May 26, 2013

Do you like a good mystery? The kind that presents you with all the facts and clues and you deduce a constructive answer or argument based on the evidence presented rather than plucking theories out of thin air? If so, then Hyouka would suit your taste just fine. Although I am no fan of the mystery genre, this series was very interesting, and I mean very as in a lot, to captivate and retain my attention. Few animes that involve or rely on talking or conversation would have been a big yawn fest for me but surprisingly Hyouka has surpassed my expectations (it was set at very low at the beginning in the first place) and with each episode, I crave for more because I really wanted to know the answer to the mystery in question.

Our main protagonist is Houtarou Oreki. His main goal in life is to conserve energy. No, and I don’t mean he is some sort of environmental activist that wants to green the world. The energy he is referring to is his own. That’s right. To put it in understandable layman terms, he prefers not to do anything if it is not required. Bum around. Lazy bum. In the even if he needs to do something, he’ll do it quickly to get over it. However despite this outlook of his, Houtarou possesses something amazing: His brilliant deduction ability. Although he might always give an excuse that he got lucky, then I suppose he must be the luckiest person in the world to have deduced every answer to the mystery he has been asked to solve. He may not look the part of a detective either but he has sharp observation skills that allow him to figure out and see what others can’t. His so called peaceful life is ‘interrupted’ when his overseas sister, Tomoe forces him to join the Classic Literature Club of Kamiyama High School. She was once a member of this club before she graduated and the lack of members means the club will be abolished. No can do for this girl. Houtarou thought he could just be a ghost member and sit in with just his name. But as soon it is joined by other fellow members, I guess Houtarou is the ‘saviour’ because it is up to him to use his brains and crack the mysteries that have the other members curious. So are you curious yet?

Episode 1
Houtarou meets Eru Chitanda in the Classic Literature Club. She’s here to join. Oh great. Now he doesn’t need to join. Goodbye. But he can’t leave yet. Why? She doesn’t have a key to lock up. So here is the first mystery. Houtarou entered the locked room with the key. But Chitanda entered when the room was unlocked. Mind boggling isn’t it? Chitanda meets Houtarou’s friend, Satoshi Fukube who is somewhat eavesdropping on their conversation. He considers himself a database (to Houtarou, that means he knows lots of useless data). I guess he is interested in the mystery too. Since the doors can only be locked from the outside, it means Chitanda couldn’t have locked herself in. She grows curious by the second and with her trademark “I am curious!”, Houtarou is somewhat forced to take on her request. How can you refuse a cute girl who is pleading to you with such huge puppy dog eyes and at such a close-up? Houtarou heard something faint and asks Chitanda when she came in. About 3 minutes before him. Then he brings them downstairs to where the sound is. They see a janitor maintaining the lights. The conclusion: He is the other person who holds the master key to all the rooms and has locked the door after doing his rounds on that floor. But why didn’t Chitanda notice? She was pretty occupied looking out the window at an old school building. In the end, the trio end up being members of the Classic Literature Club. At this rate, I don’t think Houtarou can achieve his energy conservation dream. Goodbye peaceful life.

Another mystery as told by Satoshi how a girl heard Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and followed the music to a dark room whereby instead she saw a creepy ghost girl with bloodshot eyes on the floor! Knowing that this mystery will have Houtarou exert more energy than usual (he will have to walk a long way across to the other building), he has Satoshi tell her about some secret club mystery instead. Because unauthorized posters are removed, this secret club secretly recruits members. Last year, the executive committee president found such a flyer and brushed it off as a prank since attempts to contact them failed. On graduation day, one of the members told the president he was the president of the Silk Spider Society and to send his regards to the new president. If he can find him, that is. There will probably be a recruitment flyer somewhere so they go flyer hunting. However they won’t go to every billboard and despite although a secret club will use a place that it would least stand out, Houtarou thinks it will be at the main entrance where it is piled with messy flyers everywhere. It’s like hiding a tree in a forest. But they didn’t see that club on the list. So it must be hidden. Houtarou flips open a flyer and there it is! The small secret recruitment flyer. With Chitanda ending it for today, the guys walk home. It is revealed that they created the mystery itself. Like fighting fire with fire? Houtarou also solves the creepy ghost girl mystery. One of the club members was tired and took a nap. She set her CD to play Moonlight Sonata before a certain time so she could wake up before the school closes. So the bloodshot eyes were just someone who just woke up from sleep. The room was pretty dark, right? Satoshi notes that going to the music room for this mystery would have saved him more energy in the long run and his preoccupation today may have cost him more than he bargained for.

Episode 2
Chitanda is the club president and she thinks the club needs to hold activities. I’m sure Houtarou isn’t going to like this. She plans to publish an anthology for the cultural festival in October. Well, this school has 40 years of history. That’s a lot of research to do, right? So the first place to look for information is of course the library. Houtarou isn’t happy to see the librarian Mayaka Ibara. The feeling is mutual. Satoshi is there too and he sort of likes to tease Mayaka. Chitanda notices their odd relationship and asks Houtarou. To simply put it, Mayaka had feelings for Satoshi during middle school. Learning they want to write an anthology, Satoshi reveals information about Kanya, the shortened form of Kamiyama Cultural Festival. The anthologies are in the archives but the room is currently being used for meeting so they have to wait. How to pass the time? Houtarou wanted to leave but he was too late because Mayaka had just interest Chitanda in another mystery. Every Friday, the same book is always returned. A different person (all girls) borrows it each time during lunch and returned before school ends. It is already the fifth straight week. I guess with Chitanda bugging and all over Houtarou (annoyingly), he has no choice but to put on his thinking cap, eh? So this is what he thinks. Borrowing a book for such short durations means the book isn’t meant for reading purpose. Otherwise why borrow when you can read it in the library? Chitanda’s keen smell has her sniff some paint thinner on it. As Houtarou leads the girls (Satoshi forced to man Mayaka’s post), he tells them the books are too big for the girls to use and the only time they can use it is during class (since its size means they can’t effectively use it during break). The weekly return shows that it is easier to return it than bring something heavy back (the loan period is 2 weeks). Houtarou brings them outside the art club and the book is being used as motif. The girls are painting each other using that book. There’s your smell of thinner too. So another mystery solved. Everyone satisfied? Mayaka feels frustrated to lose to him. Youko Itoigawa has just come out of the meeting and being told about the anthologies but she apologizes that the issues aren’t in there. On Sunday, Chitanda calls Houtarou out to meet. Better say it quick or else he will leave since he can’t waste his precious day off. She wants to confess something. Gasp! Did you see this coming? What could be this heart pounding mysterious confession?

Episode 3
It’s not a love confession. Disappointed? Anyway, Chitanda had an uncle, Jun Sekitani who mysteriously vanished 7 years ago in India. The family wants to put an end to this and conduct a funeral (anybody missing for 7 years can be considered as legally dead). Her uncle had always answered her questions no matter how ridiculous they are. Since her uncle was part of the Classic Literature Club, he never answered her or dodged it till he finally relents. However his reply left her crying. The question is, she can’t remember what she said or her uncle’s reply that left her in tears. Oh boy. This is like a needle in a haystack, right? Of course Chitanda was curious but family relations broke down so she couldn’t pursue the issue any further. That’s why she joined this Classic Literature Club as her last hope. This is where Houtarou come in, right? This isn’t something she could just ask anyone. So Houtarou isn’t really going to take on her request but will do what he can to find anything that will help her remember. Basically, that’s a yes, right? Back home, Houtarou still communicates with Tomoe albeit via snail mail. Looks like she’s in Istanbul. And in some trouble. But she’s having the thrill of her life. Coincidentally, she also thinks the Classic Literature Club should publish an anthology as it has been their tradition. It is told that he won’t find past anthologies in the library but in an unused chemical safe box in the Biology Prep room (which is now the Wall Newspaper Club’s room). Houtarou, Chitanda and Mayaka make their way there and knock on the door. There was no reply for a few seconds before Masashi Tougaito came out. He denies the anthologies are in here as Houtarou observes his suspicious acting and smell of deodorant. Chitanda somewhat knows him since their families know each other. After a little persuasion, he lets them in on a condition he doesn’t mess things. The girls look for it but couldn’t find it. Houtarou thinks of making him do the work after he asks if anything from this room was removed after the classroom switch (nothing but a few cardboard boxes). Houtarou seems to be purposely working up this guy because he wants to call the supervisor for a full search. Tougaito blows his top he is busy and wants them to leave. Houtarou tells him the anthologies are in here and they will head back to the library. If he happens to stumble on the anthologies, please return it to their clubroom. He agrees.

When the trio leave, they wait somewhere for a while and 5 minutes later, the girls are surprised to see the anthologies back in their clubroom. Seems Houtarou did a little blackmailing. He explains when Tougaito greeted them, he was on his toes. Inside the room, the fan was on, the window open and the way his newspapers were placed would be easily blown away. He had the door locked and there were little sensors at the hallway. It was to alarm him someone was coming and to get fresh air into the room. Why? He was smoking. Remember the deodorant too? If Chitanda didn’t catch a cold, she would’ve sniffed the tobacco smell. Because his family is influential in middle school education, he wouldn’t want to be caught doing something illegal. The chemical safe box is under the makeshift table in the centre. A place he probably hides his cigarettes. That’s why he got jumpy when Houtarou wanted to call the supervisor and do a full search. Going through the anthologies called Hyouka, Chitanda remembers asking her uncle what it was. Looking at the writings, it seems something has happened. The cultural festival had come again. Sekitani has left in a year and turned from a hero into a legend. Though his kindness will fade in time, it is not because this is a story of a hero. All subjectivity on the matter will be lost and be viewed as a historical perspective, as a classic. It is written by Youko Kooriyama in 1968, which is 45 years ago. As this is the second volume and all they need to do is read the first one to answer Chitanda’s request, they realize the first volume is missing.

Episode 4
Houtarou and Satoshi are cycling their way to Chitanda’s house to discuss about what happened to the Classic Literature Club 45 years ago. Along the way they talk about the colours in their life as Satoshi paints his rose coloured while Houtarou would be grey, if not colourless. The quartet take their turn to present the facts that they have found and the theories they have concluded. Chitanda goes first. Mayaka argues since Sekitani fought and become a hero, she thinks he must have fought delinquents that targeted the festival. But Satoshi shot that idea down since on-campus violence was non-existence during the 60s and most protests were against the government and the system. Mayaka goes next. She concludes it is students versus teachers and Sekitani was the leader of the Classic Literature Club. According to the Alliance & Salutes reference, the incident happened in June and the students fought back when the teachers tried to impose on the students’ rights. However her theory is also shot down because Sekitani was expelled in October after the festival. That’s 4 months gap in between. If it was violent conduct, he should’ve been expelled immediately. Satoshi goes next. His findings show no violence was conducted so this throws Mayaka’s theory out the window. The word “We” may refer to the entire student body or someone representing it. This also questions if the legendary movement is the same incident that led to Sekitani’s expulsion. I guess Satoshi couldn’t come up with his own theories and push it to Houtarou. You know he’s the one who is going to solve this, right? So I suppose that long trip to the toilet has got his brains thinking. And that expression tells us he may have found something. Hold on to your horses, eager beaver Chitanda! Don’t rush. Let him explain. As far as we know, it started in June till Sekitani’s expulsion in October. He was the president of Classic Literature Club and the entire student body was involved in standing up against the teachers. Something that would’ve infringed their rights. Since the word ‘negotiating’ was used, it could mean discussing about the cultural festival. The key point wasn’t the fact the festival was held but that it lasted for 5 days. Those 5 days are the result of hero Sekitani’s battles. It could mean the principal wanted to shorten the festival to less than 5 days and this angered the students. Sekitani as the head took action and since no violence occurred, it could mean that a boycott would’ve been in place. So the school had no choice but to negotiate and give up in shortening the festival. But why did it take them so long to expel Sekitani? If he was expelled immediately, the movement would’ve grown stronger so they waited to the festival to pass and expel him after that. Everyone is amazed at his theory and approves of it. After everyone leaves, Chitanda is still not satisfied. If that was the reason why her uncle was expelled, then why did she cry so badly?

Episode 5
Houtarou gets a call from Tomoe. Looks like she’s fine in Pristina. When she learns they are researching about Sekitani, she calls it a tragedy, depressing, a taboo. Houtarou is left hanging since she has to go. He realizes something is wrong with his theory or incomplete. I mean, now that he has thought about it, who in this world would gladly sacrifice himself for his fellow students and leave with no regrets? So he calls the gang to gather and review the theory again. As clearly stated, it wasn’t the story of a hero and they might have been misled and could it be the word ‘sacrifice’ instead? The best person to ask is the writer of this anthology and Houtarou knows where to find this Youko person. She is Itoigawa and her first name is written using a rare kanji character and Kooriyama is her maiden name. They talk to Itoigawa and tell her about Houtarou’s theory and the relation of Chitanda to Sekitani. She is impressed with the details to put together and he is right in most of them. Thinking back to those nostalgic times, the cultural festival was a place and reason students lived for then. The year she enrolled in Kamiyama, the student movement grew intense. The teachers decided to shorten the festival from 5 days to only 2 days. The students weren’t happy and took it as a sign to shut it down. The students protested and the movement evolved into an expression of the entire student body opinion. The shameful part was that despite a movement against the shortening of the festival was born, nobody dared to take up the leadership as they fully aware of the consequences. The one who drew the short end of the stick was Sekitani. The movement was organized by someone else but his name was never revealed. Though the plan to shorten the festival was quashed, the movement went too far with boycotts of classes and bonfire protests. One night, a fire broke out and destroyed a school building. Since top administration didn’t want police to get involved and the students did not rebut about the incident, it was decided that the official leader of the movement be expelled. That would be Sekitani. Everyone watched him get expelled and couldn’t do anything but Sekitani was calm till the end. I guess the answer is clear now if Sekitani sacrificed himself for himself for his fellow students or his own will. The festival was shortened to 3 days anyway a few years later.

As for the design on the Hyouka anthology, the dog signifies the administration and the rabbits are the students. As for the Kanya Festival, it doesn’t refer to Kamiyama festival but it is named in honour to Sekitani (depends on how you read the kanji characters). Since Sekitani didn’t want to become a hero, if people knew that, they wouldn’t have called it Kanya Festival. It was decided that name is to be a taboo in Classic Literature Club. As for why the anthologies are named Hyouka, Itoigawa only knew he forced that name upon them. Other than that, she doesn’t know the real reason. But Houtarou understands it clearly. It is a bad pun. Sekitani wanted to make sure his feelings would be passed down to the club’s descendants. As Hyouka would mean frozen desserts in English, another word for it would be ice cream. So? The pun is ‘I scream’. Chitanda fully remembers what was said and tears start rolling down her eyes. When she asked what Hyouka meant, he told her to be stronger because if she was too weak, she won’t even have time to scream. Chitanda then envisioned the lone rabbit (Sekitani) being mauled to death by the dog (administrators) while the other rabbits (other students) turn a blind eye and act indifferent. She cried because she was terrified at that thought of being alive but dead. Chitanda thanks Houtarou as she could put a rest to this case once and for all. The cultural festival looms and Houtarou is tasked to write the anthology which is a good tribute to Sekitani. Well, he solved the mystery, right? Later as Chitanda walks out of school with Houtarou, she mentions that it would’ve eventually become history to her if the truth wasn’t discovered. But to think the feelings she feel right now won’t matter in the future, she doesn’t want to think that because she’s alive now. Houtarou writes a ‘status report’ to Tomoe and how joining the Classic Literature Club gave him a second thought about his way of life. Though he still doesn’t think his way of life is wrong after discovering the truth behind Sekitani’s incident.

Episode 6
Mayaka is giving Satoshi an earful. She’s mad. He’s cool. Mayaka stops when Houtarou wonders if she’s tired after all that scolding. They discuss if Chitanda ever gets mad since they have never seen her so. They also talk about the 7 deadly sins and tease Chitanda of being angelic. Well, if you consider her pouting her way of being angry. But Chitanda has an interesting perspective that the 7 deadly sins are necessary because for instance, if you have no pride, you have no self confidence. No greed means not able to support the family. New technologies would never have been invented if not for envy. As for why Chitanda doesn’t get angry, she replies she wants to avoid getting tired. The rest take it she has been infected by Houtarou’s poison! Seriously, she still gets angry when people waste food. But this prompts her about a mystery she wants to ask. Oh no. Here it comes. During math class, she got angry. It all started when the math teacher, Omichi entered as usual and started writing some quadratic formula on the board and asked a student to solve it. He couldn’t and Omichi got mad and asked a top student instead. It was then Chitanda realized they have not gotten this far to this topic yet. The class got silent as Omichi continued to blow his stop. That’s when Chitanda got angry, got up and asked him if he had the right page on the textbook. Once he realized his mistake, he calmed down and class resumed like normal. If Omichi was a strict teacher and even on himself, how could he have made this simple mistake? Houtarou wasn’t really interested in solving this mystery (I think he wanted to really tell Chitanda to use her own brains for once) but when Chitanda is constantly bugging him, I guess he needs to solve this case fast.

Further details include Omichi always checks the class and keeps track of the lessons so he couldn’t have entered the wrong class or make a silly mistake of the class’ progress. Since he writes the progress in the textbook and yet continued with the class, it means he must have written a note saying he had already taught it. Every year teachers get new math textbook to keep up with the latest curriculum and that some of the classes have already learn the topic. Houtarou figures he mixed up the notes for the classes since he teaches other classes maths too. Being a maths teacher means he writes in formula in lower cases, right? What happens if he had written and misinterpreted the characters wrongly? Notice how similar lower cases of ‘a’ and ‘d’ seem? Thus he might have mixed up Class A and Class D’s lesson progress. Mystery solved. Realizing this, Chitanda feels she went too far for getting mad at Omichi. Houtarou notes Chitanda said it’s not necessarily bad to get mad but perhaps she never wanted to. Perhaps she wanted Omichi to have had his reasons and to believe she got angry because of her own mistake. Maybe that’s the kind of person she is. Even if he can predict her actions, he couldn’t understand her heart.

Episode 7
The Classic Literature Club quartet will be visiting the hotsprings run by Mayaka’s relatives. I’m sure Houtarou didn’t want to tag along but with Chitanda at her usual annoying pestering, he had to. As thanks for solving her uncle’s case. They are greeted by Rie Zenna and her younger sister Kayo who will be serving them. The sisters are thrilled about Houtarou because of his sharp senses, exactly as what Mayaka described to them. In the evening they go soak in the hotspring but Houtarou passes out after getting dizzy and Satoshi had to bring him back. While dazing and half conscious in his bed, he overhears the gang next door talking about ghost stories. The inn had an annex and though they didn’t really need one. Long time ago, a gloomy customer stayed and the staffs couldn’t refuse him since he paid in advance. Then one day they discovered his hanged body in the room. Ever since, all the guests that stayed in that room mentioned they see shadows in this room at night and all died subsequently due to illness. To stop bad rumours of this place, they made an annex and had exorcism done. Though the sisters live on the first floor, they were told to stay away from the second floor, where the cursed room is. Next morning, Mayaka seems to be looking afraid. It’s not that she’s weak towards ghost stories, it’s that she saw that hanged shadow across the window last night! Houtarou obviously thought she was seeing things but Chitanda calmly whispers that she too saw it. Oh… Here it comes… Chitanda is interested to solve the mystery behind this. So Houtarou and Chitanda examine from her room where she saw the shadow. He also noted the time she saw it because if the shutters were closed, they couldn’t have seen the shadow. The duo wanted to see the main building and talked to Kayo but it seems she is acting nervous and didn’t reveal much except the second floor is only used for storage. Houtarou also notices lots of stuffs belonging to the girls but those that belong to Rie only had her name written. Later Rie comes in to show them the yukata she’ll be wearing for the festival. Houtarou confirms from Satoshi that there was sound of drums last night, indicating there was a summer festival in town.

Houtarou has it all figured out so he explains to Chitanda. The shadow they saw was actually a yukata being hung to dry. The windows were open to let it dry faster. It was dried there to hide it from the other family. Kayo was envious of Rie’s yukata and secretly wore it to the festival the night before. But then it rained and Kayo knew she was in trouble if Rie found out. She can’t use the dryer since it’ll be too noisy at night. So when everyone was asleep, she snuck into the most distant room and hung the yukata to dry. She didn’t take into account the moonlight so it looked like a hanged shadow. Kayo became nervous when they started looking around. Because Rie clearly wrote her name on her belongings, it is to make sure everyone knows what is hers and this means Kayo couldn’t really ask her to lend her yukata. Because Kayo goes for morning exercises unlike Rie (the card clearly shows Kayo’s attendance), putting the yukata back in the morning would be easy.  Chitanda laments that despite being sisters, they didn’t get along. She had always wanted a sibling since she is an only child. However she cheers up when she sees Rie giving Kayo a piggy back ride after the latter’s sandals snapped.

Episode 8
Preparations for the cultural festival are on the way but the Classic Literature Club quartet are being called by Fuyumi Irisu (though their families know each other, Irisu couldn’t remember ever meeting Chitanda) to show them a movie her class made. No, she’s not going to make them advertise it. The film rolls as we see 6 friends of the class decided to do some research at an old abandoned building for the festival’s exhibit. They enter the building, notice the floor plan and the location of the master key. Each of them picks a key to examine a room they can use. The camera at the lobby fades out when everyone enters the respective rooms. When everyone reunites, they notice one of them, Kaitou is missing. They go look for him at his designated room but the couple of doors they open don’t seem to show he is there. The room at the end of hall is locked so the master key is retrieved. Once opened, to their horror, they see his dead body and his arm amputated. They look around by opening the only window and the dead end when the movie suddenly ends. That’s it? Well, you thought the bad acting wasn’t convincing enough and now the movie just cuts off like that? Irisu explains that this movie is supposed to be screened next Sunday at the festival and every deadline of it was met. The one who wrote it was Mayu Hongou but fell ill after writing up to this part. She won’t ask them to finish it but wants to know who the culprit/murderer is. She assures them Hongou has studied the mystery genre intensely and all its laws and rules are abided. Houtarou thought he could get out of this before the inevitable by asking to do a different project but Irisu just returned from Hokkaido and was entrusted with this project 2 days ago. She thought they would be able to play detective for them. While the rest are eager to help finish the movie, Houtarou can’t shoulder the responsibility of apologizing to everyone if they can’t figure it out. Irisu will have them listen to her class’ amateur detectives and then offer their opinions. Next day, Kurako Eba takes the quartet to go see the ‘detectives’. Seems Eba wasn’t in charge of the project since it doesn’t interest her (an answer that Houtarou would love). As for if she was close to Hongou, she just says she is diligent, careful, responsible, kind and easily moved.

Episode 9
So the first of the 3 detectives to be interviewed is the assistant director, Junya Nakajou. He tells them Hongou stayed home most of the time and even wasn’t on location when the film was being shot. Also, it’s not that everyone opposed her script. Nakajou starts his theory that this film doesn’t need tricks and a good drama will do to grab the viewers’ attention. He believes the culprit fled through the window after killing Kaitou. Though the question of whether Hongou wrote her script based solely on the floor map, Nakajou states she did went on location to take a look before writing the script. But Mayaka pours cold water on his theory because if the culprit had used the window, there would have been tracks left behind in the grass. Nakajou thought she might have forgotten about it but deduces it was summer grass. The grass must have grown since it was shot in summer. He thinks this is the solution and leaves. Obviously the rest won’t accept it and even Houtarou notes the holes in his theory. Because if the culprit has used the window, the others would’ve seen the culprit outside. It’s day time too. Next, Tomohiro Haba the props master is brought in. Haba states Hongou is an amateur in the mystery genre and before this movie, she didn’t touch any material on this genre. He shows them a stack of Sherlock Holmes books she was probably trying to read up and a strange note inside it containing titles of the books. Haba begins his theory. The murder isn’t planned. Just that the culprit found everything to fall into place and committed the murder. He believes the only way to escape is the window and certainly couldn’t have used the master key and locked the door because that will be boring. And to get the master key, the culprit must go through the lobby where he is visible to everyone. He rules out the victim created the locked room situation and also murder with a fancy weapon. He shows them a rope that Hongou told him to get. A firm one that could hang off and wouldn’t break. To summarize, the culprit climbed down from the second floor, opened the window, killed Kaitou and escaped via same route. Since the character Kounosu is in that room, he lets them know despite her delicate outlook, she is part of the rock climbing club. He also shows them a little bottle of blood that Hongou wanted him to make but as precaution, he made a huge bottle instead!

After the arrogant guy leaves, the gang of course couldn’t accept his theory too. As Houtarou puts it, it won’t be consistent with the movie. As they saw, it took a lot of effort for them to open the window. It would be even tougher for a person to open such a window hanging from a rope. So if the culprit climbed down via rope, do you think it would be dumb for Kaitou to just watch the culprit struggling to open the window to and get in and then get killed? After the gang requests Eba to show them the real script, the final detective, Misaki Sawakiguchi the publicity manager enters. She explains that mystery and horror are often linked together. Assuming that the other characters couldn’t have entered the room and killed Kaitou, this means there must have been a seventh character. She notes Hongou was looking for a seventh actor at that time. Sawakiguchi goes on to explain how the mystery killer would kill the casts one by one before the fated couple turn the tables and share a kiss in the final scene. Eh? What about the locked room? She feels that’s not important since the mystery killer can normally bypass such stuff. She even thinks a vengeful ghost would suffice! By this time, Chitanda must already be drunk from all the whiskey chocolates she has eaten. She finished the entire box! She goes a little crazy for a while (seeing kaleidoscope?) before passing out. So the rest discuss why Sawakiguchi theory isn’t it either. If Hongou had planned this to be a horror movie, he would’ve used Haba’s big bottle of blood instead of the small amount. They can infer Hongou didn’t intend to have a large number of deaths and one death would’ve made a horror movie weak. After they leave, Houtarou bumps into Irisu who wants him to join her for tea.

Episode 10
Houtarou explains how he rejected all the theories and was blunt to tell him she wanted him to solve the mystery from the start, not the Classic Literature Club. She heard it from Chitanda and others how he solved other mysteries and knew he would be the right person. She views his talents as special but Houtarou dismisses them as being lucky. She tells a story as an example whereby an athlete practises hard every day to be part of the regular them. But she was not good because there were others more talented and even one who is deemed a prodigy. The prodigy won lots of races and awards and when interviewed about the secret of her success, she replied she got lucky. So how would the other members feel? The deep hurt in their heart of her statement. Irisu tells him every individual must be aware of themselves or else those who watch them think fools of themselves. Even if Houtarou didn’t show it, he must have been worked up to agree to finish this case. So much so his volunteering to go to school on his off day shocks his friends. Satoshi could guess that Irisu had said something to make him do it. Houtarou asks him if he had only things he could only do but Satoshi says he has no talent despite being a database. Houtarou still has a higher opinion of him and could be the best if he tried. But Satoshi says there are other things he is more interested than being that. With Chitanda out (for most of this episode anyway), the trio review the incomplete movie once more. Mayaka would have rant on about why this movie is so badly made but they get the point. Suddenly Yamauchi comes in to drag Satoshi away for remedial classes. That reluctant guy wants to stay and solve the secret but I guess he couldn’t with Yamauchi being so persistent in pulling him away. He hands Houtarou his notes that he observed during the movie. Time to get cracking.

Houtarou calls Irisu and reviews what he has found. The key to this puzzle is the locked room. No one could’ve entered the room Kaitou died nor could they leave. The window is clearly unusable and this means the only possibility left is the door. But to get the master key, the culprit has to go through the room and risked being seen. None of them would have being able to done so and this only leaves 1 possibility: A seventh character. So he’s going with Sawakiguchi’s idea? But to keep it fair game, there won’t be a sudden mystery killer appearing. First he points out the oddities from watching the video. At certain dark scenes, it is light up for it to be examined so it can be said none of the cast holds a flashlight and the lighting up is assumed to be just for lighting. Secondly, notice the bad acting? What if that was intentional? You must have figured out by now that the seventh character is the cameraman. There were actually 7 characters to begin with. One filming and six being filmed. If you notice, the casts sometimes threw glances back at the camera indicating the cameraman was there. The bad shooting and every scene being shot from one perspective proves this was operated by one of the characters. During the fade out scene, the cameraman stopped the camera, took the master key from the office, went to kill Kaitou, locked the door and waited back at the lobby for everyone to return. Irisu throws a couple of questions. Wouldn’t it be odd to have a character that doesn’t interact or speak? Because this person was deliberately ignored by everyone else, he couldn’t really say anything. If that’s the case, the rest wouldn’t have taken long to figure out the culprit. Houtarou quotes from Sawakiguchi that it’s not really important. It doesn’t matter if the characters know who did it but it’s enough to make viewers think about the mystery. That’s why no detective was required and no reason to have them narrate their deductions because the culprit was obvious. Irisu congratulates Houtarou for solving this puzzle and now they can finish the movie. She gives him the honour to name the movie and he replies “What No One Noticed”.

The cultural festival goes underway and the movie turns out to be a hit as the viewers are left surprised and fascinated with the twist that the cameraman was the culprit. Everyone is happy with the outcome. Maybe except for that arrogant Haba dude. But when everything is thought to be settled, Mayaka pulls Houtarou aside and wants to know about Haba’s explanation. You know. The one whereby he said about using the rope because there was no mention about it during the entire movie. Gasp! I guess there goes Houtarou’s perfect mystery solving record.

Episode 11
Although Mayaka liked his idea, she still feel something isn’t right. Enough to send Houtarou into gloomy mode. Then Satoshi personally talks to him because he too felt something isn’t right. Asking if the trick was his idea or Hongou’s, once Houtarou says it is Hongou, Satoshi tells him that is definitely not what Hongou wanted. Because Hongou read only Sherlock Holmes’ works, the use of narrative tricks in the film isn’t possible since that only came about during Agatha Christie’s time. This throws Houtarou off even more. Then Chitanda too had something to say. Oh boy. Everybody sure had something to say to disagree but can’t really pinpoint it, eh? It’s like they’re shoving the big puzzle for him to solve. Chitanda wasn’t interested in how the film ended but rather the kind of person Hongou was. She felt strange that Irisu didn’t ask someone close to Hongou, say Eba for which trick was used. She thinks Hongou knew the ending she wanted from the start. Even if she fell ill, someone could’ve asked her. If no one did, Eba would’ve been so mad that she would’ve distanced herself from her classmates instead of introducing the Classic Literature Club members to them. Noting her classmates didn’t say bad about her script, if that was what Hongou wanted, she wouldn’t have problems telling them about the ending. But she didn’t so something is wrong. Houtarou felt ashamed he was thinking about the problem in the writing whereas Chitanda was thinking about Hongou. He never thought Hongou’s feelings were buried inside the script. Back home despite knowing it is useless to change the film now and it would waste energy, he can’t help feel frustrated over it. Suddenly he realizes he needs to view it from a different perspective. Next day he meets up with Irisu to talk. About the talent she was talking about, it wasn’t his talent as a detective she was looking for but a mystery scriptwriter. He shows her a paper containing Hongou’s markings on the Sherlock Holmes books Hongou read. With Satoshi’s help, he deduces the markings of the titles are those that involve characters that died or lived. Clearly this shows Hongou is adverse to death or bad endings and wasn’t interested in tricks. He also managed to get his hands on a class poll that did a survey on how many deaths the class wanted. Though the majority voted for 2 deaths, there is one that voted for 100! Although their class had only 30 people. There was one vote that had no votes at all and that was Hongou’s vote. In Hongou’s script there was no mention that Hongou actually dies but the video made it that way.

Houtarou is clearly upset from this point on as he tells her straight his speculation. Hongou saw the movie and didn’t turn out the way she wanted and since she isn’t the confrontational type, she couldn’t tell her classmates to reshoot the film. She also felt guilty she ignored the poll results. That’s where Irisu came in. Knowing Hongou would be going against the class’ wishes with her script, she feign Hongou had an illness and left the script unfinished so she could get other classmates come up with better theories. Unfortunately theirs weren’t satisfactory either and thus got the Classic Literature Club involved. Nobody realized they were completing the script for her and Irisu used his idea so it would work out without hurting Hongou. Reminding her about that talent story she told him, he accuses she doesn’t care about those without talent. All she cares about are results. Did she tell him that story for Hongou’s sake? Was she lying when she said everyone should be aware of their talents? Though she admits he is not wrong, whether it is a lie or not, it is not up to him to decide. Though Houtarou feels better, he still can’t help feel being used. Later Irisu is seen chatting online to Hongou before a mysterious person drops in to insult Hongou’s works. There’s a lot of speculation that this mysterious person may be Tomoe because she is talking from the other side of the world. Otherwise, how would the other person know what’s going on so well with this case? Houtarou isn’t himself. Chitanda doesn’t seem like she’s herself but she still asks what kind of script Hongou wrote (since he asked!). He believes the culprit is Kounosu and she done it through the window. It wasn’t the window in the locked room but climb down from a rope via the other window of the adjoining unlocked room. She attacked Kaitou but it wasn’t fatal. After that she returned to the rest and they pretended nothing happened. The seventh actor Hongou was looking for isn’t restricted to being an actor but part of the cast as a narrator. As for Kaitou’s locked room, after Kounosu attacked him, he talked to her and asked why. To cover for her, he hid in the locked room and collapsed. Since there were broken glasses on the ground, he can use it as an excuse for his injury. Though they’ll never know why Kounosu attacked Kaitou or why he forgave her. Chitanda feels she is very similar to Hongou because they don’t like stories where characters die.

Episode 11.5
This episode came out as a webcast and what does this mean? Horrible pixelated graphics and annoying announcement fixed over the lower half of the screen. So if you want better quality, might as well by the DVD that termed this episode as an OVA. So we start off with Tomoe just coming back from South America. Yes. That big sister in the flesh. But notice how the way the angles are shown, you never see her face? Because Houtarou is bumming around, she suggests he can get paid while sitting around. What kind of a job pays you to do that? A lifeguard at a public pool. Yeah. Unless no life threatening emergencies happen, you can sit your ass all day long. Houtarou gets a call from Satoshi and the latter is very surprised he took on a job! Is this the Houtarou he knew? At the pool, Houtarou finds not only Satoshi but Mayaka and Chitanda too. Satoshi called the girls to come because they had to see something they’d never get a chance to see again: Houtarou working. Yes. He works. I guess finding a gold pot at the end of the rainbow is more plausible, eh? I suppose this is a reason why you should buy the DVD: You get to see Chitanda and Mayaka clearer in their swimsuit. Damn those marketing ploy… They splash around. During his break, they go have lunch and Chitanda considers Houtarou a special person (despite he himself thinks he is just normal).  Even though it’s her opinion, she considers everyone she meets special and that he doesn’t need to compare with everyone else about being special. Those words leave Houtarou deep in thought. What is Hyouka without a good mystery solving even if it’s a ‘cheap’ one? Chitanda noticed a woman in red swimsuit had something white on her ear previously but now it’s gone. She noticed even that? So? What if it was an earring and it could be lying around endangering others, right? They want Houtarou to help them find it. This is a big place… Why not ask the woman herself? She has this over-protective husband who was earlier seen getting ready to fight with any guys whom he thinks is stealing glances at his woman. Scary dude. And with Chitanda bombing Houtarou with her cutie curiosity looks, I guess he can’t say no. He talks to the boss of the place and he agrees to let his other staff help out since he doesn’t want to make a scene and has Houtarou search the pool area.

The friends split up to search in the different areas of the pool. Houtarou doesn’t seem to have the oomph to look for it so Mayaka tells him he is just annoying looking at him (so don’t look). He was annoying before, now he is also annoying. What she’s trying to say is if he is going to be annoying, at least be like his old self where he shows more fighting spirit. So he goes back and notices the woman trying to hit water out of her ears. Then he summons the gang because he knows they won’t find what they’re looking for. Because Chitanda saw something white, it doesn’t mean she saw an earring or stub. If she was wearing them, she wouldn’t have hit them like that. That means that white stuff must have accidentally got on her ear. He wants Satoshi to hold Mayaka. She is embarrassed at first so Chitanda offers to do it. Man, she can carry her! Houtarou notices how Mayaka put her hands on Chitanda’s shoulder as support. Now the revelation. Earlier on that woman was holding her child, who is now eating ice cream. If the child was holding an ice cream earlier on and the mother carried him, the cream must have touched her ear. It came off later while she’s swimming or somebody told her. Chitanda heaps praises for that awesome deduction and thanks him. Satoshi feels hungry and thinks of getting ice cream but this reminded Mayaka he forgot to do his anthology. Remember? Ice cream = Hyouka. She drags the reluctant boy away so that he will complete it under her watchful eye. The fun’s over. Chitanda wants to know how Houtarou knew it was ice cream. There weren’t lots of things that were white besides ice cream. The other white stuff is Chitanda’s swimsuit. Ooohh… Don’t let the eyes wander about…

Episode 12
Chitanda prays at the shrine because tomorrow is the big day of Kanya Festival. Satoshi is so looking forward to it. Houtarou has his usual I-wish-I-wasn’t-here mug and Mayaka… She is acting like as though she has done something wrong. Apparently she is supposed to order 30 copies of the anthology but ended up with 200 instead! How are they going to sell all that? The gang plan what to do before the opening ceremony. Though they’re selling it dirt cheap at 200 Yen per book, the problem is that their unfavourable faraway location would make it hard to sell. It is suggested that Chitanda is to go negotiate with the Executive Committee of the festival for a better location before it starts. Satoshi can help support her negotiation and then do some advertising by joining various competitions to make their club popular. Maybe he just wants to have fun. As for Houtarou, he probably gave himself the best job: To man the booth. So the festival begins after the students gather at the hall. However the opening B-Boy act catches Chitanda attention. She is impressed with it till she realizes she needs to go. But along the long journey, she can’t help get distracted getting involved in activities like calligraphy and karuta (she even won the game!). Finally when she makes her way to the Executive Committee and tells its president Jirou Tanabe about her request, he can’t do so at such a short notice. Well, Satoshi is laughing his ass off with the stand up comedy on stage and forgot all about assisting Chitanda. You’re on your own. Well, Chitanda seemingly ‘gives up’ easily and accepts Tanabe’s decision but he too doesn’t want to disappoint her so he suggests if there are other clubs willing to help display the anthologies, then he sees no problem. While Mayaka heads over to her shift at the Manga Society, Houtarou is sitting around in the club room. Bored. He likes it. This is the life. He gets surprised when some punk guy walks in as the first customer! Punk dude is infatuated with Houtarou’s broken fountain pen (Tomoe gave it to him earlier before he left). Because he is from the Fashion Club, he wants it to complement his fashion. Houtarou gives it to him anyway and in return is given a free backstage pass. Meanwhile Chitanda is having a tough time completing her ‘mission’. Even the way back seems long because she is distracted getting involved with all the fun activities like dressing up and getting her pictures taken in them. She tries hard to stay focus but can she resist the temptation? I think she might be lost too. Hey! Where’s today’s mystery?!

Episode 13
Satoshi enters the quiz contest and breezes through the preliminaries. Because of his funny looking outfit (he’s wearing the planet Saturn), the host interviews him on stage. That’s the chance he is waiting for to advertise the anthology. He interests the students with the mystery behind Kanya Festival and the only way to find out is to buy the anthology at their club room. Neat. Chitanda finally makes it back to Houtarou but rushes off to the Newspaper Club to see if she can put their club’s advertising in it. Tougaito can’t do much with the last minute request since there are 50 over clubs participating and they have to prioritize interesting ones. If she has an interesting ad, then she can come back and he may be able to help her. Along the way, Chitanda meets her friend Kaho Juumonji who is manning a fortune telling booth (tent rather). But she shows her a note saying the Wheel of Fortune has been lost. It is signed by Juumonji. Another note reveals it will be returned once the festival is over. It was left along with the flier at the last page of the club listings. Though Satoshi narrowly didn’t win the final quiz round, fellow participant-cum-friend Koreyuki Tani tells him about his club’s stolen Go stones. They wouldn’t notice it if it wasn’t for the note that stated it since only around 10 of the stones were missing. Satoshi thinks it’s just a prank. Since their challenge in the quiz ended with a draw (they had the same points), Tani suggests to compete in tomorrow’s cooking competition. Houtarou is going through the dress up photos Chitanda had taken when another customer comes in to buy the anthology. Houtarou points out his zip is broken and gives him the pin behind the backstage pass to hook it up. As thanks, he gives him his water gun. Looks like a real gun. The Manga Society has no customers so Mayaka’s club senior, Ayako Kouchi starts criticizing about the boringness of this manga review booth. Probably it’s just a setup to get Mayaka to argue with her. Kouchi believes it is up to the readers that’s why writing reviews are pointless and they end up arguing what constitutes a masterpiece. To prove it, Mayaka will bring last year’s manga sold at the festival for her to read, A Corpse By Evening. If it doesn’t change her mind, she has nothing more to say. By that time, Mayaka realizes customers have streamed into the room and heard her outburst. She is sure she can’t ask to sell the anthology here now. At the end of the day, 14 anthologies were sold. Not bad, huh? Only 186 more to go… Satoshi realizes the cooking competition is a team event and hopes Mayaka can join him. Chitanda allows it since it will help advertise their club. Chitanda gets embarrassed once she realizes Houtarou has seen those photos. I guess curiosity killed the cat, eh? Mayaka tries to look for that manga in her room but to no avail. Hey! No mystery in this episode too!

Episode 14
Mayaka apologizes she couldn’t find that manga but Kouchi has her help out with the posters. Because of that, Mayaka’s schedule may be tight and might not make it for the cooking competition. Satoshi thinks she still can if she goes last. Satoshi visits Tanabe and tells him about the missing items of certain clubs and a note that goes with it. He too tells him a similar case of the A Capella Club that a drink in their cooler box had gone missing. Chitanda seeks Irisu’s help in selling her anthology. She is so grateful to a point it seems creepy. She even has Irisu teach her how to ask people to do things. Learn from the master… As for Houtarou, a couple of Halloween dressed customers come in for trick or treat. They are enthralled by the water gun so he offers to trade it with an anthology for their cookies. As extra service, they give him a bag of flour. Satoshi and Chitanda are in the cooking contest and as part of the rules, only 1 member can cook at a time. Once their 20 minutes limit is up, they have to switch to the next member. Also, no talking between team members is allowed. Satoshi is making a slow start. How can he fare against Tani’s team when he has a member that is a son of a chef? Oh, I don’t know what the Astronomy Club is doing because it doesn’t seem like they’re cooking. It’s on fire and what the heck are they pouring excessively into it?! Boiling bananas?! Are they making poison?! Satoshi manages to finish a dish and switches with Chitanda. You can see how efficient she works and cooks up lots of great dishes. It’s no surprise since she comes from a farming family. Though, she may have a little of her own quirks. At the end of her turn, Mayaka is still not in sight but that’s the least of their problems. There are only a few ingredients left! I guess Chitanda got too carried away. If a team member fails to make a dish, the team will be disqualified. Mayaka manages to finish her poster and makes a dash towards the cooking competition. She tries hard to think what she can make with such little ingredients and 10 minutes left. Chitanda hears somebody calling Satoshi. It is Houtarou and he wants him to get over to where he is. Houtarou drops the flour into his hands and Satoshi gives it to Mayaka (a rule states that if ingredients finished, they can get it from elsewhere in the school). With that, she gets going in making kakiage. However she is distressed when she finds the ladle missing so the organizers had to search for one for her. She finishes her dish in time. The results are out and Classics Literature Club won! Amazing. But Mayaka is still upset about the missing ladle because it wasted a minute of her time. Though the organizers assure they have made sure all the utensils were in placed before the start, it suddenly hit Chitanda. She opens the drawer and a note from Juumonji that states the ladle has been taken.

Episode 15
Houtarou can’t eat his lunch peacefully with Chitanda bugging him about her curiosity about the stolen ladle. He can’t brush it off that someone’s really bored playing this prank when she’s breathing down his neck. Besides, they have to sell all the anthologies. Houtarou dismisses Satoshi’s to become a famous detective to solve this case since it will be tough to pick out the culprit in the sea of crowd that consists of students and outsiders. After learning the targeted clubs, Houtarou realizes a pattern. It’s like going via ABC (in Japanese hiragana wise). After listing down the stolen items from each club, Houtarou points out that they’ve been reading Juumonji wrongly as a name. They should just read it normally as juumoji and it means 10 letters. Reading the 10 letters from the hiragana and if they go in that order, which means the Classic Literature Club will be the last one. Chitanda heads down to the Newspaper Club but sees everyone busy. Tougaito can’t entertain her since everyone is rushing. But when she mentions about the Juumoji, he begins taking an interest because they too had their utility knife stolen. Satoshi waits at the Magic Club since according to the pattern they are next in line to get strike. He plans to catch the culprit there in the act. He also meets Tani who also knows about the Juumoji incident and challenges Satoshi to settle their score to see whoever catches the culprit first. Meanwhile though Mayaka thanks Houtarou for the flour, he wants something traded in exchange. She throws her hand mirror at his face when he said that cosplay word. Satoshi observes the several people coming to watch the magic show that includes Irisu, Tanabe, Kouchi, the Manga Society president Shouko Yuasa and Muneyoshi Kugayama who is the student council president. As the show starts, the magician’s assistant panics when one of the candles she was supposed to light up is missing. Satoshi is appalled that the crime had already been committed. How did the culprit do it when no one came close to the stage other than the performers? He realizes that the culprit had no reason to strike during the show.

Mayaka returns to her club and hears other members badmouthing her especially about her excuse that she couldn’t find that manga. She is about to give them her piece of mind when Kouchi and Yuasa return. Kouchi tells them to shut up if they haven’t even read it. As Mayaka takes a breather outside, Yuasa approaches her and feels the need to help her. She says Kouchi isn’t being serious and knows it because they’re close friends. Just like how Kouchi is to Haruna Anjou. Who? One of the co-authors for A Corpse By Evening. It was a collaboration though the art was by somebody else. However Haruna is no longer around since she transferred to another school. Chitanda sees the Newspaper Club putting up the afternoon article about the Juumoji incident. She is glad that Tougaito took her advice and the Classic Literature Club’s name is in it. It states that the culprit will strike on the last day between noon and 2pm either Classic Literature Club or Crafts Club. Satoshi seems depressed that he couldn’t catch the culprit in the act. Houtarou knew that the culprit won’t do that because the notes never did say when it would be done. Besides, he didn’t know Satoshi was trying to catch the culprit. Chitanda returns to tell them about the Newspaper Club ‘advertising’ them. She thinks of going to the Broadcasting Club tomorrow to ask if they could advertise. Later Satoshi is bent on solving this case himself because this is out of Houtarou’s path. Since deducing the culprit in the crowd is impossible, the only way is to catch the culprit in the act.

Episode 16
Satoshi is eager to catch Juumoji as he waits in the Global Art Club. And there’s Tani and lots of detective wannabes trying to nab Juumoji too. They wait and wait but nothing happens. Tani gets message that the Light Music Club was struck instead. This sends Satoshi into shock. Meanwhile Houtarou gets a surprise visit from Tomoe. She notices a hand mirror from which he traded with a pen. She takes it and in exchange leaves him with a manga: A Corpse By Evening. He reads the author’s comment and finds it written by Takuha Anshinin. One of the comments include that they have started working on a manga for the next Kanya Festival and the writer intends to make a mystery which is a variation of Christie. They also have the title of the next work picked out: Kudryavka’s Order. Chitanda sees Yasukuni Yoshino of the Broadcasting Club. He is eager to see her and invites her to go on a live interview during lunch show. She returns to her club room and hears Satoshi complaining how Juumoji skipped a letter and went to target another club. Houtarou just finished reading the manga and finds it very good. Chitanda’s curiosity starts to pique as she feels she has seen this manga’s familiar art before. Realizing it’s like the festival’s poster next to the meeting room, she gets permission to borrow it to do some confirming. Mayaka is drawing at her Manga Society when one of her club members decides to play a prank by sprinkling a little dirty water on her paper. However she bumped into someone and splashed it all over Mayaka. Oh dear. After Mayaka changes, she meets Chitanda. She is shocked to see her having that manga. Chitanda is excited over the prospect that the person who drew this manga might be the same person who drew the cultural festival poster. Mayaka confirms the artwork to be 99% by the same person. Asking Tanabe who drew it, he points out Muneyoshi did it. The girls return to relay the good news but Houtarou doesn’t know who that guy is! Seriously! Everyone seems disappointed. He finally realizes who that guy is as he has always been mispronouncing his name as Rikuyama. Furthermore, he mispronounced Anshinin and Satoshi had to point out it is read as Ajimu. I guess he can’t read the Roman alphabets next to it.

I suppose Houtarou has figured out something and tries not to let Chitanda know. He wants to speak to Satoshi privately but he gave it away. Chitanda is like having up and down mood swing. Eager and happy when she thinks Houtarou has it but depressed and gloomy when he’s not. He is about to tell her but warns it contains adult talk. So is she game? Apparently not. So outside with Satoshi, he is going to just put his thoughts together and this somewhat upsets Satoshi because it sounded like he is going to pick out the culprit from among the crowd without any connections or mistakes. Houtarou highlights several points that include the 10 objects that Juumoji stole (which is loosely based on their weak assumption on the characters in the name), the word ‘lost’ is used instead of ‘taken’, a brochure of the festival is left behind (it’s not the only source to get the names of all the clubs), why target a certain club when there are many others that begin with the same letter, which leads to why skip a letter and go to another one and finally this manga may have something to do with it. As Satoshi lists down the famous detective novels by Christie, Houtarou feels if Kudryavka’s Order is to be turned into a manga, The ABC Murders would fit that bill. Kudryavka was a dog sent to space and died but the unnatural death image fits the And Then There Were None story. Kudryavka’s Order isn’t being sold anywhere in this year’s festival either. Houtarou thinks the Juumoji incident was announced in A Corpse By Evening as Juumoji is trying to carry all this out without interfering with the clubs and causing few problems as possible. Before Satoshi leaves, Houtarou wants him to prepare a bait for Chitanda. Chitanda is about to begin her interview. She got so nervous that she hit the head on the microphone!

Episode 17
Chitanda starts advertising the anthology and also to help catch Juumoji. Now Classic Literature’s club room is filled with people. Mainly detective wannabes who want to catch Juumoji’s final strike. Also, lots of people are streaming in to buy the anthology. When Satoshi’s handphone rings at a corner, this is followed by a burst of flames to a manuscript in the middle of the room. Satoshi puts the fire out. After Satoshi declares Juumoji has got them, out from one of the anthologies is the card from Juumoji. Everyone is left downtrodden and the incident ends with the Newspaper Club publishing the final article that Classic Literature has been defeated. Later when Chitanda goes to see Irisu, the latter hands over the money from the anthologies she sold (it was a sell-out). After hearing her on the airwaves, Irisu feels she had been wrong to give her persuasion advice to her because it just doesn’t suit her. She wants her to stop using that advice for her plans. Chitanda had the same idea too because she was getting tired of it. Elsewhere, gloomy Satoshi and Mayaka are discussing about the word expectation. Seems this was what happened. Satoshi saw Houtarou talking to Tanabe at the bicycle shed and began eavesdropping. Houtarou identifies Tanabe as Juumoji. Firstly, the word ‘lost’ was used and not ‘taken’ and what if this incident was a message for someone. And a complicated message means someone must know how to decode it. Kudryavka’s Order is a variation of The ABC Murders and the Juumoji incident is a variation of Kudryavka’s Order. The recipient of this message is Kugayama. The reason Juumoji skipped a letter was because it never stated it was targeting clubs and could also target a person. Besides, the festival brochure’s last page indicates the list of ‘victims’. Other than the clubs, Kugayama’s name was in it. The only person who could have power in such arrangement is the Executive Committee. But there are 20 people on it. This is where A Corpse By Evening came in. Kugayama worked with the writer Haruna on this manga, which means he could decode this message. Houtarou is not sure but guesses that Kugayama has lost the manuscript for Kudryavka’s Order and Juumoji incident is a guilt trip for him and the message for him is “Kugayama’s Kudryavka’s Order has been lost”. Based on the weird pen name of the manga, Ajimu Takuha is made up of the first letters of their name. Leaving out Kugayama and Haruna would mean Tanabe’s initials are the only ones left since he too participated in last year’s Executive Committee and is a friend of Kugayama.

Tanabe claps his hands and is surprised people other than Kugayama and Haruna could decode the message. Wanting to know why he sent such an indirect message, one reason is to keep the spirit of the festival alive but the biggest reason is that he just couldn’t tell him directly. Houtarou hands him 30 copies of the anthology and wants Tanabe to buy them all. Consider it blackmail to keep his mouth shut. However Tanabe needs to submit a valid reason if he is going to sell it over the school’s website. Houtarou assures it will be popular thanks to the Juumoji incident. He will have Tanabe target Classic Literature club as his final target. He and Satoshi will be his partners in crime. A crowd will form at the club room, people will buy the anthology giving enough reason to be sold online as well and this incident can end without a hitch. To pull this off, Houtarou wants him to get sodium (the explosive) and a water gun. The sodium will be put between the pages of the manuscript and when Houtarou gives a signal, he will shoot it with the water gun. But too many people in the room will be watching. Satoshi’s handphone will be near the door and the ringing will distract people. Before he shoots, call his number. A note will be inserted into one of the anthologies. And so that was how the ‘crime’ was done and came to a big bang end. Mayaka could sympathize with how Satoshi feels. She thought that he wanted to beat Houtarou but he remembers that as a database, he can’t draw any conclusions.

After the festival is officially drawn to a close, Mayaka confronts Kouchi to lend her A Corpse By Evening. However she refuses to read it. From what I understand, when someone like Haruna who never had any experience in detective novels suddenly come up with a brilliant story, how would someone like Kouchi who has been trying for donkey years feel? Ditto. Besides, she also has that manga but it’s sitting at the deepest end of her closet so she won’t ever read it. That’s why she is sticking to her theory that there are no masterpieces. If she does, she might have to call Haruna and tell her she will be looking forward to her next work. It will haunt her. Kouchi leaves a drawing on the railing and Mayaka realizes it belongs to another masterpiece manga she read. She couldn’t help relate her own case (she tried drawing manga but felt she is a hundred times lower) and starts crying. Houtarou remembers Tanabe lastly told him about the actual message to Kugayama. He has a talent in drawing and has never drawn ever since A Corpse By Evening. Tanabe looked up to him and had high expectations. Kudryavka’s Order’s manuscript wasn’t actually lost. If Kugayama had wanted it, he could’ve made it even better than A Corpse By Evening but to Kugayama, he only did it for fun for that year. He felt his talent was a waste. He wanted to do all he could do draw again. Houtarou could guess the message he wanted to say: “Kugayama, have you read Kudryavka’s Order?”. Tanabe laments Kugayama never read Haruna’s work that she poured her soul into and never got the message. But I have a feeling he got it because at the end of the closing ceremony, Kugayama did give the thumbs up to Tanabe and congratulate him on a job well done. Now with only 4 anthologies left, each member of Classic Literature buys one and completes the impossible of selling it all out. All that is left now is for Chitanda to bug Houtarou to solve the Juumoji case. I guess he prefers not too because he knows it won’t go down well if she ever finds out about the blackmail. I guess Satoshi wants some payback for getting him involved so he hints Houtarou has figured out a thing or two and will explain it at the celebratory dinner.

Episode 18
While doing homework in the club room, a helicopter passes by and this reminds Houtarou of their middle school English teacher, Masakiyo Ogi loved helicopters. He loved them so much that when one flew by, he stopped his lesson just to take a good look at them till it’s gone. However Satoshi and Mayaka don’t remember that fact. They also remember that there were other times that helicopters flew by but he didn’t show such reaction. But Satoshi mentions a story about Ogi. That he was struck 3 times by lightning. Not directly, though. How do you think he would have been able to survive and his body showed no signs of scars. Houtarou suddenly had a thought. Satoshi can’t be making this up so was Ogi lying? He gets an interest to do a little research at the library. This decision shocks his friends because this isn’t the energy saving Houtarou they know! Is he sick?! And of course, Chitanda and her annoying curiosity phrase. What is there to be curious about? She’s curious on what in the world could have piqued his curiosity. This reason? Chitanda volunteers to help Houtarou and at the library, she discovers a newspaper article that Ogi was part of the mountain climbing club which was sponsoring the Kamikakiuchi Trail restoration in the mountains. Asking the librarian for assistance for newspaper archives about 3 years ago, Houtarou mentions the word ‘stranded’ to help in the search. Though a dozen articles surfaced, there is one on the trail. Flipping through the article on the day of that article (that same day Houtarou believes Ogi mentioned his love for helicopters), what Houtarou understands from it is that Ogi didn’t like helicopters.

It’s deduction time. Ogi didn’t lie about the part being struck by lightning 3 times. Your chance of getting this is if you’re in the mountains, right? Why was it on that day he said he loved helicopters? Because something special about a helicopter happened that day. He was anxiously waiting for one to fly that day. More precisely, he wanted one to fly that day. That’s why he had to see it for himself when he heard it. As an English teacher, a helicopter means nothing. But as a mountain climber it means a lot. One of them being a rescue team. But the day before that, it was stormy and the helicopters couldn’t fly. Ogi was interested in the police helicopter which means he was actually interested in the weather conditions at the mountains. Because if it’s sunny, the survival rate on the mountain changes. Houtarou may not know how he felt but he was smiling on that day he saw it. Looking through the rest of the articles on this topic, the police helicopter found 2 bodies of the stranded victims. On the way back, Chitanda asks the mother of all questions: Why was Houtarou interested in this case. Yeah, I guess it’s weird if he looks into something on his own. Very curious, isn’t she? When Satoshi mentioned about the lightning, he had a bad feeling and thus wanted to confirm if what he thought was true. If it was, he needs to be careful. Because under such circumstances, jumping to conclusions that Ogi likes helicopters would be insensitive and should be more considerate of others around him. Chitanda is touched by his words but is lost for words herself. She notes she sees him in a different light today. Houtarou feels he owes her one for helping out today.

Episode 19
This is Houtarou and Chitanda’s episode. You’ll see only both of them chatting in the club room. And some very close moments of course. Houtarou refuses to be called a genius for his case solving abilities and coming up with theories. He dismisses it as luck. In that case, wouldn’t reasoning out theories based on clues be his talent too? So he’s a master of making theories? No. He doesn’t know how he comes up with them. She replies it’s because he hasn’t take a good look at himself. Houtarou wants to proof that she too can makeup a theory for anything. Then an announcement over the PA says, “Anyone who on October 31st shopped at Koubundou, report to Shibazaki in the staff room immediately”. Chitanda wants to come up with a theory regarding that announcement and Houtarou accepts it. Koubundou is a stationery shop near a station that carries stationery that elementary students usually need. Shibazaki is the head teacher and he is trying to call a student or a group of them. They label this person as Student X. Houtarou thinks Shibazaki is calling X for educational purpose or scolding. Based on his experience. Is he serious? If he wanted to commend someone, he wouldn’t have used the vague word of ‘anyone’. Plus, the announcement was done in a rush and not in standard procedure. Because announcements are usually in polite form and repeated twice but this was only once. Since this announcement is made after school, many students have left. What is it that is so important that he can’t wait till tomorrow morning where everyone is in class? Even so, shouldn’t the counsellor be doing the counselling instead of the head teacher? Both their offices are different floors. This means something major has happened and needs to be kept classified at administrative level. This is of course assuming X is involved in a crime. Since there is no police, maybe there’s a related official here. It means the investigators recently made the request and want to apprehend X. Based on the type of crimes Chitanda suggested, only one seems possible: Theft. If it was others like assault, a full description of the person would have been given. The announcement can’t possibly be one that has the culprit to turn himself in. In fact, it shows that they don’t know the real culprit and he will run away.

Putting aside the crime X did, Houtarou wants to assume X regretted what he did and then apologized in a letter. Today is November 1st and don’t you think it is odd that Shibazaki mentioned the date instead of saying yesterday? It shows he is reading from a note. But why did the investigator know X is involved and yet know nothing about him? Because X wrote an apology letter to Koubundou for what he did. He shopped there on 31st October, committed a crime, regretted and wrote a letter before the shop owners took the letter to the police. But if X had wanted to apologize, the police wouldn’t have got involved and how did they know he is from Kamiyama? The letter wouldn’t have actually stated that. Maybe the police asked the owners on who did it and their likely answer was probably a student from Kamiyama. X may have done something which the owners didn’t realize it was a crime later on. But it must be a crime that got the investigator’s attention quickly. A stationery shop doesn’t carry anything valuable so it could only mean one thing. X used a counterfeit 10,000 Yen bill to pay. Chitanda gets really emotional in denying that because recently there was news that such a counterfeit bill was used. How did X get his hands on it? Since from ATMs and banks aren’t possible, it could’ve been from an exchange. A personal exchange. If one picks up such a bill and quickly spends it, that person isn’t the type to apologize fast too. Asking if Chitanda likes money, she doesn’t hate it. So would she have trouble throwing it away? Yes, if it is legitimate money. Anyone would as long as it’s their own money. X must have rightfully got it from what is due to him. Since it isn’t a part time job, it could be from lending money. Assuming this Y person is someone who ranks higher, X can’t possibly give that money back even though he realizes it’s fake. Y might have got it from Z from the same circumstances. Safe to say, X is a single person as it would be weird for 2 or more high schoolers to buy cheap stationery with a 10,000 Yen. Houtarou thinks it’s likely the police got hold of X in order to trace where the bill came from. After all that talking, Houtarou is disappointed Chitanda just stood there saying nothing. Taking a look at how this thing started, Chitanda ponders he started this game to prove something. They can’t remember what it is either. Should they try to deduce what that was? No way! Next morning, Houtarou sees a newspaper report that a 22 year old gangster has been arrested in a counterfeit currency operation. I guess his theory got it right again. He realizes yesterday’s game was perhaps to reach a wild conclusion.

