought Wakana was going to commit suicide when she sees her standing by the cliff. Konatsu bloopers herself and got all wet when she fell into a puddle. As they talk, Wakana remembers about her promise to write a song with Mahiru but was too busy thinking about herself. But for Konatsu, she feels that sometimes it’s a good thing a promise was never fulfilled because it always reminded her of her late grandpa. Later Shiho gives the copy of the photo and also a cassette tape containing the Choir Club’s practice before the national competition. Sawa lets Wakana ride Sabure and tells of her goal to ride it into a mounted archery competition this year. However her dad doesn’t approve her of becoming an equestrian and would prefer her to be in the government sector even if she doesn’t want to succeed him in the temple business. That’s why they’re both not on talking terms. Next morning Wakana leaves early for practice and leaves Keisuke’s breakfast in the microwave oven. It’s a loaf of bread. Not even toasted. What was he expecting? Wakana sees a hilarious scene upon entering her club room. Taichi balancing books on his head while in a horse riding posture and at the same time Wien holding on to Taichi’s feet and doing leg-ups. WTF?! Can’t blame her if she can’t contain her laughter.

Wakana remembers a vocal training with Mahiru. The little girl was making a ‘scary face’ while practising so mother advises her to treat vocal exercise as a song and to relax. Sing as if she’s trying to tell someone she loves in a faraway land that what she’s doing is fun. Wakana demonstrates using emotion in her vocal exercise to the voice and the guys learn something important. Takahashi invites Wakana to her place to catch a glimpse of her newly born baby boy. Then when she comes home, Keisuke has made a feast in hopes that this motivation will mend her lazy ways of breakfast-in-a-microwave-oven. But Wakana knows this is their wedding anniversary and she remembers it since it’s close to her birthday. Keisuke tells Wakana that it was Mahiru who proposed to him. Don’t believe? Wakana changes the subject asking why Mahiru never told her about her illness. If she had, they could’ve kept their promise. Flashback reveals Mahiru didn’t want her daughter to know because she’s facing the entrance exams and knows she’ll get sad easily. Because they promised to write a song together, she didn’t want the song to be a sad one but of kindness and strength. It hit Wakana that Mahiru loved her so much and yet she threw away her feelings and everything associated with her. She feels guilty and breaks down. Keisuke hands over an unfinished song written by Mahiru. She was waiting for Wakana to come to terms with things so she could finish it and holding on to them. Though he knows nothing about music, he would like to hear her finished piece. As for the piano, he never really gave it away. How could he? It was the piano that Mahiru used to propose to him. Even that memento is still around. Mahiru takes a look at the notes and breaks down. Next day in the club room, she listens to the tape and sings along with her friends joining in soon.

Episode 7
With Wakana overcoming her issues, she officially joins the CASBC. She has everyone hold their pitch and finds them all in harmony. They also discuss what they need to do for the school’s White Festival. Wien is still naive because he really believes the girls that the festival is due to a white rhinoceros being kept in school’s basement and once in a while they need to let it out. Nothing conclusive so far but they know they want to go out and sing their best. Members of the Vocal Club come in to take some stuff as Nanae Hirohata chides Konatsu for fooling around because unlike her, there are people in the Vocal Club who are seriously thinking about their future. Konatsu now really wants to upstage them. She goes to see Makoto to fill in application forms for the stage but it seems it won’t be easy because Takakura is running the show. When Sawa returns, her father confronts her about the mail she received about horse jockey. He lectures her about riding as a hobby and the realities of life. Sawa being the rebellious kid isn’t going to listen and she throws a tantrum by stripping herself to make it a point that she will give everything back for the tuition fees he paid for her. Though Shiho was nice enough to let her daughter go, she cautions the world of winning and losing isn’t as nice as she thinks. Before Wakana leaves for school, her father gives her several tickets to a musical he got from the sake shop. Wakana invites Sawa and Konatsu to the concert but Sawa doesn’t feel like it and excuses herself. Konatsu concludes she must be in love. Maybe she should think harder.

Takakura sees the principal about CASBC wanting to use the main stage so he leaves it in her hands to manage everything. Later he is being visited by the school’s chairman. Something fishy is brewing because he mentions he is concerned about something affecting his business plan and the road map has been slightly accelerated. He ‘advises’ if he wants a comfortable retirement, he must work for it. Sawa continues not to be on talking terms with her dad and worse, she goes dieting. So it’s natural that she can’t perform well in practice. Konatsu spies on her and hears her talking to someone over the phone and wanting to be given a second chance. Maybe it’s love. The girls attend the concert and we see each of their different expressions. Sawa is spacing out all the way, Wakana enjoying it and Konatsu, there’s a myriad of expressions. Unhappy, cheerful and even falling asleep! After the concert, Sawa excuses herself to leave early since she needs to practice for a tournament. Wakana and Konatsu are at the bookshop and the former mentions how her mom left her a piece of music she wrote for her to finish. Sawa’s mind is so pre-occupied that she isn’t focusing on her mounted archery competition. Her feet slips and she falls off the horse!

Episode 8
Thankfully there are no serious injuries though the doctor did detect some malnutrition. Sawa’s father picks her up and tells her to give up on the tournament since they can’t be responsible for a minor getting injured. Sawa continues to worry because there is a maximum weight and height if she wants to be a jockey. So her dieting was not only to reduce her weight but to stop growing. She did make a call to the organization but it was discouraging. Daddy gives her that I-told-you-already lecture but Sawa wants to be left alone. The Vocal Club members are using the CASBC room because they’ve got approval and think they are more serious. Sure CASBC can use other rooms but they don’t have a piano. Sawa is still bugged about what happened to her so she lets loose her scathing verbal attack on the Vocal Club girl that they are unfair to take away their only chance. Then Wien suggests they could come to his house because he has a piano. It’s just 30 minutes from school. Taking a train, Konatsu tries to cheer Sawa up. She probably brought up the wrong topic of love. Everyone is surprised to see Wien’s mansion! Is he a millionaire? It used to be his grandpa’s house but for now they’re just renting. Even more surprising is the vast space in his room! Konatsu spots his Gambarisers action figures but Wien tells them not to touch them as they are very important to him. They notice the red figure is missing. It’s away on a very important mission. Anyway Wakana tests the piano and can’t use it because it is out of tune. Sawa needs to leave and Konatsu thought it’s that love thingy again. Sawa explains about her dream to be a jockey dashed. Wakana tries to impart her advice but it didn’t make Sawa feel better because unlike Wakana who can go back to music any time, if she steps back now, it’s all over. Wakana is glad she could do so because it connects with her mother. But if she had a chance to see her again, she would gladly give up music.

Takakura summons Konatsu and Wakana and wants them to withdraw their application. You know they’re not going to give in just like that, right? Wakana explains about feelings connecting and the joy of experiencing stuffs together, blah, blah, blah. That speech reminded Takakura of Mahiru. Those were her exact words. Even Konatsu had her share about potential to move people’s hearts. Takakura gives them a chance to participate in an audition. Today is supposed to be it but Sawa is missing and not picking up her phone. She’s locked herself in her room. Sawa sees an SMS from Wakana, apologizing if they have hurt her feelings but they would feel more confident if she was with them. Sawa then sees her father on the phone trying so hard to convince the officials to let her daughter become a jockey because of her love for it. He even chides for making up such ridiculous rules on diet and height. Well, so desperate that you might find it unbecoming of a monk to curse people. Soon, Konatsu leaves a singing message for Sawa and everyone had their share to sing. If this didn’t give her the motivation, then I don’t know what else will. So Sawa starts making her way to school but can she make it? Maybe if she rides Sabure. I’m sure you don’t often see a high school girl riding a horse through the streets every day. But time is still running out. CASBC need to stall for time. Wien was thinking about pressing the emergency fire button! But Wakana had a devilish ploy. She calls the school so the announcer calls Takakura to come to the office to pick up the call. You know how far it is from the main stage to the office? Once she reaches the office, the call is hanged up and she returns to the main stage. Process repeated. This didn’t happen once but a few times! Sawa finally makes it in the nick of time. Oh, where did she park her horse? In the bicycle shed… That’s one huge ‘bicycle’.

Episode 9
Wien is disheartened that all the letters he sent to Jan have returned. Wakana doesn’t know how to write songs and asks dad for help. He too isn’t sure so she thinks she should ask Shiho since she was Mahiru’s classmate. Konatsu has decided to do a musical drama for the festival and even delegates duties for everyone. Shiho and the store owners of the Western Shopping District are discussing an event for the summer in the shopping area to increase revenue. Shiho suggests local superheroes to put up a show and to hand out flyers. I’m sure they agree on that but regarding who to participate, suddenly everyone starts making excuses they have this back pain or exhaustion. Sawa then calls Shiho regarding Wakana’s request so it’s the perfect time for her to rope them in. Now that the kids have dig in their cake, Shiho proposes that if they would like to make some money this summer. She takes out the superhero costumes from the store and explains what they are required to do. I guess they need money for stuffs for the festival so 30,000 Yen doesn’t sound too bad. We can already see Wien so passionate in the role. Later Wakana asks Shiho about song writing but she isn’t really sure. She suggests asking Takakura because the song on the cassette tape was co-written by her and Mahiru.

Wien has come up with a superhero theme for everyone. He’s got it all figured out as they’ll be West Stop Rangers! The heroes of justice that will ensure you enjoy your visit. As for who is to represent which colour, Sawa liked the red but was warned by Wien that it’s the colour for the leader. He doesn’t mind stepping aside for her if she shows she has what it takes to be a leader. Or maybe he just wants to be red that bad. Better give it to him. So each of the colours represents some food and they even have the pose and lines to go with it. May seem embarrassing but Wien points out that being superheroes for little kids is an important mission. Wien’s serious tone has them think that something has happened so he shows them the returned letters. Flashback reveals when Wien was in Vienna, he made friends with an ill boy who overheard him humming the Gambarisers song. They both shared an interest in it and watched the videos. One day Wien had to leave for Japan so he left his Red Gambariser with Jan and promise to write. It was then the girls felt bad because Wien actually believed wrote everything he heard back to Jan. Yeah, the white rhinoceros too. Now suit up and practice! Meanwhile Takakura is surprised upon seeing a stack of documents. The principal has his hands tied because he too is an employee and can’t defy. Even though he is against it, there is nothing he can do. Takakura certainly isn’t thrilled. CASBC members are trying to traverse the tricky part of getting Takakura’s approval to work part time because school rules prevent them from doing so. They confront her head on and explain their need but since she is too busy spacing out and sighing, she stamps her approval without looking! That was easy.

Episode 10
Wien is really into his role and in the streets in action. The rest might be having second doubts if they can do this. They can still run. But they psycho themselves that they can do it and so out they all go to join Wien in this attention catching event. Shiho has managed to convince some of the guys to play the role of the villains. So it’s vegetables, fruits and curry against the germs. Unfortunately one of the ‘germs’ hurt his back so they have to retreat for now. Being old sucks. But the show is a success. Since one of them is out, Shiho needs a replacement. Desperate times calls for… She herself suits up and becomes the replacement baddie. The show is such a huge success that Shiho hopes they can consider and extend their contract. Though they will be busy for the festival, it’s not like they’ll be practising 24/7, right? In school, Takakura summons Konatsu, Sawa and Wakana to see her. Because Hirohata spotted them during their stint and reported it to her. They remind her that she was the one who approved it though she gave an excuse it was because they didn’t explain it. She wasn’t listening, right? She will let this go if she quits immediately. Wakana thinks she is unprofessional for going back on her word and that they are bent on completing their job. Wien is extremely grateful that they didn’t abandon West Stop Rangers. I think they better stop getting ahead of themselves and fill Wien’s head with more lies because he really wants to take notes of them! Takakura thinks back how she was writing songs with Mahiru when Wakana steps back in to show her the tape with their voice in it. She immediately stops it and admits that they were both in the Chorus Club. It was what the Vocal Club was called then. She did visit Mahiru once at the hospital but that was because Mahiru wanted her to. The reason she never told anybody that they’re acquaintance was because she had to respect the school rules and be fair to everybody.

Asking how they wrote songs, Takakura remembers Mahiru told her not to over think because music is about having fun with the sound. She tells Wakana that you don’t write songs because you have to. It must come naturally from the depths of your heart. Takakura leaves and remembers her only visit to Mahiru whereby she noticed she was writing a song that she hoped she could write with her daughter. She hopes Wakana manages to enrol in the school and join her club but Takakura reminds her the change of name of the club now. Because the club and the song were both essentially her original creations. She is surprised that Mahiru mentions she is glad she could get to see her one last time. Konatsu is so desperate to get funds for the festival that she is willing to sell her precious autographed album of the Condor Queens. Wakana apologizes for lashing out at her then but she is okay with it because the more important thing now is that they carry on. Because if they quit, it will be like Takakura has won. Wakana is confident she can finish her song by then. The West Stop Rangers continue to attract the crowd but at the end of the show, a thief steals Konatsu’s bag. Wien goes after him and the thief must be shocked that this guy can run. The thief is cycling by the way. Wien manages to catch up and tackle this guy though both are almost out of energy. The thief punches and pushes him away but Wien isn’t going to give up because he is the hero of justice. Then he starts singing the Gambarisers theme song and is joined by his fellow comrades. I think it would be easier if the thief just hands himself in. Their valour has earned them an article in the newspaper. Wien continues to write to Jan though he keeps the letters, hoping one day he will deliver them to him. Several conveyors are taking measurements of the school.

Episode 11
Wakana is making progress in finishing the song. We have a glimpse of Konatsu’s extravagant fantasy adventure play for the festival even if this is just her imagination. She’s really fired up to make this a success. Isn’t the play a little too long? Taichi is not happy he has to draw the background so Konatsu uses her convincing powers to persuade him to do it. This also made Wien to do his best to make props. While to trio are debating, Sawa listens to Wakana’s incomplete song and though Wakana feels it is not as grand as Konatsu might have wanted, Sawa is okay as long as she is happy. So everyone works on their part and Wien shows his miniature props much to the delight of everyone. This guy can be a pro. As for Taichi, we might not see what he has sketched but I guess it was so horrible that he was told never to draw again! I guess he can’t take such a defeat so he heads straight to the art club to seek the help of its president, Youko Mizuno. However she is too strict for an amateur like him that he is better off drawing himself. All is not lost yet because his friend Tooru Hamachi who happens to be in the club offers his expertise (he claims he wants to be a mangaka and live off royalties). But in exchange he wants a nice high resolution picture of Sawa. I guess we know why. Taichi goes to find her and sees her alone and sampling Wakana’s music. She starts dancing to the tune. Wow. She can be the next Flash Dance. She’s cool with the somersaults but it is Taichi who is caught off balance because when she flips, he saw what’s underneath her skirt…

The principal is with the chairman. Seems the latter is happy his luxury condominium project is reaching the next phase. All that is left is the consent of parents and students but the principal seems to be dragging his feet in making this announcement. The chairman doesn’t want delays that will be detrimental to his plan. Konatsu goes to see Midori Ueno, seeking her help for accompaniment for their play. I guess they lack manpower in their small club. However Hirohata reminds her they need to practice for their Vocal Club despite their song haven’t been selected yet and not fool around with amateurs. Konatsu chides back that they are even dumber since they can’t pick a song themselves. They also note Takakura acting strange recently. The principal enters the staff room to make his announcement but Takakura knows about it and doesn’t want to stay and listen. She goes to the Vocal Club. I guess when the cat is away, the mouse is out to play. Yeah, everyone is slacking without her presence. Get back to practice! However Takakura is in gloomy mood. Something is clearly not right. She didn’t even mind Konatsu’s presence! Something wrong alright. Then she drops the bombshell. The festival is cancelled. As the principal makes his announcement that they’ll stop taking new student applications from next year because due to the decreasing birth rate, it has led to an annual decline and each year it’s getting harder to secure funding. There will be temporary classrooms setup on the school grounds so classes can be conducted normally there. So the school is like dead now. With most of the parts undergoing construction. The CASBC members coincidentally meet and have a little chat. Then Wakana comes rushing in and is happy she has completed her song. Despite the festival being cancelled and school shutting down, she still wants to sing it with everyone. It’s not over yet and they’ll have their own White Festival.

Episode 12
The CASBC members discuss what’s left to be done and the worst case scenario if nobody turns up. But they having not to sing at all would be the worst. Later Taichi seeks Sawa’s permission to take a photo of her and tells the reason why he is doing so. She agrees and poses for him. As he leaves, he snaps a shot of her back as she was getting back to her practice. He gives this picture to Hamachi and he’ll gladly do the job. Taichi goes back to the club room and he thought he saw a personnel carrying away Wien’s box of props. He tells it to his members and they realize it’s really gone and goes to search for it. How are they going to chase after that truck? Meanwhile Konatsu is in a student council meeting and she wants the festival to remain. She argues her points why it should not be cancelled so everybody takes a vote (including chiding Hirohata for not putting her money where her mouth is). Sadly, majority didn’t approve her suggestion. By the time they’ve got Wien’s props back, they’re damaged beyond use. Taichi and Konatsu’s argument could’ve escalated if not for Wien starting to sing and thanks them instead. He remains positive that they can start over again. Wakana catches Takakura praying at Mahiru’s grave. She laments how Mahiru was the only one who loved music because the school was the only thing that connected her to music and now it’s going.  Wakana has Takakura sample her song and she notices how she could sense Mahiru in it. Wakana is grateful for finishing this song and having all the support that made her come this far. So heartfelt that Takakura starts crying. Wakana thanks her late mom because this song was what enabled them all to be brought together.

Taichi, Sawa and Wakana enter the club room only to realize Wien had stayed up the night before to finish his props. He wanted to finish the costumes too but Taichi says he’ll do it. Does he know how to sew? Well, he starts asking the sewing club for help. Maybe teaching him will take so long that the festival will be over so they all pitch in to help finish the costumes. Just remember to treat them. All of them. This is really going to cost. Sawa begs to some of the shopping district owners to advertise their play. Though they are reluctant due to some higher up directives, Sawa gets down on her knees and pleads that this festival is one of those things she cannot give up. If this doesn’t soften your heart, I don’t know what will so the owners at least agree to put up the posters within their shop. Konatsu hands Ueno the music sheet for Wakana’s song for the accompaniment. She also hopes Hirohata can sing together. After all, they’re from the same club before and knows she loves singing (though she may not like her). Hirohata continues to rubbish Konatsu’s suggestions and thinks she is more serious about music than her. The principal also tries to persuade the chairman to at least provide a stage since he doesn’t want to become someone who tramples on his students’ dreams. But the chairman isn’t budging and reminds him to keep all students off the school grounds by 5pm, Sunday and public holidays. Otherwise, those caught will be suspended. Besides, he spotted that poster in town and doesn’t want any unnecessary discord with the locals seeing that construction is also behind schedule. Everyone continues to work and practice hard but on the day before the big day, it starts raining heavily. Konatsu is praying so hard. Very hard indeed. They try to remain positive that they’ll respect those who come. There might be none at all. Sawa assures her father will be there. Well, one person may seem good but it may make their efforts look pathetic. Who cares? They had fun, right? And things were out of their control. It continues to rain tomorrow too. I guess God didn’t hear Konatsu’s prayers.

Episode 13
But the rain won’t damper their spirits as they make their way to school. However to their dismay the gates are chained and there is security at certain points. Taichi thought of climbing in but the chairman has been watching them and gets down from his car to confront them. Though they give an excuse they forgot items in their class, he knows they are here for the festival and reminds them this place is off limits. Because they remain defiant, he reminds them about being penalized which will affect their future. The principal then tells the kids to carry on their festival for the chairman has no authority to approve the festival or directly penalize students. Though he can fire him. He apologizes to them for never helping them out even though he was their advisor. He argues with the chairman that this place might be his asset but it means much for them. He pleads to let them just sing and in the struggle, he slips and pulls down the chairman’s pants! How did this even happen? I guess he’s fired. Then Takakura shows up and tells them that the Vocal Club and Wind Instrument Club will be their main pillar of support. She gives Konatsu the music sheet for the chorus and accompaniment and hopes she can be the conductor in the play. Of course. She also did some arrangements to send the security away. The chairman doubts anybody would come but he is made to eat his words when the crowd slowly starts showing up at the gates. And there’s nothing he can do about it. Go on and leave. Everyone makes the final preparations and the musical drama went well, much to the delight of the crowd. In the aftermath, we see the school’s construction going on as planned. The CASBC members talk about their plans after graduation. Seems Sawa will be going overseas to study in an equestrian school and be a step closer to be a jockey. Of course her dad still opposes it but what can he do when she’s already made up her mind? She leaves by next month and though she thought of dropping out from school, the teachers agreed to let her graduate. So it’s a tearful farewell for the friends when they see Sawa off at the airport. Wakana returns the music sheet to Takakura. It brings back memories of Mahiru. Whenever she’s with her, she felt talented but couldn’t walk the same path and felt jealous and ashamed. Wakana decides to dedicate herself to studying music. After the graduation ceremony, the gang takes a picture and send it over to Sawa abroad. They record and sing a final song for her. We see Taichi practising his badminton, Takakura tutoring Wakana music, Wien receiving a letter from Jan and goes on a trip to meet up with him and finally Konatsu in college is being suggested by her friends to join a club. Whatever it was, it brought a smile to her face. Perhaps something to do with singing, no?

Life Isn’t Always Pitch Perfect
So life just goes on for our friends. At least they have one final bang together. The entire story may not be anything extraordinary or provide us with something new. A group of friends come together with a common passion, each having their own problems and then overcoming them, a conspiracy from the greedy higher up that threatens to derail their very dream, they persevere and with the support of others they perform their swan song. Happy ending? Well, the school may not have been saved from its ill fate at the end but the final memories made then will always be treasured by all those who participated and watched. So which do you think will have better value in the end? You know the answer. And yes, friendship as usual is the main theme for this series.

As mentioned that the main characters each have their own issues to deal with, though it does provide some plot to the storyline but it sometimes also feel like a side distraction. Although Konatsu and Wakana’s issue were music related whereby the former wanted to prove that she truly loved singing and shouldn’t be singled out just because of a minor mistake, the latter had regrets not bidding farewell to her late mom properly and thus her aversion to music is like a self-defence mechanism whereby she cuts herself off from music. Sawa’s passion for horse riding and being a jockey seems to be rather out of place if you consider that singing has got nothing to do with it. Must it? What about Taichi’s badminton? Well, he was original from the badminton club so that is partly excusable. Wien and his friend Jan? Maybe it is the theme song of Gambarisers that connects them. I don’t know why all this time Jan kept silent without replying. I’m sure Wien has told him of his address before he left for Japan. Maybe Jan has moved that’s why the letters were returned. But all of them at the same time? It got me thinking that Jan may have received them but perhaps felt he wasn’t as strong as some Gambarisers to open and read them so he had them subsequently returned.

Sometimes I feel that Konatsu’s earnest character makes her a little funny. Perhaps a little airhead-like. Oops. Like how she thought Sawa was in love and was really worried over her and gave some advice to cheer her up. Wrong topic, wrong answer. Speaking of love, I thought I may be imagining things but is it true that Taichi did develop feelings for Sawa? There are a few indications like how he glanced over his shoulders just to glimpse her. Who wouldn’t love an athletic girl who easily does back flips and somersaults like dancing in air? Then in the final scene whereby they are seeing off Sawa, though the dialogue is inaudible, from the body actions, it seems like Taichi was confessing to Sawa! See the faint blush on their faces? However she didn’t give an answer that seemed to reject him. Because he didn’t make that gloomy I’ve-been-rejected face but something that made his eyes glimmer with some hope. Speculation time. Will she agree to it when she returns from overseas? How long would that be? My online research (read: lazy and brief browsing) did confirm that Taichi did have a crush on Sawa. Wien’s initial habit of writing everything down to eagerly take down notes blindly and believing it all to learn Japan’s culture is also another funny bit. I do hope that Wien has emerged wiser from his trip to Japan. Sometimes, don’t believe everything you read and hear. Overall, the CASBC quintet may not be the closest knit group in the history of animes focusing on a small group of friends, but at least you can see they treasure each other’s company.

The other minor characters were okay too. The principal was torn into doing what he believes and what is required by his job. So the poor guy got fired eventually and what happened to him in the aftermath? Don’t know. But at least he can now sleep peacefully knowing that he saved the dreams of a handful of dreams rather than his fat retirement plan. Where’s the happiness in all that money if you don’t have the happy memories to share? But to unintentionally pulling down the chairman’s pants feels somewhat comical. That’s the biggest slip. Like being caught with his pants down. Haha. The chairman may look like a typical greedy businessman villain. But when you’re in a corporate world, business is business. You don’t make money from your petty dreams. Can you blame him? It’s not like he really did some illegal moves. Takakura was shown as a strict and cold teacher and my guess she wasn’t just targeting Konatsu. She felt bitter that she couldn’t walk the same path with Mahiru despite being her friend. Her demise only enhances that as she wasn’t able to come to terms with her death just like Wakana. So how does changing the Choir Club name to Vocal Club do any good? It’s like sweeping dirt under the carpet. Ironically it is her students that guided her the way and make her realize that after all this time, she still loves music.

