Fairy Tail

April 28, 2013

Woah!!! It ended?! Finally?! After 3.5 years?! For sure?! Here was I resigned to the fact that Fairy Tail will join the likes of Naruto and One Piece in running forever even when the universe ends but it seems to have surprised me. Instead, it joined the ranks of long running animes to finally end its run such as Bleach, Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn and Keroro Gunsou. Wow. I still can’t believe it even for some time now. There is a very good reason for this. No, it is not because the people have become bored with it (like a certain long running ninja series) but rather the contents of the anime have caught up to the manga. There is always this dilemma when this happens. Either you stop it or you put in mindless fillers and keep the series going and going (like a certain long running ninja series). Even the Energizer bunny can’t last that long. And so on March 30th, the anime series finally ends its run after 175 episodes. Feels like a long time if you have been watching faithfully every week. Thank goodness I wasn’t following a certain long running ninja series.

This show has been so long and my memories of course have become hazier and hazier by the week. I can’t remember much of the earlier episodes. I just remember them generally. That is why this is going to be one of the shortest blog for a long running series. I know I don’t want to waste my time putting up long winded summaries like I do for short animes because eventually I too can’t really remember if it happened. So I will just put up very briefly of what happened in each arc. Even if they seem long winded but they are considered brief, considering the amount of information and plot that this series has. There is of course the good ol’ Wikipedia and Wikia for decent and overflowing information if I ever wish to refresh or read up on what is going on or need to know about this series. There are lots of devoted fans out there so I’m sure they will do a better job in listing down the characters, episodes, images and other terms than this simpleton’s blog.

Basically as the title of the anime suggests, it is about this strongest magic guild in the fantasy world of Magnolia in Fiore, Fairy Tail. At first glance, many would see them as a rambunctious and noisy guild filled with magic users who only seem to drink, have fun or pick fights that causes massive destruction instead of doing proper jobs. A young celestial wizard becomes the newest member of this guild after running away from home, determined to lead an independent life of her own. Together with the guild members, they go on in lots of adventures, getting into trouble, save the world, kick villains’ butt and most important of all, build and strengthen bonds among themselves. I guess this is what makes them the strongest. Not their magic powers. They learn a thing or two about themselves, about others, about the world, help others, help those in need, etc. You get the picture. If you like big fantasy adventures with big action and some comedy, this is your cup of tea. But be prepared to stay up all night or days because you can’t finish this fairytale in just one bedtime story. You’re in for the long ride.

Lucy Heartfilia – Blonde 17 year old joins the guild after running away from home. She is a celestial wizard and is able to summon celestial spirits or open gates of the stars to aid her in battles or other tasks. It makes you wonder if all her Zodiac celestial spirits are some sort of a circus because they are absolutely weirdoes. Like Taurus is a perverted muscular bull, Virgo some S&M maid, Cancer a hairstylist with a pair of scissors, Aquarius has a freaking mean attitude and doesn’t like her dates interrupted and Sagittarius is some guy in a horse suit. Lucy doesn’t have all the Zodiac keys at first but she’ll obtain them all (or most of it) along the way. One of her celestial spirits is Plue. Yes. It’s that bug from Rave.

Natsu Dragneel – The fiery, hot-headed, reckless and carefree fire wizard who lets his fists do the talking. He is a first generation Dragon Slayer and his father is supposedly a dragon named Igneel. Apparently, dragons went missing several years ago and he is on a mission to find out what happened to them. Has motion sickness. Cannot ride in vehicles. Yes, any sort of vehicles. What kind of a hero has such an obvious weakness? Has a flying cat named Happy accompanying him almost everywhere. Fish loving Happy feels like a character that makes comical punch lines for comic relief. Natsu and Happy love crashing in at Lucy’s rented apartment. She has to pay rent. They don’t. Can’t blame her for blowing her top, can’t you?

Gray Fullbuster – Ice wizard who is always in conflict with Natsu. Always butting heads with each other and trying to best each other. They are like frenemies. Even though they dislike (not hate) each other’s guts, they still respect each other as guild members and will help out whenever the need arises. It’s more of a last resort. Eternal stripper and would strip down naked even without himself knowing it. I guess it comes natural.

Erza Scarlet – Nicknamed Titania and is the most powerful female wizard in the guild. Serious, no nonsense and strict (though, she too has a quirk or two) her main magic power is to summon and re-equip herself with all sorts of armour and swords that she keeps in a different dimension and space. If you ask me, though different armours and swords give different effects and powers, it makes her look like she is cosplaying. Yeah. Those armours look very much like cosplaying outfits. She is the one who keeps Natsu and Gray in line. If they don’t stop fighting, she’s going to whip their ass. You don’t want to mess with her. Seriously.

Makarov Dreyar – The current third master of the guild. This little old dude may seem like an old geezer but he deeply cares about his children (the guild members). Other current main members in this guild include Elfman Strauss (big guy who thinks anything is manly – even if you’re a woman), Mirajane (Elfman’s older sister who is a pin-up model and is the bartender and administrator of the guild – another woman you don’t want to mess and make mad. Serious. Take my word for it), Cana Alberona (drunkard who uses tarot cards), Levy McGarden (specializes in writing runes), Alzack Connell and Bisca Moulin (guns pair), Reedus Jonah (fat painter dude), Jet (fast dude), Droy (plant dude), Macao Conbolt (purple flare user), Wakaba Mine (smoke magic), Laki Olietta (wood magic), Nab Nasaro (Native American guy who never gets to picking up a job), Max Alors (sand user), Warren Rocko (telepathic user), Laxus (Makarov’s arrogant and electric wizard grandson) and Mystogan (nobody has really seen his face or know who he is).

Introduction Arc
* Lucy mistakes somebody else as Salamander (Natsu’s nickname) and ends up discovering this jerk’s plan to smuggle out young girls. The true Salamander saves the day and Lucy joins Fairy Tail.
* Lucy, Natsu and Happy take on a job to steal and then burn some book from a wealthy corrupted man. The book turns out to be an apology letter from his father for neglecting him.
* Erza recruits Natsu and Gray along with Lucy to stop the evil guild called Eisenwald led by the wind wizard, Erigor from using some flute that will kill anyone who hears it. His plan is to kill all the guild masters who are gathered for a meeting.

Galuna Island Arc
* S-Class missions are only reserved for S-Class wizards. Natsu isn’t and is desperate to take a mission to prove himself. Plus, the rewards are much higher. Lucy is dragged along. The people of the island are under some curse that is slowly turning them into monsters during moon light.
* Gray is supposed to bring them back but once he learns of the plot to unleash Deliora, a super powerful monster that his late teacher, Ul once sealed away using her life, he decides to join and end this before the monster is resurrected.
* Lyon Vastia and his subordinates, Sherry Blendy, Yuuka Suzuki and Toby Horhorta want to unleash Deliora because of the thinking that in order to surpass Ul, they must defeat this beast.
* Gray believes Ul is not dead. Flashback reveals when Deliora ravaged his town, he and Lyon became Ul’s disciple to learn ice magic to defeat the beast (I guess this is where his stripping habits come from too). However Deliora’s return and more powerful than ever means that Ul had to use her ultimate magic to seal the beast. Iced Shell has her body transformed into a giant ice block to seal in Deliora. So if Lyon melts the ice away with the moon light, he is like killing Ul.
* Lyon knows this and despite so is still bent on resurrecting Deliora. The monster is resurrected but soon dies because for the entire time it was encased in Iced Shell, Ul was zapping its life force away. Thank goodness it was a short-lived freedom.
* As for the islanders, they weren’t under a curse to begin with. They were actually monsters themselves and due to the moon light ritual Lyon was doing, it caused them to turn human and altered their memories. The heroes destroy an invisible membrane hovering over the island to restore everything back to normal. Lyon and his subordinates repent their ways and promise to turn over a new leaf.
* Filler episodes: Due to a strange book, the Fairy Tail members begin swapping each other’s bodies. It’s one helluva messy swap… Lucy learns how Natsu befriended Happy (the cat was born out of an egg?) and Natsu’s childhood friend, Lisanna (youngest sister of Mirajane and Elfman). What happened to her? She died. Oh…

Phantom Lord Arc
* Fairy Tail can’t be the only guild in town, right? Phantom Lord is another rival guild and it seems they have a bone to pick with Fairy Tail. When Phantom Lord’s guild master, Jose Porla attacks and destroys part of Fairy Tail’s headquarters, Makarov didn’t retaliate and feign ignorance. But when Levy is attacked and Lucy kidnapped, that is the last straw and Makarov declares all-out war against Phantom Lord for hurting his children.
* The reason Phantom Lord kidnaps Lucy is because they are being hired by Lucy’s father, Jude to get her back after the daughter of a rich family ran away. Natsu rescued her from her locked tower.
* Phantom Lord brings and fires some super magical power cannon at Fairy Tail’s base.
* Fairy Tail vs Element 4: Natsu vs Totomaru; Gray vs Juvia Loxar; Elfman vs Sol; Erza vs Aria. As expected, our heroes beat their enemies in the end.
* Phantom Lord has a resident Dragon Slayer too: Gajeel Redfox and his metal dragon is Metallica (who also went missing years ago). Natsu and Gajeel butt heads together with Lucy helping Natsu to overturn his misfortune of having no fire to eat and power by summoning Sagittarius.
* Fairy Law: A very powerful spell that purifies all evil. Jose became ‘victim’ to it when Makarov unleashes this spell on him. Battle over. Fairy Tail won.
* Phantom Lord is disbanded by the Magic Council.
* Lucy returns home to confront her father to reject him straight that she doesn’t want to inherit his vast wealth because she considers Fairy Tail her true home.
* Loke, one of the members of Fairy Tale is actually the Zodiac celestial spirit Leo. He was banished from the spirit realm for accidentally causing the death of his cruel master 3 years ago by preventing her summoning magic in order to avoid her bullying another celestial spirit Aries. Spending too much time away from the spirit realm will cause him to fade and die so Lucy faces and challenges the Celestial Spirit King on Loke’s contract and makes a new one with him, allowing him to return to the spirit realm and live.

Tower of Heaven Arc
* While on vacation, Erza remembers her horrifying past whereby she was a child slave to build a towering Tower of Heaven. She is soon kidnapped by her other friends who help build the tower as they view her as a traitor. Sho, Simon, Millianna and Wally bring her to Jellal Fernandez, a twin brother of Siegrain of the Magic Council. He is bent on completing this R-System.
* What I remember was that this tower is able to bring back life to the dead. And they intend to resurrect (thus the R-system) the darkest wizard ever in history, Zeref. When Erza was young, she tried to escape but was captured and tortured. Jellal who was a fellow child prisoner rescued her and was also captured. Erza led a rebellion to save him but Jellal had been brainwashed by Ultear Milkovich who thought he was Zeref. Brainwashed Jellal managed to persuade Erza to flee the tower while he stayed behind with the other slaves to complete it.
* Now, Erza’s friends plan to make her a living sacrifice in order to complete the tower.
* Fairy Tail vs Trinity Raven: Gray vs Fukurou (owl head); Erza vs Ikaruga (samurai girl); Lucy and Juvia vs Vivaldus Taka (heavy metal dude).
* Siegrain = Jellal. He tricks the Magic Council into firing a powerful magic spell, Etherion to destroy the tower. As the tower is laced with lacrima crystals inside, inside of leaving nothing but dust, it causes the tower to turn into a giant lacrima form and absorb all the energy around. Now it needs a sacrifice for a second activation to resurrect Zeref. Someone with equivalent powers. That’s where Erza comes in. But Natsu won’t have it his way and they fight.
* Jellal is dismayed over the massive destruction Natsu caused and makes himself a sacrifice by fusing with the tower. He tries to kill them both but Simon saves them and got killed. Natsu becomes furious in seeing Erza breaking down over her friend’s lifeless body. He eats the lacrima to defeat Jellal once and for all. Now that the tower is becoming unstable, Erza fuses herself with it to control it and save Natsu.
* Erza offers her friends to join Fairy Tail but they decline as they wish to see the world more.
* Fairy Tail’s main guild is now bigger than ever after renovations and restoration.
* Gajeel and Juvia officially join Fairy Tail. Juvia falls head over heels for Gray ever since he defeated her in their match. She considers Lucy as her rival for Gray’s affection though this is a misconception on her part.

Battle of Fairy Tail Arc
* Laxus decides to take over the guild by force. While celebrating the annual harvest festival, Laxus and his Raijinshuu consisting of Freed, Evergreen and Bickslow put their plan in motion by turning some of the guild members into stone. To save them, all the other guild members are forced to face off with each other in a battle royale. Makarov, Natsu and Gajeel are the only ones stuck inside the barrier with the ladies while the rest duke it out.
* Laxus has surrounded the entire city with his Thunder Palace. Attack them and you receive enough bolts to shock your system. One is enough to kill you if you’re not that strong.
* Fairy Tail vs Raijinshuu: Lucy and Loke vs Bickslow; Erza vs Evergreen; Mirajane vs Freed.
* Mystogan confronts Laxus at the cathedral in a showdown of the most powerful wizards in Fairy Tail. The truth of Mystogan’s identity is revealed… Jellal?! He looks like him but he’s not. Thus he can’t continue with this battle anymore and leaves it to Erza.
* Erza leaves it to Natsu to fight Laxus as she goes off to help take out Thunder Palace with everyone else who are still able. Lucy’s heartfelt speech must have given them the motivation to get zapped. At least nobody died when the Thunder Palace has been all taken out.
* Natsu with Gajeel’s aid (they refuse to acknowledge they’re cooperating to fight) battle Laxus who considers himself a second generation Dragon Slayer. Laxus becomes impatient and invokes Fairy Law to destroy everything but the spell is rendered useless because it does not recognize anything that is deemed an enemy. Plus, deep down in Laxus’ heart, he did not see his guild mates as foes too.
* Even if Laxus admits defeat and repents his ways (sort of), as punishment he is expelled from the guild. But everyone gives him a send-off by showing that finger gesture. No, not the middle one. The one where you make your hand like a gun with your palm facing you and point your index finger to the sky.
* Filler episodes: A reporter from the magazine Weekly Sorcerer, Jason (“COOOOOOLLLLL!!!”) interviews the Fairy Tail members (leaving out only Lucy; Gajeel’s shooby doo bop sucks…); Juvia tries to use a love potion on Gray but it backfires because everyone else drinks it and falls in love with the first thing they see – ultimate love panic!; Jude is now broke and even seeking Lucy for some money. She refuses to help him in any sort as she still harbours bitter feelings from then. But when she hears the merchant guild he is supposed to work at is being robbed, Lucy goes all out to save him only to find he isn’t around. Apparently he arrived late because he had no money for transport. Even if she hasn’t forgiven him or doesn’t admit it, Jude can still feel his daughter’s love.

Alliance/Oracion Seis Arc
* All the dark guilds in this world fall under the Baram Alliance that consists of 3 dark guilds. One of them is Oracion Seis and they have only 6 members: Brain (leader), Midnight (Brain’s ‘son’), Cobra (has very good hearing and a giant flying snake, Cubellios), Racer (speed and anything to do with it like his name) Angel (celestial wizard) and Hot Eye (money makes the world go round, desu ne?).
* To take down Oracion Seis, Fairy Tail and several other magic guilds form an alliance. They are Blue Pegasus which consists of Ichiya Vandaley Kotobuki (does this parfum guy have some sort of past relationship with Erza?) and his other ladies men Eve Tearm, Hibiki Lates and Ren Akatsuki; Lamia Scale includes Jura Neekis (one of the Ten Wizard Saints), Lyon and Sherry (looks like they both have joined a guild). Cait Shelter oddly only consists of a young girl Wendy Marvell and her cat Carla (pronounced Sharuru and officially spelled as Charles but I guess Carla would seem more feminine – NB: Happy’s one-sided love for her…). Wendy is believed to be a Dragon Slayer of the sky (and her missing dragon is Grandine). From Fairy Tail’s side will be the usual quartet of Natsu, Gray, Erza and Lucy.
* Oracion Seis plans to unleash a powerful magic spell called Nirvana.
* Oracion Seis attacks the alliance first, wiping out many of its members. Brain kidnaps Wendy and forces her to use her healing properties to revive… Jellal!
* Gray fights Racer and along with Lyon and Sherry’s help, they defeat the first Oracion Seis member. Brain sensing his defeat awakes Midnight from his slumber. Nirvana begins activating.
* Lucy faces off with Angel and with a little help from Hibiki, another Oracion Seis member goes down and Lucy obtains her Gemini keys.
* When Erza comes into contact with Jellal, that guy is amnesiac. He seems like a different person. Like as though he has turned over a new leaf. He feels guilty for the pain he has caused her and self destructs himself. Thankfully Erza convinces him to live and repent his ways. He agrees to help them stop Nirvana.

* Nirvana has gone into its second stage. It turns into a huge lost city. With legs. And it is on its way to destroy the Cait Shelter guild. As far as I remember, this guild was the one who created Nirvana 400 years ago. It was supposed to protect their tribe but was the same reason that caused their downfall.
* Natsu engages with Cobra in an aerial battle. Cobra can predict his moves because he can hear his thoughts. He is defeated when Natsu fights using his instinct. Don’t think. Just do it!
* Hot Eye was fighting Jura when Nirvana’s first stage was activated. This caused Hot Eye’s personality to change (guess what? He is looking for his brother Wally) and he defects from Oracion Seis. Midnight fights and defeats him. At the same time, Jura also fights Brain and easily prevails over him. This sets the revelation of the 7th member, Klodoa, Brain’s talking stick. I’m not sure if the stick is easier to beat up but Klodoa reveals that they are targeting Cait Shelter first because it is the only guild that can seal Nirvana.
* Erza and Jellal are being confronted with Midnight. Though Jellal got owned, Erza’s determination assured her victory.
* Seems Brain isn’t really out yet. With all the Oracion Seis members defeated, his other dark personality called Zero gets activated. He doesn’t break into a sweat beating Natsu and the gang but lets them live because he places priority in destroying Cait Shelter.
* Nirvana’s firing misses Cait Shelter because thanks to Blue Pegasus’ flying Christina ship that destroyed one of its legs in the nick of time. However to fully put it out of commission, all 6 legs must be destroyed at the same time. Natsu, Gray, Lucy, Erza, Wendy and Jellal station at a leg each and await the right time to destroy it. But Natsu must defeat Zero first who is stationed at this leg spot. We all know how this will turn up in the end, don’t we? Zero defeated. Nirvana destroyed. The day is saved.
* In the aftermath, Lahar the captain of the Custody Enforcement Unit from the Magic Council arrests Jellal and the latter does not resist.
* Cait Shelter is revealed to never have existed. It’s some sort of a ghost guild. Wendy was found by a young boy that looks like Jellal during his journey and put into care of this guild for her sake. Nirvana’s destruction means the guild has no longer a reason to exist and vanish.
* Wendy and Carla officially join Fairy Tail.

Daphne Arc
* This is actually filler episodes. Natsu finds out rumours about a woman named Daphne who has met dragons. However it is a trap and to make matters worse, Gray is on her side. Daphne uses Natsu’s power as source to power her Dragonoid which is on its way to destroy Magnolia. The other Fairy Tail members fight and destroy it after they learn the reason Gray helped her out was so that she could capture Natsu and help destroy Dragonoid from within (via overloading it with power) and lift a curse that caused the inhabitants of a town to turn invisible.
* Natsu and Happy uproot and ‘steal’ a rainbow sakura tree for sick Lucy to view since she can’t attend the flower viewing.
* Wendy’s first big job involves working in a theatre troupe.
* Fairy Tail engages in their annual 24 hour endurance marathon. Makarov makes the one who finish last to dress up as a girl! And their photo will be published in Weekly Sorcerer! Better get your asses moving. It’s the case of the Tortoise and the Bunny for Jet and when he realizes he is at the back of the pack after oversleeping, he makes a dash only to find that Happy has already won the race followed by Wendy and Carla. The final spurt has other Fairy Tail members crossing the lines and the only ones left behind are Jet, Natsu, Gajeel and Gray. They fumble and try to outdo each other to avoid being last but since they crossed the line together, all of them are considered finishing in last place! Time to put on those girly outfits! NO WAY, MAN!!!

Edolas Arc
* The least favourite arc of mine starts off with one of the most powerful Fairy Tail members has returned after a long mission journey: Gildarts. Everybody is wary of his return because he has crash magic. Anything he crashes into goes boom. Dangerous.
* Mystogan was the young boy whom Wendy met and saved. Seems he has been going around plugging up holes in the dimension called Anima. It is a powerful magic that will destroy Magnolia. He feels he can’t stop it now. And before you know it, a bright light booms down on Fairy Tail’s guild and everything and everyone goes missing. The only ones left behind are Natsu, Happy, Wendy and Carla but they are soon transported to Edolas by Mystogan (something about them being Dragon Slayers so they’re immune to Anima’s effect).
* Apparently there are 2 sets of worlds in this universe. Earthland (as we know where Magnolia and everything else we seen happened so far) and Edolas. The other world where Happy and Carla supposedly came from. Cats called Exceeds rule over humans and every human in Earthland has a doppelganger in Edolas. Although they have a total opposite personality. Who would have thought Natsu is such a chicken but drives a cool and mean machine? Who would have thought Lucy is a badass leader of the guild? What about Gray who loves putting on more clothes and totally digs Juvia who doesn’t care about his affection and loves to walk around scantily? Yeah. Wendy is all grown-up and busty.
* So the quartet wander about in Edolas to rescue their friends when they bump into their Edolas version of Fairy Tail. Almost everyone in Fairy Tail as said has an exact opposite except one: Erza. Erza Knightwalker to be exact. In Edolas, she leads the Royal Army Captain and is known as Fairy Hunter because of her persistence in hunting down the rogue guild of Fairy Tail (which is always on the run).
* You see, unlike Earthland, Edolas is magic deficient. You can’t use it as many times or any time you please as magic can’t be stored in one’s body. However magic can be stored in the form of magic crystals called lacrima. That is what happened to Earthland’s Fairy Tail guild. One member is enough to materialize a huge lacrima. Enough to send the people salivating. That’s how powerful and sacred magic is.
* Carla thought her memories of this place are coming back and leads the rest to rescue their friends because the ‘map’ of the place starts popping up in her head. Till they walk in a trap that has her human friends captured. It is actually clairvoyance on her part though Carla is stunned that she unknowingly caused her friends to be captured while Knightwalker praises her in capturing their enemies.

* Carla and Happy are brought back to Extalia, home of the Exceeds and meet Queen Shaggot and her right hand men (cats rather), Nichiya (Ichiya look-a-like?) and Nadi (can’t stop punching upwards in the air, can’t he?). They learn why they have been sent to Earthland since birth: To destroy Dragon Slayers. There were hundreds of Exceed eggs dropped to Earthland 6 years ago just for this mission. I don’t remember about the part how they decided to change that to bring the Dragon Slayers here so that they could use their magic.
* Gajeel is a lucky Fair Tail not to be crystallized in lacrima. So he and his Edo counterpart (a reporter?) decide to crash a lacrima viewing exhibition and set free their friends. Erza and Gray are freed.
* Faust is the king of Edolas and you can tell by his face that he is power crazy. Make that magic crazy too. He has been planning for a while to destroy Exceeds once and for all and finally fires his ETD (Exceed Total Destruction) Cannon that turns Exceeds into lacrima. He also plans to use the lacrima from Earthland’s Fairy Tail to power his Dragon Chain Cannon to destroy them so that magic could forever rain down on Edolas. No more worries if you’re short of magic, huh?
* Gajeel’s attempt to save more of his friends is thwarted by another Royal Army Captain, Panther Lily (the only Exceed in Faust’s army). Natsu, Gray and Lucy fight off other Royal Army Captains that include Sugarboy (goofy gay?), Hughes (“Amazing” guy) and Byro (old fart).
* Coco, the young girl working as a messenger for the Royal Army decides to disobey Faust and defect when she realizes his act would harm her best friend Lily. She steals the key supposedly to activate Dragon Chain Cannon and is subsequently destroyed by Gray.

* Erza impersonates as Knightwalker to present Natsu and Gray as hostage to Faust and to disarm the Dragon Chain Cannon. Till the real Knightwalker appears. So much for Plan A.
* Shaggot’s divinity status was a lie cooked up by their Elders to shield Exceeds from humans.
* Mystogan finally arrives in Edolas after sealing Anima and is actually Edolas’ Prince Jellal. He is the one who saved abandoned Lily and brought him in.
* Erza faces off with Knightwalker while Natsu, Gajeel and Wendy cooperate to fight Faust in his Droma Anim. Dragon Slayers vs mechanical dragon? You know the fights will end. I know how it will.
* Mystogan plans to make himself a villain and turn Lily into a hero by sacrificing himself so that the people can be given renewed hope via a hero. Lily can’t do that to his saviour but Mystogan won’t budge. Then comes Natsu acting as a rowdy villain to fight Mystogan and turn him into a hero. This is his way of bidding farewell to Mystogan from Fairy Tail. Earthland Fairy Tail are teleported back to their original world with the Exceeds tagging along (Extalia got destroyed). Mystogan stays behind and rebuilds Edolas as their new prince. Mystogan exiles Faust while the Royal Army Captains are ‘punished’ into helping the citizens to rebuild Edolas.
* Back in Earthland, Shaggot leads the other Exceeds to find the other eggs. Lily officially becomes a Fairy Tail member in place of Mystogan and becomes Gajeel’s pet cat. Sort of. Hey, Natsu has one, Wendy has one, so why can’t this Dragon Slayer have his own too?
* An Edolas inhabitant seemed to have stowed away with Fairy Tail back to Earthland: Lisanna. Isn’t she the Edolas’ version? Well, no. She is Earthland’s. Confused? When Elfman went berserk with his powers and failed to save her, she was believed to have died but mysteriously vanished into thin air. I take that as she got transported to Edolas. The one in Edolas died for real so the Edolas Fairy Tail took her in. Now that her own Fairy Tail has come, it’s time to head home. And so Fairy Tail regains another member.

S-Class Promotion Exam/Tenroujima Arc
* It’s that time of year again whereby a Fairy Tail member will have a chance to be promoted to S-Class rank and take on S-Class jobs (and earn higher rewards of course). Makarov has chosen 8 finalists for this exam that is to be held at their very own sacred island called Tenroujima. They are Natsu, Gray, Elfman, Freed, Levy, Juvia, Cana and Mest. Mest who? Another mysteriously dude who claims he is a disciple of Mystogan. No wonder nobody can remember who he is. Or could they? Each finalist are to engage a partner that will help them in achieving the S-Class status. They are Happy, Loke, Evergreen, Bickslow, Gajeel, Lisanna, Lucy and Wendy respectively.
* For the first round, teams need to pick a route. Of the 8 possible routes, 3 of them will have an S-Class wizard stationed there (Erza, Gildarts and Mirajane). The other 4 routes will have 2 of them converging and only the winners will pass. The final route is a free route in which there is no obstacle and it’s like a free walk over to the next round.
* Those who end up fighting S-Class Wizards are Natsu-Happy vs Gildarts, Juvia-Lisanna vs Erza and Elfman-Evergreen vs Mirajane. Natsu became overwhelmed with Gildarts power and as reluctant as he may, he admits defeat in which Gildarts passes him. Sometimes admitting once weakness and knowing when to withdraw is a strong point. Juvia and Lisanna couldn’t overcome Erza’s might while Elfman manages to defeat Mirajane with a big lie that he and Evergreen are engaged.
* Gray-Loke ends up fighting Mest-Wendy in which victory goes to the former. Picking on a little girl, aren’t they? The other match has Freed-Bickslow against Cana-Lucy in which the latter emerges victorious. That means the only other pair left, Levy-Gajeel got the safe route. Boring, isn’t it? At least for Gajeel.
* Carla and Lily head to Tenroujima to investigate as they suspect Mest isn’t really a Fairy Tail member. Suspiciously enough, Mest persuades Wendy to search for something on this island.
* For the second round, the winning teams must find the grave of Fairy Tail’s founder, Mavis Vermillion.

Grimoire Heart Assault Arc
* While searching for the grave, Elfman-Evergreen and Natsu-Happy come into contact with a young man supposedly known as Zeref. It seems anything he touches turns into death and anything. Or at least his death aura randomly starts shooting out death waves. Not that he has control over it. Not that he wants to kill. Natsu could’ve been dead but his scarf saved him.
* At the same time, Hades the leader of Grimoire Heart orders his generals known as Seven Kin of Purgatory that include Ultear, Meldy, Zancrow, Rusty Rose, Caprico and Hikaru Kain to launch an assault on Tenroujima. Their goal is to find Zeref and resurrect him for their ideal World of Great Magic. A place where only wizards with magic thrive and those without (like ordinary humans) will perish.
* Mest is revealed to be a member of the Magic Council under Lahar. His real name is Dranbalt and is tasked with infiltrating Fairy Tail to find evidence to disband them.
* The exam is put on hold since Grimoire Heart has launched an assault. One of the Seven Kin of Purgatory, Azuma who has infiltrated the island earlier, destroys Mest’s reinforcement ships. Makarov uses Fairy Law to repel Grimoire Heart but Hades uses Grimoire Law to counter it and injures Makarov. Hades is revealed to be Purehito, Fairy Tails’ second master and Makarov’s predecessor.
* Each of the Seven Kin of Purgatory practises Lost Magic abilities. Natsu fights Zancrow in the battle of Dragon Slayer vs God Slayer. Yellow flames vs black flames. Clearly Zancrow’s powers are too much for Natsu to handle but he improvises by eating both their flames for a new power up.
* Lucy, Cana, Gray and Loke fight Caprico who is supposedly one of the Zodiac celestial spirits gone rogue. Caprico turns out to be a human fusing himself with the Zodiac celestial spirit Capricorn. When he was tricked into possessing Loke, he got destroyed instead and frees Capricorn.
* Mirajane and Lisanna go up against Azuma. Mirajane sacrifices herself to save Lisanna (though she very much lives but is heavily injured).
* Elfman and Evergreen vs Rusty Rose and lost to the latter’s Arc of Embodiment power.

* Lucy deciphers where Mavis’ grave is so Cana knocks her out to take the spoils for herself (she’s desperate to promote into S-Class after year after year of failing). She is revealed to be Gildarts’ daughter whom he is unaware of. She takes a super power called Fairy Glitter from Mavis’ grave.
* The comical team of Natsu and Lucy fight against Hikaru in a comical bout. Natsu and Happy use Hikaru’s voodoo doll and turn Lucy into a human fireball to defeat Hikaru!
* Juvia vs Meldy. The latter wants to kill Gray because she believes he hurt her saviour Ultear. Juvia is determined not to let that happen to her beloved and fights her despite their senses being linked to each other (Meldy, Juvia and Gray could feel each other’s feelings and pain). Though Juvia wins, she prevents Meldy from committing suicide for her failure.
* Ultear finds Zeref and captures him.
* Gray encounters Ultear. Guess what? Ul was Ultear’s mother. He knows she was spouting crap when she tells him he is his ally and it was Ultear’s wish to resurrect Zeref. Ultear was abandoned to a magic facility to be experimented on. When she escaped, she was devastated to find Ul taking Gray and Lyon under her wing. She became enraged and this led to her becoming a follower under Hades. So it’s revenge she wants? When Gray defeats her, she is able to see Ul’s memories (I guess when Deliora’s ice melted, it went into the sea – technically you can view her memories from anywhere in the world, right?). Ultear realizes Ul did love her after all.
* Azuma plans to destroy the great big tree in the middle of Tenroujima because it contains the power that protects all those with the Fairy Tail mark. It’s no wonder why our Fairy Tail guys survive even in the most dangerous of situations. He is absorbing the tree’s magic, thus rendering the Fairy Tail members on the island weak. He absorbs all Fairy Tail members’ power except Erza, leaving her to play the role of the heroine who must defeat him to save her friends. She draws enough power after hearing Jellal’s voice to bet him.
* Gildarts vs Bluenote Stinger. Grimoire Heart’s second in command moves out when Seven Kin of Purgatory starts falling. Initially Bluenote came into Cana but she’s not match for him till Gildarts show up. After Erza’s victory over Azuma that returned the powers to her comrades, Gildarts defeats Bluenote.
* Likewise, Rusty Rose is fighting against Freed, Bickslow, Levy, Lisanna and Lily. Again, Erza’s victory was the turning point in assuring Fairy Tail’s victory.
* Zeref was handed over the Meldy before Ultear had her bout with Gray. Juvia chased her. They bump into Zancrow who reveals Ultear was the culprit who destroyed Meldy’s home. Zeref awakens and his death wave kills Zancrow.

* Natsu, Lucy, Wendy, Happy, Carla and Lily board Grimoire Heart’s ship to fight Hades but they can’t even ruffle his hair. To their surprise, Laxus returns to fight Hades as revenge for Makarov. It is because he is not part of Fairy Tail that he is free to do as he wishes. Hades is so powerful that Laxus himself can’t defeat this old guy. It took the cooperation of Natsu, Lucy, Gray, Erza and Wendy to bring down this geezer. Even that, it is thanks to the Exceeds who were stumbling around for Hades’ power source and destroyed his mechanical heart.
* Grimoire Heart is left defeated and to Hades’ surprise, Zeref is on board the ship. He dismisses their goal of achieving such a world because it’s just fairytale cooked up by his followers. Their efforts to revive him were futile because he was never ‘asleep’. Accusing them of awakening Acnologia, he destroys the ship and kills Hades along with Hikaru and Rusty Rose.
* Ultear after resurrecting Tenroujima’s big tree, tries to kill herself to atone for her sins only to be stopped by Meldy who forgives her.
* Makarov postpones the S-Class Promotion Exam while Gildarts learn about Cana.
* Just as Fairy Tail thought they could breathe a sigh of relief, here comes the mother of all problems. Acnologia the black dragon is supposedly the most powerful, destructive and fearsome dragon attacks Fairy Tail. Makarov wanted to fend off Acnologia to let his children get away but they’re not leaving their gramps behind. Eventually Acnologia was too powerful and wipes out everybody and the island. OMG. Fairy Tail gone for good? I thought everyone holding hands in a circle trying to put on some defensive barrier spell felt a little gay…

X791 Arc
* Yup. Seven long years have passed since Fairy Tail members who have left for Tenroujima had returned. Romeo, the son of Macao never stopped believing they will return one day. Oh, he looks like a mini Natsu.
* Fairy Tail now is in shambles. No more the strongest guild as before. Many members have left leaving a skeleton staff. Those who stayed behind have aged. Macao has assumed the role of Fairy Tail’s fourth guild master while Wakaba as his assistant. Man, they really look so old. Must be all the worrying throughout the years. Jet looks hagged, Droy and Reedus swap body size with Droy the fatty and Reedus the slim one. Nab has a stomach and is still unable to get a job (I guess the only part of him that didn’t change). Alzack and Bisca are married and have a daughter named Asuka.
* Fairy Tail is at the mercy of being bullied by another guild called Twilight Ogre who is harassing them for the debts they owe. Suddenly they get their butts kicked by Natsu! OMG! Is that Natsu for real?! He and the rest of the gang are back?! But how?
* Apparently when Acnologia attacked and disappeared on that day, Mavis protected them. I don’t know why it took 7 years for them to unfreeze. Just like returning from a long vacation, isn’t it? With the strongest members back in town, Twilight Ogre can’t be bossy anymore. Or else… I’m sure they would prefer to talk things out than risk fighting, eh?
* There are so many changes within the span of 7 years that just went by so you could imagine how shocked Lucy was when she discovered her father’s demise recently. So where has all the hate gone to now? For each year passed, he left a present in her rented home. Now do you realize how much your father loves you? Too bad she had to realize that when he’s gone.
* Lamia Scale throws a welcome party for Fairy Tail. Lyon falls in love with Juvia. The feeling is not mutual for her. Like how Gray’s is for her…
* Filler episodes: Natsu and Lucy take on a job to capture some escape convict who plans to gatecrash a ball a wealthy count holds to find a husband for his daughter. Guess what? They’re in love with each other. Just to prove himself that he truly loves her, he must turn himself in, in which he does; Lucy turned herself invisible and though this may seem cheeky at first, it becomes serious when the effect also has people’s memories of her starting to disappear! Thankfully everyone manages to recall her and bring her back to existence; Remember those annoying butt shaking petty criminals from Rave? They’re back here! Natsu, Lucy and Wendy are guarding a train carrying gold. The Jiggle Butt Gang plans to steal it but after getting rid of Natsu and Lucy, all that is left is Wendy. They want to recruit her for their nefarious ways (because of her Dragon Slayer power) and though she disagrees, she plays along with them and tries to talk and make them turn over a new leaf. Does she really have to wear those tight suits too? Anyway the idiotic trio got what they deserved and a taste of Natsu’s fiery punch.

Key of the Starry Sky Arc
* Although this is considered a filler arc, I find this the most confusing one as I am unable to follow most of the story and plot.
* It all begins when a girl named Michelle Lobster arrives at their doorstep claiming to be a distant relative of Lucy. In her hands is a large clock hand supposedly a memento left behind by Jude. Lucy is determined to find out what was it that her father left behind for her.
* Edolas’ Royal Army counterparts pay their visit to Fairy Tail: Mary Hughes (who is a woman), Sugarboy (loves anything spicy) and Coco (sprinter girl) from Legion Corps demand the guild hand over Lucy from them.
* Of course the close knit Fairy Tail guys aren’t going to just say yes and to let the real Lucy and Michelle escape, all the girls impersonate as Lucy since Legion doesn’t know how the real one looks like. Eventually Hughes takes the clock hand from her and Legion retreats.
* Byro (a much more menacing figure than his Edolas’ counterpart) is the leader of Legion and under the orders of Zentopia’s Archbishop to retrieve parts of the legendary clock. He rides a giant octopus.
* Lucy and co head back to the former’s mansion to find out more clues about the clock and stumble upon a children’s picture book called Key of the Starry Sky by Will Neville in which this legendary clock may be based on. They are attack by a couple of Legion members, Samuel (an Exceed who always thinks his calculations are right) and Dan Straight (knight in no-so-shining armour who falls in love at first sight at any pretty woman he sees. That’s Lucy). Natsu is shrunk into a mini version.
* Fairy Tail goes in search for part of the missing clock in hopes they can do so before Legion. They split into several groups and use the clues in the book for their search.
* Natsu, Happy, Romeo, Lucy and Michelle meet a group of archaeologists on their way before falling into a labyrinth in the middle of a dessert. They face off with Dan and Coco.
* Lyon joins Gray and Juvia upon hearing their mission (I guess he wants to impress Juvia). Gray fights Sugarboy in another parallel dimension for the clock part.
* Gajeel, Lily and Levy are searching for the parts in the mountains only to encounter Samuel.
* Erza, Wendy and Carla are at an old library. Their foes are the annoying Jiggle Butt Gang. Fart power?
* Mirajane and Lisanna uncover a clock part underwater. They encounter some resistance from Hughes.

* Natsu fights Byro and finds Legion’s motive of gathering the clock parts to prevent the resurrection of Infinity Clock suspicious. Byro’s ability nullifies all magic so Natsu has a hard time burning him.
* Other Fairy Tail members show up in the labyrinth with their clock parts they gathered. Coco betrays Legion after finding Fairy Tail’s friendship touching.
* However appearing in the midst of it all is Oracion Seis. They’re back. Led by Midnight who now calls himself Brain II, the rest of the members include old ones like Angel, Cobra and Racer and new ones such as Grim Reaper (Erigor’s new name. Now bald and amnesiac) and Jackpot (giant teddy bear with slots on his stomach?). It is all part of their plan to make them gather the clock parts because when they are close enough, Infinity Clock will assemble by itself. The reborn Oracion Seis has powered up a lot (each sacrificed something important to gain such powers) and attacks Fairy Tail and Legion. If not for Blue Pegasus saving their ass, they could have been done for. Oracion Seis disappears with the clock parts. Lucy realizes that Jude gave her the clock part to prevent it from being assembled. Too late, huh? If he had only made it clearer in his writing. Since they’re now into this mess, I guess they’ve got to clean it up and stop Oracion Seis from whatever plans they have with Infinity Clock.
* Coco has been imprisoned so Cardinal Rapowant adds convict Gattman Kubrick (strange block head he’s got) to the team as replacement.
* Gildarts and Laki continue their investigation which brings them to a place filled with artificial priests and nuns. They find a comatose body of what they believed is supposed to be the real Michelle.
* Because Oracion Seis has been going around destroying churches as part of their plan to resurrect Infinity Clock, Fairy Tail splits up into groups based on Cana’s divination to protect churches that aren’t assaulted yet.
* Lahar convinces Dranbalt out of retirement to help him investigate current matters. Dranbalt is still suffering from depression over his guilt on what happened to Fairy Tail at Tenroujima 7 years ago. He still hasn’t gotten over it?
* Natsu-Elfman-Lucy-Michelle vs Byro vs Jackpot; Wendy-Bickslow vs Grim Reaper; Happy-Carla-Lily vs Samuel; Gajeel-Juvia vs Hughes-Gattman; Gray-Freed vs Angel; Erza-Evergreen-Max vs Cobra.
* Lahar and Dranbalt’s investigation lead them to a girl, Katja who is one of the many celestial wizards who are descendants of Will Neville and must protect some organic link that serves as a seal on the Infinity Clock. Till Racer shows up and uses Anti-Link to disable that link. Though this causes her to lose her magic powers, on the bright side she doesn’t have to live with the ‘curse’ for the rest of her life.
* When all of Will Neville’s descendants’ link have been severed and thus lifting the seal, Midnight who is at Will Neville’s coffin destroys it to make Infinity Clock turn into its true form: A giant bony fish? Alzack and Bisca can do nothing much to stop him.

* Jackpot is revealed to be Klodoa hiding inside that oversized teddy bear suit. But he is not actually the sixth member of Oracion Seis. Guess who is the sixth member? I’m sure Michelle’s actions have been suspicious lately. Jenjejeng… Michelle! Or rather, Imitatia. Plant woman… Imitatia orders Byro to take Lucy. He can’t refuse since she has the seal of the Archbishop which he must obey faithfully.
* Lucy is pinned to a device in Infinity Clock to activate Real Nightmare as a celestial wizard is needed to control it. When it is fully activated, it will cause everyone to lose their state of time.
* Natsu is imprisoned in the cathedral but breaks free with the comical help of Jiggle Butt Gang. He also frees Coco.
* Ichiya offers some of the Fairy Tail members to fly up in his Christina to infiltrate the flying cathedral.
* Rapowant as you may have guessed a long time ago is the sneaky villain behind everything from controlling the Archbishop to the activation of Infinity Clock. Too bad he turns out to be another puppet created by Midnight using Zero’s hair.
* Mirajane vs Racer; Ichiya vs the octopus; Natsu-Coco vs Gattman but interrupted when remorseful Hughes comes to the former’s aid; Erza vs Cobra; Gray-Dan vs Angel; Gajeel vs Midnight; Gildarts vs Byro; Coco vs Samuel (the latter wants to assassinate Lucy but changed his mind after a fist bout with Lily); Natsu-Elfman-Romeo vs Imitatia.
* Lucy is in danger of being absorbed and fused with the Infinity Clock. The Archbishop wakes up to his senses and informs of a way to end this by destroying the many chains the flying fish is linking itself to the ground. Every able bodied of Fairy Tail and Legion cooperate to destroy those chains.
* When Imitatia realizes she has been tricked by Midnight (she wanted to be with Lucy forever but got the raw end of the deal because once Lucy is fused with Infinity Clock, everyone’s memories will be erased – that’s like being with her forever, right?), she regrets all that she has done and frantically tries to undo the process. Imitatia is revealed to be Lucy’s doll. As the only child in the family, Lucy treated it like her ‘sister’, the reason why Michelle kept referring to Lucy as her big sister.
* Natsu defeats Midnight since the latter couldn’t control Infinity Clock entirely by himself (other Oracion Seis members have been defeated by now). Lucy is floating aimlessly inside the clock as she remembers memories with Michelle. She hears her friends calling her and with the help of a celestial spirit, she breaks out from the clock. This causes the Infinity Clock to break up and scatter while returning all those descendants affected by Anti-Link to return to their normal states. Lucy is happily reunited with her mates once more.
* In the aftermath, Legion is ordered by the Archbishop to retrieve those clock parts and seal them for good. They make amends with Fairy Tail one last time before leaving on a long journey.

Grand Magic Games Arc
* The most interesting arc in my books as it pits different guilds together but…
* Makarov shows Gildarts an underground secret of Fairy Tail called Lumen Histoire because Gildarts will be the next guild master for Fairy Tail. However Gildarts doesn’t really want to become the next master yet and reappoints Makarov as the next master before heading off on a solo journey to who knows where. Sneaky… He also wants Makarov to reinstate Laxus back into Fairy Tail.
* Due to the missing 7 years, Fairy Tail has fallen from being Fiore’s strongest guild. That honour now goes to Sabretooth. Sting Eucliffe and Rogue Cheney are both third generation Dragon Slayers and once looked up to Natsu and Gajeel. They both have an Exceed each, the arrogant Lectar and the retard Frosch.
* Every year, there is this Grand Magic Games held in Fiore’s capital, Crocus to determine the ranks of the guilds. For 6 consecutive years, Fairy Tail has always finished last, turning them into laughing stocks and for those (weaker) members who stayed put, it became such an embarrassing event to forget. Despite their desire not to compete this year, Natsu and the rest want a piece of this action. So there is no argument that Fairy Tail is going to enter this year’s tournament and reclaim that top spot.
* Natsu and co are training hard with 3 months more to the games when they are whisked away to the celestial spirit world so that they can throw them a feast to celebrate their return. After all the food and entertainment, they think they can use this alternate dimension to enhance their time and do serious training. Unfortunately, 1 day in the spirit world = 3 months in Earthland. FFFUUUUU!!!! Give us back our time!!!
* Reformed Jellal, Ultear and Meldy have formed their little own guild called Crime Sorciere and dedicate themselves in destroying dark guilds that try to resurrect Zeref or use his power. They have a request from Fairy Tail to help them out because for the past several years, they have been detecting some magic anomaly that feels closely to Zeref’s at the Grand Magic Games but couldn’t pinpoint its exact source. In exchange for their help, they help awaken Fairy Tail’s Second Origin, supposedly some powerful magic within them, although the process going through it is painful enough.
* Makarov has selected Natsu, Gray, Erza, Lucy and Wendy to be Fairy Tail’s representative at the games as each time is allowed to have 5 members plus 1 reserve.
* When they arrive at Crocus, Wendy is ambushed by an unknown figure.
* Because of the hundreds of guilds participating in this year’s event, a qualification round is held to trim down the participants to only 8 teams. Wendy is missing and Fairy Tail is in the midst of being disqualified if they don’t start moving and make their way through the sky labyrinth. The first 8 teams to find their way out will qualify. Without haste, Elfman quickly takes Wendy’s place as Fairy Tail begins the mad scramble with other guilds.
* Wendy’s unconscious body is found near the Mercurius palace and is taken back to their base for recovery by Poluchka.
* Natsu and co finally find the labyrinth’s exit and thought they were the first to arrive. Well, they’re the eighth and final team to arrive. Barely made it, huh?
* On the first day of the games, the final 8 teams are announced in ascending order of arrival. Fairy Tail receives the most boos and continuously being mocked by the crowd. In 7th place is Quatro Cerberus (consists of Rocker, War Cry, Yaeger, Nobarly and Semmes), 6th place goes to Mermaid Heel (all-female guild comprising of Kagura Mikazuchi, Beth Vanderwood, Arania Web, Risley Law and Millianna), taking 5th place is Blue Pegasus (Ichiya, Eve, Hibiki, Ren and… Rabbit?) and in 4th place is Lamia Scale (Jura, Lyon, Yuuka, Toby and Cheria – Sherry’s cousin).
* Coming in at 3rd place surprises many because Raven Tail is supposedly a dark guild. Did they just turn into a good one? That is what’s baffling Makarov because Raven Tail is headed by his own son Ivan. They are the ones who attacked Wendy as their ‘greeting’. Those participating include Alexei, Obra, Flare Corona, Kurohebi and Nullpuding.
* Even surprising everyone in second place is… Fairy Tail again?! Consisting of Laxus, Mirajane, Gajeel, Juvia and Mystogan (Jellal in disguise for his up-close investigation) with Cana as reserve. It seems that every guild is allowed 2 teams, thus contributing to the many participants during the start before the trim. Natsu’s team will be identified as Fairy Tail A while Laxus is Fairy Tail B.
* Of course the crowd favourite Sabretooth is in first place. They include Sting, Rogue, Rufus Lohr, Orga Nanagear and Yukino Aguria.
* Oddly, Mavis is also a spectator at the games to give her support although she remains a spectre, a ghost. Only those with the Fairy Tail mark can see her. She’s funny as a ghost. I mean, at times she feels the need to go to the toilet or even feels nervous. Even if she’s a ghost?!
* The Grand Magic Games will last for 5 days and each day there will be a main contest (rules will only be announced when each guild has selected their member to participate). First place gets 10 points, second = 8 points, third = 7 points, so forth and last place = 0 points. After that, there will be a one-on-one battle among the teams with the victor getting 10 points, none for the losing team and 5 points each when it is a tie (if both sides are still standing after the time limit of the battle). The commentators will be Chapati Lola (watch out for his falling wig), former Magic Council member Yajima (a close friend to Makarov) and a guest commentator.

Day 1
* Personally the most interesting contest of all called Hidden. Clones of the participants are scattered all over the arena. You earn 1 point by taking out the real participant and in turn, the one who got owned loses 1 point. In addition, you lose 1 point if you hit a clone. Those participating in this contest are Gray, Juvia (because Gray is in it), Lyon (because Juvia is in it), Rufus, Nullpuding, Yaeger and Beth.
* When the contest begins, Nullpuding seems to be targeting Gray. Rather, Raven Tail is picking a bone with Fairy Tail. This causes Fairy Tail A to go dead last. It ends with Rufus uses his magic that attacks all participants at once, giving Sabretooth top spot and drawing first blood. Fairy Tail B and A occupy second bottom and last spot respectively. You know that underdogs and dark horses like them will surely make their way up, right?
* Lucy vs Flare – Although Lucy is a better fighter, crazy fire hair girl Flare plays dirty using Asuka as hostage without everyone’s knowledge. Lucy has to be a ‘good girl’ and gets whipped real badly by her. Till Natsu hears Lucy’s soft plea that Asuka is in danger. Once he puts away the danger, Lucy is able to go out at full force and summons some planetary magic that would certainly have earned her victory if not of Obra’s subtle intervention of cancelling out her magic. Because nobody but the higher level judges saw it, they have no choice but to announce Flare as the winner. Gray and Lucy’s humiliating lost only serves to increase the mocking from the crowd.
* Ren vs Arania – Victory goes to Blue Pegasus.
* Orga vs War Cry – No effort needed for Sabretooth to win this one. Easy victory.
* Mystogan vs Jura – In a closely fought match, Jellal is about to unleash his magic that would reveal his identity so that he could bring victory to Fairy Tail. But Ultear won’t risk it and uses Meldy’s sense link magic to tickle him into submission. What a big joke… What a big let-down…
* Carla sees a fearful vision that at the end of the games, Mercurius will crumble and Lucy in tears.

Day 2
* The Chariot contest is mostly not shown and even so it is at its end. Participants are to run across chariots leading to the arena in a free-for-all race. The odd part is that Sting, Natsu and Gajeel are all dead in last place! Something we learn that it seems all Dragon Slayers have this motion sickness! So it’s not just Natsu after all, eh? How embarrassing for someone with such a high and respected status as Dragon Slayers.
* Sting questions Natsu’s reasoning to participate in this games. Was it due to pressure? The Fairy Tail he knew wasn’t the kind to give in to what others think. Natsu’s heart moving speech about the bonds they share not only moved his comrades but the crowd as well. Yeah, at least they’ll think better of Fairy Tail next time. Sting drops out so Sabretooth goes from hero to zero in this contest as Natsu and Gajeel push themselves for 6th and 7th spot respectively. The race is won by Bacchus, Quatro Cerberus’ backup member and S-Class wizard who could fight on par with Erza.
* Toby vs Kurohebi – Dog boy wants to know Kurohebi’s real name and otherwise he will tell his own secret. Kurohebi wins and so what is Toby’s secret? His missing sock. Isn’t it around his neck? Bummer… To show how evil Kurohebi is, he rips it to bits.
* Elfman vs Bacchus – Due to a misunderstanding, it was supposed to be Erza against Bacchus. Which member of Fairy Tail starts with ‘E’ and has transformation ability? Sounds ambiguous, right? And so both sides make a wager. If Bacchus wins, he gets both his sisters and if Elfman wins, Quatro Cerberus changes its name to Quatro Puppy. It becomes a match of stamina with Bacchus most offensive attack versus Elfman’s most defensive armour. Who can outlast who? In the end, Elfman outlasts Bacchus and wins Fairy Tail A’s first full points.
* Mirajane vs Jenny – Blue Pegasus’ reserve member starts off the match with Mirajane, in swimsuit poses. Everybody just love the pinup models, eh? I don’t know how, it descended to every woman to drop in and pose in various outfits. WTF moment indeed. I don’t know how, but the men also got involved when they dress up as brides. With the match proper beginning, they make a bet that the loser has to pose naked for Weekly Sorcerer. Whoever loses, it’s a win for the guys, right? Jenny was so confident that she didn’t expect Mirajane to have powered up so much and loses this match. Look forward to naked Jenny next edition…
* Kagura vs Yukino – Both serious girls wager their lives for this match. Though celestial wizard Yukino has Libra and Pisces in her position, summoning the greatest celestial spirit, Ophiuchus wasn’t enough to best Kagura as she takes down Yukino with her gravity magic. Kagura spares Yukino’s life.
* Fiore’s squad captain, Arcadios seems to be putting his Eclipse Plan into action and that will happen on the last day of the match. He needs a celestial wizard for this plan to complete. Guess who fits that bill? Yup. Now he is spoilt for choice. Lucy or Yukino?
* Erza meets up with Millianna and is glad she has joined a guild. However Erza is thrown into dilemma because she is still out for revenge against Jellal, the very same reason that Kagura has.
* Sabretooth’s guild master, Gemma punishes Yukino for her failure by exiling her from the guild. Yukino goes to pay Lucy a visit and give her Libra and Pisces keys but Lucy won’t accept them seeing ownership of the Zodiac celestial spirits are based on trust and bond and can’t be transferred easily.
* When Yukino breaks down in front of Natsu and tells him how she was kicked out, Natsu barges into Sabretooth’s base to pick a fight with Gemma. If he wins, Gemma must quit Sabretooth. The match is stopped by Gemma’s daughter, Minerva taking Happy as hostage. Let’s take it out in the ring, okay?