Episode 20
Chitanda calls Houtarou if he had any plans for New Year’s Day. Does that guy have any in the first place? She wants to pay the shrine a visit since Mayaka is working there too. Also, she wants to show off her kimono. So… he waited in the freezing cold of the night just for that? Was it worth it? Yes it was! After praying, they went to see the temple caretakers and because Chitanda’s family is well known, they guide them inside. Chitanda and the priestess exchange pleasantries but Houtarou panics because he doesn’t understand a thing while dealing with a real miko priestess. The priestess then recognizes Houtarou. Is she psychic? Do you not recognize who she is? Neither do I. She’s Kaho! She takes them to see Mayaka who is somewhat manning the fortune, lost and found section. Taking their fortunes, while Chitanda’s reads good, Houtarou’s spells misfortune. A premonition of things to come? Then Kaho mentions about the need to remake dumpling soup and sweet sake due to some part timers screwing up. Chitanda wants to help out so Kaho tells her to get some of the ingredients in the warehouse. They enter the dark shed and before they know it, somebody locks them in. Cliché… Then they realize this isn’t the warehouse but a shed. Better do something fast or freeze to death. Houtarou thinks of yelling for help but Chitanda stops him. She is worried of the impression the people will have if they find them in this state. It would have been fine on other occasions but she’s representing her father today so it’s no-go. Yeah. Whatever that means. Chitanda has a good idea to use their handphones to call their friends. Good. Only 1 problem: Neither has a handphone. There goes Plan A. What about Plan B? Houtarou has 4 choices. Wow! That much? A) Break the wall; B) Break the door; C) Dig a tunnel; D) Break the roof. Uh… Can we do something without breaking this old building?

Chitanda hears somebody coming and he’s just the temple’s caretaker. He picks up a lost item and leaves. This gives Houtarou an idea. They need to drop something Mayaka or Kaho knows and let the caretaker pick it up and bring it back to her. Getting permission to break the wall a little bit bigger, Houtarou drops Chitanda’s handkerchief outside. By that time, Satoshi has arrived and sees Mayaka. She shows him Chitanda’s handkerchief but thinks it is somebody else who dropped this similar handkerchief. Now since that plan didn’t work (it’s taking too long), Houtarou drops his emptied wallet and tied his misfortune slip on it.  The friends recognize but didn’t get the clue. Yeah, Satoshi wants to draw from the fortune too. Time for next plan. When Houtarou realizes Satoshi should have been here now, he needs to find a string that is 50cm long. The only string that fits that description is the one that is holding Chitanda’s obi. Let’s say if it’s gone, it won’t prop her obi up. Houtarou remembers another string. It’s from the banner hanging outside. He breaks a little hole near the door and grabs the banner’s string. Too bad people. We don’t get to see Chitanda strip. Do we feel cheated? He ties it around Chitanda’s purse and drops it. Once it reaches Mayaka, Satoshi finally gets the clue and runs to their rescue. Houtarou explains that the purse has the opening and base tied which indicates the insides are trapped, thus trapped like a rat. He didn’t come up with this idea from thin air. He and Satoshi saw a period drama this morning that had the same concept. The one whereby Nobunaga was going to attack some place but his brother in law betrayed him. Nobunaga’s sister heard of the betrayal and sent a bag tied at both ends to convey the trap message. And here comes Satoshi the saviour. Any second longer, Houtarou would have turned into a frozen zombie. Not that he was any different in his normal energy conserving life anyway.

Episode 21
Last year Satoshi rejected Mayaka’s Valentine’s chocolate (because it wasn’t handmade?). She got so pissed that she ate the chocolate herself and vows to make a masterpiece that he will accept and cram into his face. A year later, Mayaka ropes in Chitanda to help make the chocolate and hopes to keep it a secret from Satoshi. That means Houtarou has to keep quiet too. Later Houtarou plays a game with Satoshi at the arcade and notices how much he has changed. It was like he wasn’t obsessed with winning anymore because he used to be a sore loser. Back home, Tomoe left a box of chocolates on the floor. With love. Houtarou kicks it away like a football penalty kick! On Valentine’s Day, Chitanda tries to hint to Houtarou something about her family doesn’t practice giving gifts to close ones. Too shy to say it, she changes the topic. Chitanda sees the chocolate sitting nicely on the table in the club room. As Houtarou waits in the library, Chitanda wonders if Satoshi has showed up and apparently he didn’t in the club room. Shortly, she rushes back to Houtarou and is panicking. Houtarou asks Satoshi what’s going on but he gave that guilty reaction. Chitanda is upset that the chocolate is stolen and feels guilty she has done something horrible to Mayaka since she forgot to lock the club room. Houtarou agrees to help out since he doesn’t want to see Mayaka’s wrath. He’s not into horror after all. Making their way back to the club room, Chitanda hasn’t told Mayaka about this yet and the chocolate is not to be found anywhere in the room. Satoshi says he met Chitanda by the stairs and they entered the room together. That was when the chocolate went missing. The only guy who could’ve seen them pass through this level was the guy from Crafts Club who was putting up the poster. Houtarou dismisses him as the culprit because he wouldn’t still be putting up posters had he stole the chocolate. He confirms 3 people passed by: Them.

Houtarou deduces the culprit may still be on that floor and from the list of club rooms on that floor, only the Astronomy Club still have members haven’t gone home yet. When met with Sawakiguchi, desperate Chitanda quickly tells her to return the chocolate! So the guys take it over and do the talking instead. They’re looking for any witnesses who took the chocolate. Sawakiguchi seems pretty annoyed and asks her other 4 members but they all laugh it off as a joke. Nobody is interested in taking their chocolate. End of story. Slams door. Back to square one. Back in the club room, Chitanda feels the need to tell Mayaka when the devil pops up. She quickly apologizes for what happened so Mayaka puts up a brave front to pretend like it’s no big deal and leaves. Chitanda gets desperate and wants to take drastic measures to find it but was stopped by Houtarou. He grabbed her hand to make her listen. He knows who the culprit is: Nakayama, the only other girl member of the Astronomy Club. Had the guys stolen it, he chocolate would be too big to fit in their uniform. However for Nakayama, she could easily tie it to her leg hidden underneath her skirt. He wants her to go home and rest while he vows to find it and give it to Satoshi before the day ends. Shortly after Chitanda leaves, Houtarou leaves with Satoshi. Along the way, he wants Satoshi to hand over his bag. After shaking it, he passes it back to him and wants him to give it Mayaka. He knew it was him who stole the chocolate. Based on what the Craft Club guy said, he knew it was him because of how Satoshi commented on the poster he was putting. He guessed Satoshi was waiting inside the toilet to wait for Chitanda to pass, then took the chocolate from the club room. But it was bigger than expected and couldn’t fit in the bag. There weren’t any other bags in the room and couldn’t risk running out holding it and being seen. Thus the only way was to break it and hid it in his small bag. Houtarou notes that they are even now. This is for the time he helped out distracting Chitanda with the made up Silk Spider Society story.

He feels like punching Satoshi if this is idea of a joke because he hurt Mayaka and Chitanda. Satoshi disagrees with Houtarou calling him a hobbyist. Whatever he does, he won’t be best at anything. More accurately he stopped trying to be. He must have noticed him at the arcade. He used to be obsessed with winning and if he did, it became boring or too much to handle. Then he got tired of it and ever since his life has been fun. As for Mayaka, she is really a great girl and a dream come true to be loved by her. But he can’t be obsessed with her. Because if he leaves his comfort zone and accepts her, he might as well go back to the way he used to be. That scares him. Though he still hasn’t found his answer yet, Houtarou didn’t like it that he hurt Chitanda. Satoshi notes that he and Mayaka never considered Chitanda. Meanwhile Chitanda catches up with Mayaka and the latter quickly apologizes. Mayaka knew who stole the chocolate all along because after last year’s Valentine’s Day, she told Satoshi she would wait until he gave her an answer. That day is today. She feels guilty for hiding it from her and making such a big fuss. Houtarou probably cooked up that story to cover for Satoshi. But what upsets Mayaka most is that despite all this, she still loves Satoshi. Satoshi is ready to be punched by Houtarou but it’s not like he can tell Chitanda any of this either. He tells Satoshi he is good at what he does but needs to work on how he does it. As for his answer, he might be close to it soon. Houtarou calls Chitanda to tell her he managed to give the chocolate to Satoshi. She thanks him for everything. Satoshi also calls Mayaka. Houtarou takes a bite of Tomoe’s chocolate and finds it bitter.

Episode 22
One cold morning, Chitanda calls Houtarou if he is free. She needs him to hold an umbrella for a shrine’s Hina Festival procession. Making his way to the shrine, he sees the committee at work behind the scenes that includes all the preparations and checks. As they are making a final rundown, Houtarou realizes that the procession is going to pass through Choukyuu Bridge. He tells them it is now under construction because he just passed there before the lone worker closed it for so. The committee starts panicking and upon double checking, the bridge is indeed closed. More panic as they try to come up with another route for the procession. All suggestions are shot down till a young committee chap, Konari suggests a longer route to take: The Tooji Bridge. However, they seem sceptical. Houtarou is being called by Chitanda. He has to speak before a wall since she is in the midst of changing. He summarizes what is happening so she wants him to bring a message back to the folks that she will contact the priest from the other side and her father will contact the representatives personally. Once Houtarou does, everyone calms down and scrambles to make last minute adjustments. As the procession starts, the main players come out. I couldn’t recognize that was Irisu dressed up as the emperor. Beside her is of course Chitanda in heavy make up and stunning garb. So much so Houtarou can’t focus and can’t keep his eyes peeled away from her. He feels he shouldn’t have come as this is shattering his energy conservation policy. Did I hear him right that he is curious wanting to see Chitanda’s face from the front? (Houtarou is holding the umbrella from behind). I bet it will be worth it. He is snapped out when Satoshi calls out to him. After Houtarou’s role finishes, Mayaka thanks him for what he did for Valentine’s Day. He bumps into Irisu on her way out and she thought he had solved the today’s mystery. He isn’t pleased to be tricked again but she assures him that she wouldn’t lie to him on such a sacred day.

Much later, it is Chitanda’s turn. It’s her curiosity cue. She had to control herself today playing the doll that she couldn’t ask about the Choukyuu Bridge. As they discuss, seems they both suspect Konari. Previously the committee was told that the construction would be delayed but apparently someone made a call to restart it today. Because Konari helped dressed Houtarou, his words were felt a bit odd. He said he came back home to see a rare procession. However someone from this village would not consider this annual procession as rare. This means something that doesn’t often happen occurred. The change in route had them crossed Tooji Bridge. What was along that path? Blooming sakura trees. That is what you don’t see every day. Chitanda remembers he is attending a technical school in Osaka to become a photographer and must have wanted to take unusual pictures. As they walk home, Chitanda explains further. The committee stopped panicking when she contacted the other side’s priest. Long ago, this village was divided into two different villages. Both sides frequently fought over land and water. Though that is history, entering either side for religious celebrations without prior warning will cause conflict. They needed someone to inform the other side but had no one. That’s where Chitanda comes in. Remember, her family is old and powerful. She continues that even if she goes away to university, she’ll still have to come back to this place as she has a job to fulfil as daughter of the Chitanda family. She thinks it will be her job to find ways to produce better crops enough for everyone to eat or to work on the business side to increase yield. She chose the former seeing she is not good in business and feels guilty for causing everyone trouble during Kanya Festival. Although this place is old and the people getting tired, this isn’t the most beautiful place or has potential, she still wants to show it to him. Houtarou offers to take care of the business part for her. She didn’t hear that so he retracts. He realizes this was what Satoshi might have felt then. Houtarou is feeling cold but Chitanda notes that spring is already here.

Curiosity Killed The Boredom
Despite the ending being nothing much happens, this series is overall quite satisfying and enjoyable. Perhaps I got my hopes up in hoping that there will be a big bang mystery case but I guess after 3 big mystery arcs (the truth behind Hyouka, the unfinished film and the Kanya Festival missing club tools), finishing off with little single stand alone episodes isn’t necessary such a bad thing. Even though I did not convert into a big fan of the mystery genre, no matter how trivial or ‘boring’ some of the mysteries were, they were still enough to retain my interest since I was trying to guess the case and answer as I watch along. Like that is possible of somebody of my IQ calibre. It was fun trying to do that, replaying scenes over and over several times trying to understand what was being said although in the end none of my theories came out right. There weren’t many by the way. Sometimes I can’t even come up with one.

To be fair to viewers, the series have dropped hints along the way throughout the episode(s) especially those that are related in the arc. So before the finally revelation from Houtarou, you might want to pause for a while and conclude what you have deduced so far. Thus if you have a sharp eye, good sense of hearing and more importantly a good memory and analytical mind, you probably could have try and guessed the answer to the mystery. However, I feel that there are some ‘hints’ that might lead you astray, which is pretty normal in this genre seeing that you might be so engrossed in trying to unravel the mystery that you might take everything they say to be some sort of hint. Some of the conversation may not even be related to the mystery and are just talk. Well, at least that is what I felt. For example, when Satoshi assigned tarot card decks to match the personalities of his friends, this doesn’t bear any significance to the mystery and just probably to hint to Houtarou that his tarot card of strength was that he is prone to be manipulated by women. Or the part when it is known that Irisu comes from a family that runs a general hospital in this town. So? Therefore in terms of the mystery solving part, such conversations do not mean anything.

I want to point out that while many of the conclusions deduced by Houtarou seem pretty awesome and mind blowing, the real and actual supposed answer turns out to be something less exciting. Take for instance the incomplete movie arc. Houtarou’s deduction to Irisu about the seventh character as a twister to me was super. Of course after he reanalyzes the case again and comes out with the real answer, the one that Hongou supposedly wanted, it really seemed to be a downer. Personally, I feel Houtarou’s first deduction was great. Then when it came down to how Hongou actually was supposed to film it, it wasn’t satisfying and raised more questions instead. How did this happen? Why did this happen? Doesn’t this feel a little lame? I mean, I feel Houtarou’s deduction was more feasible and probable compared to the real one. For the Kanya Festival arc, despite Tanabe being revealed as the main culprit, many questions came to my mind like how did he pulled off those missing tools in the first place? This and some other minor questions didn’t get answered. Unless I wasn’t paying attention but I doubt so because I was really glued to the screen and even replayed the scenes as mentioned. So as it turned out, just one big complicated and messy riddle for a certain guy to unscramble. Some deductions felt like a little letdown like the one about Ogi’s passion for helicopters. So Houtarou got it wrong in the first place that he likes helicopters. So what? As I said at the end.

Apart from the mysteries and cases, another factor that goes hand in hand with that is the characters. As we see Houtarou brilliantly deduces and unravel the secrets of the mystery based on what he has gathered, we also see him gradually changing. From somebody who is only concerned with saving energy and trying his best not to not getting involved in other things, it becomes a surprise that he takes the initiative to eventually get involve and get to the bottom of a case. If Chitanda had never consistently bugged him with her trademark “I’m curious!” line or that cute close up pestering, he might never found that little push to exert that extra energy. But do you see that the energy that he exerts is good? It’s not that he is wasting them, right? Besides, if he just sat there doing nothing, I think it will be more detrimental because he is wasting away energy that could have been put to good use. He isn’t perfect despite being relied on the most for answers. Sometimes when it seems things are going great, somebody else points out a minor detail he left out and it’s back to the drawing board. Chitanda on her part may come from an old powerful family but she is not without her good and bad points. Like her inquisitive side, it is good that she wants answers to the things that made her curious. But sometimes it feels that she can be a little pushy and impatient when it doesn’t get solved. Sometimes she may look ditzy but I feel that makes her cute ;p. Satoshi has great memory but as he realizes, he only has the facts and information and lacks the deduction power to draw conclusions like Houtarou. He and Mayaka provide good support to the duo. The biggest mystery is Tomoe since her travels around the globe makes you wonder what kind of job she does. Her face is never shown and being a former Classic Literature Club member, there is more than meets the eye to this lady.

As the quartet of Classic Literature Club solve mysteries behind each case, we also see a different side to them. During the Kanya Festival, we see how Satoshi wanted to be like Houtarou and tried to solve the case by himself. He failed. Similarly, Mayaka wanted to be a good mangaka artist but she couldn’t. Tanabe also wanted exceptional drawing skills that Kugayama possesses and had high hopes for him. In all 3 of them, they admired somebody who was better than them that they yearned to become. They tried so hard to get there but never came close. The talented ones exerted such skills without much effort. They felt jealous. It’s like a beautiful flower high above a rocky cliff that they never can attain. Whether they like it or not, they have to accept reality and move on. Even in Satoshi’s friendly chat with Houtarou throughout the series, you can sense that Satoshi harbours certain envy for Houtarou. Houtarou is no different. Despite we see him putting up a boring facial expression and from time to time sarcasm when he is not putting on his thinking cap, he isn’t that all perfect too. When he realized Irisu was using him as a scriptwriter instead of a detective, he became angry. You can actually see the anger deep within his eyes when he confronted her. At least this shows he has got some energy to burn and release when he is mad. You thought he was an emotionless guy all along, eh? Chitanda too. She is best when she is herself and not trying to change into a personality that is a total opposite. You thought Chitanda’s proper etiquette would not fail her but during the Valentine’s arc, she showed her desperation and impatience. In a way, I would say that she isn’t someone who can handle great pressure once she is under the impression that she feels guilty and responsible over something.

I’m sure by the end of the series, many would have noticed the romance factor that has subtly seeped into the show especially between Houtarou and Chitanda. Well, there are many private moments between them and ones that have their face close enough that warrants and teases viewers to chant for them to hurry up and kiss. Alas, I think it will spoil everything if that actually happened. So we are left wondering if there is going to be any real romance between them at all right up till the end. It is greatly hinted and though not officially said, we viewers definitely know that Houtarou and Chitanda harbour feelings for each other. This is a mystery genre, not a love romance. Whether or not they know about the topic of love, perhaps Chitanda has her family name to uphold so she can’t be really rash about something big like love. Houtarou? Maybe falling in love would be too much energy to use. Haha! So our other unofficial couple, Satoshi and Mayaka, from what I can see she’s still not giving up. Any girl who got rejected by the guy she confessed to would certainly find it very demoralizing and hard to even stay close as a friend. Maybe things will change. Will things stay the same as they are if they start going out as a couple? Mayaka loves Satoshi, even Satoshi admits he loves her. So why doesn’t this equation tally up? Until both sides are ready, status quo is perhaps the best answer for now.

As I have said, the build up to the mystery is great and it really catches the viewers’ attention. However sometimes I feel that there is a little horror element inside. At times it gives me the creeps and made my hair stood on ends. For instance, the unfinished movie arc, the way they show us the angles of the incomplete film feels like a little horror. The dark corridors and the death of one of its members give that creepy feeling that there is something more to this mystery. Also, during the trip to the hotsprings, the hanged yukata also had this creepy feeling. I can’t get it out of my mind wondering if there were supernatural stuffs involved despite knowing well that this series delves more into logic in explaining its conclusion instead of the unexplained. Aside the little horror stuff, a little bit of comedy to loosen up those tension like Houtarou’s one-line sarcasm or Chitanda’s cuteness. Yes, she’s funny alright when she’s in that mode. It may be annoying but generally in a cute and funny way. Wasn’t Chitanda tad funny when she ate the entire box of whiskey chocolates?

As Kyoto Animation animates this series (their other works include Clannad, Air, Inu Yasha, Full Metal Panic and K-ON!), another interesting aspect of this series is the drawing and art. The characters and sceneries may look standard but it is the different creative visuals used when Houtarou and the rest of the club members are explaining their theory. They are really fun to watch (because it beats looking at their ordinary faces while explaining) and thus give us a much better visual and idea on what they are trying to convey. There are a few sequences that felt dream-like especially the ones whereby Chitanda tried to encircle Houtarou in getting his attention-cum-participation in solving the case and he can’t escape her grasps. Maybe that’s why the novel name which this anime is based is called “Hyouka – You can’t escape”. One thing that I do not understand is the mid-intermission, I do not comprehend what its significance or its relation is to the show unless it is to throw us off. Each mid-intermission is a word that explains about the solstice and equinox phenomenon such as geshi, shosho and shuubun. Then as the episode ends, there will be somewhat a second title (if I should call it). It goes by the arcs. All independent episodes will have “Little birds can remember” while the first major arc about Hyouka’s origin had “The niece of time” and the Kanya Festival’s arc with of course “Welcome to Kanya Festival”. The unfinished movie arc which has “Why didn’t they ask Eba?” felt like a slap in the face since it was perhaps the biggest clue in unravelling the mystery of the arc. Later as I found out, all these titles are a parody of Christie’s novels.

For the voice acting department, Yuuichi Nakamura as the voice of Houtarou feels like he is emulating his other role as Tomoya from Clannad unlike his other anime characters filled with angst such as Gray from Fairy Tail and Minamoto from Zettai Karen Children. I guess he still fits voicing laidback characters with a little sarcasm. If Chitanda’s cute voice sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve probably heard Satomi Satou as the voice of Wendy in Fairy Tail and Chiaki in Sket Dance. Among the huge lists of other casts include Ai Kayano as Mayaka (Kanade in Chihayafuru), Daisuke Sakaguchi as Satoshi (Shinpachi in Gintama), Satsuki Yukino as Tomoe (Kagome in Inu Yasha), Yukana as Irisu (Ai in Amagami SS), Jun Fukuyama as Tanabe (Lelouch in Code Geass), Aoi Yuuki as Eba (Madoka in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica), Saori Hayami as Kaho (Ikaros in Sora No Otoshimono), Ryotaro Okiayu as Tougaito (Byakuya in Bleach), Masumi Asano as Kouchi (Chiaki in Shigofumi), Mariya Ise as Sawakiguchi (Ringo in Air Gear), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Kugayama (Enel in One Piece), Naomi Shindou as Yuasa (Shizuru in Mai-HiME), Mami Koyama as Itoigawa (Balalaika in Black Lagoon), Yoshihisa Kawahara as Tani (Bobby in Binbougami Ga), Aki Toyosaki as Rie (Yui in K-ON!) and Yui Ogura as Kayo (Alice in Kamsama No Memo-chou).

The first opening theme feels like anime pop, Yasashisa No Riyuu by Chouchou. The second opening song, Mikansei Stride is more of rock and sung by Saori Kodama. However I find it funny about that squeaky sound effect at the beginning and end of the song. Like it’s some mouse or lizard squeaking. The first ending theme is a duet by Chitanda and Mayaka’s seiyuu. Madoromi No Yakusoku is by far my favourite song for this series. The same duo sing the second ending song entitled Kimi Ni Matsuwaru Mystery, a rock pop. While the first opening and ending credits animation seem serious and a little astronomically abstract respectively (actually I’m not sure if the ending animation is for fanservice purpose seeing we see our 2 main ladies lying around in what I believe babydolls they are wearing), the second opening and ending credits ending theme feel like a joke. For the second opening animation, we see Houtarou falling asleep and becoming some sort of ghost that can only appear in glasses or reflections as he wanders about. Then when he wakes up, he finds Satoshi and Mayaka has messed with his face, adding papers and accessories to make his face look cartoonish with pieces of rolled up papers stuck on his hair. He has got so much energy to chase them after that? For the Victorian era themed second ending animation, Chitanda and Mayaka turn detective to catch and arrest the guys as wanted criminals in a cat and mouse game. Ultimately the smooth criminals give them the slip and the chase continues. You can also glimpse the names of all the Sherlock Holmes’ titles floating across the screen. Though the series has a number of soundtracks, I notice that some of them are classical music from the Baroque era such as Bach and Faure. In addition to that, there are quite a number of Special Bonus CDs (8 of them in fact) containing a handful of tracks. The music can range from creepily eerie strings, voice or chimes to simple and slow piano pieces to orchestra worthy music with strings and the flute.

This series perhaps is trying to tell us to be inquisitive in the sense that we should be aware of our surroundings and happenings. Otherwise, if you’re a blur case like me, even if the greatest detective combo like Sherlock Holmes and Houtarou teamed up, they won’t get anywhere if a crucial witness like me couldn’t even remember the slightest details. Very faulty memory recall, I guess. Well it seems that I have overused my brains in enjoying this series. But it is all worth it. Now I need to go eat some brain food to replenish those brain cells. And then I’m going to take a long nap to recharge and do nothing to conserve my energy. Who knows? Maybe it will reduce my carbon footprint too. How? Perhaps I should sleep on this thought and think about it. On second thought, that will use up too much of my energy. Busy doing what? Busy doing nothing.

Medaka Box Abnormal

May 25, 2013

What?! Medaka Kurokami hasn’t become the president of the world yet? So when is the world going to get a taste of her happiness and be happy ever after? No more crisis, no more conflicts, no more wars, no more hunger, no more poverty… Okay, forgive me for going ahead of myself and having lots of high expectations of Medaka. I don’t think the problem is if Medaka would fail to live up to this expectation because I think Medaka would have easily cleared this if given the chance or if she just puts her mind to it. But rather, this wasn’t really in the original manga story so I don’t think that would really happen. Heck, I didn’t even read the manga but from what I browsed through the arcs from it, I can say that it didn’t happen. At least not yet.

But rest assured that even if Medaka doesn’t become a world leader or at least a leader of her own country, we can watch her in more of her helpfulness in helping out others her own way in the sequel, Medaka Box Abnormal. As you can remember from the first season, the ever popular Medaka was popular enough to win 98% of the votes to become Sandbox Academy’s student council president and initiates her suggestion box called Medaka Box to help out those in need of assistance. With her fellow student council members, we see how she changes people and in a way changes herself. The last season ended with a big destructive battle between her and the DisCom president. Well, you know who won, right? So this season a more sinister plot and conspiracy of the school unfolds as Medaka and her buddies seek to put a stop to it. Otherwise she might not be able to have a good night’s sleep. Haha. Just joking about that last bit. But seriously, maybe…

Episode 1
Sandbox Academy is in the midst of repairs since the aftermath of Medaka and Unzen’s power bout. Medaka sees the school’s principal, Hakama who tells her the reason why she is so gifted. It is because she is abnormal and that makes her actions not admirable. He continues that the board had some problems with Unzen and Medaka did somewhat a favour for them. However, now that he is out of action recuperating, he hopes she could replace him in a project that he was undertaking: Flask Plan. At the same time, Unzen explains to his DisCom members about this plan. The truth about Class 13 students were assembled from across the country are for this plan. Students at Sandbox are classified into 3 categories: Normals, Specials and Abnormals. All those in Class 13 are from the third category. What they do can’t be explained by technique or talent. Effort, environment and luck are irrelevant. The results they produce always end up as unnatural and creepy. He throws all the dice as demonstration and it turns up all number 6. In short, Unzen was a test subject of a plan to manufacture geniuses. He is somewhat relieved that Medaka got him out of there. Meanwhile Medaka also threw the dice and they all stack up nicely one on top each other. But she refuses Hakama’s proposal because her purpose is to help strangers and will find another way to make amends. After she leaves, some of the other Class 13 members make their appearance. Some think she’s no good, some think she’s just faking it. Hakama notes this ultimate group of guinea pigs in Class 13 known as 13 Party, 13 students from Class 13 that are a tough bunch to handle. Zenkichi and Shiranui happen to stumble by Unzen. He wants them to warn Medaka that his sister, Myouga is out for revenge and also to take the vacated 13 Party spot. Looks like it will be too late because Myouga has already slammed Medaka with her giant iron balls! And the way she speaks in a string of numbering digits is enough to drive one into number phobia! Who the hell can decipher that? Medaka can.  Myouga is upset that is all she got because despite being in Class 13, she is not part of 13 Party. Medaka didn’t avoid her hit because she had no reason to fight her. I guess this means she is willing to become a punching bag.

Till Nabeshima steps in and puts her out of another incoming shot. Though she doesn’t understand a thing Myouga says, she has a good reason for getting involved: If her good friend is being beaten up, there is no way she is going to sit and watch. She’s serious about that. Myouga thinks Nabeshima’s judo has no chance against her abnormal attack when suddenly Nabeshima lands a clean punch in her face! Is that legal in judo? It is according to some rule. Myouga removes her iron balls and this increases her speed. Before Nabeshima could react, Myouga has already circled behind her and knocks her out with her punch. Medaka wanted to step in but was discouraged by a guy who tells her a thing or two about wanting to play hero and butt in now. She notices everybody isn’t worried about Nabeshima and remembers her nickname as the Trickster. When Myouga grabs her, Nabeshima springs to life. She was playing dead so that she could get up close and grab her. No one can escape from a judoka’s grasp. She throws her down and finishes her off with a suplex move. In the end, Myouga has to be taken away in a stretcher. Nabeshima lectures Medaka about being slapped around but she mentions that she hates violence. Nabeshima nails the point to her that sometimes choosing not to fight will lead to more violence. If she fails to protect what she should, would it make any difference? If she waits for her friends to be hurt, all she’ll be doing is exacting revenge. Medaka thanks her for that insight because she almost made that mistake again. On her way back, she is faced with 3 crazy weirdoes from Class 13 who are cocky in challenging her to that 13 Party spot. They’re not going to let her sleep since Class 13 has hundreds of students out for her head. Suddenly in a flash, we see them being taken out. I guess they were all just talk. They made a mistake by underestimating her in the first place. And she was just going easy on them. Don’t mess with her. Zenkichi and Shiranui are on their way to alert Medaka about Unzen’s message when 13 Party’s Oudo Miyanokojou appears before them and wants them to reveal Medaka’s whereabouts.

Episode 2
Shiranui’s nose is nowhere to be even seen. This shows the sh*t Zenkichi is in considering she baulked even without any wise cracks. Zenkichi finds himself bowing before Oudo and as fellow 13 Party members, Mizou Yukuhashi explains, nobody can escape his weighted words because he is a born ruler who believes everyone on this planet is to serve him. Oudo can save his search for Medaka because there she is imitating his pose behind. As she walks up to Zenkichi, Oudo commands her to bow before him and her knees and forehead suddenly thud to the ground. Since Medaka knows he was one of the guys in Hakama’s room watching her, this makes it easier for Oudo to explain. When he first laid eyes on her, he was attracted to her and wants her to be his wife! He tries to kiss her but Zenkichi is so pissed that he breaks free from the spell and is going to give a flying kick. Yukuhashi restrains him for his good because Oudo is about to execute him with his life. Yukuhashi advises Oudo to fix his temper because if he makes it a habit to execute his citizens too hastily, he won’t build his paradise. Oudo agrees and drops Medaka a proposal letter to meet tomorrow at 5am. Medaka is not impressed with his stunt so he tells her to join them and quit serving Normals. She is born to serve him. Zenkichi thanks Yukuhashi for saving him. He advises him to be more careful because whether he is involved in Flask Plan or not, now that Oudo has his eyes set on them, he can kiss his normal high school life goodbye. Zenkichi and Medaka sit and talk. She feels the need to upgrade herself while he notes her wish to bond with everyone and thus hasn’t had success with anyone. Not even himself. He needs to become stronger to protect her. Medaka says that her plan to get stronger is to see her brother. Oh no. That’s why she wants Zenkichi to tag along.

Maguro lives in an abandoned building at the corner of Sandbox called Ghost Babel. We see this guy has extreme sister complex because the walls are filled with Medaka photos, lots of Medaka memorabilia and video tapes of Medaka at different ages! CREEPY! No wonder it’s been a year since they’ve last met. And boy, it’s sure hard for Medaka to keep her cool when this guy is starting to dote on her. He’s already snapping his camera as she’s talking! But as Zenkichi narrates, Maguro is a management genius because just by looking at Medaka’s bruise and getting punched by her once, he can tell what she went through as well as her eating habits! Further insights reveal he never showed his genius powers till he was in middle school. He couldn’t do anything himself but was like a God in developing others. He is a reason why their family company is now a global power house. But Maguro doesn’t feel the need to train Medaka although he knows she is weaker but is still considerably strong. But she wants to be strong enough to protect everyone. Strangers and enemies. She also wants to know about the Flask Plan. However he is reluctant to tell. Because he was a former 13 Party member (he quit shortly since he didn’t get along with the rest), he takes off his shirt to reveal the hideous operation scars over his body. As price for leaving 13 Party, several of his internal organs were taken! He will tell her anything else except Flask Plan. That’s because he doesn’t want her to meet his same fate. To him, she is all the motivation he needs! Siscon! He even admits his perverted nature and his tough training will include lots of molestation and sexual harassment. Medaka accepts the challenge and will reform him into a proper human being. Zenkichi thought he is out of the league but surprisingly Maguro wants him to join. He knows Zenkichi has trained hard but wants him to become stronger so he can continue to protect Medaka. He is overcome with emotion and agrees. So the monster management training commences. Given a choice of training they want, obviously the duo chose the one that has torture, pain and all kinds of tough obstacles rather than one that makes them stronger through sleeping.

Episode 3
Medaka and Zenkichi meet Oudo at the clock tower top. She’s not here as a woman but as a student council president. She’s not here to answer his proposal but about Flask Plan. Oudo orders them to bow but thanks to a certain sicko’s training, their hard work paid off and they are able to withstand it. Oudo knows who that sicko is but merely notes that if threats are ineffective, he shall simply use force. Zenkichi didn’t like the tone of his voice and uses his flying kick to send him off the tower. To their surprise, they see him standing straight up on the side (something about the Earth being too small and thus gravity has no effect on him – Or he may be using his feet and abs power to just stand like that). Oudo reveals bits of 13 Party being guinea pigs and that Medaka should join if she wants to help others. However she is not dumb to join a project she doesn’t know. He words it differently if they were given a potion that turns them into geniuses, will they drink it? No! But others would’ve answered differently. More accurately, such option doesn’t even come to Normals. In short, Flask Plan is to create geniuses without hard work and effort. Medaka is against such an idea because there are sacrifices. Otherwise, Maguro wouldn’t have quit, right? Oudo continues that Flask Plan will be completed by sacrificing every Sandbox student. He predicts 98% of test subjects will break down. Though Hakama is doing it for his ideals, Oudo is treating it as a job. As reward, he shall receive 4 survivors and will be named Four Devas of his kingdom, thus his proposal to Medaka to be his queen. Of course she refuses. Since all that is left is to recruit her, he tells them Flask Plan is being carried out in a lab beneath this tower. Feel free to come join them anytime. Medaka vows to crush Flask Plan. Medaka and Zenkichi are back in their makeshift office and receive lots of letters from the suggestion box. Mainly about Class 13 since they suddenly started coming to school. And all this started just because of Medaka’s irregular dressing. What snowball effect. No use going over that now. She suits up and heads down to the lab.

They are confronted by a pair of twins guarding the door, Sanou and Unou Tsushima. She needs to key in a 6 digit number to enter. Since it is a one in a million chance, it is called the Door of Denial. However Medaka easily keys in the password and goes through! She hints to Zenkichi it is just like keying into the ATM machine and his Leo sign. Of course he is not confident when Akune and Kikaijima come by. They heard it all from Shiranui and they’re not afraid of the dangers they will face but afraid of being left behind. Akune gives Kikaijima to go first and she keys in the correct password at first go! From the guys’ talk, it seems that the secret password is Zenkichi’s birthday. Because the door is used to select unusual people, it will always be open for Medaka. That’s why she hinted those to Zenkichi and thus the next number he should’ve keyed in. But now that password isn’t valid anymore. No problem, Akune takes the iron candle stick and is going to break the door a million times! Hard work always succeeds! Besides, the door broke down after 152 monstrous hits. The gang are faced with an elevator that head straights down to the lowest thirteenth floor. However there is a password. Taking the stairs won’t need a password but they will have to go through every floor. That’s what they intend to do since they’re here to find out more information. Hakama notes Medaka has brought more of her friends and is excited to gauge her abilities as she is not part of Flask Plan. Shiranui warns him not to underestimate them because Medaka excels most by exerting her powerful influence upon others. That’s why she hates her. The quartet are walking through as Medaka realizes they’re walking in circles. Medaka asks Kikaijima to do her trick and she gives out a loud scream. Due to her lung capacity (she’s from the swimming team), her voice is able to echo and off the walls like a sonar and this gives Medaka an idea the layout of the floor. 13 Party members, Shigusa Takachiho is impressed with her method. Zenkichi and Akune wanted to punch him but missed (they made a challenge to see who could punch a 13 Party member first). Medaka recognizes him in Hakama’s office trying to make a move on her (to kill her, that is). Takachiho admits his forte in combat science and if they want to pass, they must participate in his experiment. Medaka is more than happy to oblige since it will gauge how much she has improved.

Episode 4
As motivation for her to fight, Takachiho shows a pendrive that contains all his research data. It’s something more precious than his life and he won’t easily give it to her. Medaka prepares to square off and gives him the advantage to go first. Suddenly out of nowhere she gets a flying knee kick which she stops with her head butt! Is her head that thick?! However she is strongly kicked away. Medaka is all smiles and claims victory because she has stolen his pendrive. Seems she chose to grab his data over dodging his kick. Takachiho has the last laugh because suddenly Medaka realizes the pendrive in her hand is missing and Takachiho is behind her. How did he get by without them noticing? Medaka isn’t puzzled but happy instead. Because he claims to be the strongest of 13 Party, this means if she beats him, the rest would be easier to handle. Medaka notes his strange ability and throws Unzen’s super balls at him. Amazingly he avoids every ball with exact precision! He’s like waltzing through the field of floating balls without touching any! Medaka could guess his abnormality. He is not fast but quick. Eh? From Medaka’s mumbo-jumbo explanation, Takachiho possesses super reflex. They can’t respond to his actions as he always gets an earlier start on his movements. That’s why he always seemed to appear out of nowhere. Takachiho admits this abnormal reflex of his that he was born with. Imagine a plane on autopilot mode. That is what he is. Zenkichi suggests Medaka to use her clone technique as he won’t know how to react till the second before they hit. Surprisingly Takachiho is able to grab the real Medaka and break her right arm. It doesn’t matter what his brain perceives the illusions because his actions are pure reflex and not reaction. Medaka notes one broken arm is the price to pay to still his pendrive. Takachiho begins to understand Medaka’s abnormality. She has no reflex! She can manually control her muscles to do what she commands, the reason she can dodge enemy attacks or not to. Now that she has taken his pendrive, she has no reason to fight him. On the contrary, you think that little pendrive is able to contain all his data? He’s got another one. The real one. 128TB!!!

Medaka can’t afford to lose another arm so she’s going to use her some skill of hers and teach him his reflexes may be fast but aren’t necessarily optimal. When she takes off her shoes and starts jumping up and down, Zenkichi knows this dangerous move and tells the rest to get away from her collateral damage area. Takachiho notices a delay between her actions and sound. Suddenly before he knows it, he is hit! He is send flying in the air! His body bloodied! The walls beside are all crushed! There was no sound that his reflex couldn’t kick in. How can she be faster than sound or light? She dismisses a human’s body is impossible to do that. What she did was jump at irregular rhythm and made her move when he blinked? So this is her Phantom move? She regrets destroying his data in the process. Now that both sides are injured (but they can still stand), Medaka wants to call this a draw. But Takachiho doesn’t want her to go. She still has a reason to fight. She is the reason. She is the monster he’s sought the opportunity to talk to. She must have felt the same way too. Medaka agrees to play with him a little longer because she wants to let her fist do the talking. Then they start exchanging blows and the rest are wondering if Takachiho is seriously injured that his reflex couldn’t activate. However he is happy. He has been waiting for this moment that someone could hit him like this. That’s why he joined Flask Plan even though he knew the possibilities were remote. None of 13 Party could hit him till monster Medaka came along. Medaka is about to end this fun but misses her punch. It seems it wasn’t Takachiho’s reflex that kicked in. It was a combination of reflex and judgement that he learnt and grew from this fight. Medaka’s reflex has her land a chop kick on his head to knock him out. Takachiho realizes that it is not she doesn’t have reflexes, she can turn them on or off at her will. Hakama notes how Abnormals crave relationship and people to understand them and is confident Medaka will realize she is no different and by meeting the other ‘monsters’, she will soon change her mind. He is sure she will struggle in the next floor because 13 Party’s Kei Munakata is the nation’s most wanted mass murderer.

Episode 5
Arriving in an artificial landscape made to look like a traditional Japanese garden, the gang meet Munakata who seems to allow them to pass and have no reason to fight them. Suddenly he whips out a sword and cuts strands of Medaka’s hair! Apparently that was a lie to let her guard down to kill her. He reveals he is a master of hidden weapons and demonstrates by displaying the many weapons he hid within his body. Then he explains his twisted reasons for killing. Seems any reason, good or bad, have reason or not, he will kill! Even if Hakama tells him not to kill them, it is a reason why he will kill them! Medaka wants to fight him when suddenly Maguro comes out of nowhere to grope her boobs! Medaka Punch! What is this pervert doing here? Where little sister goes, big brother goes. That’s like a perverted stalker, right? Maguro wants Medaka to sit back and rest her injuries. So who is Munakata going to kill? Maguro signals Zenkichi to enter the fray. Don’t worry. He’s ready to do it. He won’t die even if he’s killed. Eh? What? Maguro notes that this is Zenkichi’s test to see whether he is worthy to protect Medaka having stood by her through thick and thin for 13 years. Zenkichi refuses a sword Munakata offers him to fight. Maguro notes it was the right move because had he accepted it, he would’ve been sliced. When Munakata fights him with lots of swords, Zenkichi deflects them all! It’s all stuck on the roof! Munakata shifts to using hammer but he blocks them. Akune realizes something. Munakata may be a master of concealing weapons but he doesn’t seem to be good in using them. Also, it was Maguro that thought Munakata how to hide weapons. Maguro reveals he has no talent in wielding weapons because he doesn’t treat them as objects with souls or extensions of his body. Now Munakata uses a club with thorns. How can Zenkichi deflect or block this one? He takes off and uses his shirt to block it. Now it’s come to this, Munakata resorts to guns! Holy cow! However Zenkichi uses Savate martial art kicking style to kick all the guns off his hands and dismantle them in a blink of an eye! Maguro comments his biasness towards Zenkichi is because he is normal just like everyone else. He does everything normally and even does give up and persevere. Medaka remembers the things Zenkichi had to put up with just to follow her around. She realizes she loves him. Did we hear that right? Did Akune hear that right? Yes we did.

If guns won’t work, now he’s using bombs! And if that doesn’t, here’s a bazooka! He’s going to blast Zenkichi and his friends away. Even so, Zenkichi is fast enough to kick it away. But now it’s getting dangerous. Munakata has unloaded so much hidden weapons that he will be faster now. Zenkichi is still faster as he lands a kick into him. Thinking he has won, he puts back his shirt only to be stabbed with Munakata’s hidden weapons. He was just faking his defeat. Medaka becomes devastated and starts crying aloud. Maguro steps in to take responsibility but Munakata wonders was it for sending a Normal to face him or initiating this Flask Plan. Because if he didn’t, Hakama wouldn’t have got any weird ideas and this kid wouldn’t have died. Suddenly Zenkichi stands up. Perhaps he is so stubborn and thick skin that he can’t die. Medaka is so relieved that she starts calling his name like a broken tape recorder. He wants her to give him encouragement and a simple call to tell him to do his best, Zenkichi gives his biggest stomp. Is he trying to start an earthquake? Remember all the earlier weapons stuck on the ceiling? It came crashing down on Munakata! That effectively kills/ends the bout. Munakata couldn’t believe he went this far to even think of such just-in-case scenario. You can thank his paranoia for that. Cleaning things up, Zenkichi says it isn’t necessary to hand him over to the police because he’s not a killer. The fact that Zenkichi is still standing is evidence (I thought he was just lucky and planned it thoroughly). Munakata reveals how he wanted to kill everyone badly. Of course people die when they’re killed (duh!). That’s why everyone near him ran away as far as they could, leaving him lonely. It was a lonely path although he won’t become a killer. However he still wants to have friends and fun with others. That’s why he joined Flask Plan. Zenkichi took a big risk when he fought him and it’s because he trusted his abnormality. Munakata never had anyone trusted him. He asks Zenkichi to be his friend. Don’t worry, he’s not pulling any punches here. He’s sincere. Zenkichi shrugs that silly question off because the fact that they are fighting means they are already friends. Munakata is touched and shakes his hand. Meanwhile Hakama decides to retract his statement about Munakata being a mass murderer. It was just a lie to keep people away. Noting he will be fine and won’t make the wrong decision, he however didn’t expect this development in his plan because it was all for Medaka. He needs to keep an eye on Zenkichi and is cautious he might be an Abnormal underneath a Normal skin. However Shiranui dismisses that because Zenkichi is her normal friend. Then again, she notes she has no friends.

Episode 6
Entering the next level filled with zoo animals, Medaka gets this urge to pet them all. However, Kikaijima doesn’t like animals and runs them down and thus the girls end up in a petty useless squabble. Maguro notices that the animals are not afraid of Medaka. This means this is no ordinary zoo and he guesses this facility which wasn’t around during his time is run by his successor, Youka Naze. Speaking of which, Akune happens to bump into that zombie-mummy-girl-with-a-knife-sticking-out-of-her-head. They used to be classmates. She wants to make a deal, she’ll spare their lives if they get out and stop interrupting their research. I guess that’s no-can-do. Suddenly Itami Koga drops down behind and is seconds away from cutting Akune’s neck with a wire. Like somewhat a joke, Akune’s life flashes before his eyes and this means flashback time. During his middle school years, Akune was known as the Destroyer as he destroyed anything in his path and was under the command of the student council president, Misogi Kumagawa. One day he was ordered to take out Medaka. He did his job but became baffled that each time he destroyed her, she would come back to school the next day like normal. Just with more bandages. So much so she became popular and Akune’s reputation took a dive and no longer feared as he couldn’t destroy a single girl. Then all those he had crossed path with ganged up and beat him up led by Zenkichi who is out to avenge for his childhood friend. But Medaka put a stop to this and doesn’t want them to pick on the weak. She believed that Akune once showed mercy to the weak. With a little pep talk, Akune had a change of heart and turned over a new leaf. But this led to a showdown between Medaka and Kumagawa. That will be another story because Akune manages to break free from Koga’s wire. Naze shuts close this floor and reintroduces herself along with her friend. Naze is the current supervisor of Flask Plan. Despite knowing Medaka is the one bringing change and Zenkichi does not change, she is only interested in Akune because he is the one who changed the most.

Koga fights Akune in handstand style and only using her powerful legs. Naze notes that Takachiho may be the strongest man in 13 Party but Koga is the strongest woman. He counters her moves by lying down and using grappling moves. He favours this move because it doesn’t destroy his opponents. Naze thought he was too kind but it won’t do him any good since it doesn’t strangle his opponent. Using a tokusatsu genre as example, Koga is like a cyborg. Her strength enables her to break free from his grapples. Naze reveals her job and hobby in human modification and thus every part of Koga has been modified by her. Too much kicking has the floor giving way as they crash through the next level. Another flashback reveals Koga was just a normal girl. Everything she did or had was normal. Then she met Naze and had to rethink about her normal life when she transferred school. Naze was the most bullied student in school. In reality her treatment was an extreme cry for help and harsh words were desperate pleas. As a result, she was able to control the entire school. Then Koga confronted her and wanted to be messed up. That’s when she turned into a completely normal girl into an Abnormal one thanks to her abnormal attraction to Abnormals. Did you understand that right? At the level in which Naze conducts her human modifications, Koga continues to kick but Akune breaks her leg with an illegal judo grappling move. However within 10 seconds Koga’s injuries heal and she lands a kick on Akune’s shoulder. He realizes whether his techniques were destructive or not, it has no effect on her. Naze wants to end this disappointing experiment, the one whereby Akune a product of Medaka stood no chance against Koga the product of Naze. Suddenly Maguro flips Naze’s skirt just to see her panties! WTF?! He is interested in girls’ panties? I thought this pervert is only interested in anything on Medaka! Apparently when the zoo level closes itself, they went down the next level and spread out to search for Akune. So he’s not here to rescue him. Too bad. So it’s a showdown between ex-supervisor and current supervisor.

Episode 7
We get it, Maguro! You don’t need to repeat that he’s a pervert! Furthermore, he claims he is no ordinary pervert because he steals 4 things from a girl: Her attention, bra, panties and heart (in that order). About his little sister fetish? He views every girl in this world to be his little sister! Including young boys. WTF???!!! True pervert! Naze makes him lose balance when she says she’s not wearing bra. They challenge each other to strip if the other is the inferior one. She’ll let him see for himself if she’s wearing bra or not. I guess this means Akune has to fight on his behalf, eh? Koga attacks Akune with a grappling move but lets her guard down when Maguro strips off his pants. This allows Akune to grab her and dislocate her joint so she can’t heal. However she surprised him by popping it back after a few seconds of pain. As fanservice, Naze strips off her skirt. When Maguro hints to Akune that it’s not about his destruction or non-destruction technique, but whether he is limited to destroy or not, Naze quickly orders Koga to finish him fast. As they grapple, Akune thinks back it breaks his heart to hear Koga scream in pain. But how can she feel pain if she is said to be a cyborg? Why are pain receptors necessary for her then even if it’s just temporary? Then he pins her down. This is not a destructive or non-destructive technique. Huh? It’s a technique to exhaust her. Since her modified body expends energy at rapid rate, pain is an indication that she’ll run out of energy. Thus her weakness is fatigue. Naze is about to strip off her top but Maguro is more interested to see her face behind that mask rather than her no-bra. Koga doesn’t want her to listen to him and despite Naze saying she is never concerned about her friend, she still cares because when she was shunned by everyone, Koga was the only person who came to talk to her. She removes her bandage mask and everyone stares at her, stunned. Who ever thought she looked this pretty? Maybe that’s why she wanted to hide her face. The unwarranted staring made her feel embarrassed. Besides, doesn’t her face look familiar? Indeed. To Akune’s surprise, Maguro becomes serious and puts on his pants when he should’ve been stripping further. Something is not right. Naze wants Akune to let Koga go and admits defeat. She throws down her data for Flask Plan for them. Maguro wonders if she is running away. He knows her real name: Kujira Kurokami.

Flashback reveals the Kurokami family was one of the powerful families in Japan. Naturally we all know about Maguro and Medaka so it’s no surprise nobody knew about the middle child named Kujira. She didn’t have outstanding traits like her siblings and prefer to shun herself away from human contact. Perhaps her only forte was biology. If she had an abnormality, it was self control. She would shut herself in and study all the way instead of having fun. It was hell. To her, the greatest things only came from hell. And because she was born with privileges, looks and fortune, it was like a big betrayal to her belief and felt it would ruin her. Only the taste of hell and unhappiness was her way of life. Medaka and Maguro loved her but she didn’t accept it and found it unnecessary. Then on her eleventh birthday, she ran away from home and for the first time stepped out of her domain and never returned. That was 6 years ago. Maguro reveals he has always been looking for her. The real reason he joined the Flask Plan. He never cared about human limits but his sisters. He lied about saying all the girls are his sisters. The only sisters he has in this world are Medaka and Kujira. He thought about her every day and permits her to have some happiness. Naze turns around like an emotional sister reuniting with her long lost brother. When they hug, she stabs a syringe into him. She says her life began 6 years ago, the hell life that she always wanted. She doesn’t need happy things like brothers or family. Maguro’s mind begins to feel fuzzy. Naze isn’t sure what she injected but she knows if she takes out a family member, she will be more unhappy (doesn’t she mean happy?) and will be able to create better Abnormals. She is bent on continuing Flask Plan when Medaka breaks through the wall thinking somebody said Kujira’s name. She instantly recognizes her long lost sister.

Episode 8
Akune warns Medaka that Naze has erased her own memories of her past. Naze doesn’t view her as her sister but an enemy. Before she could make a move, Medaka smacks her head down right to the ground! Medaka has no problems in viewing her as both. Naze reveals she injected a drug that normalizes Abnormals. However it is incomplete and its side effect is excruciating pain. Naze is pleased that she is causing unhappiness by using her brother as a guinea big. But Medaka points out she respects for her unhappiness philosophy crap. Because the old Kujira would never bring unhappiness to others. She demands an antidote but Naze will change her mind Medaka becomes her guinea pig. She immediately accepts and injects herself. After Medaka passes out, Naze twists her words that she never promised to give the antidote. Koga is about to finish the guys but Medaka manages to stand up and block her punch. The reason she can move normally it is because she is Normal. Get it? Medaka doesn’t mind losing her abnormality. Naze then admits defeat and throws the antidote to her. Akune doesn’t want Medaka to accept this bluff however she instantly stabs herself with it and passes out. She will never doubt the words of a loved one. Akune couldn’t believe Naze did such a wicked thing. Naze reveals this drug has memory suppressant. When Medaka wakes up, she doesn’t know who she is or her purpose. What will be of Medaka once you strip her of her abnormality, memory and sense of purpose? Despite not knowing what is going on, Medaka still wants to fight. This made Akune to think her memory is separate from her personality. But Maguro notes in that case Medaka would have chosen not to fight unless she’s forgotten her 15 years as Medaka and that event 13 years ago. In the end, the one sided match has Koga beating up everyone so Naze wants to stop or it would look like she’s bullying the weak. Naze surprises the guys by saying that Medaka’s abnormality should have returned since the drug was incomplete. However she lost to Koga who is close to exhaustion. She notes that many people pay attention to Medaka’s abnormality rather than her personality supporting that abnormality. Now that she’s gone this far, she has one more test left to conduct. What happens if you put a different personality inside Medaka? Normally that would be like wiping out one’s memories. Normally. So she’s going to see Oudo for this final experiment. Koga takes Naze with Medaka and jumps right down the hole to the bottom. Maguro laments he failed to save Kujira this time. Naze and Koga have put Medaka right in place at Oudo’s place. Koga notes the student council will be here any time soon. This is when 13 Party’s Plus Six offer to help her ward them off. Another bunch of weird freaks that include Gunki Itoshima, Otome Yunomae, Hamaya Hyakuchou, Yutori Chikuzen, Yamami Tsurumisaki and Shoko Kamimine. Naze didn’t think they’d be interested in this but it buys her time.

Akune and Zenkichi are in an argument to save Medaka. Zenkichi wants to return to the back top first instead of putting all the responsibility on Kikaijima (she’s the only one not injured). Suddenly here comes Unzen. He tells him has asking for help ever cross his mind? Not only him but others who lost to the student council: Nabeshima, Onigase, Myouga, Takachiho and Munakata. Yeah. Team Loser is here. What a name. Apparently Shiranui twitted about their situation and here they are. Zenkichi is worried since they are hurt but Unzen doesn’t give a sh*t. It’s not that Zenkichi cares about them. If Medaka finds out that they got hurt on her behalf, she’ll cry. And he doesn’t want to see Medaka cry again! He’s already crying himself… Nabeshima suggests the elevator at the first floor that heads straight to the bottom. Yeah. That’ll be faster. Meanwhile Oudo is about to begin his brainwashing on Medaka to be the only woman who submits to no one but him. Yukuhashi also mentions to him about what Naze said that Medaka was weak when her heart was empty. He goes off to do his job and Oudo reminds him not to let Naze see his face. Yukuhashi tells the difference between the veil Naze wears and the masks he wears. While veils are to conceal, masks are for deceiving. Just as Unzen keys in the password for the elevator, pops up Plus Six waiting for them. I guess they expected those cheaters to take the easy way. Unzen tells Zenkichi that there’s a change in plan. He wants the student council to take the stairs down to rescue Medaka while the rest hold down Plus Six. This is no longer about Flask Plan. It’s about survival. He hates to admit it but they may need Medaka’s help to get out of this one. With much reluctance, the student council rush off while Team Loser fights the powerful Plus Six and their weird but powerful abilities. It might take some time for them to rescue Medaka because on the second last floor, the gang are faced with Yukuhashi in a video arcade-like environment. All Yukuhashi needs to do is stale them for 15 minutes and by then Medaka’s brainwashing will be done. Kikaijima didn’t like how they gang up on a younger girl for Flask Plan but Yukuhashi says he was never interested in it. The only thing he is interested in is Oudo the perfectionist. He is so amazing that it was hard to measure him. Till Medaka came along. You can say she will be used as a measuring stick and a comparison. Before the student council could do anything, they all pass out. But Yukuhashi notices the uninjured one, Kikaijima still stands. How did she not breathe in the sleeping gas? She’s a swimmer who can hold her breath for a long time, remember?

Episode 9
Kikaijima remembers after she was roped in by Medaka to join the student council, at times Medaka asked common sense questions so stupid that it made her jaw dropped. Really. Despite being a quick learner, if you don’t explain everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, she’d in up in some sort of trouble. It was during an outing to the amusement park that she realized Medaka was just an ordinary girl like herself. Yukuhashi wants to avoid fighting her and decides to irritate her and inhale the sleeping gas by talking about Medaka. Kikaijima lets out a loud scream that sends him flying back for insulting her friend. Yukuhashi thought she had inhaled enough gas to fall asleep but she surprises him by waking up by biting off a fingernail! Yukuhashi tries to reconvince her that Medaka was once her enemies but Kikaijima argues back about the bond and friendship they have. Yukuhashi realizes her feelings and words match and needs to deal with this quickly or else she’ll figure out his abnormality’s weakness. When Kikaijima lets loose another screaming vocal attack, Yukuhashi manages to fend it away. He reveals his abnormality to read minds and thus anything she does will be futile. On the topic of friendship, he says that is only possible when you are equals. Since Kikaijima is not equal to Medaka, she doesn’t qualify to save her. He might respect Oudo but never thought of him as a friend because a king must always be alone. Kikaijima bites off more fingernails to stay awake. She is pissed off with everyone including Zenkichi and Akune of giving Medaka special treatment. It is because of that she ends up more and more lonely. She doesn’t need to read her mind to know her because she is her friend. Yukuhashi remembers how he could always hear everyone’s thoughts. It’s so noisy it could drive him crazy. Till he met Oudo. Knowing he can read minds, he wants to know what his superior mind is thinking. His mind went blank before reading he was thinking about himself. It was then he realized he was born to meet him and this ability was given to him to understand him. Yukuhashi is a little desperate. He can’t read Kikaijima’s mind and his provocation backfired. In actual find, Kikaijima was acting on impulse than thinking but she is in a dilemma to go save her friends because she also feels afraid and wants to run away. Kikaijima lets loose one last vocal scream and causes the ceiling above to crash and injure her, much to Yukuhashi’s dismay because he too is in pain.

Kikaijima has figured out his abnormality. In addition to read minds, he can also feel the feelings of others. She thought he was a coward of using sleeping gas but realized it was the only way to make them lose their will to fight and defeat them. Because she notes he doesn’t know how to hurt others or fight. Ironically he may look like a key member of 13 Party but he is the gentlest person in the world for being able to feel everyone’s feelings. Another weakness of his abnormality is that he knows people’s feelings are sincere and genuine and not faking it. This means he is easily swayed by other people’s emotions. Before he could cross over to Kikaijima’s side, here comes Oudo. This could only mean that Medaka’s brainwashing is completed and he was looking for him to read her mind. Kikaijima lashes at Oudo about his brainwashing. But she can’t stand up to his weighted words when he commands her to bow before him. So powerful that even the machines ‘bow’. He tells Yukuhashi to go far away because he’s going to slam all the machines onto her. A pain he definitely won’t be able to withstand. But did he miss? Perhaps it was because of his supreme presence that woke up Zenkichi and to Kikaijima’s rescue. Akune is also up and grapples Oudo from behind. He deduces his abnormality is controlling gravity but was proven wrong when Oudo blasts him away. He thinks they’ve read too much battle manga if they deduce his power as such including hypnotism or telekinesis. Zenkichi remembers he conquered his abnormality once but Oudo tells him to look at his own hand. Zenkichi is strangling Kikaijima! He wants hiding Maguro to explain to them his true power. Reluctantly he reveals if Yukuhashi’s abnormality was to read minds, Oudo is a total opposite. In short, he controls minds. Due to some mumbo-jumbo about waves and motor nerves, he can control man and machine. They will obey him even against their own will. Zenkichi is able to break free when he was a little distracted. He chides him about brainwashing Medaka because if so, Medaka won’t be Medaka anymore. Though an interesting opinion, Oudo points out in that case Zenkichi would also be the same as him. Did he not hope Medaka would change her ways too? Has he ever wished she stop flaunting her ideals and become a normal girl? Zenkichi admits they are all at Medaka’s mercy but it still isn’t right to brainwash her. Yukuhashi interjects that maybe Medaka has brainwashed Zenkichi. Oudo and Medaka aren’t different in exacting their influence over others. While Oudo controls others, Medaka reforms and modifies their behaviour. Zenkichi believes in Medaka’s ways and that she is right. Oudo doesn’t like his arrogance and only such is reserved for him. Then Medaka comes in. Make that Revised Medaka. She admits it was wrong of her to always be so right.