Even Hirohata had a slight change of heart in the end. Always chiding Konatsu for fooling around and comparing her goofing off with her so called serious grand plans for the future in the music industry, perhaps with Konatsu’s recent rebukes for being unable to decide to do something herself and always the need to wait for the teacher’s instruction, has left her to do some soul searching and open her eyes. See, even if they are in different clubs with different names, when it comes to music, their love and passion for it are the same. Sawa and Wakana’s dads may have different approaches but in the end you can see that they care very much for their daughters. The monk just wants Sawa to wake up to reality and not keep dreaming in her rose coloured fantasy so he had to be harsh with her. Keisuke is a total opposite and doesn’t raise his voice towards Wakana (he probably learnt this from Mahiru, who definitely had a sunshiny cheery disposition to turn rainy days into clear skies). He is quite easygoing. If only those heart-shaped bento meals he make for her didn’t embarrass her. That’s how he shows his love for cooking and Wakana. Shiho is pretty nice and sporting too. If she only didn’t have a penchant of smacking girls’ butts as a tease. What happened to Takahashi? After she gave birth, it’s like that’s the end of her role (not too sure about her appearance thereafter since I wasn’t paying attention to look out for her). Haruka? Weird girl who loves chilling out in Taichi’s room in her undies… You don’t see big sisters doing that very often, don’t you? Yeah, you won’t see such a scene ever again. Makoto? It’s funny to see him give in to Konatsu’s blackmail. I guess the blackmailing stopped. Either he stopped getting his porn fix or hid them somewhere else. But be careful. Mommy will always find them… I should also mention that the Condor Queens may be a bunch of old dudes but I think they have the wittiest lines in the series in some of their dialogues. That’s having a positive outlook in love despite knowing they can kick the bucket anytime! Touch wood!

There isn’t anything that stands out in the voice acting department. Except for one that caught my attention. One of the Condor Queen members (the burly guy who kept chasing Wakana on her bicycle and prompted her to say what I believe is the most ‘memorable’ quote of the series, “I don’t money!”), is actually Spanish. No wonder the Spanish sounds impeccable. Jorge Diaz is credited to that role and he seems to handle his Japanese lines quite well too. Now if only Japanese people can do that with English and not make it sound so Engrish… The other 2 Condor Queen members are voiced by Japanese seiyuus, Motomu Kiyokawa and Yutaka Aoyama. The rest of the casts include Asami Seto as Konatsu (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Ayahi Takagi as Wakana (Saki in Natsuiro Kiseki), Saori Hayami as Sawa (Ikaros in Sora No Otoshimono), Nobunaga Shimazaki as Taichi (Kaito in Ano Natsu De Matteru), newbie Natsuki Hanae as Wien, Atsuko Tanaka as Takakura (Caster in Fate/Stay Night), Akiko Kimura as Takahashi (Aoko in Tsukihime), Sayaka Ohara as Mahiru (Erza in Fairy Tail), Katsuhisa Houki as the principal (Jimbei in Once Piece), Chinatsu Akasaki as Hirohata (Yasuna in Kill Me Baby), Mamiko Noto as Shiho (Sawako in Kimi Ni Todoke) and Ayako Kawasumi as Haruka (Nodame in Nodame Cantabile).

I won’t go so far as to say that when the CASBC members sound bad. Actually they sound quite good but because I’m not used to hearing a mini choir group sing, so it sounds a little odd for me. I know it’s not my place to say since I don’t really have a good singing voice. Some of the songs that you’ll hear are sung by them. Like the lively pop ending theme, Shiokaze No Harmony. On an unrelated note, in the ending credits animation, we see Konatsu and Sawa sitting by the school terrace in the early episodes. Once their new club is formed, they are joined by the guys but notice that Wakana seems to be standing in a distance. As their relationship grows, you’ll notice the gap reducing and once her issue was solved and became a member, she sits besides them and CASBC becomes a whole. It’s like inevitable, right? Back to the songs. Of course, Kokoro No Senritsu is also sung by CASBC and is the special ending piece for the second episode (there is also an Asami Seto and Saori Hayami duet version) as well as the theme song sung as the West Stop Rangers, Nettou Hero Gambariser. We also have Asami Seto doing a solo with the insert song, Goin’ My Way and also a rendition from the Vocal Club. The opening theme is Dreamer by Airi and this rock outfit brings back memories of the opening themes for Hanasaku Iroha. Amigo! Amigo! is another of those insert songs sung by the Condor Queens and is in Spanish. One of the oddest insert songs I heard that was sung by the Vocal Club was True Tears’ Reflectia. Imagine trying to turn that pop piece into a choir. Sounds so weird. Sounds awful. Of course the final insert song for the final episode is Radiant Melody by the Vocal Club, a full-fledged choir-like piece with the wind instruments complementing the strong performance.

The drawing and art for this anime is your typical conventional Japanese anime standards. Everyone has that good looks. Girls look pretty and the boys handsome enough to please the eyes of those who love this kind of drawing. Some of the scenery and background are also gorgeous but not to the extent that you’ll lose focus on the story and keep admiring the backdrop, unable to peel your eyes away. Hah. I just exaggerated there a bit. Really. Good but it won’t win any awards. But if the art style of the characters is somewhat familiar especially to Hanasaku Iroha, then do not be surprise that the studio, P.A. Works is the one responsible behind both these animes. On a side note, True Tears was their debut animation production and they also produced other animes like Angel Beats and Another.

It’s odd for me to say this but as long as you like music, don’t let anything stop you from singing. Even if you have a terrible voice (like me). Remember the American Idol reject, William Hung? See, where his tone deaf took him? Even if it’s alone in the bathroom or the sanctuary of your room, it’s still okay to sing. Just that perhaps other people have more pleasant voice in the ears of others. How can you enjoy singing if you don’t believe in yourself first? I admit that recently for a long time I haven’t been singing my anime songs due to my hectic life (read: busy watching animes if I am not working). I wonder if I am losing touch with the harder songs that I took a very long time to practise with. Only one way to find out. Time for me to get a mic and let my voice fill the room. So much so everyone had to leave to make room for it! Haha! I hope one day I won’t turn into someone who loses touch with music forever. Otherwise I would be going, “I don’t music!”.

Anime Contract Kiss

March 9, 2013

Everybody who loves romance would definitely like a good kissing scene. Right? I’m sure there are lots of context, definitions and the go-about about kisses and kissing. But we’re not here to discuss about that. You know what they say about kissing as something sacred? Well, if that’s your first kiss you are saving for that true love of yours. Maybe. So it’s not the Asian culture to go around kissing people especially of the opposite gender because it gives out the wrong signal. Especially in anime when you see boys and mostly girls fluster (or jealously upset) upon seeing those lips connect.

So what happens when a kiss is not really a kiss? Like in Casablanca? No, not that. I mean, it comes with a ‘side effect’. The side effect being a contract. Well, it beats pen and paper, right? That depends. Because in normal contracts where you can undo it by just tearing it up, how do you undo a kiss? How do you un-kiss? So in this blog, we are here to see the animes with contracts that come with a kiss. Of course the kisses mentioned will be in line with the contract formed rather than those without. What do I mean? You know heroes would have multiple girls kissing them, right? Some don’t really form any magical contracts… Also, the kisses between characters are restricted to the main characters in the series.

Mahou Sensei Negima

Kissers: Negi Springfield and Asuna Kagurazaka.
Episode Kissed: 8.
When Kissed: Negi couldn’t defeat Evangeline on her own and with Asuna, their kiss was necessary to form a permanent partnership in order for them to defeat Evangeline and Chachamaru.
Contract Kiss Effect: A Pactio is a contract whereby it transfers a magician’s power to another person involved in the Pactio. The easiest way to form one is through a kiss. It is said in the anime that Negi had to form a Pactio with all 31 of his female students to stop some immense threat but as far as I know, only a handful of girls including Asuna, Konoka, Nodoka and Setsuna are the only ones having a Pactio with Negi.

Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

Kissers: Muneakira Yagyuu and Jubei Yagyuu.
Episode Kissed: End of episode 1.
When Kissed: While falling down from the sky.
Contract Kiss Effect: Muneakira has this mysterious ability that whoever he kisses, that person will turn into a Master Samurai and display incredible powers. A mark will be formed on the body of the Master Samurai as proof that the contract has been made.
Others Kissed: Muneakira and Yukimura; Muneakira and Sen.

Pandora Hearts

Kissers: Oz Vessalius and Alice.
Episode Kissed: 3.
When Kissed: After Oz falls into the Abyss and is on the verge of being attacked by a Chain monster.
Contract Kiss Effect: It provides a safe passage out from the Abyss.


Kissers: Takeya Ikuhara and Ren.
Episode Kissed: 1.
When Kissed: After Takeya saves Ren from an oncoming truck.
Contract Kiss Effect: The kiss is to confirm their Master and Slave relationship though it isn’t obvious in the anime because we don’t see any super flash or light or that strange feeling from within that something changed. No elaborate stuff here.

Steel Angel Kurumi

Kissers: Nakahito Kagura and Kurumi.
Episode Kissed: 1.
When Kissed: Nakahito is made by the bullies to enter Dr Ayanokouji’s lab. A tremor shakes the place and sleeping Kurumi is accidentally pushed forward, causing their lips to meet.
Contract Kiss Effect: A kiss awakens and activates this Steel Angel to life. It’s like an imprint because she becomes loyal to Nakahito whom she identifies as her master. So loyal that it makes it look like she’s bloody possessive of him to a point it is annoying.
Others Kissed: Kurumi and Saki (because no other lips shall come upon Nakahito’s!). In Steel Kurumi Angel Ni Shiki: Nako and Kurumi; Uruka and Saki.

Kamisama Hajimemashita

Kissers: Nanami Momozono and Tomoe.
Episode Kissed: 1 & 5.
When Kissed: Tomoe the sadist is watching Nanami climbing away from monsters at the bottom of the tree. She pulls him down and in order to save her life, she kisses him to seal a contract. They kissed again in episode 5 to renew their contract.
Contract Kiss Effect: Tomoe becomes her familiar.

Zero No Tsukaima

Kissers: Saito Hiraga and Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière.
Episode Kissed: 1.
When Kissed: As Louise is trying to summon a familiar in a ceremony that requires all second year students of Tristain Academy to summon one.
Instead of some cool creature she hoped for, it turned out to be an ordinary boy from another world.
Contract Kiss Effect: Saito becomes Louise’s familiar and has a rune mark called Gandalfr on his left hand that enables him to use any sort of weapon or item wielded. They also kissed a second time to renew their contract after he loses Gandalfr and his life against the Albion army.
Others Kissed: In Zero No Tsukaima F: Saito and Tiffania.


Kissers: Minato Sahashi and Musubi.
Episode Kissed: Twice in the first episode.
When Kissed: A pair of Sekirei twins engaging in a fight with Musubi. Minato saves her and he surprises her with a kiss.
Contract Kiss Effect: An Ashikabi (Master) ‘Wings’ a Sekirei via kiss as prove a contract has been formed. A bird symbol is formed at the back of the Sekirei after the ‘Winging’ and it allows them to perform more powerful attacks in battles.
Others Kissed: Minato and Kusano; Minato and Matsu; Minato and Tsukiumi; In Sekirei ~Pure Engagement~: Minato and Kazehana; Minato and Homura.

UFO Princess Valkyrie

Kissers: Kazuto Tokino and Valkyrie.
Episode Kissed: Flashback at the end of episode 1.
When Kissed: When Valkyrie’s UFO crashes onto Kazuto’s bath house home.
Contract Kiss Effect: In order to save Kazuto’s life, Valkyrie transferred half of her soul. A side effect of this is that Valkyrie turns into and 8 year old kid with a bratty behaviour to go with. To revert back to her adult self, another kiss must be done but this effect doesn’t stay very long often.

Rozen Maiden

Kissers: Jun Sakurada and Shinku.
Episode Kissed: 1.
When Kissed: Jun is in serious danger of being killed by another doll so unless he makes a contract with Shinku, he’s dead meat in his own room.
Contract Kiss Effect: Of all the kisses in this blog, this is the only one that doesn’t involve mouth to mouth. In fact, when one kisses the ring of a Rozen Maiden doll, that person becomes her medium-cum-servant in which the doll has the right to use him as a power source during battles. Also as proof a bond is created, there will be a ring appearing on the medium’s finger.
Others Kissed: In Rozen Maiden Traumend: Jun and Suisei Seki.

The World God Only Knows


Main Kisser: Keima Katsuragi.
Girls Kissed (Episode Kissed): In season 1: Ayumi Takahara (1), Mio Aoyama (3), Kanon Nakagawa (7), Shiori Shiomiya (11); In season 2: Kusunoki Kasuga (2), Chihiro Kosaka (7), Jun Nagase 11). In OVA 2: Tenri Ayukawa (2).
When Kissed: Unlike other contract kisses that I have mentioned earlier, this one is done at the end of the arc when Keima has ‘won’ the heart of the girl.
Contract Kiss Effect: Actually this isn’t so much of a contract because the effect of the kiss is to free the Loose Spirit that is possessing the girl. For each successful ‘capture’, the girl loses memories of what happened. Including the kiss.

Sealed With A Kiss…
This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive since there are probably some other hot kisses that I have yet to find out or discover. Heh. So whether the kiss leaves you with that fuzzy feeling or that annoying feeling because you’ve just entered into some damn contract that can’t be nullified, at least it isn’t the kiss of death. One thing is certain for those involved in a contract kiss: Their lives will never be the same again as before. So for better or worse, we see them all take up challenges and (mis)adventures that lie ahead. And from mostly what I see, many would eventually become a couple and have real feelings for each other. Well, that’s the one of the mysteries of a kiss. Yet to be unlocked and understood by others. So if you have a chance to kiss a girl/boy you love, would you really want to take a chance with it? Or just kiss goodbye to that opportunity? And how do you like your kiss with? Try kissing with a K.I.S.S. – Keep It Steamy and Sexy. Chu~ <3.

What the hell?! WHAT THE HELL???!!! WHAT THE F******CKING HELL?????!!!! Here, I thought there was this new special from the DVD for Amagami SS Plus and even if it turned out to be a picture drama, I really thought it won’t be that bad. I mean, despite having only 1 stinking episode, I was expecting yeah maybe I’ll get to see my favourite Haruka again for a short while.

But no… It isn’t really what I expected and the only thing that came out from what I expected is that this is a picture drama. So what the hell is this picture drama that lasts only over 6 minutes of ‘picture’ time all about? Apparently with Junichi and Umehara screaming the opening lines of “GIVE ME CHOCOLATE!”, one would have guessed the loser guys are still without girlfriends and Valentine’s Day is coming. So what? It doesn’t harm for them boys to do a little fantasy and simulation of the main Amagami SS heroines giving them chocolate, right? Right. That’s good but everything else seemingly goes downhill from here.

Instead of hearing the cute girly voices of the girls, we are made to withstand the torturous and unconvincing falsetto voices of the guys! YES! You heard that right. You thought you would hear Sae’s sweet and soft-spoken voice or maybe the lovely Haruka, the double-faced Tsukasa or even some tsundere-ness from Kaoru, Ai or glutton Rihoko. But nooooooo… All you hear is that bad imitation of Junichi and Umehara fantasizing of what these girls would possibly say when they hand their chocolates to them. Don’t you just feel ripped off? I watched Amagami SS for the girls and to hear them if I can’t see them. And what do I get? A couple of loser boys in falsetto voice.

If that is not bad enough, to add salt to injury, we only have one stinking still picture of the girls. And even that, it is just a head and shoulder shot. Man, and it’s not them in sexy poses giving us viewers the chocolate. I suppose this isn’t really an ecchi series but it makes you wonder if the ‘creativity’ of those loser guys is as lame as the picture the girls are shown. I mean, they aren’t that all pure and goody-goody, right? So I thought they would have at least imagined a little more daring pose for the girls. This is after all their fantasy showdown, right? Eh? How did it even become a showdown I wonder. Don’t you just feel ripped off?

Okay, so I admit that there are some cute moments when they try to imitate the girls and the heroines still look lovely as I remember them. Some of their wise cracks are also funny so it is not all that bad. Just lacklustre. I wish this could’ve been done better even if they have budget issues (just speculating) and couldn’t give us a proper OVA. All this has made me want to scream for chocolates to douse my frustration. GIVE ME CHOCOLATES NOW!!!! Or more importantly, give me back those 6+ minutes of my life!!!


March 3, 2013

“People die when they are killed!”. Hah. I can’t resist using that line whenever I remember about the Fate series. However, don’t expect any of such bloopers in Fate/Zero because it’s going to be grim. Much grimmer than before. This series is a prequel to the Fate/Stay Night anime and it tells the events that happened 10 years before that fateful tragedy that engulfed the entire city of Fuyuki in flames.

As those who are familiar with the series or even played the visual novel game that it is based on, the story line pits seven different Mages against each other in the battle over the Holy Grail. Each Mage will summon a Servant class, supposedly Heroic Spirits from the past to do battle on their behalf and the last remaining Master-Servant will win the right to the Grail and get any wish granted. Sounds easy? Well, the previous 3 Grail Wars ended in an inconclusive fashion. Meaning, no real winner is produced. So you can see why the lineage of Mages are getting desperate to win this fourth Grail War at any cost. Will a new history be written or will history just repeat itself. Well, the answer is clear. For those who have at least watched Fate/Stay Night, that is.

Episode 1
In this 47 minutes prologue, we go back 8 years ago at Einzbern Castle, Kiritsugu Emiya’s wife, Irisviel “Iri” von Einzbern gave birth to a girl, Illyasviel (Ilya). However he feels he has no right to hold her and will be responsible for his wife’s death though Iri accepts her destiny. She believes the Holy Grail will save him. Next change in scene to three years ago somewhere in Italy. Kirei Kotomine talks his father (in real life and occupation) Risei and Tokiomi Tohsaka about the Command Spell he received on his hand as proof of been chosen by the Grail despite having no relation to magic. He is given the basic explanation about the Holy Grail War at Fuyuki City, the summoning of Servants by Masters and how the Church will act as judge during the battle since Mage Associations tend to favour their own kind. They also discuss about the Grail that will appear in Fuyuki does not belong to the Son of God but too powerful to ignore it. They devise what-ifs scenarios should it fall into the wrong and right hands. Thus Kirei’s participation in this war is to assure Tokiomi’s victory though they’ll be acting as enemies as the Einzbern and Matou families have forgotten the wish they once shared. Thus Kirei will be transferred from the Church to Mage’s Association where he’ll become Tokiomi’s student for 3 years and study magic. Though Kirei still has his suspicions over why the Grail had chosen him, Risei notes he recently lost his wife so a change of goal in life may just be what he needs to recover. A year ago in Fuyuki City, Kariya Matou pays his childhood friend Aoi Tohsaka and her daughter, Rin a visit. But he is devastated to learn the younger daughter Sakura has been adopted by the Matou family. So he goes to confront the family he left, the patriarch of the Matous, Zouken (looks like that baby boss in Half Life) to make a deal with him. Knowing he wants the Grail for immortality and will toss away Sakura after he has obtained it, in exchange to release Sakura, he will win the Grail for him. Can somebody who hasn’t practise magic become a powerful Mage in a span of 1 year? But it is already too late as Zouken has tossed Sakura into the bug room! GROSS! BUGS CRAWLING EVERYWHERE OVER THAT POOR GIRL!!! I don’t know if she’s dead or alive. Of course alive but ‘dead’. If Kariya is serious in saving her and take her place for a week, he’ll consider. So be it.

Kiritsugu and Iri learn another Master has been chosen by the Grail, Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald from the Mage’s Association, Clock Tower. At London, Kayneth is lecturing the basics and importance of bloodline in magic to his students. The reason being he has read a thesis of one of his students of his ideas about wizardry in the new century. Something about those without the bloodline of Mages can also do magic. In short, he finds it a complete nonsense and a juvenile’s fantasy. That kid, Waver Velvet just thought he wanted to point out issues the Mage Association was reluctant to address. Unfortunately Kayneth continues to mock his stand and he became the laughing stock of the class. Not pleased with the way things turned out, Waver bumps into a lazy delivery guy who wants Waver to pass an important package to Kayneth. So what’s a vengeful kid got to do than to open the package himself? It contains a relic that is needed to summon a Servant. Then he researches on the Holy Grail War and finds out Kayneth is participating in it. He learns more, its history how the Holy Grail was founded by the 3 families of Einzbern, Makiri and Tohsaka. Since the Grail can only answer 1 wish, it soon turned into a big bloody battle. Ever since, the Holy Grail appears once in 60 years in Fuyuki City and it selects 7 Masters the right to summon their Servants of different classes to a battle to the death.

In a secret hideout, Kirei has his own Servant, Hassan the Assassin. Kirei and Tokiomi discuss the Einzbern taking in an outsider 9 years ago out of the blue. He is Kiritsugu and they think they must be desperate to win the Grail to cast away their pride in pure blood. Further details reveal that he is a skilled mercenary and earned the nicknamed of Mage Killer because of he has no qualms in using underhanded tactics to kill his targets. Since he lacks the pride of a Mage, it might be money that is motivating him. At the same time Kiritsugu is going through the list of known Masters. Apart from himself, Tokiomi, Kariya and Kayneth, he notes Kirei’s strange personal history. He seems to be working his way up the path of the Church but suddenly leaves it to join its secret organization. He was also once an Executor, another name for what Kiritsugu once did as a mercenary. He feels odd he one he masters something, he throws it away and moves on to the next type without looking back. Why is he risking his life for the Grail then since he has no wish and doesn’t believe in anything? Similarly, Kirei is intrigued with Kiritsugu during his time as a mercenary in warzones. It’s like he chased after death and was obsessed with it. His string of battles came to a sudden halt 9 years ago and must have found what he was seeking in the Einzberns. But what was he seeking in those battles then?

Kariya’s face is really messed up. I’m not sure about the bugs crawling inside the veins of his face!!! FREAKING SCARY!!! Zouken is amazed he could last for a year and had made some progress as a Mage. Waver is happy that the Grail has chosen him because he too has a Command Spell on his hand. He goes to have breakfast with his grandparents downstairs but in actual fact he has cast a spell to make them think he is their grandson back from overseas as an exchange student. Kiritsugu and Iri discuss the Excalibur relic. Kiritsugu notes that despite the Servants being heroes from the past, as long as they are Servants to their Masters, they are no more than just mere tools. Knowing this relic will summon him Arthur Pendragon and the best Saber class, he figures out a strategy on how to use this Servant. Meanwhile Rin packs her bags and is to leave with Aoi to go live with her family (the war is coming). She doesn’t like Kirei because he couldn’t promise her to protect her dad (Tokiomi) during the battle. She won’t forgive him if her father is hurt during the fight. Kirei sees Tokiomi and just in time, he has received a relic from the package. Kariya talks to Sakura as the latter fears he might be turning into a different person. He tells her he will be busy with an upcoming ‘job’ and once he is done, he promises to bring her along with Rin and Aoi to somewhere fun. Somewhere faraway. It will be like old times. He goes to see Zouken who has made preparations to summon his Servant. Likewise all the other Masters too prepare and chant the right verses to summon their very own Servant. If you have watched the prequel, you would have known Kiritsugu got Saber while Tokiomi got Archer (Gilgamesh as he was known and we are more familiar with in Fate/Stay Night).

Episode 2
Waver gets Iskandar the King of Conquerors who has been summoned as Rider. The kid isn’t pleased Rider is stealing books of… The world map? Preparations for war? Okay. But war cannot be waged without maps? Hmm… Maybe you need to know where you are and what you’ll be conquering. Talking about the Grail, Rider hopes he won’t wish for world domination because the world can’t serve 2 lords. Waver mentions his desire was to have everyone at Clock Tower treat him fairly but Rider slaps him for having such small ambition. If he really wants people to respect him, maybe he should use the Grail to grow another 30cm. Was that a joke or sarcasm? Waver is pissed and wants to use his Command Spell on him to show who is boss. But he calms down upon knowing one can only use it 3 times for absolute obedience. Since Waver wants a demonstration of his power, with a swing of Rider’s sword, a couple of heavenly bulls complete with a chariot zap down from the sky. Rider tells Waver to find him another Hero or two if he wants the Grail. Until then he shall entertain himself with the world maps. He loves maps, doesn’t he? Kiritsugu is spending some time with Ilya as Saber watches on. Thinking if this is his true self, she feels she might have offended him when he summoned her. But as Iri points out, it wasn’t the fact that King Arthur was a woman that Kiritsugu is upset. Rather, how the people around her forced a young girl into taking up the role as king and that she herself accepted that fate. Saber feels Kiritsugu and Iri’s desire to save the world is right because she too wants to save Britain.

The recent string of murders are done by this young adult name Ryuunosuke Uryuu. Yeah, he is in another one of those killings. Each murder has baffled the authorities because there are weird pentagrams drawn. Seems Ryuunosuke found out his ancestors were trying to summon demons and he thought he had to find out if they really exist. Plus, the media is labelling him one and if demons do exist, wouldn’t that be an insult to them? Yeah, he kept a boy of the murdered family alive just in case the demon needs sacrifice. Suddenly a Command Spell appears on Ryuunosuke’s hand. He has summoned Caster (fish eyes?). Ryuunosuke doesn’t understand this Grail thing because he mentions his hobby is killing. Especially women and children. Offering the kid as sacrifice, Caster surprisingly lets the boy go. When the kid least expected it, Caster unleashes some ferocious darkness to violently kill the kid. I’m not sure about his explanation about the more intense the fear, the more the emotions die and that this is the taste of fresh terror and death. Hell, Ryuunosuke doesn’t understand what is happening but finds him so cool that he wants to follow his footsteps. He couldn’t care less about the Grail as long as he could kill. Caster is glad his master is understanding. Ryuunosuke asks his name so Caster takes on the nickname of Bluebeard. Kirei has learnt the final Servant has been summoned. He sends Assassin to kill Tokiomi by infiltrating his house. Looks like he is going to make his first move of betrayal. Assassin waltzes easily through the magic field but when he gets to the main magic generator, Archer slays him with his rain of swords.