Day 3
* Pandemonium is today’s match and it pits participants to fight in a citadel filled with demons. They can choose any amount of the 100 demons with various classes they want to fight. If they cannot defeat them all in their turn, they lose points in that round for demons they have defeated. So the key is not to be greedy. This goes on until all demons have been terminated and the winner is the one with the most points.
* Erza is picked to go first and guess what? She wants to fight all 100 demons! In a gruelling battle that has Erza change her armours back and forth, she finally takes out the super demon and automatically wins first place!!! Awesome!
* As for the rest, they need to be ranked so a simple game of hitting a magic device to measure their strength will suffice. Because Obra cannot show his magic, he makes his turn as a farce and gets the lowest score he can. Cana wins this match when she uses Fairy Glitter to pound the device. It’s off the scale! For the first time, it is Fairy Tail one-two.
* Millianna vs Semmes – Somebody needs to be the whipping boy, right? You can already guess who is going to win this. Cat girl FTW!
* Rufus vs Eve – Another swift match with Rufus attaining victory.
* Laxus vs Alexei – What looks like Laxus being beaten up by Alexei turns out to be an illusion. The real Laxus and Alexei are in an alternate dimension. Alexei turns out to be Ivan in disguise and he could easily turn the match into Fairy Tail’s favour if he just tells him the location of Lumen Histoire. I don’t think Laxus knows. Even if he does, will he tell? So Ivan and the rest of his guild members take on Laxus but they are no match for him. He beats everyone up as revenge for his friends. When the illusion is shattered, everyone is in a state of shock over the other secret match. The game officials announce Laxus as the winner and disqualify Raven Tail from the rest of the games (because Ivan is not supposed to participate). Ivan warns Laxus about Lumen Histoire which is supposed to be Fairy Tail’s darkness. That’s why Raven Tail was set up to as anti-Fairy Tail.
* Wendy vs Cheria – Sky Dragon Slayer vs Sky God Slayer? Wendy uses advanced magic to attack and just as it seems she is the winner, Cheria stands back up with all her wounds healed and Wendy’s magic is close to depleted. But this is part of Wendy’s plan to enhance Cheria’s attack. Given this much power, she miscalculates and misses Wendy. The first draw of the day with both teams sharing the spoils.
* Jellal has sensed that magic anomaly in Wendy-Cheria match. He accidentally bumps into Dranbalt and knows this is Earthland’s Jellal. Jellal follows the mysterious hooded figure he sensed the magic anomaly but is stopped by Lahar and Dranbalt. Though his face is revealed, Jellal is given reprieve thanks to Yajima that this Jellal is from Edolas. Lahar and Dranbalt have no choice but to give him face despite knowing Jellal is the real deal. So happen Kagura and Millianna have also seen Jellal’s face. Millianna is left to ponder if Erza is hiding him.
* Laxus confronts Makarov about Lumen Histoire and what Ivan said. He won’t reveal much but Mavis says it is Fairy Tail’s light. So which is true?
* Yukino becomes a sergeant under Arcadios’ command.

Day 4
* Naval Battle must be the favourite among the crowd. Think of it as an underwater sumo match. You push others out of the giant water sphere and try to be the last one standing. Why the crowd’s favourite? It’s because it is like a swimsuit battle with girls from each guild participating! Oh yeah! Who wouldn’t love to see Lucy, Juvia, Minerva, Jenny, Risley and Cheria battling it out? Oh wait. There’s Rocker in it too… Nobody gives a damn about the sole guy in this contest. What a disappointment. Anyway he was first to be pushed out. Though Juvia’s powers flushes many of the other girls out, her own distraction causes her to be kicked out. Only Minerva and Lucy are left.
* Minerva becomes merciless in beating up Lucy even after the contest has ended. This causes her Fairy Tail comrades to get upset as they rush to her side once the match is officially declared over. Lucy is taken to the infirmary for recovery.
* Makarov announces that the officials want both Fairy Tail teams to combine. Worse, their points won’t be combined and will take the lower one will be taken. Not fair, huh? But take it as a positive note because it means that this will be the strongest Fairy Tail team: Natsu, Gray, Erza, Laxus and Gajeel.
* Ichiya-Rabbit vs Bacchus-Rocker – Finally, Rabbit’s identity is revealed… NICHIYA???!!! WTF???!!! Apparently both guys bumped into each other in the woods and taken a liking for each other’s face. WTF. Since then, Nichiya joined Blue Pegasus. Anyway Nichiya is useless and goes out first. But Ichiya in his Incredible Hulk mode is sufficient enough to take out Bacchus and Rocker to win it for Blue Pegasus.
* Kagura-Millianna vs Lyon-Yuuka: Kagura lets Millianna handle the duo but when she is comically taken out, Kagura goes into action and knocks out Yuuka. The match ends in a draw.
* Natsu-Gajeel vs Sting-Rogue – The most anticipated match that we’ve all been waiting for. Four Dragon Slayers! The crowd is shocked when Natsu and Gajeel turn the tables on Sting and Rogue. This causes the Sabretooth duo who killed their respective dragons to power up into White Drive and Shadow Drive respectively. Fairy Tail is able to stand their ground so Sabretooth activates Dragon Force on their own will, resulting a huge crater in the arena. I think the match goes underground now. Sting beats up Natsu and Gajeel singlehandedly but the duo are still able to stand back up. Just how strong are these monsters? That was nothing. So much so Natsu and Gajeel have time to argue to fight Sabretooth alone. It ends with Natsu pushing Gajeel away in a mining cart. Motion sickness… Even with the combined powers of Sabretooth, Natsu in the end overpowers them both! With Sabretooth down, Fairy Tail is declared the winner of the match. In the standings, Fairy Tail overtakes Sabretooth as the new leader by a single point.
* Gajeel discovers a dragon graveyard below the arena.
* Jellal follows the hooded figure and is shocked to know who this person is. We won’t get to see the face yet because…

OVAs
* OVA 1: Lucy first arrives at the dorm for Fairy Tail female members. She takes up a weird job by an old woman to find some treasure. The grandma turns out to be a ghost and the treasure filled with jewels hidden in a tree hole supposedly to be given to young Erza but she died then.
* OVA 2: This is what happens when you turn Fairy Tail members and other cast of characters into a high school setting. No musical however. The principal of the school… Plue… Best in the world…
* OVA 3: They add time paradox here because the gang travel back in time when they were still their child selves. Despite trying hard not to come into contact with their younger selves, it turns out that their actions led to why Lucy decided to join Fairy Tail and the scar Natsu has.
* OVA 4: Taking place before the Grand Magic Games, other than their typical destructive antics, your fanservice filled episode when Natsu and co are at the beach for their training and why women are scary and dominating when drunk. At least that’s what the guys experienced. This episode main focus is on Mavis and how this lonesome ghost watching over Natsu and co decides to go support her guild at the games.

No Fairytale Ending Yet…
NoooOOOoooOOOooo!!!!!!! I can’t believe it ended incomplete just like that! There is still one more day of the games to go, right? What about the Eclipse Plan that involves Lucy? What about the newly discovered dragon graveyard? And it looks pretty grim from what we have glimpsed at the end of Carla’s vision that seems to have come true. Fairy Tail destroyed for good? So many questions and no answers… Yet. I understand that this is where the manga is currently at now and although I have not read the manga, I am pretty sure from what I have browsed through, it has enough material to cover at least another season of the series. Well, at least even if it wasn’t, they can drag and expand certain scenes like how long running animes do, right? Obviously with the big “To Be Continued…” words flashing right at the end of the series, it proves that the anime hasn’t really end yet and the series’ author has soothed fans (for now) to wait for the good news as the anime isn’t really the end. Not the end of the world. Really. I figure this is better than adding in mindless fillers that will bring down the good name of this series. Like a certain long running ninja series. And of course much better than putting in fillers right in the middle of important arcs. Several times. Like a certain long running but already ended shinigami series. Despite the unsatisfying ‘end’ after coming a long way over these years, I can say that this series lives up to its potential and from the looks of it, will even have greater potential in the future.

Characters
Well, just like any long running anime, the list of characters, major, supporting and minor ones have grown to such an extensive list. The members of Fairy Tail are growing gradually despite many of the non-important extras leaving after 7 years in the doldrums. Due to the tight bonds that the Fairy Tail members have, it is hard not to support them when they go all out to rescue their friends. This is what a guild or rather a family should be. Fairy Tail people might be oddballs but they are closely knit than any others that we have known. Besides, their rambunctious personalities are what define them. Despite their disorderly behaviour, deep down in their hearts they care very much and look out for each other. After such a long run, the characters really grow on you and many of them would leave some sort of mark, be it emotional or comical. Just like any other shonen genres, our main characters get more powerful, turn some enemies into allies and above all still remain generally the same character will know them since day one. Even so, they still have a great potential to grow further. Although some of them have undergone major changes like Mirajane who was once the badass resident of Fairy Tail. Now she is quite demure and gentle. Unless you provoke her or hurt her loved ones. Very minor characters that only appear in certain arcs are thrust into oblivion. Meaning, you might wonder so and so ended up. For instance some of the members from Element 4 of Phantom Lord. Once in a while you just hear about them (if I’m not mistaken, I remember only once) and that’s about it. Some characters I thought would play some sort of a significant role in an arc but they turn out to be nothing much like in Katja’s case in the Key of the Starry Sky arc. Her scattered appearance felt like she would be a major pivotal role in the arc but suddenly when her link was severed, it’s the end of her. Felt as though if they had just shown her once for that one or two episodes, it still would have been sufficed for the story to go on. It was disappointing for the Edolas counterparts too because here I thought they were going to play some major role throughout the arc only to see our Earthland counterparts are the one doing most of the work before the Edolas equals butt in at the end to help out with whatever that’s left.

Lessons
As mentioned, the show tries to teach us about the importance of being a family and looking out for each other. This is very evident in Fairy Tail and can be seen in almost every dramatic scene. They will never leave a guild member behind and treat them like their own family even if they are not blood related. There is a special bond that ties them together and it helps in getting through rough and bumpy rides. The other lesson learnt is never to judge a book by its cover. From the outside, Fairy Tail may seem like a bunch of rowdy people, getting drunk and wanting to pick a fight. But if you put that aside, they are pretty reliable and deserve to be called to strongest guild in Fiore. During the Grand Magic Games when everyone looked down upon them, with hard work, perseverance and determination, they manage to claw their way back into the hearts of everyone. Now they’re made to eat their words, huh? Of course the ultimate lesson is that good will always triumph evil after a long struggle. It’ll leave a very bad taste in the mouth if evil actually wins. This isn’t that kind of dark anime. Although evil can never be wiped out, at least with these good guys around, you can be assured that they will be kept at bay.

Drawing and Art
When I first take a look at the series when it was released, I thought it had very similar traits to One Piece and that the author for this one and the pirate themed manga is the same. You know, some of the characters really do have weird body parts but not all of them. But upon closer inspection, I realized that it isn’t so. The familiar art is because Fairy Tail’s author is the same one as Rave (though the latter manga series have already ended). Actually, it is the appearance of Plue that made me realize that and went to do a little research on it. Of course there are a handful of similarities you can see in both the series like some other characters having a very uncanny resemblance. For instance, Jellal/Mystogan is taken after Rave’s Sieghart while Oracion Seis’ name is borrowed from Rave’s Oracion Six. And then, who would have thought that the Jiggle Butt Gang would actually make a cameo in a couple of episodes. Overall, the art is a mix of funny, cute and good looking for the bunch of characters. I don’t really pay much attention to the backdrops and scenery since that isn’t what the main focus of this series is. It’s the characters that we should be paying attention at. But I suppose for a fantasy setting with magic, some of the lands are enchanting but other than that, the usual towns and all just feel normal. On a side note, I thought the younger versions of Fairy Tail members like Erza and Mirajane look cuter than their adult self. No, I’m not a lolicon! In each arc, I notice the main characters have a slight alteration or design in their outfit. I guess it will be a big bore if you had to see Natsu wearing the same ol’ clothes from the first episode right down to the last one.

Story/Drama
Though divided into several arcs, as mentioned not all are my favourite. After watching for a very long time, it is hard to say that the pacing and flow of the storyline is good. Because if it does, it wouldn’t have made me yawn on several occasions and find it hard to follow especially if it involves lots of terminologies (which this series is abundant of but not as bad that you need to crack your brains to understand). Sometimes it feels like a drag to sit and watch some of the drama unfold but I suppose they are still important in fleshing out the plot and the characters so patience is definitely a virtue. With some of the emotional drama scenes with the characters breaking down or being comforted by his/her comrades, such scenes are touching and would tug a heart string or two. Maybe because I’m already an ‘old’ person so I am more susceptible to more emotions. So those kind of scenes still do warm my heart and indirectly increase my rooting for the heroes.

Action
This is the main highlight and strength of the series. There are plenty of fight scenes to keep viewers occupied especially during the final moments of the arc. You can expect our main heroes taking on the antagonists of the arc and come out tops after all that beating. As everyone powers up with new skills and techniques, sometimes I can’t help feel that some of them are just a slight variation of certain moves. For example Natsu and Gajeel. I don’t keep count of how many flame or metal moves they have come up with when they fight their opponents but somehow I feel that one fire or steely move is almost similar to the last one they pull. I mean, how different can Natsu’s fire breathing skills get? Either he blows them out from his mouth or he channels them via his fists. Well, maybe how the flame materializes calls for a different name for the move. After all, it all ends the same, right? Natsu materializes his fire, throws it at enemy, enemy evades/blocks/gets hit. See the pattern? Still, the fights are engaging enough to draw you in although some may end in a way that makes you wonder what he had done or what moves he did to make him earn the victory. With the myriad of characters and each with their own power and strength, I suppose they did a good job in balancing their fight time and rotate the other supporting characters in Fairy Tail. Eventually it will be the big ones like Natsu, Gray and Erza to fight the main baddies but be rest assured that their fellow comrades will still have their share in the battle albeit to a lesser extent.

Romance/Love
Despite the few hints, I think it is safe to say that there is close to zero romance between our characters. I mean, the real kind of romance and love that you see in romance genre animes. Many have speculated about Natsu x Lucy and though there are a few indications, they are not conclusive and mere speculative. You might say the reason he and Happy always crash in her house instead of their own is because maybe he likes her but I think from Natsu’s thinking, it’s more fun to gatecrash other people’s home, right? Then you have cases like one-sided triangle love affair in the case of Lyon -> Juvia -> Gray. Well, Gray was advised somewhere in the end to make his feelings clear to Juvia after episodes after episodes of indecision. But then the series ended. It is also one-sided for Levy because she really does have a crush on Gajeel despite him injuring her in his debut. I guess some girls love bad boys after all. But then, Gajeel isn’t the kind to seem interested in love. Just be patient, Levy. There are hints too that it might happen for Erza and Jellal (they almost kissed!) but if that is to happen, it will have to wait for the current things to settle down first. More promising one should be between Elfman and Evergreen. Ever since that lie about them being engaged, noticed how they’ve been close together despite not admitting anything? Maybe the only blossoming romance was between Bisca and Alzack but we don’t get to see any of it since they are side characters in Fairy Tail and that 7 year warp just cut out their wedding and everything. Sure, we’ve got the handsome ladies men trio in Blue Pegasus but they seem to be more of flirting around than committing to serious relationship.

Comedy
Besides the action, there are many comical moments in the show whether it is during unimportant parts of the arc, the build up and even the serious fight itself. It is peppered throughout the series and sometimes the comedy factor can just pop up for a while and strike you to make you have a little chuckle. Of course we know the peculiar behaviour of Fairy Tail members and especially Natsu’s brawn over brains or Happy’s silly punch lines but somehow it doesn’t get old.

Fanservice
Sometimes, you just got to satisfy that element that stimulates the male audience. I feel that for the most part of this topic, Lucy plays a major role in giving viewers their fanservice due. The comical hijinks that she gets into, coupled in with the fact that she has a very well endowed body makes her a good source for many of the fanservice elements. Of course there are other many busty women in Fairy Tail and those outside the guild to provide this. For those not into mature woman, you have lolis like Wendy and even flat ones like Levy. Oops. Sorry.

Music
This is also another strong point for the series. With several soundtracks under its belt, there are a variety of background music that ranges from fast to slow, rock to ballad. What I noticed is that the main ones are a mix of Celtic music and rock. Especially the grandiose Fairy Tail theme which is magnificent and fits the overall theme of the series and the guild itself. It’s a good battle song if I should say so myself. Of course just like any other animes with their own soundtracks, there is bound to be variations in such a theme although I have not heard all of the soundtracks or all its variations. There are also classical orchestra pieces and the most prominent one is Bach’s Air On G String (which I believe is Juvia’s theme song). Overall, the music perfectly matches the mood and pace be it battle scenes or emotional dramatic ones.

Voice acting
With a long running anime, there is bound to be a very long line of cast of characters. Of course some casts play multiple roles especially side or minor characters. With so many characters in this series, you won’t even hear the difference unless you have very sharp ears. Many popular seiyuus have also lent their voices to the series. After such a long time, I have grown used to their voices and I don’t really have qualms about any mismatches or anything. Not that I can remember if there are any. So here is the very selected list of the casts:
Natsu = Tetsuya Kakihara (Kouichi in Linebarrels Of Iron)
Lucy = Aya Hirano (Haruhi in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu)
Erza = Sayaka Ohara (Alicia in Aria The Animation)
Gray = Yuuichi Nakamura (Tomoya in Clannad)
Wendy = Satomi Satou (Chitanda in Hyouka)
Gajeel = Wataru Hatano (Yuuto in Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu)
Levi/Romeo = Mariya Ise (Aruka in Needless)
Juvia = Mai Nakahara (Mai in Mai-HiME)
Happy = Rie Kugimiya (Louise in Zero No Tsukaima)
Carla = Yui Horie (Yuuki in Vampire Knight)
Lily = Hiroki Touchi (Abel in Trinity Blood)
Elfman = Hiroki Yasumoto (Sado in Bleach)
Mirajane = Ryoko Ono (Atsuko in Minami-ke)
Cana = Eri Kitamura (Liliana in Campione)
Freed = Junichi Suwabe (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis)
Evergreen – Saori Seto (Grayfia (High School DxD)
Bickslow = Yoshihisa Kawahara (Bobby in Binbougami Ga)
Laxus = Katsuyuki Konishi (Kamina in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)
Lisanna = Harumi Sakurai (Hayami in H2O ~Footprints In The Sand)
Makarov = Shinpachi Tsuji (Daniel in Master Keaton)
Jellal/Mystogan = Daisuke Namikawa (Waver in Fate/Zero)
Gildarts = Kazuhiko Inoue (Kakashi in Naruto)
Sting = Takahiro Sakurai (Suzaku in Code Geass)
Rogue = Kenichi Suzumura (Sougou in Gintama)
Lyon = Yuuki Kaji (Shu in Guilty Crown)
Ichiya = Sho Hayami (Ichigen in K)
Mest/Dranbalt = Shuuhei Sakaguchi (Kagerou in Nabari No Ou)
Midnight = Kouki Uchiyama (Ichika in Infinite Stratos)
Michelle = Yukana (Ai in Amagami SS)
Zeref = Akira Ishida (Gaara in Naruto)
Mamiko Noto = Mavis (Enma Ai in Jigoku Shoujo)

Opening and Ending Themes
For every season, they change their opening and ending themes. This means there are 14 opening and ending themes each. That’s 28 songs dude! They range from rock to slow ballads. Some of them sound funny and some sounded gay… Serious. Not many of the songs in Fairy Tail really appeal to me as I only prefer Kimi Ga Iru Kara by Mikuni Shimokawa (4th ending theme) and Glitter” (Starving Trancer Remix) by Another Infinity featuring Mayumi Morinaga (11th ending theme). One of the ‘annoying’ aspects of the opening theme is that it tends to be a battle spoiler. In here, you can see who fights who in that certain arc and perhaps in such a way throws away the guessing game need of who fights who. Of course those who have read the manga would certainly know the match ups but for a guy like myself who doesn’t, it felt like spoilers and made me go “Oh, so when is Natsu going to fight this so and so guy?”. I feel the ending theme credits are like a chibi gathering of the Fairy Tail family.

The Unexplained…
Throughout the series, I am sure there are many things that boggled my mind but I guess I have forgotten about them. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention when they were explained. But one of them that clearly bugs me till the end is that if Lily and Samuel the Exceeds can transform into their buff form, why haven’t we seen one for Happy and Carla? Maybe they aren’t really fighters so it is not required. I know. It will be totally weird if we are to see a very buffed Happy and a very sexy and mature Carla. Or a very comical one. That won’t look good on them…

Conclusion
So it will take some time before the anime resumes again. Hopefully. So good this series that right after the season ended, they have begun showing reruns of the series. I’m not that mad so I won’t be reliving nostalgia again even if I heard that some of the reruns (termed as Fairy Tail Best) might have extra scenes in selected episodes. I am pretty sure they are not going to show all 175 episodes again. That will take like another 3 over years, right? In a nutshell, this is quite a good series if you ever want to watch something over the long run with lots of potential plots, character developments, epic action, adventure, comedy and just about everything else. It’s nice having to escape into a different fantasy world and let all my imagination and creative fantasies let loose just thinking about this series. It is sad to leave the series for a while but hey, sometimes you need to take a breather once in a while. Now I am free on weekends and this enables me to watch more of other animes. That’s not so bad after all. This world may not have any magic powers, but after watching this show, I don’t really regret it all in the end despite the way it ended with many questions left hanging in the balance. Now, that is magic.

BTOOOM

April 27, 2013

Have you ever loved a game so much that you would really love to play it in real life? As in, you yourself would like to participate as a player and play the game in the real world setting instead of just being confined to the TV screen and your imagination. Good news. The BTOOOM game may seem like a popular internet team game but to the unsuspecting some, you have a chance to participate this survival game for real and blow up your enemies with your own hands. Only one catch: This game is real and this means if you die, you really die! No second chance, the typical 3 lives or unlimited continues at the luxury of your disposal. No resurrection spells either. Think twice if you want to play it for real because survival of the fittest is crucial. Heck, it’s not like anybody can audition or send in a video tape to say why they love to participate. Somehow random people are ‘abducted’ and made to play this sick game whereby only the strongest, toughest and smartest will survive and will be sent home. So we’ve got a group of strangers from all walks of life stranded on an uninhabited island each with their own limited set of arsenal. You know things are going to get bloody and gory when your life is at stake. For real. So are you game?

Episode 1
Ryouta Sakamoto is playing the popular online game called BTOOOM as he easily chalks up his enemies and rises through the worldwide rankings. As narrated, it is a game whereby teams kill each other only using different types of bombs. He admits he is unemployed but in this virtual world, he is very much respected and the best in Japan. His aim is of course to be number one. Suddenly the next thing he knows, he finds himself in the tropical jungle. His parachute is stuck on the tree. His head hurts. He can’t remember what happened that got him into this predicament. No, it’s not a dream either. He goes through his stuffs and notices a green crystal embedded on his left hand. He needs to find out where he is but gets spooked with the jungle’s little creepy crawlies. Finally he hits the shore. The blue sky and sea. Slowly he regains bits of his memories. He was in an argument with his mom because she had sent his resume to a grocery store against his will. He did not want to work there and asserts there’s a place he wants to work. As he leaves, a couple of MIB agents approach him. That’s all he remembers. Sakamoto goes through the unfamiliar pouch in his hand and notices strange cubes. He activates one of them, not knowing what it is. A timer counts down and before it reaches zero, he throws it away and it explodes!!! Woah! Almost died there. He thought he saw someone coming from afar and waves for help. However he throws a bomb at him! Sakamoto makes a run after knowing this Blondie is trying to kill him for real. He realizes how similar this reality is to BTOOOM but to his dismay Blondie always finds him. Too bad he’s such a bad aim that his bombs don’t hit Sakamoto. He always gets flung away by the impact. I wonder how many more times he can take this. Sakamoto tries to fight back with his bombs but isn’t sure how to use them. Just when he thought he cornered Blondie, he starts asking questions about everything. But Blondie isn’t so kind to tell him and will kill him. Sakamoto thought of surrendering but that was just stupid. Luckily he didn’t die from that blast. He realizes hiding is useless because the crystal pinpoints one’s location just like the game.

He is hiding in the bushes lamenting his predicament while Blondie is going to flush him out. I guess Sakamoto is pretty slow because now he realizes his bombs work on a timer while Blondie explodes on impact. Just like in the game. Took him some time, huh? Sakamoto continues to lament all the glory he got was just virtual. Now it’s real. Just as Blondie is about to throw his bomb, Sakamoto dives off the cliff and swims as deep as he could. Blondie thought he could just wait till he surfaces but he didn’t realize Sakamoto just planted his timer bomb right where he is standing. Then… BOOOOOM!!! See all his scattered body parts sink into the ocean. Gruesome. This is what you do for survival. He takes Blondie’s bombs as his own. Flashback reveals Sakamoto wanted to work for a game company that created BTOOM, Tyrannos Japan. However there was no vacancy. One night while holing up in his room playing BTOOOM, his mom wanted to talk to him about getting a job at Uncle Kazu’s udon shop. Sakamoto blew his top and asserted the dream job he wanted to get. That was 2 years ago and he is still unemployed. She wants him to stop dreaming about working for the game company so that’s when Sakamoto got mad and threw the controller, almost hitting mom. Gosh… Back in reality, it is daybreak. Sakamoto is at the river. Hungry. Probably he vomited out all he has eaten after last night’s gruesome kill. Then he sees a sexy blonde bombshell, Himiko washing herself in the river ahead. He is surprised to see her. She is surprised to see him.

Episode 2
Himiko also plays BTOOOM and met Sakamoto when he offered her to join his team for a game when one of his mates logged out. Because of that, her ranking rose a lot after 3 games (by 20,000?!). Himiko remembers hanging out with her best friend Miho. She thought this is punishment for that terrible incident. As Himiko lies around on the beach, a group of men wake her up. Based on their appearance, let’s call them Macho Teacher, Fatty and Pirate Ruffian. Teacher assures they won’t hurt her and to join them to stay together as a group. Pirate didn’t like Teacher’s upright ways because it makes him look like a hypocrite. Pirate takes Himiko hostage to see if Teacher got the guts to stay true to his words. Himiko frees herself with her taser. Fatty suggests picking a leader and leave their bombs with the trustworthy one. He suggests Himiko and so does Teacher. I guess it’s not right to shove those heavy pouches of bombs to a girl but hey, she seems like the one who will least double cross them. A plane drops the much needed food and other supplies. But Teacher lectures them about eating too much and should divide it fairly. Pirate shuts him up by slitting his throat! His crystal falls off. That night, Fatty takes Himiko and run for fear they will be next on Pirate’s kill list. Fatty can’t run so he needs to rest. However he senses Pirate coming after them. Now he can run. He tells Himiko about the crystal on their hand which works as a radar. That’s how he is able to sense Pirate but this means Pirate can track them. Then they come to a rope bridge. Himiko has no problem crossing but I’m sure Fatty is worried that his weight will make him fall like a rock. He’s got no time to think since Pirate has caught up. However he doesn’t know what Fatty is talking about using the radar thingy. In his fear, Fatty throws his bomb and runs across the bridge. Miraculously the bridge didn’t collapse! I guess he ran so fast that he was weightless like the wind! Haha! Pirate makes a run for it realizing Fatty’s bomb starts decaying all the life forms around with its gas.

Fatty drags Himiko along as he tells her they need to kill to survive. She won’t do that and this reminded him of an unpleasant him. Because he is annoyingly bugging her, she punches him. She uses her taser to knock him out. As she is hiding, she remembers how she brought Miho and her other friends to the apartment of Miho’s crush, Yoshioka. He brought over his band members too and her friends were ecstatic to meet them in person. Himiko heads to the store first after letting them in. When she returns, she is horrified to see her friends drugged and gang raped and Miho in the midst of being done in. The guys view Himiko as the main course but she fights her way out. She was the only one who escaped. This incident received lots of publicity, Yoshioka and his band members got arrested and all her friends moved away after that. Miho’s last words were that she hated her and hoped she disappear for good. So maybe this was her punishment. Fatty finds Himiko thanks to the radar and pins her down getting ready to rape her. She rather die than get raped so she sets off her bomb timer. Fatty got scared and runs away. Himiko realized she is going to die alone and throws the bomb Fatty’s way. BOOOOOM!!! A good fat guy is a dead fat guy. Her first kill. That’s when she felt proud she protected herself and declares all men on this island are her enemies. That’s why when she saw Sakamoto, she got alerted to see another scum.

Episode 3
Sakamoto realizes Himiko has got lots of supplies with her and tried to go after her but she was too fast and disappeared into the jungle. Instead, Sakamoto meets an elderly guy, Kiyoshi Taira who is taking a dump. Thank goodness he didn’t soil his pants. Too bad he stepped on his own poo when Sakamoto ‘frightened’ him. Taira offers to explain what happened. He was taken away by MIBs and the next thing he knew he was in a cargo plane filled with around 30 other people from all walks of life. Men and women, young and old. A funny guy, Takanohashi appeared on the screen to explain the workings of the game they’ll be playing. They’ll be dropped on an uninhabited island somewhere in the Pacific and have to fight each other using bombs called BIMs. They are given 8 bombs each in the beginning and no manual comes with it. The crystal on their left hand is a chip that doesn’t come off easy unless surgery is done. It works as a radar to recognize one another easily. When your heart stops, so does the chip. To leave the island, they need 8 of these chips and this means one needs to kill 7 others. Because everyone was afraid of the stun gun the guards were pointing at them, only Sakamoto stood up to voice his protest about differentiating reality and game (is he the one to say?). The guards pin him down and fire the stun gun right at his head at maximum voltage! It’s amazing he didn’t die. Then everyone is shoved off the plane. Don’t worry, the parachutes open by themselves. Unconscious Sakamoto is also tossed off. So now that the mystery of his memory loss and his predicament is answered, the question is why Tyrannos is pulling this off. Sakamoto can’t go through that terrible feeling of killing people another 6 times.

Taira offers to work together but Sakamoto is wary because this means the number of murders will double. That’s 14 kills. But Taira says he won’t participate in this game and will find some other way out. Sakamoto wanted to call him naive but he can’t blame him since he too would’ve been in his shoes if he hadn’t met people who were trying to kill him. He agrees to join him but on 1 condition he shows his bombs and how many he has left. However Taira won’t because since these are their trump cards, knowing them would just make them more nervous. He thinks they’ll respect each other more if they don’t see what the other has. Sakamoto knows he is a clever guy and some old geezer. He agrees to join him without any conditions. They hear the sound of a plane coming and Taira notices it happened yesterday too about the same time. Sakamoto goes to a higher ground to see it dropping several suitcases over the island. He realizes they are food supplies. He reasons that the people behind this want them to play and they would be too hungry looking for food instead of killing each other. A woman beats Sakamoto to the nearest supply when suddenly a bomb goes off killing her! A shady Tattoo guy takes her chip, supplies and bombs. Sakamoto is devastated it could’ve been him. He realizes with everyone seeing the supplies, it’s a race to get there first but the shady guy was smart to plant a bomb. Sakamoto sees another location of another supply but wants to give up on it since he worries it might be a trap. But Taira says food is still food and can’t fight on an empty stomach. If they don’t get it, they won’t survive too. Sakamoto lightens up as they race to get it. When they arrive, they are shocked to see a boy covered in blood, just fresh from his kill.

Episode 4
Kousuke Kira is a troubled kid from a troubled home with a very abusive father to begin with. Started with pick-pocketing, larceny, killing women and raping them (yes, in that order). Because he is a minor and his lawyer Souichi Natsume, the law couldn’t do much. On the island, Natsume is shocked to see Kousuke killing frogs for fun. A hundred of them. He tries to reason with him about killing for fun and food but gives up. Then the supplies parachute down and Natsume feels Kousuke should speak up to his father instead of keeping quiet. Kousuke’s dad forces his son to use his implosion bomb to blow a huge hole in a tree to get the supplies. Then he takes them all for his own and tells off Natsume about survival of the strongest and that the law of the jungle applies. Because Kousuke called him a scum, daddy starts abusing him by squeezing his balls! Kousuke remembers how he was playing BTOOOM and achieved the achievement of playing the game for 40 straight hours (holy sh*t!) when daddy starts abusing him for skipping school and making him look bad. Kousuke couldn’t take it anymore and plants the bomb on his father! BOOM! It’s one nasty corpse so much so Natsume pukes. Kousuke revels in his actions and thinks Natsume will protect him like before. But the lawyer feels disgusted with Kousuke and calls him a monster worse than his father and runs off. That’s when Sakamoto and Taira come into this kid. Knowing he is dangerous, the duo make a run for it while Kousuke tries to take his father’s supplies and bombs. Taira trips and breaks his foot. He wants Sakamoto to run for his own safety. He can’t leave this old guy and wants him to stay put (just like in the game, the radar detects when only movements) and he will be the bait to draw Kousuke away.

Kousuke and Sakamoto experiment the use of their radar as they get closer to each other. Since they are both experienced BTOOOM players, they end up with the same strategy. They realize each other as a skilled BTOOOM player. Sakamoto makes a run while Kousuke is hot on his tail. Sakamoto sets a bomb threat but doesn’t kill Kousuke. Sakamoto would’ve been dead by his implosion bomb had he not think quickly and throw away his bag that the bomb was stuck to. Kousuke then starts analyzing and insulting him as a BTOOOM player and a shut-in who is a loser in real life. The impact from Kousuke’s bomb causes Sakamoto to knock his head on the rock and experience some concussion. He starts feeling in a daze and thinks he is playing a game. But this means his senses are also as sharp as in the game since he is Japan’s top player. Now like a different person, he makes his moves and tricks Kousuke with his traps and deception. The kid is stunned when his radar cannot detect Sakamoto’s location. Then he realized. Just like in the game, one can use the radar to cancel out the radar detection of another if it is activated at the same time. Because Sakamoto knows Kousuke’s pattern, he is able to cancel out his scanning all the time with accuracy. Kousuke starts to panic when he can’t tell Sakamoto’s presence. Sakamoto throws the final bomb at him to end it all. Somehow Kousuke is still breathing. When Sakamoto realizes this isn’t a game and reality, he becomes afraid that he was trying to kill someone again. Kousuke is tied to a tree and been given a lousy little snack as food while Sakamoto takes the rest of his supplies and bombs and leaves. When Kousuke learns his name and who he is, he gets excited to play this game even more.

Episode 5
Sakamoto and Taira take a break having lunch. Taira is so grateful for Sakamoto that he actually starts crying. No one has been this grateful to him before so he thinks back why he was brought to this island. Flashback indicates his mother almost committed suicide by slitting her wrists. His stepfather found her and mommy felt sorry for what she did even if it was to her own son. She knew he got laid off and even her son didn’t treat him well. Taira and Sakamoto are stunned to see a body floating down the waterfall. It’s the corpse of Fatty. Feeling the need to get out of here because the killer might just be over the waterfall, Taira’s leg is still injured. Sakamoto will then climb up to scout. He uses his radar and picks up Himiko’s presence. She starts throwing a bomb into the forest that starts decaying everything. Sakamoto makes a run for it and runs into Himiko. He realizes it’s a trap to flush him out. She is ready to throw another bomb at him as he tries to persuade her to put it down and inform her about his goal to get off the island without killing anyone. Though she disarms the bomb, the moment he takes a step closer, she activates it and throws it at him, thinking his goal was to let her guard down and then rape her. Thankfully her aim was lousy so Sakamoto still lives. Himiko draws her taser when he gets too close. He manages to avoid all her swings and in the end though he trips, his reflexes kicks her hand and Himiko knocks out herself with her own taser. Sakamoto disarms her and even have the thought to take a peek at her panties! I guess he can’t help resist the temptation. Naughty, naughty… He sure did have a good look but quickly backs down when her body moves unconsciously. What was he thinking? He realized that Fatty was trying to rape her (the reason his body had no pants on) and perhaps why she was so defensive when came into contact with him.

Himiko wakes up in Sakamoto’s arms. He is carrying her to a safe place and assures he won’t hurt her. However she still isn’t convinced and activates a hidden timer bomb. She is prepared to die rather than being raped and killed. Sakamoto easily disarms it (she is still weak from the stun) and realizes she was serious in killing herself. Himiko is given food as they suggest cooperating to get out of this island. But Himiko has her doubts. Even if they get off this island, who would be waiting for them? She lets them know that people who knew them well sent them to this island. Taira can’t believe it because he has a good relationship with his family. On second thought, he realizes he had a big argument with his customer recently. How did Himiko know of this? She and her friends knew about this rumour to send someone they hate away. After that group rape, Miho told her everyone picked her name as the most hated person to disappear. Sakamoto realizes his mother might be the one who sent him. Taira still believes in going back alive to work things out. Suddenly they hear rustling in the bushes. The radar picks up nothing. Then out they come… Giant komodo dragons!!! They are carnivorous, right?

Episode 6
Sakamoto wants Taira to bring Himiko away while he goes retrieve the bombs. But several komodo dragons are persistent in eating the old guy. How long can he kick them away? Sakamoto tries to use Kousuke’s bomb but it doesn’t explode. He thinks it is because he didn’t kill him, the bombs are not considered his. As he searches for his own bombs, a komodo dragon bites Taira’s leg. Sakamoto throws his bomb to scare them all away before it bites Taira’s leg off. Making their way upstream, Taira seems pessimistic because he has always been saying he’s just an old guy and no one will be blamed if he gets left behind. He adds when Sakamoto went off to fight, he had this thought he might never return and may have abandoned him. He was scared. Revealing he was kind to his family, but at work he’s a monster. Thus he may have stepped on lots of toes. Because the komodo dragons are following them, an attack split them up. Sakamoto tries to call and scan for Taira but doesn’t sense anything. Then he realizes Taira may have run away with the bombs and supplies he is carrying and left him with unconscious Himiko. He comes face to face with a komodo dragon but a homing bomb comes flying straight at it to scare it off. Taira comes back and Sakamoto regrets he doubted him. Seems when they were frantically using the radar to scan each other, it cancelled each other out. They find an abandoned base but it isn’t easy for the trio to climb up. I don’t want to say Himiko is heavy but rather the ladder is rusty and everyone is tired. Better hurry because the komodo dragons are closing in. Taira will distract them and wants Sakamoto to get Himiko up the base. Sakamoto knows his homing bombs sense the heat of its target but its impact isn’t powerful. He tries to wake Himiko out but she’s out cold. Evil thoughts cross his mind that if he abandons her, he can survive. Taira is shocked to see Sakamoto climbing up the ladder alone. Is he going to abandon them? Sakamoto starts throwing the decaying bomb at the forest. Some lizards were killed, the rest retreated. But how can Sakamoto activated her bombs if she’s not dead? He used her hand to activate it. Because of the direction of the wind and the base hidden between the rocks, they can be assured they’ll be safe from the bomb’s toxins.

Inside the base, they see old blood stains on the wall and think this game was played before. Taira’s leg injury worsens and he develops a fever. Next morning, Himiko still has a reservation on Sakamoto because his face indicates he might have done something to her while she was out. Sakamoto needs Himiko’s help to pin Taira down while he disinfects his leg but Himiko is still scared of touching men. She had to hold back her fear and do so when Sakamoto tells her Taira’s leg got into this shape while trying to save her. Meanwhile the guys back at Tyrannos are watching Sakamoto and notes the allies he is making and to continue watching and gathering more data. Because Himiko still distrusts men and has not agreed to work with them, Sakamoto wants her to answer his questions. The bombs and the supplies she got, did she kill others? He needs to know what she’s thinking or else they may be betrayed at any time. Himiko is close to breaking down and denies she’s a murderer because she did so in self defence. Suddenly a radar scan is detected. Unfortunately Himiko knows she has been detected and volunteers to leave before the killing starts. However Sakamoto will act as a decoy and draw them off. Sakamoto is in the jungle using his radar and tries to maintain a distance. A swift attack takes him by surprise as he narrowly escapes from being sliced by Pirate’s knife.

Episode 7
Guess what? In the world of BTOOOM, you can also get married! Albeit virtually. Sakamoto got hitched to Himiko and though he wanted to meet her face to face, she rather not because she wanted to keep dreaming like this. In reality, Sakamoto tries to reason with Masashi Miyamoto (the Pirate now has a name) not to fight but he isn’t convinced with this punk. A stray timer bomb blows up close to him as Sakamoto realizes he is working with Natsume. Sakamoto uses the taser to stun Natsume but its power has weakened. Part of Miyamoto’s plan is to let him get away because from their conversation, he knows he has friends. When Sakamoto gets back to the base, he assures them he wasn’t followed since he took the long way and didn’t sense the use of the radar. But he has to eat his words since Miyamoto makes his entry. As a mercenary, tracking in the jungle is his forte. Miyamoto wants to claim his supplies Himiko took and has a hunch she killed Akechi (Fatty). However she insists she has his chip but Miyamoto doesn’t believe her. Sakamoto threatens to use the taser but Miyamoto is not fazed. He tells them off the sane ones are playing this game and that he too wants to get off this island. Sakamoto is confident there is a blind spot somewhere because he once worked with Tyrannos as a debugger and a game this size must have balancing issues somewhere. Not convinced. Taira tries to do a sneak attack but his fingers were cut off instead! Miyamoto kicks Sakamoto off the ledge. Thankfully the tree branches broke his fall. Or else it could’ve been him broken in pieces down the rocks. When he climbs back up, he only sees Taira only. Himiko, the bombs and supplies have been taken. Except for her handphone. He takes a look at it and realizes she may be the Himiko he is virtually married to. He wants to go save her but Taira pleads not to leave him alone anymore. No luck. He’s determined to go.

Himiko is tied to the bed and prepared to die but in exchange wants her body left pure. Miyamoto isn’t going to let her die so easily because he is going to torture her by lynching her skin. Then they realize a radar and Miyamoto can tell it is Sakamoto. Miyamoto orders Natsume to ambush Sakamoto but has a hunch that things didn’t go as plan. He almost killed Natsume when he passed by where Miyamoto was waiting. Natsume threw his bomb but Sakamoto ‘disappeared’. Sakamoto narrowly evades a military style trap and from what he observed, even if the bomb doesn’t belong to you but if you successfully disarm it, the bomb becomes yours. He frees Himiko and tells her about the game and the person he is married too. However she says Himiko isn’t really her real name and doesn’t play that game often. Maybe he just got the wrong person. After all, with 3 million copies sold, what are the chances of a player with the same player? As they flee, Miyamoto orders Natsume to ambush once more. The lawyer is going crazy because he wants to kill in the name of self defence. That’s not punishable by law. I guess he was so obsessed with this and chasing him down that he didn’t see Sakamoto throwing back a bomb. Now he’s a dead lawyer. Unfortunately Miyamoto has taken Himiko hostage and challenges him to a fist fight, throwing down his knife. Sakamoto goes for the knife first and it’s a trap since Miyamoto swiftly beats him up. Himiko jumps on him and plants a decaying bomb on him. I guess becoming Usain Bolt really helps. But no use if you’re trap in a dead end! Sakamoto climbs up through a hole in the ceiling and pulls Himiko up. Suddenly Miyamoto grabs her leg. His entire faced and body is f*cking messed up! He is sure one tough cookie! Sakamoto tosses a timer bomb and pulls up Himiko while Miyamoto picks it up thinking of making it his if he disarms it. However he realizes this is Natsume’s bomb (he was ordered to set the bombs at shorter countdown intervals to not screw up) and the bomb explodes in his face. I guess that’s the end of him. Back at Tyrannos, Takanohashi the host shows his audience how this third round’s game balance has improved because Miyamoto was favoured to win and yet Sakamoto won.

Episode 8
After the gang rape incident, Himiko has been ostracized by her classmates. She skipped school and played BTOOOM in her room. Sakamoto was understanding and it made her happy. Elsewhere on the island, Kakimoto vows to protect Hidemi Kinoshita but the latter betrays him and pushes him into the abyss where a group of komodo dragons feast on him. Well, he did say he would protect her so does that include dying for her? She drops a bomb to kill everything. Takanohashi shows people’s dark side of betraying each other to his CEO. He even has the images turned into 3D models for those who can’t stand the gore. The CEO is looking forward to the finishing touches before announcing the project and leaves it up to Takanohashi. Sakamoto and Himiko rest in another abandoned hut since it’s too dark to head back to Taira. Himiko doesn’t want to sleep alone but doesn’t mean they can sleep together! Do you understand what she meant? So a simple border separates them as Himiko asks why he was so reckless to save her even he had not met her in person. He explains he becomes a calmer person with sharper thinking when backed to a corner. His other motivation was because he thought she was the Himiko he virtually married to. Because he is true to himself on the internet and ironically casted away everything in real life just for life in the virtual world. Himiko finds it hard to hide her tears. She was ready to give up then when he came into her life to save her like a hero. Best of all, he turned out to be the Sakamoto she knew. So it was her who really ‘married’ him. Himiko wakes up dead in the night screaming, thinking she saw someone starring at her! Sakamoto uses his radar to detect but doesn’t find anybody. Thinking the enemy could be hiding close by, he wants to conduct a search now. He sees a light across the far end of the opposite building and heads there himself. So giving Himiko a torchlight to search on her own is enough? He enters a room to see a camp. It’s like someone’s been living here for a long time. Just when he thinks it is a trap to lure him in, a woman attacks him from behind. He is able to dodge her sickle and kicks her out cold. He notices her left hand is missing and thus no chip means she couldn’t be detected by the radar. He returns to Himiko and brings her to the room.

When the woman wakes up, she starts going into hysteria there is a man in the room. Himiko has Sakamoto leave and will handle her. Introducing herself as Shiki Murasaki, she warns Himiko not to trust men but since Sakamoto has saved her life numerous times, she feels she needs to work with him. Shiki recalls how she was sent here 6 months ago. Working as a nurse in an understaffed hospital, one day there was a serious medical accident and the doctor she respected, Masahito Date was held responsible. Because she respected him so much, she altered the medical charts to clear his name. However it backfired and Shiki was blamed instead. By the doctor himself. She became public enemy number one and was so engulfed in hatred that she received a letter to make someone disappear. At the same time, someone must have a grudge against her to write her name and had her end up on this island. Date was also on this island and promised to work together to get off this island. But when they killed the sixth person, Date betrayed her. He uses his homing bomb on her but it was too weak to kill her. However it was enough because it blown away her left hand and he conveniently took her chip and got off the island via helicopter. Shiki warns them once they’ve killed the sixth person, their relationship will be tested. Himiko tells Sakamoto what she has been told and he thinks if they can use the bombs to hijack the pilot. But Himiko couldn’t tell him about what would happen when they get the sixth chip. Next morning, Shiki sees them off as they make their way back to Taira. Speaking of him, he is being treated no other by Date who is cursing his luck he has been sent back to this island again.

Episode 9
Date acts all goody-goody so he can use Taira later. But Sakamoto and Himiko return and are suspicious. Date tries to get on their good books and it is made easier for him when unsuspecting Taira vouches for the doctor since he saved his life. He also shows Sakamoto his bombs upon his request. They are remote control types and he has never used them once. Sakamoto apologizes for doubting him and Date is thankful he hasn’t come into contact with anyone for the last 3 days, that’s why he hadn’t had any chance to use the bombs. Sakamoto wants him to help them in getting off the island and the moment he mentions he already has 3 chips (I’m guessing they’re from Miyamoto, Natsume and Teacher), Date is all too eager to agree. With the plane dropping supplies again, Sakamoto, Himiko and Date race to go get it. Suddenly it’s like a radar detecting spree. Everybody is trying to sense who is after it. There are a total of 6 other players. Two of which are continuing straight for it, another two retreating while the balance are just watching. Sakamoto rushes ahead and realizes he is running side by side with Nobutaka Oda (Tattoo). Once out of the jungle, they both face off and threw a bomb each. Date manages to grab the supplies but the button won’t set it free from the parachute. The wind is picking up. Oda throws a decaying bomb so Sakamoto tells him to forget about it and run. Date puts his remote control bomb on the trunk to free it from the parachute and lets Sakamoto grab it. Oda continues to chase Sakamoto persistently. Suddenly flame bombs trap him. It is thrown by Arrogant who is teaming up with Kousuke. Oda dives through the flames, kicks Sakamoto in the face, takes the supplies, runs back out and dives down the cliff into the sea. Crazy! Sakamoto had to do the same because another flame bomb is coming his way. Kousuke points out a shore nearby where they might be resurfacing so Arrogant thinks he knows everything and heads there. But Kousuke won’t be following him. If you know what he is getting at.

Meanwhile Himiko comes into Kinoshita who whacks the blonde unconscious and drops a timer bomb to dispose of her. Luckily for Himiko, she panicked and threw away the bomb. If only she had thrown in the right direction. Kinoshita isn’t fazed with Himiko’s taser and runs her down. This works up Himiko and she charges at her. However Kinoshita is able to overpower her with her grappling move and tries to strangle her to death. I didn’t know Himiko is that sturdy. She starts thinking she wanted to die all along so why is she putting up this fight to survive? For Sakamoto? She manages to throw Kinoshita off and zaps her with the taser. Pissed Kinoshita tries to kill her by smashing her head on the ground but an incoming bomb breaks them apart. Date seems disappointed that none of them died so he pretends he is glad Himiko is alright. However she suspects he is still a dangerous man because he tried to kill them both and is saying how he tried to save her. The only person she can trust is Sakamoto. That guy is hiding behind the rocks near the shore and sees Arrogant appearing. He spots the supplies and thinks somehow hid it here. As he happily takes it, Oda sets off the bomb trap to kill him. After Oda takes everything, Sakamoto comes out of his hiding to tell him to drop everything, put his hands behind his head and slowly walk away. But Sakamoto’s guts tell him something is wrong. Why is Oda doing it all so calmly and obediently? Could it be another trap? Oda shows his hands and they’re clean. This confuses Sakamoto even more so he feels he needs to act quickly and grab everything. The remote control is in Oda’s mouth as he presses the button once Sakamoto gets close. Oda thinks he has won but to his shock, Sakamoto is still alive. That’s Sakamoto the experienced BTOOOM player for you.

Episode 10
The Tyrannos people are watching the match between Sakamoto and Oda. They seem shocked Sakamoto had lost but wait! He’s still alive and Oda may have fallen into his trap. Sakamoto didn’t actually approach the supplies but far away. Because Oda had limited vision and no depth perception from his angle, it seemed like Sakamoto was approaching it. Sakamoto strikes back but Oda didn’t move. Oda uses the flame bomb in Arrogant’s hand and throws it at him but it’s like Sakamoto knew what he was going to do and dives into the sea. Oda picks up the supplies and leaves. Sakamoto is surprised that Oda knows his name. Kousuke revels at their match and has stolen Sakamoto’s pouch of bombs (which was his to begin with). He looks forward to fighting another day. Sakamoto is tired. He lost everything. Himiko comes rushing, glad he is alive. So much so she hugs him. I guess he didn’t lose everything. Back at their base, Sakamoto thinks back and gets a feeling he knows who Oda is. There’s such a person back at school who excelled in everything. Studies, sports, popular with the guys and girls. He was the kind of guy whom Sakamoto yearned to be. Ironically, Oda and Sakamoto stroke up friendship and the latter began to open his heart. Even telling him the girl he had a crush on, Aiko. Because Sakamoto didn’t have the guts to ask her out, Oda tells him off about losing his chance if he stays defensive and that the first one moves, wins. One day, Aiko becomes inconsolable in class and it has something to do with Oda. He confronted him and learnt that he slept with her after she confessed she liked him. Sakamoto felt betrayed and humiliated and kept punching him. It took him several guys to quell his anger. In the end, both got suspended though Oda quit school and the last he heard of him was that he opened a host club. Date laments he is hanging around these useless people and he has to share his precious food with them. Sakamoto feeds Taira as Date checks his pulse and diagnoses the lizard’s venom is keeping his wounds from healing. Himiko pulls Sakamoto away to talk to him while Date ‘volunteers’ to feed him. Date feels the need to cut ties with this bunch since this old geezer is probably half dead so it’s useless to feed him more food. Himiko thinks Shiki has some medical supplies but didn’t like Sakamoto’s idea of bringing Date over to see her instead of having Shiki to come bring it to them.

Taira is left alone once more as the trio trek their way to Shiki’s place. Himiko tries to tell Sakamoto that Date is a dangerous guy and almost killed her. However Sakamoto talks about trust-you-trust-me that is needed to survive this island. In short, he completely trusts the doctor. Himiko is fed up and won’t say more to this clueless guy. Upon reaching the place, Himiko and Sakamoto have to be careful with their words to avoid Date getting suspicious since it’s obvious how would Himiko know the medicine is here when she doesn’t know where it is. Get it? Can she get off scot free about being lost? They decide to search at different places and Himiko obviously went to where Shiki is. Date walks through the hall remembering the bloodshed he was in the last time. He spots some medicine in the shelf but it’s all useless since it’s past its expiry date. It doesn’t matter since he’s going to make poison. When Sakamoto rejoins with him, Date mentions he overheard his talk with Himiko and wonders if he doubts him. Talking about that trust-you-trust-me thingy, he has Sakamoto carry his bag filled with the ‘important stuffs’. At that point, Sakamoto’s guts tell him Date couldn’t be trusted. He sees Himiko rushing towards him. She yells at him to throw away the bag because a bomb is placed in it. Date detonates it to blow it up.

Episode 11
Date gloats about how he is going to win and prepares to kill Himiko. But he hears a familiar voice approaching from behind. Shiki sticks the sickle in his back and takes Himiko and run. Ten minutes ago, Himiko asked Shiki for the serum as she points out the room where Date was in. Upon seeing his face, it brought back those painful memories again. She tells Himiko he is the bastard that betrayed her. Realizing the type of bomb he has, she knows the bag Sakamoto carried has a bomb because Date used this trick before. So Himiko rushed to Sakamoto but the explosion ripped the room apart. Shiki and Himiko can’t run around inside the building for she knows Date has laced it with his remote bombs. Shiki can fight back using Himiko bombs (since she’s the one who activated it) but falls into one of Date’s trap as the roof caves in. Himiko laments just when she wants to live, she is going to die. She is sad reality disappointed her and ran away to the virtual world. Only Sakamoto cheered her up. If she knew this was going to happen, she should’ve told him she was the real Himiko. Date gives her one last chance to join him but she refuses since she knows he’ll betray her. He tosses his bomb (belonging to Sakamoto) but guess what? It didn’t explode and bounces off her boobs! WTF?! Hey! It didn’t explode means… Yup, here comes Sakamoto out from the smoke. How the hell did he survive? When Himiko told him to throw away the bag, he did so and dived throw a tiny trapdoor before Date set it off. Sakamoto sizes up the bombs that they have now and since Date planted his all around, it means he is unarmed. Date runs away while Sakamoto gives chase. But this is a ploy to lead him to one of his traps. He gets where he wants Sakamoto to stand but when he detonates it, he is blown away. Sakamoto reveals while he was chasing Himiko, he found a bomb trap and moved it to where it is now.