Episode 10
This isn’t the Medaka we all know. But she claims she is not brainwashed either. She has merely come to her senses. She wants her student council members to assist in the Flask Plan that she will join because she realizes her mission is to fully realize the rare and supreme being she is and not the delusional born to help strangers. Maguro notes Medaka will use Flask Plan for that as its goal is to create perfect humans. Just like how Medaka was 13 years ago when she was under the control of her abnormality. Her friends feel the project is dangerous as it requires sacrifices but she has no interest in other people’s feelings. Because they won’t assist her, she dismisses them from the student council and will join 13 Party. If her plan works out, she will marry Oudo. But the student councils won’t give up yet. They made a promise never to quit and seeing that she has changed too much, they view her no longer as Medaka and will act on her behalf. Medaka uses weighted words to make them bow before her. Looks like she has learnt from Oudo this abnormality too. Medaka feels she has lifted a burden off her shoulder but Maguro doesn’t think so. Otherwise, why would she be crying? (Medaka doesn’t realize she’s even crying). Zenkichi is able to break free, claiming he spent 13 years listening to her ordering him around so her words don’t hold any weight on him. He will defeat her and bring back the original Medaka. You can say he doesn’t want this lame upgrade and will downgrade her. As Zenkichi fights Medaka, Naze notices how Medaka is using every abnormal technique she has learnt recently. But Maguro notes that even though she is able to learn, nobody could ever teach her anything. So while Medaka continues to analyze Zenkichi’s movement, she is also able to recall the memories that Maguro mentioned. Flashback time.

When Medaka first came into this world, her mother instantly died not because of complications but a heart attack after hearing her scream. She thought her mother had fulfilled her duty of bringing her into this world and died. She was then brought to the Kurokami household and felt disgusted that as though the family was there to catch her. She began studying and reading and before her first birthday, she read all the books in the huge study hall and absorbed all kinds of knowledge. Adults admired here but it is not long they became unsettled. Then she realized the lives of countless mathematicians and professors she ruined just by solving the many equations and formulas they took years to slog and stump over. It was sad but she didn’t feel anything. She began to wonder about her purpose. When she was 2 years old, she was taken to a hospital that monitors Abnormals. The doctors couldn’t answer her question and that’s when she met a boy (perhaps Kumagawa) who told her humans are born with no purpose and they die for nothing. He knows she has ruined lives of others like him and that they were brought here. They can do whatever they want because their lives are aimless. That was the last time she saw him. She accepted this answer and felt a weight lifted from her chest. She continued to stay at the hospital and one day she got bored with the constant checks and ventured into the waiting room and met Zenkichi. He was having trouble with some puzzles so Medaka easily shows it how it is done. He is so happy she could solve so many in a short time but to her it wasn’t. Then when she asked about the meaning of her life, Zenkichi told her that they’ve only just met and she already made him this happy. He knows she was born to make everyone happy.

Zenkichi wants to know why Medaka isn’t dodging her kicks and her answer was because she had no reason to fight him. It was those words that made him who she is today. It gave meaning to her life. She discovered herself. With tears streaming down both eyes, can we say Medaka is back? Well. No. That was all in the past and it changes nothing! Medaka launches her attack on Zenkichi and says she no longer needs that purpose he gave 13 years ago. Oudo might not understand what’s going on but he tells Maguro that his plan failed. Maguro admits so and that his brainwashing is stronger than his analysis. So consider rejoining Flask Plan? Maybe. He has lost both his sisters that he wouldn’t mind destroying the world. Medaka strangles Zenkichi because this is the only way it will stop her tears and the only way to move closer to achieve perfection. Zenkichi is cool with it. He can’t stand look at what she’s become. But when he was asked to remember the words he said 13 years ago, he didn’t exactly remember them. He believed in them and that hasn’t changed. Suddenly sparks appear out from Medaka’s head and she’s screaming in pain. The rest figured she is trying to brainwash herself. Before she brainwashes herself to nothing, Zenkichi grabs her and tells her to stop. He apologizes for what he said because if it meant hurting her, he didn’t want her to revert back. He doesn’t want her to suffer or cry just to make everyone else happy. And when he says everyone, it includes her. So if she wants to make everyone happy, be happy herself first. Now can we say the real Medaka is back? Yes! She is born to help others and will crush Flask Plan. And to be happy with everyone else too. Naze deduces Medaka also picked up Yukuhashi’s empathy and concludes humans are continuously brainwashing each other. Maguro wishes she’d be more careful in what she said because she will be unhappy for the rest of her life. He also feels Medaka is blessed to have Zenkichi by her side. But now is the final time for the final experiment with Oudo. Medaka is going to end this and make everyone happy.

Episode 11
Heading down to the lowest level to settle their score, the place is very cold because it holds over 131,000 super computers running 24/7 365 days a year to analyze Abnormals. In other words, Oudo runs Flask Plan on his own and if you defeat him, you are as good as destroying Flask Plan. Oudo sets out his final offer for Medaka. There are other 100,000 people staking their lives on this project. Taking out this project means making them unhappy. Has Medaka considered everyone becoming the perfect human being not having to worry about troubles? That is what Flask Plan is about, making the world a happier place. But Medaka is against using this academy as a guinea pig. Oudo won’t insist her to become his wife but wants her to join Flask Plan. If she wants to prevent any sacrifices, she should use her brilliant mind to solve that. It’s a win-win situation. Medaka declines his fine deal because creating a perfect human is impossible. Even if human becomes perfect, he will not be perfect if he lacks imperfections. Get it? Koga didn’t like what she said and wants to beat her up. Oudo knows she is not good enough to beat Medaka but Koga begs to differ. She defeated her once and reminds him that his abnormality isn’t optimal for fighting. Oh, he begs to differ. There is another way. Oudo zaps Koga’s back and reveals his second abnormality called unreasonable taxation. In short, he steals other’s abnormality and lets him use it at 100% rate. Oudo uses Koga’s strength to kick Medaka away. As he brags about himself and how he has proven Naze’s theory, he is surprised to see Naze crying by Koga’s side. She is devastated her friend is about to die and pleads to Maguro to save her! She’ll do anything because Koga means a lot to her than any policy. She apologizes about all those unhappiness stuff. I don’t think she’s crying crocodile tears. Maguro wants her to promise not to be foolish and desire her own unhappiness again even if she breaks them later. Huh? What’s the point of promising then? Oudo thought Naze was pathetic to ask an enemy’s help and turns his attention to Yukuhashi. However he is down due to feeling Koga’s pain. Oudo is going to tax Medaka’s abnormality so Medaka reluctantly asks if he is even human. He proudly declares he is one. In that case, Medaka would rather be a monster. She turns into her War God mode and swiftly attacks him.

Flashback reveals Oudo survived alone on the streets for 7 years and though he knew he had these abnormal powers, he chose not to use them or let him rule the world. He views it as a test to control them. At age 6 he left his parents for he know once his abnormal powers were discovered, they would try to use him. He felt sad and wished to use his powers for world peace and happiness and the only time he used them was to learn more about them. He managed to develop himself and 3 years before he enrolled at Sandbox, he was to give a speech to his fellow students to tell them to be happy and to cherish their loved ones. The moment he said to bow on their knees, everyone did it without question. He was devastated he couldn’t control his powers. Back to the fight, Oudo kicks hard enough for Medaka’s arms to rip but to his surprise she instantly used Koga’s healing upon contact as defence. Oudo starts to panic because her abnormality is no longer simple imitation. Medaka denies she stole his abnormality because if she does, he would have become powerless like Koga now. Maguro has Naze explain Medaka’s abnormality since she is the current supervisor of Flask Plan and it’s her responsibility. After observing how she learnt the abnormal powers from others, she seems to be able to switch them on or off. The end result is that Medaka has full control while in War God mode which previously had her going out of control. With this Altered God Mode, she can control herself and use 120% of her power. Oudo is devastated she has full control of powers to rule, a power which he tried 7 years to accomplish but failed. Medaka’s abnormality is that she masters and perfects them and not taking the skills of others. She calls this skill The End. Great naming sense everybody in this anime got, eh? Medaka dismisses she is perfect but a monster pretending to be human. Oudo won’t accept that because she crushed the abnormalities that Class 13 risked their lives for. He won’t accept she is just playing when she has mastered and perfected them. Medaka offers Oudo to take her powers if he desires it so much. Oudo takes up her offer though the rest sees it as her way of destroying Flask Plan.

When Oudo starts taxing the power, he is suddenly engulfed in darkness. He saw something inside of Medaka that it made him freaking scared. He quickly backs out and can’t believe she lives with that thing inside of her. He won’t have it inside of him! Is that all he has to say? Guess what? Oudo admits he lost. He won’t claim to be king again. Flask Plan is shelved as of today. Please forgive him. Wow. That’s good. But is there all he has to say? He pledge to ensure Yukuhashi and Koga survive. He promise to compensate all those sacrificed to the project. So please, forgive him. Is that all he has to say?! He’ll never use weighted words or unreasonable taxation again. He’ll never do evil again! Therefore, please forgive him. Is that all he has to say? What else is there to say?! Say sorry for all the wrongs he had done! Immediately Oudo goes down on his knees to beg for forgiveness. And Medaka forgives him! Wow! Superb! What a total change! So with the gang erasing the super computers (Medaka would have preferred to smash them), Zenkichi notes that even though Flask Plan is over, Hakama won’t let it go so easily. Once he learns Medaka’s abnormality a darkness beyond Abnormal, he won’t let her go. Zenkichi notes Medaka truly forgave Oudo because he wanted to beat him up badly. But if she did, they all wouldn’t be able to ride up the elevator together and chat like normal high school students. Medaka apologizes that she needs Oudo to use his weighted words to stop Plus Six and Team Loser fighting on the first floor. But when the door opens up, everyone is shocked to see both sides wiped out (including the twin guards)! Bloodied and being skewered by giant screws. And the culprit responsible for doing this pops up. It’s Kumagawa! He doesn’t feel it is his fault that it turned out this way because everybody was like that when they got here. He’s saying that with a smile and covered with blood? Oh Medaka. Your one nightmare has returned as a transfer student.

Episode 12
How about this? Ending the series with a side story of a side character. Well, at least that is how we view Kumagawa for now. Isn’t it abnormal? Najimi Ajimu AKA Anshinin introduces herself to us as Flask Plan’s creator and sums up what happened to our heroes, heroines and antagonists in the previous episode. Breaking the fourth wall that the producers didn’t plan accurately and thus the need for this little side episode, this is a story of Kumagawa before he ran into Medaka. A man as she says is capable of ruining everything with a mix of good and evil. And she tells to always keep our future bright and distance from reality whenever watching Kumagawa. You’re watching something abnormal, I guess. Kumagawa was the student council president of a prominent Japanese school, Fish Tank Academy. Student council’s general clerk, Saki Sukinasaki is devastated that her hair has turned blonde and brings this up to Kumagawa. She thinks Fude Ezumachi is responsible because his Colour of Beauty skill is the only one that allows him to manipulate colours. Doesn’t ring a bell who this guy is? He was the one the previous student council president, Aki Jakago expelled him before Kumagawa enrolled. From what Kumagawa understands, with Jakago’s departure, he is back. He agrees t meet him so that he could re-educate him (I suppose he found it weird that the JUMP magazine he was reading suddenly had all colours).

Ezumachi is painting a beautiful portrait of Jakago and he accuses Kumagawa of destroying Jakago, something which Kumagawa isn’t fully aware of (or at least he didn’t think he did). He adds that he wasn’t expelled but chose to leave on his own will so he will not affect her work. After Kumagawa drives a large screw into the painting, he faintly remembers he might have screwed Jakago good. Literally speaking, of course. Ezumachi then slices the painting himself and claims that he himself is the one who damaged Jakago artistically. He throws all his chisels at Kumagawa. Despite getting stab, he advises him it would be useless if he doesn’t stab at the right place. He takes out one of the chisel and stabs himself in the head. Then the painting reverts back to normal and Ezumachi realizes his uses his power called All Fiction, a power that undoes everything. He doesn’t find it artistic and changes Kumagawa’s clothes to pink to make him look less dangerous. But he removes his clothes and is about to attack when Ezumachi puts blue on his skin to make him go down. Saki thought he could use All Fiction to undo those blue bruises but as Ezumachi puts, they are just colour and not real bruises. But because his body perceives the colour to be bruises and they are not real, it means he cannot undo something which doesn’t exist. If All Fiction can undo anything, Ezumachi must create a non-existent lie. He labels Kumagawa a bigger loser than he expected. I suppose Kumagawa is in some dream state where he meets Anshinin. He ignores her at first and she thought Colour of Beauty skill was a skill that could defeat All Fiction. Kumagawa dismisses that as just a magic trick. She hopes he won’t give up easily in defeating her and after quoting the quadrillion abnormalities, minuses and skills she poses, she feels he still stands a chance to beat her. He’ll try that in the future and she looks forward to see his true strength.

When Kumagawa revives back in the room, Saki is by his side and her hair has returned to normal. I guess now we understand why she wears a mouth piece to cover her shark-like mouth. She sounds like a delinquent girl now. Some sort of ‘seal’? Kumagawa is going to see Ezumachi again. He thinks that his ability to change colour would mean he could change a girl’s panties colour. They are attractive because girls choose the colours themselves and him imposing his own preference isn’t right. I don’t know if this is justice or not but to Kumagawa, no one person should make all the decisions regarding panties colour. Doesn’t this make them just perverts? The duo walk through the corridors of their school to see it filled with different colours. Ezumachi remembers Jakago’s words as he paints her. She told him that since she controls oxygen, it makes their skills incompatible and one of them must leave. Ezumachi chooses to leave because he feels the school needs to be ruled by her beautiful colour. For without her, Fish Tank has no meaning. Ezumachi thinks Kumagawa hasn’t learnt his lesson but the latter is here to take action as student council against him for defacing the school. He wants to negotiate. He won’t ask what happened between him and Jakago and notes that this isn’t art but a prank. So if he allows him to right to choose the colour of panties around the world, he will allow him to colour this school as he likes! Didn’t I tell you he just a pervert?

Ezumachi turns his uniform grey so it will be brittle and shatter easily. But before he could use blue on his skin again, Kumagawa points out he has ran out of that colour. How can this be? Even the sky is red! Kumagawa has used All Fiction to undo the colour blue in this world. Blue doesn’t exist in this world anymore. Ezumachi couldn’t believe this evil so Kumagawa also removes red. Ezumachi becomes crazy about the removal of colours of this world but Kumagawa says he only planned to remove the 12 basic colours. But since he was expected to remove all colours, he’ll just do that. Then everything becomes black and white. But when he notes this won’t be enough to defeat Anshinin, Ezumachi couldn’t believe the crap he would pull to remove colours just to defeat someone. Yeah. He would even change his eye colour just for a chance to defeat her. Ezumachi attacks him but was impaled with lots of screws popping out from the ground. Ezumachi is not amused a world without colour is without any meaning. But Kumagawa tells him about the meaningless world. Colour changes nothing. People live and die for no reason. Ezumachi manages to stab the vital part in his forehead but he still notes that without the colour red, there can be no bloodshed and can’t bleed to death. Saki thought that he has finally chalked a victory on the board but he cautions that now the world is in black and white, the chalk would blend into the background and slowly fade away and disappear. In other words, he loses again.

Little Storm Brewing In A Flask…
Superb. The sequel didn’t disappoint and in fact is as engaging, if not more interesting than the sequel. In short, even with the distracting side story for the final episode, I enjoyed the second season as much as I did for the first. It is just a tad sad that there won’t be any continuation for a third season. At least for now. For this particular season, it was entirely focused in the destruction of Flask Plan and the journey descending to the underground basements of 13 Party. So much so that one may eventually have forgotten the basics about the suggestion box that Medaka introduced in the first season. They don’t really make any appearance except for that short little ‘cameo’ before Medaka begins her descend. So engrossed I was watching this season that I would have forgotten about the initial plot from the first season about Medaka’s goal to help strangers to her best ability. Even if she mentions this several times here, because we don’t really see her in action helping other students of Sandbox and merely in action with her fellow student council members against Class 13, it wasn’t that apparent.

For Medaka, what more can I say about her? There is so much I want to say and yet all those words just keep eluding me. Stumped for words? Maybe all the good (and even the bad) words in the world to describe her won’t be enough or even be accurate. So just to put it in my own way, Medaka is an admirable person whom everyone should strive to be. However after much thought, I think that is not possible or even desirable. Imagine if everyone is like Medaka, where would the fun be? Besides, if everybody became like her, then wouldn’t it be just like imitating her and not be their own unique selves? Thus Medaka will always be Medaka and everybody else will be everybody else. If Medaka really existed in real life, I would really want to be her follower. Yes, believe it! Despite her abnormality, she is much a normal girl. That is something I think she yearns to be and despite being perfect in many aspects, that normal girl wannabe thingy that very much eludes her makes her somewhat imperfect. Are you confused yet? Showing her incredible learning, mastering and perfecting skills may make her seem perfect and to some like a monster. Especially something dark that resides in her. I couldn’t bear to imagine the burden she has to live with and she makes it all seems so normal. That’s why we should all be thankful for Medaka. For everything. But if you ask me, her character makes her more human than others. She might pick up skills and knowledge and learn pretty fast but she has this quirky bit of not applying them correctly in society so in a way she looks pretty ‘stupid’ when she performs them at first go. Perfect but yet so imperfect. Get it? I think I should stop before I confuse myself too. But you can definitely be inspired and enlightened from the words she says. Words of wisdom if I may put some.

For the other members in the student council, I’m glad that each of them had their chance to shine in this sequel and they have improved quite a lot. It is their desire not to be on par to stand alongside Medaka and to protect her but to treat her equally as any other human being. They realize the importance of her as a dear friend and as proven will stick to her through thick and thin. Hey, that is what friends are for, right? For dear Maguro to join the gang, his sister fetish and his perversion may seem to be very creepy but I guess that was just a facade and his way of telling us he cares for his sisters. He might be perverted but he didn’t rape them, right? Holy cow! What was I thinking? But true, isn’t it? If he was a serious dude, that wouldn’t be fun, no? Imagine a humourless Maguro… I can’t fathom that! Aside Medaka, I think Maguro also has one of the coolest lines in the series. Maybe it runs in the family… Shiranui may not appear much in the previous season, but she appears even lesser here. Even when you see her, she is stuffing her face with all sorts of food. I guess we can pinpoint part of the source of why the world is running out of food. Her allegiance is still unclear as we do not know whether she is friend or foe for our heroes. From the looks of it, she isn’t going to get along well with Medaka and co but at points she also helps them out indirectly when possible. Many (if not all) of the side characters that appeared in the first season do not appear here because as I’ve said, the focus of this season is the destruction of Flask Plan so they were totally unnecessary. Now that Flask Plan is discontinued, I have a feeling that it won’t be completely stopped. I believe Hakama won’t go down without a fight and despite looking like an old geezer (but with scary eyes), he won’t be an easy pushover. Another interesting character is Kumagawa and because of his twisted nature, his side story in the end has also intrigued me. It makes me want to know more about him and if there is a sequel or more side story spin-offs, I would definitely hope that his past would be further revealed. He is a character that Medaka has failed to save. Yet. So now that he is back in the picture, it will be interesting to see how Medaka deals with the past that has come back to haunt her.

Regarding about the other 13 Party members and other Abnormals, I guess I could point out together in the topic about being perfect and being human. Although they possess abnormal and very superior powers compared to normal human beings, if you take a deeper look down in their hearts, they are very much human beings themselves. All they want are some of the basic human needs like to have a friend and the human touch. It is because of their abnormality that makes them stand out like a sore thumb, Normals overlook their basic personality and focus too much of their abnormality and become afraid. What Medaka said about humans having imperfection is true. It is because we have imperfections, that is what makes us humans. All the 13 Party members were trying hard to become the perfect human but so what? Say the project is successful and everyone becomes perfect. So? Will that guarantee happiness? If even Abnormals are somewhat unhappy or unsatisfied in their current state, what makes you think achieving perfection would lead to that? As seen, the main 13 Party members also underwent some changes when Medaka touches their lives. Takachiho and Munakata defect to her side, Naze realizes the importance of losing a friend when she was really about the real one. It was really confusing about her desire to be unhappy. So when she almost lost Koga and became unhappy, wasn’t that what she wanted? Perhaps she realizes it was more than what she bargained for. Of course Yukuhashi could have easily been swayed by anybody who has stronger emotions but the most surprising one has got to be Oudo. For an arrogant man who claimed to rule over others, he suddenly chickens out after witnessing some darkness within Medaka. This pretty much proves that he is still human, right? Every human has their own fear. After just seeing that darkness, he throws everything away including his pride and makes a complete turnaround. If I should say, this has been the most effective method ever in defeating a villain who seems undefeatable in the first place. And the destruction rate this time wasn’t as bad when Medaka took on Unzen. Super effective. Now, only if we can only apply this to really despicable people in the real world. Wouldn’t that be nice? One little disappointing note is that I thought I could see Plus Six in action but alas that wasn’t the case. We had a little introducing to their weird abnormality and their little bout with Team Loser but that’s about it. They seem like an equally crazy powerful bunch. Then when they got defeated by Kumagawa, I guess they weren’t that supreme either.

The action and fight sequences seem rather good. Despite all the exaggerated moves and techniques that are not possible to pull off in this world even if you are Jackie Chan, Jet Li or Sammo Hung, they are quite an interesting watch. At least to me. I mean, you can’t have Abnormals having normal powers and techniques, right? So I guess for each of the 13 Party and other Class 13 members to be unique, each have their own freakish way of fighting. I guess the ‘ab’ in abnormal would mean Anything But NORMAL. Get it? Hah. I made that up. But it’s true, don’t you think? Despite everyone having an abnormality, we see that they are not perfect. Even the greatest abnormal power would have its weakness. If there weren’t any, Flask Plan would have already been completed, right? Medaka’s fighting skills, she may learn them via imitation, monkey see, monkey do. But she takes it a step further by mastering and perfecting them. It’s scary to even think the potential of this abnormality of hers. Especially her Phantom move, so fast that you couldn’t see or hear it coming. Given the ‘unique’ naming sense that everybody has in this anime, I suppose I could have called Medaka when she pulls off this Phantom move during Alternate God War mode as Me-dark-ka. Haha. Geddit? It’s a good thing that this season that the producers didn’t even show a bit of the hellish training Medaka and Zenkichi went through devised by Maguro. I feel that it would have spoilt the surprise of seeing what Medaka could pull off when she faces her enemies. Besides, if they really show it and dedicated an episode for it, we might not have Kumagawa’s final side story. Or maybe they could just extend it to 13 episodes or put it as an OVA. That’s normally what they would do, right?

I think I have mentioned about the art and drawing about this series in my blog for the first season. I will still mention that though they remain the same and consistent, it still makes all the characters having that mad, crazy or evil look. Even our heroes and heroines too look like that and thus in a way it is ‘scary’. I mean when you have 13 Party as Abnormals, you can’t have them having normal looks because it won’t match their abnormal personality and powers, right? So it’s like a freak circus show when you have a zombie-mummy-girl-with-a-knife-sticking-out-of-her-head, a cyborg with very busty and bouncing boobs, a shorty wearing a wooden mask and thick gloves that reminds me of a cactus plant and an ex-king that almost share that uncanny look to Super Saiyan Goku. No? Well, I thought his golden towering hair spikes were enough to convince me. There is a little fanservice too. If you remember how Medaka has no shame in flaunting her body so yeah, there’s your fanservice. Catch a full glimpse of how she shamelessly strips down to her undies before her descending assault on 13 Party. Then you have Naze with humongous boobs in which she uses her folded arms to support it (aren’t there any bras large enough support them?) and her polka dot panties (no striped panties?). Of course you also have Koga’s boobs huge enough that it seems like it may bust out of her top anytime and who wouldn’t love it to see Kikaijima in her swimsuit?

With the voice of the recurring main characters from the first season retained, new ones are added to the second season especially those from Class 13. Miyuki Sawashiro makes her character Naze/Kujira like the mad scientist she is. I guess this is one of her few voice acting roles where she plays the bad guys like how she did as Ultear in Fairy Tail. Kana Asumi as Yukuhashi didn’t have her joker voice like Nyaruko in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san and sounded more serious like Yuu/Strength in Black Rock Shooter. Nana Mizuki as Anshinin (Rina in White Album) was slightly unrecognizable since her character was really cool and smooth. Maybe it’s partly because I haven’t heard her a lot lately. When Kumagawa finally had a speaking role, that familiar voice could only be from Megumi Ogata. It sounded so much like Yume from Koi To Senkyo To Chocholate. Just less gay and more twisted. The rest of the new casts include Kiyoshi Katsunuma as Oudo (Ugo in Jormungand), Kenji Nomura as Takachiho (Kugayama in Genshiken), Hiroshi Kamiya as Munakata (Nozomu in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), Madoka Yonezawa as Koga (Ui in K-ON!), Mariya Ise as Myouga (Stocking in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt), Youko Hikasa as Saki (Erica in Campione), Takashi Kondo as Ezumachi (Train in Black Cat) and Mai Nakahara as Jakago (Mai in Mai-HiME). The opening theme is Believe by Minami Kuribayashi and this anime rock pop has this dramatic and darker feel to it. I suppose Aki Toyosaki (the voice of Medaka) didn’t lend her voice this time to the ending theme since she’s too busy taking down Flask Plan ;p. This time the ending theme is sung by Aki Misato entitled Shugoshin Paradox and sounds like a typical moderate pace anime pop. Since Kurogawa was specially featured in the last episode, he was cool enough to have his own catchy opening song! Aptly named Want To Be A Winner (because the title of this episode is Good Loser Kumagawa), the lyrics sounds fitting and fun since it’s about Kumagawa singing about all that he lacks but yet he wants to win and have friends. Though I think Megumi Ogata’s voice wasn’t really suitable to sing but because of her character, I guess the song sounds fun in its own way. Then the ending song for this final episode is just a piano solo which reminds me of those you hear in the olden days’ silent movies. Creepy and tragic but yet funny. Yup. That kind of feeling.

The next episode preview is an amusing section. Termed as Abnormal Check, we have a random character pose a multiple choice question to viewers (which in a way is indirectly related to the next episode) such as how to you react with a reunion with a sibling, how do you reply an anonymous love letter, how do you escape a speeding car, what to do when an evil organization attacks and even a question that guesses Naze’s panty colours! As silly as some of the questions may be, the answers itself may be as silly. But I can’t say they are all silly because one or two answers are sometimes feasible so it is all not that bad. Hmm…. I think most of the ‘C’ answers are the silly and exaggerated ones… And the final Abnormal Check that has Oudo asking the question, all his answers will lead us to submit to him! There is no way out! Well, now that Medaka has reigned supreme over him, I guess that won’t be necessary, eh? Phew. Thank goodness. Thanks Medaka.

Now that I am really excited, I really wish that there would be a third season in the works. Serious! The last time I briefly browsed Wikipedia on this series, I re-browse it again and it seems the next arc about Medaka’s successor to be equally fascinating and interesting. More crazy characters and plots to go with it (especially that Anshinin girl who would be the next antagonist). I can’t really wait for it! Must have more Medaka. Need more Medaka. But I’m not that desperate to go rewatch both seasons again. So what can I do to hope for another season of Medaka Box? A) Pray very hard to God that the producers will dream about me wishing it and will get to work right away; B) Buy all the DVDs of this series to boost up the ratings and popularity and thus the motivation for the producers to use the ‘extra funds’ to facilitate another season; C) Write in a suggestion request to Medaka. If only I can find that suggestion box to drop in that request…


May 24, 2013

When I first heard that Yumekuri is about a boy who loves to visit the onsen (hotspring) run by several poster girls and ends up working at that inn, the first thing that naturally came to my mind was that this is going to be an ecchi fanservice, there would be perverted hijinks and of course the harem factor. Despite being just one episode and the OVA is just 6 minutes long, I was thinking how they are going to fit all that into that limited duration. Unfortunately, they didn’t. Because it didn’t have all those that I was expecting. What you get is just a promotional teaser that feels like they are promoting the series and if the response is good, they’ll consider making a TV series out of it or a handful of OVAs.

So basically for this short episode, we see our main guy, Makoto Yukami in one of his many visits. He didn’t like the idea that Akino Mikogai is going to bring a cat to bath with her. Hey, if monkeys can do it, why not cats? Doesn’t some onsen help heal disease? He takes the cat away from her and in her attempt to get it back, she teases him that’s the reason why he has not gained any progress with the Goddess. Instant depression. The other girls, Mitomo Rokuya, Tsutsuji Tounosawa and Tokura Ushiki heard the commotion and realize that this is the same cat that tried to enter the bath during preparations last week. Regular customer? I guess human or animal, they can’t chase away their customer. So it is decided that they will make a special bath just for the cat. On a side note, I thought cats hate to take baths? Maybe this is Japan…

So the girls use their super powers to make the right temperature for the water. Oh, did I mention that the girls have some sort of super powers themselves? Didn’t? Oops. Must have slipped my mind. Tehehe… Anyway it is either too cold or boiling hot. What are they trying to do? Make steamed cat meat? Tsutsuji goes off and brings back Yuri Shirahane. From the looks of Makoto’s face, you can tell Shirahane is the Goddess. He is in awe of her beauty as always. Once she makes the ideal temperature, Akino decides to go into the bath too. I guess they have attracted lots of cats who want to soak in. Seriously, cats love to bath? Yeah well, only in Japan… So the girls and the cats enjoy their time in the onsen while Makoto is alone in a tub along with a couple of male cats. He is fine being anywhere as long as the bath water is prepared by Shirahane. Water always feels good when made by your loved one…

Soak, Rinse, Dry and Done
WTF. Let’s face it, there isn’t anything that is worth commenting. What more can you say with only a one off anime that hardly lasts 10 minutes? I think washing the dishes take even longer. So like I said, it feels just like a promotional teaser for the series. You get to peek what this series is all about. Cute girls but nothing dramatic. Having supernatural powers may feel like putting in some spice but due to the short duration, no impact is really felt and didn’t do much justice. No fanservice, no ecchi and not even that typical steam covering censors. I guess this wasn’t meant to be ecchi in the first place. Where’s the motivation to watch this? Don’t you just feel ripped off? It feels like it is going to be like Tamayura or One Off if this ever gets made into a proper series. They even had some popular seiyuus voicing the characters. Like for instance, anyone could have identified with Yuuichi Nakamura’s trademark voice when he gets excited. So as Makoto, he feels a bit like those other characters like Tomoya in Clannad. Then we have Hisako Kanemoto as Akino (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Kanae Itou as Mitomo (Elsie in The World God Only Knows), Asuka Oogame as Tsutsuji (Erio in Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko), Ai Kayano as Tokura (Inori in Guilty Crown) and Satomi Satou as Shirahane (Wendy in Fairy Tail). Not bad if you can have this cast as line up. But more could have been done for the storyline. So let me go take a shower and wash this disappointment off my mind.

P/S: I think this is my shortest anime review in years! No kidding!

Once upon a time, there was an anime with a long title that was about a sister. More precisely, a brother who didn’t really like his sister (so do us viewers). Then came another anime with an equally long title that has a sister who loves her brother so much to the point she would consider doing adult stuffs with him. Subsequently another mouthful to pronounce anime series that has a mysterious sister suddenly popping up out of nowhere and wanting to marry her brother. Now recently we have another one of those sister animes too. Yeah, with yet another mouthful to utter, Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai Yo Ne is another one of those animes about a sister who loves her brother very much. So much her love that she sees way past their relationship as siblings and views him as a man.

You know what happens when young teenage girls overflowing with too much love do, right? I guess in such cases, the fun is always whereby one is willing and the other resisting. Would you rather see a show whereby both siblings consent to each other’s love and… The rest is up to your imagination. Too easy. No fun. Basically, all you need to know about this anime is that the sister loves her brother. A lot. To a point it’s annoyingly creepy. Wants to convert him and shower him with her love. Thankfully he doesn’t easily give in. He is not a pervert. He has his own ways of dealing with her twisted perversion. Add in other colourful characters in this harem-cum-comedy-cum-romance genre and here you have one big havoc and a disaster waiting to happen. Can it even be contained?

Episode 1
Akiko Himenokouji makes her way to the dorm her brother Akito is living. It has been 6 years since they were last together so it’s understandable that she is glad to be with him again. I guess 6 years must be a long time because all her pent up libido is going to burst out. First, she waits in the bath hoping Akito would come to peek at her. He didn’t. So she barges out in a towel to chide him what the heck he is doing. What the hell is he doing more important than coming to peep on his sister? Oh God. He had no intention. She is his sister for Christ’s sake. She tries to give that man and woman before brother and sister crap but I suppose he’s not convinced. Not giving up yet, she gives him another chance to peep. Or else. He never turned up. And Akiko had already counted up to 7,000! Can she soak for that long without getting wrinkles? Later, Akiko sulks and if Akito wants to show his sincerity, he should sleep with her in the same futon. That got shot down too. If you’re wondering why Akiko is such a good girl accepting that, after all that ranting, she thinks they’re supposed to do it outside the futon in the cold. I think what Akito meant was that he is sleeping alone. Before Akiko could continue with her sexually charged crap (something about creeping up to his bed in the deep of the night), Akito leaves her hanging. Next morning, we hear Akiko admitting she has this brother complex but Akito distracts her by changing the topic or praising her cooking. Later outside, Akito turns down yet another advance from Akito she wants to sleep on his lap. Yeah, she could die happy. However she notes as long she can be with him, she will be happy. She is grateful since the day he took her in from the Arisugawa family. When Akiko confess she loves him, Akito did the same. It almost knocked her out. Never thought he would really say those words, eh? Ah, it’s like a dream. And perhaps it still is because she won’t be having a peaceful life alone with her brother because there are other equally odd women living in this dorm too.

All of them including the siblings are part of the school’s student council. They are Arashi Nikaidou (president), Anastasia Nasuhara (vice president) and Ginbei Haruomi Sawatari (treasurer). Oh, Akiko is the secretary while Akito the secretarial sub-assistant fill in. But the one doing the real (donkey) work is of course Akito. I guess this is what happens being the only guy in the student council. But back at the dorm, it’s a battlefield. You though dinner would be nice and lovely, right? Wrong! Anastasia notes that this is the time to determine who would sit next to Akito and feed him. He has no say. Enough said. Akiko argues it is her rightful place as her sister and that he is her possession (so this guy is a thing?). Anastasia’s foul mouth has all the virgins shut up (including herself) but Akiko won’t give up her right to be next to Akito. Bringing in that he has been her brother since birth and even bought him a long time ago (WTF?!), the rest tells her to ask Akito directly. So what will be his answer? She is a good girl and he loves her. Hooray! It’s her victory! He loves her as a sister. Oh… What a letdown. Despite that, Akiko feels that even if they’re siblings, as long as they got love it doesn’t matter!

Episode 2
Akiko loves reading a forbidden sibling love novel by Kouichirou Shindou. Hoping one day she’ll end up like that with Akito, eh? Of course Akito comes in not because he wants to do her in but he has been hearing her weird “gu-heh-heh” laugh. He gets disappointed upon knowing what she’s reading and also a fan of this author. Though he allows her to keep this hobby (notice the creepy part of how her walls are filled with pictures of Akito?), he has several conditions. She must promise to keep that book out of his sight (at least do it when he’s not around), don’t make that funny sound (I know, it sounded very perverted) and never to bring up anything about that author or any books related to him. Akiko thought now they can get down and dirty but he already went back to his side and locked the door! You can never be too careful. Later Akito meets her editor, Kaoruko Jinno and she is impressed with his work. It hints that Akito is Kouichirou Shindou. In school, Akiko visits Akito in his class and probably wants to convert him into a siscon. She demonstrates being a tsundere (she’s a pro at it). As she leaves, she notices that since he hasn’t made any friends yet, she can’t leave him alone during the break. Soon Anastasia visits Akito and asks him out (tsundere style) for a picnic next weekend. It’s a good thing he said okay or else she would have switched his boxers with her used panties. Later Ginbei gives him taste her cookies. She knows his taste as they’ve been friends for 6 years. As they talk about his school life, the conversation gets serious when Ginbei suspects he is hiding something from her. Moving from Kyoto to Tokyo, transferring to St Lillian Academy and having a sister living with him. All these were done without her knowledge. How do you think she felt when he left to go to his sister suddenly? She doesn’t want to feel that again. Akito assures he isn’t hiding anything and thought they had settled the matter of him transferring away in secret. They stop arguing when they realize the other students are staring at them.

Akiko waltzes into Akito’s classroom hoping to get back their lost time. To her horror, he is not in his place. In fact, he has been called by Arashi to the student council room. She locks the door. Oh no. She asks him will he be her man. She’s kidding, right? Of course. The part about being her man. She wants to know if he would like to be her lover. That’s no difference either. Is she joking too? How about be her sex slave then? Akito’s status just keeps going lower and lower, no? If not, she can be his sex slave. Akito is taken that aback and one of the reasons Arashi loves teasing him is to see his reactions. She was about to demonstrate that when Akiko unlocks the door (she has the keys as she’s part of the student council) before her brother loses his chastity. She reminds her recess is her quality time with Akito since he has no friends. But the rest disagree because he doesn’t seem lonely during the break. Ginbei says he was enjoying her cookies and chatting. Anastasia was pushing it saying he was fantasizing about raping her! Arashi points out Akito is lonely because Akiko hogs him so he hasn’t been able to make any friends after transferring. Akito also knows this but doesn’t have the heart to say it to her. Akiko confirms this and feels bad. She promises to limit herself to visit one or two times and will watch from afar. Back in class, a group of boys invite him to join their Buddha statue appreciation club. He declines he is busy. However Akiko is giving her unsolicited encouragement from outside the door. This freaks the guys out and they back out. Maybe she should watch from a little farther. Later Akiko wants to reduce the awkwardness in their relationship and distance by calling his first name. It sounded so perverted…

Episode 3
Akiko wants Akito to help replace her fluorescent light. It’s one of her ploys, right? Right. In that case, she’ll change it in hopes he’ll come look up her skirt. Fix it yourself. If Akito has to put up with one weirdo, here’s another one. Anastasia can’t seem to enter her room because her door isn’t automatic! Will he help to open it for her? Open it yourself. As Akito is also the dorm manager, he has to help fix the pipes. Ginbei accidentally bumps her head when she finds his face too close to hers. When Akito takes in the laundry, Akiko comes rushing to tell him to hands off her panties. What the hell? This is the girl who wants her brother to peek at her panties but won’t let her touch it? So she prefers him touching them when she’s wearing it? This argument attracts Anastasia and thinking Akito prefers freshly worn ones, she is going to strip hers. Akiko won’t lose out and will strip too. Nobody is stopping her… Ginbei notices Arashi’s underwear isn’t in the laundry. She says she lost them. Anastasia thought she’s at a disadvantage because you can’t arouse a certain pervert without an underwear. On the contrary, she’s not wearing any! If you get what that means. She teases them by trying to show it. But when the wind blows, Akiko quickly covers his eyes, causing him to knock his head on the rock. Oh, what have you done? So is it a good thing or bad when Akito can’t remember the events that led to this? Later Anastasia calls Akito to his room. I guess he took his time so she ended up sleeping (and snoring). When she wakes up, she thinks of writing a letter of introduction to a manzai association as it’s her dream to be a comedian. Is that a joke? Akito notices her unpacked boxes. Since it has come this far, Anastasia has no choice but to reveal the dark truth. It is a point of no return once he hears this. Oh no. Are you prepared for this? She is… Anastasia… Can’t clean or do any housework. Eh? At home she had her butlers and maids and at school her groupies to suck up and do everything for her. So in short, she wants him to help her unpack. Or would he rather have her reveal her ‘secret flower garden’?

Akito agrees to help her but suggests he could teach her how to clean and do housework. I’m sure he would be glad to not receive any compensation. Because she would compensate her body for his work. Anastasia notes that trying to seduce him isn’t effective and has learnt something. So Anastasia learns from Akito in doing the clean up that includes how to fold her clothes. Akito praises her pretty smile and hopes she could smile more often because she looks more attractive this way. This causes Anastasia to fluster. All that’s left is a big box. Anastasia panics and doesn’t want him to open. In her haste, she accidentally bumps open its contents: A bunch of cute stuffed dolls. Akito is willing to consider this his hallucination. It’s not like he would tell anyone either. He sends her flustering again when he comments on her cute side. Later in school during recess, Akiko tries to feed Akito but that perfect chance is ruined when Anastasia joins in. She sits between them. I guess telling her straight to go away and eat lunch alone won’t do, no? She has something important to ask of him: Please be her girlfriend. Shock! Akiko almost dropped her lunch. The reason for this confession? What else? She loves him! Double shock! Now Akiko drops her lunch. She’s screaming like a retard too! While she’s at it, the duo are ignoring her. Then Akiko drops her entire lunch when Anastasia places Akito’s hands on her breasts! Because the retard is so noisy, she shuts her up by putting her hand on her breast. Total knockout. In the end, it was all a joke as she was interested to see their reactions. She notes she thought she could win him over by letting him touch her breasts but wonders if her method is wrong.

Episode 4
Ginbei flusters when Akito comes back and praises her cooking since it makes the scene look like they’re newlyweds. Then he wants to eat cake in her room. She changes into a girly outfit while he commends her excellent tea. Ginbei is glad she could see him again. Akito thanks her for always worrying about him and even transferred out of Kyoto to come here. He will treasure their friendship. I guess that word just ruined it. Disappointed he doesn’t see her more than a woman? She got distracted by the good cake he bought. Then she realized he bought this cake just for her. I guess there’s still hope. When Akito commends how cute she is in those clothes, she couldn’t believe what she heard and spills her tea over her dress. Quickly, Akito took a cloth and tries to dry it. I suppose she was so flat that he didn’t feel anything and continued rubbing. Oops. SLAP! Later Akito finishes cleaning up Anastasia’s room. As usual, she tries to twist his words and make him sound like a pervert. Noticing the lack of her stuffed animals, she feigns ignorance till it points out she should put out the things she loves. Yeah. She opens her closet and all her stuffed animals just came flowing out. Did they multiply? Anastasia continues to tease Akito with her sexual innuendoes. This guy is having it tough. Not many guys can hold it in. Especially when she introduces a ‘hole’ doll. It really has a hole. To put your hand in because it’s a puppet. But guess where the ‘hole’ is? He tries to leave but she stops him and accuses him of being a virgin (like as though virgins are an extinct species). Wanting to get revenge for her humiliation, she takes out a banana. If she’s not going to eat it in an erotic way, then she’s going to purposely slip on it to fall over him. Akito feels she is much stranger than usual and wonders if she’s sick. He touches her forehead for temperature and this catches her off-guard. So much so she panics and slips on the banana peel for real, crashing into her closet. Then she hides under her blanket and laments this humiliation.

Later the dorm girls bath together. I’m sure they have invited Akito to join but he turned them down instantly. He knows very well what they’re going to do, eh? Anastasia teases Akiko that her body physiques and 3 sizes are inferior to hers. So as the duo challenge each other, Ginbei is getting low on confidence about hers. Anastasia disagrees and notes her smooth baby-like skin. Soon everybody starts molesting Ginbei. It’s time to wash each other’s backs and Anastasia and Akiko didn’t like being paired up with each other. It’s part of Arashi’s plan to have them improve their relationship. Or maybe she just wants to hog Ginbei’s skin all for her own. When they start rubbing, they notice there is no foam and realize it is Arashi’s lotion prank. Arashi calls Akito to deliver the body soap. Of course he is not coming in despite their temptation. With everybody playing the waiting game, Ginbei decides to go get it from Akito. I wonder why he just can’t leave it on the floor and leave. As Ginbei is about to take it from him, the slipperiness of the lotion causes her to slip and fall on Akito. Now he has a full view of her naked body! What happens next is up to your imagination.

Episode 5
Arashi wants to give nicknames. Especially Akito. She wants to call him “Target” because she is the predator who always gets her prey! Rejected! But she isn’t in favour of calling him his full name because of fear she may bite her tongue in emergency situations. As for Anastasia, how would “Darling” sound? Rejected! And how different would it make for Akiko since she calls him onii-chan? She brags that because of this absolute bond, it gives her a special place with him and they all should be jealous! The trio didn’t like it. Akiko blames them for their intrusion to the dorm and ever since she hasn’t had any quality time with Akito. Suddenly they become gentler. They agree to let her do what she wants with Akito under the impression that she is sick. Akiko thinks they’re pulling a fast one but they seem serious. Even when confronted if she’s sick or not, they try to ignore the subject (albeit very badly). Their reverse psychology on Akiko worked since it made her go crazy and runs away crying. Even if it was just to tease her, they know she’ll be back to normal once they return to the dorm.

Later, Akito calls Jinno to meet up for their next meeting when Akiko comes by. Jinno is surprised he has a sister because he always thought his sibling was a brother. After the call ends, Jinno has this terrible thought that Kouichirou Shindou may be a real siscon lover! If that is true, she must put a stop to it at all cost. So when Akito meets her, he is baffled at her strange act. Yeah, she’s trying to seduce him! Fanservice cue! Well, I guess she doesn’t make her appearance often so feast your eyes on her sexy poses! Are you turned on yet! Each time, getting bolder and bolder but Akito is just trying to stay calm. Jinno wonders her plan is not working since he is into sisters. Then Akito realizes what she is doing. She must have read a recent magazine that was targeted for female audiences. Coincidentally, all her lines were the same as in this magazine. Once Jinno explains her intention and her worries if his work as Kouichirou Shindou were manifestations of his true desire, Akito clears it by stating he knows how to differentiate reality and fiction. Even that clause is stated in the book that everything depicted doesn’t relate to anybody real or dead. He swears he has no romantic feelings for Akiko. However Jinno’s suspicions didn’t subside because Akiko’s name is closely similar to the name of the character in the fiction and that Akito still keeps a picture of her in his wallet.

While Akito is checking the box in the storeroom, Arashi comes in and closes the door. Oh no. Akito knows where she is getting at and tries to get out but Akiko accidentally locks it! No one can hear him shout in the storeroom and besides, dinner time is in 2 hours and they’ll start looking for them if they don’t turn up. She’ll make this quick. Oh sh*t! Akito thinks of using the ladder to scream for help at the high window but Arashi dismantles it! Arashi corners Akito and mentions that she intends to make everyone in the dorm her target and will start with Akito. He distracts her to set himself free and jump for the window but he can’t reach. Arashi goes wild and jumps on him. Unknown to her, a jar is threatening to fall over her. Akito sees this and pushes her away and ends up on top of her. Arashi is grateful. Suddenly Akiko opens the door, thinking she has heard some loud crash. In that instant, Arashi takes full advantage by hugging Akito and mentions they were in the middle of something intense. I guess Akiko nearly went into retard mode again upon seeing this misunderstanding scene. Once the misunderstanding is cleared up, the other girls fault Akiko since she was the one who locked the door. But she says she also saved Akito from Arashi’s clutches. They suggest in that case she should be Arashi’s lover or sex toy. Arashi agrees to it since she is still turned on despite being interrupted with Akito. She orders Akiko to strip to take responsibility as his sister!

Episode 6
Jinno reads Kouichirou Shindou’s new work and is impressed by the forbidden love. However she can’t help think Akito really has sister complex and must find out. The first thing she sees when she visits the dorm is a giant hug pillow with Akiko on it! Actually it belongs to Akiko. Jinno is introduced to the other girls and Arashi knows she is not here to give Akito some work encouragement. It’s written all over her face. Before Jinno can explain, Arashi jumps the gun. She indicates she wants to ‘eat’ Jinno! New target! Thankfully if Akito wasn’t there, this ‘joke’ would’ve turned into a real sexual harassment. Jinno wants to confirm if Akito has siscon. The girls did not hesitate to reply he has! Along with all their mumbo-jumbo and universal truths, laws, etc that goes with it. Akito coolly dismisses it despite everybody accusing him of having a massive sister complex. He will have Jinno ask Akiko herself. By the way, conveniently she just came back from shopping. Akiko denies her brother has siscon otherwise she would’ve been the happiest sister in the world. In fact, she goes on to brag about her brother complex, which is a gift from God (puhlease…). This only serves to worsen Jinno’s perception. Akiko tries to persuade Akito build his siscon to a point he crosses deep into that danger zone. Akito coolly disagrees with all her suggestions but he did mention he loves her but only as her sister and shoots down all her suggestions of marrying or hugging her. She wants him to sleep with her as penance. He surprisingly agrees. She is shocked at first but soon her face becomes perverted the more she fantasizes about it. Turns out Akito was just teasing her. The other girls are like so duh watching this stupid couple act out in front of them. So the girls assure Jinno that they’re going to stop this. As explained, the trio moved into this dorm to prevent the unthinkable act of happening between a man and woman, especially when it involves a brother and his sister.

It is suggested that they will sleep in separate rooms. Akiko argues she is the dorm manager and has the right to sleep in that room but they point out Akito is the one who is doing all the work. They think of finding a proper dorm manager to avoid having Akito shouldering all the responsibilities. Akiko’s argument went so far as a flashback that creepily has her keeping count to the exact minute of how long she has not seen her brother! But not as creepy when she puts that perverted face thinking she and her onii-chan will become one. The rest won’t force her but has Akito decided. Although he loves her, it is all the reason why they should sleep in separate rooms. Disappointing, huh? So the girls gladly help shift his things out and nobody gives a damn about Akiko complaining. They just ignore. Did they hear the wind talking? Akito goes through all the siscon stuffs she bought for him and each one has siscon memories for him to make him dote on her. He sees her asleep and thinks she has cried herself to sleep. When he is about to pat her head, suddenly she has that perverted expression. So she’s not asleep. She waited for this moment. Doesn’t she have anything better to do than to turn him into a siscon? Guess not. Her life revolves around him. Akito gently strokes her face and puts her out for good. Sure he loves her. As a sister. Next morning, Akiko understands his decision. However she misinterprets that it is more exciting to obtain something harder. Arashi gathers everyone to introduce their new dorm manager. The girls have their picky preference what they expect in her. Just in luck, Arashi notes she has all those features. Plus, she comes from a famous family and is a genius. Akito has a feeling he knows this person. And here she comes. Arisa Takanomiya the 12 year old genius was Akito’s previous adoptive family. Anastasia asks her relationship with him. Guess what? She’s his fiancée. She’s glad to be back living with him. Ooohhh…

Episode 7
I guess another rival is not needed. So Akiko complains. Complains and complains about her disapproval. It’s already been a week. For God’s sakes. Isn’t she going to shut up? However the rest approves of Arisa since she is also doing a fine job. They’re not even worried a single bit. On the topic of Lolita complex, Ginbei asks if Akito likes child-like bodies (hint, hint). Too bad, he isn’t. But Anastasia is (hint, hint). Nobody asked her… Akiko will still not change her opinion so Arashi says the best she can aim for is to be his sister-in-law. That’ll be worst! So back at the dorm Akito and his sisters talk. Each time Akito praises Arisa, what he ends up saying is that he views her as his little sister. Heartbreaking, no? Akiko asserts her position as his real blood related sister. He doesn’t need 2 sisters (says who?) and should in fact pity her as much as he does for Arisa who is trying to rob her position as his sister. I suppose Akito can tell she’s faking it because of those crocodile tears. Arisa wants to be friends but Akiko still won’t accept someone who pops up and claims to be his fiancée. Arisa’s agony is cute and a turn on to lolicons and probably it would have somewhat a same effect on Akiko so she puts on her blindfold to avoid seeing her and not get infected by her cuteness. She admits she wants to give her the cold shoulder. Later Arisa is in Anastasia’s room dressed up as a bunny girl. The blonde likes it every bit… Oh no. Everyone is out picnic and except for a certain jealous sister, everyone praises her cooking. Anastasia wants to learn every bit of her. Including her favourite underwear and also want to take pictures of her in the bath. I think she can land in court for sexual harassment. Akiko tries to find fault in Arisa’s cooking by bringing up her childhood past that nobody bothers to remember. She even admits she’s trying to make a mountain out of a molehill! As we know, the problem is her, not Akito because he likes Arisa’s cooking. Arashi decides the sisters shall hold a challenge. Akiko will decide on the contest but if Arisa wins, she must stop complaining.

First up, they are to ride a swing. Seriously? I guess it’s a play of words for swing (buranko) and brother complex (burankon). While Akiko is busy remembering another useless flashback how Akito helped overcome her fear of swings, Akito joins Arisa swinging and realizes how much fun this is. You lose. Not giving up yet, the next contest sees what they should do with a kitten. Arisa is kind and gentle but when it’s Akiko’s turn, the cat bites her! I guess this says a lot. For the athletic challenge (to be able to play with Akito, I guess), Akiko challenges her to badminton but the shuttlecock bounces back and hits her face. I don’t think it’s possible. The only way I can think of is divine retribution. Sore loser Akiko only acknowledges Arisa’s ‘tiny’ victory. She will only acknowledge her as the dorm manager because she will still be Akito’ sister and wife. Then Arisa asks something that stuns everyone. Isn’t it wrong for siblings to be romantically attracted to each other? I guess everybody has been putting up with Akiko’s brother complex boasting every day that it becomes normal. So what does Akiko think? She’s pretending not to listen! Arisa talks to her that such love is legally and morally wrong but she won’t have it. Total defeat comes when Arisa points out the more she continues, it will end up troubling all those around her, including Akito. Akiko isn’t going to throw in the towel yet. She is adamant her love for Akito will persevere and insults Arisa to give up. That’s when Arisa couldn’t take it being a nice girl anymore and argues back. They both argue that they love Akito more than the other. Better than Energizer bunnies, they argue and argue and argue right till their way back to the dorm. Don’t they get tired? I guess to settle this, they ask Akito who he loves more. In the end that guy still has to be involved. How will he solve this? First, he praises the good points each sister has. That is the reason why he cannot choose either one. Love for little sisters must be equally divided without discrimination! I guess this settles it. Arashi teases them in the end Akito doesn’t see either of them as women too. For once, Akiko becomes friendly with Arisa. She notes she is not a dangerous rival. Because they love their brother a lot, their advantage is meaningless. They should help each other overcome their differences. And so the sisters become friends in love. Later Akito wonders why Arisa wanted to make friends with Akiko since she treated her as an enemy from the beginning. She was the only one who recognized her as an equal and didn’t look at her as a child because she acknowledged her claim as his fiancée. Soon, Akiko teaches Arisa how to shout out her love for Akito and even gives a lovely big brother t-shirt. Oh no. As though one wasn’t bad enough. Now here comes another one.

Episode 8
The girls are out at the store to choose a swimsuit. You know what they say about the early bird and the worm. Arashi wants Akiko’s help to tighten the tiny bikini she’s trying. Pull! The commotion has Ginbei coming in. That’s when the string snaps and her boobs smack over her face! OMFG! Arisa wants to try a bikini but Anastasia stops her because she has her own ulterior motive and fetish to have her in a one piece. She convinces Arisa to ditch that idea by saying her body will mature in time and thus to shape that future body, she must wear a one piece. Everyone reveals their swimsuit except for Ginbei who decides to stay out of this. She laments her body is appealing enough. Akiko steps up and reveals several tactics to enhance one’s body and has Ginbei try out. Arashi and Anastasia lament that they should have been more knowledgeable about swimsuits otherwise they could’ve been the ones in there caressing Ginbei. No harm imagining, right? Arisa also wants Akiko’s help but Anastasia puts down her foot and reminds them of the ultimate swimsuit: School swimsuit. Your objections are invalid! Or else, it’s that piece of tiny string Arashi suggested. That’s illegal! So when they go back, their mission is of course to show off their newly bought swimsuit and have Akito pick who is the best one. Initially Ginbei decides to stay out of this but after hearing the prize for the winner, she’s in. I can pretty much guess what it is. Akito has to go to their rooms to look at them in their swimsuit.

First stop is Arisa. Not only in a school swimsuit with knee stockings, she has angel wings and halo to boot! Including special effects of flying! Thank Anastasia’s father’s company for such useless stuff. He goes to Anastasia’s room to complain but she is in a cat swimsuit. She even has a doll to match her outfit. Next is Ginbei. She’s trying to prop up her boobs but to her dismay it’s not working. Then her pads fall out! Four of them! No they’re not pads! They are… Coasters! But do cups spill when you put on them ‘coasters’? Akito has a bad feeling even before entering Arashi’s room. When he does, she seems normally dressed. For now. She takes off her robe and she’s buck naked!!! OMFG!!! She insists she is wearing one. Only siscon people can’t see them! Run out away from this crazy woman! Finally he makes his way to Akiko’s room. For once, he sees a normal swimsuit and praises it. But that’s just about it. After seeing the rest went overboard, hers seem plain. Akiko will gladly do some adjustments but somehow it’s been-there-done-that. Akito’s already seen them. Even the naked one. I’m sure Akiko is about to blow her top or enter retard mode once she learns about that. There is one room he thought it was vacant and heard sounds coming from it. He opens the door to see Jinno changing! She took up Arashi’s invitation for this contest too?! So in the end, was it a right decision he can’t decide? He reasons that had he picked a winner, the losers won’t want to go to the beach in that loser outfit. Arashi takes this that everybody has won. So? This means everybody is entitled to the prize of deciding Akito’s swimsuit! Odd choices… And horny ones. Literally. Arashi only has a horn! What? Too small? What’s his decision now? RUN! Later we see the gang frolicking at the beach. But it turns out to be their imagination. They’re still back at the dorm. Why are they wearing swimsuits around? Because summer is still a long way and it’ll be a waste to put it back in their closet. Yeah. The early bird… Later Akito heads to Jinno’s office to discuss his work. Once more she praises his forbidden love tail. But why the heck is she in her swimsuit?!

Episode 9
Akito follows Ginbei to a secluded spot in school to see her taking care of a kitten. She’s talking to it. Seriously. What’s more disturbing is that she is acting tsundere towards it. His cover is almost blown but he manages to get away by purring as a cat. However Ginbei wants to meet this ‘cat’ too and goes over. Man. This is one big cat. Embarrassing moment in three, two, one… Suddenly Akiko shows up. Seems her friends, Reika Ryuuzaki and Ayumi Himekawa are bringing her here to let her glimpse of that cute kitten. As they introduce each other, Akito notices Ginbei is gone. Faster than the wind (Arisa didn’t even know what zoomed past her), a very embarrassed Ginbei hides in her room. Later Akito falls ill after getting out from the bath and falling asleep while writing his manuscript and calls Jinno in hopes he could extend his deadline. Akiko is adamant to be the only one who will nurse him back to health to show her unwavering devotion. It’s her ploy to get sick and let him nurse her too. The other girls argue why they should be the ones who should look after him so Arashi puts her foot down that this isn’t the time to be quarrelling. They should be helping Akito recover instead. Shame on them. She suggests they take shifts to nurse him the way they want. Nobody will complain or is allowed to get in your way. The rest misunderstood that and thinks this is a no-holds-barred competition to see who can take care of Akito the best. Ah well… Arisa comes in first and almost drops her huge tray of uhm, nutritional food. I don’t know, the more Akito hears about them, the more panicky he gets. Doesn’t sound so appetizing. She even has other foods not for eating but to speed up his recovery like smashing picked plums on his forehead or sticking green onions in his butt!

By the time it’s Anastasia’s turn, perhaps it turned out worse. Smashed plums on his foreheads and an onion sticking out not from his butt, but his ‘front’. It’s like something growing out from his pants. Akito doubts her nursing skills but she assures him she is only useless in housework. She relates her nursing experience. With her stuffed animal. Oh dear. Akito can’t sleep since her words seemed like cursing him to hell. Then on and off, she asks the same question if she can help with anything or wipe the sweat off below his waist. She wanted to show him a family technique (I think she’s making this up) and wants him to close his eyes and mouth and not open them. Oh. She’s trying to kiss him! However Akito broke his promise and opened his eyes. In his surprise, this breaks her ‘concentration’ as she chides him about erasing all the good luck mumbo-jumbo. Somewhat upset, she turns into a tsundere and leaves. Next is Akiko but surprisingly she didn’t have ulterior motives and shows her calm and mature side in nursing him! I can’t believe this! Is this really her?! Sure she is not sick?! Meanwhile, Jinno develops fever at work. She thinks she sacrificed herself and got Akito’s sickness from the phone to cure him. WTF. I think she should just go home and rest. The workload may be stressing her out. Finally it’s Ginbei’s turn. Akito’s sleep talking and motion has him pull her over him. From the way he says things, she thinks he is dreaming of that incident whereby they first met. He was treating her back and some incident after that has him stopped seeing her as a girl. Thinking back, she feels it was the worst possible way for them to meet.

Episode 10
Flashback time. Akito was a transfer student at Kyoto into Ginbei’s class. Ginbei was an extraordinary person hard to approach and was respected by both students and teachers. So when Akito casually approached her, she didn’t like it. He wants to be her friend. She doesn’t want to. But he is still persistent. From the minute he saw her, he knew she would be someone who’d stick with him through thick and thin. Unperturbed, if friends are what he is looking for, the next day, all the boys in his class tried to be his friend. Akito confronted her and knew she was behind this. However, Akito wanted to be not just anybody’s friend. He wanted to be Ginbei’s friend. Sorry. She’s not interested. Next day, all the girls tried to fight over his attention! Yeah, Ginbei even put up this harem for him. But that didn’t stop Akito as he continued to bug Ginbei to a point she got fed up and skipped school. Though feeling peace at home, that didn’t last. Akito snuck into her home (despite all that security) to confront her. He is here to pick a fight with her. Had she stated her intentions clearer, he would’ve given up. However she went the roundabout way and used others to attack him. He apologizes for his way of approaching her so he is giving her a chance to vent out her frustration by punching him in the face. The kids fight. I didn’t think it would last the entire day. Ginbei finally punches him in the face. Though it’s her victory, Akito laughs because no matter what everyone says, they are friends now. This isn’t about whether she wants to be friends or not. They are one already. He apologizes for lying previously because he wanted to make her give it all during the fight. Now after fighting that much, there is nothing left but for them to be friends. But Ginbei has told him many times she doesn’t need a friend. She doesn’t need one who follows her around and pretends to listen. What she needs is a best friend. Of course at that time it was the closest thing Ginbei thought was closer than a friend. As the kids go wash up, Akito wanted to bath together and pulls down Ginbei’s pants! Oops. He never realized she was a girl… Ginbei admits though her name is boyish and sometimes act like one, she hated herself for not approaching him as a girl. That is the cause of all their misunderstandings and hopes to clear it up one day.