Episode 3
Tokiomi thanks Gilgamesh that everything is going as planned. His actions will prove further his status as King of Heroes. Gilgamesh on the other hand wants to explore this age and see what is important to add to his treasure collection. Failing which, Tokiomi will pay with his life for wasting his time summoning him here. Waver is happy that Assassin is dead but Rider doesn’t seem to give a damn. Yeah, he’s bumming around watching war movies. This is much better than that sneaky guy who posed no threat to him in the first place. He wants to buy those bomber planes too?! They talk about Noble Phantasm (special attack or ability that defines the Hero) and how Servants are limited to only one each. Waver mentions he saw Archer’s flashy attack that involves throwing dozens of swords at the enemy. Plus, each sword was different. The night was too dark so Waver couldn’t see any more details about the enemy. Rider then wants to go out. Seeing that not only he knows the death of Assassin, this means other Masters will make their move too. If they encounter any other teams, they’ll crush them as they go along. Meanwhile Kirei seeks protection in the neutral Church since his Servants has been killed. Risei allows him in. He assures no one will be watching this place because it will be against the rules and any Master caught doing so will be censured. Suddenly out from within the shadows, dozens of Assassins. Shadow clones? Seems there is a ploy to have Masters believe that Assassin is dead as this will let their guard down. Iri and Saber arrive in Fuyuki (Kiritsugu arrived 12 hours earlier). Saber mentions how Servants receive knowledge on the modern world upon materialization. For example she can pilot a plane if she needs it and just needs to let her intuition take over. We also learn this is the first time Iri has stepped out of her castle and she laments she is just a puppet created for the Grail.

Kiritsugu meets a subordinate, Maiya Hisau in a hotel and looks like she has all the equipment he requested for here. Does he really need all that firearms? Also, his plan of having Saber accompany Iri is to deceive enemies to think she is Saber’s Master. Maiya shows him videos of the incident outside Tokiomi’s mansion. She suspects something amiss. Since Assassin is a master of stealth and creeping in, it is hard to believe he was detected so soon. Like as thought his presence was expected. Plus, in battles among Servants, learning their identity is crucial. So why did Tokiomi expose his Servant for all to see? Learning that Kirei has retreated to the Church, Kiritsugu wants Maiya to send a familiar to keep watch there. Despite being a forbidden operating zone, he wants it to keep it as close without the priest noticing. Iri and Saber are together at the shore. Iri likes the sea but Saber doesn’t because it is where her enemies always come from. Then they feel a presence of a Servant. More like that Servant is inviting them. They decide to take up the offer. Elsewhere Rider and Waver are watching on top of a steel bridge. It is a strategic vantage point according to Rider. Waver can’t take anymore of this and wants to go home. Home to England. Regret getting involved in this war? Saber and Iri confront Lancer at the harbour and it seems Lancer had sent out ‘invitations’ to all other Servants but Saber only responded. Both Servants prepare to face off. Saber is more worried Lancer’s Master is nowhere to be seen and perhaps plotting something. She hopes Iri will cover her back despite all she can offer is healing as support.

Episode 4
While Saber and Lancer begin their bout, Kiritsugu and Maiya are keeping a close watch on their battle and the surrounding area. Kiritsugu spots Lancer’s Master and was about to take action when he spots Assassin watching from another location. Isn’t he dead? Assassin is supposed to be Kirei’s eyes watching the match. Kirei is reporting what he ‘sees’ to Tokiomi. Upon learning Iri is in the battlefield, Tokiomi thinks she is an Einzbern homunculus and that Kiritsugu was just a pawn Jubstacheit had in store for them. Believing Iri will greatly influence the outcome of this war, he wants Kirei to keep a close watch on her. Kiritsugu too doesn’t want Maiya to act hasty to take out the rest and for now just observe things. Saber and Lancer exchange powerful blows and due to the inconvenient rules of the war, they can’t conveniently reveal their true identity which isn’t something honourable for knights. Saber watches Lancer and tries to determine which of his 2 lances is his Noble Phantasm. Despite exchanging chivalric words, Lancer’s Master tells him not to delay and end the match. He gives him permission to use his Noble Phantasm. Lancer drops his shorter spear, proving his long spear is his Noble Phantasm. This spear can also dispel the Invisible Air that keeps Saber’s sword hidden. Now that he has seen her sword, he can estimate her attacking range and need not hesitate. Saber comes up with a tactic to slash Lancer when he charges but her waist got pierced by his lance instead. Iri heals her back to normal and Saber thinks hard how his lance broke through her armour since she was pretty sure it would deflect it. Wait a minute. Her armour is still intact. She concludes the lance went through her magically woven armour. She understands the secret of his red lance. It cancels out mana. So facing him with this lance is as good as being naked. So how? Saber makes a bold decision to cast away her armour but must cut him down first since her sword can’t defend against his lance. Lancer thinks it’s a foolish decision. Saber charges when Lancer suddenly picks up a golden spear from the ground. Realizing a Noble Phantasm need not be limited to just one, Saber although gets cut, manages to avoid ultimate defeat though the tendon to her left hand is severed.

Rider isn’t thrilled the battle may soon end. He thought that the other Servants will show up but fears at this rate Saber will be defeated. To him, it would be faster to fight everyone together instead of finding them one by one. After all, how often do heroes of different age get to fight each other? This is a rare chance for him to face up to 6 heroes. Waver thought they’re supposed to kill each other for the Grail but Rider tells him about true conquest. To win but not to destroy. To conquer but not to humiliate. Rider summons his chariot and will be joining this battle. Iri is baffled because Saber’s hand is supposed to be fully healed but it isn’t. Lancer reveals that she did realize her armour was useless before his Gae Daerg (name of his red spear). But had she not abandoned her armour, she would’ve guarded against his Gae Buidhe (gold spear). Saber realizes the red spear negates magic and the gold one is a cursed blade that inflicts wound that never would heal. Coupled in with his women-enchanting-mole beneath his right eye, Saber now knows his identity as Diarmuid of the Radiant Race, the first of the knights of Fianna. Since Lancer has seen her Excalibur, nobody will ever mistake she is the legendary King Arthur. Now that they know each other’s name, they can fight honourably. Saber rearms herself with her armour and they prepare to make their final attack. However Rider gatecrashes in between them. He has no qualms immediately revealing his name and class to everyone. I guess he is the only one who looks the happiest. And though the rest put on a surprised expression, none is as surprised and in disbelief as Waver. Just unbelievable.

Episode 5
First thing Rider asks is to give up the Grail and join him as his subjects for world conquest! Offer rejected!
Saber and Lancer think his interference to their fight is an insult for knights. So much for his negotiations. Lancer’s Master, Kayneth learns Waver was the one who stole his relic since Rider was supposed to be his Master. He is going to show him what a fight to the death between magicians is all about. Now Waver is wavering, scared sh*t in his pants. However Rider stands up for Waver. He commends the kid for being brave enough to ride into battle with him unlike Kayneth who can’t even show his face. Rider then calls all those watching in the shadows to come out or face his wrath. Archer pops out and is as arrogant as ever. Because Rider couldn’t tell who he is, Archer is going to kill him with his pair of Noble Phantasm swords. Kariya orders Berserker to enter the fray and Archer didn’t like the cursed Berserker ‘gazing’ to his eyes. He shoots his swords at him but Berserker swiftly grabs the first one and uses it to destroy the second one. Archer fires more but Berserker dodges or deflects them all. Now that Archer is so mad, he is going to unleash his Babylon Gate even further. Tokiomi didn’t like who Archer is acting so rash and uses his Command Spell to quell his anger and have him withdraw. Though Archer is not pleased Tokiomi got the nerve to order a king, he has to obey and leaves the scene. Suddenly Berserker goes crazy and picks up a pole to attack Saber. Rider observes whatever Berserker picks up becomes his Noble Phantasm. Saber doesn’t stand a chance and her head could’ve been knocked off if not for Lancer deflecting it. He hasn’t settled business with Saber yet and shouldn’t just barge in. But if he refuses to back down, he’ll take him out. However Kayneth thinks this is his best chance to take out Saber. Lancer’s pride as a knight wants to take care of Berserker first. Too bad Kayneth isn’t that kind of Master he uses his Command Spell to order Lancer to assist Berserker and kill Saber. Against his wishes, Lancer with Berserker charge at Saber. Saber wants Iri to run but she will stay because she wants her to believe in her Master.

Kiritsugu is scrambling to end this madness. He will take out Kayneth while Maiya attack Assassin on his mark. But that won’t materialise because Rider rides his chariot over Berserker. Berserker then retires from the scene. Rider tells Kayneth not to spoil the magnificent battle between knights with his petty tricks. If wants him to withdraw Lancer and if he insists, Rider will assists Saber in taking his Servant down. Kayneth has no choice but to order a withdraw. Both knights are grateful to him. Till the next time. Saber wonders about Rider’s intention when he first arrived. Let’s say he didn’t have any and the reason he interfered was because he believes Saber and Lancer should settle their business first. This is because if Saber doesn’t and undo the curse, her severed left hand will be a liability in facing other Servants. Whoever wins will face him. I think Waver has had enough for tonight and is out cold so Rider leaves. Meanwhile Kariya in the shadows is happy everyone turned and ran from Berserker (was it?) especially that arrogant Archer. He wished he could see Tokiomi’s disappointed face. He suddenly vomits blood (with worms!) and knows he won’t last long. But if he can control this, he can win. Elsewhere a subordinate reports to Kirei that she found a familiar sent to observe this church though it was outside their field. Ryuunosuke is thrilled in seeing the Grail War via Caster’s crystal ball and hopes he’ll take part too. Yeah, they aren’t special effects either. But Caster starts crying in happiness because he claims he has found his holy virgin, the maiden of his destiny. I’m sure Ryuunosuke is at a lost on what he’s ranting about. So Saber is his holy virgin? Did he mistake her for somebody or is he just deluded?

Episode 6
Iri is taking Saber for a spin! She’s drifting and loving it! Man, she’s good! I guess this is what happens when a countryside girl gets loose in the city. But they are stopped dead in their tracks when Caster appears before them. He has come for Saber whom he has identified as Jeanne d’Arc but Saber doesn’t recognize him nor have they met before. He is appalled she has forgotten about him and tries to make her remember by identifying himself as Gilles de Rais. He has been praying for her return and spent his life waiting for this miracle. In return for revealing his identity, Saber also reveals she is Arthur Pendragon and he must have mistaken her for somebody else. But Caster isn’t listening and thinks she has gone mad. Furthermore, he curses God for inflicting such a curse. He says the Grail War has ended without fight for the Grail has chosen him as his wish for her revival has been granted. Saber strikes her sword but misses. This is just warning. Noting her heart has been tightly sealed, he promises to return when he has made the necessary preparations. Assassin is thrilled he has killed 2 birds with 1 stone because he has located Caster and must tail him. Ryuunosuke must be happy with his ‘work of art’ but returning Caster is furious that God still wants to keep his beloved. He is going to create a hill of live sacrifices. That means a killing spree, right? Ryuunosuke isn’t so sure about going for quantity over quality. Lancer gets lectured by Kayneth about his actions that made him waste a Command Spell. His fiancee, Sola-Ui thinks Lancer did a good job and mentions Saber has been inflicted with a wound that will not heal so he can finish her off anytime. She also reminds him of the advantage he has over other Masters. Because of the special alteration to the usual Master-Servant contract, Kayneth gets the Command Spells while Sola-Ui acts as an additional Master and supply mana.

The alarm bell rings and there is a call to evacuate the building due to fire. Kayneth knows this is a direct attack by Saber’s Master because he would want to lift the curse as soon as possible. He orders Lancer to greet Saber while he will allow her Master to enjoy the magic filled traps throughout the tower. All the residents of the apartment are safely evacuated and the management is taking a roll call. Kiritsugu pretends to be Kayneth since they can’t remember every resident, right? Once everyone evacuates, Kiritsugu gives the order to blow up the entire building! He orders Maiya to withdraw for now but couldn’t reach her. She is in a fight with Kirei who knows she was the one who sent the familiar to observe the church. Maiya is injured in the fight but manages to escape. Assassin then appears to inform Caster’s location have been identified. Kirei reports to Tokiomi that Caster and his Master are the ones responsible for the murder spree and have been abducting sleeping children in the area. They have already kidnapped 15 kids and are using magic without hesitation and do nothing to hide its trace. Clearly they are violating the rules and must be eliminated. Since defeating another Servant needs another Servant, Kirei notes they can’t send his Assassin. Risei will allow a special rule change and mobilize other Masters to defeat Caster. Kirei returns to his room to see Archer in casual clothes bumming around. Yeah, he’s bored. He’s disappointed in Tokiomi for being boring. They talk about accessing the Root and this leads to Archer asking Kirei’s wish for the Grail. He doesn’t have any but Archer doesn’t buy it. If so, shouldn’t he wish for pleasure? Kirei dismisses it because he links pleasure with sin. Archer rubbishes his logic because only pleasure through evil is sin and no philosophy calls pleasure a sin. Archer finds him interesting and lectures him about entertainment, something he really needs. I’m sure a king like him has experienced all kinds of pleasure so he can give his 2 cents worth of opinion that pleasure is basically a form of the soul. That is what Kirei is lacking since he doesn’t see the form of his soul. He wants Kirei to start by joining him in his entertainment and though he has been given a mission by Tokiomi to watch the other Masters, he can do in between. What’s in it for Archer? He loves observing humans and is bound to find one or two who are interesting. Kirei agrees with his plan but will need time. Archer will wait. This way, Kirei may learn what it is that he seeks.

Episode 7
There is a large mercury ball in the middle of town. Something weird happens to you if you touch it. Risei informs all Masters a temporary change in the rules to cease ongoing combat and to defeat Caster. The one successfully exterminating Caster will receive an extra Command Spell, unused and left behind by previous Masters of the Grail War. But it’s just a ploy for other Masters to hunt and weaken Caster for Archer will deliver the finishing blow. Since there were 5 familiars on the scene, this means Kayneth has survived. Meanwhile Rider gets his first courier package. A t-shirt with a fitting motto of “War Tactics” printed over it. It’s amazing the shirt didn’t get ripped. Is it XXXXXL size? Watching Saber in her modern clothes gave him an idea since he too wants to explore this world. Waver warns him about going outside. Not without proper pants. Yeah, he forgot to order that too. He’ll buy him all the pants he wants if he defeats an enemy Servant. Kiritsugu discusses his next plan. Having Caster mistaking Saber as Jeanne is convenient but doesn’t allow her to fight and would prefer to focus on the enemy attacking Caster as they make better targets. Also, since her left hand isn’t healed, this could mean that Lancer is still alive. Despite the new rule, Kiritsugu can’t trust the judge because he is sheltering Kirei and is most probably in cohorts with Tokiomi. Later Kiritsugu talks to Iri if they could just drop everything and run away. Even if he says he can, she knows he is lying because he would never forgive himself for abandoning the Grail and fail to save the world. He’d take his own life first. They sense an enemy entering the area. It is Caster and he has brought little children with him to draw Saber out. He plays a game of tag with them. How far can those children run? How long will he take to catch them? Well, if he catches them, there’s a live demonstration something horrible happened to one of them. Iri orders Saber to defeat him.

Saber runs into the forest to see Caster and a child. The rest are dead. Caster releases him to her and while Saber tells him the path to safety, the boy dies when a monstrous plant bursts out from his body. And the other dead bodies too. It binds Saber in a strong grip. Angry with Caster, Saber will no longer fight him as she was fighting him for the Grail. Saber cuts through the flowers but notices his mana is not reducing. She realizes his spell book is his Noble Phantasm. A grimoire to command demonic legions his friend left behind. Just as Saber is about to be defeated, Lancer drops in for a much needed assistance. Both sides have their reasons why they want to claim Saber as theirs. Since Lancer’s order was only to defeat Caster, it’s best they cooperate. Kayneth infiltrates the castle with his mercury familiar to challenge Iri to a duel for the Grail. The place is besieged with traps but luckily the mercury protects him from all sorts of harm. He will now exterminate her. He comes into Kiritsugu who tries to make a run. Kiritsugu uses his Time Alter Double Accel skill to slow time down to avoid being killed. Kayneth knows this magic puts a strain on his body so he is confident he can’t run far in that physical condition. Kiritsugu is catching his breath hard and uses Time Alter Triple Stagnate to slow down his heart beat and breathing to prevent that mercury thingy from sensing his presence. He manages to fool Kayneth for the moment and pulls out his special pistol.

Episode 8
Iri and Maiya are escaping through the forest but Iri senses another enemy approaching: Kirei. Despite knowing Kiritsugu ordering Maiya to protect her, Iri feels Kirei must not reach Kiritsugu and vows to protect him. She wants Maiya to believe in what is to be necessary, not what Kiritsugu told her. When Kiritsugu fired his special pistol, the special bullet pierces through Kayneth’s magic barrier and into his shoulder. Kiritsugu makes his escape and Kayneth is one mad Mage. Kirei is ambushed by Maiya’s trap but she let her guard down thinking he got snagged by one of them. Kirei easily overpowers her and beats her up. Iri shows up and uses her magic to bind Kirei’s hand to the tree but his magic is so powerful that the tree splits. Saber and Lancer aren’t making any progress with the demonic minions. They need to dispose of Caster’s grimoire. The plan is Saber will make a path so that Lancer can run with the wind up to Caster and destroy the grimoire. They only have one chance. Saber sets the plan in motion when the demons attack. Lancer manages to cut the grimoire and turn all the monsters into a river of blood. As the duo face off with Caster, the coward flees by casting a red mist. Lancer feels uneasy as he realizes his Master is in danger. As a knight, Saber wants him to go protect him because they swore to settle matters as knights. Kayneth is weakening though his angry grows. Eventually he finds Kiritsugu and vows not to kill him so easily. Kiritsugu fires his special pistol once more and Kayneth is confident his trick won’t work a second time because he has beefed up his magic barrier. We have a short flashback of Kiritsugu meeting with some woman. She told him the properties of this special bullet. I don’t understand all that technical explanation except that it works very powerful against Mages. It destroys Magic Circuits and then reconnects them improperly. The more powerful, the more the Magic Circuits will lose control and they won’t recover as a Mage or human. That’s why his mystic code is Origin Bullet and has only 66 of them (I believe it was made out from his ribs). So use them sparingly.

The special bullet once again tears through Kayneth’s defence and it is breaking him apart. It’s like as though he contracted some sort of deadly virus. Kiritsugu is about to finish him off but Lancer protects him. He knows Kiritsugu is Saber’s Master and won’t allow him to easily kill his Master. He also won’t kill him and lets him live for now. He can thank Saber’s nobility as the King of Knights for that. Lancer takes Kayneth and leaves the castle. Kirei is interrogating Iri for answers. He knows she is not Saber’s Master because she lacks Command Spells. He knows the ladies fought him to protect Kiritsugu but wants to know on whose will they are doing so. Assassin reports Caster, Lancer and Kayneth have all left and Saber is coming soon. Kirei stabs Iri with his swords and escapes. He can’t believe these women fought him on his own accord and not someone else’s order. He believes Kiritsugu is just like him. Understood and acknowledged by nobody. Empty to the core. Saber arrives on the scene with Maiya heavily wounded while Iri has lost lots of blood. But no worries. Iri suddenly gets up. Iri remembers Kiritsugu giving her the Noble Phantasm called Avalon which heals all wounds. Since Iri will accompany Saber from now on since Saber needs someone to supply mana to her or the scabbard’s effects won’t manifest. Kiritsugu wants her to keep this a secret and not even tell Saber. As Iri heals Maiya, she notes they were lucky today to have fought against the Executor and lived. She is certain she can’t let him reach Kiritsugu.

Episode 9
A short flashback of Lancer’s life as Diarmuid. Fionn MacCumhaill, hero of Aillen and leader of Fianna got engaged to Grainne but it was Diarmuid that Grainne has her heart on. They both elope and Fionn sent a chasing pack after them. Despite Fionn recognizing their marriage in the end, he still won’t let go of the old grudge and thus Diarmuid was betrayed and left to die. Those were the memories that Kayneth saw. He is in a daze, still shocked from what has happened. He is strapped to the bed and Sola-Ui is by his side. Noting that his Magic Circuits are destroyed and that he can’t use magic again (his organs were regenerated by her and it’s a miracle he didn’t die), all is not lost as she is confident the Grail will restore everything to the way it was if they win. She wants him to give her his Command Spells and take over as Lancer’s Master. He refuses seeing Lancer won’t easily abandon him and swear loyalty to her as his Master easily. Besides, he thinks Lancer is hiding something because he doesn’t believe that he has no wish for the Grail. Persuasion failed. Time to get nasty. Sola-Ui breaks his little finger to coax him into giving the Command Spells! If he still refuses, she will have to chop off his right hand! Devil woman! Iri puts Maiya into bed as Saber feels the need to hunt down Caster soon before more children is sacrificed. Iri goes talk to Kiritsugu and it seems Maiya won’t be able to move for another day or two. Kiritsugu decides to hunt Kayneth down himself and knowing Saber wants to stop Caster, he reminds Iri that their goal isn’t to save a dozen of children. Although Saber does not doubt Lancer’s sincerity, if he betrayed them, the Grail War would be over for them. Sola-Ui summons Lancer and concocts her own story that cowardly Kayneth has abandoned the Grail War. She shows the Command Spells on her hand as proof she has become his Master. Lancer refuses to acknowledge her because he only serves 1 Master and that he is a knight before a Servant. Sola-Ui tries to persuade Lancer to work together but he is willing to not seek the Grail if Kayneth has abandoned this battle. Finally Sola-Ui tells him the only way to return him back to normal is to win the Grail. He needs a miracle. She even swears on her heart that she will seek the Grail on Kayneth’s behalf and not her own. Lancer notices the look in her eyes is the same as Grainne. All he sought for in this life was the loyalty denied to him in his last.

Rider seems to be making himself like home, drinking and laughing with Waver’s ‘grandparents’. Back in his room, Waver takes out his alchemist set and conducts experiments from the water samples he took from several points along the river. Most of the samples turn out to be spell casting residue and if he follows the lead, it might lead him to Caster’s hideout. Finally there is a spot that is clean without any magic remnants and Waver deduces this is where he may be hiding. Rider is eager to take on Caster but Waver cautions that he has the greatest advantage when it comes to territory defence. Rider wants to strike when the iron is hot. After all, territories can change within seconds in battle. Miss it and you might regret it. Rider and Waver ride through the sewer tunnels, crushing over the little monster familiars over the place. Though Caster is not in, Rider doesn’t want Waver to look at this hideous spot. Against his advice, Rider takes a peek and can’t handle it. It must be so gross and sickening that it can’t even be shown! Feel like puking? Blood everywhere… No time to get emotional because Rider just deflected a blade from Assassin. Waver is surprised because he thought Assassin had died. Apparently a few more Assassins pop up to flank them but they soon disappear into the shadows. Noting this is their territory, Rider advises it’s best they get out of here. Not before torching the place so Caster have no place to return and hide. Kirei reports to Tokiomi about the discovery of Assassin’s existence by others. Tokiomi wants Kirei’s Assassin to continue watching Rider to uncover his trump card but be extra careful.

Episode 10
Rin tries her hand in magic but fails. Tokiomi demonstrates and shows her how it is done by controlling his mana, be careful not to put too much power in it or it will backfire and most important of all, do it with elegance. It may be hard for Rin now but with hard work, she’ll be able to do it. She is after all the daughter of the Tohsaka family. In school, Rin is quite a popular girl. At least her classmates seek her guidance in doing school work. Feisty Rin was also cool enough to help defend her friend Kotone from a couple of bullies. When Rin learns that she will have to leave Fuyuki City with her mom because daddy is participating in the Grail War, she becomes upset that she is unable to help out and thought they’re just in the way. Still adamant in wanting to help, she goes through Tokiomi’s collection of grimoires. I don’t think those complicated stuffs are of her level. One of the grimoires got activated and tried to pull her in. If not for Tokiomi putting a stop to it, Rin could’ve been devoured by the book. He gives her a mana compass that detects anything with mana. If its needle goes out of control, it means that mana is beyond her capability and should be careful. The serial kidnappings of children in Fuyuki have become so rampant that it causes Rin to be worried for Kotone. She didn’t come to class for days and when one of the bullies went missing (though a funeral was held, his body wasn’t really in the coffin), she thinks it’s time to head to Fuyuki City by herself to look for Kotone.

Fuyuki City looks scary at night. It’s like a different world. Mana is everywhere.  Rin walks around to search for clues when she sees a strange guy with a kid out this late. He is Ryuunosuke and it seems he has hypnotized a kid to come with him. Rin follows them till she realizes he got another kid in his hand. Feeling she won’t accomplish anything at this rate by tailing in the shadows, she decides to go on the offensive. This leads her to an underground closed bar. To her horror, she sees Kotone and other children lying around with no response all over the place. Of course Ryuunosuke spots her and ‘invites’ her to join the ‘party’. Not enough people? Either way he’s not going to let her go. Rin realizes his bracelet is the one controlling the kids and focuses her magic into destroying it. The backfire causes a slight painful distraction to Ryuunosuke. All the kids awake from their spell and in a daze. Rin tells them all to make a run for it. In the aftermath, the police have cordoned the place off and Rin heaves a sigh of relief watching the events close from an alley. Suddenly her compass goes berserk and a monster plant drops beside her. Kariya saves her before she becomes monster food. Aoi is driving all the way to Fuyuki City unable to believe her daughter went there all by herself. She finds Rin sleeping soundly at a park bench and to her surprise, Kariya. Even more shocking is half his face has become hideous as the price paid for using the magic of Matou family. You offer your flesh, it devours your life slowly. Kariya lets her know that he will win the Grail War to release Sakura since Zouken only covets the Grail. He is confident Sakura and Rin will become sisters again and they can all play in this park like they used to. Aoi wonders if he is planning to die after killing Tokiomi. Life returns to normal for Rin. She takes her magic practice one step at a time, working hard to uphold her father’s teachings. Till then, she’ll do her best elegantly.