Date is deeply injured and Sakamoto knows the only way left is to kill him. He’s done being naive. Shiki is still alive (you don’t think a fall like that would’ve killed this tough cookie, no?) and doesn’t want him to dirty his hands. She is going to slit this dishonest doctor who looks down on people and tosses them away after they outlived their usefulness. I’m not sure if Date is looking at her with real pitiful eyes and not crying crocodile tears. Because it causes Shiki’s heart to waver despite she knows she can’t forgive him. In the end, she couldn’t kill him and treats him instead. Sakamoto doesn’t understand how adults think but Himiko points out he is the same. Sakamoto says he never grew up because he is a NEET. He then wants to take a detour on their way back and recheck the bodies of those they killed for their chips before anyone does. Akechi, Kousuke’s dad, Blondie and theirs will only add up to 6. Sakamoto noticed Blondie had 2 sets of bombs so he must have had 2 chips with him. They would have enough for one to summon a way out and hijack the helicopter. However they all the bodies had no chip on them. It would be possible for others who passed by to take them but all of them? Sakamoto fears that the only person who knew about these chips is… Taira. Could he be? When they return to base, a homing bomb targets them. And who do we know can only control these babies?

Episode 12
Taira is going crazy. He is scared for being left alone in the dark and also feels guilty for keeping it from them that he took the chips from Akechi and Kousuke’s dad. He wakes up thinking hearing his son’s voice, Yuzuhiko. He starts hallucinating that his son wants him back badly but he doesn’t have enough chips. Till another hallucination of his in the form of his wife Akiko tells him to properly count the chips he have. One from himself, two in his possession, Sakamoto has three and if he kills Sakamoto and Himiko, he’ll have eight! Yeah. Enough to get off this damn island. Taira sends a homing bomb one after another targeting Sakamoto. Though he manages to hit it away with a rod, he got too close to one and it got his right leg. Fearing that Taira is betraying them, Sakamoto uses his radar but doesn’t detect anything as Taira is not moving. He realizes that it is his fault for making Taira anxious and remembers how his real dad was too busy with work and never spent time with him. His mom divorced him and married a new man but he never accepted him and became violent instead. It’s like he is doing to Taira what he didn’t want done on him. Himiko protects Sakamoto from another homing bomb. The way she protected him made Sakamoto realize that she is the Himiko in BTOOOM because of the similar predicament. Taira sends another one but Sakamoto feels suspicious. Why is he wasting his precious bombs like this? Then it hit him that he is targeting Himiko. Disregarding his injured leg, he jumps to grab it before it explodes within Himiko’s range. Taira is now scared and makes a run, thinking they’re going to kill him now. He only has one bomb left. Sakamoto tries to go after him (yes, with that injured leg) and wants a chance to apologize. Taira falls down the slope and just when Sakamoto’s words reach his heart, he is surrounded by komodo dragons. He accepts this punishment for what he did. He was just desperate to go home and apologizes to his family. He can’t take the pain anymore. He sets his last bomb on himself.

Sakamoto is upset Taira is dead and regrets he never got a chance to apologize. Back at the base, the duo are doing some soul searching. He doesn’t believe Taira was like Date trying to betray them from the start. He was just a normal person who got scared and suspicious after he got hurt. He blames himself for ‘killing’ him. Himiko shows him the chips she took from Taira. She is willing to give these and hers so he can leave the island. What is she saying? She wants him to kill her. After all, she has nobody she can go back to. Everybody she knows hates her. She is ready to give her life to him because he changed her despite having nowhere to go even if it was just a virtual world. Of course he won’t sacrifice her just to go home. He is not that desperate. Instead, he wants them both to get off the island and lets her know he knows she is the Himiko he married in BTOOOM. I never expect this to happen but anyway it did. They kiss. If you’re wondering if Himiko has gotten over her fear of men, let me assure you she hasn’t. She’s just putting it up for Sakamoto’s sake trying not to be afraid and lets him do what he wants. Sakamoto realizes this as he sees visions of Oda insulting him about holding back. Sakamoto makes peace with himself that he should have cared better for his friends and family. Otherwise he wouldn’t have ended up on this island nor would Taira have to die. He vows never to be like Oda and wants him out of his heart forever. With the ghost of his past vanquish, he wants to leave this island with her so that they can officially start dating. She hugs him. Meanwhile Takanohashi sends Tsuneaki Iida (the guy who rejected Sakamoto when he tried to interview for a job at Tyrannos) to the island because some mechanical trouble on the island. He is anxious not to let the clients know about this and wants this bug fix within 24 hours. Seems this is all part of Iida’s plan to do his best to help Sakamoto. The final scenes show Date still being treated by Shiki, Oda travelling together with Kinoshita, Kousuke hanging around in a new group, Sakamoto and Himiko leaning on each other with a calm smile on their faces as dawn approaches.

Bomb Voyage!
Woah! Fantastic! This is what I have to say about this series if I have to summarize it in a word. Surprisingly this is one of the very few animes that had me glued to the screen so much so I lost track of time. Each time an episode ends, I crave for more and can’t wait to catch the next one. The action, drama and the deception are all very interesting so it is no wonder that I am ‘hooked’ on the series (thankfully not the game). But there is one major downfall and complaint otherwise that would have made this series perfect: THE FREAKING LOUSY ENDING!!! WHAT THE F*CK! I don’t think it even feels like an ending. Feels like some sort of pause point so that if the producers ever want to, they can consider continuing from this point. To end it like this really annoys me because everything was so exciting from start till finish and they have the guts to end it like that? What a downer. Really. I was disappointed. Maybe having a dozen episodes were too short, though the manga which this series is based on is still ongoing. So do I want to continue the game as stated in the final scene? Yes! Please continue! Don’t end it like this! Guess I couldn’t have my wish come true. Call me a sadist if you want but I guess you’ll understand why it is easier to watch other people staking their lives while you sit in the comfort of your own chair watching them risking it all. Yeah, remember what the Romans usually did for past time in the Coliseum?

The flow of the story may be slow and doesn’t move along much since it’s just about a bunch of people trying to kill each other and get off the island. So when a few characters pop up and as the episodes dwindle, it got me thinking how Sakamoto is going to deal with the likes of Oda, Kousuke and possibly even Date again. Not many episodes left. How is he going to outwit them? How are they going to die? Call me a sadist again but as soon as the killing starts, I figured that the only ones who were going to live were Sakamoto and Himiko (because they’re the handsome and pretty hero and heroine, duh). Everybody else would just die. Or maybe some sort of glitch or loophole would allow them to get off the island? So if you’re a camp of a particular person, you won’t get mad that he/she will die. There’s so much potential and yet this kind of ending… Really… What a letdown.

As Sakamoto is the main focus of the series, we can see him a totally changed person. Ironically, when he first landed on the island, he looked like a pretty nice guy and if not for his flashback, I wouldn’t really have guessed that he is such a violent guy. Not that he is abusive and beats up his mom but the way he throws his tantrums, it’s hurting his mom’s heart and as good as physically harming her. Suddenly all of a sudden he is on the island, this arrogant and selfish personality of his is nowhere in sight. Like as though it was a different him. Perhaps. Because his life in the virtual and reality world are completely different. That’s why I sometimes find it odd that he could tell off about differentiating reality and virtual. Maybe it’s because he has lived through it so he is able to tell you what is good and what’s not. Look at it this way. The best person who can tell you to not smoke is a smoker himself because he had went through that crap and knows how damaging it is. Being the best Japanese BTOOOM player also helps him in his survival but sometimes I can’t help think he is just a lucky devil that he can’t die (I don’t want to think it’s because he is the hero). Each time Sakamoto is close to being blown to bits, he somehow escapes it without losing his life. The most some injuries here and there but nothing serious that makes him a dead man walking. So is lady luck shining on him? Better hope it will continue to shine. This life and death experience also makes Sakamoto reflect and realize his own shortcomings and there is more value in caring about others than achieving virtual glory. If he wasn’t whisked away, he would’ve still been the same cold hearted bastard locked away in his room and his virtual world.

Himiko is also another character that has changed much throughout the series. Hated by her friends and with nowhere to go, it is understandable that even though she did not get raped, her firsthand witness of her friends and a near incident is enough to cause trauma for her. You can’t blame her for not trusting men so easily. Who knows when the next one will turn on her when she lets her guard down. Just like Sakamoto, I find it funny that when she is about to die, she ironically survives. Also another case of luck if you ask me. She wants to die when all is lost, but either changes her mind or something else gets in the way. Then when she starts valuing her life, death comes knocking closer but thanks to Sakamoto on some occasions, she still lives for another day. In the end for her to trust Sakamoto that much and to place her entire faith in him, you can see it seemed like a Herculean effort by Sakamoto but it’s good, right? Even if all the other men in the world are scumbags, at least Sakamoto isn’t. So she can’t really say all men are dirt. There is something about Himiko that has been bugging me since I saw her… She looked pretty familiar… Aha! She looks like a mature version of Kirino from Ore No Imouto Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai! Blonde hair, blue eyes, cute looks, catty personality (when it comes to distrusting men) but not the boobs. I think there’s going to be jokes aplenty about how her boobs are good enough to deflect bombs. Or maybe it’s the bra she’s wearing… On another note, at certain angles, I thought Sakamoto looked like Light from Death Note too! I must be so into the anime that I’m seeing things.

Despite the series has only handful of other characters, they still bring some pretty interesting drama and colour to the story. For Taira’s case, it felt pitiful the way he had to go. As soon as he got injured, I felt his screen time getting lesser and lesser to a point which I sometimes feel his character may be neglected. We could’ve spotted the hints of his breakdown in character all along. If only Sakamoto had paid more attention, this tragedy could have been averted. Or can it? Even a nice normal guy like this can turn to the dark side when cornered. Kousuke’s abusive past makes him a crazy kid you don’t want to mess with. In a way you don’t blame him for killing his father. If he really turns out to be a psychopath in the future, you know who to blame. Oda is perhaps the coolest, cunning and yet most mysterious character and it’s a shame that he didn’t get lots of screen time too. Same case with Kinoshita. How did she hook up with Oda? Is she someone she knew like Oda does for Sakamoto? It would’ve been great to see all the main characters fight and outwit each other. Sakamoto, Oda, Kousuke and perhaps even Date in the fray. There may be more but I guess that’s about it for this season. As for the people back at Tyrannos, it is yet to be seen why they are planning such a sick game. Is this what the future wants for entertainment? So the last scene also threw us off a little because it hints that Iida (despite looking like a hypnotized zombie) must know Sakamoto to a degree to in a way put some bug to help him escape or whatsoever. What is the bug? What is his goal? What is the overall picture anyway? And with Shiki as an undetected ‘veteran’ in the game, will she be pivotal in the current game or become a thorn in Tyrannos ambitious plans? So many questions and no answers.

The action is quite exciting despite the only weapons are their limited bombs. But if you are to solely depend on that, you’ll find you will run out of them in no time because you’ve got to use your brains and the environment to outwit the enemy. Partly why the action is exciting is because you never know what is going to happen to the characters. There is an air of uncertainty when the characters face off. Sure, you may still guess Sakamoto will come out tops but even if he is a professional BTOOOM player, he isn’t perfect so there are times when he makes near fatal mistakes. Because of the density and enclosure of the tropical jungle, it gives that ‘claustrophobia’ feel with trees, plants and rocks everywhere. It’s like you’re ‘trapped’ if you can’t navigate around them. Even in open spaces like the beach or cliffs, the players feel ‘open’ and you may get this feeling of a third party may just intercept and bomb them away. With gruesome deaths to some, be warned that there are some blood and gore but not to a point where amateurs would even start vomiting. Unless you are really that weak.

For the voice acting department, Kanata Hongou makes his debut as Sakamoto (he played Jouichirou Nishi in the live action Gantz film as well as Ryouma in the live action Prince of Tennis). Sometimes I can’t help feel that Sakamoto’s voice lacks that assertiveness and makes him sound like a sissy. But don’t forget. He’s a NEET who spent time facing the idiot box playing the game. Miyuki Sawashiro (Shinkurou in Kurenai) is once more casted in a young boy’s role, this time as Kousuke. Her voice makes the crazy kid very convincing. I couldn’t recognize Yuuichi Nakamura as the calm and mysterious Oda because of my stereotype he best voices characters that blows their top or has sarcasm like Minamoto in Zettai Karen Children or Houtarou in Hyouka. Other casts include Suzuko Mimori as Himiko (Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Toru Ookawa as Taira (Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist), Ken Narita as Date (Sesshoumaru in Inu Yasha), Rika Fukami as Shiki (Sailor Venus in Sailormoon), Youko Hikasa as Kinoshita (Mio in K-ON!), Takaya Kuroda as Miyamoto (Leon in Yumekui Merry), Issei Futamata as Natsume (Godai in Maison Ikkoku) and Yasuhiro Mamiya as Akechi (Fecor in Shakugan No Shana Final). The opening theme is cheekily named No Pain, No Game by Nano. The rock outfit of this piece makes it suitable for the adrenaline survival rush that one expects to see in this series. The final episode has another opening rock outfit, Exist also by Nano. The ending theme by May’n is Aozora and is a slow ballad. I guess after all that killing, we need something slow and calming to sooth ourselves.

One of the main lessons you can learn from watching this series is the true dark side of human nature. In situations where it is life and death, one’s true colour is revealed. You can judge a person by their character then and what they are. A hero, a coward, a selfish one or a despicable cruel bastard. It’s hard to find a true hero or angel in such situation so sometimes it is hard to believe that Sakamoto has genuine hopes to help others and not want to kill. So the question is, if you have been deceived once, will you be able to trust again despite the next one truly wants to help? All those years taken to build up trust all wasted away within seconds. Humans are truly complicated creatures. That’s why it’s important to trust your gut instincts and learn how to manage humans. Maybe that’s why such a game is suitable. Besides, everyone sent to this island is at least very much hated by another person. But would that make the sender the same as well? Well, I’m sure they would be happy if their most hated person disappears and die on some unknown island but will they truly be happy? I guess nobody wants to see a reality show that teaches us about forgiveness, eh? There are no ratings for that. Now you understand why the Romans build the Coliseum for? Other in-game lessons you can learn is about managing limited resources and adapting to your surroundings which are vital to your survival. It could be the thin line that prolongs your life or quickens your death.

I guess with games these days are getting more realistic than ever thanks to technology, perhaps for the ultimate experience, one will get to be part of the game and have your senses experience everything for real. Will this be a new form of reality TV? The idea of nominating the one you hate most to a death duel seems debatable. Everybody has somebody they hate, right? At this rate, I suppose everyone in the world would’ve been nominated instead. Well, you don’t need to give them bombs and put them on an island. This big world is already a deadly stage itself whether we’re doing it by the book or by crook. It’s pretty much the same survival of the strongest anywhere you go in this world. Maybe I better start taking a break from my marathon of watching animes and start paying attention to those around me before somebody I know nominates me to be sent to a fight-to-the-death for survival on some island. Perhaps I should start playing Counter Strike for practice…

I had a feeling this was coming. After all, when I last browsed Wikipedia briefly and saw the many other girls Keima has yet to conquer, I felt that the series wasn’t really about to end yet. How can it when all those beautiful girls have not been freed by Keima’s love. Besides, Keima hasn’t finished playing all the galges he wanted. I suppose that will take longer since he is stuck with this job. Thus to whip things up for the ‘big announcement’, they come up with a double episode OVA called The World God Only Knows Tenri-hen. As the name suggests, it is the arc of one of the girls that Keima has to conquer. Oh, I almost forgot. Along with that bumbling Elsie that is more of a moe blob than anything. So as we see Keima strut his stuffs and charms in his usual to free the Loose Soul, we learn a thing or two that may enlighten us about this entire affair.

Episode 1: Reunion
Keima is glad the summer holidays are here. It is 1,000 hours of non-stop galges! I don’t see the difference she he plays them in class as far as I remember. Unfortunately his first step is impeded because mommy is entertaining her guests who were former neighbours. Keima doesn’t remember anything especially the daughter, Tenri Ayukawa. Mother punches him. Oww. Shy girl Tenri too somewhat doesn’t remember him. With Elsie back from hell and giving Keima some weird present, she thought her sensor went off and tracked a Loose Soul for that moment. Well, maybe. It was like Tenri’s personality changed for that second there. Keima has only galges on his mind as he explains to Elsie why Tenri isn’t what he would exactly call a childhood friend. When Keima reaches to the top of the escalator, Tenri pushes him down! OMG! Luckily he didn’t die and demands an explanation (if not an apology). Suddenly Tenri’s personality changes. She becomes bold and tells him to think because it took her a lot of determination to visit his house. It hurt her that he claims he doesn’t remember her. In that case, she doesn’t wish to be helped. Then she jumps off the railing! OMG! But wait… She’s suddenly walking like normal at the ground floor? Nobody saw that? Elsewhere, Nora Floriann Leoria and her buddy, Ryou Asama have sighted Tenri as their target. Later we see Tenri talking to her other personality and she goes by the name of Diana. She pushed Keima so as to give her a talking chance. It wouldn’t have turned out like that if she hadn’t resisted and moved clumsily. She cautions Tenri that they can’t trust Keima. While spacing out at the sea park, Ryou comes to seduce her cheaply with cheesy romantic words. They are going to push out the Loose Soul in her heart as Nora uses her garment to see what Tenri desires. Keima’s face pops up and she asks if she loves or hates him. Since she is unable to answer, Nora concludes she must hate him and will kill him because between love and hate, hate is always stronger.

Elsie is disheartened when she learns Nora is already assigned to Tenri’s case. She heard rumours that she is always fast in driving out Loose Souls but her failure rate is also high and sometimes makes the spirit even worse. Keima gets another jerk reaction when Tenri came pushing him again. Scattered are all his galges!!! Tenri is too soft to warn him and before he knows her, Nora whisks him away and you hands a note (with lots of badly spelt errors) announcing his public execution at the sea park. Tenri heads that right away and though she tries to argue she doesn’t hate him, Nora isn’t convinced. She thinks Keima is the reason for the gap in her heart and thus the Loose Soul. Elsie wants Nora to stop but it makes her want to torture Keima more. Despite Elsie telling her about going against the rules, those rules aren’t really absolute. Nora agrees to spare his life but will give him a fate worse than death. She uses her garment to find out what he loves most. It’s… Yotsuba! Yokkyun!!! He loves that 2D girl! What the?! Nora destroys that dream of his and suddenly…. I don’t know Keima ‘loaded’ because he breaks free from his captivity and pushes Nora together into the sea. He is one freaking f*cking upset guy. He is going to kill the person responsible for killing his heroine for dramas sake!!! Oh sh*t!!! You’ve made this guy mad. Watch out Nora!!! I don’t know how but she manages to get away. She is picking her weapon to kill him but Ryou reminds her if she does, Elsie will suffer the same fate. She doesn’t care. Tenri doesn’t want to cause Keima more trouble and decides to go home but Diana realizes this is the man who will protect her.

Keima brings Tenri back to his school. He wants Elsie to let Nora capture another spirit and pretend it was Tenri’s. It doesn’t matter if she finds out later. Elsie doesn’t have spares so she goes off to see Haqua who might have some. Keima finally sits down and starts playing his game, lamenting he should have brought more batteries if something like would happen. It made Tenri react like as though he said something similar like this before. Diane tries to persuade Tenri to talk to Keima but Keima wants her to get her act together because end of the day, her Loose Soul problem will still be unsolved. Tenri gets the courage to ask him to follow her. Feeling odd she knows the way seeing she does not school here, Tenri in fact mentions she came here before with him. Taking off a couple of loose tiles on the floor, it reveals an underground passage. It is then Keima remembers something similar. He was worried about his batteries.

Episode 2: Chance Meeting
As the duo trek underground, Keima starts to remember what happened 10 years ago. I guess for him nothing much has change. His face is still glued with the handheld. While walking, while at school. Even the teacher is fed up. So to avoid being nagged, Keima ‘relocates’ himself to the deck of an abandoned ship at the sea park. An earthquake shook the land and he finds that the tide has covered the land connecting to the shore. But he is not the only one on board. Tenri is also there since she had no friends to hang out with in class. Not wanting to get his games wet, Keima spots a hold at the bottom of the ship’s front. Tenri follows him through the dark underground as he uses his handhelds as light source. Don’t worry. He has 8 of them! Plus, he has 100 batteries! Extreme! And still he worries he may run out of them! Best part is, he managed to finish a game! The underground is wide and long. They take a rest but Tenri is scared and hungry. Keima is calm as always giving his sweets to her. Despite putting in new batteries, all the handhelds go dead. Another earthquake rocks the place and a rock fell onto Keima’s head. Maybe that’s why he can’t remember the events after that. While he is knocked out, Tenri saw very bright lights coming closer. It turned out to be hordes of Loose Souls searching for gaps. Of course they sensed Tenri when she starts feeling afraid. They attack her. Keima wants to know how they got out alive but Diana wants him to prepare himself if he is to hear the rest. He doesn’t need to. He figures out the next scene is whereby Tenri met Diana. While the Loose Souls are hovering around Tenri, another bright light appears. This is Diana as she mentions that the Weiss are stunned and thus unable to enter her. Tenri wants her to help at least Keima. Touched by her selflessness, she decides to cooperate and bring them out. Diana enters Tenri’s body and with amazing speed, she runs through the underground with Keima in her arms as the Loose Souls gave chase. They emerge out from the school but by that time all the Loose Souls also burst out and caused the building to collapse. Because Diana is unfamiliar with this Loose Soul thing, Keima explains to her (with hideous drawings). Diana says in her time, they were called Weiss. Keima could tell Diana isn’t a Loose Soul and wants to know her real identity. She is one whom they despise above all because she ransacked hell and sealed them.

Nora and Ryou have found the duo but Diana pins a rock on them while they make their getaway. They come out of the cave but looks like the ship has been relocated a little further away. Keima is baffled since they didn’t pass a huge cavern where Tenri supposedly meet those hordes of Loose Souls. Tenri hands him a weak Loose Soul, one that clung to her when she came here. She wants him to use this to pretend it is her while she hides her presence. On the ship, Keima knows this trick isn’t going to fool Nora because it’s not easy to exorcise a Loose Soul. Elsie returns empty handed. Looks like nobody has got a spare. Keima hands her his and wants her to make it look powerful. Keima vows to Tenri that they will protect Diana. On the ship’s mast, though Keima is convincing in his act that he is Tenri’s love, Tenri on the other hand is panicking. Obviously Nora could see through it. Nora insults Keima’s way of using romance to fill the heart’s gap and Keima throws it back at her that she has never experienced true love. Nora is annoyed and pinpoints Keima as the source of Tenri’s troubles. That’s when Tenri tells her to shut up. She makes it clear she has never hated Keima and has always loved him. It’s a cue for Keima to kiss Tenri. It is a signal for Elsie to release that Loose Soul. It fooled Nora and Ryou as they got distracted in trying to catch it. Tenri passes out from the shock. In the aftermath, Keima wants to apologize for the kiss but Diana says Tenri fainted from happiness. He wants her to explain about how she sealed Loose Souls but Diana will leave it for another day. Perhaps that another day may come sooner because Tenri’s family just moved in as his new neighbour when the previous one just moved out. Still shy, but not as shy as before because at least she could greet Keima and his family.

Love Conquers All
As announced at the end, the third season of the series has been given the green light. And yes, the adventure continues. Not only that, Kanon will also be given a spin-off OVA of her own. With new characters and new insights, I can see that this series will be taking an interesting turn. The more girls Keima frees, the deeper he gets into this hell world and its workings. Will he be able to even save the place itself from something more sinister? I shouldn’t think too far and should just anticipate all the other different girls he is going to kiss… Oops, I mean going to save. Despite having some experience with real 3D women, he is still strong holding on to his love for 2D girls. Just like me ;p. How many more girls will it take for Keima to be converted into a 3D lover? I don’t want to know because maybe I too don’t want to end up that way.

So basically the characters are still the same like how we know them. Keima still loves his galges very much when it comes down in getting the job done of freeing Loose Souls, he still does it with style and charm. Calm as always, I guess as an experienced gamer, that is what you call putting his gaming experience into real life use. Elsie as always is useless and clueless. Still having obsession about fire trucks, isn’t she? Too bad Haqua didn’t make her appearance but in place of another demon like Elsie, Nora seems to be the type that will do anything ruthless and what it takes to get the job done. It doesn’t help when Ryou is somewhat an idiot too and Nora doesn’t treat him well and seemingly using him for her own ends. Will Nora and Elsie become friends or intense rivals? We’ll see what comes. As for Tenri, now that the secrets of her heart are unravelled, will she be the first girl to continue loving Keima? All the girls that had Loose Souls and their hearts freed thereafter, they will forget the lovely moments with Keima. Tenri didn’t get hers evicted. Diana isn’t even considered a Loose Soul but a friend. So there is a chance that love might blossom for a girl even after her arc has ended.

Both the ending themes are sung by eyelis, Hikari No Kiseki and Mirai E No Tobira. Seeing the old girls Keima has captured and new ones awaiting the arrival of ‘prince charming’, you could say that I am a little excited to have another go at this series. All that is left to do is wait for the next season and though I won’t have my hands and time occupied with galges, I have lots of anime series to make up for that. Hopefully some bumbling demon won’t take that away from me because I know I can never do two or more things at the same time like Keima. How does he pay attention to his surroundings and at the same time focus on his games? Is he really God? But if there are girls with problems of the heart in dire need of help, we know who to call.

Zettai Karen Children

April 21, 2013

They say that children are our future. They are precious that they are also considered our treasure. But I guess if they have super powers, that would make them a national treasure. Yes, people. Please love our children and don’t mistreat or abuse them. After all, we all only go through our childhood once. Second, third, fourth or multiple childhood periods that comes during our adult phase doesn’t count. Before I lose myself gloating about children, let me make this clear that I do not recently have obsession with little children. Well, I’m not good with them either. An otaku like me good with kids? So what is this all about then? I thought I just wanted to make some cool opening statement for the anime Zettai Karen Children that I recently watched. Disappointed?

Despite being absolutely lovely children, our protagonist trio, Kaoru Akashi, Aoi Nogami and Shiho Sannomiya can just be the opposite. Yup, at times they can be brats. But don’t classify them as bullies because they won’t go that far. Every kid has got to be naughty once in a while. What sets them apart is that they possess super powers. They are considered Japan’s best and highest level of espers (Level 7, that is). You don’t want to mess with these kids. Being children of course means they also act like one. Sometimes. Throw tantrum and the likes. They’re at that age where they want to grow up and be treated like an adult. So do children with special powers need special attention and development? That’s where BABEL comes in. An acronym for Base of Backing ESP Laboratory, its purpose is to identify, protecting and nurture the every growing number of espers in the world.

Our trio are under this organization but it would make sense that they have a main supervisor to watch over their daily activities as well as chart their growth to be accepted into society. That’s where 20 year old prodigy Kouichi Minamoto comes in. Anybody handling the bratty trio would’ve long given up supervising them. So for Minamoto to take on this job, he must have one heck of patience and understanding. Thankfully he is the right man for the job because if nobody can look after these kids, then who? Thus along the way you will see their bonding and interaction among each other and other characters. Typical. Oh, not to mention to fight off threats from rogue esper organizations as well as the negative perceptions of the normal people. Yes. People with no powers and ‘powerless’ do not see espers in a favourable light. Such irony. Just reminds you of X-Men and the mutants. Why can’t we all just get along?

I consider series with more than the typical 2 seasons (around 24-26 episodes, that is) to be a long one so this series has 51 episodes and an OVA. Which means I won’t really be going in detail episode by episode like my usual blog. If you ever read them. Blame my laziness for it. Okay, just blame me. My memory seems to be failing me as the years pass so there are lots of stuffs which I can’ really remember. I can thank Wikipedia or Tenka Seiha for providing some bits of information and episode screenshots respectively. But if you really want me to recall in detail, you can forget about it. Because I’ve already forgotten most of it. Hopefully I would remember the main points and in the future not forget that I have watched this show before. If only I could stay young forever…

The Children – The team name for our main trio of brats, oops I mean, children. So aptly named… I guess it’s better than the 3 Stooges.

Kaoru Akashi – Possesses psychokinetic powers. Crude and reckless, the other annoying thing about her is that she loves women’s breasts. Yup, she sometimes sounds like a dirty old man. Can it be the case of a guy trapped in the wrong body? I’m not pretty sure but she also has this penchant to name every move, Psychic (insert move name here). They look pretty same to me because she slams or drops something into her opponents. It’s like she has a different name for every move. Did she make them up as she goes along?

Aoi Nogami – The bespectacled girl has teleportation powers and speaks in kansai dialect.

Shiho Sannomiya – Her psychometric abilities means she can read the ‘past’ of people or objects she touches. Among the trio, she is the most sarcastic and has a sadistic side.

Pose pros – It’s like posing is their destiny. For many of the episodes when The Children are called upon, they’ll start off with some poetic expression, be it love, friendship, justice, etc, which usually ends in some cool/cute/weird/lame pose. Sometimes they have colour smoke pyrotechnic effects too. Such professionals. Such passion.

Kouichi Minamoto – The Children’s current supervisor and is completely a normal human with no ESP powers. He greatly cares for them and will go to great lengths to provide the best and protect them. For instance, having them go to normal school to experience a normal life of an elementary child and create better looking accessories for their Limiters to restrain their Level 7 powers instead of one that is uncomfortable and makes them look like slaves. Has to put up with the bratty trio with their kiddie like behaviour and tantrums especially gets banged around by Kaoru’s psychokinetic power. Don’t worry. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Yeah. How many times has he put up with those painful moments? Is it all worth it? For Minamoto, you bet.  Also in time, their overall teamwork during mission improves. His dream is to have a world whereby both espers and normal humans can live peacefully together.

The Apartment – The Children need somewhere to cram, right? What better place than to stay at his own apartment where he can closely supervise them. Just don’t let anybody outside BABEL find out their true relationship. Don’t worry if they wreck the place too because it is padded with special padding to withstand all the pounding. Ready to go wild?

Taizou Kiritsubo – The leader of BABEL and dotes The Children very much. He might overreact or exaggerate when the slightest harm comes to his beloved Children. To the point where he secretly tries to get even with another kid for bullying The Children! Dangerous guy (in a funny way). But The Children aren’t really too fond of him. Sure, if you ask me, Minamoto provides a better father figure than this dude.

Oboro Kashiwagi – Kiritsubo’s secretary and probably one who straightens him up if he ever starts going ‘extreme’.

Shuuji Sakaki – The psychometric doctor of BABEL who has a playboy character and Minamoto’s best friend.

Double Face – Made up of Natsuko Tokiwa and Hotaru Nowaki who man the receptionist of BABEL. Natsuko has clairvoyance while Hotaru possesses telepathy and they make the ultimate combo in predicting and intercepting possible threats.

Naomi Umegae – A 16 year old Level 6 psychokinetic power user who was once nicknamed Kitty Cat. Thanks to her ever perverted supervisor, Ichirou Tanizaki who has dreams of grooming her to become his ideal wife, thankfully that plan backfires and Naomi no longer becomes the naive girl but one that fights back whenever Tanizaki starts acting up. I think he may be a masochist because he kinda likes getting owned by her powers. Now she is known as Wild Cat.

Chisato Hanai and Masaru Touno – The Children’s classmates at school. It is hinted that they may like each other. Obviously.

Akie and Yoshimi – Kaoru’s famous sexy and busty actress mother and gravure idol elder sister respectively. Even women like them want a piece of Minamoto. This guy is so eligible… Kaoru’s relationship with them is strained because she believes she was neglected for their fear of her being an esper. All she wants for them is to be a normal family. A little kidnapping of them that turns out to be some otaku modelling had them mend their relationship.

Normal people – As the name suggests, ordinary citizens with no special powers but hold deep grudges against espers. I don’t know why but they’re so free to come up with plans to destroy them and it’s ironic that they have no powers, they can still give espers a run for their money. Maybe it’s their numbers and their technology. They are a nefarious bunch that would even sacrifice innocent people for their gains. You can easily identify them because of the typical sunglasses they wear. Yeah. It makes them look so shady. Don’t be surprised if you find your florist or the vegetable seller lady to be part of this organization. They’re just about everywhere.

Esper Counter Measure (ECM) – Devices that can use to block an esper’s powers when activated. I guess nobody is perfect.

Kyousuke Hyoubu – The main antagonist of the series and a very powerful esper. Despite his youthful appearance, he is around 80 years old as this Major is a survivor of World War II and uses his esper power to keep his young looks. Has a little flying squirrel, Momotarou accompanying him.

PANDRA – A rogue esper organization headed by Kyousuke. He has been gathering espers to fight the inevitable war against humans. Main members consists of Mio Tsukushi (typical tsundere who has a crush on Kyousuke and always butting heads with Kaoru), Shirou Magi (hair power?), Muscle Ookama (effeminate dude), Koremitsu Yamada (is this a giant mummy?), Momiji Kanou (calm woman) and You Fujiura (playful guy who sometimes teases Kyousuke).

Takashi Kugutsu – Initially was a scientist in BABEL with the ability to create dolls and animate them. Especially his beloved doll figure, Moga-chan. His real identity is a spy in BABEL to send information to Kyousuke. His downfall came after being marginalized by BABEL too much, he frames Sasaki as a traitor only to be backfired by our heroes. He leaves BABEL and joins PANDRA.

Queen – What Kyousuke calls Kaoru and is particularly interested in her because he sees her as a pivotal piece in achieving his organization’s goals. Due to his soft spot for Kaoru, he can’t force her to join and will wait for her to willingly join him. From time to time when The Children are engaged in dangerous missions, usually Kyousuke will discreetly lend a helping hand to get out of the sticky situation. Momotarou always calls him a lolicon because he always looks out and protects Kaoru.

The future vision – From time to time, you will see this repetitive vision of how Minamoto despite giving numerous futile warnings, had to shoot an adult Kaoru, the Queen of Catastrophe who is believed to have crossed over to the other side. Is this future inevitable? Well, Minamoto believes he could change destiny.

Comerica – WTF is this fictitious nation? Somehow my guts tell me that it closely resembles America. Thankfully the Comerica esper agents of Ken McGwire and Mary Ford are on our side as they sometimes work with the Japanese counterparts to counter threats of espers between their nations.

Colonel J.D. Grisham – A Level 7 Comerican esper with the ability to copy powers of espers close to him. Thought to be a traitor defecting to another nation, it is revealed it was an elaborate scheme to see off the final wishes of a terminally ill women who sheltered him during World War II as he was the sole survivor in Kyousuke’s attacks.

The Hound – Consists of Akira Yadogiri with metempsychosis (interchanging souls of living beings) and Hatsune Inugami with metamorphosis (turning into an animal). Hatsune’s animal instinct means Akira always has a hard time controlling her. Especially when she easily gets distracted by meat and food. But if you demonstrate superiority like Kaoru did, she submits to you.

Keiko Kojika – I guess Minamoto already has his hands full with The Children so he can’t possibly take on The Hound. Also, there would be rivalry among the kids. Thus Keiko is later introduced as The Hound’s supervisor since she loves animals. But unknowingly Akira and Keiko’s closeness sense bad vibes to Hatsune. Animal instincts or teen girl in love instincts? So Keiko had to work hard to prove that she isn’t bias and cares for Hatsune too.

Love matters – As we can already see, The Children really love Minamoto and sometimes do daring stuff to him (short of being anything ecchi or hentai). I guess he has this dilemma of loving them as adults and it would be totally wrong in the eyes of society if he did love them as kids because he would look like a lolicon. There is an episode whereby Shiho and Aoi went out with a date with boys with similar interests with them. It made Kaoru jealous and went on a tailing spree but ends up thinking back about the days they first met and best of all, she get to spend time with Minamoto in the end. Of course Aoi and Shiho treasure their friendship more and it’s heartbreak for the boys.

Friend or foe? – When The Children rescues Momotarou and nurses him back to health (also learning about the hideous experiments people back then were doing to animals), Momotarou becomes friends with them though he still follows Kyousuke and PANDRA. So who should he root for when BABEL and PANDRA clash?

Lieutenant Ikyuugo – A dolphin whose predictions are said to be always accurate. Minamoto and The Children are tasked to protect him when Ikyuugo predicts his own death. Though his death wasn’t able to be prevented (as so it seems), he reveals the more frightening premonition. About the one whereby Minamoto shoots Kaoru in the future.

Kidnapped – Mio out of jealousy kidnaps Minamoto to lure The Children. But the roles are reversed because Minamoto becomes like her father/mother/guardian, cooking her good food (she’s living on junk food) and taking good care of her while he is under captive. So how did this prisoner turned into housekeeper?

Fujiko Tsubomi – The real leader of BABEL who has been sleeping for 10 years!!! Why wake up now? Despite her young and busty looks, she is around 80 years old and is Kyousuke’s adopted sister. She is very flirty especially with Minamoto and this irks The Children very much (I’m sure that kiss was the last straw). She believes that in order for Minamoto’s relationship to develop better with The Children, they must be more intimate. Maybe she’s just bored after sleeping for so long. Okay, she seems serious in countering PANDRA but can she be effective when she’s always fooling around?

Triple Boost – After a trap incident in a bank set by the normal people, Minamoto improvises on the Limiters that allow The Children to combine their esper powers to enhance one of their powers. Kaoru especially powers up to a point whereby she sprouts white angelic wings and a power called Force of Absolution that nullifies all hypnotism.

Angel, devil or undecided? – I don’t know there is even this prediction that indicates the kind of characters that The Children will turn out in the future. Though the percentage is ever shifting, as of now it is more inclined to the devil’s side. So will they actually turn out bad or like the prophecy that Minamoto fears? Well, if the future can be changed, I’m guessing they’re going to need lots of work to bring that percentage to the favourable side.

The Fly – There is this hilarious episode whereby Minamoto and The Children are called to contain a swarm of flies under the control of a rogue esper. The funny part comes when Minamoto switches personality with a fly so much so The Children had a hard time trying to prevent him from eating sh*t!!! So hilarious that even Kyousuke can’t help laugh out loud. Though it is Kyousuke’s point to prove to Minamoto that his powerlessness can’t save The Children, Minamoto uses his willpower to break free and prove otherwise.

Black Phantom – Another rogue esper organization outside Japan and is making its presence felt in the Land of the Rising Sun. Led by a mysterious man, he brainwashes and controls espers with deep hatred and grudge to do his bidding. Bullet Silver and Tim Toy were unfortunate espers under him sent to disrupt the peace. Though PANDRA teams up with BABEL indirectly to fight them off, ultimately it is Kaoru’s Force of Absolution that saves them from Black Phantom’s grasp. The duo undergo rehabilitation and later become part of BABEL despite having no memories of their past.

Setsuko Kuromaki – Also known as the Dream Maker, she was once an agent of BABEL but quit and crossed over to PANDRA because she was bored and sought excitement. A package sent to Minamoto has him fall into comatose state whereby he has to relieve the painful dream of shooting Kaoru in the future. Kaoru has to dive into his memories to save him. In the end when the Minamoto and Kaoru return to reality, cornered Setsuko uses the powers on herself to turn into a vegetable state and seal her lips forever.

Big fleets – Houston! We have a problem! I don’t actually see what Kaoru’s problem is regarding those ‘big fleets’ from those busty buxom babes like Fujiko. I thought she would really love them. Maybe too big to handle? Anyway, she’s still like a perverted old man wanting to grope them. But I don’t really get the drill joke…

Fujiko’s holiday villa – I’m sure Fujiko wanted to give her BABEL staffs a well deserved break high up in the snow mountain retreat. I don’t remember much but from what I do remember is that everyone manages to piss off Minamoto a lot and man, that guy can really get mad when you push him to a corner. Very well lesson learnt. This also leads to an all-new discovery of a previous woman in Minamoto’s life…

Caroline Magi – The other woman that was once in Minamoto’s life. Enough to make The Children boil with jealousy once more. The Comerican astronaut met Minamoto and Sakaki while they were studying in university. She is temporarily back in his life because she has another child-like personality called Carrie due to an experiment to create espers. Because of that, Minamoto was made to care after Carrie and as usual, her feelings for him developed into a romantic one despite her character still remained as a kid. With Carrie back in the picture, there are other parties pursuing her like Comerica who wants to retain her ability and Kyousuke looking to add members to PANDRA and sees her fitting that bill. In the end, Carrie forces to seal herself so that Caroline could realize her space dream (not before going out on a date with Minamoto and some mushy goodbye moments).

Takashi Kawamura – A young boy whose esper power was recently discovered. The Children are made to befriend him and though there are no problems becoming his friend, the real issue is that his father is a famous anti-esper author and has written a book about it. But once he sees his son using his esper powers for good along with The Children against the despicable schemes of the normal people to frame espers, he changes his stand and advocates the good points for espers and normals to live together.

Magic wish note – An episode which highly parodies that detective cat-and-mouse series, Death Note, this episode actually sees a notebook that grants small wishes instead. Thus we have The Children trying to outdo and deceive each other so that they could have Minamoto all for themselves. Too bad they got what they deserved and got knocked out by each other’s wish. Just as planned… Of course Kyousuke impersonated himself as Minamoto to have some fun for himself. I guess that’s why the girls can’t really get a direct answer when they wrote who among them ‘Minamoto’ loves the most. I just wonder why Kyousuke had to keep Momotarou underneath his shirt when there’s always a change he’ll fall out and expose him. Just as planned…? Think not.

Patty Crew – Another Black Phantom member sent. Some of PANDRA members that include Momiji, Mio, Momotarou, Kazura Tamaki and Kagiri Hino are sent to request Kaoru’s help to take Patty down (they wanted her to use her Force of Absolution). Patty provides a tough fight and though Kaoru uses her ultimate move via channelling the powers of the PANDRA members to her, it wasn’t enough to stop Patty from trying to commit suicide. Quick thinking by Kyousuke saved her from slitting her throat.

Yuuri Kumoi – Black Phantom’s daughter and has multiple esper powers mainly the ability to change people’s mindset and bend it to her will. Other esper powers from this gothic chick include teleportation and cloning illusion.

Second childhood – Kyousuke turns Minamoto into a 12 year old kid. Guess how this sits with The Children? They totally dig it! For realism, PANDRA has infiltrated posing as teachers or students and even brainwashed the school so that Minamoto and The Children can attend it like normal kids. Seems Minamoto had a neglected childhood too. Because he was too intelligent for his fellow peers, he was ostracized and thus had to go somewhere else to continue his studies. It was a lonely and sad childhood. That’s why there is a dilemma that part of him wants to stay this way to live out the childhood he has never had. But when Yuuri begins her attack, Minamoto has to decide. What has happened has already happened. You can’t change the past. Plus, The Children believe in him. Cue for Triple Boost to set him free from Black Phantom’s clutches. Everyone is freed, PANDRA withdraws. Kyousuke dares Minamoto to shoot him. He won’t. He believes they can change that future but because of their different beliefs, it prevents them from becoming allies.

That’s a wrap – In the last episode, we see PANDRA hijacking a ship containing many espers. Patty becomes part of PANDRA and has this yaoi fetish between You and Magi. The Children have graduated from elementary school and are now moving on to middle school. I find it odd that within just a few months, The Children look like young teenagers. Did they experience growth spurt? Besides, to show everyone that time has passed, almost everybody’s hair had grown longer. And almost everybody cries at The Children’s graduation ceremony. Including Minamoto (after holding it in). Even big boys do cry. While The Hound could pull off their own pose, Tim and Bullet are discharged from hospital and part of the new special team of BABEL. Yuuri infiltrates the middle school The Children are going as a fellow student. Oh, the dolphin still lives…

OVA – Released over a year later after the TV series ended, it starts off with a shocking bang as Minamoto pulls off a terrorist attack on BABEL. Yes, that’s him alright. It’s revealed that Yuuri penetrated his mind to find his weakness. Yup, that future vision thingy. She changes that future and makes Minamoto call her Queen (she also brainwashed several PANDRA and BABEL members as her slaves). So with everyone reeling in from the shock, BABEL and PANDRA have to join forces to bring Minamoto back. And part of the plan is to stage that mock future vision thingy. Kaoru’s is able to do the Triple Boost by herself to free Minamoto. But could it be too strong that it almost killed him? Sakaki and Kyousuke cooperate to revive Minamoto, who thinks he just had the weirdest dream. If he was, then why is he on the rooftop with everybody else next to him?

Absolutely Lovely Brats
What more can I say? The fight for the future for both humans and espers to live together continues. It’s going to be a long fight and I’m pretty sure it won’t just end with that Kaoru-getting-shot-by-Minamoto vision. Though they didn’t play it very often, but it was regular enough to annoy me that they’re trying to convince me that this is the outcome that will happen no matter what you think. Every excuse and attempt to change that is just futile. Seems we are heading in that direction, right? Oh well. Who would actually know what the future holds? I can’t even say that complex prediction thingy at BABEL isn’t entirely 100% accurate either. It’s like also trying to say that although you can change the future, that it is just by a little and the ultimate main one will still be inevitable. Besides, there was one episode whereby it was in the future but most of that episode was in flashback mode. And that episode briefly sees future Kaoru against Aoi and Shiho. It’s a sign, right? When The Children step into adulthood, they too will lose that childhood innocence. One day. That day is coming soon.

Of course this series isn’t entirely about all that or even the struggle between humans and espers (say, whatever happened to those anti-espers normal people?) but the relationship and interaction mainly between Minamoto and The Children as well as the other characters. You can see that their bond grows in every moment spent and in every mission spearheaded together (some really odd ones like trying to convince an unborn child not to be afraid and assisting a prince from a fictitious country to free his beloved princess from a long dead spirit’s possession). There are some episodes whereby you get to see Minamoto participating missions with only one of The Children due to circumstances and this serves to deepen their bond. I guess Minamoto is having a hard time trying to keep his relationship with them as professional and private. As children, they are still cheeky and bratty and sometimes love teasing Minamoto to a point whereby his usual excuse to have them back off is to tell them off not to tease adults. They love each other. But how long will the walls of the love as an adult and the love as kids dissipate? It is clear that The Children would really want to love Minamoto as an adult but that guy thankfully isn’t really tempted. Maybe he just views them as annoying. If he does, he would’ve been labelled a lolicon. But you’ve got to hand it to that guy because he has lots of patience in dealing and handling The Children. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing all the way. Almost every episode you can just hear him blow his stop, releasing his angst. I know, being a parent, in his case a supervisor is a very stressful job when you’re dealing with children who are about to enter puberty and the rebellious stage.

The coolest character has got to be Kyousuke. He has got lots of strong esper powers and stays one step ahead of BABEL. So cool this guy is that he even got a sequel spin-off of his own back in early 2013. How often do you have an antagonist having a spin-off of their own? So this guy just like Minamoto has his own ideologies but from a different angle. Because of Kaoru’s stance, he is torn between completely cooperating with BABEL or go all out against them. Despite being the leader, sometimes Kyousuke do portray a childish side like an episode whereby he made bento for The Children and won’t lose out to others (remember, this guy is an old fart). The other PANDRA members don’t really make a great impact. Ookama is just somebody who wants to flash his ‘down there’, Mio the eternal tsundere, Momotarou always finding opportunities to criticize especially Kyousuke for being a lolicon, Magi’s endless serious face wants to make you go “Why so serious?” and Kugutsu is always nothing but his Moga-chan. Just like the BABEL counterparts, each of them have their quirky personalities and if they’re not in serious fighting mode, they are for comical relief (okay, sometimes their fights are comical too).

As for the other characters in BABEL, well not much I can truly say either because they are basically the same as we know from episode one, though with a few minor changes. Kiritsubo will continue to dote on The Children in his one-sided affection (but lately he seems to trust them more in Minamoto’s hands and don’t go worrying as often as he initially would), Sakaki the playboy doctor who is still Minamoto’s best friend, Tanizaki is definitely a masochist because when Naomi starts treating him kindly, he couldn’t believe it’s the Naomi he always knew. Total denial. Safe to say, if Naomi needs somebody to beat up to vent her frustrations, this idiot will be glad to be her punching bag. Fujiko as the cheeky administrator of BABEL I feel her role is getting lesser and lesser as the series draws to a close. Same case with the Comerica counterparts. If they didn’t make a short cameo in the final episode, we certainly would have forgotten all about them. Natsuko and Hotaru feel like side comic relief characters when they are not rope in to help in BABEL’s missions. It seems that their inability to get guys of their own is somewhat a running joke. And they drown that sorrows by becoming drunk. Is it a wonder why guys don’t find drunk women attractive? I figure that their screen time is so limited that I notice the sponsor screen is dedicated to footage of them in the episode. Yeah, they had an entire special episode doing a recap as well. And notice how they seem to be arguing with each other Minamoto at other times as well? Yeah, that guy is really loved by many women. Good or bad thing? The family of BABEL is growing so with The Hound coming up as another reliable special esper team, rehabilitated Tim and Bullet are now part of the family.

The biggest mysterious threat in the name of Black Phantom is still out there so who knows when he will strike again using poor hapless espers as his tool. With Yuuri doing the groundwork and the dirty job, now that she has infiltrated the school, I am sure that things are going to get even tougher. It’s a multiple angle fight from various corners. In one corner we have the supposed hero BABEL. In the other corners we have PANDRA, Black Phantom and normal people. Imagine how much messier things will get if more groups are placed into the fray? So it all boils down to the ideologies of these organizations have. How much do they believe in their cause. This would also raise a question of what ifs. What if BABEL had saved all those discarded espers in PANDRA in the first place? Otherwise they wouldn’t have sworn their loyalty to Kyousuke and follow him around, including putting up with his elaborate schemes. Depending on which side you are on, it isn’t really clear cut on who is right or who is wrong.

The action rather feels okay but sometimes it feels repetitive because many espers like The Children have only one esper power. How much variety can they pull off with Kaoru’s psychokinetic power allowing her to just pick up and throw heavy objects. Besides, like I have said, are her various technique names just for distraction? Then maybe sometimes we can have Aoi’s teleportation combo but that’s about it since Shiho’s psychometric power can’t do much in fights so she is given a pistol to even up. Although it is said that Level 7 is the highest level, I still find it confusing about the other levels because it feels like they are so close to each other that it makes no difference. I mean, The Children did encounter some resistance in facing some of their enemies. If they are said to be the highest esper level in Japan, shouldn’t they have clean things up in a jiffy? You can say that their Limiters are on (but I even notice this when Minamoto releases them) or that they are kids and have yet to learn to fully control their powers but as I observed from even petty criminals, I myself would say that it could have been on par if not just slightly below The Children’s power. Let me give another example. When psychokinetic users like Kaoru, Naomi (who is Level 6) and Mary use their ability, you don’t really see any power difference, right? Well at least, the impact is not there. Of course Kaoru in the end will still be the strongest but still, do you not see the no-difference in level power? I’m sure BABEL has a way to determine an esper’s level but I’m not really interested in that. I thought there was going to be conspiracy of breaking into Level 8. But I guess I was having too much To Aru Majutsu No Index on my mind.

Besides the action and the drama, this series is also not short of its funny moments. Some may find it repetitive especially Kaoru fantasizing about busty and sexy women to a point that it gets a little annoying. Same case about Tanizaki being slammed to the wall or getting pinned underneath by enraged Naomi about his ‘undying love’ for her. What about Ookama’s passion to flash his manhood? Maybe it’s more disgusting than funny. Minamoto blowing his top, Shiho’s sadism, Kaoru’s density, Hatsune’s animal instincts that overwrites her common sense as a human being, the rivalry between Kaoru and Mary likewise Kaoru with Mio, Kiritsubo flexing his muscles (sometimes going Rambo or ripping his shirt like the Hulk) whenever he feels the need to step in and protect The Children, the idiocies of petty (and odd) criminals, The Children’s trademark passionate posing, etc, etc, etc. Are these scenes supposed to be funny? Well, yeah. If they aren’t then I don’t know what it is. I know I had my share of laughs so that’s fine by my standards.

If you keep your eyes opened, you can spot a few trivia laced across the series. However as I observed, most of them come from Hayate No Gotoku as you can see the main characters of Nagi and her butler Hayate making short cameos in some episodes. This is because the studio that animated both these series is SynergySP who also did MAR, Mermaid Melody and Major. Other obvious trivia include that Death Note parody and there are some which aren’t so obvious and may take a sharp eye to spot like Midori Days, Kamen Rider, the SOS Brigade from Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu and that afro guy from Excel Saga, Nabeshin. Although the art and drawing looks okay, I can’t help feel that the characters have that one kind look. I can’t really put my finger on it. As for some of the minor extra characters, they look the same. For example, when Naomi made her episode debut to rescue a school girl from some perverted esper, I thought the victim looked like Kaoru! I thought it was her! And I’m not too sure about this one but I think Mr President Obama did made a short cameo in one of the episodes. He is friends with Fujiko? Did she blackmail him with some sexual harassment? By the way, I thought his face was too fat to be Obama. Just saying… Oh wait. Maybe it’s Forest Whitaker.

For the voice acting, Aya Hirano as Kaoru sounds like a more perverted version of Fairy Tail’s Lucy and Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu’s Haruhi gone wild. Well at least she does sound like the part. I think Ryoko Shiraishi has been stereotyped (at least to me) to voice kansai accent characters. As Aoi, it reminds me of her somewhat similar sounding characters like Himeko in Sket Dance and Zelnogrard in Busou Shinki. I never would have thought Haruka Tomatsu is the voice of Shiho because of her sometimes dark and sadistic nature, I never would have figured out this is the voice of To Love-Ru’s Lala or Natsuiro Kiseki’s Yuka. If you need a guy who suits best with lots of angst or blowing his top, Yuuichi Nakamura is the best person to fit that bill because he played other similar characters like Gray in Fairy Tail, Tomoya in Clannad and Gekkou in Itsuka Tenma No Kurousagi. Rie Kugimiya amazingly does 3 roles here (4 if you count the cameo by Hayate No Gotoku’s Nagi). I guess there’s not much difference between Mio and Momotarou since one is a tsundere and the other lots of sarcasm. At least I could easily guess it was the same person and it feels odd when their dialogues are one after another. The third other role she voiced here is Minamoto as a child. Though she does her boyish role like Shunpei of Oh Edo Rocket and Al in Fullmetal Alchemist, it still made me feel weird since you know it is, well, Rie Kugimiya.