Arashi takes the last shift and in the dead of the night, Akito caught glimpse of her walking out. Next morning he has recovered. But it’s out of the frying pan and into the fire. Akiko wants him to decide which of them was best at nursing him. Each is trying to lead him to pick her. They’re making a recovered person decide on something heavy, aren’t they? I guess it wouldn’t be fair to us if we hear that all of them won, right? I suppose he learnt his lesson too. So he picks the winner… Arashi! Why? She didn’t do anything, right? Precisely that. Not doing anything is best when nursing someone back to health. Akiko is close to turning into retard mode but her problem is not because he picked Arashi. Guess what? The winner of this competition gets to spend the entire day with him alone in the winner’s room with no interference! OH SH*T!!! He just screwed up big time! So the dorm is sealed off and the rest are kicked out. Akito braces himself for the worst but is surprised to see Arashi, gentle and polite like a traditional Japanese woman. Is this really her? He thought he saw her right eye flashed and notes she didn’t wear her eye-patch today. She says it is to hide a secret power it holds. This eye can rewrite people’s memories. But each time she uses it, she loses part of her eyesight. She assures she used it too much unconsciously during her younger days and her eyesight is somewhat affected. Then the story turns out to be a joke… But Arashi continues her elegant ways. At the end of the day, Akiko is suspicious that nothing really happened. Yup, that’s what happened. Surprised? The rest accepted the fact. Akiko wonders what Arashi was trying to pull. She reveals she was going for gap moe (acting the opposite sometimes of one usually is). Akito admits he did find her attractive that way. Oh no. Warning. Akiko in full blown retard mode now! Though Arashi’s shoulders are stiff from that acting, she warns next time she will devour him as a whole as her usual self. Meanwhile Jinno is sleeping in office (it’s already after office hours). Everybody has forgotten about this sick woman…

Episode 11
Anastasia just came out of the bath, admiring her own body clad in only a towel. But she notices she has no panties to wear. Her room is in a messy. Akito has given up cleaning for her. Obviously. It will be a pain to search them. Then she hears Arisa’s scream. She sacrifices wearing any panties to go protect her precious. Seems Arisa heard something from the gate. However it can’t be a pervert because she saw several green lights! Night vision goggles? Akito teases the girls that it might be ghosts. I think all of them are afraid despite denying its existence. Arashi wants him to go check it out alone. Yeah, she’s scared too. He gives them another chance to tag along. No thanks. Suddenly Akiko gets this wonderful idea to get romantic with him in the dark and joins in. Soon, the other girls also have their ulterior motives and join him. So everybody is going in the end. As they trek along in the dark path, the wind kept blowing up Anastasia’s skirt or the grass tickled her ‘down there’ causing her to scream a funny voice that scares the rest. And she did give crappy excuses why it wasn’t her. They decide to climb over a wall to take a shortcut back to the dorm. That means they will have to sit on Akito’s shoulders, right? Oh. Everybody seems to have their fun riding on his shoulders and finally reluctant Anastasia gives in. Did he notice? Did she feel good? Well, nothing much happens. Along the way, a raven flying away scares the sh*t out of them. They run helter skelter and end up separated in pairs. Ginbei and Arisa are initially scared, hugging each other. But then they turned yuri as they start molesting each other’s boobs to certify what they other have for their age is true. Anastasia is walking so close behind Akiko that it’s giving her the creep. Akiko knows something is wrong because she has been acting weird. Anastasia coolly denies and even manages to piss off Akiko her usual style. As Akiko rants about marrying her brother (even if it means becoming Prime Minister and changing the laws to allow blood related marriages), she thought Anastasia has been making fun of her. But Anastasia notes she never made fun of her ever since the day she first met her 6 years ago.

Flashback reveals when Akiko transferred into her class then, Anastasia was somewhat interested because of her beautiful skin and hair. She got close to her to even know about her dream and love for her brother. Over the years they became rivals but that was just because she wanted to be her friend. So when Akiko told everyone the good news that she’ll soon be reunited with Akito, Anastasia was interested in a way to see what kind of man could make her fall deeply in love with him. One day she sees Akiko guiding Akito around school on his first day. After that, Anastasia approaches him in her usual deadpan sarcastic fashion, calling him a scumbag to check out girls in broad daylight. I guess that’s how it all started and got stuck. We have a sudden change in scene whereby Akito is on the verge of marrying all the girls! Including Jinno! He accepts them all! Did he bed them all too?! Soon we see each of the girls having a baby in their arms. OMG! I can’t believe Akito is the father to them all?! Even Reika and Ayumi are pregnant too! Then it turns out to be Jinno’s sick dream. She’s still sick and holed up in office. Doesn’t she have a home to go back to?

Episode 12
Going back to Anastasia’s flashback, after she approaches him, she is surprised that this is the only guy who could answer her back calmly. Teasing him about being a virgin and purposely making him saying aloud (so that the other girls could hear), Akito reveals his touring of this school is because he might transfer here. In that case, to keep this pervert under surveillance and not let him wander around, she offers to guide him. Along the way, Akito is confused with her talk. Despite admitting she is nervous right now, she has the guts to ask him to go back and fetch her panties. Something that every guy would die for. As Anastasia notes, she might seem calm but deep down she is very anxious when in front of him and everything she says comes out wrong. Though Akito won’t go so far to call them friends, he accepts that part of her. That’s when she introduces herself and they shake hands. Soon he transferred in and Anastasia was living her happy life because she was able to get close to Akiko and at the same time be friends with Akito. Back in reality, Akiko is still suspicious that Anastasia is acting weird. However from the way she said things, Anastasia knows she isn’t the brightest and asks her a hypothetical question. If one day you don’t have any underwear to wear, what would you do? Akiko gives several honest opinions like running to the nearest convenience store to get them, wash and dry one that you haven’t wear for a long time or wear something else like bloomers or swimsuit. Anastasia is astounded by her answers and praises her. Of course Akiko doesn’t know if she’s fooling around. Anastasia assures her that because of her, her life now has meaning since she changed everything for her. As a token of appreciation, she pecks her cheek! Then the wind blows up her skirt. Akiko saw her commando style.

Eventually everyone returns to the dorm not finding anything. Then they hear somebody coming from the dorm. An intruder? Turns out to be Jinno. What about the green lights? Oh. Here comes a bunch of them now from the bushes! All the girls got scared and grab Akito. Each a limb I suppose. Those green lights turn out to be eyes of those cats. While everyone heaves a sigh of relief, they suddenly realize that there are really green ghost-like lights floating around!!! FREAKY! Because of that, everybody wants to sleep with Akito. It’s going to be very cramp up. Next morning, Akito realizes Arisa is sleeping naked next to him! The girls are even surprised. Don’t worry. He has an explanation. Arisa has this habit of stripping when they used to sleep together. Not good… Anastasia wants to switch, Jinno thinks in addition to his siscon, being a lolicon is bad. Arashi starts stripping and forces everyone to do the same. Till she reaches Anastasia that she realizes she is no-pan. Later as Akito writes another forbidden love story, Akiko comes in wearing a kimono. She’s here to apologize for doubting him. She remembers his words 6 years ago to trust in him and be a good girl. She feels sad there are days she didn’t think about him and hated herself for thinking like that. She got insecure and worried if he would wait for her but remained steadfast that he would come. It allowed her to try her best in many difficult areas as she wanted him to see the results of her efforts one day. So did she followed his instructions and be a good girl? You bet she did. Noting she has turned into a splendid woman, she is now prettier than before. Akiko thanks him from the bottom of her heart not only as a sister but a human being. Then it all comes to nought when Akiko returns to her horny self, wanting him to pull her obi and spin her around. He did that. But that was just to kick her out. Lock the door and continue finishing his work in peace. Akito narrates he won’t be having a peaceful life with his sister any time soon. Even with all the other girls around him. That still won’t change his way of protecting Akiko and would even remove himself if he becomes a danger to her. That is because the truth is that they are not really blood related. He has no intention of telling her these confusing family circumstances thingy yet. Making her believe that they are blood related puts the brakes on her. Imagine what will happen if that was taken away. Or maybe the brakes will fail after excessive usage. Akiko lies in wait underneath Akito’s futon to pounce on him. As long as there is love, it doesn’t matter, eh?

Love Is Thicker Than Blood
I guess like Akito said, about his complicated family history, that will be another story. Interesting or not, that will have to wait for another time. If they make a sequel, that is. Well, just don’t wash your dirty linen in public. Overall I suppose that for someone who ‘enjoys’ watching this kind of genre, everything is pretty okay. Hah. What a vague answer. Want me to elaborate on that? There’s the harem factor. There’s the fanservice factor. There’s the comedy factor. There’s the romance factor. There. Enough? Incest did not happen, though.

If you look at Akito, he is a pretty cool guy considering the havoc the girls around him are causing. Everyone wants a piece of him. Had he been a pervert, he might have not earned their respect because like I said, if one gives in to his instincts it’s no more fun. Had he not the patience, he would have moved somewhere else far away since the girls are driving up the wall almost every day. It’s like some sort of a ritual. He might not know some of them that deep but he knows how to deal with them when they start acting up. Some of his answers regarding life-or-death questions in harem genres (about picking which girl has the best so and so) don’t sound cheesy but fair and decent. Might not be perfect but at least he couldn’t choose them due to pressure or just because he couldn’t. So the lesson of it all is to not lose your cool and perhaps play along a little with their game and in the end know where you stand. That’s how Akito survived every day at the dorm. Hats off to him on how he manages to stave off their perverted sexual advances and get by every day without going crazy or turning into a pervert. About his job as a writer, it might seem ironic that for a person who has every chance to get horny with his sister but yet refuses, writes one of the best forbidden romances between siblings. I don’t know. Each clip of the forbidden tale seems to transcend time and setting. We have one from the feudal ages to one whereby it is in Paris right up to a futuristic theme. But it is basically the same. Brother has to go somewhere to get something done but assures his love for her and she does the same. Imagine if Akiko finds out who the real author is. All hell will break loose.

Out of all the girls, Akiko is presented as the most annoying (from my perspective) because of her incessant ramblings about her brother complex. And she’s proud of it. Sure, that’s her identity but it shows that she is desperate trying to win his affections. It’s funny when she goes into retard mode because sometimes she sounds like a broken tape recorder. Looks like it will be a long time (or never) till she realizes her brotherly dream. I have a feeling that even if she comes to know the truth, she will still continue to love him as he is. Only difference is that her pervertness would be accelerated further. Another creepy aspect is her ability to remember the exact second from her last activity with her brother. Is she some Swiss clock? That’s not dedication. It’s desperation! Anastasia is the most amusing girl because of the way she has with words. Usually insults. And the way she coolly and monotonously says them without batting an eyelid makes her cool in her own way. She has a way of coming up with excuses no matter how absurd it sounds. She loves teasing Akito and especially the one about calling her name as Ana because it also means hole. One second she wants him to call him that, the next she criticizes him for calling a girl a hole. It’s not that he doesn’t learn. Maybe he doesn’t want to disappoint her. Despite putting a cold exterior and unapproachable front, at times when she has her guard down, she does display a sliver of emotions. At least at points when she least expects them. I’m not sure if I should believe her that despite her sarcasm, she is actually anxious inside, her words all turn out the wrong way. I know she only has one ‘sleepy’ expression but she puts on so many masks that if you tell me her real personality is a nice and shy girl, I am more inclined to believe her as an ice queen instead. I might be wrong but I think her favourite word is ‘virgin’. I feel she uses it a lot. Whether it’s calling Akito that or in some ridiculous excuse.

I think Arashi is the most mysterious one among the girls because she is one who doesn’t have her past explored in this season. Especially her eye-patch and I have a feeling that it is more than just being fashionable or her fetish. She is the wild type and I guess if you interest her enough, she’ll set her eyes on you. Despite her untamed personality, at times she is able to show some sort of maturity. Ginbei is the most normal among the crazy girls but too bad Akito sees her more as a boyish than feminine. Then there is Arisa who is the new addition to the ‘family’. Although being labelled a genius, I don’t really see her displaying that talent of hers. Sure, she’s commendable for being a dorm manager for her age but maybe it is because she is still a young girl. Thus sometimes displaying her naivety and providing the moe factor among the girls. Her past with Akito is also not given much focus like how we have seen at least with Anastasia and Ginbei. We all would love to see how all these women come into contact with Akito and why they love him. They may not look the part like serious lovers but would Akito have taken them seriously if so? When Anastasia wanted him to be her boyfriend, I don’t think she’s joking. If they were really serious, then he rejects them, the pain would be even greater, right? So while everybody frolics around, they don’t take him seriously, he doesn’t take them seriously, in the end everybody still has that chance. It’s good to dream…

So the harem part is obvious. All the girls love Akito. No doubt about it. Albeit some of them in their twisted ways. In fact, most of them are perverts. We know Akiko and her burankon, Arashi is bisexual as any man or woman will do for her and for Anastasia, I am beginning to think that she is also a lolicon the way she dotes on Arisa. I might not want to discount Jinno too. The editor may think she is doing her moral duty in bringing Akito back to the right path, but notice the method she does them? Trying to seduce him and all, she might not realize it but I have a feeling that deep down all that, she loves him too. So what if she manages to bring him to like mature woman instead of sisters and lolitas? That would mean liking older women, right? Her role feels like a joker at times too especially when she got sick, it felt like a running joke because it lasted for several episodes despite just making unimportant cameo appearances. So for our straight thinking straight male protagonist, it is good that he values the girls and sees them as friends rather than just women. So it is going to take a lot more effort (especially you, Ginbei) if you want to make this guy see you as a woman. One way is to perhaps act the total opposite of their wild behaviour. We saw that was possible when Arashi did her gap moe.

You can’t have this genre and do without the fanservice. I won’t say that it is filled to the brim and at every 2 seconds you get your panty shots of boob shots right in your face. But there are some scenes that are darkened out and of course the more dangerous scenes that are censored with a tiny mug of that. Maybe some will be visible when you buy the DVD but I doubt all will come off because there are some parts which act as censor for the lower anatomy region. This is not hentai so there is a limit to how much fanservice they can show. Tits, yes. Full frontal nudity, no. And oh, the opening credits animation is filled with lots of sexual innuendos. Make that lots of naughty sexual innuendos. Lots of sexy shots and poses that would most likely turn you on. See the way how Akiko ‘rocks’ on Akito as she sits on his lap? See how Anastasia blows the flute? And then the girls get naked with him while putting on a stimulated horny facial expression. So are you turned on yet? Hmm… I’m thinking that after so many sexual harassments and yet Akito doesn’t get turned on the slightest, I think HE IS GAY!!! Maybe? Just kidding! Better control your libido before you end up in court one day. Like they say, prevention is better than cure.

Ibuki Kido debuts as Akiko and I guess she did quite well in making Akiko a passionate girl with extreme brother complex. I wonder if the word delusional is sufficient to describe it all. For the umpteenth time, whenever I hear a certain deadpan voice and especially characters that show no emotions, it brings to mind Minori Chihara. True enough, she is the voice behind Anastasia and this is so much like her other similar characters like Nagato in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu, Chiaki in Minami-ke, Horizon in Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon and Minami in Lucky Star. Other casts include Ryota Ohsaka as Akito (Sasayan in Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun, Yuki in Tsuritama), Eri Kitamura as Arashi (Lilliana in Campione), Asami Shimoda as Ginbei (Chika in B Gata H Kei, Kotomi in Seitokai Yakuindomo), Sumire Morohoshi as Arisa (Himiko in Oda Nobuna No Yabou) and Megumi Takamoto as Jinno (Himea in Itsuka Tenma No Kurousagi). Despite I said Minori Chihara usually voices deadpan characters, she doesn’t necessarily voice all of them. She has a good lively voice too. That’s because she also sings the lively anime pop opening theme, Self Producer. For the ending theme, Life-ru Is Love-ru is done by Liliana Sisters, which is actually the seiyuus of the main dorm girls (excluding Arisa’s). The tune of this piece plays to a cheeky and mischievous tune although it has a little of that dance beat feel. Even the way they sing the chorus sounds cute. One thing about the opening credits is that in many of the episodes, it only starts somewhere in the middle of the episode. Many animes would have their opening credits start right away or at least a minute or two after some introduction, prologue or short recap. But for this one, it is like they finish one story first and then they play the opening theme. At points I was beginning to think that this episode won’t even have one to begin with. As for the ending animation, I thought I find it odd that the girls are doing somewhat of an air snooker action. See it for yourself to know what I mean.

With a bunch of sister themed animes, maybe there is a trend these days that having sisters are the in-thing now, whether they are related by blood or not. But this isn’t as serious as more serious incest themed animes so if you want to watch for some laughs and let off a little steam (fanservice, what else?), no harm in trying this one out. I know I didn’t convert into a siscon so there shouldn’t be any problems with other people of managing to stay sane and keeping their chastity intact at the end of the series. Unless of course you are one of those easily influenced kind or the self righteous morally right holier-than-thou sage. I suppose this is a guy’s anime because you have a sister that totally loves you coupled in with the harem factor. Where can you find such a sister in real life? More importantly, would you really want such a sister in real life? There is such a fine line between love and lust…

You’re just too good to be true… Can’t take my eyes off you… You’d be like heaven too touch…  I wanna hold you so much… Before I finish crooning this golden oldie from Frankie Valli, let me say that this song has no relation to this anime that I am about to blog now. It has been 3 long years since the second season aired on TV and one year since the movie. That’s when the third season, Hayate No Gotoku Can’t Take My Eyes Off You aired back at the end of 2012, I guess I was surprised that a sequel was made. My expectations of this series to have a sequel were somewhat like Zero No Tsukaima’s final season due to the length of years in between the latest and previous season.

However as I read this season is not a continuation from the story we are familiar with in the first and second season. This third season is considered to be of a different story originally written by the author himself, Kenjiro Hata. Something about that this original idea of his for the series never really quite took off. So it’s like taking the familiar bunch of the characters from the series we know and put them in a totally new plot and storyline. Without giving away too much, we have the spoilt rich brat-cum-genius Nagi who suddenly has a girl claiming to be her little sister appearing before her and a journey that will take them to America.

Episode 1
Nagi. Sports Car. Crashed. Nevada Desert. America. How the? What the? The heat must have gone to her head that she is even blaming the cactus for stealing her handkerchief! Once she calms down, she realizes Hayate will never come to her rescue because he is no longer her butler. How did this happen? We go back in time. Nagi continues to be a lazy bum around her mansion. I know she’s the boss but all she does is play games, read manga, watch anime and then crash. Repeat cycle. Sounds like a loser otaku, eh? Yeah. She’s bored. Real bored. Till she sees a documentary on TV about Area 51, aliens and UFOs that her interest piques. She is interrupted when Maria says the Nevada Police Department is on the line and wants her to come to confirm her deceased father’s belongings. We learn her dad died in a crash in Las Vegas before she was born. She never knew him. Thus she starts ranting passionately about wanting to go and determine her father’s love for her. Hayate and Maria smell a rat. Something is fishy. Yup. They know she wants to go to Area 51 badly. Maria refuses to let Nagi go seeing school starts in a couple of days and she can go during Silver Week. But to Nagi, there are things more important than school (like bumming around the house, I guess) and seeks Hayate’s approval. However Hayate is somewhat inclined to support Maria (oh, those stares) so this doesn’t sit well with Nagi and she leaves the place in a jiffy. Knowing this is just one of her tantrums, she hopes Nagi won’t stay out too late and come back home in time for dinner. Nagi as expected bums at the shop where Chiharu works but the latter advises her on appreciating things before she loses them. Nagi is at the park and realizes she has no money. Don’t panic. She has some debit card left but not much. Somehow she screws up and buys a spicy drink she doesn’t even want. Thankfully Hayate comes by to pick her up and though Nagi is glad to see her but her tsundere attitude means she’s blaming him for the ‘betrayal’. If he wants her to go home with him, he must drink this super spicy drink.

Hayate is distracted by a little girl who calls herself Princess Camellia (Acchi Kocchi’s Tsumiki?) among other bulls*t, Hayate pats her head thinking she is lost. It certainly throws her off her pace but then she points out about taking her eyes off Nagi. Oh sh*t! Nagi has just been kidnapped! Suddenly… Hayate turns into somebody different. Not regarding Camellia’s rant, he forcefully borrows her bicycle and with her in one arm, he peddles down in high speed to hunt down his pursuers! Monster! Nagi seems pretty calm because this is the umpteenth time she has been kidnapped. She knows Hayate will come to rescue her and true enough, here comes the devil! The kidnappers are shocked to see this monster breathing down their neck. After all that drifting and evading manoeuvres, they thought they had lost him but he takes a shortcut and jumps right down onto them. The car crashes. Driver kidnapper knocked out. Hayate quickly disarms the other panicky kidnapper and punches him out cold. No time to even react. I’m sure Camellia could have died from heart attack from that ride. Reminds me of Nuku Nuku’s hell bicycle dash, eh? Camellia isn’t happy with this humiliation and runs away, promising to be back. Hayate brings Nagi back to the mansion but when Maria greets them, she wonders who that little girl is. Camellia reveals that she is Ruri Tsugumi, Nagi’s sister.

Episode 2
Tsugumi couldn’t start her rant because they slam the door on her! Guess what? She stayed out there the entire night! Freezing! So when Nagi and Hayate find this weirdo hanging around outside, they debate about this so called sister and other possibilities before leaving her and go get breakfast. Too cruel! They practically ignore her like she never existed. Well, back to shivering in the cold. Until ‘kind’ Maria brings her in. Nagi seems like the dominant one and Tsugumi reduced to a squealing panicky. Nagi is tired of that same line that she’s her sister. So she’s her sister. So what? What now? Any proof of that? Apparently she doesn’t know her dad or know any other relatives. So when she found out about Nagi, she just really wanted to meet her. Though Nagi has her doubts, she will prepare a place for her to stay. Tsugumi gets excited and is caught in the middle of her act of trying to search the house. Suspicious… But Nagi won’t go back on her word and brings her to a dorm whereby she meets the other tenants that include Ayumu and Chiharu. Nagi is going to leave her and the rest up to Hayate so Tsugumi pleads to her onee-san not to go and hear her out. That name seems to have a nice ring to Nagi but she won’t be swayed. Tsugumi won’t let her go too. Meanwhile Maria is looking through the photo albums and notices there is not a single photo of Tsugumi in it. Tsugumi clings on to Nagi’s leg, begging and pleading. Till Kayura Tsurugino (another tenant) points out that she should have taken this scenario twist as advantage. For a person who aspires to be a mangaka and sell one trillion comic books, all she does is push this delicious development away. Nagi accepts. So easy.

However, she wants Tsugumi to prove that she can do some crazy skill just like her (if she considers waking up late and being un-athletic as super skills). Tsugumi accepts and reveals her greatest skill is Systema, an intense Russian martial art. Hayate doesn’t believe her because she was a cry-baby during yesterday’s hell bicycle ride. Who wouldn’t? That kind of ride would even reduce a mammoth to tears! Tsugumi struts her stuff and before Hayate knows it, his face is on the floor. How did she? When did she? Hayate gets serious this time but once more the same result. Though her hit is weak but he could feel the pain in his bones. This is revenge for yesterday’s humiliation. I didn’t know Kayura and Chiharu are so informative in this Systema and even explain it to us and become unofficial commentators. Hayate wants to stop but Nagi won’t let her butler lose to this sh*t. If he wants to lose, then he better die before that. WTF?! So Hayate gets beaten to a pulp with the swiftness of flexibility of Systema. Just when Tsugumi is to put the finishing blow, Hayate stops her with a Japanese martial art called Ketaguri. Tsugumi falls flat on her face and starts crying like a girl. The rest blame him for going to hard on a kid. Hayate feels bad and helps her up but it’s just a trick to let his guard down and finish him off. Tsugumi starts boasting but is kicked by Nagi for being mean to her butler. In the end, though Nagi is still not fond of her calling her onee-chan, she praises her Systema as cool and hopes she could teach it to her. Chiharu and Kayura also want to learn? Ah well, at least Tsugumi got her own room.

Episode 3
Yukiji doesn’t want to earn her sister’s wrath after blowing the money the latter lent. So she has Hayate go give some documents to Hinagiku instead. He finds her asleep and wonders if she would be mad if she woke her up. A piece of paper flies and smacks into her face. Oops. She’s up. Is she mad? Not exactly. The 3 stooges accuse her of double standards and want her to be a bit nicer. Oh yes she will. Though Hinagiku assures she won’t be mad even if he had woke her up, he says she is quite scary when she’s mad. Oh… So when the 3 stooges broke her favourite tea cup, they know they’re going to be in for hell and start blaming each other. Surprise! She didn’t get mad! In fact, she hopes they’re not hurt. Then when Kaoru accuses Yukiji of wanting to borrow more money, Hinagiku lends her another and hopes she will pay back the next payday. The guilty ones feel something is wrong. They think her anger is building inside waiting to blow up. To deal with it, they’re going to fight fire with fire. This means they need somebody to explode her. So Miki talks to Hayate and wants her to bring Hinagiku out to a kid’s movie since she’s in a bad mood. I guess she manages to convince him by telling about that butler crap that only butlers can do and to make her smile. When Hayate meets Hinagiku and invites her out, she is surprised. Is this the result of being nice? She accepts his offer but her face’s contortion seems scary. It’s like as though she’s mad… Maybe she should practice more on this. Hinagiku meets Hayate and as they head to the cinema, they bump into Tsugumi. Before the brat could get bratty, Hayate takes her away to the alley. She explains she was searching around the mansion and saw one of Nagi’s mangas. Because she gave a stupid reason that everything that belongs to Nagi belongs to her, she got kicked out. And then she saw Hayate. Noticing he is out to see the kid’s movie, she also wants to tag along. Hinagiku doesn’t mind.

But in the cinema filled with kindergarten kids, they are teasing Hayate and Hinagiku as a couple and keep bugging them with questions if they have already kissed, etc. I think they’re more interested in this than the movie. Wise cracking kids… Hinagiku better hold it in. But look how contorted her face is. It’s like she’s going to turn into the Hulk. The movie starts and Tsugumi is fast asleep. Even snoring! Suddenly the film breaks! The movie is cancelled. She laments that crazy things happen when she’s with him but if she loses it now, he’ll hate her. Hayate has an idea to cheer her up. Leaving sleepyhead Tsugumi behind, he takes her to the amusement park. Though he frightens her with a high ride (she has fear of heights), later he reveals she has been so serious and hopes would let the park’s magic cast a spell on her to cheer her up. The duo continue to have fun throughout the day. On the way back, Hinagiku wonders why he is so nice to invite her out. He tells her about Miki’s request. Hinagiku feels disappointed but Hayate says though that he was asked at first, he had a great time with her. Taking her hand, he adds it was nice to spend time with her and to see her have fun. Which is why he needs to tell her this. Gasp! Hinagiku flusters and isn’t ready for this confession yet. Hayate confesses… He needs to borrow money for the train fare as he has used it all up at the amusement park. Hinagiku… Getting mad… So did the landmine blow up finally? Thankfully she maintains her cool but she is about to say something important when the train passes. What? Can’t hear? Can you please repeat that? Maybe if Hayate casts another spell, she would. In the meantime, we’re left hanging and wondering just like Hayate over the possibility of what she said.

Episode 4
Tsugumi seems to be suspiciously reporting to a bird that she will get the black camellia. Asking Hayate on how she can be close to Nagi, Hayate has his doubts because Nagi won’t pay attention to people who don’t interest her. Later Hayate tells this to Nagi and though she feels no malice from Tsugumi, she also feels like she’s about to lose something precious. Tsugumi heads to Chiharu’s store for advice and the latter suggests the latest RPG game. It only costs 7,350 Yen. That is the price to pay for getting closer to your sister. On the way back, she bumps into Kayura who tells her she needs a console to play that. That will cost another 20,000 Yen. Oh, here’s another shooter game that Nagi should be interested in. That will be 6,800 Yen. This better be worth it. Tsugumi is about to show off to Hayate the games she bought when he says Nagi already has them and are crap. FFFFUUUUUU!!! Later having a drink with Chiharu and Kayura, the duo argue their different points on games so much so they want Hayate to bring Nagi here right now. Tsugumi can kiss about getting closer to her goodbye. Nagi passionately explains why both games stink since she actually skipped school and continuously played them finish. Kids, don’t skip school just for this. Since she’s already here, she takes Tsugumi to a computer store and browse through retro games. She seems like a pro. Then she takes her to an anime store and despite ranting like a pro, Tsugumi notices how her eyes light up while discussing the useless subject. Of course Chiharu and Kayura have their say too and thus begin a three-way argument. They love the same thing and yet can’t get along. Sigh… Hayate makes his recommendations to Tsugumi but how come the animes he chose has all the main characters die in the end?! I guess Tsugumi wants to buy them all but finds out she’s broke. For the sake of getting closer to her sister, she is willing to go into card debt! No way man! For a cheaper alternative, Nagi suggests to go get manga. I guess this suddenly flipped some inner switch among our ‘pros’. At Wataru and Saki’s store, Nagi pinpoints the important mangas of a certain author she should read. Unfortunately Wataru doesn’t carry such titles, much to her dismay. Chiharu thought it’s her turn to interject with another title under the same author but he too didn’t carry that title. Now it’s Kayura’s turn but nobody recognizes the suggested title. Did it get cancelled? So another argument on the cards. How can they even fight over the same author? Disgraceful. Tsugumi wanders on her own and into the erotic section. What has been seen cannot be unseen. She more or else grasps the kind of stuffs otakus are into. Surprised? Shock? Disappointed? Finally she picks one doujinshi despite not knowing the author because she read it in Nagi’s room and thought it was interesting. From what Hayate hints, it might be from Nagi as he hopes this author might have a bestselling manga one day.

Episode 5
Nagi didn’t like it when Maria tells her to stop playing her video game and go to school. She gets teased by Chiharu who thinks Maria is like her mother. Because of that, Nagi orders Hayate to spy on Maria to see if she has any bad things that she can use against her. Reluctantly Hayate tails Maria on her errands and didn’t find anything suspicious. He never knew the beautiful side of her in fact. So Nagi is disappointed when he fails to dig any dirt on her. But after seeing Maria easily pacify Nagi with an ice cream, Maria thought Hayate insulted her when he says she looks just like Nagi’s mother. She’s not that old to have a child… What he meant was she is like a mother figure to Nagi. Later Maria calls Mikado to find out about Nagi’s father as she couldn’t find a single photo of him. Of course she couldn’t. Mikado has destroyed every document on him because he doesn’t want to remember that disgraceful thief who died in a car crash. Because she is persistent, he lets in. Shin Hayek was his name and was a conman. He got close to the family to steal the family’s treasures. Elsewhere, Yukiji gets an earful from Hinagiku about, you guessed it, borrowing money. Where did that kind sister go the last time? Apparently she didn’t learn. So much so Hinagiku has to turn into a devil to remind her why their parents abandoned them after carelessly borrowing from loan sharks so hell she is going to have their lives in debt. But you know… Yukiji doesn’t learn. As soon as she spots Hayate, she is going to milk the sucker dry. On a pretence she is starving, he takes her to a diner where she eats her heart out. She even forces him to pay the bill but Hayate doesn’t have enough money. Showing no shame or remorse, she even adds on the orders! She even tries using that toilet trick but sharp Hayate won’t let her get away. He knows all her ruses. During this ruckus, Tsugumi and Sonia somehow join in and start digging in. What the? How the? Just like Yukiji, they have no shame in ordering more dishes and piling up the bill. Everyone is assuming Hayate will pay.

So it becomes a battle of who leaves the table lasts will pay the bill. And the girls continue to shamelessly eat more. Hayate gets this idea that one will naturally leave the table if he gets a call. The only person who will return a miscall soon is Hinagiku. Of course it takes a while since it’s Hayate who is calling. The plan is going well when he bumps into a robber who smashes his Smartphone! Yukiji is so glad the robber came because it prevents Hayate from leaving. Dimwit. Now the store is under hostage situation. However the girls get the better of the robber and force him to their table and make him order! They even argue he should use his stolen money to settle their bill! Despicable! Sonia offers to go get drinks for them when they realize they’ve been had. There is no drink station here and Sonia has already run away. This is followed by Tsugumi who crashes through the window. I guess somebody has got to pay for it. The robber can’t use the stolen money because he stole it to help his sick sister. Despite telling his sob story, Yukiji got the guts to hijack his gun and tell him off how his actions won’t really make her feel better! Would his sister be happy if she got cured by stolen money?! I know what she says is true but really, coming from a person with an even more despicable attitude? It’s just ironic. Hinagiku who was cut off from Hayate’s call just entered the vicinity as she learns from the cops about the armed robber. To her dismay, she sees Yukiji holding up the gun and misinterprets the situation. She barges into the diner to beat her up. In tears, Hinagiku feels disappointed that she has resorted to such actions and should stop hiding and turn herself in. The robber mistakes those tearful pleas as directed to him so he willingly gives up. Hinagiku though relieved, is embarrassed and is still reeling from the incident. And well, Yukiji still didn’t learn because she thinks everything will be okay if she lends her money. No way!!! Go to hell!!! I guess Hayate is the last one standing left as he calls Maria to ‘talk’. Anything is okay with her as long as it’s not about money. Oh Hayate. You’re really screwed…

Episode 6
It starts off with a story that a poor boy grew up wanting to be the best thief. To be the best, he is tasked to steal the black camellia. He begins his journey till he reaches a castle in the middle of a forest. Upon sneaking in, he saw the most beautiful princess in the world. Nagi dreams of her mom, Yukariko. She asked why she married dad. Her cheesy answer was because he was very handsome. She also showed her a beautiful ring. It’s the second week of Silver Week already and Nagi has lost interest to head to Nevada to retrieve her father’s belongings. Where’s the love gone to? Hayate tells her what Maria told him. There’s a reason why the belongings were missing for 13 years. She heard from the police that all those cops and appraisers who had something to do with it all died. Therefore it was moved to a highly secured location where nobody could touch it. The more the reason why Nagi won’t want to go now. Nagi follows Hayate out shopping and because he didn’t buy what she wanted, she throws a tantrum and wants to go to Chiharu’s dorm. If only she knew the way. After Hayate leads her and leaves, she realizes Chiharu is away for Ruka’s concert in Las Vegas. Then it starts to rain and she can’t leave. The creepy sounds and old furniture seem to freak her out. However there is a tenant: Tsugumi. She thought Nagi is here to see her cute little sister. Get real. Since she can’t leave, Nagi wants her to take this time to tell her all about herself. Meanwhile the story of the thief and princess continues. He thought of taking her hostage and escape with the treasure but she points a magnum at him! She mentions God’s cruelty as she has not long to live. That’s why she prayed to the stars she would meet her prince charming before she dies. Though he isn’t exactly what she imagined, he’ll just do since she has not much time left and doubt the man of her dreams will come. But since they don’t know each other, she wants him to be her butler. He’s got no choice. And so this is how Shin and Yukariko met.

Nagi wants Tsugumi to explain her real agenda. She insists she doesn’t have any. Knowing she’s the gullible type, Nagi tricks her by eating a normal sausage and that she would give her this ‘foie gras’ if she had told her the truth. Eventually watching her gulp down the whole thing is just painful. Before she could open another one, Tsugumi lets the cat out of the bag. She’s looking for a black camellia supposedly Nagi’s family’s treasure. She doesn’t remember about it and calls Mikado to confirm. He confirms it was stolen 13 years ago and has been missing since. Tsugumi gets upset she didn’t take great care of it and the reason she couldn’t find it. Because Mikado won’t tell her anymore, Nagi slams and destroys her Smartphone. Look what you’ve done. The argument between the ‘sisters’ could have escalated if not for the lightning that shut them up. Suddenly it is roles reversal as Tsugumi takes charge while Nagi is reduced to a panicky during the storm. A tree would have fallen and hit Nagi if not for Tsugumi’s quick action to push her away. Thankfully both girls are safe. They then quickly check all the rooms for leaks to avoid all the precious doujinshis to get wet. Well, I guess it’s better than nothing. Next morning’s sky is clear so Nagi wonders why she saved her since she now knows she doesn’t have the treasure and no reason to pretend to be her sister. Does she really need a reason to save her big sister? Hayate gets a call from Mikado who wants to speak to Nagi. To add to their last conversation, he confirms Shin is the person who betrayed Yukariko and stole the black camellia 13 years ago.

Episode 7
Shin never had anything in his life that’s why he stole from others to give his life’s worth. Till he met Yukariko, he thought of living every day as a lie to get a chance to steal the black camellia. However he slowly changes and feels he wants to become that man of her dreams instead of someone who will just do and in the end they got married. Nagi adds that the black camellia is among the belongings in Nevada and if she doesn’t get it within 3 days, it will be disposed. Tsugumi wants to make haste but Nagi sees no reason to collect something she doesn’t want just to give it to her. One girl’s meat is another girl’s poison, so the saying (something like that). That’s why she should give up on it. Besides, Tsugumi doesn’t have enough money for the air ticket too. At the festival, somehow there is this quiz show that has the main prize as a one way ticket to New York. You bet Tsugumi wants to enter it. Eh? Do you know how far New York and Nevada are despite in the same America? Ayumu is also entering since she wants to get to the Las Vegas’ concert for free. Since the quiz needs a partner, Tsugumi rushes Nagi to register. However Nagi cautions if she even knows what the black camellia is. It is an old clock that brings bad luck. Anyone who owns it will have their fortune crushed. If that’s the case why would anyone want to get it? Legend has it that if one can overcome the bad luck with their life intact, it will bring the most miracle of miracles. In other words, extreme good luck. Of course that is never proven as nobody has lived through the bad luck. Nagi tells Tsugumi if she plans on something bad, just stop. Something this evil doesn’t suit a dumb girl like her. However if she wants to claim she is her sister, that’s fine. She won’t dig deeper into her identity. As a sisterly advice, please don’t do anything dangerous. Tsugumi is in a dilemma. She still can’t let go the black camellia. Nagi registers them for the quiz. The other contestants include Ayumu-Hinagiku (what the hell is she doing here if she’s afraid to board airplanes?) and Isumi-Sakuya (they’re just entering to win something).

With crazy Fumi Hibino as the quiz host, she asks really odd questions. Doesn’t it sound like her household problems? I mean, her mother is spotted having an affair and in the midst of divorce and suing?! Those are quiz questions?! Anyway Ayumu nails the final question and wins the prize. Nagi thought Tsugumi could give up but she throws a tantrum and runs away. Hinagiku is having doubts flying with her but Ayumu assures she’ll hold her hand. Ayumu is eager to go to the concert because the staging is based on a forest legend motif. Another story is being told whereby there lived an apple tree nymph near a castle. The nymph fell in love with the prince of the castle and they both got along well. But as time passes, the prince being human means his life is short. He wants her to grant his wish to live forever. She became torn as she loved him very much. It didn’t take long before the nymph started taking lives of others and countless futures of other innocent people, turning them into red apples so that she could extend the prince’s life. Tsugumi runs into the nearby forest whereby she hears the voice of a bird reminding her to get the black camellia. They are interrupted when Isumi uses he exorcism. She wants to know why she is trying to get close to Nagi and her true form. A gust of wind takes Tsugumi away and a bird dude reminds Tsugumi that if Nagi has to go to Nevada to retrieve the black camellia, then it is Tsugumi’s job to make sure she gets there. Hayate rushes to the scene thinking he heard Tsugumi’s scream. To his horror, he sees Tsugumi being absorbed by the bird man.

Episode 8
Isumi’s talisman prevents Tsugumi’s full absorption. Bird man has trouble landing (giving Tsugumi the scare of her life). Hayate almost kicked him (giving Tsugumi yet another scare of her life). Hinagiku swings her sword (almost cutting Tsugumi and another scary sh*t), making bird man drop her and flee. Though Tsugumi is safe, she is of course annoyed at how dangerous those people are and mentions she’d rather be kidnapped that way. But wondering if Nagi would worry about her, Hayate assures she will. She walks home alone and along the way meets bird man again. Shidou as he is called, reminds her to use Nagi and get the black camellia. Tsugumi will not endanger her sister but at the same time won’t betray her mom too. She has a peaceful way to solve this and wants him to shut up and watch. But first… Lend her an air fare! Too expensive? Take the budget airline! Meanwhile Nagi is pouting that all her friends will be in America. Hayate thinks she is lonely as there is no one around to play. The tsundere insists Tsugumi is around when Maria comes in with a ransom letter that Tsugumi has been kidnapped. But upon seeing the letter, they smell something fishy. Isn’t this her own handwriting? Did she stage her own kidnapping? More importantly, how the heck did she get to Las Vegas? Nagi goes to the dorm but doesn’t see Tsugumi around. Since Hayate pointed how Tsugumi thought her manga was the best in the world, I guess Nagi has a change of heart and decides to go to America and give her father’s garbage to her.

Nagi, Hayate and Maria arrive at the tight security safe and see the black camellia for the first time. Wondering if its bad luck is really true, Nagi wants Maria to hold it! Okay… Nothing happens… Till the air ventilation starts blowing up her skirt! Is this coincidence? Since it’s too dangerous for Nagi to carry around and the trade is at 9 tonight, Hayate offers to hold it since he is used to bad luck and it’s his job to protect her. I hope he better not regret he said those words. Nagi wants to have some fun since they’re here so Hayate suggests visiting Area 51. But bad luck seems to be creeping in. Hayate almost got run over by a truck and the next thing he knew, he has lost the ladies. His Smartphone died and he frantically starts searching for the ladies (narrowly missing being hit by several cars). Nagi and Maria just came out from the shop and realize Hayate is missing. He can’t speak English and has got no money. Besides, his Smartphone isn’t working too. That really spells trouble. Hayate fortunately bumps into Ayumu, who is surprised to see him here. Seems en route to New York, her plane experienced a mechanical problem and made an emergency landing here about an hour ago. Hayate notes it is about that time he took the clock. Ayumu notes how lucky she is that she gets to be with Hayate in such a beautiful place. I guess it got jinxed because a fountain pipe burst and sprays all over Ayumu. Then something got in her eye and she wants Hayate to help her get it out. He puts his hands over her cheeks and his face inches closer to hers. What does this scene look like? So when Nagi and Maria finally spot him, from their angle it seemed like the lecherous butler is kissing. Nagi heads over to smack his head. All that worry turns into rage before settling down into embarrassment when she learns the truth.

Episode 9
More bad luck for Hayate when he bumps into Hinagiku in a towel in her room. Nagi thought he was going to rape her and blows her top. Hey wait. Seeing Hinagiku in a towel is bad luck? Maybe good luck for us viewers ;p. The 3 stooges are somehow in Las Vegas too. Upon seeing the ransom note, they think it’s real and rush off to handle it. Yeah, they’re going to call Jack Bauer! Hayate goes after them but the soonest he exits the door, he bumps into Chiharu, breaking her spectacles. Seems she and Kayura ended up here due to some problem. Hayate continues to the chase before Nagi gives him an earful about wasting time ‘flirting’ with Chiharu. At the lobby, Hayate argues with the 3 stooges. Apparently the American security thinks they could understand a little Japanese and misinterpret that Hayate is the kidnapper with a ransom. They tell him to freeze. One of them panic and fires his gun, almost hitting Hayate! The public goes helter-skelter. When Nagi and co arrive, she tells Hayate to go away as his bad luck may cause problems with the trade which will be soon. As he sits outside, he meets Yukiji. Don’t even ask. She’s here to gamble away. I should’ve guessed. Learning about the clock and its bad luck, Hayate also says that if both hands point at 8, an immeasurable amount of good luck will fall on the owner. It’s close to that time so Yukiji snatches away and wins big at the casino! Serious! However as she loads them in her car, she got robbed. Boo hoo! Easy come, easy go. The clock is also stolen with it. Hayate reports back to Nagi and gets scolded for goofing off. She wants him to go find it now as Tsugumi’s life could be in danger. If anything happens to her, it’s his fault. Maria thought she was too harsh on him but Nagi will cover for his mistake and think of a way for the trade. She wants Maria to help Hayate. But Nagi won’t go alone as Isumi and Sakuya will follow her (I guess all the gang’s here).

Later Hayate sees Miki and Risa. Where is the third stooge? Apparently Izumi wanted to play a prank on Yukiji and haven’t seen her since. In actual fact, she was hiding in Yukiji’s car when the robbery took place. She calls Hinagiku about her predicament who in turn lets Hayate and Yukiji know. Nagi and co arrive at the trading spot. They are surprised to see a tree in the middle of the dessert and a woman on it named Dolly. She wants Nagi to hand over the black camellia but is told right away that it has been stolen. Upon hearing that, she becomes enraged and orders Shidou and Tsugumi to find it. So it’s safe to say the little sister isn’t kidnapped. One of Nagi’s men reports the whereabouts of the clock so Dolly holds Nagi hostage and wants them to get it. Before Isumi could use her talisman, the tree suddenly disappears and they find themselves back in the dessert. More precisely, they got repelled from the demon’s realm. Isumi is going to make Dolly regret the fact she kidnapped her friend right before her eyes. Meanwhile Hayate manages to save Izumi from the clutches of the robbers and avoiding all the gun fire (hey, he doesn’t have the clock, right?). If only Yukiji hadn’t barged in to claim back HER money, Hayate wouldn’t have a hard time carrying them both out. The robbers try to escape before the cops arrive. Izumi describes the robber who is in possession of the clock when suddenly Tsugumi pops up. She beats up all the robbers and as she targets the one holding black camellia, the clock suddenly transforms into a sword. Hayate pushes her away and gets stabbed in the heart. HAYATE!!! NOOOOOoooOOOooOOooOOOO!!!

Episode 10
Nagi questions Dolly’s intention. She wants the black camellia because it is a magical sword, a king’s sword which grants eternity to anyone stabbed by it. Nagi couldn’t care less about the sword but worries about Tsugumi because she is pretty useless. Dolly thinks so and thinks of getting the job done herself. So when Hayate gets stabbed by the sword, it isn’t long before he gets up again. No blood, no wound. Hey, maybe the baddie missed. Suddenly a large tree appears and wants the black camellia to be given to her. After causing much havoc in which the robbers flee, Hayate spots a familiar ring on Dolly’s finger. She shows Nagi as her hostage but Hayate isn’t panicking. In fact, he looks annoyed and needs to talk with Nagi. Dolly’s patience is tested when suddenly Isumi attacks her with her talisman (she might be wearing a stupid mask but I guess that’s not the point). Tsugumi becomes upset she attacked her mother and fights her. Shidou wants Dolly to return to the sanctuary since she has strayed too far and got weakened but all she can think about is getting the black camellia. Shidou flies Dolly away and has Tsugumi abandon her fight to follow suit. When it’s over, Nagi apologizes for being harsh but something is wrong with Hayate. He’s acting strange. Like he doesn’t care. She reminds him about his duties as a butler and he drops the bombshell that he quits! OMG! Say it isn’t true. Next day back at the hotel, the rest know Nagi is putting up a brave front that she doesn’t need Hayate. She wants to go sightseeing. Along the way, they meet Kaoru in a fancy sports car. Seems last night Yukiji called him to buy one and wanted him to use all his savings and will pay him back later since she’s loaded with cash. Oh dear… If he had only knew… He offers a ride and Nagi is up for it. Hinagiku will search for her sister while Maria the same for Hayate. Ayumu will accompany Nagi.

Riding along, Kaoru wonders where Hayate is since he is always with Nagi. No answer. To change the subject, Ayumu shows the black camellia. Woah! How in the world? Last night, she picked it up after the robbers dropped it during their getaway. So with her having this clock means… You guessed it. The tire gives way. Car out of control. No brakes! CRASH! Ayumu thinks she has dropped the clock somewhere along the way and goes to look to it while Kaoru heads to the main road to find someone. So if you remember the first scene in the first episode, now we’ve caught up to it. As Nagi sits waiting, she breaks down upon thinking Hayate is no longer with her. So emotional she becomes that she promises to become a better person. She’ll go to school and won’t be selfish. If only he was here. Ayumu heard her cries and tells her it is more the reason why they should go look for him so she could tell her feelings. Meanwhile Hayate is being annoyingly pestered by Yukiji to help retrieve her money. Yeah. She won’t easily let that go. He’s busy. Who cares? Anyway to make it quick, he agrees. Yukiji shows him one of the robbers she tied up in the car boot! How the hell?! She wants Hayate to speak English and find out more. I guess we’ve been fooled by Nagi and Maria to think he may not know English. Hey, he’s a multi-purpose butler, right? Though not the best but at least it’s decent. If he doesn’t want to be killed by crazy Yukiji starting up the chainsaw, he better talk. He says if the team got separated, when they need to get their share, they have to meet at Starside Hotel in the annex top floor, room 1203. Are you happy now?

Episode 11
Nagi and Ayumu head back to the hotel. All their friends are willing to assist in finding Hayate and don’t blame Nagi since Hayate had a sudden change in character and quit being her butler. As they ponder where he could be, suddenly Nagi realizes something. She might have misunderstood everything the entire time. Confirming from Izumi and Hinagiku that Hayate got stabbed and stood up just fine, to her shock this clock isn’t what it seems to be and putting the pieces back together again from Hayate and even Yukariko’s words, things are seemingly falling into place. Tsugumi pops up to steal the black camellia, only aware that it’s a clock that brings bad luck. Yeah. Here come the pumpkins dropping on her head. Nagi pleads to Tsugumi to get the ring from Dolly. I guess the sister thingy made her agree. Besides, Hayate’s life depends on it. Nagi then wants Maria to bring something over from Japan now and also to get in touch with Ruka. In 3 hours, Klaus arrives in his jet to give Nagi her mother’s wedding ring. Because with this, they won’t be blindly looking for Hayate as he is also looking for the same thing. Ruka in an interview shows off the ring to the media that her friend lent. This is a ploy by Nagi to also keep repeating this footage on TV to lure in Hayate, in which he sees it and gets moving. A short interlude shows Mikado presenting Yukariko a pair of those rings. He wants to prove that Shin is only out for her money and not love. Once he knows the worth of it, he will turn into his true colours. Meanwhile Tsugumi easily obtains Dolly’s ring and messages Nagi. Too easy that she didn’t suspect it’s a setup by Dolly to get her to reveal their meeting point. As everyone prepares for Ruka’s concert at Starside Hotel, Chiharu notices something odd, both hands of the clock never strike 8 at the same time. Hayate arrives at the hotel and sneaks into Ruka’s room when she’s on stage. To his surprise, he sees a note left by Nagi to come up to the wedding hall at the rooftop.

Once he makes his entry, Nagi explains about this magical sword made by a king who wished for eternal life. The sword exchanges souls. When it stabs the first time, it absorbs the soul from a body. The second time transfers it to another body. So by transferring the soul from an old body to a youthful one, a soul can continue being reborn. Thus Dolly must have repeated this process countless times to grant her king eternity. However she made a mistake and lost it. During that time it contained the king’s soul and somehow ended up in the possession Nagi’s family. Because Dolly can’t leave her sanctuary very long, she tricked amateur thieves to get it for her. A man didn’t know what it was and fidgeted with it on his way back. It activated and he got stabbed at the same time he got into an accident. Then 13 years pass. The soul of that man trapped inside the clock till Hayate got stabbed by it yesterday. Nagi knows this isn’t Hayate but her father Shin. Nothing left to hide, they both talk especially about Yukariko who died 8 years ago. Nagi tells all the good things and the bad (including about losing the wedding ring) but notes whenever Yukariko talked about him, she was always happy. She guesses she loved everything good and bad about him. Nagi won’t let go of the clock even if it brings her bad luck because it contains her beloved Hayate’s life. Suddenly Dolly crashes in. I suppose wanting to teach the person who taught Tsugumi to be thief is just an excuse to retrieve the black camellia. Nagi won’t give it to her since Hayate’s soul is trapped in it and that her king died 13 years ago. Shin confirms when he was on his way back to see her then, he was stabbed and that the exchange of souls means the king died in his heavily wounded body. He wants her to return the ring she also took from him. The ring that signified their eternal love. Dolly won’t believe their lies and still believes if she stabs the black camellia, her beloved will appear again. If they’re not going to give it to her, she will take it by force. Meanwhile Yukiji is prepared to take down those bastards who stole her money. She’s serious. Armed with a helmet and body pads, she goes butt kicking! She’s undefeatable! Even if one of them has Maria hostage. But the place starts breaking apart when plant roots crack the walls. Enraged Dolly is now a monster plant.

Episode 12
Hayate thinks he is dead. However we know this isn’t the Underworld. There are clocks everywhere and the racoon doll that greeted him is too ugly to be an angel (that’s what Hayate quipped. Smack!). More precisely he is inside the circuits of black camellia where eternity here is a fate worse than death. A night world where the sun never rises. The bad luck stems that your soul will always be trapped here till someone else’s soul transfers in. Of course, the rumoured good luck never comes to pass because both hands can never strike 8 simultaneously. But good luck does exist. It is a prayer to someone. That prayer is a song. You come to this stage and you sing to that person and this will cause both hands to strike 8. However when the song ends, your soul will vanish. In other words, you exchange your soul to bless someone outside. Oh, there’s another rule: You have to dress as a girl to sing. I guess that’s why nobody’s done it, huh? Dolly is getting more enrage and pushes her limits. Tsugumi is worried about her but Dolly attacks her thinking she is being ungrateful. Isumi arrives on scene but is stopped by Shidou. Because the bird man does nothing but take in Isumi’s talisman, Tsugumi wants him to persuade Dolly back to the sanctuary. Tsugumi fights Isumi and explains even though Dolly isn’t her real mother, she considers her as one as she saved her from death of abandonment in the dessert. Though Isumi takes a beating, she revives and is going to show Tsugumi true hell. Oh no. Shin takes Nagi and run while Shidou tells Dolly he body won’t last. Since she lost her sanity and knocks out Shidou. Meanwhile Maria tricks one of the robbers to set herself free. The other robber flees to the rooftop to escape via helicopter but gets caught in the middle of a powerful spell exchange set by Isumi. Hinagiku wants Yukiji to take Maria and escape. Still thinking about the money? Hell, there are things more important than that? Tsugumi is unconscious due to the blast when a pillar comes crashing on her. Luckily Hinagiku cuts them to pieces with her sword. She wants Isumi and Sakuya to take Tsugumi to a hospital and will take care of Nagi.

Shin learns that Nagi finds this Hayate person as the most previous person in the world. They reach the helicopter and guess what? Yukiji is inside! Sure, she helped Maria get away but she can’t leave her money. There’s nothing more I can say. Unfortunately Dolly grabs Nagi and the helicopter. And all those audiences in Ruka’s concert are in awe with the super tree effects in the background… Awesome, no? The only way out from the helicopter is to jump out the other side. Hinagiku is paralyzed due to the height but Yukiji surprisingly takes her out and jump. Don’t worry. She has a parachute. What about the money? There are more important things than that, right? Amazing. The helicopter is crushed and Dolly turns her attention to Nagi. She insists her beloved is still inside the clock. Nagi insists he is not. Dolly will crush her when Shin dangles the black camellia before her (he took it from Nagi before she was taken away). Shin has a favour of Nagi. He hopes he could find his stolen wedding ring. He is going to prove whether the person in this clock is her beloved or Hayate. He stabs himself. Shin passes Hayate on the way in. He tells him his daughter is in trouble and wants him to help her. Dolly tosses Nagi seeing she has no need for her anymore. She is about to greet her beloved but as we all know, it’s Hayate. He slashes away her branches and quickly jumps to save Nagi. Dolly crumbles from despair upon realizing he isn’t her love. With no place left to go but down, is Hayate crazy to jump? But they don’t have any parachute? He believes Shin will protect them. Just don’t let go of his hand. Can’t take my hands off you? And notice how both hands on the clock is at 8? Yup. Miracle time. The duo get soft landing from Ruka’s concert balloons floating in the air. Hayate apologizes for his lateness and his duty to always protect her. This causes Nagi to turn emotional. She confesses she loves him more than anyone in the world. If you want further proof of this miracle, even though it is raining money in Las Vegas, Yukiji is not bothered in scampering to get them. Unbelievable. She’s cool. She thinks she had won some and could do it again. And we can thank Shin for that miracle. I guess inside the black camellia, nobody actually sees you cross-dressing when you sing on stage, right? He sees Yukariko at the end of his performance and they both reunite before vanishing shortly.

When Hayate and Nagi land, they see weakened Dolly. Nagi tells her a message from her mother that her beloved left for her before he died. “Thank you, Dolly. I love you”. Dolly is released from her sorrow and disintegrates into thin air. The clock is now broken but they are in time for Ruka’s encore performance. In the closing scenes, we see Kaoru this close to losing it when Yukiji told him the truth. However he had a reprieved thanks to Maria. Tsugumi hands over the ring to Nagi and leaves with Shidou (who is quite a good looking guy without his bird mask). Later Nagi places the ring and the broken clock at Yukariko’s grave. Because it has stopped moving, the bad luck also ceased. Nagi ponders the amazing thing of Yukiji’s lottery win of overcoming the clock’s bad luck but Hayate notes her happiness was only fleeting and that she doesn’t have the money anymore. In a way, it’s bad luck. More importantly, Hayate states if she had succumbed to the allure of money, she would have lost her sister instead. A much worse fate. But something still bugs Hayate. Yukariko may have died with the impression Shin may had an affair. Nagi isn’t worried about it because when you’re faced with bad luck, there’s bound to be a misunderstanding or two. Mistakes and sad things will happen. But real love won’t succumb to bad luck. That’s why she knows they’ll be alright.

Can’t Believe My Eyes Of This Mediocrity
So… I guess I can’t say that the ending is too bad at all. There have been lots of comments I read around the internet and many didn’t receive this season well. It was quite a lukewarm response. I too in a way felt like that at the beginning and though it isn’t all that great either in the end, at least it does wrap things up as far as this season is concerned. Firstly, when you have viewers who have watched the first and second season and loved it, there are expectations to conform to. When that expectation is not met in this season, many felt disappointed. I mean, the first half of the series felt like fillers with the real plot going on very slowly. What would you think if you had episodes that have Hayate going on an outing-cum-date with Hinagiku, a trip-cum-lesson from the otaku pros at Akihabara and a four-way diner standoff to see who foots the bill. Pretty random, huh? Then things start to pick up and get grimmer in the second half. They added some supernatural stuff and lots of drama to go with it. In conclusion, it may not be what I expected but the series did not suck that bad either. In other words, in the middle. Mediocre. Did I put that right?

The main focus is still on Hayate and Nagi. As usual, he is her loyal butler and the rich bratty tsundere being the tsundere has her own pride. Grumpy, grouchy, lack of any enthusiasm and very much annoyed at the very least. The events unfolded made her realize she was this close in losing something very important. You could say lady luck is shining on her because unlike many, they don’t get a second chance. I’m not sure if she her character has changed permanently for the better at the end since we get no chance to see her typical attitude once she lost Hayate. It was like she has matured after figuring out the nature of the black camellia and handled Shin and Dolly calmly. Okay, maybe not perfect but at least she’s better than before. Now that she has confessed to Hayate, will they end up like Yukariko and Shin? Will history repeat itself? Only difference is that Hayate despite being a poor butler won’t resort to being a thief and steal. Nagi will definitely be alright as long Hayate (and Maria) is watching over her.

Tsugumi’s role as expected turns out to be more than meets the eye. It was fun seeing her gullible and idiotic side and thus the reason why she is being played around by Nagi. Suddenly a sister pops out from nowhere. Even the densest person would have gotten suspicious. But Nagi knows that she is not a dangerous person. That’s why she leaves her to do what she wants. Tsugumi is torn between her mother and sister, both whom she isn’t blood related too. Dolly took her in the same way Nagi ‘accepted’ her. I guess that’s what you call showing your gratefulness. Despite knowing Dolly was just using her and making her do all the work, she still stands up for her till the very end. Dolly was just lost in love. She loved someone so much for so long that she became frantic when she lost the tool that gave her beloved eternity. She became blinded and obsessed in retrieving it at all costs. Sometimes in love, you have to let go. Something in which she finally does. Though Shidou is another subordinate, I find it odd that he is often at the end of receiving attacks and just standing there doing nothing but taking them. I don’t know. It looks a bit funny. It’s not like he has any other powers, does he?

Shin may have once started out as a thief but in time his love for Yukariko grows stronger and truer. The misunderstood came about because Mikado never really trusted that guy and the convenient events that happened only made him look like a thief. It all came to a fitting end when he reunites with Yukariko. After 13 long years… That’s really a long time but that doesn’t compare even the slightest when you’re in eternity. As for the other recurring characters, I felt that some of them were just there because it is a Hayate series. In other words, for the 3 stooges, their presence is of course for comical purposes. Fans would be crying blood if Hinagiku hadn’t a role to play for. Ayumu was forgettable and probably I was getting my hopes up to see if she would confess to Hayate. Except for that one short ambiguous scene but that’s nothing conclusive either. She must have realized that Nagi’s feelings for Hayate are stronger than hers. Isumi is a big surprise because she was displaying a very serious side instead of a goofy one. In fact, I don’t ever recall she has displayed her habit of getting lost. Except for that short last scene at the airport. Maybe that’s why Sakuya tags along with her. Speaking of which, this kansai-ben girl doesn’t seem to be going around doing her usual tsukkomi. I guess the nature of this series means she can’t anyway.