Episode 11
Saber and Iri are walking through the ruins of the castle when Rider rides in. He’s in his t-shirt…  I guess this means he isn’t here to fight and invites Saber to drink. At the open garden, they talk about the Grail War and he wants to ascertain their ranks among each other and to see who is more suited to be king of the Grail. Archer makes his appearance and it seems he was invited by Rider too when he saw him in town. Arrogant Archer didn’t want to drink from his cheap wine and lets them have a taste of his fine wine. Truly good indeed. But Rider quips the Grail isn’t a drinking cup so it doesn’t automatically makes Archer the king of them all. Archer asserts all treasures in the world could be traced back to him and thus each one of them belongs to him. Anyone who thinks of taking it is just a brazen thief. So is he saying if they ask, he’ll give them the Grail? If they become his subjects. Rider points out Archer doesn’t really want the Grail and his reply is that he has to administer punishment to thieves. Because he is king, he makes the law, he executes them. For Rider, his style is to take whatever he wants. All that’s left now is to cross swords. Saber is puzzled because Rider acknowledges the Grail’s ownership to someone else and yet he wants to take it. Rider embarrassingly reveals his goal for the Grail is true incarnation. Wasn’t it world domination? He won’t have some cup do it for him and he would prefer to that with his own hands. This is what true conquest is about. Saber disagrees his way to be a king. Her wish is that she wants salvation for her country and avert Britain’s destruction. Kirei reports to Tokiomi about the kings having their conversation. Tokiomi wants to distinguish the strength between Archer and Rider so her orders Tokiomi to send Assassin to attack. Regardless if Assassin win or lose, they have nothing to lose in this gamble since they’ll be able to discern Rider’s strength.

The conversation between kings continues. Saber feels guilty and responsible for the downfall of her country. Archer couldn’t hold back his laughter because she calls herself king and is praised by everyone and yet she laments it. Saber feels it is a king’s duty to sacrifice and ensure the prosperity of his nation. Rider thinks otherwise. A king does not sacrifice but it is the country and people that sacrifice for the king. That sounds like a tyrant? That’s because they are tyrants that they are Heroes. If a king regrets his rule or conclusion, that king is a fool, worse than a tyrant. Saber points out Rider’s crumble of his empire and dynasty but Rider doesn’t regret it. He may feel sad but certainly he would never regret. He won’t even undo it. By doing so would be a mockery to those who fought with him to build his empire. Saber adds only brute warriors find glory in destruction. She doesn’t mind dying for her just ideals. Even if it’s not how a human should live, being a king means forfeit being human. She doubts he will understand because he only seeks the Grail for his own benefit. If that’s the case, Saber must have been a saint in her life. But who will admire the martyr’s thorny life? Being king means to be greedier and more furious than everybody. He must exemplify all things, good and evil. That’s why everyone adores him. Saber’s righteous ideals may have saved her country once but what happens to those who are constantly saved? Saber may have saved them but she never led them. She never showed them what a king should be while abandoning everyone who got lost as she followed her own petty ideals. She is just a little girl bound by a false idol of a king who serves others but not herself. Saber is pretty stunned by his words. I guess she realizes there are truths in them. In fact, all. Archer couldn’t help laugh because seeing her anguish expression was really a sight to behold. Like a virgin getting deflowered. He likes it. Saber draws her sword when suddenly the place is surrounded by Assassins. They proclaim they are one but split into many. Rider offers them to drink and talk but Assassin throws his knife to break the ladle. If it’s a fight they want, it’s a fight they’ll get and regret.

Rider transforms into his battle gear and asks the final question if a king should be alone. Saber answers yes to that. Wrong answer. Rider will show them what it is to be a true king. Suddenly the field turns into an open hot desert. A place where his armies rode across this land. He can materialize this because it exists in his heart. Then he summons his army. They are other Heroic Spirits from around the world. Some are legendary fighters and they all are loyal to him. This is his bond with them, his greatest treasure, his path to kingship. This is his Noble Phantasm, Ionian Hetairoi. Every one of them is his Servant. Rider adds a king must live more vividly than others and collects the envy of all his heroes and stands as their guide. Therefore a king is not alone for his will equals that of all his followers combined. Rider orders his army to annihilate all the Assassins since they have a disadvantage of being in an open area with no place to hide. After the slaughter, they return to the open garden. Rider calls it a night and doesn’t acknowledge Saber as a king anymore. He hopes this little girl will wake up from her sad dream because if she doesn’t, she’ll lose that pride as a Heroic Spirit. The dream of kingship she spoke is a curse. After Rider leaves, Archer tells Saber she need not listen to him. All she needs to do is follow her own path in what she believes. After all, nobody would understand the burden she shoulders. Also, he enjoys seeing her face squirm in agony. So keep it up and she may be worthy of his love. After Archer leaves, Saber remembers a knight who claimed King Arthur didn’t understand his subjects. She feels those sentiments were shared by everyone at the Round Table.

Episode 12
Tokiomi and Kirei discuss Rider’s Noble Phantasm and they’re glad they have known it is on par with Archer’s. Should they have gone head to head with him, they might not be able to defend against it. With Assassin out of the game, Tokiomi will use the information Assassin gathered and mobilize Archer to defeat his enemies, confident a means to defeat Rider will manifest along the way. Maiya reports to Kiritsugu about Assassin eliminated for good. Kiritsugu summarizes the current state and location of the other Masters. He is baffled with Kirei’s actions because if he was cooperating with Tokiomi, he wouldn’t step out of the church but yet he went out and ambush his castle and Kayneth’s plaza. Archer sees Kirei coming into his room and notes how happy he is. Kirei is relieved that he has been taken off this burdensome game. They discuss about unused Command Spells that return to the Holy Grail should a Master loses his Servant. Then the Grail will choose a new Master and redistribute them to him. The Grail chooses the next Master it has previously found suitable thus there is a high probability an ex-Master will receive those unused Command Spells. That’s why participants in the Grail War kill enemy Masters rather than disable them. That’s also the reason why the Church protects Masters that have dropped out. Kirei believes he won’t be chosen again because if the Grail chose him to support Tokiomi, then he has fulfilled his duty. Maiya guides Iri and Saber to a new house, a Japanese mansion that they will use as their new base of operations. They check the insides of the rundown house and Iri feels it is too open to work her magic and needs a room that is walled off. Saber remembers the key Maiya handed her was for the storage and takes her there. Iri finds it suitable to craft her magic and starts making her preparations. Saber then asks about her not touching things today. She thinks she is not feeling well. Iri get permission to squeeze Saber’s hand. She has no power to even hold it. Because she wasn’t feeling well, she severed one of her senses (touch, in this case) so that it won’t interfere with anything she does. It’s an ability she has as a homunculus and she reminds she isn’t exactly a normal human so a normal doctor won’t be able to treat her.

Archer continues his conversation with Kirei. The latter thinks he is being mocked and his efforts wasted. On the contrary, Assassin’s death wasn’t wasted and paid off splendidly. The talk shifts to pleasure that Kirei is still having a hard time to understand. Archer points out that all of the Masters except for Tokiomi, he noticed has been somewhat obsessed with Kariya. He spoke of him in great detail. Kirei says the circumstances around him are complicated and admits he made a judgmental error as Kariya poses no long term threat and not worth the attention. Archer asks him to imagine a scenario if Kariya and Berserker survives till the end. What is the point of imagining Kariya’s victory? Archer points there is none. What he is trying to say is that the usually sharp Kirei would’ve immediately realized the pointlessness of investigation a Master that would be deemed unworthy. That was not how it went with Kariya. He abandoned his sharp wits and wasted time in pointless thoughts and didn’t mind if the effort was wasted. In short, he enjoyed it. Kirei disagrees that there is nothing entertaining in Kariya’s life but Archer feels he is viewing pleasure from a narrow point of view because he is confused and doesn’t understand. Kirei becomes upset because though Archer loves seeing the torment of others, to him that is the soul of a sinner and must be punished. Maybe that’s why he equated pleasure and sin together. Suddenly Kirei feels pain on his hand and the Command Spell reappears on it. Looks like he’s back in the game. This makes Kirei questions what he truly seeks from the Grail. He can only know that after he destroys 6 other wishes. Archer tells him to do as he desires. That is the true meaning of entertainment, which leads to pleasure and ultimately happiness. From now on, everything else is up to him.

Episode 13
Waver sees in his dream Rider reaching the sea of Okeanos. Next morning he has a ‘change of heart’ and brings Rider out to town. Meanwhile Ryuunosuke is disheartened that his works of art in the sewers are destroyed. Ironically he calls those destroyers inhuman. He thought they had too much fun and God punished them. Caster tells him God never punishes humans but only toys with them. That is because when he committed greater atrocities and blasphemies, God never once punished him. It was the Church and State to destroy him. The same people like them with self-interests. So what brought an end to his evil wasn’t God’s judgment but theft because the Church and State took his wealth and land after executing him. Ryuunosuke still believe God exists. He starts explaining how boring this world is and how one needs to find ways to entertain. There has to be an entertainer who is writing a saga for all the humans. To describe such feat, God is the only thing you could call that person. Caster wonders if God loves humans and Ryuunosuke couldn’t agree more because he writes the saga continuously and restlessly. He may love good virtues but also bad ones. Otherwise there’s no way fresh intestines could be so colourful. Huh? Caster admires his views but wonders if his atrocities would be a farce according to his viewpoint. On the contrary, God loves playing along with his antics. Caster takes that that both praise and blasphemy are forms of worship. He has a new respect for his Master and sees God in a new light. They need to stain His garden with brilliant colours of despair and terror. So the duo are going to begin the greatest entertainment on Earth as Caster begins chanting his spell over the river. Waver is at the library looking researching about Alexander the Great when Rider finds him. Yeah, he bought some video game and is eager to play it. Rider realizes what Waver is doing and finds it odd because he could’ve just asked the real deal in front of him. So was he this short as stated in the records? Well, no. But Rider isn’t upset and though people in power do want to leave their name in history for immortality, if it’s just his name and nothing else, he’d rather have a hundred of that to his life.

On the way back, Waver laments the boring person Rider is and even if he won the Grail War, he couldn’t take pride in it. He feels he should’ve contracted with Assassin. He is okay if he dies since he prefers to die in his own battles. Rider advises him this Grail War isn’t the most important event in his life but down the road, he’ll be forced into his own battles whether he likes it or not. Waver points out that he isn’t the only one who is dissatisfied with this contract and is sure Rider didn’t like to have a pathetic and incompetent Master like him. Rider takes out the world map and points out this is their enemy. He wants him to draw them fighting it side by side, which is impossible. The point is, against the enemy, they’re both the same. There is no point in comparing how big they are. Waver still feels inferior but Rider says that feeling is king’s quality because he may complain a lot but he knows how small he is and yet struggle to reach greater heights. When Rider mentions his dream of reaching Okeanos didn’t come true, Waver realizes the scene he saw was just an imagined scene Rider held very close to his heart. Anyhow, Rider is fine with a contract with him. Suddenly they feel something strange coming from the river. Saber and Iri rush to the scene and see Caster in the midst of his nefarious scheme. He is pouring and incredible amount of mana out. Caster gets absorbed by the giant monster surfacing from the river. Rider arrives and he tells Saber he went around telling others. Lancer agreed to help out and should be here in no time. Because Iri has fought Caster before she warns that the monster is currently maintaining its form via Caster’s mana but once it gets its own food source, it’s game over. They need to settle this before it reaches the coast and starts eating. But Caster has sealed himself within that monster so it won’t be easy to draw him out. Rider says as long as his Noble Phantasm is visible, he can thrust his Gae Daerg and destroy it in a strike. Rider and Saber will take to the frontlines then. Rider’s mobility means his road is anywhere but as for Saber, since she has the protection of the Lady of the Lake, no body of water can stop her. I take that she can walk on water! Rider and Saber being their assault.

Please! Einzbern Consultation Room 1
We take a break from the first half of the season to bring you this special from the DVD that lasts 10 minutes each. Here, we have Iri and her amnesiac student T-chan as hosts. Because T-chan is student number 0, she is nicknamed Zecchan. I later discovered she is Taiga Fujimura who lost her memories. They explain to us the workings of the Holy Grail War. So we are given the brief introduction of what is this war all about (the 7 teams killing each other for that single cup – you know this drill) and mainly the history of how this war came to be. The first war started out as an internal strife between the Three Families that discovered the system of the Grail. When they realized only one wish can be granted, they betrayed and turned on each other. Because 7 Heroic Spirits are required to conceive the Grail, they invited 4 other outside Mages to participate. By the time the second war came, the ritual turned into an all-out war and because there were no rules, everybody died in a murder spree. Thus the Three Families took precautions and establish precise rules for the third war which include inviting an outside third party, the Church to supervise the many Grail Wars. However the war hasn’t produced a single winner yet because in all 3 wars, everyone went down simultaneously. With no suitable to activate, the Grail disappeared from the world. It will take 60 years for the mana to accumulate in which a new war will begin. This segment ends with Iri and Zecchan discussing about Iri’s husband, Kiritsugu who is participating in the fourth war. Well, let’s just say she really loves him. Love is blind indeed.

Please! Einzbern Consultation Room 2
Now Iri turns her consultation room into a law office. No customers so far… The consultation continues with Iri defining the meaning of magic and how Mages preserve it by passing it down their generations that’s why bloodlines are important to Mages as each passing generation the Mages will grow stronger though the magic used by each family differs. Because magic is expensive to pursue, only wealthy and distinguished families remain in using them. Zecchan isn’t happy that Kiritsugu doesn’t look like a traditional magician because he uses modern weapons in his fight and no magic at all. As Iri puts it, there are champions of tradition, deviants of tradition and those in between. For example, Waver may be of the new age that values tradition but feels there are certain areas that can be revisited, Ryuunosuke knows nothing about magic while Kariya totally shuns them. Kiritsugu has no pride of a Mage and does what is needed once his enemies’ weakness is exposed. Next topic is about summoning of Heroic Spirits who are from legends and tales of the past. They are referred to as classes because one of the reasons is to conceal their real identity. Once their real identity is out, the enemies may use information to bring down him down which will be a severe disadvantage. After all, it is already written in the legends and tales of that Hero’s downfall. While Saber, Lancer and Archer are top combat classes, their ability to collect information is weak. Thus classes like Caster may not be strong in battle but his forte is collecting information. So simply being strong in the war isn’t enough to guarantee victory. Zecchan must have grasped the basics and probably would like to have a go at participating in this war and fight a Servant herself. She’s going to work hard and repay Iri’s kindness so Iri gets ecstatic and even quips her passion nearly turned her into a lesbian! She takes Zecchan out to drink. Only thing is she’s underage…

Please! Einzbern Consultation Room 3
Iri has remodelled the place to look like a kitchen. I don’t even want to know the ingredients she’s putting into the tea. Suddenly they receive their first customer! Wow! Who could it be? Erm… That’s Assassin, right? Well, whoever he is, he is still a customer. So we have Assassin introducing himself as Zayd, one of the many personalities of the Hundred Faced Hassan. See how he is stressing this point? He’s lost them. Yeah, he’s ranting on how great this Hassan guy is during the Grail War. So while we learn that this Hassan Sabbah isn’t just a guy but a religious organization (thus the reason why there are many of them and the separate multiple personalities is his Noble Phantasm called Zabaniya), Zecchan points it bluntly he is a fake among fakes! That must’ve hurt his pride. Even more so when Iri puts it he got killed in the second episode and tricked and used by his Master. Getting back on track, the trouble Zayd is facing is that he feels he has been used no more than for surveillance and can’t stand the slander of being called useless anymore. It’s not his fault. Suddenly Zayd finds himself in the dark room while the girls circle around him. They’re trying to question him if he didn’t do anything wrong. Hmm… His shady job, his snuck around coolly doing cool poses just to show off. So? Did he do nothing wrong? At this point Zayd is overcome with guilt and wonders what he did wrong. The girls relish in his reaction. Before he knows it, he’s back in the room and has repented. He’ll mend his old ways and wish to work for her by serving tea. However Iri says no can do because there is a place he needs to be now despite having his troubles cleared. He needs to go realize his ambitions as a Servant once more and to the battlefield. She knows he can do it. Zayd is touched by her words and encouragement and leaves. They ask him his wish and that is to leave his name in the pages of history as they have no name. Zecchan is excited that their consultation has saved troubled young men like him but Iri says they didn’t save him. You can’t change fate. The most they can do is listen to their problems so they can pass away without regrets. Zecchan becomes depressed but soon picks herself up and is confident the Grail can save anything. Lastly, Zecchan recites textbook style what she has learnt about the Grail War. I think I need time to digest everything. I’m puzzled because they say this Grail is the 726th when so far there has only been fourth of such wars. Iri is impressed with Zecchan and thinks she could be a good teacher. They’re going to work hard to bring success to this consultation room. Meanwhile Zayd is rushing along confident he has no more doubts and will earn Kirei’s respect. Suddenly he is absorbed into the wormhole whereby Rider is mercilessly slaying all his other personalities. You can’t change fate alright.

Episode 14
A couple of JSDF jet fighters are flying towards the monster. You think their missiles can work when the Heroes are having a hard time cutting it down? Thanks to its quick regeneration, it’s like wasted efforts. Risei feels the situation is going out of control. A thick fog is enveloping the river and there are more witnesses gathering. He feels the need to request aid from the Mage Association. While he handles the cover up, he wants Kirei to aid Tokiomi who is on his way with Archer to the scene (what kind of UFO are they riding?). Tokiomi wants Archer to eliminate the beast but he is reluctant to do the ‘dirty job of a gardener’. He agrees when Tokiomi mentions this is his perfect chance to show his true strength as a Hero since none of them can do it. Archer drops his swords on the monster but unfortunately it regenerates. Archer wants to leave seeing he has wasted 4 of his swords (he won’t take them back since it got ‘tainted’ by the beast). Tokiomi suggests drawing his greatest treasure to destroy it in a single shot but was shot down by Archer. He feels those words are insulting and should be punishable by death. Tokiomi is in a dilemma. Should he use his Command Spell? After all, all this was supposed to get him back his Command Spell but now it has backfired. Using another one would hurt his relationship with Archer.

One of the jet fighters closes in on the monster and gets devoured. His other comrade is going to avenge his death and fire everything he’s got when suddenly the jet gets taken over by Berserker. Tokiomi goes to confront Kariya while Berserker and Archer have an aerial battle. Kariya has only one question for Tokiomi: Why did he give Sakura to the Matou family. He only wished for a brighter future for his daughters. Any Mages with 2 children face a painful dilemma because only one can inherit the family secrets and the other must fall into the rabble. Because both his daughters had that high potential, they needed the protection that a Mage association can provide. As a father he couldn’t risk destroying the future of one for the other. No choice, he gave up Sakura for adoption and the Matou’s request couldn’t be more than a blessing. Kariya isn’t happy this will pit Rin and Sakura against each other. Even so, Tokiomi notes his descendents will be happy. Glory goes to the winner and the loser will rest, knowing it went to the family. Erm? Isn’t that a contradiction about his statement for a brighter future for his daughters? Tokiomi feels grateful to Kariya since he refused to carry on the Matou line magic, it went to Sakura. However he can’t forgive him for running away from the responsibility of his blood and death is the only answer. Enough talk. Let’s get on with the killing. Oops. Kariya sends his insects to devour him.

Ryuunosuke revels in seeing all kinds of guts and gore when suddenly he is shot in the stomach. Maybe he was too noisy that he was targeted? The monster stops dead in his tracks and Caster knows his Master is in grave danger. Ryuunosuke sees the blood from his gut and realizes it was what he was searching for all the time. Yeah, most beautiful thing ever? You could say it was right under his nose. The final shot to his head kills him and his Command Spells disappear. Caster is saddened over his death but will fulfil his promise by showing him the coolest parting gift. The monster starts moving again and grows stronger. Kiritsugu is revealed as the sniper and his next move now is to stop the immortal monster. They know the irreversible damage when it reaches the shore and the Grail War may even be abandoned. They need to destroy it in a single strike. A Noble Phantasm that is suited not for destroying people or armies, but fortified structure. Saber has that but Lancer’s curse on her hand leaves her unable to use it. He feels the need to show them the meaning of chivalry that they’re so proud of.

Episode 15
Rider wants everyone to regroup since they aren’t making progress. He suggests drawing the creature into his Ionian Hetairoi and even his combined warriors can’t destroy it. While he stalls the creature in his Reality Marble, he wants them to come up with a plan to victory. Kariya is bleeding like mad but his insects have no effect on Tokiomi’s barrier. Seeing the pitiful state he has fallen, Tokiomi gives him his final gift by burning him. Kariya falls off below. Kirei wanted to finish him off but remembers Archer’s words about entertainment and unconscious interest and heals him. Since Iri doesn’t know how to use her handphone, Waver takes the call. It is from Kiritsugu and he wants to know if Rider can position the contents of Reality Marble at a particular location. Only about 100 metres or so. Kiritsugu wants him to wait for the right moment when he’ll fire a flare. Rider is to materialize underneath it. He also wants Waver to tell Lancer that Saber’s left arm holds an anti-fortress Noble Phantasm. Lancer confirms with Saber this Noble Phantasm can kill the monster in a strike. However she considers this wound as an honour. Lancer as a knight cannot allow Caster’s terror to spread so it is not who should win this fight, but their knight’s path of chivalry. He breaks his golden spear to free Saber from the curse. Another problem creeps up because Berserker abandons his dogfight with Archer to attack Saber. Archer views this as an insult and he carelessly got slightly wounded by Berserker’s surprise shot.

One of Rider’s messengers appears to report that they can’t hold the creature much longer. Saber is having her hands full fending off Berserker so Lancer volunteers to take care of that pest. He destroys the jet fighter and Archer finishes him with his swords. Kiritsugu is at the designated spot at sea and fires his flare. Waver tells the messenger that is the signal for Rider. The monster materializes at that spot as Saber powers up her Excalibur that contains the hope of all warriors, past, present and future. Archer wants to see and judge her brilliance as a Heroic Spirit. In a single swing, Excalibur breaks open the monster. Caster is attracted by the light and believes this brilliance that blessed him and Jeanne. I guess that’s goodbye. Archer wonders if Rider’s opinion on Saber has changed after seeing her brilliance. He is still not convinced and that brightness is still what makes it tragic. Archer sees those tears she shed during her final moments as sweet. Rider concludes they can never see eye to eye but will settle this the next time. Archer allows him to retreat as killing him when he is not at his full strength will give him no satisfaction. Rider takes it as Archer is wounded from Berserker’s fight. Archer takes an interest in Saber and claiming himself as the only one in Heaven and Earth who has the right to love her in her destruction.

Episode 16
Kirei drops Kariya off at the latter’s home despite knowing he’ll be a threat to his master. However he is confused with this excitement he feels and does not feel regret. While Kayneth sees Risei to obtain the additional Command Spell for Lancer’s important role in destroying Caster, Sola-Ui is revelling in her Command Spells when suddenly Maya cuts off her arm!!! OH SH*T!!!Then she shoots and destroys the arm. Risei accepts Kayneth’s reasons and gives him the additional Command Spell. Soon after, Kayneth shoots and kills Risei. The reason being since he has only 1 Command Spell, he is at a disadvantage and cannot allow other Masters to acquire additional Command Spells. Lancer learns of Sola-Ui’s predicament and reports back to Kayneth. He is enraged he couldn’t protect her. She is now missing and because there was no proper contract between them, Lancer couldn’t discern her position. Kayneth is worried that she has the Command Spells but Lancer assures she is still alive because her mana is feeding him. Kayneth continues to admonish Lancer that he is all talk about his pride and thinks he was trying to seduce his fiancée. Saber and Iri soon arrive. Lancer learns they do not know about Sola-Ui’s case. Saber isn’t here to talk. She’s here to settle their match since the other Servants won’t be fighting tonight and will be on the defensive. This means they won’t be interrupted. Both Heroes engage in their honour fight but Lancer notices she is not using her left hand. She says not to get the wrong idea because using it will only dull her blade and a fatal mistake to make again against his spear. Thus this is the best strategy she can use to beat him.

Kayneth is appalled that Lancer couldn’t even beat Saber but his concern right now is that they should run and find Sola-Ui. No need to do that because Kiritsugu is nearby holding her unconscious at gunpoint as hostage. Kiritsugu throws him a Self Geas Scroll. From what I understand it is a magic binding contract that cannot be broken even in death. The condition for this Geas to take effect so that Kiritsugu can never kill Kayneth and Sola-Ui has Kayneth realize his fight for the Grail will end here. The honour match is interrupted when Lancer stabs his own heart with his spear. The Geas condition was to have Kayneth using his Command Spell to order Lancer to commit suicide. Lancer in his final breathe becomes enrage that they tainted his honour for their personal gain and curses them and hopes the Grail will bring only misery. With Geas in effect, Kiritsugu now cannot kill them. However Maiya snipes and kills them! Sneaky bastard! Saber finishes off the job since Kayneth is pitifully pleading to end his life. Saber is disgusted with Kiritsugu’s ways and now cannot believe that he will use the Grail to save the world even if she wins. Iri is also shocked and wants an explanation. Kiritsugu explains if only the Master is killed, the Servant would be free to form a contract with another Master. That’s why both Master and Servant must be simultaneously killed. He continues to add there is no honour and glory in a battlefield. It is hell itself and victory is the name for the crime paid by the pain of the defeated. Though his wish is still to win the Grail and save the world, what he did was employing appropriate methods at his disposal. He cares nothing about righteousness because it cannot save the world. He will make sure this Grail will be the last blood humanity will spill and will achieve it if it means staining his hands with every evil in the world. After Kiritsugu leaves, Iri collapses.