Some of the other mentionable casts include Koji Yusa as Kyousuke (Ichimaru Gin in Bleach), Yukana as Fujiko (C.C. In Code Geass), Ayumi Fujimura as Naomi (Misaki in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama), Kishou Taniyama as Sakaki (Natsuki in Uta No Prince-sama Maji Love 1000%), Eri Nakao as Natsuko (Miki in Hayate No Gotoku), Juurota Kosugi as Kitisubo (Arlong in One Piece), Masumi Asano as Kashiwagi (Hakufu in Ikkitousen), Fuyuka Oura as Akira (Ren in To Love-Ru), Ai Shimizu as Hatsune (Elise in Seitokai No Ichizon), Hiroshi Yanaka as Tanizaki (Shell in Chuuka Ichiban), Fumihiko Tachiki as Black Phantom (Zaraki in Bleach), Takayuki Sugo as Grisham (Wanyuudou in Jigoku Shoujo), Kaori Nazuka as Caroline/Carrie (Nunnally in Code Geass) and Kaori Fukuhara as Chisato (Astrea in Sora No Otoshimono, Tsukasa in Lucky Star) Due to the large number of casts, many take on several roles like Rina Satou playing as Hotaru and Touno (Kaoru in Amagami SS), Marina Inoue as Yuuri and young Kyousuke (Matsurika in Maria+Holic), Saeko Chiba doing triple roles as Momiji, Bullet and Mary (Natsuki in Mai-HiME), Wataru Hatano voicing Ken and You (Yuuto in Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu). There are also lots of famous and veteran seiyuus lending their voice to very minor roles. They include Hitomi Nabatame, Junko Minagawa, Daisuke Ono, Kana Ueda, Ami Koshimizu, Kikuko Inoue, Norio Wakamoto and Emiri Katou. I wouldn’t really have recognized them had I not go through the casting list.

For both the opening themes, they are sung by the young pop idol group consisting of Ayami, Suzuka and Yuika. They also made a very short cameo appearance in one of the episodes. If you know how pop idol groups sound like, you can typically expect it here. The first opening theme is Over The Future and I can safely say that this is the theme of the series usually played in action sequences or comeback scenes. The second opening theme, My Wings doesn’t really sound as ‘attractive’ as the first one. Three out of the four ending themes are sung by the trio seiyuus of The Children. Well, sound like another anime pop if you ask me. The first ending theme is Zettai Love X Love Sengen and Datte Daihonmei being the second piece. Soushunfu as the fourth ending song has the girls sounding a little more mature in their voice compared to the other two which makes The Children sound like they are a pop idol group. Seventh Heaven is the ending theme for the OVA. Breaking this Aya Hirano, Ryoko Shiraishi and Haruka Tomatsu trio’s ‘stranglehold’ is Break+Your+Destiny by the trio of Koji Yusa, Yuuichi Nakamura and Kishou Taniyama. This rock piece gives a darker and edgier feel to all the ‘angelic’ themes we have heard so far.

I suppose there is an underlying theme to this series about how well society treats its children. In some parts of the world, children are being trafficked, put to harsh labour and even being made child soldiers. I’m not expert on the subject but I can say that if the child does not have a happy childhood, then it is very probable that the child will grow up to be some sort of psychopath or a danger to society. Who is to blame then? Even though they may be children, but they are still human beings in need of love and affection. They are at a point in their lives where they are most vulnerable and exposed. Therefore it is important to watch and guide the child’s upbringing down the right path. A happy child translates into a happy adult, right? Then happy adults will breed and pass down their happiness to their child, right? Well, theoretically. Of course if along the way the pressure and stress of society turns the growing up child the other way, then that’s another sad case and a different story.

There is something I have been wondering about. We all know that it is only about time that The Children grow up to be adults, right? When they do, don’t you think it will be odd to call them The Children? I mean, they really do have a mature body by then so is it really appropriate to call them by that name again? Well, The Adults may sound too sleazy and may send the wrong signals. Besides, I think The Children will always be their precious babies whether they are in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or even 80’s. I guess that’s better than being a national treasure, huh? So remember people, treasure your children and treat them with respect. That way we can always be one big lovely family and never lose. Now come on everybody. Let’s sing Whitney Houstan’s The Greatest Love Of All. I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way…

Seitokai No Ichizon Lv2

April 20, 2013

I suppose some people just love the mindless chatter that goes nowhere. So much so Seitokai No Ichizon Lv2 came out as a sequel. Oh yes. If you remember the group of student council students who spend their time talking and chatting about everything and gets nothing done at the end of the day. Yeah. Student councils are supposed to be useful helping other students with their problems at school but this one just waste their time discussing about things that don’t really matter. That’s why we like them. Hehehe… What else to expect from this sequel? Well, don’t get your hopes up if there is a sudden change in direction that will shock you. No sudden appearance of a mysterious evil character that is hell bent on destroying the world. Don’t expect any mushy-mushy dramatic love story setting. Nor would the group go around the world solving mysteries and unlocking the deep ancient secrets in their adventure. Still the same ol’ student council quintet in the student council room conversing. Sometimes you don’t need slapstick comedy or action thrills and spills to be entertained. Just look how these guys are doing. You may learn a thing or two from it all. Or not.

Episode 0
This is an episode dedicated to Sugisaki’s memories. You could say a flashback episode that tells how he ended up in the student council. It all started when he took up somebody’s advice to play a dating simulation game. He meets the shopkeeper, Runa Minase who is sarcastic and indifferent. Recommend him a best-selling game? Tetris. So it’s his fault for not being specific. Dating games? The kind for sad guys who can’t find girlfriends. You can just feel Sugisaki’s pain in his heart each time Minase says her piercing insults. Which dating game to choose? Reality is the best. Oh, you got to love this girl. Even if she did recommend some, she gave away the ending too. That’s highlighting the game points, right? Eventually Sugisaki did what he should have done from the beginning: Choose on his own. He goes back and plays the game he bought and becomes fixated with the everyone-is-happy harem ending. He soon changes his ways to become the smart protagonist by being polite to everyone, much to their shock. He also wanted something he can be proud of. Because the student council members have 5 seats, four of which are voted via popularity contest and the last one based on excellent academic results. That is called the Blue Chip Seat. He does his best to study hard and is surprised to see Minase a fellow student in Hekiyou Private High School. Her sarcasms are still top notch. She pours cold water on his ambitions to be top because the top student scores perfect 500 points. It’s her way to warn him to stop wasting his time. How can she be sure? Because she is that top student. Oh sh*t… That didn’t deter Sugisaki and for the mid-terms, although not perfect, it is the best results ever averaging 90 points in every subject. Minase continues to be top of the grade with the perfect 500 points. One day he patrons her game shop again and notes how he seems to be the only customer buying games. She notes there is another girl who does the same. Is that enough to keep the store afloat? He wants to know why a smart girl like her enrolled in Hekiyou. She clears the misunderstanding that she wasn’t smart in the first place. That’s why she is in Hekiyou. Studying hard and getting first place brings her happiness. Sugisaki knows he can’t beat Minase the way he is right now but is determined not to lose to her. Though he doubled his study time, he also finds time to spend with his classmates and play his games every day. But this lifestyle is taking a toll.

One day Minase spots him frolicking with his friends. Sugisaki goes to talk to her to say that spending time with friends is also important. Minase warns him if he wants to stand a chance to beat her, he must spend all his time studying. But he doesn’t want to give up anything just for the Blue Chip Seat. Fine. Have it your way. I guess Sugisaki got desperate so he begs to her to give him that seat. Maybe he just got too close just to see her panties… Sugisaki continues to study hard so much so his classmates, especially girls agree to help him study. Starting today, they’ll tutor him all the way till the finals! The final exams came and go. Sugisaki and Minase are the early ones to catch the teacher putting up the results. As the places roll out, Sugisaki gets worried his name might not be even in the top 10. Not even in fourth, third or second… First place goes to… Minase with perfect 500 points. Sugisaki feels doomed but Minase points out Sugisaki too had scored 500 points! It’s a tie for first place! He is so happy that he doesn’t know what to do. Suggestion: Go to the rooftop and dive to the sky! But he is worried how things will work out since 2 people for the first time in history got first place. Minase says she was never interested in the seat anyway. I guess you know what this means. Yahoo! On the day Sugisaki is standing outside the student council room, nervous trying to think what to say to the girls, Minase passes by with some sarcasm like he is ready to be disgusted by the girls’ scream, be a sex offender or even give up his post. She suggests he do what he did back then by blurting out his goal like an idiot. Girls have nice impressions on people like that. Sugisaki thinks back how Kurimu, Minatsu, Chizuru and Mafuyu had each given him encouragement and support in his time of need. It made him want to become someone who could protect women and the harem route where he could make all the girls in the student council happy. A man who can make many girls happy. He opens the door and blurts out he’ll hang out with everyone and bring them happiness. Back in reality, the girls aren’t too happy to listen to his ‘autobiography’ that lasted the entire episode. Boring, eh? Then they change topic on what to name this new anime season. Lastly, they still pick on Sugisaki to erase his presence since they didn’t get any screen time and that the show won’t really last with just him. So… Where’s the happiness? Keep working on it.

Episode 1
I guess a woman’s grudge runs deep. They want Sugisaki to shut up after talking too much the last time. So to get their much needed attention, they pose their pretty faces for us viewers to see. Kurimu’s “Offence is the best defence” means she wants more assertive action taken since this anime has been animated again. Not to do S&M on Sugisaki or have BL developments. I guess they don’t have any fresh ideas so they allow Sugisaki to talk now. They come up with absurd ideas like giving their characters a new twist with super powers, changing the artwork (mature or cute chibi doesn’t really work either) and changing the story. Sugisaki suggests getting a new heroine but he is bombarded with insults he couldn’t even win over the existing ones. Does he even need a heroine? Such heartbreak… He then suggests everyone to go dere but Mafuyu seems to be the violent dere type. He gets punched whenever he tries to touch her. He begs for permission to touch her and when she does, she allows him to massage… Her shoulders. Feeling used? Mafuyu suggests a change in direction for the story since this show has no room for anything new. No. BL doesn’t count… Sugisaki suggests for them to have girls talk. But they couldn’t just find a decent topic to talk or deviate to their own fantasies while Sugisaki is frustratingly trying to keep the boat going.

Mafuyu then suggests thinking of ways to attract new viewers since most who are watching this show are probably old fans. Chizuru mentions about explaining the setting by changing the story with a dramatic setting. Like how all this is Sugisaki’s dream and Chizuru is an undefined life form. Mafuyu wants to try out something and that is to reset everyone’s relationship to the point they are strangers. Kurimu tries to be the nice student council president but the girls are just cold and crude to the point it really made Kurimu cry! Poor girl. I guess play time’s over. It’s best everyone stays the same, eh? So it doesn’t matter what viewers think because ultimately this show is about the student council’s mindless chatter. Mafuyu gives an example about the games she plays. Despite clearing levels earns you nothing in real life, people play them with smiles. Whether with meaning or not, there is value in doing random things. Their interactions are the same. That’s why the student council is special despite achieving nothing every day. Kurimu resolves to move them forward since it will be less than months before hers and Chizuru’s graduation and the Shiina sisters will transfer to another school. Where does that leave Sugisaki? Better get his harem fast. On to the next topic, Kurimu contradicts herself that only development can occur through change. Didn’t she want everything to stay the same? Well, she wants to be an adult since she’s graduating soon. The rest suggest studying more, drink more milk, do more push ups… Boy, being an adult is tough. Oh no. She starts crying again. Later she shoves up to bread rolls to beef up her boobs. WTF.

Episode 2
Despite starting the topic about mutual trust, Kurimu wants to know the culprit who ate her cake! She’s adamant that somebody in this room is the culprit. Find the culprit. Or else! I guess this means Sugisaki has to play along and be the detective. So taking her statement, it seems Kurimu is exaggerating it as a murder. Yeah. The cake ‘died’. Narrating the events that led to this, when Kurimu unlocked the door to the room, the cafeteria lady passed her a cake to eat. Kurimu left to get something to drink but when she returned, the other members were in and her cake is nowhere in sight. She is sure that the first person after her is the culprit. She couldn’t believe that person is Chizuru! However she didn’t see any cake on the table. That statement clears her because Kurimu put it on a chair. Why her chair? To hide it so that nobody could steal it. Harhar… Still adamant that Chizuru is the culprit, Mafuyu and Minatsu then each say they were the first ones in the room. Huh? At least they thought they were. When Mafuyu first came, she didn’t see anybody but left for the toilet. Same case with Minatsu and she soon left after remembering to do something. I guess this is getting too much for Kurimu so to be fair, she accuses all 3 girls as guilty! That isn’t fair! Then the real culprit walks in: Magiru! Yeah, she admits eating the cake. Kurimu feels ashamed for accusing them but a new revelation pops up: She only took a bite (so as to have an alibi that she didn’t eat the whole thing). That means the real culprit is still out there! Magiru even makes up a lie to make Sugisaki suspicious. That she gave it to him! All lies! But she knows who the real culprit is because she passed that culprit in the hallway with the cake in hand. As she is about to reveal, suddenly she experiences painful stomach cramps. They rush her to the infirmary where the school nurse Misaki treats her. The gang things with the timing of the ‘poison’, the culprit was one step ahead in silencing them.

Sugisaki returns to the room the retrieve the yakisoba bread evidence that Magiru was munching before her cramps. Suddenly Lilicia and her sister Elise come in. Elise is still all over Sugisaki and is asking ‘innocent’ questions if she has grown, is she cute, is she sexy, does she make him feel lustful… I guess Sugisaki got carried away and said yes to all of them. Lilicia threatens to call the police! The last straw came when Sugisaki accidentally touches Elise’s boobs so Lilicia whacks him hard on the head before taking her sister away. Don’t worry he is still alive. Yeah. Humans can live till 100 as long as they breathe and get sunlight. WTF. The student council girls return to the room and it seems Sugisaki has got amnesia! They think he’s pulling a fast one to cover himself as the culprit but his apology is genuine. Then they get worried this isn’t really the Sugisaki they know. Thinking of a way to jog back his memory, I suppose Mafuyu tries to brainwash him into some BL situation by telling him he was going out with Nakameguro! Sugisaki realizes he is a useless person before and laments it very much. Then they let him read the mangas of this series. Yup. He’s good for nothing. He assures them he will leave his past behind and lead a normal life. The girls are shocked that he is pure! They seem disappointed. Always bullying and taking him for granted, eh? Now they’re sad the real Sugisaki will never come back. Sugisaki apologizes to them for making them feel that way. Meanwhile as Magiru recuperates it is revealed that the real ‘culprit’ is the cafeteria lady. After she passed Kurimu the cake, she realized it was already past its expiry date and returned to take it back. Plus, the yakisoba wasn’t poisoned and Magiru’s cramps are due to over eating. How shameful. As the girls are prepared to accept this new Sugisaki, the idiot spots Magiru confiscated porn magazines, reads them and returns to his normal self. In an instant, all his memories came back! Like it was never there in the first place. I’m sure the anger is building inside the girls because they worried for nothing. Beat down time. It’s great to have things back to normal, eh? Amazingly he didn’t lose his memories from that. And the blame game of who ate Kurimu’s cake continues…

Episode 3
Kurimu wants the gang to do simulations of their future dream jobs for an early advantage. Really? After pinpointing out the otaku Mafuyu is, everybody agrees. Yeah, they’re really singling her out. Minatsu starts off as a florist and Sugisaki as her customer. But she’s selling things at crazy prices and extorting him for money just for a rose! Do florists carry a bazooka?! Don’t ever come back! Next, Mafuyu wants to be Sugisaki’s wife. Are we hearing that right? Yes. So does he want dinner, bath or… Nakameguro in bed firs?! Oh sh*t! Sugisaki must be really regretting this woman because she’s making him do all the chores while she goes off to bed! He gives her the rose but she scolds him that he should’ve used the money to buy games instead. At least now he knows marriage with her won’t end in happiness. His. Chizuru steps up next to be his lover. Seriously? After a terrible florist and a wife who doesn’t get close to him, I guess this is the next best option, right? Yeah. It is human nature to cheat! So… Chizuru has a degree from Tokyo’s Art of Lovers College? They teach that in college? And her cooking turns out to be… Soy sauce. He can’t drink it all, can’t he? In reality, Chizuru really has a flyer on that Tokyo’s Art of Lovers College and thinks it will be handy to play several people. Dangerous woman… Kurimu wants to be a company president but has Sugisaki work like dog. Yeah, she’s a slave driver making him do all the work and paying him peanuts. Just can’t find motivation to play this simulation, eh? Suddenly everything turns sci-fi and the fate of the world, no, universe, space and time depends on Sugisaki and all that he has done that led to this decisive battle! The other girls return them to reality and remind that they’re here to do job simulation and not enjoy sci-fi.

Kurimu also wants to be a detective and tells of several mysteries that seem to make her the victim instead. Like the case of the frozen mandarin orange melted and became a normal one after she left and returned. A trip that had her slept an hour earlier (since her watch was set back an hour earlier – that’s her fault, right?) and a disappearance case which Chizuru quickly points out she was just lost. Kurimu still thinks the culprit is among them but the rest don’t really believe. So much so this made her cry so Chizuru lulls her to sleep. She’s really a kid… Chizuru reveals that she is the real culprit behind all of Kurimu’s mysteries. Like the frozen mandarin orange, she sent Kurimu out for a while to let it defrost so it wouldn’t hurt her finger nails but she went out too long. She was also the one who adjusted her watch an hour earlier because Kurimu was exhausted from the train trip and wanted her to rest. So the culprit was just a kind person? Kurimu talks in her sleep that she will work hard to make their dreams come true since she won’t be around next year. As they leave, they wonder what Sugisaki wanted to be. He wanted to be with all of them but changes his mind to be a company president so he will employ them all. The rest gave excuses why they wouldn’t mind working under him. And Kurimu still wants to be the president even though she dropped that idea. Sugisaki reflects how things will change soon and they won’t be the student council after this. That’s why being a student council member isn’t the most important thing in the world. Lastly, Chizuru reveals the incident she caused Kurimu to be lost was because she wanted to film that adorable look on her face when she comes looking for her while wandering around aimlessly. Pure evil!

Episode 4
Kurimu suggests to conduct surveys on what people want from the student council. For real? The rest feel it’s impossible to fulfil all the requests but Kurimu says they only need to pretend to do so and make it like as though they’re doing something. Schemer! Kurimu mentions about needing to change some of the school rules like for instance to have a secret base in school. A luxurious one. Yeah, she’s still a kid alright. While the rest are suggesting what kind of rules they want changed, then Magiru comes in. All the hype just died down and they decide to go do the survey. Kurimu and Mafuyu argue about Magiru’s uselessness because Kurimu pairs the teacher with her. Must hurt, right? So the gang go around taking surveys. Odd requests aplenty including one who wants to date Kurimu (Chizuru takes that as a death wish for that bastard!). Some don’t even have any because they’re not expecting anything from them (true). Minatsu’s male friend happens to pass by so they chat. Sugisaki got somewhat jealous and heads on first. When Minatsu catches up, it is her turn to be jealous because she sees him being friendly with a group of girls. It irks her to see him smile so friendly. Am I hearing right when one of them said she wants to be his girlfriend?! Minatsu gets mad for him fooling around so the girls thought they shouldn’t be doing this in front of his ‘first one’. Kurimu, Chizuru and Mafuyu return to the student council room. Mafuyu left Magiru behind since she was useless and let all those survey papers fly away. As they go through the list of absurd requests (who wants a Ferris wheel?!), Mafuyu discusses about a rule change to allow comics to be brought to school. Though everyone is doing this, her point is that subjects and exams must also be related to anime to make good future NEETs! Is there a future in that? Because Magiru is screwing up once more with the survey forms, I guess it’s their cue to go rescue her.

Sugisaki and Minatsu continue their survey as Minatsu continues to observe how sociable he has become. Very much different when they first met because then, he asked how he could be like her and she replied if he tried to imitate her, he can forget his chances of being part of the student council. Suddenly her heart feels pain. Sugisaki is worried and brings her back to the student council room. He can even joke by asking questions that made it seem she is pregnant. But he notices her expression 2% tenser than usual. She asks his personality before they met. The same. Just minus the perverted side. He continues about a childhood friend named Asuka and thanks to being with her, his personality turned out this way. Though Minatsu’s chest experiences pain again, she realizes it’s not a sickness and feels better. Sugisaki is worried she may be sick and touches her head for temperature. He realizes his blunder and prepares to face her wrath but to his surprise she is smiling happily. Something isn’t right. Then she hugs him. He’s more scared than happy. Something might be possessing her! She wants to confirm this feeling and prepares to kiss him! But Sugisaki views this as wanting to suck his life force or eat him alive! But he can’t resist it when Minatsu pulls back. She understands these feelings weren’t spur of the moment. Before everyone comes back, she quickly kisses him for real! OMG! Didn’t see that one coming! Sugisaki is still steadfast that Minatsu is possessed and wants everyone to stay away from her. But he notices her warm look in her eyes. Kurimu goes over everyone’s request and the girls all think everyone’s are crap except theirs. They notice Sugisaki had no wish. The fact that perverted is against the rules is what makes them exciting. Things are fine the way they are now. The girls challenge him to make a non-perverted request and if it’s good, they’ll take back their word. And that request soon becomes a new rule: To live life to the fullest. Lastly, Chizuru thinks of changing the rules of bringing pets and insects to school. But she changes her mind because Kurimu and Sugisaki can come to school just fine. Yeah. Kurimu = pet. Sugisaki = insect.

Episode 5
Sugisaki and Kurimu are the only ones in the student council room. Mafuyu and Chizuru are at the store to buy stationery and they took their time because Mafuyu was teaching Chizuru the deeper meaning of the BL world, which is very much opposed to her S&M views. As for Minatsu, she is being pulled away by her friend, Meguru Uchuu who wants to know more about Sugisaki. Seriously? Yes. She’s serious. So much so Meguru hailed a taxi so that Minatsu could talk about Sugisaki over tea. Kurimu ponders what to do with just the two of them in this seemingly large room. I’m sure Sugisaki wants to talk about porn and sex but Kurimu had just activated a noisy distress buzzer. Better keep his mouth shut if he doesn’t want to attract attention of others. Seriously, nobody came into the room to shut them up or wonder what that noise is. I guess they must have thought it’s those student council buffoons at their usual and didn’t think of anything more. Then they take away the big meeting desk and have a face to face talk which seems very unusual. They had a one line marriage interview and Kurimu ends it. Then they play verbal catch ball in which the thrower asks a question and the catcher has to respond to it. I suppose Kurimu doesn’t want to ‘catch’ Sugisaki’s questions of dating him, loving him and marrying him. It’s making her sick. Not till he asks if it’s alright for them to be apart. She couldn’t answer. Eventually she says to hang out with her and the rest forever. Just then, the other girls return (I don’t know how Minatsu miraculously got away) and Sugisaki realizes the student council is only when all 5 of them are together.

Sugisaki searches like mad in his room as he had misplaced the serial number to his favourite porn game. What was he thinking? Sifting through every inch of the house made him question the kind of food he eats and the fashion clothes he wore. Seriously… His worse fears realized when he thinks he might have left it back home. So he has to call his stepsister, Ringo who reluctantly drags herself out of the warmth of her bed and into the storeroom just because she’d do anything for her onii-chan. Yeah. Put more enthusiasm in it. She did find the serial number to the game in the box but doesn’t want to give it to him once she learns it’s for his porn game. Sugisaki tries to persuade his sister not to do anything rash. Hmm… She sounds jealous? She shocks him with words, “Aren’t you satisfied with my body?”. Well, Asuka told her to say that in such situation. It got from bad to worse when stepmother and father are standing behind Ringo, shocked at the you-know-what revelation. He’s a goner. I guess as a little girl, Ringo won’t understand the complicated primitive instincts men need and hence the use of this game. She suggests he can imagine lewd things about her and decides to text him a picture of her lewd self. Here comes the message… NOW! Sugisaki can’t wait to see that lewd picture despite knowing it’s his sister (you know how horny men are). It turns out to be a picture of her lifting her shirt to only reveal her tummy. I guess that’s her definition of lewd. So disappointing that he cries and begs for the serial number. Once he has gotten them, he realizes the game has no porn elements because it is an all-ages version. CRAP!!! Next morning in the student council room, I’m not sure if he’s tired or just sighing in disappointment. The other girls wonder what he and Kurimu were doing alone together yesterday and they had no qualms in telling them about playing catch, the ‘marriage interview’, the confession and pressing the distress buzzer several times. It sends ambiguous signals of what they were doing, eh?

Episode 6
Sugisaki brings Ringo to the student council to observe and participate with them. At first, Ringo couldn’t stop apologizing for the intrusion. Suddenly all the girls bump Sugisaki away and start frolicking with Ringo. Yeah. She’s that cute and so adorable. I think they’re molesting her and ignoring Sugisaki! Are they defiling his sister?! As revealed, their parents have business around the area so Ringo thought she could dropped by and say hello before going home tonight. The closeness of their conversation has the other girls in disgust. They had to apologize for 5 minutes otherwise Kurimu threatens to end the session! Kurimu wanted to punish him but Ringo drops the bombshell to also kill her if she’s going ahead with those overkill fantasy punishments. Sugisaki reveals Ringo doesn’t understand jokes easily so they better be careful with what they say. Sugisaki has Ringo introduced to the other girls. First up is Minatsu. Ringo shows her the middle finger and tells her to go home and suck her mother’s milk! Did I hear this right?! Is she provoking her? Sugisaki initially didn’t want to stop them because he wants to see how cute Ringo could get. Is he a sadist? Sugisaki explains Ringo’s twisted vocabulary and doesn’t mean any harm. What Ringo meant was for Minatsu to drink healthy milk so she could hang out with her energetically. Minatsu calms down and apologizes. So what about calling her chicken now? Is that supposed to be a compliment? Next is Mafuyu. She realizes how their character overlaps but Ringo is much better in some aspects than her. So much so Mafuyu goes off to sit alone in a depressing corner, thinking she is just some character who could be easily replaced when a new heroine appears. Next is Chizuru and she’s trying to corrupt this pure sister’s mind! But when Ringo says Chizuru likes Sugisaki, it sends shockwaves to everyone. Even Chizuru can’t hide her embarrassment! She points out Chizuru should be earnest with her feelings or else she won’t get anywhere. She is about to really confess but the other girls stop her. So she was playing along just to see Sugisaki’s reaction? There she goes again playing the tsun part as pointed out by Ringo. Chizuru wants to shut her up by issuing a cheque to any amount she desires! Can’t handle her, can’t she?

Finally it’s Kurimu who introduces herself as a God. Ringo believes her! Yeah, Kurimu got thanked for creating the world and kneading Mt Fuji. Just going with the flow… Because she is ‘God’, Ringo makes a wish and hopes she can be a couple with her brother. Another round of shockwaves. I guess as God she can make her wish come true, no? Kurimu tries to get out by saying being God is a busy business granting wishes though it is rewarding so Ringo thought she should put becoming God in the future as her second aspiration. Second? What’s her first? To be Sugisaki’s bride! Kurimu wanted to promote her to God now. The girls want Sugisaki to say something about siblings marrying each other is forbidden. Don’t worry, Sugisaki will change to laws to legalise sibling marriage and bigamy! He’s a man with a beautiful (read: perverted) soul who accepts all women. The world is doomed… As it’s about time to leave, at the corridor, Ringo didn’t feel it was so much like a student council though Sugisaki insisted they are his harem and since she was around, they couldn’t flirt like usual. He assures her he is still a virgin who loves to dream. She doesn’t understand what virgin means so he tries to explain it when Magiru happen to walk by. How does the drop out application sound? He had to bribe his way out to treat her BBQ. Then he tries to comfort Ringo who got scared thinking Magiru was the ‘devil’. Lilicia took a snapshot of them and is going to be her best scandal story to bring the student council down. Ringo feels this school is lovely and thanks to them, this place is more amazing by the fact they can talk things openly. She admits she feels jealous when she sees him having fun with the other girls because she wants him to be nice to only her. Seeing Ringo’s smile is worth it all and he would gladly welcome her to come back here and play again (nothing hentai mind you) since his harem is open to all beautiful girls. When he goes back to the room, the other girls are chiding him on discrimination. No, not his love for Ringo. But the BBQ! Oh Magiru just slipped it… They want in too and bug him when the lewd picture of Ringo in his handphone drops out. So mad… So upset… So screwed… Perhaps it’s a good thing he doesn’t remember what has been done to him after that. Yeah. Welcome to reality. This is how difficult it is to maintain a harem.

Episode 7
Sugisaki wants to follow Lilicia around. That includes when she’s bathing and changing clothes! Perverted stalker! It all began when Kurimu notes about supporting characters who are worried about their decreasing screen time. It led to a discussion of supporting characters leading to spin-off animes. The person who fit the bill of appearing in the anime but doesn’t get much attention goes to Lilicia. So that’s how they decide to send Sugisaki to follow her around. Sugisaki seems to be pissing off Lilicia with his remarks of being a loner or a slave driver. The other girls are happy that for once it’s so quiet without Sugisaki (I guess they know they’re not going to lose him like before so it’s okay). Suddenly Lilicia barges in with a different hairstyle and starts acting tsundere (excess usage of “Don’t get the wrong idea” line) followed by the airhead childhood friend who is hot and cold in love and finally exiting as a clumsy girl. I guess this must be very shocking to the girls, eh? Lilicia returns to Sugisaki in her room and his opening comment that her acting was disgusting and didn’t think that all those tropes were incompatible. She blows her top that it was his idea to act like that with a microphone attached to be like the main heroine. Anyway she’s happy that she’s got a scoop on Kurimu and plans to tail her shopping with Mafuyu. Along with Sugisaki in a thick disguise, they observe the duo shopping at the clothes store (Lilicia’s aim is to observe them so she could steal the main heroine’s position).  Mafuyu is shocked to hear the reason she asked her out is because if she sticks closer to her more often, she gets to appear regularly! Is Mafuyu a background character? Kurimu shows the harsh reality of being a main character when the shop assistant points out the kiddie’s section is below. Lilicia thought she could take more pictures but trips. Sugisaki catches her and thinks she is still playing the clumsy girl act. Well, she certainly looked convincing in that.

In the next store, Kurimu shows the S size that she wears doesn’t fit and often baggy. Her explanation about the real S size has Mafuyu blowing her top because that’s just the same as XS, right? She is even more upset that they wasted so much time shopping when she could’ve played more games back home instead. But Kurimu can’t let her leave. Imagine what happens if the store reports a lost ‘child’ and calls Mafuyu’s name? Don’t want that, doesn’t she? Lilicia is happy to see the duo bickering and will thus report the student council’s breaking down but Sugisaki points out she seems like a sneaky villain instead. They have to hide when Kurimu and Mafuyu are heading their way. They had to hide under the close so Sugisaki ends up in an ambiguous position atop her. How did she mess this up? Mafuyu is not happy they’re just buying t-shirts but when she learns they’re buying the same pair, she finally understands. Remember, Mafuyu is leaving school soon. Mafuyu appreciates this since they’ve never hang out like this together. Kurimu wants to lend her money so it’s a promise that they’ll still see each other again. The duo make up but Lilicia is still bent on twisting the truth and write on the discord for entertainment. Sugisaki suggests she write a touching story but she disagrees because the promise will no longer be between them if the public accepts it. Sugisaki is shocked but gets to quip he couldn’t say anything for fear he might confess to her. She accuses him of always treating others like side characters but he disagrees because there is no way he will treat a special and strong willed girl as one. He asks her plans after graduation and she drops the bombshell she is getting married. To increase the family’s prestige of course. He walks her home and before he leaves, he says despite marriage is for her family’s sake and has no right to interfere, but if she starts crying over it, he’ll do all he can to stop it. I don’t know if he’s serious or not because he just says he was just joking. For a moment there I think Lilicia’s heart just stopped. Elise greets her sister and thinks she’s gotten closer to Sugisaki. Otherwise, why would she lie about the marriage? Technically she didn’t since she just refused and just wanted to make him worry. Both sisters learn that Sugisaki is an unpredictable person. But next day, the student council girls are hot under their collar because the front page local newspaper has a picture and article of Sugisaki happily stalking his loli president during shopping! She really got him this time, eh?

Episode 8
The student council girls get a distressing call from Ringo that Sugisaki has been taken away… By Asuka! To the hotspring! No joke! This is serious! So I guess our worried girls have this idea to go take him back. Meanwhile Sugisaki is not pleased that Asuka has registered them as newlyweds. It’s better than being caught as high school students staying together, right? Asuka seems to love frolicking around with Sugisaki and he is trying hard to not get into her flow. But I guess he can’t resist it when she mentions about the open mixed bath. Let’s go! The other girls have arrived but they got distracted by the snowy scenery and the souvenir shop before dipping the indoor bath (because outside looks cold). Sugisaki is dipping in the hotspring outside and to his dismay Asuka lied about the open mixed bath. There’s a wall separating both genders. He wanted to leave but there is something she wants to tell him. He can’t make his own harem since he can’t handle two-timing as he’s the type that treats others’ happiness as his own. But he says that’s being a harem head and making lots of girls happy makes him happy. So what if Asuka confesses she loves him now? Can he only look at her? Otherwise she won’t find happiness. Sugisaki remembers the same thing that happened 2 years ago. He treasured both Asuka and Ringo but was unable to choose either. He ended up hurting both. So right now is the time to decide on that. He rejects Asuka and though she is surprised, she passes him. She wants to know how he arrived at his answer. He realized his way of bringing happiness to everyone he loves isn’t out of sincerity but egoism. Spending time with everyone in the student council made him realized that. The things that they do were happiness itself. He’ll continue to make his harem and bring happiness to everyone and though he may end up hurting some, he’ll try to bring even more happiness in his own way to make up for that. He admits he is a player but that is who he is. Asuka wants to meet the people who made Sugisaki think this way.

Kurimu and the rest couldn’t find Sugisaki at the end of the day and are about to leave when they run into him and Asuka. Despite their words, you can totally see from their body reaction it’s the opposite that they’re worried about him. So Sugisaki introduces everyone and the cat fight is about to begin. Asuka draws first blood by wondering how her husband’s lovers look like and is relieved she is the prettier one. She makes up more lies that she’s no longer the ex-girlfriend but the current one as they’ve made up and making out in the open mixed bath. She ‘defeats’ the girls by piercing their hearts with true-in-your-face statements. Like for Minatsu, Sugisaki’s openness means he only opens his heart to her and that childhood friend’s rank higher than classmates. Mafuyu is next when she is labelled an overlapping character full of flows followed by Kurimu who is an unpopular spoilt president that only likes like a main character. Even Chizuru couldn’t stand up to her and falls to her defeat with words that she is the only one who didn’t get a dedicated episode and is just like some supporting character! Asuka thought the battle is over when all the girls revive and want Asuka to tell them more stories about Sugisaki. The girls had never thought that argument was a fight and was just chatting. Asuka realizes these are the people Sugisaki spent over a year with and admits her defeat. Sugisaki feels lucky that he is part of the student council. On the way back, Sugisaki clears up the misunderstanding with Ringo and suspects Asuka for once more teaching weird words to her.

Episode 9
Because tomorrow is the graduating ceremony, the student council members think of what to leave behind for their future counterparts. Mafuyu’s BL books? Sugisaki’s ero games? Why the heck does Kurimu want a real bear, lion or tiger?! Then Magiru comes in and lazily suggests to just leave what the previous student council left for them. They got nothing, right? Plus, this is Kurimu’s idea. So is she going to start some legacy? As everyone is still pondering, Magiru just tells them to leave behind next year’s lunch money for her. She’s a terrible person, isn’t she? Mafuyu suggests that rather of handing down what they want, why not find out what the next student council would like to receive. Kurimu thinks handing down the mangas of this series would be a way for the future ones to inherit their thoughts and feelings. With this topic done, she moves on to the next. Well, it isn’t so much a topic of discussion because everybody starts spring cleaning. Sugisaki realizes the broken clock and thinks of buying a new one. The rest agree to buy stuffs to replenish or to fix up the place. However at the store they got carried away with their fantasies. Who does Chizuru want to torture with that tool? Why does Kurimu need a bathtub?! Sugisaki bumps into Minase at the store and she thinks he has been ‘promoted’ to a porn game association! She asks was it worth working hard to enter the student council and he didn’t hesitate to say yes. She adds he should be saying this to them instead of her. She signs off by wanting him to give his regards to the prison guards. She’s expecting him to land in prison next year?! The gang then take a break at the family restaurant. The girls think of ordering fancy stuffs from the menu and have Sugisaki pay. Then Elise pops up because this is one of her father’s chain restaurants. With her around means… Yup. Lilicia too. She wants to have a long interview for her final newspaper. Elise has lots of questions to ask. Including their physical relationship with Sugisaki. The biggest scandal scoop of the year! If Lilicia ever publishes those lies. When they return back to the student council room, they see Asuka and Ringo waiting for them. Looks like they’re here to say goodbye too. Asuka still hasn’t lost her teasing touch and Ringo is still terrible with her vocabulary. I hope she’s not insulting.

Sugisaki is surprised that Kurimu decides to continue with the meeting. So they briefly talk about different school uniforms and the ‘wise words’ Kurimu says which she claims the reason viewers watch this show, before discussing about the farewell speech and formal reply. Well, let’s say Kurimu hasn’t prepared them. That’s why they’re here brainstorming, right? Always leaving it to the last minute. Kurimu has Sugisaki do the farewell speech since it’s inappropriate for the sisters to do it as they’re leaving. They practice their speech but it turns with different versions like ero, confession, unrelated and too short. So how? Sugisaki says it’s best to convey them in their own words with feelings. Because the students of Hekiyou are the ones who elected them in the first place. Agreed. Sugisaki seems a little panicky when Kurimu decides to end the meeting as it’s already dark outside. This means this will be the last one, right? Finally he musters his strength to say something to them. He wants to let them know how much he loves this student council and everyone in it. Then he gives his personal farewell speech-cum-encouragement to each of them.
Mafuyu: He likes her because her kindness set him free in the park that winter. He loves the smile on her face when she is absorbed in her unique hobby. Stay strong in the new school and display that unique character of hers.
Minatsu: He likes her kindness and resilience which she made her protect what she treasures. Her friendliness is like the warmth of the sun and he is confident she will fit right in her new school with everyone and bring them smiles. He hopes she will always be the same Minatsu he is proud of.
Chizuru: He likes his purity hidden under her icy exterior. That composure makes her reliable. Her heart has the capacity to accept anyone and yet it is more delicate and pure than anyone’s. He knows she’ll become more charming and hopes she’ll be the same Chizuru who jokes around with him.
Kurimu: He likes her the way she is: Pure and innocent. Her actions reflect her earnestness when others get mad. She also makes difficult things seem so easy. As she grows at an amazing rate every day while bringing smiles to everyone, he enjoys watching her grow. But no matter how much she grows, he hopes she will always be their student council president.

The girls too have something to say to him. They all love him! He may be a pervert aiming for a harem but he is reliable too. Despite of his shortcomings, they really love him. They want him to continue chasing girls as they know he won’t be satisfied with just them. Oh really? Even if they’re gone, please remain as he is. The heartfelt speech brings tears to his eyes and he promises to be the harem king. But this is greeted with much laughter from the girls. I guess he was stretching it, eh? Sugisaki is surprised that they’ll still meet up tomorrow after the ceremony. After all, they’ll still be the student council members for tomorrow for the last time. Better come up with something to talk about.

More Than Words…
So as the saying goes that nothing lasts forever. Change is the only thing that is constant (and death). From the way things are going, it looks like Kurimu and Chizuru are really on their way out while the Shiina sisters are really transferring for good. Where does that leave lonely harem boy? It’s a chance to get a new harem! I speculate that is what might happen if a third season gets the green light. Thus the most important thing we learn from their chatter as observed is the time spent together as friends. Never mind Sugisaki’s perverted harem dream. Never mind Mafuyu’s BL fascination. Never mind Chizuru’s sadistic nature or Kurimu who acts like a kid. The important thing is that they were all true to their selves and appreciate each other’s company during their tenure as student council members. It’s good that when it is time to go for real, they don’t cling on to old memories nor do they throw a tantrum they want to stay like this forever. Instead they look to the future with bright optimism. That should be the way. If only they did more for the school overall.

Sugisaki as the main guy, he is still the same person I remembered him back in the first season. Despite being a pervert, he is not that all bad because he is reliable when it comes down to it. Where would all the fun be if Sugisaki was as clean as a holy priest? But he has got to wait a little longer if he wants to achieve his harem dream. Yeah, I guess the girls are playing hard to get, if you know what I mean. You could say that most of his role in this anime is to rebut the girls’ fantasies and ‘jokes’. That’s what makes this series funny too. Plus, it isn’t only Sugisaki that totally bears the brunt of backlash. Sometimes the other girls too get a little share of that. Like Mafuyu’s personality in which they sometimes like to take a dig at. So I suppose in that sense all is fair and square.

The other girls are quirky too and they love teasing Sugisaki. I bet that they all really love him more than just friends and the final confession was just out of courtesy and respect. I mean, if you give in easily to this guy and let him have his harem, where is the fun in all the rebutting and rebuking? Like Sugisaki said, it is more exciting when porn is banned and prohibited. Hmm… Now I understand why guys prefer to have girls accidentally show their slip instead of intentionally or voluntarily displaying them. It’s human nature to feel excited in doing something forbidden, no? So they finally blurt out their love since it’s the last time they’re going to be together in this room. There are lots of moments whereby you see the girls blush or get alerted when the real topic of romance with him is brought up. If they weren’t serious, they wouldn’t have that sort of reaction. It’s great that the girls get a fair share of screen time and even an episode dedicated to them. Except for Chizuru. I realized this even before Asuka quipped it as a joke. True enough, it happened. I thought the producers did this on purpose. I mean, you have one whereby Sugisaki spends time alone with Minatsu and then with Kurimu, even Mafuyu gets some although it is more of spending time with Kurimu shopping, so why leave out Chizuru? I’m sure things would have been interesting too if she had some ‘private’ moments with Sugisaki.

Even Lilicia has her own episode she hogs the spotlight. But don’t expect her to be the main heroine in her own spin-off. So she still has a grudge against the student council (because she lost out in the votes by just one spot as mentioned back in the first season) but I don’t see her trying to aggressively take them down or publish scandalous reports or lies. It also indicates that she has a crush on Sugisaki and I bet that’s true. Otherwise, why keep bugging the student council, right? I would love to see more of such developments as well as the other girls but I’ll wait for next time if they make a sequel. Elise still makes her appearance but it feels she has lesser impact in this season although last season she made cameos too. Perhaps with new characters like Ringo and Asuka, more screen time has to be shared, huh? These girls provide good insights on Sugisaki’s past but I have this thought that if I wished for another flashback episode, it might turn out boring. So when Sugisaki just narrated his indecisiveness 2 years ago that led to both of them being hurt, I guess this was enough to give me an idea what he went through. So can you blame him for wanting a harem? His goal is to make all the beautiful girls happy, right? In the process to make himself happy too, of course :). In short, all the main girls love him. Even that mystery one, Meguru. Man, they should give her some more screen time and explain what it is that she finds so fascinated about him. I even thought she would be ‘added’ to his ‘harem’. Even his female classmates are fond of him. Shows how much he has grown, eh? Not the perverted guy that we thought we know. So is there a girl who doesn’t like Sugisaki? Oh yeah. Magiru. She’s the same lazy advisor who likes to eat and hang around doing nothing. She got what she deserved for the overeating part. She’s a failure as a person. And oh, perhaps Minase too. I know she is sarcastic but her seemingly emotionless face makes it very less obvious if she likes him. Maybe not. Even despite her insults, I can sense that she has hopes for him. Just like the student council girls, she played a vital part in shaping Sugisaki to where he is now today. As for Nakameguro… Thank goodness he didn’t appear much even if he was just restricted to Mafuyu’s fantasies. This dude really exists, right? At least he appeared in the flesh towards the end of the first season.

I don’t remember how much parody the first season had but there were lots of anime trivia for you to spot. For this season, I think it is much lesser. I could be wrong because I may not be paying attention as the trivia slipped by or maybe I just couldn’t recognize the parody when the gang made one with their statement. Nevertheless, the chatter is still amusing especially Sugisaki’s rebuttals and the other silly ideas that come with it. This series has also a good mix of drama and serious moments that touches your heart but of course, the main dish is the jokes from the chatter. Hey! I just remembered something. I remember that cute pose they do back in the first season whenever the meeting is over. But in this season, that group pose is completely unseen! As far as I remember, only Kurimu does it alone on one short occasion but it doesn’t feel satisfying because… It should be done in a group!

Though many of the seiyuus were retained in this sequel, there are a couple of changes as well. Mafuyu’s original seiyuu, Yuki Horinaka has been replaced with Iori Nomizu (Haruna in Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka) and Yuka Saitou who was the voice of Chizuru is now replaced with Mina (Sohara in Sora No Otoshimono). Hmm… Maybe that’s why Mafuyu doesn’t sound as dreamy as before or why Chizuru doesn’t have that sadistic assertiveness in her voice like I remember. Thankfully my favourite Mamiko Noto is still there as Lilicia and rocks in her character. Adding to the line-up of new casts are Madoka Yonezawa as Ringo (Ui in K-ON!), Ami Koshimizu as Asuka (Horo in Spice And Wolf) and Houko Kuwashima as Minase (Tomoyo in Clannad). The opening theme is Precious by the student council quartet girls and somehow I can’t help feel that this song reminds me of Ebiten. A group of girls singing… Well, I saw that series a few months back too. As for the ending theme, there is a new one for every episode. I guess it makes for a good character image CD and sales. They are sung by the girls of this series, sometimes as a group and sometimes as a solo individual. Unfortunately, none of them were memorable enough for me to keep humming in my head.

Another difference that viewers who watched the original TV series may notice is that the art and drawing may slightly differ. Even if you don’t really notice the difference, the characters will remind us all in the beginning as they broke the fourth wall in telling us how a different production studio made this anime. The first season was brought to you by Studio Deen which was responsible for animes like Fate/Stay Night, Fruits Basket, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, Rurouni Kenshin and Ranma 1/2. This time, AIC took over and they gave us Amagami SS, Special A, Seto No Hanayome, Tenchi Muyo and Ebiten. Mmm… Maybe that’s why the characters have that uncanny resemblance to Ebiten. On a trivial note, the mid-intermission seems to be a still picture of the girls in some sports or physical activity. Except perhaps the final episode whereby they all are sleeping on a bench. Tired after all that workout, eh?

I did browse Wikipedia for a while and came to notice that this series has multiple spin-offs usually in the form of manga or light novel. I didn’t really read them (as usual) so I can’t really say but I’m sure what else can they offer about this series than the group of student council members talking? Also, I caught a glimpse that there are a new bunch of girls filling in the student council post and one of them includes Minase. So a new era and harem for Sugisaki? Provided if he still manages to cling on to his post. What are the chances? Of course I am certain he will seeing how popular he is. I won’t be surprised if he has got the most votes and ends up as the student council president in his final third year. Ironically instead of seeing the student council doing something and change the school for the better, we see them changing themselves in the midst of mindless chatter. Wow. If sitting around idly and empty talks really improve people, we should all put down our guns and weapons and started talking instead. Hey… That may be crazy enough to work. Or… It would just have a negative impact on overall productivity. Who pays you to sit around and talk on aimlessly for hours anyway? I want that job too even if I’m an introvert!

Labyrinth Of Flames

April 19, 2013

Is it me or is it just coincidence that when I am surfing the internet randomly at certain occasions, a big majority of the random searching would lead me to discover a very short OVA series. This time, Labyrinth Of Flames caught my attention and despite only having 2 episodes released way back in the year 2000, it was enough for me to develop a little interest to go watch it.

This is why I wanted to try this out. From the synopsis from Animenewsnetwork, the story reads something like this: Meet Galan, a spastic geek who’d do anything to be a real, live samurai. But that’s just an impossible dream. When his Russian princess girlfriend gives him the gift of an ancient sword, strange events unfold and even stranger people drop out of the sky to attack. Now Galan must overcome his ineptitude and join a bunch of beautiful women in a wacky romp through a kingdom that time forgot. Bunch of beautiful women… Wacky romp… I somehow only saw those lines… The only words that caught my eye. Wow. Must go see… If you feel like strangling me for that ridiculous reason, wait till I finish watching the babes, oops, I mean the series first, okay?

Episode 1
Galan loves samurai movies. Probably he got too excited acting out while watching one that he crashed his head into the ceiling. Natsu Aoi has a very annoying ninja servant. Kasumi is always bugging her to do things on her behalf. So irritating to a point that she slams herself against a puddle just for her to walk over. I think she’s a masochist too… Maybe that’s why she is always seen with those hospital drips… Stay clear of this nutcase. Kasumi isn’t thrilled Natsu is going to see Galan at university. She reminds him about her arranged marriage but Natsu doesn’t intend to marry the man her father picked without her consent. Kasumi can have her future husband if she wants. I think Kasumi doesn’t think that’s a bad deal either… After Kasumi annoyingly wants to knock the door on behalf, Natsu is shocked to see the place in mess. It’s Galan and one of his samurai romps, I guess. Seeing that one of his swords is broken, Natsu hands him a short sword. Galan is impressed and promises to take good care of it. But Kasumi wants it back. The girls argue as Natsu invites Galan to come over to her house. He won’t miss this chance since she says her house is filled with all those samurai swords. Natsu leaves with passed out Kasumi and denies about the short sword being scared or has something to do with picking her husband. Well. That just says it. She reminds him to bring this sword when he comes to her house.

Next thing Galan knows, he has to parachute down from an airplane! It’s the only way to reach her house. Seriously. No turning back. Galan makes a bad landing. He just crashed. Thank God he is still alive. They bump into handsome hunk Datenoshin who is Natsu’s arranged future husband (Kasumi can’t seem to annoyingly stop fawning over him). Seems he is here to show a visitor around town. Despite dressing like a sexy cowgirl, American Carrie White is a freelance reporter planning to do a report on Natsu’s town. The gang arrives at Natsu’s little kingdom right smack in the middle of the desert. And everyone greets the princess they love. Natsu is a princess?! Natsu wants Galan and Datenoshin to spar with each other while she goes to look for her father, Shigemitsu. She finds her father in the bath and you can tell he is an idiot who dotes on his daughter because he gropes her ass as a greeting! Thankfully, she’s the kind of girl who doesn’t hesitate to beat up any kind of man who violates her modesty. Including her father. Natsu is pissed off when his girlfriends enter the bath with him, Nastassja and Erola. She knocks him out and brings him away before he can continue to fool around. Galan and Datenoshin show off their pretty cool moves. Galan gets motivation from Carrie’s cheerleading (he saw her pantsu). He is fired up to strike Datenoshin but I guess he jumped too high and got his head stuck in the ceiling. Deja vu?

When he wakes up, he finds himself by the side of Shinka, Natsu’s aunt. She sees the sword with him and is surprised to learn Natsu gave it to him. I can’t believe that jerk tried to kiss her when she puts his face close to him just to examine his face! Anyway he didn’t manage to smooch her. She wants him to take care of the sword and also to look after Natsu. Meanwhile Shigemitsu is pissed to learn Natsu won’t be marrying Datenoshin but Galan. He won’t accept that and reminds her about the sacred weapon of their family heirloom that acts as a marriage’s blessing. That’s why she stole it in the first place. Yup. It’s not in his possession. He still won’t approve this so Natsu leaves. Datenoshin feels he shouldn’t force Natsu into marrying him but Shigemitsu won’t have any of this nonsense and orders him to kill Galan. That night, Kasumi sneaks around in hoping to take erotic shots of Datenoshin with her camera. She bumps into Carrie who is equally suspicious in filming about.

Natsu drops the bombshell to Galan that she wants to marry him. This guy has no chance to free himself. Since he doesn’t hate her, then this settles it. She gives him a kiss. Can’t say no now, eh? After she leaves, Datenoshin disguised in some musketeer outfit appears before Galan and announces he will take his life. Unless he gives him the sword. Galan won’t hand this important gift over since Natsu gave it to him. Datenoshin attacks but Shinka steps in. Datenoshin wants to escape but Shinka won’t allow him. She cuts off his mask to reveal his identity. He runs away but she is hot on his tail. Kasumi and Carrie have also come into the scene and along with Galan they follow Datenoshin and Shinka. Nastassja and Erola are seen doing some ritual. By the time Galan catches up, he sees Shinka’s bloody body on the ground. Carrie notes she is still alive as the wounds aren’t deep but has passed out. Did Datenoshin do this? But the bloody scene has Kasumi shriek in horror and passed out too. Just great. To make things worse, several marionettes drop down and surround them. Make them creepy and dangerously armed marionettes.

Episode 2
Erola is controlling the marionettes with her erotic dance. I guess the only thing it ripped is Shinka’s clothes! For once Kasumi shows she’s not a useless excess baggage. Due to some super drips in her transfusion, she turns into a super fast and powerful ninja like those we expect them to be. See her kick butt! She gives enough time for Galan and Carrie to escape as Nastassja calls it a day. Next morning, Natsu punishes Shigemitsu for putting Datenoshin up to this despite him lying through his teeth that the dude acted on his own. Shinka confirms it wasn’t Datenoshin who attacked. Her assailant was swift so she couldn’t see who. She points out her punishment won’t work on Shigemitsu because he’s enjoying every one bit of it. Masochist… You think Galan is not scared seeing her true form? This is the woman he is going to marry… Meanwhile Datenoshin is hiding in Kasumi’s house. He feels guilty for raising his sword towards Shinka. Kasumi moves in on her plan to seduce him. Big serving of food. Naked apron. You get the idea. However he wants to return to the house to clear his name but Kasumi won’t allow him. Datenoshin panics upon hearing he attacked Shinka. He denies he never hurt her. Carrie reveals her true self to Natsu, Shinka and Shigemitsu. She is an Interpol agent and got a tip that the criminals she is chasing are in this town. Say, don’t they look like Nastassja and Erola? It is them!

Meanwhile Galan falls for the oldest trick in the book when he follows a trail with a bunch of samurai swords. It leads him to a road whereby Nastassja feigns she is being attacked by a gang and needs the aid of Mr Samurai. Yeah. That name sounds good. Till he sees the ‘gang’ contains marionettes. Nastassja uses this distraction to steal his short sword but since it is tightly fasten to his underwear (?!), she couldn’t get a clean getaway. After all that hyped up declaration soul of a samurai, blah, blah, blah, Galan is ready to strike but the marionette got him first. Carrie continues her explanation that the criminals have been stealing treasures in the region to be sold all over the world. Natsu doesn’t believe there is anything that valuable in their house but Shinka mentions the Tokugawa government funds. That is what Carrie suspects they are after. The official story has it that Natsu’s people emigrated from Japan at the end of the feudal era and settled here. But in actual fact, they are to deliver the government funds abroad in a secret mission. The treasures are said to be worth up to thousands of billions. At that time, half of the money was paid to the Czar for the land for the people to leave on. This leaves the other half unaccounted for. Guess where that is? Yup. Somewhere in this country. Natsu is furious daddy never told her anything. It’s a strict family secret that he has reservations about telling her. So it was okay to tell his ‘girlfriends’, Nastassja and Erola? Yeah. Sex appeal won over him anytime. Thus the little sword Natsu gave Galan is supposed to reveal the location of that treasure. Yikes! Better find him now!