Many of these side characters do not really make a deep impact but I suppose in their little way, they too help advance the plot of the storyline. I thought Chiharu was going to be a regular seeing that she appeared quite often in the first half. As far as I remember, she doesn’t really appear much in the previous seasons. Then during the trip to America, she and Kayura became somewhat redundant. Just around because everyone else is. I guess this is better than just one episode cameo appearances like Wataru, Saki and Sonia. Now that I think about it, what about that talking tiger, Tama? You don’t see him talking, right? It’s like he’s really a real tiger. In fact, he doesn’t even appear much. I thought Klaus too was going to be reduced to a background character. But that one moment of bringing Nagi’s order is at least better than nothing. At least he is not a character for comic relief. Not enough screen time for that. The worst character still goes to Yukiji due to her love for money and learning nothing from spending it all. Sometimes you want to beat up this woman for wasting away. But you got to hand it to her. She’s quite persevering in getting what she wants and won’t let others stand in her way.  And not learning from it of course. So hopefully in the last bit, it isn’t a miracle that caused her change in character. Let us hope that deep down in her heart she still has this kindness and humanity that made Hinagiku once looked up to her. The craziest character goes to Fumi. She’s really crazy and an oddball in a funny sense. I wonder her domestic household problem is the one causing her to go psycho. Maybe that’s her way of taking out her stress.

Though the series is funny in its own way, I felt that it isn’t as funny as before. Maybe the first half since it felt like fillers. There isn’t even much trivia to spot and even if there are any, it would probably in that otaku episode. As said, the second half is grimmer and had you jump straightaway into this part without knowing what the series is about, you would never thought this series’ strong points were in comedy and parody. Sometimes I also feel there is a little horror genre setting. One obvious reason why I said that is because when I look into Dolly’s eyes, they are bloodshot red and her aggressive nature adds to that. Each time I look at her eyes, it just sends shivers down my eyes. Maybe to seasoned horror fans and others won’t amount to anything much but it was scary for me just to be looking at her un-human eyes. Also in the first half, there is a scene in each episode whereby Ruka dramatically speaks in abstract form about the main story. I thought this girlish Hayate look-a-like would play some sort of a role in the later story but I guess I’ve been fooled. She’s just an idol only after all. Besides, I thought she had that little ‘scary’ look.

For the first half of the show, we have a comical segment that at the front and at the back hosted by Hayate. I guess it is to give viewers some laughs since I have said the first half felt like fillers. They are not related to the main story anyhow and are just for fun. For instance, having a cooking show, a quiz show and a very twisted storytelling of the Urashima legend. In some segments, the 3 stooges will be frolicking and the most annoying one would of course be Yukiji. I don’t even know what the drunk woman wants. Because Sonia doesn’t appear much, in that only episode she appears, she rants about with Hayate in this segment. Yukariko closes the segment by having a punishment game and have the person she has in mind strip down to his/her undies: Herself. Fanservice? For the mid-intermission part, it is called CM Connecting Theatre and is divided into 2 short parts. As usual, more comical crap like Isumi’s mother indirectly berating about bringing up her own daughter, Fumi talking a subject with Sharna only to be easily distracted with something else, trying to make someone repeat a word 10 times and then asking a question, Chiharu and her opinion of making a better cup ramen (which isn’t ramen in the end), Tsugumi and Nagi demonstrate their contrasting handwriting which may or may not reflect their type of character and the 3 stooges showing the stupidity because they think Stonehenge is in America while the Maoi statues are in Shibuya instead of Easter Island. People, remember to study your geography and world history properly.

I think they tried to distract us with a little romance but in the end I felt it was rather redundant. That supposedly date with Hinagiku eventually didn’t amount to anything because viewers are left to their own imagination of what she actually said to Hayate. I’m sure Hayate x Hinagiku fans would have most likely interpreted it as “I love you”. But what are the chances? I remember Ayumu too had a crush on Hayate in the previous seasons (and also vividly how Hayate ‘rejected’ her by giving a lame but hilarious reason of why he loves 2D women). The rate this season was going, I thought there was no chemistry going on between them. Till that very short incident at the fountain at Las Vegas. It seems to hint that Ayumu still has feelings for him till the bad luck of a burst pipe occurred. After that, everything about the possible romance about them just vanished when Nagi comes into the picture. Of course the romance had to boil down to Hayate and Nagi. I don’t recall Nagi having ever said such bold words before. Not that her ego and tsundere character would allow it. But it makes you wonder is it the kind of love that is apparent between master and butler or does it go beyond that? On a trivial note, I don’t remember the inside of Nagi’s mansion in the previous seasons. So when I see how luxurious the place is to the point where crystal clear water, mini waterfalls and little streams are flowing inside the house in just about every room, it makes it feel so Zen. That’s why I felt odd. Was her mansion like this before? Can’t really remember.

As the seiyuus of the recurring characters are retained, the new ones breathe new life for this season. As expected, Yuka Iguchi did a suitable job as Tsugumi because only bratty whiny shrieky lolis are perfectly done by her like how she demonstrated as Maria in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai, Index in To Aru Majutsu No Index and Yashiro in Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko. Kana Asumi was equally amazing as crazy Hibino. Just think of Amagami SS’ Miya gone crazy. Other casts new to this series include Youko Hikasa as Kayura (Mio in K-ON!), Tomokazu Sugita as Shin (Gintoki in Gintama), Akemi Kanda as Dolly (Asuna in Mahou Sensei Negima), Hitoshi Yanai as Shidou (Akihiko Tojo in Jormungand) and Haruka Yamazaki as Ruka (Kaidou in Kokoro Connect). There is one aspect of the voice acting which I find odd. It’s those who voice the Americans. It is great that they try to put in some realism to have such minor characters speak in English instead of easily ‘dubbing’ it in Japanese for convenience sake. Although there is no ‘Engrish’ accent, the weird part that strikes me is that the way those Americans speak feels like Germans speaking English. Do you know how Arnold Schwarzenegger sounds like, right? Something close to that. Especially those robbers. Unless you’re telling me those robbers aren’t from America then maybe there is this possibility. We never see them unmasked either. The opening theme is the same name of that Frankie Valli’s song and is the debut of the Japanese group eyelis. Don’t be mistaken that if this song will also sound 1960’s American pop. Sounds like your typical anime pop and with the singer’s cute voice, it makes the song sound, well uhm, cute. The ending theme is by Haruka Yamazaki entitled Koi No Wana. Sounds like anime rock. Because the end credits features Ruka and feels like a music video, given the feel of that video that’s why I thought Ruka would have played some role in the anime instead of just being an idol singer.

I’m not sure if this is going to be a trend by I notice that this season and the movie of this series had taken after names of American songs (Heaven Is A Place On Earth is the name of the movie which is also the same name for Belinda Carlisle’s hit single). It got me speculating what kind of title they should put in for the fourth season. How about Wham’s lively Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go? That will be fun. Maybe something a little more serious with Police’s signature song, Every Breath You Take. How does Peabo Byrson’s If Ever You’re In My Arms Again sound? Or the dance pop of Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Wanna Have Fun? Ah well, I don’t want to go back to the 80’s just to come up with possible names for the next season. By the way, the next season is already airing at the time of this blog and it is not named after any 80’s song either. Speaking of luck, I thought Hayate has always been a kid with bad luck ever since his parents left him with a mountain of debt. It may look like a reprieve when Nagi hired him to be her butler to pay off his debts but that doesn’t mean he got any luckier, right? So in this season he beat the odds of a clock that supposedly brings bad luck and reached a somewhat happy ending with Nagi. I guess he wasn’t so unfortunate after all. Like they say, it’s the law of averages. You have got to be lucky, sometimes.


May 17, 2013

Finally they have made sequel to soft tennis’ Softenni! Oh wait. This isn’t. Teekyuu as I have read is a sports comedy manga of the same name being adapted into anime about a group of 4 high school girls in a tennis club. What is even weirder is that it only lasts 2 minutes! Two stinking minutes of nonsense tuck into it. What more can you expect? Just watch the show. It won’t take a big chunk out of your important and precious time in life.

Episode 1
Yuri Oshimoto gets ready to serve to Kanae Shinjou but the latter starts making weird poses and calls, ultimately missing the shot. Seeing that was awful, Yuri wants her to practice her stance. However she messes around with different odd stances. No, this will not increase her max MP by 20%. She panics when asked about her dominant hand. She doesn’t know. Which hand does she use to hold chopsticks? Don’t know. She eats naan with both bare hands! Yuri starts serving anyway and Kanae gets tired after exercising just one swing (she missed anyway). She hugs on to Yuri with excuse of being tired. She even needs an oxygen mask! As they practice hitting the balls, Kanae’s streak of not hitting them continues. What’s with that same weird pose too? Why keep hugging Yuri when she’s tired? More importantly, why is she missing? Don’t blame politics, girl. I guess it’s back to basics as Yuri talks about motivation. I guess Kanae took it too literally and spouts devilish words for her own self motivation. Finally Kanae manages to return Yuri’s serve but it hit her stomach! So pain. So pitiful. Please aim carefully next time. Then Kanae starts sinking into the ground because she’s too tired. WTF.

Episode 2
Kanae found a new racket! Hey! That’s a toilet plunger! Guess what? She manages to hit a tennis ball away! Kanae wants to eat lunch together and though Yuri finds it awkward, it’s not awkward as before since Kanae used to eat lunch alone in the toilet! Later Yuri meets her tennis club senior Nasuno Takamiya. She just came back from some unpronounceable place in Central Africa. Yuri is shocked to see Kanae ploughing the court with a couple of bulls. She’s taking care of the court? More like destroying them. They even suggest planting plants since there are now holes in it. Kanae suggests playing doubles since Nasuno is here. How? There are 3 of them. Don’t worry, Kanae clones herself! Don’t ask. Kanae even made a stupid joke that her balls are itching. She doesn’t have any… After learning the centre of the racket is called the sweet spot, the girls are trying out cakes at a bakery on their way home. Nasuno’s father pays for the operations for this store so they can eat to their heart’s content. Kanae realizes the sweet cake tastes familiar. It tastes like the strings of her racket! This shocks Yuri and she feels like vomiting. Kanae is going to fix it with her toilet plunger. This won’t end well…

Episode 3
It is narrated that Marimo Bandou is a beautiful and wonderful senior. However… She’s a pervert. What the heck is she doing with Yuri’s panties on her head?! She thought she could eat it…. WTF. Lame excuse… But her harassments did not stop. In fact it escalates so much so Nasuno thinks Marimo swings that way. Maybe it’s a way of showing her affections that she loves her. I don’t think Yuri is going to like that idea too. She hopes Marimo is just being friendly. One day Marimo calls Yuri. Hope nothing perverted. Seems she needs her help in handing a mountain of handouts since their teacher assigned the class to an encyclopaedia. Why don’t they just copy or download them? Along the way, Marimo trips and falls. Yuri finds her clinging on to her. Marimo wonders if she hates her clinging like this since she is not good at talking to people. They fear her since she is bigger but when she holds people like this, she feels she isn’t so bad at talking anymore. Yuri gives her permission to be clingy just for this once. But she had to spoil it by asking permission to eat her underwear. No way! Next day, the TV news reports Marimo’s arrest for wearing and eating underwear… Real pervert…

Episode 4
Everyone stops by Kanae’s home and her mom pretends to be the entrance mat as she loves getting stepped on. Don’t even ask. Nasuno sees a stain on the wall resembling like a face and tries to talk money with it. Marimo thought the tea tastes good till Kanae realizes it is poured from an oil pot. Nasuno asks the kind of clothes Kanae wears and she takes out an odd looking one (one that even defies laws of physics). She puts it on Yuri and the clothes change into something nice. Marimo wants to try too but she’s too big and it rips. Kanae feels everything has become livelier now that there are 4 of them (previously there were only 3 of them – minus Yuri). But Nasuno notes this is the first time she is here. Kanae hopes everyone can continue to be friends. When they leave, Kanae realizes something… This is not her home!!! WTF????!!!! Horror face!

Episode 5
Marimo swings too hard that not only her racket came loose and hit Yuri right in the head, she also dislocated her shoulder. For some unknown reason, it just healed by itself. Kanae and Marimo make stupid jokes about the sakura tree and kabaddi. Not that Yuri understands. Not that I understand. Nasuno wants to get serious in playing tennis with Yuri. She serves but Kanae grabs the ball with her mouth! Don’t try this anyhow. Nasuno notes she has earned a point due to a hybrid rule she is employing. The next time she serves, Marimo catches it with her mouth this time. Nasuno is going to remove her training cast and reveal her true strength. She’s removing her panties… I can see what that would be a strength to distract opponents. Yuri reminds the rest to properly train. And everyone really does… What a boring end…

Episode 6
Kanae got a flyer to an amusement pool near the station. Nasuno also got something there: A yakuza’s waistband! Worse still, Marimo got a lost child! So the girls patron the pool. After some tennis jokes, Marimo pees inside the pool. Nasuno wants Yuri to rub oil on her body. Isn’t that vegetable oil? Marimo and Kanae slide down the water slide and crash inside somebody’s house! Let’s do it again? Not! Yuri warns they will catch a cold at this rate but being the idiots they are, they are confident they won’t. Soon, all her friends catch a cold and Yuri is left to nurse them. Why she?

Episode 7
Kanae wants to recruit new club members. Or else the club will be cancelled! The girls come up with stupid ideas like using money, putting frills on fliers, doing a live tennis performance, putting up a live music performance (tennis racket can be a music instrument?). Feeling the need to show the joy of tennis, the topic shifts to what they find fun in tennis. Opening new can of balls? Tennis beer extract? In the end it is decided that they should distribute flyers. However they failed. Everyone jokes they stayed back a year so that they can be the same year with Yuri. Yuri notes it is fun being with all of them. A big hug from them but Marimo takes advantage by molesting her boobs. Though Kanae is confident next year there will be more new first years joining, Yuri notes that she won’t get to hog them all to herself then. Oh, never mind.

Episode 8
Nasuno’s father’s birthday is coming up. The way she describes him feels he is like a certain colonel of an international famous fast food chicken restaurant. Yuri suggests baking cookies but Marimo and Kanae went ahead with their own fantasies. So they are starting from scratch to bake dorayaki. They don’t have to go back 1000 years ago to the beginning of civilization… Obviously Kanae and Marimo know nuts about cooking. Kanae only hits the gong while Marimo holds the knife the wrong end to slice a tiger! A tiger?! Kanae suggests waiting for Yuri to get married. Then Nasuno calls the baker from her bakery (money is involved of course). Nasuno sucks and wants to take the easy way out by having the baker do it but he tells her she needs to make them herself. With some lessons of putting her heart in them and under his watchful eye, Nasuno’s dorayaki turns out delicious in the end. As they head to go give it to Nasuno’s father, they think he is coming in a helicopter that lands suddenly in the streets. But it’s just a distraction because he is actually sitting outside a bench outside the restaurant.

Episode 9
Marimo tries to work at a pork ramen shop. Owner asks if she has experience. She doesn’t. But she had someone call her a pig before. I don’t think that’s experience. Then she goes on lying about being born in Scandinavia and thus is half human, half pig. Liar! Owner wants her to tie her hair so she can start some actual work. However she ties herself in S&M bondage style. Then she’s supposed to take their ticket orders for meals but she deals them like a casino. I think the owner is going to blow his top any time soon. He has no choice but to teach her the kitchen. Luckily they don’t use knives. Unfortunately I don’t even know how Marimo got so clumsy and spilled everything. She thought she saw a bug but it turns out to be a golden stag beetle. I guess this means she is fired. Definitely not a job for her. However she begins her sob story she needs money for her sick dad. An illness called fake illness. Liar! Actually she wants money to spend. Sounds so criminal… Then her stomach growls as owner gives her a free meal on the house. Marimo tests his patience when she says she’s abusing the ticket meals. Just shut up and eat. Then she starts crying. Is the meal that delicious? Actually, she thinks the pork is her mom! Get out you pig!

Episode 10
Uhm… They’re supposed to be a tennis club, right? What the hell are they doing practising football? Now that they are sweaty, they decide to bath at a public bath. Even inside the bath, the idiots can be so idiotic. Kanae thinks she saw flowing noodles and the scrubbing stone is ginger. Marimo compliments Nasuno’s nice back. Because it looks like her dad’s. That wasn’t a compliment… Once they’re done, Kanae realizes her bra is missing. She accuses Marimo first. Can we blame her? She denies that she stole them when Kanae realizes she doesn’t wear a bra because of her flat chest. Ehehe… Then Marimo realizes her panties are gone. Yuri thinks she ate them herself. Then Marimo realizes… She doesn’t wear them in the first place. Don’t be proud of it!

Episode 11
Wondering if Kanae has found her yukata, she didn’t but her tanned Mexican friend called Yukatan. Don’t ask. Then she finally finds them… Isn’t that a ninja outfit? The girls had their fun at the festival and as they go line up to buy takoyaki, Kanae sees her Yukatan friend opening up a stall. Seems her homeland is filled with mafias that she can’t do business there. When they return, they see Nasuno being hit by a couple of guys. However she notes that they are their muscle. The first display of fireworks is beautiful. It is followed by low ‘fireworks’. Turns out to be a local gunfight between the Mexican mafia and Japanese yakuza!

Episode 12
Kanae manages to hit the tennis ball away with some nonsensical move. A club like theirs and they only have one stinking tennis ball? Time to go look for it. Trekking through the jungle, they chance upon an old abandoned school building. Marimo thought she found the ball but it turns out to be a chick. Because it’s yellow and fuzzy… Don’t that make dandelions and omelettes balls too? Then they see something inside the building holding the ball! Freaky! Marimo tastes a plate of salt outside and goes into seizure. Salty alright. Yuri wants to buy a new ball instead but Nasuno disagrees seeing it costs money. I don’t think compromising and calling the chick a ball will do either. I guess they’ll have to go in and find it real quick. Just when they are talking about the floor not falling through, Marimo then falls through. Though she is fine (can’t say about her messed up leg but that’s not the point), Kanae finds the ball. Suddenly a gorilla appears behind them. They make a run for it but realize they were so scared that their souls came out of their body. It took their sheer willpower to return.

More Teekyuu? No, Thank You!
What… The… Hell… Those are the words that exactly describe my feelings once I finished this anime series in just one sitting. The sheer nonsense and ridiculous madness is what makes this short series funny. No doubt about that. But more than that, I think if you want any long term value about this anime, there is none. Imagine this short anime is filled with drugs, toxin and caffeine in them. Watching it makes you feel like you are on a high with all the garbage crammed into 2 minutes of screen time. Make that 1.5 minutes since 30 seconds are dedicated to the opening theme song. Thus there is no nutritional value or herbal remedy effects in the long run. You just watch this for fun, laugh your ass off for that short moment and then forget about it. Don’t get addicted to it too.

Despite being a sports comedy, you don’t actually seeing the girls play tennis in every episode and about only a quarter of the episodes you would see them hitting the tennis ball. It’s like tennis is just secondary and a setting theme, that’s all. Other than that, the random silliness sees the girls visiting one of their member’s house, having fun at the pool, taking a bath, working part time at a shop, making a birthday gift for somebody and go looking for their tennis ball (the last one isn’t really considered a tennis activity, don’t you agree?). Because of the very short duration of each episode, one aspect that you will find is the fast talking. You will notice that the speeches feel like being played at 1.5x faster and the jokes can be so fast that if you aren’t paying attention, it is gone in the next second. You’ll never know what hit you. Imagine there are no full stops in between their sentences. No space between the conversations of the characters. They quickly speak after one finishes her sentence. In a way, it makes things funny but at the same time very chatty.

So out of all the wacky characters, I suppose Yuri is the only normal one. So normal that she is often the one making comebacks and bear the brunt of the backfire of the rest. Poor girl. The rest are just idiotic who probably don’t even know how to play tennis. Kanae’s jokes and humour sometimes defy the law of physics, airhead Marimo is a pervert and a nuisance to society while rich girl Nasuno has a little quirk about herself. Don’t bother with any character development considering how odd these girls are. They can be good stand up comedians (or even mental asylum candidates) than tennis players. Besides, with Marimo involved, you can bet there will be a handful of fanservice scenes. Some scenes are also bloody too in the name of comedy but you will be laughing too hard instead of getting freaked out in horror. For the voice acting, Kana Hanazawa displays her cute side in voicing retarded characters. I’m sure I could name a few characters that sound as close as Marimo (Fractale’s Nessa anyone?). The rest include Yui Watanabe as Yuri (Hibari in Mawaru Penguindrum), Suzuko Mimori as Kanae (Himiko in BTOOOM) and debutant Kyoko Narumi as Nasuno.

The opening theme is wacky itself, Botsuraku Kizoku No Tame No Teekyuu by Yui Watanabe. Even the animation itself is crazy. See it for yourself and you’ll understand what I mean about this anime is like under the influence of drugs. It’s like you are hallucinating things too. Even the lyrics of the song makes us wonder what the heck is Teekyuu and what should you do with it. Like the gentle wind, a delicious rice cake, a clamorous city and a precious every day. Do you know it? Do you read it? Do you watch it? Do you have it? Do you adore it? Be warned. Symptoms of watching this series might lead you to have: A) Your jaw dropping so low that it would be close to be dislocation; B) A fit after having idiotic laughs so much like Spongebob Squarepants; C) Sudden mind blank out when everything ends; D) If you love it, you’ll hope that they’ll aim for a second season rather than a shot at Wimbledon. E) If you don’t, your piercing scream can break the sound barrier with this mindf*ck; F) And remember, tennis or not, don’t do drugs.

One day all of a sudden out of the blue, you find that you have a little sister. The kind that is related by blood. Could this be a joke? Could this be a scam? Unless you have little sister fetish, you’re going to have to thread this carefully. Supposedly to add to this ‘drama’, the little sister doesn’t reveal her real identity completely. Teasing and stalking you along the way. Could this be a prank? Could this be a rip-off? Your mind will wander and start asking questions. To make matters worse, there is not one, not two or three, but five potential ‘candidates’ that could be your little sister! I smell harem factor… What about it being a joke or scam? Who cares. As long as I can have my fill of harem setting in Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouto Ga Iru, I’ll think about that part later on. Yeah, I’m the worst.

Shougo Mikadono is the only son and heir to the giant conglomerate of Mikadono Group. Unfortunately his father, Kumagorou at the prime age of 49 passes away after a year bed-ridden. As part of his father’s will, Shougo is to enrol to Miryuuin Academy where Kumagorou once studied. There, he is supposed to choose a lifelong partner that will support him as he will one day lead the Mikadono Group. Wait a minute. Going to school to find a potential future wife? Let me guess. Lots of girls are going to try and impress him, right? I mean, he is the son of a big company’s top gun. He will one day become president and can you see the woman who will somewhat benefit it all when she becomes his wife? Yeah. So where does this sister part come in? Apparently Shougo finds out that he has a sister he never knew and she is among one of the many students at Miryuuin. The odd part is that she tries to get closer to him without revealing her true identity. So how can this guy trust a girl who doesn’t even have the guts to show her face? I don’t know. Shougo is one of those nice guys. Guess this means he obliges and plays along with the flow, huh? With his increasing popularity with the girls and a mysterious sister to the mix, is his high school life going to be a rosy one or a thorny road. Who cares. I’m in for the cat fight. Yeah, I’m the worst.

Episode 1
Kumagorou’s death becomes public and as Shougo attends his funeral, a mysterious voice outside the window tells him she is his little sister. Thus he will no longer be alone because she will marry him. Hold on! Can siblings marry? Shougo tries to peek out the window but couldn’t see anybody. His mom, Kanoko assumes temporary leadership of the group and tells Shougo about enrolling at Miryuuin and getting a lifelong companion. Like an obedient son, he packs his things and moves into the dorm nearby the academy. While making his way to the dorm, he passes by a cake shop and notices a girl, Konoe Tsuruma coming out. She was engrossed with her handphone that she crossed without looking. Shougo is supposed to dive across and save her, right? Well, he didn’t. I don’t know. It feels like some force pushed Konoe back. Shougo rushes to her aid and thankfully she didn’t suffer any serious injuries. Her handphone is fine. Her cream puffs are okay. Being the new kid in town, Shougo seeks her help in guiding him to the dorm. They stop by the park and Konoe feels somewhat strange. In the blushing way. The kind of feeling that makes her feel she has known him for a long time. Oh. Sister candidate #1, I presume. Shougo is introduced by his homeroom teacher Maiko Kotori. I can forgive you if you think she looks like an elementary school kid – watch your attitude because she’s one aggressive woman despite her petite size. Guess what? Konoe is in this class too. Fate or coincidence? And he gets to sit next to her. Fate or coincidence? Flanking him on the other side is the pouting Miyabi Kannagi. Like as though she has a problem seeing him. I have another word for her attitude: Tsundere. I suppose she is sister candidate #2.

Shougo helps Konoe take out the garbage and he hopes she could call her by his first name because calling him by his surname would remind him of his father’s company. Konoe notices a hideous scar across his forehead. Apparently he hit his head on something hard and thus he can’t remember much about his past. I guess this might explain lots of things. Why he doesn’t remember he has a sister. Things are looking to get steamier with Konoe pressing her forehead against his to ‘soothe the pain’ (what pain?) but is interrupted when grouchy Miyabi climbs down from a tree, annoyed at their ‘show’. She was napping up there. Konoe is taken away by student council president, Mana Tendou (sister candidate #3) and her vice, Rinka Kunitachi (sister candidate #4) for a class rep meeting. This leaves Shougo alone with Miyabi. Oh well. Arguing time. She accuses him of trying to kiss Konoe but he denies and she was just looking at his scar. Anyway Miyabi doesn’t want to be outdone and if he was going to kiss her, she too must also be kissed. He refuses of course. Back in his room, he receives a package containing a birthday cake from that cake shop. Could it be from Konoe? But he didn’t tell her his address or birthday. Beside it is a small box that contains an action figure, Grand Bellion the Cyborg Soldier, his favourite show when he was young. Next to it a picture of a girl pecking his cheek (her face not visible as usual). Then he receives an unknown call. A girl who claims to be her younger sister and that she sent him all these gifts. As much as Shougo tries to ask for her identity, she only teases him and claims she goes to the same school with him. This isn’t a lie since she could tell the things he has done today. Like throwing garbage. She signs off with an I love you. Next day at school, his mind is filled with thoughts on who this sister is. He even freaks out that there is a chance he may pick a companion that turns out to be his sister. Then he notices a girl spying him from the corner and chases her up to the roof. He confronts witch girl, Mei Sagara and she admits she can’t stop thinking about him, her brother.

Episode 2
Apparently you can’t have sister candidate #5 to be the real sister. Yet. Where’s the fun in revealing the truth so fast? What Mei meant was if he wants to meet a sister, come to her sister themed cafe called Lyrical Sisters that she owns. On his way back, he is forcefully brought to the alley by a guy known as Mr X. He is from the Seiryuu Association, a secret agency that covertly deals with problems within the Mikadono Group. Shougo was investigating his father’s past so that’s why Mr X came to him. Shougo wants to know about Kumagorou’s illegitimate child. Mr X claims he heard rumours he did father another girl with another woman. After telling about the mysterious sister, Mr X wishes to avoid anything that will bring a scandal to the group. Asking if there are any girls who suddenly want to become friends, I suppose there is one: Konoe. Because if the sister is trying to marry him, she would want to get as close to him as possible. And did you see this coming? Mr X becomes a transfer student in Shougo’s class to help keep an eye on things. He disguises as Ikusu Mizutani (a name closely sounding to Mr X). I guess he’s got the looks that the girls are swooning all over him. Worse, Ikusu creates a big understanding when he starts walking home with Shougo hand in hand. Well, it’s a good thing that the main girls don’t have yaoi fetish. Back in Shougo’s room, Ikusu takes a shower to eliminate whatever odour. Shougo accidentally steps into the bathroom. Oh. Ikusu is a girl. Why am I not surprised? I know. She looked so feminine from the start that it was hard to believe that she was a man. Apparently Seiryuu only accepts men as tradition, blah, blah, blah. Gender concealing, blah, blah, blah. Why does she like exercising and lie around naked in his room? Clearly she doesn’t know the meaning of shame.

Shougo attends the academy’s dance party with Konoe as his date. Mana starts partying but is reprimanded by Rinka about behaving properly. Konoe explains to Shougo about Rinka being from a noble family and thus her princess-like personality. Shougo dances with Konoe and they both hog the spotlight on the dance floor. While Mana wants to dance with Konoe, Rinka would like to have hers with Shougo. Rinka finds she needs to keep up with his elegant dance. Though the dance ends nicely, Mana now wants her turn and bumps into Shougo, causing him to accidentally fall over Rinka and his hand over her breast. Explanations are not needed. One roundhouse kick coming his way. While cooling himself outside, he sees Miyabi sitting alone. The tsundere wants him to stay away but he insists on dancing with her. She relents. Somehow her top dress comes undone. To avoid him seeing her precious assets, she hugs him. There are many other ways to cover up but she chose this… Konoe is looking for Shougo when she sees this. Thankfully no roundhouse kick because this girl at least listens to his explanations. She fixes Miyabi’s dress but soon after she runs away. Back home, Shougo receives another call from mystery sister. She’s still not giving things away except the fact that she was with him at the dance. Shougo puts his foot down he won’t marry his sister. She cuts him off. Miyabi wonders what she can do with these little boobs of hers. She even thinks Shougo may like them small and is adamant that he wanted to peek on them when she was hugging him. What’s her problem? I guess only something that tsundere would know.

Episode 3
Ikusu has a pretty good idea on how to prevent his mysterious sister from marrying him. They should get married and have kids! Because Ikusu doesn’t know the process of making babies, Shougo shows him a book on sex education. Basically all she needs is to let him shoot his sperm into her eggs. Can she be a little more reserved on that? Apparently not because she wants to get down and dirty now! So what happens when Konoe and Miyabi come in and see a couple of ‘guys’ too close for comfort? Thank goodness it didn’t awake their yaoi fetish. Later Shougo receives another call from the sister asking if he would like to see her naked body. Otherwise, would a naked man’s body suffice? If he tells her he loves her ten times, maybe she’d consider telling her identity. Shougo did just that and it sends the sister into ecstasy. That’s about it. No identity revealed. More woes for Shougo because the next morning, Konoe and Miyabi are going to help him realize that women are more attractive. They’re going to guide him back to the right path. I can see where this is heading. Yeah, it’s better than being gay, right? Since the girls are acting like sickos (Konoe trying to undress him and Miyabi wore his boxers to sleep!), he kicks them out. Right thing to do. Even in school, the duo won’t let go of him and even give him food that is virility good. How can he sleep when they also start sleeping next to him? I can’t blame him if he loses it but he can’t help think that one of them might be his sister. What if he f*cks her? Big time scandal. He hopes the mysterious sister would call in the midst of this to prove the neither is blood related to him. She better because the duo are stripping themselves naked! The only time when he really wanted her to call and she didn’t.

I think Shougo may have developed a phobia on them and runs away the slightest chance he’s got. Of course the duo go search for him and at the same time traded insults about slowing each other down. Shougo is ringed in by Rinka who reprimands him for being chased around by girls. She thinks he should just date one of them to solve the problem but his case isn’t that easy. Yeah. The sister thingy. If he can’t date them, then at least be their friend. How would they feel if the person they want to get close with runs away? So now Shougo goes look for them. And he can’t find them. Fortunately he meets Miyabi who gave up looking for him and is on her way to buy a swimsuit since she is in the swimming club. He accompanies her and learns that the company Kyouasu who once made handphones and cameras have also ventured into swimsuits. He needs to take notes of this because this company will be a strong rival for Mikadono Group in the future. It starts raining on the way back. Shougo shields Miyabi from a splash of water (why is the truck speeding in the rain?). She brings him back to her place to shower. In her bathroom, he sees Grand Bellion merchandise and panics if she is that mysterious sister. He confronts her and asks who she want to marry. Her choice is obvious: Shougo. But he apologizes and turns her down. Miyabi’s heart breaks and tells him to get out.

Episode 4
Ikusu calls Shougo and her investigations show that the mysterious sister has been using a modified voice changer. She will tell him the results once she is done. In class, Miyabi reverts to her gloomy self. Konoe feels something is wrong so Shougo had no choice but to tell her that Miyabi is his sister and wants her to keep this a secret. Later Konoe is nowhere around to help him take out the garbage. He receives a call from the sister wishing him goodbye. Then, Ikusu calls about the results. Kyouasu did launch a sophisticated voice changer that allows you to mimic a celebrity or anime character voice. However it was deemed dangerous as it would result in serious criminal activities and thus the launch was cancelled and samples recalled. She sends him a sample of how the handphone looks like. Say, isn’t this the model the one Konoe has? He races to find her and even ropes in Rinka, Mana, Mei and even Miyabi to help look. Finally after running almost everywhere, he realizes she may be at the park. True enough there she is. He heard cuckoo clocks go off in the background during the call. Konoe demonstrates a call and proves that she is the mystery sister. She explains that the picture was one that Kumagorou took. Their parents were best friends and often played with each other. The scar he got on his forehead was when he pushed her away from a speeding car. You could say he was trying to be a hero like Grand Bellion. To her, he will always be her hero. After that, their parents’ relationship drifted apart. That’s why when he transferred in, she was surprised. She accidentally saw his address and birthday on Kotori’s desk and thus sent him the cake and action figure. As for the handphone, her father’s company is the developer. She felt bad that it got cancelled and used it secretly. The voice she used came from a character from Grand Bellion: Perin-chan. She always referred to Grand Bellion as her brother despite not being actual siblings. At first Konoe wanted to use this as a prank but she got too caught up in it and she apologizes it ended up this way.

When she was young, she wanted to be his sister but instead caused Miyabi problems. She feels bad she tricked her because they promised to play fair when it comes to him (oh really? Since when is love rivalry fair game?). So when Shougo told her the ‘truth’, she felt hurt and guilty for lying. Shougo isn’t mad at her but says if she ever feels down again, he would like to come rescue her. He is a hero in her eyes after all. Miyabi happens to come by and is not amused the duo are frolicking when she is looking all over. Yeah, that fair play thingy, blah, blah, blah. So start explaining yourself. Once the misunderstanding is cleared, Miyabi states he can marry her without worries. What? Why? I guess he forgot about that too. When they were young childhood friends, they had a make believe wedding. Surprise? They should be. After Shougo explains everything to Rinka, Mana and Mei, Shougo remembers that after his head scar incident, he was hospitalized and Miyabi’s dad treated him. That’s when they met the first time and they often play in the yard. It wasn’t long before Miyabi figured he was her first love. But when her dad stopped going to the hospital, she couldn’t see him anymore and cried every day. She kept praying that she will see him again and was happy when he transferred in. Since it felt weird to approach him after all these years and that he didn’t seem to remember her, that’s why she acted like a tsundere, hoping he would remember. She thought he finally remembered when he asked who she wanted to marry and the reason she gave that answer. Since Miyabi is serious in wanting to marry him, Konoe is also serious she wants to marry Shougo. Is there a way he can he have both? No time for jokes. How would Shougo feel now that he’s caught in between. I don’t know, but I think I’ll enjoy watching it :-). However both girls deny she is that sister at the funeral. Konoe had an entrance exam so she couldn’t go while Miyabi didn’t even know the date of the funeral. So this means he still has a mysterious sister somewhere out there. But now it’s not the time to think about this problem because Konoe and Miyabi are back to their seducing ways. No, you’re not dreaming, Shougo.

Episode 5
Now the mysterious sister is giving Shougo morning wake up calls. She even gets cheeky telling him to ‘save energy’ when they get married or else she will find it ‘soft’. Like hell he will marry her. She exerts they are destined to marry. Probably not having enough sleep got him fantasizing about Konoe. The wedding day. The wedding night. And suddenly she claims “I’m your sister!”. Woah. Big nightmare. Talking to Ikusu about this problem again, Konoe won’t be so stupid to be the suspect again. Unless there is more than one sample of the handphone released. Because he also explained to the few girls, there is a possibility that one of them may be his sister. Shougo is summoned by the delusional newspaper club president, Araya as she wants to do a long interview with him as he has earned the reputation of being the academy’s number one guy whom they want as their onii-chan. No thanks. The wake up calls continue and it is depriving Shougo of his sleep. Maybe he couldn’t concentrate when Miyabi teases him about wanting to look at her swimsuit underneath, he accidentally pulls down her skirt. And Konoe is watching… Thinking of getting some sleep during recess, he thought the infirmary would be a nice place but Mei has a suggestion for a better place. In exchange, he must come to Lyrical Sisters. The materials room will be their little secret. It is a place where she stores her equipment and research materials. Of course Shougo can’t sleep a wink knowing that he is sleeping next to a girl. Wide awake. Looking around the place, a porn magazine caught his attention. To see or not to see. Looks like Mei is pretending to sleep… Secretly watching his move.

After Miyabi’s swim practice, she accompanies Shougo to Lyrical Sisters. They are greeted by Kurumi Kashinoki, a staff of the cafe. First, he had to say the complicated dish name (it’s just omelette rice for goodness sake) and then it tastes bloody salty. How can he die of moe overload when he’s not even turned on? Mei is surprised he is a hard customer to satisfy. Shougo continues to patron the material room for his afternoon nap. Now he is wide awake when Mei greets him in a cat girl outfit. He asks why she runs the cafe. Mei explains she is an abandoned child. Her current name was given by the orphanage. Her actual birthday is not known and the current one is the day she was found. Despite being Shougo’s senior, there is only a month difference between them. Mei has always been good in maths and when a professor heard about her, he adopted and raised her. When daddy left to lecture in the Massachusetts University, Mei was left in the care of her mom to run the cafe. However she succumbed to her illness and the cafe was sold. She had to move with her father. When she wrote a paper and published it 2 years ago, it made some money and she used it to buy back the cafe since she had lots of memories there. Mei goes look for the paper that she wrote when Shougo spots that handphone on her table. Oh no. Shougo talks to Ikusu about this discovery but because of her abandoned child status, there is a possibility that she may be younger than him. Then they hear rumours that Mei is closing down the cafe and moving back to America.

Episode 6
Shougo confronts Mei about her actions. She went through lots of trouble to get it back and now why sell it? She made a promise with her dad if the cafe business doesn’t hold up, she will have to move back and live the life of a researcher. It might look like the cafe’s doing well but at this rate it will go bust. She may be good in math but not business. Shougo offers to help save her cafe. He has a friend use his drawing skills to come up with a poster and then Araya to help advertise for it in exchange for the interview. Miyabi and Konoe also help out as waitress. They better be careful in their emotions because there is a gadget that moves the tail thus revealing what’s underneath. I think her embarrass-ness can be a very good moe point too. Rinka helps with the cooking and Mana the food taster. I think she’s got the best job. It is a busy day for Lyrical Sisters with the customers streaming non-stop. It gets even hotter when Ikusu comes to help out. Now here are all the fujoshi screaming with delight whenever Shougo and Ikusu get together. At the end of the day, the increased sales means Lyrical Sisters can be saved. Mei is impressed with Shougo and wants his genes. Say what? She wants to do it right now! Strike while the iron is hot. Shougo is saved when Ikusu calls him to look for his lost cap. Turns out to be a lie because he’s got the cap all along. So to say he was watching what’s going on… Anyway Ikusu has stumbled on something interesting in her investigation. Mei is the name of the author of a paper used as a basis for the handphone’s voice changer. Shougo is so used to the morning calls that he got up earlier than the call. Looking out from his balcony. He notices the curtains in the opposite window had the same pattern as the one in the materials room. He realizes Mei could be the sister because she is able to spy on him every morning from that room. But why would she go through all that trouble?

Shougo confronts her and now that he knows she has been calling him, she explains that when he offered to save her cafe, she made advances thinking he liked her. She didn’t expect to be quickly rejected. Asking if she remembers the day of Kumagorou’s funeral, she remembered it clearly. It was a clear day when they first spoke. However Shougo knows that is a lie because it was snowing on that day. Other things that made him doubt she is his sister include the morning calls that occur at the same time and the other various things that fell neatly into place. Like as though they were all planned. Like how she was waiting on that day to lead him to the material room and purposely let him catch a glimpse of her handphone. She was planning to use her cafe failure as a reason to return to America after convincing him she is really his sister. He surprised her because he saved her cafe. So when she no longer had that reason to return, she tried to seduce him for his wealth only to be tragically rejected. While preparing to escape, she would wait for him to realize she is his sister. When he came to question her, she would act as if she was after his money before fleeing to America and thus the sister who had been intimidating him would vanish faraway. Mei wanted to make him realize this himself but in the end did herself in. Shougo knows why she did such an elaborate plan. To act as decoy and draw his attention away from the real sister. Mei reveals she actually met her when she was young at the cafe. However she is an illegitimate child and won’t be welcomed so warmly into the family. Shougo maybe but she doesn’t think the rest of the family would. She didn’t want her to be treated as a nuisance. Shougo vows he will protect her and see her as his sister, his family. However Mei can’t reveal her true identity yet. Once she confirms he has the strength to protect her, she will do so. Shougo has only one favour to ask of her: Continue to be friends with her.

Episode 7
It’s back to the rivalry between Konoe and Miyabi. Ah yes. Familiar ground. Sure, their advances may be annoying but since his memories are still fuzzy, he still has doubts they one of them may be his sister. Ikusu suggests taking a DNA test. But he should do it via someone he fully trusts because if word gets out he is doing so, it could raise unnecessary speculation. Shougo contacts Risa Seri, the company’s secretary and Kanoko’s close aide for the test. The test kits arrive so he wants Konoe and Miyabi to give their sample. Konoe thought of taking it ‘down there’ instead from her mouth, causing her to be very embarrassed. Since Miyabi won’t do it this way (she accuses him of having a pervy face when he took her sample), Shougo suggests her urine sample then. But she slaps him thinking he has urine fetish. It gets worse when everyone in the hall hears how Miyabi accuses him of being a urine maniac. Rinka wants them to tone down and watch their behaviour because the directors are coming and they are interested to see Shougo. Kotori is shaking in her lessons as the directors remain watchful in Shougo’s class. While Shougo is having lunch with Konoe and Miyabi, Mana brings him away as the directors want to see him. Suddenly the mysterious sister activates the PA system. She warns not to find out who she is or else she will expose his secrets. But surprisingly she claims that Shougo has no sister and also warns Shougo to be aware of those around him. Later talking to Ikusu, it seems Konoe still has her handphone but as for Mei, she accidentally threw it away. When she went to retrieve it, it was gone. So it’s back to the question of whom among those girls in that room is his sister.

Shougo is summoned to the student council room whereby Rinka tells him the directors find the prank to be in poor taste. In view of this, they are required to form a special disciplinary committee. Shougo will be part of it since the directors have their eye on him and feel if they uphold order and lead by example, they will see some results. Also on this committee are Rinka, Mana and the very shy Shiga (is it a corruption of ‘shy girl’?). Back in his room, Ikusu reveals that many of the girls had an alibi during the broadcasting incident. The only one whose whereabouts are in question is Rinka. Though she claimed to immediately head to the broadcasting room, it took her some time to get there. Ikusu wants him to accompany Rinka and investigate her in her activities. So the disciplinary officers go round like Gestapos, introducing their brand of iron fist. What do you expect when Rinka is in charge? Shiga’s number of screams will determine the seriousness of their crime. Especially those who brought porn magazines illegally to school. I guess everything almost becomes forbidden. No cat ears (Kurumi). No recruiting (Mei). No being delusional (Araya – WTF?!). No fun… However some girls got this idea of wanting to be a bad girl so that Shougo could ‘punish’ them. And no flirting!!! So Rinka in her bathtub has comments about Shougo being flirty and all that stuff and needs to get his act together, blah, blah, blah. We know you’re falling for him the way you’re acting.

Episode 8
I guess with Shougo being a discipline officer, Miyabi tries to take advantage of this. She purposely wears a skirt shorter than allowed. Then she denies and forces him to measure it. Shougo thinks it’s an attempt to seduce him to get him to quit. Konoe got jealous seeing this and wants her skirt measured too. But hers is obviously within rules. Oh. She’s going to make it shorter by pulling it up. Then the wind blows… What has been seen cannot be unseen. Miyabi was wearing shorts underneath (that’s why she was so confident) but Konoe wasn’t… Poor guy got reprimanded by Rinka. Because he’s too busy in his disciplinary stuff, Ikusu suggests that he take her out to the amusement park. As they’re not in school, she won’t be able to boss him around. So it’s a double date with Shougo, Ikusu, Rinka and Mana. Mana might be acting like she’s intimidating but she gets easily spooked out from the rides and haunted house. Shougo and Rinka are left to go alone into the park’s main attraction. A simulation has them shooting zombies. Rinka shows us she can kick ass. Everything is going well till the power goes out. In the darkness, she gets afraid the zombies may be groping her but when the light turns back on, well, it’s Shougo’s hands. He wanted to calm her down. No explanations needed. Slap! The rest of the day goes well and at the souvenir store, Rinka ponders at a raccoon strap and may have seen it somewhere before. Shougo ends up buying it. Back home when he thinks how much fun he had with Rinka that he didn’t had time to probe her, it dawned to him that the raccoon strap is of the same that was attached to Mei’s handphone. Rinka complains that Shougo was supposed to go patrol with her but is nowhere to be found. In fact he is right back at the student council room and was searching. He found that handphone and claims she was the person who made that broadcast. First, she hooked her own handphone to the microphone in the room. Then she used this handphone’s voice changer to call her own phone so the voice went into the microphone. Rinka dismisses it since the raccoon strap was the one he bought for her. But he points out it may be the same raccoon but the tail’s design was different. What gave her away was that she couldn’t possibly have known about the raccoon’s design that belonged to Mei. To know that, she must have seen it.

Rinka admits she was the one broadcasting as his sister. A while ago, she had a meeting with one of the directors, Genda. He told her about the rumours of the mysterious sister going around but it was the first time she heard. He wants her to investigate this sister for him. Because he will soon be negotiating a deal with Mikado Group, he wants information that will give him advantage. Rinka didn’t want to assist him but had no choice because she is engaged to his son. Something their parents decided. She wanted to give up when she found this handphone in the dumpster. She could impersonate someone else. Someone who is not bound by the pressures of an elite family. Someone who didn’t have to marry for the family’s reputation. So when the directors visit, she came out with a plan. The threats she made over the broadcast was directed towards Genda and the warning was for Shougo to be careful of him. She also made him a disciplinary officer to straighten him up. Shougo realizes she was trying hard to help him. As for her engagement, she can’t really cancel it. Gee, Shougo came out with this idea to be his girlfriend. For real? At least pretend to be his girlfriend so that she could cancel the engagement. Will it be that simple? He asserts he truly wants to help her since she has been having a hard time. She makes him close his eyes and strips down close to naked. What gives? Since she can’t lie to her own family, that’s why if they’re going to be a couple, she wants him to become her boyfriend for real. Take responsibility! Oh lookey. Just what has he gotten himself deeper into? As always, somebody has to come in. I wonder what the violation indication level is with Shiga screaming like that. In the end, Shougo quit the disciplinary committee. If having Konoe and Miyabi fighting over him during lunch is bad, it’s about to get worse now that Rinka is fawning all over him, claiming to be his girlfriend. Sure, the engagement has been cancelled and even her father has taken a liking for him. I guess this is what really taking responsibility is about. Now he has to date under the pretence of marriage. He’s got lot of explaining to do to the rest.

Episode 9
A new girl moves next door to Shougo. She is Yuzurina Houshou and was one of the attendees during the directors’ visit. She admits it straight to him that she is his real sister that the public doesn’t know. In their eyes, they are just second cousins. Kanoko thinks of her as a distant relative and won’t treat her nice if she finds out the truth. Woah. Suddenly the truth just out like that? Yuzurina is sharp. She sees a long hair strand that couldn’t possibly belong to Shougo and then she could smell the scent of a girl on his bed! She lectures him about his debauchery life but knows she has no right to tell him how to live his life. Though she doesn’t oppose him to get a girlfriend, she wants him to date a woman with all his heart under the pretence of getting married. Why is she acting like his mother? Because she is his sister. His family. She cares. Magic word to convince him. Soon he gets a call from Kanoko about the upcoming Mikadono Group’s thank you party. She wants him to bring that lifelong companion along. Still haven’t found one? Remind me what was his purpose at Miryuuin again? He promises to find one by then. Finding one is easy, I bet you. It’s just the perfect one. During the pool lessons (amusing to hear Konoe and Miyabi trade insults on each others’ boobs and butt), Yuzurina who is being shown around the campus by Rinka and Mana lets it known about the party and the sister part. Oh boy. Here comes more explaining to do.

So with the usual suspects in the store room, Yuzurina introduces herself and how Kumagorou paid her expenses all the while till his demise. Miyabi wants proof that she is his sister but she claims the public must never find that out and that all related documents have been destroyed. The DNA test suggestion comes into play again and Yuzurina would gladly do it to prove she is his real sister. Now the hardest part. Who is he going to take to the party. Everyone is jostling for that post when suddenly Mana for the first time stomps her feet and asserts she will be the one. I guess the rest scoff her off because it doesn’t make sense. Well, she has never been the front runner to take Shougo and suddenly she announces this? The jostling continues till they end up in an ambiguous position. Guess what happens when Kotori sees this orgy? Shougo contacts Seri for another DNA kit and hopes she can keep this a secret from Kanoko. I guess Konoe wants to get ahead of the pack because in addition to cooking for Shougo, naughty girl wants him to eat her as desserts! She won’t leave if he won’t eat her! Desperate case. Shougo starts tickling her feet. Well, it got so noisy that Yuzurina couldn’t help eavesdrop what is happening next door. Sounds so ambiguous. Sounds so stimulating. Sounds so lewd. She’s even nose bleeding! That good, huh? What kind of a secret move is that? She’s interested to know! Finally she can’t take anymore of the horniness and slams the wall. Cue to stop. Shougo accompanies Konoe home. Konoe wants him to eat her ‘strawberry’. Miyabi happen to walk by and see them in a kissing position. However Shougo couldn’t ‘eat’ because he thought he saw somebody. Konoe thought he is avoiding her again. The test results come back and it confirms Yuzurina is really his sister.

Episode 10
Shougo is glad that Yuzurina is his sister. She thinks to be his partner at the party. Not as a lifelong companion but as family. Of course in the eyes of the public they will still be seen as second cousins. So as not to leave out his harem, she is willing to prepare invitations to all 5 of them. Shougo and Yuzurina greet the girls arriving. Happy Mana gives Shougo a friendly hug, Mei wears her usual witch costume to this official ball and Miyabi has been looking gloomy ever since. During the party, Mana lets loose her big appetite (she could starve all the children of Somalia at this rate) while Mei takes down notes on the fine food to add to her cafe’s menu. Mei then tells Shougo that Miyabi is missing and isn’t answering her calls. Naturally Shougo goes to look for her. He spots Seri and just when he thinks of asking her help, Ikusu pulls him away to let him eavesdrop on Seri’s conversation. Seems she has found a letter that will start a scandal regarding Kumagorou. If all goes well, they can invalidate Shougo from becoming the company’s president. Ikusu reveals ever since Seri was acting suspiciously, she went undercover to investigate and she’s part of a plan to stop Shougo from becoming president. They can’t tell Kanoko as they have no proof and she trusts her secretary very well. And if she finds out about the illegitimate child, will Shougo be prepared to protect her? Shougo gets a call from Yuzurina that she has found Miyabi lost in the hotel.

Before they reunite in the ballroom, Shougo talks privately to Yuzurina about the letter that Seri has found. It is the only thing that connects Yuzurina and Kumagorou and she treasures it. But she doesn’t mind if the world finds out the truth about her for the scandal is on Kumagorou. She feels there is nothing to be ashamed of and Shougo must be strong too. In the sense he should give up his harem life and concentrate on one woman and go steady with her since he is going to be the company’s president. Because Yuzurina talked to Miyabi when she found her, she learnt a few things and tells Shougo that she probably has feelings for him and can’t be honest with herself. Back at the party, Miyabi suddenly hugs Shougo. Oh God. She’s drunk. Now she’s going to throw up! Next thing Miyabi knows, she’s in a hotel suite with Shougo by her side. Don’t worry. He didn’t do anything to her. Why does Miyabi look disappointed? She takes a shower while he waits. Then when she’s done, she surprises him by going on top of him clad in only a towel! She asks his opinion about her boobs. I don’t think she’s drunk now. I know I’ve seen in situations like this, girls are the ones who aren’t mentally prepared but this time it’s Shougo who isn’t so! If he isn’t, she’ll help him. She drops the towel! Totally naked!!! However she starts crying. She doesn’t want him to leave her again. She was very sad when he left that day and wants him to promise he’ll always stay by her side. Miyabi is put to bed as Shougo returns to the rest to see them off. Mana has eaten so much that she looks like a pregnant woman! Mei is pretty concerned about Miyabi and hopes Shougo won’t do funny stuffs on her. Or else she’ll curse him with this straw doll. A witch using a straw doll? After that, Kanoko gives her son an earful about Miyabi’s throwing up and his failure to escort the ladies he invited. Initially she opposed it but since Seri said he had social reasons to do so and she reluctantly agreed. Make sure you go thank her for that. And looks like another scheme is brewing. Yuzurina happily soaking in the bathtub notes how all the pieces have fall into place and everything is going just as planned.

Episode 11
Yuzurina teases Shougo by acting like a newlywed. Though she is just joking, Shougo wonders if that sister proclamation at Kumagorou’s funeral was a joke too. She denies she ever said that and thinks that it was a prank that any girl could pull off. During recess in school, Ikusu tells Shougo that she has been staying up late nights doing her investigation and thus the lack of sleep. She borrows his shoulder as a pillow. Then a couple of girls walk by and misinterpret this yaoi situation. Setting their hearts aflutter, doesn’t it? There goes his reputation… Later Shougo and Miyabi patron the cake shop to buy pudding to visit Miyabi who is sick in bed. While Konoe goes to prepare tea, there is an awkward silence between Shougo and Miyabi. Then she breaks her silence. Why doesn’t he kiss her. I suppose she is still bothered about that scene she thought she saw him kissing Konoe. If he won’t, then at least go out on a date with her. He has no say. He better be there. Back home, Shougo is enjoying Yuzurina’s cooking when she mentions she has been thinking about what he said earlier. She was at Kumagorou’s funeral and also saw Konoe there. She had this feeling of seeing her before and after talking about the funeral, she remembers her. But Shougo can’t believe it since Konoe said she was taking an entrance exam. Is Konoe lying then? Yuzurina cautions him not to be easily tricked and make sure he finds someone who truly cares for him and needs his support. Shougo spends the night thinking about the possibility Konoe may be his sister. Or not. Because of that he didn’t get much sleep. Those bags under his eyes… Could give a wrong impression he was up all night busy with something else… Ahem. Araya wants to interview Miyabi and take a few photo shots of her to recognize her swimming efforts. Miyabi reminds Shougo about this Sunday’s date before agreeing to Araya’s interview. Though Shougo is glad Miyabi is back to her happy self, Konoe feels that she is forcing herself to put up a happy facade. Then Shougo realizes something and turns back. Rinka reprimands Mana for using the school internet to search for sweets instead when Shougo suddenly barges in and needs a favour from Rinka. Something that he needs to know. Come Sunday, Shougo meets Miyabi and the date seems pretty normal and fun. Movies, pet shop, sushi conveyor belt, trying out clothes at the store… Miyabi even has Shougo accompany her in her swim practice. They hit Lyrical Sisters as the final stop. Ikusu is watching a video of Grand Bellion. The one that Perin-chan appeared in. Say, doesn’t the actress that played her looks familiar? Bloody familiar indeed. Hint: She is someone’s sister… Oooohhh…

Episode 12
Shougo goes out on a date with Miyabi. At the end of the day, Miyabi suddenly kisses him. Wants to become lovers. He’s happy to hear that but… Oh no. It’s that word. But he can’t. Miyabi got heartbroken and ran away in tears. Shougo sees Yuzurina eavesdropping and goes to have a word together. He knows things aren’t going the way she planned as she was trying to get Miyabi and him together. That night when she told him about the scandal would be Kumagorou’s, if he started dating his real blood sister without knowing it, it will be his scandal. He points out the DNA test may be fake and Seri may have switched it and used someone else’s result under false names. He feels like an idiot for trusting the enemy. When Kanoko told him Seri prepared the invitations, under her impression that it was him that she thought the invitations were needed. Yuzurina breaks down thinking he is accusing her. Ikusu barges in the tell her to stop with the acting. She reveals Yuzurina’s true identity is a child star named Nayuri Danno. She was a phenomenon 10 years ago but soon gave up the celebrity world a couple of years later. Shougo then recognizes she is the actress of Perin-chan. Now that the cat is out of the bag, there is no need for Yuzurina to act. She reveals on the party night, she was the one Seri was talking to at the end of the phone. She is doing this because it’s part of her job as an actress. Shougo is trying hard to control his anger but Yuzurina assures she’ll get out of his life since she has failed in her mission.

Next morning Shougo gets a call from Konoe that Miyabi is in trouble. He rushes to the infirmary and is told by Mei that she’s recuperating. Though she almost drowned in this morning’s practice, there is nothing serious. But she hasn’t stop crying since and notes it must be something psychological. Mei suspects something must have happened between them but Shougo also smells a rat because Mei is talking as though she and Miyabi are very close. Shougo is going to tell everything he knows otherwise she will be crushed by the weight of her own secret. Mei wonders if she was wrong to hide her identity. Shougo is grateful instead for protecting her all this time. Shougo goes in to talk to Miyabi. He apologizes for not knowing she was the one at Kumagorou’s funeral and the one who whispered those words. Although the entrance exam was on that day, she had a sports recommendation and the exam was on a different day. He found that out from Rinka. Since Kumagorou and Miyabi’s father were close friends, one day she heard them talking. She didn’t understand but Kumagorou wanted him to take the money. After her father transferred, they never see each other again. Then she saw in the drawer an envelope filled with money and a letter stating it was for living expenses. She didn’t know what to do when she found out her first love was her brother. So when Kumagorou died, she wanted to go see Shougo again. Since her parents are divorced and her mom often moves out of the house, she knows what it’s like to lose a family member and thought she could console him. She wanted to tell him she was his sister but was nervous. Still, she really wanted to marry him. She decided to keep it a secret otherwise she couldn’t marry him if the public found out. That’s why she knew Yuzurina was lying when she said she was his sister. At the same time she also thought it would also help in not suspecting her as the real one.

Though Shougo clears up the misunderstanding about that kiss with Konoe, she notes that he still wanted to kiss her. At that time her mind went blank and she went to see Yuzurina without considering the consequences. She told her she knew she was fake because someone received the living expenses. Yuzurina claimed she was acting as part of the family to protect the real sister, giving that same scandal excuse if the public finds out. Yuzurina convinces her to tell the person who is receiving the living expenses and will provide her full support. Miyabi reveals herself and Yuzurina wanted proof. To show her sincerity of support, Yuzurina will invite her to the party but she’ll have to bring the letter. But she also invited the other girls to avoid being suspected as it would be weird if she was the only one who came. In the end, Miyabi changed her mind and didn’t give the letter. Yuzurina was okay with it but Miyabi felt bad for deceiving her. Subsequently the letter went missing and she suspects Yuzurina. Right before Shougo and Konoe visited her, Yuzurina was at her place to tell her there was no such letter and accused her of lying. Yuzurina then suggested to be Shougo’s sister so that she could date him. It’s a win-win situation. She thought it was a good idea since Yuzurina said she would help. Shougo realizes that’s why Yuzurina lied when said she saw Konoe at the funeral. Shougo then reveals Yuzurina’s true identity. Miyabi feels guilty but Shougo forgives her because they are siblings. He wants them to be closer siblings than any lovers could be. In the aftermath, everyone goes to cheer Miyabi in her swimming meet. Later Ikusu reports to Shougo that Yuzurina completely disappeared and hid her tracks pretty good. She also has pulled some strings so that the enemies won’t pull off something similar in the future. That’s the easy part. Now here comes the hard part. The girls are fighting for his attention. Konoe must be the most desperate one because she wants him to eat her ‘cream puffs’. Oh boy. Such a lady killer… This might turn into a scandal…

Episode 13 (OVA)
Now that Miyabi is his sister, she takes full advantage of her new status by waking him up, feeding him breakfast (how unappetizing) and even forces him to strip to change his clothes. Imagine to Konoe’s horror when she sees Miyabi on top of Shougo. And she’s unfazed. Shougo hopes Miyabi could stop calling him her big brother because it brings back memories of that funeral day. Miyabi continues to hog Shougo. So close to him that it is driving Konoe crazy. No Shougo a day makes Konoe a gloomy person. It’s like Shougo is her drugs… Gloomsville… Even in class Miyabi is wrapping herself around him. Don’t they look like lovers? She even gets the right to choose which bento from Konoe or Rinka to feed him! The girls can’t sit back and let this go on and confront Miyabi. However she has the last say because if they get in her wrong books, as his sister she will not let them get close to Shougo. Oh, the authority… That’s when Ikusu and Mei suggest that they hold a competition to see who gets Miyabi’s approval. The one who wins that wins Shougo. Game for it? And so in this only episode whereby Shougo gets to date all the girls like a harem route, the girls will take turn dating him with their own concept while the rest tag along. First up is Mana. What’s she doing here? She thinks marrying the son of a big and rich company will enable her to eat more snacks. That’s all she thinks… And that is what their date is about! Snacks, snacks and more snacks! At the okonomiyaki restaurant, Shougo thinks that if he marries Mana, his life would be more peaceful. After all, snacks are only on her mind, right? Then he had to dream of something lewd. The kind where he is tired of eating her snacks and hints her humongous boobs. I don’t even know why he is flipping it with the spatula! Be careful! It’s fragile!!! Miyabi senses his perverted dream and takes him away.