Episode 17
Kirei finds Risei’s dead body at the church and reports to Tokiomi who is visibly upset. Archer thought Kirei’s no-show of emotion was due to the fact that he didn’t have the chance to kill his father. Iri is healed back at their mansion when Maiya comes in with a letter from Tokiomi requesting to meet at the church to form an alliance. They discuss about him making elaborated preparations for the Grail War and if he is the one controlling Kirei in the shadows, all the more reason they can’t ignore this offer. Iri wants Saber to remember Kirei’s name for his is the man who can defeat Kiritsugu. Before Tokiomi proceeds to the church he stops by to meet his family. He talks to Rin, telling her to keep the Church in her debt. Everything else is based on her judgment and if she wishes to continue to be a Mage, she must undertake the responsibility of the Tohsaka family to attain the Grail. Tokiomi and Iri meet. He introduces Kirei as his student and once his competitor in this Grail War. Because 3 of the participants left are from the founding families and 1 an outsider, Tokiomi doesn’t want the Grail to fall to the outsider’s hands. Iri doesn’t want an alliance but a temporary ceasefire. They’ll settle things between themselves once other Masters are defeated. She lays down several conditions to work together. He must share any details he has about Rider and he must remove Kirei from the Grail War because there’s bad blood between the Einzbern camp and that Executor. Tokiomi seems surprised to hear this. When the leave, Saber rides first to check if the path is clear. Maiya follows behind and drives Iri home. Iri grows weak and explains about herself as a homunculus created for the Grail. That vessel for the Grail is disguised under the veil of “Iri”. She is surprised she could last this long. That’s why Avalon was left with her because it halts aging and has infinite healing powers. Its effects are what prevent Iri’s shell from collapsing. Of course the further Saber is away, the less effective it becomes. Iri is telling her this because she would acknowledge her and not pity her. Maiya promises to protect her with her life.

Tokiomi though would’ve preferred his dealings with Iri, dismisses Kirei from the participation. Kirei packs up but Archer comes to talk to him about his hesitation. Kirei gets a phone call and now he knows Iri’s location. Archer laughs and believes he is going to continue with this game. Kirei admits he once hesitated and did think of stopping and acknowledges Archer as correct because there is no other way to have his questions answered. He shows his arm filled with Command Spells. Before Risei died, he wrote in his blood a chapter from the Bible, Jn424 and Kirei took in all his Command Spells. Kirei reveals the truth behind this war. The ritual in Fuyuki is an attempt to open a passage to the Root through sacrifice of the souls of the 7 Heroic Spirits. Once can activate the Grail by killing all 7 Heroic Spirits. That’s why Tokiomi tried so hard not to use them as he needs one to force his own Servant to commit suicide once all the battles are over. Archer seems disappointed that this is all Tokiomi is worth. The both of them talk and indicate they should form a contract and be Master and Servant. Before Kirei leaves town, he talks to Tokiomi at his mansion. He gives a letter to Kirei that in worst case scenario, it leaves the Tohsaka family headship to Rin and Kirei named as her guardian till she comes of age. He wants her to train Rin as a senior apprentice when the Grail War is over. He agrees. Tokiomi gives him an Azoth dagger as gift as it symbolizes his mastery of the Tohsaka family’s magic and marks the end of his apprenticeship. As Tokiomi shows him the door out, Kirei stabs him in the back with the dagger! You can really say this is backstabbing. Kirei and Archer then make a pact and they become Master and Servant respectively. As long as Kirei continues to amuse him, he is okay to give the Grail to him as his reward. Kirei has no qualms in playing to fool till he seeks the answers he wants.

Episode 18
A little flashback at Kiritsugu’s past. He was growing up as a boy on a tropical island with his father, Noritaka as a researcher. One of the island locals, Shirley treats him like her little brother and even calls him Kerry (I guess his original name is hard to pronounce). Shirley is also Noritaka’s assistant in his research and has successfully created her first plant that will not wilt. Noritaka however has already reached his hundredth. He has altered the plants’ time flow and though they won’t age beyond their present appearance, they won’t die either. The question now is to test this theory out on humans. Shirley thought Kiritsugu should try planting one too but Noritaka forbids since it is too early for him. He only let Shirley tried because he believes she has the necessary knowledge and expertise. Even if Kiritsugu gets along well with the other locals, the villagers never liked Noritaka since he keeps all to himself. Even the local priest Simon hopes Shirley will stay away from his mansion for fear she might be possessed by a devil if she continues working there. Of course Shirley isn’t going to follow that and looks up to Noritaka. She believes his medicine could eradicate human mortality and just wants to people to understand that he is using his power for the good of the world. Even if Noritaka has given up on that, she believes Kiritsugu can do it. She also dismisses that she is her student and just an assistant. Her first flower has wilted. Next morning, Noritaka asks if his son had entered his atelier last night. Since he didn’t, he further warns Kiritsugu not to go to town today. Stay home. Shirley is late so Kiritsugu is worried and goes to town to find her. To his horror, he sees her killing chickens in her backyard and drinking its blood! Squirming in pain and trying to hold it back, she mentions all she wanted was to prove Noritaka’s research but it failed (must be some bottle Kiritsugu found emptied in her home). She wants him to kill her because she can’t hold back anymore.

Kiritsugu calls Simon and while he waits inside the church so Simon could go tell the villagers, he sees Simon getting killed by… Zombies?! Oh sh*t! The entire town is turning into the undead and the village is being burnt down. Men in cloak and suits are seen killing the zombies as Kiritsugu tries to run to safety. Just as he is cornered, a silver haired woman, Natalia Kaminski jumps in and coolly kills all the zombies with her guns like as though she’s a pro video gamer. Kiritsugu follows her and starts asking what the hell is happening. She explains the term of vampires whom they call Dead Apostles. They drink blood to reproduce themselves. Two groups are eliminating them. One, the Church’s Executors (guys in cloaks) who believes they have the right to kill anyone who defies the will of God. Of course this means Dead Apostles. Second, the Mage’s Association (guys in suits) who believe in keeping all secrets who create entities like Dead Apostles. In short, they kill anyone outside their circle whom they suspect of knowing such knowledge. They are the ones who set the village on fire. Natalia considers herself a salesperson for the Mage’s Association. Now it’s Kiritsugu’s turn to answer her questions. She wants to know the first person here who became a Dead Apostle, the medium that turned her into one and most important, a bad Mage who made it who is hiding on this island. I guess you know who that is. Kiritsugu returns home to confront his dad who is burning away his research notes. He wants to know why he is researching on Dead Apostles because Shirley used the magic on herself. He also wonders if he will use him one day like he did with Shirley. Noritaka regrets what happened and that it isn’t his intention but it means Shirley gave him her early answer. A Dead Apostle is a failure since it can’t control its blood lust. Since his research requires unlimited time and they can’t reach the Root with a mortal body, the failure of this time consuming research means he’ll need to rewrite his theory from scratch. He knows this would happen and has prepared an escape boat for them. However Kiritsugu coldly kills him with several gun shots. Natalia thought it was a weak excuse for a kid to kill his father since had he escaped, he would’ve continued his Dead Apostle research elsewhere. She will help him get off the island but what he does after that is up to him. Everything in the village is burnt to the ground while the duo leave the island on the motorboat. Kiritsugu decides to take nothing with him.

Episode 19
For the next several years, Natalia takes Kiritsugu under her wing and this means following her path as a bounty hunter. He was trained from how to assemble a gun and following her around the world to assassinate targets. She notes how he is aptly named because his name means cut and fasten. She was also the one who gave him the special bullets. As Kiritsugu follows Natalia around in her job, he learns that tragedies still occur in the world. I guess he was naïve when he killed his father thinking it would stop all evil. Natalia even ‘joked’ unless he got rid of every scum then it would be possible. Kiritsugu is also thought about survival and doing what it takes to survive and along the way picked up smoking from her (she didn’t give a damn. Hey, who is she? His mother?). One day Natalia got a request from the Mage’s Association to assassinate a Mage named Vorak. Apparently he is a Dead Apostle who uses bees as his familiar. Let’s say he’s such a dangerous guy that he upended the last town and a high bounty is placed on his head. So dangerous that he was one of the few failures in Natalia’s record. Now she gets the chance to clean up her own mess. They both cooperate and make plans to take not only Vorak out but his allies who are waiting at New York. While Natalia boards the same plane with Vorak, Kiritsugu is already in New York making the necessary moves. Suddenly it seemed so easy because Natalia just cast a spell behind Vorak’s seat and he just died. Kiritsugu has also taken out his allies. As Natalia neutralizes his bee familiars in the compartment she notices that the air stewardess is acting strange. Everyone on this plane has turned into a ghoul since Vorak had kept bee familiars inside his body too. Didn’t see that one coming. And Natalia didn’t make any preparations to skydive.

Somehow Natalia manages to make her way to the cockpit, re-establish communications to inform the control tower for an emergency landing and use all her knowledge she has to pilot the plane. Just a thick door separates her from being devoured by the 300 odd crew and passengers. Scary, huh? Kiritsugu isn’t just going to wait and pray for a miracle as he too makes haste on his preparations. Within the final few minutes before Natalia lands, the duo talk about how Kiritsugu had lots of potential as a killer because he was able to separate his feelings when he pulled the trigger (something that most killers take years to do), the gratitude of teaching him to survive and thus she is like a mother to him and the possibility of what she’ll do if she quits or retires (probably play that mother part). By now you could’ve guessed that the preparations Kiritsugu had been making by renting a boat out to sea and loading his bazooka is to blast the plane out of the sky! And he pulls the trigger without hesitation. BOOM! On the verge of losing his sanity, he feels what he did is right and didn’t mess up like Shirley’s case. For if Natalia had successfully landed, there is no telling how many more people might’ve turned into ghouls. So her sacrifice prevented that. Then he loses it and screams from the top of his lungs. I guess nobody can see him go crazy at sea. Then he hardens his heart. No more emotions. No more his naïve justice. Just like how we know him.

Episode 20
Kiritsugu visits Iri who is resting back at their house. She returns Avalon to him because he’ll need it. I guess when people are close to death, they get sentimental. Iri talks about being happy with him for 9 years and to guide Ilya and perhaps bring her to this country one day. Kiritsugu orders Maiya to continue and watch over Iri. He predicts a fight between Saber and Rider will occur and Archer will intervene. That’s why he is going to assassinate Tokiomi. But as he is staking out his house, he realizes something amiss. There is no magic barrier. He heads inside and sees blood stains on the carpet. Using some spray, he concludes it is Tokiomi’s blood and he has been killed. Saber heads over to Rider’s base but doesn’t sense his presence. Actually Waver is resting at the place where he first summoned Rider to replenish his mana. He knows he has exhausted them after the river battle. Waver is willing to have him use his mana then but Rider won’t put his Master’s life in danger. Because Waver is determined to fight and win the Grail, Rider mentions if that only exists. Just like him, Rider too fought for something that may not have existed: Okeanos. He told his people he would show it to them and they blindly believed and followed him. Many died along the way. When he came to this world, he saw the map and realized the world was round. It hit him and felt like a bad joke but had no choice but to accept it. He is done letting people die for his fairytales but is willing to risk his life for Waver for the Grail. By night fall, his mana will be replenished enough to fight Saber though he can only use Ionian Hetairoi one last time. He thinks it’s better to save it for their fight against Archer. As why he is obsessed in fighting Saber, Rider feels it’s his duty to guide that girl the right path or else she won’t learn. Meanwhile Kariya wakes up from a nightmare from becoming Berserker’s sacrifice. Zouken is impressed he lasted this long and gives him swallow some worm. It is his trump card for this stage and it contains Sakura’s purity. It had been devouring her life force for an entire year so make sure to make good use of that stolen life force and acquire the Grail. If he can, that is.

Iri talks to Maiya about her loyalty to Kiritsugu. She has nothing else. She doesn’t know her family or her name. Maiya is the name Kiritsugu wrote in her fake passport. All she remembers is her country is extremely poor. So poor that it can’t maintain its army, ironically there were killings every day. Instead of training an army, they devised a cheaper and quicker method to kidnap kids and arm them. Maiya was one of them. She is dead inside as a human but her body continues to move. That is her way of life. Even so, Kiritsugu took her in and she allows him to use her in any way she wants. But Maiya is surprised that for Iri who has spent most of her life within the castle walls, why is she fighting alongside Kiritsugu to change the world. She admits she borrowed his ideals and doesn’t understand what he is trying to change but her true wish is to end all conflict. She hopes this will be the last Grail War and that she will be the last homunculus. Because if they fail, it will be Ilya’s turn next as it’s the destiny of every Einzbern homunculus. Their conversation is cut short when Rider barges through the door. Maiya is able to contact Kiritsugu so he uses his Command Spell to order Saber to return to their house. However all she sees is badly injured Maiya. She wants her to go after Rider as he has just kidnapped Iri and can still catch up. She will wait till Kiritsugu arrives. I don’t know how far he was but it is already night when he arrives by Maiya’s side. He starts to get emotional but she wants him to save those tears for his wife instead. Kiritsugu assures to leave everything to Saber and that she has served her purpose. With her heart at ease, Maiya finally lets go her last breathe.

Episode 21
Saber weaves in and out through traffic as she chases after Rider. Even going the opposite traffic flow! Not to be emulated. When Rider notices she is catching up, he decides to settle their match via race. Saber’s bike is at its limit so I don’t know what she does to power up. Now it’s one mean looking machine and a faster to speed to match its futuristic look. Rider isn’t going to play by the rules either so he uses his chariot wheels to smash the walls and send it crumbling to Saber. Guess what? She outmanoeuvres all of them! Eventually she catches up and they clash swords (albeit just one strike). Then Saber realizes Iri is not with them. Where could she be? She was so sure it was Rider who took her. Meanwhile Kiritsugu notices some oddities surrounding Maiya’s death. He tracks it down and it leads him to a Matou subordinate. He interrogates the guy for Kariya’s whereabouts because based on his deduction, Rider’s Master is incapable of gathering necessary information to find the place and Tokiomi is in no position to attack. The guy swears he knows nothing except that he saw Kariya leaving with a priest. That could only mean one guy: Kirei. Seems Kariya and Kirei had made a deal. Kariya used 2 of his Command Spells to order Berserker to masquerade as Rider (the appearance of the real Rider made it better for them). In exchange for bringing Iri to him, Kirei replenishes both his depleted Command Spells. The other promise is Tokiomi and Kirei wants Kariya to come to the church at midnight where he’ll definitely find him. Soon, Kirei senses Zouken’s presence. The old fart is amused to see what kind of tricks he is going to use to break Kariya. He admits he loves seeing Kariya suffer and is torn between that or seeing his clan win the Grail. He believes Kirei has the same smell as him because like a maggot, they are attracted to Kariya’s rotting flesh. Kirei attacks him but he turns out to be just a familiar substitution. Zouken notes he is still a dog of the Church and hopes they will meet one day.

Rider and Saber prepare to face off. Rider notes Saber can only truly shine when she joins his army. Waver realizes he was never interested in his enemy’s power or wealth. He sought to conquer their souls without destroying or degrading them. Rider charges while Saber power s up her Excalibur. The results? Saber wins of course. Rider is hanging on the tree with Waver in his arm. His chariot is toast and could’ve been the same if he didn’t leap off. Saber leaves as Rider apologizes for his failure. Waver wants him to use Ionian Hetairoi but he is only willing to expend his chariot on her. So I suppose it’s a long walk back home. On foot. Kariya enters the church and sees Tokiomi sitting in the front seat. He starts boasting about coming back from the dead till he realizes something amiss. He’s dead! In perfect timing, Aoi just came in and thought he killed Tokiomi. I understand he is panicking but couldn’t he just deny he was the one who killed him? Instead, he starts blaming Tokiomi for the cause of their suffering when Aoi points out he had to go this far to win the Grail. When Aoi says he doesn’t understand a thing because he never loved anyone, Kariya snapped. There was a person he always loved. The reason why he went through this hell. So when he is denied that, what was all the pain and suffering for? If he’s going to die then he might as well kill her too. And so he strangles Aoi to death in his fit. When he realizes what he has done, he becomes hysterical and goes crazy. Archer and Kirei are watching this ‘horrible play’ that is ‘written’ by Kirei. Not bad at his first attempt? Kirei tastes the wine and it felt different. Archer points out it means his horizon of understanding is expanding. Now that he has a taste of such wonderful taste, he would love to sample it again.

Episode 22
Waver returns home and grandpa invites him up to the roof to talk. Seems he knows Waver isn’t his real grandson. He should be angry but notes he and his wife felt happy recently. Also, it’s not like he is staying here to harm them. He wants him to stay a little longer but Waver can’t guarantee that and might not come back alive. Noting that Waver is risking his life for something important, grandpa mentions that once you have lived very long and look back, you’ll realize that there is nothing worth risking your life for. Kiritsugu is waiting at Mt Enzou shrine. He notes that to win the war and summon the Grail, one must perform a ritual at one of the four Fuyuki ley line areas. Among them are the church and Tokiomi’s residence but Kirei is not there. That leaves this shrine or Fuyuki city hall. If Kirei chooses the latter, he can launch a frontal assault. If Maiya was still around, he would’ve had her secure the place. But now he’s alone again. Naturally. Iri wakes up and learns Kirei has brought her to Ryuunosuke’s hideout, a place Kiritsugu will never figure out. He notes the Grail War will end but when Iri points out he is different that Kiritsugu, he becomes angry. He admits he is an empty man but Kiritsugu is no different. Why does he want the Grail? Iri replies he wants to save the world from bloodshed and wish for eternal peace. Can’t understand? That’s the difference. Kirei thinks conflict is mankind’s primal instinct and wiping that out means eliminating mankind. Iri adds by explaining Kiritsugu’s kindness. He can’t help but love others despite knowing he’ll eventually lose them. Kirei than strangles and kills Iri. He has somewhat understood who Kiritsugu is and has a reason to fight. He will smash his ideals and the Grail to smithereens right in front of his eyes. That night, Rider and Waver see magical lights flaring up the sky.

Waver knows it’s a signal to means the Grail War is coming to an end. However that signal is not coming from the church so it’s like someone is getting ahead of themselves. Rider prepares to go to war knowing that tonight is where everything ends. Since his chariot is gone, he summons his horse. But Waver doesn’t want to go with him. He then uses up all his 3 Command Spells to order him to fight till he gains victory, win the Holy Grail and conquer the world. Now that he lacks Command Spells, he no longer considers himself his Master and can go anywhere he wants. But Rider picks up him onto his horse. After giving those annoying orders, it must mean he is prepared to see the end, right? Also, Rider doesn’t consider him his Master but his friend. He has ride into many battles with him and stands as his equal. It’s getting a little emotional for Waver. And off they go riding into their final battle. Kiritsugu knows that it is Kirei’s plan to bait and kill other Masters because he chose the place least suitable for the ritual. It also indicates he doesn’t plan to steal the Grail. Archer and Kirei had a last chat together and Archer is given permission to go out all out and fight the rest though he won’t be here to protect this place of ceremony. Kirei will then use a Command Spell to save himself. What about the Grail? He can’t guarantee its safety if he’s away. If fate has it that way, then so be it. Since Kirei still has no wish upon the Grail, Archer’s only recourse is to have the Grail reveal what is hidden in his heart. Asking about Iri, Kirei tells him he killed her after thinking there is no reason why she should live. Iri is in some dream whereby Ilya is crying due to a scary dream of becoming a cup and seven big lumps appeared inside her stomach. Iri assures she won’t let that happen. She then realizes she is inside the Grail and gets absorbed.

Episode 23
Rider sees Archer before him. But it seems unusual for both kings to have their last drink together. Rider asks a final question that if his Ionian Hetairoi were armed with his Gate of Babylon, it would be the most powerful army imaginable. Care to be allies and conquer the stars? Well, the world doesn’t need 2 kings. With that, Archer accepts his challenge and both kings get ready to battle. Rider mentions Archer might be the last opponent he’ll face but Waver reminds him about the Command Spell orders. Rider unleashes Ionian Hetairoi and with his army behind him, they charge straight towards Archer. Meanwhile Saber is ambushed by Berserker, who is going berserk with his machine gun. Firing as though there is unlimited ammo. Oh wait. Is it? He’s not giving Saber any breathing space. Close by, Kariya is squirming in pain. He sees a vision of Sakura asking why is he in pain. He needs Berserker to fight because Kirei told him to and in the end will be given the Grail to save her like he promised. Everything will return to as it is. Well, till he remembers he killed Aoi. There he goes crazy again. Berserker blocks Saber’s Excalibur (not that any direct hit would have any damaging effect either). She is surprised that he knows the length of her blade and thinks he must be one of her knights and demands he reveals his identity as a knight’s pride demands. Then when Berserker’s helmet cracks open, she is shocked to recognize him as Sir Lancelot! Rider’s words ring through her ears that she never guided her subjects. Though she is saddened at Lancelot’s fate, he is like a mindless beast being fuelled by grudge, continuing to attack Saber.

Archer isn’t sweating in his pants as Rider and his army charge closer. He summons his ultimate sword and greatest treasure, Ea and chants “Enuma Elish”! The desert starts crumbling, a wide abyss opens and all the army men fall into the gap. The sky is also disintegrating as Waver realizes the sword is an anti-world Noble Phantasm capable of destroying all creation. Rider returns to the real world. He asks Waver if he wants to serve him as his subject. Waver gladly will serve his king and wants to see his dream. Rider puts him down from his horse and wants him to live. It is his task to speak to future generations of his dream and tell tales of his glory. Rider charges at Archer but the latter opens the Gate of Babylon and fires all the swords at Rider. Even if the horse is down, Rider continues to trudge forward on foot. Eventually he gets stab and is this close in striking Archer with his blade. Unfortunately, the chains from the Gate of Babylon restrain him. Archer stabs him in the heart with Ea. Archer guarantees this entire world is his garden till the end of time and feel free to challenge him as many times he wants. Dying Rider sees Okeanos but realizes the pounding of his heart was the sound of Okeanos’ waves. Archer walks towards Waver and wonders if he is Rider’s Master. He says he is his subject. Though a loyal subject has a duty to avenge his king, Waver knows challenging him would only mean death (in which Archer doesn’t deny). He can’t do it since he was ordered to live. Archer respects his loyalty and wants him never to tarnish it.

Episode 24
Saber laments if Lancelot hates her that much and wonders if it’s her fault he became this mad. Iri’s body turns into the Grail as it overflows with blood. Kiritsugu and Kirei face off. His special bullet seems to have no effect as he realized Kirei used his Command Spell as his mana source so the bullet doesn’t work if he isn’t using his own Magic Circuits. Both men are neck to neck and Kirei matches his speed to give Kiritsugu a knockout punch. Thanks to Avalon, Kiritsugu remains breathing and his injuries healed. Both sides recount what they have left and the next recourse to take (seems Kirei has 8 spare Command Spells left). Kiritsugu plays dead to surprise Kirei and fire his special bullet once more. Though this time it only manages to disable Kirei’s right hand. The fight is about to reach its climax when the ceiling caves in from the Grail’s blood. Saber stabs Berserker through his chest with Excalibur and vows to win the Grail otherwise there is nothing she can offer to him as compensation. Kirei finds himself on the island and Iri telling him he is inside the Grail and that black moon in the sky is the Grail that has yet to take form. All he needs to do is make a prayer and wish to give it form. Kiritsugu knows she is not Iri and she admits she is using a pre-existing personality as a shell or else she can’t communicate. She is the Grail’s will and wants to be reborn in this world. How can it grant his wish? Iri adds he learnt to save the world a long time ago and she will take over from him and continue. She is going to show it to him.

Kiritsugu finds himself inside a room and a question thrown at him. Two ships, one containing 300 passengers and the balance in the other. They are the last of mankind. There is a hole in both ships. Whom shall he save? He picks the one with most passengers. But the one with least passengers capture him and demand he fix their ship. What will he do? Next thing he sees dead bloodied bodies all over. This is his supposed answer. He killed them all. Next, the 300 survivors split into another 2 ships. One having 200 passengers and the other only 100 and both ships have a hole forming at the bottom. Whom shall he save? Same thing. The one with more passengers but he is captured by the ship with least passengers and forced to fix their ship. The 100 are slaughtered. Kiritsugu views this as wrong because the scales are wrongly tipped. The Grail insists he was correct because he chose to save the majority at the cost of the minority. He has always been killing the minority on the lighter side of the scales even if it meant leaving a long trail of dead bodies. This is his truth. This is the course of action the Grail will take to grant his wish. This is not what Kiritsugu wished for since he was hoping for a miracle but the Grail says it cannot include a wish in which oneself is not aware of. If he wishes to save the world, it must be done in a way he can understand. So how is this a miracle? The deed he tried failed can be accomplished at a scale beyond the power of any man. The Grail points him out as Angra Mainyu, the one who is worthy of bearing all the world’s evil. The final question is thrown. Three people are left. Maiya and Iri-Ilya. Choose one. Maiya is killed. Kiritsugu finds himself in the happy company of Iri and Ilya. Iri tells him the Grail has realized his prayer and now all he has to do is wish for it. However Kiritsugu bids goodbye to Ilya and shoots her! Iri becomes frantic but he starts strangling her. So why did he refuse the Grail? Six billion people at the cost of two of his family members… Iri curses him till Kiritsugu breaks her neck.