Speaking of that devil, here he is fighting the villains on the rooftop. Galan’s honourable words to protect the sword amaze Natsu. He gets fired up to unleash his Gagarin-whatever 1961-whatever move. Unfortunately he misses by a mile. What more, his samurai sword broke. Ultimate depression. Not even Shinka’s slap could snap him out of it. Nastassja captures Natsu and Carrie as hostage. If he wants them back alive, he must give the short sword. I think Natsu is too devastated to even notice that. Natsu calls for Kasumi. Where is that ninja girl when you need her? Oh. She’s chasing Datenoshin. She pretends to trip so that she could sneakily knock him out with an injection. Shinka gives Galan her sword. Then she lectures-cum-motivates him about his duty to save her, the sword constitutes engagement, it symbolizes tribal pride, blah, blah, blah. Can’t understand a word she says, eh? Better give it back. YOU CAN’T! But what fires him up to do his job is that if he is successful, she will give him a samurai licence! Let’s get it over with now, baby! I guess they took too long that Nastassja and Erola are having tea on the rooftop. So are you ready to rock ‘n’ roll? Galan surprises everyone by giving the short sword to Nastassja. However that is just to let her guard down. Before she could take it, Galan snatches it back via his mouth and cuts the hostages loose. I know he only has 2 hands and can only save one of the girls. But he had to save Carrie and let Natsu crash hard… To make things worse, Carrie loves this guy and starts kissing him. Can you blame Natsu for being mad? She beats him up but it was so hard that he swallowed the short sword! Oh dear.

Nastassja will chop off his head and cut his belly in that case. The villainous ladies corner him. Nastassja activates her bird spinning kick (Chun Li?) but Galan counters that with his sword strike and lots of determination to be a true samurai.  As Erola’s flaming spin is heading his way, Natsu tosses him a mini fire extinguisher. That douses the flames and Galan finishes her off. But the ladies aren’t done yet. They summon an army of marionettes to surround the place. However one by one they get blown away by heavy artillery. It is Shigemitsu firing from a tank! In the aftermath, Carrie leaves with the apprehended criminals. Shigemitsu is sad that he would love to get intimate with those boobs… Datenoshin must be crying because he bedded Kasumi… That girl must be on top of the world… This can’t be happening. Oh yes, it is. As for Galan, he is running away as fast as he can not because he doesn’t want to marry Natsu. Rather, Natsu wants to operate his belly to retrieve the short sword! I’m not sure about the samurai licence, but I think he is more likely to get a marriage certificate ;p.

Where’s The Flame? Where’s The Labyrinth?
How misleading. No fire? No maze? I suppose the flames come in the form of Galan’s determination to be a samurai. Yeah, you can see it burning brightly so fiery in the background. I guess the maze part is how he got lost in all this deep conspiracy thingy. No physical labyrinth whatsoever. And about his marriage to Natsu, that is more of an entangled sticky web rather than a maze. He’s now like a hapless fly just moments away from being devoured by the black widow. Haha! Doesn’t it feel like that for Galan?

So for a couple of OVA episodes, I guess everything was pretty okay to me. For a short series by itself, there isn’t anything that would warrant what many anime TV series would do that would make viewers cry for the way it ended halfway and thus the possibility of a sequel. This series is wacky enough to let you in on the main plot, throws you into it and then just ends when everything is solved. Easy. Simple, right? No need for plot over plots, convoluted twist of twists and some master hidden agenda that even Sherlock Holmes would take a week to decipher and think about. No need to crack your brains over anything. You just sit in, watch the couple of episodes and probably forget them once it ends. Nothing that memorable in the long run but you’ll enjoy the randomness in the short run. The treasure part was just probably a distraction to get the series going and for the events to fall into place at least for this OVA.

After reading the summary of what this anime is about, I suppose many would have guessed that part of the reason you want to watch this is the fanservice. Yup. I think that’s your motivation like how being a real samurai is to Galan. The fanservice part is quite overwhelming in the sense that each time a female appears on screen, you can expect her to flash her undies to you. What do you expect when every one of them wears such a short skirt! It is like they are purposely trying to flash to us their panties whenever they bend down or do a high kick. However despite the abundance of panty flashing moves, the OVAs do not have any bare tits to flash to us. So do I feel a little cheated about the beautiful women and wacky romp part? It’s my fault for misinterpreting it in the first place. The art and drawing are from the early 2000’s so it is ‘like that’. I’ve seen much more ‘beautiful’ anime girls in recent animes. Whereas for the wacky romp, they didn’t say anything about a sex romp, didn’t they?

Then there is of course the comedy part. This OVA is really funny in some nonsensical ways partly because of the characters. In the first place it is because the characters are made to be funny, that’s why. You thought Shigemitsu would be the strict traditional father but nooooo. He is some kind of masochist wacko that his libido is the one influencing him to make decisions. To him, sex wins hands down, any time. Galan is pretty funny when he tries to be a samurai and fails badly (his face is funny too when he becomes a little pervy). Natsu is funny when she beats up her father. Can you blame her for his indecency? The lord of his land and he is like the lord of perversion. All that built up anger in her must go somewhere, right? Kasumi is funny because of her perversion. Okay, maybe she is creepy in that sense. As for the action part, I guess they are pretty decent. Nothing really much to shout about since it is just Galan taking on the villainous duo and their marionettes. How much can you expect with Galan swinging his sword and Nastassja and Erola don’t pull off any much variety with their moves either. There’s a wee bit of romance too. Sometimes I feel Natsu’s love for Galan may be just a way to defy her father but if it wasn’t for real, she wouldn’t have kissed him, right? Note, Kasumi’s love for nice guy Datenoshin feels like a creepy obsession. You’re dead if you have this kind of woman as your wife, which I think is happening to him.

So for Galan, his love for samurai could have been a double edged sword to him. Now that he has become Natsu’s future husband, a true samurai has to live up to his words, right? Since the series just ends that way, it is yet to be seen how he will handles it. Or maybe we won’t. It’s up to our imagination. Natsu is pretty much a mix of damsel-in-distress, princess warrior and high school girl in love. Now that she has shown her true violent colours, what are the chances this will be her permanent colour when they get married? Kasumi as said is annoying but at least she didn’t display her irritating character all the time. If only she kicked butt like that. Datenoshin’s role feels so minor that he has been reduced to a joker and somebody important after his failed attack on Galan. It is as though his role after that was just to wrap up his with Kasumi’s. Happily ever after. Not! Here’s another guy who has got a gloomy future in his hands. The short duration of the OVAs don’t do much justice to the characters and you can pretty much guess what kind of character they will turn out to be. Like Carrie isn’t just some busty blonde reporter and she too didn’t feel have much impact in the series just to provide a few fanservice. You can tell Nastassja and Erola are the baddies simply by the way they act are the angles that they are portrayed in.

Most of the seiyuus here I do not recognize (rather, I am not familiar with) with the exception of Yukari Tamura as Kasumi. She still has that cute squeaky trademark voice and is identifiable when she starts her annoying fawning. I find it rather odd that the ending theme is a Russian opera. Tenor Ivan Petrovich Larionov sings Kalinka and if I am not mistaken, I thought the feel of this opera is to motivate the Russian army. In the mean time, you might want to do the Cossack Dance when the tune starts to ramp up. And if you’re not for the song, perhaps you could stay of the fanservice-y pictures of the babes in this series in their undies and very sexy positions. And also thus, the combination of song and fanservice pictures feels like an overall mismatch.

If you are an avid antique collector, you might want to be careful and do lots of research in obtaining something that will have you end up more than you bargained for. Even if you are pretty obsessed in something, sometimes it is not good just to grab your hands just to add something to your collection. Often, the real world isn’t fantasy whereby the young unsuspecting hero gets involved in a deep local conspiracy, powers up and pursues his destiny to free/rescue/save the day. Not many people would want to marry a princess as a reward. Especially one that wouldn’t hesitate to operate and cut open your stomach if you accidentally swallow a family heirloom. Yeah. Money overcomes the power of love in this case…  Thousands of billions… I can understand and see why.

Campione

April 14, 2013

High school Japanese boy as the main lead. So typical and boring. Becomes a God Slayer after defeating a full God. So yesterday. Gains godly powers as a result. Been there, done that. This is the story of the man who has become king of kings and his women surrounding him… Say what? Wow! Count me in. Better check this out! And so… That was how it was decided that I should watch Campione. Please don’t stare at me with those piercing eyes…

So the story isn’t anything extraordinary. Just about our protagonist, Godou Kusanagi whom by fate defeated a God and becomes a Campione. A term that describes mortals who have defeated Heretic Gods that caused havoc (or planning to) at the expense of the locals in the area. While I’m not really interested in the mythologies and some of the Gods that are shown in this anime, I have to admit that I am more interested in his ‘difficulty’ in attracting and keeping the women around him. What to do when you have attained such a status? Call me a pervert if you want to. But I’m sure it is more ‘problematic’ to deal with women than Gods, right? Please don’t stare at me with those piercing eyes now filled with rage and anger…

Episode 1
Godou arrives in Sardinia, Italy trying to return a stone tablet grimoire as requested from his grandpa to an Italian friend. Till he meets blonde bombshell, Erica Blandelli from the Cooper Black Cross who wants him to hand over that grimoire. The standoff is cut short when a large boar deity rampages through the city. Erica goes off to stop the boar with her maid, Arianna Hayama Arialdi. Godou meanwhile encounters a boy. Unknown to him yet, he is the Persian God, Verethragna. Godou didn’t really understand his goal of reviving other Gods and challenging them. Verethragna learns of the grimoire he is holding and lets him keep it. Erica falls off the edge while trying to push back the boar but is caught by Godou. The boar soon disappears. Not without leaving a trail of destruction. Erica explains the disasters Heretic Gods bring and only those with power can see them. Ordinary humans can only explain such destruction as a natural disaster. Godou is determined to finish his mission to send the grimoire back to Lucretia Zola and Erica will accompany him since she can’t turn a blind eye to it. Arriving at Lucretia’s place, the sexy witch asks him if he had met anyone else along the way. Then she lets him keep the grimoire. He came all the way here to return it and now it’s his? What God’s wish he should have it? They stay for the night. Erica gets drunk. He has to help her get to bed. They got locked in the room together thanks to Lucretia. Perhaps she wants to know if Godou had the same ‘talents’ like his grandpa. Morning comes, Erica nearly kills Godou. Did something happen last night while she was asleep in her underwear? It’s natural for her to think that.

Godou gets to live longer when they sense a God passing by: Melqart, the Phoenicians’ king of Gods going into battle. Erica needs to stop Melqart because if she doesn’t stop the strongest God of the Mediterranean, the entire Sardinia island will disappear. Erica and Godou are on their way as Godou remembers Lucretia telling him about the grimoire. Something about Prometheus and its abilities to steal a God’s divine right resides in the grimoire. He was also told that Erica as the prodigy of her organization is facing tremendous pressure to prove her worth and is requested to help her. One of Verethragna’s powers, the Stallion resides in this grimoire and he purposely gave Godou that weapon so as to enjoy the fight. Verethragna and Melqart prepare to face off. You think they would listen to a mere blonde to back down? Godou saves her from a God’s lightning. Godou got the guts to request Melqart to team up with him. Though Melqart views his offer as using him, he allows it since he finds it amusing. Godou forms a barrier to protect them from Verethragna’s lightning attack. Verethragna summons his Golden Sword, a sword that takes away a God’s divinity and reduces him to a mere mortal. Godou has his responsibility to protect the grimoire and won’t run. Erica admires his valour and pecks his cheek as good luck charm. Verethragna begins his strike when Godou uses the grimoire to unleash the Stallion and steal his Golden Sword. Unsure of what to do now, Erica kisses him. Romance right in the middle of a godly battle? Well, as I found out, it is easier to transmit tons of knowledge and history on a subject via kissing. Better then reading up or having someone teach you, right? Yeah. The entire field turns into one with Golden Swords scattered throughout the ground and air.

Episode 2
Godou is in a dream-like state whereby he meets a loli Demigod, Pandora. She confirms he has killed Verethragna and will be reborn as Campione. Even with his new status, he returns to his normal life in Japan. Just one problem, though. Why is Erica lying naked with him on his bed???!!! To make things worse, she’s clinging so close to him that Godou’s sister, Shizuka ‘interrogates’ him about what happened. Erica isn’t helping either since she is twisting the facts and saying ambiguous words. In class as he remembers how Verethragna gave him all his incarnation powers, more trouble is piling up for Godou. Make a guess. Erica becomes a transfer student in his class. Hot babe walks into class and declares love for him. How would this sit with the rest of the loser guys? Not pretty. Later Godou meets fellow classmate, Yuri Mariya and also a fellow from the Committee for the Compilation of True History, Touma Amakasu. They explain to Godou that Yuri is also a shrine priestess and since Godou has become the seventh Campione, they are responsible for establishing contact for individuals relating to magic within Japan. Amakasu also warns him about Erica because she is believed to have alluring eyes that could steal a man’s heart in an instant. In short, her organization might be using her to seduce him and bring Godou to their organization.

So of course Godou confronts Erica about this and since he wants proof, he’ll get it. But he didn’t see this one coming. Why go all the way back to Italy just for that?! While waiting for Erica to show up, Godou is visited by a loli God, Athena. She wants to retake the Snake. Godou’s goal isn’t that nor does he know of any other Campione so Athena takes her leave. Erica introduces Godou to Italy’s representative of the Society of Magicians. Then she draws her sword and forces Godou to fight her so that he can draw out his true strength. When Erica summons her lion, Godou in his reflex summons one of Verethragna’s incarnations, the Bull to hold the lion back with its tremendous strength. While Godou evades the lion’s attacks, Erica explains the avatars Godou possesses though some have conditions that need to be fulfilled before he can fully utilize them. Godou tricks Erica to lure her out into the battlefield so he can summon the Boar and stomp her. I hope he won’t destroy the Coliseum. Erica cautions him he better plan the usage of his avatars because he can only use each once per day. Godou suddenly pins her to the ground and though it wasn’t elegant, she passes him. The representatives are convinced why Erica placed her faith in Godou. They accept him and note how there isn’t much time before Princess Alice’s prophecy of the Starless Night. Since Godou had won, he wants to know Erica’s real motive. She assures him she never acted out of deceit and all decisions are made based on her own convictions. In short, she is truly in love with him. She gives him a Gorgonian medallion.

Episode 3
Now back in Japan, despite Erica being a popular girl (love letters are flooding her shoe box!), she is still cool and she only has eyes for Godou. I don’t know what the other girls’ problems are because they get jealous seeing Erica and Godou together. Hey. It’s not like THEY like him, right? Or do they? But as Erica puts it, she herself alone is enough for his life. How can she understand that one woman is NEVER enough. Later Yuri meets Godou and by the request of Amakasu, asks him if he possesses any divine instruments. He assures after that painful lesson his grandpa made him go through, he didn’t bring another one back. Really? So that Gorgonian medallion Yuri describes must a replicate, no? Damn it’s real! Guess what? This medallion will bring great peril to the world! Yuri lashes out at him for being careless that his actions may affect everything around. Japan might become the focal point of the prophecy. Oh boy. Yuri explains some of the stuffs to Godou and Erica is placing her faith in him. He is after all the king of kings and if the prophecy does come true, only a king can stop it. Yuri uses her magic powers on the medallion and she sees a vision of Athena. Godou and Erica rush to where Athena is. Athena will fight them to retrieve the medallion. She freezes Erica in a barrier and then kisses Godou. Wow. That was a long one. Unfortunately that was the kiss of death. Though he still lives, it renders him unconscious. Erica breaks free from her prison and fights Athena and manages to slightly wound her. It has no effect. Erica traps Athena but the latter flees. Yuri is on her way to seal the Gorgonian when she encounters her old friend, Liliana Kranjcar of the Bronze Black Cross. She wants her to hand over the medallion. Amakasu seals her and takes Yuri away. The Ram brings Godou back to life and he finds himself on Erica’s lap. She needs to impart the knowledge of Athena to him. They may look indecent in public but what choice do they have? Are they willing to risk Athena gain her true form and bring disaster to the world? The choice is obvious. Both parties must be willing if any information is to transfer and fully knowing Athena’s background and history will enable Godou to use his Golden Sword. Here comes the kiss. Use the tongue too! Godou receives information on Athena and among them she was the daughter of Zeus and was the goddess of the snake Medusa. Hurry. Because Athena is moments in reclaiming Gorgonian.

Episode 4
Athena is close to awakening and causes the area to blackout. Anything electrical fails to function. So is this what the prophecy is? Yuri is in the midst of sealing the medallion when she gets a call from Godou. He tells her about one of his Divine Rights. Whenever she needs him, all she has to do is really wish for him to be here and he will come. Soon Athena comes knocking on Yuri’s door. Her barrier didn’t work. Obviously. She’s up against a powerful God. She could’ve been roasted if Liliana hadn’t butt in. Still, the blast is too strong for her to handle but Yuri loses the medallion. Athena transforms to her true form. Yuri wishes so hard for Godou to be here and the next thing she knows, she is in his arms. He’s got the Gale to thank for that. Godou summons his Golden Sword and wants Erica to protect Yuri. Erica kisses him to give him the remaining bits on Athena. In the field of Golden Swords, Godou fights Athena with all the knowledge he’s got. According to what Godou revealed about Athena’s true past, what I understand is that Athena was once the queen of Gods, a rebellion by the male Gods led by Zeus had the myth to be rewritten as Athena becoming Zeus’ daughter and Medusa a monster. Her snake form is mentioned in countless tales over the world as in some cases, she was mentioned as a dragon. Thus her real identity is actually the degraded form of a defeated goddess of Mother Earth and a fallen queen. Athena didn’t like him bringing up her true past as Godou cuts through her divinity. However it wasn’t enough to defeat her as they’re sent back to the real world. Now that Athena has known Godou’s powers from Verethragna, she knows the trump card he will use. As expected, he uses the flaming Stallion but she didn’t expect him to use Erica as a backup because her spear can pierce through her. Athena is reduced to her loli form and wants Godou to finish the job and kill her. But he won’t because his job is to kick her ass and get her to leave. Athena finds him a strange man and leaves. Erica is upset that he ended it this way. The reason she setup everything in Japan was that so no other Campione could interfere and had he killed Athena, he would’ve attained Athena’s powers. We know Godou isn’t that kind of guy. But the big problem now is the huge crater left behind from the final blow!!! Who is going to fix that?! Amakasu is relived that the prophecy is averted but feels it is too easy especially for one that is of Princess Alice’s prophecies.

Episode 5
After defeating another God, it’s back to the romance hijinks that we all love! Erica still sleeps naked next to Godou and wants him to help dress her up. Yuri tries to cook for Godou and Shizuka gives her approval to use her feminine wiles to make Godou hers. Yuri may be the shy type and if she wants to stand a chance with Erica, I think she better be more aggressive. See how Erica has no shame in flirting with Godou in public? Yuri talks to Godou if he trusts Erica. She has saved him several times and has an honest heart. She also learns that Godou once played baseball but gave up during middle school due to some injury. Erica challenges Yuri to a match and naively she took the bait. Poor Godou got involved too. All Yuri needs is to hit her pitch once and she’ll win. Well, already two strike outs. And for the final strike, she thought she really hit it. Instead, her bat hit Godou’s head in addition to Erica’s ball at his crotch. Just painful beyond words. Then lunch… Clearly Erica is dominating the atmosphere…  Erica notices Yuri has no handphone and has Godou help her buy one. It’ll be of great use in times of need (she borrowed Amakasu’s during Athena’s crisis). Buying her one is one thing, teaching her how to use it is another. It must be tiring just trying to get her to record just his name into her handphone, eh? Like a country bumpkin, she’s so happy when she finally did it. When Godou comes home, he gets an unexpected call from Salvatore Doni, the sixth Campione from Italy. He is pretty interested in Godou and considers him his fated rival after their duel (I hope he isn’t gay). Because he wants Godou to become stronger, he tells him about some fearsome old guy who can destroy towns with his power. Oh, he’s in Japan too. Just one sh*t after another, eh? While Yuri is taking a bath, she is kidnapped by Liliana and brought to her master, Sasha Dejanstahl Voban, the old vampire-looking dude who happens to be the first Campione. I guess if you live as long as him, you must be really bored so he wants Yuri to assist him again since 4 years ago Yuri risked her life to complete a ritual and is now his property.

Episode 6
Amakasu informs Godou and Erica that Yuri has been kidnapped by Voban. Yuri tries to turn down serving Voban to summon a rogue God and will take her own life. But after he summons his undead warriors to show her the possibility she will serve him forever with her powers, she uses her powers to see the God he once slew, the Egyptian God Osiris. Voban senses Godou and Erica crashing in so he sends his undead army and golem to fend them off. Of course those small fries are no match for Erica as she slashes her way through and wants Godou to save his powers for Voban. They enter his room and Godou demands he hands Yuri back. If there is a proper compensation he might. Can he find somebody who has the ability to summon a God? Erica boats (or may be even exaggerated) Godou’s relationship with Salvatore and this doesn’t sit well with Voban. Maybe she’s fuelling the fire too when she puts it in a way Salvatore wants Godou to teach this old bastard a lesson. Voban reveals that 4 years ago he summoned a rogue God but Salvatore stole it from him. Now his ‘friend’ has done the same. He feels humiliated but proposes a deal to play a game. They can take Yuri and run how far they want. If they manage to outrun him till daybreak, they win. Yuri thinks they should just hand her over to Voban since she is the only thing wants to perform that ritual. Erica disagrees because that infamous ritual to summon a God sacrificed nearly 30 lives and some suffered severe psychological effects. The only ones emerged unscathed for some reason or by luck are Yuri and Liliana. Now that Godou has decided he is going to take down Voban, you can’t say no to a king. Soon, Voban’s wolves come hunting them and they’re closing in. Arianna drops them at the building of the Committee for the Compilation of True History. They fight and defeat the wolves. Voban makes his appearance and summons the undead warriors, all great knights of history. Godou uses the Stallion but Voban transforms into a werewolf and swallows the horse’s flames. While Erica fights the undead army, Godou takes Yuri away using in lightning speed via his Raptor avatar.

Episode 7
While Erica prepares to face off with Liliana, Godou has injured himself using Raptor but Yuri’s healing magic won’t work since Campione is immune to magic. With the exception of directly injecting into the body. That’s what the kiss is for. Yuri thought she saw a vision of a God that gave Voban his powers in his wolf form when Amakasu interrupts them to tell that Erica is in trouble. She’s still holding her ground against Liliana who blames her for just about everything. Even seducing Godou. Yuri pleads to Liliana to stop lying to herself since she is only furthering Voban’s agenda. She is about to land a strike on Erica when Erica mentions about her embarrassing romance novel she writes. If she promises to be friends, she won’t tell. Killing her won’t do because people will start seeing that novel that is written in her will. Just like that, their fight ends. Too easy. Liliana even defects to join them against Voban. Voban mocks Godou’s attitude as a king because he doesn’t stare down on his enemies. Godou says he has friends he could rely on. Erica kisses him so he can pull out his Golden Sword. Knowing that Voban slew Apollos, his field of Golden Swords strike Voban and his wolves. However he only defeated Voban’s Apollos’ Divine Rights and since he still has others, he continues to stand and summons his undead warriors. Yuri advises Godou to remake his Golden Sword since Apollos and Osiris are similar. However he lacks the knowledge so his Golden Sword couldn’t materialize. I guess there’s no other choice. Yeah. Yuri kisses him for the much needed information. A second round of field of Golden Swords stab all the undead warriors. But Voban is still standing and now summons the weather deities. Voban strikes him with lightning. Since Godou could hear the voices of the people to save them, he is able to use the Goat to fire lightning back. His powers grow stronger when the girls and the undead warriors willingly lend their powers to him. It caused another crater but at least it wasn’t that big. Voban wants to move on to the third round but daybreak is here. Voban gives him this victory and vows he will be back. The undead warriors thank Godou for freeing them. Yuri weakens since one of the conditions of using the Goat is that the life force of others are drawn. Erica gets back at Yuri by kissing Godou as reward.  Let the rivalry begin!

Episode 8
Finally the harem fanservice episode we’ve all been waiting for! Godou is having a tough time with his harem girls in Italy. Even Lucretia wants a piece of him. How did this happen? Erica forced him to come for a summer vacation trip. He made a mistake by contacting Lucretia to hide him till he realized both of them were in cohorts. And innocent Yuri tagged along. Erica even handcuffed him for their boat ride. Once she releases the shackles, he quickly dives and swims away! On shore, he accidentally sees the other girls soaking in the hotspring. He gets ticked off by Yuri for being a big disappointment when her towel comes undone. She should cut down on the admonishing. It’s bad for her skin. That night, Godou sneaks out from Lucretia’s house (I understand why he wants to get away from those women) but comes into Athena. It’s not she has come to see him but he has entered her territory. She tells him he should consider the possibility she is here to avenge his actions. But she felt excited lately and wants to play. Don’t expect anything hentai. She takes him to Napoli. At the same time, Salvatore has entered some ruins in Napoli and despite Liliana’s advice not to do anything rash, he destroys the seal and unleashes a divine beast in the form of a dragon. Nearby, the Heretic God named Perseus gets ready to slay the dragon because it’s his destiny to do so. Liliana sees Perseus slaying the dragon and pleads not to continue because it will cause this land’s vitality to wither as the dragon is born of this land’s energy. Would a God listen to a mortal? No way, Jose. He slashes the dragon but Athena protects it. Technically Athena was Medusa and all dragons and snakes are hers, right? Liliana accuses Godou of bringing Athena here but he says it’s the opposite. Perseus and Athena are about to duel but Godou comes in between. Athena has this idea to train Godou so she lets Perseus fight him. But Liliana takes Godou away so they could come up with a plan to counter Perseus. He hardly knows anything on Perseus. There’s that only way, right? Godou is embarrassed to tell clueless Liliana. But since he mentions Erica’s name, Liliana will do anything and won’t lose out to that b*tch. If she can do it, I can do it too. So can she kiss? Eh… What… Didn’t see that coming, didn’t she? Now her face is so red that you might think she’ an apple. Perseus finds them so Liliana becomes his sword. Of course she is no match. Godou summons the Boar to trample everything. The Boar goes berserk for a moment, not heeding Godou’s orders to stop. Perseus returns and negates Godou’s power and Divine Rights with his sun power. Then he fires his arrow right into his heart.

Episode 9
Though Perseus would like to finish the job, Athena stops him and tells him Godou will revive. It will be more interesting when he does. Perseus agrees to fight again once their wounds are healed. Godou meets Pandora once more but as she is about to give him the all-important hint to defeat Perseus, he comes back to life. Liliana is somewhat upset of the emotional roller coaster ride she went through. He died. She cried. She didn’t know he had this resurrecting power. One refreshing thing you might ‘love’ about this episode is the lack of Erica and the rest. I know she’s still the best but sometimes it required you take a break once in a while. Plus, we get to see Liliana’s unstable emotion as she tries to deal with her feelings for Godou as a king and a boy. Yeah, we’re going to love this alright. Karen Jankulovski is Liliana’s personal maid just like how Arianna is to Erica. And she loves poking fire to see Liliana’s reactions. See those devilish eyes? First, she makes Liliana go crazy by lying about Godou having a wild orgy with Erica and mistress Yuri as well as Lucretia. Going around the world to collect beautiful women? However Liliana herself reluctantly strips to give her body to him despite noting he won’t have her heart. It’s too late when she realized she embarrassed herself. She changes the topic to discuss a way to defeat Perseus. Karen personally talks to Liliana it’s her chance to make Godou her own. Her defection from Voban and failure to contain Salvatore doesn’t sit too well in her records so if she manages to snatch Godou from Erica, it would also give their organization a heads up since Copper Black Cross and Bronze Black Cross are rivals. Godou accidentally finds a novel and reads it. Guess whose romance novel is it? Yeah. Liliana is going to kill him. Then herself. The novel is her way of secretly relieving her stress but now since he has found out, there’s no turning back.

Lucky Godou gets to live longer since Athena pays them a visit. Athena isn’t going to directly tell them how Perseus could negate his power. She shall do that in exchange for a favour. Godou wanted to accept that but Liliana declines on his behalf. Athena leaves the offer open should they change their mind. Godou learns that Liliana turned down the offer because they must be careful in making deals with Heretic Gods. Being rash would seal one’s fate. Liliana has another swing of emotion and starts apologizing on her knees for being rude to a king. She starts crying for all the bad luck that had befallen her so far. In public. When she calms down, Godou thinks it isn’t embarrassing to write a novel and is pretty cool. She took it the wrong way and runs away in embarrassment. As the duo try to research more on Perseus, Liliana’s mind can’t help but wonder into romantic scenes with Godou! Don’t you just love this girl when she flusters? But don’t take it out on the book! Liliana prepares mint tea for Godou and he unknowingly drinks a medicine that temporarily paralyzes his body. This confirms her theory that magic can only indeed work from inside. She tells him that she has considered Athena’s offer and it isn’t a bad deal as long he isn’t the one making it. That’s right. Liliana will make that deal with Athena herself. Suddenly Liliana sees a vision of a God. Athena is surprised she can receive her divination power and ponders if she should allow her to return to Godou. I don’t know why but it looks like Athena is going to yuri rape Liliana! Make that hot yuri rape! Luckily Godou was strong enough to fight against the paralysis effects and wants to make the deal with Athena instead. He’ll beat the crap out of her if he has too but she won’t have enough strength to fight Perseus. Athena lets him know a piece of information in which the God connecting Perseus to the Sun God is the ancestor of his who founded the empire. It means it is not a Greek God. Meanwhile Salvatore ties up Erica and the other girls because he doesn’t want them to interfere with Godou’s growth. Perseus lets Godou know the location of their next battle.

Episode 10
The stage is set whereby Perseus brags to the local (hypnotized) people of his achievements. They all cheer him on. Flashback earlier in the day, Karen still tries to persuade Liliana to kiss Godou since she received divine information from Athena. You know how many books it will take just to tell him? Let’s take the short cut. Liliana wants her first kiss to be with the one meant for her so Karen goes off impersonating what Erica would say to her in this situation. Liliana still has her doubts because Godou has Erica and Yuri so and Karen reminds her about the dark side of humans to steal from others. Liliana talks to Godou about the duties of being a king but Perseus picks them up for their battle. With Salvatore watching from afar, Godou uses his strength to toss pillars but Perseus easily negates them and sends him crashing to another building with an arrow. Godou’s perseverance perhaps finally moved something in Liliana’s heart so she kisses him. But that was just to ease his anxiety. She offers her support and loyalty. For the real deal, she wants him to take the lead in the kiss. Since she wasn’t prepared, I guess a third round is needed. It’s not enough so here is the fourth one! I think she just really wants to kiss him. Liliana flustering… Cute! Godou is able to draw his Golden Sword and the golden field. From what I understand about Perseus’ origin is that because his name means hailing from the east, the Romans mistaken the man coming from there to be their Greek God and thus a new hero was born. So he isn’t the Greek hero but the Roman God, Mithras, deity of the sun. That’s why he is able to negate his powers. Godou only succeeds in breaking Perseus’ bow as he now fights his sword and stabs him. With the right conditions in place, Godou uses the Camel for stamina and incredible leg strength to kick him away.

Because Perseus also slew Medusa, he uses that power to hypnotize Liliana to kill Godou. Can Godou’s words reach Liliana? Perseus gives her his bow to finish off Godou but his voice finally reaches her. She snaps out and fires the arrow at Perseus to wound him. The duo cooperate to corner Perseus and Godou finishes him off with the Boar. Victorious Godou is injured so Liliana is weighing if she should heal him. Magic on the exterior won’t work, right? Yeah. Kissy, kissy. However she waited too long so Athena seizes the chance and gives Godou not one but two kisses! First one to heal him and the second as reward. Liliana, no use crying over spilt milk. Perseus turns up elsewhere heavily wounded but vows to bounce back. Unfortunately Athena cuts off his hand and devours him! Salvatore arrives too late to steal the spoils. Godou is recovering well at Liliana’s side. But he has got a bigger problem to deal with now. Erica and Yuri aren’t happy he ran off to play hero and defeated a God. How did they know this? Karen. But of course. Godou is going to taste their punishment anyway. Because Erica did clearly tell him to only limit his mistress to one (Yuri) and since they kissed (how else would Godou receive the knowledge to defeat a God?), they’re not going to accept his answer of Liliana being his knight because Liliana’s face seemed ‘perverted’ just thinking about it. Don’t worry if he is killed. He’s got an avatar to revive, right?

Episode 11
Finally! The last of Godou’s harem girl has appeared! Yuri’s friend, Ena Seishuuin returns and meets her. Amakasu had told her all about Godou so she knows what’s going on. Even Yuri’s feelings for him despite her denying it. Besides, they Japanese women can’t lose out to their Italian counterparts. Ena has been ordered to be one of Godou’s concubines. She even suggests splitting their duties. Yuri can handle sex and childbearing while Ena does the rest. Is she serious? As for Godou, his problems keep piling up. Now Liliana has transferred to his school because of her fate thingy to protect him as his knight. How would the class react to that? More importantly, how will Shizuka take it all? He went to Italy for a holiday and he comes back with another woman. How do you explain this? Despite Liliana acting like a loyal maid, Erica assures Yuri no matter how much Liliana offers herself, she’ll never get through him since she’s doing this as his knight, he’ll take it at face value. Godou is summoned and meets Ena for the first time at the tea club. She says they’ve been assigned to marry him but not officially. Polygamy isn’t accepted by law, right? But he’s king so he can rewrite the laws anyway if he wants to. But when Godou points out Liliana and Yuri are just his friends, perhaps he just stepped on a landmine. Ena takes this chance to ask Yuri about her feelings for Godou. She’s hesitating. Ena warns to make it clear. If she backs down now, she won’t give her a chance. Otherwise she’ll support her with all she’s got. With Erica coming into the picture, Ena goes off to talk with her about ‘politics’. When it’s over, Liliana and Yuri don’t seem to have the mood to join Godou and want to be alone. But Erica won’t be joining him too because she’s letting Shizuka doing the honours. She is somewhat upset of the potential new girl he will be adding to his harem. How did she know? She’s part of the tea club. Oh. And later in class, Shizuka storms off when Erica butts in to ask Godou out on a date. She’s serious. To stop Liliana from following Godou like a shadow, she blackmails her about her ever-improving novel. I don’t even want to know how she got her manuscript.

Godou has to think of places to take her out or else Erica will be hanging around longer and spewing ambiguous stuff while he waits at the lingerie shop. The outing seems pretty generic like what couples do and go. Except that Erica visited the places he ‘destroyed’ while playing king. Liliana can’t help feel worry but Yuri is cool. Although being labelled as a friend is shocking, it is important to Godou so they trust him. Besides, Erica is the only one who understands Godou best. Godou and Erica’s date ends when Ena enters the fray to square off with Erica in a one on one sword fight. I think it will be a catfight since no men are allowed to interrupt! Hehe. Of course Godou won’t want to see girls fighting (even if he doesn’t realize it’s over him) so he dangerously gets in between them. He could’ve had extra holes in his body. Godou’s earnest words of not wanting to see anybody get hurt interests Ena. But that’s going to stop her. Ena can use divine magic and has a rare ability to channel Godly powers through her body. Godou is suddenly pulled into a wormhole and as speculated by Ena, probably her grandpa pulled him into some intermediate world between life and death. The girls continue their clash as Ena explains that her sword was wielded not by true heroes to fight rogue Gods, but one who would not hesitate to trick the enemy. She reveals her grandpa’s name, Haya Susano Wo No Mikoto and the sword’s name, Ama No Murakumo. But Erica isn’t going to go along with her and jumps into the wormhole. Ena also follows suit. Meanwhile Shizuka must be annoyed but worried about her brother’s whereabouts when suddenly Athena comes crashing down through the ceiling. She’s looking for Godou. Who else?

Episode 12
If Shizuka hasn’t had enough trouble worrying about Godou not returning home and the hole in her ceiling, she’s got to put up with Athena’s ambiguous words that her brother may have just laid her. I know. Shocking. Godou is wandering around the intermediate world when he stumbles upon Susano in a hut. Susano refers himself as retired and no longer a rogue God who was good at hiding and stealing things. Godou is able to get knowledge on his background and thus the materialization of his Golden Sword but Susano shows him Erica clashing with Ena who is clearly being possessed by Ama No Murakumo. Erica is losing badly. Godou wants to go to their aid now but Susano needs to finish a little business first. After Erica heaps praises on Godou, it makes Ena want Godou more so she lets Ama No Murakumo fully possess her and absorbs Erica’s power, weakening her. Yuri sees visions of Godou in the intermediate world and the only way they can get there is via some potion but Liliana doesn’t have it. Amakasu offers to help because he needs Godou back in this world badly. Yup. Something bad is happening. It’s like a dark eclipse has befallen on the entire world. Meanwhile Shizuka hears more ambiguity from Athena and how this loli God tells her she has been burnt and played by Godou. Shizuka is in danger of getting the wrong idea her brother may be a lolicon! When the TV news reports of the strange eclipse phenomenon, Athena disappears. Godou manages to block Ena’s strike before she hits Erica. He summons the field of Golden Swords but because Ena’s body is at her limit, Ama No Murakumo flees. Godou can’t go after her since Erica is badly in need of medical attention. Godou tries to use his imagination power to transfer them away but it looks harder now than he did at first.

Erica’s body won’t heal since it’s being attacked by this astral plane’s air. She wants a last kiss. Godou is not amused by this joke. She puts it in a constructive tone to take care of Yuri and Liliana and also to rely on her uncle Paolo who is the head Copper Black Cross once she is gone. She reiterates she loves him so much, the reason why she cares for him and wanted to stay by his side ever since they met. I guess Godou is not going to allow that. She had to say all that so that he could kiss her without hesitation? Man, that’s the most passionate kiss ever! Godou now blows his top that he has to lose her and won’t accept this screw up reality. So mad this guy is that he gets to meet Verethragna again. He tells Godou if he can’t accept this, just destroy it. He’s going to do just that and takes his power. Godou now has Verethragna’s Youth avatar and is ready to use it on Erica. He wants her to promise to stay by his side even if the world ends or all the Gods become his enemy. I take what I said back earlier on about the first passionate kiss. This one is even more passionate! Yikes! The most passionate kiss ever for a non-hentai series! Looks so hentai. Oh Godou! You’re such a kisser! I don’t know if he bit her lips that it even starts to bleed! Erica receives Godou’s power inside her. She couldn’t have made it sound more ambiguous, couldn’t she? She felt his warmth inside her body as she rubs her tummy. That was good, wasn’t it? Have another go? This one seems gentler, romantic, so true. Liliana and Yuri prepare to open the portal when Athena ambushes them. I’m sure Godou and Erica would love to lie on the sands watching the quietness go by. Yeah, nobody is going to bug them. Too bad Ama No Murakumo returns to finish them off and has transformed into a giant monster. Ena may be trapped within it but she’s free from his mind control. Even so, she’s being carefree and easygoing. Erica fights the monster using Godou’s power as he uses Raptor to free Ena. Ena is grateful he saved her and kisses him. After Erica kills the monster, I’m sure she has lots of things she wants to say. I think that will be tougher… The fight is interrupted when Athena has found them and sends everyone back into the real world. She absorbs Ama No Murakumo but everyone is surprised to see 2 Athenas. What’s going on? Godou realizes the one who absorbed the divine sword is Metis, the other Athena.

Episode 13
Godou knows Metis thanks to Susano. She is Zeus’ first wife and Athena’s mother. Because she is the snake goddess and the goddess of darkness and the underworld, this means she is the true prophecy for the Starless Night. In fact, the world is once more engulfed in total darkness. It will be even darker than this once she regains her true form. That is, it’s game over once Metis swallows Athena. Erica wants Godou to take Athena and run. His powers have not healed yet and they can’t afford to use their trump card yet. His harem will deal with Metis. Amakasu and Arianna drive Godou and Athena to the sacred shrine in Mt Fuji even if it only helps in hiding their presence a little. Along the way, it seems Athena has lost her memories because as explained, Metis has taken it along with her power. Therefore Athena is like an old empty shell of a God. Athena doesn’t even know the meaning of God so Godou explains about the omniscient beings with crazy powers. But once he gets to know them, he feels they are childish like kids and sometimes more humans than humans themselves. So much so he considers them his friends. Erica is on par with Metis and feels very happy that Godou’s power is flowing through her. Despite the other girls chipping in to help, they can’t hold Metis down and are defeated. Metis makes her way to Mt Fuji and flattens the mountain! Oh sh*t! Thankfully Godou and Athena still stand. Godou’s power has restored and he gives Metis a chance to back down for good and return the world to its normal state in exchange he won’t do anything to her. Rejected. I guess he has to do it the hard way. He summons several avatars to fend Metis off but it is futile. Athena got slashed by her scythe and not even the Stallion could burn her power away.

Metis then absorbs Athena and turns into her true form. That’s also when Godou’s harem come into the picture with Yuri starting off first in line the kiss chain to heal him. Next up is Ena. Her kiss enables him to draw knowledge of Metis and summon the field of Golden Swords. Once her scythe which contains Ama No Murakumo is taken away, it’s Liliana’s turn to kiss him for more Godly knowledge to strike her down. From what I understand, Zeus swallowed Metis in fear she would give birth to a son that would surpass him. Athena was born as his daughter identical to Metis and she endured as her father’s loyal daughter. Because of her hatred and desire for vengeance against Zeus, she tries to swallow the heavens Zeus rules and this is the nature behind the Starless Night prophecy. I guess now it’s Erica’s turn to kiss but since he needs no more knowledge on the God, her kiss is of pure love! Borrowing the powers of his harem, Godou strikes the finishing blow but Metis won’t give in easily and fights back his Boar. Then she targets to swallow Athena again. Godou races to her but can’t make it. Athena then awakens and with the Gale, Athena is whisked next to Godou. I suppose his harem didn’t see this one coming: Athena kissing Godou! She’s back. Her memories and powers. Together with Athena, they slash the giant golden scythe across Metis. Light returns to the world and Athena is glad she had lots of fun. She hopes they can meet again and disappears. Godou collapses due to exhaustion. And now Godou’s true challenge comes… How is he going to explain to Shizuka that four, yes four lovely beauties are clinging close to him right in their home. No shame. Got excuse to be with him. Shizuka… So… Pissed… Yeah. Slaying Gods were a much easier task, eh?

Campy One…
So the legend of the God Slayer continues… Another sequel in the near future? I don’t know. If you ask me, I wasn’t really interested in the Gods or the fights but the harem… In that sense it seems a little disappointing. Sure, Godou has got all the girls as introduced but I guess I have myself to blame for expecting high school romantic hijinks rather than Godou discovering and learning how to use his power and fight rogue Gods. Ah well, as long as the guy gets the girls in the end, everything is alright. On the contrary, everything isn’t alright for Godou. If you know what I mean ;p. Despite having decent action, drama, fanservice, harem and some cliche stuffs, I guess this series still passes in my books.

I suppose one of the highlights of the series is the explanations about the origins and tales of certain Gods or heroes. Due to my lack of knowledge in this area, I am not sure whether some of the explanations spun are for real or made up entirely. Take for instance Athena’s case and her actual relationship with the God of Gods, Zeus. I didn’t really do my research this time because I was really put off with it all despite the ‘knowledge’ of the Gods seemed interesting. Maybe I was afraid that I would turn into a mythology freak and spend more of my time trying to learn more about the Gods, which will lead to reading up on many other Gods from other parts of the world. It is going to be a daunting task just to read them all up and to ascertain if what Godou said about them is true. To cut a long story short, I’m lazy. Guilty as charged. I didn’t want such knowledge to ruin the ‘enjoyment’ of the harem factor. I’m not trying to be a God Slayer. A lady killer maybe. Haha! Just joking. There are also some technical stuffs like how a Campione can or cannot receive a God’s power based on the circumstances the God is killed (weakened or cooperation will not bestow the power) or how Campiones age very slowly (in the case of Voban). If I hadn’t read up on these, I would have been further lost and not understand slightly better the actions of the characters and flow of the story. Maybe I should go read up on the Gods too… Nah. Maybe one day. If I remember.

The action sequences are also rather okay but nothing to shout about. Because Godou still has problems trying to control some of his avatars, he is limited to what he can do or else the toll of the pain would be aggravated. He doesn’t really want to end up as a dead hero, wouldn’t he? I went to this site to understand better about his avatars’ abilities. Well, one thing bugs me though. If he needs to use those powers, he has to chant a really long incantation line, doesn’t he? I suppose it’s better than having just 2 or 3 words to avoid mistakenly activating them but I feel that they’re slightly longer. I’m sure the enemy is not going to wait till he finishes his incantation to attack, right? Maybe all that chanting happens in a second. The field of Golden Swords is a magnificent visual to behold but I’m not sure of why Godou has to blab about the knowledge of the Gods he has found out. Other than the fact to explain to us viewers what he has learnt. Maybe words are like swords. Say the right ones and they’ll cut through the God’s divinity like a sharp blade. And if it takes a kiss to transfer all that knowledge, how can Godou say it all with his mouth in those crucial moments? I suppose you don’t need to reveal from head to toe about everything. Just the main points will do. The other girls provide good back up as well whether it is by the sword or magic. So as long as they work and cooperate together, they’ll still be able to take on the baddest of the most baddest or the most rogue God materialized to bring disaster to Earth.

Now that we’re done with that, I can talk about the harem part. Yay! Erica is most likely to be everyone’s favourite for Godou’s number one. She is strong willed, intelligent, independent, passionate and lets nothing stand in her way. So for such a skilful lady to even willingly give herself to Godou, that guy must be one heck of a charmer even if he doesn’t realize it. I get a feeling that it is not his God Slayer status or the King of Kings ranking that made her fall in love with him. It’s his brave and simple righteousness personality that is the main attraction. His heavenly status is just icing to the cake. Even Yuri who was shy and hesitant in the beginning, now had no qualms in declaring that she will not waste any opportunity to be Godou’s main woman. Liliana is the most amusing of the pack in the sense that she really feels like a joker when she had to initially deal about her duty and romance with Godou. We enjoy seeing her go crazy like that, do we? So it’s just a matter of time before we see that inner feelings of hers overtake that duty excuse. Ena made a very late appearance so not much is known about her except that she seems carefree even in times of danger. I think Athena could have been Godou’s fifth one the way she takes an interest in him. Really. How often do you have an anime which features an episode whereby 5 different girls kiss the hero?! Godou isn’t really a normal human now so I guess having the love of a God is like having God’s blessing. So can his other harem girls win over this if Athena becomes serious in being Godou’s woman? I bet Lucretia could be part of his harem too. She’s not that old, isn’t she? She’s also interested in him too. In a way. Having diversity is best. Arianna and Karen would’ve been nice too but I guess they’re better off serving their masters for now. So all that’s left is Shizuka. I’m not sure if his sister has always been strict on him but I guess she’s going to be stricter now that more women are coming into the household. In that case I have only one thing to say to her: If you can’t beat them, join them! Why do I get the feeling that Shizuka may be jealous with the other women surrounding him because she may not be able to get the only attention from her brother. She can still sway him if she puts up that cute onii-chan act. Provided if he has siscon fetish. So you see, if all these women become part of Godou’s harem, he would have them from all ages, young and old. Even eternal ones too.

Since this series is only one season, there are lots of other characters and Gods that Godou have come into contact as the light novel which this anime is based on is still ongoing. You know that I don’t read so if I ever am going to find out more about them or the developments (or any more girls added to his harem), I would sadly have to wait if the sequel gets animated. Even some of the characters appearing in the anime aren’t properly fleshed out like Salvatore. All of a sudden, we know he has some sort of relationship with Godou. There are other Campiones too and though Voban may have appeared as an antagonist in his little arc, we certainly haven’t heard the last of him. Arianna and Karen’s role felt they have little impact on the series. While Karen was simply amusing in trying to ‘trick’ Liliana in stealing Godou as hers, that’s about it. Arianna on the other hand felt like she’s just a personal driver. I suppose with Erica being self sufficient, she doesn’t really need a maid to get in the way. What about Pandora? She appears in Godou’s dream every time he is close to dying. So why the loli getup? Maybe trying to convert him into a lolicon. Haha! Just joking. The question of if Gods are killed, then slowly there won’t be any Gods in the realm anymore at this rate, right? Godou is the seventh Campione and I’m sure there will be more Campiones to come and the previous ones may have slew more than one. As I discover, even if a rogue God is killed, as long as humans still believe in its myth, they will continue to exist.

Fanservice. There are a few but not so much to bombard you in every five minutes. Erica’s lingerie while she slept in her bed after getting drunk, the hotspring vacation, the near Athena-yuri-raping-Liliana scene and the very erotic kissing scene between Godou and Erica are perhaps to divert our attention away from the main stuff for a little while. Just when I thought the hotspring scene was going to be a non-serious one, it ended quickly and the story gets back on track. As the series mainly focuses on the plot of coming up with strategies, tactics or knowledge in trying to fight against the rogue Gods, I guess that is why there is no time for the harem hijinks that some like yours truly anticipated. No time for in-house cat fight too because if you’re not one against a rogue God, you’re as good as dead. Where would the fun be if there are no rivals after that? Thus you don’t really see any sort of physical tussle over Godou to get his attention. Maybe some piercing words here and there (Erica is a pro on this) but that’s just about it. The lack of such isn’t really a bad thing since it doesn’t dilute the value and direction of the storyline and make it cheap. If only there was a balance between them and maybe I would be a little more satisfied. Guess not. On a trivial note, the next episode preview at the end is just a narration but it feels like a grand proclamation to tell Godou to go forth and do his job. Sometimes I wonder if it’s a joke because some decree tells him about the many laughing and love yelling that awaited him and thus to stay indecisive. And another one that tells him to go forth and follow his lust because it’s the beach, the hotspring and swimsuits. He doesn’t need to emphasize on the hotspring twice. We get it.

For the voice acting department, it seems recently Youko Hikasa is beginning to voice more strong willed and independent ladies. As Erica here, it reminds me of her other anime roles like Rias in High School DxD, Brioche in Dog Days and Lynn from Mouretsu Pirates. Kana Hanazawa as Yuri puts up her cutie voice mode like Nadeshiko in Bakemonogatari and Shiemi in Ao No Exorcist. At first I couldn’t recognize Eri Kitamura as Liliana. But once she starts flustering like a teenager in love, her trademark voice becomes more familiar like how I recognize her as Kotone in Softenni, Eve in Needless and Rin in Kodomo No Jikan. Yui Ogura as Athena once more made me stereotype her voice as someone who is suitable in playing loli characters like Alice in Kami-sama No Memochou, Hinata in Ro-Kyu-Bu and Kuroe in Cube x Cursed x Curious. Only difference is that she sounds more ominous and lacks more emotions in her character. Other casts include Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Godou (Kirito in Sword Art Online), Yuka Saitou as Ena (Chizuru in Seitokai No Ichizon), Takuya Eguchi as Salvatore (Yoshiharu in Oda Nobuna No Yabou), Atsuko Tanaka as Lucretia (Hisahide in Sengoku Collection), Sachika Misawa as Arianna (Cafe in Yumeiro Patissiere), Shinobu Matsumoto as Amakasu (Galdarblog in Dakara Boku Wa H Ga Dekinai), Junko Minagawa as Verethragna (Ryouma in Prince Of Tennis), Nobutoshi Canna as Perseus (Makoto Waltz Segai in Guilty Crown), Unshou Ishizuka as Voban (Bunta in Initial D), Kaori Ishihara as Metis (Kanna in Ano Natsu De Matteru), Rina Hidaka as Shizuka (Last Order in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Kanami Satou as Karen (Sumika Inaba in K) and Yuiko Tatsumi as Pandora (Riko in KissxSis). Both the opening and ending themes are rock based, Brave Blade by Megu Sakuragawa and Raise by Yui Ogura respectively. Maybe it’s just me because I find the ending song to be somewhat a little ‘fast’. Maybe it’s because of some of the lines she sings. Though it doesn’t sound like she is rapping but it’s to a point that it sounds a little funny.

So there you have it, a guy who almost had everything and yet isn’t really everything he wanted. He’s got the power, he’s got the status, he’s got the girls. But being a God Slayer isn’t perfect. The downside is his harem girls. As for now it may seem they’re having a peaceful truce and aren’t really at war against each other for him. When that happens, I guess heaven will fall and hell will freezes over. That’s like the end of the world, right? Not even a God Slayer could stop them. That’s why if I ever wanted a harem of my own, I would rather just get them playing those dating simulation games. Slaying Gods seems to be too much work. Unless it becomes a trend to impress chicks.

Let me get this straight. I do not have nurse fetishes and thus it is not the reason why I watch Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte. I heard this was a slapstick comedy so that’s why I jumped into watching this OVA series, which is supposed to be a spin-off from the anime Soul Taker. Although I didn’t watch that anime, I read it had a darker and grimmer storyline and that there are horror and supernatural elements in it. But that’s another story. For now, let’s see how this cute little cosplaying nurse can make me laugh till I hurt my stomach. Oops.

The plot: It is said that the nastiest virus, Ungrar escaped from Vaccine World to Earth. Maya, the goddess of Vaccine World ordered Mugimaru to capture it. Since people from Vaccine World can’t use magic on Earth, Maya made a magic wand for a human to use to help catch Ungrar and entrusted it to Mugimaru. On Earth, Mugimaru happened to bump into Komugi Nakahara and sought her help. But she was so fascinated by the magical cosplay and jumped at the thought of accepting the job without considering its consequences. And thus this is how Nurse Witch Komugi-chan came to be. WTF. Sounds like the world will be in serious health danger with this kid as the heroine. Praying for a miracle would be a much better alternative.

Episode 1
We are in an intense car chase scene in which Komugi, loli Runa Tokisaka along with Kyousuke Date and Asuka Sakurai are getting away from the baddies. Turns out to be an acting scene and Komugi forgot her lines. Cut! During the break, we see Komugi and Runa not liking each other very much. The rivalry intensifies when hot guy Kyousuke comes by. Yeah, Runa playing that onii-chan character very well to steal him away from Komugi. But in the end, the retake of the movie is no good. Komugi is being reprimanded by her agency president, Yui Kirihara for screwing up and the producers called and won’t be using their agency again. Komugi’s manager, Shiro Mibu hopes Yui can forgive her since she is sorry. Yui also doesn’t want to scold her much since she is a cosplay idol and thought through acting, this would level her up. Komugi is also in intense rivalry with gravure idol, Megumi Akiba. Let’s say from the way they insult each other’s breasts, they hate each other. Yui is about to blow her top so the others run away as though she’s going to explode. Thankfully she didn’t. I’m sure I understand the tough time she is having with all the goons around. Feel like wanting to quit, eh? Komugi is late for school the next day due to oversleeping. During recess, she talks with her friend, Koyori Kokubunji about classmate Kaneda who has been absent for a few days. Although Kaneda was an otaku, he helped her used a computer to setup her own homepage (Koyori is also a cosplayer and model). Komugi had Shiro did hers. She then learns for next week’s Akiba Fair, Koyori will be there modelling with Kyousuke to present a new computer notebook. How envious (see Komugi drool like mad). Speaking of Kaneda, he is locked up in his room glued to his computer screen while incessantly typing away.