Next up is Mei and her reason to date him is because it’s the fastest way to get closer to Miyabi and watch her. Her date concept is to patron all the cafes around. The first one seems like an evil cult. Only a certain delusional person could join this. Shougo would have no hand in it… After visiting the other cafes, they end up in Lyrical Sisters. Why her own cafe? If they are to marry, he is going to take over this cafe, right? Once more, Shougo has this perverted dream if he marries Mei. But I don’t know how it ends up with a scrub brush!!! WTF?! Miyabi sense… No good… Shougo, you come with me now… Next in line is Ikusu. Hey! Wait! Is this for real? I mean, to everybody, Ikusu is considered a guy! Imagine the implications if Ikusu is approved by Miyabi! Does she really want her brother to turn gay?! No way! Before they get deep enough in their date, Miyabi won’t allow this and takes Shougo away. Rinka is up next and though her concept is about calmness, why is she bringing Shougo to see her parents?! Then it dawns to Miyabi this looks more like a marriage meeting and cuts short their date! Dangerous… Konoe is the last one but she does hers slightly different. At the amusement park, she not only takes Shougo but Miyabi along as well. I guess this is the best way to win the sister’s heart, eh? Let her tag along for the fun too. Lastly, Konoe brings them to the bridal fair where they can experience in dressing up as a married couple. When Shougo and Konoe are ready to take their photo, they invite Miyabi to stand with them and have their shot. It seems that the rest of the gang have already dressed up in their gowns and are eager to know which of them Shougo will be taking a picture next. Oh boy. Major headache. Who wins the competition? Dunno. I guess everybody is a winner. And Shougo too because he gets to date everybody. Haha. Personally, I think Miyabi should approve Mana because she doesn’t get aggressive like other women on Shougo because her mind is only on food. On the other hand, too much of food means too much neglecting of Shougo. So at the end of the day, I am guessing that Miyabi won’t be approving anybody to get married with Shougo except herself. I mean, she wants to keep him for her own, right?

Sister Poser…
Firstly, let me say that I had this dilemma about the revelation of the real sister’s identity. Before the series ended, I had even thought that we might not get to even know who the real sister is and it will end in a way with that usual life-goes-on crap that may see another sequel. On the other hand, if the real sister pops up in the end, one part of me felt that I didn’t want to know so that there would still be the possibility of frolicking around in the harem. Then there’s this other part of me who really wanted to know the sister’s identity because it would leave a bad aftertaste in my mouth if it doesn’t. Now that it does, how come I don’t feel satisfied? Why am I not surprised? It wasn’t like I was expecting Miyabi to be the little sister in the first place. So when Yuzurina popped up and claimed she was Shougo’s sister, there’s this dilemma in me again. It felt too easy. How could the puzzle be solved just after 3/4 of the show? There’s something fishy. Otherwise it would have rendered the theme, especially this anime’s title useless, right? Then true enough, she wasn’t. Before the revelation of Miyabi as Shougo’s sister, it also made me wonder if Yuzurina was really the one because if she was, shouldn’t this have sent alarming bells to the main girls if one of them was his sister? The real sister would have wanted to voice and stand out to clear the misunderstanding. Especially for Mei who knew who the sister was and thus if Yuzurina claimed to be Shougo’s sister, she should have voiced her concern or showed her suspicion. Alas, Mei and Miyabi probably played it cool and didn’t do anything that would seriously spoil everything (and us).

So I suppose almost every main girl here had a chance to play Shougo’s little sister. That’s the main theme of this series, right? So we’ve got Konoe and Rinka to pretend play to be his sister and Mei who runs a sister themed cafe. It feels odd that Mana despite being featured as one of the main girls lack any significant impact. She was the only one among the main girls who didn’t get to really play sister. Otherwise she would have been easily lumped together with the other minor female characters. Speaking of which, I even speculated that it might not be one of those 5 ladies who would be his sister. What are the chances of surprising us viewers that the real sister is someone else? Hey, it could be Kurumi. She’s sweet, cheerful and cute enough, right? That’s how a little sister should be. Kotori may be a petite teacher and it might not make sense that she’s older than Shougo to be his sister but there’s a possibility that she’s lying, right? I mean, she looks the part of a little girl… Maybe not. Araya? Too delusional to be his sister. Shige? Still waters run deep. You never know. Worse… Ikusu?! Suddenly everybody who thinks of them as bromance quickly has their perceptions/fantasies all shattered! I don’t even want to think about this. The worst they could do is introduce a totally new character and shock all viewers she is the real sister. That would really be unfair. Thank goodness it didn’t happen. When Mei’s arc came to a close, it ascertained 2 things. One, she wasn’t his real sister which leads to number two. Shougo has a sister, which is not Mei. So I guess from that deduction, that leaves a higher chance of picking one from the rest, right?

Sometimes I feel that the sister theme is a distraction to the harem and romance. The series does dedicate some of episodes on the main girls and for Shougo to interact or help them out. It’s not like he knew one of them could be his real sister. So while ‘dating’ them, I guess he kept remembering at the back of his mind that one of them could be his real sister. So everybody loves Shougo. Well almost. It was fun in some episodes in seeing the girls vie for his attention. That’s why we watch this series, no? Especially Konoe and Miyabi’s rehabilitation plan to bring Shougo back to the right path of heterosexual. When Yuzurina came into the picture, the plot started moving and with Miyabi’s character giving hints along the way, thus the focus on her, the other girls don’t get to shine as much in the end. Like I have said about Mana, she’s one of the main girls and yet her role felt insignificant. Maybe too airhead for anything. She along with Mei play a more passive role in just watching from the sidelines whereas Konoe, Miyabi and Rinka take the offensive in getting their hands on Shougo. I personally feel that all 5 should be aggressive to add to the carnage fun (for my personal amusement, that is). But I suppose 3 are already tough to handle. Believe me, I think one is already a handful ;p.

So the characters aren’t really much as they are typical of what you would find in harem romance genres. The lead male in this type of series has either got to be a pervert or someone who is goody-two-shoes. Shougo as the sole inheritor of the Mikadono group of companies, he is trying his best to be responsible to himself, his family, the girls and ultimately the public. We know Shougo won’t be such a bad guy but the public doesn’t. That’s why especially when it comes to a relationship (or relationships) with women, he has to tread carefully. Once you’re tainted with a scandal, it’s hard for everything to regain its original reputation that your predecessors have worked so hard to earn. The other main girls seem typical tool. The cute class rep, the tsundere-cum-childhood friend, prideful girl from well respected family, a dreamy airhead and a cosplay intellect. Nothing much more I could say for them except that I feel Mana’s first love are food and sweets instead of Shougo (that may change if the story progresses). I think for a girl who doesn’t make much impact in the storyline, it’s ironic that I mentioned her quite a lot of times in this blogging thoughts. Speaking of sweets, Konoe I feel is a little pervy among the girls because there are a few scenes whereby she tried to seduce Shougo by wanting him to ‘eat’ her as dessert. For Yuzurina, now that we know she is a fake, she did put up a pretty good acting job. After all these years out of the spotlight, she still has what it takes to be a convincing actress. Besides, if Shougo really liked that Grand Bellion anime, shouldn’t he have recognized her as Perin-chan despite it was 10 years ago? Shouldn’t he at least have thought she looked familiar? If you say that Perin-chan doesn’t make as much appearance even as a side character in television, then Shougo wouldn’t have really remembered her face when Ikusu said about it, right? Oh wait, I forgot. His memories are still hazy due to the scar on his forehead. So yeah. Anybody can mess with his mind since he doesn’t really remember well his past.

For the time being, Ikusu seems to be genuinely on Shougo’s side doing all the covert investigations. In a big company like Mikadono, there are bound to be enemies sleeping within like Seri. So it is yet to be seen how Shougo will deal with her once they crossed paths again. Seeing that she is Kanoko’s close aide and holding a considerably powerful position as her secretary, she won’t be going out of the picture yet. I also doubt that Seri would change her allegiance despite Shougo finding out she’s on the enemy side. Besides, if there is this anti-Shougo faction, there must be some mastermind behind pulling the strings who wants to see this kid’s downfall, right? I mean, it doesn’t look like Seri wants to gun for the top position herself. I would be totally surprised if Kanoko turns out to be the real culprit. I doubt it would. Would a mother do this to her own child? So unless there is some hidden mysterious crook wanting to become the next Mikadono Group president (which is highly unlikely since everyone believes only Kumagorou’s sole son would be the one to take over), my next speculation is that there are people within Mikadono Group that wants to see the downfall of the company due to personal reasons like jealousy or Kumagorou have stepped on their feet before. It’s not like the late president was a saint, wasn’t he? Otherwise how would you explain the illegitimate child from the extra marital affair? For Kotori, I thought she always takes out her crazy aggression on her student, Tanaka. Maybe it’s because he always asks stupid questions or tries to joke around with her. It’s like there is this love-hate relationship between them. I guess a little side distraction to our main harem for comic relief.

There are a handful of fanservice scenes but the TV versions that I watched are censored. This means there will be certain a darkness darkening out the girl’s panties. It feels like looking into the black hole. So if you really want to know what colour Konoe’s sexy panties are or get your little thrill in seeing what is underneath Rinka’s skirt, buy the DVDs. Your motivation for uncensored fanservice galore which includes removal of those bath steams to see the girl’s tits. Then there are of course boobs fondling and Miyabi’s butt jokes-cum-insult. Are you turned on yet? Though Ikusu also provides the fanservice stuff by rolling around naked in Shougo’s room, I just find it annoying. No, not because the necessary parts are conveniently blocked out. But rather it is just irritating to see her without any shame bumming around or doing her research without any clothes on. It’s like she is making this her own home. Getting rid of her smell is one thing, but I highly doubt it would work when it comes to the guy and intuition of another woman. See how it didn’t work when Yuzurina worked her womanly intuition?

The art and drawing are quite typical in the sense that the girls are cute and pretty. I suppose this is a must if you are going to do a series on this type of genre. Studio Gokumi animates this series and they are relatively a new studio production house. As I read they were formed by former members of another Japanese animation powerhouse, Gonzo. If the art and drawing of the characters feel familiar, it is because this studio also produced a handful of series like Oda Nobuna No Yabou, A Channel and Saki Episode Of Side A. Also, I kind noticed that all the girls have this very light pink blush on their cheeks. Only the girls. The guys don’t have them (unless they get embarrassed or flustered). The more they fluster, the more visible it becomes. Well, maybe Ikusu is an exception since she is cross-dressing as a boy.

An amusing section is the next episode preview. It isn’t what they say for the next episode (which is sometimes hilarious too) but to see the main harem girls in chibi cat form. They are frolicking around the screen like lost kittens. I’m sure you will be too engrossed in seeing how incredibly cute they are chasing a butterfly, frolicking on the ground or bumming around the box to pay attention to that little tiny screen with scenes from the next episode. Despite their actions are always the same in each episode, unless you are not into cute things, this cute scene will make you want to go “Awww~ So cute!!!” many times over. Don’t you just want to pamper or adopt them? I guess it’s a good deal if you can have both a sister and a cat girl at the same time. If you have such fetish, that is. For more cuteness, the mid-intermission scene is like a gachapon thingy with the girls in chibi format and doing a fixed post. If only they had varied the poses more. If only they had such cute figurines in life. Oh wait. Maybe they do sell…

For the voice acting department, nothing that really stands out or catches my attention. Probably only Ryoko Shintani as the delusional Araya is amusing because you don’t often here the girl who voiced Nami in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Sae in Hidamari Sketch to sound this, well, delusional. I’m starting to think Yui Ogura as Yuzurina, her voice is really suited to play loli characters like what she did as Kuroe in Cube x Cursed x Curious, Alice in Kamisama No Memo-chou and Hanbei in Oda Nobuna No Yabou. She definitely sounds the part. The other girls in Shougo’s harem sound very much like their personality. Konoe the sweet girl is done by Kaori Ishihara (Kanna in Ano Natsu De Matteru), Miyabi the tsundere by Ayane Sakura (Marii in Joshiraku), Rinka the proud is voiced by Ayana Taketatsu (Azusa in K-ON!), Mana the airhead by Asuka Oogame (Lizleat from Omamori Himari) and Mei the scheming witch girl by Rina Hidaka (Hideyoshi in Sengoku Otome Momoiro Paradox). Shougo who is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai (Suzaku in Code Geass) too sounds like you typical male lead in a harem anime. The rest of the cast include Ami Koshimizu as Ikusu (Tenma in School Rumble), Arisa Noto as Kotori (Sara Eguchi in Saki Episode Of Side A), Aya Hisakawa as Kanoko (Yoriko in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san), Ayako Kawasumi as Seri (Aoki in Bakuman), Maho Matsunaga as Kurumi (Izumi in Saki Episode Of Side A), Mako as Shiga (Koume in Hanamaru Kindergarten) and Rikiya Koyama as Kumagorou (Kiritsugu in Fate/Zero).

The opening theme is Choose Me Darling by StylipS, your typical anime pop with the opening credits animation that befits the theme of this harem series. Yeah, girls fighting over Shougo. Oops. Maybe I should have worded it as girls trying hard to get Shougo’s attention. The ending theme is sung by the seiyuus of Shougo’s five main harem girls. Heavenly Lover is also another typical anime pop. The ending credits animation is amusing. It starts off with us having a view of chasing some girl’s butt. Then as the credits roll by, we see mini Shougo trying to get away from the chasing harem. They really want a piece of him. So who will end up as his bride? Can we make an exception and have all five of them marrying him at the chapel? Ah, a harem guy’s dream come true.

I guess what the anime is trying to convey despite the ecchi comedy harem romance setup is the importance of family values. We see that Shougo was very concerned and thinking twice about committing incest. He didn’t want to ruin himself and his family in the long run for just a few seconds of carnal desire. Instead, he wants to protect his sister and whether or not the public eventually accepts this fact is up to them to decide. There is only so much you can care about what the public says to you. After all, such private matters are none of their business at all. Also, a woman’s role to support her man through thick and thin. It may initially seem sleazy that Kanoko wanted Shougo to go find a wife in his high school years and thus the stereotype setup for one to think this will turn out into an immoral wife hunting or catfight. But which mother wouldn’t be concerned about their son and wants the best for him and his future? Though each girl may seem to have their own idea of wanting to become Shougo’s lover and eventually his wife, bear in mind that they want to become his perfect girl. Maybe some of the methods employed seem objectionable but at least they had that thought. At least, it’s the thought that counts, right? Looks like they’ve got a long way to go. Shougo shouldn’t rush into picking one. Though I am sure if he picks any one of the girls, that girl would in turn do her best to support him but he needs to be really careful so as not to hurt the rest or the one he chose. But wait too long and he’ll eventually lose everything and hurting them all.

What are the chances of a blood related sibling or relative that you never knew makes his or her appearance in your life? It doesn’t happen that frequent in the real world but it does. I’ve read stories about long lost siblings or children reunited with their family members after many long years. Would that be a touching and heartfelt moment? Well, having somebody new suddenly entering into your life definitely will change the way you do things (if you are a routine person, that is) because you need to take into account the welfare or whatsoever of this new person. Sometimes it becomes a fairytale happy ever after end and sometimes it worsens and becomes an unbearable nightmare. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be careful and a little suspicious at first till things are clarified. Because there is only one other situation when suddenly an unknown relative unexpectedly pops up at your doorstep to claim that he/she is your long lost relative and has finally found you: When you won the first prize of mega million bucks in the lottery.

Busou Shinki

May 11, 2013

Those who are crazy enough about mangas and animes in one way would have bought cute little figurines of their favourite characters, right? Say what happens if those little figurines can take a life of its own? They have their own feelings and artificial intelligence and are able to interact with us like we normally do with other humans. Only difference is that they are palm size. Slightly bigger than your average Thumbelina. That would be awesome and cool for those who can’t get enough of their favourite characters. Like a dream come true.

This was my perception when I watched Busou Shinki but instead of moe figurines, these Shinki models are able to equip themselves with miniature weapons and accessories to do battle. Okay, so they are still moe and kawaii in their own right. But you won’t get to see them fighting in deadly tournaments or battles that have a deep conspiracy brewing beneath them that will bring about the fate of the planet and humanity. What we get to see in the dozen episodes of this anime is the daily lives of several Shinkis and their daily adventures as they go about making memories and happy moments with their master.

Episode 1
As explained, Shinkis are 15 centimetres tall partners created to serve humans and are endowed intelligence with emotion to serve their master who in turn can equip them with armour and weapons for battles. We are given a short demonstration the Shinkis in battle and the destructive power they can put up. Even if they’re just small girls. Ann helps her Master to wake up and prepare for his first day at school. I guess it must be tough being little without being clumsy. As Master has to go off, Ann handles the delivery of his stuffs into his new room. Busting out from one of the boxes is Ines, who isn’t happy Ann got to ride with Master during the entire trip while she was stuffed in a box. Likewise, Lene also comes barging out of a box but is more infatuated they’ve finally arrived at Master’s birthplace, Japan. As they help to tidy and unpack things (man, this guy has lots of weird items), they see a box labelled ‘important’ and discuss what is inside it. Money? Porn? As they take a break, Ines accidentally flings a knife and it ‘stabs’ the important box. Needing to check whether its contents are safe, another blunder has them ripping the box and sends everything falling out. More weird stuffs. What is this guy? Some sort of odd collector? Among them is a love letter. They get curious to open and read it since it may be addressed to one of them. Suddenly… The window is open. The wind is picking up. What happens to the thin letter? Do the maths. The girls chase it as the letter ‘slams’ into Clara. She isn’t happy the trio ignore her ranting about being second place victor of last year’s Busou Shinki tournament (because the letter is more important, duh) so she is going to teach them a lesson on courtesy and activates a battlefield. Ines fights her but not until a beam scratches the letter, Ann blows he top that she damaged Master’s precious belonging that she powers up to fight back. And win. Lene inactivates the field and both sides hear a signal that their master calling for them. Master is pleased the trio did a fine job cleaning up but Ann is apologetic over his letter. Inside is a mini disc that contains a modified Shinki House he made. As he activates it, Ann remembers Master made this room for her on the first day she came. From now on, the room belongs to them. Later he sees a small black box but doesn’t remember packing it. When he opens it, a Strarf model Shinki awakens.

Episode 2
Strarf draws her sword at them but no cause for alarm yet. Seems Master’s dad signed him up for a monitor programme as surprise. Master registers her and calls her Hina. Since she is an ‘infant’, he wants the trio to show her around. I’m not too sure about Hina’s greeting of almost striking you with a sword. Test of strength? After chasing various sceneries in Shinki House, Hina throws her sword at the mouse hole, thinking there are intruders. No mice, but little Shinki spies, Pocchii and Tamamii. Almost got them there. Then she starts firing her gun into the hole! Of course Master is alerted by the noise. Hina seems disappointed when Master says he isn’t into Shinki battle and that kind of stuff. Ann wakes up Ines and Lene in the dead of the night to tell them about her idea for Master’s high school entrance gift: A feast. But the duo fear the cooking incident on Shinkis. Imagine what would happen if they fall into the oil or blender? Not pretty. But after thinking they’ll get praised by Master, danger or not danger, it’s cooking time. Hina sits this one out since it doesn’t involve fighting. The trio work their best to make the dishes (if they were bigger, things wouldn’t have seemed so ‘clumsy’). Pocchii and Tamamii return and interrupt their cooking by shooting a projectile that causes Ann to slip and sends the gourd crashing into the stuffs. As they try cleaning up, Pocchii and Tamamii cut off the electricity while the trio are attacked by… Slimy tentacles! Tentacle rape! Almost. Hina makes her way to the breaker to restore power. Then she frees her comrades from the octopus and in the mean time makes good octopus meat. She turns her attention to Pocchii and Tamamii as they throw and toss vegetables, fruits and other food. Each time, Hina nicely slices them all with precision and it ends up as high quality food decoration. Wow. She’s good! Saves time needing to cook again, eh? Running out of ‘ammo’, Pocchii and Tamamii flee. Because Master will be back soon, Hina is forced to help finish the cooking. Master is surprised and astonished with the feast awaiting him. He tastes the takoyaki and thanks Hina for it, making her blush.

Episode 3
Ann writes in her diary how it has been a month and they’ve got used to things. Despite Hina still not wanting to help around and forbids them from calling her name (she only allows Master to call her that), Ann feels she’s already part of the family. As the quartet watch a video of the Busou Shinki battle, they ignore Clara knocking on their window! Once she gets in, she is shocked to see Hina. Apparently she fought her model in the last tournament. So basically it’s their first meeting… When Hina wants to fight her, after seeing how fearsome she is, Clara backs down. Chicken… Anyway she’s here to warn them about a Shinki thief who has been stealing Shinkis and its accessories from the shops. She needs help to catch the thief but Ann and co are more interested in taking a bath in the Shinki House. Only Hina agrees to follow. Master sees several Shinki parts in the park and picks them up. Meanwhile Pocchii and Tamamii are setting a trap to lure in Ann and co but couldn’t resist the pretty pricey part they set and fell into the trap themselves. Clara and Hina follow a suspicious hooded guy but to their disappointment, he just bought a porn magazine from a vending machine. They sell those there? Then they see a suspicious helmet guy breaking in a Shinki shop and enter. The trio have to cut short their bath when Master calls to inform he’ll be late since he is at the police station for questioning (they suspect he is the thief since he spots some Shinki parts). The trio move out to clear his name. Hina and Clara are drawn into a battlefield and face off with vehicle accessorised Shinkis, Yda and Ach. Hina has to fight both of them since Clara is taken out.  Ann and co arrive at the store and see the thief get away. Lene and Ines go after the thief while Ann heads into the store. She inactivates the battlefield for a fair fight. Hina gets Yda while Ann takes on Ach. Ann emerges victorious but Ach remains defiant in protecting her master and views her as an evil Shinki. The match is stop when Clara comes between them. Hina also wins her match but this time Ach tells Yda that their master is the true Shinki thief. When he escaped, he activated and tricked them to fight for him. They decide to go on a journey to find a true master. When they do, they hope they can have a rematch. Just when Pocchii and Tamamii are out of their painful trip, they got run over by Yda and Ach. Just not their day. Master returns home since his name is cleared and the real thief is caught thanks to Ines and Lene. But the rest feel it is Hina that deserves his thanks. She becomes embarrassed as Master fixes her scathed part with a fresh coat of paint. That position… Looks so erotic…

Episode 4
The Shinkis are helping to clean Master’s bathroom when Lene slips and breaks something. But Master easily lets her off and cleans her up. Later Ines blows her top (more like she’s jealous) that she always gets away with her clumsiness and should put in more effort like her. Because of that, their relationship becomes awkward. Next morning, Ines spots Lene sneaking out and following her leads to a group of Shinkis waiting to participate in a Shinki-1 Grand Prix. Hosted by Mary Takigawa Celes and Ianeira, they explain the rules and the grand prize is a trip to Okinawa. Ines thinks of participating to win that prize since this is what Master wanted and if she wins it, he won’t have to work and save up for it. As the race begins, racers start falling into a sink hole created by Pocchii and Tamamii. Then off they go leading the race. Ach, Yda and Clara won’t be defeated as they transform into their mobile armour and continue. Is this legal? Well, Ianeira make some changes to the rules. As long as they have wheels, it’s okay. Ines searches for a mini car while Lene gets… A wagon cart? It’s got wheels, right? Ann is looking for her pals when she meets Lene. She wants to borrow her armour to boost her wagon and in return gives her an umbrella. Huh? Pocchii and Tamamii are at the pit stop refuelling themselves with strawberry flavoured Jelly Cans. With Ach and Yda approaching, they switch the remaining ones to nitro flavour. Is this legal? Ianeira approves it as it will liven up the race. WTF. Ach was careless to drink it and goes berserk before knocking herself out. Yda carries on and will avenge her.

Soon Ann stumbles upon Ach fixing her vehicle. The latter borrows her umbrella to fix her brake. It’s starting to rain… Just when she got a leaf as umbrella, then comes Ines losing control of her mini car. Without wasting any time, she borrows Ann’s leaf umbrella to ride the wave. Is this legal? As long as she is ‘riding’. WTF. I think this is starting to become an anything-goes race. Yda catches up and bypasses the sneaky duo. Ach and Clara also catch up but Tamamii scratches the umbrella so Ach’s brake backfires as it becomes air brakes and takes down Clara with her. Pocchii and Tamamii have set up a trap previously and unleash the apple avalanche to stop Yda. However she evades them all. I guess they didn’t see it coming that they themselves need to avoid it. They got rolled over and are out. Ines crashes into Yda and ‘borrows’ he mobile armour. She is neck to neck with Lene and entering the final stretch when Hina obstructs them. Seems she is hired by the organizers to be the final obstacle. Lene wants Ines to go ahead and finish the race while she takes care of Hina. After seeing Lene going down, Ines can’t leave her and fights alongside her against Hina. During the commotion, here comes Clara holding only a steering wheel crossing the finish line! WTF?! What kind of joke is this?! I guess she barely wins it. Back home, Ines feels it’s a shame they didn’t win but Lene points out her goal wasn’t to win the Okinawa prize but the rare strawberry Jelly Can offered.  She knows Ines likes them and they used to split them in half and share. With their relationship back on track, Ann then rushes in with good news she has won a grand prize to Okinawa. Seems she collected Ines’ mini car and traded it up till she won the raffles. Wow. How lucky can she be? Ines could only heave a tired sigh. So what was all that for? Well, they’re back to good friends, right?

Episode 5
The girls are finally at the shores of Okinawa! Sun, sand, sea and swimsuits! Yay! Hina doesn’t seem too fond to join in the fun so she has fun her own way. She wants to slice a watermelon blindfolded but Ines is buried next to it. Oh sh*t! Don’t miss! Thank God she didn’t. Ann lets loose a scream when a crab enters her screw hole (?!) and her top bikini come undone. Then it’s revealed it is just a simulation of their Doll House for tomorrow’s practice. Master tells them to get some sleep since they’ll be up early. He will follow soon after he finishes his homework. That night the girls can’t sleep because they keep thinking if they forget anything or start planning what to get. Maybe they should just cross the bridge when they get there. Next morning, Master overslept and hurries to catch his flight to Okinawa. Once he arrives, he thought he could heave a sigh of relief when he realizes he brought the wrong bag. Which means… His Shinkis are still back home! Yeah. They realized they got left behind. It’s amazing that none of them had set the alarm clock. Master calls them and apologizes for the screw up but they’re okay with that since he was pulling an all-nighter. But can they go on for 3 days without him? Ann suggests they go there themselves. They’re not going to fly all the way there so they hitch a ride on a bus, followed by a train that heads south. Along the way, they doze off and realize too late that their luggage fall off. They try to retrieve it but it’s gone for good. What’s in it? Their spare battery packs. Oh no. They better not run out of energy in the wild. They continue walking by following the rail tracks. However it hit them that they are following an unused line. They need to conserve energy since it is getting dark and camp for the night. Ann and Hina take first watch as Ann blames herself for the suggestion. Hina doesn’t fault her since if she hadn’t had suggested it, others would. Besides, Hina always wanted to see the sea for herself. Suddenly they are attacked by a pack of hungry wolves. A Shinki fires and scares them away. The girls are brought to the tent of Zelnogrard. Though feeling very grateful, they wonder why she is living on her own. Her master is part of the army nearby and it is her duty to protect these mountains. Next day, the girls leave and thank Zelnogrard for the spare battery pack. They look forward to meet again. The little ones continue their journey through various cities till they finally reunite with Master at the Okinawa beach. He’s sorry for all the trouble but the girls had fun anyway.

Episode 6
While waiting for their flight, Ines trips but is helped up by a flight attendant Shinki that is the same model of Ann, Arnval. The TV programme mentions about Shinkis were popularized by armoured battle games and now many are helping out in jobs. The girls talk about what kind of career they would love to do and to their surprise Hina wanted to become a pro wrestler. She’s serious. Once they board the plane, it’s understandable that Ines is insecure if they are left behind, if not boarded the wrong plane. They decide to explore their surrounding in the cargo when they chance upon Clara. Remember, she won the Okinawa prize for her master too. Since the girls had never seen her master, Clara shows a picture. They think their Master is better so Clara challenges them to show her a picture. Ann goes off to get the SD card picture. The rest see 3 flight attendant Arnvals entering the cargo. Suddenly they set up some fishy machinery. Unfortunately Clara’s clumsiness means they got spotted. They learn these Arnvals are terrorists and are planning to change the course of this plane. To hell. That means they’re going to bomb it. 30 minutes and counting. They don’t care what happens to themselves and will gladly sacrifice for their master. The terrorists split up so the rest go look for her. Clara is ambushed by one but thanks to the turbulence, a cargo drops on the Arnval. Ann returns to the gang only to be surprised to learn what is happening. Another Arnval confronts Ann so Clara wants her to act as though she is her comrade (Clara is out of energy from the last fight). I guess Ann is a bad actor. Except maybe insulting Clara. Keep lying still. The Arnval could tell Ann is a fake and fights her. Ann learns that only the terrorist leader has the card to shutdown the bomb. They both fight a while before Hina takes over. Ann decides to go find the leader while Ines and Lene try to disarm the bomb. Red or blue wire? They can’t use their lucky colour forecast this morning because both models have different contrasting colour as good luck.

As soon as Hina disposes of her opponent by making her drop into the sink hole, Ann faces off with the terrorist leader. How can the rest tell it’s the real Ann? It might sound dumb but it’s worth the shot. “Who is the real Ann?”. They both claim they are. Ask a question only the real one knows. What is Ann’s favourite Jelly Can flavour? Though each gave different answers, her friends don’t even know the answer! Of course the real Ann wins because of her determination and duty to protect her master. But the rest are still sceptical if she’s the real one. They’re glad to know she is because only the real one knows Hina’s name. Ann takes the card but the terrorist isn’t giving up and puts up a fight. In the struggle, the card is dropped. Ines takes it and inserts it. But it’s the wrong card! It’s a picture of Master! Oh sh*t! Countdown reaches zero!!! BOOOM!!! In the aftermath when the plane has safely landed, it is revealed a group of Arnvals were conducting terrorist training but the trio boarded the wrong plane. They are sorry for getting civilians involved though the bomb is just a visual one. That means you can only see its explosion effects but no damage. When Master comes to pick them up, how can he straightaway tell he picked the real Ann? I thought he was going to say that master bond relationship thingy but he too doesn’t really know the answer. But he says that is what makes someone a master.

Episode 7
The heat is going to kill them if they don’t move to a cooler spot. Where in their home could it be? The fridge of course! However they’re going to freeze to death if they don’t get out! So they keep things cool by walking through a haunted house via Doll House and telling ghost stories (Ann’s scary build up turned out to be… Momotarou). I guess they didn’t realize that a Shinki ghost joined in with her own ghost story version, eh? Anyway she is Fubuki and turns out to be a Shinki to Master’s neighbour. Since it is getting stormy, it is suggested that they will go bring Master an umbrella. Only one needs to stay behind and do the cleaning up. Ines is that ‘lucky’ girl. Alone in the dark… If lightning flashes weren’t that creepy…. And if Fubuki didn’t act and sound so ominous! Yikes! She accidentally dropping or slipping stuffs almost crushing or slicing Ines?! Too much of a coincidence, don’t you think? Thanks to Hina’s calculation, they are able to use the wind and umbrella to get to the station whereby they greet Master. They call Ines to tell that they have picked up Master but when he learns about Fubuki, he quickly rushes home. Along the way, lots of bad omen. His shoe ripped. His pants ripped (lol). Lots of black cats and ravens! Is something bad going to happen? He mentions he heard his neighbour’s Fubuki should have gone missing in the mountains a long time ago. Which could mean this one is a… Hurry home! Ines is starting to feel nervous because Fubuki seems to be preparing. Sharpening a tool and going to stick it in. Master returns home in time and it turns out Fubuki is glad she manages to complete a hairpin. It is something her master treasures. It fell in the mountains one day and she went looking for it but ran out of energy. Thanks to Zelnogrard finding her, she was charged up. The reason she came to their room is because she wanted to find tools to repair the damaged hairpin. Fubuki is sad that her master might not want to see her anymore but the rest give her the encouragement to go meet her next door. They know she wants to see her badly because Master told them his neighbour continues to wait for a precious Shinki to return home. After Ann and co play ding-dong ditch, Fubuki’s master is happy upon reuniting with her lost Shinki. Next day, Fubuki gives several Jelly Cans as thanks but Master notes he learnt from the landlord that there is no one renting next door. Fubuki confirms that because her master is clinging to it because whenever a new tenant sees her, they will run away. What does this mean? Everybody freaks out that her master is a ghost!!! FREAKY!!! Can’t believe they’re living next door to one, eh?

Episode 8
The rest ring in Ines when she is carrying a suspicious bottle rumoured to make one grow big. They want her to spill the beans about using it and date Master. In the struggle, the bottle is flung away and its contents spilled out. The next thing we know, Ann is at a bus stop and is a full human size! She’s not a Shinki anymore! In a panic, she grabs Clara passing by. Be gentle with the little one, okay? I guess Clara doesn’t know how to help her (her crap excuse was just nonsense) so she gives that do-your-best advice before leaving. Ann returns home but comes into Pocchii and Tamamii. The duo become suspicious of her and attack. Ann makes a run and we can see how big a failure the duo are because how can they lose sight of her when that big girl is just hiding behind the bushes right behind them? Rain saves the day as the idiots abandon mission to run home and save their master’s laundry. Ann waits in a shelter and chances upon Master. She fears he may suspect her as a fishy person and pretends she is a lost newbie. They walk together and he offers to help her find her home. I’m not sure why in order to get to a higher place to look for identifiable landmarks, Ann wanted to climb but fell on Master instead. Romantic cue? Why didn’t they use the stairs next to it in the first place? Since Ann can’t recognize any, Master takes her to town and it feels like going on a date. As I suspect, Ann is actually dreaming as her friends take a good look at her happy face. Ann is about to take out her handkerchief when she sees the suspicious bottle. She starts getting traumatic when the TV nearby is playing a drama that has the man breaking up with the woman for deceiving him and not telling her true form. Seeing Ann is depressed, Master cheers her up by getting a gift from a crane game. Ines gets news that Ann may be infected with a virus imitating as an update software. When activated, the affected Shinki will be unable to exit sleep mode and will lead to its function ceasing permanently. It is already encroaching into Ann. They contact Master right away. Though they install an anti-virus programme, they still need some part so Hina flies to Master to reach him faster. Meanwhile Ann confesses her true self to Master and thanks him for today. She is glad to be his Shinki and loves him. The rest scramble to get Ann fixed. Next morning, Ann wakes up to see Master sleeping by her side. Her friends are happy she has awakened. He is happy to see her back to normal. I guess he spent all night fixing her since the store was closed. But soon it’s déjà vu again because the rest bump into Ines and her suspicious bottle. What? Huh? I don’t get it.

Episode 9
A couple of Shinkis, Zil and Oorbel are praying to some underground Egyptian hieroglyphs hoping for a saviour according to some prophecy to come rescue them. Ann and co receive mail from Master that he forgot his lunch. He wants them to bring it to him before lunch time. Or he may starve to death. Better get moving. The quartet take a break halfway when the onigiri rolls off the slope and into a hole. Why does this always have to happen? Lene goes after it but tumbles down the hole and out into the sewer. She is picked up by Zil and Oorbel. Because she is taking too long, Ann and Ines go to look for her while Hina is forced to guard the lunch. The duo enter an underground slum with lots of bad Shinkis around every corner. They spot the onigiri in the hands of a group of punks however got arrested and sent to Empress Claudi. Meanwhile Lene learns from Zil and Oorbel that this underground empire consists of Shinkis whose masters have cast them away. By right, the manufacturer should have seized them but they didn’t want such fate because they will lose their memories of their master when reset. All is well in this poor empire till the arrival of Claudi who conquered the place by force. She along with her allies are those cast away by their master and forbade that word. All those who opposed were made into slaves. Zil and Oorbel are part of the liberation army tasked in freeing the city from her clutches. Lene agrees to fight with them. Claudi is not impressed that Ann used the taboo word ‘master’ and throws them into the dungeon (why the heck abuse the onigiri?). They see Pocchii and Tamamii becoming slaves to generate power and the slave drivers are heartless and even destroy a picture of their master. The liberation army plan their attack and soon a revolt begins. The city is engulfed in flames. Though Lene swiftly enters the prison to free her friends, they are soon captured. Meanwhile Zil and Oorbel enter Claudi’s room to face off with her. However she has been waiting for them. She shows her captured friends and comrades (and the onigiri) and wants them to fight each other to the death or else they will become scrap metal. I don’t know why they have to oblige. Couldn’t they just attack arrogant Claudi? Lene hopes for a hero to show up like in TV. Speaking of which, here comes Hina. She cuts the cage loose and has her bout with Claudi. I don’t know how she brought the bento pack with her underground but it got loose and the contents fall out. Lene grabs the octopus meat to save her ‘master’. With all the surrounding events fitting the description of the prophecy, everyone thinks she is their saviour. Lene becomes upset and with her power of love for Master, defeats Claudi and sends her crashing into a disco ball. The oppressors are captured and the liberators rejoice their newfound freedom. I hope they don’t get lost in the celebration because Master is starving…

Episode 10
Ann is being picked up by a Santa model Shinki, Tsugaru for a job interview. Since she likes Christmas, she gets hired for the job. As the company is paying thanks to its customers, they are holding a Christmas campaign whereby a tiny Santa will come to your doorstep and deliver a present. That’s Ann and Tsugaru’s job. Why does Ann want to do this job? Flashback reveals the girls wanted to get Master a present but the price tag has too many zeroes in it. So how? Get a job. Since most jobs required experienced career Shinkis, the only one left was an urgent help as Santa’s helper. Her job starts tomorrow so Ann goes home and along the way sees Ines doing her job handing out tissues while Lene is a street musician (I think the people donate due to her sob love story rather than her singing). Back home, they talk about the jobs that they are doing but Hina won’t reveal hers. They think it is something dangerous like assassinating somebody! When Master comes back, they are excited to hold a Christmas party of their own tomorrow night. Ann begins her job going around with Tsugaru delivering presents from door to door. Because it took more time than expected, they need to split as it is going to snow heavily. At first Ann was nervous on her own but after remembering the reward of smiles of children, she flawlessly becomes Santa. When she gets back to Tsugaru, she is devastated to see her left leg damage. She carelessly got bitten by a Doberman while delivering her last round. Ann wants her to head to a Shinki shop for repairs and assures she will take care of the last delivery. Easier said than done because the blizzard is picking up. Ann crashes into a Christmas tree, the mechanical reindeer scurries away and drops the present high on top of a pole. The blizzard makes it harder to reach. She sees Hina in a reindeer outfit handing out balloons. This is her job? Well, a term of her employment has her sworn to secrecy about her identity. Since her shift is over, Hina agrees to help Ann retrieve the present. They will use a Santa balloon to get there. The blizzard is still too strong when Ines drops in to help. Lene should lend a helping hand too and not just sit and sing for them. In the end, they manage to get it and do the delivery. Tsugaru thanks them as the girls go off to buy Master his present. When they are putting the final preparations, they all suddenly get fever for staying out too long in the blizzard and collapse. Seriously? Shinkis can get fever? Anyway Master nurses them and thanks them for the lovely gloves.

Episode 11
Ann, Ines, Lene and Clara converge secretly to discuss about a surprise birthday party for Hina since it has been a year she has come here. It would’ve gone great if Hina wasn’t there! This is where she maintains her weapons? Anyway Clara vows to enter the Shinki battle tournament next week and win the prize for her birthday gift. Elsewhere, a creepy looking guy, Jindou notes how he has finally found Hina. On the day of the tournament before Ann and co leaves, Hina spots a letter from a year ago. She is surprised to see it a rejection letter for an application to obtain the latest Strarf model Shinki monitor. The gang go cheer on Clara in the dressing room (they even come up with some cheesy lines in the banner). They also meet other familiar Shinkis who are participating (Ann and the rest including Hina are only on cheer duty). Tamamii rubbing some slippery oil onto Pocchii’s body in another one of their harebrained schemes, Ach and Yda found a virtual master to participate, Zelnogrard has just arrived from the mountains and Fubuki is also entering as well. That means her master is… Oh shi… Freak out! The first round battle is like last year’s final because it pits Clara against the Strarf model she lost to, Victoria. In the simulation, after all that firepower and slashing, Victoria easily overwhelms Clara and even goes on a rampage destroying everything. So much so the bullets go stray and are in danger of hitting the spectators. Hina swiftly leads the stray away and explode them in the centre of the ring, much to the crowd’s delight. In the end, Victoria once more wins the tournament for the second time. As the gang talk outside about Hina’s light injury on her leg she got from the battle, Iris thought she spotted Rosa. That is Hina’s old name as what she claims. It seems Rosa was damaged memory card and when her master sent her for repairs, it went missing en route. The rest feel she has got the wrong Shinki. Back in the Doll House, Clara feels down and she has a feeling that everyone expected her to lose in the first round. Well, there’s nothing you can do now but to drown in your sorrows, right? So let’s drink up to the Hard Nitro Jelly Can. Maybe it’s a bad idea because Clara is now drunk and spouting her woes. Lene too. Oh boy. Hina cools down outside when Iris visits her again. Hina wonders about the contents of the letter so Iris invites her to her master’s house to see if it could jog her memory. On arrival, Hina is surprised to see Iris’ master, Jindou who is also Victoria’s master. Jindou has Victoria and Iris guide Hina around the house. Jindou is a famous Shinki collector and a super rich one that his mansion has been devoted to give his Shinkis the luxurious life with all the top notched facilities and even sceneries. Imagine everything miniaturized. Of course Hina is in a dilemma if she should join them as Master treats her good. They won’t force her but wants her to take a test to check her serial number to confirm if she’s the real Rosa. Once she sits on a charger, she gets zapped out. It is a ploy by Victoria and Iris to grab this ultra rare monitor Shinki as they begin their operation to reset her memories.

Episode 12
Next morning. The hangover from last night must be bad, huh? However the girls note Hina is not around. Hina awakes as Jindou welcomes ‘Rosa’ into his home. He wants Iris to overwrite her serial number. After Ann and co plan what to do for Hina’s birthday, they return home only to get a ‘surprise birthday attack’ by Pocchii and Tamamii. They want to join in the party too. I think they just want the free food. Then they see the reject letter and it dawn to them probably the reason why Hina was acting strange lately. However they remember Master’s father was the one who applied for the monitor programme and so Master’s father’s name should be on the letter. Which means this letter might be fake. Fearing Hina may have run away, Pocchii and Tamamii mention that they saw her flying away with Hina last night (they were trying to get that slippery oil off Pocchii’s body). Clara leads the rest to Jindou’s place. She explains Jindou wants to build an enormous Shinki collection but he is a baddie because if there is a Shinki model he can’t get with money, he’ll resort to stealing them. When they sneak inside, they see his creepily large amount of Shinki models. They are confronted by Iris and Victoria and they are accused of being thieves. They just want Hina back when ‘Rosa’ pops up. She denies ever knowing that name or them. Once the Strarf models leave, Iris takes care of the intruders and blows them away into a locked cell. They can’t bust out or do anything and need to conserve all the energy they can. They wonder if they got the wrong Shinki but Clara notes despite her changed serial number, the bruise on her leg that she got during the tournament is still there. This is the real Hina alright. Just when Iris thought they have run out of energy, she enters to salvage their parts. But they were just playing dead and ambush her to run free. They are confronted with faceless Shinkis. Ines and the rest will hold them off while Ann goes to look for Hina.

She finds her waiting at an arena. Pleas to make her remember become futile as ‘Rosa’ prepares to eliminate Ann and all those who plan to steal what her master holds dear. Ann is defeated and before ‘Rosa’ could land the final strike, Ann sticks some memory pendrive into her back neck to knock her out. Victoria mocks Ann that what she’s doing is useless because her entire system has been reset. So calling her Hina won’t do her any good. Suddenly Hina gets up and warns her about calling her that name. Her memories are back. Both Strarf models fight and it ends in Hina’s victory. Well, if she had entered the tournament, she would’ve been the victor. Everyone regroups and is glad Hina is back. They return to Master worried about their whereabouts. The Shinkis are messed up and start to get emotional as they hug Master. Even Hina too. Jindou is devastated Victoria is defeated but she assures him no matter what happens, they will always be his Shinkis and will wait (sirens in the background could only mean one thing). Everybody begins celebrating Hina’s birthday as they also discuss what made Hina’s memories come back (eh? Wasn’t that pendrive it? Unless I’ve mistaken it as one). Was it a bug in monitor models? Was it the power of Master’s love? Whatever it was, Master is glad to have everyone back safely. And Hina feels the same and that Master is the only one for her.

Little Bundles Of Joy
Well… Uhm… Pretty much okay… I guess. I suppose if you want something light hearted and nothing too serious, then this show should be okay to watch. In fact, most of the episodes can stand alone by itself. If you don’t really watch them in order (except for the last couple of episodes), you’ll still get by. This is because we just see the Shinkis doing their own cute little stuff. Whether it is trying to cook for their master, entering a race, taking a trip to the southern islands, getting involved in a mock terrorist practice, getting involved in overthrowing a totalitarian dictator in an underground war or getting a part time Christmas job. There isn’t any real story plot to follow except for perhaps the last couple of episodes whereby Hina has been kidnapped and her memories are in danger of being erased forever. But even so, I felt how the way things ended was somewhat too easy. In the sense that we all want to have a good ending whereby our main Shinkis end up with the company of their Master. There’s the feeling that it ended too soon. This series is mainly where the Shinkis are the star so we don’t really even get a peek into the kind of life Master lives. We don’t even know what school he goes to or the part time job he does after that. Even for Jindou’s case, I don’t know who alerted the police to arrest him. Maybe it was trying to illegally change the serial number. Master did register Hina legally, right?

So of course there were some stuffs that I didn’t understand. Most probably I didn’t follow the Shinki universe so this is inevitable. About the rejection letter part, I don’t really understand that. So Master’s dad signed him up for some monitor programme. So? Like I said, I’m not so well verse into this Shinki world so I don’t even know what a monitor programme is about (I don’t think the series explains it either). And to say that Hina is an ultra rare monitor Shinki model, to me it feels like plucking that fact out from thin air because it doesn’t explain why she is such a rare model. Well, her friends certainly couldn’t care about it. Her Master sure didn’t care about it either. All they care about is that Hina is back with them. That’s all. And how did Hina end up in Master’s place instead of Jindou’s? Unless what Iris said about being mixed up en route to the repairs was true. Was even Hina their Rosa? Unless that was a fake story to get their hands on her. Then there are some conditions implanted in the Shinkis that raised an eyebrow. Like when they caught a fever, it made me wonder, weren’t these little Shinkis supposed to be perfect? If not, shouldn’t have all those undesirable conditions. I know they want to create Shinkis as close and realistic to humans but don’t you think like getting sick shouldn’t be part of the programme? You can have a bug causing their programme chaos and havoc but not getting sick even when exposed to the blizzard.

I guess the Shinkis are quite amusing with each their own personality. However I find that each of them has been somewhat stereotyped. To me, that is. For instance, Clara is considered the joker Shinki by everybody because of their tendency to make fun of her. Even she admits that in the final episode! Well, more like she was denying it to prove that she’s not one. But if you look at it in a way, it’s like also admitting it, right? Pocchii and Tamamii are also another bunch of jokers but they are more idiotic and usually their plan backfires and they will bear the brunt of it. I mean, from their first appearance, they’ve been annoyed by not been given soba noodles for housewarming (thus their ‘grudge’ in targeting Ann and co) and even at the end, they’re still harping about it. Ach is obsessed with fighting fair while Yda places important in style and grace in her fighting. Fubuki is always having weapons slipping out (I wonder where she hid those large shurikens) and each time almost killing Ines. Ianeira is so lax that any rule change is okay with her. Celes may start off as an eager host but when Ianeira allows some change in rules, Celes will turn into a near foul mouth host telling the competitors to get the job done. Ines’ role feels like she is playing the straight guy especially towards dreamy Lene. While Ann has that cheery, pure and innocent personality, Hina feels like an opposite. No doubt that she sounds emotionless in her speeches but in the end, you’ll get the see her displaying some emotions. She also wasn’t too hard up in becoming some battle Shinki since Master is a pacifist. As long as she could be with him, that’s all that matters. I guess even Shinkis can change given they have the right Master.

The action and fight sequence are rather okay but it is nothing to really shout about either. It’s good that the battles aren’t that draggy so much so it lasts the entire episode but I guess the important ones are given a decent amount of screen time. The aerial battles and the vehicle chase scenes are pretty decent too but adrenaline junkies would want to wish for more. I thought the Busou Shinki tournament was a little letdown because it ended as fast as it started. All we see is one stinking match between Clara and Victoria and that’s it. It’s like as thought it wasn’t the important thing (at least for this anime). I suppose with Master not the kind that allows his Shinkis to fight, the final story arc replacing this battle would be Hina’s disappearance. With the Shinkis different weapons, armours and accessories, it really feels that the missiles and lasers do give some impact. But when you think they are just tiny little figurines, magnifying all that explosion just seems miniscule. Besides, it will be really dangerous if something that small could pack a huge punch. Imagine if bad masters start using them for terrorist activities. That would be very bad. Although the different models have different unique weapons and the likes, the design seem pretty cool except that I thought that with all the gears they are wearing, don’t they feel heavy? Unless they have incorporated the science based on ants and how they can carry 100 times more their weight. At certain points I thought the Shinkis with their gears reminded me of those Beast Wars Transformers Transmetal versions. But not so shiny.

I don’t have any issues with the art and drawing except for one minor thing that keeps bugging me. I know that the Shinkis are little android figurines brought to life and not exactly humans. However the concave screw holes on their limbs like the shoulders and legs make them look a little ‘ugly’. To me, because of those ‘sink holes’, they look like those who are suffering from some sort of skin disease. At times my hair just stood on ends thinking about this or when I can’t help myself from staring at it. It’s pretty obvious so I can’t actually avert my eyes and focus on something else. Likewise the ‘lines’ connecting the limbs have this feel that they are little mannequins brought to life. It gets even creepier when those faceless hordes of Shinkis start attacking. I thought I was watching a horror genre using dolls. I don’t want to have nightmares! I guess they also incorporated a little fanservice element but if you ask me, I don’t really fancy seeing little figurines in swimsuits or in seemingly erotic positions. Maybe some people get a kick out of this but not me. How many of you otaku guys who own figurines contort those little ones in sexy turned on poses?

This series boasts a number of popular seiyuus. However a seiyuu voices a model of a Shinki. This means for those Shinki models that do not just appear for one episode and disappear forever, you’ll hear the same voice in the same models. Sometimes it is hard to tell them apart and you’ll be wondering if this Shinki was the other one you saw in the other episode. For example, Ryoko Shiraishi (Himeko in Sket Dance) is the voice of Zelnogrard. The Zelnogrard that comes from the mountains and the one featured as the liberation army in the underground empire are both different despite being the same model and voiced by the same seiyuu. Also, can you tell which Arnval is the real one and the terrorist when Kana Asumi is voicing them all? I thought it was going to be a Hidamari Sketch combo when Kana Asumi and Kaori Mizuhashi take on Ann and Ines respectively. In Hidamari Sketch, Kana Asumi voices Yuno while Kaori Mizuhashi voices Miyako. But Kaori Mizuhashi’s voice is more girly as Ines compared to Miyako while Kana Asumi may not be flustering and panicking as much as Ann as she did with Yuno. I have this odd feeling that Yukari Tamura and Yui Horie as Yda and Ach respectively, it reminds me of a pair of twin sisters they also play in Ben-To. They even sound so much like that part. Minori Chihara once more is going to prove that she will be a suitable person to voice deadpan characters. As Hina and Victoria, those characters sound similar to Minami-ke’s Chiaki, Horizon from Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon and Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu’s Nagato. Other casts include Takahiro Mizushima as Master (Nagasumi in Seto No Hanayome), Megumi Nakajima as Lene (Ruri in Sacred Seven), Emiri Katou as Clara and Claudi (Kagami in Lucky Star), Eri Kitamura as Pocchii (Mahiro in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san), Mai Hashimoto as Tamamii (Rin in To Love-Ru), Ayana Taketatsu as Zil (Eclair in Dog Days), Aoi Yuuki as Oorbel (Murasaki in Kurenai), Aki Toyosaki as Iris (Yui in K-ON!), Hiroshi Kamiya as Jindou (Nozomu in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), Yukari Fukui as Fubuki (Shizuka in Highschool Of The Dead), Marina Inoue as Ianeira (Kana in Minami-ke), Natsuko Kuwatani as Celes (Suisei Seki in Rozen Maiden) and Rie Kugimiya as Tsugaru (Louise in Zero No Tsukaima).

So I don’t really have the slightest interest in owning a little figurine myself. Not even after watching this show. I guess this won’t end up as an obsessed hobby any time soon. There are a lot of responsibilities even to own one of these little figurines. First, you got to take out a handsome sum of money to purchase them. In order to continue admiring them in their tip-top and most ‘beautiful’ form, you got to clean them, wipe them, dust them and keep them safe from any hazards that may do damage. Heck, it’s just like owning a pet. I understand that to some obsessed ones they are more than just a bunch of waste-of-time collections. Their lifelong companions perhaps. To each his own. But if you really ask me that in the event I have to own something small and cute, I’d rather take in Shinkis any day, any time. It beats having Sea Monkeys anyway.

When an ecchi anime releases an OVA after its TV run, you can guess what kind of OVA it will be, right? And so without any surprises, Dakara Boku Wa H Ga Dekinai OVA is nothing more than another shameless attempt to capitalize in making sales and profits from DVDs by including an additional OVA episode for fanservice. You watched the TV series for fanservice, now you watch the OVA for more fanservice. And boobs too. Yeah. They are visible here too. The TV series I watched was the uncensored version so why should the OVA be censored? Whether you love big natural boobs, big fake boobs or even flat ones, they’ve got it all here.

Revealing! Swimsuit Contest
I suspect this OVA must take place before the merger of Earth and Grimworld. The time when Lisara just transferred to Momozono Academy and is trying to find the genius or special specimen she is seeking for. Before she can force Ryousuke to come help her search, Iria makes a special announcement that for tomorrow’s pool opening, they will have a special swimsuit contest. After conducting a survey, the finalists to participate are (guess who) Iria, Lisara, Quele and Mina. Who else? Lisara isn’t amused that she is dragged into this and confronts Iria. Why is she doing this? Isn’t it obvious? Iria wants to beat her and show the obvious victor between them. The winner will have the loser kneel before her and do anything the winner wants. The students will judge which of them is more appealing as the winner. Iria mocks Lisara she is trying to run away or scared. So what’s in it with Lisara if she wins? Iria will give her information about the special specimen she is seeking. Seriously, we’re not interested in that, aren’t we? Back home, Lisara instantly beats up Ryousuke before he could finish his poll of which the students favour. It’s Iria in case you want to know. It’s her boobs, right? But Ryousuke wants to coach her in doing poses that will steal the hearts of men. He goes on ranting the deeper meaning of men’s fetishes. Yeah well, Lisara sees that as him wanting her to do erotic poses, no? Lisara is right to pass up this chance but how can she after Ryousuke is determined to train her. And that, his smooth talk about her having a great figure and shouldn’t run away, blah, blah, blah. Of course she has a condition that he can’t do anything perverted to her. Can he?

Meanwhile Quele talks to Mina about their participation in this contest. Quele is in because this is her chance to see Lisara cry but she praises Mina having the necessary assets to woo the guys. She views her having natural weapons as compared to Iria’s fake tits and Lisara’s flat plains. Quele molests her boobs and will show her that her body is appealing enough. Then she lets her try several swimsuits and it seems it gets skimpier and skimpier. Can she really go out on stage in this? Ryousuke coaches Lisara to pose the best sexy pose that will turn every guy who sees her on. Well, I wasn’t. Haha. Maybe she’s not putting her heart in it since she is quite embarrassed. Ryousuke’s sweet words about her hidden potential and determination had some effect. Just when he thought they should start with something easier, Lisara wants to learn the toughest pose. She’ll go all the way. And so the entire night the master-student perfect Lisara’s sexy poses. Too sexy for our eyes? I think Caesar is enjoying it. See the smirk on doggy’s face? Because he’s a dog, I think Lisara could forgive him for jumping on her. See? Even the dog can’t resist. Finally Lisara perfects the crouching tiger pose.

Just before the contest begins, I guess Iria tries to play some mind games to demoralize Lisara. In the locker room, Iria waltzes in naked, proudly showing off her boobs. While she and Lisara are arguing, Quele rigs Lisara’s swimsuit. Muneyo hosts the first swimsuit competition and the guys (and even girls) are eagerly awaiting the participants. Who but Muneyo can be the best judge of breasts? First up is Quele. However she drops a bombshell by announcing she will be pulling out from the competition as it is too heavy a burden for her. However the crowd loves her since she puts up her moe act. Next is Mina but she is missing. Ryousuke has an idea where she is and rushes to her. She is sitting alone outside. She didn’t have the confidence to go on stage in her swimsuit. Ryousuke said some nice things about her so the most she did even with her regained confidence is to put on the swimsuit to show it to him exclusively. At least Ryousuke was straightforward to say if she wasn’t his childhood friend, he would have dived into those delicious boobs. Thank goodness she is. By the time he returns, Iria and Lisara are already on stage. Iria is commanding the crowd with her waving. Yeah, see how she is shaking those huge jugs to garner support? Everyone is bewildered that Lisara is wearing a t-shirt on top of her swimsuit. This is part of Ryousuke’s plan, right? It certainly is. He shoots his water gun to make her shirt wet. Everyone revels at the sight of seeing through her t-shirt and the slender sports swimsuit underneath it.

Both of them are to appeal to the crowd but it seems Quele’s plan is starting to take shape. Because of the water, her swimsuit underneath is disappearing. Lisara panics and becomes embarrassed. Till Ryousuke offers his hand to help her up. I don’t understand the implication of this because Lisara takes Ryousuke and jumps into the pool. She frees herself from the swimsuit but Ryousuke is drowning. She brings him out but the crowd is looking at her soak through t-shirt. She’s not wearing anything underneath. Iria mocks her that she is so indecent and bold and that she doesn’t have a swimsuit, this means she is disqualified. She’s counting her chickens and wants Lisara to bow before her. But Ryousuke stands back up and explains about Lisara’s appealing factor. Ranting about Venus and the primitive age, he is trying to convince them that the new appeal is to cast away their swimsuits and to be free! Be naked! Be a nudist! The ultimate swimsuit is to wear your birthday suit! The guys are enlightened and acknowledge him as their greatest villainous eroticism leader! And the rest of the girls leave the place seeing this has become unrelated. Iria can’t believe she is losing support. Yeah. Both the crowd and her boobs. Those fakes are not holding up… She vows to get back at Lisara next time and leaves the stage. This means she withdraws, right? And so the inaugural competition is won by Lisara! Back home, Ryousuke strips naked to live his up to his motto of ultimate swimsuit. Lisara can’t take this anymore and beats him up.

Let It All Hang Loose!
Ah… Nothing much… Unless you’re talking about the fanservice of course. So did you enjoy the fanservice? Yeah, we sure had lots of boob shots and panty shots. All those delicious close ups and angles. I’m sure all this has given a much needed recharge for Ryousuke’s ‘kingdom’, right? Enough to last him for days. Unless Lisara zaps it all. But don’t worry, his perverted powers aren’t easily depleted and easily replenished. There are some close moments between Lisara and Ryousuke but it doesn’t feel like it impacted and made their relationship deeper. Like the drowning part, I’m sure it was something along this line but I just couldn’t feel it. Besides, we have been so numbed watching all the boobs and fanservice, why do we need to care about the relationship between the characters and the plot of the story? And remember, if you want to try and test out to be a nudist and hang them loose, the weight you may feel that has been lifted off your shoulders is just probably your clothes. Otherwise, you don’t want to regret having to live with the weight of embarrassment after that.

Sengoku Collection

May 5, 2013

Once again. How do you make people especially boys who are not interested in history to sit up and listen to such ‘boring’ subject? Well, one way is to turn all the important historical characters into girls! Imagine a certain unifier was actually a woman. Imagine a certain independence fighter was a woman. Imagine the forefathers of a country were women! Women power! Girls rule! Oh yeah! Let’s not get too carried away. So once more, here I am, having my hands at yet another sengoku themed anime with the all-great unifier of Japan, Nobunaga Oda being turned into a teenage girl. Yes, a girl. Is it so exciting to change one’s gender? For entertainment purpose, I guess so. For historical prospects, I think not.