Kirei wakes up to find Kiritsugu pointing a gun at him. He has also seen that dream and couldn’t understand why had simply thrown away something he worked so hard to obtain. Kiritsugu shrugs it off as a wish granting device so Kirei wants him to give it to him instead because if it is born, it can answer all his doubt. Kiritsugu shoots him. Saber arrives in the room where the Grail is floating. Archer stands before her and wants her to become his wife. She claims the Grail is hers but Archer tells her to throw away her foolish ideals and vows and why obsess in something so dubious. Be stained by his colours and he shall give you every pleasure there is to feel. Well, why want her answer when he obviously stated he did not ask for her opinion and it’s what he has decided? You think Saber would gladly give up so easily? Yeah. It wouldn’t be fun if she had. So Archer plans to give her more pain because it is essential to learn that before she learns the joy of serving him. Saber sees Kiritsugu behind Archer. He uses his Command Spell to order Saber to use Excalibur and destroy the Grail. The Servants are surprised at his decision. To show he is serious. Kiritsugu uses his last Command Spell to repeat that same order. Can you defy that?

Episode 25
Saber couldn’t understand Kiritsugu’s actions. Naturally how can she when she can’t understand the hearts of those who served her. This must be God’s punishment. The Grail is destroyed but it seems a black hole is forming from the sky and pouring out magma! It is flowing and burning through Fuyuki City! Ilya narrates how she woke up from a bad dream that she became a cup and it’s tearing her apart. She’s so scared but she can’t run away. She also sees Kiritsugu crying. Iri’s voice assures her that Kiritsugu is doing his best and will come home when he is finished. Kiritsugu is running through the city in a frenzy trying to find any survivors but his actions are all for naught. Kariya returns to rescue Sakura. We see him unite her with Rin and they’re both grateful for him. Aoi’s alive too? Well, this would be the scenario if he had won. In reality, Sakura kills him and lets his body get devoured by the bugs as punishment for defying Zouken. Kirei wakes up to find naked Archer sitting beside him. He pulled Kirei out of the rubble and isn’t sure what happened too since the ‘mud’ spat him out and thinks he has achieved true reincarnation. Kirei remembers he was shot and has no heartbeat so did Archer healed him? Not too sure either. He thinks with the others Servants gone, this means he has won the Grail and tells Kirei to look at his surroundings. If the Grail was really a wish granting device, then this destruction and annihilation is what Kirei must have wished for. Kirei starts laughing at the madness but he is not satisfied yet. Though the answer has been presented to him, he wants to know the workings to reach it and will use the remainder of his life to understand it. Archer finds him interesting and shall watch over him in his quest for truth. Kirei then sees Kiritsugu trudging through the rubble like a zombie, digging through anything he can find. He leaves him alone. The only survivor he pulled out is a boy, Shirou. He is so happy to find a survivor that is though it wasn’t Shirou who was saved but more like he saved himself. Despite Shirou on the brink of death, Kiritsugu’s gratefulness made him green with envy.

In the aftermath, we see Waver talking to his grandparents. He thinks of travelling but needs to get a job and earn some money. Till then, he hopes he can stay with them. They would gladly have him continue his stay. He goes back to his messy room and goes through all the stuffs Rider had bought. Kirei reads his sermon at Tokiomi’s grave with Rin now as the head of the family. He praises her for making a flawless debut and is confident she will do well in carrying on the family’s magic. Aoi is still alive but has gone senile. She is unaware of the bearings around her and thinks Kirei is her husband and Sakura is still her daughter. Kirei gives Rin the Azoth dagger and it brings her to tears. Saber finds herself back in her own time, standing atop the heaps of corpses. She remembers Lancelot’s last words when she stabbed him. He couldn’t stop loving Guinevere and thus couldn’t forgive himself. But Saber/King Arthur never questioned his crimes and continued to stand before them in her righteousness. Lancelot wanted his judgment and had she judged him then, he might not have set on his own path of madness to find atonement. He can say for all who served her, she is the greatest king of all. Saber vows to win the Grail someday and laments she shouldn’t have become king. Kiritsugu narrates he tried to visit Ilya but because he didn’t win the Grail, Jubstacheit never opened the forest’s magic field to their home. He never saw her again but will be the last person he’ll ever lose. He soon adopts Shirou and repairs the Japanese mansion. Five years later he tells Shirou how he wanted to be a hero of justice but gave up because being a hero is a limited time thing and it’s hard to call yourself one when you’re an adult. In that case, Shirou will do it on his behalf then. He’ll carry out his dream since he is still a kid.

All Because Of Some H-Cup…
So this is how it all happened. Reading back my blog on Fate/Stay Night sure did refresh some memories and made sense of everything. The pieces that I couldn’t understand then seem to have fallen in place. At least most of it. Overall, I could say that this prequel is way better than the sequel in terms of just about everything. The storyline, the presentation and the quality. The plot is interesting enough for me to be kept glued to the screen. If I can recall, there was never a dull moment even with all the conversational drama, some filler episodes like Rin’s bold adventure into the city or Kiritsugu’s flashback. I thought I was going to be bored and have my rhythm of the series interrupted with such episodes and boy was I wrong. Instead I was also engrossed in watching them and with each passing episode, the more I wanted to find out what happen next. So as the series ends in such a tragic and sad note, I feel moved by all the events that had unfolded that eventually will lead to the inevitable despite knowing from the beginning that I was going to expect something like this. To sum up this prequel, it is one brilliant and amazing piece of work done and perhaps one of the very few good animes that have managed to keep my interest afloat throughout the entire duration.

Each of the ‘new’ characters in this series brings in their own life and dynamism to the story. They have their own past and reasons for wanting to attain the Grail even if it is something ambiguous and never proven to have come true. Until now. The best Servant character in this series in my opinion goes to Rider. His eccentric and superior character truly makes him a man to be reckoned with. Despite every character having their own views about leadership and such, Rider was probably the most convincing in his argument so that’s why I felt that he is such a cool guy. Perhaps if I were to participate in the Grail War, I would want this fun and sporting dude to be my Master. But putting him side by side with Waver makes it feel like a big mismatch and the total opposites between them make it feel like they are strange bedfellows. Having Rider as his Master proves to be a blessing in disguise because Waver gets to learn a lot and become a better person in the end. Saber may have been the main star of this show but it doesn’t feel that she t overshadows everything as other characters take their fair share of the centre stage. Because Rider and Saber are both kings in their own right, their views differ greatly but as seen during the conversation of kings, Saber lost out her argument to Rider. She was in a dilemma as her role as king and came to realize too late that it was probably her own doing that got her into this mess. Archer is arrogant and haughty in his own right, which suits his title as King of Heroes very well. How can he be king if he doesn’t show who is truly the boss around? It still bugs me if the Grail considers him the winner. After all, he is the only Servant that didn’t lose and return to his original time line.

Kiritsugu is a hard-bitten, hard-boiled and emotionless person who gets the job done thanks to his horrible past. You can say that his way of saving mankind is twisted, killing a few bad seeds for the sake of the majority. But it still doesn’t discount the fact that he leaves a trail of dead bodies behind. So what happens when you add up that tally? Yeah. He may have killed the entire human race by then. His cold, underhanded and merciless way of killing off his enemies would earn the scorn of noble Saber but I suppose for a guy like him to live in this harsh world, you do what it takes to survive and not get your emotion in the way. What happens when Kiritsugu’s final salvation in the Grail’s wish falls apart? You also see him fall apart. His twisted ideals once more crushed to bits. Thankfully a shred of humanity in him has been retained when he saved Shirou. Otherwise, my guess is that he could have become a crazy person beyond help. Equally as twisted as Kiritsugu and one who could stand equal as him is Kirei. He too has endured misery and suffering in his life so it’s no surprise that he doesn’t know what he seeks for in life anymore. I guess he revels in committing sin even if he himself doesn’t realize it. So is he the winner of the Grail War? He was shot, right? Kiritsugu couldn’t be such a lousy shot at such close range. What brought him back to life? Not even Archer knew. So it has to be the Grail, maybe? How else could you explain the Master-Servant pair still hanging around after Fuyuki’s devastation? Tokiomi I thought he got what was coming to him. He was so confident that his plan would work despite a little diversion here and there. How could he not suspect that Kirei would be the one to betray and kill him in the end? Either he was too trustful or just stupid. And it cost him his life. Never knew what hit (stabbed, rather) him.

Some of the characters just had me feeling that they didn’t really make much of an impact. What do I mean is, take for example Ryuunosuke. He is just a serial killer who loves killing and the colour of guts. I felt that bringing in a random ordinary person who has no relation to Mages and the history of magic was just to fill up the roles and have the Grail War start. Look, Ryuunosuke was the last participant to enter the fray and technically the first one to go out (Kirei and his Assassin wouldn’t count if you consider that it is all part of Tokiomi’s big grand plan thingy). So how the Grail chooses its participants is still a mystery. How Ryuunosuke entered the Grail War too was perhaps by luck since he was just drawing some random pentagram to summon demons. So if it wasn’t him, it could’ve been anybody else. Then there is this Kariya guy too. Besides having the goal to save Sakura, he is someone who is just lurking in the shadows. He doesn’t show himself upfront regularly so it’s hard to ‘feel’ him around. Though I think his fate is the most tragic one among the rest because he almost killed the person he loves and got killed by the very person he tried to save. Even sadder made by the fact that Zouken enjoys seeing him squirming in pain so much so that it seems that he has no interest in obtaining the Grail whatsoever. Even if he had, it was just an excuse to watch Kariya suffer. After all, he sounded like he never expected him to win it or put high hopes on him in the first place. Kayneth felt like a minor antagonist for the series. You know, you need someone who is prideful and such. When he went out of commission, I thought his scheming fiancee would take over next but that didn’t last long and it was a surprise that they were taken out together.

When the second half of the series started to get grim and serious, meaning that the pace of the story starts to pick up and we see the characters fall one by one like ants, there is at least one character that will die in each of the episode. Starting with Assassin’s elimination and Ryuunosuke’s assassination to get the ball rolling right down to Kariya’s death at the end. I considered Iri dead because she turned into the cup. That’s as good as being dead. Although Aoi is still breathing, but now that she has turned into a cuckoo state, that’s as good as being dead, no? I thought that the ‘new’ characters in this series would all eventually die but I guess this wasn’t made true because Waver is the only ‘newbie’ that survived all the madness. New as in those who did not appear in Fate/Stay Night because their demise is why they don’t appear, right? Despite Waver not appearing in Fate/Stay Night, I hope he is happily travelling around the world telling great tales of Iskandar. Or you can just pick up the history book and read what is believed to be written on him as him. Or just Google it.

It makes me wonder how the founding families did find out that the Grail was a wish granting device. If it was, whose wish was it that was granted first that led them to believe so and eventually the creation of this Holy Grail War? Though Einzbern Consultation Room did explain some bits of it but I don’t think people like me who don’t even play the game would understand. So now that some have witnesses it is not really a wish granting device and perhaps an Armageddon inducing device, will they drop this Grail War thingy? Not likely. As long as there is human greed and desire. The cup will always be there waiting to replenish itself. So it also bugs me that the next Grail War takes place in the next 10 years when it was mentioned that it takes 60 years for everything to gather once more. Maybe things got a little hastened? My guess that Saber is the only one who returned in the next Grail War is because she has yet to fulfil her wish. Well, she did promise she is going to have another try to win the Grail. If her, why not other Servants too? Caster probably saw shades of Jeanne and died happy. Rider probably has come to terms with his own dream so he doesn’t feel the need for it anymore. Berserker has already got the atonement he wanted. Lancer may never get the loyalty he wanted but he was unceremoniously dumped out of the war and who wouldn’t be raging mad after being forced to commit suicide. Heck, he even cursed the cup so what are the chances of him returning if he had the chance to answer the call again? Assassin… Who again? I don’t know much about him. Too many personalities. Archer? Did he really win the Grail like he thought he did? Well, he did return in Fate/Stay Night as the eighth Servant. Even so, he is hanging around as long Kirei can amuse and entertain him.

The animation quality is crisp and it is definitely superior than its predecessor. Whether it is the flow and reflection of the water or the sparks that fly when the swords clash or the casting of magic spells, each one look awesome enough to draw you into the world’s setting and get immersed in it. It also manages to pain a very dark and grim atmosphere and the tragedy that will befall onto the characters and the city. The action also doesn’t disappoint and personally I feel that each fight between the Servants is tantalizing enough to keep one glued to the screen. Each of the Servants has their own strengths and weaknesses so it is interesting to see how they use what they have to turn the battle tide to their favour. Whether it is the honour battle between the knights, the cooperation between the Servants to take down rampaging Caster and even the vehicle race-cum-battle between Rider and Saber is exciting and engaging. Although I had a hunch who would have made it further into the final moments of the Grail War (especially Saber and Archer), I still can’t help feel sometimes when Saber engages in battle, there is a chance that she will still lose since her rivals are no easy pushovers. However I lament her fight with Berserker because it felt somewhat short that it doesn’t do any justice. Don’t get me wrong. We see them engaging in a pretty close exhilarating duel for a minute or two but the way it ended with Saber suddenly overcoming Berserker and stabbing him in the chest with Excalibur, I thought it just felt cheap. So would have a longer battle suffice? Maybe. But perhaps that episode was more focused on Kiritsugu and Kirei’s bout and the former’s inner battle with the Grail. Also, I thought I could see the final fight between Saber and Archer but I supposed they only had their bout in Fate/Stay Night.

Due to the lack of subs, it is unfortunate that I can’t finish the Einzbern Consultation Room specials for the second half of the series (there are a total of 6 of them). It would have been fun to see what Iri and Zecchan continue to discuss so I just went browsing online and briefly read what the balance specials were about (I may be wrong so feel free to correct me). It seems Special 4 was about Caster ranting about his Jeanne and also the Noble Phantasms’ cost and power. Special 5 is about Lancer while Special 6 is extended to a half-hour special discussing about the skills of the classes, Lancer in his original form (and having more vocabulary and talking much more than we see in the TV series) and how his conflict with Saber came about, and the tragic fate that befalls on all Einzbern women. As I read, those who played the games would appreciate these specials better than those who only watched the anime. Maybe that’s why there are lots of stuffs that I didn’t understand.

Ayako Kawasumi is retained as the voice of Saber and she still commands strong presence as her character. It’s something like her other role in Kaibutsu Oujo as Hime. Kana Ueda and Mai Kadokawa are also retained as the voice of Rin and Ilya respectively. The rest of the other casts are also superb and they really fit perfectly with their character roles. Like Satoshi Tsuruoka (Usui in Maken-Ki) really made Caster sound like a mad magician and Akira Ishida (Gaara in Naruto) is convincing as a serial killer who enjoys killing children. Archer’s arrogance and superiority is made possible thanks to Tomokazu Seki (Chiaki in Nodame Cantabile) while Akio Ootsuka (Blackbeard in One Piece, Kyouraku in Bleach) truly made Rider sound like a brazen conqueror and Rikiya Koyama (Emonzaemon in Katanagatari) as Kiritsugu the hard bitten and disillusioned character. Other sterling casts include Sayaka Ohara as Iri (Alicia in Aria The Animation), Jouji Nakata as Kirei (Giroro in Keroro Gunsou), Daisuke Namikawa as Waver (Kazehaya in Kimi Ni Todoke), Tarusuke Shingaki as Kariya (Eishirou in Prince Of Tennis II), Sho Hayami as Tokiomi (Aizen in Bleach), Ayumi Tsunematsu as Maiya (Takako in Hanasaku Iroha), Hikaru Midorikawa as Lancer (Rukawa in Slam Dunk), Takumi Yamazaki as Kayneth (Harada in Mezzo), Megumi Toyoguchi as Sola-Ui (Ran in Super Gals), Ryotaro Okiayu as Berserker (Byakuya in Bleach), Akeno Watanabe as Natalia (Rito in To Love-Ru), Masashi Hirose as Risei (Hades in Fairy Tail), Masane Tsukayama as Zouken (Karl in Fullmetal Alchemist) and Hasumi Itou as Aoi.

The first opening theme is a rock outfit, Oath Sign by Lisa while the first ending theme is Memoria by Aoi Eir doing a powerful rendition of this moderate pace rock piece. The second opening theme is To The Beginning by Kalafina and it isn’t as ominous as I expected to be like the ones she sang in Kuroshitsuji II and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. But you can still identify her choir-like vocals. Though the special ending theme for Kiritsugu’s flashback by Kalafina, Manten doesn’t have that ominous feel too, this one has a hint of sadness in it which fits perfectly the direction and ambience of this back story. The second ending theme is Sora Wa Takaku Kaze Wa Utau by Luna Haruna and it feels like the tone for the series has been reduced with this song sounding like a pop ballad. As for the background music, from what I sampled from some of the OST, most of them have this grandiose feel with a full orchestra and choir voices to accompany them. They are most fitting for majestic battle sequences and dramatic scenes, though I may not have noticed them while I was watching the episodes since I was too engrossed in the storyline. Really. Of course there are some other background music that range from slow piano solo and just plain eerie.

At the end of each episode (where the title of the episode appears) right before the ending credits, there is a countdown timer to what I believe was initially the time left for the entire series to end. I didn’t really pay attention to this because in the beginning it seemed like there was a lot of time left. Then as the episodes dwindled, I began to notice that the amount of time remaining doesn’t seem to add up to the number of episodes left (each episode is worth around 24 minutes, so do the math). Then after thinking about it and subsequently confirming it with my ‘lazy’ online research, I realized that it is actually the countdown to the end of the Grail War. Then it becomes apparent when the timer reaches zero in the middle of the final episode. I guess this is only appropriate to the storyline and more suitable than a timer to signal the end of the series. Well, the time ticking down feels like a bomb. And we all know what happened, right? Nobody was able to cut the right fuse. Was there any? Just like a time bomb waiting to explode and there is nothing you can do about it.

So we can see that people will go to great lengths just to obtain something ambiguous and not proven to get what they want. After all the blood spills and lives taken, do you think your wish is really worth it all? Feels like playing God sometimes, huh? And as the Grail worded it, you don’t really expect some super miracle that only exists in our imagination and fantasy. If you want something done, it is best you get it done yourself with your own hands. By hook or by crook. That way, you’re already halfway of what you want to achieve. Therefore, don’t rely on some H-cup for some support because they don’t exist. Boobs that size don’t really exist in reality. Oops. I almost forgot this isn’t an ecchi series and made such a statement. Let’s hope the cup you seek is the one where you’d enjoy your favourite coffee or tea. And drink it with no worries that it will never spill over whatsoever. That would be better fulfilment and satisfaction. Thus always remember, cups are not meant for granting wishes but only for drinking or support.

Imagine if you could draw power and energy just based on your sexual power. Sounds like a hentai anime, right? Well, even as the title indicates, Dakara Boku Wa H Ga Dekinai should have given you a little hint that sex isn’t somewhat possible. So you can’t call it hentai without the sex part, right? Anyway, this doesn’t stop the series from being an ecchi genre with typical fanservice aimed at male target audiences. That’s why we guys watch this anime, right?

You can’t have an ecchi anime without the main guy being a pervert himself. That would have defeated the purpose of making the genre so. Just like any normal healthy boy his age, he enjoys looking at girls’ breasts, thighs, boobs, their underwear, you get the idea. But you won’t get to see him doing this very often. He has a ‘chance’ to put his overflowing perversion to use when he contracts with an elite Grim Reaper. Guess what? She has to use his energy to preserve herself as long as she stays on Earth. Guess what energy is that. Yup. I guess that is what fuels this dude and is what going to fuel her. But it’s all going to be a waste since this guy is going to die soon and what a shame that he has to die young and isn’t done with his pervertness yet. No choice, he has to help her in her mission if he wants to extend his life and continue his perverted lifestyle.

Episode 1
Like I said. Ryousuke Kaga is a pervert. To prove it, he is ogling at the breast of his childhood friend, Mina Okura and even notices she has breached the F-cup barrier. So is it no wonder at Momozono Academy, he has developed an infamous reputation for being a pervert? I mean, look at him admiring the bras of the girls in soaked clothes. I’m not sure about some showdown with another pervert, Hikaru Tamano because Ryousuke is claiming his horniness is evil. What’s the difference? Anyway, Ryousuke returns home only to see a girl, Lisara Restall standing outside his house. He must be loving seeing a girl in wet clothes and even offer her to come in and dry her clothes. Don’t lie. You want to get lucky with her rather than help her, no? Inside, Lisara seems to know all about Ryousuke, including his father’s death and mom who is now working in Germany. She takes a look at her bracelet and sees a number of 12,000 and is not impressed of its weak figure. Anyhow he’ll just do. She gets up close to him catching this pervert’s guard off and then stabs him a broken sword right in his heart and then taking some energy from him. After she finishes bathing, she kicks and wakes him up but I guess he must be having some perverted dream about seeing some red threads so when he suddenly gets up, his head ‘collided’ into her lower body part. She beats him up but I think he is an M because he is enjoying it and insists on seeing her panties. If she was wearing one. Even better! When their hands made contact again, it’s like some energy start swirling around. She demands to know if he had undergone some transformation but he’s lost. She introduces herself as the highest esteemed family heiress from Grimworld. Did he understand that? What about all living things having souls tied to their bodies with energy and in the event of death it is their job to gather them? That’s like a Grim Reaper, right? Yeah, he starts laughing. Since she set foot in the human world, her energy levels deplete rapidly and did a provisional binding ceremony with him to bind their souls together temporarily with the broken sword called Gram (it only affects the soul that’s why there is no bodily harm). How much did Ryousuke understand all that? She wants to have sex with him so much that she cooked up such a story! If beating this guy up doesn’t change his pervertness, maybe summoning her badass flaming scythe would change his mind. Yes. She’ll make him forget!

Suddenly little blobs start entering the house as they form into a tentacle creature. Lisara initiates a barrier around the house so the outside world will not get affected by whatever destructive moments they’ll soon be engaging. Ryousuke cowers in a corner while Lisara fights the monster and trashes the house. However she soon runs out of energy. So much so her clothes are disappearing! Stop staring at her boobs and help! Help indeed but why touch her boobs?! But she felt some power flowing through and makes a comeback to destroy the monster. That’s the good news. What’s the bad news? The house is totally annihilated! But sex is all on Ryousuke’s mind. Yeah, he thinks her energy revived in one burst after contact. He concludes his energy explodes from his body when he experience sexual thrills. Is he stupid? No. He’s a pervert! Horniness = Love = Justice! WTF?! He doesn’t really care about her quest to find a special specimen of some hero or genius and form a proper bond to increase her stature. As long as it’s against his horny policy, anything else won’t do! How does she get this guy to listen? Reminding him she is a Grim Reaper, she has the ability to see death. His life is fizzling out and will die in 3 months. Nothing can change that. Looking pretty worried for a pervert now, eh?

Episode 2
Don’t worry. There’s a way to save him. Help her find that special specimen and she will use it to save his life. Yes, please do. He’ll do anything to make his horny life last longer. Maybe he should die right now. Lisara predicts right a panda’s death so Ryousuke believes she is a Grim Reaper. Then she collapses since she runs out of energy but now that she has fallen into his arms, he replenishes her. So great his ero power that even his house is fixed back to as good as new! Next morning, Ryousuke is shocked to realize his ‘kingdom’ is gone! Thanks to Lisara using his energy while he’s asleep to replenish herself. Guess what? Whenever she does that, he can’t use his ‘kingdom’ for 2-3 days! Oh sh*t! There goes his ero life. Anyway to search for that special specimen, she has transferred to his school starting today (that uniform, did she borrow it from Natsuiro Kiseki?). Outside, Ryousuke introduces her to Mina and when she touches her hand, the bracelet shows 1,500,000! Lisara is popular with the boys. It’s part of her plan to touch their hand and get their reading. Even Tamano makes a move on her but she slaps him! Wuss boy threatens to tell his father and runs away crying. Yup. That’s all he’s made up. Lisara remembers her distant cousin, Quele Sellier gave her a pendant that reacted to this school having the special specimen though it has faded. After Ryousuke learns Lisara’s mission to become stronger to support Grimworld like her generations before her (otherwise monsters would come after her), he agrees to help her out. I don’t know why he introduced her to weird guys. Eating noodles upside down? Playing flute with his nose? Never change his underwear? Do you want to shake his hand?! Better wash it clean. The special specimen eludes her till Quele pops up. I’m sure Ryousuke digs those huge jugs. She is here because she has located the special specimen: Tamano. Serious? Suddenly a monster pops up so Quele tells them to head along while she stalls it. However this is also a setup because the monster is her familiar.