At Akiba Fair, Komugi is pissed that she is made to wear a computer costume by Shiro. As always, eternal rival Megumi is there too and she’s flaunting her assets since she is the model for Toshiba alongside Koyori. While the Toshiba models are being photographed, Komugi is being bullied by the kids! During the break, Koyori is in the dressing room when she transforms into the evil Magical Maid Koyori! Kaneda has reached his limit so he turns into some ghostly virus to run havoc at the fair with Koyori charging it up to a giant chibi cat. Huh? Mugimaru detects a virus and has Komugi transform into a magical nurse witch. The giant is turning everyone into chibi cats or onigiri who only want to party. It is also being perverted grabbing the models with its tentacles. Komugi spots a plug on the giant’s ass and cuts it to turn everything back to normal. Noticing the virus escaping, she follows it and it leads her back to Kaneda’s home. I’m sure his mother won’t want to let this freaky nurse cosplayer in so Komugi had to persuade her she is Kaneda’s classmate. Kaneda seems to be ignoring Komugi and continues to type away. Till Komugi hears him plead for help. The virus is controlling him and he can’t quit typing. Komugi uses her magic to blast the virus out of Kaneda and Mugimaru captures the virus in his syringe. On the way back, Komugi remembers she has forgotten about her work. To her dismay, the fair is already over and cleaned up. But Shiro isn’t happy. Because Komugi ran off somewhere, he is forced to wear the computer costume. It is made worse when Komugi starts snickering at how cute he looks. She’s going to get it… Koyori notes her failure this time but the next time it won’t.

Episode 2
Komugi is commanding a legion of hardcore fans and increasingly getting popular since she is doing a concert that debuts her new song. Komugi is in a handshake session and you can see all the weirdoes that greet her. A doujinshi, Inaba gives her a doujin as present and tells her he will be drawing a new one for the upcoming Comiket. Koyori the evil maid laments her schemes have always been thwarted by Komugi when she sees a flyer for the Comiket. An evil plan is brewing… Back at the agency, Yui assigns Komugi for the Comiket. Once more, another round of insults between Komugi and Megumi. It got so intense that Yui had to blow her top this time. Runa is calmly drinking tea on the rooftop and feels sorry for Yui for having goons around her. She then takes out her frustration by beating up a Komugi doll. Feels good, no? Inaba is about to start his manuscript when Koyori barges in and hypnotizes him with magic that makes him unable to stop drawing. At Comiket, Komugi meets Kyousuke but is disheartened when Megumi ‘steals’ him away. They are here for a drama shoot. But Komugi gets the last laugh when she learns Megumi is just playing a corpse. As Comiket begins, Inaba starts selling his doujin and evil Koyori weaves her magic to turn everyone violent. They’re punching! They’re destroying! They’re just… So mean! Komugi is under careful surveillance of Shiro to avoid her going off again the last time. But when he is being called by a staff, naughty Komugi slips out. She sees the violence inside Comiket when Mugimaru detects the presence of a virus.

She transforms and comes face to face for the first time with evil Koyori. She thinks she is another cosplay idol… Koyori takes the liberty to explain herself. I’m sure Komugi and Mugimaru must be so bored and uninterested in listening to that ranting despite being fast forward. I wonder how long has she been blabbing. Not listening at all! Because all the otakus start taking photos of Koyori, Komugi feels jealous and won’t lose out. Soon, it turns into a battle of cosplaying poses. WTF. I guess the only winners are the fans… At the end of the session, Koyori uses her magic to turn the entire hall into one big robot. Unbelievable. She starts smashing while Komugi can only run. Then she sees an old airplane, gets inside and transforms it into G-Force parody! She even had clone comrades for the part! Where the hell did they come from? Unfortunately everybody is such a dimwit that when Komugi fires the missile, it goes back chasing them or malfunctions and explodes inside the ship. I’m sure Mugimaru is tired of making comebacks. Useless girls… Since the plane is on fire, the only way left is to do a suicide crash into Koyori and the giant robot! Yeah. Without even doing anything and ignoring her for that duration, she gets defeated. Life is so unfair. Maybe better luck next time. In the end, Komugi uses her magic to restore everything back to normal. Everything is fixed back to normal and everyone wakes up like as though none of the mayhem happened. Comiket ends and as Komugi returns, Shiro confronts her and is mad that she pulled off that runaway stunt again. He’s angry for real. She’s going to get it… Meanwhile the real Koyori is hanging on the edge of some building with no memories of her evil self. How did she get there?

Episode 2.5
This special came out after the series ended. Due to circumstances, Asuka is transferred o Yui’s agency. Komugi is in an idol event called Dream Studio 2003 with Koyori’s crew. So many fans. So tired. That’s what Komugi is. But she has energy to argue with Megumi about boobs and all. Then Runa coolly tells them if they keep this up, they won’t get paid. She demonstrates how she uses her onii-chan charm to get the guys to order more food! I think they will even eat her if she’s on the menu. This sparks another round of rivalry between Komugi and Megumi to outdo each other. Well, at least the fans are happy. Soon Komugi hears nearby Kyousuke is promoting his new music video called Reverse. Wow. A full length video lasting 4.5 minutes! Did you enjoy that Komugi? Now you got to explain yourself to Shiro and Yui for slacking off. See the fiery aura? This shows how deep sh*t she is in. Yui wishes she had such fanatic fans too but Shiro cautions they’re just small fries. Then they come into Richard, the manager for Kyousuke. Seems there is bad vibes between them as Komugi sensed. Shiro tells her when Yui was still an idol, she was rejected by Richard. She also loved him. It became a racket since the media loves this kind of stuff. Without Richard’s consent, Yui announced publicly her love for him. In ‘retaliation’, Richard also without Yui’s consent announced his engagement to Yui’s manager. Because of the scandal, Yui had to quit being an idol at the tender age of 19. So there goes her dream and the media wrote tons of articles on her ‘stupidity’.

Komugi also dreams of wanting a mature relationship and this is a cue for Komugi’s own music video! Despite the cute song, its lyrics are mostly about hating her boyfriend and not wanting to see him again! Love is sure a hard thing. Stop daydreaming and get back to work! Back home, Komugi is taking a bath with Koyori. Though Komugi notes the place was filled with Koyori fans, Koyori also thinks Komugi has her own fans. Yeah. All those weirdoes. Koyori thinks she heard something on the rooftop but Komugi brushes it off and is going to grab those ‘fallen meteorites’. The splashing bath fun proceeds without Mugimaru’s perversion because he is being tied outside to a pole. Deep in the night, Koyori awakens the evil maid and will go spread Ungrar’s evil virus around the world. I guess she should go easy on her maniacal laughter because it’s causing uneasiness for sleeping Komugi. I guess this sets another cue for another music video. This time a duet between Komugi and Koyori but despite having a pinch of samba beat, the lyrics… Insulting each other as idols. Is that the best they do? Maybe the best and the only thing they can do! Oh, the clips of the video are all recycled scenes from all over the series. Trying to cut cost, eh?

Episode 3
Mugimaru is shocked that Komugi woke up for the first time on her own!!! Like snow in summer? Has she grown up mature? But can’t say anything about her flat chest, eh? On her way to school, she happens to see Koyori and goes over to meet her. However she didn’t see a truck coming her way. OMG! She died?! Or this is just a dream? But… 49 days later… Komugi really died again for real! Her friends are at her grave, saddened with her death. Even Shiro can quip this unbelievable line: I can’t believe she would die even if we killed her! It’s a sombre affair! Komugi can be seen hanging around them as a ghost and is pretty much bored to death. Oh. She’s already dead. Just when she thought everyone is sympathetic over her death, suddenly everyone gets over it and insult her! Even death can’t cure her stupidity?! I’m sure Komugi wanted to give them a good whack but as a ghost, she can’t touch anything. Worse, all the ‘confessions’ come out since she’s not longer around. Like how Shiro secretly used to take money from her wallet and now that she is gone, he doesn’t need to repay her! Even Mugimaru has gotten over her death and goes off to find a new magical nurse. Komugi isn’t going to go over to the new side quietly as she’s going to get her revenge on those idiots. She turns Megumi’s photo shoot into ghost pictures, haunt the set at Runa’s filming and tries to pull Asuka’s legs while she’s swimming! Yui is busy with incoming calls of the ghost pictures and haunting. Meanwhile evil Koyori is bored that the flat chest magical nurse hasn’t showed up when she chances upon a group of delinquents greeting each other. Here comes another evil plan…

The ghost pictures turn out to be a blessing since the people love them! So the gang take a work-cum-vacation job at the beach and hotspring. Looks like Komugi’s revenge backfired. Kyousuke is also there shooting a movie and I think he is the only one who is genuinely saddened of Komugi’s demise. It feels lonely even without her though he sometimes feels she’s close by (closer than you think). Suddenly Kyousuke gets slightly injured by the passing delinquent parade led by Koyori. She also turns everyone in a vehicle into a mean vehicle machine. Komugi felt helpless and sheds a tear or two. Suddenly she is transported to Vaccine World and meets Maya. She is touched by her pure desire to save others and gives her swallow some ball to bring her back to life. Even Mugimaru is happy to see her and he still recognizes her with that trademark ‘washboard’. Hah… I guess he found no replacement for her. Good news: She’s back to life. Bad news: Due to her ‘grand entry’, she got run over by Koyori’s vehicle parade. Dead once more. Yeah. Didn’t expect to see her back so soon, eh? Since Komugi didn’t learn from her previous lesson, the same process keeps repeating. She returns back to life via some anime parody but gets run over. Killed. Back to Maya. Finally she’s down to her last ball. Better treasure your last life. Komugi now returns in a Speed Racer parody. Koyori transforms all the vehicles into one big giant ultra robot. Komugi seems like she’s going to do some suicide move but I guess the engine died on her. Yup. She died again. Maya is at a lost on what to do. Yeah, yeah. Now Komugi gets to choose between a gold, silver or poisonous syringe. She chooses the poisonous one and though the jab hurts, she returns back to life as a more powerful magical nurse. Mugimaru is bloody surprised he is turned into a vehicle and even used as a missile! Too bad he exploded into fireworks. Koyori thought she could enjoy the little fireworks when she accidentally sits on a self destruct button. I don’t even know how it got there. The robot self destructs so Koyori thinks of doing some training. In India. Wow. Things solve itself without the stupid heroine nurse and stupid villain maid doing anything. In the aftermath when everything returns to normal, Komugi happily returns to her production team. But they think they’ve been overworking to see a ghost and quickly scram! And I don’t think Komugi really did learn her lesson about the value of life. And Mugimaru is pissed he is somewhat ‘dead’! Do something-mugi!

Episode 4
Komugi is now into masked wrestling to appeal to new fans. However as you can tell that one fighting in the ring isn’t her. See those humongous boobs… She gets lots of fan letters, much to Megumi and Runa’s envy. Then Shiro breaks the good news. Her wrestling stint is going to get an anime adaptation. At the anime studio house, Komugi learns that one of her otaku fans, Gotou is going to make her show. Meeting with the rest of the staff, Komugi beats up a perverted guy when he fondles her flat chest. Till she learns he is Satorou Akahori AKA Pori. The original writer for her show and he is so rich from the royalties, he can buy an entire building. However since he hasn’t come up with the script yet, Nabeshin the director quits. Pori makes Komugi the main character and the director as well. He guarantees this will be a smash hit! So first, he takes her out to sleazy places like the bar. Yeah, he’s teaching her the wrong stuff with all the money he can splash. Even how to take advantage of people, make loads of money from anime merchandise and events and even blame it on others when it goes wrong! Oh dear. Komugi seems to be absorbed into getting rich. So we don’t blame her in dreaming big but she’s going around imposing her own opinions to the staffs on what is to be done while they’re working. After all that promoting event, Gotou relays the bad news that the producer missed his flight and won’t be able to make it for the opening event. Do not fear. Komugi will handle it. Yeah. She literally handles everything from drawing, colouring, background checks and voice acting. She’s good at making things worse as they are. Congrats. And when everybody is rushing to meet the deadline, here Komugi is. Sleeping like a baby. Meanwhile evil Koyori has returned from her harsh (ridiculous, that is) training from India and can’t wait to show off the results to Komugi. Where the hell did she get the walrus she’s riding on from?

On the day of Muscle Cutie Komugi-tan’s debut, Koyori drops in and turns everyone into… Uhm… Plain looking people. Not to mention, violent plain looking people. Komugi isn’t happy her show is being hijacked. She transforms and is going to stop her but finds herself transported inside the anime. Mugimaru has such muscular body… Koyori shows off her training result: Her racoon mascot, Posokichi now can speak words! WTF?! Not impressed damn it! In a tag team wrestling match, Komugi faces the multi-face goddess. Because it has faces of the girls from her agency, Komugi can’t land a hit when it is Asuka’s face and the soonest she lets her guard down, Megumi and Runa take over and beat her up. Eventually Komugi finds her weakness and strips off her bra. Koyori tags the goddess while Gotou tags Komugi. However the otaku dude lost when he couldn’t resist Koyori’s boobs. Both sides tag out with Posokichi facing off Mugimaru. The fighting got so intense that they ‘become the stars’. Now it’s up to Komugi and Koyori. The girls’ battle is also intense so much so they are brought back to the real world. Summoning their anime power, they uproot monuments and structures to whack each other. Such destruction… As they are about to unleash their awesome power, they become sketches. What happened? As Gotou puts it, they couldn’t meet the deadline. And the mother of all rip-offs, everything is cut right till the end as we see Koyori being defeated and send flying away. Komugi uses her magic to revert all the destruction back to normal. So when it’s time to resume her debut, the tape turns out empty because her magic restarted everything. That’s the least of her problems because Pori has gone missing (perhaps even running away with the money) and thousands of angry fans want their money back! Tsk, tsk. How far she’s fallen. Broke and with no penny to her name, her problem is compounded when her agency colleagues are going to get her for this farce and screw up. So people remember. Making money isn’t easy :). And goody Koyori doesn’t know how she ended up within a pod of walruses.

Episode 5
Koyori loses her match with a magical teacher, Kim Nicholas Fidel Muammar Tikriti Adolf de Komachi (notice she has names of dictators?). Or you can call her Komachi for short. Komachi realizes she is late for class and returns. But her class is a large stadium as her students welcome her. Is this really a class or some grand speech event? Meanwhile Komugi is at the dilapidated and abandoned building of her agency office. She is sad to be all alone. Mugimaru then brings her to a snack bar whereby it is a secret operation base to counter Ungrar’s plans to conquer Earth, Magical Nurse Station manned by Maya and Mugimaru. Lame name… It seems recently people all over Japan have gone missing. Maya has footage to show that it is not Ungrar but invaders who are taking them away. Maya has Komugi launch right away. I think she can make do without all those unnecessary procedures and approvals. And after all that grand scenes, turns out Komugi launches with a kiddie’s bicycle. What letdown. After journeying for who knows how long, they end up outside a large Komachi statue that leads them to a secret door where they meet Komachi who thinks they’re transfer students. Komachi puts a sell on them and the next thing Komugi knows, she’s in a high school setting with her friends as classmates. The story builds up to a point whereby her crush Kyousuke confesses to her. It’s going to get ecchi to since he is undressing her! But the dead giveaway is when Kyousuke says he loves her flat chest. Komugi knows the real Kyousuke will never say that and snaps out of Komachi’s brainwash. They’re in the middle of the stadium where every missing person in Japan has become Komachi’s students. Komachi calls upon the class rep to settle this: Kyousuke. OMG! Kyousuke slaps Komugi! She can’t retaliate as she won’t hurt him. So get zap lah! Then she confesses she likes him and with some other mushy stuff, Kyousuke snaps out from the brainwash but falls unconscious. Komugi thinks it’s a good opportunity to wake the prince with a kiss but it seems Maya steals the scene and kisses him first! Time to revert everything back to normal. See how unmotivated Komugi is?

With everyone back to normal and Maya leading everyone to evacuation, it is the final face off with Komachi. It’s going to be a 3 way fight too since Koyori is back. Komachi turns into her true loli form and explains she is from some planet and was given some glasses to become a busty magical teacher (because she wanted to be a teacher). Despite her loli outlook, she cautions she is strongest in this form. Her chalk turns drawing into real. She’s materializing an army of octopus henchmen. Koyori agrees to hold a truce with Komugi and fight together against Komachi. However both get the same idea to run away and leave it to the other! How disappointing. I guess this teaches us not to expect much from them. But once when Komachi runs out of chalk, the duo make a u-turn and defeat the minions with their magic. Yeah, claiming all the credits aren’t they? Komachi turns the statue into a destructive giant. It burns half of the planet?! OH SH*T!!! In retaliation, Komugi and Koyori combine their Magical Defence Force and turn famous Japanese monuments into menacing looking machines or weapons (some of course are useless and ‘waste of money’). Now the duo turn into evil big bullies taking it out on the poor loli! So much so they destroy the balance of the planet and split the moon in half! FREAKING SH*T!!! In the end, Koyori spanks Komachi and the latter promises not to do it again. The trio use their magic to fix Earth back to normal. They see off Komachi who vows to become the best teacher in the universe. Koyori will put off their match to another day, making excuse that Komugi seems exhausted. I guess they don’t look tired because they’ve so much energy arguing. Life returns to normal for everybody including Komugi and Koyori’s continued rivalry. One night Komugi gets a surprise visit from Komachi. She’s back and since she wanted to become a respectable teacher, she decided to study on Earth. Komugi, I don’t think this is a joke. Oh, she forgot to fix the moon!

Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte Z

How can you end things yet when the fight between Komugi and Koyori hasn’t been settled? What more, Ungrar hasn’t been found and sent back to Vaccine World too. Thus, a couple of years later, perhaps an excuse to come up with another couple of OVA episodes called Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte Z to finish things off. Well, all good things and slapstick comedies must come to an end one day.

Episode 1
Even during a live pool event, Komugi and Megumi can end up quarrelling. Oops… There goes Megumi’s top! It’s no surprise that Yui blows her top. Another round of scolding. Sorry won’t do. Shiro hopes she can forgive them since their ratings went up. Yui is concerned because it affects their activities from now on and there’ll be lots of shady job offers for them. She hopes for tomorrows film shoot at Osaka they won’t cause much ruckus. Guess what? The duo start blaming each other as long as the other doesn’t screw up. It descends into a full blown insult. Here comes Yui’s explosion again… Asuka, Kyousuke and Koyori are in a movie shoot in Osaka but something is bugging Asuka that she is screwing up her easy lines. After the shoot, they meet up with Shiro, Megumi and Komugi. They decide to go out together but the person whom Komugi wanted to be with can’t join them because he’s got a busy schedule. So Shiro takes the girls tour around Osaka. Asuka is clearly troubled. Seems she dislikes Osaka. Even they can see right through her but she lies that she’s just not feeling well. Back in her room, Asuka regrets lying to her friends when evil maid Koyori pops up and uses her negative emotions to spawn viruses. Next morning, Asuka and Megumi are dressed in heavy, bulky and hot mascot costumes. It’s amazing they still have the energy to get at each other’s throat. Just annoying. Similarly, Koyori activates the virus and this means Asuka who is in the middle of a movie scene suddenly starts badmouthing Osaka with lots of passion! Shocking! Then she collapses and Koyori uses all the negative energy to transform the locals into, erm, I think they’re Osaka mascots.

Mugimaru detects a virus and so Komugi transforms into a magical witch. She is about to face off with Koyori but the latter sends in her army of drummer clowns and other Osaka mascots to surround her. Komugi takes a beating since Mugimaru tells her she can’t hurt those people under the control of the virus. But she loses her patience and becomes evil instead, slapping them all into the river! So the evil maid is going to punish her for not having a heroine’s sense of justice by turning a clown into a giant. It easily sends Komugi flying away. Koyori is so happy of her victory that she thinks she’ll take over and be the star of this show. But Komugi isn’t going to give up yet. Yeah. See that evil glint in her eyes? She’s going to fight fire with fire. That means, she enlarges some marathon runner poster to fight the clown. In the end she wins and Koyori is once more unceremoniously defeated. Such inadequate conclusion. But Asuka is still influenced by the virus and is going to destroy Osaka. You know what? Komugi thinks of killing her off so she can replace her and star as the heroine alongside Kyousuke! Evil! Mugimaru squashes that thought because of her lousy acting. Eventually Komugi uses her magic to cleanse Asuka and restore order to Osaka. In the aftermath, everybody celebrates to the end of the filming in Osaka. Even Kyousuke and Yui are there to join the crew. Asuka is glad she has gotten to like Osaka. Even such a happy occasion ends in an unhappy way for Komugi. She ate too much that she needs to be wheeled away in an ambulance! Perhaps Mugimaru is right. She is the world’s greediest person. That’s so Komugi for you. Now I guess she gave us a whole new meaning to eat till you drop. Lastly, Runa curses her colleagues for acting like they have forgotten about her. Yeah, she is still bumming atop her agency office’s rooftop. But still… She laments she really wanted to go to Osaka…

Episode 2
It is narrated that Ungrar is actually the evil personality of Maya that escaped. Because Koyori had no evil personality, it is easy to hide inside her. I guess this also explains why Koyori and Maya had the same voice, eh? Komugi and Koyori continue their normal school life. But as we see each time Koyori gets into a pinch or Komugi wishes bad about her, Komugi gets divine retribution. For example when Koyori gets splashed by water, Komugi will subsequently be dumped with mud. Serves her right. One rainy day after school, Koyori transforms into the evil maid and as stated this is Ungrar taking over her body. Since this is the last episode, she has got to make it work and win this battle. Komugi is sleeping in the bath and could’ve had a cosy sleep if Maya had not popped out from the tub. She tells her since people have been feeling sick lately, this means Vaccine World is in deficit and Komugi’s power is also reduced. Meaning? She has only one more chance to transform and capture Ungrar. WTF. So what? Failure to do so means she’ll turn into a 99 year old wrinkly grandma! Better not mess up! Komugi is in another handshaking event with another set of weird fans (I think I’ll skip the usual spat with Megumi). As she takes a break in the room, Kyousuke surprisingly pays her a visit. He shows her a series of clips containing Komugi the magical nurse witch! Is her cover blown? He thinks it’s a street performer and since she resembles so much like Komugi, he thinks how similar they are. At the same time Koyori uses the net to spread her virus and sends everyone looking at the monitor unconscious. That includes Kyousuke. Mugimaru detects the biggest virus ever. Komugi wants to transform but was stopped by Maya that this will be her last chance. Komugi doesn’t care if she goes to hell just to save Kyousuke and transforms. She seals Kyousuke’s laptop and he wakes up. Now that he has seen her, she thinks he will hate her but he disagrees and is just surprised. No time for drama because everybody is going violent and crazy. Even the monuments and buildings are going on a rampage! Komugi is going to save the day but stops short of confessing her love to Kyousuke despite admitting he has always been nice to her. She just says she loves the entire world (really?), thanks him for everything and goes off to fight.

Net viruses fall from the sky and trap Komugi. Koyori combines the monuments into a hideous monster. Mugimaru wanted to excuse himself to the toilet but Komugi uses him as a baseball and hits a homerun. No effect on the monster. But Komugi doesn’t need to lift a finger in destroying the net viruses because just like in a certain game, when 3 of the same colour viruses match, they disappear! Now that’s taken care of, it’s the final face off with Koyori. But Koyori has a trick up her sleeve. She traps Komugi in a hexagram and is going to transfer to Komugi as the new host. She reveals the energy of the viruses she deleted will go to Ungrar. The human world’s health is transformed into chaos energy on the internet (the reason Vaccine World is in deficit). As Koyori starts the transfer, Komugi gradually gets tainted but hears Kyousuke’s voice. She apologizes she couldn’t save the world and remembers all the fun events she had with her fans. She drops Kyousuke’s laptop and this allows everyone in the world to see what’s going on. Komugi didn’t like how this is going. Her fans didn’t like how this is turning out. With the power of everybody’s moe, Komugi breaks free from the chaos field and gets her power back (the chaos energy that was scattered over the internet was collected into energy for Komugi). Even Posokichi surrenders! Behold the power of moe! She is about to capture Koyori but Maya stops her. She says if she continues, she’ll kill the human host. Since Ungrar was initially part of her, the only way is to transfer it back to her. What does this mean? A very stimulating yuri scene for otakus worldwide to watch!!! EXTREME MOE!!! Komugi is filled with the moe powers that she explodes and everything reverts back to normal. Don’t worry. She’s still alive. She wakes up with Kyousuke by her side. More importantly, she’s not a 99 year old wrinkly grandma. Maya thanks her since Vaccine World is no longer in deficit. But Komugi isn’t going to let her go for the troubles she went through and is going to get back at her. Meanwhile poor Koyori is stuck high up on a crane, unsure what happened that led her to this situation. Is somebody going to get her down?

Special
In this 4.5 minute special, we see a real life small miniature of Komugi figurine learning how anime is made. Not that you can learn anything since it’s too generic and simple. It just simply shows us how an anime scene is dubbed and mixed with music to make it better. So… Was it educational?

Oh, My Good-nurse…
Everything was fun and enjoyable in this everything-goes and no-holds-barred anime. Too bad they didn’t make any more of such episodes because for most of the time, I couldn’t stop laughing hard whether they are the silly parodies or Komugi’s sh*tty attitude that causes so many problems. Despite the eternal catfight between Komugi and Megumi (sometimes followed by Yui blowing her top that would be equivalent to dropping the atomic bomb), it may get annoying that they do this on a constant basis. I guess this is the only thing that they are constant at. However since they’re always at each other’s throat for whatever reasons, they seemed amusing and hence funny whenever arguing. Despite going, “Oh dear. Here they go again with their b*tch slap and insults”, somehow it just doesn’t get tired (maybe if this was real life). So keep on fighting for the good of my laughter? The comedy won’t be superb enough to top my all-time nonsensical exaggerated laugh out loud parody anime list, but I would still advise you to leave your brains safely somewhere else before watching it and pick it up after finishing. Just to be safe not to catch some sort of ‘funny’ virus after watching this series ;p.

I guess being a slapstick comedy means Komugi and Koyori are the biggest idiots of the series. That’s what makes the series fun and funny. While Komugi is the big, lazy, selfish cosplay idiot, Koyori is only so when she is in her evil maid mode. Otherwise she is a nice person. So idiotic the duo that sometimes you could say when they fight in epic proportions, the way things are headed, the situation will usually solve itself without having either to lift a finger. They’ll just blooper by themselves and Komugi only wins just because she is the heroine. But if you think about how the way she ends up winning, she’s still a loser. Just a winner by circumstances. Mugimaru is also funny because this perverted rabbit sometimes play the straight man and I figure he’ll get tired after doing so many comebacks that tickle the funny bones. Also an eternal serial perverted bunny, I guess he never learns each time he bathes with Komugi only to be beaten up by her. I think any kind of boob size is okay to him. Though he might prefer big boobs but small ones is okay too as I noticed. Otherwise he would have been totally turned off each time he sees them instead of making a joke about Komugi’s chest. Yeah, can’t help take a jab at Komugi’s ‘washboard’, can’t he?

Is fair to say that almost every other casts in this series are as idiotic as Komugi and Koyori. Megumi is always at loggerheads with Komugi and the day they sit down and become good friends is the day Apocalypse arrives. Yeah. Like oil and fire, cats and dogs. Child star Runa might not show it since she’s putting up that calm loli facade. But she’s equally idiotic too. Other than running her mouth with rude comments, sometimes you can see her take out her frustrations on something that she makes to represent Komugi. Channel all your hate here, baby! Yui is always blowing her top and at this rate this might not be so good on her heart and health while Shiro is quite laidback and relaxed that sometimes to a point it backfires on him. Of course it’s Komugi’s fault but if he had only taken precautions… Asuka may fair better than the rest but she does sometimes lose her temper, especially when Komugi and Megumi don’t stop their bickering. With a goddess like Maya helming Vaccine World, you can’t help be worried, right? The only one who is always serious and above all that slapstick comedy backlash is Kyousuke. He’s quite a cool and popular guy so it’s no wonder he is the love interest, sweetheart and crush of Komugi. I think any girl would have fallen for this guy. He’s the only person who has never belittled or put Komugi down so is it no surprise that she likes him? Too bad this series isn’t of the romantic genre so don’t get your hopes up to see them ending up together. Except only in Komugi’s delusions. Keep dreaming, girl.

Being a parody series, there are tons of anime parody for you to spot. Only if you know your anime well, that is. As I found out, many of them parodying the Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman and Uchuu no Kishi Tekkaman anime series since this production is from Tatsunoko Production. Of course both of them I haven’t really seen so I’m not quite familiar with then. Save for Gatchaman which is also known as G-Force but that was just bits and pieces here and there without really going into the anime itself. Some of the other trivia include cameo of those little figurines and my eyes were ‘sharp’ enough to have identified and spotted those from anime series such as Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, Mai-HiME, Evangelion, Mahoromatic and Mahou Sensei Negima. Yes, I’m proud of my little achievement! Haha!

At first I thought Yukari Tamura was behind the voice of Komugi. However I knew something was off and it wasn’t really her despite her voice sounding quite close to that squeaky trademark of Yukari Tamura. I later confirmed that it is Haruko Momoi and her cute voice really fits the Komugi character very well. Yeah, I remember her other cute voicing roles such as Yurume in Yurumates, Utamaru in Da Capo and San in Seto No Hanayome. Yukari Tamura did have a role in this series but as Asuka. After hearing too much and getting pigeonholed Ikue Ootani’s roles as Chopper in One Piece or Pikachu from Pokemon from over the years, it is refreshing to hear her in a different role. She really runs havoc with Koyori especially when she’s in her evil maid form (she also doubles as Maya). From her annoying maniacal laughter to her catchphrase of “Let’s begin de gozaimasu~”, I’m sure I won’t see her the same again as a little yellow lightning monster or a raccoon dog. Oops, I mean a reindeer. I’m not sure but I wonder if Posokichi’s character was made in parody to Chopper (in One Piece, many characters always confuse that reindeer as a raccoon dog). Oh, Posokichi is voiced by an unrecognizable Ai Shimizu. I wouldn’t have guessed that this is the girl who played Mikoto in Mai-HiME or Ren in DearS with that soft-spoken voice. Yuji Ueda is brilliant as Mugimaru especially when he puts up with his falsetto voice voicing the character. He’s hilarious. There are rare times when he does his low manly voice like becoming serious or the likes, otherwise you wouldn’t know that this is the same guy who voiced Sanosuke Sagara in Rurouni Kenshin or Hajime in Jigoku Shoujo. Other casts include Atsuko Enomoto as Megumi (Misaki in Angelic Layer), Akiko Hiramatsu as Yui (Miyabi in Ai Yori Aoshi), Masaya Onosaka as Shiro (Momoshiro in Prince Of Tennis), Michiko Neya as Runa (Riza in Fullmetal Alchemist), Mitsuki Saiga as Kyousuke (Phantom in MAR) and Mika Kanai as Komachi (Normad/Vanilla in Galaxy Angel series).

Haruko Momoi sings all the opening and ending themes for this series. Well, this is Komugi’s show, right? Sometimes her voice sounds so cute that I think it doesn’t make the song sound better. Get what I mean? The opening theme for the first OVA series, Ai No Medicine is cute as ever and fits the theme of this magical nurse with its playful lyrics and cheeky tune. As for the main ending theme, Otome No Mahou De Ponde Ke Wa which is a plays to a lively samba carnival feel. The special ending theme for OVA 5 is also done by her, entitled Three and feels like slow pop to wind down the series. For Magikarte Z’s opening theme, it is Shooting Star and although it sounds pop, it sounds a little dramatic. Oyasumi is its ending theme and is another slow-moderate pop piece. Breaking the Haruko Momoi stranglehold is Ikue Ootani singing the special episode’s ending theme, Pasera, a slow ballad. Of course that special episode felt like a feature for music videos that included Kyousuke’s dark and dramatic Reverse, Komugi’s cutie Anata Ga Daikirai, Komugi and Koyori’s rivalry duet in samba-like Magical Idol Kourin and the typical tokusatsu-like Big Saitron theme. The March Earth Defense Theme (played during Komugi and Koyori’s monument uprooting counter havoc against Komachi) is a full orchestra piece that could rival Ride Of The Valkyries.

Well, I don’t really see so much Komugi going around as a magical nurse trying to heal sick people from viruses. So I guess it was just really a cosplay, huh? Yeah, she really makes things worse than before. If not for her magic that conveniently resets everything, you can put all the blame on her if the world gets destroyed. And the viruses unleashed here turn people violent and crazy instead of weak and sick. But I was laughing so hard that I think it cured my whatever blues I was having from today’s stress and frustration. I only have a stomach ache to deal with after laughing too much that it hurts. I know I won’t be calling a nurse to nurse that pain. I still prefer maids to nurses as always ;).

Chitose Get You

April 12, 2013

The last time a young elementary school girl had hots for her teacher was Kodomo No Jikan. If you want a less horny and more innocent version of that, then that would be Hanamaru Kindergarten. Well, Chitose Get You seems to sound awfully familiar too. But the guy she is in love with isn’t really a teacher but an office worker working in the welfare department. Still, the basic premise is there about a young little girl having romantic feelings for an older man and trying to win his affections while he puts up with her obsession. Then there are the other characters and love rivals that revolves around them and the plot. So if you want to see what this young girl is up to, then you might want to sacrifice 3 minutes per episode just to find out the antics and troubles she gets into.

Episode 1
11 year old Chitose Sakuraba lets us know she loves this teacher of hers. She is willing to skip class to go see him today. However, there’s always this ‘evil’ teacher, Asako Fuji who stands in her way of her beloved. And this fantasizing has got her into trouble. She’s already knocked out Hiroshi Kashiwabara while Asako stands by, ready to punish her. Guess what happens to her cheeks? Later in class when Misaki asks why she is so into him, Chitose interrupts Asako’s class and heads right to the front just to explain! It all happened one day when she was attacked by a vicious dog. Actually, it seemed like she was playing with a cute puppy. Then out of the blue her beloved came. Their eyes met. The dog attacked him. More like it playfully jumped on him and stole his shoe. He ran after the dog. Her ‘saviour’ left without a word. She was left with a fluttering heart. Chitose realizes too late she interrupted Asako’s class. It’s punishment time. Not even her saviour can save her from this.

Episode 2
Chitose complains to her friends that despite having her, Kashiwabara is attending a marriage meeting. Those are for desperate people, no? Then she badmouths Asako for putting off too long and thus the frustration of having no boyfriend at her age. Guess what? She’s standing right behind you! Chitose and Asako are shocked to see each other at the marriage meeting. Apparently Chitose is here to accompany Kashiwabara. Asako thinks she’s here to get in her way. She has a word with Chitose and pleads for her to go home. However Chitose teases her that she’ll fail anyway and deservingly gets a noogie. After she goes home, Asako talks to Kashiwabara and apologizes about Chitose. He is kind enough to say that it shows her students care for her. Her heart string is tugged and instantly she tells her mom this is the man she wants to marry! Back in school, Asako and Chitose have a fiery showdown over Kashiwabara. Stay away from my man! How did he even get involved?

Episode 3
When Chitose tells Asako she doesn’t want to be treated like a child, she replies it can’t be help since she is one. Then she flaunts her boobs just to show why she is an adult followed by a childish victory laughter. So who is the child around here? Next morning she wakes up wondering what to wear. She decides to put on her adult clothes since she’ll be dealing with Chitose. However she finds she cannot fit. Thus she settles for a one piece dress. Her colleague, Kouhai comments it doesn’t show off too much. Then comes in Chitose wearing a cute one piece dress too to woo her beloved. The duo look at Asako. Kouhai quips that if you get lazy, you have to put a different kind of effort.

Episode 4
Chitose and Hinako Hiiragi remember giving their father shoulder massage vouchers for Father’s Day. They tease Misaki she bathed with daddy. It isn’t long before Misaki goes off fantasizing. Later she asks Asako what she gave her father. Because it wasn’t vouchers or bathing, she thinks it is something more extreme. Anyway she can’t decide on a present to give to her father. She tried asking him directly but feels it is something she can’t give as a present. He told her not to get married. Then Chitose asks Asako who is better, Misaki’s dad or Kashiwabara. Misaki suddenly turns into a devil thinking Chitose likes her dad! If not, does she hate him?! No way out! Scary!

Episode 5
Hinako loves to cosplay. I suppose she’s the extreme type. When Misaki wanted to feed the rabbits, there Hinako is dressed as a rabbit too. So she doesn’t like carrots… Later she dresses as a wood. When Misaki falls off into the stream and get her clothes wet, luckily Hinako brought spares. An acorn suit. Hinako in a fish suit even sings a song for her. Lastly Chitose sweeps all the dried leaves together. Hinako now in a sweet potato outfit sits in the pile of leaves. Everyone already goes home… Isn’t it getting cold?

Episode 6
Asako’s class are outdoor sketching. She sees Misaki concentrating too hard to sketch her dad that she her pencil snaps! Hinako may obediently seem like she’s sketching but upon further inspection, she is sketching her own thumb! Technically, this is what you call pencil sketching, right? And we all know what Chitose will be sketching. Guess who this handsome hunk is? Since she’s doing something ‘illegal’ in the middle of class, Asako takes her somewhere for her punishment.

Episode 7
The class will be having a fire drill. Hinako is in a monk outfit. That’s supposed to be fire proof? Besides, Chitose is in a fireman’s suit while Misaki a Sengoku general. WTF. Kouhai presses the fire emergency button and thanks heavens she’s a teacher (otherwise you’d be in trouble for that prank). That felt good, eh? As everyone slides down the chute, Chitose had fun and wants to climb back up to do it again! Then she teases Asako that she’s scared since she didn’t slide down. Asako agrees. However Chitose crosses the line when she accuses that she might get stuck. Pissed Asako slides down just to prove it but then everybody saw her panties. When counting the heads, they realize Hinako is missing. I don’t know how she got to the rooftop and is chanting weird lines.

Episode 8
Chitose visits Kashiwabara at the welfare department. He wants her to play with her friends instead of coming here. She understands and leaves. Soon she returns and plays ‘hide and peek’ with him. Whenever he feels somebody is watching and turns his head, Chitose goes hiding. Then he goes over to check it out and to his shock, Chitose and her entire class are hiding there! Which means Asako’s class is so empty… The brats are hurling Kashiwabara with adult questions like if he has kissed or like little girls. Suddenly Asako barges in and like the monster tries to get her students back to class. Panic rages throughout the room to the point it becomes decimated.

Episode 9
When Asako is late, Chitose thinks of an excuse to sneak out and call her. Oh, here she is right at the door. During the test, Chitose can’t seem to concentrate but when it’s lunch time, she’s full of energy because today’s lunch is pudding. She decides to show it to Kashiwabara but Asako didn’t think so. Later Chitose complains to Kashiwabara that adults have it easy as they don’t have tests to take. But his superior, Shige mentions that he too gets graded on his performance. And it seems he isn’t doing well for being thick headed and inability to take jokes. Chitose tells him to work hard for their future but he didn’t take it positively so Shige minuses a point from his evaluation.

Episode 10
Shige has written his Tanabata wish: Kashiwabara to work 5 hours overtime. In class, Chitose wonders if Asako is going to wish for a boyfriend. She better not get on her nerves. Chitose ponders what to write because marrying Kashiwabara and having a lavish honeymoon is already a given thing (counting her chickens?). Because Asako hasn’t wrote one, Chitose writes for her. Guess what? It’s a wish to get married at some point this year. Here comes the cheek pinching punishment! And because Hinako adds “Recycle” to it, she to gets the same punishment. In the end, Chitose didn’t know what to write so she just draws a love triangle on the strip and hangs it up.

Episode 11
Chitose once again receives the punishing end of Asako’s cheek pinching. Hinako suggests to know thy enemy if she wishes to defeat the enemy. This means to spy on Asako. Chitose and Misaki sneak in to staff room find anything that would be Asako’s weakness and good news is that she is not back. Bad news: She’s back now! Horror scene! The duo returned messed up. Mission failed. They then decide to scare her with what they are afraid of like cockroach and snake but Asako shows no sign of weakness. Suddenly Hinako shows a photo and it sends Asako panicking. She has a bunch of those shots too. Asako grabs them all and takes a breather in the toilet. The pictures turn out to be her blowing kisses to Kashiwabara. Little devil… Hinako uses the PA to ask her if she wants to data too. NOOOO!!!

Episode 12
It’s the pool lessons but why is Hinako in a carp outfit? She can’t swim… So can this make her swim better? Asako advises to relax her muscles and the human body will naturally float. Because Chitose is badmouthing Asako, she throws her clipboard to knock her out. Here’s a good demonstration of how the human body floats. Later Chitose continues to tease Asako that she doesn’t want to swim because she is worried about wrinkles. Not wanting to lose, Asako reveals her bikini outfit underneath but goes into hiding since it is against school regulations. Chitose goes to report to Kashiwabara about this and he thinks it sounds good. Meanwhile Hinako ponders how to wear a full scuba gear.

Episode 13
Asako wonders if Kashiwabara will ask her out to the festival. Unfortunately it is Kouhai who called her to ask her out. She’s free, right? Chitose and friends are at the festival too. Asako remembers her happy childhood at festivals and seems to be reliving them now. Having fun, aren’t we? The real competition begins during the shooting game. Kashiwabara realizes he is in sh*t when Chitose and Asako start pointing their rifle at him. Then it becomes all out war when the girls start firing at each other. They are interrupted when the fireworks lit the sky. In the end, they won so much prizes (maybe all of them) that they don’t know what to do with it.

Episode 14
Asako wants her students to pick a book at the library for a reading report. Each time Misaki picks a book, Hinako hints in sign language that the cat character will die in the end! Lost motivation… Meanwhile Chitose fools around by drawing flip cartoons in the pages and using books as domino blocks, much to Asako’s ire. Just when she had picked a book, it is a book to learn about sign languages. For dummies. How can you write a report on that? Then both ladies start trading insulting sign languages at each other. I guess Asako needs to get noisy in her punishment so she brings Chitose out of the library and you can imagine the rest.

Episode 15
For the sports festival, Hinako is in a cheetah’s outfit but she’s the slowest. Misaki is fawning over her daddy all the way and Kouhai is making cheeky comments over the microphone. During the tug of war, Kashiwabara cheers on Chitose and this gives her immense strength to win it for her team. Then for the three-legged-race, he wanted to cheer for her too but was immediately stopped by Hinako because she doesn’t want to die yet. During the lunch break, Chitose gets permission from her mom for Kashiwabara to join them. Mommy hints that her lunch isn’t the only thing that is delicious. She is delicious too. Oh no… Later when Chitose asks for the photos of the sports day, turns out that every one of them are pictures of Kashiwabara! No Chitose… I guess this means another rivalry…

Episode 16
Speaking of rivalry, Kashiwabara’s niece, Mika is clinging on to him. Yeah. Another girl with plans to marry him. Their lovely time is interrupted when Chitose comes crashing in. Mika is introduced and Kashiwabara hopes Chitose could play with her. In exchange, he will treat her. Suddenly Asako snatches Mika away to play with her. This leads to the duo arguing over who should play with Mika. Despite Mika putting up a polite facade, she’s sizing up her rivals. Asako may have a nice body but she’s old. She must be more careful of Chitose instead. She thought she could get mischievous with Chitose but it seems her plans backfired but unsuspecting Chitose. Whether getting her hands squeezed or being taken for a scary spin ride at the park. Mika thought she’s going to die! I don’t think Chitose is that strong. Unless Mika is a wuss…

Episode 17
Kashiwabara treats Asako and Chitose to a fancy restaurant. Of course it isn’t going to be a peaceful meal. Chitose interrupts each time Asako wants to say something. They even start throwing forks! When Chitose starts tossing her greens to her, the ninja-like knives hurling begin. Behave yourselves! At the end, Asako wanted to ask Kashiwabara to invite her out again but because she was too shy, she couldn’t say it. Smart alecs Kouhai, Hinako and Misaki had been watching them and comments there has been no progress, bringing ultimate embarrassment to Asako.

Episode 18
Misaki is eating snacks despite knowing it’s not allowed. Apparently her dad wanted her cheeks to be fluffy. WTF. So when Asako finds out, she blows her top because it interferes with her dieting. Eh? What? Apparently Kouhai commented she put on weight. Asako also throws it back to Kouhai that she too had put on some weight. Then they start pinching each other’s belly and it ends with a jogging challenge. When Asako’s stomach begins to growl, Misaki offers her snack in which Asako promptly refuses. Chitose fantasises she’ll get a nice body and attract Kashiwabara but Hinako starts patting her body and notices there are lots of places where she doesn’t have weight. Hint, hint.

Episode 19
While on his way to school, Kashiwabara unintentionally sees Misaki’s skirt being hooked up by her bag. Chitose tackles him like an American footballer to avoid him peeking. Though Misaki feels embarrassed, Chitose reprimands her for trying to seduce her beloved. Then they ask Hinako how to be more like a girl. Misaki mentions a teddy bear so Hinako right away gets into a bear outfit. She then mentions about showing one’s natural behaviours and mannerism. As example, she lifts Misaki’s skirt! Totally wrong! Chitose then asks Asako if she is a girl. Technically she says she isn’t. When she tries to lift her skirt, she gets whacked! Maybe more like a brute woman she is. Later Misaki goes to apologize to Kashiwabara for this morning’s incident. However he doesn’t remember a single bit. Notice the bump on his head? He can’t even remember why he had such a bad headache.

Episode 20
When Asako learns that Chitose is at it again bugging Kashiwabara about Christmas, she storms down to the office to kidnap her in a Santa sack! Kashiwabara then compliments her Santarina outfit that she is wearing for a school event. Chitose plans to give a ribbon as Christmas present. How? She ties it over her head. Asako snickers that it won’t work since she is too young so Chitose hits back she’ll be 16 years old in 5 years time, the legal age she can marry. Asako visualizes Chitose all grown up having a nice body and feels devastated. She gets this idea to tie the ribbon on her head too but all the girls kept staring at her. It doesn’t make her look young. Kashiwabara finds a couple of Christmas presents outside his doorstep. He could guess the smaller one is Chitose and the larger one is Asako. They’re both inside it… Don’t even ask.

Episode 21
Chitose helps her mom spring cleaning. She notices a box filled with love letters. Those were from her school days. Hey. There’s another box filled to the brim with love letters too. Those are after she got married. Oh… Wouldn’t that make dad jealous? Precisely. That’s why she can’t throw them away. They stumble upon Chitose’s old baby clothes including diapers. Mommy wants to put it on her! Misaki comes by to play but she sees Chitose in trouble. She’s pleading for help! Looks like mommy is forcing all the old clothes on her. Don’t look!

Episode 22
Asako and Kouhai are hanging around together. Bored. No money or place to return on New Year’s Eve. What to do for a couple of woman to get drunk? Chitose and friends pay a visit to Kashiwabara’s home. But he is not in as Mika said so they leave. They don’t care about Mika, huh? Mika joins them to visit Asako’s place and because Chitose is annoyingly ringing the bell, the drunkard mistakes them from the pizzeria or the soba shop. She slams the door and dismisses class. Scary. Probably Kashiwabara had the nicest and quietest time of his life…

Episode 23
At the shrine, Misaki prays in hopes she won’t get into more trouble with Chitose this year. Then the bell Chitose rings comes loose and falls on Misaki’s head! Maybe God didn’t hear her prayer. Asako punishes Chitose for New Year nuisance right at the shrine. Later Chitose hopes the priestess could show them how to exorcise ghosts. She can’t since she is a part timer but she knows how to knock out men. Why are Asako and Chitose eagerly awaiting to take notes? Asako donates a hefty sum as it includes her prayers for the girls’ health. Till Chitose asks her if she should be praying for marriage instead. Shut up! Mika shows off her kimono. Likewise Hinako her… Dragon outfit? Cosplay? No. That’s her New Year outfit! After the little ones leave, Asako forks out another hefty sum to buy a marriage charm.

Episode 24
Kashiwabara narrates his day in life working in the welfare department. The main highlight is of course energetic Chitose come crashing in. To a point where he becomes ‘famous’, got a new ‘position’ (to supervise Chitose) and a gender divide (women hate him while the lolicon men support him). As always, Asako would come barging in to reprimand and bring Chitose back. He narrates he did have a marriage interview with her but had to turn her down since he has no time to think about marriage now. He hopes she will find happiness. I think it’s because he witnessed her violence… Talking about Mika, despite being his sister’s daughter, she is living with him and acts like an old woman. Despite arguing on the phone with Hinako, he thinks they get along pretty well. That’s why he always prays that his days would be quieter. Not likely, buddy…

Episode 25
Asako agrees to the girls’ request to come to her home to make homemade chocolates. While Misaki and Mika are true learners, Chitose and Hinako fool around by trying to smash the chocolate with a hammer, melt it fast with a soldering tool, putting excessive adult taste in it and trying to make a chocolate sculpture! Mika and Misaki’s first attempt at putting on the icing didn’t go well but Asako encourages them. Their packaging also needs work and one could have mistaken Mika’s wrapping to be a football! Lastly, Chitose and Hinako reveal their giant chocolate statue of Kashiwabara! Asako pretends not to see this.

Episode 26
Valentine’s Day is here as Chitose rushes to give her chocolate to her beloved. She sees Mika on her way to give hers to. Seems there is a promise made that he will have to date whoever gives him chocolate first. And so the battle to outdo each other begins. Chitose uses Hinako (in a heart chocolate suit) as shield but Mika smashes her giant chocolate statue with her baseball bat! Both sides start throwing things till it destroys Misaki’s chocolate for daddy. Oh no… She turns into something scarier than a ghost, vampire, werewolf, zombie, Terminator, monsters all combined together! Oh sh*t! OMG!!! Horror scene! No way out! They thought they’re saved when Asako comes in but she was instantly knocked out!!! Now no one can save you! Don’t play play! She’s mad! Even the Hulk would tremble in fear! OMFG! Is that a beam coming out from her mouth????!!! Now, Chitose and Mika didn’t become chocolate since they’re all covered in brown. Rather, they got burnt to a crisp! Yikes! I think you know the lesson here. Yeah, even the signage got blown into half.

Loli Love
Short animes like these usually have the dilemma of being too short and thus nothing much happens. It felt something like that for this series but it probably wouldn’t have worked if it was the usual anime duration of 24 minutes. What else more can you do with this kind of genre and storyline? Therefore I think 3 minutes for each episode is just fine and since the plot isn’t something where you would really have to crack your brains over, it is more than sufficient.

It might be my fault for expecting more from this anime because at first I thought I was going to see in almost every episode Chitose trying to get his hands on Kashiwabara. However it doesn’t feel like that at all and most of the other episodes feature Chitose and the other characters in their antics and thus it makes this get-Kashiwabara goal like a secondary plot. Besides, we don’t see Chitose coming up with scheming plans to steal his heart. It is usually just her barging in and talking to him. Right in the middle of her class. I wonder how she does that. We don’t see any horny attempts to seduce her man so if you want fanservice, you’d be sorely disappointed. Whoever said this was a fanservice episode anyway? Unlike Kodomo No Jikan’s Rin, we don’t see Chitose harbouring any horny thoughts either. But she does fantasize a lot about him.

So for Chitose, her love for Kashiwabara may be real but it makes you wonder if it is just admiration because she addresses him as big brother. So can it be her love for him is of the brotherly type despite telling us she loves him romantically? Besides, isn’t it common for girls her age making promises to marry an older guy when they grow up? Even if that guy is their own father? Then when they grow up, many would have forgotten about it and for those who don’t, well, I guess that would be good material for anime stories to tell. Kashiwabara despite being Chitose’s main love interest (as well as Asako’s), doesn’t seem to make many appearance. I won’t say his appearances are all cameo but it feels like he is a side character. Then again, it could have been my expectations. So that nice guy is being patient since Chitose is also a kid. Would he have given a different treatment if she was a high school girl? Maybe then his colleagues won’t see it the same way and a different setting would have come to mind. With this bunch of noisy girls around him, is it any reason why he can’t find time to settle down quietly? He is already busy at work, he will be extra busy at home too. But thank goodness he is no lolicon. And to think Chitose keeps barging in, he would’ve developed some Chitose sensor along the way. Apparently not.

Since Asako also likes Kashiwabara, her shyness doesn’t seem to get her anywhere. There are only a handful of scenes whereby Asako and Chitose showdown with each other for Kashiwabara but even so that is nothing that I would consider extreme. Therefore the romance part in getting his affections feels secondary to the other antics. It feels like a running gag that Asako punishes Chitose with her cheek pinches. Chitose doesn’t learn and I suppose she should have developed some immunity the way she gets them pinched very often. Her cheeks should have been thick as a rhinoceros’ skin. I have a feeling Asako would be getting a heart bypass at an early age since Chitose is the main source of pissing her off on just about anything. I thought Mika would play an active rival since her appearance but it seems she is rather docile. Maybe after her ‘loss’ to Chitose, she doesn’t dare mess with her. Speaking of Kashiwabara’s love rivals, I think Chitose’s mom could be a potential too but come to think about it, I think she’s more of a flirt with any men she sees. Her countless love letters should be a hint. She could even be a man eater. Maybe that explains why Chitose got hots for Kashiwabara. It’s in their genes.

Hinako and Misaki as Chitose’s friends feel like slight distraction but also add to the overall fun. It is creepy enough that Misaki already has obsessive father complex but what makes her even scarier is if you break that love of hers. I don’t think no matter how hard you pray to God, you will not be helped and God bless your soul. As for Hinako, her expressionless face, voice and tendency to wear random and weird outfits reminds me of another character with similar traits. Doesn’t she look like Hiiragi from Hanamaru Kindergarten? There’s a very uncanny resemblance to that…

We all know the saying that love knows no barrier and that anybody from different race, nation, religion and age could even fall in love. Sure, it’s a wonderful thing but will society accept it? If Kashiwabara accepts Chitose’s love as genuine, he might be regarded as a lolicon and there would be serious consequences involving the law. Chitose can wait till she reaches the legal age of 16 but then again there is the risk of him being snatched away by Asako or some other woman. Five years seem like a long time for those who are eagerly waiting. And while they’re at it, there’s no harm in coming to see him every day at his office, right? Just don’t skip classes…

Binbougami Ga

April 7, 2013

Some people have all the luck. Mind sharing it with the rest of the world? Well yeah, typical human behaviour has it that when one has too much good luck and fortune, you might not want to share it with others for fear of being leechers and ingrates. Whether you believe it or not, to maintain the balance of harmony among all elements, there is this God of Poverty that takes away your fortune and gives it to the less fortunate. Well, at least that is what Binbougami Ga is.