Sengoku Collection as I have read originated from a mobile social networking game and has been given the anime treatment back in 2012. Unlike other sengoku themed animes that have the setting in the past, this one has the famous people of that era transported to our modern times. Yes. So can you imagine how those famous people back in that era fare with modern conveniences and current cultural norms? Well, as far as I can see, they have already gotten used to life in the new age. It’s much better than those dark ages, right? All hail modern conveniences! The plot is basically this. Nobunaga and many of her generals are transported to the modern age via a mysterious light. She seeks to return to her own time but is told to seek out the Secret Treasures of the other generals if she wants to do just that. And of course the mind boggling reason is that all these famous sengoku people are women! So seriously, where have all the men gone? Each episode features at least one general and how they adapt to the modern lifestyle that we all take for granted. Seriously, do you really want to go back to an era where iPhones and iPads were non-existent?

Episode 1: Sweet Little Devil
Nobunaga Oda just crashed into our world. Literally. She crashed into Seiichi Oota on his bike! Into his gut! What perfect timing! It’s amazing they didn’t die from that impact. It’s amazing he didn’t get a hole in his stomach at that speed. So I don’t know why this Oota guy has to oblige to guide her around despite knowing it’s best not to get involved with this nut case. Probably the fall got to her head. Maybe it’s Japanese courtesy. Can you blame Nobunaga not knowing how to eat a hamburger? Yeah, being taught to eat one. The arrogant Nobunaga makes Oota her retainer. You can’t say no. She even follows him to the convenience where he works. His day gets bad to worse when a lone robber comes in. The robber himself is an amateur because he gets scared and chided by Nobunaga about his petty act. It’s over before you know it. Nobunaga stays at Oota’s place. Just great. Not only he has a freeloader, but he has got to teach her the ways to use modern conveniences. However despite being a pain in the ass, he treasures her company since well, he felt lonely ever since his girlfriend broke up. After a few days of living together, Oota brings Nobunaga to the river. She feels the need to return to her world. I don’t see that she’s unhappy here. Maybe she wants to just go back to a place where she truly belongs. Oota takes her to the shrine where she prays for that wish. If it doesn’t come true, she’ll burn it down! That night when they’re asleep, Nobunaga is transported to dream world whereby she meets Miko Fox, Miko Rabbit and Miko Cat. They have heard her prayer and decide to grant it. But to return to her original world, she needs to gain powers and gather Secret Treasures, power spheres created in the hearts of ambitious warriors during the sengoku period. There are others who come to this world besides her so she needs to seek them out and gather them. Her own Secret Treasure will tell where the others are. And so begins Nobunaga’s quest to hunt down the rest. Oota wakes up to find her gone the next morning but she leaves a Coke bottle that she found at a river (thinking it was some sort of diamond) as a reward.

Episode 2: Peaceful Empress
Ieyasu Tokugawa is enthralled by an idol named Rosary as seen on the big screen. She tries to join in several street dances but they didn’t like how she was upstaging them and was ‘kicked out’. Even the church choir kicked her out! Thankfully, the manager of an idol agency, Hiroshi Ootake senses her talent and picks her up (Rosary is also under his agency). He will give her a chance to shine and in return doesn’t want her to easily give up. After signing the contract, Ieyasu undergoes rigorous training to be like her idol, Rosary. Of course it gets tougher and tougher to a point where she’s at breaking point. She’s on the verge on giving up when Hiroshi shows her Rosary working hard. He tells her many girls wanted to be idols but lots of them dropped out along the way. Rosary was the only one remaining and he was responsible for her debut. Despite Rosary falling down and making mistakes, she gets up and resumes. Ieyasu gets her motivation to do her best once more and is soon joined by the Miko trio as her backup dancers. In no time, Ieyasu makes her debut and mark in the idol world. Her dream comes true when she is to star alongside Rosary. Can’t contain her excitement, she goes to see her but her room. Although Ieyasu was being the usual eager beaver fan, Rosary takes it as sarcasm because she feels there cannot be 2 top idols at one time. She starts talking about the harsh realities of the world and that hurting feeling when it’s time to call it quits when a new idol surpasses you. Ieyasu vows to become a top idol. Ieyasu is soon summoned into the dream world and is confronted by Nobunaga, who is here to take her Secret Treasure. She agrees to give it to her since she wants to stay in this world and work her way to become a top idol. Nobunaga stabs her sword into her chest to take her Secret Treasure. She wishes her luck in her new fight before leaving.

Episode 3: Pure Angel
Kenshin Uesugi and Kanetsugu Naoe are living together. Although Kenshin is a model, seems like she is a ditz and needs Kanetsugu to look and pick up after her. Yeah, it feels like she’s becoming her mom rather than her retainer, eh? Despite the troubles she went through, Kanetsugu is happy to be with her. However this is one big problem she is facing that nobody else knows. Ever since she came to this world, she has become colour blind. All the colours were drained from her vision like as though this world is rejecting her despite they don’t have to fight and living peacefully. One day, Kanetsugu is disheartened that Kenshin used a flag that she was supposed to use for conquering the capital as a towel. Kenshin feels they should give up their conquest since nobody is pursuing them. This doesn’t sit well with Kanetsugu so she runs away in tears. She sits by the river bank where they first arrived and ponders about stuff. Kenshin finds her but Kanetsugu feels she doesn’t need her anymore. On the contrary she does. She wants her to cook more delicious food for her every day. She is so happy that she sprouts wings and the colours return to her vision. Kenshin points out that it wasn’t her wings that show her happiness, but her real smile. Then Nobunaga confronts them for their Secret Treasure. They give it to her without putting up a fight because they want to stay and live in this era together peacefully.

Episode 4: One-eyed Dragon
Masamune Date is sent to prison after being tricked by the yakuza to do a delivery in which the police busted her. In prison, she gets bullied by several of the inmates. She didn’t fight back as she was too busy thinking how she was easily deceived by the yakuza. When she first arrived, she was about to slice a cocky group of yakuza underlings. Till the big boss showed up and wonders how long she would take to kill them. Though she claims 10 seconds, he notes her generosity because he knows she could take no more than 5 seconds to do that. He apologizes on their behalf and introduces himself as Daigoro Katakura of the Midori Gang. Because his name is close to her father’s, I guess that’s why she easily trusted him and accepted his task for some exchange. So when she got busted, his underling took the fall for Katakura. Even the guards ‘bully’ Masamune by ordering her to dig a hole and then filling it up. This continued every day. One day, she blows her top because the inmate bully insulted her parents. Then a big brawl occurs and all the inmates revolt against the guards. Masamune uses this confusion to escape. Masamune goes to hunt down all those who have betrayed her. When Katakura gets word from a lackey that Masamune has broken out and is back in town, too late. She’s already at his office. She wants him to commit seppuku. No other reasoning will do for her. Katakura is sweating in his pants, trying to give all sorts of excuse and even offering her to join him. Just when he thought she let her guard down, he pulls out a gun. Typical baddie move. She easily blocks every bullet and cuts him down with the back of her sword. I guess this scum isn’t worth to be killed or let her sword get tainted. Nobunaga appears before her and wants to claim her Secret Treasure but she refuses. They agree to settle their fight another day and flee their separate ways since the police is raiding the place.

Episode 5: Sword Maiden
Mike Morse is making a documentary, Samurai For Murder on the recent arrival of the sengoku generals in this era. His interviews include Bokuden Tsukahara who is a kendo instructor, Yoshiteru Ashikaga the shogun and Sekishuusai Yagyu the samurai high school teacher. Also in this documentary, Morse has painted Bokuden as a dangerous threat and the fact that these generals walk around carrying swords means that there would be risks of crimes being committed by those who seek to play the hero or samurai. Although the documentary is a success, we learn it has been heavily edited because Bokuden certainly did not say all those threatening and murderous words in the documentary. Upset and depressed, Bokuden talks to Sekishuusai about wanting to reveal the truth. They know they’re not going to let them have their way and if they fight their way in, they would be playing into their hands. But they have a plan. When Morse isn’t in his office, Bokuden talks to a staff outside about a programme that wants Yoshiteru to come to the studio to apologize to a kid who got hurt by one of these samurai incidents. Meanwhile Sekishuusai sneaks in to do her stuff. Prior to the programme, Morse did see Yoshiteru to ask if she could come down to the studio to make the apology. However she doesn’t view this as her fault as the attacker was influenced by the samurai and carried a blade. Morse’s door is still open should she change her mind. She eventually did, apologize and promise to put away their swords. Then she plays a video that has many of the people in the documentary rebuffing Morse’s work as fabrication. It also shows the true story of what happened that seemed threatening in the documentary. Morse panics and tries to worm his way out with an excuse even so, he proved samurais are dangerous. Bokuden reveals a dangerous samurai is on her way here. She is Ittousai and wants to fight Bokuden whom she believes is the strongest. But Bokuden points that Morse is the strongest because she threw away her sword. His camera is stronger than her sword. Ittousai starts attacking Morse and he pleads for the samurais to save his life. But they have vowed to give up the sword, right? He admits everything that he was wrong and the sword is necessary. Before Ittousai strikes him, Bokuden uses the camera to block it. Ittousai admits defeat as both swords and cameras can be used as weapons. In the aftermath, Morse now wants to do a movie that has Bokuden as the main star. She didn’t want to be on TV again till she learns the first episode will have her find kappas up the mountains. She likes kappas?

Episode 6: Knowledge Master
Gennai Hiraga tries to sell her wacky inventions to the public but it all backfires and make her look like a clown. Seems a boy who dreams of being a football star is her only ‘companion-cum-assistant’ as he makes frequent visits to her basement lab and even bought her favourite eel delicacies. Gennai’s dream is to build a time machine to head further into the future instead of returning to the past since she is obsessed about the future’s technologies. Since this supposed time machine (a giant swan?) ready, the duo start testing it. Peddle power? Well, there’s black smoke coming out from. Back to the drawing board. One day, the boy gets excited since he might be getting his big debut although he’s just a substitute. He hopes she can come. Gennai has finished her time machine (she just added more aesthetics?) and wonders the kid’s tardiness. She goes to look for him at school but was told by his friends that he got hit by a car while trying to save a cat. She visits him in hospital and despite just having a fractured leg, he seems to have given up his dream of being a football star. Gennai goes back to make adjustments to her time machine. She starts peddling hard so that she could go back in time to prevent the accident. She did go back to the past but it’s just moments before he saved the cat so she has not much time left. Oh, the time machine is totally busted too. Gennai is quick to fish the cat away and saves him from the accident. He manages to get his debut in the match and though his team lost, Gennai is happy that she manages to see him in action. Gennai tries to fix the time machine but I think it’s beyond salvation. Though she is still interested in the future, she feels she wants to stay put because she wants to bring happiness to the people here too.

Episode 7: Refined Bard
Marie throws her useless husband out of her cafe. He even had the cheek to ask her to sell it to start anew. She throws a bucket at him but she misses and hit the wandering Bashou Matsuo instead. Bashou hangs around this rundown place and Marie isn’t too enthusiastic. I mean, she’s only got carbonara on her menu… Her daughter Ai wants Bashou to stay while the workers, Kyouichi and Satoshi make a bet she won’t last long. Despite everything so dilapidated, she takes an interest in this place. So much so she takes the liberty to redecorate Saihate Cafe, much to Marie’s dismay and she kicks her out. Ai stands up for Bashou that the place looks better all cleaned up but Marie notes she can’t stand that poet’s haiku. Ai at least wants Bashou to stay and help clean the motel. Soon, the cafe experiences a boon in customers with many guys coming to the place to learn Bashou’s haiku. One day Satoshi requests for a day off because he has an audition to be a dancer. Satoshi talks to Bashou and expresses his gratitude that her presence has changed their lives. Even Kyouichi is now resuming his painting. If only Marie could open up her heart and learn her haiku. Then she would stop running away from playing the piano. Eventually Satoshi passes the audition and Bashou wants to hear Marie’s piano but was told not to stick her nose in other’s business. Saihate Cafe has become famous enough to warrant an appearance on TV (Marie is sure nervous) and this also reunites Satoshi and his mother. Despite putting on a stubborn facade, I guess Marie still likes Bashou’s haiku because she secretly reads them and starts playing up her piano. That night also has Nobunaga meeting Bashou and brings her out to sea. Marie saw her leaving and it seems she is reluctant for her to go just like that. She wants her to teach her haiku. She doesn’t want her to go. If she was going to do that in the first place, she should never have come. Next day, Saihate Cafe is at usual in its busy pace. Marie now has a variety of pasta in her menu and puts up a refreshing expression. But she couldn’t be happier when Bashou makes her return because this is where she belongs and after all, the carbonara here is the best in the world.

Episode 8: Regent Girl
Hideyoshi Toyotomi must really love rice to even dream of it. Currently she is living with a girl, Noriko as she tells her about her village’s legend. There is a rock up a mountain in which in exchange for a good harvest, the gods took away the girls who danced and they were never seen again. Only interested in the abundance of rice, Hideyoshi tries that dance herself and when she thought nothing happened, she falls into a hole after chasing her dropped onigiri. It leads her to a fantasy-like place whereby the citizens are rice people! She is being honoured for being the 10,000th customer! Nobunaga is also there and they argue whose dream they are part of while challenging each other to dumb bloated contests. The rice people deem Hideyoshi as their saviour but present to her a test to see if she can pick out which one is the real Akitakomachi rice. Well, they all look the same. Well, Hideyoshi picks the right one! I don’t want to question her about rice. I believe in her expertise in this area. Then the all-time enemy she is supposed to save them is here: A grasshopper. But how can she save them when they panic and run away? Hideyoshi and Nobunaga walk along and meet a scarecrow who shows them some stage drama inside his box. I don’t get it. Then trekking through a desert, they meet Rikyuu who offers them tea and some mind boggling question about erm, questions and answers. I don’t get it. Then they get involve in some fight whereby there is a war going on between the rice and wheat nation. Where did they get that tank? Then in all the abstract and chaos, Hideyoshi is supposed to fulfil their wish before their destruction. All she understands is that she finally gets to eat while everything around gets burnt to the ground. Hideyoshi revives back in the real world where Noriko and the other villagers were worried about her. She thought she was dreaming but it seems she is holding a magical ladle that produces endless rice! Now she can eat all the rice she wants.

Episode 9: Ambitious Princess Part I
Soun Hojo. Now known as Shinkurou Ise. She is depressed. Despite harbouring hopes to become a general, after learning how impossible it is to conquer this world, she just gave up. That easy? Too big to conquer, eh? She is currently living with Jun Takahashi and her mom thinks it would be a good idea if Shinkurou gets outside instead of cooping up inside her room all day long. That means, follow her to school, right? Not a good sign. Jun can’t help get worried. Shinkurou shows no signs of enthusiasm. Even the teacher is afraid of her. Those who fight back get ‘injured’. Think of dropping out? Well, I don’t know how Jun persuaded her to stay on. So the scaredy teacher didn’t want to pick her to answer a question on the board. Nobody wanted to answer. Shinkurou volunteered. Oh sh*t. She amazingly solves the complicated equation with no sweat. Nobody got injured. Phew. But the bunch of bullies got injured in a volleyball match when they deliberately target Jun. Just when Jun thought she is getting used to school life, Shinkurou spots delinquents and thinks they’re the force that controls everyone behind school. Against Jun’s advice not to pursue this, Shinkurou decides to uphold justice and confront them. Think they can get tough with her? Now see if you can hold your pants after she cuts them with her sword! They go get their leader and she is straight to tell him she will eliminate him. Despite making a prior promise with Jun not to use her sword or fist, she kicks and even uses Jun as a spinning projectile to knock them out! Shinkurou feels this is too easy. But you don’t go to school to beat up people, right? So what’ the point of coming to school? So the lie moves on from a molehill to a mountain as Jun tries to pacify Shinkurou. Maybe there’s a bigger bad organization behind this. Yeah. She believes it. She’s going to hunt that down too. Oh dear. Jun may have just created a monster.

Episode 10: Ambitious Princess Part II
Just how is Jun going to come clean with her? It’s not easy seeing that Shinkurou is bent on eradicating this Shadow Thug Alliance. Shinkurou believes she can’t be hurt easily. At least not by flames because when she was young, she went to pick herbs and fell into a volcano but came out alive. After school as they patrol the corridors, they bump into Kotarou Fuuma, a ninja. Another ditz because she really wants Shinkurou to ask her stuff that she wasn’t interested in knowing. A frontal attack for a ninja means a sealed fate because Shinkurou easily defeats her. Kotarou tells her to head to the gym where the big boss awaits her. Shinkurou promises Jun that she will go home with her after she defeats the boss. A giant masked doll appears before her and knows all about Shinkurou and her real name. They fight and Shinkurou insists not to be called by her real name. She starts using her flames but the doll isn’t scared because she controls water and douses it all. Shinkurou is going to show her that she isn’t just more powerful than what the rumours said about her. It’s because it is a fact and the truth! She stabs her sword into the doll and it reverts to human size. She didn’t kill her as her goal is to save the school from the Shadow Thug Alliance. The show is over when Sessai Taigen comes in, Shinkurou’s master. The person behind this doll is Yoshimoto Imagawa. This is a test they setup for her because Yoshimoto wants to gather all the forces she can to settle a score with Nobunaga. Shinkurou agrees to join her and decides to reuse her old name. Jun isn’t happy she is going away just like that but she states that she made a promise with the Imagawa clan first and a very long time ago. She will keep her promise and return to Jun one day. Till then she hopes to be called Shinkurou again.

Episode 11: Brutal Maiden
Hisahide Matsunaga is a con artist. And she’s a pro in her job. A group of thugs led by Kanbara threaten an ambassador if he can’t pay his debts. They want to open a casino inside the embassy grounds as the local laws don’t apply or else they can’t guarantee what will happen to his daughter, Sarah. No choice, he relents. The illegal casino is thriving and Kanbara is happy to see people in despair while losing their cash to the casino. Sarah is desperate so she searches for help. Only a gambler could ruin a casino, right? This leads her to Hisahide as she watches her in a gambling match. Then a cop busts into the place so Hisahide takes Sarah and run. Hisahide learns of Sarah’s predicament and agrees to help her out but first has her learn to use a gun. She’s going to destroy that casino. Hisahide walks into the casino and makes a good run hoping to attract attention. Winning big isn’t going to get her noticed so she starts stealing chips from the unsuspecting old guy next to her. Kanbara sees this and alerts his henchman, Arita to step in. The old guy likes Hisahide’s company so he says he ‘gave’ the chips to her. Then she tells Arita upfront she is here to break this casino. Even if she is captured, her friends will come here every day till it is bankrupt. To settle this, she suggests a one billion yen bet in a high stakes match of poker. One round settles it all. Arita confirms from Hisahide that she has this much money herself when she shows him her bank account book. The game begins and Hisahide is losing. The alarm goes off in the midst and they know it’s Sarah who sounded it. Hisahide tries to get out but Arita won’t let her since the game has just only begun. In the end, Hisahide loses everything and leaves dejectedly. Kanbara never tires in watching such expression when he realizes his safes are all cleaned out. He realizes it’s a trap and orders Arita to go after Hisahide. Outside, he sees Sarah pointing a gun at her. She is distraught that she didn’t live up to her promise to break the casino (despite stealing the money, it defeats her goal) and shoots her! Arita checks her pulse and realizes she is still alive. Then a cop steps in to arrest Hisahide for fraud and Sarah for illegal firearm possession. Arita thought he had Hisahide’s bank account as collateral but realizes it’s fake. So now they’re broke. Sarah learns that the cop is Hisahide’s accomplice (along with several other girls that help her clean out the safe) and now they’ve got all the money, they need to go into hiding for a while. Hisahide guarantees her father will be safe now that the casino is ruined. She’ll accept Sarah’s cooking as payment.

Episode 12: Dancing Blossom
A group of motorcycle thugs surrounds a teacher’s car, Matsuura. She could’ve been done for if not for Keiji Maeda or better known as Saturday Night Rider and her motorcycle named Matsukaze, beats them all up! Their bikes are trashed too! Don’t play with this woman! Yamaguchi who is the strict and no-fun boss of the convenience store doesn’t like her employees to gossip about the goodness of Saturday Night Rider during their shifts. If you haven’t guessed it, despite the goody disguise and retard attitude, Keiji is also working under her as a part timer. Keiji hears a couple of delinquents talk about a group of motorcycle thugs being done in by Saturday Night Rider. She hopes they could take their conversation somewhere else but one of them, Kudou gets rude and pours water over her head. She scares them off with her scary look in the eye. As she cleans herself up, the store is being mugged. Keiji turns off the lights and knocks the robber out. Yeah, one of the employees, Futagawa thought her random panic punched him in the dark. She laments that she hoped Saturday Night Rider should have come instead of a robber and asks Yamaguchi’s opinion. She’s not amused. Later Kudou returns to buy some underwear so Keiji has Matsuura look up on his details. As Yamaguchi walks, she ponders about Saturday Night Rider and accidentally bumps into a guy. He wants more than an apology and brings her to a secluded building. She tries to shout for help but everyone turns a blind eye and deaf ear. The guy is going to rape her as she laments her fate. Suddenly Saturday Night Rider crashes into him and saves her. She had a feeling Matsukaze told her to come this way first and it led her to this. Yamaguchi is given a ride as she feels strange she opened herself up to someone she just met. Saturday Night Rider wakes Kudou up from his slumber to tell him off about wearing wrong coloured underwear!!! WTF?! She wants him to wear white instead of black?! What kabukimono rules?! She strips herself to show him the white underwear she is wearing. WTF?! If he doesn’t change his ways, she’ll be back next week. I think he will. Saturday Night Rider sends Yamaguchi home and the latter wonders if they’ll meet again. Matsukaze will bring her to her when the time comes. Yamaguchi loosens up the next day at work and even asks what underwear colour her employees wear! Always white. She feels they can get along well.

Episode 13: Silver Hornet
Nobunaga sure must be getting used to live in the modern era. She even knows how to use an ATM. Till she meets this girl, Ageha. I know she’s poor but look at the way she ‘saves’ and eats Nobunaga’s melting popsicle before it falls to the ground. Ageha is one sly girl because she convinces Nobunaga to even take her to the laundry to wash her clothes and make her pay for it! Ageha then finds tickets for the raffles underneath a washing machine. Trying their luck, Nobunaga thought winning second prize was great. But Ageha had better luck and wins the grand prize. A trip for 2 to the hotsprings. Meanwhile professional sniper, Zenjubou Sugitani was hired by Yoshimoto to eliminate Nobunaga. She has a hard time tracking her in this big city. Thinking where this devil would be, as luck would have it, suddenly there she is right before her eyes at the train station with Ageha. But with Ageha? Zenjubou remembers she was someone who picked her up when she came to this world. Despite spending time with this homeless girl, she felt natural around her and as an assassin, she can’t let that happened, that’s why she disappeared from her sight. She doesn’t need friends. All she needs is a target. While Nobunaga and Ageha enjoy their stay at the hotspring, Zenjubou has no luck in assassinating Nobunaga. Whether it’s playing ping pong (all in right timing, Nobunaga unknowingly slams the bullet back almost hitting Zenjubou!) or having a sumptuous meal (Zenjubou only had a chocolate bar. Poor girl. It made her even hungrier), it is getting to her. Then next day at the beach, Ageha’s sand pit that has Nobunaga falling through it once more made Zenjubou miss. It is not until Ageha trips and accidentally kisses Nobunaga on the lips that made Zenjubou blow her top and confront her in the open. Learning she’s an assassin, Nobunaga tells her off while she aims for world conquest, she can only aim to kill. She then takes Zenjubou’s Secret Treasure. That night Nobunaga leaves so Zenjubou wonders if Ageha will be sad without her. That’s why she wants her to be her good friend instead. So when Ageha learns Nobunaga had just left, she hopes Zenjubou won’t bail on her like that too. Sure thing.

Episode 14: Novel Deciders
Isami Kondou, Toshizou Hijikata and Souji Okita are living together in a girls’ dorm. Despite Souji always being sick, the duo have the nerve to hang out in her room and bully her. And there’s this narration despite being the weakest, she is said to be the strongest. Only thing is, nobody has ever seen it for themselves. So we see the duo pick on Souji by cooling down in her room with big blocks of ice (she’s sick, you know), getting her white clothes dyed by their coloured clothes when they mix it up in the same washing machine, try out some hotspring flavour in their bathtub (why is it murky colour?), stamping a mark on her forehead that doesn’t seem to come off. Then it’s raining and they ask her to go out and buy candies. They hold her futon at ransom but she’s not perturbed. Till they mention about playing games so she’s up to it. Call the duo bad losers but it looks like Souji is always the one drawing the short end of the stick. Because in the Game of Life, though Souji wins the game, the final card has instructions to go to the convenience store to buy candies for her beloved seniors. Can’t defy what the card says, right? It’s a setup alright… Though it stopped raining, the duo claim they forgot their wallet. Once more, Souji has to take out her own money. But pay her back, okay? I feel that’s not going to happen… Because they can’t decide what kind of nabe to have for dinner, the duo just bought almost everything that comes to mind at the supermarket. That’s not the end of their annoyance yet. They mix everything into the pot! What a waste of that good beef! It’s basically a mess now. When they throw in the lobster, it’s like a murder dish! The last straw came when they put in Souji’s favourite strawberry daifukus. She blows her top and becomes a ‘monster’. Ah. So this is why she’s called the strongest. Hope the idiots learn their lesson. On another day, Souji wants them to take seriously in their exams or else they won’t be her seniors anymore. They assure they’ll always be her senior in her heart. They persuade her to take a break since they have strawberry daifukus. Really? It’s on her. Stingy poker! They still haven’t paid her back the last time yet…

Episode 15: Annihilate Princess
Yoshiaki Mogami loves this era’s peaceful times. But I wonder why she didn’t turn down an invitation by her friends, Mao and Yumi to investigate a haunted house. She’s weak of ghosts, you know. Don’t worry. They’ll bring along an occult member, Murata. She looks like one! Eek!!! Along the way, they see a wanted poster of Masamune. Yoshiaki remembers Masamune always called her ‘aunty’ despite being younger than her. So the creepy adventure into the haunted house begins. Murata senses some energy from the basement but Yoshiaki manages to convince them to look elsewhere first since the door to it is locked. Guess what? They’re going to stay here too! Oh God! The last train has left, right? The corridors look very long to Yoshiaki and she can’t find anyone who wants to sleep with her. Yeah, each room has weird artefacts or torture devices! Can you sleep soundly with those? Then another problem creeps up: Yoshiaki needs to use the toilet! It’s right back where they came. Nobody wants to go with her. Can she hold it in? I don’t how long she held it in but she manages to do her business. Yoshiaki gets more freaked out during dinner (the table items moved – poltergeist?! Or is it just Murata under the table?), the shower water turned rusty (maybe the pipes were rusty. Why is there water running through in the first place?) and Murata just ran off when she senses something and kept saying “There isn’t just one!”. It gets worse when Yumi collapses and Mao is not in her room. Yoshiaki has no choice but to head to the basement to solve it all. But all she finds is Masamune, weakened. After feeding her, she learns she is in hiding and offers to help out by talking to her relative Yoshiteru. But Masamune doesn’t want her to sacrifice her stature for her sake and even so, this doesn’t make her crimes disappear. She wants Yoshiaki to pretend only a black cat has passed here and knocks her out. Yoshiaki wakes up and heads to the roof to shoot fireworks for Masamune (wherever she is) to see. She returns to her friends and is relieved to see Yumi okay (she just had a light concussion) and Mao was sleeping in Yoshiaki’s room all along. They both sleep together. Hey! Where did Murata ran off to?

Episode 16: Blade Adept
Yoshiteru tells Rikyuu that she will be inviting Sekishuusai over for a western tea party. She wants Rikyuu to make a super hot spicy snack that will destroy the mouth! This is for revenge against Sekishuusai’s pranks despite the latter was her student. Sekishuusai arrives and presents Yoshiteru with a sword as a gift. Whether Sekishuusai could sense Yoshiteru is plotting something, she signals that if she were to play any pranks on her, like say, making the snack spicy, she will refuse to give the sword. So no choice, Yoshiteru eats the spicy snack and gets burnt! Sekishuusai isn’t going to let Yoshiteru drink water and makes her admit. Even so, she won’t let her drink directly from the bottle because it’s uncivilized. So when they finally get their chance to drink, Sekishuusai’s lips gets burnt. Yoshiteru pretended to drink the red pepper juice. Right back at ‘ya! They’re going down together! Rikyuu gives them drink water. Since the duo are still loggerheads, they are going to settle this via Russian Roulette. One of the cakes will be spicy and the loser is the one who eats it. They’ll bet their Secret Treasure. Just the mention of that, Nobunaga is right at their doorstep to take that. They have been hearing what Nobunaga is up lately and agrees to form a truce and defeat her. The cake Russian Roulette is already rigged from the start as Rikyuu mentions the spicy ones have the cherry slightly off. Only those with keen eyes can spot it. There are 2 of them so the duo will avoid that. Nobunaga is ushered in and persuaded to play the game. But she can tell that a couple of cakes are rigged and suspects something amiss since the cake is made from them. Yoshiteru has no choice but to have Rikyuu remake the cakes. To spice things up (like they need more of it), Nobunaga suggests to eat with their eyes closed. Now they’re really sweating in their pants. The last one standing gets all the Secret Treasure and Nobunaga is hell confident she’ll win. Sekishuusai goes first and hits the spicy one! Out she goes. Next is Yoshiteru. Safe. Nobunaga’s turn. Safe. Yoshiteru mentions she loves Sekishuusai, the reason why she also tried to play tricks on her (doesn’t it feel like getting back at her?). Sekishuusai also admits the same. She played those tricks because she admires her and wanted to make up by giving the sword. Yoshiteru takes a bite and is safe. Nobunaga hits the spicy one and loses. However Yoshiteru feels lonely if she can’t be with Sekishuusai and has Rikyuu make her very hot tea to knock her out. Nobunaga takes their Secret Treasures and leaves.

Episode 17: Sunshine Ruler
Wait a minute! Isn’t Liu Bei from the Three Kingdoms?! WTF?! Anyway she works as a maid but has a curse: She turns into a pig by night! She is tasked to take care of an old woman named Tae Haruhi. She is known as a maid crusher because all those who worked under her will quit. Liu Bei makes her debut and is given the cold shoulder, even get splashed by water! But that doesn’t stop her as she tends to her garden. Her perseverance to clean up the garden has Tae at least let her inside her home. She is allowed the clean but her room and kitchen are off limits. One night, Liu Bei hears Tae’s nephew threatening to make her sign a contract to sell her house out so he can build a condo. She won’t do it. He’ll be back. She throws her slipper at him but misses and accidentally hit little miss piggy’s head. Tae brings the piggy in, not knowing her true identity and makes friends with her. Her kitchen is messy as she admits she doesn’t know how to cook nor did she do any chores before but doesn’t want to end up in an old folks home. As she feeds piggy, she confesses she likes animals because they can’t talk and she doesn’t have to pretend for them. Once Liu Bei knows the truth, in her human form she gets a little aggressive to clean the forbidden rooms and cook better meals for Tae. Her dual life continues. Maid at day, pig at night. So much so Liu Bei had to tell her to ‘feed the pig proper food’. I guess it works. Soon Tae becomes fond of Liu Bei’s company and she would like her to stay for dinner to meet this pig who often comes around this time. Liu Bei runs off and in the midst turns into a pig. Tae saw everything. The duo are drawn into the dream world whereby Nobunaga takes the pig’s Secret Treasure. But she turns into a pig herself! Liu Bei realizes her curse is cast on her Secret Treasure so with Nobunaga taking it, the curse affected her. However… Nobunaga uses her brute willpower to break free from the curse! Amazing! No curse is going to stop this little devil. Tae’s nephew returns and brought along ruffians to force Tae to sign her consent. Liu Bei protects her by demonstrating her sword skills. And a couple of cool lines of course. I bet those jerks won’t be back again and it’s good that Tae has accepted Liu Bei in her life.

Episode 18: Four Leaves
Bad luck always follows Yoshitsugu Ootani. Her gloomy factory job doesn’t make it better. Even her colleagues snub her and she only has a black cat as a companion. She thought finding a four leaf clover would change her luck but it got worse. More scolding from the supervisor when she slips up. At a loss, she writes to Angel, the author for the book Heaven’s Door who once said that good luck will always be there if you believe it. But she knows it won’t go anywhere because Heaven’s Hill doesn’t exist. It’s a place in heaven, right? One day, she gets a surprise reply from Angel. She tells Yoshitsugu to remain positive and also relates her own string of bad luck which turns out to be lucky coincidences. Soon, the duo start exchanging letters on a frequent note as Angel relates another one of her lucky coincidences whereby she found a movie ticket that almost expired but it turned out to be a horror movie that she disliked. Not wanting to waste it, she used it but regretted the moment she stepped in. But halfway through, the film got burnt and the screen went blank. It was a funny incident so the horror became a comedy for her. Yoshitsugu sends a bookmark as thanks and in return Angel sends another book as gratitude, Stairway To Heaven. Yoshitsugu wants to meet and Angel agrees. She can’t wait to meet her and imagines the kind of person and city she lives on. On the day she’s supposed to take a flight, disaster strikes. She had to help an old lady to hospital since she’s suffering from heart attack. She is then late to buy a ticket but even so, she lost her wallet. Searching didn’t help. The police couldn’t help. They couldn’t meet. Because of that, Angel’s letters stop coming. The seasons pass. No letter. Yoshitsugu becomes upset and smashes her typewriter! Yes, she still has one of those babies. That’s how poor she is. Then she gets a package. An air ticket to see Angel. Yoshitsugu takes a plane to Heaven’s Hill. The place is not what she expects. Like the slums. Standing in front of her room, she is told by the landlady that she has passed away due to overworking for the past 6 months (she never had a strong body and worked overtime to probably pay her medical bills). In her final letter, she apologizes for everything and so much has happened since their last exchange. She reveals on the day she received her first letter, she was about to commit suicide. She decided to write back and notes despite it looked like she cheering up Yoshitsugu, it was Yoshitsugu who has been cheering her and looked forward to the day they meet (so when she couldn’t, I guess it was heartbreak). She thanks her for the best lucky coincidence ever and hopes they’ll always be friends.

Episode 19: Vengeful Fang – IS
Mitsuhide Akechi is a detective as she and her assistant Kibayashi meet up with detective Hirai at the crime scene whereby the headless corpse of the eldest daughter of the 3 Hototogisu sisters, Ayako is found murdered by the riverside. Mitsuhide thought she saw a man in white mask opposite the river watching them. Hirai interrogates Okemi Hazama who is the first suspect because she holds a grudge against Ayako. But Mitsuhide says she isn’t the killer because the way Ayako was killed, it might have been with someone familiar since she was totally defenceless and there were no sleep-induced drugs in her system. The next suspects would be the younger sisters, Meiko and Machiko along with their butler, Henri who is always having a video cam in his hand. But they seem distraught Ayako is dead and would be glad if Mitsuhide help to bring the killer to justice. Mitsuhide revisits the crime scene once more and sees the masked man but was told by a police officer he is Morilanty, a professor of applied criminology. She is advised not to get too close to him. Hirai rings in another suspect. Matsuo Murakumo may look like a beautiful lady but is in fact a cross-dresser. Found with him is a bag with Hototogisu’s family seal and a bundle of cash inside. They think he blackmailed Ayako and killed her. However he denies that even though he is an extortionist, he wouldn’t make such a screwed up mistake. At least he admitted he is an extortionist. Mitsuhide smells the notes and realizes he is not the one. That’s because natto smell is covered on it and it is Meiko’s favourite food. It is discovered that Murakumo was blackmailing Meiko. They go interrogate her as she reveals she is an illegitimate child of another father. If the public discovers this, she won’t inherit the family’s fortune. So Murakumo must have discovered that in an old diary belonging to the father’s wife and blackmailed her.

Mitsuhide discusses with Hirai and Kibayashi the possibility Machiko may be the one putting up Murakumo to blackmail her to take away Meiko’s alibi during the murder. So when Murakumo was dealing with Meiko, Machiko went to kill Ayako. But Henri denies that and Machiko has an alibi. He reveals despite Machiko going on a diet, she secretly had midnight snacks and one night collapsed due to stomach ache from such rendezvous (the food got stale I suppose). She is weakened to a point she won’t be able to kill anybody and he has video camera proof of it. He never told them because Machiko ordered him not to since it would be embarrassing to the family if her midnight snacking is discovered. Since it hurts to conceal the truth, Henri tells them now. Mitsuhide wonders if he is cooking this up to protect Machiko but he is prepared to state this formally if required. Mitsuhide thinks deeper and thinks the headless corpse switched places with Morilanty. She rushes back to the crime scene to see Morilanty there again. She chases and corners him at the cliff. She unmasks him and to her surprise it is Kibayashi behind the mask. Not quite. She says Morilanty isn’t Kibayashi but Kibayashi’s true identity is Morilanty. Isn’t that the same? Another Kibayashi pops up. There are 2 of them? She unmasks herself and is that Morilanty professor with the white mask. They’ve been watching Mitsuhide all this time and points out she is the murderer. Because she is the only one who won’t accept whose body it is despite there is a head. Otherwise, how would the villagers recognize it is her body without the head? Machiko’s statement that she saw Ayako’s body from the chapel and that she didn’t went through much suffering (indicating she had a peaceful look on her face) only makes it more evident. In short, Mitsuhide killed someone dear to her and didn’t want to admit it. Mitsuhide runs back to the chapel and opens the coffin. Ayako’s head is still intact. It is revealed this is actually a stage play as the audience applause this magnificent scene. Mitsuhide is still wallowing in guilt as she is being told to end the play with a sentence (to say her name). Then she wakes up in bed and is shocked when she realizes she has killed Nobunaga.

Episode 20: Vengeful Fang – OS
Mitsuhide runs away from bed and her aide Ranmaru Mori couldn’t do anything about it. Ranmaru bumps into Nobunaga and tells her about Mitsuhide’s condition. She was in coma ever since she saw the flames and couldn’t leave her alone, that’s why she took care of her when she was unconscious in this world. Mitsuhide is absorbed with guilt that she killed Nobunaga. Thinking back, she was in a strategic meeting with her along with Hideyoshi, Ieyasu, Kanetsugu, Sessai and Yoshiteru. Mitsuhide has work to do and wants to take her leave but Nobunaga tells her not to sweat it and do it tomorrow. Nobunaga thinks she’s still upset over that incident. The one whereby Mitsuhide was discussing with her about their battle strategy. She wanted to prepare carefully for this crucial mission but Nobunaga wants to strike while the iron is hot. She insulted Mitsuhide she has no Secret Treasure because she is petty. Ieyasu thought Nobunaga should apologize but that little devil doesn’t think she has done anything wrong. Mitsuhide takes a break in the tea room with Rikyuu. Mitsuhide is depressed that without a Secret Treasure, it is as good as being a nobody in this era. Rikyuu says she doesn’t have to think too much about it. Strong emotions make people strong but they also cause people to suffer. Then Nobunaga enters the room and the tension just got intense. But she had to leave when Ranmaru reports Hideyoshi has something important to talk. Mitsuhide thinks how Nobunaga was always smiling whenever Hideyoshi is nearby. She feels jealous. That jealousy increase when Hideyoshi received Nobunaga’s attention. The dark feelings crept into her heart so much that it formed a Secret Treasure and grew stronger to more it feeds on it. Even so, she strangely loved it.

One day, Mitsuhide thought she would be able to win Nobunaga’s approval if she leads the next final battle to victory. To her horror, Nobunaga changes her mind and put Hideyoshi in charge instead. That was the last straw. Later Ieyasu talks to Nobunaga about that decision. Because it is the last battle, she wanted to keep Mitsuhide near her. Once this battle is over, she will have achieved her dream and her conquest is over for good. Thus Ieyasu guessed she wants the person she trusted most by her side. I suppose Nobunaga is a tsundere and couldn’t tell Mitsuhide that so she wants Ieyasu to keep it a secret. But it’s too late because anger has got the better of Mitsuhide as she sets the place on fire. Maybe that’s why everyone in that era got transported to the modern age. Back in present time, Mitsuhide’s wandering has her bump into Rikyuu. The latter takes her in when she collapses. Mitsuhide wakes up in Rikyuu’s room and is being told Nobunaga is still alive and going around collecting Secret Treasures. Mitsuhide now remembers everything and thinks her amnesia was because she couldn’t admit what she had done. Speaking of Nobunaga, here she comes looking for another Secret Treasure. She didn’t expect it to be Mitsuhide but nevertheless will take it from her. Mitsuhide isn’t going to put up a fight and voluntarily gives it to her since her Secret Treasure filled with darkness may be of use to her even if this means goodbye forever. Suddenly she has a change of mind and won’t give it to her and runs away. Rikyuu obstructs Nobunaga, who threatens she can’t guarantee her life if she continues to be in the way. Rikyuu is willing to lay down her life because Mitsuhide is a dear friend and a fellow student in the way of the tea. Mitsuhide continues running…

Episode 21: Calvary Queen
The Russian space agency staffs realize an artificial intelligence, Vesna 9000 has taken over some orbital lasers and plan to destroy Earth. How can they request for help in this short amount of time? Luckily, Shingen Takeda wakes up on the space station Nadhokha and picks up the transmission in one of the units. They need her to neutralize Vesna that operates Nadhokha. They guide her to Fasad 29, a support droid that will be able to help her. Seems Fasad is somewhat disappointed that it isn’t Mikhail who came to wake him up. He feels he isn’t the kind of person to break a promise and his loyalty means he won’t work with her. But the space guys download the current situation to him so Fasad agrees to help her out. If you’re wondering why Fasad looks like a hot water dispenser, that’s because he is only good in making tea! Oh dear. And calculations. Ah well. That’s fine since Shingen notes she is good in everything else except maths. So starts the journey of woman and robot as they make their way to Vesna. Exchanging wise cracks along the way. Fasad sees Shingen take out several guard droids sent by Vesna with her bare hands! Wow! That’s the wind power? She claims she can take out 50 of those. If using AK-47 didn’t work, she uses her fan to disable them all! Don’t mess with her! With this so called forest power she claims. She even uses the flame thrower to burn the guard droids. That’s her fire power… Haha… Right before the chamber to Vesna, they are ambushed by more guard droids. That doesn’t look like 50 but hey, Shingen did say she was bad with calculations. Run!

They hide in a pod area whereby Shingen gets a feeling that getting outside in a pod will make things work out despite it will restrict her movements. Fasad notes how she is similar to Mikhail because they act on intuition or gut feeling. He continues telling her about Mikhail and his favourite Japanese chicken wings. Once they enter the pod and prepare to head to space, the air pressure sucks the guard droids out into space. So this was her plan? The hatch will lead to Vesna but Shingen can’t activate it since there is no air and the pod is too big to enter this chamber. It is pointless to send Fasad in too seeing there is nothing much he can do. Shingen gets an idea to do a dangerous stunt. They’ll use blast of the pod’s ejection blast to enter the hatch. In that crucial 15 seconds, they’ll seal it close. Phew. They made it. Once inside the core, Vesna wants to negotiate with Shingen. A sign that it can’t win over Shingen? Vesna proposes that they team up and will conquer the world together. It’s her dream as a Sengoku general, right? However Shingen refuses her offer since it is boring. She would rather work with Fasad to conquer the world with chicken wings. She isn’t interested in the cold world she would get if Vesna conquers Earth. So Shingen beats up the core till it shuts down! Wow. I understand why people hit their machines to work but this… As promised, Shingen is given a ride back down to Earth with Fasad guiding her. Fasad wonders if she’ll look for other Sengoku generals once she touches down but she says she would like to open a chicken wing restaurant. She’s already got a name figured out: Takeda Wing Army. Lame. But Fasad would like to help her since she isn’t good with numbers.

Episode 22: The Splendor
Higurashi is assigned to track and arrest Masamune since he is under a special department that counters threats from the Sengoku generals and was the one who first arrested her. Kojurou Katakura is also made to be his partner and she is bent on arresting Masamune for her crimes. Though Higurashi has no problem working with her, he just had this thought that she wants to meet up and run away with Masamune. Of course Kojurou denies that she wants Masamune caught and to atone for her crimes even if it’s a person close to her. He calls her a cold woman. They go around interviewing their leads (the yakuza boss Katakura is now a farmer?) and word has it that Masamune is viewed as a hero who saved them and they’re not happy the police wants to arrest her. Higurashi talks to Yoshiaki as he believes she and Masamune were once rivals to the throne. However to Kojurou’s shock, Yoshiaki roots for Masamune. Higurashi deduces if Kojurou’s information was correct it could only mean Yoshiaki met Masamune in this era and her perception changed. Higurashi is suave to persuade Yoshiaki to reveal any info on Masamune. The last she met her was at the abandoned haunted house but doesn’t know where she went after that. After they leave, Kojurou notes he resorted to lying to get information and wonders if he is a lolicon since the different treatment between them. Higurashi points out Masamune did something against the law and yet she’s popular. But Kojurou is doing something good but nobody likes her. Then he gets a call that Masamune has been spotted living in a fishing village. But upon arrival, they are greeted by Keiko who is in Masamune’s funeral. Keiko breaks down while explaining how Masamune was cornered by a local police at the cliff and was shot before falling off. Higurashi insists Kojurou accompany Keiko in her grievance while he talks to the villagers.

Once Higurashi is done, he tells Kojurou that Masamune is really dead and the villagers’ story do not contradict. She asks about if her body was found. Of course not. Nobody could’ve survived that fall and the dangerous currents below. Pointing out the cold woman she is, if she was a friend, she wouldn’t have asked about the body. There was a point he believed she was prepared to betray him and escape with Masamune. Higurashi retires to his room while Kojurou visits the crime scene. As she blurts out her feelings to the sea, suddenly Masamune appears behind her. They both embrace. Isn’t she supposed to be dead? The villagers lied on her behalf. If the police thinks she’s dead, they’ll stop looking. It might be the wrong thing to do tricking everyone but she wasn’t going to get arrested before she gets a chance to apologize to Kojurou. Masamune says sorry for being deceived by the yakuza and soiled her reputation. She asks Kojurou to run away with her. She won’t become her partner in crime. Masamune can’t change her lifestyle. Higurashi is flushed out from behind the rocks by Masamune. Seems this was all part of his plan to wait for them to meet. He felt something was off when the villagers were cold to him and a funeral was held right on the day Masamune fell off a cliff. Weird, don’t you think? Masamune won’t let him go if he plans to arrest Kojurou as a traitor. But he rather tell his boss she escaped than die trying to arrest her. He plans to report that Masamune died falling off a cliff and Kojurou resigns after that. Even if he’s supposed to do his job, that was before he know what Sengoku generals are like. He orders Kojurou to stay by Masamune’s side and watch over her. He apologizes for calling her a cold woman and makes her blush by complimenting her beautiful smile. Masamune and Kojurou reunite and they head off somewhere where they could always be together.

Episode 23: The Dune
Narrated like a historical document, it tells of Tsunehisa Amago‘s entry to a kindergarten and the battlefield that is no other than the sandbox. She makes friends with Shimizu who somehow felt like serving her like a ruler. He shares her dream of making a huge sand castle in the sandbox. However the sandbox is ruled by 3 different factions: Matsuda, Enya and Misawa. In her first attempt to rule the sandbox, she approaches Matsuda who claims he makes the biggest mud balls. Tsunehisa decides to show him how to make a real one and though it starts out tiny, slowly it grows and becomes hard and shiny like a black pearl. Matsuda wants to learn it from her and thus you can say his group are under her control. However Enya didn’t like her growing influence and declines to join her in making her sand castle. A mud war started when he stomps and destroys a mud ball. Tsunehisa’s group is clearly at a disadvantage in terms of numbers so Tsunehisa and Shimizu ends the war by spraying water at Enya’s faction. Tsunehisa teaches Enya and his group the finer points in making the base of a sand castle so it’s safe to say Enya is now her ally. Of course this doesn’t sit well with Misawa so she tells the teacher about Tsunehisa’s mischief when she sprayed Enya with water. Because of that, she was prohibited to play in the sandbox for a day. Shimizu was out with a cold, the reason he wasn’t there to defend her. Tsunehisa tries to negotiate with Misawa but the latter drives a hard bargain. She won’t allow their groups to switch the sandbox every 3 days (she needs this long to build her sand castle) and will only allow 2 days the most. Plus, Misawa doesn’t agree about everyone is being creative. Otherwise, it would’ve been better for everyone to build many little sand castles of their own instead of a big one. Negotiations failed.

In a final attempt to gain control of the sandbox, a game of Avalanche (Misawa terms it as Knocking Down Sticks) is played. Players take turns taking away the mountain of sand and if the stick in the middle falls on one’s turn, that player loses. Misawa is lucky to go first and this means she has a big advantage. Because so, to be fair, Tsunehisa is allowed to choose a stick and she chose a twig with leaves. But this gives her an advantage as she is able to feel the sand mountain and measure the depth of the twig being stuck into the mound. However when the game starts, Misawa’s practice paid off as she takes a big chunk and the twig still stands. The girls dig piece by piece when the teacher calls for nap time. Misawa realizes this is all part of Tsunehisa’s plan and cries foul. However Tsunehisa points out that it was her who used the teacher first (Misawa’s dumbfounded face is too funny!). Besides, it is Misawa’s turn. Thus Misawa couldn’t sleep because if her twig falls, she loses. That’s why Tsunehisa chose one with leaves because it will be unstable on this windy day. But if that twig doesn’t fall, Tsunehisa is sure to lose on the next move so she too can’t sleep. Halfway through nap time, worried Misawa gets up and sees the twig fallen (yet another dumbfounded funny look!). Thus the sandbox has fallen under Tsunehisa’s complete control. Everyone works hard to build the castle using Tsunehisa’s great architectural skills and blueprint. Shimizu hands her an apple to add icing to the cake. The magnificent Apple Castle is finally finished with even a flowing moat. Suddenly all their hard work is ruined when Nobunaga barges in to take Tsunehisa’s Secret Treasure. She trampled all over the sand castle! Wouldn’t it be weird for her to point her sword at a little girl? Tsunehisa starts crying followed by everyone. This stuns Nobunaga as the kids start pelting her with mud balls. I guess she has to retreat when the kids are going to get her and the teacher threatens to call the police over this pervert’s intrusion. Oh Nobunaga. You win some, you lose some.

Episode 24: Peaceful Empress – EX
Ieyasu has become an ultra miracle super idol! She even won awards and is on her way to become a top actress! However she is feeling the burnout and needs a break but her manager feels the need to carry on or else she will be knocked off her perch. Low on energy? Switch to solar! She’s not a robot! Naturally when the cat’s away, the mouse starts to play. Ieyasu goofs off before snoozing. A fan impersonating as a janitor, Kaoru Taniyama enters her room to retrieve a hidden camera but was caught by Ieyasu red handed. He runs away but bumps into a lady in red. She throws a camera into his janitor trolley before running away. A group of ‘cops’ continue to chase her. Ieyasu manages to get back the camera from him so Kaoru regrets and confesses that he is a big fan of hers. To make his day, he signs an autograph on his shirt. When Ieyasu is called for a shoot, Kaoru notices a camera on the ground and when he plays it, realizes it’s the hidden camera on Ieyasu. So the one Ieyasu got was… Meanwhile the lady in red is cornered by the ‘cops’. They threaten her to return the camera or else. As Ieyasu continues to lay idle instead of memorizing her script, she thought Kaoru didn’t learn his lesson when he returns. Seems he wants to see the camera that he handed to her. Suddenly they see the lady in red falling down right outside their window! Holy crap! The ‘cops’ report to their boss they have taken care of the woman but he still wants the video found. Ieyasu and Kaoru see the video as it turns out to be a confession by the lady in red. She has proof that the famous actor, Tatsuya Sugimura is actually the boss of a criminal syndicate dealing with drugs and weapons smuggling. And Ieyasu is supposed to star alongside him in an upcoming shoot.

Kaoru notices the ‘cops’ looking around and he is going to escape alone and bring this evidence to the police as he doesn’t want to get her involved. However she is adamant to go with him and in a disguise she sneaks him out. However the baddies aren’t stupid and corner them in the parking lot. They’re not afraid to use the gun. Or else. Ieyasu is daring as she even admits she has seen the video. They make a run for it as the baddies give chase. Kaoru would gladly resign to his fate to die for his idol but Ieyasu tells him he can be a master of his own fate instead. Here’s one chance now. She takes him and jumps down the building! They land in a truck filled with empty boxes. Was that fate? Or was it luck? In the truck when Kaoru praises and looks up to her, Ieyasu lets him know that she isn’t enjoying what she’s doing lately. It’s no fun anymore. That’s why she wanted to follow him. The duo arrive at the police station and hand over the evidence to the police chief. To their shock, the chief comes back with the baddies! He’s in cohorts with them! Cornered at the rooftop, the biggest crook makes his entry. Sugimura is going to make this the most entertaining drama she will have to act out. The idol queen succumbed to pressure of fame and jumped off the roof with a fan. Before the baddie could fire, the place is surrounded by helicopters. SWAT people slide down to arrest the guilty ones and it seems Ieyasu’s manager is an undercover agent. Interpol has been keeping a close eye on Sugimura for some time. In the aftermath, Ieyasu bids farewell to Kaoru at the train station. He’ll always be her fan and advises her to do what she wants, live the way she wants. Before the train door closes, she jumps in and wants to tag along. This turns out to be a movie shoot. Later Hiroshi asks if she has considered quitting the industry as she has achieved her dream of being a top idol. Let’s say she’s going to reach for the space even after conquering the world’s tallest mountains. She’s going to keep her word of being a top idol. Meanwhile in New York, ex-idol Rosary is making waves in Broadway. Ieyasu will continue to follow her path because the one who makes the most people happy is the one who does the best for himself or herself.

Episode 25: Marshal Princess
Yoshimoto is bored and tired of being locked up because she wants her rematch with Nobunaga. Sessai reminds her how bad she was defeated the last time they fought. Yoshimoto is confident she has powered up but I suppose Nobunaga too must have undergone some training. Sessai has Kotarou keep Yoshimoto busy with sweets. But Kotarou is dumb to do online shopping because it reveals their secret location! Don’t worry. She didn’t give out the address. How can the goods arrive then?! She didn’t think about that. So after making Kotarou buy all the sweets in the list, though it keeps Yoshimoto occupied, Sessai feels the need to solve her sedentary unhealthy lifestyle. Kotarou accompanies Yoshimoto to the woods where they see Soun undergo intense training. Kotarou introduces Yoshimoto to fishing and is confident that it’s so easy that idiots can do it. So Yoshimoto is an idiot? Anyway you can say Yoshimoto lacks talent in fishing. Either she throws the hook away from the target or she accidentally hooks her own skirt. But that didn’t make her give up and continues to fish and fish. At the end of the day, she manages to catch a little carp. Yeah, she was putting up so much struggle with it. But she’s happy with it and this leads her to study and research more in-depth about fishing, baits and anything related. She’s like a fishing maniac now. So much so her perseverance pays off and can fish like a pro. One morning while fishing in the lake, she sees a giant golden carp. Thinking it is the master of this lake, she prepares to catch it but realizes ordinary baits or traps won’t work. She even made a bait using the sweets! Do carps eat that? Didn’t work either. But she didn’t give up and stood at the same place day and night. Not until the fifth day that she feels something tugging her rod. She fights with it but it snaps. Yoshimoto ponders why it took it this long to show up when she did not change her position or bait. Then she realizes she let her guard down. If she can erase her catching intent, she may be able to reel it in. She starts meditating through rain and shine. Finally when she’s able to face the lake’s master once more, she suddenly felt this inner peace and the beauty of the universe. Though Yoshimoto lost, she realizes that was what it was trying to teach her: The simplicity of the world. Sessai also knows she has fished up something better and Yoshimoto guessed this was Sessai’s plan all along to improve her lack of conviction. Now that she is ready, Sessai orders Kotarou to call Soun and will launch a full scale attack on Nobunaga. Yoshimoto is fired up for revenge, Soun is fired up to avenge and Nobunaga is lazily sleeping on her hammock. Some training she had.

Episode 26: Sengoku Collection
Nobunaga receives a letter from Ageha to meet up. Once they do, the first thing Nobunaga did was to knee kick her gut! Seems she knows this Ageha is fake because of the way she addressed her. She is Kotarou in disguise and Nobunaga doesn’t let her finish her introduction as she sticks another kick into her face. Poor girl. As expected, this is a trap by Yoshimoto to get her revenge. Yoshimoto is able to control the water as Nobunaga is made to run about. Her problem is compounded when Soun enters the fray with her flame power. Water and fire. Mmm… This is tricky. Kotarou shows that she isn’t useful in playing dead so she holds on to Nobunaga’s leg so that Yoshimoto can steal away her sword. How many more kicks can that ninja girl take? Yoshimoto revels in victory and wants Soun to finish her off. However she lost motivation since Nobunaga was so easily defeated! What the hell?! She’s sulking! Yoshimoto is about to finish the job herself when Mitsuhide intercepts. The duo team up to fight back and Soun gets her fighting spirit back. Just when Yoshimoto and Soun think they’ve got the duo trap and unleash their ultimate power, looks like they miss and Nobunaga turns the tables on them. Sessai guesses that the only way left is to surrender. Nobunaga is going to take their Secret Treasure but Yoshimoto refuses. Upon Sessai and Soun’s advice to admit defeat and try again another day, I guess it’s end of the road for now. Nobunaga prepares to take their Secret Treasure (hey! Does she not want Kotarou’s Secret Treasure?), Mitsuhide hijacks her and takes them as her own. Because Nobunaga is collecting all the Secret Treasures to return home, it means Mitsuhide will be left behind. She doesn’t want that and if she’s going to stay, Nobunaga will too. Mitsuhide runs away as she vows to collect all the other Secret Treasures. As Nobunaga gives chase, looks like another girl, Beethoven comes dropping out of the sky. Welcome to this era, kid.

In the aftermath, we see all the Sengoku generals and currently what they are doing (along with some of the minor side characters that aren’t Sengoku generals). Obviously, so as not to forget that they were there. So I’ll just mention the notable ones. Soun returns to Jun and that girl is glad to have Shinkurou back. She did say she keeps her promises, right? Yoshiteru and Sekishuusai are getting along pretty well. Bokuden is really in a movie featuring kappas. Liu Bei and Tae continue to sick with each other. Shingen and Fasad are running a chicken wing stall while Gennai runs a nearby store with her contraptions (I hope it doesn’t fail this time). Toshizou and Isami continue to annoy Souji. Till they are made to remember how ferocious she can be when she’s mad. Yoshimoto, Sessai and Kotarou soak in the hotspring. You thought Ittousai has levelled up and going crazy taking out several guard droids in space. But it turns out to be a film helm by Morse. Ieyasu continues to rise in the idol world. Lastly, it is mind blowing that Nobunaga has been chasing Mitsuhide for the entire day! Aren’t they tired? Well, they are now. They collapse at the park, catch their breath, smile at each other and hold hands. Can I assume that they are back on good terms?

Sengoku Cosplay
Looks like they’ll be staying in the modern era for the time being. I’m not sure how many more Secret Treasures they need to collect just to return but from the look of it, it is going to take a lot more. Well, not every episode has Nobunaga usurping the Sengoku general and stealing her Secret Treasure. That will be tad too boring and predictable. This makes me wonder how many Sengoku generals did arrive into this era. Well, the Miko trio certainly didn’t make it clear how many exactly is needed. How much is a lot? Besides, don’t you think that if Nobunaga actually manages to return to her own time and being the only one, wouldn’t that upset the time paradox thingy? Look at it this way. If the generals weren’t in the past but thrown into the future, then there would be no outcome of the war and thus a different future all together, right? I better not confuse myself thinking about this. And with many of the generals losing their Secret Treasure and planning to stay in the modern world for the rest of their lives, how would this impact the past? Imagine the past without any of these Sengoku generals. Yeah. Peace and quiet.

I know I said I shouldn’t be thinking too hard but the other thing that bugs me is the acceptance of the modern people of these newly arrived Sengoku generals. Shouldn’t the people be in awe and surprise, acting like they’ve seen an alien crashing into the midst of their society even though they are still humans and just from a different era? It’s like nobody makes a big deal out of it (except for that fake documentary by Morse). It’s like you’re telling me that when the Sengoku generals come, you accept them. Aren’t you curious to know about them? Sure, it is good that we see them getting used to life and interacting normally with some of the minor characters (I guess it’s better than being treated as a hostile alien), but that just feels too suspicious. Unless you’re also telling me that the people in this modern age are apathetic. Well, that seems to be more like it especially in Keiji’s story that the usual normal people don’t really give a damn when one is in trouble. That’s why you need mysterious vigilantes to uphold the peace. So that means if aliens from another planet start living among us, we don’t mind it too, huh?

I guess this anime is good in the sense that you can watch most of the episodes as stand alone as they are usually independent of each other. Each has a different story to spice up the variety. However I have mixed feelings to some of the short stories because not all of them are that good. There are some that I find boring (Ieyasu, Kenshin and Kanetsugu, Yoshiaki) and some to be quite interesting (Bokuden, Masamune, Hisahide, Tsunehisa). There are also funny ones that tickle the bone (Novel Deciders, Blade Adept and Shingen especially her interaction with Fasad) and odd ones too (Hideyoshi, Mitsuhide, Liu Bei – the pig curse part). I was this close in classifying Yoshitsugu’s arc into the boring category, the way it was dragging things. But the revelation and very sad tearful end changed my mind. I guess you could say that this is the only episode whereby my emotions flutter from one end to another quickly when the pace started to change.