Quele goes to spy on Lisara talking to Tamano in the boxing ring. Prior to this, she also had setup Tamano to shake Lisara’s hand and planted something in his hand. To Quele’s dismay, Tamano is going to shake Lisara’s hand. If she wants to, get down on her knees and apologize. Ryousuke isn’t going to allow that and takes Lisara away. Tamano isn’t going to let this slip. Quele then butts in and doesn’t want them to fight and shake hands instead. When they do, magical chains start to bind Lisara. Quele inserts a bug into Tamano’s ear to make him unconscious and forget all that he saw. With Ryousuke’s power, Lisara is able to break free. Then both girls transform and set up a barrier, ready to battle. Ryousuke digs this transformation scene whereby he gets to see the girls go naked for several seconds. Quele reveals her true nature that she plans to take over her job in supporting Grimworld by getting rid of Lisara. She’ll take the special specimen while she’s at it. Lisara loses power quick but before Quele could finish her, Ryousuke touch their breasts to stop them from fighting. Feels like fluffy bread, huh? He wants Lisara to use his energy but has his ‘kingdom’ replenished yet? Hey, with his pervertness so great, he doesn’t need to wait that long! Quele is surprised that his horniness is a solid energy source. Lisara powers up and blows Quele away but the latter manages to escape. When they return home, they see Mina waiting inside the house. She wants to know if Ryousuke is hiding something. He thought she won’t believe him but on the contrary she does. Because earlier in the day, she saw Lisara disappearing into thin air in school. Lisara sets it straight that Ryousuke is just her business partner and their relationship is not like what she thinks. He’s not her type. But still, Mina can’t believe his horniness is an energy source. Believe it. Just like car runs on petrol, Lisara runs on his libido! Leave it to this guy to come up with erotic wise cracks…

Episode 3
Mina suggests Lisara to shake hands with the top talented students in this school. There are 8 of them and Muneyo Meshiyori is one of them. What’s her specialty? She can accurately detect the breast size of any girl with just a glance! WTF is this talent? Hell, it’s one for Ryousuke. Muneyo doesn’t consider any breasts below 80cm to be a woman. That means Lisara too, right? Therefore she won’t shake hands with her. So the one with the largest breasts is her goddess and that happens to be Iria Fukumune, a model for Merlot Life Insurance and Ryousuke’s top idol. Her breast size is actually 92cm instead of the reported 90cm. Wow. If Ryousuke doesn’t believe her, they can settle this because Iria will be holding a handshaking session at Merlot’s office. So Ryousuke throws a challenge if Iria’s boobs are smaller than 92cm, she must shake Lisara’s hand. Mina is still awake that night in her room when Quele pays her a visit. She has hypnotized her parents and they believe she is a transfer student who will be staying at their place. She starts asking about Ryousuke. Lisara and Ryousuke get a big shock to see Quele turning up with Mina at the train station and Mina is fully aware about Quele. In short, Quele has formed a contract with her to keep staying in this world. Illegal? Lisara’s doing isn’t any much different. Quele talks to Lisara that Mina really cares about Ryousuke because she heard her ranting on him last night. Lisara wants to confirm if it was her who sent the monster to attack her when she first arrived. She denies but after being threatened about her trustworthy info source, she reveals Merlot to be it. Ryousuke lines up with the other fans to get Iria’s signature. Seems Iria has that bracelet and is not impressed with Ryousuke’s low figures. She gets excited when she detects high numbers in Muneyo. Guess what? Muneyo admits she was wrong. Her bust size is actually 92.5cm! Before you know it, Iria and Lisara had a b*tchy showdown. Eh? Do they know each other? Apparently they went to the same school in Grimworld together and are rivals in just about everything. Lisara always topped her as Iria always come in second place. Great. So Ryousuke’s angel is a Grim Reaper? Hell, his fantasy is falling apart.

So great the b*tches hatred at each other that it’s enough to change the weather into a freaking storm! Better run for your lives! Iria initiates a barrier and transforms. We further learn that to further enhance Iria’s status, she plays pop idol in the human world and Merlot is a company in Grimworld to aid sufferers of chronic energy deficiency. Something as to steal energy from humans (Iria draws her energy from her zealous fans). Lisara says the royal family knows of Merlot’s existence but the Restall family still surpasses Merlot’s energy accumulation. Iria scoffs everything off and starts relating her hardship. She joined this company so that she can use this Frockie weapon to defeat her. She adds that she is not superior to her in everything. I supposed you could’ve guessed what that area is: Boobs. To Ryousuke, he is enjoying seeing Iria’s bouncy boobs in action. It’s his treasure chest. Get it? Chest! Iria entices Ryousuke with her sexy poses and this upsets Lisara. She makes it a point that if anything belongs to Lisara, she’ll want to steal it from her. Iria pummels her and Ryousuke wants her to use his ero powers but she refuses. Aside her pride, Mina understood that if her partner got energized from looking at another woman, she too would be disappointed. Iria is about to unleash her final blow but Ryousuke takes the hit. Then he starts lecturing. Yes. Lecturing about how men are always suffering because of getting aroused by boobs. Animal instincts, says he? He laments they are fighting over their breast size and that each girl has her own unique treasure. The variety of treasures brings romance to his life. The very existence of girls is his treasure! After finished getting zapped (porcupine hair as a result?), Lisara absorbs his power and blows Iria away. No match.

Episode 4
How can Ryousuke still be her fan when he knows her real identity? She’s still got the boobs! Is he trying to say Lisara’s boobs are inferior? Hope he prepared himself for that. Oh, guess what? Iria becomes the new transfer student in Ryousuke’s class! Looks like there’s a higher chance of b*tch fights with Lisara. Iria is shaking hands with the eager boys and Lisara knows this is her ploy to gauge their strength. So Lisara brings her to the rooftop for a private chat. Seems Merlot is trying to find the special specimen and it is in this school. She wasn’t interested at first but if it’s something Lisara is looking for, she would love to beat her to it. It makes her want to sabotage her more. There’s your cat fight signal. They’re going to duke it out when Ryousuke stops them. Girls shouldn’t be fighting over each other. Quele who is watching somewhat views Ryousuke in a different light. Lisara leaves as she doesn’t have time to waste with this foolishness. Iria then uses her seductive charms and big boobs to get Ryousuke to show her around school. He can’t say no, right? But what does Lisara has to say about it? Heh. She gave her ‘permission’ to do what he wants. Lisara goes off to gather clues about the genius and asking around leads her to the library. Before she could make her move, she spots the monster blobs outside the window and rushes back to the rooftop where Quele and Mina are. Meanwhile Ryousuke is in a heavenly place: The girls’ locker room. He’s already starting to envision all those juicy boobs. Because he wanted to see girls change so much, Iria voluntarily changes in front of him! It’s part of her plan to gauge his power and the more stimulated he is, the higher the numbers. Iria tries to convince him to make a contract with her (using her boobs is always the best answer). Since he isn’t sure about Gram inside his body, Iria explains it is a special item that protects the royal family. It is split into 2 and as we know, one of them is inside Ryousuke’s body. The other half belongs to the male of Galdarblog family though it is rumoured to be missing. According to legend, the sword half is only dormant and will awake only in a crisis. Ryousuke parallels that to a penis?!

Lisara and Quele have a hard time trying to take out the monster. Like always. If only her power source is here. Mina goes to call help from Ryousuke (she knows where he is because Quele told her). By this time, Iria is upset that despite all the fanservice she has given, his power is not rising and puts back on her clothes. Ryousuke rushes to the scene to see Lisara down. He lets her absorb his power it seems pretty weak. Iria recognizes this monster as something that Merlot created. She attacks the monster since she prefers to defeat Lisara with her own powers. Ryousuke gets more stimulated when he gets to see Lisara’s boobs. So he prefers smaller boobs? Not quite. It must just be Lisara. He gives Lisara all his sparkling ‘kingdom’! Here comes the power! In one slash, Lisara destroys the monster but the impact is so great that, how should I put it, it made Iria’s breasts smaller. Eh? What? So they’re smaller than Lisara’s? Lisara explains about Iria coming from province in Grimworld so she used some illusionary magic spell to increase her breast size and raise her class level. No wonder it was so big like as though it was unreal. Too good to be true, huh? Iria is sad that the folks back home won’t like her but Ryousuke reminds her that it isn’t the size that matters. It is the warmth inside that counts. You think Iria wants to believe his crap? Worse, he tells her to take a look at his ‘kingdom’ as proof! That earned him a slap alright. Lisara remembers about the school genius and goes to the library. He sees a group waiting for Ryousuke and putting on an emperor’s cap on him. They ask him perverted questions and since he remembers he had club activities, he gladly joins them. So… He is one of the geniuses?! As Mina puts it, he is known as the horniest and stupidest boy in school and Ryousuke himself doesn’t know about it. I guess this trims down their geniuses in this school to just 6, huh? Oh Lisara. She must be so disappointed.

Episode 5
Quele gets her energy replenished each time as Mina tells her stories of Ryousuke. Mina notes how Quele has changed and has come to like Ryousuke. If only he wasn’t such a pervert. But that wouldn’t be Ryousuke anymore, right? Quele still has doubts with her feelings over Ryousuke so as she takes a night walk, she sees Ryousuke and Lisara taking out another monster. Lisara only got a scratch but Ryousuke vows to prepare harder next time. So as Quele spies on him, this preparation of his turns out to be reading a dictionary? As Mina explains, he is good in manifesting images and words so remembering those words and even the page number will help him in ‘recharging’. He is so engrossed with reading the dictionary that he doesn’t pay heed to Lisara. Quele and Mina follow him around doing his training to a point he is using an invisible dictionary! That night Quele pays him a visit but she gets surprised when he is sleep talking. She backs out when he mentions about kissing. Lisara goes on her own to find all the geniuses and all of them on the list are not what she expected. Another big disappointment? Yeah, she should’ve guessed the list of geniuses may be some sort of bogus when Ryousuke is on it. She should’ve got the hint. When Lisara returns, she still sees him training with his invisible dictionary. Because he continues to ignore her, she blows her top that she isn’t doing this for fun and has not much time left. She runs away fuming as Ryousuke who got his concentration broken, goes after her. Lisara rests at the park. And good timing. Because there’s a monster. Ryousuke felt his chest in pain for a second. He bumps into Quele and Mina but continues to search for Lisara. When he finds her, she’s already in the tentacles of the monster. Ryousuke replenishes her power to free her. He then apologizes for making her mad despite not knowing what’s going on. He was training hard for this moment.

Then we see him going into Zen mode. What’s he doing? He’s reading from his invisible dictionary. Quele can’t see it so Mina says to see not with her eyes but her heart. Suddenly, she can really see the dictionary too! Because they love Ryousuke, is the reason why they can see it. Quele flusters and knocks herself out upon knowing she loves him. Hey! Ryousuke is a Centaur or angel in their eyes? Are they hallucinating? So we see Ryousuke reciting words from the dictionary and despite remembering normal words like papyrus, summer and room, all of them leads to some perverted meaning. Well, yeah. I admit he is really good in memorizing the pages of where those words are… Lisara realizes they can’t defeat the monster because of its water attributes. Lisara is fire. The monster grabs Lisara once more as Ryousuke tries to do another recharge. She doesn’t want him to risk his soul further but the monster grabs him too. Lisara thought he has died when his body becomes motionless. Perhaps he was just concentrating on his final recharge word: Impossible. There is no such thing as impossible when it comes to his ero! Protecting Lisara is his mission! A bright light emits from his chest as he uses this concentrated power to destroy the monster for good. Lisara is fine but wonders why the lost Gram reaction ended up within Ryousuke. Ryousuke soon comes to as Quele and Mina want Lisara to make up with him. Still don’t want to? Otherwise Quele would gladly take Ryousuke for her own. Ah yes. The all-too-familiar fight over a boy is finally here. Let the struggle begin!

Episode 6
In Grimworld, some war is raging on. Galdarblog insists this world must follow his path and rains his own destruction. Boom! Lisara explains the broken Gram in which the patriarchal Galdarblog and matriarchal Restall hold a piece each. Too bad Ryousuke already knows about it from Iria. It irks Lisara just to hear her name. Oh, she’s back from her nationwide tour and has even brought back snacks for them. Oh, her humongous boobs have returned too. So the baffling part is how Ryousuke already had the other half of Gram inside of him because Lisara sure didn’t know she was completing it as a whole when she made a contract with Ryousuke. Mina thinks there is someone who can explain about this. They contact Ryousuke’s mom, Satomi in Germany. I’m sure she’s more interested to see which girl he is interested. And I’m sure we’re more interested to see the girls introduce and fight over him. Even the topic changes to about boob size. What’s the fuss about boob size? I guess Lisara has the smallest among them… Anyway back on track, after Ryousuke explains what happened and how Lisara is staying with him, Satomi remembers how this is pretty similar to how she met his father. One rainy day, he was standing outside her house staring into space and had no memory of anything including his name. This scene is looking very similar, no? She got attracted by his good looks and took him in. You could say the rest is history. Because he doesn’t remember his name, Satomi called him Ryousuke. So his son is named after his father? Satomi reveals another truth. His dad isn’t dead yet as he believed. It was all made up, scattering his ashes in his hometown. More accurately, he is missing. One day when Satomi was pregnant with Ryousuke, daddy acted strange again. He then stabbed Gram into her and that’s the last she saw of him. His last words were to settle some score and will leave his sword with his child. Later Lisara and Ryousuke discuss about now Gram is a whole since he inherited it when Satomi was pregnant. Ryousuke’s dad sounded like he is one from Grimworld and there’s this legend that says when Gram awakens as a whole, Grimworld will be in a crisis and its wielder will rise up and stand against evil. That’s like a superhero, right?

Quele is irked that Ryousuke and Lisara may resort to horny stuff to power up. She feels she must capture his heart first and pleads to Mina for help. Iria also talks to Lisara about Ryousuke and the latter brushes off about being worried for him since he will die in 2 months. Iria during her nationwide tour talks to her manager about the special specimen detection at Momozono but she only mentions about that single burst of energy detected 3 months ago. As for Lisara’s failure, the higher ups in Merlot have decided not to take any action on that matter. Iria feels strange since she believes that monster was controlled by Merlot. Meanwhile Galdarblog has realized his lost Gram sword is in the human world, which explains why no amount of searching could locate it. Lisara and Ryousuke are about to face off another of those monsters. Quele jumps in to show how capable she is. She might be doing great at first but the monster turns into several mini blobs that easily suck their energy. Quele could’ve been a goner if not for Mina coming to her recharge rescue. Ryousuke uses his invisible dictionary mode but he too is at his limits. He vows to protect the girls and was doing this all for her and not because he wanted to save his own life. His touching statement made Lisara shed a teardrop. It drops onto his chest and suddenly he felt an enormous surge of power flowing through his body. The enormous blast destroys the monsters. Galdarblog who has been watching their action realizes that it is only Lisara who was the one able to unleash the powers of Gram. He must act now and not delay. While Quele is disheartened that she blew her chance to show off her good side to Ryousuke, suddenly Galdarblog drops in and takes Mina as hostage. He tells Ryousuke and Lisara if they want this girl back, they must come to him. So it’s decided. They’re going to Grimworld. Well, Ryousuke is going to need all the confidence he can get against this guy.

Episode 7
Lisara, Ryousuke and Quele are flying through a secret passageway to Grimworld. They have to take the backdoor since they don’t want to tell their enemies “Hi guys, we’re back”, right? Free falling from the sky, Lisara points out a tower name Tuleslay that gathers and stores all energy from humans. This energy is important to keep their sun burning. In the nucleus of Tuleslay is a gate that links Grimworld to Earth so when a human is about to die, they use that gate to travel and absorb the human’s energy before kicking the bucket. Gee, that’s very considerate not to waste any energy when we’re about to die. The Restall family was in charge of the gate to moderate the Grim Reaper traffic but Galdarblog revolted and started a war and are in control of the tower now. Quele’s water magic allows them to have a soft landing. Lisara wants to retreat to her home and make plans but Ryousuke insists on barging ahead to rescue Mina. He is confident he has Gram and that Galdarblog stands no chance. Meanwhile Iria gets orders from Merlot headquarters wanting her to destroy the targets because with Galdarblog’s influence, the Restall family will be destroyed. Iria realizes that the monster is sent by them and wants Lisara trapped. Mina wakes up in a room in Tuleslay. She meets Galdarblog who rants about this world needing to return to its former self and joining forces with humans. In order to reclaim the human world and take back the lost royal treasure which is Gram, an immeasurable power is needed. Learning that Ryousuke has taken the bait, he goes off to prepare for battle. Ryousuke fights the monsters with Gram and powers up with his invisible dictionary. Ketsudan ryoku = Decision power = Butt power! Oh, the play on words… Quele is injured during the monster’s rampage and Ryousuke starts to panic. He can’t see the words in his invisible dictionary anymore. Only with Iria dropping in and Lisara lending her hand were they able to annihilate all the monsters.

Ryousuke wakes up and thinks he is in heaven. Does heaven have a pair of beautiful maids? And the goddess can’t be Lisara, right? Because she’s got boobs… Enough to earn him a wake up punch! The goddess turns out to be Almeia, Lisara’s mom and they’re back at Lisara’s home. Ryousuke is relieved that Quele has been healed by them. Ryousuke realizes Lisara’s mission of coming to Earth to attain greater powers to fight Galdarblog. Lisara laments she couldn’t find that special specimen but Almeia points out she found a kind and gentle knight instead. Ryousuke feels he is not that great after remembering he let Quele get injured and apologizes for being cocky. Almeia has her maids, Hild and Urs to heal him. If this healing process looks and feels so horny, I’m sure everybody especially Ryousuke would gladly want to do it. However Ryousuke is not in horny mood because he is still traumatized by that. Despite his physical wounds healed, Amelia can feel there are still unseen wounds and wants him to rest while he can. Lisara talks to Quele that she and Iria (who has intelligence on how to infiltrate Tuleslay) will go face Galdarblog as Ryousuke is in no condition to fight since he won’t be able to unleash his perverted powers. In the worst case scenario if she fails, Lisara will leave it to Quele. Mina remembers how she was quite close to Ryousuke since young. He always helped her and it’s no surprise she took a liking for him. She even tried to confess once. The perfect setting. Sunset, alone after school with the sakura petals scattering. If only the train didn’t muffled out her words. Because it was then Ryousuke vowed to protect all girls as his treasure. So much about wanting her to pay extra attention to only her. Quele makes her way to Ryousuke’s room. She undresses herself and wants him to f*ck make love with her.

Episode 7.5
This recap episode is supposed for Lisara and Quele to access Ryousuke’s power and capabilities. Instead, we see them narrating the events up to Mina’s kidnapping before their departure to Grimworld. From the time Ryousuke met Lisara outside his house, the unleashing of his perverted powers to replenish her in their first battle, their fight with Quele followed by one with Iria, his training of using his invisible dictionary and Satomi’s back story of Ryousuke’s dad. It’s as though Lisara and Quele are being a pair of commentators, commenting their thoughts on certain scenes. Quele is like infatuated with Ryousuke and Lisara embarrassed about her fanservice scenes. Of course you can’t leave out those important and juicy fanservice scenes, can’t we? Ah, that’s why we watch the recap again despite learning nothing new. We just don’t get tired of those small and big boobs, don’t we?

Episode 8
Lisara rendezvous with Iria and looks like this is part of Iria’s plan as she is obeying Merlot’s orders to break Ryousuke’s contract. As they rush through the forest, it brings back fond memories of the training they went through. Lisara thanks Iria for everything for without her, she would have not been the top of the class. Lisara goes to seek the Restall army’s help to attack Tuleslay as a diversion. Quele starts getting horny with Ryousuke in order for him to get his horniness back. But Ryousuke is in no mood. Where has his ero power gone to? Then he realizes from Quele’s words that Lisara has left on her own and Quele was trying to seduce him to get his powers back to aid Lisara. No time to mope in the safety of this mansion when Lisara is out there risking her life, right? The Restall army attacks Tuleslay and Galdarblog isn’t going to just welcome them. Welcome them he did. A fiery one, that is. And Mina couldn’t have picked a better time than to escape from her room via climbing outside the window, tiptoeing on the ledge. So what do you expect when the attack between both sides really starts to shake things up? She falls off, of course. I guess when a person is about to die, their life flashes before their eyes and for Mina, the times she spent with Ryousuke and her unsuccessful confession. Makes her really remember how much she loves him, eh? As she screams out his name, a powerful energy flows through her. Galdarblog realizes the importance of this woman and orders his army to capture her.

Ryousuke and Quele see the bright energy light from the mansion and worry that something may have happen to Lisara or Mina. They want to make haste but were stopped by Almeia. Almeia clearly told Quele to stay put and not take care of Ryousuke so the maids coolly inch closer towards Quele to execute their punishment (whatever that is). Ryousuke won’t return to the mansion with her seeing Lisara is out there risking here life. But that is more the reason why he should. Because Galdarblog’s aim is to seize Gram from within him and must stop him at all cost. What Lisara is doing is merely a necessary action as Restall’s heir. That’s why she left without telling him. Iria guides grateful Lisara inside the tower but the latter realizes this is a setup when the door closes behind and all the monsters appear and surround her. Her fire magic doesn’t work so she is tied up as the monsters take turn to whip her like a punching bag. Ryousuke can’t accept this heir crap thingy. I guess seducing him by making sleep in her bosoms isn’t working either. He was confused at the start but now realized that it is because of Lisara that first brought his powers to light. He is confident Gram’s power will guide him and as long as he is one with Lisara, they can unleash Gram’s true powers. To prove it, Ryousuke pulls out Gram from his chest! Then he heads off with Quele to where Lisara is. I don’t know what Quele did to the maids but they end up in some pretty ambiguous fanservice position. Meanwhile Iria shows us she is no cold hearted b*tch because despite with Lisara’s downfall she can finally beat her, it’s no use if she is no longer her rival, right? What’s the use of beating her not with her own powers? Those few nice words Lisara said prior must have made her guilty, no? So screw Merlot’s orders. To hell with Galdarblog. Iria comes busting back and frees Lisara from her chains as they cooperate to destroy the monsters.

Episode 9
As Lisara runs through the corridors to search for Galdarblog, Mina has been captured and brought to him. He wants to know how she released that burst of energy but of course she doesn’t. Mina is so scared that it causes her to demonstrate that energy burst again. So that’s how. Lisara arrives on scene so Galdarblog unleashes his demon sword, Tyrfing and fends off her attacks. Then he holds Mina hostage. Guess what? She’s the special specimen! Who would’ve guessed. And for her to be so close to Lisara and she never have once guessed it. Didn’t the number on the bracelet when she first touched her give her an indication? Mina is on the verge of losing control of her powers but Galdarblog realizes he can’t seize it either because the mark of Sellier family is on her. As long Quele has a provisional contract on her, no one else can control her. Galdarblog orders his army to find Quele to undo the contract. So will Lisara undo hers and hand over Gram? Over her dead body! Well, she might want to take that back because Galdarblog defeats her and is moments away from making her a sacrifice when Ryousuke arrives on scene. I guess it saves Galdarblog the trouble to find him, eh? Gram versus Tyrfing. Who will triumph in the battle of power? Seems Tyrfing has the edge. But Ryousuke isn’t out yet. Galdarblog says even with its immense power, this sword cannot open the gate. That’s why he desires Gram and kept a lookout for the special specimen. If Gram is truly a sword that can defeat evil, he wants Ryousuke to prove it so that it’s not just a legend. Lisara doesn’t want Ryousuke to bear anymore of this responsibility so he hugs her and gets his motivation back. We see him fantasizing some dating scene with Lisara that eventually ends up with them in bed. I guess it’s his ero way of powering back. Surprise, Galdarblog? Yeah, when they are joined as one, they are the strongest. Get it? Galdarblog sees Tyrfing ‘quivering’ and realizes Ryousuke has awakened Gram’s power to such an extent. In the final face off, Ryousuke powers up Gram and fires at him. But Galdarblog didn’t resist and instead takes the stab. He admits he loves humans and is proud Ryousuke is able to overcome this obstacle. His kind was tasked with diminishing the human race to ensure future prosperity. But they pitied humans and lengthened the lives of humans who were supposed to die. This threw everything off balance and Grimworld suffered energy deficiency and this affected Earth as well. Their option is to wait for a dismal future. To avoid this, they must destroy the barrier between Grimworld and Earth and this is what Galdarblog was trying to do. He thanks and congratulates Ryousuke and should be proud of what he has done. The tower shuts down as Ryousuke emits a powerful energy while lamenting all this is his fault. When Lisara wakes up, she sees both worlds have been fused and Galdarblog’s army advancing through the devastated city. Hey! Notice something? Notice Lisara was semi-naked with her boobs exposed for this entire episode!!! Woot! The short fantasy didn’t count of course…

Episode 10
Ryousuke wakes up in his room but it’s his dog that greets him. Suddenly Mina is overcome with emotion when she steps into the room. As we’re being told, Ryousuke was out unconscious for a week after expending so much energy on Gram and the girls were really worried if he would ever open his eyes again. Lisara says the Restall army’s appearance has calmed things down for now. Though Ryousuke still feels guilty that everything is his fault, he can’t wallow in self guilt now since the girls especially Mina, are very worried. But he’s not out of the woods yet because he has only 2 weeks left to live. Hey, they’ve got the special specimen, right? Ryousuke gets superb service with Lisara and Quele serving him porridge in naked apron. Not 100% naked because Lisara is wearing a swimsuit underneath. I guess Ryousuke still loves it. Iria just returned as she mentions about everything being shut down, the trains, handphones and network system. She is being whisked away by the duo and to her surprise finds out they haven’t told Ryousuke the whole truth yet. Mina thought Ryousuke is searching for his porn books. Well, she was cleaning his room and found them and nicely arranged them in the shelves! What is she? His mother? Actually he is trying to find his handphone. His computer is missing too. Actually his handphone and computer were accidentally put in the washing machine. WTF?! How can you do that to a PC? Airhead excuse? What about his TV? Lisara sold it for money. Shucks. Because Merlot is in a mess, Iria can no longer return to her apartment and wants to stay here. Well, the more the merrier. Besides, who did she contract with for energy? Oh. His dog. Ryousuke wants to head down to the internet cafe to look up on happenings during his slumber but the girls want him to play cards instead. The loser strips a piece of clothing. See how fast he instantly walked back in? He’s game. Feast your eyes on the sexy colourful lingerie the girls are in. Looks like Ryousuke is the only one fully clothed. Wow! Sexy! Lisara has the ‘honour’ of being the first to remove her bra and go topless. Ryousuke anticipates in baited breathe till all his cards fall out from his sleeve. Busted. Can he fake airhead excuse? Nope. He gets beat up instead.