Ichiko Sakura has it all. She is rich, popular among the boys and has the curves and body to flaunt it. The envy of every girl. In short, she is the most fortunate person in the world. At least in this anime. I’m sure it’s not her hormones because I don’t think science would sufficiently explain why she is lucky throughout most of her life. Not only her body produces excessive amount of fortune energy, but it turns out that she sucks fortune from others. To stem this problem and imbalance, Momiji the God of Misfortune/Poverty is dispatched to steal her excessive good luck to regain worldly balance. But can Momiji succeed in the battle between luck at ends of different poles? Theoretically the matches are already certain seeing that Momiji is the one representing misfortune and wouldn’t stand a chance against Ichiko’s extreme fortune, right? With them both at each other’s throats, it becomes more than a battle of balancing the harmony because both women are duking it out for their own pride. Will they learn a thing or two along the way? You bet. Let’s see how far they can ride their luck on this one.

Episode 1
Momiji’s boss, Yamabuki assigns her to take Ichiko’s fortune. She easily takes up the job because she got jealous of her cow tits compared to her own no tits. This is what misfortune is all about… In school, Ichiko’s popularity continues to soar among the guys. She’s enjoying her rosy life and has never had it this good. What a streak of good luck since birth. However despite being blessed, she still isn’t perfect. She has a flaw: Her f*cking attitude. She might be putting up goody-two-shoes face in front of her admirers but deep down, she looks down upon others. So that’s where Momiji comes in to give her the scare of her life (hanging herself in the toilet?) and put her back in her rightful place. She thought it’s a creepy pervert and calls the guys for help. By the time they arrive, Momiji is gone. Her imagination? Momiji continues to harass Ichiko back in her apartment and tells her the facts of how she is absorbing other people’s fortune. She gives a glimpse of Ichiko’s gloomy future if her fortune is taken away but the main problem is that if she continues to drain the fortune of others, she will ruin and ultimately put their lives in danger especially those she holds dear. Like Ichiko cares about all that crap. Momiji takes out a large needle from her horrible faced teddy bear, Kumagai and starts attacking Ichiko. Like hell she is going to get stabbed by that. Of course Ichiko’s luck means misfortune befalls on Momiji and the needle pierced her own head! Ichiko’s butler, Kikunoshin Suwano drives Momiji back (to wherever that is). He is happy that this is the first time Ichiko brought a friend home (weren’t they trying to kill each other?). As her butler, he has been by her side since young and is an important person to him. He hopes she can continue to be her friend.

Tomorrow comes and is Ichiko’s birthday. While her male classmates shower her with presents and cake, Momiji sees Suwano collapsed in the kitchen while trying to make a birthday cake for Ichiko. Ichiko gets word that Suwano is hospitalized and rushes over. Diagnosis reveals he suffered a heart attack and it is a good thing he was discovered earlier or else it would’ve been fatal. Ichiko is told to be prepared for the worst. Suwano has no other family members. His wife died 4 years ago and Ichiko is her only family. Ichiko eats the cake alone at home, thinking back how Suwano was always by her side instead of her busy parents who were always away on her important day. Ichiko blames Momiji for causing this but the latter reminds her it is her nature of taking luck from others. Suwano has finally run out of luck. She has to make a choice. Continue to live a blissful life and let others die or end up as a bum in the streets and let others be happy. Because happiness is to be shared. Ichiko is adamant that she still has no misfortune so Momiji jabs the needle into her chest. After taking the necessary amount of fortune, she warns she may experience a little bad luck at first and need some time to stabilize and become a normal person. However Ichiko isn’t done yet. She isn’t going to let her steal her fortune and knocks her out! Taking the container of luck while Momiji gives chase throughout the city, Ichiko arrives at the hospital and smashes the container. Suddenly everyone in the hospital feels so much better. Some even cured. Suwano survives the heart operation. As he recuperates, though Ichiko ‘blame’s him for ruining her birthday and fires him, her intentions is to let him enjoy the remaining years of his life. If he continues to stay near her, he’ll be constantly be put in danger. So living alone isn’t so bad. Till Momiji returns a week later. What is she doing here? Ichiko’s fortune is back up to its excessive level. The fortune that she spread around ended up coming back to her. I guess Momiji is here to stay. I guess it’s another round of b*tch fight! Ichiko gets a postcard from Suwano. He’s getting married! Man, that was fast!

Episode 2
If having Momiji bum around her apartment isn’t bad enough, here she is as a new transfer student in her class as Momiji Binbouda! Deadpan humour is her specialty? Let the b*tchy rival continue! Momiji continues to set up pranks for Ichiko but her luck has her evade them all at the skin of her teeth. Finally she blows her top with the blank paper prank. It causes the guys to be suspicious of Ichiko. She needs to get rid of the beggar b*tch before her reputation goes down the toilet bowl. She meets a bald monk, Bobby who begs her to shelter him. Unfortunately, he is a pervert and starts rubbing his face on her legs! Get away from this guy! Back home, Momiji messes up her place. She tries to be calm but the last straw came when Bobby starts rummaging through her undies. I guess she can make an exception to beat up this monk. After calming down, he introduces himself as a travelling monk banishing evil spirits. He came to this city upon seeing a great amount of energy and believes it to originate from Ichiko. Her breasts. Just kidding! Too bad it didn’t stop her from beating him up. He gives her a wooden sword called Soumin Shourai and from all that crap explanation, what I understand is that it increases her spiritual power to kick that Poverty God’s ass. Ichiko confronts Momiji but she doesn’t pay serious attention to her. She’s fooling around. Momiji even takes a snapshot of Ichiko in a ridiculous outfit and threatens to show it to the boys. Ichiko gets serious and the power from her Soumin Shourai materializes the 12 Chinese zodiac animals to aid her. Bobby is easily caught in the cross-fire while Momiji knows she is up against a formidable foe. Momiji summons the dead warriors to do her bidding but those lazy bums don’t feel like doing anything. Ichiko powers up and blasts Momiji out of her apartment. Yamabuki wants Momiji to return since she couldn’t beat Ichiko although she went all out. But Momiji’s pride is on the line and she won’t give up so easily yet. She is really going to ruin Ichiko for this disgrace. Meanwhile Ichiko is having a tough time putting up with Bobby, her zodiac animals and undead warriors bumming in her room…

Episode 3
Unfortunately Momiji is back bumming in Ichiko’s apartment and she’s brought a new gadget to repel misfortune when used by someone with high fortune. Too bad Ichiko’s perfect baseball swing means the gadget goes out flying through the window. Cocky Ichiko says she cares about no one else besides Suwano. Momiji loses to Ichiko in another round. In school, Ichiko ponders what is there left to her perfect life. Aha! A boyfriend. So the handsome hunk who has been seen asleep since the first episode, Keita Tsuwabuki wakes up and Ichiko feels this guy should be the perfect handsome prince on a white steed. He follows him and to her dismay, all that grand perception of him doesn’t turn out what he is supposed to be. A small cram house? Where the hell is that castle she imagined? On pretence to return his student ID he dropped, he invites her in as goodwill. Ichiko is disheartened he has 4 younger siblings to take care of (in order of seniority: Rika, Ryuuta, Mika and Sorata)! It’s time for Ichiko’s inner angels to do brainstorming. They decide to reject this because they don’t want to play ‘mommy’. Keita reveals their parents left them in debt after leaving them to find some treasure. They never came back. Keita takes on odd jobs to support his family (the reason he sleeps in class). Although they don’t have money, they are happy together. Ichiko becomes arrogant because she thinks money will solve their problem and throws down a few notes. It’s no surprise Keita’s siblings are at awe with this much. However Keita picks it up and throws it back at her! Ichiko leaves with bitter feelings but as Momiji points out, she might be rich but is morally bankrupt. But she doesn’t care about her personality issues since she’s here to do her job.

Ichiko meets Ryuuta and his friends at the convenience store. Thinking of getting back at Keita (earning his siblings’ affection and thus making him apologize), she buys Ryuuta a card and her luck means he gets a very rare card. Unfortunately Ryuuta thinks Keita will get mad if she tells him Ichiko bought it for her. His card is blown away by the wind into the drain. He goes to pick it up and gets lost in the sewer. Rika realizes Ryuuta isn’t home yet so Keita goes to find him in the storm. He goes to see Ichiko but learns she bought Ryuuta a card and pays her back. He admits what Ichiko said was true and probably they would take it for granted if they had money. He wants to set an example for his siblings and refuses to be in her debt. Ichiko takes it as if he wants help, he should just ask. Momiji lends Ichiko another of her gadget to pinpoint where Ryuuta is. Momiji thought she doesn’t care about anybody but Suwano. Her excuse is that she wants to wipe that prideful smirk of his face. Ichiko feels disturbed because Keita gets to eat together with his siblings while she always had her meals alone. Keita sees Ryuuta hanging on to his life at the edge of the sewer. The water is fast and furious. Keita couldn’t reach and Ryuuta slips off. Ichiko dives in to save him and of course her fortune means they both get out safely. Ichiko sees the brothers hugging and realizes the letter Suwano wrote to her that the kanji word for ‘person’ is derived when 2 humans lean on each other. Despite her reckless stunt, they thank her. She too starts feeling warm on the inside. Momiji had to ruin it when she tries to suck her fortune. Ichiko breaks her needle and the familiar argument could easily drown out the sound of the rain. Oh. It stopped raining…

Episode 4
While Bobby insults Momiji that anybody without breasts isn’t a woman, Momiji fishes out Momou Inugami from the river. Momou is a masochist and revels seeing Momiji again. Yeah, he likes her punishments. She hits an idea to steal Ichiko’s fortune. She tortures Momou and turns him into his true dog form. You’d think he’d turn into some ferocious form, eh? Instead, he shrank! Ooohhh… How cute! So the plan is to get close to Ichiko and steal her fortune. But the stray puppy in a box for adoption tactic didn’t work since Ichiko is suspicious and ignores it. But Momou follows her into her apartment and is freaking surprised that her room is filthy and messy! Just how much junk can she produce in 3 days?! Momou tries to grab her fortune but bears painful repercussions. Isn’t this heaven to him? Momou observes Ichiko over the next few days. Her stinking personality matches what Momiji told him but notices a happy expression he had never seen her put up before when she reads letters from Suwano. She keeps them all in a box. Momou thinks if she had only cared for others like the way she cared for Suwano. He prepares to take her fortune while she is sleeping but once more it backfires. The housekeeping arrives and cleans up anything that is on the floor. Because Momou accidentally kicked Ichiko’s precious box down the previous night, it means the cleaners accidentally mistook it for trash. Momou sees how upset Ichiko is and follows her to the dump site where she starts searching over the mountains of garbage. Momou is surprised that Ichiko continues to search for the box through the night and shows no signs of letting up. In a dilemma that Ichiko is the brutal and haughty woman she is, after seeing her tears, Momou uses his nose and sniffs out the box. Ichiko is so relived and hugs Momou. He wonders which is the real her. Back home as Ichiko baths with Momou, such pleasure means he turns back into his human form. So screwed! Ichiko uproots her bathtub and slams it on him! I think he enjoys it. Upon realizing he is Momiji’s ally, the God of Poverty also gets trashed. Bobby too. Nobody is spared… And she’s not letting Momou back in again.

Episode 5
Momiji is up to her tricks again. She’s making a deal with Urashimako. Yes, that turtle dude… Odd to see it slowly crawling through school while Momiji laughs like an idiot? Definitely Ichiko would suspect this beggar b*tch is up to something nasty again. She thinks this package is another gadget for Momiji and unwraps it to get rid of it before it could reach her. However it’s a trap as Momiji points out it is an aging box from the turtle guy. Turning her old means her reflexes will be slow and thus easy to steal her fortune. Too bad Ichiko turns into a kid! Even Soumin Shourai has shrunk and this means her powers too. I guess the box got missed up. Despite that, Ichiko is still quick enough to escape from Momiji’s clutches. You can thank her luck for that. She accidentally meets Mika and her friends at the park and after ‘blending’ so well with them, she realizes she needs a place to stay and can’t go back to hers. She persuades Mika to bring her back to her house but along the way sees Bobby and Momou trying to hit on some girls! But the perverts aren’t lolicons (which is a good thing) so they ignore her. Ichiko does a submission move on them to get them to listen. Learning that the aging box will turn her back to normal, she has them find it for her and in return they can get anything they want. Look at how the simpleton and perverts’ mind works. What she meant was money or food… They team up and get fired up to get the box. Momou throws her a dog whistle and in times she needs him, just blow it.

Ichiko arrives at Keita’s house. Again. Thankfully they don’t really recognize her so her identity’s safe. She calls herself Michiko and tries to cook up a story to stay. She can’t say she has no parents because Keita will call the police. Abusive parents? He’ll go over and beat them up! If Ichiko won’t say, Keita won’t force her. As they eat together, they remember they had a guest the last time. Rika snaps and goes into sister-in-law mode. Not happy thinking about that cow tits, no? Keita says he will bring them out for picnic tomorrow since it’s his day off. Despite the siblings having fun in their little house, Ichiko can’t help feel irritated. Meanwhile Momou and Bobby have lost themselves in the red light district… Momiji calls Urashimako and blames him for the mix up failure. He wants him to get 2 aging boxes and doesn’t care what kind of troubles he will get into. Or else he will be turtle soup in 3 days! Momiji finally finds Ichiko residing in Keita’s house. Ichiko is frustrated she wet the bed since her bladder has turn into of a child’s. She’s going to kill that freaking Poverty God for this humiliation. So the gang head to the hill slope for picnic. Keita praises Ichiko for being a tough girl because she didn’t cry when she tumbled. Ichiko didn’t like being treated like a kid and runs away into the forest. Suddenly she is ambushed and captured by Momiji and Kumagai waiting in the forest. It is evening and time to leave and Ichiko is not in sight. Keita goes to look for her and wants his siblings to wait at the bus stop below because Ichiko may have gone there. Keita finds a shoe belonging to Ichiko on the ground and fears the worst. Suddenly he loses his footing and falls down the chasm!

Episode 6
Keita is miraculously alive but has broken his leg. Ichiko tumbles out to where Ryuuta and his siblings are waiting at the bus stop. Seems when Momiji and Kumagai caught her, a real bear appeared. Ichiko used that chance to escape when they were handling the bear. The last bus comes and goes so they wait and believe Keita will come back. Soon all the siblings start crying that Keita may have run away and leave them like their parents. Ichiko also remembers such memories of her own. She goes off to find Keita. She blows the whistle to call Momou and make him smell Keita’s handkerchief. She finds her unconscious but Momiji zaps her from the back to take her fortune. Because Ichiko broke her needle the last time, she can only afford a smaller one. This little fortune will be enough to save his life. If Keita dies, she’ll be fired from her job and pulled away from the human world. But for Ichiko, if she lets him die, she’ll feel bad. So the little fortune is enough to heal Keita’s leg as he wakes up to find little Ichiko sleeping next to him. He thought he is lost but a path of yellow flowers guide him back to his siblings. A happy reunion. Momou and Bobby lament their failure (they have only themselves to blame). They see Urashimako being bullied (turned turtle by bullies?). Though they help him up, now they threaten him to hand over the aging box. Out of the pan and into the fire… Momou tells Ichiko about the aging box so she plans to ditch Keita’s family tonight. To her surprise, Rika allows her to stay as long as she wants. That night she ponders she might be jealous that this house has everything she doesn’t but if she wants to continue staying, she must stay in this form. That night Ichiko tries to leave but Keita is still up and spots her. She gives an excuse that she likes Ryuuta and wanted to be friends with him as she is moving to America soon. Though Keita isn’t sure about the details, he is still grateful to Ichiko for saving him. Momou and Bobby give Ichiko the aging box and it turns her back to normal. They can’t wait for their reward but she is in no mood to give it to them. Maybe next time. I guess she’s not shedding crocodile tears. Momiji notes Ichiko had the power to grant whatever she wants but didn’t realize what she really wanted until now. On the other hand, Momiji is going to make turtle soup out of Urashimako for failing!

Momiji, Kumagai, Bobby and Momou and partying away like hell in Ichiko’s apartment. Till the demon herself came back. They know they’re in for sh*t but realizes she’s not her usual self. They see her spacing out and sometimes not realizing the pranks they play on her (unless it is perverted). Bobby and Momou try shock therapies to bring her back but it backfires. Bobby gets blown into the sky when he groped her. Momou ‘kills’ himself when Ichiko gets nice with him. Momiji observes her and thinks that Ichiko is in love with Keita, the way she is acting all nervous around him. But Momiji falls into despair when Ichiko ignores her. Back to drowning out their sorrows via partying in her apartment. Momiji even gets warning from Yamabuki if she slacks off, she’ll be replaced. Surprisingly Momiji agrees to that. She feels things are not annoying as it used to be and that it’s just pointless. So she’s saying she loves all the mayhem? The real reason Ichiko is being nervous is because she doesn’t know how to properly return Keita’s handkerchief. Yeah, she’s cracking her head on how to do it. First she stalks him and then she stammers all the way like a nervous nut. She goes crazy knocking her head on the pole. He thanks her for returning his item once more so Ichiko returns to her arrogant self. Now that she is back to normal, she is f*cking shocked to see her apartment has turned into a pig sty. Why the hell is Bobby sitting around naked?! She blows her top!!! But the idiots didn’t freak out. They love the old Ichiko! She’s back!!! The familiar pain and chaos are back! Yeah, they won’t have it any other way. As for Momiji being replaced, hell she’s going to let that happen since her rivalry has been renewed. Ah, back to normal.

Episode 7
Ichiko has been suspected of stealing when a couple of girls (the real thieves) bump into her and all the evidence fall on her. The tomboyish Ranmaru Rindou steps in to lecture about justice but sly Ichiko shifts the blame onto her. She accuses Ranmaru as the mastermind so the police catch her while Ichiko slips free. It’s not the end yet because Ranmaru becomes a transfer student in her class! What goes around comes around. She tries to imitate a manly face to disguise herself (apparently the guys around her try to imitate this ‘trend’) but Ranmaru easily recognizes this b*tch. Ichiko easily feigns being hurt so all the boys start protecting her. Thanks to Momiji, she knows where Ichiko lives and pays a visit. She wants to teach her a lesson but bad luck means Ranmaru falls off the balcony. Don’t worry. She survived. That’s 13 floors down. Is she human? Soon an official duel between Ichiko and Ranmaru takes place at the gym. Ichiko’s shining lady luck means Ranmaru instantly loses. What a letdown. Everyone thought they’d see some fight. The only winners are Keita and Momiji as they made a killer from the bets. Yeah, they know how it would turn out. Keita helps Ranmaru up and she starts having feelings for him. As part of the agreement, Ranmaru is to leave school. However that didn’t stop her from returning as a new transfer student and her new purpose in life is to defeat Ichiko. Maybe Ichiko should have worded her to get out of her life.

While Ichiko have the boys are on her side, Ranmaru has the girls (because the b*tches are jealous about Ichiko’s popularity). But everyone won’t get to see another cat fight since Keita wants his peaceful sleep. Ranmaru’s crush on Keita is obvious so Momiji and Ichiko agree to help her out. Of course Ichiko’s ulterior motive is the defeat this tomboy once and for all while Momiji’s is to strike Ichiko when she least expected it. The girls go out shopping and Ranmaru can really look pretty as a woman when all dressed up. But she’s not confident because her dad won’t allow this. He wanted a son to inherit his dojo but got a daughter. Ranmaru was raised as a boy instead and vowed to turn her into the best female karate fighter. Despite all that, Ranmaru still respects her dad for raising her all alone. Next day, Ichiko sees Ranmaru back in her normal clothes and a bruise on her face. Knowing her dad did this, Ichiko pays a visit to Ranmaru’s home after this. She sees Ranmaru being beaten up as daddy tears up her skirt Ichiko bought her. He isn’t happy she has become this weak. Ichiko has had it and barges in (break down the fence, that is). She doesn’t like the way he doesn’t respect his child’s happiness and challenges him to a fight. Of course once more, shining lady luck means he loses quickly. Ichiko lectures him he doesn’t know Ranmaru’s happiness and has no right to steal it. She is about to land the final blow but Ranmaru blocks it. She doesn’t want her to hurt her dad as she knows nothing about him. Back home, Ichiko naturally feels bitter on how everything turned out. Ranmaru’s father notes how she has made a good friend because there aren’t many people who are willing to put themselves in danger for the sake of others. Ranmaru goes to thank Ichiko but she puts up her usual arrogant attitude that she’s never wrong. Bounced back so easily…

Episode 8
Though Ranmaru is making friends easily, the other girls don’t want Ichiko in their mix. Ranmaru sees Ichiko putting up a depressed expression despite telling she isn’t interested in joining them. Ranmaru tries to make friends with Ichiko and first she is really shocked that Momiji is right that she has nothing better to do but count tatami mat strands!!! Ichiko continues to be prideful so Ranmaru tries to rip her face! She thought she was putting on a mask or something. Ichiko can’t stand their annoyance anymore and throws them out of her apartment. Through the window. It’s the thirteenth floor, remember? Momiji gives Ranmaru a gadget that allows her to hear one’s deepest secret but she won’t use it since it’s useless if Ichiko doesn’t tell it herself. Ichiko tries to avoid Ranmaru so one of the bullies, Akane Tange knows what’s going on and ‘helps’ Ichiko get away. It’s a trap to knock her out and lure her to an old school building. She has prepared several guys to rape her and will upload this humiliation on the internet. Thanks to Momiji spotting this heinous act, Ranmaru barges into the building to beat up the guys and send them retreating with tails between their legs. As Ranmaru confronts Akane and the other bully girls, she realizes Ichiko has secretly escaped. Suddenly the building starts to collapse. Ranmaru holds up a pillar while he tells the bullies to run away. They did just that and couldn’t care less what happens next because they don’t want to take responsibility. Ichiko is in a dilemma to help Ranmaru out. If she saves her, she’ll always come back to annoy her. Momiji hits bull’s eye when she claims Ichiko is afraid of getting close to others.

Flashback reveals Ichiko was best friends with Kurumi Minowa. Ichiko wanted to give her chocolates to Yuusuke and Kurumi used the friendship excuse to give theirs together. However Yuusuke only gave Ichiko a cat hairpin and Kurumi got jealous. She confronted Ichiko and wanted her to give it to her or else their friendship is off. Ichiko gave in and Kurumi thought of confessing her feelings to Yuusuke. However he rejected her because he likes Ichiko better. Kurumi turns into a devil and tells him Ichiko doesn’t like him and gave away the hairpin to her. Since then, Yuusuke treated Ichiko coldly. Momiji beats up Ichiko to her senses to stop thinking about the past. But she fights back and returns to her normal self. Not before Momiji extracts a little fortune from her. She tosses it to Ichiko so that she could do whatever she wants. It’s her call. Ichiko gives her little luck to Ranmaru and they bust out of the collapsing building. In the aftermath, Ranmaru listens to Ichiko’s past. Ichiko is still bitter that everyone puts up a facade and that ‘friend’ is just a word. She knows Ranmaru will be like that one day and use her. Ranmaru assures she will never become like that. Yes she will. No she won’t. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Really? Believe it. Ichiko bursts into emotions. Ranmaru and Ichiko become friends and call each other by their first name.

Episode 9
If you’re wondering why Momou and Bobby aren’t going to be featured in this episode, it’s because they were chasing a group of girls jogging and the police caught them. Ichiko’s class will be playing tennis mixed doubles. I guess Ranmaru wants Keita to be his partner. For life. Can’t even take the heat of her own fantasy, eh? Lots of guys want Ichiko as their partner but the handsome Shion Adenokouji who is known as the Prince of Tennis becomes her partner. Meanwhile his rival, the gorilla-like Gorihara becomes Momiji’s partner and you can expect this is the start of an epic rivalry. They make a bet if Ichiko wins, Momiji will get out of her life forever. Otherwise she will have to hand over her fortune without resistance. Yeah, they even make the bets for the guys. Shion will lose his hair while Gorihara must make love to a real female gorilla in a cage. F*ck! They can’t lose! Ichiko puts fear into Gorihara while Shion is surprised by Momiji’s flexibility! She can take any serve from any angle. She’s like a rubber woman! With Shion taken out by Momiji’s phantom serve (all of them were real, by the way), Ichiko attaches Soumin Shourai to her racquet and hits away. The immense power creates a sandstorm as the ladies duke it out via power battle within the storm. Is this even tennis anymore?! I’m sure the others don’t even know what’s going on. In the end, there is a freaking huge crater on the court and the match ended in a draw. Yeah, the rivals think it isn’t over till one of them is dead. As for Shion and Gorihara, they develop fear for women and just the slight mention of Momiji and Ichiko’s name (in terms of food) will send traumatic shivers down their spine. Poor things…

Ichiko tries her hand at cooking. But it’s a wonder how all those delicious ingredients turn out into hideous poison 2 minutes later! Even her fingers are covered with band aids. Where the hell is her luck?! She gives up and orders pizza but Momiji hogs it. Till she spills it. Out she goes flying through the window. I guess instant noodles will do. So now does Ichiko know how to appreciate Suwano’s cooking? Momiji meets Kuroyuri, another God of Misfortune sent by Yamabuki to help her out. However her true goal is to upstage Momiji and steal all the glory and credits. Momiji knows her well and manages to rile her up as usual. So when the duo try to take out Ichiko together (she’s in yet another poison cooking), double misfortune means they end up getting the bad, right? Yeah, Kuroyuri has Momiji’s needle stuck in her forehead! Worse, the cake in the oven explodes! It’s a wonder how Ichiko can even make a cake do that. Momiji gets an idea to finish their challenge via cooking contest. Kuroyuri will be the judge and the better tasting dish will be the winner. They are to cook her favourite dish, nikujaga and though Momiji cooks like a pro master chef, it turns out to be a luxurious fancy steak. This isn’t nikujaga… As for Ichiko… WHAT THE HELL IS THAT DARK THING?! There’s a face crying out in agony if you look closer! Oh f*cking sh*t! Is that food?! Is she going to eat it?! Don’t judge it by its appearance but its content! Kuroyuri sucks up her courage to eat Ichiko’s dish. Though we don’t see the kind of expression she puts up, just the sound of her making those ghastly sounds is enough to imagine what hell and convulsion she is going through. As Momiji said… She vomited her guts out!!! Oh sh*t!!!! So is Ichiko going to eat her own food? Well, she doesn’t want to die yet. Did she know she was cooking poison? Kuroyuri reports back to Yamabuki about Momiji’s progress. She’s doing great and don’t worry!!! Yeah, so traumatic that she doesn’t want to go back there again, eh?

Episode 10
Ichiko finds an abandoned kitten in the rain and brings it back. So much different treatment from Momou, eh? She calls it Tama. When Ichiko uses the toilet, some guy with a sh*t head (no kidding!) appears from the toilet bowl! The sh*t just stood up and talked! Ibuki as he is called, claims is the Toilet God. Say what? Since he’s starting that fortune and misfortune balance thingy, Ichiko has heard it all before and flushes him down. What a deserving fate… Then at school, Ichiko gets a threatening letter from Momiji that she has kidnapped Tama. If she wants her back, get down to the gym. Momiji teases Ichiko about the bitter feeling of losing someone and notes that even if Ichiko wasn’t interested in rescuing Tama, she would’ve used Ranmaru instead. Ichiko is pissed and uses Soumin Shourai but Momiji pulls out a gadget that sucks all her fortune. After Momiji leaves, Ichiko tries to rescue Tama. However the building starts to catch fire. Prior on, Akane and her bullies were illegally cooking ramen in the store room and left in a hurry when Ichiko came in. Momiji realizes the gym is on fire and makes a u-turn because she knows she’ll be in sh*t if somebody dies. Ibuki appears before Ichiko. He continues his speech that Ichiko cut him off then. His duty is to look after childbirth and childcare. In short, he is here to save Tama and not her. Noting that misfortune befalls on all humans close to her, despite she saved them, Ibuki says enough is enough. She doesn’t have the right to take that little happiness away from others. Ibuki is about to transfer some of his fortune to Tama (I don’t want to know if it’s sh*t luck) but got a little distracted and injected too much. It turns Tama into a cat deity. Tama guides Ichiko to safety and Ibuki won’t interfere since it is Tama’s wish to save her. They dive out but crash into Momiji who is climbing in. With the fortune container breaking, luck is spread all over. Ichiko summons Soumin Shourai as it comes bursting from the ground instead. Natural hot water starts gushing out and douses the flames. Ibuki gives a round pendant to Ichiko. It will help prevent Ichiko from draining fortune from others. Later Ibuki meets up with Momiji and it seems they are in cohorts to teach Ichiko what is truly important. But they can’t let word get out that she’s behind this or else everything will be over.

Episode 11
Momou and Bobby are so happy because the fanservice episode has finally come. To celebrate this ‘milestone’, they even start singing a song on boobs! It all began when Ichiko returns home only to see Momiji running a mud bath for the God of Decay (some giant mud ball?). Yeah, she’s so poor that she has resorted into selling her body! Not to mention earlier on, Yamabuki did warn her about her failure and this time she is serious in punishing her if she brings back no results. Because the bathroom now stinks (plus, Momiji hasn’t bathed in years!), Ichiko decides to bathe at Ranmaru’s house but her dad is using the barrel, old style. I guess it’s more worth it to hit the public bath. Ranmaru wants to tag along too. Guess what? Keita and his siblings are there too. Sensing something bad? Yup. So are Momou and Bobby. Rika sees Momou and Tama turn into human form and gets freaked out but to Keita, the only thing on his mind is how to make money using them via magic performance. Ranmaru almost turned the water into bloodbath after fantasizing too much about Keita (“Deep emotion!”) while Ichiko teases Mika she can touch her boobs but it will cost her 5,000 Yen per touch and that Keita will work himself to death to pay that debt back. Mika starts crying and Rika tells off Ichiko not to bully her. Ichiko assures her body will grow like hers in time but she points out Rika is still as flat as a washboard. Momou and Bobby are going to peep and they’re encouraging Ryuuta too! Momiji thinks she can sneak up on Ichiko and beat her up with a sadistic gadget but somehow Momou got in the way. The girls beat him up and now he has to face Keita’s wrath. He is mad he might have seen his sisters. Good thing they already left but getting beaten up by a guy is a major turn off. Ichiko manages to pin Momiji down and with Ranmaru’s help, they scrub and wash Momiji clean. Kumagai isn’t spared too. How does it feel to wash away all the years of dirt? Suddenly Momiji has shrunk! WTF?! So putting her back in hot water will return her to normal?

Bobby will ‘avenge’ for Momou’s sake but Keita stops him. He tries to convince Keita he is still a guy and now that his brothers have left, there is no reason to hold back. But Keita only has good things to say about Ichiko and Ranmaru. Bobby dismisses Ranmaru because that woman is nothing but muscles and not cute. Obviously Ranmaru heard it all and kicks through the wall. Though it knocked Bobby out, she accidentally saw Keita’s abs. She gets dreamy and collapses. Too hot to handle? The bath water sure didn’t do her in. Keita tries to calm himself by reciting the pi formula (as told by grandma) when the wall collapses and he glimpses Ichiko’s full frontal nudity. Ichiko’s inner angels hold an emergency meeting to discuss the next step that should be taken but everybody is panicking that nothing gets done. I guess the ‘meeting’ took too long so Keita turns her around and walks away. Instead of coming to the bath to wash the stress away, now he is all gloomy. Momiji leaves the bath house wearing Ichiko’s clothes while Keita digs a hole in his garden. No, he’s not going to bury himself. I suppose he has had enough trauma bathing in public and is digging his own outdoor bath? Next day in school, Ichiko and Ranmaru as so embarrassed at yesterday’s events that they are wearing a mask as disguise. They’re going crazy just at the thought of that incident. Worse, Keita wears a paper bag over his face! But the most shocking one has got to be Momiji. Why, she is so kind and polite! Who the hell is this person?! Did all that washing wash away her poor attitude?

Episode 12
Momiji is popular at school and good at all the subjects! Even Kumagai is now a cute teddy and a hit with the ladies! What the hell is that teddy doing in school anyway?! Even when the guys are split over Ichiko and Momiji and end up fighting, Momiji politely lectures them to behave. She’s emitting Buddha’s light! Is this really the God of Misfortune? I guess the teacher was so touched that she is the first person ever to care about him and his class that he abandoned the class to go and cry. Momiji even lectures the girls about treating Ranmaru as a girl and transforms her into one. Ranmaru couldn’t take Keita’s compliments (he just woke up from slumber in class) and goes berserk. Ichiko is still not buying his nice act despite Momiji truly wants to be friends with her. She thinks this is a trap to let her guard down and when that happens, she’ll steal her fortune. Ichiko ropes in Momou and Bobby and the dog god is traumatized this isn’t the Momiji he knows. Ichiko wants Bobby to use his perverted moves to unmask Momiji but instead of groping her boobs, he covered her eyes and plays “Guess who”. No boobs to grope? Emitting to pure an aura? Even Momou can’t tolerate Momiji’s kindness. That’s like pain to a masochist. Ranmaru’s turn. All she can do is wait and pray. How long can she wait? 10 or 20 years? Not going to work for Ichiko. So I guess everybody is already accepting the new Momiji except for Ichiko who is still paranoid. Despite Momiji losing her powers, her mission still isn’t over and hopes Ichiko could share her fortune with those less fortunate. Ichiko still doesn’t buy that and spills her cooking. This causes Momiji to cry and run away. Now Ichiko looks like the villain. Ranmaru makes her go after her.

She manages to catch up and like a tsundere tells her she’s doing this because Ranmaru told her. Ichiko still can’t accept her change in character because she came into her life to steal her fortune and all of a sudden she wants to be friends? Momiji apologizes and doesn’t want her to be unhappy. After all the old Momiji had done? Ichiko still doesn’t want to share her fortune with others since she’s not a saint and doesn’t care about others besides Suwano and Ranmaru. Hey, before it was only Suwano, right? And besides, when she shared her fortune, she didn’t anything, right? Momiji feels she should make more friends and the fortune that she shares will come back to her as happiness. When they go back, Ranmaru has prepared the bath for them. Ichiko is dismayed she has to share with Momiji. Momiji hopes that Ichiko would call her by her name when she has made lots of friends but she’s still pessimistic that would ever happen. The days pass and it’s like Momiji really turned over a new leaf. Those ruthless attacks become a thing of the past and though Ichiko felt her days are much peaceful, she feels something is missing. I guess we know what it is. One day as Kumagai and Tama are playing at the park, Ryuuta’s football accidentally hits Kumagai away and into the garbage truck. Then out comes… The original horrible faced Kumagai! Momou is surprised to see this and as we learn, this happened because he is dirtied. Thus they band together to get Momiji back and get her dirty. Momou comes crashing through the window to kidnap Momiji while Kumagai ties down Ichiko and Tama. They’re going to turn Momiji back and won’t let her interfere. Yup. Kumagai extracts all the garbage from his stomach! So he is going to change Momiji right here in Ichiko’s apartment?! It’s going to stink. But Momiji wants to say her final farewell to Ichiko and promises she won’t run. She is glad that despite the short time they had, she had fun. She truly wanted to be her friend and with tears in her eyes, she hopes Ichiko won’t be too hard on the original Momiji.

Episode 13
Ichiko breaks free and trashes Kumagai and Momou. She won’t let Momiji return to her normal state having her this way is much better than that beggar b*tch that she can’t get along. Kumagai is serious in taking Momiji back and fires his bazooka filled with trash. Ichiko takes Momiji and dives through the window. Free fall! Thankfully Ranmaru was passing by and grabs them. Momiji tells them if they can just evade them till sunset tonight, everything will be okay. They chance upon Bobby driving a truck doing his delivery job. Ichiko wants him to give them a ride to another town but he’s not going to let her have her way. Till she mentions he can grope her boobs all he wants. Simpleton. I’m sure Ichiko must be lying when she told him that. So it’s pedal to the metal. All for the sake of pinching those tits. Ichiko tells Momiji she’s just doing this for herself so Momiji mentions people who think only of themselves will lead themselves to destruction. Yet Ichiko used to place Kurumi’s happiness over her own although she knew what would happen. That’s why if she truly wants, Momiji will always be with her. Kumagai and Momou are catching up fast. Ranmaru realizes all they need to do is keep them away from Momiji so she fights Momou to let the rest get away. How can she fight him when he has turned into a dog? Besides, he wants to be pummelled even more. Since Soumin Shourai is sealed, Ichiko asks Bobby for any other tools. He gives her Jazz The Hyper that increases strength and speed (Bobby used it for his own perverted ends to peek). Ichiko lets Bobby drive Momiji away while she and Tama face off with Kumagai. Kumagai easily rids of Tama by letting her chase a ball. Kumagai realizes Momiji hasn’t told Ichiko about the truth so he tells (writes actually) that if a God of Misfortune stays clean and loses her powers for a week, they’ll become human. So? Gods like them in order to communicate with humans, possess a human-like doll. This means Momiji will turn into a human-like doll if she isn’t returned back to normal by deadline and will never do so again. It is like death! Ichiko is stunned by the revelation as Kumagai knocks her out. He catches up with Bobby and intercepts the truck.

Ichiko wakes up surprised to see Keita by her side. Seems Keita had to cover for Bobby who went missing after a delivery (I guess they’re co-workers recently). Ichiko is still in a dilemma if she should go after Momiji so she asks Keita a hypothetical question if something annoying leaves but when she does it leaves the prickly feeling in your heart. Keita says she already knows the answer. Otherwise she wouldn’t be this upset. She goes ‘crazy’ just thinking about the original Momiji and Keita is glad that she is able to be her usual self. Ichiko calls it even for answering her question (he saw her naked, right?). Kumagai confronts Momiji on the bridge top and wants to know why she didn’t tell Ichiko the truth. She felt Ichiko had really changed. She has become kind to others. Though they can solve things by forcibly taking her fortune, it would leave her unhappy. If Ichiko chooses to shares her fortune, everyone will be happy. That’s why she wanted to stay by her side and support her in using that fortune for others even if it means losing her life. Besides, there are other God of Misfortunes around. Kumagai won’t have it this way but Momiji slips off the bridge. Just then, Ichiko speeds up and grabs her hand. She lectures her about thinking about others but not herself. Would that be happiness for her? Ichiko will decide what is best for herself. Also, this means she realizes she feels at peace whenever she is crazy. For the first time, Ichiko calls Momiji by her name and lets go of her hand. Momiji crashes down into the garbage tow boat. Behold! She’s back! Ichiko tells Kumagai this is what Momiji meant to be. If she disappeared like that and leave the score unsettled, she wouldn’t like it. I guess she prefers to do it the hard way to drive her out. And as expected, Ichiko and Momiji trade insults and the argument heats up. Ah, back to familiar territory. In the aftermath, life seemingly returns to normal. Suwano is reduced to tears when he learns Ichiko admitted she has made friends. As for the forgotten Bobby, he has been charged for possessing an illegal driving licence and causing destruction. Even being interrogated by police, all he could think about is touching tits. Somebody lock this monk in the asylum! He didn’t get to touch any boobs anyway…

Rich B*tch, Poor Bimbo…
Don’t be fooled by that tantalizing next episode preview at the end for a new shocking turn of development! It is definitely fake! Overall, I enjoyed this series very much with all the laugh out loud moments. They should really make another sequel no matter how absurd it is. Oh well. I guess my fortune isn’t really that great. In addition to the laughs, we could also learn a thing or two. Especially humility and counting one’s blessings. Ichiko is a very good example of a person who has almost everything but yet nothing. As I have mentioned, despite her great luck, this doesn’t necessarily translates to being perfect. Otherwise she wouldn’t have that stinking b*tching attitude to begin with. If her luck was really perfect, her childhood days would have been much happier with her parents around instead of just having her butler as company, right? What about her cooking? If she had really good luck, any ingredient she touches would’ve turned into a wonderful meal instead of deadly poison that would make Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka’s Seraphim’s horrendous cooking amateurish. She might have all the money in the world to buy anything she wants, the perfect body that every girl envies and desires, the popularity and the admiration from the boys that makes her a celebrity. But moral wise, as Momiji puts it, she’s a bankrupt. Having lots of money doesn’t necessarily get you true blue friends. You earn such friendship and respect.

It may be wrong to fully blame Ichiko on her snobbish attitude because of her past and the way society treats her. Would Ichiko have been a better angel if she had not been a victim of Kurumi’s jealousy? Would Ichiko have been a much politer person if all those jealous school girls would just shut up and treat her as a normal friend? If you don’t put up a tough exterior, it might have gotten worse. All the while, all she wanted was just a friend. She had been a lonely figure till a certain God of Poverty showed up. But as always, when somebody like Momiji turns up in Ichiko’s life, you can tell that despite she is still the same woman we know before, at least her humanity points fare much better than before. She learns that sometimes helping others gives that feel good factor that money can’t buy. And with Momiji back to her usual self, you can say the love-hate relationship will resume like before. Isn’t that Ichiko’s way of telling us that she cares for Momiji? Despite giving us all that excuse she wants to drive her out with her own hands, blah, blah, blah. What she truly wants deep down is her company that she treasures so much, right?

Momiji may have the attitude to match with Ichiko but I don’t think she is really a bad person. She’s just doing her job as a God of Poverty and sometimes Ichiko’s arrogance really gets to her so I suppose she needs to let loose some steam once in a while to teach her a lesson. Ironically, despite her title as the God of Poverty, I feel that Momiji is a blessing in disguise for Ichiko because without her, I don’t think Ichiko would have improved so much as a human being. Then comes Ranmaru, the second ‘angel’ for Ichiko. Every girl needs a best friend, right? Even if she’s the tomboyish type. Kumagai proves that he isn’t just some mascot that bums around writing comebacks. In the final episode he shows that even a ragged teddy bear has a human heart because he doesn’t want Momiji to sacrifice herself so that Ichiko could be a better person. Would a lose-win situation suffice? Nay. I say let Ichiko’s fortune do the job and make it a win-win situation! As for perverts Bobby and Momou, I feel their presence were just for comical relief. If Momiji isn’t enough to take in all that beating, this couple of guys would provide great extra trashing when needed.

As for some of the other minor side characters, I was hoping that some would play a more prominent role but I guess this series has Ichiko and Momiji hogging the spotlight. For instance when Kuroyuri made her debut, I was sure that she was either going to be sticking around for at least a few more episodes or be the turning point in the series that will affect the main duo. However she only lasted for one stinking episode. That’s it. Gone. Can’t stand the misery of Ichiko’s cooking, eh? Same case for Ibuki. So what after he gave Ichiko a pendant to prevent her from stealing other people’s fortune? Shouldn’t Momiji have done that in the beginning? Yeah well, if she did, we might not enjoy all the hilarious slapstick chaos. So what was the deal Ibuki and Momiji made? Did Momiji know beforehand about the consequences of being cleaned and setting up the events that led her to the public bath house to be washed spotless? Even if so, how did Ibuki fit into all this unless his appearance was just to make Ichiko the importance of life. After that, you won’t see the Toilet God anymore. Another one episode only character. Just like Shion and Gorihara. Can’t blame them for being traumatized, eh? What happened to Urashimako? I guess he became turtle soup for real. Haha! As for Keita, I felt after his arc that involves saving brother Ryuuta and the picnic incident, his role seems to become less significant. It felt like he is around just to remind us he is still there and his thoughts are mainly how to make a quick buck to earn for his impoverish family, which I don’t think he’ll hesitate to do. His poor life isn’t what everybody would love to go through but at least he makes an honest living, gets to sleep well at night and is happy to know that his siblings are happy. You can see the ultimate difference between Keita and Ichiko and what each clearly lacks. I’m sure you would know which is the better one.

I guess with all the comical slapsticks, exaggerated action and drama, there won’t be enough space for some love chemistry. Who am I kidding? Blossoming romance in this anime? Despite Ranmaru having a huge crush on Keita, it feels just for comical purpose. As if it becomes a natural reflex action for her to go berserk and crazy every time that guy pops up right before her eyes. Well, it’s good to know that despite years of being raised as a boy, deep down she is still a girl. I had this thought that Ichiko and Keita would end up being a couple but from the way things were heading, prospects look dim. Not even that incident whereby Keita accidentally saw her naked body would turn things around. I guess Ichiko didn’t really want to play mommy to a poor guy with younger siblings to support and looks like she ditched the idea of having a boyfriend for good. I suppose the only true love that occurred in this anime is Suwano and his new wife. And please, Bobby and Momou’s perversion isn’t considered true romance. That’s just sickening.

There are lots of trivia to spot if you keep your eyes open and though I won’t say that they are filled over to the brim but there are enough scattered and peppered around. If you know your animes well, that is. Many of them involve Momiji or Ichiko and sometimes even Kumagai dressed up or cosplaying as such characters for a short while. For example, Rosario To Vampire, Medaka Box, To Love-Ru Darkness, Dragonball, Lupin, One Piece and Bleach. From what I observed, Dragonball parody is often used like how it was used in an example that a certain hero from that anime always keep winning while a certain villain always keep losing. I guess now we know why that always happens, huh? Blame it all on Ichiko! There is even a Death Note parody scene whereby Ichiko and the other characters parodied characters of that psychological thriller series. The trivia are fun to watch and spot and it adds pleasure and increase the overall effect of funniness. So even without the perverted antics of Bobby and Momou, Momiji’s cheeky harassment to screw up Ichiko’s life or Ichiko’s annoying reaction to it all, the show is still a laughing riot thanks to this.

Right at the end of the series whereby there is an end card illustration, which is just chibi and comical sketches of Ichiko and Momiji. When I rewatch them again at one go, I notice there seems to be a short nonsensical story in each one. Feels like some little plant is sprouting out from Momiji’s head as it grows into a big tree. The ‘red apples’ it bears turns out to be Momiji clones, much to Ichiko’s horror. Then she wakes up from it as a bad dream but it seems the nightmare has come true as all the Momiji clones are partying away in her room. Huh? Oh, there’s a plant sprouting out on Ichiko’s head too in the end! Also together with the end card illustration is the second title. I’m not sure what this second title is for since I don’t see it appearing in the main episode proper (maybe just for laughs?) but I notice that some of them parody anime titles that would reflect the misadventure of the next episode like The Disappearance of Binbouda Momiji (parody of The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi – Suzumiya Haruhi No Shoushitsu), Gentiana In The Middle Of Somewhere (Horizon In The Middle Of Nowhere – Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon), My Classmate Have No Money (No Money – Okane Ga Nai) and There’s No Way I Have A Smaller Tits Than A Littler Girl (There’s No Way My Sister Can Be This Cute – Ore No Imouto Ga Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai). Then there are some which doesn’t seem like anime titles like Washed And Knife Up, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, Ibuki Seat and Get Whipped. The mid-intermission is also another funny section with the characters in random poses or silly antics/costumes.

Also another one of the more amusing sections is the Nadeshiko Ga segment (brought to you by Eromotion?) right before the next episode preview. In this segment, we have this bratty and arrogant oujo-sama-like girl, Nadeshiko hosting this short segment with her dialogue-less butler, Shinobu as she teases viewers to find her cameo appearances during the episode. This segment reveals her position in that episode if you care enough to do a Where’s Wally search. Then she’ll give out that arrogant laughter at the end. Of course it will be boring to just see her do the same thing in every episode so they did a little variety by cancelling this segment in one episode due to lack of time (hear her go “NooOOOOooOOOOooOOO…” in the background), fast forwarding it at 3x the speed and making her sound like a chipmunk and even superimposing her face as that sh*t dude when she didn’t really appear at all. So who is this girl, really? She doesn’t seem to have any impact in this series probably just to amuse us or screw with our heads wondering who the heck she is. In later episodes, there are very short comical skits called Extra Round. They have no impact to the actual story or the episode proper and the skits include Bobby in his twisted vision spots the words “BOOBS” when the kanji words coincidentally are lumped together, Momou getting into his bondage position in just a second, Yamabuki lecturing Momiji for her failure but will let it slide since she was easily ‘bribed’ by her favourite glam rock material, Bobby showing his obviously fake and made up driving licence to get a job and Momiji switching bodies with Ichiko and plans to run wild around town with her huge tits (and also ruin her reputation) but soon returns a minute later because she finds it tough walking around with big boobs as they can’t stop bouncing about.

Kana Hanazawa is perfectly casted as the role of Ichiko. Over the years she has played a myriad of characters from retarded lively ones to shy and soft-spoken girls. As Ichiko she displays lots of angst and frustration courtesy of the beggar b*tch. She sounds more like Mahiru from Kamisama Dolls. Only add more angst to it. Haruka Tomatsu as Ranmaru sounds more like her Beelzebub anime role as Yuuka Hanazawa because of her loud hoarser voice she is making. Kikuko Inoue as Yamabuki clearly didn’t sound like her dreamy voice roles like Belldandy in Aa! Megami-sama or Kasumi in Ranma 1/2 so I couldn’t recognize her voice initially. Hiro Shimono as Momou sounds pretty familiar because that’s the same kind of voice he puts up when playing idiots (Akihisa in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu) or perverts (Ryousuke in Dakara Boku Wa H Ga Dekinai). Other casts include Yumi Uchiyama as Momiji (Nagi in A Channel), Kouki Uchiyama as Keita (Ichika in Inifinte Stratos, Midnight in Fairy Tail), Yoshihisa Kawahara as Bobby (Yasu in Nana), Koji Yusa as Ibuki (Ichimaru Gin in Bleach), Ryoko Shiraishi as Kuroyuri (Hayate in Hayate No Gotoku), Asami Shimoda as Ryuuta (Kotomi in Seitokai Yakuindomo), Shiho Kawaragi as Rika (Sekai in School Days) and Hiroshi Naka as Suwano (Naoyuki in Clannad). Rie Kugimiya made a cameo appearance as Kurumi and though she didn’t do her trademark tsundere loli voice, she is still recognizable with that cute high pitch voice and it was convincing enough to make her character almost turn into yandere mode.

The opening theme, Make My Day by Piko may start out sounding like a video game song but what I find amusing about this pop rock is the lyrics. Especially during the chorus when she starts singing one way, two way, three way, four way, bad day go away. It sounds cute that it rhymes like that in a row. But the ending theme is my favourite since this rock-like piece, Koi Boudou is quite a catchy tune despite the singer, Happy Birthday (yes, this is the name of the group that sung this song) doesn’t have one of the best voices around and isn’t likely to become idol or megastar material (in my opinion of course) as she sounded like she had a few rounds of drink and gotten drunk. If you know how the Japanese pop rock group, Nano Ripe sounds, you get the idea. Close to that. But I guess that kind of voice would suit the pace and feel of this song as I have imagined a high pitched, squeaky and cute one won’t really do. Neither would a mature one would make it work either.

It is true that when you share your fortune with others, your own fortune will grow and multiply itself. You become happier and more luck spreads around. Like that say, giving is better than receiving (unless you’re an ‘M’). Well, theoretically that should be okay but if you start thinking about world balance and yin-yang it may not be possible since if there are rich people, there must also be poor ones. Rich only exists because there are poor. Just like why there are beautiful people because there are ugly ones. Without darkness, light won’t exist. Maybe I shouldn’t get into too many details on this topic. We’ll save that for another day. Despite this series trying to tell us that sharing is caring, not everything in this world should be shared generously. I certainly don’t want to catch the illness you are having. For hygienic purposes, don’t share the same towel, handkerchief or even the same underwear… Even if you’re a pervert!

I suppose this series is popular enough to warrant a fourth season. So when Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb came out back in late 2012, I decided to check things out due to nostalgia reasons. I’m not a big fan of the series but because of the eccentric and lovable characters (especially a certain childish teacher), it is the reason why I keep coming back to the series. No bloody violence, no over the top fanservice, no silly cliché jokes that would hurt your stomach when you laugh out so loud. Just plain slice of life comedy of the girls of Yamabuki Arts High School, their interactions and the stuffs they do together as they build deeper bonds through the passage of time. Of course with Sae and Hiro being third year seniors, it means they won’t have much time left at Hidamari Apartments (HA). Time to make more memories. It might not be end of the world once they leave, but you know the emptiness when close friends leave. Well, this season won’t be any tear jerker so don’t bother taking out the tissue papers. Heck. I’ll spoil you. You won’t see them even graduate yet once this season ends.

Episode 1
Yuno wakes up and realizes she has been living at HA for a year. The all too familiar sounds of Hiro cooking, Sae’s faxing, Nazuna and Nori watering the tomatoes. And that crashing sound… That has got to be Miyako. Miyako and Yuno thought they heard people talking in Sae’s room and go bug Nazuna to eavesdrop. Of course directly underneath her room is Nazuna’s as they hear her frustrated scream since she forgot to save again using her computer. Then they go down to help her but Miyako is more interested in eavesdropping next door on Sae. Because Miyako and Yuno continue to ponder what they’re talking outside, I guess Sae too even notices them and ticks them off for sneaking around. The duo see her with her friends and they know all about Miyako and Yuno since Sae always talks about them. This causes Sae to fluster in embarrassment. Later they learn that Sae and Hiro’s grade will be having a class trip to Hokkaido so their friends were here to arrange the groupings. The gang talk about previous class trips they had. In class, Yoshinoya is dressed in a sea urchin because she is eager to go on the class trip. Till a familiar pissed off silhouette is standing outside the door. The Principal reprimands her and she throws a tantrum. Though Sae and Hiro go shopping, eager beaver Miyako and Yuno also tag along. In the mall, guess who is also there? The tsundere. Who? Natsume. Oh. Still have that crush on Sae, no? She becomes clumsy when she spots Sae and when she gets spotted in turn, she puts up her tsundere act for doing last minute shopping. Next morning when Sae and Hiro leave, their juniors give them a grand send off by waving flags.

Now that the seniors have gone for the trip, it feels like the school is 1/3 empty. Yoshinoya laments she couldn’t go on the trip and complains it to her students! But she is eager that next year she will get to go on a class trip with them. Yuno dreams of being a good senior example and all the praises everyone will shower her. Keep dreaming… Sae, Hiro and their friends are touring Hokkaido as they stop by in one of the shops for lunch. They came all the way north just to order omelette rice? Shouldn’t they at least try Hokkaido’s specialty like seafood? Don’t say. Because the omelette rice tastes delicious! I guess everything tastes good when you’re hungry. Later the friends made Sae sit a simulator horse and cheeky Hiro records a video of her ‘galloping’ on it with her handphone. Nazuna and Nori seek Yuno’s help in their cooking. I guess it’s her chance to guide them as their senior. However it doesn’t turn out as expected and Nazuna blames herself. Hiro and Sae are soaking in the hotspring. Natsume continues to be tsundere, dismissing she wants to join them but her friends really know what’s on her mind. Sae thinks Hiro should get out before she gets a dizzy when their friends invite them for a pillow fight.