As for the Sengoku characters, the myriad and colourful personalities are about the same as their colourful outfits they wear. Sometimes I can’t help think that the way they dress makes them look more like cosplayers than Sengoku generals. Don’t you think? I mean look at some of them. Yoshitsugu almost looks like a mummy girl. Bokuden looks like a little devil! Do those little bat wings really attach to her body? Anybody who likes maids would definitely pay attention to Soun (like me). Anybody who loves ninjas would identify with Kotarou and Ranmaru. Yoshimoto’s general outfit is made sexier by the fact that perhaps her boobs are too big that they had to cut the bottom of the breast part to let it ‘hang and breathe’. I think Nobunaga’s outfit can also be considered as sexy. So there you have it, a bevy of beautiful ladies not only in different outfits but across all ages too. We have adorable lolis, pretty teenagers and matured women to satisfy viewers with different taste in women. Unless you love women and thus love them all! Just no grandma. Come to think of it, if little girls like Tsunehisa, Yoshiaki and Bokuden can become Sengoku generals, what kind of a world do they live in? It is already mind blowing that men don’t exist in their time so unless you tell me it’s some parallel world thingy then maybe it would be more believable. Because in the modern era, there are men all around, right? So how can it not men be not in the past? Don’t tell me they don’t exist yet ;p. And for some of the Sengoku generals to be taking up different types of occupations from idols to sword instructors to models and students, wow, it shows that they can do more than just fight and adapt quickly to the current age. I guess everyone has that hidden inner potential waiting for a chance to shine.

Because of the many characters (not even counting the minor ones from the modern world), some do not make many screen time appearances and only appear once (do not count the final episode end credits). So to say that their character isn’t properly fleshed out is not accurate because since the story is sufficient for one episode, the character itself would also be sufficient for one episode. Like Bashou, Gennai, Hisahide, Kenji, Liu Bei, the Novel Deciders trio, Shingen, Kojurou, Tsunehisa and Zenjubou. It feels like they come and go. You see them, watch them, then forget about them once their role is over. Some appear twice or thrice like Ieyasu, Yoshiteru and Sekishuusai. Slightly more would be Mitsuhide, Yoshimoto and Soun. If you want to put all of the Sengoku generals in then I figure 50 episodes won’t even be enough. So you will notice that some characters don’t get an episode of their own like Rikyuu, Ittousai, Kotarou and Sessai. Of course Nobunaga as the main star has the most appearance but even so that isn’t in every episode. Her haughty and arrogant attitude is perhaps what drives her to be the best. How can Japan’s greatest conqueror achieve success if she’s a wuss? As for Mitsuhide, I felt she is just a confused girl. Torn between her love and loyalty for Nobunaga. I guess in the end she really decided that she wants to be with her no matter where she goes. The Miko trio are also a mystery because they make their cameo appearances in nearly every episode. Usually as unimportant extra characters. You can easily spot them because their animal features stand out like a sore thumb. I don’t know, their cameo gives a feeling of “Oh! We’re here! We’re here! Spot us! Spot us!”.

While I have no qualms about the drawing and art of the characters as they look like your typical Japanese kawaii anime girls, I can’t say the same for the background and scenery. If you don’t pay attention, you may not notice it but sometimes it is to a point whereby it is too obvious. It is like somebody couldn’t finish the artwork in time so much so they let some kids do the sketching and there you have the sketch-like background and scenery you see in each episode. It got from bad to worse in Yoshitsugu’s episode so much so I thought the producers may have given up on putting quality in the backdrops. But I feel that such ‘poor quality’ art was to reflect the slums and depression in that episode. Well, this series is a collaboration of Brain Base which brought us Mawaru Penguindrum (another series that has unique art visuals), Baccano, Kamisama Dolls, Spice And Wolf and Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun. Another thing I noticed is that, though it is not apparent in every episode, most of the episodes you can see some round flower mark or something equivalent to it on the screen. I may be wrong but I think those are the family crest and emblem of the Sengoku warriors and I’m not sure why they serve as huge watermarks in the background. I thought it is somewhat annoying sometimes because it distracts you. For the mid-intermission, the Sengoku general featured in that episode will have her mug featured in a monotone picture. The first one seems okay but come the second picture, it has a little fanservice because the girls are nude (or close to it) and in sexy/tempting positions. Don’t worry, the necessary parts are covered/blocked/not shown.

Due to the nature of each episode serving as a standalone and mini story of its own, there is an extensive of seiyuus cast to play the many characters from the main ones to supporting characters and even the extra roles. And boy, there are many of them. Those I recognize include Mamiko Noto as Kenshin (Enma Ai in Jigoku Shoujo), Yui Horie as Liu Bei (Kotori in Da Capo), Kana Hanazawa as Ieyasu (Kobato in Kobato), Eri Kitamura as Tsunehisa (Karen in Bakemonogatari), Miyuki Sawashiro as Zenjubou (Himeko Inaba in Kokoro Connect), Ai Shimizu as Yoshimoto (Ren in DearS), Youko Hikasa as Mitsuhide (Mio in K-ON!) and Ryoko Shintani as Shingen (Rihoko in Amagami SS). I guess it will be a pain to list down the rest so I’ll just state the notable ones that include Rumi Ookubo as Nobunaga (Chinatsu in YuruYuri), Ayumi Tsunematsu as Masamune (Maiya in Fate/Zero), Kaori Nazuka as Hideyoshi (Yui in To Love-Ru), Mai Nakahara as Kanetsugu (Mai in Mai-HiME), Rina Satou as Yoshiteru (Haruka in Minami-ke), Ryou Hirohashi as Soun (Alice in Aria The Animation), Masumi Asano as Keiji (Hakufu in Ikkitousen) and Hisahide (Motoko in Ghost In The Shell). Other seiyuus having small parts that I recognize include Ai Nonaka as Ai (Fuura in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), Ami Koshimizu as Kotarou (Horo in Spice And Wolf), Kana Ueda as Ageha (Rin in Fate/Stay Night), Rie Kugimiya as Misawa (Happy in Fairy Tail) and Tsubasa Yonaga as Kaoru (Nova in Arcana Famiglia). Some like Atsuko Ai Shimizu and Kana Hanazawa do portray extra roles but those are minor one off characters so if your ears are sharp enough, you’ll recognize them.

The first opening theme by ABCHO is Me Wo Toshite Gyusshi Yo which is a rock outfit with a little bit of techno in it. The first ending theme is Unlucky Girl by Sweety and is very swing-like. Sometimes it makes me want to shuffle my feet. Sweety also sings for the second opening theme, Back Into My World. The song is sung with her powerful vocals and you can hear the pounding of the piano in the background despite being ‘covered’ by the strings. For the second ending theme, Darling To Madonna by Yuu Kikkawa feels likes anime rock pop mix with some vocal effects. There are a couple of insert songs with Kana Hanazawa doing Love Scope and Yuka Terasaki singing Misty Moon. Though there are a variety of background music, I happen to notice that the main ones lean towards the swing genre.

Considering that they have already made Sengoku generals adapt to our modern lifestyle, I am pondering if they are ever going to make another sequel or at least a spin-off, I’m thinking that they would be putting in characters from other eras. I mean, they already had one from Romance of the Three Kingdoms and though the latest one at the end I am not sure if she is that famous German composer, but there’s a possibility that they may even have classical music composers and gasp, past American Presidents coming into this era of modern technology. It would definitely be an eyebrow raiser to see the woman side in Mozart, Chopin and Bach, not to mention George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Scorn them or love them. How about mashing in Greek and Roman Gods, European fairytales and famous comic book superheroes as well? Think I’m going too far overboard? Yeah, that will be one hell of a massive collection then.


May 4, 2013

I guess you have to be a Japanese or someone who has been living in Japan and accustomed to its customs and traditions to really understand and appreciate many of its, urm well, customs and traditions. One of them being rakugo. As a non-Japan native, I guess the best way for me to understand what rakugo is, it is a Japanese style of storytelling done by a sole storyteller on stage. In short, it is a verbal entertainment that lacks all the sound effects and even visual effects that you mostly see in televisions, cinemas and the likes. Just your good plain ol’ storyteller and your vivid imagination. I think.

So when they decided to make an anime based on the rakugo theme, I wasn’t really that interested because it will probably be lots of gags and jokes that only Japanese could understand. So what made me changed my mind? Joshiraku is about five young female rakugo comedians and the story is about their daily lives. You can say I fell for that trap. Shame on me. However it isn’t exactly about their everyday lives that we will be seeing. Instead, you will see them discuss on several topics while making cultural jokes and puns about it.

As expected, due to my very lack of knowledge on just about everything, the jokes they make are very hard to understand. Thankfully, there is this site that at least explains some of the important scenes and the puns including the examples stated in them. Although I may not grasp some of them, at least it provides good enlightenment on several topics that I (and anyone else) would have easily missed or not comprehend. The fansubbers really did a good job and really know their stuffs well so hats off to them in helping to make the viewing a little more enjoyable with such notes. After all, even the girls do not have common names. They sound so odd and foreign that I had a hard time trying to remember them. By that time, I think 3/4 of the series is already gone. So what do you think of names like Marii Buratei, Gankyou Kuurubiyuutei, Tetora Bouhatei, Kukuru Anrakutei and Kigurumi “Kigu” Haroukitei? I may need to go over them again. Each episode is divided into 3 parts and though the first and third parts have the girls in their traditional hakama talking at the backstage, the second one sees them visiting different locations in Japan in the midst of their talk and observe the different fashion clothing and hairstyle they put on? Sometimes girls need to take a breather as well.

Episode 1A: Normal Dialogue
* We are being kept reminded that this anime is filled with ordinary dialogues so that viewers can enjoy how cute the girls are. You know what is cuter? Girls who don’t speak. Oh sh*t! Just kidding, I swear! I hope I didn’t step on a landmine. Sorry -_-.
* So we have the girls talking about how this manga got animated and told to act ‘normally’. This leads to a discussion of what they normally do.
* They receive an invitation for a party and the theme is to dress casually. So how casual is casual? If everyone dresses as they do, it will turn into some cosplay party? More discussion on what clothes constitutes normal and how often they wear them.
* If Marii sleeps in the nude, doesn’t that make it her normal pyjamas and thus her casual wear? So casual wear = nude party? The rest starts stripping her and though she’s naked standing behind a name sheet, the rest felt it looks like it is them who is being naked and starts flipping the sheet. And all the ridiculous names (some not even names) start to appear as they flip through. Is “The End” considered as one? It only has just begun.

Episode 1B: Different Clothes
* As Gankyou appears in a gothic loli outfit, they discuss about the different types of lolis.
* Marii appears in a sweater as they all head into the rakugo theatre. However they all have seemed to have forgotten Kukuru.

Episode 1C: Shouting Instructions
* Kigu asks her friends whether they like dogs or cats. This leads to a discussion if they like this or that (example: coffee or tea). Both sides argue about the pros and cons about canines and felines, including famous ones.
* The kanji for dog has a dot somewhere and they debate if they can actually remember where to put that dot. Putting it somewhere else may conjure a different word and meaning.
* On the topic of while shouting towards the mountain or the sea, whatever they shout depends on what sea they are facing because if you shout towards the Pacific Ocean, the nearest island would be thousands of kilometres away. Instead of shouting “You fool”, they decide to shout “Give us back (insert anything to be taken back here)” since it would cover all the angles. So, give back their money?

Episode 2A: Backstage Riches
* Kukuru asks what would they do if they won the lottery. Save it? Look for the missing mother? Find the culprit? Till Kukuru points out even if they had won that much money, she wouldn’t be telling anybody. This leads to everyone being suspicious as there might be a winner among them.
* Everyone suspects Marii due to her recent actions which seems only people with money can afford. The merry-go-round continues till Tetora points out another way to tell rich people: Based on how they speak. Well, they’re making Marii seem like the culprit when she is just a winner.* Gankyou realizes that the winner will keep a low profile and you can tell that when unknown relatives or pros show up. Then a couple of ‘pros’ enter the room to preach about God. She wants to convert Marii but the latter beats her up because she didn’t win the lottery. The light goes out for a while and when it comes back on, Marii is ‘killed’ with blood written on the wall that they’ll all go to hell. The rest start suspecting each other when the real culprit was actually one of the ‘pros’.

Episode 2B: Three Towers And A Vow
* The girls are visiting Tokyo Tower, discuss and compare about its height as well as other landmarks in the country. It leads to a discussion about left or right and how they would remember it.
* A discussion about domed stuffs and sides that stick out has Marii felt being insulted because she thinks they are referring to her as someone whose front and back can be switched

Episode 2C: Cold Girl
* Who is this Masked Girl sitting with them? Is he part of the group? Well, they don’t really seem to mind.
* As the rest are being cautious of the new strain of influenza, this has them debate on how long something is constitute as new. This includes of how products are considered new when all they did was change the packaging and switching up roles so as to market a whole new cast.
* Speaking of the influenza, they talk about doctors who are first in line who should receive vaccination as they need to treat everyone else. Because it is limited, not everyone can get them so they argue who are next in line.
* Because pregnant women are given priority, what happens if one fakes pregnancy? Everyone has problem doing that imaginary pregnancy but Kukuru is acting like the real deal so much so everyone is convinced that she may be about to give birth anytime and play along.
* When Kukuru collapses and wakes up panicking about her missing baby (to a point she is going crazy about it), the doctor arrives and ushers her away into the ambulance. The rest note she got priority treatment, though it wasn’t for the flu.

Episode 3A: A Bath Beyond
* With the topic of who would they give their Valentine’s Day chocolates to, Marii feels that girls are supposed to receive it. Well, here comes a pile of them for her. This has the rest to doubt if she is really a girl or a boy cross-dressing as one. No matter what she says or does, the rest aren’t convinced since they view her actions and speeches to be unlady-like. Not even showing she has boobs.
* Marii is made to sit or stand like a girl but with disastrous results. Since it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem, it is suggested that women talk about grudges but all those resentments seem petty. Even so, those grudges go back to her previous life! Who was she in her previous life?! But that only makes the rest believe that she was a man in her previous life.
* The only way left is to go to the bath together. In the end, Gankyou points out that it isn’t whether she’s a man or woman now. She points out that she is just a ‘child’.

Episode 3B: Visit To Asakusa
* At the gates of the Asakusa Temple, they discuss about the Kaminari gate and compare it to other famous gates around the world. They also talk about the purpose of the gate-cum-shrine and feel disappointed that their conclusion led them to think it is some checkpoint.
* Because Marii feels she has nothing to cure, she doesn’t want to join the rest in putting themselves in the temple’s smoke. Till they insult her that she starts doing it to prove it to them.
* As they pray, they debate how is Asakusa Temple read as and this leads to a conversation about other places in Japan whose names aren’t as clear cut as they should be read.
* They take their fortune and while the rest have good luck, Kukuru obtains great misfortune. That bad, huh? Tetora gets the opposite and has the greatest luck. Marii thinks she should share her fortune with them but I guess this means treating them.

Episode 3C: Sanada Little Zoo
* Gankyou and Marii are facing off with each other giving that mosquito thingy an excuse to hit each other. Everyone else got bit by the mosquito and they notice Tetora isn’t the only one who didn’t get bitten. Is it the place where she sits and the flow of the air? This has them remember how Tetora has always been the lucky girl avoiding all sorts of danger while the rest bear the misfortune. Is she favoured by the Gods?
* Marii may seem like a stalker taking pictures of Tetora but her goal is to examine her way of life and perhaps imitate her to get her luck. She concludes that it is some old TV of hers with an analogue tuner. She manages to get her permission to get it as the rest feel if they watch it, they can get good luck. But it explodes in their face! Tetora notes that it was making weird noises last week and wanted to get rid of it. Yeah. Marii brought it here… And Tetora avoided it being exploded in her room.
* Thus the rest decide to copy and follow every move she makes. Just to be safe. The group movement makes it look so odd that some shrewd producer thinks this breakdance rakugo will be a new hit. The girls go on stage and perform this new dance but are pelted with stuffs because the audience didn’t come to see this sh*t! And Tetora isn’t part of the performance because she is stuck in traffic. Such luck…

Episode 4A: Glasses Girl
* When the girls mention about Gankyou’s glasses fogging up during rain, Gankyou shows her violent side only towards Marii. Gankyou notes glasses are fitting for violent people because they would hesitate to hit them.
* But when Gankyou takes off her glasses, she obtains even more strength. So the glasses are some sort of limiter? The rest start wearing different type of glasses so as to avoid Gankyou being stereotyped as a glasses girl.
* Tetora stands up for Gankyou that she wears them to keep the balance among the crowd and also the perils of having someone walking around in fogged glasses. Gankyou shows she can still be accurate (by touching the nipples?) when her glasses fog up but misses for Marii’s case since she dodges it and puts up something fake in its place. The rest pity Marii because she doesn’t realize she’s being made fun of.

Episode 4B: Nausea At Daiba
* While taking a train, they talk about laughing gulls and the training they did for their rakugo performance. Cleaning a master’s ass is one of them?
* Kukuru starts feeling nausea so they try to calm her with sweets, writing ‘person’ on the palm or just swallow and get over it. Making her look outside the window makes her even sicker. I don’t know why Marii starts drinking and wanting to throw up too.
* Finally when they get off the train, they realize they are in the wrong place. Lots of cosplayers start streaming from the opposite direction. Trivia time! How many anime characters can you identify?!

Episode 4C: Bunny Eyes
* Why the heck are the girls watching a video of the moon in the room despite there is a full moon outside? So of course when you talk about the moon, you’re going to discuss what the crater looks like. A rabbit. Does it? Noting that different people see different things on the moon, I guess the most ridiculous one has to be Kukuru’s comment that it looks like a NEET asking his mom to buy the latest issue of Jump! I take that back. Gankyou’s one is really ridiculous: A pervert sniffing somebody’s ass!
* Suddenly the Master Rabbit pays them a visit and they have to serve him if they do not want him to get violent or show his temper. Whether it is dancing, singing or doing bunny hops, Master Rabbit isn’t appeased. Become Playboy bunnies to please him? Not working.
* When all else fails, Marii turns into Princess Kaguya to make the rabbit bow to her. However Master Rabbit kidnaps her to the moon and the crater now looks like the rabbit sniffing Marii’s ass! WTF?!

Episode 5A: Praise The Girl
* Kukuru is depressed. She asks the girls which is more important, her or rakugo? Because she wants to kill rakugo and then die, Tetora suggests celebrating birth rather than suicide. They do a Christmas party and sing to cheer her up.
* She thinks they are making fun of her and after she collapses, a ‘miracle’ occurs. Little cupids descend on her and send her into ‘high spirits’. The rest start signing but Marii refuses to join in. Thinking she is tone deaf, another ‘miracle’ happens. She becomes low in spirit and thinking she has become a fallen angel or demon, they feel the need to exorcise her. I’m not sure about this suggestion that rubbing the demon’s boobs will purge it. Is it some handphone application?

Episode 5B: Stylish Town
* The girls are at Harajuku and they prevent Marii from calling humans, trash. They discuss about the famous director, Miyazaki and the shortening of Ura Harajuku (Back of Harajuku) is shortened to Urahara. Marii wants to call the place Top-hara.
* They talk about the different fashion magazines and then go get crepe. Marii is dismayed at all the different types of crepe choices when Kigu recites a long order like as though she is reciting a resurrection spell.
* Marii has trouble trying to eat her crepe as she is thinking too much like as though her life is going to change once she bites it. They shut her up by sticking all their crepes in her mouth.

Episode 5C: Farewell To Glasses
* Everyone misinterprets the different kind of unique skin they have. Gankyou teases Marii if she really wants to have a big sister skin (an expression that means big sister character) and strips her only to reveal a blue black spot on her butt. They all try drawing their own version of big sister on her back but they just turn out hideous.
* Seeing that each of them has a different skin, they decide to become Dry Squad, Skin Arrangers! I guess their problem is solved by skin creamer.
* Gankyou feels left out from the squad since she has no unique skin so the only way she can have such is to have goosebumps. She’ll have to keep this up if she wants to join them. I’m sure the various examples would just freak her out. To solve this problem, they graduate her. Only her.

Episode 6A: Four Vows
* Now that Gankyou has been ‘graduated’, she is no longer part of the gang! They discuss how much easier things are with only four of them and the good things that come in fours. This includes bad stuffs when things are in five.
* As they are talking about four panel comics (yonkoma), they feel it is time to go home but find the door lock (you can bet it is jealous Gankyou responsible for that). Electricity is cut out to save power. They start playing a game that has them stand in each corner to stay alive. However if you think about it, there needs to be a fifth person if you need to keep the game going from corner to corner. As the rest think that having the fifth person is a good thing, Gankyou is waiting for the moment they’ll thank her. But to her dismay, they thank Masked Girl instead.

Episode 6B: Musashi Scenery
* Tetora is upset that everyone got off the wrong train station. Yeah, she passed Gankyou but didn’t notice her. So when she manages to get her attention, Tetora is sarcastic that she met someone who has graduated and commands respect. Gankyou denies the latter. So if she doesn’t, so what?

Episode 6C: The Servant’s Vengeance
* So Gankyou is back with the gang as Marii talks about hierarchy. Gankyou is considered a newbie and must look to the rest are her seniors. Her first task is to please Kigu and learns the hard way the kind of snacks and magazines she prefers.
* Gankyou becomes a pro in guessing what Kigu wants with only a hand sign and is told to serve her other ‘seniors’ as well. They have a bad feeling about this since Gankyou really wants to serve them. Evil aura coming out… Yeah, they get tortured as Gankyou praises herself for knowing what her seniors want.
* Tetora’s good luck means she is spared from the torture and suggests Gankyou to run as public servant since she is good in knowing what people wants. So they talk about politics and the machinery to run elections but she hasn’t the money for the deposit. Needing to just win any simple election, the rest think the neighbourhood election is a good one but the only condition is that she needs to be bald! Because all her candidates are. Marii tries to shave her but ends up getting her own butt exposed.
* Since Gankyou will run for anything, an alien beams her up and has her enter the Prime Minster race for the solar system. Because she needs to pay a deposit equivalent to 1 Earth, and learning that this dude has made money this way, she punches him for selling her planet. She thought she is done for but everybody rejoices in her actions. I guess that guy is really hated. Gankyou brags to her friends about having a meeting at a galactic level and that they mustn’t tell anyone or else people will come flocking to her. I’m sure they won’t. Maybe she’s just going crazy.

Episode 7A: Yankees Are Scary
* Discussing about modern triathlon and pentathlon, they discuss about putting some Japanese games in the mix like shogi or even sleeping in the kotatsu. Is that even a sport?
* They realize they forgot to put away the Hina dolls after a certain date and old wives tale means they won’t get married. Due to some pun, when Kigu gets splashed with green tea, they mistake it for moss and want her to stay away. But she goes berserk and turns them all green.
* Gankyou thinks the only way out is to be a delinquent and marry young. They look to Marii to turn them into a misfit! But after praising her as a leader, she is more inclined to do so. First, they talk normally but write using different kanji words (it’s more for the sound rather than the meaning).
* Discussing about if misfits have any legends, they decide to create one for Marii. But Tetora reminds them even if they are misfits, it doesn’t guarantee they’ll marry early if this room is isolated on a tower top. Thus the Hina dolls are as if locked away. Marii starts dreaming she is like a princess locked in a tower and doesn’t want to leave as the rest heads home. Next day when they come in, they see the place a filth and notes Marii turned into a shut-in instead.

Episode 7B: Fish Story
* The girls are at a fish market and talk about foreigners who love disturbing locals doing auctions and take silly pictures.
* They discuss about the top 3 ways to move around and the electro-cars along with different types of high-end luxury cars.
* They also talk about the history of the Tsukiji market and how it was relocated after a great earthquake.
* Next, they speak on the different names of fishes and why their kanji is written or named in a certain way and do the same for their own names. All the talking has made them hungry so they head into Yoshinoya to eat.

Episode 7C: Backstage Files
* Kukuru is depressed that the manager ticked her off for high electricity usage. So the rest try to find out what in this room uses lots of energy. But all they find are non-electrical freakish things hidden beneath the floor, ceilings and walls. And nobody but Kukuru is disturbed by it! Are their eyes so fixed on what consumes electricity that they can’t see the oddities?
* Marii suggests instead of cutting down power, they should produce more. This means she starts peddling her energy-producing bicycle but how much can it produce? Marii crashes through the wall but again nobody really sees the freaky thing and patches up before the manager gets back.
* Thinking about the best way to produce electricity, because of some twisted deduction that a gust of wind happens when love is sparked (I guess they’ve seen too many animes and read too many mangas), as long as people are getting it on, they can produce electricity. So why this hostess thingy? The guy is actually an undercover cop and is going to arrest them for this illegal activity when Kigu shoots a finger beam! They realize Kigu is a robot and the one using lots of electricity. The real Kigu is sleeping at home dreaming of electric sheep…

Episode 8A: Bag Of Gold
* Because it is the New Year, they discuss things that have ‘new’ in them. Since the master sent them mysterious New Year envelopes, they debate who should be going to take first. All lots have Marii ended up being the last one. She laments he would get the worst gift. Gankyou goes first and gets only 1,000 Yen. Kigu is next and ends up with 30,000 Yen. Kukuru is disheartened she got 2,000 Yen because this note is not in use anymore. Tetora gets a stock certificate! It’s worth 600,000 Yen! Marii feels she has drawn the short end of the stick. Why does it only feel like coins? Discussing about the value if she gets a foreign coin, Marii thinks she is the winner as the envelope might hold the key to an apartment suite.
* A camera distracts them to do a New Year greeting when Masked Girl steals Marii’s envelope. Everybody ponders what her envelope was and Kigu thinks it was the key to Marii’s heart. In actual fact, it’s just a 500 Korean won. That’s like around 40 Yen, right?

Episode 8B: Totter
* Marii is dressed as a maid and several old ladies molest her for good luck. Even her spot on her ass.
* They notice the shop selling t-shirts with several auspicious words. Then they eat some eel for vigour before visiting a sweets shop.
* At a temple, Gankyou explains about the Thorn Protector whereby legend has it that a servant swallowed a thorn but a charm from this temple saved her. They decide to splash water for good luck as Marii purposely splash on Gankyou. Suddenly she becomes nice and polite! Can it be true? The rest start pouring on themselves but there is no effect. Why? Because Gankyou was just pulling their leg! She got them!
* The girls are eating at a shop and word has it that eating soft shell turtles will give you softer skin. This leads them to think eventually they’ll grow old and wrinkly and their visions all fogged up. Then the vapour fogs up Gankyou’s glasses.

Episode 8C: Is It Over Yet?
* Everybody is saying that today is still April. Yeah. April the 40th! The friends fear if it is May, Kukuru may get May blues again. As for Kukuru, she thinks her friends are expecting her to get May blues.
* They decide to cheer her up by putting on funny faces and since she has no reaction, Kigu starts crying. The rest continue to cheer her up with their silly antics but Kukuru points out she doesn’t feel that bad in May. Marii thinks there are other sickness months too. The rest decide to take a monthly blue each. Marii is left out seeing the other months she picked seemed suitable for the rest. And the other months don’t seem so bad. Yeah, she’s having fun all year long.
* Tetora points out the more cheerful she is, the easier she’ll get May blues. Suddenly Marii sees visions of that creepy assistant called Yamashita. The rest couldn’t see her. Marii becomes haunted as she sees Yamashita around just about everywhere. Turns out to be Kukuru in a suit and she’s not yet finished having her fun yet. Yeah. It’s May 45th and the month isn’t going to end yet for fearful Marii.

Episode 9A: Butt-tofu
* Though the school holidays are here, Kigu is upset that not many children come to see rakugo. They come up with ideas to attract kids like trading cards or adding round things to their costume. Tetora suggests making their body round and invites them to eat all the snacks. Marii realizes this is a ploy because she knows Tetora doesn’t go fat no matter how much she eats.
* Desperate, the only way left is to force Marii and show her butt spot! How are they going to do that without turning it into porn? They discuss if they screw up, she’ll be mislabelled and remembered wrongly for years to come. Marii still refuses to show her butt but the rest aren’t giving up and continue to convince her. Suddenly some foreign admiral barges in to take Marii away thinking she is the victim of child abuse. Gankyou comes up with a thought that the kids may not be coming because the foreigners took them away.

Episode 9B: The Bear Of Ueno
* The girls meet at the zoo as they talk about the panda being used as the main attraction for visitors to visit the zoo. The panda isn’t doing anything much to Marii’s dismay so the rest think it has got a good life but notes it has no privacy since its sexual life is broadcasted on the internet.
* They also talk about another creature which has been named the lesser panda, the crap that other animals throw and what kind of animals they like each. Kukuru likes the naked mole rat so they go see those ugly rodents. She likes them because they don’t get cancer and do not revolt against the queen.
* When they converse about animal trivia, it led them to start mentioning about tear-jerking book titles that has animals in them. Hachiko, oh Hachiko! Finally Kukuru points out an animal that nobody seems to know where it originated from. What the hell is this mascot character on Jump’s magazine?

Episode 9C: Sleep Talking
* The girls are trying hard not to doze off as they talk about the origination of the sound asleep idiom. Because Marii mentions about fortune striking one when asleep, and then quickly dozes off, each time she sleep talks something good, that good fortune actually happens to them. Whether it is delicious sakura mochi or getting 5 people for a commercial ad (Masked Girl took Marii’s place), they’re sure enjoying the fortune.
* They realize as long Marii is asleep, good fortune will strike them. Each time she wakes up, unaware what just happened, they get mad and try all sort of stuff to make her go back to sleep. Hypnotism? Chloroform?! Listening to boring speeches? How about knocking her out cold with the table! Selfishly evil!
* The girls continue to ride on the luck of winning beauty contests, getting married to an Arabian prince (who can take on 5 but not 6 wives) and going on an idol tour. Then they realize they’ve been too lucky for their own good. What if all this was just part of Marii’s dream? So can you imagine when Marii sleep talks about the end of the world?! Hey! Where has everybody suddenly gone to?!

Episode 10A: Pumpkin Band
* The girls are enjoying their snacks they got from Halloween. Only thing is, they aren’t sweets but Japanese snacks for drinking! They talk about how this Halloween thingy has become popular in Japan since it’s a western tradition. This leads to discuss about copyright stuffs and that they have to watch what they say on TV.
* Because more of the western festivals are creeping into Japan, they think that soon they will be celebrating American holidays like Independence Day or Lincoln Day. As for the trick or treat motto, if they put it on a national scale, it may seem like something intimidating or threatening.
* They talk about doing Halloween the Japanese style and incorporating Japanese elements. Looks odd, don’t they? One of them being saying thanks after being given candy. Obviously. But they add that they need to do something in exchange like singing. Soon the girls form a death metal band but notice how they fail in comparison to a certain light music club band.
* If getting candy is so troublesome, Kigu would rather not have them. She gives the candy back and the girls start exchanging and trading up the given gifts till Marii ends up as some super rich girl! Yeah, they’re getting further and further from Halloween.
* Next on the topic is that Halloween doesn’t necessarily mean they should give sweets. Maybe it is just an abbreviation for something. It leads to Tetora thinking there is a bomb hidden in the pile of sweets as the girls make a mad escape dash. But it’s all fake as Tetora starts eating all the sweets.

Episode 10B: Battle of Shinjuku
* The girls are at the Kabukichou entertainment district and their conversation begins that there are no kabuki performances in the area despite its name (along with other examples in other places). Gankyou explains the history why there is none and the theatre that was built in its place in which it was eventually closed down due to poor sales.
* They head to an underground building for hardcore anime events and they got terrified (except for Kukuru) seeing some anime mascots killing each other in a death match!
* Marii imagines the kind of Kabukichou she would like to see. I don’t know. It seems dangerous. Illegal foreigners trying to sell her stuff, hosts trying to get her enter their host club and in the midst, a yakuza battle with the police. I’m not sure which movie she saw to get such an impression.

Episode 10C: Cavity Shore
* Kukuru is drawing her dentist in a depressed look. Why? When she was asked to pick which crown, she chose the one that is covered by the insurance. I guess that means he makes less profit, eh? Because of that, his grief stricken face is carved into her mind and starts seeing his face everywhere she goes.
* As they even joke about the release of this series’ DVD and its timeline and the possibility of being cancelled (don’t jinx it!), they soon discuss about the lame dental puns that dentists have in naming their clinic.
* Kigu shows off her shiny teeth she really takes care off as Gankyou notices Marii has been silent all this while. Actually she has cavities even though she denies it. They want her to fix it right away since the earthquake can hit anytime. I guess they’re really trying to nail the message because they put on a full face helmet on her even if the earthquake alert is fake.
* Since Marii doesn’t want to take off the helmet, this upsets Masked Girl as it overlaps her character. The painful submission move to take it off has Marii pleading for painkillers. But Kukuru gives her painkillers that only heal her heart. Now she is one happy singing girl. Till the effects wear off. Each time the pain worsens. It’s either high or pain.
* They suggest a primitive do-it-yourself to extract her teeth when Tetora introduces a high-tech machinery to do the job. Actually it is the same idea but only made more complicated. So the ball rolls and rolls and rolls, unleashing the domino effect to other contraptions from inside to outside the building and making some guy lose his wig! And the tooth eventually came out.

Episode 11A: Family Play
* The girls are having a swell time at the beach. Well actually, they’re in their dressing room. The background posters must be that realistic, huh? They discuss the various designs of swimsuits which leads to a topic on Japan’s loose education.
* Speaking of that, Gankyou bought a very loose and oversize swimsuit. So much so it can fit Kigu inside! Because it looked like a mother giving her daughter a piggy-back ride, they suggest Kigu to call Gankyou ‘mama’. Somehow it awakens her maternal instincts and they both love it.
* Kukuru got jealous and wants in but gets disappointed when she couldn’t smell anything on Gankyou. So as not to let her get depressed, Tetora throws soapy water all over the floor. This causes Kukuru and Marii to slip and somehow they squeeze and fit into Gankyou’s swimsuit. Can you believe it? Four girls fitting in a swimsuit? Man, it must be one very elastic swimsuit or a very, very, very loose one.

Episode 11B: Sakai Five
* Gankyou waits at the Musashi Sakai train station as slowly her friends pop up one by one after taking the wrong train stop.
* Walking along Skip Street, they talk about why the street is named so as well as Doppo Boulevard. They are about to stop by at a shop to eat ramen but Kigu has doubts entering it because it sound like a vulgar anatomy. But the rest convince her by giving examples of other sound effects similar to it. I guess the ramen tastes good, no? To relax after meal, Gankyou takes them fishing. Well, I guess this is fun for a lifetime. Because fun in getting drunk lasts only a day. Because fun in marriage only lasts 3 days, right?
* Finally the girls pass by and pay their homage to an anime studio that is responsible for animating them.

Episode 11C: Tree Tragedy
* The girls are holding a Christmas party in the dressing room. During the gift exchange, everyone knows Tetora will get the best gift. Gankyou got from Kigu a Santa outfit (what do you do with it after Christmas?), Kukuru got from Tetora sweet chestnuts (horrible pun on ‘Christmas’), Marii got a wooden block from Kukuru (an even worse pun), Kigu got a bunch of toilet rolls from Marii (what has it got to do with Christmas) and Tetora a 1,000 Yen note from Gankyou (she was too busy to buy anything – see? Didn’t she get the best gift?).* As the girls talk about buying stuffs from the internet, Tetora has ordered a Christmas tree. Because she couldn’t see its size on the internet, I guess it turned the dressing room into a jungle. Worse, the branches knock out the lights. In the dark.
* Since Marii had a runny nose from the start, it starts glowing. Oh, Rudolph… Everyone thought they should use her nose as the guiding light but some see a different ‘light’. Kukuru had better not go into the light at the end of the tunnel. Gankyou gets pissed when she realizes the light is coming from a handphone. Marii feels like she has the upper hand in ambushing violent Gankyou but wrongly attacks Kigu instead. So the ‘dark jungle’ turns into a war zone with parodies of Rambo, Predator, Apocalypse Now and even a cannibal coming into the scene.
* Marii is inches away from ambushing Gankyou from behind but Gankyou lands a clean hit into her face. I guess having a light in the dark means a big disadvantage too. Because it makes her nose glow even more, it attracts several other people in which Kigu is happy that they got some Christmas guests.
* All they need now to complete this Christmas is a red sock and here comes a giant one now. Getting crowded, eh? Yeah, Tetora ordered it from the internet and couldn’t judge its size. And she already ordered decorations for New Year. Oh shi…

Episode 12A: The Dreamers Strike Back
* Tetora is not serious when she really did order a giant New Year ornament, right?
* Because the girls are talking about first dreams of New Year, this has Kukuru all riled up because she hasn’t slept a wink since who knows when. They try to put her to sleep like singing a lullaby (sounds like a curse), counting sheep or total silence (what the hell are they making funny faces) but this only serves to irritate Kukuru. Especially about her weird and realistic ‘dreams’ which aren’t dreams but reality.
* To cheer her up, the rest dress up as auspicious objects believed to bring luck: Mt Fuji, eggplant and eagle. However no one has ever seen all 3 together so the surreal is very freaky for Kukuru.
* The girls try to dress up in other objects that include vegetables, bacteria and finally atoms. I think Kukuru doesn’t want to see any more of it.

Episode 12B: Gotta
* The girls visit various famous art landmarks in Roppongi that includes a giant spider statue with eggs under its belly, a giant rose, a random number generating Counter Void, The Hill, Protector Stone and talk about the medaka fish that is said to have been born from space when some astronaut went up there to conduct such experiments.
* They make a stop at a disco once known as Velfarre now renamed to Nicofarre. Because Marii mentions she would love to live in the bubble age 20 years ago, the rest put her on a swimsuit and push her into a time machine that claims it can do so. Marii becomes part of the bubble age and enjoys being part of it. Till she sees the bubbles of the champagne and is brought back to reality.

Episode 12C: Blacks
* As initiative to save electricity, the girls wear lighter cool biz rakugo uniform. However it makes them look like ninjas and they can’t help play ninja in the dressing room.
* Kukuru suggests telling ghost stories to feel cooler but Kigu is weak in them. However Gankyou explains reality is scarier than ghosts and shows a picture that contains something white that may look like a ghost. However it turns out to be a man in white radioactive suit. Scary or not? How about politicians who raise taxes? Scarier or not? What about a certain pop music that is so popular but no one seems to have bought the CDs? Scary or what?
* For visual effects, Tetora suggests painting the entire room blue. Though it does have a cooling effect, once they get used to it, they start feeling hot again. This time they dye their hair blue. Again, they feel hot after getting used to it. After changing into blue clothes, the shrewd producer enters to tell them about a new idea. However he only sees their ‘floating’ faces (everything else is blended into the blue background) so he freaks out thinking he has seen ghosts. The girls quip his wife is scarier. Huh?
* Lastly they wonder if there is anything else they could do to make it feel cooler. Yes there is. They all enjoy looking at Marii’s butt spot!

Episode 13A: Character Ruining
* The girls are talking about the last episode. Treasure every moment they have. Treasure every encounter for you may never meet again. Suddenly, a new character pops into the room. She is Uzannu Uzattei and this fast talking strawberry motif hakama b*tch starts getting on everyone’s nerve by hinting about their secrets.
* I guess the girls are prepared to put up with her since it’s the last episode, you know, the once-in-a-lifetime thingy. But I don’t think that will last because Uzannu continues to irritate everyone. She’s making it hard to tell her name too. Somebody shut this girl up!
* This has Kukuru think that once is more than enough and a host of examples why people queue up for the oddest reasons because of it. But Uzannu wants more annoys everyone (especially Kukuru) talking about sequels and remakes.
* That’s because she mentions if she gets one chance, she’ll mess them all up. This means she’ll ruin the character balance of everyone. She does it by annoyingly imitating everybody! Worse, she makes her own opening credits and fills it with her annoying self and irritating lyrics (literally).
* The only way left to kick her out is to summon the Masked Girl clones. She’s swept away with the clone wave. She’s gone. Thank goodness! But when a mother asks a girl about the rakugo performance she saw, she quips, “Once is enough”. And that Uzannu girl had the guts to come back and say she’ll be featured in the second season. In glorious 3D! Get out of here!

Episode 13B: Mighty Akiba
* The girls are lost in the Akiba train station due to the confusing signs. It’s like a giant underground maze if you don’t know your way around.
* Gankyou wants to show the girls around since this is her area but the first place she took them to some radio hall is under construction. She also got stopped by a couple of policeman for wearing a pouch (blame the slasher incidents for everyone being too jumpy).
* Gankyou continues to bring them around the electronics area and a bridge. Talking about places to eat, they note the several different themed cafes and restaurants around.
* Lastly they visit an underground idol but it turns out to be Uzannu making her annoying debut. Feel like going home? Yeah, I agree. Hate her but don’t hate Akiba.

Episode 13C: Extra Lectures
* Marii has trouble eating mochi so Tetora suggests eating it like a bowl of rice. This doesn’t sit well with Gankyou and tells her off to eat things as it is. This has Tetora twist the meaning of her words that since this show is heavy on dialogue, it shouldn’t be made into anime! Same thing goes to broadcasts. You should watch this show as it is and not burn it onto DVD!
* Gankyou argues if they would like a piece of ham on every fruit they eat. Not appetizing, right? That’s why it’s best to leave things as they are. Her point: Don’t add unnecessary things or weird twists. After a list of examples, in the end Tetora mentions it doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy it.
* Gankyou still isn’t convinced and tears up the clothes a dog is wearing. The dog didn’t like it and tears her clothes. I guess this is your last episode fanservice. Only a metal washbasin is hiding her modesty.
* Suddenly World War 2 patriot women come in to take her metal washbasin. Now she’s totally naked. Tetora passes her a guy suit and she looks stunning in it!
* However Marii gets upset because they once suspected her as a cross-dresser. Pointing the problem isn’t in their genders but their characters, the rest conclude Marii is not a boy or girl. But a being called Marii.
* Masked Girl calls Marii as it is her turn on stage so she goes out and talks about the end. The end of the show. The end of life. The end of everything. Okay, we get it. The end.

OVA Part A: Store of Spoils
* Marii gets upset when the audience claps before she finishes her story. It’s like wanting to get rid of her, eh? Kukuru also relates the same experience. Just when Marii wishes for those kind of people to drop dead, the rest point out that Marii is no better because she too has bad timing. Whether it’s an orchestra or baseball match, her bad timing makes her an embarrassing standout. Even there are other characters vouching for it. Clap too fast? Laughed at parts that are not funny?
* Kigu suggests mending her rhythm via mochi pounding. Miss and it will be major pain. This is serious. This is life and death. Of course Marii plays it safe and this has Kukuru wondering if she is tone deaf too.
* They let her use a metronome but it seems Marii got hypnotized. Then they realize her timing has been healed. Just like a normal person. When Tetora wonders what happens if she is snapped out, Marii returns to her old bad timing self. And got her hand pounded by the mochi hammer.
* After being released from hospital, Marii now knows why her timing is off due to the messed up timing of her heart. The girls point out that is arrhythmia and so she goes back to the hospital once more. Thankfully her condition is stable. But her timing still sucks…

OVA Part B: Three Bookstores
* The girls are at Jinbouchou, a place with numerous bookstores, publishers and universities. They decide to pay homage to their publisher but realize they got the wrong one. Shogakukan instead of Kodansha. But since they’re here, they visit the other publishing buildings around. They also discuss the various types of magazine genres they publish.
* Next they make their way to an old temple and a grave of someone supposedly responsible for building several Kodansha buildings.
* Once they arrive at Kodansha, they learn its formation history and its original ridiculously long name that contains too many strokes. Inside the hall, they check out past presidents and feel a sense of deja vu of being on this stage (something about 5 seiyuus in a talk show and signing posters. Them?).
* Making their way upwards, they notice several beautiful models for other fashion magazines. Hoping their publisher would have a nice office too, they enter and are appalled to see it messy like a pig sty. Yeah, there’s a tired editor sleeping in the midst of his work. I suppose this magazine is built on the daily sacrifice of the editors. Pay your respects!

OVA Part C: Surprise Focus
* Kigu is so serious in learning a new story that her facial features start focusing in the middle of her face! Cute or hideous? After several solutions to help ease her focus, her face finally loosens up back to normal after some massaging.
* However she has focus lines all over now. She becomes stressed and even though she takes it easy and relax, the focus lines make it seem she is focused. Imagine, she’ll have focus lines in everything she does till the day she dies!
* Marii shows off her pink fluffy background that she’ll never have but Gankyou says it doesn’t suit her. This means whatever troubles she gets into, it doesn’t seem dangerous because it feels she’s not having too much trouble.
* Kukuru suggests they start scattering instead of focusing and sarcastically hints because Marii is scatterbrained. Marii feels they should have separate dressing rooms. She goes to ask the manager but was beaten up. So they settle for little cubicles instead. However the cramped space means Kigu is now focusing too much and her face is messed up! I don’t even know how to describe this. Is her face swallowing itself?
* After being rushed to the hospital, Kigu is cured of her focus and her focus lines are gone too. Yeah, the focused treatment has her much less focused now. But as for Marii, there is no cure for her pink fluffy background. No medical advancement yet? Despite Marii sounding desperate and threatening to find a cure, I guess her background doesn’t give an impact of urgency or threat. Everything’s fine…

Girls’ Talk
I won’t really go so far to say that I didn’t enjoy this series but due to the lack of my knowledge in many of the topics the girls talked about, I couldn’t really understand the joke or what is being implied so that really takes a chunk out of the enjoyment. Oddly, the most entertaining segment that I find is Uzannu’s debut. I guess this shows I’m a person who prefers slapstick or sarcastic types of jokes. I can still remember how this was the only segment in the entire series that I was laughing my ass off. Real hard. She’s a real pain in the ass and neck. A part of me wanted her to stay and another part of me wanted her to get out for good. Maybe after we are so used to the quintet and their typical characteristics, suddenly somebody like her, a total newbie barges into the scene and brings her own form of chaos and throws everybody off their pace. This anime is also one of those few comedies that not only breaks the fourth wall but also fairly goes overboard (on purpose) in making jokes about the staffs behind this series. And it is usually a jinx to even mention about hoping to buy their DVDs and increase sales in hopes to get a second season. So it is no-holds-barred for everyone in the dressing room and some of the topics discussed are worth pondering as the examples given are good points to think about. At least everybody is free to express their views no matter how absurd or impossible they are. That’s the irony of the world and life we live in today.

Still nevertheless it is quite fairly entertaining especially to hear the girls talk (seriously, guys like me hearing girls talking is interesting?) and some of the examples that I understood were funny in their own way. So all isn’t lost actually. Though my Japanese vocabulary isn’t good, there are some simple lines that I am still able to aurally catch. What am I trying to say? I noticed that some of the lines said weren’t really precisely translated and were given a whole new different line instead. As I read, the fansubbers did make a note that they were aiming for a funny script and making it a priority over literal accuracy. Due to the difference in languages, I guess this is a dilemma that one has to face. Of course it is best to always learn the language itself but that’s not the point. Should they have translated exactly as said, the meaning would have been lost and I’m sure you don’t want to be reading the translator notes each time when this happens, right? This is going to happen a lot. It will be a pain. It will be annoying. That’s why to keep the funny flow of the topic, certain words are changed to keep the continuity of the flow. But if your Japanese is zero, I guess it doesn’t make any difference and you’ll still enjoy the ‘revamped’ joke.

Basically the characters themselves are pretty amusing and if you pay additional attention to their talk you’ll find that Marii’s butt spot is a recurring butt joke (bum pun intended). It’s like a running gag throughout this series. Though we won’t see them doing it very often, it will happen enough times to make you think that the other girls are sick perverts who enjoy watching that blue black spot on her ass. Gankyou despite being the coolest among the lot is also a violent girl and it seems her ‘sparring partner’ is often Marii, though I feel that Marii bears more of the brunt than Gankyou. Except for the final episode whereby Gankyou’s role totally switched with Marii and the former became the ‘victim’. Kigu may be acting like the innocent baby of the group but after she does something cute to amuse the rest, we see her dark evil side and note to herself she won’t put up with this sh*t for them anymore. Do you really want to know this dark side of hers? Guess not. But for Kukuru, it is more obvious that she is unlucky and emotionally unstable. One could easily mistake her from coming out from the movie, The Ring. Speaking of luck, Tetora may seem carefree but something about her luck bugs me. If it is true that her luck allows her to avoid all sorts of misfortune, how come in some episodes I notice that she also receives the kind of bad luck streak that the others would receive? I thought this good luck of hers is only unique in that episode but apparently this is prevalent throughout the series. So when I noticed that she received some misfortune too, it made me wonder if she was really lucky or not. Unless you’re telling me that she really enjoys it and thus not considered to be unlucky for her. That’s a possibility. And who the heck is Masked Girl anyway? Popping up in a few scenes here and there, adding randomness to the talk the other girls are already talking about whether it is related or not. Feels like you want to know who is behind that mask, don’t you? And of course, the most annoying character of all is no doubt Uzannu. Thank heavens that she only appears in only one episode. I think the viewers will be driven to insanity and madness beyond cure if she was a regular.

Thanks to the notes that I have mentioned earlier on, this means there are quite a number of trivia for you to spot. Provide if you know your anime culture well enough and your general knowledge on the worldwide affairs must also be up to date. Maybe also including those that have occurred some years or decades back. So for the producers to put in all these trivia, it  really seems like one Herculean effort especially to a person who knows nothing. Hats off to them and also the fansubbers who are quite knowledgeable and know their stuff very well. Here is an extra site that I discover having more trivia to read upon: Animenewsnetwork. Happy trivial pursuit. Hope you don’t die of trivia overload. For me, I’m too ‘stupid’ so I didn’t really understand some of them. That’s how I ‘survived’. Ah, ignorance is bliss.

This anime is animated by J.C. Staff, thus you could sometimes see some in-reference of them inside the anime. Being a veteran studio production house in the anime industry, they have brought us lots of animes like Azumanga Daioh, Honey To Clover, Hayate No Gotoku, Toradora, Kill Me Baby, Excel Saga, Ai Yori Aoshi, Nodame Cantabile, Shakugan No Shana, Bakuman, To Aru Majutsu No Index and Zero No Tsukaima to name a few famous titles. With many series animated under their belt, they don’t stick to particular one style of art. So in the case of this series, we have the Joshiraku girls having round and cute facial features. However, I thought I have seen shades of SHAFT’s animation style in a couple of scenes. Especially some of the side characters looking like those minor characters that appear in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. But the one little thing that I find odd is the round black spot over Kukuru’s top face whenever she is going into unlucky mode. It feels like there is some sort of a ‘crater’ at that spot, which makes it rather odd. Maybe it is part of her character’s feature just like how the butt spot is to Marii and glasses are to Gankyou. Another thing to highlight about the visuals is the various real locations that the girls visit in the middle part of each episode. As pointed out by the fansubbers, all (if not many) of them are real places. The drawings of the location, landmarks, building or monuments may not be in great detail right to the exact dot but the main standout feature is there and at least they look satisfactory. I suppose those familiar with them should easily identify with it. Good job, though.

For the voice acting part and being an anime with heavily dialogue, I guess they are pretty decent. Surprisingly Uzannu is the best one because of her annoying character. More surprisingly, Ryoko Shintani voices her and it’s not like the kind of usual roles I am used to hear her in like Rihoko in Amagami SS, Sae in Hidamari Sketch or Milfeulle in Galaxy Angel. I never know she can sound this annoying, yet so good. She’s wild, she’s fast, she’s lively, she’s… Annoying. Not even her role as the delusional Araya in Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouto Ga Iru could match up to this one. Total respect and hats off to her. Saori Goto (Keiko in Minami-ke, Soako in Hatsukoi Limited or Limited Girl) as Kukuru really makes her character like an ominous woman. If she ever dies with regrets lingering, she would definitely become a ghost. Oh wait. As of now she sounds almost as one. And when she goes crazy, she really goes crazy. Other casts include Ayane Sakura as Marii (Miyabi in Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouto Ga Iru), Kotori Koiwai as Kigu (Yoshikuni in Ao No Exorcist), Nozomi Yamamoto as Tetora (Yukimura in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai) and Yoshino Nanjou as Gankyou (Kokoro in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes). I thought he Masked Girl would be a character that has no lines. Apparently she does but very minimal. Her seiyuu is Aoi Yuuki (Tooru in A Channel, Madoka in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica).

The opening and ending credits are both amusing. The opening song, sung by the quintet of Joshiraku, Oato Ga Yoroshikutte… Yo! is a catchy rock piece and the credits animation is crazily filled with, erm, crazy random stuffs. The ending theme, Nippon Egao Hyakkei by Momoiro Clover Z (I thought they sounded like the Joshiraku quintet) with Yoshida Brothers (for the traditional shamisen sound) is a mix between traditional and rap. That is what makes it amusing. Somehow I find it catchy too. Really. To top it off, in addition to the other crazy random stuffs, the girls are doing a very cute dance which I feel could have rival Oppa Gangnam Style but it will only works if you dance to all that in a group. Can’t resist… Doing that… Hip dance… I suppose that’s the easiest part of the dance.

I still can’t understand rakugo. I know the title of each segment in the series is derived from a real rakugo story and the beginning of each episode has the girls finishing up their rakugo story to the audience with some with horrible puns which I don’t really get. Even if you put in cute girls and try talking me into it with such funny jokes and puns, most likely I won’t be swayed to convert either. So like I said, perhaps you need to be a true blue Japanese and of the older generation to appreciate them. Not only rakugo but a host of other types of traditional Japanese theatre entertainment like kabuki, noh and bunraku. I guess my tastes lean more towards the modern type of entertainment. Can I consider animes to be a modern and more sophisticated form of storytelling then? Well then, that’s all from me for now. Oato ga yoroshii you de, oyasuminasai…

Hold on! This wasn’t in my calculations! I never would have expected Carnival Phantasm to have a special release called Carnival Phantasm HibiChika Special. Apparently this special single episode came out not too long ago, back in January 2013 and as part of the 10th anniversary event celebration for Type-Moon. So what else do we have for this episode? More wacky cross-over fun between Fate/Stay Night and Tsukihime. If you love the randomness of this series, I’m sure you will enjoy this one too.

* Kohaku and Hisui are racing against time and overcoming all obstacles (including a big construction hole in the middle of the mansion’s corridor and fighting Fate/Zero’s Rider’s army) just to report to Akiha that Koha-Ace is about to start.
* They also hired Saber for publicity but apparently her performance fee was bursting the budget.

Introducing Hibiki and Chikagi… And Cellphone…
* Hibiki Hibino and Chikagi Katsuragi are part timers working at Ahnenerbe. Neko Evolution excitedly films them with his camera. By the way, Lancer is also working there as a waiter but Neko Evolution isn’t interested in filming guys.
* We are also introduced to this wise cracking sarcastic handphone called, erm, let’s just call it Cellphone. Due to his unnecessary comments, Chikagi always breaks him into two at the end! I wonder how he gets fixed by the next time. It will be the umpteenth time he will be broken by the time this arc ends…
* Lancer is suddenly killed! Karen throws them several stacks of money and takes Lancer’s body away. However when Cellphone reprimands her about just solving things with money, Karen leaves a few more rows of cash behind. Now Cellphone totally digs all the money he gets his hands on (he doesn’t have hands by the way). Break apart time!
* Hibiki notices the Afterschool Alleyway Alliance trio are their customers. She seems to recognize them and Satsuki is thrilled that they have still fans. However Sion and Riesbyfe pour cold water on that. Hibiki tries to imitate one of their sketches but it turns out to be the wrong one. Miscalculation… Chikagi has a feeling they’ll screw up the moment they get back on their act.
* Shirou and Shiki regret that they were trying to date simultaneously before (refer to Dokidoki Super Date Plan in previous season). They think they should have dated them all separately. They feel that they can redo this again. I guess they can thank the polls for that. More on this later…
* Ahnenerbe goes to the beach to set up business there. Chikagi doesn’t want Hibiki to get distracted having fun since they’re there to work. However she too gets into the flow of the fun and when Cellphone makes his sarcastic comment, he got snapped.
* Afterschool Alleyway Alliance makes its return on screen. Too bad Sion and Riesbyfe don’t seem too enthusiastic about it and true enough they screw up everything. Everything was in her calculations… And they don’t even have time to finish up because the curtains fall on them. I guess that’s it for them. End of the road.

Dokidoki Super Date Plan… The Alternative!
* As narrated, the polls indicated that majority of viewers wanted the ‘Date Everyone’ option and that was featured in the last episode of the previous season. Thus the ‘Date the Main Heroine’ option will be featured for this special.
* Shiki x Arcueid and Shirou x Saber have the fun of their lives and their date ended successfully. The kind whereby we all love to see our heroes end up with their heroines in the end of a dating sim. Despite the happy ending, little did they know that the next 3 days would be hell for them.
* Day 1: Shiki calls Shirou if everything is going well or if the other had run into some sort of trouble. Suddenly the telephone cuts off.
* Day 2: You can tell something is wrong with Sakura the way she cuts the veggies. Shirou is shocked to see worms for his dinner! At class, Shirou meets and talks to Rin normally. Little did he know, his sudden tiredness in class stems from Rin secretly chanting a spell from underneath his chair. On the other hand, Shiki seems to be given curry dishes he did not order from Ciel. He develops phobia of curry and rushes back home. He screams when he sees curry oozing out of the tap. But Kohaku and Hisui dismiss it as his hallucination. When he takes a bath, the lights go out and Akiha’s red hair starts to bind all over him! Saber realizes Shirou is sick. He accidentally tears the wall which reveals heaps of curses.
* Day 3: Shirou and Shiki come clean with Saber and Arcueid. They admit they were five-timing. Or was it six or seven. They just wanted to make everyone happy but Saber reminds them such self centred happiness doesn’t exist. All that is left to do now is for the guys to get on their knees, admit their wrong and beg for forgiveness. Then all the other girls come in and are cool with it. All they wanted was them to admit their mistake. They won’t reproach them anymore so Arcueid and Saber also let this slide. With instructions to fix their faults, redo everything and turn from a pathetic protagonist to a brilliant honest man, the guys become touched with their kindness and begin their second chance at adolescence.
* After day: However, Shiki soon finds himself locked out of his house while Shirou finds worms in his meal. I guess a woman’s grudge runs deep… They’re so sick of dates! What a tragedy!

* We hear Kohaku making some wise cracks about the Type-Moon characters and also lamenting that something wouldn’t have happened if Kinoko had made some remake.
* Rider also makes her appearance and something to do with Saber’s meal costing straining the budget that made them feature Rider to be more complete.
* Speaking of cost, Kohaku adds that she should have offered Red Saber had she known Blue Saber cost more. Anyway, here she is. A ploy to get her animated even though there is not much screen time left.
* Everybody starts running across as the ending credits animation is being played while making wise cracks about the Koha-Ace staff (all positions done by the same person?!). Red Saber also ponders about her debut but that is about how much screen time she’ll get. No spin-off for her too.

Carnage Fantasy… Miscalculated!
So everything was rather fun in its own way. This series didn’t lose its humorous touch after all and broke some fourth walls along the way. Still, there are some jokes that I can’t understand especially about the Koha-Ace and Kinoko ones. I didn’t read up on that so I’m still at a lost. I was wondering who the new characters of Hibiki and Chikagi are. Perhaps they are newly created characters from Type-Moon for one of their games and this special serves as their introduction. Heck, they have a full profile listing when they got introduced to us viewers. They are also newly added into the opening credits animation (the one where they feature the characters of both series in a highly energized dance throughout the duration). If Cellphone upgraded himself into Tablet or iPad, I wonder if Chikagi will snap him as easily as she does right now. Maybe. Such inventions are ubiquitous and you can find one just about anywhere.

The other characters that made their little appearance are pretty decent too. Afterschool Alleyway Alliance are still screwing up right till the end (maybe it’s their signature comedy – it is) and it’s better that the curtains come down early for them. Lancer still gets killed despite making only a single appearance and Karen still solves things with money. Where the heck does she get them? Is her father the bank governor or does she print money? Of course there are some segments that are not featured in this special such as Seihai-kun, White Moon Princess Phantas-Moon and Taiga’s Dojo. The third one obviously not since this is only a single episode so no continuation! Not even a choice! This goes with some of the characters that do not appear too like Ilya.

Of course the biggest feature of this special is still the Dokidoki Super Date Plan but it feels more like a horror genre rather than anything comical. Why not? That’s the problem of having a harem. You thought you could solve things by choosing one (because if you don’t, you will lose everything and hurt everyone if you remain indecisive – at least in harem genres). But you know, girls like them hold a deep grudge if they aren’t chosen and will go to great lengths just to curse you. If it’s not me, then hell you can’t be happy either. My guess is that if Saber and Arcueid aren’t chosen but some other girl, big chance that they will be part of the curse too. So it’s a situation of out of the frying pan and into the fire for these guys. The best option: Don’t date! What happens if there is a third option of going yaoi and dating themselves?! Who knows? Maybe some of the girls would like it. Or Apocalypse may come to Japan sooner than the rest of the world. I know I wouldn’t vote for this route to happen. Ever.

The last time I hoped that there would be a fourth season for this season but alas it wasn’t in anybody’s calculation (yet) but this special is good enough to tickle my bones for the time being. Will they do a new OVA or a new special? Who knows? Anything is possible if they decide to. I know I’ll be waiting for it when that happens. That’s what you call within my calculations. If that ever happens, that is. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. All within my calculations too…

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