While resting in his room a Grim Reaper, Dalnia Earhart reminds him about his balance life and that she is here to do his job. Ryousuke is pretty confident the special specimen is around but Dalnia chides how unworthy he is after the destruction he caused. What destruction? She shows him everything. The other girls tell Mina that her special powers activate when she confesses to Ryousuke. Just thinking about him will enable he to release all that energy. When a special specimen was detected 3 months ago at Momozono, she was trying to confess to Ryousuke, right? After so hard in getting Ryousuke’s confidence back, now he’s back to trauma mode. He is not too happy the girls hid the truth from him. Iria knows who Dalnia is. She is also from Merlot and has reputation of completing all her job. Ryousuke wants to go out and fight but the girls won’t let him. Dalnia tells him the hard facts that the soldiers are laying down their lives by orders of the crown and that all humans are supposed to die anyway. Once Ryousuke expires, she will guide and secure his energy. Thanks for letting us know his grim fate, b*tch. Lisara is confident she can save his life with the special specimen but Dalnia knows Mina is in no condition to release her powers and not prepared to do so. Until the day Ryousuke dies, she’ll be living here. Great. After threatening to take his life, now she’s freeloading. Dalnia makes herself at home while Ryousuke just spaces out. Of course he has no mood to eat if you know your days are numbered. Iria talks to Lisara, thinking it’s best she should think about the best ways to spend her remaining days with him but she insists their relationship isn’t like that and would never fall in love with that pervert. Liar. Ryousuke can’t sleep too. How can he after all that guilt. I wonder how he got his TV back and got to watch some debate raging on TV about the Grim Reapers having the rights to take lives. Ryousuke feels it would be unfair if his life was only spared after all this. He wonders what he can accomplish in a week and if he used his remaining time in a way which leaves no regrets, is that considered accomplishment? He wishes he noticed Lisara’s feelings but she disagrees she feels the same about him and needs to accept Mina to save his life. She just wants to keep her promise. Really? Nothing more?

Episode 11
Satomi returns and is relieved her son is not dead. Yet. What do you mean by that?! He better not be dead! Urm, I think strangling him would just hasten his death, don’t you think? So when Satomi meets the other girls face to face and learns the way he can be saved, she leaves it in their hands to save him. Ryousuke and Mina are set up to go out on a date today. It beats me why do they need to wait for each other at some distant park when they just live next door to each other. Leaving things to them won’t see much progress so Lisara, Quele and Iria tail them just to give them a much needed push. Quele temporarily controls a stray dog to attack them so Ryousuke saves Mina by pulling her to his side. That gets the ball rolling. Whether it’s watching a movie, shopping, playing the crane game or having a meal, it’s pretty odd to see that they are the only people around! Where the heck is everybody else?! Like a dead town ravaged by zombies?! Satomi meets Dalnia and the latter as usual becomes a wet blanket on Ryousuke’s life. She pours cold water on Lisara’s theory that the special specimen can save him. Based on her experience, they will end in failure. But mama isn’t going to listen to her because she believes Lisara can do it. Based on her experience, there’s no such thing as a sure thing. Even death? I guess now the only thing they can do now is to wait and see. Lisara leaves as she feels the lovebirds don’t need her help but Quele and Iria continue to stay on. At the hilltop, it’s the perfect setting for a confession. Mina finally confesses she loves him and has feelings for him ever since young. Her powers start activating. But we know it didn’t work because we see Quele and Iria returning to Lisara and reporting the bad news. Why it didn’t work? Because Ryousuke turned her down! Bummer. That dimwit! Lisara is so upset that she is going to confront him. Oh, he’s back. How convenient. So why the hell did he reject Mina? Because he can’t lie to his feelings. Because he loves Lisara. Why am I not surprised? Lisara shrugs off she had feelings for him and remember the part about Ryousuke considering all the girls his treasure? Yeah, she may just be part of it. She wants Ryousuke to apologize to Mina, confess to her, become her lover, throw her arms around her, kiss her, make love to her, etc. Wow. That’s a lot of things to do. Isn’t this a sign that Lisara cares for him? Well, Ryousuke would love to hang around Lisara more. If only he didn’t collapse!!! NOOO!!! No funny! Wake up! So much about saving him. As the only guy around, how can you leave your harem girls alone?! The only guy around is dead. Or at least fallen back into comatose state. Satomi and Mina are inconsolable.

Episode 12
Dalnia is here to reap his energy and assures she is not taking his soul as they are both separate matters. But if she retrieves the energy, the bond between the soul and body will break permanently, right? So it’s like almost the same thing, no? Lisara wants Dalnia to give an extra day but she’s not listening and proceeds with her ritual. However she can’t extract his energy upon finding out Gram is inside him as this means his body and soul can’t be separated. She wants Lisara to remove it but Lisara begs to give more time. Dalnia chains her down and is going to continue with her ritual but Iria pushes her away. They both transform and fight. Mina receives an SMS from Ryousuke (he sent one before his collapse and due to the networking thingy, it reached her late). He reveals that he heard her first confession clearly but couldn’t give her an answer right away. If she wasn’t his childhood friend, he may have looked at her as another woman and married her. So for that reason, he apologizes to her but still likes her a lot. This was enough for Mina to release her special specimen power. This is timely as it interrupted Dalnia and Iria’s fight (the latter would’ve lost for good). The plan now is for Lisara to separate her soul from her body and use Mina’s power to bring Ryousuke’s soul back. First, Quele takes out the broken sword within Mina’s chest (the way she’s screaming in pain looked like as though she was going through labour!), then Lisara uses that broken sword to stab her own chest. Dalnia assures she won’t be taking any action and will just observe. At least till her curiosity is satisfied. However she notes if the soul is separated too long from the body by force, it will be rendered incapable of returning back. Lisara follows the chains as it leads her to Ryousuke. He is in a daze and doesn’t recognize who is calling him at first. He then realizes it’s Lisara but he doesn’t want her coming any closer or she’ll die too. Lisara is as stubborn as him as she tries to pull him back up but gets pulled down. Barely hanging for their lives, Lisara starts explaining her predicament. Since Ryousuke is too dumb to understand, she tells it straight to him that she loves him. It’s his perverted part that she hates and can’t let him die. If that isn’t reassuring enough, maybe this kiss will. So is he convinced?

Lisara returns to her body and to everybody’s relieve, Ryousuke is back alive! I think Lisara is the most emotional one. Ryousuke apologizes for making her worried and will do his best to make her smile from now on. Suddenly the special specimen power starts radiating massively from within him. How can this be? She gets an idea. In the aftermath, we see Dalnia explaining her Life Jewel concept. Grim Reapers and humans will start making regular contact with each other to develop a new two-way custodial relationship. This is because human energy can grow in exponential amounts depending on the person’s happiness level. That’s why they should support their lives and provide them with a way to elevate their energy levels till their deaths. This way, they’ll also acquire larger amounts of energy. Since then, Grim Reapers start living among humans in this world. Meanwhile Lisara won’t share bath time with Ryousuke even though they’re a couple now. You know what’s on his mind. However he assures her he still has the responsibility to make future of humans brighter with his power. His first big step for that happiness is to improve general birth rates! Oh. Can you see where this is going? Lisara doesn’t think so… Outside, Mina had this ‘evil’ thought that if Lisara continues to feel like this for Ryousuke, maybe there’s a chance she can steal him away. Here’s another rival to add: Iria is back and thinks of contracting with Ryousuke to create the best and biggest Life Jewel. For profit of course. After getting beaten up and bleeding all over, Ryousuke continues to revive with his ero powers and will keep on doing super erotic things to Lisara. For her sake. For her sake? The other girls won’t let him have his way.

Sexual Healing…
What a mediocre ending. Well, it’s not a surprise since I expected something like this too. So the world didn’t revert back to normal? Still fused? Wouldn’t it be strange now that humans and Grim Reapers are walking side by side? Won’t humans be always looking over their shoulder knowing that death can strike any time now? It’s closer than they think. Even if they’re going to keep up with this Life Jewel thingy and improve relations with humans, it still doesn’t dispel the fact that they are Grim Reapers, right? The ones who will take your soul when you die. Oh, what the heck. Why do I care? All I care is whether Ryousuke would have gotten lucky with Lisara or the other girls at any time in this series. Looks like it is safe to say that everyone continues to be a virgin. Keep trying harder, Ryousuke. Maybe you can use your immense perverted powers to overwhelmingly corrupt Lisara’s mind and change her opinion that sex is good for the soul. I mean, look at it this way. If Ryousuke replenishes via his erotic powers, then he transfers that power to Lisara, shouldn’t she too be ‘influenced’ by that perverted energy? Unless you’re telling me all energy in its raw form is clean and it’s just that Ryousuke’s thoughts are as dirty and impure as a garbage dumpsite. Yeah. Maybe that.

The characters are just pretty decent (oh, the irony) for such a genre. Nothing extraordinary. Perverted kid has some sort of dormant power within him which he can use for greater good when the time calls for it. How often have we heard the main hero having this kind of trait? Although Ryousuke is a pervert, however with the ability to power up easily with his erotic mind, it somehow just feels that the title of this series is somewhat redundant. I mean, as long as Lisara keeps absorbing his power, we are told his ‘kingdom’ won’t be ‘functional’ in a few days. That would normally be the norm. Thus he can’t play H. He can’t be ecchi. He can’t do hentai. He can’t have sex. Because there isn’t any erection! And then you see him using his invisible dictionary mode which replenishes his power and ‘kingdom’ so fast that it makes you wonder if you can stop his ‘little buddy’ from getting aroused. Speaking of his invisible dictionary, I also thought trying to remember pages of the dictionary that contains his favourite words is also somewhat redundant. Do you think it would be better to just remember the word? Why the heck do you need to go through all that number to flip through those imaginary pages and reach the right one when you can just recall a particular word straight? No need for flipping time. No need for extra memorization. Faster replenishing of power. Easier, don’t you think? Now that he has a little group of treasure on his own (called harem), he should be taking extra care of them. They are after all his greatest treasure chests, right?

Do you think we can consider Lisara as a tsundere? For most of the obvious part, she shrugs off her feelings for Ryousuke and insists that it is part of her duty or mission. I understand that girls would want to hesitate in declaring their love for him at first because of his perverted reputation. Imagine what others would think if a girl like you starts admitting to have feelings for a pervert. So what does this pervert have that others don’t which makes the main heroines in this series flock to him? Every main guy like him has his own principles too so that really feels kinda generic. Don’t tell me Lisara has been absorbing too much of his perverted energy and may have come to become ‘hook’ on them. Okay, she doesn’t look like it. Mina has been hanging around him for so long that it is only natural that she would develop feelings for him. Quele has heard so many wonderful stories of Ryousuke from Mina and if that doesn’t convert her into a Ryousuke fan, I don’t know what will. Iria initially wanted to best everything that Lisara had a hand in and though snatching Ryousuke is one of her agenda, it feels like she gradually develop some genuine feelings for it although it is not obvious that she has shown such feelings towards him. Yet. I guess with a girl like Iria around, it keeps Lisara on her toes because as the role of an eternal rival, where would the fun be if you’re no longer there t be taken down and defeated by your own hands? Absolutely boring. Absolutely no challenge. So despite Ryousuke being a pervert in which is a core of him they dislike, I guess they’d rather take the package as a whole and deal with it. Because as they put it, a pure Ryousuke is not Ryousuke at all. Yeah. Pervert = Ryousuke. So it’s like they’re in love with his perverted side too, right?

At first it baffles me to who this Galdarblog guy is. I was thinking if he was playing the badass villain the entire time just for that moment. Well, seems like it. If you don’t act like the villain, then heroes like Ryousuke won’t take you seriously. Then he won’t power up to his full potential and release all that immense power. Then I did some research a bit and to my surprise that he is supposed to be Ryousuke’s dad! I’m not sure if this is a troll or not because it was hard trying to get more information on this (maybe I was just plain lazy). If Galdarblog is indeed Ryousuke’s dad and Satomi’s husband, then there is one big issue that bugged me. If he was the one who inserted his broken half of Gram into Satomi, why the hell can’t he remember that it was there in the first place? It doesn’t make sense. Unless you tell me that his amnesia thingy is so bad that after he left Satomi and returned to Grimworld, he lost all his memories all over again. Yeah maybe. So what was his unfinished business he wanted to settle and left Satomi while she was still pregnant? This part of the flashback is still unclear so maybe if there was another season produced, it would address this issue. At first I also wonder why he can’t remember his son when they first confronted each other. Then I realized he has never met his son when he left. Therefore I guess he doesn’t know what he looks like when growing up. I was hoping that his fatherly instincts would kick in and do a Darth Vader revelation thingy and go, “Ryousuke… I am… Your father!”. Guess not. So is Galdarblog dead? When both worlds fused, we hear the Restall army were still fighting Galdarblog’s army. At least this is what I understand. Therefore what was their goal again? Was it to combine both worlds to save the hassle of collecting human energy and save Grimworld? Heck, get the energy source directly! As for Amelia, I thought she and her maids had too little and insignificant screen time to have any impact on the series. One thing odd about Amelia is that when she talks, you can see little flame sparks coming out from her mouth when she speaks. It’s like as though her guts are made of fire and she’s a walking incinerator!

The fanservice and ecchi scenes are the main motivation why one would even want to watch this show. Yes, sadly the storyline and characters weren’t that interesting enough to overwhelm the fanservice section so I guess for perverts like us, we revel more in seeing big tits and small tits in each episode. I’m not sure how many versions are there but the version I watched is the uncensored one. Yes, that’s right. In each episode, you’ll get your fill of bare tits in your face, especially Lisara. Are you turned on now? Well, after the umpteenth bare boobs, it just ‘loses’ its ‘magic’ feel. Take for instance this. You are a first timer stepping into a nudist colony. Your head will turn and your eyes open real wide when you see real tits in the flesh before your eyes. It’s like holy cow! Mamma Mia! Then when you’ve seen too many of boobs, your interest starts to diminish. I mean, it’s the same umpteenth boobs for heaven’s sake. But somehow we never seem to tire out, season after season for ecchi animes, right? What’s the magic attraction in that? :). Of course the uncensored version isn’t totally uncensored as there are a handful of parts that will be censored too with a streak of blinding light when it is deemed too ‘dangerous’ to be shown. The next episode preview is also amusing because it is where the characters rant about especially Ryousuke and his perverted lines. For example, honestly becomes horniest-ly, the girls wanting him to use their breasts and perhaps the best one was whereby he wanted to use his throbbing manly thing to shoot white stuff on his face. What white stuff?! The light! THE LIGHT, that is!!! If he had said that sooner, he wouldn’t have got beaten up by Lisara. Hehehe…

I can’t say that I am pretty pleased with the action although it isn’t that horrible. I just somehow don’t find them engaging enough. It’s already bad enough that I don’t remember the names of all those spells the girls spout during battles. My memories are worse than Galdarblog’s. I don’t know if this is a trend but whenever Lisara jumps into action with the monsters or her rivals, she tends to get beaten up first. Beaten to a point her clothes start tearing away. Fanservice, I know. Just reminds me of Ultraman. They fight a monster till their energy is dangerously low before making a comeback with some power up or help. One thing I want to mention about the monsters that Merlot keeps sending to attack Lisara, they seem to come in lots of shapes, sizes and colours. So much so they remind me of those colourful cute but dangerous monsters in Senki Zesshou Symphogear. No kidding. I thought the difference is that they don’t turn you into ashes upon contact. Then another funny point I want to point out is the suit that Restall and Galdarblog’s army wear. I don’t know. It made them look like bugs. So is this some fantasy world or a world where Grim Reapers come from? Even wearing in black cloaks won’t be as bad. Get what I’m saying? When Lisara was treated as a punching bag by the monsters and as a result her skin became bruised with burn marks, I thought it looked like she had contracted some sort of skin disease. I don’t know. It felt nauseating. It’s a good thing it was healed in the end.

In certain ways, I can’t help draw several comparisons how this series is similar to High School DxD. Both the main male protagonists are perverts and aren’t embarrassed in becoming one. The main heroine whom the heroine is contracted to is a red head from a highly esteemed family or clan who takes this guy under her wing and he becomes some sort of her ‘slave’. They are highly speculated to end up with each other and become a couple compared to the other girls. Instead of demons, angels and fallen angels, we have Grim Reapers and monsters from another parallel world instead. Both the guys too have some sort of hidden power that can be used to turn the tables on their enemies. However I feel that High School DxD is more superior in everything else compare to this series (except for the amount of boobs this one showed). While I do look forward to the sequel for High School DxD, I can’t say the same for this one as even if there is a sequel, I may or may not want to watch it. Most probably I will but even so, the enthusiasm isn’t as great. I’d only expect more boobs after all…

For the voice acting part, Hiro Shimono as Ryousuke feels like he is a perverted version of The World God Only Knows’ Keima Katsuragi or any other characters with angst and turn it into a perverted wave. Minori Chihara as the emotionless Dalnia reminds me of her other expressionless character roles like Chiaki in Minami-ke and Nagato in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. Other casts include Aya Endo as Lisara (Matsu in Sekirei), newbie Arisa Nishiguchi as Quele, Misato Fukuen as Iria (Rika in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Kaori Ishihara as Mina (Kanna in Ano Matsu De Matteru), Aya Hisakawa as Almeia (Maya in Tenjou Tenge) and Shinobu Matsumoto as Galdarblog (Touma Amakasu in Campione). The rock outfit opening theme is Reason Why XXX by Sayaka Sasaki and the anime pop ending theme by Yozuca is entitled Platinum 17. Somehow both songs remind me of their respective themes in High School DxD.

What’s the use of having so much overflowing erotic powers if you can’t f*ck the girls in your harem? Haha! You can always do it yourself but I guess that defeats the purpose and beside the point. It’s like having the greatest library in the world with all the books within your collection but you can’t read. For decoration? I’m sure most guys have their ‘kingdom’ not for decoration. Is it the size or performance that counts? Remember, even if you are overflowing with such distasteful power, don’t go f*cking around to release all that pent up desires. But don’t wait till kingdom come if you know what is good for you ;p. Time to take out those Playboy magazines to replenish mine… Here comes my COSMOS!!!

Acchi Kocchi OVA

March 1, 2013

Did they manage to become a couple? Are we still waiting for that official moment whereby they become one? I suppose that’s why we will have to watch Acchi Kocchi OVA (or sometimes dubbed as the 13th episode) to find out whether or not things between Io and Tsumiki have progressed further than before. As we know, dense boy and tsundere girl won’t get their relationship anywhere if it is left in their own hands. Not even in a hundred years. Not even in eternity. So that’s why you have their friends to poke around and see some spark fly. Who wouldn’t love to watch romance of others unfurling before their eyes? Provided it is not theirs.

* Io knows he is dreaming. Otherwise, why the heck is there a cute kitty in Tsumiki’s image called Tsumikitty asking him to be picked up? There she goes sitting on his head. Oh, did I mention this dream is somewhat RPG too? There’s Hime the nose bleeding fairy who tells Io about his quest to defeat the dreadful Mayomancer (that’s Mayo and necromancer together) if he wants to return Tsumiki to normal.
* At the castle gates, Sakaki the evil gatekeeper appears to stop their tracks. But Tsumiki just land a single paw blow on the wall for them to make their entry! His role isn’t necessary. Inside, they see Mayo caught up in her own trap! Mayo frees her and at the same time ‘defeats’ her with her paw scratching. So to break the curse of being asleep forever, Io must perform a kiss-like action. Io kisses his thumb and puts it on Tsumiki’s lips. He wakes up. He sees Tsumiki and Hime collapsed from massive nose bleeding while Mayoi and Sakaki are writhing in pain. Did they all have a simultaneous dream? They relate the weird dream they have in the RPG-like dream but Tsumiki can’t say hers because the ‘kiss’ part was too embarrassing.
* On a cold day, the quintet visit the ice skating rink. Mayoi thinks they should’ve worn their cosy and warm animal pyjamas but realize they can’t fit their feet into the skates if they’re wearing those.
* Because it’s so cold and Io saying you can hammer a nail with a banana, the rest start imagining weird banana circumstances. Using a banana to cut through a nail? Moses opening the sea with a banana? Clubbing someone to death with a comb of bananas?! Just so wrong.
* Since Io seems to be skating easily and naturally, Mayoi quickly joins in but falls flat on her face. I think the ice cracked too… We have the gang narrate a few tips on how to skate before the rest praise Mayoi skating like a beautiful princess. Look how her nose bleed is propelling her away! They discuss about the origins of skating. North Pole? South Pole? Who would want to skate there? Polar Bears?
* Tsumiki slips but Io grabs her hand. She is in a dilemma. If she says she’s okay, he’ll let go of her hand. If she says no, she might have to sit out as she wants him to continue and teach her to skate. Tsumiki panics and ‘explodes’. What is ‘nokay’? Tsumiki purposely slips to fall into Io’s arm. When she sees Mayoi and Sakaki snickering, she gets mad and chases after them. Wow. Now she can skate so well.
* Io and Mayoi are skating at high speed when Io crashes into Sakaki! Accident! He nearly died. He received an overkill when Mayoi slips and elbows his stomach. Please skate with care.
* They discuss about skaters and spinning of their heads but their imagination ran wild as they imagine the skater’s hate launching into air after too much spinning.

* Tsumiki hears to horoscope this morning so she hopes she can take the initiative with her love as mentioned. When she meets Io, she hesitates but grabs his hand when he’s about to leave. Panicking further, she puts his hand on her head (not what she really intended) so he pats her. Oh, Mayoi and Hime see this… Mayoi suggests to carry on patting her head till it catches fire! On the way to school, Hime also mentions about watching this morning’s horoscope programme and is about to blurt out Tsumiki’s fortune but was stopped by her ‘scratching’. Is this part of her fortune?
* In class, they meet up with Saki and Kana and they too discuss about the lucky words from the horoscope. So ‘hand on head’ could mean iron claw strangling or face crusher smash?! Then they refer to the horoscope in a girl’s magazine and one of the lucky items turns out to be… Transcribing sutras?
* Kana borrows Io’s glasses thinking it is a lucky item so she’s going to try her luck landing a free drink at the vending machine. I know Sakaki is blind as a bat without his glasses. But can’t he recognize Sakaki from his voice?
* As the friends notice how different Io looks without his glasses (is he looking cooler than usual?), they suggest to put different ones on him. From retro to millennium glasses and even sponsor glasses. Is that even glasses? How can he see through that?
* So Io’s glasses prove to be lucky because Kana can’t stop winning and brought back loads of can drinks! Amazing. Mayoi starts transcribing her sutra since it’s her lucky word… I don’t know what she is chanting… As the rest tries another lucky word, Io thinks everything is just coincidence. They suggest ‘cats’ and somehow one appears beside Io!
* During the break, Sakaki wonders why girls are infatuated with horoscope. Io points out they may find them more interesting than men (true!). Also, this probably adds some excitement to an otherwise average life. Sakaki thinks that’s how they cope with the harshness of reality. The girls remember how they used to make charms with their everyday items. Voodoo dolls too?
* Further reading the magazine’s horoscope to find out one’s compatibility, they want to know Io and Tsumiki’s. We all know they are good compatibility, right? That’s so easy. Io says he doesn’t pay to such horoscope compatibilities because he believes what his own heart tells him more than the result of some random person’s horoscope. He always has fun with them and that is really what matters. Wow. That cool line is enough to just make all the girls fawn over his coolness. So Io pats Tsumiki’s head and she blushes. So perhaps her fortune did come true after all.

All Over The Place But Still Gone Nowhere
Ah well. Looks like they are still more than friends but less than lovers. And I suppose that even if you give them more OVA episodes or another go at another season, there is a big chance that their relationship is still the same. After all, we like it that way, don’t way? Because if it ended and they become a couple, where would the fun and excitement be? That’s why it’s best that everyone stay as they are right now. No fortune telling horoscope is going to change that for sure. I guess this OVA is okay too and just like the other episodes from the TV series, it just feels like an extension and nothing more. The usual skits between the characters, their behaviour, the cuteness and the trademark visuals and art you see then are still present. Just no Acchi Kocchi Kindergarten at the end since the series already ended.

Just like in the TV series, Hime and Tsumiki continue to contribute to the massive nose bleeding frenzy. It is odd for us to see girls give out that much blood via such stimulation. Like I said previously, the amount that they have been gushing out could have been put to good use and the blood bank would be fat, rich and healthy in stock for many years to come. Anybody in the world that needs blood transfusion can certainly get their needed amount. Provided if you don’t have a rare blood type, that is. Furthermore, you can get ‘fresh’ blood from them in every episode! All you need to do is just make Io look cool and lovely and their nose bleed will splash out like a fountain of life in no time. Easy.

So if you want something light hearted and innocent, clean good fun (can’t say about the nose bleeding part, though), you should give this series and this final OVA a chance. Though I feel that you can watch them in any order as they don’t seriously have any significant impact on the storyline. What plot? Oh, you know. A dense boy and tsundere girl in a subtle relationship and their friends love watching them interact. What is it with us who love watching love relations on others? Ah, maybe that’s why we continue to watch Taiwanese, Latin and Korean soap and romance dramas, don’t we?

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