Episode 2
Nazuna thanks Yuno for last night’s cooking guidance though the latter feels bad about it. Sae wakes up Hiro but since the latter is being a sleepyhead, her yukata almost come undone. This time Yoshinoya comes to class wearing a melon headgear. I guess she’s still not letting the Hokkaido thing pass. Yuno laments she can’t be of good use to her juniors. Miyako thinks she should be herself, if not replicate what her seniors do. Does this mean she has to tail and follow Nazuna and Nori? Yeah, they feel somebody is stalking them! Yuno bumps into Yoshinoya who advises her to be herself otherwise she’ll burn out. Hiro and Sae’s trip continue. Whether it’s boating or sculpting glass (it came out so crooked and bad that the rest thought it was magnificent art!) or standing on a see-through glass on a high tower. Hiro thinks Sae is teasing her when she mentions the glass is strong enough to withstand her weight. She’s not that heavy! Their friend tease Sae that standing over the glass, people can see her panties. Actually, nobody can from that distance.

Yuno and Miyako take Nazuna and Nori to the public bath house. Miyako starts her usual antics by drinking milk first and rushing in naked. The juniors get permission to touch Miyako’s boobs. Yuno also want to have a go but sounded like a pervert so she forgets about it. Wondering why Yuno took them to the bath house, she explains Hiro and Sae’s kindness and thought she would like to do the same to help them out. After the bath, they look up at the night sky and wonder if it’s the same in Hokkaido. Surely it is but only clearer. Miyako gets an idea to call Sae. She thanks them for everything. So why suddenly this? Dried scallops. Oh. Don’t forget to get them. Yuno in her room thinks if Sae and Hiro are like parents, she would love to become the big sister. The seniors prepare to leave Hokkaido and Sae and Hiro think they’ve really toured the place. Until their friend points out they have only been to a small portion of it. Hokkaido is really that big. When the duo return, their juniors welcome them back and even have made garlands for them! Missed them that much? The seniors tell what happened during their trip including an alpaca that looks like Principal, the great omelette rice (stunning everyone since you go to Hokkaido to try their specialty) and Hiro’s video of Sae riding the horse simulation. They then give out souvenirs and try out the Genghis Khan caramel. The taste is not what they expected but since only Miyako is having no qualms with it, they let her finish the caramel. It’s the juniors turn to tell what happened while they’re gone. They survived. Eh? Miyako’s boobs were perfect. EH?! Ultimately Nazuna and Nori praise Yuno because they got to talk a lot with her and Miyako.

Episode 3
Yuno thinks of going out to have fun tomorrow with Miyako but unfortunately it starts such a stormy weather. I guess all their plans will be put on hold. Since they have no food, they think of going down to Hiro and share food with her. It seems Nazuna too had the same idea. Nori too! Thank goodness Hiro has abundance of food for them but Miyako made an unnecessary gesture about her flab so an inner storm is brewing. I don’t think they can survive that one. Nazuna has brought cards for them to pass the time as Sae wonders if Miyako’s room will be alright (the roof is leaking so her room will be flooded). Miyako assures everything will be okay. That’s why she’s here. I guess that’s a no. Hiro wants to make some pasta but ran out of an ingredient and will have to make it taste milder. Nori didn’t want that and drags Nazuna out to the store to get them. However the storm is too much for them so they return empty handed and would rather have mild pasta instead. Fortunately Hiro improvises and uses garlic to make it taste good. Unfortunately tomorrow is school day and that means they reek of garlic smell! Drink lots of milk to cover the smell! Landlady pays them a visit (she’s doing pizza delivery – in this storm?) to check on them. Miyako thought she could have free pizza but is told to dream on. Miyako returns with Yuno to her room and sees her doing her own project of a picture diary. A picture a day. Since she is trying to glue the pages together, Miyako thought fresh air would do her some good and opens the window. It’s still raining outside. The breeze has her pages scatter all over the place. When she collects them all, she realizes she is missing 2 days but doesn’t think too much about it since it is her own project.

The new school term starts and the Principal gives his speech high from above the podium. Yoshinoya tells her class that there will be an earthquake drill and when the announcement is made, she didn’t evacuate her class immediately but instead ponder who started the fire in the home economics classroom (the earthquake started the fire in that room due to the earthquake – wasn’t she listening?). Yeah, her class is doomed at this rate. While the students evacuate, Hiro and Sae communicate perfectly in hand signals that the other students wonder what they’re doing. Nazuna wanted to detour and go to the toilet but Nori stops her since there is fire and in the middle of evacuating! Hold it in! While the Principal makes his speech about the evacuation times which could’ve been better, the students think he likes to be in high places seeing he is talking from the top of the fire engine’s elevator. Yuno squats seeing she didn’t want to sit on the ground for it will dirty her skirt. Yuno assures her she can just wipe it away and flicks her forehead. It causes a domino effect to the other girls squatting as they tumble! Yoshinoya picks out Yuno to sit in an earthquake simulator to demonstrate the scariness of earthquakes. Based on her scream, I think the students are very well convinced earthquakes are scary. Trauma! Back at HA, the girls make mocha since Hiro have some ingredients for it. Surprisingly we see Yoshinoya cleaning the art supplies for her next class. Principal commends her dedication and invites her out for a meal with the other teaching staffs. No drinking, though.

Episode 4
Yuno wakes up too early and prepares her stuff for the swimming meet. Because she can’t swim, she will be a record keeper along with Nakayama. Mashiko gives them a camera to snap all the photos they want for the meet. Till he reminds them it isn’t waterproof and it costs 100,000 Yen! Panicking, aren’t they? Better handle with extreme care. Principal officially starts the meet but Yoshinoya upstages him by showing off her school swimsuit (I guess it borderlines inappropriateness so Principal allows it) and even demonstrates by diving flat into the pool. Ouch. That has got to hurt. The meet begins with Nori taking part and winning her race. Yuno starts taking pictures of her like as though she’s a supermodel. Then she tells her to strip?! Is Yuno sane?! Nazuna congratulates Nori and since the latter is embarrass, she accidentally splashes her cap still filled with water on her. Oh. Yuno also took that picture. Meanwhile Nakayama takes shots of the guys but since they had ‘too much skin exposed’, she couldn’t do her job properly and probably missed all the important shots. During the lunch break, Principal demonstrates his swimming skills. Think he’s an old geezer? Think again! Because he’s damn good! Not only that, he demonstrates his solo synchronized swimming too! The meet resumes and Sae’s turn is up. She bumps into Natsume on the sidelines as she is not swimming. Tsundere mode, on! Sae eventually wins the race and Hiro is baffled that Natsume supported somebody from a different class. Miyako takes part in the medley relay and though she is doing fine, she is holding her breath for the entire length of her swim!!! Can she make it?! Even Yuno and Nori are holding their breath over the close fight. I don’t think they should. It’s not good for their health. In the end, Miyako’s tactic pays off and she wins the race. Yoshinoya announces Class A to be the winner of the meet (the class Yuno and her friends are on). The losers will clean the pool for a week. Bummer. Yuno and Nakayama later return the camera to Yoshinoya and she is impressed of their artistic styles. She makes Mashiko upload them onto the school’s homepage since he had seen her in her swimsuit (nobody asked her to show anybody anyway). Otherwise, see her throw a tantrum. When the homepage is uploaded, seems there is one photo when enlarged, zooms in on Yoshinoya’s breasts! Did Mashiko know what he was doing? Later Yuno ponders of getting her own digital camera and take pictures of everyone and put it in an album. Despite not swimming in the meet, being a record keeper means she took part in it in her own way.

Episode 5
Nazuna visits Yuno and Miyako. She has an emergency. She wants them to teach her how to cook fried chicken. By tomorrow. Or else she can never face her parents again! Apparently they’re visiting and she wants to cook for them. When she visited them during summer vacation, she sounded as though she had gotten better in the cooking basics so I guess the expectation is there. Why didn’t she ask Hiro since she’s the best among the lot? Well, she thought she is busy. Miyako suggests to go ask her anyway. Hiro agrees to help Nazuna out despite being ‘busy’ drawing. Drawing Sae in her sleep, that is. Hiro explains all that is needed to make fried chicken but Nazuna was too busy taking down notes and didn’t see. Care to do it again? Because Yuno’s miso soup is the best, Hiro has her teach Nazuna. Feeling very needed, eh? Nazuna parents soon visit and her friends worry if she’s going to be alright seeing her body language isn’t really confident. As they wait, they get an SMS from Nazuna. It’s an SOS mail! Quickly they rush over and looks like she messed up the rice. Hiro improvises to make rice porridge instead. Her parents are happy Nazuna has good friends. They too know she isn’t good at cooking and it’s hard not to notice. I guess the dead giveaway was trying to cut tofu and vegetables with a fruit knife. After her parents leave, Nazuna thanks her friends for everything. She presents to them a souvenir from her parents. Guess what? Fried chickens… Sick of it already? Maybe another time…

Nori wakes up in the dead of the night because of a nightmare. Since her room is next to Sae, she gets spooked when she heard her knock on the wall and even gets jumpy when she sends a mail. Sae heard her scream and wonders if she’s alright. They answer each other via SMS but Nori realizes it would be just easier to go talk face to face. Nori tells Sae about her nightmare. She was working on an image and the colour kept fading. Suddenly the computer froze! She didn’t save her work! Yeah. That’s the nightmare. Sae thought that was interesting so Nori tries to bluff her with a ghost sighting. Didn’t work. But the centipede bluff did. Noticing Sae still uses the good old dictionary, she suggests getting a laptop and it ended up both of them arguing the pros and cons of a dictionary and a laptop. Eventually they both cool down and apologize. Next, they talk about living independently and Chika, whom Nori hopes would come visit again. The chat lasted till morning till Sae is awakened by the ‘ghostly’ voice of Hiro. She realizes they have overslept and wakes Nori up. She doesn’t want to since she’s in a middle of a nice dream! Eventually she wakes up, rushes back to her room to have a quick shower before heading off to school.

Episode 6
Today, the class will have to free sketch their own face. Yoshinoya demonstrates drawing hers and it turns out real good but when the students suggest drawing Mashiko, it turned out horrible. Miyako and Yuno sketch while reminisce about certain memories like Yuno realizing how short she is and Miyako suggesting Yuno to make a face she normally doesn’t do (I guess she was sarcastic when she clapped and yet said it didn’t work). Yuno’s sketch turns out to be good while Miyako’s… She had several hands grapping her hair? And if Miyako said she just drew what she saw in the mirror, does it mean…???!!! Just kidding. Miyako compliments how cute Yuno is and sends her flustering. Later the duo take a bath together back home and Yuno reminisces about the first time she moved here and met Miyako. Then the duo talk while trying hard not to fall asleep. I don’t think they can last… Hiro narrates how her parents and teachers praised her detailed drawing and it made her want to study arts. Once more she is at the crossroads wondering her next path in life. Sae meanwhile dreads next week’s meeting with the teacher about college. So much so, she was about to leave it to the fate ladder! Hiro calms her down. During recess, Miyako notices Hiro not looking well and forces her to go to the infirmary (citing her weight problems to get her moving). She rests in bed but is surprised to see Yoshinoya sleeping next to her! Apparently she wanted to bug Kuwahara but since she was busy, she waited and waited. Yoshinoya has Hiro explain what’s eating her. Though Yoshinoya is amazed she wants to be go to an art college, become a teacher and come back to Yamabuki like her, she cautions if she really wants to be a teacher. Or is it she wants to be at Yamabuki? Even if she did, her friends will no longer be around. That really hit her as Hiro sinks into depression. It’s like Yoshinoya saw right through her. But the most depressing one is Yoshinoya since she is worried she might have said too much. Hiro is not feeling well so she goes home early. Her friends decide to pay her a visit and Nazuna is the first one to panic upon knowing Hiro is sick. Luckily there is Nori to calm her down. Hiro wakes up to see Sae sitting by her side. Sae is supportive and amazed and supportive about her dream to become a teacher and wished she had a teacher who is like her back then (or else Sae wouldn’t have hated drawing animals). It brought tears to Hiro’s eyes. The embrace each other as Hiro feels depressed that she’ll feel lonely once she graduates. Sae also feels the same but knows they’ll be alright. The mood is ruined or rather the tension is eased when their stomachs growl. Next morning, Hiro is up and well. As proof, Miyako teases her as a glutton. Hiro sees Yoshinoya to apologize for clamming up yesterday. She is now clear that she wants to enter an art college and be an art teacher. All thanks to Sae who gave her a little push.

Episode 7
The class is to draw a poster for Yamabuki Festival. The way Miyako puts it, Yuno gets the idea that she might be getting an international debut because the poster that will be picked for the festival will be up on the homepage for the world to see. I guess Yuno counted her chickens and called mommy she will be making her international debut. As they ponder the theme for the festival, Yoshinoya whispers hints she wants a masquerade. Yuno realizes there is not much time left to finish her poster and remembers last year her exhibit was left out since it was incomplete. She won’t let that happen again and rushes up. Once over, Miyako shows hers. It’s in 3D and you need 3D glasses to view it! Principal and the teachers start picking the best poster and one caught their eye. Guess whose? Yuno! Her friends celebrate and congratulate her win as they ‘interview’ her. Her congratulatory speech is, “I am very happy!”. In English. Then she calls her mom to inform about her international debut. The one panicking is her father because now he thinks she needs to rent a secure condo with at least 2 guards! That famous, huh? Yuno gets a mail from her friend Arisawa, asking to go out on a mixer with her. Yuno panics and declines. Of course she was just joking. Yuno dresses up to go meet Arisawa. Sae panics and bugs Miyako for answer about the person Yuno is ‘dating’. Maybe she should ask her herself? They meet up and talk about things over lunch such as Arisawa’s campus life and trash. Literally. Arisawa learns Yuno’s poster got picked from the entire school as Yuno owes it to her friends. Arisawa says never to let them go. Giving herself as an example, she might have her friends’ numbers but didn’t call for half a year. It’s reassuring to think that there is someone you can get in touch with but if you never do it, it doesn’t really count. It’s important to build a relationship that will still be there even if you can’t. Because Yuno has become quite a close friend, Arisawa wants her to call her by her shortened name that her friends do: Arisa. Before Arisawa leaves via bus, Yuno invites her to come to Yamabuki Festival. Yuno gives much thought to Arisawa’s words and texts Sae and Hiro to always be friends. She later shares the apple pie with her friends while the juniors got really excited to know this Arisawa person that she was out on a date. They seem disappointed when Yuno explains she’s a girl and a college friend. Then when she tells them about the conversation they had, Hiro realizes the meaning of the text she sent and thanks her for the nice mail and it means a lot to them.

Episode 8
Yoshinoya seems to be very eager in suggesting her class on what to do for the festival. A masquerade? A maid cafe? When it’s time to vote, she puts ‘pressure’ on her students to vote her suggestions but eventually she is left in despair as the class chooses haunted house instead. As Miyako and Yuno prepare the props for the haunted house, they wonder what they can do to make it scarier. Miyako suggests making the ground movable and that means stacking up lots of flattened cardboards. She tries it out herself but slips and sprains her fingers. Though they are bandaged up nicely, they’ll have to stay that way for a week and that means she’ll have them on during the festival. Yuno gets a real scare when Miyako feels something wet behind her back. Is it blood?! Or is it paint? Yuno’s scream was funny. Another scare for Yuno because back home she spots Miyako looking like a zombie in the toilet. Funny scream. Prolonged version. On the day of the festival, Yuno’s winning poster design is used as the pamphlet’s cover. She loves it so much that she asks for several copies. Yuno and Miyako’s haunted house shift is later so they go around visiting like Sae and Hiro’s class running an udon cafe, Nazuna’s class doing a balloon room (can they find a heart shape balloon amidst them all?) and Nori’s class doing a play in which both Romeo and Juliet are played by boys (Juliet has trauma for cows?!). Yuno also meets Arisa and her friend at the festival.

When it’s their turn for the shift, their friends come to visit the haunted house. They have second doubts to enter since they hear those horrifying screams. That bad, huh? Eventually they step in and I think they are scaring themselves whether it’s Nazuna letting loose her scream or Hiro’s sneeze. They need to take out a talisman from a statue so Nori who isn’t scared did the honours. Till she finds a bloodied hand sticking at the end of the talisman! Freak out! When they reach the exit, they meet Yuno who is manning the reception. The final and ultimate scare is when they put the talisman in the box. Because in that box is Miyako’s face!!! The haunted house must be chalking up a good reputation with all the screams. You can ever hear them from the hallway. Yuno is surprised her parents came and out from the haunted house. They wanted to take a look at her winning poster design and didn’t want to trouble her, that’s why they didn’t inform they were coming. Yuno takes her parents to tour around the festival. Along the way, a WTF moment when Yoshinoya parades around in a sexy Momotarou outfit. The festival ends with the students dancing around the bonfire at night. Yoshinoya wanted to hijack everything, ready with her samba outfit and own music but was intercepted by Principal. Thank goodness. Yuno is dancing with Miyako and the former thought her injuries are healed since she has taken off her bandages. Well, it isn’t because that’s just a fake hand! Yikes!

Episode 9
Yuno is wakened from her beautiful slumber when Miyako and Landlady call her name from outside her room. Landlady has won a Game of Life prize via a drawing contest and decides to give it to her. Miyako calls everyone to play. Landlady is joining in too? Since the game has elements that doesn’t relate to their life, they decide to make several modifications. So I guess you start at HA and end up being a millionaire owning HA. Miyako even makes a miniature HA! Very detailed! While the girls are making the modifications, Landlady takes a nap in Sae’s room. Nazuna and Nori learn that the HA sign outside was done by them. When they’re done, I suppose all that hard work means their stomach is growling. Hiro makes onigiri while Nazuna makes miso soup. Too bad she added too much tofu because it’s a pity they’ll expire today and she bought a lot of them dirt cheap. As the game is about to begin, they find that the maximum number of players is only 6. There are 7 of them. Quickly Landlady goes under Nazuna’s team. The game progresses and we see the girls landing on all the odd squares and most of them are nostalgic things they did or places they visit in the past seasons. Sae lands on a square that has her speak like a cat for the next 2 turns. In great timing, Chika calls Yuno and wonders how she is doing in the game (Nori texted her about it). Conveniently, everybody made Sae talk to her sister and her biggest embarrassment is that she had to talk like a cat. It sends Chika laughing like mad. She can’t stop! Everyone else tried to hold back their laughter. Everyone lands a job that they conjured previously. But Nazuna ends up as the prime minister? Wait. Nori got it worse. She’s unemployed! How is that a job? This prompts Landlady to think how she never dreamt of landing this job back in high school. The girls start to wonder what kind of odd jobs she takes up since even though she is the landlady, she is hardly around. Landlady makes excuses to keep it as a secret. In the end, the winner with the most money goes to Nori! How can an unemployed earn more than the prime minister? Well, she landed on lots of good squares. Irony, life, isn’t it? Landlady notices the lack of loser squares and they mention since had to fill it with lots of winner spaces since they’re thinking of their future. Yeah. You don’t want to get depressed thinking this will really become true later in your life despite being a game, right? Life can be cruelly. So play it safe. After Landlady leaves, Nazuna and Nori see the HA sign outside and hope they could make their own memories at HA. Miyako thinks Yuno should keep this game forever and pass it down to future dorm residents. In 20 or 30 years time and with all their own modifications, it will be a super amazing game. I can imagine the havoc and chaos…

Episode 10
Yuno and Miyako are being reserved as they want the other to take the first step into the snow. However Nori unknowingly makes the first move. If you’re wondering why Miyako isn’t wearing her jacket. Well, it’s from her brother. And it is over-sized. Looks like an over-sized worm… as for Yoshinoya, she dresses up as a snow woman despite knowing how freaking cold it is just to show off to her students. WTF. Later Miyako and Yuno play snow ball fight back at HA and they are surprised that Nori is studying. Want to join in? Well, although it’s a waste not to play in the snow, she notes that she has been falling behind her grades and her parents are paying a lot of money for her to study here. So she needs to buck up and not let them down. In short, she declines to play with them. Yuno and Miyako got so embarrassed that they try digging a hole to bury themselves. After studying for the day, everyone gathers and talk how it is good to have a partner to study as you won’t get distracted unlike studying alone. Miyako thinks it’s a good idea too since she might have finished writing an entire poem on HA had she not study with Yuno. Later Sae talks to Hiro and thinks they shouldn’t put up a grand welcoming party when Chika comes to visit later. Oh, here she is now. But Chika declines to come in for tea as she has a message for Sae and talks to her sister privately in her room. The message is from her parents and though they have no qualms about her studies, they want to know why she put down 2 schools back home for where she wants to go. Is it she is worried about Chika or money? Despite denying, her body language says otherwise. Sae admits about living alone and the cost so going to school back home is fine. But Chika feels annoyed at that she acts like she is suffering on her behalf as Chika lives at school while Sae goes to public school. She thinks it is rude to be concerned about someone for reasons like that.

Eventually both sisters make up and Chika goes over next door for the gyoza party. What party? Seems everyone else knew Chika was coming and have finished making the food. I guess Sae was the last one to know Chika was coming. Why? To get everyone’s approval first of course. Sae didn’t want to tell what they talk about but since Chika was pretty loud next door, they could hear what they said. Chika asks their plans for Christmas and Sae mentions about sharing a cake. Chika hints big sister should be doing something else since she is in her third year. Sae flusters that she has exams to concentrate and don’t have time to waste for Christmas. This prompts Nazuna to think about their future as she learns Hiro will go to an art college to become an art teacher while Sae will try her luck in becoming a writer. They can’t imagine the duo being apart. Yuno sadly notes they’ll be leaving HA in 3 months time. Miyako suggests they can still be at HA. Just stay back for 1 more year! Rejected! She also suggests encouraging them to do their best and forms a cheer squad and leads the other girls to cheer on the seniors. They are touched with their support and Miyako says they’re going to do it every day till they graduate. Every day?

Episode 11
Yuno, Miyako and a couple of their friends visit Yoshinoya. Why? To clean her house! Look at her room filled with magazines and books scattered everywhere! I’m sure they move faster when she wants them to also find sketches they made during their first classes at Yamabuki. They’re tucked away somewhere between those pages. They spot a yearbook album of Yoshinoya when she’s a kid. They’re ecstatic to read it till they see a topic on who is about to get married first. Yoshinoya topped that list. Just lost motivation… While taking a break, one of the friends accidentally knock over the alarm clock. The alarm turns out to be Yoshinoya’s voice reminding her to wake up. Sometimes it also encourages her to sleep if it’s alright to skip breakfast, etc. Creepy… Turn it off! After cleaning it up, Yoshinoya says they can take a book as reward for helping her clean. She’s going to rid them anyway. Besides, she has read them so much that it’s part of her soul. So take part of her soul! Don’t think so… Suddenly a guy and a kid walk in. The girls scream in horror! Who the hell?! Turns out to be Yoshinoya’s younger brother and his son coming to visit (he married young). Phew. Even bro doesn’t believe Yoshinoya is a teacher and asks the girls for confirmation! He offers to give help take the books away since he drove. During the ride, he tells the girls that he once got into a little accident. It turned Yoshinoya into a sobbing mess and couldn’t stop crying. He hopes they will be careful too because she’d start crying if anything happens to them. Back at HA, Yuno and Miyako show the rest the books they got and a picture of Yoshinoya and her brother slip out. The seniors freak out to see this person till they learn he is the brother. They talk what happened during the day and since all the talking is making them hungry, Hiro goes to make something to eat.

Natsume gets the surprise of her life when Sae invites her to their Christmas party. Make that panic mode. Think you’re dreaming? It’s real. Yuno gets embarrassed when she realizes Miyako and the juniors are watching her hum a jingle bell song while preparing the dishes. So Natsume turn up for the party and they start serving each of the dishes they made. Natsume can’t hold back her laughter seeing them in their silly antics. For the presents exchanging event, Yuno has come up with a clever way. Everyone eats a choco banana in which the names of the person whom they’ll be receiving the present is written on the stick. But Nazuna and Hiro got “Winner”. What does it mean? It means they get another choco banana. I hope this isn’t fattening… Natsume gets a big present from Miyako. It’s a longcat pillow. Nori gets a good watch from Nazuna. Can she take such a precious gift? Hiro gets a confirmation letter courtesy from Nori. For what? To order cheese cake. Horror! How many pounds is she going to gain? When it is time to leave, Natsume gets another surprise when Sae offers to help carry her longcat to the station. Along the way, Natsume accidentally lets her tongue slip that she reads Sae’s works. Sae flusters that she does and didn’t pay much attention to what Natsume said about her romantic themes. Because of that, it’s Natsume’s turn to fluster and run away. Back home, Natsume is worried that she doesn’t know how to face Sae anymore now that she knows about it. I guess there’s where longcat’s role comes in. Hug all you want…

Episode 12
Nazuna tries to write New Year’s Cards and screws up by writing what she says (she’s talking to her friends while doing that). She thought of using her name stamp but Miyako quickly makes her own stamp which says “Congratulations”. Do you say that on New Year’s Day? Then she has them take a mandarin orange quiz by guessing which is the sweetest? How to tell? She puts all of it in her mouth?! How can she taste which is sweet? More importantly, how the hell can she fit it all in her mouth?! I think she just wants to eat them badly. Sae and Hiro isn’t seen joining them since they are busy studying. The quartet go to the public bath and Miyako did a dangerous handstand. Don’t imitate this. After Nazuna mails her greeting cards, it started snowing. They meet Landlady passing by and they exchange New Year greetings. Soon, Sae and Hiro pay their juniors a visit and the quartet are pressured not to say taboo words that will jinx them during their exams. Trying hard, aren’t they? I guess they can’t help it. Whether it is Nazuna dropping the chopsticks or Nori hoping somebody doesn’t slip and bomb out. The seniors are cool and won’t let such taboo get to them. While eating soba noodles, Yuno’s dad calls her to check on her (she’s not coming home for the New Year). I guess he is trying to hint how lonely he is because he is talking through the sock puppets! Too bad mommy had to hang up and scold him for bothering their daughter. When it’s countdown to the New Year, Hiro and Sae are fast asleep so the rest continue to wish each other Happy New Year.

When the day is still dark, the gang pay a visit to the shrine. The usual stuff. Pray for their wishes to come true, drink a soup that has a pun in its name which means ‘not bad’, watch the bonfire, write their wishes on the wooden board and putting them up, taking their luck reading in which Miyako got the greatest super luck of all while Yuno is the only one who gets terrible luck. As they escort her to tie the bad luck on the sacred tree, they hear Yoshinoya weeping. I guess she got bad luck too. They also come into Landlady who is halfway drunk thanks to the New Year party. Meanwhile Natsume chances upon Sae’s wish on the board and her friends know she wants to go look for her. Well, if they insist so the tsundere goes looking about. Natsume reaches the top of the shrine and everyone exchange greetings. With Principal joining in, they watch the first sunrise for the year. Everyone returns to their respective places and because Nazuna is yawning, they think of heading back to HA for some snooze. Nori teases her yawn make her mouth look big. As Yuno takes a bath, she ponders she will be a senior this coming year and this also means she’ll be focusing on her exams. Although she may get depressed thinking about it, knowing that everyone at HA will be by her side to figure it out, everything will be alright.

Hidamari Homecoming Stretch
I might not have remembered lots of stuff from this series but I still do remember some of the important stuffs like the peculiar antics of the gang. Thus it may not be that effective in bringing back the nostalgic memories but it is still good fun to watch the gang once more. This season feels like an extension of the third season because of some of the certain styles that appeared in that season. For example, whenever the story of that episode ends, we usually see Yuno (if not, one of the other girls) dipping into their own bathtub while pondering and reflecting today’s events and possibly about the future. Also, the next episode preview is still the same yonkoma style and the end card illustrations from different people with each their own style. Some good, some funny. Hey, this is a show about art, right? Well, sort of. Also, there are relatively no new characters being added.

So overall nothing really much happens. Even if you’re hoping for some romance, you’d be very disappointed. Girls their age having no boyfriend crush or not even talking about boys? Well, at least no yuri relationship. I would rather say that Hiro and Sae’s close relationship amounts to close-knit friendship than anything yuri. There are still a few months away before the seniors graduate and unless they make another season, I’m sure it will be about Yuno and Miyako stepping up and taking over as the senior role. Perhaps we will have a couple of new faces to replace Sae and Hiro but then again, what would be this series be without the original quartet? Sure, they can make cameo appearances, dropping by from college or on their way somewhere but it won’t feel like it is the original Hidamari Sketch gang we have all know throughout the seasons. I won’t say the character developments are lacking but there isn’t much to develop either. You would have guessed everyone would be the same person they are as they were right back in the first season. Or for newbies like Nazuna and Nori, the same girls they were when they were introduced in the previous season. But sometimes it feels that Nazuna may become the next Yuno due to her nervousness in almost everything. I may not remember how often Yuno panics, she still does here but I feel it is lesser. Looks like she has matured a little. But still a long way to go.

Miyako is still hilarious with her antics but I also feel that she is somewhat toned down a little and not as wild as I knew her. Hmm… Maybe it’s my fading memories. Nevertheless as the lively one of the pack, Miyako never changes since she is still the big eater and doesn’t hesitate to tease Hiro about her weight. Or anything that hints to her that she will put some on. Yoshinoya is still my favourite character but like Miyako, her antics are somewhat toned down too. I don’t think she’s grown much wiser during the past year but she is not a total idiot as at times she gives valuable advices to her students when they are in dilemma. Because of that, we don’t see Principal reprimanding her very often like before. What else… Oh, just like last season, I thought Chika would have more appearance but same like the third season, she only appeared in 1 episode. That’s it. Same case for Arisawa. At least Nori and Nazuna have more of the spotlight this season. As for Natsume, I wonder how long she is going to keep up with her tsundere attitude. Doesn’t she get tired? I guess we don’t. Still, she had some of her wish to be with Sae come true. If only she could be more honest with her feelings. Nah. I think that will make things boring. I also notice that this season, Sae didn’t really stress herself out to meet deadlines for her novel work. Maybe she is in her third year so her editors cut her some slack and let her concentrate on her exams. That little bug, Ume still continues to bum around on top of HA. Still funny and amusing in its own way.

The series’ art and visual trademarks are still identifiable but they don’t really offer anything new. Even if there was, I was perhaps not paying attention and it didn’t catch my eye. I remember that in the previous season, food was subtly a highlight and somewhat prominent in each episode. But here, although we still see them, it is not that obvious and it didn’t attract my attention. Maybe it wasn’t that mouth watering. Obviously the Genghis Khan caramel was a turn off. I don’t like died scallops… Udon isn’t my cup of tea. Onigiri and miso soup seemed generic. Omelette rice? I prefer to have a girl to do that for me ;p. Pasta? Me no Italiano… The fried chicken and gyoza don’t look appetizing (sorry). Perhaps only the choco banana and apple pie… Where’s the cheese cake?! But watching this show didn’t make me hungry. I’m not saying that it did for the last season. Hiro is still the master chef among the gang and I hope Nazuna will soon add more dishes to her repertoire now that she has gotten the hang of making fried chickens and miso soup. Well, almost. Don’t give up.

Just as always the opening theme is sung by the girls of HA. Still the lively, upbeat and fast paced pop piece that we have been familiar with since the first season. For this season, the opening song is Open Canvas and I find some of the lines to be funny in the sense that the girls were saying the words of their opening sentence very fast like as though somebody pressed the fast forward button for a second there before resuming normal play. Marble once more does the ending theme, Yumegumo. The pace of this song also feels similar to all the Hidamari Sketch’s ending themes she sung. So you will feel somewhat in familiar territory hearing this piece.

I’m not really sure if a fifth season is in the works but if the series is very popular, why not? Besides the TV series, this series also had other specials for each season to complement it (which unfortunately I didn’t watch). There are also music soundtracks, character image discs, light novels and a video game. If you are really crazy about this series and can’t get enough of the cute characters, I’m sure you already would have the complete collection. As I’ve said I’m not a big fan so the most I’ll stick to is just watching the TV series. It’s enough for some cute and funny moments. Since this series is trying to tell us that because time moves forward and nothing stays the same, it is always best to make memories now and cherish them. One day, I too won’t be able to watch my favourite animes anymore… I hope that day won’t come soon. If it does, I’ll just think back at all the wonderful memories and the episodes that I have watched. If I can remember them, that is.

Nekomonogatari (Kuro)

April 5, 2013

Any one of us here likes cat girls? So okay. Maybe that has really nothing to do with Nekomonogatari (Kuro). But I’m sure you would already get the hint. This series is another one of those many Monogatari stories and this one is precisely a prequel to Bakemonogatari. As the title indicates, this is a story arc on one of the main girls in Bakemonogatari, Tsubasa Hanekawa. This is what happened to her during the holiday season of Golden Week that caused her to have that split cat personality. And how Koyomi Araragi got involved of course.

Episode 1
Tsukihi is serious in killing Araragi in bed with a crowbar!!! HOLY SH*T!!! She feels she doesn’t stand out much like the rest and wants to go for the yandere route?! Actually she previously woke him up and he got the guts to go back to sleep. No wonder she’s pissed. Yeah. Seriously. She really wanted to kill him. Thank God he evaded. Once things have calmed down, big brother wants to talk about… Love. Yes, he is serious. Who else can he rely on for love advice? He’s saying that he might be falling in love with a girl in his class whom we shall know as Miss H. Of course Tsukihi is shocked but Araragi wants to know when is it one realizes one is in love. After punching him in the gut for such dumb question, Araragi goes into explanation how much he loves Miss H. From seemingly stalking her to even stop buying porn! I guess that’s too much information. Noting that Tsukihi has a boyfriend named Rousokuzawa, he wants to know when she concluded she was in love with him. Her answer seems ambiguous with lots of ‘somehow’ and ends up thinking after all that excuses to think whether you’re in love or not, she feels you’re pretty much in love if you always want to be with someone. So Tsukihi decides that he has fallen in love. If he says he thinks he might have fallen in love, why not believe that he is in love? Since it’s just falling in love, Tsukihi thinks it’s nothing to worry about too much. The list of examples given next is what she constitutes pretty normal. Till he mentions about touching boobs. That’s not normal. He wants to touch them since well, that’s love, right? Tsukihi even allows herself to let him try it! Freak out! Maybe he doesn’t know how to touch a girl’s tits because it hurts like hell! I don’t know. Tsukihi says it’s just a test. To prove that he had no interest in little breasts like these. She just admitted being flat like a panel… To summarize, Tsukihi points out he mistook his libido for feelings of love. There is a danger he might fall in love with someone he doesn’t like just because of the breasts. He thought he could fondle his sisters’ boobs if ever such cases arise but I don’t think they want to sacrifice themselves for such silliness. They rather sacrifice him. So to solve his sexual frustration, Tsukihi allows him to go buy his porn magazines. Karen then comes back all wet. But it isn’t raining outside. That’s her sweat. Holy cow! Her what?! She just ran a full marathon. Holy cow!!! Araragi now asks Karen how does one figure one is in love. Her answer is short and simple: If you want to make babies with that person, you’re in love. Right on the dot.

Later when Araragi goes out, he chances upon Hanekawa (Miss H, I presume). I don’t know why but the first thing he did was flip up her skirt! Nice view of her black pantsu, eh? Of course he gets slapped but Hanekawa still finds him a kind and nice guy. As they walk along, they talk about families. Despite Araragi always having troubles with his sisters, Hanekawa points out it is what being a family is. She doesn’t have one. Despite being and only child, she has no parents or grandparents. From her confusing description, her current parents are not her real biological parents. That would mean they don’t consider her kindred to them. She always used to think it was possible to be a family without being blood related but that seems like fairytale now. Araragi asks about the bruise on her face and she wants him to keep it a secret and not tell anyone. Not even his sisters. Her father hit her. Before he can say anything, she wants him to look from her dad’s perspective. Imagine being a 40 year old and a 17 year old talk back to you like she knows everything. Vexing, isn’t it? Araragi is perplexed since she is sticking up for someone who is not her real dad. He can’t keep the promise so she will do anything to keep his mouth shut. Anything? Suddenly it’s like he scored a goal because he becomes excited to think what kind of stuff he should do to her! Yes, opportunity is knocking on his door. What to do? What to make her do?! He’s going crazy just thinking what he should ask her. Too many options to choose. Hanekawa thought he should have been touched by her sincerity and swear eternal silence. What’s that? Screw that says he?! Now he’s becoming the worst. What is pissing him off more is his indecisiveness! So much so he can’t remember the topic they were discussing minutes ago and even his name! That bad, huh? He even starts twisting that wish thinking he may do anything he wants on her forever. Luckily that is a cue for her to add a ‘clause’ that he can only do it once. Sheesh. So has he finally decided what he wants to do? In the bushes… He wants to… Lick her wound. Lick… What? Why? Remember he has lingering side effects from being a vampire and has healing attributes. He suggests she keep that bandage on to avoid suspicion but Hanekawa says her parents aren’t the kind who cares. They might not even remember her face. Araragi goes home as he went out to release his pent up frustration. Now he ends up more depressed.

Episode 2
Araragi pays Shinobu a visit. She seems to take a liking for his doughnuts he bought for Oshino. Can’t resist them. I’m not sure about that dog training he made her do before letting her devour the entire box. He feels guilty for turning her into this state. She hadn’t say a word ever since and her expression is always sullen. With Oshino coming in, he advises him not to bully her too much or he’ll regret it. So as they talk about environment influencing a child’s behaviour, Oshino’s ultimate advice to Araragi is that if he screws around too much, his influence may end up becoming negative. But the real topic is on Hanekawa. Oshino knows something must have happened that Araragi can’t talk about it. Yeah. The promise. He works the other way instead. Instead, tell what he can say about Hanekawa because it’s not like he is forbidden to speak about her. Araragi explains about his day beginning with Tsukihi right up to his meeting with Hanekawa and omitted the parts she wanted him to keep secret. After that, Hanekawa spotted a dead cat on the road and picked it up. Oshino hopes it is not a silver tailless cat. What do you know? That’s what it is. Is it that bad? It is. Oshino says that is a curse cat and is an oddity he is collecting. Because Hanekawa is not normal, something simple might turn into an earth shattering incident if she gets involved. Oshino will go exhume the cat’s body while he has Araragi go check on Hanekawa. In person. Make sure she is safe by actually seeing her and pay attention to her eyes. As Araragi cycles along, he sees a sexy cat woman. Could that be Hanekawa? Looks slightly different. But what makes him think it is her? Her black pantsu… Oh. That. Cat woman tosses to him the unconscious body of Hanekawa’s parents and wants him to help out in disposing them. He can even kill them if he wants. Cat woman walks away but Araragi isn’t done yet. Big mistake. Because it riles her up as she tears his left arm!!! HOLY SH*T!!!! She scorns him this pain is nothing to what her master endured for so long and that now she has her, Hanekawa doesn’t need family, friends or even herself. She’ll free her master and release the huge stress she’s under. After she’s gone, Araragi calls the ambulance, partly attaches back his hand (remember the healing attributes) and watches his blood slowly evaporate.

He picks himself up and the next thing he knows, he has slept a full 12 hours and wakes up in Oshino’s place. Thanks to Shinobu, his arm’s healing is more effective when they’re closer to each other. Oshino mentions he picked the wrong opponent. Not so much his enemy but more with the match up. The cat curse has more damaging affect to his wound. Araragi understands the energy drain as his immortality got torn off with his left arm and that it is a threat to vampires. But Oshino corrects him that what he meant for match up was his personality. Not that the curse cat and a vampire had equivalent power. Although vampires can use energy drain, it is not exclusive to them. The curse cat can also use it but is not as powerful. As vampires are king of oddities, to them the curse cat is just a weakling. Oshino couldn’t find the carcass of the cat in the grave, which means the situation has taken a turn for the worse. He wants him to go home and rest to avoid his family getting worried unlike Hanekawa. Well, his handphone had 146 missed calls and 209 mails! I guess you know it’s from whom, right? Araragi still wants to help and he can’t leave Hanekawa alone after going through such a thing. Oshino says to leave it to the pros this time. He apologizes for getting him involved and what more, got injured. He views himself as a failure as a Balancer as he disregarded the textbook course of action and did something that went against his policy. Araragi has done more than enough. He can’t help Hanekawa in whatsoever way. What he lacks is skill and ability and it’s not the matter of what he feels. It’s his responsibility and his job to not get in his way.

Episode 3
Araragi sneaks into Hanekawa’s house. He saw something that made him so scared that he ran back home hugging Tsukihi! Till she wanted to kiss his worries away. Anyway the sisters are worried he ran into a cat monster because she heard rumours it was attacking random people. That explains the calls and SMS. When she mentions Karen is making preparations to go cat monster hunting, Araragi feels in a pinch. He can’t put them in danger so he lies that he is so scared that he can’t sleep without them around. Tsukihi is so happy and manages Karen to drop her hunting plans and stay home. Yeah, let the police handle that. That night Araragi ponders about being disillusioned in love especially about the ridiculous love talk with Tsukihi but he can’t help stop thinking about Hanekawa. He notices there are 6 rooms in Hanekawa’s house but none of them belonged to her. For 2 days, Araragi went to school but finds Hanekawa absent. When he visits Oshino, he is shocked to see that guy badly beaten up though he is in the midst of healing himself. He got into a fight with the cat monster and lost. Twenty times. Oh sh*t! I guess her black pantsu was a big distraction, eh? Araragi is baffled that if the cat curse is weak and a low level oddity, how come he lost? I mean, even Oshino mentions an amateur can deal with it if they put their brain to use. Firstly he didn’t want to get Araragi involved. Secondly, as a curse cat, it pretended to play dead and possessed whoever approaches it out of pity. This time it was Hanekawa. The curse cat may not be powerful but remember, Hanekawa is an honours student. That means she has the brains and with the physical body, they make a deadly combo. All the techniques he used on her had no effect and even odder that the oddity used tactics and strategies to attack people. Oshino believes Hanekawa still exists inside the curse cat. Her strength shows that a large part of Hanekawa’s consciousness is still intact and this wouldn’t have happened if both the mind and body were completely taken over. This might be bad news but it still gives hope that they can save her. They better salvage Hanekawa’s consciousness while it still exists and exterminate the monster cat or else she will disappear from the face of this planet for good. Explaining about balance (light exists because of darkness, etc), it is a cat because of facade. There is no human who is perfectly fair and virtuous so in Hanekawa’s case, her stress piled up when she insisted on becoming such perfect human. The real danger is if the outcome is of that she hadn’t been possessed by the cat at all but they have to do something before she completely merges with it.

Next day Araragi goes back to school, sit on Hanekawa’s desk and licks it! WTF?! Cat woman caught him doing that. Pervert! She mentions she wouldn’t really want to tangle with a vampire. But with her master’s knowledge, she was even able to overwhelm an oddity specialist. Araragi wants to know why she attacked random people. For distraction. Call it a stress buster. Noting that Araragi has entered Hanekawa’s house (cats have good sense of smell), she explains Hanekawa has been living under that household for 15 years. Imagine the pressure they put on her. Thus playing pranks on people relieves her stress and have nothing to do with the curse. Because she usurped Hanekawa’s mind, she understands how she feels and wants to lend a hand in her stress busting. But to attack random people? That’s where the fun is, attacking strangers. Also noting that she has a more mellow personality than they first met (I’m sure he’ll remember her for tearing his arm off), this shows there has been a positive effect. The stress busting will end if she attacks 500 more people. That’s a lot more to go. He wants Araragi to tell Oshino not to interfere and to leave the saving of Hanekawa to her. This is her way of repaying her debt although she is not obliged to. When Hanekawa buried the cat, she did hold a funeral but she was void of any emotions. Hanekawa’s only desire is to be a normal girl and to a point she would follow rules and laws. Though it is common sense to pick up dead cats and bury them, the common folks won’t even if they knew it was the right thing to do. But Hanekawa would. And she will do it without emotions. Like a machine. She may have been given lots of funerals but none were on par like Hanekawa’s. That’s why she felt inclined to save her. She reminds Araragi to tell Oshino not to interfere (or else she’ll sue him for animal cruelty) because she could’ve killed him on the first round.  She didn’t as Hanekawa is a friend of Oshino and held back. In short, if you want to help, don’t do anything. Araragi points out that her parents are the stress source. Even if she finishes attacking 500 people, going back to that house means resetting it. Then she’ll just keep beating them up till they stop coming back. Araragi knows he can’t touch her or else he’ll be cursed. Cat woman tells him to live a happy live and it’s best not to get involved with her. Araragi laments he loves Hanekawa so much that he can’t even touch her. This feeling of love is of the past. Right now he doesn’t want to be with her. He wants to die for her.

Episode 4
For a week, Araragi kowtowed to Shinobu. After she kicks him, she gives him an oddity slayer demon sword, Heart Bequeath. Oshino tells Araragi that Hanekawa’s parents were discharged from hospital. He talked to them and though didn’t find anything useful to fight against the curse cat, he found out about the slap. It was so hard that Hanekawa flew and hit the wall. But guess what happened after that? Hanekawa politely told him it’s bad to hit a girl’s face. In a smile. That’s what makes it creepy. Though Araragi feels Hanekawa is not wrong, Oshino asserts he is neutral but imagine, living under the same roof with someone so righteous, and her parents aren’t admirable people to begin with, it’s like having their immaturity shoved into their face every single day for 15 years. It’s a nightmare. More amazing they held it in this long without hitting her. Araragi doesn’t want him to further badmouth her or else he will have to kill him. Does he pity her? Don’t be ridiculous. He never feels pity. Unlucky woman turns him on and is just relieving his sexual frustration. That’s a joke, right? I don’t think his serious face is saying that. High school girl with cat ears in underwear. Mmm… I can see why. As explained, Heart Bequeath will exterminate the curse cat and leave Hanekawa unharmed. Oshino warns him that though this might do the job, it will be something that she will be most on her guard and might have took measures to counter it. Araragi is confident it will go smoothly. Another thing he asks him is how he is going to find her. Don’t worry. He has a plan. And it’s not just hoping or wishful thinking. They should each do what they can with their own methods. Oshino won’t interfere even if it ends in bloodbath or tragedy.

As Araragi waits in the abandoned building, he sends a text and after 30 minutes, the cat woman crashes in. At first it was like Hanekawa’s original personality came up worried about Araragi. When she realizes the text he sent about him being attacked by a vampire was just a lie and trap, she changes personality. But Araragi knows she is Hanekawa. Firstly, she didn’t use her cat puns while speaking. He has been her friend for so long that he knows even if her personality changes, her character won’t. Regardless of whether she gets possessed by an oddity or took in one. If somebody is in need of help, she will rush to their aid without second thought. That is who she is. She may be mad at him for lying but also relieved that he is alright. He praises her for being strong and righteous but she is going to be that kind of person for the rest of her life. He wants her to suck it up and give up. How can she? She wonders if he is going to show any pity. No he won’t. She never found out who her biological dad was, her mom committed suicide and failed to get along with her current parents, thus growing up in a cold household. She forced herself to be a normal girl but that is just what she succeeded at. He tells her she is going to go back and live like she always used to with her family. She can be happy or sad after that but she can’t change the fact she had an unhappy past. Don’t use the cat or misfortune as excuse because at the end of the day she is just hurting herself. If she wants to relief stress, he can take care of it and grope her boobs all she wants. Because he won’t play the hero for her, she wonders he hates her. Yes he does. The feeling is mutual for her too. Hanekawa then wishes herself to die. At that time, the cat woman takes over her and since Araragi did mention she will take care of her stress, she will have him die for her. He’s okay with that.

Cat woman lunges at Araragi, splitting his body into half! OMG!!! F*cking gory!!! However she starts squirming in pain. Seems Araragi has hid Heart Bequeath inside his body and when cat woman slashed him, she got cut by the sword too. Cat woman doesn’t know about this so Araragi says even Oshino only knew about this recently. She definitely wouldn’t have fallen for this if she knew such killer item existed. There was a faint chance she might and was just his part of wishful thinking. But looks like she doesn’t and it shows she doesn’t know everything. That’s why he doesn’t want her to act like she does and give up on life. Araragi lies in his dying breath, happy to die for Hanekawa. Though it may solve the cat curse, it still won’t help Hanekawa overcome her stress or resolve her family friction. This is probably what Oshino wanted to warn him about too. Perhaps he too could’ve ended the cat fight in the first round if he wanted to end it this way. Suddenly Hanekawa starts writhing in even more pain. Araragi wonders if the sword had an adverse effect instead. Wondering why the cat is doing this, shouldn’t she be grateful for what Hanekawa had done? Because they’re no longer humans, it was how it was for him. After he was attacked by vampires, Hanekawa never pitied him. She looked at him as an equal. A lifesaver. That’s why he wants her to stop tormenting Hanekawa. Suddenly Shinobu appears and for the first time she speaks. Insults rather. She rips her arm and pours the blood over Araragi so that his body could be as one again. Like as good as new. After all, she won’t let him die so easily as she is his responsibility. She is going to show him how it is done to slay an oddity. Watch and learn. She goes up to cat woman and bites her neck. In an instant, everything dies out. Hanekawa returns to normal.

Next day when Araragi visits Oshino, he sees Shinobu wearing a helmet. Oshino bought it as a present for solving the curse cat case. Oshino mentions Hanekawa has no recollection of what happened during the week. Since her case was exceptional and can’t refer it to as the curse cat, Oshino calls this oddity Black Hanekawa. Apparently, Hanekawa temporarily regained consciousness when she used energy drain on her parents. Her wish was so strong that it dragged the cat back when it was about to leave her. It go absorbed even deeper into her. And thus that is how the new Black Hanekawa oddity was born. On the topic of monsters, Araragi mentions Hanekawa has always been possessed by a monster in the name of family. But she doesn’t consider to have one so how can it be a monster? Maybe the concept of family is an oddity in her eyes. Oshino suggests he marry her to grant her a real family but Araragi dismisses it and that she too has her own feelings. It’s because she has feelings that she can be bewitched. A culprit or even a victim. Oshino thought he was in love with Hanekawa but Araragi brushes it off. He feels this is for the best. But he laments it would’ve been better if Hanekawa leaned on him and sought his help. Oshino says maybe she did. People don’t really look for help by asking to be helped. Araragi narrates how he will someday fall in love with someone other than her. Because she showed him how to sympathize with others so there will surely come a day when he falls in love with one of those people. He will never forget that week in which she lost her memories. No matter what the future holds or the path he takes, these feelings he developed for her can never be denied and will forever stay the same.

The Stories Continue…
As shown right at the final scenes, there are indeed lots more stories to be told in the Monogatari series. Wow. That’s really a lot. They can sure really tell lots of stories.  Everything can be turned into a story. Of course this series serves as an ‘appetizer’ for the continuation for another Monogatari sequel said to be running in July 2013. Whether it will be an extension of the oddities of the current girls we know or new ones, or even more prequel stories has yet to be seen. I will have to see it myself then.

Overall this series is quite okay and still interesting in its own right. The drama and talking may put many off but it is essential to understand the story. You know how the Monogatari series work. An oddity possesses a girl and Araragi goes into action trying to help and solve it. Along the way we see the unfolding of the characters and the drama. We get to delve a little deeper into Hanekawa’s set of problems and just like Araragi figured out, it isn’t really her household to be blamed 100% for her stress. She is to at least partly to be blamed for wanting to keep a perfect righteous facade but underneath it all, a time bomb is ticking. All it took was just a small incident to blow it up from a molehill into a mountain. For those who have seen Bakemonogatari, we know that Hanekawa’s case isn’t completely resolved. But at least now we know the pain and suffering that she goes through. I’m sure Araragi would think twice about dying for her again. Even if he is an immortal, better think twice about dying again and again. It’s a shame that his love story came to a disappointing end but we know he ended up with a much more ‘dangerous’ girlfriend, right? So was it love or was it just lust? Look where this little topic got him to and where he ended up. But it’s good to know where he stands now, right? Hanekawa isn’t really the girl he had in mind, the one who thought he would ideally love.

When the episode first played, I thought I was going to relive all those words bombarding across the screen again. Well, it is the usual SHAFT style and one of this series’ trademarks. Thankfully they subsequently keep that to a minimum because I still feel annoyed if I have to pause and rewind a little just to read that short little message. The art and drawing style is consistent with the Monogatari series with all the interesting angles and different point of views during the conversations. Sometimes I feel when they show the facial close ups at an angle, I don’t know, it makes the character look a little horrible. Unless that is done on purpose. Also, the way they zoom in onto the character’s face and the way they tilt their heads looking at us, yeah, it pretty much reminds me of how SHAFT-like this show is. And sometimes when the characters talk, you can see them doing weird poses. Distraction for us not to fall asleep? Maybe our ears may be doing all the work so they’re going to give our eyes something to be amused of too. There’s another thing I noticed too. Where are all the people? Notice how this series is void of any background or extra characters? It feels hollow that if you think about it, it is creepy enough that as though the only characters you see are the only ones existing in this world.

I’m not sure about this but I noticed that the series is ‘prolonged’ with some side-track story that isn’t completely related to the storyline. What I mean is that in the first episode, 3/4 of it was dedicated on Araragi and Tsukihi. Although it is to play a subtle role for Araragi as he is to figure out what love is, sometimes it feels too long and when I come to think about it, the show could have been shorter if this part was omitted. Don’t get the wrong idea, this distraction isn’t bad. I just happened that in the other Monogatari series something like this also happened. In Bakemonogatari midway during Hanekawa’s arc, the said heroine wasn’t featured and instead it focused on deepening Araragi and Senjougahara’s relationship. Then in Nisemonogatari, Tsukihi’s arc started off with Araragi frolicking with Karen. So do you see a pattern?

Perhaps the prominent factor in this series is the sexually charged up element. That’s how guys like us stick around and watch through almost 2 hours of this oddity crap, right? Unless you’re gay, which normal guy wouldn’t get turned on seeing a cat girl jumping around in sexy lingerie? Even if cat girls aren’t my tea, the point that Hanekawa is well endowed and doesn’t look bad if she ever becomes a lingerie model still catch my attention. It’ll be even better if she cosplayed as a maid. Just saying… And then there’s that WTF moment whereby Araragi groped Tsukihi’s boobs. What was that for if not for fanservice or comic relief purpose for those with flat chest fetish? Then Karen nonchalantly taking off her sweaty clothes (you get to see her sweaty bum shot before that) right in front of her brother like as though she has no shame that he is a guy but just her silly big brother. Besides the fanservice factor, there are at points where the scenes can get bloody and gory. Thanks to the creative visuals, the impact of throwing up upon seeing Araragi lose his arm or his lower body half is lessened. But you’ll still get that revolting impression.

The existence of oddities depends on one’s belief. Some may say it is just a state of mind or blame it all on society as in Hanekawa’s case that made her have a split personality to deal with her household stress. I guess she is like the moe and sexy version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. At least she doesn’t turn green and go round smashing things. Perhaps going around attacking random people for fun doesn’t really cut it either. Would you prefer to have a green behemoth or a sexy cat woman pounce on you? I would have neither!